The Shoemaker’s Holiday – Act 4, Scene 4

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Enter LORD MAYOR and LINCOLN.

 LORD MAYOR
Believe me, on my credit I speak truth,
Since first you nephew Lacy went to France
I have not seen him.  It seemed strange to me,
When Dodger told me that he stayed behind,
Neglecting the high charge the King imposed.

LINCOLN
Trust me, Sir Roger Otley, I did think
Your counsel had given head to this attempt,
Drawn to it by the love he bears your child.
Here I did hope to find him in your house,
But now I see mine error, and confess
My judgement wronged you by conceiving so.

LORD MAYOR
Lodge in my house, say you?  Trust me, my Lord,
I love your nephew Lacy too too dearly
So much to wrong his honour, and he hath done so,
That first gave him advice to stay from France.
To witness I speak truth, I let you know
How careful I have been to keep my daughter
Free from all conference or speech of him.
Not that I scorn your nephew, but in love
I bear your honour, lest your noble blood
Should by my mean worth be dishonoured.

LINCOLN
[Aside.] How far the churl’s tongue wanders from his heart!
Well, well, Sir Roger Otley, I believe you,
With more than many thanks for the kind love
So much you seem to bear me; but, my Lord,
Let me request your help to seek my nephew,
Whom, if I find, I’ll straight embark for France.
So shall your Rose be free, my thoughts at rest,
And much care die which now lies in my breast.

Enter SYBIL.

 SYBIL
O Lord!  Help, for God’s sake!  My mistress, O my young mistress!

LORD MAYOR
Where is thy mistress?  What’s become of her?

SYBIL
She’s gone, she’s fled!

LORD MAYOR
Gone?  Whither is she fled?

SYBIL
I know not, forsooth.  She’s fled out of doors with Hans the shoemaker.  I saw them scud, scud, scud, apace, apace!

LORD MAYOR
Which way?  What, John!  Where be my men?  Which way?

SYBIL
I know not, and it please your Worship.

LORD MAYOR
Fled with a shoemaker?  Can this be true?

SYBIL
O Lord, sir, as true as God’s in heaven!

LINCOLN
[Aside.] Her love turned shoemaker?  I am glad of this!

LORD MAYOR
A Fleming butter-box?  A shoemaker?
Will she forget her birth?  Requite my care
With such ingratitude?  Scorned she young Hammon,
To love a honnikin, a needy knave?
Well, let her fly, I’ll not after her.
Let her starve if she will, she’s none of mine!

LINCOLN
Be not so cruel, sir.

Enter FIRK with shoes.

 SYBIL
[Aside.] I am glad she’s ‘scaped.

LORD MAYOR
I’ll not account of her as of my child!
Was there no better object for her eyes,
But a foul, drunken lubber, swill-belly?
A shoemaker?  That’s brave!

FIRK
Yes, forsooth, ’tis a very brave shoe, and as fit as a pudding.

LORD MAYOR
How now, what knave is this?  From whence comest thou?

FIRK
No knave, sir.  I am Firk the shoemaker, lusty Roger’s chief lusty journeyman, and I come hither to take up the pretty leg of sweet Mistress Rose, and thus hoping your Worship is in good health as I was at the making hereof, I bid you farewell, yours, Firk.                                                                                        [Starts to leave.

LORD MAYOR
Stay, stay, sir knave!

LINCOLN
Come hither, shoemaker.

FIRK
‘Tis happy the knave is put before the shoemaker, or else I would not have vouchsafed to come back to you.  I am moved, for I stir.

LORD MAYOR
My Lord, this villain calls us knaves by craft!

FIRK
Then ’tis by the Gentle Craft, and to call one knave gently is no harm.  Sit your Worship merry! [Aside.] Sib, your young mistress!  I’ll so bob them, now my master, Master Eyre, is Lord Mayor of London!

LORD MAYOR
Tell me, sirrah, whose man are you?

FIRK
I am glad to see your Worship so merry.  I have no maw to this gear, no stomach as yet to a redpetticoat.                                                  [Pointing to SYBIL.

LINCOLN
He means not, sir, to woo you to this maid,
But only demand whose man you are.

FIRK
I sing now to the tune of Rogero:  Roger, my fellow, is now my master.

LINCOLN
Sirrah, knowest thou one Hans, a shoemaker?

FIRK
Hans, shoemaker?  O yes; stay, yes, I have him!  I tell you what, I speak it in secret:  Mistress Rose and he are by this timeCno, not so, but shortly are to come over one another with `Can you dance the shaking of the sheets?’  It is that Hans.  [Aside.]  I’ll so gull these diggers!

