Thomas Dekker (15701632). The Shoemakers Holiday. The Harvard Classics. 190914.
Enter EYRE, HODGE, FIRK, RALPH, and other Shoemakers, all with napkins on their shoulders1
EYRE. Come, my fine Hodge, my jolly gentlemen shoemakers; soft, where be these cannibals, these varlets, may officers? Let them all walk and wait upon my brethren; for my meaning is, that none but shoemakers, none but the livery of my company shall in their satin hoods wait upon the trencher of my sovereign.
FIRK. O my lord, it will be rare!
EYRE. No more, Firk; come lively! Let your fellow-prentices want no cheer; let wine be plentiful as beer, and beer a water. Hang these penny-pinching fathers, that cram wealth in innocent lamb-skins. Rip, knaves avaunt! Look to my guests!
HODGE. My lord, we are at our wits end for room; those hundred tables will not feast the fourth part of them.
EYRE. Then cover me those hundred tables again, and again, till all my jolly prentices be feasted. Avoid, Hodge! Run, Ralph! Frisk about, my nimble Firk! Carouse me fathom-healths to the honour of the shoemakers. Do they drink lively, Hodge? Do they tickle it, Firk?
FIRK. Tickle it! Some of them have taken their liquor standing so long that they can stand no longer; but for meat, they would eat it, an they had it.
EYRE. Want they meat? Wheres this swag-belly, this greasy kitchenstuff cook? Call the varlet to me! Want meat? Firk, Hodge, lame Ralph, run, my tall men, beleaguer the shambles, beggar all Eastcheap, serve me whole oxen in chargers, and let sheep whine upon the tables like pigs for want of good fellows to eat them. Want meat? Vanish, Firk! Avaunt, Hodge!
HODGE. Your lordship mistakes my man Firk; he means, their bellies want meat, not the boards; for they have drunk so much, they can eat nothing.
EYRE. Have done, my good Hans, my honest journeyman; look cheerily! Ill fall upon both my knees, till they be as hard as horn, but Ill get thy pardon.
MARG. Good my lord, have a care what you speak to his grace.
EYRE. Away, you Islington whitepot!3 hence, you barley-pudding, full of maggots! you broiled carbonado!4 avaunt, avaunt, avoid, Mephistophiles! Shall Sim Eyre learn to speak of you, Lady Madgy? Vanish, Mother Miniver-cap; vanish go, trip and go; meddle with your partlets5 and your pishery-pashery, your flewes6 and your whirligigs; go, rub,7 out of mine alley! Sim Eyre knows how to speak to a Pope, to Sultan Soliman, to Tamburlaine, an he were here, and shall I melt, shall I droop before my sovereign? No, come, my Lady Madgy! Follow me, Hans! About your business, my frolic freebooters! Firk, frisk about, and about, and about, for the honour of mad Simon Eyre, lord mayor of London.
FIRK. Hey, for the honour of the shoemakers. Exeunt.