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Sealed and delivered to her, in the Light
EPITAPH ON THE LADY JANE.
COULD begin with that grand form Here lis
* This Jane was the eldest daughter of Lord Ogle, and sister of
AN INTERLUDE, ETC.
[The volume from which the foregoing were taken, contains also an Interlude, never yet noticed by the poet's biographers. It has neither title nor date; but appears to have been written by Jonson for the christening of a son of the earl of Newcastle, to which the king or the prince (both seem to have been present) stood godfather. It consists principally of the unrestrained and characteristic tattle of three gossips; and though the language may appear somewhat too free for the present times, yet as a matter of curiosity, I have ventured to subjoin it.
The scene is the earl of Newcastle's house, in the Black Friars. GIFFORD.]
At the entrance to the banquet.
No I.R., you are welcome to the forest: you have w seen a battle upon a table, now you see a hunting.” I know not what the game will prove, but the ground is well clothed with trees. The most of these deer will come to hand— if they take cover, sir, down with the woods, for the hunting is meant to be so royal as trees, dogs, deer, all mean to be a part of the quarry.
the lady just mentioned. She married Edward, eighth earl of Shrewsbury, (younger brother of the Gilbert so often noticed,) and died in 1625, having survived her husband about seven years,
* It appears that the table represented a hunting scene in sweetmeats. We cannot easily conceive the enormous sums expended in constructing those banquets. Every object of art or nature was represented in them ; and castles and towers and towns were reared of marchpane of a size that would confound the faculties of the confectioners of these degenerate days. The courtier, like the citizen, was a most fierce devourer of plums, and the ships, bulwarks, forests, &c., that were not eaten on the spot, were conveyed into the pockets of the guests, and carried off, without stint and without shame.
In the passage.
DUGGS, wet nurse; KECKs, dry nurse; and HOLDBACK, midwife.
Duggs. Are they coming 2 where 2 which are the gossips ?
Recks. Peace, here they come all.
Duggs. I'll up and get me a standing behind the arraS.
Hold. You'll be thrust there, i'faith, nurse.
Hold. No ; he with the blue riband, peace!
Kecks. O, sweet gentleman he a gossip ! he were fitter to be a father, 'ifaith.
Hold. So they were both, an 'twere fortune's good pleasure to send it.
At the banquet. HoLDBACK enters with the child, DUGGS and KECKS,
Hold. Now heaven multiply your highness and my honourable lord too, and my good lady the countess. I have one word for you all, Welcome! which is enough to the wise, and as good as a hun, dred, you know. This is my day. My lords and my ladies, how like you my boy 2 is't not a goodly boy? I said his name would be Charles when I looked upon Charles' wain tother night. He was born under that star—I have given measure, ifaith,
* A short question was probably overlooked by the scribe.
he'll prove a pricker by one privy mark that I found about him. Would you had such another, my lord gossips, every one of you, and as like the father. O what a glad woman and a proud should I be to be seen at home with you upon the same occasion Duggs. Come, come, never push for it, woman; I know my place. It is before, and I would not have you mistake it. Aecks. Then belike my place is behind. Duggs. Be it where it will, I'll appear. Hold. How now, what's the matter with you two 2 Duggs. Why, Mistress Kecks, the dry nurse, strives to have place of me. Kecks. Yes, Mistress Duggs, I do indeed. Hold. What! afore the Prince 1 are you so rude and uncivil P Kecks. Why not afore the Prince 2 (worshipped might he be;) I desire no better judge. Hold. No! and my Lord Chancery here? Do you know what you say? Go to, nurse, ha' done, and let the music have their play. You have made a joyful house here, i'faith; the glad lady within in the straw, I hope, has thanked you for her little Carl, the little christian—such a comfortable day as this will even make the father ready to make adventure for another, in my conscience. Sing sweetly, I pray you, an you have a good breast, out with it for my lord's credit. SoNG.
If now as merry you could be
Who wait would have no time to see
But you that deign the place and lord
Read not the banquet on his board,
Where, if by engaging of his heart
The world would scarce afford a part
All had been had that could be wished
Were it ambrosia to be dished,
Aluggs. How, dame a dry nurse better than a wet nurse 2 Aecks. Ay. Is not summer better than winter? ZJuggs. O, you dream of a dry summer. Aecks. And you are so wet, you are the worse again. Do you remember my Lady Kickingup's child, that you gave such a bleach to 'twas never clear since 2 Duggs. That was my Lady Kickingup's own doing (you dry chip you), and not mine. Aecks. 'Twas yours, Mrs. Wetter—and you shrunk in the wetting for't, if you be remembered; for she turned you away, I am sure.—Wet moons, you know, were ever good weed-springers. Duggs. My moon's no wetter than thine, goody Caudle-maker. You for making of costly caudles, as good a nurse as I Asold. Why, can I carry no sway nor stroke among you ! Will ye open yourselves thus, and let every one enter into your secrets 2—Shall they take it up between you, in God's name 2 Proffer it 'em. I am nobody, I, I know nothing —I am a midwife of this month ! I never held a lady's back till now, you think. Duggs. We never thought so, Mistress Holdback. Hold. Go to, you do think so, upon that point,