Ben: Jonson Page

The Staple of News.

Back Forward


N E W S.
A   C O M E D Y.

Acted in the Year 1625. By His M A J E S T Y' S Servants.

The Author Ben. Johnson.

Aut prodesse volunt, aut delectare poetζ:
Aut simul & jucunda, & idonea dicere vitζ.
  Hor. in Art. Poet.

The P E R S O N S of the P L A Y.

PENI-BOY,   the Son, the Heir and Suitor.    PECUNIA,   Infanta of the Mines.
PENI-BOY,   the Father, the Canter.    MORTGAGE,   her Nurse.
PENI-BOY,   the Uncle, the Usurer.    STATUTE,   first Woman.
CYMBAL,   Master of the Staple, and Prime          BAND,   second Woman.
     Jeerer.    WAX.   Chambermaid.
FITTON,   Emissary Court, and Jeerer. BROKER,   Secretary, and Gentleman-Usher
ALMANACH,   Doctor in Physick, and Jeerer.         to her Grace.
SHUN-FIELD,   Sea-Captain, a Jerrer. LICK-FINGER,   a Master-Cook, and parcel-Poet.
MADRIGAL,   Poetaster, and Jeerer. FASHIONER,   the Taylor of the Times.
PICKLOCK,   Man o' Law, and Emissary West- LINENER,
     minster. HABERDASHER,
PYED-MANTLE,   Pursuivant at Arms, and Heraldet.    SHOE-MAKER,
REGISTER,   of the Staple, or Office. SPURRIFR,
NATHANEEL,   first Clerk of the Office. CUSTOMERS,   Male and Female.
THO. BARBER,   second Clerk of the Office. PORTER,   DOGS II.

The S C E N E,   L O N D O N.



I N D u C T I O N.

The  P R O L O G U E  enters.

After him, Gossip Mirth, Gossip Tattle, Gossip Expectation, and Gossip Censure,
Four Gentlewomen, Lady-like attired.

Or your own sake, not ours —
   Mirth. Come Gossip, be not asham'd. The
Play is the
Staple of News, and you are the Mistris and
Lady of Tattle; let's ha' your Opinion of it. Do you hear,
Gentleman? what are you? Gentleman-Usher to the Play?
Pray you help us to some Stools here.

   Prologue. VVhere? o' the Stage, Ladies?
   Mirth. Yes, o' the Stage; we are Persons of Quality, I
assure you, and VVomen of
Fashion; and come to see, and
to be seen. My Gossip
Tattle here, and Gossip Expectation,
and my Gossip
Censure, and I am Mirth, the Daughter of
Christmas, and Spirit of Shrovetide. They say, It's mer-
ry when Gossips meet; I hope your Play will be a merry

   Prologue. Or you will make it such, Ladies. Bring a
Form here. But what will the
Noblemen think, or the
VVits here, to see you seated on the Bench thus?
   Mirth. VVhy, what should they think? but that they had
Mothers, as we had; and those Mothers had Gossips (if their
Children were christned) as we are; and such as had a long-
ing to see Plays, and sit upon them, as we do, and arraign
both them and their
   Prologue. O! Is that your purpose? VVhy, Mrs. Mirth,
Madam Tattle, enjoy your Delights freely.
   Tattle. Look your News be new and fresh, Mr. Pro-
logue, and untainted; I shall find them else, if they be stale,
or fly-blown, quickly.

   Prologue. VVe ask no Favour from you; only we would
entreat of
Madam Expectation ——
   Expectation. VVhat, Mr. Prologue?
   Prologue. That your Ladiship would expect no more than
you understand.

   Expectation. Sir, I can expect enough!
   Prologue. I fear, to much, Lady, and teach others to do
the like.

   Expectation. I can do that too, if I have cause.
   Prologue. Cry you mercy, you never did wrong, but
with just cause. VVhat's this, Lady?
   Mirth. Curiosity, my Lady Censure.

[column break]

   Prologue. O, Curiosity! You come to see who wears the
new Sute to day; whose Clothes are best penn'd, whatever
the part be; which
Actor has the best Leg and Foot; what
King plays without Cuffs, and his Queen without Gloves;
who rides Post in Stockings, and dances in Boots.

   Censure. Yes, and which amorous Prince makes love in
drink, or does over-act prodigiously in beaten Sattin, and,
having got the trick on't, will be
monstrous still, in despite
   Book-holder. Mend you Lights, Gentlemen. Master
Prologue, begin.
[The Tire-men enter to mend the Lights.         

   Tattle. Ay me!
   Expectation. VVho's that?
   Prologue. Nay, start not, Ladies; these carry no Fire-
works to fright you, but a Torch i' their Hands, to give
Light to the Business. The truth is, there are a Set of
Gamesters within, in travel of a thing call'd a
Play, and
would fain be deliver'd of it: and they have entreated me
to be their
Man-Midwife, the Prologue; for they are like
to have a hard Labour on't.

   Tattle. Then the Poet has abus'd himself, like an Ass as
he is.

   Mirth. No, his Actors will abuse him enough, or I am
deceiv'd. Yonder he is within (I was i' the Tiring-house a
while to see the Actors drest) rolling himself up and down
like a Tun, i' the midst of 'em, and spurges, never did Vessel
of Wort or Wine work so! His Sweating put me in mind of
a good Shroving Dish (and I believe would be taken up for
a Service of State somewhere, an't were known) a stew'd
Poet! He doth sit like an unbrac'd Drum, with one of his
Heads beaten out; for that you must note,
a Poet hath two
Heads, as a Drum has; one for making, the other repeating;
and his repeating Head is all to pieces; they may gather it
up i' the Tiring-house; for he hath torn the Book in a Poetical
Fury, and put himself to silence in dead
Sack, which, were
there no other Vexation, were sufficient to make him the most
Emblem of Patience.
   Censure. The Prologue, peace.



The P R O L O G U E for the S T A G E.

Or your own sakes, not his, he bad me say,
 Would you were come to hear, not see a Play.
Though we, his Actors, must provide for those
Who are our Guests here, in the way of Shows,
The Maker hath not so; he'ld have you wise,
Much rather by your Ears, than by your Eyes;
And prays, you'll not prejudge his Play for ill,
Because you mark it not, and sit not still;
But have a Longing to salute, or talk
With such a Female, and from her to walk
With your Discourse, to what is done, and where,
How, and by whom, in all the Town, but here.
Alas! what is it to his Scene, to know
How many Coaches in Hide-park did show
Last Spring, what Fare to day at Medley's was,
If Dunstan or the Phœnix best Wine has?
They are things ---- But yet the Stage might stand as well,
If it did neither hear these things, nor tell.
Great noble Wits, be good unto your selves,
And make a difference 'twixt Poetick Elves,
And Poets: All that dabble in the Ink,
And defile Quills, are not those few, can think,
Conceive, express, and steer the Souls of Men,
As with a Rudder, round thus, with their Pen.
He must be one that can instruct your Youth,
And keep your Acme in the state of Truth,
Must enterprise this Work; mark but his Ways,
What Flight he makes, how new: And then he says,
If that not like you, that he sends to night,
'Tis you have left to judge, not he to write.

The P R O L O G U E for the C O U R T.

Work not smelling of the Lamp, to night,
   But fitted for your
Majesty's Disport,
   And writ to the
Meridian of Your Court,
We bring; and hope it may produce Delight:
The rather, being offered as a
Scholars, that can judge, and fair report
            The Sense they hear, above the vulgar sort
Of Nut-crackers, that only come for sight.
Wherein, although our
Title, Sir, be News;
            We yet adventure here to tell You none;
            But shew You Common Follies, and so known,
That though they are not Truths, th' innocent
            Hath made so like, as Phant'sie could them state,
Poetry, without Scandal, imitate.



N E W S.

Act I.    Scene I.

Peny-Boy Ju. Lether-leg.

His Shoemaker has pull'd on a new Pair of Boots; and
   he walks in his Gown, Wastcoat, and Trousers, expect-
   ing his Taylor.


Ramercy Letherleg: Get me the Spurrier,
 And thou hast fitted me.   Let. I'll do't presently.
 P. Ju. Look to me, Wit, and look to my VVit,
That is, look on me, and with all thine Eyes,
Male, Female, yea, Hermaphroditick Eyes,
And those bring all your helps and Perspicills,
To see me at best advantage, and augment
My Form as I come forth, for I do feel
I will be one, worth looking after, shortly.
Now, by and by, that's shortly. 't strikes! One, Two,
[He draws forth his Watch and sets it on the Table.

Three, Four, Five, Six. Enough, enough, dear VVatch,
Thy Pulse hath beat enough. Now sleep and rest;
VVould thou couldst make the Time to do so too:
I'll wind thethee up no more. The hour is come
So long expected! There, there, drop my VVardship,
[He throws off his Gown.

My Pupillage and Vassalage together.
And Liberty, come throw thy self about me,
In a rich Sute, Cloak, Hat, and Band, for now
I'll sue out no Mans Livery, but mine own,
I stand on my own Feet, so much a year,
Right, round, and sound, the Lord of mine own Ground,
And (to Rime to it) Threescore thousand Pound!
Not come? Not yet? Taylor, thou art a Vermine,
[He goes to the Door and looks.

VVorse than the same thou prosecut'st, and prick'st
In subtil Seam — (Go too, I say no more)
Thus to retard my Longings: on the day
I do write Man, to beat thee. One and twenty
Since the Clock struck, compleat! and thou wilt feel it,
Thou foolish Animall! I could pitty him,
(An' I were not heartily angry with him now)
For this one piece of Folly he bears about him,
To dare to tempt the Fury of an Heir
T' above Two thousand a year; yet hope his Custom!
VVell, Master Fashioner, there's some must break —
A Head, for this your breaking. Are you come, Sir?

[column break]

Act I.    Scene II.

Fashioner, Penyboy, Thomas Barber, Haberdasher.

Od give your Worship Joy.
   P. Ju. What? of your staying?
And leaving me to stalk here in my Trowses,Trowsers
Like a tame Her'n-sew for you?   Fas. I but waited
Below, till the Clock strooke.   P. Ju. Why, if you had come
Before a quarter, would it so have hurt you,
In Reputation, to have waited her?here
   Fas. No, but your Worship might have pleaded Nonage,
If you had got 'em on, ere I could make
Just Affidavit of the Time.   P. Ju. That Jest
Has gain'd thy Pardon, thou had'st liv'd condemn'd
To thine own Hell else, never to have wrought
Stitch more for me, or any Peniboy,
I could have hindred thee: but now thou art mine,
For One and twenty Years, or for three Lives,
Chuse which thou wilt, I'll make thee a Copy-holder,
And thy first Bill unquestion'd. Help me on.
[He says his Sute.

   Fas. Presently, Sir: I am bound unto your Worship.
   P. Ju. Thou shalt be, when I have seal'd thee a Lease
      of my Custom.
   Fas. Your Worships Barber is without.   P. Ju. Who? Thom?
Come in Thom: set thy things upon the Board,
And spread thy Clothes, lay all forth in procinctu,
And tell's what news?   Tho. O Sir, a Staple of News!
Or the New Staple, which you please.   P. Ju. What's that?
   Fas. An Office, Sir, a brave young Office set up.
I had forgot to tell your Worship.   P. Ju. For what?
   Tho. To enter all the News, Sir, o' the time.
   Fas. And vent it as occasion serves! A Place
Of huge commerce it will be!   P. Ju. Pray thee peace,
I cannot abide a talking Taylor: Let Thom
(He's a Barber) by his Place relate it.
What is't, an Office, Thom?   Tho. Newly erected
Here in the House, almost on the same Floor,
Where all the News of all sorts shall be brought,
And there be Examin'd, and then Registred,
And so to be issu'd under the Seal of the Office,
As Staple News; no other News be currant.
   P. Ju. 'Fore me, thou speak'st of, a brave business, Thom.
   Fas. Nay, if you knew the Brain that hatch'd it, Sir —
   P. Ju. I know thee well enough: give him a Loaf, Thom —
Quiet his Mouth, that Oven will be venting else.
Proceed — Tho. He tells you true, Sir, Master Cymbal
Is Master of the Office, he projected it,
He lies here i' the House: and the great Rooms

           The Staple of News. 433

He has taken for the Office, and set up
His Desks and Classes, Tables and his Shelves,
   Fas. He's my Customer, and a Wit, Sir, too.
But, h' has brave Wits under him ——
   Tho. Yes, four Emissaries,comma should be replaced with a period
   P. jun. Emissaries? stay, there's a fine new word, Thom!
'Pray God it signifie any thing, what are Emissaries?
   Tho. Men imploy'd outward, that are sent abroad
To fetch in the Commodity.   Fas. From all Regions
Where the best News are made.   Tho. Or vented forth.
   Fas. By way of exchange, or trade.
   P. jun. Nay, thou wilt speak —
[He gives the Taylor leave to talk.

   Fas. My share, Sir, there's enough for both.
   P. jun. Go on then,
Speak all thou canst: methinks the Ordinaries,
Should help them much.   Fas. Sir, they have Ordinaries,
And Extraordinaries, as many Changes
And Variations, as there are Points i' the Compass.
   Tho. But the 4 Cardinal Quarters — P. Ju. I those Thom —
   Tho. The Court, Sir, Pauls, Exchange, and Westminster-hall.
   P. jun. Who is the Chief? which hath Precedency?
   Tho. The Governour o' the Staple, Master Cymball.
He is the Chief; and after him the Emissaries:
First Emissary Court, one Master Fitton,
He's a Jeerer too.   P. Ju. What's that?   Fas. A Wit.
   Tho. Or half a Wit. some of them are Half-wits,
Two to a Wit, there are a set of 'em.
   Then Master Ambler, Emissary Pauls,
A fine pac'd Gentleman, as you shall see, walk
The middle Isle: And then my Froy Hans Buz,
A Dutch-man; he's Emissary Exchange.
   Fas. I had thought Mr. Burst the Merchant had had it.   Tho. No,
He has a Rupture, he has sprung a Leak,
Emissary Westminster's undispos'd of yet;
Then the Examiner, Register, and two Clerks,
They mannage all at home, and sort, and file,
And seal the News, and issue them.
   P. jun. Thom. dear Thom.
What may my means do for thee, ask and have it,
I'd fain be doing some good. It is my Birth-day.
And I'd do it betimes, I feel a grudging
Of Bounty, and I would not long lye fallow.
I pray thee think and speak, or wish for somethi ng.something
   Tho. I would I had but one o' the Clerks Places
I' this News-Office.   P. jun. Thou shalt have it Thom,
If Silver or Gold will fetch it; what's the Rate?
At what is't set i' the Mercat?   Tho. Fifty Pound, Sir.
   P. jun. An't were a hundred, Thom, thou shalt not want it.
[The Taylor leaps and embraceth him.

   Fas. O Noble Master!   P. Ju. How now Ζsops Ass!
Because I play with Thom, must I needs run
Into your rude Embraces? stand you still, Sir;
Clowns fawnings are a Horses salutations.
How do'st thou like my suit, Thom?   Tho. Mr. Fashioner
Has hit your Measures, Sir, h' has moulded you,
And made you, as they say.   Fas. No, no, not I,
I am an Ass, old Ζsops Ass.   P. Ju. Nay, Fashioner,
I can do thee a good turn too, be not musty,
Though thou hast moulded me, as little Thom says,
(I think thou hast put me in mouldy Pockets.)
[He draws out his Pockets,
   Fas. As good,
Right Spanish Perfume, the Lady Estifania's,
They cost Twelve pound a Pair.
   P. jun. Thy Bill will say so.
I pray thee tell me, Fashioner, what Authors
Thou read'st to help thy Invention? Italian Prints?
Or Arras Hangings? They are Taylors Libraries.
   Fas. I scorn such helps.
   P. jun. O, though thou art a Silk-worm!
And deal'st in Sattins and Velvets, and rich Plushes,
Thou canst not spin all Forms out of thy self;
They are quite other things: I think this suit
Has made me wittier then I was.   Fas. Believe it, Sir,

[column break]

That Clothes do much upon the Wit, as Weather
Do's on the Brain; and thence comes your Proverb;
The Taylor makes the Man: I speak by experience
Of my own Customers. I have had Gallants,
Both Court and Countrey, would ha' fool'd you up
In a new Suit, with the best Wits in being,
And kept their speed as long as their Clothes lasted
Handsome and neat; but then as they grew out
At the Elbows again, or had a stain or spot,
They have sunk most wretchedly.
   P. Ju. What thou report'st,
Is but the common Calamity, and seen daily;
And therefore you 'ave another answering Proverb:
A broken Sleeve keeps the Arm back.   Fas. 'Tis true, Sir.
And thence we say, that such a one plays at Peep-arm.
   P. jun. Do you so? it is wittily said. I wonder, Gentlemen,
And Men of Means will not maintain themselves
Fresher in wit, I mean in Clothes, to the highest.
For he that's out o' Clothes, is out o' Fashion,
And out of Fashion, is out of Countenance,
And out o' Countenance is out o' Wit.
Is not Rogue Haberdasher come?   Hab. Yes, here, Sir.
[They are all busie about him.

I ha' been without this half hour.   P.j un.P. jun. Give me my Hat.
Put on my Girdle Rascal, sits my Ruff well?
   Lin. In print.  P. jun. Slave.  Lin. See your self.  P. jun. Is this same Hat
O' the Block Passant? Do not notsecond 'not' should be omitted answer me,
I cannot stay for an answer. I do feel
The Powers of One and twenty, like a Tide
Flow in upon me, and perceive an Heir,
Can Conjure up all Spirits in all Circles,
Rogue, Rascal, Slave, give Tradesmen their true names,
And they appear to 'em presently.   Lin. For Profit.
   P. jun. Come, cast my Cloak about me, I'll go see,
This Office Thom, and be trimm'd afterwards.
I'll put thee in possession, my prime work!
Gods so: my Spurrier! put 'em on Boy, quickly,
[His Spurrier comes in.

I' had like to ha' lost my Spurs with too much speed.

Act I.    Scene III.

Peni-boy, Canter, to them singing.

Ood morning to my Joy, My jolly Peni-boy!
  The Lord, and the Prince of Plenty!
I come to see what Riches, Thou bearest in thy Breeches,
         The first of thy One and Twenty:
What, do thy Pockets gingle? Or shall we need to mingle
         Our strength both of Foot and Horses!
These Fellows look so eager, As if they would beleaguer
         And Heir in the midst of his Forces!
I hope they be no
Serjeants! That hang upon thy Margents.
         This Rogue has the Joul of a
[The young Peni-boy answers in tune.

P. Ju. O Founder, no such matter, My Spurrier, and my Hatter,
         My Linnen-man, and my Taylor.
Thou should'st have been brought in too, Shoomaker,
If the time had been longer, and Thom Barber.
How do'st thou like my Company, old Canter?
Do I not muster a brave Troop? all Bill-men?
Present your Arms before my Founder here,
This is my Founder, this same learned Canter!
He brought me the first news of my Fathers death,
I thank him, and ever since, I call him Founder,
[He takes the Bills, and puts them up in his Pockets.

Worship him, Boys, I'll read only the Sums,
And pass 'em streight.   Sho. Now Ale.
   Rest. And strong Ale bless him.
   P. jun. Gods so, some Ale, and Sugar for my Founder!
Good Bills, sufficient Bills, these Bills may pass.
   P. Ca. I do not like those Paper-squibs, good Master.
They may undo your store, I mean, of Credit,
And fire your Arsenall, ifin case you do not
K k k                                         In                     

434 The Staple of News.               

In time make good those Outer-works, your Pockets,
And take a Garrison in of some two hundred,
To beat these Pioneers off, that carry a Mine
Would blow you up, at last. Secure your Casamates,
Here Master Picklock, Sir, your Man o' Law,
And learn'd Atturny, has sent you a Bag of Munition.
   P. jun. What is't?   P. Ca. Three hundred Pieces.
   P. jun. I'll dispatch 'emperiod omitted
   P. Ca. Do, I would have your strengths lin'd, and perfum'd
With Gold as well as Amber.   P. jun. God a mercy,
Come, Ad solvendum, Boys! there, there, and there, &c.
[He pays all.

I look on nothing but Totalis.   P. Ca. See!
The difference 'twixt the Covetous and the Prodigal!
"The Covetous Man never has Money! and
"The Prodigal will have none shortly!   P. jun. Ha,
What says my Founder? I thank you, I thank you Sirs.
   All. God bless your Worship, and your Worships Chanter.
   P. Ca. I say 'tis nobly done, to cherish Shopkeepers,
And pay their Bills, without examining thus.
   P. jun. Alas! they have had a pittiful hard time on't,
A long vacation, from their cozening.
Poor Rascalls, I do dosecond 'do' should be omitted it out of Charity.
I would advance their Trade again, and have them
Haste to be Rich, swear and forswear wealthily,
What do you stay for, Sirrah?   Spu. To my Box Sir.
   P. jun. Your Box, why, there's an Angel, if my Spurs
[He gives the Spurrier, to his Box.

