Pre-Shakespeare Works: Court Tragi-comedy

Damon and Pithias, 1571
Transcribed by BF.
copyright © 2002

Part 2

Words discussed in the glossary are underlined.
Latin translations also presented in Appendix I.

<continued from part 1>

ARISTIPPUS: The king is at hand. Stand close in the prease. Beware! If he know
You are friend to Damon, he will take you for a spy also. ... [710]
Farewell; I dare not be seen with you.

[Here entereth King Dionysius, Eubulus the Counselor, and Gronno the Hangman.]

DIONYSIUS: Gronno, do my commandment; strike off Damon's irons by and by,
And bring him forth. I myself will see him executed presently.

GRONNO: O mighty king, your commandment will I do speedily.

DIONYSIUS: Eubulus, thou hast talked in vain, for sure he shall die.
Shall I suffer my life to stand in peril of every spy?

EUBULUS: That he conspired against your person, his accuser cannot say.
He only viewed your city; and will you for that make him away?

DIONYSIUS: What he would have done, the guess is great. He minded me to hurt
That came so slyly to search out the secret estate of my court.... [720]
Shall I still live in fear? No, no; I will cut off such imps betime,
Lest that to my farther danger too high they climb.

EUBULUS: Yet have the mighty gods immortal fame assigned
To all worldly princes which in mercy be inclined.

DIONYSIUS: Let fame talk what she list, so I may live in safety.

EUBULUS: Thy only mean to that is to use mercy.

DIONYSIUS: A mild prince the people despiseth.

EUBULUS: A cruel king the people hateth.

DIONYSIUS: let them hate me, so they fear me.

EUBULUS: That is not the way to live in safety. ... [730]

DIONYSIUS: My sword and power shall purchase my quietness.

EUBULUS: That is sooner procured by mercy and gentleness.

DIONYSIUS: Dionysius ought to be feared.

EUBULUS: Better for him to be well-beloved.

DIONYSIUS: Fortune maketh all things subject to my power.

EUBULUS: Believe her not, she is a light goddess; she can laugh and low'r.

DIONYSIUS: A king's praise standeth in the revenging of his enemy.

EUBULUS: A greater praise to win him by clemency.

DIONYSIUS: To suffer the wicked live, it is no mercy.

EUBULUS: To kill the innocent, it is great cruelty. ... [740]

DIONYSIUS: Is Damon innocent which so craftily undermined Carisophus
To understand what he could of king Dionysius?
Which surviewed the haven, and each bulwark in the city,
Where battery might be laid, what way best to approach? Shall I
Suffer such a one to live, that worketh me such despite?
No, he shall die! Then I am safe: a dead dog cannot bite.

EUBULUS: But yet, O might [king], my duty bindeth me.
To give such counsel as with your honor may best agree.
The strongest pillars of princely dignity
I find this -- justice with mercy, and prudent liberality: ... [750]
The one judgeth all things by upright equity,
The other rewardeth the worthy, flying each extremity.
As to spare those which offend maliciously,
It may be called no justice, but extreme injury;
So, upon suspicion of each thing not well-proved,
To put to death presently whom envious flattery accused,
It seemeth of tyranny. And upon what fickle ground all tyrants do stand,
Athens and Lacedemon can teach you, if it be rightly scann'd;
And not only these citizens, but who curiously seeks
The whole histories of all the world -- not only of Romans and Greeks ... [760]
Shall well perceive of all tyrants the ruinous fall;
Their state uncertain, beloved of none, but hated of all.
Of merciful princes to set out the passing felicity
I need not; enough of that even these days do testify,
They live devoid of fear, their sleeps are sound, they dread no enemy,
They are feared and loved. And why? They rule with justice and mercy --
Extending justice to such as wickedly from justice have swerved,
Mercy unto those who in opinion of simpleness have mercy deserved.
Of liberty nought I say, but only this thing:
Liberty upholdeth the state of a king, ... [770]
Whose large bountifulness ought to fall to this issue --
To reward none but such as deserve it for virtue.
Which merciful justice, if you would follow, and provident liberality,
Neither the caterpillars of all courts, et fruges consumere nati,
Parasites with wealth puff'd up, should not look so high;
Nor yet for this simple fact poor Damon should die.

DIONYSIUS: With pain mine ears have heard this vain talk of mercy.
I tell thee, fear and terror defendeth kings only.
Till he be gone, whom I suspect, how shall I live quietly,
Whose memory with chilling horror fills my breast day and night violently?
My dreadful dreams of him bereaves my rest; on bed I lie ... [780]
Shaking and trembling, as one ready to yield his throat to Damon's sword.
This quaking dread nothing but Damon's blood can stay,
Better he die, than I to be tormented with fear alway.
He shall die, though Eubulus consent not thereto.
It is lawful for kings, as they list, all things to do.

[Here Gronno, assisted by Snap, bringeth in Damon; and Pithias meeteth
him by the way

PITHIAS: O my Damon!

