Arden of Feversham

Contents2020 Nov 14  21:36:53

 
Act 1Scene 1A room in Arden's house
 
Act 2Scene 1Country between Feversham and London
Scene 2London. A street near St. Paul's
 
Act 3Scene 1A room in Franklin's house, at Aldersgate
Scene 2Outside Franklin's house
Scene 3A room in Franklin's house as before
Scene 4Aldersgate
Scene 5Arden's house at Feversham
Scene 6Country near Rochester
 
Act 4Scene 1Arden's house at Feversham
Scene 2The Kentish coast opposite the Isle of Sheppy
Scene 3Another place on the coast
Scene 4The open country
 
Act 5Scene 1A street in Feversham
Scene 2An obscure street in London
Scene 3Arden's house at Feversham
Scene 4The Kentish coast
Scene 5Justice-room at Feversham
Scene 6Epilogue
 
Finis
 
Contents

ACT I

Scene 1

A room in Arden's house

Enter Arden and Franklin
1.1.1 Franklin
Arden, cheer up thy spirits and droop no more!
My gracious Lord, the Duke of Somerset,
Hath freely given to thee and to thy heirs,
By letters patents from his Majesty,
All the lands of the Abbey of Feversham.
Here are the deeds, [He hands them]
Sealed and subscribed with his name and the king's:
Read them and leave this melancholy mood.
1.1.9 Arden
Franklin, thy love prolongs my weary life;
And but for thee how odious were this life,
That shows me nothing but torments my soul,
And those foul objects that offend mine eyes!
Which makes me wish that for this veil of heaven
The earth hung over my head and covered me.
Love-letters pass 'twixt Mosbie and my wife,
And they have privy meetings in the town:
Nay, on his finger did I spy the ring
Which at our marriage-day the priest put on.
Can any grief be half so great as this?
1.1.20 Franklin
Comfort thyself, sweet friend; it is not strange
That women will be false and wavering.
1.1.22 Arden
Ay, but to dote on such a one as he
Is monstrous, Franklin and intolerable.
1.1.24 Franklin
Why, what is he?
1.1.25 Arden
A botcher and no better at the first;
Who, by base brokage getting some small stock,
Crept into service of a nobleman,
And by his servile flattery and fawning
Is now become the steward of his house,
And bravely jets it in his silken gown.
1.1.31 Franklin
No nobleman will countenance such a peasant.
1.1.32 Arden
Yes, the Lord Clifford, he that loves not me.
But through his favour let him not grow proud;
For were he by the Lord Protector backed,
He should not make me to be pointed at.
I am by birth a gentleman of blood,
And that injurious ribald, that attempts
To violate my dear wife's chastity
(For dear I hold her love, as dear as heaven)
Shall on the bed which he thinks to defile
See his dissevered joints and sinews torn,
Whilst on the planchers pants his weary body,
Smeared in the channels of his lustful blood.
1.1.44 Franklin
Be patient, gentle friend and learn of me
To ease thy grief and save her chastity:
Intreat her fair; sweet words are fittest engines
To race the flint walls of a woman's breast.
In any case be not too jealous,
Nor make no question of her love to thee;
But, as securely, presently take horse,
And lie with me at London all this term;
For women, when they may, will not,
But, being kept back, straight grow outrageous.
1.1.54 Arden
Though this abhors from reason, yet I'll try it,
And call her forth and presently take leave.
How! Alice!
Enter Alice
1.1.57 Alice
Husband, what mean you to get up so early?
Summer-nights are short and yet you rise ere day.
Had I been wake, you had not risen so soon.
1.1.60 Arden
Sweet love, thou knowest that we two, Ovid-like,
Have often chid the morning when it 'gan to peep,
And often wished that dark night's purblind steeds
Would pull her by the purple mantle back,
And cast her in the ocean to her love.
But this night, sweet Alice, thou hast killed my heart:
I heard thee call on Mosbie in thy sleep.
1.1.67 Alice
'Tis like I was asleep when I named him,
For being awake he comes not in my thoughts.
1.1.69 Arden
Ay, but you started up and suddenly,
Instead of him, caught me about the neck.
1.1.71 Alice
Instead of him? why, who was there but you?
And where but one is, how can I mistake?
1.1.73 Franklin
Arden, leave to urge her over-far.
1.1.74 Arden
Nay, love, there is no credit in a dream;
Let it suffice I know thou lovest me well.
1.1.76 Alice
Now I remember whereupon it came:
Had we no talk of Mosbie yesternight?
1.1.78 Franklin
Mistress Alice, I heard you name him once or twice.
1.1.79 Alice
And thereof came it and therefore blame not me.
1.1.80 Arden
I know it did and therefore let it pass.
I must to London, sweet Alice, presently.
1.1.82 Alice
But tell me, do you mean to stay there long?
1.1.83 Arden
No longer there till my affairs be done.
1.1.84 Franklin
He will not stay above a month at most.
1.1.85 Alice
A month? ay me! Sweet Arden, come again
Within a day or two, or else I die.
1.1.87 Arden
I cannot long be from thee, gentle Alice.
Whilst Michael fetch our horses from the field,
Franklin and I will down unto the quay;
For I have certain goods there to unload.
Meanwhile prepare our breakfast, gentle Alice;
For yet ere noon we'll take horse and away.
Exeunt Arden and Franklin
1.1.93 Alice
Ere noon he means to take horse and away!
Sweet news is this. O that some airy spirit
Would in the shape and likeness of a horse
Gallop with Arden 'cross the Ocean,
And throw him from his back into the waves!
Sweet Mosbie is the man that hath my heart:
And he usurps it, having nought but this,
That I am tied to him by marriage.
Love is a God and marriage is but words;
And therefore Mosbie's title is the best.
Tush! whether it be or no, he shall be mine,
In spite of him, of Hymen and of rites.
Enter Adam of the Flower-de-luce
And here comes Adam of the Flower-de-luce;
I hope he brings me tidings of my love.
– How now, Adam, what is the news with you?
Be not afraid; my husband is now from home.
1.1.109 Adam
He whom you wot of, Mosbie, Mistress Alice,
Is come to town and sends you word by me
In any case you may not visit him.
1.1.112 Alice
Not visit him?
1.1.113 Adam
No, nor take no knowledge of his being here.
1.1.114 Alice
But tell me, is he angry or displeased?
1.1.115 Adam
It should seem so, for he is wondrous sad.
1.1.116 Alice
Were he as mad as raving Hercules,
I'll see him, I; and were thy house of force,
These hands of mine should race it to the ground,
Unless that thou wouldst bring me to my love.
1.1.120 Adam
Nay, and you be so impatient, I'll be gone.
1.1.121 Alice
Stay, Adam, stay; thou wert wont to be my friend.
Ask Mosbie how I have incurred his wrath;
Bear him from me these pair of silver dice,
With which we played for kisses many a time,
And when I lost, I won and so did he; –
Such winning and such losing Jove send me!
And bid him, if his love do not decline,
To come this morning but along my door,
And as a stranger but salute me there:
This may he do without suspect or fear.
1.1.131 Adam
I'll tell him what you say and so farewell.
Exit Adam
1.1.132 Alice
Do, and one day I'll make amends for all. –
I know he loves me well, but dares not come,
Because my husband is so jealous,
And these my narrow-prying neighbours blab,
Hinder our meetings when we would confer.
But, if I live, that block shall be removed,
And, Mosbie, thou that comes to me by stealth,
Shalt neither fear the biting speech of men,
Nor Arden's looks; as surely shall he die
As I abhor him and love only thee.
Enter Michael
How now, Michael, whither are you going?
1.1.143 Michael
To fetch my master's nag.
I hope you'll think on me.
1.1.145 Alice
Ay; but, Michael, see you keep your oath,
And be as secret as you are resolute.
1.1.147 Michael
I'll see he shall not live above a week.
1.1.148 Alice
On that condition, Michael, here's my hand:
None shall have Mosbie's sister but thyself.
1.1.150 Michael
I understand the painter here hard by
Hath made report that he and Sue is sure.
1.1.152 Alice
There's no such matter, Michael; believe it not.
1.1.153 Michael
But he hath sent a dagger sticking in a heart,
With a verse or two stolen from a painted cloth,
The which I hear the wench keeps in her chest.
Well, let her keep it! I shall find a fellow
That can both write and read and make rhyme too.
And if I do – well, I say no more:
I'll send from London such a taunting letter
As she shall eat the heart he sent with salt
And fling the dagger at the painter's head.
1.1.162 Alice
What needs all this? I say that Susan's thine.
1.1.163 Michael
Why, then I say that I will kill my master,
Or anything that you will have me do.
1.1.165 Alice
But, Michael, see you do it cunningly.
1.1.166 Michael
Why, say I should be took, I'll ne'er confess
That you know anything; and Susan, being a maid,
May beg me from the gallows of the sheriff.
1.1.169 Alice
Trust not to that, Michael.
1.1.170 Michael
You cannot tell me, I have seen it, I.
But, mistress, tell her, whether I live or die,
I'll make her more worth than twenty painters can;
For I will rid mine elder brother away,
And then the farm of Bolton is mine own.
Who would not venture upon house and land,
When he may have it for a right down blow?
Enter Mosbie
1.1.177 Alice
Yonder comes Mosbie. Michael, get thee gone,
And let not him nor any know thy drifts.
Exit Michael
Mosbie, my love!
1.1.180 Mosbie
Away, I say and talk not to me now.
1.1.181 Alice
A word or two, sweet heart and then I will.
'Tis yet but early days, thou needst not fear.
1.1.183 Mosbie
Where is your husband?
1.1.184 Alice
'Tis now high water and he is at the quay.
1.1.185 Mosbie
There let him be; henceforward know me not.
1.1.186 Alice
Is this the end of all thy solemn oaths?
Is this the fruit thy reconcilement buds?
Have I for this given thee so many favours,
Incurred my husband's hate, and, out alas!
Made shipwreck of mine honour for thy sake?
And dost thou say 'henceforward know me not'?
Remember, when I lock'd thee in my closet,
What were thy words and mine; did we not both
Decree to murder Arden in the night?
The heavens can witness and the world can tell,
Before I saw that falsehood look of thine,
'Fore I was tangled with thy 'ticing speech,
Arden to me was dearer than my soul, –
And shall be still: base peasant, get thee gone,
And boast not of thy conquest over me,
Gotten by witchcraft and mere sorcery!
For what hast thou to countenance my love,
Being descended of a noble house,
And matched already with a gentleman
Whose servant thou may'st be! – and so farewell.
1.1.206 Mosbie
Ungentle and unkind Alice, now I see
That which I ever feared and find too true:
A woman's love is as the lightning-flame,
Which even in bursting forth consumes itself.
To try thy constancy have I been strange;
Would I had never tried, but lived in hope!
1.1.212 Alice
What need'st thou try me whom thou ne'er found false?
1.1.213 Mosbie
Yet pardon me, for love is jealous.
1.1.214 Alice
So lists the sailor to the mermaid's song,
So looks the traveller to the basilisk:
I am content for to be reconciled,
And that, I know, will be mine overthrow.
1.1.218 Mosbie
Thine overthrow? first let the world dissolve.
1.1.219 Alice
Nay, Mosbie, let me still enjoy thy love,
And happen what will, I am resolute.
My saving husband hoards up bags of gold
To make our children rich and now is he
Gone to unload the goods that shall be thine,
And he and Franklin will to London straight.
1.1.225 Mosbie
To London, Alice? if thou'lt be ruled by me,
We'll make him sure enough for coming there.
1.1.227 Alice
Ah, would we could!
1.1.228 Mosbie
I happened on a painter yesternight,
The only cunning man of Christendom;
For he can temper poison with his oil,
That whoso looks upon the work he draws
Shall, with the beams that issue from his sight,
Suck venom to his breast and slay himself.
Sweet Alice, he shall draw thy counterfeit,
That Arden may, by gazing on it, perish.
1.1.236 Alice
Ay, but Mosbie, that is dangerous,
For thou, or I, or any other else,
Coming into the chamber where it hangs, may die.
1.1.239 Mosbie
Ay, but we'll have it covered with a cloth
And hung up in the study for himself.
1.1.241 Alice
It may not be, for when the picture's drawn,
Arden, I know, will come and show it me.
1.1.243 Mosbie
Fear not; we'll have that shall serve the turn.
This is the painter's house; I'll call him forth.
1.1.245 Alice
But Mosbie, I'll have no such picture, I.
1.1.246 Mosbie
I pray thee leave it to my discretion.
How! Clarke!
Enter Clarke
Oh, you are an honest man of your word! you served me well.
1.1.249 Clarke
Why, sir, I'll do it for you at any time,
Provided, as you have given your word,
I may have Susan Mosbie to my wife.
For, as sharp-witted poets, whose sweet verse
Make heavenly gods break off their nectar draughts
And lay their ears down to the lowly earth,
Use humble promise to their sacred Muse,
So we that are the poets' favourites
Must have a love: ay, Love is the painter's muse,
That makes him frame a speaking countenance,
A weeping eye that witnesses heart's grief.
Then tell me, Master Mosbie, shall I have her?
1.1.261 Alice
'Tis pity but he should; he'll use her well.
1.1.262 Mosbie
Clarke, here's my hand: my sister shall be thine.
1.1.263 Clarke
Then, brother, to requite this courtesy,
You shall command my life, my skill and all.
1.1.265 Alice
Ah, that thou couldst be secret.
1.1.266 Mosbie
Fear him not; leave; I have talked sufficient
1.1.267 Clarke
You know not me that ask such questions.
Let it suffice I know you love him well,
And fain would have your husband made away:
Wherein, trust me, you show a noble mind,
That rather than you'll live with him you hate,
You'll venture life and die with him you love.
The like will I do for my Susan's sake.
1.1.274 Alice
Yet nothing could inforce me to the deed
But Mosbie's love. Might I without control
Enjoy thee still, then Arden should not die:
But seeing I cannot, therefore let him die.
1.1.278 Mosbie
Enough, sweet Alice; thy kind words makes me melt.
Your trick of poisoned pictures we dislike;
Some other poison would do better far.
1.1.281 Alice
Ay, such as might be put into his broth,
And yet in taste not to be found at all.
1.1.283 Clarke
I know your mind and here I have it for you.
Put but a dram of this into his drink,
Or any kind of broth that he shall eat,
And he shall die within an hour after.
1.1.287 Alice
As I am a gentlewoman, Clarke, next day
Thou and Susan shall be married.
1.1.289 Mosbie
And I'll make her dowry more than I'll talk of, Clarke.
1.1.290 Clarke
Yonder's your husband. Mosbie, I'll be gone.
Enter Arden and Franklin
1.1.291 Alice
In good time see where my husband comes.
Master Mosbie, ask him the question yourself.
Exit Clarke
1.1.293 Mosbie
Master Arden, being at London yesternight,
The Abbey lands, whereof you are now possessed,
Were offered me on some occasion
By Greene, one of Sir Antony Ager's men:
I pray you, sir, tell me, are not the lands yours?
Hath any other interest herein?
1.1.299 Arden
Mosbie, that question we'll decide anon.
Alice, make ready my breakfast, I must hence.
Exit Alice
As for the lands, Mosbie, they are mine
By letters patents from his Majesty.
But I must have a mandate for my wife;
They say you seek to rob me of her love:
Villain, what makes thou in her company?
She's no companion for so base a groom.
1.1.307 Mosbie
Arden, I thought not on her, I came to thee;
But rather than I pocket up this wrong –
1.1.309 Franklin
What will you do, sir?
1.1.310 Mosbie
Revenge it on the proudest of you both.
Then Arden draws forth Mosbie's sword
