The Roaring Girl – Act Two, Scene One

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The first a Pothecary’s shop, the next a Feather shop, the third a Sempster’s shop: MISTRESS GALLIPOT in the first, MISTRESS TILTYARD in the next, MASTER OPENWORK and his Wife in the third. To them enters LAXTON, GOSHAWK and GREENWIT.

 MISTRESS OPENWORK

Gentlemen, what is’t you lack? What is’t you buy? See fine bands and ruffs, fine lawns, fine cambrics! What is’t you lack, gentlemen, what is’t you buy?

 LAXTON
Yonder’s the shop.

 GOSHAWK
Is that she?

 LAXTON
Peace.

 GREENWIT
She that minces tobacco.

 LAXTON
Ay, she’s a gentlewoman born, I can tell you, though it be her hard fortune now to shred Indian pot-herbs.

 GOSHAWK
Oh, sir, ’tis many a good woman’s fortune, when her husband turns bankrout, to begin with pipes and set up again.

 LAXTON
And indeed the raising of the woman is the lifting up of the man’s head at all times: if one flourish, t’other will bud as fast, I warrant ye.

 GOSHAWK
Come, th’art familiarly acquainted there, I grope that.

 LAXTON
And you grope no better i’th’dark, you may chance lie i’th’ditch when y’are drunk.

 GOSHAWK
Go, th’art a mystical lecher.

 LAXTON
I will not deny but my credit may take up an ounce of pure smoke.

 GOSHAWK
May take up an ell of pure smock. Away, go! [Aside.] ‘Tis the closest striker. Life, I think he commits venery foot deep; no man’s aware on’t. I like a palpable smockster go to work so openly with the tricks of art that I’m as apparently seen as a naked boy in a vial, and were it not for a gift of treachery that I have in me to betray my friend when he puts most trust in me—mass, yonder he is too—and by his injury to make good my access to her, I should appear as defective in courting as a farmer’s son the first day of his feather that doth nothing at court but woo the hangings and glass windows for a month together, and some broken waiting-woman forever after. I find those imperfections in my venery that were’t not for flattery and falsehood, I should want discourse and impudence, and he that wants impudence among women is worthy to be kick’d out at beds’ feet. He shall not see me yet.

 GREENWIT
Troth, this is finely shred.

 LAXTON
Oh, women are the best mincers.

 MISTRESS GALLIPOT
‘T had been a good phrase for a cook’s wife, sir.

 LAXTON
But ’twill serve generally, like the front of a new almanac, as thus: calculated for the meridian of cooks’ wives, but generally for all Englishwomen.

 MISTRESS GALLIPOT
Nay, you shall ha’t, sir, I have fill’d it for you.       [She puts it to the fire.

 LAXTON
The pipe’s in a good hand, and I wish mine always so.

 GREENWIT
But not to be us’d a’ that fashion.

LAXTON
Oh, pardon me, sir, I understand no French.

[GREENWIT doffs his hat and bows.

I pray be cover’d. [Handing GOSHAWK a pipe.] Jack, a pipe of rich smoke

 GOSHAWK
Rich smoke? That’s sixpence a pipe, is’t?

 GREENWIT
To me, sweet lady.

 MISTRESS GALLIPOT
[Aside to LAXTON.] Be not forgetful: respect my credit, seem strange. Art and wit makes a fool of suspicion; pray be wary.

 LAXTON
[Aside to MISTRESS GALLIPOT.] Push, I warrant you!  Come, how is’t, gallants?

 GREENWIT
Pure and excellent.

 LAXTON
I thought ’twas good, you were grown so silent; you are like those that love not to talk at victuals, though they make a worse noise i’the nose than a common fiddler’s prentice and discourse a whole supper with snuffling. [Aside to MISTRESS GALLIPOT.] I must speak a word with you anon.

 MISTRESS GALLIPOT
[Aside to LAXTON.] Make your way wisely then.

 GOSHAWK
Oh, what else, sir? He’s perfection itself, full of manners, but not an acre of ground belonging to ‘em.

 GREENWIT
Ay, and full of form: h’as ne’er a good stool in’s chamber.

 GOSHAWK
But above all religious: he preyeth daily upon elder brothers.

 GREENWIT
And valiant above measure; h’as run three streets from a sergeant.

 LAXTON
Puh, puh!                                                 [He blows tobacco in their faces.

 GREENWIT and GOSHAWK
Oh, puh, ho, ho!                                                             [They move away.

 LAXTON
So, so.

 MISTRESS GALLIPOT
What’s the matter now, sir?

 LAXTON
I protest I’m in extreme want of money: if you can supply me now with any means, you do me the greatest pleasure, next to the bounty of your love, as ever poor gentleman tasted.

 MISTRESS GALLIPOT
What’s the sum would pleasure ye, sir? Though you deserve nothing less at my hands.

 LAXTON
Why, ’tis but for want of opportunity, thou know’st. [Aside.] I put her off with opportunity still. By this light, I hate her but for means to keep me in fashion with gallants, for what I take from her I spend upon other wenches. Bear her in hand still; she has wit enough to rob her husband, and I ways enough to consume the money. [Approaching GOSHAWK from behind and slapping him on the back] Why, how now? What, the chincough?

 GOSHAWK
Thou hast the cowardliest trick to come before a man’s face and strangle him ere he be aware! I could find in my heart to make a quarrel in earnest.

 LAXTON
Pox and thou dost!  Thou know’st I never use to fight with my friends.  Thou’ll but lose thy labour in’t.

Enter JACK DAPPER and his man GULL.

Jack Dapper!

 GREENWIT
Monsieur Dapper, I dive down to your ankles.

 JACK
Save ye gentlemen, all three in a peculiar salute.

 GOSHAWK
[Aside to LAXTON.] He were ill to make a lawyer: he dispatches three at once.

 LAXTON
So, well said.                   [MISTRESS GALLIPOT secretly gives him money.

But is this of the same tobacco, Mistress Gallipot?

 MISTRESS GALLIPOT
The same you had at first, sir.

 LAXTON
I wish it no better: this will serve to drink at my chamber.

 GOSHAWK
Shall we taste a pipe on’t?

 LAXTON
Not of this, by my troth, gentlemen; I have sworn before you.

 GOSHAWK
What, not Jack Dapper?

 LAXTON
Pardon me, sweet Jack, I’m sorry I made such a rash oath, but foolish oaths must stand. Where art going, Jack?

 JACK
Faith, to buy one feather.

 LAXTON
[Aside.] One feather? The fool’s peculiar still.

 JACK
Gull.

 GULL
Master.

 JACK
Here’s three halfpence for your ordinary, boy; meet me an hour hence in Paul’s.

 GULL
How! Three single halfpence! Life, this will scarce serve a man in sauce, a hal’p’orth of mustard, a hal’p’orth of oil, and a hal’p’orth of vinegar. What’s left then for the pickle herring? This shows like small beer i’th’morning after a great surfeit of wine o’ernight. He could spend his three pound last night in a supper amongst girls and brave bawdy-house boys; I thought his pockets cackl’d not for nothing. These are the eggs of three pound; I’ll go sup ’em up presently.                                                                                               [Exit GULL.

 LAXTON
[Aside, counting his money.] Eight, nine, ten angels. Good wench, i’faith, and one that loves darkness well: she puts out a candle with the best tricks of any drugster’s wife in England; but that which mads her, I rail upon opportunity still and take no notice on’t. The other night she would needs lead me into a room with a candle in her hand to show me a naked picture, where no sooner entered but the candle was sent of an arrant; now I not intending to understand her, but, like a puny at the inns of venery, call’d for another light innocently: thus reward I all her cunning with simple mistaking. I know she cozens her husband to keep me, and I’ll keep her honest as long as I can to make the poor man some part of amends: an honest mind of a whoremaster!  How think you amongst you? What, a fresh pipe? Draw in a third man.

 GOSHAWK
No, you’re a hoarder; you engross by th’ ounces.

At the Feather shop now

 JACK
Puh, I like it not.

 MISTRESS TILTYARD
What feather is’t you’ld have, sir?
These are most worn and most in fashion
Amongst the beaver gallants, the stone riders,
The private stage’s audience, the twelvepenny-stool gentlemen:
I can inform you ’tis the general feather.

 JACK
And therefore I mislike it; tell me of general!
Now a continual Simon and Jude’s rain
Beat all your feathers as flat down as pancakes.
Show me a spangled feather.

 MISTRESS TILTYARD
Oh, to go
A-feasting with? You’d have it for a hench-boy;
You shall.

At the Sempster’s shop now

 OPENWORK
Mass, I had quite forgot
His honour’s footman was here last night, wife.
Ha’ you done with my lord’s shirt?

 MISTRESS OPENWORK
What’s that to you, sir?
I was this morning at his honour’s lodging
Ere such a snail as you crept out of your shell.

 OPENWORK
Oh, ’twas well done, good wife!

