Act V


Scene i

(England of the West Saxons - Offa's household) [1]



Enter Mildred and Offa.



Help, help, oh help.



        Your cries will be in vain.

'Tis not in the power of any flesh but yours,

To allay, or to prevent my heat of blood.



O you diviner powers that ordained chastity

To be a virtue, lend your strength to guard it.                                                     5



Thy cries shall be as fruitless as thy life

If thou offend'st me with 'em; hear but this,

Impertinently peevish maid, and tremble

But to conceive a disobedient thought

Against my will. Canst thou without my favour,                                                  10

Be better than a beggar?



   Yet a beggar

Is better than a whore.



 How canst thou judge

That knowst not what is either? Let a wench

That knows what's what, or has been both, maintain it.

But this is from the purpose; I am so far                                                                         15

From casting of thee off to be a beggar,

As I intend to make thee my rich equal,

And not a whore, but wife; you know your nurse

Has undertaken to find it lawful for us

To marry; and canst thou, with modesty,                                                                       20

Deny me present pleasure, that within these three days

Shall confer honour on thee for thy life?



Would you first spoil my honour to repair it?



'Tis mine when I contract for't.



  Not before

Our covenant is passed; that is, the priest                                                                      25

Has joined our hearts and hands.



     By this account,

A man backs [2] not his horse before he's paid for't;

Nor puts his nose into a house before

He buys the lease on't. Leave your precise folly,

Madam formality; force me not to force thee,                                                    30

Yield with that very breath thou now drawest in,

Or it returns thy last.


Enter Edith.



My lord, my lord.



This witch or devil haunts me.



  O my lord,

I told you late a wonder; I bring now

A miracle, a miracle.



           What, with a mischief?                                                   35



Your brother is survived from death again:

My lord Anthynus is come home and safe,

The Heavens be praised.



    O grant that it be true.



Out hag.



   Nay, run me in as far as you

Can if I lie; up to the hilts if I                                                                                          40




        What canst thou mean by this?




What he means I knew not, for he denies his name,

Says he is not Anthynus, but a Northumbrian gentleman;

And desires conference with my lady Mildred

From the fine lord was here (what call you him?),                                                          45

The King's great favourite. But if I am I,

If you are you, if anything be anything,

It is Anthynus.


Exeunt Mildred and Edith.



 Go you to your chamber,

And be not seen, I charge you. Let him enter,

But first send in my servants.                                                                                         50

I did mistrust he lived. O those false villains,

That faced me down they killed him, may they be

A year a famishing. Have you tricks, Anthynus?

How can he think, though he disguised his name

Or country, that we should not know his person?                                                           55

What should his aim or drift be? Stay, perhaps

He does suspect I was in the action

Against my father's life and his, and thinks him dead,

So steals upon me thus as his own ghost,

To terrify my conscience, shallow, shallow.                                                                    60

But I'll so fit him; it is most evidently he.


Enter Osric, Alfrid, four servants, and, at the other door, Arnold.



My lord, howe'er

Some of your servants are pleased to make themselves

Merry with a pretended knowledge of me,

I do presume your honour cannot know me.                                                                  65



From one so false never came clearer truth.



What means your honour?



       It is true, my honour

Cannot, nay, dares not know thee for a brother,

Although mine eyes, through tears of grief and anger,

Discern the monster I have often called so.                                                                    70



This is most strange.



 Look that he come not near me;

Perfidious parricide, hast thou killed my father?

Destroyed the life that gave thee life? And now

Seek'st, by surprise, to take mine too?



 Pray hear me.



Upon him all at once, hew [3] him in pieces,                                                                     75

I'll bear you out in't: he has killed your lord.



Forbear your outrage.



Give us leave to speak.



Villains, are they to be obeyed or I?



My lord, your judgement is too rash upon them.

Fellows forbear, and forbear you my lord,                                                                     80

You shall not so heap blood upon your head.

I loved my lord your father, and do prize

His blood and memory, as becomes a servant

Of the best rank, and, if at most and worst,

My lord Anthynus here stand guilty of                                                                85

His father's death, you must not be his judge,

Nor we his executioners.



     Are you

Become my master, you old ruffian?




Your servant, sir, but subject to the law;

The law that must determine this man's cause,                                                    90

Not you, nor we, whatever he deserves.

And till he shall be censured by that law

We'll find a prison for him.



         Ay, to prison with him.




