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Of high displeasure that ensewen might,
XLIII Commaunded them their fury to refraine; And, if that either to that shield had But threw his gauntlet, as a sacred right,
pledge In equall lists they should the morrow His cause in combat the next day to try: next it fight.
So been they parted both, with harts on
To be aveng'd each on his enimy.
That night they pas in joy and jollity,
Feasting and courting both in bowre and "Ah, dearest Dame," quoth then the
hall; Paynim bold,
For Steward was excessive Gluttony, "Pardon the error of enraged wight, That of his plenty poured forth to all: Whome great griefe made forgett the Which doen, the Chamberlain, Slowth, did raines to hold
to rest them call. Of reasons rule, to see this recreaunt knight,
XLIV No knight, but treachour full of false despight
Now whenas darkesome night had all And shameful treason, who through guile displayd hath slayn
Her coleblacke curtein over brightest The prowest ? knight that ever field did
The warlike youthes, on dayntie couches Even stout Sansfoy, (O who can then
Did chace away sweet sleepe from slugWhose shield he beares renverst, the more to heap disdayn.
To muse on meanes of hoped victory.
Arrested all that courtly company,
Uprose Duessa from her resting place, "And, to augment the glorie of his
And to the Paynims lodging comes with guile, His dearest love, the faire Fidessa, loe! Is there possessed of the traytour vile;
XLV Who reapes the harvest sowen by his foe,
Whom broad awake she findes, in Sowen in bloodie field, and bought with
troublous fitt, woe!
Fore-casting how his foe he might anThat brothers hand shall dearely well re
And him amoves with speaches seeming So be, 0 Queene! you equall favour
“Ah deare Sansjoy, next dearest to SansHim litle answerd th' angry Elfin knight;
foy, He never meant with words, but swords, Cause of my new griefe, cause of my new to plead his right:
joy; 1 bravest * reversed
Joyous to see his ymage in mine eye,
"O! but I feare the fickle freakes,"
(quoth shee) Of fortune false, and oddes of armes in
field.” “Why, dame," (quoth he) “what oddes
can ever bee, Where both doe fight alike, to win or
yield?” "Yea, but,” (quoth she) "he beares a
“But since faire Sunne hath sperst that
lowring clowd, And to my loathed life now shewes some
charmed shield, And eke enchaunted armes, that none can
perce; Ne none can wound the man that does
“Charmd or enchaunted," answered he
then ferce, “I no whitt reck; ne you
the like need to reherce.
Returne from whence ye came, and rest
a while, Till morrow next that I the Elfe subdew, And with Sansfoyes dead dowry you en
dew.” “Ah me! that is a double death,” (she
said) “With proud foes sight my sorrow to re
"But, faire Fidessa, sithens ? fortunes
guile, Or enimies powre, hath now captived
Where ever yet I be, my secret aide
you, 1 heed
REALISTIC COMEDY: THE SHOEMAKERS'
In the development of the drama through the mystery play and the morality it is possible to observe the gradual introduction of little realistic touches which foretell the coming liberation of the type from didacticism and allegory. In the English Nativity plays, for example, the shepherds with their homely dialogue are genuine products of the English soil, and in the Towneley cycle the extended episode of Mak and his sheep stealing is an excellent start in the direction of realistic comedy. It was natural that during the great age of the drama in the reign of Elizabeth the realism of everyday life should be prominently represented.
The Shoemakers' Holiday was written by Thomas Dekker in 1599. Stories of shoemakers had appeared in book form the previous year (The Gentle Craft, by Thomas Deloney) and Dekker made his play from various elements in these tales. The love story of Lacy and Rose, which runs as a romantic thread through the play, is structually the central feature of the plot. But no one can doubt that the real interest of the drama centers in the character of Simon Eyre, the exuberant shoemaker, and his band of jolly workmen. They make this lively and boisterous comedy what it is. Their good fellowship and humor, the healthy pride they have in their craft, and their sense of loyalty to each other are responsible for most of the play's unusual charm.
Thomas Dekker (c. 1570-c. 1641) was slightly younger than Shakespeare. Born and bred in London, he must have known well the artisan class portrayed in this play. He was the author of many plays, of which a dozen or more are extant. In addition, he was a prolific pamphleteer, writing numerous pieces of a fugitive character and temporary popularity. Most of his work was doubtless done under the urge of necessity and is characterized by an air of haste, but through nearly all of it there is a pervasive atmosphere of kindliness and good feeling that must have been part of the man.
THOMAS DEKKER (1570?-1641?) So we, dear goddess, wonder of all eyes,
Your meanest vassals, through mistrust THE SHOEMAKERS' HOLIDAY
To sink into the bottom of disgrace TO ALL GOOD FELLOWS, PROFESSORS OF
By our imperfect pastimes, prostrate thus
On bended knees, our sails of hope do
LOVELL, a Courtier.
SYBIL, her Maid.