Sir P. Fearful! Pray you, sir, confirm me,
Were there three porpoises seen above the bridge,
As they give out?

Per. Six, and a sturgeon, sir.

Sir P. I am astonish’d.

Per. Nay, sir, be not so;
I’ll tell you a greater prodigy than these.

Sir P. What should these things portend?

Per. The very day
(Let me be sure) that I put forth from London,
There was a whale discover’d in the river,
As high as Woolwich, that had waited there,
Few know how many months, for the subversion
Of the Stode fleet.

Sir P. Is’t possible? believe it,
’Twas either sent from Spain, or the archdukes:
Spinola’s whale, upon my life, my credit!
Will they not leave these projects? Worthy sir,
Some other news.

Per. Faith, Stone the fool is dead,
And they do lack a tavern fool extremely.

Sir P. Is Mass Stone dead?

Per. He’s dead, sir; why, I hope
You thought him not immortal?—O, this knight,
Were he well known, would be a precious thing
To fit our English stage: he that should write
But such a fellow, should be thought to feign
Extremely, if not maliciously.


Sir P. Stone dead!

Per. Dead.—Lord! how deeply, sir, you apprehend it?
He was no kinsman to you?

Sir P. That I know of.
Well! that same fellow was an unknown fool.

Per. And yet you knew him, it seems?

Sir P. I did so. Sir,
I knew him one of the most dangerous heads
Living within the state, and so I held him.

Per. Indeed, sir?

Sir P. While he lived, in action.
He has received weekly intelligence,
Upon my knowledge, out of the Low Countries,
For all parts of the world, in cabbages;
And those dispensed again to ambassadors,
In oranges, musk-melons, apricocks,
Lemons, pome-citrons, and such-like; sometimes
In Colchester oysters, and your Selsey cockles.

Per. You make me wonder.

Sir P. Sir, upon my knowledge.
Nay, I’ve observed him, at your public ordinary,
Take his advertisement from a traveller,
A conceal’d statesman, in a trencher of meat;
And instantly, before the meal was done,
Convey an answer in a tooth-pick.

Per. Strange!
How could this be, sir?

Sir P. Why, the meat was cut
So like his character, and so laid, as he
Must easily read the cipher.

Per. I have heard,
He could not read, sir.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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