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I challenge all Cheapfide to shew such another : Moorfields, Pimlico-path, or the Exchange, in a summerevening, with a lace to boot, as this has. Dear Win, let master Win-wife kiss you, He comes a wooing to our mother, Win, and may be our father perhaps, Win. There's no harm in him, Win.
Win-w. None i' the earth, master Litele-wit. Litt. I envy no man my delicates, sir. Win-w. Alas, you ha' the garden where they grow ftill! A wife here with a strawberry-breath, cherrylips, apricot-cheeks, and a soft velvet head, like a Melicotton.
Litt. Good, i'faith! now dulness upon me, that I had not that before him, that I should not light on't as well as he! velvet head!
Win-w. But my taste, master Little-wit, tends to fruit of a latter kind: the fuber matron, your wife's mother.
Litt. I! we know you are a suitor, sir; Win, and 1, both wish you well: by this licence here would you had her, that your two names were as fast in it as here are a couple. Win would fain have a fine young father i' law, with a feather : that her mother might hood it, and chain it, with mistress Overdo. But you do not take the right course, master Win-wife.
Win-w. No? master Little-wit, why?
Lit. I say nothing, but I wink upon Win. You have a friend (one master Quarlous) comes here sometimes.
Win-w. Why? he makes no love to her, does he?
Lit. He is the more mad cap o' the two. You do not apprehend me.
Win. You have a hot coal i' your mouth now, you cannot hold.
Lit. Let me out with it, dear Win.
Lit. Do, and take all the thanks, and much good do thy pretty heart, Win.
Win. Sir, my mother has had her nativity-water cast lately by the cunning men in Cow-lane, and they ha' told her her fortune, and do ensure her, she shall never have happy hour, unless she marry within this sen’night; and when it is, it must be a mad-man, they say.
Lit. I, but it must be a gentleman mad-man.
Lit. Yes, and has been at Bedlam twice since every day, to inquire if any gentleman be there, or to come there mad!
Win-w. Why, this is a confederacy, a mere piece of practice upon her by these impostors.
Lit. I tell her so; or else, say I, that they mean fome young madcap-gentleman, (for the devil çan equivocate as well as a shop-keeper) and therefore would I advise you to be a little madder than master Quarlous hereafter.
Win-w. Where is she? stirring yer ?
Lit. Stirring! yes, and studying an old elder come from Banbury, a suitor that puts in here at meal-tide, to praise the painful brethren, or pray that the sweet fingers may be restor'd; says a grace as long as his breath lasts him! some time the spirit is so strong with him, it gets quite out of him, and then my mother, or Win, are fain to fetch it again with Malmsey, or Aqua Celestis.
Win. Yes, indeed, we have such a tedious life with him for his diet, and his clothes too, he breaks his butcons, and cracks seams at every saying he sobs out.
Lit. He cannot abide my vocation, he says.
Win. No, he told my mother, a proctor was a claw of the beast, and that she had little less than committed abomination in marrying me so as she has done.
Lit. Every line (he says) that a proctor writes, when it comes to be read in the bishop's court, is a long black hair, kemb'd out of the tail of Antichrist.
Win-w. When came this proselyte?
SCENE III. Quarlous, Little-wit, Win, Win-wife. Quar. O sir, ha' you ta'en soil here? It's well a man may reach you after three hours running yet! what an unmerciful companion art thou, to quit thy lodging at such ungentlemanly hours ? none but a scaccer'd covey of fidlers, or one of these rag-rakers in dunghills, or some marrow-bone man at most, would have been up when thou wert gone abroad, by all description. I pray thee what aileft thou, thou canst not Neep? haft thou thorns i’ thy eye-lids, or thistles i' thy bed?
Win-w. I cannot tell : it seems you had neither i' your feet, that took this pain to find me.
Quar. No, an' I had, all * the lime-hounds o' the city should have drawn after you by the scent rather. Mr. John Little-wit! God save you, sir. 'Twas a hot night with some of us, last night, John : shall we pluck a hair o'the same wolf to-day, proctor John ?
* All the LIME-HOUNDS o' the city should have drawn after you by the fient.) Lime-hounds are so called from their being led in a leash, or leam, before they are set upon the game, and sometimes they are called lymmers: this is mentioned in order to set right a passage in King Lear, which appears to be corrupted;
“ Mastiff, grey hound, mungril grim,
“ Hound or spaniel, brache, or hym. I can find no ipecies of dogs with that denomination, so that I apprehend the last word should be lym, an abbreviation of lymmer. VOL. III.
Lit. Do you remember, master Quarlous, what we discours'd on last night?
Quar. Not I, John: nothing that I either discourse or do, at those times I forfeit all to forgetfulness.
Lit. No, not concerning Win? look you, there The is, and drest, as I told you she should be : hark you, fir, had you forgot?
Quar. By this head, I'll beware how I keep you · company, John, when I am drunk, an' you have this dangerous memory! that's certain. Lit. Why, sir?
Quar. Why? we were all a little stain'd last night, sprinkled with a cup or two, and I agreed with proctor John here, to come and do somewhat with Win (I know not what 'twas) to-day; and he puts me in mind on't now; he says he was coming to fetch me: before truth, if you have that fearful quality, John, to remember when you are sober, John, what you promise drunk, John ; I shall take heed of you, John. For this once I am content to wink at you; where's your wife? come hither, Win.
(He kissetb ber. Win. Why, John! do you see this, John ? look you! help me, John.
Lit. O Win, fie, what do you mean, Win? be womanly, Win; make an out-cry to your mother, Win? maller Quarlous is an honest gentleman, and our worshipful good friend, Win: and he is master Win-wife's friend too: and master Win-wife comes a suitor to your mother, Win; as I told you before, Win, and may perhaps be our father, Win: they'll do you no harm, Win: they are both our worshipful good friends. Master Quarlous ! you must know master Quarlous, Win; you must not quarrel with master Quarlous, Win.
Quar. No, we'll kiss again, and fall in.
Lit. A fool-John, she calls me ; do you mark thats gentlemen ? pretty Little-wit of velvet! a fool-John.
Quar. She may call you an apple-John, if you use this. Win-w. Pray thee forbear, for my respect, somewhat.
Quar. Hoy-day! how respective you are become o' the sudden! 'I fear this family will turn you reformed too; pray you come about again. Because she is in possibility to be your daughter-in-law, and may ask you blessing hereafter, when she courts it to Totnam to eat cream. Well, I will forbear, fir; but i' faith, would thou wouldst leave thy exercise of widow-hunting once ! this drawing after an old reverend smock by the splay-foot: there cannot be an ancient tripe or trillibub i' the town, but thou art straight nosing it, and 'tis a fine occupation thou'lt confine thy self to, when thou hast got one; scrubbing a piece of buff, as if thou hadst the perpetuity of pannyer-ally to stink in; or perhaps worse, currying a carkass that thou haft bound thy self to alive. I'll be sworn, some of them (that thou art, or haft been a suicor to) are so old, as no chaste or married pleasure can ever become 'em ; the honest instrument of procreation has (forty years since) left to belong to 'em; thou must visit 'em as thou wouldst do a tomb, with a torch, or three handfuls of link, Aaming hot, and so thou may'st hap to make 'em feel thee, and after come to inherit according to thy inches. A sweet course for a man to waste the brand of life for, to be still raking himself a fortune in an old woman's embers; we shall ha' thee, after thou hast been but a month married to one of ’em, look like the quartan ague and the black jaundise met in a face, and walk as if thou hadft borrow'd legs of a spinner, and voice of a cricket. I would endure to hear fifteen sermons a week for her, and such coarfe and loud ones, as some of 'em must be ; I would e'en And after come to inherit according to thy INCHES.)
Nunc via procesus, vetulæ vefica beate,