LORD MAYOR
Knowest thou then where he is?

FIRK
Yes, forsooth:  yea, marry.

LINCOLN
Canst thou, in sadness?

FIRK
No, forsooth:  no, marry.

LORD MAYOR
Tell me, good honest fellow, where he is,
And thou shalt see what I’ll bestow of thee.

FIRK
Honest fellow?  No, sir; not so, sir.  My profession is the Gentle Craft:  I care not for seeing, I love feeling.  Let me feel it here, aurium tenus, ten pieces of gold, genuum tenus, ten pieces of silver, and then Firk is your man, in a new pair of stretchers.

LORD MAYOR
Here is an angel, part of thy reward
Which I will give thee:  tell me where he is.

FIRK
No point!  Shall I betray my brother?  No!  Shall I prove Judas to Hans?  No!  Shall I cry treason to my corporation?  No!  I shall be firked and yerked then.  But give me your angel:  your angel shall tell you.

LINCOLN
Do so, good fellow, ’tis no hurt to thee.

FIRK
Send simpering Sib away.

LORD MAYOR
Huswife, get you in.                                                                        [Exit SYBIL.

FIRK
Pitchers have ears, and maids have wide mouths.  But for Hans-prans, upon my word, tomorrow morning he and young Mistress Rose go to this gear; they shall be married together, by this rush, or else turn Firk to a firkin of butter to tan leather withal.

LORD MAYOR
But art thou sure of this?

FIRK
Am I sure that Paul’s steeple is a handful higher than London Stone?  Or that the pissing-conduit leaks nothing but pure Mother Bunch?  Am I sure I am lusty Firk?  God’s nails, do you think I am so base to gull you?

LINCOLN
Where are they married?  Dost thou know the church?

FIRK
I never go to church, but I know the name of it.  It is a swearing-church:  stay a while, ’tis Ay-by-the-mass; no, no, ’tis Ay-by-my-troth:  no, nor that, ’tis Ay-by-my-faith.  That, that!  ‘Tis Ay-by-my-Faith’s Church under Paul’s Cross:  there they shall be knit, like a pair of stockings, in matrimony; there they’ll be in cony.

LINCOLN
Upon my life, my nephew Lacy walks
In the disguise of this Dutch shoemaker!

FIRK
Yes, forsooth.

LINCOLN
Doth he not, honest fellow?

FIRK
No, forsooth.  I think Hans is nobody but Hans, no spirit.

LORD MAYOR
My mind misgives me now ’tis so indeed!

LINCOLN
My cousin speaks the language, knows the trade.

LORD MAYOR
Let me request your company, my Lord.
Your honourable presence may, no doubt,
Refrain their headstrong rashness, when myself
Going alone perchance may be o’erborne.
Shall I request this favour?

LINCOLN
This, or what else.

FIRK
Then you must rise betimes, for they mean to fall to their hey-pass-and-repass, pindy-pandy, which-hand-will-you-have very early.

LORD MAYOR
My care shall every way equal their haste.
[To LINCOLN] This night accept your lodging in my house;
The earlier shall we stir, and at Saint Faith’s
Prevent this giddy harebrained nuptial;
This traffic of hot love shall yield cold gains:
They ban our loves, and we’ll forbid their banns.                               [Exit.

LINCOLN
At Saint Faith’s Church, thou sayest?

FIRK
Yes, by their troth.

LINCOLN
Be secret, on thy life!                                                                         [Exit.

FIRK
Yes, when I kiss your wife!  Ha, ha!  Here’s no craft in the Gentle Craft:  I come hither of a purpose with shoes to Sir Roger’s Worship, whilst Rose his daughter be conycatched by Hans.  Soft now!  These two gulls will be at Saint Faith’s Church tomorrow morning, to take Master Bridegroom and Mistress Bride napping, and they in the meantime shall chop up the matter at the Savoy!  But the best sport is, Sir Roger Otley will find my fellow lame Ralph’s wife going to marry a gentleman, and then he’ll stop her instead of his daughter!  O brave, there will be fine tickling sport!  Soft now, what have I to do?  O, I know now:  a mess of shoemakers meet at the Woolsack in Ivy Land, to cozen my gentleman of lame Ralph’s wife, that’s true.
Alack, alack!
Girls, hold out tack!
For now smocks for this jumbling
Shall go to wrack.                                                                               [Exit.

Proceed to the next scene

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