Act 1, Scene II

Scene: Lazarillo's Lodging.

Enter LAZARILLO and Boy.

Go, run, search, pry in every nook and angle of the kitchens, larders, and pasteries; know what meat's boiled, baked, roast, stewed, fried, or soused, at this dinner, to be served directly, or indirectly, to every several table in the court begone!
I run; but not so fast as your mouth will do upon the stroke of eleven.
What an excellent thing did God bestow upon man, when he did give him a good stomach! What unbounded graces there are pour'd upon them that have the continual command of the very best of these blessings! 'Tis an excellent thing to be a prince; he is served with such admirable variety of fare, such innumerable choice of delicates; his tables are full fraught with most nourishing food, and his cupboards heavy laden with rich wines; his court is still fill'd with most pleasing varieties: in the summer his palace is full of green-geese, and in winter it swarmeth woodcocks. Oh, thou goddess of Plenty!
Fill me this day with some rare delicates,
And I will every year most constantly,
As this day, celebrate a sumptuous feast
(If thou wilt send me victuals) in thine honour!
And to it shall be bidden, for thy sake,
Even all the valiant stomachs in the court
All short-cloak'd knights, and all cross-garter'd gentlemen;
All pump and pantofle, foot-cloth riders;
With all the swarming generation
Of long stocks, short pain'd hose, and huge stuff'd doublets:
All these shall eat, and, which is more than yet
Hath e'er been seen, they shall be satisfied!—
I wonder my ambassador returns not.

Enter Boy.

Here I am, master.
And welcome!
Never did that sweet virgin in her smock,
Fair-cheek'd Andromeda, when to the rock
Her ivory limbs were chain'd, and straight before
A huge sea-monster, tumbling to the shore,
To have devour'd her, with more longing sight
Expect the coming of some hardy knights
That might have quell'd his pride, and set her free,
Than I with longing sight have look'd for thee.
Your Perseus is come, master, that will destroy him;
The very comfort of whose presence shuts
The monster Hunger from your yelping guts.
Brief, boy, brief!
Discourse the service of each several table
Here is a bill of all, sir.
Give it me!
"A bill of all the several services this day appointed
for every table in the court:"
Ay, this is it on which my hopes rely;
Within this paper all my joys are closed!
Boy, open it, and read it with reverence.
[Reads.] "For the captain of the guard's table, three chines of beef and two joles of sturgeon."
A portly service,
But gross, gross. Proceed to the Duke's own table,
Dear boy, to the duke's own table!
"For the duke's own table, the head of an umbrana."
Is it possible?
Can Heaven be so propitious to the duke?
Yes, I'll assure you, sir, 'tis possible;
Heaven is so propitious to him.
Why then, he is the richest prince alive!
He were the wealthiest monarch in all Europe,
Had be no other territories, dominions,
Provinces, seats, nor palaces, but only
That umbrana's head.
'Tis very fresh and sweet, sir; the fish was taken but this night, and the head, as a rare novelty, appointed by special commandment for the duke's own table, this dinner.
If poor unworthy I may come to eat
Of this most sacred dish, I here do vow
(If that blind huswife Fortune will bestow
But means on me) to keep a sumptuous house,
A board groaning under the heavy burden of the beast that cheweth the cud, and the fowl that cutteth the air: It shall not, like the table of a country justice, be sprinkled over with all manner of cheap sallads, sliced beef, giblets, and pettitoes, to fill up room; nor should there stand any great, cumbersome, un-cut-up pies, at the nether-end, filled with moss and stones, partly to make a show with, and partly to keep the lower mess from eating; nor shall my meat come in sneaking, like the city service, one dish a quarter of an hour after another, and gone as if they had appointed to meet there, and had mistook the hour; nor should it, like the new court service, come in in haste, as if it fain would be gone again, all courses at once, like a hunting breakfast; but I would have my several courses, and my dishes well filed: My first course should be brought in after the ancient manner, by a score of old bleer-eyed serving-men, in long blue coats;—Marry, they shall buy silk, facing, and buttons themselves ; but that's by the way—
Master, the time calls on; will you be walking?
Follow, boy, follow! my guts were half an hour since in the privy kitchen.