(author or reviser?)
THE KNAVE IN GRAIN NEW VAMPED
(Revision of MULL SACK, or
THE LOOKING GLASS, or
THE BACHELOR, or
(Revision of a 1625 play?)
a synoptic, alphabetical character list
Only mentioned by Valentius. Valentius says he could play the madman "so
well as Aesop could discharge his scene."
A Venetian senator, father of Antonio. Arbaces is devastated when Antonio
is killed (as he thinks) by Fransiscus, and seeks revenge on Cornelia's
family, whom he blames. With Julio's help, he finds Fransiscus and has him
arrested. But the truth is revealed in court, and Arbaces makes up with
Cornelia's family and Fransiscus.
Antonio is the son of Arbaces, friend of the gallants Lodowick, Valentius
and Tomazo, and beloved of Phemone. Julio tricks Fransiscus into believing
that Antonio is having an affair with Fransiscus's wife, so Fransiscus
stabs him to death (or so he thinks). He is nursed to recovery by an old
Shepherd. Disguised as a shepherd, he meets Cornelia and Phemone, also
disguised. He recognizes them, and engages in a pastoral dialogue without
revealing his identity, then invites them for hospitality in his cave. He,
Cornelia, Phemone and the Shepherd dramatically return to Venice at the
crucial moment in the trial of Fransiscus. Julio is punished, and
Fransiscus and Antonio make friends again.
Julio's Barber unknowingly helps Julio gull the Mercer's Man. Julio tells
the Barber that the Mercer's Man has come in search of treatment for a venereal disease and is too shy to admit it. Confusion ensues.
Julio's contrite return to the court is heralded by a large number of boys
The Bread and Meat Man begs for charity bread and meat to feed the
prisoners in jail. Julio buys all his stock and uses it to gull the
gallants into thinking they have eaten a great meal.
Chrisippus is the father of Cornelia. When her husband, Fransiscus, stabs
Antonio, Chrisippus assumes that the rumors about Cornelia and Antonio are
true, and disowns her. The truth is revealed in the final scene, and the
family is reunited.
Clariflora is called Dulciflora at the beginning of the play; this is
presumably a printing error. She is a whore, beloved of Stultissimo, whom
Cornelia is the wife of Fransiscus. Julio spreads evil rumors that she is
having an affair with Antonio. When Fransiscus stabs Antonio, everyone
assumes that the rumors are true, and her father disowns her. Cornelia and
Phemone disguise as shepherds. They meet Antonio (he recognizes them but
not they him), and go to his cave. She, Antonio, Phemone and the Shepherd
dramatically return to Venice at the crucial moment in the trial of
Fransiscus. When Julio is punished for his lies, Fransiscus is reunited
with his wife.
A "ghost character." Father of Vanderman's wife.
During Julio's trial, a Country Fellow challenges anyone to cheat from him
a coin that he is keeping in his mouth. Julio 'accidentally' drops some
small change before the Country Fellow, then says he can't find a twenty
shilling piece that he had. He then persuades a Sergeant that the County
Fellow has something in his mouth. When the coin is extracted Julio
announces that he should not be punished when such a blatant cheater is
Two countrymen complain that they have lost their horse and a load of hay
(Julio has stolen them to make his appeal to the court from the back of a
A "grave doctor" is in serious conversation with a Gentleman. Julio tricks
him into telling the Sergeants that Julio is an honest man.
Usually referred to as "Doctor," Vanderman is a curer of madmen, and runs a
lunatic asylum. Valentius loves his wife, and disguises as a madman in
order to meet with her. Vanderman is taken in by Valentius' pretence of
madness. But he is warned by Fub that the madman and his Wife are together.
He upbraids his wife, but when Valentius' friends turn up to collect him,
and Valentius pretends to have been 'cured', Vanderman goes mad. Vanderman
wails to the Duke, but to no avail, and ends up resigned to a being the
subject of a skimmington; the Duke orders Valentius to pay for Vanderman's
WIFE, DOCTOR VANDERMAN'S
Vanderman's wife is lusted after by Valentius, who disguises as a madman to
get access to her. Fub sees them together and warns Vanderman.
The drawer in the Julio's leaguer.
DUKE of VENICE
The Duke oversees the trial of Fransiscus, and administers punishment to
Julio. He delivers the epilogue at the end.
Clariflora is called Dulciflora at the beginning of the play.
Only mentioned by Julio, who says that he'd try to defeat Antonio, even if
he were as dear as Nisus to Euralius.
A fiddler plays a song to the gallants in Julio's leaguer. The section in
which he appears is believed to have been marked for deletion in the copy
text for the Quarto.
Fransiscus is a merchant of Venice. A former fellow student of Julio's, he
helps Julio financially on the latter's return to Venice. He idolizes his
wife, Cornelia, and his admired by his father-in-law, Chrisippus. But Julio
tricks Fransiscus into believing that Cornelia is having an affair with
Antonio. Franciscus finds Antonio and stabs him to death (or so he thinks).
He then disguises himself and although afraid for his life returns to the
city. There, he meets Julio, who pretends to be friendly, but is in fact
plotting to betray Fransiscus and claim the bounty on his head. Fransiscus
is arrested and brought to trial before the Duke of Venice, and, to his
astonishment, Julio acts as witness for the prosecution. But at the last
minute Antonio, Cornelia and Phemone enter; Fransiscus explains to the
court how Julio had tricked them all, and Antonio supports him. Julio is
punished, and Fransiscus and Antonio make friends again.
Fubis Stultissimo's man. He delivers Stultissimo's poem to Dulciflora;
Lodowick reads it out and they all laugh at it. Fub warns the Doctor that
his Wife is up to something with Valentius. This done, the gallants go off
to the Leaguer, and get so drunk that Julio tricks them into thinking they
have eaten a banquet.
A Gentleman converses with the Doctor whom Julio tricks into speaking a
good word for him.
A hermit is listed as accompanying the shepherd who cares for Antonio, but
he says and does nothing.
Fransiscus calls Julio "Joretzo" at one point; perhaps this is his real
Julio is the eponymous knave. After being banished for his father's
treachery, Julio returns to Venice. He pretends to be poor, and his old
friend Fransiscus gives him money. He then shows Lodowick a box of gold and
tricks him into lending him more money by allowing him to keep the box of
gold on his person as long as he promises not to open it. He decides that
the way to riches is to marry Phemone. But she loves Antonio, so Julio
slanders Antonio to Fransiscus, saying Antonio is having an affair with
Fransiscus's wife. But when Fransiscus stabs Antonio, Crissipus, believing
the rumors, blames Cornelia for causing the altercation, and disowns her.
Phemone supports her sister and enters disownment with her. This ruins
Julio's plans. He then learns that the gallants are all coming to his
Leaguer, and that he has no food in stock. Luckily, a Bread and Meat Man
passes, carrying food to the local prisoners, so Julio buys all his scraps,
and spreads them around the drunken gallants, so that when they wake they
think they've eaten a great meal, and pay him for it. Julio then wants to
buy some silk; the Mercer says he'll send his Man over to collect payment
from Julio. Julio directs the Mercer's Man to his Barber, and tells the
Barber that the Mercer's Man has come for treatment of syphilis, but is too
shy to admit it, with hilarious results. He then meets Fransiscus, and
pretends to be friendly, while actually plotting to betray Fransiscus and
claim the bounty on his head. He is accosted by two sergeants sent by
Lodowick, Tomazo and Stultissimo, but he tricks a Doctor of religion into
supporting his good name and is released. Then he helps Arbaces arrest
Fransiscus. At Fransiscus's trial, he acts as witness for the prosecution,
to Fransiscus' astonishment. But at the last minute Antonio, Cornelia and
Phemone enter; Fransiscus explains to the court how Julio had tricked them
all, and Antonio supports him. The Duke orders Julio to be branded with the
word "knave" on his brow. Julio leaves, but then returns on a cart, and
gulls a Country Fellow into looking like a worse cheat than he is. He then
delivers and epilogue that suggests that everyone is a cheat.
A "ghost character." Lamunes plotted with Julio's father to burn the city.
Lodowick is a gentleman. He vows to help his friend Valentius conquer
Flora. Julio tricks him into lending him money. Lodowick and Tomaso help
Valentius by presenting him to Vanderman as a lunatic. This done, the
gallants go to the Leaguer, and get so drunk that Julio tricks them into
thinking they have eaten a banquet. He, Stultissimo and Lodowick tell the
sergeants to arrest Julio. Julio escapes, but when they later see him with
Arbaces and soldiers, they decide to follow him. They are furious when they
see Fransiscus arrested by Arbaces.
The Mercer tries to sell silk to Julio, but Julio gulls the Mercer's Man.
Sent to meet with Julio to collect payment for some silk. Julio tricks a
Barber into thinking that the Mercer's Man needs treatment for the clap,
but is too shy to ask. Confusion ensues.
Mistress Durable is Clariflora's bawd.
Monkey is Julio's wife; she is sometimes called "Puss." She is in charge of
"Leaguer." At the end, she agrees to marry Stultissimo, although this
plotline is undeveloped.
Only mentioned by Julio, who says that he'd try to defeat Antonio, even if
he were as dear as Nisus to Euralius.
Phemone is Cornelia's sister. Julio wants to marry her for her riches, but
she loves Antonio. When her father disowns Cornelia, Phemone begs to be
disowned with her, and her father angrily agrees. She and Cornelia disguise
as shepherds. They meet Antonio (he recognizes them but not they him), and
go to his cave. She, Antonio, Cornelia and the Shepherd dramatically return
to Venice at the crucial moment in the trial of Fransiscus.
Nickname used for two different characters.
- Used for Mistress Durable;
- Used for Julio's wife, Monkey.
Two Senators sit with the Duke over the trial of Fransiscus.
Two sergeants are told by Tomazo, Lodowick and Stultissimo to arrest Julio.
Julio tricks a learned Doctor into speaking a good word for him, and
A shepherd finds the stabbed Antonio and nurses him back to life. He,
Cornelia, Phemone and Antonio dramatically return to Venice at the crucial
moment in the trial of Fransiscus.
Stultissimo is a foolish old gentleman. He is in love with Clariflora, whom
he thinks is a gentlewoman. He tries to woo her with poems, but they are
dreadful. He tries to get a love potion from Doctor Vanderman, but is
rebuffed. So he and Fub progress to the Leaguer with Lodowick and Tomazo,
and get so drunk that Julio tricks them into thinking they have eaten a
banquet. He then decides to marry Monkey, who agrees, although this
plotline is undeveloped. At the end of the play he is complaining that he
is a cuckold.
Tomazo is a gallant. He accompanies Lodowick everywhere but contributes
nothing to the plot.
Valentius is a gallant. He is in love with Vanderman's wife, and with the
aid of Lodowick disguises as a madman to get access to her at her husband's
lunatic asylum. In the madhouse, Valentius professes his love to the
Doctor's Wife, and she requites it. When the Doctor appears around, he
beats him. But Fub warns the Doctor that Valentius is seeing his wife.
Valentius writes a letter to his friends, telling them to come and rescue
him; they arrive to collect him and he pretends to be "cured." In the final
scene, the Duke orders Valentius to pay for Vanderman's cure for cuckoldry.
Only mentioned by Julio. Julio accuses Fransiscus, who is unconcerned about
Antonio's desires for his wife, of winking like Vulcan.