Patient Grissel – Act 5, Scene 1

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Enter LAUREO reading and BABULO with him.

 BABULO
Come, I have left my work to see what mattins you mumble to your self.  Faith, Laureo, I would you could leave this Latin and fall to make baskets.  You think ‘tis enough if at dinner you tell us a tale of Pygnies, and then mounch up our victuals, but that fits not us.  Or the history of the well Helicon, and then drink up our beer.  We cannot live upon it.

LAUREO
A scholar doth disdain to spend his spirits
Upon such base employments as hand labours.

BABULO

Then you should disdain to eat us out of house and home.  You stand all day peeping into an ambry there, and talk of monsters, and miracles, and countries to no purpose.  Before I fell to my trade I was a traveller, and found more in one year then you can by your poets and paltries in seven years.

LAUREO
What wonders hast thou seen which are not here?

BABULO
Oh God!  I pity thy capacity, good scholar.  As a little wind makes a sweet ball smell, so a crumb of learning makes your trade proud.  What wonders?  Wonders not of nine days, but 1599.  I have seen under John Prestor and Tamer Cams, people with heads like dogs.

LAUREO
Alas! of such there are too many here.
All Italy is full of them that snarl
And bay and bark at other men’s abuse
Yet live themselves like beasts in all abuse.

BABULO
It’s true, I know many of that complexion, but I have seen many without heads, having their eyes, nose, and mouths in their breasts.

LAUREO
Why, that’s no wonder; every street with us
Swarms full of such.

BABULO
I could never see them.

LAUREO
Dost thou not see our wine-belly drunkards reel?
Our fat fed gluttons wallow in the streets,
Having no eyes but to behold their guts,
No heads but brainless scalps, no sense to smell,
But where full feasts abound in all excess.
These Epimoei be our Epicures.

BABULO
I have seen monsters of that colour too, but what say you to them that have but one leg, or one good limb?

LAUREO
Such as our bankrouts and our fugitives.
Scarce having one good leg, or one good limb
Out run their creditors, and those they wrong.

BABULO
Mass, ‘tis true there was a cripple in our village ran beyond Venice and his creditors with their best legs could never since take him.  But let me descend and grow lower and lower.  What say you tot he little, little Pygmies, no higher than a boy’s gig, and yet they tug and fight with the long neck’d cranes.

LAUREO
Oh, poor and wretched people are the Pygmies!
Oh, rich oppressors the devouring cranes.
Within my father’s house I’ll show thee Pygmies.
Thou seest my sister Grissil; she’s a Pygmy.

BABULO
She’s a pretty little woman indeed, but too big for a Pygmy.

LAUREO
I am a Pygmy.

BABULO
Fie, fie, worse and worse!

LAUREO
My old father’s one.

BABULO
No, no, no.  Giants all.

LAUREO
The Marquess is the rich devouring crane
That makes us less then Pygmies, worse than worms.

 Enter JANICOLA with an angling rod, GRISSIL
with a reel, and FURIO.

 BABULO
Yonder they come, and a crane with them.

FURIO
Janicola, leave your fish-catching, and you your reeling.  You and you sirrah, you must trudge to court presently.

JANICOLA
Must we again be harried from content
To live in a more grievous banishment?

LAUREO
Methinks my lord the Marquess should be pleas’d
With marriage of another, and forbear
With trumpets to proclaim this injury,
And to vex Grissil with such lawless wrong.

GRISSIL
‘Tis no vexation, for what pleaseth him
Is the contentment of his handmaid’s heart.

FURIO
Will you go?

JANICOLA

Yes, we will go,
To fly from happiness to find out woe.

BABULO
Good Furio, vanish; we have no appetite.  Tell your master, clowns are not for the court.  We’ll keep court ourselves, for what do courtiers but we do the like.  You eat good cheese, and we eat good bread and cheese.  You drink wine, and we strong beer.  At night you are as hungry slaves as you were none, why so are we.  You go to bed, you can but sleep, why and so do we.  In the morning you rise about eleven of the clock, why there we are your betters, for we are going before you.  You wear silks, and we sheep-skins.  Innocence carries it away in the world to come, and therefore vanish, good Furio.  Torment us not, good my sweet Furio.

FURIO
Ass, I’ll have you snaffled.

BABULO
It may be so, but then, Furio, I’ll kick.

FURIO
Will you go, or shall I force you?

GRISSIL
You need not, for I’ll run to serve my lord.
Or, if I wanted legs, upon my knees
I’ll creep to court so I may see him pleas’d.
Then courage, father.

JANICOLA
Well said, patience;
Thy virtues arm mine age with confidence.
Come, son, bond-men must serve.  Shall we away?

LAUREO
Ay, ay, but shall prove a fatal day.

GRISSIL
Brother, for my sake do not wrong yourself.

LAUREO
Shall I in silence bury all our wrongs?

GRISSIL
Yes, when your words cannot get remedy,
Learn of me, Laureo, I that share most woe
Am the least mov’d.  Father, lean on mine arm.
Brother, lead you the way, whilst wretched I
Uphold old age and cast down misery.

FURIO
Away.

BABULO
Old master, you have fish’d fair and catch’d a frog.               [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene

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