Jaques. What name?

Mar. Dull rogue! what, hath the king bestow'd
So many honors, opend all his springs,
And shower'd his graces down upon my head,
And has my house no name? no title yet?
Burgundy-house, you ass !

Your grace's mercy !
And when I was come off, and had recover'd
Burgundy-house, I durst not yet be seen,
But lay all night, for fear of pursuivants,
In Burgundy wash-house.

Oh, sir, 'tis well;
Can you remember now? But, Jaques, know,
Since thy intended journey is so crost,
I will go down myself this morning.

Mar. Have I not said this morning?

But consider
That nothing is prepared yet for your journey;
Your grace's teams not here to draw your clothes,
And not a carrier yet in town to send by.

Mar. I say, once more, go about it.
You're a wise man! you'd have me linger lime,
Till I have worn these clothes out. Will you go?
Make you ready, wife!


Enter LADY.

Lady. I am so, mighty duke

Nay, for the country
Lady. How, for the country?

Yes; I am resolved
To see my tenants in this bravery,
Make them a sumptuous feast, with a slight show
of Dives and Lazarus, and a squib or two,
And so return.

Lady. Why, sir, you are no: mad?
Mar. How many dukes have you known mad? Pray epear.

Lady. You are the first, sir, and I hope the last :
But you are stark horn-mad.

Forbear, good wife.
Lady. As I have faith, you're mad!
Sir, you shall know
There is a greater bond that ties me here,
Allegiance to the king. Has he not heap'd
Those honors on you to no other end,

But to stay you here? and shall I have a hand
In the offending such a gracious prince ?

Lady. Oh, gentlemen, we are undone !

For what?
Lady. This gentleman, the lord of Lorne, my husband,
Will be gone down to show his playfellows
Where he is gay.

Beau. What, doʻvn into the country?

Lady. Yes, 'faith. Was ever fool but he so cross ?
I would as fain be gracious to him,
As he could wish me; but he will not let me.
Speak faithfully, will he deserve my mercy ?

Long. According to his merits, he should have
A guarded coat, and a great wooden dagger.

Lady. If there be any woman that doth know
The duties 'twixt a husband and his wife,
Will speak but one word for him, he shall ’scape:
Is not that reasonable? But there's none.
(Aside) Be ready therefore to pursue the plot
We had against a pinch; for he must stay.

Long. (aside) Wait you here for him, whilst I go,
And make the king acquainted with your sport,
For fear he be incensed for your attempting
Places of so great honor.

(Exit. Lady.

Go; be speedy.
Mar. What, are you ready, wife!

Mar. I cannot choose but kiss thy royal lips,
Dear duchess mine, thou art so good a woman.

Beau. You'd say so, if you knew all, goodman Duckling! [.Iside. Clerimont. (a foolish kinsman) This was the happiest fortune could be fall me!

Now, in his absence, will I follow close
Mine own preferment; and I hope, ere long,
To make my mean and humble name so strong
As my great cousin's; when the world shall know
I bear too hot a spirit to live low.
The next spring will I down, my wife and household,
i'll have my ushers, and my four lacqueys,
Six spare caroches too: But mum, no more!
What I intend to do, I'll keep in store.

Mar. Montez, montez! Jaques, be our querry !
Groom. To horse there, gentlemen, and fall in couples'
Mar. Come, honor'd duchess !

[ocr errors]

An hour ago

[ocr errors]


Long. Stand, thou proud man!

Thieves, Jaques ! raise the people!
Long. No; raise no people! 'Tis the king's command
Which bids thee once more stand, thou huughty man!
Thou art a monster; for thou art ungrateful ;
And, like a fellow of a rebel nature,
Hast flung from his embraces: not return'd
So much as thanks; and, to oppose his will,
Resolved to leave the court, and set the realm
A-fire, in discontent and open action.
Therefore he bids thee stand, thou proud man,
Whilst, with the whisking of my sword about,
I take thy honors off : This first sad whisk
Takes off thy dukedom ; thou art but an earl.

Mar. You are mistaken, Longueville,

Long. Oh, 'would I were ! This second whisk divides Thy earldom from thee ; thou art yet a baron.

Mar. No more whisks, if you love me, Longueville!

Long. Two whisks are past, and two are yet behind
Yet all must come : but not to linger time,
With these two whisks I end. Now, Mount-Marine,
For thou art now no more, so says the king;
And I have done his highness' will with grief.

Mar. Degraded from my honors ?

'Tis too certain. Lady. Oh, my poor husband! what a heavy fortune Is fallen upon him!

Beau. Methinks 'tis strange,
That, Heaven forewarning great men of their falls
With such plain tokens, they should not avoid 'em :
For the last night, betwixt eleven and twelve,
Two great and hideous blazing stars were seen
To fight a long hour by the clock, the one
Dress'd like a duke, the other like a king ;
Till at the last the crowned star o'ercame.

Gent. Why do you stand so dead, Monsieur Marine ?

Mar. So Cæsar fell, when in the capitol They gave his body two-and-thirty wounds. Be warned, all ye peers ; and, by my fall, Hereafter learn to let your wives rule all!

Marine is finally permitted to think himself a Duke, but only


in secret.

Gent. (aside to Marine) Hark ye, sir;
The king doth know you are a duke.

No! does he ?
Gent. Yes; and is content you shall be ; with this caution-
That none know it but yourself ; for, if you do
He'll take 't away by act of parliament.

Mar. Here is my hand; and whilst I live or breathe,
Vo living wight shall know I am a duke.

Gent. Mark me directly, sir; your wife may know it.
Mar. Mayn't Jaques ?

Yes, he may.

Mayn't my cousin ? Gent. By no means, sir, if you love life and state. Mar. (out loud) Well then, know all, I'm no duke. Gent.

No, I'll swear it. Mar, Know all, I am no duke. Lady.

What say you? Mar

Jaques. [Aside to him Jaques.

Mar. I am a duke.

Are you?

Yes, 'faith; yes, 'faith, But it must only run amongst ourselves.

Lady. (aside) As I could wish. (Aloud) Let all young sprightly wives That have dull foolish coxcombs to their husbands, Learn by me all their duties, what to do, Which is, to make 'em fools, and please 'em tos!



This is a banter by some “fine old Queen Elizabeth gentleman" (or somebody writing in his character) on the new and certainly far less respectable times of James the First; an age in which a gross and unprincipled court took the place of a romantic one, and greatness became confounded with worldliness; an age in which a lusus nature was on the throne,-in which Beaumont and Fletcher were spoilt, the corruption and ruin of the great Bacon completed, Sir Walter Raleigh murdered, and a pardon given to Lord and Lady Somerset.

However, I must not injure the pleasant effect of an old song by pitching the critical prelude in too grave a tone.

It is here printed, as given with corrections in Percy's Reliques, from an ancient black-letter copy in the Pepys collection of Ballads, Garlands, &c., preserved at Magdalen College in Cambridge. This Pepys is “our fat friend” of the Memoirs,—now a man of as jovial a reputation, as he was once considered staid and formal. He must have taken singular delight in the song

before us; for though a lover of old times, and an objector upon princi. ple to new, he had an inclination to the pleasures of both.

The song is admirable ; full of the gusto of iteration, and exquisite in variety as well as sameness.

It repeats the word “old” till we are enamored of antiquity, and prepared to resent the impertinence of things new. What a blow to retiring poverty is the “ thump on the back with the stone !" and what a climax of negative merit is that of the waiting-gentlewoman, who, when her lady has dined, “ lets the servants not eat !”

« ElőzőTovább »