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VERITAS the daughter of Time
OPINION, ERROR seducers of Veritas
STUDIOSO a scholler
MANCO a lame soldier
CLINIAS a poore country-man
HUMPHRY SWALLOW a drunken cobler
GOODWIFE SPIGGOT an ale-wife.
PHILONICES a rangling lawyer
BELLICOSO a casheerede corporal
Worthelie heeere wee bring you Times complaint,
Whom wee have most just cause for to complaine of.
For hee hath lent us such a little space
That what wee doe wants much of his true grace.
Yet let your wonted love that kindelie take, 5
Which wee could wish were better for your sake.
ACTUS I, SCENA i
Enter TIME with the musicians to place them
TIME O wellsaid, wellsaid. Wellcome, welcome, faith.
It doth mee good to see I have some freinds
Come, true observers of due Time. Come on,
A fitt of musicke. But keepe Time, keepe Time 10
In your remembrance still, or else you jarre.
These for my sake to much neglected are.
The world tearmes them beggars, fidling roagues.
But come, my fidling friends, I like you well,
And for my sake I hope this company, 15
Nay more, the Prince himselfe, will like your tunes.
Here take your place and shew your greatest skill,
All now is well that is not verie ill.
Time, expecting the comming of the Prince (to whome hee preferreth a petition), placeth himselfe on the stage till the traine bee past.
This waie hee comes, here will I place my selfe.
They saie hee is an honourable Prince, 20
Respectfull, curteious, liberall, and learn’d.
If hee bee soe hee will not choose but heare mee.
Poore aged Time was never so abusde,
And in theise daies princes themselves are wrong’d.
If not for my sake, yet for his owne good 25
Hee will read over my petition.
Oft hath the like beene drawne and given up
To his nobilitie. But carelesse they
In theire deep pockets swallow good mens praiers.
This his owne hand shall have or I will keepe it. 30
But here they come. Stand close and viewe the traine.
Enter first six knights marshalls, men in sutable liveries with links and truncheons, two by two. Next the knight marshall’s alone in armour and bases with a truncheon. Then fower other of his men as before. After these fower knights in rich apparell with hats and feathers, rapiers and daggers, bootes and spurres, everie one his lackie attending on him with tourch-lighte, all two by two. After these the Master of the Requests, the Master of the Roles in vaste velvet gownes with lackies and torches before them. After these fower barons in velvet cloakes likewise attended with lackies and torches. After these an herald at armes [bare] with two lackies attendant bearing torches. After these six of the Privie Counsell in schollars gownes and civill hoods, everie one attended on by a footman bearing on his jacket both behind and before his lords armes according to his office (as it is before mentioned) with torches also in theire hands. After these two Sergeants at Armes with great maces and two squiers before them with torches all bare. After these two hench-men, the wone with a sword the other with a scepter, likewise attended by two squires with torch-lighte all bare. After these the Prince himkelfe in a schollars gowne and civill hood, with a coronett of laurell about his hat, attended on by fower footmen in sutable liveries with torches. After these the Captaine of the Guard alone in hose and dublett, hatt and feather &c., and following him twenty of the guard in sutable guards coasts with halberds in their hands, and lightes intermingled here and there.
When this traine first entred out of the Princes palace there was a volye of shotte to the number of fiftie or threescore gunnes, and once againe as it passed through the quadrangle, and the third time when the Prince was readie to enter uppon the stage in the hall. After which third peale ended the nobilitie having past along some parte of the stage, the rest of the traine disposed in places provided for them, and the Prince himselfe newlie entred, the showe went forward as following.
Enter on the stage the Prince with the Lord Chamberlane and Lord Treasurer and others of his traine, as Sergeaunt at Armes &c.
L. CH. What would this old man have?
TIME God save your honour,
I have a poore petition to the Prince.
L. CH. Give it to mee, I will preferre it to him.
TIME O noe, my lord, I can doe that my selfe. 35
L. CH. Avaunt, base peasant, doting foole bee gonne.
Doest thou refuse my kindnes?
TIME Noe not soe,
But I suspect when great men soe soone move,
’Tis rather for advantage then for love.
S. AT A. The Prince will not receave petitions now. 40
TIME Who told you soe? God blesse your majestie,
O pitie mee, pitie distressed Time.
LORD TREASURER (walking with the Prince) Awaie, thou bawling varlet.
TIMEGood your grace,
Take my petition, heare my just complaint.
L. TR. Impudent slave, forbeare.
TIMENow, good your grace. 45
L. TR.. Some officer at hand convey him hence.
TIME If ever praiers were heard, then heare thou mine.
PRINCE. Give it unto our Master of Requests.
Wee will consider thee at better leasure.
TIME Oft have I given it him, but —
L. TR.. Peace, you roague, 50
PRINCE What importunitie is this?
Our selfe will strate peruse it.
TIME. God preserve you.
PRINCE Is thy name Time?
TIMEYes, and’t like your grace.
A most lewde fellowe full of all disorders,
Whome all the land complaines of.
TIME But unjustlie, 55
As I shall shew, if you will heare mee speake.
PRINCE Speake freelie, man, wee graunt thee libertie.
TIME Sound out my woes’ sad solemne harmony,
For Time and musicke alwaies well agree.
After a flourish of musicke, Time makes his Prologue to the audience.
Time, the observ’d of all that meane to thrive, 60
Craves your attentive silence and good-will,
Whilest out of these sad registers of woe
Hee takes a true account of all his cares.
Sorrowe will speake, ’tis some though small releife
To have free libertie to tell our greife. 65
Time, sitting downe to his studie and turning over an old manu-script, goes forward.
