Wit in a constable A comedy written 1639. The author Henry Glapthorne. And now printed as it was lately acted at the Cock-pit in Drury lane, by their Majesties Servants, with good allowance.
Glapthorne, Henry.
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WIT IN A Constable.

A Comedy written 1639.


And now Printed as it was lately Acted at the Cock-pit in Drury lane, by their Majesties Servants, with good allowance.

LONDON: Printed by Io. Okes, for F. C. and are to be sold at his shops in Kings-street at the signe of the Goat, and in Westminster Hall. 1640.

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To the Right Honourable his singular good Lord THOMAS LORD WENTWORTH.


SO many are the no∣ble attributes inhe∣rent to your Heroicke Nature, that 'tis diffi∣cult to distinguish whi∣ther they be divers, or one intire vir∣tue, but impossible to define which ought to be accounted the Superlative in so perfect a Harmony: to ascribe to one more then to another, were to dero∣gate Page  [unnumbered] from the justice of either. I can∣not therefore proclaime 'twas any par∣ticular, but your generall Goodnesse which has imboldn'd me to intrude this Poem on the Patronage of your Name, as honourable in vertue as in Greatnesse: nor shall I tender any ex∣cuse for the presumption, since I am assured your Lordship cannot conceive an anger from the true devotion of

Your humblest honourer, Hen: Glapthorne.

Page  [unnumbered]


YOu need not feare me Gentlemen, although
I come thus arm'd; tis but to let you know
I am in office; in my owne defence,
And to secure me from the violence,
Which might from you (who now my Iudges sit)
Be off'red to this Trophee of my wit:
And cause I know that you will obay
Authority, I doe charge you, like the Play:
Thinke who I am, how often I may catch
You at ill houres in Tavernes, or ith' Watch;
In Fraies sometimes; nay sometimes (not to trench
Too much upon you) with a pretty wench.
All this is possible, and Gentlemen,
Consider how my rage will use you then,
If you should now, as sure tis worth your feare,
Be in the censure of my wit seuere,
Vext I' me implacable; and though the Tribe
Of Constables doe us't, Ile take no bribe
To let you passe: These sturdy knaves will take
Not the least mercy on you for my sake:
Nor will the Iustice free you: (to your smart)
You'le find, he and his Clarke will take my part.
I can but gently warne you to prevent
A danger, nay a certaine punishment,
Should you dislike: for if the Play doe fall
Vnder your votes, Ile apprehend you all.


ARe you resolv'd yet Gentlemen? I am
In earnest haste of Towne-affaires, and came
To know your minds: how's that? there's one I spye
That will dislike, to th' Counter instantly
With him; intreat Sir, shall not prevaile,
Nor shall you thike to come out upon baile.
For in this case (believe it) I'de not spare
(Though the sword were borne before him) my Lord Major;
Nor should the Court of Aldermen reprieve
For such a fct, my good friend Master Shreive.
If so severe to them then, who by vow,
Are my owne bretheren? what will become of you?
I have consider'd; and will now commit
To your free votes the Cenures of my wit.
For though their dulnesse (whom I've threatned) may
Dislike (you'ave wit) and will allow the play.
Page  [unnumbered]

The Persons in the Play.

  • Thorow good, a young Gentleman, sutor to Clare.
  • Valentine his friend, a sutor to Grace.
  • Knowell their friend.
  • Sir Timothy Shallowit, a Country Knight.
  • Sir Geffery Hold-fast, a Knight of Epping.
  • Jeremy Hold-fast, his Sonne.
  • Alderman Covet.
  • Busie, a Linnen Draper, the Constable.
  • Tristram, servant to Jeremy Hold-fast.
  • Formal, servant to Alderman Covet.
  • A Parson.
  • Foure watch-men.
  • Clare, neece to Alderman Covet.
  • Grace, his Daughter.
  • Maudlin, servant to Clare.
  • Nel, daughters to Busie.
  • Fidlers boy, Drawer, Attendants.

The Scene London.

Page  [unnumbered]

VVit in a Constable.

Actus primus, Scena prima.

Enter Holdfast, Tristram.
DID you ere we departed from the Colledge
Orelooke my library?
Yes sir, I spent two dayes in sorting Poets from Historians,
As many nights in placing the divines
On their owne chayres, I meane their shelves, and then
In separating Philosophers from those people
That kill men with a license: your Physitians
Cost me a whole dayes labour, and I finde sir,
Although you tell me learning is immortall,
The paper and the parchment, tis contayn'd in,
Savors of much mortality.

I hope my bookes are all in health.

In the same case the Mothes have left them, who have eaten more
Authenticke learning then would richly furnish
A hundred country pedants; yet the wormes
Are not one letter wiser.
I have beene idle
Since I came up from Cambridge, goe to my stationer
And bid him send me Swarez Metaphysickes,
Page  [unnumbered]Tolet de anima is new forth,
So are Granadus commentaries on
Primui seundae Thomae Aquinatis,
Get me the Lyricke Poets. And —
I admire
How he retaines these Auhors names, of which
He understands no sillable, 'twere better
I bought the Authenticke Legend of Sir Bevis,
Some six new Ballads and the famous Poems
Writ by the learned waterman.

Iohn Taylor, get me his nonsense.


You meane all his workes sir.


And a hundred of Bookers new Almanacks.

And the divell to boot,
Your fathers bookes in which he keeps th accounts
Of all his coyne will scarce yield crowns to afford
Your fancy volums: why you have already
Enough to furnish a new Vatican,
A hundred country pedants can read dictats
To their young pupills out of Setons logicke,
Or Golius Ethicks, and make them arrive,
Proficients learn'd enough in one bare twelmonth
To instruct the parish they were borne in: you
Out of an itch to this same foolish learning
Bestow more money yearely upon bookes:
Then would for convert sisters build an almes-hose.

You will displease my patience Tristram.

I speake truth: if you shud want, your learning scarce would make you
Capable of being town Cleark, or at best,
To be a famous Tyrant unto boyes,
And weare out birch upon them: or perchance
you may arrive to be the City Poet,
And fnd the little moysture of your braine
To grace a Lord Maiors festivall with showes,
Alluding to his trade, or to the company
Of which he's free, these are the best preferments
That can attend your learning.
I say Tristram, the spirit of my learning stirs me up
Page  [unnumbered]To give thee due correction.
Would you study? as does young Thorowgood your noble Cosen,
Not bookes, but men which are true living volums:
You would like him, be held rich ith' esteeme
Of all the illustrious wits that decke the city
When the extent of your admirers is
Confinde to fresh men: and such youths as only
Know how to frame a syllogisme in Darij,
And make the ignorant believe by Logicke
The Moones made of a Holland Cheese: and the man in't.
A swagbellied Dutch Burger
Intras Thorowgood.
Cosen Holdfast, a good day attend
Thy learned piamater: prithee tell me
How doe the Cabalists and antient Rabbins
And thou agree? will they be sociable,
And drinke their mornings draught of Helicon
With thee: have they instructed you to prove yet
That the world runs on wheeles? or that the sea
May be drunke off by a shole of Whales? such things
You know there are in nature.

O far stranger.

Peace you booke-worme,
Fit only to devour more paper then
A thousand grand tobacco men or a legion
Of boyes in pellets to their elderne gunnes.
Dost thinke to live this life still? you're not now
Amongst your eues at Cambridge, but in London,
Come up to see your mistris beautious Clare,
The glory of the city: goe and court her,
As does become a gentleman of carriage,
Without your Tropes and figures Inkehorne termes,
Fit only for a Mountebanke or Pedant,
Or all your Physickes Metaphysickes and Meteors,
(Tomes larger farre and more repleate with lies,
Then Surius, Gallo-Belgcus, or the welsh
Bard Geffrey Monmouth) shl be straight-way made
Pitifull Martyrs.

Why cosen I had thought.

Page  [unnumbered]
Thy selfe an errant ideot, that's the fittest
Thought for thy braine more dull then a fat Burgers,
Or reverend countrey justices, whose wit
Lies in his spruce clearkes standish, thou wert begot
Surely ith' wane oth' Moone, when natures tooles
Were at lame Vulcans forge a sharpening, thou art so lumpish.
He has already spoyld
His eyes with prying on Geneva prints,
And small dutch Characters: his watching makes him
Looke like a grand-child of old Errapaters,
Some leane Astronomer, who to get ten shillings,
For that's a large price for an Almanacke,
Has wasted himselfe to the bignesse of his Iaccobs staffe,
Which is so limber, 't cannot stand to take height of Venus rising.
He sayes truth: besides your study has attain'd already,
Learning enough to informe your minde the knowledge
Of arts fit for a gentleman, wert not better
For you my sprightfull senior to advance
Your bever with a hatband of the last
Edition in the Court, among the noblest
Youthes of our nation, then to walke like Faustus,
Or some high German conjurer, in a cap
Fit for a Coster-monger, to weare your purle
Or cut worke, band then this small ••ip of linning
That's proper only for Tom Thum: or some of queen Mabs gen∣tlemen-ushers.

This Cassocke were a pretty garment for a fortuneteller.

And this cloake of tinder comely for a ballad-seller,
Life sir, you are borne here to an ample fortune,
Your father absent knowes not how you've altered
Your disposition: I must reclayme it,
Thou shalt with me and court the beauteous Clare
Reserv'd for thee, a purpose ith' meane time,
Our chiefe companions, shall be wits more pure,
Then your quicke sophisters, or lie logicians,
Wee'l talke of the bright beauties of the age,
Girles whose each looke deserves to be a theme
For all the nimble poets, two dayes practise
Page  [unnumbered]In our brave arts will teach thee to forget
Philosophy as fruitlesse and abjure
All other Ethicks, but what's usd mongst us, as most erronious▪
Well You shall perswade me, Ile be an errant asse, or any thing
For thy sake coz, but shall we have such wenches
As are at Cambridge, hansome as peg Larkin.
O farre before her, cosen thou shalt read
Areius Politicks; and Ovds Art,
Shall be new read, thee and wee will refine
Thy Academicke wit with bowles of wine.

Tristram shall toth' Colledge and sell my bookes imme∣diately.


Speake like the son of Phoebus and my cosen.


My studious master.


Sell thy Dictionary.


Ile not keepe a prayer booke.


They are out of fashion.

Nor a Calender, to looke the age oth' Moone in, Trist. be sure
You burne Geens groats worth of wit; I scorne to keepe
The name of wit about me.
Tis confest sir, but for the numerous Rhemes of paper, which
Are pil'd up in your study, give them mee,
I have a brother in law ith' towne's a cooke,
Ile give them him to put under his bake meates.
Take them: I will not leave a pen within my lodging,
I will forget to write, or set my hand to any thing.

Unlesse 't be to a bond.

Ile goe put this blest designe in execution,
Cosen anon ile meet you at your chamber.
What in that reverend shape? the gentlemen
That I converse with, will believe thee some Itinerant
Scholler, have thee whipt by th' statute.

I would be loath, now I am past a fresh man to bee had into the buttries.

