Read THE HUMOUROUS LIEUTENANT - ACT II of Beaumont & Fletcher's Works - The Humourous Lieutenant, free online book, by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, on


Enter Antigonus, Carinthus, Timon.

Ant. What, have ye found her out?

Char. We have hearkned after her.

Ant. What’s that to my desire?

Char. Your grace must give us time, And a little means.

Tim. She is sure a stranger, If she were bred or known here-

Ant. Your dull endeavours Enter Menippus. Should never be employ’d. Welcom Menippus.

Men. I have found her Sir, I mean the place she is lodg’d in; her name is Celia, And much adoe I had to purchase that too.

Ant. Dost think Demetrius loves her?

Men. Much I fear it, But nothing that way yet can win for certain. I’le tell your grace within this hour.

Ant. A stranger?

Men. Without all doubt.

Ant. But how should he come to her?

Men. There lies the marrow of the matter hid yet.

Ant. Hast thou been with thy wife?

Men. No Sir, I am going to her.

Ant. Go and dispatch, and meet me in the garden, And get all out ye can. [Exit.

Men. I’le doe my best Sir. [Exit.

Tim. Blest be thy wife, thou wert an arrant ass else.

Char. I, she is a stirring woman indeed: There’s a brain Brother.

Tim. There’s not a handsom wench of any mettle
Within an hundred miles, but her intelligence
Reaches her, and out-reaches her, and brings her
As confidently to Court, as to a sanctuary:
What had his mouldy brains ever arriv’d at,
Had not she beaten it out o’th’ Flint to fasten him?
They say she keeps an office of Concealments:
There is no young wench, let her be a Saint,
Unless she live i’th’ Center, but she finds her,
And every way prepares addresses to her:
If my wife would have followed her course Charinthus,
Her lucky course, I had the day before him:
O what might I have been by this time, Brother?
But she (forsooth) when I put these things to her,
These things of honest thrift, groans, O my conscience,
The load upon my conscience, when to make us cuckolds,
They have no more burthen than a brood-[goose], Brother;
But let’s doe what we can, though this wench fail us,
Another of a new way will be lookt at:
Come, let’s abroad, and beat our brains, time may
For all his wisdom, yet give us a day. [Exeunt.


Drum within, Alarm, Enter Demetrius, and Leontius.

Dem. I will not see ’em fall thus, give me way Sir, I shall forget you love me else.

Leo. Will ye lose all?
For me to be forgotten, to be hated,
Nay never to have been a man, is nothing,
So you, and those we have preserv’d from slaughter
Come safely off.

Dem. I have lost my self.

Leo. You are cozen’d.

Dem. And am most miserable.

Leo. There’s no man so, but he that makes himself so.

Dem. I will goe on.

Leo. You must not: I shall tell you then,
And tell you true, that man’s unfit to govern,
That cannot guide himself: you lead an Army?
That have not so much manly suff’rance left ye,
To bear a loss?

Dem. Charge but once more Leontius, My friends and my companions are engag’d all.

Leo. Nay give ’em lost, I saw ’em off their horses, And the enemy master of their Arms; nor could then The policie, nor strength of man redeem ’em.

Dem. And shall I know this, and stand fooling?

Leo. By my dead Fathers soul you stir not, Sir, Or if you doe, you make your way through me first.

Dem. Thou art a Coward.

Leo. To prevent a Madman.
None but your Fathers Son, durst call me so,
’Death if he did-Must I be scandal’d by ye,
That hedg’d in all the helps I had to save ye?
That, where there was a valiant weapon stirring,
Both search’d it out, and singl’d it, unedg’d it,
For fear it should bite you, am I a coward?
Go, get ye up, and tell ’em ye are the Kings Son;
Hang all your Ladys favours on your Crest,
And let them fight their shares; spur to destruction,
You cannot miss the way: be bravely desperate,
And your young friends before ye, that lost this battel,
Your honourable friends, that knew no order,
Cry out, Antigonus, the old Antigonus,
The wise and fortunate Antigonus,
The great, the valiant, and the fear’d Antigonus,
Has sent a desperate son, without discretion
To bury in an hour his age of honour.

Dem. I am ashamed.

Leo. ’Tis ten to one, I die with ye:
The coward will not long be after ye;
I scorn to say I saw you fall, sigh for ye,
And tell a whining tale, some ten years after
To boyes and girles in an old chimney corner,
Of what a Prince we had, how bravely spirited;
How young and fair he fell: we’l all go with ye,
And ye shall see us all, like sacrifices
In our best trim, fill up the mouth of ruine.
Will this faith satisfie your folly? can this show ye
’Tis not to die we fear, but to die poorly,
To fall, forgotten, in a multitude?
If you will needs tempt fortune now she has held ye,
Held ye from sinking up.

Dem. Pray do not kill me, These words pierce deeper than the wounds I suffer, The smarting wounds of loss.

Leo. Ye are too tender;
Fortune has hours of loss, and hours of honour,
And the most valiant feel them both: take comfort,
The next is ours, I have a soul descries it:
The angry bull never goes back for breath
But when he means to arm his fury double.
Let this day set, but not the memorie,
And we shall find a time: How now Lieutenant?

Enter Lieutenant.

Lieu. I know not: I am mall’d: we are bravely beaten, All our young gallants lost.

Leo. Thou art hurt.

Lieu. I am pepper’d,
I was i’th’ midst of all: and bang’d of all hands:
They made an anvile of my head, it rings yet;
Never so thresh’d: do you call this fame? I have fam’d it;
I have got immortal fame, but I’le no more on’t;
I’le no such scratching Saint to serve hereafter;
O’ my conscience I was kill’d above twenty times,
And yet I know not what a Devil’s in’t,
I crawled away, and lived again still; I am hurt plaguily,
But now I have nothing near so much pain Colonel,
They have sliced me for that maladie.

Dem. All the young men lost?

Lie. I am glad you are here: but they are all i’th’ pound sir,
They’l never ride o’re other mens corn again, I take it,
Such frisking, and such flaunting with their feathers,
And such careering with their Mistres favours;
And here must he be pricking out for honour,
And there got he a knock, and down goes pilgarlick,
Commends his soul to his she-saint, and Exit.
Another spurs in there, cryes make room villains,
I am a Lord, scarce spoken, but with reverence
A Rascal takes him o’re the face, and fells him;
There lyes the Lord, the Lord be with him.

Leo. Now Sir, Do you find this truth?

Dem. I would not.

Lieu. Pox upon it, They have such tender bodies too; such Culisses, That one good handsom blow breaks ’em a pieces.

Leo. How stands the Enemy?

Lieu. Even cool enough too: For to say truth he has been shrewdly heated, The Gentleman no doubt will fall to his jewlips.

Leo. He marches not i’th’ tail on’s.

Lieu. No, plague take him,
He’l kiss our tails as soon; he looks upon us,
As if he would say, if ye will turn again, friends,
We will belabor you a little better,
And beat a little more care into your coxcombs.
Now shall we have damnable Ballads out against us,
Most wicked madrigals: and ten to one, Colonel,
Sung to such lowsie, lamentable tunes.

Leo. Thou art merry,
How e’re the game goes: good Sir be not troubled,
A better day will draw this back again.
Pray go, and cheer those left, and lead ’em off,
They are hot, and weary.

Dem. I’le doe any thing.

Leo. Lieutenant, send one presently away To th’ King, and let him know our state: and hark ye, Be sure the messenger advise his Majestie To comfort up the Prince: he’s full of sadness.

Lieu. When shall I get a Surgeon? this hot weather, Unless I be well pepper’d, I shall stink, Colonel.

Leo. Go, I’le prepare thee one.

Lieu. If ye catch me then, Fighting again, I’le eat hay with a horse. [Exit.


Enter Leucippe (reading) and two Maids at a Table writing.

Leu. Have ye written to Merione?

1 Ma. Yes, Madam.

Leu. And let her understand the hopes she has, If she come speedilie-

1 Ma. All these are specified.

Leu. And of the chain is sent her, And the rich stuff to make her shew more handsom here?

1 Maid. All this is done, Madam.

Leu. What have you dispatcht there?

2 Maid. A letter to the Country maid, and’t please ye.

Leu. A pretty girle, but peevish, plaguy peevish: Have ye bought the embroydered gloves, and that purse for her, And the new Curle?

