Reconstructing lost plays/Keep the Widow Waking/Act 3

Act 3. Scene 1. The Greyhound tavern

Enter Anne, Martha, and John

Anne. No more!

Martha. No further on such mores! I'll have you dance

And jump next as we posset undisturbed.

Anne. I reel.

John. We hereby prove that all the world revolves.

Martha. I thought so without calculation.

Anne. O, home!

Martha. Home where you lie-

John. Securely without hindrance where we are,

Your home and ours.

Martha. Up yonder chamber let us clamber down.

Anne. I will not.

John. Not follow Margery and fifty pounds?

Anne. Mine!

Martha. We will discuss those fifty pounds or more.

Anne. The more than fifty added with your own!

Martha. Mine as you please. Discuss, awake, discuss.

John. We are for school-debates for half the night:

Mars' motions, Harriot's algebra, what stirs the tides,

Veracities in Herodotus' texts,

More as we think or do along the way.

Exeunt Anne, Martha, and John, enter Nicholas and Margery

Margery. Now for some taste of wisdom from her lips!

First feed on Toby's money, then on him,

He in his prison-cell, next in her own.

Nicholas. With both awake, I marry her at once,

As readily as anyone may wish.

Margery. Legally.

Nicholas. Encomiastically.

Margery. Let us then hurry to promote their good.

Nicholas. I do.

Exeunt Nicholas and Margery, re-enter John with Francis

John. Well plied and spirit-nurtured for a start!

Francis. Drenched as she entered laden with our goods!

John. Thus everywhere and with continuance.

Francis. Whose turn is it to turn her all our way?

John. Your predecessor much pursued by you.

Francis. As once was promised to bold Joshua when

Old Moses died, in that no man withstood

God's face throughout life: as he was with him,

So will his graces ever follow me.

John. Does age prevent our pleasures? Never so.

Thus, almost sleeping, have I witnessed girls

Surprised in marriage before knowing man,

Till on their pummel couch man's straightest part.

Francis. Thus Lot was once beguiled as his reward.

John. His daughters well rewarded, too, I hear.

Francis. Perhaps the daughters meant for both of us.

If so, we may give Anne more wine, go in

And lay her on a bed, she unaware

Of plots but willing to get to it hard.

Thus will religion, to prevent the breath

And heat of scandal, step in forwardly

With marriage, all for her and our delight.

John. Good: our small pockets pregnant with her cash.

What can old women do with money?

Francis. A plan to be extended otherwise,

Each mouthful from the vine a holiness,

A dream to her or not, an act or not,

Lot's sinning by not sinning.

John. On her again to ply again with more!

Exeunt John and Francis

Act 3. Scene 2. Sarah's house

Enter Mary and Sarah

Mary. Oh, me, I never will be lighter borne

Unless my burden is quite ripped away.

Sarah. Tut, we cut burdens of no more account

Than furze or scabs.

Mary. Most circumspect, I hear.

Sarah. Most! Criquets speak before I or mine will.

Mary. Yet I peep out in fear. The differences

In pleasure between men and us! Prongs pressed

On smarting parts are a relief to them.

Sarah. You sought warm flesh in: feel now cold steel out.

Mary. After ordeals, no honest fool about

Men's promises and smiles!

Sarah. Hack, hack! Forgive an old crone's cackle.

Mary. What am I offered?

Sarah. I recreate a virgin twice or more.

Mary. What things are these?

Sarah. Powders, elixirs, stoops of brine to make all happy. A whiff of that alone aborts.

Mary. What may I hope for?

Sarah. Stronger fingers than fiddlers have or masons writhing under loads of granite, as certain as I breathe and your belly-error should not. I have done it with kicking. The wrinkled with a rasp will save, I assure. Advance farther inside, as your lover no doubt did without coaxing. Neither crocodile nor hedgehog live hereabout on walls.

Mary. My fears renewed without your crocodile!

Sarah. First in the sweat of fear beneath bed-sheets,

Then lightly cutting capers in the hall

Or kitchen all day long!

Mary. I loathe my handsome belly-filler now.

Sarah. The woman always as a vomiter

Of men's desires!

Mary. I know so, ah, and groan because of it.

Sarah. Pray for your cheerful abortionist: by these gnarled hands, no harm will startle you in anguish, no clawing at pudenda, no shrinking back in horror at the live dead thing that comes out of you, because in me you savor the savioress of damsels who ply too soon. If once I fail, call me goat and silly madam of the parish.

Mary. No ignorant prayer will save but only the knife and forceps.

Sarah. Bruised at worst, not gored, after we clean off. Thanks to toothed metal, no more of men's street-snarls but sweet toothy voices. Mercy on that thing which sucks your blood is death to woman's honor.

Mary. I bleed to kiss my honor undisturbed,

That daytime dream in other people's minds.

Sarah. Girls gain a second chance, all ye who vee

The air with legs of free submission, most

Most harshly to repent.

Mary. Temptations I will never open for!

You will be careful?

Sarah. Drive straight on to the flesh, of no worse chore

Than auger holes to drowsy carpenters.

Mary. The fear! I sweat to pray, not pray to sweat.

Sarah. No cloud of prayer needed. In my rooms,

The Virgin Mary chortles and forgives.

No worrier afterwards with sullied bibs

And bottles, gladdened without drilling on

The pubic bone, all secrets gravel-hushed.

Mary. A secret? I hear parsons kick your arse

On church doorsteps at Easter.

Sarah. Suspecting I send off. I burn in fear

When I consider my friend Mary Jones,

For picking out gobs tied and smoked to dust.

Yet evil as some hope I am, I will

Remove the jaws of live dead fish in you,

That mess between your thighs which burdens most,

So that I may reveal myself at once

Much better maybe than believers who

Reserve front pews of glory for their souls.

Mary. Remove, I pray, remove this round-nosed chick

Which scuttles in my belly: ceremony

I need not hope to have.

Sarah. Soon to be baptized in your blood and piss,

I will assure, a priestess summoned to

Annul asunder all the muck men do.

Mary. But O those instruments! As steely hard

And crooked as my pot-hooks, I protest.

Sarah. This cup has saved more fools than bishops have.

Tut, you have seen repairs of holes along

The thatch: thus easeful my abortions prove.

I carry thirty knobs of fingers when

I work, as many as a person's teeth.

Exeunt Sarah and Mary, trembling

Act 3. Scene 3. A jail

Enter Nathaniel and Bragg

Bragg. You wish to see non-payers in their cell,

As horrid as their crime?

Nathaniel. I hate the object of my charity.

After my mother's talons tear his pouch,

He may go follow Hakluyt's voyagers.

Bragg. He dies without food: so do treasure-troves

Without some bits of money dropped each day.

Nathaniel. My full extent complete of obligation.

Bragg. I thank you on the part of drooping slaves.

Exeunt Nathaniel and Bragg

Act 3. Scene 4. The Greyhound tavern

Enter Martha and John

John. Much farther plied than when we last spoke here.

Martha. Advanced almost as far one may wish.

John. I gave her wine to sleep, then stimulants

Preventing any further dream of sleep.

Martha. So that she sways between exhaustion

And dumb alertness.

John. Like a sick moth at dawn. Secure with her,

Keep her still waking in the hope of hope.

Martha. To get more, I deliver all I owe.

John. Moreover, we obtain religious help.

Enter Nicholas and Anne, reeling

Anne. I thank such help and somewhat mend with it.

Nicholas. Of what worth is religion otherwise

If not to aid the needy in their throes?

Martha. Have we complete attention?

Anne. Yes, no, yes.

Martha. You are owed money.

Anne. I am.

John. You will have all she owes and more of all.

Enter Margery

Margery. All.

Martha. Do you behold this wife?

Anne. I somehow do somewhat.

Margery. I carry all your money.

Anne. Mine?

Margery. See and reveal if I withhold mine here.

Anne. In darkness a full mine of fifty pounds!

Margery. Yours.

John. Entirely.

Nicholas. Have I not said the nights are blessed here,

No rotted tavern where men drink to sink?

Margery. Yours.

John. More than entirely.

Anne. How, fifty more?

Martha. Mine.

Anne. In deeper mines of fifty, fifty more!

John. Yours.

Martha. Yours.

Nicholas. The star and kneeling shepherds! Blessed night!

Anne. One hundred as I count belatedly!