 MISTRESS OPENWORK
I hold it better, sir, than if you had done’t yourself.

 OPENWORK
Nay, so say I. But is the countess’s smock almost done, mouse?

 MISTRESS OPENWORK
Here, yes, the cambric, sir, but wants, I fear me.

 OPENWORK
I’ll resolve you of that presently.

 MISTRESS OPENWORK
Hoyda! Oh, audacious groom,
Dare you presume to noblewomen’s linen?
Keep you your yard to measure shepherd’s holland!
I must confine you, I see that.

At the Tobacco shop now.

 GOSHAWK
What say you to this gear?

 LAXTON
I dare the arrant’st critic in tobacco
To lay one fault upon’t.

Enter MOLL in a friezejerkin and a black safeguard.

 GOSHAWK
Life, yonder’s Moll!

 LAXTON
Moll? Which Moll?

 GOSHAWK
Honest Moll.

 LAXTON
Prithee, let’s call her. Moll!

 GOSHAWK and GREENWIT
Moll, Moll, pist, Moll!

 MOLL
How now, what’s the matter?

 GOSHAWK
A pipe of good tobacco, Moll?

 MOLL
I cannot stay.

 GOSHAWK
Nay, Moll, puh! Prithee hark, but one word, i’faith.

 MOLL
Well, what is’t?

 GREENWIT
Prithee come hither, sirrah.

 LAXTON
[Aside.] Heart, I would give but too much money to be nibbling with that wench! Life, sh’as the spirit of four great parishes, and a voice that will drown all the city; methinks a brave captain might get all his soldiers upon her and ne’er be beholding to a company of Mile End milksops, if he could come on and come off quick enough. Such a Moll were a marrow-bone before an Italian; he would cry bona roba till his ribs were nothing but bone. I’ll lay hard siege to her; money is that aqua fortis that eats into many a maidenhead: where the walls are flesh and blood, I’ll ever pierce through with a golden auger.

 GOSHAWK
Now thy judgment, Moll: is’t not good?

 MOLL
Yes, faith, ’tis very good tobacco. How do you sell an ounce? Farewell. God b’i’you, Mistress Gallipot.

 GOSHAWK
Why, Moll, Moll!

 MOLL
I cannot stay now, i’faith. I am going to buy a shag ruff; the shop will be shut in presently.

 GOSHAWK
‘Tis the maddest, fantastical’st girl: I never knew so much flesh and so much nimbleness put together.

 LAXTON
She slips from one company to another, like a fat eel between a Dutchman’s fingers. [Aside.] I’ll watch my time for her.

 MISTRESS GALLIPOT
Some will not stick to say she’s a man
And some both man and woman.

 LAXTON
That were excellent: she might first cuckold the husband and then make him do as much for the wife.

The Feather shop again.

 MOLL
Save you. How does Mistress Tiltyard?

 JACK
Moll.

 MOLL
Jack Dapper.

 JACK
How dost, Moll?

 MOLL
I’ll tell thee by and by; I go but to th’next shop.

 JACK
Thou shalt find me here this hour about a feather.

 MOLL
Nay, and a feather hold you in play a whole hour, a goose will last you all the days of your life.

The Sempster shop

Let me see a good shag ruff.

 OPENWORK
Mistress Mary, that shalt thou i’faith, and the best in the shop.

 MISTRESS OPENWORK

How now! Greetings? Love-terms with a pox between you! Have I found out one of your haunts? I send you for hollands, and you’re i’th’low countries with a mischief. I’m serv’d with good ware by th’shift, that makes it lie dead so long upon my hands: I were as good shut up shop, for when I open it I take nothing.

 OPENWORK
Nay, and you fall a-ringing once the devil cannot stop you. I’ll out of the belfry as fast as I can. Moll.

 MISTRESS OPENWORK
Get you from my shop.

 MOLL
I come to buy.

 MISTRESS OPENWORK
I’ll sell ye nothing; I warn ye my house and shop.

 MOLL
You goody Openwork, you that prick out a poor living
And sews many a bawdy skin-coat together,
Thou private pandress between shirt and smock,
I wish thee for a minute but a man:
Thou shouldst never use more shapes. But as th’art
I pity my revenge: now my spleen’s up,
I would not mock it willingly.

Enter a Fellow with a long rapier by his side.

Ha! Be thankful.
Now I forgive thee.

 MISTRESS OPENWORK
Marry, hang thee;
I never ask’d forgiveness in my life.

 MOLL
You, goodman swine’s-face!