2 Maid. They are ready packt up Madam.

Leu. Her maiden-head will yield me; let me see now; She is not fifteen they say: for her complexion- Cloe, Cloe, Cloe, here, I have her, Cloe, the Daughter of a Country Gentleman; Her age upon fifteen: now her complexion, A lovely brown; here ’tis; eyes black and rolling, The body neatly built: she strikes a Lute well, Sings most inticingly, these helps consider’d, Her maiden-head will amount to some three hundred, Or three hundred and fifty Crowns, ’twill bear it handsomly. Her Father’s poor, some little share deducted, To buy him a hunting Nag; I, ’twill be pretty. Who takes care of the Merchants Wife?

1 Ma. I have wrought her.

Leu. You know for whom she is?

1 Ma. Very well, Madam, Though very much ado I had to make her Apprehend that happiness.

Leu. These Kind are subtile; Did she not cry and blubber when you urg’d her?

1 Ma. O most extreamly, and swore she would rather perish.

Leu. Good signs, very good signs, Symptoms of easie nature. Had she the Plate?

1 Ma. She lookt upon’t, and left it, And turn’d again, and view’d it.

Leu. Very well still.

1 Ma. At length she was content to let it lye there, Till I call’d for’t, or so.

Leu. She will come?

1 Ma. Do you take me For such a Fool, I would part without that promise?

Leu. The Chamber’s next the Park.

1 Ma. The Widow, Madam, You bad me look upon.

Leu. Hang her, she is musty: She is no mans meat; besides, she’s poor and sluttish: Where lyes old Thisbe now, you are so long now-

2 Ma. Thisbe, Thisbe, Thisbe, agent Thisbe, O I have her, She lyes now in Nicopolis.

Leu. Dispatch a Packet,
And tell her, her Superiour here commands her
The next month not to fail, but see deliver’d
Here to our use, some twenty young and handsom,
As also able Maids, for the Court service,
As she will answer it: we are out of beauty,
Utterly out, and rub the time away here
With such blown stuff, I am asham’d to send it. [Knock within
Who’s that? look out, to your business, Maid,
There’s nothing got by idleness: there is a Lady,
Which if I can but buckle with, Altea,
A, A, A, A, Altea young, and married,
And a great lover of her husband, well,
Not to be brought to Court! say ye so? I am sorry,
The Court shall be brought to you then; how now, who is’t?

1 Ma. An ancient woman, with a maid attending, A pretty Girl, but out of Cloaths; for a little money, It seems she would put her to your bringing up, Madam.

Enter Woman and Phebe.

Leu. Let her come in. Would you ought with us, good woman? I pray be short, we are full of business.

Wo. I have a tender Girl here, an’t please your honour.

Leu. Very well.

Wom. That hath a great desire to serve your worship.

Leu. It may be so; I am full of Maids.

Wom. She is young forsooth- And for her truth; and as they say her bearing.

Leu. Ye say well; come ye hither maid, let me feel your pulse, ’Tis somewhat weak, but Nature will grow stronger, Let me see your leg, she treads but low i’th’ Pasterns.

Wom. A cork Heel, Madam.

Leu, We know what will do it, Without your aim, good woman; what do you pitch her at? She’s but a slight toy-cannot hold out long.

Wom. Even what you think is meet.

Leu. Give her ten Crowns, we are full of business, She is a poor Woman, let her take a Cheese home. Enter the wench i’ th’ Office. [Ex. Wom. and 1 Ma.

2 Ma. What’s your name, Sister?

Phe. Phebe, forsooth.

Leu. A pretty name; ’twill do well:
Go in, and let the other Maid instruct you, Phebe. [Ex. Phe.
Let my old Velvet skirt be made fit for her.
I’ll put her into action for a Wast-coat;
And when I have rigg’d her up once, this small Pinnace
Shall sail for Gold, and good store too; who’s there? [Knock within
Lord, shall we never have any ease in this world!
Still troubled! still molested! what would you have? Enter Menipp[us].
I cannot furnish you faster than I am able,
And ye were my Husband a thousand times, I cannot do it.
At least a dozen posts are gone this morning
For several parts of the Kingdom: I can do no more
But pay ’em, and instruct ’em.

Men. Prithee, good sweet heart, I come not to disturb thee, nor discourage thee, I know thou labour’st truly: hark in thine ear.

Leu. Ha! What do you make so dainty on’t? look there I am an Ass, I can do nothing.

