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.

[Exit.

SCENE II.

The Street.

Enter ANSELM and FULLER.

FUL.  Love none at all!  They will forswear themselves, And when you urge them with it, their replies Are, that Jove laughs at lovers’ perjuries.

ANS.  You told me of a jest concerning that;
I prythee, let me hear it.

FUL.  That thou shalt. 
My mistress in a humour had protested,
That above all the world she lov’d me best;
Saying with suitors she was oft molested,
And she had lodg’d her heart within my breast;
And sware (but me), both by her mask and fan,
She never would so much as name a man. 
Not name a man? quoth I; yet be advis’d;
Not love a man but me! let it be so. 
You shall not think, quoth she, my thought’s disguis’d
In flattering language or dissembling show;
I say again, and I know what I do,
I will not name a man alive but you. 
Into her house I came at unaware,
Her back was to me, and I was not seen;
I stole behind her, till I had her fair,
Then with my hands I closed both her een;
She, blinded thus, beginneth to bethink her
Which of her loves it was that did hoodwink her. 
First she begins to guess and name a man,
That I well knew, but she had known far better;
The next I never did suspect till then: 
Still of my name I could not hear a letter;
Then mad, she did name Robin, and then James,
Till she had reckon’d up some twenty names;
At length, when she had counted up a score,
As one among the rest, she hit on me;
I ask’d her if she could not reckon more,
And pluck’d away my hands to let her see;
But, when she look’d back, and saw me behind her,
She blush’d, and ask’d if it were I did blind her? 
And since I sware, both by her mask and fan,
To trust no she-tongue, that can name a man.

ANS.  Your great oath hath some exceptions: 
But to our former purpose; yon is Mistress Arthur;
We will attempt another kind of wooing,
And make her hate her husband, if we can.

FUL.  But not a word of passion or of love;
Have at her now to try her patience.

    Enter MISTRESS ARTHUR.

God save you, mistress!

MRS ART.  You are welcome, sir.

FUL.  I pray you, where’s your husband?

MRS ART.  Not within.

ANS.  Who, Master Arthur? him I saw even now
At Mistress Mary’s, the brave courtesan’s.

MRS ART.  Wrong not my husband’s reputation so;
I neither can nor will believe you, sir.

FUL.  Poor gentlewoman! how much I pity you;
Your husband is become her only guest: 
He lodges there, and daily diets there,
He riots, revels, and doth all things;
Nay, he is held the Master of Misrule
’Mongst a most loathed and abhorred crew: 
And can you, being a woman, suffer this?

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