A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 9 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 508 pages of information about A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 9.

O. ART.  Why, what should we write?

JUS.  Why, nothing:  heard you not as well as I
What he confess’d?  I say, write nothing down. 
Mistress, we have dismissed you; love your husband,
Which, whilst you do, you shall not hate your husband. 
Bring him before me; I will urge him with
This gentleman’s express confession
Against you; send him to me; I’ll not fail
To keep just nothing in my memory. 
And, sir, now that we have examin’d you,
We likewise here discharge you with good leave. 
Now, Master Arthur and Master Lusam too,
Come in with me; unless the man were here,
Whom most especially the cause concerns,
We cannot end this quarrel:  but come near,
And we will taste a glass of our March beer.



    A Room in Mistress Mary’s House.


MRS MA.  I prythee, tell me, Brabo, what planet, think’st thou, governed at my conception, that I live thus openly to the world?

BRA.  Two planets reign’d at once; Venus, that’s you,
And Mars, that’s I, were in conjunction.

MRS SPLAY.  Prythee, prythee, in faith, that conjunction copulative is that part of speech that I live by.

BRA.  Ha, ha! to see the world! we swaggerers,
That live by oaths and big-mouth’d menaces,
Are now reputed for the tallest men: 
He that hath now a black moustachio,
Reaching from ear to ear, or turning up,
Puncto reverso, bristling towards the eye;
He that can hang two handsome tools at his side,
Go in disguis’d attire, wear iron enough,
Is held a tall man and a soldier. 
He that with greatest grace can swear Gog’s-zounds,
Or in a tavern make a drunken fray,
Can cheat at dice, swagger in bawdy-houses,
Wear velvet on his face, and with a grace
Can face it out with,—­As I am a soldier! 
He that can clap his sword upon the board,
He’s a brave man—­and such a man am I.

MRS MA.  She that with kisses can both kill and cure,
That lives by love, that swears by nothing else
But by a kiss, which is no common oath;
That lives by lying, and yet oft tells truth;
That takes most pleasure when she takes most pains;
She’s a good wench, my boy, and so am I.

MRS SPLAY.  She that is past it, and prays for them that may—­

BRA.  Is an old bawd, as you are, Mistress Splay.

MRS SPLAY.  O, do not name that name; do you not know,
That I could ne’er endure to hear that name? 
But, if your man would leave us, I would read
The lesson that last night I promis’d you.

MRS MA.  I prythee, leave us, we would be alone.

BRA.  And will, and must:  if you bid me begone,
I will withdraw, and draw on any he,
That in the world’s wide round dare cope with me. 
Mistress, farewell! to none I never speak
So kind a word.  My salutations are,
Farewell, and be hang’d! or, in the devil’s name! 
What they have been, my many frays can tell;
You cannot fight; therefore to you, farewell!

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A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 9 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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