Ben Jonson

"Every Man In His Humour"

SCENE I.-Coleman Street.
A Hall in Justice CLEMENT'S House.

Enter CLEMENT, KNOWELL, KITELY, Dame K., TIB., CASH,
COB, and Servants.

STEP
Why then let him do his worst, I am resolute

CLEM
Nay, but stay, stay, give me leave: my chair, sirrah. You
Master Knowell, say you went thither to meet your son? Know. Ay, sir

CLEM
But who directed you thither? Know. That did mine own man
Sir

CLEM
Where is he?

Know. Nay, I know not now; I left him with your clerk, and
Appointed him to stay here for me

CLERK
My clerk! about what time was this?

Know. Marry, between one and two, as I take it

CLEM
And what time came my man with the false message to you
Master Kitely?

KIT
After two, sir

CLEM
Very good: but, mistress Kitely, how chance that you were at
Cob's, ha?

Dame K
An't please you, sir, I'll tell you: my brother Wellbred
Told me, that Cob's house was a suspected place—

CLEM
So it appears, methinks: but on

DAME K
And that my husband used thither daily

CLEM
No matter, so he used himself well, mistress

DAME K
True, sir: but you know what grows by such haunts
Oftentimes


CLEM
I see rank fruits of a jealous brain, mistress Kitely: but
Did you find your husband there, in that case as you suspected?

KIT
I found her there, sir

CLEM
Did you, so! that alters the case. Who gave you knowledge of
Your wife's being there?

KIT
Marry, that did my brother Wellbred

CLEM
How, Wellbred first tell her; then tell you after! Where is
Wellbred?

KIT
Gone with my sister, sir, I know not whither

CLEM
Why this is a mere trick, a device; you are gull'd in this
Most grossly all. Alas, poor wench! wert thou beaten for this?

TIB
Yell, most pitifully, an't please you

COB
And worthily, I hope, if it shall prove so

CLEM
Ay, that's like, and a piece of a sentence.—
Enter a Servant.

How now, sir! what's the matter?

SERV
Sir, there's a gentleman in the court without, desires to
Speak with your worship

CLEM
Gentleman! what is he?

SERV
Soldier, sir, he says

CLEM
Soldier! take down my armour, my sword quickly. A soldier
Speak with me! Why, when, knaves? Come on, come on; [arms himself]
Hold my cap there, so; give me my gorget, my sword: stand by, I
Will end your matters anon.—Let the soldier enter
[Exit Servant.
Enter BOBADILL, followed by MATHEW.

Now, sir, what have you to say to me? Bob. By your worship's
Favour—

CLEM
Nay, keep out, sir; I know not your pretence. You send me
Word, sir, you are a soldier: why, sir, you shall be answer'd here:
Here be them that have been amongst soldiers. Sir, your pleasure

BOB
Faith, sir, so it is, this gentleman and myself have been most
Uncivilly wrong'd and beaten by one Downright, a coarse fellow
About the town here; and for mine own part, I protest, being a man
In no sort given to this filthy humour of quarrelling, he hath
Assaulted me in the way of my peace, despoiled me of mine honour
Disarmed me of my weapons, and rudely laid me along in the open
Streets, when I not so much as once offered to resist him

CLEM
O, God's precious! is this the soldier? Here, take my armour
Off quickly, 'twill make him swoon, I fear; he is not fit to look
On't, that will put up a blow

MAT
An't please your worship, he was bound to the peace

CLEM
Why, an he were, sir, his hands were not bound, were they?
Re-enter Servant.

SERV
There's one of the varlets of the city, sir, has brought two
Gentlemen here; one, upon your worship's warrant

CLEM
My warrant!

SERV
Yes, sir; the officer says, procured by these two

CLEM
Bid him come in. [Exit Servant.] Set by this picture
Enter DOWNRIGHT, STEPHEN, and BRAINWORM, disguised as before.

What, Master Downright! are you brought in at Mr. Freshwater's suit
Here?

DOW
I'faith, sir, and here's another brought at my suit

CLEM
What are you, sir?

STEP
Gentleman, sir. O, uncle!

CLEM
Uncle! who, Master Knowell?

KNOW
Ay, sir; this is a wise kinsman of mine

STEP
God's my witness, uncle, I am wrong'd here monstrously, he
Charges me with stealing of his cloak, and would I might never
Stir, if I did not find it in the street by chance

DOW
O, did you find it now? You said you bought it erestwhile

STEP
And you said, I stole it: nay, now my uncle is here, I'll do
Well enough with you

CLEM
Well, let this breathe awhile. You that have cause to
Complain there, stand forth: Had you my warrant for this
Gentleman's apprehension?

BOB
Ay, an't please your worship

CLEM
Nay, do not speak in passion so: where had you it?

BOB
Of your clerk, sir

CLEM
That's well! an my clerk can make warrants, and my hand not
At them! Where is the warrant-officer, have you it?

BRAI
No, sir; your worship's man, Master Formal, bid me do it for
These gentlemen, and he would be my discharge

CLEM
Why, Master Downright, are you such a novice, to be ser'ved
And never see the warrant?

DOW
Sir, he did not serve it on me

CLEM
No! how then?

DOW
Marry, sir, he came to me, and said he must serve it, and he
Would use me kindly, and so—

CLEM
O, God's pity, was it so, sir? He must serve it! Give me my
Long sword there, and help me off. So, come on, sir varlet, I must
Cut off your legs, sirrah; [Brainworm kneels.] nay, stand up, I'll
Use you kindly, I must cut off your legs, I say
[Flourishes over him with his long sword.

BRAI
O, good sir, I beseech you; nay, good master justice!

CLEM
Must do it, there is no remedy; I must cut off your legs
Sirrrah, I must cut off your ears, you rascal, I must do it: I must
Cut off your nose, I must cut off your head

BRAI
O, good your worship!

CLEM
Well, rise; how dost thou do now? dost thou feel thyself
Well? hast thou no harm?

BRAI
No, I thank your good worship, sir

CLEM
Why so! I said I must cut off thy legs, and I must cut off
Thy arms, and I must cut off thy head; but I did not do it: so you
Said you must serve this gentleman with my warrant, but you did not
Serve him. You knave, you slave, you rogue, do you say you must
Sirrah! away with him to the jail; I'll teach you a trick for your
Must, sir

BRAI
Good sir, I beseech you, be good to me

CLEM
Tell him he shall to the jail; away with him, I say

BRAI
Nay, sir, if you will commit me, it shall be for committing
More than this: I will not lose by my travail any grain of my fame
Certain
[Throws off his serjeant's gown.

CLEM
How is this?

KNOW
My man Brainworm!

STEP
O, yes, uncle; Brainworm has been with my cousin Edward and I
All this day

CLEM
I told you all there was some device

BRRAI
Nay, excellent justice, since I have laid myself thus open to
You, now stand strong for me; both with your sword and your
Balance

CLEM
Body O' me, a merry knave! give me a bowl of sack: if he
Belong to you, Master Knowell, I bespeak your patience

BRAI
That is it I have most need of; Sir, if you'll pardon me
Only, I'll glory in all the rest of my exploits

KNOW
Sir, you know I love not to have my favours come hard from
Me. You have your pardon, though I suspect you shrewdly for being
Of counsel with my son against me

BRAI
Yes, faith, I have, sir, though you retain'd me doubly this
Morning for yourself: first as Brainworm; after, as Fitz-Sword. I
Was your reform'd soldier, sir. 'Twas I sent you to Cob's upon the
Errand without end

KNOW
Is it possible? or that thou should'st disguise thy language
So as I should not know thee?

BRAI
O, sir, this has been the day of my metamorphosis. It is not
That shape alone that I have run through to-day. I brought this
Gentleman, master Kitely, a message too, in the form of master
Justice's man here, to draw him out O' the way, as well as your
Worship, while master Wellbred might make a conveyance of mistress
Bridget to my young master

KIT
How! My sister stolen away? Know. My son is not married, I
Hope

BRAI
Faith, Sir, they are both as sure as love, a priest, and
Three thousand pound, which is her portion, can make them; and by
This time are ready to bespeak their wedding-supper at the
Windmill, except some friend here prevent them, and invite them
Home

CLEM
Marry, that will I; I thank thee for putting me in mind on't
Sirrah, go you and fetch them hither upon my warrant. [Exit
Servant.] Neither's friends have cause to be sorry, if I know the
Young couple aright. Here, I drink to thee for thy good news. But I
Pray thee, what hast thou done with my man, Formal?

BRAI
Faith, sir, after some ceremony past, as making him drunk
First with story, and then with wine, (but all in kindness,) and
Stripping him to his shirt, I left him in that cool vein; departed
Sold your worship's warrant to these two, pawn'd his livery for
That varlet's gown, to serve it in; and thus have brought myself by
My activity to your worship's consideration

CLEM
And I will consider thee in another cup of sack. Here's to
Thee, which having drunk off this my sentence: Pledge me. Thou hast
Done, or assisted to nothing, in my judgment, but deserves to be
Pardon'd for the wit of the offence. If thy master, or any man
Here, be angry with thee, I shall suspect his ingine, while I know
Him, for't. How now, what noise is that?

Enter Servant.

SERV
Sir, it is Roger is come home

CLEM
Bring him in, bring him in
Enter FORMAL in a suit of armour.

What! drunk? in arms against me? your reason, your reason for this?

FORM
I beseech your worship to pardon me; I happened into ill
Company by chance, that cast me into a sleep, and stript me of all
My clothes

CLEM
Well, tell him I am Justice Clement, and do pardon him: but
What is this to your armour? what may that signify?

