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Pye. O my nose, again! Pray conjure then, captain.
Edm. Troth, this is excellent; I may do any knavery now, and never be seen. And now I remember, Sir Godfrey, my uncle abused me t'other day, and told tales of me to my mother. Troth now I'm invisible, I'll hit him a sound wherret on the ear, when he comes out o' the garden. I may be revenged on him now finely.
Enter SIR GODFREY, the WIDOW, and FRANCES.
Sir God. I have my chain again; my chain 's found again. O sweet captain! O admirable conjurer! [EDMOND strikes him.] Oh! what mean you by that, nephew?
Edm. Nephew? I hope you do not know me, uncle?
Edm. Why, captain, am I not invisible?
Idle. A good jest, George.-Not now you are not, Sir. Why, did not you see me, when I did uncharm you?
Edm. Not I, by my troth, captain.—Then pray you pardon me, uncle; I thought I'd been invisible when I struck you. Sir God. So, you would do't? Go, you're a foolish boy; And were I not o'ercome with greater joy,
I'd make you taste correction.
Edm. Correction! pish. No, neither you nor my mother shall think to whip me as you have done.
Sir God. Captain, my joy is such, I know not how to thank you let me embrace you. O my sweet chain! gladness e'en makes me giddy. Rare man! 'twas just i' the rosemary-bank, as if one should have laid it there. O cunning, cunning!
Wid. Well, seeing my fortune tells me I must marry, let me marry a man of wit, a man of parts. Here's a worthy captain, and 'tis a fine title truly la to be a captain's wife. A captain's wife! it goes very finely: beside, all the world knows that a worthy captain is a fit companion to any lord; then why not a sweet bed-fellow for any lady? I'll have it so.
Frail. O mistress-gentlemen-there's the bravest sight coming along this way.
Wid. What brave sight?
Frail. O, one going to burying, and another going to hanging. Wid. A rueful sight.
Pye. 'Sfoot, captain, I'll pawn my life the corporal's coffin'd, and old Skirmish, the soldier, going to execution; and 'tis now full about the time of his waking. Hold out a little longer, sleepy potion, and we shall have excellent admiration; for I'll take upon me the cure of him. [Exeunt.
SCENE III.-The Street before the WIDOW's House.
Enter, from the House, SIR GODFREY, the WIDOW, IDLE, PYEBOARD, EDMOND, FRAILTY, and NICHOLAS. A Coffin, with CORPORAL OATH in it, brought in. Then enter SKIRMISH bound, and led in by Officers; the Sheriff, &c. attending.
Frail. O here they come, here they come!
Pye. Now must I close secretly with the soldier; prevent his impatience, or else all's discovered.
Wid. O lamentable seeing! These were those brothers that fought and bled before our door.
Sir God. What! they were not, sister?
Skir. George, look to't; I'll peach at Tyburn else.
Pye. Mum.-Gentles all, vouchsafe me audience, And you especially, good Master Sheriff:
Yon man is bound to execution,
Because he wounded this that now lies coffin'd.
Sher. True, true; he shall have the law,-and I know the law. Pye. But under favour, Master Sheriff, if this man had been cured and safe again, he should have been released then?
Sher. Why make you question of that, Sir?
Pye. Then I release him freely; and will take upon me the death that he should die, if within a little season I do not cure him to his proper health again.
Sher. How, Sir! recover a dead man? That were most strange of all.
Fran. Sweet Sir, I love you dearly, and could wish my best part yours. O do not undertake such an impossible venture! Pye. Love you me? Then for your sweet sake I'll do't. Let me entreat the corpse to be set down.
Sher. Bearers, set down the coffin. This were wonderful, and worthy Stowe's Chronicle.
Pye. I pray bestow the freedom of the air upon our wholesome art. Mass, his cheeks begin to receive natural warmth. Nay, good corporal, wake betime, or I shall have a longer sleep than you. 'Sfoot, if he should prove dead indeed now, he were fully revenged upon me for making a property of him: yet I had rather run upon the ropes,* than have a rope like a tettert run upon me? O, he stirs! he stirs again! look, gentlemen! he recovers! he starts, he rises!
Sher. O, O, defend us! Out, alas!
Pye. Nay, pray be still; you'll make him more giddy else. He knows nobody yet.
Oath. Zounds, where am I?
Covered with snow! I marvel,
Pye. Nay, I knew he would swear the first thing he did as soon as ever he came to his life again.
*Play ropish, i. e. roguish tricks, than be hanged.
+ A tetter (a ring-worm) is a humour that forms itself into a circle. To this he compares the operation of the noose at the end of a halter.
Oath. 'Sfoot, hostess, some hot porridge. O, O! lay on a dozen of faggots in the Moon parlour, there.
Pye. Lady, you must needs take a little pity of him i' faith, and send him in to your kitchen fire.
Wid. O, with all my heart, Sir: Nicholas and Frailty, help to bear him in.
Pray, call out the maids; I
Nich. Bear him in, quoth-a! shall ne'er have the heart to do't, indeed la.
Frail. Nor I neither; I cannot abide to handle a ghost, of all
Oath. 'Sblood, let me see-where was I drunk last night? heh ?
Wid. O, shall I bid you once again take him away? Frail. Why, we are as fearful as you, I warrant you. Oh. Wid. Away, villains! bid the maids make him a caudle presently, to settle his brain, or a posset of sack; quickly, quickly.
[Exeunt FRAILTY and NICHOLAS, pushing in the Corporal. Sher. Sir, whatsoe'er you are, I do more than admire you. Wid. O ay, if you knew all, Master Sheriff, as you shall do, you would say then, that here were two of the rarest men within the walls of Christendom.
Sher. Two of them? O wonderful!-Officers, I discharge you; set him free; all's in tune.
Sir God. Ay, and a banquet ready by this time, Master Sheriff; to which I most cheerfully invite you, and your late prisoner there. See you this goodly chain, Sir? Mum! no more words; 'twas lost and is found again. Come, my inestimable bullies, we'll talk of your noble acts in sparkling charnico;* and instead of a jester, we'll have the ghost in the white sheet sit at the upper end of the table.t
Sher. Excellent, merry man, i' faith!
[Exeunt all but FRANCES. Fran. Well, seeing I am enjoin'd to love, and marry,
My foolish vow thus I cashier to air,
Which first begot it. Now, Love, play thy part;
SCENE I.-The Street before the WIDOW's house.
Enter EDMOND and FRAILTY.
Edm. This is the marriage morning for my mother and my sister.
Frail. O me, Master Edmond! we shall have rare doings.
* Lisbon wine.
+ Dr. Farmer thinks this was intended as a sneer at Macbeth.
Edm. Nay, go, Frailty, run to the sexton; you know my mother will be married at Saint Antling's. Hie thee; 'tis past five; bid them open the church-door: my sister is almost ready.
Frail. What already, Master Edmond?
Edm. Nay, go; hie thee. First run to the sexton, and run to the clerk; and then run to Master Pigman the parson; and then run to the milliner, and then run home again.
Frail. Here's run, run, run.
Edm. But hark, Frailty.
Frail. What, more yet?
Edm. Have the maids remembered to strew the way to the church?
Frail. Foh! an hour ago; I helped them myself.
Edm. Away, away, away, away then. Frail. Away, away, away, away then. [Exit FRAILTY. Edm. I shall have a simple father-in-law, a brave captain, able to beat all our street; Captain Idle. Now my lady mother will be fitted for a delicate name; my lady Idle, my lady Idle! the finest name that can be for a woman: and then the scholar, Master Pyeboard, for my sister Frances, that will be Mistress Frances Pyeboard; Mistress Frances Pyeboard! they'll keep a good table, I warrant you. Now all the knights' noses are put out of joint; they may go to a bone-setter's now.
Enter IDLE and PYEBOARD, with Attendants.
Hark, hark! O, who come here with two torches before them? My sweet captain, and my fine scholar. O, how bravely they are shot up in one night! They look like fine Britons now methinks. Here's a gallant change i' faith! 'Slid, they have hired men and all, by the clock.
Idle. Master Edmond; kind, honest, dainty Master Edmond. Edm. Foh, sweet captain father-in-law! A rare perfume i' faith!
Pye. What, are the brides stirring? May we steal upon them, think'st thou, Master Edmond?
Edm. Foh, they're e'en upon readiness, I can assure you; for they were at their torch e'en now: by the same token I tumbled down the stairs.
Pye. Alas, poor Master Edmond.
Idle. O, the musicians! I pr'ythee, Master Edmond, call them, and liquor them a little.
Edm. That I will, sweet captain father-in-law; and make each of them as drunk as a common fiddler.
SCENE II-The same.
Enter MARY in a Balcony. To her below, SIR JOHN PENNYDUB.
Sir John. Whew! Mistress Moll, Mistress Moll.
Sir John. 'Tis I.
Mary. Who? Sir John Pennydub? O, you're an early cock i' faith. Who would have thought you to be so rare a stirrer ? Sir John. Pr'ythee, Moll, let me come up.
Mary. No, by my faith, Sir John; I'll keep you down; knights are very dangerous, if once you get above.
Sir John. I'll not stay i' faith.
Mary. I' faith you shall stay; for, Sir John, you must note the nature of the climates: your northern wench in her own country may well hold out till she be fifteen; but if she touch the south once, and come up to London, here the chimes go presently after twelve.
Sir John. O, thou'rt a mad wench, Moll: but I pr'ythee make haste, for the priest is gone before.
Mary. Do you follow him; I'll not be long after.
[Exeunt. SCENE III.-A Room in SIR OLIVER MUCKHILL'S House. Enter SIR OLIVER MUCKHILL, SIR ANDREW TIPSTAFF, and SKIRMISH.
Sir Oliv. O monstrous, unheard-of forgery!
Sir And. Knight, I never heard of such villany in our own country, in my life.
Sir Oliv. Why, 'tis impossible. Dare you maintain your words?
Skir. Dare we? even to their weazon pipes. We know all their plots; they cannot squander with us. They have knavishly abused us, made only properties of us, to advance themselves upon our shoulders; but they shall rue their abuses. This morning they are to be married.
Sir Oliv. Tis too true. Yet if the widow be not too much besotted on sleights and forgeries, the revelation of their villanies will make them loathsome. And to that end, be it in private to you, I sent late last night to an honourable personage, to whom I am much indebted in kindness, as he is to me; and therefore presume upon the payment of his tongue, and that he will lay out good words for me: and to speak truth, for such needful occasions, I only preserve him in bond: and sometimes he may do me more good here in the city by a free word of his mouth, than if he had paid one half in hand, and took doomsday for t'other.
Sir And. In troth, Sir, without soothing* be it spoken, you have published much judgment in these few words.
Sir Oliv. For you know, what such a man utters will be thought effectual and to weighty purpose; and therefore into his mouth we'll put the approved theme of their forgeries. Skir. And I'll maintain it, knight, if you'll be true.
Enter a SERVANT.
Sir Oliv. How now, fellow?