The Weakest Goeth to the Wall – Scene 12

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Enter FERDINAND and ODILLIA.

 FERDINAND
Thus far, sweet lady, safely are we ‘scap’d,
And hardly shall they overtake us now,
Though every way pursuit do follow us.
Be cheerful then, Odillia; love is guide,
Who swears that fortune shal us not divide.

ODILLIA
Dear Ferdinand, I neither fear nor doubt;
Peril is but a bugbear for a child.
My heart is firm and fortified with love–
Witness this desperate tender of mine honor
Into thy hands, which thou has yet preserv’d.

FERDINAND
And will preserve it whilst I draw this breath,
And bring it sacred to our nuptial bed.

ODILLIA
Then, Ferdinand, belike ye mean to wed?

FERDINAND
Mean you not so?

ODILLIA
Yes, but with whom?

FERDINAND
Madam, I trust with me.

ODILLIA
Well mayst thou trust; I’ll marry none but thee.
I know thy bringing up, though not thy birth.
Thou art deriv’d from Adam, form’d of earth.
From that first parent all descended are;
Then who begat or bare thee, that’s not my care.
Thou stol’st my heart; I stole with thee thus far.
Love wrouhgt our joy; lack shall not make us jar.

FERDINAND
Oh, happy accents of a heavenly tongue.

ODILLIA
Let’s journey on.  We tarry here too long.

Enter BUNCH..

Alas, who is this?

BUNCH
Faith, one that will do ye no wrong.

FERDINAND
Peasant, thou canst not.

 BUNCH
No, sir, ye are deceiv’d.  I am no peasant;  I am Bunch the botcher.  Peasants be plowmen.  I am an artificial.

 ODILLIA
Simple and pleasant this poor fellow seems.
Question him further, Ferdinand.

FERDINAND
I will.
My friend, where are we?

BUNCH
Cannot you tell?

FERDINAND
No.

BUNCH
Then ye ha’ no wit.  Are not we here, I pray you?

FERDINAND
We are here, indeed.  But say, what country’s this?

BUNCH
Nay, ye ask’d me not that before, nor I canot tell ye it now.

ODILLA
Whither go you, my friend?

BUNCH
‘Tis true, indeed, your friend and Barnaby Bunch.  I am going to France.

FERDINAND
And can ye speak French?

BUNCH
Ay, sir.  I would be sorry else.

FERDINAND
D’ou vani vou?

 BUNCH
I never learn’d so far–I cannot tell ye that–I am but a stranger in the country.  Here comes one perchance can tell ye.

Enter LOD’WICK like a Sexton.

 FERDINAND
I pray you, sir, what territory’s this?

LOD’WICK
Part of the bast country of France it is.
The village name is Arde in Picardy.

FERDINAND
What entertainment can the town afford
To travelers?

LOD’WICK
Too mean for such as you.

FERDINAND
Inhabit you this village?

LOD’WICK
Ay, forsooth.
Why gazest thou upon me so my friend?

BUNCH
By Jacob’s staff and Jumbal’s fiddle,
Because–I’ll s’pose ye with a riddle:
Two hes, two shes, by night fled touch,
And light upon a hannikin Dutch.
Yacob builded a new kirk,
And with the chalk writ such a quirk,
That wife and child were left alone.
The score is paid, and they are gone.

LOD’WICK
Let this alone, friend, till another time;
My skill is small in riddles or in thyme.
[Close aside to BUNCH] Be silent, Bunch, till we be rid of these.

FERDINAND
You seem a man belonging to the church,
And we have church-work to be finished.
In plainest terms, we would be married.
Accomplish our desire for recompense.

LOD’WICK
I blush not at my calling, gentlemen.
The sexton’s place of Ards I now profess.
If that fair damsel do consent with you,
I’ll call the civar to conjoin with you.

ODILLIA
Call him, good friend, for my consent is pass’d.

BUNCH
Nay, but call him quickly, for ye see she’s in haste.

LOD’WICK
Master, Sir Nicholas, here’s a commodity,
A marriage that must quickly be dispatch’d.

Enter SIR NICHOLAS.  LOD’WICK and BUNCH whisper together.

 SIR NICHOLAS
Gramercy, sexton, this was featly watch’d.
Welcome, fresh gallants, to the town of Ards.
A pretty couple, youthful to the spring, sweet as is May morning.  Do you desire to be knit together?

FERDINAND
In holy marriage, sir, would we be join’d.

 SIR NICHOLAS
In holy wedlock, gentles, so I mean.
Ye are in the state of grace; twins in affection, turtles in true love.   I know ye have to license, and ’tis no matter.  Holy matrimony shall pass my liverty without examining.  You’ll pay me?

 FERDINAND
Ay.

SIR NICHOLAS
Come, I’ll glue ye together by and by.
To the lawful bed. to the lawful bed.
Fie on this fornication, this lascivious lust!  [Aside.] And yet the flesh pricks my holy self now and then.  Come, follow me.  I’ll call some more witness and clap it up presently.

[Exeunt FERDINAND, ODILLIA, and SIR NICHOLAS.  Manant LOD’WICK, and BUNCH, who have whispered.

 LOD’WICK
But are my wife and daughter gone indeed
For London, and have paid the debt we ought?

BUNCH
By my shears–and that’s a shaving oath–they are gone for London, they have paid Yacob.  But they shall lose their labour, because you are not in England.

LOD’WICK
But I will send, or I will soon be there;
I must not live divided from my joy.

 BUNCH
And yet I think you live well by this science of sextonship.  Lord, do not you pray that the pop may catch the people, that you may earn many groats for making graves?  Your churchwardens find bellropes and your hands to shake them.

 LOD’WICK
Th’art a mad fellow.  But how knewst thou me in this disguise?

BUNCH
Tut, well enough.  But hark, the civar calls.

LOD’WICK
Come, Bunch.  We’ll find more time to talk anon.                            [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene

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