A Mad World My Masters

Contents2022 Jun 25  10:59:37

 
Act 1Scene 1A Street
Scene 2Before Harebrain's House
 
Finis
 
Contents

Act 1

Scene 1

A Street

Enter Follywit and his consorts Lieutenant Mawworm & Ancient Hoboy, and others his Comrades
1.1.1 Maw.
Captain, Regent, Principal,
1.1.2 Hob.
What shall I call thee? the Noble spark of bounty; the life-blood of Society.
1.1.3 Fol.
Call me your forecast, you whoresons, when you come drunk out of a tavern, ’tis I must cast your plots into form still ; ’tis I must manage the prank, or I’ll not give a louse for the proceeding: I must let fly my civil fortunes, turn wild-brain, lay my wits upo’ th Tenters, you rascals, to maintain a company of villains, whom I love in my very soul and conscience.
1.1.11 Maw.
A ha, our little forecast,
Fol. Hang you, you have bewitched me among you, I was as well given till I fell to be wicked, my grandsire had hope of me, I went all in black, swore but a’ Sundays, never came home drunk, but upon fasting nights to cleanse my sto|mach; And now I’m quite altered, blown into light colours, let out oaths by th’ minute, sit up late till it be early, drink drunk till I am sober, sink down dead in a tavern, and rise in a tobacco-shop: here’s a transformation: I was wont yet to pity the simple, and leave ’em some money: ’slid, now I gull ’em without confidence; I go without order, swear without number, gull without mercy, and drink without measure.
1.1.26 Maw.
I deny the last, for if you drink ne’er so much, you drink within measure.
1.1.28 Fol.
How prove you that sir?
1.1.29 Maw.
Because the drawers never fill their pots

Fol.
Mass that was well found out! all drunkards may lawfully say, they drink within
measure by that trick; and now Iím put iíth mind of a trick, you can keep your countenance villains? yet I am a fool to ask that, for how can they keep their countenance that have lost their credits?
1.1.38 Hob.
I warrant you for blushing Captain.
1.1.39 Fol.
I easily believe that ancient, for thou hast lost thy colours once. Nay faith as for blushing, I think there’s grace little enough among you all; 'tis Lent in your cheeks, the flag’s down. Well, your blushing face I suspect not, nor indeed greatly your laughing face, unless you had more money in your purses. Then thus compendiously now you all know the possibilities of my hereafter fortunes and the humour of my frolic grandsire Sir Bounteous Progress; whose death makes all possible to me: I shall have all, when he has nothing; but now he has all, I shall have nothing: I think one mind runs through a million of ’em; they love to keep us sober all the while they’re alive, that when they’re dead we may drink to their healths; they cannot abide to see us merry all the while they’re above ground; and that makes so many laugh at their fathers’ funerals; I know my Grandsire has his will in a box, and has bequeathed all to me, when he can carry nothing away; but stood I in needs of poor ten pounds now, by his will I should hang myself e’er I should get it, there’s no such word in his will I warrant you, nor no such thought in his mind.
1.1.64 Maw.
You may build upon that Captain.
1.1.65 Fol.
Then since he has no goodwill to do me good as long as he lives; by mine own will, I’ll do myself good before he dies, and now I arrive at the purpose. You are not ignorant I’m sure, you true and necessary implements of mischief; first, that my Grandsire Sir Bounteous Progress is a Knight of thousands and therefore no Knight since one thousand six hundred: (the year 1600?-Alasdair, Bullard see note Vol I. p.135) next, that he keeps a house like his name Bounteous, open for all comers: thirdly and lastly, that he stands much upon the glory of his complement, variety of entertainment, together with the largeness of his kitchen, longitude of his buttery, and fecundity of his larder, and thinks himself never happier than when some stiff lord or great countess alights, to make light his dishes.
These being well mixed together, may give my project better encouragement, and make my purpose spring forth more fortunate: to be short, and cut off a great deal of dirty way I’ll down to my grandsire like a lord.
1.1.87 Maw.
How Captain?
1.1.88 Fol.
A French ruff, a thin beard, and a strong perfume will do’t : I can hire blue coats for you all by Westminster Clock, and that colour will be soonest believed.
1.1.92 Maw.
But prithee captain ó
Fol. Push, I reach past your fathoms; you desire crowns?
Maw. From the Crown of our Head, to the sole of our foot bully.
Fol. Why carry your selves but probably, and carry away enough with your selves.
Enter Penitent Brothel.
Maw. Why there spoke a Roman Captain! ó Master Penitent Brothell!.
1.1.99 M. Pen.
Sweet Master Follywit [Exeunt Follywit, Mawworm, Hoboy, etc.] Here’s a mad-brain a’th first, whose pranks scorn to have precedents, to be second to any, or walk beneath any: madcap’s inventions; has played more tricks than the cards can allow a man, and of the last stamp too, hating imitation, a fellow whose only glory is to be prime of the company; to be sure of which, he maintains all the rest: he’s the carrion, and they the kites that gore upon him.
But why in others do I check wild passions.
And retain deadly follies in myself?
I tax his youth of common receiv’d riot.
Time’s comic flashes, and the fruits of blood;
And in my self sooth up adulterous motions.
And such an appetite that I know damns me;
Yet willingly embrace it, love to Harebrain’s wife.
Over whose hours and pleasures her sick husband
With a fantastic but deserv’d suspect,
Bestows his serious time in watch and ward;
And therefore I’m constrain’d to use the means
Of one that knows no mean, a courtesan,
One poison for another, whom her husband
Without suspicion innocently admits
Into her company, who with tried art
Corrupts and loosens her most constant powers,.
Making his jealousy more than half a Wittall,
Before his face plotting his own abuse.
To which himself gives aim.
Whilst the broad arrow with the forked head
Misses his brow but narrowly; see here she comes,
The close Courtesan, whose mother is her bawd.
Enter Courtesan
1.1.131 Cour.
Master Penitent Brothel! ó
1.1.132 M. Pen.
My little pretty Lady Gullman, the news, the comfort?
Cour. You’re the fortunate man sir, Knight a’ th holland shirt: there wants but opportunity and she’s wax o’ your own fashioning. She had wrought herself into the form of your love before my art set finger to her.
P. Bro. Did our affections meet? our thoughts keep time?
Cour. So it should seem by the music: the only jar is in the grumbling bass-viol her husband.
P. Bro. O, his waking suspicion!
Cour. Sigh not, master Penitent; trust the managing of the business with me, 'tis for my credit now to see't well finished : if I do you no good, sir, you shall give me no money, sir.
P. Bro. I am arrived at the court of conscience ; a courtesan ! O admirable times ! honesty is removed to the common-place. [Aside] Farewell, lady.
Exit
Enter Mother
Mot. How now, daughter ?
Cour. What news, mother ?
Mot. A token from thy keeper.
Cour. O, from Sir Bounteous Progress : he's my keeper indeed ; but there's many a piece of venison stolen that my keeper wots not on. There's no park kept so warily but loses flesh one time or other ; and no woman kept so privately but may watch advantage to make the best of her pleasure ; and in common reason one keeper cannot be enough for so proud a park as a woman.
Mot. Hold thee there, girl.
Cour. Fear not me, mother.
Mot. Every part of the world shoots up daily into more subtlety; the very spider weaves her cauls with more art and cunning to entrap the fly.
The shallow ploughman can distinguish now
'Twixt simple truth and a dissembling brow;
Your base mechanic fellow can spy out
A weakness in a lord, and learns to flout.
How does't behove us then that live by slight,
To have our wits wound up to their stretch'd height !
Fift-een times
Thou knowest I have sold thy maidenhead
To make up a dowry for thy marriage, and yet
There's maidenhead enough for old Sir Bounteous still :
He'll be all his lifetime about it yet,
And be as far to seek when he has done.
The sums that I have told upon thy pillow !
I shall once see those golden days again :
Though fifteen, all thy maidenheads are not gone.
Th' Italian is not serv'd yet, nor the French :
The British men come for a dozen at once.
They engross all the market : tut, my girl,
íTis nothing but a politic conveyance,
A sincere carriage, a religious eyebrow,
That throws their charms over the worldling's senses ;
And when thou spiest a fool that truly pities
The false springs of thine eyes,
And honourably doats upon thy love,
If he be rich, set him by for a husband.
Be wisely temper'd, and learn this, my wench,
Who gets th' opinion for a virtuous name
May sin at pleasure, and ne'er think of shame.
Cour. Mother, I am too deep a scholar grown
To learn my first rules now.
Mot. 'Twill be thy own ;
I say no more : peace, hark ! remove thyself
Exit Courtesan
O, the two elder brothers !
Enter Inesse and Possibility.
Pos. A fair hour, sweet lady !
Mot. Good morrow, gentlemen, master Inesse and master Possibility.
In. Where's the little sweet lady your daughter ?
Mot. Even at her book, sir.
Pos. So religious ?
Mot. 'Tis no new motion, sir ; sh'as took it from an infant.
Pos. May we deserve a sight of her, lady ?
Mot. Upon that condition you will promise me, gentlemen, to avoid all profane talk, wanton compliments, undecent phrases, and lascivious courtings (which I know my daughter will sooner die than endure), I am contented your suits shall be granted.
Pos. Not a bawdy syllable, I protest.
In. Syllable was [well] placed there ; for indeed your one syllables are your bawdiest words : prick that down. [Exeunt]
Contents

Act 1

Scene 2

Before Harebrain's House

Enter Harebrain
1.2.1 Har.
She may make night-work on't ; 'twas well recover'd ; (editor hints misprint for discovered)
He-cats and courtesans stroll most 'i th' night :
Her friend may be receiv'd and convey'd forth nightly ;
I'll be at charge
For watch and ward, for watch and ward, i'faith ;
And here they come.
Enter Watchmen.
First W. Give your worship good even.
Har. Welcome, my friends ; I must deserve your diligence
In an employment serious. The troth is,
There's a cunning plot laid, but happily discover'd.
To rob my house ; the night uncertain when,
But fix'd within the circle of this month ;
Nor does this villany consist in numbers.
Or many partners ; only some one
Shall, in the form of my familiar friend.
Be receiv'd privately into my house
By some perfidious servant of mine own,
Address'd fit for the practice.
First W. O abominable !
