Fiction > Harvard Classics > Beaumont and Fletcher > Philaster
Beaumont and Fletcher.  Philaster.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
Act the Fifth
Scene IV
Enter an old Captain and Citizens with PHARAMOND 1

  CAP.  Come, my brave myrmidons, let us fall on.
Let your caps swarm, my boys, and your nimble tongues
Forget your mother-gibberish of “what do you lack?”
And set your mouths ope, children, till your palates        4
Fall frighted half a fathom past the cure
Of bay-salt and gross pepper, and then cry
“Philaster, brave Philaster!” Let Philaster
Be deeper in request, my ding-dongs, 2        8
My pairs of dear indentures, 3 kings of clubs, 4
Than your cold water-camlets, 5 or your paintings
Spitted with copper. 6 Let not your hasty silks,
Or your branch’d cloth of bodkin, 7 or your tissues,        12
Dearly beloved of spiced cake and custard,
Your Robin Hoods, Scarlets, and Johns, tie your affections
In darkness to your shops. No, dainty duckers 8
Up with your three-piled spirits, your wrought valours; 9        16
And let your uncut cholers 10 make the King feel
The measure of your mightiness. Philaster!
Cry, my rose-nobles, 11 cry!
  ALL.        Philaster! Philaster!        20
  CAP.  How do you like this, my lord-prince?
These are mad boys, I tell you; these are things
That will not strike their top-sails to a foist, 12
And let a man of war, an argosy,        24
Hull 13 and cry cockles. 14
  PHA.  Why, you rude slave, do you know what you do?
  CAP.  My pretty prince of puppets, we do know;
And give your greatness warning that you talk        28
No more such bug’s-words, 15 or that solder’d crown
Shall be scratch’d with a musket. 16 Dear prince Pippin,
Down with your noble blood, or, as I live,
I’ll have you coddled. 17—Let him loose, my spirits:        32
Make us a round ring with your bills, my Hectors,
And let us see what this trim man dares do.
Now, sir, have at you! here I lie;
And with this swashing blow (do you see, sweet prince?)        36
I could hulk 18 your grace, and hang you up cross-legg’d,
Like a hare at a poulter’s, and do this with this wiper. 19
  PHA.  You will not see me murder’d, wicked villains?
  1ST CIT.  Yes, indeed, will we, sir; we have not seen one        40
For a great while.
  CAP.        He would have weapons, would he?
Give him a broadside, my brave boys, with your pikes;
Branch 20 me his skin in flowers like a satin,        44
And between every flower a mortal cut.—
Your royalty shall ravel!—Jag him, gentlemen;
I’ll have him cut to the kell, 21 then down the seams.
O for a whip to make him galloon-laces! 22        48
I’ll have a coach-whip.
  PHA.        Oh, spare me, gentlemen!
  CAP.  Hold, hold;
The man begins to fear and know himself.        52
He shall for this time only be seel’d up, 23
With a feather through his nose, that he may only
See heaven, and think whither he is going.
Nay, my beyond-sea sir, we will proclaim you:        56
You would be king!
Thou tender heir apparent to a church-ale, 24
Thou slight prince of single sarcenet, 25
Thou royal ring-tail, 26 fit to fly at nothing        60
But poor men’s poultry, and have every boy
Beat thee from that too with his bread and butter!
  PHA.  Gods keep me from these hell-hounds!
  1ST CIT.  I’ll have a leg, that’s certain.        64
  2ND CIT.        I’ll have an arm.
  3RD CIT.  I’ll have his nose, and at mine own charge build
A college and clap’t upon the gate. 27
  4TH CIT.  I’ll have his little gut to string a kit 28 with;        68
For certainly a royal gut will sound like silver.
  PHA.  Would they were in thy belly, and I past
My pain once!
  5TH CIT.  Good captain, let me have his liver to feed ferrets.        72
  CAP.  Who will have parcels else? Speak.
  PHA.  Good gods, consider me! I shall be tortur’d.
  1ST CIT.  Captain, I’ll give you the trimming of your two-hand sword,
And let me have his skin to make false scabbards.        76
  2ND CIT.  He had no horns, sir, had he?
  CAP.  No, sir, he’s a pollard. 29
What wouldst thou do with horns?
  2ND CIT.        Oh, if he had had,        80
I would have made rare hafts and whistles of ’em;
But his shin-bones, if they be sound, shall serve me.

  ALL.  Long live Philaster, the brave Prince Philaster!
  PHI.  I thank you, gentlemen. But why are these        84
Rude weapons brought abroad, to teach your hands
Uncivil trades?
  CAP.        My royal Rosicleer, 30
We are thy myrmidons, thy guard, thy roarers; 31        88
And when thy noble body is in durance,
Thus do we clap our musty murrions 32 on,
And trace the streets in terror. Is it peace,
Thou Mars of men? Is the King sociable,        92
And bids thee live? Art thou above thy foemen,
And free as Phœbus? Speak. If not, this stand 33
Of royal blood shall be abroach, a-tilt,
And run even to the lees of honour.        96
  PHI.  Hold, and be satisfied. I am myself;
Free as my thoughts are; by the gods, I am!
  CAP.  Art thou the dainty darling of the King?
Art thou the Hylas to our Hercules?        100
Do the lords bow, and the regarded scarlets 34
Kiss their gummed golls, 35 and cry, “We are your servants”?
Is the court navigable, and the presence stuck
With flags of friendship? If not, we are thy castle,        104
And this man sleeps.
  PHI.  I am what I desire to be, your friend;
I am what I was born to be, your prince.
  PHA.  Sir, there is some humanity in you;        108
You have a noble soul. Forget my name,
And know my misery; set me safe aboard
From these wild cannibals, and, as I live,
I’ll quit this land for ever. There is nothing,—        112
Perpetual prisonment, cold, hunger, sickness
Of all sorts, of all dangers, and all together,
The worst company of the worst men, madness, age,
To be as many creatures as a woman,        116
And do as all they do, nay, to despair,—
But I would rather make it a new nature,
And live with all these, than endure one hour
Amongst these wild dogs.        120
  PHI.  I do pity you.—Friends, discharge your fears;
Deliver me the prince. I’ll warrant you
I shall be old enough to find my safety.
  3RD CIT.  Good sir, take heed he does not hurt you;        124
He is a fierce man, I can tell you, sir.
  CAP.  Prince, by your leave, I’ll have a surcingle, 36
And make 37 you like a hawk.  [PHAR.] strives.
  PHI.  Away, away, there is no danger in him:        128
Alas, he had rather sleep to shake his fit off!
Look you, friends, how gently he leads! upon my word,
He’s tame enough, he needs no further watching.
Good my friends, go to your houses,        132
And by me have your pardons and my love;
And know there shall be nothing in my power
You may deserve, but you shall have your wishes.
To give you more thanks, were to flatter you.        136
Continue still your love; and, for an earnest,
Drink this.  [Gives money.]
  ALL.  Long mayst thou live, brave prince, brave prince, brave prince!  Exeunt PHIL. and PHAR.
  CAP.  Go thy ways, thou art the king of courtesy!        140
Fall off again, my sweet youths. Come,
And every man trace to his house again,
And hang his pewter up; then to the tavern,
And bring your wives in muffs. We will have music;        144
And the red grape shall make us dance and rise, boys.  Exeunt.
Note 1. A street. [back]
Note 2. Darlings. [back]
Note 3. Apprentices, who were bound by indentures, and whose usual weapons were clubs. Throughout these scenes, it is, of course, London citizens who are in view. [back]
Note 4. Apprentices, who were bound by indentures, and whose usual weapons were clubs. Throughout these scenes, it is, of course, London citizens who are in view. [back]
Note 5. A cloth, made of wool, sometimes mixed with silk, with a watered surface. [back]
Note 6. Colored cloth interwoven with copper. [back]
Note 7. Embroidered cloth, originally of gold and silk. [back]
Note 8. Cringers (?), duck-hunters (?). [back]
Note 9. A pun on velour. [back]
Note 10. A pun on collars. [back]
Note 11. Another pun. Rose-nobles were gold coins. [back]
Note 12. A small vessel. [back]
Note 13. Float idly. [back]
Note 14. Crow over them. [back]
Note 15. Swaggering words. [back]
Note 16. A male sparrow-hawk, with a pun on the weapon. [back]
Note 17. Stewed. [back]
Note 18. Disembowel. [back]
Note 19. Instrument for cleaning a gun. [back]
Note 20. Embroider. [back]
Note 21. The caul about the hart’s paunch. [back]
Note 22. Ribbons, tape. [back]
Note 23. Have his eyelids sewed together like a hawk’s. [back]
Note 24. I. e., a bastard, one born after the convivialities of a church feast. [back]
Note 25. Thin silk. [back]
Note 26. A sort of kite. [back]
Note 27. In allusion to Brazen Nose College, Oxford. [back]
Note 28. Cittern. [back]
Note 29. Hornless animal. [back]
Note 30. A hero in “The Mirrour of Knighthood,” a romance from the Spanish. See “The Knight of the Burning Pestle.” [back]
Note 31. Roistering blades. [back]
Note 32. Steel caps. [back]
Note 33. Cask. [back]
Note 34. Courtiers clad in scarlet. [back]
Note 35. Perfumed hands. [back]
Note 36. Band. [back]
Note 37. Train. [back]


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