Fiction > Harvard Classics > Thomas Dekker > The Shoemaker’s Holiday
Thomas Dekker (1570–1632).  The Shoemaker’s Holiday.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
Act II
Scene III
Enter EYRE, making himself ready 1 2

  EYRE.  Where be these boys, these girls, these drabs, these scoundrels? They wallow in the fat brewiss 3 of my bounty, and lick up the crumbs of my table, yet will not rise to see my walks cleansed. Come out, you powder-beef 4 queans! What, Nan! what, Madge Mumble-crust. Come out, you fat midriff-swag-belly-whores, and sweep me these kennels 5 that the noisome stench offend not the noses of my neighbours. What, Firk, I say; what, Hodge! Open my shop-windows! What, Firk, I say!
Enter FIRK

  FIRK.  O master, is’t you that speak bandog 6 and Bedlam 7 this morning? I was in a dream, and mused what madman was got into the street so early. Have you drunk this morning that your throat is so clear?
  EYRE.  Ah, well said, Firk; well said, Firk. To work, my fine knave, to work! Wash thy face, and thou’t be more blest.
  FIRK.  Let them wash my face that will eat it. Good master, send for a souse-wife, 8 if you’ll have my face cleaner.        4

  EYRE.  Away, sloven! avaunt, scoundrel!—Good-morrow, Hodge; good-morrow, my fine foreman.
  HODGE.  O master, good-morrow; y’are an early stirrer. Here’s a fair morning.—Good-morrow, Firk, I could have slept this hour. Here’s a brave day towards. 9
  EYRE.  Oh, haste to work, my fine foreman, haste to work.
  FIRK.  Master, I am dry as dust to hear my fellow Roger talk of fair weather; let us pray for good leather, and let clowns and ploughboys and those that work in the fields pray for brave days. We work in a dry shop; what care I if it rain?        8

  EYRE.  How now, Dame Margery, can you see to rise? Trip and go, call up the drabs, your maids.
  MARG.  See to rise? I hope ’tis time enough, ’tis early enough for any woman to be seen abroad. I marvel how many wives in Tower Street are up so soon. Gods me, ’tis not noon,—here’s a yawling! 10
  EYRE.  Peace, Margery, peace! Where’s Cicely Bumtrinket, your maid? She has a privy fault, she farts in her sleep. Call the quean up; if my men want shoe-thread, I’ll swinge her in a stirrup.
  FIRK.  Yet, that’s but a dry beating; here’s still a sign of drought.        12
Enter LACY disguised, singing

        Der was een bore van Gelderland
  Frolick sie byen;
He was als dronck he cold nyet stand,
  Upsolce sie byen.
Tap eens de canneken,
Drincke, schone mannekin. 11
  FIRK.  Master, for my life, yonder’s a brother of the gentle craft; if he bear not Saint Hugh’s bones, 12 I’ll forfeit my bones; he’s some uplandish workman: hire him, good master, that I may learn some gibble-gabble; ’twill; make us work the faster.
  EYRE.  Peace, Firk! A hard world! Let him pass, let him vanish; we have journeymen enow. Peace, my fine Firk!
  MARG.  Nay, nay, y’are best follow your man’s counsel; you shall see what will come on’t. We have not me enow, but we must entertain every butter-box; 13 but let that pass.        16
  HODGE.  Dame, ’fore God, if my master follow your counsel, he’ll consume little beef. He shall be glad of men an he can catch them.
  FIRK.  Ay, that he shall.
  HODGE.  ’Fore God, a proper man, and I warrant, a fine workman. Master, farewell; dame, adieu; if such a man as he cannot find work, Hodge is not for you.  Offers to go.
  EYRE.  Stay, my fine Hodge.        20
  FIRK.  Faith, an your foreman go, dame, you must take a journey to seek a new journeyman; if Roger remove, Firk follows. If Saint Hugh’s bones shall not be set a-work, I may prick mine awl in the walls, and go play. Fare ye well, master; good-bye, dame.
  EYRE.  Tarry, my fine Hodge, my brisk foreman! Stay, Firk! Peace, pudding-broth! By the Lord of Ludgate, I love my men as my life. Peace, you gallimaufry! 14 Hodge, if he want work, I’ll hire him. One of you to him; stay,—he comes to us.
  LACY.  Goeden dach, meester, ende u vro oak. 15
  FIRK.  Nails, 16 if I should speak after him without drinking, I should choke. And you, friend Oake, are you of the gentle craft?        24
  LACY.  Yaw, yaw, ik bin den skomawker. 17
  FIRK.  Den skomaker, quoth ’a! And hark you, skomaker, have you all your tools, a good rubbing-pin, a good stopper, a good dresser, your four sorts of awls, and your two balls of wax, your paring knife, your hand- and thumb-leathers, and good St. Hugh’s bones to smooth up your work?
  LACY.  Yaw, yaw; be niet vorveard. Ik hab all de dingen voour mack skooes groot and cleane. 18
  FIRK.  Ha, ha! Good master, hire him; he’ll make me laugh so that I shall work more in mirth than I can in earnest.        28
  EYRE.  Hear ye, friend, have ye any skill in the mystery of cordwainers?
  LACY.  Ik weet niet wat yow seg; ich verstaw you niet. 19
  FIRK.  Why, thus, man: [Imitating by gesture a shoemaker at work.]  Ich verste u niet, quoth ’a.
  LACY.  Yaw, yaw, yaw; ick can dat wel doen. 20        32
  FIRK.  Yaw, yaw! He speaks yawing like a jackdaw that gapes to be fed with cheese-curds. Oh, he’ll give a villanous pull at a can of double-beer; but Hodge and I have the vantage, we must drink first, because we are the eldest journeymen.
  EYRE.  What is thy name?
  LACY.  Hans—Hans Meulter.
  EYRE.  Give me thy hand; th’art welcome.—Hodge, entertain him; Firk, bid him welcome; come, Hans. Run, wife, bid your maids, your trullibubs, 21 make ready my fine men’s breakfasts. To him, Hodge!        36
  HODGE.  Hans, th’art welcome; use thyself friendly, for we are good fellows; if not, thou shalt be fought with, wert thou bigger than a giant.
  FIRK.  Yea, and drunk with, wert thou Gargantua. My master keeps no cowards, I tell thee.—Ho, boy, bring him an heel-block, here’s a new journeyman.
Enter Boy

