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Go; away with him to prison.
you in duty and obedience, M. Flow. Wherefore to prison ? sir, I will not go. Yet this way do I tạrn, and to him yield
My love, my duty, and my humbleness. Enter Civet and his Wife, OLIVER, Sir ARTHUR,
Sir Lanc. Bastard in nature ! kneel to such a FLOWERDALE Senior, FLOWERDALE Junior, and
Luce. O Master Flowerdale, if too much grief Sir Lanc. O here's his uncle; welcome, gentle- Have not stopp'd up the organs of your voice, men, welcome all. Such a cozener, gentlemen, a Then speak to her that is thy faithful wite! murderer too, for any thing I know! My daugh- Or doth contempt of me thus tie thy tongue? ter is missing; hath been looked for; cannot be Turn not away; I am no Æthiop, found. A vild upon thee!
No wanton Cressid, nor a changing Helen; Flow. Jun. He is my kinsman, though his life bc But rather one made wretched by thy loss. vile :
What! turn'st thou still from me? ( then Therefore, in God's name, do with him what you I guess thee wofull'st among hapless men. will.
M. Flow. I am indeed, wife, wonder among Sir Lanc. Marry to prison.
wives! M. Flow. Wherefore to prison? snick up.4s I Thy chastity and virtue hath infused owe you nothing
Another soul in me, red with defame, Sir Lanc. Bring forth my daughter then : Away For in my blushing cheeks is seen my shame. with him.
Sir Lanc. Out, hypocrite! I charge thee trust M. Flow. Go seek your daughter. What do
him not. you lay to my charge?
Luce. Not trust him? By the hopes of afterSir Lanc. Suspicion of murder. Go, away with bliss, I know no sorrow can be compared to his. him.
Sir Lanc. Well, since thou wert ordained to M. Flow. Murder your dogs! I murder your
beggarv, daughter? Come, cousin, I know you'll bail me. Follow thy fortune : I defy thee, I. Flow. Jun. Not I, were there no more than I
Oli. I wood che were so well ydoussed as was the gaoler, thou the prisoner.
ever white cloth in a tocking mill, an che ha' not Şir Lanc. Go; away with him.
made me weep.
Flow. Sen. If he hath any grace, he'll now reEnter LUCE.
pent. Luce. O' my life hear : where will you ha' de Sir Arth. It moves my heart. man?
Weath. By my troth 'I must weep, I cannot Vat ha' de yonker done?
choose. Weath. Woman, he hath killed his wife.
Flow. Jun. None but a beast would such a Luce. His wife! dat is not good; dat is not
M. Flow. Content thyself, I hope to win his Sir Lanc. Hang not upon him, huswife; if you
And to redeem my reputation lost : I'll lay you by him.
And, gentlemen, believe me, I beseech you, Luce. Have me no oder way dan you have him? I hope your eyes shall behold such a change He tell me dat he love me heartily.
As shall deceive your expectation. Fran. Lead away my maid to prison ! why, Oli
. I would che were ysplit now, but che be Tom, will you suffer that?
lieve him. Civ. No, by your leave, father, she is no va- Sir Lanc. How ! believe him! grant: she is my wife's chamber-maid, and as true Weath. By the mackins, I do. as the skin between any man's brows here. Sir Lanc. What, do you think that e'er he will Sir Lanc. Go to, you're both fools.
have grace? Son Civet, of my life this is a plot;
Weath. By my faith it will go
hard. Some straggling counterfeit preferred to you, Oli. Well, che vor ye, he is changed: And, No doubt to rob you of your plate and jewels :- master Flowerdale, in hope ye been so, hold, I'll have you led away to prison, trull.
there's vorty pound toward your zetting up. What! Luce. I am no trull, neither outlandish frow : be not ashamed; vang it, man, vang it : be a good Nor he nor I shall to the prison go.
husband, loven to your wife; and you shall not Know you me now? nay, never stand amazed. want for vorty more, I che vore thee.
