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.

PIP.  I warrant you, master, I’ll despatch this business with more honesty than you’ll despatch yours.  But, master, will the gentlewoman be there?

Y. ART.  What gentlewoman?

PIP.  The gentlewoman of the old house, that is as well known by the colour she lays on her cheeks, as an alehouse by the painting is laid on his lattice; she that is, like homo, common to all men; she that is beholden to no trade, but lives of herself.

Y. ART.  Sirrah, begone, or I will send you hence.

PIP.  I’ll go [aside]; but, by this hand, I’ll tell my mistress as soon as I come home that mistress light-heels comes to dinner to-morrow. [Exit.

Y. ART.  Sweet Mistress Mary, I’ll invite myself: 
And there I’ll frolic, sup, and spend the night. 
My plot is current; here ’tis in my hand
Will make me happy in my second choice: 
And I may freely challenge as mine own,
What I am now enforc’d to seek by stealth. 
Love is not much unlike ambition;
For in them both all lets must be remov’d
’Twixt every crown and him that would aspire;
And he that will attempt to win the same
Must plunge up to the depth o’er head and ears,
And hazard drowning in that purple sea: 
So he that loves must needs through blood and fire,
And do all things to compass his desire.



A Room in Young Arthur’s House.


MRS ART.  Come, spread the table; is the hall well rubb’d? 
The cushions in the windows neatly laid? 
The cupboard of plate set out? the casements stuck
With rosemary and flowers? the carpets brush’d?

MAID.  Ay, forsooth, mistress.

MRS ART.  Look to the kitchen-maid, and bid the cook take down the oven-stone, [lest] the pies be burned:  here, take my keys, and give him out more spice.

MAID.  Yes, forsooth, mistress.

MRS ART.  Where’s that knave Pipkin? bid him spread the cloth,
Fetch the clean diaper napkins from my chest,
Set out the gilded salt, and bid the fellow
Make himself handsome, get him a clean band.

MAID.  Indeed, forsooth, mistress, he is such a sloven,
That nothing will sit handsome about him;
He had a pound of soap to scour his face,
And yet his brow looks like the chimney-stock.

MRS ART.  He’ll be a sloven still; maid, take this apron,
And bring me one of linen:  quickly, maid.

MAID.  I go, forsooth.

MRS ART.  There was a curtsy! let me see’t again;
Ay, that was well.—­[Exit MAID.] I fear my guests will come
Ere we be ready.  What a spite is this.

Within.  Mistress!

MRS ART.  What’s the matter?

Within.  Mistress, I pray, take Pipkin from the fire; We cannot keep his fingers from the roast.

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