Northward Ho – Act 1, Scene 2

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Enter DOLL led between LEVERPOOL, and CHARTLEY,
after them PHILIP arrested by two Sergeants.

 PHILIP
Arrest me?  At whose suit?  Tom Chartley, Dick Leverpool, stay!  I’m arrested!

OMNES
Arrested?

FIRST SERGEANT
Gentlemen, break not the head of the peace.  It’s to no purpose, for he’s in the law’s clutches.  You see he’s fang’d.

DOLL
Ud’s life!  Do you stand with your naked weapons in your hand, and do nothing with ‘em?  Put one of ‘em into my fingers.  I’ll tickle the pimple-faced varlets!

PHILIP
Hold, Doll, thrust not a weapon upon a mad woman.  Officers, step back into the tavern.  You might ha’ ta’en me in the street, and not i’th’tavern entry, you cannibals.

SECOND SERGEANT
We did it for your credit, sir.

CHARTLEY
How much is the debt?  Drawer, some wine.

Enter Drawer.

 FIRST SERGEANT
Fourscore pound.  Can you send for bail, sir?  Or what will you do?  We cannot stay.

DOLL
You cannot, you pasty-footed rascals!  You will stay one day in hell.

PHILIP
Fourscore pounds draws deep.  Farewell, Doll.  Come, sergeants, I’ll step to mine uncle not far off, hereby in Pudding Lane, and he shall bail me; if not, Chartley, you shall find me playing at Span-counter, and so farewell.  Send me some tobacco.

FIRST SERGEANT
Have an eye to his hands.

SECOND SERGEANT
Have an eye to his legs.              [Exeunt PHILIP led by the two Sergeants.

DOLL
I’m as melancholy now?

CHARTLEY
Villainous spiteful luck!  I’ll hold my life some of these saucy drawers betray’d him.

DRAWER
We, sir!  No, by Gad, sir!  We scorn to have a Judas in our company.

LEVERPOOL
No, no, he was dogg’d in.  This is the end of all dicing.

DOLL
This is the end of all whores, to fall into the hands of knaves.  Drawer, tie my shoe, pry thee.  The new knot, as thou seest this.  Philip is a good honest gentleman.  I love him because he’ll spend, but when I saw him on his father’s hobby, and a brace of punks following him in a coach, I told him he would run out.  Hast done, boy?

DRAWER
Yes, forsooth.  By my troth, you have a dainty leg.

DOLL
How now, Goodman rogue?

DRAWER
Nay, sweet Mistress Doll.

DOLL
Doll!  You reprobate!  Out, you bawd, for seven years by the custom of the city!

DRAWER
Good Mistress Dorothy, the pox take me if I touch’d your leg but to a good intent!

DOLL
Prate you?  The rotten tooth’d rascal will for six pence fetch any whore to his master’s customers, and is every one that swims in a taffaty gown lettuce for your lips?  Ud’s life, this is rare, that gentlemen and Drawers must suck at one spigot!  Do you laugh, you unseasonable puck-fist?  Do you grin?

CHARTLEY
Away, drawer.  Hold pry thee good rogue.  Hold my sweet Doll.  A pox, this swaggering!                                                                                  [Exit Drawer.

DOLL
Pox a’ your guts, your kidneys!  Mew!  Hang ye, rook!  I’m as melancholy now as Fleet Street in a long vacation.

LEVERPOOL
Melancholy?  Come, we’ll have some mull’d sack.

DOLL
When begins the term?

CHARTLEY
Why?  Hast any suits to be tried at Westminster?

DOLL
My suits, you base ruffian, have been tried at Westminster already.  So soon as ever the term begins, I’ll change my lodging; it stands out a’ the way.  I’ll lie about Charing Cross, for if there be any stirrings, there we shall ha’ em; or, if some Dutchman would come from the States.  Oh, these Flemmings pay soundly for what they take!

LEVERPOOL
If thou’t have a lodging Westward, Doll, I’ll fit thee.

DOLL
At Tyburn, will you not?  A lodging of your providing?  To be call’d a Lieutenant’s or a Captain’s wench?  Oh!  I scorn to be one of your low country commodities, I!  Is this body made to be maintained with provant and dead pay?  No, the mercer must be paid, and satin gowns must be ta’en up.

CHARTLEY
And gallon pots must be tumbl’d down.

DOLL
Stay!  I have a plot breeding in my brains.  Are the quest-houses broken up?

LEVERPOOL
Yes, long since.  What then?

DOLL
What then?  Marry, then is the wind come about, and for those poor wenches that before Christmas fled westward with bag and baggage come now sailing alongst the lee shore with a northerly wind, and we that had warrants to lie without the liberties, come now dropping into the freedom of owl-light sneakingly.

CHARTLEY
But, Doll, what’s the plot thou speak’st of?

DOLL
Marry this:  gentlemen, and tobacco stinkers, and such like, are buzzing where sweetmeats are, like flies, but they make any flesh stink that they blow upon.  I will leave those fellows therefore in the hands of their landresses.  Silver is the king’s stamp, and a woman is man’s stamp.  We are not currant till we pass from one man to another.

BOTH
Very good.

DOLL
I will therefore take a fair house in the city; no matter though it be a tavern that has blown up his master.  It shall be in trade still, for I know diverse taverns i’th’town that have but a wall between them and a hot house.  It shall then be given out that I’m a gentlewoman of such a birth, such a wealth, have had such a breeding, and so forth, and of such a carriage, and such qualities, and so forth; to set it off the better, old Jack Hornet shall take upon him to be my father.

LEVERPOOL
Excellent, with a chain about his neck, and so forth.

DOLL
For that, Saint Martin’s and we will talk.  I know we shall have gudgions bite presently.  If they do boys, you shall live like knight’s fellows.  As occasion serves you shall wear liveries and wait, but when gulls are my windfalls, you shall be gentlemen, and keep them company.  Seek out Jack Hornet incontinently.

LEVERPOOL
We will.  Come Chartley, we’ll play our parts, I warrant.

DOLL
Do so.
The world’s a stage, from which strange shapes we borrow;
To-day we are honest, and rank knaves to-morrow.                      [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene

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