Thomas Dekker

The Shoemaker’s Holiday





Texto utilizado para esta edición digital:
Dekker, Thomas. The Shoemaker’s Holiday. Edited by Robert L Smallwood and Stanley Wells. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1979. Revels Plays.
Marcación digital para Artelope:
  • Barreda Villafranca, Cristina (Artelope)

Nota a la edición digital

Reproduced by kind permission of Manchester University Press and the editors. © 1979 by Robert L. Smallwood and Stanley Wells


DRAMATIS PERSONAE

THE KING OF ENGLAND
The courtiers
SIR HUGH LACY, EARL OF LINCOLN
ROWLAND LACY, Lincoln’s nephew; afterwards disguised as HANS MEULTER
ASKEW, Lacy’s cousin
CORNWALL
LOVELL
DODGER, a ‘parasite’ of the Earl of Lincoln
The citizens
SIR ROGER OATLEY, Lord Mayor of London
ROSE, Oatley’s daughter
SYBIL, Rose’s maid
MASTER HAMMON, a City gentleman
MASTER WARNER, Hammon’s brother-in-law
MASTER SCOTT, a friend of Oatley’s
The shoemakers
SIMON EYRE
MARGERY, Eyre’s wife
HODGE (nickname of ROGER), Eyre’s foreman
RALPH DAMPORT, a journeyman of Eyre’s
JANE, Ralph’s wife
FIRK, a journeyman of Eyre’s
A Dutch Skipper
A Boy, working for Eyre
A Boy, with the hunters
A Prentice, working for Oatley
Noblemen
Soldiers
Huntsmen
Shoemakers
Apprentices
Servants

[Scene I]

Enter [Sir Roger Oatley, the] Lord Mayor, [and the Earl of] Lincoln.

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.
5
But leaving this, I hear my cousin Lacy
Is much affected to your daughter Rose.

OATLEY
True, my good lord; and she loves him so well
That I mislike her boldness in the chase.

LINCOLN
Why, my Lord Mayor, think you it then a shame
10
To join a Lacy with an Oatley’s name?

OATLEY
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.
15
Therefore your honour need not doubt my girl.

LINCOLN
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
20
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:
25
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−
30
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,
35
One twelve-month’s rioting will waste it all.
Then seek, my lord, some honest citizen
To wed you daughter to.

OATLEY
I thank your lordship.
[Aside]
Well, fox, I understand your subtlety.
[To Lincoln]
As for your nephew, let your lordship’s eye.
40
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.
[Aside]
And yet I scorn to call him son-in-law.

LINCOLN
45
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.
50
See where he comes.
Enter Lovell, Lacy, and Askew.
Lovell, what news with you?

LOVELL
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.

LINCOLN
55
Go certify his Grace it shall be done.
Exit Lovell.
Now, cousin Lacy, in what for forwardness
Are all your companies?

LACY
All well prepared.
The men of Hertfordshire lie at Mile End;
Suffolk and Essex train in Tothill Fields;
60
The Londoners, and those of Middlesex,
All gallantly prepared in Finsbury,
With frolic spirits long for their parting hour.

OATLEY
They have their imprest, coats, and furniture,
And if it please your cousin Lacy come
65
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.

LACY
I thank your honour.

LINCOLN
Thanks, my good Lord Mayor.

OATLEY
70
At the Guildhall we will expect your coming.

Exit.

LINCOLN
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,
75
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.
80
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
85
Thou start from the true bias of my love.

LACY
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.

LINCOLN
90
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.
95
Begone, begone; make haste to the Guildhall.
There presently I’ll meet you. Do not stay.
Where honour beckons, shame attends delay.

Exit.

ASKEW
How gladly would your uncle have you gone!

LACY
True, coz; but I’ll o’er-reach his policies.
100
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,
105
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
110
Hath tried itself in higher consequence.

ASKEW
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
115
Stares only to watch means for your disgrace.

LACY
Stay, cousin, who be these?

Enter Simon Eyre, [Margery] his wife, Hodge, Firk, Jane, and Ralph with a piece.

EYRE
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!

HODGE
Master, here be the captains.

EYRE
Peace, Hodge; husht, ye knave, husht.

FIRK
Here be the cavaliers and the colonels, master.

EYRE
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.

MARGERY
Seven years, husband?

EYRE
Peace , midriff, peace, I know what I do. Peace.

FIRK
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.

JANE
O, let him stay, else I shall be undone!

FIRK
Ay, truly, she shall be laid at one side like a pair of old
shoes else, and be occupied for no use.

LACY
Truly, my friends, it lies not in my power.
150
The Londoners are pressed, paid, and set forth
By the Lord Mayor. I cannot charge a man.

HODGE
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.

EYRE
Well said, melancholy Hodge! Gramercy, my fine
foreman!

MARGERY
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.

EYRE
Away with your pishery-pashery, your pols and your
edepols. Peace, midriff; silence, Cicely Bumtrinket. Let
your head speak.

FIRK
Yea, and the horns too, master.

EYRE
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.

FIRK
See, see, Hodge, how my master raves in commendation
of Ralph.

HODGE
Ralph, thou’rt a gull, by this hand, an thou goest not.

ASKEW
180
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.

LACY
Is thy name Ralph?

RALPH
Yes, sir.

LACY
Give me thy hand.
185
Thou shalt not want, as I am a gentleman
[To Jane]
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.

HODGE
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.

Enter Dodger.

DODGER
[To Lacy]
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
195
To hasten thither.

ASKEW
Cousin, let’s go.

LACY
Dodger, run you before. Tell them we come.
Exit Dodger
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
200
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.

ASKEW
Therefore, coz,
It shall behove you to be circumspect.

LACY
205
Fear not, good cousin. Ralph, hie to your colours.

[Exeunt Lacy and Askew].

RALPH
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.

JANE
210
Alas, my Ralph.

MARGERY
She cannot speak for weeping.

EYRE
Peace, you cracked groats, you mustard tokens, disquiet
not the brave soldier. Go thy ways, Ralph.

JANE
Ay, ay, you bid him go –what shall I do when he is
gone?

FIRK
Why, be doing with me, or my fellow Hodge. Be not
idle.

EYRE
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.

FIRK
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.

HODGE
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.

RALPH
I thank you, master; and I thank you all.
235
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,
240
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.
245
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.

[SCENE II]

Enter Rose alone, making a garland.

[ROSE]
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,
250
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,
255
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
260
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.

Enter Sybil.

SYBIL
Good morrow, young mistress. I am sure you make
that garland for me, against. I shall be Lady of the
Harvest.

ROSE
Sybil, what news at London?

SYBIL
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
commendations.

ROSE
Did Lacy send kind greetings to his love?

SYBIL
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.

ROSE
O Sybil, how dost thou my Lacy wrong!
285
My Rowland is as gentle as a lamb;
No dove was ever half so mild as he.

SYBIL
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;
295
For if ever I sigh when sleep I should take,
Pray God I may lose my maidenhead when I wake.

ROSE
Will my love leave me then, and go to France?

SYBIL
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
mistress.

ROSE
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
305
My cambric apron, and my Romish gloves,
My purple stockings, and a stomacher.
Say, wilt thou do this, Sybil, for my sake?

SYBIL
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
mistress.

ROSE
315
Do so, good Sybil. Meantime wretched I
Will sit and sigh for his lost company.

Exit.

[SCENE III]

Enter Rowland Lacy like a Dutch shoemaker.

LACY
How many shapes have gods and kings devised
Thereby to compass their desirèd loves!
It is no shame for Rowland Lacy then
320
To clothe his cunning with the Gentle Craft
That, thus disguised, I may unknown posses
The only happy presence of my Rose.
For her have I forsook my charge in France,
Incurred the King’s displeasure, and stirred up
325
Rough hatred in mine uncle Lincoln’s breast.
O love, how powerful art thou, that canst change
High birth to bareness, and a noble mind
To the mean semblance of a shoemaker!
But thus it must be; for her cruel father,
330
Hating the single union of our souls,
Hath secretly conveyed my Rose from London
To bar me of her presence; but I trust
Fortune and this disguise will further me
Once more to view her beauty, gain her sight.
335
Here in Tower Street with Eyre the shoemaker
Mean I a while to work. I know the trade;
I learnt it when I was in Wittenberg.
Then cheer thy drooping sprites; be not dismayed!
Thou canst not want –do Fortune what she can,
340
The Gentle Craft is living for a man!

Exit.

[SCENE IV]

Enter Eyre, making himself ready.

EYRE
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!

