The Roaring Girl – Act Five, Scene Two

Return to previous scene


My son marry a thief, that impudent girl,
Whom all the world stick their worst eyes upon?

How will your care prevent it?

‘Tis impossible.
They marry close; they’re gone, but none knows whither.

Oh, gentlemen, when has a father’s heart-strings
Held out so long from breaking?

Enter a Servant.

Now what news, sir?

They were met upo’th’water an hour since, sir,
Putting in towards the Sluice.                                          [Exit Servant.

The Sluice? Come, gentlemen,
‘Tis Lambeth works against us.

And that Lambeth
Joins more mad matches than your six wet towns
‘Twixt that and Windsor Bridge, where fares lie soaking.

Delay no time, sweet gentlemen: to Blackfriars!
We’ll take a pair of oars and make after ’em.


Your son and that bold masculine ramp,
My mistress, are landed now at Tower.

Hoyda, at Tower?

I heard it now reported.                                [Exit TRAPDOOR.

Which way gentlemen shall I bestow my care?
I’m drawn in pieces betwixt deceit and shame.


Sir Alexander,
You’re well met and most rightly served:
My daughter was a scorn to you.

Say not so, sir.

A very abject she, poor gentlewoman;
Your house  has been dishonoured. Give you joy, sir,
Of your son’s gaskin-bride; you’ll be a grandfather shortly
To a fine crew of roaring sons and daughters:
‘Twill help to stock the suburbs passing well, sir.

Oh, play not with the miseries of my heart!
Wounds should be dress’d and heal’d, not vex’d or left
Wide open to the anguish of the patient,
And scornful air let in: rather let pity
And advice charitably help to refresh ’em.

Who’d place his charity so unworthily
Like one that gives alms to a cursing beggar?
Had I but found one spark of goodness in you
Toward my deserving child, which then grew fond
Of your son’s virtues, I had eased you now;
But I perceive both fire of youth and goodness
Are rak’d up in the ashes of your age,
Else no such shame should have come near your house,
Nor such ignoble sorrow touch your heart.

If not for worth, for pity’s sake, assist me.

You urge a thing past sense. How can he help you?
All his assistance is as frail as ours,
Full as uncertain. Where’s the place that holds ’em?
One brings us water-news; then comes another
With a full-charg’d mouth, like a culverin’s voice,
And he reports the Tower. Whose sounds are truest?

In vain you flatter him, Sir Alexander.

I flatter him! Gentlemen, you wrong me grossly.

He does it well, i’faith.

Both news are false
Of Tower or water: they took no such way yet.

Oh, strange! Hear you this, gentlemen: yet more plunges?

Th’ are nearer than you think for, yet more close
Than if they were further off.

How am I lost
In these distractions!

For your speeches, gentlemen,
In taxing me for rashness, ‘fore you all
I will engage my state to half his wealth,
Nay, to his son’s revenues, which are less,
And yet nothing at all till they come from him,
That I could, if my will stuck to my power,
Prevent this marriage yet, nay, banish her
Forever from his thoughts, much more his arms.

Slack not this goodness, though you heap upon me
Mountains of malice and revenge hereafter:
I’d willingly resign up half my state to him,
So he would marry the mean’st drudge I hire.

He talks impossibilities, and you believe ’em.

I talk no more than I know how to finish;
My fortunes else are his that dares stake with me.
The poor young gentleman I love and pity,
And to keep shame from him, because the spring
Of his affection was my daughter’s first
Till his frown blasted all, do but estate him
In those possessions which your love and care
Once pointed out for him, that he may have room
To entertain fortunes of noble birth,
Where now his desperate wants casts him upon her;
And if I do not for his own sake chiefly
Rid him of this disease that now grows on him,
I’ll forfeit my whole state before these gentlemen.

Troth, but you shall not undertake such matches;
We’ll persuade so much with you.

Here’s my ring;
He will believe this token. ‘Fore these gentlemen
I will confirm it fully: all those lands
My first love ‘lotted him he shall straight possess
In that refusal.

If I change it not,
Change me into a beggar.

Are you mad, sir?

‘Tis done.

Will you undo yourself by doing,
And show a prodigal trick in your old days?

