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.
Scene III
[Enter] OVERREACH, as from dinner 1

  OVER.  She’s caught! O women!—she neglects my lord,
And all her compliments appli’d to Wellborn!
The garments of her widowhood laid by,
She now appears as glorious as the spring,        4
Her eyes fix’d on him, in the wine she drinks,
He being her pledge, she sends him burning kisses,
And sits on thorns, till she be private with him.
She leaves my meat to feed upon his looks,        8
And if in our discourse he be but nam’d,
From her a deep sigh follows. And why grieve I
At this? It makes for me; if she prove his,
All that is hers is mine, as I will work him.        12

  MAR.  Sir, the whole board is troubled at your rising.
  OVER.  No matter, I’ll excuse it. Prithee, Marrall,
Watch an occasion to invite my nephew
To speak with me in private.        16
  MAR.        Who! “The rogue
The lady scorned to look on”?
  OVER.        You are a wag.

  MAR.  See, sir, she’s come, and cannot be without him.
  L. ALL.  With your favour, sir, after a plenteous dinner,
I shall make bold to walk a turn or two,
In your rare garden.
  OVER.        There’s an arbour too,        24
If your ladyship please to use it.
  L. ALL.        Come, Master Wellborn.  Exeunt LADY ALLWORTH and WELLBORN.
  OVER.  Grosser and grosser! Now I believe the poet
Feign’d not, but was historical, when he wrote        28
Pasiphaë was enamour’d of a bull:
This lady’s lust’s more monstrous.—My good lord,
Enter LORD LOVELL, MARGARET, and the rest

Excuse my manners.
  LOV.        There needs none, Sir Giles,        32
I may ere long say father, when it pleases
My dearest mistress to give warrant to it.
  OVER.  She shall seal to it, my lord, and make me happy.

  MARG.  My lady is return’d.
  L. ALL.        Provide my coach,
I’ll instantly away. My thanks, Sir Giles,
For my entertainment.
  OVER.        ’Tis your nobleness        40
To think it such.
  L. ALL.        I must do you a further wrong
In taking away your honourable guest.
  LOV.  I wait on you, madam; farewell, good Sir Giles.        44
  L. ALL.  Good Mistress Margaret! Nay, come, Master Wellborn,
I must not leave you behind; in sooth, I must not.
  OVER.  Rob me not, madam, of all joys at once;
Let my nephew stay behind, He shall have my coach,        48
And, after some small conference between us,
Soon overtake your ladyship.
  L. ALL.        Stay not long, sir.
  LOV.  This parting kiss: [Kisses MARGARET] you shall every day hear from me        52
By my faithful page.
  ALL.        ’Tis a service I am proud of.  Exeunt LORD LOVELL, LADY ALLWORTH, ALLWORTH, and MARRALL.
  OVER.  Daughter, to your chamber.—  Exit MARGARET.
        —You may wonder, nephew,        56
After so long an enmity between us,
I should desire your friendship.
  WELL.        So I do, sir;
’Tis strange to me.        60
  OVER.        But I’ll make it no wonder;
And what is more, unfold my nature to you.
We worldly men, when we see friends and kinsmen
Past hopes sunk in their fortunes, lend no hand        64
To lift ’em up, but rather set our feet
Upon their heads, to press ’em to the bottom;
As, I must yield, 2 with you I practis’d it:
But, now I see you in a way to rise,        68
I can and will assist you. This rich lady
(And I am glad of ’t) is enamour’d of you;
’Tis too apparent, nephew.
  WELL.        No such thing:        72
Compassion rather, sir.
  OVER.        Well, in a word,
Because your stay is short, I’ll have you seen
No more in this base shape; nor shall she say        76
She married you like a beggar, or in debt.
  WELL.  Aside.  He’ll run into the noose, and save my labour.
  OVER.  You have a trunk of rich clothes, not far hence,
In pawn; I will redeem ’em; and that no clamour        80
May taint your credit for your petty debts,
You shall have a thousand pounds to cut ’em off,
And go a free man to the wealthy lady.
  WELL.  This done, sir, out of love, and no ends else——        84
  OVER.  As it is, nephew.
  WELL.        Binds me still your servant.
  OVER.  No compliments; you are staid for. Ere you have supp’d
You shall hear from me. My coach, knaves, for my nephew.        88
To-morrow I will visit you.
  WELL.        Here’s an uncle
In a man’s extremes! How much they do belie you,
That say you are hard-hearted!        92
  OVER.        My deeds, nephew,
Shall speak my love; what men report I weigh not.  Exeunt.
Note 1. Another room in Overreach’s house. [back]
Note 2. Admit. [back]


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