Still them termes? study to forget them, Ile send my
Man to you with a new suite of mine I never wore yet,
Be sure to put it on right, you mere Schollers
Know no degree of garment above Serge,
Or Satanisco: tie your band-strings neatly
And doe not eat the buttons off, put not
Page  [unnumbered]Your Cuffs both on one hand; twill tax your judgement
Of new inventing fashions when accoustred,
Come to my chamber, and Ile furnish you
With language fit to accost your mistris.
Rare, I've got more learning from him in halfe an houre,
Then in a whole lifes practise out of bookes.
Follow me Tristram, farewell deare cosen.
Ex. Hold. Trist.
How I could laugh now, were my spleen large enough: a
Hundred such lame stupid Ideots were enough, if marry'd,
To precise Burgers daughters to replenish
The city with a race of fooles, and root
The stocke of knaves quite out of it, he loves books:
Not that he has a scruple more of learning
Then will suffice him to say grace, but like
Some piteous cowards, who are oft thought valiant
For keeping store of weapons in their chambers,
He loves to be esteem'd a doctor by
His volumnes: but I shall fit his schollership: whose these?
Alderman Covets, Formall, byth' proportion:
Ent. Formal and Clare.
That rib of mans flesh should be Clare, dost heare
My honest Cadis garters: who for care
And close attendance on thy charge deserves
To be grand porter to the great Turkes Seraglia: how hight that vayl'd damsell?
She has been at Britins burse a buying pins & needle
To worke a night-cap for my master sir.

Pox upon him, is not her name Clare, niece to Alderman Covets


Her father was a country Squire of large revenew and her mother.

I shall be forc'd to heare him blaze her pedigree,
Ide beat him, but that clubs and paring shovells oth' city
Would be so busie abou my eares: they'd spoyle
My hearing two months after Gentle Lady
Pardon my error if I doe mistake, are not you mistris Clare?
Formall at last, would have resolv'd you, and I held my
Peace of purpose, cause I knew his slow discovery would vex
Your nimble patience
You are a Gipsie, but does thy unkles huour hold of wed∣ding
His daughter to sir Timothy.
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Yes, or to young monsieur Holdfast whom he sayes is
Learned enough to make Cheap-side a Colledge,
And all the City a new Academy, but have you
Thorowgood perform'd what I advis'd you to?
Yes, my girle: good Formall use thy motion to convay
Thy ears a little farther off, there's mony
To buy thee a new payre of garters: Clare
Thou shalt no more behold me in the garbe
And noble ornament I us'd to weare, my fashion shall be altred.
To the schoolars,
Young Holdfasts likenesse.
O by all meanes girle▪ thou shalt behold this comely hat transform'd
To frugall brim, and steeple crowne, this band
Of faire extent chang'd to a moderne cut,
Narrower then a precisians: all this gay
And gawdy silke I will convert to Serge
Of limber length: like some spruce student (newly
Exalted for saying grace well, to be fellow
Oth' Colledge he had studied) I will
Salute thy reverent Uncles spectacles,
And without feare of his gold chaine, ile woe thee
In metaphores and tropes Scholastick till
The doting Senator with a liberall hand give
Thee his dainty darling to become my spouse inseparable.

This suites well with my directions.

True girle true, farewell Clare,
I kisse thy white hand: Sir resume your charge,
I've done my errand: let not your old Sir Amiar
Know of this conference, if you doe, that twist
Of spinners thred, on which your life depends
Exe. Clare. & Formall.
Shall be shorne off like a horse mane. Farewell.

Mans life indeed is but a thred, good day sir.

Ent. Va∣lentine & Sir Timothy.

Attend your charge friend, Valentine, Sir Timothy.
You'r well incountred, may I inquire the affaire
Which happily has brought you up toth' City?
May I know it? is't not to purchase a Monopoly
For Salt and Herrings? for state businesse,
Unlesse it be to see the great new ship,
Page  [unnumbered]Or Lincolns Inne fields built: I'me sure you none here.

Very right sir.

But for thee: my noble man of merit, thou art welcome,
Weel be as kind to one another boy,
And witty as brisque poets in their wine,
Weel court the blacke browd beauties of the time,
And have by them the height of our desires: with ease accompli∣shed
Noble Thorowgood,
Did I not owne you by the name of friend,
Already these indearments would ingage me to beg that title.
Very right, and me too.
I know you for the most Egregious'knight
In all the country.

You sir, you've reason,


Very right▪ I am indeed esteem'd so.


One that live on Onions and Corne-sallets.

Right agen,
Sure he can conjure, I had one to my breakefast.
Nay no Herald
Can better blase your pedigree. I've heard
Your father my most worthy knight, was one
That died a knave to leave you so.

Passing right still.

And pray right witty, and right honor'd sir,
What may your businesse seeme to be ith' city.
Are you come up to learne new fashions?

Exceeding right agen.

To change this ancient garment to a new one
Of a more spruce edition.
Yes, but before,
For I am privie unto all's intentions,
He means to see and court his mistris.
Who's that? my doughty Impe of spur and sword,
Some faire Dulcina de Tobso.

No, tis Grace, daughter to Alderman Covet.

I doe commend thee my deare Don, and will
Be thy assistant, goe and see thy horse drest,
And then approach my chamber.

Very right, I kisse your fingers end.

Ex. Timothy.

Page  [unnumbered]
Doe you, Valentine, know
The Lady he intends to Court.
Onely by report,
Which speakes her most accomplish'd.
Oh she'll make
An excellent Asse of him: she has a wit
More sharpe and piercing than a Waspes sting, she speaks
All fire; each word is able to burne up
A thousand such poore Mushromes: had her mother
Not beene held honest, I should have believ'd
She'd bin some Courtiers By-blow, or that some
Quicke Poet got her.

How's her feature?

Rare, past expression, singular, her eyes
The very sphears of love, her cheeks his throne,
Her lips his paradise, and then her minde
Js farre more excellent than her shape.
You give her a brave Character; is't possible
To have a sight of her?
Yes, by my means, scarce otherwise wilt thou have her▪
Speake but a syllable, 't shall be perform'd
As sure as if Don Hymen, in his robes
Had ratifi'd the contract.

You are merry sir.

When didst thou know me otherwise: yet now
In sober sadnesse friend, couldst thou affect
A woman, as there's few of them worth loving,
Thou canst not make a nobler choise: Ile bring thee
On to the skirmish, but if thou retreat,
Beat backe by th' hot Artillery of her wit,
Which will play fast upon thee: maist thou live
To be enamour'd on some stale Hay, or Matron
Of fourescore, that may congeale thee to a frost
Sooner than forty winters: or be wed
To an insatiat Chamber-maid.
Defend me
From thy last curse; feare not my valour.
Page  [unnumbered]
This foole shall serve both her and us for sport:
Lets to our taske; and if our project hit,
Ile sweare all fortune is compris'd in wit.
Explicit Actus primus.

Actus secundus. Scena prima.

Covet, Clara, Maudlin.

YOu will provoke me.

No matter:
Although you be my uncle, and so nature
Binds me to observe you, ile not be oblig'd
To what the phlegmaticke humour of your age
Strives to enforce upon me: I was borne
Free, an inheritresse to an ample fortune,
Of which you doe pervert the use, and trust me,
Ile be no longer tame and suffer it.
Suffer what? you're us'd
Too well: if you complaine of this, I shall
Study to be more harsh.
Doe; you shall not, as you had wont,
Thinke to attire me in blacke Grogram,
Daub'd o're with Sattin lace, as if I were
Daughter, and heire apparent to a Tayler,
Who from the holiday Gownes of sixe neat fish-wives
Had stole the remnants made the thrifty garment.
Nor shal you sir (as tis a frequent custome,
Cause you're a worthy Alderman of a Ward.)
Feed me with Custard, and perpetuall White-broth,
Sent from the Lord Majors, or the Shriefes feast,
Page  [unnumbered]And here preserv'd ten dayes, (as twere in pickle)
Till a new dinner from the common hall
Supply the large defect.

You'll leave this language?

Leave to use me so then:
Y'ave made my selfe, your daughter, and my woman,
Sup with a penyworth of Lettice, under
Pretence 'twould make us sleep well: your full morsells
(Had not the vertue of Clay wall, and Oatmeale
Preserv'd my maid) ere this she'd bin shrunk up
Toth' bignesse of a Squirrill.
Any Dwarfe
might without stretching his small fingers, have
Spand me about the waste.
Nor shall you,
(As sure tis your intention) marry me
To th' quondam fore-man of your shop, (exalted
To be your Cash-keeper) a limber fellow,
Fit onely for deare Nan, his schoole-fellow,
A Grocers daughter, borne in Bread-street, with
Whom he has used to goe to Pimblico,
And spend ten groats in Cakes and Christian Ale,
And by the way has courted her with fragments,
Stoln from the learned Legends of Knights Errants,
Or from the glory of her fathers trade,
The Knight o'the Burning Pestle.
Sure the Devill
Has entred her ith' likenesse of an Eele,
Her tongue's so slippery: Minion—
Ile not be frighted
As are your Prentises, with Little ease,
Or shewing them the Beadle. In plain termes,
I doe not meane to incorporate with a Salter,
Or any of those thriving trades, to have
My shooes lickt o're each saturday night
Byth' under prentise; they shine so brightly
With soot and kitching-stuffe, that I next morning
May spare my glasse, and dresse my head by their
Page  [unnumbered]Greasie reflection: yet let me tell you,
I must be marry'd instantly a virgin:
Of my full age, setting aside all nicenesse
May justly claime a husband.

Have but patience, ile wed thee to a Knight.

What is hee, one oth' Post sir, or some such
As was in the old famous Ballad mention'd:
He that has forty pounds per annum, by
Which Charter I should be undutifull,
And take the wall of my ag'd Grandame: No,
Ile have a Courtly gentleman, whose wit
Shall equall his estate, and that so large,
As't shall afford me a sufficient joyncture.
This Knight shall do't, or if you like not him,
What say you to Sir Geffery Holdfast's sonne,
The famous Schollar?
If he be a Parson;
And I his wife, I sure shall make my friends
Lucky to horse-flesh: No, I will have one
That shall maintaine my Coach, and foure faire horses:
Not such thin jades, nor such a crazy Chariot,
As i've seene us'd by Citizens to convey
Their wives with leisure to their Country houses,
(For feare the late Plum-pudding they had eaten
Fryed to their Breakfast, should with too much jogging
Broyle on their queasie stomacks) One that shall
Maintaine me a Sedan, and two strong varlets,
That so I may not need the Common men Mules,
With their wood-Litters, with nineteene at end of them,
The usuall shelters, which the Gallants carry
Their wenches to their Chambers in: In briefe,
If you can find me any where a husband
That I can like, I will allow your choyse;
If not, ile take my owne; so good day to you.
Pray meditate upon it.
Ex. Clare, Maud:
This is the maddest wench: would I were rid of her,
She vexes me more than her Portion's worth;
But if she stoope not to my Country Knight,
Page  [unnumbered]Sir Timothy Shallow-wit, or to young Holdfast,
(Whom I had rather marry to my daughter)
She shall ha grasing.
Enter Formall.
Sir, there are a brace of gentlemen without,
Desire admittance to you.

Let them enter.


I shall denote your pleasure.

Ex. For.

Some young heires,
To borrow money upon Morgages.
Enter Holdfast, Brave, Tristram.

I shall observe my Cosens rule, nere fear me.


