Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS, by PHILIP MASSINGER



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A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: No bouse? Nor no tobacco?
Last Line: To teach us action, and him how to write. [exeunt.


DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

LORD LOVELL.
SIR GILES OVERREACH, a cruel extortioner.
FRANK WELLBORN, a Prodigal.
TOM ALLWORTH, a young Gentleman, Page to Lord LOVELL.
GREEDY, a hungry Justice of Peace.
MARRALL, a Term-Driver; a creature of Sir Giles OVERREACH.
ORDER, Steward to Lady ALLWORTH.
AMBLE, Usher to Lady ALLWOTH
FURNACE, Cook to Lady ALLWOTH
WATCHALL, Porter to Lady ALLWOTH
WILLDO, a Parson.
TAPWELL, an Alehouse Keeper.
Creditors, Servants, &c.

LADY ALLWORTH, a rich Widow.
MARGARET, Daughter of Sir GILES OVERREACH.
FROTH, Wife of TAPWELL.
Chambermaid.
Waiting Woman.

SCENE.—The Country near Nottingham.

ACT THE FIRST.

SCENE I.—Before TAPWELL'S House.

Enter WELLBORN in tattered apparel, TAPWELL, and FROTH.

WELL. No bouse? nor no tobacco?
Tap. Not a suck, sir;
Nor the remainder of a single can
Left by a drunken porter, all night palled too.
Froth. Not the dropping of the tap for your morning's draught, sir:
'Tis verity, I assure you.
Well. Verity, you brache!
The devil turned precisian! Rogue, what am I?
Tap. Troth, durst I trust you with a looking-glass,
To let you see your trim shape, you would quit me,
And take the name yourself.
Well. How, dog!
Tap. Even so, sir.
And I must tell you, if you but advance
Your Plymouth cloak you shall be soon instructed
There dwells, and within call, if it please your worship,
A potent monarch called the constable,
That does command a citadel called the stocks;
Whose guards are certain files of rusty billmen
Such as with great dexterity will hale
Your tattered, lousy_____
Well. Rascal! slave!
Froth. No rage, sir.
Tap. At his own peril: Do not put yourself
In too much heat, there being no water near
To quench your thirst; and sure, for other liquor,
As mighty ale, or beer, they are things, I take it,
You must no more remember; not in a dream, sir.
Well. Why, thou unthankful villain, dar'st thou talk thus!
Is not thy house, and all thou hast, my gift?
Tap. I find it not in chalk; and Timothy Tapwell
Does keep no other register.
Well. Am not I he
Whose riots fed and clothed thee? wert thou not
Born on my father's land, and proud to be
A drudge in his house?
Tap. What I was, sir, it skills not;
What you are, is apparent: now, for a farewell,
Since you talk of father, in my hope it will torment you,
I'll briefly tell your story. Your dead father,
My quondam master, was a man of worship,
Old Sir John Wellborn, justice of peace and quorum,
And stood fair to be custos rotulorum;
Bore the whole sway of the shire, kept a great house,
Relieved the poor, and so forth; but he dying,
And the twelve hundred a year coming to you,
Late Master Francis, but now forlorn Wellborn_____
Well. Slave, stop! or I shall lose myself.
Froth. Very hardly;
You cannot out of your way.
Tap. But to my story:
You were then a lord of acres, the prime gallant,
And I your under-butler; note the change now:
You had a merry time of't; hawks and hounds,
With choice of running horses; mistresses
Of all sorts and all sizes, yet so hot,
As their embraces made your lordship melt;
Which your uncle, Sir Giles Overreach, observing,
(Resolving not to lose a drop of them,)
On foolish mortgages, statutes, and bonds,
For a while supplied your looseness, and then left you.
Well. Some curate hath penned this invective, mongrel,
And you have studied it.
Tap. I have not done yet:
Your land gone, and your credit not worth a token,
You grew the common borrower; no man 'scaped
Your paper-pellets, from the gentleman
To the beggars on highways, that sold you switches
In your gallantry.
Well. I shall switch your brains out.
Tap. Where poor Tim Tapwell, with a little stock,
Some forty pounds or so, bought a small cottage;
Humbled myself to marriage with my Froth here,
Gave entertainment_____
Well. Yes, to whores and canters,
Clubbers by night
Tap. True, but they brought in profit,
And had a gift to pay for what they called for,
And stuck not like your mastership. The poor income
I gleaned from them hath made me in my parish
Thought worthy to be scavenger, and in time
I may rise to be overseer of the poor;
Which if I do, on your petition, Wellborn,
I may allow you thirteen-pence a quarter,
And you shall thank my worship.
Well. Thus, you dog-bolt,
And thus_____ [Beats and kicks him.
Tap. [to his wife.] Cry out for help!
Well. Stir, and thou diest:
Your potent prince, the constable, shall not save you.
Hear me, ungrateful hell-hound! did not I
Make purses for you? then you licked my boots,
And thought your holiday cloak too coarse to clean them.
'Twas I that, when I heard thee swear if ever
Thou couldst arrive at forty pounds thou wouldst
Live like an emperor, 'twas I that gave it
In ready gold. Deny this, wretch!
Tap. I must, sir;
For, from the tavern to the taphouse, all,
On forfeiture of their licenses, stand bound
Ne'er to remember who their best guests were,
If they grew poor like you.
Well. They are well rewarded
That beggar themselves to make such cuckolds rich.
Thou viper, thankless viper! impudent bawd!—
But since you are grown forgetful, I will help
Your memory, and tread you into mortar,
Nor leave one bone unbroken. [Beats him again.
Tap. Oh!
Froth. Ask mercy.

Enter ALLOWORTH.

Well. 'Twill not be granted.
All. Hold—for my sake, hold.
Deny me, Frank! they are not worth your anger.
Well. For once thou hast redeemed them from this sceptre;
But let them vanish, creeping on their knees,
And, if they grumble, I revoke my pardon.
Froth. This comes of your prating, husband; you presumed
On your ambling wit, and must use your glib tongue,
Though you are beaten lame for't.
Tap. Patience, Froth;
There's law to cure our bruises.
[They crawl off on their hands and knees.
Well. Sent to your mother?
All. My lady, Frank, my patroness, my all!
She's such a mourner for my father's death,
And, in her love to him, so favours me,
That I cannot pay too much observance to her
There are few such stepdames.
Well. 'Tis a noble widow,
And keeps her reputation pure, and clear
From the least taint of infamy; her life,
With the splendour of her actions, leaves no tongue
To envy or detraction. Prithee tell me,
Has she no suitors?
All. Even the best of the shire, Frank,
My lord excepted; such as sue and send,
And send and sue again, but to no purpose:
Their frequent visits have not gained her presence.
Yet she's so far from sullenness and pride,
That I dare undertake you shall meet from her
A liberal entertainment: I can give you
A catalogue of her suitors' names.
Well. Forbear it,
While I give you good counsel: I am bound to it.
Thy father was my friend, and that affection
I bore to him, in right descends to thee;
Thou art a handsome and a hopeful youth,
Nor will I have the least affront stick on thee,
If I with any danger can prevent it.
All. I thank your noble care; but, pray you, in what
Do I run the hazard?
Well. Art thou not in love?
Put it not off with wonder.
All. In love, at my years!
Well. You think you walk in clouds, but are transparent.
I have heard all, and the choice that you have made,
And, with my finger, can point out the north star
By which the loadstone of your folly's guided;
And, to confirm this true, what think you of
Fair Margaret, the only child and heir
Of Cormorant Overreach? Does it blush and start,
To hear her only named? blush at your want
Of wit and reason.
All. You are too bitter, sir.
Well. Wounds of this nature are not to be cured
With balms, but corrosives. I must be plain:
Art thou scarce manumised from the porter's lodge
And yet sworn servant to the pantofle,
And dar'st thou dream of marriage? I fear
'Twill be concluded for impossible
That there is now, or e'er shall be hereafter,
A handsome page or player's boy of fourteen
But either loves a wench or drabs love him;
Court-waiters not exempted.
All. This is madness.
Howe'er you have discovered my intents,
You know my aims are lawful; and if ever
The queen of flowers, the glory of the spring,
The sweetest comfort to our smell, the rose,
Sprang from an envious briar, I may infer
There's such disparity in their conditions
Between the goodness of my soul, the daughter,
And the base churl her father.
Well. Grant this true,
As I believe it, canst thou ever hope
To enjoy a quiet bed with her whose father
Ruined thy state?
All. And yours too.
Well. I confess it;
True; I must tell your as a friend, and freely,
That, where impossibilities are apparent,
'Tis indiscretion to nourish hopes.
Canst thou imagine (let not self-love blind thee)
That Sir Giles Overreach, that, to make her great
In swelling titles, without touch of conscience
Will cut his neighbour's throat, and I hope his own too,
Will e'er consent to make her thine? Give o'er,
And think of some course suitable to thy rank,
And prosper in it.
All. You have well advised me.
But in the mean time you that are so studious
Of my affairs wholly neglect your own:
Remember yourself, and in what plight you are.
Well. No matter, no matter.
All. Yes, 'tis much material:
You know my fortune and my means; yet something
I can spare from myself to help your wants.
Well. How's this?
All. Nay, be not angry; there's eight pieces
To put you in better fashion.
Well. Money from thee!
From a boy! a stipendiary! one that lives
At the devotion of a stepmother
And the uncertain favour of a lord!
I'll eat my arms first. Howsoe'er blind Fortune
Hath spent the utmost of her malice on me—
Though I am vomited out of an alehouse,
And thus accoutred—know not where to eat,
Or drink, or sleep, but underneath this canopy—
Although I thank thee, I despise thy offer:
And as I in my madness broke my state
Without the assistance of another's brain,
In my right wits I'll piece it; at the worst,
Die thus and be forgotten.
All. A strange humour! [Exeunt.

SCENE II.—A Room in LADY ALLWORTH'S House.

Enter ORDER, AMBLE, FURNACE, and WATCHALL.

Ord. Set all things right, or, as my name is Order,
And by this staff of office that commands you,
This chain and double ruff, symbols of power,
Whoever misses in his function,
For one whole week makes forfeiture of his breakfast,
And privilege in the wine-cellar.
Amb. You are merry,
Good master steward.
Furn. Let him; I'll be angry.
Amb. Why, fellow Furnace, 'tis not twelve o'clock yet,
Nor dinner taking up; then, 'tis allowed,
Cooks, by their places, may be choleric.
Furn. You think you have spoke wisely, goodman Amble,
My lady's go-before!
Ord. Nay, nay, no wrangling.
Furn. Twit me with the authority of the kitchen!
At all hours, and all places, I'll be angry;
And thus provoked, when I am at my prayers
I will be angry.
Amb. There was no hurt meant.
Furn. I am friends with thee; and yet I will be angry.
Ord. With whom?
Furn. No matter whom: yet, now I think on it,
I am angry with my lady.
Watch. Heaven forbid, man!
Ord. What cause has she given thee?
Furn. Cause enough, master steward.
I was entertained by her to please her palate,
And, till she forswore eating, I performed it.
Now, since our master, noble Allworth, died,
Though I crack my brains to find out tempting sauces,
And raise fortifications in the pastry
Such as might serve for models in the Low Countries;
Which, if they had been practisèd at Breda,
Spinola might have thrown his cap at it, and ne'er took it.
Amb. But you had wanted matter there to work on.
Furn. Matter! with six eggs, and a strike of rye meal,
I had kept the town till doomsday, perhaps longer.
Ord. But what's this to your pet against my lady?
Furn. What's this? marry this; when I am three parts roasted
And the fourth part parboiled, to prepare her viands,
She keeps her chamber, dines with a panada
Or water-gruel, my sweat never thought on.
Ord. But your art is seen in the dining-room.
Furn. By whom?
By such as pretend love to her, but come
To feed upon her. Yet, of all the harpies
That do devour her, I am out of charity
With none so much as the thin-gutted squire
That's stolen into commission.
Ord. Justice Greedy?
Furn. The same, the same: meat's cast away upon him,
It never thrives; he holds this paradox,
Who eats not well, can ne'er do justice well:
His stomach's as insatiate as the grave,
Or strumpets' ravenous appetites. [Knocking within.
Watch. One knocks. [Exit.
Ord. Our late young master!

Re-enter WATCHALL and ALLWORTH.

Amb. Welcome, sir.
Furn. Your hand;
If you have a stomach, a cold bake-meat's ready.
Ord. His father's picture in little.
Furn. We are all your servants.
Amb. In you he lives.
All. At once, my thanks to all;
This is yet some comfort. Is my lady stirring?

Enter Lady ALLWORTH, Waiting Woman, and Chambermaid.

Ord. Her presence answers for us.
L. All. Sort those silks well.
I'll take the air alone.
[Exeunt Waiting Woman and Chambermaid.
Furn. You air and air;
But will you never taste but spoon-meat more?
To what use serve I?
L. All. Prithee, be not angry;
I shall ere long; i' the mean time, there is gold
To buy thee aprons, and a summer suit.
Furn. I am appeased, and Furnace now grows cool.
L. All. And, as I gave directions, if this morning
I am visited by any, entertain them
As heretofore; but say, in my excuse,
I am indisposed.
Ord. I shall, madam.
L. All. Do, and leave them.
Nay, stay you, Allworth.
[Exeunt ORDER, AMBLE, FURNACE, and WATCHALL.
All. I shall gladly grow here,
To wait on your commands.
L. All. So soon turned courtier!
All. Style not that courtship, madam, which is duty
Purchased on your part.
L. All. Well, you shall o'ercome;
I'll not contend in words. How is it with
Your noble master?
All. Ever like himself,
No scruple lessened in the full weight of honour.
He did command me, pardon my presumption,
As his unworthy deputy, to kiss
Your ladyship's fair hands.
L. All. I am honoured in
His favour to me. Does he hold his purpose
For the Low Countries?
All. Constantly, good madam;
But he will in person first present his service.
L. All. And how approve you of his course? you are yet
Like virgin parchment, capable of any
Inscription, vicious or honourable.
I will not force your will, but leave you free
To your own election.
All. Any form you please,
I will put on; but, might I make my choice,
With humble emulation I would follow
The path my lord marks to me.
L. All. 'Tis well answered,
And I commend your spirit: you had a father,
Blessed be his memory! that some few hours
Before the will of Heaven took him from me,
Who did commend you, by the dearest ties
Of perfect love between us, to my charge;
And, therefore, what I speak, you are bound to hear
With such respect as if he lived in me.
He was my husband, and howe'er you are not
Son of my womb, you may be of my love,
Provided you deserve it.
All. I have found you,
Most honoured madam, the best mother to me;
And, with my utmost strengths of care and service,
Will labour that you never may repent
Your bounties showered upon me.
L. All. I much hope it.
These were your father's words: "If e'er my son
Follow the war, tell him it is a school
Where all the principles tending to honour
Are taught, if truly followed: but for such
As repair thither as a place in which
They do presume they may with license practise
Their lusts and riots, they shall never merit
The noble name of soldiers. To dare boldly,
In a fair cause, and for their country's safety,
To run upon the cannon's mouth undaunted;
To obey their leaders, and shun mutinies;
To bear with patience the winter's cold
And summer's scorching heat, and not to faint,
When plenty of provision fails, with hunger;
Are the essential parts make up a soldier,
Not swearing, dice, or drinking."
All. There's no syllable
You speak, but is to me an oracle,
Which but to doubt were impious.
L. All. To conclude:
Beware ill company, for often men
Are like to those with whom they do converse;
And, from one man I warn you, and that's Wellborn:
Not 'cause he's poor, that rather claims your pity;
But that he's in his manners so debauched,
And hath to vicious courses sold himself.
'Tis true, your father loved him, while he was
Worthy the loving; but if he had lived
To have seen him as he is, he had cast him off,
As you must do.
All. I shall obey in all things.
L. All. Follow me to my chamber, you shall have gold
To furnish you like my son, and still supplied,
As I hear from you.
All. I am still your creature. [Exeunt.

SCENE III.—A Hall in the same.

Enter OVERREACH, GREEDY, ORDER, AMBLE, FURNACE, WATCHALL, and MARRALL.

Greedy. Not to be seen!
Over. Still cloistered up! Her reason,
I hope, assures her, though she make herself
Close prisoner ever for her husband's loss,
'Twill not recover him.
Ord. Sir, it is her will,
Which we, that are her servants, ought to serve,
And not dispute: howe'er, you are nobly welcome;
And, if you please to stay, that you may think so,
There came, not six days since, from Hull, a pipe
Of rich Canary, which shall spend itself
For my lady's honour.
Greedy. Is it of the right race?
Ord. Yes, Master Greedy.
Amb. How his mouth runs o'er!
Furn. I'll make it run, and run. Save your good worship!
Greedy. Honest Master Cook, thy hand; again: how I love thee!
Are the good dishes still in being? speak, boy.
Furn. If you have a mind to feed, there is a chine
Of beef, well seasoned.
Greedy. Good!
Furn. A pheasant, larded.
Greedy. That I might now give thanks for't!
Furn. Other kickshaws.
Besides, there came last night, from the forest of Sherwood,
The fattest stag I ever cooked.
Greedy. A stag, man!
Furn. A stag, sir; part of it prepared for dinner,
And baked in puff-paste.
Greedy. Puff-paste too! Sir Giles,
A ponderous chine of beef! a pheasant larded!
And red deer too, Sir Giles, and baked in puff-paste!
All business set aside, let us give thanks here.
Furn. How the lean skeleton's rapt!
Over. You know we cannot.
Mar. Your worships are to sit on a commission,
And if you fail to come, you lose the cause.
Greedy. Cause me no causes. I'll prove't, for such a dinner,
We may put off a commission: you shall find it
Henrici decimo quarto.
Over. Fie, Master Greedy!
Will you lose me a thousand pounds for a dinner?
No more, for shame! we must forget the belly
When we think of profit.
Greedy. Well, you shall o'er-rule me;
I could e'en cry now.—Do you hear, Master Cook,
Send but a corner of that immortal pasty,
And I, in thankfulness, will, by your boy,
Send you—a brace of three-pences.
Furn. Will you be so prodigal?

Enter WELLBORN.

Over. Remember me to your lady. Who have we here?
Well. You know me.
Over. I did once, but now I will not;
Thou art no blood of mine. Avaunt, thou beggar!
If ever thou presume to own me more,
I'll have thee caged and whipped.
Greedy. I'll grant the warrant.
Think of pie-corner, Furnace!
[Exeunt OVERREACH, GREEDY, and MARRALL.
Watch. Will you out, sir?
I wonder how you durst creep in.
Ord. This is rudeness,
And saucy impudence.
Amb. Cannot you stay
To be served, among your fellows, from the basket,
But you must press into the hall?
Furn. Prithee, vanish
Into some outhouse, though it be the pigstye;
My scullion shall come to thee.

Enter ALLWORTH.

Well. This is rare:
Oh, here's Tom Allworth. Tom!
All. We must be strangers;
Nor would I have you seen here for a million. [Exit.
Well. Better and better. He contemns me too!

Enter Waiting Woman and Chambermaid.

Woman. Foh, what a smell's here! what thing's this?
Cham. A creature
Made out of the privy; let us hence, for love's sake,
Or I shall swoon.
Woman. I begin to faint already.
[Exeunt Waiting Woman and Chambermaid.
Watch. Will you know your way?
Amb. Or shall we teach it you,
By the head and shoulders?
Well. No; I will not stir;
Do you mark, I will not: let me see the wretch
That dares attempt to force me. Why, you slaves,
Created only to make legs, and cringe;
To carry in a dish, and shift a trencher;
That have not souls only to hope a blessing
Beyond black-jacks or flagons; you, that were born
Only to consume meat and drink, and batten
Upon reversions!—who advances? who
Shews me the way?
Ord. My lady!

Enter Lady ALLWORTH, Waiting Woman, and Chambermaid.

Cham. Here's the monster.
Woman. Sweet madam, keep your glove to your nose.
Cham. Or let me
Fetch some perfumes may be predominant;
You wrong yourself else.
Well. Madam, my designs
Bear me to you.
L. All. To me!
Well. And though I have met with
But ragged entertainment from your grooms here,
I hope from you to receive that noble usage
As may become the true friend of your husband,
And then I shall forget these.
L. All. I am amazed
To see and hear this rudeness. Darest thou think,
Though sworn, that it can ever find belief,
That I, who to the best men of this country
Denied my presence since my husband's death,
Can fall so low as to change words with thee?
Thou son of infamy! forbear my house,
And know and keep the distance that's between us;
Or, though it be against my gentler temper,
I shall take order you no more shall be
An eyesore to me.
Well. Scorn me not, good lady;
But, as in form you are angelical,
Imitate the heavenly natures, and vouchsafe
At the least awhile to hear me. You will grant
The blood that runs in this arm is as noble
As that which fills your veins; those costly jewels,
And those rich clothes you wear, your men's observance,
And women's flattery, are in you no virtues,
Nor these rags, with my poverty, in me vices.
You have a fair fame, and, I know, deserve it;
Yet, lady, I must say, in nothing more
Than in the pious sorrow you have shewn
For your late noble husband.
Ord. How she starts!
Furn. And hardly can keep finger from the eye,
To hear him named.
L. All. Have you aught else to say?
Well. That husband, madam, was once in his fortune
Almost as low as I; want, debts, and quarrels
Lay heavy on him: let it not be thought
A boast in me, though I say, I relieved him.
'Twas I that gave him fashion; mine the sword,
That did on all occasions second his;
I brought him on and off with honour, lady;
And when in all men's judgments he was sunk,
And, in his own hopes, not to be buoyed up,
I stepped unto him, took him by the hand,
And set him upright.
Furn. Are not we base rogues,
That could forget this?
Well. I confess, you made him
Master of your estate; nor could your friends,
Though he brought no wealth with him, blame you for it;
For he had a shape, and to that shape a mind
Made up of all parts, either great or noble;
So winning a behaviour, not to be
Resisted, madam.
L. All. 'Tis most true, he had.
Well. For his sake, then, in that I was his friend,
Do not contemn me.
L. All. For what's past excuse me,
I will redeem it. Order, give the gentleman
A hundred pounds.
Well. No, madam, on no terms:
I will nor beg nor borrow sixpence of you,
But be supplied elsewhere, or want thus ever.
Only one suit I make, which you deny not
To strangers; and 'tis this. [Whispers to her.
L. All. Fie! nothing else?
Well. Nothing, unless you please to charge your servants
To throw away a little respect upon me.
L. All. What you demand is yours.
Well. I thank you, lady.
Now what can be wrought out of such a suit
Is yet in supposition: [Aside.]—I have said all;
When you please, you may retire. [Exit Lady All.
Nay, all's forgotten; [To the Servants.
And, for a lucky omen to my project,
Shake hands, and end all quarrels in the cellar.
Ord. Agreed, agreed.
Furn. Still merry Master Wellborn. [Exeunt.

ACT THE SECOND.

SCENE I.—A Room in OVERREACH'S House.

Enter OVERREACH and MARRALL.

