The Weakest Goeth to the Wall – Scene 7

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Enter YACOB and LOD’WICK.  YACOB hath a long board chalked.

Comt, floux, betall, gelt, Lod’wick, gelt.  Whore bene de Fraunce crowne?  De Riex daler?  De Anglis skelling?  Ha?  Pay, pay. Betall, betall.  Keck dore, Lod’wick [Pointing to door] See de creete, de chalke:  eane, twea, dree, vier guildern for brant weene; fiftick guildern for rost for de eat; seven guildern for speck, case, bouter and bankeate.  Keck, look in dye burse.  Betall, shallam, betall.  Ick mought gelt heb.  Comt, pay.  [Come, quickly, pay, money, Lod’wick, money.  Where are the French crowns?  The rix-dollars? The English shillings?  Ha?  Pay, pay.   Give what you owe, give what you owe.  Look there, Lod’wick, see the crayon, four guilders, the chalk:  one, two, three, four guilders for liquor; fifty guilders for roast to eat; seven guilders for bacon, cheese, butter and pastry.  Look, look in your purse.  Pay, rascal, pay.  I must have money.  Come, pay,]

My gentle host, have patience but awhile.
I will endeavor to come out of debt
As speedily as God shall give me means.
Forbearing neither lessens nor acquits
One groat of duty; only your good mind
Shall be approved for respiting a time.

“Respit?”  Rest devil!  God’s cruse, my gelt Ick can niet forbear, niet suffer, niet spare mine gelt.  A dowsand devils!  Ick mought de brewer, de baker, de butcher betall.  So heb ye niet gelt, geve mie a pawn, eane gage.  [Aside.] Oh haere, dat his frow mought met mie blieven for de debt! [“Respit?”  Rest, devil!  God’s cross, I cannot bear, cannot endure, cannot spare my money.  A thousand devils!  I must pay the brewer, the baker, the butcher.  if you do not have any money, give me a pawn, a gage.  Oh, Lord, if only his wife could remain with  me for the debt!]

Yacob, alas, thou seest what wealth I have;
Apparel, jewels, plate and gold I lack.
Fortune hath wracked me on extremity,
For all my riches are within thy house.
My virtuous wife and daughter are my treasure,
Which above all world’s wealth beside I measure.

God’s sacrament, harma charle beggar, a wench!  Loupe dye selve!  Ye sall niet slope eant nought mare in mine huys.  Geve mie dry frow and dye meskyn, wieffe and daughter, to pledge for my gelt, for ick weat well, dow wilt redeem and ransom dem twea.  Loupe dow, shellam, and nempt de gelt and coin here, and buy out dye wieffe and kinde, dye skone daughter.  [God’s sacrament, miserable beggar, slave!  You shall not sleep another night in my house.  Give me dye frow and dye meskyn, your wife and daughter, as a pledge for my money, for I know you will redeem and ransom the two of them.  Go away, rascal, and bring the money and coin here, and buy back  your wife and child, your beautiful daughter.]

Alas, what comfort is there left for me,
If those dear jewels be impawned to thee?
My wife and daughter?  Yacob, change thy mind;
Divide us not.  Oh, be not so unkind.

Godt’s hannykin, unkind?  But boor, geve mie gelt or pawn, or Ick sall dee in da vanga port starven. [God’s coxcomb, unkind?  But peasant, give me money or a pawn, or I shall let you starve in jail.]

No remedy?  Well, call my wife and daughter.
If they cansent to be engag’d to thee,
I’ll leave them; else, thou shalt imprison me.

Ha, Godt’s tostie!  Mought Ick de skone frow, his wieffe here hold, Ick begare niet cost, niet zilver, niet gold. [Ha, God’s hosts!  If I could keep that beautiful woman, his wife here, i would not care about the loss in silver or gold.]


Dore she comt, dore, dore, allso clare, wyet and zoole as de zunne.  Wellicome, soota lieffe.  Hey, couragee mine wan, alls ge done? [There she comes, there, there, as clear, white, and mild as the sun.  Welcome, sweet soul.  Hey, cheer up my own, won’t you please?]
[LOD’WICK looks sadly, YACOB merrily.