1.1.311 Arden
So, sirrah; you may not wear a sword,
The statute makes against artificers;
I warrant that I do. Now use your bodkin,
Your Spanish needle and your pressing iron,
For this shall go with me; and mark my words,
You goodman botcher, 'tis to you I speak:
The next time that I take thee near my house,
Instead of legs I'll make thee crawl on stumps.
1.1.319 Mosbie
Ah, Master Arden, you have injured me:
I do appeal to God and to the world.
1.1.321 Franklin
Why, canst thou deny thou wert a botcher once?
1.1.322 Mosbie
Measure me what I am, not what I was.
1.1.323 Arden
Why, what art thou now but a velvet drudge,
A cheating steward and base-minded peasant?
1.1.325 Mosbie
Arden, now thou hast belched and vomited
The rancorous venom of thy mis-swoll'n heart,
Hear me but speak: as I intend to live
With God and his elected saints in heaven,
I never meant more to solicit her;
And that she knows and all the world shall see.
I loved her once; – sweet Arden, pardon me,
I could not choose, her beauty fired my heart!
But time hath quenched these over-raging coals;
And, Arden, though I now frequent thy house,
'Tis for my sister's sake, her waiting-maid,
And not for hers. Mayest thou enjoy her long:
Hell-fire and wrathful vengeance light on me,
If I dishonour her or injure thee.
1.1.339 Arden
Mosbie, with these thy protestations
The deadly hatred of my heart's appeased,
And thou and I'll be friends, if this prove true.
As for the base terms I gave thee late,
Forget them, Mosbie: I had cause to speak,
When all the knights and gentlemen of Kent
Make common table-talk of her and thee.
1.1.346 Mosbie
Who lives that is not touched with slanderous tongues?
1.1.347 Franklin
Then, Mosbie, to eschew the speech of men,
Upon whose general bruit all honour hangs,
Forbear his house.
1.1.350 Arden
Forbear it! nay, rather frequent it more:
The world shall see that I distrust her not.
To warn him on the sudden from my house
Were to confirm the rumour that is grown.
1.1.354 Mosbie
By my faith, sir, you say true,
And therefore will I sojourn here a while,
Until our enemies have talked their fill;
And then, I hope, they'll cease and at last confess
How causeless they have injured her and me.
1.1.359 Arden
And I will lie at London all this term
To let them see how light I weigh their words.
Enter Alice
1.1.361 Alice
Husband, sit down; your breakfast will be cold.
1.1.362 Arden
Come, Master Mosbie, will you sit with us?
1.1.363 Mosbie
I cannot eat, but I'll sit for company.
1.1.364 Arden
Sirrah Michael, see our horse be ready.
1.1.365 Alice
Husband, why pause ye? why eat you not?
1.1.366 Arden
I am not well; there's something in this broth
That is not wholesome: didst thou make it, Alice?
1.1.368 Alice
I did and that's the cause it likes not you.
Then she throws down the broth on the ground
There's nothing that I do can please your taste;
You were best to say I would have poisoned you.
I cannot speak or cast aside my eye,
But he imagines I have stepped awry.
Here's he that you cast in my teeth so oft:
Now will I be convinced or purge myself.
I charge thee speak to this mistrustful man,
Thou that wouldst see me hang, thou, Mosbie, thou:
What favour hast thou had more than a kiss
At coming or departing from the town?
1.1.379 Mosbie
You wrong yourself and me to cast these doubts:
Your loving husband is not jealous.
1.1.381 Arden
Why, gentle Mistress Alice, cannot I be ill
But you'll accuse yourself?
Franklin, thou hast a box of mithridate;
I'll take a little to prevent the worst.
1.1.385 Franklin
Do so and let us presently take horse;
My life for yours, ye shall do well enough.
1.1.387 Alice
Give me a spoon, I'll eat of it myself;
Would it were full of poison to the brim,
Then should my cares and troubles have an end.
Was ever silly woman so tormented?
1.1.391 Arden
Be patient, sweet love; I mistrust not thee.
1.1.392 Alice
God will revenge it, Arden, if thou dost;
For never woman loved her husband better
Than I do thee.
1.1.395 Arden
I know it, sweet Alice; cease to complain,
Lest that in tears I answer thee again.
1.1.397 Franklin
Come, leave this dallying and let us away.
1.1.398 Alice
Forbear to wound me with that bitter word;
Arden shall go to London in my arms.
1.1.400 Arden
Loth am I to depart, yet I must go.
1.1.401 Alice
Wilt thou to London, then and leave me here?
Ah, if thou love me, gentle Arden, stay.
Yet, if thy business be of great import
Go, if thou wilt, I'll bear it as I may;
But write from London to me every week,
Nay, every day and stay no longer there
Than thou must needs, lest that I die for sorrow.
1.1.408 Arden
I'll write unto thee every other tide,
And so farewell, sweet Alice, till we meet next.
1.1.410 Alice
Farewell, husband, seeing you'll have it so;
And, Master Franklin, seeing you take him hence,
In hope you'll hasten him home, I'll give you this.
And then she kisseth him
1.1.413 Franklin
And if he stay, the fault shall not be mine.
Mosbie, farewell and see you keep your oath.
1.1.415 Mosbie
I hope he is not jealous of me now.
1.1.416 Arden
No, Mosbie, no; hereafter think of me
As of your dearest friend and so farewell.
Exeunt Arden, Franklin and Michael
1.1.418 Alice
I am glad he is gone; he was about to stay,
But did you mark me then how I brake off?
1.1.420 Mosbie
Ay, Alice and it was cunningly performed.
But what a villain is that painter Clarke!
1.1.422 Alice
Was it not a goodly poison that he gave?
Why, he's as well now as he was before.
It should have been some fine confection
That might have given the broth some dainty taste:
This powder was too gross and populous.
1.1.427 Mosbie
But had he eaten but three spoonfuls more,
Then had he died and our love continued.
1.1.429 Alice
Why, so it shall, Mosbie, albeit he live.
1.1.430 Mosbie
It is unpossible, for I have sworn
Never hereafter to solicit thee,
Or, whilst he lives, once more importune thee.
1.1.433 Alice
Thou shalt not need, I will importune thee.
What? shall an oath make thee forsake my love?
As if I have not sworn as much myself
And given my hand unto him in the church!
Tush, Mosbie; oaths are words and words is wind,
And wind is mutable: then, I conclude,
'Tis childishness to stand upon an oath.
1.1.440 Mosbie
Well proved, Mistress Alice; yet by your leave
I'll keep mine unbroken whilst he lives.
1.1.442 Alice
Ay, do and spare not, his time is but short;
For if thou beest as resolute as I,
We'll have him murdered as he walks the streets.
In London many alehouse ruffians keep,
Which, as I hear, will murder men for gold.
They shall be soundly fee'd to pay him home.
Enter Greene
1.1.448 Mosbie
Alice, what's he that comes yonder? knowest thou him?
1.1.449 Alice
Mosbie, be gone: I hope 'tis one that comes
To put in practice our intended drifts.
Exit Mosbie
1.1.451 Greene
Mistress Arden, you are well met.
I am sorry that your husband is from home,
Whenas my purposed journey was to him:
Yet all my labour is not spent in vain,
For I suppose that you can full discourse
And flat resolve me of the thing I seek.
1.1.457 Alice
What is it, Master Greene? If that I may
Or can with safety, I will answer you.
1.1.459 Greene
I heard your husband hath the grant of late,
Confirmed by letters patents from the king,
Of all the lands of the Abbey of Feversham,
Generally intitled, so that all former grants
Are cut off; whereof I myself had one;
But now my interest by that is void.
This is all, Mistress Arden; is it true or no?
1.1.466 Alice
True, Master Greene; the lands are his in state,
And whatsoever leases were before
Are void for term of Master Arden's life;
He hath the grant under the Chancery seal.
1.1.470 Greene
Pardon me, Mistress Arden, I must speak,
For I am touched. Your husband doth me wrong
To wring me from the little land I have.
My living is my life and only that
Resteth remainder of my portion.
Desire of wealth is endless in his mind,
And he is greedy-gaping still for gain;
Nor cares he though young gentlemen do beg,
So he may scrape and hoard up in his pouch.
But, seeing he hath ta'en my lands, I'll value life
As careless as he is careful for to get:
And tell him this from me, I'll be revenged,
And so as he shall wish the Abbey lands
Had rested still within their former state.
1.1.484 Alice
Alas, poor gentleman, I pity you,
And woe is me that any man should want!
God knows 'tis not my fault; but wonder not
Though he be hard to others, when to me, –
Ah, Master Greene, God knows how I am used.
1.1.489 Greene
Why, Mistress Arden, can the crabbed churl
Use you unkindly? respects he not your birth,
Your honourable friends, nor what you brought?
Why, all Kent knows your parentage and what you are.
1.1.493 Alice
Ah, Master Greene, be it spoken in secret here,
I never live good day with him alone:
When he's at home, then have I froward looks,
Hard words and blows to mend the match withal;
And though I might content as good a man,
Yet doth he keep in every corner trulls;
And when he's weary with his trugs at home,
Then rides he straight to London; there, forsooth,
He revels it among such filthy ones
As counsels him to make away his wife.
Thus live I daily in continual fear,
In sorrow; so despairing of redress
As every day I wish with hearty prayer
That he or I were taken forth the world.
1.1.507 Greene
Now trust me, Mistress Alice, it grieveth me
So fair a creature should be so abused.
Why, who would have thought the civil sir so sullen?
He looks so smoothly. Now, fie upon him, churl!
And if he live a day, he lives too long.
But frolic, woman! I shall be the man
Shall set you free from all this discontent;
And if the churl deny my interest
And will not yield my lease into my hand,
I'll pay him home, whatever hap to me.
1.1.517 Alice
But speak you as you think?
1.1.518 Greene
Ay, God's my witness, I mean plain dealing,
For I had rather die than lose my land.
1.1.520 Alice
Then, Master Greene, be counsellèd by me:
Indanger not yourself for such a churl,
But hire some cutter for to cut him short,
And here's ten pound to wager them withal;
When he is dead, you shall have twenty more,
And the lands whereof my husband is possess'd
Shall be intitled as they were before.
1.1.527 Greene
Will you keep promise with me?
1.1.528 Alice
Or count me false and perjured whilst I live.
1.1.529 Greene
Then here's my hand, I'll have him so dispatched.
I'll up to London straight, I'll thither post,
And never rest till I have compassed it.
Till then farewell.
1.1.533 Alice
Good fortune follow all your forward thoughts.
Exit Greene
And whosoever doth attempt the deed,
A happy hand I wish and so farewell. –
All this goes well: Mosbie, I long for thee
To let thee know all that I have contrived.
Enter Mosbie and Clarke
1.1.538 Mosbie
How, now, Alice, what's the news?
1.1.539 Alice
Such as will content thee well, sweetheart.
1.1.540 Mosbie
Well, let them pass a while and tell me, Alice,
How have you dealt and tempered with my sister?
What, will she have my neighbour Clarke, or no?
1.1.543 Alice
What, Master Mosbie! let him woo himself!
Think you that maids look not for fair words?
Go to her, Clarke; she's all alone within;
Michael my man is clean out of her books.
1.1.547 Clarke
I thank you, Mistress Arden, I will in;
And if fair Susan and I can make a gree,
You shall command me to the uttermost,
As far as either goods or life may stretch.
Exit Clarke
1.1.551 Mosbie
Now, Alice, let's hear thy news.
1.1.552 Alice
They be so good that I must laugh for joy,
Before I can begin to tell my tale.
1.1.554 Mosbie
Let's hear them, that I may laugh for company.
1.1.555 Alice
This morning, Master Greene, Dick Greene I mean,
From whom my husband had the Abbey land,
Came hither, railing, for to know the truth
Whether my husband had the lands by grant.
I told him all, whereat he stormed amain
And swore he would cry quittance with the churl,
And, if he did deny his interest,
Stab him, whatsoever did befall himself.
Whenas I saw his choler thus to rise,
I whetted on the gentleman with words;
And, to conclude, Mosbie, at last we grew
To composition for my husband's death.
I gave him ten pound for to hire knaves,
By some device to make away the churl;
When he is dead, he should have twenty more
And repossess his former lands again.
On this we 'greed and he is ridden straight
To London, for to bring his death about.
1.1.573 Mosbie
But call you this good news?
1.1.574 Alice
Ay, sweetheart, be they not?
1.1.575 Mosbie
'Twere cheerful news to hear the churl were dead;
But trust me, Alice, I take it passing ill
You would be so forgetful of our state
To make recount of it to every groom.
What! to acquaint each stranger with our drifts,
Chiefly in case of murder, why, 'tis the way
To make it open unto Arden's self
And bring thyself and me to ruin both.
Forewarned, forearmed; who threats his enemy,
Lends him a sword to guard himself withal.
1.1.585 Alice
I did it for the best.
1.1.586 Mosbie
Well, seeing 'tis done, cheerly let it pass.
You know this Greene; is he not religious?
A man, I guess, of great devotion?
1.1.589 Alice
He is.
1.1.590 Mosbie
Then, sweet Alice, let it pass: I have a drift
Will quiet all, whatever is amiss.
Enter Clarke and Susan
1.1.592 Alice
How now, Clarke? have you found me false?
Did I not plead the matter hard for you?
1.1.594 Clarke
You did.
1.1.595 Mosbie
And what? wilt be a match?
1.1.596 Clarke
A match, i' faith, sir: ay, the day is mine.
The painter lays his colours to the life,
His pencil draws no shadows in his love.
Susan is mine.
1.1.600 Alice
You make her blush.
1.1.601 Mosbie
What, sister, is it Clarke must be the man?
1.1.602 Susan
It resteth in your grant; some words are past,
And haply we be grown unto a match,
If you be willing that it shall be so.
1.1.605 Mosbie
Ah, Master Clarke, it resteth at my grant:
You see my sister's yet at my dispose,
But, so you'll grant me one thing I shall ask,
I am content my sister shall be yours.
1.1.609 Clarke
What is it, Master Mosbie?
1.1.610 Mosbie
I do remember once in secret talk
You told me how you could compound by art
A crucifix impoisoned,
That whoso look upon it should wax blind
And with the scent be stifled, that ere long
He should die poisoned that did view it well.
I would have you make me such a crucifix.
And then I'll grant my sister shall be yours.
1.1.618 Clarke
Though I am loth, because it toucheth life,
Yet, rather or I'll leave sweet Susan's love,
I'll do it and with all the haste I may.
But for whom is it?
1.1.622 Alice
Leave that to us. Why, Clarke, is it possible
That you should paint and draw it out yourself,
The colours being baleful and impoisoned,
And no ways prejudice yourself withal?
1.1.626 Mosbie
Well questioned, Alice; Clarke, how answer you that?
1.1.627 Clarke
Very easily: I'll tell you straight
How I do work of these impoisoned drugs.
I fasten on my spectacles so close
As nothing can any way offend my sight;
Then, as I put a leaf within my nose,
So put I rhubarb to avoid the smell,
And softly as another work I paint.
1.1.634 Mosbie
'Tis very well; but against when shall I have it?
1.1.635 Clarke
Within this ten days.
1.1.636 Mosbie
'Twill serve the turn.
Now, Alice, let's in and see what cheer you keep.
I hope, now Master Arden is from home,
You'll give me leave to play your husband's part.
1.1.640 Alice
Mosbie, you know, who's master of my heart,
He well may be the master of the house.
Exeunt
Contents

ACT II

Scene 1

Country between Feversham and London

Enter Greene and Bradshaw
2.1.1 Bradshaw
See you them that comes yonder, Master Greene?
2.1.2 Greene
Ay, very well: do you know them?
Enter Black Will and Shakebag
2.1.3 Bradshaw
The one I know not, but he seems a knave
Chiefly for bearing the other company;
For such a slave, so vile a rogue as he,
Lives not again upon the earth.
Black Will is his name. I tell you, Master Greene,
At Boulogne he and I were fellow-soldiers,
Where he played such pranks
As all the camp feared him for his villainy
I warrant you he bears so bad a mind
That for a crown he'll murder any man.
2.1.13 Greene
The fitter is he for my purpose, marry!
2.1.14 Will
How now, fellow Bradshaw? Whither away so early?
2.1.15 Bradshaw
O Will, times are changed: no fellows now,
Though we were once together in the field;
Yet thy friend to do thee any good I can.
2.1.18 Will
Why, Bradshaw, was not thou and I fellow-soldiers
at Boulogne, where I was a corporal, and
thou but a base mercenary groom? No fellows
now! because you are a goldsmith and have a little
plate in your shop! You were glad to call me
'fellow Will,' and with a curtsey to the earth, 'One
snatch, good corporal,' when I stole the half ox
from John the victualer and domineer'd with it
amongst good fellows in one night.
2.1.27 Bradshaw
Ay, Will, those days are past with me.
2.1.28 Will
Ay, but they be not past with me, for I keep that
same honourable mind still. Good neighbour Bradshaw,
you are too proud to be my fellow; but were
it not that I see more company coming down the
hill, I would be fellows with you once more, and
share crowns with you too. But let that pass, and
tell me whither you go.
2.1.35 Bradshaw
To London, Will, about a piece of service,
Wherein haply thou mayest pleasure me.
2.1.37 Will
What is it?
2.1.38 Bradshaw
Of late Lord Cheiny lost some plate,
Which one did bring and sold it at my shop,
Saying he served Sir Antony Cooke.
A search was made, the plate was found with me,
And I am bound to answer at the 'size.
Now, Lord Cheiny solemnly vows, if law
Will serve him, he'll hang me for his plate.
Now I am going to London upon hope
To find the fellow. Now, Will, I know
Thou art acquainted with such companions.
2.1.48 Will
What manner of man was he?
2.1.49 Bradshaw
A lean-faced writhen knave,
Hawk-nosed and very hollow-eyed,
With mighty furrows in his stormy brows;
Long hair down his shoulders curled;
His chin was bare, but on his upper lip
A mutchado, which he wound about his ear.
2.1.55 Will
What apparel had he?
2.1.56 Bradshaw
A watchet satin doublet all-to torn,
The inner side did bear the greater show;
A pair of thread-bare velvet hose, seam rent,
A worsted stocking rent above the shoe,
A livery cloak, but all the lace was off;
'Twas bad, but yet it served to hide the plate.
2.1.62 Will
Sirrah Shakebag, canst thou remember since we
trolled the bowl at Sittingburgh, where I broke the
tapster's head of the Lion with a cudgel-stick?
2.1.65 Shakebag
Ay, very well, Will.
2.1.66 Will
Why, it was with the money that the plate was
sold for. Sirrah Bradshaw, what wilt thou give him
that can tell thee who sold thy plate?
2.1.69 Bradshaw
Who, I pray thee, good Will?
2.1.70 Will
Why, 'twas one Jack Fitten. He's now in Newgate
for stealing a horse and shall be arraigned the next 'size.
2.1.72 Bradshaw
Why, then let Lord Cheiny seek Jack Fitten forth,
For I'll back and tell him who robbed him of his plate.
This cheers my heart; Master Greene, I'll leave you,
For I must to the Isle of Sheppy with speed.
2.1.76 Greene
Before you go, let me intreat you
To carry this letter to Mistress Arden of Feversham
And humbly recommend me to herself.
2.1.79 Bradshaw
That will I, Master Greene and so farewell.
Here, Will, there's a crown for thy good news.
Exit Bradshaw
2.1.81 Will
Farewell, Bradshaw; I'll drink no water for thy
sake whilst this lasts. – Now, gentleman, shall we
have your company to London?
2.1.84 Greene
Nay, stay, sirs:
A little more I needs must use your help,
And in a matter of great consequence,
Wherein if you'll be secret and profound,
I'll give you twenty angels for your pains.
2.1.89 Will
How? twenty angels? give my fellow George
Shakebag and me twenty angels? And if thou'lt
have thy own father slain, that thou may'st inherit
his land, we'll kill him.
2.1.93 Shakebag
Ay, thy mother, thy sister, thy brother,
or all thy kin.
2.1.95 Greene
Well, this it is: Arden of Feversham
Hath highly wronged me about the Abbey land,
That no revenge but death will serve the turn.
Will you two kill him? here's the angels down,
And I will lay the platform of his death.
2.1.100 Will
Plat me no platforms; give me the money, and
I'll stab him as he stands pissing against a wall, but
I'll kill him.
2.1.103 Shakebag
Where is he?
2.1.104 Greene
He is now at London, in Aldersgate Street.
2.1.105 Shakebag
He's dead as if he had been condemned by
an Act of Parliament, if once Black Will and I
swear his death.
2.1.108 Greene
Here is ten pound and when he is dead,
Ye shall have twenty more.
2.1.110 Will
My fingers itches to be at the peasant. Ah, that
I might be set a work thus through the year, and
that murder would grow to an occupation, that a
man might follow without danger of law: – zounds, I
warrant I should be warden of the company! Come,
let us be going and we'll bait at Rochester, where
I'll give thee a gallon of sack to handsel the match
withal.
Exeunt
Contents

ACT II

Scene 2

London. A street near St. Paul's

Enter Michael
2.2.1 Michael
I have gotten such a letter as will touch the
painter: And thus it is:
Enter Arden and Franklin and hears Michael read this letter
'My duty remembered, Mistress Susan, hoping in God
you be in good health, as I Michael was at the
making hereof. This is to certify you that as the
turtle true, when she hath lost her mate, sitteth
alone, so I, mourning for your absence, do walk
up and down Paul's till one day I fell asleep and
lost my master's pantofles. Ah, Mistress Susan,
abolish that paltry painter, cut him off by the
shins with a frowning look of your crabbed countenance,
and think upon Michael, who, drunk with
the dregs of your favour, will cleave as fast to your
love as a plaster of pitch to a galled horse-back.
Thus hoping you will let my passions penetrate, or
rather impetrate mercy of your meek hands, I end.
'Yours, Michael, or else not Michael.'
2.2.18 Arden
Why, you paltry knave,
Stand you here loitering, knowing my affairs,
What haste my business craves to send to Kent?
2.2.21 Franklin
Faith, friend Michael, this is very ill,
Knowing your master hath no more but you,
And do ye slack his business for your own?
2.2.24 Arden
Where is the letter, sirrah? let me see it.
Then he gives him the letter
See, Master Franklin, here's proper stuff:
Susan my maid, the painter and my man,
A crew of harlots, all in love, forsooth;
Sirrah, let me hear no more of this,
Nor for thy life once write to her a word.
Enter Greene, Will and Shakebag
Wilt thou be married to so base a trull?
'Tis Mosbie's sister: come I once at home,
I'll rouse her from remaining in my house.
Now, Master Franklin, let us go walk in Paul's;
Come but a turn or two and then away.
Exeunt
2.2.35 Greene
The first is Arden and that's his man,
The other is Franklin, Arden's dearest friend.
2.2.37 Will
Zounds, I'll kill them all three.
2.2.38 Greene
Nay, sirs, touch not his man in any case;
But stand close and take you fittest standing,
And at his coming forth speed him:
To the Nag's Head, there is this coward's haunt.
But now I'll leave you till the deed be done.
Exit Greene
2.2.43 Shakebag
If he be not paid his own, ne'er trust Shakebag.
2.2.44 Will
Sirrah Shakebag, at his coming forth I'll run him
through and then to the Blackfriars and there
take water and away.
2.2.47 Shakebag
Why, that's the best; but see thou miss him not.
2.2.48 Will
How can I miss him, when I think on the forty
angels I must have more?
Enter Prentice
2.2.50 Prentice
'Tis very late; I were best shut up my stall,
for here will be old filching, when the press comes
forth of Paul's.
Then lets he down his window and it breaks Black Will's head
2.2.53 Will
Zounds, draw, Shakebag, I am almost killed.
2.2.54 Prentice
We'll tame you, I warrant.
2.2.55 Will
Zounds, I am tame enough already.
Enter Arden, Franklin and Michael
2.2.56 Arden
What troublesome fray or mutiny is this?
2.2.57 Franklin
'Tis nothing but some brabling paltry fray,
Devised to pick men's pockets in the throng.
2.2.59 Arden
Is't nothing else? come, Franklin, let's away.
Exeunt
2.2.60 Will
What 'mends shall I have for my broken head?
2.2.61 Prentice
Marry, this 'mends, that if you get you not
away all the sooner, you shall be well beaten and
sent to the Counter.
Exit Prentice
2.2.64 Will
Well, I'll be gone, but look to your signs, for I'll
pull them down all. Shakebag, my broken head
grieves me not so much as by this means Arden
hath escaped.
Enter Greene
I had a glimpse of him and his companion.
2.2.69 Greene
Why, sirs, Arden's as well as I; I met him and
Franklin going merrily to the ordinary. What, dare
you not do it?
2.2.72 Will
Yes, sir, we dare do it; but, were my consent to
give again, we would not do it under ten pound
more. I value every drop of my blood at a French
crown. I have had ten pound to steal a dog and we
have no more here to kill a man; but that a bargain
is a bargain and so forth, you should do it yourself.
2.2.78 Greene
I pray thee, how came thy head broke?
2.2.79 Will
Why, thou seest it is broke, dost thou not?
2.2.80 Shakebag
Standing against a stall, watching Arden's
coming, a boy let down his shop-window and broke
his head; whereupon arose a brawl and in the
tumult Arden escaped us and passed by unthought
on. But forbearance is no acquittance; another
time we'll do it, I warrant thee.
2.2.86 Greene
I pray thee, Will, make clean thy bloody brow,
And let us bethink us on some other place
Where Arden may be met with handsomely.
Remember how devoutly thou hast sworn
To kill the villain; think upon thine oath.
2.2.91 Will
Tush, I have broken five hundred oaths!
But wouldst thou charm me to effect this deed,
Tell me of gold, my resolution's fee;
Say thou seest Mosbie kneeling at my knees,
Offering me service for my high attempt,
And sweet Alice Arden, with a lap of crowns,
Comes with a lowly curtsey to the earth,
Saying 'Take this but for thy quarterage,
Such yearly tribute will I answer thee.'
Why, this would steel soft-mettled cowardice,
With which Black Will was never tainted yet.
I tell thee, Greene, the forlorn traveller,
Whose lips are glued with summer's parching heat,
Ne'er longed so much to see a running brook
As I to finish Arden's tragedy.
Seest thou this gore that cleaveth to my face?
From hence ne'er will I wash this bloody stain,
Till Arden's heart be panting in my hand.
2.2.109 Greene
Why, that's well said; but what saith Shakebag?
2.2.110 Shakebag
I cannot paint my valour out with words:
But, give me place and opportunity,
Such mercy as the starven lioness,
When she is dry sucked of her eager young,
Shows to the prey that next encounters her,
On Arden so much pity would I take.
2.2.116 Greene
So should it fare with men of firm resolve.
And now, sirs, seeing that this accident
Of meeting him in Paul's hath no success,
Let us bethink us of some other place
Whose earth may swallow up this Arden's blood.
Enter Michael
See, yonder comes his man: and wot you what?
The foolish knave's in love with Mosbie's sister,
And for her sake, whose love he cannot get
Unless Mosbie solicit his suit,
The villain hath sworn the slaughter of his master.
We'll question him, for he may stead us much, –
How now, Michael, whither are you going?
2.2.128 Michael
My master hath new supped,
And I am going to prepare his chamber.
2.2.130 Greene
Where supped Master Arden?
2.2.131 Michael
At the Nag's Head, at the eighteen pence
ordinary. How now, Master Shakebag? what,
Black Will! God's dear lady, how chance your
face is so bloody?
2.2.135 Will
Go to, sirrah, there is a chance in it; this sauciness
in you will make you be knocked.
2.2.137 Michael
Nay, an you be offended, I'll be gone.
2.2.138 Greene
Stay, Michael, you may not escape us so.
Michael, I know you love your master well.
2.2.140 Michael
Why, so I do; but wherefore urge you that?
2.2.141 Greene
Because I think you love your mistress better.
2.2.142 Michael
So think not I; but say, i' faith, what, if I should?
2.2.143 Shakebag
Come to the purpose, Michael; we hear
You have a pretty love in Feversham.
2.2.145 Michael
Why, have I two or three, what's that to thee!
2.2.146 Will
You deal too mildly with the peasant. Thus it is:
'Tis known to us that you love Mosbie's sister;
We know besides that you have ta'en your oath
To further Mosbie to your mistress' bed,
And kill your master for his sister's sake.
Now, sir, a poorer coward than yourself
Was never fostered in the coast of Kent:
How comes it then that such a knave as you
Dare swear a matter of such consequence?
2.2.155 Greene
Ah, Will –
2.2.156 Will
Tush, give me leave, there's no more but this:
Sith thou hast sworn, we dare discover all;
And hadst thou or should'st thou utter it,
We have devised a complat under hand,
Whatever shall betide to any of us,
To send thee roundly to the devil of hell.
And therefore thus: I am the very man,
Marked in my birth-hour by the destinies,
To give an end to Arden's life on earth;
Thou but a member but to whet the knife
Whose edge must search the closet of his breast:
Thy office is but to appoint the place,
And train thy master to his tragedy;
Mine to perform it when occasion serves.
Then be not nice, but here devise with us
How and what way we may conclude his death.
2.2.172 Shakebag
So shalt thou purchase Mosbie for thy friend,
And by his friendship gain his sister's love.
2.2.174 Greene
So shall thy mistress be thy favourer,
And thou disburdened of the oath thou made.
2.2.176 Michael
Well, gentlemen, I cannot but confess,
Sith you have urged me so apparently,
That I have vowed my master Arden's death;
And he whose kindly love and liberal hand
Doth challenge nought but good deserts of me,
I will deliver over to your hands.
This night come to his house at Aldersgate:
The doors I'll leave unlock'd against you come.
No sooner shall ye enter through the latch,
Over the threshold to the inner court,
But on your left hand shall you see the stairs
That leads directly to my master's chamber:
There take him and dispose him as ye please.
Now it were good we parted company;
What I have promised, I will perform.
2.2.191 Will
Should you deceive us, 'twould go wrong with you.
2.2.192 Michael
I will accomplish all I have revealed.
2.2.193 Will
Come, let's go drink: choler makes me as dry as a dog.
Exeunt Will, Greene and Shakebag. Manet Michael
2.2.194 Michael
Thus feeds the lamb securely on the down,
Whilst through the thicket of an arbour brake
The hunger-bitten wolf o'erpries his haunt
And takes advantage for to eat him up.
Ah, harmless Arden, how hast thou misdone,
That thus thy gentle life is levelled at?
The many good turns that thou hast done to me.
Now must I quittance with betraying thee.
I that should take the weapon in my hand
And buckler thee from ill-intending foes,
Do lead thee with a wicked fraudful smile,
As unsuspected, to the slaughter-house.
So have I sworn to Mosbie and my mistress,
So have I promised to the slaughtermen;
And should I not deal currently with them,
Their lawless rage would take revenge on me.
Tush, I will spurn at mercy for this once:
Let pity lodge where feeble women lie,
I am resolved and Arden needs must die.
Exit Michael
Contents

