Patient Grissel – Act 4, Scene 2

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 Enter JANICOLA and LAUREO, with burdens of osiers.

Father, how fare you?

Very well, my son.
This labour is a comfort to my age.
The Marquess has been merciful
In sending me from courtly delicates
To taste the quiet of this country life.

Call him not merciful.  His tyranny
Exceeds the most inhumane.

Peace, my son,
I thought by learning thou hadst been made wise,
But I perceive it puffeth up thy soul.
Thou takst a pleasure to be counted just,
And kick against the faults of mighty men.
Oh, ‘tis in vain!  The earth may even as well
Challenge the potter to be partial
For forming it to sundry offices.
Alas, the error of ambitious fools!
How frail are all their thoughts, how faint, how weak?
Those that do strive to justle with the great
Are certain to be bruis’d, or soon to break.
Come, come, mell with our osiers.  Here let’s rest.
This is the old homely home, and that’s still best.

Enter BABULO with a bundle of osiers in one arm and a child in
 another; GRISSIL after him with another child.

Hush, hush, hush, hush, and I dance my own child, and I dance my own child, &c.  Ha, ha!  Whoop, old master!  So ho, ho!  Look here, and I dance mine own child, &c.  Here’s sixpence a week, and sixpence a week, eight grosses, soap and candle.  I met her in osier grove, crying, hush, hush, hush, hush.  I thought it had been some beggar woman because of her pitcher, for you know they bear such household stuff, to put drink and porridge together.  And I dance mine, &c.

Oh father, now forswear all patience.
Grissil comes home to you in poor array.
Grissil is made a drudge, a cast-away.

Grissil is welcome home to poverty.
How now, my child, are these thy pretty babes?

And I dance mine own child.  Art thou there?  Art thou there?

Why art thou thus sent home?  Who sent thee hither?

It is the pleasure of my princely lord,
Who taking some offence to me unknown,
Hath banish’d me from care to quietness.

A fig for care, old master, but now old grandsire.  Take this little Pope Innocent.  We’ll give out basket making and turn nurses.  She has uncled Laureo.  It’s no matter, you shall go make a fire, grandsire, you shall dandle them.  Grissil shall go make pap, and I’ll lick the skillet.  But first, I’ll fetch a cradle.  It’s a sign ‘tis not a dear year when they come by two at once.  Here a couple, quote Jack Daw, art thou there?  Sing, grandsire.                                                                                               [Exit.

What said the Marquess when he banish’d thee?

He gave me gentle language, kiss’d my cheek.
For God’s sake, therefore, speak not ill of him.
Tears trickling from his eyes. And sorrows hand
Stopping his mouth; thus did he bid adieu
Whilst many a deep fetch’d sigh from his breast flew.
Good Lord!  how many a kiss he gave my babes
And with wet eyes bade me be patient,
And by my truth, if I had any truth,
I came from court more quiet and content
By many a thousand part then when I went;
Therefore for God’s love speak not ill of him.

Oh, vile dejection of too base a soul!
Hast thou beheld the paradise of court,
Fed of rich several meats, bath’d in sweet streams,
Slept on the bed of pleasure, sat enthroned,
Whilst troops as saint-like have adored thee,
And being now thrown down by violence
Dost thou not envy those that drive thee thence?

Far be it from my heart from envying my lord
In thought, much less either in deed or word.

Then hast thou no true soul, for I would curse,
From the sun’s arising to his western fall,
The Marquess and his flattering minions.

By day and night, kind heaven, protect them all.
What wrong have they done me?  What hate to you?
Have I not fed upon the prince’s cost?
Been cloth’d in rich attires?  Liv’d on his charge?
Look here, my russet gown is yet unworn,
And many a winter more may serve my turn
By the preserving it so many months.
My pitcher is unhurt; see it fill’d
With crystal water of the crisped spring.
If you remember on my wedding day
You sent me this pitcher to the well,
And I came empty home, because I met
The gracious Marquess and his company.
Now hath he sent you this cup full of tears.
You’ll say the comfort’s cold; well, be it so,
But every little comfort helps in woe.

True model of true virtue.  Welcome, child.
Thou and these tender babes to me are welcome.
We’ll work to find them food; come, kiss them son,
And let’s forget these wrongs as never done.

 Enter BABULO with a cradle.

Come, where be these infidels?  Here’s the cradle of security, and my pillow of idleness for them, and their grandsire’s cloak, not of hypocrisy, but honesty to cover them.


Lay them both softly down; Grissil, sit down;
Laureo, fetch you my lute; rock thou the cradle.
Cover the pool fools’ arms, I’ll charm their eyes,
To take a sleep by sweet tuned lullabies.

The Song

Golden slumbers kiss your eyes,
Smiles awake you when you rise.
Sleep, pretty wantons, do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby,
Rock them, rock them, lullaby.

Care is heavy therefore sleep you. 

You are care and care must keep you.
Sleep, pretty wantons, do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby,
Rock them, rock them, lullaby.

 Enter FURIO and MARQUESS, who stands aloof disguised,
 with baskets.

Leave singing.