OVER. He's gone, I warrant thee; this commission crushed him.
Mar. Your worships have the way on't, and ne'er miss
To squeeze these unthrifts into air: and yet,
The chapfallen justice did his part, returning
For your advantage the certificate,
Against his conscience, and his knowledge too,
With your good favour, to the utter ruin
Of the poor farmer.
Over. 'Twas for these good ends
I made him a justice: he that bribes his belly,
Is certain to command his soul.
Mar. I wonder,
Still with your license, why, your worship having
The power to put this thin-gut in commission,
You are not in't yourself?
Over. Thou art a fool;
In being out of office I am out of danger;
Where, if I were a justice, besides the trouble,
I might or out of wilfulness or error
Run myself finely into a premunire,
And so become a prey to the informer.
No, I'll have none of't; 'tis enough I keep
Greedy at my devotion: so he serve
My purposes, let him hang or damn, I care not;
Friendship is but a word.
Mar. You are all wisdom.
Over. I would be worldly wise; for the other wisdom,
That does prescribe us a well governed life,
And to do right to others as ourselves,
I value not an atom.
Mar. What course take you,
With your good patience, to hedge in the manor
Of your neighbour, Master Frugal? as 'tis said
He will nor sell, nor borrow, nor exchange;
And his land, lying in the midst of your many lordships,
Is a foul blemish.
Over. I have thought on't, Marrall,
And it shall take. I must have all men sellers,
And I the only purchaser.
Mar. 'Tis most fit, sir.
Over. I'll therefore buy some cottage near his manor,
Which done, I'll make my men break ope his fences,
Ride o'er his standing corn, and in the night
Set fire on his barns, or break his cattle's legs:
These trespasses draw on suits, and suits expenses,
Which I can spare, but will soon beggar him.
When I have harried him thus two or three year,
Though he sue in forma pauperis, in spite
Of all his thrift and care, he'll grow behindhand.
Mar. The best I ever heard! I could adore you.
Over. Then, with the favour of my man of law,
I will pretend some title: want will force him
To put it to arbitrement; then, if he sell
For half the value, he shall have ready money,
And I possess his land.
Mar. 'Tis above wonder!
Wellborn was apt to sell, and needed not
These fine arts, sir, to hook him in.
Over. Well thought on.
This varlet, Marrall, lives too long, to upbraid me
With my close cheat put upon him. Will nor cold
Nor hunger kill him?
Mar. I know not what to think on't.
I have used all means; and the last night I caused
His host, the tapster, to turn him out of doors;
And have been since with all your friends and tenants,
And, on the forfeit of your favour, charged them,
Though a crust of mouldy bread would keep him from starving,
Yet they should not relieve him. This is done, sir.
Over. That was something, Marrall; but thou must go further,
And suddenly, Marrall.
Mar. Where, and when you please, sir.
Over. I would have thee seek him out, and, if thou canst,
Persuade him that 'tis better steal than beg;
Then, if I prove he has but robbed a henroost,
Not all the world shall save him from the gallows.
Do any thing to work him to despair;
And 'tis thy masterpiece.
Mar. I will do my best, sir.
Over. I am now on my main work with the Lord Lovell,
The gallant-minded, popular Lord Lovell,
The minion of the people's love. I hear
He's come into the country, and my aims are
To insinuate myself into his knowledge,
And then invite him to my house.
Mar. I have you;
This points at my young mistress.
Over. She must part with
That humble title, and write honourable,
Right honourable, Marrall, my right honourable daughter,
If all I have, or e'er shall get, will do it.
I'll have her well attended; there are ladies
Of errant knights decayed and brought so low,
That for cast clothes and meat will gladly serve her.
And 'tis my glory, though I come from the city,
To have their issue whom I have undone,
To kneel to mine as bondslaves.
Mar. 'Tis fit state, sir.
Over. And therefore, I'll not have a chambermaid
That ties her shoes, or any meaner office,
But such whose fathers were right worshipful.
'Tis a rich man's pride! there having ever been
More than a feud, a strange antipathy,
Between us and true gentry.

Enter WELLBORN.

Mar. See, who's here, sir.
Over. Hence, monster! prodigy!
Well. Sir, your wife's nephew;
She and my father tumbled in one belly.
Over. Avoid my sight! thy breath's infectious, rogue!
I shun thee as a leprosy, or the plague.
Come hither, Marrall—this is the time to work him.
[Aside, and exit.
Mar. I warrant you, sir.
Well. By this light I think he's mad.
Mar. Mad! had you ta'en compassion on yourself,
You long since had been mad.
Well. You have ta'en a course,
Between you and my venerable uncle,
To make me so.
Mar. The more pale-spirited you,
That would not be instructed. I swear deeply_____
Well. By what?
Mar. By my religion.
Well. Thy religion!
The devil's creed:—but what would you have done?
Mar. Had there been but one tree in all the shire,
Nor any hope to compass a penny halter,
Before, like you, I had outlived my fortunes,
A withe had served my turn to hang myself.
I am zealous in your cause; pray you hang yourself,
And presently, as you love your credit.
Well. I thank you.
Mar. Will you stay till you die in a ditch, or lice devour you?_____
Or, if you dare not do the feat yourself,
But that you'll put the state to charge and trouble,
Is there no purse to be cut, house to be broken,
Or market-woman with eggs, that you may murder,
And so dispatch the business?
Well. Here's variety,
I must confess; but I'll accept of none
Of all your gentle offers, I assure you.
Mar. Why, have you hope ever to eat again,
Or drink? or be the master of three farthings?
If you like not hanging, drown yourself! take some course
For your reputation.
Well. 'Twill not do, dear tempter,
With all the rhetoric the fiend hath taught you.
I am as far as thou art from despair;
Nay, I have confidence, which is more than hope,
To live, and suddenly, better than ever.
Mar. Ha! ha! these castles you build in the air
Will not persuade me or to give or lend
A token to you.
Well. I'll be more kind to thee:
Come, thou shalt dine with me.
Mar. With you!
Well. Nay more, dine gratis.
Mar. Under what hedge, I pray you? or at whose cost?
Are they padders or abram-men that are your consorts?
Well. Thou art incredulous; but thou shalt dine,
Not alone at her house, but with a gallant lady;
With me, and with a lady.
Mar. Lady! what lady?
With the Lady of the Lake, or queen of fairies?
For I know it must be an enchanted dinner.
Well. With the Lady Allworth, knave.
Mar. Nay, now there's hope
Thy brain is cracked.
Well. Mark there, with what respect
I am entertained.
Mar. With choice, no doubt, of dog-whips.
Why, dost thou ever hope to pass her porter?
Well. 'Tis not far off, go with me; trust thine own eyes.
Mar. Troth, in my hope, or my assurance rather,
To see thee curvet, and mount like a dog in a blanket,
If ever thou presume to pass her threshold,
I will endure thy company.
Well. Come along then. [Exeunt.

SCENE II.—A Room in LADY ALLWORTH'S House.

Enter ALLWORTH, Waiting Woman, Chambermaid, ORDER, AMBLE, FURNACE, and
WATCHALL.

Woman. Could you not command your leisure one hour longer?
Cham. Or half an hour?
All. I have told you what my haste is:
Besides, being now another's, not mine own,
Howe'er I much desire to enjoy you longer,
My duty suffers, if, to please myself,
I should neglect my lord.
Woman. Pray you do me the favour
To put these few quince-cakes into your pocket;
They are of mine own preserving.
Cham. And this marmalade;
'Tis comfortable for your stomach.
Woman. And, at parting,
Excuse me if I beg a farewell from you.
Cham. You are still before me. I move the same suit, sir. [ALLWORTH
kisses them severally.
Furn. How greedy these chamberers are of a beardless chin!
I think the tits will ravish him.
All. My service
To both.
Woman. Ours waits on you.
Cham. And shall do ever.
Ord. You are my lady's charge, be therefore careful
That you sustain your parts.
Woman. We can bear, I warrant you.
[Exeunt Waiting Woman and Chambermaid.
Furn. Here, drink it off; the ingredients are cordial,
And this the true elixir; it hath boiled
Since midnight for you. 'Tis the quintessence
Of five cocks of the game, ten dozen of sparrows,
Knuckles of veal, potatoe-roots and marrow,
Coral and ambergris: were you two years older,
And I had a wife, or gamesome mistress,
I durst trust you with neither: you need not bait
After this, I warrant you, though your journey's long;
You may ride on the strength of this till to-morrow morning.
All. Your courtesies overwhelm me: I much grieve
To part from such true friends, and yet find comfort,
My attendance on my honourable lord,
Whose resolution holds to visit my lady,
Will speedily bring me back.
[Knocking within. Exit WATCHALL.
Mar. [within.] Dar'st thou venture further?
Well. [within.] Yes, yes, and knock again.
Ord. 'Tis he; disperse!
Amb. Perform it bravely.
Furn. I know my cue, ne'er doubt me.
[Exeunt all but ALLWORTH.

Re-enter WATCHALL, ceremoniously introducing WELLBORN and MARRALL.

Watch. Beast that I was, to make you stay! most welcome;
You were long since expected.
Well. Say so much
To my friend, I pray you.
Watch. For your sake, I will, sir.
Mar. For his sake!
Well. Mum; this is nothing.
Mar. More than ever
I would have believed, though I had found it in my primer.
All. When I have given you reasons for my late harshness,
You'll pardon and excuse me; for, believe me,
Though now I part abruptly, in my service
I will deserve it.
Mar. Service! with a vengeance!
Well. I am satisfied: farewell, Tom.
All. All joy stay with you! [Exit.

Re-enter AMBLE.

Amb. You are happily encountered; I yet never
Presented one so welcome as I know
You will be to my lady.
Mar. This is some vision,
Or, sure, these men are mad, to worship a dunghill;
It cannot be a truth.
Well. Be still a pagan,
An unbelieving infidel; be so, miscreant,
And meditate on "blankets, and on dog-whips!"

Re-enter FURNACE.

Furn. I am glad you are come; until I know your pleasure
I knew not how to serve up my lady's dinner.
Mar. His pleasure! is it possible?
Well. What's thy will?
Furn. Marry, sir, I have some grouse, and turkey chicken,
Some rails and quails, and my lady willed me ask you,
What kind of sauces best affect your palate,
That I may use my utmost skill to please it.
Mar. The devil's entered this cook: sauce for his palate!
That, on my knowledge, for almost this twelvemonth,
Durst wish but cheese-parings and brown bread on Sundays. [Aside.
Well. That way I like them best.
Furn. It shall be done, sir. [Exit.
Well. What think you of "the hedge we shall dine under?"
Shall we feed gratis?
Mar. I know not what to think;
Pray you make me not mad.

Re-enter ORDER.

Ord. This place becomes you not;
Pray you walk, sir, to the dining room.
Well. I am well here,
Till her ladyship quits her chamber.
Mar. Well here, say you?
'Tis a rare change! but yesterday you thought
Yourself well in a barn, wrapped up in peas-straw.

Re-enter Waiting Woman and Chambermaid.

Woman. O! sir, you are wished for.
Cham. My lady dreamt, sir, of you.
Woman. And the first command she gave, after she rose,
Was (her devotions done) to give her notice
When you approached here.
Cham. Which is done, on my virtue.
Mar. I shall be converted; I begin to grow
Into a new belief, which saints nor angels
Could have won me to have faith in.
Woman. Sir, my lady!

Enter Lady ALLWORTH.

L. All. I come to meet you, and languished till I saw you.
This first kiss is for form; I allow a second
To such a friend. [Kisses WELLBORN.
Mar. To such a friend! Heaven bless me!
Well. I am wholly yours; yet, madam, if you please
To grace this gentleman with a salute_____
Mar. Salute me at his bidding!
Well. I shall receive it
As a most high favour.
L. All. Sir, you may command me.
[Advances to kiss MARRALL, who retires.
Well. Run backward from a lady! and such a lady!
Mar. To kiss her foot is, to poor me, a favour
I am unworthy of [Offers to kiss her foot.
L. All. Nay, pray you rise;
And since you are so humble, I'll exalt you!
You shall dine with me to-day, at mine own table.
Mar. Your ladyship's table! I am not good enough
To sit at your steward's board.
L. All. You are too modest:
I will not be denied.

Re-enter FURNACE.

Furn. Will you still be babbling
Till your meat freeze on the table? the old trick still;
My art ne'er thought on!
L. All. Your arm, Master Wellborn:—
Nay, keep us company. [To MARRALL.
Mar. I was ne'er so graced.
[Exeunt WELLBORN, Lady ALLWORTH, AMBLE, MARRALL, Waiting
Woman, and Chambermaid.
Ord. So! we have played our parts, and are come off well;
But if I know the mystery, why my lady
Consented to it, or why Master Wellborn
Desired it, may I perish!
Furn. Would I had
The roasting of his heart that cheated him,
And forces the poor gentleman to these shifts!
By fire! for cooks are Persians, and swear by it,
Of all the griping and extorting tyrants
I ever heard or read of, I ne'er met
A match to Sir Giles Overreach.
Watch. What will you take
To tell him so, fellow Furnace?
Fur. Just as much
As my throat is worth, for that would be the price on't.
To have a usurer that starves himself,
And wears a cloak of one and twenty years
On a suit of fourteen groats, bought of the hangman,
To grow rich, and then purchase, is too common:
But this Sir Giles feeds high, keeps many servants,
Who must at his command do any outrage;
Rich in his habit, vast in his expenses;
Yet he to admiration still increases
In wealth and lordships.
Ord. He frights men out of their estates,
And breaks through all law-nets, made to curb ill men,
As they were cobwebs. No man dares reprove him.
Such a spirit to dare and power to do were never
Lodged so unluckily.

Re-enter AMBLE laughing.

Amb. Ha! ha! I shall burst.
Ord. Contain thyself, man.
Furn. Or make us partakers
Of your sudden mirth.
Amb. Ha! ha! my lady has got
Such a guest at her table!—this term-driver, Marrall,
This snip of an attorney_____
Furn. What of him, man?
Amb. The knave thinks still he's at the cook's shop in Ram Alley,
Where the clerks divide, and the elder is to choose;
And feeds so slovenly!
Furn. Is this all?
Amb. My lady
Drank to him for fashion sake, or to please Master Wellborn;
As I live, he rises, and takes up a dish
In which there were some remnants of a boiled capon,
And pledges her in white broth!
Furn. Nay, 'tis like
The rest of his tribe.
Amb. And when I brought him wine,
He leaves his stool, and, after a leg or two,
Most humbly thanks my worship.
Ord. Risen already!
Amb. I shall be chid.

Re-enter Lady ALLWORTH, WELLBORN, and MARRALL.

Furn. My lady frowns.
L. All. You wait well! [To AMBLE.
Let me have no more of this; I observed your jeering:
Sirrah, I'll have you know, whom I think worthy
To sit at my table, be he ne'er so mean,
When I am present, is not your companion.
Ord. Nay, she'll preserve what's due to her.
Furn. This refreshing
Follows your flux of laughter.
L. All. [To. WELLBORN.] You are master
Of your own will. I know so much of manners,
As not to inquire your purposes; in a word,
To me you are ever welcome, as to a house
That is your own.
Well. Mark that. [Aside to MARRALL.
Mar. With reverence, sir,
An it like your worship.
Well. Trouble yourself no further,
Dear madam; my heart's full of zeal and service,
However in my language I am sparing.
Come, Master Marrall.
Mar. I attend your worship.
[Exeunt WELLBORN and MARRALL.
L. All. I see in your looks you are sorry, and you know me
An easy mistress: be merry; I have forgot all.
Order and Furnace, come with me; I must give you
Further directions.
Ord. What you please.
Furn. We are ready. [Exeunt.

SCENE III.—The Country near Lady ALLWORTH'S House.

Enter WELLBORN, and MARRALL bare-headed.

Well. I think I am in a good way.
Mar. Good! sir; the best way,
The certain best way.
Well. There are casualties
That men are subject to.
Mar. You are above them;
And as you are already worshipful,
I hope ere long you will increase in worship,
And be right worshipful.
Well. Prithee do not flout me:
What I shall be, I shall be. Is't for your ease,
You keep your hat off?
Mar. Ease! an it like your worship!
I hope Jack Marrall shall not live so long,
To prove himself such an unmannerly beast,
Though it hail hazel-nuts, as to be covered
When your worship's present.
Well. Is not this a true rogue,
That, out of mere hope of a future cozenage,
Can turn thus suddenly? 'tis rank already. [Aside.
Mar. I know your worship's wise, and needs no counsel,
Yet if, in my desire to do you service,
I humbly offer my advice, (but still
Under correction,) I hope I shall not
Incur your high displeasure.
Well. No; speak freely.
Mar. Then, in my judgment, sir, my simple judgment,
(Still with your worship's favour,) I could wish you
A better habit, for this cannot be
But much distasteful to the noble lady
(I say no more) that loves you: for, this morning,
To me, and I am but a swine to her,
Before the assurance of her wealth perfumed you,
You savoured not of amber.
Well. I do now then!
Mar. This your batoon hath got a touch of it._____
[Kisses the end of his cudgel.
Yet, if you please, for change, I have twenty pounds here,
Which, out of my true love, I'll presently
Lay down at your worship's feet; 'twill serve to buy you
A riding suit.
Well. But where's the horse?
Mar. My gelding
Is at your service: nay, you shall ride me,
Before your worship shall be put to the trouble
To walk afoot. Alas! when you are lord
Of this lady's manor, as I know you will be,
You may with the lease of glebe land, called Knave's-acre,
A place I would manure, requite your vassal.
Well. I thank thy love, but must make no use of it;
What's twenty pounds?
Mar. 'Tis all that I can make, sir.
Well. Dost thou think, though I want clothes, I could not have them,
For one word to my lady?
Mar. As I know not that!
Well. Come, I will tell thee a s cret, and so leave thee.
I will not give her the advantage, though she be
A gallant-minded lady, after we are married,
(There being no woman but is sometimes froward,)
To hit me in the teeth, and say, she was forced
To buy my wedding-clothes, and took me on
With a plain riding-suit, and an ambling nag.
No, I'll be furnished something like myself,
And so farewell: for thy suit touching Knave's-acre,
When it is mine, 'tis thine. [Exit.
Mar. I thank your worship.
How was I cozened in the calculation
Of this man's fortune! my master cozened too,
Whose pupil I am in the art of undoing men;
For that is our profession! Well, well, Master Wellborn,
You are of a sweet nature, and fit again to be cheated:
Which, if the Fates please, when you are possessed
Of the land and lady, you, sans question, shall be.
I'll presently think of the means. [Walks by, musing.

Enter OVERREACH, speaking to a Servant within.

Over. Sirrah, take my horse.
I'll walk to get me an appetite; 'tis but a mile,
And exercise will keep me from being pursy.
Ha! Marrall! is he conjuring? perhaps
The knave has wrought the prodigal to do
Some outrage on himself, and now he feels
Compunction in his conscience for't: no matter,
So it be done. Marrall!
Mar. Sir.
Over. How succeed we
In our plot on Wellborn?
Mar. Never better, sir.
Over. Has he hanged or drowned himself?
Mar. No, sir, he lives;
Lives once more to be made a prey to you,
A greater prey than ever.
Over. Art thou in thy wits?
If thou art, reveal this miracle, and briefly.
Mar. A lady, sir, is fallen in love with him.
Over. With him? what lady?
Mar. The rich Lady Allworth.
Over. Thou dolt! how dar'st thou speak this?
Mar. I speak truth.
And I do so but once a year, unless
It be to you, sir: we dined with her ladyship,
I thank his worship.
Over. His worship!
Mar. As I live, sir,
I dined with him, at the great lady's table,
Simple as I stand here; and saw when she kissed him,
And would, at his request, have kissed me too;
But I was not so audacious as some youths are,
That dare do anything, be it ne'er so absurd,
And sad after performance.
Over. Why, thou rascal!
To tell me these impossibilities.
Dine at her table! and kiss him! or thee!_____
Impudent varlet, have not I myself,
To whom great countesses' doors have oft flew open,
Ten times attempted, since her husband's death,
In vain, to see her, though I came—a suitor?
And yet your good solicitorship, and rogue Wellborn,
Were brought into her presence, feasted with her!_____
But that I know thee a dog that cannot blush,
This most incredible lie would call up one
On thy buttermilk cheeks.
Mar. Shall I not trust my eyes, sir,
Or taste? I feel her good cheer in my belly.
Over. You shall feel me, if you give not over, sirrah:
Recover your brains again, and be no more gulled
With a beggar's plot, assisted by the aids
Of serving-men and chambermaids, for beyond these
Thou never saw'st a woman, or I'll quit you
From my employments.
Mar. Will you credit this yet?
On my confidence of their marriage, I offered Wellborn_____
I would give a crown now I durst say his worship_____
[Aside.
My nag, and twenty pounds.
Over. Did you so, idiot! [Strikes him down.
Was this the way to work him to despair,
Or rather to cross me?
Mar. Will your worship kill me?
Over. No, no; but drive the lying spirit out of you.
Mar. He's gone.
Over. I have done then: now, forgetting
Your late imaginary feast and lady,
Know, my Lord Lovell dines with me to-morrow.
Be careful nought be wanting to receive him;
And bid my daughter's women trim her up,
Though they paint her, so she catch the lord, I'll thank them:
There's a piece for my late blows.
Mar. I must yet suffer:
But there may be a time_____ [Aside.
Over. Do you grumble?
Mar. No, sir. [Exeunt.

ACT THE THIRD.

SCENE I.—The Country near OVERREACH'S House.

Enter Lord LOVELL, ALLWORTH, and Servants.

LOV. Walk the horses down the hill: something in private
I must impart to Allworth.
[Exeunt Servants.
All. O, my lord,
What sacrifice of reverence, duty, watching,
Although I could put off the use of sleep,
And ever wait on your commands to serve them;
What dangers, though in ne'er so horrid shapes,
Nay death itself, though I should run to meet it,
Can I, and with a thankful willingness suffer!
But still the retribution will fall short
Of your bounties showered upon me.
Lov. Loving youth,
Till what I purpose be put into act,
Do not o'erprize it; since you have trusted me
With your soul's nearest, nay, her dearest secret,
Rest confident 'tis in a cabinet locked
Treachery shall never open. I have found you
(For so much to your face I must profess,
Howe'er you guard your modesty with a blush for't)
More zealous in your love and service to me
Than I have been in my rewards.
All. Still great ones,
Above my merit.
Lov. Such your gratitude calls them:
Nor am I of that harsh and rugged temper
As some great men are taxed with, who imagine
They part from the respect due to their honours
If they use not all such as follow them,
Without distinction of their births, like slaves.
I am not so conditioned: I can make
A fitting difference between my footboy
And a gentleman by want compelled to serve me.
All. 'Tis thankfully acknowledged; you have been
More like a father to me than a master:
Pray you, pardon the comparison.
Lov. I allow it;
And, to give you assurance I am pleased in't,
My carriage and demeanour to your mistress,
Fair Margaret, shall truly witness for me
I can command my passions.
All. 'Tis a conquest
Few lords can boast of when they are tempted—Oh!
Lov. Why do you sigh? can you be doubtful of me?
By that fair name I in the wars have purchased,
And all my actions, hitherto untainted,
I will not be more true to mine own honour
Than to my Allworth!
All. As you are the brave Lord Lovell,
Your bare word only given is an assurance
Of more validity and weight to me
Than all the oaths, bound up with imprecations.
Which, when they would deceive, most courtiers practise;
Yet being a man, (for, sure, to style you more
Would relish of gross flattery,) I am forced,
Against my confidence of your worth and virtues,
To doubt, nay more, to fear.
Lov. So young, and jealous!
All. Were you to encounter with a single foe,
The victory were certain; but to stand
The charge of two such potent enemies,
At once assaulting you, as wealth and beauty,
And those too seconded with power, is odds
Too great for Hercules.
Lov. Speak your doubts and fears,
Since you will nourish them, in plainer language,
That I may understand them.
All. What's your will,
Though I lend arms against myself, (provided
They may advantage you,) must be obeyed.
My much-loved lord, were Margaret only fair,
The cannon of her more than earthly form,
Though mounted high, commanding all beneath it,
And rammed with bullets of her sparkling eyes,
Of all the bulwarks that defend your senses
Could batter none, but that which guards your sight.
But when the well-tuned accents of her tongue
Make music to you, and with numerous sounds
Assault your hearing, (such as Ulysses, if he
Now lived again, howe'er he stood the Syrens,
Could not resist,) the combat must grow doubtful
Between your reason and rebellious passions.
Add this too; when you feel her touch, and breath
Like a soft western wind when it glides o'er
Arabia, creating gums and spices;
And, in the van, the nectar of her lips,
Which you must taste, bring the battalia on,
Well armed, and strongly lined with her discourse,
And knowing manners, to give entertainment;—
Hippolytus himself would leave Diana,
To follow such a Venus.
Lov. Love hath made you
Poetical, Allworth.
All. Grant all these beat off,
Which if it be in man to do, you'll do it,
Mammon, in Sir Giles Overreach, steps in
With heaps of ill-got gold, and so much land,
To make her more remarkable, as would tire
A falcon's wings in one day to fly over.
O my good lord! these powerful aids, which would
Make a mis-shapen negro beautiful,
(Yet are but ornaments to give her lustre,
That in herself is all perfection,) must
Prevail for her: I here release your trust;
'Tis happiness enough for me to serve you
And sometimes, with chaste eyes, to look upon her.
Lov. Why, shall I swear?
All. O, by no means, my lord;
And wrong not so your judgment to the world
As from your fond indulgence to a boy,
Your page, your servant, to refuse a blessing
Divers great men are rivals for.
Lov. Suspend
Your judgment till the trial. How far is it
To Overreach' house?
All. At the most, some half hour's riding;
You'll soon be there.
Lov. And you the sooner freed
From your jealous fears.
All. O that I durst but hope it! [Exeunt.

SCENE II.—A Room in OVERREACH'S House.

Enter OVERREACH, GREEDY, and MARRALL.

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 mixed, 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 laboured ends are at the stake,
Is't a time to think of thrift? Call in my daughter.
[Exit MARRALL.
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 them.
Over. I do confer that providence, 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 boiled, the roast, the baked;
For which I will eat often, and give thanks
When my belly's braced up like a drum, and that's pure justice. [Exit.
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.

Enter MARGARET.