Men. Celia? I, this is she; a stranger born.

Leu. What would you give for more now?

Men. Prithee, my best Leucippe, there’s much hangs on’t,
Lodg’d at the end of Mars’s street? that’s true too;
At the sack of such a Town, by such a Souldier
Preserv’d a Prisoner: and by Prince Demetrius
Bought from that man again, maintain’d and favour’d:
How came you by this knowledg?

Leu. Poor, weak man, I have a thousand eyes, when thou art sleeping, Abroad, and full of business.

Men. You never try’d her?

Leu. No, she is beyond my level; so hedg’d in By the Princes infinite Love and Favour to her-

Men. She is a handsome Wench.

Leu. A delicate, and knows it; And out of that proof arms her self.

Men. Come in then; I have a great design from the King to you, And you must work like wax now.

Leu. On this Lady?

Men. On this, and all your wits call home.

Leu. I have done
Toys in my time of some note; old as I am,
I think my brains will work without barm;
Take up the Books.

Men. As we go in, I’le tell ye. [Exeunt.


Enter Antigonus, Timon, Lords and a Souldier.

Ant. No face of sorrow for this loss, ’twill choak him,
Nor no man miss a friend, I know his nature
So deep imprest with grief, for what he has suffer’d,
That the least adding to it adds to his ruine;
His loss is not so infinite, I hope, Souldier.

Soul. Faith neither great, nor out of indiscretion. The young men out of heat.

Enter Demetrius, Leontius, and Lieutenant.

Ant. I guess the manner.

Lord. The Prince and’t like your Grace.

Ant. You are welcome home, Sir:
Come, no more sorrow, I have heard your fortune,
And I my self have try’d the like: clear up man,
I will not have ye take it thus; if I doubted
Your fear had lost, and that you had turn’d your back to ’em,
Basely besought their mercies-

Leo. No, no, by this hand, Sir, We fought like honest and tall men.

Antig. I know’t Leontius: or if I thought
Neglect of rule, having his counsel with ye,
Or too vain-glorious appetite of Fame,
Your men forgot and scatter’d.

Leo. None of these, Sir,
He shew’d himself a noble Gentleman,
Every way apt to rule.

Ant. These being granted; Why should you think you have done an act so hainous, That nought but discontent dwells round about ye? I have lost a Battel.

Leo. I, and fought it hard too.

Ant. With as much means as man-

Leo. Or Devil could urge it.

Ant. Twenty to one of our side now.

Leo. Turn Tables,
Beaten like Dogs again, like Owls, you take it
To heart for flying but a mile before ’em;
And to say the truth, ’twas no flight neither, Sir,
’Twas but a walk, a handsome walk,
I have tumbl’d with this old Body, beaten like a Stock-fish,
And stuck with Arrows, like an arming Quiver,
Blouded and bang’d almost a day before ’em,
And glad I have got off then. Here’s a mad Shaver,
He fights his share I am sure, when e’r he comes to’t;
Yet I have seen him trip it tithly too,
And cry the Devil take the hindmost ever.

Lieu. I learnt it of my Betters.

Leo. Boudge at this?

Ant. Has Fortune but one Face?

Lieu. In her best Vizard Methinks she looks but lowzily.

Ant. Chance, though she faint now,
And sink below our expectations,
Is there no hope left strong enough to buoy her?

Dem. ’Tis not, this day I fled before the Enemy,
And lost my People, left mine Honour murder’d,
My maiden Honour, never to be ransom’d,
(Which to a noble Soul is too too sensible)
Afflicts me with this sadness; most of these,
Time may turn straight again, experience perfect,
And new Swords cut new ways to nobler Fortunes.
O I have lost-

Ant. As you are mine forget it: I do not think it loss.

Dem. O Sir, forgive me,
I have lost my friends, those worthy Souls bred with me,
I have lost my self, they were the pieces of me:
I have lost all Arts, my Schools are taken from me,
Honour and Arms, no emulation left me:
I liv’d to see these men lost, look’d upon it:
These men that twin’d their loves to mine, their vertues;
O shame of shames! I saw and could not save ’em,
This carries Sulphur in’t, this burns, and boils me,
And like a fatal Tomb, bestrides my memory.

Ant. This was hard fortune, but if alive, and taken, They shall be ransom’d: let it be at Millions.

