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Books old and young on heap they flung,
And burnt them in the blazes,
Tom Dekker, Heywood, Middleton,

And other wandering crazys.

In 1620, Middleton was made chronologer, or city poet, of London, an office afterwards held by Ben Jonson, and which expired with Settle in 1724.* He died in July 1627. The dramas of Middleton have no strongly-marked character; his best is Women Beware of Women, a tale of love and jealousy, from the Italian. The following sketch of married happiness is delicate, and finely expressed :—

[Happiness of Married Life.]

How near am I now to a happiness

That earth exceeds not! not another like it:
The treasures of the deep are not so precious,
As are the conceal'd comforts of a man
Lock'd up in woman's love. I scent the air
Of blessings when I come but near the house.
What a delicious breath marriage sends forth!
The violet bed's not sweeter. Honest wedlock
Is like a banqueting house built in a garden,
On which the spring's chaste flowers take delight
To cast their modest odours; when base lust,
With all her powders, paintings, and best pride,
Is but a fair house built by a ditch side.
-Now for a welcome,

Able to draw men's envies upon man;
A kiss now that will hang upon my lip
As sweet as morning dew upon a rose,
And full as long!

The Witch' is also an Italian plot, but the supernatural agents of Middleton are the old witches of legendary story, not the dim mysterious unearthly beings that accost Macbeth on the blasted heath. The Charm Song' is much the same in both :

The Witches going about the Cauldron.

Black spirits and white; red spirits and grey;
Mingle, mingle, mingle, you that mingle may.
Titty, Tiffin, keep it stiff in;
Firedrake, Puckey, make it lucky;
Liard, Robin, you must bob in;
Round, around, around, about, about;

All ill come running in; all good keep out!
1st Witch. Here's the blood of a bat.
Hecate. Put in that; oh put in that.
2d Witch. Here's libbard's bane.

Hecate. Put in again.

1st Witch. The juice of toad, the oil of adder.
2d Witch. Those will make the younker madder.
All. Round, around, around, &c.

The flight of the witches by moonlight is described with a wild gusto and delight; if the scene was written before Macbeth,' Middleton deserves the credit of truc poetical imagination :

Enter HECATE, STADLIN, HOPPO, and other Witches.
Hec. The moon's a gallant; see how brisk she rides!
Stad. Here's a rich evening, Hecate.
Hec. Ay, is't not, wenches,

To take a journey of five thousand miles?
Hop. Ours will be more to night.

Hec. Oh, it will be precious. Heard you the owl yet?
Stad. Briefly in the copse,

As we came through now.

* The salary given to the city poet is incidentally mentioned by Jonson in an indignant letter to the Earl of Newcastle in 1631. Yesterday the barbarous Court of Aldermen have with drawn their chandlery pension for verjuice and mustard— L.33, 68. 8d.'

Hec. 'Tis high time for us then. Stad. There was a bat hung at my lips three times As we came thro' the woods, and drank her fill : Old Puckle saw her.

Hec. You are fortunate still.

The very screech-owl lights upon your shoulder,
And woos you like a pigeon. Are you furnished!
Have you your ointments?
Stad. All.

Hec. Prepare to flight then:
I'll overtake you swiftly.
Stad. Hie, then, Hecate:
We shall be up betimes.
Hec. I'll reach you quickly.


[They ascend.

Fire. They are all going a-birding to night. They talk of fowls i' th' air that fly by day; I'm sure they'll be a company of foul sluts there to-night. If we have not mortality affeared, I'll be hang'd, for they are able to putrefy it to infect a whole region. She spies

me now.

Hec. What! Firestone, our sweet son ?

Fire. A little sweeter than some of you; or a dunghill were too good for one.

Hec. How much hast there?

Fire. Nineteen, and all brave plump ones ; besides six lizzards, and three serpentine eggs.

Hec. Dear and sweet boy! What herbs hast thou? Fire. I have some mar-martin and mandragon. Hec. Mar-maritin and mandragora thou would'st say.

Fire. Here's pannax too. I thank thee; my pan akes, I am sure, with kneeling down to cut 'em. Hedge Hissop too! How near he goes my cuttings ! Hec. And selago. Were they all cropt by moonlight?

Fire. Every blade of 'em, or I'm a mooncalf, mother. Hec. Hie thee home with 'em.

