Satiromastix – Act Two, Scene One

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Enter SIR QUINTILIAN SHORTHOSE, SIR ADAM, SIR VAUGHAN, MINIVER, with Servingmen.

 SIR QUINTILIAN
Knaves, varlets, what lungis!  Give me a dozen of stools there.

 SIR VAUGHAN
Sesu, pless us all in our five senses a piece, what mean you, Sir Kintilian Sorthouse to stand so much on a dozen stools; here be not preaches enough to hide a dozen stools, unless you wiss some of us preak his sins.

 SIR QUINTILIAN
I say, Sir Vaughan, no shin shall be broken here.  What lungis, a chair with a strong back, and a soft belly, great with child, with a cushion for this reverent lady.

 MINIVER
God never gave me the grace to be a lady, yet I ha’ been worshipp’d in my conscience to my face a thousand times; I cannot deny Sir Vaughan, but that I have all implements belonging to the vocation of a lady.

 SIR VAUGHAN
I trust, Miniver, you have all a honest ‘oman should have?

 MINIVER
Yes, perdie, as my coach, and my fan, and a man or two that serve my turn, and other things with I’d be loath every one should see, because they shall not be common, I am in manner of a lady in one point.

  SIR VAUGHAN
I pray, Mistress Minivers, let us all see that point for our better understanding.

 MINIVER
For I ha’ some things that were fetch’d, I am sure, as far as some of the Low Countries, and I payd sweetly for them too, and they told me they were good for ladies.

 SIR QUINTILIAN
And much good do’t thy good heart, fair widow, with them.

 MINIVER
I am fair enough to be a widow, Sir Quintilian.

 SIR VAUGHAN
In my soul and conscience, and well-favoured enough to be a lady, here is Sir Kintilian Shorthouse, and here is Sir Adam Prickshaft, a sentleman of a very good brain, and well-headed; you see he shoots his bold sildom, but when Adam let’s go, he hits, and here is Sir Vaughan ap Rees, and I believe if God should take us all from his mercy, as I hope he will not yet, we all three love you, at the bottom of our bellies and our hearts; and therefore, Mistress Miniver, if you please, you shall be knighted by one of us, whom you sall desire to put into your device and mind.

 MINIVER
One I must have, Sir Vaughan.

 SIR QUINTILIAN
And one of us thou shalt have, widow.

 MINIVER
One I must have, for now everyone seeks to crow over me.

 SIR VAUGHAN
By Sesu and if I find any crowing over you, and he were a cock, come out as far as in Turkey’s country, ‘tis possible to cut his comb off.

 MINIVER
I muse why Sir Adam Prickshaft flies so far from us.

 SIR ADAM
I am in a brown study, my dear; if love should be turned into a beast, what beast he were fit to be turned into?

 SIR QUINTILIAN
I think, Sir Adam, an ass, because of his bearing.

MINIVER
I think, saving your reverence, Sir Adam a puppy, for a dog is the most loving creature to a Christian that is, unless it be a child.

 SIR ADAM
No, I think if love should be turn’d away, and go to serve any beast, it must be an ape, and my reason—

 SIR VAUGHAN
Sir Adam, an ape?  There’s no more reason in an ape than in a very plain monkey; for an ape has no tail, but we all know, or ‘tis our duty to know, love has two tails.  In my sudgement, if love be a beast, that beast is a bunce of reddis, for a bunce of reddis is wise meat without mutton, and so is love.

 MINIVER
There’s the yawning captain, saving your reverence that has such a sore mouth, would one day needs persuade me that love was a rebato; and his reason was, saving your reverence, that a rebato was worn out with pinning too often, and so he said love was.

 SIR VAUGHAN
And Master Captain Tucca said wisely too; love is a rebato indeed; a rebato must be poked.  Now many women wear rebatos, and many that wear rebates—

 SIR ADAM
Must be pok’d.

 SIR VAUGHAN
Sir Adam Prickshaft has hit the clout.                                      [Music.

 SIR QUINTILIAN
The music speaks to us.  We’ll have a dance before dinner.

Enter SIR WALTER TERILL, CÆLESTINE, BLUNT, CRISPINUS, and DEMETRIUS, every one with a Lady.

 ALL
The King’s at hand.

