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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)

    1450Enter in the Prison, meeting George and Captain,
    George coming in muffled.
    Cap. How now, who's that? what are you?
    Pye. The same that I should be, Captain.
    Cap. George Pye-board, honest George? why cam'st
    1455thou in half-fac'd, muffled so?
    Pye. Oh Captain, I thought we should nere ha laught
    agen, never spent frolick hour agen.
    Cap. Why? why?
    Pye. I coming to prepare thee, and with news
    1460As happy as thy quick delivery,
    Was trac'd out by the sent, arrested, Captain.
    Cap. Arrested, George?
    Pye. Arrested; guess, guess, how many Dogs do you
    think I'de upon me?
    1465Cap. Dogs? I say, I know not.
    Pye. Almost as many as George Stone the Bear:
    Three at once, three at once.
    Cap. How did'st thou shake'em off then?
    Pye. The time is busie, and calls upon our wits, let it (suffice,
    1470Here I stand safe, and scap't by miracle:
    Some other hour shall tell thee, when we'll steep
    Our eyes in laughter: Captain, my device
    Leans to thy happiness, for ere the day
    Be spent toth' Girdle, thou shalt be free:
    1475The Corporal's in's first sleep, the Chain is mist,
    Thy Kinsman has exprest thee, and the old Knight
    With Palsey-hams now labours thy release.
    What rests, is all in thee, to Conjure, Captain?
    Cap. Conjure? sfoot, George, you know, the Devil a
    1480conjuring I can conjure.
    Pye. The Devil of conjuring? nay by my fay, I'de not
    have thee do so much, Captain, as the Devil a conjuring:
    look here, I ha brought thee a Circle ready charactered
    and all.
    1485Ca. Sfoot, George, art in thy right wits, dost know what
    thou sayst? why dost talk to a Captain a conjuring? didst
    thou ever hear of a Captain conjure in thy life? dost call't
    a Circle? 'tis too wide a thing, me thinks; had it been
    a lesser Circle, then I knew what to have done.
    1490Pye. Why every fool knowes that Captain: nay then
    I'le not cog with you, Captain, if you'll stay and hang
    the next Sessions you may.
    Cap. No, by my faith, George, come, come, let's to
    1495Pye. But if you look to be released, as my wits have
    took pain to work it, and all means wrought to farther it,
    besides to put Crowns in your purse, to make you a man
    of better hopes, and whereas before you were a Captain
    or poor Souldier, to make you now a Commander of rich
    1500fooles, (which is truly the onely best purchase peace can
    allow you) safer then High-wayes, Heath, or Cony-groves,
    and yet a far better booty; for your greatest thieves are
    never hang'd, never hang'd; for why? they're wise, and
    cheat within doores; and we geld fooles of more money
    1505in one night, then your false-tail'd Gelding will purchase
    in a twelve-moneths running, which confirmes the old
    Bedlams saying, he's wisest, that keeps himself warmest,
    that is, he that robs by a good fire.
    Capt. Well opened ifaith, George, thou hast pull'd
    1510that saying out of the husk.
    Pye. Captain Idle, 'Tis no time now to delude or de-
    lay, the old Knight will be here suddenly, I'le perfect
    you, direct you, tell you the trick on't: 'tis nothing.
    Capt. 'Sfoot, George, I know not what to say to't,
    1515conjure? I shall be hang'd ere I conjure.
    Pye. Nay, tell not me of that, Captain, you'll ne're
    conjure after you're hang'd, I warrant you, look you, sir,
    a parlous matter, sure, first to spread your circle upon the
    ground, then with a little conjuring ceremony, as I'le
    1520have an Hackney-mans wand silver'd o're a purpose for
    you, then arriving in the circle, with a huge word, and a
    great trample, as for instance: have you never seen a stal-
    king, stamping Player, that will raise a tempest with his
    tongue, and thunder with his heeles?
    1525Cap. O yes, yes, yes; often, often.
    Pye. Why be like such a one? for any thing will blear
    the old Knights eyes: for you must note, that he'll ne're
    dare to venture into the room, onely perhaps peep fear-
    fully through the Key-hole, to see how the Play goes for-
    Capt. Well, I may go about it when I will, but mark
    the end on't, I shall but shame my self ifaith, George,
    speak big words, and stamp and stare, and he look in at
    Key-hole, why the very thought of that would make me
    1535laugh out-right, and spoile all: nay I'le tell thee, George,
    when I apprehend a thing once, I am of such a laxative
    laughter, that if the Devil himself stood by, I should
    laugh in his face.
    Pye. Puh, that's but the babe of a man, and may easi-
    1540ly be husht, as to think upon some disaster, some sad mis-
    fortune, as the death of thy Father ith' Countrey.
    Cap. 'Sfoot, that would be the more to drive me into
    such an extasie, that I should lin laughing.
    Pye. Why then think upon going to hanging else.
    1545Cap. Masse that's well remembred, now I'le doe well,
    I warrant thee, ne're fear me now: but how shall I doe,
    George, for boysterous words, and horrible names?
    Pye. Puh, any fustian invocations, Captain, will serve
    as well as the best, so you rant them out well, or you may
    1550go to a Pothecaries shop, and take all the words from the
    Cap. Troth, and you say true, George, there's strange
    words enow to raise a hundred Quack-salvers, though
    they be ne're so poor when they begin? but here lies the
    1555fear on't, how in this false conjuration, a true Devil
    should pop up indeed.
    Pye. A true Devil, Captain? why there was ne're such
    a one, nay faith he that has this place, is as false a Knave
    as our last Church-warden.
    1560Cap. Then h'as false enough a conscience ifaith, George.
    The Cry at Marshalsea.
    Cry prisoners. Good Gentlemen over the way, send
    your relief:
    Good Gentlemen over the way,---Good sir Godfrey?
    1565Pye. He's come, he's come.
    Nich. Master, that's my Kinsman yonder in the Buff-
    Jerkin---Kinsman, that's my Master yonder ith' Taffa-
    ty Hat---pray salute him intirely?
    They salute: and Pye-boord salutes Master Edmond.
    1570Sir God. Now my friend.
    Pye. May I partake your name, sir?
    Edm. My name is Master Edmond.
    Pye. Master Edmond,---are you not a Welsh-man, sir?
    Edm. A Welsh-man? why?
    1575Pye. Because Master is your Christen name, and Ed-
    mond your sir-name.
    Edm. O no: I have more names at home, Master
    Edmond Plus is my full name at length.
    Pye. O cry you mercy sir?Whispering.
    1580Cap. I understand that you are my Kinsmans good
    Master, and in regard of that, the best of my skill is at
    your service: but had you fortun'd a meer stranger, and
    made no meanes to me by acquaintance, I should have
    utterly denyed to have been the man; both by reason of
    1585the Act of Parliament against Conjurers and Witches,
    as also, because I would not have my Art vulgar, trite,
    and common.
    Sir God. I much commend your care there, good
    Captain Conjurer, and that I will be sure to have it pri-
    1590vate enough, you shall do't in my Sisters house,---mine
    own house I may call it, for both our charges therein are
    Capt. Very good, sir,---what may I call your losse, sir?
    Sir God. O you may call't a great losse, a grievous
    1595losse, sir, as goodly a Chain of Gold, though I say it, that
    wore it: how sayest thou, Nicholas?
    Nich. O 'twas as delicious a Chain a Gold, Kinsman
    you know,---
    Sir God. You know? did you know't, Captain?
    1600Cap. Trust a fool with secrets?---Sir he may say I
    know: his meaning is, because my Art is such, that by it
    I may gather a knowledge of all things.---
    Sir God. I very true.
    Capt. A pax of all fooles---the excuse stuck upon my
    1605tongue like Ship-pitch uoon a Mariners Gown, not to
    come off in haste---ber-lady, Knight, to lose such a fair
    Chain a Gold, were a foule losse: Well, I can put you in
    this good comfort on't, if it be between heaven and earth,
    Knight, I'le ha't for you?
    1610Sir God. A wonderfull Conjurer,---O I, 'tis between
    heaven and earth I warrant you, it cannot go out of the
    Realm,---I know 'tis somewhere about the earth.
    Cap. I, nigher the earth then thou wot'st on.
    Sir God. For first my Chain was rich, and no rich
    1615thing shall enter into heaven, you know.
    Nich. And as for the Devil, Master, he has no need
    on't, for you know he has a great Chain of his own.
    Sir Godf. Thou say'st true, Nicholas, but he has put
    off that now, that lyes by him.
    1620Cap. Faith Knight, in few words, I presume so much
    upon the power of my Art, that I could warrant your
    Chain agen.
    Sir Godf. O dainty Captain!
    Cap. Marry it will cost me much sweat, I were better
    1625go to sixteen Hot-houses.
    Sir Godf. I, good man, I warrant thee.
    Cap. Beside great vexation of Kidney and Liver.
    Nic. O, 'twill tickle you hereabouts, Cousin, because
    you have not been us'd to't.
    1630Sir Godf. No? have you not been us'd to't, Captain?
    Cap Plague of all fools still;--indeed Knight I have
    not us'd it a good while, and therefore 'twill strain me so
    much the more, you know.
    Sir Godf. Oh it will, it will.
    1635Cap. What plunges he puts me to? were not this
    Knight a fool, I had been twice spoil'd now; that Cap-
    tain's worse then accurst that has an Asse to a Kinsman,
    sfoot I fear he will drivel't out before I come to't.--Now
    sir,--to come to the point indeed, --you see I stick here
    1640in the jaw of the Marshalsea, and cannot do't.
    Sir Godf. Tut tut, I know thy meaning, thou wouldst
    say thou'rt a prisoner, I tell thee th'art none.
    Cap. How, none? why is not this the Marshalsea?
    Sir Godf. Woult hear me speak? I heard of thy rare
    My Chain was lost, I sweat for thy release,
    As thou shalt do the like at home for me:
    Enter Keeper.
    1650Keep. Sir.