‘Tis a match, gentlemen.

Ay, ay, sir, ay.
I ask no favour, trust to you for none;
My hope rests in the goodness of your son.                  [Exit SIR GUY FITZALLARD.

He holds it up well yet.

Of an old knight, i’faith.

Curs’d be the time I laid his first love barren,
Willfully barren, that before this hour
Had sprung forth fruits of comfort and of honour!
He lov’d a virtuous gentlewoman.

Enter MOLL in man’s clothes.

Here’s Moll!


How dost thou, Jack?

How dost thou, gallant?

Impudence, where’s my son?

Weakness, go look him.

Is this your wedding gown?

The man talks monthly:
Hot broth and a dark chamber for the knight;
I see he’ll be stark mad at our next meeting.                       [Exit MOLL.

Why, sir, take comfort now, there’s no such matter:
No priest will marry her, sir, for a woman
Whiles that shape’s on, and it was never known
Two men were married and conjoin’d in one.
Your son hath made some shift to love another.

Whate’er she be, she has my blessing with her.
May they be rich and fruitful, and receive
Like comfort to their issue as I take
In them; h’as pleas’d me now, marrying not this:
Through a whole world he could not choose amiss.

Glad y’are so penitent for your former sin, sir.

Say he should take a wench with her smock-dowry,
No portion with her but her lips and arms?

Why, who thrive better, sir? They have most blessing,
Though other have more wealth, and least repent:
Many that want most know the most content.

Say he should marry a kind, youthful sinner?

Age will quench that: any offence but theft
And drunkenness, nothing but death can wipe away;
Their sins are green even when their heads are grey.
Nay, I despair not now; my heart’s cheer’d, gentlemen:
No face can come unfortunately to me.

Enter a Servant.

Now, sir, your news?

Your son with his fair bride
Is near at hand.

Fair may their fortunes be!

Now you’re resolv’d, sir, it was never she?

I find it in the music of my heart 

Enter MOLL mask’d, in SEBASTIAN’s  hand, and SIR GUY FITZALLARD.

See where they come.

A proper lusty presence, sir.

Now has he pleas’d me right: I always counsell’d him
To choose a goodly, personable creature;
Just of her pitch was my first wife his mother.

Before I dare discover my offence,
I kneel for pardon.

My heart gave it thee
Before thy tongue could ask it.
Rise; thou hast rais’d my joy to greater height
Than to that seat where grief dejected it.
Both welcome to my love and care forever,
Hide not my happiness too long, all’s pardoned.
Here are our friends. Salute her, gentlemen.                [They unmask her.

Heart! Who’s this? Moll?

Oh, my reviving shame! Is’t I must live
To be struck blind? Be it the work of sorrow,
Before age take’t in hand.

Darkness and death!
Have you deceiv’d me thus? Did I engage
My whole estate for this?

You ask’d no favour,
And you shall find as little; since my comforts
Play false with me, I’ll be as cruel to thee
As grief to fathers’ hearts.

Why, what’s the matter with you,
‘Less too much joy should make your age forgetful?
Are you too well, too happy?

With a vengeance.

Methinks you should be proud of such a daughter,
As good a man as your son.

Oh, monstrous impudence!

You had no note before, an unmark’d knight:
Now all the town will take regard on you,
And all your enemies fear you for my sake.
You may pass where you list through crowds most thick,
And come off bravely with your purse unpick’d;
You do not know the benefits I bring with me:
No cheat dares work upon you with thumb or knife
While y’ave a roaring girl to your son’s wife.

A devil rampant!

Have you so much charity
Yet to release me of my last rash bargain,
And I’ll give in your pledge.

No sir, I stand to’t, I’ll work upon advantage,
As all mischiefs do upon me.

Content, bear witness all then
His are the lands, and so contention ends.
Here comes your son’s bride, ‘twixt two noble friends.

Enter the LORD NOLAND and SIR BEAUTEOUS GANYMEDE with MARY FITZALLAD between them, the Citizens and their Wives with them.

Now are you gull’d as you would be, thank me for’t:
I’d a forefinger in’t.

Forgive me, father;
Though there before your eyes my sorrow feigned,
This still was she for whom true love complain’d.

