by George Peele

Written c. 1590-5

First Published 1595





Contemporary Characters:

Antic, a Servant.

Frolic, a Servant.

Fantastic, a Servant.

Clunch, a Smith,

     Madge, his wife.

Fairy Tale Characters:

Sacrapant, a conjuror.

First Brother, named Calypha, a Prince.

Second Brother, named Thelea, a Prince.

Delia, sister to Calypha and Thelea, a Princess.

Eumenides, a Wandering Knight.

Huanebango, a Knight.

Corebus, a Clown.


     Venelia, betrothed to Erestus.


     Zantippa, daughter to Lampriscus.

     Celanta, daughter to Lampriscus.


Ghost of Jack, a deceased person.




Friar, Harvest-men, Furies, Fiddlers, &c.

NOTE: all scene settings are suggestions by the editor.




The Woods, Contemporary England.

Enter Antic, Frolic, and Fantastic.

Antic.  How now, fellow Frolic! what, all amort? doth

this sadness become thy madness? What though we

have lost our way in the woods? yet never hang the

head as though thou hadst no hope to live till to-

morrow; for Fantastic and I will warrant thy life to-

night for twenty in the hundred.

Frol.  Antic, and Fantastic, as I am frolic franion, never

in all my life was I so dead slain. What, to lose our

way in the wood, without either fire or candle, so

uncomfortable? O cœlum! O terra! O maria! O


Fan.  Why makes thou it so strange, seeing Cupid hath

led our young master to the fair lady, and she is the

only saint that he hath sworn to serve?

Frol.  What resteth, then, but we commit him to his

wench, and each of us take his stand up in a tree, and

sing out our ill fortune to the tune of "O man in


Antic.  Desperately spoken, fellow Frolic, in the dark:

but seeing it falls out thus, let us rehearse the old


    Three merry men, and three merry men,

    And three merry men be we;

    I in the wood, and thou on the ground,

    And Jack sleeps in the tree.

Fan.  Hush! a dog in the wood, or a wooden dog! O

comfortable hearing! I had even as lief the

chamberlain of the White Horse had called me up to


Frol.  Either hath this trotting cur gone out of his

circuit, or else are we near some village, which should

not be far off, for I perceive the glimmering of a

glow-worm, a candle, or a cat's eye, my life for a


Enter Clunch, a Smith with a lantern and candle.

In the name of my own father, be thou ox or ass that

appearest, tell us what thou art.

Clunch.  What am I? why, I am Clunch the smith.

What are you? what make you in my territories at this

time of the night?

Antic.  What do we make, dost thou ask? why, we

make faces for fear; such as if thy mortal eyes could

behold, would make thee water the long seams of thy

side slops, smith.

Frol.  And, in faith, sir, unless your hospitality do

relieve us, we are like to wander, with a sorrowful

heigh-ho, among the owlets and hobgoblins of the

forest. Good Vulcan, for Cupid's sake that hath

cozened us all, befriend us as thou mayst; and

command us howsoever, wheresoever, whensoever, in

whatsoever, for ever and ever.

Clunch.  Well, masters, it seems to me you have lost

your way in the wood: in consideration whereof, if you

will go with Clunch to his cottage, you shall have

houseroom and a good fire to sit by, although we have

no bedding to put you in.

All.  O blessed smith, O bountiful Clunch!

Clunch.  For your further entertainment, it shall be as

it may be, so and so.

[Hear a dog bark.]

Hark! this is Ball my dog, that bids you all welcome in

his own language: come, take heed for stumbling on

the threshold. − Open door, Madge; take in guests.

Enter Madge, an Old Woman.

Madge.  Welcome, Clunch, and good fellows all, that

come with my good-man: for my good-man's sake,

come on, sit down: here is a piece of cheese, and a

pudding of my own making.

Antic.  Thanks, gammer: a good example for the wives

of our town.

Frol.  Gammer, thou and thy good-man sit lovingly

together; we come to chat, and not to eat

Clunch.  Well, masters, if you will eat nothing, take

away. Come, what do we to pass away the time? − Lay

a crab in the fire to roast for lamb's-wool. − What,

shall we have a game at trump or ruff to drive away

the time? how say you?

Fant.  This smith leads a life as merry as a king with

Madge his wife. Sirrah Frolic, I am sure thou art not

without some round or other: no doubt but Clunch can

bear his part.

Frol.  Else think you me ill brought up: so set to it

when you will.

[They sing.]


Whenas the rye reach to the chin,

And chopcherry, chopcherry ripe within,

Strawberries swimming in the cream,

And school-boys playing in the stream;

Then, O, then, O, then, O, my true-love said,

Till that time come again

She could not live a maid.

Antic.  This sport does well; but methinks, gammer, a

merry winter's tale would drive away the time trimly:

come, I am sure you are not without a score.

Fant.  I'faith, gammer, a tale of an hour long were as

good as an hour's sleep.

Frol.  Look you, gammer, of the giant and the king's

daughter, and I know not what: I have seen the day,

when I was a little one, you might have drawn me a

mile after you with such a discourse.

Madge.  Well, since you be so importunate, my good-

man shall fill the pot and get him to bed; they that ply

their work must keep good hours: one of you go lie

with him; he is a clean-skinned man I tell you, without

either spavin or windgall: so I am content to drive

away the time with an old wives' winter's tale.

Fant.  No better hay in Devonshire; o' my word,

gammer, I'll be one of your audience.

Frol.  And I another, that's flat.

Antic.  Then must I to bed with the good-man. − Bona

Nox, gammer. − God night, Frolic.

Clunch.  Come on, my lad, thou shalt take thy

unnatural rest with me.

[Exeunt Antic and the Smith.]

Frol.  Yet this vantage shall we have of them in the

morning, to be ready at the sight thereof extempore.

Madge.  Now this bargain, my masters, must I make

with you, that you will say "hum" and "ha" to my tale, 

so shall I know you are awake.

