The Witch of Edmonton – Act Three, scene one

Return to previous scene

Enter YOUNG BANKS, and Morris-dancers.

FIRST DANCER
Nay, Cuddy, prithee do not leave us now.  If we part all this night we shall not meet before day.

SECOND DANCER
I prithee, Banks, let’s keep together now.

YOUNG BANKS
If you were wise, a word would serve; but as you are, I must be forc’d to tell you again, I have a little private business, an hour’s work;  it may prove but an half hour’s, as luck may serve; and then I take horse and along with you.  Have we e’re a witch in the morris?

FIRST DANCER
No, no, no woman’s part, but Maid Marion and the hobby-horse.

YOUNG BANKS
I’ll have a witch.  I love a witch.

FIRST DANCER
Faith, witches themselves are so common nowadays that the counterfeit will not be regarded.  They say we have three or four in Edmonton besides Mother Sawyer.

SECOND DANCER
I would she would dance her part with us.

THIRD DANCER
So would not I, for if she comes, the devil and all comes along with her.

YOUNG BANKS
Well, I’ll have a witch.  I have lov’d a witch ever since I play’d at cherry-pit.  Leave me, and get my horse dress’d.  Give him oats, but water him not till I come.  Whither do we foot it first?

SECOND DANCER
To Sir Arthur Clarington’s first, then whither thou wilt.

YOUNG BANKS
Well, I am content, but we must up to Carter’s, the rich yeoman.  I must be seen on hobby-horse there.

FIRST DANCER
Oh, I small him now.  I’ll lay my ears Banks is in love, and that’s the reason he would walk melancholy by himself.

YOUNG BANKS
Hah!  Who was that said I was in love?

FIRST DANCER
Not I.

SECOND DANCER
Nor I.

YOUNG BANKS
Go to; no more of that.  When I understand what you speak, I know what you say.  Believe that.

FIRST DANCER
Well, ‘twas I.  I’ll not deny it.  I meant no harm in’t.  I have seen you walk up to Carter’s of Chessum.  Banks, were not you there last Shrovetide?

YOUNG BANKS
Yes, I was ten days together there the last Shrovetide.

SECOND DANCER
How could that be, when there are but seven days in the week?

YOUNG BANKS
Prithee peace.  I reckon stila nova, as a traveller:  thou understandest as a fresh-water farmer, that never sawest a week beyond sea.  Ask any soldier that ever received his pay but in the Low Countries, and he’ll tall thee there are eight days in the week there, hard by.  How dost thou think they rise high in Germany, Italy, and those remoter places?

THIRD DANCER
Ay, but simipy there are but seven days in the week yet.

YOUNG BANKS
No, simply as thou understandest.  Prithee, look but in the Lover’s Almanack, when he has been but three days’ absent.  “Oh,” says he, “I have not seen my love these seven years; there’s a long cut.”  When he comes to her again, and embraces her, “Oh,” says he, “now methinks I am in heaven,” and that’s a pretty step.  He that can get up to heaven in ten days, need not repent his journey.  You may ride a hundred days in a caroche, and be further off then when you set forth.  But, I pray you, good morris-mates, now leave me.  I will be with you by midnight.

FIRST DANCER
Well, since he will be alone, we’ll back again and trouble him no more.

OMNES
But remember, Banks.

YOUNG BANKS
The hobby-horse shall be remembered.  But hark you, get Poldavis, the barber’s boy for the witch, because he can show his art better than another.

[Exeunt.  Manant YOUNG BANKS.

Well, now to my walk.  I am near the place where I should meet I know not what.  Say I meet a thief, I must follow him, if to the gallows.  Say I meet a horse, or hare, or hound, still I must follow; some slow-pac’d beast, I hope.  Yet love is full of lightness in the heaviest lovers

Enter DOG.

Ha!  My guide is come.  A water-dog.  I am thy first man, Sculler.  I go with thee.  Ply no other but myself.  Away with the boat.  Land me but at Katherine’s dock, my sweet Katherine’s dock, and I’ll be a fare to thee.  That way?  Nay, which way thou wilt.  Thou know’st the way better than I.  Fine gentle cur it is, and well brought up, I warrant him.  We go a-ducking, spaniel. Thou shalt fetch me the ducks, pretty kindle rascal.

Enter Spirit in shape of KATHERINE, vizarded, and takes it off.

