Scene 4

[Enter Wagner and Clown.]

WAGNER.
Sirrah, boy, come hither.
CLOWN.
How, boy! Swowns, boy! I hope you have seen many
boys with such pickadevaunts as I have; boy, quotha!
WAGNER.
Tell me, sirrah, hast thou any comings in?(5)
CLOWN.
Ay, and goings out too. You may see else.
WAGNER.
Alas, poor slave! see how poverty jesteth in his
nakedness! the villain is bare and out of service, and so
hungry that I know he would give his soul to the Devil or
a shoulder of mutton, though 'twere blood-raw.(10)
CLOWN.
How! My soul to the Devil for a shoulder of mutton,
though 'twere blood-raw! Not so, good friend. By'r
Lady, I had need have it well roasted, and good sauce to
it, if I pay so dear.
WAGNER.
Well, wilt thou serve us, and I'll make thee go like(15)
Qui mihi discipulus?
CLOWN.
How, in verse?
WAGNER.
No, sirrah; in beaten silk and stavesacre.
CLOWN.
How, how, Knaves acre! I, I thought that was all
the land his father left him. Do you hear? I would be(20)
sorry to rob you of your living.
WAGNER.
Sirrah, I say in stavesacre.
CLOWN.
Oho! Oho! Stavesacre! Why, then, belike if I
were your man I should be full of vermin.
WAGNER.
So thou shalt, whether thou beest with me or no. (25)
But, sirrah, leave your jesting, and bind yourself
presently unto me for seven years, or I'll turn all the
lice about thee into familiars, and they shall tear thee
in pieces.
CLOWN.
Do you hear, sir? You may save that labour: they(30)
are too familiar with me already: swowns! they are as
bold with my flesh as if they had paid for their meat
and drink.
WAGNER.
Well, do you hear, sirrah? Hold, take these guilders.(35)

[Gives him coins.]

CLOWN.
Gridirons! what be they?
WAGNER.
Why, French crowns.
CLOWN.
Mass, but in the name of French crowns, a man
were as good have as many English counters. And
what should I do with these?(40)
WAGNER.
Why, now, sirrah, thou art at an hour's warning,
whensoever and wheresoever the Devil shall fetch thee.
CLOWN.
No, no. Here, take your gridirons again.
WAGNER.
Truly I'll none of them.(45)
CLOWN.
Truly but you shall.
WAGNER.
Bear witness I gave them him.
CLOWN.
Bear witness I give them you again.
WAGNER.
Well, I will cause two devils presently to fetch thee
away.—Baliol and Belcher.(50)
CLOWN.
Let your Baliol and your Belcher come here, and
I'll knock them, they were never so knocked since they
were devils! say I should kill one of them, what would
folks say? “Do you see yonder tall fellow in the round
slop?—he has killed the devil.” So I should be called(55)
Kill-devil all the parish over.

[Enter two Devils. The Clown runs up and down crying.]

WAGNER.
Baliol and Belcher! Spirits, away!

[Exeunt Devils.]

CLOWN.
What, are they gone? A vengeance on them, they
have vile long nails! There was a he-devil and a she-devil!
I'll tell you how you shall know them; all he-devils has(60)
horns, and all she-devils has clifts and cloven feet.
WAGNER.
Well, sirrah, follow me.
CLOWN.
But, do you hear—if I should serve you, would you
teach me to raise up Banios and Belcheos?
WAGNER.
I will teach thee to turn thyself to anything; to a(65)
dog, or a cat, or a mouse, or a rat, or anything.
CLOWN.
How! a Christian fellow to a dog or a cat, a mouse
or a rat! No, no, sir; if you turn me into anything, let it be
in the likeness of a little pretty frisking flea, that I may be
here and there and everywhere: Oh, I'll tickle the pretty(70)
wenches' plackets; I'll be amongst them, i'faith.
WAGNER.
Well, sirrah, come.
CLOWN.
But, do you hear, Wagner?
WAGNER.
How!—Baliol and Belcher!
CLOWN.
O Lord! I pray, sir, let Banio and Belcher go sleep.(75)
WAGNER.
Villain—call me Master Wagner, and let thy
left eye be Diametarily fixed upon my right heel, with
quasi vestigiis nostris insistere.

[Exit Wagner.]

CLOWN.
God forgive me, he speaks Dutch fustian. Well,
I'll follow him: I'll serve him, that's flat.(80)

[Exit Clown.]

Footnotes

  1. This scene between Wagner and the Clown is a parallel binding scene to the scene between Faustus and Mephistophilis. Much like the bond made between Faustus and Mephistophilis, Wagner promises the Clown a period of time that ends with him being torn apart. Parallel plots were used to explore the action of the main plot in a humorous way and provide comic relief for the audience.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Editor
  2. "Stavesacre" is the preparation of the seed used to kill vermin in Marlowe's time. Wagner uses this sarcastic statement to mock the Clown and establish himself as smarter than the Clown. Notice, however, that the Clown uses wordplay to turn this insult around and mock Wagner.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Editor
  3. This Latin phrase means "You who are my pupil." It was the first line in Lily's *Latin Grammar*, the standard grammar textbook in English schools after it was published in 1509. Wagner uses this line to demonstrates his learned social class and tell the Clown to behave like a proper slave.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Editor
  4. "Blood-raw" is a quality of meat that is so undercooked that it is red and bloody. A "blood-raw" mutton would be an extremely bad meal, and a sign of someone's poverty as they did not have the means to prepare the food better. Wagner torments the Clown by comparing his soul to such a debased form of food.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Editor
  5. Swowns, or Zounds, is a euphemistic abbreviation of "God's Wounds." It references the injuries that Jesus endured on the cross. Since it was considered a sin to take the lord's name in vain this euphemism negated the sin by making subject God's wounds instead of God himself.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Editor
  6. a kind of lark-spur, the seeds of which are used to kill head lice

    — Owl Eyes Reader
  7. small, disgusting animals, insects, etc., or people who are considered as such

    — Owl Eyes Reader
  8. animals or creatures in spirit form that supposedly assist one with magic

    — Owl Eyes Reader
  9. quasi vestigiis nostris insistere—as if walking in my footsteps

    — Owl Eyes Reader