Alone—and let your women wait without.
Marg. Your pleasure, sir?
Over. Ha! this is a neat dressing!
These orient pearls and diamonds well placed too!
The gown affects me not, it should have been
Embroidered 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 observed, descends unto the foot,
Which being well proportioned, as yours is,
Invites as much as perfect white and red,
Though without art. How like you your new woman,
The Lady Downfallen?
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 gown,
(Even starved 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 lodged him,
Into the counter, 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 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-willed, 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 dumpled
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, and a 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 obeyed.
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 dressed to my mind; he has found out
A new device for sauce, and will not dish them
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 abused,
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, 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 disturbed 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, 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 spoiled many a match
By a first refusal, in vain after hoped 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. This is but devilish doctrine! [Aside.
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 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 withered? does there live a man
Of that large list I have encountered with
Can truly say I e'er gave inch of ground
Not purchased with his blood that did oppose me?
Forsake thee when the thing is done! he dares not.
Give me but proof he has enjoyed thy person,
Though all his captains, echoes to his will,
Stood armed 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.

Loud music. Enter Lord LOVELL, GREEDY, ALLWORTH, and
MARRALL.

Lov. Sir, you meet your trouble.
Over. What you are pleased to style so is an honour
Above my worth and fortunes.
All. Strange, so humble. [Aside.
Over. A justice of peace, my lord.
[Presents GREEDY to him.
Lov. Your hand, good sir.
Greedy. This is a lord, and some think this a favour;
But I had rather have my hand in my dumpling. [Aside.
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 obeyed, 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 them quickly, or I'll dig them 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.

Re-enter Lord LOVELL, GREEDY, ALLWORTH, and MARRALL.

A black-browed girl, my lord.
[Lord LOVELL kisses MARGARET.
Lov. As I live, a rare one.
All. He's ta'en already: I am lost. [Aside.
Over. That kiss
Came twanging 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 forced too much, may break.
Lov. Bend rather, sweetest:
Think of your years.
Marg. Too few to match with yours:
And choicest fruits too soon plucked, 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 matched with scarlet 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 baked-meats are run out, the roast turned 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 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.
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.

Re-enter ALLWORTH, MARRALL, and GREEDY.

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
Delivered 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. 'Twas shut till now. [Aside.
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!

Enter Lady ALLWORTH and WELLBORN.

L. All. If I find welcome,
You share in it; if not, I'll back again,
Now I know your ends; for I come armed for all
Can be objected.
Lov. How! the Lady Allworth!
Over. And thus attended!
[LOVELL kisses Lady ALLWORTH, Lady ALLWORTH kisses
MARGARET.
Mar. No, "I am a dolt!
The spirit of lies hath entered me!"
Over. Peace, Patch;
Tis more than wonder! an astonishment
That does possess me wholly!
Lov. Noble lady,
This is a favour, to prevent my visit,
The service of my life can never equal.
L. All. My lord, I laid wait for you, and much hoped
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 unequalled beauty, for your stay,
And fearing to trust any but myself
With the relation of my service to you,
I borrowed 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. [Kisses him.
—How dost thou, Marrall? liked you my meat so ill,
You'll dine no more with me?
Greedy. I will, when you please,
An it like 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 contemned 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 them.
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 words, sir;
Should his worship hear you_____
Greedy. Lose my dumpling too,
And buttered 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 buttered toasts too.
Greedy. This revives me:
I will gorge there sufficiently.
Mar. This is the way, sir. Exeunt.

SCENE III.—Another Room in OVERREACH'S House.

Enter OVERREACH, as from dinner.

Over. She's caught! O women!—she neglects my lord,
And all her compliments applied to Wellborn!
The garments of her widowhood laid by,
She now appears as glorious as the spring,
Her eyes fixed on him, in the wine she drinks,
He being her pledge, she sends him burning kisses,
And sits on thorns, till she be private with him.
She leaves my meat to feed upon his looks,
And if in our discourse he be but named,
From her a deep sigh follows. But why grieve I
At this? it makes for me; if she prove his,
All that is hers is mine, as I will work him.

Enter MARRALL.

Mar. Sir, the whole board is troubled at your rising.
Over. No matter, I'll excuse it: prithee, Marrall,
Watch an occasion to invite my nephew
To speak with me in private.
Mar. Who? "the rogue
The lady scorned to look on?"
Over. You are a wag.

Enter Lady ALLWORTH and WELLBORN.

Mar. See, sir, she's come, and cannot be without him.
L. All. With your favour, sir, after a plenteous dinner,
I shall make bold to walk a turn or two,
In your rare garden.
Over. There's an arbour too,
If your ladyship please to use it.
L. All. Come, Master Wellborn.
[Exeunt Lady ALLWORTH and WELLBORN.
Over. Grosser and grosser! now I believe the poet
Feigned not, but was historical, when he wrote
Pasiphaë was enamoured of a bull:
This lady's lust's more monstrous.—My good lord,

Enter Lord LOVELL, MARGARET, and the rest.

Excuse my manners.
Lov. There needs none, Sir Giles,
I may ere long say father, when it pleases
My dearest mistress to give warrant to it.
Over. She shall seal to it, my lord, and make me happy.

Re-enter WELLBORN and Lady ALLWORTH.

Marg. My lady is returned.
L. All. Provide my coach,
I'll instantly away; my thanks, Sir Giles,
For my entertainment.
Over. 'Tis your nobleness
To think it such.
L. All. I must do you a further wrong
In taking away your honourable guest.
Lov. I wait on you, madam; farewell, good Sir Giles.
L. All. Good Mistress Margaret! nay, come, Master Wellborn,
I must not leave you behind; in sooth, I must not.
Over. Rob me not, madam, of all joys at once;
Let my nephew stay behind: he shall have my coach,
And, after some small conference between us,
Soon overtake your ladyship.
L. All. Stay not long, sir.
Lov. This parting kiss: [Kisses MARGARET] you shall every day
hear
from me,
By my faithful page.
All. 'Tis a service I am proud of.
[Exeunt Lord LOVELL, Lady ALLWORTH, ALLWORTH, and
MARRALL.
Over. Daughter, to your chamber.—[Exit MARGARET.]
—You may wonder, nephew,
After so long an enmity between us,
I should desire your friendship.
Well. So I do, sir;
'Tis strange to me.
Over. But I'll make it no wonder;
And what is more, unfold my nature to you.
We worldly men, when we see friends and kinsmen
Past hope sunk in their fortunes, lend no hand
To lift them up, but rather set our feet
Upon their heads, to press them to the bottom;
As, I must yield, with you I practised it:
But, now I see you in a way to rise,
I can and will assist you; this rich lady
(And I am glad of 't) is enamoured of you;
'Tis too apparent, nephew.
Well. No such thing:
Compassion rather, sir.
Over. Well, in a word,
Because your stay is short, I'll have you seen
No more in this base shape; nor shall she say,
She married you like a beggar, or in debt.
Well. He'll run into the noose, and save my labour.
[Aside.
Over. You have a trunk of rich clothes, not far hence,
In pawn; I will redeem them; and that no clamour
May taint your credit for your petty debts,
You shall have a thousand pounds to cut them off,
And go a free man to the wealthy lady.
Well. This done, sir, out of love, and no ends else—
Over. As it is, nephew.
Well. Binds me still your servant.
Over. No compliments, you are staid for: ere you have supped
You shall hear from me. My coach, knaves, for my nephew.
To-morrow I will visit you.
Well. Here's an uncle
In a man's extremes! how much they do belie you,
That say you are hard-hearted!
Over. My deeds, nephew,
Shall speak my love; what men report I weigh not.
[Exeunt.

ACT THE FOURTH.

SCENE I.—A Room in Lady ALLWORTH'S House.

Enter Lord LOVELL and ALLWORTH.

LOV. 'Tis well; give me my cloak; I now discharge you
From further service: mind your own affairs,
I hope they will prove successful.
All. What is blest
With your good wish, my lord, cannot but prosper.
Let aftertimes report, and to your honour,
How much I stand engaged, for I want language
To speak my debt; yet if a tear or two
Of joy, for your much goodness, can supply
My tongue's defects, I could_____
Lov. Nay, do not melt:
This ceremonial thanks to me's superfluous.
Over. [within.] Is my lord stirring?
Lov. 'Tis he! oh, here's your letter: let him in.

Enter OVERREACH, GREEDY, and MARRALL.

Over. A good day to my lord!
Lov. You are an early riser,
Sir Giles.
Over. And reason, to attend your lordship.
Lov. And you, too, Master Greedy, up so soon!
Greedy. In troth, my lord, after the sun is up,
I cannot sleep, for I have a foolish stomach
That croaks for breakfast. With your lordship's favour,
I have a serious question to demand
Of my worthy friend Sir Giles.
Lov. Pray you use your pleasure.
Greedy. How far, Sir Giles, and pray you answer me
Upon your credit, hold you it to be
From your manor-house, to this of my Lady's Allworth's?
Over. Why, some four mile.
Greedy. How! four mile, good Sir Giles_____
Upon your reputation, think better;
For if you do abate but one half-quarter
Of five, you do yourself the greatest wrong
That can be in the world; for four miles riding
Could not have raised so huge an appetite
As I feel gnawing on me.
Mar. Whether you ride,
Or go afoot, you are that way still provided,
An it please your worship.
Over. How now, sirrah? prating
Before my lord! no difference! Go to my nephew,
See all his debts discharged, and help his worship
To fit on his rich suit.
Mar. I may fit you too.
Tossed like a dog still! [Aside, and exit.
Lov. I have writ this morning
A few lines to my mistress, your fair daughter.
Over. 'Twill fire her, for she's wholly yours already:—
Sweet Master Allworth, take my ring; 'twill carry you
To her presence, I dare warrant you; and there plead
For my good lord, if you shall find occasion.
That done, pray ride to Nottingham, get a license,
Still by this token. I'll have it dispatched,
And suddenly, my lord, that I may say,
My honourable, nay, right honourable daughter.
Greedy. Take my advice, young gentleman, get your breakfast;
'Tis unwholesome to ride fasting: I'll eat with you,
And eat to purpose.
Over. Some Fury's in that gut.
Hungry again! did you not devour, this morning,
A shield of brawn, and a barrel of Colchester oysters?
Greedy. Why, that was, sir, only to scour my stomach,
A kind of a preparative. Come, gentleman,
I will not have you feed like the hangman of Flushing,
Alone, while I am here.
Lov. Haste your return.
All. I will not fail, my lord.
Greedy. Nor I, to line
My Christmas coffer. [Exeunt GREEDY and ALLWORTH.
Over. To my wish: we are private.
I come not to make offer with my daughter
A certain portion, that were poor and trivial:
In one word, I pronounce all that is mine,
In lands or leases, ready coin or goods,
With her, my lord, comes to you; nor shall you have
One motive to induce you to believe
I live too long, since every year I'll add
Something unto the heap, which shall be yours too.
Lov. You are a right kind father.
Over. You shall have reason
To think me such. How do you like this seat?
It is well wooded, and well watered, the acres
Fertile and rich; would it not serve for change,
To entertain your friends in a summer progress?
What thinks my noble lord?
Lov. 'Tis a wholesome air,
And well-built pile; and she that's mistress of it,
Worthy the large revenue.
Over. She the mistress!
It may be so for a time: but let my lord
Say only that he likes it, and would have it,
I say, ere long 'tis his.
Lov. Impossible.
Over. You do conclude too fast, not knowing me,
Nor the engines that I work by. 'Tis not alone
The Lady Allworth's lands, for those once Wellborn's,
(As by her dotage on him I know they will be,)
Shall soon be mine; but point out any man's
In all the shire, and say they lie convenient,
And useful for your lordship, and once more
I say aloud, they are yours.
Lov. I dare not own
What's by unjust and cruel means extorted;
My fame and credit are more dear to me,
Than so to expose them to be censured by
The public voice.
Over. You run, my lord, no hazard.
Your reputation shall stand as fair,
In all good men's opinions, as now;
Nor can my actions, though condemned for ill,
Cast any foul aspersion upon yours.
For, though I do contemn report myself
As a mere sound, I still will be so tender
Of what concerns you, in all points of honour,
That the immaculate whiteness of your fame,
Nor your unquestioned integrity,
Shall e'er be sullied with one taint or spot
That may take from your innocence and candour.
All my ambition is to have my daughter
Right honourable, which my lord can make her:
And might I live to dance upon my knee
A young Lord Lovell, born by her unto you,
I write nil ultra to my proudest hopes.
As for possessions and annual rents,
Equivalent to maintain you in the port
Your noble birth and present state requires,
I do remove that burthen from your shoulders,
And take it on mine own: for, though I ruin
The country to supply your riotous waste,
The scourge of prodigals, want, shall never find you.
Lov. Are you not frighted with the imprecations
And curses of whole families, made wretched
By your sinister practices?
Over. Yes, as rocks are,
When foamy billows split themselves against
Their flinty ribs; or as the moon is moved,
When wolves, with hunger pined, howl at her brightness.
I am of a solid temper, and, like these,
Steer on, a constant course: with mine own sword,
If called into the field, I can make that right,
Which fearful enemies murmured at as wrong.
Now, for these other piddling complaints
Breathed out in bitterness; as when they call me
Extortioner, tyrant, cormorant, or intruder
On my poor neighbour's right, or grand incloser
Of what was common, to my private use;
Nay, when my ears are pierced with widows' cries,
And undone orphans wash with tears my threshold,
I only think what 'tis to have my daughter
Right honourable; and 'tis a powerful charm
Makes me insensible of remorse, or pity,
Or the least sting of conscience.
Lov. I admire
The toughness of your nature.
Over. 'Tis for you,
My lord, and for my daughter, I am marble;
Nay more, if you will have my character
In little, I enjoy more true delight
In my arrival to my wealth these dark
And crooked ways than you shall e'er take pleasure
In spending what my industry hath compassed.
My haste commands me hence; in one word, therefore,
Is it a match?
Lov. I hope, that is past doubt now.
Over. Then rest secure; not the hate of all mankind here,
Nor fear of what can fall on me hereafter,
Shall make me study aught but your advancement
One story higher: an earl! if gold can do it.
Dispute not my religion, nor my faith;
Though I am borne thus headlong by my will,
You may make choice of what belief you please,
To me they are equal; so, my lord, good morrow. [Exit.
Lov. He's gone—I wonder how the earth can bear
Such a portént! I, that have lived a soldier,
And stood the enemy's violent charge undaunted,
To hear this blasphemous beast am bathed all over
In a cold sweat: yet, like a mountain, he
(Confirmed in atheistical assertions)
Is no more shaken than Olympus is
When angry Boreas loads his double head
With sudden drifts of snow.