Do you consider what great happiness

It is to get one's moneys? Once the new

Obtained, we climb to some degree of joy,

But yet worth little when compared with things

Accounted lost, for with such losses we

Let slip much of ourselves: our judgment gone

No more of us remains. Recovered thus,

I live as Anne again. I gave and lost,

And so lost all. But now, friends, I behold

My money and myself together here.

John. Yet more. You have imprisoned probity,

A brother who incurs sometimes such debts

As many purses bleed because of his.

Anne. Regretted now.

John. Release repenting folly: for you worth

Cash, for me hope in future of a man,

When fifty adds to yours.

Anne. Release the fellow.

John. You hear her say "release the fellow now."

Margery. I hear.

Nicholas. I hear, or may religious legs fail me.

Exit Nicholas

Margery. More stoups?

Anne. No, no, with money wend off straight to bed.

John. Have you not lost your hat?

Martha. In Anne's next room, I think.

Exeunt Martha, John, and Anne

Act 3. Scene 5. Sarah's house

Enter Mary and Sarah, both bloody

Sarah. Did I not swear the devil saves if not

The other preached about at Paul's Cross?

Mary. O! O! O!

Sarah. Such groans encourage my vocation, dear.

Lie to get better. I am paid. Good day.

Mary. O! O! O!

Sarah. My teats like sandbags, yet I do some good.

A sweeter female you will seem henceforth,

If quieter, when waters pour down from

Your thighs by pailfuls.

Mary. I thank your care, forever to be felt

No further on this earth, I hourly hope.

Sarah. Remember me at Christmas: little heaps

Of porridge for my pains to be enjoyed.

Mary. This sours a belly worse than promises.

Exeunt Sarah and Mary

Act 3. Scene 6. A jail

Enter Toby and Bragg

Toby. Meat?

Bragg. Thanks to your creditor who hates and loves.

Toby. One who abhors his debtor yet delights

To see the traitor live to pay him back.

Bragg. Religious help during emprisonment,

Religious help should you get out and do

What muckers hang for!

Enter Nicholas and Francis

Nicholas. My master saves: in little so do I.

Toby. Released?

Francis. With sounding trumpets of our voices as

When all the world, annulled, will split and fall

In gulfs of liquid fire.

Toby. Free?

Bragg. I liked the fellow. When you will return,

I promise- what?- more of the same, I hope,

Even till hanging.

Toby. Free?

Nicholas. A sinner disbelieves when sinning saves.

Francis. Should never think so, as I hope to thrive.

Nicholas. What then of faith?

Francis. By faith alone we win, or lose much less.

Toby. How should repentance sleep and never heed?

I hear you, know my task, intend obedience.

Nicholas. Straight to the widow now!

Francis. Not swerve as in my bowling.

Toby. Straight to her heart!

Francis. By direct straightest methods, we can hope.

Bragg. Benevolence of men outside our ken!

I amiably wonder at them all.

Exeunt Toby, Bragg, Nicholas, and Francis

Act 3. Scene 7. Before Margery's house

Enter Nathaniel carrying Mary

Nathaniel. How did you fall?

Mary. A man's love tripped me unawares.

Nathaniel. A stranger?

Mary. A stranger to love: Toby called by name.

Nathaniel. Who never picked you up?

Mary. Who pushed me level on a blood-stained plank.

Nathaniel. You laid down long?

Mary. Lied down low, long, and heavy.

Nathaniel. None thereabout to help?

Mary. A woman somewhat discharged me of the worst,

Though, as you see, I am still heavy-light.

Nathaniel. Your house.

Mary. I thank you.

Nathaniel. No mother hereabout?

Mary. No.

Exeunt Nathaniel and Mary

Act 3. Scene 8. The Greyhound tavern

Enter John and Margery

Margery. Below grey sunbeams, night's fumes thin away

And disappear in wisps and whisperings.

John. Except inside a widow's smoky head.

Margery. For her I fan the flames to keep smoke in.

John. Our widow is asleep?

Margery. Both asleep and awake. By one's faith, she cannot know herself whether she is one or the other. During the last hour, I have pressed on her hands nine heavy glasses, all swallowed unknowingly.

John. I should desire to kiss your mouth for that,

Or other places without wiping lips

In brownish colors greased, or else her own.

Margery. Your brother first.

John. My brother first.

Margery. Should they conjoin this morning?

