Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan (eds), The New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition
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.8
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?19
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.23
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.43
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 Alice56
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.68
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?77
franklin Mistress Alice, I heard you name him once or twice.79
arden I know it did, and therefore let it pass.
80I must to London, sweet Alice, presently.81
alice But tell me, do you mean to stay there long?82
arden No longer than till my affairs be done.83
franklin He will not stay above a month at most.84
alice A month? Ay me! Sweet Arden, come again
85Within a day or two, or else I die.86
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 Franklin92
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.111
alice Not visit him?112
adam No, nor take no knowledge of his being here.113
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]130
adam I'll tell him what you say, and so farewell.131
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.143
alice Ay. But, Michael, see you keep your oath
144And be as secret as you are resolute.145
michael I'll see he shall not live above a week.146
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.150
alice There's no such matter, Michael; believe it not.151
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.161
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.167
alice Trust not to that, Michael.168
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 Mosby175
alice Yonder comes Mosby. Michael, get thee gone,
Editor’s Note176And let not him nor any know thy drifts.Exit Michael
177Mosby, my love!178
mosby Away, I say, and talk not to me now.179
alice A word or two, sweetheart, and then I will.
Editor’s Note180'Tis yet but early days: thou needst not fear.181
mosby Where is your husband?Editor’s Note182
alice 'Tis now high water, and he is at the quay.183
mosby There let him be. Henceforward know me not.184
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.204
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!210
alice What needs thou try me whom thou never found false?211
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.216
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.223
mosby To London, Alice? If thou'lt be ruled by me,
Editor’s Note224We'll make him sure enough for coming there.225
alice Ah, would we could!226
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.234
alice Ay, but, Mosby, that is dangerous;
235For thou or I, or any other else,
236Coming into the chamber where it hangs, may die.237
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.243
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.246
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.259
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.262
alice Ah, that thou couldst be secret!263
mosby Fear him not. Leave; I have talked sufficïent.264
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.271
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.275
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.278
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]284
alice As I am a gentlewoman, Clarke, next day
285Thou and Susan shall be marrièd.286
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 FranklinEditor’s Note288
alice In good time, see where my husband comes.
289Master Mosby, ask him the question yourself.Exit Clarke290
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.304
mosby Arden, I thought not on her; I came to thee.
Editor’s Note305But rather than I pocket up this wrong—306
franklin What will you do, sir?307
mosby Revenge it on the proudest of you both.Then Arden draws forth Mosby's swordEditor’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.318
franklin Why, canst thou deny thou wert a botcher once?319
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?322
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.336
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.343
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.347
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.351
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.356
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]358
alice Husband, sit down. Your breakfast will be cold.359
arden Come, Master Mosby, will you sit with us?360
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]362
alice Husband, why pause ye? Why eat you not?363
arden I am not well. There's something in this broth
364That is not wholesome. Didst thou make it, Alice?365
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?376
mosby You wrong yourself and me to cast these doubts.
377Your loving husband is not jealïous.378
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.382
franklin Do so, and let us presently take horse.
Editor’s Note383My life for yours, ye shall do well enough.384
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?388
arden Be patient, sweet love: I mistrust not thee.389
alice God will revenge it, Arden, if thou dost,
390For never woman loved her husband better
391Than I do thee.392
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.395
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.398
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.407
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 himEditor’s Note410
franklin An if he stay, the fault shall not be mine.
411Mosby, farewell, and see you keep your oath.412
mosby I hope he is not jealous of me now.413
arden No, Mosby, no. Hereafter think of me
414As of your dearest friend, and so farewell.Exeunt Arden, Franklin, and Michael415
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!419
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.424
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.430
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.437
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 GreeneEditor’s Note445
mosby Alice, what's he that comes yonder? Know'st thou him?446
alice Mosby, begone; I hope 'tis one that comes
447To put in practice our intended drifts.Exit Mosby448
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.454
alice What is it, Master Greene? If that I may
455Or can with safety, I will answer you.456
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.467
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.490
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.504
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.514
alice But speak you as you think?515
greene Ay, God's my witness, I mean plain dealing,
516For I had rather die than lose my land.517
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.525
alice Or count me false and perjured whilst I live!526
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 Clarke535
mosby How now, Alice, what's the news?536
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?540
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.544
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 Clarke548
mosby Now, Alice, let's hear thy news.549
alice They be so good that I must laugh for joy
550Before I can begin to tell my tale.551
mosby Let's hear them, that I may laugh for company.552
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,
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.570
mosby But call you this good news?
alice Ay, sweetheart, be they not?571
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.581
alice I did it for the best.582
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.585
alice He is.586
mosby Then, sweet Alice, let it pass. I have a drift
587Will quiet all, whatever is amiss.Editor’s NoteHere enter Clarke and Susan588
alice How now, Clarke? Have you found me false?
589Did I not plead the matter hard for you?590
clarke You did.
mosby And what? Will't be a match?591
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.595
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.599
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.603
clarke What is it, Master Mosby?604
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?616
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?620
mosby Well questioned, Alice. Clarke, how answer you that?621
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.628
mosby 'Tis very well, but against when shall I have it?629
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.Exeunt