THE FLEIRE.

As it hath beene often played in the Blacke-Fryers by the Children of the Reuells.

Written by Edward Sharpham of the Middle Temple, Gentle­man.

AT LONDON, Printed and are to be solde by F. B. in Paules-Church­yard, at the signe of the Flower de Luce and the Crowne. 1607.

TO THE READER and Hearer.

FRiendlie perusers, or perusing friendes, that haue bin ouer­bold with some of vs, giue mee leaue to bee a little bold with you: I haue printed a Booke heere to make you laugh and lie downe too, if you please: I know it comes not like a Mous-trap to inueigle your good opinions, nor like newes of great Ar­mies, very strange and vndreampt of, but like for­feits to a Vsurer long lookt for. If you finde anie errors by me cōmitted correct thē or neglect thē. The Author is inuisible to me (viz: ith' Country) but where abouts I cannot learne; yet I feare hee will see mee too soone, for I had of him before his departure an Epistle or Apological praeamble (this being his first Minerua) directed vnto you, which should haue bin in this Page diuul'gd, and (not to ieast with you because this booke plaies that part sufficiently) I haue lost it, remembring [Page] none of the Contentes. And therfore (kinde Rea­ders) I doe presume thus to salute you; vse these Comicall discourses fauourablie and you shall haue some from the Author heereafter more worthie your fauours and affections: through a narrow window you may view a broad Field; so in this modicum you may conceiue his great desire to delight you, But howsoeuer, I know this volume will be sweet in the palates of your minds, though your mouthes may finde it bitter in digestion, and so I commit your eyes to the next Page.

The Fleire.

Act. 1.

Enter Signior Antifront, with a Lord.
Lord.

DEere Lord, I know it well becomes not mee to counsell him that best can counsell mee: yet if it please you but to lend your eares, & heare my loue if not my counsell.

Sig.

No more, I know thy loue tends to the stopping of my longing and my resolution: thou knowst that I no longer now am Signior: Florēce hath got an other gouer­nor, and one step backe in state of Maiestie, is a greater fall then to a meaner man that looseth all: Besides, thou knowst our Daughters they are fled, the true inheritors of Florence right, and mightie Piso now vsurps our regall seate: puis­sant in power and mightie in his wrong, hath mounted Faulcon-like into the sky of state, seaz'd on our feeblenes, and beate our weakenes downe. And therefore now I am resolu'd to finde my two lost Children out, or like as Phae­ton in pride did ride, so I in grief will pace the world about.

Lor.

Vnto your celsitude I wish, till their effects your hopes may neuer faile.

Exit.
Sig.

Farwell, some strange disguise I needes must take both for my stelth away, as for my passage on the way: and yet my fortunes fall, disguisement is to great if pleasd the heauens, but their willes still are lawes, all is but Iustice & our sinnes the cause: cuor forterompe catiua sorte.

Exit.
[Page] Enter Florida, and Felecia, Daughters to Signior Antifront, Madam Fromaga their waiting Gentlewoman, and two or three Seruingmen.
Flo.
With draw, leaue vs, we would be priuate:
Sister what thinke you of this trade of ours?
Exeunt all but the two Sisters
Fel.

Tis base to be a whore.

Flo.

Tis base to abuse great place, or basenes to de­ceiue great trust.

Fel.

And is't not basenes to abuse great birth?

Flo.

Yes if great birth abusde not vs: if Piso had not prou'd the theife and rob'd vs of our right, t' had bin worse then theft in vs to rob our selues of honor: youle say wee are forbid to liue by sinne, and yet wee are commaunded seeke to liue: the letter law expresse forbids to kill, and yet the sence permits it rather then be kild: & since of two extremities the least is to be chosen, you knowe wee haue no other meanes to liue, but had wee, yet wee are faire by nature, scorning Art, and was not beauty made to bee enioyed? doe wee not exclaime on those who haue aboundant store of Coine, and yet for want suffer the nee­die perish at their doore? so might all doe on vs, hauing so much beautie, if we should suffer men for loue of vs to die; shall wee in whome beautie keepes her court bee curbd and tide to one mans beneuolence? no, no, not I: rather then in vertue to liue poore, in sinne Ile dye.

Fele.

Your resolutions hath confirmd my doubtes, and since tis hatefull to liue poore, to maintaine our state I am content: but these obseruances let vs keepe, strangelye mongst strangers let vs holde our state, and let our Seruants sildome knowe, how familiar with our friendes wee bee, and though Englands wealth doe now adorne vs; lets keepe the fashion still of Florence.

Content, let's in, who's neere? attend vs, ho!

[Page] Enter Fromaga, and Ladyes Exeunt. To her enter a Gentleman.
Gent.

This is the streete, and as I remember this is the doore.

Ile aske this ancient Gentlewoman: health and beautie dwell with you Lady.

Fro.

I thanke you sir, a has a courtly phrase yfaith.

Gent.

Doe the Florentine Ladyes dwell heere?

Fro.

Yes forsooth sir, I am a poore Gentlewoman that fol­lowes 'am.

Gent.

I am sent to 'am by a Knight, who promist mee he had procurd me the place of a Gentleman Vsher to them.

Fro.

Sir Iohn Haue-little I thinke.

Gent.

Yes indeed the same.

Fro.

By my troth hee's an honest Knight, a has no fault but that hees poore, and thats a small fault now adaies: but let mee see sir I pray, were you neuer a Gentleman Vsher before?

Gent.

No truely neuer yet.

Fro.

Then you must be instructed sir.

Gent.

I shall be glad to learne.

Fro.

I hope you and I shall be more inward sir, and for your instruction I shall bee glad to lay open any secrets that I haue; therefore first you must obserue: ha you anye Tables?

Gent.

Yes, sure I neuer go without Tables.

Fro.

Plucke out your pin and write downe as I shall vt­ter: to be alwayes ready, standing bare, to bee ymployed, when, where, and howsoeuer your Ladyes please. You must neuer bee without moneye of your owne, to lay out when your Ladyes bid you, as eighteen pence to the Por­ter, halfe a Crowne to the Coachman, or twelue pence for a torch if their Ladyships come home late at night. If you be sent by your Lady to another Lady, to know what rest she tooke ith' night, you shall deliuer your answere iust as it came from the Lady: you must alwayes bee in a cleane band, and cleane cuffes, how fowle so ere your shirt be.

Gent.
[Page]

I will obserue all this.

Fro.

You may by vertue of your office were a Perewig, prouided, it be iust of the colour of your beard: let me see, you haue a hatch'd sword of your owne there, haue yee not?

Gent,

Yes for sooth, I bought it for his Ladyships seruice.

Fro.

T'was well done, you may weare it by your office, what, is your Cloake linde through?

Gent.

No, but tis of a good depth in.

Fro.
Tis well done too, your Ladies loue to haue it
Linde a good depth in, tis for their credit.
What, are these siluer hangers of your owne?
Gent.

No, I borrow'd these, but I haue a payre of mine owne.

Fro.

They are in trouble, are they?

Gent.

No truely they are at mending.

Fro.

Nay though they be, tis no shame, you haue beene long out of seruice perchance.

Gen.

Some three monthes.

Fro.

Birlady tis a long time, but can you indure to walk some halfe a day in the Hall or the great Chamber, while some great Lord is busie with your Lady in an inner roome? you may sleepe an honre or two as your Citizens wiues doe at a Sermon to passe away the time, but you must haue a care to wake at the rushing of a Satten gown, or the creaking of a doore, that if your Lady come, you may be presently vp and bare.

Gent.

Yes sure, I could doe it well.

Enter Florida.
Fro.

You must stand stiffe vp, and holde vp your head, tis the chiefest thing belongs to your place, looke heere comes the elder Lady: Madam heeres the Gentleman that Sir Iohn Haue-little commended to your Ladyshippe for a Gentleman Vsher.

Fl.

Let him draw neere vs.

Gent.

The Knight commends his deere affection, and by me makes tender of his humble seruice to your Ladyship.

Fr.

Kisse your hand and goe forward vpon her.

Deliuers a Letter.
Flo.
[Page]

We accept it, haue red it, you are beholding to the knight, and he hath spared no paines to make your worthy partes well knowne to vs: draw neere vs, hence foorth we accept you as our owne, and so wee bid you welcome: are you a Gentleman?

Gent.

Yes sure Madam, for I was both borne & begotten in an Innes Court.

Fro.

Sure Madam then hees a Gentleman, for he thats but admitted to the house is a Gent. much more he thats be­gotten in the house.

Flo.

You are the more welcome, and our bounty shall deserue your industrie.

Exit. Flo.
Gent.

Is the Lady a Princesse that she speakes vs and we so much?

Fr.

No, she saies so meaning her selfe and her Sister, for they are both one, and such things as they haue, they vse in common, and must stand bare before them both: looke heere comes the tother Lady.

Enter Felecia.

Madam heeres the Gentleman that Sir Iohn Haue-little commended to your Ladyshipp for a Gentleman Vsher.

Fe.

We like him & hee's welcome, what good parts haue you? haue you the tongues?

Gent.

Not very well Madam.

Fr.

Yes Madam, a has the Scottish tongue very perfect­ly, & a has some skill in the Irish tongue too.

Fe:

Thats a wilde speech.

Fr.

Nay ile warrant your Ladyship heele not run away, has traueld Madam too a sayes, for a has been in Wales.

Fe.

Has a no skill in the French tongue?

Gent.

Some little skill Madam.

Fr.

No sure Madam, I think your Ladyship hath more knowledge of the French then he.

Fe.

Well, wee will at more leasure suruey your good partes, and make thereof the best for our owne vse.

Exit.
Gent,

I pra'y what wages doe these Ladyes giue?

Fr.

Faith your wages wil be much about the nature of your office, verye bare standing wages: I thinke some [Page] fortie shillings a yeare.

Gent

Why, how meane they I shall liue in their ser­uice?

Fr.

Why, by their countenance: I ha knowne a Lord hath giuen his foole nothing but his countenance to liue by, and I can tell you, t'as proou'd a good Court-mainte­nance too.

Gent.

Countenance? I hope I haue a countenance good inough of mine owne, I neede not serue for one.

Fr.

In troth and so a has for a Gentleman-vsher, I must needs say a verie harmelesse silly countenance.

Gent.

Yet faith I meane to trie their bountie.

Fr.

Come will you walke in sir? Ile follow you.

Gent.

Verie willingly.

Fr.

This is braue yfaith, a shall go bare before mee too, a will serue vs all three when wee are abroad.

Exeunt.
Enter Mistresse Susan, and Nan, sisters:
Su.

Come sister, come, wee were not borne to stand, t'is against the nature of our sexes kinde: come, sit, and tell me, how many suters you haue, and which you most doe loue? and I will tell you all mine, and which I most respect.

Nan.

Faith I haue a dozen at the least, and their deserts are all so good, I know not which I should loue most: and one last day did court me thus: O had my tongue the influence to lead thy faire thoughts as thy faire lookes do mine: then shouldst thou be his prisoner who is thine. I seeing my poore Gentleman likely to be drownd in the depth of Hellespont, deliuered him this verse to catch hold of: O be not faire, and so vnkinde: misshapen stuffe, is of behauiour boystrous and rough.

Sus.

But come, what was a for a man?

Nan.

What was a for a man? Why, a was a man for a wo­man, what should a be? and yfaith he was a neate lad too, for his beard was newly cut bare; marry it showed some­thing like a Medow newly mowed: stubble, stubble.

Su.
[Page]

Well I haue a suter too, if hee had as much witte as liuing, it may bee I should finde in my heart to loue him.

Nan.

What, i'st Sir Iohn Haue-little that gallant Knight that Courts delicate Ladies? spare not the sweate of my bo­die, man was made to labour, vse my creation, women to bear, ile vse yours: Birds to flye, Fish to swimme, &c. And then sweares by my cōscience Lady, I esteem you as I doe money, which buyes euerye thing, and thats but like a Puncke, for euery man has to doe with it.

