Act 2, Scene I

Scene: A Room in House of Venturewell.

Enter VENTUREWELL and HUMPHREY.

Venturewell.
And how, faith, how goes it now, son Humphrey?
Humphrey.
Right worshipful, and my belovèd friend
And father dear, this matter's at an end.
Venturewell.
'Tis well: it should be so: I'm glad the girl
Is found so tractable.
Humphrey.
Nay, she must whirl
From hence (and you must wink; for so, I say,
The story tells,) to-morrow before day.
[Wife.    
George, dost thou think in thy conscience now 'twill be a match? tell me but what thou thinkest, sweet rogue. Thou seest the poor gentleman, dear heart, how it labours and throbs, I warrant you, to be at rest! I'll go move the father for't.
Citizen.
No, no; I prithee, sit still, honeysuckle; thou'lt spoil all. If he deny him, I'll bring half-a-dozen good fellows myself, and in the shutting of an evening, knock't up, and there's an end.
Wife.    
I'll buss thee for that, i'faith, boy. Well, George, well, you have been a wag in your days, I warrant you; but God forgive you, and I do with all my heart.]
Venturewell.
How was it, son? you told me that to-morrow
Before day-break, you must convey her hence.
Humphrey.
I must, I must; and thus it is agreed:
Your daughter rides upon a brown-bay steed,
I on a sorrel, which I bought of Brian,
The honest host of the Red roaring Lion,
In Waltham situate. Then, if you may,
Consent in seemly sort; lest, by delay,
The Fatal Sisters come, and do the office,
And then you'll sing another song.
Venturewell.
Alas,
Why should you be thus full of grief to me,
That do as willing as yourself agree
To any thing, so it be good and fair?
Then, steal her when you will, if such a pleasure
Content you both; I'll sleep and never see it,
To make your joys more full. But tell me why
You may not here perform your marriage?
[Wife.    
God's blessing o' thy soul, old man! i'faith, thou art loath to part true hearts. I see 'a has her, George; and I'm as glad on't!—Well, go thy ways, Humphrey, for a fair-spoken man; I believe thou hast not thy fellow within the walls of London; an I should say the suburbs too I should not lie.—Why dost not rejoice with me, George ?
Citizen.
If I could but see Ralph again, I were as merry as mine host, i'faith.]
Humphrey.
The cause you seem to ask, I thus declare—
Help me, O Muses nine! Your daughter sware
A foolish oath, and more it was the pity;
Yet no one but myself within this city
Shall dare to say so, but a bold defiance
Shall meet him, were he of the noble science;
And yet she sware, and yet why did she sware?
Truly, I cannot tell, unless it were
For her own ease; for, sure, sometimes an oath,
Being sworn thereafter, is like cordial broth;
And this it was she swore, never to marry
But such a one whose mighty arm could carry
(As meaning me, for I am such a one)
Her bodily away, through stick and stone,
Till both of us arrive, at her request,
Some ten miles off, in the wild Waltham forest.
Venturewell.
If this be all, you shall not need to fear
Any denial in your love: proceed;
I'll neither follow, nor repent the deed.
Humphrey.
Good night, twenty good nights, and twenty more,
And twenty more good nights,—that makes three-score!
[Exeunt severally.