Save you sir.

You do not think me damn'd sir, you bestow
That salutation on me.
Good sir no.
Whom would you speake with here?
Sir, my discourse
Poynts at one Alderman Covet.

I am the party.

Good Mr. Covet, I covet your acquaintance:
I understand you have a daughter is
Of most unknowne perfections.

She is as heaven mae her.

She goes naked then,
The Tailer has no hand in her; may I see her?

I must desire your name first.


My name is Holdfast.


Sonne to sir Geff. Holdfast.

His proper sonne and heire, and I am come
To see your Daughter and your Neece.

Came you from Cambridge lately.

I come from Cambridge:
What do you see in these my looks, should make you
Judge me such a Coxecombe.
Page  [unnumbered]
Your father writ me word, his son that should
Come up to see my Daughter and my Neece,
Was a rare schollar, wholly given to's bookes.
My father was an arrant asse for's labour,
I ne're read book in all my life, except
The Counter scuffle, or the mery Gossips,
Raynard the Foxe, Tom Thumbe, or Gargantua,
And those i've quite forgotten: I a schollar!
He lyes in's throat that told you so.
On my Conscience
You may believe him: he scarce ere saw booke,
Vnlesse the Chronicle in an iron Chaine,
In's fathers Hall: for learning sir, except
What's in a Horse, a Hawke, or hownd, he knowes not
How to expound your meaning.
I mar'le sir Geff. knowing my aversion
From any of these courses, should bring up
His sonne to all of them: nay, write me word,
Knowing my love to learning, he had him
A schollar purposely: pray sir resolve me,
Are you sir Gefferies sonne?

I am a Bastard else.


Sir Gefferies sonne of Eppinge?

Yes, of Eppinge,
One that will venture five hundred pounds upon his horse,
Soone as the proudest hee that lives in London,
Ile play my Crop-eare 'gainst my Lord Majors Steed,
And all his furniture: I doe intend
To scoure Hide Parke this summer.
didst give him
His Oates this morning? Shall I see your daughter.
Did he drink's water hastily? Your Neece
I'de be acquainted with.
Sir, you must pardon me, you're not the man
I tooke you for.

You did not take me for an Asse I hope.

O by no meanes, but they cannot be seene
Conveniently this morning: another time,
At your best leasure, I shall not deny you.
Page  [unnumbered]Please you walke in, and taste our Beere?
I know 'tis but oth' sixes; and I hate
Liquor of that complexion: pray commend me
To both my sweet-hearts. Tristram come lets backe,
And, as my Cosen sayes, drinke lusty sacke.
Exeunt Holdfast and Tristram.
There's some deceite in this, perhaps some gallant,
Knowing my purpose with Sir Geffery Holdfast,
Has tane his name upon him: ile dispatch
A messenger straight to him: whom have we here?
Enter Thoroug▪ and Formall.

Sir, that's the Alderman my Master.

Is this the venerable Man, to whom
This goodly Mansion is impropriate:
I should negotiate with his reverence
About authentick businesse.
This rather
Should be sir Geff. sonne, his words and habit
Speake him most learned. I'me the person, pray
Let me be bold to crave your name.
My appellation or pronomen, as
(It is tearm'd by the Latins) is hight Ieremie,
But my Cognomen, as the English gather,
Is called Holdfast.
This is he certainely; are you, I pray
Sir Gefferies sonne of Eppinge?
The Nominalls, the Thomists, all the sects
Of old and moderne Schoole-men, doe oblige me,
To pay to that Sir Geffery fillial duty.
I'me glad to heare it, tother was some varlet,
I shall finde out and punish: Sir, y'are welcome;
I gesse your businesse; tis about a match,
Or with my Neece, or Daughter: which you like,
Shall be at your dispose: if not, your businesse.
My businesse is of procreation, or as
The Civill Lawyers learnedly doe paraphrase,
Page  [unnumbered]Is of concomitance, Cohabitation,
Or what you please to terme it.
How am I blest, that this rare schollar shall
Be match'd into my family? Within there;
Neece, Daughter, both come hither.
One at once sir,
Twill satisfie; the Canon does prohibit
Us Polygamy.
Enter Clara, Gray.
Sir, this is my onely daughter, this my neece,
Pray know them better.
Faire types, nay Orbs of beauty, J salute you,
Each in his proper altitude.

Heyday, this is some Fortune-teller.


Tis Thorowgood, you must not seeme to know him.

Daughter and Neece, this is a gentleman,
My care has pick'd out, as a most fit husband
For one of you; which he can soonest fancy,
Heare him but speake, and he will put you downe
Ten Universities, and Jnnes of Court,
Jn twentie sillables. Good Mr. Holdfast
Speake learnedly to th'wenches; though J say't,
They have both good capacities.
Most rubicund, stelliferous splendant Ladyes,
The ocular faculties, by which the beames
Of love are darted into every soule,
Or humane essence, have into my breast
Convey'd this Ladies lustre: and J can
Admire no other object; therefore beauty
Your pardon, if J onely doe addresse
In termes Scholasticke, and in Metaphors
My phrase to her.
J shall not
Envy my Cosens happinesse.
Y'are full of Candor;
Jf you will love me Lady▪ ile approach your eares,
Not in a garbe Domesticke, or termes vulgar,
Page  [unnumbered]But hourely change my language, court you now,
In the Chaldean, or Arabicke tongues,
Expound the Talmud to you, and the Rabbines,
Then read the Dialect of the Alanits,
Or Ezion Gebor, which the people use
Five leagues beyond the Sun-rising, in stead
Of pages to attend you, I will bring
Sects of Philosophers and queint Logicians,
Weel Procreat by learned art, and I
Will generate new broods of Schollers on you,
Which shall defend opinions far more various
Then all the Sectaries of Amsterdam
Have ever vented.
Learned, learned young man,
How happy am I in thee?
Doe but love,
Ile call the Muses from the sacred hill
To Enucleat your beauty: I my selfe
(After in loftier numbers I have sung
Your fam'd Encomiums) will convert to poet,
And for your sake Ile write the city annals,
In famous meter which shall far surpasse
Sir Guy of Warwickes history: or Iohn Stows upon
The custard with the foure and twenty Nooks
At my Lord Majors feast.

How am I ravisht!

Whose brave show hereafter
Shall be no more set forth with stalking pageants,
Nor children ride for angels nor lowd actors
Pronounce bold speeches, I will teach his Heneh∣boyes
Serjeants and trumpeters to act and save
The city all that charges: Nay Ile make a new
Found engin; which without fire shall keepe his
Whitebroath warm til his return from Westminster
Nor shall the Aldermens daughters, who have
Dreamt at least six nights before of guilded
Marchpane, forfeit their serious longing: Ile have
Horses with their Saint Georges on them, that shall gallop
Into their handkerchers.
Page  [unnumbered]

You promise wonders.

Hold your tongue, hees able
To performe more by's learning.
The crosse
And standerd in Cheapeside I will convert
To Hercules pillars: and the little conduit
That weepes in lamentation for the Church,
Remov'd that did leane on, it shall be still
Like the great tun at Heidleberge sild with wine,
And alwayes running, that the prentises
Shall not on Sundayes need to frequent Tauerns,
And forfeit their indentures.

Still more miraculous.

The great conduit
Shall be a magezin of sacke, and Smithfield
A Romish Cirque or Grecian Hippodrom,
My Lord Maiors gennet shall not die without
An Elegy, nor any cittizen breake,
But have a dolefull ditty writ upon him.

Save you gentlemen.

Noble sir Timothy, and your friend both
Welcome, this is my neice, & that my daughter, pray
Be pleas'd to know them, Sir honor me to walke,
I'de have some private conference with you,
The house sir Timothy is at your command.

Cosen what would these gentlemen?

Truth I know not,
Ile venture my discretion to his nose there,
And that appeares a rich one, they are two
Country Ideots whom thy father would
Put upon us for husbands.
Very likely,
Pray gentlemen your businesse.

Speak for me Valentine.

Ladies wee'r come to see you, fame does give
You the attribute of faire and witty.
Yet our wits you see sir will not serve to keepe
Fooles from our company.
Page  [unnumbered]

Very right yfaith.

That tartnesse
Becomes you prettily, and might serve to fright
Young linnen-drapers or some millaner
That does with gloves and bracelets stolne from's
Master court you, a haberdasher would have shak'd
His blocke-head (as if he had beene trying a Dutch
Felt out) and with a shrug departed, but we are
Gentlemen Ladies, and no city foremen
That never dare be ventrous on a beauty,
Unlesse when wenches take them up at playes
To intice them at the next licentious Taverne
To spend a supper on them, we are creatures
Deserve you at your best ad noblest value,
And so expect you'l use us.
Very right, this is
A countrey gentleman my neighbor I,
A trusty and coragious country knight.
I doe believe you sir, your face does tel me,
You'r one that feed on bacon and bagpudding,
Your nose by its complexion does betray
Your frequent drinking country Ale with lant in't,
Have you no hobnayls in your boots, driven in
To save the precious leather from the stones
That pave the streets of London.
Is not sir your
Cloake new turn'd, the aged three pil'd velvet
Was not your grandams peticote this jerkin
Made by your grandsire at his first translation
From Clowne to Gentleman, and since reserv'd
An heire long to the family, and this sword
The parish weapon?

Very right agen.

Now for you sir.
Who of two fooles doe yet appeare the wisest,
Can your ingenious noddle thinke that we
Bred in the various pleasures of the city,
Would for your sake turne beasts and grase ith' country,
Page  [unnumbered]We cannot milke, make wholsome cheese, nor butter,
And sell it at next market and lay up
Out of the precious Income as much coyne
In thred bare groates, mill-sixpences, and pence,
As will suffice to finde the house in Candles
And Sope a twelve month after.
Nor can wee
Spin our owne smockes out of the flax which growes
Behind your Dovehouse, no. nor card the wooll
Must make us peticoates things (to say truth)
Not worth the taking up.
They've Magicke in their tounges
They have so daunted me, I thinke I shall
Turne foole and get me▪ 'hem without reply.
All the company,
We can injoy there is each day to walke
To the next farmers wife, whose whole discourse
Is what price Barly beares, or how her husband
Sould his last yoake of Oxen: other meetings
We cannot have, except it be at Churchales,
When the sweet bag-pipe does draw forth the
Damsells to frisquo about the May poles, o at
Weddings, where the best cheare is, wholsome
Stewd broth made of legs of porke and 〈◊〉
Yes, at Christnings, where the good
Wives, stead of burnt Wine and Comfets,
Drinke healths to th' memory of all christian soules
In Ale, scarce three houres old: eat cakes more tough
Then glew or farthing gingerbread: then talke
Of the last Blasing Starre, or some new monster:
Then drinke, and cry heaven blesse us from the Spaniard,
While the learn'd Vicars wife expounds the Ballad
Of'twas a Ladies daughter in Paris properly,
And so breakes up the wise assembly.
And you
That are the precious paragons of the City,
Who scorne these harmelesse sports: can have your meetings
At Islington, and Green Goose faire, and si
Page  [unnumbered]A zealous glasse of Wine till the parch'd floore
Be moistned with your virgin dew, then prattle
How that you dream last night that Iohn the Mercer,
Or Tom the Drapers man at London-stone
Was in your bed, and what sweet work he made there.
Very right, and kis'd you oftner
Then ere the good man did his Cow, and hug'd you
As the Divell hug'd the Witch, that's right now▪
When you'r married
(For that you will be, or else run away
With Costermongers, Mountebankes, or Taylors)
Your husbands are more subject to you then
Their bondmen are, whom by profuse expense
You breake beyond redemption from the Indies▪ the
Straights, or Barbary, see them lodged in Ludgate,
And then turne pricking semsters, till that trade
Fayling, you take your selves (as to the last refuge)
To the old occupation; till the Marshall
Carry you to Bridewell, of which you'r free,
Even by your fathers charters that have beene
Sometimes the masters of it, there Ile leave you,
So farewell wildcats.

