Benjamin [Ben] Jonson

C. H. Herford and Percy Simpson (eds), Ben Jonson, Vol. 3: The Tale of a Tub; The Case is Altered; Every Man in his Humour; Every Man out of his Humour

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Critical ApparatusAct iii. Scene i.


Matthew, Well-bred, Bobadill, Ed. Kno'well, Stephen. YEs faith, sir, we were at your lodging to seeke you, too.


Wel. Oh, I came not there to night.


Bob. Your brother deliuered vs as much.


Wel. Who? my brother Downe-right?


Bob. He. Mr. Well-bred, I know not in what 6kind you hold me, but let me say to you this: as sure as 7honor, I esteeme it so much out of the sunne-shine of Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus8reputation, to through the least beame of reguard, vpon 9such a———


Wel. Sir, I must heare no ill wordes of my brother.

Critical Apparatus11

Bob. I, protest to you, as I haue a thing to be sau'd 12about me, I neuer saw any gentleman-like part——

Editor’s Note13

Wel. Good Captayne, faces about, to some other 14discourse.


Bob. With your leaue, sir, and there were no more men 16liuing vpon the face of the earth, I should not fancie him, 17by S. George.

pg 339 18

Mat. Troth, nor I, he is of a rusticall cut, I know not 19how: he doth not carry himselfe like a gentleman of 20fashion——


Wel. Oh, Mr. Matthew, that's a grace peculiar Editor’s Note22but to a few; quos æquus amauit Ivpiter.


Mat. I vnderstand you sir.


Wel. No question, you doe, or you doe not, sir. Ned Yong Kno'well enters. 25Kno'well! by my soule welcome; how doest thou 26sweet spirit, my Genius? S'lid I shall loue Apollo, and Editor’s Note27the mad Thespian girles the better, while I liue, for this; 28my deare furie: now, I see there's some loue in thee! 29Sirra, these bee the two I writ to thee of (nay, what a 30drowsie humour is this now? why doest thou not speake?)


E. Kn. Oh you are a fine gallant, you sent me a rare 32letter!


Wel. Why, was't not rare?


E. Kn. Yes, Ile bee sworne, I was ne're guiltie of reading Editor’s Note35the like; match it in all Plinie, or Symmachvs 36epistles, and Ile haue my iudgement burn'd in the eare for 37a rogue: make much of thy vaine, for it is inimitable. But Editor’s Note38I marle what camell it was, that had the carriage of it? for 39doubtlesse, he was no ordinarie beast, that brought it!


Wel. Why?


E. Kn. Why, saiest thou? why doest thou thinke that 42any reasonable creature, especially in the morning (the 43sober time of the day too) could haue mis-tane my father 44for me?


Wel. S'lid, you iest, I hope?


E. Kn. Indeed, the best vse wee can turne it to[o], is to 47make a iest on't, now: but Ile assure you, my father had 48the full view o' your flourishing stile, some houre before 49I saw it.


Wel. What a dull slaue was this? But, sirrah, what 51said hee to it, Ifaith?


E. Kn. Nay, I know not what he said: but I haue 53a shrewd gesse what hee thought.


Wel. What? what?

pg 340 55

E. Kn. Mary, that thou art some strange dissolute yong 56fellow, and I a graine or two better, for keeping thee 57companie.


Wel. Tut, that thought is like the moone in her last 59quarter, 'twill change shortly: but, sirrha, I pray thee be 60acquainted with my two hang-by's, here; thou wilt take 61exceeding pleasure in 'hem if thou hear'st 'hem once goe: 62my wind-instruments. Ile wind 'hem vp——but what 63strange piece of silence is this? the signe of the dumbe man?


E. Kn. Oh, sir, a kinsman of mine, one that may make 65your musique the fuller, and he please, he has his humour, 66sir.


Wel. Oh, what ist? what ist?


E. Kn. Nay, Ile neither doe your iudgement, nor his 69folly that wrong, as to prepare your apprehension: Ile leaue 70him to the mercy o' your search, if you can take him, so.


Wel. Well, Captaine Bobadill, Mr. Matthew, Critical Apparatus72pray you know this gentleman here, he is a friend of mine, 73To Master Stephen. and one that will deserue your affection. I know not your 74name sir, but I shall be glad of any occasion, to render me Critical Apparatus75more familiar to you.


Step. My name is MT. Stephen, sir, I am this Critical Apparatus77gentlemans owne cousin, sir, his father is mine vnckle, sir, 78I am somewhat melancholy, but you shall command me, 79sir, in whatsoeuer is incident to a gentleman.


To Kno'well. Bob. Sir, I must tell you this, I am no generall man, 81but for Mr. Wel-bred's sake (you may embrace it, at 82what height of fauour you please) I doe communicate with 83you: and conceiue you, to bee a gentleman of some parts, 84I loue few wordes.


E. Kn. And I fewer, sir. I haue scarce inow, to thanke 86you.

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To Master Stephen. Mat. But are you indeed, sir? so giuen to it?

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Step. I, truely, sir, I am mightily giuen to melancholy.

pg 341 Critical Apparatus89

Mat. Oh, it's your only fine humour, sir, your true90melancholy breeds your perfect fine wit, sir: I am melan-Critical Apparatus91choly my selfe diuers times, sir, and then doe I no more92but take pen, and paper presently, and ouerflow you halfe93a score, or a dozen of sonnets, at a sitting.Editor’s Note94(E. Kn. Sure, he vtters them then, by the grosse.)

Editor’s Note95

Step. Truely sir, and I loue such things, out of measure.

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus96

E. Kn. I faith, better then in measure, Ile vnder-take.


Mat. Why, I pray you, sir, make vse of my studie, it's at 98your seruice.


Step. I thanke you sir, I shall bee bold, I warrant you; Critical Apparatus100haue you a stoole there, to be melancholy' vpon?


Mat. That I haue, sir, and some papers there of mine 102owne doing, at idle houres, that you'le say there's some 103sparkes of wit in 'hem, when you see them.


Wel. Would the sparkes would kindle once, and Critical Apparatus105become a fire amongst 'hem, I might see selfe-loue burn't 106for her heresie.


Step. Cousin, is it well? am I melancholy inough?


E. Kn. Oh I, excellent!


Wel. Captaine Bobadill: Why muse you so?


E. Kn. He is melancholy, too.

Critical Apparatus111

Bob. Faith, sir, I was thinking of a most honorable 112piece of seruice, was perform'd to morrow, being St. Critical Apparatus113Markes day: shall bee some ten yeeres, now?


E. Kn. In what place, Captaine?

Editor’s Note115

Bob. Why, at the beleag'ring of Strigonium, where, in 116lesse then two houres, seuen hundred resolute gentlemen, 117as any were in Europe, lost their liues vpon the breach. Ile Critical Apparatus118tell you, gentlemen, it was the first, but the best leagure, 119that euer I beheld, with these eies, except the taking in of 120——what doe you call it, last yeere, by the Genowayes, but 121that (of all other) was the most fatall, and dangerous 122exploit, that euer I was rang'd in, since I first bore armes pg 342123before the face of the enemie, as I am a gentleman, & Critical Apparatus124souldier.


Step. 'So, I had as liefe, as an angell, I could sweare 126as well as that gentleman!


E. Kn. Then, you were a seruitor, at both it seemes! at 128Strigonium? and what doe you call't?

Critical Apparatus129

Bob. Oh lord, sir? by S. George, I was the first 130man, that entred the breach: and, had I not effected it Critical Apparatus131with resolution, I had beene slaine, if I had had a million 132of liues.


E. Kn. 'Twas pittie, you had not ten; a cats, and your 134owne, ifaith. But, was it possible?


(Mat. 'Pray you, marke this discourse, sir.


Step. So, I doe.)


Bob. I assure you (vpon my reputation) 'tis true, and 138your selfe shall confesse.