DAMON: O my Pithias! Seeing death must part us, farewell for ever!

PITHIAS: O Damon! O my sweet friend!

SNAP: Away from the prisoner! What a prease have we here! ... [790]

GRONNO: As you command, O mighty king, we have brought Damon.

DIONYSIUS: Then, go to; make ready. I will not stir out of this place.
Till I see his head stroken off before my face.

GRONNO: It shall be done, sir. [To Damon.] Because your eyes have made such ado
I will knock down this your lantern, and shut up your shop-window too.

DAMON: O mighty king, whereas no truth my innocent life can save,
But that so greedily you thirst my guiltless blood to have,
Albeit (even in thought) I had not ought against your person.
Yet now I plead not for life, ne will I crave your pardon.
But seeing in Greece, my country, where well I am known, ... [800]
I have worldly things fit for mine alliance when I am gone,
To dispose of them ere I die, if I might obtain leisure,
I would account it, O king, for a passing great pleasure --
Not to prolong my life thereby (for which I reckon not this),
But to set my things in a stay. And surely I will not miss,
Upon the faith which all gentlemen ought to embrace,
To return again, at your time to appoint, to yield my body here in this place.
Grant me, O king, such time to dispatch this inquiry,
And I will not fail, when you appoint, even here my life to pay.

DIONYSIUS: A pleasant request! As though I could trust him absent ... [810]
Whom in no wise I cannot trust being present.
And yet, though I sware the contrary, do that I require:
Give me a pledge for thy return, and have thine own desire.
He is as near now as he was before.

DAMON: There is no surer nor greater pledge than the faith of a gentleman.

DIONYSIUS: It was wont to be; but otherwise now the world doth stand.
Therefore do as I say, else presently yield thy neck to the sword.
If I might with my honor, I would recall my word.

PITHIAS: [Advancing.] Stand to your word, O king. For kings ought nothing say
But that they would perform in perfect deeds alway. ... [820]
A pledge you did require when Damon his suit did move;
For which with heart and stretched hands most humble thanks I give.
And that you may not say but Damon hath a friend
That loves him better than his own life, and will do, to his end,
Take me, O might king! My life I pawn for his.
Strike off my head if Damon hap at his day to miss.

DIONYSIUS: What art thou that chargest me with my word so boldly here?

PITHIAS: I am Pithias, a Greek born, which hold Damon my friend full dear.

DIONYSIUS: Too dear, perhaps, to hazard thy life for him! What fondness moveth thee?

PITHIAS: No fondness at all, but perfect amity. ... [830]

DIONYSIUS: A mad kind of amity! Advise thyself well: if Damon fail at his day,
Which shall be justly appointed, wilt thou die for him, to me his life to pay?

PITHIAS: Most willingly, O might king. If Damon fail, let Pithias die.

DIONYSIUS: Thou seemest to trust his words that pawnest thy life so frankly.

PITHIAS: What Damon saith, Pithias believeth assuredly.

DIONYSIUS: Take heed! For life wordly men break promise in many things.

PITHIAS: Though wordly men do so, it never haps amongst friends.

DIONYSIUS: What callest thou friends? Are they not men; is not this true?

PITHIAS: Men they be, but such men as love one another only for virtue.

DIONYSIUS: For what virtue dost thou love this spy, this Damon? ... [840]

PITHIAS: For that virtue which yet to you is unknown.

DIONYSIUS: Eubulus, what shall I do? I would dispatch this Damon fain;
But this foolish fellow so chargeth me that I may not call back my word again.

EUBULUS: The reverent majesty of a king stands chiefly in keeping his promise.
What you have said this whole court beareth witness.
Save your honor, whatsoever you do.

DIONYSIUS: For saving mine honor, I must forbear my will. Go to.
Pithias, seeing thou tookest me at my word, take Damon to thee;
For two months he is thine. [To Gronno.] Unbind him; I set him free.
Which time once expired, if he appear not the next day by noon, ... [850]
Without further delay thou shalt lose thy life, and that full soon!
Whether he die by the way, or lie sick in his bed,
If he returneth not then, thou shalt either hang or lose thy head!

PITHIAS: For this, O mighty king, I yield immortal thanks! O joyful day!

DIONYSIUS: Gronno, take him to thee. Bind him; see him kept in safety.
If he escape, assure thyself for him thou shalt die.
Eubulus, let us depart to talk of this strange thing within.

EUBULUS: I follow.

[Exit, Eubulus following Dionysius and his train. Gronno, Snap, Damon and Pithias remain.]

GRONNO: Damon, thou servest the gods well today; be thou of comfort. ... [860]
As for you, sir: I think you will be hanged in sport.
You heard what the king said; I must keep you safely.
By Cock, so I will; you shall rather hang than I!
Come, on your way.

PITHIAS: My Damon, farewell! The gods have thee in keeping.

DAMON: O, my Pithias, my pledge, farewell! I part from thee weeping.
But joyful at my day appointed I will return again,
When I will deliver thee from all trouble and pain.
Stephano will I leave behind me to wait upon thee in prison alone;
And I, whom fortune hath reserved to this misery, will walk home.
Ah, my Pithias, my pledge, my life, my friend, farewell! ... [870]

PITHIAS: Farewell, my Damon!

DAMON: Loath I am to depart. Sith sobs my trembling tongue doth stay,
O music, sound my doleful plaints when I am gone my way.
[Exit Damon.]

GRONNO: I am glad he is gone; I had almost wept too. Come, Pithias.
So God help me, I am sorry for thy foolish case.
Wilt thou venter thy life for a man so fondly?

PITHIAS: It is no venter: my friend is just, for whom I desire to die.

GRONNO: Here is a madman! I tell thee, I have a wife whom I love well,
And if ich would die for her, chould ich were in hell!
Wilt thou do more for a man than I would for a woman? ... [880]

PITHIAS: Yea, that I will.

GRONNO: Then, come on your ways; you must to prison in haste.
I fear you will repent this folly at last.

PITHIAS: That shalt thou never see. But, O music, as my Damon requested thee,
Sound out thy doleful tunes in this time of calamity.
[Exit Pithias, led away by Gronno.]

[Here the regals play a mourning song, and Damon
cometh in in mariner's apparel and Stephano with him.

DAMON: Weep no more, Stephano; this is but destiny.
Had this not happ'd, yet I know I am born to die;
Where or in what place, the gods know alone
To whose judgment myself I commit. Therefore leave off thy moan,
And wait upon Pithias in prison till I return again, ... [890]
In whom my joy, my care, and life doth only remain.

STEPHANO: O my dear master, let me go with you; for my poor company
Shall be some small comfort in this time of misery.

DAMON: O Stephano, hast thou been so long with me,
And yet dost not know the force of true amity?
I tell thee once again, my friend and I are but one.
Wait upon Pithias, and think thou art with Damon.
Whereof I may not now discourse, the time passeth away;
The sooner I am gone, the shorter shall be my journey.
Therefore farewell, Stephano!: commend me to my friend Pithias, ... [900]
Whom I trust to deliver in time out of this woeful case.

STEPHANO: Farewell, my dear master, since your pleasure is so.
[Exit Damon.]
O cruel hap! O poor Stephano!
O cursed Carisophus, that first moved this tragedy!
[He hears a noise in Damon's lodging.]
But what a noise is this? Is all well within, trow ye?
I fear all be not well within; I will go see. ... [He goes in.]
Come out, you weasel! Are you seeking eggs in Damon's chest?
Come out, I say! Wilt thou be packing? By Cock, you were best!

[Reenter Stephano, pulling out Carisophus, Jack following.]

CARISOPHUS: How durst thou, villain, to lay hands on me?

STEPHANO: Out, sir knave, or I will send ye!
Art thou not content to accuse Damon wrongfully, ... [910]
But wilt thou rob him also, and that openly?

CARISOPHUS: The king gave me the spoil; to take mine own wilt thou let me?

STEPHANO: Thine own, villain! Where is thine authority?

CARISOPHUS: I am authority of myself; dost thou not know?

STEPHANO: By'r Lady, that is somewhat! But have you no more to show?

CARISOPHUS: What if I have not?

STEPHANO: Then for an earnest penny take this blow. [Strikes him.] I shall bombast you, you mocking knave! Chill put pro in my purse for this time!

CARISOPHUS: Jack, give me my sword and target. ... [920]

JACK: I cannot come to you, master; this knave doth me let. Hold, master.
[Extending the sword.]

STEPHANO: [To Jack.] Away, Jackanapes, else I will colpheg you by and by!
Ye slave, I will have my pennyworths of thee therefore, if I die!
About, villain! [He beats Carisophus.]

CARISOPHUS: O citizens, help to defend me!

STEPHANO: Nay, they will rather help to hang thee.

CARISOPHUS: Good fellow, let us reason this matter quietly; beat me no more.

STEPHANO: Of this condition I will stay -- if thou swear, as thou art an honest man,
Thou wilt say nothing to the king of this when I am gone.

CARISOPHUS: I will say nothing -- here is my hand -- as I am an honest man. ... [930]

STEPHANO: Then say on thy mind. I have taken a wise oath on him, have I not, trow ye,
To trust such a false knave upon his honesty?
As he is an honest man (quoth you!) he may bewray all to the king,
And break his oath for this never a whit -- but, my franion, I tell you this one thing:
If you disclose this I will devise such a way
That whilst thou livest thou shalt remember this day.

CARISOPHUS: You need not devise for that, for this day is printed in my memory!
I warrant you I shall remember this beating till I die.
But seeing of courtesy you have granted that we should talk quietly,
Methinks in calling me knave you do me much injury. ... [940]

STEPHANO: Why so, I pray thee heartily?

CARISOPHUS: Because I am the king's man. Keeps the king any knaves?

STEPHANO: He should not; but what he doth, it is evident by thee.
And, as far as I can learn or understand,
There is none better able to keep knaves in all the land.

CARISOPHUS: O sir, I am a courtier; when courtiers shall hear tell
How you have used me, they will not take it well.

STEPHANO: Nay, all right courtiers will ken me thank. And wot you why?
Because I handled a counterfeit courtier in his kind so finely.
What, sir, all are not courtiers that have a counterfeit show; ... [950]
In a troop of honest men, some knaves may stand, ye know,
Such as by stealth creep in under the color of honesty,
Which sort under that cloak do all kinds of villainy.
A right courtier is virtuous, gentle, and full of urbanity,
Hurting no man, good to all, devoid of all villainy;
But such as thou art, fountains of squirrility and vain delights;
Though you hang by the courts, you are but flatt'ring parasites.
As well deserving the right name of courtesy
As the coward knight the true praise of chivalry.
I could say more, but I will not, for that I am your well-willer. ... [960]
In faith, Carisophus, you are no courtier, but a caterpillar,
A sycophant, a parasite, a flatterer, and a knave!
Whether I will or no, these names you must have;
How well you deserve this by your deeds it is known,
For that so unjustly thou hast accused poor Damon,
Whose woeful case the gods help alone.

CARISOPHUS: Sir, are you his servant that you pity his case so?

STEPHANO: No, bum troth, goodman Grumb; his name is Stephano.
I am called Onaphets, if needs you will know.
[Aside.] The knave beginneth to sift me; but I turn my name in and out, ... [970]
Cretiso cum Cretense, to make him a lout.

CARISOPHUS: What mumble you with yourself, Master Onaphets?

STEPHANO: I am reckoning with myself how I may pay my debts.

CARISOPHUS: You have paid me more than you did owe me!

STEPHANO: Nay, upon a farther reckoning, I will pay you more, if I know
Either you talk of that is done, or by your sycophantical envy
You prick forth Dionysius the sooner that Damon may die.
I will so pay thee that thy bones shall rattle in thy skin.
Remember what I have said; Onaphets is my name. [Exit.]

CARISOPHUS: The sturdy knave is gone; the devil him take! ... [980]
He hath made my head, shoulders, arms, sides, and all to ache.
Thou whoreson villain, boy, why didst thou wait no better?
As he paid me, so will I not die thy debtor. [Strikes him.]

JACK: Master, why do you fight with me? I am not your match, you see.
You durst not fight with him that is gone; and will you wreak your anger on me?

CARISOPHUS: Thou villain, by thee I have lost mine honor, --
Beaten with a cudgel like a slave, a vacabone, or a lazy lubber,
And not given one blow again! Hast thou handled me well?

JACK: Master, I handled you not, but who did handle you very handsomely, you can tell.

CARISOPHUS: Handsomely, thou crack-rope? ... [990]

JACK: Yea, sir, very handsomely! I hold you a groat,
He handled you so handsomely that he left not one mote in your coat.

CARISOPHUS: O, I had firk'd him trimly, thou villain, if thou hadst given me my sword.

JACK: It is better as it is, master, believe me, at a word.
If he had seen your weapon he would have been fiercer,
And so perhaps beat you worse. I speak it with my heart,
You were never yet at the dealing of fence blows but you had four away for your part.
It is but your luck. You are man good enough;
But the Welsh Onaphets was a vengeance-knave, and rough!
Master, you were best go home and rest in your bed; ... [1000]
Methinks your cap waxeth too little for your head.

CARISOPHUS: What! Doth my head swell?

JACK: Yes, as big as a codshead, and bleeds too.

CARISOPHUS: I am ashamed to show my face with this hue.

JACK: No shame at all; men have been beaten far better than you.

CARISOPHUS: I must to to the chirurgeon's. What shall I say when I am a-dressing?

JACK: You may say truly you met with a knave's blessing. [Exeunt.]

[Here entereth Aristippus.]

