Enter Gaoler, Wooer, and Doctor
Her distraction is more at some time of the moon
than at other some, is it not?
She is continually in a harmless distemper,
sleeps little, altogether without appetite save often
drinking; dreaming of another world, and a better; and
what broken piece of matter soe'er she's about, the name
Palamon lards it, that she farces every business withal,
fits it to every question.
Enter Gaoler's Daughter
Look where she comes; you shall perceive her
I have forgot it quite; the burden on't was
‘ down-a, down-a,’ and penned by no worse man than
Geraldo, Emilia's schoolmaster. He's as fantastical, too,
as ever he may go upon's legs; for in the next world will
Dido see Palamon, and then will she be out of love with
What stuff's here! Poor soul.
E'en thus all day long.
Now for this charm that I told you of, you
must bring a piece of silver on the tip of your tongue,
or no ferry; then if it be your chance to come where the
blessed spirits are – there's a sight now! We maids that
have our livers perished, cracked to pieces with love,
liver (n.) 1
part of the body thought to be at the seat of the passions [especially sexual desire]
we shall come there, and do nothing all day long but
pick flowers with Proserpine. Then will I make Palamon
a nosegay; then let him mark me – then –
How prettily she's amiss! Note her a little
note (v.) 1
observe, pay attention [to], take special note [of]
Faith, I'll tell you, sometime we go to
barley-break, we of the blessed. Alas, 'tis a sore life they
type of country game in which a couple occupies a den [nicknamed ‘hell’] in the centre of a [barley] field, and tries to catch other couples, who may separate [break] when about to be caught
have i'th' tother place, such burning, frying, boiling,
hissing, howling, chattering, cursing – O, they have
shrewd measure; take heed! If one be mad, or hang or
drown themselves, thither they go – Jupiter bless us! –
and there shall we be put in a cauldron of lead and
usurers' grease, amongst a whole million of cutpurses,
and there boil like a gammon of bacon that will never
How her brain coins!
Lords and courtiers that have got maids with
child, they are in this place; they shall stand in fire up
to the navel and in ice up to th' heart, and there th' offending
part burns and the deceiving part freezes – in troth
a very grievous punishment, as one would think, for
such a trifle. Believe me, one would marry a leprous
witch to be rid on't, I'll assure you.
How she continues this fancy! 'Tis not an
engraffed madness, but a most thick and profound
To hear there a proud lady and a proud city
wife howl together – I were a beast an I'd call it good
sport! One cries ‘ O, this smoke!’, th' other ‘ This fire!’;
one cries ‘ O that ever I did it behind the arras!’, and
then howls; th' other curses a suing fellow and her
I will be true, my stars, my fate, etc.
What think you of her, sir?
I think she has a perturbed mind, which I cannot
Alas, what then?
Understand you she ever affected any man ere
she beheld Palamon?
I was once, sir, in great hope she had fixed her
liking on this gentleman my friend.
I did think so too, and would account I had a
great penn'orth on't, to give half my state that both she
and I at this present stood unfeignedly on the same
That intemperate surfeit of her eye hath
distempered the other senses; they may return and settle
again to execute their preordained faculties, but they
are now in a most extravagant vagary. This you must
do: confine her to a place where the light may rather
seem to steal in than be permitted; take upon you,
young sir her friend, the name of Palamon; say you
come to eat with her and to commune of love. This will
catch her attention, for this her mind beats upon; other
objects that are inserted 'tween her mind and eye
become the pranks and friskins of her madness. Sing
to her such green songs of love as she says Palamon
hath sung in prison; come to her stuck in as sweet
flowers as the season is mistress of, and thereto make
an addition of some other compounded odours, which
are grateful to the sense. All this shall become Palamon,
for Palamon can sing, and Palamon is sweet and every
good thing. Desire to eat with her, carve her, drink to
her, and still among intermingle your petition of grace
and acceptance into her favour. Learn what maids have
been her companions and playferes, and let them repair
to her with Palamon in their mouths, and appear with
tokens, as if they suggested for him. It is a falsehood
she is in, which is with falsehoods to be combated. This
may bring her to eat, to sleep, and reduce what's now
out of square in her into their former law and regiment.
I have seen it approved, how many times I know not,
but to make the number more I have great hope in this.
I will between the passages of this project come in
with my appliance. Let us put it in execution, and
hasten the success, which doubt not will bring forth