O what a dreadfull night of woe was this
Wherein there was no comfort but that lighte
Which shew’d the horrid face of miserie
And led the innocent the waie to death!
Pore Hecuba, why doest thou raile on mee 70
And crie “O cursed Time?” Thy woe is mine,
And why should not my miserie bee thine? (He turnes forwards.
Here are a fearfull Ides of March indeed,
The morning cleere, good words in all mens mouths,
“All haile” and “ave Caesar” at the gates, 65
My acclamations in the market place.
And yet before the glorious sunne attain’d
The middle poynt of this our hemi-spheare,
The daie was overcast, the world was chang’d,
Time curst with piteous out-cries, when as rather 70
They should have curst the sonne that kild the father. (He turnes forwards.
I here’s a slave, an holie homicide,
A skillful cleark at mischeif, deeplie learn’d
To drawe inventions even out of Hell,
Whome Time shall ever curse and ages rue. 75
For death was allwaies knowne to bee too cruell.
Yet hee hath taught her a new tyrannie,
A quicke dispatching means, a thundering evill,
A lowd resounding voice of blood and murther.
The bratt of brimstone and of sulphur’s brood, 80
A lightening tempest, which with one fierie blast
Is able to make desolate a land,
Confound the great designes of mightie kings,
Laie wast the tropheis of antiquitie,
Blow up the temples of the immortall gods. 85
O let mee here with greif lament and die
That Time must see, not helpe, this miserie (Sedet lachrymans. blue
ACTUS II, SCENA i
Enter CLYNIAS and after him BELLICOSO
CLIN. Nay Chill doo’t. Clynias was never coward blue
And yet C’had rather plowe a yard of lond,
Cramme capons, or feed zuine fron zun to zun. 90
Bat Ch’am resolv’d. Kinde Beatrice, adue.
C’had rather hang my selfe then vamish you.
BELL. Well overtaken, sir, You make great hast,
Noe doubt to some good bargaine.
CLIN. Varrie like.
You see your waie.
BELL. What meanes my honest churl? 95
CLIN. That zince you see your waie you’d take your waie.
BELL. Yes, and perchance take somewhat in my waie,
And that shall bee your purse. Deliver quicke,
Or by great Mars, great Bellicoso’s god,
I’le cleave your muddie pate.
CLIN. Ha ha ha. 100
Did any god zend thee to zuccour mee?
BELL. What, doest thou laugh at mee?
CLIN. Ha ha ha.
Ha ha ha ha. Now, by Gods holie dome
Ich am beholden to thee for this mirth.
BELL. I’le put you from your jests.
CLIN. Ha ha ha. 105
BELL. Laugh on, laugh on, my freind.
Hee laugheth best that laugheth to the end. (Hee bindes him.
Now for a privie search.
CLIN. Beleeve mee, zir,
Ich have but one poore jewell. Leave mee that
Or take my life and all.
BELL. O are you chang’d? 110
You should laugh still. This jewell, come, this jewell.
I’st not here? Why then I hope it’s here.
Now, by the moone, what’s this?
CLIN. My jewell, zir,
My jewell. O for Pan and Ceres sake
Spare that, it is the thread of all my life. 115
BELL. Indeed this thread, because thou calst it soe,
Ends many a good man’s daies in greife and woe.
It breeds in me remourse. Why doest thou weepe?
CLIN. Because good men should goe soe hard to sleepe.
I doe azure you, though I sai’et my selfe, 120
Cham not the worst or meanest of my kin.
My father left mee much good lond, well stockt,
Barnes full of corne, two ploughes, two carts, two teeme,
But Justice Briar, hee of Bramble Hall
(Woe worth the time!) would first have bought my lond, 125
Which I, good man, did never meane to zell
From my poore bratts. Then laide hee claime to all,
Zaieng his grandfather did zell it us,
And the zaile was naught. For I may tell you
This Briar is a most pernicious lawyer,130
And by his trickes hath wrunge mee out of all,
Hath thrust my wife and children out of dore,
And now forsooth, because I doe complaine.
Hee would not zet zuch wrangling voke aworke,
So that for want of mony and of meat 135
Pore Clynias resolves to hang himself
Rather than beare the wrongs and miseries
That this injurious Time doth offer mee.
BELL. O that the wickednes of Time should bee
The common theame of countrie, citie, campe!140
My selfe when first I went to serve the warres
Had mony in my purse, clothes on my backe,
And, hoping to receave my monethly paie,
Spent freeelie. But my captaine Prodigo
Makes but one throwe at dice of ten mens paie. 145
Which being lost, for wages gives us oathes,
And when wee farther urge him, paies us blowes.
My elder brother, seeing mee returne
Needie and ragged, turnes mee out of dores.
He hath noe roome for sturdie vagabonds, 150
His house shall never harbour runnagates.
When I demaund my portion streite hee railes,
“Impudent varlet, wilt thou have it twice?
Have I not given thee house-roome, lodging, meat,
And fed thy riot now three yeares together?” 155
Thus, thus poore Bellicoso, quite forlorne,
Abroad, at home, is made a common scorne,
And, thus forgotten, myserie doth goe.
Let us shake hands in greife and joyne in woe.
CLIN. Withall my harte, vaith, wee’l hang both together. 160
Ile hang at this end, thou shalt hang at t’other.
BELL. Not soe, thou desperate man. Lets hang upp Time,
Most wicked Time, the cause of all our wronges.
CLIN. Yes, where shall’s find the villaine?
BELL. Everie where.
Looke where hee sits reveiwing direfull acts ue165
Of murther, perjurie, treason, rape, theft.
Let’s set uppon him.
CLIN. I’le knocke out his braines.
BELL. Nay, let us heare him speake. If his excuse
Doe not content us, then wee’le hang him up.
CLIN. Agreed, agreed. That will bee verie good. 170
BELL. Old doting graybeard, unrelenting churle,
Thou antient paterne of iniquitie,
Why hast thou usde pore Bellicoso thus?
CLIN. Thou man of mischeife, verie sincke of sin,
Harrow of Hell, and rake of rottennesse, 175
Thou worse than vile, why hast thou usde mee thus?
BELL. Thou aged divell.
CLIN. Roade of villanie.
BELL. Sad minister of death, corruptions baud,
What canst thou saie for to excuse thy selfe?
TIME My loving frends (all should bee freinds in time), 180
You seeke to knowe the causes of your wrongs.
First give mee leave to tell mine owne mishaps,
That when you see my wofull miserie
Yee may the easier beare a part with mee.
I was (woe that I was!) a mightie prince, 185
Admir’d, obey’d, honour’d, attended on,
My councell yeares for gate and carriage slowe,
But quicke and swift for apprehension.
Experience brought them upp in customes school,
Happie the land when such a senate guides. 190
The rest of my nobilitie were moneths
All of unspotted gentrie, antient houses,
Some from Augustus, some from Julius spring,
And some from Junius, all of royall race.
My gentrie were the weekes, to whome retaind 195
The common people daies, some faire, some fowle,
Some happie, some unhappie. Yet all good
Were consecrated to the immortall gods,
As some to Luna, Sol, and Mercurie,
Others to Venus, Saturne, Mars and Jove. 200
My pages hourse, minutes lackies were,
Who swiftly did performe there lords behest.
Thus happie Time with joy and all encrease
And love of subjects rul’d his land in peace.
BELL. What’s this to us? Remembrance of good past 205
Makes but the present ill more sowre to tast.
CLIN. Hang him up, hange him up. Wee’le heare no more.
TIME Doe but forbeare a while.
BELL. Lets heare the rest.
TIME I will bee breife. I had one subject more
Call’d Nighte, an obscure villaine basely borne 210
Of earth and Hell. This traitor slilie goes
To vice, the onlie enemie I had,
Who in Nightes mantle did invade my land,
Fired my cities, overthrew my forts,
Enterd my pallace, brake into my chamber, 225
Where suddenlie, noe man suspecting it,
Virtue my Queene was murther’d while shee slept,
And I my selfe hardlie escap’d with life.
Since when my subjects lived in thrall to vice,
My yeares, the sagest coucellors of Time, 230
Were straight compelld to serve ambitions turne.
My moneths were spent in ryot and delighte.
Dronkennesse tooke my daies, sometimes my weekes,
And carried them to tavernes, brothells, stewes,
Where, tir’d with wine and lust, strong enemies, 235
Many obscurelie died, others were cast
Into repentance gaole, where wofully
They spent the poor remainder of their life.
But to my houres and minutes worse befell,
Murther and treason tooke them for their slaves 240
And put them to such base vile drudgerie
As Time shall ever rue their miserie.
Then, good my freinds, doe not augment my greife,
It is no fault in mee to want releife.
BELL. If this bee all, wee’le helpe to end your paine. 245
TIME Age with the yonger should more reverence gaine.
CLIN. I doe not like these tales, letts hang him up.
TIME What doe you seeke?
BELL. Redress for evil past
And better state hereafter.
TIMEMend your selfe
And Time shall quickelie better your estate. 250
Though many seeme through subteltie to rise,
Yet virtue dothe extoll the trulie wise.
Live well and yee shall thrive. Let souldiers fighte
And keepe their stations without murmuring,
Followe their captaine, seeke the countries good, 255
Abstaine from theft and shedding guiltlesse blood.
Let countrymen without envious eies
Or grudging patiently expect the spring,
Then waite for harvest, never shunning paine,
Which in the end returneth them such gaine. 260
BELL. All this done and yet wee cannot thrive.
TIME I cannot helpe you then.
CLIN. Wee can hange you.
Awaie with him, awaie with him, he dies.
TIME These silver lockes say my good daies are past.
O doe not hasten death which comes soe fast. 265
CLIN. I see you doe but shift us of with words.
BELL. What would you have me doe? If, as you saie,
You have perform’d your severall duties well,
I shall unfold the cause of all your wrongs,
But not prevent the effects.
BELL. Tell us the cause. 270
TIME I had (woe that I had and have not still)
An onlie daughter named Veritas,
Who while shee liv’d (for now shee living dies)
Inform’d her father who deserved well
That I mighte nourish them with praise and guifts. 275
And such as did amisse shee told mee of,
That my swift vengeance mighte attend <on> them.
Then vice was punisht, vertue was regarded,
The bad neglected and the good rewarded.
BELL. Where is that daughter?
CLIN. This <is> but a tale 280
To stop our mouthes.
BELL. Let us consider it.
TIME A smooth tongu’d gossip named Flatterie,
Whilest shee was tender and but young in yeares,
With vaine allurements stole her from my side,
And then conducted her to yonder wood,
Where by false Errour and Opinion 285
Shee lives enchaunted, feedes on vacuum,
Here fire-workes beginne.
Chimaera, ignis fatuus. Looke, my freinds,
What strange illusions they invent to please her.
They doe perswade her that shee is in heaven,
Seated above the element of fire. 290
BELL. ’This verie strange.
CLIN. O I shall be inflam’de
And made a fatuus too. My cap is hot,
Doth it not fall? Doth it not fall uppon mee?
TIME Theise shooting apparitions they call starres.
Thus shee, pore girle, delighted with vaine shewes, 295
Neither remembreth mee nor her selfe <still> knowes.
BELL. Is there noe meanes to set this daughter free?
TIME. Oft have my selfe with care and danger tride,
But still perplexitie and doubtfull feare,
The porters of Opinion, Errors watch, 300
Doe soe confound my waie, involve my pathes,
That I can finde no entrance. Yet, my freinds,
There is a maiden named Industrie,
Which sometimes was my daughters plaie-fellow,
But since that hard mischance I told you of, 305
Some studious schollars have affected her,
And those but few. Diligence growes slacke
Because good paines their due reward doe lack.
CLIN. What of all this?
BELL. Stay, let us heare the rest.
TIME If yee were but acquainted with some schollar, 310
Some watchfull student, some industrious braine,
It were an easie matter to resolve
Wavering Opinion, Error to detect.
Learning, however now doth trippe and slide,
Was wont to be the onlie worlds sure guide. 315
CLIN. Why should not I recover Veritas
As well as schollars? I am zure of this,
I tread more ground then they, I take more paines
And can endure more hardnes.
TIMEThat doth shewe
Thy grosser substance. Finest worke’s most weake, 320
Though learning cannot toile yet it can speake.
CLIN. Doe you call mee grosse?
BELL. Hold, forbeare, I saie.
I doe relent. Alasse that good old men
Should thus bee slanderd. Innocence is blam’d
Whil’st guiltinesse doth often ’scape unnam’d. 325
I am acquainted with a righte good schollar
Whoes discontent (I knowe) doe aequall mine,
Because the other daie in Fortune’s temple
His place assign’d him on the left hand was,
Which hee disdaind and call’d the goddesse divell. 330
They that deserve best most remember evill.
This man, I daresay, will soone goe with us,
In the request of Lady Veritas.
TIME And when the truth of deeds shall once bee knowne,
Yee may bee sure each man shall have his owne. 335
BELL. Looke, looke, good Time, where Discontent it selfe
Comes clad in sable weeds. Let’s marke his wordes.
ACTUS II, SCENA ij
Enter STUDIOSO the schollar with a libell in his hand.
STUD. Naie, Studioso never shall want braine.
If Time whip me, I’le whip the Time againe.
Time is old and dotes with age, 340
Zeale is cold and wit doth rage.
Flatterie doth counsell give,
Pride on povertie doth live.
This will I paste on everie corner post,
Cast in each crosse waie, that the world may knowe 345
A schollars wrong shall nere unpunisht goe.
Had it beene any but a foole, an asse,
An idiot that had offred meet this wrong,
Fortune, I could have borne this misery
And, Time, I could have put upp injurie. 350
But now I am impatient of delaie
Till I have heard what this vile world can saie.
TIME Alas, pore man. In troth I pitie him.
Cloudes of misfortune hang in good mens light.
I wish him well, yet cannot doe him righte. 355
STUD. A foole, a foole. Let mee not thinke on it
Least I grow mad with choller.
Impatience cannot helpe.
STUD. What, over-heard?
BELL. Stand not amaz’d, bee not afraide of us.
Our sad misfortune is as bad as yours, 360
But Time hath taught us all a remedie,
If you will onlie joyne an helping hand.
Time, art thou there?
Have learned arts deserv’d noe more respect?
What glories hast thou? What antiquities, 365
What good examples, what records of fame,
What antient monument of good desert,
That learning hath not freelie given thee?
And yet can learned men throughout al lands
Deserve no better favour at thy hands? 370
TIME I am asham’d of it, let that suffice.
STUD. Mend it for shame, least thou growe impudent.
TIME You should resolve Opinion, Errour unmaske,
Unfold the truth, and you againe should flourish.
STUD. Cannot one father one childe onlie nourish? 375
TIME I could, but shee was stolen from me yonge,
And now my age soe feeble is and weake
That I dare scarcelie once for her to speake.
BELL. But followe and wee will bring you to her.
STUD. Where lives shee?
CLIN.In yon grove.
STUD. Then follow mee, 380
I will recover her or fall with her.
Si te non capiam, tu me capies.
True learning to the truth hath such affection
That it will live and die in her protection.
CLIN. Staie for us, Time. Wee mean to come againe. 385
TIME Goe and bee happie in your enterprize.
Sitt downe againe and see if any good
Did ere befall thee. What the golden age?
I this remembrance doath cheer up my hart
And makes my miserie soe long of life. 390
Here were no lawes, no penall statues knowne,
Noe unrelenting judge, no plaintifes moane,
No unkind father, no ungratious childe,
Noe flatterer tame, noe forren foeman wilde,
Noe ships on sea, noe engines on the land, 395
Noe guile in tongue, no murther in the hand.
Here Time was yonge and, like the daies themselves,
Had golden lockes, a smothe and plesant front.
Here simple plainnesse all the world possesst,
And secure nations joy’d a common rest. 400
What’s next? The silver age? Though grosser farre,
Yet pure inough without all mortall jarre.
The brasen age more grewe to wordes and blowes,
Noe wicked courses, no bad actions shewes.
But out, alasse, the iron age is here. 405
I’le read no more. For where the whole is bad,
What comfort or what joy can there bee had?
These are the wretched daies that made Time bald,
Wrincled his browe, caus’d Oportunitie
To hang before mee onlie, which of old 410
Did round incompassee me. These are the daies
Which made these hoarie lockes. To tell you true,
In better daies they had a better hue.
ACTUS III, SCENA i
Ingediuntur <GOODWIFE SPIGGOT>, HUMPHRFIE SWALLOWE druncke
TIME But who comes here? Now let mee prophecie,
This man, this monstrous beast and natures crime 415
Comes must unjustly to complain of Time.
HUM. What a villanous, scurvie, wicked, raskally, unconscionable, villanous Time is this? A man
cannot quench his thirst for a pennie. The world was when a man mighte have gon to a good river
and quentcht his thirst for nothing, and now hee shall come to a scurvie rotten ale-house and hee
cannot quench his thirst for a pennie. For looke you now, here’s a pinte, and I will drinke this pint. 420
Why, my thirst is not quencht now. Heres a Time with a vengeance. If a man take to much
liquor, a Justice of Peace now will sett him in the stockes, and the tapster rogues will not fill
inough liquor, and yet a Justice of Peace won’t set him i’th stocks. And how can a man drinke to
much liquor when they woon’t fill him inough liquor?
Then fill the cannes againe, 425
Then fill the cannes againe,
Let everie man stand with a canne in his hand
And then wee’l drincke amaine.
Then fill the cannes againe,
Then fill the cannes againe, 430
Ale if it bee good breeds excellent blood,
And then wee’l drinck amaine.
I’me hoarse for lacke of drincke. For looke you now if a shoe be made of drie leather it will creake
filthilie, and a mans throat if it bee not liquord well will make a scurvie noise. I knowe it by experience,
I. (He espieth Time.) Who the divill have wee here? An old man without shoes? Foxt? In th’ element? Heres 435
an old grey-beard druncken asse hath been at the curriers, and hee is sunne-burnt and blowne upp, and hee
hath druncke soe long that hee cannot hold open his eies. Hees bare-headed now, let him weare my cap
for feare of taking cold. What a ninny-hammer was this? Cannot hee drincke six dozen of ale but
hee must fall a sleep? I can beare my liquor a little better then soe, thanke — I can bang the pitcher and bee
merrie in good sort, and yet I woon’t sleepe soe long as I can stand with my eyes open. I perceave hee is 440
good at his trade, hee carries his implements about him. Heeres a glasse of a fine invention, ’tis a brave
glasse, faith. Wil’t hold drinke? (He powreth drincke on the hourse glasse.) How nowe? How now doe you
refuse your liquor? Here’s a glasse with a pestilence. What were glasses made and they woon’t hold
drinck? (Hee flingeth it against the walls.) Take your tipple next time when ’tis offerd you. Never while you
live refuse your liquor. (Enter Goodwife Spiggot.) 445
SPIG. Why how now, what adoe is there? Who the good-yer keepes that noyse?
HUM. S’foote, here’s mine hostesse, and shee see me sheel scould like a tinkers bitch and shee’l
score me on for it.
SPIG. O the Lord, what a wicked Time is this? Those that keepe an honest victualling house as I have
done these thirtie years come Lammastide, they cannot bee able to live nor to keepe the wolfe out of 450
dores for drunken knaves that call in for drinke and never pay for it.
HUM. S’foote, doth shee meane mee?
SPIG. Filthie drunkerd sotts that lie by it all daie swilling and bezling.
HUM. Does shee proceed. Let her scold on, I’le steale all shee’s worth. (Exit H. Swallowe.)
SPIG. If they were honest men my profit were the more, but, being such rascalls as they are, I am 455
almost undone by it. I knew the time when honest neighbors would have mett together at Goodwife
Spiggots ifaith, and have consulted of things belonging to the parish have cal’d in for ale
and a toste and have had fower pots and payde for six, and laide downe their mony, and departed
peaceably and without all order in the world, in good faith. [Reenter Humphrey Swallow.]
HUM. I stoale the fictualls, faith, here’s povant, and here’s that will pay my score and buy mee 460
a new apron. And here’s a ringo roote that the old trot nourishes her withered bones with. What, is
shee still scolding? How doe y u, Goodwife Spiggot, how doe you? Have you any thing to say to
SPIG. Out, thou drunken rascall thou, thou art one of them that hath undone mee. Pay mee my mony
and keepe out of my houe, knave. 465
HUM. Am not I Humfrey Swallowe? Why thou old hagg, witchc, fuddle, notch, clacket, bumbie,
filthie bunghole, doest misuse mee before my freinds now? I hope I owe thee but two-pence, thou
SPIG. O the Lord, now by my holydome hee owes mee six pence and a half pennie for a loafe,
and I’le have it ere thou goest out of the house, knave. 470
HUM. Out, out, withred plum-tree, out. Ile rattle your old bones. Ile make all splitt, faith.
SPIG. Out, alas. Beate a woman in her owne house? I’le fetch the constable to caine thee, I will,
HUM. I, I, I’le — Constable, you i’faith misreckon mee. (Exit et redit cum cibo.) I have got
somewhat out of the cupboard. Now am I wondrous thirstie, but the best is I knowe the way to the 475
tap. (Exit et redit cum potu.) Why this is verie good, faith. Lie thou there, and lie thou there, and lie
thou there and stand thou there. (Exit and redit with a sword and a cushion.). These bee my goods now,
and these bee my weapons. I would see the man now that would seize on these my goods whilest I
stand here with these my weapons. But lett my goods lie by this old man, and my sworde shall lie here,
and I will lie here. Will any man seaze on my goods whilest my sworde lies here, and I lie here by my 480
sworde? Let him hee that dares.
ACTUS IV, SCENA i
Enter MANCO a counterfeit lame beggar
MAN. O what a vile hard harted time is this!