Su.

No Sister no, tis not he, for I thinke his wit cannot cal his wealth Maister, nor his wealth his wit, and yet they are both Seruants to a foole.

Nan.

Faith who is't Sister, i'st a proper man? hath hee a good face?

Su:

Tis the person and conditions I respect, and not face, for euery Boy has a good face, and its not worth a hayre. No Sister no, my loue is more worthier then words canne vtter: I cannot simpathize his rare perfections with any earthye substance: this Globe of durt produceth nothing worthye of his comparison, so soules perfection so refines his body, as you would thinke an Angell were his sire: his discourse, behauiour, and humanitie, attracts to him my soules felicitie.

Nan.

Pray' heauen it bee not mine: nay come who is your loue? tell me?

Su:

Nay who is yours? speake first.

Nan.

Yet agen!

Su:

If it be mine, my heart will breake: mine is Maister

Nan:

Who, who, who?

Su:

Ruffell.

Nan:

Pray God 't be true.

Su:

In troth tis he.

Nan:

And mine is Maister Sparke, and looke heere they come.

[Page] Enter Spark, Ruffell, Piso, Knight, and Petoune.
Spar.

Faith Ladyes, youth and beauty alwaies bee your handmaides.

Ruff:

Best fortunes your attendants.

Piso.

Good clothes your companions.

Ruff:

Wee all of vs your seruants.

Pet.

And let Tobacco be your perfumes.

Nan,

Lord Gentlemen how your wits Caper! me thinkes twould become you well at first entrance, your discretions came in with a sober measure.

Sp.

Ladies we are come to make a Gentleman of your ac­quaintance heere.

Nan.

His name good Maister Spark? hee's very welcome.

Spar,

His name is Sig. Petoune a Traueller and a great To­baconist.

Pet:

Faith Ladyes I take it now and then fasting for the purification of my wit.

Sus:

Purification? why has your wit layne in child-bed sir?

Ruff:

Yes indeede Lady, brought to bed of a Moone-calfe.

Pet:

Faith Ladies if you vsde but mornings when ye rise, the diuine smoke of this Celestiall herbe, it will more puri­fie, clense and mundifie your complexions, by ten partes then your dissolued Mercury, your iuice of Lemmons, your distilled snailes, your gourd waters, your oyle of rar­tar, or a thousand such toyes.

Spa.

Sure Ladies I must needes say th' instinct of this herb hath wrought in this Gentleman such a diuine influence of good words, excellēt discourse, admirable inuention, incō ­parable wit: why I tel yee, when he talkes, wisdom stands a mile off and dares not come neere him, for feare a should shame her: but before a did vse this Tobacco, a was the ar­rantst Woodcock that euer I saw.

Pet:

Indeed I was a very silly fellow.

Ruff.

Nay you were an arrant asse.

Pet.

Sure I was a foole.

Kni:
[Page]

Nay, you were a most monstrous puppie.

Pet:

Indeed I was an Idiot, a verie Idiot.

Piso.

By this light thou wert a most egregious cox­combe.

Pet.

Indeed I was, indeed I was.

Sp.

But since, it hath imbellisht his good parts, perfec­ted his ill partes, and made his secrete actions correspon­dent to his outward wisdome, as you may well perceiue.

Pet.

Faith Ladie these Gentlewomen haue not long v­sed my companie, yet you see how Tobacco hath alreadie refined their spirits.

Piso.

Petoune I wonder Tobacco hath not purifyed the complexion of thy nose?

Pet.

Why, what ayles my nose?

Piso.

Nay, be not angrie, I do not touch thy nose, to th'end a should take any thing in snuffe.

Pet.

Why doy' play so about my nose?

Kni.

T'is a good turne hees no Flie signeur: if a were, a would burne his wings.

Nan:

O signeur, these Gentlewomen haue not long vsed your companie, yet you see how Tobacco hath alreadie refined their spirits.

Pet

Fayth Ladie, would you bestowe but one fauour of me.

Nan.

Truly signeur if you should haue as much fauour as you haue complexion, you would bee highly fauoured.

Pet.

Deare Ladie, now by this day I loue you.

Nan.

Cheape signeur, nowe by the light of this day, I cannot loue you.

Sp.

Now Ladie, what drugs of wit has this Apothecarie of Tobacco sold you?

Nan.

Faith a solde me none sir, onely a gaue me a taste of his good meaning.

Pet.

Faith Ladie I must enquire your name.

Sus:

I pra'y doe sir, yond Gentlewoman knowes it.

Pet.

O, I know tit well inough.

Svs.

Why doe you enquire it then?

Pet.

Come, come, Ladie can you loue?

Sus.

I.

Pet.
[Page]

And can you loue me?

Sus:

No.

Pet.

Euerie foole can say, I, and no,

Sus:

And I alwayes answere euerie foole so.

Pet.

Doy' thinke I want wit?

Sus.

If you do, t'is a shame you doe not learne it.

Pet:

Will you teach me? Ile come to you to schoole.

Sus.

T'is not my profession sir, to teach a foole.

Sp:

Looke, looke, this fellow is like your vpright shoo, he will serue either foote.

Pet.

Good Ladie, haue a better regarde of mee, doe but thinke me made of the same mettall other men are.

Sus:

If others were of the same mettall you are, and all mine, I should quickelie sell them to the Bel-ma­kers.

Pet.

Why, what mettall doe you thinke me?

Sus:

Copper sir, copper, for I take your bodie to be of the same mettall your nose is.

Pet.

Deare Ladie, now by this day I loue you.

Sp:

Why, how now signeur, what sayes the Ladie will she loue thee man?

Pet;

Faith I can get but a colde comfort of her:

Sp:

Well thanke her for't:

Pet;

For what?

Sp,

Why, for her cold comfort, shee gaue it thee to coole the heate of thy nose man?

Sus:

Signeur, you see these Gentlewomen haue not long vsed your companie; yet you see how Tobacco hath al­readie refined their spirits:

Ruf;

Why, how now signeur? at blind-man-buffe? bob'd on either side?

Pet:

Prethe peace: deare Ladie, please you take a pipe of Tobacco?

Ruf:

I, come: Ile beginne to her (tab) why, what a rogue art thou to offer a faire Ladie an emptie pipe?

Sus.

Why signeur? do you make a foole of me?

Piso:

Had you no body signeur to haue bob'd with an emptie Pipe but her?

Nan.

Why howe now signeur, could you finde neuer a fitter block to whet your wit on, but my sister?

Sp.
[Page]

By the diuine smoke of Tobacco signeur, you haue sham'd vs all.

Pet:

Sweare not good sir, sweare not, prophane not the Indian plant.

Kni,

Had you no bodie else signeur, to breake an emptie ieast on but this Ladie?

Sus.

No, no, a thinks any thing is good ynough for me.

Pet.

Sir, would you make my Ladie and me friends?

Spar.

Nay signeur, I haue no face to speake, now you haue abusde her in your owne Element: if it had beene in any thing but Tobacco, I would haue done my best.

Ruff:

Harke you sig you were best to aske her forgiue­nes on your knees, ther's no way to get her friendship else.

Pet:

But wil she forgiue me thinke you if I ask eher mer­cie on my knees?

Sp.

Why, proue signeur, you can but trie, weele al speake for you.

Ruff:

Good Lady will you forgiue this signeur? you see his penitent, griefe hath brought him verie low, for hees on's knees; besides he weepes; speake signeur speake for your selfe.

Pet.

Ladie, I must confesse I haue offred you an emptie pipe, which me thinks hath smal reason to be takē in snuff.

Sp:

And you are sorie for't signeur, are you not?

Pet.

I with all my heart.

Sp:

Forgiue him good Ladie, pra'y forgiue him,

Su.

I am content Gent at your intreaties vpō conditions.

Pet

Vpon any conditions.

Su:

But you shall be sworne to them.

Pet.

Nost willingly.

Ruff:

Come, a shall be sworne on's owne Tobacco pipe.

Piso:

Looke you signeur, he told you there was no way to get her good will but by kneeling; for he that will haue a womans loue must stoope.

Sus:

Come maister

Ruff:

you shall take his oath, and Ile minister't.

Ruff:

Come signeur, put your hand to the pipe.

Sus:

First you shall neuer while you liue offer Ladie or Gentlewoman an emptie pipe.

Pet:

Neuer.

Su.
[Page]

Secondly, you shall neuer make Tobacco your I­doll, taking it in a morning before you say your prayers.

Pet:

Neuer

Su:

Thirdly, you shall neuer in the praise of Tobacco disclose or dispraise by the way of making comparisons, the secrets of Ladies, or Gentlewomen, as repeating their distil'd waters, their censing oyles, or their smoothing vn­guents.

Sp:

To this you sweare.

Pet.

Most willingly.

Su.

Fourthly, you shall neuer come with your squibs & smoke-squirts amongst Ladies and Gentlewomē, fling­ing out fume at your Nostrels, as a whale doth salt-water, vnlesse you be intreated by them.

Pet.

Neuer.

Su.

Fiftly, you shall presently conuey your selfe out of our company, neuer to come more neere vs, vnlesse you be sent for.

Pet.

Neuer?

Su.

No neuer: so, let him kisse the pipe.

Sp:

Come Signior, you haue kneeld to a faire end, to get you a Mistris, and heere you haue for sworne her.

Pet.

I'me in a faire case now.

Pis.

I faith now thar't a combe for any case.

Pet.

Well, ile keepe my oath, farewell Gentlemen.

Pis.

Farwell Signior.

Sp:

Adew Signior.

Kni:

God bewe Signior.

Pet:

Well, some shall smoke for this.

Ruff:

Let it be your nose then good Signior in any case:

Exit.
Enter Signior Antifront disguised, called Fleire.

Its a good soile, a whole some ayre, a pretty Towne, hand­some sleight buildings, well proportioned people, verie faire women.

Spa.

Hayda, this is like a Lawyers studdie in the latter end of a Terme, one's no sooner thrung'd out, but another's thrust in, y'are welcome sir.

Fle.
[Page]

But I am not sir, for I am sicke.

Ruff:

Would you speake with any man heere?

Fl:

I care not greatlie sir, if I spoke with euery man here.

Nan.

Hee's a mad fellowe.

Sp;

What art?

Fle.

Poore.

Ruff:

Dost meane to liue in this towne?

Fle:

Ide be loth to die in't.

Kni.

In what countrie wert borne?

Fle:

In none.

Kni:

Where then?

Fle:

In a Towne.

Kni:

What nation art?

Flei:

An Italian:

Kni:

O then thou canst make glasses.

Fle:

I, and as wisemen as you Asses too, O are you there

Piso? your father is my good Lord, but no more of that yet.

Sp.

Why Signior, I hope you wonnot swagger?

Fle:

No, nor I care not greatlie for them that doe, for your swaggerer is but like your walking spur, a gingles much but heele neu'r pricke.

Kni:

Why art so melancholie?

Su.

Ile hold my life hee is in loue with some waiting Gentlewoman.

Fle:

Hee's a mad fellowe wil loue anie of you all, lon­ger then a pissing while.

Pis:

Why camst thou out of Italy into England?

Fl:

Because England would not come into Italy to me?

Pis:

Why art sad?

Fle:

Because I haue cause.

Pis:

Who doost follow?

Fle:

My nose.

Sp:

Who doost serue?

Fle:

God.

Ruff:

Who art towards?

Fle:

He thats before me.

Sp:

What doost want?

Fle.

Money.

Sp.
[Page]

Nothing else?

Fle.

Yes.

Sp,

What?

Flei.

A good seruice.

Sp.

Shall I preferre thee?

Flei.

I cannot tell, tis as I like the man.

Sp.

Nai't shall be to a couple of Gentlewomen of thine owne Countrie.

Fl.

I shall haue enough to doe then I hope, I haue heard of one woman hath seru'd ten men, but I neuer heard that one man should bee preferred to serue two women before: y'are an Englishman.

Sp.

I.

Fl.

