The Staple of News

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Alas, what is it to his scene to know
How many coaches in Hyde Park did show
Last spring, what fare today at Medley’s was,
If Dunstan or the Phoenix best wine has? (Prologue.2.13–16)
Thomas. But the four cardinal quarters--
Pennyboy Junior. Ay those, Tom--
Thomas. The Court, sir, Paul’s, Exchange, and Westminster Hall.
P. Junior. Who is the chief? Which hath precedency?
Thomas. The governor o’the Staple, Master Cymbal.
He is the chief, and after him the emissaries.
First, emissary Court, one Master Fitton.
He’s a jeerer too.
P. Junior. What’s that?
Fashioner. A wit.
Thomas. Or half a wit. Some of them are half-wits:
Two to a wit, there are a set of ’em.
Then Master Ambler, emissary Paul’s,
A fine-paced gentleman as you shall see walk
The middle aisle. And then my froy Hans Buz,
A Dutchman; he’s emissary Exchange.
Fashioner. I had thought Master Burst the merchant had had it.
Thomas. No,
He has a rupture; he has sprung a leak.
Emissary Westminster’s undisposed of yet (1.2.59–74).
Nathaniel. Sir, I tell her she must stay
Till emissary Exchange or Paul’s send in,
And then I’ll fit her (1.4.14b-16a).
Cymbal. [...] I have the just moiety
For my part; then the other moiety
Is parted into seven. The four emissaries,
Whereof my cousin Fitton here’s for Court,
Ambler for Paul’s, and Buz for the Exchange,
Picklock for Westminster, with the Examiner
And Register: they have full parts (1.5.106b-12a).
Cymbal. True Paul’s bred,
I’the Churchyard.
P. Junior. [Indicating Tom.] And this at the West Door,
O’th’other side (1.5.122b-24a).
Mirth. I remember it, gossip, I went with you. By the same token, Mistress Trouble-truth dissuaded us, and told us he was a profane poet and all his plays had devisl inthem. That he kept school upo’ the stage, could conjure there, above the School of Westminster and Doctor Lamb too (1.Int.43–47).
Shunfield. What, Lickfinger, mine old host of Ram Alley! (2.4.35)
Shunfield. He minds
A courtesy no more than London Bridge
What arch was mended last (2.4.99b-101a).
P. Senior. Where is’t you eat?
P. Junior. Hard by, at Picklock’s lodging;
Old Lickfinger’s the cook, here in Ram Alley (2.5.112–13).
P. Canter. No, faith,
Dine in Apollo with Pecunia,
At brave Dule Wadloe’s, have your friends about you
And make a day on’t (2.Int.126b-29a).
Fitton. From a right hand, I assure you:
The eel boats here that lie before Queenhithe,
Came out of Holland (3.2.83b-85a).
Thomas. [Reading.] The perpetual motion
Is here found out by an alewife in St Katherine’s,
At the sign o’the Dancing Bears (3.2.105b-07a).
Shunfield. Cannot your Office tell us what brave fellows
Do eat together today in town, and where?
Thomas. Yes, there’s a gentleman, the brave heir, young Pennyboy,
Dines in Apollo.
Madrigal. Come, let’s thither then.
I ha’ supped in Apollo (3.3.4–8a).
P. Senior. [...] Where ha’ you left Pecunia?
Broker. Sir, in Apollo. They are scarce set (3.4.8b-9a).
P. Senior. [...] Broker, return to your charge. Be Argus-eyed,
Serve in Apollo but take heed of Bacchus (3.4.15–17).
Censure. A notable touch rascal, this old Pennyboy! Right City-bred!
Mirth. In Silver Street, the region of money, a good seat for a usurer (3.Int.1–4).
Tattle. [...] I have had better news from the bake-house by ten thousand parts, in a morning, or the conduits in Westminster; all the news of Tuttle Street, and both the Alm’ries, the two Sanctuaries, long and round Woolstaple, with King’s Street and Cannon Row to boot!
Mirth. Ay, my gossip Tattle knew what fine slips grew in Gardiner’s Lane, who kissed the butcher’s wife with the cow’s breath, what matches were made in the Bowling Alley, and what bets won and lost; how much grist went to the mill, and what besides. Who conjured in Tuttle Fields, and how many, when they never cam ethere; and which boy rode upon Doctor Lamb, in the likeness of a roaring lion, that run away with him in his teeth and has not devoured him yet (3.Int.18–32).
Shunfield. [...] They say there was one of your coat in Bedlam lately.
Almanac. I wonder all his clients were not there.
Madrigal. They were the madder sort (4.1.12–14a).
Picklock. In all the languages in Westminster Hall,
Pleas, Bench or Chancery; fee-farm, fee-tail,
Tenant in dower, ’at will’, ’for term of life’,
’By copy of court roll’, knights’ service, homage,
Fealty, escuage, soccage or frank almoigne,
Grand sergeanty, or burgage (4.4.103–108a).


Last modification: 2016-05-27 14:37:29 -0700 (Fri, 27 May 2016) (tlandels)
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MLA citation:

Jonson, Ben. “The Staple of News.” The Map of Early Modern London. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Web. 24 August 2017. <>.

Chicago citation:

Jonson, Ben. n.d. “The Staple of News.” The Map of Early Modern London. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed August 24, 2017.

APA citation:

Jonson B. (n.d.). The Staple of News. In J. Jenstad (Ed.), The Map of Early Modern London. Retrieved August 24, 2017, from

TEI citation:

<bibl> <author><persName><surname>Jonson</surname>, <forename>Ben</forename></persName></author> (<date>n.d.</date>). <title level="a">The Staple of News</title>. In <editor><persName><forename>J.</forename> <surname>Jenstad</surname></persName></editor> (Ed.), <title level="m">The Map of Early Modern London</title>. Retrieved <date when="2017-08-24">August 24, 2017</date>, from <ref target=""></ref> </bibl>