    Sir Godf. Speak, is not this man free?
    Keep. Yes, at his pleasure, Sir, the Fees discharg'd.
    Sir Godf. Go, go, I'le discharge them, I.
    Keep. I thank your Worship.Exit Keeper.
    1655Cap. Now, trust me, y'are a dear Knight; kindnesse
    unexpected! oh there's nothing to a free Gentleman.--I
    will Conjure for you, sir, 'till Froth come through my
    Sir Godf. Nay, then thou shalt not passe with so lit-
    1660tle a bounty, for at the first sight of my Chain agen,---
    Fourty five Angels shall appear unto thee.
    Cap. 'Twill be a glorious show, ifaith Knight, a very
    fine show; but are all these of your own house? are you
    sure of that, Sir?
    1665Sir Godf. I, I, no, no; what's he yonder talking with
    my wild Nephew, pray heaven he give him good counsel.
    Cap. Who, he? he's a rare friend of mine, an admi-
    rable fellow, Knight, the finest Fortune-teller.
    Sir Godf. Oh! 'tis he indeed, that came to my Lady
    1670sister, and foretold the losse of my Chain; I am not an-
    gry with him now, for I see 'twas my Fortune to lose it:
    By your leave, Mr. Fortune-teller, I had a glimps of you
    at home, at my Sisters the Widows, there you prophe-
    sied of the loss of a Chain: -simply though I stand here,
    1675I was he that lost it.
    Pye. Was it you, sir?
    Edm. A my troth, Nuncle, he's the rarest fellow, has
    told me my fortune so right; I find it so right to my na-
    1680Sir Godf. What is't? God send it a good one.
    Edm. O, 'tis a passing good one, Nuncle: for he sayes
    I shall prove such an excellent Gamester in my time, that
    I shall spend all faster then my Father got it.
    Sir Godf. There's a Fortune indeed.
    1685Edm. Nay, it hits my humour so pat.
    Sir Godf. I, that will be the end on't: will the Curse
    of the Beggar prevail so much, that the son shall consume
    that foolishly, which the father got craftily; I, I, I;
    'twill, 'twill, 'twill.
    1690Pye. Stay, stay, stay.Pye-board with an Almanack,
    Cap. Turn over, George. and the Captain.
    Pye. June, July; here, July, thats the month, Sunday
    thirteen, yesterday fourteen, to day fifteen.
    Cap. Look quickly for the fifteen day,--if within the
    1695compasse of these two dayes there would be some Boy-
    strous storm or other, it would be the best, I'de defer him
    off till then; some Tempest, and it be thy will.
    Pye. Here's the fifteen day,--Hot and fair.
    Cap. Puh, would t'ad been, Hot and foul.
    1700Pye. The sixteen day, that's to morrow; The mor-
    ning for the most part, fair and pleasant.
    Cap. No luck.
    Pye. But about high-noon, Lightning and thunder.
    Cap. Lightning and thunder? admirable! best of all!
    1705I'le Conjure to morrow just at high-noon, George.
    Pye. Happen but true to morrow, Almanack, and I'le
    give the leave to lye all the year after.
    Cap. Sir, I must crave your patience, to bestow this
    day upon me, that I may furnish my self strongly,---I sent
    1710a Spirit into Lancashire tother day, to fetch back a knave
    Drover, and I look for his return this evening--to mor-
    row morning, my friend here, and I will come and break-
    fast with you.
    Sir Godf. Oh, you shall be most welcome.
    1715Cap. And about noon, without fail, I purpose to Con-
    Sir Godf. Mid-noon will be a fit time for you.
    Edm. Conjuring? do you mean to Conjure at our
    house, to morrow, Sir?
    1720Cap. Marry do I, sir? 'tis my intent, young Gentle-
    Edm. By my troth, I'le love you while I live for't: ô
    rare! Nicholas, we shall have Conjuring to morrow.
    Nic. Puh I, I could ha told you of that.
    1725Cap. Law, he could ha told him of that, fool, coxcomb,
    could ye?
    Edm. Do you hear me, sir, I desire more acquaintance
    on you, you shall earn some money of me, now I know
    you can Conjure; but can you fetch any that is lost?
    1730Cap. Oh, anything that's lost.
    Edm. Why look you, sir, I tell't you as a friend and a
    Conjurer; I should marry a Pothecaries Daughter, and
    'twas told me, she lost her Maiden-head at Stonie-Strat-
    ford: now if you'll do but so much as Conjure for't, and
    1735make all whole agen---
    Cap. That I will, Sir.
    Edm. By my troth I thank you, la.
    Cap. A little merry with your sisters son, sir.
    Sir Godf. Oh, a simple young man, very simple, come
    1740Captain, and you, sir; we'll e'en part with a gallon of
    wine 'till to morrow break-fast.
    Tip. Cap. Troth, agreed, sir.
    Nic. Kinsman--Scholar.
    Pye. Why now thou art a good Knave, worth a hun-
    1745dred Brownists.
    Nic. Am I indeed, la: I thank you heartily, la.
    Actus Quartus.