So I thought indeede, you cannot poyson so well as we Italians, but youle finde a meanes to bring a man out of his life as soone. Gods light serue two women quoth you?

Sp.

Why thou shalt serue but one, yet take thy choice of both.

Fl,

I marry Sir, I like when 't comes to choosing.

Sp.

Whats thy name?

Fle.

Fleire.

Sp:

Whats thy profession?

Fle:

I haue euer been a Courtier.

Sp:

A Courtier! come Gentlemen, I like this fellowe so well that ile prefer him straite.

Nan.

Do so, you shall doe a deed of charitie in't.

Sp.

Faire Ladies youle excuse vs.

Exeunt.
Su.

You haue bin very welcome Gentlemē.

manent Su, Nan
Na:

Come sister, there rests nothing for vs now but this: wele get vs mens apparrel, and serue them as Pages so shal we hinder them in their marriages, and in th' end preferre our selues to be their wiues.

Su,

I like it well, come lets about it presently.

Exeunt.
Finis Actus Primi.

Actus secundus.

Enter Fleire, Solus in a new Suite.
Fl.

I haue not yet bin seauen daies heere, and yet I see that grieues my very soule: my Daughters, my Ladies I must say now, make lust, labour for their maintenance, & this foolish natiō wil sel their goods, their lands, nay their very soules for nights delights and momentarie sportes, [Page] which like to lightning appeares, and vanisheth ere one can say tis come: but then repentance sticks close. There was a fellow with one of my Ladies this morning, and the poore slaue has but seauen shillings a weeke boord wages, and yet he has giuen sixe on't for a bit of extraordinarye flesh, well: God giue him the grace to pray, for a must fast. I askd the hot slaue why a did not marrie since a could not bridle his lust? and a tolde me a had rather fal into the Sur­gions mercy, then the worldes beggery; well, I see it can­not be denide, mercinarie women are necessarie members: they plucke downe the pride of the flesh, yet are not proud themselues, for thei'le be as familiar with the men as with the Master: they doe as many good deedes as some Fryers that puts one to pennance for his sinnes, they put twentie to paines: he out of charitie sends one to the Hospital once a yeare, they send twentie to the Surgions once a month. Say he bids men repent, they make a'm repent, yet for all this some will call a'm damn'd Puncks: well, if they bee damn'd, theile not be damn'd gratis like your yong coūtrie Gentlemen, nor in hugger mugger like your Citizens wife with her Prentise. They can practise without an o­uerseer: they scorne to haue a Suburbian Baw'd lend am a Taffaty gown, & they (like your common Players) let men come in for two pence a peece, and yet themselues to haue but the tenth penny, like the tenth Pigge, yet faith the trade is a good trade: They for sweare not themselues, in commendation of their wares, as your common Trades­men doe, swearing they cannot afford it at the price. They are no prouerb breakers: beware the buyer say they, you shall haue enough for your money, if halfe will not serue your turne take the whole, measure by your own yard, you shal haue Winchester measure. I was somewhat bold with one of their Ladiships this morning, & askt her why wo­men went to the generating sport al the yere, since beastes themselues went too't but once? And she answered me, be­cause they were women, & had reason to know what was good for themselues, and so had not beasts: but soft, here comes Signior Petoune.

[Page]Enter Petoune taking Tobacco.
Pet.

O Fleire, how doost Fleire?

Fle.

O Signior, you may snuffe out your smoke here Signior, and saue your oath too, heere are no Cuckold ma­kers.

Pet

What are they Fleire?

Fl.

Women Signior, women: I heard what a rash Gen­tleman you are to forsweare your Mistris companie in the verie heat of your affection.

Pet:

Hang her, hang her, shees a very crickee, shee hath written for me three or foure times, but ile see her damn'd ere ile come to her, woot take anie Tobacco Fleire?

Fle.

No, not I; ile not make my nose a red Herring, ile not hang him ith' smoke.

Pet:

Thou art a good Courtier Fleire, tha'st got a sute alreadie.

Fl,

Nay, I haue two or three Offices too.

Pet:

Prithe what are they?

Fl:

Why I am Yeaman ath' Iurden, Gentleman ath' smock and Squire of entertaynment: for when your Gallants ap­proch, I take their in combe, for if I stay till their out come, the deuill a bit of any siluer sir can I get: for your new made Gallants lay all on the backe and spend all ath belly.

Pet.

How doe thy two Ladies liue Fleire?

Fl:

Like two musk-cast in a Coope.

Pet:

Why? I heere say they liue gallantly.

Fl,

Pheu, they? why they keepe a little court.

Pet:

And what art thou? a Sumner?

Fl.

A Sumner, why?

Pet:

Because thou art one of the; harke in thine eare.

Fl.

Well said Caulfe, hast bin a sucking all this while for that iest? no, I haue an honorable place, I am one of their leaders, for their shooes are so hie, and their heeles so short if they should not beled, thei'd play domesticke trickes a­broad, and show all.

Pet.

Thou their leader! why doe they meane to goe to the warres?

Fle:
[Page]

I thinke so, for I am sure here were a couple of gen­tlemen last night that scowr'd their peeces.

Pet:

I thinke Fleir thy Ladies are not wee rich.

Fle:

How can they? they spend when others get.

Pet.

Dost heare Fleir? woot prefer me to their seruice?

Fle.

What! shall wee embrace? shall we haue red-nos'd Corporals here: what you rogue? will you turne Sumner? away you whale-nosd rogue away, goe, snufle, snufle in the Ocean, away you slaue.

Pet,

Is thy name Fleir? tha'rt a flattering, fleering, cog­ging knaue.

Exit.
Enter two Ladies, one singing:
Fel.
His mansred hose, were the colour of his nose,
and his breech was made of blue,
And he in shape, but a French-mans Ape,
And so sweete sir adieu.
" Holla, holla ye pampred Iades of Asia,
" And can you draw but twentie miles a day?
Flo.

Giue me a bowe, Ile hit the Sunne.

Fel,

Why ti's impossible.

Flo,

No more canst thou hit true felicitie.

Fel,

O I am in an excellent humor, now I could laugh, daunce, leape, or doe anie light tricks that belongs to a light wench.

Flo;

But looke who's here?

Fel,

O signeur Fleir, how dost, how dost man? we may bee merrie before thee, thoul't be secret, wo't not?

Flo:

As your Midwife, or Barber Surgeon Madam;

Fel:

How lik'st the Citie Fleir, ha, how lik'st it?

Flo,

Faith wel Madam, were not your Citizens, such hea­uie head fellowes:

Fel,

Thats a signe they are no drunkards.

Fle.

Indeede Madam, drinke lightens the head, the heart, the heeles, the pot, the purse; but it makes heauie chamberpots, full bowels, and foule roomes enough.

Fel:
[Page]

Howe dost like the Gentlemen of this Coun­trey?

Fle:

I can compare your Gentleman, and your Mar­chant, to nothing so fitly as your Flea and your Lowse: I had rather trust your lowse with a hundred pound, then your Flea with for tie; for your Lowse, like the Marchant, standes too't, you shall knowe where to finde him, but your Flea, like the Gentleman, if you take him not at first sight a slips from you.

Flo:

Me thinks they haue a strange fashion heere, they take money with their wiues, and giue money to their wenches.

Fle:

And good reason too (Madam) woulde you haue a man bee troubled with a wife, as long as he liues for nothing? A giues money to his wench, to be as soone rid of her as he has done with her.

Fel:

Whats the reason Fleir, the Citizens wiues weare all Corks in their shooes?

Fle:

O Madam, to keepe the custome of the Citie, one­ly to bee light heeld. The Cittie is like a Commodie, both in partes and in apparell, and your Gallants are the Actors: for hee that yesterday played the Gentleman, nowe playes the Begger; shee that played the Way­ting-woman, nowe playes the Queane; hee that played the married-man, nowe playes the Cuckolde; and shee that played the Ladie, nowe playes the Painter. Then for their apparell, they haue change too: for shee that wore the Petticote, now weares the Breech; hee that wore the Coxcombe, now weares the feather; the Gentle­man that wore the long Sworde, nowe weares the short Hanger; and hee that could scarce get Veluet for his Cape, has nowe linde his Cloake throughout with it.

Flo:

But how dost like the Court Fleir?

Fle:

Well ynough, if they did not catch their meate so; it comes no sooner from Table, but tone fellow has a fatte Ducke by the rumpe, thother a slipperie Ele by the taile, and an olde Courtier that best knew the tricks on't, was [Page] mumbling of a Cunnie in a corner alone by him­selfe.

Fel.

What good cheere didst see there?

Fle,

Faith there was much good meate, but me thought your faire Ladie was your onely dish.

Flo.

I, but thats a costly dish, and will aske rich saw­cing.

Fle.

Faith for mine owne part when I had a stomacke, I shoulde like it best in it owne naked kinde, without anie sauce at all.

Flo.

Whats the newes now at Court Fleir?

Fle.

Faith they say your Ladyes cannot endure the old fashion Spurre, they say it hanges to a mans heele like a Wheele-barrow, but they loue the fine little Scottes Spurre, it makes the Court Gennet curuet, curuet gal­lantly.

Flo:

I prethe Fleir, howe goes the report of vs two a­broad?

Fle.

If I should tell you, I feare your Ladiships woulde be angrie.

Flo.

No not a whit.

Fle,

But alas they are your common people, they are like your Slippers, they are alwayes gaping, their mouthes are neuer shut.

Flo,

But what say they of vs?

Fle,

Alas Madam, their tongues are like your drie lea­ther shooes, alwayes creaking:

Flo,

But I prethe tell vs, what doe they say of vs?

Fle:

I shall offend your Ladiships.

Flo,

I tell thee no.

Fle,

But alas Madam, I doe not beleeue them, because I knowe the conditions of the slaues; whie Ile tell you, their tongues are like the Iacke of a Clocke, still in la­bour.

Flo.

I thinke tha'rt madde, I prethee tell vs what they say.

Fle.

I would be loath to displease you.

Flo,

I tell thee thou shalt not.

Fle.
[Page]

Faith they say your Ladiships are a couple of state­ly Curtizans.

Flo.

Faith that was not much amisse said they no worse?

Flei,

You'l not be angry with me.

Flo,

No a'my word.

Fle.

By my troth they said stately whores.

Flo,

What pagan rogues be these? were they but roasted Larkes for my sake, I would crush em bones and all.

Fel,

Why? are you so angry sister? you know they speak truth.

Flo,

Why are wee whores?

Fel,

What are we else?

Flo.

Why we are Curtizans.

Fel.

And what difference pra'y?

Flei.

O great great madam, your whore is for euery ras­call but your Curtizan is for your Courtier.

Flo,

He has giuen you a difference now.

Flei,

And indeed Madā I said so, for in truth I was very āgry with 'am, but they said you were for euery seruingmā too.

Flo,

Did they say so?

Flei,

Yes indeede Madam, I hope I haue touch'd you now.

Flo,

He hold my life this slaue the Seruingman, that was with me this morning, has brag'd of my kindenes to him.

Flei,

Nay, thats like lie, neuer trust a fellow that wil flat­ter, fleire, and fawne for foure nobles a yeare.

Flo,

Well, ile nere haue Seruingman touch anie linnin of mine agen.

Flei,

Yes Madam, a may touch't when tis at the Laun­dresses.

Flo,

I, at my Laundresses, or else not: but what a rascal's this? by this light, ile neuer suffer seruingman come neere me agen.

Flei,

Yes Madame, to deliuer you a letter or so.

Fl.

By this hand, not vnlesse the Rogue kisse his hand first.

Flei,

O Madam! why? since blew coates were left oft, the kissing of the hand is the seruing mans badge, you shall know him by't: but Madam, I speake something boldly of you now and then, when I am out of your hearing, to heare [Page] what the world wil say of you, for you know thats the way to pumpe filthie wordes out of their mouthes, if there bee anie in them.

Fel.

And doe so still, wee allow thee to say anie thing, for thereby we shall know our friendes from our foes.

