Enter [Sir Roger Oatley, the] Lord Mayor, [and the Earl of] Lincoln.
My Lord Mayor, you have sundry times
Feasted myself and many courtiers more.
Seldom or never can we be so kind
To make requital of your courtesy.
But leaving this, I hear my cousin Lacy
Is much affected to your daughter Rose.
True, my good lord; and she loves him so well
That I mislike her boldness in the chase.
Why, my Lord Mayor, think you it then a shame
To join a Lacy with an Oatley’s name?
Too mean is my poor girl for his high birth.
Poor citizens must not with courtiers wed,
Who will in silks and gay apparel spend
More in one year than I am worth by far.
Therefore your honour need not doubt my girl.
Take heed, my lord; advise you what you do.
A verier unthrift lives not in the world
Than is my cousin; for, I’ll tell you what,
’Tis now almost a year since he requested
To travel countries for experience.
I furnished him with coin, bills of exchange,
Letters of credit, men to wait on him,
Solicited my friends in Italy
Well to respect him. But to see the end:
Scant had he journeyed through half Germany
But all his coin was spent, his men cast off,
His bills embezzled, and my jolly coz,
Ashamed to show his bankrupt presence here,
Became a Shoemaker in Wittenberg−
A goodly science for a gentleman
Of such descent! Now judge the rest by this:
Suppose your daughter have a thousand pound,
He did consume me more in one half-year;
And make him heir to all the wealth you have,
One twelve-month’s rioting will waste it all.
Then seek, my lord, some honest citizen
To wed you daughter to.
I thank your lordship.
Well, fox, I understand your subtlety.
As for your nephew, let your lordship’s eye.
But watch his actions and you need not fear;
For I have sent my daughter far enough.
And yet your cousin Rowland might do well
Now he halt learned an occupation.
And yet I scorn to call him son-in-law.
Ay, but I have a better trade for him.
I thank his Grace, he hath appointed him
Chief colonel of all those companies
Mustered in London and the shires about
To serve his Highness in those wars of France.
See where he comes.
Enter Lovell, Lacy, and Askew.
Lovell, what news with you?
My Lord of Lincoln, ’tis his Highness’ will
That presently your cousin ship for France
With all his powers. He would not for a million
But they should land at Dieppe within four days.
Go certify his Grace it shall be done.
Now, cousin Lacy, in what for forwardness
Are all your companies?
All well prepared.
The men of Hertfordshire lie at Mile End;
Suffolk and Essex train in Tothill Fields;
The Londoners, and those of Middlesex,
All gallantly prepared in Finsbury,
With frolic spirits long for their parting hour.
They have their imprest, coats, and furniture,
And if it please your cousin Lacy come
To the Guildhall he shall receive his pay,
And twenty pounds besides my brethren
Will freely give him to approve our loves
We bear unto my lord your uncle here.
Thanks, my good Lord Mayor.
At the Guildhall we will expect your coming.
To approve your love to me? No, subtlety!
Nephew, that twenty pound he doth bestow
For joy to rid you from his daughter Rose.
But, cousins both, now here are none but friends,
I would not have you cast an amorous eye
Upon so mean a project as the love
Of a gay, wanton, painted citizen.
I know this churl even in the height of scorn
Doth hate the mixture of his blood with thine.
I pray thee, do thou so. Remember, coz,
What honourable fortunes wait on thee.
Increase the King’s love which so brightly shines
And gilds thy hopes. I have not heir but thee−
And yet not thee if with a wayward spirit
Thou start from the true bias of my love.
My lord, I will for honour – not desire
Of land or livings, or to be your heir−
So guide my actions in pursuit of France
As shall add glory to the Lacy’s name.
Coz, for those words here’s thirty portagues;
And, nephew Askew, there’s a few for you.
Fair honour in her loftiest eminence
Stay in France for you till you fetch her thence.
Then, nephews, clap swift wings on your designs.
Begone, begone; make haste to the Guildhall.
There presently I’ll meet you. Do not stay.
Where honour beckons, shame attends delay.
How gladly would your uncle have you gone!
True, coz; but I’ll o’er-reach his policies.
I have some serious business for three days,
Which nothing but my presence can dispatch.
You, therefore, cousin, with the companies,
Shall haste to Dover. There I’ll meet with you,
Or if I stay past my prefixed time,
Away for France; we’ll meet in Normandy.
The twenty pounds my Lord Mayor gives to me
You shall receive, and these ten portagues,
Part of mine uncle’s thirty. Gentle coz,
Have care to our great charge. I know your wisdom
Hath tried itself in higher consequence.
Coz, all myself am yours. Yet have this care,
To lodge in London with all secrecy.
Our uncle Lincoln hath ˗besides his own˗
Many a jealous eye that in your face
Stares only to watch means for your disgrace.
Stay, cousin, who be these?
Enter Simon Eyre, [Margery] his wife, Hodge, Firk, Jane, and Ralph with a piece.
Leave whining, leave whining. Away with this whimpering,
this puling, these blubbering tears, and these wet
eyes! I’ll get thy husband discharged, I warrant thee,
sweet Jane. Go to!
Master, here be the captains.
Peace, Hodge; husht, ye knave, husht.
Here be the cavaliers and the colonels, master.
Peace, Firk; peace, my fine Firk. Stand by. With your
pishery-pashery, away! I am a man of the best presence.
I’ll speak to them an they were popes
[To Lacy and Askew] Gentlemen, captains, colonels, commanders;
brave men, brave leaders, may it please you to give me
audience. I am Simon Eyre, the mad shoemaker of
Tower Street. This wench with the mealy mouth that
will never tire is my wife, I can tell you. Here’s Hodge,
my man and my foreman. Here’s Firk, my fine firking
journeyman; and this is blubbered Jane. All we come to
be suitors for this honest Ralph. Keep him at home and,
as I am a true shoemaker and a gentleman of the Gentle
Craft, buy spurs yourself and I’ll find ye boots these
Seven years, husband?
Peace , midriff, peace, I know what I do. Peace.
Truly, Master Cormorant, you shall do God good
service to let Ralph and his wife stay together. She’s a
young, new-married woman. If you take her husband
away from her a night, you undo her; she may beg in
the daytime; for he’s as good a workman at a prick and
an awl as any is in our trade.
O, let him stay, else I shall be undone!
Ay, truly, she shall be laid at one side like a pair of old
shoes else, and be occupied for no use.
Truly, my friends, it lies not in my power.
The Londoners are pressed, paid, and set forth
By the Lord Mayor. I cannot charge a man.
Why, then, you were as good be a corporal as a
colonel, if you cannot discharge one good fellow. And I
tell you true, I think you do more than you can answer,
to press a man within a year and a day of his marriage.
Well said, melancholy Hodge! Gramercy, my fine
Truly, gentlemen, it were ill done for such as you to
stand so stiffly against a poor young wife, considering
her case. She is new-married –but let that pass. I pray,
deal not roughly with her. Her husband is young man
and but newly entered– but let that pass.
Away with your pishery-pashery, your pols and your
edepols. Peace, midriff; silence, Cicely Bumtrinket. Let
your head speak.
Yea, and the horns too, master.
Tawsoone, my fine Fink, tawsoone. Peace, scoundrels.
See you this man, captains? You will not release him?
Well, let him go. He’s a proper shot. Let him vanish.
Peace, Jane. Dry up thy tears, they’ll make his powder
dankish. Take him, brave men. Hector of Troy was an
hackney to him, Hercules and Termagant scoundrels.
Prince Arthur’s Round Table, by the Lord of Ludgate,
ne’er fed such a tall, such a dapper swordman. By the life
of Pharaoh, a brave, resolute swordman. Peace, Jane. I
say no more, mad knaves.
See, see, Hodge, how my master raves in commendation
Ralph, thou’rt a gull, by this hand, an thou goest not.
I am glad, good Master Eyre, it is my hap
To meet so resolute a soldier.
Trust me, for your report and love to him
A common, slight regard shall not respect him.
Give me thy hand.
Thou shalt not want, as I am a gentleman
Woman, be patient. God, no doubt, will send
Thy husband safe a again; but he must go.
His country’s quarrel says it shall be so.
Thou’rt a gull, by my stirrup, if thou dost not go. I
will not have thee strike thy gimlet into these weak
vessels –prick thine enemies, Ralph.
My lord, your uncle on the Tower Hill
Stays with the Lord Mayor and the Aldermen,
And doth request you with all speed you may
To hasten thither.
Dodger, run you before. Tell them we come.
This Dodger is mine uncle’s parasite,
The arrant’st varlet that e’er breathed on earth.
He sets more discord in a noble house
By one day’s broaching of his pickthank tales
Than can be salved again in twenty years;
And he, I fear, shall go with us to France
To pry into our actions.
It shall behove you to be circumspect.
Fear not, good cousin. Ralph, hie to your colours.
[Exeunt Lacy and Askew].
I must, because there is no remedy.
But, gentle master and my loving dame,
As you have always been a friend to me,
So in mine absence think upon my wife.
She cannot speak for weeping.
Peace, you cracked groats, you mustard tokens, disquiet
not the brave soldier. Go thy ways, Ralph.
Ay, ay, you bid him go –what shall I do when he is
Why, be doing with me, or my fellow Hodge. Be not
Let me see thy hand, Jane
[He takes her hand] This fine
hand, this white hand, these pretty fingers must spin,
must card, must work, work, you bombast-cotton-candle
quean, work for your living, with a pox to you.
Hold thee, Ralph, here’s five sixpences for thee. Fight
for the honour of the Gentle Craft, for the Gentlemen
Shoemakers, the courageous cordwainers, the flower of
Saint Martin’s, the mad knaves of Bedlam, Fleet Street,
Tower Street, and Whitechapel. Crack me the crowns
of the French knaves, a pox on them –crack them.
Fight, by the Lord of Ludgate, fight, my fine boy.
Here, Ralph, here’s three twopences. Two, carry into
France; the third shall wash our souls at parting –for
sorrow is dry. For my sake, firk the baisez-mon-culs.
Ralph, I am heavy at parting, but here’s a shilling for
thee. God send thee to cram thy slops with French
crowns, and thy enemies’ bellies with bullets.
