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Full Online Book HomePlaysEvery Man Out Of His Humour - Act 3 - Scene 2
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Every Man Out Of His Humour - Act 3 - Scene 2 Post by :Allnewe Category :Plays Author :Ben Jonson Date :May 2012 Read :1074

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Every Man Out Of His Humour - Act 3 - Scene 2

ACT III - SCENE II

SCENE II. -- THE COUNTRY.

(ENTER SORDIDO, WITH A HALTER ABOUT HIS NECK.)

SORD.
Nay, God's precious, if the weather and season be so respectless, that beggars shall live as well as their betters; and that my hunger and thirst for riches shall not make them hunger and thirst with poverty; that my sleep shall be broken, and their hearts not broken; that my coffers shall be full, and yet care; their's empty, and yet merry; -- 'tis time that a cross should bear flesh and blood, since flesh and blood cannot bear this cross.

MIT.
What, will he hang himself?

COR.
Faith, ay; it seems his prognostication has not kept touch with him, and that makes him despair.

MIT.
Beshrew me, he will be 'out of his humour' then indeed.

SORD.
Tut, these star-monger knaves, who would trust them? One says dark and rainy, when 'tis as clear as chrystal; another says, tempestuous blasts and storms, and 'twas as calm as a milk-bowl; here be sweet rascals for a man to credit his whole fortunes with! You sky-staring coxcombs you, you fat-brains, out upon you; you are good for nothing but to sweat night-caps, and make rug-gowns dear! you learned men, and have not a legion of devils 'a votre service! a votre service!' by heaven, I think I shall die a better scholar than they: but soft --

(ENTER A HIND, WITH A LETTER.)

How now, sirrah?

HIND.
Here's a letter come from your son, sir.

SORD.
From my son, sir! what would my son, sir? some good news, no doubt.

(READS.)

"Sweet and dear father, desiring you first to send me your blessing, which is more worth to me than gold or silver, I desire you likewise to be advertised, that this Shrove-tide, contrary to custom, we use always to have revels; which is indeed dancing, and makes an excellent shew in truth; especially if we gentlemen be well attired, which our seniors note, and think the better of our fathers, the better we are maintained, and that they shall know if they come up, and have anything to do in the law; therefore, good father, these are, for your own sake as well as mine, to re-desire you, that you let me not want that which is fit for the setting up of our name, in the honourable volume of gentility, that I may say to our calumniators, with Tully, 'Ego sum ortus domus meae, tu occasus tuae.' And thus, not doubting of your fatherly benevolence, I humbly ask your blessing, and pray God to bless you.

Yours, if his own," (Fungoso.)

How's this! "Yours, if his own!" Is he not my son, except he be his own son? belike this is some new kind of subscription the gallants use. Well! wherefore dost thou stay, knave? away; go.

(EXIT HIND.)

Here's a letter, indeed! revels? and benevolence? is this a weather to send benevolence? or is this a season to revel in? 'Slid, the devil and all takes part to vex me, I think! this letter would never have come now else, now, now, when the sun shines, and the air thus clear. Soul! If this hold, se shall shortly have an excellent crop of corn spring out of the high ways: the streets and houses of the town will be hid with the rankness of the fruits, that grow there in spite of good husbandry. Go to, I'll prevent the sight of it, come as quickly as it can, I will prevent the sight of it. I have this remedy, heaven.

(CLAMBERS UP, AND SUSPENDS THE HALTER TO A TREE.)

Stay; I'll try the pain thus a little. O, nothing, nothing. Well now! shall my son gain a benevolence by my death? or anybody be the better for my gold, or so forth? no; alive I kept it from them, and dead, my ghost shall walk about it, and preserve it. My son and daughter shall starve ere they touch it; I have hid it as deep as hell from the sight of heaven, and to it I go now.

(FLINGS HIMSELF OFF.)

(ENTER FIVE OR SIX RUSTICS, ONE AFTER ANOTHER.)

1 RUST.
Ah me, what pitiful sight is this! help, help, help!

2 RUST.
How now! what's the matter?

1 RUST.
O, here's a man has hang'd himself, help to get him again.

2 RUST.
Hang'd himself! 'Slid, carry him afore a justice, 'tis chance-medley, o' my word.

3 RUST.
How now, what's here to do?

4 RUST.
How comes this?

2 RUST.
One has executed himself, contrary to order of law, and by my consent he shall answer it.

(THEY CUT HIM DOWN.)

5 RUST.
Would he were in case to answer it!

1 RUST.
Stand by, he recovers, give him breath.

SORD.
Oh!

5 RUST.
Mass, 'twas well you went the footway, neighbour.

1 RUST.
Ay, an I had not cut the halter --

SORD.
How! cut the halter! ah me, I am undone, I am undone!

2 RUST.
Marry, if you had not been undone, you had been hang'd. I can tell you.

SORD.
You thread-bare, horse-bread-eating rascals, if you would needs have been meddling, could you not have untied it, but you must cut it; and in the midst too! ah me!

1 RUST.
Out on me, 'tis the caterpillar Sordido! how curst are the poor, that the viper was blest with this good fortune!

2 RUST.
Nay, how accurst art thou, that art cause to the curse of the poor?

3 RUST.
Ay, and to save so wretched a caitiff?

4 RUST.
Curst be thy fingers that loos'd him!

2 RUST.
Some desperate fury possess thee, that thou may'st hang thyself too!

5 RUST.
Never may'st thou be saved, that saved so damn'd a monster!


SORD.
What curses breathe these men! how have my deeds
Made my looks differ from another man's,
That they should thus detest and loath my life!
Out on my wretched humour! it is that
Makes me thus monstrous in true humane eyes.
Pardon me, gentle friends, I'll make fair 'mends
For my foul errors past, and twenty-fold
Restore to all men, what with wrong I robb'd them:
My barns and garners shall stand open still
To all the poor that come, and my best grain
Be made alms-bread, to feed half-famish'd mouths.
Though hitherto amongst you I have lived,
Like an unsavoury muck-hill to myself,
Yet now my gather'd heaps being spread abroad,
Shall turn to better and more fruitful uses.
Bless then this man, curse him no more for the saving
My life and soul together. O how deeply
The bitter curses of the poor do pierce!
I am by wonder changed; come in with me
And witness my repentance: now I prove,
No life is blest, that is not graced with love.
(EXIT.)


2 RUST.
O miracle! see when a man has grace!

3 RUST.
Had it not been pity so good a man should have been cast away?

2 RUST.
Well, I'll get our clerk put his conversion in the 'Acts and Monuments'.

4 RUST.
Do, for I warrant him he's a martyr.

2 RUST.
O God, how he wept, if you mark'd it! did you see how the tears trill'd?

5 RUST.
Yes, believe me, like master vicar's bowls upon the green, for all the world.

3 RUST.
O neighbour, God's blessing o' your heart, neighbour, 'twas a good grateful deed.

(EXEUNT.)

COR.
How now, Mitis! what's that you consider so seriously?

MIT.
Troth, that which doth essentially please me, the warping condition of this green and soggy multitude; but in good faith, signior, your author hath largely outstript my expectation in this scene, I will liberally confess it. For when I saw Sordido so desperately intended, I thought I had had a hand of him, then.

COR.
What! you supposed he should have hung himself indeed?

MIT.
I did, and had framed my objection to it ready, which may yet be very fitly urged, and with some necessity; for though his purposed violence lost the effect, and extended not to death, yet the intent and horror of the object was more than the nature of a comedy will in any sort admit.

COR.
Ay! what think you of Plautus, in his comedy called 'Cistellaria'? there, where he brings in Alcesimarchus with a drum sword ready to kill himself, and as he is e'en fixing his breast upon it, to be restrained from his resolved outrage, by Silenium and the bawd? Is not his authority of power to give our scene approbation?

MIT.
Sir, I have this only evasion left me, to say, I think it be so indeed; your memory is happier than mine: but I wonder, what engine he will use to bring the rest out of their humours!

COR.
That will appear anon, never pre-occupy your imagination withal. Let your mind keep company with the scene still, which now removes itself from the country to the court. Here comes Macilente, and signior Brisk freshly suited; lose not yourself, for now the epitasis, or busy part of our subject, is an act.

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