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

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pg 165Sc. 13

Editor’s NoteHere enter Dick Reede and a Sailor
Editor’s Note1

sailor Faith, Dick Reede, it is to little end.

2His conscience is too liberal and he too niggardly

3To part from anything may do thee good.


reede He is coming from Shorlan as I understand.

5Here I'll intercept him, for at his house

Editor’s Note6He never will vouchsafe to speak with me.

7If prayers and fair entreaties will not serve

Editor’s Note8Or make no batt'ry in his flinty breast,

Here enter Franklin, Arden, and Michael

Editor’s Note9I'll curse the carl and see what that will do.

10See where he comes to further my intent.—

11Master Arden, I am now bound to the sea.

12My coming to you was about the plot of ground

13Which wrongfully you detain from me.

14Although the rent of it be very small,

15Yet will it help my wife and childëren,

16Which here I leave in Faversham, God knows,

17Needy and bare. For Christ's sake, let them have it.


arden Franklin, hearest thou this fellow speak?

19That which he craves I dearly bought of him,

20Although the rent of it was ever mine.

[To Reede]

21Sirrah, you that ask these questïons,

Editor’s Note22If with thy clamorous impeaching tongue

23Thou rail on me, as I have heard thou dost,

Editor’s Note24I'll lay thee up so close a twelvemonth's day

25As thou shalt neither see the sun nor moon.

26Look to it, for, as surely as I live,

Editor’s Note27I'll banish pity if thou use me thus.


reede What, wilt thou do me wrong and threat me too?

Editor’s Note29Nay, then, I'll tempt thee, Arden: do thy worst.

Editor’s Note30God, I beseech thee, show some miracle

31On thee or thine in plaguing thee for this.

32That plot of ground which thou detains from me—

33I speak it in an agony of spirit—

34Be ruinous and fatal unto thee!

35Either there be butchered by thy dearest friends,

36Or else be brought for men to wonder at,

Editor’s Note37Or thou or thine miscarry in that place,

38Or there run mad and end thy cursèd days.

Editor’s Note39

franklin Fie, bitter knave, bridle thine envious tongue;

Editor’s Note40For curses are like arrows shot upright,

41Which, falling down, light on the shooter's head.


reede Light where they will! Were I upon the sea,

43As oft I have in many a bitter storm,

pg 166Editor’s Note44And saw a dreadful southern flaw at hand,

Editor’s Note45The pilot quaking at the doubtful storm,

46And all the sailors praying on their knees,

47Even in that fearful time would I fall down

48And ask of God: 'whate'er betide of me,

Editor’s Note49Vengeance on Arden, or some misevent

50To show the world what wrong the carl hath done.'

51This charge I'll leave with my distressful wife;

52My children shall be taught such prayers as these.

53And thus I go, but leave my curse with thee.

Exeunt Reede and Sailor
Editor’s Note54

arden It is the railingest knave in Christendom,

55And oftentimes the villain will be mad.

56It greatly matters not what he says,

57But I assure you I ne'er did him wrong.

Editor’s Note58

franklin I think so, Master Arden.


arden Now that our horses are gone home before,

60My wife may haply meet me on the way;

Editor’s Note61For God knows she is grown passing kind of late

Editor’s Note62And greatly changèd from the old humour

Editor’s Note63Of her wonted frowardness,

64And seeks by fair means to redeem old faults.


franklin Happy the change that alters for the best!

66But see in any case you make no speech

Editor’s Note67Of the cheer we had at my Lord Cheyne's

68Although most bounteous and liberal,

69For that will make her think herself more wronged

70In that we did not carry her along;

71For sure she grieved that she was left behind.

Editor’s Note72

arden Come, Franklin, let us strain to mend our pace

73And take her unawares playing the cook;

Editor’s NoteHere enter Alice and Mosby [arm in arm]

74For I believe she'll strive to mend our cheer.


franklin Why, there's no better creatures in the world

76Than women are—when they are in good humours.


arden Who is that? Mosby? What, so familiar?

Editor’s Note78Injurious strumpet and thou ribald knave,

79Untwine those arms.


alice Ay, with a sugared kiss let them untwine.

