The Shoemaker’s Holiday – Act 3, Scene 2

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Enter FIRK, MARGERY, LACY, and HODGE.

 MARGERY
Thou goest too fast for me, Roger.  O Firk!

FIRK
Ay, forsooth.

MARGERY
I pray thee run–do you hear?–run to Guildhall and learn if my husband Master Eyre will take that worshipful vocation of Master Sheriff upon him.  Hie thee, good Firk!

FIRK
Take it?  Well, I go.  And he should not take it, Firk swear to forswear him.  Yes, forsooth, I go to Guildhall.

MARGERY
Nay, when?  Thou are too compendious and tedious.

FIRK
O rare!  Your Excellence is full of eloquence!  [Aside.] How like a new cart-wheel my dame speaks, and she looks like an old musty ale-bottle going to scalding.

MARGERY
Nay, when?  Thou wilt make me melancholy.

FIRK
God forbid your Worship should fall into that humour.  I run!                   [Exit.

MARGERY
Let me see now, Roger and Hans.

HODGE
Ay, forsooth, dame–mistress, I should say, but the old term so sticks to the roof of my mouth, I can hardly lick it off.

MARGERY
Even when thou wilt, good Roger:  dame is a fair name for any honest Christian, but let that pass.  How dost thou, Hans?

LACY
Mee tanck you, vro.

MARGERY
Well, Hans and Roger, you shall see God hath blest your master, and, perdy, if ever he comes to be Master Sheriff of London, as we are all mortal, you shall see I will have some odd thing or other in a corner for you:  I will not be your back-friend, but let that pass.  Hans, pray thee tie my shoe.

LACY
Yaw, ic sal, vro.

MARGERY
Roger, thou knowest the length of my foot: as it is none of the biggest, so I thank God it is handsome enough.  Prithee, let me have a pair of shoes made, cork, good Roger, wooden heel too.

HODGE
You shall.

MARGERY
Art thou acquainted with never a farthingale-maker, nor a French-hood maker?  I must enlarge my bum, ha, ha!  How shall I look in a hood, I wonder?  Perdy, oddly, I think.

HODGE
[Aside.] As a cat out of a pillory.  [Aloud.] Very well, I warrant you, mistress.

MARGERY
Indeed, all flesh is grass; and Roger, canst thou tell where I may buy a good hair?

HODGE
Yes, forsooth, at the poulterers in Gracious Street.

MARGERY
Thou art an ungracious wag, perdy!  I mean a false hair for my periwig.

HODGE
Why, mistress, the next time I cut my beard you shall have the shavings of it, but they are all true hairs.

MARGERY
It is very hot:  I must get me a fan, or else a mask.

HODGE
[Aside.] So you had need, to hide your wicked face!

MARGERY
Fie upon it, how costly this world’s calling is, perdy!  But that is one of the wonderful works of God, I would not deal with it.  Is not Firk come yet?  Hans, be not sad:  let it pass and vanish, as my husband’s Worship says.

LACY
Ick bin vrolicke, lot see yow soo.

HODGE
Mistress, will you drink a pipe of tobacco?

MARGERY
O fie upon it, Roger, perdy!  These filthy tobacco-pipes are the most idle slavering baubles that ever I felt.  Out upon it, God bless us, men look not like men that use them!

Enter RALPH being lame.

 HODGE
What, fellow Ralph?  Mistress, look here:  Jane’s husband!  Why, how now, lame?  Hans, make much of him:  he’s a brother of our trade, a good workman, and a tall soldier.

LACY
You be welcome, broder.

MARGERY
Perdy, I knew him not.  How dost thou, good Ralph?  I am glad to see thee well.

RALPH
I would God you saw me, dame, as well
As when I went from London into France.

MARGERY
Trust me, I am sorry, Ralph, to see the impotent.  Lord, how the wars have made him sunburnt!  The left leg is not well:  ’twas a fair gift of God the infirmity took not hold a little higher, considering thou camest from France, but let that pass.

RALPH
I am glad to see you well, and I rejoice
To hear that God hath blest my master so
Since my departure.

MARGERY
Yea, truly, Ralph, but let than pass.

HODGE
And, sirrah Ralph, what news, what news in France?

RALPH
Tell me, good Roger, first what news in England?
How does my Jane?  When didst thou see my wife?
Where lives my poor heart?  She’ll be poor indeed,
Now I want limbs to get whereon to feed.

HODGE
Limbs?  Hast thou not hands, man?  Thou shalt never see a shoemaker want bread, though he have but three fingers on a hand.

