Act 1, Scene I

Scene: A Room in the House of Venturewell.


Sirrah, I'll make you know you are my prentice,
And whom my charitable love redeemed
Even from the fall of fortune; gave thee heat
And growth, to be what now thou art, new-cast thee;
Adding the trust of all I have, at home,
In foreign staples, or upon the sea,
To thy direction; tied the good opinions
Both of myself and friends to thy endeavours;
So fair were thy beginnings. But with these,
As I remember, you had never charge
To love your master's daughter, and even then
When I had found a wealthy husband for her
I take it, sir, you had not: but, however,
I'll break the neck of that commision,
And make you know you are but a merchant's factor.
Sir, I do liberally confess I am yours,
Bound both by love and duty to your service,
In which my labour hath been all my profit:
I have not lost in the bargain, nor delighted
To wear your honest gains upon my back;
Nor have I given a pension to my blood,
Or lavished in play consumed your stock;
These, and the miseries that do attend them,
I dare with innocence proclaim are strangers
To all my temperate actions. For your daughter,
If their be any love to my deservings
Borne by her virtuous self, I cannot stop it;
Nor am I able to refrain her wishes,
She's private to herself, and best of knowledge
Whom she will make so happy as to sigh for:
Besides, I cannot think you mean to match her
Unto a fellow of so lame a presence,
One that hath little left of nature in him.
'Tis very well, sir: I can tell your wisdom
How all this shall be cured.
Your care becomes you.
And thus it shall be, sir: I here discharge you
My house and service; take your liberty;
And when I want a son, I'll send for you
These be the fair rewards of them that love!
Oh, you that live in freedom, never prove
The travail of a mind led by desire!

Enter LUCE.

Why, how now, friend? struck with my father's thunder!
Struck, and struck dead, unless the remedy
Be full of speed and virtue; I am now,
What I expected long, no more your father's.
But mine.
But yours, and only yours, I am;
That's all I have to keep me from the statute.
You dare be constant still?
Oh, fear me not!
In this I dare be better than a woman:
Nor shall his anger nor his offers move me,
Were they both equal to a prince's power.
You know my rival!
Yes, and love him dearly;
Even as I love an ague or foul weather:
I prithee, Jasper, fear him not.
Oh, no!
I do not mean to do him so much kindness,
But to our own desires: you know the plot
We both agreed on?
Yes, and will perform
My part exactly.
I desire no more.
Farewell, and keep my heart; 'tis yours.
I take it;
He must do miracles makes me forsake it.
[Exeunt severally.
Fie upon 'em, little infidels! what a matter's here now! Well, I'll be hanged for a halfpenny, if there be not some abomination knavery in this play. Well; let 'em look to't; Ralph must come, and if there be any tricks a-brewing——
Let 'em brew and bake too, husband, a' God's name; Ralph will find all out, I warrant you, an they were older than they are.——[Enter boy.]——I pray, my pretty youth, is Ralph ready?
He will be presently.
Now, I pray you, make my commendations unto him, and withal carry him this stick of liquorice: tell him his mistress sent it to him; and bid him bite a piece; 'twill open his pipes the better, say.]
[Exit Boy.