Look well to th' house to-night; I am for aloft.

Fire. Aloft, quoth you! I would you would break your neck once, that I might have all quickly. [Aside.]-Hark, hark, mother! they are above the steeple already, flying over your head with a noise of musicians.

Hec. They are, indeed; help me! help me! I'm too late else.

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Hec. [Ascending with the Spirit.] Now I go, now I fly,
Malkin, my sweet spirit, and I.
Oh, what dainty pleasure 'tis
To ride in the air,

When the moon shines fair,

And sing, and dance, and toy and kiss!
Over woods, high rocks, and mountains,
Over seas, our mistress' fountains,
Over steep towers and turrets,
We fly by night, 'mongst troops of spirits.
No ring of bells to our ears sounds;
No howls of wolves, no yelp of hounds;
No, not the noise of waters' breach,
Or cannon's roar our height can reach.
[Above.] No ring of bells, &c.




Among the other dramatists at this time may be mentioned ROBERT TAYLOR, author of the Hog hath Lost his Pearl; WILLIAM ROWLEY, an actor and joint writer with Middleton and Dekker, who produced several plays; CYRIL TOURNEUR, author of two good dramas, the Atheist's Tragedy and the Revenger's Tragedy. A tragi-comedy, the Witch of Edmonton, is remarkable as having been the work of at least three authors-Rowley, Dekker, and Ford. It embodies, in a striking form, the vulgar superstitions respecting witchcraft, which so long debased the popular mind in England:


[Scene from the Witch of Edmonton.]


Saw. And why on me? why should the envious world

JOHN MARSTON, a rough and vigorous satirist and dramatic writer, produced his Malcontent, a comedy, prior to 1600; his Antonio and Mellida, a tragedy, in 1602; the Insatiate Countess, What You Will, and other plays, written between the latter date and 1634, when he died. He was also connected with Throw all their scandalous malice upon me? Jonson and Chapman in the composition of the un'Cause I am poor, deform'd, and ignorant, fortunate comedy, Eastward Hoe. In his subsequent | And like a bow buckled and bent together quarrel with Jonson, Marston was satirised by Ben By some more strong in mischiefs than myself; in his Poetaster,' under the name of Demetrius. Must I for that be made a common sink Marston was author of two volumes of miscellaneous For all the filth and rubbish of men's tongues poetry, translations, and satires, one of which (Pig-To fall and run into? Some call me witch, malion's Image) was ordered to be burned for its And being ignorant of myself, they go 'icentiousness. Mr Collier, who states that Marston About to teach me how to be one urging seems to have attracted a good deal of attention in That my bad tongue (by their bad usage made so) his own day, quotes from a contemporary diary the Forespeaks their cattle, doth bewitch their corn, following necdote:- Nov. 21, 1602.-Jo. Marston, Themselves, their servants, and their babes at nurse : the last Christmas, when he danced with Alderman This they enforce upon me; and in part More's wife's daughter, a Spaniard born, fell into a strange commendation of her wit and beauty. When he had done, she thought to pay him home, and told him she thought he was a poet. "Tis true, said he, for poets feign and lie; and so did I when I commended your beauty, for you are exceeding foul." This coarseness seems to have been characteristic of Marston: his comedies contain strong biting satires, but he is far from being a moral writer. Hazlitt says, his forte was not sympathy either with the stronger or softer emotions, but an impatient scorn and bitter indignation against the vices and follies of men, which vented itself either in comic irony or in lofty invective. The following humorous sketch of a scholar and his dog is worthy of Shakspeare:I was a scholar: seven useful springs Did I deflower in quotations

Of cross'd opinions 'bout the soul of man ;
The more I learnt, the more I learnt to doubt.
Delight, my spaniel, slept, whilst I baus'd leaves,
Toss'd o'er the dunces, pored on the old print
Of titled words: and still my spaniel slept.
Whilst I wasted lamp-oil, baited my flesh,
Shrunk up my veins and still my spaniel slept.
And still I held converse with Zabarell,
Aquinas, Scotus, and the musty saw
Of Antick Donate: still my spaniel slept.
Still on went I; first, an sit anima;

Then, an it were mortal. O hold, hold; at that
They're at brain buffets, fell by the cars amain
Pell-mell together; still my spaniel slept.
Then, whether 'twere corporeal, local, fixt,
Ex traduce, but whether 't had free will

Or no, hot philosophers

Stood banding factions, all so strongly propt;
I stagger'd, knew not which was firmer part,
But thought, quoted, read, observ'd, and pried,
Stufft noting-books: and still my spaniel slept.
At length he wak'd, and yawn'd; and by yon sky,
For aught I know, he knew as much as I.

