Had not drunkenness been forbidden, what man would have been fool to a beast, and Zany to a swine, to show tricks in the mire? what is there in three dice to make a man draw thrice three thousand acres into the compass of a round little table, and with the gentlemans palsy in the hand shake out his posterity thieves or beggars? Tis done! I ha dont, yfaith: terrible, horrible misery.-- How well was I left! very well, very well. My Lands shewed like a full moon about me, but now the moon's ith last quarter, waning, waning: And I am mad to think that moon was mine; Mine and my fathers, and my forefathers--generations, generations: down goes the house of us, down, down it sinks. Now is the name a beggar, begs in me! that name, which hundreds of years has made this shiere famous, in me, and my posterity, runs out. In my seed five are made miserable besides my self: my riot is now my brothers jailer, my wives sighing, my three boys penury, and mine own confusion.
[Tears his hair.]
Why sit my hairs upon my cursed head? Will not this poison scatter them? oh my brother's In execution among devils that Stretch him and make him give. And I in want, Not able for to live, nor to redeem him. Divines and dying men may talk of hell, But in my heart her several torments dwell. Slavery and misery! Who in this case Would not take up money upon his soul, Pawn his salvation, live at interest? I, that did ever in abundance dwell, For me to want, exceeds the throws of hell.
[Enter his little son with a top and a scourge.]
SON. What, ail you father? are you not well? I cannot scourge my top as long as you stand so: you take up all the room with your wide legs. Puh, you cannot make me afeard with this; I fear no vizards, nor bugbears.
[Husband takes up the child by the skirts of his long coat in one hand and draws his dagger with th' other.]
HUSBAND. Up, sir, for here thou hast no inheritance left.
SON. Oh, what will you do, father? I am your white boy.
HUSBAND. Thou shalt be my red boy: take that.
SON. Oh, you hurt me, father.
HUSBAND. My eldest beggar! thou shalt not live to ask an usurer bread, to cry at a great mans gate, or follow, good your honour, by a Couch; no, nor your brother; tis charity to brain you.
SON. How shall I learn now my heads broke?
HUSBAND. Bleed, bleed rather than beg, beg!
Be not thy names disgrace: Spurn thou thy fortunes first if they be base: Come view thy second brother.--Fates, My childrens blood Shall spin into your faces, you shall see How Confidently we scorn beggery!
[Exit with his Son.]
SCENE V. A bed-room in the same.
[Enter a maid with a child in her arms, the mother by her a step.]
MAID. Sleep, sweet babe; sorrow makes thy mother sleep: It bodes small good when heaviness falls so deep. Hush, pretty boy, thy hopes might have been better. Tis lost at Dice what ancient honour won: Hard when the father plays away the son! No thing but misery serves in this house. Ruin and desolation, oh!
[Enter husband with the boy bleeding.]
HUSBAND. Whore, give me that boy.
[Strives with her for the child.]
MAID. Oh help, help! out alas, murder, murder!
HUSBAND. Are you gossiping, prating, sturdy queane? I'll break your clamor with your neck: down stairs! Tumble, tumble, headlong!
[Throws her down.]
So! The surest way to charm a womans tongue Is break her neck: a politician did it.
SON. Mother, mother; I am kild, mother.
WIFE WAKES. Ha, whose that cried? oh me, my children! Both, both, both; bloody, bloody.
[Catches up the youngest.]
HUSBAND. Strumpet, let go the boy, let go the beggar.
WIFE. Oh my sweet husband!
HUSBAND. Filth, harlot.
WIFE. Oh what will you do, dear husband?
HUSBAND. Give me the bastard.
WIFE. Your own sweet boy!
HUSBAND. There are too many beggars.
WIFE. Good my husband--
HUSBAND. Doest thou prevent me still?
WIFE. Oh god!
HUSBAND. Have at his heart!
[Stabs at the child in her arms.]
WIFE. Oh my dear boy!
[Gets it from her.]
HUSBAND. Brat, thou shalt not live to shame thy house!
WIFE. Oh heaven!
[She's hurt and sinks down.]
HUSBAND. And perish! now begone: There's whores enow, and want would make thee one.