John. If it could only be so, as I live

I would conjoin my arms and hug myself,

Next move my arms or legs akimbo,

Then lastly spread them farthest out

Till all the buttons burst out of fixed places.

Margery. All six of us together finely for

A work of charity! For such indeed

Work is when wealth spreads out more evenly.

John. See whether Martha has kept herself

All night beside her friend for pleasantries.

Margery. Oh, no, for money.

John. For money, I note down.

Enter Anne and Martha

Anne. Where is my son?

Margery. Ah, nowhere near, I grant.

Anne. Is all the world awake? Where should he frown?

John. Inside your house or elsewhere.

Anne. So, where am I? Not in my house of thrift?

Margery. Among such friends as Martha smiling there.

Anne. Here?

Martha. Not elsewhere, as can easily be proved.

Anne. So, Martha here?

John. Constraintedly, for if the woman is

Not there, then certainly we find her here.

Anne. So, Martha there?

John. Our philopher has notably proved it by figures and abstracts of a rarer and beseeming kind than what is usually conveyed by some of our so-called more moral adjurors. Now you stand ready to be made as so many of us are by one arracted for our good.

Martha. Very arracted.

John. Not old and fearful, fearful of being old, or older for being fearful, but instead set to receive one whose friends endeavor to find good.

Anne. Comfortable for my pouch.

Margery. Whose else?

Martha. Defy curates to say otherwise or spurn the suggestion as we do aspergill.

John. They will reveal just so.

Martha. As will be briefly proved and eulogized.

Margery. Do you hear friendships mouthing for your good?

Anne. I hear sounds, but not words.

Margery. Hear better a Martha notable in examples, or disallow clinging to your bedpost in fear or shame, portcullised in flesh against sport or assault.

John. Keep astir and alluring, move your feet about, relax contractures and fixities, ascertain no thought of sleep as your love returns, trim the candlewick aflame for one vivid and kind.

Martha. The kindest I acknowledge.

Anne. Fruit.

Margery. Hah? No doubt intending to stay younger, fruitful despite age in calm and weakness.

Anne. I see that, hah.

John. Said aright. She lies as fruitful perhaps of pleasure as wake-robins for proliferation in drenched fields.

Margery. The more secured as you already wish.

Martha. Almost secure as six already wish.

Enter Nicholas and Francis

Nicholas. Are we stiff-readied for a wedding here?

Anne. What wedding, madam?

Francis. Yours, madam, much forever yours at last.

Anne. With Toby? (kissing Francis

Nicholas. Indeed, with Toby, madam, though this is

Not he, but Francis, mine, not yours, I hope.

Anne. Where rises Toby?

John. Where he will stand, your picket on damp grounds.

Anne. I am in thought at least with man again.

Margery. But not for purposes of ugly lust.

Nicholas. Our office must forbid that in and out.

Francis. Prepared by texts erected for our good.

Nicholas. A marriage here, I see and think, becomes

More necessary than I ever thought.

John. For otherwise we are procuring pimps.

Francis. I will forefend that charge wherever I

Am forced to sit and drink.

Anne. Now to my bed!

Martha. Yet not without the man.

Anne. Hah, where is he?

Nicholas. Behind us, soon to shoot upright before.

Francis. So very straightly pointing.

John. A brother promising to make us shout.

Anne. Hah, where is he?

Margery. You asked that twice.

Martha. Perhaps thrice, as I shrewdly guess for once.

Anne. To bed!

Nicholas. Never before the man.

Francis. He who grows highest than expected now.

Nicholas. Should kind restoratives work for our good.

Francis. And ours.

Martha. I pray it may be so.

Nicholas. Your prayers are become our specialty.

Francis. Mine, too.

Anne. Why should I pray?

Nicholas. No reason yet.

Francis. Of no use ever unless we command.

Nicholas. That is what mouthless-grinning papists claim.

Francis. Most true. I had forgotten we are here.

Anne. Toby?

Margery. He is preparing.

Martha. Complete with spicy herbs of various kind.

Nicholas. A beam to stiffen mainmasts on man's course.

Francis. High to our wishes against wind and wave.

John. Believe a brother who believes in love

As earth's justification of our birth.

Francis. My own belief entirely, as I

Conclude in some unpublished homilies.

Anne. Toby, Toby, Toby, Toby, Toby, Toby.

Margery. Wan concentration in what she deems best!