ACT III

Scene 1

A room in Franklin's house, at Aldersgate

Enter Arden and Franklin
3.1.1 Arden
No, Franklin, no: if fear or stormy threats,
If love of me or care of womanhood,
If fear of God or common speech of men,
Who mangle credit with their wounding words,
And couch dishonour as dishonour buds,
Might join repentance in her wanton thoughts,
No question then but she would turn the leaf
And sorrow for her dissolution;
But she is rooted in her wickedness,
Perverse and stubborn, not to be reclaimed;
Good counsel is to her as rain to weeds,
And reprehension makes her vice to grow
As Hydra's head that plenished by decay.
Her faults, methink, are painted in my face,
For every searching eye to overread;
And Mosbie's name, a scandal unto mine,
Is deeply trenchèd in my blushing brow.
Ah, Franklin, Franklin, when I think on this,
My heart's grief rends my other powers
Worse than the conflict at the hour of death.
3.1.21 Franklin
Gentle Arden, leave this sad lament:
She will amend and so your griefs will cease;
Or else she'll die and so your sorrows end.
If neither of these two do haply fall,
Yet let your comfort be that others bear
Your woes, twice doubled all, with patience.
3.1.27 Arden
My house is irksome; there I cannot rest.
3.1.28 Franklin
Then stay with me in London; go not home.
3.1.29 Arden
Then that base Mosbie doth usurp my room
And makes his triumph of my being thence.
At home or not at home, where'er I be,
Here, here it lies, ah Franklin, here it lies
That will not out till wretched Arden dies.
Enter Michael
3.1.34 Franklin
Forget your griefs a while; here comes your man.
3.1.35 Arden
What a-clock is't, sirrah?
3.1.36 Michael
Almost ten.
3.1.37 Arden
See, see, how runs away the weary time!
Come, Master Franklin, shall we go to bed?
Exeunt Arden and Michael. Manet Franklin
3.1.39 Franklin
I pray you, go before: I'll follow you.
– Ah, what a hell is fretful jealousy!
What pity-moving words, what deep-fetched sighs,
What grievous groans and overlading woes
Accompanies this gentle gentleman!
Now will he shake his care-oppressèd head,
Then fix his sad eyes on the sullen earth,
Ashamed to gaze upon the open world;
Now will he cast his eyes up towards the heavens,
Looking that ways for redress of wrong:
Sometimes he seeketh to beguile his grief
And tells a story with his careful tongue;
Then comes his wife's dishonour in his thoughts
And in the middle cutteth off his tale,
Pouring fresh sorrow on his weary limbs.
So woe-begone, so inly charged with woe,
Was never any lived and bare it so.
Enter Michael
3.1.56 Michael
My master would desire you come to bed.
3.1.57 Franklin
Is he himself already in his bed?
Exit Franklin. Manet Michael
3.1.58 Michael
He is and fain would have the light away.
– Conflicting thoughts, encampèd in my breast,
Awake me with the echo of their strokes,
And I, a judge to censure either side,
Can give to neither wishèd victory.
My master's kindness pleads to me for life
With just demand and I must grant it him:
My mistress she hath forced me with an oath,
For Susan's sake, the which I may not break,
For that is nearer than a master's love:
That grim-faced fellow, pitiless Black Will,
And Shakebag, stern in bloody stratagem,
– Two rougher ruffians never lived in Kent, –
Have sworn my death, if I infringe my vow,
A dreadful thing to be considered of.
Methinks I see them with their bolstered hair
Staring and grinning in thy gentle face,
And in their ruthless hands their daggers drawn,
Insulting o'er thee with a peck of oaths,
Whilst thou submissive, pleading for relief,
Art mangled by their ireful instruments.
Methinks I hear them ask where Michael is,
And pitiless Black Will cries: 'Stab the slave!
The peasant will detect the tragedy!'
The wrinkles in his foul death-threat'ning face
Gapes open wide, like graves to swallow men.
My death to him is but a merriment,
And he will murder me to make him sport.
He comes, he comes! ah. Master Franklin, help!
Call on the neighbours, or we are but dead!
Enter Franklin and Arden
3.1.88 Franklin
What dismal outcry calls me from my rest?
3.1.89 Arden
What hath occasioned such a fearful cry?
Speak, Michael: hath any injured thee?
3.1.91 Michael
Nothing, sir; but as I fell asleep,
Upon the threshold leaning to the stairs,
I had a fearful dream that troubled me,
And in my slumber thought I was beset
With murderer thieves that came to rifle me.
My trembling joints witness my inward fear:
I crave your pardons for disturbing you.
3.1.98 Arden
So great a cry for nothing I ne'er heard.
What? are the doors fast locked and all things safe?
3.1.100 Michael
I cannot tell; I think I locked the doors.
3.1.101 Arden
I like not this, but I'll go see myself. –
Ne'er trust me but the doors were all unlocked:
This negligence not half contenteth me.
Get you to bed and if you love my favour,
Let me have no more such pranks as these.
Come, Master Franklin, let us go to bed.
3.1.107 Franklin
Ay, by my faith; the air is very cold.
Michael, farewell; I pray thee dream no more.
Exeunt
Contents

ACT III

Scene 2

Outside Franklin's house

Enter Will, Greene and Shakebag
3.2.1 Shakebag
Black night hath hid the pleasures of the day,
And sheeting darkness overhangs the earth,
And with the black fold of her cloudy robe
Obscures us from the eyesight of the world,
In which sweet silence such as we triumph.
The lazy minutes linger on their time,
As loth to give due audit to the hour,
Till in the watch our purpose be complete
And Arden sent to everlasting night.
Greene, get you gone and linger here about,
And at some hour hence come to us again,
Where we will give you instance of his death.
3.2.13 Greene
Speed to my wish, whose will so e'er says no;
And so I'll leave you for an hour or two.
Exit Greene
3.2.15 Will
I tell thee, Shakebag, would this thing were done:
I am so heavy that I can scarce go;
This drowsiness in me bodes little good.
3.2.18 Shakebag
How now, Will? become a precisian?
Nay, then let's go sleep, when bugs and fears
Shall kill our courages with their fancy's work.
3.2.21 Will
Why, Shakebag, thou mistakes me much,
And wrongs me too in telling me of fear.
Were't not a serious thing we go about,
It should be slipt till I had fought with thee,
To let thee know I am no coward, I.
I tell thee, Shakebag, thou abusest me.
3.2.27 Shakebag
Why, thy speech bewrayed an inly kind of fear,
And savoured of a weak relenting spirit.
Go forward now in that we have begun,
And afterwards attempt me when thou darest.
3.2.31 Will
And if I do not, heaven cut me off!
But let that pass and show me to this house,
Where thou shalt see I'll do as much as Shakebag.
3.2.34 Shakebag
This is the door; but soft, methinks 'tis shut.
The villain Michael hath deceived us.
3.2.36 Will
Soft, let me see, Shakebag; 'tis shut indeed.
Knock with thy sword, perhaps the slave will hear.
3.2.38 Shakebag
It will not be; the white-livered peasant
Is gone to bed and laughs us both to scorn.
3.2.40 Will
And he shall buy his merriment as dear
As ever coistril bought so little sport:
Ne'er let this sword assist me when I need,
But rust and canker after I have sworn,
If I, the next time that I meet the hind,
Lop not away his leg, his arm, or both.
3.2.46 Shakebag
And let me never draw a sword again,
Nor prosper in the twilight, cockshut light,
When I would fleece the wealthy passenger,
But lie and languish in a loathsome den,
Hated and spit at by the goers-by,
And in that death may die unpitied,
If I, the next time that I meet the slave,
Cut not the nose from off the coward's face
And trample on it for this villainy.
3.2.55 Will
Come, let's go seek out Greene; I know he'll swear.
3.2.56 Shakebag
He were a villain, an he would not swear.
'Twould make a peasant swear among his boys,
That ne'er durst say before but 'yea' and 'no,'
To be thus flouted of a coistril.
3.2.60 Will
Shakebag, let's seek out Greene and in the morning
At the alehouse butting Arden's house
Watch the out-coming of that prick-eared cur,
And then let me alone to handle him.
Exeunt
Contents

ACT III

Scene 3

A room in Franklin's house as before

Enter Arden, Franklin and Michael
3.3.1 Arden
Sirrah, get you back to Billingsgate
And learn what time the tide will serve our turn;
Come to us in Paul's. First go make the bed,
And afterwards go hearken for the flood.
Exit Michael
Come, Master Franklin, you shall go with me.
This night I dreamt that, being in a park,
A toil was pitched to overthrow the deer,
And I upon a little rising hill
Stood whistly watching for the herd's approach.
Even there, methoughts, a gentle slumber took me,
And summoned all my parts to sweet repose;
But in the pleasure of this golden rest
An ill-thewed foster had removed the toil,
And rounded me with that beguiling home
Which late, methought, was pitched to cast the deer.
With that he blew an evil-sounding horn,
And at the noise another herdman came,
With falchion drawn and bent it at my breast,
Crying aloud, 'Thou art the game we seek!'
With this I woke and trembled every joint,
Like one obscured in a little bush,
That sees a lion foraging about,
And, when the dreadful forest-king is gone,
He pries about with timorous suspect
Throughout the thorny casements of the brake,
And will not think his person dangerless,
But quakes and shivers, though the cause be gone:
So, trust me, Franklin, when I did awake,
I stood in doubt whether I waked or no:
Such great impression took this fond surprise.
God grant this vision bedeem me any good.
3.3.32 Franklin
This fantasy doth rise from Michael's fear,
Who being awaked with the noise he made,
His troubled senses yet could take no rest;
And this, I warrant you, procured your dream.
3.3.36 Arden
It may be so, God frame it to the best:
But oftentimes my dreams presage too true.
3.3.38 Franklin
To such as note their nightly fantasies,
Some one in twenty may incur belief;
But use it not, 'tis but a mockery.
3.3.41 Arden
Come, Master Franklin; we'll now walk in Paul's
And dine together at the ordinary,
And by my man's direction draw to the quay,
And with the tide go down to Feversham.
Say, Master Franklin, shall it not be so?
3.3.46 Franklin
At your good pleasure, sir; I'll bear you company.
Exeunt
Contents

ACT III

Scene 4

Aldersgate

Enter Michael at one door and Greene, Will and Shakebag at another door
3.4.1 Will
Draw, Shakebag, for here's that villain Michael.
3.4.2 Greene
First, Will, let's hear what he can say.
3.4.3 Will
Speak, milksop slave and never after speak.
3.4.4 Michael
For God's sake, sirs, let me excuse myself:
For here I swear, by heaven and earth and all,
I did perform the utmost of my task,
And left the doors unbolted and unlocked.
But see the chance: Franklin and my master
Were very late conferring in the porch,
And Franklin left his napkin where he sat
With certain gold knit in it, as he said.
Being in bed, he did bethink himself,
And coming down he found the doors unshut:
He locked the gates and brought away the keys,
For which offence my master rated me.
But now I am going to see what flood it is,
For with the tide my master will away;
Where you may front him well on Rainham Down,
A place well-fitting such a stratagem.
3.4.20 Will
Your excuse hath somewhat mollified my choler.
Why now, Greene, 'tis better now nor e'er it was.
3.4.22 Greene
But, Michael, is this true?
3.4.23 Michael
As true as I report it to be true.
3.4.24 Shakebag
Then, Michael, this shall be your penance,
To feast us all at the Salutation,
Where we will plat our purpose thoroughly.
3.4.27 Greene
And, Michael, you shall bear no news of this tide,
Because they two may be in Rainham Down
Before your master.
3.4.30 Michael
Why, I'll agree to anything you'll have me,
So you will except of my company.
Exeunt
Contents

