Ben Jonson

"Bartholomew Fayre Act 2. Scene 6"

Justice, Edgworth, Nightingale, Cokes, Waspe, Mistris
Overdoo, Grace.

These are the Fruits of Bottle Ale and Tabacco! the
Fome of the one, and the Fumes of the other! Stay
young man, and despise not the Wisdom of these few
Hairs that are grown gray in care of thee.

Edg.
Nightingale, stay a little. Indeed I'll hear some
o' this!

Cok.
Come, Numps, come, where are you? Welcome
into the Fair, Mistris Grace.

Edg.
'Slight, he will call Company, you shall see, and
put us into doings presently.

Jus.
Thirst not after that frothy Liquor, Ale: for
who knows when he openeth the Stopple, what may be
in the Bottle? Hath not a Snail, a Spider, yea, a Neust
been found there? thirst not after it, youth: thirst not
after it.

Cok.
This is a brave Fellow, Numps, let's hear him.

Was.
'Sblood, how brave is he? in a garded Coat?
You were best truck with him, e'en strip, and truck
presently, it will become you, why will you hear
him, because he is an Ass, and may be a-kin to the
Cokeses.

Cok.
O, good Numps!

Jus.
Neither do thou lust after that Tawny Weed,
Tabacco.

Cok.
Brave words!

Jus.
Whose Complexion is like the Indians that
vents it!

Cok.
Are they not brave words, Sister?

Jus.
And who can tell, if before the gathering and
making up thereof, the Alligarta hath not p*ss'd
thereon?

Was.
'Heart let 'em be brave words, as brave as they
will! and they were all the brave words in a Countrey,
how then? will you away yet? ha' you enough on him?
Mistris Grace, come you away, I pray you, be not you
accessary. If you do lose your Licence, or somewhat
else, Sir, with listning to his Fables, say Numps is a
Witch, with all my heart, do, say so.

Cok.
Avoid i' your Sattin Doublet, Numps.

Jus.
The creeping Venome of which subtil Ser-
pent, as some late Writers affirm, neither the cut-
ting of the perillous Plant, nor the drying of it, nor
the lighting or burning, can any way persway or as-
swage.

Cok.
Good i' faith! is't not, Sister?

Jus.
Hence it is that the Lungs of the Tabacconist
are rotted, the Liver spotted, the Brain smoak'd like
the Back-side of the Pig-womans Booth here, and the
whole Body within, black as her Pan you saw e'en now
without.

Cok.
A fine Similitude, that, Sir! did you see the
Pan?

Edg.
Yes, Sir.

Jus.
Nay, the hole in the Nose here, of some Ta-
bacco-takers, or the Third Nostril, (if I may so call it)
which makes, that they can vent the Tabacco out,
like the Ace of Clubs, or rather the Flower-de-lice, is
caused from the Tabacco, the meer Tabacco! when
the poor innocent Pox, having nothing to do there, is
miserably and most unconscionably slander'd.

Cok.
Who would ha' mist this, Sister?

Over.
Not any body but Numps.


Cok.
He does not understand.

[He picketh his Purse.


Edg.
Nor you feel.

Cok.
What would you have, Sister, of a Fellow
that knows nothing but a Basket-Hilt, and an Old
Fox in't? the best Musick i' the Fair will not move a
Log.

Edg.
In, to Ursla, Nightingale, and carry her comfort:
see it told. This Fellow was sent to us by Fortune, for
our first Fairing.

Jus.
But what speak I of the Diseases of the Body,
Children of the Fair?

Cok.
That's to us, Sister. Brave i' faith!

Jus.
Hark, O you Sons and Daughters of Smithfield!
and hear what malady it doth the Mind: It causeth
swearing, it causeth swaggering, it causeth snuffling and
snarling, and now and then a hurt.

Over.
He hath something of Master Over-doo, me
thinks, brother.

Cok.
So me thought, Sister, very much of my Brother
Over-doo: And 'tis when he speaks.