John. But picture now your lover and your friends

Arrayed with branches, torches raised aloft-

Nicholas. How, pagan customs?

John. Your new Catullus meaning to entice.

Francis. But we forbid such rameous titillations.

John. Intending benediction on desires.

Margery. The gladder knowing all Anne's worth.

Martha. (pinning up a picture of Christ

Then heave we upward what religion must

Approve, though in a smoky tavern lodged.

Francis. Apply with varnish that good picture, not

Dulled indistinct in common tavern smoke.

Nicholas. But yet it hurts my soul to find dead Christs

Usurp lust's needful ceremonies.

Francis. For burning then perhaps.

Anne. Not I for burning but allaying.

Martha. True.

Margery. True.

Francis. For marriage rather, as Paul counsels best.

Nicholas. Too well defended on behalf of lust.

Francis. But necessary to our propagation.

John. The propagation of our legal loot.

Anne. Gaze at the bridegroom hurrying to love.

Martha. Win, Toby.

Margery. Win, Toby, or we lose.

Enter Toby as a bridegroom

John. The bridegroom stinks afar in purity.

Toby. I promised to arrive unpatched and neat.

Nicholas. I hate such hurry.

Francis. True, hurried into bed for what result?

No drink or cheerful smoking company.

Martha. (filling a tankard of beer

Be forward, vicar: swell at bottled beer.

Francis. I suddenly do.

Nicholas. Too sudden still.

Francis. (drinking

My tankard in an English company!

I am remorseful but yet grossly cheered.

Toby. Anne, will you marry me?

Anne. I will.

Nicholas. Too sudden still, I say.

Francis. Ho, ho, are they both drunk or are we sure

Of certain blessedness?

Toby. Not drunk.

Anne. (reeling


Margery. Without delay prop up the yielding branch.

Martha. Where is the manner of our yesteryears?

Note grieving youth's lust, genuflections, lust.

John. Speak, Toby, on behalf of love and us.

Toby. I will fail in her beauties. How excess

Of lust on younger faces faze us we

Derive from broad conceptions. I will not

Be taken so, for love in me attracts

By her calm virtues, not in noise or gaze

Of color in mere pleasure. Deeper notes

Resound afar when instruments stay tuned,

When we are mannerly and watch each change

With a contented eye. If you conceive

In me some trickster, moneyless and spare,

Apt to diminish, look at me no more,

Return me to my prisons, but if not,

I will be as one faithful to the death

In graver causes, honoring what you,

Mature in virtues, best can think your own.

Anne. With this I am best pleased.

Toby. Who would not marry her? Drunk fools at best.

John. Or morning knaves at midnight.

Francis. No lust breathes on our faces. I do not hear Athaliah's lions angrily drawing forth Sophonisba's coach.

Nicholas. Dictate some worse examples of lust's snares.

Francis. Paul before Felix cheerfully preaching sedition, promising salvation for the just and unjust.

Nicholas. Or rather promising that the just and unjust will rise from the dead, the former to their joy, the latter to fountains of fire. But how are these fear-images of lust?

Francis. As truly sworn by Turtullus, I swear.

Nicholas. The orator?

Francis. As faithfully, obediently believed.

Martha. He wanders.

Margery. So should not newlyweds except to bed.

John. The ceremony!

Anne. Which one?

Toby. Ours, sweet. In lightness we throw anchors down

As tempests blister, we alone above

When all our sorrows like drunk sailors drown.

Anne. True, some drunk-drowned in dread.

Nicholas. Advance and say. Do either know a reason why you should not be joined in matrimony?

Toby. No.

Anne. No.

Nicholas. Does any here know a reason why these two should not be joined in matrimony?

Francis. None speak.

Nicholas. Anne, will you have Toby as your husband?

Anne. I will.

Nicholas. Toby, will you have Anne as your wife?

Toby. I will.

Nicholas. Then I will that you are joined and live as man and wife.

Margery. O, joy!

John. Incomparable to them and many more.

Martha. Of much more power than I can reveal.

Anne. Done then.

Toby. Completed as I wish.

Nicholas. Enter within in celebration of more religious joys and deeper contentments.

Francis. As straightly onward as I tread upright.

Exeunt Toby, Anne, Nicholas, Francis, John, Martha, and Margery

Act 4. Scene 1. Before Anne's house