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ThePersons of the Play
CORBACCIOan old gentleman
BONARIOson to Corbaccio
SIRPOLITIC WOULD-BEa knight
PEREGRINEa gentleman traveler
COMMENDATORIofficers of justice
LADYWOULD-BESIR POLITIC’S Wife
THE SCENEVenice TheArgument Volponechildlessrichfeigns sickdespairsOffershis state to hopes of several heirsLieslanguishing; his parasite receivesPresentsof allassuresdeludes; then weavesOthercross plotswhich ope themselvesare told.Newtricks for safety are sought; they thrive: when boldEachtempts the other againand all are sold. Act 1
Scene 1.1A room in Volpone’s house
[EnterVolpone and Mosca]
Goodmorning to the Day; andnextmy Gold:
Open theshrinethat I may see my Saint.
[MOSCAwithdraws the curtainand discovers piles of goldplatejewels&c.]
Hayle theworlds souleand mine. More glad then is
Theteeming earthto see the longd-for Sunne
Peepethrough the hornes of the Cælestiall Ram
Am Itoview thy splendordarkening his:
That lyinghereamongst my other hoordes
Shew'stlike a flameby night; or like the Day
Strookeout of Chaoswhen all darkenes fled
Unto thecenter. O thou Son of Sol
(Butbrighter then thy father) let me kisse
Withadorationtheeand euery relique
Of sacredtreasurein this blessed roome.
Well didwise Poetsby thy glorious name
Title thatagewhich they would have the best;
Thou beingthe best of things: and far transcending
All stileof ioyin childrenparentsfriends
Or anyother waking dreame on earth.
Thy lookeswhen they to Venus did ascribe
Theyshould have given her twenty thousand Cupids;
Such arethy beautiesand our loves. Deare Saint
Richesthe dombe Godthat giu'st all men tongues;
That canstdo naughtand yet mak'st men do all things;
The priceof soules; euen hellwith thee to boote
Is madeworth heauen. Thou art vertuefame
Honorandall things else. Who can get thee
He shallbe noblevalianthonestwise--
And whathe will Sir. Riches are in fortune
A greatergoodthen wisedome is in nature.
Truemybeloved Mosca. YetI glory
More inthe cunning purchasse of my wealth
Then inthe glad possession; since I gaine
No cowmonway: I vse no tradeno venter;
I wound noearth with plow-shares; fat no beasts
To feedethe Shambles; have no mills for iron
Oylecorneor mento grinde them into poulder;
I blow nosubtill glasse; expose no shipps
Tothreatnings of the furrow-faced sea;
I turne nomoneysin the publike banke;
No Sirnor deuoure
Softprodigalls. You shall have some will swallow
A meltingheireas gliblyas your Dutch
Will pillsof butterand ne're purge for it;
Teareforth the fathers of poore families
Out oftheir bedsand coffin them aliue
In somekindeclasping prisonwhere their bones
May beforth-commingwhen the flesh is rotten:
But yoursweet nature doth abhorre these courses;
You loaththe widdowesor the orphans teares
Shouldwashe your pauements; or their pityous cries
Ring inyour roofes: and beate the ayrefor vengeance.
RightMoscaI do loath it.
You arenot like a thresherthat doth stand
With ahuge flailewatching a heape of corne
Andhungrydares not taste the smallest graine
But feedeson mallowesand such bitter herbes;
Nor likethe merchantwho hath fill'd his vaults
WithRomagniaand rich Candian wines
Yet drinksthe lees of Lombards vineger:
You willnot lie in strawwhilst mothesand wormes
Feed onyour sumptuous hangingsand soft bedds.
You knowthe vse of richesand dare givenow
From thatbright heapeto meyour poore obseruer
Or to yourDwarfeor your Hermaphrodite
YourEunuchor what other houshold-trifle
Yourpleasure allowes maint'nance.
Take of myhand; thou strik'st on truthin all:
And theyare enuiousterme thee Parasite.
Call forthmy Dwarfemy Eunuchand my Foole
And letthem make me sport. What should I do
But cockerup my Geniusand liue free
To alldelightsmy fortune calls me too?
I have nowifeno parentchildeallye
To give mysubstance too; but whome I make
Must be myheyre: and this makes men obserue me
Thisdrawes new clientsdaylyto my house
Womenandmenof euery sexeand age
That bringme presentssend me platecoyneiewels
With hopethat when I die(which they expect
Eachgreedy minute) it shall then returne
Ten-foldupon them; whilst somecouetous
Aboue therestseeke to engrosse mewhole
Andcounter-workethe oneunto the other
Contend ingiftsas they would seemein love:
All whichI sufferplaying with their hopes
And amcontent to coyne them into profit
To lookeupon their kindnesseand take more
And lookeon that; stillbearing them in hand
Lettingthe cherry knock against their lips
Anddraweitby their mouthsand back againe. How now!
Scene 1.2[EnterMOSCA with NANOANDROGYNOand CASTRONE]
Nano:Nowroomefor fresh Gamsterswho do will you to knowThey dobring you neither Playnor Vniuersity Show; Andtherefore do intreat youthat whatsoeuer they reherseMay notfare a whit the worsefor the false pase of the verse. If youwonder at thisyou will wonder moreere we passeForknowhere is inclos'd the Soule of PithagorasThatIugler divineas hereafter shall follow; WhichSoule (fastand loosesir) came first from ApolloAnd wasbreath'd into A Ethalides; Mercurius his sonWhereit had the gift to remember all that euer was done. Fromthence it fled forthand made quicke transmigration Togoldy-lockt Euphorbuswho was kill'din good fashionAt theseege of old Troyby the Cuckold of Sparta. Hermotimuswas next (I finde itin my Charta') To whomit did passewhere no sooner it was missingButwith one Pirrhusof Delosit learn'd to go a fishing: Andthencedid it enter the Sophist of Greece. FromPithagoreshe went into a beautifull peeceHightAspasiathe Meretrix; and the next tosse of her Wasagaineof a Whoreshe became a PhilosopherCratesthe Cynick: (as it selfe doth relate it) SinceKingsKnightsand BeggarsKnauesLords and Fooles gat itBesidesOxeand AssecammelMuleGoatand BrockIn allwhich it hath spokeas in the Coblers Cock. But Icome not hereto discourse of that matterOr hisOneTwoor Threeor his greath Oathby QuaterHisMusickshis Trigonhis golden ThighOr histelling how Elements shift: but I Wouldaskehow of latethou best suffered translationAndshifted thy coatin these dayes of Reformation?
Androgyno:Likeone of the Reformeda Fooleas you seeCountingall old Doctrine heresie:
Nano:But noton thine own forbid meates hast thou venter'd?
Androgyno:Onfishwhen firsta Carthusian I enter'd.
Nano:Whythen thy dogmaticall Silence hath left thee?
Androgyno:Of thatan obstreperous Lawyer bereft me.
Nano:Owonderfull change! when Sir Lawyer forsooke theeForPithagore's sakewhat body then tooke thee?
A gooddull Moyle.
Nano:Andhow?: by that meanesThouwert brought to allow of the eating of Beanes?
Nano:Butfrom the Moyleinto whome didst thou passe?
Androgyno:Into avery strange Beastby some Writers cal'd an Asse; Byothersa precisepureilluminate BrotherOfthose deuoure fleshand sometimes one an other: Andwill drop you forth a libellor a sanctified lieBetwixteuery spooneful of a Natiuity Pie.
Nano:Nowquit theefor Heauenof that profane nation; Andgentlyreport thy next transmigration.
Androgyno:To thesame that I am.
Nano:ACreature of delight? And(what is more then a Foole) an Hermaphrodite? Now'pray theesweete Soulein all thy variationWhichBody wouldst thou chooseto take up thy station?
Androgyno:Troththis I am ineuen here would I tarry.
Nano:Becauseherethe delight of each Sexe thou canst varie?
Androgyno:Alasthose pleasures be staleand forsaken; Noitis your Foolewherewith I am so takenTheonely one Creaturethat I can call blessed: For allother formes I have prou'd most distressed.
Nano:Spoketrueas thou wert in Pithagoras still. Thislearned opinion we celebrate willFellowEunuch (as behooues us) with all our witand arteTodignifie thatwhereof our selues are so greatand special a part.
Now veryvery pretty: Moscathis
If itplease my Patron
It dothgood Mosca.
[NANOand CASTRONE sing]
Foolesthey are the onely Nation Worthmens enuyor admiration; Freefrom careor sorrow-takingThemseluesand others merry making: Allthey speakeor dois sterling. YourFoolehe is your great mans dearlingAndyour Ladies sportand pleasure; Tongueand Bable are his treasure. Hisvery face begetteth laughterAnd hespeakes truthfree from slaughter; He isthe grace of euery feastAndsometimesthe cheefest guest: Hathhis trencherand his stooleWhenwit shall waite upon the Foole: Owhowould not be Hehehe? [Knocking without.]
Who isthat? Away! [Exeunt NANO and CASTRONE]
It isSignior Voltorethe Aduocate
I knowhimby his knock.
Fetch memy gowne
My furresand night-caps; saymy couch is changing:
And lethim intertaine himselfea while
Within inthe gallery. Nownowmy clients
Beginnetheir visitation; VultureKite
Rauenandgor-Croweall my birds of prey
That thinkme turning carcassenow they come:
I am notfor them yet.[Re-enterMOSCAwith the gown&c.]
How now?the newes?
A peece ofplateSir.
Massieand antiquewith your name inscrib'd
GoodAndnot a Foxe
Stretch'don the earthwith fine delusiue sleights
Mocking agaping Crow? haMosca?
Give me myfurres.[Putson his sick dress.]
Why dostthou laugh soman?
I cannotchooseSirwhen I apprehend
Whatthoughts he has (within) nowas he walks:
That thismight be the last gifthe should give;
That thiswould fetch you; if you died to day
And gauehim allwhat he should be to morrow;
What largereturne would come of all his venters;
How heshould worship'd beand reuerenc'd;
Ridewithhis furresand foote-cloths; waited on
By heardsof Foolesand clients; have cleare way
Made forhis moyleas letter'd as himselfe;
Be caldthe greatand learned Aduocate:
And thenconcludesthere is nought impossible.
O no: rich
Impliesit. Hood an assewith reuerend purple
So you canhide his two ambitious eares
Andheshall passe for a cathedrall Doctor.
My capsmy capsgood Moscafetch him in.
StaySiryour ointment for your eyes.
Dispatchdispatch: I long to have possession
Of my newpresent.
I hopetosee you lord of.
And thatwhen I am lost in blended dust
Andhundred suchas I amin succession --
Naythatwere too muchMosca.
Stilltodelude these Harpyeis.
It iswellmy pillow nowand let him enter.[ExitMOSCA]
Nowmyfain'd Coughmy Pthisickand my Goute
Helpewith your forced functionsthis my posture
Whereinthis three yeareI have milk'd their hopes.
He comesI heare him [coughing]
Scene 1.3[EnterMOSCAintroducing VOLTORE with a piece of plate]
You stillarewhat you wereSir. Onely you
(Of allthe rest) are hecommands his love:
And you dowisely to preserue itthus
With earlyvisitationand kinde notes
Of yourgood meaning to himwhichI know
Cannot butcome most gratefull. PatronSir.
Here isSignior Voltore is come --
SirSignior Voltore is comethis morning
A peece ofantique platebought of S t Marke
With whichhe here presents you.
Pray himto come more often.
He thankesyouand desires you see him often.
Bring himnearewhere is he?
I long tofeele his hand.
The plateis here Sir.
How fareyou Sir?
I thankeyouSignior Voltore.
Where isthe plate? mine eyes are bad.
Voltore:[puttingit into his hands]
I am sorry
To see youstill thus weake.
That he isnot weaker.
You aretoo munificent.
No Sir.would to heauen
I could aswell give health to youas that plate.
You giveSir what you can. I thanke you. Your love
Hath tastin thisand shall not be vnanswer'd.
I pray yousee me often.
Be not farfrom me.
Do youobserue that Sir?
Hearkenunto mestill. It will concerne you.
You are ahappy man Sirknow your good.
I cannotnow last long.
You arehis heyre Sir.
I feele megoing(vhvhvhvh.)
I amsayling to my port(vhvhvhvh?)
And I amgladI am so neere my haven.
Alaskinde gentlemanwellwe must all go.
'Pray theeheare me.
Am Iinscrib'd his heirefor certain?
I dobeseech you Sir you will vouchsafe
To writemein your family. All my hopes
Dependupon your worship; I am lost
Except therising Sunne do shine on me.
It shallboth shineand warme theeMosca.
I am amanthat have not done your love
All theworst offices here I weare your keys
See allyour coffersand your caskets lockt
Keepe thepoore inuentorie of your iewels
Yourplateand moneyesam your Steward Sir.
Husbandyour goods here.
But am Isole heyre?
Without apartner Sir confirmde this morning;
The waxeis warme yetand the inke scarse dry
By whatgood chancesweete Mosca?
I know nosecond cause.
Is loathto know it; wellwe shall requite it.
He euerlik'd your course Sir. That first tooke him.
Iofthave heard him sayhow he admir'd
Men ofyour large professionthat could speake
To euerycauseand things mere contraries
Till theywere hearse againeyet all be Law;
Thatwithmost quicke agilitycould turne
Andreturne; make knotsand vndoe them;
Giveforked councell; take prouoking gold
On eytherhandand put it up: These men
He knewewould thriuewith their humility.
And (forhis part) he thoughthe should be blest
To havehis heyre of such a suffering spirit
So wiseso graueof so perplex'd a tongue
And loudwithallthat would not wagnor scarce
Lie stillwithout a fee; when euery word
Yourworship but lets fallis a Cecchine. [Knocking without]
Who isthat? One knockesI would not have you seen Sir.
And yet --pretend you cameand went in hast;
I willfashion an excuse. Andgentle Sir
When youdo come to swimin golden lard
Up to thearmesin honeythat your chin
Is borneup stiffewith fatnesse of the flood
Think onyour vassall; but remember me:
I have notbeene your worst of clients.
When willyou have your inuentory broughtSir
Or see acoppy of the Will? Anone
I willbring them to you Sir. Awaybe gon
Putbusinesse in your face.[ExitVOLTORE.]
Comehitherlet me kisse thee.
Keepe youstill Sir.
Set theplate away
TheVulture is goneand the old Rauen is come.
Betakeyouto your silenceand your sleepe:[Putsthe plate away]
Stand thereand multiply. Nowshall we see
A wretchwho is (indeed) more impotent
Then thiscan fayne to be; yet hopes to hop
Ouer hisgraue. [Enter CORBACCIO]
You arevery welcomeSir.
How doesyour Patron?
Troth ashe didSirno amends.
NoSir:he is rather worse.
That iswell. Where is he?
Upon hiscouch Sirnewly fall'n a sleepe.
Does hesleepe well?
No winkeSirall this night
Good. Heshould take
Somecounsell of Physitians: I have brought him
An Opiateherefrom mine own Doctor --
He willnot heare of drugs.