Be not right Rippon.   Spu. Give me never a Penny
If I strike not thorow your Bounty with the Rowels.
   P. jun. Do'st thou want any Money Founder?
   P. Ca. Who, Sir, I,
Did I not tell you I was bred i' the Mines,
Under Sir Bevis Bullion.   P. jun. That is true,
I quite forgot, you Mine-men want no Money,
Your Streets are pav'd with't: there, the Molten Silver
Runs out like Cream on Cakes of Gold.   P. Ca. And Rubies
Do grow like Strawberries.
   P. jun. 'Twere brave being there!
Come Thom, we'll go to the Office now.   P. Ca. What Office?
   P. jun. News Office, the New Staple; thou shalt go too,
'Tis here i' the House, on the same Floor, Thom. says.
Come Founder, let us trade in Ale and Nutmegs.

Act I.    Scene IV.

Register, Clerk, Woman.

Hat, are those Desks fit now? set forth the Table
 The Carpet and the Chair: where are the News
That were examin'd last? ha' you fil'd them up?
   Cle. Not yet, I had no time.
   Reg. Are those news Registred,
That Emissary Buz sent in last night?
Of Spinola and his Eggs?   Cle. Yes Sir, and fil'd.
   Reg. What are you now upon?
   Cle. That our new Emissary
gave us, of the Golden Hair.'Golden Heir' meaning Peni-boy
   Reg. Dispatch, that's News indeed, and of importance.
What would you have good Woman?   Wo. I would have Sir,
[A Country Woman waits there.

A Groatsworth of any News, I care not what,
To carry down this Saturday, to our Vicar.
   Reg. O! You are a Butterwoman, ask Nathaniel
The Clerk there.   Cle. Sir, I tell her, she must stay
Till Emissary Exchange, or Pauls send in,
And then I'll fit her.   Reg. Do good Woman, have patience,
It is not now, as when the Captain liv'd.
   Cle. You'll blast the Reputation of the Office,
Now i' the Bud, if you dispatch these Groats,
So soon: let them attend in name of Policy.

[column break]

Act I.    Scene V.

Peni-boy, Cymbal, Fitton, Tho. Barber, Canter.

N troth they are dainty Rooms; what place is this?
   Cym. This is the outer Room, where my Clerks sit,
And keep their sides, the Register i' the midst,
The Examiner, he sits private there, within,
And here I have my several Rowls and Fyles
Of News by the Alphabet, and all put up
Under their Heads.   P. jun. But those too subdivided?
   Cym. Into Authenticall, and Apocryphall.
   Fit. Or News of doubtful credit, as Barbers News.
   Cym. And Taylors News, Porters, and Watermens news,comma should be replaced with a period
   Fit. Whereto, beside the Coranti, and Gazetti.
   Cym. I have the News of the season.
   Fit. As Vacation-news,
and Christmas-news.
   Cym. And News o' the Faction.
   Fit. As the Reformed-news. Protestant-news,comma should be replaced with dash
   Cym. And Pontificial-news, of all which several,
The Day-books, Characters, Precedents are kept.
Together with the Names of special Friends ——
   Fit. And Men of Correspondence i' the Countrey —
   Cym. Yes, of all Ranks, and all Religions.——
   Fit. Factors and Agents —— Cym,comma should be replaced with a period Liegers, that lye out
Through all the Shires o' the Kingdom.   P. jun. This is fine!
And bears a brave relation! but what says
Mercurius Britannicus to this?
   Cym. O Sir, he gains by't half in half.   Fit. Nay more
I'll stand to't. For, where he was wont to get
In, hungry Captains, obscure Statesman.Statesmen   Cym. Fellows
To drink with him in a dark Room in a Tavern,
And eat a Sawsage.   Fit. We ha' seen't,comma should be replaced with a period   Cym. As fain,
To keep so many Politick Pens.
Going to feed the Press.   Fit. And dish out News,
Were't true, or false.   Cym. Now all that charge is sav'd
The publick Chronicler.   Fit. How do you call him there?
   Cym. And gentle Reader.   Fit. He that has the Maidenhead
Of all the Books.   Cym. Yes, dedicated to him,comma should be replaced with a period
   Fit. Or rather prostituted.   P. jun. You are right, Sir.
   Cym. No more shall be abus'd, nor Countrey-Parsons
O' the Inquisition, nor busie Justices,
Trouble the peace, and both torment themselves,
And their poor ign'rant Neighbours with inquiries
After the many and most innocent Monsters,
That never came i' th' Counties thethey were charg'd with.
   P. jun. Why, methinks, Sir, if the honest common People
Will be abus'd, why should not they ha' their pleasure,
In the believing Lyes, are made for them;
As you i' th' Office, making them your selves?
   Fit. O Sir! it is the printing we oppose.
   Cym. VVe not forbid that any News be made,
But that't be printed; for when News is printed,
It leaves, Sir, to be News, while 'tis but written ——
   Fit. Though it be ne're so false, it runs News still.
   P. jun. See divers Mens Opinions! unto some,
The very printing of them makes them News;
That ha' not the Heart to believe any thing,
But what they see in print.   Fit. I, that's an Error
Has abus'd many; but we shall reform it,
As many things beside (we have a hope)
Are crept among the popular abuses.
   Cym. Nor shall the Stationer cheat upon the Time,
By buttering over again ——
   Fit. Once in Seven Years,
As the Age doats —
   Cym. And grows forgetful o' them.
His antiquated Pamphlets, with new Dates.
But all shall come from the Mint.
   Fit. Fresh and new stamp'd,comma should be replaced with a period
   Cymb. VVith the Office-Seal, Staple-Commodity.
   Fit. And if a Man will assure his News, he may:

           The Staple of News. 435

Two pence a Sheet he shall be warranted,
And have a Policy for't.   P. jun. Sir, I admire
The Method o' your Place; all things within't
Are so digested, fitted, and compos'd,
As it shews Wit had married Order.   Fit. Sir.
   Cym. The best we could to invite the Times.   Fit. It has
Cost Sweat and Freezing.   Cym. And some broken Sleeps,
Before it came to this.   P. jun. I easily think it.
   Fit. But now it has the shape — Cym. And is come forth.
   P. jun. A most polite neat thing, with all the Limbs,
As Sense can taste!   Cym. It is, Sir, though I say it,
As well-begotten a Business, and as fairly
Helpt to the VVorld.   P. jun. You must be a Midwife, Sir,
Or else the Son of a Midwife, (pray you pardon me)
Have helpt it forth so happily! VVhat News ha' you?
News o' this morning? I would fain hear some
Fresh from the Forge, (as new as Day, as they say.)
   Cym. And such we have, Sir.
   Reg. Shew him the last Roll,
Of Emissary Westminster's, the Heir.
   P. jun. Come nearer, Thom.
   Cla.alternate form of 'Cle.' as are the other references to 'Cla.' in this scene There is a brave young Heir
Is come of age this morning, Mr. Peni-boy.
[Peny rejoiceth that he is in.
   P. jun. That's I!
   Cla. His Father died on this day seven-night.
   P. jun. True!
   Cla. At six o' the Clock i' the morning, just a VVeek
Ere he was One and twenty.
[Tells Thom. of it.
   P. jun. I am here, Thom!
Proceed, I pray thee.   Cla. An old Canting Beggar
Brought him first News, whom he has entertain'd
To follow him since.
[Calls in the
   P. jun. VVhy, you shall see him! Founder,
Come in; no Follower, but Companion:
I pray thee put him in, Friend; there's an Angel —
[He gives the Clerk.

Thou dost not know, he's a wise old Fellow,
Though he seem patch'd thus, and made up o' Pieces.
Founder, we are in here, in, i' the News-Office!
In this days Roll, already! I do muse
How you came by us, Sirs!   Cym. One Master Pick-lock,
A Lawyer, that hath purchas'd here a Place
This morning, of an Emissary under me.
   Fit. Emissary Westminster.   Cym. Gave it into th' Officedash omitted
   Fit. For his Essay, his Piece.   P. jun. My Man o' Law
He's my Attorney, and Sollicitor too!
A fine Pragmatick! what's his Place worth?
   Cym. A Nemo-scit, Sir.   Fit. 'Tis as News come in.
   Cym. And as they are issued. I have the just moiety
For my part?question mark should be replaced with a semi-colon then the other moiety
Is parted into seven: The four Emissaries,
Whereof my Cousin Fitton here's for Court,
for Pauls, and Buz for the Exchange,
for Westminster, with the Examiner,
And Register, they have full Parts: and then one Part
Is under-parted to a couple of Clerks;
And there's the just Division of the Profits.
   P. jun. Ha' you those Clerks, Sir?
   Cym. There is one Desk empty,
But it has many Suitors.   P. jun. Sir, may I
Present one more, and carry it, if his Parts
Or Gifts, (which you will call 'em.)
   Cym. Be sufficient, Sir.
   P. jun. What are your present Clerk's Habilities?
How is he qualified?   Cym. A decay'd Stationer
He was, but knows News well, can sort and rank 'em.
   Fit. And for a need can make 'em.
   Cym. True Pauls bred,
I' the Church yard.   P. jun. And this at the West-door,
O' th' other side; he's my Barber, Thom,
A pretty Scholar, and a Master of Arts,
Was made, or went out Master of Arts in a throng,
At the University; as before, one Christmas,
He got into a Mask at Court, by his Wit,

[column break]

And the good means of his Cythern, holding up thus
For one o' the Musick: He's a nimble Fellow,
And alike skill'd in every Liberal Science,
As having certain Snaps of all; a neat
Quick Vein in forging News too: I do love him,
And promis'd him a good turn, and I would do it.
What's your Price? the Value?   Cym. Fifty pounds, Sir.
   P. jun. Get in, Thom, take possession, I install thee.
Here, tell your Money: Give thee joy, good Thom;
[He buys Thom a Clerks Place.

And let me hear from thee ever minute of News,
While the New Staple stands, or the Office lasts,
Which I do wish may ne'er be less, for thy sake.
   Cla. The Emissaries, Sir, would speak with you,
And Master Fitton; they have brought in News,
Three Bale together.   Cym. Sir, you are welcome here.
[They take leave of Peni-boy and Canter.

   Fit. So is your Creature.   Cym. Business calls us off, Sir,
That may concern the Office.   P. jun. Keep me fair, Sir,
Still i' your Staple; I am here your Friend,
On the same Floor.   Fit. We shall be your Servants.
   P. jun. How dost thou like it, Founder?   P. Ca. All is well,
But that your Man o' Law, me thinks, appears not
In his due time. O! Here comes Masters Worship.

Act I.    Scene VI.

Picklock, Peni-boy jun.  P. Canter.

Ow do's the Heir, bright Master Peni-boy?
 Is he awake yet in his One and twenty?
Why, this is better far, than to wear Cypress,
Dull smutting Gloves, or melancholy Blacks,
And have a pair of Twelvepenny-broad Ribbands
Laid out like Labels.   P. jun. I should ha' made shift
To have laught as heartily in my Mourners Hood,
As in this Suit, if it had pleas'd my Father
To have been buried with the Trumpeters.
   Pic. The Heralds of Arms, you mean.   P. jun. I mean,
All noise that is superfluous!   Pic. All that idle Pomp,
And Vanity of a Tomb-stone, your wise Father
Did by his Will prevent. Your Worship had —
   P. jun. A loving and obedient Father of him,
I know it; a right kind-natur'd Man,
To die so opportunely.   Pic. And to settle
All things so well, compounded for your Wardship
The Week afore, and left your State entire,
Without any charge upon't.   P. jun. I must needs say,
I lost an Officer of him, a good Bailiff,
And I shall want him: but all peace be with him,
I will not wish him alive again, not I,
For all my Fortune. Give your Worship joy
O' your new Place, your Emissaryship
I' the News Office.   Pic. Know you why I bought it, Sir?
   P. jun. Not I.   Pic. To work for you, and carry a Mine
Against the Master of it, Master Cymbal,
Who hath a Plot upon a Gentlewoman
Was once design'd for you, Sir.
   P. jun. Me?   Pic. Your Father,
Old Master Peni-boy, of happy Memory,
And Wisdom too, as any i' the County,
Careful to find out a fit Match for you,
In his own Life-time, (but he was prevented)
Left it in Writing in a Schedule here,
To be annexed to his Will, That you,
His only Son, upon his Charge and Blessing,
Should take due notice of a Gentlewoman
Sojourning with your Uncle, Richer Peni-boy.
   P. jun. A Cornish Gentlewoman, I do know her,
Mistris Pecunia Do-all.   Pic. A great Lady,
Indeed she is, and not of Mortal Race,
Infanta of the Mines; her Graces Grandfather
Was Duke, and Cousin to the King of Ophyr,
The Subterranean. Let that pass. Her name is,
K k k 2                                 Or          

436 The Staple of News.               

Or rather, her three Names are (for such she is)
Aurelia Clara Pecunia, a great Princess,
Of mighty Power, though she live in private,
With a contracted Family! Her Secretary —
   P. Ca. Who is her Gentleman Usher too.   Pic. One Broker,
And then two Gentlewomen, Mistris Statute,
And Mistris Band, with Wax the Chambermaid,
And Mother Mortgage the old Nurse, two Grooms,
Pawn and his Fellow: You have not many to bribe, Sir.
The work is feizible, and th' Approaches easie,
By your own Kindred. Now, Sir, Cymbal thinks,
The Master here, and Governor o' the Staple,
By his fine Arts, and Pomp of his great Place,
To draw her! He concludes, she is a Woman!
And that so soon as sh' hears of the New Office,
She'll come to visit it, as they all have Longings
After new Sights and Motions! But your Bounty,
Person, and Bravery, must atchieve her.   P. Ca. She is
The Talk o' the Time! th' adventure o' the Age!
   Pic. You cannot put your self upon an Action
Of more importance.
   P. Ca. All the World are Suitors to her.
   Pic. All sorts of Men, and all Professions!
   P. C. You shall have Stall-fed Doctors, cramm'd Divines,
Make Love to her, and with those studied
And perfum'd Flatteries, as no Room can stink
More elegant, than where they are.   Pic. Well chanted,
Old Canter, thou sing'st true.   P. Ca. And (by your leave)
Good Masters Worship, some of your Velvet Coat
Make corpulent Curt'sies to her, till they crack for't.
   Pic. There's Doctor Almanac woos her, one of the Jeerers,
A fine Physician.   P. Ca. Your Sea-Captain, Shunfield,
Gives out, he'll go upon the Cannon for her.
   Pic. Though his loud Mouthing get him little Credit.
   P. Ca. Young Master Pied-mantle, the fine Herald,
Professes to derive her through all Ages,
From all the Kings and Queens that ever were.
   Pic. And Master Madrigal, the crowned Poet
Of these our Times, doth offer at her Praises
As fair as any, when it shall please Apollo
That Wit and Rime may meet both in one Subject.
   P. Ca. And you to bear her from all these, it will be —
   Pic. A work of Fame.
   P. Ca. Of Honour.   Pic. Celebration.
   P. Ca. Worthy your Name.
   Pic. The Peni-boys to live in't.
   P. Ca. It is an Action you were built for, Sir.
   Pic. And none but you can do it.
   P. Ju. I'll undertake it.
   P. Ca. And carry it.   P. Ju. Fear me not; for since I came
Of mature age, I have had a certain itch
In my right eye, this corner here, do you see?
To do some work, and worthy of a Chronicle.

The First Intermean after the First Act.

Irth. How now, Gossip! how does the Play please you?
   Censure. Very scurvily, me thinks, and sufficiently

   Expectation. As a Body would wish: Here's nothing but
a young Prodigal, come of age, who makes much of the
ber, buys him a Place in a New Office, i' the Air, I know
not where, and his Man o' Law to follow him, with the
Beggar to Boot, and they two help him to a Wife.
   Mirth. I, she is a proper Piece! that such Creatures can
broke for.

   Tattle. I cannot abide that nasty Fellow, the Beggar; if
he had been a
Court-Beggar, in good Clothes, a Beggar in
Velvet, as they say, I could have endur'd him.

   Mirth. Or a Begging Scholar in Black, or one of these
Poets, Gossip, that would hang upon a young Heir
like a Horseleech.

   Expectation. Or a thred-bare Doctor of Physick, a poor

[column break]

   Censure. Or a Sea-Captain half starv'd.
   Mirth. I, these were tolerable Beggars, Beggars of fashi-
on! You shall see some such anon.

   Tattle. I would fain see the Fool, Gossip; the Fool is
the finest Man i' the Company, they say, and has all the Wit:
He is the very
Justice o' Peace o' the Play, and can commit
whom he will, and what he will, Errour, Absurdity, as the
toy takes him, and no Man say, Black is his Eye, but laugh
at him.

   Mirth. But they ha' no Fool i' this Play, I am afraid,

   Tattle. It's a wise Play then.
   Expectation. They are all Fools, the rather, in that.
   Censure. Like enough.
   Tattle. My Husband (Timothy Tattle, God rest his
poor Soul) was wont to say, There was no Play without a
Fool and a Devil in't; he was for the Devil still, God
bless him. The
Devil for his Money, would he say, I would
fain see the
Devil. And why would you so fain see the
Devil? would I say. Because he has Horns, Wife, and may
be a Cuckold, as well as a
Devil, he would answer. You are
e'en such another, Husband, quoth I. Was the
Devil ever
married? Where do you read, the
Devil was ever so honou-
rable to commit
Matrimony? The Play will tell us that,
says he, we'll go see't to morrow,
The Devil is an Ass. He
is an errant learn'd Man that made it, and can write, they
say; and I am foully deceiv'd, but he can read too.

   Mirth. I remember it, Gossip; I went with you, by the
same token,
Mrs. Trouble Truth dissuaded us, and told us,
he was a profane
Poet, and all his Plays had Devils in
them: That he kept School upo' the
Stage, could conjure there,
above the
School of Westminster, and Doctor Lamb too:
Not a Play he made, but had a
Devil in it: And that he
would learn us all to make our Husbands Cuckolds at Plays:
By another token, that a young married Wife i' the Company
said, she could find in her heart to steal thither and see a
little o' the Vanity through her Mask, and come practise at

   Tattle. O, it was Mistris ———
   Mirth. Nay, Gossip, I name no body. It may be 'twas my

   Expectation. But was the Devil a proper Man, Gossip?
   Mirth. As fine a Gentleman, of his Inches, as ever I saw
trusted to the
Stage, or any where else; and lov'd the Com-
monwealth as well as e're a
Patriot of 'em all: He would
carry away the
Vice on his back, quick to Hell, in every
Play where he came, and reform Abuses.

   Expectation. There was the Devil of Edmonton, no
such Man, I warrant you.

   Censure. The Conjurer cosen'd him with a Candles end;
he was an Ass.

   Mirth. But there was one Smug, a Smith, would have
made a Horse laugh, and broke his Halter, as they say.

   Tattle. O, but the poor Man had got a shrewd mischance
one day.

   Expectation. How, Gossip?
   Tattle. He had drest a Roguy Jade i' the morning, that
had the
Staggers, and had got such a spice of 'em himself
by noon, as they would not away all the Play-time, do what
he could for his heart.

   Mirth. 'Twas his Part, Gossip; he was to be drunk by his

   Tattle. Say you so? I understood not so much.
   Expectation. Would we had such another Part, and
such a Man in this Play. I fear 'twill be an excellent dull

   Censure. Expect, intend it.


           The Staple of News. 437

Act II.    Scene I.

Peni-Boy, Sen. Pecunia, Mortgage, Statute, Band,

Our Grace is sad, methinks, and melancholy!
 You do not look upon me with that Face,
 As you were wont, my Goddess, bright Pecunia:
Altho your Grace be faln, of Two i' the Hundred,
In Vulgar Estimation; yet am I
Your Graces Servant still: and teach this body
To bend, and these my aged Knees to buckle,
In Adoration, and just Worship of you.
Indeed, I do confess, I have no shape
To make a Minion of, but I'm your Martyr,
Your Graces Martyr. I can hear the Rogues,
As I do walk the Streets, whisper and point,
There goes Old Peni-boy, the Slave of Money,
Rich Peni-boy, Lady Pecunia's Drudge,
A sordid Rascal, one that never made
Good Meal in his Sleep, but sells the Acates are sent him,
Fish, Fowl and Venison, and preserves himself,
Like an Old hoary Rat, with mouldy Pye-Crust.
This I do hear, rejoicing, I can suffer
This, and much more for your good Graces sake.
   Pec. Why do you so my Guardian? I not bid you,
Cannot my Grace be gotten, and held too?
Without your self-tormentings, and your watches,
Your macerating of your body thus
With Cares and Scantings of your Diet and rest?
   P. Se. O, no, your Services, my Princely Lady,
Cannot with too much zeal of Rites be done,
They are so sacred.   Pec. But my Reputation
May suffer, and the worship of my Family,
When by so servile means they both are sought.
   P. Se. You are a Noble, Young, Free, Gracious Lady,
And would be every bodies, in your Bounty,
But you must not be so. They are a few
That know your Merit, Lady, and can value't.
Your self scarce understands your proper Powers,
They are All-mighty, and that we your Servants,
That have the Honour here to stand so near you,
Know, and can use too. All this Nether-world
Is yours, you command it, and do sway it,
The Honour of it, and the Honesty,
The Reputation, I, and the Religion,
(I was about to say, and had not err'd)
Is Queen Pecunia's. For that Stile is yours,
If Mortals knew your Grace, or their own good.
   Mor. Please your Grace to retire.
   Ban. I fear your Grace
Hath tane too much of the sharp Air.   Pec. O, no!
I could endure to take a great deal more
(And with my Constitution, were it left)
Unto my choice, what think you of it, Statute?
   Sta. A little now and then does well, and keeps
Your Grace in your Complexion.
   Ban. And true Temper.
   Mor. But too much, Madam, may encrease cold
Nourish Catarrhs, Green Sicknesses and Agues,
And put you in Consumption.   P. se. Best to take
Advice of your grave Women, Noble Madam,
They know the State o' your Body, and ha' studied
Your Graces Health.
   Ban. And honour. Here'll be Visitants,
Or Suitors by and by; and 'tis not fit
They find you here.
   Sta. 'Twill make your Grace too cheap
To give them Audience presently.
   Mor. Leave your Secretary,
To answer them.   Pec. Wait you here, Broker.

