If This Be Not a Good Play – Act 5, Scene 4

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The play ending, as they go off, from under the ground in several
Places, rise up Spirits; to them enter, leaping in great joy, RUFFMAN,
SHACKLE-SOUL, and LURCHALL, discovering behind a curtain,
RAVAILLAC, GUY FAWKES, BARTERVILE, a Prodigal,
standing in their torments.

 OMNES SPIRITS
Ha, ha, ha!

OMNES DAMNED
Torments inutterable!  Oh!  Damn’d for nothing?

RAVAILLAC
Terrors incomprehensible!

FAWKES
Back; y’are blown up else.

BARTERVILE
Whooh!  Hot, hot, hot!  Drink!  I am heart-burnt.

PRODIGAL
One drop, a bit.

FAWKES
Now, now, now.

BARTERVILE
I am perboil’d; I am stew’d; I am sod in a kettle of brimstone pottage!  It scalds, it scalds, it scalds, it scalds!  Whooh!

OMNES DEVILS
Ha, ha, ha!

PRODIGAL
But one half crumb; a little, little drop; a bit.

FAWKES
Towers, towers, towers, towers, pinnacles and towers, battlements and pinnacles, steeples, abbeys, churches, and old chimneys!

BARTERVILE
Zounds, drink!  Shall I choke in mine inn?  Drink!

OMNES DAMNED
Drink, drink, oh!  One drop, one drop, to cool us!

RUFFMAN
So many tapsters in Hell, and none fill drink here?

OMNES DEVILS
Bawl no more.  You shall be liquored.                                        [Exeunt Devils

RAVAILLAC
Why art thou damn’d to th’horrors of one Hell,
Yet feelst ten thousand?

FAWKES
Wherefore is thy soul
Made sensible of tortures which, each minute,
Kill thee ten thousand times, yet canst not die?

BARTERVILE
Some sack!

PRODIGAL
Why for a few sins that are long hence past
Must I feel torments that shall ever last?
Ever, ever!

BARTERVILE
Let the sack be mull’d.

RAVAILLAC
Why is the devil,
If man be born good, suffer’d to make him evil?

BARTERVILE
Man is an ass if he sit broiling thus i’th’ glass house without drink.  Two links of my chain for a three halfpenny bottle of mother conscience’s ale.  Drink!

OMNES DAMNED
One drop of puddle water to cool us!

Enter SHACKLE-SOUL with a burning torch and a long knife; LURCHALL with a handful of snakes; a third Spirit with a ladle full of molten gold.  All three make a stand, laughing.

 OMNES DEVILS
Leave howling and me damn’d.

SHACKLE-SOUL
Here’s drink for thee, royal villain!                                     [Stabs RAVAILLAC.

RAVAILLAC
Oh!

SHACKLE-SOUL
Is’t not good?
For blood th’ast thirsted, and thy drink is blood.
Strikes it so cold to thy heart?  Here’s that shall warm thee!

RAVAILLAC
Damnation, furies, fire-brands!                                                [Hand burnt off.

OMNES DEVILS
Ha, ha, ha!

PRIDOGAL
One drop of moisture; but one crumb!

LURCHALL
Art hungry?  Eat this adder!  Dry?  Suck this snake!

PRODIGAL
Suck and be damn’d thyself!  I’ll starve first.  Away!

BARTERVILE
Is not this all waters?  Ruby water, some ruby water, or else a bottle of postern water to save charges, or else a thimble-full of lemon water to cool my stomach.

THIRD DEVIL
The ruby is swill’d up.  Here’s lemon, down with’t.                       [Molten gold.

BARTERVILE
Foh!  The great devil, or else some aqua vitæ woman has made water.  It scalds me!

OMNES DAMNED
Oooh!

OMNES DEVILS
Ha, ha, ha!                                                                      [Curtain drawn over them.

Enter RUFFMAN.

 RUFFMAN
Hell grins to hear this roaring.  Where’s the black child
Of faddomless perdition?  Rarest devil
That ever howled in Barathrum?

Enter FAWKES.

                                                        Here, dear pupil,
Of a new damnation’s stamp, saucer-eyed Lucifer,
Has drunk to thee this deep infernal bowl off.
Would pledge his ugliness?

FAWKES
Reach it me.

RUFFMAN
Choke with it.

OMNES DEVILS
Ha, ha, ha!

FAWKES
Give fire!  Blow all the world up!

RUFFMAN
Bounce!  ‘Tis done!  Ha, ha, ha!                                       [Fires the barrel-tops.

FAWKES
I shall be grinded into dust.  It falls!  I am mad!                                       [Exit.

OMNES DAMNED
[Within.] I am mad, I am mad!

OMNES DEVILS
Ha, ha, ha!

SPIRITS
[Below.] Ho, ho, ho!

Enter PLUTO attended by MINOS, ÆACUS, and
RHADAMANTH, and three Furies.

 PLUTO
Fetch whips of poisoned steel, strong with glowing wires,
And lash these saucy hell-hounds; duck their souls
Nine times to’th’ bottom of our brimstone lakes
From whence up pull them by their singed hair,
Then hang ‘em in ropes of ice nine times frozen o’er.
Are they scarce hot in Hell and must they roar?
What holiday’s this that hears such grinning, ha?
Is Hell a dancing school?  Y’are in extremes
Snoring, or else horn-mad.  Who are set on shore
On this vast land of horror that it resounds
With laughter stead of shrieks?  Who are come to our bounds, ha?

RUFFMAN
Dread lord of this lower Tartary, to thy gaol
Have we, thy busy catch-poles, prisoners, brought
Souls, for whose coming all Hell long hath sought.

PLUTO
Their names?  Is Ward and Dantziger then come?

OMNES
Yes, Dantziger is come.

PLUTO
Where’s the Dutch Schellum?  Where’s Hell’s factor, ha?

RUFFMAN
Charon has bound him for a thousand years
To tug at’s oar; he scour’d the seas so well,
Charon will make him ferryman of Hell.

PLUTO
Where’s Ward?

SHACKLE-SOUL
The merchants are not pill’d not pull’d enough,
They are yet but shaven; when they are flea’d, he’ll come
And bring to Hell fat booties of rich thieves,
A crew of swearers and drinkers, the best that lives.

OMNES
Ward is not ripe for damning yet.

PLUTO
Who is it then?
Cutlar the sergeant!  Ha!  Has he come?

RUFFMAN
Yes, Pluto,
Cutlar has been here long, sent in by a carman,
But his stern looks the fiends did so displease
Bound hand and foot, he howls in little ease,
Having only mace to comfort him; he does yell
And rave, because he cannot rest in Hell.

SHACKLE-SOUL
‘Tis not for him that we this holiday hold.

PLUTO
The bawd of Shoreditch!  Is that hellcat come?

RUFFMAN
No, but she’s been a long time launching forth
In a rose-solis bark.

PLUTO
Devils, who is it then?
Moll Cutpurse, is she come?

OMNES
Our cousin come!  No!

SHACKLE-SOUL
‘Tis not yet fit Moll Cutpurse here should hold.
She has been too late a sore-tormented soul.

PLUTO
Where is our daughter, ha?  Is she idle?

OMNES
No.
She was beating hemp in Bridewell to choke thieves,
Therefore to spare this she-ramp she beseeches
Till like herself all women wear the breeches.

LURCHALL
Moll Cutpurse plies her task and cannot come.

PLUTO
For whom then is this wild Shrove-Tuesday kept?

RUFFMAN
See, king of gloomy shades, what souls resort
To this thy most just and least fying court.

PLUTO
Stay, since our gaol is with brave fellows stor’d,
Bid Charon that no more yet come aboard.
Seeing out judges of Hell here likewise are.
Sit:  call a sessions, set the souls to a bar.
Minos the just, Rhadamanth the temperate,
And Æacus the severe, each take his state.

MINOS
Not an officer here?

OMNES
A Fury!

THREE JUDGES
Make an Oyes?

FURY
Oyes! All manner of souls, if they love their own quietness, keep out of Hell unless they have horrible business at this infernal sessions, upon pain of being damnably plagued for their lustiness.  Back there, let those shackl’d rakehells show their faces.

SOME
[Within.] Room here, we must come into the court!

PLUTO
What damned fiends are those dare make this noise?

SHACKLE-SOUL
A jury of brokers impanel’d, and deeply sworn
To pass on all the villainies in Hell.

RHADAMANTH
Evil-Conscience be their keeper.

FURY
Look to the jury.  Evil-Conscience look to the brokers.

PLUTO
Now, proceed.

ÆACUS
Stay, let the king of ghosts have first a view
Of those who are doom’d to pains horrid, but new,
Then produce those who came to your prison untried.

FURY
Peace there!

OMNES
Here’s one Hell’s tortures does deride.

RAVAILLAC brought in.

 RAVAILLAC
Arraign me, rend me piecemeal, I’ll confess nothing.

RUFFMAN
Peace, thou shalt bawl thy throat out.

RAVAILLAC
Merciless hangmen, tyrannize over so brave a Roman sport!

PLUTO
Ho, ho!  What country devil is this?

RAVAILLAC
Thine own.

RUFFMAN
A French,
The eagerest bloodhound that ere came from thence.
Is there a king could be murdered whilst he did stand
Colossus-like, supporting a whole land,
And when by his fall that land most fears a wrack
Send forth this devil; his name is Ravaillac.

RAVAILLAC
Ravaillac; I am Ravaillac that laughs at tortures, spurns at death, defies all mercy, gibbets, racks, fires, pincers, scalding oil, wild horses; I spit in the face of all.

FURY
Peace.

RAVAILLAC
No!  Where my tongue torn out with burning flesh-hooks, Fame’s thousand tongues still thunder out Ravaillac’s name, extol it, eternise it, chronicle it, canonize it.  Oh!

MINOS
Down with this devil to th’ dungeon; there let him howl.

RAVAILLAC
Worlds shall applaud my act, and crown my soul.                                    [Exit.

PLUTO
Another

OMNES
Come, you lean dog.

Prodigal brought in.

PRODIGAL
One drop, a  bit.

PLUTO
What’s he?  What starveling’s this?

PRODIGAL
One that lacks a medicine for hunger.  I am fall’n away.

OMNES
From Heaven.

THREE JUDGES
To th’ common gaol with him.

FURY
He must feed on beggary’s basket.  Leave bawling, sirrah.

PRODIGAL
Shall I be undone for a little drink?

LURCHALL
No, th’art undone for drinking.

PLUTO
Starve him.  Away!                                                                       [Exit Prodigal.
What was he when he liv’d?

LURCHALL
A prodigal
Who, in one year, spent on whores, fools, and slaves
An army’s maintenance; now beggars for crumbs, and raves
To see his sumptuous buildings, pastures, woods,
That stood in uplands, drown’d in Rhenish floods.

PLUTO
Is here all?

SHACKLE-SOUL
All!  No, the arch-hellhound’s here.

Enter FAWKES.

 PLUTO
What Peter Goner’s this?

FAWKES
Speak softly, within an inch of giving fire, within an inch.

SHACKLE-SOUL
Had all thy grey devils in their highest lust sat
T’have litter’d furies, they could not have begot
One to match this.  I’th’ dark he grop’d damnation—

FAWKES
Now, now.

SHACKLE-SOUL
Digg’d cellars to find where Hell stood and has found it;
There was but one villainy unborn, and he crown’d it.

FAWKES
So, all the billets lie close.  Glorious bonfire!  Pontifical bonfire!  Brave heads to contrive this, gallant souls to conspire in’t, resolute hand to seal this with my blood, through fire through flint.  Ha, ha, ha!  Whither fly myself to Heaven, friends to honour, none to the halter, enemies to massacre.  Ha, ha! Dismal tragical-comedy now?

PLUTO
What does he?

SHACKLE-SOUL
As he thinks, giving fire to powder.
Ne’er in any land could devils have found suck walks,
As he was beating out.

PLUTO
His name?

OMNES
Guy Fawkes.

FAWKES
Who calls?  Damnation stops throat!

THREE JUDGES
Let it stop thine.

FAWKES
Am I betray’d?  Give fire now, now, give fire!

OMNES
To burn thine own soul, villain.

PLUTO
Pay him his hire.                                                         [Exit FAWKES.
He has a desperate rakehell’s face.

SHACKLE-SOUL
Had his plot ta’en fire,
One realm before any other had doomsday seen,
Kings who in tombs lay at rest had wakened been.
He was within twelve hours of hewing down
A whole land at one blow, and at once drown
In a flood of flames, an arc-royal with his whole fleet
Of nobility and clergy; in a leaden sheet
Law and her children had been hotly wrap’d;
Millions ere this had in our gaol been clapp’d,
For damn’d acts not known now, which had then
Been rife, but now lie dead, th’acts with the men.

PLUTO
Make much of this our ningle; for the rest,
Deliver ‘em to our head hangman.

OMNES
When?

PLUTO
In a twinkling.

MINOS
How applauds Pluto
Our ingenious tortures and most rigorous doom?

PLUTO
Minos, thy doom is just.  But you ill-fac’d caitiffs,
What fish in your infernal nets drew you up
I’th Naples court, city, and friary?
We charg’d you sail thither; is mischief’s river there dry?

RUFFMAN
Dry! No.  Fat preys for Hell we all did meet,
In court, city, country, nay in every street,
In every house; within him and without him;
He that wore best clothes, had some devil about him;
Some for ambition, for flattery, and envy some;
Some, who, each meal, eat subjects up, and wore
Whole families in their shoe-strings; such, and others more,
Being here, having been examining, ever since
They came, by Hell’s clerk, spotted conscience.

MINOS
Till the next sessions these we must defer.

PLUTO
None come fro’th’ city, so many bad being there!

LURCHALL
Yes, king of endless horror, see who’s here.

BARTERVILE brought in.

 PLUTO
Rich men in Hell!  They are welcome.  What’s the greybeard?

BARTERVILE
One that can buy thee and ten such as thou art out of thy sea-coal pits here.  Is not this Newcastle?

LURCHALL
No, covetous wretch!  ‘Tis Hell, thy black soul’s prison.

BARTERVILE
Soul in prison!  I never had any soul to speak on!

LURCHALL
Now thou shall find th’ast one.

BARTERVILE
Can angels bail me?

MINOS
Not all the wealth which the world’s back doth bear
Can bail thy wretched soul hence, now ‘tis here.

BARTERVILE
A thousand pounds—

FURY
Where is’t, fool?

RHADAMANTH
Thy wealth’s now gone,
Thy hands still catch at bags, but they grip none.

BARTERVILE
What’s this?

OMNES
Ha, ha, ha!

ÆACUS
Air, shadows, things imaginary.
That is thy torment now, which was thy glory.

BARTERVILE
If you give me bags full of sawdust instead of money, my ghost shall walk.

THREE JUDGES
To thy grim father of Hell.

BARTERVILE
No, no, to my old brother Sir Achitophel Pinch-gut.  Shall I?  Shall I?

PLUTO
Hence with him, the churl’s mad.
In Lethe’s flood drown’d all the wealth he had.

BARTERVILE
My chain, let me hand in chains, so it be my gold’s chain.  Thieves, thieves, thieves!

[Exit, led by three Devils.

 MINOS
Throw him headlong into our boiling lake,
Where molten gold runs.

LURCHALL
His thirst it cannot slake;
Seas could not quench his dropsy; gold to get
He would have a city, starve a country.  Even yet
Raves he for bonds and encumbers, to save whose soul.
Though he fed none living, sausages were his dole.

A confused noise to some pressing in.

 OMNES
What coil is this?

Enter a Puritan Ghost, coal black.

 PURITAN
‘Tis a burning zeal must consume the wicked, and therefore I will not be kept out, but will chastise and correct the foul fiend.

THREE JUDGES
What’s this black incubus?

SHACKLE-SOUL
An arch-great puritan once.

OMNES
Ha! how!  A puritan!

MINOS
An arch-great puritan!  How comes thy soul so little?

PURITAN
I did exercise too much with a lively spirit.

PLUTO
Are there any more of his synagogue?

RUFFMAN
Yes, a whole hoy-full are landed.

OMNES
Ha!

PLUTO
Are they all so black as he?

OMNES
Worse.

MINOS
Sirrah, why, being a puritan, is your soul so black?

PURITAN
We were all smok’d out of our own country, and sent to Rotterdam.

MINOS
How cam’st thou lame and crooked; why dost halt?

PURITAN
All the brethren and sisters for the better part are crooked and halt; for my own part, I never went upright.

THREE JUDGES
And yet a puritan!  Hence with him.

PURITAN
Alack!
How can I choose but halt, go lame, and crooked
When I pull’d a whole church down upon my back?

MINOS
Hence with him; he will pull all Hell down too! [A noise to come in, and then to go out.

PURITAN
Let in the brethren to confound this wicked assembly!

THREE JUDGES
Thrust him out at Hell-gates!                                                        [Exit Puritan.

PLUTO
They’ll confound our kingdom
If here they get but footing; rise therefore, away!
Keep the jury of brokers till our next court day.

MINOS
Adjourn this.

FURY
Oyes!  Sessions is defer’d
Because of puritans, Hell cannot be clear’d.

PLUTO
Set forward to our hall paved all with brass.
Judges, we thank you; let our officers drink
I’th’ bottom of Hell’s cellar, for their good service.
Since to this height our empire up you rear,
Hell shall hold triumphs, and, that’s done, prepare
Again to walk you circuits o’er the earth.
Souls are Hells subjects, and their groans our mirth.                         [Exeunt.

 

Proceed to Epilogue

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