Make me to credit it.

BANKS, a Farmer, enters.
Banks. Out, out upon thee, witch!
Saw. Dost call me witch?
Banks. do, witch; I do :

And worse I would, knew I a name more hateful.
What makest thou upon my ground?

Saw. Gather a few rotten sticks to warm me.
Banks. Down with them when I bid thee, quickly;
I'll make thy bones rattle in thy skin else.

Saw. You won't! churl, cut-throat, miser! there they be. Would they stuck 'cross thy throat, thy bowels, thy maw, thy midriff

Banks. Say'st thou me so? Hag, out of my ground.
Saw. Dost strike me, slave, curmudgeon? Now thy
bones aches, thy joints cramps,

And convulsions stretch and crack thy sinews.
Banks. Cursing, thou hag? take that, and that.

Saw. Strike, do: and wither'd may that hand and


Whose blows have lam'd me, drop from the rotten

Abuse me beat me! call me hag and witch!
What is the name? where, and by what art learn'd?
What spells, or charms, or invocations,
May the thing call'd Familiar be purchased?
I am shunn'd

And hated like a sickness; made a scorn
To all degrees and sexes. I have heard old beldams
Talk of familiars in the shape of mice,
Rats, ferrets, weasels, and I wot not what,
That have appear'd; and suck'd, some say, their blood.
But by what means they came acquainted with them,
I'm now ignorant. Would some power, good or bad,
Instruct me which way I might be reveng'd
Upon this churl, I'd go out of myself,
And give this fury leave to dwell within
This ruin'd cottage, ready to fall with age:
Abjure all goodness, be at hate with prayer,

And study curses, imprecations,
Blasphemous speeches, oaths, detested oaths,
Or anything that's ill; so I might work
Revenge upon this miser, this black cur,

That barks, and bites, and sucks the very blood
Of me, and of my credit. "Tis all one
To be a witch as to be counted one.

[A Drowned Soldier.]

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[From Tourneur's Atheist's Tragedy."]

Walking upon the fatal shore,
Among the slaughter'd bodies of their men,
Which the full-stomach'd sea had cast upon
The sands, it was my unhappy chance to light
Upon a face, whose favour, when it lived,
My astonish'd mind inform'd me I had scen.
He lay in his armour, as if that had been
His coffin; and the weeping sea (like one
Whose milder temper doth lament the death
Of him whom in his rage he slew) runs up
The shore, embraces him, kisses his cheek;
Goes back again, and forces up the sands
To bury him; and every time it parts,
Sheds tears upon him; till at last (as if
It could no longer endure to see the man
Whom it had slain, yet loath to leave him), with
A kind of unresolv'd unwilling pace,
Winding her waves one in another (like

A man that folds his arms, or wrings his hands,
For grief), ebb'd from the body, and descends;
As if it would sink down into the earth,
And hide itself for shame of such a deed.

Jud. Who loves Adonis' love or Lucrece' rape;
His sweeter verse contains heart-robbing life,
Could but a graver subject him content,
Without love's lazy foolish languishment.

The author afterwards introduces Kempe and Bur-
bage, the actors, and makes the former state, in
reference to the university dramatists-Why, here's
our fellow Shakspeare puts them all down; ay, and
Ben Jonson too.' Posterity has confirmed this Re-
turn from Parnassus.'



A lively comedy, called Green's Tu Quoque, was written by GEORGE COOKE, a contemporary of Shakspeare. THOMAS NABBES (died about 1645) was the author of Microcosmus, a masque, and of several other plays. In 'Microcosmus' is the following fine song of love:

Welcome, welcome, happy pair,
To these abodes where spicy air
Breathes perfumes, and every sense
Doth find his object's excellence;
Where's no heat, nor cold extreme,

No winter's ice, no summer's scorching beam;
Where's no sun, yet never night,

Day always springing from eternal light.
Chorus. All mortal sufferings laid aside,

Here in endless bliss abide.