[column break]

   Bro. I shall, Madam,
And do your Graces Trusts with diligence.

Act II.    Scene II.

Pyed-Mantle, Broker, Peny-Boy sen.

Hat luck's this? I am come an Inch too late.
 Do you hear, Sir? Is your Worship o' the Family
Unto the Lady Pecunia?   Bro. I serve her Grace, Sir,
Aurelia Clara Pecunia, the Infanta.
   Pie. Has she all those Titles, and her Grace besides?
I must correct that Ignorance and Over-sight,
Before I do present. Sir, I have drawn
A Pedigree for her Grace, tho yet a Novice
In that so Noble Study.   Bro. A Herald at Arms?
   Pie. No, Sir, a Pursivant, my Name is Pyed-mantle.
   Bro. Good Master Pyed-mantle.
   Pie. I have deduc'd her ——
   Bro. From all the Spanish Mines in the West Indies,
I hope: for she comes that way by her Mother,
But by her Grand-mother, she's Dutches of Mines.
   Pie. From Man's Creation I have brought her.
   Bro. No farther?
Before, Sir, long before, you have done nothing else,
Your Mines were before Adam, search your Office,
Roll Five and Twenty, you will find it so,
I see you are but a Novice, Master Pyed-mantle,
If you had not told me so.   Pye. Sir, an Apprentice
In Armoiry. I have read the Elements,
And Accidence, and all the leading Books,
And I have now upon me a great ambition,
How to be brought to her Grace, to kiss her Hands.
   Bro. Why, if you have acquaintance with Mistris
Or Mistris Band, my Ladies Gentlewomen,
They can induce you. One is a Judges Daughter,
But somewhat stately; th' other, Mistris Band,
Her Father's but a Scrivener, but she can
Almost as much with my Lady as the other,
Especially if Rose Wax the Chambermaid
Be willing,comma should be replaced with a period Do you not know her, Sir, neither?
   Pye. No, in troth, Sir.
   Bro. She's a good pliant Wench,
And easie to be wrought, Sir; but the Nurse,
Old Mother Mortgage, if you have a Tenement,
Or such a Morsel, tho she have no Teeth,
She loves a Sweet Meat, any thing that melts
In her warm Gums, she could command it for you
On such a trifle, a toy. Sir, you may see
How for your Love, and this so pure Complexion,
(A perfect Sanguine) I ha' ventur'd thus,
The straining of a Ward, opening a Door
Into the Secrets of our Family.
   Pye. I pray you let me know, Sir, unto whom
I am so much beholden; but your name.
   Bro. My name is Broker, I am Secretary
And Usher to her Grace.   Pye. Good Master Broker!
   Bro. Good Master Pyed-mantle.
   Pye. Why, you could do me,
If you would, now, this Favour of your self.
   Bro. Truly I think I could; but if I would,
I hardly should, without, or Mistris Band,
Or Mistris Statute, please to appear in it.
Or the good Nurse I told you of, Mistris Mortgage.
We know our places here, we mingle not
One in another's Sphere, but all move orderly,
In our own Orbs; yet we are all Concentricks.
   Pye. Well, Sir, I'll wait a better Season.   Bro. Do,
And study the right means; get Mistris Band
To urge on your behalf, or little Wax.
[Broker makes a mouth at him.

   Pye. I have a hope, Sir, that I may, by chance,
Light on her Grace, as she's taking the Air.

438 The Staple of News.               

   Bro. That Air of Hope has blasted many an Airy
Of Castrils like your seif,self good Master Pied-mantle.
[He jeers him again.

[Old Peni-
  boy leaps.
   P. sen. Well said, Mr. Secretary, I stood behind
And heard thee all. I honour thy Dispatches.
If they be rude, untrained in our Method,
And have not studied the Rule, dismiss 'em quickly.
He'll never keep his Hour, that Vessel of Kitchen-stuff!

Act II.    Scene III.

Broker, Peni-boy sen. Lick-finger.

Ere he is come, Sir.   P. sen. Pox upon him, Kidney,
 Always too late!   Lic. To wish 'em you, I confess,
That ha' them already.
   P. sen. What?   Lic. The Pox!   P. sen. The Piles,
The Plague, and all Diseases light on him,
Knows not to keep his word. I'ld keep my word, sure!
I hate that Man that will not keep his word.
When did I break my word?   Lic. Or I, till now.
And 'tis but half an Hour.   P. sen. Half a Year,
To me, that stands upon a Minute of Time.
I am a just Man, I love still to be just.
   Lic. Why? you think I can run like light-foot Ralph,
Or keep a Wheel-barrow with a Sail in Town here,
To whirl me to you. I have lost two Stone
Of Suet i' the Service, posting hither:
You might have followed me like a Watering-pot,
And seen the Knots I made along the Street;
My Face dropt like the Skimmer in a Fritter-pan,
And my whole Body is yet (to say the truth)
A roasted Pound of Butter, with grated Bread in't!
[He sweeps his Face.

   P. sen. Believe you, he that list. You staid of purpose
To have my Venison stink, and my Fowl mortified,
That you might ha' 'em —
   Lic. A Shilling or two cheaper,
That's your Jealousie.   P. sen. Perhaps it is.
Will you go in, and view, and value all?
Yonder is Venison sent me, Fowl, and Fish,
In such abundance, I am sick to see it!
I wonder what they mean! I ha' told 'em of it!
To burden a weak Stomach, and provoke
A dying Appetite! thrust a Sin upon me
I ne'er was guilty of! nothing but Gluttony!
Gross Gluttony! that will undo this Land!
   Lic. And bating Two i' the Hundred.
   P. sen. I, that same's
A crying Sin, a fearful damn'd Device,
Eats up the Poor, devours 'em —   Lic. Sir, take heed
What you give out.
   P. sen. Against your grave great Solons?
Numζ Pompilii, they that made that Law?
To take away the Poor's Inheritance:
It was their Portion; I will stand to't:
And they have robb'd 'em of it, plainly robb'd 'em.
I still am a just Man, I tell the truth.
When Moneys went at Ten i' the Hundred, I,
And such as I, the Servants of Pecunia,
Could spare the Poor Two out of Ten, and did it:
How say you, Broker?
   (Lic. Ask your Eccho.)   Bro. You did it.
   P. sen. I am for Justice; when did I leave Justice?
We knew 'twas theirs, they had Right and Title to't.
Now —   Lic. You can spare 'em nothing.
   P. sen. Very little.
   Lic. As good as nothing.
   P. sen. They have bound our Hands
With their wise solemn Act, shortned our Arms.
   Lic. Beware those worshipful Ears, Sir, be not shortned,
And you play Crop i' the Fleet, if you use this Licence.
   P. sen. What Licence, Knave, Informer?

[column break]

   Lic. I am Lick-finger.
Your Cook.   P. sen. A sawcy Jack you are, that's once.
What said I, Broker?   Bro. Nothing that I heard, Sir.
   Lic. I know his Gift, he can be deaf when he list.
   P. sen. Ha' you provided me my Bushel of Eggs
I did bespeak? I do not care how stale
Or stinking that they be; let 'em be rotten:
For Ammunition here, to pelt the Boys,
That break my Windows.
   Lic. Yes, Sir, I ha' spar'd 'em
Out of the Custard-politick for you, the Mayor's.
   P. sen. 'Tis well; go in, take hence all that Excess,
Make what you can of it, your best: and when
I have Friends that I invite at home, provide me
Such, such, and such a Dish, as I bespeak;
One at a time, no Superfluity.
Or if you have it not, return me Money:
You know my ways.   Lic. They are a little crooked.
   P. sen. How, Knave?
   Lic. Because you do indent.   P. sen. 'Tis true, Sir,
I do indent you shall return me Money.
   Lic. Rather than Meat, I know it: you are just still.
   P. sen. I love it still. And therefore if you spend
The Red-Deer Pies i' your House, or sell 'em forth, Sir,
Cast so, that I may have their Coffins all
Return'd here, and pil'd up: I would be thought
To keep some kind of House.   Lic. By the mouldy Signs?
   P. sen. And then remember Meat for my two Dogs:
Fat Flaps of Mutton, Kidneys, Rumps of Veal,
Good plenteous Scraps; my Maid shall eat the Relicks.
   Lic. When you and your Dogs have din'd. A sweet
   P. sen. Who's here? my Courtier, and my little Doctor?
My Muster-master? And what Plover's that
They have brought to pull?
   Bro. I know not, some green Plover.
I'll find him out.   P. sen. Do, for I know the rest:
They are the Jeerers, mocking, flouting Jacks.

Act II.    Scene IV.

Fitton, Penni-boy sen. Almanach, Shunfield, Madrigal,
Lick-finger, Broker.

Ow now, old Money-Bawd? W' are come —
   P. jun.P. sen. To jeer me,
As you were wont, I know you.   Alm. No, to give thee
Some good Security, and see Pecunia.
   P. sen. What is't?   Fit. Our selves.
   Alm. We'll be one bound for another.
   Fit. This noble Doctor here.   Alm. This worthy Courtier.
   Fit. This Man o' War, he was our Muster-master.
   Alm. But a Sea-Captain now, brave Captain Shunfield.
[He holds up his Nose.

   Shun. You snuff the Air now, as the scent displeas'd you.
   Fit. Thou needst not fear him Man, his Credit is sound.
   Alm. And season'd too, since he took Salt at Sea.
   P. sen. I do not love pickl'd Security;
VVould I had one good Fresh-man in for all:
For truth is, you three stink.   Shun. You are a Rogue.
   P. sen. I think I am; but I will lend no Money
On that Security, Captain.   Alm. Here's a Gentleman,
A Fresh-man i' the VVorld, one Master Madrigal.
   Fit. Of an untainted Credit; what say you to him?
[Madrigal steps aside with Broker.

   Shun. He's gone, me thinks; where is he? Madrigal?
   P. sen. H' has an odd singing Name: is he an Heir?
   Fit. An Heir to a fair Fortune.   Alm. And full Hopes:
A dainty Scholar, and a pretty Poet!
   P. sen. Y'ave said enough. I ha' no Money, Gentlemen,            
[He snuffs again.
An' he go to't in Ryme once, not a Penny.
   Shun. VVhy, he's of Years, though he have little Beard.
   P. sen. His Beard has time to grow. I have no Money.
Let him still dabble in Poetry. No Pecunia

           The Staple of News. 439

Is to be seen.   Alm. Come, thou lov'st to be costive
Still i' thy Curt'sie; but I have a Pill,
A golden Pill, to purge away this Melancholy.
   Shun. 'Tis nothing but his keeping o' the House here,
With his two drowsie Dogs.   Fit. A Drench of Sack
At a good Tavern, and a fine fresh Pullet,
Would cure him.
   Lic. Nothing but a young Heir in White-broth;
I know his Diet better than the Doctor.
   Shun. What, Lick-finger? mine old Host of Ram-ally?
You ha' some Market here.   Alm. Some Dosser of Fish
Or Fowl to fetch off.   Fit. An odd Bargain of Venison
To drive.   P. sen. Will you go in, Knave?
   Lic. I must needs,
You see who drives me, Gentlemen.   Alm. Not the Devil.
   Fit. He may be in time, he is his Agent now.
[Peni-boy thrusts him in.

   P. sen. You are all cogging Jacks, a Covey o' Wits,
The Jeerers, that still call together at Meals:
Or rather an Airy; for you are Birds of Prey,
And fly at all; nothing's too big or high for you.
And are so truly fear'd, but not belov'd
One of another, as no one dares break
Company from the rest, lest they should fall
Upon him absent.   Alm. O! the only Oracle
That ever peept or spake out of a Doublet.
   Shun. How the Rogue stinks, worse than a Fishmon-
gers Sleeves!
   Fit. Or Curriers Hands!
   Shun. And such a par-boil'd Visage!
   Fit. His Face looks like a Diers Apron, just!
   Alm. A sodden Head, and his whole Brain a Posset-curd!
   P. sen. I, now you jeer, jeer on; I have no Money.
   Alm. I wonder what Religion he's of!
   Fit. No certain species sure! A kind of Mule!
That's half an Ethnick, half a Christian!
   P. sen. I have no Money, Gentlemen.   Shun. This Stock.
He has no sense of any Vertue, Honour,
or Merit.   P. sen. You say very right,
My meritorious Captain, (as I take it!)
Merit will keep no House, nor pay no House-rent.
Will Mistris Merit go to Market, think you,
Set on the Pot, or feed the Family?
Will Gentry clear with the Butcher, or the Baker?
Fetch in a Pheasant, or a Brace of Partridges,
From Goodwife Poulter, for my Ladies Supper.
   Fit. See! this pure Rogue!
   P. sen. This Rogue has Money though;
My worshipful brave Courtier has no Money;
No, nor my valiant Captain.   Shun. Hang you, Rascal.
   P. sen. Nor you, my learned Doctor. I lov'd you
While you did hold your Practice, and kill Tripe-wives,
And kept you to your Urinal; but since your Thumbs
Have greas'd the Ephemerides, casting Figures,
And turning over for your Candle-rents,
And your Twelve Houses in the Zodiack,
With your Almutens, Alma cantarasperiod omitted
Troth you shall cant alone for Peni-boy.
   Shun. I told you what we should find him, a meer Bawd.
   Fit. A Rogue, a Cheater.
   P. sen. What you please, Gentlemen:
I am of that humble nature and condition,
Never to mind your Worships, or take notice
Of what you throw away thus. I keep House here
Like a lame Cobler, never out of doors,
With my two Dogs, my Friends; and (as you say)
Drive a quick pretty Trade, still. I get Money:
And as for Titles, be they Rogue, or Rascal,
Or what your Worships fansie, let 'em pass
As transitory things; they're mine to day,
And yours to morrow.
   Alm. Hang thee, Dog.   Shun. Thou Cur,comma should be replaced with a period
   P. sen. You see how I do blush, and am asham'd
Of these large Attributes? Yet you have no Money.

[column break]

   Alm. Well Wolf, Hyena, you old pocky Rascal,
You will ha' the Hernia fall down again
Into your Scrotum, and I shall be sent for.
I will remember then, that, and your Fistula
In ano
I cur'd you of.
   P. sen. Thank your Dog-leech Craft:
They were 'holesom Piles, afore you meddl'd with 'em.
   Alm. What an ungrateful Wretch is this?
   Shun. He minds
A Courtesie no more, than London-bridge,
What Arch was mended last.   Fit. He never thinks,
More than a Log, of any Grace at Court
A Man may do him; or that such a Lord
Reach't him his Hand.   P. sen. O yes! If Grace would strike
The Brewer's Tally, or my good Lords Hand
Would quit the Scores. But, Sir, they will not do it.
[He shews
   a Piece.
Here's a Piece, my good Lord Piece, doth all;
Goes to the Butchers, fetches in a Mutton;
Then to the Bakers, brings in Bread, makes Fires,
Gets Wine, and does more real Courtesies
Than all my Lords, I know: My sweet Lord Piece!
You are my Lord, the rest are cogging Jacks,
Under the Rose.   Shun. Rogue, I could beat you now.
   P. sen. True, Captain, if you durst beat any other,
I should believe you; but indeed you are hungry;
You are not angry, Captain, if I know you
Aright, good Captain. No Pecunia
Is to be seen, though Mistris Band would speak,
Or little Blushet-Wax be ne'er so easie;
I'll stop mine Ears with her, against the Syrens,
and Philosophy. God be wi' you, Gentlemen;
Provide you better Names, Pecunia is for you.
   Fit. What a damn'd Harpy it is! Where's Madrigal?
Is he sneak'd hence?
[Madrigal returns.
   Shun. Here he comes with Broker,
Pecunia's Secretary.
   Alm. He may do some good
With him perhaps. Where ha' you been, Madrigal?
   Mad. Above, with my Ladies Women, reading Verses.
   Fit. That was a Favour. Good morrow, Mr. Secretary.
   Shun. Good morrow, Mr. Usher.   Alm. Sir, by both
Your worshipful Titles, and your Name, Mas Broker,
Good morrow.   Mad. I did ask him if he were
Amphibion Broker.   Shun. Why?
   Alm.should probably be attributed to 'Mad.' A Creature of two Natures,
Because he has two Offices.   Bro. You may jeer,
You ha' the Wits, young Gentlemen: But your hope
Of Helicon will never carry it here,
With our fat Family; we ha' the dullest,
Most unbor'd Ears for Verse amongst our Females.
I griev'd you read so long, Sir; old Nurse Mortgage
She snoar'd i' the Chair, and Statute (if you mark'd her)
Fell fast asleep, and Mistris Band she nodded,
But not with any consent to what you read.
They must have somewhat else to chink, than Rymes.
If you could make an Epitaph on your Land,
(Imagine it on departure) such a Poem
Would wake 'em, and bring Wax to her true temper.
   Mad. I' faith, Sir, and I will try.   Bro. 'Tis but Earth,
Fit to make Bricks and Tyles of.   Shun. Pox upon't,
'Tis but for Pots, or Pipkins at the best.
If it would keep us in good Tabacco-pipes,comma should be replaced with a period
   Bro. 'Twere worth keeping.   Fit. Or in Porc'lane Dishes,
There were some hope.   Alm. But this is a hungry Soil,
And must be helpt.   Fit. Who would hold any Land,
To have the trouble to Marl it?   Shun. Not a Gentleman.
   Bro. Let Clowns and Hinds affect it, that love Plows,
And Carts, and Harrows, and are busie still
In vexing the dull Element.   Alm. Our sweet Songster
Shall rarifi't into Air.   Fit. And you, Mas Broker,
Shall have a feeling.   Bro. So it supple, Sir,
The Nerves.   Mad. O! it shall be palpable,
Make thee run through a Hoop, or a Thumb-Ring,
The Nose of a Tabacco-pipe, and draw
Thy ductile Bones out, like a Knitting-needle,

440 The Staple of News.               

To serve my subtil turns.   Bro. I shall obey, Sir,
And run a Thred, like an Hour-glass.
   P. sen. Where is Broker?
Are not these Flies gone yet? Pray' quit my House,
I'll smoak you out else.   Fit. O! the Prodigal!
Will you be at so much Charge with us, and Loss?
   Mad. I have heard you ha' offer'd, Sir, to lock up smoak,
And cauk your Windows, spar up all your Doors,
Thinking to keep it a close Prisoner wi' you,
And wept when it went out, Sir, at your Chimney.
   Fit. And yet his Eyes were drier than a Pumice.
   Shun. A wretched Rascal, that will bind about
The Nose of his Bellows, lest the Wind get out
When he's abroad.
   Alm. Sweeps down no Cobwebs here,
But sells 'em for cut Fingers; and the Spiders,
As Creatures rear'd of Dust, and cost him nothing,
To fat old Ladies Monkeys.   Fit. He has offer'd
To gather up spilt Water, and preserve
Each Hair falls from him, to stop Balls withal.
   Shun. A Slave, and an Idolater to Pecunia!
   P. sen. You all have happy Memories, Gentlemen,
In rocking my poor Cradle. I remember too,
VVhen you had Lands and Credit, VVorship, Friends,
I, and could give Security: Now you have none,
Or will have none right shortly. This can Time,
And the vicissitude of Things. I have
All these, and Money too, and do possess 'em,
And am right heartily glad of all our Memories,
And both the Changes.   Fit. Let us leave the Viper.
   P. sen. He's glad he is rid of his Torture, and so soon.
Broker, come hither, up, and tell your Lady,
She must be ready presently, and Statute,
Band, Mortgage, Wax:
My prodigal young Kinsman
VVill streight be here to see her; 'top of our House,
The flourishing and flanting Peni-boy.
VVe were but three of us in all the world,
My Brother Francis, whom they call'd Frank Peni-boy,
Father to this; he's dead. This Peni-boy
Is now the Heir! I, Richer Peni-boy,
Not Richard, but old Harry Peni-boy,
And (to make Ryme) close, wary Peni-boy,
I shall have all at last, my hopes do tell me.
Go, see all ready; and where my Dogs have faulted,
Remove it with a Broom, and sweeten all
VVith a Slice of Juniper, not too much, but sparing,
VVe may be faulty our selves else, and turn prodigal,
In entertaining of the Prodigal.
Here he is; and with him — what! a Clapper-Dudgeon!
That's a good Sign, to have the Beggar follow him
So near, at his first entry into Fortune.

Act II.    Scene V.

Peni-boy jun. Peni-boy sen. Pick-lock, Canter.

Broker, Pecunia, Statute, Band, Wax, Mortgage,

Hid in the Study.

Ow now, old Uncle? I am come to see thee,
 And the brave Lady here, the Daughter of Ophir,
They say thou keepst.   P. sen. Sweet Nephew, if she were
The Daughter of the Sun, she's at your service,
And so am I, and the whole Family,
VVorshipful Nephew.   P. jun. Saist thou so, dear Uncle?
VVelcome my Friends then: Here is Domine Picklock,
My Man o' Law, sollicits all my Causes,
Follows my Business, makes and compounds my Quarrels
Between my Tenants and me; sows all my Strifes,
And reaps them too; troubles the Country for me,
And vexes any Neighbour that I please.
   P. sen. But with Commission?
   P. jun. Under my Hand and Seal.
   P. sen. A worshipful Place!

[column break]

   Pic. I thank his VVorship for it.
   P. sen. But what is this old Gentleman.   P. Ca. A Rogue,
A very Canter, I, Sir, one that maunds
Upon the Pad: VVe should be Brothers though;
For you are near as wretched as my self,
You dare not use your Money, and I have none.
   P. sen. Not use my Money, cogging Jack! who uses it
At better Rates? lets it for more i' the Hundred,
Than I do, Sirrah?   P. jun. Be not angry, Uncle.
   P. sen. VVhat? to disgrace me, with my Queen, as if
I did not know her Value.   P. Ca. Sir, I meant
You durst not to enjoy it.   P. sen. Hold your peace,
You are a Jack.
[Young Peni-boy is
   P. jun. Uncle, he shall be a John,
And you go to that, as good a Man as you are:
An' I can make him so, a better Man;
Perhaps I will too. Come, let us go.   P. sen. Nay, Kinsman,
My worshipful Kinsman, and the top of our House,
Do not your penitent Uncle that Affront,
For a rash word, to leave his joyful Threshold,
Before you see the Lady that you long for,
The Venus of the Time and State, Pecunia!
I do perceive, your Bounty loves the Man,
For some concealed Vertue, that he hides
Under those Rags.   P. Ca. I owe my Happiness to him,
The waiting on his Worship, since I brought him
The happy News, welcome to all young Heirs.
   P. jun. Thou didst indeed, for which I thank thee yet.
Your Fortunate Princess, Uncle, is long a coming.
   P. Ca. She is not rigg'd, Sir; setting forth some Lady,
Will cost as much as furnishing a Fleet.
Here she's come at last, and like a Gally
[The Study is open'd, where she sits in State.
Gilt i' the Prow.
   P. jun. Is this Pecunia?
   P. sen. Vouchsafe my toward Kinsman, gracious Madam,
The Favour of your Hand.
[She kisseth him.
   Pec. Nay of my Lips Sir,
To him.   P. jun. She kisses like a mortal Creature.
Almighty Madam, I have long'd to see you.
   Pec. And I have my desire, Sir, to behold
That Youth and Shape, which in my Dreams and Wakes
I have so oft contemplated, and felt
Warm in my Veins, and native as my Blood.
When I was told of your arrival here,
I felt my Heart beat, as it would leap out
In Speech; and all my Face it was a Flame:
But how it came to pass, I do not know.
   P. jun. O! Beauty loves to be more proud than Nature,
That made you blush. I cannot satisfie
My curious Eyes, by which alone I'm happy,
In my beholding you.   P. Ca. They pass the Complement
[He kisseth her.
Prettily well.
   Pic. I, he does kiss her, I like him.
   P. jun. My Passion was clear contrary, and doubtful,
I shook for fear, and yet I danc'd for joy,
I had such Motions as the Sun-beams make
Against a Wall, or playing on a Water,
Or trembling Vapour of a boyling Pot —
   P. sen. That's not so good; it should ha' been a Crucible
VVith molten Metal, she had understood it.
   P. jun. I cannot talk, but I can love you, Madam:
Are these your Gentlewomen? I love them too.
And which is Mistris Statute? Mistris Band?
They all kiss close, the last stuck to my Lips.
   Bro. It was my Ladies Chamber-maid, soft Wax.
   P. jun. Soft Lips she has, I am sure on't. Mother Mortgage
I'll owe a Kiss, till she be younger. Statute,
Sweet Mistris Band, and honey, little Wax,
VVe must be better acquainted.
[He doubles the Complement to them all.

   Sta. VVe are but Servants, Sir.
   Band. But whom her Grace is so content to grace,
VVe shall observe.   Wax. And with all fit respect.
   Mor. In our poor Places.
Wax. Being     

           The Staple of News. 441

   Wax. Being her Graces Shadows.
   P. jun. A fine well-spoken Family. What's thy name?
   Bro. Broker.   P. jun. Methinks my Uncle should not need thee,
Who is a crafty Knave enough, believe it.
Art thou her Graces Steward?   Bro. No, her Usher, Sir.
   P. jun. What, o' the Hall? thou hast a sweeping Face,
Thy Beard is like a Broom.   Bro. No barren Chin, Sir,
I am no Eunuch, though a Gentleman-Usher.
   P. jun. Thou shalt go with us. Uncle I must have
My Princess forth to day.   P. sen. Whither you please, Sir,
You shall command her.   Pec. I will do all grace
To my new Servant.   P. sen. Thanks unto your bounty;
He is my Nephew, and my Chief, the Point,
[Old Peni-boy thanks her, but makes his Condition.

Tip, Top, and Tuft of all our Family!
But, Sir, condition'd always you return
Statute, and Band home, with my sweet, soft Wax,
And my good Nurse, here, Mortgage.   P. jun. O! what else?
   P. sen. By Broker.   P. Ju. Do not fear.
   P. sen. She shall go wi' you,
Whither you please, Sir, any where.   P. Ca. I see
A Money-Bawd, is lightly a Flesh-Bawd too.
   Pic. Are you advis'd? Now o' my faith, this Canter
Would make a good grave Burgess in some Barn.
   P. ju. Come, thou shalt go with us Uncle.
   P. Ca.P. sen. By no means, Sir.
   P. ju. We'll have both Sack, and Fidlers.
   P. sen. I'll not draw that charge upon your Worship.
   P. Ca. He speaks modestly,
And like an Uncle.   P. sen. But Mas Broker, here,
He shall attend you, Nephew; her Graces Usher,
And what you fancy to bestow on him,
Be not too lavish, use a temperate Bounty,
I'll take it to my self.   P. jun. I will be Princely,
While I possess my Princess, my Pecunia.
   P. sen. Where is't you eat?
   P. jun. Hard by, at Picklocks Lodging,
Old Lickfinger's the Cook, here in Ram-Alley.
   P. sen. He has good Chear; perhaps I'll come and see you.
   P. Can. O, fie! an Alley, and a Cooks-shop, gross,
[The Canter takes him aside and perswades him.

'Twill favour, Sir, most rankly of 'em both.
Let your Meat rather follow you to a Tavern.
   Pic. A Tavern's as unfit too for a Princess.
   P. Ca. No, I have known a Princess, and a great one,
Come forth of a Tavern.   Pic. Not go in, Sir, though.
   P. Ca. She must go in, if she came forth: the blessed
Pokahontas (as the Historian calls her
And great Kings Daughter of Virginia)
Hath been in Womb of a Tavern; and besides,
Your nasty Uncle will spoil all your mirth,
And be as noysom.   Pic. That's true.   P. Ca. No 'faith,
Dine in Apollo with Pecunia,
At brave Duke Wadloos, have your Friends about you,
And make a day on't.   P. jun. Content 'i faith:
Our Meat shall be brought thither. Simon the King,
Will bid us welcom.   Pic. Patron, I have a suit.
   P. jun. What's that?   Pic. That you will carry the Infanta
To see the Staple, her Grace will be a grace,
To all the Members of it.   P. jun. I will do it:
And have her Arms set up there, with her Titles,
Aurelia Clara Pecunia,
the Infanta.
And in Apollo. Come (sweet Princess) go.
   P. sen. Broker, be careful of your charge.
   Bro. I warrant you.

The second Intermean after the second Act.

Ensure. Why this is duller and duller! intolerable! scur-
 vy! neither
Devil nor Fool in this Play! pray God
some on us be not a
Witch, Gossip, to forespeak the matter thus.
   Mirth. I fear we are all such, and we were old enough:
But we are not all old enough to make one
Witch. How like
you the
Vice i' the Play.

[column break]

   Expectation. Which is he?
   Mirth. Three or four: old Covetousness, the sordid Peni-
boy, the Money-bawd, who is a Flesh-bawd too, they say.
   Tattle. But here is never a Fiend to carry him away.
Besides, he has never a Wooden Dagger! I'ld not give a Rush
for a
Vice, that has not a Wooden Dagger to snap at every
body he meets.

   Mirth. That was the old way, Gossip, when Iniquity
came in like
Hokos Pokos, in a Juglers Jerkin, with false
Skirts, like the
Knave of Clubs! but now they are attir'd like
Men and Women o' the time, the
Vices Male and Female!
PodigalityProdigality like a young Heir, and his Mistris Money
(whose Favours he scatters like Counters) prank't up like a
Lady, the Infanta of the Mines.
   Cen. I, therein they abuse an honourable Princess, it is

   Mirth. By whom is it so thought? or where lyes the abuse?
   Cen. Plain in the stiling her Infanta, and giving her
three Names.

   Mirth. Take heed it lye not in the Vice of your interpreta-
tion: what have
Aurelia, Clara, Pecunia to do with any
Person? do they any more, but express the property of
which is the Daughter of Earth, and drawn out of the Mines?
Is there nothing to be call'd
Infanta, but what is subject to
exception? Why not the
Infanta of the Beggers? or Infanta
o' the Gipsies? as well as
King of Beggers, and King of

   Cen. Well, and there were no wiser than I, I would sow
him in a Sack, and send him by Sea to his
   Mirth. Faith, and he heard you, Censure, he would go
near to stick the Asses Ears to your high dressing, and per-
haps to all ours for harkening to you.

   Tattle. By'r Lady but he should not to mine, I would
harken, and harken, and censure, if I saw cause, for th'
Princess sake Pokahontas, surnam'd the Blessed,
whom he has abus'd indeed (and I do censure him, and will
censure him) to say she came forth of a Tavern, was said
like a paltry
   Mirth. That's but one Gossips Opinion, and my Gossip
Tattle's too! but what says Expectation, here, she sits sullen
and silent.

   Expectation. Troth I expect their Office, their great Of-
fice! the Staple, what it will be! they have talk't on't, but
we see't not open yet; would
Butter would come in, and
spread it self a little to us.

   Mirth. Or the Butter-box, Buz, the Emissary.
   Tattle. When it is churn'd, and dish't, we shall hear of it.
   Expectation. If it be fresh and sweet Butter; but say it
be sowr and wheyish.

   Mirth. Then it is worth nothing, meer Pot Butter, fit to
be spent in
Suppositories, or greasing Coach-wheels, stale
stinking Butter, and such I fear it is, by the being barrell'd
up so long.

   Expectation,comma should be replaced with a period Or rank Irish Butter.
   Cen. Have patience Gossip, say that, contrary to our ex-
pectation, it prove right, seasonable, salt Butter.

   Mirth. Or to the time of year, in Lent, delicate Almond
Butter! I have a sweet Tooth yet, and I will hope the best;
and sit down as quiet and calm as Butter; look as smooth
and soft as Butter; be merry and melt like Butter; laugh
and be fat like Butter: so Butter answer my Expectation,
and be not mad butter; If it be: It shall both
July and De-
cember see!
I say no more, but
— Dixi.

To the R E A D E R S.

N this following Act, the Office is open'd, and shew'n to
Prodigal, and his Princess Pecunia, wherein the
Allegory, and purpose of the Author hath hitherto been
wholly mistaken, and so sinister an Interpretation been made,
as if the Souls of most of the
Spectators had liv'd in the
Eyes and Ears of these ridiculous Gossips that tattle between

L l l                                         the             

442 The Staple of News.               

the Acts. But he prays you thus to mend it. To consider the
News here vented to be none of his News, or any reasonable
Mans; but
News made like the Times News, (a weekly
Cheat to draw Money) and could not be fitter reprehended,
than in raising this ridiculous
Office of the Staple, wherein
the Age may see her own Folly, or hunger and thirst after
publish'd Pamphlets of
News, set out every Saturday, but made
all at home, and no Syllable of truth in them; than which there
cannot be a greater Disease in Nature, or a fouler scorn put up-
on the Times,comma should be replaced with a period And so apprehending it, you shall do the Au-
thor and your own Judgment a Courtesie, and perceive the
Trick of alluring Money to the
Office, and there coz'ning the
people. If you have the Truth, rest quiet, and consider that

Ficta, voluptatis causa, sint proxima veris.

Act III.    Scene I.

Fitton, Cymbal: To them, Picklock, Register, Clerk,
Tho. Barber.

Ou hunt upon a wrong scent still, and think
 The Air of things will carry 'em, but it must
Be reason and proportion, not fine sounds,
My cousin Cymball, must get you this Lady.
You have entertain'd a Pettyfogger here,
Picklock, with trust of an Emissaries Place,
And he is all for the young Prodigal,
You see he has left us.   Cym. Come, you do not know him,
That speak thus of him. He will have a Trick,
To open us a gap by a Trap-door,
When they least dream on't. Here he comes. What news?
   Pic. Where is my Brother Buz? my Brother Ambler?
The Register, Examiner, and the Clerks?
Appear, and let us muster all in Pomp,
For here will be the rich Infanta, presently,
To make her visit. Peni-boy the Heir,
My Patron, has got leave for her to play
With all her Train, of the old Churl her Guardian.
Now is your time to make all court unto her,
That she may first but know, then love the Place,
And shew it by her frequent visits here:
And afterwards get her to sojourn with you.
She will be weary of the Prodigal quickly.
   Cym. Excellent news!
   Fit. And counsel of an Oracle!
   Cym. How say you Cousin Fitton?
   Fit. Brother Picklock,
I shall adore thee for this parcel of Tidings,
It will cry up the Credit of our Office
Eternally, and make our Staple Immortal!
   Pic. Look your Addresses then be fair and fit,
And entertain her and her Creatures too,
With all the Migniardise, and quaint Caresses
You can put on 'em.   Fit. Thou seem'st by thy Language,
No less a Courtier than a Man o' Law.
I must embrace thee.   Pic. Tut, I am Vertumnus,
On every change, or chance, upon occasion,
A true Chamζlion, I can colour for't.
I move upon my Axel like a Turn-pike,
Fit my Face to the Parties, and become
Streight one of them.   Cym. Sirs, up into your Desks,
And spred the Rolls upon the Table, so.
Is the Examiner set?   Reg. Yes, Sir.
   Cym. Ambler and Buz are both abroad now.
   Pic. We'll sustain their Parts.
No matter, let them ply the Affairs without,
Let us alone within, I like that well.
[Fitton puts on the Office Cloke, and Cymbal the Gown.

On with the Cloke, and you with the Staple Gown,
And keep your State, stoop only to the Infanta;
We'll have a flight at Mortgage, Statute, Band,
And hard, but we'll bring Wax unto the retrive:
Each know his several Province, and discharge it.

[column break]

   Fit. I do admire this nimble Ingine, Picklock.
[Fitton is brought about.

   Cym. Cuz, What did I say?
   Fit. You have rectified my Error!

Act III.    Scene II.

Peni-boy, jun. P. Canter, Pecunia, Statute, Band, Mortgage,
   Wax, Broker, Customers.
[to them]

Y your leave Gentlemen, what news? good, good still?
 I' your new Office? Princess, here's the Staple!
This is the Governor, kiss him, noble Princess,
For my sake. Thom, how is it honest Thom?
How does thy Place, and thou? My Creature, Princess,
[He tells Pecunia of Thom.

This is my Creature, give him your Hand to kiss,
He was my Barber, now he writes Clericus!
I bought this Place for him, and gave it him.
   P. Ca. He should have spoke of that, Sir, and not you:
Two do not do one Office well.   P. jun. 'Tis true,
But I am loth to lose my Curtesies.
   F. Ca.P. Ca. So are all they that do them to vain ends,
And yet you do lose, when you pay your selvesperiod omitted
   P. jun. No more o' your Sentences, Canter, they are stale,
We come for News, remember where you are.
I pray thee let my Princess hear some News,
Good Master Cymbal.   Cym. What news would she hear?
Or of what kind, Sir?   P. jun. Any, any kind,
So it be News, the newest that thou hast,
Some News of State for a Princess.
[News from Rome.
   Cym. Read from Rome there.
   Tho. They write, the King of Spain is chosen Pope.
   P. jun. How?
   Tho. And Emperor too, the Thirtieth of February.
   P. jun. Is the Emperor dead?
   Cym. No, but he has resign'd,
[News of the Emperor and Tilly.

And trails a Pike now, under Tilly.   Fit. For Penance.
   P. jun. These will beget strange turns in Christendom!
   Tho. And Spinola is made General of the Jesuits.
[News of Spinola.

   P. jun. Stranger!   Fit. Sir, all are alike true and certain.
   Cym. All the pretence to the Fifth Monarchy
[The Fifth Monarchy uniting the Ecclesiastick
Secular Power.

Was held but vain, until the Ecclesiastick
And Secular Powers were united thus,
Both in one Person.   Fit. 'T has been long the aim
Of the House of Austria.   Cym. See but Maximilian
[A Plot of the House of Austria.

His Letters to the Baron of Bouttersheim,
Or Scheiter-huyssen.   Fit. No, of Liechtenstein,
Lord Paul,
I think.   P. jun. I have heard of some such thing.
[More of Spinola.
Don Spinola made General of the Jesuits!
A Priest!   Cym. O, no, he is dispens'd withal,
And the whole Society, who do now appear
The only Engineers of Christendom.
   P. jun. They have been thought so long, and rightly too.
   Fit. Witness the Engine that they have presented him,
To wind himself with, up into the Moon,
And thence make all his Discoveries!   Cym. Read on.
   Tho. And Vittellesco, he that was last General,
Being now turn'd Cook to the Society,
Has drest his Excellence such a Dish of Eggs —
[His Eggs.

   P. jun. What potch'd?   Tho. No, powder'd.
   Cym. All the Yolk is Wild-fire,
As he shall need beleaguer no more Towns,
But throw his Egg in.   Fit. It shall clear consume
Palace and Place; demolish and bear down
All strengths before it!   Cym. Never be extinguish'd,
Till all become one ruine!   Fit. And from Florence.
   Tho. They write was found in Galilζo's Study,
[Galilζo's Study.

A burn-

           The Staple of News. 443

A burning Glass (which they have sent him too)
To Fire any Fleet that's out at Sea ——
   Cym. By Moonshine, is't not so?
   Tho. Yes, Sir, i' the Water.
[The burning Glass by Moon-shine.

   P. jun. His strengths will be unresistable, if this hold!
Ha' you no News against him on the contrary?
   Cla. Yes, Sir, they write here, one Cornelius-Son,
[The Hollanders Eel.

Hath made the Hallanders an invisible Eel,
To swim the Haven at Dunkirk, and sink all
The Shipping there.   P. jun. Why ha' not you this, Thom?
   Cym. Because behe keeps the Pontificial side.
[Peni-boy will have him change sides.

   P. jun. How, change sides, Thom. 'Twas never in my
To put thee up against our selves. Come down,
Quickly.   Cym. Why, Sir?
   P. jun. I venter'dventur'd not my Money
Upon those Terms: If he may change, why so.
I'll ha' him keep his own side, sure.   Fit. Why, let him,
'Tis but writing so much over again.
   P. jun. For that I'll bear the charge: There's two Pieces,comma should be replaced with a period
   Fit. Come, do not stick with the Gentleman.
   Cym. I'll take none, Sir.
And yet he shall ha' the Place.
[Though he pay for it.
   P. jun. They shall be Ten then,
Up Thom: and th' Office shall take 'em. Keep your side, Thom.
Know your own side, do not forsake your side, Thom.
   Cym. Read.   Tho. They write here one Cornelius-Son,
Hath made the Hollanders an invisible Eel,
To swim the Haven at Dunkirk, and sink all
The shipping there.   P. jun. But how is't done?
   Cym. I'll shew you, Sir.
It is an Automa, runs under Water,
With a snug Nose, and has a nimble Tail
Made like an Auger, with which Tail she wrigles
Betwixt the Coasts of a Ship, and sinks it streight.
   P. jun. Whence ha' you this News.
   Fit. From a right Hand I assure you,
The Eel Boats here, that lye before Queen-Hythe,
Came out of Holland.   P. jun. A most brave Device,
To murder their flat bottoms.   Fit. I do grant you:
But what if Spinola have a new Project:
[Spinola's new Project; an Army in Cork-shooes.

