Lapas attēli

Harlot, if that be all; didst thou not sell him
To me for a boy, and brought'st him in boy's rags
Here to my door, to beg an alms of me?

Nurse. I did, good master, and I crave your pardon : But 'tis my daughter, and a girl.

Host. Why saidst thou

It was a boy, and sold'st him then to me
With such entreaty, for ten shillings, carlin?

Nurse. Because you were a charitable man,
I heard, good master, and would breed him well;
I would have given him you for nothing gladly.
Forgive the lie of my mouth, it was to save
The fruit of my womb. A parent's needs are urgent,
And few do know that tyrant o'er good natures :
But you relieved her, and me too, the mother,
And took me into your house to be the nurse,
For which heaven heap all blessings on your head,
Whilst there can one be added.

Host. Sure thou speak'st

Quite like another creature than thou hast lived
Here, in the house, a Sheelee-nien Thomas,
An Irish beggar.

Nurse. So I am, God help me.

Host. What art thou? tell: the match is a good match,3

For aught I see; ring the bells once again. [Music. Lord B. Stint, I say, fidlers.

Lady F. No going off, my lord.

3 The match is a good match, &c.] Something like this occurs. in the Widow, a comedy, said to be written by Fletcher, Middleton, and our poet in conjunction: there, as here, a supposed male in female habiliments is wooed and won, and much good mirth is spoiled by the instantaneous discovery of the bride's sex.

"Vide. Ha ha! here they come, one man married to another, Val. How! man to man?

Muck. Why, this is my daughter, Martha."

The Widow was not published during Jonson's life, though it appeared on the stage so early as 1618.

Lord B. Nor coming on, sweet lady, things thus


Fly. But what's the heinousness of my offence,
Or the degrees of wrong you suffer'd by it?
In having your daughter match'd thus happily,
Into a noble house, a brave young blood,
And a prime peer of the realm ?

Lord B. Was that your plot, Fly?

Give me a cloke, take her again among you.

I'll none of your Light Heart fosterlings, no inmates,
Supposititious fruits of an host's brain,

And his Fly's hatching, to be put upon me.
There is a royal court of the Star-chamber,

Will scatter all these mists, disperse these vapours, And clear the truth: Let beggars match with beggars

That shall decide it; I will try it there.

Nurse. Nay then, my lord, it's not enough, I see,
You are licentious, but you will be wicked.
You are not alone content to take my daughter,
Against the law; but having taken her,

You would repudiate and cast her off,
Now at your pleasure, like a beast of power,
Without all cause, or colour of a cause,
That, or a noble, or an honest man,

Should dare to except against, her poverty;
Is poverty a vice?

Lord B. The age counts it so.

Nurse. God help your lordship, and your peers that think so,

If any be: if not, God bless them all,
And help the number of the virtuous,
If poverty be a crime! You may object
Our beggary to us, as an accident,
But never deeper, no inherent baseness.
And I must tell you now, young lord of dirt,
As an incensed mother, she hath more,

And better blood, running in those small veins,
Than all the race of Beauforts have in mass,
Though they distil their drops from the left rib
Of John o' Gaunt.

Host. Old mother of records,

Thou know'st her pedigree then: whose daughter is she?

Nurse. The daughter and co-heir to the lord Frampul, This lady's sister.

Lady F. Mine! what is her name?

Nurse. Lætitia.

Lady F. That was lost!

Nurse. The true Lætitia.

Lady F. Sister, O gladness! Then you are our


Nurse. I am, dear daughter.

Lady F. On my knees I bless

The light I see you by.

Nurse. And to the author

Of that blest light, I ope my other eye,

Which hath almost, now, seven years been shut,
Dark as my vow was, never to see light,
Till such a light restored it, as my children,
Or your dear father, who, I hear, is not.

Lord B. Give me my wife, I own her now, and will have her.

Host. But you must ask my leave first, my young lord.

Leave is but light.—Ferret, go bolt your master, Here's gear will startle him. [Exit FERRET.I cannot keep

▲ Than all the race of Beauforts, &c.] "The children of John o' Gaunt, by his third wife, Catherine Swinford, widow of sir Hugh Swinford, Bt. and daughter to sir Paen Roet, Kt. Guyen king at arms, took their name from the castle of Beaufort in France, which came to the house of Lancaster by Blanch of Artois, wife to Edmund Crouchback, the first earl of Lancaster. They were legitimated by Act of Parliament in the 20th of Richard II.”

The passion in me, I am e'en turn'd child,

And I must weep.-Fly, take away mine host,

[Pulls off his disguise. My beard and cap here from me, and fetch_my


I am her father, sir, and you shall now

[Exit FLY.

Ask my consent, before you have her.-Wife!
My dear and loving wife! my honour'd wife!
Who here hath gain'd but I? I am lord Frampul,
The cause of all this trouble; I am he

Have measured all the shires of England over,
Wales, and her mountains, seen those wilder nations,
Of people in the Peak, and Lancashire;

Their pipers, fidlers, rushers, puppet-masters,
Juglers, and gipsies, all the sorts of canters,
And colonies of beggars, tumblers, ape-carriers;
For to these savages I was addicted,

To search their natures, and make odd discoveries :
And here my wife, like a she-Mandevile,

Ventured in disquisition after me.

Re-enter FLY with lord FRAMPUL'S robes.

Nurse. I may look up, admire, I cannot speak Yet to my lord.

Host. Take heart, and breathe, recover,

Thou hast recover'd me, who here had coffin'd
Myself alive, in a poor hostelry,


penance of

my wrongs done unto thee,

Whom I long since gave lost.

Nurse. So did I you,

Till stealing mine own daughter from her sister,

I lighted on this error hath cured all.

Lord B. And in that cure, include my trespass,


And father, for my wife

Host. No, the Star-chamber.

Lord B. Away with that, you sour the sweetest


Was ever tasted.

Host. Give you joy, my son,

Cast her not off again.

Enter LOVEL.

O call me father,

Lovel, and this your mother, if you like.

But take your mistress, first, my child; I have power
To give her now, with her consent; her sister
Is given already to your brother Beaufort.

Lov. Is this a dream now, after my first sleep,
Or are these phant'sies, made in the Light Heart,
And sold in the New Inn?

Host. Best go to bed,

And dream it over all. Let's all go sleep,

Each with his turtle. Fly, provide us lodgings,
Get beds prepared; you are master now of the inn,
The lord of the Light Heart, I give it you.
Fly was my fellow-gipsy. All my family,

Indeed, were gipsies, tapsters, ostlers, chamberlains,
Reduced vessels of civility.-

But here stands Prue, neglected, best deserving
Of all that are in the house, or in my Heart,
Whom though I cannot help to a fit husband,
I'll help to that will bring one, a just portion:
I have two thousand pound in bank for Prue,
Call for it when she will.

Lord B. And I as much.

Host. There's somewhat yet, four thousand pound! that's better,

Than sounds the proverb, four bare legs in a bed. Lov. Me and her mistress, she hath power to coin Up into what she will.

5 Than sounds the proverb.] The proverb, at full is, "There goes more to matrimony than four bare legs," &c.

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »