SCENE II. [A room in Overreach's house.]


Over. Spare for no cost; let my dressers crack with the weight Of curious viands.

Greedy. “Store indeed's no sore,” sir.

Over. That proverb fits your stomach, Master Greedy.

And let no plate be seen but what's pure gold,

Or such whose workmanship exceeds the matter

That it is made of; let my choicest linen

Perfume the room, and, when we wash, the water,

With precious powders mix'd, so please my lord,

That he may with envy wish to bathe so ever.

Mar. 'Twill be very chargeable.

Over. Avaunt, you drudge!

Now all my labour'd ends are at the stake,

It's a time to think of thrift? Call in my daughter.


And, Master Justice, since you love choice dishes,

And plenty of them——

Greedy. As I do, indeed, sir,

Almost as much as to give thanks for 'em.

Over. I do confer that providence,〖Responsibility for providing.〗 with my power

Of absolute command to have abundance,

To your best care.

Greedy. I'll punctually discharge it,

And give the best directions. Now am I,

In mine own conceit, a monarch; at the least,

Arch-president of the boil'd, the roast, the bak'd;

For which I will eat often, and give thanks

When my belly's brac'd up like a drum, and that's pure justice.


Over. It must be so. Should the foolish girl prove modest,

She may spoil all; she had it not from me,

But from her mother; I was ever forward,

As she must be, and therefore I'll prepare her.


Alone—and let your women wait without.

Marg. Your pleasure, sir?

Over. Ha! this is a neat dressing!

These orient pearls and diamonds well plac'd too!

The gown affects me not, it should have been

Embroider'd o'er and o'er with flowers of gold;

But these rich jewels and quaint fashion help it.

And how below? since oft the wanton eye,

The face observ'd, descends unto the foot,

which being well proportion'd, as yours is,

Invites as much as perfect white and red,

Though without art. How like you your new woman,

The Lady Downfall'n?

Marg. Well, for a companion;

Not as a servant.

Over. Is she humble, Meg,

And careful too, her ladyship forgotten?

Marg. I pity her fortune.

Over. Pity her! trample on her.

I took her up in an old tamin〖A coarse cloth.〗 gown,

(Even starv'd for want of twopenny chops,) to serve thee;

And if I understand she but repines

To do thee any duty, though ne'er so servile,

I'll pack her to her knight, where I have lodg'd him,

Into the Counter,〖One of the London prisons.〗 and there let them howl together.

Marg. You know your own ways; but for me, I blush

When I command her, that was once attended

With persons not inferior to myself

In birth.

Over. In birth! why, art thou not my daughter,

The blest child of my industry and wealth?

Why, foolish girl, was't not to make thee great

That I have run, and still pursue, those ways

That hale down curses on me, which I mind not?

Part with these humble thoughts, and apt〖Fit.〗 thyself

To the noble state I labour to advance thee;

Or, by my hopes to see thee honourable,

I will adopt a stranger to my heir,

And throw thee from my care. Do not provoke me.

Marg. I will not, sir; mould me which way you please.

Re-enter GREEDY

Over. How! interrupted!

Greedy. 'Tis matter of importance.

The cook, sir, is self-will'd, and will not learn

From my experience. There's a fawn brought in, sir,

And, for my life, I cannot make him roast it

With a Norfolk dumpling in the belly of it;

And, sir, we wise men know, without the dumpling

'Tis not worth three pence.

Over. Would it were whole in thy belly,

To stuff it out! Cook it any way; prithee, leave me.

Greedy. Without order for the dumpling?

Over. Let it be dumpl'd

Which way thou wilt; or tell him, I will scald him

In his own caldron.

Greedy. I had lost my stomach

Had I lost my mistress dumpling; I'll give thanks for't. [Exit.]

Over. But to our business, Meg; you have heard who dines here?

Marg. I have, sir.

Over. 'Tis an honourable man;

A lord, Meg, and commands a regiment

Of soldiers, and, what's rare, is one himself,

A bold and understanding one; and to be

A lord, a and good leader, in one volume,

Is granted unto few but such as rise up

The kingdom's glory.

Re-enter GREEDY

Greedy. I'll resign my office,

If I be not better obey'd.

Over. 'Slight, art thou frantic?

Greedy. Frantic! 'Twould make me frantic, and stark mad,

Were I not a justice of peace and quorum too,

Which this rebellious cook cares not a straw for.

There are a dozen of woodcocks——

Over. Make thyself

Thirteen, the baker's dozen.

Greedy. I am contented,

So they may be dress'd to my mind; he has found out

A new device for sauce, and will not dish 'em

With toasts and butter. My father was a tailor,

And my name, though a justice, Greedy Woodcock;

And, ere I'll see my lineage so abus'd,

I'll give up my commission.

Over. [loudly.]Cook!—Rogue, obey him!

I have given the word, pray you now remove yourself

To a collar of brawn,〖Neck of a boar.〗 and trouble me no further.

Greedy. I will, and meditate what to eat at dinner. Exit.

Over. And as I said, Meg, when this gull〖Fool.〗 disturb'd us,

This honourable lord, this colonel,

I would have thy husband.

Marg. There's too much disparity

Between his quality and mine, to hope it.

Over. I more than hope't, and doubt not to effect it.

Be thou no enemy to thyself, my wealth

Shall weigh his titles down, and make you equals.

Now for the means to assure him thine, observe me:

Remember he's a courtier, and a soldier,

And not to be trifled with; and, therefore, when

He comes to woo you, see you do not coy it:

This mincing modesty has spoil'd many a match

By a first refusal, in vain after hop'd for.

Marg. You'll have me, sir, preserve the distance that

Confines a virgin?

Over. Virgin me no virgins!

I must have you lose that name, or you lose me.

I will have you private—start not—I say, private;

If thou art my true daughter, not a bastard,

Thou wilt venture alone with one man, though he came

Like Jupiter to Semele, and come off, too;

And therefore, when he kisses you, kiss close.

Marg. I have heard this is the strumpet's fashion, sir,

Which I must never learn.

Over. Learn any thing,

And from any creature that may make thee great;

From the devil himself.

Marg. [Aside.] This is but devilish doctrine!

Over. Or, if his blood grow hot, suppose he offer

Beyond this, do not you stay till it cool,

But meet his ardour; if a couch be near,

Sit down on't, and invite him.

Marg. In your house,

Your own house, sir! For Heaven's sake, what are you then?

Or what shall I be, sir?

Over. Stand not on form;

Words are no substances.

Marg. Though you could dispense

With your own honour, cast aside religion,

The hopes of Heaven, or fear of hell, excuse me,

In worldly policy, this is not the way

To make me his wife; his whore, I grant it may do.

My maiden honour so soon yielded up,

Nay, prostituted, cannot but assure him

I, that am light to him, will not hold weight

Whene'er〖So Gifford. Q. when he is.〗 tempted by others; so, in judgment,

When to his lust I have given up my honour,

He must and will forsake me.

Over. How! forsake thee!

Do I wear a sword for fashion? or is this arm

Shrunk up or wither'd? Does there live a man

Of that large list I have encounter'd with

Can truly say I e'er gave inch of ground

Not purchas'd with his blood that did oppose me?

Forsake thee when the thing is done! He dares not.

Give me but proof he has enjoy'd thy person,

Though all his captains, echoes to his will,

Stood arm'd by his side to justify the wrong,

And he himself in the head of his bold troop,

Spite of his lordship, and his colonelship,

Or the judge's favour, I will make him render

A bloody and a strict account, and force him,

By marrying thee, to cure thy wounded honour!

I have said it.

Re-enter MARRALL

Mar. Sir, the man of honour's come,

Newly alighted.

Over. In, without reply;

And do as I command, or thou art lost. Exit MARGARET.

Is the loud music I gave order for

Ready to receive him?

Mar. 'Tis, sir.

Over. Let them sound

A princely welcome. [Exit MARRALL.] Roughness awhile leave me;

For fawning now, a stranger to my nature,

Must make way for me.



Lov. Sir, you meet your trouble.

Over. What you are pleas'd to style so is an honour

Above my worth and fortunes.

All. [Aside.] Strange, so humble.

Over. A justice of peace, my lord. Presents GREEDY to him.

Lov. Your hand, good sir.

Greedy. [Aside.] This is a lord, and some think this a favour;

But I had rather have my hand in my dumpling.

Over. Room for my lord.

Lov. I miss, sir, your fair daughter

To crown my welcome.

Over. May it please my lord

To taste a glass of Greek wine first, and suddenly

She shall attend my lord.

Lov. You'll be obey'd, sir. Exeunt all but OVERREACH.

Over. 'Tis to my wish: as soon as come, ask for her!

Why, Meg! Meg Overreach.—

[Re-enter MARGARET]

How! tears in your eyes

Hah! dry 'em quickly, or I'll dig 'em out.

Is this a time to whimper? Meet that greatness

That flies into thy bosom, think what 'tis

For me to say, “My honourable daughter;”

And thou, when I stand bare, to say, “Put on;”

Or, “Father, you forget yourself.” No more:

But be instructed, or expect——he comes.



A black-brow'd girl, my lord,

Lov. As I live, a rare one. They salute.

All. [Aside.] He's ta'en already: I am lost.

Over. [Aside.] That kiss

Came twangling off, I like it.—Quit the room.

[Exeunt all but OVERREACH, LOVELL, and MARGARET.

A little bashful, my good lord, but you,

I hope, will teach her boldness.

Lov. I am happy

In such a scholar: but——

Over. I am past learning,

And therefore leave you to yourselves.—Remember.

Aside to MARGARET and exit.

Lov. You see, fair lady, your father is solicitous,

To have you change the barren name of virgin

Into a hopeful wife.

Marg. His haste, my lord,

Holds no power o'er my will.

Lov. But o'er your duty.

Marg. Which forc'd too much, may break.

Lov. Bend rather, sweetest.

Think of your years.

Marg. Too few to match with yours:

And choicest fruits too soon pluck'd, rot and wither.

Lov. Do you think I am old?

Marg. I am sure I am too young.

Lov. I can advance you.

Marg. To a hill of sorrow,

Where every hour I may expect to fall,

But never hope firm footing. You are noble,

I of a low descent, however rich;

And tissues match'd with scarlet〖Silks matched with woolen.〗 suit but ill.

O, my good lord, I could say more, but that

I dare not trust these walls.

Lov. Pray you, trust my ear then.

Re-enter OVERREACH [behind], listening

Over. Close at it! whispering! this is excellent!

And, by their postures, a consent on both parts.

Re-enter GREEDY behind

Greedy. Sir Giles, Sir Giles!

Over. The great fiend stop that clapper!

Greedy. It must ring out, sir, when my belly rings noon.

The bak'd-meats are run out, the roasts turn'd powder.

Over. I shall powder you.

Greedy. Beat me to dust, I care not;

In such a cause as this, I'll die a martyr.

Over. Marry, and shall, you barathrum〖Gulf: here, insatiable glutton.〗 of the shambles!

Strikes him.

Greedy. How! strike a justice of peace! 'Tis petty treason,

Edwardi quinto: but that you are my friend,

I would commit you without bail or mainprize〖A writ commanding the sheriff to take bail.〗

Over. Leave your bawling, sir, or I shall commit you

Where you shall not dine-to-day. Disturb my lord,

When he is in discourse!

Greedy. Is't a time to talk

When we should be munching!

Lov. Hah! I heard some noise

Over. Mum, villain; vanish! Shall we break a bargain

Almost made up? Thrusts GREEDY off.

Lov. Lady, I understand you,

And rest most happy in your choice, believe it;

I'll be a careful pilot to direct

Your yet uncertain bark to a port of safety.

Marg. So shall your honour save two lives, and bind us

Your slaves for ever.

Lov. I am in the act rewarded,

Since it is good; howe'er, you must put on

An amorous carriage towards me to delude

Your subtle father.

Marg. I am prone to that.

Lov. Now break we off our conference.—Sir Giles!

Where is Sir Giles? [OVERREACH comes forward.]


Over. My noble lord; and how

Does your lordship find her?

Lov. Apt, Sir Giles, and coming;

And I like her the better.

Over. So do I too.

Lov. Yet should we take forts at the first assault,

'Twere poor in the defendant; I must confirm her

With a love-letter or two, which I must have

Deliver'd by my page, and you give way to't.

Over. With all my soul:—a towardly gentleman!

Your hand, good Master Allworth; know my house

Is ever open to you.