Why? I myselfe
Stood bywhile it was made; saw all the ingredients:
And knowit cannot but most gently worke.
My lifefor hisit is but to make him sleepe.
Ayehislast sleepeif he would take it.
He has nofaith in Physick:
'Say you?'say you?
He has nofaith in Physick: He does think
Most ofyour Doctors are the greater danger
And worsediseaseto escape. I often have
Heard himprotestthat your Physitian
Shouldneuer be his heyre.
Not I hisheyre?
I do notmeane it.
No Sirnor their fees
He cannotbrooke: He sayesthey flea a man
Beforethey kill him.
And thenthey do it by experiment;
For whichthe Law not onely doth absolue them
But giuesthem great reward: Andhe is loath
To hirehis deathso.
It istruethey kill
With asmuch licenceas a Iudge.
For he butkillsSirwhere the Law condemnes
And thesecan kill himtoo;
Or anyman. How does his Apoplexe?
Is thatstrong on himstill?
His speechis brokenand his eyes are set
His facedrawne longerthen it was wont --
Strongerthen he was wont?
Drawnelongerthen it was wont.
Is euergapingand his eye-lids hang.
A freezingnumnesse stiffens all his ioynts
And makesthe colour of his flesh like lead.
His pulsebeats slowand dull.
Andfromhis braine --
Ha? how?not from his braine?
YesSirand from his braine --
Flowes acold sweatwith a continuall rhewme
Forth theresolued corners of his eyes.
Is itpossible? yet I am betterha!
How doeshewith the swimming of his head?
OSir itis past the Scotomy; henow
Hath losthis feelingand hath left to snort:
You hardlycan perceiue himthat he breaths.
Excellentexcellentsure I shall outlast him:
This makesme yong againea score of yeares.
I was acoming for youSir.
Has hemade his Will?
What hashe giu'n me?
He has notmade his WillSir.
But whatdid Voltorethe Lawyerhere?
He smelt acarcasse Sirwhen he but heard
My maisterwas about his Testament;
As I didvrge him to itfor your good --
He cameunto himdid he? I thought so.
Yesandpresented him this peece of plate.
To be hisheire?
I do notknow Sir.
I know ittoo.
By yourown scaleSir.
I shallpreuent himyet. See Moscalooke
HereIhave brought a bag of bright Cecchines
Will quiteweigh downe his plate.
This istrue Physickthis your sacred Medicine
No talkeof Opiatesto this great Elixir.
It isAurum palpabile
if not potabile
It shallbe minister'd to himin his boule?
This willrecouer him.
I thinkit were not bestSir.
Ononono; by no meanes.
Will worksome strange effect if he but feele it.
It istruetherefore forbeare; I will take my venter:
Give me itagaine.
At nohandpardon me;
You shallnot do your selfe that wrong Sir I
Will soaduise youyou shall have it all.
All Sir itis your rightyour own; no man
Can claimea part: it is yourswithout a riuall
How? howgood Mosca?
I willtell you Sir. This fit he shall recouer;
I doconceiue you.
Of hisgain'd sensewill I re-importune him
Unto themaking of his Testament:
And shewhim this. [Pointing to the money]
It isbetter yet
If youwill heareSir.
Yeswithall my heart.
NowwouldI councell youmake home with speed;
Thereframe a Will; whereto you shall inscribe
My maisteryour sole heyre.
O Sirthebetter: for that colour
Shall makeit much more taking.
This WillSiryou shall send it unto me.
NowwhenI come to inforce (as I will do)
Yourcaresyour watchingsand your many prayers
Your morethen many giftsyour this dayes present
And lastproduce your Will; where (without thought
Or leastregardunto your proper issue
A son sobraueand highly meriting)
Thestreame of your diuerted love hath throwne you
Upon mymaisterand made him your heyre:
He cannotbe so stupideor stone dead
Butoutof conscienceand mere gratitude --
He mustpronounce mehis?
Did Ithink on before.
I dobeleeue it.
Do you notbeleeue it?
Which whenhe hath doneSir.
Publish'dme his heire?
And you socertaineto suruiue him.
Beeing solusty a man.
I thoughton that too. Seehow he should be
The veryorganto expresse my thoughts!
You havenot onely done your selfe a good
Butmultiplied it on my son?
It hathbeene all my studyall my care
(I evengrow grey withall) how to worke things --
I doconceiuesweet Mosca.
For whom Ilabourhere.
I willstraight aboutit. [Going.]
Rooke gowith youRauen.
I knowthee honest.
You do lieSir.
Yourknowledge is no better then your earesSir.
I do notdoubtto be a father to thee.
Nor Itogull my brother of his blessing.
I may havemy youth restor'd to mewhy not?
Yourworship is a precious asse.
I dodesire your worshipto make hastSir.
It isdoneit is doneI go. [Exit]
Volpone:[leapingfrom his couch]
Let out mysideslet out my sides --
Your fluxeof laughterSir; you knowthis hope
Is such abaiteit couers any hooke.
Obut thyworkingand thy placing it!
I cannothold; good rascalllet me kisse thee:
I neuerknew theein so rare a humor.
Alas SirI but doas I am taught;
Followyour graue instructions; give them words;
Powre oyleinto their eares: and send them hence.
It istrueit is true. What a rare punishment
Isauariceto it selfe?
So manycaresso many maladies
So manyfeares attending on old age
Yeadeathso often call'd onas no wish
Can bemore frequent with themtheir limbes faint
Theirsenses dulltheir seeinghearinggoing
All deadbefore them; yeatheir very teeth
Theirinstruments of eatingfailing them:
Yet thisis reckon'd life! Nayhere was one;
Is nowgone homethat wishes to liue longer!
Feeles nothis goutnor palsyfaines himselfe
Yongerbyscores of yearesflatters his age
Withconfident bellying ithopes he may
Withcharmeslike A Esonhave his youth restor'd
And withthese thoughts so battensas if Fate
Would beas easily cheated onas he
And allturnes ayre! [Knocking within]
Who is thattherenow? athird?
Closetoyour couch againe: I heare his voice.
It isCoruinoour spruce merchant.
Volpone:[liesdown as before]
AnotherboutSirwith your eyes. Who is there?
SigniorCoruino! come most wisht for! O
How happywere youif you knew itnow!
The tardiehoure is comeSir.
He is notdead?
Not deadSirbut as good;
He knowesno man.
How shallI do then?
I havebrought himherea Pearle.
So muchremembrance leftas to know youSir;
He stillcalls on younothing but your name
Is in hismouth: Is your Pearle orientSir?
Venice wasneuer owner of the like.
He callsyoustep and give it him. He is hereSir
And he hasbrought you a rich Pearle.
How do you
Tell himit doubles the twelfe Caract.
He cannotvnderstandhis hearing is gone;
And yet itcomforts himto see you --
I have aDiamant for himtoo.
Best shewit Sir
Put itinto his hand; it is onely there
Heapprehends: He has his feelingyet.
Seehowhe graspes it!
Howpittifull the sight is!
Theweeping of an heyre should still be laughter
Why? am Ihis heyre?
SirI amsworneI may not shew the Will
Till he bedead: Buthere has beene Corbaccio
Here hasbeene Voltorehere were others too
I cannotnomber themthey were so many
All gapinghere for legacyes; but I
Taking thevantage of his naming you
(SigniorCoruinoSignior Coruino) tooke
Paperandpenand ynkeand there I ask'd him
Whom hewould have his heyre? Coruino: Who
Should beexecutorCoruino: And
To anyquestionhe was silent too
I stillinterpreted the noddeshe made
(Thoughweakenesse) for consent: and sent home the others
Nothingbequeath'd thembut to crieand curse.
Omydeare Mosca. [They embrace]
Does he not perceiue us?
No morethen a blinde harper. He knowes no man
No face offriendnor name of any seruant
Who it wasthat fed him lastor gaue him drinke:
Not thosehe hath begottenor brought up
Somedozenor morethat he begot on beggars
Gipseysand Iewesand Black-mooreswhen he was drunke.
Knew younot that Sir? it is the common fable.
TheDwarfethe Foolethe Eunuch are all his;
He is thetrue father of his familie
In allsaue me: but he has giu'n them nothing.
That iswellthat is well. Art sure he does not heare us?
Sure Sir?why looke youcredit your own sense.[Shoutsin Volpone’s ear]
The Poxeapprochand adde to your diseases
If itwould send you hence the soonerSir.
Foryourincontinenceit hath deseru'd it
Throughlyand throughlyand the Plague to boot.
(You maycome neereSir) Would you would once close
Thosefilthy eyes of yoursthat flowe with slime
Like twofrog-pits; and those same hanging cheekes
Couer'dwith hidein steede of skinne: (nay helpeSir)
That lookelike frozen dish-cloutsset on end.
Orlikean old smoak'd wallon which the raine
Ran downein streakes.
You may belowder yet: A Culuering
Dischargedin his eare would hardly bore it.
His noseis like a common sewrestill running;
It isgood: andwhat his mouth?
O stop itup --
'Pray youlet me.
FaithIcould stifle himrarelywith a pillow
As wellas any womanthat should keepe him.
Do as youwillbut I will be gone.
It is yourpresence makes him last so long.
I prayyouvse no violence.
Why shouldyou be thus scrupulous? 'pray youSir.
I will nottrouble him nowto take my Pearle?
Puhnoryour Diamant. What a needelesse care
Is thisafflicts you? Is not allhere yours?
Am not Ihere? whom you have made? your creature?
That owemy beeing to you?
Thou artmy friendmy fellowmy companion
Mypartnerand shalt share in all my fortunes.
Yourgallant wifeSir. [Exit Corvino]
Nowis hegone; we had no other meanes
To shootehim hencebut this.
Thou hastto day out-gone thy selfe.[Knockingwithin]
Who is there?
I will betroubled with no more. Prepare
The Turkeis not more sensualin his pleasures
Then willVolpone. Let me seea Pearle?
A Diamant?Plat? Cecchines? good mornings purchase;
Why thisis better then rob Churchesyet:
Or fatbyeating (once a mon'th) a man. [Enter MOSCA]
Who is it?
Thebeauteous Lady Would-beeSir.
Wifetothe English KnightSir Politique Would-bee
(This isthe stileSiris directed me)
Hath sentto knowhow you have slept to night
And if youwould be visited.
Some threehoureshence --
I told theSquireso much.
When I amhigh with mirthand wine; thenthen.
'ForeheauenI wonder at the desperate valure
Of thebold Englishthat they dare let loose
Theirwiuesto all encounters!
Had nothis name for nothinghe is politique
Andknoweshow ere his wife affect strange ayres
She hathnot yet the faceto be dishonest.
But hadshe Signior Coruino's wiues face --
Has she sorare a face?
Theblazing Starre of Italy; a wench
Of thefirst yearea beautyripeas haruest!
Whoseskinne is whiter then a Swanall ouer!
Thensiluersnowor lillies! a soft lip
Wouldtempt you to eternity of kissing!
And fleshthat meltethin the touchto bloud!
Bright asyour goldand lovelyas your gold!
Why hadnot I knowne thisbefore?
My selfebut yesterdaydiscouer'd it.
How mightI see her?
She iskept as warilyas is your gold:
Neuer doescome abroadneuer takes ayre
But at awindore. All her lookes are sweet
As thefirst grapesor cherries; and are watch'd
As neareas they are.
I must seeher --
There is aguardof ten spies thickupon her;
All hiswhole houshold: each of which is set
Upon hisfellowand have all their charge
When hegoes outwhen he comes inexamin'd.
I will gosee herthough but at her windore.
That istrueI must
Maintainemine own shapestillthe same: we will think.[Exeunt]
Scene 2.1St. Mark’s Placebefore CORVINO’S house
Sirto awise manall the world is his foile.
It is notItalynor Francenor Europe
That mustbound meif my Fates call me forth.
YetIprotestit is no salt desire
Of seeingCountriesshifting a Religion
Nor anydis-affection to the State
Where Iwas bred(andunto which I owe
My dearestplots) hath brought me out; much lesse
That idleantiquestalegrey-headed proiect
Of knowingmens mindesand mannerswith Vlisses:
Butapeculiar humour of my wiues
Layd forthis height of Veniceto obserue
To quoteto learne the languageand so forth --
I hope youtrauellSirwith licence?
I dare thesafelier conuerse -- How longSir
Since youleft England?
You havenot beene with my Lord Ambassador?
'Pray youwhat newesSirvents our climate?
I heardlast nighta most strange thing reported
By some ofmy Lords followersand I long
To hearehow it will be seconded!
MarrySirof a Rauenthat should build
In a shiproyall of the Kings.
Does hegull metrow? or is gull'd? your name Sir?
My name isPolitique Would-bee.
Lies herein Venicefor intelligence
Of tiresand fashionsand behauiour
Among theCurtizans? the fine Lady Would-be?
Yes; Sir;the spiderand the beeoft times
Suck fromone flower.
I crie youmercy; I have heard much of you:
It istrueSirof your Rauen.
Yesandyour Lions whelpingin the Tower.
Whatprodigies be these? The Fires at Berwike!
And thenew Starre! these things concurringstrange!
And fullof omen! Saw you those Meteors?
I did Sir.
Fearefull!Pray you Sirconfirme me
Were therethree Porcpisces seeneaboue the Bridge
As theygive out?
Nay sirbe not so;
I willtell you a greater prodigiethen these --
Whatshould these things portend!
(Let me besure) that I put forth from London
There wasa Whale discouer'din the riuer
As high asWoollwichthat had waited there
(Few knowhow many moneths) for the subuersion
Is itpossible? Beleeue it
It waseither sent from Spaineor the Arch-duke
Spinola'sWhaleupon my lifemy credit;
Will theynot leaue these proiects? Worthy Sir
FaithStonethe Fooleis dead;
And theydo lack a tauerne-Fooleextremely.
Is Mass'Stone dead?
He is deadSir; why? I hope
Youthought him not immortall? [Aside.]
O this Knight
(Were hewell knowne) would be a precious thing
To fit ourEnglish Stage: He that should write
But such afellowshould be thought to faine
Extremelyif not maliciously.
Dead.Lord! how deepely Sir you apprehend it?
He was nokinsman to you?
That Iknow of.
Well! thatsame fellow was an vnknowne Foole.
And yetyou know himit seemes?
I did so.Sir
I knew himone of the most dangerous heads
Liuingwithin the Stateand so I held him.
While heliu'din action.
He hasreceiu'd weekely intelligence
Upon myknowledgeout of the Low Countries
(For allparts of the world) in cabages;
And thosedispens'dagaineto Ambassadors
Limonspome-citronsand such like: sometimes
InColchester-oystersand your Selsey-cockles.
You makeme wonder!
Sir. uponmy knowledge.
NayIhave obseru'd himat your publique Ordinary
Take hisaduertisementfrom a Traueller
(Aconceald States-man) in a trencher of meate;
Andinstantlybefore the meale was done
Conuay ananswer in a tooth-pick.
How couldthis beSir?
Whythemeate was cut
So likehis characterand so laydas he
Musteasily read the cipher.
I haveheardhe could not readSir.
Soit wasgiuen out
(Inpollitie) by thosethat did imploy him:
But hecould readand had your languages
And to itas sound a noddle --
That yourBabiouns were spies; and that they were
A kinde ofsubtle Nationneare to China:
Ayeayeyour Mamuluchi. Faiththey had
Their handin a French plotor two; but they
Were soextremely giuen to womenas
They madediscouery of all: Yet I
Had myaduises here (on wensday last)
From oneof their own coatthey were return'd
Made theirrelations (as the fashion is)
And nowstand fairefor fresh imployment.
This SirPoll: will be ignorant of nothing.
It seemesSiryou know all?
Not allSir. But
I havesome generall notions; I do love
To noteand to obserue: Though I liue out
Free fromthe actiue torrentyet I would marke
Thecurrentsand the passages of things
For mineown priuate vse; and know the ebbes
And flowesof State.
My selfein no small tieunto my fortunes
Forcasting me thus luckelyupon you;
Whoseknowledge (if your bounty equall it)
May do megreat assistancein instruction
For mybehauiourand my bearingwhich
Is yet sorudeand raw --
Why? cameyou forth
Empty ofrulesfor trauayle?
Somecommon onesfrom out that vulgar Grammar
Which hethat cri'd Italian to metaught me.
Whythisit isthat spoiles all our braue blouds
Trustingour hopefull gentry unto Pedants
Fellowesof out-sideand mere barke. You seeme
To be agentlemanof ingenuous race --
I notprofesse itbut my fate hath beene
To bewhere I have been consulted with
In thishigh kindetouching some great mens sons
Persons ofbloudand honor --
Who be theseSir?
Scene 2.2[EnterMOSCA and NANO disguisedfollowed by persons with materials forerecting a stage]
Vnder thatwindorethere it must be. The same.
Fellowesto mount a banke! Did your instructer
In thedeare Tonguesneuer discourse to you
Of theItalian Montebankes?
Here shallyou see one.
Fellowesthat liue by venting oylesand drugs?
Was thatthe character he gaue you of them?
They arethe onely-knowing men of Europe
Greatgenerall Schollersexcellent Phisitians
Mostadmir'd States-menprofest Fauorites
Andcabinet-Councellorsto the greatest Princes:
The onelyLanguag'd-menof all the world.
AndIhave heardthey are most lewd impostors;
Made allof termesand shreds; no lesse beliers
Ofgreat-mens fauorsthen their own vile med'cines;
Which theywill vtter upon monstrous othes:
Sellingthat drugfor two penceere they part
Which theyhave valew'd at twelue crownesbefore.
Sircalumnies are answer'd best with silence;
Your selfeshall iudge. Who is it mountsmy friends?
Is it he?naythen
I willproudly promiseSiryou shall behold
Anothermanthen has beene phant'sied to you.
I wonderyetthat he should mount his banke
Hereinthis nookethat has beene wont to appeare
In face ofthe Piazza! Herehe comes.
[EnterVOLPONE disguised as a mountebank and followed by a crowd of people]
See howthe people follow him! he is a man
May write10000. Crownesin Bankehere. Note[VOLPONEmounts the stage]
Marke buthis gesture; I do vse to obserue
The statehe keepesin getting up!
It isworth itSir.
Volpone:Mostnoble Gent: and my worthy Patronsit may seeme strangethat IyourScoto Mantuanowho was euer wont to fixe my Banke in face of thepublike Piazzaneare the shelter of the porticoto the Procuratiashouldnow (after eight months absencefrom this illustrous Cittyof Venice) humbly retire my selfeinto an obscure nooke of thePiazza.
Did not Inowobiect the same?
Volpone:Let metel you: I am not (as your Lombard Prouerbe sayth) cold on my feeteor content to part with my commodities at a cheaper ratethen Iaccustomed; looke not for it. Northat the calumnious reports ofthat impudent detractorand shame to our profession(AlessandroButtoneI meane) who gaue outin publikeI was condemn'da'Sforzato to the Galleysfor poysoning the Cardinall Bemboos --Cookehath at all attachedmuch lesse deiected me. NonoworthieGent: (to tell you true) I cannot indureto see the rable of theseground Ciarlitanithat spread their clokes on the pauementas ifthey meant to do feates of actiuitieand then come inlamelywiththeir mouldy tales out of Boccaciolike stale TabarinetheFabulist: some of them discoursing their trauellsand of theirtedious captiuity in the Turkes Galleyeswhen indeed (were the truthknowne) they were the Christians Galleyeswhere very temperatelythey eate breadand drunke wateras a wholesome pennance (enioyn'dthem by their Confessors) for base pilferies.
Note buthis bearingand contempt of these.
Volpone:Theseturdy-facy-nasty-patie-lousie-farticall rogueswith one pooregroats-worth of vnprepar'd antimonyfinely wrapt up in seuerall'Scartocciosare ablevery wellto kill their twenty a weekeandplay; yet these meagre steru'd spiritswho have halfe stopt theorgans of their mindes with earthy oppilationswant not theirfauourers among your shriuel'dsallad-eating Artizans: who areouerioy'dthat they may have their halfeperth of Physickthough itpurge them into another worldmakes no matter.
Excellent!have you heard better LanguageSir?
Volpone:Welllet them go. And Gentlemenhonourable Gentlemenknowthat for thistimeour Banquebeing thus remou'd from the clamours of theCanagliashall be the Scene of pleasureand delight; For I havenothing to selllittle or nothing to sell.
I toldyouSir; his ende.
Volpone:IprotestIand my sixe seruantsare not able to make of thispretious liquorso fastas it is fetch'd away from my lodgingbyGentlemen of your Citty; strangers of the Terra-ferma; worshipfulMerchants; ayeand Senators too: whoeuer since my arriuallhavedetained me to their vsesby their splendidous liberalities. Andworthily. For what auayles your rich man to have his magazines stuftwith Moscadellior the purest grapewhen his Physitians prescribehim (on paine of death) to drinke nothing but watercocted withAnise-seeds? O health! health! the blessing of the richthe richesof the poore! who can buy thee at too deare a ratesince there is noenioying this worldwithout thee? Be not then so sparing of yourpurseshonorable Gentlemenas to abridge the naturall course oflife --
You seehis ende?
Volpone:Forwhen a humide Fluxeor Catarrheby the mutability of ayrefallsfrom your headinto an arme or shouilderor any other part; takeyou a Duckator your Cecchine of goldand applie to the placeaffected: seewhat good effect it can worke. Nonoit is thisblessed Vnguentothis rare Extractionthat hath onely power todisperse all malignant humorsthat proceedeeither of hotcoldmoist or windy causes --
I would hehad put in dry too.
Volpone:Tofortifie the most indigestand crude stomackeayewere it of onethat (through extreame weakenesse) vomited bloudapplying onely awarme napkin to the placeafter the vnctionand fricace; For theVertiginein the headputting but a drop into your nostrillslikewisebehind the eares; a most soueraigneand approoued remedy.The Mall-caducoCrampesConvulsionsParalysiesEpilepsiesTremor-cordiaretired-Neruesill Vapours of the spleeneStoppingsof the Liuerthe Stonethe StranguryHernia ventosaIliacapassio; stops a Disenteriaimmediatly; easeth the torsion of thesmall guts: and cures Melancolia hypocondriacabeing taken andapplyedaccording to my printed Receipt. Forthis is the Physitianthis the medicine; this councellsthis cures; this giues thedirectionthis works the effect: and (in summe) both together may beterm'd an abstract of the theorickand practick in the A EsculapianArt. It will cost you eight Crownes. AndZan Fritada'pray theesing a verseextemporein honour of it.
How do youlike himSir?
Is not hislanguage rare?
I neuerheard the like: or Broughtons bookes.
Hadold Hippocratesor Galen
(Thatto their bookes put med'cines all in)
Butknowne this secretthey had neuer
(Ofwhich they will be guilty euer)
Beenemurderers of so much paper
Orwasted many a hurtlesse taper:
NoIndian drug had ere beene famed
TabaccoSassafras not named;
Neyetof Guacum one small stickSir
NorRaymund Lullies greate Elixir.
Nehad beene knowne the danish Gonswart.
OrParacelsuswith his long-sword.
All thisyetwill not doeight Crownes is high.
Volpone:Nomore; Gentlemenif I had but time to discourse to you the miraculouseffects of this my oylesurnamed oglio del Scotowith thecount-lesse catalogue of those I have cured of the aforesaydandmany more diseasesthe Pattents and Priuiledges of all the Princesand Common-wealthes of Christendomeor but the depositions of thosethat appear'd on my partbefore the Signiry of the Sanita'and mostlearned Colledge of Physitians; where I was authorizedupon noticetaken of the admirable vertues of my medicamentsand mine ownexcellencyin matter of rareand vnknowne secretsnot onely todisperse them publiquely in this famous Cittybut in all theTerritoriesthat happely ioy vnder the gouernment of the most piousand magnificent States of Italy. But may some other gallant fellowsayOthere be diuersthat make profession to have as goodand asexperimented receiptsas yours: Indeedvery many have assay'dlikeApesin imitation of thatwhich is reallyand essentially in meto make of this oyle; bestow'd great cost in furnacesstillesalembekescontinuall firesand preparation of the ingredientsasindeede there goes to it sixe hundred seuerall Simplesbesidesomequantity of humane fatfor the conglutinationwhich we buy of theAnatomistes; Butwhen these Practitioners come to the lastdecoctionblowblowpuffpuffand all flies in fumo: hahaha.Poore wretches! I rather pitty their follyand indiscretionthentheir losse of timeand money; for those may be recouer'd byindustry: but to be a Foole borne is a disease incurable. For myselfeI alwaies from my youth have indeauor'd to get the rarestsecretsand booke them; eyther in exchangeor for money; I sparednor costnor labourwhere anything was worthy to be learned. AndGentlemenhonourable GentlemenI will vndertake (by vertue ofChymicall Art) out of the honourable hatthat couers your headtoextract the foure Elements; that is to saythe FireAyreWaterand Earthand returne you your feltwithout burneor staine. Forwhilst others have beene at the ballooI have beene at my booke: andam now past the craggy pathes of studyand come to the flowrieplaines of honourand reputation.
I doassure youSirthat is his ayme.
And thatwithallSir Poll.
Volpone:You allknow (honourable Gentlemen) I neuer valew'd this ampullaor viollat lesse then eight Crownesbut for this timeI am contentto bedepriu'd of it for sixe; sixe Crownes is the price; and lesseincurtesieI know you cannot offer me; take itor leaue ithowsoeuerboth itand I am at your seruice. I aske you notas thevalew of the thingfor then I should demand of you a thousandCrownesso the Cardinalls MontaltoFernesethe great Duke ofTuscanymy Gossipwith diuers other Princes have giuen me; but Idespise money: only to shew my affection to youhonorable Gentlemenand your illustrous State hereI have neglected the messages ofthese Princesmine own officesfram'd my iourney hitheronely topresent you with the fruicts of my trauells. Tune your voyces oncemoreto the touch of your instrumentsand give the honorableassembly some delightfull recreation.
Whatmonstrousand most painefull circumstance
Is hereto get some threeor foure Gazets?
Somethree-pencein the wholefor that it will come to
Song Youthat would last longlist to my songMake nomore coylebut buy of this oyle. Wouldyou be euer faire? and yong? Stoutof teeth? and strong of tongue? Tart ofpalat? quick of eare? Sharpeof sight? of nostrill cleare? Moistof hand? and light of foot? (Or Iwill come neerer to it) Wouldyou liue free from all diseases? Do theactyour mistres pleases; Yetfright all aches from your bones? Here isa med'cinefor the nones.
Volpone: WellIam in a humor (at this time) to make a present of the small quantitymy coffer containes: to the richin courtesieand to the pooreforGods sake. Whereforenow marke; I ask'd you sixe Crownesand sixeCrownesat other timesyou have payd me; you shall not give me sixeCrownesnor fiuenor fourenor threenor twonor one; nor halfea Duckat; nonor a Muccinigo: six pence it will cost youor sixehundred pound -- expect no lower pricefor by the banner of myfrontI will not bate a bagatinethat I will haveonelya pledgeof your lovesto carry something from amongst youto shewI am notcontemn'd by you. Thereforenowtosse your handkerchiefeschearefullychearefully; and be aduertisedthat the first heroiquespiritthat deignes to grace mewith a handkerchiefeI will giveit a little remembrance of somethingbesideshall please it betterthen if I had presented it with a double Pistolet.
Will yoube that heroique SparkeSir Pol?
[CELIAat a window abovethrows down her handkerchief]
O see! thewindore has preuented you.
Volpone:LadyIkisse your bounty; andfor this timely graceyou have done yourpoore Scoto of MantuaI will returne yououer and aboue my oyleasecretof that highand inestimable natureshall make you for euerenamour'd on that minutewherein your eye first descended on someaneyet not altogether to be despis'd an obiect. Here is aPoulderconceal'd in this paperof whichif I should speake to theworthnine thousand volumes were but as one pagethat page as alinethat line as a word; so short is this Pilgrimage of man (whichsome call Life) to the expressing of it: would I reflect on theprice? whythe whole World were but as an Empirethat Empire as aProuincethat Prouince as a Bankethat Banke as a priuate Pursetothe purchase of it. I willonelytell you; it is the Poulderthatmade Venus a Goddesse (giuen her by Apollo) that kept her perpetuallyyongclear'd her wrinclesfirm'd her gumnmesfill'd her skinnecolour'd her hayre; From herderiu'd to Helenand at the sack ofTroy (vnfortunately) lost: Till nowin this our ageit was ashappily recouer'dby a studious Antiquaryout of some ruines ofAsiawho sent a moyetie of itto the Court of France (but muchsophistcated) wherewith the Ladyes therenowcolour their hayre.The rest (at this present) remaines with me; extractedto a Quintessence: so thatwhere euer it but touchesin youth it perpetuallypreseruesin age restores the complexion; seats your teethdid theydance like Virginall iacksfirme as a wall; makes them whiteasIuorythat were blackas --
Bloud ofthe deuilland my shame! [To VOLPONE]
Comedowne: No house but mine to make your Scene?
SigniorFlaminiowill you downeSir? downe?
What is mywife your Franciscina? Sir?
Nowindores on the whole Piazzahere
To makeyour propertiesbut mine? but mine? [Beats away VOLPONENANO&C.]
Hart! ereto morrowI shall be new christen'd
And caldthe Pantalone di Besogniosi
[ExitCORVINO; and the crowd disperses]
Whatshould this meaneSir Poll?
Some trickof Statebeleeue it. I will home.
It may besome designe on you:
I willstand upon my gard.
It is yourbestSir.
This threeweekesall my aduisesall my letters
They havebeene intercepted.
Best havea care.
Nay so Iwill.
I may notloose himfor my mirthtill night.[Exeunt]
Scene 2.4A room in VOLPONE’s house[EnterVOLPONE and MOSCA]
O I amwounded.
Thoseblowes were nothing: I could beare them euer.
