Page images
PDF
EPUB

Sir Ar. Go thy ways; as changeable a bag

gage As ever cozen'd knight; I'm glad I am rid of her. Honest! marry hang her! Thorney is

my

debtor; I thought to have paid him too; but fools have fortune.

[Exit.

SCENE II.- Edmonton.A room in Carter's

House.

Enter Old THORNEY and CARTER. Thor. You offer, master Carter, like a gentleman; I cannot find fault with it, 'tis so fair.

Car. No gentleman I, master Thorney ; spare the mastership, call me by my name, John Carter. Master is a title neither my father, nor his before him, were acquainted with; honest Hertfordshire yeomen; such an one am I; my word and my deed shall be proved one at all times. I mean to give you no security for the marriage-money.

Thor. How! no security ? although it need not so long as you live; yet who is he has surety of his life one hour? Men, the proverb says, are mortal; else, for my part, I distrust you not, were the sum double.

Car. Double, treble, more or less, I tell you, master Thorney, I'll give no security. Bonds and bills are but terriers to catch fools, and keep lazy knaves busy ; my security shall be present payment. And we here, about Edmonton, hold present payment as sure as an alderman's bond in London, master Thorney.

Thor. I

cry you mercy, sir, I understood you not. Car. I like

young
Frank well, so

does
my

Susan too; the girl has a fancy to him, which makes me ready in my purse.

There be other suitors within, that make much noise to little purpose. If Frank love Sue, Sue shall have none but Frank : 'tis a mannerly girl, master Thorney, though but an homely man's daughter : there have worse faces looked out of black bags, man.

Thor. You speak your mind freely and honestly. I marvel my son comes not; I am sure he will be here some time to-day.

Car. To-day or to-morrow, when he comes he shall be welcome to bread, beer, and beef, yeoman's fare; we have no kickshaws : full dishes, whole belly-fulls. Should I diet three days at one of the slender city-suppers, you might send me to BarberSurgeon's hall the fourth day, to hang up for an anatomy.—Here come they thatEnter WARBECK with Susan, SOMERTON with

KATHERINE. How now, girls! every day play-day with you? Valentine's day, too, all by couples? Thus will young folks do when we are laid in our graves, master Thorney ; here's all the care they take. And how do you find the wenches, gentlemen ? Win’em and wear 'em; they shall choose for themselves by my consent. War. You speak like a kind father. Sue, thou

hear'st The liberty that's granted thee; what sayest thou? Wilt thou be mine?

Sus. Your what, sir? I dare swear Never your wife.

War. Canst thou be so unkind,
Considering how dearly I affect thee,
Nay, dote on thy perfections ?

Šus. You are studied,
Too scholar-like, in words I understand not.
I am too coarse for such a gallant's love
As you are.

War. By the honour of gentility-
Sus. Good sir, no swearing; yea and nay with

us

Prevail above all oaths you can invent.

War. By this white hand of thine

Sus. Take a false oath!
Fie, fie! flatter the wise; fools not regard it,
And one of these am I.

War. Dost thou despise me?

Car. Let them talk on, master Thorney; I know Sue's mind. The fly may buzz about the candle, he shall but singe his wings when all's done; Frank, Frank is he has her heart.

Som. But shall I live in hope, Kate?

Kath. Better so,
Than be a desperate man.

Som. Perhaps thou think'st it is thy portion
I level at: wert thou as poor in fortunes
As thou art rich in goodness, I would rather
Be suitor for the dower of thy virtues,
Than twice thy father's whole estate; and, pri-

thee,
Be thou resolv'd so.

Kath. Master Somerton,
It is an easy labour to deceive

A maid that will believe men's subtle promises ;
Yet I conceive of you as worthily
As I presume you to deserve.

Som. Which is,
As worthily in loving thee sincerely,
As thou art worthy to be so beloved.

Kath. I shall find time to try you.

Som. Do, Kate, do;
And when I fail, may all my joys forsake me!

Car. Warbeck and Sue are at it still. I laugh to myself, master Thorney, to see how earnestly he beats the bush, while the bird is flown into another's bosom. A

very

unthrift, master Thorney ; one of the country* roaring-lads: we have such as

* The reader who casts his eye over a preceding note, p. 134, and also over the following passages, extracted from others of our old dramas, will find Warbeck, much to his credit, to be but a very tame specimen of the roaring-boy. Timothy.

What
Are these two ? Gentlemen ?

Plotwell. You see they wear
Their heraldry.

Timothy. But I mean, can they roar,
Beat drawers, play at dice, and court their mistress ?

The City Match.
Timothy. You are a Captain, Sir?
Quartfield 1 have seen service, Sir.

Timothy. Captain, I love
Men the sword and buff; and if need were,
I can roar too ; and hope to swear in time,

Do you see, Captain.
Banausus. O, I have thought on't: I will straightway build
A free-school here in London ; a free-school
For th' education of young gentlemen,
To study how to drink and take tobacco;
to roar, to dice, to drab, to quarrel.

The Muse's Looking-Glass.

The same.

To swear,

well as the city. Sue knows the rascal to an hairsbreadth, and will fit him accordingly.

Thor. What is the other gentleman ?

Car. One Somerton; the honester man of the two, by five pound in every stone-weight. A civil fellow; he has a fine convenient estate of land in West-ham, by Essex: master Ranges, that dwells by Enfield, sent him hither. He likes Kate well; I may tell you,

I think she likes him as well : if they agree, I'll not hinder the match for my part. But that Warbeck is such another-I use him kindly for master Somerton's sake; for he came hither first as a companion of his : honest men, master Thorney, may fall into knaves' company now and then.

War. Three hundred a year jointure, Sae.

Sus. Where lies it!
By sea or land ? I think by sea.

War. Do I look like a captain ?
Sus. Not a whit, sir.

Barnacle.

Mistake not,
I do not all this while account you in
The list of those are called the blades, that roar
In, brothels, and break windows; fright the streets
At midnight, worse than constables; and sometimes
Set upon innocent bell-men, to beget
Discourse for a week's diet; that swear dammés,
To pay their debts; and march like walking armories,
With poniard, pistol, rapier, and batoon,
As they would murder all the king's liege people,
And blow down streets.

The Gamester. Compared with these heroes, Warbeck is more insipid than even Snore the Constable's roarer :

Truly a very civil gentleman ; 'Las, he hath only roard, and sworn, and curs’d Since he was taken.

The Wits.

« PreviousContinue »