SKIP. Ick sal yow wat seggen, Hans; dis skip, dat comen from Candy, is al vol, by Gots sacrament, van sugar, civet, almonds, cambrick, end alle dingen, towsand towsand ding. Nempt it, Hans, nempt it vor v meester. Daer be de bils van laden. Your meester Simon Eyre sal hae good copen. Wat seggen yow, Hans?2
FIRK. Wat seggen de reggen de copen, slopen-laugh, Hodge, laugh! Hans. Mine liever broder Firk, bringt Meester Eyre tot det signe un Swannekin; daer sal yow finde dis skipper end me. Wat seggen yow, broder Firk? Doot it, Hodge.3
Come, skipper. Exeunt.
FIRK. Bring him, quoth you? Heres no knavery, to bring my master to buy a ship worth the lading of two or three hundred thousand pounds. Alas, thats nothing; a trifle, a bauble, Hodge.
HODGE. The truth is, Firk, that the merchant owner of the ship dares not shew his head, and therefore this skipper that deals for him, for the love he bears to Hans, offers my master Eyre a bargain in the commodities. He shall have a reasonable day of payment; he may sell the wares by that time, and be an huge gainer himself.
FIRK. Yea, but can my fellow Hans lend my master twenty porpentines as an earnest penny?
HODGE. Portuguese,4 thou wouldst say; here they be, Firk; hark, they jingle in my pocket like St. Mary Overys bells.
Enter EYRE and MARGERY
FIRK. Mum, here comes my dame and my master. Shell scold, on my life, for loitering this Monday: but alls one, let them all say what they can, Mondays our holiday.
EYRE. Peace, Firk; not I, Hodge; by the life of Pharaoh, by the Lord of Ludgate, by this beard, every hair whereof I value at a kings ransom, she shall not meddle with you.Peace, you bombast-cotton-candle-quean; away, queen of clubs; quarrel not with me and my men, with me and my fine Firk; Ill firk you, if you do.
MARG. Yea, yea, man, you may use me as you please; but let that pass.
EYRE. Let it pass, let it vanish away; peace! Am I not Simon Eyre? Are not these my brave men, brave shoemakers, all gentlemen of the gentle craft? Prince am I none, yet am I nobly born, as being the sole son of a shoemaker. Away, rubbish! vanish, melt; melt like kitchen-stuff.
MARG. Yea, yea, tis well; I must be calld rubbish, kitchen-stuff, for a sort5 of knaves.
HODGE. And if I stay, I pray God I may be turnd to a Turk, and set in Finsbury6 for boys to shoot at.Come, Firk.
EYRE. Stay, my fine knaves, you arms of my trade, you pillars of my profession. What, shall a tittle-tattles words make you forsake Simon Eyre?Avaunt, kitchen-stuff! Rip, you brown-bread Tannikin; out of my sight! Move me not! Have not I taen you from selling tripes in East-cheap, and set you in my shop, and made you hail-fellow with Simon Eyre, the shoemaker? And now do you deal thus with my journeymen? Look, you powder-beef-quean, on the face of Hodge, heres a face for a lord.
FIRK. And heres a face for any lady in Christendom.
EYRE. Rip, you chitterling, avaunt! Boy, bid the tapster of the Boars Head fill me a dozen cans of beer for my journeymen.
FIRK. A dozen cans? O, brave! Hodge, now Ill stay.
EYRE. [In a low voice to the Boy.] An the knave fills any more than two, he pays for them. [Exit Boy. Aloud.]A dozen cans of beer for my journeymen. [Re-enter Boy.] Here, you mad Mesopotamians, wash your livers with this liquor. Where be the odd ten? No more, Madge, no more.Well said. Drink and to work!What work dost thou, Hodge? What work?
HODGE. I am a making a pair of shoes for my lord mayors daughter, Mistress Rose.
FIRK. And I a pair of shoes for Sybil, my lords maid. I deal with her.
EYRE. Sybil? Fie, defile not thy fine workmanly fingers with the feet of kitchen-stuff and basting-ladles. Ladies of the court, fine ladies my lads, commit their feet to our apparelling; put gross work to Hans. Yark and seam, yark7 and seam!
FIRK. For yarking and seaming let me alone, an I come tot.
HODGE. Well, master, all this is from the bias.8 Do you remember the ship my fellow Hans told you of? The skipper and he are both drinking at the Swan. Here be the Portuguese to give earnest. If you go through with it, you cannot choose but be a lord at least.
FIRK. Nay, dame, if my master prove not a lord, and you a lady, hang me.
MARG. Yea, like enough, if you may loiter and tipple thus.
FIRK. Tipple, dame? No, we have been bargaining with Skellum Skanderbag:9 can you Dutch spreaken for a ship of silk Cyprus, laden with sugar-candy.
Enter Boy with a velvet coat and an Aldermans gown. EYRE puts them on
EYRE. Peace, Firk; silence, Tittle-tattle! Hodge, Ill go through with it. Heres a seal-ring, and I have sent for a guarded gown10 and a damask cassock. See where it comes; look here, Maggy; help me, Firk; apparel me, Hodge; silk and satin, you mad Philistines, silk and satin.
FIRK. Ha, ha, my master will be as proud as a dog in a doublet, all in beaten11 damask and velvet.
MARG. Fine? By my troth, sweetheart, very fine! By my troth, I never liked thee so well in my life, sweetheart; but let that pass. I warrant, there be many women in the city have not such handsome husbands, but only for their apparel; but let that pass too.
Re-enter HANS and SKIPPER
HANS. Godden day, mester. Dis be de skipper dat heb de skip van marchandice; de commodity ben good; nempt it, master, nempt it.15
EYRE. Godamercy, Hans; welcome, skipper. Where lies this ship of merchandise?
SKIP. De skip ben in revere; dor be van Sugar, cyvet, almonds, cambrick, and a towsand, towsand tings, gotz sacrament; nempt it, mester: ye sal heb good copen.16
FIRK. Yaw heb veale gedrunck, quoth a. They may well be called butter-boxes, when they drink fat veal and thick beer too. But come, dame, I hope youll chide us no more.
MARG. No, faith, Firk; no, perdy,18 Hodge. I do feel honour creep upon me, and which is more, a certain rising in my flesh; but let that pass.
FIRK. Rising in your flesh do you feel, say you? Ay, you may be with child, but why should not my master feel a rising in his flesh, having a gown and a gold ring on? But you are such a shrew, youll soon pull him down.
MARG. Ha, ha! prithee, peace! Thou makst my worship laugh; but let that pass. Come, Ill go in; Hodge, prithee, go before me; Firk, follow me.
Note 2. Ill tell you what, Hans; this ship that is come from Candia, is quite full, by Gods sacrament, of sugar, civet, almonds, cambric, and all things; a thousand, thousand things. Take it, Hans, take it for your master. There are the bills of lading. Your master, Simon Eyre, shall have a good bargain. What say you, Hans? [back]
Note 3. My dear brother Firk, bring Master Eyre to the sign of the Swan; there shall you find this skipper and me. What say you, brother Firk? Do it, Hodge. [back]
Note 4. A coin worth about three pounds twelve shillings. [back]
Note 9. German: Schelm, a scoundrel. Skanderbag, or Scander Beg (i. e. Lord Alexander), a Turkish name for John Kastriota, the Albanian hero, who freed his country from the yoke of the Turks (1443-1467).Warnke and Proescholdt. [back]