Enter Lady ALLWORTH, Waiting Woman, and AMBLE.

L. All. Save you, my lord!
Disturb I not your privacy?
Lov. No, good madam;
For your own sake I am glad you came no sooner,
Since this bold bad man, Sir Giles Overreach,
Made such a plain discovery of himself,
And read this morning such a devilish matins,
That I should think it a sin next to his
But to repeat it.
L. All. I ne'er pressed, my lord,
On others' privacies; yet, against my will,
Walking, for health' sake, in the gallery
Adjoining to your lodgings, I was made
(So vehement and loud he was) partaker
Of his tempting offers.
Lov. Please you to command
Your servants hence, and I shall gladly hear
Your wiser counsel.
L. All. 'Tis, my lord, a woman's,
But true and hearty;—wait in the next room,
But be within call; yet not so near to force me
To whisper my intents.
Amb. We are taught better
By you, good madam.
W. Wom. And well know our distance.
L. All. Do so, and talk not: 'twill become your breeding. [Exeunt
AMBLE and Woman.
Now, my good lord: if I may use my freedom,
As to an honoured friend_____
Lov. You lessen else
Your favour to me.
L. All. I dare then say thus;
As you are noble (howe'er common men
Make sordid wealth the object and sole end
Of their industrious aims) 'twill not agree
With those of eminent blood, who are engaged
More to prefer their honours than to increase
The state left to them by their ancestors,
To study large additions to their fortunes,
And quite neglect their births:—though I must grant,
Riches, well got, to be a useful servant,
But a bad master.
Lov. Madam, 'tis confessed;
But what infer you from it?
L. All. This, my lord;
That as all wrongs, though thrust into one scale,
Slide of themselves off when right fills the other,
And cannot bide the trial; so all wealth,
I mean if ill-acquired, cemented to honour
By virtuous ways achieved, and bravely purchased,
Is but as rubbish poured into a river,
(Howe'er intended to make good the bank,)
Rendering the water, that was pure before,
Polluted and unwholesome. I allow
The heir of Sir Giles Overreach, Margaret,
A maid well qualified and the richest match
Our north part can make boast of; yet she cannot,
With all that she brings with her, fill their mouths,
That never will forget who was her father;
Or that my husband Allworth's lands, and Wellborn's,
(How wrung from both needs now no repetition,)
Were real motives that more worked your lordship
To join your families, than her form and virtues:
You may conceive the rest.
Lov. I do, sweet madam,
And long since have considered it. I know,
The sum of all that makes a just man happy
Consists in the well choosing of his wife:
And there, well to discharge it, does require
Equality of years, of birth, of fortune;
For beauty being poor, and not cried up
By birth or wealth, can truly mix with neither.
And wealth, where there's such difference in years,
And fair descent, must make the yoke uneasy:—
But I come nearer.
L. All. Pray you do, my lord.
Lov. Were Overreach' states thrice centupled, his daughter
Millions of degrees much fairer than she is,
Howe'er I might urge precedents to excuse me,
I would not so adulterate my blood
By marrying Margaret, and so leave my issue
Made up of several pieces, one part scarlet,
And the other London blue. In my own tomb
I will inter my name first.
L. All. I am glad to hear this._____ [Aside.
Why then, my lord, pretend your marriage to her?
Dissimulation but ties false knots
On that straight line by which you, hitherto,
Have measured all your actions.
Lov. I make answer,
And aptly, with a question. Wherefore have you,
That, since your husband's death, have lived a strict
And chaste nun's life, on the sudden given yourself
To visits and entertainments? think you, madam,
'Tis not grown public conference? or the favours
Which you too prodigally have thrown on Wellborn,
Being too reserved before, incur not censure?
L. All. I am innocent here; and, on my life, I swear
My ends are good.
Lov. On my soul, so are mine
To Margaret; but leave both to the event:
And since this friendly privacy does serve
But as an offered means unto ourselves,
To search each other further, you having shewn
Your care of me, I my respect to you,
Deny me not, but still in chaste words, madam,
An afternoon's discourse.
L. All. So I shall hear you. [Exeunt.

SCENE II.—Before TAPWELL'S House.

Enter TAPWELL and FROTH.

Tap. Undone, undone! this was your counsel, Froth.
Froth. Mine! I defy thee: did not Master Marrall
(He has marred all, I am sure) strictly command us,
On pain of Sir Giles Overreach' displeasure,
To turn the gentleman out of doors?
Tap. 'Tis true;
But now he's his uncle's darling, and has got
Master Justice Greedy, since he filled his belly,
At his commandment, to do anything;
Woe, woe to us!
Froth. He may prove merciful.
Tap. Troth, we do not deserve it at his hands.
Though he knew all the passages of our house,
As the receiving of stolen goods, and bawdry,
When he was rogue Wellborn no man would believe him,
And then his information could not hurt us;
But now he is right worshipful again,
Who dares but doubt his testimony? methinks,
I see thee, Froth, already in a cart,
For a close bawd, thine eyes even pelted out
With dirt and rotten eggs; and my hand hissing,
If I scape the halter, with the letter R
Printed upon it.
Froth. Would that were the worst!
That were but nine days wonder: as for credit,
We have none to lose, but we shall lose the money
He owes us, and his custom; there's the hell on't.
Tap. He has summoned all his creditors by the drum,
And they swarm about him like so many soldiers
On the pay day: and has found out such A NEW WAY
TO PAY HIS OLD DEBTS, as 'tis very likely
He shall be chronicled for it!
Froth. He deserves it
More than ten pageants. But are you sure his worship
Comes this way, to my lady's?
[A cry within: Brave master Wellborn!
Tap. Yes:—I hear him.
Froth. Be ready with your petition, and present it
To his good grace.

Enter WELLBORN in a rich habit, followed by MARRALL, GREEDY, ORDER,
FURNACE, and Creditors; TAPWELL kneeling, delivers his petition.

Well. How's this! petitioned too?_____
But note what miracles the payment of
A little trash, and a rich suit of clothes,
Can work upon these rascals! I shall be,
I think, Prince Wellborn.
Mar. When your worship's married,
You may be—I know what I hope to see you.
Well. Then look thou for advancement.
Mar. To be known
Your worship's bailiff, is the mark I shoot at.
Well. And thou shalt hit it.
Mar. Pray you, sir, dispatch
These needy followers, and for my admittance,
Provided you'll defend me from Sir Giles,
Whose service I am weary of, I'll say something
You shall give thanks for.
Well. Fear me not Sir Giles.
Greedy. Who, Tapwell? I remember thy wife brought me,
Last new-year's tide, a couple of fat turkeys.
Tap. And shall do every Christmas, let your worship
But stand my friend now.
Greedy. How! with Master Wellborn?
I can do anything with him on such terms.—
See you this honest couple, they are good souls
As ever drew out fosset: have they not
A pair of honest faces?
Well. I o'erheard you,
And the bribe he promised. You are cozened in them;
For, of all the scum that grew rich by my riots,
This, for a most unthankful knave, and this,
For a base bawd and whore, have worst deserved me,
And therefore speak not for them: by your place
You are rather to do me justice; lend me your ear:
—Forget his turkeys, and call in his license
And, at the next fair, I'll give you a yoke of oxen
Worth all his poultry.
Greedy. I am changed on the sudden
In my opinion! come near; nearer, rascal.
And, now I view him better, did you e'er see
One look so like an archknave? his very countenance,
Should an understanding judge but look upon him,
Would hang him, though he were innocent.
Tap. Froth. Worshipful sir.
Greedy. No, though the great Turk came, instead of turkeys,
To beg my favour, I am inexorable.
Thou hast an ill name: besides thy musty ale,
That hath destroyed many of the king's liege people,
Thou never hadst in thy house, to stay men's stomachs,
A piece of Suffolk cheese or gammon of bacon,
Or any esculent, as the learned call it,
For their emolument, but sheer drink only.
For which gross fault I here do damn thy license,
Forbidding thee ever to tap or draw;
For, instantly, I will, in mine own person,
Command the constable to pull down thy sign,
And do it before I eat.
Froth. No mercy?
Greedy. Vanish!
If I shew any, may my promised oxen gore me!
Tap. Unthankful knaves are ever so rewarded.
[Exeunt GREEDY, TAPWELL, and FROTH.
Well. Speak; what are you?
1st Cred. A decayed vintner, sir,
That might have thrived, but that your worship broke me
With trusting you with muskadine and eggs,
And five pound suppers, with your after drinkings,
When you lodged upon the Bankside.
Well. I remember.
1st Cred. I have not been hasty, nor e'er laid to arrest you;
And therefore, sir_____
Well. Thou art an honest fellow,
I'll set thee up again; see his bill paid.—
What are you?
2nd Cred. A tailor once, but now mere botcher.
I gave you credit for a suit of clothes,
Which was all my stock, but you failing in payment,
I was removed from the shopboard, and confined
Under a stall.
Well. See him paid; and botch no more.
2nd Cred. I ask no interest, sir.
Well. Such tailors need not;
If their bills are paid in one and twenty year,
They are seldom losers.—O, I know thy face,
[To 3rd Creditor.
Thou wert my surgeon: you must tell no tales;
Those days are done. I will pay you in private.
Ord. A royal gentleman!
Furn. Royal as an emperor!
He'll prove a brave master; my good lady knew
To choose a man.
Well. See all men else discharged;
And since old debts are cleared by a new way,
A little bounty will not misbecome me;
There's something, honest cook, for thy good breakfasts;
And this, for your respect: [To ORDER] take't, 'tis good gold,
And I able to spare it.
Ord. You are too munificent.
Furn. He was ever so.
Well. Pray you, on before.
3rd Cred. Heaven bless you!
Mar. At four o'clock; the rest know where to meet me.
[Exeunt ORDER, FURNACE, and Creditors.
Well. Now, Master Marrall, what's the weighty secret
You promised to impart?
Mar. Sir, time nor place
Allow me to relate each circumstance,
This only, in a word; I know Sir Giles
Will come upon you for security
For his thousand pounds, which you must not consent to.
As he grows in heat, as I am sure he will,
Be you but rough, and say he's in your debt
Ten times the sum, upon sale of your land;
I had a hand in't (I speak it to my shame)
When you were defeated of it.
Well. That's forgiven.
Mar. I shall deserve it: then urge him to produce
The deed in which you passed it over to him,
Which I know he'll have about him, to deliver
To the Lord Lovell, with many other writings,
And present monies: I'll instruct you further,
As I wait on your worship: if I play not my prize
To your full content, and your uncle's much vexation,
Hang up Jack Marrall.
Well. I rely upon thee. [Exeunt.

SCENE III.—A Room in OVERREACH'S House.

Enter ALLWORTH and MARGARET.