Very right as I am a gentleman.

I like his 〈…〉Clar,〈…〉
Or none shall be my husband.
Enter Thorowgood.
helpe me to laugh good wenches, I haue tal'd
Thy Unkle Clare into so free an humour,
That hees resolv'd straight to take forth the licence,
And marry us ith' morning.
What od fellow's this?
Know you him Cosen Grace.
Prethee good wit noe more, we've overcome
All forraigne enemies, and tis unfit
To war among our selves.
This is the pedant
My father brought to mocke us, good thine stuffe,
Get thee home to thy parish,
And instruct
Page  [unnumbered]Thy people wholesome Doctrine, for us,
We have no zeale to learne.
Life they'l perswade me out of my selfe,
Clare, Grace, know you not me, not Thorowgood.
Thorowgood, pray put your trickes on some body,
More easie to be wrought on, Thorowgood, Ha, ha, ha.
What should these wenches meane, the ive and sheares
Cannot resolve this mystery; they know me
Better then I can know my selfe: 'twas she
Advis'd me to this habit to deceive
Her uncles prying eyes, and why then
Should they abuse me thus? the rest were made
But fooles in Quarto, but I finde my selfe
An asse in Folio: Ile away, and if
I quit them not with an abuse as fine,
Ile say there is no quickning spirit in wine.
Explicit Actus Secundus.

Actus Tertius, Scena prima.

Enter Thorowgood, Valentine Knowell.

ARE they so witty sayst thou?

You'd best try
The acutenesse of their intellects.
You may endeavor
With the large talent of your masculine wit
To exceed their female sharpnesse you shall finde,
Though you firme and stiffe in your defence,
These city lasses able to take downe
Your most couragious fury: pray endeavour't.
That gentleman, were to usurpe your presence,
I finde no inclination, yet I thanke you,
Page  [unnumbered]To rest a foole upon record as you doe.

How's that, my impe of understanding?

By being so egregiously abus'd
By two poore City infants, things that never
Have heard wit nam'd, unlesse 'twas when their father
Has cal'd his Formall foreman witty varlet,
For cheating hansomely, had they been some
Illustrious dames, the glory of Cheape-side,
Stars of the City, that are daily haunted
By this great Lord that courtly kisse their gossips,
It had beene possible their conversation
Might have instild into them so much language
And wit sufficient to withstand the assaults
Of some young Innes acourtman.
Yes, who never
Had mooted in the hall or seen the revels
Kept in the house at Christmas.
Some such gamster might have
Come oft with credit, though hee'd ventur'd
His whole estate of wit on them and lost it,
But you the rookes oth' age to be ored one
At your owne game by city girles.
Thou art an asse,
A very coxcomb, there are girles ith' City
Able to oredoe at their owne game a hundred
Such feeble fellows as thy selfe, but Thorowgood,
Leaving this infidell to his mis-beliefe,
Are you resolved that I shall undertake
The new designe we plotted?
With what speed
Can be convenient, sir Timothy
Shall be our instrument.
If there be wit in't,
Honour me to assist you.
A revenge
Upon these peevish wenches, one of them
Loves me intirely, nay has vow'd me a marriage,
And did advise me to assume this shape,
Page  [unnumbered]To cheat her uncle.
And for the other,
By many a shrowd cast of her eye upon me,
I doe suspect for all her queint dissembling,
She's taken with my good parts.
Enter Maudline.
Thy face I must confesse,
Is full of choyce allurements, see there maid,
How fares it with your witty mistris,
My gallant type of beauty, is the stomach,
Come down, I'm sure you are furnish'd
With some excuse or lamentable epistle,
To reconcile me to them.
Sir I am
As ignorant of the interpretation of your words,
As of your person.

Shee not know me neither?

But if there be one Valentine among you,
A well accomplish'd gentleman.

That's I, thats I.

Then sir,
I would require your privacy some minutes.
Weel be as private as thou wilt, my girle,
Your patience gentlewoman.
I wonder Thorowgood what businesse
She can have with him.
Heel declare it.
See they are parting.

Tel them Ile advise ont.


You will be speedy.

Exit Maudline.


Yes, es, nere doubt my haste, say I me their servant.


The businesse Valentine.

Dost not thou know it,
Euen by instinct?

We cannot prophecy.

Thou art a foole then,
Does not the harmony of my good parts
Speake me the conqueror of all beauties Thorowgood.
The wenches are on fire for me.
Page  [unnumbered]
Their bloods
Are alwayes 〈◊〉 ith' Dogdayes: but good Valentine
Be serious, did their maid bring newes of love
From either of them?
From both, from both, now wert for the statute,
That Bigamy my tender conscience
Would not much be oppress'd to have two wives,
But one of them thy Pinnace, thou shalt man her:
But J delay too long, I must goe meete them;
I long to be a kissing, pray heaven their breath
Smell not of Marmalade, 'twill turne my stomacke.

You'll practice our designe I hope.


Methodically: farewell boyes.

Ex. Val.

Pray be you Sir Timothy, know his entrance:
Tis such another mad-cap my Scene is.
Enter Holdfast.
Nay, come forward Land lord Spoild else.
Trist. Bus.
Tis my Cosen lodgings, pray be bold in't,
As is my Chamber. Cosen this is a Constable.

He comes not with a warrant.

No, Ile warrant you, I
Brought him Sir to see you; he's a wit,
A very wit, or as the modernes terme it,
A sparke, a meere sparke, such a one as I am▪
Since I left off those idle toyes cald books,
He'll take Tobacco too, and with a grace
Spit ith' rub'd chamber, though his testy wife,
Crye fie upon him: he's a very sparke,
and worthy your acquaintance.
Come forward sir, you stand as if you'd cosen'd
One of them with bad linnen; pray advance,
My Master is your Leader.

Save you gentlemen.

Y'are very welcome Sir, my Cosen speakes you
A Citizen of ranke.
That you beare office
Of honour in your parish.
That y'are witty,
Page  [unnumbered]Or as he sayes a sparke.

Nay, a good fellow.

Tis granted gentlemen,
This is my Character, I am by trade
A Linnen Draper.
Would trust me
For forty ells of Holland?
Ha, how's that sir?
I have more wit I thanke you: cause you seeme
A Gentleman of quality, I care not
To venture as much Cambricke as shall make
Your Crush a gorget, but o farther, sir,
There is no wit in't: how's that Mr. Holdfast?

You are a sparke still Landlord.


Ile sweare in this he's witty.

Tis my humour,
My wit has halfe and one me long ere this;
But for my wit Ide be••ie an Alderman,
And twirld a pondrou chaine upon the bench,
With as much grace as can the formalst of them:
I should have fin'd for Sheriffe, but all Guild Hall
Hearing I was a wit, cry'd out upon him,
Twill breed an alteration in the Senate,
To have a wit amongst them. How's that sir?

And so you mist preferment▪

And continue
Ith' state of wisedome still; an humble Constable?
Yes, and an honest one, ie say that for him,
He ne're stop'd wench in's watch.
How's that? I scorne it,
I've stopt a hundred in my time: how's that sir?
You relish wit I see.
Tis so acute,
No pallat but most taste it; shall's to th' Taverne?
Y'are for a cup I hope?
For now sir,
It is my frequent use, when I have set
My watch, to view the Taverne, drinke a quart,
Page  [unnumbered]And then backe to my businesse, and there wit in't.
Tis granted sir: Come gentlemen, an oure
Is ou extent of time: good Mr. Constable
It shall be yours. Cosen J have some businesse
Concernes your knowledge, as we passe along
J shall informe you.
Enter Valentine, Grace, Clare, Maudlin.
You see I me come
Vpon your summons.
Sure you mistake,
There's none here is so fond of you to court
Your cheap and vulgar presence.
Here's a Letter
Speaks other language, you might cloath your discourse
In the same phrase, or I shall laugh your folly
Into a milder temper, and then leave you.

You'r very confident.

No, you're too coy,
I me now ith' humour to be tempted to
Love any of you: take me while the fit
Is on me, for ime sure twill not endure
Longer than does a wealthy widdowes griefe
For a loah'd husband. Speak, ha you a mind to me?
Speake quickly, or for ever more hereafter
Be sure to hold your peace, and that's a taske
Farre worse then death to any of your sexe.
Her blushes does betray her, wer't to me,
He should finde other usage. Sir my Cosen,
I know not how transported by her love,
Above her reason, has enthrald her heart
To your dispose. I hope sir you'r so much
A Gentleman, you will make civill use
Of her affection; twill be worth your care sir.
Besides the rich endearements of her youth,
She's Mistris of a fortune that may challeng
A noble retribution for her love.
Page  [unnumbered]Weele not disturbe your conference.
Ex. Clar. Maud.
Cosen, cosen, you will not leave me thus?
I pray let me goe sir.
Thus farre into my armes girle, that's the place
Thou oughtst to rest in: you expect I warrant
That I should court you now, and with an armie
Of oathes, stuft with as many sinicall falsehoods,
Protest I love you: by this light I know not,
Tis folly to dissemble, whether or no
I can affect thee; yet thou seemst to weare
That pretty harmlesse innocence in thy lookes,
It wins my credulous thoughts to believe
Thou maist be vertuous.
Sir, I hope my owne
Too forward zeale, in tendring you my love,
Will not in your good thoughts beget an ill
Opinion of my modesty.
Never feart:
That freenesse more engages my just faith
To embrace thy affection. I have seene some Ladyes,
Coy as a Voteresse below their suiters,
Yet with a tough-backt groome, have knowne them sin
With most libidinous appetite in private;
But J'me as fearelesse girle, that ought amisse
Can staine thy soule, as thou wert confident
In setling thy most constant choise upon
A stranger; yet I must desire the reason
Why you did love me: for my owne good parts,
Certaine they're not so attractive as to conquer
A beautie at first sight▪
Since I have
Disclos'd my affection to you, (although love
Oft times admits no reason) ile endeavour
To satisfie your question: the first cause
Moov'd me to love you, was my father.
Hang thy father
In's owne gold chaine: but such another word,
And never hope to have me; dost thou thinke
Page  [unnumbered]Ile be beholding to an eight ith' hundred,
To such an empty caske as is thy father,
(Who soon did get his wealth by the old proverbe▪
Of fooles have fortune) for a wife; but that
I have some mercy in me to believe
Thou maist be virtuous; I would not match
With any of my squeamish Ants of London,
For all the wealth ith' Chamber.
Sir, you ask'd,
A question of me, and will not permit
Me give a civill answer; as I said,
My father—
Father agen, farewell, my eares doe blister
At the harsh sound: would thou hadst beene a Bastard,
So thou hadst no title to his blood:
Another father, like a whirlewind, blowes me
Hence from thy sight for ever.
Pray heare me.
Intends to match me to Sir Timothy
Shallow-wit, a creature onely fit for scorne;
Which to prevent, and taken with the fulnesse
Of your true worth, I rather chuse to cast
My reputation on your noble pitty,
Than stand the desperate hazard of my ruine.
She loves me by this light, this is no tricke.
Now to my Thorowgoods project: th'art a good wench,
A harmlesse wench, and I believe a sound one,
And I will have thee; give me thy hand: yet stay,
Ere I doe cast my selfe away upon thee,
You here shall promise Mistris, to become
A most obedient wife, and not according
To th' ancient tricke inherent to the City,
Raile till you be my Master.

