Act 2, Scene VIII

Scene: A Room in Merrythought's House.

Enter MERRYTHOUGHT.

[Wife.    
But look, George, peace! here comes the merry old gentleman again.]
Merrythought.
[Sings.]
When it was grown to dark midnight,
 And all were fast asleep
In came Margaret's grimly ghost,
 And stood at William's feet.

I have money, and meat, and drink beforehand, till to-morrow at noon; why should I be sad? methinks I have half-a-dozen jovial spirits within me!
[Sings.]
I am three merry men, and three merry men!

To what end should any man be sad in this world? give me a man that when he goes to hanging cries,

Troul the black bowl to me!

and a woman that will sing a catch in her travail! I have seen a man come by my door with a serious face, in a black cloak, without a hat-band, carrying his head as if he looked for pins in the street; I have looked out of my window half a year after, and have spied that man's head upon London Bridge. 'Tis vile: never trust a tailor that does not sing at his work; his mind is of nothing but filching.
[Wife.    
Mark this, George; 'tis worth noting; Godfrey my tailor, you know, never sings, and he had fourteen yards to make this gown: and I'll be sworn, Mistress Penistone the draper's wife had one made with twelve.]
Merrythought.
[Sings.]
'Tis mirth that fills the veins with blood,
More than wine, or sleep, or food;
Let each man keep his heart at ease
No man dies of that disease.
He that would his body keep
From diseases, must not weep;
But whoever laughs and sings,
Never he his body brings
Into fevers, gouts, or rheums,
Or lingeringly his lungs consumes,
Or meets with achès in the bone,
Or catarrhs or griping stone;
But contented lives for aye;
The more he laughs, the more he may.
[Wife.    
Look, George; how sayst thou by this, George? is't not a fine old man?—Now, God's blessing o' thy sweet lips!—When wilt thou be so merry, George? faith, thou art the frowningest little thing, when thou art angry, in a country.
Citizen.
Peace, cony; thou shalt see him taken down too, I warrant thee.

Enter VENTUREWELL.

Here's Luce's father come now.]

Merrythought.
[Sings.]
As you came from Walsingham,
  From that holy land,
There met you not with my true love
  By the way as you came?
Venturewell.
Oh, Master Merrythought, my daughter's gone!
This mirth becomes you not; my daughter's gone!
Merrythought.
[Sings.]
Why, an if she be, what care I?
Or let her come, or go, or tarry.
Venturewell.
Mock not my misery; it is your son
(Whom I have made my own, when all forsook him)
Has stoln my only joy, my child, away.
Merrythought.
[Sings.]
He set her on a milk-white steed,
  And himself upon a grey;
He never turned his face again,
  But he bore her quite away.
Venturewell.
Unworthy of the kindness I have shown
To thee and thine! too late I well perceive
Thou art consenting to my daughter's loss.
Merrythought.
Your daughter! what a stir's here wi' your daughter? Let her go, think no more on her, but sing loud. If both my sons were on the gallows, I would sing,
[Sings.
Down, down, down they fall;
Down, and arise they never shall.
 
Venturewell.
Oh, might I behold her once again,
And she once more embrace her aged sire!
Merrythought.
Fie, how scurvily this goes! “And she once more embrace her aged sire?” You'll make a dog on her, will ye? she cares much for her aged sire, I warrant you.
[Sings.
She cares not for her daddy, nor
  She cares not for her mammy,
For she is, she is, she is, she is
  My lord of Lowgave's lassy.
 
Venturewell.
For this thy scorn I will pursue that son
Of thine to death.
Merrythought.
Do; and when you ha' killed him
[Sings.
Give him flowers enow, palmer, give him flowers enow
Give him red, and white, and blue, green, and yellow.
 
Venturewell.
I'll fetch my daughter——
Merrythought.
I'll hear no more o' your daughter; it spoils my mirth.
Venturewell.
I say, I'll fetch my daughter.
Merrythought.
[Sings.]
Was never man for lady's sake,
  Down, down,
Tormented as I poor Sir Guy,
  De derry down,
For Lucy's sake, that lady bright,
  Down, down,
As ever men beheld with eye,
  De derry down.
 
Venturewell.
I'll be revenged, by Heaven!
[Exeunt severally.
[Wife.    
How dost thou like this, George?
Citizen.
Why, this is well, cony; but if Ralph were hot once, thou shouldst see more.
[Music.
Wife.    
The fiddlers go again, husband.
Citizen.
Ay, Nell; but this is scurvy music. I gave the whoreson gallows money, and I think he has not got me the waits of Southwark: if I hear 'em not anon, I'll twinge him by the ears.—You musicians, play Baloo!
Wife.    
No, good George, let's ha' Lachrymæ!
Citizen.
Why, this is it, cony.
Wife.    
It's all the better, George. Now, sweet lamb, what story is that painted upon the cloth? the Confutation of St. Paul?
Citizen.
No, lamb; that's Ralph and Lucrece.
Wife.    
Ralph and Lucrece! which Ralph? our Ralph?
Citizen.
No, mouse; that was a Tartarian.
Wife.    
A Tartarian! Well, I would the fiddlers had done, that we might see our Ralph again!]