The Roaring Girl – Act Five, Scene One

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Enter JACK DAPPER, MOLL, SIR BEAUTEOUS GANYMEDE, and SIR THOMAS LONG.

 JACK
But prithee, Master Captain Jack, be plain and perspicuous with me: was it your Meg of Westminster’s courage that rescued me from the Poultry puttocks indeed?

 MOLL
The valour of my wit, I ensure you, sir, fetch’d you off bravely when you were i’the forlorn hope among those desperates. Sir Beauteous Ganymede here and Sir Thomas Long heard that cuckoo, my man Trapdoor, sing the note of your ransom from captivity.

 SIR BEAUTEOUS
‘Uds so, Moll, where’s that Trapdoor?

 MOLL
Hang’d I think by this time: a justice in this town that speaks nothing but “make a mittimus, away with him to Newgate” used that rogue like a firework to run upon a line betwixt him and me.

 OMNES
How, how?

 MOLL
Marry, to lay trains of villainy to blow up my life; I smelt the powder, spied what linstock gave fire to shoot against the poor captain of the galley-foist, and away slid I my man, like a shovel-board shilling. He struts up and down the suburbs, I think, and eats up whores, feeds upon a bawd’s garbage.

 SIR THOMAS
Sirrah Jack Dapper.

 JACK
What sayst Tom Long?

 SIR THOMAS
Thou hadst a sweet-fac’d boy, hail-fellow with thee to your little Gull. How is he spent?

 JACK
Troth, I whistled the poor little buzzard off a’my fist, because when he waited upon me at the ordinaries, the gallants hit me i’the teeth still, and said I look’d like a painted alderman’s tomb, and the boy at my elbow like a death’s head. Sirrah Jack, Moll.

 MOLL
What says my little Dapper?

 SIR BEAUTEOUS
Come, come, walk and talk, walk and talk.

 JACK
Moll and I’ll be i’the midst.

 MOLL
These knights shall have squires’ places, belike then. Well, Dapper, what say you?

 JACK
Sirrah Captain Mad Mary, the gull my own father, Dapper Sir Davy, laid these London boot-halers, the catchpoles, in ambush to set upon me.

 OMNES
Your father? Away, Jack!

 JACK
By the tassels of this handkercher, ’tis true. And what was his warlike stratagem, think you? He thought because a wicker cage tames a nightingale, a lousy prison could make an ass of me.

 OMNES
A nasty plot.

 JACK
Ay, as though a counter, which is a park in which all the wild beasts of the city run head by head, could tame me.

Enter the LORD NOLAND.

  MOLL
Yonder comes my Lord Noland.

  OMNES
Save you, my lord.

 LORD NOLAND
Well met gentlemen all, good Sir Beauteous Ganymede, Sir Thomas Long. And how does Master Dapper?

 JACK
Thanks, my lord.

 MOLL
No tobacco, my lord?

 LORD NOLAND
No, faith, Jack.

 JACK
My Lord Noland, will you go to Pimlico with us? We are making a boon voyage to that nappy land of spice-cakes.

 LORD NOLAND
Here’s such a merry ging, I could find in my heart to sail to the world’s end with such company. Come, gentlemen, let’s on.

 JACK
Here’s most amorous weather, my lord.

 OMNES
Amorous weather?                                                                    [They walk.

 JACK
Is not amorous a good word?

 Enter TRAPDOOR like a poor soldier with a patch o’er one eye, and TEARCOAT with him, all tatters.

 TRAPDOOR
Shall we set upon the infantry, these troops of foot? Zounds, yonder comes Moll, my whorish master and mistress! Would I had her kidneys between my teeth.

 TEARCAT
I had rather have a cow-heel.

 TRAPDOOR
Zounds, I am so patch’d up, she cannot discover me; we’ll on.

 TEARCAT
Alla corago then.

 TRAPDOOR
Good your honours and worships, enlarge the ears of commiseration and let the sound of a hoarse military organ-pipe, penetrate your pitiful bowels to extract out of them so many small drops of silver, as may give a hard straw-bed lodging to a couple of maim’d soldiers.

 JACK
Where are you maim’d?

 TEARCAT
In both our nether limbs.

 MOLL
Come, come, Dapper, let’s give ’em something. ‘Las, poor men, what money have you? By my troth, I love a soldier with my soul.

 SIR BEAUTEOUS
Stay, stay, where have you serv’d?

 SIR THOMAS
In any part of the Low Countries?

 TRAPDOOR
Not in the Low Countries, if it please your manhood, but in Hungary against the Turk at the siege of Belgrade.

