Act 1, Scene 2

Scene: Another Room in the House of Venturewell.

Enter VENTUREWELL and HUMPHREY.

Venturewell.
Come, sir, she's yours; upon my faith, she's yours;
You have my hand: for other idle lets
Between your hopes and her, thus with a wind
They are scattered and no more. My wanton prentice,
That like a bladder blew himself with love
I have let out, and sent him to discover
New masters yet unknown.
Humphrey.
I thank you, sir,
Indeed, I thank you, sir; and, ere I stir,
It shall be known, however you do deem,
I am of gentle blood, and gentle seem.
Venturewell.
Oh, sir, I know it certain.
Humphrey.
Sir, my friend,
Although, as writers say, all things have end,
And that we call a pudding hath his two,
Oh, let it not seem strange, I pray, to you,
If in this bloody simile I put
My love, more endless than frail things or gut!
[Wife.    
Husband, I prithee, sweet lamb, tell me one thing; but tell me truly.—Stay, youths, I beseech you, till I question my husband.
Citizen.
What is it, mouse?
Wife.    
Sirrah, didst thou ever see a prettier child? how it behaves itself, I warrant ye, and speaks and looks, and perts up the head !—I pray you, brother, with your favour, were you never none of Master Moncaster's scholars?
Citizen.
Chicken, I prithee heartily, contain thyself: the childer are pretty childer; but when Ralph comes, lamb——
Wife.    
Ay, when Ralph comes, cony!—Well, my youth, you may proceed.]
Venturewell.
Well, sir, you know my love, and rest, I hope,
Assured of my consent; get but my daughter's,
And wed her when you please. You must be bold,
And clap in close unto her: come, I know
You have language good enough to win a wench.
[Wife.    
A whoreson tyrant! h'as been an old stringer in's days, I warrant him.]
Humphrey.
I take your gentle offer, and withal
Yield love again for love reciprocal.
Venturewell.
What, Luce! within there!

Enter LUCE.

Luce.
Called you, sir?
Venturewell.
I did:
Give entertainment to this gentleman;
And see you be not froward.—To her, sir:
My presence will but be an eye-sore to you.
[Exit.
Humphrey.
Fair Mistress Luce, how do you? are you well?
Give me hand, and then I pray you tell
How doth your little sister and your brother;
And whether you love me or any other.
Luce.
Sir, these are quickly answered.
Humphrey.
So they are,
Where women are not cruel. But how far
Is it now distant from the place we are in,
Unto that blessèd place, your father's warren?
Luce.
What makes you think of that, sir?
Humphrey.
Even that face;
For, stealing rabbits whilom in that place,
God Cupid, or the keeper, I know not whether,
Unto my cost and charges brought you thither,
And there began——
Luce.
Your game, sir.
Humphrey.
Let no game,
Or any thing that tendeth to the same,
Be ever more remembered, thou fair killer,
For whom I sate me down, and brake my tiller.
[Wife.    
There's a kind gentleman, I warrant you: when will you do as much for me, George?]
Luce.
Beshrew me, sir, I am sorry for your losses,
But, as the proverb says, I cannot cry:
I would you had not seen me!
Humphrey.
So would I,
Unless you had more maw to do me good.
Luce.
Why, cannot this strange passion be withstood;
Send for a constable, and raise the town.
Humphrey.
Oh, no! my valiant love will batter down
Millions of constables, and put to flight
Even that great watch of Midsummer-day at night.
Luce.
Beshrew me, sir, 'twere good I yielded, then;
Weak women cannot hope, where valiant men
Have no resistance.
Humphrey.
Yield, then; I am full
Of pity, though I say it, and can pull
Out of my pocket thus a pair of gloves.
Look, Lucé, look; the dog's tooth nor the dove's
Are not so white as these; and sweet they be,
And whipt about with silk, as you may see.
If you desire the price, shoot from your eye
A beam to this place, and you shall espy
F S, which is to say, my sweetest honey,
They cost me three and twopence, or no money.
Luce.
Well, sir, I take them kindly, and I thank you:
What would you more?
Humphrey.
Nothing.
Luce.
Why, then, farewell.
Humphrey.
Nor so, nor so; for, lady, I must tell,
Before we part, for what we met together:
God grant me time and patience and fair weather!
Luce.
Speak, and declare your mind in terms so brief.
Humphrey.
l shall: then, first and foremost, for relief
I call to you, if that you can afford it;
I care not at what price, for, on my word, it
Shall be repaid again, although it cost me
More than I'll speak of now; for love hath tost me
In furious blanket like a tennis-ball,
And now I rise aloft, and now I fall.
Luce.
Alas, good gentleman, alas the day!
Humphrey.
I thank you heartily; and, as I say,
Thus do I still continue without rest,
I' the morning like a man, at night a beast,
Roaring and bellowing mine own disquiet,
That much I fear, forsaking of my diet
Will bring me presently to that quandary,
I shall bid all adieu.
Luce.
Now, by St. Mary,
That were great pity!
Humphrey.
So it were, beshrew me;
Then, ease me, lusty Luce, and pity show me.
Luce.
Why, sir, you know my will is nothing worth
Without my father's grant; get his consent,
And then you may with assurance try me.
Humphrey.
The worshipful your sire will not deny me;
For I have asked him, and he hath replied,
“Sweet Master Humphrey, Luce shall be thy bride.”
Luce.
Sweet Master Humphrey, then I am content.
Humphrey.
And so am I, in truth.
Luce.
Yet take me with you;
There is another clause must be annexed,
And this it is: I swore, and will perform it,
No man shall ever joy me as his wife
But he that stole me hence. If you dare venture,
I am yours (you need not fear; my father loves you);
If not, farewell for ever!
Humphrey.
Stay, nymph, stay:
I have a double gelding, coloured bay,
Sprung by his father from Barbarian kind;
Another for myself, though somewhat blind,
Yet true as trusty tree.
Luce.
I am satisfied;
And so I give my hand. Our course must lie
Through Waltham forest, where I have a friend
Will entertain us. So, farewell, Sir Humphrey,
And think upon your business.
[Exit.
Humphrey.
Though I die,
I am resolved to venture life and limb
For one so young, so fair, so kind, so trim.
[Exit.
[Wife.    
By my faith and troth, George, and as I am virtuous, it is e'en the kindest young man that ever trod on shoeleather.—Well, go thy ways; if thou hast her not, 'tis not thy fault, i'faith.
Citizen.
I prithee, mouse, be patient; 'a shall have her, or I'll make some of 'em smoke for't.
Wife.    
That's my good lamb, George.—Fie, this stinking tobacco kills me! would there were none in England!— Now, I pray, gentlemen, what good does this stinking tobacco do you? nothing, I warrant you: make chimneys o' your faces!]