Will you but hear yet how you are mistaken?



Pray heaven we be, as you may clear yourself;                                                  95

That's all the harm we wish you. This must be

Your course, my lord; would you heap blood upon you?



Let me but speak a word.



     As we go, twenty.



Away with 'em. (Exeunt all except Offa)

I could have liked the other shorter way                                                                        100

Much better; but my knaves will have it thus.

Yet, not to wrong 'em, simple honesty

May be in such sometimes as well as me. (Exit)


Enter a carpenter, a mason, a smith, in devils' habits, carrying two dark lanthorns, [4] a pickaxe, a rope, with an engine [5] fastened to a post, and a bunch of picklocks. [6]



Prithee, tread softly yet a little further, and we are safe.



Hark, heard ye nothing? Whist. [7]                                                                                   105



I never knew thieves so timorous as you are. Can we expect a booty

without boldness? Besides, have we not shapes, if we were spied,

able to fright better believers than my politic lord o' th' house here.



Hark, prithee.



All's sure, I warrant thee.                                                                                              110



I pray it prove so.



Pray on, I prithee; prayers become this coat, like swearing in a surplice. [8]

Tush, [9] they are all, all the whole house asleep, and I heard nothing as

we passed through it, but usual sleepy sounds, puffing and blowing,

snorting, farting and such like. Yes, I cry mercy, as we passed by the                 115

butler's chamber, I heard his bed crackle shrewdly, [10] and I doubt, the

dairymaid and he were jumbling [11] of a posset [12] together. Come, now

we are safely arrived at the fountain of our hopes, the well of comfort.

Smith, lay down your picklocks, they have done well their office in our

passage hither. Mason, advance your pickaxe, whilst the carpenter squares                    120

out our new work; now for the honour of artificers; [13] here, here, here is

the trap-door, [14] the mouth of the rich mine, which we'll make bold to open.

And let men of our occupations learn the way that many grow rich by, and

nobody knows how they come by their wealth. That is, when they make

such concavities [15] as these, for rich men to hide their treasure in, that they         125

make also a privy [16] way for themselves to come and take a share on't.



This covetous lord, by this time, has laid in an unknown deal of wealth, I

warrant you.



But we'll not take away too much at once.



No, we'll but piddle; we'll not take above a thousand pounds [17] tonight.             130

(Opens the trap-door) So, I'll go down, and when I stake the rope, then

crane me up again. Give me one of the lanthorns; so, so, so, let me down

handsomely; I'll warrant you money, the Devil [18] and all, before day yet.

(He is lowered into the cavity)



Nay, if we get off clear but with a thousand pound amongst us, it will

serve for drinking money till we come for more.                                                             135



This money will come luckily for a better purpose. I have three bastards

at nurse and a fourth in the paniers. [19] The rope stirs; pull lustily, this pull

for a thousand pound.


Second outlaw comes up.



I fear 'tis light gold, methinks he does not weigh so heavy as he went

down. Comrade, what hast thou brought? What ail'st thou? Canst not                140

speak? I hope thou wert not frighted.


Second outlaw.

O help! Where am I? Drawn from one hell into another? Ha!



Come, leave your fooling, what money have you?


Second outlaw.

Had I the price of kingdoms I'd give all but for one bit of meat, but I

have none.                                                                                                                    145



'Slid, [20] he would cosen us; how do you look when you lie? Oh me!



What ailest thou?



This is not he; it is a ghastly spirit.


Second outlaw.

What? Are you men?



Yes, but we have played the devils till we have got a spirit betwixt us.                150


Second outlaw.

If you be men, help me to food, a little food.



What art thou that canst look thus pie-pecked, crow-trod, or

sparrow-blasted? [21] Ha!


Second outlaw.

O, I am pined with hunger.



Here, stay thy stomach; there's a crust I brought to stop the open mouth                        155

of the mastiff, if he had flown at us.


Carpenter. (From below)

O pull, pull away.



There he is now I am sure.



I shall be devoured else.



What's the matter, fellow?                                                                                             160



Take his teeth out o' me, I cannot tell you else.


Carpenter is pulled up, Third outlaw hanging on him.



O cannibal! Wilt thou eat a carpenter?


Third outlaw.

O meat, meat, if you be men.



No, we are devils; but here's another crust for thee, whate'er thou art;

we have played the thieves to very good purpose.                                                         165



He has gnawed a piece of my flank out with's teeth; and missed very

narrowly certain members of more moment; [22] they'd have gone down glib [23]

with him; now in the Devil's name, what are ye?



Until their crusts be done, they cannot tell us.



Come, I do suspect the subtlety of this cruel politic lord; would we were                        170

well out on's house. No noise, my masters, and we'll bring you to meat

enough; and then we'll hear your story, and tell our own; a word more here,

may cost all our lives.



Take up your tools and lead the way.


Enter Mildred and Edith.



Come, softly, softly then.                                                                                               175



I will away this night.



Peace, hark.



But madam.



Had you the only tongue of all persuasion, so much I prize my life,

and honour more, I would not miss this opportunity for all that you                                 180

could say.



Are not these sprites?



No evil ones, I'll warrant, they are so white; hark a little more.




Tonight he's troubled 'bout Anthynus coming, so that he will

not think of lust or wantonness.                                                                                     185



That trouble keeps him waking; and I fear will rather spur him

forwards than withhold him.



They talk, methinks, but I cannot hear what for shaking.



Take heed thou dost not jingle thy picklocks; 'slid, they'll ring up

the house like a larum bell. [24]                                                                                         190



Well, since you are so resolute, would we were out of the house,

once, if we be, taken, 'tis not the price of a million of maidenheads,

As the market goes, can save our lives.



Good, I have found what sprites they be: they must needs be the

wenches that I suspected were in the butler's chamber, and made                                  195

the stiff standing bedstead that I set up but last week, crack like a

wicker chair. Ah rogues! I heard ye.



Oh me! We are undone and taken.



I'm glad 'tis no worse.



Peace, if you have a mind to scape out o' th' house alive.                                               200



Come nurse, my fear is over, if they be men, and bring us out o' th'

house, they cannot be so dangerous as he I scaped.



Did he so put thee to't, my little bustlepate? [25] What a stout blade's [26]

this butler?




These are good fellows, nurse.                                                                          205



Yes faith, and fear you nothing for all our devilish outsides; if we

scape out o' the house, you scape, and if we fail, our necks are sure

to hang by't; and so on therefore once more in the name of darkness.


Enter Offa, with light and dagger.


Offa. [27]

If my attempt now fail, may my repulse

Strike lust forever out of countenance.                                                               210

It is decreed she sleeps with me or death.


Second outlaw.

'Sdeath, [28] it is he.


Third outlaw.

  Let us fall to and beat him.



As you can hope for meat again, or life,

Look big, and use no words; and so glide by.



The night, the place, her fate, and my desire,                                                      215

Do all conspire unto my wished advantage.

And so I come, coy damosel. [29] Ha? How?

(The women hide under their habits; exeunt all the others, except Offa.)

Why? Where? Who? Or what can you or I be?

They are all gone, and I am tottering left

Upon an earthquake; gentle, holla, holla, [30]                                                                    220

Set not too hard old, Ops, [31] thou'lt shake thy rider, [32]

Through thy chinky wrinkles into Limbo. [33]

I shall sink piecemeal if thou trot so hard.

So, so, so, holla, holla, gentle earth;

Open not here, not near that part of thee                                                                       225

That has but now disgorged those famished ghosts,

That with the Furies would have beckoned me

Along to Hell with 'em; so, let me down,

I must not follow yet, but sleep and think upon't.

I will come time enough, you need not fear,                                                                   230

But first creep back to bed, as nothing were.


Exit Offa; enter Osric, Ethelswic, Edelbert and Alfrid.



You have told me wonders, which have pierced my soul

With horror and amazement; yet I must confess,

In all that I am like to suffer, Heaven is just,

Whilst wrath, my wilfulness has pulled upon me;                                                            235

Yet pardon, since thou gav'st me that affection

That wandered with me in this oblique course,

This unquoth [34] way, with which I have not strayed

Further than love might lead an human frailty.



You do consider well, my lord, and we                                                                         240

Beseech you strive to countercheck [35] these crosses [36]

Still with your kingly reason.



Yes, and fall

Upon our present business: there you find me

Out of a spacious kingdom of mine own,

Shut in a narrow prison; whilst the brother                                                                     245

Of her, whose love I came to seek, has married

The Queen I might have had, before I have seen

His sister; there was a quick expedition.



My lord, for that before you left the court

In your supposed distraction; the o'er-busy lords,                                                          250

Eaufrid and Theodwald, out of strong conceit

The sight of her would cure you, feigned your letters

Which fetched the Queen; then banished us the court,

Before we could take notice; we had been

Strong traitors else, to let that match go forwards.                                                          255

Nor heard we of it until now the post

That brings the news o' th' King's and Queen's approach,

Arrivèd here in the city.



All think him then their King still?



Yes, yes, and though he told us who he was,                                                                 260

The over-wise lords imputed that to his madness.



It seems he was not so mad, but he could take

The Queen into my bed.



    Where she liked him so well

That she now brings him home unto her own,

Still thinking him your person.



   Whilst I lie here for his,                                              265

Accused of parricide; but I will not

Reveal myself till trial. (Mildred comes out from hiding)

  Now all my sufferings

Are turned into delightful recreations.

Fairest of virgins, welcome. Marvel not

That at first sight I knew you, when my heart                                                     270

Wears the impression of your portraiture,

And all my intellectual faculties

Bow to no other object but your beauty.



O sir, lay by this high dissimulation,

For though I find you now are not my brother -                                                  275



Lo [37] ye, she knows I am not Anthynus.

Her virtue, like the sun, will clear the mist

Of error we were lost in.



     Not Anthynus?

Yes, the bright sun discovers not a truth

More evident than that you are Anthynus,                                                                      280

Nor ever shined on man I loved so well,

Or hoped to marry, since you are not my brother.



I understand not this.



           Indeed I came

To tell you so, and could you clear your hand

Of the foul stain of blood you are accused of.                                                    285

Were I sole monarchess of all this island,

I'd kneel to beg a bride's place in your bed.



If I can clear myself?



            Nay, mark me further:

If you clear not yourself, I'll not outlive you,

To call to mind the man that I so loved                                                              290

Butchered his father; though he were not mine,

I loved him as a father; oh good Heaven!

How good? How reverend a man was he?



Weep not, but hear me; or hear me though you weep;

I am not Anthynus.



        I may say as well,                                                                         295

I do not love you.



      I never had an hand

In blood of any man.



Prove that, I am yours.



Fetch me a priest.



      I saw one i' 'th next room

Drinking and singing catches with some prisoners.


Edith comes out from hiding. [38]



Withhold your hands! Anthynus now again,                                                                   300

Fair lady, is your brother.



      Why did you mock me then?



To save you from your brother Offa's lust,

I feigned that you were not his sister; that

In hope to marry you, he might forbear

His devilish purpose.



Now I am lost forever,                                                  305

In being the daughter of a murdered father,

And made incapable of you in marriage.



Yet hear me, and be comforted.



   O me!



Hark, my lord Anthynus.



      I do not know that name.



Go to, go to; nor you do not remember                                                                         310

How I behaved myself upon the eating of spurging [39]

Comfects, [40] that your brother, Offa, gave me,

And laid the fault on you; pray Jove, I say,

This murder be no more his fault than yours.


A shout within. Enter Keeper. [41]



Hark, the wide world abroad is filled with joy,                                                   315

And must we only be shut from it? Now.



My lord, Anthynus.



         Still must I be Anthynus?



You are called unto your trial.



              Who are my judges?



Those that are bribe-free, I dare warrant 'em.

It may, perhaps, go somewhat the harder with you;                                                        320

For nothing but white innocence can quit you,

Pray heaven you hav't about you; even the King

And Queen, the Queen and King I should have said,

For she's our sovereign, 'tis her law must do it.



What king do you mean then?



  King Osric; you know nothing.                                    325



Yes, I know him as well as he knows himself.



Take heed, sir, what you say.



I fear him not,

But am as good as he; now carry [42] me for something.



O pray, take heed.






         Peace, he did not say so.



'Slid, he's as mad as his brother Offa.                                                                330



Is Offa mad?



O quite besides himself, and talks the strangeliest

Of his father's murder, your running away,

And the desire he has to hang his brother here.

And then, he is haunted with sprites too, they say;                                                          335

You will know all anon; will you go, my lord?



Yes, will you be so kind as to see my trial?



Indeed, I must not leave you.



'Tis a kind part, indeed, and may become

A sister like the wife that would not leave                                                                      340

Her husband till she saw him totter.

Set the best foot forward, and the best face

You can, my lord, upon the business.





Scene ii [43]

(England of the West Saxons - the court)



Enter Theodwald and Eaufrid, Celeric, Elkwin, Theodric, Anthynus and

Bertha, to the musical accompaniment of hautboys.



