Act 5, Scene III

Scene: A Room in Merrythought's House.

Enter MERRYTHOUGHT.

Merrythought.
Yet, I thank God, I break not a wrinkle more than I had. Not a stoop, boys? Care, live with cats: I defy thee! My heart is as sound as an oak; and though I want drink to wet my whistle, I can sing;
[Sings.
Come no more there, boys, come no more there;
For we shall never whilst we live come any more there.

Enter Boy, and two Men bearing a Coffin.

Boy.    
God save you, sir!
Merrythought.
It's a brave boy. Canst thou sing?
Boy.    
Yes, sir, I can sing; but 'tis not so necessary at this time.
Merrythought.
[Sings.]
Sing we, and chant it;
Whilst love doth grant it.
Boy.    
Sir, sir, if you knew what I have brought you, you would have little list to sing.
Merrythought.
[Sings.]
  Oh, the Mimon round,
Full long I have thee sought,
  And now I have thee found,
And what hast thou here brought?
Boy.    
A coffin, sir, and your dead son Jasper in it.
[Exit with Men.
Merrythought.
Dead! [Sings.]
  Why, farewell lie!
Thou wast a bonny boy,
  And I did love thee.

Enter JASPER.

Jasper.
Then, I pray you, Sir, do so still.
Merrythought.
Jasper's ghost!
[Sings.
Thou art welcome from Stygian lake so soon;
Declare to me what wondrous things in Pluto's court are done.
Jasper.
By my troth, Sir, I ne'er came there; 'tis too hot for me, Sir.
Merrythought.
A merry ghost, a very merry ghost!
[Sings.
And where is your true love? Oh, where is yours?
Jasper.
Marry, look you, Sir!
[Removes the cloth, and Luce rises out of the Coffin.
Merrythought.
Ah, ha! art thou good at that, i'faith?
[Sings.
With hey, trixy, terlery-whiskin,
  The world it runs on wheels;
When the young man's ——,
  Up goes the maiden's heels.

Mistress MERRYTHOUGHT and MICHAEL within.

Mistress Merrythought.
[within.] What, Master Merrythought! will you not let's in? what do you think shall become of us?
Merrythought.
[Sings.]
What voice is that that calleth at our door?
Mistress Merrythought.
[within.] You know me well enough; I am sure I have not been such a stranger to you.
Merrythought.
[Sings.]
And some they whistled, and some they sung,
    Hey, down, down!
  And some did loudly say,
Ever as the Lord Barnet's horn blew,
  Away, Musgrave, away!
Mistress Merrythought.
[within.] You will not have us starve here, will you, Master Merrythought?
Jasper.
Nay, good Sir, be persuaded; she is my mother:
If her offences have been great against you,
Let your own love remember she is yours,
And so forgive her.
Luce.    
Good Master Merrythought,
Let me entreat you; I will not be denied.
Mistress Merrythought.
[within.] Why, Master Merrythought, will you be a vexed thing still?
Merrythought.
Woman, I take you to my love again; but you shall sing before you enter; therefore despatch your song and so come in.
Mistress Merrythought.
[within.] Well, you must have your will, when all's done.—Mick, what song canst thou sing, boy?
Michael.
[within.] I can sing none, forsouth, but “A Lady's Daughter, of Paris properly,”
[Sings within.
It was a lady's daughter, etc.

MERRYTHOUGHT opens the Door; enter Mistress MERRYTHOUGHT and MICHAEL.

Mistress Merrythought.
Come, you're welcome home again.
[Sings.
If such danger be in playing,
  And jest must to earnest turn,
You shall go no more a-maying——
Venturewell.
[within.] Are you within, sir? Master Merrythought!
Jasper.
It is my master's voice: good Sir, go hold him
In talk, whilst we convey ourselves into
Some inward room.
[Exit with Luce.    
Merrythought.
What are you? are you merry?
You must be very merry, if you enter.
Venturewell.
[within.] I am, Sir.
Merrythought.
Sing, then.
Venturewell.
[within.] Nay, good Sir, open to me.
Merrythought.
Sing, I say,
Or, by the merry heart, you come not in!
Venturewell.
[within.] Well, Sir, I'll sing.
[Sings.
Fortune, my foe, etc.

MERRYTHOUGHT opens the Door: Enter VENTUREWELL.

Merrythought.
You are welcome, Sir, you are welcome: you see your entertainment; pray you, be merry.
Venturewell.
Oh, Master Merrythought, I'm come to ask you
Forgiveness for the wrongs I offered you,
And your most virtuous son! they're infinite;
Yet my contrition shall be more than they:
I do confess my hardness broke his heart,
For which just Heaven hath given me punishment
More than my age can carry; his wandering spirit,
Nor yet at rest, pursues me everywhere,
Crying, “I'll haunt thee for thy cruelty.”
My daughter, she is gone, I know not how,
Taken invisible, and whether living
Or in the grave, 'tis yet uncertain to me.
Oh, Master Merrythought, these are the weights
Will sink me to my grave I forgive me, sir.
Merrythought.
Why, sir, I do forgive you; and be merry;
And if the wag in's lifetime played the knave,
Can you forgive him too?
Venturewell.
With all my heart, sir.
Merrythought.
Speak it again, and heartily.
Venturewell.
I do, sir;
Now, by my soul, I do.