I thank you, master; and I thank you all.
Now, gentle wife, my loving, lovely Jane,
Rich men at parting give their wives rich gifts,
Jewels, and rings to grace their lily hands.
Thou know’st our trade makes rings for women’s heels.
Here, take this pair of shoes cut by Hodge,
Stitched by my fellow, Firk, seamed by myself,
Made up and pinked with letters for thy name.
Wear them, my dear Jane, for thy husband’s sake,
And every morning, when thou pull’st them on,
Remember me, and pray for my return.
Make much of them, for I have made them so
That I can know them from a thousand moe.
Sound drum. Enter [Sir Roger Oatley, the] Lord Mayor, [the Earl of] Lincoln, Lacy, Askew, Dodger, and soldiers. They pass over the stage. Ralph falls in amongst them. Firk and the rest cry ‘Farewell’, etc., and so exeunt.
Enter Rose alone, making a garland.
Here sit thou down upon this flow’ry bank,
And make a garland for thy Lacy’s head.
These pinks, these roses, and these violets,
These blushing gilliflowers, these marigolds,
The fair embroidery of his coronet,
Carry not half such beauty in their cheeks
As the sweet countenance of my Lacy doth.
O, my most unkind father! O, my stars,
Why loured you so at my nativity
To make me love, yet live robbed of my love?
Here as a thief am I imprisonèd
For my dear Lacy’s sake within those walls
Which by my father’s cost were builded up
For better purposes. Here must I languish
For him that doth as much lament, I know,
Mine absence as for him I pine in woe.
Good morrow, young mistress. I am sure you make
that garland for me, against. I shall be Lady of the
Sybil, what news at London?
None but good. My lord Mayor your father, and
Master Philpot your uncle, and Master Scott your
cousin, and Mistress Frigbottom, by Doctor’s Commons,
do all, by my troth, send you most hearty
Did Lacy send kind greetings to his love?
O yes, out of cry. By my troth, I scant knew him –
here’ a wore a scarf, and here a scarf, here a bunch of
feathers, and here precious stones and jewels, and a pair
of garters –O, monstrous! – like one of our yellow silk
curtains at home here in Old Ford House, here in Master
Bellymount’s chamber. I stood at our door in Cornhill,
looked at him, he at me indeed; spake to him, but he not
to me, not a word. ‘Marry gup, ’ thought I, ‘with a
wanion!’ He passed by me as proud –‘marry, foh, are
you grown humorous?’ thought I –and so shut the
door, and in I came.
O Sybil, how dost thou my Lacy wrong!
My Rowland is as gentle as a lamb;
No dove was ever half so mild as he.
Mild? –yea, as a bushel of stamped crabs. He looked
upon me as sour as verjuice. ‘Go thy ways,’ thought I,
‘thou mayst be much in my gaskins, but nothing in my
netherstocks.’ This is your fault, mistress, to love him
that loves not you. He thinks scorn to do as he’s done to;
but if I were as you, I’ld cry ‘Go by, Jeronimo, go by!’
I’ld set mine old debts against my new driblets
And the hare’s foot against the goose giblets;
For if ever I sigh when sleep I should take,
Pray God I may lose my maidenhead when I wake.
Will my love leave me then, and go to France?
I know not that, but I am sure I see him stalk before the
soldiers. By my troth, he is a proper man –but he is
proper that proper doth. Let him go snick up, young
Get thee to London, and learn perfectly
Whether my Lacy go to France or no.
Do this, and I will give thee for thy pains
My cambric apron, and my Romish gloves,
My purple stockings, and a stomacher.
Say, wilt thou do this, Sybil, for my sake?
Will I, quoth’ a! At whose suit? –by my troth, yes, I’ll
go –a cambric apron, gloves, a pair of purple stockings,
and a stomacher! –I’ll sweat in purple, mistress, for you;
I’ll take anything that comes a’ God’s name –O rich, a
cambric apron! Faith, then, have at uptails all, I’ll go
jiggy-joggy to London and be here in a trice, young
Do so, good Sybil. Meantime wretched I
Will sit and sigh for his lost company.
Enter Eyre, making himself ready.
Where be these boys, these girls, these drabs, these
scoundrels? They wallow in the fat brewis of my
bounty, and lick up the crumbs of my table, yet will not
rise to see my walks cleansed. Come out, you powder-
beef queans! What, Nan! What, Madge Mumblecrust!
Come out, you fat midriff-swag-belly whores, and
sweep me these kennels, that the noisome stench offend
not the nose of my neighbours. What, Firk, I say! What,
Hodge! Open my shop windows! What, Firk, I say!
O, master, is’t you that speak bandog and bedlam this
morning? I was in a dream, and mused what madman
was got into the street so early. Have you drunk this
morning, that your throat is so clear?
Ah, well said, Firk; well said, Firk –to work, my fine
knave, to work! Wash thy face, and thou’lt be more
Let them wash my face that will eat it. Good master,
send for a souse-wife if you’ll have my face cleaner.
Away, sloven! Avaunt, scoundrel! Good morrow,
Hodge; good morrow, my fine foreman.
O master, good morrow. You’re an early stirrer.
Here’s a fair morning. Good morrow, Firk. I could have
slept this hour. Here’s a brave day towards.
O, haste to work, my fine foreman, haste to work.
Master, I am dry as dust to hear my fellow Roger talk of
fair weather. Let us pray for good leather, and let clowns
and ploughboys, and those that work in the fields, pray
for brave days. We work in a dry shop –what care I if it
Enter [Margery,] Eyre’s wife.
How now, Dame Margery, can you see to rise? Trip
and go, call up the drabs your maids.
See to rise! I hope ’tis time enough; ’tis early enough
for any woman to be seen abroad. I marvel how many
wives in Tower Street are up so soon. God’s me, ’tis not
noon! Here’s yawling.
Peace, Margery, peace. Where’s Cicely Bumtrinket,
your maid? She has a privy fault: she farts in her sleep.
Call the quean up. If my men want shoethread, I’ll
swinge her in a stirrup.
Yet that’s but a dry beating. Here’s still a sing of
Enter Lacy [as Hans], singing.
[as Hans] Der was een bore van Gelderland,
Frolick sie byen;
He was als dronck he could niet satnd,
Upsee al sie byen;
Tap eens de canneken,
Drincke, schone mannekin.
Master, for my life, yonder’s a brother of the Gentle
Craft! If he bear not Saint Hugh’s bones, I’ll forfeit my
bones. He’s some uplandish workman. Hire him, good
master, that I may learn some gibble-gabble. ’Twill
make us work the faster.
Peace, Firk. A hard world; let him pass, let him vanish.
We have journeymen enough. Peace, my fine Firk.
Nay, nay, you’re best follow your man’s counsel.
You shall see what will come on’t. We have not men
enough but we must entertain every butter-box –but
let that pass.
Dame, fore God, if my master follow your counsel
he’ll consume little beef. He shall be glad of men an he
can catch them.
Fore God, a proper man and, I warrant, a fine workman.
Master, farewell. Dame, adieu. If such a man as he
cannot find work, Hodge is not for you.
Offer to go.
Stay, my fine Hodge.
Faith, an your foreman go, dame, you must take a
journey to seek a new journeyman. If Roger remove,
Firk follows. If Saint Hugh’s bones shall not be set
a-work, I may prick mine awl in the walls, and go play.
Fare ye well, master. Goodbye, dame.
Tarry, my fine Hodge, my brisk foreman. Stay, Firk.
Peace, pudding-broth. By the Lord of Ludgate, I love
my men as my life. Peace, you gallimaufry. Hodge, if he
want work, I’ll hire him. One of you to him –stay, he
comes to us.
[as Hans] Goeden dach, meester, end you fro, auch.
‘Nails, if I should speak after him without drinking, I
should choke! And you, friend Auch, are you of the
[as Hans] Yaw, yaw; ik bin den skomawker.
‘Den skomawker’, quoth ’a; and hark you, skomawker,
have you all your tools –a good rubbing-pin, a good
stopper, a good dresser, your four sorts of awls, and
your two balls of wax, your paring-knife, your hand-
and thumb-leathers, and good Saint Hugh’s bones to
smooth up your work?
[as Hans] Yaw, yaw, be niet vorveard. Ik hab all de dingen
voour mack skoes groot end klene.
Ha, ha! Good master, hire him. He’ll make me laugh so
that I shall work more in mirth than I can in earnest.
Hear ye, friend: have ye any skill in the mystery of
[as Hans] Ik weet niet wat you seg; ik verstaw you niet.
Why thus, man!
[He mimes the actions of a shoemaker] ‘Ik
verste you niet’, quoth ’a.
[as Hans] Yaw, yaw, yaw; ik can dat wel doen.
‘Yaw, yaw’ –he speaks yawing like a jackdaw, that gapes
to be fed with cheese curds. O, he’ll give a
villainous pull at a can of double beer. But Hodge and I
have the vantage; we must drink first, because we are
the eldest journeymen.
[as Hans] Hans; Hans Meulter.
Give me thy hand, thou’rt welcome. Hodge, entertain
him. Firk, bid him welcome. Come, Hans. Run, wife;
bid your maids, your trullibubs, make ready my fine
men’s breakfast. To him, Hodge.
Hans, thou’rt welcome. Use thyself friendly, for we
are good fellows; if not, thou shalt be fought with, wert
thou bigger than a giant.
Yea, and drunk with, wert thou Gargantua. My master
keeps no cowards, I tell thee. Ho, boy, bring him an
heelblock. Here’s new journeyman.
[as Hans] O, ik verstaw you. Ik moet een halve dossen cans
betaelen. Here, boy, nempt dis skilling, tap eens freelick.
Quick, snipper-snapper, away! Firk, scour thy throat;
thou shalt wash it with Castilian liquor. Come, my last
of the fives,
give me a can. Have to thee, Hans! Here, Hodge; here
Firk: drink, you mad Greeks, and work like true Trojans,
and pray for Simon Eyre the shoemaker. Here,
Hans; and thou’rt welcome.
Lo, dame, you would have lost a good fellow that will
teach us to laugh. –This beer came hopping in well.
Simon, it is almost seven.
Is’t so, Dame Clapperdudgeon? Is’t seven o’clock and
my men’s breakfast not ready? Trip and go, you soused
conger, away. Come you mad Hyperboreans. Follow
me, Hodge; follow me, Hans; come after, my fine Firk:
to work, to work a while, and then to breakfast.
Soft, yaw, yaw, good Hans. Though my master have
no more wit but to call you afore me, I am not so foolish
to go behind you, I being the elder journeyman.
Enter Lacy [as Hans], Skipper, Hodge, and Firk.
Ik sal you wat seggen, Hans; dis skip dat comen from
Candy is al fol, by Got’s sacrament, van sugar, civet,
almonds, cambric, end alle dingen –tousand tousand ding.
Nempt it, Hans, nempt it vor your meester. Daer be de bils
van laden. Your meester Simon Eyre sal hae good copen. Wat
seggen you, Hans?
Wat seggen de reggen de copen, slopen –laugh, Hodge, laugh!
[as Hans] Mine liever broder Firk, bringt Meester Eyre tot
den signe van swannekin. Daer sal you find dis skipper end
me. Wat seggen you, broder Firk? Doot it, Hodge! Come,
Exeunt [Lacy as Hans and Skipper].
‘Bring him,’ quoth you? Here’s no knavery, to bring
my master to buy a ship worth the lading of two or
three hundred thousand pounds. Alas, that’s nothing –a
trifle, a bauble, Hodge.
The truth is, Fink, that the merchant owner of the ship
dares not show his head, and therefore this skipper, that
deals for him, for the love he bears to Hans offers my
master Eyre a bargain in the commodities. He shall have
a reasonable day of payment. He may sell the wares by
that time, and be an huge gainer himself.
Yea, but can my fellow Hans lend my master twenty
porpentines as an earnest-penny?
‘Portages’ thou wouldst say –here they be, Firk:
hark, they jingle in my pocket like Saint Mary Overy’s
Enter Eyre and [Margery] his wife [and a Boy].
Mum, here comes my dame and my master. She’ll
scold, on my life, for loitering this Monday. But all’s
one. Let them all say what they can, Monday’s our
You sing, Sir Sauce, but I beshrew your heart,
I fear for this your singing we shall smart.
Smart for me, dame? Why, dame, why?
Master, I hope you’ll not suffer my dame to take
down your journeymen.
If she take me down, I’ll take her up –yea, and take her
down, too, a buttonhole lower.
Peace, Firk. Not I, Hodge. By the life of Pharaoh, by
the Lord of Ludgate, by this beard, every hair whereof I
value at a king’s ransom, she shall not meddle with you.
Peace, you bombast-cotton-candle quean, away, Queen
of Clubs, quarrel not with me and my men, with me
and my fine Firk. I’ll firk you if you do.
Yea, yea, man, you may use me as you please –but let that pass.
Let it pass, let it vanish away. Peace, am I not Simon
Eyre? Are not these my brave men, brave shoemakers,
all gentlemen of the Gentle Craft? Prince am I none, yet
am I nobly born, as being the sole son of a shoemaker.
Away, rubbish. Vanish, melt, melt like kitchen-stuff.
Yea, yea, ’tis well. I must be called rubbish, kitchen-
stuff, for a sort of knaves.
Nay, dame, you shall not weep and wail in woe for me.
Master, I’ll stay no longer. Here’s a venentory of my
shop tools. Adieu, master. Hodge, farewell.
Nay, stay, Firk, thou shalt not go alone.
I pray, let them go. There be more maids than
Malkin, more men than Hodge, and more fools than
Fools? ‘Nails, if I tarry now, I would my guts might be turned to shoe-thread.
And if I stay, I pray God I may be turned to a Turk
and set in Finsbury for boys to shoot at. Come, Firk.
Stay, my fine knaves, you arms of my trade, you pillars
of my profession. What, shall a tittle-tattle’s words
make you forsake Simon Eyre? Avaunt, kitchen-stuff;
rip, you brown-bread Tannikin, out of my sight! Move
me not. Have not I ta’en you from selling tripes in
Eastcheap, and set you in my shop, and made you
hail-fellow with Simon Eyre the shoemaker? And now
do you deal thus with my journeymen? Look, you
powder-beef quean, on the face of Hodge. Here’s a face
for a lord.
And here’s a face for any lady in Christendom.
Rip, you chitterling, avaunt! Boy, bid the tapster of the
Boar’s Head fill me a dozen cans of beer for my
A dozen cans! O brave, Hodge –now I’ll stay!
[Aside to the Boy] An the knave fills any more than two,
he pays for them.
[Aloud] A dozen cans of beer for my journeymen!
[Enter the Boy with two cans, and exit].
Here, you mad Mesopotamians, wash your livers with
this liquor. Where be the odd ten? No more, Madge; no
more. Well said, drink and to work. What work dost
thou, Hodge? What work?
I am a-making a pair of shoes for my Lord mayor’s
daughter, Mistress Rose.
And I a pair of shoes for Sybil, my Lord’s maid. I deal
Sybil? Fie, defile not thy fine, workmanly fingers with
the feet of kitchen-stuff and basting-ladles. Ladies of the
Court, fine ladies, my lads, commit their feet to our
apparelling. Put gross work to Hans. Yerk and seam,
yerk and seam.
For yerking and seaming let me alone, an I come to’t.
Well, master, all this is from the bias. Do you
remember the ship my fellow Hans told you of? The
skipper and he are both drinking at the Swan. Here be
the portagues to give earnest. If you go through with it,
you cannot choose but be a lord at least.
Nay, dame, if my master prove not a lord, and you a
lady, hang me.
Yea, like enough, if you may loiter and tipple thus.
Tipple, dame? No, we have been bargaining with
Skellum-Skanderbag-can-you-Dutch-spreaken for a
ship of silk cypress, laden with sugar candy.
Enter the Boy with a velvet coat and an Alderman’s gown. Eyre puts it on.
Peace, Firk. Silence, tittle-tattle. Hodge, I’ll go through
with it. Here’s a seal ring, and I have sent for a guarded
gown and a damask cassock. See where it comes. Look
here, Madgy. Help me, Firk. Apparel me, Hodge. Silk
and satin, you mad Philistines, silk and satin!
Ha, ha! My master will be as proud as a dog in a doublet,
all in beaten damask and velvet.
Softly, Firk, for rearing of the nap and wearing threadbare
my garments. How dost thou like me, Firk? How do I look, my fine Hodge?
Why, now you look like yourself, master. I warrant
you there’s few in the City but will give you the wall,
and come upon you with the ‘Right Worshipful’.
’Nails, my master looks like a threadbare cloak new
turned and dressed. Lord, Lord, to see what good raiment
doth. Dame, dame, are you not enamoured?
How sayst thou, Madgy; am I not brisk? Am I not fine?
Fine? By my troth, sweetheart, very fine. By my
troth, I never liked thee so well in my life, sweetheart –
but let that pass. I warrant there be many women in the
City have not such handsome husbands, but only for
their apparel– but let that pass, too.
Enter [Lacy as] Hans and Skipper
[as Hans] Godden day, meester; dis be de skipper dat heb de
skip van marchandice. De commodity ben good. Nempt it,
meester; nempt it.
Godamercy, Hans. Welcome, skipper. Where lies this
ship of merchandise?
De skip ben in revere. Dor be van sugar, civet, almonds,
cambric, end a tousand tousand tings, Got’s sacrament!
Nempt it, meester; you sal heb good copen.
To him, master. O sweet master! O sweet wares!
Prunes, almonds, sugar candy, carrot-roots, turnips
–O, brave fatting meat! Let not a man buy a
nutmeg but yourself.
Peace, Firk. Come, skipper, I’ll go aboard with you.
Hans, have you made him drink?
Yaw, yaw. Ik heb veale gedrunck.
Come, Hans; follow me. Skipper, thou shalt have my
countenance in the City.
Exeunt [Eyre, Skipper, and Lacy as Hans].
‘Yaw heb veale gedrunck’, quotha! They may well be
called butter-boxes when drink fat veal, and thick
beer too. But come, dame; I hope you’ll chide us no
No, faith, Firk. No, perdie, Hodge. I do feel honour
creep upon me, and, which is more, a certain rising in
my flesh –but let that pass.
Rising in your flesh do you feel, say you? Ay, you may
be with child; but why should not my master feel a
rising in his flesh, having a gown and a gold ring on! But
you are such a shrew, you’ll soon pull him down.
Ha, ha! Prithee, peace, thou makest my worship
laugh –but let that pass. Come, I’ll go in. Hodge,
prithee, go before me. Firk, follow me!
Firk doth follow. Hodge, pass out in state!
Enter Firk, [Margery] Eyre’s wife, [Lacy as] Hans, and Roger.
Thou goest too fast for me, Roger. O, Firk.
I pray thee, run –do you hear– run to Guildhall,
and learn if my husband, Master Eyre, will take that
worshipful vocation of Master Sheriff upon him. Hie
thee, good Firk.
Take it? Well, I go. An he should not take it, Firk swears
to forswear him. –Yes, forsooth, I go Guildhall.
Nay, when! Thou art too compendious and tedious.
O rare. Your excellence is full of eloquence.
[Aside] How like a new cartwheel my dame speaks; and she
looks like an old musty ale-bottle going to scalding.
Nay, when! Thou wilt make me melancholy.
God forbid your worship should fall into that humour. I
Let me see now, Roger and Hans.
Ay, forsooth, dame –mistress, I should say, but the
old term so sticks to the roof of my mouth, I can hardly
lick it off.
Even what thou wilt, good Roger. Dame is a fair
name for any honest Christian –but let that pass. How
dost thou, Hans?
[as Hans] Me tank you, fro.
Well, Hans and Roger, you see God hath blessed
your master; and, perdie, if ever he comes to be Master
Sheriff of London –as we are all mortal– you shall see I
will have some odd thing or other in a corner for you. I
will not be your back friend –but let that pass. Hans,
pray thee, tie my shoe.
[as Hans] Yaw, ik sal, fro.
