[Stage-Keeper] [...] Would not a fine pump upon the stage ha’ done well, for a property now? And a punk set under upon her head, with her stern upward, and ha’ been sous’d by my witty young masters o’ the Inns o’ Court? What think you o’ this for a show, now? (Induction 31–35)
[Scrivener.] Articles of Agreement, indented, between the spectators or hearers, at the Hope on the Bankside, in the county of Surrey, one the one party; and the author of Bartholomew Fair in the said place and county, on the other party: the one and thirtieth day of October 1614 and in the twelfth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord, James, by the grace of God King of England, France, and Ireland; Defender of the Faith; and of Scotland the seven and fortieth (Induction 64–72).
[Scrivener.] [...] It is further covenanted, concluded and agreed, that how great soever the expectation be, no person here is to expect more than he knows, or better ware than a Fair will afford: neither to look back to the sword-and-buckler-age of Smithfield, but content himself with the present (Induction 114–19).
[Scrivener.] [...] In consideration of which, it is finally agreed by the foresaid hearers and spectators that they neither in themselves conceal, nor suffer by them to be concealed, any state-decipherer, or politic picklock of the scene, so solemnly ridiculous as to search out who was meant by the Ginger-bread-woman, who by the Hobby-horse-man, who by the Costermonger, nay, who by their wares; or that will pretend to affirm, on his own inspired ignorance, what Mirror of Magistrates is meant by the Justice, what great lady by the Pig-woman, what conceal’d statesman by the Seller of Mousetraps, and so of the rest. But that such person, or persons so found, be left discovered to the mercy of the author, as a forfeiture to the stage, and your laughter, aforesaid; as also, such as shall so desperately, or ambitiously, play the fool by his place aforesaid, to challenge the author of scurrility because the language somewhere savours of Smithfield, the booth, and the pig-broth, or of profaneness because a madman cries, ’God quit you’, or ’bless you’. In witness whereof, as you have preposterously put to your seals aready (which is your money), you will now add the other part of suffrage, your hands. The play shall presently begin. And though the Fair be not kept in the same region that some here, perhaps, would have it, yet think that therein the author hath observ’d a special decorum, the place being as dirty as Smithfield, and as stinking every whit (Induction 136–62).
[Littlewit.] [...] Win, good morrow, Win. Aye marry, Win! Now you look finely indeed, Win! This cap does convince! You’d not ha’ worn it, Win, nor ha’ had it velvet, but a rough country beaver, with a copper-band, like the coney-skin woman of Budge-row? Sweet Win, let me kiss it! And her fine high shoes, like the Spanish lady! Good Win, go a little, I would fain see thee pace, pretty Win! By this fine cap, I could never leave kissing on’t.
Win. Come, indeed la, you are such a fool, still!
Lit. No, but half a one, Win, you are the tother half: man and wife make one fool, Win. (Good!) Is there the proctor, or doctor indeed, i’ the diocese, that ever had the fortune to win him such a Win! (There I am again!) I do feel conceits coming upon me, more than I am able to turn tongue to. A pox o’ these pretenders to wit, your Three Cranes, Mitre and Mermaid men! Not a corn of true salt, nor a grain of right mustard amongst them all (1.1.19–34).
[Littlewit.] Troth, I am a little taken with my Win’s dressing here! Does’t not fine, Master Winwife? How do you apprehend, sir? She would not ha’ worn this habit. I challenge all Cheapside to show such another -- Moorfields, Pimlico path, or the Exchange, in a summer evening -- with a lace to boot, as this has. Dear Win, let Master Winwife kiss you. He comes a-wooing to our mother, Win, and may be our father perhaps, Win. There’s no harm in him, Win (1.2.3–10).
Win. Sir, my mother has had her nativity-water cast lately by the cunning men in Cow-lane, and they ha’ told her her fortune, and do ensure her she shall never have happy hour, unless she marry within this sen’night, and when it is, it must be a madman, they say.
[Littlewit.] Aye, but it must be a gentleman madman.
Win. Yes, so the tother man of Moorfields says.
[Winwife.] But does she believe ’em?
[Quarlous.] Hoy-day! How respective you are become o’ the sudden! I fear this family will turn you reformed too; pray you come about again. Because she is in possibility to be your daughter-in-law, and may ask you blessing hereafter, when she courts it to Tottenham to eat cream -- well, I will forbear, sir; but i’ faith, would thou wouldst leave thy exercise of widow-hunting once, this drawing after an old reverend smock by the splay-foot! There cannot be an ancient tripe or trillibub i’ the town, but thou art straight nosing it; and ’tis a fine occupation thou’lt confine thyself to, when thou hast got one -- scrubbing a piece of buff, as if thou hadst the perpetuity of Pannyer-alley to stink in, or perhaps, worse, currying a carcass that thou hast bound thyself to alive (1.3.56–69).
[Quarlous.] Aye, for there was a blue-starch-woman o’ the name, at the same time. A notable hypocritical vermin it is; I know him. One that stands upon his face more than his faith, at all times; ever in seditious motion, and reproving for vain-glory; of a most lunatic conscience, and spleen, and affects the violence of singularity in all he does; (he has undone a grocer here, in Newgate-market, that broke with him, trusted him with currants, as arrant a zeal as he, that’s by the way;) by his profession, he will ever be i’ the state of innocence, though, and childhood (1.3.132–41).
Wasp. [...] Why, we could not meet that heathen thing, all day, but stay’d him: he would name you all the signs over, as he went, aloud: and where he spied a parrot, or a monkey, there he was pitch’d, with all the little-long-coats about him, male and female; no getting him away! I thought he would ha’ run mad o’ the black boy in Bucklersbury, that takes the scurvy, roguy tobacco, there (1.4.108–13).
[Mistress Overdo.] I am content to be in abeyance, sir, and be govern’d by you; so should he too, if he did well; but ’twill be expected you should also govern your passions.
[Littlewit.] Tut, we’ll have a device, a dainty one; (now, Wit, help at a pinch, good Wit come, come, good Wit, an’t be thy will). I have it, Win, I have it i’ faith, and ’tis a fine one. Win, long to eat of a pig, sweet Win, i’ the Fair; do you see? I’ the heart o’ the Fair; not at Pie-corner. Your mother will do anything, Win, to satisfy your longing, you know; pray thee long, presently, and be sick o’ the sudden, good Win. I’ll go in and tell her; cut thy lace i’ the meantime, and play the hypocrite, sweet Win (1.5.148–56).
[Knockem.] What! my little lean Urs’la! my she-bear! art thou alive yet? With thy litter of pigs, to grunt out another Bartholomew Fair? Ha!
[Ursula.] Yes, and to amble afoot, when the Fair is done, to hear you groan out of a cart, up the heavy hill.
Kno. Of Holborn, Urs’la, meanst thou so? For what? For what, pretty Urs?
Urs. For cutting halfpenny purses, or stealing little penny dogs, out o’ the Fair.
Kno. O! good words, good words, Urs.
[Justice Overdo.] [Aside] Another special enormity. A cutpurse of the sword! the boot, and the feather! Those are his marks.
Urs. You are one of those horse-leeches that gave out I was dead, in Turnbull-street, of a surfeit of bottle-ale, and tripes?
Kno. No, ’twas better meat, Urs: cow’s udders, cow’s udders! (2.3.1–16)
[Mooncalf.] What mean you by that, Master Arthur?
[Justice Overdo.] I mean a child of the horn-thumb, a babe of booty, boy; a cutpurse.
Moon. O Lord, sir! far from it. This is Master Dan. Knockem: Jordan the ranger of Turnbull. He is a horse-courser, sir (2.3.28–33).
[Quarlous.] Body o’ the Fair! what’s this? Mother o’ the bawds?
[Knockem.] No, she’s mother o’ the pigs, sir, mother o’ the pigs!
[Winwife.] Mother o’ the Furies, I think, by her firebrand.
Quar. Nay, she is too fat to be a Fury, sure some walking sow of tallow!
Winw. An inspir’d vessel of kitchen-stuff!
She drinks this while.
[Justice Overdo.] Look into any agle o’ the town -- the Straits, 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 (2.6.72–77).
[Leatherhead.] What do you lack? What do you buy, pretty Mistress! a fine hobby-horse, to make your son a tilter? a drum to make him a soldier? a fiddle, to make him a reveller? What is’t you lack? Little dogs for your daughters! or babies, male or female?
[Quarlous.] I’ll warrant thee, then, no wife out o’ the widow’s hundred: if I had but as much title to her, as to have breath’d once on that strait stomacher of hers, I would now assure myself to carry her, yet, ere she went out of Smithfield. Or she should carry me, which were the fitter sight, I confess (3.3.136–41).
[Cokes.] Numps, here be finer things than any we ha’ bought, by odds! And more delicate horses, a great deal! Good Numps, stay, and come hither.
Grace. Faith, through a common calamity, he bought me, sir; and now he will marry me to his wife’s brother, this wise gentleman, that you see, or else I must pay value o’ my land.
[Quarlous.] ’Slid, is there no device of disparagement, or so? Talk with some crafty fellow, some picklock o’ the Law! Would I had studied a year longer i’ the Inns of Court, an’t had been but i’ your case (3.5.275–82).
