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I COME but like a harbinger, being sent

To tell you what these preparations mean.
Look for no glorious state; our Muse is bent

Upon a barren subject, a bare scene.

We could afford this twig a timber-tree,

Whose strength might boldly on your favours build;
Our russet, tissue; drone, a honey-bee;

Our barren plot, a large and spacious field;

Our coarse fare, banquets; our thin water, wine;
Our brook, a sea; our bat's eyes, eagle's sight;

Our poet's dull and earthy Muse, divine;

Our ravens, doves; our crow's black feathers, white.
But gentle thoughts, when they may give the foil,1
Save them that yield, and spare where they may spoil.

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By your leave, sister, - by your husband's


I should have said, the hand that but this


Was given you in the church I'll borrow. -

This marriage music hoists me from the ground.
Frank. Ay, you may caper; you are light and
Marriage hath yok'd my heels; pray, then, par-
don me.


Sir F. I'll have you dance too, brother!
Sir C.
Master Frankford,


You are a happy man, sir, and much joy
Succeed your marriage mirth: you have a wife
So qualified, and with such ornaments
Both of the mind and body. First, her birth
Is noble, and her education such
As might become the daughter of a prince;
Her own tongue speaks all tongues, and her
own hand

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I should be jealous of your praise, Sir Charles. Cran. He speaks no more than you approve. Mal. Nor flatters he that gives to her her due. Mrs. F. I would your praise could find a fitter theme

Than my imperfect beauties to speak on! 30
Such as they be, if they my husband please,
They suffice me now I am married.

His sweet content is like a flattering glass,
To make my face seem fairer to mine eye;
But the least wrinkle from his stormy brow 35
Will blast the roses in my cheeks that grow.

Sir F. A perfect wife already, meek and patient!

How strangely the word husband fits your mouth,

Not married three hours since! Sister, 't is good;


You that begin betimes thus must needs prove Pliant and duteous in your husband's love. Gramercies, brother! Wrought her to 't already,


'Sweet husband,' and a curtsey, the first day?
Mark this, mark this, you that are bachelors,
And never took the grace of honest man;
Mark this, against you marry," this one phrase:
In a good time that man both wins and woos
That takes his wife down in her wedding shoes.
Frank. Your sister takes not after you, Sir

All his wild blood your father spent on you; 50
He got her in his age, when he grew civil.
All his mad tricks were to his land entail'd,
And you are heir to all; your sister, she
Hath to her dower her mother's modesty.

Sir C. Lord, sir, in what a happy state live you!


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This morning, which to many seems a burden,
Too heavy to bear, is unto you a pleasure.
This lady is no clog, as many are;
She doth become you like a well-made suit,
In which the tailor hath us'd all his art;
Not like a thick coat of unseason'd frieze,
Fore'd on your back in summer. She's no chain
To tie your neck, and curb you to the yoke;
But she's a chain of gold to adorn your neck.
You both adorn each other, and your hands, 65
Methinks, are matches. There's equality
In this fair combination; you are both
Scholars, both young, both being descended

There's music in this sympathy; it carries
Consort and expectation of much joy,

Which God bestow on you from this first day

Until your dissolution, - that's for aye!

1 Gained the dignity.

In preparation for marrying. 3 Reduces her to submission.


Sir F. We keep you here too long, good brother Frankford.

Into the hall; away! Go cheer your guests. What! Bride and bridegroom both withdrawn at once?

If you be mist, the guests will doubt their wel


And charge you with unkindness.

To prevent it, I'll leave you here, to see the dance within. Mrs. F. And so will I.


Sir. F.
To part you it were sin. -
Now, gallants, while the town musicians
Finger their frets within, and the mad lads
And country lasses, every mother's child.
With nosegays and bride-laces in their hats,
Dance all their country measures, rounds, and

What shall we do? Hark! They're all on the hoigh; 6

They toil like mill-horses, and turn as round,— Marry, not on the toe! Ay, and they caper, [Not] without cutting; you shall see, to

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Enter NICHOLAS and JENKIN, JACK SLIME, ROGER BRICK BAT, with Country Wenches, and two or three Musicians.

Jen. Come, Nick, take you Joan Miniver, to trace withal; Jack Slime, traverse you with Cicely Milkpail; I will take Jane Trubkin, and Roger Brickbat shall have Isabel Motley. And now that they are busy in the parlour, come, [ strike up; we'll have a crash 2 here in the yard.

Nich. My humour is not compendious: dancing I possess not, though I can foot it; yet, since I am fallen into the hands of Cicely [10 Milk pail, I consent.

Slime. Truly, Nick, though we were never brought up like serving courtiers, yet we have been brought up with serving creatures, -ay, and God's creatures, too; for we have been is brought up to serve sheep, oxen, horses, hogs, and such like; and, though we be but country fellows, it may be in the way of dancing we can do the horse-trick as well as the serving-men. Brick. Ay, and the cross-point too.


Jen. O Slime! O Brickbat! Do not you know that comparisons are odious? Now we are odious ourselves, too; therefore there are no comparisons to be made betwixt us.

Nich. I am sudden, and not superfluous;
I am quarrelsome, and not seditions;
I am peaceable, and not contentious;

I am brief, and not compendious.


