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THE NOBLE GENTLEMAN.

A COMEDY.

The Commendatory Verses by Gardiner ascribe this Play solely to Fletcher; but the

Prologue speaks of it as the production of both Authors. It was altered and revived by Durfey, in the year 1688, uncier the title of The Fool's Preferment, or The Three Dukes of Dunstable, and acted at the Queen's Theatre in Dorset-Gardens,

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Juques. And then I shall believe, Learns them a manly boldness, gives their Your fair revenues, turu'd into fair suits; tongues

(please, I shall believe your tenants bruis'd and rent, Sweetness of language, 'makes them apt to Under the weight of coaches; all your state Files off all rudeness and uncivil 'haviour, Drawn thro' the streets in triumph; suits for Shews them as neat in carriage as in cloatlıs. places

Cousin, have you e'er seen the court? Plied with a mine of gold, and being got

Cler. No, sir; Fed with a great stream.

I shall believe all Nor am I yet in travail with that longing. this. [glorious. Mur. Oh, the state

[found Mor. You shall believe, and know me And greatness of that place, where men are Cousin, good day and health!

Only to give the first creation glory!

Those are the models of the ancient world, Enter Clerimont.

Lett like the Roman statues to stir up Cler. The same to yoll, sir; [know Our following hopes; the place itself puts on And more, without my wishes, could you The brow of majesty, and flings her lustre What calm content dwells in a private Like the air newly lighten'd; form, and order, house'

Are only there themselves, unforcd, and Yet look into yourself; retire! This place sound, Of promises, and protestations, fits [this; As they were first created to this place. Minds only bent to ruin: you should know Cler. You nobly came, but will go from You have their language perfect; you have thence basc!

[ceit; tutors

Mar. 'Twas very pretty, and a good conI do not doubt, sufficient : but beware! You have a wit, good cousin: I do joy in't; Mar. You are merry, cousin.

Keep it for court. But to myself again! Cler. Yet your patience;

When I have view'd these pieces, turn'd You shall learn that 100, but not like itself, Where it is held a virtue. Tell me, sir, And, with some taste of superstition, Have you cast up your state, rated your land, Look'd on the wealth of 'nature, the fair And find it able to endure the change

dames,

(sbew Of time and fashion? Is it always harvest? Beauties, that light the court, and make it Always vintage? Have you ships at sea, Like a fair beaven in a frosty night, To bring you gold and stone from rich

And ’mongst these mine, not poorest—'Tis Peru,

før tongues Monthly returning treasure ? Doth the king

Of blessed poets,

such as Orpheus was, Open his large excheqner to your hands, To give their worth and praises! Oh, dear And bid you be a great man? Can your wife cousin, Coin off her beauty? or the week allow You have a wife, and fair; bring her hither, Suits to each day, and know no ebb in Let ber mot live to be the mistress of honour?

A farmer's beir, and be confined ever If these be possible, and can hold out, T' a searge, far coarser than my horse-cloth! Then be a courtier still, and still be wasting! Let her have velrets, titlinies, jewels, pearls,

Mar. Cousin, pray give me leave! A coach, an usher, and her two lacquies; Cler, I have done.

(strain And I will send my wife to give her rules, Mar. I could requite your gall, and in a And read the rudiments of court to her. As bitter, and full of rhubarb, preach

Cler. Sir, I had rather send her to l'irAgainst your country life; but 'tis below me, gimia?, And only subject to my pity! know, To help to propagate the English nation. The eminent court, to them that can be wise, And fasten on her blessings, is a sum

Enter a Servant. That draws men up from coarse and earthly Mar. Sirralı, how slept your mistress, and being,

Are to

pay
scrvice?

[what visitants (I mean these men of merit that have power Serv. Sir, as I came out, And reason to make good her benefits) Two counts were newly enter'd. And more, without my wishes, could you

know What calm content dwells in a private house.] We do not quite understand these two lines: the meaning, though obscurely expressed, seems to be, ‘I wish you happiness; which you inight have, and more, without my wishes, if you knew the comforts of a private life.'

2 Virginiu.] The attempt to settle Virginia was at first very unsuccessful, and many reports were propagated, which made it difficult to procure any persons to venture thither: to these circumstances the author plainly alludes. Among the pan.phlets published about this period was the following: 'A true declaration of the estate of the Colonie in Virginia;

with a confutation of such scandalous reports as have tended to the disgrace of so worthy an enterprise. Published by advise and direction of the Councell of Virginia.' 4to. 16 10. R.

lar,

all;

Mar. This is greatness;

Nay, stare not; 'tis most trpe: send speedily But few such servants wait a country beauty. To all that love you, let your people Äy

Cler. They are the more to thank their Like thunder thro' the city, and not return modesty:

Under five thousand crowns. Try all, take God keep my wife, and all my issue female, From such uprisings!

Let not a worthy merchant be untempted, Enter Doctor.

Or any one that hath the name of money;

Take up at any use; give band?, or land, Mar. What, iny learned Doctor!

Or mighty statutest, able by their strength You will be welcome: give her health and

To tie up Samson were he now alive, youth,

There must be money gotten; for, be perAnd I will give you gold. [Erit Doctor.

suaded, Cousin, how savours this? Is it not sweet,

If we fall now, or be but seen to slariak And very great? tastes it not of nobleness?

Under our fair beginnings, 'tis our ruin, Cler. Faith, sir, my palate is too dull and

And then good night to all but our disgrace! lazy;

Farewell, the hope of coming happiness, I cannot taste it; 'tis not for my relish:

And all the aims we levelld at so longS! But be so still! since your own misery Must first reclaim you; to which I leave you,

Are you not moy'd at this? No sense of

want, sir!

Towards yourself yet breeding? If you will yet be happy, leave the humour,

Be old, and common, jaded to the eyes And base subjection to your wife; be wise, And let ber know with speed you are her

Of grooms, and pages, chamberinaids, and guarders ;

[house in order husband!

And when you have done, put your poor I shall be glad to hear it. My horse is sent

And hang yourself! for such must be the end for.

[Erit. Mar. Even such another country thing

Of him that willingly forsakes his liopes,

And hath a joy to tumble to his ruin. as this

All that I say is certain; if you fail, Was I; such a piece of dirt, so heavy,

Do not impute me with it; I am clear. So provident to heap up ignorance,

Mar. Now Heav'n forbid I should do And be an ass; such musty cloaths wore I,

wrong to you,

[leave So old and thread-bare: I do yet remember

My dearest wite, and madam! Yet give Divers young gallants, lighting at my gate

To your poor creature to unfold himself: To see my honour'd wife, have offer à

pence,

You know my debts are many more than And bid me walk their horses. Such a slave Was I in show then; but my eyes are open'd.

My bands not taken in, my friends at home Enter Lady.

Drawn dry with these expences, my poor Many sweet morrows to my worthy wife!

(course Lady. 'Tis well, and aptly giv'n; as much More full of want than we; then what pew for you!

Can I teget to raise those crowns by? Speak, But to my present business, which is money. And I shall execute.

Mar. Lady, I have none left. (imagine Lady. Pray tell me true;

Ludy. I hope you dare not say so, nor Have you not land in the country?
So base and low a thought: 'I have none Mar. Pardon me!
left?'

I had forgot it.
Are these words fitting for a man of worth, Lady. Sir, you must remember it;
And one of your full credit? Do you know There is no remedy: this land must be
The place you live in? me? and what I la- In Paris ere to-morrow night.
bour

Mar. It shall.
For you, and your advancement ?

Let ine consider: some three hundred acres Mar. Yes, my dearest. (slight answer,

Will serve the turn. Lady. And do you pop me off with this Lady. "Twill furnish at all points. [him In troth, 'I have none left?' In trotlı, you Now you speak like yourself, and know like must have!

That ineans to be a man; suspect no less, 3 Band.] i. e. Bond ; the ancient mode of spelling the word:

• Since faith could get no credit at his hand,

I sent him word to come and sue my bund.' Churchyard's Challenge,p. 152. 4 Or mighty statutes, &c.] The poet means either statute merchant, or statute staple, or both. (What the meaning of these terms are, any technical dictionary will inform my readers). The mention of them we find in Hamlet, and over and over again in Ben Jona son's Staple of News. Sympson.

s We levied at 30 long.] Mr.Theobald saw with me, that this oversight must take its birth no where but at the press; and yet it is upwards of an hundred years old. Sympson.

