MARG. Well, Hans and Roger, you see, God hath blest your master, and, perdy, if ever he comes to be Master Sheriff of Londonas we are all mortalyou shall see, I will have some odd thing or other in a corner for you: I will not be your back-friend;4 but let that pass. Hans, pray thee, tie my shoe.
MARG. Fie, upon it, how costly this worlds calling is; perdy, but that it is one of the wonderful works of God, I would not deal with it.Is not Firk come yet? Hans, be not so sad, let it pass and vanish, as my husbands worship says.
MARG. Trust me, I am sorry, Ralph, to see thee impotent. Lord, how the wars have made him sunburnt! The left leg is not well; twas a fair gift of God the infirmity took not hold a little higher, considering thou camest from France; but let that pass.
MARG. O Ralph, your wife,perdy, we know not whats become of her. She was here a while, and because she was married, grew more stately than became her; I checked her, and so forth; away she flung, never returned, nor said bye nor bah; and, Ralph, you know, ka me, ka thee.8 And so, as I tell yeRoger, is not Firk come yet?
HODGE. No, forsooth.
MARG. And so, indeed, we heard not of her, but I hear she lives in London; but let that pass. If she had wanted, she might have opened her case to me or my husband, or to any of my men; I am sure, theres not any of them, perdy, but would have done her good to his power. Hans, look if Firk be come.
MARG. And so, as I saidbut, Ralph, why dost thou weep? Thou knowest that naked we came out of our mothers womb, and naked we must return; and, therefore, thank God for all things.
HODGE. No, faith, Jane is a stranger here; but, Ralph, pull up a good heart, I know thou hast one. Thy wife, man, is in London; one told me, he saw her a while ago very brave10 and neat; well ferret her out, an London hold her.
MARG. Alas, poor soul, hes overcome with sorrow; he does but as I do, weep for the loss of any good thing. But, Ralph, get thee in, call for some meat and drink, thou shalt find me worshipful towards thee.
RALPH. I thank you, dame; since I want limbs and lands, Ill trust to
God, my good friends, and my hands. Exit.
Enter HANS and FIRK running
FIRK. Run, good Hans! O Hodge, O mistress! Hodge, heave up thine ears; mistress, smug up11 your looks; on with your best apparel; my master is chosen, my master is called, nay, condemned by the cry of the country to be sheriff of the city for this famous year now to come. And time now being, a great many men in black gowns were asked for their voices and their hands, and my master had all their fists about his ears presently, and they cried Ay, ay, ay, ay,and so I came away
FIRK. Tis her worship speaks so, and not she. No, faith, mistress, speak me in the old key: To it, Firk, there, good Firk, ply your business, Hodge, Hodge, with a full mouth, Ill fill your bellies with good cheer, till they cry twang.
Enter EYRE wearing a gold chain
HANS. See, myn liever broder, heer compt my meester.14
MARG. Welcome home, Master Shrieve; I pray God continue you in health and wealth.
EYRE. See here, my Maggy, a chain, a gold chain for Simon Eyre. I shall make thee a lady; heres a French hood for thee; on with it, on with it, on with it! dress thy brows with this flap of a shoulder of mutton,15 to make thee look lovely. Where be my fine men? Roger, Ill make over my shop and tools to thee; Firk, thou shalt be the foreman; Hans, thou shalt have an hundred for twenty.16 Be as mad knaves as your master Sim Eyre hath been, and you shall live to be Sheriffs of London.How dost thou like me, Margery? Prince am I none, yet am I princely born. Firk, Hodge, and Hans!
ALL THREE. Ay forsooth, what says your worship, Master Sheriff?
EYRE. Worship and honour, you Babylonian knaves, for the gentle craft. But I forgot myself, I am bidden by my lord mayor to dinner to Old Ford; hes gone before, I must after. Come, Madge, on with your trinkets! Now, my true Trojans, my fine Firk, my dapper Hodge, my honest Hans, some device, some odd crotchets, some morris, or such like, for the honour of the gentlemen shoemakers. Meet me at Old Ford, you know my mind. Come, Madge, away. Shut up the shop, knaves, and make holiday. Exeunt.
FIRK. O rare! O brave! Come, Hodge; follow me, Hans; Well be with them for a morris-dance. Exeunt.