ARISTIPPUS: By mine own experience I prove true that many men tell:
To live in court not beloved, better be in hell.
What crying out, what cursing is there within of Carisophus, ... [1010]
Because he accused Damon to King Dionysius!
Even now he came whining and crying into the court for the nonce,
Showing that one Onaphets had broke his knave's sconce.
Which strange name, when they heard, every man laugh'd heartily,
And I by myself scann'd his name secretly;
For well I knew it was some mad-headed child
That invented this name that the log-headed knave might be beguil'd.
In tossing it often with myself to and fro,
I found out that Onaphets backward spelled Stephano.
I smiled in my sleeve to see how by turning his name he dress'd him, ... [1020]
And how for Damon his master's sake with a wooden cudgel he bless'd him.
None pitied the knave, no man nor woman; but all laugh'd him to scorn.
To be thus hated of all, better unborn!
Far better Aristippus hath provided, I trow;
For in all the court I am beloved both of high and low.
I offend none; insomuch that women sing this to my great praise,
Omnis Aristippum decuit color, et locus et res.
But in all this jollity one thing 'mazeth me:
The strangest thing that ever was heard or known
Is now happened in this court by that Damon ... [1030]
Whom Carisophus accused: Damon is now at liberty,
For whose return Pithias his friend lieth in prison, alas, in great jeopardy!
Tomorrow is the day; which day by noon, if Damon return not,
The king hath sworn that Pithias should die;
Whereof Pithias hath intelligence very secretly,
Wishing that Damon may not return till he hath paid
His life for his friend. Hath it been heretofore ever said
That any man for his friend would die so willingly?
O noble friendship! O perfect amity!
Thy force is here seen, and that very perfectly. ... [1040]
The king himself museth hereat; yet is he far out of square,
That he trusteth none to come near him. Not his own daughters will he have
Unsearch'd to enter his chamber; which he hath made barbers his beard to shave,
Not with knife or razor -- for all edge-tools he fears --
But with hot burning nutshells they singe off his hairs.
Was there ever man that lived in such misery?
Well, I will go in -- with a heavy and pensive heart, too,
To think how Pithias, this poor gentleman, tomorrow shall die. [Exit.]

[Here entereth Jack and Will.]

JACK: Will, by my honesty, I will mar your monkey's face if you so fondly prate!

WILL: Jack, by my troth, seeing you are without the court-gate, ... [1050]
If you play Jack-napes in mocking my master and despising my face,
Even here with a pantacle I will you disgrace.
And though you have a far better face than I,
Yet who is better man of us two these fists shall try,
Unless you leave your taunting.

JACK: Thou began'st first. Didst thou not say even now,
In taking so many blows, and gave never a blow again?

WILL: I said so, indeed. He is a tame ruffian
That can swear by his flask and twich-box, and God's precious lady, ... [1060]
And yet will be beaten with a faggot-stick!
These barking whelps were never good biters,
Ne yet great crakers were ever great fighters.
But seeing you egg me so much, I will somewhat more recite:
I say Carisophus, thy master, is a flatt'ring parasite,
Gleaning away the sweet from the worthy in all the court.
What tragedy hath he moved of late! The devil take him! He doth much hurt.

JACK: I pray you, what is Aristippus, thy master? Is not he a parasite too,
That with scoffing and jesting in the court makes so much ado?

WILL: He is no parasite, but a pleasant gentleman full of courtesy. ... [1070]
Thy master is a churlish lout, the heir of a dung-fork; as void of honesty
As thou art of humor.

JACK: Nay, if you will needs be prating of my master still,
In faith I must cool you, my friend dapper Will.
Take this at the beginning! [Strikes him.]

WILL: Praise well your winning. My pantacle is as ready as yours.

JACK: By the mass, I will box you!

WILL: By Cock, I will fox you!

JACK: Will, was I with you?

WILL: Jack, did I fly?

JACK: Alas, pretty cockerel, you are too weak! ... [1080]

WILL: In faith, dutting duttell, you will cry creak!

[Here entereth Snap.]

SNAP: Away, you crack-ropes. Are you fighting at the court-gate?
And I take you here again I will swing you both; what! [Exit.]

JACK: I beshrew Snap the tipstaff, that great knave's heart, that hither did come.
Had he not been, you had cried ere this Victus, victa, victum.
But seeing we have breathed ourselves, if ye list,
Let us agree like friends, and shake each other by the fist.

WILL: Content am I, for I am not malicious; -- but on this condition,
That you talk no more so broad of my master as here you have done. ... [1090]
But who have we here? 'Tis Coals, I spy, coming yonder.

JACK: Will, let us slip aside and view him well. [They stand aside.]

[Here entereth Grim the Collier, whistling.]

GRIM: What devil! Ich ween the porters are drunk. Will they not dup the gate today?
Take in coals for the king's own mouth! Will nobody stir, I say?
Ich might have lain tway hours longer in my bed;
Cha tarried so long here that my teeth chatter in my head.

JACK: Will, after our falling-out wilt thou laugh merrily?

WILL: Ay, marry, Jack, I pray thee heartily.

JACK: Then follow me, and hem in a word now and then.
[They advance.]

What brawling knave is there at the court-gate so early? ... [1100]

WILL: It is some brain-sick villain, I durst lay a penny.

JACK: It was you, sir, that cried so loud, I trow,
And bid us take in coals for the king's mouth even now.

GRIM: 'Twas I, indeed.

JACK: Why, sir, how dare you speak such petty treason?
Doth the king eat coals at any season?

GRIM: Here is a gay world! Boys now sets old men to school.
I said well enough. What, Jack-sauce! Think'st cham a fool?
At bake-house, butt'ry-hatch, kitchen, and cellar,
Do they not say "for the king's mouth"? ... [1110]

WILL: What, then, goodman collier?

GRIM: What, then! Seeing without coals they cannot finely dress the king's meat,
May I not say, "take in coals for the king's mouth," though coals he do not eat?

JACK: James Christe! Came ever from a collier an answer so trim?
You are learned, are you not, father Grim?

GRIM: Grim is my name, indeed. Cham not learned, and yet the king's collier;
This vorty winter cha been to the king a servitor.
Though I be not learned, yet cha mother-wit enough, whole and some.

WILL: So it seems; you have so much mother-wit that you lack your father's wisdom.

GRIM: Mass, cham well beset! Here's a trim case of murlons! ... [1120]
What be you, my pretty cockerels, that ask me these questions?

JACK: Good faith, Master Grim, if such merlins on your pouch may light,
They are so quick of wing that quickly they can carry it out of your sight;
And though we are cockerels now, we shall have spurs one day,
And shall be able perhaps to make you a capon [to your pay].
But to tell you the truth, we are the porter's men, which early and late
Wait on such gentlemen as you, to open the court-gate.

GRIM: Are ye servants then?

WILL: Yes, sir; are we not pretty men?

GRIM: Pretty men, quoth you?
Nay, you are strong men, else you could not bear these breeches. ... [1130]

WILL: Are these great hose?
In faith, goodman collier, you see with your nose.
By mind honesty, I have but for one lining in one hose but seven ells of rug.

GRIM: This is but a little, yet it makes thee seem a great bug.

JACK: How say you, goodman collier, can you find any fault here?

GRIM: Nay, you should find fau't. Marry, here's trim gear!
Alas, little knave, dost not sweat? Thou goest with great pain.
These are no hose, but water-bougets, I tell thee plain;
Good for none but such as have no buttocks.
Did you ever see two such little Robin ruddocks ... [1140]
So laden with breeches? Chill say no more, lest I offend.
Who invented these monsters first, did it to a ghostly end,
To have a mail ready to put in other folks' stuff;
We see this evident by daily proof.
One preached of late not far hence, in no pulpit but in a wain-cart,
That spake enough of this. But for my part,
Chill say no more; your own necessity
In the end will force you to find some remedy.

JACK: Will, hold this railing knave with a talk when I am gone;
I will fetch him his filling ale for his good sermon. ... [1150]

WILL: Go thy way. [Exit Jack.] Father Grim, gaily well you do say.
It is but young men's folly that list to play
And mask awhile in the net of their own device;
When they come to your age they will be wise.

GRIM: Bum troth, but few such roisters come to my years at this day;
They be cut off betimes ere they have gone half their journey --
I will not tell why; let them guess that can; I mean somewhat thereby.

[Enter Jack with a pot of wine, and a cup to drink on.]

JACK: Father Grim, because you are stirring so early
I have brought you a bowl of wine to make you merry.

GRIM: Wine! Marry, that is welcome to colliers! Chill swap't off by and by.
Chwas stirring so early that my very soul is dry. ... [1160]

JACK: This is stoutly done. Will you have it warmed, Father Grim?

GRIM: No, it is warm enough; it is very lousious and trim.
'Tis musselden, ich ween! Of fellowship let me have another spurt.
Ich can drink as easily now as if I sat in my shirt.

JACK: By Cock, and you shall have it! But I will begin, and that anon:
Jebit avow, mon companion!

GRIM: Ihar vow pleadge, pety Zawne.

JACK: Can you speak French? Here is a trim collier, by this day!

GRIM: What, man! Ich learned this when ich was a soldier; ... [1170]
When ich was a lusty fellow, and could yerk a whip trimly --
Better than these boy-colliers that come to the court daily;
When there were not so many captious fellows as now,
That would torup men for every trifle -- I wot not how;
As there was one, Damon, not long since taken for a spy --
How justly I know not, but he was condemned to die.

WILL: [Aside.] This wine hath warmed him. This comes well to pass.
We shall know all now, for in vino veritas.
Father Grim, who accused this Damon to King Dionysius?

GRIM: A vengeance take him! 'Twas a gentleman, one Master Crowsphus. ... [1180]

WILL: Crowsphus! You clip the king's language; you would have said Carisophus.
But I perceive now either the wind is at the south,
Or else your tongue cleaveth to the roof of your mouth.

GRIM: A murrain take thilk wine! It so intoxicate my brain
That, to be hanged by and by, I cannot speak plain.

JACK: [Aside.] You speak knavishly plain, seeing my master you do mock.
In faith, ere you go, I will make you a lobcock.
Father Grim, what say they of this Damon abroad?

GRIM: All men are sorry for him, so help me God!
They say a false knave 'cused him to the king wrongfully; ... [1190]
And he is gone, and should be here tomorrow to die,
Or else his fellow, which is in prison, his room shall supply.
Chill not be his half for vorty shillings, tell you plain!
I think Damon be too wise to return again.

WILL: Will no man speak for them in this woeful case?

GRIM: No, chill warrant you. One Master Stippus is in place
Where he may do good; but he frames himself so,
Whatever Dionysius willeth, to that he will not say no.
'Tis a subtle vox! He will not tread on thorns for none!
A merry harecop tis, and a pleasant companion, ... [1200]
A right courtier, and can provide for one.