Har. If you be faithful watchmen, show your goodness,
And with these angels shore up your eyelids : [Giving money]
Let me not be purloin'd ó purloin'd indeed !
The merry Greeks conceive me ó there's a gem
I would not lose.
Kept by th' Italian under lock and key :
We Englishmen are careless creatures : well,
I have said enough.
1.2.30 Sec. W.
And we will do enough, sir.
1.2.31 Har.
Why, well said ; watch me a good turn now ; so, so, so.
Exeunt Watchmen
Rise villany with the lark, why, 'tis prevented ;
Or steal't by with the leather-winged bat,
The evening cannot save it – peace. –
Enter Courtesan.
O, lady Gullman, my wife's only company, welcome ! and how does the virtuous matron, that good old gentlewoman, thy mother ? I persuade myself, if modesty be in the world, she has part(?) on't ; a woman of an excellent carriage all her lifetime, in court, city, and country.
Cour. Sh'as always carried it well in those places, sir; – witness three bastards a-piece. [Aside.] – How does your sweet bed-fellow, sir ? you see I'm her boldest visitant.
Har. And welcome, sweet virgin ; the only companion my soul wishes for her. I left her within at her lute ; prithee, give her good counsel.
Cour. Alas, she needs none, sir !
Har. Yet, yet, yet, a little of thy instructions will not come amiss to her.
Cour. I'll bestow my labour, sir.
Har. Do, labour her, prithee. I have conveyed away all her wanton pamphlets ; as Hero and Leander, Venus and Adonis ; O, two luscious marrow-bone pies for a young married wife ! Here, here, prithee, take the Resolution, and read to her a little. [Gives book]
Cour. Sh'as set up her resolution already, sir.
Har. True, true, and this will confirm it the more : there's a chapter of hell; 'tis good to read this cold weather : terrify her, terrify her. Go, read to her the horrible punishments for itching wantonness, the pains allotted for adultery; tell her her thoughts, her very dreams are answerable, say so ; rip up the life of a courtesan, and show how loathsome 'tis.
1.2.67 Cour.
The gentleman would persuade me in time to disgrace myself, and speak ill of mine own function. [Aside and exit.
1.2.70 Har.
This is the course I take ; I'll teach the married man
A new-selected strain. I admit none
But this pure virgin to her company :
Pooh, that's enough ; I'll keep her to her stint,
I'll put her to her pension ;
She gets but her allowance, that's [a] bare one :
Few women but have that beside their own :
Ha, ha, ha ! nay, I will put her hard to't.
Enter Mistress Harebrain and Courtesan.
Mis. H. Fain would I meet the gentleman.
Cour. Push, fain would you meet him ! why, you do not take the course.
Har. How earnestly she labours her,
Like a good wholesome sister of the Family !
She will prevail, I hope. [Aside.
Cour. Is ,that the means ?
Mis. H. What is the means ?
I would as gladly, to enjoy his sight,
Embrace it as the –
Cour. Shall I have hearing ? listen.
Har. She's round with her, i'faith. [Aside]
Cour. When husbands in their rank'st suspicions dwell,
Then 'tis our best art to dissemble well :
Put but these notes in use that I'll direct you,
He'll curse himself that e'er he did suspect you.
Perhaps he will solicit you, as in trial.
To visit such and such ; still give denial :
Let no persuasions sway you ; they're but fetches
Set to betray you, jealousies, slights, and reaches.
Seem in his sight t' endure the sight of no man ;
Put by all kisses, till you kiss in common :
Neglect all entertain ; if he bring in
Strangers, keep you your chamber, be not seen.
If he chance steal upon you, let him find
Some book lie open 'gainst an unchaste mind,
And coted Scriptures ; though for your own pleasure
You read some stirring pamphlet, and convey it
Under your skirt, the fittest place to lay it.
This is the course, my wench, t' enjoy thy wishes ;
Here you perform best when you most neglect :
The way to daunt is to outvie suspect
Manage these principles but with art and life,
Welcome all nations, thou'rt an honest wife.
Har. She puts it home, i'faith, even to the quick :
From her elaborate action I reach that.
I must requite this maid ; faith, I'm forgetful. [Aside.
Mis. H. Here, lady. Convey my heart unto him in this jewel.
Against you see me next, you shall perceive
I've profited ; in the mean season tell him
I am a prisoner yet a' th' Master's side,
My husband's jealousy,
That masters him, as he doth master me ;
And as a keeper that locks prisoners up
Is himself prison'd under his own key,
Even so my husband, in restraining me,
With the same ward bars his own liberty.
Cour. I'll tell him how you wish it, and I'll wear
My wits to the third pile but all shall clear.
Mis. H. I owe you more than thanks, but that I hope
My husband will requite you.
Cour. Think you so, lady? he has small reason for't.
Har. What, done so soon? away, to't again, to't again, good wench, to't again ; leave her not so : where left you ? come.
Cour. Faith, I am weary, sir.
I cannot draw her from her strict opinion ,
With all the arguments that sense can frame.
Har. No ? let me come. – Fie, wife, you must consent.
– What opinion is't ? let's hear.
Cour. Fondly and wilfully she retains that thought.
That every sin is damn'd.
Har. O, fie, fie, wife ! pea, pea, pea, pea, how have you lost your time ! for shame, be converted. There's a diabolical opinion indeed ! then you may think that usury were damned ; you're a fine merchant, i'faith ! or bribery ; you know the law well ! or sloth ; would some of the clergy heard you, i'faith ! or pride ; you come at court ! or gluttony ; you're not worthy to dine at an alderman's table !
Your only deadly sin’s adultery,
That villanous ringworm, woman's worst requittal ;
’Tis only lechery that's damn'd to th' pit-hole :
Ah, that's an arch offence, believe it, squall !
All sins are venial but venereal.
Cour. I've said enough to her.
Har. And she will be rul'd by you.
Cour. Faugh !
Har. I'll pawn my credit on't. Come hither, lady,
I will not altogether rest ingrateful ;
Here, wear this ruby for thy pains and counsel.
Cour. It is not so much worth, sir ; I am a very ill counsellor, truly.
Har. Go to, I say.
Cour. You're to blame, i'faith, sir ; I shall ne'er deserve it.
Har. Thou hast done't already : farewell, sweet virgin ; prithee, let's see thee oftener.
1.2.165 Cour.
Such gifts will soon entreat me. [Aside, and exit.
Har. Wife, as thou lov'st the quiet of my breast.
Embrace her counsel, yield to her advices :
Thou wilt find comfort in 'em in the end ;
Thou'lt feel an alteration : prithee, think on't :
Mine eyes can scarce refrain.
Mis. H. Keep in your dew, sir,
Lest when you would, you want it.
Har. I've pawn'd my credit on't : ah, didst thou know
The sweet fruit once, thou'dst never let it go !
Mis. H. 'Tis that I strive to get.
Har. And still do so.
Exeunt
ACT II.
SCENE I.
An hall in Sir Bounteous Progress's Country House.
Enter Sir Bounteous Progress and two Knights.
First K. You have been too much like your name, sir Bounteous.
Sir B. O, not so, good knights, not so ; you know my humour : most welcome, good sir Andrew Pollcut ; sir Aquitain Colewort, most welcome.
Both. Thanks, good sir Bounteous.
Exeunt at one door
At the other door, enter in haste one of Follywit's companions disguised as a Footman.
Foot. O, cry your worship heartily mercy, sir !
Sir B. How now, linen stockings and threescore mile a-day ? whose footman art thou ?
Foot. Pray, can your worship tell me – ho, ho, ho ! – if my lord be come in yet.
Sir B. Thy lord ! what lord ?
Foot. My lord Owemuch, sir.
Sir B. My lord Owemuch ? I have heard much speech of that lord ; has great acquaintance i' th' city ; that lord has been much followed.
Foot. And is still, sir ; he wants no company when he's in London : he's free of the mercers, and there's none of 'em all dare cross him.
Sir B. And they did, he'd turn over a new leaf with 'em ; he would make 'em all weary on't i' th' end. Much fine rumour have I heard of that lord, yet had I never the fortune to set eye upon him : art sure he will alight here, footman ? I am afraid thou'rt mistook.
Foot. Thinks your worship so, sir ? by your leave, sir.
[Going.
Sir B. Pooh, passion of me, footman ! why, pumps, I say, come back !
Foot. Does your worship call ?
Sir B. Come hither, I say. I am but afraid on't ; would it might happen so well ! How dost know ? did he name the house with the great turret a' th' top ?
Foot. No, faith, did he not, sir.
[Going.
Sir B. Come hither, I say. Did he speak of a cloth-a'-gold chamber ?
Foot. Not one word, by my troth, sir.
[Going.
Sir B. Come again, you lousy seven-mile-an-hour !
Foot. I beseech your worship, detain me not.
Sir B. Was there no talk of a fair pair of organs, a great gilt candlestick, and a pair of silver snuffers ?
Foot. 'Twere sin to belie my lord ; I heard no such words, sir.
[Going.
Sir B. A pox confine thee ! come again, pooh !
Foot. Your worship will undo me, sir.
Sir B. Was there no speech of a long dining-room, a huge kitchen, large meat, and a broad dresser-board?
Foot. I have a greater maw to that indeed, an't please your worship.
Sir B. Whom did he name ?
Foot. Why, one sir Bounteous Progress.
Sir B. Ah, a, a ! I am that sir Bounteous, you progressive round-about rascal.
Foot. Pooh !
[Laughs.
Sir B. I knew I should have him i' th' end : there's not a lord will miss me, I thank their good honours ; 'tis a fortune laid upon me ; they can scent out their best entertainment. I have a kind of complimental gift given me above ordinary country knights ; and how soon 'tis smelt out ! I warrant ye, there's not one knight i' th' shire able to entertain a lord i' th' cue, or a lady i' th' nick, like me ; – like me ! there's a kind of grace belongs to't, a kind of art which naturally slips from me ; I know not on't, I promise you, 'tis gone before I'm aware on't – cuds me, I forget myself – where ––
Enter Servants.
First S. Does your worship call ?
Sir B. Run, sirrah ! , call in my chief gentleman i' th' chain of gold ; expedite. [Exit First Servant.] – And how does my good lord? I never saw him before in my life. – A cup of bastard for this footman !
Foot. My lord has travelled this five year, sir.
Sir B. Travelled this five year ? how many children has he ? – Some bastard, I say !
