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And in a gentle phrase I'll reprehend
Your late disguised deformity, and cry up
This decency and neatness, with the advantage
You shall receive by 't.
L. Frugal. We are bound to hear you.
Luke. With a soul inclined to learn. Your father was
An honest country farmer, goodman Humble,
By his neighbours ne'er call'd master. Did your pride
Descend from him ? but let that pass : your fortune,
Or rather your husband's industry, advanced you
To the rank of a merchant's wife. He made a knight,
And your sweet mistress-ship ladyfied, you wore
Satin on solemn days, a chain of gold,
A velvet hood, rich borders, and sometimes
A dainty miniver-cap, a silver pin,
Headed with a pearl worth three-pence, and thus far
You were privileged, and no man envied it;
It being for the city's honour that
There should be a distinction between
The wife of a patrician, and plebeian.
Milliscent. Pray you, leave preaching, or choose some other
Your rhetoric is too moving, for it makes
Your auditory weep.
Luke. Peace, chattering magpie !
I'll treat of you anon :—but when the height
And dignity of London's blessings grew
Contemptible, and the name lady mayoress
Became a by-word, and you scorn' the means
By which you were raised, my brother's fond indulgence,
Giving the reins to it; and no object pleased you
But the glittering pomp and bravery of the court;
What a strange, nay, monstrous, metamorphosis follow'd !
No English workman then could please your fancy,
The French and Tuscan dress your whole discourse ;
This bawd to prodigality, entertain'd
To buzz into your ears what shape this countess
Appear'd in the last masque, and how it drew
The young lord's eyes upon her; and this usher
Succeeded in the eldest prentice' place,
To walk before you-
L. Frugal. Pray you, end.
Holdfast (Sir John Frugal's steward). Proceed, sir;
I could fast almost a prenticeship to hear you,
You touch them so to the quick.
Luke. Then, as I said, The reverend hood cast off, your borrow'd hair, Powder'd and curl’d, was by your dresser's art Form'd like a coronet, hang'd with diamonds, And the richest orient pearl ; your carcanets That did adorn your neck, of equal value : Your Hungerland bands, and Spanish quellio ruffs ; Great lords and ladies feasted to survey Embroider'd petticoats; and sickness feign’d, That your night-rails of forty pounds a-piece Might be seen, with envy, of the visitants ; Rich pantofles in ostentation shewn, And roses worth a family : you were served in plate, Stirr'd not a foot without your coach, and going To church, not for devotion, but to shew Your pomp, you were tickled when the beggars cried, Heaven save you honour! this idolatry Paid to a painted room.
And when you lay
- In childbed, at the christening of this minx,
I well remember it, as you had been
An absolute princess, since they have no more,
Three several chambers hung, the first with arras,
And that for waiters; the second crimson satin,
For the meaner sort of guests; the third of scarlet
Of the rich Tyrian die ; a canopy
To cover the brat's cradle; you in state, .
Like Pompey's Julia.
L. Frugal. No more, I pray you.
Luke. Of this, be sure, you shall not. I'll cut off Whatever is exorbitant in you,
Or in your daughters, and reduce you to
Your natural forms and habits ; not in revenge
Of your base usage of me, but to fright
Others by your example: 'tis decreed
You shall serve one another, for I will
Allow no waiter to you. Out of doors
With these useless drones !
The catastrophe is the reformation of The City Madam,' and the disgrace of the tyrannical Luke, when his brother re-appears, and demands his own. The towering audacity of the hypocritical spendthrift raised to sudden riches is at its height before his final fall :
Lord Lacy. You are well met,
And to my wish,--and wonderous brave! your habit
Speaks you a merchant royal.
Luke. What I wear
I take not upon trust.
L. Lacy. Your betters may
And blush not for 't.
Luke. If you have nought else with me
But to argue that, I will make bold to leave you.
L. Lacy. You are very peremptory; pray you stay :-
I once held you
An upright, honest man.
Luke. I am honester now
By a hundred thousand pound, I thank my stars for 't,
Upon the Exchange; and if your late opinion
Be alter'd, who can help it? Good, my lord,
To the point; I have other business than to talk
Of honesty, and opinions.
L. Lacy. Yet you may
Do well, if you please, to shew the one, and merit
The other from good men, in a case that now
Is offer'd to you.
Luke. What is it? I am troubled.
L. Lacy. Here are two gentlemen, the fathers of
Your brother's prentices.'
Luke. Mine, my lord, I take it.
L. Lacy. Goldwire, and Tradewell.
Luke. They are welcome, if
They come prepared to satisfy the damage
I have sustain'd by their sons.
Goldwire. We are, so you please
To use a conscience.
Tradewell. Which we hope you will do, For your own worship's sake.
Luke. Conscience, my friends, And wealth, are not always neighbours. Should I part With what the law gives me, I should suffer mainly In my reputation ; for it would convince me Of indiscretion : nor will you, I hope, move me To do myself such prejudice,
L. Lacy. No moderation ?
Luke. They cannot look for 't, and preserve in me A thriving citizen's credit. Your bonds lie For your sons' truth, and they shall answer all They have run out: the masters never prosper'd Since gentlemen's sons grew prentices : when we look To have our business done at home, they are Abroad in the tennis-court, or in Partridge-alley, In Lambeth Marsh, or a cheating ordinary, Where I found your sons. I have your bonds, look to 't. A thousand pounds a-piece, and that will hardly Repair my losses.
L. Lacy. Thou dar’st not shew thyself Such a devil!
Luke. Good words.
L. Lacy. Such a cut-throat! I have heard of
The usage of your brother's wife and daughters ;
You shall find you are not lawless, and that your monies
Cannot justify your villanies.
Luke. I endure this.
And, good my lord, now you talk in time of monies,
Pay in what you owe me. And give me leave to wonder
Your wisdom should have leisure to consider,
The business of these gentlemen, or my carriage
To my sister, or my nieces, being yourself
So much in my danger.
L. Lacy. In thy danger ?
I find in my counting-house a manor pawn’d,
Pawn'd, my good lord; Lacy manor, and that manor
From which you have the title of a lord,
An it please your good lordship! You are a nobleman;
Pray you pay in my monies : the interest
Will eat faster in 't, than aquafortis in iron.
Now though you bear me hard, I love your lordship.
I grant your person to be privileged
From all arrests; yet there lives a foolish creature
Call’d an under-sheriff, who, being well-paid, will serve
An extent on lords or lown's land. Pay it in:
I would be loth your name should sink, or that
Your hopeful son, when he returns from travel,
Should find you, my lord, without land. You are angry
For my good counsel : look you to your bonds; had I known
Of your coming, believe 't, I would have had serjeants ready.
Lord, how you fret! but that a tavern 's near,
You should taste a cup of muscadine in my house,
To wash down sorrow; but there it will do better :
I know you 'll drink a health to me.
5.—THE SACK OF MAGDEBURG. (War is a pompous thing, and to read of a glorious victory is an exciting occupation. But war cannot be understood unless we become familiar with some of the details of wickedness and suffering which follow in its train. There is no lack of such melancholy narratives. We give one published in Harte's Life of Gustavus Adolphus; being the relation of a clergyman who witnessed the storm of Magdeburg in the Thirty Years' War, when Tilly, the general of the Imperial troops, ravaged that devoted city, and gave it up to all the excesses of his mercenary soldiers. The poor minister of the Gospel of Peace es