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.

SCAR.  O, but, good uncle, could I command my love,
Or cancel oaths out of heaven’s brazen book,
Engross’d by God’s own finger, then you might speak. 
Had men that law to love, as most have tongues
To love a thousand women with, then you might speak. 
Were love like dust, lawful for every wind
To bear from place to place; were oaths but puffs,
Men might forswear themselves; but I do know,
Though, sin being pass’d with us, the act’s forgot,
The poor soul groans, and she forgets it not.

WIL.  Yet hear your own case.

SCAR.  O, ’tis too miserable! 
That I, a gentleman, should be thus torn
From mine own right, and forc’d to be forsworn.

WIL.  Yet, being as it is, it must be your care,
To salve it with advice, not with despair;
You are his ward:  being so, the law intends
He is to have your duty, and in his rule
Is both your marriage and your heritage. 
If you rebel ’gainst these injunctions,
The penalty takes hold on you; which for himself
He straight thus prosecutes; he wastes your land,
Weds you where he thinks fit:[357] but if yourself
Have of some violent humour match’d yourself
Without his knowledge, then hath he power
To merce[358] your purse, and in a sum so great,
That shall for ever keep your fortunes weak,
Where otherwise, if you be rul’d by him,
Your house is rais’d by matching to his kin.


LORD.  Now, death of me, shall I be cross’d
By such a jack? he wed himself, and where he list: 
Sirrah malapert, I’ll hamper you,
You that will have your will, come, get you in: 
I’ll make thee shape thy thoughts to marry her,
Or wish thy birth had been thy murderer.

SCAR.  Fate, pity me, because I am enforc’d: 
For I have heard those matches have cost blood,
Where love is once begun, and then withstood.



Enter ILFORD, and a PAGE with him.

ILF.  Boy, hast thou delivered my letter?

BOY.  Ay, sir, I saw him open the lips on’t.

ILF.  He had not a new suit on, had he?

BOY.  I am not so well acquainted with his wardrobe, sir; but I saw a lean fellow, with sunk eyes and shamble legs, sigh pitifully at his chamber door, and entreat his man to put his master in mind of him.

ILF.  O, that was his tailor.  I see now he will be blessed, he profits by my counsel:  he will pay no debts, before he be arrested—­nor then neither, if he can find e’er a beast that dare but be bail for him; but he will seal[359] i’ th’ afternoon?

BOY.  Yes, sir, he will imprint for you as deep as he can.

ILF.  Good, good, now have I a parson’s nose, and smell tithe coming in then.  Now let me number how many rooks I have half-undone already this term by the first return:  four by dice, six by being bound with me, and ten by queans:  of which some be courtiers, some country gentlemen, and some citizens’ sons.  Thou art a good Frank; if thou purgest[360] thus, thou art still a companion for gallants, may’st keep a catamite, take physic at the spring and the fall.

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