Fiction > Harvard Classics > Thomas Dekker > The Shoemaker’s Holiday
Thomas Dekker (1570–1632).  The Shoemaker’s Holiday.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
Act V
Scene IV
Enter EYRE, HODGE, FIRK, RALPH, and other Shoemakers, all with napkins on their shoulders 1

  EYRE.  Come, my fine Hodge, my jolly gentlemen shoemakers; soft, where be these cannibals, these varlets, may officers? Let them all walk and wait upon my brethren; for my meaning is, that none but shoemakers, none but the livery of my company shall in their satin hoods wait upon the trencher of my sovereign.
  FIRK.  O my lord, it will be rare!
  EYRE.  No more, Firk; come lively! Let your fellow-prentices want no cheer; let wine be plentiful as beer, and beer a water. Hang these penny-pinching fathers, that cram wealth in innocent lamb-skins. Rip, knaves avaunt! Look to my guests!
  HODGE.  My lord, we are at our wits’ end for room; those hundred tables will not feast the fourth part of them.        4
  EYRE.  Then cover me those hundred tables again, and again, till all my jolly prentices be feasted. Avoid, Hodge! Run, Ralph! Frisk about, my nimble Firk! Carouse me fathom-healths to the honour of the shoemakers. Do they drink lively, Hodge? Do they tickle it, Firk?
  FIRK.  Tickle it! Some of them have taken their liquor standing so long that they can stand no longer; but for meat, they would eat it, an they had it.
  EYRE.  Want they meat? Where’s this swag-belly, this greasy kitchenstuff cook? Call the varlet to me! Want meat? Firk, Hodge, lame Ralph, run, my tall men, beleaguer the shambles, beggar all Eastcheap, serve me whole oxen in chargers, and let sheep whine upon the tables like pigs for want of good fellows to eat them. Want meat? Vanish, Firk! Avaunt, Hodge!
  HODGE.  Your lordship mistakes my man Firk; he means, their bellies want meat, not the boards; for they have drunk so much, they can eat nothing.
Cold’s the wind, and wet’s the rain,
  Saint Hugh be our good speed:
Ill is the weather that bringeth no gain,
  Nor helps good hearts in need.
Trowl 2 the bowl, the jolly nut-brown bowl,
  And here, kind mate, to thee:
Let’s sing a dirge for Saint Hugh’s soul,
  And down it merrily.
Down a down heydown a down,
      (Close with the tenor boy)
  Hey derry derry, down a down!
Ho, well done; to me let come!
  Ring, compass, gentle joy.
Trowl the bowl, the nut-brown bowl,
  And here, kind mate, to thee: etc.  [Repeat as often as there be men to drink; and at last when all have drunk, this verse:
Cold’s the wind, and wet’s the rain,
  Saint Hugh be our good speed:
Ill is the weather that bringeth no gain,
  Nor helps good hearts in need.

  MARG.  Where is my lord?
  EYRE.  How now, Lady Madgy?
  MARG.  The king’s most excellent majesty is new come; he sends me for thy honour; one of his most worshipful peers bade me tell thou must be merry, and so forth; but let that pass.
  EYRE.  Is my sovereign come? Vanish, my tall shoemakers, my nimble brethren; look to my guests, the prentices. Yet stay a little! How now, Hans? How looks my little Rose?        12
  HANS.  Let me request you to remember me.
I know, your honour easily may obtain
Free pardon of the king for me and Rose,
And reconcile me to my uncle’s grace.        16
  EYRE.  Have done, my good Hans, my honest journeyman; look cheerily! I’ll fall upon both my knees, till they be as hard as horn, but I’ll get thy pardon.
  MARG.  Good my lord, have a care what you speak to his grace.
  EYRE.  Away, you Islington whitepot! 3 hence, you barley-pudding, full of maggots! you broiled carbonado! 4 avaunt, avaunt, avoid, Mephistophiles! Shall Sim Eyre learn to speak of you, Lady Madgy? Vanish, Mother Miniver-cap; vanish go, trip and go; meddle with your partlets 5 and your pishery-pashery, your flewes 6 and your whirligigs; go, rub, 7 out of mine alley! Sim Eyre knows how to speak to a Pope, to Sultan Soliman, to Tamburlaine, an he were here, and shall I melt, shall I droop before my sovereign? No, come, my Lady Madgy! Follow me, Hans! About your business, my frolic freebooters! Firk, frisk about, and about, and about, for the honour of mad Simon Eyre, lord mayor of London.
  FIRK.  Hey, for the honour of the shoemakers.  Exeunt.        20
Note 1. A great hall. [back]
Note 2. Pass. [back]
Note 3. “A dish, made of milk, eggs and sugar, baked in a pot.”—Webster. [back]
Note 4. A steak cut crossways. [back]
Note 5. Ruffs for the neck. [back]
Note 6. Flaps; as resembling the hanging chaps of a hound. [back]
Note 7. Obstruction, a term in bowling. [back]


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