Act V - Scene vii

Setter, Sir Joseph, Bluffe.

SET.  Were I a rogue now, what a noble prize could I dispose of!  A goodly pinnace, richly laden, and to launch forth under my auspicious convoy.  Twelve thousand pounds and all her rigging, besides what lies concealed under hatches.  Ha! all this committed to my care!  Avaunt, temptation!  Setter, show thyself a person of worth; be true to thy trust, and be reputed honest.  Reputed honest!  Hum: is that all?  Ay; for to be honest is nothing; the reputation of it is all.  Reputation! what have such poor rogues as I to do with reputation? ’tis above us; and for men of quality, they are above it; so that reputation is even as foolish a thing as honesty.  And, for my part, if I meet Sir Joseph with a purse of gold in his hand, I’ll dispose of mine to the best advantage.

SIR JO.  Heh, heh, heh: Here ’tis for you, i’faith, Mr. Setter.  Nay, I’ll take you at your word.  [Chinking a purse.]

SET.  Sir Joseph and the captain, too! undone! undone!  I’m undone, my master’s undone, my lady’s undone, and all the business is undone.

SIR JO.  No, no; never fear, man; the lady’s business shall be done.  What, come, Mr. Setter, I have overheard all, and to speak is but loss of time; but if there be occasion, let these worthy gentlemen intercede for me.  [Gives him gold.]

SET.  O lord, sir, what d’ye mean?  Corrupt my honesty?  They have indeed very persuading faces.  But—

SIR JO.  ’Tis too little, there’s more, man.  There, take all.  Now—

SET.  Well, Sir Joseph, you have such a winning way with you—

SIR JO.  And how, and how, good Setter, did the little rogue look when she talked of Sir Joseph?  Did not her eyes twinkle and her mouth water?  Did not she pull up her little bubbies?  And—agad, I’m so overjoyed—And stroke down her belly? and then step aside to tie her garter when she was thinking of her love?  Heh, Setter!

SET.  Oh, yes, sir.

SIR JO.  How now, bully?  What, melancholy because I’m in the lady’s favour?  No matter, I’ll make your peace: I know they were a little smart upon you.  But I warrant I’ll bring you into the lady’s good graces.

BLUFF.  Pshaw, I have petitions to show from other-guess toys than she.  Look here; these were sent me this morning.  There, read.  [Shows letters].  That—that’s a scrawl of quality.  Here, here’s from a countess too.  Hum—No, hold—that’s from a knight’s wife—she sent it me by her husband.  But here, both these are from persons of great quality.

SIR JO.  They are either from persons of great quality, or no quality at all, ’tis such a damned ugly hand.  [While Sir Joseph reads, Bluffe whispers Setter.]

SET.  Captain, I would do anything to serve you; but this is so difficult.

BLUFF.  Not at all.  Don’t I know him?

SET.  You’ll remember the conditions?

BLUFF.  I’ll give it you under my hand.  In the meantime, here’s earnest.  [Gives him money.]  Come, knight, I’m capitulating with Mr. Setter for you.

SIR JO.  Ah, honest Setter; sirrah, I’ll give thee anything but a night’s lodging.