Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan (eds), The New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition

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Editor’s NoteEnter Arden and Franklin [with deeds]
Editor’s Note1

franklin Arden, cheer up thy spirits and droop no more.

Editor’s Note2My gracious lord, the Duke of Somerset,

3Hath freely given to thee and to thy heirs,

Editor’s Note4By letters patents from his majesty,

pg 122Editor’s Note5All the lands of the Abbey of Faversham.

Editor’s Note6Here are the deeds, sealed and subscribed with his name and the King's.

Editor’s Note7Read them, and leave this melancholy mood.


arden Franklin, thy love prolongs my weary life—

9And but for thee, how odious were this life,

Editor’s Note10That shows me nothing but torments my soul,

11And those foul objects that offend mine eyes,

Editor’s Note12Which makes me wish that, for this veil of heaven,

13The earth hung over my head and covered me.

Editor’s Note14Love letters passed 'twixt Mosby and my wife,

Editor’s Note15And they have privy meetings in the town.

16Nay, on his finger did I spy the ring

17Which at our marriage day the priest put on.

18Can any grief be half so great as this?


franklin Comfort thyself, sweet friend: it is not strange

20That women will be false and wavering.

Editor’s Note21

arden Ay, but to dote on such a one as he

22Is monstrous, Franklin, and intolerable.


franklin Why, what is he?

Editor’s Note24

arden A botcher, and no better at the first,

Editor’s Note25Who, by base brokage getting some small stock,

26Crept into service of a nobleman,

Editor’s Note27And by his servile flattery and fawning

Editor’s Note28Is now become the steward of his house,

Editor’s Note29And bravely jets it in his silken gown.

Editor’s Note30

franklin No nobleman will count'nance such a peasant—

Editor’s Note31

arden Yes, the Lord Clifford, he that loves not me.

32But through his favour let not him grow proud;

33For were he by the Lord Protector backed,

34He should not make me to be pointed at.

Editor’s Note35I am by birth a gentleman of blood,

Editor’s Note36And that injurious ribald that attempts

37To violate my dear wife's chastity

38(For dear I hold her love, as dear as heaven)

39Shall on the bed which he thinks to defile

Editor’s Note40See his dissevered joints and sinews torn,

pg 123Editor’s Note41Whilst on the planchers pants his weary body,

Editor’s Note42Smeared in the channels of his lustful blood.


franklin Be patient, gentle friend, and learn of me

44To ease thy grief and save her chastity.

Editor’s Note45Entreat her fair; sweet words are fittest engines

Editor’s Note46To raze the flint walls of a woman's breast.

47In any case be not too jealïous,

48Nor make no question of her love to thee;

Editor’s Note49But, as securely, presently take horse

Editor’s Note50And lie with me at London all this term.

Editor’s Note51For women, when they may, will not,

52But being kept back, straight grow outragëous.

Editor’s Note53

arden Though this abhors from reason, yet I'll try it,

54And call her forth, and presently take leave.

55How, Alice!

Editor’s NoteHere enters Alice

alice Husband, what mean you to get up so early?

57Summer nights are short, and yet you rise ere day.

Editor’s Note58Had I been 'wake, you had not risse so soon.

Editor’s Note59

arden Sweet love, thou know'st that we two, Ovid-like,

Editor’s Note60Have often chid the morning when it 'gan to peep,

Editor’s Note61And often wished that dark Night's purblind steeds

Editor’s Note62Would pull her by the purple mantle back

Editor’s Note63And cast her in the ocean to her love.

64But this night, sweet Alice, thou hast killed my heart:

65I heard thee call on Mosby in thy sleep.

Editor’s Note66

alice 'Tis like I was asleep when I named him,

67For being awake he comes not in my thoughts.


arden Ay, but you started up and suddenly,

69Instead of him, caught me about the neck.

Editor’s Note70

alice 'Instead of him'? Why, who was there but you?

71And where but one is, how can I mistake?

Editor’s Note72

franklin Arden, leave to urge her overfar.

Editor’s Note73

arden [to Alice] Nay, love, there is no credit in a dream.

74Let it suffice I know thou lov'st me well.

Editor’s Note75

alice Now I remember whereupon it came:

76Had we no talk of Mosby yesternight?


franklin Mistress Alice, I heard you name him once or twice.

pg 124 78

alice And thereof came it, and therefore blame not me.


arden I know it did, and therefore let it pass.

80I must to London, sweet Alice, presently.


alice But tell me, do you mean to stay there long?


arden No longer than till my affairs be done.


franklin He will not stay above a month at most.


alice A month? Ay me! Sweet Arden, come again

85Within a day or two, or else I die.


arden I cannot long be from thee, gentle Alice.

87Whilst Michael fetch our horses from the field,

88Franklin and I will down unto the quay,

89For I have certain goods there to unload.

90Meanwhile prepare our breakfast, gentle Alice,

Editor’s Note91For yet ere noon we'll take horse and away.

Exeunt Arden and Franklin

alice Ere noon he means to take horse and away!

Editor’s Note93Sweet news is this. O, that some airy spirit

94Would in the shape and likeness of a horse

95Gallop with Arden 'cross the ocëan

96And throw him from his back into the waves!

97Sweet Mosby is the man that hath my heart,

98And he usurps it, having nought but this:

99That I am tied to him by marrïage.

100Love is a god, and marriage is but words;

Editor’s Note101And therefore Mosby's title is the best.

Editor’s Note102Tush! Whether it be or no, he shall be mine

Editor’s Note103In spite of him, of Hymen, and of rites.

Editor’s NoteHere enters Adam of the Flower-de-Luce

Editor’s Note104And here comes Adam of the Flower-d Flower-de-Luce.

105I hope he brings me tidings of my love.

106How now, Adam, what is the news with you?

107Be not afraid; my husband is now from home.

Editor’s Note108

adam He whom you wot of, Mosby, Mistress Alice,

109Is come to town, and sends you word by me

110In any case you may not visit him.


alice Not visit him?


adam No, nor take no knowledge of his being here.


alice But tell me, is he angry or displeased?

Editor’s Note114

adam Should seem so, for he is wondrous sad.

Editor’s Note115

alice Were he as mad as raving Hercules,

Editor’s Note116I'll see him. Ay, and were thy house of force,

117These hands of mine should raze it to the ground

118Unless that thou wouldst bring me to my love.

pg 125 Editor’s Note119

adam Nay, an you be so impatient, I'll be gone.

Editor’s Note120

alice Stay, Adam, stay. Thou wert wont to be my friend.

Editor’s Note121Ask Mosby how I have incurred his wrath.

122Bear him from me these pair of silver dice

123With which we played for kisses many a time,

124And when I lost I won, and so did he—

Editor’s Note125Such winning and such losing Jove send me!—

126And bid him, if his love do not decline,

Editor’s Note127Come this morning but along my door

128And as a stranger but salute me there.

129This may he do without suspect or fear.

[Then Adam takes the dice]

adam I'll tell him what you say, and so farewell.


alice Do, and one day I'll make amends for all.

Exit Adam

132I know he loves me well but dares not come

133Because my husband is so jealïous

Editor’s Note134And these my narrow-prying neighbour blabs

135Hinder our meetings when we would confer.

Editor’s Note136But, if I live, that block shall be removed;

137And, Mosby, thou that comes to me by stealth

138Shalt neither fear the biting speech of men

139Nor Arden's looks. As surely shall he die

Editor’s Note140As I abhor him and love only thee.

Editor’s NoteHere enters Michael

141How now, Michael, whither are you going?

Editor’s Note142

michael To fetch my master's nag. I hope you'll think on me.


alice Ay. But, Michael, see you keep your oath

144And be as secret as you are resolute.


michael I'll see he shall not live above a week.


alice On that condition, Michael, here is my hand:

147None shall have Mosby's sister but thyself.

Editor’s Note148

michael I understand the painter here hard by

Editor’s Note149Hath made report that he and Sue is sure.


alice There's no such matter, Michael; believe it not.


michael But he hath sent a dagger sticking in a heart,

Editor’s Note152With a verse or two stolen from a painted cloth,

Editor’s Note153The which I hear the wench keeps in her chest.

154Well, let her keep it! I shall find a fellow

155That can both write and read, and make rhyme too;

156And, if I do well, I say no more.

157I'll send from London such a taunting letter

Editor’s Note158As she shall eat the heart he sent with salt

159And fling the dagger at the painter's head.

pg 126 160

alice What needs all this? I say that Susan's thine.


michael Why, then I say that I will kill my master

162Or anything that you will have me do.

Editor’s Note163

alice But, Michael, see you do it cunningly.

Editor’s Note164

michael Why, say I should be took, I'll ne'er confess

165That you know anything; and Susan, being a maid,

Editor’s Note166May beg me from the gallows of the shrieve.


alice Trust not to that, Michael.


michael You cannot tell me: I have seen it, I.

169But, mistress, tell her whether I live or die

Editor’s Note170I'll make her more worth than twenty painters can;

Editor’s Note171For I will rid mine elder brother away,

Editor’s Note172And then the farm of Boughton is mine own.

173Who would not venture upon house and land

Editor’s Note174When he may have it for a right-down blow?

Editor’s NoteHere enters Mosby

alice Yonder comes Mosby. Michael, get thee gone,

Editor’s Note176And let not him nor any know thy drifts.

Exit Michael

177Mosby, my love!


mosby Away, I say, and talk not to me now.


alice A word or two, sweetheart, and then I will.

Editor’s Note180'Tis yet but early days: thou needst not fear.


mosby Where is your husband?

Editor’s Note182

alice 'Tis now high water, and he is at the quay.


mosby There let him be. Henceforward know me not.


alice Is this the end of all thy solemn oaths?

Editor’s Note185Is this the fruit thy reconcilement buds?

Editor’s Note186Have I for this given thee so many favours,

187Incurred my husband's hate, and (out alas!)

188Made shipwreck of mine honour for thy sake?

189And dost thou say, 'Henceforward know me not?'

Editor’s Note190Remember, when I locked thee in my closet,

191What were thy words and mine? Did we not both

Editor’s Note192Decree to murder Arden in the night?

193The heavens can witness, and the world can tell,

Editor’s Note194Before I saw that falsehood look of thine,

Editor’s Note195'Fore I was tangled with thy 'ticing speech,

196Arden to me was dearer than my soul,

197And shall be still. Base peasant, get thee gone,

198And boast not of thy conquest over me,

Editor’s Note199Gotten by witchcraft and mere sorcery.

Editor’s Note200For what hast thou to countenance my love,

pg 127Editor’s Note201Being descended of a noble house

202And matched already with a gentleman

203Whose servant thou mayst be? And so farewell.


mosby Ungentle and unkind! Alice, now I see

205That which I ever feared and find too true:

206A woman's love is as the lightning flame

207Which even in bursting forth consumes itself.

Editor’s Note208To try thy constancy have I been strange.

209Would I had never tried, but lived in hope!


alice What needs thou try me whom thou never found false?


mosby Yet pardon me for love is jealïous.

Editor’s Note212

alice So lists the sailor to the mermaid's song;

Editor’s Note213So looks the traveller to the basilisk.

214I am content for to be reconciled,

Editor’s Note215And that, I know, will be mine overthrow.


mosby Thine overthrow? First, let the world dissolve!

Editor’s Note217

alice Nay, Mosby, let me still enjoy thy love;

218And, happen what will, I am resolute.

Editor’s Note219My saving husband hoards up bags of gold

Editor’s Note220To make our children rich, and now is he

221Gone to unload the goods that shall be thine,

Editor’s Note222And he and Franklin will to London straight.


mosby To London, Alice? If thou'lt be ruled by me,

Editor’s Note224We'll make him sure enough for coming there.


alice Ah, would we could!


mosby I happened on a painter yesternight,

Editor’s Note227The only cunning man of Christendom,

Editor’s Note228For he can temper poison with his oil

Editor’s Note229That whoso looks upon the work he draws

Editor’s Note230Shall, with the beams that issue from his sight,

231Suck venom to his breast and slay himself.

Editor’s Note232Sweet Alice, he shall draw thy counterfeit,

233That Arden may, by gazing on it, perish.


alice Ay, but, Mosby, that is dangerous;

235For thou or I, or any other else,

236Coming into the chamber where it hangs, may die.


mosby Ay, but we'll have it covered with a cloth,

238And hung up in the study for himself.

pg 128 239

alice It may not be; for, when the picture's drawn,

240Arden, I know, will come and show it me.

Editor’s Note241

mosby Fear not. We'll have that shall serve the turn.

Editor’s Note242This is the painter's house; I'll call him forth.


alice But, Mosby, I'll have no such picture, I.

Editor’s Note244

mosby I pray thee leave it to my discretion. How, Clarke!

Editor’s NoteHere enters Clarke

245O, you are an honest man of your word; you served me well.


clarke Why, sir, I'll do it for you at any time,

247Provided, as you have given your word,

248I may have Susan Mosby to my wife.

Editor’s Note249For, as sharp-witted poets, whose sweet verse

Editor’s Note250Make heavenly gods break off their nectar draughts

251And lay their ears down to the lowly earth,

Editor’s Note252Use humble promise to their sacred Muse,

Editor’s Note253So we that are the poets' favourites

254Must have a love. Ay, love is the painter's Muse,

Editor’s Note255That makes him frame a speaking countenance,

Editor’s Note256A weeping eye that witnesses heart's grief.

257Then tell me, Master Mosby, shall I have her?

Editor’s Note258

alice 'Tis pity but he should; he'll use her well.


mosby Clarke, here's my hand; my sister shall be thine.

Editor’s Note260

clarke Then, brother, to requite this courtesy

261You shall command my life, my skill, and all.


alice Ah, that thou couldst be secret!


mosby Fear him not. Leave; I have talked sufficïent.


clarke [to Alice] You know not me that ask such questïons.

265Let it suffice I know you love him well,

Editor’s Note266And fain would have your husband made away;

267Wherein, trust me, you show a noble mind,

268That rather than you'll live with him you hate

269You'll venture life and die with him you love.

270The like will I do for my Susan's sake.


alice Yet nothing could enforce me to the deed

Editor’s Note272But Mosby's love. [To Mosby] Might I without control

273Enjoy thee still, then Arden should not die;

274But, seeing I cannot, therefore let him die.


mosby Enough, sweet Alice; thy kind words makes me melt.

[To Clarke]

276Your trick of poisoned pictures we dislike.

277Some other poison would do better far.


alice Ay, such as might be put into his broth,

279And yet in taste not to be found at all.

pg 129 280

clarke I know your mind, and here I have it for you.

Editor’s Note281Put but a dram of this into his drink,

282Or any kind of broth that he shall eat,

283And he shall die within an hour after.

Editor’s Note[Then he gives Alice the poison]

alice As I am a gentlewoman, Clarke, next day

285Thou and Susan shall be marrièd.


mosby And I'll make her dowry more than I'll talk of, Clarke.

Editor’s Note287

clarke Yonder's your husband. Mosby, I'll be gone.

Editor’s NoteHere enter Arden and Franklin
Editor’s Note288

alice In good time, see where my husband comes.

289Master Mosby, ask him the question yourself.

Exit Clarke

mosby Master Arden, being at London yesternight,

291The Abbey lands whereof you are now possessed

292Were offered me on some occasïon

Editor’s Note293By Greene, one of Sir Anthony Aucher's men.

294I pray you, sir, tell me, are not the lands yours?

Editor’s Note295Hath any other interest herein?

Editor’s Note296

arden Mosby, that question we'll decide anon.

297Alice, make ready my breakfast; I must hence.

Exit Alice

298As for the lands, Mosby, they are mine

299By letters patents from his majesty.

Editor’s Note300But I must have a mandate for my wife:

301They say you seek to rob me of her love.

302Villain, what makes thou in her company?

Editor’s Note303She's no companion for so base a groom.


mosby Arden, I thought not on her; I came to thee.

Editor’s Note305But rather than I pocket up this wrong—


franklin What will you do, sir?


mosby Revenge it on the proudest of you both.

Then Arden draws forth Mosby's sword
Editor’s Note308

arden So, sirrah, you may not wear a sword!

Editor’s Note309The statute makes against artìficers.

Editor’s Note310I warrant that I do. Now use your bodkin,

Editor’s Note311Your Spanish needle, and your pressing-iron,

pg 130Editor’s Note312For this shall go with me. And mark my words—

Editor’s Note313You, goodman botcher, 'tis to you I speak—

314The next time that I take thee near my house,

315Instead of legs I'll make thee crawl on stumps.

Editor’s Note316

mosby Ah, Master Arden, you have injured me;

317I do appeal to God and to the world.


franklin Why, canst thou deny thou wert a botcher once?


mosby Measure me what I am, not what I was.

Editor’s Note320

arden Why, what art thou now but a velvet drudge,

321A cheating steward, and base-minded peasant?


mosby Arden, now thou hast belched and vomited

Editor’s Note323The rancorous venom of thy mis-swoll'n heart,

324Hear me but speak: as I intend to live

Editor’s Note325With God and his elected saints in heaven,

326I never meant more to solicit her;

327And that she knows, and all the world shall see.

328I loved her once (sweet Arden, pardon me);

329I could not choose; her beauty fired my heart.

330But time hath quenched these over-raging coals;

Editor’s Note331And, Arden, though I now frequent thy house,

332'Tis for my sister's sake, her waiting-maid,

333And not for hers. Mayst thou enjoy her long!

334Hell-fire and wrathful vengeance light on me

335If I dishonour her or injure thee.


arden Mosby, with these thy protestatïons

337The deadly hatred of my heart is appeased,

Editor’s Note338And thou and I'll be friends if this prove true.

Editor’s Note339As for the base terms I gave thee late,

340Forget them, Mosby. I had cause to speak

341When all the knights and gentlemen of Kent

342Make common table-talk of her and thee.


mosby Who lives that is not touched with slanderous tongues?

Editor’s Note344

franklin Then, Mosby, to eschew the speech of men,

Editor’s Note345Upon whose general bruit all honour hangs,

Editor’s Note346Forbear his house.


arden Forbear it? Nay, rather frequent it more.

348The world shall see that I distrust her not.

349To warn him on the sudden from my house

350Were to confirm the rumour that is grown.


mosby By my faith, sir, you say true.

Editor’s Note352And therefore will I sojourn here awhile

353Until our enemies have talked their fill;

354And then, I hope, they'll cease, and at last confess

355How causeless they have injured her and me.


arden And I will lie at London all this term

357To let them see how light I weigh their words.

pg 131Editor’s NoteHere enter Alice [and Michael with a bowl of broth]

alice Husband, sit down. Your breakfast will be cold.


arden Come, Master Mosby, will you sit with us?


mosby I cannot eat, but I'll sit for company.

[Then Arden, Franklin, and Mosby sit at the table]
Editor’s Note361

arden Sirrah Michael, see our horse be ready.

[Exit Michael] [Then Arden starts to eat his broth, and pauses]

alice Husband, why pause ye? Why eat you not?


arden I am not well. There's something in this broth

364That is not wholesome. Didst thou make it, Alice?


alice I did, and that's the cause it likes not you.

Then she throws down the broth on the ground

366There's nothing that I do can please your taste.

367You were best to say I would have poisoned you.

[To Mosby]

368I cannot speak or cast aside my eye,

Editor’s Note369But he imagines I have stepped awry.

[To Arden]

Editor’s Note370Here's he that you cast in my teeth so oft;

Editor’s Note371Now will I be convinced or purge myself.

[To Mosby]

Editor’s Note372I charge thee speak to this mistrustful man,

373Thou that wouldst see me hang, thou, Mosby, thou.

374What favour hast thou had more than a kiss

375At coming or departing from the town?


mosby You wrong yourself and me to cast these doubts.

377Your loving husband is not jealïous.


arden Why, gentle Mistress Alice, cannot I be ill

379But you'll accuse yourself?

Editor’s Note380Franklin, thou hast a box of mithridate;

381I'll take a little to prevent the worst.


franklin Do so, and let us presently take horse.

Editor’s Note383My life for yours, ye shall do well enough.


alice Give me a spoon; I'll eat of it myself.

385Would it were full of poison to the brim!

386Then should my cares and troubles have an end.

Editor’s Note387Was ever silly woman so tormented?


arden Be patient, sweet love: I mistrust not thee.


alice God will revenge it, Arden, if thou dost,

390For never woman loved her husband better

391Than I do thee.


arden I know it, sweet Alice. Cease to complain,

393Lest that in tears I answer thee again.

Editor’s Note[Here enters Michael]
Editor’s Note394

franklin Come, leave this dallying, and let us away.


alice Forbear to wound me with that bitter word.