 LORD NOLAND
Who serv’d there with you, sirrah?

 TRAPDOOR
Many Hungarians, Moldavians, Walachians, and Transylvanians, with some Sclavonians, and retiring home, sir, the Venetian galleys took us prisoners, yet freed us and suffered us to beg up and down the country.

 JACK
You have ambled all over Italy then?

 TRAPDOOR
Oh, sir, from Venice to Roma, Vecchio, Bononia, Romania, Bolonia, Modena, Piacenza, and Tuscana with all her cities, as Pistoia, Valteria, Mountepulchena, Arezzo with the Siennois, and diverse others.

 MOLL
Mere rogues: put spurs to ’em once more.

 JACK
Thou look’st like a strange creature, a fat butter-box, yet speak’st English. What are thou?

 TEARCAT
Ick, mine here? Ick bin denruffling Tearcat, den brave soldado; ick bin dorick all Dutchlant gueresen: der shellum das meere ine beasa ine woert gaeb. Ick slaag um stroakes on tom cop: dastick den hundred touzun divell halle frollick, mine here.

 SIR BEAUTEOUS
Here, here, let’s be rid of their jobbering.

 MOLL
Not a cross, Sir Beauteous. You base rogues, I have taken measure of you better than a tailor can, and I’ll fit you as you, monster with one eye, have fitted me.

 TRAPDOOR
Your worship will not abuse a soldier?

 MOLL
Soldier? Thou deserv’st to be hang’d up by that tongue which dishonours so noble a profession. Soldier, you skeldering varlet? Hold, stand, there should be a trapdoor hereabouts.                                                                [Pull off his patch.

 TRAPDOOR
The balls of these glaziers of mine, mine eyes, shall be shot up and down in any hot piece of service for my invincible mistress.

 JACK
I did not think there had been such knavery in black patches, as now I see.

 MOLL
Oh, sir, he hath been brought up in the Isle of Dogs, and can both fawn like a spaniel and bite like a mastiff as he finds occasion.

 LORD NOLAND
What are you, sirrah? A bird of this feather too?

 TEARCAT
A man beat’n from the wars, sir.

 SIR THOMAS
I think so, for you never stood to fight.

 DAPPER
What’s thy name, fellow soldier?

 TEARCAT
I am call’d by those that have seen my valour, Tearcat.

 OMNES
Tearcat?

 MOLL
A mere whip-jack, and that is, in the commonwealth of rogues, a slave that can talk of sea-fight, name all your chief pirates, discover more countries to you than either the Dutch, Spanish, French, or English ever found out, yet indeed all his service is by land, and that is to rob a fair or some such venturous exploit. Tearcat! Foot, sirrah, I have your name now! I remember me in my book of horners horns for the thumb, you know how.

 TEARCAT
No indeed, Captain Moll, for I know you by sight: I am no such nipping Christian, but a maunderer upon on the pad, I confess, and meeting with honest Trapdoor here, whom you had cashier’d from bearing arms, out at elbows under your colours, I instructed him in the rudiments of roguery, and by my map made him sail over any country you can name, so that now he can maunder better then myself.

 JACK
So then, Trapdoor, thou art turn’d soldier now.

 TRAPDOOR
Alas, sir, now there’s no wars, ’tis the safest course of life I could take.

 MOLL
I hope then you can cant, for by your cudgels, you, sirrah, are an upright man.

 TRAPDOOR
As any walks the highway, I assure you.

 MOLL
And Tearcat, what are you? A wild rogue, an angler, or a ruffler?

 TEARCAT
Brother to this upright man, flesh and blood, ruffling Tearcat is my name, and a ruffler is my style, my title, my profession.

 MOLL
Sirrah, where’s your doxy? Halt not with me.

 OMNES
Doxy, Moll? What’s that?

 MOLL
His wench.

 TRAPDOOR
My doxy? I have, by the salomon, a doxy that carries a kinchin mort in her slate at her back, besides my dell and my dainty wild dell, with all whom I’ll tumble this next darkmans in the strommel, and drink ben booze, and eat a fat gruntling cheat, a cackling cheat, and a quacking cheat.

 JACK
Here’s old cheating.

 TRAPDOOR
My doxy stays for me in a boozing ken, brave captain.

 MOLL
He says his wench stays for him in an alehouse. You are no pure rogues.

 TEARCAT
Pure rogues? No, we scorn to be pure rogues, but if you come to our lib ken, or our stalling ken, you shall find neither him nor me a queer cuffin.

 MOLL
So, sir, no churl of you.

