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Sir Thomas More: Act III, Scene 3

Sir Thomas More
Act III, Scene 3

Chelsea. A room in More’s house.

  1. Enter Sir Thomas More, Master Roper, and Servingmen setting
  2. stools.

More

1 - 5
  1. Come, my good fellows, stir, be diligent;
  2. Sloth is an idle fellow, leave him now;
  3. The time requires your expeditious service.
  4. Place me here stools, to set the ladies on.
  5. Son Roper, you have given order for the banquet?

Roper

6
  1. I have, my lord, and everything is ready.
  1. Enter Lady More.

More

7 - 10
  1. Oh, welcome, wife! Give you direction
  2. How women should be placed; you know it best.
  3. For my Lord Mayor, his brethren, and the rest,
  4. Let me alone; men best can order men.

Lady More

11 - 13
  1. I warrant ye, my lord, all shall be well.
  2. There’s one without that stays to speak with ye,
  3. And bade me tell ye that he is a player.

More

14 - 19
  1. A player, wife!—One of ye bid him come in.
  2. Exit one.
  3. Nay, stir there, fellows; fie, ye are too slow!
  4. See that your lights be in a readiness:
  5. The banquet shall be here. God’s me, madame,
  6. Leave my Lady Mayoress! Both of us from the board!
  7. And my son Roper too! What may our guests think?

Lady More

20
  1. My lord, they are risen, and sitting by the fire.

More

21 - 23
  1. Why, yet go you and keep them company;
  2. It is not meet we should be absent both.
  3. Exit Lady More.
  4. Enter Player of Inclination with Servant.
  5. Welcome, good friend; what is you will with me?

Player of Inclination the Vice

24 - 26
  1. My lord, my fellows and myself
  2. Are come to tender ye our willing service,
  3. So please you to command us.

More

27 - 28
  1.                              What, for a play, you mean?
  2. Whom do ye serve?

Player of Inclination the Vice

29
  1.                   My Lord Cardinal’s grace.

More

30 - 37
  1. My Lord Cardinal’s players! Now, trust me, welcome;
  2. You happen hither in a lucky time,
  3. To pleasure me, and benefit yourselves.
  4. The Mayor of London and some aldermen,
  5. His lady and their wives, are my kind guests
  6. This night at supper. Now, to have a play
  7. Before the banquet, will be excellent.
  8. How think you, son Roper?

Roper

38 - 39
  1.                           ’Twill do well, my lord,
  2. And be right pleasing pastime to your guests.

More

40
  1. I prithee, tell me, what plays have ye?

Player of Inclination the Vice

41 - 44
  1. Diverse, my lord. The Cradle of Security,
  2. Hit Nail o’ the Head, Impatient Poverty,
  3. The Play of Four Ps, Dives and Lazarus,
  4. Lusty Juventus, and The Marriage of Wit and Wisdom.

More

45 - 53
  1. The Marriage of Wit and Wisdom? That, my lads;
  2. I’ll none but that; the theme is very good,
  3. And may maintain a liberal argument:
  4. To marry wit to wisdom, asks some cunning;
  5. Many have wit, that may come short of wisdom.
  6. We’ll see how Master poet plays his part,
  7. And whether wit or wisdom grace his art.
  8. Go, make him drink, and all his fellows too.
  9. How many are ye?

Player of Inclination the Vice

54
  1.                  Four men and a boy, sir.

More

55 - 56
  1. But one boy? Then I see,
  2. There’s but few women in the play.

Player of Inclination the Vice

57 - 58
  1. Three, my lord; Dame Science, Lady Vanity,
  2. And Wisdom she herself.

More

59 - 64
  1. And one boy play them all? By our Lady, he’s laden.
  2. Well, my good fellow, get ye straight together,
  3. And make ye ready with what haste ye may.
  4. Provide their supper ’gainst the play be done,
  5. Else shall we stay our guests here over long.
  6. Make haste, I pray ye.

Player of Inclination the Vice

65
  1.                        We will, my lord.
  1. Exit Servant and Player of Inclination.

More

66 - 68
  1. Where are the waits? Go, big them play,
  2. To spend the time a while.
  3. Enter Lady More.
  4.                            How now, madame?