Flei,

I assure your Ladiships, I loue you, and am sorrie for you from my soule, although you know it not.

Flo,

Wee doubt it not.

Fel.

Come sister will you in?

Flo,

I prithee Fleire informe vs how the tide of opinion runs on vs, least we be drown'd in the slaunderous imagi­nations of the world.

Flei,

I shall be very vigilant of your reputations.

Amb,

Be so.

Exeunt Sisters.
Enter Ruffell.
Flei,

VVho comes heere a Gods-name? O, my gallant ruffles it out in silke, where haue you bin all this while?

Ruff,

Faith at Court Fleire, when wert thou there?

Fl,

Faith but yesterday, where I saw a Farmers Son sit newly made a courtier, that sat in the presence at cardes, as familiar as if the chayre of state had bin made of a peece of his fathers Barne-doore: O tis a shame: I would haue state be state in earnest and in game, I like your Courtier for no­thing but often saying his praiers.

Ruff,

What, I thinke thou feldome faist thy prayers, since thou hast almost forgot thy Pater-noster.

Flei,

Faith I pray once a weeke doost thou pray oftner?

Ruff,

I did pray oftner when I was an Englishman, but I haue not praid often, I must confesse since I was a Brittaine: but doost heare Fleire? canst tell me if an Englishman were in debt, whether a Brittaine must pay it or no?

Flei,

No, questionlesse no.

Ruff,

I'me glad of that, I hope some honest statute will come shortlie, and wipe out all my scores.

Fl,

But whats the newes now abroad Maister Ruffell?

Ruff,

Why they say the Courtiers shall make the Citti­zens no more Cuckolds.

Fl.
[Page]

Excellent newes yfaith, excellent newes, then the Court will grow rich.

Ruff,

Rich? Why man why?

Fl,

VVhy then your Courtier will not bestow his mo­ny in buying the Merchants idle commodities to ly with his wife.

Ruff,

Fleire I did but to trie thee, the tide of the floud is turn'd man.

Fl,

Then let them sweat for't.

Ruff,

For what?

Fl,

If they striue against the streame.

Ruff.

No, but I meane the Cittizens must cuckold the courtiers

Fle,

Excellent newes y faith, excellent newes, then the court will grow rich.

Ruff,

What, like your weauers shuttle? make cloath forward and backward, but how I prithe? but harke you Fleire, are you capable of a secret?

Fl,

As your common Cockatrice, that receiues the se­crets of euery man.

Ruff:

Then I must intreat, I may trust thee.

Fl,

That's because I am no Taylor, for if I were, thou wouldest intreate me to trust thee.

Ruff,

Sirra, they say your Ladies are a couple of com­mon Punckes, I hope I may trust you with a secret?

Fl,

Sir, sir, doy' heare, doy' thinke they are no worse?

Ruff,

VVorse! why can they be worse?

Fl,

O sir, I they may be priuate Puncks: why I tell you he that takes vp his priuate Punckes linnin, were better take vp anie commodity about the Town: if twere a com­moditie of Mousetrappes, a should not loose much by the bargaine.

Ruff,

But hark you Fleire hark you, tis suppos'd I can tell you they are a couple of priuate Puncks.

Fl.

Nay, then theres some hope theile proue honest wo­men.

Ruff.

Yea, how Fleire how?

Fl.

Why your priuate punck would leaue being a punck, rather then be priuate to one man for nothing, and then if al men were like thee, they would be honest, for thou hast [Page] nothing to giue am.

Ruff,

VVhat a cogging fleiring Rogue is this, nothing will anger him: but doy' heare Fleire; art thou a procurer, or a knaue? for one of them I am sure thou art.

Fl.

A procurer! whats that?

Ruff.

One that procures meanes for procreation, vul­garly cald a Pander.

Fl,

By this light now, were I a notable Rogue, should I denie my profession, why, I am a procurer sir.

Ruff,

Nay, then thou art a Knaue too thats certaine, for there is such a simpathie between a Procurer and a knaue, as there is betwixt an Alcumist and a Begger.

Fl,

But looke you sir, pra'y wil you tel me one thing now.

Ruff.

VVhats that?

Fl,

Are you a VVhoremaster or a Theife, for one of them ime sure you are.

Ruff,

By this light now a comes neere mee too, why I am a whoremaster.

Fl,

Nay, then you are a theef too, thats certaine, for your whoremaster alwaies filcheth for victuals, for you knowe flesh is mans foode, mary sir you cannot be hang'd for't, tis but pettilassarie at moste, but you may chance bee whipt for't and burn'd too; but not ith' hand Signior, not ith' hand.

Enter Sparke.
Sp.

Saue ye Gentles.

Ruff.

Then we are enemies to the Iewes.

Fle.

O my good preferrer, how does your worshippe, you are a stranger heere.

Sp.

Faith I haue been with two Gentlewomen, in whose companie thou first sawst vs, and there the Knight, Sir Iohn Haue-little is so in loue with the younger, as a knowes not whether a should reioyce, shee had so much beautie: or la­ment, because he is like to inioy none on't.

Fl,

By my troth I tooke him for a Coniurer, when I first saw him, a talkt so much of his soule and the Deuill.

Sp:

Why a sould his soule to the Deuillman, for the vel­uet that lines his cloake.

Fl.

And when will he giue the Diuell his dew?

Sp,
[Page]

Nay, a deales with him, as a does with his Tailor, goes vpon trust and meanes to pay them both at the latter day.

Flo,

But does not the Gentlemen iest at him?

Sp,

Yes, one of them asked if he were a celestriall or a ter­restrial Knight, & he very ignorant lie asked what Knights they were? your terrestriall Knight quoth she, is of a grosse element, and liues vppon landes of his owne, but your ce­lestrial Knight, hee liues by the Heire, that is, by his elder Brother. He it was, was Knighted, when so few scapt the sword, and he it is that now liues by the sword.

Fl,

And what said the Knight, what said he?

Sp,

Faith as some Courtiers doe, laugh at that he did not vnderstand, and swore an oath or two of the new fashion, as, by my conscience Ladie you haue a verie good spirit, & so after two or three Court complements, beseech'd the Ladies retaine him still in their good graces, kist his hand and went his way.

Fl,

Faith mee thinkes your English Ladies were verie gallant Creatures, had they not one fault.

Sp,

VVhat's that?

Fl,

I haue hend say, they will rise sooner, and goe with more deuotion to see an extraordinarie execution, then to heare a Sermon.

Sp,

O signor, condemne not all for some, indeede I must confesse there haue been Ladies at executions.

Fl,

I, and they sat bare fac't too, for feare the little fleet holes of their maskes should not giue their eyes roome y­nough for such a prospect: one Ladie thrust her head so far out at a windowe, with greedy desire to see all, that the whole body was like to followe, making a forked tree with her head downe, had nother Gentleman Vsher, contrarie to the nature of his office, catcht hold of her behinde.

Sp,

A forked tree, why what tree doost thou thinke shee would haue made?

Fl:

O sir, a Medler-tree, a Medler-tree.

Sp,

But Fleire, how does the Gentleman Vsher liue with thy Ladies?

Fl.

Faith sir in the nature of a Munkie, that flatters and [Page] fawnes, and shakes his taile in his Mistres lap: but yfaith Gallants, whether are you two bound now?

Sp.

We are euen readie for your two Ladies Signeur;

Fle,

Faith and you shall finde my two Ladies as readie for you two: Come, come, Ile put you in the way of all flesh, Ile send you to Graues-ende, Ile see you in the Tilt-boat, When you are there, ship your selues: in, in, in.

Ex. Spe. & Ruf.
Enter Piso and Knight.
Piso,

How is't Fleir?

Fle.

O my Lord, you are a welcome man.

Kni.

Saue you O signeur.

Fleir:

O my gracious knight, and whither are you two bound now?

Piso.

Faith een to your two Ladies signeur,

Fle,

Yea? and will you to the South-ward yfaith? will you to the confines of Italie my Gallants? take heede how ye goe Northwardes, tis a daungerous Coast, ieast not with't in Winter, therefore goe Southwardes my Gal­lants, South-wards hoe: I haue shipt two Gallants in a storme, I feare they haue spent their maine Mastes by this time, and are comming home agen: but if you will Southwards, my hearts of golde, Ile shippe you in pompe, Ile sende yee vnder the verie line, where the Sunn's at hottest.

Piso.

But come, shall we goe see thy Ladies, Fleir?

Fle.

I, I, I, Come: but my good Lord youle bee a wel­come man, for I haue heard her often sweare, that had she such a Husband, a man so richly deckt in vertuous orna­ments, shee woulde forsake this life, her-selfe, nay, her verie being, to be your's; O my good Lord, shee loues you deerly.

Piso.

Pheu, but I cannot requite it,

Fle.

Why my good Lord?

Piso.

Shees a common thing.

Fle.

But say she may turne my Lord.

Piso.

Shee has beene so much worne, shees not worth the turning now.

Fle.
[Page]

O my Lord, penitence doth purge a spotted soule, and better leaue sinne late then not at all: and I doe knowe my Lorde, that for your loue from her immodest life sheel turne.

Piso.

I, I, I doubt not but sheele turne: but t'will bee like a Buzzard Hawke that turnes her tayle to her game.

Kni:

Fleir, is the gentleman vsher that I preferd to your Ladies in any fauour with them?

Fle.

Great, great: a kisses his hand with an excellent grace, and a will leire and fleire vppon am, hee's partly their Phisitian, a makes am Suppositories, and giues am Glisters.

Kni:

And how liues he with am.

Fle:

Faith like Thisbe in the play, a has almost kil'd himselfe with the scabberd: but hearke you Knight, you'l bee a welcome man to my yonger Ladie, I protest shee thinkes worthily of you.

Kni:

Signeur, I must confesse, I am beholding to your Ladie; and to tell you truly, I haue much affected her since I first saw her.

Fle:

Vpon my worde sir, to my knowledge she is an honest Gentlewoman, yet the worlde may chance speake ill of her. Why I haue heard some say Penelope was a Puncke, hauing no reason to suspect her, but because shee set vp late a nightes, when t'was but to vndoe that which shee did by day. I haue heard some say Hercules was a coward because hee did not fight at single Rapier like a gallant, but with a Club.

Kni:

Nay, I haue no reason to thinke the worse of her for the report of the worlde; for the world signeur per­chance speakes ill of you, or me.

Fle:

Why, y'are inth' right, I haue heard some say, you were a verie needie Knight, and that you had but one shirt to your backe when you came first to this towne; Nay more, when your Lackie carried it to the Laun­dresse, it was founde to bee a womans smocke, that you had borrowed: but what? shoulde my Ladie, or I [Page] beleeue this nowe?

Kni.

I hope shee doth not,

Fle.

No, no, no.

Piso:

Come Fleir shall we see thy Ladies?

Fle.

I, I, hoe, whose within there?

Enter Seruingman.
Seru.

What would you haue maister Fleir?

Fle:

Prethe shewe these Gentlemen vp into the great Chamber, and giue my Ladies notice of their being here, haue a little businesse my Lordes, Heele conduct yee, yee shall finde a couple of your acquaintance there.

Exeunt: manet Fleir.

Could I but worke Lord Piso, and my eldest daughter, to make am both affect and loue each other, that marriage might vnite their hearts togither: O then there were as­sured hope wee might redeeme our honours lost, and regaine our right in Florence. And for this Knight though hee bee poore, yet would hee married were vnto Feli [...]ia▪

For of a louing husbands awfull eye,
Sets right the womans steps that went awrie.
Heauen I know has grace ynough in store,
To make most chaste, a most lasciuious whore.
Enter the two wenches in boyes apparell.
How now? who haue we there? a couple of footmen?
Su.

You see sir, we are not a horsebacke.

Fle:

Howe nowe my little fire-workes of witte? what? flashes and flames? tell me true, were you neuer Vshers to some great mans Coach-mares? did youe neuer run bare before them?

Nan,

Neuer we sir:

Fle.