But angryCupidboulting from her eyes
Hath shothimselfe into melike a flame;
Wherenowhe flings about his burning heat
As in afurnacesome ambitious fire
Whose ventis stopt. The fight is all within me.
I cannotliueexcept thou helpe meMosca;
My liuermeltsand Iwithout the hope
Of somesoft ayrefrom her refreshing breath
Am but aheape of cinders.
Would youhad neuer seene her.
Hadstneuer told me of her.
Sir it istrue;
I doconfesseI was vnfortunate
And youvnhappy: but I am bound in conscience.
No lessethen duetyto effect my best
To yourrelease of tormentand I willSir.
DeareMoscashall I hope?
I will notbidd you to dispaire of ought
Within ahumane compasse.
My betterAngell. Moscatake my keyes
Goldplateand iewellsall is at thy deuotion;
Employthemhow thou wilt; naycoyne metoo:
So thouin thisbut crowne my longings. Mosca?
Vse butyour patience.
So I have.
But bringsuccesse to your desires.
I notrepent me of my late disguise.
If you canhorne himSiryou neede not.
BesidesIneuer meant him for my heyre.
Is not thecolour of my beards. and eye-browes
To make meknowne?
I did itwell.
So wellwould I could follow you in mine
With halfethe happinesse; andyetI would
With abeleefethat I was Scoto?
Scotohimselfe could hardly have distinguish'd;
I have nottime to flatter youwe will part:
Andas Iprosperso applaud my art.[Exeunt]
Scene 2.5A room in CORVINO’s house[EnterCORVINOsword in his handdragging in CELIA]
Death ofmine honourwith the citties Foole?
A iuglingtooth-drawingprating Montebanke?
Andat apublique windore? where whilst he
With hisstrain'd actionand his dole of faces
To hisdrug-Lecture drawes your itching eares
A crewe ofoldvn-mari'dnoted lechers
Stoodleering uplike Satyres; and you smile
Mostgraciously? and fanne you fauours forth
To giveyour hote Spectators satisfaction?
What; wasyour Montebanke their call? their whistle?
Or wereyou 'enamour'd on his copper rings?
Hissaffron iewellwith the toade-stone in it?
Or hisimbroydred sutewith the cope-stitch
Made of aherse-cloath? or his old tilt-feather?
Or hisstarch'd beard? well; you shall have himyes.
He shallcome homeand minister unto you
Thefricacefor the Mother. Orlet me see
I thinkyou had rather mount? would you not mount?
Whyifyou will mountyou may; yes truelyyou may:
And soyou may be seenedowne to the foote.
Get you acitterneLady Vanity
And be aDealerwith the Vertuous Man;
Make on: Iwill but protest myselfe a cuckold
And saueyour dowry. I am a DutchmanI;
Forifyou thought me an Italian
You wouldbe damn'dere you did thisyou Whore:
Thouwouldst trembleto imaginethat the murder
Of fathermotherbrotherall thy race
Shouldfollowas the subiect of my iustice.
Good Sirhave pacience.
Whatcouldst thou propose
Lesse tothy selfethenin this heate of wrath
And stungwith my dishonourI should strike
Thissteele unto theewith as many stabs
As thouwert gaz'd upon with goatish eyes?
Alas Sirbe appeas'd; I could not think
My beeingat the windore should morenow
Moue yourimpatiencethen at other times:
No? not toseekeand entertaine a parlee;
With aknowne knaue? before a multitude?
You werean Actorwith your handkercheife;
Which hemost sweetlykist in the receipt
And might(no doubt) returne itwith a letter
And pointthe placewhere you might meete: your sisters
Yourmothersor your aunts might serue the turne.
WhydeareSirwhen do I make these excuses?
Or euerstirreabroadbut to the Church?
And thatso seldome --
Wellitshall be lesse;
And thyrestraintbeforewas liberty
To what Inow decree: And thereforemarke me.
FirstIwill have this baudy light damn'd up;
Andtillit be donesome twoor three yards of
I willchalke a line: ore whichif thou but (chance
To) setthy desp'rate foote; more hellmore horror
Morewilderemorcelesse rage shall seize on thee
Then on aConiurerthat had heed-lesse left
HisCircles saftieere his Deuill was layd.
Thenhereis a lockwhich I will hang upon thee;
Andnow Ithink of itI will keepe thee back-wards;
Thylodging shall be back-wards; thy walkes back-wards;
Thyprospect-all be back-wards; and no pleasure
That thoushalt knowbut back-wards: Naysince you force
My honestnatureknowit is your own
Being tooopenmakes me vse you thus.
Since youwill not containe your subtill nostrills
In asweete roomebutthey must snuffe the ayre
Of rankeand sweaty passengers – [Knocking within]
Awayandbe not seenepaine of thy life;
Not looketoward the windore: if thou dost --
(Nay stayheare this) let me not prosperWhore
But I willmake thee an Anatomy
Dissectthee mine own selfeand read a lecture
Upon theeto the cittyand in publique.
Who is there? [Enter SERVANT]
It isSignior MoscaSir.
Let himcome in. [Exit SERVANT]
His master is dead: There is yet
Some goodto helpe the bad. My Moscawelcome;
I gesseyour newes.
I feareyou cannotSir.
Is it nothis death?
I ambewitch'dmy crosses meete to vexe me.
How? how?how? how?
WhySirwith Scoto's oyle;
Corbaccioand Voltore brought of it
Whilst Iwas busy in an inner roome --
Death!that damn'd Mountebanke; butfor the Law
NowIcould kill the raskall: it cannot be
His oyleshould have that vertue. Have not I
Knowne hima common roguecome fidling in
To theOsteriawith a tumbling whore
Andwhenhe has done all his forc'd tricksbeene glad
Of a poorespoonefull of ded winewith flies in it?
It cannotbe. All his ingredients
Are asheepes galla rosted bitches marrow
Some fewesod earewigs pounded caterpillers
A littlecapons greaseand fasting spitle:
I knowhemto a dram.
But someof itthere they pour'd into his eares
Some inhis nostrillsand recouer'd him;
Applyingbut the fricace.
Pox onthat fricace.
And sinceto seeme the more officious
Andflatt'ring of his healththerethey have had
(Atextreme fees) the Colledge of Physitians
Consultingon him how they might restore him;
Whereonewould have a cataplasme of spices
Another aflead Ape clapt to his brest
A thirdwould have it a Doga fourth an oyle
With wildeCates skinnes: At lastthey all resolu'd
Thattopreserue himwas no other meanes
But someyong woman must be streight sought out
Lustyandful if iuiceto sleepe by him;
Andtothis seruice (most vnhappily
And mostvnwillingly) am I now imploy'd
WhichhereI thought to pre-acquaint you with
For youraduisesince it concernes you most
BecauseIwould not do that thing might crosse
Your endson whome I have my whole dependanceSir:
Yet if Ido it notthey may delate
Myslacknesse to my Patronworke me out
Of hisopinion; and thereall your hopes
Ventersor whatsoeuerare all frustrate.
I do buttell youSir. Besidesthey are all
Nowstriuingwho shall first present him. Therefore --
I couldintreate youbreeflyconclude some-what:
Preuentthem if you can.
Death tomy hopes!
This is myvillanous fortune! best to hire
AyeIthought on thatSir.
But theyare all so subtlefull of art
And ageagainedotingand flexible
So as -- Icannot tell -- we may perchance
Light on aqueanemay cheate us all.
Nono: itmust be onethat has no tricksSir
Somesimple thinga creaturemade unto it;
Some wenchyou may command. Have you no kinswoman?
Gods son-- ThinkthinkthinkthinkthinkthinkthinkSir.
One of theDoctors offer'dtherehis daughter.
YesSignior Lupothe Physitian
And avirginSir. Why? Alasse
He knowesthe state of his bodywhat it is;
Thatnaught can warme his bloud Sirbut a feuer;
Nor anyincantation raise his spirit:
A longforgetfullnesse hath seiz'd that part.
BesidesSirwho shall know it? some oneor two.
I praythee give me leaue. [Walks aside]
If any man
But I hadhad this luck -- The thing in it selfe
I knowisnothing -- Wherefore should not I
As wellcommand my bloudand my affections
As thisdull Doctor? In the point of honor
The casesare all oneof wifeand daughter.
I heare him comming.
She shalldo it: it is done.
Slightifthis Doctor that is not engag'd
Vnlesse itbe for his councell (which is nothing)
Offer hisdaughterwhat should Ithat am
So deepelyin? I will preuent himwretch!
Couetouswretch! MoscaI have determin'd.
We willmake all sure. The partyyou wot of
Shall bemine own wifeMosca.
(But thatI would not seeme to councell you)
I shouldhave motion'd to you at the first:
Andmakeyour countyou have cut all their throtes.
Why! it isdirectly taking a possession!
Andinhis next fitwe may let him go.
It is butto pul the pillowfrom his head
And he isthratled: it had beene donebefore
But foryour scrupulous doubts.
Ayeaplague on it
Myconscience fooles my wit. WellI will be briefe
And so bethouleast they should be before us:
Go homeprepare himtell himwith what zeale
AndwillingnesseI do it: sweare it was
On thefirst hearing(as thou mayst dotruely)
Mine ownfree motion.
I will sopossesse him with itthat the rest
Of hissteru'd clients shall be banishtall;
And onelyyou receiu'd. But come notSir
Vntill Isendfor I have somethingelse
To ripenfor your good (you must not know it)
But do notyou forget to sendnow.
Fearenot. [Exit MOSCA.]
Where areyouwife? my Celia? Wife![EnterCELIAweeping]
Comedryethose teares. I thinkthou thought'st me in earnest?
Ha? bythis lightI talk'd so but to trie thee.
Methinkesthe lightnesse of the occasion
Shouldhave confirm'd thee. ComeI am not iealous:
FaithIam not Inor neuer was:
It is apoorevnprofitable humor.
Do not Iknowif women have a will
They willdo against all the watchesof the world?
And thatthe feircest spiesare tam'd with gold?
TutI amconfident in thee thou shalt see it:
And seeIwill give thee cause tooto beleeue it.
Comekisse me. Goand make thee ready straight
In all thybest attirethy choicest iewells
Put themall onandwith themthy best lookes:
We areinuited to a solemne feast
At oldVolpone'swhere it shall appeare
How far Iam freefrom iealousieor feare.
Scene 3.1A street.[EnterMOSCA]
I FeareIshall begin to grow in love
With mydeare selfeand my most prosp'rous parts
They do sospringand burgeon; I can feele
A whimseyin my bloud: (I know not how)
Successehath made me wanton. I could skip
Out of myskinnenowlike a subtill snake
I am solimber. O! Your Parasite
Is a mostpretious thingdropt from aboue
Not bredamongst clodsand clot-pouleshere on earth.
I musethe Mysterie was not made a Science
It is soliberally profest! Almost
All thewise world is little elsein nature
ButParasitesor Sub-parasites. Andyet
I meanenot thosethat have your bare Towne-art
To knowwho is fit to feede them; have no house
No familyno careand therefore mould
Tales formens earesto baite that sense; or get
Kitchin-inuentionand some stale receipts
To pleasethe bellyand the groine; nor those
With theirCourt-dog-trickesthat can fawneand fleere
Make theirrevenue out of leggesand faces
Ecchomy-Lordand lick away a moath:
But youfineelegant rascallthat can rise
And stoope(almost together) like an arrow;
Shootethrough the aireas nimbly as a starre;
Turneshortas doth a swallow; and be here
And thereand hereand yonderall at once;
Present toany humourall occasion;
And changea visorswifterthen a thought.
This isthe creaturehad the art borne with him;
Toyles notto learne itbut doth practise it
Out ofmost excellent nature: And such sparkes
Are thetrue Parasitesothers but their Zani's.
Who is this? Bonario? old Corbaccio's son?
The personI was bound to seeke. Fayre Sir
You arehapp'ly met.
Thatcannot be by thee.
Nay 'praythee know thy wayand leaue me;
I would beloath to inter-change discourse
With sucha mateas thou art
Scorne notmy pouerty.
But thoushalt give me leaue to hate thy basenesse.
Aye AnswermeIs not thy sloth
Sufficientargument? thy flattery?
Thy meanesof feeding?
Heauenbegood to me.
Theseimputations are too commonSir
And eas'lystuck on vertuewhen she is poore;
You arevnequall to meand how ere
Yoursentence may be righteous yet you are not
That ereyou know methusproceed in censure:
S t Markebeare witnesse against youit is inhumane. [Weeps]
What? does he weepe? the signe is softand good;
I dorepent methat I was so harsh.
It istruethat sway'dby strong necessity
I amenforc'd to eate my carefull bread
With toomuch obsequy; it is truebeside
That I amfaine to spin mine own poore rayment
Out of mymere obseruancebeing not borne
To a freefortune: but that I have done
Baseofficesin rending friends asunder
Whisperingfalse liesor mining men with prayses
Train'dtheir credulitie with periuries
Corruptedchastityor am in love
With mineown tender easebut would not rather
Proue themost ruggedand laborious course
That mightredeememy present estimation;
Let mehere perishin all hope of goodnesse.
This cannot be a personated passion.
I was toblameso to mistake thy nature;
'Pray theeforgiue me: and speake out thy bus'nesse.
Siritconcernes you; and though I may seeme
At firstto make a maine offencein manners
And in mygratitudeunto my maister
Yetforthe pure lovewhich I beare all right
And hatredof the wrongI must reueale it.
This veryhoureyour father is in purpose
Todisinherit you --
And thrustyou forth
As a merestranger to his bloud; it is trueSir:
The workeno way ingageth mebutas
I claimean interest in the generall state
Ofgoodnesseand true vertuewhich I heare
To aboundin you: andfor which mere respect
Without asecond aymeSirI have done it.
This talehath lost thee much of the late trust
Thou hadstwith me; it is impossible:
I know nothow to lend it any thought
My fathershould be so vnnaturall.
It is aconfidencethat well becomes
Yourpiety; and form'd (no doubt) it is
From yourown simple innocence: which makes
Your wrongmore monstrousand abhor'd. ButSir
I nowwill tell you more. This very minute
It isorwill be doing: Andif you
Shall bebut pleas'd to goe with meI will bring you
(I darenot say where you shall seebut) where
Your eareshall be a witnesse of the deed;
Heare yourselfe written Bastard; and profest
The commonissue of the earth.
Sirif Ido it notdraw your iust sword
And scoreyour vengeanceon my frontand face;
Marke meyour villayne: You have too much wrong
And I dosuffer for youSir. My heart
Weepesbloudin anguish --
Lead. Ifollow thee.
Scene 3.3A room in VOLPONE’s house.[EnterVOLPONE]
Moscastayes longme thines. Bring forth your sports
And helpeto make the wretched time more sweete.
Nano:DwarfeFooleand Eunuchwell mett here we be. Aquestion it were nowwhether of us threeBeingallthe knowne delicatesof a rich manInpleasing himclaime the precedency can?
Castrone:Iclaime for my selfe.
Androgyno: Andso doth the Foole.
