Northward Ho – Act 3, Scene 1

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Enter DOLL, CHARTLEY, LEVERPOOL, and PHILIP.

 PHILIP
Come, my little punk with thy two compositors, to this unlawful printing house.  Thy pounders, my old political dad will be here presently.  Take up thy state in this chair and bear thyself as if thou wert talking to thy ‘pothecary after the receipt of a purgation.  Look scurvily upon him.  Sometimes be merry and stand upon thy pantofles like a new elected scavenger.

 DOLL
And by and by melancholic like a tilter that hath broke his staves foul before his mistress.

 PHILIP
Right, for he takes thee to be a woman of a great count.  [Knocking heard.] Hark, upon my life, he’s come.

 DOLL
See who knocks.  Thou shalt see me make a fool of a poet that hath made five hundred fools.         [Exit LEVERPOOL and enter again; PHILIP and CHARTLEY stand aloof.

 LEVERPOOL
Please your new ladyship, he’s come.

 DOLL
Is he?  I should for the more state let him walk some two hours in an outer room; if I did owe him money, ‘twere not much out of fashion.  But come, enter him.  Stay; when we are in private conference, send in my tailor.                                      [Exit LEVERPOOL.

Enter BELLAMONT brought in by LEVERPOOL.

 LEVERPOOL
Look you, my lady’s asleep; she’ll wake presently.

 BELLAMONT
I come not to teach a starling, sir.  God-boy-you.

 LEVERPOOL
Nay, in truth, sir, if my lady should but dream you had been here—

 DOLL
Who’s that keeps such a prating?

 LEVERPOOL
‘Tis I, madam.

 DOLL
I’ll have you prefer’d to be a crier.  You have an ex’lent throat for’t.  Pox a’ the poet!  Is he not come yet?

 LEVERPOOL
He’s here, madam.

 DOLL
Cry you mercy!  I ha’ curs’d my monkey for shrewd turns a hundred times, and yet I love it never the worse, I protest.

 BELLAMONT
‘Tis not in fashion, dear lady, to call the breaking out of a gentlewoman’s lips scabs, but the heat of the liver.

 DOLL
So, sir, if you have a sweet breath, and do not smell of sweaty linen, you may draw nearer, nearer.

 BELLAMONT
I am no friend to garlic, madam.

 DOLL
You write the sweeter verse a great deal, sir.  I have heard much good of your wit, master poet.  You do many devices for citizen’s wives.  I care not greatly because I have a city laundress already, if I get a city poet too.  I have such a device for you, and this it is.

  Enter Tailor.

O, welcome, tailor.  Do but wait till I dispatch my tailor, and I’ll discover my device to you.

 BELLAMONT
I’ll take my leave of your ladyship.

 DOLL
No, I pray thee, stay.  I must have you sweat for my device, master poet.

 PHILIP
[Aside to CHARTLEY.] He sweats already, believe it.

 DOLL
A cup of wine there.  What fashion will make a woman have the best body, tailor.

 TAILOR
A short Dutch waist with a round Catherine-wheel farthingale.  A close sleeve with a cartoose collar and a pickadell.

 DOLL
And what meat will make a woman have a fine wit, master poet?

 BELLAMONT
Fowl, madam, is the light, delicate, and witty feeding.

 DOLL
Fowl, sayst thou.  I know them that feed of it every meal and yet are as arrant fools as any are in a kingdom of my credit.  Hast thou done, tailor? [Exit Tailor.] Now, to discover my device, sir.  I’ll drink to you, sir.

 PHILIP
[Aside to CHARTLEY] God’s precious!  We ne’er thought of her device before.  Pray God it be any thing tolerable!

 DOLL
I’ll have you make twelve poesies for a dozen of cheese trenchers.

 PHILIP
[Aside.] Oh, horrible!

 BELLAMONT
In Welch, madam?

 DOLL
Why in Welsh, sir?

 BELLAMONT
Because you will have them serv’d in with your cheese, lady.

