Act IV. Scene II. A Forest.

[Enter Humber alone, his hair hanging over his
shoulders, his arms all bloody, and a dart in one
hand.]

HUMBER.
What basilisk was hatched in this place,
Where every thing consumed is to nought?
What fearful Fury haunts these cursed groves,
Where not a root is left for Humber's meat?
Hath fell Alecto, with invenomed blasts,
Breathed forth poison in these tender plains?
Hath triple Cerberus, with contagious foam,
Sowed Aconitum mongst these withered herbs?
Hath dreadful Fames with her charming rods
Brought barrenness on every fruitful tree?
What, not a root, no fruit, no beast, no bird,
To nourish Humber in this wilderness?
What would you more, you fiends of Erebus?
My very entrails burn for want of drink,
My bowels cry, Humber, give us some meat.
But wretched Humber can give you no meat;
These foul accursed groves afford no meat,
This fruitless soil, this ground, brings forth no meat.
The gods, hard hearted gods, yield me no meat.
Then how can Humber give you any meat?

[Enter Strumbo with a pitchfork, and a scotch-cap,
saying:]

STRUMBO.
How do you, masters, how do you? how have you
scaped hanging this long time? Yfaith, I have scaped
many a scouring this year; but I thank God I have past
them all with a good couragio, couragio, & my wife
& I are in great love and charity now, I thank my
manhood & my strength. For I will tell you, masters:
upon a certain day at night I came home, to say the
very truth, with my stomach full of wine, and ran up
into the chamber where my wife soberly sat rocking
my little baby, leaning her back against the bed,
singing lullaby. Now, when she saw me come with
my nose foremost, thinking that I had been drunk, as
I was indeed, she snatched up a faggot stick in her
hand, and came furiously marching towards me with
a big face, as though she would have eaten me at a
bit; thundering out these words unto me: Thou
drunken knave, where hast thou been so long? I shall
teach thee how to beknight me an other time; and so
she began to play knaves' trumps. Now, although I
trembled, fearing she would set her ten commandments
in my face, I ran within her, and taking her lustily by
the middle, I carried her valiantly to the bed, and
flinging her upon it, flung my self upon her; and there
I delighted her so with the sport I made, that ever after
she would call me sweet husband, and so banished
brawling for ever. And to see the good will of the
wench! she bought with her portion a yard of land, and
by that I am now become one of the richest men in our
parish. Well, masters, what's a clock? is it now
breakfast time; you shall see what meat I have here for
my breakfast.

[Let him sit down and pull out his vittails.]

HUMBER.
Was ever land so fruitless as this land?
Was ever grove so graceless as this grove?
Was ever soil so barren as this soil?
Oh no: the land where hungry Fames dwelt
May no wise equalize this cursed land;
No, even the climate of the torrid zone
Brings forth more fruit than this accursed grove.
Ne'er came sweet Ceres, ne'er came Venus here;
Triptolemus, the god of husbandmen,
Ne'er sowed his seed in this foul wilderness.
The hunger-bitten dogs of Acheron,
Chased from the ninefold Puriflegiton,
Have set their footsteps in this damned ground.
The iron hearted Furies, armed with snakes,
Scattered huge Hydras over all the plains,
Which have consumed the grass, the herbs, the trees;
Which have drunk up the flowing water springs.

[Strumbo, hearing his voice, shall start up and put
meat in his pocket, seeking to hide himself.]

Thou great commander of the starry sky,
That guidest the life of every mortal wight,
From the inclosures of the fleeting clouds
Fain down some food, or else I faint and die:
Pour down some drink, or else I faint and die.
O Jupiter, hast thou sent Mercury
In clownish shape to minister some food?
Some meat! some meat! some meat!

STRUMBO.
O, alas, sir, ye are deceived. I am not Mercury;
I am Strumbo.

HUMBER.
Give me some meat, villain; give me some meat,
Or gainst this rock I'll dash thy cursed brains,
And rent thy bowels with my bloody hands.
Give me some meat, villain; give me some meat!

STRUMBO.
By the faith of my body, good fellow, I had rather
give an whole oxe than that thou shouldst serve me
in that sort. Dash out my brains? O horrible!
terrible! I think I have a quarry of stones in my
pocket.

[Let him make as though he would give him some,
and as he putteth out his hand, enter the ghost of
Albanact, and strike him on the hand: and so
Strumbo runs out, Humber following him. Exit.]

ALBANACT'S GHOST.
Lo, here the gift of fell ambition,
Of usurpation and of treachery!
Lo, here the harms that wait upon all those
That do intrude themselves in other's lands,
Which are not under their dominion.

[Exit.]
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