ACT III

Scene 5

Arden's house at Feversham

Enter Mosbie
3.5.1 Mosbie
Disturbèd thoughts drives me from company
And dries my marrow with their watchfulness;
Continual trouble of my moody brain
Feebles my body by excess of drink,
And nips me as the bitter north-east wind
Doth check the tender blossoms in the spring.
Well fares the man, howe'er his cates do taste,
That tables not with foul suspicion;
And he but pines amongst his delicates,
Whose troubled mind is stuffed with discontent.
My golden time was when I had no gold;
Though then I wanted, yet I slept secure;
My daily toil begat me night's repose,
My night's repose made daylight fresh to me.
But since I climbed the top-bough of the tree
And sought to build my nest among the clouds,
Each gentle stirry gale doth shake my bed,
And makes me dread my downfall to the earth.
But whither doth contemplation carry me?
The way I seek to find, where pleasure dwells,
Is hedged behind me that I cannot back,
But needs must on, although to danger's gate.
Then, Arden, perish thou by that decree;
For Greene doth ear the land and weed thee up
To make my harvest nothing but pure corn.
And for his pains I'll hive him up a while,
And after smother him to have his wax:
Such bees as Greene must never live to sting.
Then is there Michael and the painter too,
Chief actors to Arden's overthrow;
Who when they shall see me sit in Arden's seat,
They will insult upon me for my meed,
Or fright me by detecting of his end.
I'll none of that, for I can cast a bone
To make these curs pluck out each other's throat,
And then am I sole ruler of mine own.
Yet Mistress Arden lives; but she's myself,
And holy Church rites makes us two but one.
But what for that? I may not trust you, Alice:
You have supplanted Arden for my sake,
And will extirpen me to plant another.
'Tis fearful sleeping in a serpent's bed,
And I will cleanly rid my hands of her.
Enter Alice
But here she comes and I must flatter her.
– How now, Alice? what, sad and passionate?
Make me partaker of thy pensiveness:
Fire divided burns with lesser force.
3.5.48 Alice
But I will dam that fire in my breast
Till by the force thereof my part consume.
Ah, Mosbie!
3.5.51 Mosbie
Such deep pathaires, like to a cannon's burst
Discharged against a ruinated wall,
Breaks my relenting heart in thousand pieces.
Ungentle Alice, thy sorrow is my sore;
Thou know'st it well and 'tis thy policy
To forge distressful looks to wound a breast
Where lies a heart that dies when thou art sad.
It is not love that loves to anger love.
3.5.59 Alice
It is not love that loves to murder love.
3.5.60 Mosbie
How mean you that?
3.5.61 Alice
Thou knowest how dearly Arden loved me.
3.5.62 Mosbie
And then?
3.5.63 Alice
And then – conceal the rest, for 'tis too bad,
Lest that my words be carried with the wind,
And published in the world to both our shames.
I pray thee, Mosbie, let our springtime wither;
Our harvest else will yield but loathsome weeds.
Forget, I pray thee, what hath passed betwixt us,
For how I blush and tremble at the thoughts!
3.5.70 Mosbie
What? are you changed?
3.5.71 Alice
Ay, to my former happy life again,
From title of an odious strumpet's name
To honest Arden's wife, not Arden's honest wife.
Ha, Mosbie! 'tis thou has rifled me of that
And made me slanderous to all my kin;
Even in my forehead is thy name ingraven,
A mean artificer, that low-born name.
I was bewitched: woe worth the hapless hour
And all the causes that enchanted me!
3.5.80 Mosbie
Nay, if you ban, let me breathe curses forth,
And if you stand so nicely at your fame,
Let me repent the credit I have lost.
I have neglected matters of import
That would have stated me above thy state,
Forslowed advantages and spurned at time:
Ay, Fortune's right hand Mosbie hath forsook
To take a wanton giglot by the left.
I left the marriage of an honest maid,
Whose dowry would have weighed down all thy wealth,
Whose beauty and demeanour far exceeded thee:
This certain good I lost for changing bad,
And wrapt my credit in thy company.
I was bewitched, – that is no theme of thine,
And thou unhallowed has enchanted me.
But I will break thy spells and exorcisms,
And put another sight upon these eyes
That showed my heart a raven for a dove.
Thou art not fair, I viewed thee not till now;
Thou art not kind, till now I knew thee not;
And now the rain hath beaten off thy gilt,
Thy worthless copper shows thee counterfeit.
It grieves me not to see how foul thou art,
But mads me that ever I thought thee fair.
Go, get thee gone, a copesmate for thy hinds;
I am too good to be thy favourite.
3.5.106 Alice
Ay, now I see and too soon find it true,
Which often hath been told me by my friends,
That Mosbie loves me not but for my wealth,
Which too incredulous I ne'er believed.
Nay, hear me speak, Mosbie, a word or two;
I'll bite my tongue if it speak bitterly.
Look on me, Mosbie, or I'll kill myself:
Nothing shall hide me from thy stormy look.
If thou cry war, there is no peace for me;
I will do penance for offending thee,
And burn this prayer-book, where I here use
The holy word that had converted me.
See, Mosbie, I will tear away the leaves,
And all the leaves and in this golden cover
Shall thy sweet phrases and thy letters dwell;
And thereon will I chiefly meditate,
And hold no other sect but such devotion.
Wilt thou not look? is all thy love o'erwhelmed?
Wilt thou not hear? what malice stops thine ears?
Why speaks thou not? what silence ties thy tongue?
Thou hast been sighted as the eagle is,
And heard as quickly as the fearful hare,
And spoke as smoothly as an orator,
When I have bid thee hear or see or speak,
And art thou sensible in none of these?
Weigh all thy good turns with this little fault,
And I deserve not Mosbie's muddy looks.
A fence of trouble is not thickened still:
Be clear again, I'll ne'er more trouble thee.
3.5.135 Mosbie
O no, I am a base artificer:
My wings are feathered for a lowly flight.
Mosbie? fie! no, not for a thousand pound.
Make love to you? why, 'tis unpardonable;
We beggars must not breathe where gentles are.
3.5.140 Alice
Sweet Mosbie is as gentle as a king,
And I too blind to judge him otherwise.
Flowers do sometimes spring in fallow lands,
Weeds in gardens, roses grow on thorns;
So, whatsoe'er my Mosbie's father was,
Himself is valued gentle by his worth.
3.5.146 Mosbie
Ah, how you women can insinuate,
And clear a trespass with your sweet-set tongue!
I will forget this quarrel, gentle Alice,
Provided I'll be tempted so no more.
Enter Bradshaw
3.5.150 Alice
Then with thy lips seal up this new-made match.
3.5.151 Mosbie
Soft, Alice, here comes somebody.
3.5.152 Alice
How now, Bradshaw, what's the news with you?
3.5.153 Bradshaw
I have little news, but here's a letter
That Master Greene importuned me to give you.
3.5.155 Alice
Go in, Bradshaw; call for a cup of beer;
'Tis almost supper-time, thou shalt stay with us.
Exit Bradshaw
Then she reads the letter
'We have missed of our purpose at London, but shall
perform it by the way. We thank our neighbour
Bradshaw. – Yours, Richard Greene.'
How likes my love the tenor of this letter?
3.5.161 Mosbie
Well, were his date completed and expired.
3.5.162 Alice
Ah, would it were! Then comes my happy hour:
Till then my bliss is mixed with bitter gall.
Come, let us in to shun suspicion.
3.5.165 Mosbie
Ay, to the gates of death to follow thee.
Exeunt
Contents

ACT III

Scene 6

Country near Rochester

Enter Greene, Will and Shakebag
3.6.1 Shakebag
Come, Will, see thy tools be in a readiness!
Is not thy powder dank, or will thy flint strike fire?
3.6.3 Will
Then ask me if my nose be on my face,
Or whether my tongue be frozen in my mouth.
Zounds, here's a coil!
You were best swear me on the interrogatories
How many pistols I have took in hand,
Or whether I love the smell of gunpowder,
Or dare abide the noise the dag will make,
Or will not wink at flashing of the fire.
I pray thee, Shakebag, let this answer thee,
That I have took more purses in this down
Than e'er thou handledst pistols in thy life.
3.6.14 Shakebag
Ay, haply thou has picked more in a throng:
But, should I brag what booties I have took,
I think the overplus that's more than thine
Would mount to a greater sum of money
Then either thou or all thy kin are worth.
Zounds, I hate them as I hate a toad
That carry a muscado in their tongue,
And scarce a hurting weapon in their hand.
3.6.22 Will
O Greene, intolerable!
It is not for mine honour to bear this.
Why, Shakebag, I did serve the king at Boulogne,
And thou canst brag of nothing that thou hast done.
3.6.26 Shakebag
Why, so can Jack of Feversham,
That sounded for a fillip on the nose,
When he that gave it him holloed in his ear,
And he supposed a cannon-bullet hit him.
Then they fight
3.6.30 Greene
I pray you, sirs, list to Æsop's talk:
Whilst two stout dogs were striving for a bone,
There comes a cur and stole it from them both;
So, while you stand striving on these terms of manhood,
Arden escapes us and deceives us all.
3.6.35 Shakebag
Why, he begun.
3.6.36 Will
And thou shalt find I'll end;
I do but slip it until better time:
But, if I do forget –
Then he kneels down and holds up his hands to heaven
3.6.39 Greene
Well, take your fittest standings and once more
Lime well your twigs to catch this wary bird.
I'll leave you and at your dag's discharge
Make towards, like the longing water-dog
That coucheth till the fowling-piece be off,
Then seizeth on the prey with eager mood.
Ah, might I see him stretching forth his limbs,
As I have seen them beat their wings ere now!
3.6.47 Shakebag
Why, that thou shalt see, if he come this way.
3.6.48 Greene
Yes, that he doth, Shakebag, I warrant thee:
But brawl not when I am gone in any case.
But, sirs, be sure to speed him when he comes,
And in that hope I'll leave you for an hour.
Exit Greene
Enter Arden, Franklin and Michael
3.6.52 Michael
'Twere best that I went back to Rochester:
The horse halts downright; it were not good
He travelled in such pain to Feversham;
Removing of a shoe may haply help it.
3.6.56 Arden
Well, get you back to Rochester; but, sirrah, see
Ye o'ertake us ere we come to Rainham Down,
For 't will be very late ere we get home.
3.6.59 Michael
Ay, God he knows and so doth Will and Shakebag,
That thou shalt never go further than that down;
And therefore have I pricked the horse on purpose,
Because I would not view the massacre.
Exit Michael
3.6.63 Arden
Come, Master Franklin, onwards with your tale.
3.6.64 Franklin
I do assure you, sir, you task me much:
A heavy blood is gathered at my heart,
And on the sudden is my wind so short
As hindereth the passage of my speech;
So fierce a qualm yet ne'er assailed me.
3.6.69 Arden
Come, Master Franklin, let us go on softly:
The annoyance of the dust or else some meat
You ate at dinner cannot brook with you.
I have been often so and soon amended.
3.6.73 Franklin
Do you remember where my tale did leave?
3.6.74 Arden
Ay, where the gentleman did check his wife.
3.6.75 Franklin
She being reprehended for the fact,
Witness produced that took her with the deed,
Her glove brought in which there she left behind,
And many other assured arguments,
Her husband asked her whether it were not so.
3.6.80 Arden
Her answer then? I wonder how she looked,
Having forsworn it with such vehement oaths,
And at the instant so approved upon her.
3.6.83 Franklin
First did she cast her eyes down to the earth,
Watching the drops that fell amain from thence;
Then softly draws she forth her handkercher,
And modestly she wipes her tear-stained face;
Them hemmed she out, to clear her voice should seem,
And with a majesty addressed herself
To encounter all their accusations. –
Pardon me, Master Arden, I can no more;
This fighting at my heart makes short my wind.
3.6.92 Arden
Come, we are almost now at Rainham Down:
Your pretty tale beguiles the weary way;
I would you were in state to tell it out.
3.6.95 Shakebag
Stand close, Will, I hear them coming.
Enter Lord Cheiny with his men
3.6.96 Will
Stand to it, Shakebag and be resolute.
3.6.97 Lord Cheiny
Is it so near night as it seems,
Or will this black-faced evening have a shower?
– What, Master Arden? you are well met,
I have longed this fortnight's day to speak with you:
You are a stranger, man, in the Isle of Sheppy.
3.6.102 Arden
Your honour's always! bound to do you service.
3.6.103 Lord Cheiny
Come you from London and ne'er a man with you?
3.6.104 Arden
My man's coming after, but here's
My honest friend that came along with me.
3.6.106 Lord Cheiny
My Lord Protector's man I take you to be.
3.6.107 Franklin
Ay, my good lord and highly bound to you.
3.6.108 Lord Cheiny
You and your friend come home and sup with me.
3.6.109 Arden
I beseech your honour pardon me;
I have made a promise to a gentleman,
My honest friend, to meet him at my house;
The occasion is great, or else would I wait on you.
3.6.113 Lord Cheiny
Will you come to-morrow and dine with me,
And bring your honest friend along with you?
I have divers matters to talk with you about.
3.6.116 Arden
To-morrow we'll wait upon your honour.
3.6.117 Lord Cheiny
One of you stay my horse at the top of the hill.
– What! Black Will? for whose purse wait you?
Thou wilt be hanged in Kent, when all is done.
3.6.120 Will
Not hanged, God save your honour;
I am your bedesman, bound to pray for you.
3.6.122 Lord Cheiny
I think thou ne'er said'st prayer in all thy life. –
One of you give him a crown: –
And, sirrah, leave this kind of life;
If thou beest tainted for a penny-matter,
And come in question, surely thou wilt truss.
– Come, Master Arden, let us be going;
Your way and mine lies four miles together.
Exeunt Manent Black Will and Shakebag
3.6.129 Will
The devil break all your necks at four miles' end!
Zounds, I could kill myself for very anger!
His lordship chops me in,
Even when my dag was levelled at his heart.
I would his crown were molten down his throat.
3.6.134 Shakebag
Arden, thou hast wondrous holy luck.
Did ever man escape as thou hast done?
Well, I'll discharge my pistol at the sky,
For by this bullet Arden might not die.
Enter Greene
3.6.138 Greene
What, is he down? is he dispatched?
3.6.139 Shakebag
Ay, in health towards Feversham, to shame us all.
3.6.140 Greene
The devil he is! why, sirs, how escaped he?
3.6.141 Shakebag
When we were ready to shoot,
Comes my Lord Cheiny to prevent his death.
3.6.143 Greene
The Lord of Heaven hath preserved him.
3.6.144 Will
Preserved a fig! The Lord Cheiny hath preserved him,
And bids him to a feast to his house at Shorlow.
But by the way once more I'll meet with him,
And, if all the Cheinies in the world say no,
I'll have a bullet in his breast to-morrow.
Therefore come, Greene and let us to Feversham.
3.6.150 Greene
Ay, and excuse ourselves to Mistress Arden:
O, how she'll chafe when she hears of this!
3.6.152 Shakebag
Why, I'll warrant you she'll think we dare
not do it.
3.6.154 Will
Why, then let us go and tell her all the matter,
And plat the news to cut him off to-morrow.
Exeunt
Contents