Whither are you going?

Sus.

Sir we want a serrice, end are going to get a Ma­ster.

Fle.

Come, come▪ Ile preferre you both, thou shalt serue a Countrey-man of mine, hees going to trauaile: shalt [Page] goe with him, & thou shalt serue one of my Ladies.

Su.

We would willingly serue two nere friendes, be­cause we are brothers, and indeed two twins, and therefore are loath to be parted.

Fl:

Two twins? that's all one, come, come, you shall serue'am.

Nan.

You shall pardon vs sir.

Enter Flor, Sparke, Felec: Ruffell, Piso, Knight and Fromaga.
Flor.

I hope youle not condemne me for my loue.

Sp:

I haue no reason Lady.

Flo:

I offered you vnaskt.

Sp:

That with a number oft hath bought.

Flo:

Partlie they haue, and partlie not, for I would haue you know, my function seldom sels affection: what though I haue euill liu'd? repentant teares can wash away my sin, which ile poore foorth like droppes of winter raine, and now hencefoorth, euer Ile this life abhor, and to the earth my knees ile dayly bow, to get mercy from heauen, loue from you.

Nan.

O the deuill take impudencie she courts him.

Sp.

Madam, the loue that I may giue you, fully doe in­ioy, but I haue sworne with other loue then as a Brother doth a sister neuer to loue any.

Fel.

O sir, my fortunes are not fellowes with my birth, they make me stoope to base deiected courses, but would you loue me, I would as swift as thought flie this life, and leaue lusts fowlest sinne, for fleshlye beastes to sleepe and wallow in.

Su:

Shame to thy sex, no more.

Ruff:

Lady, in all the honest offices that friendship may commaund, commaund me still, but yet I haue not seene the face to which I owe so much of loue, as may iustly ar­rest my affections, and when I doe, ile pay so due a debt without imprisonment.

Pis:

Methinkes yond Lady growes fayrer much then [Page] she was wont, me thinks her feature mendes, & her come­ly gesture, much hath drawne my heart to loue her, O but shee's a whore.

Nan.

Gentlemen doe you lack a Boy?

Sp.

No,

Nan.

O God, I am vndone.

Su:

Sir do'y want a Seruant?

Ruff:

No.

Su:

O Lord what shall I doe?

Pis:

What canst doe?

Na:

Any thing that a Boy should doe.

Kni.

Woot dwell with me?

Su:

Tis partly as youle vse me.

Kni:

Ile vse thee well.

Su:

Well.

Pis:

Tell me, are you both content to dwel with vs two?

Both.

As please you two.

Pis.

Then thou shalt liue with me.

Kni.

And thou with me.

Sp:

Come Gentlemen will you bee going?

Both

We attend you sir.

Sp.

Ladies our occasions cals vs hence, and I am sorrye we must leaue you.

Exeunt: manent Piso and Nan.
Flo.

Gentlemen you all both haue, and euer shall bee welcome.

Pis:

Lady I will leaue you much affection more then I thought to lend you, but I deale on vse, and haue much in­terest.

Flei:

Caught I hope: hold hooke and line, hee's fast by heauen.

Flo.

My Lord, what you lend me, with much interest shall be repaide.

Pis.

Adew.

Flo.

Fare you well; refusd.

Fel.

Contemn'd.

Flo:

Disdain'd.

Fel:

Abus'd.

Flo:

Adyes.

Fel,
[Page]

A shall not liue:

Flor.

Disdaine the Daughter of such a Signior.

Fel,

Condemne a Ladie borne? sister we are wrong'd.

Flo,

But if youle consent I haue a proiect laid, that in re­quitall both of them shall die.

Fel.

You make my soule sweet harmony, come lets a­bout it then.

Exeunt.
Finis Act: Secundi.

Actus Tertius scena prima.

Enter the Ladies each with a Letter, and Fleire aside.
Flo.

Are we in priuate?

Fel,

We are?

Flo,

Pray Sister what moouing lines of loue has your Knight toucht your affection with?

Fel.

Faith his stile is plaine, onely a little courtlike silk­en phrase it has, but I hope your lord hath sent rich words like iewels, for your eares against your nuptiall day.

Flo.

Faith a woes with lines that might perswade ano­ther thought, not mee, which ile lend your eyes, vpon the like receiued curtesie from you.

Fel.

With all my heart.

Change Letters.
Flo.

What haue we heere?

Reade.

Lady I know the noblenes of your disposition defends you from the least Sparke of basenesse, wherefore I inuocate euerie particu­lar vertue of yours to be mediators to your best iudgement for my better estimation in your loue, my affection is zealous, my intent honorable, my desire mariage: thus desiring your resolued answere, I rest.

Euer at your disposure: lacke Haue-little Knight.

Vpon my life some friend did pen it for the foole.

Fel.

Let me see what's this?

Reade.

You the vnderstanding spirit of a woman, let the splender of your Beautie, with some heate of your affection shine vpon the [Page] creature that adores yee, and with the heauenlye comfort of your loue, melt and thaw dispaire from in dying heart which if it liue, it liues to loue, it dye if it dyes in loue, but howsoeuer, tis your's, twas made for you, liues by you, and dies without you.

Yours in the moste affectionate degree of affection. Don Piso De Florence.

Sister vpon my life this is sonne and heire to Duke Piso that now is.

Flo:

O would hee were! but whosoere he bee, a must bee made a match to giue fire to the hell blacke pouder of our reuenge, yet your loue: the wise Knight and he, are two in one, there are no such friendes as they.

Fle.

Then let them march both hand in hand in one way.

Flo:

Then shall be thus: these two being earnest suters for our loues, weele graunt vpon condition, that suddenly they murther Sparke and Ruffell, but first to take the Sacra­ment if euer it be knowne, os knowne 'twill be, to keep our names vnspotted in the action; this being done,

Fel.

Let them challenge vs, wee and our loues are won. but say they should reueale vs.

Flo.

O none will breake a Sacrament to heape vp periury on other sinnes, when death & hel stands gaping for their soules.

Fel.

But say they raile on vs.

Flo.

If they doe, tis knowne, we lou'd Sparke, and Ruffel, and men will thinke they kild a'm for our loues, since they liu'd in our fauour these in disgrace.

Fel,
I like it well, come lets hasten it,
For this is euen as true as er'e was text,
Plots are but dreames vntill they take effects.
Exeunt.
Fle.

O God, I think the path to hell that women tread is broder then the way men goe: how they walke by cou­ples to the Deuill?

[Page] Enter Piso.
Pis.

O that I should loue a whore, a very common Co­catrise, my thoughts are drown'd in a gulf of sinne, shee's a very Canniball, which doth deuoure mans flesh, and a Horse-leach that sucks out mens best blouds perfection: a very prisoners box, thats ope for euery mans beneuolēce: and I am Heire vnto a Duke, yet loue her: doth any man heere loue a whore? I, who? I, I, I, tis I, an arrant puncke & common hirde Hackney, and yet I loue her; I adore her, I doate on her, I worshippe her, O would some goodman would cut my throate, and put me out of paine—of paine, O that nature would not make an honest woman!

Fl:

She did, she did my Lord.

Pis,

Ar't there? speake, who was't?

Fl,

Eue, Eue my Lord, she was honest.

Pis,

Art sure on't?

Fl.

I sure my Lord, for there was no man to tempt her but her husband.

Pis,

I thought twas some such countrie Gentlewoman, O Fleire. Fleire I loue a whore.

Fl,

Why my Lord, were you neuer a Soldier?

Pis.

Yes. yes,

Flo

Why then tis your profession, you neede not be a­sham'd of your trade.

Pis.

But Fleire woot helpe me, woot helpe me man?

Fl.

I, I, who i'st?

Pis,

Thy Lady, thy elder Ladie.

Fl,

O my Lord, loue her? why shee's a whore.

Pis,

I Fleire, but she may turne.

Fl:

But shee is so much worne my Lord, shee's not worth turning now.

Pis.

Doe not vex me, doe not torment me: doe not tor­ture me vpon the racke of ieastes, I tell thee if shee please, she may turne.

Fl:

I my Lord, taile to her game, like a buzard hauk, or so:

Pis.

Yet againe, now the Deuill take thy body, and dam­nation light vpon thy soule, destruction on thy bones, [Page] confusion in thy marrow, dost scorne me, mocke me, vexe me, torment mee? dost? dost? Ile hang my selfe, nay, Ile damne my self rather then loue thy Ladie, and be abusd by thee: I will, I will.

Exit Piso:
Enter Knight.
Kni.

O Fleir how does thy Ladie?

Fle.

I deliuerd your letter sir, and she thanks you for't:

Kni.

And how does she? ha, how does she?

Fle.

Faith not well, she has taken phisick, and your gen­tleman vsher there ministers to her: shees very great, and she sayes she feeles much stirring in her bellie.

Kni:

Sure then Fleir she has eaten too much raw fruit.

Fle:

Vpon my life then, they be plums, and the stones make her swell.

Kni:

Sure ther. t'is so, I should send her something to comfort her nowe beeing sicke: what doest thinke were best Fleir?

Fle.

Send her an Oten cake, t'is a good Northern token: sir Raph Shaue sent his Mistris one, but I think a meant to ride a iourney on her, and thought Otes woulde make her trauell well.

Kni.

No, Oates is too great a binder after her Phy­sicke, I care not if I goe and visite her, and carrie her a Woodcocke.

Fle.

You'le goe alone sir.

Kni.

I, I meane so, but how should I carrie him Fleir?

Fle:

Vnder your Cloke sir, vnder your Cloke.

Kni:

Mas, and thou saiest true, Ile goe buy one straight, and yet now I remember me, t'is no great matter if I defer it till she be well, it shall be so Fleir, I will.

Fle:

O y'are of a French humor sir, as inconstant as impa­cient: I thinke you haue scarce the pacience to tell the clocke when it strikes.

Kni.

Tush, I keepe a boy for such vses.

Fle.

For nothing else?

Kni.

Yes, to weare a garded Cloke.

Fle:

Not till you be richly married.

Kni.

No, not till I be richly married: hee should weare one now, if my money were come out o'th Countrey.

Fle.
[Page]

I wonder you would be knighted sir, since your mo­ney is so long a comming, that you cannot maintaine your knighthood gallantly.

Kni.

Faith I was knighted to get mee a good wife Fleir.

Fle.

Get you a good wife? Why looke you sir, speake but the Golden tongue verie perfectly, marry you must speake it well, and call some great Lorde cousen: t'will get you a better wife then three hundred pound ioynter. You may report you haue Colepits too,, t'is a warme commoditie I can tell you: they may bee sent about by water; if they nere come, as your money dooth not, you maye curse the windes, or complaine of Ship­wracke: and then though't bee a lie t'is drown'd.

Kni.

I, but say it should bee proou'd afterwards t'was not true.

Fle.

True? Gods my life, shee's a wise woman that will goe as far as new Castle to search the depth of a Cole-pit for your truth.

Kni.

I would be loath to leaue my truth so far hence.

Fle.

But I am sure heele bring his honestie no nearer hi­ther; but that comes about by water too as his mony does.

Kni.

But Fleir is not thy Lady a vertuous Gentlewoman?

Fle.

O yes sir, I often find her in deepe contemplation.

Kni.

Of what I prethe?

Flr.

Of Aratines pictures.

Kni.

I, I warrant her, O she can endure no bawdrie, shee spits when she heares one speake on't.

Fle:

Thats because her mouth waters at it.

Kni.

Shees wondrous musicall too.

Fle:

Verie true, she euerie day sings Iohn for the King, and at Vp tailes all, shees perfect.

Kni.

Be these good tunes Fleir?

Fle:

Excellent, excellent sir, farre better then your Scot­tish Iigges.

Kni:

Yet many of our Ladies delight much in the Scot­tish Musicke.

Fle.

I, with their Instruments.

Kni.
[Page]

Thou hast a good wit Fleir: if I were a greatman thou shouldst be my Secretarie.

Fle.

And I hope I should discharge the place suffici­ently: for I haue learning enough to take a bribe, and witte enough to be prowd: but whither are you going now sir?

Kni.

Faith I am going to thy Ladies Fleir.

Fle.

You will not speake with am now; for my Ladies will speake with none but Gentlemen.

Kni.

Why sir, I hope I am a Knight, and Knights are be­fore Gentlemen.

Fle.

What Knights before Gentlemen, say ye?

Kni.

Faith I.

Fle.

Thats strange, they were wont to bee Gentlemen fore they were knighted: but for this newes Ile folow you.

Kni.

Doe, and as occasion serues Ile preferre thee.

Exeunt.
Enter Piso, and Nan as his Boy.
Piso:

Why should I loue her? because shes faire, because shees faire; because shee's a whore: for if she wore not faire, she would not be a whore; & if she were not faire, I should not loue her: Ergo, if shee were not a whore I shoulde not loue her: well concluded witte, well concluded wit; there is no man breathing could loue her but I, shee's a whore, yet her beautie haunts me like a Ghost, I cannot sleepe for't, her remembrance rides me like the Mare a nights, I cannot rest for't, what shall I doe? I shall burst boy.

Nan.

My Lord.

Piso:

Will thy tongue be secret?

Nan,

As the clapper of a Mill, my Lord.

Piso.

Is not that alwayes going?

Nan.

I my Lord, but I hope it sayes nothing.

Piso.

O thou hast wit I see I am in loue boy, I am, I am.

Nan

With whom my Lord?

Piso.

With a verie Wagtaile an'arrant woman, a verie Peace whose pride is maintaind by her taile.

Na.

Thē it is maintaind by the worthiest part of her body

Pis:
[Page]

Come, your wit boy, your proofe.

Nan,

If a hundred men in a company, mee't doth not the worthiest man amongst them, first take his place, and sit downe?

Pis.

I graunt it.

Nan.

And I am sure my Lord, where ere the bodie comes the taile first takes his place, and sits downe, and therefore I hope tis the worthiest part of the body.

Pis.

O that I had the reason of a Sailor to knowe her like a rocke, that I might saile from her and auoide her: or as a vertuous man knowes sinne, to loath and leaue it. And yet shee's wondrous faire, I would she were as honest: kinde v­sage may reclaime her from her sinne, and make her stoupe vnto her Husbands will, as doth a wel-mand Hauke vnto the lure.

Na:

O I, shee has bin man'd alreadie, she knowes the lure and will come to any call.

Pis.

O but her beautie may excuse the folly of her youth, tis want of maintenance hath ouerthrowne her, want and pride are two notorious bawdes: want makes the noblest creature sell her soule for golde, and pride doth make the gallants stoope to lust.

Na.

And often sels pure honestye, to clad her taile in glittering brauerie.

Pis.

And tis well done, let euerie member weare that which it won: why shold the head studdy to maintaine the foote?

Nan:

Or the foote trot to maintaine the head?

Pis.

Why should not euery member like a mechanicke man in a common-wealth, labour in his own trade to main­taine it selfe? then since euery thing must liue, I wil no more condemne beautie for being clad in luxurye, but hence­foorth I will loue her, and let my passion smoothly swimme along the streame of loues affection: hencefoorth I will no more with foule and hated thoughts, abuse so rare a crea­ture, whose behauiour and discourse, inchantes the eares of men, and driues the world into a wonder—ay me!

Na.

Faith my Lord youl nere win a woman by sighing, [Page] crossing your armes, and crying aye mee! the onely way to wiN them▪ is to care little for am: when they are sad doe yee sing: when they sing and are merrie, then take your time & put am too't: if they will, so: if not, let them snick vp, if you will walke in my Lord, ile shew ye manie principles I learn't of my Mother, they may doe your lordship good.

Pis.
Go go, I will: but O vnhappie fate,
When youth and weakenes must support our state.
Exeunt.
Enter Fleire one way, Sparke, Ruffell and Petoune another way.
Sp:

How now Fleire?

Ruff:

Saue you Fleire.

Flei,

Saue ye Gallants: O Signior Petoune, shall you and I be friendes agen?

Sp:

Why are ye enemies?

Fle,

No great enemies, a quarrell rose betweene vs.

Pet,

I doe not like such quarrels, a struck mee sir, and I protest and sweare to you sir by this Trinidado, had I not taken the box on my cheeke, a had broke my Pipe.

Sp:

Why didst not strike him agen?

Ruff:

O no, his Father's a Iustice.

Flei,

Nay if the Father be of the peace, I see no reason the Sonne should fight.

Ruff

What, a Coward Signior? fye, a coward?

Fl.

A Coward? why thats his onely vertue, for a Coward abuseth no man, but a makes him satisfaction: for if a wrōg all men, a giues al men leaue to beate him, hee's like a whet­stone, he sets an edge on another, & yet a wil not cut him­selfe.

Ruff.

Come, come, we must needes haue you friendes, & thou'st doe him some good offices.

Fl.

Who? I? with all my heart, but what i'st sir? what i'st?

Ruff:

Thou shalt commend his loue to Madā Fromaga.

Fl:

His loue to her? what Signior, in loue with my La­dies Antient?

Sp:

Why her Ancient?

Fl:

Because shee carries her colours for her, but tis in a [Page] box: but signior you shall haue a good match on't, though she be not rich, yet shee's an ancient woman, and is able to get her liuing, by midwiferie, and I can tell yee tis not the worst trade going, considering how young and olde, and all doe their good wils to set them a worke, and tis a good hearing, better they gette then the Lawyers, for your mid­wiues liue by the agreement betweene partie and partie, & the falling in of louers, but the Lawyers liue by the fal­ling out of friendes.

Pet:

I pray sir what may she be worth?

Flo.

Worth? let me see, shee hath three yellow pere­wigs of her own: she hath a Fan with a short siluer handle about the length of a Barbors siringe; she has a Looking-glasse too, but that has plaid the prodigall Cittizen with her, tis broken, and much other goods of the same na­ture.

Sp.

But come Signior, how will you woe her?

Pet.

I will tell her she is so wise, that neither age nor time could cousen her of beautie.

Fl,

And by my faith that will doe well.

Pet.

I will tell her that I loue her most for the whitenes of her skin.

Fl:

But you may not say the sweetnes of her breath, for that stinks.

Pet.

I will praise the smalnes of her fingars.

Fl.

But I assure you, you may better praise the length of her nailes.

Pet.

I am affraide that being olde shee has a drye hand.

Fl,

Thats certaine, but she has a very moiste nose, you may praise her for that: but my Gallants why are ye such strangers at our little Court?

Sp:

Because thy Ladies liue like the Beadles of Bride­well.

Fl,

How's that sir?

Sp:

By the sinnes of the people.

Ruff.

They say the Lord Piso, hath bin a good Clyent to thy elder Ladie of late.

Fl,

The more foole hee? why your good Client is but [Page] like your studdie gowne, sits in the colde himselfe, to keep the Lawyer warme.

Sp.

And what fees hast thou out of their trade?

Fl,

Faith my fee's are like a puny Clarkes, a penny a sheete.

Sp,

How a peny a sheete?

Fle,

Why, if any lie with them a whole night, I make the bed ith' morning, and for that I haue two pence, and that's a peny a sheete.

Ruff,

What Gallants vse to come to your house?

Fl:

All sortes, all nations, and all trades: there is first Maister Gallant your Britaine, Maister Metheglins your Welchman, Mounsieur Mustroome the Frenchman: Signi­or Fumada the Spaniard, Maister Oscabath the Irishman: and Maister Shamrough his Lackey, O and Maister Slopdra­gon the Dutchman. Then for your Trades-men, there comes first Maister Saluberrimum the Phisitian, Maister Smooth the Silk-man, Maister Thimble the Taylor, Maister Blade the Cutler, and Maister Rowell the Spurrier: but Maister Match the Gunner of Tower-hill comes often; he has taught my Ladies to make fire-workes, they canne deale in Chambers alreadie, as well as all the Gunners that make am flye off with a traine at Lambeth, whē the Maior and Aldermen land at Westminster: but come Signior, you haue Tobacco, and ile giue you a Cup of Muld-sacke and weele ene goe drinke a health to our Mistresses.

Exeunt.
Finis Act. Tertii.

Actus Quartus.

Enter the two Ladies Piso and Knight, and Fromaga one way: Sparke, Ruffell, Petoune and Fleire an­other way.
Flo:

Health to our best esteemed friends, Maister Spark and Maister Ruffell.

Fel:

Our, good wishes euer waite vpon our best belooued friendes Maister Ruffell, and Maister Sparke.

Ambo:
[Page]

Wee both are much indebted to your Ladiships.

Fle:

Looke yee signior, thats she: whose loue meanes to assault your braines, since you haue blowne vp your owne sconce with Tobacco.

Pet.

As I am truely generous, shee's modest. Faire Mistris, you are so wise, that neither time nor age could euer cousen you of beautie, and I sweare euen by the Alpes high heauen-touching tops, the trauelers narrowe passage, and by the towring head of high mount Chiego, the Sea-mās southward marke: by these the witnesses vnto my trauell, I doe vow that you are passing fayre.

From:

If I be not faire sir, I must be foule.

Pet:

A Foule Lady? what bird might that be?

Fro:

A foule Ladie? y'are a sawcy Iacke to call mee so, that you are.

Pet.

O be not angry, for I protest I cannot but commend the whitenes of your skin.

From:

Mary muffe, I thinke a be a Tanner, and meanes to buy me for my skin.

Pet:

Gods mee; shee's angrie, what shall I doe now Signior?

Fle.

To her agen man, doe not leaue her, the Moone is now vpon change, she will turne.

Pet:

I pray you Ladie knowe mee by the title of some kindenes.

From.

Kindenes; faith sir you are mistaken in mee, you must seeke your flurts some other where, and I pra'y come not to make a foole of me: alas man though I am a waiting­woman▪ do not think I spend my time in nothing but tem­pering of colours, working of drawn-worke, warming of Smockes, and pinning in of ruffes, faith yes.

Fle:

And you come to her Signior you must come to her as countrie Gentlewomen doe into the fashion, that is: in the taile and latter end on't.

From,

Faith I, and ye come to begin your knauerie on me, ile take you down: I am none of your young simpering waiting-women, that are asham'd to be counted proud, & therefore suffer euerie Seruingman to vse them at their [Page] pleasure.

Pet.

Now on my conscience Mistresse, my loue is honest, and I desire marriage.

Fro.

Indeed if you meane mariage, I am content to beare the more with you: but I pra'y sir, when shal we be maried? by my troth I aske you, because I haue beene so often de­ceiued, I warrant you I haue bin promised & dealt vpon promises in the way of mariage aboue an hundred times.

Pet.

At our next meeting we wil set down a day for the effecting of it.

Flo.

Gentlemen, we haue some small discourse which a little requires secrecie, therefore if it please ye to walke in, and make vse of our better roomes, wee will not long be absent from you.

Sp. & Ruf
With all our heartes.
Exeunt.
Manent two Ladies the Lord and Knight: Felicia, and the two Wenches disguised, hide themselues.
Flo.

Worthy Lord, doe not thinke immodestie in mee though contrarie to the bashfull habite of my sexe, I am inforc'd by loues almightie power, to reueale the se­cretes of my heart. Your Letters haue so much pre­uailed with mee, that in a worde I must confesse I loue you.

Fel.

Worthie Knight, I would my wordes had but the power so worke in you, that which your lines haue done in me, then should the happie consolation of my life dwell euer in your loues embracements.

Kni.

Assure ye Ladie, your gift of loue to mee shall bee deserued, though nothing but my liues deare breath re­quite its.

Piso.

And I will rather die a shamefull death, then liue a hatefull life, which I must do vnlesse I find a meanes that may deserue your loue.

Flo.

No we your tongue goes like a well tuned Instru­ment, and makes my heart within my bosome daunce with ioy to heare such large requitall of my loue: but duist you to maintaine this your affection, although it [Page] were with some daunger of your life?

Piso.

Durst I? I vowe, euen by my soules eternitie, I durst.

Flo:

Alas, if you knew all, t'is your owne good, not mine: and yet I lie, t'is my good too, since my life depends vpon your safetie.

Piso.

What is't deare Ladie? although it be the death of man, if it be pleasing vnto you Ile doo't.

Flo:

O let me embrace so deare a spirit in so deare a bo­some: and since you haue bound your selfe by promise, I will be plaine, there are two that hate you two, because wee loue you, and often haue perswaded vs by giftes and large protestations to haue vs loue them if they kil'd you.

Piso:

What vs?

Kni:

Who wee?

Flo:

Nay t'is too true; for while you liu'd, they said there was no hope for them to looke for any loue from vs: nowe wee poore sillie women, fearing least they without consent of vs, should doe that which their ha­tred doth intend, wee thinke it fitte preuention first be vsed, by giuing them to drinke of what themselues haue brude.

Piso:

First murther them.

Fel.
True, so shall ye then be sure,
T'inioy our loues, we yours, and liue secure.
Piso.

But what are they Ladies?

Flo.

Sparke.

Fel.

And Ruffell.

Pis:

They die for't though they were my fathers sons.

Kni.

They shall not liue.

Piso:

Let little children feare the shallow Brookes, for I can swim though't be through Seas of blood; let foolish feare goe dwell with women, for bloodie resolution shall not part from me, Ile kill them both euen with mine owne hands, Ile doo't.

Flo.

O no▪ Ile reueale it then, vnlesse you first do swear and take a Sacrament, what euer hap to keepe our names vntoucht.

Piso

Vntoucht? weele doo't.

Fel.
[Page]

Then for the meanes:

Kni:

Weele stabb them.

Piso:

Weele fight with them.

Flo:

No, so you may misse them, and they kill you.

Fel:

Giue them a Figg.

Flo:

Make them drinke their last.

Fel.

Poyson them:

Piso

But for the meanes.

Flo:

You two shall make a banquet, and in a cuppe of Wine a health shall passe.

Piso:

In which ile mingle mingle such a dram, as they shall ride to heauen in post, vnlesse they misse the way.

Kni.

But where shall we get the poyson? because you knowe t'is daungerous, and will breede suspect where ere wee buy it.

Piso.

I haue a Countrey-man in towne an Apothecarie, one Signeur Aluino, a fellow that is well stor'd, and will sell me of the best.

Nan:

If a were of my minde, a would thinke no poyson too good for you.

Flo

Come then, I would haue you goe about the prepa­ration of the feast.

Exeunt.
Fle,

Now boyes, you haue a couple of goodly maisters,

Nan.

I Fleir, and thou hast a couple of vertuous Mistres­ses, O they are a couple of damn'd peeces, that will plot or counsell the death of two such worthie Gentle­men.

Su.

For one of them the earth did neuer beare a wor­thier creature.

Nan:

Which is that?

Su,

Which is that? Why sister, haue you so oft confest that his all perfection'd spirit poyntes him out for ver­tue herselfe to imitate, and yet doy' aske now which is that?

Fle,

Howe? sister, nay now I smell you yfaith, doy' heare, doy' heare, whose Fidlers are you two? what In­struments do you beare I pra'y?

Nan.

You haue tolde a wise tale, fayth fir wee carrie none.

Fl:
[Page]

T'is true my little musitians, you carry but the cases my little curtals, yfaith I smell a smock heere too, and are you two wenches yfaith?

Nan:

If we were, I hope thou wouldest not wrong vs.

Fl:

No, as I am true Italian borne.

Su:

Then tis true, wee confesse to thee wee are both wenches, and the loue of these two Gentlemen, Sparke and Ruffel hath made vs leaue our selues to waite on them which by misfortune we did misse.

Fle.

But beleeue me my little Gallants, yee play the Boyes well.

Na.

Well? why ile tell thee, I haue plaid the boy so long as I am chang'd into the nature of a boy, ile goe to span­counter with any page in Europe, for his best garters I can tell baudie tales, drinke drunke, brag, sweare, and lye with any Lackie in the towne.

Su:

I can man a punck to a play, or slaunder any Gentle­woman as well as anie Innes a Court puny, I can as well as he, sweare such a Lady is in loue with me, and such a Citti­zens Daughter would haue come to bed to mee, when all shall be as true as thy Ladies are honest.

Na

I wonder thoult liue in such a sinfull place.

Su:

Thy Ladies are as common as any Tauerne doore.

Fl.

Good comparisons, for a man comes no sooner into a Tauerne, but hees welcome, and the operation of the pot makes him not able to stand when he comes out.

Na,

But what shall we doe in this matter?

Su.

Doe? Why complaine them to the Magistrates, and preuent the murder.

Fl,

No, not so, ile tell you how't shall bee, harke in your eares.

Both:
Doe it and we shall euer thanke thee.
Come lets about it then.
Exeunt.
Enter Signior Alunio the Apotheearie in his shop with wares about him.
Al.

Whats this? O this is Arringus; this makes the old man able, and the young man lustie, strengthneth the [Page] nerues & doth concoct the bloud, and her name is written on the box, because my wife should knowe it in my ab­sence: this is Ciuet, this comes from the Cats taile, I would my were such a Cat: this perfumes your Ladies, and not without cause, for some, I meane whose sweet breath is dead, and teeth mourne in blacke for the losse on't this makes your young Gallants smell them nine daies before they see them, like young poops: this drug is pretious & deere; whats this? O this is the sptrit of roses, nineteene bushels and a halfe of Roses make but an ounce, & a dram on't, tis made of the Quinressence of the water after the fifteenth distillation: none may kisse a Ladie after shee hath annointed her lips with this, vnder the degree of a Lord at least, tis worth nine poundes an ounce, yet I could neuer still it so.

Enter Fleire disguised.
Fle.

Saue you Signior.

Alu:

Y`are welcome sir, what doe ye lacke?

Fel.

I want a seruice, and am by my profession an Apo­thecarie, and shall be glad to be intertained by you.

Alu:

What countrie man art thou?

Fle.

I am a Florentine borne.

Alu,

Thou art my Countrie man, and therefore welcom and in happie time, for I am bound for Italy, and want a man to take charge of my Shop, onely this is all: I shall re­quire of you, bee carefull of your cares, and obedient to your Mistresse.

Fle.

I shall remember still not to forget what you giue me in charge.

Alu.

What is thy name?

Fle,

Iacomo.

Alu:

Well Iacomo, if I finde thee honest thou shalt find me liberall.

Fle.

I would be loath to be found otherwise.

Alu:

Continue so, I prethee, and so farwell Iaques, but ile enforme my wife before I goe to respect thee according to thy merrit.

Exit.
[Page] Enter Piso and Knight.
Fle.

Now come away my Customers, I hope I am fitted for an Apothecary▪ s'hart I thinke ime turnd coniurer, for I haue no sooner cal'd▪ but the Deuils are appeared, what do yee lacke Gentlemen?

Pis.

Where's your Maister fellow?

Fle.

My Maister is gone into Italie sir, but if you want any thing, ile vse you well, if you want any drugs to make Lotiums, any Restringent Powders, anie Aqua Mirabilis, any Cordiall receipts, or anie Pretious poysons?

Kni.

What poysons haue you?

Fle.

Excellent good sir, as euer was tasted, looke you sir, this poysons by the smell, this by the sight, and this by the tastes.

Pis,

Come giue mee some of this that poysons by the taste, but how must I vse it?

Fl,

Put it into a little wine, and drinke it, twill bring you into a long sleepe.

Pis.

But art sure twill poyson a man?

Fle.

Am I sure on't? why tak't vpon my credit, twil poi­son any vermine, except it be a woman, for twill poyson a Cat sir.

Kni,

Why a Cat hath nine liues sir, and wilt not poyson a woman, seeing twill poyson a Cat?

Fl.

O no, why a woman hath nine Cats liues, a woman hath more liues then a horse hath diseases, and she wil bee sometimes in as many mindes in an houre, as shee has liues.

Pis,

What times are those?

Fl.

When shee's left a rich Marchants Widdow, com­monly, and hath many suiters, she will in her minde marrie three or foure and fiftie of a'm in an afternoone, and three­score more, when she goes to bed, yet in the morning sheele haue none of them all, but goe to Church before day, and marry her Prentice for the good seruice a did her in her Husbands time.

Pis,

VVell, but whats the price of your poyson?

Fl.

Theres an ounce will cost you a French crowne sir.

Kni:
[Page]

Tis verie deere.

Fle.

O sir tis verie cheape, considering the goodnesse on't.

Pis.

Yea? is there good in ill?

Fl,

O sir, I, in many thinges the better the worser.

Kni.

As how?

Fle:

As in poyson, or in a punck, for the better whore the worser woman euer.

Pis,

Well honest fellowe, there's thy money and far­well.

Exit
Fle:

I thanke you sir, I haue sold you a poyson my old elders, twil make an [...] sleep indeede, and I thank God that's the worst twill doe, well, farwell Maister Apothecarie. I must now like a friend intreate your shop to haue a special care of it selfe.

Exit.
Enter Sparke, Ruffell and Petoune.
Ruff,

And shall wee dine with this Honorable Lord, & Knight to day?

Spa,

Theile take it vnkindely else.

Ruff,

Signior will you goe?

Pet▪

Not I, I was not bid.

Ruff,

Thats all one, shalt be my guest.

Sp,

Come, a shall goe, for there will bee his Mistresse Madam Fromaga.

Ruff,

Nay then I knowe the Iet of her complexion will draw the straw of his loue thither.

Sp.

Faith I, poore Signior, I see the Springle of her beau­tie hath alreadie caught the Woodcocke of his affections.

Pet,

Wel, I see he that wil haue the commoditie of good wits in his companie, must indure the discommoditie of ieastes, wit is like the heate of blood in youth 'twil breake out.

Ruff,

True Signior, though it bee but on a Scab, but come shall we goe?

Pet:

I my Heroique spirits, ile followe yee.

Exeunt.

Actus Quintus.

Enter Petoune one way, and Nan the Page another way.
Nan,

O Signior Petoune, what newes?

Pet.

Faith ill newes, the two Florentine Ladies, with Maister Sparke and Maister Ruffell were all poysoned yest­erday at a feast by your Lord Piso and the Knight, but the Ladies haue recouered their health, but Sparke and Ruffell are dead, and their burial is committed to Fleire: your Lord & the Knight are committed to prison, & shal to morrow be arraign'd for the murther, and tride by the Ciuill-lawe, because your Lord is a stranger, and claimes to be tride by the law of nations.

Nan:

Faith Signior I am very sorry for my Lord.

Pet,

I protest sir so am I for them both.

Nan,

Well Signior ile commit you to God.

Pet,

Let the whole band of Angels be centinells to your safetie sweet sir.

Exeunt.
Enter Fleire at one doore: and a Seruingman at another.
Fle,

I pray sir doth Iustice Ferrio dwell heere?

Ser,

Yes sir a dwells heere.

Fl.

Are you towards him sir?

Ser.

I am a poore Gentleman, whose fortunes much de­pend vpon his fauours, and indeede sir I am his Clarke.

Fle.

I pray sir your name.

Seru.

My name is Mittimus sir.

Fle,

Good Maister Mittimus I would very willinglie speake with your Maister.

Ser.

Indeede sir hee's not well, but if you please to send by me the substance of your busines I shall very carefullie deliuer it.

Fle,

Truely Maister Mittimus my businesse is but this: to morrow the Italian Lord, and Sir Iohn Haue-little are to [Page] be araign'd, and your maister beeing the chiefe Iudge of the Court, without this presence or licence, the rest can do nothing: wherefore Doctor Caius intreates to know his pleasure in this businesse.

Mitti:

Sir I shall deliuer your message, and will returne his answere to you presently.

Fle:

Good maister Mittimus therein shall you much obleige me to be thankfull.

O all-directing power yeeld good aspect,
And to my purpose giue a blessed ende,
My intent is good, O let it so succeede,
And be auspicious still to each good deede.
Ente: Seruingman with a Ring.
Ser:

Sir my maister hath receiued your message, & hath sent this Ring as a token to Doctor Caius, desiring him, since my maisters health will not permit him to be present, to proceede alone to iudgement, and so commends his loue to him.

Fle:

Good maister Mittimus, I shall both deliuer your maisters commendations, and the Ring.

Exeunt seuerally.
Enter Lord Piso with a Torch, a Night-cap, and his Doublet open: In prison.
Piso.
Still tonguelesse night put off thy sable robe,
Thou needs not mourne, my villanies were done

By day, thou hadst no hand in them, O I am great, as is a woman that is neare her time:

And life's the burthen that I beare.
But t'is a bastard for that I am asha'md on't.

The Law I hope is a skilfull midwife, and will soone deli­uer me; grim Iustice doe thy worst,

Thy crueltie shall prooue a curtesie,
And baile me out of prison.

Lie there thou selfe-consuming Taper, true patern of my life, I haue consumde my selfe for others, as thou hast done for mee, and nowe shee has extinguisht my life as I this light.

[Page] O how obedient was my bountie, still
To her commaund? my liberalitie
Did fatten mischiefe, and hath made her prowde:
O that too much of any thing shuld be so ill in euery thing
The Suns all seeng eye, with too much vntemperate heate makes wither what it made to flourish.
The earth being mother to all wholsome hearbes,
With too much fatnesse oft produceth weedes.
A sute of cloath doth keepe the bodie warme,
When richer garments makes the wearer proude.
O, the meanes the sweetest Musicke;
Contentment reuels when that string is toucht;
But O, the time will come she will repent
My death: for when she lookes on vices face
Vnmaske like mine; she will detest and loath it.
For this is truth and euermore hath bin,
None can forsake before he knowes his sinne.
Exit.
Enter Fleir, Sharke, and Ruffell.
Fle.

Come, come, thou didst but dreame thou wert in hell.

Sp:

I tell thee I was in hell.

Ruff.

And so was I too, Ile be sworne.

Fle.

And how long was't ere thou camest thither?

Sp.

Me thought t'was long, as long as a suit hangs here in the Law ere it be ended.

Fle:

But I prethee how broad was the way to hell?

Sp:

As broad as the space between two lines in a Chaun­cerie bill.

Fle.

O sir, there's the conscience on't, say the Plaintiffe be in one line, and the defendant in an other, they being ene­mies, wer't either conscience or honestie in the Clearke to thrust them no neare togither, that they might goe to­gither by th'eares? but yfaith what good fellowship was there in hell?

Sp:

O the diuels are excellent companions, theile drink your Dutch captains, or Court Ladies spunges.

Fle:
[Page]

Who didst see there?

Sp.

Faith I saw the foure sonnes of Aymon, and they were Porters euer since there was a companie made of am.

Fle.

Why are there a companie of Porters in hell?

Sp,

O I, the Diuels are but our Apes man.

Fle,

But didst thou see more of them that were damn'd▪

Sp.

Yes, I sawe a Citizen damn'd for refusing a de­sperate debt, because t'was tendred him on a Sabboth.

Fle,

I hope wee shall haue no more Citizens damn'd for that fault.

Spar.

There was a poore mercinarie woman damn'd because shee forsooke her Trade, and turnd Puri­tane.

Fle.

And good reason, why coulde not shee haue kept her Trade, and beene a Puritane, as well as a Puritane keepe her Religion, and yet bee of her Trade?

Spar.

There was a Ladie damn'd because shee neuer painted: a Puritane for saying Grace without turning vppe the white of his eyes: A Tailer for neuer ha­uing scabbie fingers: A Vintner for making greate two pennie-woorths of Sugar. But there was a Innes of Court man damn'd, and I was sorie for him.

Fle.

Why was he damn'd?

Sp:

Alas for a small fault.

Fle.

I prethe what wast?

Spar:

For hauing alwayes money in his purse.

Fle.

Were there no Lawyers in hell?

Spar.

There were none of your great Lawyers as your Serieants, and Benchers, for they take counsaile of too manie good Angells to come there: but your young punie Lawyers, they were in swarmes like Gnats in Summer.

Fle,

Why are there so manie of them there?

Sp.

Alas man they seldom conuerse with a good Angell scarce once in a whole Michaelmasse Tearme, and if a come a stayes not long with am to feede these soules, for they are faine to sende am away strayght to [Page] pay for the feeding of their Horses, there was a Chamber­maide damb'd for keeping her virginitie till shee was mar­ryed, and there were many Soldiers damb'd for saying their prayers when they were drunke.

Fl:

But what didst thou see in hell?

Ruff,

O, I sawe a Scriuener damb'd for procuring a Gentleman money Gratis, but I came in an excellent time.

Fle,

What time wa'st?

Ruff,

In a gossipping time, for Proserpina was newllie brought a bed of two twins.

Fl:

Two twins! what were they?

Ruff,

A Sergeant and a Yeoman, but shee has put them out to nurse.

Fle,

I prithee where?

Ruff:

Faith at the Counter in Wood-street, and the slaues will sucke alreadie like little Horsleaches.

Fl:

But when will she haue am home, that shee may be rid of am.

Ruff:

Faith shee's an vnnaturall Mother, shee cares not greatlie if they neuer come home, but the deuill their Fa­ther hee loues am well, heele haue am home againe ere long.

Fle:

Which is the elder Brother?

Ruff,

O the Sergeant, the Deuill allowes him the bet­ter maintenance, for hee has more to the dressing of his meate.

Fle.

Well, Gentlemen, since by the heauens pleasure I haue bin appointed to saue your liues, let mee intreate you to keepe your selues secret till the sequell of this act­ion shall neede your presence.

Ruff,

Come lets goe, weele onely follow your directi­ons.

Exeunt.
[Page] Enter two Iudges with their traine, and sit downe.
Iaylor.

VVil't please yee haue the prisoners brought foorth?

Caius.

VVee can doe nothing till wee heare from Doctor Ferrio, to knowe his pleasure in these procee­dings.

2. Iudges.

Was any man sent to him?

Caius,

Yes, Fleire, the Lady Floridaes man, which is not yet returned.

Enter a Iaylor.
Iaylor,

Reuerend Iudges: heere's a Doctor at doore de­sires admittance.

Caius,

Intreate him to come in.

Enter Fleire like a Doctor.
Fle,

Learned Doctors, Doctor Ferrio commends him to you, and because sicknesse hath laide so strong a hand vpon his weake decrepit bodye, which dooth detayne his presence, hee intreates you to accept of mee in his place, and as assurance of his earnest desire thereof, he has sent this well knowne ring as a token to you.

Caius.

Sir, wee knowe the ring and you are verie wel­come, and so I pra'y assume his place.

Iaylor,

Is it your pleasure the Prisoners be brought footh.

Caius,

I, both of them.

Enter Piso Knight, two Ladies, two wenches, Nan and Sue, Pe­toune, Fromaga.
Caius.

My Lord, you are heere indited of a hatefull crime, & I am verie sorry to see you in this sort stand here.

Pis.
[Page]

Thrice Reuerend Iudges, and therefore honored Lords, I must confesse, that like a skilfull dancer, I haue truely footed folly, yet like a learner in my course of life, trod much out of measure, I haue liu'd like an vnbackt colt proud and wanton, my tree of life hath borne more leaues then fruite, I neuer was deboash'd & steard away my daies enen in a sea of sinne.

Caius,

And in, that sea my Lord, you bore so great a saile as you haue ouer set your barke of life, and heere you are accused my Lord, euen of a hatefull crime, so is the Knight there for poisoning two Gentlemen, Sparke and Ruffell, how doe you answere this my Lord?

Pis.

Alas my Lord, this is soone answered, for though that I haue surfeited on sinne, yet haue I not bin drunke with blood.

Caius:

What say you Knight?

Kni:

The crime is great I must confesse my Lord, but I am sure the proofe can be but little.

Cai:

Ladies you know moste, and therefore tis fittest most you speake.

Fl.

Why then my Lord, this is all we can say, this Lord and knight feasted diuers of vs their friendes, but foure of vs he drench'd with such a dramme which soone made two discharge the debt they owd to nature.

Pis.

O conscience wonldst thou giue me leaue!

Fal:

And wee no doubt my Lordes, had long ere this breath'd out our liues like them, but that we had the lesser quantisie, for being esteemed the weaker vessels, they thought the lesser blow would breake vs.

Kni:

O had not death arrested me.

Fle:

VVhy then my Lord, wee thus must now proceede, they that spilt innocent blood themselues must bleed; but Ladies I haue heard you had a man cald Fleire, what's be­come of him?

Flo:

He was sent to Doctor Ferrio, and we neuer saw him since.

Fl,

Doe you know his hand Ladies?

Fel.

Very well.

Fle.

I pray looke heere then.

Flo:
[Page]

This is his hand indeede.

Fel.

I very perfectly doe know it to be his.

Fle

Why then vppon this hand I heare arrest you both, vpon your liues.

Both.

Who, wee?

Fle,

I, you Ladies, my Lord I pray you, reade this letter.

Cai:

Reuerend Iudges, God wil by some meanes punish euerie sinne, and though against my will, yet by my consci­ence I am enforced to vnmaske my Ladies vilianies, the murther for which the Lord and Knight are like to die, was first plotted by them: the two Pages with my selfe did heare it: the Prisoners in this action, are inforc't by Sacra­ment to be secret, and thus intreating heauen in Iustice, still to ayde you.

Yours Fleere a Florentine.
Caius

Is this true my Lord?

2, Iudg,

They are sworne not to reueale it,

Fle.

But being reueald they may affirme it.

Both:

Tis too true my Lord.

Fle,

Where are the Pages?

Both,

Heere my Lord.

Fle.

How say you boyes to this letter?

Both,

The letter speakes nothing but the truth.

Fle:

Wel Ladies, then we heere pronounce this sentence that you must die among the rest.

Flo,
You powers deuine, I know doe plainely see,
Heauens starrie eyes sees all our villanie:
And God in Iustice murther will reueale,
But were I now, my life for to beginne,

Ide be an honest wife to you, wherefore forgiue me deerest Lord.

Pis,
Lady, I doe euen as I hope to be forgiuen.
Fel.
Show mercy heauen, my sinnes doe thee offend,
Theres none can say hee's happie till his end;
Forgiuenesse Knight, and since the law on vs,
Hath laid so strickt a hand, O let me be
Thy wife before I die, and were I now
A thousand yeares to liue, I would be honest
Louing none but thee.
Kni.
[Page]

I doe forgiue you Lady with my soule.

Enter a Messenger with Letters to Piso.
Mes.

Long liue my honored Lord and mighty Duke of Florence.

Pis,

So a will, as long as't please the Hang-man.

Mes,

My honored Lord, your Father is deceased, and the state of Florence by me hath sent their Letters and al­legiance.

Pis.

Let them call backe the banisht Signior Antifront whome they & we, and al haue wrong'd: O could I liue but to inquire him out, in satisfaction of his wronges, ide marry his eldest Daughter, and whilst a liu'd a should be restored to his estate, but O hee's—

Fleire showes himselfe to be Antifront,
Fle.
Heere my Lord.
I taxe you to your word, Signior Antifront yet liues,
And heeres his elder Daughter whome himselfe
But now condemn'd to die: and heeres the younger
Left for you, the poisoned men are heere a liue againe,
Who did but dreame of death, but yet doe
Liue t' enrich a nuptiall bed to you two,
And now since euerie thing so well doth sort,
Let all be pleas'd in this our comicke sport,
Where's Petoune? he shal haue his Mistris too,
He most deserues, for he did hotly woe,
If we part friendes, your hands vnto vs lend,
What was not well, weele next striue to amend.
Exeunt. Omnes
FINIS.

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