Now noe dissembling practise, noe lame shiftes
Will serve the turne to picke a living out.
I feare mee I must trott on both my legs, 485
Forget (though loath) halting before my freinds,
And from this easie tradie of beggarie
Betake mee to some honest drudgerie.
O what a blessed time hath Manco seene
When in the sommer at some hilles descent, 490
Or at a church porch in the winter time
I could have begd five shillings everie daie.
But now soe many hotspurres in the waie
Will rather kill an horse with galloping
Then give a penny for a riding wand 495
That all my summer harvest is cut downe.
Againe some few come to the church, and they
For ceremonie more than charitie
That all my winter hopes are quite forlorne.
Now ale-houses have all the custome got, 500
Inne-dores and taverns yeelds the greatest almes.
Therefore before I wholely change my coate
I will expect the fortune of this place
And once more limp it with a speciall grace.
ACTUS IV, SCENA ij
Enter PHILONICES with his servant.
PHIL. Sirrah, attend mee in my private walke 505
Behind the towne.
SERV. I will.
PHIL. . . And fetch my cloake.
For to complaine of Time is ech mans theame,
But to applaude the daies, and like the time,
Is the entire advantage of a few.
And of these few I am not the meanest. 510
Whoe shall bee ever bounde to blesse the houre.
When for my most dull insufficiencie
My father tooke mee from the academie.
For since from being but a lawyers clerke
I am a Justice growne and keepe the peace, 515
Buy out base neighbors, prostrate villages.
For why should sillie peasants freelie walke
Where men of better ranke would private bee?
Why should lowe cottages there dare to stand
Where statelie mannors challengde all the land? 520
Yet, Time, I have a just complaint agains thee.
Thou doest maintaine to many murmurers,
Toe many gentlemen which doe envie us
And twitt us in the teeth with “basely borne,
Sprunge upp of nothing.” This wee highlie scorne. 515
MANC. Good pitifull gentleman, on penny or halfpenny for the lame and maymed. I beseech you,
good master, to consider the necessitie of the poore. I am a mason by my trade, but have lost my
limmes by falling from a ladder, soe that I am altogether destitute of meanes to live. I beseech you,
good mercifull master, for one penny or half-penny.
PHIL. What doest thou see to call mee mercifull? 530
MANC. Because I hope you will bee soe.
PHIL. I tell thee, slave, my name is Philonices,
And to such sturdie vagabonds as thou
This, this, is Justice Philonices almes.
MANC. O good your master, hold your hands. I am a pore impudent cripple that cannot helpe my 535
PHIL. Thy hands, roague, bee not cripples, worke with them,
And get thy living as my selfe have done.
Out of my sight.
MANC. If you will give me naught.
PHIL. Give? Yes, ’tis verie likelie that a Justice, 540
A burges of the Parliament, a lawyer,
Will give against the statutes, nourish roagues.
Goe leave this towne, come not within my walkes,
Or stay and I will soone send some bodie
Which shall provide a lodging for thy feet. (Exit Philonices. 545
MANC. Call yee this begging? Heavens deliver mee
From such an almes. O what a caterpillar is this?
I am resolv’d to mischeife him.
Nay, I had much adoe to hold my hands
When last he strooke me. All my fingers itcht 550
To have beene dealing with him. If I had
Found both my legs and crost him on the pate,
There was noe witnesse by. Well, once againe
Ile trie my fortune. When the rich are scant
The beggar oft supplies the beggers want. 555
ACTUS IV, SCENA iij
Enter GOODWIFE SPIGGOT
SPIG. I am undonne, I am undonne, some villaine hath rifled my house.
MANC. Good honest mother, looke uppon the lame and maimed. Heres a half-penny, make it
up a penny.
SPIG. O happie houre I have! I have the roague. This leering vagabond hath rob’d mee sure. I’le
streite waie to the Justice and apprehend him on suspicion. (Exit G. Spiggot.) 560
MANC. Ha? Whats this “uppon suspicion?”
Bee apprehended for a robberie?
Nay then, it’s high time to looke about mee,
Or else this Justice on this fit occasion
Will make mee wearie of my begging trade. 565
And therefore, stilts, adew halting, farewell,
I will from hence-forth learne to goe upright
And stand no more uppon these woodden shifts.
But stay, what’s here? Where it not worth my paines
For to resigne y living to this fellowe? 570
Yet thou sleep’st soundlie. Morpheus, hoild thine wone
And this goodman which laide him selfe downe sound
Shall limping rise and bee a cripple founde.
Nay prethee, doe not wake. It fits him well.
Sure it was made for him and not for mee. 575
Hee that doeth breake head must plaisters give,
And therefore I that gave this maladie
Will alsoe leve behind this remedie.
Exit Manco. Enter servant with others.
SERV. Come, which way went this cripple?
OMNES That way, that way. 580
SERV. 2 What, have wee tooke you napping? f
H. SWALLOWE Ha, whose there? I beshrewe you for breaking my first sleepe, you have no blue curse
commission to disturb a man out of his naturall rest, have yoiu?
SERV. Noe, but wee have a commission to apprehend you on s uspicion of fellony if you bee a
HUM. Yes, if I bee a cripple. Ay mee, ay mee, ay mee, I am metamorphosed, translated. Oh helpe
mee,. helpe mee.
SERV. Yes wee’le helpe to convey you hence.
HUM. I pray you, who am I? I should bee Humfrey Swallow.
SPIG. Yes this is Humfrey Swallowe, drunken Humfrey. 590
HUM. Yes I told them I should be soe but I am afraide I am not soe.
