Westward Ho – Act One, Scene Two

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Enter TENTERHOOK, MISTRESS TENTERHOOK, MONOPOLY, a Scrivener, and a Cashier.

TENTERHOOK
Moll!

MISTRESS TENTERHOOK
What would, heart?

TENTERHOOK
Where’s my cashier? Are the sums right? Are the bonds sealed?

CASHIER
Yea, sir.

TENTERHOOK
Will you have the bags sealed?

MONOPOLY
Oh, no, sir, I must disburse instantly. We that be courtiers have more places to send money to than the devil hath to send his spirits. There’s a great deal of light gold.

TENTERHOOK
Oh, sir, ‘twill away in play; and you will stay till tomorrow you shall have it all in new sovereigns.

MONOPOLY
No, in troth, ‘tis no matter; ‘twill away in play. Let me see the bond; let me see when this money is to be paid. The tenth of August. The first day that I must tender this money is the first of dog-days.

SCRIVENER
I fear ‘twill be hot staying for you in London then.

TENTERHOOK
Scrivener, take home the bond with you.                                             [Exit Scrivener.
Will you stay till dinner, sir? Have you any partridge, Moll?

MISTRESS TENTERHOOK
No, in troth, heart; but an excellent pickled goose, a new service.   Pray you, stay.

MONOPOLY
Sooth, I cannot. By this light, I am so infinitely, so unboundably beholding to you.

TENTERHOOK
Well, signior, I’ll leave you. My cloak, there.

MISTRESS TENTERHOOK
When will you come home, heart?

TENTERHOOK
In troth, self, I know not. A friend of yours and mine hath broke.

MISTRESS TENTERHOOK
Who, sir?

TENTERHOOK
Master Justiniano, the Italian.

MISTRESS TENTERHOOK
Broke, sir!

TENTERHOOK
Yea, sooth. I was offered forty yesterday upon the Exchange, to assure a hundred.

MISTRESS TENTERHOOK
By my troth, I am sorry.

TENTERHOOK
And his wife is gone to the party.

MISTRESS TENTERHOOK
Gone to the party! Oh, wicked creature!

TENTERHOOK
Farewell, good Master Monopoly. I prithee visit me often.                                [Exit.

MONOPOLY
Little Moll, send away the fellow.

MISTRESS TENTERHOOK
Philip, Philip.

CASHIER
Here, forsooth.

MISTRESS TENTERHOOK
Go into Bucklesbury and fetch me two ounces of preserved melons. Look there be no tobacco taken in the shop when he weighs it.

CASHIER
Ay, forsooth.                                                                                                                    [Exit.

MONOPOLY
What do you eat preserved melons for, Moll?

MISTRESS TENTERHOOK
In troth, for the shaking of the heart. I have sometimes such a shaking, and downwards such a kind of earthquake, as it were.

MONOPOLY
Do you hear, let your man carry home my money to the ordinary and lay it in my chamber. But let him not tell my host that it is money. I owe him but forty pound and the rogue is hasty; he will follow me when he thinks I have money, and pry into me as crows perch upon carrion, and when he hath found it out, prey upon me as heralds do upon funerals.

MISTRESS TENTERHOOK
Come, come, you owe much money in town. When you have forfeited your bond, I shall ne’er see you more.

MONOPOLY
You are a monkey. I’ll pay him ‘fore’s day. I’ll see you tomorrow then.

MISTRESS TENTERHOOK
By my troth, I love you very honestly. You were never the gentleman offered any uncivility to me, which is strange, methinks, in that one comes from beyond seas. Would I had given a thousand pound, I could not love thee so!

MONOPOLY
Do you hear? You shall feign some scurvy disease or other, and go to the bath next spring. I’ll meet you there.

Enter MISTRESS HONEYSUCKLE and MISTRESS WAFER.

MISTRESS HONEYSUCKLE
By your leave, sweet Mistress Tenterhook.

MISTRESS TENTERHOOK
Oh, how dost, partner?