396Arden shall go to London in my arms.

pg 132[Then she embraces Arden]
Editor’s Note397

arden Loath am I to depart, yet I must go.


alice Wilt thou to London then, and leave me here?

399Ah, if thou love me, gentle Arden, stay.

[Then Arden hesitates]

400Yet, if thy business be of great import,

401Go if thou wilt; I'll bear it as I may.

402But write from London to me every week,

403Nay, every day, and stay no longer there

404Than thou must needs, lest that I die for sorrow.

Editor’s Note405

arden I'll write unto thee every other tide.

406And so farewell, sweet Alice, till we meet next.


alice Farewell, husband, seeing you'll have it so.

408And Master Franklin, seeing you take him hence,

409In hope you'll hasten him home I'll give you this.

And then she kisseth him
Editor’s Note410

franklin An if he stay, the fault shall not be mine.

411Mosby, farewell, and see you keep your oath.


mosby I hope he is not jealous of me now.


arden No, Mosby, no. Hereafter think of me

414As of your dearest friend, and so farewell.

Exeunt Arden, Franklin, and Michael

alice I am glad he is gone. He was about to stay,

416But did you mark me then how I broke off?

Editor’s Note417

mosby Ay, Alice, and it was cunningly performed.

418But what a villain is this painter Clarke!


alice Was it not a goodly poison that he gave?

420Why, he's as well now as he was before.

Editor’s Note421It should have been some fine confectïon

422That might have given the broth some dainty taste.

Editor’s Note423This powder was too gross and palpable.


mosby But had he eaten but three spoonfuls more,

425Then had he died, and our love continued.

Editor’s Note426

alice Why, so it shall, Mosby, albeit he live.

Editor’s Note427

mosby It is unpossible, for I have sworn

428Never hereafter to solicit thee

Editor’s Note429Or—whilst he lives—once more impòrtune thee.


alice Thou shalt not need; I will importune thee.

431What? Shall an oath make thee forsake my love?—

432As if I have not sworn as much myself

433And given my hand unto him in the church!

Editor’s Note434Tush, Mosby, oaths are words, and words is wind,

Editor’s Note435And wind is mutable. Then I conclude

436'Tis childishness to stand upon an oath.


mosby Well provèd, Mistress Alice. Yet, by your leave,

438I'll keep mine unbroken whilst he lives.

pg 133 439

alice Ay, do, and spare not. His time is but short;

440For, if thou be'st as resolute as I,

441We'll have him murdered as he walks the streets.

Editor’s Note442In London many alehouse-ruffians keep,

443Which, as I hear, will murder men for gold.

Editor’s Note444They shall be soundly fee'd to pay him home.

Here enters Greene
Editor’s Note445

mosby Alice, what's he that comes yonder? Know'st thou him?


alice Mosby, begone; I hope 'tis one that comes

447To put in practice our intended drifts.

Exit Mosby

greene Mistress Arden, you are well met.

449I am sorry that your husband is from home

450Whenas my purposed journey was to him.

451Yet all my labour is not spent in vain,

452For I suppose that you can full discourse

Editor’s Note453And flat resolve me of the thing I seek.


alice What is it, Master Greene? If that I may

455Or can with safety, I will answer you.


greene I heard your husband hath the grant of late,

457Confirmed by letters patents from the King,

458Of all the lands of the Abbey of Faversham,

Editor’s Note459Generally entitled, so that all former grants

Editor’s Note460Are cut off, whereof I myself had one;

Editor’s Note461But now my interest by that is void.

462This is all, Mistress Arden; is it true or no?

Editor’s Note463

alice True, Master Greene: the lands are his in state,

464And whatsoever leases were before

465Are void for term of Master Arden's life.

Editor’s Note466He hath the grant under the Chancery seal.


greene Pardon me, Mistress Arden, I must speak,

Editor’s Note468For I am touched. Your husband doth me wrong

469To wring me from the little land I have.

Editor’s Note470My living is my life; only that

Editor’s Note471Resteth remainder of my portïon.

472Desire of wealth is endless in his mind,

Editor’s Note473And he is greedy-gaping still for gain;

474Nor cares he, though young gentlemen do beg,

Editor’s Note475So he may scrape and hoard up in his pouch.

476But, seeing he hath taken my lands, I'll value life

Editor’s Note477As careless as he is careful for to get;

478And tell him this from me: I'll be revenged,

Editor’s Note479And so as he shall wish the Abbey lands

480Had rested still within their former state.

pg 134 Editor’s Note481

alice Alas, poor gentleman, I pity you,

482And woe is me that any man should want.

483God knows, 'tis not my fault! But wonder not

484Though he be hard to others, when to me—

485Ah, Master Greene, God knows how I am used!

Editor’s Note486

greene Why, Mistress Arden, can the crabbèd churl

487Use you unkindly? Respects he not your birth,

Editor’s Note488Your honourable friends, nor what you brought?

489Why, all Kent knows your parentage and what you are.


alice Ah, Master Greene—be it spoken in secret here—

491I never live good day with him alone.

Editor’s Note492When he is at home, then have I froward looks,

Editor’s Note493Hard words, and blows to mend the match withal.

494And, though I might content as good a man,

Editor’s Note495Yet doth he keep in every corner trulls;

Editor’s Note496And when he's weary with his trugs at home,

497Then rides he straight to London. There, forsooth,

498He revels it among such filthy ones

499As counsels him to make away his wife.

500Thus live I daily in continual fear,

Editor’s Note501In sorrow, so despairing of redress

502As every day I wish with hearty prayer

503That he or I were taken forth the world.


greene Now trust me, Mistress Alice, it grieveth me

505So fair a creature should be so abused.

506Why, who would have thought the civil sir so sullen?

Editor’s Note507He looks so smoothly. Now fie upon him, churl!

Editor’s Note508An if he live a day, he lives too long.

Editor’s Note509But frolic, woman, I shall be the man

510Shall set you free from all this discontent,

511And if the churl deny my interest

512And will not yield my lease into my hand,

513I'll pay him home, whatever hap to me.


alice But speak you as you think?


greene Ay, God's my witness, I mean plain dealing,

516For I had rather die than lose my land.


alice Then, Master Greene, be counsellèd by me:

518Endanger not yourself for such a churl,

Editor’s Note519But hire some cutters for to cut him short;

Editor’s Note520And here's ten pound to wager them withal.

[Then she gives Greene money]

521When he is dead you shall have twenty more—

522And the lands whereof my husband is possessed

523Shall be entitled as they were before.

pg 135 524

greene Will you keep promise with me?


alice Or count me false and perjured whilst I live!


greene Then here's my hand: I'll have him so dispatched.

Editor’s Note[Then they shake hands]

Editor’s Note527I'll up to London straight. I'll thither post

Editor’s Note528And never rest till I have compassed it.

529Till then, farewell.

Editor’s Note530

alice Good Fortune follow all your forward thoughts!—

531And whosoever doth attempt the deed,

532A happy hand I wish; and so farewell.

Editor’s Note[Exit Greene]

533All this goes well. Mosby, I long for thee

534To let thee know all that I have contrived.

Here enter Mosby and Clarke

mosby How now, Alice, what's the news?


alice Such as will content thee well, sweetheart.

Editor’s Note537

mosby Well, let them pass awhile, and tell me, Alice,

Editor’s Note538How have you dealt and tempered with my sister?

539What, will she have my neighbour Clarke, or no?


alice What, Master Mosby! Let him woo himself.

541Think you that maids look not for fair words?

542Go to her, Clarke; she's all alone within.

Editor’s Note543Michael, my man, is clean out of her books.


clarke I thank you, Mistress Arden. I will in;

Editor’s Note545And, if fair Susan and I can make a gree,

546You shall command me to the uttermost

547As far as either goods or life may stretch.

Exit Clarke

mosby Now, Alice, let's hear thy news.


alice They be so good that I must laugh for joy

550Before I can begin to tell my tale.


mosby Let's hear them, that I may laugh for company.


alice This morning Master Greene—Dick Greene, I mean,

553From whom my husband had the Abbey land—

Editor’s Note554Came hither railing for to know the truth

555Whether my husband had the lands by grant.

Editor’s Note556I told him all, whereat he stormed amain

Editor’s Note557And swore he would cry quittance with the churl

558And, if he did deny his interest,

559Stab him, whatsoever did befall himself.

Editor’s Note560Whenas I saw his choler thus to rise,

Editor’s Note561I whetted on the gentleman with words;

562And, to conclude, Mosby, at last we grew

Editor’s Note563To composition for my husband's death.

564I gave him ten pound for to hire knaves,

pg 136565By some device to make away the churl;

566When he is dead, he should have twenty more

567And repossess his former lands again.

568On this we 'greed, and he is ridden straight

569To London to bring his death about.


mosby But call you this good news?

alice Ay, sweetheart, be they not?


mosby 'Twere cheerful news to hear the churl were dead;

Editor’s Note572But trust me, Alice, I take it passing ill

573You would be so forgetful of our state

574To make recount of it to every groom.

575What? To acquaint each stranger with our drifts,

Editor’s Note576Chiefly in case of murder? Why, 'tis the way

577To make it open unto Arden's self,

578And bring thyself and me to ruin both.

Editor’s Note579Forewarned, forearmed: who threats his enemy

580Lends him a sword to guard himself withal.


alice I did it for the best.


mosby Well, seeing 'tis done, cheerily let it pass.

Editor’s Note583You know this Greene: is he not religious?

584A man, I guess, of great devotïon.


alice He is.


mosby Then, sweet Alice, let it pass. I have a drift

587Will quiet all, whatever is amiss.

Editor’s NoteHere enter Clarke and Susan

alice How now, Clarke? Have you found me false?

589Did I not plead the matter hard for you?


clarke You did.

mosby And what? Will't be a match?


clarke A match, i'faith, sir. Ay, the day is mine.

Editor’s Note592The painter lays his colours to the life;

593His pencil draws no shadows in his love;

594Susan is mine.

alice You make her blush.


mosby What, sister, is it Clarke must be the man?

Editor’s Note596

susan It resteth in your grant. Some words are passed,

Editor’s Note597And haply we be grown unto a match,

598If you be willing that it shall be so.


mosby Ah, Master Clarke, it resteth at my grant;

Editor’s Note600You see my sister's yet at my dispose;

601But, so you'll grant me one thing I shall ask,

602I am content my sister shall be yours.


clarke What is it, Master Mosby?


mosby I do remember once in secret talk,

605You told me how you could compound by art

Editor’s Note606A crucifix empoisonèd,

pg 137Editor’s Note607That whoso look upon it should wax blind

608And with the scent be stifled, that ere long

609He should die poisoned that did view it well.

610I would have you make me such a crucifix,

611And then I'll grant my sister shall be yours.

Editor’s Note612

clarke Though I am loath, because it toucheth life,

Editor’s Note613Yet, rather ere I'll leave sweet Susan's love,

614I'll do it, and with all the haste I may.

615But for whom is it?


alice Leave that to us. Why, Clarke, is it possible

617That you should paint and draw it out yourself,

Editor’s Note618The colours being baleful and impoisonèd,

Editor’s Note619And no ways prejudice yourself withal?


mosby Well questioned, Alice. Clarke, how answer you that?


clarke Very easily. I'll tell you straight

622How I do work of these impoisoned drugs:

623I fasten on my spectacles so close

Editor’s Note624As nothing can any way offend my sight;

625Then, as I put a leaf within my nose,

Editor’s Note626So put I rhubarb to avoid the smell,

Editor’s Note627And softly as another work I paint.


mosby 'Tis very well, but against when shall I have it?


clarke Within this ten days.

mosby 'Twill serve the turn.

630Now, Alice, let's in and see what cheer you keep.

Editor’s Note[Exit Clarke with Susan]

631I hope, now Master Arden is from home,

Editor’s Note632You'll give me leave to play your husband's part.

Editor’s Note633

alice Mosby, you know who's master of my heart,

634He well may be the master of the house.


Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
1.0 Arden and Franklin Both men are wealthy, and dressed accordingly. Original productions may have used 'modern dress', or may have attempted to suggest the 'historical' fashions of the mid-sixteenth century. Franklin is often imagined as the equivalent of a modern lawyer.
Editor’s Note
1.1–30 Arden … mood This dialogue immediately foregrounds issues of social status by emphasizing the possession of property (rather than inherited titles) in relation to attitudes of superiority and authority.
Editor’s Note
1.2 Duke of Somerset Edward Seymour (1506–52), the Lord Protector (1547–9) of Protestant King Edward VI when he was a child. Seymour was executed for treason in 1552.
Editor’s Note
1.4 letters patents an official document issued by the government, usually conferring rights, property, or title to an individual
Editor’s Note
1.4 his majesty i.e. Edward VI. The male pronoun would have established, for early audiences, that the action takes place before the reigns of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth.
Editor’s Note
1.5 Abbey of Faversham Henry VIII dissolved the Abbey by indenture on 10 May 1540 and granted the land to Sir Thomas Cheyne (warden of the Cinque Ports) on 16 May 1540. The ownership of the land, tenements, and houses was transferred to Thomas Arden in 1547 by Cheyne (not Seymour).
Editor’s Note
1.6 subscribed signed
Editor’s Note
1.6–7 Here … mood It seems unlikely that Arden reads the documents in detail; he may skim over them, or even hand them back, with his lack of interest suggesting how depressed he is.
Editor’s Note
1.7 melancholy pensive, sad
Editor’s Note
1.10 shows provides
Editor’s Note
1.12 for instead of
Editor’s Note
1.12 veil of heaven sky, the celestial sphere
Editor’s Note
1.14 'twixt betwixt, between
Editor’s Note
1.15 privy private
Editor’s Note
1.21 dote on adore, pamper
Editor’s Note
1.24–9 A … gown This speech is studded with language that underscores Mosby's inferior social standing.
Editor’s Note
1.24 botcher mender or patcher of clothing
Editor’s Note
1.24 at the first at his birth
Editor’s Note
1.25 base brokage brokerage, illegitimate business practices; activities as a panderer
Editor’s Note
1.25 small stock modest financial return
Editor’s Note
1.27 fawning obsequious behaviour
Editor’s Note
1.28 steward supervisor of the domestic activities in a household
Editor’s Note
1.29 bravely jets brazenly parades
Editor’s Note
1.29 his silken gown the nobleman's livery, i.e. the distinctive uniform worn by Lord Clifford's servants
Editor’s Note
1.30 count'nance support
Editor’s Note
1.31 Lord Clifford Henry Clifford (1517–70), 2nd Earl of Cumberland. A known Catholic sympathizer.
Editor’s Note
1.35 I … blood a gentleman was entitled to bear heraldic arms though not ranking among the nobility. Despite this claim, Arden's true status is uncertain (see 1.486–9) and it is possible that his newly acquired estate is what validates his identification as a member of the gentry.
Editor’s Note
1.36 injurious slanderous
Editor’s Note
1.36 ribald irreverent person
Editor’s Note
1.40 dissevered torn apart
Editor’s Note
1.41 planchers wooden floorboards, planks (i.e. gallows)
Editor’s Note
1.42 channels streams
Editor’s Note
1.45 Entreat her fair i.e. handle her delicately
Editor’s Note
1.45 fittest engines best devices
Editor’s Note
1.46 raze remove, scrape
Editor’s Note
1.46 flint hard stone
Editor’s Note
1.46 breast heart
Editor’s Note
1.49 securely confidently
Editor’s Note
1.50 lie stay, lodge
Editor’s Note
1.50 term (one of the four law-court sessions (Michaelmas, Hilary, Easter, Trinity) that divided the calendar year)
Editor’s Note
1.51–2 For … outragëous controlling women that do not wish to be restrained often causes them to behave in a disgraceful manner
Editor’s Note
1.53 abhors recoils from
Editor’s Note
1.55.1 Alice Holinshed describes her as 'young' and 'tall and well favoured' (= good-looking). Her costume might pointedly show her rank as the wife of a wealthy man. (Historically, one of the few facts preserved about her is a catalogue of her expensive, colourful velvet, satin, and lace clothing and gold jewellery.)
Editor’s Note
1.58 risse risen
Editor’s Note
1.59–63 Ovid-like … sleep A translation of Ovid's Elegy 13 in Book 1 of the Amores: Ad Auroram ne properet (Do not hurry to the dawn). His thirteenth elegy urges the sun not to bring on the morning and end the night of love.
Editor’s Note
1.60 chid rebuked
Editor’s Note
1.61 Night's purblind steeds blind horses, alludes to Nyx the goddess of night who is often depicted as driving a chariot drawn by two horses
Editor’s Note
1.62 her the sun
Editor’s Note
1.62 purple mantle dark cloak
Editor’s Note
1.63 the … love In classical mythology, the sun was thought to spend every night with her lover, the ocean.
Editor’s Note
1.66 'Tis like it is likely
Editor’s Note
1.70 but you? i.e. How could I be mistaken with only one person here?
Editor’s Note
1.72 leave … overfar refrain from pressing her too hard
Editor’s Note
1.73 credit truth, authenticity
Editor’s Note
1.75 whereupon it came how it came about
Editor’s Note
1.91 ere before
Editor’s Note
1.93 airy spirit vexatious fiend
Editor’s Note
1.101 title claim (to my heart). This word also resonates with notions of property and rank.
Editor’s Note
1.102 Tush! an expression of impatience
Editor’s Note
1.102 it Mosby's title
Editor’s Note
1.103 him Arden
Editor’s Note
1.103 Hymen the god of marriage
Editor’s Note
1.103.1 Here … Flower-de-Luce This entrance could happen two lines later. If Adam enters here, his appearance cues Alice to speak the next two lines to the audience.
Editor’s Note
1.104 Flower-de-Luce (an inn in Faversham, a few minutes' walk from Arden's house)
Editor’s Note
1.108 wot know
Editor’s Note
1.114 sad serious
Editor’s Note
1.115 raving Hercules The narrator of Book 9 of Ovid's Metamorphoses tells of the centaur Nessus, who is shot by Hercules' arrow during an attempted rape of Deianira (Hercules' wife). Deianira gives Hercules a shirt soaked in the blood of Nessus believing that it will revive her husband's affections and fidelity. But Nessus' blood is poisonous and the shirt drives Hercules into suicidal madness.
Editor’s Note
1.116 of force fortified
Editor’s Note
1.119 an if
Editor’s Note
1.120 wont accustomed
Editor’s Note
1.121 incurred caused
Editor’s Note
1.125 Jove Jupiter, the chief Roman deity
Editor’s Note
1.127 along my door Alice might now be imagined as outside her house (though this was probably not indicated visually in early performances).
Editor’s Note
1.134 narrow-prying excessively suspicious, nosey
Editor’s Note
1.134 neighbour blabs neighbourhood gossips and tattle-tales
Editor’s Note
1.136 block barrier
Editor’s Note
1.140 abhor loathe
Editor’s Note
1.140.1 Michael Servants were easily distinguished, in the sixteenth century, by their clothing; Michael here is visibly the first character on stage who does not belong to the higher bourgeoisie.
Editor’s Note
1.142 nag horse
Editor’s Note
1.148 hard by nearby
Editor’s Note
1.149 sure betrothed
Editor’s Note
1.152 painted cloth An inexpensive alternative to woven tapestry, painted cloth was used for decorative purposes in households and as draperies in the theatre. They frequently incorporated images, verses, and mottoes.
Editor’s Note
1.153 wench young woman
Editor’s Note
1.153 chest heart; bodice
Editor’s Note
1.158 As that
Editor’s Note
1.158 salt tears
Editor’s Note
1.163 cunningly artfully
Editor’s Note
1.164 took captured
Editor’s Note
1.166 beg … sheriff refers to the common belief that a virgin could save a condemned man by agreeing to take him as her husband
Editor’s Note
1.166 shrieve sheriff
Editor’s Note
1.170 worth wealthy
Editor’s Note
1.171 rid … away i.e. kill him
Editor’s Note
1.172 Boughton (Boughton-under-Blean, a village in Kent)
Editor’s Note
1.174 right-down blow a powerful and direct attack, i.e. a blow that instantly brings him down
Editor’s Note
1.174.1 Mosby Probably conspicuously overdressed in 'his silken gown' (1.29). Mosby is usually performed as closer in age to Alice, and in the clothes and accessories of a social climber. Holinshed describes him as 'a black, swart' (swarthy) man; but in a ballad of 1633 Mosby has a 'good shape and lovely look'. Which of these options a production chooses will strongly affect interpretation of the character and his relationship with Alice.
Editor’s Note
1.176 drifts schemes
Editor’s Note
1.180 early days early in the day (i.e. too early to be caught)
Editor’s Note
1.182 high water high tide
Editor’s Note
1.185 buds develops, generates
Editor’s Note
1.186 favours expressions of love
Editor’s Note
1.190 closet private room
Editor’s Note
1.192 Decree agree
Editor’s Note
1.194 falsehood deceptive
Editor’s Note
1.195 'Fore before
Editor’s Note
1.195 tangled entangled
Editor’s Note
1.195 'ticing enticing
Editor’s Note
1.199 mere utter
Editor’s Note
1.200 countenance be in possession of
Editor’s Note
1.201 Being considering that I am
Editor’s Note
1.208 strange cold, distant
Editor’s Note
1.212 lists listens
Editor’s Note
1.212 mermaid's song (often associated with the mythological Siren's song, which was thought to entice sailors to annihilation at sea)
Editor’s Note
1.213 basilisk legendary serpent whose gaze was considered deadly
Editor’s Note
1.215 that jealousy
Editor’s Note
1.217 still always
Editor’s Note
1.219 saving frugal
Editor’s Note
1.220 our children Despite a reference to Alice and Arden's daughter in Holinshed, there are no children in the play. Alice seems to allude to either the children she will have with Mosby or her traditional role as a wife in a patriarchal society.
Editor’s Note
1.222 straight straightaway
Editor’s Note
1.224 We'll … there i.e. we will make him harmless enough by preventing him from going there. Mosby indicates that they should thwart Arden's trip to London in order to stop the 'unloading' of his goods.
Editor’s Note
1.227 cunning one who has magical knowledge
Editor’s Note
1.228 temper mix
Editor’s Note
1.229 whoso whosoever
Editor’s Note
1.230 beams … sight Following the works of Galen, sixteenth-century theories of sight stipulated that vision was the effect of vital spirits (beams) that emerged from the eyes through the act of looking. This was thought to activate the surrounding air, turning it into a material bridge between the viewer and object. In Galenic humoral theory, what was observed was thought to be absorbed materially into the human body.
Editor’s Note
1.232 counterfeit imitation, portrait
Editor’s Note
1.241 have … turn devise something that will deal with the situation
Editor’s Note
1.242 the painter's house On the bare Elizabethan stage, without modern sets, the location of the action can shift just by moving across the stage.
Editor’s Note
1.244 Clarke The painter is not named in Holinshed.
Editor’s Note
1.244.1 Clarke He is usually in modern productions visualized in ways that reflect clichés about painters; for instance, he might carry a covered painting that can be played comically—the others on stage might carefully avoid touching the painting, obviously suspicious of it having been poisoned.
Editor’s Note
1.249 sharp-witted quick and inventive
Editor’s Note
1.250 nectar (the drink of the gods)
Editor’s Note
1.252 Muse In classical mythology, a Muse was one of the nine goddesses that presided over and inspired artistic creation.
Editor’s Note
1.253–4 So … love like poets, painters also need a Muse to inspire their creations
Editor’s Note
1.253 poets' favourites Alludes to Horace's 'Ut pictura poesis', which literally translates to 'as is painting, so is poetry'; it probably derived from 'Poema pictura loquens, pictura poema silens' (Poetry is a speaking picture, painting is a silent poem), an apocryphal aphorism attributed to Simonides of Keos by Plutarch (originally in Greek). Both quotations were often used in the paragone, or the conventional rivalry between the sister arts.
Editor’s Note
1.255 frame make, represent
Editor’s Note
1.255 speaking countenance a speaking subject
Editor’s Note
1.256 A and a
Editor’s Note
1.258 but unless
Editor’s Note
1.258 use treat; handle (in a sexual sense)
Editor’s Note
1.260 requite reciprocate
Editor’s Note
1.266 fain eagerly, willingly
Editor’s Note
1.272 control limitation
Editor’s Note
1.281 dram small amount
Editor’s Note
1.283.1 Then … poison Alternatively, he might give it to her during his speech. The poison is usually contained in a small vial.
Editor’s Note
1.287 Yonder's there is
Editor’s Note
1.287.1 Here … Franklin They might enter a line earlier, prompting Clarke's speech.
Editor’s Note
1.288 In good time at the appropriate moment
Editor’s Note
1.293 Sir Anthony Aucher a gentleman of Otterden, Kent. 'Aucher was one of the major purchasers of crown lands in Kent following the dissolution of the monasteries' (ODNB).
Editor’s Note
1.295 any other anyone else
Editor’s Note
1.295 interest legal right
Editor’s Note
1.296–03 Mosby … groom The shift in pronouns from you to thou in this speech signifies an adjustment of attitude and address. In sixteenth-century English, you is commonly used by inferiors when talking to superiors and thou is traditionally used by speakers as a marker of superiority or condescension. If used independently in dialogue, these class-specific pronouns are harmless and conventional. However, a shift from 'you' to 'thou' or 'thou' to 'you' in a speech usually signals a meaningful act of denigration.
Editor’s Note
1.296 question point at issue
Editor’s Note
1.296 decide resolve
Editor’s Note
1.296 anon presently
Editor’s Note
1.300 mandate an official order signifying ownership
Editor’s Note
1.303 groom servant
Editor’s Note
1.305 pocket up this wrong accept this accusation
Editor’s Note
1.308–15 So … stumps The form of Arden's insults draw attention to his social superiority. Arden articulates Mosby's pursuit of Alice in terms of social (and not sexual) transgression.
Editor’s Note
1.308 sirrah (a commonplace address to inferiors that expresses contempt or rebuke)
Editor’s Note
1.308 sword a phallic symbol of masculine, patriarchal (as well as social) authority
Editor’s Note
1.309 The statute A statute passed under the reign of Edward III forbade anyone under the rank of gentleman from bearing arms.
Editor’s Note
1.309 makes stipulates
Editor’s Note
1.309 artìficers craftsmen, manual labourers (rather than gentlemen)
Editor’s Note
1.310 I … do I am legally authorized (to wear a sword)
Editor’s Note
1.310 bodkin a small piercing tool used for puncturing holes in cloth; dagger; small penis
Editor’s Note
1.311 Spanish needle used for embroidery
Editor’s Note
1.312 this Mosby's sword
Editor’s Note
1.313 goodman a form of address used to signify one beneath the rank of gentleman
Editor’s Note
1.316 injured insulted, reviled
Editor’s Note
1.320 velvet drudge menial servant dressed in expensive velvet clothes
Editor’s Note
1.323 rancorous bitter, resentful
Editor’s Note
1.323 mis-swoll'n exceptionally swollen
Editor’s Note
1.325 elected those chosen by God for salvation
Editor’s Note
1.331 frequent visit
Editor’s Note
1.338 if this prove true This has sometimes been played as an explicit threat (by emphasizing 'if').
Editor’s Note
1.339 base terms offences
Editor’s Note
1.344 eschew avoid
Editor’s Note
1.345 bruit opinion
Editor’s Note
1.346 Forbear keep clear of
Editor’s Note
1.352 sojourn remain
Editor’s Note
1.357.1 and … broth Either Michael or Alice might carry the broth. Michael must enter at some point before 1.366, but he could enter earlier. At this point the scene requires a table and at least two stools (or chairs), which might be revealed here; but they might also be visible from the start of the scene, providing a place for Franklin to lay the documents and Arden to read them.
Editor’s Note
1.361 horse nominative plural of 'horses'
Editor’s Note
1.369 stepped awry become unfaithful
Editor’s Note
1.370 he Mosby
Editor’s Note
1.370 cast in my teeth shove in my face
Editor’s Note
1.371 convinced proven culpable (to Arden's suspicions)
Editor’s Note
1.371 purge clear, cleanse. Purging via phlebotomy (bloodletting), laxatives, and/or emetics were aggressive treatments for correcting humoral imbalances.
Editor’s Note
1.372 mistrustful distrustful
Editor’s Note
1.380 mithridate universal antidote
Editor’s Note
1.383 ye … enough everything will be satisfactory
Editor’s Note
1.387 silly foolish
Editor’s Note
1.393.1 Here enters Michael Alternatively, he might have never left the stage: his intended exit (at 1.361) might have been interrupted by Arden's physical reaction to the broth. Or he might have re-entered to clean up the mess after Alice throws down the broth; if so, he might have exited and re-entered more than once.
Editor’s Note
1.394 dallying frivolous lingering
Editor’s Note
1.397 Loath hesitant; disinclined
Editor’s Note
1.405 every other tide every other hour
Editor’s Note
1.410 An if if
Editor’s Note
1.417 cunningly skilfully
Editor’s Note
1.421 confectïon prepared compound; poison
Editor’s Note
1.423 gross and palpable crude and detectable
Editor’s Note
1.426 albeit although
Editor’s Note
1.427 unpossible impossible
Editor’s Note
1.429 impòrtune bother
Editor’s Note
1.429 whilst he lives This may be emphasized, to underline the hypocrisy of the oath (since they are already planning to kill him).
Editor’s Note
1.434 words is wind proverbial: 'Words are but wind' (Dent, W833)
Editor’s Note
1.435 wind is mutable proverbial: 'As wavering as the wind' (Dent, W412)
Editor’s Note
1.435 mutable changeable
Editor’s Note
1.442 ruffians villains
Editor’s Note
1.442 keep stay, live
Editor’s Note
1.444 soundly … home paid well to murder him
Editor’s Note
1.445 Know'st thou him? Alice probably gestures in some way to indicate yes or no. (In Holinshed she does know that he hates her husband.)
Editor’s Note
1.453 flat resolve make clear to
Editor’s Note
1.459 Generally entitled deeded without exceptions
Editor’s Note
1.459 former grants previous claims to the land
Editor’s Note
1.460 cut off supplanted
Editor’s Note
1.461 interest legal right to property
Editor’s Note
1.463 in state legally
Editor’s Note
1.466 Chancery seal official approval from the Court of the Lord Chancellor, the most powerful court in England next to the House of Lords
Editor’s Note
1.468 touched bothered
Editor’s Note
1.468 doth does
Editor’s Note
1.470 living property
Editor’s Note
1.471 Resteth … portïon i.e. is what remains of my inheritance
Editor’s Note
1.473 greedy-gaping still always excessively greedy
Editor’s Note
1.475 So so long as
Editor’s Note
1.475 pouch purse
Editor’s Note
1.477 careful for to get eager to acquire
Editor’s Note
1.479 so as in such a way
Editor’s Note
1.481 Alas, poor gentleman Alice may touch him, comfortingly, here, thereby beginning something like a seduction of Greene. She may weep at 'God knows how I am used', or in her following speech.
Editor’s Note
1.486–9 Why … are In contrast to Arden's linguistic gestures of self-identification with the gentry, Arden is framed here as socially inferior, acquisitive, and desirous of status.
Editor’s Note
1.486 crabbèd disagreeable
Editor’s Note
1.486 churl peasant
Editor’s Note
1.488 what you brought i.e. your substantial dowry
Editor’s Note
1.492 froward unpleasant
Editor’s Note
1.493 mend the match withal Alice ironically implies that Arden gives her hard words and blows to compliment their union.
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1.495 trulls prostitutes
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1.496 trugs synonymous with trulls. In the seventeenth century, this word was also used to describe young boys that were in a sexual relationship with an older man.
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1.501 despairing of redress distraught by the absence of help
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1.507 smoothly well mannered
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1.508 An if if
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1.509 frolic cheer up
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1.519 cutters cut-throats, assassins
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1.520 wager hire
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1.526.1 shake hands This may be more intimate than business-like.
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1.527 thither post travel to that place without delay
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1.528 compassed it accomplished the task; reached London
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1.530 forward fervent
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1.532.1 Exit Greene He might begin to depart two lines earlier, with his exit momentarily interrupted by Alice's 'postscript' ('And … farewell').
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1.537 them i.e. the news
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1.538 tempered with worked upon, influenced
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1.543 clean … books i.e. out of her favour. The phrase is proverbial: 'To be in (out of) one's books' (Dent, B534).
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1.545 a gree an agreement
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1.554 railing for raving in order to
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1.556 whereat at which, in response to which
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1.556 stormed amain vehemently raged
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1.557 cry quittance get even
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1.560 choler anger, yellow bile. A person with a choleric disposition suffered from an excess of yellow bile (one of the four humours that was thought to determine an individual's psycho-physiological well-being).
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1.561 whetted on provoked
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1.563 composition mutual agreement
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1.572 passing very
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1.576 in case on the subject
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1.579 Forewarned, forearmed proverbial (Dent, H54)
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1.583 religious pious (and thus not a dependable accomplice to Arden's murder)
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1.587.1 Susan The only woman in the play other than Alice, she is young, dressed as a servant, and dominated by her mistress and brother. She may not be enthusiastic about the proposed marriage.
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1.592 the painter … love Because the painter vividly imitates life in his paintings, there is no need to cast pallor on love (the subject of his painting) since he has possession of his beloved.
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1.596 grant permission. Following the patriarchal imperatives of sixteenth-century England, Susan acquiesces to the authority of her brother in place of her father.
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1.597 haply maybe
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1.600 dispose subject to my power to arrange her affairs
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1.606 crucifix empoisonèd poisoned crucifix
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1.607 wax blind become blind
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1.612 loath hesitant
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1.613 Yet … love i.e. I'd rather do that than abandon Susan's love
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1.618 baleful harmful
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1.619 prejudice expose
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1.624 offend injure
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1.626 rhubarb bitter plant often used for its medicinal properties as a purgative
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1.627 softly as another as easily as anyone
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1.630.1 Exit Clarke with Susan Alternatively, they may exit a line earlier, or with Alice and Mosby; or Susan may exit separately, before the talk of the poisoned crucifix.
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1.632 play … part i.e. become her lover; a metatheatrical assertion of Arden's role in the play as a claimant of rank through the possession of the Abbey lands. Mosby insinuates that by owning Alice he will elevate his status (and thus play the part of an upwardly mobile social agent).
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1.633 who's whoever is
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