SPIG. O this is not that cripple, that lame roague.
HUM. I doe not knowe whome you call that cripple, but I am sure I am this cripple. I have had a
monstrous drie night of it, and full of shrewd mischances. Who can teach mee to halt with
SPIG. This cripple was a counterfeit sure, let’s followe hue and crie to yonder grove. (Exeunt.
HUM. Followe, quoth you? I may well follow the hue and crie, but I shall never goe with
it. They say ale can take away the use of a mans leggs. I am afraid it hath taken awaie on of mine. I
must forsweare druiking then for feare I loose th’ other to. I have cleane forgot where I was or what
I did the last night, and yet I doe not remember that I was foxt. well Ile goe thinke out. And 600
if I can shake of this halting I will, Ile promise you that. ( Exit. Ingreditur Manco.)
MANC. I am right glad I have escap’t their hands,
’Twas well I found my leggs and left my stilts.
Now, since I am soe cunninglie disguis’d
I will goe see my cripple which I left, 605
Some pastime after paine is not amisse.
This is the place. What, is hee vanisht? Gon?
Nay then his roome shall serve mee for repose.
Till I heare more, here will I rest my selfe,
For feare and travell have soe wasted mee 610
That I am noe way able to support
My wearie lims. Morpheus, doe thou thy best,
Sleepe is the onlie true refreshing rest. (Dormit.)
ACTUS V, SCENA i
Enter STUDIOSO, VERITAS, OPINION, ERROUR, BELLICOSO, CLINEAS
STUD. Faire creature, doe not still goe hudwinckt thus,
Unmaske thy bewty to a schollers eyes 615
Who doth adore thy sacred deitie.
Let not the world in a perpetuall night
Involved lie because it wants thy light.
VER. Schollars, I graunt, love mee and speake mee faire
But there hard fortune is to plaine a baite, 620
To sharp a hooke for truth to nibble at.
ER. Ladie, remember what condicions
Your selfe propo’sd.
VER. Errour, importune not,
I doe remember them with all my hart
And will observe them.
OP. Yet Opinion feares 625
That Veritas will now forget her selfe
And not bee true.
STUD. Opinion, forbeare,
Errour bee silent. Elce —
BELL. What elce, I praie?
I stand asmuch uppon Opinion
As thou on Veritas.
CLIN. And I on Error. 630
OP. Well done, brave champions.
CLIN. Nay let mee alone
To swagger when my sweete hart stands soe neere.
STUD. What meane you, most unconstant foolish men?
Will yee undoe the worke your selves begunne?
Yee led me e forth and will you stop my course, 635
Unravell that which your owne hands have spunne.
BELL. Wee care not, these are much the fairer dames
And therefore doe deserve more love then shee.
STUD. The greatest bewty loves the meanest the case,
Seeke not the outward heiwe but inward grace. 640
BELL. Why did our mother nature give us eyes
But to love that which seems worthie <our> love?
STUD. Why did shee give you intellectuall thoughts
But trulie to discerne what should bee lov’d?
The maister should o’rerule his serving knaves, 645
The senses are the understandings slaves.
ER. Heare him no more lest with his sugred tongue
Hee turne your love from us to that plaine girle,
Simplicitie and nakednes it selfe.
OP. Heare him no more lest hee should change thy minde. 650
Allthough I bee but smalle in others eyes,
Yet in my owne I am as great as any.
CLIN. Speake no more lest I cracke your crowne.
STUD. Thus weake arts yeeld to a robustious clowne,
Come, una Veritas, and goe with mee 655
To see thy aged and afflicted sire,
Afflicted for thy absence, prittie maide.
VER. Alas I cannot helpe or comfort him.
I alwaies lookt for comfort at his hands
But have found none. For dutie yet I’le go. 660
ER. Doe not beleeve him.
CLIN. No, in faith, not I.
I alwaies tooke him for a smooth tongued rascall.
OP. Doe not beleeve him, sir.
BELL. Not I, by Mars.
I knowe him for a most white-liverd coward.
I will maintaine my brave Opinion
Through all the world.
VER. My father, oh my father, 665
Who hath thus us’de thee?
STUD. What, is Time a-sleepe?
No marveile then if Truth sit downe and weepe.
Rise up, faire maide, I will rouze up this Time,
This sluggish age, and hollowe in his eares
The scourge of vice. So, ho, what Time, I say, 670
Soe overwhelm’d with vaine securitie?
Awake, for shame, looke upp and see thy selfe,
See what detested sloth hath brought uppon thee.
Here Drunkennes hath set his pillar up,
Displai’d his banner here. Yet can Time sleepe? 675
Here pilfring Theft hath laid his load as though
Though should receaver bee. Yet can Time sleepe?
And here (pitie to see) unhallowed Murther
Hath plaide his prize and kild this honest brother,
Even at thy counsell board. Yet can Time sleepe? 680
Here double-gorged Gluttony hath left
His superfluitie. Yet can Time sleepe?
Here Lust hath spred his dainty palpaments,
Here lies the glasse of moderation broke,
Here Follie seated on thy verie head. 685
Yet can Time sleepe? Rowze up thy selfe for shame
And quitte thy selfe of these most horrid crimes.
Here Avarice hath laide his treasure up,
Here Sloth doth rest his head. Yet can Time sleepe?
TIME I am amaz’d. Nay, am I not asleepe, 690
Is not all this a dreame, a vision,
And noe true substance of the things wee see?
STUD. Noe, good Time, all is true, your daughter too.
TIME What, Veritas my daughter?
VER. A blessing, father.
