SCENE I. [A street in London]



MY lord mayor, you have sundry times

Feasted myself and many courtiers more;

Seldom or never can we be so kind

To make requital of your courtesy.

But leaving this, I hear my cousin Lacy

Is much affected to〖In love with.〗 your daughter Rose.

L. Mayor. True, my good lord, and she loves him so well

That I mislike her boldness in the chase.

Lincoln. Why, my lord mayor, think you it then a shame,

To join a Lacy with an Oateley's name?

L. Mayor. Too mean is my poor girl for his high birth;

Poor citizens must not with courtiers wed,

Who will in silks and gay apparel spend

More in one year than I am worth, by far:

Therefore your honour need not doubt〖Fear.〗 my girl.

Lincoln. Take heed, my lord, advise you what you do!

A verier unthrift lives not in the world,

Than is my cousin; for I'll tell you what:

'Tis now almost a year since he requested

To travel countries for experience.

I furnished him with coins, bills of exchange,

Letters of credit, men to wait on him,

Solicited my friends in Italy

Well to respect him. But to see the end:

Scant had he journey'd through half Germany,

But all his coin was spent, his men cast off,

His bills embezzl'd,〖Wasted.〗 and my jolly coz,〖Cousin; used of any relative not of one's immediate family.〗

Asham'd to show his bankrupt presence here,

Became a shoemaker in Wittenberg,

A goodly science for a gentleman

Of such descent! Now judge the rest by this:

Suppose your daughter have a thousand pound,

He did consume me more in one half year;

And make him heir to all the wealth you have

One twelvemonth's rioting will waste it all.

Then seek, my lord, some honest citizen

To wed your daughter to.

L. Mayor. I thank your lordship.

[Aside.] Well, fox, I understand your subtilty.—

As for your nephew, let your lordship's eye

But watch his actions, and you need not fear,

For I have sent my daughter far enough.

And yet your cousin Rowland might do well,

Now he hath learn'd an occupation;

And yet I scorn to call him son-in-law.

Lincoln. Ay, but I have a better trade for him.

I thank his grace, he hath appointed him

Chief colonel of all those companies

Must'red in London and the shires about,

To serve his highness in those wars of France.

See where he comes!—


Lovell, what news with you?

Lovell. My Lord of Lincoln, 'tis his highness' will,

That presently〖At once.〗 your cousin ship for France

With all his powers; he would not for a million,

But they should land at Dieppe within four days.

Lincoln. Go certify his grace, it shall be done. Exit LOVELL.

Now, cousin Lacy, in what forwardness

Are all your companies?

Lacy. All well prepared.

The men of Hertfordshire lie at Mile-end,

Suffolk and Essex train in Tothill-fields,

The Londoners and those of Middlesex,

All gallantly prepar'd in Finsbury,

With frolic spirits long for their parting hour.

L. Mayor. They have their imprest,〖Regimental badge.〗 coats, and furniture;〖Equipment.〗

And, if it please your cousin Lacy come

To the Guildhall, he shall receive his pay;

And twenty pounds besides my brethren

Will freely give him, to approve our loves

We bear unto my lord, your uncle here.

Lacy. I thank your honour.

Lincoln. Thanks, my good lord mayor.

L. Mayor. At the Guildhall we will expect your coming. Exit.

Lincoln. To approve your loves to me? No subtilty!

Nephew, that twenty pound he doth bestow

For joy to rid you from his daughter Rose.

But, cousins both, now here are none but friends,

I would not have you cast an amorous eye

Upon so mean a project as the love

Of a gay, wanton, painted citizen.

I know, this churl even in the height of scorn

Doth hate the mixture of his blood with thine.

I pray thee, do thou so! Remember, coz,

What honourable fortunes wait on thee.

Increase the king's love, which so brightly shines,

And gilds thy hopes. I have no heir but thee,—

And yet not thee, if with a wayward spirit

Thou start from the true bias〖Inclination.〗 of my love.

Lacy. My lord, I will for honour, not desire

Of land or livings, or to be your heir,

So guide my actions in pursuit of France,

As shall add glory to the Lacys' name.

Lincoln. Coz, for those words here's thirty Portuguese,〖A gold coin, worth about three pounds twelve shillings.〗

And, nephew Askew, there's a few for you.

