Act I. Scene IV. Outskirts Of The Forest.

[Enter Segasto solus.]

When heaps of harms to hover over head,
Tis time as then, some say, to look about,
And of ensuing harms to choose the least:
But hard, yea hapless, is that wretches chance,
Luckless his lot and caytiffe like acourste,
At whose proceedings fortune ever frowns.
My self I mean, most subject unto thrall,
For I, the more I seek to shun the worst,
The more by proof I find myself accurst:
Ere whiles assaulted with an ugly bear,
Fair Amadine in company all alone,
Forthwith by flight I thought to save my self,
Leaving my Amadine unto her shifts:
For death it was for to resist the bear,
And death no less of Amadine's harms to hear.
Accursed I in lingering life thus long!
In living thus, each minute of an hour
Doth pierce my heart with darts of thousand deaths:
If she by flight her fury do escape,
What will she think?
Will she not say--yea, flatly to my face,
Accusing me of mere disloyalty--
A trusty friend is tried in time of need,
But I, when she in danger was of death
And needed me, and cried, Segasto, help:
I turned my back and quickly ran away.
Unworthy I to bear this vital breath!
But what! what needs these plaints?
If Amadine do live, then happy I;
She will in time forgive and so forget:
Amadine is merciful, not Juno like,
In harmful heart to harbor hatred long.

[Enter Mouse, the Clown, running, crying:

Clubs, prongs, pitchforks, bills! O help! a bear,
a bear, a bear, a bear!

Still bears, and nothing else but bears. Tell me,
sirrah, where she is.

O sir, she is run down the woods: I see her white
head and her white belly.

Thou talkest of wonders, to tell me of white bears.
But, sirra, didst thou ever see any such?

No, faith, I never saw any such, but I remember
my father's words: he bade me take heed I was
not caught with a white bear.

A lamentable tale, no doubt.

I tell you what, sir, as I was going a field to serve
my father's great horse, & carried a bottle of hay
upon my head--now do you see, sir--I, fast
hoodwinked, that I could see nothing, perceiving
the bear coming, I threw my hay into the hedge
and ran away.

What, from nothing?

I warrant you, yes, I saw something, for there was
two load of thorns besides my bottle of hay, and
that made three.

But tell me, sirra, the bear that thou didst see,
Did she not bear a bucket on her arm?

Ha, ha, ha! I never saw bear go a milking in my
life. But hark you, sir, I did not look so high as
her arm: I saw nothing but her white head, and her
white belly.

But tell me, sirra, where dost thou dwell?

Why, do you not know me?

Why no, how should I know thee?

Why, then, you know no body, and you know not
me. I tell you, sir, I am the goodman rats son of the
next parish over the hill.

Goodman rats son: why, what's thy name?

Why, I am very near kin unto him.

I think so, but what's thy name?

My name? I have a very pretty name; I'll tell you
what my name is: my name is Mouse.

What, plain Mouse?

Aye, plain mouse with out either welt or guard. But
do you hear, sir, I am but a very young mouse, for my
tail is scarce grown out yet; look you here else.

But, I pray thee, who gave thee that name?

Faith, sir, I know not that, but if you would fain know,
ask my father's great horse, for he hath been half a year
longer with my father than I have.

This seems to be a merry fellow;
I care not if I take him home with me.
Mirth is a comfort to a troubled mind,
A merry man a merry master makes.
How saist thou, sirra, wilt thou dwell with me?

Nay, soft, sir, two words to a bargain: pray you, what
occupation are you?

No occupation, I live upon my lands.

Your lands! away, you are no master for me: why, do
you think that I am so mad, to go seek my living in the
lands amongst the stones, briars, and bushes, and tear
my holy day apparel? not I, by your leave.

Why, I do not mean thou shalt.

How then?

Why, thou shalt be my man, and wait upon me at the

What's that?

Where the King lies.

What's that same King, a man or woman?

A man as thou art.

As I am? hark you, sir; pray you, what kin is he
to good man king of our parish, the church warden?

No kin to him; he is the King of the whole land.

King of the land! I never see him.

If thou wilt dwell with me, thou shalt see him
every day.

Shall I go home again to be torn in pieces with
bears? no, not I. I will go home & put on a clean
shirt, and then go drown my self.

Thou shalt not need; if thou wilt dwell with me,
thou shalt want nothing.

Shall I not? then here's my hand; I'll dwell with you.
And hark you, sir, now you have entertained me, I
will tell you what I can do: I can keep my tongue
from picking and stealing, and my hands from lying
and slandering, I warrant you, as well as ever you had
man in all your life.

Now will I to court with sorrowful heart, rounded with
If Amadine do live, then happy I:
Yea, happy I, if Amadine do live.

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