Gammer Gvrtons Nedle anonymous The Prologue. As Gammer Gurton, with manye a wyde styche Sat pesynge & patching of Hodg her mans briche By chance or misfortune as shee her geare tost In Hodge lether bryches her needle shee lost, When Diccon the bedlem had hard by report That good Gammer Gurton was robde in thyssorte, He quyetly perswaded with her in that stound Dame Chather deare gossyp this needle had found, Yet knew shee no more of this matter (alas) Then knoeth Tom our clarke whatthe Priest saith at masse Here of there ensued so fearfull a fraye, Mas Doctor was sent for these gossyps to staye, Because he was Curate and estemed full wyse Who found that he sought not by Diccons deuice, When all thinges were tombled and cleane out of fassion Whether it were by fortune or some other constellacion Sodenlye the neele Hodge found by the prickynge And drew it out of his bottocke where he felt it stickynge Theyr hartes then atrest with perfect securytie. With a pot of good nale they stroake vp theyr plauditie. The fyrst Acte. The fyrst Sceane Diccon. Diccon Many a myle haue I walked, diuers and sundry waies And many a good mans house haue I bin at in my daies Many a gossips cup in my tyme haue I tasted And many a broche and spyt, haue I both turned and basted Many a peece of bacon haue I had out of thir balkes In ronnyng ouer the countrey, with long and were walkes, Yet came my foote neuer, within those doore cheekes, To seeke flesh orfysh Garlyke Onyons or Leekes, That euer I saw a sorte, in such a plyght As here within this house appereth to my syght, There is howlynge and scowlyng, all cast in a dumpe, With whewling and pewling, as though they had lost a trump Syghing and sobbing they weepe and they wayle I maruell in my mynd, whatthe deuill they wayle The olde Trotsyts groning,with alas and alas, And Tib wringes her hands,and takes on in worse case With poore Cocke theyr boye they be dryuen in such fyts I feare mee the folkes be not well in theyr wyts Aske them what they ayle, or who brought them in this staye? They auuswer not at all,but alacke and welaway Whan I saw it booted not out at doores I hyed mee And caught a slyp of Bacon, when I saw that none spyed mee, Which I intend not far hence vnles my purpose fayle Shall serue for a shoinghorne to draw on two pots of ale. The fyrst Acte. The second Sceane. Hodge. Diccon. Hodge See so cham arayed with dablynge in the durt She that set me to ditchinge, ich wold she had the squrt Was neuer poore soule that such a life had ? Gogs bones thys vylthy glaye hase drest mee to bad Gods soule, see how this stuffe teares Iche were better to bee a Bearward and set to keepe Beares By the Masse here is a gasshe, a sharnefull hole in deade And one stytch teare furder, a man may thruste in his heade Diccon By my fathers soule Hodge, if I shulde now be sworne I can not chuse but say thy breech is foule be-torne But the next remedye in such acaseand hap Is to plaunche on a piece, as brode as thy cap. Hodge Gogs soule man, tis not yet two dayes fully ended Synce my dame Gurton (chem sure) these breches amended, But cham made such a drudge to trudge at euery neede Chwold rend it though it were stitched wyth sturdy pacthreede, Diccon Hoge, let thy breeches go, and speake and tell mee soone What deuill ayleth gammer gurton, & Tib her mayd to frowne, Hodge Tush man thart deceyued tys theyr dayly looke, They coure so ouer ye coles, theyr eyes be bleard with smooke, Diccon Nay by the masse, I perfectly perceiued as I came hether That eyther Tib & her dame hath ben by the eares together Or els as great a matter as thou shalt shortly see. Hodge Now iche beseeche our Lord they neuer better agree. Diccon By gogs soule there they syt as still as stones in the streite As though they had ben taken with fairies or els wt some il sprite Hodge Gogs hart, I durst haue layd my cap to a crowne Chwould lerne of some prancome as sone as ich came to town. Diccon Why Hodge art thou inspyred? or dedst thou therof here? Hodge Nay but ich saw such a wonder as ich saw nat ths vii. yere Tome Tannkards Cow (be gogs bones) she set me vp her saile And flynging about his halfe aker fysking with her taile, As thoughthere had ben in her ars a swarme of Bees, And chad not cryed tphrowh hoore shead lept out of his Lees. Diccon Why Hodg lies the connyng in Tom tankards cowes taile? Hodge Well ich chaue hard some say such tokens do not fayle, But canst yu not tell in faith Diccon, why she frownes or wher at Hath no man stolne her Ducks or Henes, or gelded gyb her Cat Diccon What deuyll can I tell man, I cold not haue one word They gaue no more hede to my talk then thou woldst to a lorde Hodge Iche can not styll but muse what meruaylous thinge it is Chyll in and know my selfe what matters are arnys. Diccon Then farewell hodge a while, synce thou doest inward hast, For I will into the good wyfe Chats, to feele how the ale dooth taste. The fyrst Acte. The thyrd Sceane. Hodge. Tyb. Hodge CHam agast by the masse, ich wot not what to do Chad nede blesse me well before ich go them to Perchaunce sonie felon sprit may haunt our house indeed, And then chwere but a noddy to venter where cha no neede Tib Cham worse then mad by the masse to be at this staye Cham chyd cham blamd, and beaton all thoures on the daye, Lamed and hunger storued, prycked vp all in Jagges Hauyng no patch to hyde my backe, saue a few rotten ragges. Hodge I say Tyb, if thou be Tyb, as I trow sure thou bee, What deuyll make a doe is this betweene our dame and thee. Tyb Gogsbreade Hodg thou had a good turne thou warte not here this while. It had ben better for some of vs to haue ben hence a myle My Gammer is so out of course, and frantyke all at ones That Cocke our boy, & I poore wench haue felt it on our bones. Hodge What is the matter, say on Tib wherat she taketh so on. Tyb She is vndone she sayth (alas,) her ioye and life is gone If shee here not of some comfort, she is sayth but dead Shall neuer come within her lyps, one inch of meate ne bread. Hodge Bur Ladie cham not very glad, to see her in this dumpe Cholde a noble her stole hath fallen, & shee hath broke her rumpe Tyb Nay and that were the worst, we wold not greatly care For bursting of her huckle bone, or breakyng of her Chaire But greatter greater is her grief, as hodge we shall all feele. Hodge Gogs woundes Tyb, my gammer has neuer lost her Neele? ryb Her Neele. Hodge Her Neele? rib Her neele by him that made me, it is true Hodge I tell thee. Hodge Gogs sacrament, I would she had lost tharte out of her bellie The Deuill or els his dame, they ought her sure a shame How a murryon came this chaunce. (say Tib) vnto our dame? Tyb My gammer sat her downe on her pes, & bad me reach thy breeches And by & by, a vengeance in it or she had take two stitches To clap a clout vpon thine ars, by chaunce a syde she leares And gyb our cat in the milke pan, she spied ouer head and eares Ah hore out thefe she cryed aloud, & swapt the breches downe Up went her staffe, and out leapt gyb, at doors into the towne And synce that time was neuer wyght, cold set their eies vpon it Gogs malison chaue Cocke and I, byd twenty times light on it. Hodge And is not then my breches sewid vp, to morow yt I shuld were Tyb No in faith hodge thy breeches lie, for al this neuer the nere. Hodge Now a vengeance light on al ye sort, yt better shold haue kept it, The cat the house, and tib our maid, yt better shold haue swept it Se where she commeth crawling come on in twenty deuils way Ye haue made a fayre daies worke haue you not? pray you say. The fyrste Acte. The.iiii. Sceane. Gammer. Hodge. Tyb. Cocke. Gammer ALas hoge, alas I may well cursse and ban This daie that euer I saw it, with gyb and the inylke pan For these and ill lucke to gather, as knoweth Cocke my boye Haue stacke away my deare neele, and robd me of my boye My fayre longe strayght neele that was myne one y treasure The fyrst day of my sorow is, and last end of my pleasure. Hodge Might ha kept it when ye had it, but fooles will be fooles styll. Lose that is vast in your handes, ye meede not but ye will. Gammer Go hie thee tib, and run thou hoore, to thend here of the towne Didst cary out dust in thy lap, seeke wher thou porest it downe And as thou sawest me roking, in the asshes where I morned. So see in all the heape of dust, thou leaue no straw vnturned. Tyb That chal gammer swythe and tyte, and sone be here agayne. Gammer Tib stoope & loke downe to ye ground to it, & take some paine. Hodge Here is a prety matter, to see this gere how it goes By gogs soule I thenk you wold loes your ars, and it were loose Your neele lost, it is pitie you shold lack care and endlesse sorow Gogs deth how shall my breches be sewid, shall I go thus to morow Gammer Ah hodg, hodg, if that ich cold find my neele by the reed Chould sow thy breches ich promise ye, wt full good double threed And set a patch on either knee, shuld last this monethes twaine Now god & good Saint Sithe I praye, to send it home againe. Hodge Wherto serued your hands & eies, but this your neele to kepe What deuill had you els to do, ye kept ich wot no sheepe Cham faine a brode to dyg and delue, in water, myre and claye Sossing and possing in the durte, styll from day to daye A hundred thinges that be abrode, cham set to see them weele And foure of you syt idle at home, and can not keepe a neele. Gammer My neele alas ich lost it hodge, what time ich me vp hasted To saue the milke set vp for the, which gib our cat hath wasted Hodge The Deuill he burst both gib, and Tib, with all the rest Cham alwayes sure of the worst end, who euer haue the best Where ha you ben fidging abrode, since you your neele lost Gammer Withm the house and at the dore, sittmg by this same post Wher I was loking a long howre, before these folks came here, But welaway, all was in vayne, my neele is neuer the nere. Hodge Set me a candle, let me seeke and grope where euer it bee Gogs hart ye be so folish (ich thinke) you knowe it not when you it see Gammer Come hether Cocke what Cocke I say. Cocke Howe Gammer. r Goe hye thee soone and grope behynd the old brasse pan, Whych thing when thou hast done Ther shalt thou fynd an old shooe, wher in if thou looke well Thou shalt fynd lyeng an inche of a whyte tallow candell, Lyght it, and brynge it tite awaye. Cocke That shalbe done anone. Gammer Nay tary hodg til thou hast light, and then weele seke ech one. Hodge Cum away ye horson boy, are ye a slepe; ye must haue a crier. Cocke Ich cannot get the candel light here is almost no fler. Hodge Chil hold the a peny chil make ye come if yt ich may catch thine eares Art deffe thou horson boy ? cocke I say, why canst not heares. Gammer Beate hym not Hodge but help the boy and come you two togethe. The.i.Acte The.v.Sceane Gammer. Tyb. Cocke. Hodge Gammer How now Tyb quycke lets here,what newes thou hast brought hether Tyb Chaue tost and tumbled yender heap our & ouer againe And winowed it through my fingers as men wold winow grain No so much as a hens turd but in pieces I tare it Or what so euer clod or clay I found, I did not spare it Lokyng within and eke without, to fynd your neele (alas) But all in vaine and without help, your neele is where it was. Gammer Alas my neele we shall neuer meete, adue, adue for aye. Tyb Not so gammer, we niyght it fynd f we knew where it laye. Cocke Gogs crosse Gammer if ye will laugh looke in but at the doore And see how Hodg lieth tomblynge and tossmg amids the floure Rakyng there some fyre to find amonge the asshes dead Where there is not one sparke, so byg as a pyns head, At last in a darke corner two sparkes he thought he sees Which were mdede nought els but Gyb our cats two eyes Puffe quod hodg thinking therby to haue fyre without doubt With that Gyb shut her two eyes, & so the fyre was out And by and by them opened, euen as they were before, With that the sparkes appered euen as they had done of yore, And euen as hodge blew the fire as he did thincke Gyb as she felt the blast strayght way began to wyncke, Tyll Hodge fell of swering as came best to his turne, The fier was sure bewicht and therfore wold not burne: At last Gyb vp the stayers, among the old postes and pinnes, And Hodge he hied him after till broke were both his shinnes: Cursynge and swermg othes, were neuer of his makyng, That Gyb wold fyre the house, if that shee were not taken. Gammer See here is all the thought that the foolysh Urchyn taketh, And Tyb me thinke at his elbowe almost as mery maketh This is all the wyt ye haue when others make their mone, Come downe Hodge, where art thou and let the Cat alone. Hodge Gogs harte, help and come vp, Gyb in her tayle hath fyre, And is like to burne all if shee get a lytle hier: Cum downe (quoth you,) nay then you might count me a patch, The house commeth downe on your heads if it take ons y thatch. Gammer It is the cats eyes foole that shineth in the darke. Hodge Hath the Cat do you thinke in euery eye a sparke. Cammer No, but they shyne as lyke fyre as euer man see. Hodge By the masse and she burne all, yoush beare the blame for mee Gammer Cum downe & help to seeke here our neele that it were found Downe Tyb on the knees I say,downe Cocke to the ground. To God I make a vowe, and so to good Saint Anne A candell shall they haue a peece, get it where I can, If I may my neele find in one place or in other. Hodge Now a vengeaunce on gib light, on gyb and gybs mother And all the generacyon of Cats both far and nere Looke on the ground horson thinks thou the neele is here. Cocke By my trouth gammer me thought your neele here I saw But when my fyngers toucht it, I felt it was a straw. Tyb SeeHodgewhats thys mayitiiotbe within it, Hodge Breake it foole with thy hand and see and thou canst fynde it. Tyb Nay breake it you Hodge accordyng to your word. Hodge Gogs sydes fye it styncks; it is a Cats tourd, It were well done to make thee eate it by the masse. Gammer This matter amendeth not my neele is still where it wasse Our candle is at an ende let vs all in quight And come another tyme, when we haue more lyght The.ii. Acte. Fyrste a Songe. Backe and syde go bare, go bare, booth foote and hande go colde: But Bellye god sende thee good ale ynoughe, whether it be newe or olde. I Can not eate but lytle meate, my stomacke is not good: But sure I thmke that I can drynke with him that weares a hood. Thoughe I go bare take ye no care, I am nothinge a colde: I stuffe my skyn so full within, of ioly good Ale and olde. Backe and syde go bare go bare, booth foote and hand go colde: But belly god send the good ale inoughe whether it be new or olde. I loue no rost but a nut browne toste and a Crab layde in the fyre, A lytle bread shall do me stead much breade I not desyre: No froste nor snow, no winde I trowe can hurte mee if I wolde, I am so wrapt, and throwly lapt of ioly good ale and olde. Backe and syde go bare &c. And Tyb my wyfe that as her lyfe loueth well good ale to seeke, Full ofte drynkes shee tyll ye may see the teares run downe her cheekes: Then dooth she trowle to mee the bowle euen as a mault worme shuld, And sayth sweete hart I tooke my part of this ioly good ale and olde. Backe and syde go bare &c. Now let them drynke tyll they nod and winke, euen as good felowes shoulde doe They shall not mysse to haue the blisse, good ale doth bringe men to: And all poore soules that haue scowred boules or haue them lustely trolde, God saue the lyues of them and theyr wyues whether they be yonge or olde. Backe and syde go bare &c. The fyrst Sceane. Diccon. Hodge. Diccon Well done be Gogs malt well songe and well sayde, Come on mother Chat as thou art true mayde. One fresh pot of ale lets see to make an ende Agaynst this colde wether, my maked armes to defende, This gere it warms the soule, now wind blow on the worst, And let us drink and swill, till that our bellies burste Now were he a wyse man, by cunnynge colde defyne Which way my Iourney lyeth or where Dyccon will dyne But one good turne I haue be it by nyght or daye South East North or west I am neuer out of my waye Hodge Chym goodly rewarded, cham I not, do you thyncke? Chad a goodly dynner for all my seate and swyncke, Neyther butter cheese, mylke onyons fleshe nor fyshe Saue thys poor pece of barly bread, tis a pleas costly dishe. Diccon Haile fellow Hodge & well to fare wt thy meat, if yu haue any? But by thy words as I then smelled thy damtrels be not manye. Hodge Daintrels diccon (gogs soule man) saue this pece of dry horsbred, Cha byt no byt this lyue longe daie no crome come in my hed My gutts they yawle crawle and all my be rumbleth The puddynges can not lye still ech one ouer other tumbleth By gogs harte cham so vente and in my belly pende Chould one peece were at the spittlehouse another at ye castels ende. Diccon Why hodge was there none at home thy dinner for to set: Hodge Godgs bread Diccon ich came to late, was nothing ther to get Gib (a fowle feind might on her hght) lick ye milke pan so clene See Diccon, twas not so wellwasht this .vii. yere as ich wene A pestilence lyght on all ill lucke, chad thought yet for all thys Of a morsell of bacon behynde the dore at worst shuld not misse, But when ich sought a slyp to cut, as ich was wont to do Gogs soule Diccon, gyb our Cat had eate the bacon to. Which bacon Diccon stole, as is declared before. Diccon Ill luck quod he mary swere it hodg, this day ye trueth to tel Thou rose not on thy right syde, or els blest thee not wel, Thy mylk slopt vp thy bacon filtched, that was to bad luck hodg. Hodge Nay nay ther was a fowler fault, my gammer ga me ye dodge Seest not how cham rent & torn, my heels, my knees & my breech Chad thought as ich sat by the fire, help here & there a stitch, But there ich was powpte indeede. Diccon Why Hodge? Hodge Bootes not man to tell, Cham so drest amonst a sorte of fooles, chad better be in hell, My gammer (cham ashamed to say) by god serued me not weele Diccon How so Hodge? Hodge Bootes not man to tell, Cham so drest amonst a sorte of fooles, chad better be in hell, My gammer (chain ashamed to say)by god serued me not weele Diccon How so Hodge? Hodge Hase she not gone trowest now and lost her neele. Diccon Her Eele Hodge who fysht of late? that was a damty dysh. Hodge Tush tush, her neele, her neele, her neele man. Tys neyther flesh nor fysh. A lytle thing with an hole in the end, as bright as any syller, Small, longe, sharpe at the poynt, & straight as any pyller. Diccon I know not what a deuil yu menest, yu brigst me more in doubt Hodge Knowest not wt what tom tailers man, sits broching throughe a clout A neele, neele, a neele, my gammers neele is gone. Diccon Her neele Hodge, now I smel thee, yt was a chaunce alone, By ye masse yn hadst a shamefull losse & it wer but for thy breches Hodge Gogs soule man chould giue a crown chad it but iii stitches. Diccon How sayest yu Hodg, what shuld he haue, again thy neele got Hodge Bem vathers soule, and chad it chould giue him a new grot. Diccon Canst thou keepe counsaile in this case. Hodge Els chwold my tonge were out. Diccon Do thou but then by my aduise, & I will fetch it wtout doubt, Hodge Chyll runne chyll ryde, chyll dygge, chyl delue, chill toyle, chill trudge shalt see: Chill hold chil drawe, chil pull, chill pynche chill kneele on my bare knee. Chill scrape chill scratche, chill skte, chyll seeke, chill bowe, chill bende, chill sweate, Chil stoop, chil stur, chil cap chil knele, chil crepe on hands & feete, Chil be thy bondman Diccon, ich sweare by sunne and moone And channot sum what to stop this gap, chaiu vtterly vndone Pointing behind to his torne breeches Diccon Why, is ther any special cause, thou takest hereat such sorow Hodge Kirstian Clack Tom simsons maid, bi the masse coms hether to morow Chamnot able to say, betweene vs what may hap, She smyled on me the last sonday when ich put of my cap, Diccon Well Hodge this is a matter of weight, & must be kept close, It might els turne to both our costes as the world now gose, Shalt sware to be no blab Hodge. Hodge Chyll Diccon. Diccon Then go to, Lay thine haud here say after me as thou shalt here me do Haste no booke? Hodge Cha no booke I. Diccon Then needes must force vs both, Upon my breech to lay thme hand, and there to take thme othe. Hodge I Hodge breechele, Sweare to Diccon rechelesse By the crosse that I shall kysse, To kepe his counsaile close And alwayes me to dispose To worke that his pleasure is. Here he kysseth Diccons breeche. Diccon Now Hodge see thou take heede And do as I thee byd For so I iudge it meete, This nedle againe to win Thgere is no shift therin But coniure vp a spreet. Hodge What the great deuill Diccon I saye? Diccon Yea in good faith, that is the waye, Fet with some prety charme. Hodgc Softe Diccon be not to hasty yet, By the masse for ich begyn to sweat Cham afrayde of some harme. Diccon Come hether then and sturre the nat One mche out of this Cyrcle plat But stande as I thee teache. Hodge And shall ich be here safe from theyr clawes: Diccon The mayster deuill with his longe pawes Here to thee can not reache: Now will I settle me to this geare. Hodge I saye Diccon heare me heare: Go softely to thys matter. Diccon What deuyll man art afraide of nought Hodge Canst not tarrye a lytle thought Tyll ich make a curtesie of water. Diccon Stand still to it why shuldest thou fearehym? Hodge Gogs sydes Diccon me thinke ich heare him And tarrye chal mare all. Diccon The matter is no worse then I tolde it, Hodge By the masse cham able no longer to holde it, To bad iche must beraye the hall. Diccon Stand to it Hodge sture not you horson, What Deuyll be thine ars strynges brusten? Thy selfe a while but staye, The deuill I smell hym wyll be here anone. Hodge Hold him fast Diccon, cham gone, cham gone Chyll not be at that fraye. The .ii. Acte. The ii. Sceane. Diccon. Chat. Diccon Fy shytten knaue, and out vpon thee Aboue all other loutes fye on thee, Is not here a clenly prancke? But thy matter was no better Nor thy presence here no sweter, To flye I can the thanke: Here is a matter worthy glosynge Of Gammer Gurtons nedle losynge And a foule peece of warke, A man I thyncke myght make a playe And nede no worde to this they saye Being but halfe a Clarke. Softe let me alone I will take the charge This matter further to enlarge Withm a tyme shorte, If ye will marke my toyes and note I will geue ye leaue to cut my throte If I make not good sporte, Dame Chat I say where be ye within? Chat Who haue we there maketh such a din: Diccon Here is a good fellow maketh no great daunger, Chat What diccon? come nere ye be no straunger, We be fast set at trumpe man hard by the fyre, Thou shalt set on the king if thou come a litle nyer. Diccon Nay, nay, there is no tarying: I must be gone againe But first for you in councel I haue a word or twaine. Chat Come hether Dol, Dol, sit downe and play this game, And as thou sawest me do, see thou do euen the same Thereis 5. trumps beside the Queene, ye hindmost yu shalt finde her Take hede of Sim glouers wife, she hath an eie behind her, Now Diccon say your will. Diccon Nay softe a litle yet, I wold not tel it my sister, the inatter is so great, There I wil haue you sweare by our dere Lady of Bullaine, S Dunstoue, and S. Donnyke, with the three Kinges of Kullaine, That ye shal keepe it secret. Chat Gogs bread that will I doo, As secret as mine owne thought, by god aud the deuil two. Diccon Here is gammer gurton your neighbour, a sad heuy wight Her goodly faire red Cock, at home, was stole this last night. Chat Gogs soule her Cock with the yelow legs, yt nightly crowed so iust? Diccon That cocke is stollen. Chat What was he fet out of the heus ruste? Diccon I cau not tel where ye deuil he was kept, vnder key or locke, But Tib hath tykled in Gaminers eare, that you shoulde steale the cocke Chat Haue I strouge hoore? by bread aud salte. Diccon What softe I say be styl. Say hot one word for all this geare. Chat By the inasse that I wyl, I wil haue the yong hore by the head, & the old trot by ye throte Diccon Not one word dame Chat I say, not one word for my cote. Chat Shall such a begars brawle as yt thinkest yu make me a theefe The pocks light on her hores sydes, a pestlence & a mischeefe Come out thou hungry nedy bytche, o that my nails be short. Diccon Gogs bred woman hold your peace this gere wil els passe sport I wold not for an hundred pound this matter shuld be knowen, That I am auctour of this tale or haue abrode it blowen Did ye not sweare ye wold be ruled before the tale I tolde I said ye must all secret keepe and ye said sure ye wolde. Chat Wolde you suffer your selfe diccon such a sort, to reuile you With slaunderous words to blot your name, & so to defile you? Diccon No goodwife chat I wold be loth such drabs shulde blot my name But yet ye must so order all, yt Diccon beare no blame. Chat Go to then, what is your rede? say on your minde, ye shall mee rule herein. Diccon Godamercye to dame chat, in faith thou must the gere begin It is twenty pound to a goose turd, my gammer will not tary But hetherward she comes as fast as her legs can her cary, To brawle with you about her cocke, for well I hard Tib say The Cocke was rosted in your house, to breafast yesterday, And when ye had the carcas eaten, the fethers ye out flunge And Doll your maid the legs she hid a foote depe in the dunge. Chat 0h gracyous god my harte it burstes. Diccon Well rule your selfe a space And gammer gurton when she commeth anon into thys place Then to the Queane lets see tell her your inynd & spare not So shall Diccon blamelesse bee, and then go to I care not. Chat Then hoore beware her throte, I can abide no longer In faith old witch it shalbe seene, which of vs two be stronger And Diccon but at your request, I wold not stay one howre. Diccon Well keepe it in till she be here, and then out let it powre, In the meane while get you in, and make no wordes of this More of this matter wtin this howre to here you shall not misse Because I know you are iny freind, hide it I cold not doubtles Ye know your harm, see ye be wise about your owne busines So fare ye well. Chat Nay soft Diccon and drynke, what Doll I say Bringe here a cup of the best ale, lets see, come quicly awaye. The ii. Actt. The iii.Sceane. Hodge. Diccon. Diccon Ye see masters ye one end tapt of this my short deuise Now must we broche thoter to, before the smoke arise And by the time they haue a while run, I trust ye need not craue it, But loke what heth in both their harts ye ar hke sure to haue it Hodgc Yea gogs soule, art aliue yet? what Diccon dare ich come? Diccon A man is wel hied to trust to thee, I will say nothing but inum But and ye come any nearer I pray you see all be sweete. Hodge Tush man is gammers neele found, that chould gladly weete Diccon She may thanke thee it is not found, for if yu had kept thy standing The deuil he wold haue fet it out, euen hodg at thy commaunding Hodge Gogs hart, & cold he tel nothing wher the neele might be found Diccon Ye folysh dolt, ye were to seek ear we had got our ground, Therfore his tale so doubtfull was, that I cold not perceiue it. Hodge Then ich se wel something was said, chope one day yet to haue it, But diccon, diccon, did not the deuill cry ho, ho, ho, Diccon If yu hadst taryed where thou stoodst, thou woldest haue said so Hodge Durst swere of a boke, chard him rore, streight after ich was gon But tel me diccon what said ye knaue: let me here it anon. Diccon The horson talked to mee. I know not well of what One whyle his tonge it ran and paltered of a Cat, Another whyle he stamered styll vppon a Rat, Last of all there was nothing but euery word Chat, Chat, But this I well perceyued before I wolde him rid, Betweene Chat and the Rat and the Cat, the nedle is hyd, Now wether Gyb our cat haue eate it in her mawe, Or Doctor Rat our curat haue found it in the straw, Or this dame chat your neighbour haue stollen it, god hee knoweth But by ye morow at this time, we shal learn how the inatter goeth Hodge Canst not learn to night man, seest not what is here, Pointyng behind to his torne breeches. Diccon Tys not possyble to make it sooner appere, Hodge Alas Diccon then chaue no shyft but least ich tary to longe Hye me to Sym glouers shop, theare to seeke for a Thonge, Ther with this breech to tatche and tye as ich may. Diccon To inorow hodg if we chaunce to meete, shalt see what I will say. The ii. Acte. The iiii. Sceane. Diccon. Gammer. Diccon Now this gere must torward goe, for here my gammer commeth, Be still a while & say nothing, make here a litle romth. Gammer Good lord, shall neuer be my lucke my neele agayne to spye? Alas the whyle tys past my helpe, where tis still it must lye. Diccon Now Iesus gammer gurton, what driueth you to this sadnes: I feare me by my conscience you will sure fall to madnes. Gammer Who is that, what Diccon chaue lost man fye fye. Diccon Mary fy on them yt be worthy, but what shuld be your troble, Gammer Alas the more ich thinke on it, my sorow it waxeth doble My goodly tossing sporyars neele, chaue lost ich wot not where. Diccon Your neele whan? Gammer My neele (alas ich myght full ill it spare, As god him selfe he knoweth nere one besyde chaue. Diccon If th s be all good gammer, I warrant you all is saue. Gammer Why know you any tydings which way my neele is gone? Diccon Yea that I do doubtlesse, as ye shall here anone, A see a thing this inatter toucheth within these .xx. howres, Euen at this gate, before my face, by a neyghbour of yours, She stooped ine downe, and vp she toke a nedle or a pyn: I durst be sworne it was euen yours, by all my mothers kyn. Gammer It was iny neele diccon ich wot, for here euen by this poste Ich sat, what time as ich vp starte, and so my neele it loste: Who was it leiue son? speke ich pray the, & quickly tell me that? Diccon A suttle queane as any in thys Towne your neyghboure here dame Chat. Gammer Dame chat diccon let me be gone, chil thyther in post haste. Diccon Take my councell yet or ye go, for feare ye walke in wast, It is a inurrion crafty drab and froward to be pleased, And ye take not the better way our nedle yet ye lose it: For when she tooke it vp euen here before your doores What soft dame chat (quoth I) that same is none of yours Auant (quoth she) syr knaue, what pratest thou of that I fynd: I wold y hadst kist me I wot whear: (she inent I know behind) And home she went as brag, as it had ben a bodelouce, And I after as bold, as it had ben, the goodinan of the house: But there and ye had hard her, how she began to scolde The tonge it went on patins, by hym that judas solde, Ech other worde I was a knaue, and you a hore of hores, Because I spake in your behalfe, and sayde the neele was yours. Gammer Gogs bread, and thinks ye callet thus to kepe my neele me fro? Diccon Let her alone, and she minds non other but euen to dresse you so Gammer By the masse chil rather spend the cote that is on my backe Thinks the false quean by such a slyght, that chill my neele lacke Diccon Slepe not your gere I counsell you, but of this take good hede Let not be knowen I told you of it, how well soeuer ye spede. Gammer Chil in Diccon a cleene aperne to take, and set before me, And ich may my neele once see, chil sure remember the The ii. Acte. The v. Sceane. Diccon. Diccon HEre will the sporte begin, if these two once may meete. Their chere durst lay money will proue scarsly sweete My gammer sure entends, to be vppon her bones, With staues, or with clubs, or els with coble stones. Dame Chat on the other syde, it she be far behynde I am right far deceiued she is geuen to it of He that may tarry by it a whyle, and that but shorte I warrant hym trust to it, he shall see all the sporte Into the towne will I, my frendes to vysit there And hether straight againe to see thend of this gere In the meane time felowes, pype vpp your fiddles, I saie take them And let your freyndes here such mirth as ye can make them. The iii. Acte. The i. Sceane. Hodge. Hodge SYm glouer yet gramercy, chain meetlye well sped now, Thart euen as good a felow as euer kyste a cowe, Here is a thonge in dede, by ye masse though ich speake it Tom tankards great bald curtal, I thinke could not breake it And when he spyed my neede to lie so straight and hard, Hays lent me here his naull, to set the gyb for-ward, As for my Gammers neele, the flyenge feynd go weete, Chill not now go to the doore againe with it to meete: Chould make shyfe good inough and chad a candels ende, The cheefe hole in my breeche, with these two chil amende. The iii. Acte. The i.i.. Sceane. Gammer. Hodge. Gammer HOw Hodge, mayst nowe be glade, cha newes to tell thee Ich knowe who hais my neele, ich trust soone shalt it see Hodge The deuyll thou does, hast hard gammer in deede, or doest but iest Gammer Tys as true as steele Hodge. Hodge Why, knowest well where dydst leese it? Gammer Ich know who found it, and tooke it vp shalt see or it be longe. Hodge Gods mother dere, if that be true, farwel both naule an thong But who hais it gammer say on: chould faine here it disclosed. Gammer That false fixen, that same dame Chat, that counts her selfe so honest. Hodge Who tolde you so: Gammer That same did Diccon the bedlam, which saw it done. Hodge Diccon: it is a vengeable knaue gammer, tis a bonable horson, Can do mo things then that els cham deceyued euill:. By the masse ich saw him of late cal vp a great blacke deuill, O the knaue cryed ho, ho he roared and he thundred, And yead bene here, cham sure yould murrenly ha wondred. Gammer Was not thou afraide Hodge to see him in this place : Hodge No, and chad come to me, chould haue laid him on the face, Chould haue promised him Gammer But Hodge, had he no hornes to pushe: Hodge As long as your two armes, saw ye neuer Fryer Rushe Painted on a cloth, with a side long cowes tayle And crooked clouen feete, and many a hoked nayle? For al the world (if I shuld iudg) chould recken him his brother Loke euen what face Frier Rush had, the deuil had such another Gammer Now Iesus mercy hodg, did diccon in him bring: Hodge Nay gammer (heare me speke) chil tel you a greater thing, The deuil (when diccon had him, ich hard him wondrous weel) Sayd plainly (here before vs), that dame chat had your neele. Gammer Then let vs go, and aske her wherfore she minds to kepe it, Seing we know so much, tware a madnes now to slepe it. Hodge Go to her gammer, see ye not where she stands in her doores Byd her geue you the neele, tys none of hers but yours. The iii. Acte. The iii. Sceane. Gammer. Chat Hodge. Gammer Dame Chat cholde praye the fair, let me haue yt is mine Chil not this twenty yeres take one fart that is thyne Therfore giue me mine owne & let me liue besyde the Chat Why art thou crept from home hether, to mine own doores to chide me. Hence doting drab, auaunt, or I shall set the further. Intends thou and that knaue, mee in my house to murther: Gammer Tush gape not so on me woman, shalt not yet eate mee, Nor all the frends thou hast, in this shall not intreate mee — Mine owne goods I will haue, and aske the no beleue, What woman: pore folks must haue right, thongh the thing you agreue. Chat Giue thee thy right, and hang thee vp, wt al thy baggers broode What wilt thou make me a theefe, and say I stole thy good: Gammer Chil say nothing (ich warrant thee), but that ich can proue it well Thou fet my good euen from my doore, cham able this to tel, Chat Dyd I (olde witche) steale oft was thine: how should that thing be knowen: Gammer Ich can not tel, but vp thou tokest it as though it had ben thine owne, Chat Mary fy on thee, thou old gyb, with al my very hart. Gammer Nay fy on thee yu rampe, thou ryg, with al that take thy parte. Chat A vengeaunce on those lips yt laieth such things to my charge. Gammer A vengeance on those callats hips, whose con-science is so large Chat Come out Hogge Gammer Come out hogge, and let me haue right. Chat Thou arrant Witche. Gammer Thou bawdie bitche, chil make thee cursse this night. Chat A bag and a wallet. Gammer A carte for a callet. Chat Why wenest thou thus to preuaile, I hold thee a grote, I shall patche thy coate, Gammer Thou warte as good kysse my tayle: Thou slut, yu kut, yu rakes, yu iakes. will not shame make ye hide the Chat Thou skald, thou bald, thou rotten, yu glotton, I will no longer chyd the But I will teache the to kepe home. Gammer Wylt thou drunken beaste. Hodge Sticke to her gammer, take her by the head, chil warrant you thys feast. Smyte I saye gammer, Byte I say gammer, I trow ye wyll be keene:. Where be your nayls ? claw her by the iawes, pull me out bothe her eyen, Gogs bones gammer, holde vp your head, Chat I trow drab I shall dresse thee. Tary yu knaue I hold the a grote, I shall make these hands blesse thee Take yu this old hore for amends, & lerne thy tonge well to tame And say thou met at this bickering, not thy fellow but thy dame. Hodge Where is the strong stued hore, chil geare a hores marke, Stand out ones way, that ich kyll none in the darke Up gammer and ye be alyue, chil feyght now for us bothe, Come no nere me thou scalde callet, to kyll the ich wer loth. Chat Art here agayne thou hoddy peke, what doll bryng me out my spitte. Hodge Chill broche thee wyth this, bim father soule, chyll coniure that foule sprete: Let dore stand Cock, why coms in deede? kepe dore yu horson boy. Chat Stand to it yu dastard for thine eares, ise teche ye a sluttish toye. Hodge Gogs woundes hore, chil make the auaunte, take heede Cocke, pull in the latche, Chat I faith sir loose breche had ye taried, ye shold haue found your match. Gammer Now ware thy throte losell, thouse pay for al Hodge Well said gammer by my soule, Hoyse her, souse her, bounce her, trounce her, pull out her throte boule Chat Comst behynd me thou withered witch, & I get once on foote Thouse pay for all, yu old tarlether, ile teach the what longs to it Take ye this to make vp thy mouth, til time thou come by more Hodge Up gammer stand on your feete, where is the olde hore? Haith woulde chad her by the face choulde racke her callet crowne Gammer A hodg, hodg, where was thy help, when fixen had me downe. Hodge By the masse Gammer, but for my staffe Chat had gone nye to spyl you Ich think the harlot had not cared, and chad not com to kill you but shall we loose our neele thus ? Gammer No Hodge chwarde lothe doo soo. Thinkest thou chill take that at her hand, no hodg ich tell the no Hodge Chold yet this fray wer wel take vp, & our own neele at home Twill be my chaunce els some to kil, wher euer it be or whome Gammer We haue a parson, (hodge thou knoes) a man estemed wise Mast doctor Rat, chil for hym send, and let me here his aduise, He will her shriue for all this gere, & geue her penaunce strait Wese haue our neele, els dame chat comes nere wtin heauen gate Hodge Ye mary gammer, yt ich thmk best: wyll you now for him send The sooner Doctor Rat be here, the soner wese ha an ende, And here gaminer Dyccons deuill, (as iche re-member well) Of Cat, and Chat, and Doctor Rat a felloneu tale dyd tell, Chold you forty pound, that is the way your neele to get againe. Gammer Chil ha him strait call out ye boy wese make him take the payn Hodge What coke I saye, coine out what deuill canst not here. Cocke How now hodg ? how does gammer, is yet the wether cleare? What wold chaue me to doo? Gammer Come hether Cocke anon — Hence swythe to Doctor Rat, hye the that thou were gone, And pray hym come speke with me, cham not well at ease, Shalt haue him at his chamber, or els at mother Bees, Els seeke him at Hob fylchers shop, for as charde it reported There is the best ale in al the towne, and now is most resorted. Cocke And shal ich brynge hyin with me gainmer? Gammer Yea, by and by good Cocke. Cocke Shalt see that shalbe here anone, els let me haue one the docke Hodge Now gammer shal we two go in, and tary for hys commynge What deuill woman plucke vp your hart, & leue of al this glomming So Though she were stronger at ye first, as ich thinke ye did find her Yet there ye drest the dronken sow, what time ye cam behind her Gammer Nay, nay, cham sure she lost not all, for set thend to ye beginning And ich doubt not, but she will make small bost of her winning. The iii:. Acte. The iiii. Sceane. Tyb. Hodge Gammer. Cocke. Tyb Se gammer, gammer, gib our cat, cham afraid what she ayleth She standes me gasping behind the doore, as though her winde her faileth: Now let ich doubt what gib shuld mean, yt now she doth so dote Hodge Hold hether, ichould twenty pound, your neele is in her throte Grope her ich say, me thmkes ich feele it, does not pricke your hand? Gammer Ich can feele nothing Hodge No, ich know thars not within this land A muryner Cat then Gyb is, betwixt the tems and Tyne, Shase as much wyt in her head almost as chaue in mine. Tyb Faith shase eaten some thing, that wil not easely downe Whether she gat it at home, or abrode in the towne Iche can not tell Gammer Alas ich feare it be some croked pyn, And then farewell gyb, she is vndone, and lost al saue the skyn. Hodge Tys your neele woman, I say gogs soule geue me a knyfe And chil haue it out of her mawe, or els chal lose my lyfe. Gammer What nay hodg, fy kil not our cat, tis al the cats we ha now. Hodge By the masse dame Chat hays me so moued. iche care not what I kyll, ma god a vowe. Go to then Tyb to this geare, holde vp her tayle and take her, Chil see what deuil is in her guts chil take ye pain es to rake her Gammer Rake a Cat Hodge, what woldst thou do ? Hodge What thinckst that cham not able? Did not Tom Tankard rake his Curtal toore day standing in the stable. Gammer Soft be content, lets here what newes Cocke bringeth from maist Rat Cocke Gammer chaue ben ther as you bad, you wot wel about what Twill not be long before he come, ich durst sweare of a booke He byds you see ye be at home, and there for him to looke. Gammer Where didst thou find him boy was he not wher I told thee? Cocke Yes, yes euen at hob filchers house, by him yt bought and solde me A cup of ale had in his hand, and a crab lay in the fyer, Chad much a do to go and coine, al was so ful of myer. And Gammer one thing I can tel, Hob filchers naule was loste And Doctor Rat found it againe, hard beside the doore poste, I chould a penny can say something, your neele againe to fet Gammer Cham glad to heare so much Cocke, then trust he wil not let, To helpe vs herein best he can therfore tyl time he come Let vs go in, if there be ought to get thou shalt haue some. The iiii. Acte. The i. Sceane. Doctor Rat. Gammer Gurton. D. Rat A Man were better twenty times be a bandog & barke, Then here among such a sort, be parish priest Where he shal neuer be at rest, one pissing while a day But he must trudge about the towne, this way, and that way, Here to a drab, there to a theefe, his shoes to teare and rent And that which is worst of al, at euery knaues commauindement I had not sit the space, to drmke two pots of ale But Gammer gurtons sory boy, was straite way at my taile, And she was sicke, and I must come, to do I wot not what, If once her fingers end but ake, trudge, call for Doctor Rat And when I come not at their call, I only therby loose, For I am sure to lacke therfore, a tythe pyg or a goose I warrant you when truth is knowen, & told they haue their tale The inatter where about I come, is not worth a half peny worth of ale, Yet must I talke so sage and smothe, as though I were a glosier Els or the yere come at an end, I shalbe sure the loser. What worke ye gammer gurton? hoow here is your frend M. Rat. Gammer A Sood M. Doctor cha trobled, cha trobled you, chwot wel that D. Rat How do ye woman: be ye lustie, or be ye not wel at ease: Gammer By gys inaster cham not sick, but yet chaue a disease. Chad a foule turne now of late, chill tell it you by gigs. D.Rat Hath your browne cow cast hir calfe, or your sandy sowe her pigs Gammer No, but chad ben as good they had, as this ich wot weel. D. Rat What is the matter ? Gammer Alas alas, cha lost my good neele, My neele I say, and wot ye what: a drab came by and spied it And when I asked hir for the same, the filth flatly denied it. D. Rat What was she that: Gammer A dame ich warrant you: she began to scold and brawle Alas, alas, come hether Hodge: this wretche can tell you all. The iiii. Acte. The ii. Sceane. Hodge. Doctor Rat. Gammer. Diccon. Chat. Hodge God morow gaffer Vicar D. Rat 2 Come on fellow let vs heare. Thy dame hath sayd to me, thou knowest of all this geare, Lets see what thou canst saie. Hodge Bym fay sir that ye shall, What matter so euer here was done, ich can tell your maship all My Gammer gurton heare see now, sat her downe at this doore, see now: And as she began to stirre her, see now, her neele fell in the floore, see now. And while her staffe she tooke, see now, at Gyb her Cat to flynge, see now, Her neele was lost in the floore, see now is not this a wondrous thing, see now? Then came the queane Dame Chat, see now to aske for hir blacke cup, see now:. And euen here at this gate, see now: she tooke that neele vp, see now. My Gammer then she yeede, see now hir neele againe to bring, see now And was caught by the head see now is not this a wondrous thing, see now She tare my Gammers cote see now and scratched hir by the face, see now Chad thought shad stopt hir throte, see now is not this a wondrous case, see now ? When ich saw this, ich was wrothe see now and start betwene them twaine, see now Els ich durst take a booke othe, see now my Gammer had bene slaine, see now. Gammer This is euen the whole matter, as Hodge has plainly tolde And chould faine be quiet for my part, that chould But helpe vs good master, beseech ye that ye doo Els shal we both be beaten and lose our neele too D. Rat What wold ye haue me to doo? tel me that I were gone I will do the best that I can, to set you both at one But be ye sure dame Chat hath this your neele founde — Gammer Here comes the man that see hir take it vp of the ground, Aske him your selfe master Rat if ye beleue not me And helpe me to my neele, for gods sake and samt charitie. D. Rat Come nere diccon and let vs heare, what thou can expresse. Wilt yu be swome yu seest dame chat. this womans neele haue? Diccon Nay by S. Benit wil I not, then might ye thmke me raue. Gammer Why didst not yu tel me so euen here canst yu for shame deny it Diccon I mary gammer. but I said I wold not abide by it, D. Rat Will you say a thmg, and not sticke to it to trieit? Diccon Stick to it quoth you master rat, mary sir I defyit, Nay there is many an honest main, when he suche blastes hath blowne In his freindes eares, he woulde be loth the same by him were knowne If such a toy be vsed oft among the honestie It may beseme a simple man, of your and my degree D. Rat Then we be neuer the nearer, for all that you can tell, Diccon Yes mary sir, if ye will do by mine aduise and counsaile, If mother chat se al vs here, she knoweth how the matter goes Therefore I red you three go hence, and within keepe close, And I will into dame chats house, and so the matter vse, That or you cold go twise to church, I warant you here news, She shal looke wel about hir, but I durst lay a pledge, Ye shal of gammers neele, haue shortly better knowledge. Gammer Now gentle Diccon do so, and good sir let vs trudge. D. Rat By the masse I may not tarry so long to be your iudge. Diccon Tys but a litle while man, what take so much paine, If I here no newes of it I will come sooner againe. Hodge Tary so much, good master Doctor of your gentlenes. D. Rat Then let vs hie vs inward, and Diccon speede thy busines. Dicon Now sirs do you no more, but kepe my counsaile iuste, And Doctor Rat shall thus catch, some good I trust, But mother Chat my gossop, talke first with all I must: For she must be chiefe captaine to lay the Rat in the dust. God deuen dame Chat in faith, and wel met in this place. Chat God deuen my friend Diccon, whether walke ye this pace? Diccon By my truth euen to you, to learne how the world goeth, Hard ye no more of the other matter, say me now by your troth Chat O yes diccon, here the olde hoore, & hodge that great knaue But in faith I would thou hadst sene, o lord I drest them braue She bare me two or three souses behind in the nape of the necke Till I made hir olde wesen, to answere againe kecke And Hodge that dirty dastard, that at hir elbow standes, If one paire of legs had not bene worth two paire of hands He had had his bearde shauen, if my nayles wold haue serued And not without a cause, for the knaue it well deserued. Diccon By the masse I can the thank wench, yu didst so wel acquite the Chat And thadst seene him Diccon, it wold haue made ye beshite the For laughter. The horsen dolt at last caught vp a club, As though he would haue slaine the master deuil Belsabub, But I set him soone inwarde. iccon O Lorde there is the thing That Hodge is so offended, that makes him starte and flyng Chat Why? makes the knaue any moyling, as ye haue sene or hard iccon Euen now I sawe him last, like a mad man he farde, And sware by heauen and hell, he would a wreake his sorowe And leue you neuer a hen on hue, by viii. of the clock to morow, Therfore marke what I say, and my wordes see that ye trust Your hens be as good as dead, if ye leaue them on the ruste. Chat The knaue dare as wel go hang himself, as go vpon my ground Diccon Wel yet take hede I say, I must tel you my tale round, Haue you not about your house, behind your fumace or leade. A hole where a crafty knaue, may crepe in for neade? Chat Yes by the masse, a hole broke down, euen wtin these ii. dayes. Diccon Hodge, he intendes this same night, to slip in there awayes. Chat O christ that I were sure of it, in faith he shuld haue his mede. Diccon Watch wel, for the knaue wil be there as sure as is your crede I wold spend my selfe a shilling: to haue him well. Chat I am as glad as a woman can be, of this thing to here tell By gogs bones when he commeth, now that I know the matter He shal sure at the first skip, to leape in scalding water: With a worse turne besides, when he will, let him come. Diccon I tell you as my sister, you know what meaneth mum, Now lacke I but my doctor, to play his part againe. And lo where he commeth towards, Peraduenture to his paine. D. Rat What good newes Diccon? fellow, is mother chat at home, Diccon She is syr, and she is not, but it please her to whome: Yet did I take her tardy, as subtle as she was. D. Rat The thing that thou wentst for, hast thou brought it to passe? Diccon I haue done that I haue done, be it worse, be it better. And dame Chat at her wyts ende, I haue almost set her. D. Rat Why hast thou spied the neele quickly I pray thee tell Diccon I haue spyed it in faith sir, I handled my selfe so well, And yet the crafty queane, had almost take my trumpe. But or all came to an ende, I set her in a dumpe: D. Rat How so I pray thee Diccon? Diccon Mary syr will ye heare? She was clapt downe on the backside, by cocks mother dere And there she sat sewing a halter, or a bande, With no other thing saue gammers nedle in her hande, As soone as any knocke, if the filth be in doubte, She needes but once puffe, and her candle is out:. Now I sir knowing of euery doore the pin, Came nycely, and said no worde, till time I was within, And there I sawe the neele, euen with these two eyes, Who euer say the contrary, I will sweare he lyes. D. Rat O Diccon that I was not there, then in thy steade. Diccon Well, if ye will be ordred, and do by my reade, I will bring you to a place, as the house standes. Where ye shall take the drab, with the neele in her handes D. Rat For Gods sake do so Diccon, and I will gage my gowne To geue thee a full pot, of the best ale in the towne, Diccon Follow me but a litle, and marke what I will say. Lay downe your gown beside you, go to, come on your way. Se ye not what is here? a hole wherin ye inay creepe Into the house, and sodenly vnwares among them leape, There shal ye finde the Bitchfox, and the neele together Do as I bid you man, come on your wayes hether. D. Rat Art thou sure diccon, the swil tub standes not here aboute. Diccon I was within my selfe man euen now, ther is no doubt, Go softly, mike no noyse giue me your foote sir John, Here will I waite wpon you tyl you come out anone. D. Rat Helpe Diccon, out alas, I shal be slaine among them Diccon If they giue you not the nedle, tel them that ye will hang them Ware that, hoow my wenches, haue ye caught the Fuxe, That vsed to make reuel, among your hennes and Cocks:. Saue his life yet for his order. though he susteine some paine Gogs bread, I am afraide, they wil beate out his braine D. Rat Wo worth the houre that I came heare. And wo worth him that wrought this geare, A sort of drabs and queanes haue me blest, Was euer creature halfe so euill drest? Who euer it wrought, and first did inuent it, He shall I warrant him, erre long repent it, I will spend all I haue without my skinne But he shall be brought to the plight I am in, Master Bayly I trow and he be worth his eares, Will snaffle these murderers and all that them beares, I will surely neither byte nor suppe Till I fetch him hether this matter to take vp The v. Acte. The i. Sceane, Master Bayly. Doctor Rat. Bailie I Can perceiue none other, I speke it from my hart But either ye ar in al the fault or els in ye greatest part D. Rat If it be counted his fault, besides all his greeues When a poore man is spoyled: and beaten among theeues? Then I confesse my fault herein, at this season, But I hope you wil not iudge so much against reason. Baily And me thinkes by your owne tale, of all that ye name, If any plaid the theefe you were the very same. The women they did nothing, as your words make probation But stoutly withstood your forcible inuasion, If that a theefe at your window, to enter should begin, Wold you hold forth your hand, and helpe to pull him in:. Or you wold kepe him out: I pray you answere me. D. Rat Mary kepe him out, and a good cause why:. But I am no theefe sir but an honest learned Clarke, Baily Yea, but who knoweth that, when he meets you in the darke I am sure your learning shines not out at your nose, Was it any maruaile, though the poore woman arose And start vp, being afraide of that was in hir purse Me thinke you may be glad that your lucke was no worse. D. Rat Is not this euill ynough, I pray you as you thinke, Showing his broken head. Baily Yea but a man in the darke, if chaunces do wincke, As soone he smites his father, as any other man, Because for lacke of hght, disceme him he ne can, Might it not haue ben your lucke, wt a spit to haue ben slaine. D. Rat I thinke I am litle better, my scalpe is clouen to the braine, If there be all the remedy, I know who beares the knockes Baily By my troth and well worthy, besides to kisse the stockes To come in on the backe side, when ye might go about, I know non such, vnles they long to haue their braines knockt out D. Rat Well, wil you be so good sir, as talke with danie Chat ? And know what she intended. I aske no more but that. Bayly Let her be called fellow because of master doctor, I warrant in this case, she wil be hir owne Froctor, She will tel hir owne tale in metter or in prose, And byd you seeke your remedy, and so go wype your nose. The v. Acte. The ii Sceane, M. Bayly. Chat. D Rat. Gammer. Hodge. Diccon. Bayly DAme Chat, master doctor vpon you hcre complained That you & your maides shuld him much mis-order. And taketh many an oth, that no word he fained, Laying to your charge, how you thought him to murder: And on his part againe, that same inan saith furder He neuer offended you in word nor intent, To heare you answer hereto, we haue now for you sent. Chat That I wold haue murdered him, fye on him wretch, And euil mought he thee for it, our Lord I besech, I will swere on al the bookes that opens and shuttes He faineth this tale out of his owne guttes, For this seuen weeks with me, I am sure he sat not downe, Nay ye haue other minions, in the other end of the towne, Where ye were liker to catch such a blow, Then any where els, as farre as I know. Baily Belike then master Doctor, yon stripe there ye got not? D. Rat Thinke you I am so mad, that where I was bet, I wot not? Will ye beleue this queane, before she hath tryd it? It is not the first dede she hath done and after-ward denide it. Chat What man, will you say I broke your head? D. Rat How canst thou proue the contrary? Chat Nay, how prouest thou that I did the deade D. Rat To plainly, by S. Hary. This profe I trow may serue, though I no word spoke. Showing his broken head. Chat Bicause thy head is broken, was it I that it broke? I saw thee Rat I tel thee, not once within this fortnight, D. Rat No mary, thou sawest me not, for why thou hadst no light, But I felt thee for al the darke, beshrew thy smothe cheekes, And thou groped me, this wil declare, any day this six weekes Showing his heade. Baily Answere me to this M. Rat, when caught you this harme of yours? D. Rat A while a go sir, god he knoweth, wtin les then these ii. houres. Baily Dame Chat was there none with you: (confesse I faith) about that season. What wonian, let it be what it wil, tis neither felony nor treason Chat Yes by my faith master Bayly, there was a knaue not farre Who caught one good Philup on the brow, with a dore barre And well was he worthy, as it semed to mee, But what is that to this inan, since this was not hee Baily Who was it then? lets here. D. Rat Alas sir, aske you that? Is it not made plain inough (by the owne mouth of daine chat) The time agreeth, my head is broken, her tong can not lye, Onely vpon a bare, nay she saith it was not I. Chat No mary was it not indeede ye shal here by this one thing, This after noone a frend of mine, for good wil gaue me warning And bad me wel loke to my ruste, and al niy Capons pennes, For if I toke not better heede, a knaue wold haue my hennes, Then I to saue my goods, toke so much pains as him to watch And as good fortune serued me, it was my chaunce him for to catch What strokes he bare away, or other what was his gaines I wot not, but sure I am, he had something for his paines Baily Yet telles thou not who it was. Chat Who it was a false theefe, That came like a false Foke, my pullaine to kil and mischeefe. Baily But knowest thou not his name? Chat I know it but what than, It was that crafty cullyon Hodge my gammer gurtons man. Bailie Cal me the knaue hether, he shal sure kysse the stockes. I shall teach him a lesson, for filching hens or cocks D. Rat I maruaile master bayly, so bleared be your eyes. An egge is not so ful of meate, as she is ful of lyes:. When she hath playd this pranke, to excuse al this geare, She layeth the fault in such a one, as I know was not there. Chat Was he not thear loke on his pate, that shalbe his witnes. D. Rat I wold my head were half so hole, I wold seeke no redresse. Baily God bless you gammer Gurton. Gammer God dylde you master mine. wtin thy house, hodge, a ser-uant of thine. They tel me that busy knaue, is such a filching one, That Hen, Fig, goose or capon, thy neighbour can haue none, Gammer By god cham much ameued, to heare any such reporte: Hodge was not wont ich trow, to baue him in that sort. Chat A theeuisher knaue is not on liue, more filching. nor more false Many a truer man then he, hase hanged vp by the halse And thou his dame of al his theft, thou art the sole receauer For hodge to catch, and thou to kepe, I neuer knew none better Gammer Sir reuerence of your masterdome, and you were out adoore, Chold be so bolde for al hir brags, to cal hir arrant whoore, And ich knew Hodge so bad as tow, ich wish me endlesse sorow And chould not take the pains, to hang him vp before to morow? Chat What haue I stolne from the or thine: thou ilfauored olde trot. Gammer A great deale more (by Gods blest,) then cheuer by the got, That thou knowest wel I neade not say it. Baily Stoppe there I say, And tel me here I pray you, this matter by the way:. How chaunce hodge is not here him wold I faine haue had. Gammer Alas sir, heel be here anon, ha be hapdled to bad. Chat Master bayly, sir ye be not such a foole wel I know, But ye perceiue by this lingring, there is a pad in the straw. Thinking that Hodg, his head was broke, and that gammer Wold not let him come before them Gammer Chil shew you his face, ich warrant the, now where he is. Bailie Come on fellow it is tolde me thou art a shrew iwysse. Thy neighbours hens yu takest, and playes the two legged foxe Their chikens & their capons to, & now and then their Cocks. Hodge Ich defy them al that dare it say, cham as true as the best Baily Wart not yu taken within this houre, in dame chats hens nest? Hodge Taken there? no master chold not dot, for a house ful of gold. Chat Thou or the deuil in thy cote, sweare this I dare be bold D. Rat Sweare me no swearing quean, the deuill he geue the sorow, Is not worth a gnat, thou canst sweare till to morow, Where is the harme he hath? shew it by gods bread, Ye beat him with a witnes, but the stripes light on my head. Hodge Bet me? gogs blessed body, chold first ich trow haue burst the Ich thinke and chad my hands loose callet chould haue crust the. Chat Thou shitten knaue I trow yu knowest ye ful weight of my fist I am fowly deceiued, onles thy head & my doore bar kyste. Hodge Hold thy chat whore yu criest so loude, can no man els be hard Chat Well knaue, & I had the alone, I wold surely rap thy costard. Bayly Sir answer me to this, is thy head whole or broken? Chat Yea master Bayly, blest be euery good token. Hodge Is my head whole? ich warrant you, tis neither scuruy nor scald What you foule beast, does think tis cither pild or bald. Nay ich thanke god: chil not for al that thou maist spend That chad one scab on my narse, as brode as thy fingers end Bayly Come nearer heare. Hodge Yes That ich dare Bayly By our Lady here is no harme, Hodges head is hole ynough, for al dame Chats charme. Chat By gogs blest, how euer the thing he clockes or smolders, I know the blowes he bare away, either wt head or shoulders, Camest yu not knaue within this houre, crepmg mto my pens And there was caught within my hous, gropig among my hens. Hodge A plage both on thy hens & the, a carte whore, a carte, Chould I were hanged as hie as a tree, & chware as false as yu art Geue my gammer again her washical, yu stole away in thy lap. Gammer Yea maister baily there is a thmg, you know not on may hap This drab she kepes away my good, ye deuil he might her snare Ich pray you that ich might haue, a right action on her. Chat Haue I thy good old filth, or any such old sowes? I am as true, I wold thou knew, as skin betwene thy browes Gammer Many a truer hath ben hanged, though you escape the daunger Chat Thou shalt answer by gods pity, for this thy foule slaunder Baily Why, what can ye charge hir withal? to say so, ye do not well. Gammer Mary a vengeance to hir hart, yt whore hase stoln my neele. Chat Thy nedle old witch, how so? it were almes thy scul to knock So didst thou say, the other day, that I had stolne thy Cock And rosted him to my breakfast, which shal not be forgotten, The deuil pul out thy lying tong, and teeth that be so rotten Gammer Geue me my neele, as for my cocke, chould be very loth That chuld here tel he shuld hang, on thy fals faith and troth. Baily Your talke is such, I can scarse learne who shuld be most in fault bred & salt Baily Kepe ye content a while, se that your tonges ye holde, Me thinkes you shuld remembre, this is no place to scolde, Nedle had? Gammer To name you sir the party, chould not be very glad. Baily Yea but we must nedes heare it, & therfore say it boldly. Gammer Such one as told the tale, full soberly and coldly, What time this drunken gossip, my faire long neele vp tooke Diccon (master) the Bedlam, cham very sure ye know him. Bailie A false knaue by Gods pitie, ye were but a foole to trow him, I durst auenture wel the price of my best cap, That when the end is knowen, all wil turue to a iape, Tolde he not you that besides she stole your Cocke that tyde? Gammer No master no indede, for then he shuld haue lyed, My cocke is I thanke Christ, safe and wel a fine Chat Yea but that ragged colt, that whore that tyb of thine Said plainly thy cocke was stolne, & in my house was eaten, That lying cut is lost, that she is not swinged and beaten, And yet for al my good name, it were a small amendes I picke not this geare (hearst thou) out of my fingers endes But he that hard it told me, who thou of late didst naine Diccon whom al men knowes, it was the very same. Baily This is the case, you lost your nedle about the dores And she answeres againe, she hase no cocke of yours, Thus in your talke and Action, from that you do intend, She is whole fiue inile wide, froin that she doth defend. Will you saie she hath your Cocke? Gammer No mery sir that chil not, Bayly Will you confesse hir neele? Chat Will I? no sir I will not Bayly Then there lieth all the matter. Gammer Soft master by the way, Ye know she could do litle, and she cold not say nay. Bayly Yea but he that made one he about your Cock stealing, Wil not sticke to make another, what time lies be in dealing Tweene, the ende wil proue, this brawle did first arise, Upon no other ground, but only Diccons lyes. Chat Though some be lyes as you belike haue espyed them, Yet other some be true, by proof I haue wel tryed them. Bayly What other thing beside this dame Chat. Chat Mary syr euen this, The tale I tolde before, the selfe same tale it was his, He gaue me like a frende, warning against my losse, Els had my hens be stolne, eche one, by Gods crosse: He tolde me Hodge wold come, and in he came But as the matter chaunsed, with greater hast then speede, This truth was said, and true was found, as truly I report. Bayly If Doctor Rat be not deceiued, it was of another sort. D. Rat By Gods mother thou and he, be a cople of suttle foxes, Betweene you and Hodge, I beare away the boxes, Did not diccon apoynt the place, wher yu shuldst stand to mete him Chat Yes by the masse, & if he came, bad me not sticke to speet hym. D. Rat Gods sacrament the villain knaue hath drest vs round about, He is the cause of all this brawle, that dyrty shitten loute:. When gammer gurton here coinplained, & made a ruful mone I heard him sweare yt you had gotten, hir nedle that was gone, And this to try he furder said, he was ful loth how be it He was content with small adoe, to bring me where to see it. And where ye sat, he said ful certain, if I wold folow his read Into your house a priuy way, he wold me guide and leade, And where ye had it in your hands, sewing about a clowte, And set me in the backe hole, therby to finde you out And whiles I sought a quietnes, creping vpon my knees, I found the weight of your dore bar, for my reward and fees, Such is the lucke that some men gets, while they begin to mel In setting at one such as were out, minding to make al wel. Hodge Was not wel blest gammer, to scape y scoure. & chad ben there Then chad ben drest be like, as ill by the masse, as gaffar vicar Bayly Mary sir, here is a sport alone, I loked for such an end If diccon had not playd the knaue, this had ben sone amend My gammer here he made a foole, and drest hir as she was And goodwife Chat he set to scole, till both partes cried alas, And D. Rat was not behind, whiles Chat his crown did pare, I wold the knaue had ben starke blind, if hodg had not his share. Hodge Cham meetly wel sped alredy amongs, cham drest like a coult And chad not had the better wit, chad bene made a doult Bayly Sir knaue make hast diccon were here, fetch him where euer he bee Chat Fie on the villaine, fie, fie, yt makes vs thus agree, Gammer Fie on him knaue, with al my hart, now fie, and fie againe. D.Rat Now fie on him may I best say, whom he hath almost slaine. Lo where he commeth at hand, belike hewas not fare Diccon heare be two or three, thy company can not spare. Diccon God blesse you, and you may be blest so many al at once Chat Come knaue, it were a good deed to geld the by cockes bones Seest not thy handiwarke? sir Rat can ye for-bearn him? Diccon A vengeance on those hands lite, for my hands cam not nere hym The horsen priest hath lift the pot, in some of these ale wyves chayres That his head wolde not serue him, belyke to come downe the stayres. Baily Nay soft, thou maist not play ye knaue, & haue this language to If thou thy tong bridle a while, the better maist Confesse the truth as I shall aske, and cease a while to fable. And for thy fault I promise the, thy handlmg shalbe reasonable Hast thou not made a lie or two, to set these two by the eares? Diccon What if I haue? fiue hundred such haue I seene within these seuen yeares: I am sory for nothing else but that I see not the sport Which was betwene them when they met, as they then selues report Bayly The greatest thing master rat, ye se how he is drest. Diccon What deuil nede he be groping so depe, in good-wife Chats hes nest Bayly Yea but it was thy drift to bring him into ye briars. Diccon Gods bread, hath not such an old foole, wit to saue his eares? He showeth himselfe herein ye see, so very a coke, The Cat was not so madly alured by the Foxe, To run into the snares, was set for him doubtlesse, For he leapt in for myce, and this sir Iohn for madnes. D. Rat Well and ye shift no better, ye losel, lyther, and lasye, I will go neare for this, to make ye leape at a Dasye In the kings name master Bayly, I charge you set him fast. Diccon What fast at cardes, or fast on slepe? it is the thing I did last. D. Rat Nay fast in fetters false varlet, according to thy deedes. Bayly Master doctor ther is no remedy, I must intreat you needes Some other kinde of punishment D. Rat Nay by all Halowes, His punishment if I may iudg, shalbe naught els but the gallous Bayly That were to sore, a spiritual man to be so extreame. D. Rat Is he worthy any better, sir how do ye iudge and deame? Bayly I graunt him worthie punishment, but in no wise so great Gammer It is a shame ich tel you plaine, for such false knaues intreat He has almost vndone vs al, that is as true as steele: And yet for al this great ado'cham neuer the nere iny neele. Bayly Canst yu not say any thing to that diccon, with least or most? Diccon Yea mary sir, thus much I can say wel, the nedle is lost, Bayly Nay canst not thou tel which way, that nedle may be found Diccon No by my fay sir, though I might haue an hundred pound. Hodge Thou her lickdish didst not say the neele wold be gitten ? Diccon No hodge by the same token, you where that time beshitten? For f eare of Hobgobling, you wot wel what I meane, As long as it is sence, I feare me yet ye be scarce cleane Bayly Wel master rat, you must both learne, & teach vs to forgeue Since Diccon hath confession made, & is so cleane shreue If ye to me conscent, to amend this heauie chaunce, I wil inioyne him here, some open kind of pen-aunce. Of this condition, where ye know my fee is twenty pence For the bloodshed, I am agreed with you here to dispence, Ye shal go quite, so that ye graunt, the matter now to run, To end with mirth emong vs al euen as it was begun. Chat Say yea master vicar, & he shal sure confes to be your detter And al we that be heare present, wil loue you much the better D. Rat My partis the worst,but since you alhere on agree. Go euen to master Bayly, let it be so for mee, Bayly How saiest thou diccon, art content this shal on me depend Diccon Go to M. Bayly say on your mind, I know ye are my frend? Bayly Then marke ye wel, to recompence this thy former action Because thou hast offended al, to make them satisfaction, Before their faces, here kneele downe, & as I shal the teach For thou shalt take on othe, of hodges leather breache First for master Doctor, wpon paine of his cursse, Where he wil pay for al, thou neuer draw thy pursse, And when ye meete at one pot, he shal haue the first Pull, And thou shalt neuer offer him the cup, but it be full To goodwife chat thou shalt be swome, euen on the same wyse If she refuse thy inoney once, neuer to offer it twise. Thou shalt be bound by the same here, as thou dost take it When thou maist drinke of free cost, thou neuer forsake it. For gammer gurtons sake, againe sworne shalt hou bee To helpe hir to hir nedle againe if it do lie in thee And hkewise be bouind: by the vertue of that To be of good abering to Gib hir great Cat Last of al for Hodge, the othe to scanne, Thou shalt neuer take him, for fine gentleman. Hodge Come on fellow Diccon chalbe euen with thee now. Bayly Thou wilt not sticke to do this Diccon I trow. Diccon No by my fathers skin, my hand downe I lay it? Loke as I haue promised, I wil not denay it, But Hodge take good heede now, thou do not beshite me. And gaue him a good blow on the buttocke. Hodge Gogs hart thou false villame dost thou bite me? Bayly What Hodge doth he hurt the or euer he begin. Hodge He thrust me into the buttocke, with a bodkin or a pin, I saie Gammer, Gammer? Gammer How now Hodge, how now. Hodge Gods malt Gammer gurton. Gammer Thou art inad ich trow. Hodge Will you see the deuil Gammer. Gammer The deuil sonne, god blesse vs. Hodge Chould iche were hanged Gammer. Gammer Mary so ye might dresse vs. Hodge Chaue it by the masse Gammer Gammer What not my neele Hodge? Hodge Your Neele Gammer, your neele. Gammer No fie, dost but dodge. Hodge Cha found your neele Gammer, here in my hand be it Gammer For al the loues on earth Hodge, let me see it. Hodge Soft Gammer. Gammer Good Hodge. Hodge Soft ich say, tarie a while. Gammer Nay sweete Hodge say truth, and do not me begile. Hodge Cham sure on it ich warrant you — it goes no more a stray Gammer Hodge when I speake so faire: wilt stil say me nay Hodge Go neare the light gammer, this wel in faith good lucke: Chwas almost vndone — twas so far in my buttocke Gammer Tis min owne deare neele Hodge, sykerly I wot Hodge Chani I not a good sonne gammer, cham I not, Gammer Christs blessing light on thee, hast made me for euer Hodge Ich knew that ich must finde it, els choud a had it neuer. Chat By my troth Gossyp gurton, I am euen as glad As though I mme owne selfe as good a turne had:. Bayly And I by my concience, to see it so come forth, Reioyce so much at it, as three nedles be worth. D. Rat I am no whit sory to see you so reioyce. Diccon Nor I much the gladder for al this noyce: Yet say gramercy Diccon, for springing of the gaine Gammer Grammercy Diccon twenty times, o how glad cham, If that Chould do so much, your masterdome to come hether, Master Rat, goodwife Chat, and Diccon together: Cha but one halfpeny, as far as iche know it, And chil not rest this night, till ich bestow it. If euer ye loue me, let vs go in and drinke Bayly I am content if the rest thmke as I thinke? Master Rat it shalbe best for you if we so doo, Then shall you warme you and dresse your self too. Diccon Soft syrs, take vs with you, the company shalbe the more, As proude coms behinde they say, as any goes before, But now my good masters since we must be gone And leaue you behinde vs, here all alon: Since at our last ending thus mery we bee, For Gammer Gurtons nedle sake, let vs haue a plaudytie. Finis, Gurton. Perused and alowed, &c.