The Shoemaker’s Holiday – Act 2, Scene 3

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Enter LACY, Skipper, HODGE and FIRK.

 SKIPPER
Ick sal yow wat seggen, Hans:  dis skip dat comen from Candy is al wol, by Got’s sacrament, van sugar, civet, almonds, cambric, end alle dingen, towsand towsand ding.  Nempt it, Hans, nempt it vor u meester; daer be de bils van laden.  Your meester Simon Eyre sal hae good copen:  wat saggen yow, Hans?

FIRK
Wat saggen de reggen de copen, slopen?  Laugh, Hodge, laugh!

LACY
Mine liever broder Firk, bringt Meester Eyre tot den signe un Swannekin: daer sal yow finde dis skipper end me.  Wat seggen yow, broder Firk?  Doot it, Hodge.  Come, skipper.                                                                      [Exuent LACY 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, Firk, that the merchant owner of the ship 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
Portuguese, thou would’st say; here they be, Firk:  hark, they jingle in my pocket like Saint Mary Overy’s bells.

Enter EYRE, MARGERY 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 you 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 button-hole lower!

EYRE
Peace, Firk!  Not I, Hodge!  By the life of Pharoah, 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 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 mo maids than Mawkin, more men than Hodge, and more fools than Firk.

FIRK
Fools?  Nails, if I tarry now, I would my guts might be turned to shoethread!

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 make 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
[To Boy.] 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 Boy.] And the knave fills any more than two, he pays for them.  [Exit Boy.] A dozen cans of beer for my journeymen!

Enter Boy with two cans; puts them down and exit.

Hear 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 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.  Yark and seam, yark and seam!

FIRK
For yarking and seaming let me alone, and 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 portuguese 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 Cyprus, lady 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, Maggy:  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 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 sayest thou, Maggy?  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 and Skipper.

 LACY
Godden day, mester, dis be de skipper dat heb de skip van marchandice.  De commodity ben good:  nempt it, master, nempt it.

EYRE
God amercy, Hans; welcome, skipper.  Where lies this ship of merchandise?

SKIPPER
De skip ben in revere; dor be van sugar, civet, almonds, cambric, and a towsand towsand tings!  Gotz sacrament, nempt it master:  yo 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, ic heb veale ge drunck.

EYRE
Come, Hans, follow me.  Skipper, thou shalt have my countenance in the city.                                                             [Exeunt EYRE, LACY, and Skipper.

FIRK
Yaw heb veale ge drunck, quoth a.  They may well be called butter-boxes, when they drink vat veal and thick beer too!  But come, dame, I hope you’ll chide us no more.

MARGERY
No, faith, Firk: no, perdy, Hodge.  I do not 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 mak’st my worship laugh, but 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.

Proceed to next scene

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