To bring an Army over in Cork-shooes,
And land them here at Harwich? all his Horse
Are shod with Cork, and fourscore Pieces of Ordinance,
Mounted upon Cork-carriages, with Bladders
In stead of Wheels to run the Passage over
At a Spring-tide.   P. jun. Is't true?
   Fit. As true as the rest.
   P. jun. He'll never leave his Engines: I would hear now
Some curious News.   Cym. As what?
   P. jun. Magick or Alchimy,
Or flying i' the Air, I care not what.
   Cla. They write from Libtzig (Reverence to your Ears)
The Art of drawing Farts out of dead Bodies,
[Extraction of Farts.

Is by the Brotherhood of the Rosie Cross,
Produc'd unto Perfection, in so sweet
And rich a Tincture — Fit. As there is no Princess,
But may perfume her Chamber with th' Extraction.
   P. jun. There's for you, Princess.
   P. Ca. What, a Fart for her?
   P. jun. I mean the Spirit.
   P. Ca. Beware how whe resents it.
   P. jun. And what hast thou, Thom?
   Tho. The perpetual Motion,
[The perpetual Motion.

Is here found out by an Ale-wife in Saint Katherines,
At the Sign o' the dancing Bears.
   P. jun. What, from her Tap?
I'll go see that, or else I'll send old Canter.

[column break]

He can make that discovery.   P. Ca. Yes, in Ale.
   P. jun. Let me have all this News, made up, and seal'd.
   Reg. The People press upon us. Please you, Sir,
Withdraw with your fair Princess. There's a Room
[The Register offers him a Room.

Within, Sir, to retire too.   P. jun. No, good Register,
We'll stand it out here, and observe your Office;
[The Office call'd the House of Fame.

What News it issues.   Reg. 'Tis the House of Fame, Sir,
Where both the Curious and the Negligent;
The Scrupulous and Careless; Wild and Stay'd;
The Idle and Laborious; all do meet,
To taste the Cornu copiζ of her Rumors,
Which she, the Mother of Sport, pleaseth to scatter
Among the vulgar: Baits, Sir, for the People!
And they will bite like Fishes.   P. jun. Let's see't.
   Dop. Ha' you in your profane Shop, any News.
[1. Cust. A she Baptist.

O' the Saints at Amsterdam?
   Reg. Yes, how much would you?
   Dop. Six Penny worth.
   Reg. Lay your Money down, read Thomas.
   Tho. The Saints do write, they expect a Prophet, shortly,
[Prophet Baal expected in Holland.

The Prophet Baal, to be sent over to them,
To calculate a Time, and half a Time,
And the whole Time, according to Naometry.
   P. jun. What's that?
   Tho. The measuring o' the Temple: a Cabal
Found out but lately, and set out by Archie,
[Archie mourn'd then.

Or some such Head, of whose long Coat they have heard,
And being black, desire it.   Dop. Peace be with them!
   Reg. So there had need, for they are still by the Ears
One with another.   Dop. It is their Zeal.
   Reg. Most likely.
   Dop. Have you no other of that species?   Reg. Yes,
But dearer, it will cost you a Shilling.   Dop. Verily,
There is a Nine-pence, I will shed no more.
   Reg. Not to the good o' the Saints?   Dop. I am not sure,
That Man is good.   Reg. Read, from Constantinople,
Nine penny'orth.   Tho. They give out here, the Grand
[The great Turk turn'd Christian.

Is certainly turn'd Christian, and to clear
The Controversie 'twixt the Pope and him,
Which is the Antichrist; he means to visit
The Church at Amsterdam, this very Summer,
And quit all Marks o' the Beast.   Dop. Now joyful Tydings.
Who brought in this? Which Emissary?   Reg. Buz.
Your Country man.   Dop. Now, blessed be the Man,
And his whole Family, with the Nation.
   Reg. Yes, for Amboyna, and the Justice there!
This is a Doper, a she Anabaptist!
Seal and deliver her her News, dispatch.
   C. 2. Ha' you any News from the Indies? any Miracle
[2. Cust.

Done in Japan by the Jesuites? or in China?
   Cla. No, but we hear of a Colony of Cooks
[A Colony of Cooks sent over to convert the

To be set a shore o' the Coast of America,
For the conversion of the Caniballs,
And making them good eating Christians.
Here comes the Colonel that undertakes it.
   C. 3. Who? Captain Lickfinger?
[3. Cust. by Colonel Lickfinger.

   Lic. News, news my Boys!
I am to furnish a great Feast to day,
And I would have what News the Office affords.
   Cla. We were venting some of you, of your new project.
   Reg. Afore 'twas paid for, you were somewhat too hasty.
   P. jun. What Lickfinger! wilt thou convert the Caniballs,
With Spit and Pan Divinity?   Lic. Sir, for that
I will not urge, but for the Fire and Zeal
L l l 2                                         To       

444 The Staple of News.               

To the true Cause; thus I have undertaken:
With two Lay-brethren, to my self, no more,
One o' the broach, th' other o' the boyler,
In one six Months, and by plain Cookery,
No Magick to't, but old Japhets Physick,
The Father of the Europζan Arts,
YoTo make such Sauces for the Savages,
And Cooks their Meats, with those inticing Steems,
As it would make our Canibal-Christians
Forbear the mutual eating one another,
Which they do do, more cunningly, then the wild
Anthropophagi, that snatch only strangers,
Like my old Patrons Dogs there.   P. jun. O, my Uncles!
Is Dinner ready, Lickfinger?   Lic. When you please, Sir.
I was bespeaking but a Parcel of News,
To strew out the long Meal withal, but't seems
You are furnish'd here already.   P. jun. O, not half!
   Lic. What Court-news is there? any Proclamations,
Or Edicts to come forth?   Tho. Yes, there is one?question mark should be replaced with a comma
That the Kings Barber has got, for aid of our Trade:
Whereof there is a manifest decay.
A Precept for the wearing of long Hair,
[To let long Hair run to Seed, to sow bald pates.

To run to Seed, to sow bald Pates withal,
And the preserving fruitful Heads, and Chins,
To help a Mystery almost antiquated.
Such as are bald and barren beyond hope,
Are to be separated and set by
For Ushers to old Countesses.   Lic. And Coachmen,
To mount their Boxes reverently, and drive,
Like Lapwings, with a Shell upo' their Heads,
Thorow the Streets. Ha' you no News o' the Stage?
They'll ask me about new Plays at Dinner time.
And I should be as dumb as a Fish.   Tho. O! yes,
There is a Legacy left to the King's Players,
[Spalato's Legacy to the Players.

Both for their various shifting of their Scene,
And dext'rous change of their Persons to all shapes,
And all disguises: by the Right Reverend
Archbishop of Spalato.   Lic. He is dead that play'd him!
   Tho. Then h' has lost his share o' the Legacy.
   Lic. What news of Gundomar?   Tho. A second Fistula,
[Gundomar's use of the Game at Chess, or Play
      so called.

Or an Excoriation (at least)
For putting the poor English play, was writ of him,
To such a sordid use, as (is said) he did,
Of cleansing his Posterior's.   Lic. Justice! Justice!
   Tho. Since when, he lives Condemn'd to his share
      at Bruxels,
And there sits filing certain politick Hinges,
To hang the States on, h' has heav'd off the Hooks.
   Lic. What must you have for these?
   P. jun. Thou shalt pay nothing,
But reckon 'em 'i the Bill. There's twenty Pieces,
[He gives Twenty pieces to the Office.

Her Grace bestows upon the Office, Thom:
VVrite thou that down for News.   Reg. We may well do't,
We have not many such.   P. jun. There's Twenty more,
[Doubles it.
If you say so; my Princess is a Princess!
And put that too, under the Office Seal.
[Cym. takes Pecunia aside, courts and woos her to

   Cym. If it will please your Grace to sojourn here,
And take my Roof for covert, you shall know
The Rites belonging to your Blood and Birth,
Which few can apprehend: these sordid Servants,
Which rather are your Keepers, then Attendants,
Should not come near your Presence. I would have
You waited on by Ladies, and your Train
Born up by Persons of Quality and Honour;
Your Meat should be serv'd in with curious Dances,
And set upon the Board with Virgin hands,
Tun'd to their Voices; not a Dish remov'd,

[column break]

But to the Musick, nor a drop of Wine,
Mixt with his Water, without Harmony.
   Pec. You are a Courtier, Sir, or somewhat more?
That have this tempting Language!
   Cym. I'm your Servant,
Excellent Princess, and would ha' you appear
That which you are. Come forth State, and wonder,
Of these our Times, dazle the vulgar Eyes,
And strike the People blind with admiration.
   P. Can. Why, that's the end of Wealth! thrust Riches
And remain Beggers within: contemplate nothing
But the vile sordid things of Time, Place, Money,
And let the Noble and the Precious go;
Vertue and Honesty, hang 'em; poor thin Membranes
Of Honour; who respects them? O, the Fates!
How hath all just true Reputation fall'n,
Since Money, this base Money 'gan to have any!
[Fitton hath been courting the Waiting-women, this
      while, and is jeered by them.

   Ban. Pitty the Gentleman is not Immortal.
   Wax. As he gives out, the Place is by description.
   Fit. A very Paradise, if you saw all, Lady.
   Wax. I am the Chamber-maid, Sir, you mistake,
My Lady may see all.
   Fit. Sweet Mistris Statute, gentle Mistris Band,
And Mother Mortgage, do but get her Grace
To sojourn here. — Pic. I thank you gentle Wax.
   Mor. If it were a Chattel, I would try my Credit.
   Pic. So it is, for Term of Life, we count it so.
   Sta. She means Inheritance to him and his Heirs:
Or that he could assure a State of years:
I'll be his Statute-Staple, Statute-Merchant,
Or what he please.   Pic. He can expect no more.
   Ban. His Cousin, Alderman Security,
That he did talk of so, e'en now — Sta. Who is
The very Broch o' the Bench, Gem o' the City.
   Ban. He and his Deputy, but assure his Life
For one Seven years.   Sta. And see what we'll do for him,
Upon his Scarlet Motion.   Ban. And old Chain,
That draws the City-ears.   Wax. When he says nothing,
But twirls it thus.   Sta. A moving Oratory!
   Ban. Dumb Rhetorick and silent Eloquence!
As the fine Poet says!   Fit. Come, they all scorn us,
Do you not see't? the Family of scorn!
   Bro. Do not believe him! gentle Master Picklock,
They understood you not: the Gentlewomen,
They thought you would ha' my Lady sojourn with you,
And you desire but now and then a Visit?
   Pic. Yes, if she pleas'd, Sir, it would much advance
Unto the Office her continual Residence!
(I speak but as a Member.)   Bro. 'Tis enough.
I apprehend you. And it shall go hard,
But I'll so work, as some body shall work her!
   Pic. 'Pray you change with our Master, but a word
      about it.
   P. jun. Well, Lickfinger, see that our Meat be ready,
Thou hast News enough.   Lic. Something of Bethlem Gabor,
And then I'm gone.   Tho. We hear he has devis'd
A Drum, to fill all Christendom with the sound:
[Bethlem Gabor's Drum.

But that he cannot draw his Forces near it,
To march yet, for the violence of the noise.
And therefore he is fain by a design,
To carry 'em in the Air, and at some distance,
Till he be married, then they shall appear.
   Lic. Or never; well, God b' wi' you (stay, who's here?)
A little of the Duke of Bavier, and then —
[The Duke of Bavier.

   Cla. H' has taken a gray Habit, and is turn'd
The Churches Miller, grinds the Catholick Grist
With every Wind: and Tilly takes the Toll.
   Cus. 4. Ha' you any news o' the Pageants to send down
[4. Cust. The Pageants.


           The Staple of News. 445

Into the several Counties? All the Country
Expected from the City most brave Speeches,
Now, at the Coronation.   Lic. It expected
More than it understood: for they stand mute,
Poor innocent dumb things; they are but Wood,
As is the Bench and Blocks, they were wrought on; yet
If May-day come, and the Sun shine, perhaps,
They'll sing like Memnon's Statue, and be vocal.
   Cus. 5. Ha' you any Forrest-news?
[5. Cust. The new Park in the Forrest of Fools.

   Tho. None very wild, Sir,
Some tame there is, out o' the Forrest of Fools,
A new Park is a making there, to sever
Cuckolds of Antler, from the Raskals. Such
Whose Wives are dead, and have since cast their Heads,
Shall remain Cuckolds-pollard.   Lic. I'll ha' that news.
   Cus. 1. And I.  2. And I.  3. And I.  4. And I.  5. And I.
[Peni-boy would invite the Master of the Office.

   Cym. Sir, I desire to be excus'd; and, Madam,
I cannot leave my Office the first day.
My Cousin Fitton here, shall wait upon you,
And Emissary Picklock.   P. jun. And Thom. Clericus?
   Cym. I cannot spare him yet, but he shall follow you,
When they have ordered the Rolls. Shut up th' Office,
When you ha' done, 'till two a Clock.

Act III.    Scene III.

Shunfield, Almanack, Madrigal, Clerks.

Y your leave, Clerks,
 Where shall we dine to day? do you know? the Jeerers.
   Alm. Where's my fellow Fitton?
   Tho. New gone forth.
   Shun. Cannot your Office tell us, what brave fellows
Do eat together to Day, in Town, and where?
   Tho. Yes, there's a Gentleman, the brave Heir, young
Dines in Apollo.   Mad. Come, let's thither then,
I ha' supt in Apollo!   Alm. With the Muses.   Mad. No,
But with two Gentlewomen, call'd the Graces.
   Alm. They' were ever three in Poetry.
   Mad. This was truth, Sir.
   Tho. Sir, Master Fitton's there too!   Shun. All the better!
   Alm. We may have a jeer, perhaps.
   Shun. Yes, you'll drink, Doctor,
(If there be any good Meat) as much good Wine now,
As would lay up a Dutch Ambassador.
   Tho. If he dine there, he's sure to have good Meat,
For Lickfinger provides the Dinner.   Alm. Who?
The glory o' the Kitchin? that holds Cookery
A Trade from Adam? quotes his Broths and Sallads?
And swears he's not dead yet, but translated
In some immortal Crust, the Paste of Almonds?
   Mad. The same. He holds no Man can be a Poet,
That is not a good Cook, to know the Palats,
And several tastes o' the time. He draws all Arts
Out of the Kitchin, but the Art of Poetry,
Which he concludes the same with Cookery.
   Shun. Tut, he maintains more Heresis than that.
He'll draw the Magisterium from a Minc'd-pye,
And prefer Jellies, to your Julips, Doctor.
   Alm. I was at an Olla Podrida of his making,
Was a brave piece of Cookery! at a Funeral!
But opening the Pot-lid, he made us laugh,
Who' had wept all Day! and sent us such a tickling
Into our Nostrils, as the Funeral Feast
Had bin a Wedding-dinner.   Shun. Gi' him allowance,
And that but moderate, he will make a Syren
Sing i' the Kettle, send in an Arion,
In a brave Broth, and of a watry Green,
Just the Sea-colour, mounted on the back
Of a grown Cunger, but in such a posture,
As all the World would take him for a Dolphin.

[column break]

   Mad. He's a rare Fellow, without question! but
He holds some Paradoxes.   Alm. I, and Pseudodoxes.
Marry, for most, he's Orthodox i' the Kitchin.
   Mad. And knows the Clergies taste!
   Alm. I, and the Laieties!
   Shun. You think not o' your time, we'll come too late,
If we go not presently.   Mad. Away then.   Shun. Sirs,
You must get o' this News, to store your Office,
Who dines and sups i' the Town? where,
and with whom?
'Twill be beneficial: when you are stor'd,
And as we like our fare, we shall reward you.
   Cla. A hungry Trade, 'twill be.
   Tho. Much like D. Humphries,
But, now and then, as th' holesome Proverb says,
'Twill obsonare famem ambulando.
   Cla. Shut up the Office, gentle Brother Thomas.
   Tho. Brother Nathaniel, I ha' the Wine for you.
I hope to see us, one day, Emissaries.
   Cla. Why not? 'Slid, I despair not to be Master!

Act III.    Scene IV.

Peni-boy sen. Broker, Cymbal.

He is started with
Broker's coming back.

Ow now? I think I was born under Hercules Star!
 Nothing but trouble and tumult to oppress me?
Why come you back? where is your charge?
   Bro. I ha' brought
A gentleman to speak with you.
   P. sen. To speak with me?
You know 'tis death for me to speak with any Man.
What is he? set me a Chair.   Bro. He's the Master
Of the great Office.   P. sen. What?
   Bro. The Staple of News,
A mighty thing, they talk Six thousand a year.
   P. sen. Well, bring your six in. Where ha' you left
   Bro. Sir, in Apollo, they are scarce set.
   P. sen. Bring six.
   Bro. Here is the Gentleman.
   P. sen. He must pardon me,
I cannot rise, a diseas'd Man.   Cym. By no means, Sir,
Respect your Health and Ease.
   P. sen. It is no pride in me!
But pain, pain; what's your Errand, Sir, to me?
Broker, return to your Charge, be Argus-eyed,
[He sends Broker back.

Awake, to the affair you have in hand,
Serve in Apollo, but take heed of Bacchus.
Go on, Sir.   Cym. I am come to speak with you.
   P. sen. 'Tis pain for me to speak, a very death,
But I will hear you!   Cym. Sir, you have a Lady,
That sojourns with you.
   P. sen. Ha? I am somewhat short
[He pretends infirmity.

In my sense too —   Cym. Pecunia.   P. sen. O'that side,
Very imperfect, on —   Cym. Whom I would draw
Oftner to a poor Office, I am Master of —
   P. sen. My Hearing is very dead, you must speak quicker.
   Cym. Or, if it please you, Sir, to let her sojourn
In part with me; I have a moiety,
We will divide, half of the profits.   P. sen. Ha?
I hear you better now, how come they in?
Is it a certain business, or a casual?
For I am loth to seek out doubtful courses,
Run any hazardous Paths, I love strait Ways,
A just and upright Man! now all Trade totters.
The Trade of Mony is fal'n two i' the Hundred.
That was a certain Trade, while th' Age was thrifty,
And Men good Husbands, look'd unto their Stocks,
Had their Minds bounded; now the publick Riot
Prostitutes all, scatters away in Coaches,

446 The Staple of News.               

In foot-mens Coats, and waiting Womens Gowns,
They must have Velvet Hanches (with a Pox)
Now taken up, and yet not pay the Use;
Bate of the Use? I am mad with this times manners.
[He talks vehemently and aloud.

   Cym. You said e'en now, it was death for you to speak.
   P. sen. I, but an anger, a just anger, (as this is)
Puts life in Man. Who can endure to see
The fury of Mens Gullets, and their Groins?
What Fires, what Cooks, what Kitchens might be spar'd?
[Is mov'd more and more.

What Stews, Ponds, Parks, Coups, Garners, Magazines?
What Velvets, Tissues, Scarfs, Embroyderies,
And Laces they might lack? They covet things —
Superfluous still; when it were much more honour
They could want necessary! What need hath Nature
Of Silver Dishes? or Gold Chamber-pots?
Of perfum'd Napkins? or a numerous Family,
To see her eat? Poor, and wise she, requires
Meat only; Hunger is not ambitious:
Say, that you were the Emperor of Pleasures,
The great Dictator of Fashions, for all Europe,
And had the Pomp of all the Courts, and Kingdoms,
Laid forth unto the shew? to make your self
Gaz'd, and admir'd at? You must go to Bed,
And take your natural rest: then, all this vanisheth.
Your Bravery was but shown; 'twas not possest:
While it did boast it self, it was then perishing.
   Cym. This Man has healthful Lungs.
   P. sen. All that excess
Appear'd as little yours, as the Spectators.
It scarce fills up the expectation
Of a few Hours, that entertains Mens lives.
   Cym. He has the monopoly of sole-speaking.
[He is angry.
Why, good Sir? you talk all.
   P. sen. Why should I not?
Is it not under mine own Roof? my Ceiling?
   Cym. But I came here to talk with you.
   P. sen. Why, an' I will not
Talk with you, Sir? you are answer'd; who sent for you?
[Bids him get out of his House.

   Cym. No body sent for me —
   P. sen. But you came; why then
Go as you came, here's no Man holds you; There,
There lies your way, you see the Door.
   Cym. This's strange!
   P. sen. 'Tis my civility, when I do not rellish
The Party, or his business. Pray you be gone, Sir.
I'll ha' no venter in your Ship, the Office
Your Bark of Six, if 'twere sixteen, good, Sir.
[Cymbal rails at him.
   Cym. You are a Rogue.
   P. sen. I think I am Sir, truly.
   Cym. A Rascal, and a Mony-bawd.
   P. sen. My Sirnames:colon should be replaced with a period
   Cym. A wretched Rascal!
[He jeers him.
   P. sen. You will overflow —
And spill all.   Cym. Caterpiller, Moath,
Horse-leach, and Dung-worm —
   P. sen. Still you lose your labour.
I am a broken Vessel, all runs out:
A shrunk old Dryfat. Fare you well, good Six.

