Ben Jonson

"Bartholomew Fayre Act 1. Scene 1"

Little-wit. [To him] Win.

A Pretty Conceit, and worth the finding! I ha'
such luck to spin out these fine things still,
and like a Silk-worm, out of my self. Here's
Master Bartholomew Cokes, of Harrow o' th'
i' th' County of Middlesex, Esquire,
takes forth his Licence to marry Mistress Grace Well-born,
of the said Place and County: And when do's he take
it forth? to day! the Four and Twentieth of August!
Bartholmew-day! Bartholmew
upon Bartholmew! there's
the Device! who would have mark'd such a Leap-Frog
Chance now? A very less than Ames-ace, on two Dice!
Well, go thy ways, John Little-wit, Proctor John Little-
One o' the pretty Wits o' Pauls, the Little-wit of
(so thou art call'd) and something beside. When
a Quirk or a Quiblin do's scape thee, and thou dost not
watch and apprehend it, and bring it afore the Con-
stable of Conceit: (there now, I speak Quib too) let
'em carry thee out o' the Arch-deacons Court into his
Kitchin, and make a Jack of thee, instead of a John.
(There I am again la!) Win, Good Morrow, Win. I
marry, Win! Now you look finely indeed, Win! this
Cap do's convince! you'ld not ha' worn it, Win, nor ha'
had it Velvet, but a rough Countrey Bever, with a
Copper Band, like the Conney-skin-woman of Budge-
Sweet Win, let me kiss it! And her fine high
Shooes, like the Spanish Lady! Good Win, go a little, I
would fain see thee pace, pretty Win! By this fine Cap,
I could never leave kissing on't.

Come indeed la, you are such a Fool still!

No, but half a one, Win, you are the t'other
half: Man and Wife make one Fool, Win. (Good!)
Is there the Poctor, or Doctor indeed, i' the Diocess,
that ever had the Fortune to win him such a Win!
(There I am again!) I do feel Conceits coming upon
me, more than I am able to turn Tongue too. A Pox
o' these Pretenders to Wit! Your Three Cranes, Miter
and Mermaid men! Not a Corn of true Salt, not a
Grain of right Mustard amongst them all. They may
stand for Places, or so, again the next Wit fall, and
pay Two Pence in a Quart more for their Canary
than other Men. But gi' me the Man can start up a
Justice of Wit out of Six Shillings Beer, and give the
Law to all the Poets and Poet-Suckers i' Town, because
they are the Players Gossips. 'Slid, other Men have
Wives as fine as the Players, and as well drest. Come
hither, Win.

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