Long live King Osric and Queen Bertha.



I join with ye in your wishes for the Queen,

And wish well to King Osric, as a stranger.



How's this?



         But will no longer personate him,

For now be it known to you that I am no Osric,                                                             5

But he that warns you call me so no more.



What means my love?



 Nay, madam, 'tis most serious.


Celeric and Elkwin.

Bless us!



    He's madder now than e'er he was.



I am at my wits' end too; if marriage

Will not tame him, I know not what to say to't.                                                  10



I have told you truth, and your fair grace can witness

How violently I was thrown upon the fortune,

I thank those provident lords, against my vow.



I take it as the providence of Heaven,

And from the son of that most injured father,                                                     15

Whom now, in my joys strength, I could shed tears for.

I yield you are my head, and I your handmaid.

(Bertha sets Anthynus down, [44] and kneels; he takes her up)



So, so, a few nights' trial has got her liking

Forever fast enough: what notable old cockscombs [45]

Have we been made? Nay, made ourselves, indeed.                                                      20



Now further know, my lords, I am Anthynus,

The son of that old honest lord, 'gainst whom

Your sulphurous malice kindled the Queen's anger.


Elkwin. (Aside)

Who'll have an head now for an halfpenny?


Celeric. (Aside)

And, for tother two tokens, [46] mine into the bargain.                                          25


Enter the keeper, with Osric, Ethelswic, Edith, Alfrid, Edelbert and a guard.



Make way there for the prisoner.



See King Osric.



    Ay, this is our King, indeed.



O let me wash your feet, sir, with my tears.



Thy trespass is thine honour, my Theodric,

And I must thank your care, my lords, as it deserves:                                         30

Your overreaching care, to give my dignity

As much as in you lay unto another,

And for your letters counterfeit in my name,

By which the Queen is mocked into a marriage.



That was your policy, your wit, my lord.                                                                        35



A shame on't; would I were hanged, that I

Might hear no more on't.



Fair sir, the Queen is pleased, and hopes you are

In her that's so much fairer in your thoughts.



My sister, Mildred.



        Yes, my noble brother,                                                                 40

She stands in fortune equal with yourself,

In being mine.



But not great, sir, until

You are acquitted of my father's murder.



I am clear of that, as I am not Anthynus.

Anthynus is accused, not Osric, sir;                                                                               45

Your father is required at your hands.







But his accuser reads another lesson

Now, madam.


Offa brought bound in a chair.



Whither do you hurry me?

If I must answer't, give me yet some time,

To make provision of befitting presents,                                                                         50

To supply the hard hands of my stern judges,

Into a tender feeling of my cause:

I know what Aeacus loves, what Minos likes,

And what will make grave Rhadamanthus run. [47]



He is distracted.



   Yes, and speaks heinous things                                                          55

Against himself, both of my lord's murder,

And an intended rape against his sister.



Incestuous monster!



          Hark, how the devil lies;

I have no sister.



   How he's possessed

Of that strange error, I must satisfy you:                                                                       60

That was merely feigned by me to save her honour

From his outrageous lust.



      But here comes that

Clears all at once. Welcome, my honoured lords.


Enter Segebert, Alberto, Jeffrey and First outlaw.



A boon, a boon, my gracious liege.



Hold your peace, fool.                                                                                      65


Segebert. (To Osric)

My son Anthynus, living?



You are my father in your daughter's right.



My blessing on my girl.



But see Anthynus at a greater height.



My father.



      And my father, noble sir.                                                                             70

Your pardon, and forever welcome.



If this were real now, and not a dream!


Jeffrey. (To Anthynus)

Come, leave your fooling, hear a wise man speak:

Great King, according unto thy behest,

With knights, adventurers, I went in quest,                                                                     75

Through the woods and forests wild

To scour the dens of outlaws vild; [48]

Whence these old men, this knave [49] I bring,

Together with this starveling, [50]

Whom I present not dead, but quick, [51]                                                             80

Unto thy grace, King Osric.



Look this way, fool; this is King Osric, man.



Whose fool am I then?






And mine.











         Whoop, hold a little, best let me be

Everybody's fool round about the house.                                                                       85

But amongst you all, let me not lose reward;

I must not fool for nought; the times are hard.



Still the fool's covetous.



I owe thee a just reward, for I proclaimed

To him that brought this man [52] alive or dead                                                     90

A thousand crowns; but since thou art so fortunate

To bring him home alive and well recovered

Out of such danger—



I shall have nothing, shall I?