Nano:It isfoolish indeed: let me set you both to schoole. Firstfor your Dwarfehe is littleand wittyAndeuery thingas it is littleis pritty; Elsewhy do men say to a creature (of my shape) Sosoone as they see himit is a pritty little Ape? Andwhy a pritty Ape? but for pleasing imitation Ofgreater mens actionin a ridiculous fashion. Besidethis feat body of mine doth not craue Halfethe meatdrinkeand clothone of your bulkes will have. Admityour Fooles face be the Mother of LaughterYetfor his braineit must alwaies come after: Andthough that do feede himit is a pittifull caseHisbody is beholding to such a bad face.
Who isthere? my couchAwaylooke Nanosee:[ExeuntANDROGYNO and CASTRONE]
Give me mycappesfirst -- goenquire. [Exit NANO.]
Send it beMoscaand with faire returne.
It is thebeauteous Madam --
Nowtorment on me; squire her in:
For shewill enteror dwell here for euer.
Nayquickly [Retires to his couch]
that my fit were past. I feare
A secondhell toothat my loathing this
Will quiteexpell my appetite to the other:
Would shewere takingnowher tedious leaue.
Lordhowit threates mewhat I am to suffer!
Scene 3.4[EnterNANO with LADY POLITIC WOULD-BE.]
I thankeyougood Sir. 'Pray you signifie
Unto yourPatronI am here. This band
Shewes notmy neck inough (I trouble youSir
Let merequest youbid one of my women
Comehether to me) In good faithIam drest
Mostfauorablyto dayit is no matter
It is wellinough. [Enter 1st Waiting-Woman]
Lookeseethese petulant things
How theyhave done this!
I do feelethe Feuer
Entringin at mine eares; Ofor a charme
To frightit hence.
Comenearer: Is this curle
In hisright place? or this? why is this highter
Then allthe rest? you have not wash'd your eiesyet?
Or do theynot stand euen in your head?
Where isyour fellow? call her. [Exit 1st Waiting-Woman]
Deliuerus: anoneshe will beate her women
Becauseher nose is red.
[Re-enter1st with 2nd WOMAN]
This tireforsooth; are all things aptor no
One hairea littleheresticks outforsooth.
Does it soforsooth? and where was your deare sight
When itdid soforsooth? what now? bird-eyd?
And youtoo? 'pray you both approachand mend it.
Now (bythat light) I museyou are not asham'd
Ithathave preach'd these thingsso oftunto you
Read youthe principlesargu'd all the grounds
Disputedeuery graceeuery fitnesse
Call'd youto councell of so frequent dressings --
(Morecarefullythen of your fameor honor)
Made youacquaintedwhat an ample dowry
Theknowledge of these things would be unto you
Ablealoneto get you Noble husbands
At yourreturne: And youthusto neglect it?
Besidesyou seeing what a curious Nation
TheItalians arewhat will they say of me?TheEnglish lady cannot dresse her selfe;
Here is afine imputationto our Country:
Wellgoeyour waiesand stayin the next roome.
This fucuswas too course tooit is no matter.
Good-Siryou will give them entertaynement?
[ExeuntNANO and WAITING-WOMEN.]
The stormecomes toward me.
LadyPolitic:[goesto the couch]
How doesmy Volp?
Troubledwith noyseI cannot sleepe; I dreamt'
That astrange Fury entrednowmy house
Andwiththe dreadfull tempest of her breath
Did cleauemy roofe asunder.
Had themost fearefull dreamecould I remember it --
Out on my fate; I have giu'n her the occasion
How totorment me: she will tell me hers.
Methoughtthe golden Mediocrity
Politeand delicate --
Oif youdo love me
No more; Isweateand sufferat the mention
Of anydreame: feelehow I tremble yet.
Alassegood soule! the Passion of the heart.
Seed-pearlewere good nowboild with sirrope of Apples
Tinctureof Goldand CurrallCitron-pills
YourElicampane rooteMirobalanes --
Ay meI have ta'ne a grasse-hopper by the wing.
Burntsilkeand Amberyou have Muscadell
Good inthe house --
You willnot drinkeand part?
Nofearenot that. I doubtwe shall not get
SomeEnglish saffron (halfe a dram would serue)
Yoursixteene Clovesa little Muskedri'd Mintes
Buglosseand barley-meale --
She is in againe
Before Ifayn'd diseasesnow I have one.
And theseappli'dwith a right scarlet-cloth --
Another floud of words! a very torrent!
Shall ISirmake you a Poultise?
I am verywell: you neede prescribe no more.
I havealittlestudied Physick; butnow
I am allfor Musique: sauein the forenoones
An houreor twofor Paynting. I would have
A Ladyindeedto have allLettersand Artes
Be able todiscourseto writeto paynt
Butprincipall (as Plato holds) your Musique
(Andsodoes wise PithagorasI take it)
Is yourtrue rapture; when there is concent
In facein voiceand clothes: and isindeed
Our sexeschiefest ornament.
As old intimeas Platoand as knowing
Says thatyour highest female grace is Silence.
Which ofyour Poets? Petrarch? or Tasso? or Dante?
Cieco diHadria? I have read them all.
Is euery thing a causeto my distruction?
I thinkIhave two or three of themabout me.
The sunnethe sea will soonerbothstand still
Then heræternall tongue; nothing can scape it.
Here isPastor Fido
Professe obstinate silence
That isnowmy safest.
All ourEnglish Writers
I meanesuchas are happy in the Italian
Willdeigne to steal out of this Authormainely;
Almost asmuchas from Montagnie;
He has somoderneand facile a veine
Fittingthe timeand catching the Court-eare.
YourPetrarch is more passionateyet he
In dayesof Sonettingtrusted themwith much:
Dante ishardand fewe can vnderstand him.
Butfor adesperate witthere is Aretine;
Onelyhispictures are a little obscene --
You markeme not?
Alassemymind is perturb'd.
Why insuch cases we must cure our selues
Make vseof our Philosophie --
O 'ay me.
Andas wefind our passions do rebell
Encounterthem with reason; or diuert them
By giuingscope unto some other humour
Of lesserdanger: Asin politique bodyes
There isnothingmore doth ouerwhelme the iudgment
And cloudsthe vnderstandingthen too much
Setlingand fixingand (as it were) subsiding
Upon oneobiect. For the incorporating
Of thesesame outward thingsinto that part
Which wecall mentallleaues some certaine fæces
That stopthe organsand as Plato sayes
Ofpatience helpe me.
Visit youmorea dayes; and make you well:
My good Angell saue me.
There wasbut one sole manin all the world
With whomI ere could sympathize; and he
Would lieyou often threefoure houres together
To heareme speake: and be (sometime) so rap't
As hewould answer mequite from the purpose
Like youand you are like himiust. I will discourse
(And it bebut onlySirto bring you a sleepe)
How we didspend our timeand lovestogether
For somesixe yeares.
For wewere Coætanei
and brought up --
Somepowersome fatesome fortune rescue me.
Welcome tomy redemption.
Rid me ofthis my torturequicklythere;
My Madamwith the euerlasting voyce:
The Bellsin time of pestilencene're made
Likenoyseor were in that perpetuall motion;
TheCock-pit comes not neare it. All my house
But nowsteam'd like a bathwith her thicke breath.
A Lawyercould not have beene heard; nor scarse
AnotherWoman such a hayle of words
She haslet fall. For hells sakeridd her hence.
OI donot care
I willtake her absenceupon any price
I havebrought your Patron
A toyacap hereof mine own worke --
I hadforgot to tell youI saw your Knight
Where youwould little think it --
Where yetif you make hast you may apprehend him
Rowingupon the water in a gondole
With themost cunning Curtizanof Venice.
Pursuethemand beleeue your eyes;
Leaue meto make your gift. [Exit LADY POLITIC hastily]
I knewitwould take:
Forlightlytheythat vse themselues most licence
Are stillmost iealous.
For thyquick fictionand deliuery of me.
Nowto myhopeswhat saist thou?
But do youheareSir?
Againe; Ifeare a paroxisme.
I prayyoulend me your Dwarfe.
I prayyoutake him -- [Exit LADY POLITIC.]
YourhopesSirare like happy blossomesfayre
Andpromise timely fruictif you will stay
But thematuring; keepe youat your couch
Corbacciowill arriue straightwith the Will:
When he isgoneI will tell you more.[Exit.]
My spiritsare return'd; I am aliue:
And likeyour wanton gam'sterat Primero
Whosethought had whisper'd to him not go lesse
Me thinkesI lieand drawe -- for an encounter.
[Thebed-curtains close upon VOLPONE]
Scene 3.6The Passage Leading to VOLPONE’s Chamber.[EnterMOSCA and BONARIO]
Sirhereconceald[Shows him a closet.]
you may here all. But 'prayyou
HavepatienceSir; [Knocking within]
the same is your fatherknocks:
I amcompeldto leaue you.[Exit]
Cannot mythought imagine this a truth.[Goesinto the closet]
Scene 3.7Another part of the same.[EnterMOSCA and CORVINOCELIA following.]
Death onme! you are come too soonewhat meant you?
Did not IsayI would send?
You mightforget itand then they preuent us.
Preuent?did ere man hast sofor his hornes?
A Courtierwould not ply it sofor a place.
Wellnowthere is no helping itstay here;
I willpresently returne.[Crossesstage to BONARIO.]
You knownotwherefore I have brought you hether?
Not wellexcept you told me.
Hearkehether. [He leads her apartand whispers to her.]
Siryourfather hath sent word
It will behalfe an houreere he come;
Andthereforeif you please to walkethe while
Into thatgallery -- at the vpper end
There aresome bookesto entertaine the time:
And I willtake careno man shall come unto youSir.
YesIwill stay there; [aside]
I do doubt this fellow.[ExitBONARIO]
Thereheis farre inough; he can heare nothing:
Andforhis fatherI can keepe him of.[Goesto VOLPONE’S couchopens the curtainsand whispers with him.]
Naynowthere is no starting back; and therefore
Resolueupon it: I have so decree'd.
It must bedone. Norwould I moue itafore
Because Iwould auoyd all shifts and tricks
That mightdeny me.
Sirletme beseech you
Affect notthese strange trialls; if you doubt
Mychastitywhy lock me upfor euer:
Make methe heyre of darkenesse. Let me liue
Where Imay please your fearesif not your trust.
BeleeueitI have no such humorI.
All that IspeakeI meane; yet I am not mad:
Nothorne-madsee you? Go toshew your selfe
Obedientand a wife.
I say it
Was thisthe traine?
I havetold you reasons;
What thePhisitians have set downe; how much
It mayconcerne me; what my ingagements are;
My meanes;and the necessity of those meanes
For myrecouery: whereforeif you be
Loyalland minebe wonnerespect my venture.
There isno such thingin nature: a mere terme
Inuentedto awe fooles. What is my gold
The worsefor touching? clothesfor being look'd on?
Whythisis no more. An olddecrepite wretch
That hasno senseno sinewe; takes his meate
Withothers fingers; onely knowes to gape
When youdo scald his gummes; a voice; a shadow;
Andwhatcan this man hurt you?
Is thishath entred him?
And foryour same
That issuch a ligg; as if I would go tell it
Crie iton the Piazza! who shall know it?
But hethat cannot speake it; and this fellow
Whoselippes are in my pocket: saue your selfe
If youwill proclaime ityou may. I know no other
Shouldcome to know it.
Areheauenand Saints then nothing?
Will theybe blindor stupide?
Be iealousstilæmulate them; and think
What hatethey burne withtoward euery sinne.
I grauntyou; if I thought it were a sinne
I wouldnot vrge you. Should I offer this
To someyoung Frenchmanor hot Tuscane bloud
That hadread Aretineconn'd all his printes
Knew eueryquirke within lusts Laborinth
And wereprofest Cristiquein lechery;
And Iwould loope upon himand applaud him
This werea sinne: but hereit is contrary
A piousworkemere charityfor Physick
And honestpolitieto assure mine own.
O heauencanst thou suffer such a change?
Thou artmine honorMosca and my pride
My ioymyticklingmy delight: gobring them.
Please you drawe neareSir.
Come onwhat --
You willnot be rebellious? By that light --
SirSignior Coruinohereis come to see you
Andhearing of the consultation had
So latelyfor your healthis come to offer
Or ratherSirto prostitute --
Freelyvna -- sk'dor vn -- intreated --
(As thetrueferuent instance of his love)
His ownmost faireand proper wife; the beauty
Onely ofpricein Venice --
It is wellvrg'd.
To be yourcomfortresseand to preserue you.
AlasseIam past already. 'Pray youthanke him
For hisgood careand promptnesse. But for that
It is avaine laboureene to fightagainst heauen;
Applyingfire to a stone: (uhuhuhuh) [coughing]
Making adead leafe grow againe. I take
His wishesgentlythough; andyou may tell him
What Ihave done for him: Marymy state is hopelesse
Will himto pray for me: and to vse his fortune
Withreuerencewhen he comes to it.
Go to himwith your wife.
Heart of my father!
Wilt thoupersist thus? Come. I pray theecome.
Thou seestit is nothing: Celia. By this hand
I shallgrow violent. Comedo itI say.
Sirkillmerather: I will take downe poyson
Eateburning coalesdo any thing --
(Heart Iwill drag thee hencehomeby the haire;
Cry thee astrumpetthrough the streetes; rip up
Thy mouthunto thine eares; and slit thy nose
Like a rawrotchet -- Do not tempt mecome
YeldI amloth -- (Death) I will buy some slaue
Whom Iwill killand binde thee to himaliue;
Andat mywindorehang you forth: deuising
Somemonstrous crimewhich Iin CAPITAL letters
Will eateinto thy fleshwith Aqua-fortis
Andburning cor'siueson this stubborne brest.
Nowbythe bloudthou hast incens'dI will do it.
Sirwhatyou pleaseyou mayI am your Martyr.
Be notthus obstinateI have not deseru'd it:
Thinkwhoit isintreats you. 'Pray theesweete;
(Good'faith)thou shalt have iewellsgownesattires
What thouwilt thinkand aske -- Dobutgoe kisse him.
Or touchhimbut. For my sake. At my sute.
This once.No? Not? I shall remember this.
Will youdisgrace methus? Do you thirst my vndoing?
Naygentle Ladybe aduis'd.
Nono.She has watch'd her time. God's precious -- this is skiruy: it isvery skiruie: And you are --
An errantLocustby heauena Locust. Whore
Crocodilethat hast thy teares prepar'd
Expectinghow thou wilt bid hem flow.
Would mylife would serue
(S'Death)if she would but speake to him
And sauemy reputationit were somewhat;
Butspightfully to affect my vtter ruine:
Ayenowyou have put your fortunein her hands.
Why infaithit is her modestyI must quit her;
If youwere absentshe would be more comming;
I know it:and dare vndertake for her.
What womancanbefore her husband? 'pray you
Let usdeparteand leaue herhere.
Thou maystredeeme allyet; I will say no more:
If notesteeme your selfe as lost-- Naystay there. [Shutsthe doorand exit with MOSCA]
O Godandhis good Angells! whetherwhether
Is shamefled humane brests? thatwith such ease
Men dareput of your honorsand their own?