Foot. No bastard, an't please your worship.
Sir B. A cup of sack to strengthen his wit !
[Exit Second Servant, and returns with the wine.
The footman's a fool.
Enter Gumwater.
O, come hither, master Gumwater, come hither : send presently to master Pheasant for one of his hens ; there's partridge i' th' house ?
Gum. And wild-duck, an't please your worship.
Sir B. And woodcock, an't please thy worship.
Gum. And woodcock, an't please your worship. – I had thought to have spoke before you.
Sir B. Remember the pheasant, down with some plover, clap down six woodcocks ; my lord's coming ; now, sir.
Gum. An't please your worship, there's a lord and his followers newly alighted.
Sir B. Despatch, I say, despatch : why, where's my music ? he's come indeed.
[Exit Gumwater.
Enter Follywit dressed as a lord, with Mawworm, Hoboy, and others in blue coats.
Fol. Footman !
Foot. My lord ?
Fol. Run swiftly with my commendations to Sir Jasper Topaz : we'll ride and visit him i' th' morning, say.
Foot. Your lordship's charge shall be effected.
[Exit.
Fol. That courtly, comely form should present to me Sir Bounteous Progress.
Sir B. You've found me out my lord ; I cannot hide myself : Your honour is most spaciously welcome.
Fol. In this forgive me, sir,
That being a stranger to your house and you,
I make my way so bold[ly] ; and presume
Rather upon your kindness than your knowledge;
Only your bounteous disposition
Fame hath divulg'd, and is to me well known.
Sir B. Nay, and your lordship know my disposition, you know me better than they that know my person ; your honour is so much the welcomer for that.
Fol. Thanks, good sir Bounteous.
Sir B. Pray, pardon me ; it has been often my ambition, my lord, both in respect of your honourable presence, and the prodigal fame that keeps even stroke with your unbounded worthiness,
To have wish'd your lordship where your lordship is,
A noble guest in this unworthy seat :
Your lordship ne'er heard my organs ?
Fol. Heard of 'em, sir Bounteous, but never heard 'em.
Sir B. They're but double-gilt, my lord ; some hundred and fifty pound will fit your lordship with such another pair.
Fol. Indeed, sir Bounteous !
Sir B. O my lord, I have a present suit to you !
Fol. To me, sir Bounteous ? and you could ne'er speak at fitter time, for I'm here present to grant you.
Sir B. Your lordship has been a traveller ?
Fol. Some five year, sir.
Sir B. I have a grandchild, my lord ; I love him ; and when I die I'll do somewhat for him : I'll tell your honour the worst of him, a wild lad he has been.
Fol. So we have been all, sir.
Sir B. So we have been all indeed, my lord ; I thank your lordship's assistance. Some comic pranks he has been guilty of; but I'll pawn my credit for him, an honest, trusty bosom.
Fol. And that's worth all, sir.
Sir B. And that's worth all indeed, my lord, for he's like to have all when I die ; imberbis iuvenis, his chin has no more prickles yet than a midwife's ; there' great hope of his wit, his hair's so long acoming. Shall I be bold with your honour, to prefer this aforesaid Ganymede to hold a plate under your lordship's cup ?
Fol. You wrong both his worth and your bounty, and you call that boldness. Sir, I have heard much good of that young gentleman.
Sir B. Nay, has a good wit, i'faith my lord.
Fol. Has carried himself always generously.
Sir B. Are you advised of that, my lord ? has carried many things cleanly. I'll show your lordship my will ; I keep it above in an outlandish box ; the whoreson boy must have all ; I love him, yet he shall ne'er find it as long as I live.
Fol. Well, sir, for your sake, and his own deserving, I'll reserve a place for him nearest to my secrets.
Sir B. I understand your good lordship ; you'll make him your secretary. – My music! give my -lord a taste of his welcome. [A strain played by the consort: Sir Bounteous makes a courtly honour to Follywit, and seems to foot the tune.] So. – How like you our airs, my lord ? are they choice ?
Fol. They're seldom matched, believe it.
Sir B. The consort of mine own household.
Fol. Yea, sir !
Sir B. The musicians are in ordinary, yet no ordinary musicians. Your lordship shall hear my organs now.
Fol. O, I beseech you, sir Bounteous !
Sir B. My organist ! [ The organs play, and servants with covered dishes pass over the stage.] – Come, my lord, how does your honour relish my organ[s] ?
Fol. A very proud air, i'faith, sir.
Sir B. O, how can't choose ? a Walloon plays upon 'em, and a Welchman blows wind in their breech.
[Exeunt.
[A song to the organs.
SCENE II.
A Gallery.
Enter Sir Bounteous with Follywit, Mawworm, Hoboy, and his consorts towards his lodging.
Sir B. You must pardon us, my lord, hasty cates ; your honour has had even a hunting-meal on't; and now I am like to bring your lordship to as mean a lodging; a hard down bed, i'faith, my lord, poor cambric sheets, and a cloth a' tissue canopy; the curtains, indeed, were wrought in Venice, with the story of the Prodigal Child in silk and gold; only the swine are left out, my lord, for spoiling the curtains.
Fol. 'Twas well prevented, sir.
Sir B. Silken rest, harmonious slumbers, and venereal dreams to your lordship !