ACT IV

Scene 1

Arden's house at Feversham

Enter Arden and his wife, Franklin and Michael
4.1.1 Arden
See how the hours, the gardant of heaven's gate,
Have by their toil removed the darksome clouds,
That Sol may well discern the trampled path
Wherein he wont to guide his golden car;
The season fits; come, Franklin, let's away.
4.1.6 Alice
I thought you did pretend some special hunt,
That made you thus cut short the time of rest.
4.1.8 Arden
It was no chase that made me rise so early,
But, as I told thee yesternight, to go
To the Isle of Sheppy, there to dine with my Lord Cheiny;
For so his honour late commanded me.
4.1.12 Alice
Ay, such kind husbands seldom want excuses;
Home is a wild cat to a wandering wit.
The time hath been, – would God it were not past, –
That honour's title nor a lord's command
Could once have drawn you from these arms of mine.
But my deserts or your desires decay,
Or both; yet if true love may seem desert,
I merit still to have thy company.
4.1.20 Franklin
Why, I pray you, sir, let her go along with us;
I am sure his honour will welcome her
And us the more for bringing her along.
4.1.23 Arden
Content; sirrah, saddle your mistress' nag.
4.1.24 Alice
No, begged favour merits little thanks;
If I should go, our house would run away,
Or else be stolen; therefore I'll stay behind.
4.1.27 Arden
Nay, see how mistaking you are! I pray thee, go.
4.1.28 Alice
No, no, not now.
4.1.29 Arden
Then let me leave thee satisfied in this,
That time nor place nor persons alter me,
But that I hold thee dearer than my life.
4.1.32 Alice
That will be seen by your quick return.
4.1.33 Arden
And that shall be ere night and if I live.
Farewell, sweet Alice, we mind to sup with thee.
Exit Alice
4.1.35 Franklin
Come, Michael, are our horses ready?
4.1.36 Michael
Ay, your horse are ready, but I am not ready,
for I have lost my purse, with six and thirty
shillings in it, with taking up of my master's nag.
4.1.39 Franklin
Why, I pray you, let us go before,
Whilst he stays behind to seek his purse.
4.1.41 Arden
Go to, sirrah, see you follow us to the Isle of Sheppy
To my Lord Cheiny's, where we mean to dine.
Exeunt Arden and Franklin. Manet Michael
4.1.43 Michael
So, fair weather after you, for before you lies
Black Will and Shakebag in the broom close, too
close for you: they'll be your ferrymen to long
home.
Enter the Painter
But who is this? the painter, my corrival, that
would needs win Mistress Susan.
4.1.49 Clarke
How now, Michael? how doth my mistress and all at home?
4.1.50 Michael
Who? Susan Mosbie? she is your mistress, too?
4.1.51 Clarke
Ay, how doth she and all the rest?
4.1.52 Michael
All's well but Susan; she is sick.
4.1.53 Clarke
Sick? Of what disease?
4.1.54 Michael
Of a great fever.
4.1.55 Clarke
A fear of what?
4.1.56 Michael
A great fever.
4.1.57 Clarke
A fever? God forbid!
4.1.58 Michael
Yes, faith and of a lordaine, too, as big as yourself.
4.1.59 Clarke
O, Michael, the spleen prickles you. Go to,
you carry an eye over Mistress Susan.
4.1.61 Michael
I' faith, to keep her from the painter.
4.1.62 Clarke
Why more from a painter than from a serving
creature like yourself?
Michael. Because you painters make but a painting
table of a pretty wench and spoil her beauty with
blotting.
4.1.67 Clarke
What mean you by that?
4.1.68 Michael
Why, that you painters paint lambs in the lining
of wenches' petticoats and we serving-men put
horns to them to make them become sheep.
4.1.71 Clarke
Such another word will cost you a cuff or a
knock.
4.1.73 Michael
What, with a dagger made of a pencil? Faith,
'tis too weak and therefore thou too weak to win
Susan.
4.1.76 Clarke
Would Susan's love lay upon this stroke.
Then he breaks Michael's head
Enter Mosbie, Greene and Alice
4.1.77 Alice
I'll lay my life, this is for Susan's love.
Stayed you behind your master to this end?
Have you no other time to brable in
But now when serious matters are in hand? –
Say, Clarke, hast thou done the thing thou promised?
4.1.82 Clarke
Ay, here it is; the very touch is death.
4.1.83 Alice
Then this, I hope, if all the rest do fail,
Will catch Master Arden,
And make him wise in death that lived a fool.
Why should he thrust his sickle in our corn,
Or what hath he to do with thee, my love,
Or govern me that am to rule myself?
Forsooth, for credit sake, I must leave thee!
Nay, he must leave to live that we may love,
May live, may love; for what is life but love?
And love shall last as long as life remains,
And life shall end before my love depart.
4.1.94 Mosbie
Why, what is love without true constancy?
Like to a pillar built of many stones,
Yet neither with good mortar well compact
Nor with cement to fasten it in the joints,
But that it shakes with every blast of wind,
And, being touched, straight falls unto the earth,
And buries all his haughty pride in dust.
No, let our love be rocks of adamant,
Which time nor place nor tempest can asunder.
4.1.103 Greene
Mosbie, leave protestations now,
And let us bethink us what we have to do.
Black Will and Shakebag I have placed i' the broom,
Close watching Arden's coming; let's to them
And see what they have done.
Exeunt
Contents

ACT IV

Scene 2

The Kentish coast opposite the Isle of Sheppy

Enter Arden and Franklin
4.2.1 Arden
Oh, ferryman, where art thou?
Enter the Ferryman
4.2.2 Ferryman
Here, here, go before to the boat and I will
follow you.
4.2.4 Arden
We have great haste; I pray thee, come away.
4.2.5 Ferryman
Fie, what a mist is here!
4.2.6 Arden
This mist, my friend, is mystical,
Like to a good companion's smoky brain,
That was half drowned with new ale overnight.
4.2.9 Ferryman
'Twere pity but his skull were opened to
make more chimney room.
4.2.11 Franklin
Friend, what's thy opinion of this mist?
4.2.12 Ferryman
I think 'tis like to a curst wife in a little
house, that never leaves her husband till she have
driven him out at doors with a wet pair of eyes;
then looks he as if his house were a-fire, or some of
his friends dead.
4.2.17 Arden
Speaks thou this of thine own experience?
4.2.18 Ferryman
Perhaps, ay; perhaps, no: For my wife is
as other women are, that is to say, governed by the
moon.
4.2.21 Franklin
By the moon? how, I pray thee?
4.2.22 Ferryman
Nay, thereby lies a bargain and you shall
not have it fresh and fasting.
4.2.24 Arden
Yes, I pray thee, good ferryman.
4.2.25 Ferryman
Then for this once; let it be midsummer
moon, but yet my wife has another moon.
4.2.27 Franklin
Another moon?
4.2.28 Ferryman
Ay and it hath influences and eclipses.
4.2.29 Arden
Why, then, by this reckoning you sometimes
play the man in the moon?
4.2.31 Ferryman
Ay, but you had not best to meddle with
that moon, lest I scratch you by the face with my
bramble-bush.
4.2.34 Arden
I am almost stifled with this fog; come, let's
away.
4.2.36 Franklin
And, sirrah, as we go, let us have some more
of your bold yeomanry.
4.2.38 Ferryman
Nay, by my troth, sir, but flat knavery.
Exeunt
Contents

ACT IV

Scene 3

Another place on the coast

Enter Will at one door and Shakebag at another
4.3.1 Shakebag
Oh, Will, where art thou?
4.3.2 Will
Here, Shakebag, almost in hell's mouth, where I
cannot see my way for smoke.
4.3.4 Shakebag
I pray thee speak still that we may meet by
the sound, for I shall fall into some ditch or other,
unless my feet see better than my eyes.
4.3.7 Will
Didst thou ever see better weather to run away
with another man's wife, or play with a wench at
pot-finger?
4.3.10 Shakebag
No; this were a fine world for chandlers, if
this weather would last; for then a man should
never dine nor sup without candle-light. But,
sirrah Will, what horses are those that passed?
4.3.14 Will
Why, didst thou hear any?
4.3.15 Shakebag
Ay, that I did.
4.3.16 Will
My life for thine, 'twas Arden and his companion,
and then all our labour's lost.
4.3.18 Shakebag
Nay, say not so, for if it be they, they may
haply lose their way as we have done and then we
may chance meet with them.
4.3.21 Will
Come, let us go on like a couple of blind pilgrims.
Then Shakebag falls into a ditch
4.3.22 Shakebag
Help, Will, help, I am almost drowned.
Enter the Ferryman
4.3.23 Ferryman
Who's that that calls for help?
4.3.24 Will
'Twas none here, 'twas thou thyself.
4.3.25 Ferryman
I came to help him that called for help.
Why, how now? who is this that's in the ditch?
You are well enough served to go without a guide
such weather as this.
4.3.29 Will
Sirrah, what companies hath passed your ferry
this morning?
4.3.31 Ferryman
None but a couple of gentlemen, that went
to dine at my Lord Cheiny's.
4.3.33 Will
Shakebag, did not I tell thee as much?
Ferryman. Why, sir, will you have any letters carried
to them?
4.3.36 Will
No, sir; get you gone.
4.3.37 Ferryman
Did you ever see such a mist as this?
4.3.38 Will
No, nor such a fool as will rather be hought than
get his way.
4.3.40 Ferryman
Why, sir, this is no Hough-Monday; you
are deceived. – What's his name, I pray you, sir?
4.3.42 Shakebag
His name is Black Will.
4.3.43 Ferryman
I hope to see him one day hanged upon a
hill. [Exit Ferryman]
4.3.45 Shakebag
See how the sun hath cleared the foggy mist,
Now we have missed the mark of our intent.
Enter Greene, Mosbie and Alice
4.3.47 Mosbie
Black Will and Shakebag, what make you here?
What, is the deed done? is Arden dead?
4.3.49 Will
What could a blinded man perform in arms?
Saw you not how till now the sky was dark,
That neither horse nor man could be discerned?
Yet did we hear their horses as they passed.
4.3.53 Greene
Have they escaped you, then and passed the ferry?
4.3.54 Shakebag
Ay, for a while; but here we two will stay,
And at their coming back meet with them once more.
Zounds, I was ne'er so toiled in all my life
In following so slight a task as this.
4.3.58 Mosbie
How cam'st thou so berayed?
4.3.59 Will
With making false footing in the dark;
He needs would follow them without a guide.
4.3.61 Alice
Here's to pay for a fire and good cheer:
Get you to Feversham to the Flower-de-luce,
And rest yourselves until some other time.
4.3.64 Greene
Let me alone; it most concerns my state.
4.3.65 Will
Ay, Mistress Arden, this will serve the turn,
In case we fall into a second fog.
Exeunt Greene, Will and Shakebag
4.3.67 Mosbie
These knaves will never do it, let us give it over.
4.3.68 Alice
First tell me how you like my new device:
Soon, when my husband is returning back,
You and I both marching arm in arm,
Like loving friends, we'll meet him on the way,
And boldly beard and brave him to his teeth.
When words grow hot and blows begin to rise,
I'll call those cutters forth your tenement,
Who, in a manner to take up the fray,
Shall wound my husband Hornsby to the death.
4.3.77 Mosbie
A fine device! why, this deserves a kiss.
Exeunt
Contents

ACT IV

Scene 4

The open country

Enter Dick Reede and a Sailor
4.4.1 Sailor
Faith, Dick Reede, it is to little end:
His conscience is too liberal and he too niggardly
To part from any thing may do thee good.
4.4.4 Reede
He is coming from Shorlow as I understand;
Here I'll intercept him, for at his house
He never will vouchsafe to speak with me.
If prayers and fair entreaties will not serve,
Or make no battery in his flinty breast,
Enter Franklin, Arden and Michael
I'll curse the carle and see what that will do.
See where he comes to further my intent! –
Master Arden, I am now bound to the sea;
My coming to you was about the plat
Of ground which wrongfully you detain from me.
Although the rent of it be very small,
Yet it will help my wife and children,
Which here I leave in Feversham, God knows,
Needy and bare: for Christ's sake, let them have it!
4.4.18 Arden
Franklin, hearest thou this fellow speak?
That which he craves I dearly bought of him,
Although the rent of it was ever mine. –
Sirrah, you that ask these questions,
If with thy clamorous impeaching tongue
Thou rail on me, as I have heard thou dost,
I'll lay thee up so close a twelve-month's day,
As thou shalt neither see the sun nor moon.
Look to it, for, as surely as I live,
I'll banish pity if thou use me thus.
4.4.28 Reede
What, wilt thou do me wrong and threat me too,
Nay, then, I'll tempt thee, Arden, do thy worst.
God, I beseech thee, show some miracle
On thee or thine, in plaguing thee for this.
That plot of ground which thou detains from me,
I speak it in an agony of spirit,
Be ruinous and fatal unto thee!
Either there be butchered by thy dearest friends,
Or else be brought for men to wonder at,
Or thou or thine miscarry in that place,
Or there run mad and end thy cursèd days!
4.4.39 Franklin
Fie, bitter knave, bridle thine envious tongue;
For curses are like arrows shot upright,
Which falling down light on the shooter's head.
4.4.42 Reede
Light where they will! Were I upon the sea,
As oft I have in many a bitter storm,
And saw a dreadful southern flaw at hand,
The pilot quaking at the doubtful storm,
And all the sailors praying on their knees,
Even in that fearful time would I fall down,
And ask of God, whate'er betide of me,
Vengeance on Arden or some misevent
To show the world what wrong the carle hath done.
This charge I'll leave with my distressful wife,
My children shall be taught such prayers as these;
And thus I go, but leave my curse with thee.
Exeunt Reede and Sailor
4.4.54 Arden
It is the railingest knave in Christendom,
And oftentimes the villain will be mad;
It greatly matters not what he says,
But I assure you I ne'er did him wrong.
4.4.58 Franklin
I think so, Master Arden.
4.4.59 Arden
Now that our horses are gone home before,
My wife may haply meet me on the way.
For God knows she is grown passing kind of late,
And greatly changed from
The old humour of her wonted frowardness,
And seeks by fair means to redeem old faults.
4.4.65 Franklin
Happy the change that alters for the best!
But see in any case you make no speech
Of the cheer we had at my Lord Cheiny's,
Although most bounteous and liberal,
For that will make her think herself more wronged,
In that we did not carry her along;
For sure she grieved that she was left behind.
4.4.72 Arden
Come, Franklin, let us strain to mend our pace,
And take her unawares playing the cook;
Enter Alice and Mosbie
For I believe she'll strive to mend our cheer.
4.4.75 Franklin
Why, there's no better creatures in the world,
Than women are when they are in good humours.
4.4.77 Arden
Who is that? Mosbie? what, so familiar?
Injurious strumpet and thou ribald knave,
Untwine those arms.
4.4.80 Alice
Ay, with a sugared kiss let them untwine.
4.4.81 Arden
Ah, Mosbie! perjured beast! bear this and all!
4.4.82 Mosbie
And yet no horned beast; the horns are thine.
4.4.83 Franklin
O monstrous! Nay, then it is time to draw.
4.4.84 Alice
Help, help! they murder my husband.
Enter Will and Shakebag
4.4.85 Shakebag
Zounds, who injures Master Mosbie? Help, Will! I am hurt.
4.4.86 Mosbie
I may thank you, Mistress Arden, for this wound.
Exeunt Mosbie, Will and Shakebag
4.4.87 Alice
Ah, Arden, what folly blinded thee?
Ah, jealous harebrained man, what hast thou done!
When we, to welcome thee with intended sport,
Came lovingly to meet thee on thy way,
Thou drew'st thy sword, enraged with jealousy,
And hurt thy friend whose thoughts were free from harm:
All for a worthless kiss and joining arms,
Both done but merrily to try thy patience.
And me unhappy that devised the jest,
Which, though begun in sport, yet ends in blood!
4.4.97 Franklin
Marry, God defend me from such a jest!
4.4.98 Alice
Could'st thou not see us friendly smile on thee,
When we joined arms and when I kissed his cheek?
Hast thou not lately found me over-kind?
Did'st thou not hear me cry 'they murder thee'?
Called I not help to set my husband free?
No, ears and all were witched; ah me accursed
To link in liking with a frantic man!
Henceforth I'll be thy slave, no more thy wife,
For with that name I never shall content thee.
If I be merry, thou straightways thinks me light;
If sad, thou sayest the sullens trouble me;
If well attired, thou thinks I will be gadding;
If homely, I seem sluttish in thine eye:
Thus am I still and shall be while I die.
Poor wench abused by thy misgovernment!
4.4.113 Arden
But is it for truth that neither thou nor he
Intendedst malice in your misdemeanour?
4.4.115 Alice
The heavens can witness of our harmless thoughts
4.4.116 Arden
Then pardon me, sweet Alice and forgive this fault!
Forget but this and never see the like.
Impose me penance and I will perform it,
For in thy discontent I find a death, –
A death tormenting more than death itself.
4.4.121 Alice
Nay, had'st thou loved me as thou dost pretend,
Thou wouldst have marked the speeches of thy friend,
Who going wounded from the place, he said
His skin was pierced only through my device;
And if sad sorrow taint thee for this fault,
Thou would'st have followed him and seen him dressed,
And cried him mercy whom thou hast misdone:
Ne'er shall my heart be eased till this be done.
4.4.129 Arden
Content thee, sweet Alice, thou shalt have thy will,
Whate'er it be. For that I injured thee,
And wronged my friend, shame scourgeth my offence;
Come thou thyself and go along with me,
And be a mediator 'twixt us two.
4.4.134 Franklin
Why, Master Arden! know you what you do?
Will you follow him that hath dishonoured you?
4.4.136 Alice
Why, canst thou prove I have been disloyal?
4.4.137 Franklin
Why, Mosbie taunted your husband with the horn.
4.4.138 Alice
Ay, after he had reviled him
By the injurious name of perjured beast:
He knew no wrong could spite a jealous man
More than the hateful naming of the horn.
4.4.142 Franklin
Suppose 'tis true; yet is it dangerous
To follow him whom he hath lately hurt.
4.4.144 Alice
A fault confessed is more than half amends;
But men of such ill spirit as yourself
Work crosses and debates 'twixt man and wife.
4.4.147 Arden
I pray thee, gentle Franklin, hold thy peace:
I know my wife counsels me for the best.
I'll seek out Mosbie where his wound is dressed,
And salve this hapless quarrel if I may.
Exeunt Arden and Alice
4.4.151 Franklin
He whom the devil drives must go perforce.
Poor gentleman, how soon he is bewitched!
And yet, because his wife is the instrument,
His friends must not be lavish in their speech.
Exit Franklin
Contents

ACT V

Scene 1

A street in Feversham

Enter Will, Shakebag and Greene
5.1.1 Will
Sirrah Greene, when was I so long in killing a man?
5.1.2 Greene
I think we shall never do it; let us give it over.
5.1.3 Shakebag
Nay, Zounds! we'll kill him, though we be
hanged at his door for our labour.
5.1.5 Will
Thou knowest, Greene, that I have lived in London
this twelve years, where I have made some go
upon wooden legs for taking the wall on me; divers
with silver noses for saying 'There goes Black Will!'
I have cracked as many blades as thou hast nuts.
5.1.10 Greene
O monstrous lie!
5.1.11 Will
Faith, in a manner I have. The bawdy-houses
have paid me tribute; there durst not a whore set
up, unless she have agreed with me first for opening
her shop-windows. For a cross word of a tapster
I have pierced one barrel after another with my
dagger and held him by the ears till all his beer
hath run out. In Thames Street a brewer's cart
was like to have run over me: I made no more ado,
but went to the clerk and cut all the notches of his
tallies and beat them about his head. I and my
company have taken the constable from his watch,
and carried him about the fields on a coltstaff. I
have broken a sergeant's head with his own mace,
and bailed whom I list with my sword and buckler.
All the tenpenny-alehouses-men would stand every
morning with a quart-pot in their hand, saying,
'Will it please your worship drink?' He that had
not done so, had been sure to have had his sign
pulled down and his lattice borne away the next
night. To conclude, what have I not done? yet
cannot do this; doubtless, he is preserved by
miracle.
Enter Alice and Michael
5.1.33 Greene
Hence, Will! here comes Mistress Arden.
5.1.34 Alice
Ah, gentle Michael, art thou sure they're friends?
5.1.35 Michael
Why, I saw them when they both shook hands.
When Mosbie bled, he even wept for sorrow,
And railed on Franklin that was cause of all.
No sooner came the surgeon in at doors,
But my master took to his purse and gave him money,
And, to conclude, sent me to bring you word
That Mosbie, Franklin, Bradshaw, Adam Fowle,
With divers of his neighbours and his friends,
Will come and sup with you at our house this night.
5.1.44 Alice
Ah, gentle Michael, run thou back again,
And, when my husband walks into the fair,
Bid Mosbie steal from him and come to me;
And this night shall thou and Susan be made sure.
5.1.48 Michael
I'll go tell him.
5.1.49 Alice
And as thou goest, tell John cook of our guests,
And bid him lay it on, spare for no cost.
Exit Michael
5.1.51 Will
Nay, and there be such cheer, we will bid ourselves. –
Mistress Arden, Dick Greene and I do mean to sup with you.
5.1.53 Alice
And welcome shall you be. Ah, gentlemen,
How missed you of your purpose yesternight?
5.1.55 Greene
'Twas 'long of Shakebag, that unlucky villain.
5.1.56 Shakebag
Thou dost me wrong; I did as much as any.
5.1.57 Will
Nay then, Mistress Arden, I'll tell you how it was:
When he should have locked with both his hilts,
He in a bravery flourished o'er his head;
With that comes Franklin at him lustily,
And hurts the slave; with that he slinks away.
Now his way had been to have come hand and feet,
one and two round, at his costard; he like a fool
bears his sword-point half a yard out of danger.
I lie here for my life; if the devil come and he
have no more strength than I have fence, he shall
never beat me from this ward, I'll stand to it; a
buckler in a skilful hand is as good as a castle;
nay, 'tis better than a sconce, for I have tried it.
Mosbie, perceiving this, began to faint:
With that comes Arden with his arming sword,
And thrust him through the shoulder in a trice.
5.1.73 Alice
Ay, but I wonder why you both stood still.
5.1.74 Will
Faith, I was so amazed, I could not strike.
5.1.75 Alice
Ah, sirs, had he yesternight been slain,
For every drop of his detested blood
I would have crammed in angels in thy fist,
And kissed thee, too, and hugged thee in my arms.
5.1.79 Will
Patient yourself, we cannot help it now.
Greene and we two will dog him through the fair,
And stab him in the crowd and steal away.
Enter Mosbie
5.1.82 Alice
It is unpossible; but here comes he
That will, I hope, invent some surer means.
Sweet Mosbie, hide thy arm, it kills my heart.
5.1.85 Mosbie
Ay, Mistress Arden, this is your favour.
5.1.86 Alice
Ah, say not so; for when I saw thee hurt,
I could have took the weapon thou let'st fall,
And run at Arden; for I have sworn
That these mine eyes, offended with his sight,
Shall never close till Arden's be shut up.
This night I rose and walked about the chamber,
And twice or thrice I thought to have murdered him.
5.1.93 Mosbie
What, in the night? then had we been undone.
5.1.94 Alice
Why, how long shall he live?
5.1.95 Mosbie
Faith, Alice, no longer than this night. –
Black Will and Shakebag, will you two perform
The complot that I have laid?
5.1.98 Will
Ay, or else think me a villain.
5.1.99 Greene
And rather than you shall want, I'll help myself.
5.1.100 Mosbie
You, Master Greene, shall single Franklin forth,
And hold him with a long tale of strange news,
That he may not come home till supper-time.
I'll fetch Master Arden home and we like friends
Will play a game or two at tables here.
5.1.105 Alice
But what of all this? how shall he be slain?
5.1.106 Mosbie
Why, Black Will and Shakebag locked within the counting-house
Shall at a certain watchword given rush forth.
5.1.108 Will
What shall the watchword be?
5.1.109 Mosbie
'Now I take you'; that shall be the word:
But come not forth before in any case.
5.1.111 Will
I warrant you. But who shall lock me in?
5.1.112 Alice
That will I do; thou'st keep the key thyself.
5.1.113 Mosbie
Come, Master Greene, go you along with me.
See all things ready, Alice, against we come.
5.1.115 Alice
Take no care for that; send you him home.
Exeunt Mosbie and Greene
And if he e'er go forth again, blame me.
Come, Black Will, that in mine eyes art fair;
Next unto Mosbie do I honour thee;
Instead of fair words and large promises
My hands shall play you golden harmony:
How like you this? say, will you do it, sirs?
5.1.122 Will
Ay, and that bravely, too. Mark my device:
Place Mosbie, being a stranger, in a chair,
And let your husband sit upon a stool,
That I may come behind him cunningly,
And with a towel pull him to the ground,
Then stab him till his flesh be as a sieve;
That done, bear him behind the Abbey,
That those that find him murdered may suppose
Some slave or other killed him for his gold.
5.1.131 Alice
A fine device! you shall have twenty pound,
And, when he is dead, you shall have forty more,
And, lest you might be suspected staying here,
Michael shall saddle you two lusty geldings;
Ride whither you will, to Scotland, or to Wales,
I'll see you shall not lack, where'er you be.
5.1.137 Will
Such words would make one kill a thousand men!
Give me the key: which is the counting-house?
5.1.139 Alice
Here would I stay and still encourage you;
But that I know how resolute you are.
5.1.141 Shakebag
Tush, you are too faint-hearted; we must do it.
5.1.142 Alice
But Mosbie will be there, whose very looks
Will add unwonted courage to my thought,
And make me the first that shall adventure on him.
5.1.145 Will
Tush, get you gone; 'tis we must do the deed.
When this door opens next, look for his death.
Exeunt Will and Shakebag
5.1.147 Alice
Ah, would he now were here that it might open!
I shall no more be closed in Arden's arms,
That like the snakes of black Tisiphone
Sting me with their embracings! Mosbie's arms
Shall compass me, and, were I made a star,
I would have none other spheres but those.
There is no nectar but in Mosbie's lips!
Had chaste Diana kissed him, she like me
Would grow love-sick and from her watery bower
Fling down Endymion and snatch him up:
Then blame not me that slay a silly man
Not half so lovely as Endymion.
Enter Michael
5.1.159 Michael
Mistress, my master is coming hard by.
5.1.160 Alice
Who comes with him?
5.1.161 Michael
Nobody but Mosbie.
5.1.162 Alice
That's well, Michael. Fetch in the tables, and
when thou hast done, stand before the counting-house door.
5.1.164 Michael
Why so?
5.1.165 Alice
Black Will is locked within to do the deed.
5.1.166 Michael
What? shall he die to-night?
5.1.167 Alice
Ay, Michael.
5.1.168 Michael
But shall not Susan know it?
5.1.169 Alice
Yes, for she'll be as secret as ourselves.
5.1.170 Michael
That's brave. I'll go fetch the tables.
Alice. But, Michael, hark to me a word or two:
When my husband is come in, lock the street-door;
He shall be murdered, or the guests come in.
Exit Michael
Enter Arden and Mosbie
Husband, what mean you to bring Mosbie home?
Although I wished you to be reconciled,
'Twas more for fear of you than love of him.
Black Will and Greene are his companions,
And they are cutters and may cut you short:
Therefore I thought it good to make you friends.
But wherefore do you bring him hither now?
You have given me my supper with his sight.
5.1.182 Mosbie
Master Arden, methinks your wife would have me gone.
5.1.183 Arden
No, good Master Mosbie; women will be prating.
Alice, bid him welcome; he and I are friends.
5.1.185 Alice
You may enforce me to it, if you will;
But I had rather die than bid him welcome.
His company hath purchased me ill friends,
And therefore will I ne'er frequent it more.
5.1.189 Mosbie
– Oh, how cunningly she can dissemble!
5.1.190 Arden
Now he is here, you will not serve me so.
5.1.191 Alice
I pray you be not angry or displeased;
I'll bid him welcome, seeing you'll have it so.
You are welcome, Master Mosbie; will you sit down?
5.1.194 Mosbie
I know I am welcome to your loving husband;
But for yourself, you speak not from your heart.
5.1.196 Alice
And if I do not, sir, think I have cause.
5.1.197 Mosbie
Pardon me, Master Arden; I'll away.
5.1.198 Arden
No, good Master Mosbie.
5.1.199 Alice
We shall have guests enough, though you go hence.
5.1.200 Mosbie
I pray you, Master Arden, let me go.
5.1.201 Arden
I pray thee, Mosbie, let her prate her fill.
5.1.202 Alice
The doors are open, sir, you may be gone.
5.1.203 Michael
– Nay, that's a lie, for I have locked the doors.
5.1.204 Arden
Sirrah, fetch me a cup of wine, I'll make them friends.
And, gentle Mistress Alice, seeing you are so stout,
You shall begin! frown not, I'll have it so.
5.1.207 Alice
I pray you meddle with that you have to do.
5.1.208 Arden
Why, Alice! how can I do too much for him
Whose life I have endangered without cause?
5.1.210 Alice
'Tis true; and, seeing 'twas partly through my means,
I am content to drink to him for this once.
Here, Master Mosbie! and I pray you, henceforth
Be you as strange to me as I to you.
Your company hath purchased me ill friends,
And I for you, God knows, have undeserved
Been ill spoken of in every place;
Therefore henceforth frequent my house no more.
5.1.218 Mosbie
I'll see your husband in despite of you.
Yet, Arden, I protest to thee by heaven,
Thou ne'er shalt see me more after this night,
I'll go to Rome rather than be forsworn.
5.1.222 Arden
Tush, I'll have no such vows made in my house.
5.1.223 Alice
Yes, I pray you, husband, let him swear;
And, on that condition, Mosbie, pledge me here.
5.1.225 Mosbie
Ay, as willingly as I mean to live.
5.1.226 Arden
Come, Alice, is our supper ready yet?
5.1.227 Alice
It will by then you have played a game at tables.
5.1.228 Arden
Come, Master Mosbie, what shall we play for?
5.1.229 Mosbie
Three games for a French crown, sir, and please you.
5.1.230 Arden
Content.
Then they play at the tables. Enter Will and Shakebag
5.1.231 Will
– Can he not take him yet? what a spite is that?
5.1.232 Alice
– Not yet, Will; take heed he see thee not.
5.1.233 Will
– I fear he will spy me as I am coming.
5.1.234 Michael
– To prevent that, creep betwixt my legs.
5.1.235 Mosbie
One ace, or else I lose the game.
5.1.236 Arden
Marry, sir, there's two for failing.
5.1.237 Mosbie
Ah, Master Arden, 'now I can take you.'
Then Will pulls him down with a towel
5.1.238 Arden
Mosbie! Michael! Alice! what will you do?
5.1.239 Will
Nothing but take you up, sir, nothing else.
5.1.240 Mosbie
There's for the pressing iron you told me of. [Stabs him]
5.1.241 Shakebag
And there's for the ten pound in my sleeve. [Stabs him]
5.1.242 Alice
What! groans thou? nay, then give me the weapon!
Take this for hindering Mosbie's love and mine. [She stabs him]
5.1.244 Michael
O, mistress!
5.1.245 Will
Ah, that villain will betray us all.
5.1.246 Mosbie
Tush, fear him not; he will be secret.
5.1.247 Michael
Why, dost thou think I will betray myself?
5.1.248 Shakebag
In Southwark dwells a bonny northern lass,
The widow Chambly; I'll to her house now,
And if she will not give me harborough,
I'll make booty of the quean even to her smock.
5.1.252 Will
Shift for yourselves; we two will leave you now.
5.1.253 Alice
First lay the body in the counting-house.
Then they lay the body in the Counting-house
5.1.254 Will
We have our gold; Mistress Alice, adieu;
Mosbie, farewell and Michael, farewell too.
Exeunt
Enter Susan
5.1.256 Susan
Mistress, the guests are at the doors.
Hearken, they knock: what, shall I let them in?
5.1.258 Alice
Mosbie, go thou and bear them company. [Exit Mosbie]
And, Susan, fetch water and wash away this blood.
5.1.260 Susan
The blood cleaveth to the ground and will not out.
5.1.261 Alice
But with my nails I'll scrape away the blood; –
The more I strive, the more the blood appears!
5.1.263 Susan
What's the reason, Mistress, can you tell?
5.1.264 Alice
Because I blush not at my husband's death.
Enter Mosbie
5.1.265 Mosbie
How now? what's the matter? is all well?
5.1.266 Alice
Ay, well, if Arden were alive again.
In vain we strive, for here his blood remains.
5.1.268 Mosbie
Why, strew rushes on it, can you not?
This wench doth nothing: fall unto the work.
5.1.270 Alice
'Twas thou that made me murder him.
5.1.271 Mosbie
What of that?
5.1.272 Alice
Nay, nothing, Mosbie, so it be not known.
5.1.273 Mosbie
Keep thou it close and 'tis unpossible.
5.1.274 Alice
Ah, but I cannot! was he not slain by me?
My husband's death torments me at the heart.
5.1.276 Mosbie
It shall not long torment thee, gentle Alice;
I am thy husband, think no more of him.
Enter Adam Fowle and Bradshaw
5.1.278 Bradshaw
How now, Mistress Arden? what ail you weep?
5.1.279 Mosbie
Because her husband is abroad so late.
A couple of ruffians threatened him yesternight,
And she, poor soul, is afraid he should be hurt.
5.1.282 Adam
Is't nothing else? tush, he'll be here anon.
Enter Greene
5.1.283 Greene
Now, Mistress Arden, lack you any guests?
5.1.284 Alice
Ah, Master Greene, did you see my husband lately?
5.1.285 Greene
I saw him walking behind the Abbey even now.
Enter Franklin
5.1.286 Alice
I do not like this being out so late. –
Master Franklin, where did you leave my husband?
5.1.288 Franklin
Believe me I saw him not since morning.
Fear you not, he'll come anon; meantime
You may do well to bid his guests sit down.
5.1.291 Alice
Ay, so they shall; Master Bradshaw, sit you there;
I pray you, be content, I'll have my will.
Master Mosbie, sit you in my husband's seat.
5.1.294 Michael
– Susan, shall thou and I wait on them?
Or, an thou sayest the word, let us sit down too.
5.1.296 Susan
– Peace, we have other matters now in hand.
I fear me, Michael, all will be bewrayed.
5.1.298 Michael
– Tush, so it be known that I shall marry thee
in the morning, I care not though I be hanged ere
night. But to prevent the worst, I'll buy some ratsbane.
5.1.301 Susan
– Why, Michael, wilt thou poison thyself?
5.1.302 Michael
– No, but my mistress, for I fear she'll tell.
5.1.303 Susan
– Tush, Michael; fear not her, she's wise enough.
5.1.304 Mosbie
Sirrah Michael, give's a cup of beer. –
Mistress Arden, here's to your husband.
5.1.306 Alice
My husband!
5.1.307 Franklin
What ails you, woman, to cry so suddenly?
5.1.308 Alice
Ah, neighbours, a sudden qualm came o'er my heart;
My husband being forth torments my mind.
I know something's amiss, he is not well;
Or else I should have heard of him ere now.
5.1.312 Mosbie
– She will undo us through her foolishness.
5.1.313 Greene
Fear not, Mistress Arden, he's well enough.
5.1.314 Alice
Tell not me; I know he is not well:
He was not wont for to stay thus late.
Good Master Franklin, go and seek him forth,
And if you find him, send him home to me,
And tell him what a fear he hath put me in.
5.1.319 Franklin
– I like not this; I pray God all be well.
I'll seek him out and find him if I can.
Exeunt Franklin, Mosbie and Greene
5.1.321 Alice
– Michael, how shall I do to rid the rest away?
5.1.322 Michael
– Leave that to my charge, let me alone.
'Tis very late, Master Bradshaw,
And there are many false knaves abroad,
And you have many narrow lanes to pass.
5.1.326 Bradshaw
Faith, friend Michael and thou sayest true.
Therefore I pray thee light's forth and lend's a link.
Exeunt Bradshaw, Adam and Michael
5.1.328 Alice
Michael, bring them to the doors, but do not stay;
You know I do not love to be alone.
– Go, Susan and bid thy brother come:
But wherefore should he come? Here is nought but fear;
Stay, Susan, stay and help to counsel me.
5.1.333 Susan
Alas. I counsel! fear frights away my wits.
Then they open the counting-house door and look upon Arden
5.1.334 Alice
See, Susan, where thy quondam master lies,
Sweet Arden, smeared in blood and filthy gore.
5.1.336 Susan
My brother, you and I shall rue this deed.
5.1.337 Alice
Come, Susan, help to lift his body forth,
And let our salt tears be his obsequies.
Enter Mosbie and Greene
5.1.339 Mosbie
How now, Alice, whither will you bear him?
5.1.340 Alice
Sweet Mosbie, art thou come? Then weep that will:
I have my wish in that I joy thy sight.
5.1.342 Greene
Well, it behoves us to be circumspect.
5.1.343 Mosbie
Ay, for Franklin thinks that we have murdered him.
5.1.344 Alice
Ay, but he cannot prove it for his life.
We'll spend this night in dalliance and in sport.
Enter Michael
5.1.346 Michael
O mistress, the Mayor and all the watch
Are coming towards our house with glaives and bills.
5.1.348 Alice
Make the door fast; let them not come in.
5.1.349 Mosbie
Tell me, sweet Alice, how shall I escape?
5.1.350 Alice
Out at the back-door, over the pile of wood,
And for one night lie at the Flower-de-luce.
5.1.352 Mosbie
That is the next way to betray myself.
5.1.353 Greene
Alas, Mistress Arden, the watch will take me hers,
And cause suspicion, where else would be none.
5.1.355 Alice
Why, take that way that Master Mosbie doth;
But first convey the body to the fields.
Then they bear the body into the fields
5.1.357 Mosbie
Until to-morrow, sweet Alice, now farewell:
And see you confess nothing in any case.
5.1.359 Greene
Be resolute, Mistress Alice, betray us not,
But cleave to us as we will stick to you.
Exeunt Mosbie and Greene
5.1.361 Alice
Now, let the judge and juries do their worst:
My house is clear and now I fear them not.
5.1.363 Susan
As we went, it snowed all the way,
Which makes me fear our footsteps will be spied.
5.1.365 Alice
Peace, fool, the snow will cover them again.
5.1.366 Susan
But it had done before we came back again.
5.1.367 Alice
Hark, hark, they knock! go, Michael, let them in.
Enter the Mayor and the Watch
How now, Master Mayor, have you brought my husband home?
5.1.369 Mayor
I saw him come into your house an hour ago.
5.1.370 Alice
You are deceived; it was a Londoner.
5.1.371 Mayor
Mistress Arden, know you not one that is called Black Will?
5.1.372 Alice
I know none such: what mean these questions?
5.1.373 Mayor
I have the Council's warrant to apprehend him.
5.1.374 Alice
– I am glad it is no worse.
Why, Master Mayor, think you I harbour any such?
5.1.376 Mayor
We are informed that here he is;
And therefore pardon us, for we must search.
5.1.378 Alice
Ay, search and spare you not, through every room:
Were my husband at home, you would not offer this.
Enter Franklin
Master Franklin, what mean you come so sad?
5.1.381 Franklin
Arden, thy husband and my friend, is slain.
5.1.382 Alice
Ah, by whom? Master Franklin, can you tell?
5.1.383 Franklin
I know not; but behind the Abbey
There he lies murdered in most piteous case.
5.1.385 Mayor
But, Master Franklin, are you sure 'tis he?
5.1.386 Franklin
I am too sure; would God I were deceived.
5.1.387 Alice
Find out the murderers, let them be known.
5.1.388 Franklin
Ay, so they shall: come you along with us.
5.1.389 Alice
Wherefore?
5.1.390 Franklin
Know you this hand-towel and this knife?
5.1.391 Susan
– Ah, Michael, through this thy negligence
Thou hast betrayed and undone us all.
5.1.393 Michael
– I was so afraid I knew not what I did:
I thought I had thrown them both into the well.
5.1.395 Alice
It is the pig's blood we had to supper.
But wherefore stay you? find out the murderers.
5.1.397 Mayor
I fear me you'll prove one of them yourself.
5.1.398 Alice
I one of them? what mean such questions?
5.1.399 Franklin
I fear me he was murdered in this house
And carried to the fields; for from that place
Backwards and forwards may you see
The print of many feet within the snow.
And look about this chamber where we are,
And you shall find part of his guiltless blood;
For in his slipshoe did I find some rushes,
Which argueth he was murdered in this room.
5.1.407 Mayor
Look in the place where he was wont to sit.
See, see! his blood! it is too manifest.
5.1.409 Alice
It is a cup of wine that Michael shed.
5.1.410 Michael
Ay, truly.
5.1.411 Franklin
It is his blood, which, strumpet, thou hast shed.
But if I live, thou and thy 'complices
Which have conspired and wrought his death shall rue it.
5.1.414 Alice
Ah, Master Franklin, God and heaven can tell
I loved him more than all the world beside.
But bring me to him, let me see his body.
5.1.417 Franklin
Bring that villain and Mosbie's sister too;
And one of you go to the Flower-de-luce,
And seek for Mosbie and apprehend him too.
Exeunt
Contents

ACT V

Scene 2

An obscure street in London

Enter Shakebag solus
5.2.1 Shakebag
The widow Chambly in her husband's days I kept;
And now he's dead, she is grown so stout
She will not know her old companions.
I came thither, thinking to have had harbour
As I was wont,
And she was ready to thrust me out at doors;
But whether she would or no, I got me up,
And as she followed me, I spurned her down the stairs,
And broke her neck and cut her tapster's throat,
And now I am going to fling them in the Thames.
I have the gold; what care I though it be known!
I'll cross the water and take sanctuary.
Exit
Contents

ACT V

Scene 3

Arden's house at Feversham

Enter the Mayor, Mosbie, Alice, Franklin, Michael and Susan
5.3.1 Mayor
See, Mistress Arden, where your husband lies;
Confess this foul fault and be penitent.
5.3.3 Alice
Arden, sweet husband, what shall I say?
The more I sound his name, the more he bleeds;
This blood condemns me and in gushing forth
Speaks as it falls and asks me why I did it.
Forgive me, Arden: I repent me now,
And, would my death save thine, thou should'st not die.
Rise up, sweet Arden and enjoy thy love,
And frown not on me when we meet in heaven:
In heaven I'll love thee, though on earth I did not.
5.3.12 Mayor
Say, Mosbie, what made thee murder him?
5.3.13 Franklin
Study not for an answer; look not down:
His purse and girdle found at thy bed's head
Witness sufficiently thou didst the deed;
It bootless is to swear thou didst it not.
5.3.17 Mosbie
I hired Black Will and Shakebag, ruffians both,
And they and I have done this murderous deed.
But wherefore stay we? Come and bear me hence.
5.3.20 Franklin
Those ruffians shall not escape; I will up to London,
And get the Council's warrant to apprehend them.
Exeunt
Contents

ACT V

Scene 4

The Kentish coast

Enter Will
5.4.1 Will
Shakebag, I hear, hath taken sanctuary,
But I am so pursued with hues and cries
For petty robberies that I have done,
That I can come unto no sanctuary.
Therefore must I in some oyster-boat
At last be fain to go on board some hoy,
And so to Flushing. There is no staying here.
At Sittingburgh the watch was like to take me,
And had not I with my buckler covered my head,
And run full blank at all adventures,
I am sure I had ne'er gone further than that place;
For the constable had twenty warrants to apprehend me,
Besides that, I robbed him and his man once at Gadshill.
Farewell, England; I'll to Flushing now.
Exit Will
Contents

ACT V

Scene 5

Justice-room at Feversham

Enter the Mayor, Mosbie, Alice, Michael, Susan and Bradshaw
5.5.1 Mayor
Come, make haste and bring away the prisoners.
5.5.2 Bradshaw
Mistress Arden, you are now going to God,
And I am by the law condemned to die
About a letter I brought from Master Greene.
I pray you, Mistress Arden, speak the truth:
Was I ever privy to your intent or no.
5.5.7 Alice
What should I say? You brought me such a letter,
But I dare swear thou knewest not the contents.
Leave now to trouble me with worldly things,
And let me meditate upon my saviour Christ,
Whose blood must save me for the blood I shed.
5.5.12 Mosbie
How long shall I live in this hell of grief?
Convey me from the presence of that strumpet.
5.5.14 Alice
Ah, but for thee I had never been a strumpet.
What cannot oaths and protestations do,
When men have opportunity to woo?
I was too young to sound thy villainies,
But now I find it and repent too late.
5.5.19 Susan
Ah, gentle brother, wherefore should I die?
I knew not of it till the deed was done.
5.5.21 Mosbie
For thee I mourn more than for myself;
But let it suffice, I cannot save thee now.
5.5.23 Michael
And if your brother and my mistress
Had not promised me you in marriage,
I had ne'er given consent to this foul deed.
5.5.26 Mayor
Leave to accuse each other now,
And listen to the sentence I shall give.
Bear Mosbie and his sister to London straight,
Where they in Smithfield must be executed;
Bear Mistress Arden unto Canterbury,
Where her sentence is she must be burnt;
Michael and Bradshaw in Feversham must suffer death.
5.5.33 Alice
Let my death make amends for all my sins.
5.5.34 Mosbie
Fie upon women! this shall be my song;
But bear me hence, for I have lived too long.
5.5.36 Susan
Seeing no hope on earth, in heaven is my hope.
5.5.37 Michael
Faith, I care not, seeing I die with Susan.
5.5.38 Bradshaw
My blood be on his head that gave the sentence.
5.5.39 Mayor
To speedy execution with them all!
Exeunt
Contents

ACT V

Scene 6

Epilogue

Enter Franklin
5.6.1 Franklin
Thus have you seen the truth of Arden's death.
As for the ruffians, Shakebag and Black Will,
The one took sanctuary, and, being sent for out,
Was murdered in Southwark as he passed
To Greenwich, where the Lord Protector lay.
Black Will was burned in Flushing on a stage;
Greene was hanged at Osbridge in Kent;
The painter fled and how he died we know not.
But this above the rest is to be noted:
Arden lay murdered in that plot of ground
Which he by force and violence held from Reede;
And in the grass his body's print was seen
Two years and more after the deed was done.
Gentlemen, we hope you'll pardon this naked tragedy,
Wherein no filèd points are foisted in
To make it gracious to the ear or eye;
For simple truth is gracious enough,
And needs no other points of glosing stuff.
Exit
Contents

Finis