QueenʼsMen Editions

About this text

  • Title: Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay (Modern)
  • Textual editor: Christopher Matusiak
  • Performance editor: Peter Cockett
  • General editor: Helen Ostovich
  • Coordinating editor: Janelle Jenstad

  • Copyright Queen's Men Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Robert Greene
    Editor (Text): Christopher Matusiak
    Editor (Performance): Peter Cockett
    Peer Reviewed

    Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay (Modern)

    1695[Scene 11] [Video Sc.11]
    Enter [the] Emperor [of Germany], [the King of] Castile, [King] Henry, Eleanor, Edward, Lacy, [and] Rafe.
    Emperor of Germany
    [To Edward] Now, lovely prince, the prince of Albion's wealth,
    How fares the Lady Eleanor and you?
    What, have you courted and found Castile fit
    1700To answer England in equivalence?
    Will't be a match 'twixt bonny Nell and thee?
    Should Paris enter in the courts of Greece
    And not lie fettered in fair Helen's looks?
    Or Phoebus scape those piercing amorets
    1705That Daphne glance}d at his deity?
    Can Edward then sit by a flame and freeze,
    Whose heat puts Helen and fair Daphne down?
    Now, monarchs, ask the lady if we gree.
    King Henry
    What, madam, hath my son found grace or no?
    Seeing, my lord, his lovely counterfeit,
    And hearing how his mind and shape agreed,
    I come not trooped with all this warlike train
    Doubting of love, but so affectionate
    As Edward hath in England what he won in Spain.
    1715King of Castile
    [To King Henry] A match, my lord! These wantons needs must love.
    Men must have wives and women will be wed.
    Let's haste the day to honor up the rites.
    Sirrah Harry, shall Ned marry Nell?
    King Henry
    Ay, Rafe, how then?
    Marry, Harry, follow my counsel: send for Friar Bacon to marry them, for he'll so conjure him and her with his necromancy that they shall love together like pig and lamb whilst they live.
    King of Castile
    But hear'st thou, Rafe, art thou content to have 1725Eleanor to thy lady?
    Ay, so she will promise me two things.
    King of Castile
    What's that, Rafe?
    That she will never scold with Ned, nor fight with me.-- Sirrah Harry, I have put her down with a thing unpossible.
    1730King Henry
    What's that, Rafe?
    Why, Harry, did'st thou ever see that a woman could both hold her tongue and her hands? No, but when egg-pies grow on apple-trees, then will thy gray mare prove a bagpiper.
    [The King of Castile and Lacy stand apart and speak privately.]
    1735Emperor of Germany
    What say the lord of Castile and the earl of Lincoln, that they are in such earnest and secret talk?
    King of Castile
    I stand, my lord, amaze}d at his talk,
    How he discourseth of the constancy
    Of one surnamed for beauty's excellence
    1740The fair maid of merry Fressingfield.
    King Henry
    'Tis true, my lord, 'tis wondrous for to hear;
    Her beauty passing Mars's paramour,
    Her virgin's right as rich as Vesta's was.
    Lacy and Ned hath told me miracles.
    1745King of Castile
    What says Lord Lacy? Shall she be his wife?
    Or else Lord Lacy is unfit to live.--
    May it please your highness give me leave to post
    To Fressingfield, I'll fetch the bonny girl,
    And prove in true appearance at the court
    1750What I have vouche}d often with my tongue.
    King Henry
    Lacy, go to the querry of my stable,
    And take such coursers as shall fit thy turn.
    Hie thee to Fressingfield and bring home the lass;
    And, for her fame flies through the English coast,
    1755If it may please the Lady Eleanor,
    One day shall match your excellence and her.
    We Castile ladies are not very coy;
    Your highness may command a greater boon.
    And glad were I to grace the Lincoln earl
    1760With being partner of his marriage day.
    Gramercy, Nell, for I do love the lord
    As he that's second to myself in love.
    You love her? Madam Nell, never believe him you, though he swears he loves you.
    Why, Rafe?
    Why, his love is like unto a tapster's glass that is broken with every touch, for he loved the fair maid of Fressingfield once out of all ho.-- Nay, Ned, never wink upon me. I care not, I.
    King Henry
    Rafe tells all; you shall have a good secretary of him.--
    1770But, Lacy, haste thee post to Fressingfield,
    For ere thou hast fitted all things for her state
    The solemn marriage day will be at hand.
    I go, my lord.
    Exit Lacy.
    Emperor of Germany
    How shall we pass this day, my lord?
    1775King Henry
    To horse, my lord. The day is passing fair;
    We'll fly the partridge or go rouse the deer.--
    Follow, my lords. You shall not want for sport.