And know like him.) We apprebend the true reading to be now instead of know. VOL. III.

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For the return will give you frve for one: Long. Be it so.
You shall be great to-morrow; I have said it. Now to our first discourse!
Farewell; and see this business be a-foot Beau. I prithee, peace!
With expedition!

[Exit. Thou canst not be so bad, or make me know? Mar. Ilealth, all joy, and honour,

Such things are living! Do not give thyself
Wait on my lovely wife! - What, Jaques, So cominon and so idle, so open vile,
Jaques !

So great a wronger of thy worth, so low!
Enter Jaques.

I cannot, nor I just not credit thee.
Jaques. Sir, did you call?

Long. Now, by this light, I ani a whoreMar. I did so. Hie thec, Jaques,

master; Down to the bank, and there to some good

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open

and an excellent whoremaster; merchant

(private) And take a special glory that I am so! (Conceive ine well, good Jaques, and be I thank my stars I am a whoremaster; Offer three hundred acres of my land: And such a one as dare be known and seed, Say it is choice and fertile; ask upon it And pointed at to be a noble wencher. Five thousand crowns: this is the business Benu. Do not let all ears hear this: hark I must employ thee in; te wise and speedy!

I Jaques. Sir, do not do this.

am myself a whoremaster; I am, dlar. Knave, I must have money.

Believe it, sir; (in private be it spoken) Jaques. If you have money thus, your I love a whore directly: most men are knave must tell you,

(more wary,

Wenchers, and have profess'd the science;
You will not have a foot of land left: be
And more friend to yourself! This honest That look upon ye now, but whoremasters,
land,

Or have a full desire to be so.
Your worship has discarded, has been true, Long. This is noble !

[vate, And done you loyal service.

Beau. It is without all question, being pri-
Mar. Gentle Jaques,

And held as needful as intelligence;
You have a merry wit; employ it well But, being once discover'd, blown abroad;
About the business you have now in hand.

And known to common senses, 'tis no more When you come back, 'enquire me in the Than geometrical rules in carpenters, presence;

Tbat only know some ineasure of an art,
If not i'th' Tennis-court, or at my house. But are not grounded. Be no more deceiv'd!

[Erit.

I have a conscience to reclaim you, sir; Jaques. If this vein hold, I know where (Mistake me not! I do not bid to enquire you.

{bandry, Your whore, or less to love her; llearen Five thousand crowns? This, with good hus

forbid it, May hold a month out; then five thousand

I should be such a villain to my friend, more,

[more, Orso unnatural! 'twas ne'er harbour'd here! And more land a-bleeding for't; as many

Learn to be secret first; then strike your And more land laid aside! God, and St.

deer!

[shalll earn. Dennis,

Long. Your fair instructions, inonsieur, Keep honest-minded young men batchelors ! Beau. And you shall have them: I desire 'Tis strange, my master should be yet so young

Long. They are your servants. A puppy, that he cannot see his fall,

Beau. You must not love-
And got so near the sun. I'll to his cousin,

Long. Ilow, si!
And once more tell him of it; it be fail, Beuu. I mean a lady; there is danger:
Then to my mortgage, next unto my sale!

She hath an usher, and a waiting-gentlewo-
[Exit. man,

(teed, Enter Longueville, Beaufort, and Gentleman.

A page, a coachman; these are fee'd, and

And yet for all that will be prating. Gent. Gentlemen, hold on discourse a Long. So !

discover't, while;

Beuu. You understand ine, sir; they will
I sliall return with knowledge how and where And there's a loss of credit; table-talk
We shall have best access unto my mistress, Will be the end of this, or worse than that:
To tender your devotions.

[Exit. Will this be worthy of a gentleman? ? Or make me know.] I once thought the line faulty, and had alter'd it thus,

or make me trou, i. e. believe : but 'iis certainly right as it stands. Thus, in sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia, book i. page 10, of the edition of 1674--beseeching her (Parthenia) even with tears, to know, that his love was not so superficial as to go no farther than her skin. Sympson. 8 I desire your care.] Sympson reads ear for care. The reply makes it necessary to read

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Long. Proceed, good sir!

Long. Then give me attention: Beau. Next, leave your city dame;

Monsieur Shatrillion's mad.
The best of that tribe are most merely coy,

Ludy. Mad?
Or most extremely foolish; botia winch vices Long. Mad as May-butter;
Are no great stirrers up, unless in husband's And, which is more, mad for a wench.
That owe this cattle; fearing her that's coy Ludy. 'Tis strange,
To be but seeming, her that's fool too for- And full of pity.
ward.

Long. All that comes near him Long. This is the rarest fellow, and the He thinks are come of purpose to betray him; soundest,

Being full of strange conceit, the weach he. I mean in knowledge, that e'er wore a cod- lov'd piece';

Stood very near the crown.
H'has found out that will pass all Italy, Lady. Alas, good monsieur !
All France and England (to their staines I A' was a proper man, and fair demean'd;
speak,

A person worthy of a better temper.
And to the griefs of all their gentlemen), Long. Hle's strong opinion'd, that the wench
The noble theory of luxury

lie lov'd

(maud, Beau. Your patience,

Remains close prisoner by the king's comAnd I will lay before your eyes a course Fearing her title: when the poor griev'd genThat I myself found out; 'tis excellent,

tlewoman

ing Easy, and full of freedoin.

Follows him much lamenting, and much love, Long. Oh, good sir,

In hope to make hiin well, he knows her not, You rack me, 'till I know it.

Nor any else that comes to visit him. Beau. This it is:

Thented, Ludy. Let's walk in, gentleinen, and there When your desire is up, your blood well discourse And apt for sweet encounter, chuse the night, His further miseries! You shall stay dinner; And with the night your wench; the streets In truth, you must obey. have store;

(ber, Omnes. We are your servants! [Exeunt. There seize upon her, get her to your chamGive her a cardecue, 'tis royal payment;

Enter Clerimont, When ye are dull, disiniss her; no man Cler. There's no good to be done, no cure knows,

to be wrought Nor she herself, who hath encounter'd her. l'pon my desp’rate kinsman: I'll to horse, Long. Oh! but their faces !

And leave him to the fool's whip, misery. Beau. Nerer talk of faces !

I shall recover twenty miles this night;
The night allows her equal with a duchess : My horse stands ready; I'll away with speed.
Imagination doth all; think ber fair,

Enter Shattillion.
And great, yclad in velvet", she is so.
Sir, I have tried those, and do tiid it certain,

Shut. Sir, inay

[
crave your

name? It never fails me: 'tis but twelve nights since

Cler. Yes, sir, you may: Bly last experience.

My naine is Clerimont. Long. Oh, my miching varlet,

Shut. 'Tis well. Your faction? I'll fit you, as I live !

knit 'Tis excellent; I'll be your scholar, sir.

Cler. I know no parties,

Nor no factions, sir,
Enter Lady and Gentleman.

Shat. Then wear this crows of wbite:. Ludy. You are fairly welcome both! And where you see the like, they are iny Troth, gentlemen,

friends; You have been strangers; I could chide you Observe them well; the time is dangerous. fort,

[news? Cler. Sir, keep your cross; I'll wear none. And task you with unkindness. What's the Sure this fellow The town was never empty of some novelty: Is much beside himself, grown mad. Servant, what's your intelligence?

Shat. A word, sir! Gent. Faith, nothing :

You can pick nothing out of this; this cross I have not lieard of any worth relating. Is nothing but a cross, a very cross, Bcau. Nor I, sweet lady.

Plain, without spell, or witchcraft; search it"?! 9 That e'er wore a codpiece.] Whoever wishes to be acquainted with this particular relative to dress, may consult Lulwer's Artificial Changeling, in which such matters are very amply discussed. Mr. Steevens's Note on Two Gentlemen of Verona. 10 "The noble theory.] Sympson varies to,

l'th' noble theory, &c. " And great, clapt in velvet.). Amended by Sympson.

12 Search it.] We apprehend ili se words were repeated, se:rch it, SEARCH IT! and that the repetition has been dropt at press.

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