Fol. The like to kind Sir Bounteous !
Sir B. Fie, not to me, my lord ; I'm old, past dreaming of such vanities.
Fol. Old men should dream best.
Sir B. They're dreame[r]s indeed, my lord ; you've gi'nt us. To-morrow your lordship shall see my cocks, my fish-ponds, my park, my champion grounds : I keep champers in my house can, show your lordship some pleasure.
Fol. Sir Bounteous, you even whelm me with delights.
Sir B. Once again, a musical night to your honour ! I’ll trouble your lordship no more.
Fol. Good rest, sir Bounteous. [Exit Sir Bounteous.] – So, come, the vizards ! where be the masking- suits ?
Maw. In your lordship's portmantua.
Fol. Peace, lieutenant.
Maw. I had rather have war, captain.
Fol. Pooh, the plot's ripe ! come to your business, lad ;
Though guilt condemn, 'tis gilt must make us glad.
Maw. Nay, and you be at your distinctions, captain, I'll follow behind no longer.
Fol. Get you before, then, and whelm your nose with your vizard ; go.
[Exit Mawworm.
Now, grandsire, you that hold me at hard meat,
And keep me out at the dag's end, I'll fit you :
Under his lordship's leave, all must be mine
He and his will confesses ; what I take, then.
Is but a borrowing of so much beforehand ;
I'll pay him again when he dies in so many blacks; I'll have the church hung round with a noble a yard, or requite him in scutcheons : let him trap me in gold, and I'll lap him in lead ; quid pro quo. I must look none of his angels in the face, forsooth, until his face be not worth looking on . tut, lads, Let sires and grandsires keep us low, we must
Live when they're flesh, as well as when they're dust.
[Exeunt.
SCENE III.
A Room in the Courtesan's House.
Enter Courtesan and Servant.
Cour. Go, sirrah, run presently to master Penitent Brothel : you know his lodging; knock him up ; I know he cannot sleep for sighing ;
Tell him, I've happily bethought a mean
To make his purpose prosper in each limb,
Which only rests to be approv’d by him :
Make haste, I know he thirsts for't.
[Exeunt severally.
SCENE IV.
A Gallery.
Enter Follywit in a masking suit with a vizard in his hand.
[Within.] Oh!
Fol. Hark ! they're at their business.
[Within.] Thieves, thieves !
Fol. Gag that gaping rascal ! though he be my grandsire's chief gentleman i' th' chain of gold, I'll have no pity of him.
Enter Mawworm, Hoboy, and others, vizarded.
How now, lads ?
Maw. All's sure and safe ; on with your vizard, sir ; the servants are all bound.
Fol. There's one care past then : come, follow me, lads; I'll lead you now to the point and top of all your fortunes : yon lodging is my grandsire's.
Maw. So, so ; lead on, on !
Hob. Here's a captain worth the following, and a wit worth a man's love and admiring !
[Exeunt
SCENE V.
A Room opening into Sir Bounteous's Bed-chamber, from which enter Follywit, Mawworm, Hoboy, and others, dragging in Sir Bounteous in his night-gown.
Sir B. O gentlemen, and you be kind gentlemen, what countrymen are you ?
Fol. Lincolnshire men, sir.
Sir B. I am glad of that, i'faith.
Fol. And why should you be glad of that ?
Sir B. O, the honestest thieves of all come out of Lincolnshire, the kindest-natured gentlemen ; they'll rob a man with conscience ; they have a feeling of what they go about and will steal with tears in their eyes : ah, pitiful gentlemen !
Fol. Push, money, money ! we come for money.
Sir B. Is that all you come for ? Ah, what a beast was I to put out my money t'other day ! Alas, good gentlemen, what shift shall I make for you ? pray, come again another time.
Fol. Tut, tut, sir, money !
Sir B. O not so loud, sir ! you're too shrill a gentleman : I have a lord lies in my house ; I would not for the world his honour should be disquieted.
Fol. Who, my lord Owemuch ? we have took order with him beforehand ; he lies bound in his bed, and all his followers.
Sir B. Who, my lord ? bound my lord ? Alas, what did you mean to bind my lord ? he could keep his bed well enough without binding. You've undone me in't already, you need rob me no farther.
Fol. Which is the key ? come !
Sir B. Ah, I perceive now you're no true Lincolnshire spirits ! you come rather out of Bedfordshire ; we cannot lie quiet in our beds for you. So, take enough, my masters [they rifle his cabinets] : spur a free horse, my name's sir Bounteous ; a merry world, i'faith ; what knight but I keep open house at midnight ? Well, there should be a conscience, if one could hit upon't.
Fol. Away now ; seize upon him, bind him.
Sir B. Is this your court of equity ? why should I be bound for mine own money ? but come, come, bind me, I have need on't ; I have been too liberal to-night, keep in my hands [they bind him]: nay, as hard as you list ; I am too good to bear my lord company. You have watched your time, my masters ; I was knighted at Westminster, but many of these nights will make me a knight of Windsor. You've deserved so well, my masters, I bid you all to dinner to-morrow : I would I might have your companies, i'faith ; I desire no more.
Fol. O, ho, sir !
Sir B. Pray, meddle not with my organs, to put 'em out of tune.
Fol. O no, here's better music, sir.
Sir B. Ah, pox feast you !