[Then she kisses Mosby]
Editor’s Note81

arden Ah, Mosby! Perjured beast! Bear this and all!

Editor’s Note82

mosby And yet no hornèd beast: the horns are thine.


franklin O monstrous! Nay, then, 'tis time to draw.

[Then Arden and Franklin draw their swords]

alice Help! Help! They murder my husband.

Here enter Will and Shakebag
pg 167 Editor’s Note85

shakebag 'Swounds, who injures Master Mosby?

[Then they fight, and Shakebag and Mosby are hurt]

86Help, Will! I am hurt.


mosby I may thank you, Mistress Arden, for this wound.

Exeunt Mosby, Will, and Shakebag

alice Ah, Arden, what folly blinded thee?

Editor’s Note89Ah, jealous harebrain man, what hast thou done?

90When we, to welcome thee, intended sport,

91Came lovingly to meet thee on thy way,

92Thou drew'st thy sword, enraged with jealousy,

93And hurt thy friend whose thoughts were free from harm,

94All for a worthless kiss and joining arms,

95Both done but merrily to try thy patience—

96And me unhappy that devised the jest,

97Which, though begun in sport, yet ends in blood.


franklin Marry, God defend me from such a jest!


alice Couldst thou not see us friendly smile on thee

100When we joined arms and when I kissed his cheek?

101Hast thou not lately found me overkind?

102Didst thou not hear me cry they murder thee?

103Called I not help to set my husband free?

Editor’s Note104No, ears and all were witched. Ah me accursed,

Editor’s Note105To link in liking with a frantic man!

106Henceforth I'll be thy slave, no more thy wife;

107For with that name I never shall content thee.

108If I be merry, thou straightways thinks me light;

Editor’s Note109If sad, thou say'st the sullens trouble me;

Editor’s Note110If well attired, thou thinks I will be gadding;

Editor’s Note111If homely, I seem sluttish in thine eye.

Editor’s Note112Thus am I still, and shall be while I die,

Editor’s Note113Poor wench abused by thy misgovernment.


arden But is it for truth that neither thou nor he

115Intendedst malice in your misdemeanour?


alice The heavens can witness of our harmless thoughts.


arden Then pardon me, sweet Alice, and forgive this fault.

118Forget but this and never see the like.

119Impose me penance, and I will perform it;

120For in thy discontent I find a death,

121A death tormenting more than death itself.


alice Nay, hadst thou loved me as thou dost pretend,

123Thou wouldst have marked the speeches of thy friend,

124Who going wounded from the place, he said

125His skin was pierced only through my device.

126And if sad sorrow taint thee for this fault,

Editor’s Note127Thou wouldst have followed him, and seen him dressed,

Editor’s Note128And cried him mercy whom thou hast misdone;

129Ne'er shall my heart be eased till this be done.

pg 168 130

arden Content thee, sweet Alice, thou shalt have thy will,

131Whate'er it be. For that I injured thee

Editor’s Note132And wronged my friend, shame scourgeth my offence.

133Come thou thyself, and go along with me,

134And be a mediator 'twixt us two.

Editor’s Note135

franklin Why, Master Arden, know you what you do?

136Will you follow him that hath dishonoured you?


alice Why, canst thou prove I have been disloyal?


franklin Why, Mosby taunts your husband with the horn.


alice Ay, after he had rèviled him

140By the injurious name of 'perjured beast'.

141He knew no wrong could spite a jealous man

142More than the hateful naming of the horn.


franklin Suppose 'tis true, yet is it dangerous

144To follow him whom he hath lately hurt.

Editor’s Note145

alice A fault confessed is more than half amends,

146But men of such ill spirit as yourself

Editor’s Note147Work crosses and debates 'twixt man and wife.


arden I pray thee, gentle Franklin, hold thy peace;

149I know my wife counsels me for the best.

150I'll seek out Mosby where his wound is dressed,

Editor’s Note151And salve his hapless quarrel if I may.

Editor’s NoteExeunt Arden and Alice
Editor’s Note152

franklin He whom the devil drives must go perforce.

153Poor gentleman, how soon he is bewitched!

154And yet, because his wife is the instrument,

Editor’s Note155His friends must not be lavish in their speech.

Exit Franklin

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
13.0 Dick Reede Like his companion here, Reede was 'a mariner' (according to Holinshed), and was probably dressed as such in early performances.
Editor’s Note
13.1 end purpose
Editor’s Note
13.6 vouchsafe agree
Editor’s Note
13.8 batt'ry attack, assailment
Editor’s Note
13.8 Michael Michael says nothing in this scene, is not addressed, and is never given an exit. He is sometimes omitted in performance, or he exits with Mosby, Will, and Shakebag at 13.87.1.
Editor’s Note
13.9 carl miser
Editor’s Note
13.22 clamorous impeaching tongue vociferous and accusatory speech
Editor’s Note
13.24 lay thee up imprison you
Editor’s Note
13.27 use treat
Editor’s Note
13.29 tempt provoke
Editor’s Note
13.30 God Reede might kneel here, and/or hold his hands up to heaven; he might hold a crucifix as he curses.
Editor’s Note
13.37 miscarry disaster
Editor’s Note
13.39 bridle restrain
Editor’s Note
13.39 envious vicious, resentful
Editor’s Note
13.40–1 curses … head (proverbial: 'Curses return upon the heads of those that curse' (Dent, C924))
Editor’s Note
13.44 flaw squall
Editor’s Note
13.45 doubtful ominous, feared
Editor’s Note
13.49 misevent misfortune
Editor’s Note
13.54 railingest most abusive, obnoxious
Editor’s Note
13.58 I think so This is ambiguous, and can be played as agreement or dissent.
Editor’s Note
13.61 passing very
Editor’s Note
13.62 old humour previous disposition
Editor’s Note
13.63 wonted frowardness habitual difficulty
Editor’s Note
13.67 cheer hospitality
Editor’s Note
13.72 mend increase
Editor’s Note
13.73.1 Here … in arm If they enter here, seen by the audience but not the two men on stage, the intervening lines become ironic. But some editors and directors move the entrance to follow line 76.
Editor’s Note
13.78 strumpet whore
Editor’s Note
13.78 ribald low-born; unpleasant
Editor’s Note
13.81 Bear … all Anyone who tolerates this will tolerate anything! The expression is proverbial (Dent, A172).
Editor’s Note
13.82 hornèd beast i.e. cuckold
Editor’s Note
13.85 they fight This is the play's most complicated and suspenseful fight scene, with three named characters fighting two others, and with Arden and Franklin for the first time defending themselves. Will retrospectively describes the action at 14.50–63, but he is not a trustworthy witness (and the audience would appreciate any differences between what they saw and what he claims). The fight will also be affected by the relative size, speed, and position of the adversaries.
Editor’s Note
13.89 harebrain reckless
Editor’s Note
13.104 witched bewitched (influenced by jealousy)
Editor’s Note
13.105 link in liking be companioned
Editor’s Note
13.109 sullens sombre moods, sulking
Editor’s Note
13.110 gadding wandering
Editor’s Note
13.111 homely plainly or unpretentiously dressed
Editor’s Note
13.111 sluttish repulsive
Editor’s Note
13.112 still always
Editor’s Note
13.113 misgovernment negligence
Editor’s Note
13.127 dressed treated, bandaged
Editor’s Note
13.128 misdone injured
Editor’s Note
13.132 scourgeth punishes
Editor’s Note
13.135–47 Why … wife If Arden stands in the middle, with Alice and Franklin on either side, this debate may have reminded early audiences of morality play scenes, with 'Good Counsel' and 'Bad Counsel' on either side of the play's central figure (or of the 'Good Angel' and 'Bad Angel' in Doctor Faustus).
Editor’s Note
13.145 A … amends (proverbial: 'Confession of a fault is half amends' (Dent, C589))
Editor’s Note
13.147 crosses conflicts
Editor’s Note
13.151 salve soothe
Editor’s Note
13.151 hapless unlucky
Editor’s Note
13.151.1 Exeunt … Alice They might leave together (as Arden proposes at 133–4), or in opposite directions (since Alice in the next scene needs to be told about Arden's reunion with Mosby).
Editor’s Note
13.152 perforce by necessity
Editor’s Note
13.155 lavish excessive, unrestrained
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