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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Enter at one door Corporal Oath, a vain-glorious fellow,
    and at the other, three of the Widdow Puritans Ser-
    305 vingmen, Nicholas Saint-Tantlings, Simon Saint,
    Mary-Overies, and Frailty in black scurvy mourn-
    ing coats, and Books at their Girdles, as coming from
    Church. They meet.
    Nich. What Corporal Oath? I am sorry we have
    310met with you next our hearts; you are the man that we
    are forbidden to keep company withall, we must not
    swear I can tell you, and you have the name for swearing.
    Sim. I, Corporal Oath, I would you would do so
    much as forsake us, we cannot abide you, we must not be
    315seen in your company.
    Frail. There is none of us I can tell you, but shall be
    soundly whipt for swearing.
    Corp. Why how now? we three? Puritanical Scrape-
    shooes, Flesh a good Fridayes; a hand.
    320All. Oh.
    Corp. Why Nicholas Saint-Tantlings, Simon Saint
    Mary-Overies, has the De'il possest you, that you swear
    no better, you half-Christened Katomites, you ungod-
    mother'd Varlets, do's the first lesson teach you to be
    325proud, and the second to be Cox-combs; proud Cox-
    combs; not once to do duty to a man of Mark.
    Frail. A man of Mark, quatha, I do not think he can
    shew a Beggars Noble.
    Corp. A Corporal, a Commander, one of spirit, that
    330is able to blow you up all drye with your Books at your
    Simon. We are not taught to believe that, sir, for we
    know the breath of man is weak.Corp breaths on Frailty.
    Frail. Foh, you lie Nicholas; for here's one strong
    335enough; blows us up, quatha, he may well blow me above
    twelve-score off on him: I warrant if the wind stood
    right, a man might smell him from the top of Newgate, to
    the the Leads of Ludgate.
    Corp. Sirrah, thou hollow book of Wax-candle.
    340Nich. I, you may say what you will, so you swear not.
    Corp. I swear by the------
    Nich. Hold, hold, good Corporal Oath; for if you
    swear once, we shall fall down in a sown presently.
    Corp. I must and will swear: you quivering Cox-
    345combs, my Captain is imprisoned, and by Vulcan's Lea-
    ther Cod-piece point---------
    Nich. O Simon, what an oath was there.
    Frail. If he should chance to break it, the poor man's
    Breeches would fall down about his heels, for Venus al-
    350lows but one point to his hose.
    Cor. With these, my Bully-Feet, I will thump ope the
    Prison doors, and brain the Keeper with the begging-
    Box, but I'le set my honest sweet Captain Idle at liberty.
    Nic. How, Captain Idle? my old Aunts son, my
    355dear Kinsman in Cappadochio.
    Cor. I, thou Church-peeling, thou Holy-paring, Reli-
    ligious out-side thou; if thou had'st any grace in thee,
    thou would'st visit him, relieve him, swear to get him out.
    Nic. Assure you, Corporal, indeed-la, 'tis the first
    360time I heard on't.
    Cor. Why do't now then, Marmaset; bring forth
    thy yearly-wages, let not a Commander perish?
    Simon. But if he be one of the wicked, he shall pe-
    365Nic. Well Corporal, I'le e'en along with you, to visit
    my Kinsman, if I can do him any good, I will,---but I
    have nothing for him, Simon Saint Mary Overies and
    Frailty, pray make a Lye for me to the Knight my Ma-
    ster, old Sir Godfrey.
    370Cor. A Lye? may you lye then?
    Frail. O I, we may lye, but we must not swear.
    Sim. True, we may lie with our Neighbour's wife,
    but we must not swear we did so.
    Cor. Oh, an excellent Tag of Religion!
    375Nic.Oh Simon, I have thought upon a sound ex-
    cuse, it will go currant, say that I am gon to a Fast.
    Sim. To a Fast? very good.
    Nic. I, to a Fast say, with master Full-belly the Minister.
    Sim. Master Full-belly? an honest man: he feeds the
    380flock well, for he's an excellent Feeder.
    Exeunt Corporal & Nicholas.
    Frail. O I, I have seen him eat up a whole Pig, and
    afterwards fall to the pettitoes.Exeunt Sim.& Frailty.
    The Prison, Marshalsea.