[Cokes.] Would I might lose my doublet, and hose too, as I am an honest man, and never stir, if I think there be anything but thieving, and coz’ning, i’ this whole Fair. Bartholomew-fair, quoth he; an’ ever any Bartholomew had that luck in’t that I have had, I’ll be martyr’d for him, and in Smithfield, too (4.2.67–72).
[Ursula.] Help, help here.
[Knockem.] How now? What vapour’s there?
Urs. O, you are a sweet ranger! and look well to your walks. Yonder is your punk of Turnbull, Ramping Alice, has fall’n upon the poor gentlewoman within, and pull’d her hood over her ears, and her hair through it (4.5.57–62).
Alice. The poor common whores can ha’ no traffic, for the privy rich ones; your caps and hoods of velvet call away our customers, and lick the fat from us.
[Ursula.] Peace, you foul ramping jade, you --
Alice. Od’s foot, you bawd in grease, are you talking?
[Knockem.] Why, Alice, I say.
Alice. Thou sow of Smithfield, thou.
Urs. Thou tripe of Turnbull.
Kno. Cat-a-mountain-vapours! ha!
Urs. You know where you were taw’d lately, both lash’d and slash’d you were in Bridewell.
Alice. Aye, by the same token, you rid that week, and broke out the bottom o’ the cart, night-tub (4.5.68–80).
[Leatherhead.] Well, Luck and Saint Bartholomew! Out with the sign of our invention, in the name of Wit, and do you beat the drum, the while; all the foul i’ the Fair, I mean all the dirt in Smithfield (that’s one of Master Littlewit’s carriwitchets now), will be thrown at our banner today, if the matter does not please the poeple (5.1.1–6).
[Cokes.] A motion, what’s that?
He reads the bill.
[Littlewit.] It pleases him to make a matter of it, sir. But there is no such matter I assure you: I have only made it a little easy, and modern for the times, sir, that’s all; as, for the Hellespont, I imagine our Thames here; and then Leander I make a dyer’s son, about Puddle-wharf; and Hero a wench o’ the Bank-side, who going over one morning, to old Fish-street, Leander spies her land at Trig-stairs, and falls in love with her: now do I introduce Cupid, having metamorphos’d himself into a drawer, and he strikes Hero in love with a pint of sherry; and other pretty passages there are, o’ the friendship, that will delight you, sir, and please you of judgement (5.3.112–23).
[Leatherhead.] Gentles, that no longer your expectations may wander,
Behold our chief actor, amorous Leander,
With a great deal of cloth lapp’d about him like a scarf,
For he yet serves his father, a dyer at Puddle-wharf,
Which place we’ll make bold with, to call it our Abydus,
[Puppet Leander.] Here, Cole, what fairest of fairs
Was that fare, that thou landedst but now at Trig-stairs?
[Cokes.] What was that, fellow? Pray thee tell me, I scarce understand ’em.
[Leatherhead.] Leander does ask, sir, what fairest of fairs
Was the fare that he landed, but now, at Trig-stairs?
[Puppet Cole.] It is lovely Hero.
Pup. Lean. Nero?
Pup. Cole. No, Hero.
Lea. It is Hero
Of the Bankside, he saith, to tell you truth without erring,
Is come over into Fish-street to eat some fresh herring,
Leander says no more, but as fast as he can,
[Leatherhead.] Now, gentles, to the friends, who in number are two,
And lodg’d in that ale-house, in which fair Hero does do.
Damon (for some kindness done him in the last week)
Is come fair Hero, in Fish-street, this morning to seek:
Pythias does smell the knavery of the meeting,
And now you shall see their true friendly greeting (5.4.220–25).
[Puppet Leander.] And sweetest of geese, before I go to bed,
I’ll swim o’er the Thames, my goose, thee to tread.
[Cokes.] Brave! he will swim o’er the Thames, and tread his goose, tonight, he says.
[Leatherhead.] Aye, peace, sir, they’ll be angry, if they hear you eavesdropping, now they are setting their match.
Pup. Lean. But lest the Thames should be dark, my goose, my dear friend,
Let thy window he provided of a candle’s end (5.4.289–96).
[Justice Overdo.] Master Winwife? I hope you have won no wife of her, sir. If you have, I will examine the possibility of it, at fit leisure. Now, to my enormities: look upon me, O London! and see me, O Smithfield! the example of justice, and Mirror of Magistrates; the true top of formality, and scourge of enormity. Hearken unto my labours, and but observe my discoveries; and compare Hercules with me, if thou dar’st, of old; or Columbus; Magellan; or our country-man Drake of later times: stand forth you weeds of enormity, and spread (5.6.31–40).
- Jonson, Ben. Bartholomew Fair. 1614. Ed. E.A. Horsman. Revels Plays. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1960, 1979. Print.
This project is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
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