SCENE I. [A garden at Old Ford]

Enter ROSE, alone, making a garland

Rose. Here sit thou down upon this flow'ry bank,

And make a garland for thy Lacy's head.

These pinks, these roses, and these violets,

These blushing gilliflowers, these marigolds,

The fair embroidery of his coronet,

Carry not half such beauty in their cheeks,

As the sweet countenance of my Lacy doth.

O my most unkind father! O my stars,

Why lower'd you so at my nativity,

To make me love, yet live robb'd of my love?

Here as a thief am I imprisoned

For my dear Lacy's sake within those walls,

Which by my father's cost were builded up

For better purposes. Here must I languish

For him that doth as much lament, I know,

Mine absence, as for him I pine in woe.


Sybil. Good morrow, young mistress. I am sure you make that garland for me; against〖In preparation.〗 I shall be Lady of the Harvest.

Rose. Sybil, what news at London?

Sybil. None but good; my lord mayor, your father, and master Philpot, your uncle, and Master Scot, your cousin, and Mistress Frigbottom by Doctors' Commons, do all, by my troth, send you most hearty commendations.

Rose. Did Lacy send kind greetings to his love?

Sybil. O yes, out of cry, by my troth. I scant knew him; here 'a wore a scarf; and here a scarf, here a bunch of feathers, and here precious stones and jewels, and a pair of garters,—O, monstrous! like one of our yellow silk curtains at home here in Old Ford House here, in Master Belly-mount's chamber. I stood at our door in Cornhill, look'd at him, he at me indeed, spake to him, but he not to me, not a word; marry go-up, thought I, with a wanion!〖With a vengeance.〗 He passed by me as proud—Marry foh! are you grown humorous,〖Capricious.〗 thought I; and so shut the door, and in I came.

Rose. O Sybil, how dost thou my Lacy wrong!

My Rowland is as gentle as a lamb.

No dove was ever half so mild as he.

Sybil. Mild? yea, as a bushel of stamped crabs.〖Crushed crab apples.〗 He looked upon me as sour as verjuice.〖Juice of green fruits.〗 Go thy ways, thought I: thou may'st be much in my gaskins,〖Wide trousers.〗 but nothing in my nether-stocks.〖Stockings. The meaning seems to be that though we may be acquainted we are not intimate friends.〗 This is your fault, mistress, to love him that loves not you; he thinks scorn to do as he's done to; but if I were as you, I'd cry, ‘Go by, Jeronimo, go by!’〖A phrase from Kyd's Spanish Tragedy.〗

I'd set mine old debts against my new driblets,

And the hare's foot against the goose giblets,

For if ever I sigh, when sleep I should take,

Pray God I may lose my maidenhead when I wake.

Rose. Will my love leave me then, and go to France?

Sybil. I know not that, but I am sure I see him stalk before the soldiers. By my troth, he is a proper man; but he is proper that proper doth. Let him go snick-up,〖Go and be hanged!〗 young mistress.

Rose. Get thee to London, and learn perfectly

Whether my Lacy go to France, or no.

Do this, and I will give thee for thy pains

My cambric apron and my Romish gloves,

My purple stockings and a stomacher.

Say, wilt thou do this, Sybil, for my sake?

Sybil. Will I, quoth'a? At whose suit? By my troth, yes, I'll go. A cambric apron, gloves, a pair of purple stockings, and a stomacher! I'll sweat in purple, mistress, for you; I'll take anything that comes a' God's name. O rich! a cambric apron! Faith, then have at ‘up tails all.’ I'll go jiggy-joggy to London, and be here in a trice, young mistress. Exit.

Rose. Do so, good Sybil. Meantime wretched I

Will sit and sigh for his lost company. Exit.

SCENE II. [A street in London]

Enter LACY, disguised as a Dutch Shoemaker

Lacy. How many shapes have gods and kings devis'd,

Thereby to compass their desired loves!

It is no shame for Rowland Lacy, then,

To clothe his cunning with the gentle craft,

That, thus disguis'd, I may unknown possess

The only happy presence of my Rose.

For her have I forsook my charge in France,

Incurr'd the king's displeasure, and stirr'd up

Rough hatred in mine uncle Lincoln's breast.

O love, how powerful art thou, that canst change

High birth to baseness, and a noble mind

To the mean semblance of a shoemaker!

But thus it must be. For her cruel father,

Hating the single union of our souls,

Has secretly convey'd my Rose from London,

To bar me of her presence; but I trust,

Fortune and this disguise will further me

Once more to view her beauty, gain her sight.

Here in Tower Street with Eyre the shoemaker

Mean I a while to work; I know the trade,

I learnt it when I was in Wittenberg.

Then cheer thy hoping spirits, be not dismay'd,

Thou canst not want: do Fortune what she can,

The gentle craft if living for a man. Exit.

SCENE III. [Before Eyre's house.]

Enter EYRE, making himself ready 〖Dressing himself.〗

Eyre. Where be these boys, these girls, these drabs, these scoundrels? They wallow in the fat brewiss〖Beef broth.〗 of my bounty, and lick up the crumbs of my table, yet will not rise to see my walks cleansed. Come out, you powder-beef〖Salted beef.〗 queans! What, Nan! what, Madge Mumble-crust. Come out, you fat midriff-swag-belly-whores, and sweep me these kennels〖Gutters.〗 that the noisome stench offend not the noses of my neighbours. What, Firk, I say; what, Hodge! Open my shop-windows! What, Firk, I say!

Enter FIRK

Firk. O master, is't you that speak bandog〖Watch-dog.〗 and Bedlam〖Madman.〗 this morning? I was in a dream, and mused what madman was got into the street so early. Have you drunk this morning that your throat is so clear?

Eyre. Ah, well said, Firk; well said, Firk. To work, my fine knave, to work! Wash thy face, and thou't be more blest.

Firk. Let them wash my face that will eat it. Good master, send for a souse-wife,〖A woman who washed and pickled pigs' faces.〗 if you'll have my face cleaner.


Eyre. Away, sloven! avaunt, scoundrel!—Good-morrow, Hodge; good-morrow, my fine foreman.

Hodge. O master, good-morrow; y'are an early stirrer. Here's a fair morning.—Good-morrow, Firk, I could have slept this hour. Here's a brave day towards.〖Coming.〗

Eyre. Oh, haste to work, my fine foreman, haste to work.

Firk. Master, I am dry as dust to hear my fellow Roger talk of fair weather; let us pray for good leather, and let clowns and ploughboys and those that work in the fields pray for brave days. We work in a dry shop; what care I if it rain?


Eyre. How now, Dame Margery, can you see to rise? Trip and go, call up the drabs, your maids.

Marg. See to rise? I hope 'tis time enough, 'tis early enough for any woman to be seen abroad. I marvel how many wives in Tower Street are up so soon. Gods me, 'tis not noon,—here's a yawling!〖Bawling.〗

Eyre. Peace, Margery, peace! Where's Cicely Bumtrinket, your maid? She has a privy fault, she farts in her sleep. Call the quean up; if my men want shoe-thread, I'll swinge her in a stirrup.

Firk. Yet, that's but a dry beating; here's still a sign of drought.

Enter LACY disguised, singing

Lacy. Der was een bore van Gelderland

Frolick sie byen;

He was als dronck he cold nyet stand,

Upsolce sie byen.

Tap eens de canneken,

Drincke, schone mannekin.〖The language is, of course, meant for Dutch.‘There was a boor from Gelderland,Jolly they be;he was so drunk he could not stand,Drunken (?) they be:Clink then the cannikin,Drink, pretty mannikin!’〗

Firk. Master, for my life, yonder's a brother of the gentle craft; if he bear not Saint Hugh's bones,〖The bones of St. Hugh, the patron saint of shoemakers, were supposed to have been made into shoemaker's tools.〗 I'll forfeit my bones; he's some uplandish workman: hire him, good master, that I may learn some gibble-gabble; 'twill; make us work the faster.

Eyre. Peace, Firk! A hard world! Let him pass, let him vanish; we have journeymen enow. Peace, my fine Firk!

Marg. Nay, nay, y'are best follow your man's counsel; you shall see what will come on't. We have not me enow, but we must entertain every butter-box;〖Dutchman.〗but let that pass.

Hodge. Dame, 'fore God, if my master follow your counsel, he'll consume little beef. He shall be glad of men an he can catch them.

Firk. Ay, that he shall.

Hodge. 'Fore God, a proper man, and I warrant, a fine workman. Master, farewell; dame, adieu; if such a man as he cannot find work, Hodge is not for you. Offers to go.

Eyre. Stay, my fine Hodge.

Firk. Faith, an your foreman go, dame, you must take a journey to seek a new journeyman; if Roger remove, Firk follows. If Saint Hugh's bones shall not be set a-work, I may prick mine awl in the walls, and go play. Fare ye well, master; good-bye, dame.

Eyre. Tarry, my fine Hodge, my brisk foreman! Stay, Firk! Peace, pudding-broth! By the Lord of Ludgate, I love my men as my life. Peace, you gallimaufry!〖A dish of different hashed meats. Many of Eyre's words have no particular appropriateness.〗 Hodge, if he want work, I'll hire him. One of you to him; stay,—he comes to us.

Lacy. Goeden dach, meester, ende u vro oak.〖Good day, master, and your wife too.〗

Firk. Nails,〖An oath.〗 if I should speak after him without drinking, I should choke. And you, friend Oake, are you of the gentle craft?

Lacy. Yaw, yaw, ik bin den skomawker.〖Yes, yes, I am a shoemaker.〗

Firk. Den skomaker, quoth 'a! And hark you, skomaker, have you all your tools, a good rubbing-pin, a good stopper, a good dresser, your four sorts of awls, and your two balls of wax, your paring knife, your hand- and thumb-leathers, and good St. Hugh's bones to smooth up your work?

Lacy. Yaw, yaw; be niet vorveard. Ik hab all de dingen voour mack skooes groot and cleane.〖Yes, yes; be not afraid. I have everything to make boots big and little.〗

Firk. Ha, ha! Good master, hire him; he'll make me laugh so that I shall work more in mirth than I can in earnest.

Eyre. Hear ye, friend, have ye any skill in the mystery of cordwainers?

Lacy. Ik weet niet wat yow seg; ich verstaw you niet.〖I don't know what you say; I don't understand you〗

Firk. Why, thus, man: [Imitating by gesture a shoemaker at work.] Ich verste u niet, quoth 'a.

Lacy. Yaw, yaw, yaw; ick can dat wel doen.〖Yes, yes, yes; I can do that well.〗

Firk. Yaw, yaw! He speaks yawing like a jackdaw that gapes to be fed with cheese-curds. Oh, he'll give a villanous pull at a can of double-beer; but Hodge and I have the vantage, we must drink first, because we are the eldest journeymen.

Eyre. What is thy name?

Lacy. Hans—Hans Meulter.

Eyre. Give me thy hand; th'art welcome.—Hodge, entertain him; Firk, bid him welcome; come, Hans. Run, wife, bid your maids, your trullibubs,〖Slatterns.〗 make ready my fine men's breakfasts. To him, Hodge!

Hodge. Hans, th'art welcome; use thyself friendly, for we are good fellows; if not, thou shalt be fought with, wert thou bigger than a giant.

Firk. Yea, and drunk with, wert thou Gargantua. My master keeps no cowards, I tell thee.—Ho, boy, bring him an heel-block, here's a new journeyman.

Enter Boy

Lacy. O, ich wersto you; ich moet een halve dossen cans betaelen;here, boy, nempt dis skilling, tap eens freelicke.〖O, I understand you; I must pay for half-a-dozen cans; here,〗 Exit Boy.

Eyre. Quick, snipper-snapper, away! Firk, scour thy throat; thou shalt wash it with Castilian liquor.

Enter Boy

Come, my last of the fives, give me a can. Have to thee, Hans; here, Hodge; here, Firk; drink, you mad Greeks, and work like true Trojans, and pray for Simon Eyre, the shoemaker.—Here, Hans, and th'art welcome.

Firk. Lo, dame, you would have lost a good fellow that will teach us to laugh. This beer came hopping in well.

Marg. Simon, it is almost seven.

Eyre. Is't so, Dame Clapper-dudgeon?〖Slang for beggar.〗 Is't seven a clock, and my men's breakfast not ready? Trip and go, you soused conger,〖Conger-eel.〗 away! Come, you mad hyperboreans; follow me, Hodge; follow me, Hans; come after, my fine Firk; to work, to work a while, and then to breakfast! [Exit.

Firk. Soft! Yaw, yaw, good Hans, though my master have no more wit but to call you afore me, I am not so foolish to go behind you, I being the elder journeyman. [Exeunt.

SCENE IV. [A field near Old Ford]

Holloaing within. Enter Master WARNER and Master

HAMMON, attired as Hunters

Ham. Cousin, beat every brake, the game's not far,

This way with winged feet he fled from death,

Whilst the pursuing hounds, scenting his steps,

Find out his highway to destruction.

Besides, the miller's boy told me even now,

He saw him take soil,〖Cover.〗 and he holloaed him

Affirming him to have been so embost〖Exhausted.〗

That long he could not hold.

