Act 5, Scene III

Scene: The house of Bacurius.

Enter BACURIUS and a Servant.

Bacurius.
Three gentlemen without, to speak with me
Servant.
Yes, Sir.
Bacurius.
Let them come in.

Enter BESSUS, with the two Swordmen.

Servant.
They are enter'd, sir, already.
Bacurius.
Now, fellows, your business? Are these the gentlemen?
Bessus.
My lord, I have made bold to bring these gentlemen,
My friends o' th' sword, along with me.
Bacurius.
I am
Afraid you'll fight, then.
Bessus.
Mv good lord, I will not;
Your lordship is mistaken; fear not, lord.
Bacurius.
Sir, I am sorry for't.
Bessus.
I ask no more in honour.—Gentlemen,
You hear my lord is sorry.
Bacurius.
Not that I have beaten you,
But beaten one that will be beaten;
One whose dull body will require a lamming,
As surfeits do the diet, spring and fall.
Now, to your swordmen:
What come they for, good captain Stockfish?
Bessus.
It seems your lordship has forgot my name.
Bacurius.
No, nor your nature neither; though they are
Things fitter, I must confess, for anything
Than my remembrance, or any honest man's:
What shall these billets do? be piled up in my woodyard?
Bessus.
Your lordship holds your mirth still, heaven continue it!
But, for these gentlemen, they come——
Bacurius.
To swear you are a coward? Spare your book;
I do believe it.
Bessus.
Your lordship still draws wide;,
They come to vouch, under their valiant hands,
I am no coward.
Bacurius.
That would be a show, indeed, worth seeing. Sirs,
Be wise and take money for this motion, travel with't;
And where the name of Bessus has been known,
Or a good coward stirring, 'twill yield more than
A tilting. This will prove more beneficial to you,
If you be thrifty, than your captainship,
And more natural. Men of most valiant hands,
Is this true ?
2 Swordman.
It is so, most renowned.
Bacurius.
'Tis somewhat strange.
1 Swordman.
Lord, it is strange, yet true.
We have examined, from your lordship's foot there
To this man's head, the nature of the beatings;
And we do find his honour is come off
Clean and sufficient: This, as our swords shall help us.
Bacurius.
You are much bound to your bilbo-men;
I am glad you're straight again, captain. 'Twere good
You would think some way how to gratify them;
They have undergone a labour for you, Bessus,
Would have puzzled Hercules with all his valour.
2 Swordman.
Your lordship must understand we are no men
Of the law, that take pay for our opinions;
It is sufficient we have cleared our friend.
Bacurius.
Yet there is something due, which I, as touch'd
In conscience, will discharge.—Captain, I'll pay
This rent for you.
Bessus.
Spare yourself, my good lord;
My brave friends aim at nothing but the virtue.
Bacurius.
That's but a cold discharge, Sir, for the pains.
2 Swordman.
Oh, lord! my good lord!
Bacurius.
Be not so modest; I will give you something.
Bessus.
They shall dine with your lordship; that's sufficient.
Bacurius.
Something in hand the while. You rogues, you apple-squires,
Do you come hither, with your bottled valour,
Your windy froth, to limit out my beatings?
[Kicks them.
1 Swordman.
I do beseech your lordship.
2 Swordman.
Oh, good lord!
Bacurius.
'Sfoot, what a bevy of beaten slaves are here!—
Get me a cudgel, sirrah, and a tough one.
[Exit Servant.
2 Swordman.
More of your foot, I do beseech your lordship.
Bacurius.
You shall, you shall, dog, and your fellow beagle.
1 Swordman.
O' this side, good mv lord.
Bacurius.
Off with your swords;
For if you hurt my foot, I'll have you flead,
You rascals.
1 Swordman.
Mine's off, my lord.
[They take off their swords.
2 Swordman.
I beseech your lordship, stay a little; my strap's
Tied to my cod-piece point: Now, when you please.
Bacurius.
Captain, these are your valiant friends;
You long for a little too?
Bessus.
I am very well, I humbly thank your lordship.
Bacurius.
What's that in your pocket hurts my toe, you mungrel?
Thy buttocks cannot be so hard; out with't quickly.
2 Swordman.
[Takes out a pistol.] Here 'tis, sir; a small piece of artillery,
That a gentleman, a dear friend of your lordship's,
Sent me with, to get it mended, sir; for, if you mark,
The nose is somewhat loose.
Bacurius.
A friend of mine, you rascal?
I was never wearier of doing nothing,
Than kicking these two foot-balls.

Enter Servant.

Servant.
Here's a good cudgel, sir.
Bacurius.
It comes too late; I am weary; pr'ythee,
Do thou beat them.
2 Swordman.
My lord, this is foul play,
I'faith, to put a fresh man upon us:
Men are but men, sir.
Bacurius.
That jest shall save your bones.—Captain, rally up your rotten regiment, and begone.—I had rather thresh than be bound to kick these rascals, till they cried, "ho!" Bessus, you may put your hand to them now, and then you are quit.—Farewell! as you like this, pray visit me again; 'twill keep me in good health.
[Exit.
2 Swordman.
He has a devilish hard foot; I never felt the like.
1 Swordman.
Nor I; and yet, I am sure, I have felt a hundred.
2 Swordman.
If he kick thus i' the dog-days, he will be dry-foundred.
What cure now, captain, besides oil of bays?
Bessus.
Why, well enough, I warrant vou; you can go?
2 Swordman.
Yes, Heaven be thank'd! but I feel a shrewd ache;
Sure, he's sprang my huckle-bone.
1 Swordman.
I ha' lost a haunch.
Bessus.
A little butter, friend, a little butter;
Butter and parsley is a sovereign matter:
Probatum est.
2 Swordman.
Captain, we must request
Your hand now to our honours.
Bessus.
Yes, marry, shall ye;
And then let all the world come, we are valiant
To ourselves, and there's an end.
1 Swordman.
Nay, then, we must be valiant. Oh, my ribs!
2 Swordman.
Oh, my small guts!
A plague upon these sharp-toed shoes; they are murderers.
[Exeunt.