Sir Clyomon and Sir Clamydes/Scene ii
- Come on good fellow, follow me, that I may understand
- Of whence thou art, thus traveling here in a foreign land;
- Come, why dost thou not leave loitering there and follow after me?
- [within] Ah, I am in and’t shall please you!
- In! why, where art thou in?
- Well, I see thou art a merry companion, I shall like better of thy company:
- But, I pray thee, come away.
- [within] If I get out one of my legs, as fast as I may.
- Ha lo! ah my buttock! the very foundation thereof doth break;
- Ha lo! once again, I am as fast as though I had frozen here a week.
Here let him flip unto the stage backwards, as though he had pulled his leg out of the mire, one boot off, and then rise up to run in again.
- Why how now! whither runn’st thou? art thou foolish in thy mind?
- But to fetch one of my legs and’t shall please, that I have left in the mire behind.
- One of thy legs! why, look, man, both thy legs thou hast!
- It is but one of thy boots thou hast lost, thy labor thou dost wast.
- But one of my boots! Jesu, I had such a wrench with the fall,
- That, I assure, I did think one of my legs had gone withal.
- Well, let that pass, and tell me what thou art, and what is thy name,
- And from whence thou cam’st, and whither thy journey thou dost frame,
- That I have met thee by the way, thus traveling in this sort.
- What you have requested, and’t shall please, I am able to report,
- What I am by my nature each wight shall perceive
- That frequenteth my company by the learning I have:
- I am the son of Apollo, and from his high seat I came;
- But whither I go, it skills not, for Knowledge is my name,
- And whoso hath knowledge, what needs he to care
- Which way the wind blow, his way to prepare?
- And art thou Knowledge? Of troth, I am glad that I have met with thee.
- I am Knowledge, and have as good skill in a woman as any man whatsoever he be,
- For this I am certain of, let me but lie with her all night,
- And I’ll tell you in the morning whether she is maid, wife, or sprite;
- And as for other matters, speaking of languishes or any other thing,
- I am able to serve, and’t shall please, and’t were great Alexander the King.
- Of troth, then, for thy excellency, I will thee gladly entertain,
- If in case that with me thou wilt promise to remain.
- Nay, and’t shall please ye, I am like to a woman, say nay, and take it:
- When a gentleman proffers entertainment, I were a fool to forsake it.
- Well, Knowledge, then sith thou art content my servant to be,
- And endued with noble qualities thy personage I see,
- Thou having perfect knowledge how thyself to behave,
- I will send thee of mine errand; but haste thither, I crave,
- For here I will stay thy coming again.
- Declare your pleasure, sir, and whither I shall go, and then the case is plain.
- Nay, of no great importance, but being here in Suavia
- And near unto the court, I would have thee to take thy way
- Thither with all speed, because I would hear
- If any shows or triumphs be towards, else would I not come there;
- For only upon feats of arms is all my delight.
- [aside] If I had known so much before, serve that serve will, I would have served no martial knight.—
- Well, sir, to accomplish your will, to the court I will hie,
- And what news is there stirring, bring word by and by.
- Do so, good Knowledge, and here in place thy coming I will stay,
- For nothing doth delight me more than to hear of martial play.
- Can food unto the hungry corps be cause of greater joy
- Than for the haughty heart to hear, which doth itself employ
- Through martial exercises much to win the bruit of fame,
- Where mates do meet which thereunto their fancies seems to frame:
- Can music more the pensive heart or daunted mind delight,
- Can comfort more the careful corps and over-palled sprite,
- Rejoice, then sound of trumpet doth each warlike wight allure,
- And drum and fife unto the fight doth noble hearts procure,
- To see in sunder shivered the lance that leads the way,
- And worthy knights unbeavered in field amidst the fray?
- To hear the rattling cannons roar, and hilts on helmets ring,
- To see the soldiers swarm on heaps, where valiant hearts doth bring
- The cowardly crew into the case of careful captives’ band,
- Where ancients brave displayed be and won by force of hand?
- What wight would not as well delight as this to hear and see,
- Betake himself in like affairs a fellow mate to be
- With Clyomon, to Denmark King the only son and heir,
- Who of the Golden Shield as now the knightly name doth bear
- In every land since that I foiled the worthy knight of fame,
- Sir Samuel, before the king and prince of martial game,
- Alexander called the Great; which when he did behold,
- He gave to me in recompense this shield of glittering gold,
- Requesting for to know my name, the which shall not be shown
- To any knight unless by force he make it to be known;
- For so I vowed to Denmark King, my father’s grace, when I
- First got his leave that I abroad my force and strength might try,
- And so I have myself behaved in city, town, and field,
- That never yet did fall reproach to the Knight of the Golden Shield.
Re-enter Subtle Shift, running.
- God’s ames, where are you, where are you? And you be a man, come away.
- Why, what is the matter, Knowledge? To tell thy errand stay.
- Stay! What talk you of staying? Why, then, all the sight will be past:
- Clamydes the king’s son shall be dubbed knight in all hast.
- Ah Knowledge, then come indeed, and good pastime thou shalt see!
- For I will take the honor from him that dubbed I may be:
- Upon a courageous stomach, come, let us haste thither.
- Lead you the way and I’ll follow; we’ll be both made knights togither.
- Ah sirrah, is my master so lusty or dares he be so bold?
- It is no marvel then, if he bear a shield of gold:
- But, by your patience, if he continue in this business, farewell master than,
- For, I promise you, I intend not very long to be his man,
- Although under the title of Knowledge my name I do feign,
- Subtle Shift I am called, that is most plain;
- And as it is my name, so it is my nature also
- To play the shifting knave wheresoever I go.
- Well, after him I will—but, soft now! If my master chance to be lost,
- And any man examine me, in telling his name I am as wise as a post:
- What a villain was I that, ere he went, could not ask it!
- Well, it’s no great matter, I am but half bound, I may serve whom I will yet.
- sd] B; "Enter Sir Clyomon Knight of the Golden Sheeld, sonne to the King of Denmarke, with subtill Shift the Vice, booted." Q. The dialog necessitates the changes in stage directions.
- wanion] D B; woman Q
- sd]D B; Q has Subtle Shift exit at the end of his last speech.
- seems] Q; seem D B
- doth] Q; do D B
- For] Q; omitted D B
- the Vice: "The Vice"—equivalent in this stage-direction to "the buffoon"—was a prominent character in the early Moral Plays.—Dyce
- booted: Sir Clyomon and Shift are "booted" (in their riding-boots) as they are going on a journey.—Bullen
- wanion: With a wanion = with a curse, with a murrain.—Dyce, Bullen
- berayed: befouled.
- it skills not: It skills not = it matters not.
- languishes: A corruption of languages.
- say nay, and take it: A proverbial expression. "Faire de guedon guedon. To mince or simper it; to be nice, quaint, scrupulous of receiving what inwardly is longed for; to say nay and take it, as men say maids do."—Cotgrave. (Cf. Richard III, iii. 7:—“Play the maid’s part,—still answer nay, and take it.”)
- towards: in preparation, at hand.
- corps: Often used for the living body.—So in Byrd’s Psalms, Sonnets and Songs:—“Care for thy corps, but chiefly for soul’s sake, / Cut off excess, sustaining food is best.”—Bullen
- bruit: report
- ancients: ensigns
- this: i.e. this wight (the speaker)?—Bullen
- God's ames: Does it mean God's soul (Fr. ame)—Dyce. A corrupt oath.—Bullen
- togither: So spelt for the rhyme—Dyce
- than: A form of then, used here for the sake of the rhyme.—Dyce
- Clyo. Come on good fellow follow me, that I may vnderſtand
- Of whence thou art, thus trauelling here in a forraine land:
- Come why doſt thou not leaue loytering there, and follow after me?
- Shift. Ah I am in ant ſhall pleaſe you.
- Clyo. In, why where art thou in?
- Shift. Faith in a dirtie Ditch with a woman, ſo beraide, as it’s pittie to ſee.
- Clyo. Well, I ſee thou art a merrie cõpanion, I ſhall like better of thy cõpany:
- But, I pray thee, come away.
- Shift. If I get out one of my legs, as faſt as I may
- Ha lo, A my buttocke, the very foundation thereof doth breake,
- Ha lo, once againe, I am as faſt, as though I had frozen here a weeke.
- Clyo. Why how now, whither runſt thou, art thou fooliſh in thy mind?
- Shi. But to fetch one of my legs ant ſhall pleaſe, that I haue left in the mire behind.
- Clyo. One of thy legs, why looke man, both thy legs thou haſt,
- It is but one of thy bootes thou haſt loſt, thy labour thou doeſt waſt.
- Shift. But one of my bootes, Ieſu, I had ſuch a wrench with the fall,
- That I aſſure, I did thinke one of my legs had gone withall.
- Clyo. Well let that paſſe, and tell me what thou art, and what is thy name?
- And from whence thou cam’ſt, and whither thy iourney thou doeſt frame,
- That I haue met thee by the way, thus trauelling in this ſort?
- Shift. What you haue requeſted, ant ſhall pleaſe, I am able to report,
- What I am by my nature each wight ſhall perceiue
- That frequenteth my company, by the learning I haue.
- I am the ſonne of Appollo, and from his high ſeate I came,
- But whither I go, it skils not, for knowledge is my name:
- And who ſo hath knowledge, what needs he to care
- Which way the wind blowe, his way to prepare.
- Cly. And art thou knowledge, of troth I am glad that I haue met with thee.
- Shift. I am knowledge, and haue as good skill in a woman as any man whatſoeuer he bee.
- For this I am certaine of, let me but lie with her all night,
- And Ile tell you in the morning, whether ſhe is maid, wife, or ſprite:
- And as for other matters, ſpeaking of languiſhes, or any other thing,
- I am able to ſerue, ant ſhall pleaſe, ant were great Alexander the King.
- Clyo. Of troth, then for thy excellencie, I will thee gladly entertaine,
- If in caſe that with me thou wilt promiſe to remaine.
- Shift. Nay ant ſhall pleaſe ye, I am like to a woman, ſay nay, and take it,
- When a gentleman profers entertainment, I were a foole to forſake it.
- Clyo. Well knowledge, then ſith thou art content my ſeruant to bee,
- And endued with noble qualities, thy perſonage I ſee,
- Thou hauing perfect knowledge, how thy ſelfe to behaue:
- I will ſend thee of mine arrant; but haſte thither I craue:
- For here I will ſtay thy comming againe.
- Shift. Declare your pleaſure ſir, and whither I ſhall go, and then the caſe is plaine.
- Clyo. Nay of no great importance, but being here in Suauia
- And neare vnto the Court, I would haue thee to take thy way
- Thither with all ſpeed, becauſe I would heare
- If any ſhews or triumphs be towards, elſe would I not come there,
- For onely vpon feates of armes is all my delight.
- Shift. If I had knowne ſo much before, ſerue that ſerue will, I would haue ſeru'd no martiall Knight.
- Well ſir, to accompliſh your will, to the court I will hy,
- And what news is there ſtirring, bring word by and by.
- Clyo. Do ſo good knowledge, and here in place thy comming I will ſtay:
- For nothing doth delight me more, than to heare of martiall play.
- Can foode vnto the hungrie corps, be cauſe of greater ioy,
- Then for the haughtie heart to heare, which doth it ſelfe imploy,
- Through martiall excerciſes much to winne the brute of Fame,
- Where mates do meete which therevnto their fancies ſeemes to frame:
- Can muſicke more the penſiue heart or daunted mind delight,
- Can comfort more the carefull corps and ouer palled ſpright,
- Reioyce, then ſound of Trumpet doth each warlike wight allure,
- And Drum and Fyfe vnto the fight doth noble hearts procure,
- To ſee in ſunder ſhiuered, the Lance that leades the way,
- And worthy knights vnbeauered, in field amidſt the fray,
- To heare the ratling Cannons roare, and Hylts on Helmets ring,
- To ſee the ſouldiers ſwarm on heapes, where valiant hearts doth bring
- The cowardly crew into the caſe of carefull Captiues band,
- Where auncients braue diſplayed be, and wonne by force of hand.
- What wight would not as well delight as this to heare and ſee,
- Betake himſelfe in like affairs a fellow mate to bee,
- With Clyomon, to Denmarke King the onely ſonne and heire,
- Who of the Golden Sheeld as now, the knightly name doth beare
- In euery land ſince that I foyld the worthy Knight of Fame,
- Sir Samuel before the King, and Prince of martiall game.
- Alexander cald the Great, which when he did behold,
- He gaue to me in recompence, this Shield of glittering Gold:
- Requeſting for to know my name, the which ſhall not be ſhowen
- To any Knight, vnleſſe by force he make it to be knowen.
- For ſo I vowed to Denmarke King, my fathers grace when I
- Firſt got his leaue, that I abroad my force and ſtrength might try.
- And ſo I haue my ſelfe behau'd, in City, Towne and field,
- That neuer yet did fall reproach, to the Knight of the Golden Shield.
- Shift. Gods ames, where are you, where are you? and you bee a man come away.
- Clya. Why what is the matter knowledge? to tell thy arrand ſtay.
- Shift. Stay, what talke you of ſtaying, why then all the ſight will be paſt,
- Clamides the Kings ſonne ſhall be dubd Knight in all haſt.
- Clyo. Ah knowledge, then come indeed, and good paſtime thou ſhalt ſee,
- For I will take the honour from him, that dubbed I may bee.
- Vpon a couragious ſtomacke, come let vs haſte thither.
- Shift. Leade you the way and ile follow, weele be both made knights togither.
- Ah ſirrah, is my maſter ſo luſtie, or dares he be ſo bold?
- It is no maruell then, if he beare a Sheeld of Gold.
- But by your patience if he continue in this buſineſſe, farewell maiſter than,
- For I promiſe you, I entend not very long to be his man:
- Although vnder the title of knowledge my name I do faine,
- Subtill Shift I am called, that is moſt plaine.
- And as it is my name, ſo it is my nature alſo,
- To play the ſhifting knaue whereſoeuer I go.
- Well, after him I will, but, ſoft now, if my maiſter chance to be loſt
- And any man examine me, in telling his name I am as wiſe as a poſt.
- What a villaine was I, that ere he went, could not aske it?
- Well, its no great matter, I am but halfe bound, I may ſerue whom I will yet.