We may choose.  Grandfather, sol fa once more.  We’ll alla mire him, and he we wail in woe, and who can hinder us?

Sirrah scholar, read there.  It’s a commission for me to take away these children.

Nay, then, y’are welcome.  There’s four groats, and here’s four more.

To take away my children, gentle Furio?
Why must my babes bear this ungentle doom?

Go look.

Oh misery!  Oh most accursed time
When to be foes to guilt is held a crime.
Sister, this fiend must bear your infants hence.

Good Grissil, bear all wrongs with patience.

Good father, let true patience cure all woe.
You bid me be content.  Oh, be you so!

Father, why do you weep?

What can I do?
[To children.] Though her he punish, he might pity you.

Let’s fret and curse the Marquess cruelly.

Aye, by my troth, that’s a good way.  We may well do it, now we are out of his hearing.

Must I then be divorc’d?  And loose this treasure?
I must and am content, since ‘tis his pleasure.
I prithee, tell me whither they must go?


Art thou commanded to conceal the place?


Then I will not enquire, thou dost but jest.
I know thou must not rob me, ‘tis to try
If I love them.  No, no, here I read
That which strikes blind my eyes, makes my heart bleed.
Farewell, farewell, dear souls, adieu, adieu;
Your father sends, and I must part from you.
I must, oh God, I must.  Must is for kings
And low obedience, for low underlings.

He shall not have them thus.  Keep them perforce.
This slave looks on them with a murdering eye.

No, he shall not have them.  Knock out his brains, and save the little hop a my thumbs.

Do, if you dare.

[Coming forward.] How now, my hearts, what’s the matter?

What car’st thou?

This is poor Grissil, wife unto our duke,
And these her children.  Thus he sends her home,
And thus he sends a serpent to devour
Their precious lives; he brings commission
To hale them hence, but whither, none can tell.

Forbear, forbear!

Take them from him perforce
Are these his children?

So she says.

Two sweet dukes.  And is this is wife?

Yes, he has line with her.

A pretty soul.  Sirrah, thou wilt be hang’d for this.

Hang thyself.

Beat him, but first take these two from his arms.
I am a basket maker, and I swear
I’ll die before he bear away the babes.

Oh rare!  Cry prentice and clubs, the corporation cannot be (        ).  Sirrah, set down thy baskets and to’t pell mell.

[Aside.] Would I were rid of my office.

What will you do?  Drive this rash fellow hence?

The Marquess is a tyrant and does wrong.

I would not for the world that he should hear thee.

[Aside.] I would not for then worlds but hear my Grissil.

A tyrant!  No, he’s mercy even herself;
Justice in triumph rides in his two eyes.
Take heed how thou profanest high deities.
Go, Furio, get thee gone.  Good father, help me
To guard my dear lord’s servant from this place.
I know he’ll do my pretty babes no harm,
For see Furio looks gently.  Oh, get thee gone!
Pity sits on thy cheeks, but God can tell.
My heart says my tongue lies.  Farewell, farewell.

Stay, sirrah, take thy purse.

I let none fall.

Half part.

A purse of gold, Furio, is fall’n from thee.

It’s none of mine, sirrah basket-maker.  If my arms were not full, thou should have thy hands full.  Farewell, Grissil, if thou never see thy children more, curse me.  If thou dost see them again, thank God.  Adieu.                                                         [Exit.

Farewell, and be hang’d!

I will thank God for all.  Why should I grieve
To lose my children?  No, no, I ought rather
Rejoice because they are borne to their father.

Daughter, here’s nothing in this purse but gold.

So much the better, master.  We’ll quickly turn it into silver.

This purse that fellow did let fall.  Run, run!
Carry it him again, run Babulo.
Away with it; ‘tis laid to do us wrong.

Try all their golden baits.  Stay, never run!
They can do no more wrong then they have done.

What ails my Grissil?  Comfort, my child.

I’ll fetch rosa solis.

[Aside.] Poor soul, her grief burns inward, yet her tongue
Is loath to give it freedom.  I do wrong,
Oh Grissil, I do wrong thee, and lament
That for my sake thou feel’st this languishment.
I came to try a servant and a wife;
Both have I proved true, that purse of gold I brought
And let it fall of purpose to relieve her.
Well may I give her gold that so much grieve her.
As I came in by stealth, so I’ll away;
Joy has a tongue, but knows not what to say.

So, father, I am well, I am well indeed.
I should do wondrous ill; should I repine
At my babes loss for they are none of mine?

I am glad thou tak’st this wound so patiently.

Whoop, whether is my brother basket-maker gone?  Ha, let me see, I smell a rat.  Sneak’d hence and never take leave.  Either he’s a crafty knave, or else he dogs Furio to bite him, for when a quarrel enters into a trade it serves seven years before it be free.

Let him be whom he will; he seem’d our friend.
Grissil, lay up this gold.  ‘Tis Furio’s sure
Or it may be thy lord did give it him
To let it fall for thee; but keep it safe
If he disdain to love thee as a wife,
His gold shall not buy food to nourish thee.
Grissil, come in, time swiftly runs away;
The greatest sorrow hath an ending day.                                                           [Exeunt.


Proceed to the next scene


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