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)

    [Scene 3] [Video Sc.3]
    Enter Margaret [and Joan], with Thomas, 355[Richard], and other clowns [following], [and] Lacy disguised in country apparel.
    By my troth, Margaret, here's a weather is able to make a man call his father whoreson. If this weather hold, we shall have hay good cheap and butter and cheese at Harleston will 360bear no price.
    Thomas, maids when they come to see the fair
    Count not to make a cope for dearth of hay.
    When we have turned our butter to the salt
    And set our cheese safely upon the racks,
    365Then let our fathers price it as they please.
    We country sluts of merry Fressingfield
    Come to buy needless naughts to make us fine,
    And look that young men should be frank this day
    And court us with such fairings as they can.
    370Phoebus is blithe and frolic looks from heaven
    As when he courted lovely Semele,
    Swearing the peddlers shall have empty packs
    If that fair weather may make chapmen buy.
    But, lovely Peggy, Semele is dead,
    375And therefore Phoebus from his palace pries,
    And, seeing such a sweet and seemly saint,
    Shows all his glories for to court yourself.
    This is a fairing, gentle sir, indeed,
    To soothe me up with such smooth flattery.
    380But learn of me, your scoffs too broad before.--
    Well, Joan, our beauties must abide their jests;
    We serve the turn in jolly Fressingfield .
    Margaret, a farmer's daughter for a farmer's son;
    I warrant you, the meanest of us both
    385Shall have a mate to lead us from the church.--
    But, Thomas, what's the news? What, in a dump?
    Give me your hand, we are near a peddler's shop.
    Out with your purse, we must have fairings now.
    Faith, Joan, and shall. I'll bestow a fairing on you, and 390then we will to the tavern and snap off a pint of wine or two.
    All this while Lacy whispers Margaret in the ear.
    Whence are you sir? Of Suffolk? For your terms
    are finer than the common sort of men.
    Faith, lovely girl, I am of Beccles by,
    395Your neighbor, not above six miles from hence,
    A farmer's son that never was so quaint
    But that he could do courtesy to such dames.
    But trust me, Margaret, I am sent in charge
    From him that reveled in your father's house
    400And filled his lodge with cheer and venison,
    Tiréd in green. He sent you this rich purse,
    His token that he helped you run your cheese
    And in the milk-house chatted with yourself.
    To me? You forget yourself.
    Women are often weak in memory.
    Oh, pardon, sir, I call to mind the man.
    'Twere little manners to refuse his gift,
    And yet I hope he sends it not for love,
    For we have little leisure to debate of that.
    What, Margaret, blush not. Maids must have their loves.
    Nay, by the mass, she looks pale as if she were angry.
    Sirrah, are you of Beccles? I pray, how doth 415Goodman Cob? My father bought a horse of him.-- I'll tell you, Margaret, 'a were good to be a gentleman's jade, for of all things the foul hilding could not abide a dung-cart.
    How different is this farmer from the rest,
    That erst as yet hath pleased my wandering sight!
    420His words are witty, quickened with a smile,
    His courtesy gentle, smelling of the court;
    Facile and debonair in all his deeds,
    Proportioned as was Paris when in gray
    He courted Oenone in the vale by Troy.
    425Great lords have come and pleaded for my love,
    Who but the Keeper's lass of Fressingfield?
    And yet methinks this farmer's jolly son
    Passeth the proudest that hath pleased mine eye.
    But, Peg, disclose not that thou art in love,
    430And show as yet no sign of love to him.
    Although thou well wouldst wish him for thy love,
    Keep that to thee till time doth serve thy turn
    To show the grief wherein thy heart doth burn.--
    Come, Joan and Thomas, shall we to the fair?--
    435You, Beccles man, will not forsake us now?
    Not whilst I may have such quaint girls as you.
    Well, if you chance to come by Fressingfield,
    Make but a step into the Keeper's lodge,
    And such poor fare as woodmen can afford,
    440Butter and cheese, cream, and fat venison
    You shall have store, and welcome therewithal.
    Gramercies, Peggy. Look for me ere long.
    Exeunt omnes.