Fair Honour, in her loftiest eminence,

Stays in France for you, till you fetch her thence.

Then, nephews, clap swift wings on your designs.

Begone, begone, make haste to the Guildhall;

There presently I'll meet you. Do not stay:

Where honour beckons, shame attends delay. Exit.

Askew. How gladly would your uncle have you gone!

Lacy. True, coz, but I'll o'erreach his policies.

I have some serious business for three days,

Which nothing but my presence can dispatch.

You, therefore, cousin, with the companies,

Shall haste to Dover; there I'll meet with you:

Or, if I stay past my prefixed time,

Away for France; we'll meet in Normandy.

The twenty pounds my lord mayor gives to me

You shall receive, and these ten Portuguese,

Part of mine uncle's thirty. Gentle coz,

Have care to our great charge; I know, your wisdom

Hath tried itself in higher consequence.

Askew. Coz, all myself am yours: yet have this care,

To lodge in London with all secrecy;

Our uncle Lincoln hath, besides his own,

Many a jealous eye, that in your face

Stares only to watch means for your disgrace.

Lacy. Stay, cousin, who be these?


JANE, and RALPH with a piece〖Piece of leather.〗

Eyre. Leave whining, leave whining! Away with this whimpering, this puling, these blubbering tears, and these wet eyes! I'll get thy husband discharg'd, I warrant thee, sweet Jane; go to!

Hodge. Master, here be the captains.

Eyre. Peace, Hodge; hush, ye knave, hush!

Firk. Here be the cavaliers and the colonels, master.

Eyre. Peace, Firk; peace, my fine Firk! Stand by with your pishery-pashery,〖Twiddle-twaddle.〗 away! I am a man of the best presence; I'll speak to them, an〖If.〗 they were Popes.—Gentlemen, captains, colonels, commanders! Brave men, brave leaders, may it please you to give me audience. I am Simon Eyre, the mad shoemaker of Tower Street; this wench with the mealy mouth that will never tire, is my wife, I can tell you; here's Hodge, my man and my foreman; here's Firk, my fine firking〖Frisky, tricky.〗 journeyman, and this is blubbered Jane. All we come to be suitors for this honest Ralph. Keep him at home, and as I am a true shoemaker and a gentleman of the gentle craft, buy spurs yourselves, and I'll find ye boots these seven years.

Marg. Seven years, husband?

Eyre. Peace, midriff,〖Used as a term of contempt.〗 peace! I know what I do. Peace!

Firk. Truly, master cormorant,〖Quibbling on colonel.〗 you shall do God good service to let Ralph and his wife stay together. She's a young new-married woman; if you take her husband away from her a-night, you undo her; she may beg in the day-time; for he's as good a workman at a prick and an awl, as any is in our trade.

Jane. O let him stay, else I shall be undone.

Firk. Ay, truly, she shall be laid at one side like a pair of old shoes else, and be occupied for no use.

Lacy. Truly, my friends, it lies not in my power:

The Londoners are press'd,〖Impressed into service.〗 paid, and set forth

By the lord mayor; I cannot change a man.

Hodge. Why, then you were as good be a corporal as a colonel, if you cannot discharge one good fellow; and I tell you true, I think you do more than you can answer, to press a man within a year and a day of his marriage.

Eyre. Well said, melancholy Hodge; gramercy, my fine foreman.

Marg. Truly, gentlemen, it were ill done for such as you, to stand so stiffly against a poor young wife, considering her case, she is new-married, but let that pass. I pray, deal not roughly with her; her husband is a young man, and but newly ent'red, but let that pass.

Eyre. Away with our pishery-pashery, your pols and your edipols! 〖Solemn declarations.〗 Peace, midriff; silence, Cicely Bumtrinket! Let your head speak.

Firk. Yea, and the horns too, master.

Eyre. Too soon, my fine Firk, too soon! Peace, scoundrels! See you this man? Captains, you will not release him? Well, let him go; he's a proper shot; let him vanish! Peace, Jane, dry up thy tears, they'll make his powder dankish.〖Damp.〗 Take him, brave men; Hector of Troy was an hackney to him, Hercules and Termagant〖An imaginary Saracen god.〗 scoundrels. Prince Arthur's Round-table-by the Lord of Ludgate—ne'er fed such a tall, such a dapper swordsman; by the lifeof Pharaoh, a brave, resolute swordsman! Peace, Jane! I say no more, mad knaves.