Both.  Content, gammer, that will we do.

Madge.  Once upon a time, there was a king, or a lord,

or a duke, that had a fair daughter, the fairest that ever

was; as white as snow and as red as blood: and once

upon a time his daughter was stolen away: and he sent

all his men to seek out his daughter; and he sent so

long, that he sent all his men out of his land.

Frol.  Who drest his dinner, then?

Madge.  Nay, either hear my tale, or kiss my tail.

Fant.   Well said! on with your tale, gammer.

Madge.  O Lord, I quite forgot! there was a conjurer,

and this conjurer could do anything, and he turned

himself into a great dragon, and carried the king's

daughter away in his mouth to a castle that he made of

stone; and there he kept her I know not how long, till

at last all the king's men went out so long that her two

brothers went to seek her. O, I forget! she (he, I would

say), turned a proper young man to a bear in the night,

and a man in the day, and keeps by a cross that parts

three several ways; and he made his lady run mad, −

Gods me bones, who comes here?


A Cross-road in England.

Enter the Two Brothers.

Frol.  Soft, gammer, here some come to tell your tale

for you.

Fant.   Let them alone; let us hear what they will say.

1st Broth.  Upon these chalky cliffs of Albion

We are arrivèd now with tedious toil;

And compassing the wide world round about,

To seek our sister, seek fair Delia forth,

Yet cannot we so much as hear of her.

2nd  Broth.  O fortune cruèl, cruèl and unkind!

Unkind in that we cannot find our sister,

Our sister, hapless in her cruèl chance. −

Soft! who have we here?

Enter Erestus at the cross, stooping to gather.

1st  Broth.  Now, father, God be your speed! what do

you gather there?

Erest.   Hips and haws, and sticks and straws, and

things that I gather on the ground, my son.

1st  Broth.  Hips and haws, and sticks and straws!

why, is that all your food, father?

Erest.   Yea, son.

2nd  Broth.  Father, here is an alms-penny for me; and

if I speed in that I go for, I will give thee as good a

gown of grey as ever thou didst wear.

1st Broth.  And, father, here is another alms-penny for

me; and if I speed in my journey, I will give thee a

palmer's staff of ivory, and a scallop-shell of beaten


Erest.   Was she fair?

2nd  Broth.  Ay, the fairest for white, and the purest

for red, as the blood of the deer, or the driven snow.

Erest.   Then hark well, and mark well, my old spell: −

Be not afraid of every stranger;

Start not aside at every danger;

Things that seem are not the same:

Blow a blast at every flame;

For when one flame of fire goes out,

Then come your wishes well about:

If any ask who told you this good,

Say, the white bear of England's wood.

1st  Broth.  Brother, heard you not what the old man said?

Be not afraid of every stranger;

Start not aside for every danger;

Things that seem are not the same;

Blow a blast at every flame;

[For when one flame of fire goes out.

Then come your wishes well about:]

If any ask who told you this good,

Say, the white bear of England's wood.

2nd  Broth.  Well, if this do us any good,

Well fare the white bear of England's wood!

[Exeunt the Two Brothers.]

Erest.  Now sit thee here, and tell a heavy tale,

Sad in thy mood, and sober in thy cheer:

Here sit thee now, and to thyself relate

The hard mishap of thy most wretched state.

In Thessaly I lived in sweet content,

Until that fortune wrought my overthrow;

For there I wedded was unto a dame,

That lived in honour, virtue, love, and fame.

But Sacrapant, that cursèd sorcerer,

Being besotted with my beauteous love.

My dearest love, my true betrothèd wife,

Did seek the means to rid me of my life.

But worse than this, he with his chanting spells

Did turn me straight unto an ugly bear;

And when the sun doth settle in the west.

Then I begin to don my ugly hide:

And all the day I sit, as now you see,

And speak in riddles, all inspired with rage,

Seeming an old and miserable man,

And yet I am in April of my age.

Enter Venelia his lady mad; and goes in again.

See where Venelia, my betrothèd love,

Runs madding, all enraged, about the woods,

All by his cursèd and enchanting spells. −

But here comes Lampriscus, my discontented neighbour.

Enter Lampriscus with a pot of honey.

How now, neighbour! you look toward the ground as

well as I: you muse on something.

Lamp.  Neighbour, on nothing but on the matter I 

so often moved to you: if you do anything for charity,

help me; if for neighbourhood or brotherhood, help

me: never was one so cumbered as is poor Lampriscus;

and to begin, I pray receive this pot of honey, to mend

your fare.

Erest.  Thanks, neighbour, set it down; honey is

always welcome to the bear. And now, neighbour, let

me hear the cause of your coming.

Lamp.  I am, as you know, neighbour, a man

unmarried, and lived so unquietly with my two wives,

that I keep every year holy the day wherein I buried

them both: the first was on Saint Andrew's day, the

other on Saint Luke's.

Erest.   And now, neighbour, you of this country say,

your custom is out. But on with your tale, neighbour.

Lamp.  By my first wife, whose tongue wearied me

alive, and sounded in my ears like the clapper of a

great bell, whose talk was a continual torment to all

that dwelt by her or lived nigh her, you have heard me

say I had a handsome daughter.

Erest.  True, neighbour.

Lamp.  She it is that afflicts me with her continual

clamours, and hangs on me like a bur: poor she is, and

proud she is; as poor as a sheep new-shorn, and as

proud of her hopes as a peacock of her tail well-grown.

Erest.  Well said, Lampriscus! you speak it like an


Lamp.  As curst as a wasp, and as froward as a child

new-taken from the mother's teat; she is to my age, 

as smoke to the eyes, or as vinegar to the teeth.

Erest.   Holily praised, neighbour. As much for the


Lamp.  By my other wife I had a daughter so hard-

favoured, so foul, and ill-faced, that I think a grove full

of golden trees, and the leaves of rubies and diamonds,

would not be a dowry answerable to her deformity.

Erest.   Well, neighbour, now you have spoke, hear me

speak: send them to the well for the water of life; there

shall they find their fortunes unlooked for. Neighbour,


Lamp.  Farewell, and a thousand.

[Exit Erestus.]

And now goeth poor Lampriscus to put in execution

this excellent counsel.



Frol.  Why, this goes round without a fiddling-stick:

but, do you hear, gammer, was this the man that was a

bear in the night and a man in the day?

Madge.  Ay, this is he! and this man that came to him

was a beggar, and dwelt upon a green. But soft! who

come here? O, these are the harvest-men; ten to one

they sing a song of mowing.

Enter the Harvest-men a-singing,

with this song double repeated.


     All ye that lovely lovers be,

     Pray you for me:

     Lo, here we come a-sowing, a-sowing,

     And sow sweet fruits of love;

     In your sweet hearts well may it prove!



The Cross.

Enter Huanebango with his two-hand sword,
and Corebus the Clown.

Fant.   Gammer, what is he?

Madge.  O, this is one that is going to the conjurer: let

him alone, hear what he says.

Huan.   Now, by Mars and Mercury, Jupiter and

Janus, Sol and Saturnus, Venus and Vesta, Pallas and

Proserpina, and by the honour of my house,

Polimackeroeplacydus, it is a wonder to see what this

love will make silly fellows adventure, even in the

wane of their wits and infancy of their discretion. Alas,

my friend! what fortune calls thee forth to seek thy

fortune among brazen gates, enchanted towers, fire

and brimstone, thunder and lightning? [Her] beauty, I 

tell thee, is peerless, and she precious whom thou

affectest. Do off these desires, good countryman: good

friend, run away from thyself; and, so soon as thou

canst, forget her, whom none must inherit but he that

can monsters tame, labours achieve, riddles absolve,

loose enchantments, murder magic, and kill conjuring,

− and that is the great and mighty Huanebango.

Core.  Hark you, sir, hark you. First know I have here

the flurting feather, and have given the parish the start

for the long stock: now, sir, if it be no more but

running through a little lightning and thunder, and

"riddle me, riddle me what's this?" I’ll have the wench

from the conjurer, if he were ten conjurers.

Huan.   I have abandoned the court and honourable

company, to do my devoir against this sore sorcerer

and mighty magician: if this lady be so fair as she is

said to be, she is mine, she is mine; meus, mea, meum,

in contemptum omnium grammaticorum.

Core.  O falsum Latinum!

The fair maid is minum,

Cum apurtinantibus gibletis and all.

Huan.   If she be mine, as I assure myself the heavens

will do somewhat to reward my worthiness, she shall

be allied to none of the meanest gods, but be invested

in the most famous stock of Huanebango

Polimackeroeplacydus my grandfather; my father

Pergopolineo; my mother Dionora de Sardinia,

famously descended.

Core.  Do you hear, sir? had not you a cousin that was

called Gusteceridis?

Huan.   Indeed, I had a cousin that sometime followed

the court infortunately, and his name


Core.  O lord, I know him well! he is the knight of the


Huan.  O, he loved no capon better! he hath often-

times deceived his boy of his dinner; that was his fault,

good Bustegusteceridis.

Core.  Come, shall we go along?

Enter Erestus at the Cross.

Soft! here is an old man at the cross: let us ask him the

way thither. − Ho, you gaffer! I pray you tell where the

wise man the conjurer dwells.

Huan.  Where that earthly goddess keepeth her abode,

the commander of my thoughts, and fair mistress of

my heart.

Erest.  Fair enough, and far enough from thy

fingering, son.

Huan.  I will follow my fortune after mine own fancy,

and do according to mine own discretion.

Erest.  Yet give something to an old man before you


Huan.  Father, methinks a piece of this cake might

serve your turn.

Erest.  Yea, son.

Huan.  Huanebango giveth no cakes for alms: ask of

them that give gifts for poor beggars. − Fair lady, if

thou wert once shrined in this bosom, I would buckler

thee haratantara.


Core.  Father, do you see this man? you little think

he'll run a mile or two for such a cake, or pass for a

pudding. I tell you, father, he has kept such a begging

of me for a piece of this cake! Whoo! he comes upon

me with ''a superfantial substance, and the foison of

the earth," that I know not what he means. If he came

to me thus, and said, “My friend Corebus,” or so, why,

I could spare him a piece with all my heart; but when

he tells me how God hath enriched me above other

fellows with a cake, why, he makes me blind and deaf

at once. Yet, father, here is a piece of cake for you, as

hard as the world goes.

[Gives cake.]

Erest.  Thanks, son, but list to me;

He shall be deaf when thou shalt not see.

Farewell, my son: things may so hit,

Thou mayst have wealth to mend thy wit.

Core.  Farewell, father, farewell; for I must make haste

after my two-hand sword that is gone before.

[Exeunt severally.]


Sacrapant's Castle.

Enter Sacrapant in his study.

Sacr.  The day is clear, the welkin bright and gray,

The lark is merry and records her notes;

Each thing rejoiceth underneath the sky,

But only I, whom Heaven hath in hate,

Wretched and miserable Sacrapant.

In Thessaly was I born and brought up;

My mother Meroe hight, a famous witch,

And by her cunning I of her did learn

To change and alter shapes of mortal men.

There did I turn myself into a dragon,

And stole away the daughter to the king,

Fair Delia, the mistress of my heart;

And brought her hither to revive the man,

That seemeth young and pleasant to behold,

And yet is agèd, crookèd, weak, and numb.

Thus by enchanting spells I do deceive

Those that behold and look upon my face;

But well may I bid youthful years adieu.

See where she comes from whence my sorrows grow!

Enter Delia with a pot in her hand.

How now, fair Delia! where have you been?

Delia.  At the foot of the rock for running water, and

gathering roots for your dinner, sir.

Sacr.  Ah, Delia,

Fairer art thou than the running water.

Yet harder far than steel or adamant!

Delia.  Will it please you to sit down, sir?

Sacr.  Ay, Delia, sit and ask me what thou wilt,

Thou shalt have it brought into thy lap.

Delia.  Then, I pray you, sir, let me have the best meat

from the King of England's table, and the best wine in

all France, brought in by the veriest knave in all Spain.

Sacr.  Delia, I am glad to see you so pleasant:

Well, sit thee down. −

Spread, table, spread;

Meat, drink, and bread,

Ever may I have

What I ever crave,

When I am spread:

For meat for my black cock,

And meat for my red.

Enter a Friar with a chine of beef and a pot of wine.

Here, Delia, will ye fall to?

Delia.  Is this the best meat in England?

Sacr.  Yea.

Delia.  What is it?

Sacr.  A chine of English beef, meat for a king and a

king’s followers.

Delia.  Is this the best wine in France?

Sacr.  Yea.

Delia.  What wine is it?

Sacr.  A cup of neat wine of Orleans, that never came

near the brewers in England.

Delia.  Is this the veriest knave in all Spain?

Sacr.  Yea.

Delia.  What, is he a friar?

Sacr.  Yea, a friar indefinite, and a knave infinite.

Delia.  Then, I pray ye, Sir Friar, tell me before you

go, which is the most greediest Englishman?

Friar.  The miserable and most covetous usurer.

Sacr.  Hold thee there, friar.

[Exit Friar.]

                                            But, soft!

Who have we here? Delia, away, be gone!

Enter the Two Brothers.

Delia, away! for beset are we. −

But Heaven [n]or hell shall rescue her for me.

[Exeunt Delia and Sacrapant.]

1st  Broth.  Brother, was not that Delia did appear,

Or was it but her shadow that was here?

2nd  Broth.  Sister, where art thou? Delia, come again!

He calls, that of thy absence doth complain. −

Call out, Calypha, that she may hear,

And cry aloud, for Delia is near.

Echo.   Near.

1st Broth.  Near! O, where? hast thou any tidings?

Echo.  Tidings.

2nd  Broth.  Which way is Delia, then? or that, or this?

Echo.  This.

1st Broth.  And may we safely come where Delia is?

Echo.  Yes.

2nd  Broth.  Brother, remember you the white bear of England's wood?

"Start not aside for every danger,

Be not afeard of every stranger;

Things that seem are not the same."

1st Broth.  Brother,

Why do we not, then, courageously enter?

2nd  Broth.  Then, brother, draw thy sword and follow me.

Re-enter Sacrapant the Conjurer: it lightens and

thunders; the Second Brother falls down.

1st Broth.  What, brother, dost thou fall?

Sacr.  Ay, and thou too, Calypha.

[The First Brother falls down.]

Adestes, daemones!

Enter Two Furies.

                                Away with them:

Go carry them straight to Sacrapanto's cell,

There in despair and torture for to dwell.

[Exeunt Furies with the Two Brothers.]

These are Thenores' sons of Thessaly,

That come to seek Delia their sister forth:

But, with a potion I to her have given,

My arts have made her to forget herself.

[He removes a turf, and shows a light in a glass.]

See here the thing which doth prolong my life,

With this enchantment I do any thing;

And till this fade, my skill shall still endure,

And never none shall break this little glass.

But she that's neither wife, widow, nor maid:

Then cheer thyself; this is thy destiny,

Never to die but by a dead man's hand.



The Cross.

Enter Eumenides.

Eum.  Tell me, Time,

Tell me, just Time, when shall I Delia see?

When shall I see the loadstar of my life?

When shall my wandering course end with her sight,

Or I but view my hope, my heart's delight?

Enter Erestus at the Cross.

Father, God speed! if you tell fortunes, I pray, good

father, tell me mine.

Erest.  Son, I do see in thy face

Thy blessèd fortune work apace:

I do perceive that thou hast wit;

Beg of thy fate to govern it,

For wisdom governed by advice,

Makes many fortunate and wise.

Bestow thy alms, give more than all,

Till dead men's bones come at thy call.

Farewell, my son: dream of no rest,

Till thou repent that thou didst best.


Eum.  This man hath left me in a labyrinth:

He biddeth me give more than all,

Till dead men's bones come at my call;

He biddeth me dream of no rest,

Till I repent that I do best.

[Lies down and sleeps.]

Enter Wiggen, Corebus, Churchwarden, and Sexton.

Wigg.  You may be ashamed, you whoreson scald

Sexton and Churchwarden, if you had any shame in

those shameless faces of yours, to let a poor man lie so

long above ground unburied. A rot on you all, that

have no more compassion of a good fellow when he is


Church.   What, would you have us to bury him, and

to answer it ourselves to the parish?

Sext.  Parish me no parishes; pay me my fees, and let

the rest run on in the quarter's accounts, and put it

down for one of your good deeds, o' God's name! for I

am not one that curiously stands upon merits.

Core.  You whoreson, sodden-headed sheep's face,

shall a good fellow do less service and more honesty

to the parish, and will you not, when he is dead, let

him have Christmas burial?

Wigg.  Peace, Corebus! as sure as Jack was Jack, the

frolic'st franion amongst you, and I, Wiggen, his sweet

sworn brother. Jack shall have his funerals, or some of

them shall lie on God's dear earth for it, that's once.

Church.  Wiggen, I hope thou wilt do no more than

thou darest answer.

Wigg.  Sir, sir, dare or dare not, more or less, answer

or not answer, do this, or have this.

[Wiggen sets upon the parish with a pike-staff.]

Sext.  Help, help, help!

[Eumenides awakes and comes to them.]

Eum.  Hold thy hands, good fellow.

Core.  Can you blame him, sir, if he take Jack's part

against this shake-rotten parish that will not bury Jack?

Eum.  Why, what was that Jack?

Core.  Who, Jack, sir? who, our Jack, sir? as good a

fellow as ever trod upon neat's-leather.

Wigg.  Look you, sir; he gave fourscore and nineteen

mourning gowns to the parish, when he died, and

because he would not make them up a full hundred,

they would not bury him: was not this good dealing?

Church.  O Lord, sir, how he lies! he was not worth a

halfpenny, and drunk out every penny; and now his

fellows, his drunken companions, would have us to

bury him at the charge of the parish. And we make

many such matches, we may pull down the steeple,

sell the bells, and thatch the chancel: he shall lie above

ground till he dance a galliard about the church-yard,

for Steeven Loach.

Wigg.  Sic argumentaris, Domine Loach, − "And we make

many such matches, we may pull down the steeple,

sell the bells, and thatch the chancel?" − in good time,

sir, and hang yourself in the bell-ropes, when you 

have done. Domine, opponens præpono tibi hanc

quæstionem, whether will you have the ground broken

or your pates broken first? for one of them shall be

done presently, and to begin mine, I’ll seal it upon

your coxcomb.

Eum.  Hold thy hands, I pray thee, good fellow; be not

too hasty.

Core.  You capon's face, we shall have you turned out

of the parish one of these days, with never a tatter to

your arse; then you are in worse taking than Jack.

Eum.  Faith, and he is bad enough. This fellow does

but the part of a friend, to seek to bury his friend: 

how much will bury him?

Wigg.  Faith, about some fifteen or sixteen shillings

will bestow him honestly.

Sext.  Ay, even thereabouts, sir.

Eum.  Here, hold it, then: − [Aside] and I have left me

but one poor three half-pence: now do I remember the

words the old man spake at the cross, "Bestow all thou

hast," and this is all, “till dead men's bones come at

thy call:" − here, hold it [gives money]; and so farewell

Wigg.  God, and all good, be with you, sir!

[Exit Eumenides.]

Nay, you cormorants, I'll bestow one peal of Jack at

mine own proper costs and charges.

Core.  You may thank God the long staff and the

bilbo-blade crossed not your coxcomb[s]. − Well, we'll

to the church-stile and have a pot, and so trill-lill.

[Exit Coreus and Wiggen.]

Church and Sext.  Come, let’s go.



Fant.  But, hark you, gammer, methinks this Jack bore

a great sway in the parish.

Madge.  O, this Jack was a marvelous fellow! he was

but a poor man, but very well beloved: you shall see

anon what this Jack will come to.

Enter the Harvest-men singing,

with women in their hands.

Frol.  Soft! who have we here? our amorous



Fant.  Ay, ay, let us sit still, and let them alone.

Here the Harvest-men begin to sing, the song doubled.


    Lo, here we come a-reaping, a-reaping,

    To reap our harvest-fruit!

    And thus we pass the year so long,

    And never be we mute.

[Exeunt the Harvest-men.]


Outside Sacrapant's Castle.

Enter Huanebango.

Frol.  Soft! who have we here?

Madge.  O, this is a choleric gentleman! All you that

love your lives, keep out of the smell of his two-hand

sword: now goes he to the conjurer.

Fant.  Methinks the conjurer should put the fool into a


Huan.  Fee, fa, fum,

    Here is the Englishman, −

    Conquer him that can, −

    Come for his lady bright.

    To prove himself a knight,

    And win her love in fight.

Enter Corebus the Clown.

Core.  Who-haw, Master Bango, are you here? hear

you, you had best sit down here, and beg an alms with


Huan.   Hence, base cullion! here is he that

commandeth ingress and egress with his weapon, and

will enter at his voluntary, whosoever saith no.

A Voice.  No.

[A flame of fire; and Huanebango falls down.]

Madge.  So with that they kissed, and spoiled the edge

of as good a two-hand sword as ever God put life in.

Now goes Corebus in, spite of the conjurer.

Enter Sacrapant and Two Furies.

Sacr.  Away with him into the open fields,

To be a ravening prey to crows and kites:

[Huanebango is carried out by the Two Furies.]

And for this villain, let him wander up and down.

In naught but darkness and eternal night.

[Strikes Corebus blind.]

Core.  Here hast thou slain Huan, a slashing knight,

And robbed poor Corebus of his sight.

 Sacr.  Hence, villain, hence!

[Exit Corebus.]

                                                Now I have unto Delia

Given a potion of forgetfulness.

That, when she comes, she shall not know her brothers.

Lo, where they labour, like to country-slaves,

With spade and mattock, on this enchanted ground!

Now will I call her by another name;

For never shall she know herself again,

Until that Sacrapant hath breathed his last.

See where she comes.

Enter Delia.

Come hither, Delia, take this goad; here hard

At hand two slaves do work and dig for gold:

Gore them with this, and thou shalt have enough.

[He gives her a goad.]

Delia.  Good sir, I know not what you mean.

Sacr.  [Aside] She hath forgotten to be Delia,

But not forgot the same she should forget;

But I will change her name. −

Fair Berecynthia, so this country calls you,

Go ply these strangers, wench; they dig for gold.

[Exit Sacrapant.]

Delia.  O heavens, how

Am I beholding to this fair young man!

But I must ply these strangers to their work:

See where they come.

Enter the Two Brothers in their shirts,

with spades, digging.

1st Broth.  O brother, see where Delia is!

2nd  Broth.  O Delia,

Happy are we to see thee here!

Delia.  What tell you me of Delia, prating swains?

I know no Delia, nor know I what you mean.

Ply you your work, or else you're like to smart.

1st  Broth.  Why, Delia, know'st thou not thy brothers here?

We come from Thessaly to seek thee forth;

And thou deceiv'st thyself, for thou art Delia.

Delia.  Yet more of Delia? then take this, and smart:

[Pricks them with the goad.]

What, feign you shifts for to defer your labour?

Work, villains, work; it is for gold you dig.

2nd  Broth.  Peace, brother, peace: this vild enchanter

Hath ravished Delia of her senses clean,

And she forgets that she is Delia.

1st Broth.  Leave, cruèl thou, to hurt the miserable. −

Dig, brother, dig, for she is hard as steel.

Here they dig,

and descry a light in a glass under a little hill.

2nd  Broth.  Stay, brother; what hast thou descried?

Delia.  Away, and touch it not; it is something that my

lord hath hidden there.

[She covers it again.]

Re-enter Sacrapant.

Sacr.  Well said! thou plyest these pioners well. −

Go get you in, you labouring slaves.

[Exeunt the Two Brothers.]

Come, Berecynthia, let us in likewise,

And hear the nightingale record her notes.



The Well of Life.

Enter Zantippa, the curst Daughter,

to the Well of Life, with a pot in her hand.

Zant.  Now for a husband, house, and home: God send

a good one or none, I pray God! My father hath sent

me to the well for the water of life, and tells me, if I

give fair words, I shall have a husband. But here

comes Celanta my sweet sister: I'll stand by and hear

what she says.


Enter Celanta, the foul wench, to the well for 

water with a pot in her hand.

Cel.  My father hath sent me to the well for water, and

he tells me, if I speak fair, I shall have a husband, and

none of the worst. Well, though I am black, I am sure

all the world will not forsake me; and, as the old

proverb is, though I am black, I am not the devil.

Zant.  [Coming forward] Marry-gup with a murren, I

know wherefore thou speakest that: but go thy ways

home as wise as thou camest, or I'll set thee home 

with a wanion.

[Here she strikes her pitcher against her sister’s,

and breaks them both, and exits.]

Cel.  I think this be the curstest quean in the world:

you see what she is, a little fair, but as proud as the

devil, and the veriest vixen that lives upon God's earth.

Well, I'll let her alone, and go home, and get another

pitcher, and, for all this, get me to the well for water.


Enter, out of Sacrapant’s cell, the Two Furies

carrying Huanebango; they lay him

by the Well of Life, and then exeunt.

Re-enter Zantippa with a pitcher to the well.

Zant.  Once again for a husband; and, in faith, Celanta,

I have got the start of you; belike husbands grow by

the well-side. Now my father says I must rule my

tongue: why, alas, what am I, then? a woman without a

tongue is as a soldier without his weapon: but I'll have

my water, and be gone.

Here she offers to dip her pitcher in,

and a Head rises in the well.

Head.  Gently dip, but not too deep,

For fear you make the golden beard to weep.

Fair maiden, white and red,

Stroke me smooth, and comb my head,

And thou shalt have some cockell-bread.

Zant.  What is this?

"Fair maiden, white and red,

Comb me smooth, and stroke my head,

And thou shalt have some cockell-bread "?

"Cockell" callest thou it, boy? faith, I’ll give you


She breaks her pitcher upon the Head:

 then it thunders and lightens;

And Huanebango, who is deaf and cannot hear,

 rises up.


Huan.  Philida, phileridos, pamphilida, florida, flortos: 

Dub dub-a-dub, bounce, quoth the guns, with a sulphurous huff-snuff:

Waked with a wench, pretty peat, pretty love, and my sweet pretty pigsnie,

Just by thy side shall sit surnamed great Huanebango:

Safe in my arms will I keep thee, threat Mars, or thunder Olympus.

Zant.  [Aside] Foh, what greasy groom have we here?

He looks as though he crept out of the backside of the

well, and speaks like a drum perished at the west end.

Huan.   O, that I might, − but I may not, woe to my destiny therefore! −

Kiss that I clasp! but I cannot: tell me, my destiny, wherefore?

Zant.  [Aside] Whoop! now I have my dream. Did you

never hear so great a wonder as this, three blue beans

in a blue bladder, rattle, bladder, rattle?

Huan.   [Aside] I’ll now set my countenance, and to

her in prose; it may be, this rim-ram-ruff is too rude an

encounter. − Let me, fair lady, if you be at

leisure, revel with your sweetness, and rail upon that

cowardly conjurer, that hath cast me, or congealed me

rather, into an unkind sleep, and polluted my carcass.

Zant.  [Aside] Laugh, laugh, Zantippa; thou hast thy

fortune, a fool and a husband under one.

Huan.   Truly, sweet-heart, as I seem, about some

twenty years, the very April of mine age.

Zant.  [Aside] Why, what a prating ass is this!

Huan.   Her coral lips, her crimson chin,

Her silver teeth so white within,

Her golden locks, her rolling eye,

Her pretty parts, let them go by,

Heigh-ho, have wounded me,

That I must die this day to see!

Zant.  By Gogs-bones, thou art a flouting knave: "her

coral lips, her crimson chin!" ka, wilshaw!

Huan.  True, my own, and my own because mine, and

mine because mine, ha, ha! above a thousand pounds

in possibility, and things fitting thy desire in


Zant.  [Aside] The sot thinks I ask of his lands. Lob be

your comfort, and cuckold be your destiny! − Hear

you, sir; and if you will have us, you had best say so


Huan.   True, sweet-heart, and will royalize thy

progeny with my pedigree.



A Road Somewhere Nearby.

Enter Eumenides.

Eum.  Wretched Eumenides, still unfortunate,

Envied by fortune and forlorn by fate,

Here pine and die, wretched Eumenides,

Die in the spring, the April of my age!

Here sit thee down, repent what thou hast done:

I would to God that it were ne'er begun!

Enter the Ghost of Jack.

G. of Jack.  You are well overtaken, sir.

Eum.  Who's that?

G. of Jack. You are heartily well met, sir.

Eum.  Forbear, I say: who is that which pincheth me?

G. of Jack. Trusting in God, good Master Eumenides,

that you are in so good health as all your friends were

at the making hereof, − God give you good morrow,

sir! Lack you not a neat, handsome, and cleanly young

lad, about the age of fifteen or sixteen years, that can

run by your horse, and, for a need, make your

mastership's shoes as black as ink? how say you, sir?