Is thatwhich euer was a cause of life
Nowplace'd beneath the basest circumstance?
Andmodesty an exile madefor money?
Aye inCoruinoand such earth-fed mindes[leapingfrom his couch]
That neuertasted the true heau'n of love.
AssuretheeCeliahe that would sell thee
Onely forhope of gaineand that vncertaine
He wouldhave sold his part of Paradise
For readymoneyhad he met a Cope-man.
Why artthou maz'dto see me thus reuiu'd?
Ratherapplaud thy beauties miracle;
It is thygreat worke: that hathnot now alone
But sundrytimesrays'd mein seuerall shapes
Andbutthis morninglike a Mountebanke;
To seethee at thy windore. Ayebefore
I wouldhave left my practisefor thy love
In varyingfiguresI would have contended
With theblew Proteusor the horned Floud.
Norletthy false imagination
That I wasbedridmake thee thinkI am so:
Thou shaltnot find it. I amnowas fresh
As hotashighandin as Iouiall plight
As when(in that so celebrated Scene
Atrecitation of our Como edie
Forentertayment of the great Valoys)
I actedyong Antinou+s; and atracted
The eyesand eares of all the Ladiespresent
To admireeach gracefull gesturenoteand footing.
Song Comemy Celialet us proueWhilewe canthe sports of love; Timewill not be oursfor euerHeatlengthour good will seuer; Spendnot then his guiftesin vaine. Sunnesthat setmay rise againe: But ifoncewe loose this lightIt iswith us perpetuall night. Whyshould we deferre our ioyes? Fameand rumor are but toyes. Cannotwe delude the eyes Of afew poore houshold-spies? Or hiseasier eares beguileThusremoouedby our wile? It isno sinneloves fruicts to steale; But thesweete thefts to reveale: To betakento be seeneThesehave crimes accounted beene.
Someserene blast meor dire lightning strike
This myoffending face.
Whydroopes my Celia?
Thou hastin place of a base husbandfound
A worthylover: vse thy fortune well
Withsecrecyand pleasure. Seebehold
What thouart Queene of; not in expectation
As I feedeothers: but possess'dand crown'd.
Seeherea rope of pearle; and eachmore orient
Then thatthe braue A Egiptian Queene carrous'd:
Dissolueand drinke them. Seea Carbuncle
May putout both the eyes of our St Marke;
A Diamantwould have bought Lollia Paulina
When shecame inlike star-lighthid with iewells
That werethe spoyles of Prouinces; take these
And weareand loose them: Yetremaines an Eare-ring
Topurchase them againeand this whole State.
A Gembutworth a priuate patrimony
Isnothing: we will eate such at a meale.
The headsof parrotstongues of nightingalles
Thebraynes of peacocksand of estriches
Shall beour foode: andcould we get the pho enix
(ThoughNature lost her kind) she were our dish.
Good Sirthese things might moue a minde affected
With suchdelights; but Iwhose innocence
Is all Ican think wealthyor worth the enioying
Andwhichonce lostI have nought to loose beyond it
Cannot betaken with these sensuall baytes:
If youhave conscience --
It is theBeggers vertue
If thouhast wisdomeheare me Celia.
Thy bathesshall be the iuyce of Iuly-flowers
Spirit ofrosesand of violets
The milkeof vnicornesand panthers breath
Gather'din baggesand mixt with Cretan wines.
Our drinkeshall be prepared goldand amber;
Which wewill takevntill my roofe whirle round
With thevertigo: and my Dwarfe shall dance
My Eunuchsingmy Foole make up the antique.
Whilstwein changed shapesact Ouids tales
ThoulikeEuropa nowand I like Ioue
Then Ilike Marsand thou like Erycine
Soof theresttill we have quite run through
Andweary'd all the fables of the Gods.
Then willI have theein more moderne formes
Attiredlike some sprightly Dame of France
BraueTuscan ladyor proud Spanish Beautie;
Sometimesunto the Persian Sophies Wife;
Or thegrand-Signiors Mistresse; andfor change
To one ofour most arte-full Curtezans
Or somequick Negroor cold Russian;
And I willmeete theein as many shapes:
Where wemaysotrans-fuse our wandring soules
Out at ourlippesand score up summes of pleasures[Sings]
Thatthe curious shall not knowHow totell themas they flow; And theenuiouswhen they find Whatthere number isbe pind.
If youhave earesthat will be pierc'd -- or eyes
That canbe open'd -- a heartmay be touch'd --
Or anypartthat yet sounds manabout you --
If youhave touch of holy Saints -- or Heauen --
Do me thegraceto let me scape -- if not
Bebountifulland kill me -- you do know
I am acreaturehether ill betrayd
By onewhose shame I would forget it were --
If youwill daigne me neither of these graces
Yet feedeyour wrathSirrather then your lust --
(It is avicecomes nearer manlinesse --)
And punishthat vnhappy crime of nature
Which youmiscall my beauty -- Flea my face
Or poisonitwith oyntmentsfor seducing
Your bloudto this rebellion -- Rub these hands
With whatmay cause an eating leprosie
Even to mybonesand marrow -- Any thing
That maydis-fauour mesaue in my honour --
And I willkneele to you'pray for youpay downe
A thousandhowrely vowesSirfor your health --
Reportand think you vertuous --
Frosenand impotentand so report me?
That I hadNestor's herniathou wouldst think.
I dodegenerateand abuse my Nation
To playwith oportunitythus long:
I shouldhave done the actand then have parlee'd.
YeeldorI will force thee.[Seizesher.]
Forbearefoule rauisherlibidinous swine
Free theforc'd ladyor thou dy'stImpostor.
But that Iam loath to snatch thy punishment
Out of thehand of Iusticethou shouldstyet
Be madethe timely sacrifice of vengeance
Beforethis Altarand this drossethy Idoll.
Ladyletus quit the placeit is the den
Ofvillany; feare nought you have a guard:
And heere longshall meete his iust reward.[ExeuntBONARIO and CELIA.]
Fall onmeroofeand bury me in ruine
Become mygrauethat wert my shelter. O
Betray'dto beggaryto infamy --
Scene 3.8[EnterMOSCAwounded and bleeding.]
Whereshall I runnemost wretched shame of men
To beateout my vn-luckie braines?
What? dostthou bleede?
Othathis well-driu'n sword
Had beeneso curteousto have cleft me downe
Unto thenauill; e're I liu'd to see
My lifemy hopesmy spiritsmy Patronall
Thusdesperately engagedby my error.
Thou hastmade me miserable.
Who wouldhave thoughthe would have harken'dso?
What shallwe do?
I knownotif my heart
Couldexpiate the mischanceI would pluck it out.
Will yoube pleas'd to hang me? or cut my throate?
And I willrequite youSir. Let us die like Romanes
Since wehave liu'dlike Grecians. [Knocking within]
Hearkewho is there?
I hearesome footingOfficersthe Saffi
Come toapprehend us! I do feele the brand
Hissingalreadyat my fore-head: now
Mine earesare boring.
Make thatplace goodhow euer. [VOLPONE lies downas before.]
Suspectwhat they deserue still. Signior Corbaccio!
Scene 3.9[EnterCORBACCIO with VOLTORE behindunseen.]
Why! hownow? Mosca!
Your son(I know notby what accident)
Acquaintedwith your purposeto my Patron
Touchingyour Willand making him your heire;
Entred ourhouse with violencehis sword drawne
Sought foryoucall'd you wretchvnnaturall
Vow'd hewould kill you.
This actshall disinherit him indeed:
Here isthe Will.
Be you ascarefullnowfor me.
Is notmore tenderdI am onely yours.
How doeshe? will he die shortlythink'st thou?
He willout-last May.
Couldstthou not give him a dram?
O by nomeanesSir.
NayIwill not bid you.
This is a knaueI see.
HowSignior Voltore! did he heare me?
Who isthat? OSirmost timely welcome --
To thediscouery of your tricksI feare.
You arehisonely? and minealso? are you not?
YouSir.What deuise is this
A plot foryouSir.
Put notyour foysts upon meI shall sent them.
Did younot heare it?
Hath madeyour Patrontherehis heire.
By mydeuisedrawne to it by my plot
YourPatron should reciprocate?
For yourgoodI didSir.
Nay moreI told his sonbroughthid him here
Where hemight heare his father passe the deed:
Beingperswaded to itby this thoughtSir
That thevnnaturallnessefirstof the act
And thenhis fathers oft disclayming in him
Which Idid meane to helpe onwould sure enrage him
To do someviolence upon his parent
On whichthe law should take sufficient hold
And you bestated in a double hope:
Truth bemy comfortand my conscience
My onelyayme wasto dig you a fortune
Out ofthese twooldrotten Sepulchers --
I cry theemercy Mosca.
And yourgreat meritSir. Andsee the change!
Mosthapplesse! you must helpeSir.
Whilst weexpected the old Rauenin comes
Coruino'swifesent hetherby her husband --
(I willtell you howanone) andstaying long
The youthhe growes impatientrushes forth
Seizeththe ladywound's memakes her sweare
(Or hewould murder herthat was his vow)
To affirmemy patron would have done her rape:
Which howvnlike it isyou see! andhence
With thatpretexthe is goneto accuse his father;
Defame myPatron; defeate you --
Where isher husband?
Let him besent forstreight.
SirIwill go fetch him.
Bring himto the Scrutineo.
This mustbe stopt.
Alasseitwas labor'd allSirfor your good;
Nor wasthere want of councellin the plot:
Butfortune canat any timeore throw
Theproiects of a hundred learned ClearkesSir.
What is that?
Wiltplease youSirto go along?
[ExitCORBACCIO followed by VOLTORE]
Patrongoinand pray for our successe.
Volpone:[risingfrom his couch]
Need makesdeuotion; Heauen your labor blesse.[Exeunt]
Scene 4.1A street.[EnterSIR POLITIC WOULD-BE and PEREGRINE.]
I toldyouSirit was a plot: you see
Whatobseruation is. You mention'd me
For someinstructions: I will tell youSir
(Since weare metherein this height of Venice)
Some fewperticularsI have set downe
Onelyforthis meridianfit to be knowne
Of yourcrude Trauailerand they are these.
I will nottouchSirat your phraseor clothes
For theyare old.
I meantas they are Theames.
I willslander you no more of witgood Sir.
Firstforyour garbeit must be graueand serious
Veryreseru'dand lock't; not tell a secret
On anytermesnot to your father; scarse
A fablebut with caution; make sure choise
Both ofyour companyand discourse; beware
You neuerspeake a truth --
For thosebe theyyou must conuerse withmost;
Others Iwould not knowSirbutat distance
So as Istill might be a sauerin them:
You shallhave trickselsepast upon youhourely.
And thenfor your Religionprofesse none;
Butwonderat the diuersity of all;
Andforyour partprotestwere there no other
But simplythe Lawesof the Landyou could content you:
Nic:Machiauelland Monsieur Bodineboth
Were ofthis minde. Thenmust you learne the vse
Andhandling of your siluer forkeat meales;
Themettall of your glasse -- These are maine matters
With yourItalianand to know the hower
When youmust eat your melonsand your figges.
Is that apoint of Statetoo?
For yourVenetianif he see a man
Preposterousin the leasthe has him straight;
He has: hestrippes him. I will acquaint youSir
I now haveliu'd here (it is some fourteene monthes)
Within thefirst weekeof my landing here
All tookeme for a Citizen of Venice:
I knew theformesso well --
And nothing else.
I had readContarenetooke me a house
Dealt withmy Iewesto furnish it with moueables --
Wellif Icould but finde one man -- one man
To mineown heartwhome I durst trust -- I would --
Make himrich; make him a fortune:
He shouldnot thinkagaine. I would command it.
Withcertaine proiectsthat I have:
WhichImay not discouer.
If I had
But one towager withI would lay oddsnow
One is(and that
I care notgreatlywho knowes) to serue the State
Of Venicewith red herringsfor three yeares
And at acertaine ratefrom Roterdam
Where Ihave correspendence. There is a letter
Sent mefrom one of the Statesand to that purpose;
He cannotwrite his namebut that is his marke.
He is aChaundler?
There aresome other twowith whome I treate
About thesame negotiation;
And -- Iwill vndertake it: Forit is thus
I will doit with easeI have cast it all. Your hoigh
Carriesbut three men in herand a boy;
And sheshall make me three returnesa yeare:
Soifthere come but one of threeI saue
If twoIcan defalke. Butthis is now
If mymayne proiect faile.
I shouldbe loath to draw the subtill ayre
Of such aplacewithout my thousand aymes.
I will notdissembleSirwhere ere I come
I love tobe consideratiue; andit is true
I haveatmy free houresthought upon
Somecertaine Goodsunto the State of Venice
Which I docall my Cautions: andSirwhich
I meane(in hope of pension) to propound
To thegreat Councellthen unto the Forty
So to theTen. My meanes are made already --
Sironethat though his place be obscure
Yethecan swayand they will heare him. He isACommandadore.
Sirsuchas they areput it in their mouthes
What theyshould saysometimes: as well as greater.
I think Ihave my notesto shew you – [Searching his pockets.]
Butyoushall sweare unto meon your gentry
Not toanticipate --
Acircumstance -- My paper is not with me.
Obutyou can rememberSir.
ConcerningTinder-boxes. You must know
No familyisherewithout its boxe;
Now Sirit being so portable a thing
Put casethat youor I were ill affected
Unto theState: Sirwith itin our pockets
Might notI go into the Arsenale?
Or you?come out againe? and none the wiser?
Go tothen. Itherefore
Aduertiseto the Statehow fit it were
That nonebut such as were knowne Patriots
Soundlovers of their countryshould be sufferd
To enioythem in their houses: Andeuen those
Sealdatsome officeand at such a bignesse
As mightnot lurke in pockets.
My nextishow to enquireand be resolu'd
By presentdemonstrationwhether a Ship
Newlyarriued from Soriaor from
Andsuspected part of all the Leuant
Be guiltyof the Plague: Andwhere they vse
To lie outfortyfifty dayessometimes
About theLazarettofor their triall;
I willsaue that chargeand losse unto the merchant
Andin anhourecleare the doubt.
Or -- Iwill loose my labour.
My faiththat is much.
NaySirconceiue me. It will cost mein onions
Somethirty Liu'res --
Which isone pound sterling.
Beside mywater-workes: For this I doSir.
FirstIbring in your ship'twixt two brickwalles;
(But thosethe State shall venter) on the one
I straineme a fayre tarre-paulin; andin that
I stick myonionscut in halfes: the other
Is full ofloope holesout at whichI thrust
The nosesof my bellowes; andthose bellowes
I keepewith water-workesin perpetuall motion
Which isthe easi'st matter of a hundred.)
NowSiryour onionwhich doth naturally
Attractthe infectionand your bellowesblowing
The aireupon himwill shew (instantly)
By hischang'd colourif there be contagion;
Or elseremaine as faireas at the first:
Now it isknowneit is nothing.
I wouldIhad my note.
Butyouhave done wellfor onceSir.
Or wouldbe made soI could shew you reasons
How Icould sell this Statenowto the Turke;
Spight oftheir Galleysor their – [Examining his papers]
Pray youSir Poll.
I havethem notabout me.
No. Thisis my Diary
Wherein Inote my actions of the day.
'Pray youlet us seeSir. What is here? [Reads.] NotandumA Rathad gnawne my spur-lethers; notwithstandingI puton newand did go forth: butfirstI threwthree beanes ouer the threshold. ItemI wentand bought two tooth-pickeswhereof one Iburstimmediatlyin a discourse With adutch Merchantabout Ragion del stato. FromhimI wentand payd a moccinigoForpeecing my silke stockings; by the wayIcheapend sprats: and at St MarkesI vrin'd.
'Faiththese are politique notes!
No actionof my lifethusbut I quote it.
Beleeuemeit is wise!
Scene 4.2[Enterat a distanceLADY POLITIC WOULD-BENANOand two WAITING-WOMEN.]
Whereshould this loose Knight betrow? sure he is hous'd.
Whythenhe is fast.
Ayeheplaies bothwith me:
I prayyoustay. This heate will do more harme
To mycomplexionthen his heart is worth;
(I do notcare to hinderbut to take him)
How itcomes of! [Rubbing her cheeks.]
With ayong Gentleman.
That sameis the party
In mansapparell. 'Pray youSiriog my Knight:
I will betender to his reputation
How euerhe demerit.
It is sheindeed Siryou shall know her. She is
Were shenot minea Lady of that merite
Forfashionand behauiour; andfor beauty
I durstcompare --
It seemesyou are not iealous
That darecommend her.
Nayandfor discourse --
Beeingyour wifeshe cannot misse that.
Here is aGentleman'pray youvse himfayrely
He seemesa youthbut he is --
Has puthis faceas sooneinto the world --
You meaneas early? but to day?
Why inthis habitSiryou apprehend me.
Well M rWould-beethis doth not become you;
I hadthoughtthe odourSirof your good name
Had beenemore precious to you; that you would not
Have donethis dire massacreon your honour;
One ofyour grauitieand rankebesides:
ButKnightsI seecare little for the oath
They maketo Ladies; chiefely their own Ladies.
Now by mySpurres (the Symbole of my Knight-hood)
(Lord! howhis brayne is humbledfor an oath)
I reachyou not.
May beareit throughthus. [To PEREGRINE.]
Sira word with you.
I would beloathto contestpublikely
With anyGentlewoman or to seeme
Frowardor violent (as the Courtier
It comestoo neare rusticityin a Lady
Which Iwould shunby all meanes: andhow-euer
I maydeserue from Mr Would-beeyet
To haveone fayre Gentlewomanthusbe made
The vnkindinstrumentto wrong another
And oneshe knowes not; ayeand to perseuer:
In mypoore iudgementis not warranted
From beinga solo ecisme in our sexe
If not inmanners.
Comenearer to your ayme.
Since youprouoke mewith your impudence
Andlaughter of your light land-Syrenhere
YourSporusyour Hermaphrodite --
Poe+tiquefuryand Historique stormes?
TheGentlemanbeleeue itis of worth
And of ourNation.
ComeIblush for youM r Would-beeI;
And amasham'dyou should have no more forehead
Thenthusto be the Patronor Saint George
To a lewdharlota base fricatrice
A femaledeuillin a male out-side.
And you besuch a one! I must bidadieu
To yourdelights. The case appeares too liquide. [Exit]
Ayeyoumay carry it clearewith your State-face;
Butforyour Carniuale Concupiscence
Who hereis fledfor liberty of conscience
Fromfurious persecution of the Marshall
Her will Idisc'ple.
This isfineIn faith!
And do youvse thisoften? is this part
Of yourwits exerciseagainst you have occasion?
Do youheare meLady?
Whyifyour Knight have set you to begge shirts
Or toinuite me homeyou might have done it
A nearerwayby farre:
Thiscannot worke you
Out of mysnare.
Why? am Iin itthen?
Indeedyour husband told meyou were fayre
And so youare; onelyyour nose enclines
(Thatsidethat is next the Sunne) to the Queene-apple:
Thiscannot be indur'dby any patience.
What isthe matterMadame?
Right notmy questin this; I will protest them
To all theworldno Aristocracye.
What isthe iniurieLady?
You toldme ofhere I have ta'ne disguis'd.
Who? this?What meanes your Ladiship? The creature
Imention'd to youis apprehendednow
Before theSenateyou shall see her --
I willbring you to her. This yong Gentleman
I saw himlandthis morningat the Port.
Is itpossible! how has my iudgement wander'd?
SirImustblushingsay to youI have err'd:
And pleadyour pardon.
I hopeyou have not the malice to remember
AGentlewomans passion. If you stay
In Venicehereplease you to vse meSir --
'Pray youSirvse me. In faith
The moreyou vse me the more I shall conceiue
You haveforgot our quarrell.
[ExeuntLADY WOULD-BEMOSCANANOand WAITING-WOMEN.]
SirPolitique Would-bee? NoSir Politique Baud.
To bringmethusacquainted with his wife!
WellwiseSir Pol: since you have practis'dthus
Upon myfreshman-shipI will trie your salt-head
Whatproofe it is against a counter-plot.[Exit.]
Scene 4.4The Scrutineo.[EnterVOLTORECORBACCIOCORVINOand MOSCA.]
Wellnowyou know the carriage of the businesse
Yourconstancy is allthat is requir'd
Unto thesafety of it.
Is the lie
Safelyconuai'd amongst us? Is that sure?
Knoweseuery man his burden?
Butknowes the Aduocate the truth?
By nomeanes. I deuis'd a formall tale
Thatsalu'd your reputation. Butbe valiantSir.
I feare noonebut him; thatthis his pleading
Shouldmake him stand for a co-heire --
Hang him:we will but vse his tonguehis noise
As we doCroakershere.
Ayewhatshall he do?
When wehave doneyou meane?
Sell himfor Mummiahe is halfe dust already.[toVOLTORE.]
Do not you smileto see this Buffalo
How hedoes sport it with his head? [Aside.]
-- I should
If allwere welland past. Sironely you
Are herethat shall enioy the crop of all
And thesenot know for whome they toile.
But you shall eate it. [Aside.]
Mercurysit upon your thundring tongue
Or theFrench Herculesand make your language
Asconquering as his clubto beate along
(As with atempest) flatour aduersaries;
Here theycomehave done.
I haveanother witnesseif you needeSir
Who is it?
Scene 4.5[EnterAVOCATORI and take their seats; BONARIOCELIANOTARIOCOMMENDATORISAFFIand other OFFICERS OF JUSTICE.]
The likeof this the Senate neuer heard of.
It willcome most strange to themwhen we report it.
TheGentlewoman has beene euer held
So has theyouth.
The morevnnaturall part that of his father.
I not knowto give
His act anameit is so monstrous!
But theImpostorhe is a thing created
And allafter times!
I neuerheard a true voluptuary.
Appeareyet those were cited?
Allbutthe old magnificoVolpone.
Why is nothe here?
Here ishis Avuocate. Himselfe isso weake
His Knauehis Pandar -- I beseech the Court
He may beforc'd to comethat your graue eies
May bearestrong witnesse of his strange impostures.
Upon myfaithand creditwith your vertues
He is notable to endure the ayre.
Bring himhowe euer.
We willsee him.
YourFather-hoodes fit pleasures be obey'd[ExeuntOFFICERS.]
But surethe sight will rather mooue your pittyes
Thenindignation; may it please the Court
In themeane timehe may be heard in me:
I knowthis Place most voide of preiudice
Andtherefore craue itsince we have no reason
To feareour truth should hurt our cause.
Then knowmost honor'd FathersI must now
Discouerto your strangely abused eares
The mostprodigiousand most frontlesse piece
Of solidimpudenceand trechery
That euervicious nature yet brought forth
To shamethe State of Venice. This lewd woman
(Thatwants no artificiall lookesor teares
To helpethe visorshe has now put on)
Hath longbeene knowne a close adultresse
To thatlasciuious youth therenot suspected
I saybutknowne; and takenin the act
With him;and by this manthe easie husband
Pardon'd:whose timelesse bounty makes himnow
Standherethe most vnhappyinnocent person
That euermans own vertue made accus'd.
For thesenot knowing how to owe a gift
Of thatdeare gracebut with their shame; being plac'd
So aboueall powers of their gratitude
Began tohate the benefit; andin place
Ofthankesdeuise to extirpe the memory
Of such anact: whereinI pray your Father-hoods
To obseruethe maliceyeathe rage of creatures
Discouer'din their euils; and what heart
Such takeeuenfrom their crimes. But thatanone
Will moreappeare. This Gentlemanthe father
Hearing ofthis foule factwith many others
That daylystrooke at his too-tender eares
Andgrieu'd in nothing morethen that he could not
Preseruehimselfe a parent (his sons ills
Growing tothat strange floud) at last decreed
These bestrange turnes!
The yongmans fame was euer faireand honest.
So muchmore full of danger is his vice
That canbeguile sovnder shade of vertue.
But as Isaid (my honour'd Sires) his father
Havingthis setled purpose(by what meanes
To himbetray'dwe know not) and this day
Appointedfor the deedthat Parricide
(I cannotstile him better) by confederacy
Preparingthis his Paramourto be there
EntredVolpone's house (who was the man
YourFather-hoods must vnderstanddesign'd
For theinheritance) theresought his father;
Butwithwhat purpose sought he himmy Sires?
(I trembleto pronounce itthat a son
Unto afatherand to such a father
Shouldhave so foulefelonious intent)
It wastomurder him. Whenbeing preuented
By hismore happy absencewhat then did he?
Not checkhis wicked thoughts; nonow new deedes:
(Mischiefedoth euer ende. Where it begins)
An act ofhorrorFathers! he drag'd forth
The agedGentlemanthat had there lienbed-rid
Threeyearesand moreout off his innocent couch
Naked uponthe floorethere left him; wounded
Hisseruant in the face; andwith this strumpet
The staleto his for'gd practisewho was glad
To be soactiue(I shall here desire
YourFather-hoods to note but my collections
As mostremarkable) thoughtat onceto stop
Hisfathers ends; discredit his free choise
In the oldGentleman; redeeme themselues
By layinginfamyupon this man
To whomewith blushingthey should woe their liues.
Whatproofes have you of this?
I humblycrauethere be no credite giuen
To thismans mercenary tongue.
His soulemoues in his face.
For sixsols morewould pleade against his Maker.
You doforget your selfe.
Let himhave scope; can any man imagine
That hewill spare his accuserthat would not
Havespar'd his parent?
Wellproduce your proofes.
I wouldIcould forgetI were a creature.
SigniorCorbaccio. [CORBACCIO comes forward.]
Has he hadan oath?
What mustI do now?
Yourtestimony is crau'd.
Speake tothe knaue?
I willhave my mouthfirststopt with earth; my heart
Abhors hisknowledge: I disclaime in him
The mereportent of nature.
He is anvtter stranger to my loynes.
Have theymade you to this?
I will notheare thee
SirIwill sit downe
And ratherwish my innocence should suffer
Then Iresist the authority of a father.
SigniorCoruino. [CORVINO comes forward.]
This woman(please your Father-hoods) is a whore
Of mosthot exercisemore then a partrich
Neigheslike a gennet.
Preseruethe honour of the Court.
Andmodesty of your most reuerend eares.
AndyetI hope that I may saythese eyes
Have seeneher glew'd unto that peece of Cedar;
That finewell-timber'd gallant: and thathere
Theletters may be readthrough the horne
That makethe story perfect.
There is no harme in thisnowis there?
Or if IsaidI hop'd that she were onward
To herdamnationif there be a hell
Greaterthen whoreand woman; a good Christian
May makethe doubt.
His griefehath made him frantique.
Looke tothe woman.
Stand fromabout her.
Give herthe ayre.
What can you say?
(May itplease your wisdomes) speakes for mereceiu'd
In ayde ofmy good Patronwhen he mist
His soughtfor fatherwhen that well-taught dame
Had herQu: giuen herto crie out a rape.
OMostlay'd impudence! Fathers.
You hadyour hearing freeso must they theirs.
I do beginto doubt the imposturehere.
Thiswomanhas too many moodes.
She is acreatureof a most profest
Not takeyour wisdomes: butthis dayshe bayted
Astrangera graue Knightwith her loose eeyes
And morelasciuious kisses. This man [indicating MOSCA]
Togetheron the waterin a Gondola.
Here isthe Lady herselfethat saw them too
Without;whothenhad in the open streetes
Pursew'dthembut for sauing her Knights honour.
Let hercome. [Exit MOSCA.]
I amturn'd a stone!
Scene 4.6[EnterMOSCA with LADY WOULD-BE.]
Ayethissame is she. [Pointing to CELIA.]
OutthouChameleon harlot; nowthine eyes
Vie teareswith the Hyæna: darst thou looke
Upon mywronged face? I crie your pardons.
I feareIhave (forgettingly) transgrest
Againstthe dignity of the Court --
And beeneexorbitant --
Theseproofes are strong.
SurelyIhad no purpose
Toscandalize your Honorsor my sexes.
We dobeleeue it.
Surelyyou may beleeue it.
Indeedeyou may; my breeding
Is not socourse --
We wellthink it.
You maythink it.
Let hero'recome. [To BONARIO.]
What witnesses have you
To makegood your report?
Andheauenthat neuer fayles the innocent.
These areno testimonies.
Naythenyou do waxe insolent.
[Re-enterOFFICERSbearing VOLPONE on a couch. LADY POLITIC embraceshim.]
Thetestimony comesthat will conuince
And put tovtter dumbnessetheir bold tongues.
See heregraue Fathershere is the Rauisher
The Rideron mens wiuesthe great Impostor
The grandVoluptuary: Do you not think
Theselimbes should affect Venery? or these eyes
Couet aconcubine? 'Pray youmarke these hands
Are theynot fit to stroke a Ladies brests?
Perhapshe doth dissemble.
Would youhave him tortur'd?
I wouldhave him prou'd.
Best triehimthenwith goadesor burning Irons;
Put him tothe strappado; I have heard
The Rackhath cur'd the goute; faithgive it him
And helpehim of a maladybe courteous:
I willvndertakebefore these honor'd Fathers
He shallhaveyetas many left diseases
As she hasknowne adulterersor thou strumpets.
Omy mostequall Hearersif these deedes
Actsofthis boldand most exorbitant straine
May passewith suffrance; what one Cittizen
But owesthe forfeit of his lifeyea fame
To himthat dares traduce him? Which of you
Are safemy honord Fathers? I would aske
(Withleaue of your graue Father-hoods) if their plot
Have anyfaceor colour like to truth?
Or ifunto the dullest nostrillhere
It smellnot rankeand most abhorred flaunder?
I craueyour care of this good Gentleman
Whose lifeis much indanger'dby their fable;
Andasfor themI will conclude with this
Thatvicious persons when they are hotand flesh'd
In impiousactstheir constancy abounds:
Damn'ddeedes are done with greatest confidence.