All. Whether to yield the first praise to my lord's
Unequalled temperance or your constant sweetness,
That I yet live, my weak hands fastened on
Hope's anchor, spite of all storms of despair,
I yet rest doubtful.
Marg. Give it to Lord Lovell;
For what in him was bounty, in me's duty.
I make but payment of a debt to which
My vows, in that high office registered,
Are faithful witnesses.
All. 'Tis true, my dearest:
Yet, when I call to mind how many fair ones
Make wilful shipwreck of their faiths, and oaths
To God and man, to fill the arms of greatness,
And you rise up no less than a glorious star,
To the amazement of the world,—hold out
Against the stern authority of a father,
And spurn at honour, when it comes to court you;
I am so tender of your good, that faintly,
With your wrong, I can wish myself that right
You yet are pleased to do me.
Marg. Yet, and ever.
To me what's title, when content is wanting?
Or wealth, raked up together with much care,
And to be kept with more, when the heart pines
In being dispossessed of what it longs for
Beyond the Indian mines? or the smooth brow
Of a pleased sire, that slaves me to his will,
And, so his ravenous humour may be feasted
By my obedience, and he see me great,
Leaves to my soul nor faculties nor power
To make her own election?
All. But the dangers
That follow the repulse_____
Marg. To me they are nothing;
Let Allworth love, I cannot be unhappy.
Suppose the worst, that, in his rage, he kill me;
A tear or two, by you dropt on my hearse,
In sorrow for my fate, will call back life
So far as but to say, that I die yours;
I then shall rest in peace: or should he prove
So cruel, as one death would not suffice
His thirst of vengeance, but with lingering torments
In mind and body I must waste to air,
In poverty joined with banishment; so you share
In my afflictions, which I dare not wish you,
So high I prize you, I could undergo them
With such a patience as should look down
With scorn on his worst malice.
All. Heaven avert
Such trials of your true affection to me!
Nor will it unto you, that are all mercy.
Shew so much rigour: but since we must run
Such desperate hazards, let us do our best
To steer between them.
Marg. Your lord's ours, and sure;
And, though but a young actor, second me
In doing to the life what he has plotted,

Enter OVERREACH behind.

The end may yet prove happy. Now, my Allworth.
[Seeing her father.
All. To your letter, and put on a seeming anger.
Marg. I'll pay my lord all debts due to his title;
And when with terms, not taking from his honour,
He does solicit me, I shall gladly hear him.
But in this peremptory, nay, commanding way,
To appoint a meeting, and, without my knowledge,
A priest to tie the knot can ne'er be undone
Till death unloose it, is a confidence
In his lordship will deceive him.
All. I hope better,
Good lady.
Marg. Hope, sir, what you please: for me
I must take a safe and secure course; I have
A father, and without his full consent,
Though all lords of the land kneeled for my favour,
I can grant nothing.
Over. I like this obedience: [Comes forward
But whatsoe'er my lord writes, must and shall be
Accepted and embraced. Sweet Master Allworth,
You shew yourself a true and faithful servant
To your good lord; he has a jewel of you.
How! frowning, Meg? are these looks to receive
A messenger from my lord? what's this? give me it.
Marg. A piece of arrogant paper, like the inscriptions.
Over. [Reads.] "Fair mistress, from your servant learn, all joys
That we can hope for, if deferred, prove toys;
Therefore this instant, and in private, meet
A husband, that will gladly at your feet
Lay down his honours, tendering them to you
With all content, the church being paid her due."
—Is this the arrogant piece of paper? fool!
Will you still be one? in the name of madness what
Could his good honour write more to content you?
Is there aught else to be wished, after these two,
That are already offered; marriage first,
And lawful pleasure after: what would you more?
Marg. Why, sir, I would be married like your daughter;
Not hurried away i' the night I know not whither,
Without all ceremony; no friends invited
To honour the solemnity.
All. An't please your honour,
For so before to-morrow I must style you,
My lord desires this privacy, in respect
His honourable kinsmen are afar off,
And his desires to have it done brook not
So long delay as to expect their coming;
And yet he stands resolved, with all due pomp,
As running at the ring, plays, masks, and tilting,
To have his marriage at court celebrated,
When he has brought your honour up to London.
Over. He tells you true; 'tis the fashion, on my knowledge:
Yet the good lord, to please your peevishness,
Must put it off, forsooth! and lose a night,
In which perhaps he might get two boys on thee.
Tempt me no further, if you do, this goad
[Points to his sword.

Shall prick you to him.
Marg. I could be contented,
Were you but by, to do a father's part,
And give me in the church.
Over. So my lord have you,
What do I care who gives you? since my lord
Does purpose to be private, I'll not cross him.
I know not, Master Allworth, how my lord
May be provided, and therefore there's a purse
Of gold, 'twill serve this night's expense; to-morrow
I'll furnish him with any sums: in the mean time,
Use my ring to my chaplain; he is beneficed
At my manor of Got'em, and called Parson Willdo:
'Tis no matter for a licence, I'll bear him out in't.
Marg. With your favour, sir, what warrant is your ring?
He may suppose I got that twenty ways,
Without your knowledge; and then to be refused
Were such a stain upon me!—if you pleased, sir,
Your presence would do better.
Over. Still perverse!
I say again, I will not cross my lord;
Yet I'll prevent you too.—Paper and ink, there!
All. I can furnish you.
Over. I thank you, I can write then. [Writes.
All. You may, if you please, put out the name of my lord,
In respect he comes disguised, and only write,
Marry her to this gentleman.
Over. Well advised.
'Tis done; away;—[MARGARET kneels.] My blessing, girl? thou hast it.
Nay, no reply, be gone:—good Master Allworth,
This shall be the best night's work you ever made.
All. I hope so, sir.
[Exeunt ALLWORTH and MARGARET.
Over. Farewell!—Now all's cocksure:
Methinks I hear already knights and ladies
Say, Sir Giles Overreach, how is it with
Your honourable daughter? has her honour
Slept well to-night? or, will her honour please
To accept this monkey, dog, or paroquito,
(This is state in ladies,) or my eldest son
To be her page, and wait upon her trencher?
My ends, my ends are compassed—then for Wellborn
And the lands; were he once married to the widow—
I have him here—I can scarce contain myself,
I am so full of joy, nay, joy all over. [Exit.

ACT THE FIFTH.

SCENE I.—A Room in Lady ALLWORTH'S House.

Enter Lord LOVELL, Lady ALLWORTH, and AMBLE.

L. ALL. By this you know how strong the motives were
That did, my lord, induce me to dispense
A little, with my gravity, to advance,
In personating some few favours to him,
The plots and projects of the down-trod Wellborn.
Nor shall I e'er repent, although I suffer
In some few men's opinions for't, the action;
For he that ventured all for my dear husband
Might justly claim an obligation from me
To pay him such a courtesy; which had I
Coyly or over-curiously denied,
It might have argued me of little love
To the deceased.
Lov. What you intended, madam,
For the poor gentleman hath found good success;
For, as I understand, his debts are paid,
And he once more furnished for fair employment:
But all the arts that I have used to raise
The fortunes of your joy and mine, young Allworth,
Stand yet in supposition, though I hope well:
For the young lovers are in wit more pregnant
Than their years can promise; and for their desires,
On my knowledge, they are equal.
L. All. As my wishes
Are with yours, my lord; yet give me leave to fear
The building, though well grounded: to deceive
Sir Giles, that's both a lion and a fox
In his proceedings, were a work beyond
The strongest undertakers; not the trial
Of two weak innocents.
Lov. Despair not, madam:
Hard things are compassed oft by easy means;
And judgment, being a gift derived from Heaven,
Though sometimes lodged in the hearts of worldly men,
That ne'er consider from whom they receive it,
Forsakes such as abuse the giver of it.
Which is the reason that the politic
And cunning statesman, that believes he fathoms
The counsels of all kingdoms on the earth,
Is by simplicity oft over-reached.
L. All. May he be so! yet, in his name to express it,
Is a good omen.
Lov. May it to myself
Prove so, good lady, in my suit to you!
What think you of the motion?
L. All. Troth, my lord,
My own unworthiness may answer for me;
For had you, when that I was in my prime,
My virgin flower uncropped, presented me
With this great favour; looking on my lowness
Not in a glass of self-love, but of truth,
I could not but have thought it, as a blessing
Far, far beyond my merit.
Lov. You are too modest,
And undervalue that which is above
My title, or whatever I call mine.
I grant, were I a Spaniard, to marry
A widow might disparage me; but being
A true-born Englishman, I cannot find
How it can taint my honour: nay, what's more,
That which you think a blemish is to me
The fairest lustre. You already, madam,
Have given sure proofs how dearly you can cherish
A husband that deserves you; which confirms me,
That, if I am not wanting in my care
To do you service, you'll be still the same
That you were to your Allworth: in a word,
Our years, our states, our births are not unequal,
You being descended nobly, and allied so;
If then you may be won to make me happy,
But join your lips to mine, and that shall be
A solemn contract.
L. All. I were blind to my own good,
Should I refuse it; [Kisses him] yet, my lord, receive me
As such a one, the study of whose whole life
Shall know no other object but to please you.
Lov. If I return not, with all tenderness,
Equal respect to you, may I die wretched!
L. All. There needs no protestation, my lord,
To her that cannot doubt.—

Enter WELLBORN, handsomely apparelled.

You are welcome, sir.
Now you look like yourself.
Well. And will continue
Such in my free acknowledgment, that I am
Your creature, madam, and will never hold
My life mine own, when you please to command it.
Lov. It is a thankfulness that well becomes you;
You could not make choice of a better shape
To dress your mind in.
L. All. For me, I am happy
That my endeavours prospered. Saw you of late
Sir Giles, your uncle?
Well. I heard of him, madam,
By his minister, Marrall; he's grown into strange passions
About his daughter: this last night he looked for
Your lordship at his house, but missing you,
And she not yet appearing, his wise head
Is much perplexed and troubled.
Lov. It may be,
Sweetheart, my project took.
L. All. I strongly hope.
Over. [within.] Ha! find her, booby, thou huge lump of nothing,
I'll bore thine eyes out else.
Well. May it please your lordship,
For some ends of mine own, but to withdraw
A little out of sight, though not of hearing,
You may, perhaps, have sport.
Lov. You shall direct me. [Steps aside.

Enter OVERREACH, with distracted looks, driving in MARRALL before
him, with a box.

Over. I shall sol fa you, rogue!
Mar. Sir, for what cause
Do you use me thus?
Over. Cause, slave! why, I am angry,
And thou a subject only fit for beating,
And so to cool my choler. Look to the writing;
Let but the seal be broke upon the box
That has slept in my cabinet these three years,
I'll rack thy soul for't.
Mar. I may yet cry quittance,
Though now I suffer, and dare not resist. [Aside.
Over. Lady, by your leave, did you see my daughter, lady?
And the lord her husband? are they in your house?
If they are, discover, that I may bid them joy;
And, as an entrance to her place of honour,
See your ladyship on her left hand, and make courtsies
When she nods on you; which you must receive
As a special favour.
L. All. When I know, Sir Giles,
Her state requires such ceremony, I shall pay it;
But, in the meantime, as I am myself,
I give you to understand, I neither know
Nor care where her honour is.
Over. When you once see her
Supported, and led by the lord her husband,
You'll be taught better._____ Nephew.
Well. Sir.
Over. No more!
Well. 'Tis all I owe you.
Over. Have your redeemed rags
Made you thus insolent?
Well. Insolent to you!
Why, what are you, sir, unless in your years,
At the best, more than myself?
Over. His fortune swells him:
'Tis rank, he's married. [Aside.
L. All. This is excellent!
Over. Sir, in calm language, though I seldom use it,
I am familiar with the cause that makes you
Bear up thus bravely; there's a certain buzz
Of a stolen marriage, do you hear? of a stolen marriage,
In which, 'tis said, there's somebody hath been cozened;
I name no parties.
Well. Well, sir, and what follows?
Over. Marry, this; since you are peremptory. Remember,
Upon mere hope of your great match, I lent you
A thousand pounds: put me in good security,
And suddenly, by mortgage or by statute,
Of some of your new possessions, or I'll have you
Dragged in your lavender robes to the gaol: you know me,
And therefore do not trifle.
Well. Can you be
So cruel to your nephew, now he's in
The way to rise? was this the courtesy
You did me "in pure love, and no ends else?"
Over. End me no ends! engage the whole estate,
And force your spouse to sign it, you shall have
Three or four thousand more, to roar and swagger
And revel in bawdy taverns.
Well. And beg after;
Mean you not so?
Over. My thoughts are mine, and free.
Shall I have security?
Well. No, indeed you shall not,
Nor bond, nor bill, nor bare acknowledgment;
Your great looks fright not me.
Over. But my deeds shall.
Outbraved! [Both draw.
L. All. Help, murder! murder!