Roger, thou knowest the length of my foot. As it is
none of the biggest, so I thank God it is handsome
enough. Prithee, let me have a pair of shoes made; cork,
good Roger; wooden heel, too.
Art thou acquainted with never a farthingale-
maker, nor a French-hood-maker? I must enlarge my
bum. Ha, ha! How shall I look in a hood, I wonder?
Perdie, oddly, I think.
[Aside] As a car out of a pillory.
[To Margery] Very
well, I warrant you, mistress.
Indeed, all flesh is grass. And Roger, canst thou tell
where I may buy a good hair?
Yes, forsooth; at the poulterer’s in Gracious Street.
Thou art an ungracious wag. Perdie, I mean a false
hair for my periwig.
Why, mistress, the next time I cut my bear you shall
have the shavings of it; but they are all true hairs.
It is very hot. I must get me a fan, or else a mask.
[Aside] So you had need, to hide your wicked face.
Fie upon it, how costly this world’s calling is!
Perdie, but that it is one of the wonderful works of God,
I would not deal with it. Is not Firk come yet? Hans, be
not so sad. Let it pass and vanish, as my husband’s
[as Hans] Ik bin frolick; lot see you so.
Mistress, will you drink a pipe of tobacco?
O, fie upon it, Roger! Perdie, these filthy tobacco
pipes are the most idle, slavering baubles that ever I felt.
Out upon it, God bless us; men look not like men that
Enter Ralph, being lame.
What, fellow Ralph! Mistress, look here –Jane’s husband!
Why, how now –lame? Hans, make much of
him. He’s a brother of our trade, a good workman, and
a tall soldier.
[as Hans] You be welcome, broder.
Perdie, I knew him not. How dost thou, good
Ralph? I am glad to see thee well.
I would God you saw me, dame, as well
As when I went from London into France.
Trust me, I am sorry, Ralph, to see thee impotent.
Lord, how the wars have made him sunburnt! The left
leg is not well. ’Twas a fair gift of God the infirmity
took not hold a little higher, considering thou camest
from France –but let that pass.
I am glad to see you well, and I rejoice
To hear that God hath blessed my master so
Since my departure.
Yea, truly, Ralph, I thank my maker –but let that
And, Sirrah Ralph, what news, what news in
Tell me, good Roger, first, what news in England?
How does my Jane? When didst thou see my wife?
Where lives my poor heart? She’ll be poor indeed
Now I want limbs to get whereon to feed.
Limbs? Hast thou not hands, man? Thou shalt never
see a shoemaker want bread, though he have but three
fingers on a hand.
Yet all this while I hear not of my Jane.
O Ralph, your wife! Perdie, we know not what’s
become of her. She was here a while, and because she
was married grew more stately than became her. I
checked her, and so forth. Away she flung, never
returned, nor said bye nor bah. And, Ralph, you know:
’ka me, ka thee’. And so as I tell ye –Roger, is not Firk
And so, indeed, we heard not of her; but I hear she
lives a London –but let that pass. If she had wanted, she
might have opened her case to me or my husband or to
any of my men; I am sure there’s not any of them,
perdie, but would have done her good to his power.
Hans, look if Firk be come.
[as Hans] Yaw, ik sal, fro.
Exit [Lacy as] Hans.
And so as I said. Bur Ralph, why dost thou weep?
Thou knowest that naked we came out of our mother’s
womb, and naked we must return; and therefore thank
God for all things.
No, faith, Jane is a stranger here. But, Ralph, pull up a
good heart –I know thou hast one. Thy wife, man, is in
London. One told me he saw her a while ago very brave
and neat. We’ll ferret her out, an London hold her.
Alas, poor soul, he’s overcome with sorrow. He
does but as I do, weep for the loss of any good thing.
But, Ralph, get thee in. Call for some meat and drink.
Thou shalt find me worshipful towards thee.
I thank you, dame. Since I want limbs and lands,
I’ll to God, my good friends, and to these my hands.
Enter [Lacy as] Hans, and Firk, running.
Run, good Hans. O, Hodge, O, mistress! Hodge, heave
up thine ears. Mistress, smug up your looks, on with
your best apparel. My master is chosen, my master is
called, nay, condemned, by the cry of the country to be
sheriff of the City for this famous year now to come and
time now being. A great many men in black gowns
were asked for their voices and their hands, and my
master had all their fists about his ears presently, and
they cried ‘Ay, ay, ay, ay’; and so I came away.
Wherefore without all other grieve
I do salute you, Mistress Shrieve.
[as Hans] Yaw, my meester is de groot man, de shrieve.
Did not I tell you, mistress? Now I may boldly say
‘Good morrow to your worship’.
Good morrow, good Roger. I thank you, my good
people all. Firk, hold up thy hand. Here’s a threepenny
piece for thy tidings.
’Tis but three halfpence, I think. –Yes, ’tis threepence. I
smell the rose.
But, mistress, be ruled by me, and do not speak so
’Tis her worship speaks so, and not she. No, faith,
mistress, speak me in the old key. ‘To it, Firk’, ‘There,
good Firk’, ‘Ply your business, Hodge’ –‘Hodge’, with
a full mouth –I’ll fill your bellies with good cheer till
they cry twang’.
Enter Simon Eyre wearing a gold chain.
[as Hans] See, myn liever broder, heer compt my meester.
Welcome home, Master Shrieve. I pray God continue
you in health and wealth.
See here, my Madgy, a chain, a gold chain for Simon
Eyre! I shall make thee a lady. Here’s a French hood for
thee. On with it, on with it. Dress thy brows with this
flap of a shoulder of mutton, to make thee look lovely.
Where be my fine men? Roger, I’ll make over my shop
and tools to thee. Firk, thou shalt be the foreman. Hans,
thou shalt have an hundred for twenty. Be as mad
knaves as your master Sim Eyre hath been, and you shall
live to be sheriffs of London. How dost thou like me,
Margery? Prince am I none, yet am I princely born!
Firk, Hodge, and Hans!
Ay, forsooth; what says your worship Master
Worship and honour, you Babylonian knaves, for the
Gentle Craft! But I forgot myself. I am bidden by my
Lord Mayor to dinner to Old Ford. He’s gone before, I
must after. Come, Madge, on with your trinkets. Now,
my true Trojans, my fine Firk, my dapper Hodge, my
honest Hans, some device, some odd crotchets, some
morris or suchlike for the honour of the gentle shoemakers.
Meet me at Old Ford. You know my mind.
Come, Madge, away;
Shut up the shop, knaves, and make holiday.
Exeunt [Eyre and Margery].
O, rare! O, brave! Come, Hodge. Follow me, Hans;
We’ll be with them for a morris dance.
Enter [Sir Roger Oatley, the] Lord Mayor, Eyre, [Margery] his wife in a French hood, [Rose], Sybil, and other Servants.
[To Eyre and Margery]
Trust me, you are as welcome to Old Ford
As I myself.
Truly, I thank your lordship.
Would our bad cheer were worth the thanks you give.
Good cheer, my Lord Mayor, fine cheer; a fine house,
fine walls, all fine and neat.
Now, by my troth, I’ll tell thee, Master Eyre,
It does me good, and all my brethren,
That such a madcap fellow as thyself?
Is entered into our society.
Ay, but, my lord, he must learn now to put on gravity.
Peace, Madgy; a fig for gravity. When I go to Guildhall
in my scarlet gown I’ll look as demurely as a saint, and
speak as gravely as a Justice of Peace; but now I am here
at Old Ford, at my good Lord Mayor’s house, let it go
by, vanish, Madgy; I’ll be merry. Away with flip-flap,
these fooleries, these gulleries. What, honey –prince
am I none, yet am I princely born! What says my Lord
Ha, ha, ha! I had rather than a thousand pound
I had an heart but half so light as yours.
Why, what should I do, my lord? A pound of care pays
not a dram of debt. Hum, let’s be merry whiles we are
young. Old age, sack, and sugar will steal upon us ere
we be a aware.
It’s well done. Mistress Eyre, pray give good counsel
to my daughter.
I hope Mistress Rose will have the grace to take
nothing that’s bad.
Pray God she do; for i’faith, Mistress Eyre,
I would bestow upon that peevish girl
A thousand marks more than I mean to give her
Upon condition she’ld be ruled by me.
The ape still crosseth me. There came of late
A proper gentleman of fair revenues
Whom gladly I would call son-in-law.
But my fine cockney would have none of him.
You’ll prove a coxcomb for it ere you die.
A courtier or no man must please your eye.
Be ruled, sweet Rose; thou’rt ripe for a man. Marry not
with a boy that has no more hair on his face than thou
hast on thy cheeks. A courtier –wash, go by! Stand not
upon pishery-pashery. Those silken fellows are but
painted images, outsides, Rose. Their inner
linings are torn. No, my fine mouse, marry me with a
Gentleman Grocer like my Lord Mayor your father. A
grocer is a sweet trade; plums, plums! Had I a son or
daughter should marry out of the generation and blood
of the shoemakers, he should pack. What, the Gentle
Trade is a living for a man through Europe, through the
A noise within of a tabor and a pipe
What noise is this?
O, my Lord Mayor, a crew of good fellows that, for
love to your honour, are come hither with a morris
dance. Come in, my Mesopotamians, cheerly.
Enter Hodge, [Lacy as] Hans, Ralph, Firk, and other Shoemakers in a morris. After a little dancing, the Lord Mayor speaks.
Master Eyre, are all these shoemakers?
All cordwainers, my good Lord Mayor.
[Aside] How like my Lacy looks yond shoemaker!
[as Hans] [Aside] O, that I durst but speak unto my love!
Sybil, go fetch some wine to make these drink.
You are all welcome.
ALL [THE SHOEMAKERS]
We thank your lordship.
Rose takes a cup of wine and goes to [Lacy as] Hans
For his sake whose fair shape thou represent’st,
Good friend, I drink to thee.
[as Hans] Ik be dancke, good friter.
I see, Mistress Rose, you do not want judgement.
You have drunk to the properest man I keep.
Here be some have done their parts to be as proper as he.
Well, urgent business calls me back to London.
Good fellows, first go in and taste our cheer,
And to make merry as you homeward go,
Spend these two angels in beer at Stratford Bow.
