The Shoemaker’s Holiday – Act 1, Scene 3

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Enter ROWLAND LACY like a Dutch shoemaker.

How many shapes have gods and kings devised,
Thereby to compass their desired loves!
It is no shame for Rowland Lacy then
To clothe his cunning with the Gentle Craft,
That thus disguised I may unknown possess
The only happy presence of my Rose.
For her have I forsook my charge in France,
Incurred the King’s displeasure, and stirred up
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,
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.
Here in Tower Street, with Eyre the shoemaker
Mean I to a while to work:  I know the trade,
I learned it when I was in Wittenberg.
Then cheer thy hoping spirits, be not dismayed;
Thou canst not want, do Fortune what she can:
The Gentle Craft is living for a man.                                               [Exit LACY.

Proceed to next scene.


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