LIFTER. I thank your worship: God preserve your life! But Master Justice Suresby is gone in; I know not how to come near where he is.
MORE. Let me alone for that; I'll be thy setter; I'll send him hither to thee presently, Under the colour of thine own request, Of private matters to acquaint him with.
LIFTER. If ye do so, sir, then let me alone; Forty to one but then his purse is gone.
MORE. Well said: but see that thou diminish not One penny of the money, but give it me; It is the cunning act that credits thee.
LIFTER. I will, good Master Sheriff, I assure ye.
I see the purpose of this gentleman Is but to check the folly of the Justice, For blaming others in a desperate case, Wherein himself may fall as soon as any. To save my life, it is a good adventure: Silence there, ho! now doth the Justice enter.
[Enter Justice Suresby.]
SURESBY. Now, sirrah, now, what is your will with me? Wilt thou discharge thy conscience like an honest man? What sayest to me, sirrah? be brief, be brief.
LIFTER. As brief, sir, as I can.-- [Aside.] If ye stand fair, I will be brief anon.
SURESBY. Speak out, and mumble not; what sayest thou, sirrah?
LIFTER. Sir, I am charged, as God shall be my comfort, With more than's true.
SURESBY. Sir, sir, ye are indeed, with more than's true, For you are flatly charged with felony; You're charged with more than truth, and that is theft; More than a true man should be charged withal; Thou art a varlet, that's no more than true. Trifle not with me; do not, do not, sirrah; Confess but what thou knowest, I ask no more.
LIFTER. There be, sir, there be, if't shall please your worship--
SURESBY. There be, varlet! what be there? tell me what there be. Come off or on: there be! what be there, knave?
LIFTER. There be, sir, diverse very cunning fellows, That, while you stand and look them in the face, Will have your purse.
SURESBY. Th'art an honest knave: Tell me what are they? where they may be caught? Aye, those are they I look for.
LIFTER. You talk of me, sir; Alas, I am a puny! there's one indeed Goes by my name, he puts down all for purses; He'll steal your worship's purse under your nose.
SURESBY. Ha, ha! Art thou so sure, varlet? Well, well, Be as familiar as thou wilt, my knave; Tis this I long to know.
LIFTER. And you shall have your longing ere ye go.-- This fellow, sir, perhaps will meet ye thus, Or thus, or thus, and in kind complement Pretend acquaintance, somewhat doubtfully; And these embraces serve--
SURESBY. Aye, marry, Lifter, wherefor serve they?
LIFTER. Only to feel Whether you go full under sail or no, Or that your lading be aboard your bark.
SURESBY. In plainer English, Lifter, if my purse Be stored or no?
LIFTER. Ye have it, sir.
SURESBY. Excellent, excellent.
LIFTER. Then, sir, you cannot but for manner's sake Walk on with him; for he will walk your way, Alleging either you have much forgot him, Or he mistakes you.
SURESBY. But in this time has he my purse or no?
LIFTER. Not yet, sir, fie!-- [Aside.} No, nor I have not yours.--
[Enter Lord Mayor, &c.]
But now we must forbear; my lords return.
SURESBY. A murren on't!--Lifter, we'll more anon: Aye, thou sayest true, there are shrewd knaves indeed:
[He sits down.]
But let them gull me, widgen me, rook me, fop me! Yfaith, yfaith, they are too short for me. Knaves and fools meet when purses go: Wise men look to their purses well enough.
MORE. [Aside.] Lifter, is it done?
LIFTER. [Aside.] Done, Master Shreeve; and there it is.
MORE. [Aside.] Then build upon my word. I'll save thy life.
RECORDER. Lifter, stand to the bar: The jury have returned the guilty; thou must die, According to the custom.--Look to it, Master Shreeve.
LORD MAYOR. Then, gentlemen, as you are wont to do, Because as yet we have no burial place, What charity your meaning's to bestow Toward burial of the prisoners now condemned, Let it be given.