Fol. Despatch with him, away ! [Exeunt Hoboy and others, carrying Sir Bounteous into the bedchamber.] – So, thank you, good grandsire ! This was bounteously done of him, i'faith : it came somewhat hard from him at first; for, indeed, nothing comes stiff from an old man but money : and he may well stand upon that, when he has nothing else to stand upon. Where's our portmantua ?
Maw. Here, bully captain.
Fol. In with the purchase, 'twill lie safe enough there under 's nose, I warrant you. –
Re-enter Hoboy and others.
What, is all sure ?
Hob. All's sure, captain.
Fol. You know what follows now, one villain binds his fellows; go, we must be all bound for our own securities, rascals. There's no dallying upo' th' point; you conceit me : there is a lord to be found bound in the morning, and all his followers; can you pick out that lord now ?
Maw. O admirable spirit !
Fol. You ne'er plot for your safeties, so your wants be satisfied.
Hob. But if we bind one another, how shall the last man be bound ?
Fol. Pox on't, I'll have the footman 'scape.
Foot. That's I ; I thank you, sir.
Fol. The footman, of all other, will be supposed to 'scape, for he comes in no bed all night, but lies in 's clothes, to be first ready i' the morning ; the horse and he lies in litter together, that's the right fashion of your bonny footman ; and his freedom will make the better for our purpose, for we must have one i' the morning to unbind the knight, that we may have our sport within ourselves. We now arrive at the most ticklish point, to rob, and take our ease, to be thieves, and lie by't : look to't, lads, it concerns every man's gullet ; I'll not have the jest spoiled, that's certain, though it hazard a windpipe. I'll either go like a lord as I came, or be hanged like a thief as I am ; and that's my resolution.
Maw. Troth, a match, captain, of all hands !
[Exeunt.
SCENE VI.
A Room in the Courtesan's House.
Enter Courtesan meeting Penitent Brothel.
Cour. O master Penitent Brothel !
Pen. B. What is't, sweet lady Gullman, that so seizes on thee with rapture and admiration ?
Cour. A thought, a trick, to make you, sir, especially happy, and yet I myself a saver by it.
Pen. B. I would embrace that, lady, with such courage, I would not leave you on the losing hand. Cour. I will give trust to you, sir. The cause, then, why I raised you from your bed so soon, wherein I know sighs would not let you sleep, thus understand it :
You love that woman, master Harebrain's wife.
Which no invented means can crown with freedom
For your desires and her own wish but this,
Which in my slumbers did present itself.
Pen. B. I'm covetous, lady.
Cour. You know her husband, lingering in suspect,
Locks her from all society but mine.
Pen. B. Most true.
Cour. I only am admitted ; yet hitherto that has done you no real happiness ; by my admittance I cannot perform that deed that should please you, you know : where- fore thus I've conveyed it, I'll counterfeit a fit of violent sickness.
Pen. B. Good.
Cour. Nay, 'tis not so good, by my faith, but to do you good.
Pen. B. And in that sense I called it : but take me with you, lady ; would it be probable enough to have a sickness so suddenly violent ?
Cour. Pooh, all the world knows women are soon down : we can be sick when we have a mind to't, catch an ague with the wind of our fans, surfeit upon the rump of a lark, and bestow ten pound in physic upon't : we're likest ourselves when we're down ; 'tis the easiest art and . cunning for our sect to counterfeit sick, that are always full of fits when we are well ; for since we were made for a weak, imperfect creature, we can fit that best that we are made for. I thus translated, and yourself slipt into the form of a physician
Pen. B. I a physician, lady ? talk not on't, I beseech you ; I shall shame the whole college.
Cour. Tut, man, any quacksalving terms will serve for this purpose ; for I am pitifully haunted with a brace of elder brothers, new perfumed in the first of their fortunes, and I shall see how forward their purses will be to the pleasing of my palate and restoring of my health. Lay on load enough upon 'em, and spare 'em not, for they're good plump fleshly asses, and may well enough bear it ; let gold, amber, and dissolved pearl, be common ingrediences, and that you cannot compose a cullice without 'em. Put but this cunningly in practice, it shall be both a sufficient recompense for all my pains in your love, and the ready means to make mistress Harebrain way, by the visiting of me, to your mutual desired company.
Pen. B. I applaud thee, kiss thee, and will constantly embrace it.
[Exeunt severally.
SCENE VII.
A Bed-chamber : Follywit, bound, in bed.
Sir B. [within.] Ho, Gumwater !
Fol. Singlestone !
[Within.] Jenkin, wa, ha, ho !
[Within.] Ewen!
[Within.] Simcod !
Fol. Footman ! whew !
Foot. [within.] O good your worship, let me help your good old worship !
Enter Sir Bounteous, with a cord half unbound, and Footman, assisting to loose him.
Sir B. Ah, poor honest footman ! how did'st thou 'scape this massacre ?
Foot. E'en by miracle, and lying in my clothes, sir.
Sir B. I think so ; I would I had lain in my clothes too, footman, so I had 'scaped 'em : I could have but risse like a beggar then, and so I do now, till more money come in ; but nothing afflicts me so much, my poor geometrical footman, as that the barbarous villains should lay violence upon my lord. Ah, the binding of my lord cuts my heart in two pieces ! So, so, 'tis well ; I thank thee : run to thy fellows ; undo 'em, undo 'em, undo 'em !
