Fiction > Harvard Classics > Philip Massinger > A New Way to Pay Old Debts
Philip Massinger (1583–1640).  A New Way to Pay Old Debts.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
Act II
Scene II
[Enter] ALLWORTH, Waiting Woman, Chambermaid, ORDER, AMBLE, FURNACE, and WATCHALL 1

  WOMAN.  Could you not command your leisure one hour longer?
  CHAM.  Or half an hour?
  ALL.        I have told you what my haste is:
Besides, being now another’s, not mine own,        4
Howe’er I much desire to enjoy you longer,
My duty suffers, if, to please myself,
I should neglect my lord.
  WOMAN.        Pray you do me the favour        8
To put these few quince-cakes into your pocket;
They are of mine own preserving.
  CHAM.        And this marmalade;
’Tis comfortable for your stomach.        12
  WOMAN.        And, at parting,
Excuse me if I beg a farewell from you.
  CHAM.  You are still before me. I move the same suit, sir.  ALLWORTH kisses them severally.
  FURN.  How greedy these chamberers are of a beardless chin!        16
I think the tits 2 will ravish him.
  ALL.        My service
To both.
  WOMAN.        Our waits on you.        20
  CHAM.        And shall do ever.
  ORD.  You are my lady’s charge, be therefore careful
That you sustain your parts.
  WOMAN.        We can bear, I warrant you.  Exeunt Waiting Woman and Chambermaid.        24
  FURN.  Here, drink it off; the ingredients are cordial,
And this the true elixir; it hath boil’d
Since midnight for you. ’Tis the quintessence
Of five cocks of the game, ten dozen of sparrows,        28
Knuckles of veal, potato-roots and marrow,
Coral and ambergris. Were you two years older,
And I had a wife, or gamesome mistress,
I durst trust you with neither. You need not bait        32
After this, I warrant you, though your journey’s long;
You may ride on the strength of this till to-morrow morning.
  ALL.  Your courtesies overwhelm me: I much grieve
To part from such true friends; and yet find comfort,        36
My attendance on my honourable lord,
Whose resolution holds to visit my lady,
Will speedily bring me back.  Knocking at the gate.
  MAR.        (within.) Dar’st thou venture further?        40
  WELL.  (within.) Yes, yes, and knock again.
  ORD.        ’Tis he; disperse!
  AMB.  Perform it bravely.
  FURN.        I know my cue, ne’er doubt me.  Exeunt [all but ALLWORTH].        44
[Enter WATCHALL, ceremoniously introducing WELLBORN and MARRALL]

  WATCH.  Beast that I was, to make you stay! Most welcome;
You were long since expected.
  WELL.        Say so much
To my friend, I pray you.        48
  WATCH.        For your sake, I will, sir.
  MAR.  For his sake!
  WELL.        Mum; this is nothing.
  MAR.        More than ever        52
I would have believ’d, though I had found it in my primer.
  ALL.  When I have given you reasons for my late harshness,
You’ll pardon and excuse me; for, believe me,
Though now I part abruptly, in my service        56
I will deserve it.
  MAR.        Service! with a vengeance!
  WELL.  I am satisfied: farewell, Tom.
  ALL.        All joy stay with you!  Exit.        60
Re-enter AMBLE

  AMB.  You are happily encounter’d; I yet never
Presented one so welcome as I know
You will be to my lady.
  MAR.        This is some vision.        64
Or, sure, these men are mad, to worship a dunghill;
It cannot be a truth.
  WELL.        Be still a pagan,
An unbelieving infidel; be so, miscreant,        68
And meditate on “blankets, and on dog-whips!”
Re-enter FURNACE

  FURN.  I am glad you are come; until I know your pleasure
I knew not how to serve up my lady’s dinner.
  MAR.  His pleasure! is it possible?        72
  WELL.        What’s thy will?
  FURN.  Marry, sir, I have some grouse, and turkey chicken,
Some rails 3 and quails, and my lady will’d me ask you
What kind of sauces best affect your palate,        76
That I may use my utmost skill to please it.
  MAR.  [Aside.]  The devil’s enter’d this cook. Sauce for his palate!
That, on my knowledge, for almost this twelvemonth,
Durst wish but cheese-parings and brown bread on Sundays.        80
  WELL.  That way I like ’em best.
  FURN.        It shall be done, sir.  Exit.
  WELL.  What think you of “the hedge we shall dine under?”
Shall we feed gratis?        84
  MAR.        I know not what to think;
Pray you make me not mad.
Re-enter ORDER

  ORD.        This place becomes you not;
Pray you walk, sir, to the dining room.        88
  WELL.        I am well here,
Till her ladyship quits her chamber.
  MAR.        Well here, say you?
’Tis a rare change! But yesterday you thought        92
Yourself well in a barn, wrapp’d up in peas-straw.
Re-enter Waiting Woman and Chambermaid

  WOMAN.  O! sir, you are wish’d for.
  CHAM.        My lady dreamt, sir, of you.
  WOMAN.  And the first command she gave, after she rose,        96
Was (her devotions done) to give her notice
When you approach’d here.
  CHAM.        Which is done, on my virtue.
  MAR.  I shall be converted; I begin to grow        100
Into a new belief, which saints nor angels
Could have won me to have faith in.
  WOMAN.        Sir, my lady!

  L. ALL.  I come to meet you, and languish’d till I saw you.
This first kiss is for form; I allow a second
To such a friend.  [Kisses WELLBORN.]
  MAR.        To such a friend! Heaven bless me!
  WELL.  I am wholly yours; yet, madam, if you please        108
To grace this gentleman with a salute——
  MAR.  Salute me at his bidding!
  WELL.        I shall receive it
As a most high favour.        112
  L. ALL.        Sir, you may command me.  [Advances to kiss MARRALL, who retires.]
  WELL.  Run backward from a lady! and such a lady!
  MAR.  To kiss her foot is, to poor me, a favour
I am unworthy of.  Offers to kiss her foot.        116
  L. ALL.        Nay, pray you rise;
And since you are so humble, I’ll exalt you.
You shall dine with me to-day, at mine own table.
  MAR.  Your ladyship’s table! I am not good enough        120
To sit at your steward’s board.
  L. ALL.        You are too modest;
I will not be deni’d.
Re-enter FURNACE

  FURN.        Will you still be babbling
Till your meat freeze on the table? The old trick still;
My art ne’er thought on!
  L. ALL.        Your arm, Master Wellborn:—
Nay, keep us company.  [To MARRALL.]        128
  MAR.        I was ne’er so graced.  Exeunt WELLBORN, LADY ALLWORTH, AMBLE, MARRALL, Waiting Woman, [and Chambermaid].
  ORD.  So! we have play’d our parts, and are come off well;
But if I know the mystery, why my lady
Consented to it, or why Master Wellborn        132
Desir’d it, may I perish!
  FURN.        Would I had
The roasting of his heart that cheated him,
And forces the poor gentleman to these shifts!        136
By fire! for cooks are Persians, and swear by it,
Of all the griping and extorting tyrants
I ever heard or read of, I ne’er met
A match to Sir Giles Overreach.        140
  WATCH.        What will you take
To tell him so, fellow Furnace?
  FURN.        Just as much.
As my throat is worth, for that would be the price on’t.        144
To have a usurer that starves himself,
And wears a cloak of one and twenty years
On a suit of fourteen groats, bought of the hangman,
To grow rich, and then purchase, is too common;        148
But this Sir Giles feeds high, keeps many servants,
Who must at his command do any outrage;
Rich in his habit, vast in his expenses;
Yet he to admiration 4 still increases        152
In wealth and lordships.
  ORD.        He frights men out of their estates,
And breaks through all law-nets, made to curb ill men,
As they were cobwebs. No man dares reprove him.        156
Such a spirit to dare and power to do were never
Lodg’d so unluckily.
Re-enter AMBLE [laughing]

  AMB.        Ha! ha! I shall burst.
  ORD.  Contain thyself, man.        160
  FURN.        Or make us partakers
Of your sudden mirth.
  AMB.        Ha! ha! my lady has got
Such a guest at her table!—this term-driver, Marrall,        164
This snip of an attorney——
  FURN.        What of him, man?
  AMB.  The knave thinks still he’s at the cook’s shop in Ram Alley, 5
Where the clerks divide, and the elder is to choose;        168
And feeds so slovenly!
  FURN.        Is this all?
  AMB.        My lady
Drank to him for fashion sake, or to please Master Wellborn;        172
As I live, he rises, and takes up a dish
In which there were some remnants of a boil’d capon,
And pledges her in white broth!
  FURN.        Nay, ’tis like        176
The rest of his tribe.
  AMB.        And when I brought him wine,
He leaves his stool, and, after a leg or two,
Most humbly thanks my worship.        180
  ORD.        Risen already!
  AMB.  I shall be chid.

  FURN.        My lady frowns.
  L. ALL.        You wait well!  [To AMBLE.]        184
Let me have no more of this; I observ’d your jeering:
Sirrah, I’ll have you know, whom I think worthy
To sit at my table, be he ne’er so mean,
When I am present, is not your companion.        188
  ORD.  Nay, she’ll preserve what’s due to her.
  FURN.        This refreshing
Follows your flux of laughter.
  L. ALL.        [To WELLBORN.]  You are master        192
Of your own will. I know so much of manners,
As not to inquire your purposes; in a word,
To me you are ever welcome, as to a house
That is your own.        196
  WELL.  [Aside to MARRALL.]  Mark that.
  MAR.        With reverence, sir,
An it like your worship.
  WELL.        Trouble yourself no further,        200
Dear madam; my heart’s full of zeal and service,
However in my language I am sparing.
Come, Master Marrall.
  MAR.        I attend your worship.  Exeunt WELLBORN and MARRALL.        204
  L. ALL.  I see in your looks you are sorry, and you know me
An easy mistress. Be merry; I have forgot all.
Order and Furnace, come with me; I must give you
Further directions.        208
  ORD.        What you please.
  FURN.        We are ready.  Exeunt.
Note 1. A room in Lady Allworth’s house. [back]
Note 2. Wenches. [back]
Note 3. Marsh birds. [back]
Note 4. Marvellously. [back]
Note 5. Off Fleet Street, famous for its restaurants. [back]


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