Dem. They are dead, they are dead.

Lieu. When wou’d he weep for me thus? I may be dead and powder’d.

Leo. Good Prince, grieve not:
We are not certain of their deaths: the Enemy,
Though he be hot, and keen,
Yet holds good Quarter.
What Noise is this?

[Great Shout within: Enter Gentlemen.

Lieu. He does not follow us? Give me a Steeple top.

Leo. They live, they live, Sir.

Ant. Hold up your manly face. They live, they are here, Son.

Dem. These are the men.

1 Gent. They are, and live to honour ye.

Dem. How ’scap’d ye noble friends? methought I saw ye Even in the Jaws of Death.

2 Gent. Thanks to our folly, That spur’d us on; we were indeed hedg’d round in’t; And ev’n beyond the hand of succour, beaten, Unhors’d, disarm’d: and what we lookt for then, Sir, Let such poor weary Souls that hear the Bell knoll, And see the Grave a digging, tell.

Dem. For Heavens sake Delude mine Eyes no longer! how came ye off?

1 Gent. Against all expectation, the brave Seleucus,
I think this day enamour’d on your Vertue,
When, through the Troops, he saw ye shoot like lightning;
And at your manly courage all took fire;
And after that, the misery we fell to
The never-certain Fate of War, considering,
As we stood all before him, Fortunes ruines,
Nothing but Death expecting, a short time
He made a stand upon our Youths and Fortunes.
Then with an eye of mercy inform’d his Judgment,
How yet unripe we were, unblown, unharden’d,
Unfitted for such fatal ends; he cryed out to us,
Go Gentlemen, commend me to your Master,
To the most High, and Hopeful Prince, Demetrius;
Tell him the Valour that he showed against me
This day, the Virgin Valour, and true fire,
Deserves even from an Enemy this courtesie;
Your Lives, and Arms freely. I’ll give ’em: thank him.
And thus we are return’d, Sir.

Leo. Faith, ’twas well done; ’Twas bravely done; was’t not a noble part, Sir?

Lieu. Had I been there, up had I gone, I am sure on’t; These noble tricks I never durst trust ’em yet.

Leo. Let me not live, and’t were not a famed honesty; It takes me such a tickling way: now would I wish Heaven, But e’n the happiness, e’n that poor blessing For all the sharp afflictions thou hast sent me, But e’n i’th’ head o’th’ field, to take Seleucus. I should do something memorable: fie, sad still?

1 Gent. Do you grieve, we are come off?

Dem. Unransom’d, was it?

2 Gent. It was, Sir.

Dem. And with such a fame to me? Said ye not so?

Leo. Ye have heard it.

Dem. O Leontius! Better I had lost ’em all: my self had perish’d, And all my Fathers hopes.

Leo. Mercy upon you; What ails you, Sir? Death, do not make fools on’s, Neither go to Church, nor tarry at home, That’s a fine Horn-pipe?

Ant. What’s now your grief, Demetrius?

Dem. Did he not beat us twice?

Leo. He beat, a Pudding; Beat us but once.

Dem. H’as beat me twice, and beat me to a Coward. Beat me to nothing.

Lieu. Is not the Devil in him?

Leo. I pray it be no worse.

Dem. Twice conquer’d me.

Leo. Bear witness all the world, I am a Dunce here.

Dem. With valour first he struck me, then with honour, That stroak Leontius, that stroak, dost thou not feel it?

Leo. Whereabouts was it? for I remember nothing yet.

Dem. All these Gentlemen That were his Prisoners-

Leo. Yes, he set ’em free, Sir, With Arms and honour.

Dem. There, there, now thou hast it;
At mine own weapon, Courtesie has beaten me,
At that I was held a Master in, he has cow’d me,
Hotter than all the dint o’th’ Fight he has charg’d me:
Am I not now a wretched fellow? think on’t;
And when thou hast examin’d all wayes honorable,
And find’st no door left open to requite this,
Conclude I am a wretch, and was twice beaten.

Ant. I have observ’d your way, and understand it,
And equal love it as Demetrius,
My noble child thou shalt not fall in vertue,
I and my power will sink first: you Leontius,
Wait for a new Commission, ye shall out again,
And instantly: you shall not lodge this night here,
Not see a friend, nor take a blessing with ye,
Before ye be i’th’ field: the enemy is up still,
And still in full design: Charge him again, Son,
And either bring home that again thou hast lost there,
Or leave thy body by him.