 DOLL
I will bestow them indeed upon a Welsh captain, one that loves cheese better than venison, for if you should but get three or four Cheshire cheeses and set them a-running down Highgate Hill, he would make more haste after them than after the best kennel of hounds in England.  What think you of my device?

 BELLAMONT
Fore God, a very strange device and a cunning one.

 PHILIP
[Aside.] Now he begins to eye the goblet.

 BELLAMONT
You should be akin to the Bellamonts; you give the same arms, madam.

 DOLL
Faith, I paid sweetly for the cup, as it may by you and some other gentleman have done for their arms.

 BELLAMONT
Ha, the same weight, the same fashion!  I had three nest of them given me by a nobleman at the christing of my son Philip.

 PHILIP
[Comes forward with CHARTLEY] Your son is come to full age, sir, and hath ta’en possession of the gift of his godfather.

 BELLAMONT
Ha, thou wilt not kill me!

 PHILIP
No, sir, I’ll kill no poet lest his ghost write satires against me.

 BELLAMONT
What’s she?

 PHILIP
A good commonwealths woman; she was born for her country and has borne her country.

 BELLAMONT
Heart of virtue?  What make I here?

 PHILIP
This was the party you rail’d on.  I keep no worse company than yourself, father.  You were wont to say venery is like usury that it may be allowed, though it be not lawful.

 BELLAMONT
Wherefore come I hither?

 DOLL
To make a device for cheese-trenchers.

 PHILIP
I’ll tell you why I sent for you, for nothing but to show you that your gravity may be drawn in.  White hairs may fall into the company of drabs as well as red beards into the society of knaves.  Would not this woman deceive a whole camp i’th’ low countries and make one commander believe she only kept her cabin for him, and yet quarter twenty more in’t?

 DOLL
Pray thee, poet, what dost thou think of me?

 BELLAFRONT
I think that art a most admirable, brave, beautiful, whore.

 DOLL
Nay, sir, I was told you would rail, but what do you think of my device, sir?  Nay, but you are not to depart yet, master poet.  Wut sup with me?  I’ll cashier all my young barnacles, and we’ll talk over a piece of mutton and a partridge, wisely.

 BELLAMONT
Sup with thee?  Thou art a common undertaker!  Thou that dost promise nothing but watcheth eyes, bombast calves and false periwigs.

 DOLL
Pray thee, comb thy beard with a comb of black lead; it may be I shall affect thee.

 BELLAMONT
O, thy unlucky star!  I must take my leave of your worship.  I cannot fit your device at this instant.  I must desire to borrow a nest of goblets of you.  O, villainy!  I would some honest butcher would bed all the queans and knaves i’th’ city and carry them into some other country; they’d sell better than beefs and calves.  What a virtuous city would this be then!  Marry, I think there would be a few people left in’t.  Ud’s foot!  Gull’d with cheese-trenchers and yolk’d in entertainment with a tailor?  Good, good!          [Exit.

 PHILIP
How doest, Doll?

 DOLL
Scurvy, very scurvy.

 LEVERPOOL
Where shall’s sup, wench?

 DOLL
I’ll sup in my bed.  Get you home to your lodging and come when I send for you.  O, filthy rogue that I am!

 PHILIP
How!  How, Mistress Dorothy?

 DOLL
Saint Antony’s fire light in your Spanish slops!  Ud’s life, I’ll make you know a difference between my mirth and melancholy, you panderly rogue!

 OMNES
We observe your ladyship.

 PHILIP
The punk’s in her humour!  Pax!                                                  [Exeunt all but DOLL.

 DOLL
I’ll humour you and you pox me!  Ud’s life, have I lain with a Spaniard of late that I have learnt to mingle such water with my malago?  Oh, there’s some scurvy thing or other breeding!  How many several loves of players, of vaulters, of lieutenants have I entertain’d besides a runner a’ the ropes, and now to let blood when the sign is at the heart!  Should I send him a letter with some jewel in’t, he would require it as lawyers do that return a woodcock pie to their clients when they send them a basin and a ewer!  I will instantly go and make myself drunk till I have lost my memory.  Love a scoffing poet!                                                                                  [Exit.

Proceed to the next scene

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