To these two, my mad lads, Sim Eyre adds another.
Then cheerly, Firk, tickle it, Hans, and all for the
honour of shoemakers.
All [the Shoemaker] go dancing out.
Come, Master Eyre, let’s have your company.
Exeunt [Oatley, Eyre, and Margery]
Sybil, what shall I do?
That Hans the shoemaker is my love, Lacy,
Disguised in that attire to find me out.
How should I find the means to speak with him?
What, mistress, never fear. I dare venture my maidenhead
to nothing –and that’s great odds– that Hans the
Dutchman, when we come to London, shall not only
see and speak with you, but, in spite of all your father’s
policies, steal you a away and marry you. Will not this
Do this, and ever be assured of my love.
Away, then, and follow your father to London, lest
your absence cause him to suspect something.
Tomorrow, if my counsel be obeyed,
I’ll bind you prentice to the Gentle Trade.
Enter Hodge at his shop board, Ralph, Firk, [Lacy as] Hans, and a Boy, at work.
[Singing] Hey down, a-down, down-derry.
Well, said, my hearts! Ply your work today –we
loitered yesterday. To it, pell-mell, that we may live to
be Lord Mayors, or Aldermen at least.
[Singing] Hey down a-down derry.
Well said, i’faith! How sayst thou, Hans –doth not
Firk tickle it?
[as Hans] Yaw, meester.
Not so, neither. My organ-pipe squeaks this morning
for want of liquoring.
[Sings] Hey down a-down derry.
[as Hans] Forware, Firk, tow best un jolly youngster. Hort,
ay, meester, ik bid you cut me un pair vampies for Meester
Pray, now you are in the cutting vein, cut me out a pair
of counterfeits, or else my work will not pass current.
[Sing] Hey down a-down.
Tell me, sirs, are my cousin Mistress Priscilla’s shoes
Your cousin? No, master, one of your aunts. Hang her;
let them alone.
I am in hand with them. She gave charge that none but
I should do them for her.
Thou do for her? Then ‘twill be a lame doing, and that
she loves not. Ralph, thou mightest have sent her to me.
In faith, I would have yerked and firked your Priscilla.
[Sing] Hey down a-down derry. –This gear will not
How sayst thou, Firk –were we not merry at Old
How merry? –why, our buttocks went jiggy-joggy
like a quagmire. Well, Sir Roger Oatmeal, if I thought
all meal of that nature I would eat nothing but
Of all good fortunes, my fellow Hans had the best.
’Tis true, because Mistress Rose drank to him.
Well, well, work apace. They say seven of the
Aldermen be dead, or very sick.
I care not, I’ll be none.
No, nor I; but then my Master Eyre will come quickly
to be Lord Mayor.
Whoop, yonder comes Sybil!
Sybil! Welcome, i’faith; and how dost thou, mad
Syb-whore, welcome to London.
Godamercy, sweet Firk. Good Lord, Hodge, what a
delicious shop you have got! You tickle it, i’faith.
Godamercy, Sybil, for our good cheer at Old Ford.
That you shall have, Ralph.
Nay, by the Mass, we had tickling cheer, Sybil. And
how the plague dost thou and Mistress Rose, and my
Lord Mayor? –I put the women in first.
Well, godamercy. But God’s me, I forget myself.
Where’s Hans the Fleming?
Hark, butter-box, now you must yelp out some
[as Hans] Vat begey you, vat vod you, frister.
Marry, you must come to my young mistress, to pull
on her shoes you made last.
[as Hans] Vare ben your edle fro? Vare ben your mistress?
Marry, here at our London house in Cornwall.
Will nobody serve her turn but Hans?
No, sir. Come, Hans, I stand upon needles.
Why then, Sybil, take heed of pricking.
For that, let me alone. I have a trick in my budget.
[as Hans] Yaw, yaw; ik sal mit you gane.
Exeunt [Lacy as] Hans and Sybil.
Go, Hans, make haste again. Come, who lacks work?
I master; for I lack my breakfast. ’Tis munching time,
Is’t so? Why then, leave work, Ralph. To breakfast.
Boy, look to the tools. Come, Ralph. Come, Firk.
Enter a Servingman.
Let me see, now, the Sing of the Last in Tower
Street. Mass, yonder’s he house. What haw! Who’s
Who calls, there? What want you, sir?
Marry, I would have a pair of shoes made for a
gentlewoman against tomorrow. What, can
you do them?
Yes, sir; you shall have them. But what length’s her
Why, you must make them in all parts like this
shoe. But at any hand, fail not to do them; for the
gentlewoman is to be married very early in the
How? By this shoe must it be made? By this? Are you
sure, sir, by this?
How, ‘by this’ am I sure, ‘by this’! Art thou in
thy wits? I tell thee, I must have a pair of shoes, dost thou
mark me? A pair of shoes, two shoes, made by this very
shoe, this same shoe, against tomorrow morning by
four o’clock. Dost understand me? Canst thou do’t?
Yes, sir, yes; Ay, ay, I can do’t. By this shoe, you say? I
should know this shoe. Yes, sir, yes, by this shoe. I can
do’t. Four o’clock. Well. Whither shall I bring them?
To the Sing of the Golden Ball, in Watling
Street. Enquire for one Master Hammon, a gentleman,
Yea, sir. By this shoe, you say.
I say Master Hammon at the Golden Ball. He’s
the bridegroom, and those shoes are for his bride.
They shall be done, by this shoe. Well, well, Master
Hammon at the Golden Shoe –I would say, the Golden
Ball. Very well, very well; but, I pray you, sir, where
must Master Hammon be married?
At Saint Faith’s Church, under Paul’s. But
what’s that to thee? Prithee, dispatch those shoes; and so,
By this shoe, said he? How am I amazed
At this strange accident! Upon my life,
This was the very shoe I gave my wife
When I was pressed for France; since when, alas,
I never could hear of her. It is the same,
And Hammon’s bride no other but my Jane.
’Snails, Ralph, thou hast lost thy part of three pots a
countryman of mine gave me to breakfast.
I care not. I have found a better thing.
A thing? Away! Is it a man’s thing, or a woman’s thing?
Firk, dost thou know this shoe?
No, by my troth. Neither doth that know me. I have no
acquaintance with it. ’Tis a mere stranger to me.
Why, then, I do. This shoe, I durst be sworn,
Once coverèd the instep of my Jane.
This is her size, her breadth. Thus trod my love.
These true-love knots I pricked. I hold my life,
By this old shoe I shall find out my wife.
Ha, ha! Old shoe, that wert new –how a murrain came
this ague-fit of foolishness upon thee?
Thus, Firk: even now here came a servingman;
By this shoe would he have a new pair made
Against tomorrow morning for his mistress,
That’s so be married to a gentleman.
And why may not this be my sweet Jane?
And why mayst not thou be my sweet ass? Ha, ha!
Well, laugh and spare not. But the truth is this.
Against tomorrow morning I’ll provide
A lusty crew of honest shoemakers
To watch the going of the bride to church.
If she prove Jane, I’ll take her in despite
From Hammon and the devil, were he by.
If it be not my Jane, what remedy?
Hereof am I sure, I shall live till I die,
Although I never with a woman lie.
Thou lie with a woman –to build nothing but Cripplegates!
Well, God sends fools fortune, and it may be he
may light upon his matrimony by such a device; for
wedding and hanging goes by destiny.
Enter [Sir Roger Oatley, the former] Lord Mayor and [the Earl of] Lincoln.
Believe me, on my credit I speak truth,
Since first your nephew Lacy went to France
I have not seen him. It seemed strange to me
When Dodger told me that he stayed behind,
Neglecting the high charge the King imposed.
Trust me, Sir Roger Oatley, I did think
Your counsel had given head to this attempt,
Drawn to it by the love he bears your child.
Here I did hope to find him in your house;
But now I see mine error, and confess
My judgement wronged you by conceiving so.
Lodge in my house, say you? Trust me, my lord,
I love your nephew Lacy too too dearly
So much to wrong his honour; and he hath done so
That first gave him advice to stay from France.
To witness I speak truth, I let you know
How careful I have been to keep my daughter
Free from all conference or speech of him –
Not that I scorn your nephew, but in love
I bear your honour, lest your noble blood
Should by my mean worth be dishonourèd.
How far the churl’s tongue wanders from him heart!
Well, well, sir Roger Oatley, I believe you,
With more than many thanks for the kind love
So much you seem to bear me. But, my lord,
Let me request your help to seek my nephew,
Whom if I find, I’ll straight embark for France.
So shall your Rose be free, my thoughts at rest,
And much care die which now lives in my breast.
O Lord, help, God’s sake. My mistress, O, my young mistress!
Where is the mistress? What’s become of her?
Gone? Whither is she fled?
I know not, forsooth. She’s fled out of doors with Hans
the shoemaker. I saw them scud, scud, scud, apace,
Which way? What, John, where be my men? Which way?
I know not, an it please your worship.
Fled with a shoemaker? Can this be true?
O Lord, sir, as true as God’s in heaven.
[Aside] Her love turned shoemaker! I am glad of this.
A Fleming butter-box, a shoemaker!
Will she forget her birth, requite my care
With such ingratitude? Scorned she young Hammon
To love a honnikin, a needy knave?
Well, let her fly. I’ll not fly after her.
Let her starve if she will. She’s none of mine.
Enter Firk with shoes.
I am glad she’s ’scaped.
I’ll not account of her as of my child.
Was there no better object for her eyes
But a foul drunken lubber, swill-belly,
A shoemaker? That’s brave!
Yea, forsooth, ’tis a very brave shoe, and as fit as a
How now, what knave is this? From whence comest
No knave, sir. I am Firk, the shoemaker, lusty Roger’s
chief lusty journeyman, and I come hither to take up the
pretty leg of sweet Mistress Rose, and thus hoping your
worship is in as good health as I was the making
hereof, I bid you farewell,
’Tis happy the knave is put before the shoemaker, or else
I would not have vouchsafed to come back to you. I am
moved; for I stir.
My lord, this villain calls us knaves by craft.