Foot. Alas, if my lord should miscarry, they're unbound already, sir ; they have no occupation but sleep, feed, and fart.
[Exit.
Sir B. If I be not ashamed to look my lord i' th' face, I’m a Saracen. – My lord !
Fol. Who's that?
Sir B. One may see he has been scared : a pox on 'em for their labours!
Fol. Singlestone !
Sir B. Singlestone ? I'll ne'er answer to that, i'faith.
Fol. Suchman !
Sir B. Suchman ? nor that neither, i'faith ; I am not brought so low, though I be old.
Fol. Who's that i' th' chamber ?
Sir B. Good morrow, my lord ; 'tis I.
Fol. Sir Bounteous, good morrow ; I would give you my hand, sir, but I cannot come at it. Is this the courtesy a' th' country, sir Bounteous ?
Sir B. Your lordship grieves me more than all my loss;
'Tis the unnatural'st sight that can be found,
To see a noble gentleman hard bound.
Fol. Trust me, I thought you had been better beloved, sir Bounteous; but I see you have enemies, sir, and your friends fare the worse for 'em. I like your talk better than your lodging ; I ne'er lay harder in a bed of down ; I have had a mad night's rest on't. Can you not guess what they should be, sir Bounteous ?
Sir B. Faith, Lincolnshire men, my lord.
Fol. How? fie, fie, believe it not, sir; these lie not far off, I warrant you.
Sir B. Think you so, my lord ? Fol. I'll be burnt and they do ; some that use to your house, sir, and are familiar with all the conveyances.
Sir B. This is the commodity of keeping open house, my lord ; that makes so many shut their doors about dinner-time.
Fol. They were resolute villains : I made myself known to 'em, told 'em what I was, gave 'em my honourable word not to disclose 'em –
Sir B. O saucy, unmannerly villains !
Fol. And think you the slaves would trust me upon my word ?
Sir B. They would not ?
Fol. Forsooth, no ; I must pardon 'em : they told me . lords' promises were mortal, and commonly die within half an hour after they are spoken ; they were but gristles, and not one amongst a hundred come to any full growth or perfection ; and therefore, though I were a lord, I must enter into bond.
Sir B. Insupportable rascals !
Fol. Troth, I'm of that mind. Sir Bounteous, you fared the worse for my coming hither.
Sir B. Ah, good my lord, but I'm sure your lordship fared the worse !
Fol. Pray, pity not me, sir.
Sir B. Is not your honour sore about the brawn of the arm ? a murrain meet 'em, I feel it !
Fol. About this place, sir Bounteous ?
Sir B. You feel as it were a twinge, my lord ?
Fol. Ay, e'en a twinge, you say right.
Sir B. A pox discover 'em, that twinge I feel too !
Fol. But that which disturbs me most, sir Bounteous, lies here.
Sir B. True ; about the wrist, a kind of tumid numbness.
Fol. You say true, sir.
Sir B. The reason of that, my lord, is, the pulses had no play.
Fol. Mass, so I guessed it.
Sir B. A mischief swell 'em, for I feel that too !
Enter Mawworm.
Maw. 'Slid, here's a house haunted indeed !
Sir B. A word with you, sir.
Fol. How now, Singlestone ?
Maw. I'm sorry, my lord, your worship has lost –
Sir B. Pup, pup, pup, pup, pup !
Fol. What have I lost ? speak.
Sir B. A good night's sleep, say.
Fol. Speak, what have I lost, I say ?
Maw. A good night's sleep, my lord, nothing else,
Fol. That's true ; my clothes, come.
Maw. My lord's clothes ! his honour's rising.
[Enter Hoboy and others with clothes : they retire to Follywit, behind the curtains, which are drawn.
Sir B. Hist, well said : come hither ; what has my lord lost ? tell me, speak softly.
Maw. His lordship must know that, sir.
Sir B. Hush ! prithee tell me.
Maw. 'Twill do you no pleasure to know't, sir.
Sir B. Yet again ? I desire it, I say.
Maw. Since your worship wiU needs know't, they have stolen away a jewel in a blue silk ribband of a hundred pound price, beside some hundred pounds in fair spur-royals.
Sir B. That's some two hundred i' th' total.
Maw. Your worship's much about it, sir.
Sir B. Come, follow me ; I'll make that whole again in so much money ; let not my lord know on't.
Maw. O pardon me, sir Bounteous ! that were a dis honour to my lord : should it come to his ear, I should hazard my undoing by it.
Sir B. How should it come to his ear ? if you be my lord's chief man about him, I hope you do not use to speak unless you be paid for't; and I had rather give you a councillor's double fee to hold your peace. Come, go to ; follow me, I say.
Maw. There will be scarce time to tell it, sir ; my lord will away instantly.
Sir B. His honour shall stay dinner, by his leave ; I'll prevail with him so far : and now I remember a jest, I bade the whoreson thieves to dinner last night; I would I might have their companies ; a pox poison em !
[Exit.
Maw. Faith, and you are like to have no other guess, sir Bounteous, if you have none but us ; I'll give you that gift, i'faith.
[Exit.
Contents

Finis