A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. VI
Part 7 out of 9
Lucre or Love, if case thou wilt be mine,
Let pass thy name: thyself do I desire.
Thee will I have, except thyself deny;
With thee to live, or else for thee to die.
What, if I deny?
Then will I have her.
If we deny?
So much the rather.
The rather in despite of us? Not so.
My lords, no quarrel: let this lady go;
And if ye trust me, I'll content ye both.
Pleasure, this is not Lucre.
She's Lucre unto me;
But be she Love or Conscience, this is she--
--whom you will have?
Spite of the devil, I will.
Must it not be, my lord, if I agree?
Some further proof of it fits you to see.
Receive in pawn my heart, my hand, and oath
To be thy own in love, in faith, and troth.
Thus you are fast, and yet myself am free.
I know in ruth thou wilt not me refuse.
I know not that; but other I'll not choose.
It is enough: Lord Pleasure, do not fear:
Conscience will use you as becomes her best.
And art thou Conscience? welcomer to me
Than either Love or Lucre.
God send grace I be!
NEMO. [_Addressing_ POMP _and_ POLICY.]
My lords, be pleas'd: ere long shall you be sped,
As much to your contents as Pleasure is.
Say but the word, myself shall soon present
Lucre and Love, well worthy such as you.
Right thankfully those favours we'll receive.
_Enter_ DILIGENCE _in haste_.
My lords, if your affairs in present be not great,
Greater than any, save regard of life,
Yea, even the greatest of the commonwealth,
Prepare ye to withstand a stratagem,
Such as this land nor London ever knew.
The Spanish forces, lordings, are prepar'd
In bravery and boast beyond all bounds,
T'invade, to win, to conquer all this land.
They chiefly aim at London's stately Pomp,
At London's Pleasure, Wealth, and Policy,
Intending to despoil her of them all,
And over all these lovely ladies three,
Love, Lucre, Conscience, of the rarest price,
To tyrannise and carry hardest hand.
From Spain they come with engine and intent
To slay, subdue, to triumph and torment:
Myself (so heaven would) espial of them had,
And Diligence, dear lords, they call my name.
If you vouchsafe to credit my report,
You do me right, and to yourselves no wrong,
Provided that you arm you, being warn'd.
Diligence, thy service shall be knowen,
And well rewarded. Nemo, for a time
Conceal this dame, and live secure, unseen;
Let us alone, whom most it doth concern,
To meet and match our overweening foes.
Nemo, keep close, and Conscience, pray for us.
Begone, and recommend us to our God.
My lords, if ever, show your honours now.
Those proud, usurping Spanish tyrants come,
To reave from you what most you do regard:
To take away your credit and your fame:
To raze and spoil our right-renowned town;
And if you Love or Lucre do regard,
Or have of Conscience any kind of care,
The world shall witness by this action;
And of the love that you to us pretend,
In this your valour shall assurance give.
More would I speak, but danger's in delay:
You know my mind, and heavens record my thoughts,
Which I with prayers for you will penetrate,
And will in heart be present in your fight.
Now, Pleasure, show what you will do for me.
I will be turn'd to Pain for thy sweet sake.
Fair Conscience, fear not, but assure thyself,
What kind affection we soever bear
To Love and Lucre in this action,
Chiefly for thee our service shall be done.
For Conscience' sake more than for Lucre now.
For Love and Conscience, not despising Lucre.
Only for Conscience will I hazard all.
And I from hence will her convey a space,
Till you return with happy victory.
Farewell, my lords: for me, my lords, for me!
[_Exeunt_ NEMO _and_ CONSCIENCE.
Diligence, what number may there be?
A mighty host, and chiefly led by three,
Who brave it out in show, as men assured
Of victory, sans venture or repulse.
How near be they?
So near, my lords, that each delay is death.
Stand on your guard: they come as challengers
To bruise your shields and bear away your prize,
Mounting the seas, and measuring the land
With strong imaginations of success.
Well, Diligence, go get in readiness
Men and munition: bid our pages ply,
To see that all our furniture be well:
Wit, Wealth, and Will to further wars be fit.
My lords, I would I might advise ye now
To Carry, as it were, a careless regard
Of these Castilians and their accustomed bravado.
Lord Pomp, let nothing that's magnifical,
Or that may tend to London's graceful state,
Be unperform'd; as shows and solemn feasts,
Watches in armour, triumphs, cresset-lights,
Bonfires, bells, and peals of ordnance.
And, Pleasure, see that plays be published,
May-games and masques, with mirth and minstrelsy,
Pageants and school-feasts, bears and puppet plays.
Myself will muster upon Mile-end Green,
As though we saw, and fear'd not to be seen;
Which will their spies in such a wonder set,
To see us reck so little such a foe,
Whom all the world admires, save only we.
And we respect our sport more than his spite.
That John the Spaniard will in rage run mad,
To see us bend like oaks with his vain breath.
In this device such liking I conceive,
As London shall not lack what Pomp can do.
And well I know that worthy citizens
Do carry minds so frank and bountiful,
As for their honour they will spare no cost:
Especially to let their enemy know,
Honour in England, not in Spain, doth grow.
And for the time that they in pleasure spend,
'Tis limited to such an honest end,
Namely, for recreation of the mind,
With no great cost, yet liberal in that kind,
That Pleasure vows with all delights he can
To do them good--till death to be their man.
Of Policy they trial have at large.
Then, let us go, and each man to his charge.
[_Exeunt the three Lords_.
_Enter_ SIMPLICITY _led by_ USURY.
I, sir? Why, alas! I bought them of a stranger, an old Frenchman,
for good gold, and to be worth ten pound, for so he told me. I have
good witness, for my own wife was by, and lent me part of the money.
And what did they cost you?
Ten shillings, every penny.
That argues you are guilty. Why, could ye buy so many rings and buttons
of gold, think ye, for ten shillings? Of whom did ye buy them?
Of an old Frenchman, the old French disease take him!
And where dwells that old Frenchman?
In France, I think, for he told me he was to go over the next tide
or the next day:
My wife can tell as well as I,
If ye think I lie.
For she was by.
A good answer: he dwells in France, and you dwell here; and for
uttering copper for gold you are like to lose both your ears upon
the pillory, and besides lose your freedom.
Nay, if I lose my ears, I care not for my freedom: keep you my freedom,
so I may keep my ears. Is there no remedy for this, Master Usury?
None, except you can find out that old Frenchman.
Peradventure I can, if you'll let me go into France to seek him.
So we may lose you, and never see him. Nay, that may not be.
Nay, good Master Usury, take all my goods, and let me go.
_Enter_ FRAUD, DISSIMULATION, SIMONY, _in canvas coats like sailors_.
What's the matter, Usury, that this poor knave cries so?
O Master Fraud! speak to him to let me go.
Fraud, ye villain! call me not by my name, and ye shall see I will
speak to him to let you go free. [_Aside_.]
Usury, of all old fellowship, let this poor knave pack, if the matter
be not too heinous.
No: fie! his fault is odious. Look here what stuff he would utter for
gold: flat copper; and he say'th he bought them of an old Frenchman.
But thou didst not sell them, didst thou?
No, sir; I would have but laid them to pawn for five pounds to him.
That was more than they were worth. I promise thee, a foul matter.
Well, thou must lose thy ware, and be glad to escape: so, Usury,
at my request ye shall let the poor man go.
Well, for this once I will. Sirrah, get ye packing, and take heed of
such a piece of work again, while ye live.
There is divers pieces of work in that box: pray ye, give me some of
my goods again, a ring, or something.
Not an inch, and be glad to 'scape as ye do.
Alas! I am undone: there's all the wealth and stock I have.
Do ye long to lose your ears? be gone, ye foolish knave.
I thank ye, Master Fraud. I'll not go far, but I'll be near to hear
and see what the meaning of these fellows in this canvas should be;
for I know Fraud, Dissimulation, and Simony to be those three. Here,
I think, I am unseen.
[SIMPLICITY _hides him near them_.
Usury, thank me for this good booty, for it is I that holp ye to it,
for I sold them to him for gold indeed, in the shape of an old French
artificer; come, give me half, for I deserve it, for my part was the
first beginning of this comedy. I was ever afraid lest the fool should
have known me; for ye see now, though disguis'd, he called me by my name.
Did I so? I am glad I have found the Frenchman. Now, I'll raise the
street, but I'll have my wares again, and prove ye, as ye were ever,
both false knaves, I believe.
Kill him, stab him! Out, villain! he will betray us all.
What a fool were you to speak before he was gone: now you have lost
your part of this, too; for he will go complain, you will be sought
for, and I made to restore these things again.
Not if thou be wise: thou wilt not tarry the reckoning, for seest
thou not us three, Dissimulation, Simony, and myself?
Yes: what means these canvas suits? Will ye be sailors?
Usury, make one: this is our intent. Let's see that none hear us now.
The Spaniards are coming, thou hearest, with great power: here is no
living for us in London; men are growen so full of conscience and
religion, that Fraud, Dissimulation, and Simony are deciphered, and
being deciphered are also despised, and therefore we will slip to the
sea, and meet and join with the enemy; and if they conquer, as they may,
for they are a great army by report, our credit may rise again with
them: if they fail and retire, we may either go with them and live in
Spain, where we and such good fellows are tolerated and used, or come
slyly again hither, so long as none knows but friends.
But will you do thus, you two?
And thou too, I hope: why, what should we do?
Whatsoever ye do, be not traitors to your native country.
'Tis not our native country, thou knowest. I, Simony, am a Roman:
Dissimulation, a mongrel--half an Italian, half a Dutchman: Fraud so,
too--half French and half Scotish; and thy parents were both Jews,
though thou wert born in London, and here, Usury, thou art cried out
against by the preachers. Join with us, man, to better thy state, for
in Spain preaching toucheth us not.
To better my state? Nay, to alter my state, for here, where I am,
I know the government: here I can live for all their threat'ning.
If strangers prevail, I know not their laws nor their usage: they
may be oppressors, and take all I have; and it is like they are so,
for they seek that's not their own. Therefore here will I stay,
sure to keep what I have, rather than be a traitor upon hap and
had-I-wist: and stay you, if ye be wise, and pray as I pray, that
the preachers and all other good men may die, and then we shall
flourish; but never trust to strangers' courtesy.
We shall trust but to our friends and kin. You'll not go with us, yet
for old acquaintance keep counsel; betray us not, for we'll be gone to
sea. I am afraid yon foolish knave have belaid the streets for us.
Let me go afore ye: if any such thing be, I'll give ye inkling.
Do: farewell, Usury: and as he goes one way, we'll go another.
Follow, sirs: never trust a shrinker, if he be your own brother.
_Enter the three Lords with their Pages and_ FEALTY, _a Herald,
before them, his coat having the arms of London before, and an
olive tree behind_.
Fealty, thou faithful herald of our town,
Thou true truce-keeper and sure friend in peace,
Take down our shields, and give them to our boys.
[_He delivers them_.
Now, Fealty, prepare thy wits for war,
To parley with the proud Castilians,
Approaching fast the frontiers of our coast.
Wit here, my page, in every message shall
Attend on thee, to note them and their deeds.
I need not tell thee, they are poor and proud:
Vaunters, vainglorious, tyrants, truce-breakers:
Envious, ireful, and ambitious.
For thou hast found their facings and their brags,
Their backs their coffers, and their wealth their rags;
But let me tell thee what we crave of thee--
To scan with judgment what their leaders be,
To note their presence and observe their grace,
And truly to advertise what they seem;
Whether to be experienced in arms,
Or men of name--those three that lead the rest--
The rest refer we to thy own conceit.
I hope in this my duty to discharge,
SIMPLICITY _make a great noise within, and enter with
three or four weaponed_.
Clubs! clubs! Nay, come, neighbours, come, for here they be: here
I left them, arrant thieves, rogues, coseners. I charge ye, as you will
answer, 'prehend them; for they have undone me, and robb'd me, and made
me the poorest freeman that ever kept a ballad-stall.
I charge ye keep the peace, and lay down your weapons.
[_To the three Lords_.
Who rais'd this tumult? Speak, what means this stir?
O, I am undone, robb'd, spoil'd of all my stock! Let me see, where
be they? Keep every street and door: 'xamine all that comes for
Fraud that cosener.
Masters, what mean you in these troublous times
To keep this coil?
Alas! my lord, here's a poor man robb'd or cosened.
I am robb'd.--O my boys, my pretty boys, I am undone!
Saw ye no thieves, nor no crafty knaves? What be all these?
Simplicity, away! these be our lords; offend them not for fear.
I seek not them: I seek for Fraud that robb'd me.
Go, seek elsewhere, for here's no place for such.
My friends, depart, and qualify this stir,
And see peace kept within the walls, I charge ye.
I will, my lord. Come, Simplicity, we came too late to find your losses.
Pray for me, my boys; I think I shall hang myself.
I come ever too late to speed.
Now, lords, let honour's fire inflame our thoughts,
And let us arm our courage with our cause,
And so dispose ourselves to welcome them.
Do me the favour (if I may entreat)
To be the first to front the foe in face:
The vanguard let be Policy's this once,
Pomp's the main battle, Pleasure's the rearward;
And so bestow us, if you think it good.
I think it good, and time that it were done.
I think it good, and wish the enemy come.
And here they come, as brave as Philip's son
And his Hephaestion wont to be array'd,
In glittering gold and party-coloured plumes;
With curious pendants on their lances fix'd,
Their shields impress'd with gilt copartiments;
Their pages careless playing at their backs,
As if with conquest they triumphing came.
If they be conquer'd, greater is their shame.
But, Diligence, go post alongst the coast
To tell the news; and look, to welcome them,
Let us alone. My lords, you hear the news:
More words were vain; I know ye well resolv'd.
And here they come. O proud Castilians!
_Enter first_, SHEALTY _the Herald; then_ PRIDE, _bearing his
shield himself, his impress a Peacock; the word_ Nonpareil;
_his Page_, SHAME, _after him with a lance, having a pendant gilt,
with this word in it_, Sur le Ciel. AMBITION, _his impress a black
horse saliant, with one hinder-foot upon the globe of the earth,
one fore-foot stretching towards the clouds, his word_ Non sufficit
orbis; _his Page_, TREACHERY, _after him, his pendant argent and
azure, an armed arm catching at the sunbeams, the word in it_ Et
gloriam Phoebi. _Last_, TYRANNY, _his impress a naked child on a
spear's-point, bleeding; his word_ Pour sangue; _his Page_, TERROR,
_his pendant gules, in it a tiger's head out of a cloud, licking
a bloody heart; the word in it_ Cura cruor. _March once about the
stage, then stand and view the Lords of London, who shall march
towards them, and they give back, then the Lords of London wheel
about to their standing, and th' other come again into their
places. Then_ POLICY _sends_ FEALTY; _their Herald's coat must
have the arms of Spain before, and a burning ship behind_.
My lords, what mean these gallants to perform?
Come these Castilian cowards but to brave?
Do all these mountains move to breed a mouse?
Fealty, go fetch their answer resolute,
How they dare be so bold, and what
They dare do here.
[_As_ FEALTY _is going toward them, they send forth_ SHEALTY.
What wouldst thou, herald?
Parley with those three, herald.
They scorn to grace so mean a man as thou
With parley or with presence.
Do they scorn?
What, are thy masters monarchs every one?
Or be they gods? or rather be they devils?
Scorn they a herald's presence and his speech?
Name them, that I may know their mightiness,
And so avoid of duties some neglect.
Monarchs in minds, and gods in high conceits,
That scorn you English as the scum of men,
Whom I ne dare without their licence name,
'Fore whom thy duties all are few and base.
Imperious Spaniard, do a herald right:
Thyself art one; their trouchman if thou be,
Be thou my trump, that I my message may
Through thee convey to them from London lords.
Base English groom, from beggars sent belike,
Who for their mate thee malapert account,
Dare I (think'st thou) these lords magnificent,
Without their special pleasure understood.
Once move with message or with show of speech?
More servile thou to lose a herald's due,
That is in field a king's companion.
But if thou dare not my ambassage do,
Stand by, and stop not my access to them.
Rather will I return, and know their minds.
[_When_ SHEALTY _goes to them_, WIT _goes to the
three Lords of London_.
Now, boy, what news?
The fearful herald of yon famous crew
Durst not your message to his masters tell,
Till Fealty with contumelious words
(Yet was the Spaniard brave and hot in terms)
Enforced him for their answer resolute.
[_The Spaniards whisper with their Herald_.
Which now, belike, our herald shall receive;
For theirs comes to him.
It pleaseth them to be magnifical,
And of their special graces to vouchsafe
A counterview of pages and of shields,
And countermessage by us heralds done;
A favour which they seldom grant to foes.
Go thou for those; I meet thee will with these.
My lords, yon braving Spaniards wish
A counterview of pages and of shields,
But what they mean or be, I know not yet.
Haply you may by their impresses view,
Or I by parley some conjecture give,
So please it you your pages and your shields
With me to send: their herald comes with theirs.
Our shields I reck not, but to send our Wealth--
Accompanied with Wit and Will--no peril.
It is my Wealth; but keep him, if they dare:
I'll fetch him double, if they do, my lords.
Boys, take our shields and spears, for they come on.
Vail, Spaniard: couch thy lance and pendant both.
Knowest where thou art? Here will we bear no braves.
[_When the English boys meet the other, cause them to put
down the tops of their lances, but they beat up theirs_.
Down with your point: no loft-born lances here
By any stranger, be he foe or friend.
Well dost thou note the couching of thy lance;
Mine had, ere this, else gor'd your Spanish skin.
Well done, my boys; but now all reverence--
Advance again your lances now, my boys.
[_Hold up again_.
Dicito nobis ideo, qui ades, quid sibi velint isthaec emblemata?
Dicito (inquam) lingua materna: nos enim omnes bellè intelligimus,
quamvis Anglicè loqui dedignamur.
Then know, Castilian cavalieros, this:
The owners of these emblems are three lords,
Those three that now are viewing of your shields:
Of London, our chief city, are they lords;
Policy, Pomp, and Pleasure be their names;
And they, in honour of their mistresses,
Love, Lucre, Conscience, London ladies three,
Emblazoned these scutcheons, challenging
Who durst compare or challenge one of them.
And Policy a tortoise hath impress'd,
Encompass'd with her shell, her native walls,
And _Providens securus_ is his word:
His page is Wit, his mistress Lady Love.
Pomp in his shield a lily hath portray'd,
As paragon of beauty and boon-grace:
_Glorie sans peere_ his word, and true it is;
With London's Pomp Castile cannot compare:
His page is Wealth, his mistress Lucre hight.
Pleasure, the dainty of that famous town,
A falcon hath emblazon'd, soaring high,
To show the pitch that London's Pleasure flies:
His word _Pour temps_, yet never stops to train,
But unto Conscience, chosen for his dear:
His page is Will; and thus th'effect you hear.
Buena, buena, per los Lutheranos Ingleses.
Mala, mala, per Catholicos Castellanos.
Agendum: go to, then; and declare
Thy lords their shields, their pages and their purpose.
Speak, man; fear not: though Spain use messengers ill,
'Tis England's guise to entreat them courteously.
Three cavalieros Castilianos here,
Without compeers in compass of this world,
Are come to conquer, as full well they shall,
This molehill isle, that little England hight,
With London, that proud paltry market-town,
And take those dames, Love, Lucre, Conscience,
Prisoners, to use or force, as pleaseth them.
The first (now quake) is Spanish Majesty,
That for his impress gives Queen Juno's bird,
Whose train is spang'd with Argus' hundred eyes;
The Queen of Gods scorns not to grace him so:
His word is _Nonpareil_, none his like;
Yet is his page or henchman Modesty,
Lucre the lady that shall be his prize:
And in his pendant on his lance's point
_Sur le Ciel_ his word, Above the heavens.
Whilome, indeed, above the heavens he was,
Could he have kept him in that blessed state.
From thence for pride he fell to pit of pain;
And is he now become the pride of Spain?
And to his page, not Modesty, but Shame.
Well, on, the rest----
Don Honour is the next grand peer of Spain,
Whose impress is a courser saliant,
Of colour sable, darkening air and earth,
Pressing the globe with his disdainful foot,
And sallying to aspire to rolling skies:
_Non sufficit orbis_ is his haughty word,
The world sufficeth not high Honour's thoughts;
And on the pendant, fixed on his lance,
A hand is catching at the sunny beams:
_Et gloriam Phoebi_, and the sun's bright coach
Honour would guide, if he might have his will.
His page is Action, tempering still with state.
Himself Ambition, whom the heavens do hate.
And Love the lady that he hopes to gain.
His thoughts, distract from foul-distempered brain,
Proves him the very firebrand of Spain:
And in his shield his black disordered beast,
Scaling the skies, scornful to tread the ground,
And both his words--proud words--prove perfectly
Action his page to be but Treachery,
Ever attendant on Ambition.
But to the third----
The third grand cavaliero is Government,
Severe in justice and in judgment deep:
His impress is a naked infant, gor'd
Upon a lance, signifying Severity.
His word _Pour sangue_; for blood of enemies
He bends his forces: on his pendant is
A tiger, licking of a bleeding heart;
And _Cura cruor_ is the word thereon:
His care's for blood of those that dare resist.
Yet hight his page, that follows him, Regard,
And he for Conscience to this conquest comes.
The Government of Spain is Tyranny,
As do his impress and his words declare:
His page is Terror; for a tyrant fears
His death in diet, in his bed, in sleep.
In Conscience' spite, the Spanish tyranny
Hath shed a sea of most unguilty blood.
Well, what's the end?
The end is, best you yield,
Submitting you to mercy of these lords.
Before we fight? soft, sir; ye brave too fast.
Castilians, know that Englishmen will knock. But say,
Doth Spanish Pride for London's Lucre gape?
And would their Tyranny Conscience captive have?
Doth their Ambition London's Love affect?
All this they will, and prey upon your town,
And give your lands away before your face.
Alas! what's England to the power of Spain?
A molehill, to be placed where it pleaseth them.
But in this molehill many pismires be,
All which will sting, before they be remov'd.
What is thy name?
An Irish word, signifying liberty;
Rather remissness, looseness, if ye will.
Why hath thy coat a burning ship behind?
To signify the burning of your fleet
By us Castilians.
It rather means your commonwealth's on fire
About your ears, and you were best look home.
A commonwealth's compared to a ship:
If yours do flame, your country is hot; beware.
I see, Castilians, that you marvel much
At this same emblem of the olive-tree
Upon my back; lo, this it signifies.
Spain is in wars; but London lives in peace:
Your native fruit doth wither on your soil,
And prospers where it never planted was.
This London's Fealty doth avouch for truth.
Herald of war, and porter of their peace,
Command ye me no service to my lords?
Quid tu cum dominis mox servietis miseri nobis: discede.
Quid mihi cum dominis servietis miseri meis!
Shealty, say unto yon Thrasoes three,
The Lords of London dare them to the field,
Pitying their pride and their ambition,
Scorning their tyranny, and yet fearing this,
That they are come from home and dare not fight;
But if they dare--in joint or several arms,
Battle or combat--him that Lucre seeks,
Your Spanish Pride, him dare I from the rest.
That bloody cur, your Spanish Tyranny,
That London's Conscience would force with cruelty,
I challenge him for Conscience' sake to fight
A Lord of London, and I Pleasure hight.
And, Shealty, when citizens dare them thus,
Judge what our nobles and our courtiers dare.
Say, if thou wilt, that London's Policy
Discerns that proud Ambition of Spain;
And for he comes inflam'd with London's Love,
In combat let him conquer me, and have her.
This is Love's favour; I her servant am.
This Lucre's favour: Pomp for her will fight.
This Conscience' favour: she my mistress is.
You craven English on your dunghills crow.
You Spanish pheasants crow upon your perch:
But when we fire your coats about your ears,
And take your ships before your walled towns,
We make a dunghill of your rotten bones,
And cram our chickens with your grains of gold.
You will not yield?
Yes, the last moneth.
[_Retire Heralds with the Pages to their places_.
Herald, how now?
Yon proud Castilians
Look for your service.
So do we for theirs.
But, Fealty, canst thou declare to me
The cause why all their pages follow them,
When ours in show do ever go before?
In war they follow, and the Spaniard is
Warring in mind.
But that's not now the cause.
Yon three are Pride, Ambition, Tyranny:
Shame follows Pride, as we a proverb have;
Pride goes before, and Shame comes after.
Treachery ever attends upon Ambition;
And Terror always with a fearful watch
Doth wait upon ill-conscienced Tyranny.
But why stay we to give them space to breathe?
Come, Courage! let us charge them all at once.
[_Let the three Lords pass towards the Spaniards, and the
Spaniards make show of coming forward and suddenly depart_.
What braving cowards these Castilians be?
My lords, let's hang our 'scutcheons up again,
And shroud ourselves, but not far off, unseen,
To prove if that may draw them to some deed,
Be it to batter our impressed shields.
Agreed. Here, Fealty, hang them up a space.
[_They hang up their shields, and step out of sight. The Spaniards
come, and flourish their rapiers near them, but touch them not, and
then hang up theirs; which the Lords of London perceiving, take
their own and batter theirs. The Spaniards, making a little show to
rescue, do suddenly slip away and come no more_.
Facing, faint-hearted, proud, and insolent,
That bear no edge within their painted sheaths,
That durst not strike our silly patient shields!
Up have they set their own: see, if we dare
Batter on them, and beat their braving lords.
Let them not yonder hang unhack'd, my lords.
With good advice, that we be not surprised.
And good enough myself will onset give
On Pride's. At your Peacock, sir.
At Tyranny's will I bestow my blow,
Wishing the master.
I at Ambition's strike. Have at his pampered jade!
_Enter_ S. PRIDE.
Fuoro Viliagos! fuoro Lutheranos Ingleses! fuoro, sa, sa, sa!
Their shields are ours: they fled away with shame.
But, lordings, whiles the stratagem is fresh,
And memory of their misfortune green,
Their hearts yet fainting with the novel grief,
Let us pursue them flying: if you say it,
Haply we may prevent their passage yet.
With speed and heed the matter must be done.
Therefore you, Policy, shall our leader be.
_Enter [the] three Ladies and_ NEMO.
The day is ours: fair ladies, let us joy
The joyful day that all men may rejoice;
Yet only I am thankful for this good,
And your good day at hand approacheth fast,
Wherein you shall be join'd to three such lords,
As all the cities under heaven's bright cope
Cannot with all their glory match in worth.
Lucre, Lord Pomp a victor comes to thee:
Love, look thou for Lord Policy as well;
And Conscience for her well-reformed phere,
Pleasure, that only made his choice of her.
Upon that day triumphant shall we feast,
Wherein, mesdames, your honours nill be least.
Against their coming, might my reed be heard,
Prepare would we garlands of laurel green,
To welcome them; more for the common good,
Than for affection private that we bear.
To meet them coming will not be amiss;
But what know we, how they will take such work?
Report may be much more than there is cause.
We may them meet and greet with joyful hearts,
And make them garlands, when we know their minds.
_Enter the three Lords, with the Spanish shields, and_ DILIGENCE.
And here they come with new-impressed shields.--
My lords, well-met, and welcome from your foes.
Lord Pomp, well-met, and welcome home again.
Lord Policy, well-met, and welcome home again.
Lord Pleasure, welcome with unfeigned heart.
Fair joy and lady, twenty thousand thanks.
Fair Love and lady, twice as many thanks.
Fair and beloved Lucre, though I speak last,
As kindly I thy welcome do accept,
As heart can think, pen write, or tongue can tell.
Now speak, my lords, how have ye sped?
Right well; thanks unto Him that gave the day to us.
The Pride of Spain was cloak'd with majesty,
And Shame, his page, nicknamed Modesty:
Spanish Ambition Honour would be call'd,
And Treachery, his page, term'd Action:
Their Tyranny was cleped Government;
Terror, his page, was falsely nam'd Regard;
But God above hath given them their reward.
They with dishonour left their shields behind,
The only prizes purchas'd by us now,
And those, fair ladies, we present to you.
Love, this is thine, and he that gives it thee.
In lieu whereof your gift and her I give
Again to you, that merit more than both.
The greatest gift and good could me befall.
Fair Lucre, lo, my present and myself.
Which I, with Nemo's license, gladly take.
Take her, Lord Pomp; I give her unto thee,
Wishing your good may ten times doubled be.
The richest good this world could give to me.
Of duty I, my dear, must give thee this:
That art my comfort and my earthly bliss.
Now, lords, I hope you are contented all:
Pomp with his Lucre, Policy with Love,
Pleasure with Conscience: joy fall you from above.
And thus to you my promise is perform'd,
And I expect that yours as well be kept,
That present preparation may be made
To honour those with holy marriage rites,
That I, in presence of the world, may give
These as my daughters unto you my sons.
By my consent one day shall serve us all,
Which shall be kept for ever festival.
And on that day, in honour of these dames,
These shields in triumph shall be borne about.
With pageants, plays, and what delights may be,
To entertain the time and company.
So it please you, lordings, methinks it were meet,
That the ladies took care to provide their own toys.
Myself need to help them, who know their minds well,
For I can keep women both quiet and constant.
It pleaseth us well that you will take the pains.
Fair ones, for a while ye betake you to your business.
[_The Lords bring them to the door, and they go out_ [FRAUD _and_
DISSIMULATION _enter disguised], and_ FRAUD _gives_ POLICY
_a paper, which he reads, and then says_:
It seems by this writing, sir, you would serve me.
Is your name Skill? whom did you serve last?
An ill master, my lord: I served none but myself.
Have ye never served any heretofore?
Yes, divers, my lord, both beyond sea and here. With your patience,
my good lord, not offending the same, I think I am your poor kinsman:
your lordship, Policy, and I Skill, if it like ye.
You say very well, and it is very like.
I will answer ye anon.
[DISSIMULATION _gives_ PLEASURE _a paper, which he reads, and says_:
Is your name Fair Semblance, that wish to serve me?
Please your lordship, Fair Semblance. I am well-seen, though I say it,
in sundry languages meet for your lordship, or any noble service, to
teach divers tongues and other rare things.
I like ye very well; stay a while for your answer.
_Enter_ USURY, _and gives a paper to_ POMP,
_which he reads, and saith_:
Master Usury, I thank ye that ye offer me your service; it seems to me
to be for your old mistress' sake, Lady Lucre. Stay but a while; I will
answer you with reason.
[_The three Lords go together and whisper, and call_ DILIGENCE.
DILIGENCE _goes out for a marking-iron, and returns_.
How now, my hearts, think ye we shall speed? [_Aside_.
Diligence, come hither.
I cannot tell what you shall, but I am sure I shall. [_Aside_.
I am as like as any of ye both.
Whist, man; he's Skill. [_Aside_.
Skill, why dost thou seek to serve Lady Love?
What profit will that be?
Tut, hold thee content: I'll serve but a while, and serve mine
own turn, and away.
Master Usury, come hither. You desire to serve me: you have done Lady
Lucre good service, you say, but it was against God and Conscience you
did it: neither ever in your life did ye anything for Love. Well, to
be short, serve me you shall not; and I would I could banish you from
London for ever, or keep you close prisoner; but that is not in me; but
what is, or may be, that straight you shall see. By Policy's counsel
this shall be done. Diligence, bring that iron. Help me, my lords.
Give me the iron. Pomp, Cousin Skill, help to hold him.
[FRAUD _lays hold on him, but_ DISSIMULATION _slip away_.
Sirrah, Policy gives you this mark, do you see;
A little x standing in the midst of a great C,
Meaning thereby to let men understand,
That you must not take above bare ten pound in the hundred at any hand:
And that too much too; and so be packing quietly,
And know that London's Pomp is not sustained by Usury,
But by well-ventured merchandise and honest industry.
I would I had never seen ye, if this be your courtesy.
Now, Cousin Skill, _alias_ Filthy Fraud,
No kinsman to Policy, nor friend to the state:
Instead of serving me, Diligence, take him to Newgate.
Ask me not why, sir: but, Diligence, if he do strive,
Raise the street: he's unweaponed, and thou hast a weapon on.--
And now, lords, when ye will, about our affairs let's be gone.
Agreed; but what's become of Fair-semblance, my man?
A crafty villain, perceiving how we meant to Usury, slipt away.
_Enter_ SIMPLICITY _in haste, and give the Lords a paper to read_.
All hail, all rain, all frost, and all snow
Be to you three Lords of London on a row!
Read my supplantation, and my suit ye shall know,
Even for God's sake above, and three ladies' sakes below.
Master Diligence, do me a favour: you know I am a gentleman.
Step aside, till my lords be gone; I'll do for you what I can.
What's here, my boy, what's here? Pleasure, this suit is, sure, to you;
for it's mad stuff, and I know not what it means.
Neither do I. Sirrah, your writing is so intricate, that you must speak
your mind; otherwise we shall not know your meaning.
You sue for three things here, and what be they? tell them.
Cannot you three tell, and the suit to you three? I am glad a simple
fellow yet can go beyond you three great Lords of London. Why, my suit,
look ye, is such a suit, as you are bound in honour to hear, for it is
for the puppet-like wealth. I would have no new orders nor new
sciences set up in the city, whereof I am a poor freeman, and please
ye, as ye may read in my bill there--Simplicity freeman. But, my lords,
I would have three old trades, which are not for the commonwealth,
And after all this circumstance, sir, what be they?
They be not three what-lack-ye's, as what do ye lack? fine lockram,
fine canvas, or fine Holland cloth, or what lack ye? fine ballads, fine
sonnets, or what lack ye? a purse, or a glass, or a pair of fine knives?
but they be three have-ye-any's, which methinks are neither sciences nor
occupations; and if they be trades, they are very malapert trades--and
more than reason.
As how, sir? name them.
Will you banish them as readily as I can name them? The first is,
have ye any old iron, old mail, or old harness?
And what fault find ye with this?
What fault? I promise ye, a great fault: what have you, or any man else,
to do to ask me if I have any old iron? What, if I have, or what, if I
have not; why should you be so saucy to ask?
Why, fool, 'tis for thy good to give thee money for that that might lie
and rust by thee.
No, my lord, no; I may not call you fool: it is to mark the houses where
such stuff is that, against rebels rise, there is harness and weapon
ready for them in such and such houses; and what then? The rusty weapon
doth wound past surgery, and kills the queen's good subjects; and the
rest of the old trash will make them guns too: so it is good luck to
find old iron, but 'tis naught to keep it, and the trade is crafty. And
now, my Lord Policy, I speak to you, 'twere well to put it down.
Wisely said. Which is your second? Is that as perilous?
Yea, and worse. It is, have ye any ends of gold and silver? This is a
perilous trade, covetous, and a 'ticement to murder; for, mark ye, if
they that ask this should be evil-given, as Gods forbod, they see who
hath this gold and silver: may they not come in the night, break in at
their houses, and cut their throats for it? I tell ye, gold and silver
hath caused as much mischief to be done as that: down with it.
They that have it need not show it.
Tush! they need ask no such question: many a man hath delight to show
what he hath. The trade is a 'ticing trade; down with it!
Now, your third, sir?
That is the craftiest of all, wherein I am disbus'd, for that goes
under the colour of Simplicity: have ye any wood to cleave?
A perilous thing: what hurt is there in this, sir?
O, do you not perceive the subtlety? Why, sir, the woodmongers hire
these poor men to go up and down, with their beetles and wedges on their
backs, crying, Have ye any wood to cleave? and laugh to see them travel
so loaden with wood and iron. Now, sir, if the poor men go two or three
days, and are not set a-work (as sometimes they do), the woodmongers pay
them, and gain by it, for then know they there's no wood in the city:
then raise they the price of billets so high, that the poor can buy none.
Now, sir, if these fellows were barr'd from asking whether there were any
wood to cleave or not, the woodmongers need not know but that there were
wood, and so billets and faggots would be sold all at one rate. Down
with this trade: we shall sit a-cold else, my lords.
I promise you, a wise suit, and done with great discretion.
Yea, is it not? might ye not do well to make me of your council?
I believe I could spy more faults in a week than you could mend
in a month.
Well, for these three faults, the time serves not now to redress.
No, marry; for you three must be married suddenly, and your feast
must be dress'd.
Against which feast repair you to Diligence, and he shall appoint you
furniture and money, and a place in the show: till when, farewell.
Farewell, my lords: farewell, my three lords; and remember that I have
set each of ye a fault to mend. Well, I'll go seek Master Diligence,
that he may give me forty pence against the feast, sir reverence.
DILIGENCE _and_ FRAUD _step out_.
What is it, Master Fraud, ye would demand of me?
Sir, this you know, though yourself be a man of good reckoning, yet are
ye known an officer unto these three lords, and what discredit it were
to me, being a noted man, to pass through the streets with you, being an
officer; or if any of my friends should suspect me with you, and dog us,
and see me committed to Newgate, I were utterly discredited. Here is a
purse, sir, and in it two hundred angels: look, sir; you shall tell them.
Here are so indeed. What mean ye by this? I will not take these to let
[_Deliver_ FRAUD _the purse again_.
I mean not so, sir; nor I will not give half of them to be suffered to
escape; for I have done none offence, though it please them to imprison
me, and it is but on commandment. I shall not stay long; but I will
give you this purse and gold in pawn to be true prisoner, only give me
leave to go some other way, and home to my lodging for my boots and
other necessaries; for there I'll leave word I am ridden out of town,
and with all the haste that possibly I may, I will meet you at Newgate,
and give you an angel for your courtesy. There is the purse.
[FRAUD _gives him a purse like the other_.
I hazard, as you know, my lords' displeasure herein; and yet, to
pleasure you, I will venture this once; but, I pray ye, make haste,
that I be not shent. I would not for ten angels it were known.
If I tarry above an hour, take that gold for your tarrying.
I do not fear that you'll forfeit so much for so little cause.
_Enter_ NEMO, _with_ DESIRE, DELIGHT, _and_ DEVOTION,
_the three Lords of Lincoln_.
My Lords of Lincoln,
Have you such title and such interest
To Love, Lucre, and Conscience as you say?
Who gave you leave to have access to them?
I am their father by adoption:
I never knew of love 'twixt them and you;
And to perpetual prison they were doom'd,
From whence I only might deliver them:
Which at the suit of three most matchless lords,
Their countrymen, in London bred as they,
I have perform'd, and freed them from their bonds;
And yet have bound them in their freedom too,
To Policy, to Pleasure, and to Pomp,
Three Lords of London, whose they are in right,
Contracted wives, and done by my consent;
And even to-morrow is the marriage-day,
Except your coming stay, or break it off.
I will go call their lords to answer you:
They (under covert-baron) meddle not.
Fetch them, Lord Nemo: we will here attend.
Attend we may, but unto little end:
The ladies are in hucksters' handling now.
I would I had my time in praying spent,
That I in wooing Conscience did consume.
_Enter the three Lords of London and_ NEMO.
Here come the lords: let's show good countenance, man.
Yet more ado, before we can enjoy
The joys of marriage with our mistresses?
Be these the lords that title do pretend?
My Lords of Lincoln, so we hear you be,
What are your names?
Devotion, Desire, and Delight.
Which comes for Lucre?
Which for Conscience?
Which for Love?
You shall be answered straight.
I can answer them quickly. Ye cannot have them, nor ye shall
not have them.
Stay, Pleasure; soft. My Lord Desire, you Lucre seek: desire of Lucre
(be it without reproach to you, my lord) is covetousness, which cannot
be separated long from that. Read, my lord.
[_Point to the stone of Care_.
In golden letters on this stone is written _Care_.
Care with desire of Lucre well agrees; the rather for that London's
Lucre may not be separated from London's Pomp: so you may take that
stone, if ye will; but the lady you cannot have.
And a stone is a cold comfort, instead of Lucre.
Devotion to Conscience (I speak now to you, my lord, that are learned)
is sorrow for sin, or (in one word) read--
[_Points to the stone of Remorse_.
On this sweating-stone in brass is set _Remorse_.
And that is your portion; for Conscience is bestowed on London's
Pleasure, because London makes o' Conscience what pleasure they
use and admit, and what time they bestow therein, and to what end:
so, my Lord Devotion, either that or nothing.
A stone is a hard lot, instead of a lady.
My Lord Delight, that do delight in Love,
You must I love for making choice of mine.
Love is my portion, and that flint is yours.
Here in lead is written _Charity_: and what of this?
If you be (as I doubt not) honest Delight in love, then in the best
sense you can have but Charity: if you be (which I suspect not) other
Delight in love, you must be noted for concupiscence, and that you will
blush to be. Well, Charity is your best: then, that is your portion;
for, mark ye, London's Policy joins with London's Love, to show that
all our policy is for love of London's commonwealth; and so our love
cannot be separate from our policy. You hear this?
A flint's a hard change for so fair a wife.
And thus, lords, Desire of Lucre may take Care; Devotion of
Conscience may have Remorse; and Delight of Love may have Charity:
other recompense none.
And so we three leave you three with Care, Remorse, and Charity.
With Care and Remorse, I swear, ye do leave us; but what Charity
I cannot tell.
Well, yet we must use Charity, though we fail of our desire; and we
are answered with such reason as is not to be gainsayed.
Indeed, my lord, your calling is to persuade to charity; but if I use
patience, it shall be perforce.
Yet being so wisely warn'd, methinks, we should be arm'd, and take
this in worth: that the world wonder no further, I will take up my
hard burden of Remorse, and be gone.
It is good to follow examples of good. I'll take this heavy burden
of Care, and follow as I may.
Because I'll not be singular, I'll frame myself to follow, taking
this cold portion of Charity as my share.
_Enter_ SIMPLICITY _with_ DILIGENCE.
Come on, Master Diligence: I have been seeking ye, as a man should
seek a load of hay in a needle's eye.
And why hast thou sought me, I pray thee, so earnestly?
Why? For this ointment, these shells, these pictures: do ye not know
this _countus mountus cum this da mihi_?
What money? Why, do I owe thee any money?
Owe me? Tush, no, man; what do ye talk of owing? Come, and yet I must
have some certain _sigillatum_ and _deliberatum in presentia_. Do you
not understand, sir? Fortypence and furniture by my Lord Pomp's
'pointment against the wedding day, to be one of the showmakers. I do
not say shoemakers, and yet they be honest men.
I understand thee now, and thou shalt want neither money nor furniture
for that. Sawest thou not Fraud lately?
No, a fox ferret him! for if I could find him, I would make him fast
enough for cosening me of ten shillings for certain copper buttons
and rings. I thought to have been a haberdasher, and he hath made me
worse than a haymaker.
I may say to thee in counsel, but I'll have no words of it, he hath
overreach'd me too: but if thou spy him first, let me understand; and
if I see him first, thou shalt have knowledge; for I'll tell thee--but
laugh not--he showed me a purse with a hundred pound in angels, which
he would deliver me in pawn to be my true prisoner, because, for his
credit, he was loth to go with me through the streets to Newgate. I
refused it at first; but at last by his entreaty I was content to take
his pawn, and thinking he had given me the right purse of gold, he had
another like it, which he gave me with counters, and so went away. I
never did see him since; but, mum, no words of it.
No words, quotha! that's a stale jest; would you be cosen'd so?
Well, so it is now. Come, follow me for thy furniture and money.
_Enter_ DISSIMULATION _and_ FRAUD _in caps, and as
the rest must be for the show_.
The coast is clear: come, follow, Fraud, and fear not, for who can
decipher us in this disguise? Thus may we shuffle into the show
with the rest, and see and not be seen, doing as they do, that are
attired like ourselves.
That is, to stand amongst them, and take as they take, torches or
anything to furnish the show. Now, if we can pass but this day unseen,
let to-morrow shift for itself as it may. I promise thee, Dissimulation,
thou art very formal.
Not more than thyself, Fraud. I would thou sawest thy picture.
Picture here, picture there! let us follow our business.
_Enter a Wench, singing_.
_Strew the fair flowers and herbs that be green,
To grace the gayest wedding that ever was seen.
If London list to look, the streets were ne'er so clean,
Except it was, when best it might, in welcome of our Queen.
Three lovely lords of London shall three London ladies wed:
Strew sweetest flowers upon the stones; perfume the bridal bed.
Strew the fair flowers, &c_.
_Enter first_ DILIGENCE _with a truncheon, then a boy with_ POLICY'S
_lance and shield: then_ POLICY _and_ LOVE, _hand in hand: then_
FRAUD _in a blue gown, red cap, and red sleeves, with_ AMBITION'S
_lance and shield: then a boy with_ POMP'S _lance and shield: then_
POMP _and_ LUCRE, _hand in hand: then_ DISSIMULATION _with_ PRIDE'S
_lance and shield: then a boy with_ PLEASURE'S _lance and shield:
then_ PLEASURE _and_ CONSCIENCE, _hand in hand: then_ SIMPLICITY,
_with_ TYRANNY'S _lance and shield. They all going out_, NEMO
_stays and speaks_.
These lords and ladies thus to church are gone,
An honoured action to solemnise there;
With greater joy will they return anon,
Than Caesar did in Rome his laurel wear.
Lord Policy hath Love unto his pheer;
Lord Pomp hath Lucre to maintain his port;
Lord Pleasure Conscience, to direct his sport.
Usury is marked to be known;
Dissimulation like a shadow fleets,
And Simony is out of knowledge grown,
And Fraud unfound in London, but by fits.
Simplicity with Painful Penury sits;
For Hospitality, that was wont to feed him,
Was slain long since, and now the poor do need him.
That Hospitality was an honest man,
But had few friends, alas! if he had any;
But Usury, which cut his throat as then,
Was succoured and sued for by many.
Would Liberality had been by thy side,
Then, Hospitality, thou hadst never died.
But what mean I, one of the marriage train,
To mourn for him will ne'er be had again?
His ghost may walk to mock the people rude:
Ghosts are but shadows, and do sense delude
I talk too long; for, lo, this lovely crew
Are coming back, and have performed their due.
[_Return as they went, saving that the blue gowns, that bare
shields, must now bear torches_: SIMPLICITY _going about
spies_ FRAUD, _and falleth on his knees before_ PLEASURE _and_
O Lady Conscience, that art married to Lord Pleasure,
Help thy servant, Simplicity, to recover his lost treasure.
A boon, my lords, all for Love and Lucre['s] sake;
Even as you are true lords, help a false lout to take.
Thou shalt have help: speak, what is the matter?
See you yon fellow with the torch in his hand?
E'en the falsest villain that is in this land.
Let him be laid hold on, that he run not away,
And then ye shall hear what I have to say.
Diligence, bring him hither. Good lords and ladies, stay.
O Master Fraud, welcome to the butts:
Now I'll have my ten shillings in spite of your guts.
The French canker consume ye, you were an old Frenchman!
De gol' button, gol' ringa, bugla lace! you cosen'd me then.
My lords, I beseech ye, that at Tyburn he may totter,
For instead of gold the villain sold me copper.
Is this true, Master Skill?
It is true in a sort, my lord. I thought to be pleasant with him, being
my old acquain'ce, and disguis'd myself like an old French artificer;
and having a few copper knacks, I sold them to him, to make sport, for
ten shillings, which money I am content to pay him again: so shall he
have no loss, though we have made a little sport.
First, give him an angel before my face. Simplicity, art thou pleased?
Truly I am pleas'd to take a good angel for ten shillings, speciously
of such a debtor as Master Fraud; but now I am to be pleas'd otherwise,
that is, to see him punished. I promise ye the people love him well,
for they would leave work and make half-holiday to see him hanged.
That his punishment may please thee the better, thou shalt punish him
thyself: he shall be bound fast to yon post, and thou shalt be
blindfold, and with thy torch shalt run, as it were, at tilt, charging
thy light against his lips, and so (if thou canst) burn out his tongue,
that it never speak more guile.
O, _singulariter nominativo_, wise Lord Pleasure: _genitivo_, bind him
to that post: _dativo_, give me my torch: _accusativo_, for I say he's
a cosener: _vocativo_, O, give me room to run at him: _ablativo_, take
and blind me. _Pluraliter per omnes casus_, Laugh all you to see me, in
my choler adust, To burn and to broil that false Fraud to dust.
[_Bind_ FRAUD, _blind_ SIMPLICITY: _turn him thrice about; set his
face towards the contrary post, at which he runs, and all-to burns
it_. DISSIMULATION, _standing behind_ FRAUD, _unbinds him, and while
all the rest behold_ SIMPLICITY, _they two slip away_; PLEASURE,
_missing_ FRAUD, _saith_--
Wisely perform'd! but soft, sirs, where is Fraud?
O notable villain! gone, whiles we beheld
The other. Who loos'd him? Who let him slip?
Well, one day he will pay for all. Unblind Simplicity.
How now! Have I heated his lips? Have I warm'd his nose, and scorched
his face? Let me see: how looks the villain? Have I burned him?
Thou hast done more; for thou hast quite consumed him into nothing.
Look, here is no sign of him; no, not so much as his ashes.
Very few ashes, if there be any. Ye may see what a hot thing anger is:
I think that the torch did not waste him so much as my wrath. Well, all
London, nay, all England, is beholding to me for putting Fraud out of
this world. I have consumed him and brought him to nothing, and I'll
tread his ashes under my feet, that no more Frauds shall ever spring of
them. But let me see: I shall have much anger; for the tanners will miss
him in their leather, the tailors in their cutting out of garments, the
shoemaker in closing, the tapsters in filling pots, and the very
oystermen to mingle their oysters at Billingsgate: yet it is no matter;
the world is well-rid of such a crafty knave.
Well, now thou art satisfied, I wish all here as well contented;
And we, my lords, that praise this happy day,
Fall we on knees, and humbly let us pray.
First that from heaven upon our gracious queen
All manner blessings may be multiplied,
That as her reign most prosperous hath been,
During world's length so may it still abide,
And after that with saints be glorified,
Lord! grant her health, heart's-ease, joy and mirth,
And heaven at last, after long life on earth.
Her council wise and noble of this land
Bless and preserve, O Lord! with Thy right hand.
On all the rest that in this land do dwell
Chiefly in London, Lord! pour down Thy grace,
Who living in Thy fear, and dying well,
In heaven with angels they may have a place.
A KNACK TO KNOW A KNAVE.
A most pleasant and merie new Comedie, intituled A Knacke to Knowe a
Knaue. Newlie set foorth, as it hath sundrie tymes bene played by Ed:
Allen and his Companie. With Kemps applauded Merrimentes of the men of
Goteham, in receiuing the King into Goteham. Imprinted at London by
Richard Iones, dwelling at the signe of the Rose and Crowne, nere
Holborne Bridge_, 1594. 4º. Black letter.
A MERRY KNACK TO KNOW A KNAVE.
_Enter KING EDGAR, BISHOP DUNSTAN, and PERIN, a courtier_.
Dunstan, how highly are we bound to praise
The Eternal God that still provides for us,
And gives us leave to rule in this our land.
Likewise Vespasian, Rome's rich emperor,
Suppressing sin, that daily reigns in us.
First, murther we reward with present death,
And those that do commit felonious crimes
Our laws of England do award them death:
And he that doth despoil a virgin's chastity
Must likewise suffer death by law's decree,
And that decree is irrevocable.
Then, as I am God's vicegerent here on earth,
By God's appointment here to reign and rule,
So must I seek to cut abuses down, that, like
To Hydra's heads, daily grows up, one in another's
Place, and therein makes the land infectious.
Which if with good regard we look not to,
We shall, like Sodom, feel that fiery doom
That God in justice did inflict on them.
Your grace's care herein I much commend,
And England hath just cause to praise the Lord,
That sent so good a king to govern them.
Your life may be a lantern to the state,
By perfect sign of humility.
How blest had Sodom been in sight of God,
If they had had so kind a governor;
They had then undoubtedly escap'd that doom,
That God in justice did inflict on them.
Then, England, kneel upon thy hearty knee,
And praise that God that so provides for thee.
And, virtuous prince, thou Solomon of our age,
Whose years, I hope, shall double Nestor's reign,
And bring a thousand profits to the land,
Myself (dread prince), in token of my love
And dutiful obedience to your grace,
Will study daily, as my duty wills,
To root sins from the flourishing commonwealth,
That Fame, in every angle of the world,
May sound due praise of England's virtuous king.
Dunstan, live thou, and counsel still the king
To maintain justice, were it on himself,
Rather than, soothing him in his abuse,
To see subversion of his commonwealth.
I tell thee, Dunstan, thou hast pleased the king,
And proved thyself a virtuous councillor:
Thy counsel is to me as North-Star light,
That guides the sailor to his wished port;
For by that star he is so comforted,
That he sails dangerless on dangerous seas,
And in his deepest sadness comforts him.
So Dunstan's knowledge is that star of joy,
That will with help conduct me to my happiness.
And yet thou art not happy, Edgar,
Because that sins, like swarms, remain in thee.
Why, 'tis impossible; for I have studied still,
To root abuses from the commonwealth,
That may infect the king or commonalty.
Therefore, base peasant, wilful as thou art,
I tell thee troth, thou hast displeas'd the king.
Nay, the king hath displeased himself,
In trusting every one that speaks him fair:
For through fair words kings many times are fain
To countenance knaves by their authority.
I will not say your grace doth so--
No, sir; you were not best.
Why, if I should, I might make good my word,
And find a knave, I fear, before I part.
Why, what art thou?
Marry, I go plain, and my name is Honesty:
A friend to your grace, but a foe to flatterers,
And one that hath _a knack to know a knave_.
As how, sir?
By art, or by some foolish gift God hath given you?
You are some physician, or skill'd in phys'ognomy, or in palmestry;
For, I am sure, you can never do it by astronomy,
Because there are no stars to know a knave.
True, but many an honest man knows a knave to his cost,
And is neither physician, or skill'd physiognomer, palmester,
But a plain man of the country, like me,
That knows a knave, if he do but see his cap.
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