           I'll double

Thy reward: give thee two thousand crowns.                                                     95



It is enough, in conscience; who bids more?

For till you are out-bidden, I'll be your fool.

(To Theodric) But can you tell whose favourite you are then?



Where I was first, I'll ever wish to be.



And I'll be thine, Theodric; for thou in this                                                                      100

Hast, above favour, shown me unto bliss.



I have performed your Majesty's command,

Though not in sending, yet in bringing home

My banished friend, Lord Alberto, the preserver

Of my now happy life. [53]                                                                                               105



It shall be to his honour; welcome, Alberto.


First outlaw.

Oh what an heavenly smell of meat is here!


Segebert. (To Offa)

All the unhappiness, I now can see,

Is but an argument of tears for thee,

In whom I'm justly punished.



Take him hence,                                                           110

From my grievèd father's sight.



   And pray let care

Be had for his recovery; his senses may

Bring a new soul into him, for which I pray.



What am I freed?



     Yes, yes, my lord, all's well.



I knew my bribes would do it.                                                                           115



I'll off with him, for 'tis unknown to you

What good a fool may on a madman do.


Exeunt Arnold, Offa and Jeffrey.



This sword was evidence enough against him,

But here's one of the outlaws that confessed it.

For whom, since he is penitent, I beg pardon.                                                    120



The other two, his fellows, are both extant. [54]

For whom, together with three thievish workmen

That were strong instruments in my delivery,

Let me beg mercy.



I have heard of them that robbed my brother's                                                   125

Jewel-house. 'Tis a day of grace, and we

Are taught by Heaven's abundant mercy,

Shown upon us beyond our expectation,

To imitate that goodness.



        I forgive

All, on my part.



 I pardon all, on mine.                                                               130



And now, right royal sir, let me entreat

For former love, to make our last complete:

You will be pleased a month with us to stay,

In triumphs, to commemorate this day.



Next to my sum of happiness, my bride,                                                                        135

I should have sought that honour, royal sister.



Thus, through tempestuous sighs and showers of tears,

Joy, at the last, more cheerfully appears.




Deus dedit his quoque finem. [55]




[1] The scene takes place where Offa is living, and where the outlaws are imprisoned.

[2] backs] mounts.

[3] hew] 'To strike, or deal blows, with a cutting weapon' (OED 1.a).

[4] lanthorns] lanterns.

[5] engine] a machine, mechanical device.

[6] picklocks] 'picklock': 'an instrument for picking locks' (OED 2).

[7] Whist] 'Hush'.

[8] surplice] 'A loose vestment of white linen having wide sleeves and, in its amplest form, reaching to the feet, worn (usually over a cassock) by clerics, choristers, and others taking part in church services' (OED).

[9] Tush] 'An exclamation of impatient contempt or disparagement' (OED).

[10] shrewdly] sharply.

[11] jumbling] 'jumble': 'to stir up (a liquid, etc.) so as to mix the ingredients, or render turbid; to agitate, shake up, give a shaking or jolting to' (OED 3), or, more appropriately for the butler's bed, 'to have carnal intercourse' (OED 6.a).

[12] posset] 'A drink composed of hot milk curdled with ale, wine, or other liquor, often with sugar, spices, or other ingredients; formerly much used as a delicacy, and as a remedy for colds or other affections' (OED 1).

[13] artificers] 'artificer': constructor, maker, manufacturer (OED 3.a), or 'an artful or wily person; a trickster' (OED 6).

[14] trap-door] The trap-door on the early modern stage had 'hellish or bad associations', and was known as the 'hellmouth', cf. Tiffany Stern, Making Shakespeare: From Stage to Page (London: Routledge, 2004), 25-6.

[15] concavities] hollows, cavities.

[16] privy] concealed.

[17] thousand pounds] An anachronistic reference to Caroline currency.

[18] Devil] An appropriate suggestion for a journey into 'the mouth of Hell'.

[19] in the paniers] Presumably, an expression derived from the French for bread-basket (panier), similar to the colloquial expression 'a bun in the oven', meaning his 'mistress' is pregnant.

[20] 'Slid] 'God's eyelid'; a form of swearing.

[21] pie-pecked, crow-trod, or sparrow-blasted] 'pie-pecked': 'pecked by a magpie' with connotations similar to the other expressions; 'crow-trod': 'subjected to ignominious treatment, abuse' (OED); 'sparrow-blasted': 'balefully stricken or blighted; thunderstruck, dumbfounded' (OED).

[22] certain members of more moment] i.e. the carpenter's genitals.

[23] glib] smoothly.

[24] larum bell] A bell to warm of danger; an alarm bell.

[25] bustlepate] '? A bustling person' (OED).

[26] blade's] 'blade': 'a gallant, a free-and-easy fellow, a good fellow; ‘fellow’, generally familiarly laudatory, sometimes good-naturedly contemptuous' (OED 11.a).

[27] Offa's entrance signals a return to verse.

[28] 'Sdeath] 'God's death'; a form of swearing.

[29] damosel] damsel.

[30] holla, holla] 'stop', 'cease'.

[31] Ops] An earth goddess.

[32] shake thy rider] Offa is, perhaps, playing the part of the gallant knight on horseback to Mildred's 'damsel'; he is also, possibly, showing the effects of drinking or derangement.

[33] Limbo] Hell or the region bordering Hell (OED 1.a, c): Offa is clearly in danger of falling into his own dungeon.

[34] unquoth] uncouth (OED): in the sense of 'unfamiliar' (OED 2).

[35] countercheck] 'rebuke' (OED 1), or 'arrest by counteraction' (OED 2).

[36] crosses] 'cross': 'a trial or affliction viewed in its Christian aspect, to be borne for Christ's sake with Christian patience (OED 10.a), or 'in a general sense: a trouble, vexation, annoyance; misfortune, adversity; sometimes (under the influence of the verb) anything that thwarts or crosses' (OED 10.b).

[37] Lo] 'Look': 'an interjection used to direct attention to what is about to be (or has been) said' (OED b).

[38] Although not in the quarto, this stage direction is necessary; Edith may have come out from hiding with Mildred, but her sudden interjection is consistent with a sudden appearance at this point.

[39] spurging] purging; purgative (OED 2).

[40] Comfects] variant of 'confect': 'a sweetmeat made of fruit, seed, etc., preserved in sugar; a comfit' (OED).

[41] Keeper] The keeper of the prison.

[42] carry] 'To take by force, as a prisoner or captive' (OED 5.b).

[43] This scene division is not in the quarto, but is clearly necessary; the stage has cleared and the new setting, of the court, is more appropriate to the presentation of a king and queen.

[44] sets Anthynus down] invites Anthynus to kneel; he obliges.

[45] cockscombs] conceited fools; fops (OED 4).

[46] tokens] 'token': 'a stamped piece of metal, often having the general appearance of a coin, issued as a medium of exchange by a private person or company, who engage to take it back at its nominal value, giving goods or legal currency for it'; 'from the reign of Queen Elizabeth to 1813, issued by tradesmen, large employers of labour, etc., to remedy the scarcity of small coin' (OED 11.a).

[47] Aeacus, Minos and Rhadamanthus] From Greek mythology, they are the rulers of Aegina, Crete and islands in the southern Aegean, respectively, who became the judges of the souls of the dead in Hades; Minos and Rhadamanthus are brothers, and all are sons of Zeus; cf. Jenny March, Cassell's Dictionary of Classical Mythology (London: Cassell, 1998, reprint 2001).

[48] vild] variant of 'vile' (OED b).

[49] knave] Segebert.

[50] starveling] Alberto; the outlaw who enters with Jeffrey is presented by Segebert later (l. 119), and is therefore taken as not included among the 'old men' presented by Jeffrey, despite being hungry for food (l. 107).

[51] quick] alive.

[52] this man] Segebert.

[53] the preserver / Of my now happy life] This would seem to suggest that Alberto and the Hermit (or his servant) are one and the same person, despite having separate entries in 'The Persons in the Play'.

[54] extant] 'Existing so as to be publicly seen, found, or got at; accessible, get-at-able' (OED 3).

[55] Deus dedit his quoque finem] Latin: 'God granted an end to these things as well'; as Matthew Steggle notes, this is 'an adaptation of a line from the Aeneid', and is 'characteristic of' Brome, also appearing at the end of The New Academy, The Queen and Concubine, and Time's Distractions (the latter being dramatic writings, of contested authorship, more strongly associated with Brome because of this Latin explicit); cf. Matthew Steggle, Richard Brome: Place and Politics on the Caroline Stage (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004), 178-82.