The Lamentable and True Tragedie of M. Arden of Feversham in Kent/Act 3

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Here enters Arden & Fran.

No Francklin no, if feare or stormy threts,
If loue of me, or care of womanhoode,

If feare of God, or common speach of men,
Who mangle credit with their wounding words,
And cooch dishonor, as dishonor buds.
Might ioyne repentaunce in her wanton thoughts,
No question then but she would turne the leafe,
And sorrow for her desolution.
But she is rooted in her wickednes
Peruerse and stobburne, not to be reclaimde,
Good counsell is to her as raine to weedes
And reprehension makes her vice to grow,
As Hydraes head that perisht by decay.
Her faults me think are painted in my face.
For euery searching eye to ouer reede.
And Mosbies name, a scandale vnto myne.
Is deeply trenched in my blushing brow.
Ah Francklin Francklin, when I think on this,
My harts greefe rends my other powers,
Worse then the conflict at the houre of death.

Gentle Arden leaue this sad lament,
She will amend, and so your greefes will cease
Or els shele die, and so your sorrows end.
If neither of these two do happely fall,
Yet let your comfort be, that others beare
Your woes twice doubled all with patience.

My house is irksome, there I cannot rest.

Then stay with me in London, go not home.

Then that base Mosbie doth vsurpe my roome,
And makes his triumphe of my beeing thence.
At home, or not at home, where ere I be.
Heere heere it lyes, ah Francklin here it lyes,
That wil not out till wretched Arden dies.

Here enters Michaell.

Forget your greefes a while, heer coms your man,

What a Clock ist sirra?

Almost ten.

See see how runnes away the weary time,

Come M. Franklin, shal we go to bed.

Exeunt Arden & Michaell.
Manet Francklin.

I pray you go before, Ile follow you,
Ah what ahell is fretfull Ielousie?
What pitty moning words? what deepe fetcht sighes?
What greeuous grones? and ouerlading woes,
Accompanies this gentle gentleman.
Now will he shake his care oppressed head,
Then fix his sad eis on the sollen earth,
Ashamed to gaze vpon the open world.
Now will he cast his eyes vp towards the heauens,
Looking that waies for redresse of wrong,
Some times he seeketh to beguile his griefe,
And tels a story with his carefull tongue.
Then comes his wiues dishonor in his thoughts,
And in the middle cutteth of his tale.
Powring fresh sorrow on his weary lims.
So woe begone, so inlye charged with woe,
Was neuer any lyued and bare it so.

Here enters Michaell.

My M. would desire you come to bed.

Is he himselfe already in his bed?

Exit Fran. Manet Mic.

He is and faine would haue the light away,
Conflicting thoughts incamped in my brest
Awake me with the Echo of their strokes:
And I a iudge to censure either side,
Can giue to neither wished victory.
My masters kindnes pleads to me for lyfe,
With iust demaund, and I must grant it him.
My mistres she hath forced me with an oath,
For Susans sake the which I may not breake,
For that is nearer the a masters loue,
That grim faced fellow, pittiles black Will,
And Shakebag stearne in bloody stratageme.

Two Ruffer Ruffins neuer liued in Kent,
Haue sworne my death, if I infrindge my vow,
A dreadfull thing to be considred of,
Me thinks I see them with their bolstred haire,
Staring and grinning in thy gentle face,
And in their ruthles hands, their dagers drawne,
Insulting ore there with a peck of oathes.
Whilest thou submissiue pleading for releefe,
Art mangled by their irefull instruments.
Me thinks I heare them aske where Michaell is
And pittiles black Will, cryes stab the slaue.
The Pesant will detect the Tragedy.
The wrincles in his fowle death threatning face,
Gapes open wide, lyke graues to swallow men.
My death to him is but a merryment,
And he will murther me to make him sport.
He comes he comes, ah M. Francklin helpe,
Call vp the neighbors or we are but dead

Here enters Fran. & Arden.

What dismall outcry cals me from my rest?

What hath occasiond such a fearefull crye?
Speake Michaell, hath any iniurde thee?

Nothing sir, but as I fell a sleepe,
Upon the thresholde leaning to the staires.
I had a fearefull dreame that troubled me,
And in my slumber thought I was beset,
With murtherer theeues that came to rifle me.
My trembling ioints witnes my inward feare.
I craue your pardons for disturbing you.

So great a cry for nothing, I nere heard.
What, are the doores fast lockt? and al things safe?

I cannot tel, I think I lockt the doores.

I like not this, but Ile go see my selfe,
Nere trust me, but the dores were all vnlockt.
This negligence not halfe contenteth me.
Get you to bed, and if you loue my fauour,

Let me haue no more such pranckes as these
Come M. Francklin, let vs go to bed.

I be my Faith, the aire is very colde, Exeunt.
Michaell farewell, I pray thee dreame no more.

Black night hath hid the pleasurs of yᵉ day.

Here enters Will, Gre. and Shak.

And sheting darknesse ouerhangs the earth,

And with the black folde of her cloudy robe,
Obscure vs from the eiesight of the worlde,
In which swete silence such as we triumph.
The laysie minuts linger on their time,
Loth to giue due audit to the howre:
Til in the watch our purpose be complete,
And Arden sent to euerlasting night.
Greene get you gone, and linger here about,
And at some houre hence, come to vs againe,
Where we will giue you instance of his death.

Speede to my wish whose wil so ere sayes no,
And so ile leaue you for an howre or two. Exit Gre.

I tel thee Shakebag, would this thing wer don,
I am so heauy that I can scarse go:
This drowsines in me bods little good.

How now Will, become a precissian.
Nay then lets go sleepe, when buges and feares,
Shall kill our courages with their fancies worke,

Why Shakbagge thou mistakes me much,
And wrongs me to in telling me of feare,
Wert not a serious thing we go about,
It should be slipt, til I had fought with thee:
To let thee know I am no coward I,
I tel thee Shakbag thou abusest me.

Why thy speach bewraied an inlye kind of feare.
And sauourd of a weak relenting spirit.
Go forward now in that we haue begonne.
And afterwards attempt me when thou darest.

And if I do not heauen cut me of,
But let that passe, and show me to this house.

Where thou shalt see Ile do as much as Shakbag.

This is the doore, but soft, me thinks tis shut,
The villaine Michaell hath deceiued vs,

Soft let me see, shakbag tis shut indeed.
Knock with thy sword, perhaps the slaue will heare,

It wil not be, the white liuerd pesant is gon to bed
And laughs vs both to scorne.

And he shall by his mirriment as deare,
As euer coistrell bought so little sport,
Nere let this sworde assist me when I neede,
But rust and canker after I haue sworne:
If I the next time that I mete the hind,
Loppe not away his leg, his arme or both,

And let me neuer draw a sword againe,
Nor prosper in the twilight, cockshut light,
When I would fleece the welthie passenger,
But ly and languish in a loathsome den:
Hated and spit at by the goers by.
And in that death may die, vnpittied.
If I the next time that I meete the slaue,
Cut not the nose from of the cowards face,
And trample on it, for this villany.

Come lets go seeke out Green I know hele swear

He were a villane and he would not sweare,
Twould make a pesant sweare amongst his boyes.
That nere durst say before but yea and no.
To be thus flouted of a coysterel.

Shakbag lets seeke out Green, & in the morning
At the Alehouse butting Ardens house,
Watch thee out comming of that prick eard cur,
And then let me alone to handle him.Exeunt.

Here enters Ard. Fra. & Michaell.

Sirra get you back to billensgate,
And learne what time the tide will serue our turne,
Come to vs in Paules, first go make the bed,
And afterwards go harken for the floude. Exit Michaell.