TIME. Now Jove and bright Apollo shine on thee, 695
That all the world may see thy beauties grace.
Truth doth not hide her face, why hid’st thou thine?
VER. Errour did give mee this grave gaudie scarfe
To cover my faire face, my tender browe,
From the hot scorching sclanders of the world. 700
TIME Alas, pore infaint, how art thou misled
To feare the scorching heate of sclandering tongues?
The sunne is not soe bright as thou, my daughter.
Thy peircing beames could scatter Errours mists.
Then for thy fathers sake unmaske thy selfe 705
And live with him, that dies for lacke of thee.
Shew mee what chance hath brought these sinnes uppon mee
Which I myselfe an no waie guiltie of.
Enter Justicee Philonices, Servus, H. Swallowe, G. Spiggot.
PHIL. Where is that aged Time thou toldst mee of,
Who is the sole maintainer of all faults? 710
HUM. I am verie bashfull, I dare not answer a man of †Wr.† My head is sicke of the whimzies.
I pray tell him, hee sits yonder.
SERV. Looke where a stands, with all his crimes about him.
SPIG. Yes, an’t please your worshipp, these are all my goods. Ah thou old knave, thou.
PHIL. What canst thou saie? The fact is most apparant. 715
HUM. Faith, I have guld them all. I stole these goods, and now the old asse shall be hangd for
them. But, hostesse, you’le keepe your word? I shall have you for finding out your goods.
SPIG. I, by St. Anne, shalt thou. Though I bee old yet I love a younge knave well. But you must
forswear drunkennes then.
HUM. Yes, faith, from the bottome of my belly, for thence you shall have it when I am troubled 720
with it I will spitt it out at length. But you knowe you gave mee leave to bee Tranco this once.
Therefore fetch mee to cannes that I may drinck a health to this good company.
TIME Unthankfull wretch, thou hast least cause of all
To deale thus hardlie with afflicted Time.
Thou hast engroast my goods with that feirce crie 725
Of nullum tempus occurrit regi.
PHIL. Doe not upbraide me with thy benefits.
I have done much for thee. Thy daughter Truth
I have maintained openly gainst wrongs,
False perjuries, deepe sclanders.
VER. Nay, forbeare, 730
And now let Veritas once shewe her selfe.
I must confesse you often are my freind
And helpe a true cause with a true defence.
Yet I owe you but little thankes for that.
Unlesse my evidence bee plaine and good, 735
Alas too often with many broiles and jarres
In the cross waies of discord I am lost,
And sometimes feare. Sometimes affection
Confounds mee quite and will not let mee speake.
Then doe not boast what you have donne for Truth. 740
This for my selfe. My father thus I quit.
This lump of flesh whome you imagin dead
Is but deaths image, drowsie Morpheus prisoner,
Which wearinesse and sloth hath brought him to.
This drunken man to all the sinnes allied 745
(For who hath one hath reference to all)
First stole these goods from her, then left them here.
It is an old excuse for each new crime
To laie all blame uppon corrupted Time.
Lastlie this is the cripple counterfeit 750
Which tied his lame inventions on this man
Whilest hee securelie slept opprest with drinke.
Thus truth even in a word can easilie saie
That which shall make the night as gleare as daie.
PHIL. What strange inversions and what trickes are these? 755
Since that the truth is knowne and with just feares
Guiltines sin your faces thus appeares,
I will proceed to judgment.
TIMETime denies it.
SPIG. Nay, Goodwife Spiggot denies it. If hee tooke the goods hee is my husband
now. They bee his owne goods, hee may carrie them whether he will. 760
HUM. Yes they bee mine own goods.
TIME I doe expect a higher judgment farre
When of these faults I shall have rid myselfe.
Go carrie this thy shame into the world
That all may knowe these are no faults of Time. 765
Daughter, you see what service you have donne mee,
How happy I am by thy presence made?
Live with thy father still to free his age
From these imputed crimes, these fearefull slanders.
OP. Remember, Veritas, conditions made. 770
VER. Noe more. You, father, seeke my company
And I love yours. But you are old and poore.
What certaine patrimony can you leave mee?
What glorie can you leave mee? What lands purchase
For to endow my beauty?
TIME What I have 775
Shall all be thine.
VER. And Time hath no good left
Soe Veritas shall have no heritage.
Pardon mee, father, I was borne most free
And cannot beare the bitter taunts of men.
The naked truth is now a proverb growne. 780
Tom Tell-troth my good servant and your freind,
Hath beene to much neglected in this world.
Ile rather choose in base obscuritie
To live then die in open miserie.
TIME Nay stay, sweete childe.
VER. Pray, father, pardon mee. 785
Base flatterie has banisht mee the court,
Plaine lieing hath shutt citie gates against mee,
False perjurie arraines mee at the barre.
Where would you have mee live?
TIMEIn feildes, my girle.
VER. I was not borne to bee a countrie lasse. 790
If men of better sort will not receave mee
I will retire my selfe to younder grove,
With Errour and Opinion there to dwell,
Who, though my foes for vantage use mee well.
OP. Bravelie resolv’d.
ER. Well answered, Veritas. 795
VER. Father, adew.
TIMENay stay, thou hast my hart,
A father and his childe must not soe parte.
Rather then thus thou shouldst abandon mee.
I doubt not but this present company
Some honourable patron will afford. 800
But where? O where? O where? Bright majestie,
Looke downe uppon perplexed miserie,
Repeale concealed truth from banishment,
And cure sicke Times consuming languishment.
O helpe, thou onlie which canst helpe afford, 805
All may bee mended by a princes word.