Enter Firk.

FIRK
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?

EYRE
Ah, well said, Firk; well said, Firk –to work, my fine
knave, to work! Wash thy face, and thou’lt be more
blessed.

FIRK
Let them wash my face that will eat it. Good master,
send for a souse-wife if you’ll have my face cleaner.

Enter Hodge.

EYRE
Away, sloven! Avaunt, scoundrel! Good morrow,
Hodge; good morrow, my fine foreman.

HODGE
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.

EYRE
O, haste to work, my fine foreman, haste to work.

FIRK
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
rain?

Enter [Margery,] Eyre’s wife.

EYRE
How now, Dame Margery, can you see to rise? Trip
and go, call up the drabs your maids.

MARGERY
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.

EYRE
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.

FIRK
Yet that’s but a dry beating. Here’s still a sing of
drought.

Enter Lacy [as Hans], singing.

LACY
[as Hans]
Der was een bore van Gelderland,
Frolick sie byen;
He was als dronck he could niet satnd,
385
Upsee al sie byen;
Tap eens de canneken,
Drincke, schone mannekin.

FIRK
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.

EYRE
Peace, Firk. A hard world; let him pass, let him vanish.
We have journeymen enough. Peace, my fine Firk.

MARGERY
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.

HODGE
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.

FIRK
Ay, that he shall.

HODGE
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.

EYRE
Stay, my fine Hodge.

FIRK
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.

EYRE
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.

LACY
[as Hans] Goeden dach, meester, end you fro, auch.

FIRK
‘Nails, if I should speak after him without drinking, I
should choke! And you, friend Auch, are you of the
Gentle Craft?

LACY
[as Hans] Yaw, yaw; ik bin den skomawker.

FIRK
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?

LACY
[as Hans] Yaw, yaw, be niet vorveard. Ik hab all de dingen
voour mack skoes groot end klene.

FIRK
Ha, ha! Good master, hire him. He’ll make me laugh so
that I shall work more in mirth than I can in earnest.

EYRE
Hear ye, friend: have ye any skill in the mystery of
cordwainers?

LACY
[as Hans] Ik weet niet wat you seg; ik verstaw you niet.

FIRK
Why thus, man! [He mimes the actions of a shoemaker]Ik
verste you niet’, quoth ’a.

LACY
[as Hans] Yaw, yaw, yaw; ik can dat wel doen.

FIRK
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.

EYRE
What is thy name?

LACY
[as Hans] Hans; Hans Meulter.

EYRE
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.

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.

FIRK
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.

Enter Boy.

LACY
[as Hans] O, ik verstaw you. Ik moet een halve dossen cans
betaelen. Here, boy, nempt dis skilling, tap eens freelick.

Exit Boy.

EYRE
Quick, snipper-snapper, away! Firk, scour thy throat;
thou shalt wash it with Castilian liquor. Come, my last
of the fives, Enter Boy.
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.

FIRK
Lo, dame, you would have lost a good fellow that will
teach us to laugh. –This beer came hopping in well.

MARGERY
Simon, it is almost seven.

EYRE
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.

Exit.

FIRK
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.

Exeunt.

[SCENE V]

Holloaing within. Enter Warner and Hammon, like hunters.

HAMMON
475
Cousin, beat every brake. The game’s not far.
This way with wingèd feet he fled from death
Whilst the pursuing hounds, scenting his steps,
Find out his high way to destruction.
Besides, the miller’s boy told me even now
480
He saw him take soil, and he holloaed him,
Affirming him so embossed
That long he could not hold.

WARNER
If it be so,
’Tis best we trace these meadows by Old Ford.

A noise of hunters within. Enter a Boy.

HAMMON
How now, boy, where’s the deer? Speak, sawst thou him?

BOY
O yea, I saw him leap through a hedge, and then over a
ditch, then at my Lord Mayor’s pale. Over he skipped
me and in he went me, and ‘Holloa’ the hunters cried,
and ‘There, boy, there, boy’ –but there he is, ’a mine
honesty.

HAMMON
490
Boy, godamercy. Cousin, let’s away.
I hope we shall find better sport today.

Exeunt.

[SCENE VI]

Hunting within. Enter Rose and Sybil.

ROSE
Why, Sybil. Wilt thou prove a forester?

SYBIL
Upon some, no! Forester, go by. No, faith, mistress,
the deer came running into the barn through the
orchard, and over the pale. I wot well I looked as pale as
a new cheese to see him, but ‘Whip!’ says Goodman
Pinclose, up with his flail, and our Nick with a prong,
and down he fell, and they upon him, and I upon them.
By my troth, we had such sport; and in the end we
ended him; his throat we cut, flayed him, unhorned
him, and my Lord Mayor shall eat of him anon when he
comes.

Horns sounds within.

ROSE
Hark, hark, the hunters come. You’re best take heed.
They’ll have a saying to you for this deed.

Enter Hammon, Warner, Huntsmen, and Boy.

HAMMON
505
God save you, fair ladies.

SYBIL
‘Ladies’! O, gross!

WARNER
Came not a buck this way?

ROSE
No, but two does.

HAMMON
And which way went they? Faith, we’ll hunt at those.

SYBIL
At those? Upon some, no! When, can you tell?

WARNER
Upon some, ay!

SYBIL
Good Lord!

WARNER
‘Wounds, then farewell.

HAMMON
510
Boy, which way went he?

BOY
This way, sir, he ran.

HAMMON
This way he ran indeed. Fair Mistress Rose,
Our game was lately in your orchard seen.

WARNER
Can you advise which way he took his flight?

SYBIL
Follow your nose, his horns will guide you right.

WARNER
515
Thou’rt a mad wench.

SYBIL
O rich!

ROSE
Trust me, not I.
It is not like the wild forest deer
Would come so near to places of resort.
You are deceived. He fled some other way.

WARNER
Which way, my sugar candy –can you show?

SYBIL
520
Come up, good honey-sops; upon some, no!

ROSE
Why do you stay, and not pursue your game?

SYBIL
I’ll hold my life their hunting nags be lame.

HAMMON
A deer more dear is found within this place.

ROSE
But not the deer, sir, which you had in chase.

HAMMON
525
I chased the deer; but this dear chaseth me.

ROSE
The strangest hunting that ever I see.
But where’s your park?

She offers to go away.

HAMMON
’Tis here. O, stay!

ROSE
Impale me, and then I will not stray.

WARNER
They wrangle, wench. We are more kind than they.

SYBIL
530
What kind of hart is that dear hart you seek?

WARNER
A heart, dear heart.

SYBIL
Whoever saw the like?

ROSE
To lose your harts? Is’t possible you can?

HAMMON
My heart is lost.

ROSE
Alack, good gentleman.

HAMMON
This poor lost heart would I wish you might find.

ROSE
535
You by such luck might prove your hart a hind.

HAMMON
Why, luck had horns, so have I heard some say.

ROSE
Now God an’t be His will send luck into your way.

Enter [Sir Roger Oatley, the] Lord mayor, and Servants.

OATLEY
What, Master Hammon –welcome to Old Ford!

SYBIL
God’s pitikins, off, sir! –Here’s my lord.

OATLEY
540
I hear you had ill luck, and lost your game.

HAMMON
’Tis true, my lord.

OATLEY
I am sorry for the same.
What gentleman is this?

HAMMON
My brother-in-law.

OATLEY
You’re welcome, both. Sith Fortune offers you
Into my hands, you shall not part from hence
545
Until you have refreshed your wearied limbs.
Go, Sybil: cover the board. You shall be guest
To no good cheer, but even a hunters’ feast.

HAMMON
I thank your lordship
[Aside to Warner]
Cousin, on my life,
For our lost venison, I shall find a wife.

OATLEY
550
In, gentlemen. I’ll not be absent long.
Exeunt [all except Oatley].
This Hammon is a proper gentleman,
A citizen by birth, fairly allied.
How fit an husband were he for my girl!
Well, I will in, and do the best I can
555
To match my daughter to this gentleman.

Exit.

[SCENE VII]

Enter Lacy [as Hans], Skipper, Hodge, and Firk.

SKIPPER
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?

FIRK
Wat seggen de reggen de copen, slopen –laugh, Hodge, laugh!

LACY
[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,
skipper!

Exeunt [Lacy as Hans and Skipper].

FIRK
‘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.

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.

FIRK
Yea, but can my fellow Hans lend my master twenty
porpentines as an earnest-penny?

HODGE
‘Portages’ thou wouldst say –here they be, Firk:
hark, they jingle in my pocket like Saint Mary Overy’s
bells.

Enter Eyre and [Margery] his wife [and a Boy].

FIRK
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
holiday.

MARGERY
You sing, Sir Sauce, but I beshrew your heart,
I fear for this your singing we shall smart.

FIRK
Smart for me, dame? Why, dame, why?

HODGE
Master, I hope you’ll not suffer my dame to take
down your journeymen.

FIRK
If she take me down, I’ll take her up –yea, and take her
down, too, a buttonhole lower.

EYRE
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.

MARGERY
Yea, yea, man, you may use me as you please –but let that pass.

EYRE
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.

MARGERY
Yea, yea, ’tis well. I must be called rubbish, kitchen-
stuff, for a sort of knaves.

FIRK
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.

HODGE
Nay, stay, Firk, thou shalt not go alone.

MARGERY
I pray, let them go. There be more maids than
Malkin, more men than Hodge, and more fools than
Firk.

FIRK
Fools? ‘Nails, if I tarry now, I would my guts might be turned to shoe-thread.

HODGE
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.

EYRE
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.

FIRK
And here’s a face for any lady in Christendom.

EYRE
Rip, you chitterling, avaunt! Boy, bid the tapster of the
Boar’s Head fill me a dozen cans of beer for my
journeymen.

FIRK
A dozen cans! O brave, Hodge –now I’ll stay!

EYRE
[Aside to the Boy] An the knave fills any more than two,
he pays for them. [Exit Boy].
[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?

HODGE
I am a-making a pair of shoes for my Lord mayor’s
daughter, Mistress Rose.

FIRK
And I a pair of shoes for Sybil, my Lord’s maid. I deal
with her.

EYRE
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.

FIRK
For yerking and seaming let me alone, an I come to’t.

HODGE
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.

FIRK
Nay, dame, if my master prove not a lord, and you a
lady, hang me.

MARGERY
Yea, like enough, if you may loiter and tipple thus.

FIRK
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.

EYRE
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!

FIRK
Ha, ha! My master will be as proud as a dog in a doublet,
all in beaten damask and velvet.

EYRE
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?

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’.

FIRK
’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?

EYRE
How sayst thou, Madgy; am I not brisk? Am I not fine?

MARGERY
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

LACY
[as Hans] Godden day, meester; dis be de skipper dat heb de
skip van marchandice. De commodity ben good. Nempt it,
meester; nempt it.

EYRE
Godamercy, Hans. Welcome, skipper. Where lies this
ship of merchandise?

SKIPPER
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.

FIRK
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.

EYRE
Peace, Firk. Come, skipper, I’ll go aboard with you.
Hans, have you made him drink?

SKIPPER
Yaw, yaw. Ik heb veale gedrunck.

EYRE
Come, Hans; follow me. Skipper, thou shalt have my
countenance in the City.

Exeunt [Eyre, Skipper, and Lacy as Hans].

FIRK
‘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
more.

MARGERY
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.

FIRK
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.

MARGERY
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
Firk doth follow. Hodge, pass out in state!

Exeunt.

[SCENE VIII]

Enter [the Earl of] Lincoln and Dodger.

LINCOLN
How now, good Dodger, what’s the news in France?

DODGER
My lord, upon the eighteen day of May
715
The French and English were prepared to fight.
Each side with eager fury gave the sign
Of a most armies fought together. At the length
The lot of victory fell on our sides.
Twelve thousand of the Frenchmen that day died,
720
Four thousand of the Frenchmen that day died,
Four thousand English, and no man of name
But Captain Hyam and young Ardington.

LINCOLN
Two gallant gentlemen; I knew them well.
But, Dodger, prithee tell me, in this fight
725
How did my cousin Lacy bear himself?

DODGER
My lord, your cousin Lacy was not here.

LINCOLN
Not there?

DODGER
No, my good lord.

LINCOLN
Sure, thou mistakest.
I saw him shipped, and a thousand eyes beside
Were witnesses of the farewells which he gave
730
When I with weeping eyes bid him adieu.
Dodger, take heed.

DODGER
My lord, I am advised
That what I spake is true. To prove it so,
His cousin Askew, that supplied his place,
Sent me for him from France that secretly
735
He might convey himself thither.

LINCOLN
Is’t even so?
Dares he so carelessly venture his life
Upon the indignation of a king?
Hath he despised my love, and spurned those favours
Which I with prodigal hand poured on his head?
740
He shall repent his rashness with his soul.
Since of my love he makes no estimate,
I’ll make him wish he had not known my hate.
Thou hast no other news?

DODGER
None else, my lord.

LINCOLN
None worse I know thou hast. Procure the King
745
To crown his giddy brows with ample honours,
Send him chief colonel, and all my hope
Thus to be dashed? –but ’tis in vain to grieve.
One evil cannot a worse relieve.
Upon my life, I have found out his plot.
750
That old dog love that fawned upon him so,
Love to that puling girl, his fair-cheeked Rose,
The Lord Mayor’s daughter, hath distracted him,
And in the fire of that love’s lunacy
Hath he burnt up himself, consumed his credit,
755
Lost the King’s love, yea and, I fear, his life,
Only to get a wanton to his wife.
Dodger, it is so.

DODGER
I fear so, my good lord.

LINCOLN
It is so. –Nay, sure cannot be.
I am at my wits’ end. Dodger–

DODGER
Yea, my lord?

LINCOLN
760
Thou art acquainted with my nephew’s haunts.
Spend this gold for thy pains. Go seek him out.
Watch at my Lord Mayor’s. There if he live,
Dodger, thou shalt be sure to meet with him.
Prithee, be diligent. Lacy, thy name
765
Lived once in honour, now dead in shame!
Be circumspect.

Exit.

DODGER
I warrant you, my lord.

Exit.

[SCENE IX]

Enter [Sir Roger Oatley, the] Lord mayor, and Master Scott.

OATLEY
Good Master Scott. I have been bold with you
To be a witness to a wedding knot
Betwixt young master Hammon and my daughter.
770
O, stand aside. See where the lovers come.

Enter Hammon and Rose.

ROSE
Can it be possible you love me so?
No, no; within those eyeballs I espy
Apparent likelihoods of flattery.
Pray now, let go my hand.

HAMMON
Sweet Mistress Rose,
775
Misconstrue not my words, nor misconceive
Of my affection, whose devoted soul
Swears that I love thee dearer than my heart.

ROSE
As dear as your own heart? I judge it right:

Men love their hearts best when they’re out of sight.

HAMMON
I love you, by this hand.

ROSE
Yet hands off, now.
780
If flesh be frail, how weak and frail’s your vow!

HAMMON
Then by my life I swear.

ROSE
Then do not brawl.
One quarrel loseth wife and life and all.
Is not your meaning thus?

HAMMON
In faith, you jest.

ROSE
Love loves to sport; therefore leave love, you’re best.

OATLEY
785
What, square they, Master Scott?

SCOTT
Sir, never doubt.
Lovers are quickly in and quickly out.

HAMMON
Sweet Rose, be not so strange in fancying me.
Nay, never turn aside. Shun not my sight.
I am not grown so fond to fond my love
790
On any that shall quit it with disdain.
If you will love me, so. If not, farewell.

OATLEY
Why, how now, lovers; are you both agreed?

HAMMON
Yes, faith, my lord.

OATLEY
’Tis well. Give me your hand;
Give me yours, daughter. How now –both pull back!
795
What means this, girl?

ROSE
I mean to live a maid.

HAMMON
(Aside) But not to die one. Pause ere that be said.

OATLEY
Will you still cross me, still be obstinate?

HAMMON
Nay, chide her not, my lord, for doing well.
If she can live an happy virgin’s life,
800
’Tis far more blessèd than to be a wife.

ROSE
Say, sir, I cannot. I have made a vow:
Whoever be my husband, ’tis not you.

OATLEY
Your tongue is quick. But, Master Hammon, know
I bade you welcome to another end.

HAMMON
805
What, would you have me pule, and pine, and pray,
With ‘lovely lady’, ‘mistress of my heart’,
‘Pardon your servant’, and the rhymer play,
Railing on Cupid and his tyrant’s dart?
Or shall I undertake some martial spoil,
810
Wearing your glove at tourney and at tilt,
And tell how many gallants I unhorsed?
Sweet, will this pleasure you?

ROSE
Yea; when wilt begin?
What, love-rhymes, man? Fie on that deadly sin!

OATLEY
If you will have her, I’ll make her agree.

