Act 2, Scene V

Scene: Another part of the Forest.

Enter RALPH, Mistress MERRYTHOUGHT, MICHAEL, TIM, and GEORGE.

Ralph.
What knight is that, squire? ask him if he keep
The passage, bound by love of lady fair,
Or else but prickant.
Humphrey.
Sir, I am no knight,
But a poor gentleman, that this same night
Had stolen from me on yonder green,
My lovely wife, and suffered (to be seen
Yet extant on my shoulders) such a greeting,
That whilst I live I shall think of that meeting.
[Wife.    
Ay, Ralph, he beat him unmercifully, Ralph; an thou sparest him, Ralph, I would thou wert hanged.
Citizen.
No more, wife, no more.]
Ralph.
Where is the caitiff-wretch hath done this deed?
Lady, your pardon; that I may proceed
Upon the quest of this injurious knight.—
And thou, fair squire, repute me not the worse,
In leaving the great venture of the purse
And the rich casket, till some better leisure.
Humphrey.
Here comes the broker hath purloined my treasure.

Enter JASPER and LUCE.

Ralph.
Go squire, and tell him I am here,
An errant knight-at-arms, to crave delivery
Of that fair lady to her own knight's arms.
If he deny, bid him take choice of ground,
And so defy him.
Tim.    
From the Knight that bears
The Golden Pestle, I defy thee, knight,
Unless thou make fair restitution
Of that bright lady.
Jasper.
Tell the knight that sent thee,
He is an ass; and I will keep the wench,
And knock his head-piece.
Ralph.
Knight, thou art but dead,
If thou recall not thy uncourteous terms.
[Wife.    
Break's pate, Ralph; break's pate, Ralph, soundly!]
Jasper.
Come, knight; l am ready for you. Now your Pestle
[Snatches away his pestle.
Shall try what temper, sir, your mortar's of.
With that he stood upright in his stirrups, and gave the Knight of the calf-skin such a knock [Knocks Ralph down.] that he forsook his horse, and down he fell; and then he leaped upon him, and plucking off his helmet——
Humphrey.
Nay, an my noble knight be down so soon,
Though I can scarcely go, I needs must run.
[Exit.
[Wife.    
Run, Ralph, run, Ralph; run for thy life, boy; Jasper comes, Jasper comes!]
[Exit Ralph.
Jasper.
Come, Luce, we must have other arms for you:
Humphrey, and Golden Pestle, both adieu!
[Exeunt.
[Wife.    
Sure the devil (God bless us!) is in this springald! Why, George, didst ever see such a fire-drake? I am afraid my boy's miscarried: if he be, though he were Master Merrythought's son a thousand times, if there be any law in England, I'll make some of them smart for't.
Citizen.
No, no; I have found out the matter, sweetheart; as sure as we are here, he is enchanted: he could no more have stood in Ralph's hands than I can in my lord mayor's. I'll have a ring to discover all enchantments and Ralph shall beat him yet: be no more vexed, for it shall be so.]