The third Intermean after the third Act.

Ensure. A notable tough Rascal¡ this old Peni-boy!
 right City-bred!
   Mirth. In Silver-street, the Region of Money, a good seat
for an Usurer.

   Tattle. He has rich ingredients in him, I warrant you, if
they were extracted, a true receit to make an
Alderman, an'
he were well wrought upon, according to
   Exp. I would fain see an Alderman in chimia! that is
a Treatise of
Aldermanity truly written.

[column break]

   Cen. To shew how much it differs from Urbanity.
   Mirth. I, or Humanity. Either would appear in this
Peni-boy, an' he were rightly distill'd. But how like you the
News? you are gone from that.

   Cen. O, they are monstrous! scurvy! and stale! and too
exotick! ill cook'd! and ill dish'd!

   Exp. They were as good, yet, as Butter could make

   Tat. In a word, they were beastly buttered! she shall never
come o' my Bread more, nor in my Mouth, if I can help it. I
have better News from the Bake-house, by ten thousand parts,
in a morning: or the Conduits in
Westminster! all the News
Tuttle-street, and both the Alm'ries! the two Sanctua-
ries! long and round Wool-staple! with King's-street, and
Cannon-row to boot!
   Mirth. I, my Gossip Tattle knew what fine slips grew in
Gardiners-lane; who kist the Butchers Wife with the Cows-
breath; what Matches were made in the
Bowling-Alley, and
what Bets won and lost; how much Grist went to the
and what besides: who conjur'd in Tuttle-fields, and how
many? when they never came there. And which Boy rode
Doctor Lamb, in the likeness of a roaring Lyon,
that run away with him in his Teeth, and ha's not de-
vour'd him yet.

   Tat. Why, I had it from my maid Joan Hear-say: and
she had it from a
Limb o' the School, she says, a little Limb
of nine year old; who told her, the
Master left out his Con-
juring-Book one day, and he found it, and so the
Fable came
about. But whether it were true, or no, we Gossips are bound
to believe it, an't be once out, and a foot: how should we en-
tertain the time else, or find our selves in fashionable discourse,
for all Companies, if we do not credit all, and make more of it,
in the reporting?

   Cen. For my part, I believe it: and there were no wiser
than I, I would have ne'er a cunning
School-Master in Eng-
land. I mean a Cunning-Man, a School-Master; that is
Conjurer, or a Poet, or that had any acquaintance with a
Poet. They make all their Scholars Play-boys! Is't not a
fine sight, to see all our Children made
Enterluders? Do we
pay our Money for this? we send them to learn their
mar, and their Terence, and they learn their Play-books?
well, they talk, we shall have no more Parliaments (God bless
us) but an' we have, I hope,
Zeal-of-the-land Buzy, and
my Gossip,
Rabby Trouble-truth will start up, and see we
shall have painful good Ministers to keep School, and
chise our youth, and not teach 'em to speak Plays, and act Fa-
bles of false News, in this manner, to the super-vexation of
Town and Country, with a Wanion.

Act IV.    Scene II.Scene I.

Peni-boy jun. Fitton, Shunfield, Almanack, Madrigal,
Canter, Picklock.

Ome, Gentlemen, let's breath from Healths a while.
 This Lickfinger has made us a good Dinner,
For our Pecunia: what shall's do with our selves,
While the Women water? and the Fidlers eat?
   Fit. Let's jeer a little.   P. jun. Jeer? what's that?
   Shun. Expect, Sir.
   Alm. We first begin with our selves, and then at you,comma should be replaced with a period
   Shun. A Game we use.
   Mad. We jeer all kind of Persons
We meet withal, of any Rank or Quality,
And if we cannot jeer them, we jeer our selves.
   P. Ca. aA pretty sweet Society! and a grateful!
   Pic. 'Pray let's see some.
   Shun. Have at you then, Lawyer.
They say, there was one of your Coat in Bet'lem, lately,comma should be replaced with a period
   Alm. I wonder all his Clients were not there.
   Mad. They were the madder sort.
   Pic. Except, Sir, one
Like you, and he made Verses.   Fit. Madrigal,
A jeer.   Mad. I know.
Shun. But                  

           The Staple of News. 447

   Shun. But what did you do, Lawyer,
When you made Love to Mistris Band, at Dinner?
   Mad. Why? of an Advocate, he grew the Clyent.
   P. jun. Well play'd, my Poet.
   Mad. And shew'd the Law of Nature
Was there above the Common-Law.   Shun. Quit, quit.
   P. jun. Call you this jeering? I can play at this,
'Tis like a Ball at Tennis.   Fit. Very like,
But we were not well in.   Alm. 'Tis indeed, Sir.
When we do speak at volley, all the ill
We can one of another.   Shun. As this morning,
(I would you had heard us) of the Rogue your Uncle.
   Alm. That Mony-bawd.
   Mad. We call'd him a Coat-card
O' the last order.   P. jun. What's that? a Knave?
   Mad. Some readings have it so, my manuscript
Doth speak it, Varlet.   P. Ca. And your self a Fool
O' the first Rank, and one shall have the leading
O' the Right-hand File, under this brave Commander.
   P. jun. What saist thou, Canter?
   P. Ca. Sir, I say this is
A very wholsom exercise, and comely.
Like Lepers, shewing one another their Scabs,
Or Flies feeding on Ulcers.
   P. jun. What News Gentlemen?
Ha' you any News for after Dinner? methinks
We should not spend our time unprofitably.
   P. Ca. They never lye, Sir, between Meals, 'gainst Supper
You may have a Bale or two brought in.   Fit. This Canter.period should be omitted
Is an old envious Knave!   Alm. A very Rascal!
   Fit. I ha' mark'd him all this Meal, he has done nothing
But mock, with scurvy Faces, all we said.
   Alm. A supercilious Rogue! he looks as if
He were the Patrico —   Mad. Or Arch-priest o' Canters.
   Shun. He's some primate metropolitan Rascal,
Our Shot-clog makes so much of him.   Alm. The Law,
And he does govern him.
   P. jun. What say you, Gentlemen?
   Fit. We say, we wonder not, your Man o' Law
Should be so gracious wi' you; but how it comes,
This Rogue, this Canter!
   P. jun. O, good words.   Fit. A Fellow
That speaks no Language —
   Alm. But what gingling Gipsies
And Pedlers trade in —   Fit. And no honest Christian
Can understand —   P. Ca. Why? by that argument,
You all are Canters, you, and you, and you,
[He speaks to all the Jeerers.

All the whole World are Canters, I will prove it
In your professions.   P. jun. I would fain hear this:
But stay, my Princess comes, provide the while,
I'll call for't anon. How fares your Grace?

Act IV.    Scene II.

To them.]
Lickfinger, Pecunia, Statute, Band, Wax.

 Hope the fare was good.   Pec. Yes, Lickfinger,
 And we shall thank you for't, and reward you.
   Mad. Nay, I'll not lose my argument, Lickfinger;
[Lickfinger is challeng'd by Madrigal of
      an Argument.

Before these Gentlemen, I affirm,
The perfect, and true strain of Poetry,
Is rather to be given the quick Celler,
Than the fat Kitchen.   Lic. Heretick, I see
Thou art for the vain Oracle of the Bottle.
The Hogshead, Trismegistus is thy Pegasus.
Thence flows thy Muses Spring, from that hard Hoof:
Seduced Poet, I do say to thee,
A Boyler, Range, and Dresser were the Fountains
Of all the Knowledge in the Universe.
And they 'are the Kitchens, where the Master-Cook —
(Thou dost not know the Man, nor canst thou know him,

[column break]

Till thou hast serv'd some years in that deep School,
That's both the Nurse and Mother of the Arts,
And hear'st him read, interpret, and demonstrate!)
A Master-Cook! Why, he's the Man o' Men,
For a Professor! he Designs, he Draws,
He Paints, he Carves, he Builds, he Fortifies,
Makes Citadels of curious Fowl and Fish,
Some he dri-dishes, some motes round with Broths.
Mounts Marrow-bones, cuts fifty angled Custards,
Rears Bulwark Pies, and for his outer works
He raiseth Ramparts of immortal Crust;
And teacheth all the Tacticks, at one Dinner:
What Ranks, what Files, to put his Dishes in;
The whole Art Military. Then he knows
The influence of the Stars upon his Meats,
And all their Seasons, Tempers, Qualities,
And so to fit his Relishes, and Sauces,
He has Nature in a Pot, 'bove all the Chymists,
Or airy Brethren of the Rosie-cross.
He is an Architect, an Ingineer,
A Soldier, a Physician, a Philosopher,
A general Mathematician.   Mad. It is granted.
   Lic. And that you may not doubt him for a Poet —
   Alm. This fury shews, if there were nothing else!
And 'tis Divine! I shall for ever hereafter,
Admire the wisdom of a Cook!   Ban. And we, Sir!
[Peni-boy is courting his Princess all the while.

   P. jun. O, how my Princess draws me with her looks,
And hales me in, as Eddies draw in Boats,
Or strong Charybdis Ships, that sail too near
The Shelves of Love! The Tides of your two Eyes!
Wind of your Breath, are such as suck in all
That do approach you!
   Pec. Who hath chang'd my servant?
   P. jun. Your self, who drink my Blood up with your Beams;
As doth the Sun, the Sea! Pecunia shines
More in the World than he: and makes it Spring
Where e'er she favours! 'please her but to show
Her melting Wrists, or bare her Ivory Hands,
She catches still! her Smiles they are Love's Fetters!
Her Breasts his Apples! her Teats Strawberries!
Where Cupid (were he present now) would cry,
Fare well my Mothers Milk, here's sweeter Nectar!
Help me to praise Pecunia, Gentlemen:
She's your Princess, lend your wits.   Fit. A Lady
The Graces taught to move!   Alm. The Hours did nurse.
[They all begin the Encomium of Pecunia.

   Fit. Whose Lips are the instructions of all Lovers!
   Alm. Her Eyes their lights, and rivals to the Stars!
   Fit. A Voice, as if that Harmony still spake!
   Alm. And polish'd Skin, whiter than Venus Foot!
   Fit. Young Hebes Neck, or Juno's Arms!
   Alm. A Hair,
Large as the Mornings, and her Breath as sweet
As Meddows after Rain, and but new mown!
   Fit. Lζda might yield unto her, for a Face!
   Alm. Hermione for Breasts!   Fit. Flora, for Cheeks!
   Alm. And Helen for a Mouth!
[She kisseth them.
   P. jun. Kiss, kiss 'em, Princess.
   Fit. The Pearl doth strive in whiteness with her Neck,comma should be replaced with a period
   Alm. But loseth by it: here the Snow thaws Snow;
One frost resolves another!   Fit. O, she has
A Front too slippery to be look't upon!
   Alm. And glances that beguile the seer's Eyes!
   P. jun. Kiss, kiss again; what says my Man o' War?

   Shun. I say, she's more than Fame can promise of her.
A Theme that's overcome with her own matter!
Praise is struck blind, and deaf, and dumb with her!
She doth astonish Commendation!
   P. jun. Well pumpt i' faith old Sailor: kiss him too,
[She kisseth Captain Shunfield.

Though he be a slug. What says my Poet-sucker?
He's chewing his Muses cud, I do see by him.
Mad. I

448 The Staple of News.               

   Mad. I have almost done, I want but e'en to finish.
   Fit. That's the 'ill luck of all his works still.
   P. jun. What?
   Fit. To begin many works, but finish none;semi-colon should be replaced with a period
   P. jun. How does he do his Mistris work?
   Fit. Imperfect.
   Alm. I cannot think he finisheth that.
   P. jun. Let's hear.
   Mad. It is a Madrigal, I affect that kind
Of Poem, much.   P. jun. And thence you ha' the name.
   Fit. It is his Rose. He can make nothing else.
   Mad. I made it to the Tune the Fidlers play'd,
That we all lik'd so well.   P. jun. Good, read it, read it.
   Mad. The Sun is Father of all Mettals, you know,
Silver, and Gold.   P. jun. I, leave your Prologues, say!

S O N G.

S bright as is the Sun her Sire,
Earth her Mother, in her best Attire,                
Mint, the Mid-wife, with her fire,
{   P. jun. That Mint
the Midwife does
              Comes forth her
        The splendour of the wealthiest
   The stamp, and strength of all imperial
{   Fit. That's fairly     
said of Money.
       Both Majesty and Beauty shines,
               In her sweet Face!
       Look how a Torch, of Taper light,
[P. jun. Good!
   Or of that Torches flame, a Beacon bright;

   Mad. Now there, I want a Line to finish, Sir.
   P. jun.      Or of that Beacons fire, Moon-light:
[Fit. 'Tis good.
   Mad.              So takes she place!
And then I 'have a Saraband ——
   She makes good Chear, she keeps full Boards,
   She holds a Fair of
Knights and Lords,
   A Market of all Offices,
   And Shops of Honour, more or less.
   According to
Pecunia's Grace,
   The Bride hath Beauty, Blood, and Place;
   The Bridegroom Vertue, Valour, Wit,
   And Wisdom, as he stands for it.

   Pic.P. jun. Call in the Fidlers. Nick, the Boy shall sing it,
Sweet Princess, kiss him, kiss 'em all, dear Madam,
And at the close, vouchsafe to call them Cousins.
[He urgeth her to kiss them all.

   Pec. Sweet Cousin Madrigal, and Cousin Fitton,
My Cousin Shunfield, and my learned Cousin.
   P. Ca. Al-manach, though they call him Almanack.
   P. jun.Pic. Why, here's the Prodigal prostitutes his Mistris!
   P. jun. And Picklock, he must be a Kinsman too.
My Man o' Law will teach us all to win,
And keep our own. Old Founder.
   P. Ca. Nothing, I Sir?
I am a Wretch, a Begger. She the fortunate,
Can want no Kindred; we the poor know none.
   Fit. Nor none shall know, by my consent.
   Alm. Nor mine.
[The Boy sings the Song.
   P. jun. Sing, Boy, stand here.
   P. Ca. Look, look, how all their Eyes
Dance i' their Heads (observe) scatter'd with Lust!
At sight o' their brave Idol! how they are tickl'd,
With a light Air! the bawdy Saraband!
They are a kind of dancing Engines all!
And set by Nature, thus to run alone
To every sound! All things within, without them,
Move, but their Brain, and that stands still! mere Monsters
Here, in a Chamber, of most subtil Feet!
And make their Legs in tune, passing the Streets!
These are the gallant Spirits o' the Age!
The Miracles o' the time! that can cry up
And down Mens Wits! and set what rate on things
Their half-brain'd Fancies please! Now Pox upon 'em.
See how solicitously he learns the Jigg,
As if it were a Mystery of his Faith!

[column break]

   Shun. A dainty ditty!   Fit. O, he's a dainty Poet!
When he sets to't!   P. jun. And a dainty Scholar!
[They are all struck with admiration.

   Alm. No, no great Scholar, he writes like a Gentleman.
   Shun. Pox o' your Scholar.
   P. Ca. Pox o' your distinction!
   As if a Scholar were no Gentleman.
With these, to write like a Gentleman, will in time
Become, all one, as to write like an Ass.
These Gentlemen? these Rascals! I am sick
Of indignation at 'em.   P. jun. How do you lik't, Sir?
   Fit. 'Tis excellent!   Alm. 'Twas excellently sung!
   Fit. A dainty Air!   P. jun. What says my Lickfinger?
   Lic. I am telling Mistris Band, and Mistris Statute,
What a brave Gentleman you are, and Wax, here!
How much 'twere better, that my Ladies Grace,
Would here take up Sir, and keep House with you.
   P. jun. What say they?
   Sta. We could consent, Sir, willingly.
   Band. I, if we knew her Grace had the least liking.
   Wax. We must obey her Graces will and pleasure.
   P. jun. I thank you, Gentlewoman,Gentlewomen ply 'em, Lickfinger.
Give Mother Mortgage, there ———
   Lic. Her dose of Sack.
I have it for her, and her distance of Hum.
   Pec. Indeed therein, I must confess, dear Cousin,
I am a most unfortunate Princess.   Alm. And
You still will be so, when your Grace may help it.
[The Gallants are all about Pecunia.

   Mad. Who'ld lie in a Room, with a Close-stool, and
And kennel with his Dogs, that had a Prince
Like this young Peni-boy, to sojourn with?
   Shun. He'll let you ha' your liberty —   Alm. Go forth,
Whither you please, and to what Company —
   Mad. Scatter your self amongst us —
   P. jun. Hope of Pernassus!
Thy Ivy shall not wither, nor thy Bays,
Thou shalt be had into her Graces Cellar,
And there know Sack, and Claret, all December,
Thy Vein is rich, and we must cherish it.
Poets and Bees swarm now adays, but yet
There are not those good Taverns, for the one sort,
As there are Flowry Fields to feed the other.
Though Bees be pleas'd with Dew, ask little Wax,
That brings the Honey to her Ladies Hive:
The Poet must have Wine. And he shall have it.

Act IV.    Scene III.

Peni-boy sen. Peni-boy jun. Lickfinger, &c.

Roker? What Broker?
   P. jun. Who's that? my Uncle!
   P. sen. I am abus'd; where is my Knave? my Broker?
   Lic. Your Broker is laid out upon a Bench, yonder,
Sack hath seiz'd on him, in the shape of Sleep.
   Pic. He hath been dead to us almost this Hour.
   P. sen. This Hour?
   P. Ca. Why sigh you, Sir? 'cause he's at rest?
   P. sen. It breeds my unrest.   Lic. Will you take a Cup
And try if you can sleep?   P. sen. No, cogging Jack,
Thou and thy Cups too, perish.
[He strikes the Sack out of his Hand.

   Shun. O, the Sack!
   Mad. The Sack, the Sack!   P. Ca. A Madrigal on Sack!
   Pic. Or rather an Elegie, for the Sack is gone.
   Pec. Why do you this, Sir? spill the Wine, and rave?
For Booker'sBroker's sleeping?
   P. sen. What through sleep and Sack,
My trust is wrong'd: but I am still awake,
To wait upon your Grace, please you to quit
This strange lew'd Company, they are not for you.
[He would have Pecunia home, but she
   refuseth, and her Train.

Pec. No

           The Staple of News. 449

   Pec. No, Guardian, I do like them very well.
   P. sen. Your Graces Pleasure be observ'd; but you
Statute, and Band, and Wax, will go with me?
   Stat. Truly we will not.
   Ban. We will stay, and wait here
Upon her Grace, and this your Noble Kinsman.
   P. sen. Noble! how Noble! who hath made him Noble?
   P. jun. Why, my most noble Money hath, or shall;
My Princess here: She, that had you but kept,
And treated kindly, would have made you noble,
And wise too; nay, perhaps have done that for you,
An Act of Parliament could not, made you honest.
The truth is, Uncle, that her Grace dislikes
Her Entertainment, specially her Lodging.
   Pec. Nay, say her Jayl. Never unfortunate Princess
Was us'd so by a Jaylor. Ask my Women,
Band, you can tell, and Statute, how he has us'd me,
Kept me close Prisoner, under twenty Bolts ——
   Stat. And forty Padlocks — Ban. All malicious Engines
A wicked Smith could forge out of his Iron;
As Locks and Keys, Shackles and Manacles,
To torture a great Lady.   Stat. H' has abus'd
Your Graces Body.   Pec. No, he would ha' done,
That lay not in his power: he had the use
Of our Bodies, Band, and Wax, and sometimes Statutes:
But once he would ha' smother'd me in a Chest,
And strangl'd me in Leather, but that you
Came to my rescue then, and gave me Air.
   Stat. For which he cramm'd us up in a close Box,
All three together, where we saw no Sun
In one six Months.   Wax. A cruel Man he is!
   Ban. H' has left my Fellow Wax out i' the cold,comma should be replaced with a period
   Stat. Till she was stiff as any Frost, and crumbl'd
Away to Dust, and almost lost her Form.
   Wax. Much ado to recover me.
   P. sen. Women Jeerers!
Have you learn'd too the subtil Faculty?
Come, I'll shew you the way home, if Drink,
Or too full Diet have disguis'd you.   Ban. Troth,
We have not any mind, Sir, of return ——
   Stat. To be bound Back to Back ——
   Ban. And have our Legs
Turn'd in, or writh'd about —   Wax. Or else display'd —
   Stat. Be lodg'd with Dust and Fleas, as we were wont —
   Ban. And dieted with Dogs-dung.
   P. sen. Why, you Whores,
My Bawds, my Instruments, what should I call you,
Man may think base enough for you?
   P. jun. Hear you, Uncle:
I must not hear this of my Princess Servants,
And in Apollo, in Pecunia's Room.
Go, get you down the Stairs; home, to your Kennel,
As swiftly as you can. Consult your Dogs,
The Lares of your Family; or, believe it,
The Fury of a Foot-man and a Drawer
Hangs over you.   Shun. Cudgel and Pot do threaten
A kind of Vengeance.   Mad. Barbers are at hand.
   Alm. Washing and Shaving will ensue.
[They all threaten,
   Fit. The Pump
Is not far off; if 'twere, the Sink is near,
Or a good Jordan.   Mad. You have now no Money.
   Shun. But are a Rascal.   P. sen. I am cheated, robb'd,
Jeer'd by confederacy.   Fit. No, you are kick'd,
[and spurn him.

