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Moving and floating, and the confused noise
To be the murmuring winds, gusts, mariners:
That their unsteadfast footing did proceed
From rocking of the vessel. This conceived,
Each one begins to apprehend the danger,
And to look out for safety. Fly, saith one,
Up to the main-top, and discover. He
Climbs by the bed-post to the tester, there
Reports a turbulent sea and tempest towards ;
And wills them, if they'll save their ship and lives,
To cast their lading overboard. At this
All fall to work, and hoist into the street,
As to the sea, what next came to their hand,
Stools, tables, tressels, trenches, bedsteads, cups,
Pots, plate, and glasses. Here a fellow whistles ;
They take him for the boatswain: one lies struggling
Upon the floor, as if he swam for life :
A third takes the bass-viol for the cock-boat,
Sits in the bellow on 't, labours, and rows;
His oar the stick with which the fiddler played :
A fourth bestrides his fellow, thinking to 'scape
(As did Arion) on the dolphin's back,
Still fumbling on a gittern. The rude multitude,
Watching without, and gaping for the spoil
Cast from the windows, went by th' ears about it;
The constable is called t’ atɔne the broil;
Which done, and hearing such a noise within
Of imminent shipwreck, enters the house, and finds them
In this confusion : they adore his staff,
And think it Neptune's trident; and that he
Comes with his Tritons (so they called his watch)
To calm the tempest, and appease the waves:
And at this point we left them.

JAMES SHIRLEY, 1596-1666.

The Prodigal Lady.

(From the Lady of Pleasure.)


Stew. Be patient, madam, you may have your pleasure.

Aret. 'Tis that I came to town for; I would not Endure again the country conversation To be the lady of six shires! The men, So near the primitive making, they retain A sense of nothing but the earth ; their brains And barren heads standing as much in want Of ploughing as their ground: to hear a fellow Make himself merry and his horse with whistling Sellinger's round ; t observe with what solemnity They keep their wakes, and throw for pewter candlesticks; How they become the morris, with whose bells They ring all into Whitsun ales, and swear Through twenty scarfs and napkins, till the hobbyhorse Tire, and the maid-Marian, dissolved to a jelly,

I Be kept for spoon meat.

Stew. These, with your pardon, are no argument To make the country life appear so hateful; At least to your particular, who enjoyed A blessing in that calm, would you be pleased To think so, and the pleasure of a kingdom : : While your own will commanded what should move Delights, your husband's love and power joined To give your life more harmony. You lived there Secure and innocent, beloved of all;

Praised for your hospitality, and prayed for :
You might be enviéd, but malice knew
Not where you dwelt. - I would not prophesy,
But leave to your own apprehension
What may succeed your change.

You do imagine,
No doubt, you have talked wisely, and confuted
London past all defence. Your master should
Do well to send you back into the country,
With title of superintendent bailie.


Born. How now, what's the matter?
Angry, sweetheart?

I am angry with myself,
To be so miserably restrained in things
Wherein it doth concern your love and honour
To see me satisfied.

In what, Aretina,
Dost thou accuse me? Have I not obeyed
All thy desires against mine own opinion ?
Quitted the country, and removed the hope
Of our return by sale of that fair lordship
We lived in; changed a calm and retired life
For this wild town, composed of noise and charge ?

Aret. What charge more than is necessary
For a lady of my birth and education ?

Born. I am not ignorant how much nobility Flows in your blood; your kinsmen, great and powerful I'th' state, but with this lose not your memory Of being my wife. I shall be studious, Madam, to give the dignity of your birth

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All the best ornaments which become my fortune,
But would not flatter it to ruin both,
And be the fable of the town, to teach
Other men loss of wit by mine, employed
To serve your vast expenses.

Am I then
Brought in the balance so, sir?

Though you weigh
Me in a partial scale, my heart is honest,
And must take liberty to think you have
Obeyed no modest counsel to affect,
Nay, study, ways of pride and costly ceremony.
Your change of gaudy furniture, and pictures
Of this Italian master and that Dutchman's;
Your mighty looking-glasses, like artillery,
Brought home on engines ; the superfluous plate
Antique and novel; vanities of tires;
Fourscore pound suppers for my lord, your kinsman;
Banquets for t’ other lady, aunt and cousins;
And perfumes that exceed all: train of servants,
To stifle us at home and show abroad.
More motley than the French or the Venetian,
About your coach, whose rude postilion
Must pester every narrow lane, till passengers
And tradesmen curse your choking up their stalls,
And common cries pursue your ladyship
For hindering o' the market.

Have you done, sir ?
Born. I could accuse the gaiety of your wardrobe
And prodigal embroideries, under which
Rich satins, plushes, cloth of silver, dare
Not show their own complexions. Your jewels,

Able to burn out the spectator's eyes,
And show like bonfires on you by the tapers.
Something might here be spared, with safety of
Your birth and honour, since the truest wealth
Shines from the soul, and draws up just admirers.
I could urge something more.

Pray do; I like
Your homily of thrift.

I could wish, madam,
You would not game so much.

A gamester too?
Born, But are not come to that repentance yet
Should teach you skill enough to raise your profit;
You look not through the subtlety of cards
And mysteries of dice, nor can you save
Charge with the box, buy petticoats and pearls;
Nor do I wish you should. My poorest servant
Shall not upbraid my tables, nor his bire,
Purchased beneath my honour. You may play,
Not a pastime, but a tyranny, and vex
Yourself and my estate by 't.

Good - proceed.
Born. Another game you have, which consumes more
Your fame than purse ; your revels in the night,
Your meetings called the ball, to which appear,
As to the court of pleasure, all your gallants
And ladies, thither bound by a subpena
Of Venus and small Cupid's high displeasure ;
"T is but the family of love translated
Into more costly sin. There was a play on't,
And had the poet not been bribed to a modest
Expression of your antic gambols in 't,

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