Page images

blood, a bosoming the extacy, the rapture of virginity, soul and paradise of perfection,-ah!pity of generation, Secco, there are no more such men.


Spa. Oyes! if any man, woman, or beast, have found, stolen, or taken up a fine, very fine male barber, of the age of above or under eighteen, more or less

Sec. Spadone, hold; what's the noise ?

Spa. Umph! pay the cryer. I have been almost lost myself in seeking you; here's a letter from--

Sec. Whom, whom, my dear Spadone? whom?

Spa. Soft and fair! an you be so brief, I'll return it whence it came, or look out a new owner. -Oyes!

Sec. Low, low! what dost mean? is't from the glory of beauty, Morosa, the fairest fair? be gentle to me; here's a ducat: speak low, prithee.

Spa. Give me one, and take t’other: 'tis from the party. (Gives him the letter.) Golden news,

believe it. Sec. Honest Spadone! divine Morosa! [Reads.

Spa. Fairest fair, quoth’a! so is an old rotten coddled mungrel, parcel bawd, parcel midwife; all the marks are quite out of her mouth ; not the stump of a tooth left in her head, to mumble the

waters, &c., which, in Ford's time, were in more general use than at present. For the fashion of wearing mirrors at the girdle, and in the hat, see Massinger, vol. iv. p. 8. and Jonson, vol. ii. p. 263.

curd of a posset.—[Aside.] Signor, 'tis as I told you; all's right.

Sec. Right, just as thou told'st me; all's right. Spa. To a very hair, signor mio.

Sec. For which, sirrah Spadone, I will make thee a man; a man, dost hear? I say, a man.

Spa. Thou art a prick-ear'd foist,' a citternheaded gew-gaw, a knack, a snipper-snapper. Twit me with the decrements of my pendants! though I am made a gelding, and, like a tame buck, have lost my dowsets,-more a monster than a cuckold with his horns seen,-yet I scorn to be jeered by any checker-approved barbarian? of ye all. Make me a man! I defy thee.

Sec. How now, fellow, how now! roaring ripe indeed!

Spa. Indeed ? thou'rt worse: a dry shaver, a copper-bason'd suds-monger. Sec. Nay, nay; by my mistress' fair


I meant no such thing.

Spa. Eyes in thy belly! the reverend madam

. Thou art a prick-eared foist, 8c.) This stuff is hardly worth explaining; but it may be noted, en passant, that foist is one of the thousand cant terms for a rogue of any kind; that citternheaded means ugly, in allusion to the grotesque and monstrous figures with which these and similar musical instruments were ornamented; that knack is a slight, inconsiderate toy, and snippersnapper whatever of vituperative the reader pleases.

By any checker-approved barbarian.] i. e. by any favourite of taverns and their frequenters. Or, as Secco is not tainted with the vice of drunkenness, may we venture to suppose that a barber's shop, like a tavern, was occasionally denoted by the sign of the chequers ? Ford seems tickled with his facetious pun on barber; for he uses it again in a subsequent passage, where Spadone calls Secco, who is about to shave him, "a precious barbarian." VOL. II.


shall know how I have been used. I will blow my nose in thy casting-bottle, break the teeth of thy combs, poison thy camphire-balls, slice out thy towels with thine own razor, be-tallow thy tweezes, and urine in thy bason:---make me a man!

Sec. Hold! take another ducat. As I love new clothes

Spa. Or cast old ones.
Sec. Yes, or cast old ones--I intended no injury.

Spa. Good, we are pieced again: reputation, signor, is precious.

Sec. I know it is.
Spa. Old sores would not be rubbed.
Sec. For me, never.

Spa. The lady guardianess, the mother of the Fancies, is resolved to draw with you in the wholesome (yoke] of matrimony, suddenly.

Sec. She writes as much: and, Spadone, when we are married

Spa. You will to bed no doubt.
Sec. We will revel in such variety of delights,---
Spa. Do miracles, and get babies.
Sec. Live so sumptuously,-
Spa. In feather and old furs.
Sec. Feed so deliciously,-
Spa. On pap and bull-beef.
Sec. Enjoy the sweetness of our years, –
Spa. Eighteen and threescore with advantage!
Sec. Tumble and wallow in abundance,-
Spa. The pure crystal puddle of pleasures.

Sec. That all the world shall wonder.
Spa. A pox on them that envy you!

Sec. How do the beauties, my dainty knave? live, wish, think, and dream, sirrah, ha!

Spa. Fumble, one with another, on the gambos of imagination between their legs; eat they do, and sleep, game, laugh, and lie down, as beauties ought to do; there's all.

Sec. Commend me to my choicest, and tell her, the minute of her appointment shall be waited on; say to her, she shall find me a man at all points.

Enter NITIDO. Spa. Why, there's another quarrel, --man, once more, in spite of my nose,

* Nit. Away, Secco, away! my lord calls, he has a loose hair started from his fellows; a clip of your art is commanded. Sec. I fly, Nitido; Spadone, remember me.

[Exit. Nit. Trudging between an old mule, and a young calf, my nimble intelligencer? What! thou fatten'st apace on capon still?

Spa. Yes, crimp; 'tis a gallant life to be an old lord's pimp-whiskin: but, beware of the porter's lodge, for carrying tales out of the school."

Nit. What a terrible sight to a libb’d breech is a sow-gelder!

* Beware of the porter's lodge, &c.] i. e. of the place where punishment was usually inflicted on refractory servants. See Jonson, vol. vii. p. 434.

Spa. Not so terrible as a cross-tree that never grows, to a wag-halter page.

Nit. Good! witty rascal, thou’rt a Satire, I protest, but that the nymphs' need not fear the evidence of thy mortality:-go, put on a clean bib, and spin amongst the nuns, sing 'em a bawdy song: all the children thou gett'st, shall be christened in wassel-bowls, 4 and turned into a college of men-midwives. Farewell, night-mare!

Spa. Very, very well; if I die in thy debt for this, crack-rope, let-me be buried in a coal-sack. I'll fit ye, ape’s-face! look for’t. Nit. [Sings.] And still the urchin would, but

could not do. Spa. Mark the end on't, and laugh at last.



A Room in the House of Livio.


Rom. Tell me you cannot love me.

Cast. You importune
Too strict a resolution : as a gentleman

3 But that the nymphs.] i. e. except that, &c. This would have called for no notice, had I not ventured to alter the pointing of the former editions, which deprived the passage of all meaning. Ford plays on the similarity of the words satyr and satire.

4 Shall be christened in wassel-bowls.] i. e. in ale or wine, instead of water. Nitido is still jesting with the incapacity of Spadone.

« PreviousContinue »