Come M. Francklin, you shall go with me.
This night I dreamd that beeing in a parke,
A toyle was picht to ouerthrow the deare.
And I vppon a little rysing hill,
Stoode whistely watching for the herds approch,
Euen there me thoughts a gentle slumber tooke me,
And sommond all my parts to sweete repose.
But in the pleasure of this golden rest,
An ill thewd foster had remoued the toyle,
And rounded me with that beguyling home.
Which late me thought was pitcht to cast the deare,
With that he blew an euill sounding horne,
And at the noise an other heard man came:
With Fauchon drawn, and bent it at my brest.
Crying aloud thou art the game we seeke,
With this I wakt, and trembled euery ioynt,
Lyke one oscured in a lytle bushe,
That sees a lyon foraging about,
And when the dreadfull forrest King is gone,
He pryes about, with timerous suspect,
Throughout the thorny casements of the brake,
And will not think his person daungerles.
But quakes and shewers though the cause be gone.
So trust me Francklin when I did awake,
I stoode in doubt whether I waked or no:
Such great impression tooke this fond surprise:
God graunt this vision bedeeme me any good.

This fantassie doeth rise from Michaels feare.
Who being awaked with the noyse he made,
His troubled sences, yet could take no rest.
And this I warant you procured your dreame.

It may be so God frame it to the best,
But often times my dreames presage to trew.

To such as note their nightly fantasies,
Some one in twenty may incurre beliefe,
But vse it not, tis but a mockery.

Come M. Francklin wele now walke in Paules
And dyne togeather at the ordinary,
And by my mans direction draw to the key,
And with the tyde go down to Feuershame,
Say M. Francklin shall it not be so?

At your good pleasure sir,
Ile beare you companye.Exeunt.

Here enters Michaell at one doore.
Here enters Grene, Will, and Shakebag,
at another doore.

Draw Shakbag, for heers that villaine Michael,

First Will lets heare what he can say,

Speak milkesope slaue, & neuer after speake.

For Gods sake sirs let me excuse my selfe.
For heare I sweare by heauen and earth and all,
I did performe the outmost of my task,
And left the doores vnbolted and vnlockt,
But see the chaunce Francklin and my master,
Were very late conferring in the porch,
And Francklin left his napkin where he sat,
With certain gould knit in it, as he said
Being in bed, he did bethinke himselfe,
And comming down, he found the dores vnshut,
He lockt the gates, and brought away the keyes
For which offence my master rated me,
But now I am going to see what floode it is,
For with the tyde my M. will away.
Where you may frons him well on Raynum downe,
A place well fitting such a stratageme.

Your excuse hath somewhat molyfied my choller,
Why now Greene tis better now nor ere it was,

But Michaell is this trew?

As trew as I report it to be trew.

Then Michaell this shall be your pennance,
To feast vs all at the Salutation,
Where we wil plat our purpose throughly.

And Michael, you shal bear no newes of this tide
Because they two may be in Raynu down before your M.

Why Ile agree to any thing youle haue me.
So you will except of my company.Exeunt.

Here enters Mosby.

Disturbed thoughts dryues me from company,
And dryes my marrow with their watchfulnes,
Continuall trouble of my moody braine,
Feebles my body by excesse of drinke,
And nippes me, as the bitter Northeast wind,
Doeth check the tender blosoms in the spring.
Well fares the man how ere his cates do taste
That tables not with foule suspition:
And he but pines amongst his delicats,
Whose troubled minde is stuft with discontent.
My goulden time was when I had no gould,
Thought then I wanted, yet I slept secure,
My dayly toyle, begat me nights repose:
My nights repose made daylight fresh to me.
But since I climbd the toppe bough of the tree,
And sought to build my nest among the clouds.
Each gentle stary gaile doth shake my bed:
And makes me dread my downfall to the earth,
But whether doeth contemplation carry me.
The way I seeke to finde where pleasure dwels,
Is hedged behinde me that I cannot back,
But needs must on, although to dangers gate:
Then Arden perish thou by that decre.
For Greene doth erre the land and weede thee vp,
To make my haruest nothing but pure corne.
And for his paines Ile heaue him vp a while,
And aftersmother him to haue his waxe.
Such bees as Greene, must neuer liue to sting.
Then is there Michael and the Painter to,
Cheefe actors to Ardens ouerthrow:
Who when they shall see me sit in Ardens seat,

They wil insult vpon me for my mede,
Or fright me by detecting of his end.
Ile none of that, for I can cast a bone,
To make these curres pluck out each others throat,
And then am I sole ruler of mine owne:
Yet mistres Arden liues, but she's my selfe,
And holy Churchrites makes vs two, but one,
But what for that I may not trust you Ales,
You haue supplanted Arden for my sake,
And will extirpen me to plant another:
Tis feareful sleeping in a serpents bed.
And I wil cleanely rid my hands of her.

Here enters Aes.

But here she comes and I must flatter her.
How now Ales? what sad, and passionat?
Make me pertaker of thy pensiuenes:
Fyre deuided burnes with lesser force.

But I will damne that fire in my breast.
Till by the force therof, my part consume, ah Mosbie.

Such depe pathaires lyke to a cannons burst,
Dischargde against a ruinated wall,
Breakes my relenting hart in thousand pieces,
Ungentle Ales thy sorrow is my sore,
Thou knowst it wel, and tis thy pollicy,
To forge distressefull looks, to wound a breast,
Where lyes a hart, that dies where thou art sad,
It is not loue, that loues to anger loue.

It is not loue, that loues to murther loue.

How meane you that?

Thou knowest how dearly Arden loued me.

And then.

And then conceale the rest, for tis too bad,
Least that my words be carried with the wind.
And publisht in the world to both our shames,
I pray thee Mosbye let our springtime wither,
Our haruest els will yeald but lothsome weedes.

Forget I pray thee what hath past betwix vs,
For now I blushe and tremble at the thoughts,

What are you changde?

I to my former happy lyfe againe.
From tytle of an odious strumpets name,
To honest Ardens wife, not Ardens honest wife,
Ha Mosbye tis thou hast rifled me of that,
And made me slaundrous to all my kin:
Euen in my forehead is thy name ingrauen,
Ameane Artifiecer, that lowe borne name,
I was bewitched, woe worth the haples howre,
And all the causes that inchaunted me:

Nay if thou ban, let me breath curses forth,
And if you stand so nicely at your fame:
Let me repent the credit I haue lost,
I haue neglected matters of import,
That would haue stated me aboue thy state:
Forslowde aduantages, and spurnd at time.
I Fortunes right hand Mosbie hath forsooke,
To take a wanton giglote by the left.
I left the Mariage of an honest maid,
UUhose dowry would haue weyed down all thy wealth,
UUhose beauty and demianor farre exceeded thee.
This certaine good I lost for changing bad,
And wrapt my credit in thy company.
I was bewitcht, that is no theame of thine,
And thou vnhallowed hast enchaunted me:
But I will breake thy spels, and excirsimes,
And put another sight vpon these eyes,
That shewed my hart, a rauen for a dowe.
Thou art not faire, I vieud thee not till now,
Thou art not kinde, till now I knew the not.
And now the raine hath beaten of thy gilt,
Thy worthles copper showes thee counterfet.
It grieues me not to see how foull thou art,
But maddes me that euer I chought thee faire,

Go get thee gone, a copesmate for thy hyndes.
I am too good to be thy fauorite.

I now I see, and too soone find it trew,
Which often hath beene tould me by my freends:
That Mosbie loues me not but for my wealth,
Which too incredulus I nere beleeued.
Nay heare me speake Mosbie a word or two,
Ile byte my tongue, if it speake bitterly:
Looke on me Mosby, or Ile kill my selfe,
Nothing shall hide me from thy stormy looke:
If thou cry warre, there is no peace for me
I will do pennance for offending thee,
And burne this prayer booke, where I here vse,
The holy word that had conuerted me,
See Mosbie I will teare away the leaues.
And al the leaues, and in this golden couer,
Shall thy sweete phrases, and thy letters dwell,
And thereon will I chiefly meditate,
And hould no other sect, but such deuotion,
Wilt thou not looke? is all thy loue ouerwhelmde?
Wilt thou not heare? what malice stopes thine eares?
Why speaks thou not? what silence ties thy tongue?
Thou hast bene sighted, as the eagle is,
And heard as quickly as the fearefull hare:
And spoke as smoothly as an orator.
When I haue bid thee heare, or see, or speak.
And art thou sensible in none of these?
Waigh all thy good turns, with this little fault,
And I deserue not Mosbies muddy lookes.
A fence of trouble is not thickned still,
Be cleare againe, Ile nere more trouble thee,

O no, I am a base artificer,
My winges are feathred for a lowly flght,
Mosby fy no, not for a thousand pound,
Make loue to you, why tis vnpardonable,
We beggers must not breath where gentiles are.

Swete Mosbie is as gentle as a King,
And I too blinde, to iudge him otherwise,
Flowres do some times spring in fallow lands,
UUeedes in gardens, Roses grow on thornes.
So what so ere my Mosbies father was,
Himselfe valued gentle by his worth.

Ah how you women can insinuate,
And cleare a trespasse with your sweete set tongue,
I will forget this quarrel gentle Ales,
Prouided Ile be tempted so no more:

Here enters Bradshaw,

Then with thy lips seale vp this new made match

Soft Ales for here comes some body.

How now Bradshaw, whats the news with you

I haue little news but heres a letter.
That M. Greene importuned me to giue you:

Go in Bradshaw call for a cuppe of beare. Exit.
Tis almost suppertime, thou shalt stay with vs.

Then she reades the Letter.
We haue mist of our purpose at London, but shall perform it by the waye, We thanke our neighbour Bradshaw.

Yours Richard Greene.

How lykes my loue the tennor of this letter?

Well, were his date compleat and expired.

Ah would it were,
Then comes my happy howre.
Till then my blisse is mixt with bitter gall.
Come let vs in to shun suspition.

I to the gates of death to follow thee. Exeunt.

Here enters Greene Will & Shakbag.

Come Will, see thy tooles be in a redynes?
Is not thy Powder dancke,
Or will thy flint stryke fyre

Then aske me if my nose be on my face.
Or whether my toung be frosen in my mouth.

Zounds heres a coyle, you were best sweare mee on the intergatories, how many Pistols I haue tooke in hand.
Or whether I loue the smell of gunne powder,
Or dare abide the noise the dagge will make.
Or will not wincke at flashing of the fire.
I pray thee shackbag let this answer thee.
That I haue tooke more purses in this down,
Then ere thou handledst pistols in thy life.

I happely thou hast pickt more in a throng.
But should I bragge what booties I haue tooke,
I think the ouerplus thats more then thine,
Would mount to a greater somme of money,
Then either thou, or all thy kinne are worth.
Zounds I hate them as I hate a toade,
That cary a muscado in their tongue.
And scarce a hurting weapon in their hand.

O Greene, intollerable,
It is not for mine honor to beare this.
Why shakbag I did serue the King at Bulloyne,
And thou canst bragge of nothing that thou hast done.

Why so can Iack of Feuershame,
That sounded for a phillope on the nose:
When he that gaue it him hollowed in his eare.
And he supposed a Cannon bullet hit him.

Then they fight.

I pray you sirs list to Esops talk,
Whilest two stout dogs were striuing for a bone,
There comes a cur, and stole it from them both,
So while you stand striuing on these termes of manhoode,
Arden escapes vs and deceaue vs al.

Why he begun.

And thou shalt finde Ile end.
I doo but slip it vntil better time.
But if I do forget.

Then hee kneeles downe and houldes vp
his hands to heauen.

Wel take your fittest standings, & once more
Lime your twigs to catch this weary bird,
Ile leaue you, and at your dags discharge
Make towards lyke the longing water dog,
That coucheth til the fowling peece be of:
Then ceazeth on the pray with eager moode,
Ah might I see him stretching foorth his limmes,
As I haue seene them beat their wings ere now,

Why that thou shalt see if he come this way,

Yes that he doth shakbag I warrant thee:
But braul not when I am gone in any case,
But sirs be sure to speede him, when he comes,
And in that hope Ile leaue you for an houre. Exit Gre.

Here enters Arden Fran. & Mic.

Twere best that I went back to Rochester,
The horse halts down right, it were not good
He trauailed in such paine to feuershame:
Remouing of a shoe may happely help it.

Well get you back to Rochester, but siirra see ye ouertake vs ere we come to Raynum down,
For it will be very late ere we get home:

I God he knowes, & so doth Will and shakebagge,
That thou shalt neuer go further then that downe,
And therefore haue I prickt the horse on purpose,
Because I would not view the massacar. Exit Michaell.

Come M. Francklin onwards with your tale,

I assure you sir, you taske me much,
A heauy bloode is gathered at my hart,
And on the sudden is my winde so short:
As hindereth the passage of my speach.
So ferse a qualme yet neere assayled me:

Come M. Francklin let vs go on softly,
The anoyance of the dust, or els some meat,
you eat at dinner, cannot brooke you:
I haue bene often so, and soone amended.

Do you remember where my tale did leaue?

I, where the gentleman did chek his wife.

She being reprehended for the fact.
Witnes produced that tooke her with the deed,
Her gloue broght in, which there she left behind,
And many other assured Arguments:
He husband askt her whether if were not so.

her answer then, I wonder how she lookt,
Hauing forsworne it with such vehement oathes,
And at the instant so approued vppon her,

First did she cast her eyes down to the earth,
Watching the drops that fell amaine from thence,
Then softly drawes she foorth her hand kercher,
And modestly she wypes her teare staind face:
Then hemd she out to cleare her voice should seeme,
And with a maiesty addrest her selfe,
To encounter all their accusations.
Pardon me M. Arden I can no more:
This fighting at my hart, makes shorte my wynde.

Come we are almost now at Raynum downe,
Your pretty tale beguiles the weary way:
I would you were in state to tell it out.

Stand close Will I heare them cumming.

Here enters Lord Cheiny with his men.

Stand to it Shakbag, and be resolute,

Lord Che.
Is it so neere night as it seemes,
Or wil this black faced euening haue a showre?
What M. Arden, you are well met,
I haue longd this fortnights day to speake with you,
You are a stranger man in the ile of Shepny,

Your honors alwayes bound to do you seruice,

Lord Che.
Come you from London & nere a man with you?

My man's comming after,
But her's my honest freend that came along with me.

Lord Che.
My Lord protectors man I take you to bee

I my good Lord, and highly bound to you,

Lord Che.
You & your frend come home & sup with me.

I beseech your honor pardon me.
I haue made a promise to a gentle man,
My honest freend to meete him at my house,
The occasion is great, or els would I wait on you.

Lord C.
Will you come to morrow & dyne with me.
And bring your honest frend along with you:
I haue dyuers matters to talke with you about.

To morrow wele waite vpon your honor,

Lord C.
One of you staye my horse at the top of the hil
What black Will, for whose purse wait you?
Thou wilt be hanged in Kent, when all is done.

Not hanged, God saue your honor.
I am your bedesman, bound to pray for you,

Lord C.
I think thou nere saidest prayer in all thy lyfe,
One of you giue him a crowne,
And sirra leaue this kinde of lyfe.
If thou beest tainted for a penny matter,
And come in question surely thou wilt trusse.
Come M. Arden let vs be going,
Youre way and mine lyes foure myle togeather. Exeunt.

Manet Black Wil & Shakbag.

The Deuill break all your necks, at 4 myles end,
Zounds I could kill my selfe for very anger.
His Lordship chops me in, euen when
My dagge was leaueld at his hart.
I would his crowne were molten down his throat,

Arden thou hast wondrous holye luck,
Did euer man escape as thou hast done.
Well Ile discharge my pistoll at the skye,
For by this bullet Arden might not die.

Here enters Greene.

What is he down, is he dispatcht?

I in health towards Feuershame, to shame vs all

The Deuill he is, why sirs how escapt he?

When we were ready to shoote,
Comes my Lord Cheiny to preuent his death.

The Lord of heauen hath preserued him.

Preserued, a figge, the L. Cheiny hath preserued him
And bids him to a feast, to his house at shorlow:
But by the way, once more Ile meete with him,
And if all the Cheinies in the world say no,
Ile haue a bullet in his breast to morrow,
Therefore come Greene and let vs to Feuershame.

I and excuse our selues to mistres Arden,
O how shele chafe when she heares of this.

Why ile warrant you shel think we dare not do it

Why then let vs go, & tell her all the matter.
And plat the newes to cut him of to morrow.Exeunt.