Scene VI.




[To them] BEN LEGEND and SERVANT.

BEN LEGEND
Where's father?

SERVANT
There, sir, his back's toward you.

SIR SAMPSON LEGEND
My son Ben! Bless thee, my dear body. Body o' me, thou art heartily welcome.

BEN LEGEND
Thank you, father, and I'm glad to see you.

SIR SAMPSON LEGEND
Odsbud, and I'm glad to see thee; kiss me, boy, kiss me again and again, dear Ben. [Kisses him.]

BEN LEGEND
So, so, enough, father, Mess, I'd rather kiss these gentlewomen.

SIR SAMPSON LEGEND
And so thou shalt. Mrs Angelica, my son Ben.

BEN LEGEND
Forsooth, if you please. [Salutes her.] Nay, mistress, I'm not for dropping anchor here; about ship, i'faith. [Kisses Frail.] Nay, and you too, my little cock-boat--so [Kisses Miss].

TATTLE
Sir, you're welcome ashore.

BEN LEGEND
Thank you, thank you, friend.

SIR SAMPSON LEGEND
Thou hast been many a weary league, Ben, since I saw thee.

BEN LEGEND
Ay, ay, been! Been far enough, an' that be all. Well, father, and how do all at home? How does brother Dick, and brother Val?

SIR SAMPSON LEGEND
Dick--body o' me--Dick has been dead these two years. I writ you word when you were at Leghorn.

BEN LEGEND
Mess, that's true; marry! I had forgot. Dick's dead, as you say. Well, and how? I have a many questions to ask you. Well, you ben't married again, father, be you?

SIR SAMPSON LEGEND
No; I intend you shall marry, Ben; I would not marry for thy sake.

BEN LEGEND
Nay, what does that signify? An' you marry again--why then, I'll go to sea again, so there's one for t'other, an' that be all. Pray don't let me be your hindrance--e'en marry a God's name, an the wind sit that way. As for my part, mayhap I have no mind to marry.

FRAIL
That would be pity--such a handsome young gentleman.

BEN LEGEND
Handsome! he, he, he! nay, forsooth, an you be for joking, I'll joke with you, for I love my jest, an' the ship were sinking, as we sayn at sea. But I'll tell you why I don't much stand towards matrimony. I love to roam about from port to port, and from land to land; I could never abide to be port-bound, as we call it. Now, a man that is married has, as it were, d'ye see, his feet in the bilboes, and mayhap mayn't get them out again when he would.

SIR SAMPSON LEGEND
Ben's a wag.

BEN LEGEND
A man that is married, d'ye see, is no more like another man than a galley-slave is like one of us free sailors; he is chained to an oar all his life, and mayhap forced to tug a leaky vessel into the bargain.

SIR SAMPSON LEGEND
A very wag--Ben's a very wag; only a little rough, he wants a little polishing.

MRS FRAIL
Not at all; I like his humour mightily: it's plain and honest--I should like such a humour in a husband extremely.

BEN LEGEND
Say'n you so, forsooth? Marry, and I should like such a handsome gentlewoman for a bed-fellow hugely. How say you, mistress, would you like going to sea? Mess, you're a tight vessel, an well rigged, an you were but as well manned.

MRS FRAIL
I should not doubt that if you were master of me.

BEN LEGEND
But I'll tell you one thing, an you come to sea in a high wind, or that lady--you may'nt carry so much sail o' your head--top and top gallant, by the mess.

MRS FRAIL
No, why so?

BEN LEGEND
Why, an you do, you may run the risk to be overset, and then you'll carry your keels above water, he, he, he!

ANGELICA
I swear, Mr Benjamin is the veriest wag in nature--an absolute sea-wit.

SIR SAMPSON LEGEND
Nay, Ben has parts, but as I told you before, they want a little polishing. You must not take anything ill, madam.

BEN LEGEND
No, I hope the gentlewoman is not angry; I mean all in good part, for if I give a jest, I'll take a jest, and so forsooth you may be as free with me.

ANGELICA
I thank you, sir, I am not at all offended. But methinks, Sir Sampson, you should leave him alone with his mistress. Mr Tattle, we must not hinder lovers.

TATTLE
Well, Miss, I have your promise. [Aside to Miss.]

SIR SAMPSON LEGEND
Body o' me, madam, you say true. Look you, Ben, this is your mistress. Come, Miss, you must not be shame-faced; we'll leave you together.

MISS PRUE
I can't abide to be left alone; mayn't my cousin stay with me?

SIR SAMPSON LEGEND
No, no. Come, let's away.

BEN LEGEND
Look you, father, mayhap the young woman mayn't take a liking to me.

SIR SAMPSON LEGEND
I warrant thee, boy: come, come, we'll be gone; I'll venture that.



Art of Worldly Wisdom Daily
In the 1600s, Balthasar Gracian, a jesuit priest wrote 300 aphorisms on living life called "The Art of Worldly Wisdom." Join our newsletter below and read them all, one at a time.
Email:
Sonnet-a-Day Newsletter
Shakespeare wrote over 150 sonnets! Join our Sonnet-A-Day Newsletter and read them all, one at a time.
Email: