SCENE I. [A room in Eyre's house.]

Enter LACY [as HANS], Skipper, HODGE, and FIRK

Skip. Ick sal yow wat seggen, Hans; dis skip, dat comen from Candy, is al vol, by Got's sacrament, van sugar, civet, almonds, cambrick, end alle dingen, towsand towsand ding. Nempt it, Hans, nempt it vor v meester. Daer be de bils van laden. Your meester Simon Eyre sal hae good copen. Wat seggen yow, Hans?〖I'll tell you what, Hans; this ship that is come from Candia, is quite full, by God's sacrament, of sugar, civet, almonds, cambric, and all things; a thousand, thousand things. Take it, Hans, take it for your master. There are the bills of lading. Your master, Simon Eyre, shall have a good bargain. What say you, Hans?〗

Firk. Wat seggen de reggen de copen, slopen-laugh, Hodge, laugh!

Hans. Mine liever broder Firk, bringt Meester Eyre tot det signe un Swannekin; daer sal yow finde dis skipper end me. Wat seggen yow, broder Firk? Doot it, Hodge.〖My dear brother Firk, bring Master Eyre to the sign of the Swan; there shall you find this skipper and me. What say you, brother Firk? Do it, Hodge.〗

Come, skipper. Exeunt.

Firk. Bring him, quoth you? Here's no knavery, to bring my master to buy a ship worth the lading of two or three hundred thousand pounds. Alas, that's nothing; a trifle, a bauble, Hodge.

Hodge. The truth is, Firk, that the merchant owner of the ship dares not shew his head, and therefore this skipper that deals for him, for the love he bears to Hans, offers my master Eyre a bargain in the commodities. He shall have a reasonable day of payment; he may sell the wares by that time, and be an huge gainer himself.

Firk. Yea, but can my fellow Hans lend my master twenty porpentines as an earnest penny?

Hodge. Portuguese,〖A coin worth about three pounds twelve shillings.〗 thou wouldst say; here they be, Firk; hark, they jingle in my pocket like St. Mary Overy's bells.


Firk. Mum, here comes my dame and my master. She'll scold, on my life, for loitering this Monday: but all's one, let them all say what they can, Monday's our holiday.

Marg. You sing, Sir Sauce, but I beshrew your heart,

I fear, for this your singing we shall smart.

Firk. Smart for me, dame; why, dame, why?

Hodge. Master, I hope you'll not suffer my dame to take down your journeymen.

Firk. If she take me down, I'll take her up; yea, and take her down too, a button-hole lower.

Eyre. Peace, Firk; not I, Hodge; by the life of Pharaoh, by the Lord of Ludgate, by this beard, every hair whereof I value at a king's ransom, she shall not meddle with you.—Peace, you bombast-cotton-candle-quean; away, queen of clubs; quarrel not with me and my men, with me and my fine Firk; I'll firk you, if you do.

Marg. Yea, yea, man, you may use me as you please; but let that pass.

Eyre. Let it pass, let it vanish away; peace! Am I not Simon Eyre? Are not these my brave men, brave shoemakers, all gentlemen of the gentle craft? Prince am I none, yet am I nobly born, as being the sole son of a shoemaker. Away, rubbish! vanish, melt; melt like kitchen-stuff.

Marg. Yea, yea, 'tis well; I must be call'd rubbish, kitchen-stuff, for a sort〖Set.〗 of knaves.

Firk. Nay, dame, you shall not weep and wail in woe for me. Master, I'll stay no longer; here's an inventory of my shop-tools. Adieu, master; Hodge, farewell.

Hodge. Nay, stay, Firk; thou shalt not go alone.

Marg. I pray, let them go; there be more maids than Mawkin, more men than Hodge, and more fools than Firk.

Firk. Fools? Nails! if I tarry now, I would my guts might be turn'd to shoe-thread.

Hodge. And if I stay, I pray God I may be turn'd to a Turk, and set in Finsbury〖Finsbury was a famous practising ground for archery.〗 for boys to shoot at.—Come, Firk.

Eyre. Stay, my fine knaves, you arms of my trade, you pillars of my profession. What, shall a tittle-tattle's words make you forsake Simon Eyre?—Avaunt, kitchen-stuff! Rip, you brown-bread Tannikin; out of my sight! Move me not! Have not I ta'en you from selling tripes in East-cheap, and set you in my shop, and made you hail-fellow with Simon Eyre, the shoemaker? And now do you deal thus with my journeymen? Look, you powder-beef-quean, on the face of Hodge, here's a face for a lord.

Firk. And here's a face for any lady in Christendom.

Eyre. Rip, you chitterling, avaunt! Boy, bid the tapster of the Boar's Head fill me a dozen cans of beer for my journeymen.

Firk. A dozen cans? O, brave! Hodge, now I'll stay.

Eyre. [In a low voice to the Boy.] An the knave fills any more than two, he pays for them. [Exit Boy. Aloud.]—A dozen cans of beer for my journeymen. [Re-enter Boy.] Here, you mad Mesopotamians, wash your livers with this liquor. Where be the odd ten? No more, Madge, no more.—Well said. Drink and to work!—What work dost thou, Hodge? What work?

Hodge. I am a making a pair of shoes for my lord mayor's daughter, Mistress Rose.

Firk. And I a pair of shoes for Sybil, my lord's maid. I deal with her.

Eyre. Sybil? Fie, defile not thy fine workmanly fingers with the feet of kitchen-stuff and basting-ladles. Ladies of the court, fine ladies my lads, commit their feet to our apparelling; put gross work to Hans. Yark and seam, yark〖Prepare.〗 and seam!

Firk. For yarking and seaming let me alone, an I come to't.

Hodge. Well, master, all this is from the bias.〖Beside the point.〗 Do you remember the ship my fellow Hans told you of? The skipper and he are both drinking at the Swan. Here be the Portuguese to give earnest. If you go through with it, you cannot choose but be a lord at least.

Firk. Nay, dame, if my master prove not a lord, and you a lady, hang me.

Marg. Yea, like enough, if you may loiter and tipple thus.

Firk. Tipple, dame? No, we have been bargaining with Skellum Skanderbag:〖German: Schelm, a scoundrel. Skanderbag, or Scander Beg (i. e. Lord Alexander), a Turkish name for John Kastriota, the Albanian hero, who freed his country from the yoke of the Turks (1443-1467).—Warnke and Proescholdt.〗 can you Dutch spreaken for a ship of silk Cyprus, laden with sugar-candy.

Enter Boy with a velvet coat and an Alderman's gown.

EYRE puts them on

Eyre. Peace, Firk; silence, Tittle-tattle! Hodge, I'll go through with it. Here's a seal-ring, and I have sent for a guarded gown〖A robe ornamented with guards or facings.〗 and a damask cassock. See where it comes; look here, Maggy; help me, Firk; apparel me, Hodge; silk and satin, you mad Philistines, silk and satin.

Firk. Ha, ha, my master will be as proud as a dog in a doublet, all in beaten〖Stamped.〗 damask and velvet.

Eyre. Softly, Firk, for rearing〖Ruffling.〗 of the nap, and wearing threadbare my garments. How dost thou like me, Firk? How do I look, my fine Hodge?

Hodge. Why, now you look like yourself, master. I warrant you, there's few in the city but will give you the wall,〖Yield precedence.〗 and come upon you with〖Address you as.〗 the right worshipful.

Firk. Nails, my master looks like a threadbare cloak new turned and dressed. Lord, Lord, to see what good raiment doth! Dame, dame, are you not enamoured?

Eyre. How say'st thou, Maggy, am I not brisk? Am I not fine?

Marg. Fine? By my troth, sweetheart, very fine! By my troth, I never liked thee so well in my life, sweetheart; but let that pass. I warrant, there be many women in the city have not such handsome husbands, but only for their apparel; but let that pass too.

Re-enter HANS and Skipper

Hans. Godden day, mester. Dis be de skipper dat heb de skip van marchandice; de commodity ben good; nempt it, master, nempt it.〖Good day, master. This is the skipper that has the ship of merchandise; the commodity is good; take it, master, take it.〗

Eyre. Godamercy, Hans; welcome, skipper. Where lies this ship of merchandise?

Skip. De skip ben in revere; dor be van Sugar, cyvet, almonds, cambrick, and a towsand, towsand tings, gotz sacrament; nempt it, mester: ye sal heb good copen.〖The ship lies in the river; there are sugar, civet, almonds, cambric, and a thousand thousand things. By God's sacrament, take it, master; you shall have a good bargain.〗

Firk. To him, master! O sweet master! O sweet wares! Prunes, almonds, sugar-candy, carrot-roots, turnips, O brave fatting meat! Let not a man buy a nutmeg but yourself.

Eyre. Peace, Firk! Come, skipper, I'll go aboard with you.—Hans, have you made him drink?

Skip. Yaw, yaw, ic heb veale gedrunck.〖Yes, yes, I have drunk well.〗

Eyre. Come, Hans, follow me. Skipper, thou shalt have my countenance in the city. Exeunt.

Firk. Yaw heb veale gedrunck, quoth a. They may well be called butter-boxes, when they drink fat veal and thick beer too. But come, dame, I hope you'll chide us no more.

Marg. No, faith, Firk; no, perdy,〖Fr. Par Dieu.〗 Hodge. I do feel honour creep upon me, and which is more, a certain rising in my flesh; but let that pass.

Firk. Rising in your flesh do you feel, say you? Ay, you may be with child, but why should not my master feel a rising in his flesh, having a gown and a gold ring on? But you are such a shrew, you'll soon pull him down.

Marg. Ha, ha! prithee, peace! Thou mak'st my worship laugh; but let that pass. Come, I'll go in; Hodge, prithee, go before me; Firk, follow me.

Firk. Firk doth follow: Hodge, pass out in state. Exeunt.

SCENE II. [London: a room in Lincoln's house. ]


Lincoln. How now, good Dodger, what's the news in France?

Dodger. My lord, upon the eighteenth day of May

The French and English were prepar'd to fight;

Each side with eager fury gave the sign

Of a most hot encounter. Five long hours

Both armies fought together; at the length

The lot of victory fell on our side.

Twelve thousand of the Frenchmen that day died,

Four thousand English, and no man of name

But Captain Hyam and young Ardington,

Two gallant gentlemen, I knew them well.

Lincoln. But Dodger, prithee, tell me, in this fight

How did my cousin Lacy bear himself?

Dodger. My lord, your cousin Lacy was not there.

Lincoln. Not there?

Dodger. No, my good lord.

Lincoln. Sure, thou mistakest.

I saw him shipp'd, and a thousand eyes beside

Were witnesses of the farewells which he gave,

When I, with weeping eyes, bid him adieu.

Dodger, take heed.

Dodger. My lord, I am advis'd〖Certainly informed.〗

That what I spake is true: to prove it so,

His cousin Askew, that supplied his place,

Sent me for him from France, that secretly

He might convey himself thither.

Lincoln. Is't even so?

Dares he so carelessly venture his life

Upon the indignation of a king?

Has he despis'd my love, and spurn'd those favours

Which I with prodigal hand pour'd on his head?

He shall repent his rashness with his soul;

Since of my love he makes no estimate,

I'll make him wish he had not known my hate.

Thou hast no other news?

Dodger. None else, my lord.

Lincoln. None worse I know thou hast.—Procure the king

To crown his giddy brows with ample honours,

Send him chief colonel, and all my hope

Thus to be dash'd! But 'tis in vain to grieve,

One evil cannot a worse relieve.

Upon my life, I have found out his plot;

That old dog, Love, that fawn'd upon him so,

Love to that puling girl, his fair-cheek'd Rose,

The lord mayor's daughter, hath distracted him,

And in the fire of that love's lunacy

Hath he burnt up himself, consum'd his credit,

Lost the king's love, yea, and I fear, his life,

Only to get a wanton to his wife,

Dodger, it is so.

Dodger. I fear so, my good lord.

Lincoln. It is so—nay, sure it cannot be!

I am at my wits' end. Dodger!

Dodger. Yea, my lord.

Lincoln. Thou art acquainted with my nephew's haunts.

Spend this gold for thy pains; go seek him out;

Watch at my lord mayor's—there if he live,

Dodger, thou shalt be sure to meet with him.

Prithee, be diligent.—Lacy, thy name

Liv'd once in honour, now 'tis dead in shame.—

Be circumspect. Exit.

Dodger. I warrant you, my lord. Exit.

SCENE III. [London: a room in the Lord Mayor's house.]

Enter the LORD MAYOR and Master SCOTT

L. Mayor. Good Master Scott, I have been bold with you,

To be a witness to a wedding-knot

Betwixt young Master Hammon and my daughter.

O, stand aside; see where the lovers come.

Enter Master HAMMON and ROSE

Rose. Can it be possible you love me so?

No, no, within those eyeballs I espy

Apparent likelihoods of flattery.

Pray now, let go my hand.

Ham. Sweet Mistress Rose,

Misconstrue not my words, nor misconceive

Of my affection, whose devoted soul

Swears that I love thee dearer than my heart.

Rose. As dear as your own heart? I judge it right,

Men love their hearts best when th'are out of sight.

Ham. I love you, by this hand.

Rose. Yet hands off now!

If flesh be frail, how weak and frail's your vow!

Ham. Then by my life I swear.

Rose. Then do not brawl;

One quarrel loseth wife and life and all.

Is not your meaning thus?

Ham. In faith, you jest.

Rose. Love loves to sport; therefore leave love, y'are best.

L. Mayor. What? square〖Quarrel.〗 they, Master Scott?

Scott. Sir, never doubt,

Lovers are quickly in, and quickly out.

Ham. Sweet Rose, be not so strange in fancying me.

Nay, never turn aside, shun not my sight:

I am not grown so fond, to fond〖Found, set; a pun upon fond.〗 my love

On any that shall quit it with disdain;

If you will love me, so—if not, farewell.

L. Mayor. Why, how now, lovers, are you both agreed?

Ham. Yes, faith, my lord.

L. Mayor. 'Tis well, give me your hand.

Give me yours, daughter.—How now, both pull back!

What means this, girl?

Rose. I mean to live a maid.

Ham. But not to die one; pause, ere that be said. Aside.

L. Mayor. Will you still cross me, still be obstinate?

Ham. Nay, chide her not, my lord, for doing well;

If she can live an happy virgin's life,

'Tis far more blessed than to be a wife.

Rose. Say, sir, I cannot: I have made a vow,

Whoever be my husband, 'tis not you.

L. Mayor. Your tongue is quick; but Master Hammon, know,I bade you welcome to another end.

Ham. What, would you have me pule and pine and pray,

With ‘lovely lady,’ ‘mistress of my heart,’

‘Pardon your servant,’ and the rhymer play,

Railing on Cupid and his tyrant's-dart;

Or shall I undertake some martial spoil,

Wearing your glove at tourney and at tilt,

And tell how many gallants I unhors'd—

Sweet, will this pleasure you?

Rose. Yea, when wilt begin?

What, love rhymes, man? Fie on that deadly sin!

L. Mayor. If you will have her, I'll make her agree.

Ham. Enforced love is worse than hate to me.

[Aside.] There is a wench keeps shop in the Old Change,

To her will I; it is not wealth I seek,

I have enough; and will prefer her love

Before the world.—[Aloud.] My good lord mayor, adieu.

Old love for me, I have no luck with new. Exit.

L. Mayor. Now, mammet,〖Puppet, doll.〗 you have well behav'd yourself,

But you shall curse your coyness if I live.—

Who's within there? See you convey your mistress

Straight to th' Old Ford! I'll keep you straight enough.

Fore God, I would have sworn the pulling girl

Would willingly accepted Hammon's love;

But banish him, my thoughts!—Go, minion, in! Exit ROSE.

Now tell me, Master Scott, would you have thought

That Master Simon Eyre, the shoemaker,

Had been of wealth to buy such merchandise?

Scott. 'Twas well, my lord, your honour and myself

Grew partners with him; for your bills of lading

Shew that Eyre's gains in one commodity

Rise at the least to full three thousand pound

Besides like gain in other merchandise.

L. Mayor. Well, he shall spend some of his thousands now,

For I have sent for him to the Guildhall

Enter EYRE

See, where he comes.—Good morrow, Master Eyre.

Eyre. Poor Simon Eyre, my lord, your shoemaker.

L. Mayor. Well, well, it likes〖Pleases.〗 yourself to term you so.


Now, Master Dodger, what's the news with you?

Dodger. I'd gladly speak in private to your honour.

L. Mayor. You shall, you shall.—Master Eyre and Master Scott,

I have some business with this gentleman;

I pray, let me entreat you to walk before

To the Guildhall; I'll follow presently.

Master Eyre, I hope ere noon to call you sheriff.

Eyre. I would not care, my lord, if you might call me King of Spain.—Come, Master Scott. [Exeunt EYRE and SCOTT.]

L. Mayor. Now, Master Dodger, what's the news you bring?

Dodger. The Earl of Lincoln by me greets your lordship,

And earnestly requests you, if you can,

Inform him where his nephew Lacy keeps.

L. Mayor. Is not his nephew Lacy now in France?

Dodger. No, I assure your lordship, but disguis'd

Lurks here in London.

L. Mayor. London? Is't even so?

It may be; but upon my faith and soul,

I know not where he lives, or whether he lives:

So tell my Lord of Lincoln.—Lurks in London?

Well, Master Dodger, you perhaps my start him;

Be but the means to rid him into France,

I'll give you a dozen angels〖Coins worth about 10s. each.〗 for your pains;

So much I love his honour, hate his nephew.

And, prithee, so inform thy lord from me.

Dodger. I take my leave.                   Exit DODGER.

L. Mayor.       Farewell, good Master Dodger.

Lacy in London? I dare pawn my life,

My daughter knows thereof, and for that cause

Deni'd young Master Hammon in his love.

Well, I am glad I sent her to Old Ford.

Gods Lord, 'tis late; to Guildhall I must hie;

I know my brethren stay〖Wait for.〗 my company. Exit.

SCENE IV. [London: a room in Eyre's house. ]


Marg. Thou goest too fast for me, Roger. O, Firk!

Firk. Ay, forsooth.

Marg. I pray thee, run—do you hear?—run to Guildhall, and learn if my husband, Master Eyre, will take that worshipful vocation of Master Sheriff upon him. Hie thee, good Firk.

Firk. Take it? Well, I go; an he should not take it, Firk swears to forswear him. Yes, forsooth, I go to Guildhall.

Marg. Nay, when? Thou art too compendious and tedious.

Firk. O rare, your excellence is full of eloquence; how like a new cart-wheel my dame speaks, and she looks like an old musty ale-bottle〖Ale-kegs, make of wood.〗 going to scalding.

Marg. Nay, when? Thou wilt make me melancholy.

Firk. God forbid your worship should fall into that humour;—I run. Exit.

Marg. Let me see now, Roger and Hans.

Hodge. Ay, forsooth, dame-mistress I should say, but the old term so sticks to the roof of my mouth, I can hardly lick it off.

Marg. Even what thou wilt, good Roger; dame is a fair name for any honest Christian; but let that pass. How dost thou, Hans?

Hans. Mee tanck you, vro.〖I thank you, mistress!〗

Marg. Well, Hans and Roger, you see, God hath blest your master, and, perdy, if ever he comes to be Master Sheriff of London—as we are all mortal—you shall see, I will have some odd thing or other in a corner for you: I will not be your back-friend;〖Faithless friend.〗 but let that pass. Hans, pray thee, tie my shoe.

Hans. Yaw, ic sal, vro.〖Yes, I shall, mistress!〗

Marg. Roger, thou know'st the length of my foot; as it is none of the biggest, so I thank God, it is handsome enough; prithee, let me have a pair of shoes made, cork, good Roger, wooden heel too.

Hodge. You shall.

Marg. Art thou acquainted with never a farthingale-maker, nor a French hood-maker? I must enlarge my bum, ha, ha! How shall I look in a hood, I wonder! Perdy, oddly, I think.

Hodge. [Aside.] As a cat out of a pillory.—Very well, I warrant you, mistress.

Marg. Indeed, all flesh is grass; and, Roger, canst thou tell where I may buy a good hair?

Hodge. Yes, forsooth, at the poulterer's in Gracious Street.

Marg. Thou art an ungracious wag; perdy, I mean a false hair for my periwig.

Hodge. Why, mistress, the next time I cut my beard, you shall have the shavings of it; but they are all true hairs.

Marg. It is very hot, I must get me a fan or else a mask.

Hodge. [Aside.] So you had need, to hide your wicked face.

Marg. Fie, upon it, how costly this world's calling is; perdy, but that it is one of the wonderful works of God, I would not deal with it.—Is not Firk come yet? Hans, be not so sad, let it pass and vanish, as my husband's worship says.

Hans. Ick bin vrolicke, lot see yow soo.〖I am merry; let's see you so too!〗

Hodge. Mistress, will you drink〖Smoke.〗 a pipe of tobacco?

Marg. Oh, fie upon it, Roger, perdy! These filthy tobacco-pipes are the most idle slavering baubles that ever I felt. Out upon it! God bless us, men look not like men that use them.

Enter RALPH, lame

Hodge. What, fellow Ralph? Mistress, look here, Jane's husband! Why, how now, lame? Hans, make much of him, he's a brother of our trade, a good workman, and a tall soldier.

Hans. You be welcome, broder.

Marg. Perdy, I knew him not. How dost thou, good Ralph? I am glad to see thee well.

Ralph. I would to God you saw me, dame, as well

As when I went from London into France.

Marg. Trust me, I am sorry, Ralph, to see thee impotent. Lord, how the wars have made him sunburnt! The left leg is not well; 'twas a fair gift of God the infirmity took not hold a little higher, considering thou camest from France; but let that pass.

Ralph. I am glad to see you well, and I rejoice

To hear that God hath blest my master so

Since my departure.

Marg. Yea, truly, Ralph, I thank my Maker; but let that pass.

Hodge. And, sirrah Ralph, what news, what news in France?

Ralph. Tell me, good Roger, first, what news in England? How does my Jane? When didst thou see my wife?

Where lives my poor heart? She'll be poor indeed,

Now I want limbs to get whereon to feed.

Hodge. Limbs? Hast thou not hands, man? Thou shalt never see a shoemaker want bread, though he have but three fingers on a hand.

Ralph. Yet all this while I hear not of my Jane.

Marg. O Ralph, your wife,—perdy, we know not what's become of her. She was here a while, and because she was married, grew more stately than became her; I checked her, and so forth; away she flung, never returned, nor said bye nor bah; and, Ralph, you know, ‘ka me, ka thee.’〖Scratch me, and I'll scratch thee.〗 And so, as I tell ye——Roger, is not Firk come yet?

Hodge. No, forsooth.

Marg. And so, indeed, we heard not of her, but I hear she lives in London; but let that pass. If she had wanted, she might have opened her case to me or my husband, or to any of my men; I am sure, there's not any of them, perdy, but would have done her good to his power. Hans, look if Firk be come.

Hans. Yaw, ik sal, vro.〖Yes, I shall, dame!〗 Exit HANS.

Marg. And so, as I said—but, Ralph, why dost thou weep? Thou knowest that naked we came out of our mother's womb, and naked we must return; and, therefore, thank God for all things.

Hodge. No, faith, Jane is a stranger here; but, Ralph, pull up a good heart, I know thou hast one. Thy wife, man, is in London; one told me, he saw her a while ago very brave〖Fine.〗 and neat; we'll ferret her out, an London hold her.

Marg. Alas, poor soul, he's overcome with sorrow; he does but as I do, weep for the loss of any good thing. But, Ralph, get thee in, call for some meat and drink, thou shalt find me worshipful towards thee.

Ralph. I thank you, dame; since I want limbs and lands, I'll trust to God, my good friends, and my hands. Exit.

Enter HANS and FIRK running

Firk. Run, good Hans! O Hodge, O mistress! Hodge, heave up thine ears; mistress, smug up〖Brighten up.〗 your looks; on with your best apparel; my master is chosen, my master is called, nay, condemned by the cry of the country to be sheriff of the city for this famous year now to come. And time now being, a great many men in black gowns were asked for their voices and their hands, and my master had all their fists about his ears presently, and they cried ‘Ay, ay, ay, ay,’—and so I came away—

Wherefore without all other grieve

I do salute you, Mistress Shrieve,〖Sheriff.〗

Hans. Yaw, my mester is de groot man, de shrieve.

Hodge. Did not I tell, you mistress? Now I may boldly say: Good-morrow to your worship.

Marg. Good-morrow, good Roger. I thank you, my good people all.—Firk, hold up thy hand: here's a three-penny piece for thy tidings.

Firk. 'Tis but three-half-pence, I think. Yes, 'tis three-pence, I smell the rose.〖“The three-farthing silver pieces of Queen Elizabeth had the profile of the sovereign with a rose at the back of her head.”—Dyce.〗

Hodge. But, mistress, be rul'd by me, and do not speak so pulingly.

Firk. 'Tis her worship speaks so, and not she. No, faith, mistress, speak me in the old key: ‘To it, Firk,’ ‘there, good Firk,’ ‘ply your business, Hodge,’ ‘Hodge, with a full mouth,’ ‘I'll fill your bellies with good cheer, till they cry twang.’

Enter EYRE wearing a gold chain

Hans. See, myn liever broder, heer compt my meester.〖See, my dear brothers, here comes my master.〗

Marg. Welcome home, Master Shrieve; I pray God continue you in health and wealth.

Eyre. See here, my Maggy, a chain, a gold chain for Simon Eyre. I shall make thee a lady; here's a French hood for thee; on with it, on with it, on with it! dress thy brows with this flap of a shoulder of mutton,〖The flap of a hood trimmed with fur or sheep's wool.—Rhys.〗 to make thee look lovely. Where be my fine men? Roger, I'll make over my shop and tools to thee; Firk, thou shalt be the foreman; Hans, thou shalt have an hundred for twenty.〖I. e., for the twenty Portuguese previously lent.〗 Be as mad knaves as your master Sim Eyre hath been, and you shall live to be Sheriffs of London.—How dost thou like me, Margery? Prince am I none, yet am I princely born. Firk, Hodge, and Hans!

All Three. Ay forsooth, what says your worship, Master Sheriff?

Eyre. Worship and honour, you Babylonian knaves, for the gentle craft. But I forgot myself, I am bidden by my lord mayor to dinner to Old Ford; he's gone before, I must after. Come, Madge, on with your trinkets! Now, my true Trojans, my fine Firk, my dapper Hodge, my honest Hans, some device, some odd crotchets, some morris, or such like, for the honour of the gentlemen shoemakers. Meet me at Old Ford, you know my mind. Come, Madge, away. Shut up the shop, knaves, and make holiday. Exeunt.

Firk. O rare! O brave! Come, Hodge; follow me, Hans; We'll be with them for a morris-dance. Exeunt.

SCENE V. [A room at Old Ford. ]


in a French hood, SYBIL, and other Servants

L. Mayor. Trust me, you are as welcome to Old Ford

As I myself.

Marg. Truly, I thank your lordship.

L. Mayor. Would our bad cheer were worth the thanks you give.

Eyre. Good cheer, my lord mayor, fine cheer! A fine house, fine walls, all fine and neat.

L. Mayor. Now, by my troth, I'll tell thee, Master Eyre,

It does me good, and all my brethren,

That such a madcap fellow as thyself

Is ent'red into our society.

Marg. Ay, but my lord, he must learn now to put on gravity.

Eyre. Peace, Maggy, a fig for gravity! When I go to Guildhall in my scarlet gown, I'll look as demurely as a saint, and speak as gravely as a justice of peace; but now I am here at Old Ford, at my good lord mayor's house, let it go by, vanish, Maggy, I'll be merry; away with flip-flap, these fooleries, these gulleries. What, honey? Prince am I none, yet am I princely born. What says my lord mayor?

L. Mayor. Ha, ha, ha! I had rather than a thousand pounds, I had an heart but half so light as yours.

Eyre. Why, what should I do, my lord? A pound of care pays not a dram of debt. Hum, let's be merry, whiles we are young; old age, sack and sugar will steal upon us, ere we be aware.


