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The Little French Lawyer: A Comedy
Din. Disswade me not. Clere. It will breed a brawl. Din. I care not, I wear a Sword. Cler. And wear discretion with it, Or cast it off, let that direct your arm, 'Tis madness else, not valour, and more base Than to receive a wrong. Din. Why would you have me Sit down with a disgrace, and thank the doer? We are not Stoicks, and that passive courage Is only now commendable in Lackies, Peasants, and Tradesmen, not in men of rank And qualitie, as I am. Cler. Do not cherish That daring vice, for which the whole age suffers. The blood of our bold youth, that heretofore Was spent in honourable action, Or to defend, or to enlarge the Kingdom, For the honour of our Country, and our Prince, Pours it self out with prodigal expence Upon our Mothers lap, the Earth that bred us For every trifle; and these private Duells, Which had their first original from the Fr[enc]h (And for which, to this day, we are justly censured) Are banisht from all civil Governments: Scarce three in Venice, in as many years; In Florence, they are rarer, and in all The fair Dominions of the Spanish King, They are never heard of: Nay, those neighbour Countries, Which gladly imitate our other follies, And come at a dear rate to buy them of us, Begin now to detest them. Din. Will you end yet Cler. And I have heard that some of our late Kings, For the lie, wearing of a Mistris favour, [Pg 375]A cheat at Cards or Dice, and such like causes, Have lost as many gallant Gentlemen, As might have met the great Turk in the field With confidence of a glorious Victorie, And shall we then Din. No more, for shame no more, Are you become a Patron too? 'tis a new one, No more on't, burn't, give it to some Orator, To help him to enlarge his exercise, With such a one it might do well, and profit The Curat of the Parish, but for Cleremont, The bold, and undertaking Cleremont, To talk thus to his friend, his friend that knows him, Dinant that knows his Cleremont, is absurd, And meer Apocrypha. Cler. Why, what know you of me? Din. Why if thou hast forgot thy self, I'le tell thee, And not look back, to speak of what thou wert At fifteen, for at those years I have heard Thou wast flesh'd, and enter'd bravely. Cler. Well Sir, well. Din. But yesterday, thou wast the common second, Of all that only knew thee, thou hadst bills Set up on every post, to give thee notice Where any difference was, and who were parties; And as to save the charges of the Law Poor men seek arbitrators, thou wert chosen By such as knew thee not, to compound quarrels: But thou wert so delighted with the sport, That if there were no just cause, thou wouldst make one, Or be engag'd thy self: This goodly calling Thou hast followed five and twenty years, and studied The Criticismes of contentions, and art thou In so few hours transform'd? certain this night Thou hast had strange dreams, or rather visions. Clere. Yes, Sir, I have seen fools, and fighters, chain'd together, And the Fighters had the upper hand, and whipt first, The poor Sots laughing at 'em. What I have been It skils not, what I will be is resolv'd on. [Pg 376]Din. Why then you'l fight no more? Cler. Such is my purpose. Din. On no occasion? Cler. There you stagger me. Some kind of wrongs there are which flesh and blood Cannot endure. Din. Thou wouldst not willingly Live a protested coward, or be call'd one? Cler. Words are but words. Din. Nor wouldst thou take a blow? Cler. Not from my friend, though drunk, and from an enemy I think much less. Din. There's some hope of thee left then, Wouldst thou hear me behind my back disgrac'd? Cler. Do you think I am a rogue? they that should do it Had better been born dumb. Din. Or in thy presence See me o'recharg'd with odds? Cler. I'd fall my self first. Din. Would'st thou endure thy Mistris be taken from thee, And thou sit quiet? Cler. There you touch my honour, No French-man can endure that. Di[n]. Pl upon thee, Why dost thou talk of Peace then? that dar'st suffer Nothing, or in thy self, or in thy friend That is unmanly? Cler. That I grant, I cannot: But I'le not quarrel with this Gentleman For wearing stammel Breeches, or this Gamester For playing a thousand pounds, that owes me nothing; For this mans taking up a common Wench In raggs, and lowsie, then maintaining her Caroach'd in cloth of Tissue, nor five hundred Of such like toyes, that at no part concern me; Marry, where my honour, or my friend is questioned, I have a Sword, and I think I may use it To the cutting of a Rascals throat, or so, Like a good Christian. Din. Thou art of a fine Religion, [Pg 377]And rather than we'l make a Schism in friendship I will be of it: But to be serious, Thou art acquainted with my tedious love-suit To fair Lamira? Cler. Too well Sir, and remember Your presents, courtship, that's too good a name, Your slave-like services, your morning musique; Your walking three hours in the rain at midnight, To see her at her window, sometimes laugh'd at, Sometimes admitted, and vouchsaf'd to kiss Her glove, her skirt, nay, I have heard, her slippers, How then you triumph'd? Here was love forsooth. Din. These follies I deny not, Such a contemptible thing my dotage made me, But my reward for this Cler. As you deserv'd, For he that makes a goddess of a Puppet, Merits no other recompence. Din. This day friend, For thou art so Cler. I am no flatterer. Din. This proud, ingratefull she, is married to Lame Champernel. Cler. I know him, he has been As tall a Sea-man, and has thriv'd as well by't, The loss of a legg and an arm deducted, as any That ever put from Marseilles: you are tame, Pl on't, it mads me; if it were my case, I should kill all the family. Din. Yet but now You did preach patience. Cler. I then came from confession, And 'twas enjoyn'd me three hours for a penance, To be a peaceable man, and to talk like one, But now, all else being pardon'd, I begin On a new Tally, Foot do any thing, I'le second you. Din. I would not willingly Make red, my yet white conscience, yet I purpose [Pg 378]In the open street, as they come from the Temple, (For this way they must pass,) to speak my wrongs, And do it boldly. [Musick playes. Cler. Were thy tongue a Cannon, I would stand by thee, boy, they come, upon 'em. Din. Observe a little first. Cler. This is fine fidling. ......Buy Now (To Read More)
Ebook Number: 25398
Author: Beaumont, Francis
Release Date: May 9, 2008
Contributor (Author): Fletcher, John, 1579-1625
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