 TEARCAT
No, but a ben cove, a brave cove, a gentry cuffin.

 LORD NOLAND
Call you this canting?

 JACK
Zounds, I’ll give a schoolmaster half a crown a week, and teach me this pedlar’s French.

 TRAPDOOR
Do but stroll, sir, half a harvest with us, sir, and you shall gabble your bellyful.

 MOLL
Come, you rogue, cant with me.

 SIR THOMAS
Well said, Moll. Cant with her, sirrah, and you shall have money, else not a penny.

 TRAPDOOR
I’ll have a bout if she please.

 MOLL
Come on, sirrah.

 TRAPDOOR
Ben mort, shall you and I heave a booth, mill a ken, or nip a bung? And then we’ll couch a hogshead under the ruffmans, and there you shall wap with me, and I’ll niggle with you.

MOLL
[Slapping and kicking him.] Out, you damn’d, impudent rascal!

 TRAPDOOR
Cut benar whids, and hold your fambles and your stamps.

 LORD NOLAND
Nay, nay, Moll, why art thou angry? What was his gibberish?

 MOLL
Marry, this, my lord, says he: ben mort, good wench, shall you and I heave a booth, mill a ken, or nip a bung? Shall you and I rob a house or cut a purse?

 OMNES
Very good.

 MOLL
And then we’ll couch a hogshead under the ruffmans: and then we’ll lie under a hedge.

 TRAPDOOR
That was my desire, captain, as ’tis fit a soldier should lie.

 MOLL
And there you shall wap with me and I’ll niggle with you, and that’s all!

 SIR BEAUTEOUS
Nay, nay, Moll, what’s that wap?

 JACK
Nay, teach me what niggling is; I’d fain be niggling.

 MOLL
Wapping and niggling is all one, the rogue my man can tell you.

 TRAPDOOR
‘Tis fadoodling, if it please you.

 SIR BEAUTEOUS
This is excellent. One fit more, good Moll.

 MOLL
Come, you rogue, sing with me.

The song

A gage of ben rom-booze
In a boozing ken of
Romville

TEARCAT
Is benar than a caster,
Peck, pannam, lap or popler,
Which we mill  in deuse a vill.

MOLL & TEARCAT
Oh, I would lib all the lightmans,
Oh, I would lib all the darkmans,
By the salomon, under the ruffmans,
By the salomon, in the
hartmans!

TEARCAT
And scour the queer cramp-ring,
And couch till a
palliarddocked my dell,
So my boozy nab might
skew rom-booze well.

 MOLL & TEARCAT
Avast to the pad, let us bing,
Avast to the pad, let us bing.

OMNES
Fine knaves, i’faith!

 JACK
The grating of ten new cartwheels and the gruntling of five hundred hogs coming from Romford market cannot make a worse noise than this canting language does in my ears. Pray, my Lord Noland, let’s give these soldiers their pay.

 SIR BEAUTEOUS
Agreed, and let them march.

 LORD NOLAND
[Giving her money.] Here, Moll.

 MOLL
Now I see that you are stall’d to the rogue and are not ashamed of your professions. [Giving TEARCAT and TRAPDOOR the money.] Look you, my Lord Noland here and these gentlemen bestows upon you two two boards and a half, that’s two shillings sixpence.

 TRAPDOOR
Thanks to your lordship.

 TEARCAT
Thanks, heroical captain.

 MOLL
Away.

 TRAPDOOR
We shall cut ben whids of your masters and mistress-ship wheresoever we come.

 MOLL
You’ll maintain, sirrah, the old justice’s plot to his face?

 TRAPDOOR
Else trine me on the cheats, hang me.

 MOLL
Be sure you meet me there.

 TRAPDOOR
Without any more maundering I’ll do’t. Follow, brave Tearcat.

 TEARCAT
I prae, sequor, let us go mouse.              [Exeunt they two. Manet the rest.

 LORD NOLAND
Moll, what was in that canting song?

 MOLL
Troth, my lord, only a praise of good drink, the only milk which these wild beasts love to suck, and thus it was:
A rich cup of wine,
Oh, it is juice divine,
More wholesome for the head
Than meat, drink, or bread
To fill my drunken pate!
With that, I’d sit up late;
By the heels would I lie,
Under a lousy hedge die.
Let a slave have a pull
At my whore, so I be full
Of that precious liquor–
And a parcel of such stuff, my lord, not worth the opening.

Enter a Cutpurse very gallant, with four or five men after him, one with a wand.

 LORD NOLAND
What gallant comes yonder?

