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Enter three Fishermen.
1 Fish. What, ho, Pilche!
1 Fish. Look how thou stirrest now! come away, or I'll fetch thee with a wannion.
3 Fish. 'Faith, master, I am thinking of the poor men that were cast away before us, even now. 1 Fish. Alas, poor sou
it griev'd my heart to hear what pitiful cries they made to us, to help them, when, well-a-day, we could scarce help our. selves.
3 Fish. Nay, master, said not I as much, when I saw the porpus, how he bounced and tumbled ? they say, they are half fish, half flesh; a plague on them, they ne'er come, but I look to be wash'd. Master, I marvel how the fishes live in the sea.
1 Fish. Why as men do a-land; the great oues eat up the little ones: I can compare our rich misers to nothing so fitly as to a whale; 'a plays and tumbles, driving the poor fry before him, and at last devours them all at a mouthful. Such whales have I heard on a'the land, who never leave gaping, till they've swallow'd the whole parish, church, steeple, bells and all.
Per. A pretty moral.
3 Fish. But, master, if I had been the sexton, I would have been that day in the belfry.
2 Fish. Why, man?
3 Fish. Because he should have swallow'd me too: and when I bad been in his belly, I would have kept such a jangling of the bells, that he should never have left, till he cast bells, steeple, church, and parish, up again. But if the good king Simonides were of my mind Per. Simonides?
3 Fish. We would purge the land of these drones, that rob the bee of her honey.
Per. How from the finny subject of the sea
? Fish. Honest! good fellow, what's that? if it be a day fits you, scratch it out of the calendar, and nobody will look after it.
Per. Nay, see, the sea hath cast upon your coast
2 Fish. What a drunken knave was the sea, to cast thee in our way!
Per. A man whom both the waters and the wind, In that vast tennis court, hath made the ball For them to play upon, entreats you pity him; He asks of you, that never us'd to beg.
| Fish. No, friend, canoot you beg? here's them in our country of Greece, gets more with begging, than we can do with working.
2 Fish. Can'st thou catch any fishes then ? Per. I never practis'd it.
2 Fish. Nay, then thou wilt starve sure; for here's nothing to be got now a days, unless thou can'st fish for't.
Per. What I have been, I have forgot to know; But what I am, want teaches me to think ou; A man shrunk up with cold: my veins are chill, And have no more of life, thau may suffice To give my tongue that beat, to ask your help; Which if you shall refuse, when I am dead, For I am a man, pray see me buried.
1 Fish. Die quoth-a? Now gods forbid! I have a gown here; come, put it on; keep thee warm. Now, afore me, a handsome fellow! Come, thou shalt go home, and we'll have Aesh for holidays, fish for fasting.days, and moreo'er puddings and flap.jacks, and thou shalt be welcome.
Per. I thank you, sir.
2 Fish. Hark you, my friend, you said you could not beg.
Per. I did but crave.
2 Fish. But crave? Then I'll turn craver too, and so I shall'scape whipping.
Per. Why, are all your beggars whipp'd then?
2 Fish. O, not all, my friend, not all; for if all your beggars were whipp'd, I would wish no better office, than to be beadle. But, master, I'll go draw up the net. (Exeunt two of the Fishermen. Per. How well this honest mirth becomes their
labour! 1 Fish. Hark you, sir; do you know where you
are? Per. Not well.
1 Fish. Why l'll tell you: this is called Pentapolis, and our king, the good Simonides.
Per. The good king Simonides, do you call him?
1 Fish. Ay, sir; and he deserves to be so callid, for his peaceable reign, and good government.
Per. He is a happy king, since from his subjects He gains the name of good, by his government. How far is his court distant from this shore?
1 l'ish. Marry, sir, half a day's journey; and I'll tell you, he hath a fair daughter, and to-morrow is her birth-day; and there are prioces and knights come from all parts of the world, to just and tour. dey* for her love.
Per. Did but my fortunes equal my desires, I'd wish to make one there.
1 Fish. O, sir, things must be as they may; and what a man cannot get, he may lawfully deal forhis wife's soul.
Re-enter the two Fishermen, drawing up a net.
2 Fish. Help, master, help; here's a fish hangs in the net, like a poor man's right in the law; 'twill
* To tilt, mock-fight.
hardly come out. Ha! bots on't, 'tis come at last, apd 'tis turn'd to a rusty armour.
Per. An armour, friends! I pray you, let me
Thanks, fortune, yet, that after all my crosses,
1 Fish. What mean you, sir?
worth, For it was sometime target to a king ; I know it by this mark. He lov'd me dearly, And for his sake, I wish the having of it; And that you'd guide me to your sovereign's court, Where with’t I may appear a gentleman; And if that ever my low fortunes better, I'll pay your bounties; till then, rest your debtor.
1 Fish. Why, wilt thou tourney for the lady? Per. I'll show the virtue I have borne in arms.
1 Fish. Why, do ye take it, and the gods give thee good on't!
2 Fish. Ay, but hark you, my friend; 'twas we that made up this garment through the rough seams of the waters : there are certain condolements, cer. tain vails. I hope, sir, if you thrive, you'll remember from whence you had it.
Per. Believe't, I will.
* Armour for the arm.
Now, by your furtherance, I am cloth'd in steel;
2 Fish. We'll sure provide: thou shalt have my best gowo to make thee a pair; and I'll bring thee to the court myself.
Per. Then honour be but a goal to my will ; This day I'll rise, or else add ill to ill. [Ereunt.
The same. A public way, or platform, leading to
the lists. A pavilion by the side of it, for the reception of the King, Princess, Lords, &c.
Enter Simonides, Thaisa, Lords, and Attendants.
Sim. Are the knights ready to begin the triumph?
1 Lord. They are, my liege; And stay your coming to present themselves. Sim. Return them f, we are ready; and our
[Erit a Lord. Thai. It pleaseth you, my father, to express My commendations great, whose merit's less.
Sim. 'Tis fit it should be so; for princes are
+ A kind of loose breeches, I i.e. Return them notice.