ePub 版

were I known to her Majesty and the lords-observe me I would undertake, upon this poor head and life, for the public benefit of the state, not only to spare the entire lives of her subjects in general, but to save the one-half, nay, three parts of her yearly charge in holding war, and against what enemy soever. And how would I do it, think you?

E. Know. Nay, I know not, nor can I conceive.

Bob. Why, thus, sir: I would select nineteen more, to myself, throughout the land; gentlemen they should be of good spirit, strong and able constitution; I would choose them by an instinct, a character that I have; and I would teach these nineteen the special rules, as your punto, your reverso, your stoccata, your imbroccato, your passada, your montanto, till they could all play very near, or altogether, as well as myself. This done, say the enemy were forty thousand strong, we twenty would come into the field the tenth of March, or thereabouts, and we would challenge twenty of the enemy. They could not in their honour refuse us. Well, we would kill them; challenge twenty more, kill them; twenty more, kill them; twenty more, kill them too; and thus would we kill every man his twenty a day—that's twenty score; twenty score, that's two hundred; two hundred a day, five days a thousand; forty thousand; forty times five, five times forty, two hundred days kills them all up by computation. And this will I venture my poor gentlemanlike carcass to perform, provided there be no treason practised upon us, by fair and discreet manhood; that is, civilly by the sword.

E. Know. Why, are you so sure of your hand, captain, at all times ?

Bob. Tut! never miss thrust, upon my reputation with you!

E. Know. I would not stand in Downright's state, then, an you meet him, for the wealth of any one street in London.

Bob. Why, sir, you mistake me. If he were here now, by this welkin, I would not draw my weapon on him. Let this gentleman do his mind. But I will bastinado him, by the bright sun, wherever I meet him.

Mat. Faith, and I'll have a fling at him, at my distance.
E. Know. 'Od's, so, look where he is! Yonder he goes.

(DOWNRIGHT crosses the stage.) Dow. What peevish luck have I, I cannot meet with these bragging rascals ?

Bob. It is not he, is it?
E. Know. Yes, faith, it is he.
Mat. I'll be hanged, then, if that were he.

E. Know. Sir, keep your hanging good for some greater matter, for assure you that were he.

Step. Upon my reputation, it was he.

Bob. Had I thought it had been he, he must not have gone so. But I can hardly be induced to believe it was he yet.

E. Know. That I think, sir.

Re-enter DoWNRIGHT

But see, he is come again.

Dow. Oh, Pharaoh's foot, have I found you? Come, draw to your tools; draw, gipsy, or I'll thrash you.

Bob. Gentleman of valour, I do believe in thee; hear


Dow. Draw your weapon, then.

Bob. Tall man, I never thought on it till now- Body of me, I had a warrant of the peace served on me, even now as I came along, by a water-bearer; this gentleman saw it, Master Mathew. Dow. 'Sdeath! you will not draw, then?

(Disarms and beats him. Mathew runs away.) Bob. Hold, hold! Under thy favour, forbear!

Dow. Prate again, as you like this, you bastard foist you! You'll control the point, you! Your consort is gone; had he stayed he had shared with you, sir.

(Exit.) Bob. Well, gentlemen, bear witness, I was bound to the peace, by this good day.

E. Know. No, faith, it's an ill day, captain, never reckon it other; but, say you were bound to the peace, the law allows you to defend yourself; that will prove but a poor excuse.

Bob. I cannot tell, sir; I desire good construction in fair sort. I never sustained the like disgrace, by Heaven ! sure I was struck with a planet thence, for I had no power to touch my weapon.

E. Know. Aye, like enough; I have heard of many that have been beaten under a planet. Go, get you to a surgeon. Slid! an these be your tricks, your passados, and your montantos, I'll none of them. (Exit BOBADILL.) Oh, manners! that this age should bring forth such creatures, that nature should be at leisure to make them!

Every Man in his Humour.

[ocr errors]


BEAUTIES, have ye seen this toy,
Calléd love, a little boy
Almost naked, wanton, blind,
Cruel now, and then as kind?
If he be amongst ye, say!
He is Venus' runaway.

He hath of marks about him plenty;
Ye shall know him among twenty;
All his body is a fire,
And his breath a flame entire,
That, being shot like lightning in,
Wounds the heart, but not the skin.

He doth bear a golden bow,
And a quiver, hanging low,
Full of arrows, that outbrave
Dian's shafts, where, if he have
Any head more sharp than other,
With that first he strikes his mother.

Trust him not: his words, though sweet,
Seldom with his heart do meet;
All his practice is deceit,
Every gift is but a bait;
Not a kiss, but poison bears,
And most treason in his tears.

If by these ye please to know him,
Beauties, be not nice, but show him.
Though ye had a will to hide him,
Now, we hope, ye'll not abide him,
Since ye hear his falser play,
And that he's Venus' runaway.

Rules for the Tavern Academy

As the fund of our pleasure, let each pay his shot,

Except some chance friend whom a member brings in. Far hence be the sad, the lewd fop, and the sot,

For such have the plagues of good company been.

Let the learned and witty, the jovial and gay,

The generous and honest, compose our free state; And the more to exalt our delight while we stay,

Let none be debarred from his choice female mate.

Let no scent offensive the chamber infest;

Let fancy, not cost, prepare all our dishes; Let the caterer mind the taste of each guest,

And the cook, in his dressing, comply with their wishes.

Let's have no disturbance about taking places,

To show your nice breeding, or out of vain pride; Let the drawers be ready with wine and fresh glasses ; Let the waiters have eyes, though their tongues must be


Let our wines, without mixture or stum, be all fine,
Or call up the master and break his dull noddle;

« 上一頁繼續 »