 TERILL
Father, the King’s at hand.
Music talk louder, that thy silver voice
May reach my sovereign’s ears.

 SIR VAUGHAN
I pray, do so.  Musicians bestir your fingers that you may have us all by the ears.

 SIR QUINTILIAN
His grace comes.  A hall, varlets!  Where be my men?  Blow, blow your cold trumpets till they sweat; tickle them till they sound again.

 BLUNT
Best go meet his grace.

 ALL
Agreed.

 SIR VAUGHAN
Pray, all stand bare, as well men as women.  Sir Adam, is best you hide your head for feat your wise brains take key-cold.  On afore, Sir Kintilian.  Sentlemen, fall in before the ladies in seemly order and fashion.  So, this is comely.

Enter Trumpets sounding; they go to the door and meet the KING and his Train, and whilst the Trumpets sound, the KING is welcom’d, kisses the Bride, and honours the Bridegroom in dumb show.

 KING
Nay, if your pleasures shrink at sight of us,
We shall repent this labour, Mistress Bride.
You that for speaking one word today
Must lose your head at night; you that do stand
Taking your last leave of virginity;
You that being well begun must not be made:
Win you the ladies, I the men will woo;
Our self will lead, my blushing bride, with you.

 SIR VAUGHAN
God bless your majesty and send you to be a long King William Rufus over us, when he sees his times and pleasures.

 KING
We thank you, good Sir Vaughan.  We will take your meaning not your words.

 SIR QUINTILIAN
Loud music there!

 SIR VAUGHAN
I am glad your majesty will take any thing at my hands.  My words, I trust in Sesu, are spoken between my soul and body together, and have neither felonies nor treasons about them, I hope.

 KING
Good words, Sir Vaughan.  I prithee give us leave.

 SIR VAUGHAN
Good, words, Sir Vaughan?  That’s by interpretation in English.  You’r best give good words to Sir Vaughan.  God and his ansels bless me, what ails his majesty to be so tedious and difficult in his right minds now?  I hold my life that file rascal-rhymer Horace hath puzz’d and puzz’d abouve a hundred merry tales and lice into his great and princely eyes; by God and he use it, his being Phœbus priest cannot save him, if he were his saplain too I’d prease upon his coxcomb.  Good lord, bless me out of his majesty’s celler.  King Williams, I hope ‘tis none offences to make a supplication to God a’mighty for your long life, for, by Shesu, I have no meaning in’t in all the world, unless rascals be here that will have your grace take shalk for sheese, and unless Horace has sent lice to your majesty.

 KING
Horace?  What’s he, Sir Vaughan?

 SIR VAUGHAN
As hard-favour’d a fellow as your majesty has seen in a summer’s day:  he does pen, an’t please your grace, toys that will not please your grace.  ‘Tis a poet; we call them bards in your country; sings ballads and rhymes, and I was mighty sealous that his ink, which is black and full of gall, had brought my name to your majesty and so lifted up your high and princely choler.

 KING
I neither know that Horace, nor mine anger,
If, as thou sayst, our high and princely choler
Be up, we’ll tread is down with dances.  Ladies,
Loose not your men.  Fair measures must be tread,
When by so fair a dancer your are led.

 SIR VAUGHAN
Mistress Miniver?

 MINIVER
Perdy, Sir Vaughan, I cannot dance.

 SIR VAUGHAN
Perdy, by this Miniver cap and according to his masesty’s leave too, you sall be put in among these ladies, and dance ere long I trest in God, the saking of the seats.

[They dance a strain, and whiles the others keep on, the KING and CÆLESTINE stay.

 KING
That tune, fair bride, shows you must turn at night,
In that sweet dance which steals away delight.

 CÆLESTINE
Then pleasure is a thief, a fit, a fever.

 KING
True, he’s the thief, but women the receiver.

[Another change; they  fall in, the rest go on.

This change, sweet maid, says you must change your life,
As virgins do.

 CÆLESTINE
Virgins ne’er change their life,
She that is wiv’d a maid, is maid and wife.

 KING
But she that dies a maid—

 CÆLESTINE
Thrice happy then.

 KING
Leads apes in hell.

 CÆLESTINE
Better lead apes then men.

[As this third change they end, and she meets the KING.

 KING
Well met.

 CÆLESTINE
‘Tis overtaken.

 KING
Why, fair sweet?

 CÆLESTINE
Women are overtaken when they meet.

 KING
Your blood speaks like a coward.

 CÆLESTINE
It were good.
If every maiden blush had such a blood.

 KING
A coward blood, why whom should women fear?

 CÆLESTINE
Men, were maids cowards, they’d not come so near.
My lord, the measure’s done; I plead my duty.

 KING
Only my heart takes measure of thy beauty.

 SIR QUINTILIAN
Now by my hose I swear, that’s no deep oath;
This was a fine sweet earthquake gently mov’d,
By the soft wind of whis’pring silks.  Come, ladies
Whose joints are mad eout of the dancing orbs,
Come, follow me, walk a cold measure now.
In the bride’s chamber your hot beauty’s melt,
Take every one her fan, give them their places,
And wave the northern wind upon your faces.

[CÆLESTINE and all the Ladies doing obeisance to the KING, who only kisses her.  Exeunt. SHORTHOSE manning them; the Gallants stand aloof.

 KING
Sir Walter Terill.

 TERILL
My confirmed liege.

 KING
Beauty out of her bounty thee hath lent,
More than her own with liberal extent.

 TERILL
What means my lord?

 KING
Thy bride, thy choice, thy wife;
She is not thy fandom, thy new world,
That brings thee people, and makes little subjects
Kneel at thy feet, obey in everything,
So every father is a private king.

 TERILL
My lord, her beauty is the poorest part;
Chiefly her virtues did endow my heart.

 KING
Do not back-bite her beauties; they all shine
Brighter on thee, because the beams are thine,
To thee more fair; to others her two lips
Show like a parted moon in thine eclipse.
That glance which lovers ‘mongst themselves devise,
Walks as invisible to others’ eyes.
Give me thine ear.

 CRISPINUS
What means the king?

 DEMETRIUS
‘Tis a quant strain.

 TERILL
My lord.

 KING
Thou dar’st not, Wat?

 TERILL
She is too coarse an object for the court.

 KING
Thou dar’st not, Wat; let tonight be tomorrow.

 TERILL
For she’s not yet mine own.

 KING
Thou dar’st not, Wat?

 TERILL
My lord, I dare, but—

 KING
But I see thou dar’st not.

 TERILL
This night.

 KING
Yes, this night; tush, thy mind repairs not;
The more thou talk’st of night, the more thou dar’st not.
Thus far I tend:  I would but turn this sphere
Of ladies’ eyes and place it in the court
Where thy fair bride should for the zodiac shine,
And every lady else sit for a sign.
But all thy thoughts are tallow, they sweet blood
Rebels; th’art jealous, Wat; thus with prov’d revels
To emulate the masking firmament
Where stars dance in the silver hall of heaven,
Thy pleasure should be seasoned, and thy bed
Relish thy bride.  But, but thou dar’st not, Wat?

 TERILL
My lord, I dare.

 KING
Speak that again.

 TERILL
I dare.

 KING
Again, kind Wat, and then I know thou dar’st.

 TERILL
I dare, and will by that joint holy oath,
Which she and I swore to the book of heaven,
This very day when the surveying sun
Rise, like a witness to her faith and mine,
By all the loyalty that subjects owe
To majesty, by that, by this, by both,
I swear to make a double guarded oath,
This night untainted by the touch of man;
She shall a virgin come.

 KING
To court?

 TERILL
To court.
I know I took a woman to my wife,
And I know women to be earthly moons
That never shine till night; I know they change
Their orbs, their husbands, and in sickish hearts,
Steal to their sweet Endymions to be cur’d
With better physic, sweeter diet drinks
Then home can minister.  All this I know
Yet know not all, but give me leave, O king,
To boast of mine, and say that I know none;
I have a woman but not such a one.

 KING
Why, she’s confirmed in thee; I now approve her;
If constant in thy thoughts who then can move her?

Enter SIR QUINTILIAN.

 SIR QUINTILIAN
Wilt please your highness take your place within?
The ladies attend the table.

 KING
I go, good knight.  Wat, thy oath.

 TERILL
My lord,
My oath’s my honour, my honour is my life,
My oath is constant, so I hope, my wife.                                        [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene

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