Ben Jonson

"Bartholomew Fayre Act 1. Scene 3"

Quarlous, John, VVin, VVin-wife.

O Sir, ha' you tane Soyl here? it's well a Man may
reach you after three hours running yet! what an
unmerciful Companion art thou, to quit thy Lodging
at such ungentlemanly hours? None but a scatter'd
Covey of Fidlers, or one of these Rag-rakers in Dung-
hills, or some Marrow-bone-man at most, would have
been up when thou wert gone abroad, by all Descri-
ption. I pray thee what ailest thou, thou canst not
sleep? hast thou Thorns i' thy Eye-lids, or Thistles
i' thy Bed?

I cannot tell: It seems you had neither i' your
Feet, that took this pain to find me.

No, and I had, all the Lime-hounds o' the Ci-
ty should have drawn after you by the Scent rather.
Mr. John Little-wit! God save you, Sir. 'Twas a
hot Night with some of us, last Night, John: shall
we pluck a Hair o' the same Wolf to day, Proctor

Do you remember, Master Quarlous, what we
discours'd on last night?

Not I, John: nothing that I either discourse or
do, at those times I forfeit all to forgetfulness.

No? not concerning Win, look you: there she
is, and drest, as I told you she should be: Hark you, Sir,
had you forgot?

By this Head, I'll beware how I keep you
company, John, when I am drunk, and you have this
dangerous memory! that's certain.

Why Sir?

Why? we were all a little stain'd last Night,
sprinkled with a Cup or two, and I agreed with Pro-
ctor John here, to come and do somewhat with Win
(I know not what 'twas) to day; and he puts me in
mind on't now; he says he was coming to fetch me:
Before Truth, if you have that fearful Quality, John,
to remember when you are sober, John, what you pro-
mise drunk, John; I shall take heed of you, John. For
this once I am content to wink at you; where's your
Wife? Come hither, Win.

[He kisseth her.

Why, John! do you see this, John? look you!
help me, John.

O Win, fie, what do you mean, Win? Be wo-
manly Win; make an Out-cry to your Mother, Win?
Master Quarlous is an honest Gentleman, and our wor-
shipful good Friend, Win: and he is Master VVin-wifes
Friend too: And Master VVinwife comes a Suitor to
your Mother, VVin; as I told you before, VVin, and
may perhaps be our Father, VVin: they'l do you no
harm, VVin, they are both our Worshipful good
Friends. Master Quarlous! you must know Master
Quarlous, VVin; you must not quarrel with Master
Quarlous, VVin.

No, we'll kiss again, and fall in.

Yes, do, good VVin.

I' faith you are a Fool, John.

A Fool-John, she calls me; do you mark
that, Gentlemen? Pretty Little-wit of Velvet! a Fool-

She may call you an Apple-John, if you use

Pray thee forbear, for my Respect, some-

Hoy-day! how respective you are become
o' the sudden! I fear this Family will turn you reform-
ed too; pray you come about again. Because she is in
possibility to be your Daughter-in-Law, and may ask
you Blessing hereafter, when she courts it to Totnam
to eat Cream. Well, I will forbear, Sir; but i' faith,
would thou would'st leave thy Exercise of Widow-
hunting once! this drawing after an Old Reverend
Smock by the Splay-Foot: There cannot be an anci-
ent Tripe or Trillibub i' the Town, but thou art straight
nosing it, and 'tis a fine Occupation thou'lt confine thy
self to, when thou hast got one; scrubbing a piece of
Buff, as if thou hadst the perpetuity of Pannyer-Alley
to stink in; or perhaps worse, currying a Carkass that
thou hast bound thy self to alive. I'll be sworn, some
of them (that thou art, or hast been a Suitor to) are
so old, as no chaste or married pleasure can ever be-
come 'em: the honest Instrument of Procreation has
(Forty Years since) left to belong to 'em; thou must
visit 'em as thou wouldst do a Tomb, with a Torch, or
Three Handfuls of Link, flaming hot, and so thou
maist hap to make 'em feel thee, and after, come to in-
herit according to thy Inches. A sweet course for a
man to waste the Brand of Life for, to be still raking
himself a Fortune in an Old Womans Embers; we
shall ha' thee, after thou hast been but a Month marri-
ed to one of 'em, look like the Quartane Ague and the
Black Jaundise met in a Face, and walk as if thou hadst
borrow'd Legs of a Spinner, and Voice of a Cricket. I
would endure to hear Fifteen Sermons a week for her,
and such course, and loud ones, as some of 'em must
be; I would e'en desire of Fate, I might dwell in a
Drum, and take in my Sustenance with an old broken
Tabacco-pipe and a Straw. Dost thou ever think to
bring thine Ears or Stomach to the patience of a dry
Grace, as long as thy Table-Cloath? and droan'd out
by thy Son here (that might be thy Father), till all the
meat o' thy Board has forgot it was that day i' the
Kitchin? Or to brook the noise made in a Question of
Prædestination, by the good Labourers and painful Eat-
ers assembled together, put to 'em by the Matron your
Spouse; who moderates with a Cup of Wine, ever and
anon, and a Sentence out of Knoxe between? Or the
perpetual spitting before and after a sober drawn Exhor-
of Six Hours, whose better part was the Hum-ha-
Or to hear Prayers groan'd out over thy Iron
Chests, as if they were Charms to break 'em? And all
this for the hope of Two Apostle-Spoons, to suffer! and a
Cup to eat a Cawdle in! For that will be thy Legacy.
She'll ha' convey'd her State safe enough from thee, an'
she be a right Widow.

Alas, I am quite off that Scent now.

How so?

Put off by a Brother of Banbury, one that,
they say, is come here, and governs all already.

What do you call him? I knew divers of those
Banburians when I was in Oxford.

Master Little-wit can tell us.

Sir! good VVin, go in, and if Master Barthol-
mew Cokes
his Man come for the Licence (the little Old
Fellow) let him speak with me; what say you, Gen-

What call you the Reverend Elder you told
me of? your Banbury-man?

Rabbi Busy, Sir, he is more than an Elder, he is a
Prophet, Sir.

O, I know him! a Baker, is he not?

He was a Baker, Sir, but he do's dream now, and
see Visions, he has given over his Trade.

I remember that too: out of a Scruple he took,
that (in spic'd Conscience) those Cakes he made, were
serv'd to Bridales, May-Poles, Morrisses, and such pro-
phane Feasts and Meetings; his Christen-Name is Zeal-

Yes, Sir, Zeal-of-the-land Busy.

How! what a Name's there!

O, they have all such Names, Sir; he was Wit-
ness for VVin here, (they will not be call'd God-fathers)
and nam'd her VVin-the-fight, you thought her Name had
been VVinnifred, did you not?

I did indeed.

He would ha' thought himself a stark Reprobate,
if it had.

I, for there was a Blew-starch-woman o' the
Name, at the same time. A notable hypocritical Ver-
mine it is; I know him. One that stands upon his
Face, more than his Faith, at all times; Ever in sedi-
tious motion, and reproving for Vain-glory: of a most
Lunatick Conscience and Spleen, and affects the Vio-
lence of Singularity in all he do's: (He has undone a
Grocer here, in Newgate-Market, that broke with him,
trusted him with Currans, as errant a Zeal as he, that's
by the way:) By his Profession, he will ever be i' the
State of Innocence, though; and Childhood; de-
rides all Antiquity, defies any other Learning than
Inspiration; and what Discretion soever Years should
afford him, it is all prevented in his Original Ignorance;
ha' not to do with him: for he is a Fellow of a
most arrogant and invincible dullness, I assure you;
who is this?

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