Re-enter LUCE and JASPER.

Merrythought.
[Sings.]
With that came out his paramour;
She was as white as the lily flower:
      Hey, troul, troly, loly!
With that came out her own dear knight;
He was as true as ever did fight, etc.
Sir, if you will forgive 'em, clap their hands together; there's no more to be said i' the matter.
Venturewell.
I do, I do.
[Citizen.
I do not like this. Peace, boys! Hear me, one of you: everybody's part is come to an end but Ralph's, and he's left out.
Boy.    
'Tis 'long of yourself, sir; we have nothing to do with his part.
Citizen.
Ralph, come away!—Make an end on him, as you have done of the rest, boys; come.
Wife.    
Now, good husband, let him come out and die.
Citizen.
He shall Nell.—Ralph, come away quickly, and die, boy!
Boy.    
'Twill be very unfit he should die, sir, upon no occasion—and in a comedy too.
Citizen.
Take you no care of that, sir boy; is not his part at an end., think you, when he's dead?—Come away, Ralph !]

Enter RALPH, with a forked Arrow through his Head.

Ralph.
When I was mortal, this my costive corps
Did lap up figs and raisins in the Strand;
Where sitting, I espied a lovely dame,
Whose master wrought with lingel and with awl,
And underground he vampèd many a boot.
Straight did her love prick forth me, tender sprig,
To follow feats of arms in warlike wise ,
Through Waltham desert; where I did perform
Many achievements, and did lay on ground
Huge Barbarossa, that insulting giant,
And all his captives soon set at liberty.
Then honour pricked me from my native soil
Into Moldavia, where I gained the love
Of Pompiona, his belovèd daughter;
But yet proved constant to the black thumbed maid
Susan, and scornèd Pompiona's love;
Yet liberal I was, and gave her pins,
And money for her fatlier's officers.
I then returnèd home, and thrust myself
In action, and by all men chosen was
Lord of the May, where I did flourish it,
With scarfs and rings, and posy in my hand.
After this action I preferrèd was,
And chosen city-captain at Mile End,
With hat and feather, and with leading-staff,
And trained my men, and brought them all off clear,
Save one man that berayed him with the noise.
But all these things I Ralph did undertake
Only for my belovèd Susan's sake.
Then coming home, and sitting in my shop
With apron blue, Death came into my stall
To cheapen aquavitæ; but ere I
Could take the bottle down and fill a taste,
Death caught a pound of pepper in his hand,
And sprinkled all my face and body o'er
And in an instant vanishèd away.
[Citizen.
'Tis a pretty fiction, i'faith.]
Ralph.
Then took I up my bow and shaft in hand,
And walked into Moorfields to cool myself:
But there grim cruel Death met me again,
And shot this forkèd arrow through my head;
And now I faint; therefore be warned by me,
My fellows every one, of forkèd heads!
Farewell, all you good boys in merry London!
Ne'er shall we more upon Shrove Tuesday meet,
And pluck down houses of iniquity;—
My pain increaseth;—I shall never more
Hold open, whilst another pumps both legs,
Nor daub a satin gown with rotten eggs;
Set up a stake, oh, never more I shall!
I die! fly, fly, my soul, to Grocers' Hall!
Oh, oh, oh, etc.
[Wife.    
Well said, Ralph! do your obeisance to the gentlemen, and go your ways: well said, Ralph!]
[Ralph rises, makes obeisance, and exit.
Merrythought.
Methinks all we, thus kindly and unexpectedly reconciled, should not depart without a song.
Venturewell.
A good motion.
Merrythought.
Strike up, then!

SONG.

Better music ne'er was known
Than a quire of hearts in one.
Let each other, that hath been
Troubled with the gall or spleen,
Learn of us to keep his brow
Smooth and plain, as ours are now;
Sing, though before the hour of dying;
He shall rise and then be crying,
“Hey, ho, 'tis nought but mirth
That keeps the body from the earth!”

[Exeunt.
Citizen.
Come, Nell, shall we go? the play's done.
Wife.    
Nay, by my faith, George, I have more manners than so; I'll speak to these gentlemen first.—I thank you all, gentlemen, for your patience and countenance to Ralph, a poor fatherless child; and if I might see you at my house, it should go hard but I would have a bottle of wine and a pipe of tobacco for you: for, truly, I hope you do like the youth, but I would be glad to know the truth; I refer it to your own discretions, whether you will applaud him or no; for I will wink, and whilst you shall do what you will. I thank you with all my heart. God give you good night!—Come, George.
[Exeunt.

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