Fiction > Harvard Classics > Thomas Dekker > The Shoemaker’s Holiday
Thomas Dekker (1570–1632).  The Shoemaker’s Holiday.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
Act IV
Scene V
Enter the LORD MAYOR and the EARL OF LINCOLN 1

  L. MAYOR.  Believe me, on my credit, I speak truth:
Since first your nephew Lacy went to France,
I have not seen him. It seem’d strange to me,
When Dodger told me that he stay’d behind,        4
Neglecting the high charge the king imposed.
  LINCOLN.  Trust me, Sir Roger Oateley, I did think
Your counsel had given head to this attempt,
Drawn to it by the love he bears your child.        8
Here I did hope to find him in your house;
But now I see mine error, and confess,
My judgment wrong’d you by conceiving so.
  L. MAYOR.  Lodge in my house, say you? Trust me, my lord,        12
I love your nephew Lacy too too dearly,
So much to wrong his honour; and he hath done so,
That first gave him advice to stay from France.
To witness I speak truth, I let you know,        16
How careful I have been to keep my daughter
Free from all conference or speech of him;
Not that I scorn your nephew, but in love
I bear your honour, lest your noble blood        20
Should by my mean worth be dishonoured.
  LINCOLN.  [Aside.]  How far the churl’s tongue wanders from his heart!
Well, well, Sir Roger Oateley, I believe you,
With more than many thanks for the kind love        24
So much you seem to bear me. But, my lord,
Let me request your help to seek my nephew,
Whom if I find, I’ll straight embark for France.
So shall your Rose be free, my thoughts at rest,        28
And much care die which now lies in my breast.

  SYBIL.  Oh Lord! Help, for God’s sake! My mistress; oh, my young mistress!
  L. MAYOR.  Where is thy mistress? What’s become of her?
  SYBIL.  She’s gone, she’s fled!        32
  L. MAYOR.  Gone! Whither is she fled?
  SYBIL.  I know not, forsooth; she’s fled out of doors with Hans the shoemaker; I saw them scud, scud, scud, apace, apace!
  L. MAYOR.  Which way? What, John! Where be my men? Which way?
  SYBIL.  I know not, an it please your worship.        36
  L. MAYOR.  Fled with a shoemaker? Can this be true?
  SYBIL.  Oh Lord, sir, as true as God’s in Heaven.
  LINCOLN.  Her love turn’d shoemaker? I am glad of this.
  L. MAYOR.  A Fleming butter-box, a shoemaker!        40
Will she forget her birth, requite my care
With such ingratitude? Scorn’d she young Hammon
To love a honniken, 2 a needy knave?
Well, let her fly, I’ll not fly after her,        44
Let her starve, if she will; she’s none of mine.
  LINCOLN.  Be not so cruel, sir.
Enter FIRK with shoes

  SYBIL.        I am glad, she’s scap’d.
  L. MAYOR.  I’ll not account of her as of my child.        48
Was there no better object for her eyes
But a foul drunken lubber, swill-belly,
A shoemaker? That’s brave!
  FIRK.  Yea, forsooth; ’tis a very brave shoe, and as fit as a pudding.        52
  L. MAYOR.  How now, what knave is this? From whence comest thou?
  FIRK.  No knave, sir. I am Firk the shoemaker, lusty Roger’s chief lusty journeyman, and I have come hither to take up the pretty leg of sweet Mistress Rose, and thus hoping your worship is in as good health, as I was at the making hereof, I bid you farewell, yours, Firk.
  L. MAYOR.  Stay, stay, Sir Knave!
  LINCOLN.  Come hither, shoemaker!        56
  FIRK.  ’Tis happy the knave is put before the shoemaker, or else I would not have vouchsafed to come back to you. I am moved, for I stir.
  L. MAYOR.  My lord, this villain calls us knaves by craft.
  FIRK.  Then ’tis by the gentle craft, and to call one knave gently, is no harm. Sit your worship merry! Syb, your young mistress—I’ll so bob 3 them, now my Master Eyre is lord mayor of London.
  L. MAYOR.  Tell me, sirrah, whose man are you?        60
  FIRK.  I am glad to see your worship so merry. I have no maw to this gear, no stomach as yet to a red petticoat.  Pointing to SYBIL.
  LINCOLN.  He means not, sir, to woo you to his maid,
But only doth demand whose man you are.
  FIRK.  I sing now to the tune of Rogero. Roger, my fellow, is now my master.        64
  LINCOLN.  Sirrah, know’st thou one Hans, a shoemaker?
  FIRK.  Hans, shoemaker? Oh yes, stay, yes, I have him. I tell you what, I speak it in secret: Mistress Rose and he are by this time—no, not so, but shortly are to come over one another with “Can you dance the shaking of the sheets?” It is that Hans—[Aside.]  I’ll so gull 4 these diggers! 5
  L. MAYOR.  Know’st thou, then, where he is?
  FIRK.  Yes, forsooth; yea, marry!        68
  LINCOLN.  Canst thou, in sadness 6
  FIRK.  No, forsooth; no, marry!
  L. MAYOR.  Tell me, good honest fellow, where he is,
And thou shalt see what I’ll bestow on thee.        72
  FIRK.  Honest fellow? No, sir; not so, sir; my profession is the gentle craft; I care not for seeing, I love feeling; let me feel it here; aurium tenus, ten pieces of gold; genuum tenus, ten pieces of silver; and then Firk is your man—[aside] in a new pair of stretchers. 7
  L. MAYOR.  Here is an angel, part of thy reward,
Which I will give thee; tell me where he is.
  FIRK.  No point. Shall I betray my brother? No! Shall I prove Judas to Hans? No! Shall I cry treason to my corporation? No, I shall be firked and yerked then. But give me your angel; your angel shall tell you.        76
  LINCOLN.  Do so, good fellow; ’tis no hurt to thee.
  FIRK.  Send simpering Syb away.
  L. MAYOR.  Huswife, get you in.  Exit SYBIL.
  FIRK.  Pitchers have ears, and maids have wide mouths; but for Hans Prauns, upon my word, to-morrow morning he and young Mistress Rose go to this gear, they shall be married together, by this rush, or else turn Firk to a firkin of butter, to tan leather withal.        80
  L. MAYOR.  But art thou sure of this?
  FIRK.  Am I sure that Paul’s steeple is a handful higher than London Stone, 8 or that the Pissing-Conduit 9 leaks nothing but pure Mother Bunch? 10 Am I sure I am lusty Firk? God’s nails, do you think I am so base to gull you?
  LINCOLN.  Where are they married? Dost thou know the church?
  FIRK.  I never go to church, but I know the name of it; it is a swearing church-stay a while, ’tis—ay, by the mass, no, no,—’tis—ay, by my troth, no, nor that; ’tis—ay, by my faith, that, that, ’tis, ay, by my Faith’s Church under Paul’s Cross. There they shall be knit like a pair of stockings in matrimony; there they’ll be inconie. 11        84
  LINCOLN.  Upon my life, my nephew Lacy walks
In the disguise of this Dutch shoemaker.
  FIRK.  Yes, forsooth.
  LINCOLN.  Doth he not, honest fellow?        88
  FIRK.  No, forsooth; I think Hans is nobody but Hans, no spirit.
  L. MAYOR.  My mind misgives me now, ’tis so, indeed.
  LINCOLN.  My cousin speaks the language, knows the trade.
  L. MAYOR.  Let me request your company, my lord;        92
Your honourable presence may, no doubt,
Refrain their headstrong rashness, when myself
Going alone perchance may be o’erborne.
Shall I request this favour?        96
  LINCOLN.        This, or what else.
  FIRK.  Then you must rise betimes, for they mean to fall to their hey—pass and repass, 12 pindy-pandy, which hand will you have, very early.
  L. MAYOR.  My care shall every way equal their haste.
This night accept your lodging in my house,        100
The earlier shall we stir, and at Saint Faith’s
Prevent this giddy hare-brain’d nuptial.
This traffic of hot love shall yield cold gains:
They ban 13 our loves, and we’ll forbid their banns.  Exit.        104
  LINCOLN.  At Saint Faith’s Church thou say’st?
  FIRK.  Yes, by their troth.
  LINCOLN.  Be secret, on thy life.  Exit.
  FIRK.  Yes, when I kiss your wife! Ha, ha, here’s no craft in the gentle craft. I came hither of purpose with shoes to Sir Roger’s worship, whilst Rose, his daughter, be cony-catched by Hans. Soft now; these two gulls will be at Saint Faith’s Church to-morrow morning, to take Master Bridegroom and Mistress Bride napping, and they, in the mean time, shall chop up the matter at the Savoy. But the best sport is, Sir Roger Oateley will find my fellow lame Ralph’s wife going to marry a gentleman, and then he’ll stop her instead of his daughter. Oh brave! there will be fine tickling sport. Soft now, what have I to do? Oh, I know; now a mess of shoemakers meet at the Woolsack in Ivy Lane, to cozen 14 my gentleman of lame Ralph’s wife, that’s true.
        Alack, alack!
Girls, hold out tack!
For now smocks for this jumbling
Shall go to wrack.
Note 1. Another room in the same house. [back]
Note 2. Simpleton (?). [back]
Note 3. Fool. [back]
Note 4. Fool. [back]
Note 5. I. e., diggers for information. [back]
Note 6. Seriously. [back]
Note 7. Stretchers of the truth, lies. [back]
Note 8. A stone which marked the center from which the old Roman roads radiated. [back]
Note 9. A small conduit near the Royal Exchange. [back]
Note 10. Mother Bunch was a well-known ale-wife. [back]
Note 11. A pretty sight. [back]
Note 12. Conjuring terms. [back]
Note 13. Curse. [back]
Note 14. Cheat. [back]


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