Lady More

69
  1. My lord, th’ are coming hither.

More

70 - 74
  1. Th’ are welcome. Wife, I’ll tell ye one thing;
  2. One sport is somewhat mended; we shall have
  3. A play tonight, The Marriage of Wit and Wisdom,
  4. And acted by my good Lord Cardinal’s players;
  5. How like ye that, wife?

Lady More

75 - 76
  1.                         My lord, I like it well.
  2. See, they are coming.
  1. The waits plays; enter Lord Mayor, so many Aldermen as may,
  2. the Lady Mayoress in scarlet, with other Ladies and Sir
  3. Thomas More’s Daughters; Servants carrying lighted torches
  4. by them.

More

77 - 84
  1. Once again, welcome, welcome, my good Lord Mayor,
  2. And brethren all, for once I was your brother,
  3. And so I am still in heart. It is not state
  4. That can our love from London separate.
  5. True, upstart fools, by sudden fortune tried,
  6. Regard their former mates with naught but pride.
  7. But they that cast an eye still whence they came,
  8. Know how they rose, and how to use the same.

Lord Mayor

85 - 92
  1. My lord, you set a gloss on London’s fame,
  2. And make it happy ever by your name.
  3. Needs must we say, when we remember More,
  4. ’Twas he that drove rebellion from our door
  5. With grave discretions mild and gentle breath,
  6. Shielding a many subjects’ lives from death,
  7. Oh, how our city is by you renowned,
  8. And with your virtues our endeavors crowned!

More

93 - 100
  1. No more, my good Lord Mayor. But thanks to all,
  2. That on so short a summons you would come
  3. To visit him that holds your kindness dear.
  4. Madame, you are not merry with my Lady Mayoress
  5. And these fair ladies; pray ye, seat them all:—
  6. And here, my lord, let me appoint your place;—
  7. The rest to seat themselves:—nay, I’ll weary ye;
  8. You will not long in haste to visit me.

Lady More

101
  1. Good madame, sit; in sooth, you shall sit here.

Lady Mayoress

102
  1. Good madame, pardon me; it may not be.

Lady More

103 - 104
  1. In troth, I’ll have it so. I’ll sit here by ye.
  2. Good ladies, sit. More stools here, ho!

Lady Mayoress

105 - 106
  1. It is your favor, madame, makes me thus
  2. Presume above my merit.

Lady More

107 - 111
  1.                         When we come to you,
  2. Then shall you rule us as we rule you here.
  3. Now must I tell ye, madame, we have a play,
  4. To welcome ye withal; how good so e’er,
  5. That know not I; my lord will have it so.

More

112 - 119
  1. Wife, hope the best; I am sure they’ll do their best:
  2. They that would better, comes not at their feast.
  3. My good Lord Cardinal’s players, I thank them for it,
  4. Play us a play, to lengthen out your welcome:
  5. They say it is The Marriage of Wit and Wisdom,
  6. A theme of some import, howe’er it prove;
  7. But, if art fail, we’ll inch it out with love.
  8. Enter a Servant.
  9. What, are they ready?

Servant to More

120
  1. My lord, one of the players craves to speak with you.

More

121
  1. With me? Where is he?
  1. Enter Inclination, the Vice, ready.

Player of Inclination the Vice

122
  1. Here, my lord.

More

123
  1. How now! What’s the matter?

Player of Inclination the Vice

124 - 126
  1. We would desire your honor but to stay a little; one of my
  2. fellows is but run to Ogle’s for a long beard for young Wit,
  3. and he’ll be here presently.

More

127 - 129
  1. A long beard for young Wit! Why, man, he may be without a
  2. beard till he come to marriage, for wit goes not all by the
  3. hair. When comes Wit in?

Player of Inclination the Vice

130
  1. In the second scene, next to the Prologue, my lord.

More

131 - 133
  1. Why, play on till that scene come, and by that time Wit’s
  2. beard will be grown, or else the fellow returned with it.
  3. And what part playest thou?

Player of Inclination the Vice

134
  1. Inclination the Vice, my lord.

More

135 - 136
  1. Gramercies, now I may take the vice if I list. And wherefore
  2. hast thou that bridle in thy hand?

Player of Inclination the Vice

137
  1. I must be bridled anon, my lord.

More

138 - 140
  1. And thou beest not saddled too, it makes no matter, for then
  2. Wit’s inclination may gallop so fast, that he will outstrip
  3. Wisdom, and fall to folly.

Player of Inclination the Vice

141 - 142
  1. Indeed, so he does to Lady Vanity; but we have no folly in
  2. our play.

More

143 - 147
  1. Then there’s no wit in ’t, I’ll be sworn. Folly waits on
  2. wit, as the shadow on the body, and where wit is ripest
  3. there folly still is readiest. But begin, I prithee. We’ll
  4. rather allow a beardless Wit than Wit all beard to have no
  5. brain.

Player of Inclination the Vice

148 - 149
  1. Nay, he has his apparel on too, my lord, and therefore he is
  2. the readier to enter.

More

150 - 154
  1. Then, good Inclination, begin at a venter.
  2. Exit Inclination.
  3. My Lord Mayor,
  4. Wit lacks a beard, or else they would begin:
  5. I’d lend him mine, but that it is too thin.
  6. Silence, they come.
  1. The trumpet sounds; enter the Prologue.

Prologue

155 - 166
  1. Now, for as much as in these latter days,
  2. Throughout the whole world in every land,
  3. Vice doth increase, and virtue decays,
  4. Iniquity having the upper hand;
  5. We therefore intend, good gentle audience,
  6. A pretty short interlude to play at this present,
  7. Desiring your leave and quiet silence,
  8. To show the same, as is meet and expedient,
  9. It is called The Marriage of Wit and Wisdom,
  10. A matter right pithy and pleasing to hear,
  11. Whereof in brief we will show the whole sum;
  12. But I must be gone, for Wit doth appear.
  1. Exit.
  1. Enter Wit ruffling, and Inclination the Vice.

Wit

167 - 178
  1. Sings.
  2. In an arbor green, asleep whereas I lay,
  3. The birds sang sweetly in the midst of the day,
  4. I dreamed fast of mirth and play,—
  5. In youth is pleasure, in youth is pleasure,
  6. Methought I walked still to and fro,
  7. And from her company I could not go;
  8. But when I waked, it was not so,—
  9. In youth is pleasure, in youth is pleasure.
  10. Therefore my heart is surely plight,
  11. Of her alone to have a sight,
  12. Which is my joy and heart’s delight,—
  13. In youth is pleasure, in youth is pleasure.

More

179 - 180
  1. Mark ye, my lord, this is Wit without a beard. What will he
  2. be by that time he comes to the commodity of a beard?

Player of Inclination the Vice

181 - 183
  1. Oh, sir, the ground is the better on which she doth go;
  2. For she will make better cheer with a little she can get,
  3. Than many a one can with a great banquet of meat.

Wit

184
  1. And is her name Wisdom?

Player of Inclination the Vice

185 - 186
  1.                         Ay, sir, a wife most fit
  2. For you, my good master, my dainty sweet Wit.

Wit

187 - 189
  1. To be in her company my heart it is set:
  2. Therefore I prithee to let us begone;
  3. For unto Wisdom Wit hath inclination.

Player of Inclination the Vice

190 - 196
  1. Oh, sir, she will come her self even anon;
  2. For I told her before where we would stand.
  3. And then she said she would beck us with her hand.
  4. Back with these boys and saucy great knaves!
  5. Flourishing a dagger.
  6. What, stand ye here so big in your braves?
  7. My dagger about your coxcombs shall walk,
  8. If I may but so much as hear ye chat or talk.

Wit

197
  1. But will she take pains to come for us hither?

Player of Inclination the Vice

198 - 204
  1. I warrant ye; therefore you must be familiar with her;
  2. When she commeth in place,
  3. You must her embrace
  4. Somewhat handsomely,
  5. Least she think it danger,
  6. Because you are a stranger,
  7. To come in your company.