Blessings eternal and the joys of angels
Begin your peace here to be sign’d in heaven.
How short my sleep of sorrow seems now to me
To this eternity of boundless comforts
That finds no want but utterance and expression!
My lord, your office here appears so honourably,
So full of ancient goodness, grace, and worthiness:
I never took more joy in sight of man
Than in your comfortable presence now.

Nor I more delight in doing grace to virtue
Than in this worthy gentlewoman, your son’s bride,
Noble Fitzallard’s daughter, to whose honour
And modest fame I am a servant vow’d;
So is this knight.

Your loves make my joys proud.
Bring forth those deeds of land my care laid ready,
And which, old knight, thy nobleness may challenge,
Join’d with thy daughter’s virtues, whom I prize now
As dearly as that flesh I call mine own.
Forgive me, worthy gentlewoman, ’twas my blindness
When I rejected thee; I saw thee not:
Sorrow and willful rashness grew like films
Over the eyes of judgment, now so clear
I see the brightness of thy worth appear.

Duty and love may I deserve in those,
And all my wishes have a perfect close,

That tongue can never err, the sound’s so sweet.
Here, honest son, receive into thy hands
The keys of wealth, possession of those lands
Which my first care provided: they’re thine own;
Heaven give thee a blessing with ’em. The best joys
That can in worldly shapes to man betide
Are fertile lands and a fair fruitful bride,
Of which I hope thou’rt sped.

I hope so too, sir.

Father and son, I ha’ done you simple service here.

For which thou shalt not part, Moll, unrequited.

Thou art a mad girl, and yet I cannot now
Condemn thee.

Condemn me? Troth, and you should, sir.
I’d make you seek out one to hang in my room;
I’d give you the slip at gallows and cozen the people.
Heard you this jest, my lord?

What is it, Jack?

He was in fear his son would marry me,
But never dreamt that I would ne’er agree.

Why? Thou hadst a suitor once, Jack. When wilt marry?

Who, I, my lord? I’ll tell you when, i’faith.
When you shall hear
Gallants void from sergeants’ fear,
Honesty and truth unsland’red,
Woman mann’d but never pand’red,
Cheaters booted but not coach’d,
Vessels older ere they’re broach’d:
If my mind be then not varied,
Next day following I’ll be married.

This sounds like doomsday,

Then were marriage best,
For if I should repent, I were soon at rest.

In troth, th’art a good wench. I’m sorry now
The opinion was so hard I conceiv’d of thee;
Some wrongs I’ve done thee.


Is the wind there now?
‘Tis time for me to kneel and confess first,
For fear it come too late and my brains feel it:
Upon my paws, I ask you pardon, mistress.

Pardon? For what, sir? What has your rogueship done now?

I have been from time to time hir’d to confound you
By this old gentleman.


Pray forgive him,
But may I counsel you, you should never do’t.
Many a snare to entrap your worship’s life
Have I laid privily, chains, watches, jewels,
And when he saw nothing could mount you up,
Four hollow-hearted angels he then gave you
By which he meant to trap you, I to save you.

To all which shame and grief in me cry guilty.
Forgive me; now I cast the world’s eyes from me
And look upon thee freely with mine own:
I see the most of many wrongs before thee.
Cast from the jaws of envy and her people,
And nothing foul but that. I’ll never more
Condemn by common voice, for that’s the whore
That deceives man’s opinion, mocks his trust,
Cozens his love, and makes his heart unjust.

Here be the angels, gentlemen; they were given me
As a musician. I pursue no pity;
Follow the law: and you can cuck me, spare not;
Hang up my viol by me, and I care not.

So far I’m sorry I’ll thrice double ’em
To make thy wrongs amends.
Come, worthy friends, my honourable lord,
Sir Beauteous Ganymede, and noble Fitzallard,
And you kind gentlewomen, whose sparkling presence
Are glories set in marriage, beams of society,
For all your loves give lustre to my joys.
The happiness of this day shall be rememb’red
At the return of every smiling spring;
In my time now ’tis born, and may no sadness
Sit on the brows of men upon that day,
But as I am, so all go pleas’d away.                                    [Exeunt all but MOLL.

Proceed to Epilogue


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: