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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
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The Puritan (Folio 3, 1664)

    The Puritan Widow.
    Pye. And thou, old Peter Skirmish, I have a necessary
    task for you both.
    Skir. Lay't upon George Pye-bord.
    615Corp. What e're it be, we'll manage it.
    Pye. I would have you two maintain a quarrell before
    the Lady Widdowes door, and draw your Swords ith'edge
    of the Evening: clash a little, clash, clash.
    Corp. Fuh.
    620Let us alone to make our Blades ring noon,
    Though it be after supper.
    Pye. I know you can;
    And out of that false fire, I doubt not but to raise strange
    belief--and, Captain, to countenance my device the bet-
    625ter, and grace my words to the Widow, I have a good
    plain Sattin Sute, that I had of a young Reveller tother
    night, for words pass not regarded now a dayes, unless they
    come from a good suit of cloathes, which the Fates and my
    wits have bestowed upon me. Well, Captain Idle, if I
    630did not highly love thee, I would ne're be seen within
    twelve score of a prison, for I protest at this instant, I
    walk in great danger of small debts; I owe money to se-
    verall Hostesses, and you know such Jills will quickly be
    upon a mans Jack.
    635Capt. True, George?
    Pye. Fare thee well, Captain. Come Corporall and
    Ancient, thou shalt hear more newes next time we greet
    Corp. More newes? I, by yon Bear at Bridge-Foot in
    640heaven shalt thou.Exeunt.
    Capt. Enough: my friends farewell,
    This prison shewes as if Ghosts did part in Hell.

    Enter Moll youngest Daughter to the Widow, alone.

    Moll. Not marry? forswear marriage? why all wo-
    645men know 'tis as honourable a thing as to lie with a man;
    and I to spight my Sisters vow the more, have entertain'd
    a Suiter already, a fine Gallant Knight of the last Fea-
    ther, he sayes he will Coach me too, and well appoint me,
    allow me money to Dice withall, and many such pleasing
    650protestations he sticks upon my lips: indeed his short-winded
    Father ith' Countrey is wondrous wealthy, a most
    abominable Farmer, and therefore he may dote in time:
    troth I'le venter upon him; women are not without
    wayes enough to help themselves: if he prove wise and
    655good as his word, why I shall love him, and use him
    kindly; and if he prove an Asse, why in a quarter of an
    houres warning I can transform him into an Oxe;----
    there comes in my relief again.
    Enter Frailty.
    660Frail. O, Mistresse Moll, Mistresse Moll.
    Moll. How now? what's the newes?
    Frail. The Knight your Suiter, Sir John Penny-Dub.
    Moll. Sir John Penny-Dub? where? where?
    Frail. He's walking in the Gallery.
    665Moll. Has my Mother seen him yet?
    Frail. O no, she's---spitting in the Kitchin.
    Moll. Direct him hither softly, good Frailty,
    I'le meet him half way.
    Frail. That's just like running a Tilt; but I hope he'll
    670break nothing this time.

    Enter Sir John Penny-Dub.

    Moll. 'Tis happinesse my Mother saw him not:
    O welcome, good Sir John.
    Penny-Dub. I thank you faith,---Nay you must stand
    675me till I kisse you: 'tis the fashion every where ifaith,
    and I came from Court enow.
    Moll. Nay the Fates forfend that I should anger the
    Penny. Then not forgetting the sweet of new cere-
    680monies, I first fall back, then recovering my self; make
    my honour to your lip thus: and then accost it.
    Moll. Trust me, very pretty, and moving, y'are wor-
    thy on't, sir.
    O my Mother, my Mother, now she's here,
    685Kissing. Enter Widow and Sir Godfrey.
    We'll steale into the Gallery.Exeunt.
    Sir Godf. Nay, Sister, let Reason rule you, doe not
    play the foole, stand not in your own light, you have
    wealthy offers, large tendrings, doe not withstand your
    690good fortune: who comes a wooing to you I pray? no
    small fool, a rich Knight oth' City, Sir Oliver Muck-hill,
    no small fool I can tell you: and furthermore as I heard late
    by your Maid-servants (as your Maid-servants will say
    to me any thing, I thank 'em) both your Daughters are
    695not without Suiters, I, and worthy ones too; one a brisk
    Courtier, Sir Andrew Tip-staffe, suiter afar off to your
    eldest Daughter, and the third a huge wealthy Farmers
    Son, a fine young Country Knight, they call him Sir
    John Penny-Dub, a good name marry, he may have it
    700coyn'd when he lacks money: what blessings are these,
    Wid. Tempt me not, Satan.
    Sir God. Satan? doe I look like Satan? I hope the
    Devil's not so old as I, I trow.
    705Wid. You wound my sences, Brother, when you name
    A suiter to me,---oh I cannot abide it,
    I take in poyson when I hear one nam'd.

    Enter Simon.

    How now, Simon? where's my son Edmond?
    710Sim. Verily, Madam, he is at vain Exercise, dripping
    in the Tennis-Court.
    Wid. At Tennis-Court? oh, now his Father's gone,
    I shall have no rule with him; oh wicked Edmond, I
    might well compare this with the Prophecy in the Chro-
    715nicle, though far inferiour, as Harry of Monmouth won
    all, and Harry of Windsor lost all; so Edmond of Bris-
    towthat was the Father, got all, and Edmond of London
    that's his son now, will spend all.
    Sir Godf. Peace, sister, we'll have him reform'd, there's
    720hope on him yet, though it be but a little.

    Enter Frailty.

    Frail. Forsooth Madam; there are two or three Ar-
    chers at door would very gladly speak with your Ladi-
    725Wid. Archers?
    Sir God. Your Husbands Fletcher I warrant.
    Wid. Oh,
    Let them come near, they bring home things of his,
    Troth I should ha forgot 'em, how now?
    730Villain, which be those Archers?

    Enter the Suiters, Sir Andrew Tipstaffe, Sir Oliver
    Muck-hill, and Penni-Dub.

    Frail. Why, do you not see 'em before you? are not