MONOPOLY
Gentlewomen, I stayed for a most happy wind, and now the breath from your sweet, sweet lips should set me going. Good Mistress Honeysuckle, good Mistress Wafer, good Mistress Tenterhook, I will pray for you, that neither rivalship in loves, pureness of painting, or riding out of town, not acquainting each other with it, be a cause your sweet beauties do fall out and rail upon one another.

MISTRESS WAFER
Rail, sir! We do not use to rail.

MONOPOLY
Why, mistress, railing is your mother tongue, as well as lying.

MISTRESS HONEYSUCKLE
But do you think we can fall out?

MONOPOLY
In troth, beauties, as one spake seriously, that there was no inheritance in the amity of princes, so think I of women. Too often interviews amongst women, as amongst princes, breed envy oft to other’s fortune. There is only in the amity of women an estate for will, and every puny knows that is no certain inheritance.

MISTRESS WAFER
You are merry, sir.

MONOPOLY
So may I leave you, most fortunate gentlewoman.                                                [Exit.

MISTRESS TENTERHOOK
Love shoots here.

MISTRESS WAFER
Tenterhook, what gentleman is that gone out? Is he a man?

MISTRESS HONEYSUCKLE
Oh, God, and an excellent trumpeter. He came lately from the university, and loves city dames only for their victuals. He hath an excellent trick to keep lobsters and crabs sweet in summer, and calls it a device to prolong the days of shellfish, for which I do suspect he hath been clerk to some nobleman’s kitchen. I have heard he never loves any wench till she be as stale as Frenchmen eat their wildfowl. I shall anger her.

MISTRESS TENTERHOOK
How stale, good Mistress Nimblewit?

MISTRESS HONEYSUCKLE
Why, as stale as a country hostess, and Exchange sempster, or a court laundress.

MISTRESS TENTERHOOK
He is your cousin. My, how your tongue runs!

MISTRESS HONEYSUCKLE
Talk and make a noise, no matter to what purpose. I have learned that with going to puritan lectures. I was yesterday at a banquet. Will you discharge my ruffs of some wafers? And how doth thy husband, Wafer?

MISTRESS WAFER
Faith, very well.

MISTRESS HONEYSUCKLE
He is just like a torchbearer to maskers; he wears good clothes and is ranked in good company, but he doth nothing. Thou art fain to take all and pay all.

MISTRESS TENTERHOOK
The more happy she. Would I could make such an ass of my husband too! I hear say he breeds thy child in his teeth every year.

MISTRESS WAFER
In faith, he doth.

MISTRESS HONEYSUCKLE
By my troth, ‘tis pity but the fool should have the other two pains incident to the head.

MISTRESS WAFER
What are they?

MISTRESS HONEYSUCKLE
Why the headache and the hornache. I heard say that he would have had thee nurs’d thy child thyself too.

MISTRESS WAFER
That he would, truly.

MISTRESS HONEYSUCKLE
Why, there’s a policy of husbands to keep their wives in. I do assure you, if a woman of any markable face in the world gave her child suck, look how many wrinkles be in the nipple of her breast, so many will be in her forehead, by that time twelvemonth. But, sirrah, we are come to acquaint thee with an excellent secret. We two learn to write.

MISTRESS TENTERHOOK
To write!

MISTRESS HONEYSUCKLE
Yes, believe it, and we have the finest schoolmaster, a kind of Precisian, and yet an honest knave too. By my troth, if thou beest a good wench, let him teach thee. Thou mayst send him of any errand, and trust him with any secret—nay, to see how demurely he will bear himself before our husbands, and how jocund when their backs are turn’d.

MISTRESS TENTERHOOK
For God’s love, let me see him!

MISTRESS WAFER
Tomorrow we’ll send him to thee. Till then, sweet Tenterhook, we leave thee, wishing thou mayest have the fortune to change thy name often.

MISTRESS TENTERHOOK
How! Change my name?

MISTRESS WAFER
Ay, for thieves and widows love to shift many names, and make sweet use of it too.

MISTRESS TENTERHOOK
Oh, you are a wag indeed! Good Wafer, remember my schoolmaster. Farewell, good Honeysuckle.

MISTRESS HONEYSUCKLE
Farewell, Tenterhook.                                                                                             [Exeunt.

Proceed to the Next Scene

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