Eum.  Alas, pretty lad, I know not how to keep myself,

and much less a servant, my pretty boy; my state is so


G. of Jack.  Content yourself, you shall not be so ill a

master but I'll be as bad a servant. Tut, sir, I know you,

though you know not me: are not you the man, sir,

deny it if you can, sir, that came from a strange place

in the land of Catita, where Jack-an-apes flies with his

tail in his mouth, to seek out a lady as white as snow

and as red as blood? ha, ha! have I touched you now?

Eum.  [Aside] I think this boy be a spirit. − How

knowest thou all this?

G. of Jack.  Tut, are not you the man, sir, deny it if

you can, sir, that gave all the money you had to the

burying of a poor man, and but one three half-pence

left in your purse? Content you, sir, I'll serve you, that

is flat.

Eum.  Well, my lad, since thou art so impor[tu]nate, I

am content to entertain thee, not as a servant, but a

copartner in my journey. But whither shall we go? for

I have not any money more than one bare three half-


G. of Jack.  Well, master, content yourself, for if my

divination be not out, that shall be spent at the next inn

or alehouse we come to; for, master, I know you are

passing hungry: therefore I'll go before and provide

dinner until that you come; no doubt but you'll come

fair and softly after.

Eum.  Ay, go before; I’ll follow thee.

G. of Jack.  But do you hear, master? do you know

my name?

Eum.  No, I promise thee, not yet.

G. of Jack.  Why, I am Jack.


Eum.  Jack! why, be it so, then.


An Inn.

Enter the Hostess and Jack, setting meat on the table;

and Fiddlers come to play. Eumenides walks up

and down, and will eat no meat.

Host.  How say you, sir? do you please to sit down?

Eum.  Hostess, I thank you, I have no great stomach.

Host.  Pray, sir, what is the reason your master is so

strange? doth not this meat please him?

G. of Jack.  Yes, hostess, but it is my master's fashion

to pay before he eats; therefore, a reckoning, good


Host.  Marry, shall you, sir, presently.


Eum.  Why, Jack, what dost thou mean? Thou

knowest I have not any money; therefore, sweet Jack,

tell me what shall I do?

G. of Jack.  Well, master, look in your purse.

Eum.  Why, faith, it is a folly, for I have no money.

G. of Jack.  Why, look you, master; do so much for


Eum.  [looking into his purse]

Alas, Jack, my purse is full of money!

G. of Jack.  "Alas," master! does that word belong to

this accident? why, methinks I should have seen you

cast away your cloak, and in a bravado danced a

galliard round about the chamber: why, master, your

man can teach you more wit than this.

[Re-enter Hostess.]

Come, hostess, cheer up my master.

Host.  You are heartily welcome; and if it please you

to eat of a fat capon, a fairer bird, a finer bird, a

sweeter bird, a crisper bird, a neater bird, your worship

never eat of.

Eum.  Thanks, my fine, eloquent hostess.

G. of Jack.  But hear you, master, one word by the

way: are you content I shall be halves in all you get in

your journey?

Eum.  I am, Jack; here is my hand.

G. of Jack.  Enough, master, I ask no more.

Eum.  Come, hostess, receive your money; and I

thank you for my good entertainment.

[Gives money.]

Host.  You are heartily welcome, sir.

Eum.  Come, Jack, whither go we now?

G. of Jack.  Marry, master, to the conjurer's presently.

Eum.  Content, Jack. − Hostess, farewell.



The Well of Life.

Enter Corebus, and Celanta, the foul wench,

to the well for water.

Core.  Come, my duck, come: I have now got a wife:

thou art fair, art thou not? 

Cel.  My Corebus, the fairest alive; make no doubt of


Core.  Come, wench, are we almost at the well?

Cel.  Ay, Corebus, we are almost at the well now. I’ll

go fetch some water: sit down while I dip my pitcher in.

A Head comes up with ears of corn,

 and she combs them into her lap.

Head.  Gently dip, but not too deep,

For fear you make the golden beard to weep.

Fair maiden, white and red,

Comb me smooth, and stroke my head,

And thou shalt have some cockell-bread.

A Second Head comes up full of gold,

which she combs into her lap.

2nd Head.  Gently dip, but not too deep,

For fear thou make the golden beard to weep.

Fair maid, white and red,

Comb me smooth, and stroke my head,

And every hair a sheaf shall be,

And every sheaf a golden tree.

Cel.  O, see, Corebus, I have combed a great deal of

gold into my lap, and a great deal of corn!

Core.  Well said, wench! now we shall have just

enough: God send us coiners to coin our gold. But

come, shall we go home, sweet-heart?

Cel.  Nay, come, Corebus, I will lead you.

Core.  So, Corebus, things have well hit;

Thou hast gotten wealth to mend thy wit.



Outside Sacrapant's Castle.

Enter the Ghost of Jack and Eumenides.

G. of Jack.  Come away, master, come.

Eum.  Go along, Jack, I'll follow thee. Jack, they say 

it is good to go cross-legged, and say his prayers

backward; how sayest thou?

G. of Jack.  Tut, never fear, master; let me alone. Here

sit you still; speak not a word; and because you shall

not be enticed with his enchanting speeches, with this

same wool, I'll stop your ears.

 [Puts wool into the ears of Eumenides.]

and so, master, sit still, for I must to the conjurer.


Enter Sacrapant.

Sacr.  How now! what man art thou, that sits so sad?

Why dost thou gaze upon these stately trees

Without the leave and will of Sacrapant? −

What, not a word, but mum? Then, Sacrapant,

Thou art betrayed.

Enter the Ghost of Jack invisible,

and takes Sacrapant's wreath from his head,

and his sword out of his hand.

What hand invades the head of Sacrapant?

What hateful Fury doth envy my happy state?

Then, Sacrapant, these are thy latest days.

Alas, my veins are numbed, my sinews shrink.

My blood is pierced, my breath fleeting away.

And now my timeless date is come to end!

He in whose life his acts hath been so foul,

Now in his death to hell descends his soul.

[He dies.]


G. of Jack.  O, sir, are you gone? now I hope we shall

have some other coil. − Now, master, how like you

this? the conjurer he is dead, and vows never to trouble

us more: now get you to your fair lady, and see what

you can do with her. − Alas, he heareth me not all this

while! but I will help that.

[Pulls the wool out of his ears.]

Eum.  How now, Jack! what news?

G. of Jack.  Here, master, take this sword, and dig

with it at the foot of this hill.

[Gives sword.]

[He digs and spies a light in a glass.]

Eum.  How now, Jack! what is this?

G. of Jack.  Master, without this the conjurer could do

nothing; and so long as this light lasts, so long doth his

art endure, and this being out, then doth his art decay.

Eum.  Why, then, Jack, I will soon put out this light.

G. of Jack.  Ay, master, how?

Eum.  Why, with a stone I'll break the glass, and then

blow it out.

G. of Jack.  No, master, you may as soon break the

smith's anvil as this little vial: nor the biggest blast 

that ever Boreas blew cannot blow out this little light; 

but she that is neither maid, wife, nor widow. Master,

wind this horn, and see what will happen.

[Gives horn.]

Eumenides winds the horn.

Enter Venelia, who breaks the glass,

blows out the light, and then exits.


So, master, how like you this? this is she that ran

madding in the woods, his betrothed love that keeps

the cross; and now, this light being out, all are restored

to their former liberty: and now, master, to the lady

that you have so long looked for.

[The ghost of Jack draws a curtain,

revealing Delia sitting asleep.]

Eum.  God speed, fair maid, sitting alone, − there is once;

God speed, fair maid, − there is twice;

God speed, fair maid, − that is thrice.

Delia.  Not so, good sir, for you are by.

G. of Jack.  Enough, master, she hath spoke; now I

will leave her with you.


Eum.  Thou fairest flower of these western parts,

Whose beauty so reflecteth in my sight

As doth a crystal mirror in the sun;

For thy sweet sake I have crossed the frozen Rhine;

Leaving fair Po, I sailed up Danuby,

As far as Saba, whose enhancing streams

Cut twixt the Tartars and the Russians:

These have I crossed for thee, fair Delia:

Then grant me that which I have sued for long.

Delia.  Thou gentle knight, whose fortune is so good

To find me out and set my brothers free,

My faith, my heart, my hand I give to thee.

Eum.  Thanks, gentle madam: but here comes Jack;

thank him, for he is the best friend that we have.

Enter the Ghost of Jack,

with Sacrapant’s head in his hand.

How now, Jack! what hast thou there?

G. of Jack.  Marry, master, the head of the conjurer.

Eum.  Why, Jack, that is impossible; he was a young


G. of Jack.  Ah, master, so he deceived them that

beheld him! but he was a miserable, old, and crooked

man, though to each man's eye he seemed young and

fresh; for, master, this conjurer took the shape of the

old man that kept the cross, and that old man was in

the likeness of the conjurer. But now, master, wind

your horn.

Eumenides winds his horn.

Enter Venelia, the Two Brothers,

and he that was at the cross.

Eum.  Welcome, Erestus! welcome, fair Venelia!

Welcome, Thelea and Calypha both!

Now have I her that I so long have sought;

So saith fair Delia, if we have your consent.

1st Broth.  Valiant Eumenides, thou well deservest

To have our favours; so let us rejoice

That by thy means we are at liberty:

Here may we joy each in other's sight,

And this fair lady have her wandering knight

G. of Jack.  So, master, now ye think you have done;

but I must have a saying to you: you know you and I

were partners, I to have half in all you got.

Eum.  Why, so thou shalt, Jack.

G. of Jack.  Why, then, master, draw your sword, part

your lady, let me have half of her presently.

Eum.  Why, I hope, Jack, thou dost but jest: I

promised thee half I got, but not half my lady.

G. of Jack.  But what else, master? have you not

gotten her? therefore divide her straight, for I will have

half; there is no remedy.

Eum.  Well, ere I will falsify my word unto my friend,

take her all: here, Jack, I'll give her thee.

G. of Jack.  Nay, neither more nor less, master, but

even just half.

Eum.  Before I will falsify my faith unto my friend, I

will divide her: Jack, thou shalt have half.

1st  Broth.  Be not so cruel unto our sister, gentle knight.

2nd  Broth.  O, spare fair Delia! she deserves no death.

Eum.  Content yourselves; my word is passed to him.

Therefore prepare thyself Delia, for thou must die.

Del.  Then farewell, world! adieu, Eumenides!

[Eumenides offers to strike,

and the Ghost of Jack stays him.]

G. of Jack.  Stay, master; it is sufficient I have tried

your constancy. Do you now remember since you paid

for the burying of a poor fellow?

Eum.  Ay, very well, Jack.

G. of Jack.  Then, master, thank that good deed for

this good turn: and so God be with you all!

[The Ghost of Jack leaps down in the ground.]

Eum.  Jack, what, art thou gone? then farewell, Jack!−

Come, brothers, and my beauteous Delia,

Erestus, and thy dear Venelia,

We will to Thessaly with joyful hearts.

All.  Agreed: we follow thee and Delia.

[Exeunt all but Frolic, Fantastic, and Madge.]

Fant.   What, gammer, asleep?

Madge.  By the mass, son, 'tis almost day; and my

windows shut at the cock’s-crow.

Frol.  Do you hear, gammer? methinks this Jack bore

a great sway amongst them.

Madge.  O, man, this was the ghost of the poor man

that they kept such a coil to bury; and that makes him

to help the wandering knight so much. But come, let

us in: we will have a cup of ale and a toast this

morning, and so depart.

Fant.   Then you have made an end of your tale,


Madge.  Yes, faith: when this was done, I took a piece

of bread and cheese, and came my way; and so shall

you have, too, before you go, to your breakfast.