Enter Servants.

Well. Let him come on,
With all his wrongs and injuries about him,
Armed with his cut-throat practices to guard him;
The right that I bring with me will defend me,
And punish his extortion.
Over. That I had thee
But single in the field!
L. All. You may; but make not
My house your quarrelling scene.
Over. Were't in a church,
By Heaven and Hell, I'll do't!
Mar. Now put him to
The shewing of the deed. [Aside to WELLBORN.
Well. This rage is vain, sir;
For fighting, fear not, you shall have your hands full,
Upon the least incitement; and whereas
You charge me with a debt of a thousand pounds,
If there be law, (howe'er you have no conscience,)
Either restore my land, or I'll recover
A debt, that's truly due to me from you,
In value ten times more than what you challenge.
Over. I in thy debt! O impudence! did I not purchase
The land left by thy father, that rich land,
That had continuèd in Wellborn's name
Twenty descents; which, like a riotous fool,
Thou didst make sale of? Is not here, inclosed,
The deed that does confirm it mine?
Mar. Now, now!
Well. I do acknowledge none; I ne'er passed over
Any such land: I grant, for a year or two
You had it in trust; which if you do discharge,
Surrendering the possession, you shall ease
Yourself and me of chargeable suits in law,
Which, if you prove not honest, as I doubt it,
Must of necessity follow.
L. All. In my judgment,
He does advise you well.
Over. Good! good! conspire
With your new husband, lady; second him
In his dishonest practices; but when
This manor is extended to my use,
You'll speak in an humbler key, and sue for favour.
L. All. Never: do not hope it.
Well. Let despair first seize me.
Over. Yet, to shut up thy mouth, and make thee give
Thyself the lie, the loud lie, I draw out
The precious evidence; if thou canst forswear
Thy hand and seal, and make a forfeit of
[Opens the box, and displays the bond.
Thy ears to the pillory, see! here's that will make
My interest clear—ha!
L. All. A fair skin of parchment.
Well. Indented, I confess, and labels too;
But neither wax nor words. How! thunderstruck?
Not a syllable to insult with? My wise uncle,
Is this your precious evidence, this that makes
Your interest clear?
Over. I am o'erwhelmed with wonder!
What prodigy is this? what subtle devil
Hath razed out the inscription? the wax
Turned into dust!—the rest of my deeds whole
As when they were delivered, and this only
Made nothing! do you deal with witches, rascal?
There is a statute for you, which will bring
Your neck in an hempen circle; yes, there is;
And now 'tis better thought for, cheater, know
This juggling shall not save you.
Well. To save thee,
Would beggar the stock of mercy.
Over. Marrall!
Mar. Sir.
Over. Though the witnesses are dead, your testimony
Help with an oath or two: and for thy master,
Thy liberal master, my good honest servant,
I know thou wilt swear anything, to dash
This cunning sleight: besides, I know thou art
A public notary, and such stand in law
For a dozen witnesses: the deed being drawn too
By thee, my careful Marrall, and delivered
When thou wert present, will make good my title.
Wilt thou not swear this? [Aside to MARRALL.
Mar. I! no, I assure you:
I have a conscience not seared up like yours;
I know no deeds.
Over. Wilt thou betray me?
Mar. Keep him
From using of his hands, I'll use my tongue,
To his no little torment.
Over. Mine own varlet
Rebel against me!
Mar. Yes, and uncase you too.
"The idiot, the patch, the slave, the booby,
The property fit only to be beaten
For your morning exercise," your "football," or
"The unprofitable lump of flesh," your "drudge,"
Can now anatomise you, and lay open
All your black plots, and level with the earth
Your hill of pride, and, with these gabions guarded,
Unload my great artillery, and shake,
Nay pulverize, the walls you think defend you.
L. All. How he foams at the mouth with rage!
Well. To him again.
Over. O that I had thee in my gripe, I would tear thee Joint after
joint!
Mar. I know you are a tearer,
But I'll have first your fangs pared off, and then
Come nearer to you; when I have discovered,
And made it good before the judge, what ways,
And devilish practices, you used to cozen with
An army of whole families, who yet alive,
And but enrolled for soldiers, were able
To take in Dunkirk.
Well. All will come out.
L. All. The better.
Over. But that I will live, rogue, to torture thee,
And make thee wish, and kneel in vain, to die,
These swords that keep thee from me should fix here,
Although they made my body but one wound,
But I would reach thee.
Lov. Heaven's hand is in this;
One bandog worry the other! [Aside.
Over. I play the fool,
And make my anger but ridiculous:
There will be a time and place, there will be, cowards,
When you shall feel what I dare do.
Well. I think so:
You dare do any ill, yet want true valour
To be honest, and repent.
Over. They are words I know not,
Nor e'er will learn. Patience, the beggar's virtue,

Enter GREEDY and Parson WILLDO.

Shall find no harbour here:—after these storms
At length a calm appears. Welcome, most welcome!
There's comfort in thy looks; is the deed done?
Is my daughter married? say but so, my chaplain,
And I am tame.
Willdo. Married! yes, I assure you.
Over. Then vanish all sad thoughts! there's more gold for thee.
My doubts and fears are in the titles drowned
Of my honourable, my right honourable daughter.
Greedy. Here will be feasting! at least for a month,
I am provided: empty guts, croak no more.
You shall be stuffed like bagpipes, not with wind,
But bearing dishes.
Over. Instantly be here? [Whispering to WILLDO.
To my wish! to my wish! Now you that plot against me,
And hoped to trip my heels up, that contemned me,
Think on't and tremble:—[Loud music]—they come! I hear the
music.
A lane there for my lord!
Well. This sudden heat
May yet be cooled, sir.
Over. Make way there for my lord!

Enter ALLWORTH and MARGARET.

Marg. Sir, first your pardon, then your blessing, with
Your full allowance of the choice I have made.
As ever you could make use of your reason, [Kneeling.
Grow not in passion; since you may as well
Call back the day that's past, as untie the knot
Which is too strongly fastened: not to dwell
Too long on words, this is my husband.
Over. How!
All. So I assure you; all the rites of marriage,
With every circumstance, are past. Alas! sir,
Although I am no lord, but a lord's page,
Your daughter and my loved wife mourns not for it;
And, for right honourable son-in-law, you may say,
Your dutiful daughter.
Over. Devil! are they married?
Willdo. Do a father's part, and say, Heaven give them joy!
Over. Confusion and ruin! speak, and speak quickly,
Or thou art dead.
Willdo. They are married.
Over. Thou hadst better
Have made a contract with the king of fiends,
Than these:—my brain turns!
Willdo. Why this rage to me?
Is not this your letter, sir, and these the words?
"Marry her to this gentleman."
Over. It cannot—
Nor will I e'er believe it, 'sdeath! I will not;
That I, that in all passages I touched
At worldly profit have not left a print
Where I have trod for the most curious search
To trace my footsteps, should be gulled by children,
Baffled and fooled, and all my hopes and labours
Defeated and made void.
Well. As it appears,
You are so, my grave uncle.
Over. Village nurses
Revenge their wrongs with curses; I'll not waste
A syllable, but thus I take the life
Which, wretched, I gave to thee.
[Attempts to kill MARGARET.
Lov. [coming forward.] Hold, for your own sake!
Though charity to your daughter hath quite left you,
Will you do an act, though in your hopes lost here,
Can leave no hope for peace or rest hereafter?
Consider; at the best you are but a man,
And cannot so create your aims, but that
They may be crossed.
Over. Lord! thus I spit at thee,
And at thy counsel; and again desire thee,
And as thou art a soldier, if thy valour
Dares shew itself where multitude and example
Lead not the way, let's quit the house, and change
Six words in private.
Lov. I am ready.
L. All. Stay, sir,
Contest with one distracted!
Well. You'll grow like him,
Should you answer his vain challenge.
Over. Are you pale?
Borrow his help, though Hercules call it odds,
I'll stand against both as I am, hemmed in—
Thus!
Since, like a Libyan lion in the toil,
My fury cannot reach the coward hunters,
And only spends itself, I'll quit the place:
Alone I can do nothing; but I have servants
And friends to second me; and if I make not
This house a heap of ashes, (by my wrongs,
What I have spoke I will make good!) or leave
One throat uncut,—if it be possible,
Hell, add to my afflictions! [Exit.
Mar. Is't not brave sport?
Greedy. Brave sport! I am sure it has ta'en away my stomach;
I do not like the sauce.
All. Nay, weep not, dearest,
Though it express your pity; what's decreed
Above, we cannot alter.
L. All. His threats move me
No scruple, madam.
Mar. Was it not a rare trick,
An it please your worship, to make the deed nothing?
I can do twenty neater, if you please
To purchase and grow rich; for I will be
Such a solicitor and steward for you,
As never worshipful had.
Well. I do believe thee;
But first discover the quaint means you used
To raze out the conveyance?
Mar. They are mysteries
Not to be spoke in public: certain minerals
Incorporated in the ink and wax—
Besides, he gave me nothing, but still fed me
With hopes and blows; and that was the inducement
To this conundrum. If it please your worship
To call to memory, this mad beast once caused me
To urge you or to drown or hang yourself;
I'll do the like to him, if you command me.
Well. You are a rascal! he that dares be false
To a master, though unjust, will ne'er be true
To any other. Look not for reward
Or favour from me; I will shun thy sight
As I would do a basilisk's; thank my pity,
If thou keep thy ears; howe'er, I will take order
Your practice shall be silenced.
Greedy. I'll commit him.
If you'll have me, sir.
Well. That were to little purpose:
His conscience be his prison. Not a word,
But instantly be gone.
Ord. Take this kick with you.
Amb. And this.
Furn. If that I had my cleaver here,
I would divide your knave's head.
Mar. This is the haven
False servants still arrive at. [Exit.

Re-enter OVERREACH.

L. All. Come again!
Lov. Fear not, I am your guard.
Well. His looks are ghastly.
Willdo. Some little time I have spent, under your favours,
In physical studies, and if my judgment err not,
He's mad beyond recovery: but observe him,
And look to yourselves.
Over. Why, is not the whole world
Included in myself? to what use then
Are friends and servants? Say there were a squadron
Of pikes, lined through with shot, when I am mounted
Upon my injuries, shall I fear to charge them?
No: I'll through the battalia, and that routed,
[Flourishing his sword sheathed.
I'll fall to execution.—Ha! I am feeble:
Some undone widow sits upon mine arm,
And takes away the use of't; and my sword,
Glued to my scabbard with wronged orphans' tears,
Will not be drawn. Ha! what are these? sure, hangmen,
That come to bind my hands, and then to drag me
Before the judgment-seat: now they are new shapes,
And do appear like Furies, with steel whips
To scourge my ulcerous soul. Shall I then fall
Ingloriously, and yield? no; spite of Fate,
I will be forced to hell like to myself.
Though you were legions of accursed spirits,
Thus would I fly among you.
[Rushes forward, and flings himself on the ground.
Well. There's no help;
Disarm him first, then bind him.
Greedy. Take a mittimus,
And carry him to Bedlam.
Lov. How he foams!
Well. And bites the earth!
Willdo. Carry him to some dark room,
There try what art can do for his recovery.
Marg. O my dear father! [They force OVERREACH off.
All. You must be patient, mistress.
Lov. Here is a precedent to teach wicked men,
That when they leave religion, and turn atheists,
Their own abilities leave them. Pray you take comfort,
I will endeavour you shall be his guardians
In his distractions: and for your land, Master Wellborn,
Be it good or ill in law, I'll be an umpire
Between you, and this, the undoubted heir
Of Sir Giles Overreach: for me, here's the anchor
That I must fix on.
All. What you shall determine,
My lord, I will allow of.
Well. 'Tis the language
That I speak too; but there is something else
Beside the repossession of my land,
And payment of my debts, that I must practise.
I had a reputation, but 'twas lost
In my loose course; and until I redeem it
Some noble way, I am but half made up.
It is a time of action; if your lordship
Will please to confer a company upon me
In your command, I doubt not in my service
To my king and country but I shall do something
That may make me right again.
Lov. Your suit is granted,
And you loved for the motion.
Well. [coming forward.] Nothing wants then
But your allowance—and in that our all
Is comprehended; it being known, nor we,
Nor he that wrote the comedy, can be free,
Without your manumission; which if you
Grant willingly, as a fair favour due
To the poet's and our labours, (as you may,
For we despair not, gentlemen, of the play,)
We jointly shall profess your grace hath might
To teach us action, and him how to write. [Exeunt.






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