The Weakest Goeth to the Wall – Scene 4

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Well, my lifekins, so ick must be you wert, dat is, you host, and you mine guess, to eat met me, and shop met me, in my huys.  Well, here been van you  vier, four, as you seg in English, two manikins, two tannikins, two mans, two womans.  Spreak, what will you geven by de dagh?  By de week?  By de mont?  By de year?  All to mall.  [Well, my loves, so I must be your wert, that is, your host; and you my guests, to eat with me and sleep with me in my house.  Well, there are vier of your here, four as you say in English:  two little men, two little women; two men, two women.  Speak, what will you pay by the day?  By the week?  By the month?  By the year?  What will the total be?]

Saving your tale, mine host, what is your name?

Yacob van Smelt.

Smelt?  Lord, many of your name are taken in the Thames, you’ll not be angry?

Angry?  Niet, neit.

How?  Nit?  Nay, then I perceive I shall be angry first.  Zounds, twit me with my trade?  I am the fag end of a tailor; in plain English, a botcher.  And though my country men do call me pricklouse, yet you, Flemish boor, shall not call me nit!  Yea, base butterbox!  Ye Smelt!  Your kinsfolk dwell in the Thames and are sold like slaves in Cheapside by the hundred, two pence a quatern.

God’s pestilence!  Beest thou frantic?

Patience, my friends.  Fellow, he spoke no ill.
My gentle host was casting his account
To what our weekly charges must amount.

Yaw, yaw, true, true.

“True, true?”  Lie, lie! Did you not say first you would mall us all?  And thencall’d me nit, nit?  ‘Tis not your big belly, nor your fat bacon, can carry it away, if ye offer us the boots; what though we be driven from our own dwelling, there’s mo fitling houses then yours to host in.

Well, mine host Yacob, though out state be poor,
Yet will we pay you justly our compound.
For me, my wife and daughter, by the week,
For diet, lodging, and for laundry,
So long as we shall host within your house,
Five guilders weekly I will answer you.

Dat is for you, you frow and your skow daughter.  Well, whea sall betalll for dis gack? Dis shallam?  [That is for you, your wife, and your beautiful daughter.  Well, who will pay for this geck, this rascal?]

Ay, ye shall find me a tall fellow if ye try me.  But what is it ye talk of  me?

He doth demand who shall defray thy charge
For meat and drink and lodging in his house.

Neither you nor he.  Let him take care for a large winding sheet to wrap his fat guts in.  Have not I a trade?  Yes, goodman Smelt, if you have any hose to heel or breeches to mend, or buttons to set on, me me have your work.

Goots morkne, be’est thou a snyder?  Snip, snap met de shears?  [God’s little monster, are you a tailor?  Snip, snap, with the shears?]

Speak reverently of tailors, of I’ll have ye by the ears.

Yaw, yaw, ‘tis good honest man’s occupation, good true man’s living.

Ay, sir.  I’ll live by it, and neither charge this man’s purse, not run upon your score.  I’ll get me a little hole to put—

A knave’s head in.

My head in, and fall to work here, and instead of parle buon francoys, learn to brawl out butterbos, yaw, yaw, and yawn for beer like a jackdaw.

Hear me eance.  Ick heb a cleyne skuttell, a little stall, by mine huys door.  Sall dat hebben for a skoppe. [Listen to me for a moment.  I have a small shop, near the door of my house.  You shall have that as a place of business.]

“Hebben, habben,” quoth ‘a?  What shall I “hebben?”

A place to work in Yacob offers thee.
Hark hither, Bunch.                                                [He takes him aside and whispers.

Ay, frow, hey, comt here!  [He takes ORIANA by the hand.] You bene a skone frow, a soot a lief.  Up miner zeel dat is, by my soul ick love you met my heart.  And you will love me, smouch me, and be my secret friend, de charl sall niet know; ick will you gelt given, and you man sall niet betall, niet paid for you logies no you meat.  What seg you?  [Ay, lady, hey, come here.  You are a beautiful woman, a sweet, dear one.  Up miner zeele, that is, by my soul, I love you will all my heart.  And you will love me, kiss me, and be my secret sweetheart.  Your husband will not know.  I will give you money, and your husband will not have to betall, to play for your lodgings or your food.  What do you say?]

I say, mine host, that you are ill advis’d
To tempt the honour of a stranger’s wife.
Consider if your fortune were as ours,
In foreign place to rest ye for a time,
Would you your wife should be alurr’d to sin,
To break her vow and to dishonour you?

Swig, swig, peace.  Ick sall an aunder time talk met you. [Quiet, quiet, peace.  I shall talk with you another time.                                         [YACOB whispers with ORIANA.

No, Bunch, by no means tell from whence we came,
Nor what enforced us seek a refuge here;
And though my want as instant be extreme,
Yet when the havens shall better my estate,
Thy secrecy will I remunerate.

Why, what do ye think of me? A horseleech to suck ye? Or a trencherfly to blow ye?  Or a vermin to spoil ye?  Or a moth to eat through ye?  No, I am Barnaby Bunch, the botcher, that ne’er spent any man’s good but my own.  I’ll labour for my meat, work hard, fare hard, lie hard, for a living, I’l not charge ye a penny.  I’ll keep your counsel, and ye shall command me to serve you, your wife, and your daughter in the way of honesty, like honest Barnaby.

Gramercies, honest friend.

No, Yacob, no!
Need cannot enforce, nor flattery entreat.

Swig dan, nea maer. [Peace, then, no moreCome, sall us in to eat?


Even when you please, mine host.  Come, daughter,
Come, be of good comfort.  Heaven is where it was.
When fortunes storm awhile out state hath toss’d,
A calmer gale may give what we have lost.

Assure ye, sir, even as I am your child,
Not discontent, but patience makes me mild.
If inward grief external joy supplant,
It moans not mine, but your unwonted want.

Thou seest how easily I endure the smart
Because thy mother and thyself self bear part.
Come, let us in.  On Him that knows us best
Let’s fix out hope, and so in patience rest.                                   [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene


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