FORM
An't please you, sir, it hung up in the room where I was
Stript; and I borrow'd it of one of the drawers to come home in
Because I was loth to do penance through the street in my shirt

CLEM
Well, stand by a while
Enter E. KNOWELL, WELLBRED, and BRIDGET.

Who be these? O, the young company; welcome, welcome! Give you joy
Nay, mistress Bridget, blush not; you are not so fresh a bride, but
The news of it is come hither afore you. Master bridegroom, I have
Made your peace, give me your hand: so will I for all the rest ere
You forsake my roof

E. KNOW
We are the more bound to your humanity, sir

CLEM
Only these two have so little of man in them, they are no
Part of my care

WEL
Yes, sir, let me pray you for this gentleman, he belongs to my
Sister the bride

CLEM
In what place, sir?

WEL
Of her delight, sir, below the stairs, and in public: her
Poet, sir

CLEM
A poet! I will challenge him myself presently at extempore

Mount up thy Phlegon, Muse, and testify
How Saturn, sitting in an ebon cloud
Disrobed his podex, white as ivory
And through the welkin thunder'd all aloud

WEL
He is not for extempore, sir: he is all for the pocket muse;
Please you command a sight of it

CLEM
Yes, yes, search him for a taste of his vein. [They search
Mathew's pockets

WEL
You must not deny the queen's justice, sir, under a writ of
Rebellion

CLEM
What! all this verse? body O' me, he carries a whole realm, a
Commonwealth of paper in his hose: let us see some of his subjects

[Reads.
Unto the boundless ocean of thy face
Runs this poor river, charg'd with streams of eyes

How! this is stolen

E. KNOW
A parody! a parody! with a kind of miraculous gift, to
Make it absurder than it was

CLEM
Is all the rest of this batch? bring me a torch; lay it
Together, and give fire. Cleanse the air. [Sets the papers on
Fire.] Here was enough to have infected the whole city, if it had
Not been taken in time. See, see, how our poet's glory shines!
Brighter and brighter! still it increases! O, now it is at the
Highest; and now it declines as fast. You may see, sic transit
Gloria mundi!

KNOW
There's an emblem for you, son, and your studies

CLEM
Nay, no speech or act of mine be drawn against such as
Profess it worthily. They are not born every year, as an alderman
There goes more to the making of a good poet, than a sheriff
Master Kitely, you look upon me!—though I live in the city here
Amongst you, I will do more reverence to him, when I meet him, than
I will to the mayor out of his year. But these paper-pedlars! these
Ink-dabblers! they cannot expect reprehension or reproach; they
Have it with the fact

E. KNOW
Sir, you have saved me the labour of a defence

CLEM
It shall be discourse for supper between your father and me
If he dare undertake me. But to dispatch away these, you sign O'
The soldier, and picture of the poet, (but both so false, I will
Not have you hanged out at my door till midnight,) while we are at
Supper, you two shall penitently fast it out in my court without;
And, if you will, you may pray there that we may be so merry within
As to forgive or forget you when we come out. Here's a third
Because we tender your safety, shall watch you, he is provided for
The purpose. Look to your charge, sir

STEP
And what shall I do?

CLEM
O! I had lost a sheep an he had not bleated: why, sir, you
Shall give master Downright his cloak; and I will intreat him to
Take it. A trencher and a napkin you shall have in the buttery, and
Keep Cob and his wife company here; whom I will intreat first to be
Reconciled; and you to endeavour with your wit to keep them so

STEP
I'll do my best

COB
Why, now I see thou art honest, Tib, I receive thee as my dear
And mortal wife again

TIB
And I you, as my loving and obedient husband

CLEM
Good compliment! It will be their bridal night too. They are
Married anew. Come, I conjure the rest to put off all discontent
You, master Downright, your anger; you, master Knowell, your cares;
Master Kitely and his wife, their jealousy

For, I must tell you both, while that is fed
Horns in the mind are worse than on the head

KIT
Sir, thus they go from me; kiss me, sweetheart

See what a drove of horns fly in the air
Wing'd with my cleansed and my credulous breath!
Watch' em suspicious eyes, watch where they fall
See, see! on heads that think they have none at all!
O, what a plenteous world of this will come!
When air rains horns, all may be sure of some!

I have learn'd so much verse out of a jealous man's part in a play

CLEM
'Tis well, 'tis well! This night we'll dedicate to
Friendship, love, and laughter. Master bridegroom, take your bride
And lead; every one a fellow. Here is my mistress, Brainworm! to
Whom all my addresses of courtship shall have their reference:
Whose adventures this day, when our grandchildren shall hear to be
Made a fable, I doubt not but it shall find both spectators and
Applause
[Exeunt.

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