NATHANIEL FIELD (who was one of the actors in Ben Jonson's 'Poetaster') began to write for the stage about 1609 or 1610, and produced Woman is a An anonymous play, the Return from Parnassus, Weathercock, Amends for Ladies, &c. He had the was acted by the students of St John's college, Cam-honour of being associated with Massinger in the bridge, about the year 1602: it is remarkable for containing criticisms on contemporary authors, all poets. Each author is summoned up for judgment, and dismissed after a few words of commendation or censure. Some of these poetical criticisms are finely written, as well as curious. Of Spenser

A sweeter swan than ever sung in Po;
A shriller nightingale than ever blest
The prouder groves of self-admiring Rome.
Blithe was each valley, and each shepherd proud
While he did chant his rural minstrelsy.
Attentive was full many a dainty ear:
Nay, hearers hung upon his melting tongue,
While sweetly of the Faery Queen he sung;
While to the water's fall he tuned her fame,
And in each bark engrav'd Eliza's name.

The following extract introduces us to Marlow, Jonson, and Shakspeare; but to the latter only as the author of the Venus' and 'Lucrece.' Ingenioso reads out the names, and Judicio pronounces judg


Ing. Christopher Marlow.

Jud. Marlow was happy in his buskin'd muse;
Alas! unhappy in his life and end.
Pity it is that wit so ill should well,
Wit lent from heaven, but vices sent from hell.
Ing. Our theatre hath lost, Pluto hath got,
A tragic penman for a dreary plot.-
Benjamin Jonson.

Jud. The wittiest fellow of a bricklayer in England.
Ing. A mere empiric, one that gets what he hath
by observation, and makes only nature privy to what
he indites; so slow an inventor, that he were better
betake himself to his old trade of bricklaying; a blood
whoreson, as confident now in making of a book, as he
was in times past in laying of a brick.
William Shakspeare.

composition of the Fatal Dowry. JOHN DAY, in con-
junction with Chettle, wrote the Blind Beggar of
Bethnal Green, a popular comedy, and was also
author of two or three other plays, and some miscel-
laneous poems. HENRY GLAPTHORNE is mentioned
as one of the chiefest dramatic poets of the reign of
Charles I. Five of his plays are printed-Albertus
Wallenstein, the Hollander, Argalus and Parthenia,
Wit in a Constable, the Lady's Privilege, &c. There
is a certain smoothness and prettiness of expression
about Glapthorne (particularly in his Albertus'),
but he is deficient in passion and energy. THOMAS
RANDOLPH (1607-1634) wrote the Muses' Looking-
Glass, the Jealous Lovers, &c. In an anonymous play,
Sweetman the Woman-hater, is the following happy

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Justice, like lightning, ever should appear To few men's ruin, but to all men's fear. RICHARD BROME, one of the best of the secondary dramatists, produced several plays, the Antipodes, the City Wit, the Court Beggar, &c. Little is known of the personal history of these authors: a few scattered dates usually make up the whole amount of their biography. The public demand for theatrical novelties called forth a succession of writers in this popular and profitable walk of literature, who seem to have discharged their ephemeral tasks, and sunk with their works into oblivion. The glory of Shakspeare has revived some of the number, like halos style and thought, is visible on the pages of most of round his name; and the rich stamp of the age, in them.


The reign of James produced no other tragic poet equal to PHILIP MASSINGER, an unfortunate author, whose life was spent in obscurity and poverty, and

who, dying almost unknown, was buried with no other inscription than the melancholy note in the parish register, Philip Massinger, a stranger.' This poet was born about the year 1584. His father, as appears from the dedication of one of his plays, was

Philip Massinger.

not think him worthy of mention, or had forgot his works, when he wrote his Essay on Dramatic Poesy.

[A Midnight Scene.]

[From the Virgin Martyr.']

ANGELO, an Angel, attends DOROTHEA as a page. Dor. My book and taper.

Ang. Here, most holy mistress.

Dor. Thy voice sends forth such music, that I never

Was ravish'd with a more celestial sound.