Dem. Ye raise me, And now I dare look up again, Leontius.

Leo. I, I, Sir, I am thinking who we shall take of ’em, To make all straight; and who we shall give to th’ Devil. What saist thou now Lieutenant?

Lieu. I say nothing.
Lord what ail I, that I have no mind to fight now?
I find my constitution mightily alter’d
Since I came home: I hate all noises too,
Especially the noise of Drums; I am now as well
As any living man; why not as valiant?
To fight now, is a kind of vomit to me,
It goes against my stomach.

Dem. Good Sir, presently; You cannot doe your Son so fair a favour.

Ant. ’Tis my intent: I’le see ye march away too. Come, get your men together presently, Leontius, And press where please you, as you march.

Leo. We goe Sir.

Ant. Wait you on me, I’le bring ye to your command, And then to fortune give you up.

Dem. Ye love me. [Exit.

Leo. Goe, get the Drums, beat round, Lieutenant.

Lieu. Hark ye, Sir, I have a foolish business they call marriage.

Leo. After the wars are done.

Lieu. The partie staies Sir, I have giv’n the Priest his mony too: all my friends Sir, My Father, and my Mother.

Leo. Will you goe forward?

Lieu. She brings a pretty matter with her.

Leo. Half a dozen Bastards.

Lieu. Some fortie Sir.

Leo. A goodly competency.

Lieu. I mean Sir, pounds a year; I’le dispatch the matter, ’Tis but a night or two; I’le overtake ye Sir.

Leo. The 2 old legions, yes: where lies the horse-quarter?

Lieu. And if it be a boy, I’le even make bold Sir.

Leo. Away with your whore, A plague o’ your whore, you damn’d Rogue, Now ye are cur’d and well; must ye be clicketing?

Lieu. I have broke my mind to my Ancient, in my absence, He’s a sufficient Gentleman.

Leo. Get forward.

Lieu. Only receive her portion.

Leo. Get ye forward; Else I’le bang ye forward.

Lieu. Strange Sir, A Gentleman and an officer cannot have the liberty To doe the office of a man.

Leo. Shame light on thee, How came this whore into thy head?

Lieu. This whore Sir? ’Tis strange, a poor whore.

Leo. Do not answer me, Troop, Troop away; do not name this whore again, Or think there is a whore.

Lieu. That’s very hard Sir.

Leo. For if thou dost, look to’t, I’le have thee guelded, I’le walk ye out before me: not a word more. [Exeunt.


Enter Leucippe, and Governess.

Leu. Ye are the Mistris of the house ye say, Where this young Lady lies.

Gov. For want of a better.

Leu. You may be good enough for such a purpose: When was the Prince with her? answer me directly.

Gov. Not since he went a warring.

Leu. Very well then:
What carnal copulation are you privie to
Between these two? be not afraid, we are women,
And may talk thus amongst our selves, no harm in’t.

Gov. No sure, there’s no harm in’t, I conceive that; But truly, that I ever knew the Gentlewoman Otherwise given, than a hopefull Gentlewoman-

Leu. You’l grant me the Prince loves her?

Gov. There I am with ye. And the gods bless her, promises her mightily.

Leu. Stay there a while. And gives her gifts?

Gov. Extreamly; And truly makes a very Saint of her.

Leu. I should think now, (Good woman let me have your judgement with me, I see ’tis none of the worst: Come sit down by me) That these two cannot love so tenderly.

Gov. Being so young as they are too.

Leu. You say well- But that methinks some further promises-

Gov. Yes, yes, I have heard the Prince swear he would marry her.

Leu. Very well still: they do not use to fall out?

Gov. The tenderest Chickens to one another, They cannot live an hour asunder.

Leu. I have done then;
And be you gone; you know your charge, and do it.
You know whose will it is; if you transgress it-
That is, if any have access, or see her,
Before the Kings will be fulfill’d-

Gov. Not the Prince, Madam?

Leu. You’I be hang’d if you doe it, that I’le assure ye.

Gov. But ne’retheless, I’le make bold to obey ye.

Leu. Away, and to your business then.

Gov. ’Tis done, Madam. [Exeunt.