[Throws off her Dutch dress. Sir Arth. My means are little, but if you'll folFather, I know I have offended you; And though that duty wills me bend my knees I will instruct you in my ablest power :
45 Snick-up, seems to be synonymous to the modern expression, go and hang yourself.-MALONE. 46 Night schvon, vide supra.
But to your wife I give this diamond,
Flow. Sen. Pay it to him, and I'll give you my And prove true diamond-fair in all your life.
bond M. Flow. Thanks, good sir Arthur : master To make her jointure better worth than three. Oliver,
Sir Lanc. Your bond, sir ! why, what are you? You being my enemy, and grown so kind,
Flow. Sen. One whose word in London, though Binds me in all endeavour to restore-
I say it, Oli. What! restore me no restorings, man; I Will pass there for as much as yours. have vorty pound more for Luce here; vang it: Sir Lanc. Wert not thou late that unthrift's zouth chil devy London else. What, do you
serving-man? me a merel or a scoundrel, to throw away my Flow. Sen. Look on me better, now my scar is inoney ? Che have an hundred pound more to pace
off: of any good spotation. I hope your under and Ne'er muse, man, at this metamorphosy. your uncle will vollow my zamples.
Sir Lanc, Master Flowerdale ! Flow. Jun. You have guessed right of me; if M. Flow. My father!0, I shame to look on him, he leave off this course of life, he shall be mine Pardon, dear father, the follies that are past. heir.
Flow. Sen. Son, son, I do; and joy at this thy Sir Lanc. But he shall never get a groat of me.
change, A cozener, a deceiver, one that killed
And applaud thy fortune in this virtuous maid, His painful father, honest gentleman,
Whom heaven hath sent to thee to save thy soul. That passed the fearful danger of the sea,
Luce. This addeth joy to joy; high heaven be To get him living, and maintain him brave.
praised. Weath. What hath he killed his father?
Weath. Master Flowerdale, welcome from Sir Lanc. Ay, sir, with conceit of his vile death, good master Flowerdale. 'Twas said so
here, 'twas said so here, good faith. Flow. Sen. Sir, you are misinformed.
Flow. Sen. I caused that runour to be spread Sir Lanc. Why, thou old knave, thou told'st
myself, me so thyself.
Because I'd see the humours of my son, Flow. Sen. I wronged him then : and towards Which to relate the circumstance is needless, my naster's stock
And, sirrah, see
Of riot, swearing, drunkenness, and pride,
Fran. Ha, ha, sister ! there you played bo-peep That fever's deadly, doth till death endure : with Tom. What shall I give her toward house- Such men die mad, as of a calenture. hold? sister Delia, shall I give her my fan? M. Flow. Heaven helping me, I'll hate the Del. You were best ask
course as hell. Fran. Shall I, Tom ?
Flow. Jun. Say it, and do it, cousin, all is well, Cio. Ay, do, Franke; I'll buy thce a new one Sir Lunc. Well, being in hope you'll prove an with a longer handle. 47 Fran. A russet one, Tom?
I take you to my favour. Brother Flowerdale, Civ. Ay, with russet feathers.
Welcome with all my heart: I see your care Fran. Here, sister; there's my fan toward Hath brought these acts to this conclusion, household, to keep you warm.
And I am glad of it. Come, let's in, and feast, Luce. I thank you, sister.
Oli. Nay zoft you a while. You promised to li'eath. Why, this is well; and, toward fair make sir Arthur and me amends : here is your Luce's stock,
wisest daughter; see which on us she'll have. Ilere's forty shillings: and forty good shillings more, Sir Lanc. A God's name, you have my good I'll give her, marry. Come, sir Lancelot,
will; get her3. I must have
Oli. How say you then, damsel ?
Oli. Why, then send for a vicar, and chil have Flow. Sen. Sir, what is your daughter's dower it dispatched in a trice; so chil. worth?