Slime. Foot it quickly! If the music overcome not my melancholy, I shall quarrel; and if [30 they suddenly do not strike up, I shall presently strike thee down.

Jen. No quarrelling, for God's sake! Truly, if you do, I shall set a knave between ye. Slime. I come to dance, not to quarrel. [35 Come, what shall it be? Rogero? 3

Jen. Rogero? No; we will dance The Beginning of the World.

Cicely. I love no dance so well as John come kiss me now.


Nich. I that have ere now deserv'd a cushion, call for the Cushion-dance.

Brick. For my part, I like nothing so well as Tom Tyler.

Jen. No; we'll have The Hunting of the [45 For.

Slime. The Hay, The Hay! There's nothing like The Hay.

Nich. I have said, I do say, and I will say again

1 Yard of the same.

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2 Frolic, bout.

3 The names of the dance-tunes here were all famil


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Sir C. All that affect Sir Charles, draw on my part!

Cran. On this side heaves my hand.

Here goes my heart. They divide themselves. SIR CHARLES MOUNTFORD, CRANWELL, Falconer, and Huntsman, fight against SIR FRANCIS ACTON, WENDOLL, his Falconer and Huntsman; and SIR CHARLES hath the better, and beats__ them away, killing both of SIR FRANCIS's men. Exeunt all but SIR CHARLES MOUNTFORD.]

Sir C. My God, what have I done! What have I done!

My rage hath plung'd into a sea of blood,
In which my soul lies drown'd. Poor inno-

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For whom we are to answer! Well, 't is done, And I remain the victor. A great conquest, When I would give this right hand, nay, this head,

To breathe in them new life whom I have slain!

Forgive me, God! 'Twas in the heat of blood,

And anger quite removes me from myself.
It was not I, but rage, did this vile murder;
Yet I, and not my rage, must answer it.
Sir Francis Acton, he is fled the field;


With him all those that did partake his quarrel; And I am left alone with sorrow dumb,

And in my height of conquest overcome.

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Shall I fly from thee? = Why, Sue, art weary of my company? Susan. Fly from your foe!

Sir C. You, sister, are my friend, And flying you, I shall pursue my erd. Susan. Your company is as my eyeball


Being far from you, no comfort can be near.
Yet fly to save your life! What would I care
To spend my future age in black despair,
So you were safe? And yet to live one week
Without my brother Charles, through every


My streaming tears would downwards run se rank,7

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Till they could set on either side a bank,
And in the midst a channel; so my face
For two salt-water brooks shall still find place,
Sir C. Thou shalt not weep so much; for I

will stay,

In spite of danger's teeth. I'll live with thee, "
Or I'll not live at all. I will not sell
My country and my father's patrimony,
Nor thy sweet sight, for a vain hope of life.
Enter Sheriff, with Officers.

Sher. Sir Charles, I am made the unwilling instrument

Of your attach and apprehension.

I'm sorry that the blood of innocent men Should be of you exacted. It was told me That you were guarded with a troop of friends, And therefore I come thus arm'd.

Sir C.

Oh, Master Sheriff! I came into the field with many friends,

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Enter MASTER FRANKFORD in a study.

Frank. How happy am I amongst other men,
That in my mean estate embrace content!
I am a gentleman, and by my birth
Companion with a king; a king's no more.
I am possess'd of many fair revenues,
Sufficient to maintain a gentleman;
Touching my mind, I am studied in all arts;
The riches of my thoughts and of my time
Have been a good proficient; 2 but, the chief
Of all the sweet felicities on earth,

I have a fair, a chaste, and loving wife,
Perfection all, all truth, all ornament.
If man on earth may truly happy be,
Of these at once possest, sure, I am he.



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Mrs. F. Oh, Master Frankford! Master Wendoll here

Brings you the strangest news that e'er you heard.


Frank. What news, sweet wife? What news,

good Master Wendoll?

Wen. You knew the match made 'twixt Sir Francis Acton

And Sir Charles Mountford?

Frank. True; with their hounds and hawks.
Wen. The matches were both play'd.
Ha? And which won ?
Wen. Sir Francis, your wife's brother, had
the worst,

And lost the wager. Frank.


Why, the worse his chance;

Perhaps the fortune of some other day
Will change his luck.

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Wen. His body not being blemish'd with one wound. But poor Sir Charles is to the prison led,

To answer at th' assize for them that's dead. Frank. I thank your pains, sir. Had the news been better,


Your will was to have brought it, Master Wendoll.

Sir Charles will find hard friends; his case is heinous

And will be most severely censur'd on.
I'm sorry for him. Sir, a word with you!
I know you, sir, to be a gentleman

In all things; your possibilities but mean:
Please you to use my table and my purse;
They're yours.


O Lord, sir! I shall ne'er deserve it.
Frank. O sir, disparage not your worth too
much :

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You are full of quality and fair desert.
Choose of my men which shall attend on you,
And he is yours. I will allow you, sir,
Your man, your gelding, and your table, all
At my own charge; be my companion!
Wen. Master Frankford, I have oft been
bound to you


By many favours; this exceeds them all,
That I shall never merit your least favour;
But when your last remembrance I forget,
Heaven at my soul exact that weighty debt! 75

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