RALPH
Yet all this while I hear not of my Jane!

MARGERY
O Ralph, your wife!  Perdy, we know not what’s become of her.  She was here a while, and because she was married grew more stately than becomes her:  I checked her, and so forth:  away she flung, never returned, nor said bye nor bah–and Ralph, you know: ka me, ka thee.  And so as I tell ye.  Roger, is not Firk come yet?

HODGE
No, forsooth.

MARGERY
And so indeed we heard not of her; but I hear she lives in London, but let that pass.  If she had wanted, she might have opened her case to me or my husband, or to any of my men.  I am sure there’s not any of them, perdy, but would have done her good to his power.  Hans, look if Firk be come.

LACY
Yaw, ic sal, vro.                                                                                            [Exit LACY.

MARGERY
And so, as I said:  but Ralph, why dost thou weep?  Thou knowest that naked we come out of our mother’s womb, and naked we must return, and therefore thank God for all things.

HODGE
No, faith, Jane is a stranger here.  But Ralph, pull up a good heart:  I know thou hast one.  Thy wife, man, is in London:  one told me he saw her a while ago, very brave and neat.  We’ll ferret her out, and London hold her.

MARGERY
Alas, poor, soul, he’s overcome with sorrow.  He does but as I do, weep for the loss of any good thing.  But Ralph, get thee in:  call for some meat and drink.  Thou shalt find me worshipful towards thee.

RALPH
I thank you, dame; since I want limbs and lands,
I’ll to God, my good friends, and to these my hands.                             [Exit RALPH.

Enter LACY and FIRK, running.

FIRK
Run, good Hans!  O Hodge!  O mistress!  Hodge, heave up thine ears; mistress, smug up your looks, on with your best apparel!  My master is chosen, my master is called–nay, condemned–by the cry of the country to be Sheriff of the city, for this famous year now to come, and time now being.  A great many men in black gowns were asked for their voices and their hands, and my master had all their fists about his ears presently, and they cried “Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay,” and so I came away.
Wherefore, without all other grieve,
I do salute you, Mistress Shrieve.

LACY
Yaw, my mester is de groot man, de shrieve.

HODGE
Did not I tell you, mistress?  Now I may boldly say good morrow to your Worship.

MARGERY
Good morrow, good Roger;  I thank you, my good people all.  Firk, hold up thy hand, here’s a threepenny-piece for thy tidings.

FIRK
‘Tis but three halfpence, I think.  Yes, ’tis threepence, I smell the rose.

HODGE
But, mistress, be ruled by me and do not speak so pulingly.

FIRK
‘Tis her Worship speaks so, and not she.  No, faith, mistress, speak me in the old key:  to it, Firk; there, good Firk; ply your business, Hodge; Hodge–with a full mouth–I’ll fill your bellies with good cheer ’till they cry twang.

Enter SIMON EYRE wearing a gold chain.

 LACY
See, myn liever broder, heer compt my meester.

MARGERY
Welcome home, Master Shrieve, I pray God continue you in health and wealth.

EYRE
See here, my Maggy, a chain, a gold chain for Simon Eyre!  I shall make thee a lady:  here’s a French hood for thee.  On with it, on with it, dress thy brows with this flap of a shoulder of mutton to make thee look lovely.  Where be my fine men?  Roger, I’ll make over my shop and tools to thee;  Firk, thou shalt be the foreman; Hans, thou shalt have an hundred for twenty.  Be as mad knaves as your master Simon Eyre hath been, and you shall live to be Sheriffs of London!  How dost thou like me, Margery?  Prince am I none, yet am I princely born.  Firk, Hodge, and Hans!

ALL THREE
Ay, forsooth, what says your Worship, Mistress Sheriff?

EYRE
Worship and honour, you Babylonian knaves, for the Gentle Craft!  But I forget myself:  I am bidden by my Lord Mayor to dinner to Old Ford.  He’s gone before; I must after.  Come, Madge, on with your trinkets!  Now, my true Trojans, my fine Firk, my dapper Hodge, my honest Hans:  some device, some odd crotchets, some morris or suchlike, for the honour of the gentle shoemakers.  Meet me at Old Ford:  you know my mind.
Come, Madge, away;
Shut up the shop, knaves, and make holiday.   [Exeunt EYRE and MARGERY.

FIRK
O rare!  O brave!  Come, Hodge; follow me, Hans;
We’ll be with them for a morris-dance!                                                             [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene

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