Never feare me.

Nor shall you, when you're at my house ith' Country
Be niggardly, or spoyle a dinner for
Want of the tother ounce of Sugar, nor
Repine to see me merry with my friends,
Page  [unnumbered]Or curse my brothers, when they so journe with me▪
Nor starve my servants when I am from home.
I must be dr••k sometimes oo, then you must not
Whine and cry out, were I maid agen,
Ide never marry any that does take
This wicked Herbe Tobacco. Those injunctions,
And some few hundreds mo•• of the same nature,
Seald and deliver'd to me by your promise,
I may be wonne to wed thee, nay to bed thee,
And get a race of such Heroicke children,
As shall intice posterity to conceive
Some good came from Cheapside. Your lip shall seale this.

You see your strength upon me.

Tis my good girle:
Thy father, armed with the trained bands o'th City,
Shall never pull thee from me▪ to confirme thee
How much I love, ile disclose a plot
I had to gaine thy affection.
Tis some good one,
Pray let me heare it.
You see my youth and feature will admit
A womans Character; if I were cloath'd
But in the habit, should I not appeare
A bouncing Mary Ambr•••

Some such creature▪ but to your project.

I have prepar'd mee
A handsome female-shape, my man without
Has them under his 〈◊〉; and I perswaded
Sir Timothy, in hope that would court thee
I his behalfe, to have presented me
Here for his Neece; you marke me.
Very well; but now
This the designe is uselesse.
By no meanes;
It must be pu in action; come goe in,
And helpe to dresse me: Sir Timothy expects
To meete me in that shape here: and besides
In that disguise, secure I can at any time
Page  [unnumbered]Steale out with you, and marry you.
Your reason
Shall governe my obedience.

Come let's in then.

Enter Timothy, Covet, Formall.
Tis very right that sir, but yet methinkes
A wholsome song, sung to a fine new tune,
Should not be much amisse: my boy here has one,
And Ide be very loath, although I cannot
Sing, as they say, my selfe, that she should heare
What those, I can keep, can doe; is not this right now?
Your pleasure shall prevaile, though to say truth,
Sonne Shallow-wit, for sonne I still shall call you,
I never lik'd a Song, unlesse the Ballad
Oth' famous London Prentice, or the building
Of Britaines Burse: for Musicke, lesse the Virginalls,
I never car'd for any. Does but cloy
The eares, but never fills the purse sonne.
Very right indeed; tis too light
For such a purpose.
With your leave sir,
Musicke is most delightfull, and young Mistris
Grace, and her Cosen surely will receive it
With thankfull Equipage.
Honest Formall,
Th'art in the right still; come exalt thy voyce
My little Impe of gut and haire: My Mistris
Shall know there's something in me.
How doe you
Like it?

Tis very odoriferous.

I shall beginne
To love it better then I have done; tis a good boy,
A very pretty boy, and ile reward thee.
There's a threepence for thee.
Very right.
Page  [unnumbered]Father you are too bountifull.
He shall take it,
Indeed he shall; tis manners to receive
Mony from your betters boy: but here's my Neece.
Enter Clare.

Very right, I had almost forgotten, pray where's mine?


Why, have you a Neece Sir Timothy?

Yes, yes, I've two or three, but one I sent
Hither, to view my Mistris in a Coach
An houre agoe at least.
Sure she is come.

Clare did you see the gentlewoman?


None such came hither yet Sir.

That's not right though,
A poxe upon her for her paines.
Enter Maudlin.

Mrs. your Cosen does desire some conference with you.

Did there a Gentlewoman arrive here lately,
To see my daughter?
There is one within,
In busie conference with her.
Very right that, he's pleading for me now.
Faire Damsell that's my Neece; pray tell her▪ here's
A Knight, a simple Uncle of hers, or so, desires her
Company. But here she comes, my Mistris with her; Neece
Tis well done, ile give thee the tother thousand to increase
Thy portion for't: Mistris, and how, and how do y•• like my
Neece, a plaine Country girle, or so.
A very handsome woman, I could love her,
Did I but know her portion. Mistris welcome.
Whats in that house is yours?
Sir Timothy,
You have much grac'd me by the sweet acquaintance
Of this good gentlewoman. Pray Cosen know her;
She's worthy your endearment.
I shall be proud
To doe you service.
Page  [unnumbered]
I most fortunate
To be esteem'd your creature.
Very right
Shees a poore niece of mine, yet she can speake you
May perceive or see.
Enter Thorowgood, Holdfast, Tristram, Knowell.
Life Thorowgood with young
Holdfast, pray heaven my folly
Has not undone me.
You'l please to pardon
Our rude intention sir, we have some businesse.

Please you declare't.

This gentleman and my selfe,
Come to informe you that this sparke my Cosen,
Is sonne and heire to sir Geffrey Holdfast,
And since I heare you have dispos'd your daughter
To that good knight, I in his fathers name,
Desire your niece should be his wife.
Pray Sir speake
In your owne cause he needs no advocate.
I've beene abus'd,
In this Sir Geffreys son the scholler?

The very same sir.


I am the sparke sir.

Valentine, ith' name
puls off his periwig.
Of madnesse: man why in this shape?

Valentine, Ha, ha, ha.


Very right, my niece is Valentine.

And how ist bully, hast not found these girles
Of a hot appetite, how often ha?
Has my Land-lady
Provided me a cullis, life my backe
Does needs a swathband.
What meanes this gentleman?
Nothing sir,
But to informe you what strange things your neice,
Page  [unnumbered]And daughter and, nay never blush he has
Perform'd it better then your uncles foreman.
I know he has.
Timothy this abue must not be thus put up,
Did not you say I was your Neice.

Very right, but it was Valentine.


He has beene here all night 〈◊〉


Cosen we are basely betray'd.


Take courage.

Doe you thinke sir, my Cosen shall mixe with such
Stale ware that keepe their gamsters in their chambers.

Or this knight have Valentines reversions?


Very right, I scorne it.

Keepe them. they I serve to set up some twise
Broken Merchant, or undone Linnen-draper, come away
Valentine, thou hast made a brave discovery. Farewell,
My witty virgines, you are pay now.
Ile be reveng'd for this, and if it cost me
Halfe my estate Formall send post, for sir Geffrey,
The whole towne shall know of this abuse▪
Ile make you fast enough.
Explicit Actus terpius.

Actus Quartus, Scena prima.

Grace, Clare, Busie, Luce.
THey are both sparkes, that's certaine, ••ere
I take them in my watch, Ile make them stoope
Under my staffe of office, Mistris Clare,
Though I'me a Citizen, and by my charter,
Am not allowed much wit, as being free
Oth Linnen-drapers, and a man in office,
Page  [unnumbered]Yet if my counsell, if you please to follow it,
Doe not revenge you on these sawcy mad caps,
May taking up of Holland at deare rates,
Be quite abjur'd by courtiers: and I canvas'd
Out of authority, how's that now?
Master Busie,
You seeme of sage discretion: and to say
Truth, I conceive you have the stocke of wit
Belonging to the city in your custody,
You are the chamber of London, where that treasure
Is hoarded up, and I doe hope you can
Be true and secret.
How's that Lady?
I were unworthy else to thrive by linnen,
Could I not keepe smocke secrets for your uncle,
Your father mistris Grace, I care not for him,
Although he be right worshipful and an Alderman,
As I may say to you he has no 〈◊〉
Wit then the rest oth' bench: what lies in's thumbe-ring,
Yet I doe love you deerely for the kindnesse
Shown to my girle here, and because you have
Some flashes in your braines: and since you have
Opend the case to me, ere we proceed
To sentence, tell me seriously doe not you two
Love Valentine, and Freewit?
For my owne part,
And I dare say as much too for my cosen,
Their memories are as distant from our hearts,
As civill honesty from theirs.
And though
I well could like that Freewit for a husband,
Yet in mere spight because he shal not have me,
Ile wed the next mans offered me.
How's that?
I would my wife were dead; two comely lasses,
Such as sometimes I light on in my watch,
would make fit wives for such rude sparks, and t'shal
Goe hard but I will for your sakes sweete beauties,
Page  [unnumbered]Number a brace of such sound utell to them,
If you'l give way to it.
And crowne thee for
The king of witty Constables use our names,
Or any thing to draw them forward, that
Wee may in triumph laugh at their disgrace,
And weel procure a pattent, to continue
Thy office to thee, during life: and after
To hire some ingenious poet that shall keepe
Thy fame alive in a brave Epitaph
Grav'd on thy marble.
Enter Covet, Sir Geffrey Holdfast, Sir Ti∣mothy, young Holdfast.

What varlet should that be trow?

Truth I know not,
Nor can conjecture, yet I 〈…〉
Him to be truely yours, because attird
Ith' habit and the phrase of a right Scholler,
And for your sonne, pardon me master Holdfast,
I tooke you for some lewd audacious varlet,
That had usurpt that title.
I imagine
It was some bastard of my fathers, gotten
In youth upon his Taylors wife or Landresse,
He has good store of them, but master Alderman
You now conceive I me son and heire apparent
Unto the Holdfasts, whosoever got me,
That's not much matter.
How's that, anon before I set my watch,
Ile visit you agen: meanetime, pray give my
Daughter Luce leave to come home, her sister
Poore wretched, is troubled with a paine ith'
Bottome oth' body, pricks even to her very heart,
And I would have Luce goe toth' Pothecaries,
And get some Besar stone, they say 'twill cure her.
Farewell good Ladies, you'l be sure to come Luce.
Ex. Busie.
Page  [unnumbered]
Are these the maidens, I promise you master
Alderman the'r virgins of good feature, and I shall
Be well apaid if my sonne match to either,
Which lik'st thou best boy?
Both of them good father,
Be not so troublesome, but let me take
A view of them: Sir Timothy which doe you
Like best of these two Ladies?
Which doe you
Like best good Mr. Holdfast.
Yours shall be
The choyce noble Sir Timothy.
Yours indeed,
Magnanimous Mr. Holdfast.

On my gentility yours.


Yours on my knighthood.

Good sir Timothy,
No striving, they are free for you▪ and for
The staine those idle gallants put upon them,
Twas on my credit gentlemen to keepe
All other suitors off, in hope by that meanes
To obtaine them for themselves.
Tis very likely
That Valentine's a wagge.
Daughter and neice,
This hopefull gentleman, and this good knight are
By my care provided for your husbands, pray use
Them as befits their worth, and take it
As a fatherly admonition; either resolve
To marry these or none.
Tis a hard choyce sir,
Yet rather then our maiden-heads shall starve,
Weel feed on this course fare, young wenches uncle,
Are like young hungry Hawkes: they'l stoope at
Jack-daws, when they can meet with no better prey,
Draw neerer thou doughty knight, and thou good
Squire oth' damsells, Uncle these youthes are bashfull in the
Presence of you two their grave Elders: your grim beards,
Page  [unnumbered]And azure notes able are to fright
Their precise love to silence.
Shees ith' right,
Ime scuh a fearefull foole I cannot speake,
If any body looke on me.
Let's withdraw,
Now plye thy businesse boy.
So now the game
Exe. Sir Geffery and Covet.
Will begin presently: I pray you tell me
Which of you is the valiant Rosicleer,
Dares breake his Launce on me.
Marry that would I
If I durst be so bold, mine is a stiffe one,
And will pricke sorely.
A fooles bable ist not?
But come in briefe toth' purpose: is it you
Sir knight of the ill favored face,
That would have me for your Dulcina?
Very right,
You know my minde as well it seemes as if
You'r in my belly.
So then you are sped:
This gentleman's my comely spouse that must be,
Twere fitting Cosen Clare ert be a bargaine,
They know on what conditions they doe cast
Themselves away upon us.
Twas discreetly
Thought on, I would doe nothing rashly.
Marke then
You men that will transforme your selves to
Monsters, wretches that will become so miserable,
You'l hang your selves: & think it a faire rid dance,
Marke what youl come to, if you be so mad,
So desperate mad to wed us, you must first,
Resolve like patient gulls to have your noes
Twingd if ours'chance to itch: your eares like asses
When they grow lasie cropt, least they oreheare
Our chamber secrets, for our recreation,
Page  [unnumbered]And least with too much ease we should grow resty,
Weel beat you daily: while you like tame Spanells,
Shall fawne and licke our shooe-strings.
Nor expect,
To get a good word from us in a twelve month,
Hourely revilings and perpetuall noyses
Shall be as favours taken that we would
Vouchsafe to spend in such regardlesse trifles,
Wee'l be as proud as ere our mothers were,
When she was Lady Majoresse, and you humble,
As her trim hench-boyes: whatsoever servants
You kept before, although they were your grandsires,
You shall turne off and limmit your attendants,
As tis the city fashion to a woman
Butler, that shall not dare without our license,
To let you have a penny pot of sacke
To give a frugall entertainment, to
Your visiting friends.
If you have a brother,
Kinseman, or friend, that does in pitty grieve at
The tyranny you live in, him it shall be felony
To converse with, we in tissue and plush will
Brave it while you walke in fustian, weel
When we please have our faire coach and horses
To carry us up to London to aske counsell of
Our mothers and our gossips how to abuse you.
You shall be still obedient, we commanding,
And if a Lord or courtly gentleman,
Whom we stile servant, out of love sometimes
Gives us a visit, you shall not repine:
If we forsake your bed to goe to his.
And if you chance, as fooles will oft be
Peeping to spye us couping, with respective silence,
You shall depart, not daring to bedew
Your eyes with tears for grief that you are cuckolds,
Nor to exalt your honors above your neighbours,
But big with joy triumph that you have wives
That are in so much credit, as to have
Page  [unnumbered]Persons of quality, take the paines to get your
Heires to your large revenewes.
Very right,
Tis not the fashion now adayes for knights
To get their owne sons, tis sufficient for us
If we can leave them lands, no matter who
Was their true fathers.
Say sir Timothy
If upon these conditions you can like
The match is perfect: but faith take my counsell,
Make not your selves meere raskalls: the reproach
To boyes and schollers, subjects fit for ballads,
Not worthy M Ps name to them, good Sir Timothy
Have pitty on your selfe, and marry rather
In your owne tribe, some damsell that can churne,
Make Cheese and Apple pies with Currants in them,
And Mr. Holdfast twere farre better for you to
Match with some grave doctors impe at Cambridge
Or else as twas your use when you'r a student,
Lye with your bed maker.
Very right,
Yet I doe know all this is but in jest,
To make us love you better.
True sir Timothy;
Speake as it were to let us understand
By an Irony as we the learned call it,
How well they meane to use us: therefore in
My judgement it were requisit with all speed,
While there in this good humour
To strike the match up.
Very right, we are
No Jackdawes to be fright with these Scar-crowes,
Mistris your hand, and if you'l have me so,
If not so likewise: but you will repent it,
You'l scarcely meet two that will offer fairer
Then we have done.
But doe you meane performance,
Truely of these conditions.
Page  [unnumbered]
As sincerely
As ere we meane to eate.
Or drinke good Ale
At mother Huffs a mornings.
You'll confesse this
Before the Priest and witnesses.
The Congregation, or at a Commencement
Before the University.
That you'll be
Honest contented Cuckolds, beare your heads
As peaceably, and with as much obedience,
As the tam'st beast ith' City.

On my Knight-hood.


On my gentility.

Why then strike hands on't;
Since you will needs undoe your selves, 'twere folly
To indeavour to redeeme you: but this night
We will be marry'd, and in private,
Not yours nor our friends being acquainted with it.
Weele meet you any where, procure the license,
And weele be ready; so farewell: to night,
Or not at all lets heare from you.
Exeunt Clara, Grace.
And feele us too ere morning, 'tshal goe hard else.
Sir Timothy, was not this wisely carryed:
To let them have their sayings? but we will not
Be such starke fooles to doe what we have promis'd;
When they're ours once, we may rule them easily
At our owne pleasures.
Very right; and use them
At our owne pleasures: But see here's your Mr.
And Mr. Constable your Landlord.
Enter Grimes, Busie.
Landlord, welcome
On my Gentility, to my house that must be.
Thou thoughtst, because I did weare Lokram shirts
Ide no wit: but harke thee, I have got
Page  [unnumbered]The wench of Gold: Sir Timothy, and I
Have strucke the stroake old boy: to night's the night,
Thou shalt know more of it ere twelve of Cl•••e,
And then believe me: Grimes goe you to th'office;
There's mony, fetch a Licence.
There's more money,
Bring me a Licence too; sure as we woo'd
Weele wed together,
How's this? Gentlemen
I shall have gloves I hope.
And favours too,
Thy daughter Nell shall have my Bride gatters,
And thy fore-man my poynts: But hones Landlord,
I know th' art excellent at a device,
This matter must be private, not my father,
Nor Mr. Alderman must be acquainted,
Till all is finished: Could thy wit but helpe us
To plot this finely: Clare and Grace will meet us,
At any place where weele appoynt.
How's that?
Ile set you presently ith' way; my house
Shall be your randevous: soone after ten.
The houre of meeting: there Ile have prepar'd
For the two Ladyes a Sedan: that shall
Carry them thence unseene through the watch
At Ludgate, where I exercise my office,
Into white-Friers, there shall a little Levite
Meet you, and give you to the lawfull bed.
With much celerity: give me your mony, & ile take out the li∣cence.
How's that now?

Very right.

Meane time my daughter Lue shall give them notice
How all's contriv'd, they'll be willing,
When they shall know the managing's committed
To my discretion; but about your businesse;
It will grow late oth' suddaine.

Come Sir Timothy.

Ex. Hold. Tim. Grimes.

So, so, as I would have it: if I doe not
Doe something to exalt the fame of Constables,
Page  [unnumbered]May I be hang'd upon my staffe of Office.
Ha! Valentine and Freewit with my daughter?
They must not see me.
Enter Valentine, Free-wit, Luce.
Tis certaine Mr. Freewit they are contracted,
And this night to be marryed: I am sorry
You should be thus supplanted, by two such
Dull witlesse ideots: but they are so bent on't,
That when I speake in your behalfes, my Mistris
Ent. Clar. Grace.
Stopt my mouth with a blow oth' lips: see here
They are themselves; if you doe any good,
It must be now or never.
Ex. Luce.
Clar. Grace.

Ha, ha, ha.


What doe the Monkyes laugh at?

To behold
Two such trim gallants as your selves, like Asses,
Shaking your empty Noddles ore the Oates
You faine would eate, but must not lick your lips at.
You thought to have wonne us by your wit, where lyes it?
In your gay cloaths; perhaps so, if you can
Out-sweare the faithfull Tayler, that's unpaid yet.
Or cheat your Sempstresse. Troth make safe retreat
Into the Suburbs, there you may finde cast wenches,
Who will in pitty have you: and for dowry,
Bring you an ampler stocke of hot diseases,
Than you are already furnish'd with. We Orphans
Oth' City have more charity to our selves,
Than to wedSurgeons boxes.
When our portions
Shall be consum'd in Pothecaries Bills,
Or giving Doctors fees; or at best use,
Serve but to purchase Sacke; or be as tribute
Paid toth' three Kings; or piously bestowed
Upon Ierusalem.
No, you'd best reserve them,
Till thse you wed be beg'd for fooles; and then
Page  [unnumbered]They will be seas'd to better use. You think now
You have broake our gulls with anger that you have
Resolv'd on other husbands: who would have you?
But two such ideots, fit to be the styles
To the vast pride and lust lurkes in your blood,
Derivative from the City: for our selves,
Why should you have a thought we could descend
So much from gentries honour, to mixe with you?
Tis true, you appeare handsome, but you paint
Worse then a Bawd, or waiting-woman, in love
With the spruce Chaplaine.
For your haire let's see
Your eye-browes badge: oh tis not your owne;
Be modest and confesse it: tis a Peruke,
I saw it at the French-mans in the Strand,
The other day: and though you hold your head up,
It is suppos'd it growes too neare your shoulders,
And you weare iron bodyes, to keep downe
And rectifie the crooked paths that are
In this same hill your body.
Nay, besides
Y'are infinitely lascivious, tis reported
Y'ave kild the reverend Alderman at least,
Ten Prentises, besides foure journy-men.
With too much labour: That you will be drunke
Our selves can testifie: and with these imperfections
This inexhausted Magazin of vices,
Could you imagine we would have you? no.
Heaven give you joy, with your well-chosen spouses:
May they be patient Cuckolds, that's all the harme
Weele wish them: the more fooles, more fit for husbands
To such hot wild cats.
Well Mr. Free-wit,
I thought how ever we, in mirth, or madnesse,
Could have transgrest civility, that you
Would not have made such a severe construction
Of our intentions: how i've lov'd you, heavens
Can beare me righteous witnesse; but mans faith
Page  [unnumbered]Is ickle as his shadow, never seene,
But when the Sunne shines.
And that you, whom I
Even at the first view lov'd, and fixt my heart on:
Should not alone contemne me, but with these
Abuses wound my fame, torments my soule
Beyond the strength of patience, heaven forgive you.
They are our owne, deare Valentine: our owne as surely,
As if the officious Priest had put the Ring
Upon their pretty fingers; why you need not
Take words with such unkindnesse Clare yourselves
Being the occasion.
Such discourtesies
From friends; nay, such beloved friends as you were,
Wounds deeply Mr. Freewit.
Prethee Clara
No more remonstrances of this unkindnesse,
Drye thy faire eyes, or I shall else grow childish,
And weep for company: poore heart i'me sorry
Th'art thus distemper'd; prethee sweet forgive me;
We will be friends, and instantly steale hence,
And end all difference in a happy marriage.
Ha, ha, ha: hold the mans head, heel swowne
I feare oth' suddaine: marry you; goe boast
How you've abus'd us, and doe not forget
This part oth' story, twill much grace the action,
That you were foold agen into beliefe
That we could love you: ha, ha, ha.
Ex. Clare, Grace.
We have made our selves fine fooles, a poxe upon them:
I knew their teares could not be serious:
They onely fell from their left eye, as wealthy
Young widowes weep for their old husbands, Freewit
They're lost, past all recovery.
Who can helpe it;
There are more wives ith' Kingdome; yet Ime vext
That two such gulls should carry them: lets goe seeke
Sir Timothy and my Cozen Holdfast out,
And geld them, then proclaime them to be Eunuchs.
Page  [unnumbered]That course may spoile their marriage.
Enter Busie.
I have o're-heard them all, and it onduces.
Much to my purpose: now, or never Busie
Shew thy selfe a true sparke, that Constables
Hereafter may be thought to have some wit▪
More than is in their staffe. Good day to you gallants,
I have some businesse with you.

