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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    these Archers, what do you call'em Shooters: Shooters
    735and Archers are all one I hope.
    Wid. Out ignorant slave.
    Muck. Nay, pray be patient Lady,
    We come in way of honorable love.
    Tipst. Penny. We do.
    740Muck. To you.
    Tipst. Penny. And to your Daughters.
    Wid.O why will you offer me this, Gentlemen? in-
    deed I will not look upon you; when the tears are scarce
    out of mine eyes, not yet washt off from my cheeks, and
    745my deer husbands body scarce so cold as the Coffin, what
    reason have you to offer it? I am not like some of your
    Widows that will bury one in the evening, and be sure
    to another ere morning; pray away, pray take your an-
    swers good Knights, and you be sweet Knights, I have
    750vow'd never to marry;---and so have my daughters too!
    Penny. I, two of you have, but the third's a good wench!
    Muck. Lady, a shrewd answer marry; the best is, 'tis
    but the first, and he's a blunt wooer, that will leave for
    one sharp answer.
    755Tip. Where be your Daughters Lady, I hope they'll
    give us better encouragements?
    Wid. Indeed they'll answer you so, take't a my word
    they'll give you the very same answer Verbatim truly la.
    Penny. Mum: Moll's a good wench still, I know what
    760she'll do?
    Muck. Well, Lady, for this time we'll take our leaves,
    hoping for better comfort.
    Wid. O never, never: and I live these thousand years;
    and you be good Knights, do not hope; 'twill be all Vain,
    765Vain,----look you put off all your suits, and you come to
    me again.
    Frail. Put of all their suits, quatha? I that's the best
    wooing of a Widdow indeed, when a man's Nonsuted,
    that is, when he's a bed with her.
    770Going out Muckhill and Sir Godfrey.
    Muck. Sir Godfrey? here's twenty Angels more, work
    hard for me; there's life in't yet.Exit Muckhill.
    Sir Godf. Fear not Sir Oliver Muckhill, I'le stick
    close for you, leave all w
    ith me.

    775Enter George Pye-board the Schollar.

    Pye. By your leave Lady Widow.
    Wid. What another suiter now?
    Pye. A suiter, no, I protest Lady? if you'd give me
    your self, I'de not be troubled with you.
    780Wid. Say you so Sir, then you're the better welcome sir.
    Pye. Nay, Heaven blesse me from a Widow, unlesse I
    were sure to bury her speedily!
    Wid. Good bluntnesse: well, your businesse, si?
    Pye. Very needfull; if you were in private once.
    785Wid. Needfull? Brother, pray leave us; and you sir.
    Frail. I should laugh now, if this blunt fellow should
    put'em all beside the stirrop, and vault into the saddle
    himself, I have seen as mad a trick.Exit Frailty.

    Enter Daughters.

    790Wid. Now Sir?---here's none but wee----Daughters
    Pye. O no, pray let'em stay, for what I have to speak
    importeth equally to them as you?
    Wid. Then you may stay.
    795Pye. I pray bestow on me a serious ear,
    For what I speak is full of weight and fear.
    Wid. Fear?
    Pye. I, if't passe unregarded, and uneffected,
    Else peace and joy:---I pray Attention.
    800Widow, I have been a meer stranger for these parts that
    you live in, nor did I ever know the Husband of you,
    and Father of them, but I truly know by certain spiritual
    Intelligence, that he is in Purgatory.
    Wid. Purgatory? tuh; that word deserves to be spit
    805upon; I wonder that a man of sober tongue, as you seem
    to be, should have the folly to believe there's such a place.
    Pye. Well Lady, in cold bloud I speak it, I assure you
    that there is a Purgatory, in which place I know your
    husband to recide, and wherein he is like to remain, till
    810the dissolution of the world, till the last general Bon-fire:
    when all the earth shall melt into nothing, and the Seas
    scald their finny labourers: so long is his abidance, un-
    lesse you alter the property of your purpose, together with
    each of your Daughters theirs, that is, the purpose of sin-
    815gle life in your self and your eldest Daughter, and the
    speedy determination of marriage in your youngest.
    Moll. How knows he that, what, has some Devil told
    Wid. Strange he should know our thoughts:------
    820Why but Daughter, have you purpos'd speedy Marriage?
    Pye. You see she tells you I, she sayes nothing.
    Nay, give me credit as you please, I am a stranger to you,
    and yet you see I know your determinations, which
    must come to me metaphisically, and by a super-natural
    Wid. This puts amazement on me.
    Frank. Know our secrets?
    Mol. I'de thought to steal a marriage, would his tongue
    Had dropt out when he blab'd it.
    830Wid. But sir, my husband was too honest a dealing
    man, to be now in any Purgatories-----
    Pye. O do not load your conscience with untruths,
    'Tis but meer folly now to gild'em ore:
    That has past but for Copper; Praises here,
    835Cannot unbind him there: confesse but truth,
    I know he got his wealth with a hard gripe:
    Oh hardly, hardly.
    Wid. This is most strange of all, how knows he that?
    Pye. He would eat fools and ignorant heirs clean up;
    840And had his drink from many a poor mans brow,
    Even as their labour brew'd it.
    He would scrape riches to him most unjustly;
    The very dirt between his nails was ill got
    And not his own,---oh
    845I groan to speak on't, the thought makes me shudder!---
    Wid. It quakes me too, now I think on't---sir, I am
    much griev'd, that you a stranger, should so deeply wrong
    my dead husband!
    850Pye-board. Oh?
    Wid. A man that would keep Church so duly; rise
    early before his servants, and e'en for Religious hast, go
    ungarter'd, unbutton'd, nay sir Reverence untrust, to
    Morning Prayer?
    855Pye. Oh uff.
    Wid. Dine quickly upon high-dayes, and when I had
    great guesse, would e'en shame me, and rise from the Ta-
    ble, to get a good seat at an after-noon Sermon.
    Pye. There's the devil, there's the devil, true, he thought
    860it Sanctity enough, if he had kill'd a man, so t'ad bin
    done in a Pue, or undone his Neighbour, so t'ad bin