Ben Jonson

"Bartholomew Fayre Act 1. Scene 5"

Cokes, Mistris Over-doe, VVaspe, Grace, Quarlous, VVin-wife, John, VVin.

O Numps! are you here, Numps? look where I am.
Numps! and Mistris Grace too! nay, do not look
angerly, Numps, my Sister is here and all, I do not come
without her.

What the mischief do you come with her? or
she with you?

We came all to seek you, Numps.

To seek me? why, did you all think I was lost,
or run away with your Fourteen Shillings worth of small
Ware here? or that I had chang'd it i' the Fair for Hob-
by-horses? S' precious —— to seek me!

Nay, good Mr. Numps do you shew discretion,
tho he be exorbitant, (as Mr. Over-do says) and't be but
for conservation of the Peace.

Marry gip, Goodly She-Justice, Mistris French-
turd i' your teeth; and turd i' your French-hoods
teeth too, to do you service, do you see? must you
quote your Adam to me! you think you are Madam Re-
still, Mistris Over-do; when I am in place? No
such matter, I assure you, your Raign is out, when I am
in, Dame.

I am content to be in abeyance, Sir, and be go-
vern'd by you; so should he too, if he did well; but
'till be expected you should also govern your Passions.

Will't so, forsooth? good Lord! how sharp you
are! with being at Beth'lem yesterday? VVhetstone has set
an Edge upon you, has he?

Nay, if you know not what belongs to your
Dignity, I do yet to mine.

Very well then.

Is this the Licence, Numps? for Loves sake let me
see't; I never saw a Licence.

Did you not so? why, you shall not see't then.

An' you love me, good Numps.

Sir, I love you, and yet I do not love you i'these
Fooleries; set your heart at rest; there's nothing in't but
hard words; and what would you see't for?

I would see the length and the breadth on't, that's
all; and I will see't now, so I will.

You sha' not see it here.

Then I'll see't at home, and I'll look upon the
Case here.

Why, do so; a man must give way to him a
little in Trifles: Gentlemen. These are Errors, Diseases
of Youth: which he will mend when he comes to Judg-
ment and knowledge of matters. I pray you conceive
so, and I thank you. And I pray you pardon him, and
I thank you again.

Well, this Dry-Nurse, I say still, is a delicate man.

And I am, for the Cosset, his charge! Did you
ever see a Fellows Face more accuse him for an Ass?

Accuse him? it confesses him one without accu-
sing. What pity 'tis yonder wench should marry such a

'Tis true.

She seems to be discreet, and as sober as she is

I, and if you mark her, what a restrain'd
scorn she casts upon all his behaviour and speeches?

Well, Numps, I am now for another piece of bu-
siness more, the Fair, Numps, and then —

Bless me! deliver me, help, hold me! the Fair!

Nay, never fidg up and down, Numps, and vex it
self. I am resolute Bartholmew in this; I'll make no suit
on't to you; 'twas all the end of my Journey indeed, to
shew Mrs. Grace my Fair. I call't my Fair, because of
Bartholmew: you know my Name is Bartholmew, and
Bartholmew Fair.

That was mine afore, Gentlemen: this morning.
I had that i'faith upon his Licence, believe me, there he
comes after me.

Come, John, this ambitious Wit of yours (I am
afraid) will do you no good i' the end.

No? why Sir?

You grow so insolent with it, and over-doing,
John; that if you look not to it, and tie it up, it will
bring you to some obscure place in time, and there 'twill
leave you.

Do not trust it too much, John, be more spa-
ring, and use it but now and then; a Wit is a dangerous
thing in this Age; do not over-buy it.

Think you so, Gentlemen? I'll take heed on't

Yes, do John.

A pretty little Soul, this same Mrs. Little-wit
would I might marry her.

So would I, or any body else, so I might scape you.

Numps, I will see it, Numps, 'tis decreed: never
be melancholly for the matter.

Why, see it, Sir, see it, do, see it! who hinders
you? why do you not go see it? 'Slid see it.

The Fair, Numps, the Fair.

Would the Fair, and all the Drums and Rattles
in't were i' your belly for me: they are already i' your
Brain: he that had the means to travel your head now,
should meet finer sights than any are i' the Fair; and
make a finer Voyage on't; to see it all hung with c*ckle-
shels, Pebbles, fine Wheat-straws, and here and there a
Chicken's Feather, and a Cob-web.

Good faith, he looks, methinks, an' you mark
him, like one that were made to catch Flies, with his Sir

And his Numps, to flap 'em away.

God, be w'you, Sir, there's your Bee in a Box,
and much good do't you.

Why, your Friend, and Bartholmew; an' you be
so contumacious.

What mean you, Numps?

I'll not be guilty, I, Gentlemen.

You will not let him go, Brother, and lose

Who can hold that will away? I had rather
lose him than the Fair, I wusse.

You do not know the inconvenience, Gentle-
tlemen, you perswade to, nor what trouble I have with
him in these humours. If he go to the Fair, he will buy
of every thing to a Baby there; and Houshold-stuff for
that too. If a Leg or an Arm on him did not grow
on, he would lose it i' the Press. Pray Heaven I bring
him off with one Stone! And then he is such a ravener
after Fruit! you will not believe what a coil I had
t'other day, to compound a business between a Katern-
pear-woman, and him, about snatching! 'tis intolerable,

O! but you must not leave him now to these
hazards, Numps.

Nay, he knows too well, I will not leave him,
and that makes him presume: well, Sir, will you go
now? if you have such an itch i' your feet, to foot it to
the Fair, why do you stop, am I your Tarriars? go,
will you go? Sir, why do you not go?

O Numps! have I brought you about? come
Mistriss Grace, and Sister, I am resolute Bat, i' faith,

Truly, I have no such fancy to the Fair; nor
ambition to see it; there's none goes thither of any qua-
lity or fashion.

O Lord, Sir! you shall pardon me, Mistriss Grace,
we are enow of our selves to make it a fashion: and for
qualities, let Numps alone, he'll find qualities.

What a Rogue in apprehension is this! to un-
derstand her Language no better.

I, and offer to marry to her. Well, I will leave
the chase of my Widow, for to day, and directly to the
Fair. These Flies cannot, this hot season, but engender
us excellent creeping sport.

A Man that has but a Spoon full of Brain
would think so. Farewel, John.

Win, you see, 'tis in fashion, to go to the Fair,
we must to the Fair too, you and I, Win. I have
an affair i' the Fair, Win, a Puppet-play of mine own
making: say nothing, that I writ for the motion Man,
which you must see, Win.

I would I might John; but my Mother will
never consent to such a prophane motion: she will
call it.

Tut, we'll have a device, a dainty one: (Now,
Wit, help at a pinch, good Wit come, come good Wit, and
't be thy will.) I have it, Win, I have it i' faith, and 'tis
a fine one. Win, long to eat of a Pig, sweet Win, i' the
Fair; do you see? i' the heart o' the Fair; not at Pye-
Your Mother will do any thing, Win, to satis-
fie your longing, you know; pray thee long presently,
and be sick o' the sudden, good Win. I'll go in and tell
her; cut thy Lace i' the mean time, and play the Hy-
sweet Win.

No, I'll not make me unready for it. I can
be Hypocrite enough, though I were never so straight

You say true, you have bin bred i' the Family,
and brought up to't. Our Mother is a most elect Hypo-
and has maintain'd us all this seven year with it,
like Gentle-folks.

I, Let her alone, John, she is not a wise wilful
Widow for nothing; nor a sanctified Sister for a Song.
And let me alone too, I ha' somewhat o' the Mother in
me, you shall see, fetch her, fetch her, ah, ah.

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