Wit

205 - 206
  1. I warrant thee, Inclination, I will be busy:
  2. Oh, how Wit longs to be in Wisdom’s company!
  1. Enter Lady Vanity singing, and beckoning with her hand.

Vanity

207 - 208
  1. Come hither, come hither, come hither, come:
  2. Such cheer as I have, thou shalt have some.

More

209 - 210
  1. This is Lady Vanity, I’ll hold my life:—
  2. Beware, good Wit, you take not her to wife.

Player of Inclination the Vice

211 - 214
  1. What, unknown honesty? A word in your ear.
  2. She offers to depart.
  3. You shall not be gone as yet, I swear:
  4. Here’s none but friends, you need not to fray;
  5. This young gentleman loves ye, therefore you must stay.

Wit

215 - 218
  1. I trust in me she will think no danger,
  2. For I love well the company of fair women;
  3. And though to you I am a stranger,
  4. Yet Wit may pleasure you now and then.

Vanity

219 - 222
  1. Who, you? Nay, you are such a holy man,
  2. That to touch on you dare not be bold;
  3. I think you would not kiss a young woman,
  4. If one would give ye twenty pound in gold.

Wit

223 - 224
  1. Yes, in good sadness, lady, that I would:
  2. I could find in my heart to kiss you in your smock.

Vanity

225 - 227
  1. My back is broad enough to bear that mock;
  2. For it hath been told me many a time
  3. That you would be seen in no such company as mine.

Wit

228 - 229
  1. Not Wit in the company of Lady Wisdom?
  2. Oh Jove, for what do I hither come?

Player of Inclination the Vice

230 - 236
  1. Sir, she did this nothing else but to prove
  2. Whether a little thing would you move
  3. To be angry and fret:
  4. What, and if one said so?
  5. Let such trifling matters go
  6. And with a kind kiss come out of her debt.
  7. Is Luggins come yet with the beard?
  1. Enter Prologue Player.

Prologue

237
  1. No, faith, he is not come. Alas, what shall we do?

Player of Inclination the Vice

238 - 240
  1. Forsooth, we can go no further till our fellow Luggins come;
  2. for he plays Good Council, and now he should enter, to
  3. admonish Wit that this is Lady Vanity, and not Lady Wisdom.

More

241 - 251
  1. Nay, and it be no more but so, ye shall not tarry at a stand
  2. for that; we’ll not have our play marred for lack of a
  3. little good council. Till your fellow come, I’ll give him
  4. the best council that I can. Pardon me, my Lord Mayor; I
  5. love to be merry.
  6. Oh...Wit, thou art now on the bow hand,
  7. And blindly in thine own opinion dost stand.
  8. I tell thee, this naughty lewd Inclination
  9. Does lead thee amiss in a very strange fashion:
  10. This is not Wisdom, but Lady Vanity;
  11. Therefore list to Good Council, and be ruled by me.

Player of Inclination the Vice

252 - 253
  1. In troth, my lord, it is as right to Luggins’s part as can
  2. be. Speak, Wit.

More

254 - 255
  1. Nay, we will not have our audience disappointed, if I can
  2. help it.

Wit

256 - 259
  1. Art thou Good Council, and will tell me so?
  2. Wouldst thou have Wit from Lady Wisdom to go?
  3. Thou art some deceiver, I tell thee verily,
  4. In saying that this is Lady Vanity.

More

260 - 263
  1. Wit, judge not things by the outward show;
  2. The eye oft mistakes, right well you do know:
  3. Good Council assures thee upon his honesty,
  4. That this is not Wisdom, but Lady Vanity.
  1. Enter Luggins with the beard.

Player of Inclination the Vice

264
  1. Oh, my lord, he is come; now we shall go forward.

More

265 - 275
  1. Art thou come? Well, fellow, I have hoped to save thine
  2. honesty a little. Now, if thou canst give Wit any better
  3. council than I have done, spare not. There I leave him to
  4. they mercy.
  5. But by this time, I am sure, our banquet’s ready:
  6. My lord and ladies, we will taste that first,
  7. And then they shall begin the play again,
  8. Which through the fellow’s absence, and by me,
  9. Instead of helping, hath been hindered.
  10. Prepare against we come. Lights there, I say!—
  11. Thus fools oft times do help to mar the play.
  1. Exeunt all but players.

Wit

276 - 277
  1. Fie, fellow Luggins, you serve us handsomely; do ye not,
  2. think ye?

Luggins

278 - 280
  1. Why, Oagle was not within, and his wife would not let me
  2. have the beard; and, by my troth, I ran so fast that I sweat
  3. again.

Player of Inclination the Vice

281 - 285
  1. Do ye hear, fellows? Would not my lord make a rare player?
  2. Oh, he would uphold a company beyond all hope, better than
  3. Mason among the king’s players! Did ye mark how
  4. extemp’rically he fell to the matter, and spake Lugginses
  5. part almost as it is in the very book set down?

Wit

286 - 289
  1. Peace; do ye know what ye say? My lord a player! Let us not
  2. meddle with any such matters. Yet I may be a little proud
  3. that my lord hath answered me in my part. But come, let us
  4. go, and be ready to begin the play again.

Luggins

290
  1. I, that’s the best, for now we lack nothing.
  1. Enter a Servingman.

Servingman

291
  1. Where be these players?

All Players

292
  1. Here, sir.

Servingman

293 - 299
  1. My lord is sent for to the court,
  2. And all the guests do after supper part;
  3. And, for he will not trouble you again,
  4. By me for your reward a sends 8 angels,
  5. With many thanks. But sup before you go:
  6. It is his will you should be fairly entreated:
  7. Follow, I pray ye.

Wit

300 - 304
  1.                    This, Luggins, is your negligence;
  2. Wanting Wit’s beard brought things into dislike;
  3. For otherwise the play had been all seen,
  4. Where now some curious citizen disgraced it,
  5. And discommending it, all is dismissed.

Player of Inclination the Vice

305 - 308
  1. ’Fore God, ’a says true. But hear ye, sirs; eight angels,
  2. ha! My lord would never give eight angels more or less for
  3. twelve pence; other it should be three pounds, five pounds,
  4. or ten pounds. There’s twenty shillings wanting, sure.

Wit

309 - 310
  1. Twenty to one, ’tis so. I have a trick. My lord comes; stand
  2. aside.
  1. Enter More, with Attendants with purse and mace.

More

311 - 313
  1. In haste to counsel! What’s the business now,
  2. That all so late his highness sends for me?—
  3. What seek’st thou, fellow?

Wit

314 - 316
  1.                            Nay, nothing:
  2. Your lordship sent eight angels by your man,
  3. And I have lost two of them in the rushes.

More

317
  1. Wit, look to that:—eight angels! I did send them ten. Who gave it them?

Servingman

318 - 319
  1. I, my lord; I had no more about me;
  2. But by and by they shall rescue the rest.

More

320 - 330
  1. Well, Wit, ’twas wisely done; thou play’st Wit well indeed,
  2. Not to be thus deceived of thy right.
  3. Am I a man, by office truly ordained
  4. Equally to decide true right his own,
  5. And shall I have deceivers in my house?
  6. Then what avails my bounty, when such servants
  7. Deceive the poor of what the Master gives?
  8. Go on, and pull his coat over his ears:
  9. There are too many such. Give them their right.
  10. Wit, let thy fellows thank thee. ’Twas well done;
  11. Thou now deservest to match with Lady Wisdom.
  1. Exit More with Attendants.

Player of Inclination the Vice

331 - 332
  1. God a mercy, Wit!—Sir, you had a master Sir Thomas More
  2. more; but now we shall have more.

Luggins

333 - 335
  1. God bless him! I would there were more of his mind! A loves
  2. our quality; and yet he’s a learned man, and knows what the
  3. world is.

Player of Inclination the Vice

336 - 337
  1. Well, a kind man, and more loving than many other. But I
  2. think we ha’ met with the first

Luggins

338 - 340
  1. First served his man that had our angels; and he may chance
  2. dine with Duke Humphrey tomorrow, being turned away today.
  3. Come, let’s go.

Player of Inclination the Vice

341 - 342
  1. And many such rewards would make us all ride, and horse us
  2. with the best nags in Smithfield.
  1. Exeunt.
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