What planet’s opposition have we haere,
That makes a storm in sunshine, heat in frost?
The heavens are so clouded, drossy earth is clear,
My husband frowns, but frolic is mine host.
Oh, fire and ice!  Oh, fear and doubt together!
What envious star directs my coming hither?

No heavier star nor more malevolent
Needs Lod’wick than this Flemish excrement.
Dear Oriana, thou dost know our state,
Cast down, spurn’d, scorn’d, by fortune and by fate;
Yet never grief so nearly galls my heart,
As when I think that thou and I must part.

Why must we part?

Ask Yacob.  He can tell.

Well meyster, well frow, ick mought de gelt heb.  You man hebt niet to betall.  He sall niet langer in my huys blieven.  Keck de dore de skore.  Ick will him trust nae mare.  Ick mought eane gage, eane pawn heb.  dat must you selve bene, and you skone daughter.  By Godt’s moorkne, he sall to prison, to de vanga port els.  [Well, sir, well lady, I must have my  money.  Your husband has nothing to pay with.  he shall no longer stay in my house.  Loot at the score on the door.  I will trust him no more.  I must have a gage, a pawn.  You yourself must be the pawn, and your beautiful daughter.  By God’s littl mother, he shall go to prison, to jail otherwise.]

Well then, I must persuade her patience,
To be thy pawn, thy prisoner in mine absence.

What?  How pawn?  How prisoner?  For what?  For the score?  A pox on that chalk! It’s an easier matter to chalk a pound than to get a penny to pay it.  You shall not go, nor shall she not lie to gage for a little money.  Let me see, how much is it?  What be these guilders?                                                                                                                     [LOD’WICK whispers with ORIANA and DIANA.

Yaw eleck eane a guilder. [Each one of you owes a guilder]

Fifty and four and seven is five and forty.  Mass, I have but twenty stivers toward it; that’s all I have sav’d since I came here to Newkirk.  This Flanders is too thrifty a country, for here the women will heel their husbands’ hose themselves.  Faith, if your score had been but a score of stivers, I mean I would have paid it, clear’d the clalk clean.

Swigen and drinkin, Bunch.  De skone frow and de daughter sall be mine pawn, mine gage; mie die frow, dow de meskyn. [Keep quiet and drink, Bunch.  The beautiful woman and her daughter will be my pawn, my gage; the wife for me, the maid for you.]

Ha!  Say you so?  No,  butterbox, I’ll set a spoke in your cart.  Hear ye?  This foul, fat Smelt tell me that he has smell’t out a smock commodity for a pawn, that is, to have your wife and daughter to gage.  If ye be wise, make your bargain that he do not use your pawn; for though it will not be much the worse for the wearing, yet it is pity it should be slubbered by such a cullion as Yacob Smelt.

Prithee, be quiet.  Yacob, I will leave
My dearest, most unvalued jewels here.
Entreat themwell, as thou wilt answer me
At my return, even with the dearest blood,
If they miscarry in thy custody.
Friend Bunch, farewell.  But kind unto these twain,
And if I live, I’ll recompense thy pain.

Faith, as kind as Cockburn; I’ll break my heart to do them good.  But whither will you go?

I know not yet; where fortune shall direct.
Leave us awhile to take a sad farewell.
That done, I part and they shall stay with you.

Well, well!  Ha!  Mine skone friester, mine lieff, dow salll met mie blieven, and dye mannykin aweagh loupe.  Heigh loustick [Well, well!  Ha!  My beautiful lady, my love, you will stay with me, and your little husband will go away.  Three cheers!]

Gep, wihi!  See how the slovenly Smelt leaps!  I think you could be content to be rid of this beer fly, this bacon-fac’d butterbox awhile.

Indeed I could.