E. Kn. You must bring me to the racke, first.


Bob. Obserue me iudicially, sweet sir, they had planted Editor’s Note141mee three demi-culuerings, iust in the mouth of the breach; Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus142now, sir (as we were to giue on) their master gunner (a man 143of no meane skill, and marke, you must thinke) confronts Editor’s Note144me with his linstock, readie to giue fire; I spying his Editor’s Note145intendment, discharg'd my petrionel in his bosome, and 146with these single armes, my poore rapier, ranne violently, Critical Apparatus147vpon the Moores, that guarded the ordinance, and put 'hem 148pell-mell to the sword.


Wel. To the sword? to the rapier, Captaine?

Editor’s Note150

E. Kn. Oh, it was a good figure obseru'd, sir! but did Critical Apparatus151you all this, Captaine, without hurting your blade?


Bob. Without any impeach, o' the earth: you shall 153perceiue sir. It is the most fortunate weapon, that euer 154rid on poore gentlemans thigh: shal I tell you, sir? you Editor’s Note155talke of Morglay, Excalibur, Durindana, or so? tut, I lend 156no credit to that is fabled of 'hem, I know the vertue pg 343Critical Apparatus157of mine owne, and therefore I dare, the boldlier, main-158taine it.


Step. I mar'le whether it be a Toledo, or no?


Bob. A most perfect Toledo, I assure you, sir.


Step. I haue a countriman of his, here.


Mat. Pray you, let's see, sir: yes faith, it is!


Bob. This a Toledo? pish.


Step. Why doe you pish, Captaine?

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus165

Bob. A Fleming, by heauen, Ile buy them for a guilder, 166a piece, an' I would haue a thousand of them.


E. Kn. How say you, cousin? I told you thus much?


Wel. Where bought you it, Mr. Stephen?


Step. Of a scuruie rogue souldier (a hundred of lice goe Editor’s Note170with him) he swore it was a Toledo.

Editor’s Note171

Bob. A poore prouant rapier, no better.


Mat. Masse, I thinke it be, indeed! now I looke on't, 173better.


E. Kn. Nay, the longer you looke on't, the worse. Put 175it vp, put it vp.

Critical Apparatus176

Step. Well, I will put it vp, but by——(I ha' forgot the 177Captaynes oath, I thought to ha' sworne by it) an' ere 178I meet him———


Wel. O, it is past helpe now, sir, you must haue 180patience.

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus181

Step. Horson connie-catching raskall! I could eate 182the very hilts for anger!

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus183

E. Kn. A signe of good digestion! you haue an ostrich 184stomack, cousin.


Step. A stomack? would I had him here, you should 186see, an' I had a stomack.


Wel. It's better as 'tis: come, gentlemen, shall we goe?