Firk. See, see, Hodge, how my master raves in commendation of Ralph!

Hodge. Ralph, th'art a gull,〖Fool.〗 by this hand, an thou goest not.

Askew. I am glad, good Master Eyre, it is my hap

To meet so resolute a soldier.

Trust me, for your report and love to him,

A common slight regard shall not respect him.

Lacy. Is thy name Ralph?

Ralph. Yes, sir.

Lacy. Give me thy hand;

Thou shalt not want, as I am a gentleman.

Woman, be patient; God, no doubt, will send

Thy husband safe again; but he must go,

His country's quarrel says it shall be so.

Hodge. Th'art a gull, by my stirrup, if thou dost not go. I will not have thee strike thy gimlet into these weak vessels; prick thine enemies, Ralph.


Dodger. My lord, your uncle on the Tower-hill

Stays with the lord mayor and the aldermen,

And doth request you with all speed you may,

To hasten thither.

Askew. Cousin, let's go.

Lacy. Dodger, run you before, tell them we come.—

This Dodger is mine uncle's parasite, Exit DODGER.

The arrant'st varlet that e'er breath'd on earth;

He sets more discord in a noble house

By one day's broaching of his pickthank tales,〖Tales told to curry favor.〗

Than can be salv'd〖Healed.〗 again in twenty years,

And he, I fear, shall go with us to France,

To pry into our actions.

Askew. Therefore, coz,

It shall behove you to be circumspect.

Lacy. Fear not, good cousin.—Ralph, hie to your colours.

[Exit LACY and ASKEW.]

Ralph. I must, because there's no remedy;

But, gentle master and my loving dame,

As you have always been a friend to me,

So in mine absence think upon my wife.

Jane. Alas, my Ralph.

Marg. She cannot speak for weeping.

Eyre. Peace, you crack'd groats,〖Fourpenny-pieces.〗 you mustard tokens,〖Yellow spots on the body denoting the infection of the plague.〗disquiet not the brave soldier. Go thy ways, Ralph!

Jane. Ay, ay, you bid him go; what shall I do

When he is gone?

Firk. Why, be doing with me or my fellow Hodge; be not idle.

Eyre. Let me see thy hand, Jane. This fine hand, this white hand, these pretty fingers must spin, must card, must work; work, you bombast-cotton-candle-quean; work for your living, with a pox to you.—Hold thee, Ralph, here's five sixpences for thee; fight for the honour of the gentle craft, for the gentlemen shoemakers, the courageous cordwainers, the flower of St. Martin's, the mad knaves of Bedlam, Fleet Street, Tower Street and Whitechapel; crack me the crowns of the French knaves; a pox on them, crack them; fight, by the Lord of Ludgate; fight, my fine boy!

Firk. Here, Ralph, here's three twopences: two carry into France, the third shall wash our souls at parting, for sorrow is dry. For my sake, firk the Basa mon cues.

Hodge. Ralph, I am heavy at parting; but here's a shilling for thee. God send〖Grant.〗 thee to cram thy slops〖Breeches (-pockets).〗 with French crowns, and thy enemies' bellies with bullets.

Ralph. I thank you, master, and I thank you all.

Now, gentle wife, my loving lovely Jane,

Rich men, at parting, give their wives rich gifts,

Jewels and rings, to grace their lily hands.

Thou know'st our trade makes rings for women's heels:

Here take this pair of shoes, cut out by Hodge,

Stitch'd by my fellow Firk, seam'd by myself,

Made up and pink'd〖Perforated.〗 with letters for thy name.

Wear them, my dear Jane, for thy husband's sake,

And every morning, when thou pull'st them on,

Remember me, and pray for my return.

Make much of them; for I have made them so

That I can know them from a thousand mo.

Drum sounds. Enter the LORD MAYOR, the EARL OF LINCOLN, LACY, ASKEW, DODGER, and Soldiers. They pass over the stage; RALPH falls in amongst them; FIRK and the rest cry “Farewell,” etc., and so exeunt.

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