  LACY.  O, ich wersto you; ich moet een halve dossen cans betaelen; here, boy, nempt dis skilling, tap eens freelicke. 22Exit Boy.
  EYRE.  Quick, snipper-snapper, away! Firk, scour thy throat; thou shalt wash it with Castilian liquor.        40
Enter Boy

Come, my last of the fives, give me a can. Have to thee, Hans; here, Hodge; here, Firk; drink, you mad Greeks, and work like true Trojans, and pray for Simon Eyre, the shoemaker.—Here, Hans, and th’art welcome.
  FIRK.  Lo, dame, you would have lost a good fellow that will teach us to laugh. This beer came hopping in well.
  MARG.  Simon, it is almost seven.
  EYRE.  Is’t so, Dame Clapper-dudgeon? 23 Is’t seven a clock, and my men’s breakfast not ready? Trip and go, you soused conger, 24 away! Come, you mad hyperboreans; follow me, Hodge; follow me, Hans; come after, my fine Firk; to work, to work a while, and then to breakfast!  [Exit.        44
  FIRK.  Soft! Yaw, yaw, good Hans, though my master have no more wit but to call you afore me, I am not so foolish to go behind you, I being the elder journeyman.  [Exeunt.
Note 1. Before Eyre’s house. [back]
Note 2. Dressing himself. [back]
Note 3. Beef broth. [back]
Note 4. Salted beef. [back]
Note 5. Gutters. [back]
Note 6. Watch-dog. [back]
Note 7. Madman. [back]
Note 8. A woman who washed and pickled pigs’ faces. [back]
Note 9. Coming. [back]
Note 10. Bawling. [back]
Note 11. The language is, of course, meant for Dutch.
        ‘There was a boor from Gelderland, [back]
Note 12. The bones of St. Hugh, the patron saint of shoemakers, were supposed to have been made into shoemaker’s tools. [back]
Note 13. Dutchman. [back]
Note 14. A dish of different hashed meats. Many of Eyre’s words have no particular appropriateness. [back]
Note 15. Good day, master, and your wife too. [back]
Note 16. An oath. [back]
Note 17. Yes, yes, I am a shoemaker. [back]
Note 18. Yes, yes; be not afraid. I have everything to make boots big and little. [back]
Note 19. I don’t know what you say; I don’t understand you [back]
Note 20. Yes, yes, yes; I can do that well. [back]
Note 21. Slatterns. [back]
Note 22. O, I understand you; I must pay for half-a-dozen cans; here, [back]
Note 23. Slang for beggar. [back]
Note 24. Conger-eel. [back]


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