Jus.
Look into any Angle o' Town, (the Streights, or
the Bermuda's) where the Quarrelling Lesson is read,
and how do they entertain the time, but with Bottle
Ale and Tabacco? The Lecturer is o' one side, and his
Pupils o' the other; But the Seconds are still Bottle Ale
and Tabacco, for which the Lecturer reads, and the
Novices pay. Thirty Pound a week in Bottle Ale!
Forty in Tabacco! and Ten more in Ale again. Then
for a Suit to drink in, so much, and (that being slaver'd)
so much for another Suit, and then a Third Suit, and a
Fourth Suit! and still the Bottle Ale slavereth, and the
Tabacco stinketh!

Was.
Heart of a mad man! are you rooted here?
Will you never away? What can any man find out in
this bawling Fellow, to grow here for? He is a full hand-
ful higher sin' he heard him. Will you fix here, and set
up a Booth, Sir?

Jus.
I will conclude briefly —

Was.
Hold your peace, you roaring Rascal, I'll run
my Head i' your Chaps else. You were best build a
Booth, and entertain him; make your Will, and you
say the Word, and him your Heir! Heart, I never
knew one taken with a Mouth of a Peck afore. By
this Light, I'll carry you away o' my back, and you will
not come.

[He gets him up on pick-pack.


Cok.
Stay, Numps, stay, set me down: I ha' lost my
Purse, Numps, O my Purse! One o' my fine Purses is
gone.

Over.
Is't indeed, Brother?

Cok.
I, as I am an honest man, would I were an er- rant Rogue else! a plague of all roguy damn'd Cut-
purses for me.

VVas.
Bless 'em with all my heart, with all my heart,
do you see! Now, as I am no Infidel, that I know of,
I am glad on't. I, I am, (here's my Witness) do you
see, Sir? I did not tell you of his Fables, I? no, no, I
am a dull Malt-Horse, I, I know nothing. Are you
not justly serv'd, i' your Conscience now? Speak
i' your Conscience. Much good do you with all
my heart, and his good heart that has it, with all my
heart again.

Edg.
This Fellow is very Charitable, would he
had a Purse too! But I must not be too bold all at a
time.

Cok.
Nay, Numps, it is not my best Purse.

Was.
Not your best! death! why should it be your
worst? why should it be any, indeed, at all? Answer
me to that, gi' me a Reason from you, why it should
be any?

Cok.
Nor my Gold, Numps; I ha' that yet, look here
else, Sister.

Was.
Why so, there's all the feeling he has!

Over.
I pray you, have a better care of that, Bro-
ther.

Cok.
Nay, so I will, I warrant you; let him catch
this that catch can. I would fain see him get this, look
you here.

VVas.
So, so, so, so, so, so, so, so! Very good.

Cok.
I would ha' him come again now, and
but offer at it. Sister, will you take notice of
a good Jest? I will put it just where th' other
was, and if we ha' good luck, you shall see
a delicate fine Trap to catch the Cut-purse nib-
bling.

Edg.
Faith, and he'll try e're you be out o' the
Fair.

Cok.
Come, Mistris Grace, pre'thee be not melan-
choly for my mischance; sorrow wi' not keep it, Sweet
heart.

Gra.
I do not think on't, Sir.

Cok.
'Twas but a little scurvy white money, hang
it: it may hang the Cut-purse one day. I ha' Gold left
to gi' thee a Fairing yet, as hard as the World goes: no
thing angers me but that no body here look'd like a
Cut-purse, unless 'twere Numps.

VVas.
How? I? I look like a Cut-purse? Death!
your Sister's a Cut-purse! and your Mother and Fa-
ther, and all your Kin were Cut-purses! And here is a
Rogue is the Bawd o' the Cut-purses, whom I will beat
to begin with.


They speak all together: and Waspe beats the
Justice.

Cok.
Numps, Numps.

Over.
Good Mr. Hum-
phrey.


VVas.
You are the Pa-
trico!
are you? the Patri-
arch of the Cut-purses?
You share, Sir, they say,
let them share this with
you. Are you i' your hot fit of preaching again? I'll
cool you.

Jus.
Murther, murther, murther.

Jus.
Hold thy Hand,
Child of Wrath, and
Heir of Anger, make it
not Childermas Day in
thy Fury, or the Feast
of the French Bartholmew,
Parent of the Massacre.

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