Indeed and you shall!  Yacob, I have news for ye, passing profitable, pleasurable news.  There’s a tun of English stark beer new come to Newkirk this day at two stivers a stoup.  Come, I’ll give thee a stou of two.

Gramercies, Bunch, mine liever brooder.  Alglis beer?  Oh haere, tostie Godt’s dowsand!  Awigh gane?  [Great thanks, Bunch, brave Bunch, my dear brother.  English beer?  Oh, Lord, God’s hosts a thousand times!  Shall we go?]

“Go?”  Well, parting in a morning is past remedy at midnight.  God be with ye, sir.  I could weep, but my tears will not pleasure ye.  If I see ye no more till see ye again, God ha’ ye in His kitchen.  As for you two, I shall see you left in pledge till I have drunk to you and you pledg’d me twnety times.                                                                                     [Exeunt YACOB and BUNCH.

Ah, beastly, brutal, baser than the dung
That hast no touch nor feeling of my want,
that such a drunnken, greasy slave discards!
Ah, Oriana, never till this hour
Did I confess my want or misery,
For but of thee and my poor, sweet Diana,
I never made account that aught was mine;
But poorer now than poverty itself;
Of all I had you only were the best;
Now must I too forgo you with the rest.

Ah, must we part?  Why, whither wilt thou go?
Ah, my dear lord, yet whilst we liv’d together,
With what content have we endur’d our woe?
Now like a sea-toss’d navy in a storm,
Must we be sever’d unto divers shores?
Oh, that the poorest beggars that do breathe
Should yet have that which is deni’d to us,
But to have partners in their misery.

Good father, sine our fortune is to  beg,
Let me become the beggar for you both.
What shall become of me if you do leave me?
Many will give me bread if I do ask,
But there is none that can give me a father.

Ah, my poor wench, if I should stay with you,
This gripple miser, this uncivil wretch,
Will for this little that I am indebted
Unchristianly imprison you and me,
Where we shall surely perish for want.
But I will cross the narrow seas for England,
To London, where ere long, I make no doubt,
To get so mush as shall redeem you nence,
And shall redeem this poor estate of ours
Till fairer fortune hap to show her head.

Farewell, farewell.  Now all my joy doth go.
Go you alone, while we alone with woe.

Farewell, dear father.

My sweet girl, adieu.
He bless us all, that keeps both me and you.          [Exit LOD’WICK.


Comt here, Bunch.  Dow beest eane right shapt charle!  Oh, de stark Anglis beer!  Whore zijne, whore zijne de frow and de skone daughter?  Keck dore, Bunch; nempt de meskyn;  Ick sall de moore hebben.  Comt Oriana, you bene mine gage for gelt, mine liever love, mine sooterkin.

Your “sooterkin?”  Your drunken skin!  Mistress, how do ye?  Is your husband gone?  Why,  be of good cheer.  Here’s a bunch of botchers left to comfort ye!  Take all in my purse, spend all that I get, and command my work to help ye out of debt.

Thanks, gentle friend, but how shall I requite it?

Tush, talk not of quittance; I’ll live by a pittance, unline my purse and use my person, and for my limbs, take the best in the bunch.

Godt’s sacrement, Bunch, swig, swig!  Comt, frow, dye man is aweigh gane.  Lat ource be frolicke, lostick.  Heigh speell, zing and daunce. [He sings] Ick love mine liverkin, hey!
Ick basse mine soorta lieffe, ho!
Ick mot niet slope, niet drink eane stope
Medoont mine jolick frow,
Hey loustick!

Wilt please ye, mother, leave this barbarous beast,
And take  you to your chamber?

Ay, my child.       [Exeunt ORIANA and DIANA.

I’ll tell thee, Smelt, thou shouldst be a codshead, thou art so rude.  I am of the house of the Bunches:  a bunch of keys will jingle, a bunch of laths will ring, a bunch of roots are windy meat, and a bunch of garlic will make ye sweat, yet I keep no stir.

Shellam, Ick begare niet de frows bene gone.

Then let us follow.  We shall overtake them anon.                                                             [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene


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