And used kindly, as you should be.   Shun. Spurn'd
From all Commerce of Men, who are a Cur.
[Kicks him out.

   Alm. A stinking Dog in a Doublet, with foul Linnen.
   Mad. A snarling Rascal, hence.   Shun. Out.
[He exclaims.
   P. sen. Well, remember,
I am cozen'd by my Cousin, and his Whore!
Bane o' these Meetings in Apollo!   Lic. Go, Sir,
You will be tost like Block, in a Blanket, else.
[One of his Dogs.

[column break]

   P. jun. Down with him, Lickfinger.
   P. sen. Saucy Jack, away;
Pecunia is a Whore.   P. jun. Play him down, Fidlers,
And drown his Noise. Who's this!
   Fit. O, Master Pied-mantle!

Act IV.    Scene IV.

[To them.

[Pyed-mantle brings the
Y your leave, Gentlemen.
Lady Pecunia her
   Fit. Her Graces Herald.
   Alm. No Herald yet, a Heraldet.
   P. jun. What's that?
   P. Ca. A Canter.
   P. jun. O, thou saidst thou'dst prove us all so!
   P. Ca. Sir, here is one will prove himself so, streight;
So shall the rest, in time.   Pec. My Pedigree?
I tell you Friend, he must be a good Scholar
Can my Descent: I am of Princely Race,
And as good Blood as any is i' the Mines
Runs through my Veins. I am, every Limb, a Princess!
o' Mines was my great Grandmother;
And by the Fathers side, I come from Sol
My Grandfather was Duke of Or, and match'd
In the Blood-Royal of Ophyr.   Pye. Here's his Coat.
   Pec. I know it, if I hear the Blazon.   Pye. He bears
In a Field Azure, a Sun proper, beamy,
Twelve of the second,
comma should be replaced with a period   P. Ca. How far's this from canting?
   P. jun. Her Grace doth understand it.
   P. Ca. She can cant, Sir.
   Pec. What be these? Bezants?
   Pye. Yes, an't please your Grace.
   Pec. That is our Coat too, as we come from Or.
What Line's this?   Pye. The rich Mines of Potosi,
The Spanish Mines i' the West-Indies.   Pec. This?
   Pye. The Mines o' Hungary, this of Barbary.
   Pec. But this, this little Branch?
   Pec.Pye. The Welsh Mine, that.
   Pec. I ha' Welsh Blood in me too; blaze, Sir, that Coat.
   Pye. She bears (an't please you) Argent, three Leeks vert,
In Canton Or, and tassel'd of the first.
   P. Ca. Is not this Canting? do you understand him?
   P. jun. Not I; but it sounds well, and the whole thing
Is rarely painted: I will have such a Scroll,
What ere it cost me.   Pec. Well, at better leasure
We'll take a view of it, and so reward you.
   P. jun. Kiss him, sweet Princess, and stile him a Cousin.
[She kisseth.

   Pec. I will, if you will have it. Cousin Pyed-mantle.
   P. jun. I love all Men of Vertue, from my Princess,
Unto my Begger here, old Canter; on,
On to thy Proof; whom prove you the next Canter?
   P. Ca. The Doctor here, I will proceed with the Learned.
When he discourseth of Dissection,
Or any Point of Anatomy; that he tells you
Of Vena cava, and of Vena porta,
The Meseraicks, and the Mesenterium:
What does he else but cant? Or if he run
To his Judicial Astrology,
And trowl the Trine, the Quartile, and the Sextile,
Platick Aspect,
and Partile, with his Hyleg
Or Alchochoden, Cuspes, and Horoscope;
Does not he cant? Who here does understand him?
   Alm. This is no Canter, though!
   P. Ca. Or when my Muster-master
Talks of his Tacticks, and his Ranks and Files,
His Bringers-up, his Leaders-on, and cries,
Faces about to the Right-hand, the Left,
Now, as you were; then tells you of Redoubts,
Of Cats, and Cortines. Doth not he cant?   P. jnn.P. jun. Yes, faith.
   P. Ca. My Egg-chin'd Laureat here, when he comes forth
With Dimeters, and Trimeters, Tetrameters,
Pentameters, Hexameters, Catalecticks,

M m m                                   His     

450 The Staple of News.               

His Hyper, and his Brachy-Catalecticks,
His Pyrrhicks, Epitrites, and Choriambicks.
What is all this, but Canting?   Mad. A rare Fellow!
   Shun. Some begging Scholar!
   Fit. A decay'd Doctor at least!
   P. jun. Nay, I do cherish Vertue, though in Rags.
   P. Ca. And you, Mas Courtier.
   P. jun. Now he treats of you,
Stand forth to him fair.
   P. Ca. With all your fly-blown Projects,
And Looks out of the Politicks, your shut Faces,
And reserv'd Questions and Answers, that you game with; as
Is't a clear Business? Will it manage well?
My Name must not be us'd else. Here 'twill dash.
Your Business has receiv'd a taint, give off,
I may not prostitute my self. Tut, tut,
That little Dust I can blow off at pleasure.
Here's no such Mountain, yet, i' the whole Work!
But a light Purse may level.
I will tide
This Affair
for you; give it freight, and passage:
And such Mint-phrase, as 'tis the worst of Canting,
By how much it affects the Sense it has not.
   Fit. This is some other than he seems!
   P. jun. How like you him?
   Fit. This cannot be a Canter!   P. jun. But he is, Sir,
And shall be still, and so shall you be too:
We'll all be Canters. Now I think of it,
A noble Whimsie's come into my Brain!
I'll build a Colledge, I and my Pecunia,
And call it Canters Colledge: sounds it well?
[Canters Colledge begun to be erected.

   Alm. Excellent!   P. jun. And here stands my Father Rector,
And you Professors, you shall all profess
Something, and live there, with her Grace and me,
Your Founders: I'll endow't with Lands and Means,
And Lickfinger shall be my Master-Cook.
What, is he gone?   P. Ca. And a Professor.   P. jun. Yes.
   P. Ca. And read Apicius de re Culinaria
To your brave Doxy and you!   P. jun. You, Cousin Fitton,
Shall (as a Courtier) read the Politicks;
Doctor Almanack
he shall read Astrology;
shall read the Military Arts.
   P. Ca. As carving, and assaulting the cold Custard.
[That's Mad-
   P. jun. And Horace here the Art of Poetry.
His Lyricks, and his Madrigals, fine Songs,
Which we will have at Dinner, steept in Clarret,
And against Supper, sous'd in Sack.   Mad. In troth,
A divine Whimsie!   Shun. And a worthy Work,
Fit for a Chronicle!   P. jun. Is't not?   Shun. To all Ages.
   P. jun. And Pied-mantle shall give us all our Arms:
But Picklock, what wouldst thou be? Thou canst cant too.
   Pic. In all the Languages in Westminster-hall,
Pleas, Bench,
or Chancery. Fee-farm, Fee-Tail,
Tenant in Dower, at Will, for Term of Life,
By Copy of Court-Roll, Knights Service, Homage,
Fealty, Escuage, Soccage,
or Frank almoigne,
Grand Sergeanty,
or Burgage.   P. jun. Thou appear'st,
Kat exochn a Canter. Thou shalt read
All Littleton's Tenures to me, and indeed
All my Conveyances.   Pic. And make 'em too, Sir?
Keep all your Courts, be Steward o' your Lands,
Let all your Leases, keep your Evidences:
But first, I must procure and pass your Mort-main,
You must have Licence from above, Sir.   P. jun. Fear not,
Pecunia's Friends shall do it.   P. Ca. But I shall stop it.
[Here his Father discovers himself.

Your Worships loving and obedient Father,
Your painful Steward, and lost Officer!
Who have done this, to try how you would use
Pecunia, when you had her: which since I see,
I will take home the Lady to my Charge,
And these her Servants, and leave you my Cloke,
To travel in to Beggers Bush! A Seat
Is built already, furnisht too, worth twenty

[column break]

Of your imagin'd Structures, Canters Colledge.
   Fit. 'Tis his Father!   Mad. He's alive, methinks.
   Alm. I knew he was no Rogue!
   P. Ca. Thou, Prodigal,
Was I so careful for thee, to procure
And plot wi' my learn'd Counsel, Master Picklock,
This Noble Match for thee? and dost thou prostitute,
Scatter thy Mistris Favours, throw away
Her Bounties, as they were red-burning Coals,
Too hot for thee to handle, on such Rascals,
Who are the Scum and Excrements of Men?
If thou hadst sought out good and vertuous Persons
Of these Professions, I had lov'd thee, and them:
For these shall never have that Plea 'gainst me,
Or colour of advantage, that I hate
Their Callings, but their Manners and their Vices.
A worthy Courtier is the Ornament
Of a Kings Palace, his great Masters Honour.
This is a Moth, a Rascal, a Court-Rat,
That gnaws the Common-wealth with broking Suits,
And eating Grievances! So, a true Soldier,
He is his Countries Strength, his Sovereigns Safety,
And to secure his Peace, he makes himself
The Heir of Danger, nay the Subject of it,
And runs those vertuous Hazards that this Scare-crow
Cannot endure to hear of.   Shun. You are pleasant, Sir.
   P. Ca. With you I dare be! Here is Pied-mantle,
'Cause he's an Ass, do not I love a Herald?
Who is the pure Preserver of Descents,
The keeper fair of all Nobility,
Without which all would run into Confusion?
Were he a learned Herald, I would tell him
He can give Arms and Marks, he cannot Honour,
No more than Money can make Noble: It may
Give Place, and Rank, but it can give no Vertue:
And he would thank me for this Truth. This Dog-leach,
You stile him Doctor, 'cause he can compile
An Almanack, perhaps erect a Scheme
For my great Madams Monkey, when't has ta'ne
A Glister, and bewray'd the Ephemerides.
Do I despise a learn'd Physician,
In calling him a Quacksalver, or blast
The ever-living Ghirlond,obsolete form of 'garland' always green
Of a good Poet? When I say his Wreath
Is piec'd and patch'd of dirty wither'd Flowers?
Away, I am impatient of these Ulcers,
(That I not call you worse.) There is no Sore
Or Plague but you to infect the Times. I abhor
Your very Scent. Come, Lady, since my Prodigal
Knew not to entertain you to your worth,
I'll see if I have learn'd how to receive you
With more respect to you, and your fair Train here.
Farewel, my Begger in Velvet, for to day;
To morrow you may put on that grave Robe,
[He points him to his patch'd Cloke thrown off.

And enter your great Work of Canters Colledge,
Your Work, and worthy of a Chronicle.

The fourth Intermean after the fourth Act.

HY, this was the worst of all, the Cata-
   Cen. The Matter began to be good but now; and he has
spoil'd it all with his Begger there!

   Mirth. A beggerly Jack it is, I warrant him, and a kin
to the
   Tat. Like enough, for he had the chiefest Part in his Play,
if you mark it.

   Exp. Absurdity on him, for a huge over-grown Play-
maker! Why should he make him live agen, when they and
we all thought him dead? If he had left him to his Rags,
there had been an end of him.

Tat. I                      

           The Staple of News. 451

   Tat. I, but set a Beggar on Horse-back, he'll never lin till
he be a gallop.

   Cen. The young Heir grew a fine Gentleman in this last

   Exp. So he did, Gossip, and kept the best Company.
   Cen. And feasted 'em, and his Mistris.
   Tat. And shew'd her to 'em all! was not jealous!
   Mirth. But very communicative, and liberal, and began
to be
magnificent, if the Churl his Father would have let
him alone.

   Cen. It was spitefully done o' the Poet, to make the Chuff
take him off in his height, when he was going to do all his
brave Deeds!

   Exp. To found an Academy!
   Tat. Erect a Colledge!
   Exp. Plant his Professors, and water his Lectures!
   Mirth. With Wine, Gossips, as he meant to do; and then
to defraud his Purposes?

   Exp. Kill the Hopes of so many towardly young Spirits?
   Tat. As the Doctors?
   Cen. And the Courtiers! I protest, I was in love with
Fitton: He did wear all he had, from the Hat-band
to the Shoe-tie, so politically, and would stoop, and leer!

   Mirth. And lie so in wait for a piece of Wit, like a
   Exp. Indeed Gossip, so would the little Doctor; all his
Behaviour was meer
Glister! O' my Conscience, he would
make any Parties
Physick i' the World work, with his Di-

   Mirth. I wonder they would suffer it, a foolish, old, for-
Father, to ravish away his Son's Mistris.
   Cen. And all her Women at once, as he did!
   Tat. I would ha' flown in his Gipsies Face, i' faith.
   Mirth. It was a plain piece of political Incest, and wor-
thy to be brought afore the
High-Commission of Wit. Sup-
pose we were to censure him, you are the youngest Voice,
sip Tattle, begin.
   Tattle. Marry, I would ha' the old Coney-catcher co-
zen'd of all he has, i' the young Heirs Defence, by his Lear-
ned Counsel, Mr.
   Cen. I would rather the Courtier had found out some
Trick to beg him for his Estate!

   Exp. Or the Captain had Courage enough to beat him!
   Cen. Or the fine Madrigal-man, in Ryme, to have run
him out o' the Country, like an
Irish Rat.
   Tat. No, I would have Master Pyed-mantle, her Gra-
ces Herald, to pluck down his Hatchments, reverse his
Coat-Armour, and nullifie him for no Gentleman.
   Exp. Nay, then let Master Doctor dissect him, have him
open'd, and his Tripes translated to
Lickfinger, to make a
Probation-dish of.
   Cen. Tat. Agreed! agreed!
   Mirth. Faith, I would have him flat disinherited, by a
Decree of
Court, bound to make Restitution of the Lady
Pecunia, and the Use of her Body to his Son.
   Exp. And her Train to the Gentlemen.
   Cen. And both the Poet, and himself, to ask them all

   Tat. And us too.
   Cen. In two large Sheets of Paper ———
   Exp. Or to stand in a Skin of Parchment, (which the
Court please.)
   Cen. And those fill'd with News!
Mirth. And dedicated to the sustaining of the Staple!line should be indented
   Exp. Which their Poet hath let fall, most abruptly.
   Mirth. Bankruptly, indeed.
   Cen. You say wittily, Gossip; and therefore let a Pro-
test go out against him.
   Mirth. A Mournival of Protests, or a Gleek at least.
   Exp. In all our Names.
   Cen. For a decay'd Wit ——
   Exp. Broken ——
   Tat. Non-solvent ——
   Cen. And for ever forfeit ——

[column break]

   Mirth. To scorn of Mirth!
   Cen. Censure!
   Exp. Expectation!
   Tat. Subsign'd, Tattle. Stay, they come again.

Act V.    Scene I.

Peni-boy jun. To him, Tho. Barber. After, Picklock,

He comes out in the patch'd Cloke his Father left him.

Ay, they ere fit, as they had been made for me,
 And I am now a thing worth looking at!
The same I said I would be in the Morning!
No Rogue, at a Comitia of the Canters,
Did ever there become his Parents Robes
Better than I do these. Great Fool! and Beggar!
Why do not all that are of those Societies
Come forth, and gratulate me one of theirs?
Me thinks I should be on every side saluted,
Dauphine of Beggars, Prince of Prodigals!
That have so fall'n under the Ears, and Eyes,
And Tongues of all, the Fable of the Time,
Matter of Scorn, and Mark of Reprehension!
I now begin to see my Vanity
Shine in this Glass, reflected by the Foil!
Where is my Fashioner? my Feather-man?
My Linnener, Perfumer, Barber? all
That Tail of Riot follow'd me this Morning?
Not one! but a dark Solitude about me,
Worthy my Cloak and Patches; as I had
The epidemical Disease upon me:
And I'll sit down with it.   Tho. My Master! Maker!
How do you? Why do you sit thus o' the ground, Sir?
Hear you the News?   P. jun. No, nor I care to hear none.
Would I could here sit still, and slip away
The other One and twenty, to have this
Forgotten, and the Day raz'd out, expung'd,
In every Ephemerides, or Almanack.
Or if it must be in, that Time and Nature
Have decreed; still let it be a Day
Of tickling Prodigals about the Gills,
Deluding gaping Heirs, losing their Loves,
And their Discretions, falling from the Favours
Of their best Friends and Parent, their own Hopes,
And entring the Society of Canters.
   Tho. A doleful Day it is, and dismal Times
Are come upon us: I am clear undone.
   P. jun. How, Thom?
   Tho. Why, broke, broke! wretchelywretchedly broke!   P. jun. Ha?
   Tho. Our Staple is all to pieces, quite dissolv'd!
   P. jun. Ha!
   Tho. Shiver'd, as in an Earthquake! Heard you not
The Crack and Ruins? We are all blown up!
Soon as they heard th' Infanta was got from them,
Whom they had so devoured i' their Hopes,
To be their Patroness, and sojourn with 'em,
Our Emissaries, Register, Examiner,
Flew into Vapour: our grave Governour
Into a subt'ler Air, and is return'd
(As we do hear) grand Captain of the Jeerers.
I and my Fellow melted into Butter,
And spoil'spoil'd our Ink, and so the Office vanish'd.
The last Hum that it made, was, That your Father
And Picklock are fall'n out, the Man o' Law.
   P. jun. How? this awakes me from my Lethargy.
[He starts up at this.

   Tho. And a great Suit is like to be between 'em:
Picklock denies the Feoffment, and the Trust,
(Your Father says) he made of the whole Estate
Unto him, as respecting his Mortality,
When he first laid this late Device, to try you.
   P. jun. Has Picklock then a Trust?   Tho. I cannot tell,
M m m 2                                                 Here

452 The Staple of News.               

[Picklock enters.
Here comes the worshipful —
   Pic. VVhat, my Velvet Heir
Turn'd Begger in Mind, as Robes?
   P. jun. You see what case
Your, and my Fathers Plots have brought me to.
   Pic. Your Father's, you may say, indeed, not mine.
He's a hard-hearted Gentleman! I am sorry
To see his rigid Resolution!
That any Man should so put off Affection,
And humane Nature, to destroy his own,
And triumph in a Victory so cruel!
He's fall'n out with me, for being yours,
And calls me Knave, and Traytor to his Trust,
Says he will have me thrown over the Bar ——
   P. jun. Ha' you deserv'd it?   Pic. O, good Heaven knows
My Conscience, and the silly Latitude of it;
A narrow-minded Man! My Thoughts do dwell
All in a Lane, or Line indeed: No Turning,
Nor scarce Obliquity in them. I still look
Right forward, to th' Intent and Scope of that
VVhich he would go from now.
   P. jun. Had you a Trust then?
   Pic. Sir, I had somewhat will keep you still Lord
Of all the Estate, (if I be honest) as
I hope I shall. My tender scrupulous Breast
VVill not permit me see the Heir defrauded,
And like an Alien thrust out of the Blood.
The Laws forbid that I should give consent
To such a civil Slaughter of a Son.
   P. jun. Where is the Deed? Hast thou it with thee?
   Pic. No,
It is a thing of greater consequence,
Than to be born about in a Black Box,
Like a Low-Country Vorloffe or Welsh Brief.
It is at Lickfingers, under Lock and Key.
   P. jun. O, fetch it hither.   Pic. I have bid him bring it,
That you might see it.   P. jun. Knows he what he brings?
   Pic. No more than a Gardiners Ass, what Roots he carries.
   P. jun. I was a sending my Father, like an Ass,
A penitent Epistle; but I am glad
I did not, now.   Pic. Hang him, an austere Grape,
That has no Juice, but what is Verjuice in him.
[Peni-boy runs out
 to fetch his Letter.
   P. jun. I'll shew you my Letter!
   Pic. Shew me a Defiance!
If I can now commit Father and Son,
And make my Profits out of both; commence
A Suit with the Old Man for his whole State,
And go to Law with the Son's Credit, undo
Both, both with their own Money, it were a piece
Worthy my Night-cap, and the Gown I wear,
A Picklock's Name in Law. Where are you, Sir?
What do you do so long?   P. jun. I cannot find
Where I have laid it; but I have laid it safe.
   Pic. No matter, Sir; trust you unto my Trust,
'Tis that that shall secure you, an absolute Deed!
And I confess, it was in Trust, for you,
Lest any thing might have hapned mortal to him:
But there must be a Gratitude thought on,
And Aid, Sir, for the Charges of the Suit,
Which will be great, 'gainst such a mighty Man
As is our Father, and a Man possest
Of so much Land, Pecunia and her Friends.
I am not able to wage Law with him,
Yet must maintain the thing, as my own Right,
Still for your good, and therefore must be bold
To use your Credit for Moneys.   P. jun. What thou wilt,
So we be safe, and the Trust bear it.   Pic. Fear not,
'Tis he must pay Arrearages in the end.
We'll milk him, and Pecunia, draw their Cream down,
Before he get the Deed into his Hands.
My Name is Picklock, but he'll find me a Padlock.

