Act 2, Scene III

Scene: Another part of the Forest.


But here comes Ralph, George; thou shalt hear him speak as he were an emperal.]
Comes not sir squire again?
Right courteous knight,
Your squire doth come, and with him comes the lady,
For and the Squire of Damsels, as I take it.


Madam, if any service or devoir
Of a poor errant knight may right your wrongs,
Command it; I am prest to give you succour;
For to that holy end I bear my armour.
Mistress Merrythought.
Alas, sir, I am a poor gentlewoman, and I have lost my money in this forest!
Desert, you would say, lady; and not lost
Whilst I have sword and lance. Dry up your tears,
Which ill befit the beauty of that face,
And tell the story, if I may request it,
Of your disastrous fortune.
Mistress Merrythought.
Out, alas! I left a thousand pound, a thousand pound, e'en all the money I had laid up for this youth, upon the sight of your mastership; you looked so grim, and, as I may say it, saving your presence, more like a giant than a mortal man.
I am as you are, lady; so are they;
All mortal. But why weeps this gentle squire?
Mistress Merrythought.
Has he not cause to weep, do you think, when he hath lost his inheritance?
Young hope of valour, weep not; I am here
That will confound thy foe, and pay it dear
Upon his coward head, that dares deny
Distressèd squires and ladies equity.
I have but one horse, on which shall ride
This fair lady behind me, and before
This courteous squire: fortune will give us more
Upon our next adventure. Fairly speed
Beside us, squire and dwarf, to do us need!
Did not I tell you, Nell, what your man would do? by the faith of my body, wench, for clean action and good delivery, they may all cast their caps at him.
And so they may, i'faith; for I dare speak it boldly, the twelve companies of London cannot match him, timber for timber. Well, George, an he be not inveigled by some of these paltry players, I ha' much marvel: but, George, we ha' done our parts, if the boy have any grace, to be thankful.
Yes, I warrant thee, duckling.]