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Dog. Why would'st thou know that, fool? it
avails thee not. Cud. Only for my mind's sake, Tom, and to tell some of my friends. Dog. I'll thus much tell thee: thou never art
so distant From an evil spirit, but that thy oaths, Curses, and blasphemies pull him to thine
elbow; Thou never tell'st a lie, but that a devil Is within hearing it; thy evil purposes Are ever haunted; but when they come to act, As thy tongue slandering, bearing false witness, Thy hand stabbing, stealing, cozening, cheating, He's then within thee: thou play'st, he bets upon
thy part; Although thou lose, yet he will gain by thee. Cud. Ay? then he comes in the shape of a
rook ? Dog. The old cadaver of some self-strangled
wretch We sometimes borrow, and appear humane; The carcass of some disease-slain strumpet We varnish fresh, and wear as her first beauty. Didst never hear? if not, it has been done;'
s Didst never hear? if not, it has been done, &c.] Enough of this is to be found in Delrio, Remigius, and other superstitious and credulous writers ; but the immediate allusion in this place is, I conceive, to the Sophonisba of Marston, where a loathsoine scene of this kind takes place between Syphax and Erectho.
An hot luxurious letcher in his twines,
Cud. Yes, I am partly a witness to this; but I never could embrace ber; I thank thee for that, Tom. Well, again I thank thee, Tom, for all this counsel ; without a fee, too! there's few lawyers of thy mind now. Certainly, Tom, I begin to pity thee."
Dog. Pity me! for what?
Cud. Were it not possible for thee to become an honest dog yet ?- 'Tis a base life that you lead, Tom, to serve witches, to kill innocent children, to kill harmless cattle, to destroy corn and fruit, and so forth: 'twere better yet to be a butcher and kill for yourself.
Dog. Why, these are all my delights, my plea
Cud. Or, Tom, if you could give your mind to ducking, (I know you can swim, fetch, and carry,) some shopkeeper in London would take great de
o Certainly, Tom, I begin to pity thee.] Burns had assuredly never read Ford ; yet bis peculiar vein of humour has thrown him upon a kindred thought.
“ So fare you weel, auld Nickie-ben!
O! wad ye tak a thought an' men'!
Still bae a stake.
E’en for your sake." Dignity and decorum, however, are all on the side of Nickieben,
and be a tender master over you: or have any
mind to the game, either at bull or bear, I think I could prefer you to Moll Cutpurse.?
Dog. Ha, ha! I should kill all the game, bulls, bears, dogs and all; not a cub to be left.
Cud. You could do, Tom; but you must play fair, you should be staved off else. Or if
your stomach did better like to serve in some noble-man's, knight's, or gentleman's kitchen, if you could brook the wheel, and turn the spit (your labour could not be much) when they have roast meat, that's but once or twice in the week at most; here you might lick your own toes very well: or if you could translate yourself into a lady's arming puppy, there you might lick sweet lips, and do many pretty offices; but tu creep under an old .witch's coats, and suck like a great puppy!--fie upon't! I have heard beastly things of you, Tom.
Doy. Ha, ha!
? Moll Cutpurse.] A notorious character of those days, whose real name was Mary Frith. She appears to have excelled in various professions, of which far the most bonest and praiseworthy was that of picking pockets. By singular good fortune, she escaped the gallows, and died “in a ripe and rotten old age,” some time before the Restoration. Moll is the heroine of The Roaring Girl, a lively comedy, by Middleton), who has treated her with kindness,
Cud. No, I'll see thee hang'd, thou shalt be damn'd first! I know thy qualities too well, I'll give no suck to such whelps; therefore, henceforth I defy thee. Out! and avaunt!
Dog. Nor will I serve for such a silly soul. I am for greatness now, corrupted greatness, There I'll shug in, and get a noble countenance; Serve some Briarean footcloth-strider, That has an hundred hands to catch at bribes, But not a finger's nail of charity. Such, like the dragon's tail, shall pull down hun
dreds To drop and sink with him : I'll stretch myself, And draw this bulk small as a silver wire, Enter at the least
tobacco-fume Can make a breach for :-hence, silly fool ! I scorn to prey on such an atom soul.
Cud. Come out, come out, you cur! I will beat thee out of the bounds of Edmonton, and tomorrow we go in procession, and after thou shalt never come in again: if thou goest to London, I'll make thee go about by Tyburn, stealing in by Thieving-lane. If thou canst rub thy shoulder against a lawyer's gown, as thou passest by Westminster-hall, do; if not, to the stairs amongst the ban-dogs, take water, and the devil go with thee!
8 There I'll get a noble countenance;
Serre sone Briarean footcloth-strider.] Our author's use countenance, as indeed do all the writers of their time, for patronage, protection, responsibility, &c. Footcloths were the ornamental housings or trappings flung over the pads of state-horses. On these the great lawyers then rode to Westminster Hall; and, as our authors intimate, the great courtiers to St. James's. They became common enough in aftertimes. The allusion in the next line is to Revelation, ch. xii. v. 4.
[Evit, followed by Dog barking.
SCENE II.---London.—The neighbourhood of
Enter Justice, Sir ARTHUR, SOMERTON, WARBECK,
CARTER, and KATHERINE.
Just. Sir Arthur, though the bench hath mildly censured your errors, yet you have indeed been the instrument that wrought all their misfortunes; I would wish you paid down your fine speedily and willingly.
Sir Ar. I shall need no urging to it.
Car. If you should, 'twere a shame to you; for, if I should speak my conscience, you are worthier to be hang'd of the two, all things considered; and now make what you can of it: but I am glad these gentlemen are freed.
War. We knew our innocence,
[A noise within, Just. How now? what noise is that?
Car. Young Frank is going the wrong way.-Alas, poor youth! now, I begin to pity him.