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The Little French Lawyer A Comedy   By: (1579-1625)

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Little French Lawyer.



Persons Represented in the Play.

Dinant, a Gentleman that formerly loved, and still pretended to love Lamira.

Cleremont, a merry Gentleman, his Friend.

Champernell, a lame old Gentleman, Husband to Lamira.

Vertaign, a Noble man, and a Judge.

Beaupre, Son to Vertaign.

Verdone, Nephew to Champernell.

Monsieur La Writt, a wrangling Advocate, or the Little Lawyer.

Sampson, a foolish Advocate, Kinsman to Vertaign.






Lamira, Wife to Champernell, and Daughter to Vertaign.

Anabell, Niece to Champernell.

Old Lady, Nurse to Lamira.

Charlotte, Waiting Gentlewoman to Lamira.

The Scene France.

The principal Actors were,

Joseph Taylor.

John Lowin.

John Underwood.

Robert Benfield.

Nicholas Toolie.

William Egleston.

Richard Sharpe.

Thomas Holcomb.

Actus Primus. Scena Prima.

Enter Dinant, a[n]d Cleremont.

Din. Disswade me not.

Clere. It will breed a brawl.

Din. I care not, I wear a Sword.

Cler. And wear discretion with it, Or cast it off, let that direct your arm, 'Tis madness else, not valour, and more base Than to receive a wrong.

Din. Why would you have me Sit down with a disgrace, and thank the doer? We are not Stoicks, and that passive courage Is only now commendable in Lackies, Peasants, and Tradesmen, not in men of rank And qualitie, as I am.

Cler. Do not cherish That daring vice, for which the whole age suffers. The blood of our bold youth, that heretofore Was spent in honourable action, Or to defend, or to enlarge the Kingdom, For the honour of our Country, and our Prince, Pours it self out with prodigal expence Upon our Mothers lap, the Earth that bred us For every trifle; and these private Duells, Which had their first original from the Fr[enc]h (And for which, to this day, we are justly censured) Are banisht from all civil Governments: Scarce three in Venice , in as many years; In Florence , they are rarer, and in all The fair Dominions of the Spanish King, They are never heard of: Nay, those neighbour Countries, Which gladly imitate our other follies, And come at a dear rate to buy them of us, Begin now to detest them.

Din. Will you end yet

Cler. And I have heard that some of our late Kings, For the lie, wearing of a Mistris favour, A cheat at Cards or Dice, and such like causes, Have lost as many gallant Gentlemen, As might have met the great Turk in the field With confidence of a glorious Victorie, And shall we then

Din. No more, for shame no more, Are you become a Patron too? 'tis a new one, No more on't, burn't, give it to some Orator, To help him to enlarge his exercise, With such a one it might do well, and profit The Curat of the Parish, but for Cleremont , The bold, and undertaking Cleremont , To talk thus to his friend, his friend that knows him, Dinant that knows his Cleremont , is absurd, And meer Apocrypha.

Cler. Why, what know you of me?

Din. Why if thou hast forgot thy self, I'le tell thee, And not look back, to speak of what thou wert At fifteen, for at those years I have heard Thou wast flesh'd, and enter'd bravely.

Cler. Well Sir, well.

Din. But yesterday, thou wast the common second, Of all that only knew thee, thou hadst bills Set up on every post, to give thee notice Where any difference was, and who were parties; And as to save the charges of the Law Poor men seek arbitrators, thou wert chosen By such as knew thee not, to compound quarrels: But thou wert so delighted with the sport, That if there were no just cause, thou wouldst make one, Or be engag'd thy self: This goodly calling Thou hast followed five and twenty years, and studied The Criticismes of contentions, and art thou In so few hours transform'd? certain this night Thou hast had strange dreams, or rather visions.

Clere. Yes, Sir, I have seen fools, and fighters, chain'd together, And the Fighters had the upper hand, and whipt first, The poor Sots laughing at 'em... Continue reading book >>

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