Patient Grissel – Act 3, Scene 1

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 Enter BABULO with a Boy after him.

Boy, how sits my rapier?  La, sol, la, sol, &c.

It hangs as even as a chandler’s beam.

Some of them desire to hang upon a beam for that evenness.  Boy, learn to give every man his due.  Give the hangman his due, for he’s a necessary member.

That’s true, for he cuts of many wicked members.

He’s an excellent barber, he shaves most cleanly.  But, Page, how dost thou like the court?

Prettily, and so.

Faith, so do I.  Prettily and so.  I am weary of being a courtier, Boy.

That you cannot be, master, for you are but a courtier’s man.

Thou sayest true and thou art the courtier’s man’s boy, so thou art a courtier in dedimo sexto in the least volume, or a courtier at the third hand, or a courtier by reversion, or a courtier three descents removed, or a courtier in minority, or an under courtier, or a courtier in posse, and I thy master in esse.

A posse ad esse non est argumentum, master.

Thou has too much wit to be so little, but imitation, imitation, is his good lord and master.


Banish’d from court?  Oh, what have we misdone?

What have we done we must be thus disgraced?

I know not, but you are best pack.  ‘Tis my lord’s will, and that’s law. I must uncase you.  Your best course is to fall to you own trades.

Sirrah, what art thou, a broker?

No, how then?  I am a gentleman.

Th’art a Jew, th’art a pagan.  How darest thou leave them without a cloak for the rain, when his daughter and his sister and my mistress is the king’s wife?

Go look, sirrah fool.  My condition is to ship you too.

There’s a ship of fools ready to hoist sail.  They stay but for a good wind and your company.  Ha, ha, ha!  I wonder, if all fools were banish’d, where thou wouldst take shipping.

Peace, Babulo, we are banish’d from court.

I am glad, it shall ease me of a charge here, as long as we have good clothes on our backs, ‘tis no matter for our honesty.  We’ll live any where, and keep court in any corner.


Oh, my dear Grissil!

You are from me banish’d,
But ere you leave the court, oh leave, I pray,
Your grief in Grissil’s bosom.  Let my cheeks
Be watered with woe’s tears, for here and here,
And in the error of those wand’ring eyes
Began your discontent.  Had I not been
By nature painted thus, this had not been.
To leave the court and care be patient,
In your old cottage you shall find content.
Mourn not because these silks are ta’en away.
You’ll seem more rich in a coarse gown of grey.

Will you be packing?  When?

Friend, what’s thy name?

Furio my name is, what of that?

Is thy name Fury?  Thou art half hang’d, for thou hast an ill name.

Thy looks are in thy name, thy name and looks
Approve thy nature to be violent.

Brother, forbear, he’s servant to my lord.

To him, master, spare him not an inch.

Princes are never pleas’d with subjects sins,
But pity those whom they are sworn to smite,
And grieve as tender mothers when they beat
With kind correction their unquiet babes.
So should their officers compassionate
The misery of any wretch’s state.

[Aside.] I must obey my master, though indeed
My heart, that seems hard, at their wrongs doth bleed
[To them.] Pray, get you gone.  I say little, but you know my mind.

Little said is soon amended.  Thou say’st but little, and that little will be mended soon.  Indeed, that’s never, and so the proverb stands in his full strength, power, and virtue.

 Enter MARQUESS, MARIO, and LEPIDO, and Attendants.

They will not go, my lord.

Will they not go?
Away with them; expel them from our court.
Base wretches, is it wrong to ask mine own?
Think you that my affection to my wife
Is greater then my love to public weal?
Does not my people murmur every hour
That I have rais’d you up to dignities?
Do not lewd minstrels in the ribald rhymes
Scoff at her birth and descant on her dower?

Alas, my lord, you knew her state before.

I did, and from the bounty of my heart,
I rob’d my wardrobe of all precious robes,
That she might shine in beauty like the sun;
And in exchange, I hung this russet gown
And this poor pitcher for a monument
Against my costliest gems: see, here they hang.
Grissil, look here, this gown is unlike to this?

My gracious lord, I know full well it is.

Grissil was as pretty a Grissil in the one as in the other.

You have forgot these rags, this water pot.

With reverence of you highness, I have not.

Nor I.  Many a good mess of water gruel has that yielded us.

Yes, you are proud of these your rich attires.

Never did pride keep pace with my desires.

Well, get you on.  Part briefly with your father.

Our parting shall be short.  Daughter, farewell.

Our parting shall be short.  Sister, farewell.

Our parting shall be short.  Grissil, farewell.

Remember thou didst live when thou wert poor,
And now thou dost but live.  Come, son, no more.

See them without the palace, Furio.

Good, yet ‘tis bad.                        [Exeunt JANICOLA and LAUREO with FURIO.


Shall Furio see them out of the palace?  Do you turn us out of doors?  You turn us out of doors then?

Hence with that fool, Mario, drive him hence.

He shall not need.  I am no ox nor ass.  I can go without driving.  For all his turning, I am glad of one thing.

What’s that, Babulo?

Marry, that he shall never hit us i’th’ teeth with turning us, for ‘tis not a good turn, follower, I must cashier you.  I must give over housekeeping, ‘tis the fashion.  Farewell, boy.

Marry, farewell and be hang’d.

I am glad thou tak’st thy death so patiently.  Farewell, my lord, adieu, my lady.  Great was the wisdom of that tailor that stitch’d me in motley, for he’s a fool that leaves basket making to turn courtier.  I see my destiny dogs me; at first I was a fool, for I was born an innocent, then I was a traveller, and then a basket maker and fool again. The one I am sworn to, but the fool I bestow upon the world, for stultorum plena sunt omnia, adieu, adieu.                                       [Exit.

Farewell simplicity, part of my shame, farewell.
Now, lady, what say you of their exile?

What ever you think good, I’ll not term vile.
By this rich burden in my worthless womb,
Your handmaid is so subject to your will
That nothing which you do to her seems ill.

I am glad you are so patient.  Get you in.                                      [Exit GRISSIL.
Thy like will never be, never hath been.
Mario, Lepido?

My gracious lord?

The hand of poverty held down your states,
As it did Grissil’s; and as her I rais’d
To shine in greatness’ sphere, so did mine eye
Throw gilt beams on your births; therefore methinks,
You soul should sympathize, and you should know
What passions in my Grissil’s bosom flow.
Faith, tell me you opinions of my wife.

She is as virtuous and as patient
As innocence, as patience itself.

She merits much of love, little of hate.
Only in birth she is unfortunate.

Ay, ay, the memory of that birth doth kill me.
She is with child, you see; her travail past.
I am determined she shall leave the court
And live again with old Janicola.

Therein you show true wisdom.

Do I indeed?
Dear friends, it shall be done.  I’ll have you two
Rumour that presently, to the wide ears
Of that news-loving-beast, the multitude.
Go tell them for their sakes this shall be done.

With wings we fly.

Swifter then time we run.

Begone then.                                                              [Exeunt MARIO and LEPIDO.

Oh, these time, these impious times!
How swift is mischief? with what nimble feet
Doth envy gallop to do injury?
They both confess my Grissil’s innocence.
They both admire her wondrous patience.
Yet in their malice and to flatter me,
Headlong they run to this impiety.
Oh, what’s the world but a confused thing
Of fools and madmen, crowding in a thrust
To shoulder out the wise, trip down the just.
But I will try by self experience
And shun the vulgar sentence of the base.
If I find Grissil strong in patience
These flatterers shall be wounded with disgrace,
And whilst verse lives, the fame shall never die
Of Grissil’s patience and her constancy.                                                  [Exit.

Proceed to the next scene


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