Were every servant in the world like thee,

So full of goodness, angels would come down
T dwell with us: thy name is Angelo,
And like that name thou art. Get thee to rest;
Thy youth with too much watching is opprest.

Ang. No, my dear lady. I could weary stars,
And force the wakeful moon to lose her eyes,
By my late watching, but to wait on you.
When at your prayers you kneel before the altar,
Methinks I'm singing with some quire in heaven,
So blest I hold me in your company.

Therefore, my most lov'd mistress, do not bid
Your boy, so serviceable, to get hence;
For then you break his heart.

Dor. Be nigh me still, then.

In golden letters down I'll set that day
Which gave thee to me. Little did I hope
To meet such worlds of comfort in thyself,
This little, pretty body, when I, coming
Forth of the temple, heard my beggar-boy,
My sweet-faced, godly beggar-boy, crave an alms,
Which with glad hand I gave, with lucky hand;
And when I took thee home, my most chaste bosom,
Methought, was fill'd with no hot wanton fire,
But with a holy flame, mounting since higher,
On wings of cherubims, than it did before.

Ang. Proud am I that my lady's modest eye
So likes so poor a servant.


Dor. I have offer'd

in the service of the Earl of Pembroke; and as he
was at one time intrusted with letters to Queen
Elizabeth, the situation of the elder Massinger must
have been a confidential one. Whether Philip ever
wandered in the marble halls and pictured galleries
of Wilton, that princely seat of old magnificence,
where Sir Philip Sidney composed his Arcadia,' is
not known in 1602, he was entered of Alban Hall,
Oxford. He is supposed to have quitted the uni-
versity about 1604, and to have commenced writing
for the stage. The first notice of him is in Hens-
lowe's diary, about 1614, where he makes a joint ap-
plication, with N. Field, and R. Daborne, for a loan of
£5, without which, they say, they could not be bailed.
Field and Daborne were both actors and dramatic
authors. The sequel of Massinger's history is only
an enumeration of his plays. He wrote a great
number of pieces, of which eighteen have been pre-
served, and was found dead in his bed at his house,
Bankside, Southwark, one morning in March, 1640.
The Virgin Martyr, the Bondman, the Fatal Dowry,
the City Madam, and the New Way to Pay Old Debts,
are his best-known productions. The last-mentioned
has kept possession of the stage, chiefly on account
of the effective and original character of Sir Giles
Overreach. Massinger's comedy resembles Ben Jon-
son's, in its eccentric strength and wayward exhi-
bitions of human nature. The greediness of avarice,
the tyranny of unjust laws, and the miseries of
poverty, are drawn with a powerful hand. The
luxuries and vices of a city life, also, afford Massin-
ger scope for his indignant and forcible invective.
Genuine humour or sprightliness he had none. His
dialogue is often coarse and indelicate, and his cha-
racters in low life too depraved. The tragedies of
Massinger have a calm and dignified seriousness, a
lofty pride, that impresses the imagination very
strongly. His genius was more eloquent and de-
scriptive than impassioned or inventive; yet his
pictures of suffering virtue, its struggles and its
trials, are calculated to touch the heart, as well as
gratify the taste. His versification is smooth and
mellifluous. Owing, perhaps, to the sedate and
dignified tone of Massinger's plays, they were not
To think me such. How do you like this seat?
revived after the Restoration. Even Dryden did It is well-wooded and well-water'd, the acres

Handfuls of gold but to behold thy parents.
To dwell with thy good father; for, the son
I would leave kingdoms, were I queen of some,
Bewitching me so deeply with his presence,
He that begot him must do't ten times more.
I pray thee, my sweet boy, show me thy parents;
Be not asham'd.

Know who my mother was; but, by yon palace,
Ang. I am not: I did never
Fill'd with bright heav'nly courtiers, I dare assure you,
And pawn these eyes upon it, and this hand,
My father is in heav'n; and, pretty mistress,
If your illustrious hour-glass spend his sand
No worse, than yet it doth, upon my life,
You and I both shall meet my father there,
And he shall bid you welcome.
Dor. A bless'd day!

[Pride of Sir Giles Overreach in his Daughter.] [From the New Way to Pay Old Debts."] LOVEL-OVERREACH.

Over. To my wish we are private.