HAMMON
815
Enforcèd love is worse than hate to me.
[Aside]
There is a wench keeps shop in the Old Change.
To her will I. It is not wealth I seek.
I have enough, and will prefer her love
Before the world.
[To Oatley]
My good Lord Mayor,
820
adieu.
[Aside]
Old love for me –I have no luck with new.

Exit.

OATLEY
[To Rose]
Now, mammet, you have well behaved yourself.
But you shall curse your coyness, if I live.
–Who’s within, there? See you convey your mistress
825
Straight to th’Old Ford. [To Rose] I’ll keep you strait enough.
–Fore God, I would have sworn the puling girl
Would willingly accepted Hammon’s love.
But banish him, my thoughts. –Go, minion, in.
Exit Rose.
Now tell me, Master Scott, would you have thought
830
That Master Simon Eyre, the shoemaker,
Had been of wealth to buy such merchandise?

SCOTT
’Twas well, my lord, your honour and myself
Grew partners with him; for your bills of lading
Show that Eyre’s gains in one commodity
835
Rise at the least to full three thousand pound,
Besides like gain in other merchandise.

OATLEY
Well, he shall spend some of his thousands now,
For I have sent for him to the Guildhall.

Enter Eyre.

EYRE
Poor Simon Eyre, my lord, your shoemaker.

OATLEY
840
Well, well, it likes yourself to term you so.
Enter Dodger.
Now, Master Dodger, what’s the news with you?

DODGER
I’ld gladly speak in private to your honour.

OATLEY
You shall, you shall. Master Eyre, and Master Scott,
I have some business with this gentleman.
845
I pray, let me entreat you to walk before
To the Guildhall. I’ll follow presently.
Master Eyre, I hope ere noon to call you sheriff.

EYRE
I would not care, my lord, if you might call me King of
Spain. Come Master Scott.

[Exeunt Eyre and Scott].

OATLEY
850
Now, Master Dodger, what’s the news you bring?

DODGER
The Earl of Lincoln by me greets your lordship
And earnestly requests you, if you can,
Inform him where his nephew Lacy keeps.

OATLEY
Is not his nephew Lacy now in France?

DODGER
855
No, I assure your lordship, but disguised
Lurks here in London.

OATLEY
London? Is’t even so?
It may be, but, upon my faith and soul,
I know not where he lives, or whether he lives.
So tell my Lord of Lincoln. –Lurch in London?
860
Well, Master Dodger, you perhaps may start him.
Be but the means to rid him into France,
I’ll give you a dozen angels for your pains,
So much I love his honour, hate his nephew;
And, prithee, so inform thy lord from me.

DODGER
865
I take my leave.

Exit Dodger.

OATLEY
Farewell, good Master Dodge.
Lacy in London? I dare pawn my life
My daughter knows thereof, and for that cause
Denied young Master Hammon in his love.
Well, I am glad I sent her to Old Ford.
870
God’s Lord, ’tis late; to Guildhall I must hie.
I know my brethren stay my company.

Exit.

[SCENE X]

Enter Firk, [Margery] Eyre’s wife, [Lacy as] Hans, and Roger.

MARGERY
Thou goest too fast for me, Roger. O, Firk.

FIRK
Ay, forsooth.

MARGERY
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.

FIRK
Take it? Well, I go. An he should not take it, Firk swears
to forswear him. –Yes, forsooth, I go Guildhall.

MARGERY
Nay, when! Thou art too compendious and tedious.

FIRK
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.

MARGERY
Nay, when! Thou wilt make me melancholy.

FIRK
God forbid your worship should fall into that humour. I
run.

Exit.

MARGERY
Let me see now, Roger and Hans.

HODGE
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.

MARGERY
Even what thou wilt, good Roger. Dame is a fair
name for any honest Christian –but let that pass. How
dost thou, Hans?

LACY
[as Hans] Me tank you, fro.

MARGERY
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.

LACY
[as Hans] Yaw, ik sal, fro.

MARGERY
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.

HODGE
You shall.

MARGERY
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.

HODGE
[Aside] As a car out of a pillory. [To Margery] Very
well, I warrant you, mistress.

MARGERY
Indeed, all flesh is grass. And Roger, canst thou tell
where I may buy a good hair?

HODGE
Yes, forsooth; at the poulterer’s in Gracious Street.

MARGERY
Thou art an ungracious wag. Perdie, I mean a false
hair for my periwig.

HODGE
Why, mistress, the next time I cut my bear you shall
have the shavings of it; but they are all true hairs.

MARGERY
It is very hot. I must get me a fan, or else a mask.

HODGE
[Aside] So you had need, to hide your wicked face.

MARGERY
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
worship says.

LACY
[as Hans] Ik bin frolick; lot see you so.

HODGE
Mistress, will you drink a pipe of tobacco?

MARGERY
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
use them.

Enter Ralph, being lame.

HODGE
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.

LACY
[as Hans] You be welcome, broder.

MARGERY
Perdie, I knew him not. How dost thou, good
Ralph? I am glad to see thee well.

RALPH
940
I would God you saw me, dame, as well
As when I went from London into France.

MARGERY
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.

RALPH
I am glad to see you well, and I rejoice
To hear that God hath blessed my master so
Since my departure.

MARGERY
Yea, truly, Ralph, I thank my maker –but let that
pass.

HODGE
And, Sirrah Ralph, what news, what news in
France?

RALPH
Tell me, good Roger, first, what news in England?
955
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.

HODGE
Limbs? Hast thou not hands, man? Thou shalt never
see a shoemaker want bread, though he have but three
fingers on a hand.

RALPH
Yet all this while I hear not of my Jane.

MARGERY
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
come yet?

HODGE
No, forsooth.

MARGERY
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.

LACY
[as Hans] Yaw, ik sal, fro.

Exit [Lacy as] Hans.

MARGERY
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.

HODGE
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.

MARGERY
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.

RALPH
I thank you, dame. Since I want limbs and lands,
990
I’ll to God, my good friends, and to these my hands.

Exit.
Enter [Lacy as] Hans, and Firk, running.

FIRK
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.
1000
Wherefore without all other grieve
I do salute you, Mistress Shrieve.

LACY
[as Hans] Yaw, my meester is de groot man, de shrieve.

HODGE
Did not I tell you, mistress? Now I may boldly say
‘Good morrow to your worship’.

MARGERY
Good morrow, good Roger. I thank you, my good
people all. Firk, hold up thy hand. Here’s a threepenny
piece for thy tidings.

FIRK
’Tis but three halfpence, I think. –Yes, ’tis threepence. I
smell the rose.

HODGE
But, mistress, be ruled by me, and do not speak so
pulingly.

FIRK
’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.

LACY
[as Hans] See, myn liever broder, heer compt my meester.

MARGERY
Welcome home, Master Shrieve. I pray God continue
you in health and wealth.

EYRE
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!

ALL THREE
Ay, forsooth; what says your worship Master
Sheriff?

EYRE
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].

FIRK
O, rare! O, brave! Come, Hodge. Follow me, Hans;
We’ll be with them for a morris dance.

Exeunt.

[SCENE XI]

Enter [Sir Roger Oatley, the] Lord Mayor, Eyre, [Margery] his wife in a French hood, [Rose], Sybil, and other Servants.

OATLEY
1045
[To Eyre and Margery]
Trust me, you are as welcome to Old Ford
As I myself.

MARGERY
Truly, I thank your lordship.

OATLEY
Would our bad cheer were worth the thanks you give.

EYRE
Good cheer, my Lord Mayor, fine cheer; a fine house,
fine walls, all fine and neat.

OATLEY
1050
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.

MARGERY
Ay, but, my lord, he must learn now to put on gravity.

EYRE
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
Mayor?

OATLEY
Ha, ha, ha! I had rather than a thousand pound
I had an heart but half so light as yours.

EYRE
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.

OATLEY
It’s well done. Mistress Eyre, pray give good counsel
to my daughter.

MARGERY
I hope Mistress Rose will have the grace to take
nothing that’s bad.

OATLEY
Pray God she do; for i’faith, Mistress Eyre,
I would bestow upon that peevish girl
1075
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.
1080
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.

EYRE
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
world.

A noise within of a tabor and a pipe

OATLEY
What noise is this?

EYRE
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.

OATLEY
Master Eyre, are all these shoemakers?

EYRE
All cordwainers, my good Lord Mayor.

ROSE
[Aside] How like my Lacy looks yond shoemaker!

LACY
[as Hans] [Aside] O, that I durst but speak unto my love!