[column break]

Act V.    Scene II.

Peni-boy Can. Peni-boy jun. Picklock, Tho. Barber.

Ow now? conferring wi' your Learned Counsel
 Upo' the Cheat? Are you o' the Plot to cozen me?
   P. jun. What Plot?
   P. sen.'P. Ca.' as is the other reference to 'P. sen.' in this scene Your Counsel knows there, Mr. Picklock.
Will you restore the Trust yet?   Pic. Sir, take Patience,
And Memory unto you, and bethink you,
What Trust? where dos't appear? I have your Deed:
Doth your Deed specifie any Trust? Is't not
A perfect Act, and absolute in Law?
Seal'd and deliver'd before Witnesses?
The Day and Date emergent.
   P. Ca. But what Conference,
What Oaths and Vows preceded?
   Pic. I will tell you, Sir,
Since I am urg'd of those, as I remember,
You told me you had got a grown Estate,
By griping Means, sinisterly.
   (P. Ca. How!)   Pic. And were
Ev'n weary of it; if the Parties lived,
From whom you had wrested it —
   (P. Ca. Ha!)   Pic. You could be glad
To part with all, for satisfaction:
But since they had yielded to Humanity,
And that just Heaven had sent you for a Punishment
(You did acknowledge it) this riotous Heir,
That would bring all to Beggery in the end,
And daily sow'd Consumption where he went ——
   P. Ca. You'ld cozen both then? your Confederate too?
   Pic. After a long, mature deliberation,
You could not think where better how to place it ——
   P. Ca. Than on you, Rascal?
   Pic. What you please i' your Passion;
But with your Reason, you will come about,
And think a faithful and a frugal Friend
To be preferr'd.
   P. Ca. Before a Son?   Pic. A Prodigal,
A Tub without a Bottom, as you term'd him:
For which, I might return you a Vow or two,
And seal it with an Oath of Thankfulness,
I not repent it, neither have I cause, yet ——
   P. Ca. Forehead of Steel, and Mouth of Brass! hath
Polish'd so gross a Lie, and dar'st thou vent it?
Engine, compos'd of all mixt Metals! Hence,
I will not change a Syllab with thee more,
Till I may meet thee at a Bar in Court,
Before thy Judges.   Pic. Thither it must come.
Before I part with it to you, or you, Sir.
   P. Ca. I will not hear thee.
[His Son entreats him.
   P. jun. Sir, your Ear to me tho.
Not that I see through his perplexed Plots,
And hidden Ends; nor that my Parts depend
Upon the unwinding this so knotted Skean,
Do I beseech your Patience. Unto me
He hath confest the Trust.   Pic. How? I confess it?
   P. jun. I, thou, false Man.
   P. sen. Stand up to him, and confront him.
   Pic. Where? when? to whom?
   P. jun. To me, even now, and here:
Canst thou deny it?   Pic. Can I eat or drink?
Sleep, wake, or dream? arise, sit, go, or stand?
Do any thing that's natural?   P. jun. Yes, lie,
It seems thou canst, and perjure; that is natural.
   Pic. O me! what Times are these, of frontless carriage!
An Egg of the same Nest! the Father's Bird!
It runs in a Blood, I see!   P. jun. I'll stop your Mouth.
   Pic. With what?   P. jun. With Truth.
   Pic. With Noise; I must have Witness.
Where is your Witness? you can produce Witness.
P. jun. As       

           The Staple of News. 453

   P. jun. As if my Testimony were not twenty,
Balanc'd with thine?   Pic. So say all Prodigals,
Sick of Self-love; but that's not Law, young Scatter-good:
I live by Law.   P. jun. Why, if thou hast a Conscience,
That is a thousand Witnesses.   Pic. No Court
Grants out a Writ of Summons for the Conscience,
That I know, nor Subpœna, nor Attachment.
I must have Witness, and of your producing,
Ere this can come to hearing, and it must
Be heard on Oath and Witness.
[He produceth Thom.
   P. jun. Come forth, Thom,
Speak what thou heard'st, the truth, and the whole truth,
And nothing but the truth. What said this Varlet?
   Pic. A Rat behind the Hangings!   Tho. Sir, he said,
It was a Trust! an Act, the which your Father
Had Will to alter; but his tender Breast
Would not permit to see the Heir defrauded,
And, like an Alien, thrust out of the Blood.
The Laws forbid that he should give consent
To such a Civil Slaughter of a Son —
   P. jun. And talk'd of a Gratuity to be given,
And Aid unto the Charges of the Suit;
Which he was to maintain in his own Name,
But for my Use, he said.   P. Ca. It is enough.
   Tho. And he would milk Pecunia, and draw down
Her Cream, before you got the Trust again.
   P. Ca. Your Ears are in my Pocket, Knave, go shake 'em
The little while you have them.   Pic. You do trust
To your great Purse.   P. Ca. I ha' you in a Purse-net,
Good Master Picklock, wi' your worming Brain,
And wrigling Ingine-head of Maintenance,
Which I shall see you hole with, very shortly.
A fine round Head, when those two Lugs are off,
To trundle through a Pillory. You are sure
You heard him speak this?
   P. jun. I, and more.   Tho. Much more!
   Pic. I'll prove yours Maintenance, and Combination,
And sue you all.   P. Ca. Do, do, my gowned Vulture,
in Reversion: I shall see you coited
Over the Bar, as Barge-men do their Billets.
   Pic. This 'tis, when Men repent of their good Deeds,
And would ha 'em in again — They are almost mad!
But I forgive their Lucida Intervalla.
O, Lickfinger! come hither. Where's my Writing?
[Picklock spies Lickfinger, and asks him
          aside for the Writing.

Act V.    Scene III.

To them.]

 Sent it you, together with your Keys,comma should be replaced with a period
   Pic. How?
   Lic. By the Porter that came for it, from you,
And by the token, you had giv'n me the Keys,
And bad me bring it.   Pic. And why did you not?
   Lic. Why did you send a Countermand?   Pic. Who, I?
   Lic. You, or some other you, you put in trust.
   Pic. In trust?
   Lic. Your Trust's another self, you know;
And without Trust, and your Trust, how should he
Take notice of your Keys, or of my Charge?
   Pic. Know you the Man?   Lic. I know he was a Porter,
And a Seal'd Porter; for he bore the Badge
OnOn's Breast, I am sure.   Pic. I am lost! a Plot! I scent it!
   Lic. Why! and I sent it by the Man you sent,
Whom else I had not trusted.   Pic. Plague o' your Trust,
I am truss'd up among you.   P. jun. Or you may be.
   Pic. In mine own Halter, I have made the Noose.
[Picklock goes out.

   P. jun. What was it, Lickfinger?
[Young Peni-boy discovers it to his Father to be his
   Plot of sending for it by the
Porter, and that he
   is in possession of the Deed.

[column break]

   Lic. A Writing, Sir,
He sent for't by a Token: I was bringing it,
But that he sent a Porter, and he seem'd
A Man of decent Carriage.   P. Ca. 'Twas good fortune!
To cheat the Cheater, was no Cheat, but Justice.
Put off your Rags, and be your self again:
This Act of Piety and good Affection
Hath partly reconcil'd me to you.   P. jun. Sir.
   P. Ca. No Vows, no Promises: too much Protestation
Makes that suspected oft, we would persuade.
   Lic. Hear you the News?
   P. jun. The Office is down, how should we?
   Lic. But of your Uncle?
   P. jun. No.   Lic. He's run mad, Sir.
   P. Ca. How, Lickfinger?
   Lic. Stark staring mad, your Brother,
H' has almost kill'd his Maid.   P. Ca. Now Heaven forbid.
[Elder Peni-boy startles at the News.

   Lic. But that she's Cat-liv'd, and Squirrel-limb'd,
With throwing Bed-staves at her: H' has set wide
His outer Doors, and now keeps open House
For all the Passers by to see his Justice.
First, he has apprehended his two Dogs,
As being o' the Plot to cozen him;
And there he sits like an old Worm of the Peace,
Wrapp'd up in Furs, at a square Table, screwing,
Examining, and committing the poor Curs
To two old Cases of Close-stools, as Prisons;
The one of which he calls his Lollards Tower,
Th' other his Block-house, 'cause his two Dogs Names
Are Block and Lollard.   P. jun. This would be brave Matter
Unto the Jeerers.   P. Ca. I, if so the Subject
Were not so wretched.   Lic. Sure I met them all,
I think, upon that quest.   P. Ca. 'Faith, like enough:
The Vicious still are swift to shew their Natures.
I'll thither too, but with another aim,
If all succeed well, and my Simples take.

Act V.    Scene IV.

Peni-boy sen. Porter.

He is seen sitting at his Table, with Papers before him.

Here are the Prisoners?
   Por. They are forth-coming, Sir,
Or coming forth at least.   P. sen. The Rogue is drunk,
Since I committed them to his charge. Come hither,
[He smells
Near me, yet nearer; breathe upon me. Wine!
Wine, o' my Worship! Sack! Canary Sack!
Could not your Badge ha' been drunk with fulsom Ale,
Or Beer, the Porter's Element? but Sack!
   Por. I am not drunk; we had, Sir, but one Pint,
An honest Carrier and my self.   P. sen. Who paid for't?
   Por. Sir, I did give it him.
   P. sen. What? and spend Six-pence!
A Frock spend Six-pence! Six-pence!
   Por. Once in a Year, Sir.
   P. sen. In seven Years, Varlet! Know'st thou what
          thou hast done?
What a consumption thou hast made of a State?
It might please Heaven, (a lusty Knave, and young)
To let thee live some seventy Years longer,
Till thou art fourscore and ten, perhaps a hundred.
Say seventy Years; how many times seven in seventy?
Why seven times ten is ten times seven, mark me,
I will demonstrate to thee on my Fingers.
Six-pence in seven Year, (Use upon Use)
Grows in that first seven Year to be a Twelve-pence;
That, in the next, Two shillings; the third, Four shillings;
The fourth seven Year, Eight shillings; the fifth, Sixteen;
The sixth, Two and thirty; the seventh, Three pound four;
The eighth, Six pound and eight; the ninth, Twelve pound sixteen;
And the tenth seven, Five and twenty pound

454 The Staple of News.               

Twelve shillings. This thou art fall'n from, by thy Riot!                
Should'st thou live seventy Years, by spending Six-pence
Once i' the seven: But in a Day to waste it!
There is a Sum that Number cannot reach!
Out o' my House, thou Pest o' Prodigality!
Seed o' Consumption! Hence: A wicked Keeper
Is oft worse than the Prisoners. There's thy Penny,
Four Tokens for thee. Out, away. My Dogs
May yet be innocent, and honest. If not,
I have an entrapping Question or two more,
To put unto 'em, a cross Interrogatory,
And I shall catch 'em. Lollard? Peace:
[He calls forth Lollard, and examines him.

What Whispering was that you had with Mortgage,
When you last lick'd her Feet? The truth now. Ha?
Did you smell she was going?
Put down that. And not,
Not to return?
You are silent? Good. And when
Leap'd you on Statute? As she went forth? Consent.
There was Consent, as she was going forth.
'Twould have been fitter at her coming home,
But you knew that she would not? To your Tower:
[He commits him again.

You are cunning, are you? I will meet your Craft.
Block, shew your Face, leave your Garesses,Caresses tell me,
[Calls forth Block, and examines him.

And tell me truly, what Affronts do you know
Were done Pecunia, that she left my House?
None, say you so? not that you know? or will know?
I fear me, I shall find you an obstinate Cur.
Why did your fellow Lollard cry this morning?
'Cause Broker kickt him? Why did Broker kick him?
Because he pist against my Ladies Gown?
Why, that was wassecond 'was' should be omitted no affront? no? no distaste?
[Commits him.
You knew o' none. Yo'are a dissembling Tyke,
To your Hole again, your Block-house. Lollard, arise,
[Lollard is call'd again.

Where did you lift your Leg up last? 'gainst what?
Are you struck Dummerer now, and whine for Mercy?
Whose Kirtle was't you gnaw'd too? Mistris Band's?
And Wax's Stockins? Who did? Block bescumber
Statute's white Suit, wi' the Parchment Lace there?
Broker's Sattin Doublet? All will out.
They had offence, offence enough to quit me.
Appear Block: Fough! 'tis manifest; he shews it,
[Block is summon'd the second time.

Should he forswear't, make all the Affidavits
Against it, that he could afore the Bench,
And twenty Juries, he would be convinc'd.
He bears an Air about him doth confess it.
[He is remanded.
To Prison again, close Prison.
[Lollard has the liberty of the House.
Not you, Lollard;
You may enjoy the liberty o' the House:
And yet there is a Quirk come in my Head,
For which I must commit you too, and close.
Do not repine, it will be better for you.

Act V.    Scene II.Scene V.

Enter the Jeerers.

Cymbal, Fitton, Shunfield, Almanack, Madrigal,
Peni-boy sen. Lickfinger.

His is enough to make the Dogs mad too:
 Let's in upon him.
   P. sen. How now? what's the matter?
Come you to force the Prisoners? make a Rescue?
   Fit. We come to bail your Dogs.
   P. sen. They are not bailable,
They stand committed without Bail or Mainprise,
Your Bail cannot be taken.   Shun. Then the truth is,
We come to vex you.
   Alm. Jeer you.   Mad. Bate you rather.
   Cym. A baited Usurer will be good Flesh.

[column break]

   Fit. And tender, we are told.
   P. sen. Who is the Butcher,
Amongst you, that is come to cut my Throat?
   Shun. You would die a Calves death fain; but 'tis an Oxes,
Is meant you.   Fit. To be fairly knock'd o' the Head.
   Shun. With a good Jeer or two.
   P. sen. And from your Jaw-bone,
Don Assinigo?   Cym. Shunfield, a Jeer, you have it.
   Shun. I do confess, a washingswashing Blow; but Snarl,
You that might play the third Dog, for your Teeth,
You ha' no Money now?   Fit. No, nor no Mortgage.
   Alm. Nor Band.   Mad. Nor Statute.
   Cym. No, nor blushet Wax.
   P. sen. Nor you no Office, as I take it.   Shun. Cymbal,
A mighty Jeer.   Fit. Pox o' these true Jests, I say.
   Mad. He will turn the better Jeerer.
   Alm. Let's upon him,
And if we cannot jeer him down in Wit ——
   Mad. Let's do't in Noise.
   Shun. Content.   Mad. Charge, Man o' War,comma should be replaced with a period
   Alm. Lay him aboard.
   Shun. We'll gi' him a Broad-side first.
   Fit. Where's your Venison now?
   Cym. Your Red-deer Pies?
   Shun. Wi' your bak'd Turkeys?
   Alm. And your Partridges?
   Mad. Your Pheasants, and fat Swans?
   P. sen. Like you, turn'd Geese.
   Mad. But such as will not keep your Capitol.
   Shun. You were wont to ha' your Breams ——
   Alm. And Trouts sent in?
   Cym. Fat Carps and Salmons?   Fit. I, and now and then
An Emblem o' your self, an o're grown Pike?
   P. sen. You are a Jack, Sir.   Fit. You ha' made a shift
To swallow twenty such poor Jacks ere now.
   Alm. If he should come to feed upon poor John?
   Mad. Or turn pure Jack-a-lent after all this?
   Fit. Tut, he'll live like a Grasshopper —   Mad. On Dew.
   Shun. Or like a Bear, with licking his own Claws.
   Cym. I, if his Dogs were away.
   Alm. He'll eat them first,
While they are fat.   Fit. Faith, and when they are gone,
Here's nothing to be seen beyond.   Cym. Except
His Kindred, Spiders, Natives o' the Soil.
   Alm. Dust, he will ha' enough, to breed Fleas.
   Mad. But by that time he'll ha' no Blood to rear 'em.
   Shun. He will be as thin as a Lantern, we shall see
      thorow him.
   Alm. And his Gut Colon tell his Intestina ——
[His Dogs bark.
   P. sen. Rogues, Rascals, (Baw, waw.)
   Fit. He calls his Dogs to his aid.
   Alm. O! they but rise at mention of his Tripes.
   Cym. Let them alone, they do it not for him.
   Mad. They bark se defendendo.   Shun. Or for custom,
As commonly Curs do one for another.
   Lic. Arm, arm you, Gentlemen Jeerers, th' old Canter
Is coming in upon you, with his Forces,
The Gentleman that was the Canter.   Shun. Hence.
   Fit. Away.   Cym. What is he?
   Alm. Stay not to ask Questions.
   Fit. He's a Flame.
   Shun. A Furnace.   Alm. A Consumption,
[They all run away.
Kills where he goes.
   Lic. See! the whole Covey is scatter'd;
'Ware, 'ware the Hawks. I love to see him fly.

Act V.    Scene VI.

Peni-boy Ca. Peni-boy sen. Peni-boy jun. Pecunia, Train.

Ou see by this amazement and distraction,
 What your Companions were, a poor, afrighted,
And guilty Race of Men, that dare to stand
No Breath of Truth; but conscious to themselves

           The Staple of News. 455

Of their no-wit, or Honesty, ran routed
At ever Pannick Terror themselves bred.
Where else, as confident as sounding Brass,
Their tinkling Captain, Cymbal, and the rest,
Dare put on any Visor, to deride
The wretched, or with Buffoon Licence jest
At whatsoe're is serious, if not sacred.
   P. sen. Who's this? my Brother! and restor'd to Life!
[Peni-boy sen. acknowledgeth his elder Brother.

   P. Ca. Yes, and sent hither to restore your Wits,
If your short Madness be not more than Anger,
Conceived for your Loss! which I return you.
See here, your Mortgage, Statute, Band, and Wax,
Without your Broker, come to abide with you,
And vindicate the Prodigal from stealing
Away the Lady. Nay, Pecunia her self
Is come to free him fairly, and discharge
All Ties, but those of Love, unto her Person,
To use her like a Friend, not like a Slave,
Or like an Idol. Superstition
Doth violate the Deity it worships,
No less than Scorn doth. And believe it, Brother,
The Use of things is all, and not the Store:
Surfeit and Fulness have kill'd more than Famine.
The Sparrow, with his little Plumage, flies,
While the proud Peacock, overcharg'd with Pens,
Is fain to sweep the Ground with his grown Train,
And load of Feathers.   P. sen. Wise and honour'd Brother!
None but a Brother, and sent from the Dead,
As you are to me, could have altered me:
I thank my Destiny, that is so gracious.
Are there no Pains, no Penalties decreed
From whence you come, to us that smother Money
In Chests, and strangle her in Bags?   F. Ca.P. Ca. O, mighty,
Intolerable Fines, and Mulcts impos'd!
(Of which I come to warn you) Forfeitures
Of whole Estates, if they be known, and taken!
   P. sen. I thank you, Brother, for the light you have
      given me;
I will prevent 'em all. First free my Dogs,
Lest what I ha' done to them (and against Law)
Be a Prζmunire; for by Magna Charta

[column break]

They could not be committed, as close Prisoners,
My Learned Counsel tells me here, my Cook;
And yet he shew'd me the way first.   Lic. Who did? I?
I trench the Liberty o' the Subjects?   P. Ca. Peace,
Picklock, your Guest, that Stentor, hath infected you,
Whom I have safe enough in a wooden Collar.
   P. sen. Next, I restore these Servants to their Lady,
With Freedom, Heart of chear, and Countenance;
It is their Year and Day of Jubilee.
[Her Train thanks him.
   Tra. We thank you, Sir.
   P. sen. And lastly, to my Nephew
I give my House, Goods, Lands, all but my Vices,
And those I go to cleanse; kissing this Lady,
Whom I do give him too, and join their Hands.
   P. Ca. If the Spectators will join theirs, we thank 'em.
   P. jun. And wish they may, as I, enjoy Pecunia.
   Pec. And so Pecunia her self doth wish,
That she may still be Aid unto their Uses,
Not Slave unto their Pleasures, or a Tyrant
Over their fair Desires; but teach them all
The Golden Mean; the Prodigal, how to live;
The sordid, and the covetous, how to die:
That, with sound Mind; this, safe Frugality.

The  E P I L O G U E.

Hus have you seen the Makers double Scope,
profit, and delight; wherein our Hope
Is, though the Clout we do not always hit,
It will not be imputed to his Wit:
Tree so try'd, and bent, as 'twill not start.
Nor doth he often crack a String of Art,
Though there may other
Accidents as strange
Happen, the
Weather of your Looks may change,
Or some high
Wind of Misconceit arise,
To cause an Alteration in our
If so, w' are sorry, that have so miss-spent
Time and Tackle; yet he's confident,
And vows, the next fair Day he'll have us shoot
The same Match o're for him, if you'll come to't.

T H E   E N D.

[blank page]

Back Forward

The Holloway Pages Ben: Jonson Page

© 2003 by Clark J. Holloway.