Fiction > Harvard Classics > Thomas Dekker > The Shoemaker’s Holiday
Thomas Dekker (1570–1632).  The Shoemaker’s Holiday.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
Scene IV

  MARG.  Thou goest too fast for me, Roger. O, Firk!
  FIRK.  Ay, forsooth.
  MARG.  I pray thee, run—do you hear?—run to Guildhall, and learn if my husband, Master Eyre, will take that worshipful vocation of Master Sheriff upon him. Hie thee, good Firk.
  FIRK.  Take it? Well, I go; an he should not take it, Firk swears to forswear him. Yes, forsooth, I go to Guildhall.        4
  MARG.  Nay, when? Thou art too compendious and tedious.
  FIRK.  O rare, your excellence is full of eloquence; how like a new cart-wheel my dame speaks, and she looks like an old musty ale-bottle 2 going to scalding.
  MARG.  Nay, when? Thou wilt make me melancholy.
  FIRK.  God forbid your worship should fall into that humour;—I run.  Exit.        8
  MARG.  Let me see now, Roger and Hans.
  HODGE.  Ay, forsooth, dame-mistress I should say, but the old term so sticks to the roof of my mouth, I can hardly lick it off.
  MARG.  Even what thou wilt, good Roger; dame is a fair name for any honest Christian; but let that pass. How dost thou, Hans?
  HANS.  Mee tanck you, vro. 3        12
  MARG.  Well, Hans and Roger, you see, God hath blest your master, and, perdy, if ever he comes to be Master Sheriff of London—as we are all mortal—you shall see, I will have some odd thing or other in a corner for you: I will not be your back-friend; 4 but let that pass. Hans, pray thee, tie my shoe.
  HANS.  Yaw, ic sal, vro. 5
  MARG.  Roger, thou know’st the length of my foot; as it is none of the biggest, so I thank God, it is handsome enough; prithee, let me have a pair of shoes made, cork, good Roger, wooden heel too.
  HODGE.  You shall.        16
  MARG.  Art thou acquainted with never a farthingale-maker, nor a French hood-maker? I must enlarge my bum, ha, ha! How shall I look in a hood, I wonder! Perdy, oddly, I think.
  HODGE.  [Aside.]  As a cat out of a pillory.—Very well, I warrant you, mistress.
  MARG.  Indeed, all flesh is grass; and, Roger, canst thou tell where I may buy a good hair?
  HODGE.  Yes, forsooth, at the poulterer’s in Gracious Street.        20
  MARG.  Thou art an ungracious wag; perdy, I mean a false hair for my periwig.
  HODGE.  Why, mistress, the next time I cut my beard, you shall have the shavings of it; but they are all true hairs.
  MARG.  It is very hot, I must get me a fan or else a mask.
  HODGE.  [Aside.]  So you had need, to hide your wicked face.        24
  MARG.  Fie, upon it, how costly this world’s calling is; perdy, but that it is one of the wonderful works of God, I would not deal with it.—Is not Firk come yet? Hans, be not so sad, let it pass and vanish, as my husband’s worship says.
  HANS.  Ick bin vrolicke, lot see yow soo. 6
  HODGE.  Mistress, will you drink 7 a pipe of tobacco?
  MARG.  Oh, fie upon it, Roger, perdy! These filthy tobacco-pipes are the most idle slavering baubles that ever I felt. Out upon it! God bless us, men look not like men that use them.        28
Enter RALPH, lame

  HODGE.  What, fellow Ralph? Mistress, look here, Jane’s husband! Why, how now, lame? Hans, make much of him, he’s a brother of our trade, a good workman, and a tall soldier.
  HANS.  You be welcome, broder.
  MARG.  Perdy, I knew him not. How dost thou, good Ralph? I am glad to see thee well.
  RALPH.  I would to God you saw me, dame, as well        32
As when I went from London into France.
  MARG.  Trust me, I am sorry, Ralph, to see thee impotent. Lord, how the wars have made him sunburnt! The left leg is not well; ’twas a fair gift of God the infirmity took not hold a little higher, considering thou camest from France; but let that pass.
  RALPH.  I am glad to see you well, and I rejoice
To hear that God hath blest my master so        36
Since my departure.
  MARG.  Yea, truly, Ralph, I thank my Maker; but let that pass.
  HODGE.  And, sirrah Ralph, what news, what news in France?
  RALPH.  Tell me, good Roger, first, what news in England? How does my        40
Jane? When didst thou see my wife?
Where lives my poor heart? She’ll be poor indeed,
Now I want limbs to get whereon to feed.
  HODGE.  Limbs? Hast thou not hands, man? Thou shalt never see a shoemaker want bread, though he have but three fingers on a hand.        44
  RALPH.  Yet all this while I hear not of my Jane.
  MARG.  O Ralph, your wife,—perdy, we know not what’s become of her. She was here a while, and because she was married, grew more stately than became her; I checked her, and so forth; away she flung, never returned, nor said bye nor bah; and, Ralph, you know, ‘ka me, ka thee.’ 8 And so, as I tell ye——Roger, is not Firk come yet?
  HODGE.  No, forsooth.
  MARG.  And so, indeed, we heard not of her, but I hear she lives in London; but let that pass. If she had wanted, she might have opened her case to me or my husband, or to any of my men; I am sure, there’s not any of them, perdy, but would have done her good to his power. Hans, look if Firk be come.        48
  HANS.  Yaw, ik sal, vro. 9  Exit HANS.
  MARG.  And so, as I said—but, Ralph, why dost thou weep? Thou knowest that naked we came out of our mother’s womb, and naked we must return; and, therefore, thank God for all things.
  HODGE.  No, faith, Jane is a stranger here; but, Ralph, pull up a good heart, I know thou hast one. Thy wife, man, is in London; one told me, he saw her a while ago very brave 10 and neat; we’ll ferret her out, an London hold her.
  MARG.  Alas, poor soul, he’s overcome with sorrow; he does but as I do, weep for the loss of any good thing. But, Ralph, get thee in, call for some meat and drink, thou shalt find me worshipful towards thee.        52
  RALPH.  I thank you, dame; since I want limbs and lands, I’ll trust to
God, my good friends, and my hands.  Exit.
Enter HANS and FIRK running

  FIRK.  Run, good Hans! O Hodge, O mistress! Hodge, heave up thine ears; mistress, smug up 11 your looks; on with your best apparel; my master is chosen, my master is called, nay, condemned by the cry of the country to be sheriff of the city for this famous year now to come. And time now being, a great many men in black gowns were asked for their voices and their hands, and my master had all their fists about his ears presently, and they cried ‘Ay, ay, ay, ay,’—and so I came away—
        Wherefore without all other grieve
I do salute you, Mistress Shrieve, 12
  HANS.  Yaw, my mester is de groot man, de shrieve.        56
  HODGE.  Did not I tell, you mistress? Now I may boldly say: Good-morrow to your worship.
  MARG.  Good-morrow, good Roger. I thank you, my good people all.—Firk, hold up thy hand: here’s a three-penny piece for thy tidings.
  FIRK.  ’Tis but three-half-pence, I think. Yes, ’tis three-pence, I smell the rose. 13
  HODGE.  But, mistress, be rul’d by me, and do not speak so pulingly.        60
  FIRK.  ’Tis her worship speaks so, and not she. No, faith, mistress, speak me in the old key: ‘To it, Firk,’ ‘there, good Firk,’ ‘ply your business, Hodge,’ ‘Hodge, with a full mouth,’ ‘I’ll fill your bellies with good cheer, till they cry twang.’
Enter EYRE wearing a gold chain

  HANS.  See, myn liever broder, heer compt my meester. 14
  MARG.  Welcome home, Master Shrieve; I pray God continue you in health and wealth.
  EYRE.  See here, my Maggy, a chain, a gold chain for Simon Eyre. I shall make thee a lady; here’s a French hood for thee; on with it, on with it, on with it! dress thy brows with this flap of a shoulder of mutton, 15 to make thee look lovely. Where be my fine men? Roger, I’ll make over my shop and tools to thee; Firk, thou shalt be the foreman; Hans, thou shalt have an hundred for twenty. 16 Be as mad knaves as your master Sim Eyre hath been, and you shall live to be Sheriffs of London.—How dost thou like me, Margery? Prince am I none, yet am I princely born. Firk, Hodge, and Hans!        64
  ALL THREE.  Ay forsooth, what says your worship, Master Sheriff?
  EYRE.  Worship and honour, you Babylonian knaves, for the gentle craft. But I forgot myself, I am bidden by my lord mayor to dinner to Old Ford; he’s gone before, I must after. Come, Madge, on with your trinkets! Now, my true Trojans, my fine Firk, my dapper Hodge, my honest Hans, some device, some odd crotchets, some morris, or such like, for the honour of the gentlemen shoemakers. Meet me at Old Ford, you know my mind. Come, Madge, away. Shut up the shop, knaves, and make holiday.  Exeunt.
  FIRK.  O rare! O brave! Come, Hodge; follow me, Hans; We’ll be with them for a morris-dance.  Exeunt.
Note 1. London: a room in Eyre’s house. [back]
Note 2. Ale-kegs, make of wood. [back]
Note 3. I thank you, mistress! [back]
Note 4. Faithless friend. [back]
Note 5. Yes, I shall, mistress! [back]
Note 6. I am merry; let’s see you so too! [back]
Note 7. Smoke. [back]
Note 8. Scratch me, and I’ll scratch thee. [back]
Note 9. Yes, I shall, dame! [back]
Note 10. Fine. [back]
Note 11. Brighten up. [back]
Note 12. Sheriff. [back]
Note 13. “The three-farthing silver pieces of Queen Elizabeth had the profile of the sovereign with a rose at the back of her head.”—Dyce. [back]
Note 14. See, my dear brothers, here comes my master. [back]
Note 15. The flap of a hood trimmed with fur or sheep’s wool.—Rhys. [back]
Note 16. I. e., for the twenty Portuguese previously lent. [back]


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