Your name is Busie?

The same body,
Your friend, although a Constable▪ there were two Ladyes
Went lately from you.

What of that?

They told me, as I am of their councell, that they lov'd you.
And though some words of couse had past between you,
As oft does among friends: you know the Proverbe put lately
In a Ballad, where I learnd it, that amantiumirae amoris redinte∣gatio est: yet that was but in jest, and in all haste,
Wished me to assure you, that if you would speedily
Take out the Licences this very night, twixt nine and ten, at my
House they would meet you, and joyne with you in Matrimony.

Is this truth?

How's that? upon the faith sir of a man in office,
You may believe me: for a Piest, leave that
To my care gentlemen, ile have one ready
Privately in White-Friers, the house anon
I will enforme you, and what way to take
To misse pursuit, if any should endeavour
Your apprehension.

How may we deserve this kindnes from you?

When tis done, then thanke me; meane time make haste, and get the licences.
Ex. Free. Val.
I will pursue the rest, and if I fit not some body,
Ent. Luce.
Let me be held as other of my fellowes are, Asses in office.
Luce thou art come as aptly as I could wish: be sure at nine of
Clock to be at home, and if you can bring with you two of the gentlewomens gownes, question not why?
But on my blessing doe it; if this hit,
Time shall report some Constables have wit.
Explicit Actus Quartus.
Page  [unnumbered]

Actus Quintus, Scena prima.

The Watch.
1 Watch.
IT is a cold night neighbour,
And tis likely we shall have frost,
That will make Sea-coales deare: heaven helpe poore people.
Is no newes stirring neighbour?
Men. 2 Wat.
Yes, to day
I heard such newes, heaven blesse us, as would make
A mans heart quake in's belly; strange, and true,
It came up in a Carret Boat from Sandwich
Last tide; an Oister wife, a good old Woman,
Heard it at Billingsgate, and told my wife on it,
3 Watch.

What is it? pray lets heare it.

Men. 2 Wat.
Marry, that twixt Deale
And Dover, one fishing for Flounders, drew
A Spaniards body up, slaine ith' late sea-fight,
And searching him for monie, found ith' sets
Of his great Ruste the — I shall think on't presently,
Tis a hard word—the Inquisition.
1 Wat.
O monstrous, what's that?
I have not heard of such a Beast before.
Men. 3 Wat.
You've heard nothing then:
It is a Monster very like the Man-drake
Was shewen at Temple Barre.
2 Wat.
You have heard nothing neither:
The Monster's no such Monster: neighbor Mandivell
You are a zealous brother, a Translator,
Tis such a Monster as will swallow thee,
And all the Brethren at Amsterdam,
Page  [unnumbered]And in new England at a morsell: verilies,
Your yeas, and nayes will not appease its stomacke,
Twill sup them up as easily as a Tayler
Would doe sixe hot loaves in a morning fasting,
And yet dine after.
Enter Busie and Parson.
There is the Licence sir for Mr. Holdfast,
And wise Sir Timothy; you have instructions
How things ought to be carryed: when I have
Dispos'd my Watch, I will be there my selfe;
Meane time good Sir be carefull.
Doubt me not,
Good Mr. Constable; tis not the first time
I have espoused couples of as much worship,
Behinde the Brickhills: when tis done, tis done,
And surely consummate.
Ex. Parson.
Well said neighbours,
Y'are chatting wisely o're your Bils and Lanthorns,
As becomes Watch-men of discretion: pray you
Let's have no wit amongst you; no discourse
O'the Common-wealth; I need not neighbours give you
Your charge to night: onely for fashion sake.
Draw neare and be attentive.
3 Men.
I have edified
More by your charge I promise you, than by
Many a mornings exercise.
First, then,
You shall be sure to keep the peace; that is,
If any quarrell, be ith' streets, sit still, and keepe
Your rusty Bills from blood-shed; and as't began
So let it end: onely your zeales may wish
The Devill part them.
1 Wat.

Forward Mr. Constable.

Next, if a thiefe chance to passe through your watch,
Let him depart in peace; for should you stay him,
To purchase his redemption he'le impart
Some of his stolne goods, and you're apt to take them,
Which makes you accessary to his theft,
Page  [unnumbered]And so fit food for T••urne.
Good advise,
I promise you, if we have grace to follow it.
Next if a drunkard of a man disguisd,
Desire to passe the gate, by all means open't,
You'l run your selves intoth' premunire,
For your authority stretches but to men,
And they are beasts by statute.
1 Wat.
Such as we are,
Horn'd beasts he means.
How's that; you carry lanthornes,
Thou hast wit, and Ile reward't, there's foure tokens
To buy the cheese: next for the female creatures,
Which the severer officers ith' suburbs
Terme girles, or wenches, let them passe without
Examining where they been: or taking from them
A single token: lasse good soules, they get
Their mony hard, with labours of their bodies,
And to exact on those were even extortion
Beyond a brokers.
Yet they doe't
Without the City, I have heard a brewer,
Being one yeare in office, got as much from those
Good soules as bought him a new mash-fat,
And mended all his coolers.
How's that? we are bidden
Not to take ill examples, for your selves you have
Free leave for th' good oth' common wealth to
Sleepe after eleven: meane time you may play at
Tray trip, or cockall for blacke puddings,
So now your charge is finish'd.
Enter Sir Timothy, Grimes, Holdfast, with a Sedan.
1 Wat.

Stand, who goes there?


Come before Mr. Constable.

Tis I Landlord,
Page  [unnumbered]There's sixteenpence to buy thy watch some 〈◊〉.
Prithee tie up their tongues.
And there's four 〈◊〉
To purchase tosts to it.
How's that, pray stay 〈…〉,
You'r sober men and fit 〈…〉:
Whither goes all this carriage? 〈…〉,
These are the cunningst wodden bawnly houses,
Were ere invented, and these blew coate men 〈◊〉,
The most authenticke pimps: set downe and open
Your chaire of sinne you 〈◊〉
Why good Landlord,
You will spoyle all, doe you not know your tenent,
Not Ieremy Holdfast?
How's that? not my father
Upon a watch, Ile lay my life they've stolne
Some city orph••e, they'r so loath to have
Their load discover'd.
There's ten shillings▪ Landlord
To buy thee sack: although it be thy office,
And thou art sworne to't, for a friend tis lawfull
To breake an oath: I will forsweare my selfe
A hundred times to doe thee good.
Exeunt Holdfast, Timothy, Grimes, ••d Seda••
Appeas'd, march on: looke you remember my
Instructions: so this money was well gotten,
And 'tshall as merrily be spent, you need no
More, club your halfe pence sparkes to purchase Ale,
You've an exchequer: ha another chariot,
This same should be some Lady from a labor,
Her waiters smell of groning cheese: goodnight
Gentlemen, pay the Porter, what ist twelve pence▪
Share it amongst you.
Mr. Constable
Tis very late, a fire and a browne tost now,
With some of mother Trundles Ale, I promise you
Would comfort much the inwards.
Page  [unnumbered]
How's that hang it,
It is hereticall: Sack's the Orthodoxall
Liquor: and now I thinke ont, you two, and Mendwell
Shall with me to th' Saint Johns head: there is
A cup of pure Canary, and wee have it,
Twill breake your heads, your owne bills,
And weare your Lanthornes in your noses bullies:
My masters, you that stay behinde observe
My charge with strictnesse, and if any businesse
Be of importance, call me.
Exit cum C•••ri.
1 Wat.
Now my masters,
Shall I expound a motion to you, shall wee
Share, and share like this mony?
4 Wat.

With all our hearts▪ Omnes

1 Wat.
Lets see what comes it to a peece▪ there's eleven groats,
And we are five of us, that is — that is, let me see seven pence a piece.
No, no, I lye, tis eight pence, and six pence over.
4 Wat.
Right, right, this it is to be booke-learn'd,
He's a good Arimetician: but stay neighbours,
Here comes more company: come before the Constable.
Enter Covet, Sir Geffery, Formall with a Linke.
This is the government the city keepes,
How doe you lik't Sir Geffery?
Very well,
I doe not thinke all Christendome affoords
The like for formall discipline.
1 Wat.
Leave your pratin,
And come before the Constable, though he be not
Here himselfe, theres those that can examine you?
You doe well masters to keepe diligent watch,
Theres many varlets at these houres commit
Disorders in the City: Wheres the constable?
1 Wat.
Good master Alderman, I cry your worship mercy,
Because your worship wanted your worshipfull horse.
We did not know you: Mr. Constable
Page  [unnumbered]And please your worship is but at next doore
Drinking a pint of sacke

How at a Taverne?

1 Wat.
At the Saint Johns head▪
And please your worship, where if your worship please,
You may have excellent scke, and please your worship.
This is the fowlst enormity I ever
Heard on ith' city, that a Constable,
Who ought to see good orders kep, should be
At these unlawfull houres, breeding disorder▪
And in an open Taverne. Good Sir Geffery
Beare me but company, Ile make the knave
A faire example to all men in office, how they
Come nere a bush: watchmen looke well
To the charge committed to you: for your Constable,
Ile make him kisse the counter, light on Formall.
Exit Covet, cum caeteris.
1 Wat.
A shrewd man this, if ere he live to be
Lord Majors, ha mercy upon us; neighbours surely
Tis very late, and I was up till twelve
Last night a mending my wives bodies, shall we
Each to his bulke and take a nod?

Agreed, agreed.

Ex. Watch.