Del. Pardon me, sir; I mean that I am yours Sir Lanc. Had she been married to an honest In love, in duty, and affection; mar,
But not to love as wife: it shall ne'er be said, It had been better than a thousand pound. Delia was buried married, but a maid.
47 Ay, do, Franke ; I'll buy thee a new one with a longer handle. Fans, in the age of Queen Elizabeth, had frequently silver handles, and other valuable ornaments. The upper part of them was composed of .feathers. -MalonE.
Sir Arth. Do not condemn yourself for ever, | My vow's in heaven, on earth to live alone; virtuous fair; you were born to love.
Husbands, howsoever good, I will bave none. Oli. Why you say true, sir Arthur; she was Oli. Why then, che will live a bachelor too. ybore to it, so well as her mother :-but, I pray Che zet not a vig by a wife, if a wife zet not a you, show us some zamples or reasons why you vig by me.-Come, shall's go to dinner? will not marry?
°Flow. Sen. To-morrow I crave your companies Del. Not that I do condemn a married life,
in Mark-lane : (For 'tis no doubt a sanctimonious thing.) To-night we'll frolic in master Civet's house, But for the care and crosses of a wife;
And to each health drink down a full carouse. The trouble in this world that children bring.
THE WIDOW OF WATLING STREET. ?
Sir GODFREY Plus, Brother-in-law to the Widow | Dogson, a Catchpole.
Corporal Oath, a vainglorious Fellow.
Nicholas ST ANTLINGS, 2
Servants to Lady Şir Oliver MUCKHILL, a rich City Knight, and Simon St Mary Overies, Plus, and Sir Suitor to the Widow.
Lady Plus, a Citizen's Widow.
FRANCES, The Sheriff of London,
} her two Daughters
Sheriff's Officers, Keeper of the Marshalsea PriRAVENSHAW,
son, Musicians, and Attendants.
' A booke called the Comedie of the Puritan Wydowe, was entered at Stationers' Hall, by G. Eld, August 6, 1607 ; and the play was published by him the same year, with the following title : The Puritaine, or the Widdow of Walling Streete, Acted by the Children of Paules. Written by W. S. This circumstance alone might lead us to suspect that it was not the composition of Shakespeare ; for it does not appear that any one of his pieces was acted by the children of St Paul's. But, without having recourse to any argument of that kind, it may be sufficient to say, that there is no authority wbatsoever for attributing this comedy to him. The colour of the style is entirely different from that of his plays, and it was, as we see, pot printed under bis name in his lifetime : it is not mentioned as his production by any contemporary writer, nor was it, I believe, ever attributed to him till Kirkman, a bookseller, in one of bis Catalogues, chose to interpret the letters W. S. to mean William Shakespeare. The initial letters in the title-pages of this play, and the Life and Death of Lord Cromwell, so far from furnishing us with any ground for supposing them to be our great poet's performances, afford, in my opinion, a very strong argument to show that they were not his compositions. If the bookseller could with truth have affixed Shakespeare's name at length, (a name that certainly would have promoted the sale of his play,) what should have prevented him from doing so ? or why should he content bimself with annexing initial letters which might belong to others as well as to Shakespeare?
I suppose this piece to have been written by William Smith, whose name is mentioned in the prelimipary observations on Lochrine, and who was likewise the author of two other plays, The Palsgrave, or
man now or never.
SCENE I.-A Garden behind the Widow's House. profound persuasions ? as he is a rare fellow, you Enter the Widow Plus, Frances, Mary, Sir (as there are exaniples abundance,) did not sir
know, and an excellent reader. And for example, Godfrey, and EDMOND, all in mourning; the Humphrey Bubble die t'other day? There's a
latter in a Cyprus Hat ;? the Widow wring- lusty widow! why she cried not above half an ing her hands, and bursting out into passion, hour. For shame, for shame!—Then followed as newly come from the burial of her Husband. him old master Fulsome, the usurer: there's a
Wid. O, that ever I was born, that ever I was wise widow; why she cried ne'er a whit at all. born!