SPIRIT
Thus throw I off mine own essential horror,
And take the shape of a sweet lovely maid
Whom this fool dotes on.  We can meet his folly,
But from his virtues must be runaways.
We’ll sport with him, but when we reckoning call,
We know where to receive; th’witch pays for all.                                       [DOG barks.

YOUNG BANKS
Ay?  Is that the watch-word?  She’s come.  Well, if ever we be married, it shall be at Barking Church, in memory of thee.  Now, come behind, kind cur.
And have I met thee, sweet Kate?
I will teach thee to walk so late.
Oh, see, we meet in metre.  What, dost thou trip from me?  Oh, that I were upon my hobby-horse, I would mount after thee so nimble.  Stay, nymph, stay, sweet nymph, stay.
Tarry and kiss me; sweet nymph, stay;
Tarry and kiss me, sweet;
We will to Chessum Street
And then to the house stands in the highway.
Nay, by your leave, I must embrace you.       [Exeunt Spirit and YOUNG BANKS.

DOG
Ha, ha, ha, ha!

Enter YOUNG BANKS wet.

 

 YOUNG BANKS
This was an ill night to go a-wooing in.  I find it now in Pond’s Almanac.  Thinking to land at Katherine’s dock, I was almost at Gravesend.  I’ll never go to a wench in the dog-days again.  Yet ‘tis cool enough  Had you never a paw in this dog-trick?  A mangy take that black hide of yours.  I’ll throw you in at Limehouse in some tanner’s pit or other.

DOG
Ha, ha, ha, ha!

YOUNG BANKS
How now?  Who’s that laughs at me?  Hist to him. [DOG barks.] Peace, peace; thou didst but thy kind neither.  ‘Twas my own fault.

DOG
Take heed how thou trustest the Devil another time.

YOUNG BANKS
How now?  Who’s that speaks?  I hope you have not your reading tongue about you.

DOG
Yes, I can speak.

YOUNG BANKS
The Devil you can.  You have read Aesop’s Fables then.  I have play’d one of your parts there; the dog that catch’d at the shadow in the water.  Pray you, let me catechize you a little:  what might one call your name, dog?

DOG
My dame calls me Tom.

YOUNG BANKS
‘Tis well; and she may call me Ass, so there’s a whole one betwixt us, Tom-ass.  She said I should follow you indeed.  Well, Tom, give my thy fist.  We are friends. You shall be mine ingle.  I love you, but I pray you, let’s have no more of these ducking devices.

DOG
Not, if you love me.  Dogs love where they are beloved.  Cherish me, and I’ll do anything for thee.

YOUNG BANKS
Well, you shall have jowls and livers.  I have butchers to my friends that shall bestow ‘em, and I will keep crusts and bones for you, if you’ll be a kind dog, Tom.

DOG
Anything.  I’ll have thee to thy love.

YOUNG BANKS
Wilt thou?  That promise shall cost me a brown loaf, though I steal it out of my father’s cupboard.  You’ll eat stolen goods, Tom, will you not?

DOG
Oh, best of all.  The sweetest bits, those.

YOUNG BANKS
You shall not starve, Ningle Tom, believe that.  If you love fish, I’ll help you to maids and soles.  I’m acquainted with a fishmonger.

DOG
Maids and soles?  Oh, sweet bits!  Banqueting stuff, those.

YOUNG BANKS
One thing I would request you, Ningle, as you have play’d the knavish cur with me a little, that you would mingle amongst our morris dancers in the morning.  You can dance?

DOG
Yes, yes, anything.  I’ll be there, but unseen to any but thyself.  Get thee gone before.  Fear not my presence.  I have work tonight.  I serve more master, more dames, than one.

YOUNG BANKS
[Aside.] He can serve Mammon and the devil too!

DOG
It shall concern thee, and thy love’s purchase.
There’s a gallant rival loves the maid,
And likely is to have her.  Mark what a mischief,
Before the morris ends, shall light on him.

YOUNG BANKS
Oh, sweet Ningle, thy neuf once again.  Friends must part for a time.  Farewell, with this remembrance:  shalt have bread too when we meet again.  If ever there were an honest devil, ‘twill be the Devil of Edmonton, I see.  Farewell, Tom.  I prithee, dog me as soon as thou canst.                                                                    [Exit.

DOG
I’ll not miss thee, and be merry with thee.
Those that are joys denied must take delight
In sins and mischiefs.  ‘Tis the devil’s right.                                                          [Exit.

Proceed to the next scene

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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: