But tell me, is he angry or displeased? It should seem so, for he is wondrous sad. Stay, Adam, stay; thou wert wont to be my friend. Ask Mosbie how I have incurred his wrath; Bear him from me these pair of silver dice, With which we played for kisses many a time, And when I lost, I won, and so did he;— Such winning and such losing Jove send me!

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Earlier, in , there had been a royal progress to Faversham Ogburn and Ogburn , Since Arden supposedly started appearing in late s performances, it has been often assigned to Kyd out of Stratfordian desperation Clark But Clark lays out dozens of pages of verbal and stylistic parallels between Arden and canonical Shakespeare plays Clark Through "servile flattery and fawning" to a nobleman i.

Shall on the bed which he thinks to defile See his dissevered joints and sinews torn, Whilst on the planchers pants his weary body, Smeared in the channels of his lustful blood. But such aubade sentiments have been short-circuited since Alice called out to Mosby in her sleep, says Arden.

Alice dismisses this. Arden, like Iago speaking to Othello about Cassio, claims Alice then embraced him about the neck. Alice says the dream came from some mention of Mosby the previous night. Alice doth protest too much: "Ay me! Arden and Franklin go down to the quay for the unloading of certain goods. Alice soliloquizes about "Sweet Mosby [as] the man that hath my heart" i. Adam from the Flower-de-Luce tavern brings word from Mosby that Alice is not to visit him, but she is confused and determined, and she sends a pair of silver dice which they used to play for kisses: "And when I lost I won, and so did he" i.

She sends Adam to tell Mosby to come by this morning. Michael will somehow get rid of his elder brother to have the family farm in Bolton. Mosby arrives but wants to break it off with Alice. She pitches a fit: "Is this the end of all thy solemn oaths? She accuses him of getting her love and commitment to murder through "witchcraft and mere sorcery" i. Mosby tells Alice he was just attempting "To try thy constancy" i. He has a plan: Clarke will paint a poisoned portrait to kill Arden.

Alice thinks too much could go wrong. Clarke arrives and eloquently confirms the deal whereby Mosby will allow Clarke to marry his sister Susan. Alice says that if she could have an affair with Mosby without consequences, Arden would not have to die, but whatever.

Arden and Franklin return. Arden agrees to be friends, saying that the lewd gossip of others got to him. Franklin thinks that Mosby should stay away, but Arden says that he should visit more often to show that all is aboveboard.

Alice brings breakfast and Mosby turns it down. Alice throws the dish to the ground and defensively acts offended by his constant suspicions. Arden calms her and she pretends to desire his speedy return from London.

Nevertheless, while Arden lives, Mosby will back off. Alice considers hiring a London alehouse ruffian to murder Arden for gold. Mosby ducks out when Greene arrives hoping to see Arden with a question about the land transfer.

Alice tells him that even his small claim is void now, and Greene swears vengeance. Alice tells him that she is an abused wife, and Greene is appalled. Confirming with him that he means business, Alice gives him ten pounds to hire someone to kill Arden.

Mosby and Clarke return, and Alice hints that Mosby will be pleased. She sends Clarke to Susan, assuring him that Michael is out of her favor. She reports to Mosby about the Greene deal. Mosby is worried that so many acquaintances know of their murderous wishes. Clarke and Susan enter, happy and sworn to each other. Mosby now wants Clarke to create a poisoned crucifix he once said he could make. Clarke explains how he protects himself when working in poisons: closely fastened spectacles, a leaf in his nose, rhubarb to cut the smell.

Mosby will have his crucifix within ten days. Heck of a first scene, eh? Is the choice of names for these scummy killers intended as a "practical joke against Will Shakspere" Farina ? Bradshaw knows the vile rogue Black Will from his soldier days in Boulogne. The other must be a knave to be keeping such company. Black Will recognizes Bradshaw and sneers at his uppity attitude of not wanting to associate with him now -- not like the old days when he "stole the half ox from John the victualler" and shared it with his friends ii.

Bradshaw explains his trouble: he is accused of the theft of some plate belonging to Lord Cheiny. Someone sold it at his shop, claiming to serve Sir Antony Cooke. He describes the man to Black Will, who, in consultation with Shakebag, fingers Jack Fitten, currently in Newgate Prison for horse theft.

Bradshaw is thankful and, after Greene gives him a letter for Alice, he departs. Greene introduces his own business: hiring them for twenty "angels" gold coins worth about 10 shillings. Black Will wistfully wishes that murder were a legitimate occupation he might enjoy year-round. Ah, Mistress Susan, abolish that paltry painter, cut him off by the shins with a frowning look of your crabbed countenance, and think upon Michael, who, drunk with the dregs of your favour, will cleave as fast to your love as a plaster of pitch to a galled horseback.

He signs it "Yours, Michael, or else not Michael" iii. Franklin is more measured in his disapproval than Arden, who includes this latest would-be wooer in "A crew of harlots, all in love" iii. He intends to fire Susan when he returns home.

He scurries away. The two knaves anticipate the cash. Greene returns and asks why Arden is still alive. Michael volunteers to leave the Aldersgate doors unlocked and instructs them on the lay-out of the residence.

Black Will, Shakebag, and Greene go off to drink. Franklin offers the comforting assurance that either "She will amend" iv. A troubled Michael, mostly afraid of the wrath of Black Will, cries out and tells the men he dreamt of murderous thieves. Arden discovers that the doors have not been locked. All go to bed. SCENE v Shakebag has a Macbethian moment: Black night hath hid the pleasures of the day, And sheeting darkness overhangs the earth And with the black fold of her cloudy robe Obscures us from the eyesight of the world, In which sweet silence such as we triumph.

The lazy minutes linger on their time, Loth to give due audit to the hour, Till in the watch our purpose be complete, And Arden sent to everlasting night. Black Will has mild Macbethism too: "I tell thee, Shakebag, would this thing were done" v. When they find the doors locked, Will vows bloody vengeance against Michael. They go to find Greene now and, at the nearby pub, stake out the house until Michael emerges tomorrow.

The two will dine and then return to Faversham.


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Arden, cheer up thy spirits, and droop no more My gracious lord, the duke of somerset, Hath freely given to thee and to thy heirs, By letters patent from his majesty, All the lands of the abbey of feversham. Read them, and leave this melancholy mood. Franklin, thy love prolongs my weary life; And but for thee how odious were this life, That shows me nothing but torments my soul, And those foul objects that offend mine eyes, Which makes me wish that for this vale of heaven The earth hung over my head and covered me. Love letters past twixt Mosbie and my wife, And they have privy meetings in the town: Nay, on his finger did I spy the ring Which at our marriage-day the priest put on. Can any grief be half so great as this? Comfort thyself, sweet friend; it is not strange That women will be false and wavering. Ay, but to dote on such a one as he Is monstrous, Franklin, and intolerable.



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