EYRE. Where be these boys, these girls, these drabs, these scoundrels? They wallow in the fat brewiss3 of my bounty, and lick up the crumbs of my table, yet will not rise to see my walks cleansed. Come out, you powder-beef4 queans! What, Nan! what, Madge Mumble-crust. Come out, you fat midriff-swag-belly-whores, and sweep me these kennels5 that the noisome stench offend not the noses of my neighbours. What, Firk, I say; what, Hodge! Open my shop-windows! What, Firk, I say!
FIRK. O master, ist you that speak bandog6 and Bedlam7 this morning? I was in a dream, and mused what madman was got into the street so early. Have you drunk this morning that your throat is so clear?
EYRE. Ah, well said, Firk; well said, Firk. To work, my fine knave, to work! Wash thy face, and thout be more blest.
FIRK. Let them wash my face that will eat it. Good master, send for a souse-wife,8 if youll have my face cleaner.
EYRE. Away, sloven! avaunt, scoundrel!Good-morrow, Hodge; good-morrow, my fine foreman.
HODGE. O master, good-morrow; yare an early stirrer. Heres a fair morning.Good-morrow, Firk, I could have slept this hour. Heres a brave day towards.9
EYRE. Oh, haste to work, my fine foreman, haste to work.
FIRK. Master, I am dry as dust to hear my fellow Roger talk of fair weather; let us pray for good leather, and let clowns and ploughboys and those that work in the fields pray for brave days. We work in a dry shop; what care I if it rain?
FIRK. Master, for my life, yonders a brother of the gentle craft; if he bear not Saint Hughs bones,12 Ill forfeit my bones; hes some uplandish workman: hire him, good master, that I may learn some gibble-gabble; twill; make us work the faster.
EYRE. Peace, Firk! A hard world! Let him pass, let him vanish; we have journeymen enow. Peace, my fine Firk!
MARG. Nay, nay, yare best follow your mans counsel; you shall see what will come ont. We have not me enow, but we must entertain every butter-box;13 but let that pass.
FIRK. Faith, an your foreman go, dame, you must take a journey to seek a new journeyman; if Roger remove, Firk follows. If Saint Hughs bones shall not be set a-work, I may prick mine awl in the walls, and go play. Fare ye well, master; good-bye, dame.
EYRE. Tarry, my fine Hodge, my brisk foreman! Stay, Firk! Peace, pudding-broth! By the Lord of Ludgate, I love my men as my life. Peace, you gallimaufry!14 Hodge, if he want work, Ill hire him. One of you to him; stay,he comes to us.
FIRK. Den skomaker, quoth a! And hark you, skomaker, have you all your tools, a good rubbing-pin, a good stopper, a good dresser, your four sorts of awls, and your two balls of wax, your paring knife, your hand- and thumb-leathers, and good St. Hughs bones to smooth up your work?
LACY. Yaw, yaw; be niet vorveard. Ik hab all de dingen voour mack skooes groot and cleane.18
FIRK. Ha, ha! Good master, hire him; hell make me laugh so that I shall work more in mirth than I can in earnest.
FIRK. Yaw, yaw! He speaks yawing like a jackdaw that gapes to be fed with cheese-curds. Oh, hell give a villanous pull at a can of double-beer; but Hodge and I have the vantage, we must drink first, because we are the eldest journeymen.
EYRE. What is thy name?
LACY. HansHans Meulter.
EYRE. Give me thy hand; thart welcome.Hodge, entertain him; Firk, bid him welcome; come, Hans. Run, wife, bid your maids, your trullibubs,21 make ready my fine mens breakfasts. To him, Hodge!
Come, my last of the fives, give me a can. Have to thee, Hans; here, Hodge; here, Firk; drink, you mad Greeks, and work like true Trojans, and pray for Simon Eyre, the shoemaker.Here, Hans, and thart welcome.
FIRK. Lo, dame, you would have lost a good fellow that will teach us to laugh. This beer came hopping in well.
MARG. Simon, it is almost seven.
EYRE. Ist so, Dame Clapper-dudgeon?23 Ist seven a clock, and my mens breakfast not ready? Trip and go, you soused conger,24 away! Come, you mad hyperboreans; follow me, Hodge; follow me, Hans; come after, my fine Firk; to work, to work a while, and then to breakfast! [Exit.