All. [Aside.] 'Twas shut till now.

Over. Well done, well done, my honourable daughter!

Thou'rt so already. Know this gentle youth,

And cherish him, my honourable daughter.

Marg. I shall, with my best care.

Noise within, as of a coach.

Over. A coach!

Greedy. More stops

Before we go to dinner! O my guts!


L. All. If I find welcome,

You share in it; if not, I'll back again,

Now I know your ends; for I come arm'd for all

Can be objected.

Lov. How! the Lady Allworth!

Over. And thus attended!


Mar. No, “I am a dolt!

The spirit of lies had ent'red me!”

Over. Peace, Patch;〖Fool.〗

'Tis more than wonder! an astonishment

That does possess me wholly!

Lov. Noble lady,

This is a favor, to prevent〖Anticipate.〗 my visit,

The service of my life can never equal.

L. All. My lord, I laid wait for you, and much hop'd

You would have made my poor house your first inn:

And therefore doubting that you might forget me,

Or too long dwell here, having such ample cause,

In this unequall'd beauty, for your stay,

And fearing to trust any but myself

With the relation of my service to you,

I borrow'd so much from my long restraint

And took the air in person to invite you.

Lov. Your bounties are so great, they rob me, madam,

Of words to give you thanks.

L. All. Good Sir Giles Overreach.Salutes him.

—How dost thou, Marrall? Lik'd you my meat so ill,

You'll dine no more with me?

Greedy. I will, when you please,

And it like〖If it please.〗 your ladyship.

L. All. When you please, Master Greedy;

If meat can do it, you shall be satisfied.

And now, my lord, pray take into your knowledge

This gentleman; howe'er his outside's coarse.Presents WELLBORN.

His inward linings are as fine and fair

As any man's; wonder not I speak at large:

And howsoe'er his humour carries him

To be thus accoutred, or what taint soever,

For his wild life, hath stuck upon his fame,

He may, ere long, with boldness, rank himself

With some that have contemn'd him. Sir Giles Overreach,

If I am welcome, bid him so.

Over. My nephew!

He has been too long a stranger. Faith you have,

Pray let it be mended. LOVELL confers aside with WELLBORN.

Mar. Why, sir, what do you mean?

This is “rogue Wellborn, monster, prodigy,

That should hang or drown himself;” no man of worship,

Much less your nephew.

Over. Well, sirrah, we shall reckon

For this hereafter.

Mar. I'll not lose my jeer,

Though I be beaten dead for't.

Well. Let my silence plead

In my excuse, my lord, till better leisure

Offer itself to hear a full relation

Of my poor fortunes.

Lov. I would hear, and help 'em.

Over. Your dinner waits you.

Lov. Pray you lead, we follow.

L. All. Nay, you are my guest; come, dear Master Wellborn.

Exeunt all but GREEDY.

Greedy. “Dear Master Wellborn!” so she said; Heaven! Heaven!

If my belly would give me leave, I could ruminate

All day on this: I have granted twenty warrants

To have him committed, from all prisons in the shire,

To Nottingham gaol; and now, “Dear Master Wellborn!”

And, “My good nephew!”—but I play the fool

To stand here prating, and forget my dinner.

Re-enter MARRALL

Are they set, Marrall?

Mar. Long since; pray you a word, sir.

Greedy. No wording now.

Mar. In troth, I must, My master,

Knowing you are his good friend, makes bold with you,

And does entreat you, more guests being come in

Than he expected, especially his nephew,

The table being full too, you would excuse him,

And sup with him on the cold meat.

Greedy. How! no dinner,

After all my care?

Mar. 'Tis but a penance for

A meal; besides, you broke your fast.

Greedy. That was

But a bit to stay my stomach. A man in commission

Give place to a tatterdemalion!

Mar. No bug〖Terrifying.〗 words, sir;

Should his worship hear you——

Greedy. Lose my dumpling too,

And butter'd toasts, and woodcocks!

Mar. Come, have patience.

If you will dispense a little with your worship,

And sit with the waiting women, you'll have dumpling,

Woodcock, and butter'd toasts too.

Greedy. This revives me:

I will gorge there sufficiently.

Mar. This is the way, sir. Exeunt.

All Directories