I come not to make offer with my daughter
A certain portion; that were poor and trivial:
In one word, I pronounce all that is mine,
In lands or leases, ready coin or goods,
With her, my lord, comes to you; nor shall you have
One motive to induce you to believe

I live too long, since every year I'll add
Something unto the heap, which shall be yours too.
Lov. You are a right kind father.
Over. You shall have reason

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What's by unjust and cruel means extorted:
My fame and credit are more dear to me
Than so to expose 'em to be censured by
The public voice.

Over. You run, my lord, no hazard:
Your reputation shall stand as fair
In all good men's opinions as now:

Nor can my actions, though condemn'd for ill,
Cast any foul aspersion upon yours.
For though I do contemn report myself
As a mere sound, I still will be so tender
Of what concerns you in all points of honour,
That the immaculate whiteness of your fame,
Nor your unquestion'd integrity,

Shall e'er be sullied with one taint or sp
That may take from your innocence and cadour.
All my ambition is to have my daughter
Right honourable; which my lord can make her:
And might I live to dance upon my knee
A young Lord Lovell, born by her unto you,
I write nil ultra to my proudest hopes.
As for possessions and annual rents,
Equivalent to maintain you in the port
Your noble birth and present state require,
I do remove that burden from your shoulders,
And take it on mine own; for though I ruin
The country to supply your riotous waste,

The scourge of prodigals (want) shall never find

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I am of a solid temper, and, like these,

Steer on a constant course: with mine own sword,
If call'd into the field, I can make that right
Which fearful enemies murmur'd at as wrong.
Now, for those other piddling complaints,
Breath'd out in bitterness; as, when they call me
Extortioner, tyrant, cormorant, or intruder
On my poor neighbour's right, or grand encloser
Of what was common to my private use;
Nay, when my ears are pierced with widows' cries,
And undone orphans wash with tears my threshold,
I only think what 'tis to have my daughter

Right honourable; and 'tis a powerful charm,
Makes me insensible of remorse or pity,

Or the least sting of conscience.

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[Compassion for Misfortune.]

[From the City Madam.']

Luke. No word, sir,

I hope, shall give offence: nor let it relish Of flattery, though I proclaim aloud,

I glory in the bravery of your mind,

To which your wealth 's a servant. Not that riches
Is, or should be, contemn'd, it being a blessing
Deriv'd from heaven, and by your industry
Pull'd down upon you; but in this, dear sir,
You have many equals: such a man's possessions
His bags as full; a third in credit flies
Extend as far as yours; a second hath

As high in the popular voice: but the distinction
And noble difference by which you are
Divided from them, is, that you are styled
Gentle in your abundance, good in plenty;
And that you feel compassion in your bowels

Of others' miseries (I have found it, sir;
Heaven keep me thankful for❜t !), while they are curs'ʼn
As rigid and inexorable.


Your affability and mildness, clothed

In the garments of your thankful debtors' breath,
Shall everywhere, though you strive to conceal it,
Be seen and wonder'd at, and in the act
With a prodigal hand rewarded. Whereas, such
As are born only for themselves, and live so,
Though prosperous in worldly understandings,
Are but like beasts of rapine, that, by odds
Of strength, usurp and tyrannise o'er others
Brought under their subjection. *

Can you think, sir,

In your unquestion'd wisdom, I beseech you,
The goods of this poor man sold at an outcry,
His wife turn'd out of doors, his children forc'd
To beg their bread; this gentleman's estate
By wrong extorted, can advantage you?
Or that the ruin of this once brave merchant,
For such he was esteem'd, though now decay'd,
Will raise your reputation with good men?
But you may urge (pray you, pardon me, my zeal
Makes me thus bold and vehement), in this
You satisfy your anger, and revenge
For being defeated. Suppose this, it will not
Repair your loss, and there was never yet
But shame and scandal in a victory,
When the rebels unto reason, passions, fought it.
Then for revenge, by great souls it was ever
Contemn'd, though offer'd; entertain'd by none
But cowards, base and abject spirits, strangers
To moral honesty, and never yet
Acquainted with religion.

Sir John. Shall be
Talk'd out of my money?

Luke. No, sir, but intreated

To do yourself a benefit, and preserve
What you possess entire.

Sir John. How, my good brother!

Luke. By making these your beadsmen. When they eat,

Their thanks, next heaven, will be paid to your

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