EcoNazis are not a recent phenomenon.
Over. These are the fruits of bottle-ale and tobacco! the foam of the one, and the fumes of the other! Stay, young man, and despise not the wisdom of these few hairs that are grown grey in care of thee.
Edg. Nightingale, stay a little, Indeed I’ll hear some of this!
Enter Cokes, with his box, WASPE, MISTRESS OVERDO, and GRACE.
Cokes. Come, Numps, come, where are you? Welcome into the Fair, mistress Grace.
Edg. ’Slight, he will call company, you shall see, and put us into doings presently,
Over. Thirst not after that frothy liquor, ale; for who knows when he openeth the stopple, what may be in the bottle? Hath not a snail, a spider, yea, a newt been found there? thirst not after it, youth; thirst not after it.
Cokes. This is a brave fellow, Numps, let’s hear him.
Waspe. ’Sblood! how brave is he? in a garded coat! You were best truck with him; e’en strip, and truck presently, it will become you. Why will you bear him? because he is an ass, and may be akin to the Cokeses?
Cokes. O, good Numps.
Over. Neither do thou lust after that tawney weed tobacco.
Cokes. Brave words!
Over. Whose complexion is like the Indian’s that vents it.
Cokes. Are they not brave words, sister?
Over. And who can tell, if before the gathering and making up thereof, the Alligarta hath not piss’d thereon?
Waspe. ‘Heart! let ’em be brave words, as brave as they will! an they were all the brave words in a country, how then? Will you away yet, have you enough on him? Mistress Grace, come you away; I pray you, be not you accessary. If you do lose your license, or somewhat else, sir, with listening to his fables, say Numps is a witch, with all my heart, do, say so,
Cokes. Avoid in your satin doublet, Numps.
Over. The creeping venom of which subtle serpent, as some late writers affirm, neither the cutting of the perilous plant, nor the drying of it, nor the lighting or burning, can any way persway or assuage.
Cokes. Good, I’faith! is it not, sister?
Over. Hence it is that the lungs of the tobacconist are rotted, the liver spotted, the brain smoked like the backside of the pig-woman's booth here, and the whole body within, black as her pan you saw e’en now, without.
Cokes, A fine similitude that, sir! did you see the pan?
Edg. Yes, sir,
Over. Nay, the hole in the nose here of some tobacco-takers, or the third nostril, if I may so call it, which makes that they can vent the tobacco out, like the ace of clubs, or rather the flower-de-lis, is caused from the tobacco, the mere tobacco! when the poor innocent pox, having nothing to do there, is miserably and most unconscionably slandered.
Cokes. Who would have missed this, sister?
Mrs. Over. Not any body but Numps.
Cokes. He does not understand,
Edg. [picks Cokes’s pocket of his purse,] Nor you feel, [Aside.
Cokes. What would you have, sister, of a fellow that knows nothing but a basket-hilt, and an old fox in’t? the best musick in the Fair will not move a log,
Edg. [gives the purse aside to Night.] In, to Ursula, Nightingale, and carry her comfort: see it told. This fellow was sent to us by Fortune, for our first fairing.
Over. But what speak I of the diseases of the body, children of the Fair?
Cokes. That’s to us, sister, Brave, I’faith!
Over, Hark, O you sons and daughters of Smithfield! and hear what malady it doth the mind: it causeth swearing, it causeth swaggering, it causeth snuffling and snarling, and now and then a hurt.
Mrs. Over. He hath something of master Overdo, methinks, brother,
Cokes. So methought, sister, very much of my brother Overdo: and ’tis when he speaks.
Over. Look into any angle of the town, the Streights, or the Bermudas, where the quarrelling lesson is read, and how do they entertain the time, but with bottle-ale and tobacco? The lecturer is o’ one side. and his pupils o’ the other; but the seconds are still bottle-ale and tobacco, for which the lecturer reads, and the novices pay. Thirty pound a week in bottle-ale! forty in tobacco! and ten more in ale again. Then for a suit to drink in, so much, and, that being slaver’d, so much for another suit, and then a third suit, and a fourth suit! and still the bottle-ale slavereth, and the tobacco stinketh.
Waspe. Heart of a madman! are you rooted here? will you never away? what can any man find out in this bawling fellow, to grow here for? He is a full handful higher sin’ he heard him. Will you fix here, and set up a booth, sir?
Over. I will conclude briefly—
Waspe. Hold your peace, you roaring rascal. I'll run my head in your chaps else. You were best build a booth, and entertain him; make your will, an you say the word, and him your heir! heart, I never knew one taken with a mouth of a peck afore. By this light, I’ll carry you away on my back, an you will not come.
[He gets Cokes up on pick-back.
Cokes. Stay, Numps, stay, set me down: I have lost my purse, Numps. O my purse! One of my fine purses is gone!
Mrs. Over. Is it indeed, brother?
Cokes. Ay, as I am an honest man, would I were an arrant rogue else I a plague of all roguy damn’d cut-purses for me.
[Examines his pockets.
Waspe. Bless ’em with all my heart, with all my heart, do you see! now, as I am no infidel, that I know of, I am glad on’t. Ay, I am, (here’s my witness,) do you see, sir? I did not tell you of his fables, I! no, no, I am a dull malt horse, I, I know nothing. Are you not justly served, in your conscience, now, speak in your conscience? Much good do you with all my heart, and his good heart that has it, with all my heart again.
Edg. This fellow is very charitable, would he had a purse too! but I must not be too bold all at a time. [Aside.
Cokes. Nay, Numps, it is not my best purse.
Waspe. Not your best! death! why should it be your worst? why should it be any, indeed, at all? answer me to that, give me a reason from you, why it should be any?
Cokes. Not my gold, Numps; I have that yet, look here else, sister. [Shews the other purse.
Waspe. Why so, there's all the feeling he has!
Mrs. Over. I pray you, have a better care of that, brother.
Cokes. Nay, so I will, I warrant you; let him catch this that catch can. I would fain see him get this, look you here.
Waspe. So, so, so, so, so, so, so, so! very good.
Cokes. I would have him come again now, and but offer at it. Sister will you take notice of a good jest? I will put it just where the other was, and if we have good luck, you shall see a delicate fine trap to catch the cut-purse nibbling.
Edg. Faith, and he'll try ere you be out o’ the Fair. [Aside.
Cokes. Come, mistress Grace, prithee be not melancholy for my mischance; sorrow will not keep it, sweet-heart.
Grace. I do not think on’t, sir.
Cokes. ’Twas but a little scurvy white money, hang it! it may hang the cut-purse one day. I have gold left to give thee a fairing yet, as hard as the world goes. Nothing angers me but that no body here look'd like a cut-purse, unless ’twere Numps.
Waspe. How! I, I look like a cut-purse? death! your sister's a cut-purse! and your mother and father, and all your loin were cut¬purses! and here is a rogue is the bawd o' the cut-purses, whom I will beat to begin with. [Beats Overdo.
Over. Hold thy hand, child of wrath, and heir of anger, make it not Childermass day in thy fury, or the feast of the French Bartholomew, parent of the massacre.
Cokes. Numps, Numps!
Mrs. Over. Good master Humphrey!
Waspe. You are the Patrico, are you? the patriarch of the cutpurses? You share, sir, they say; let them share this with you. Are you in your hot fit of preaching again? I'll cool you.
[Beats him again.
Over. Murther, murther, murther! [Exeunt.
--Sam. Jonson, Bartholomew Fair. Current Mood: in its proper sense of being *