Busie, Mndwell, watchmen 〈◊〉 in a Taverne.
Set downe your trusty Bills my sparkes, and let us
Watch ore a cup of Sacke, here tis will make you
Each one an Alderman: a bigger glasse boy,
I doe not love these thimbles, they are fit
For none but precise Taylors, that doe sip,
In zeale, and sweare cuds nigs over their wine,
To cheat their customers: so this is something.
A score or two of these my sparkes, will set
Our braines a floate, and then weel talke as wisely,
As all the common Counsell, how's that now?
Mr. Constable
Page  [unnumbered]Y'are in the right I promise you: I feele
My selfe already growing from a watchman
Into a head-borow.
How's that? thou shalt be
A Constable within this halfe houre Mendwell,
Carry thy staffe with the red Crosse and Dagger
In as much state, as the best gold smith,
That ere bore office in Cheap-side; here's to thee,
Hang care and Cosenage; let mercers use it
In the darke shops: I am a Linnen Draper,
Love wit and Sacke, and am resolv'd to thrive by't,
When they shall break like bottles: Here lets ••nvas
This quart, and then will bumbaste off another,
And drinke a health to Holland, and the mad boyes
That traile the puissant Pike there: how's that; doe you peepe?
Enter Fidlers Boy.

Please you hear a good song Gentlemen?

These squeakers, doe claime more
Priviledge in a Taverne,
Then a man in office; into every roome
They thrust their frisled heads; and Ide bin at it
With some distressed Damsell, that I had taken
Late in my watch, thus Ide bin serv'd: ile have
An Edict made against them at Guild Hall,
Next sitting certainely.

A very new song and please your worships gentlemen.

There you lye boy;
I doubt it is some lamentable stuffe,
Oth' Swine-fac'd ge••lewoman, and that youle grunt out
Worse than a parish Boare when he makes love
Unto the Vicars sow; her story's stale boy,
'T has beene already in two playes.
An't please your worships,
My song is of a Constable.
How's that? a Constable,
Tis not my selfe; I hope ime not exalted
Into a ballad: Dare you sirrah abuse
Officers in your Madrigalls; you deserve,
Page  [unnumbered]And so does he that made 〈◊〉, to be whipt for't.

Pray heare it sir: tis no such matter on my credit.

How's that? Well, on thy credit I will heare it.
Callin your company; welcome my Master:
Ent. Musicians.
Here: wet your 〈◊〉 first, then thund•• forth
Some lofty Sonnets in the praise of Constables;
And never feare the whipping-post hereafter.

Constables 2 Song.

SIng and rejoyce, the day is gone.
And the wholsome night appeares.
In which the Constable on Throne
Of trusty bench, does with his Peres
The comely watch; men 〈◊〉 of health,
Sleep for the good oth' Common-wealth.
Tis his office to doe so,
Being bound to keep the peace.
And in quiet sleep all know
Mortall jarre, and lewd brawles cease:
A Constable may then for's health,
Sleep for the good oth' Common-wealth.
Vnlesse with Nobler thoughts inspir'd,
To the Taverne here sort,
Where with Sacke his Sences fir'd,
He raignes as fairy King in Court;
Drinking many a lusty health,
Then sleepes for th' good oth' Common-wealth.
With a comely girle, whom late
He had taken in his watch,
Oft he steales out of the gate
Her at the old sport to watch,
Though it may impaire his health,
He sleeps with her for th' good oth' Common-wealth.
Page  [unnumbered]
Who then can Constables deny
To be persons brave and witty,
Since they onely are the eye,
The Glory, the delight th' City,
That with staffe, and 〈◊〉 light
Are like blacke Pluto Princes of the night.

An excellent Ditty I promise you.

Well done boy.
There's twelve pence for you Knaves, and tell the Poet
That made it, if heele come to me, ile give him
A quart of Sacke to whet his Muse.
Ent. Drawer.
Sir, below there's one enquires for you, and I suppose him
To be at least an Alderman.
And if he be
The Major and his horse, let them come up.
Flinch Squeakers into another roome: Good Mr. Alderman
Tis strange you are abroad so late, wil't please you
Ent. Cov. Sir Geff. Formall.
To taste a cup a Sack, twill warme your stomacke
After your walking.
No Sirrah, ile not be
Partaker of your riot: this the watch
You keep good Mr. Constable? introth
The City's much beholding to your care,
And they shall understand it, in a Taverne
A fit place for an Officer: but ile send you
To one fitter for you to the Counter.
Lay hands I charge you, beare him hence,
Ile have you all laid fast else.
How's that? I hope youle let us
Drinke off our sacke first: twere farre better sir,
In my poore judgment, that you sate down in peace,
As does befit your gravity, and drinke
A friendly cup or two: then for the first
Offence to send your neighbour to the Counter:
Pray sir be not so fierce; a glasse, or two
Will mollifie your hard heart.
Will you not stirre knaves?
Page  [unnumbered]Where is the Master of the house? ile make
This Busie an example.
Pray doe not sir:
Perhaps y'are bashfull sir, and will not drnke,
Cause you want coyn to pay: ile lend you some;
Or if you scorne to borrow, you may dip
Your chaine; a good pawne never shames the master.
Pray sit downe sir; we just now had Musicke,
Ile call them in agen.
Within, the master of the house, ile have
These knaves indicted for this bold contempt,
And whipt about the City.
You may see sir,
My Watch-men know their duty, they'll obey
None but the Constable, and ile experience,
If they'le know me for one: My masters, take
This Alderman and his company I charge you,
And carry them straight to th' Counter, ile secure you
'Gainst all the harme that followes.
Seise on the Alderman and Sir Geffery.

Come, come, come along sir.


Dare you doe this sirrah?

Yes, and answer't too sir.
Y'ave met a Constable that has the wit,
To know the power of's office: neighbour Mendwel,
Because they'le take him for a Rat ith' Counter,
And Ide be loath to have his reverend b••rd
Be twitch'd off for his Garnish, to my house
Convey him, and that comely Knight, and bid
My maid shew them a Chamber; ile deale kindlier
With you, then you'd have done with me: there watch them
Till I come home: how's that now?

Sirrah, sirrah, ile make you smoak for this.


Come, we lose time sir.

Let him have
A good fire pray you. So, all works as't had bin
Molded afore in waxe: boy there's your reckoning.
Now to my sparkes, Ive done that will be talkt on ith' City,
And registred, a Constable was witty.
Page  [unnumbered]Freewit, Thorowgood, Valentine, Luce, Clare.
You thinke you have us sure now. This same Busie
Is a meere cheating Rascall.
Come, your rage
Is uselesse now: he has done better for you,
Than I by th' circumstance perceive you had
Intended for your selves: what would you've done
With two such March-pane husbands? I believe,
For all you set a good face on the matter,
Twas your owne plot.
Ours? then may we dye Virgins,
And these same trusty youths, now cald our husbands,
Be suddainly transform'd to Eunuchs; we
Had thought young Holdfast, and Sir Timothy
Had bin the Squires had usher'd us, and them
We had resolv'd to couple with.
Sweete Clare
No more of this; for all your queint dissembling.
I know you love us, better than to part
For a slight quarrell; now we're man and wife,
And we will love you, if you'll be obedient,
And get such Boyes upon you, as shall people
Cheap side with wit five generations after us.
Feare not thy fathers frownes: sweet Grace I have
An Aldermans heire a joyncture.
Enter Busie.
Blesse you my hearts of gold, and give you joy.
Frowne not good Mistris Clare, I knew your minde
And so fulfild it.
Constable, ile have
Thy Annalls writ, in a farre larger volume,
Than Speed or Hollingshed.
Well Mr. Busie,
Y'ave serv'd us sweetly.
How's that? I hope your husbands
Anon will serve you sweetlier: faith I thought
There was no wit in't, that you two should cast
Page  [unnumbered]Your selves away on two such gulls, your portions.
Deserv'd more noble husband: therefore finely
After you were gone downe, to take your Chariot,
Instead of them, when ith' meane while my daughters
Held in discouse, I sent these, now your husbands▪
To exercise their office: Now you are marryed.
I shall have Gloves I hope?
Yes, and such favours
As thou shalt weare in triumph: but what have you
Done with our other sweet-hearts?
How's that? matcht them
To two will hold them play: Come will you ravaile
Your father Mistris Grace is at my house,
Thither you shall, and if he will be angry,
Let him be pleas'd agen Advance my sparkes▪
Ile be your valiant 〈…〉
Sir Geffery, Covet, Formall, Watchmen.
Storme not so Mr. Alderman, the man
Has done no more beleev't, than what his office
Will beare him out in.
Ile spend a thousand
Pound, but Ile be reveng'd: a sawcy rascall
In my owne Ward to serve me thus?
Enter Timothy, Holdfast, Grimes, Luce, Nell.
Nay, come forward Ladyes,
Although your father sweet-heart, be in our search,
Be not abash'd, come forward, though you kept
Your tongues in peace, ere since our going forth,
And nere spake word, unlesse before the Parson
When we committed Matrimony, yet now
Pull of your Maskes and Vailes, and shew your faces,
Be not asham'd of them.
Who's here? Sir Timothy and your sonne, Ile lay
My life on't they have struck a marriage up
Without our knowledge.

Very likely Ieremy.

Page  [unnumbered]
No more words sir, tis done, I and sir Timothy
we hit the white: Good father Covet be not
ungry mood now I have wed your daughter,
And he your Neece, weele use them kindly: pray you
Bid give us joy; your daughter is so fearefull,
She dares not aske you blessing.

This qualifies all anger, I forgive them.

Forgive us sir? you doe not heare us aske it,
Not need we your remission.
Ha! who are these! Sir Geffery we are cheated
Abhominably, cheated by this Constable,
This rascall Busie, these are his daughters.
Nor are we asham'd
To owne him for our father, that has provided
Us two such wealthy husbands.
Nell, I did not thinke you would have serv'd me thus
Unkindly, gentle Nell.
Unkindly sir, in what? to make you master
Of all I have. Ile use you kindly trust me;
When you come drunke a nights home, in the morning
Ile make you amber Caudles.
Saist thou so;
Give me thy hand: Father pray be not angry,
My Wife's my wife, and so I will maintaine her
Gainst all the world. Sir Timothy, your spouse
Is not to be contemn'd, she's a good girle.
And therefore pray regard her.
Very like; for your sake
I will doe much: Although I find my selfe
Made a starke Asse. Come hither Luce
Enter Clare, Grace, Thorougood, Freewit, Valentine, Busie.

Your pardon Sir, and blessing.

We have done sir
What cannot be undone, now if you will
Be foolish now, and vexe your selves, you may
Be laught at for your labour; they're our husbands,
And we no cause now to repent our choyce,
Nor you Sir to repine at.
Our duties
Page  [unnumbered]And after carriage, shall deserve your love,
Nor our fortunes Sir so mane, but may
Merit their portions
Well▪ you shall not
Report me cruell; you have my consent,
And blessing with it; neighbour Busie, Ile
Be friend with you, and at my intreaty
Sir Geffery shall be reconcil'd.
How's that?
Give me thy 〈◊〉 good brother Knight, my daughters
Shall not come without portions; they shall have
Each one a Bolt of Holland▪ that's enough.
Sonne Knight give me thine too; and sonne Holdfast
Weele be as merry boyes, and drinke old Sacke
In plenteous glasses, till we all grow witty,
A humorous Poets▪ to your beds, the're ready,
Your wedding dinner shall be mine, weele dance.
And have the Song oth' Constable; March faire,
And get each one a chopping boy by Morning;
I and my Watchmen here will drinke your healths,
Though we doe lose our owne by it.
Mr. Busie,
Wee're all beholding to you, and 'tis fit,
We should confesse this Constable had wit.
Page  [unnumbered]