Wid. ( rank not me with those wicked woSir God. Nay, good sister, dear sister, sweet men; I had a husband outshined 'em all. sister, be of good comfort; show yourself a wo- Sir God. Ay that he did, i'faith ; he out-shined
'em all. Wid. O, I have lost the dearest man, I have Wid. Dost thou stand there, and see us all buried the sweetest husband, that ever lay by weep, and not once shed a tear for thy father's
death! oh thou ungracious son and heir, thou! Sir God. Nay, give him his due, he was indeed Edm. Troth, mother, I should not weep I'm an honest, virtuous, discreet, wise man.
I am past a child, I hope, to make all my my brother, as right as right.
old school-fellows laugh at me; I should be Wid. O, I shall never forget him, never forget mocked, so I should. Pray let one of my sisters him; he was a man so well given to a woman. weep for nie; I'll laugh as much for her auother Oh!
time, Sir God. Nay but, kind sister, I could weep as Wid. O thun past-grace, thou! Out of my much as any woman; but, alas, our tears cannot sight, thou graceless imp! thou grievest me more call him again. Methinks you are well read, sis than the death of thy father. Othou stubborn ter, and know that death is as common as homo, only son! Hadst thou such an honest man to thy a common name to all men, A man shall be father--that would deceive all the world to get taken when he's making water. Nay, did not the riches for thee, and canst thou pot afford a little learned parson, master Pigman, tell us even now, salt water? He that so wisely did quite overthrow —that all flesh is frail-We are born to die- the right heir of those lands, which now you re Man has but a time-with such like deep and spect pot: up every morning betwist four and
the Hector of Germany, printed in the year 1615, and the Freeman's Honour, a performance that was, I believe, never published. From some expressions in the present comedy, (Act I. Sc. 11.) the author (whoever he was) appears to have been bred at the university of Oxford.—MALONE.
On August 15, 1597, were entered, by Richard Jones, on the Stationers' Books, “ Two Ballads, being the first and second parts of the Widowe of Watling Street.” These might be the songs on w bich the play was founded, or indeed the play itself; as it was not uncommon to separate a dramatic piece, though designed for a single exhibition, into two parts ; and the terms, book and ballad, were anciently used to sigo nify tragedies and comedies, as well as any other forms of composition.
Gildon, in a work of his entitled, A Comparison between the iwo Stages, with an Examen of the Generous Conqueror, and some Critical Remarks on the Funera, &c. 8vo. 1702, attributes this coinedy to Shakespeare:
“as I remember 'tis Shakespeare s Puritan, or Widow of Watling Street, where the dissimulation of these widows is pleasantly described." p. 156.-STEEVENS.
In the list of plays, &c. prefixed to the late edition, the Puritan is set down as printed in 1600 and 1607. The former of these dates i suspect to be a mistake, as the play appears evidently to have been written after the peace with Spain, which was not concluded before 1604." See Act I. Sc. II : “ Since the ceasure of the ears I have spent above a hundred crowns,” &c. There is not the same objection to the other date of 1607, though a passage in the play itself (if there be no external evidence to the contrary) would induce us to place it rather in 1608 See Act III. sc. Vl. where mention is made of a Sunday, the ISCA of July; a circumstance which was true in 1608, but in none of the preceding or subsequent years, between 1603, and 16 14.-TYRWHITT.
In addition to what has been observed by Mr Tyrwhitt, it may be added, that, in the third act of this comedy,“ Britain gold, of the last coining,” is mentioned; from whence it may be inferred to have been written after the accession of King James, who first assumed the title of King of Great Britain. It certainly was exhibited io or before 1607, for I have a copy in my possession printed in that year.--MA• LONE. ? A cyprus hat :—i. e. a hat with a crape hat-band in it. so in the Winter's Tale': “ Cyprus black as any crow."