 FELLOW
What, will you murder me?

 MOLL
You remember, slave, how you abus’d me t’other night in a tavern?

 FELLOW
Not I, by this light.

 MOLL
No, but by candlelight you did. You have tricks to save your oaths, reservations have you, and I have reserved somewhat for you. [Strikes him.] As you like that, call for more; you know the sign again.

 FELLOW
Pox on’t, had I brought any company along with me to have borne witness on’t; ‘twould ne’er have griev’d me; but to be struck and nobody by, ’tis my ill fortune still. Why, tread upon a worm, they say ’twill turn tail, but indeed a gentleman should have more manners.                                                     [Exit Fellow.

 LAXTON
Gallantly performed, i’faith, Moll, and manfully! I love thee forever for’t! Base rogue! Had he offer’d but the least counterbuff, by this hand I was prepared for him.

 MOLL
You prepared for him! Why should you be prepared for him? Was he any more than a man?

 LAXTON
No, nor so much by a yard and a handful London measure.

 MOLL
Why do you speak this then? Do you think I cannot ride a stone horse unless one lead him by th’ snaffle?

 LAXTON
Yes, and sit him bravely; I know thou canst, Moll. ‘Twas but an honest mistake through love, and I’ll make amends for’t any way. Prithee, sweet, plump Moll, when shall thou and I go out a’ town together?

 MOLL
Whither? To Tyburn prithee?

 LAXTON
Mass, that’s out a’ town indeed; thou hang’st so many jests upon thy friends still. I mean honestly to Brainford, Staines or Ware.

 MOLL
What to do there?

 LAXTON
Nothing but be merry and lie together; I’ll hire a coach with four horses.

 MOLL
I thought ‘twould be a beastly journey. You may leave out one well: three horses will serve if I play the jade myself.

 LAXTON
Nay, push, th’art such another kicking wench! Prithee be kind and let’s meet.

 MOLL
‘Tis hard but we shall meet, sir.

 LAXTON
Nay, but appoint the place then. [Giving her money.] There’s ten angels in fair gold, Moll; you see I do not trifle with you. Do but say thou wilt meet me, and I’ll have a coach ready for thee.

 MOLL
Why, here’s my hand I’ll meet you, sir.

 LAXTON
[Aside.] Oh, good gold!  The place, sweet Moll?

 MOLL
It shall be your appointment.

LAXTON
Somewhat near Holborn, Moll.

 MOLL
In Gray’s Inn Fields then.

 LAXTON
A match.

 MOLL
I’ll meet you there.

 LAXTON
The hour?

 MOLL
Three.

 LAXTON
That will be time enough to sup at Brainford.   [Fall from them to the other.

 OPENWORK
I am of such a nature, sir, I cannot endure the house when she scolds. Sh’ has a tongue will be heard further in a still morning than Saint Antling’s bell. She rails upon me for foreign wenching, that I being a freeman must needs keep a whore i’th’suburbs, and seek to impoverish the liberties. When we fall out, I trouble you still to make all whole with my wife.

 GOSHAWK
No trouble at all; ’tis a pleasure to me to join things together.

 OPENWORK
Go thy ways. [Aside.] I do this but to try thy honesty, Goshawk.

The Feather shop

 JACK
How lik’st thou this, Moll?

 MOLL
Oh, singularly! You’re fitted now for a bunch. [Aside.] He looks for all the world with those spangled feathers like a nobleman’s bedpost! The purity of your wench would I fain try; she seems like Kent, unconquered, and I believe as many wiles are in her. Oh, the gallants of these times are shallow lechers; they put not their courtship home enough to a wench. ‘Tis impossible to know what woman is thoroughly honest, because she’s ne’er thoroughly tried; I am of that certain belief there are more queans in this town of their own making than of any man’s provoking. Where lies the slackness then? Many a poor soul would down, and there’s nobody will push ’em:
Women are courted but ne’er soundly tried,
As many walk in spurs that never ride.

The Sempster’s shop.

 MISTRESS OPENWORK
Oh, abominable!

 GOSHAWK
Nay, more: I tell you in private, he keeps a whore i’th’suburbs.

 MISTRESS OPENWORKOh, spital dealing! I came to him a gentlewoman born. I’ll show you mine arms when you please, sir.

 GOSHAWK
[Aside.] I had rather see your legs and begin that way.

 MISTRESS OPENWORK
‘Tis well known he took me from a lady’s service, where I was well beloved of the steward; I had my Latin tongue and a spice of the French before I came to him, and now doth he keep a suburbian whore under my nostrils.

 GOSHAWK
There’s ways enough to cry quit with him; hark in thine ear.

MISTRESS OPENWORK
There’s a friend worth a million.

 MOLL
[Aside.] I’ll try one spear against your chastity, Mistress Tiltyard, though it prove too short by the burr.

Enter RALPH TRAPDOOR.

 TRAPDOOR
[Aside.] Mass, here she is! I’m bound already to serve her, though it be but a sluttish trick.  Bless my hopeful young mistress with long life and great limbs! Send her the upper hand of all bailiffs and their hungry adherents!

 MOLL
How now! What art thou?

 TRAPDOOR
A poor, ebbing gentleman that would gladly wait for the young flood of your service.

 MOLL
My service! What should move you to offer your service to me, sir?

 TRAPDOOR
The love I bear to your heroic spirit and masculine womanhood.

 MOLL
So, sir, put case we should retain you to us, what parts are there in you for a gentlewoman’s service?

 TRAPDOOR
Of two kinds, right worshipful, movable and immovable: movable to run of arrants, and immovable to stand when you have occasion to use me.

 MOLL
What strength have you?

 TRAPDOOR
Strength, Mistress Moll? I have gone up into a steeple and stayed the great bell as’t has been ringing, stopp’d a windmill going.

 MOLL
And never struck down yourself?

 TRAPDOOR
Stood as upright as I do at this present.   [MOLL trips up his heels; he falls.

 MOLL
Come, I pardon you for this; it shall be no disgrace to you: I have struck up the heels of the high German’s size ere now. What, not stand?

 TRAPDOOR
I am of that nature where I love, I’ll be at my mistress’ foot to do her service.

 MOLL
Why, well said. But say your mistress should receive injury: have you the spirit of fighting in you? Durst you second her?

 TRAPDOOR
Life, I have kept a bridge myself and drove seven at a time before me.

 MOLL
Ay?

 TRAPDOOR
[Aside.] But they were all Lincolnshire bullocks, by my troth.

 MOLL
Well, meet me in Gray’s Inn Fields between three and four this afternoon, and upon better consideration we’ll retain you.

 TRAPDOOR
I humbly thank your good mistress-ship.
[Aside.] I’ll crack your neck for this kindness.

[Exit TRAPDOOR. MOLL meets LAXTON.

 LAXTON
Remember: three.

 MOLL
Nay, if I fail you, hang me.

 LAXTON
Good wench, i’faith.

 Then OPENWORK.

 MOLL
Who’s this?

 OPENWORK
‘Tis I, Moll.

 MOLL
Prithee tend thy shop and prevent bastards.

 OPENWORK
We’ll have a pint of the same wine, i’faith, Moll.

 [Exeunt MOLL and OPENWORK. The bell rings.

GOSHAWK
Hark the bell rings; come, gentlemen.
Jack Dapper, where shall’s all munch?

 JACK
I am for Parker’s ordinary.

 LAXTON
He’s a good guest to ‘m; he deserves his board:
He draws all the gentlemen in a term-time thither.
We’ll be your followers, Jack, lead the way.
Look you, by my faith, the fool has feather’d his nest well.

[Exeunt gallants LAXTON, GOSHAWK, GREENWIT, and JACK DAPPER.

 Enter MASTER GALLIPOT, MASTER TILTYARD, and Servants with water-spaniels and a duck.

 TILTYARD
Come, shut up your shops. Where’s Master Openwork?

 MISTRESS GALLIPOT
Nay, ask not me, Master Tiltyard.

 TILTYARD
Where’s his water-dog? Puh-pist-her-her-pist!

 GALLIPOT
Come, wenches, come, we’re going all to Hogsden.

 MISTRESS GALLIPOT
To Hogsden, husband?

 GALLIPOT
Ay, to Hogsden, pigsney.

 MISTRESS GALLIPOT
I’m not ready, husband.

GALLIPOT
Faith, that’s well. Hum-pist-pist!                               [Spits in the dog’s mouth.
Come, Mistress Openwork, you are so long.

 MISTRESS OPENWORK
I have no joy of my life, Master Gallipot.

 GALLIPOT
Push, let your boy lead his water-spaniel along and we’ll show you the bravest sport at Parlous Pond. Hey Trug, hey Trug, hey Trug! Here’s the best duck in England, except my wife.
Hey, hey, hey, fetch, fetch, fetch, come let’s away;
Of all the year this is the sportfull’st day.                                            [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene

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