Northward Ho – Act 4, Scene 3

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Enter BELLAMONT, MAYBERRY, GREENSHIELD, PHILIP,
LEVERPOOL, and CHARTLEY;  all booted.

 BELLAMONT
What, will these young gentlemen help us to catch this fresh salmon, ha?  Philip, are they thy friends?

PHILIP
Yes, sir.

BELLAMONT
We are beholding to you gentlemen that you’ll fill our consort.  I ha’ seen your faces methinks before, and I cannot inform myself where.

BOTH
Maybe so, sir.

BELLAMONT
Shall’s to horse?  Here’s a tickler.  Heigh!  To horse!

MAYBERRY
Come, switch and spurs!  Let’s mount our chevals, merry, quoth a’.

BELLAMONT
Gentlemen, shall I shoot a fool’s bolt out among you all, because we’ll be sure to be merry?

OMNES
What is’t?

BELLAMONT
For mirth on the highway will make us rid ground faster then if thieves were at our tails.  What say you to this?  Let’s all practise jests one against another, and he that has the best jest thrown upon him, and is most gall’d between our riding forth and coming in, shall bear the charge of the whole journey.

OMNES
Content, i’faith.

BELLAMONT
We shall fit one a’ you with a coxcomb at Ware, I believe.

MAYBERRY
Peace.

GREENSHIELD
Is’t a bargain.

OMNES
And hands clap’t upon it.

BELLAMONT
Stay.  Yonder’s the Dolphin without Bishopsgate where our horses are at rack and manger, and we are going past it.  Come, cross over.  And what place is this?

MAYBERRY
Bedlam, is’t not?

BELLAMONT
Where the madmen are.  I never was among them.  As you love me, gentlemen, let’s see what Greeks are within.

GREENSHIELD
We shall stay too long.

BELLAMONT
Not a whit.  Ware will stay for our coming, I warrant you.  Come a spurt and sway.  Let’s be mad once in our days.  This is the door.

Enter FULL-MOON.

 MAYBERRY
Save you, sir, may we see some a’ your mad folks?  Do you keep ‘em?

FULL-MOON
Yes.

BELLAMONT
Pray, bestow your name upon us, sir.

FULL-MOON
My name is Full-Moon.

BELLAMONT
You well deserve this office, good master Full-Moon.  And what madcaps have you in your house?

Enter the Musician.

 FULL-MOON
Diverse.

MAYBERRY
God’s so, see, see, what’s he walks yonder?  Is he mad?

FULL-MOON
That’s a musician.  Yes, he’s besides himself.

BELLAMONT
A musician!  How fell he mad, for God’s sake?

FULL-MOON
For love of an Italian dwarf.

BELLAMONT
Has he been to Italy then?

FULL-MOON
Yes, and speaks, they say, all manner of languages.

Enter the Bawd.

 OMNES
God’s so, look, look, what’s she?

BELLAMONT
The dancing bear.  A pretty well-favoured little woman.

FULL-MOON
They say, but I know not, that she was a bawd, and was frighted out of her wits by fire.

BELLAMONT
May we talk with ‘em, Master Full-Moon?

FULL-MOON
Yes, and you will.  I must look about for I have unruly tenants.        [Exit.

BELLAMONT
What, have you in this paper, honest friend?                      [Exit Musician.

GREENSHIELD
Is this he has all manner of languages, yet speaks none?

BAWD
How do you, Sir Andrew, will you send for some aqua vitæ for me?  I have had no drink never since the last great rain that fell.

BELLAMONT
No, that’s a lie.

BAWD
Nay, by Gad, then you lie, for all y’are Sir Andrew.  I was a dapper rogue in Portingale voyage; not an inch broad at the heel, and yet this high, I scorn’d.  I can tell you to be drunk with rain water then, Sir.  In those golden and silver days I had sweet bits then, Sir Andrew.  How do you, good brother Timothy?

BELLAMONT
You have been in much trouble since that voyage.

BAWD
Never in Bridewell, I protest, as I’m a virgin! for I could never abide that Bridewell, I protest.  I was once sick and I took my water in a basket, and carried it to a doctor’s.

PHILIP
In a basket?

BAWD
Yes, sir.  You arrant fool, there was a urinal in it.

PHILIP
I cry you mercy.

BAWD
The doctor told me I was with child.  How many lords, knights, gentlemen, citizens, and others promis’d me to be godfathers to that child?  ‘Twas not God’s will; the prentices made a riot upon my glass windows the Shrove Tuesday following and I miscarried.

OMNES
Oh, do not weep!

BAWD
I ha’ cause to weep.  I trust gentlewomen their diet sometimes a fortnight; lend gentlemen Holland shirts, and they sweat ‘em out at tennis, and no restitution, and no restitution.  But I’ll take a new order.  I will have but six stew’d prunes in a dish and some of Mother Wall’s cakes, for my best customers are tailors.

OMNES
Tailors, ha, ha!

BAWD
Ay, tailors.  Give me your London prentice; your country gentlemen are grown too politic.

BELLAMONT
But what say you to such young gentlemen as these are?

BAWD
Foh!  They as soon as they come to their lands get up to London and like squibs that run upon lines, they keep a spitting of fire and cracking till they ha’ spent all, and when my squib is out, what says his punk?  Foh!  He stinks!

Enter the Musician.

Methought this other night, I saw a pretty sight,
Which pleased me much.
A comely country maid, not squeamish or afraid
To let gentlemen touch.
I sold her maidenhead once, and I sold her maidenhead twice,
And I sold it last to an alderman of York;
And then I had sold it thrice.

MUSICIAN
You sing scurvily.

BAWD
Marry muff, sing thou better, for I’ll go sleep my old sleeps.             [Exit.

BELLAMONT
What are you doing, my friend?

MUSICIAN
Pricking, pricking.

BELLAMONT
What do you mean by pricking?

MUSICIAN
A gentleman-like quality.

BELLAMONT
This fellow is somewhat prouder and sullener than the other.

MAYBERRY
Oh, so be most of your musicians.

MUSICIAN
Are my teeth rotten?

OMNES
No, sir.

MUSICIAN
Then I am no comfit-maker, nor vintner.  I do not get wenches in my drink.  Are you a musician?

BELLAMONT
Yes.

MUSICIAN
We’ll be sworn brother’s then, look you, sweet rogue.

GREENSHIELD
God’s so, now I think upon’t, a jest is crept into my head.  Steal away, if you love me.

 [Exeunt GREENSHIELD, MAYBERRY, PHILIP, LEVERPOOL, and CHARTLEY; Musician sings.

 MUSICIAN
Was ever any merchant’s band set before I set it?.  Walk, I’m a-cold; this white satin is too thin unless it be cut, for then the sun enters.  Can you speak Italian too?  Sapetè Italiano.

BELLAMONT
Un poco.

MUSICIAN
‘Sblood, if it be in you, I’ll poke it out of you.  Un poco; come, March, lie here with me but till the fall of the leaf, and if you have but poco Italiano in you, I’ll fill you full of more poco, March.

BELLAMONT
Come on.                                                                                                [Exeunt.

Enter MAYBERRY, GREENSHIELD, PHILIP, FULL-MOON,
LEVERPOOL, and CHARTLEY.

 GREENSHIELD
Good Master Mayberry, Philip, if you be kind gentlemen, uphold the jest; your whole voyage is paid for.

MAYBERRY
Follow it then.

FULL-MOON
The old gentleman say you, why he talk’d even now as well in his wits as I do myself, and look’d at wisely.

GREENSHIELD
No matter how he talks, but his pericranion’s parish’d.

FULL-MOON
Where is he, pray?

PHILIP
Marry, with the musician, and is madder by this time.

CHARTLEY
He’s an excellent musician himself, you must note that.

MAYBERRY
And having met on fit for his own tooth.  You see he skips from us.

GREENSHIELD
The troth is, Master Full-Moon, divers trains have been laid to bring him hither, without gaping of people, and never any took effect till now.

FULL-MOON
How fell he mad?

GREENSHIELD
For a woman.  Look you, sir, here’s a crown to provide his supper.  He’s a gentleman of a very good house; you shall be paid well if you convert him.  To-morrow morning, bedding, and a gown shall be sent in, and wood and coal.

FULL-MOON
No, sir, he must have no fire.

GREENSHIELD
No?  Why, look you what straw you buy for him; shall return you a whole harvest.

OMNES
Let his straw be fresh and sweet, we beseech you, sir.

GREENSHIELD
Get a couple of your sturdiest fellows and bind him, I pray, whilst we slip out of his sight.

FULL-MOON
I’ll hamper him, I warrant, gentlemen.                                          [Exeunt.

OMNES
Excellent.

MAYBERRY
But how will my noble poet take it at my hands, to betray him thus?

OMNES
Foh!  ‘Tis but a jest; he comes.

Enter Musician and BELLAMONT.

 BELLAMONT
Pardonnez-moi, si Io dimando del vostro nome.  Oh, whether shrunk you.  I have h ad such a mad dialogue here.

OMNES
We ha’ been with the other mad folks.

MAYBERRY
And what says he and his prick-song?

BELLAMONT
We were up to the ears in Italian i’faith.

OMNES
In Italian!  Oh, good Master Bellamont, let’s hear him.

Enter FULL-MOON and two Keepers.  The rest steal away.

 BELLAMONT
How now!  ‘Sdeath!  What do you mean?  Are you mad?

FULL-MOON
Away, sirrah, bind him, hold fast.  You want a wench, sirrah, do you?

BELLAMONT
What wench?  Will you take mine arms from me, being no heralds?  Let go, you dogs!

FULL-MOON
Bind him.  Be quiet.  Come, come, dogs, fie, and a gentleman!

BELLAMONT
Master Mayberry! Philip! Master Mayberry!  Ud’s foot!

FULL-MOON
I’ll bring you a wench; are you mad for a wench?

BELLAMONT
I hold my life my comrades have put this fool’s cap upon thy head to gull me.  I smell it now.  Why, do you hear, Full-Moon, let me loose, for I’m not mad; I’m not mad,  by Jesu!

FULL-MOON
Ask the gentlemen that.

BELLAMONT
Bith Lord, I’m as well in my wits as any man i’th’ house!  And this is a trick put upon thee by these gallants in pure knavery.

FULL-MOON
I’ll try that.  Answer me to this question.  Loose his arms a little.  Look you, sir, three geese nine pence, every goose three pence; what’s that a goose, roundly, roundly one with another?

BELLAMONT
‘Sfoot, do you bring your geese for me to cut up?  [Strike him soundly and kick him.

Enter all.

 OMNES
Hold, hold, bind him, Master Full-Moon.

FULL-MOON
Bind him, you!  He has paid me all!  I’ll have none of his bonds, not I, unless I could recover them better.

GREENSHIELD
Have I given it to you, Master Poet?  Did the lime-bush take?

MAYBERRY
It was his warrant sent thee to Bedlam, old Jack Bellamont; and Master Full-i’th’Moon, our warrant discharges him.  Poet, we’ll all ride upon thee to Ware and back again, I fear, to thy cost.

BELLAMONT
If you do, I must bear you.  Thank you, Master Greenshield.  I will not die in your debt.  Farewell, you mad rascals.  To horse, come!  ‘Tis well done; ‘twas well done; you may laugh, you shall laugh, gentlemen.  If the gudgeon  had been swallowed by one of you it had been vile, but by Gad, ‘tis nothing, for your best poets indeed are mad for the most part.  Farewell, Goodman Full-Moon.

FULL-MOON
Pray, gentlemen, if you come by, call in.                                           [Exit.

BELLAMONT
Yes, yes, when they are mad.  Horse yourselves now, if you be men.

MAYBERRY
He gallop must that after women rides.
Get our wives out of town; they take long strides.                         [Exeunt.

Preceed to the next scene

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