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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: or, The WIDOW
    of Watling-street.
    Actus Primus.
    1Enter the Lady Widdow-Plus, her two Daughters, Frank
    and Moll, her husbands Brother an old Knight Sir
    Godfrey, with her Son and Heir Master Edmond, all
    in mourning apparell, Edmond in a Cypresse Hat.
    5 The Widow wringing her hands, and bursting out into
    passion, as newly come from the Buriall of her hus-
    0H, that ever I was born, that ever I was born!
    10Sir Godfrey. Nay good sister, dear sister,
    sweet sister, be of good comfort, shew your
    self a woman, now or never.
    Wid. Oh, I have lost the dearest man, I have buried
    the sweetest husband that ever lay by woman.
    15Sir God. Nay give him his due, he was indeed an ho-
    nest, virtuous, discreet wise man,---he was my Brother,
    as right, as right.
    Wid. O, I shall never forget him, never forget him,
    he was a man so well given to a woman---oh!
    20Sir God. Nay, but kind sister, I could weep as much
    as any woman, but alass, our teares cannot call him again:
    me thinks you are well read, sister, and know that death
    is as common as Homo, a common name to all men;---a
    man shall be taken when he's making water,---nay,
    25did not the learned Parson Master Pigman tell us e'ne
    now, that all Flesh is frail, we are born to die, Man has
    but a time: with such like deep and profound perswasi-
    ons, as he is a rare fellow you know, and an excellent
    Reader: and for example, (as there are examples abun-
    30dance) did not Sir Humphrey Bubble die tother day,
    there's a lusty Widow, why she cri'd not above half an
    hour---for shame, for shame: then followed him old Ma-
    ster Fulsome the Usurer, there's a wise Widow, why she
    cry'd ne're a whit at all.
    35Wid. O ranck not me with those wicked women, I
    had a husband out-shin'd 'em all.
    Sir God. I that he did, ifaith, he out-shin'd 'em all.
    Wid. Dost thou stand there and see us all weep, and
    not once shed a tear for thy fathers death? oh thou un-
    40gracious son and heir thou?
    Edm. Troth, Mother, I should not weep I'me sure;
    I am past a Child I hope, to make all my old School-fel-
    lowes laugh at me; I should be mockt, so I should; pray
    let one of my sisters weep for me, I'le laugh as much for
    45her another time?
    Wid. O thou past-Grace thou, out of my sight, thou
    gracelesse Imp, thou grievest me more then the death of
    thy Father: oh thou stubborn onely Son: hadst thou such
    an honest man to thy Father---that would deceive all the
    50world to get riches for thee, and canst thou not afford a
    little salt water? he that so wisely did quite overthrow
    the right heir of those Lands, which now you respect not:
    up every morning betwixt four and five, so duely at West-
    minster-Hall every Tearm-time, with all his Cards and
    55Writings, for thee, thou wicked Absalon---oh dear hus-
    Edm. Weep, quotha? I protest I am glad he's Chur-
    ched? for now he's gone I shall spend in quiet.
    Fran.Dear Mother, pray cease, half your teares suffice,
    60'Tis time for you to take truce with your eyes,
    Let me weep now?
    Wid. O such a dear Knight, such a sweet Husband have
    I lost, have I lost?----if blessed be the Coarse the rain
    rains upon, he had it, pouring down?
    65Sir. God. Sister, be of good cheer, we are all mortall
    our selves, I come upon you freshly, I ne're speak without
    comfort, hear me what I shall say;---my brother has left
    you wealthy, y'are rich.
    Wid. Oh!
    70Sir God. I say y'are rich: you are also fair.
    Wid. Oh!
    Sir God. Go to, y'are fair, you cannot smother it,
    beauty will come to light; nor are your yeares so far en-
    ter'd with you, but that you will be sought after, and
    75may very well answer another husband; the world is
    full of fine Gallants, choyce enow, sister,---for what
    should we doe with all our Knights I pray? but to marry
    rich Widowes, wealthy Citizens Widowes; lusty fair-
    brow'd Ladies; go to, be of good comfort I say, leave
    80snobbing and weeping---yet my Brother was a kind-
    hearted man---I would not have the Elf see me now?
    ---come, pluck up a womans heart---here stands your
    Daughters, who be well estated, and at maturity will also
    be enquir'd after with good husbands, so all these teares
    85shall be soon dried up, and a better world then ever----
    what, Woman? you must not weep still? he's dead, he's
    buried---yet I cannot chuse but weep for him.
    Wid. Marry again! no, let me be buried quick then!
    And that same part of Quire whereon I tread
    90To such intent, O may it be my grave:
    And that the Priest may turn his wedding prayers,
    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?