O the month of May, the merry month of May,

So frolick, so gay, and so green, so green, so green!

O, and then did I unto my true love say:

“Sweet Peg, thou shalt be my summer's queen!

“Now the nightingale, the pretty nightingale,

The sweetest singer in all the forest's choir,

Entreats thee, sweet Peggy, to hear thy true love's tale;

Lo, yonder she sitteth, her breast against a brier.

“But O, I spy the cuckoo, the cuckoo, the cuckoo;

See where she sitteth: come away, my joy;

Come away, I prithee: I do not like the cuckoo

Should sing where my Peggy and I kiss and toy.”

O the month of May, the merry month of May,

So frolick, so gay, and so green, so green, so green!

And then did I unto my true love say:

“Sweet Peg, thou shalt be my summer's queen!”

L. Mayor. It's well done; Mistress Eyre, pray, give good counselTo my daughter.

Marg. I hope, Mistress Rose will have the grace to take nothing that's bad.

L. Mayor. Pray God she do; for i' faith, Mistress Eyre,

I would bestow upon that peevish girl

A thousand marks more than I mean to give her

Upon condition she'd be rul'd by me.

The ape still crosseth me. There came of late

A proper gentleman of fair revenues,

Whom gladly I would call son-in-law:

But my fine cockney would have none of him.

You'll prove a coxcomb for it, ere you die:

A courtier, or no man must please your eye.

Eyre. Be rul'd sweet Rose: th'art ripe for a man. Marry not with a boy that has no more hair on his face than thou hast on thy cheeks. A courtier, wash, go by, stand not upon pishery-pashery: those silken fellows are but painted images, outsides, outsides, Rose; their inner linings are torn. No, my fine mouse, marry me with a gentleman grocer like my lord mayor, your father; a grocer is a sweet trade: plums, plums. Had I a son or daughter should marry out of the generation and blood of the shoemakers, he should pack; what, the gentle trade is a living for a man through Europe, through the world. A noise within of a tabor and a pipe.

L. Mayor. What noise is this?

Eyre. O my lord mayor, a crew of good fellows that for love to your honour are come hither with a morris-dance. Come in, my Mesopotamians, cheerily.

Enter HODGE, HANS, RALPH, FIRK, and other Shoemakers,

in a morris; after a little dancing the LORD MAYOR speaks.

L. Mayor. Master Eyre, are all these shoemakers?

Eyre. All cordwainers, my good lord mayor.

Rose. [Aside.] How like my Lacy looks yond shoemaker!

Hans. [Aside.] O that I durst but speak unto my love!

L. Mayor. Sybil, go fetch some wine to make these drink. You are all welcome.

All. We thank you lordship.

ROSE takes a cup of wine and goes to HANS.

Rose. For his sake whose fair shape thou represent'st,

Good friend, I drink to thee.

Hans. Ic bedancke, good frister.〖I thank you, good maid!〗

Marg. I see, Mistress Rose, you do not want judgment; you have drunk to the properest man I keep.

Firk. Here be some have done their parts to be as proper as he.

L. Mayor. Well, urgent business calls me back to London.

Good fellows, first go in and taste our cheer;

And to make merry as you homeward go,

Spend these two angels in beer at Stratford-Bow.

Eyre. To these two, my mad lads, Sim Eyre adds another; then cheerily, Firk; tickle it, Hans, and all for the honour of shoemakers.

All go dancing out.

L. Mayor. Come, Master Eyre, let's have your company. Exeunt.

Rose. Sybil, what shall I do?

Sybil. Why, what's the matter?

Rose. That Hans the shoemaker is my love Lacy,

Disguis'd in that attire to find me out.

How should I find the means to speak with him?

Sybil. What, mistress, never fear; I dare venture my maidenhead to nothing, and that's great odds, that Hans the Dutchman, when we come to London, shall not only see and speak with you, but in spite of all your father's policies steal you away and marry you. Will not this please you?

Rose. Do this, and ever be assured of my love.

Sybil. Away, then, and follow your father to London, lest your absence cause him to suspect something:

To-morrow, if my counsel be obey'd,

I'll bind you prentice to the gentle trade.[Exeunt.]

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