 SIR THOMAS
Mass, I think I know him: ’tis one of Cumberland.

 FIRST CUTPURSE
Shall we venture to shuffle in amongst yon heap of gallants and strike?

 SECOND CUTPURSE
‘Tis a question whether there be any silver shells amongst them for all their satin outsides.

 OMNES
Let’s try.

 MOLL
Pox on him! A gallant? Shadow me, I know him: ’tis one that cumbers the land indeed; if he swim near to the shore of any of your pockets, look to your purses.

 OMNES
Is’t possible?

 MOLL
This brave fellow is no better than a foist.

 OMNES
Foist? What’s that?

 MOLL
A diver with two fingers, a pickpocket: all his train study the figging law, that’s to say, cutting of purses and foisting. One of them is a nip; I took him once i’the twopenny gallery at the Fortune. Then there’s a cloyer, or snap, that dogs any new brother in that trade, and snaps will have half in any booty. He with the wand is both a stale, whose office is to face a man i’the streets whilst shells are drawn by another, and then with his black conjuring rod in his hand, he, by the nimbleness of his eye and juggling-stick, will in cheaping a piece of plate at a goldsmith’s stall, make four or five rings mount from the top of his caduceus, and, as if it were at leap-frog, they skip into his hand presently.

 SECOND CUTPURSE
Zounds, we are smok’d!

 OMNES
Ha?

 SECOND CUTPURSE
We are boil’d. Pox on her! See, Moll, the roaring drab.

 FIRST CUTPURSE
All the diseases of sixteen hospitals boil her! Away!

 MOLL
Bless you, sir.

 FIRST CUTPURSE
And you, good sir.

 MOLL
Dost not ken me, man?

 FIRST CUTPURSE
No,  trust me, sir.

 MOLL
Heart, there’s a knight to whom I’m bound for many favours lost his purse at the last new play i’the Swan, seven angels in’t. Make it good; you’re best. Do you see? No more.

 FIRST CUTPURSE
A synagogue shall be call’d, Mistress Mary; disgrace me not. Pacus palabros, I will conjure for you. Farewell.                                 [Exeunt Cutpurses.

 MOLL
Did not I tell you, my lord?

 LORD NOLAND
I wonder how thou cam’st to the knowledge of these nasty villains.

 SIR THOMAS
And why do the foul mouths of the world call thee Moll Cutpurse? A name, methinks, damn’d and odious.

 MOLL
Dare any step forth to my face and say,
“I have ta’en thee doing so, Moll,” I must confess,
In younger days, when I was apt to stray,
I have sat amongst such adders, seen their stings
As any here might, and in full playhouses
Watch’d their quick-diving hands to bring to shame
Such rogues, and in that stream met an ill name.
When next, my lord, you spy any one of those,
So he be in his art a scholar, question him,
Tempt him with gold to open the large book
Of his close villainies, and you yourself shall cant
Better than poor Moll can, and know more laws
Of cheaters, lifters, nips, foists, puggards, curbers,
With all the devil’s black guard, than it is fit
Should be discovered to a noble wit.
I know they have their orders, offices,
Circuits and circles unto which they are bound
To raise their own damnation in.

 JACK
How dost thou know it?

 MOLL
As you do: I show it you, they to me show it.
Suppose, my lord, you were in Venice.

 LORD NOLAND
Well.

 MOLL
If some Italian pander there would tell
All the close tricks of courtesans, would not you
Hearken to such a fellow?

 LORD NOLAND
Yes.

 MOLL
And here,
Being come from Venice, to a friend most dear
That were to travel thither, you would proclaim
Your knowledge in those villainies to save
Your friend from their quick danger. Must you have
A black, ill name because ill things you know?
Good troth, my lord, I am made Moll Cutpurse so.
How many are whores in small ruffs and still looks!
How many chaste whose names fill slander’s books!
Were all men cuckolds, whom gallants in their scorns
Call so, we should not walk for goring horns.
Perhaps for my mad going some reprove me:
I please myself and care not else who loves me.

 OMNES
A brave mind, Moll, i’faith.

 SIR THOMAS
Come, my lord, shall’s to the ordinary?

 LORD NOLAND
Ay, ’tis noon sure.

 MOLL
Good my lord, let not my name condemn me to you or to the world. A fencer I hope may be call’d a coward: is he so for that? If all that have ill names in London were to be whipp’d and to pay but twelvepence apiece to the beadle, I would rather have his office than a constable’s.

 JACK
So would I, Captain Moll: ’twere a sweet, tickling office, i’faith.     [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene

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