have possessed me withal, l'll discharge it amply, sir. Make it no question.

[Exit. · Well. Forth, and prosper, Brainworm. Faith, Ned, how dost thou approve of my abilities in this device?

Y. Kno. Troth, well, howsoever : but it will come excellent, if it take.

Well. Take, man! Why, it cannot chuse but take, if the circumstances miscarry not. But tell me ingenuously, dost thou affect my sister Bridget, as thou pretend'st.

Y. Kno. Friend, am I worth belief? Well. Come, do not protest. In faith, she is a maid of good ornament, and much modesty ; and, except I conceived very worthily of her, thou should’st not have her.

.Y. Kno. Nay, that I'm afraid will be a question yet, whether I shall have her or no. : Well. 'Slid, thou shalt have her; by this light thou shalt.

Y. Kno. I do believe thou wilt oinit no offered occasion, to make my desires complete. Well. Thou shalt see and know I will not.

[Ercunt. Enter FORMAL and Kno'well. Form. Was your man a soldier, sir?

Kno. Aye, a knave, I took him begging o’the way, This morning, as I came over Moorfields.

Enter BRAINWORM. Oh, here he is! You have made fair speed, believe


Where i’the name of sloth could you be thus

Brain. Marry, peace be my comfort, where I thought I should have had little comfort of your worship’s service.

Kno. How so?
Brain. Oh, sir! Your coming to the city, your en-

tertainment of me, and your sending me to watch indeed, all the circumstances either of your charge, or my employment, are as open to your son as to yourself. Kno. How should that be! Unless that villain,

Have told him of the letter, and discovered
All that I strictly charg'd him to conceal! 'Tis so !

Brain. I am partly o’that faith, 'tis so indeed.
Kno. But how should he know you to be my man?

Brain. Nay, sir, I cannot tell; unless it be by the black art !

Kno. But where didst thou find them, Fitzsword?

Brain. You should rather ask, where they found me, sir; for I'll be sworn I was going along in the street, thinking nothing, when (of a sudden) a voice calls Mr. Kno’well's man; another cries, soldier: and tbus, half a dozen of them, 'till they had called me within a house, where I no sooner came, but out flew all their rapiers at my bosom, with some three or fourscore oaths to accompany them, and all to tell me, I was a dead man, if I did not confess where you were, and how I was employed, and about what; which, when they could not get out of me (as I protest they

I must have dissected me, and made an anatomy of me first, and so I told them) they locked me up into a room i'the top of a high house, whence, by great miracle, having a light heart, I slid down by a bottom of packthread into the street, and so escaped. But, sir, thus much I can assure you; for I heard it while I was locked up; there were a great many rich merchants' and brave citizens' wives with them at a feast, and your son, Mr. Edward, withdrew with one of them, and has appointed to meet her anon, at one Cob's house, á water-bearer, that dwells by the wall. Now, there your worship shall be sure to take him, for there he preys, and fail he will not.


Kno. Nor will I fail, to break this match I doubt

not. Go thou along with Justice Clement's man, And stay there for me. At one Cob's house, say’st

thou? Brain. Ay, sir, there you shall have him. [Erit Kno’WELL.) 'Slight, when he has staid there three or four hours, travailing with the expectation of wonders, and at length be delivered of air ! Oh, the sport that I should then take to look on him, if I durst! But now I mean to appear no more before him in this shape. I have another trick to act yet. Sir, I make you stay somewhat long.

Form. Not a whit, sir.
You have been lately in the wars, sir, it seems.

Brain. Marry have I, sir, to my loss, and expense of all, almost

Form. Troth, sir, I would be glad to bestow a bottle o'you, if it please you to accept it

Brain. Oh, sir

Form. But to hear the manner of your services and your devices in the wars; they say they be very strange, and not like those a man reads in the Roman histories, or sees at Mile End.

Brain. Sir, at any time when it please you, I shall be ready to discourse with you all i know; and more too, somewhat. Form. No better time than now, sir.

We'll go to the Windmill, there we shall have a cup of neat grist, as we call it. I pray you, sir, let me request you to the Windmill.

Brain. I'll follow you, sir, and make grist o’you, if I have good luck.


STEPHEN Mat. Sir, did your eyes ever taste the like 'clown of him, where we were to-day, Mr. Wellbred's half

brother? I think the whole earth cannot show his parallel, by this daylight.

Y. Kno. We are now speaking of him. Captain Bobadil tells me, he is fallen foul o'you too.

Mat. Oh,ay,sir; he threaten'd me with the bastinado.

Bob. Ay, but I think I taught you prevention this morning for that You shall kill him, beyond ques. tion, if you be so generously minded.

Mat. Indeed, it is a most excellent trick !

Bob. Oh, you do not give spirit enough to your motion; you are too tardy, too heavy! Oh, it must be done like lightning; hey! [He practises at a Post.] Tut, 'tis nothing, an't be not done in a-punto!

Y. Kno. Captain, did you ever prove yourself upon any of our masters of defence here?

Bob. I will tell you, sir. They have assaulted me some three, four, five, six of them together, as I have walked alone in divers skirts o'the town, where I have driven them before me the whole length of a street, in the open view of all our gallants, pitying to hurt them, believe me. Yet all this lenity will not overcome their spleen; they will be doing with the pismire, raising a hill, a man may spurn abroad with his foot, at pleasure. By myself I could have slain 'em all, but I delight not in murder, I am loth to

other than this bastinado for them ; yet I hold it good policy not to go disarmed, for, though I be skilful, I may be oppressed with multitudes.

Y. Kno. Ay, believe me, may you, sir; and, in my conceit, our whole nation should sustain the loss by it, if it were so.

Bob. Alas, no! What's a peculiar man to a nation? Not seen.

Y. Kno. Oh, but your skill, sir!

Bob. Indeed, that might be some loss; but who respects it? I will tell you, sir, by the way of private, and under seal, I am a gentleman, and live here obscure, and to myself: but were I known to his majesty,

bear any

and the lords, observe me, I would undertake, upon this

poor head and life, for the public benefit of the state, not only to spare the entire lives of his subjects in general, but to save the one half, nay, three parts of his yearly charge in holding war, and against what enemy soever. And how would I do it, think you?

Y. Kno. Nay, I know not, nor can I conceive.

Bob. Why, thus, sir. I would select nineteen more to myself; gentlemen they should be, of a good spirit, strong, and able constitution; I would chuse them by an instinct, a character that I have; and I would teach these nineteen the special rules, as your Punto, your Reverso, your Stoccata, your Imbrocala, your Passada, your Montonto; till they could all play very near, or altogether, as well as myself. This done, say the enemy were forty thousand strong, we twenty would come into the field the tenth of March, or thereabouts; and we would challenge twenty of the enemy; they could not, in their honour, refuse us ! Well, we would kill them; challenge twenty more, kill them; twenty more, kill them; twenty more, kill them too; and thus would we kill every man hiş twenty a day, that's twenty score; twenty score,

that's two hundred; two hundred a-day, five days a thousand: forty thousand; forty times five, five times forty, two hundred days kills them all up by computation. And this I will venture my poor gentlemanlike carcase to perform, provided there be no treason practised upon us, by fair and discreet manhood, that is, civily by the sword.

Y. Kno. Why, are you so sure of your hand, Captain, at all times? Bob. Tut, never miss thrust, upon my reputation

Y. Kno. I would not stand in Downright's state then, an' you meet him, for the wealth of any one street in London.

Bob. Why, sir, you mistake! If he were here now,

[ocr errors]


with you.


« VorigeDoorgaan »