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  • Title: The Puritan (Folio 3, 1664)

  • Copyright Digital Renaissance Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Authors: Thomas Middleton, William Shakespeare
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    The Puritan (Folio 3, 1664)

    The Puritan Widow.
    Even with a breath, to funerall dust and ashes;
    Oh, out of a million of millions, I should ne're find such
    a husband; he was unmatchable---unmatchable: nothing
    95was so hot, nor too dear for me, I could not speak of
    that one thing that I had not, beside, I had keyes of all,
    kept all, receiv'd all, had money in my purse, spent what
    I would, went abroad when I would, came home when I
    would, and did all what I would: Oh---my sweet hus-
    100band; I shall never have the like.
    Sir God. Sister? ne're say so, he was an honest Bro-
    ther of mine, and so, and you may light upon one as ho-
    nest again, or one, as honest again may light upon you,
    that's the properer phrase indeed.
    105Wid. Never: oh if you love me urge it not:
    Oh may I be the by-word of the world,
    The common talk at Table in the mouth
    Of every Groom and Waiter, if e're more
    I entertain the carnall suit of man.
    110Mol. I must kneel down for fashion too.
    Franck. And I, whom never man as yet hath scal'd,
    E'ne in this depth of generall sorrow, vow
    Never to marry, to sustain such losse,
    As a dear husband seems to be, once dead.
    115Mol. I lov'd my Father well too; but to say,
    Nay vow, I would not marry for his death,
    Sure I should speak false Latin, should I not?
    I'de as soon vow never to come in Bed:
    Tut, Women must live by th' quick, and not by th' dead.
    120Wid. Dear Copy of my husband, oh let me kiss thee:
    Drawing out her Husbands Picture.
    How like him is their Model; their brief Picture
    Quickens my teares: my sorrowes are renew'd
    At their fresh sight.
    125Sir God. Sister---
    Wid. Away,
    All honesty with him is turn'd to clay,
    Oh my sweet husband, oh----
    Frank. My dear Father?Exeunt mother & daughters.
    130Mol. Here's a puling indeed! I think my Mother
    weeps for all the women that ever buried husbands: for if
    from time to time all the Widowers teares in England
    had been bottled up, I doe not think all would have fill'd
    a three-half-penny Bottle: alass, a small matter bucks a
    135Handkercher,----and sometimes the spittle stands too
    nigh Saint Thomas a Watrings: well, I can mourn in
    good sober sort as well as another? but where I spend one
    tear for a dead Father, I could give twenty kisses for a
    quick husband.Exit Mol.
    140Sir God. Well, go thy wayes, old Sir Godfrey, and
    thou may'st be proud on't, thou hast a kind loving sister-
    in-law: how constant? how passionate? how full of A-
    pril the poor soules eyes are; well, I would my Brother
    knew on't, he should then know what a kind Wife he
    145had left behind him; truth, and 'twere not for shame that
    the neighbours at th'next Garden should hear me be-
    twixt joy and grief, I should e'ne cry out-right.
    Exit Sir Godfrey.
    Edmond. So, a fair riddance, my Father's laid in dust,
    150his Coffin and he is like a whole Meat-Pye, and the
    wormes will cut him up shortly: farewell, old Dad, fare-
    well; I'le be curb'd in no more: I perceive a son and heir
    may quickly be made a fool and he will be one, but I'le
    take another order;---Now she would have me weep
    155for him forsooth, and why; because he cozen'd the right
    heir being a fool, and bestow'd those Lands on me his
    eldest Son; and therefore I must weep for him, ha, ha:
    why all the world knowes, as long as 'twas his pleasure to
    get me, 'twas his duty to get for me: I know the Law in
    160that point, no Atturney can gull me. Well, my Unckle
    is an old Asse, and an admirable Coxcombe, I'le rule the
    Roast my self, I'le be kept under no more, I know what
    I may doe well enough by my Fathers Copy: the Law's
    in mine own hands now: nay now I know my strength,
    165I'le be strong enough for my Mother I warrant you?

    Enter George Py-bord a Schollar and a Citizen, and un-
    to him an old Souldier, Peter Skirmish.

    Pye. What's to be done now, old Lad of War, thou
    170that wert wont to be as hot as a turn-spit, as nimble as a
    Fencer, and as lowsie as a Schoole-master; now thou
    art put to silence like a Sectary,---War sits now like a
    Justice of peace, and does nothing: where be your Mus-
    kets, Calivers and Hotshots? in Long-lane, at pawn, at
    175pawn;---Now keyes are our onely Guns, Key-guns, Key-
    guns, and Bawdes the Gunners,---who are your senti-
    nells in peace, and stand ready charg'd to give warning;
    with hems, hums, and pocky-coffs; onely your Chambers
    are licenst to play upon you, and Drabs enow to give fire
    180to 'em.
    Skir. Well, I cannot tell, but I am sure it goes wrong
    with me, for since the cessure of the wars, I have spent a-
    bove a hundred Crownes out a purse: I have been a Sol-
    dier any time this forty yeares, and now I perceive an old
    185Soldier, and an old Courtier have both one destiny, and in
    the end turn both into hob-nayles.
    Pye. Pretty mystery for a Beggar, for indeed a hob-
    naile is the true embleme of a Beggar's Shoe-soale.
    Skir. I will not say but that War is a bloud-sucker,
    190and so; but in my conscience, (as there is no soldier but
    has a piece of one, though it be full of holes like a shot
    Ancient, no matter, 'twill serve to swear by) in my con-
    science, I think some kinde of Peace has more hidden op-
    pressions, and violent heady sins, (though looking of a
    195gentle nature) then a profest warre.
    Pye. Troth, and for mine own part, I am a poor Gen-
    tleman, and a Schollar, I have been matriculated in the
    University, wore out six Gowns there, seen some fools,
    and some Schollars, some of the City, and some of the
    200Countrey, kept order, went bare-headed over the Qua-
    drangle, eat my Commons with a good stomack, and
    Battled with Discretion; at last, having done many
    slights and tricks to maintain my wit in use (as my brain
    would never endure me to be idle,) I was expell'd the
    205University, onely for stealing a Cheese out of Jesus Col-
    Skir. Is't possible?
    Pye. Oh! there was one Welshman (God forgive him)
    pursued it hard? and never left, till I turn'd my staffe to-
    210ward London, where when I came, all my friends were
    pit-hold, gone to Graves, (as indeed there was but a few
    left before) then was I turn'd to my wits, to shift in the
    world, to towre among Sons and Heires, and Fooles, and
    Gulls, and Ladies eldest Sons, to work upon nothing, to
    215feed out of Flint, and ever since has my belly been much
    beholding to my brain: But now to return to you, old
    Skirmish. I say as you say, and for my part wish a Tur-
    bulency in the world, for I have nothing in the world,
    but my wits, and I think they are as mad as they will be:
    220and to strengthen your Argument the more, I say an ho-
    nest warre, is better than a bawdy peace: as touching