OATLEY
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

ROSE
For his sake whose fair shape thou represent’st,
Good friend, I drink to thee.

LACY
[as Hans] Ik be dancke, good friter.

MARGERY
I see, Mistress Rose, you do not want judgement.
You have drunk to the properest man I keep.

FIRK
Here be some have done their parts to be as proper as he.

OATLEY
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,
1115
Spend these two angels in beer at Stratford Bow.

EYRE
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.

OATLEY
Come, Master Eyre, let’s have your company.

Exeunt [Oatley, Eyre, and Margery]

ROSE
1120
Sybil, what shall I do?

SYBIL
Why, what’s the matter?

ROSE
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?

SYBIL
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
please you?

ROSE
1130
Do this, and ever be assured of my love.

SYBIL
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.

[Exeunt]

[SCENE XII]

Enter Jane in a sempster’s shop, working, and Hammon, muffled, at another door. He stands aloof.

HAMMON
1135
Yonder’s the shop, and there my fair love sits.
She’s fair and lovely, but she is not mine.
O would she were! Thrice have I courted her,
Thrice hath my hand been moistened with her hand
Whilst my poor famished eyes do feed on that
1140
Which made them famish. I am infortunate.
I still love one, yet nobody loves me.
I muse in other men what women see
That I so want. Fine Mistress Rose was coy,
And this too curious. O no, she is chaste,
1145
And, for she thinks me wanton, she denies
To cheer my cold heart with her sunny eyes.
How prettily she works! O pretty hand!
O happy work! It doth me good to stand
Unseen to see her. Thus I oft have stood
1150
In frosty evenings, a light burning by her,
Enduring biting cold only to eye her.
One only look hath seemed as rich to me
As a king’s crown, such is love’s lunacy.
Muffled I’ll pass along, and by that try
1155
Whether she know me.

JANE
Sir, what is’t you buy?
What is’t you lack, sir? Calico, or lawn,
Fine cambric shirts, or bands –what will you buy?

HAMMON
[Aside]
That which thou wilt not sell. Faith, yet I’ll try.
[To Jane]
How do you sell this handkercher?

JANE
Good cheap.

HAMMON
1160
And how these ruffs?

JANE
Cheap, too.

HAMMON
And how this band?

JANE
Cheap too.

HAMMON
All cheap. How sell you then this hand?

JANE
My hands are not to be sold.

HAMMON
To be given, then.
Nay, faith, I come to buy.

JANE
But none knows when.

HAMMON
Good sweet, leave work a little while. Let’s play.

JANE
1165
I cannot live by keeping holiday.

HAMMON
I’ll pay you for the time which shall be lost.

JANE
With me you shall not be at so much cost.

HAMMON
Look how you wound this cloth, so you wound me.

JANE
It may be so.

HAMMON
’Tis so.

JANE
What remedy?

HAMMON
1170
Nay, faith; you are too coy.

JANE
Let go my hand.

HAMMON
I will do any task at your command.
I would let go this beauty, were I not
Enjoined to disobey you by a power
That controls kings. I love you.

JANE
So. Now part.

HAMMON
1175
With hands I may, but never with my heart.
In faith, I love you.

JANE
I believe you do.

HAMMON
Shall a true love in me breed hate in you?

JANE
I hate you not.

HAMMON
Then you must love.

JANE
I do.
What, are you better now? I love not you.

HAMMON
1180
All this, I hope, is but a woman’s fray,
That means ‘Come to me!’ when she cries ‘Away!’
In earnest, mistress, I do not jest;
A true chaste love hath entered in my breast.
I love you dearly as I love my life.
1185
I love you as a husband loves a wife.
That, and no other love, my love requires.
Thy wealth, I know, is little. My desires
Thirst not for gold. Sweet beauteous Jane, what’s mine
Shall, if thou make myself thine, all be thine.
1190
Say, judge, what is thy sentence –life or death?
Mercy or cruelty lies in thy breath.

JANE
Good sir, I do believe you love me well.
For ’tis a silly conquest, silly pride,
For one like you –I mean, a gentleman–
1195
To boast that by his love tricks he hath brought
Such and such women to his amorous lure.
I think you do not so, yet many do,
And make it even a very trade to woo.
I could be coy, as many women be;
1200
Feed you with sunshine smiles and wanton looks.
But I detest witchcraft. Say that I
Do constantly believe you constant have–

HAMMON
Why dost thou not believe me?

JANE
I believe you.
But yet, good sir, because I will not grieve you
1205
With hopes to taste fruit which will never fall,
In simple truth, this is the sum of all:
My husband lives –at least, I hope he lives.
Pressed was he to these bitter wars in France.
Better they are to me by wanting him.
1210
I have but one heart, and that heart’s his due.
How can I then bestow the same on you?
Whilst he lives, his I live, be it ne’er so poor;
And rather be his wife than a king’s whore.

HAMMON
Chaste and dear woman, I will not abuse thee,
1215
Although it cost my life if thou refuse me.
Thy husband pressed for France –what was his name?

JANE
Ralph Damport.

HAMMON
Damport. Here’s a letter sent
From France to me from a dear friend of mine,
A gentleman of place. Here he doth write
1220
Their names that have been slain in every fight.

JANE
I hope death’s scroll contains not my love’s name.

HAMMON
Cannot you read?

JANE
I can.

HAMMON
Peruse the same.
To my remembrance such a name I read
Amongst the rest. See here.

JANE
Ay me, he’s dead.
1225
He’s dead. If this be true, my dear heart’s slain.

HAMMON
Have patience, dear love.

JANE
Hence, hence!

HAMMON
Nay, sweet Jane,
Make not poor sorrow proud with these rich tears.
I mourn thy husband’s death because thou mournest.

JANE
That bill is forged. ’Tis signed by forgery.

HAMMON
1230
I’ll bring thee letters sent besides to many
Carrying the like report. Jane, ’tis too true.
Come, weep not. Mourning, though it rise from love,
Helps not the mournèd, yet hurts them that mourn.

JANE
For God’s sake, leave me.

HAMMON
Whither dost thou turn?
1235
Forget the dead; love them that are alive.
His love is faded –try how mine will thrive.

JANE
’Tis now no time for me to think on love.

HAMMON
’Tis now best time for you to think on love,
Because your love lives not.

JANE
Though he be dead,
1240
My love to him shall not be burièd.
For God’s sake, leave me to myself alone.

HAMMON
’Twould kill my soul to leave thee drowned in moan.
Answer me to my suit, and I am gone.
Say to me yea or no.

JANE
No.

HAMMON
Then farewell.
1245
One farewell will not serve. I come again.
Come, dry these wet cheeks. Tell me, faith, sweet Jane.
Yea, or no, once more.

JANE
Once more I say no.
Once more, be gone, I pray, else will I go.

HAMMON
Nay, then, I will grow rude. By this white hand,
1250
Until you change that cold no, here I’ll stand
Till by your hard heart–

JANE
Nay, for God’s love, peace.
My sorrows by your presence more increase.
Not that you thus are present; but all grief.
Desires to be alone. Therefore in brief
1255
Thus much I say, and saying bid adieu:
If ever I wed man it shall be you.

HAMMON
O blessèd voice. Dear Jane, I’ll urge no more.
Thy breath hath made me rich.

JANE
Death makes me poor.

Exeunt.

[SCENE XIII]

Enter Hodge at his shop board, Ralph, Firk, [Lacy as] Hans, and a Boy, at work.

ALL
[Singing] Hey down, a-down, down-derry.

HODGE
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.

FIRK
[Singing] Hey down a-down derry.

HODGE
Well said, i’faith! How sayst thou, Hans –doth not
Firk tickle it?

LACY
[as Hans] Yaw, meester.

FIRK
Not so, neither. My organ-pipe squeaks this morning
for want of liquoring. [Sings] Hey down a-down derry.

LACY
[as Hans] Forware, Firk, tow best un jolly youngster. Hort,
ay, meester, ik bid you cut me un pair vampies for Meester
Jeffrey’s boots.

HODGE
Thou shalt, Hans.

FIRK
Master.

HODGE
How now, boy?

FIRK
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.

HODGE
Tell me, sirs, are my cousin Mistress Priscilla’s shoes
done?

FIRK
Your cousin? No, master, one of your aunts. Hang her;
let them alone.

RALPH
I am in hand with them. She gave charge that none but
I should do them for her.

FIRK
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
hold.

HODGE
How sayst thou, Firk –were we not merry at Old
Ford?

FIRK
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
bag-puddings.

RALPH
Of all good fortunes, my fellow Hans had the best.

FIRK
’Tis true, because Mistress Rose drank to him.

HODGE
Well, well, work apace. They say seven of the
Aldermen be dead, or very sick.

FIRK
I care not, I’ll be none.

RALPH
No, nor I; but then my Master Eyre will come quickly
to be Lord Mayor.

Enter Sybil.

FIRK
Whoop, yonder comes Sybil!

HODGE
Sybil! Welcome, i’faith; and how dost thou, mad
wench?

FIRK
Syb-whore, welcome to London.

SYBIL
Godamercy, sweet Firk. Good Lord, Hodge, what a
delicious shop you have got! You tickle it, i’faith.

RALPH
Godamercy, Sybil, for our good cheer at Old Ford.

SYBIL
That you shall have, Ralph.

FIRK
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.

SYBIL
Well, godamercy. But God’s me, I forget myself.
Where’s Hans the Fleming?

FIRK
Hark, butter-box, now you must yelp out some
spreaken.

LACY
[as Hans] Vat begey you, vat vod you, frister.

SYBIL
Marry, you must come to my young mistress, to pull
on her shoes you made last.

LACY
[as Hans] Vare ben your edle fro? Vare ben your mistress?

SYBIL
Marry, here at our London house in Cornwall.

FIRK
Will nobody serve her turn but Hans?

SYBIL
No, sir. Come, Hans, I stand upon needles.

HODGE
Why then, Sybil, take heed of pricking.

SYBIL
For that, let me alone. I have a trick in my budget.
Come, Hans.

LACY
[as Hans] Yaw, yaw; ik sal mit you gane.

Exeunt [Lacy as] Hans and Sybil.

HODGE
Go, Hans, make haste again. Come, who lacks work?

FIRK
I master; for I lack my breakfast. ’Tis munching time,
and past.

HODGE
Is’t so? Why then, leave work, Ralph. To breakfast.
Boy, look to the tools. Come, Ralph. Come, Firk.

Exeunt.

[SCENE XIV]

Enter a Servingman.

SERVINGMAN
Let me see, now, the Sing of the Last in Tower
Street. Mass, yonder’s he house. What haw! Who’s
within?

Enter Ralph.

RALPH
Who calls, there? What want you, sir?

SERVINGMAN
Marry, I would have a pair of shoes made for a
gentlewoman against tomorrow. What, can
you do them?

RALPH
Yes, sir; you shall have them. But what length’s her
foot?

SERVINGMAN
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
morning.

RALPH
How? By this shoe must it be made? By this? Are you
sure, sir, by this?

SERVINGMAN
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?

RALPH
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?

SERVINGMAN
To the Sing of the Golden Ball, in Watling
Street. Enquire for one Master Hammon, a gentleman,
my master.

RALPH
Yea, sir. By this shoe, you say.

SERVINGMAN
I say Master Hammon at the Golden Ball. He’s
the bridegroom, and those shoes are for his bride.

RALPH
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?

SERVINGMAN
At Saint Faith’s Church, under Paul’s. But
what’s that to thee? Prithee, dispatch those shoes; and so,
farewell.

RALPH
By this shoe, said he? How am I amazed
1370
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.

Enter Firk.

FIRK
’Snails, Ralph, thou hast lost thy part of three pots a
countryman of mine gave me to breakfast.

RALPH
I care not. I have found a better thing.

FIRK
A thing? Away! Is it a man’s thing, or a woman’s thing?

RALPH
Firk, dost thou know this shoe?

FIRK
No, by my troth. Neither doth that know me. I have no
acquaintance with it. ’Tis a mere stranger to me.

RALPH
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.
1385
These true-love knots I pricked. I hold my life,
By this old shoe I shall find out my wife.

FIRK
Ha, ha! Old shoe, that wert new –how a murrain came
this ague-fit of foolishness upon thee?

RALPH
Thus, Firk: even now here came a servingman;
1390
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?

FIRK
And why mayst not thou be my sweet ass? Ha, ha!

RALPH
1395
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
1400
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.

FIRK
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.

Exit.

[SCENE XV]

Enter [Lacy dressed as] Hans and Rose, arm in arm.

LACY
How happy am I by embracing thee!
O, I did fear such cross mishaps did reign
1410
That I should never see my Rose again.

ROSE
Sweet Lacy, since fair opportunity
Offers herself to further our escape,
Let not too over-fond esteem of me
Hinder that happy hour. Invent the means
1415
And Rose will follow thee through all the world.

LACY
O, how I surfeit with excess of joy,
Made happy by thy rich perfection!
But since thou payest sweet interest to my hopes,
Redoubling love on love, let me once more,
1420
Like to a bold-faced debtor, crave of thee
This night to steal abroad, and at Eyre’s house,
Who now by death of certain aldermen
Is Mayor of London, and my master once,
Meet thou thy Lacy, where, in spite of chance,
1425
Your father’s anger, and mine uncle’s hate,
Our happy nuptials will we consummate.

Enter Sybil.

SYBIL
O God, what will you do, mistress? Shift for yourself.
Your father is at hand. He’s coming, he’s coming.
Master Lacy, hide yourself. In, my mistress! For God’s
sake, shift for yourselves.

LACY
Your father come! Sweet Rose, what shall I do?
Where shall I hide me? How shall I escape?

ROSE
A man, and want wit in extremity?
Come, come; be Hans still; play the shoemaker.
1435
Pull on my shoe.

Enter [Sir Roger Oatley, the former] Lord Mayor.

LACY
Mass, and that’s well remembered.

SYBIL
Here comes your father.

LACY
[as Hans] Forware, metress, ’tis un good skoe, it sal vel dute,
or ye sal neit betaelen.

ROSE
O God, it pincheth me! What will you do?

LACY
[Aside] Your father’s presence pincheth, not the shoe.

OATLEY
Well done. Fit my daughter well, and she shall please
thee well.

LACY
[as Hans] Yaw, yaw, ik weit dat well. Firware, ’tis un good
skoe, ’tis gi-mait van neat’s leather; se ever, mine her.

OATLEY
1445
I do believe it.
Enter a Prentice.
What’s the news with you?

PRENTICE
Please you, the Earl of Lincoln at the gate
Is newly lighted, and would speak with you.

OATLEY
The Earl of Lincoln come to speak with me?
Well, well, I know his errand. Daughter Rose,
1450
Send hence your shoemaker. Dispatch, have done.
Syb, make things handsome. Sir boy, follow me.

Exeunt [Oatley, Sybil, and Prentice]

LACY
Mine uncle come! O, what may this portend?
Sweet Rose, this of our love threatens an end.

ROSE
Be not dismayed at this. Whate’er befall,
1455
Rose is thine own. To witness I speak truth,
Where thou appoints the place I’ll meet with thee.
I will not fix a day to follow thee,
But presently steal hence. Do not reply.
Love which gave strength to bear my father’s hate
1460
Shall now add wings to further our escape.

Exeunt.

[SCENE XVI]

Enter [Sir Roger Oatley, the former] Lord Mayor and [the Earl of] Lincoln.

OATLEY
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,
1465
Neglecting the high charge the King imposed.

LINCOLN
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;
1470
But now I see mine error, and confess
My judgement wronged you by conceiving so.

OATLEY
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
1475
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
1480
I bear your honour, lest your noble blood
Should by my mean worth be dishonourèd.

LINCOLN
[Aside]
How far the churl’s tongue wanders from him heart!
[To Oatley]
Well, well, sir Roger Oatley, I believe you,
With more than many thanks for the kind love
1485
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.

Enter Sybil.

SYBIL
O Lord, help, God’s sake. My mistress, O, my young mistress!

OATLEY
Where is the mistress? What’s become of her?

SYBIL
She’s gone, she’s fled!

OATLEY
Gone? Whither is she fled?

SYBIL
I know not, forsooth. She’s fled out of doors with Hans
the shoemaker. I saw them scud, scud, scud, apace,
apace.

OATLEY
Which way? What, John, where be my men? Which way?

SYBIL
I know not, an it please your worship.

OATLEY
Fled with a shoemaker? Can this be true?

SYBIL
O Lord, sir, as true as God’s in heaven.

LINCOLN
[Aside] Her love turned shoemaker! I am glad of this.

OATLEY
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?
1505
Well, let her fly. I’ll not fly after her.
Let her starve if she will. She’s none of mine.

LINCOLN
Be not so cruel, sir.

Enter Firk with shoes.

SYBIL
[Aside]
I am glad she’s ’scaped.

OATLEY
I’ll not account of her as of my child.
Was there no better object for her eyes
1510
But a foul drunken lubber, swill-belly,
A shoemaker? That’s brave!

FIRK
Yea, forsooth, ’tis a very brave shoe, and as fit as a
pudding.

OATLEY
How now, what knave is this? From whence comest
1515
thou?

FIRK
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,
Yours,
Firk.

OATLEY
Stay, stay, sir knave.

LINCOLN
Come hither, shoemaker.

FIRK
’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.

OATLEY
My lord, this villain calls us knaves by craft.

FIRK
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!

OATLEY
Tell me, sirrah, whose man are you?

FIRK
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).

LINCOLN
1535
He means not, sir, to woo you to his maid,
But only doth demand whose man you are.

FIRK
I sing now to the tune of Rogero. Roger, my fellow, is
now my master.

LINCOLN
Sirrah, knowest thou one Hans, a shoemaker?

FIRK
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.

OATLEY
1545
Knowest thou then where he is?

FIRK
Yes, forsooth. Yea, marry.

LINCOLN
Canst thou in sadness?

FIRK
No, forsooth. No, marry.

OATLEY
Tell me, good, honest fellow, where he is,
1550
And thou shalt see what I’ll bestow of thee.

FIRK
‘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.

OATLEY
Here is an angel, part of thy reward,
Which I will give thee, tell me where he is.

FIRK
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.

LINCOLN
Do so, good fellow. ’Tis hurt to thee.

FIRK
Send simpering Syb away.

OATLEY
Huswife, get you in.

Exit Sybil.

FIRK
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.

OATLEY
1570
But art thou sure of this?

FIRK
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?

LINCOLN
Where are they married? Dost thou know the
church?

FIRK
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
incony.

LINCOLN
Upon my life, my nephew Lacy walks
1585
In the disguise of this Dutch shoemaker.

FIRK
Yes, forsooth.

LINCOLN
Doth he not, honest fellow?

FIRK
No, forsooth, I think Hans is nobody but Hans, no
spirit.

OATLEY
1590
My mind misgives me now ’tis so indeed.

LINCOLN
My cousin speaks the language, knows the trade.

OATLEY
Let me request your company, my lord.
Your honourable presence may, no doubt,
Refrain their headstrong rashness, when myself,
1595
Going alone, perchance may be o’erborne.
Shall I request this favour?

LINCOLN
This or what else.

FIRK
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.

OATLEY
1600
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.
1605
They ban our loves, and we’ll forbid their banns.

LINCOLN
At Saint Faith’s Church, thou sayst?

FIRK
Yes, by their troth.

LINCOLN
Be secret, on thy life.

FIRK
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.
Alack, alack,
Girls, hold out tack,
1625
For now smocks for this jumbling
Shall go to wrack.

[SCENE XVII]

Enter Eyre, [Margery] his wife, [Lacy dressed as] Hans, and Rose.

EYRE
This is the morning, then –say, my bully, my honest
Hans –is it not?

LACY
This is the morning that must make us two
1630
Happy or miserable; therefore if you –

EYRE
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?

MARGERY
Good my lord, stand her friend in what thing you
may.

EYRE
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.

LACY
My lord, ’tis time for us to part from hence.

EYRE
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.

MARGERY
Farewell, my lord.

ROSE
Make haste, sweet love.

MARGERY
She’ld fain the deed were done.

LACY
Come, my sweet Rose, faster than deer we’ll run.

They go out.

EYRE
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.

Exit.

[SCENE XVIII]

Enter Hodge, Firk, Ralph, and five or six Shoemakers, all with cudgels, or such weapons.

HODGE
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
wife?

RALPH
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.

FIRK
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.

ALL
Yes, and Hammon shall know it to his cost.

Enter Hammon, [a Servant] his man, Jane, and others.

HODGE
Peace, my bullies. Yonder they come.

RALPH
Stand to’t, my hearts. Firk, let me speak first.

HODGE
No, Ralph, let me. Hammon, whither away so early?

HAMMON
1710
Unmannerly rude slave, what’s that to thee?

FIRK
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.

HAMMON
Villains, hands off! How dare you touch my love?

ALL [THE SHOEMAKERS]
Villains? Down with them. Cry ‘Clubs
for prentices!’

HODGE
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?

HODGE
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.

JANE
Lives then my husband? O God, let me go,
Let me embrace my Ralph!

HAMMON
What means my Jane?

JANE
Nay, what meant you to tell me he was slain?

HAMMON
1730
Pardon me, dear love, for being misled.
[To Ralph]
’Twas rumoured here in London thou
wert dead.

FIRK
Thou seest he lives. Lass, go, pack home with him.
Now, Master Hammon, where’s your mistress your
wife?

SERVANT
’Swounds, master, fight for her. Will you thus lose
her?

ALL [THE SHOEMAKERS]
Down with that creature! Clubs! Down
with him!

HODGE
Hold, hold!

HAMMON
Hold, fool! Sirs, he shall do no wrong.
Will my Jane leave me thus, and break her faith?

FIRK
Yea, sir, she must, sir, she shall, sir. What then? Mend it.

HODGE
Hark, fellow Ralph. Follow my counsel. Set the
wench in the midst, and let her choose her man, and let
her be his woman.

JANE
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
1750
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.

HODGE
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.

FIRK
Stand to that, Ralph. The appurtenances are thine own.
Hammon, look not at her.

SERVANT
O ’swounds, no.

FIRK
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
clouts.

SERVANT
Come, Master Hammon, there’s no striving here.

HAMMON
Good fellow, hear me speak. And, honest Ralph,
Whom I have injured most by loving Jane,
1770
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.

HODGE
Sell not thy wife, Ralph. Make her not a whore.

HAMMON
Say, wilt thou freely cease thy claim in her
1775
And let her be my wife?

ALL [THE SHOEMAKERS]
No, do not, Ralph!

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.

FIRK
A shoemaker sell his flesh and blood –O indignity!

HODGE
Sirrah, take up your pelf, and be packing.

HAMMON
I will not touch one penny. But in lieu
Of that great wrong I offerèd thy Jane,
1785
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].

FIRK
[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.

HODGE
Stay, who comes here? Jane, on again with thy mask.

Enter [the Earl of] Lincoln, [Sir Roger Oatley, the former] Lord Mayor, and Servants.

LINCOLN
Yonder’s the lying varlet mocked us so.

OATLEY
1795
Come hither, sirrah.

FIRK
Ay sir, I am sirrah. You mean me, do you not?

LINCOLN
Where is my nephew married?

FIRK
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
Venus.

OATLEY
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.

FIRK
Truly, I am sorry for’t. A bride’s a pretty thing.

HODGE
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
you?

OATLEY
1810
See, see, my daughter’s masked.

LINCOLN
True, and my nephew,
To hide his guilt, counterfeits him lame.

FIRK
Yea, truly, God help the poor couple; they are lame and
blind.

OATLEY
I’ll ease her blindness.

LINCOLN
I’ll his lameness cure.

FIRK
[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!

OATLEY
[to Jane]
What, have I found you, minion!

LINCOLN
[to Ralph]
O base wretch!
Nay, hide thy face; the horror of thy guilt
1820
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.

OATLEY
Unmask yourself.

LINCOLN
[to Oatley]
Lead home your daughter.

OATLEY
[to Lincoln]
Take your nephew hence.

RALPH
Hence? ’Swounds, what mean you? Are you mad? I
hope you cannot enforce my wife from me. Where’s
Hammon?

OATLEY
Your wife?

LINCOLN
What Hammon?

RALPH
Yea, my wife; and therefore the proudest of you that
lays hands on her first, I’ll lay my crutch cross his pate.

FIRK
To him, lame Ralph! –Here’s brave sport!

RALPH
Rose, call you her? Why, her name is Jane. Look here
else [He usmasks her] Do you know her now?

LINCOLN
1835
Is this your daughter?

OATLEY
No, nor this your nephew.
My lord of Lincoln, we are both abused
By this base crafty varlet.

FIRK
Yea, forsooth, no ‘varlet’, forsooth, no ‘base’, forsooth I
am but mean. No ‘crafty’ neither, but of the Gentle
Craft.

OATLEY
Where is my daughter Rose? Where is my child?

LINCOLN
Where is my nephew Lacy marrièd?

FIRK
Why, here is good laced mutton, as I promised you.

LINCOLN
Villain, I’ll have thee punished for this wrong.

FIRK
Punish the journeyman villain, but not the journeyman
shoemaker.

Enter Dodger.

DODGER
My lord, I come to bring unwelcome news.
Your nephew Lacy and
[to Oatley]
your daughter Rose
Early this morning wedded at the Savoy,
1850
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.

LINCOLN
Dares Eyre the shoemaker uphold the deed?

FIRK
Yes, sir, shoemakers dare stand in a woman’s quarrel, I
warrant you, as deep as another, and deeper, too.

DODGER
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.

LINCOLN
1860
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].

FIRK
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.

HODGE
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.

ALL
O rare! Madge is a good wench.

FIRK
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!

Bell rings.

ALL
The pancake bell rings, the pancake bell. Tri-lill, my
hearts!

FIRK
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.

RALPH
O, the crew of good fellows that will dine at my Lord
Mayor’s cost today!

HODGE
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.

FIRK
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.

ALL
Whoop, look here, look here!

HODGE
How now, mad lads, whither away so fast?

FIRST PRENTICE
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.

ALL
O brave shoemaker! O brave lord of incomprehensible
good fellowship! Hoo, hark you, the pancake bell rings!

Cast up caps.

FIRK
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
Holiday’.

ALL
Agreed, agreed –‘Saint Hugh’s Holiday’!

HODGE
And this shall continue for ever.

ALL
O brave! Come, come, my hearts; away, away.

FIRK
O eternal credit to us of the Gentle Craft! March fair,
my hearts. O rare!

Exeunt.

[Scene XIX]

Enter King and his train over the stage.

KING
Is our Lord Mayor of London such a gallant?

NOBLEMAN
One of the merriest madcaps in your land.
Your Grace will think, when you behold the man,
He’s rather a wild ruffian than a Mayor.
1920
Yes thus much I’ll ensure your Majesty:
In all his actions that concern his state
He is as serious, provident, and wise,
As full of gravity amongst the grave,
As any Mayor hath been these many years.

KING
1925
I am with child till I behold this huffcap.
But all my doubt is, when we come in presence,
His madness will be dashed clean out of countenance.

NOBLEMAN
It may be so, my liege.

KING
Which to prevent,
Let someone give him notice ’tis our pleasure
1930
That he put on his wonted merriment.
Set forward.

ALL
On afore!

Exeunt.

[SCENE XX]

Enter Eyre, Hodge, Firk, Ralph, and other Shoemakers, all with napkins on their shoulders.

EYRE
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.

FIRK
O, my lord, it will be rare.

EYRE
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.

HODGE
My lord, we are at our wits’ end for room. Those
hundred tables will not feast the fourth part of them.

EYRE
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?

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.

EYRE
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!

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.

MARGERY
Where is my lord?

EYRE
How now, Lady Madgy?

MARGERY
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.

EYRE
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
Rose?

LACY
1975
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.

EYRE
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.

MARGERY
Good my lord, have a care what you speak to his
Grace.

EYRE
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
of London.

FIRK
Hey for the honour of the shoemakers!

Exeunt.

[SCENE XXI]

A long flourish or two. Enter King, Nobles, Eyre, [Margery] his wife, Lacy [dressed as himself], Rose. Lacy and Rose kneel.

KING
Well, Lacy, though the fact was very foul
2000
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.

EYRE
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.

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.

EYRE
Sayst thou me so, my sweet Diocletian? Then, hump!
2015
Prince am I none, yet am I princely born! By the Lord of
Ludgate, my liege, I’ll be as merry as a pie.

KING
Tell me, in faith, mad Eyre, how old thou art.

EYRE
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.

KING
But all this while I do not know your age.

EYRE
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.

KING
Ha, ha! Say, Cornwall, didst thou ever see his like?

NOBLEMAN
Not I, my Lord.

Enter [the Earl of] Lincoln and [Sir Roger Oatley, the former] Lord Mayor.

KING
Lincoln, what news with you?

LINCOLN
My gracious Lord, have care unto yourself,
For there are traitors here.

ALL
Traitors? Where? Who?

EYRE
Traitors in my house? God forbid! Where be my
officers? I’ll spend my soul ere my King feel harm.

KING
Where is the traitor, Lincoln?

LINCOLN
[indicating Lacy]
Here he stands.

KiNG
Cornwall, lay hold on Lacy. Lincoln, speak.
What canst thou lay unto thy nephew’s charge?

LINCOLN
This, my dear liege. Your Grace to do me honour
2045
Heaped on the head of this degenerous boy
Desertless favours. You made choice of him
To be commander over powers in France;
But the –

KING
Good Lincoln, prithee, pause a while.
Even in thine eyes I read what thou wouldst speak.
2050
I know how Lacy did neglect our love,
Ran himself deeply, in the highest degree,
Into vile treason.

LINCOLN
Is he not a traitor?

KING
Lincoln, he was. Now have we pardoned him.
’Twas not a base want of true valour’s fire
2055
That held him out of France, but love’s desire.

LINCOLN
I will not bear his shame upon my back.

KING
Nor shalt thou, Lincoln. I forgive you both.

LINCOLN
Then, good my liege, forbid the boy to wed
One whose mean birth will much disgrace his bed.

KING
2060
Are they not married?

LINCOLN
No, my liege.

BOTH
We are.

KING
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
2065
That are conjoined in holy nuptial bands.
How sayst thou, Lacy? Wouldst thou lose thy Rose?

LACY
Not for all India’s wealth, my sovereign.

KING
But Rose, I am sure, her Lacy would forgo.

ROSE
If Rose were asked that question, she’ld say no.

KING
2070
You hear them, Lincoln?

LINCOLN
Yea, my liege, I do.

KING
Yet canst thou find i’the heart to part these two?
Who seeks, besides you, to divorce these lovers?

OATLEY
I do, my gracious Lord. I am her father.

KING
Sir Roger Oatley, our last Mayor, I think?

NOBLEMAN
2075
The same, my liege.

KING
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?

LACY
I am, dread sovereign.

KING
Then, upon thy life,
2080
I charge thee not to call this woman wife.

OATLEY
I thank your Grace.

ROSE
O my most gracious Lord!

Kneel

KING
Nay, Rose, never woo me. I tell you true,
Although as yet I am a bachelor,
Yet I believe I shall not marry you.

ROSE
2085
Can you divide the body from the soul,
Yet make the body live?

KING
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?

BOTH
2090
Yes, my Lord.

KING
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.
2095
At night, lovers, to bed. Now, let me see,
Which of you all mislikes this harmony?

OATLEY
Will you then take from me my child perforce?

KING
Why, tell me, Oatley, shines not Lacy’s name
As bright in the world’s eye as the gay beams
2100
Of any citizen?

LINCOLN
Yea, but, my gracious Lord,
I do mislike the match far more than he.
Her blood is too too base.

KING
Lincoln, no more.
Dost thou not know that love respects no blood,
Cares not for difference of birth or state?
2105
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,
2110
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,
2115
Seeing thy Rose a lady and a bride?

OATLEY
I am content with what your Grace hath done.

LINCOLN
And I, my liege, since there’s no remedy.

KING
Come on, then, all shake hands. I’ll have you friends.
Where there is much love, all discord ends.
2120
What says my mad Lord Mayor to all this love?

EYRE
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.

KING
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
2130
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.

EYRE
I thank your Majesty.

MARGERY
God bless your Grace.

KING
Lincoln, a word with you.

Enter Hodge, Firk, Ralph, and more Shoemakers.

EYRE
How now, my mad knaves! Peace, speak softly.
Yonder is the King.

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,
2140
France shall repent England was injurèd.
What are all those?

LACY
All shoemakers, my liege,
Sometimes my fellows. In their companies
I lived as merry as an emperor.

KING
My mad Lord Mayor, are all these shoemakers?

EYRE
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!

KING
Mad Simon, would they anything with us?

EYRE
[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.

KING
Mad Sim, I grant your suit. You shall have patent
To hold two market days in Leaden Hall.
2160
Mondays and Fridays, those shall be the times.
Will this content you?

ALL [THE SHOEMAKERS]
Jesus bless your Grace!

EYRE
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.

KING
What is it, my Lord Mayor?

EYRE
Vouchsafe to taste of a poor banquet that stands sweetly
waiting for your sweet presence.

KING
2170
I shall undo thee, Eyre, only with feasts.
Already have I been too troublesome;
Say, have I not?

EYRE
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–
2180
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.

KING
Eyre, I will taste of thy banquet, and will say
Friends of the Gentle Craft, thanks to you all.
2190
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.

Exeunt.

FINIS.