JACK: [Aside to Will.] Will, how like you this gear? Your master Aristippus also
At this collier's hand hath had a blow!
But, in faith, Father Grim, cannot ye colliers
Provide for yourselves far better than courtiers?

GRIM: Yes, I trow! Black colliers go in thread-bare coats,
Yet so provide they that they have the fair white groats.
Ich may say in counsel, though all day I moil in dirt
Chill not change lives with any in Dionysius' court;
For though their apparel be never so fine, ... [1210]
Yet sure their credit is far worse than mine.
And, by Cock, I may say, for all their high looks,
I know some sticks full deep in merchants' books;
And deeper will fall in, as fame me tells,
As long as instead of money they take up hawks' hoods and bells.
Whereby they fall into a swelling disease, which colliers do not know;
'T'ath a made name! It is called ich ween, Centum pro cento.
Some other in courts make others laugh merrily,
When they wail and lament their own estate secretly.
Friendship is dead in court; hypocrisy doth reign; ... [1220]
Who is in favor now, tomorrow is out again;
The state is so uncertain that I, by my will,
Will never be courtier but a collier still.

WILL: It seemeth that colliers have a very trim life.

GRIM: Colliers get money still; tell me, of troth,
Is not that a trim life now, as the world go'th?
All day though I toil with main and might,
With money in my pouch I come home merry at night,
And sit down in my chair by my wife, fair Alison,
And turn a crab in the fire as merry as Pope John. ... [1230]

JACK: That pope was a merry fellow of whom folk talk so much.

GRIM: H'ad to be merry withal -- h'ad gold enough in his hutch.

JACK: Can gold make men merry? They say, "Who can sing so merry a note
As he that is not able to change a groat?

GRIM: Who sings in that case sings never in tune. I know, for my part,
That a heavy punch with gold makes a light heart;
Of which I have provided for a dear year good store;
[He shows his purse.]
And these benters, I trow, shall anon get me more.

WILL: By serving the court with coals you gain'd all this money?

GRIM: By the court only, I assure ye. ... [1240]

JACK: After what sort, I pray thee tell me?

GRIM: Nay, there bate an ace, quod Bolton! I can wear a horn and blow it not.

JACK: By'r Lady, the wiser man!

GRIM: Shall I tell you by what sleight I got all this money?
Then ich were a noddy indeed! No, no, I warrant ye!
Yet in few words I tell you this one thing --
He is a very fool that cannot gain by the king.

WILL: Well said, Father Grim! You are a wily collier, and a brave.
I see now there is no knave to the old knave.

GRIM: Such knaves have money when courtiers have none. ... [1250]
But tell me, is it true that abroad is blown?

JACK: What is that?

GRIM: Hath the king made those fair damsels, his daughters,
To become now fine and trim barbers?

JACK: Yea, truly -- to his own person.

GRIM: Good fellows, believe me, as the case now stands,
I would give one sack of coals to be wash'd at their hands!
If ich came so near them, for my wit chould not give three chips
If ich could not steal one swat at their lips!

JACK: [Aside.] Will, this knave is drunk. Let us dress him. ... [1260]
Let us rifle him so, that he have not one penny to bless him,
And steal away his debenters too.

WILL: [Aside.] Content; invent the way, and I am ready.

JACK: [Aside.] Faith, and I will make him a noddy.
Father Grim, if you pray me well, I will wash you and shave you too,
Even after the same fashion as the king's daughters do;
In all points as they handle Dionysius, I will dress and trim you fine.

GRIM: Chuld vain learn that! Come on, then, chill give thee a whole pint of wine
At tavern for thy labor, when 'cha money for my benters here.
[Here Will fetcheth a barber's basin, a pot with water, a razor,
and cloths, and a pair of spectacles.

JACK: Come, mine own Father Grim; sit down. ... [1270]

GRIM: Mass, to begin withal, here is a trim chair!

JACK: What, man, I will use you like a prince. Sir boy, fetch me my gear.

WILL: Here, sir.

JACK: Hold up, Father Grim.

GRIM: Me-seem my head doth swim.

JACK: My costly perfumes make that. Away with this, sir boy; be quick!
[Hands Will the collier's purse.]
Aloyse, aloyse, how how pretty it is! Is not here a good face?
A fine owl's eyes! a mouth like an oven!
Father you have good butter-teeth full seen.
[Aside.] You were weaned, else you would have been a great calf. ... [1280]
Ah, trim lips to sweep a manger! Here is a chin,
As soft as the hoof of an horse.

GRIM: Doth the king's daughters rub so hard?

JACK: Hold your head straight, man, else all will be marr'd.
By'r Lady, you are of a good complexion,
A right Croyden sanguine, beshrew me.
Hold up, Father Grim. Will, can you bestir ye?

GRIM: Methinks, after a marvelous fashion you do besmear me.

JACK: It is with unguentum of Daucus Maucus, that is very costly;
I give not this washing-ball to everybody. ... [1290]
After you have been dress'd so finely at my hand,
You may kiss any lady's lips within this land.
Ah, you are trimly wash'd! How say you, is not this trim water?

GRIM: It may be wholesome, but it is vengeance sour!

JACK: It scours the better. Sir boy, give me my razor.

WILL: Here at hand, sir.

GRIM: God's arms! 'Tis a chopping knife! 'Tis no razor.

JACK: It is a razor, and that a very good one.
It came laterly from Palermo; it cost me twenty crowns alone.
Your eyes dazzle after your washing; these spectacles put on. ... [1300]
[He places spectacles, with dark lenses, on him.]
Now view this razor; tell me, is it not a good one?

GRIM: They be gay barnacles, yet I see never the better.

JACK: Indeed they be a young sight, and that is the matter.
But I warrant you this razor is very easy.

GRIM: Go to, then; since you begun, do as please ye.

JACK: Hold up, Father Grim.

GRIM: O, your razor doth hurt my lip.

JACK: No, it scrapeth off a pimple to ease you of the pip.
I have done now. How say you? Are you not well?

GRIM: Cham lighter than ich was, the truth to tell. ... [1310]

JACK: Will you sing after your shaving?

GRIM: Mass, content! But chill be poll'd first, ere I sing.

JACK: Nay, that shall not need; you are poll'd near enough for this time.

GRIM: Go to, then, lustily. I will sing in my man's voice.
Chave a troubling base buss.

JACK: You are like to bear the bob, for we will give it.
Set out your bussing base, and we will quiddle upon it.

[Grim singeth Buss.]

JACK: [Sings.] Too nidden and too nidden!

WILL: [Sings.] Too nidden and toodle toodle doo nidden!
Is not Grim the collier most finely shaven?

GRIM: Why, my fellows, think ich am a cow, that you make such toying? ... [1320]

JACK: Nay, by'r Lady, you are no cow, by your singing --
Yet your wife told me you were an ox.

GRIM: Did she so? 'Tis a pestens quean! She is full of such mocks.
But go to, let us sing out our song merrily.

[The Song at the Shaving of the Collier]

JACK: Such barbers God send you at all times of need --

WILL: That can dress you [so] finely, and make such quick speed.

JACK: Your face like an inkhorn now shineth so gay --

WILL: That I with your nostrils of force must needs play,
With too nidden and too nidden!

JACK: With too nidden and todle todle doo nidden! ... [1330]
Is not Grim the collier most finely shaven?

WILL: With shaving you shine like a pestle of pork.

JACK: Here is the trimmest hog's flesh from London to York.

WILL: It would be trim bacon to hang up awhile

JACK: To play with this hoglin of course I must smile.
With two nidden and two nidden!

WILL: With too nidden and todle, &c.

GRIM: Your sharing doth please me; I am now your debtor.

WILL: Your wife now will buss you, because you are sweeter.

GRIM: Near would I be polled, as near as cham shaven. ... [1340]

WILL: Then our of your jerkin needs must you be shaken.With too nidden and two nidden, &c.

GRIM: It is a trim thing to be wash'd in the court.

WILL: Their hands are so fine, that they never do hurt.

GRIM: Methink ich am lighter than ever ich was.

WILL: Our shaving in the court hath brought this to pass.
With two nidden and two nidden!

JACK: With too nidden and todle todle doo nidden!
Is not Grim the collier most finely shaven?
[End of song.]

GRIM: This is trimly done! Now chill pitch my coals not far hence. ... [1350]
And then at the tavern chill bestow whole tway pence. [Exit Grim.]

JACK: Farewell, [by] Cock. Before the collier again do us seek,
Let us into the court to part the spoil, share and share alike. [Exit.]

WILL: Away then. [Exit.]

[Here entereth Grim.]

GRIM: Out, alas! Where shall I make my moan?
My pouch, my benters, and all is gone!
Where is that villain that did me shave?
H'ath robbed me, alas, of all that I have.

[Here entereth Snap.]

SNAP: Who crieth so at the court-gate?

GRIM: I, the poor collier, that was robbed of late. ... [1360]

SNAP: Who robbed thee?

GRIM: Two of the porter's men that did shave me.

SNAP: Why, the porter's men are no barbers.

GRIM: A vengeance take them, they are quick-carvers.

SNAP: What stature were they of?

GRIM: As little dapper knaves as they trimly could scoff.

SNAP: They were lackeys, as near as I can guess them.

GRIM: Such lackeys make me lack. An halter beswing them!
Cham undone; they have my benters too.

SNAP: Dost thou know them if thou seest them? ... [1370]

GRIM: Yea, that I do!

SNAP: Then come with me; we will find them out, and that quickly.

GRIM: I follow, Mast Tipstaff. They be in the court, it is likely.

SNAP: Then cry no more; come away. [Exeunt.] <1374>

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