Warn. If it be so,

'Tis best we trace these meadows by Old Ford.

A noise of Hunters within. Enter a Boy

Ham. How now, boy? Where's the deer? speak, saw'st thou him?

Boy. O yea; I saw him leap through a hedge, and then over a ditch, then at my lord mayor's pale, over he skipp'd me, and in he went me, and ‘holla’ the hunters cried, and ‘there, boy; there, boy!’ But there he is, a' mine honesty.

Ham. Boy, Godamercy. Cousin, let's away;

I hope we shall find better sport to-day. Exeunt.

SCENE V. [The garden at Old Ford.]

[Hunting within.] Enter ROSE and SYBIL

Rose. Why, Sybil, wilt thou prove a forester?

Sybil. Upon some, no. Forester? Go by; no, faith, mistress. The deer came running into the barn through the orchard and over the pale; I wot well, I looked as pale as a new cheese to see him. But whip, says Goodman Pin-close, up with his flail, and our Nick with a prong, and down he fell, and they upon him, and I upon them. By my troth, we had such sport; and in the end we ended him; his throat we cut, flayed him, unhorn'd him, and my lord mayor shall eat of him anon, when he comes. Horns sound within.

Rose. Hark, hark, the hunters come; y'are best take heed,

They'll have a saying to you for this deed.

Enter Master HAMMON, Master WARNER, Huntsmen, and Boy

Ham. God save you, fair ladies.

Sybil. Ladies! O gross!〖Stupid.〗

Warn. Came not a buck this way?

Rose. No, but two does.

Ham. And which way went they? Faith, we'll hunt at those.

Sybil. At those? Upon some, no. When, can you tell?

Warn. Upon some, ay.

Sybil. Good Lord!

Warn. Wounds!〖An oath.〗 Then farewell!

Ham. Boy, which way went he?

Boy. This way, sir, he ran.

Ham. This way he ran indeed, fair Mistress Rose;

Our game was lately in your orchard seen.

Warn. Can you advise, which way he took his flight?

Sybil. Follow your nose; his horns will guide you right.

Warn. Th'art a mad wench.

Sybil. O, rich!

Rose. Trust me, not I.

It is not like that the wild forest-deer

Would come so near to places of resort;

You are deceiv'd, he fled some other way.

Warn. Which way, my sugar-candy, can you shew?

Sybil. Come up, good honeysops, upon some, no.

Rose. Why do you stay, and not pursue your game?

Sybil. I'll hold my life, their hunting-nags be lame.

Ham. A deer more dear is found within this place.

Rose. But not the deer, sir, which you had in chase.

Ham. I chas'd the deer, but this dear chaseth me.

Rose. The strangest hunting that ever I see.

But where's your park? She offers to go away.

Ham. 'Tis here: O stay!

Rose. Impale me, and then I will not stray.

Warn. They wrangle, wench; we are more kind than they.

Sybil. What kind of hart is that dear heart, you seek?

Warn. A hart, dear heart.

Sybil. Who ever saw the like?

Rose. To lose your heart, is't possible you can?

Ham. My heart is lost.

Rose. Alack, good gentleman!

Ham. This poor lost hart would I wish you might find.

Rose. You, by such luck, might prove your hart a hind.

Ham. Why, Luck had horns, so have I heard some say.

Rose. Now, God, an't be his will, send Luck into your way.

Enter the LORD MAYOR and Servants

L. Mayor. What, Master Hammon? Welcome to Old Ford!

Sybil. Gods pittikins,〖By God's pity.〗 Hands off, sir! Here's my lord.

L. Mayor. I hear you had ill luck, and lost your game.

Ham. 'Tis true, my lord.

L. Mayor. I am sorry for the same.

What gentleman is this?

Ham. My brother-in-law.

L. Mayor. Y'are welcome both; sith Fortune offers you

Into my hands, you shall not part from hence,

Until you have refresh'd your wearied limbs.

Go, Sybil, cover the board! You shall be guest

To no good cheer, but even a hunter's feast.

Ham. I thank your lordship.—Cousin, on my life,

For our lost venison I shall find a wife. Exeunt [all but MAYOR].

L. Mayor. In, gentlemen; I'll not be absent long.—

This Hammon is a proper gentleman,

A citizen by birth, fairly allied;

How fit an husband were he for my girl!

Well, I will in, and do the best I can,

To match my daughter to this gentleman. Exit.

All Directories