Then ’tis by the Gentle Craft, and to call one ‘knave’
gently is no harm. Sit your worship merry. [Aside] Syb,
your young mistress –I’ll so bob them, now my master,
Master Eyre, is Lord Mayor of London!
Tell me, sirrah, whose man are you?
I am glad to see your worship so merry. I have no maw
to this gear, no stomach as yet to a red petticoat
(pointing to Sybil).
He means not, sir, to woo you to his maid,
But only doth demand whose man you are.
I sing now to the tune of Rogero. Roger, my fellow, is
now my master.
Sirrah, knowest thou one Hans, a shoemaker?
Hans shoemaker? O yes, stay, yes, I have him. I tell you
what –I speak it in secret– Mistress Rose and he are by
this time –no, not so, but shortly are to come over one
another with ‘Can you dance the shaking of the sheets?’
It is that Hans –
[Aside] I’ll so gull these diggers.
Knowest thou then where he is?
Yes, forsooth. Yea, marry.
Canst thou in sadness?
No, forsooth. No, marry.
Tell me, good, honest fellow, where he is,
And thou shalt see what I’ll bestow of thee.
‘Honest fellow’? No, sir, not so, sir. My profession is the
Gentle Craft. I care not for seeing, I love feeling. Let me
feel it here, aurium tenus, ten pieces of gold, genuum tenus,
ten pieces of silver, and then Firk is your man in a new
pair of stretchers.
Here is an angel, part of thy reward,
Which I will give thee, tell me where he is.
No point. Shall I betray my brother? No. Shall I prove
Judas to Hans? No. Shall I cry treason to my corporation?
No. I shall be firked and yerked the. But give
me your angel. Your angel shall tell you.
Do so, good fellow. ’Tis hurt to thee.
Send simpering Syb away.
Pitchers have ears, and maids have wide mouths. But
for Hauns Prauns, upon my word, tomorrow morning
he and young Mistress Rose go to this gear. They shall
be married together, by this rush, or else turn Firk to a
firking of butter to tan leather withal.
But art thou sure of this?
Am I sure that Paul’s Steeple is a handful higher than
London Stone? Or that the Pissing Conduit leaks
nothing but pure Mother Bunch? Am I sure I am lusty
Firk? God’s nails, do you think I am so base to gull you?
Where are they married? Dost thou know the
I never go to church, but I know the name of it. It is a
swearing church. Stay a while, ’tis ‘Ay, by the
Mass’ –no, no, ’tis ‘Ay, by my troth’– no, nor that, ’tis
‘Ay, by my faith’ –that, that, ’tis ‘Ay by my Faith’s’
Church under Paul’s Cross. There they shall be knit like
a pair of stockings in matrimony. There they’ll be
Upon my life, my nephew Lacy walks
In the disguise of this Dutch shoemaker.
Doth he not, honest fellow?
No, forsooth, I think Hans is nobody but Hans, no
My mind misgives me now ’tis so indeed.
My cousin speaks the language, knows the trade.
Let me request your company, my lord.
Your honourable presence may, no doubt,
Refrain their headstrong rashness, when myself,
Going alone, perchance may be o’erborne.
Shall I request this favour?
Then you must rise betimes, for they mean to fall to
their ‘hey-pass-and-repass, pindy-pandy, which hand
will you have?’ very early.
My care shall every way equal their haste.
This night accept your lodging in my house.
The earlier shall we stir, and at Saint Faith’s
Prevent this giddy, hare-brained nuptial.
This traffic of hot love shall yield cold gains.
They ban our loves, and we’ll forbid their banns.
At Saint Faith’s Church, thou sayst?
Yes, by their troth.
Yes, when I kiss your wife! Ha, ha, here’s no craft in the
Gentle Craft. I came hither of purpose with shoes to Sir
Roger’s worship, whilst Rose his daughter be coney-
catched by Hans. Soft, now, these two gulls will be at
Saint Faith’s Church tomorrow morning to take Master
Bridegroom and Mistress Bride napping, and they in
the meantime shall chop up the matter at the Savoy. But
the best sport is, Sir Roger Oatley will find my fellow,
lame Ralph’s wife, going to marry a gentleman, and
then he’ll stop her instead of his daughter. O brave,
there will be fine tickling sport. Soft now, what have I
to do? O, I know –now a mess of shoemakers meet at
the Woolsack in Ivy Lane to cozen my gentleman of
lame Ralph’s wife, that’s true.
Girls, hold out tack,
For now smocks for this jumbling
Shall go to wrack.
Enter Eyre, [Margery] his wife, [Lacy dressed as] Hans, and Rose.
This is the morning, then –say, my bully, my honest
Hans –is it not?
This is the morning that must make us two
Happy or miserable; therefore if you –
Away with these ifs and ans, Hans, and these etceteras.
By mine honour, Rowland Lacy, none but the King
shall wrong thee. Come, fear nothing. Am not I Sim
Eyre? Is not Sim Eyre Lord Mayor of London? Fear
nothing, Rose. Let them all say what they can. ‘Dainty
come thou to me’. Laughest thou?
Good my lord, stand her friend in what thing you
Why, my sweet Lady Madgy, think you Simon Eyre
can forget his fine Dutch journeyman? No, vah! Fie, I
scorn it. It shall never be cast in my teeth that I was
unthankful. Lady Madgy, thou hadst never covered thy
Saracen’s head with this French flap, nor loaden thy
bum with this farthingale –’tis trash, trumpery, vanity
–Simon Eyre had never walked in a red petticoat, nor
wore a chain of gold, but for my fine journeyman’s
portagues; and shall I leave him? No. Prince am I none,
yet bear a princely mind.
My lord, ’tis time for us to part from hence.
Lady Madgy, Lady Madgy, take two or three of my
piecrust eaters, my buff-jerkin varlets, that do walk in
black gowns at Simon Eyre’s heels. Take them, good
Lady Madgy, trip and go, my brown Queen of Periwigs,
with my delicate Rose and my jolly Rowland to
the Savoy, see them linked, countenance the marriage,
and when it is done, cling, cling together, you Hamborow
turtle-doves. I’ll bear you out. Come to Simon
Eyre, come dwell with me, Hans, thou shalt eat minced-
pies and marchpane. Rose, away, cricket. Trip and go,
my Lady Madgy, to the Savoy. Hans, wed and to bed;
kiss and away; go; vanish.
Farewell, my lord.
She’ld fain the deed were done.
Come, my sweet Rose, faster than deer we’ll run.
They go out.
Go, vanish, vanish, avaunt, I say. By the Lord of
Ludgate, it’s mad life to be a Lord Mayor. It’s a stirring
life, a fine life, a velvet life, a careful life. Well, Simon
Eyre, yet set a good face on it, in the honour of Saint
Hugh. Soft, the King this day comes to dine with me, to
see my new buildings. His Majesty is welcome. He shall
have good cheer, delicate cheer, princely cheer. This
day my fellow prentices of London come to dine with
me too. They shall have fine cheer, gentlemanlike cheer.
I promised the mad Cappadocians, when we all served
at the conduit together, that if ever I came to be Mayor
of London, I would feast them all; and I’ll do’t, I’ll do’t,
by the life of Pharaoh, by this beard, Sim Eyre will be no
flincher. Besides, I have procured that upon every
Shrove Tuesday, at the sound of the pancake bell, my
fine dapper Assyrian lads shall clap up their shop windows
and away. This is the day, and this day they shall
do’t, they shall do’t.
Boys, that day are you free. Let masters care,
And prentices shall pray for Simon Eyre.
Enter Hodge, Firk, Ralph, and five or six Shoemakers, all with cudgels, or such weapons.
Come, Ralph. Stand to it, Firk. My master, as we are
the brave bloods of the shoemakers, heir apparent to
Saint Hugh, and perpetual benefactors to all good fellows,
thou shalt have no wrong. Were Hammon a king
of spades, he should not delve in thy close without thy
sufferance. But tell me, Ralph, art thou sure ’tis thy
Am I sure this is Firk? This morning, when I stroked
on her shoes, I looked upon her, and she upon me, and
sighed, asked me if ever I knew one Ralph. ‘Yes’, said I.
‘For his sake’, said she, tears standing in her eyes, ‘and for
thou art somewhat like him, spend this piece of gold.’ I
took it. My lame leg and my travel beyond sea made me
unknown. All is one for that. I know she’s mine.
Did she gives thee this gold? O glorious, glittering gold.
She’s thine own. ’Tis thy wife, and she loves thee; for,
I’ll stand to’t, there’s no woman will give gold to any
man but she thinks better of him than she thinks of them
she gives silver to. And for Hammon, neither Hammon
nor hangman shall wrong thee in London. Is not our old
master, Eyre, Lord Mayor? Speak, my hearts.
Yes, and Hammon shall know it to his cost.
Enter Hammon, [a Servant] his man, Jane, and others.
Peace, my bullies. Yonder they come.
Stand to’t, my hearts. Firk, let me speak first.
No, Ralph, let me. Hammon, whither away so early?
Unmannerly rude slave, what’s that to thee?
To him. sir? Yes, sir, and to me, and others. Good
morrow, Jane, how dost thou? Good Lord, how the
world is changed with you. God be thanked.
Villains, hands off! How dare you touch my love?
ALL [THE SHOEMAKERS]
Villains? Down with them. Cry ‘Clubs
Hold, my hearts- Touch her, Hammon? Yea, and
more than that, we’ll carry her away with us. My
master and gentlemen, never draw your bird-spits.
Shoemakers are steel to the back, men every inch of
them, all spirit.
ALL OF HAMMON’S SIDE
Well, and what of all this?
I’ll show you. Jane, dost thou know this man? ’Tis
Ralph, I can tell thee. Nay, ’tis he, in faith. Though he be
lamed by the wars, yet look not strange, but run to him;
fold him about the neck, and kiss him.
Lives then my husband? O God, let me go,
Let me embrace my Ralph!
Nay, what meant you to tell me he was slain?
Pardon me, dear love, for being misled.
’Twas rumoured here in London thou
Thou seest he lives. Lass, go, pack home with him.
Now, Master Hammon, where’s your mistress your
’Swounds, master, fight for her. Will you thus lose
ALL [THE SHOEMAKERS]
Down with that creature! Clubs! Down
Hold, fool! Sirs, he shall do no wrong.
Will my Jane leave me thus, and break her faith?
Yea, sir, she must, sir, she shall, sir. What then? Mend it.
Hark, fellow Ralph. Follow my counsel. Set the
wench in the midst, and let her choose her man, and let
her be his woman.
Whom should I choose? Whom should my thoughts affect
But him whom heaven hath made to be my love?
[To Ralph] Thou art my husband, and these humble weeds
Makes thee more beautiful than all his wealth.
Therefore I will but put off his attire
Returning it into the owner’s hand,
And after ever be thy constant wife.
Not a rag, Jane. The law’s on our side. He that sows in
another man’s ground forfeits his harvest. Get thee
home, Ralph. Follow him, Jane. He shall not have so
much as a busk point from thee.
Stand to that, Ralph. The appurtenances are thine own.
Hammon, look not at her.
Bluecoat, be quiet. We’ll give you a new livery else.
We’ll make Shrove Tuesday Saint George’s Day for
you. Look not, Hammon. Leer not. I’ll firk you. For thy
head now –one glance, one sheep’s eye, anything at
her. Touch not a rag, lest I and my brethren beat you to
Come, Master Hammon, there’s no striving here.
Good fellow, hear me speak. And, honest Ralph,
Whom I have injured most by loving Jane,
Mark what I offer thee. Here in fair gold
Is twenty pound. I’ll give it for thy Jane.
If this content thee not, thou shalt have more.
Sell not thy wife, Ralph. Make her not a whore.
Say, wilt thou freely cease thy claim in her
And let her be my wife?
ALL [THE SHOEMAKERS]
No, do not, Ralph!
Sirrah Hammon, Hammon, dost thou think a shoemaker
is so base to be a bawd to his own wife for
commodity? Take thy gold, choke with it! Were I not
lame, I would make thee eat thy words.
A shoemaker sell his flesh and blood –O indignity!
Sirrah, take up your pelf, and be packing.
I will not touch one penny. But in lieu
Of that great wrong I offerèd thy Jane,
To Jane and thee I give that twenty pound.
Since I have failed of her, during my life
I vow no woman else shall be my wife.
Farewell, good fellows of the Gentle Trade.
Your morning’s mirth my mourning day hath made.
Exeunt [Hammon and Servants].
[To Servant going out] Touch the gold, creature, if you
dare. You’re best be trudging. Here, Jane, take thou it.
Now let’s home, my hearts.
Stay, who comes here? Jane, on again with thy mask.
Enter [the Earl of] Lincoln, [Sir Roger Oatley, the former] Lord Mayor, and Servants.
Yonder’s the lying varlet mocked us so.
Come hither, sirrah.
Ay sir, I am sirrah. You mean me, do you not?
Where is my nephew married?
Is he married? God give him joy, I am glad of it. They
have a fair day, and the sign is in a good planet, Mars in
Villain, thou told’st me that my daughter Rose
This morning should be married at Saint Faith’s.
We have watched there these three hours at the least,
Yet see we no such thing.
Truly, I am sorry for’t. A bride’s a pretty thing.
Come to the purpose. Yonder’s the bride and bridegroom
you look for, I hope. Though you be lords, you
are not to bar by your authority men from women, are
See, see, my daughter’s masked.
True, and my nephew,
To hide his guilt, counterfeits him lame.
Yea, truly, God help the poor couple; they are lame and
[Aside, to the shoemakers] Lie down, sirs, and laugh! My
fellow, Ralph, is taken for Rowland Lacy, and Jane for
Mistress Damask Rose –this is all my knavery!
What, have I found you, minion!
O base wretch!
Nay, hide thy face; the horror of thy guilt
Can hardly be washed off. Where are thy powers?
What battles have you made? O yes, I see
Thou fought’st with shame, and shame hath conquered thee.
This lameness will not serve.
Lead home your daughter.
Take your nephew hence.
Hence? ’Swounds, what mean you? Are you mad? I
hope you cannot enforce my wife from me. Where’s
Yea, my wife; and therefore the proudest of you that
lays hands on her first, I’ll lay my crutch cross his pate.
To him, lame Ralph! –Here’s brave sport!
Rose, call you her? Why, her name is Jane. Look here
[He usmasks her] Do you know her now?
Is this your daughter?
No, nor this your nephew.
My lord of Lincoln, we are both abused
By this base crafty varlet.
Yea, forsooth, no ‘varlet’, forsooth, no ‘base’, forsooth I
am but mean. No ‘crafty’ neither, but of the Gentle
Where is my daughter Rose? Where is my child?
Where is my nephew Lacy marrièd?
Why, here is good laced mutton, as I promised you.
Villain, I’ll have thee punished for this wrong.
Punish the journeyman villain, but not the journeyman
My lord, I come to bring unwelcome news.
Your nephew Lacy and
your daughter Rose
Early this morning wedded at the Savoy,
None being present but the Lady Mayoress.
Besides, I learnt among the officers
The Lord Mayor vows to stand in their defence
’Gainst any that shall seek to cross the match.
Dares Eyre the shoemaker uphold the deed?
Yes, sir, shoemakers dare stand in a woman’s quarrel, I
warrant you, as deep as another, and deeper, too.
Besides, his Grace today dines with the Mayor,
Who on his knees humbly intends to fall
And beg a pardon for your nephew’s fault.
But I’ll prevent him. Come, Sir Roger Oatley,
The King will do us justice in this cause.
Howe’er their hands have made them man and wife,
I will disjoin the match, or lose my life.
Exeunt [the Earl of Lincoln, Oatley, and Dodger].
Adieu, Monsieur Dodger! Farewell, fools! Ha, ha! O, if
they had stayed, I would have so lammed them with
flouts! O heart, my codpiece point is ready to fly in
pieces every time I think upon Mistress Rose –but let
the pass, as my Lady Mayoress says.
This matter is answered. Come, Ralph, home with
thy wife; come, my fine shoemakers, let’s to our master’s
the new Lord Mayor, and these swagger this
Shrove Tuesday. I’ll promise you wine enough, for
Madge keeps the cellar.
O rare! Madge is a good wench.
And I’ll promise you met enough, for simpering Susan
keeps the larder. I’ll lead you to victuals, my brave
soldiers. Follow your captain. O brave! Hark hark!
The pancake bell rings, the pancake bell. Tri-lill, my
O brave! O sweet bell! O delicate pancakes! Open the
doors, my hearts, and shut up the windows. Keep in the
house, let out the pancakes. O rare, my hearts! Let’s
march together for the honour of Saint Hugh to the
great new hall in Gracious Street corner, which our
master the new Lord Mayor hath built.
O, the crew of good fellows that will dine at my Lord
Mayor’s cost today!
By the Lord, my Lord Mayor is a most brave man.
How shall prentices be bound to pray for him and the
honour of the Gentlemen Shoemakers! Let’s feed and be
fat with my lord’s bounty.
O musical bell still! O Hodge, O my brethren! There’s
cheer for the heavens –venison pasties walk up
and down piping hot like sergeants; beef and brewis comes
marching in dry fats; fritters and pancakes comes trolling
in in wheelbarrows, hens and oranges hopping in
porters’ baskets, collops and eggs in scuttles, and tarts
and custards comes quavering in in malt shovels.
Enter more Prentices.
Whoop, look here, look here!
How now, mad lads, whither away so fast?
Whither? –why, to the great new hall! Know
you not why? The Lord Mayor hath bidden all the
prentices in London to breakfast this morning.
O brave shoemaker! O brave lord of incomprehensible
good fellowship! Hoo, hark you, the pancake bell rings!
Cast up caps.
Nay, more, my hearts, every Shrove Tuesday is our
year of jubilee; and when the pancake bell rings, we are
as free as my Lord Mayor. We may shut up our shops
and make holiday. I’ll have it called ‘Saint Hugh’s
Agreed, agreed –‘Saint Hugh’s Holiday’!
And this shall continue for ever.
O brave! Come, come, my hearts; away, away.
O eternal credit to us of the Gentle Craft! March fair,
my hearts. O rare!
Enter Eyre, Hodge, Firk, Ralph, and other Shoemakers, all with napkins on their shoulders.
Come, my fine Hodge, my jolly Gentlemen Shoemakers
–soft, where be these cannibals, these varlets
my officers? Let them all walk and wait upon my
brethren; for my meaning is that none but shoemakers,
none but the livery of my company shall in their satin
hoods wait upon the trencher of my sovereign.
O, my lord, it will be rare.
No more, Firk. Come, lively. Let your fellow prentices
want no cheer. Let wine be plentiful as beer, and beer as
water. Hang these penny-pinching fathers, that cram
wealth in innocent lamb-skins. Rip, knaves! Avaunt!
Look to my guests.
My lord, we are at our wits’ end for room. Those
hundred tables will not feast the fourth part of them.
Then cover me those hundred tables again, and again,
till all my jolly prentices be feasted. Avoid, Hodge; run,
Ralph; frisk about, my nimble Firk; carouse me fathom
healths to the honour of the shoemakers. Do they drink
lively, Hodge? Do they tickle it, Firk?
Tickle it? Some of them have taken their liquor standing
so long that they can stand no longer. But for meat,
they would eat it an they had it.
Want they meat? Where’s this swag-belly, this greasy
kitchen-stuff cook? Call the varlet to me. Want meat!
Firk, Hodge, lame Ralph, run, my tall men, beleaguer
the shambles, beggar all Eastcheap, serve me whole
oxen in chargers, and let sheep whine upon the tables
like pigs for want of good fellows to eat them. Want
meat! Vanish, Firk! Avaunt, Hodge!
Your lordship mistakes my man Firk. He means their
bellies want meat, not the boards; for they have drunk
so much they can eat nothing.
Enter [Lacy dressed as] Hans, Rose, and [Margery, Eyre’s] wife.
Where is my lord?
How now, Lady Madgy?
The King’s most excellent Majesty is new come; he
sends me for thy honour. One of his most worshipful
peers bade me tell thou must be merry, and so forth –
but let that pass.
Is my sovereign come? Vanish, my tall shoemakers, my
nimble brethren. Look to my guests, the prentices. Yet
stay a little. How now, Hans –how looks my little
Let me request you to remember me.
I know your honour easily may obtain
Free pardon of the King for me and Rose,
And reconcile me to my uncle’s grace.
Have done, my good Hans, my honest journeyman.
Look cheerly. I’ll fall upon both my knees till they be as
hard as horn but I’ll get thy pardon.
Good my lord, have a care what you speak to his
Away, you Islington whitepot. Hence, you hopperarse,
you barley pudding full of maggots, you broiled carbonado.
Avaunt, avaunt, avoid, Mephistophilus! Shall
Sim Eyre learn to speak of you, Lady Madgy?
Vanish, Mother Miniver-Cap, vanish! Go, trip and go, meddle
with your partlets and your pishery-pashery, your flews
and your whirligigs! Go, rub, out of mine alley! Sim
Eyre knows how to speak to a pope, to Sultan Soliman,
to Tamburlaine an he were here. And shall I melt, shall I
droop before my sovereign? No! Come, my Lady
Madgy; follow me, Hans; about your business, my
frolic freebooters. Firk, frisk about, and about, and
about, for the honour of mad Simon Eyre, Lord Mayor
Hey for the honour of the shoemakers!
A long flourish or two. Enter King, Nobles, Eyre, [Margery] his wife, Lacy [dressed as himself], Rose. Lacy and Rose kneel.
Well, Lacy, though the fact was very foul
Of your revolting from our kingly love
And your own duty, yet we pardon you.
Rise, both; and, Mistress Lacy, thank my Lord Mayor
For your young bridegroom here.
So, my dear liege, Sim Eyre and my brethren the
Gentlemen Shoemakers shall set your sweet Majesty’s
image cheek by jowl by Saint Hugh for this honour you
have done poor Simon Eyre. I beseech your Grace
pardon my rude behaviour. I am a handicraftsman, yet
my heart is without craft. I would be sorry at my soul
that my boldness should offend my King.
Nay, I pray thee, good Lord Mayor, be even as merry
As if thou wert among thy shoemakers.
It does me good to see thee in this humour.
Sayst thou me so, my sweet Diocletian? Then, hump!
Prince am I none, yet am I princely born! By the Lord of
Ludgate, my liege, I’ll be as merry as a pie.
Tell me, in faith, mad Eyre, how old thou art.
My liege, a very boy, a stripling, a younker. You see not
a white hair on my head, not a grey in this beard. Every
hair, I assure thy Majesty, that sticks in this beard Sim
Eyre values at the King of Babylon’s ransom. Tamar
Cham’s beard was a rubbing-brush to’t. Yet I’ll shave it
off and stuff tennis balls with it to please my bully King.
But all this while I do not know your age.
My liege, I am six-and-fifty year old; yet I can cry
’hump’ with a sound heart for the honour of Saint
Hugh. Mark this old wench, my King. I danced the
shaking of the sheets with her six-and-thirty years ago,
and yet I hope to get two or three young Lord Mayors
ere I die. I am lusty still, Sim Eyre still. Care and cold
lodging brings white hairs. My sweet Majesty, let care
vanish. Cast it upon thy nobles. It will make thee look
always young, like Apollo, and cry ‘Hump!’ –Prince
am I none, yet am I princely born.
Ha, ha! Say, Cornwall, didst thou ever see his like?
Enter [the Earl of] Lincoln and [Sir Roger Oatley, the former] Lord Mayor.
Lincoln, what news with you?
My gracious Lord, have care unto yourself,
For there are traitors here.
Traitors in my house? God forbid! Where be my
officers? I’ll spend my soul ere my King feel harm.
Where is the traitor, Lincoln?
Here he stands.
Cornwall, lay hold on Lacy. Lincoln, speak.
What canst thou lay unto thy nephew’s charge?
This, my dear liege. Your Grace to do me honour
Heaped on the head of this degenerous boy
Desertless favours. You made choice of him
To be commander over powers in France;
But the –
Good Lincoln, prithee, pause a while.
Even in thine eyes I read what thou wouldst speak.
I know how Lacy did neglect our love,
Ran himself deeply, in the highest degree,
Into vile treason.
Lincoln, he was. Now have we pardoned him.
’Twas not a base want of true valour’s fire
That held him out of France, but love’s desire.
I will not bear his shame upon my back.
Nor shalt thou, Lincoln. I forgive you both.
Then, good my liege, forbid the boy to wed
One whose mean birth will much disgrace his bed.
Are they not married?
Shall I divorce them, then? O, be it far
That any hand on earth should dare untie
The sacred knot knit by God’s majesty.
I would not for my crown disjoin their hands
That are conjoined in holy nuptial bands.
How sayst thou, Lacy? Wouldst thou lose thy Rose?
Not for all India’s wealth, my sovereign.
But Rose, I am sure, her Lacy would forgo.
If Rose were asked that question, she’ld say no.
You hear them, Lincoln?
Yet canst thou find i’the heart to part these two?
Who seeks, besides you, to divorce these lovers?
I do, my gracious Lord. I am her father.
Sir Roger Oatley, our last Mayor, I think?
Would you offend love’s laws?
Well, you shall have your wills. You sue to me
To prohibit the match. Soft, let me see,
You both are married, Lacy, art thou not?
Then, upon thy life,
I charge thee not to call this woman wife.
Nay, Rose, never woo me. I tell you true,
Although as yet I am a bachelor,
Yet I believe I shall not marry you.
Can you divide the body from the soul,
Yet make the body live?
Yea, so profound?
I cannot, Rose, but you I must divide.
Fair maid, this bridegroom cannot be your bride.
Are you pleased, Lincoln? Oatley, are you pleased?
Then must my heart be eased;
For, credit me, my conscience lives in pain
Till these whom I divorced be joined again.
Lacy, give me thy hand. Rose, lend me thine.
Be what you would be. Kiss now. So, that’s fine.
At night, lovers, to bed. Now, let me see,
Which of you all mislikes this harmony?
Will you then take from me my child perforce?
Why, tell me, Oatley, shines not Lacy’s name
As bright in the world’s eye as the gay beams
Of any citizen?
Yea, but, my gracious Lord,
I do mislike the match far more than he.
Her blood is too too base.
Lincoln, no more.
Dost thou not know that love respects no blood,
Cares not for difference of birth or state?
The maid is young, well born, fair, virtuous,
A worthy bride for any gentleman.
Besides, your nephew for her sake did stoop
To bare necessity and, as I hear,
Forgetting honours and all courtly pleasures,
To gain her love became a shoemaker.
As for the honour which he lost in France,
Thus I redeem it: Lacy, kneel thee down.
Arise Sir Rowland Lacy. Tell me now,
Tell me in earnest, Oatley, canst thou chide,
Seeing thy Rose a lady and a bride?
I am content with what your Grace hath done.
And I, my liege, since there’s no remedy.
Come on, then, all shake hands. I’ll have you friends.
Where there is much love, all discord ends.
What says my mad Lord Mayor to all this love?
O, my liege, this honour you have done to my fine
journeyman here, Rowland Lacy, and all these favours
which you have shown to me this day in my poor house,
will make Simon Eyre live longer by one dozen of
warm summers more than he should.
Nay, my mad Lord Mayor –that shall be thy name–
If any grace of mine can length thy life,
One honour more I’ll do thee. That new building
Which at thy cost in Cornhill is erected
Shall take a name from us. We’ll have it called
The Leaden Hall, because in digging it
Your found the lead that covereth the same.
Lincoln, a word with you.
Enter Hodge, Firk, Ralph, and more Shoemakers.
How now, my mad knaves! Peace, speak softly.
Yonder is the King.
With the old troop which there we keep in pay
We will incorporate a new supply.
Before one summer more pass o’er my head,
France shall repent England was injurèd.
What are all those?
All shoemakers, my liege,
Sometimes my fellows. In their companies
I lived as merry as an emperor.
My mad Lord Mayor, are all these shoemakers?
All shoemakers, my liege; all gentlemen of the Gentle
Craft, true Trojans, courageous cordwainers. They all
kneel to the shrine of holy Saint Hugh.
ALL [THE SHOEMAKERS]
God save your Majesty!
Mad Simon, would they anything with us?
[To the Shoemakers] Mum, mad knaves, not a word. I’ll
do’t, I warrant you.
[To the King] They are all beggars,
my liege, all for themselves; and I for them all on both
my knees do entreat that for the honour of poor Simon
Eyre and the good of his brethren, these mad knaves,
your Grace would vouchsafe some privilege to my new
Leaden Hall, that it may be lawful for us to buy and sell
leather there two days a week.
Mad Sim, I grant your suit. You shall have patent
To hold two market days in Leaden Hall.
Mondays and Fridays, those shall be the times.
Will this content you?
ALL [THE SHOEMAKERS]
Jesus bless your Grace!
In the name of these my poor brethren shoemakers, I
most humbly thank your Grace. But before I rise, seeing
you are in the giving vein, and we in the begging, grant
Sim Eyre one boon more.
What is it, my Lord Mayor?
Vouchsafe to taste of a poor banquet that stands sweetly
waiting for your sweet presence.
I shall undo thee, Eyre, only with feasts.
Already have I been too troublesome;
Say, have I not?
O my dear King, Sim Eyre was taken unawares upon a
day of shroving which I promised long ago to the
prentices of London.
For, an’t please your Highness, in time past
I bare the water-tankard, and my coat
Sits not a whit the worse upon my back.
And then upon a morning some mad boys–
It was Shrove Tuesday even as ’tis now–
gave me my breakfast, and I swore then by the stopple
of my tankard if ever I came to be Lord Mayor of
London, I would feast all the prentices. This day, my
liege, I did it, and the slaves had an hundred tables five
times covered. They are gone home and vanished.
Yet add more honour to the Gentle Trade:
Taste of Eyre’s banquet, Simon’s happy made.
Eyre, I will taste of thy banquet, and will say
Friends of the Gentle Craft, thanks to you all.
Thanks, my kind Lady Mayoress, for our cheer.
Come, lords, a while let’s revel it at home.
When all our sports and banquetings are done,
Wars must right wrongs which Frenchmen have begun.