Notes Settings


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iii. i.] Scene 1.—The Old Jewry. A Room in the Windmill Tavern. G (but at iii. ii. 52, iii. 129 the action takes place in the street)
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8 through] throw F3
Editor’s Note
iii. i. 8. through, throw.
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11 I, protest] I protest F2
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13. faces about. Cf. S. of N. iv. iv. 51:
  • Faces about to the right hand, the left,
  • Now, as you were.
Editor’s Note
22. quoslupiter. From Virgil, Aeneid, vi. 129.
Editor’s Note
27. Thespian girles. In Ovid, Metamorphoses, v. 310, the Muses are 'Thespiades deae'.
Editor’s Note
35. Symmachus, a scholar, statesman, and orator, consul in a.d. 391, whose collected letters were published in ten books after his death; he modelled his style on that of Pliny.
Editor’s Note
38. marle, marvel: E.M.O. Ind. 322 'mar'le'. The noun is in S.W. iii. i. 43 ''Tis mar'l'. …
camell. Cf. Sej. i. 568, 'Auoid mine eye, dull camell.'
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iii. i. 72 pray] 'pray F2
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75 you. F2: you Fi1
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77 vnckle, sir,] uncle, sir; F2
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87 indeed, sir? F2: indeed. Sir? F1
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88 melancholy. F2; melancholy, F1
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iii. i. 89–90 true melancholy F2: true melancholy, F1
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91 selfe] selfe, F2
Editor’s Note
94. vtters. A quibble on the commercial sense, 'to put into circulation': cf. iv. ii. 57.
Editor’s Note
95–6. out of measurein measure. Cf. The Triall of Treasure, 1567, D iii (Lust to Lady Treasure), 'Ah lady, I loue thee in faith out of measure.' Inclination, in an aside. 'It is out of measure in deede as you saie.' Jonson repeated the quibble in C.R. ii. iv, 52–4, 'Phi. And did I not dance mouingly the last night? Mor. Mouingly? out of measure (in troth) sweet charge. Mer. A happy commendation, to dance out of measure.'
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96, 116 then] than F2
Editor’s Note
96. I faith = 'Ay, faith'—not, as Gifford and later editors print, 'I' faith'.
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100 melancholy'] melancholy F2
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105 might] migh F2
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111 honorable] honourable F2
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113 day:] day, F2
now?] now. F2
Editor’s Note
115. Strigonium, Graan in Hungary, which was retaken from the Turks in the year 1595, after having been in their possession nearly half a century. 'It should be observed, that the inroads which the Turks made into the Emperor's dominions, had made it fashionable to go a volunteering in his service; and we find that Thomas Lord Arundel of Wardour was created at this very time a Count of the Empire, as a reward of his signal valour; and because in forcing the water tower near Strigonium, he took a banner from the Turks with his own hand. (Whalley.)
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118 leagure] Leaguer F3
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iii. i. 124 souldier.] a Soldier F3
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129 lord, sir?] Lord, sir, F2
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131 slaine,] slain F2
Editor’s Note
141. demi-culuerings, cannon of about four and a half inches bore.
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142 gunner] gunner, F2
Editor’s Note
142. giue on, make the assault.
Editor’s Note
144. linstock, 'a staff about three feet long, having a pointed foot to stick in the deck or ground, and a forked head to hold a lighted match.'— O.E.D.
Editor’s Note
145. petrionel, a large pistol or carbine. The common form is 'petronel', but 'petrionel' is found in E.M.O. v. v. 32, and 'peitronell'—probably a misprint for this—in S.W. iv. v. 112. The Quarto spells 'Petrinell'.
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147 ordinance] ordnance F2
Editor’s Note
150. a good figure obseru'd, i.e. in saying 'put them to the sword' he used a good old-fashioned expression.
Critical Apparatus
151 blade? F2; blade. F1
Editor’s Note
155. Morglay, the sword of Bevis of Southampton. Selden refers to it in a note on Drayton's Polyolbion, 1613, Song II, p. 37: 'His sword is kept as a relique in Arundell Castle, not equalling in length (as it is now worne) that of Edward the Third's at Westminster.'
Excalibur was the sword of Arthur, and Durindana the sword of Orlando, with which he is fabled to have cleft the Pyrenees. Cf. Harington's Orlando Furioso, 1591, xiv, st. 57:
  •       Durindan, a blade of temper rare,
  • That Hector erst, and now Orlando bare.
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iii. i. 157 owne,] owne. F2
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165 heauen,] heauen. F2
Editor’s Note
165. guilder, a Dutch silver coin worth about 1s. 8d.
Editor’s Note
170. if you can take him, so, if you can fathom him, well and good.
Editor’s Note
171. prouant, supplied by the government stores, and therefore inferior. Gifford quotes Massinger, The Maid of Honour, 1632, i. i, B2v:
  • A knave with halfe a britch there,
  • And no shirt, … if you beare not
  • Your selves both in, and upright, with a provant sword
  • Will slash your skarlets, and your plush a new way.
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176 vp,] up; F2
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181 connie-catching] cunny-catching F2
Editor’s Note
181. connie-calshing, swindling. Cf. C. is A. iv. vii. 52.
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183–4 ostrich stomack] ostrich-stomack F2
Editor’s Note
183–4. ostrich stomach. The ostrich is attracted by bright metal, such as tin or a silver spoon, swallows it, and even digests it owing to the extreme acidity of its stomach. For the quibble cf. iii. iv. 35–7.
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