Fiction > Harvard Classics > Philip Massinger > A New Way to Pay Old Debts
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Philip Massinger (1583–1640).  A New Way to Pay Old Debts.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
Act I
 
Scene II
 
 
[Enter] ORDER, AMBLE, FURNACE, and WATCHALL 1

  ORD.  Set all things right, or, as my name is Order,
And by this staff of office that commands you,
This chain and double ruff, symbols of power,
Whoever misses in his function,        4
For one whole week makes forfeiture of his breakfast,
And privilege in the wine-cellar.
  AMB.        You are merry,
Good master steward.        8
  FURN.        Let him; I’ll be angry.
  AMB.  Why, fellow Furnace, ’tis not twelve o’clock yet,
Nor dinner taking up; then, ’tis allow’d,
Cooks, by their places, may be choleric.        12
  FURN.  You think you have spoke wisely, goodman Amble,
My lady’s go-before!
  ORD.        Nay, nay, no wrangling.
  FURN.  Twit me with the authority of the kitchen!        16
At all hours, and all places, I’ll be angry;
And thus provok’d, when I am at my prayers
I will be angry.
  AMB.        There was no hurt meant.        20
  FURN.  I am friends with thee; and yet I will be angry.
  ORD.  With whom?
  FURN.        No matter whom: yet, now I think on it,
I am angry with my lady.        24
  WATCH.        Heaven forbid, man!
  ORD.  What cause has she given thee?
  FURN.        Cause enough, master steward.
I was entertain’d by her to please her palate,        28
And, till she forswore eating, I perform’d it.
Now, since our master, noble Allworth, died,
Though I crack my brains to find out tempting sauces,
And raise fortifications in the pastry        32
Such as might serve for models in the Low Countries;
Which, if they had been practised at Breda,
Spinola might have thrown his cap at it, and ne’er took it 2
  AMB.  But you had wanted matter there to work on.        36
  FURN.  Matter! with six eggs, and a strike 3 of rye meal,
I had kept the town till doomsday, perhaps longer.
  ORD.  But what’s this to your pet against my lady?
  FURN.  What’s this? Marry this: when I am three parts roasted        40
And the fourth part parboil’d, to prepare her viands,
She keeps her chamber, dines with a panada 4
Or water-gruel, my sweat never thought on.
  ORD.  But your art is seen in the dining-room.        44
  FURN.        By whom?
By such as pretend love to her, but come
To feed upon her. Yet, of all the harpies
That do devour her, I am out of charity        48
With none so much as the thin-gutted squire
That’s stolen into commission.
  ORD.        Justice Greedy?
  FURN.  The same, the same; meat’s cast away upon him,        52
It never thrives; he holds this paradox,
Who eats not well, can ne’er do justice well.
His stomach’s as insatiate as the grave,
Or strumpet’s ravenous appetites.  Knocking.        56
  WATCH.        One knocks.
 
Enter ALLWORTH

  ORD.  Our late young master!
  AMB.        Welcome, sir.
  FURN.        Your hand;        60
If you have a stomach, a cold bake-meat’s ready.
  ORD.  His father’s picture in little.
  FURN.        We are all your servants.
  AMB.  In you he lives.        64
  ALL.        At once, my thanks to all;
This is yet some comfort. Is my lady stirring?
 
Enter LADY ALLWORTH, Waiting Woman, and Chambermaid

  ORD.  Her presence answers for us.
  L. ALL.        Sort those silks well.        68
I’ll take the air alone.  Exeunt Waiting Woman and Chambermaid.
  FURN.        You air and air;
But will you never taste but spoon-meat more?
To what use serve I?        72
  L. ALL.        Prithee, be not angry;
I shall ere long: i’ the mean time, there is gold
To buy thee aprons, and a summer suit.
  FURN.  I am appeas’d, and Furnace now grows cool. 5        76
  L. ALL.  And, as I gave directions, if this morning
I am visited by any, entertain ’em
As heretofore; but say, in my excuse,
I am indispos’d.        80
  ORD.        I shall, madam.
  L. ALL.        Do, and leave them.
Nay, stay you, Allworth.  Exeunt ORDER, AMBLE, FURNACE, and WATCHALL.
  ALL.        I shall gladly grow here,        84
To wait on your commands.
  L. ALL.        So soon turn’d courtier!
  ALL.  Style not that courtship, madam, which is duty
Purchas’d on your part.        88
  L. ALL.        Well, you shall o’ercome;
I’ll not contend in words. How is it with
Your noble master?
  ALL.        Ever like himself,        92
No scruple lessen’d in the full weight of honour.
He did command me, pardon my presumption,
As his unworthy deputy, to kiss
Your ladyship’s fair hands.        96
  L. ALL.        I am honour’d in
His favour to me. Does he hold his purpose
For the Low Countries?
  ALL.        Constantly, good madam;        100
But he will in person first present his service.
  L. ALL.  And how approve you of his course? You are yet
Like virgin parchment, capable of any
Inscription, vicious or honourable.        104
I will not force your will, but leave you free
To you own election.
  ALL.        Any form you please,
I will put on; but, might I make my choice,        108
With humble emulation I would follow
The path my lord marks to me.
  L. ALL.        ’Tis well answer’d,
And I commend your spirit. You had a father,        112
Blest be his memory! that some few hours
Before the will of Heaven took him from me,
Who did commend you, by the dearest ties
Of perfect love between us, to my charge;        116
And, therefore, what I speak, you are bound to hear
With such respect as if he liv’d in me.
He was my husband, and howe’er you are not
Son of my womb, you may be of my love,        120
Provided you deserve it.
  ALL.        I have found you,
Most honour’d madam, the best mother to me;
And, with my utmost strengths of care and service,        124
Will labour that you never may repent
Your bounties shower’d upon me.
  L. ALL.        I much hope it.
These were your father’s words: “If e’er my son        128
Follow the war, tell him it is a school
Where all the principles tending to honour
Are taught, if truly followed: but for such
As repair thither as a place in which        132
They do presume they may with license practise
Their lusts and riots, they shall never merit
The noble name of soldiers. To dare boldly,
In a fair cause, and for their country’s safety,        136
To run upon the cannon’s mouth undaunted;
To obey their leaders, and shun mutinies;
To bear with patience the winter’s cold
And summer’s scorching heat, and not to faint,        140
When plenty of provision fails, with hunger;
Are the essential parts make up a soldier,
Not swearing, dice, or drinking.”
  ALL.        There’s no syllable        144
You speak, but is to me an oracle,
Which but to doubt were impious.
  L. ALL.        To conclude:
Beware ill company, for often men        148
Are like to those with whom they do converse;
And, from one man I warn 6 you, and that’s Wellborn:
Not ’cause he’s poor, that rather claims your pity;
But that he’s in his manners so debauch’d,        152
And hath to vicious courses sold himself.
’Tis true, your father lov’d him, while he was
Worthy the loving; but if he had liv’d
To have seen him as he is, he had cast him off,        156
As you must do.
  ALL.        I shall obey in all things.
  L. ALL.  Follow me to my chamber, you shall have gold
To furnish you like my son, and still supplied,        160
As I hear from you.
  ALL.        I am still your creature.  Exeunt.
 
Note 1. A room in Lady Allworth’s house. [back]
Note 2. The siege of Breda by Spinola in 1624–5 was one of the great events of the time. [back]
Note 3. Two bushels. [back]
Note 4. Bread soaked in hot water and milk. [back]
Note 5. Q. reads Cooke. [back]
Note 6. Q. warn’d. [back]
 

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