Take themto custodyand seuer them.
[CELIA andBONARIO are taken out.]
It ispittytwo such prodigies should liue.
Let theold Gentleman be return'dwith care;
[ExeuntOFFICERS with VOLPONE.]
I am soryour credulity wrong'd him.
These aretwo creatures!
I have anearthquake in me!
Theirshame (euen in their cradles) fled their faces.
You have done a worthy seruice to the StateSir
You shallheareere night
Whatpunishment the Court decrees upon them.
We thankeyour Father-hoods. [Exeunt AVOCATORINOTARIOand OFFICERS.] [ToMOSCA.]
How like you it?
I wouldhave your tongueSirtipt with goldfor this;
I wouldhave you be the heyre to the whole Citty;
The earthI would have want menere you want liuing:
They arebount to erect your Statuein St Markes.
SigniorCoruinoI would have you goe
And shewyour selfethat you have conquer'd.
It was much betterthat you should professe
Your selfea cuckoldthus; then that the other
Shouldhave beene prou'd.
Nay Iconsider'd that;
Now it isher fault:
Thenithad beene yours.
TrueI dodoubt this Aduocatestill.
You neednotI dare ease you of that care.
As yourown souleSir. [Exit CORVINO.]
Now foryour businesseSir.
How? haveyou busines?
None elsenot I.
Rest youwith both your eiesSir.
And lookethat all
What-euerbe put iniewellsplatemoneyes
OnelytheAduocates fee must be deducted.
I will payhimnow: you will be too prodigall.
Sir. Imust tender it.
TwoCecchines is well?
It is toomuch.
He talk'da great while
You mustconsider thatSir.
Wellthere is three --
I willgive it him.
Do soandthere is for thee. [Exit.]
Bountifullbones! What horride strange offence
Did hecommit against naturein his youth
Worthythis age? [To VOLTORE.]
You seeSirhow I worke
Unto yourends; take you no notice.
I willleaue you.
Allisyours; [exit VOLTORE]
the Deuilland all
GoodAduocate! MadameI will bring you home.
NoI willgo see your Patron.
That youshall not:
I willtell youwhy. My purpose isto vrge
My patronto reforme his Will; andfor
The zealeyou have shew'n to daywhereas before
You werebut thirdor fourthyou shall be now
Put in thefirst; which would appeare as beg'd
If you bepresent. Therefore --
You shallsway me.[Exeunt.]
Scene 5.1A room in VOLPONE’s house.[EnterVOLPONE.]
WellI amhere; and all this brunt is past:
I ne'rewas in dislike with my disguise
Till thisfled moment; hereit was goodin priuate
Butinyour publikeCauewhilst I breath.
'Fore Godmy left legge began to have the crampe;
And Iappre'ndedstraightsome power had strooke me
With adead Palsey: WellI must be merry
And shakeit off. A many of these feares
Would putme into some villanous disease
Shouldthey come thick upon me: I will preuent them.
Give me aboule of lusty wineto fright
This humorfrom my heart; [Drinks.]
It isalmost gonealready: I shall conquer.
Anydeuisenowof rareingenious knauery
That wouldpossesse me with a violent laughter
Would makeme upagaine: [Drinks again.]
This heateis life; it is bloodby this time: Mosca!
How nowSir? does the day looke cleare againe?
Are werecouerd? and wrought out of error
Into ourway? to see our pathbefore us?
Is ourtrade freeonce more?
Was it notcarry'd learnedly?
Good witsare greatest in extremities.
It were afollybeyond thoughtto trust
Any grandact unto a cowardly spirit:
You arenot taken with itenoughme thinkes?
Omorethen if I had enioy'd the wench:
Thepleasure of all woman-kind is not like it.
Whynowyou speakeSir. We musthere be fixt;
Herewemust rest; this is our maister-peice;
We cannotthinkto goe beyond this.
Thou hastplayd thy prisemy precious Mosca.
To gullthe Court --
Andquitediuert the torrent
So rare aMusiqueout of Discordes --
Thatyetto me is the strangest! how thou hast borne it!
That these(being so diuided amongst them selues)
Should notsent some-whator in meor thee
Or doubttheir own side.
True. Theywill not see it;
Too muchlight blinds themI think: each of them
Is sopossestand stuft with his own hopes
That anythingunto the contrary
Neuer sotrueor neuer so apparent
Neuer sopalpablethey will resist it --
Like atemptation of the Deuill.
Merchantsmay talke of tradeand your great Signiors
Of landthat yeelds well; but if Italy
Have anyglebemore fruictfullthen these fellowes
I amdeceiu'd. Did not your Aduocate rare?
O mymost honor'd Fathersmy graue FathersVndercorrection of your Father-hoodsWhatface of truth ishere? If these strange deedes Maypassemost honour'd Fathers --
I had much a do
It seem'dto meyou sweateSir.
In trothI did a little.
Were younot daunted?
In goodfaithI was
A littlein a mist; but not deiected:
Neuerbutstill my selfe.
Now (sotruth helpe me) I must needes say thisSir
Andoutof conscience; for your Aduocate:
He hastaken paynesin faithSirand deseru'd
In mypoore iudgementI speake itvnder fauour
Not tocontrary youSirvery richly --
Well -- tobe cosend.
TrothandI think so too
By that Iheard himin the latter ende.
ObutbeforeSir; had you heard himfirst
Draw it tocertaine headsthen aggrauate
Then vsehis vehement figures -- I look'd stil
When hewould shift a shirt; anddoing this
Out ofpure loveno hope of gaine --
I cannotanswer himMoscaas I would
Not yet;butfor thy sakeat thy intreaty
I willbeginneeuen nowto vexe them all:
[EnterCASTRONE and NANO.]
Shall wehave a Iignow?
Streightgive outabout the streetesyou two
That I amdead; do itwith constancy
Sadlydoyou heare? impute it to the griefe
Of thislate slander. [Exeunt CASTRONE and NANO.]
What doyou meane Sir?
I shallhaveinstantlymy VultureCrow
Rauencome flying hither (on the newes)
To peckfor carrionmy shee-Wolfeand all
Greedyand full of expectation --
And thento have it rauish'd from their mouths?
It istrueI will have thee put on a gowne
And takeupon theeas thou wert mine heire;
Shew thema Will; Open that chestand reach
Forth oneof thosethat has the Blankes. I will straight
Put in thyname.
It will berareSir. [Giveshim a paper.]
When theyeven gapeand finde themselues deluded
Andthouvse them skiruily. Dispatch
Get on thygowne.
ButwhatSirif they aske
I will sayit stunkeSir; and was faine to have it
Coffin'dup instantlyand sent away.
Any thingwhat thou wilt. Holdhere is my Will.
Get thee acapa count-bookepen and inke
Papersafore thee; sitas thou wert taking
Aninuentory of parcells: I will get up
Behind thecurtineon a stooleand hearken;
Sometimepeepe ouer; seehow they do looke;
With whatdegreestheir bloud doth leaue their faces;
Oit willafford me a rare meale of laughter.
Mosca:[puttingon a capand setting out the table&c.]
YourAduocate will turne starke dullupon it.
It willtake of his Oratories edge.
But yourClarissimoold round-backehe
Willcrumpe youlike a hog-lousewith the touch.
OSirlooke for him
To morrowmorningwith a ropeand a dagger
To visiteall the streetes; he must runne madd.
My Ladytoothat came into the Court
To bearefalse witnessefor your Worship.
And kistme 'fore the Fathers; when my face
Flow'd allwith oyles.
And sweate-- Sir. Whyyour gold
Is suchanother med'cineit dries up
All thoseoffensiue sauors! It tranformes
The mostdeformedand restores them lovely
As it werethe strange poeticall Girdle. IOVE
Could notinuentto himselfea shroud more subtle
To passeAcrisius guardes. It is the thing
Makes allthe world her graceher youthher beauty.
I thinkshe loves me.
She isiealous of you.
Dost thousay so? [Knocking within.]
It is theVulture:
He has thequickest sent.
I will tomy place
Thoutothy posture [Goes behind the curtain.]
I am set.
Play theArtificer nowtorture themrarely.
How nowmy Mosca?
Taking aninuentory? that is well.
Mosca:TwoSutes of beddingTissew
Where isthe Will?
Let meread thatthe while.
[EnterSERVANTS with CORBACCIO in a chair.]
And getyou home. [Exeunt SERVANTS.]
Is hecomenowto trouble us?
Mosca:OfCloth of goldtwo more--
Mosca:Ofseuerall velletseight --
I like hiscare.
Dost thounot heare?
Ha? is thehoure comeMosca?
Volpone:[peepingover the curtain]
What doesthe Aduocatehere?
What dothese here?
[EnterLADY POLITIC WOULD-BE.]
Is histhred spunne?
Mosca:EightChests of Linnen --
My fineDame would-beetoo!
That I mayshew it theseand rid hem hence.
Mosca:SixChests of Diaper foure of Damasske
-- There.[Givesthem the will carelesslyover his shoulder.]
Is thatthe Will?
Mosca:Downe-Bedsand Boulsters --
Be busiestill. Nowthey begin to flutter:
They neuerthink of me. Lookeseeseesee!
How theirswift eies runne ouer the long deed
Unto theNameand to the Legacies
What isbequeath'd themthere --
Mosca:TenSutes of Hangings --
Ayeintheir gartersMosca. Nowtheir hopes
Are at thegaspe.
MyAduocate is dumbeLooke to my Merchant
He hasheard of some strange stormea ship is lost:
Hefaintes. My Lady will swoune. Old Glazen-eies
He hathnot reach'd his dispaireyet.
Are out ofhopeI am sure the man. [Takes the will.]
Is this inearnest?
Mosca:One OfEbony --
Ordo youbut delude me?
Mosca:TheotherMother of Pearle --
I am very busie.
Goodfaithit is a fortune throwne upon me --Itemone Salt of Agat
-- not my seeking.
-- 'pray you forbeare
You see Iam troubled -- made of an Onyx --
To morrowor next dayI shall be at leasure
To talkewith you all.
Is this mylarge hopes issue?
SirImust have a fayrer answere.
Maryandshall: 'pray youfairely quit my house.
Nayraiseno tempest with your lookes; buthearke you:
Rememberwhat your Ladyship offerd me
To put youinan heire; go tothink on it.
And whatyou saideene your best Madames did
Formaintaynanceand why not you? Inough.
Go homeand vse the poore Sir Poll. Your Knightwell;
For feareI tell some riddles; Gobe melancholique. [Exit LADY POLITIC.]
Mosca'pray you a word.
Lord! willnot you take your dispatch henceyet?
Me thinkes(of all) you should have beene the example.
Why shouldyou stayhere? with what thought? what promise?
Heare you;do not you knowI know you an asse?
Andthatyou would; most fainehave beene a wittoll
If fortunewould have let you? that you are
A declar'dcuckoldon good termes? This Pearle
You willsaywas yours? right. This Diamant?
I will notdeny itbut thanke you. Much hereelse?
It may beso. Whythink that these good workes
May helpeto hide your bad: I will not betray you
Althoughyou be but extraordinary
And haveit onely in titleit sufficeth.
Go home;be melancholiquetoo: or mad. [Exit CORVINO.]
RareMosca! how his villany becomes him.
Certainehe doth delude all thesefor me.
Ohisfowre eies have found it.
I amcosen'dcheatedby a Parasite-slaue;
Harlotthou hast gul'd me.
YesSir.Stop your mouth
Or I shalldraw the only toothis left.
Are notyou hethat filthy couetous wretch
With thethree leggesthatherein hope of prey
Haveanytime this three yearesnuft about
With yourmost grou'ling nose; and would have hir'd
Meto thepois'ning of my Patron? Sir?
Are notyou hethat haveto dayin Court
Profess'dthe dis-inheriting of your son?
Periur'dyour selfe? goe homeand dieand stinke;
If you butcroake a sillableall comes out:
Awayandcall your portersgogo stinke. [Exit CORBACCIO.]
I findethy constancie.
Mosca:[writing]A Table OfPorphiry --
I mar'leyou will be thus troublesome.
Nayleaueoff nowthey are gone.
Why? whoare you?
What? whodid send for you? O crie you mercy
ReuerendSir: good faithI am grieu'd for you
That anychance of mine should thus defeate
Your (Imust needs say) most deseruing trauailes:
ButIprotestSirit was cast upon me
And Icouldalmostwish to be without it
Butthatthe will of the dead must be obseru'd
Marymyioy isthat you need it not
You have agiftSir(thanke your education)
Will neuerlet you wantwhile there are men
And maliceto breed causes. Would I had
But halfethe likefor all my fortuneSir.
If I haveany sutes (as I do hope
Thingsbeing so easieand directI shall not)
I willmake bold with your obstreperous aide
(Conceiueme) for your feeSir. In meane time
Youthathave so much lawI know have the conscience
Not to becouetous of what is mine.
Good SirI thanke youfor my plate; it will helpe
To set upa yong man. Good faithyou looke
As youwere costiue; best goe homeand purgeSir. [Exit VOLTORE]
Volpone:[comesfrom behind the curtain]
Bid himeate lettice
well: mywitty mischiefe
Let meembrace thee. Othat I could now
Transformethee to a Venus -- Moscagoe
Streighttake my habite of Clarissimo
And walkethe streets; be seenetorment them more:
We mustpurseewas well as plot. Who would
Have lostthis feast?
I doubtit will loose them.
Omyrecouery shall recouer all
That Icould now but think on some disguise
To meetethem in: and aske them questions.
How Iwould vexe them stillat euery turne?
SirI canfit you.
One of theCommandadoriSirso like you
Him will Istreight make drunkeand bring you his habite.
A raredisguiseand answering thy braine!
OI willbe a sharpe disease unto them.
Sir youmust looke for curses --
The FOXEfares euer bestwhen he is curst.[Exeunt.]
Scene 5.4A hall in SIR POLITIC’s house.[EnterPEREGRINE disguisedand three MERCHANTS.]
Am Iinough disguis'd?
All myambition is to fright himonely.
If youcould ship him awaytwere excellent
To Zantor to Alepo?
Aduenturesput in the Booke of voyages.
And hisguld story registredfor truth?
WellGentlemenwhen I am ina while;
And thatyou think us warme in our discourse
Trust itto our care. [Exeunt MERCHANTS]
'Saue youfaire Lady. Is Sir Poll. within?
I do notknowSir.
'Pray yousay unto him
Here is amerchantupon earnest businesse
Desires tospeake with him.
I willseeSir. [Exit.]
I seetheFamily is all femalehere.
He saysSirhe has waighty affaires of State
That nowrequire him whole; some other time
You maypossesse him.
Pray yousay againe
If thoserequire him whole; these will exact him
Whereof Ibring him tideings. [Exit WOMAN.]
What might be
His graueaffaire of Statenow? howto make
One of theIngredients.
By yourword tidingsthat you are no States-man
Andthereforewills you stay.
Sweet'pray you returne him
I have notread so many Proclamations
Andstudied themfor wordsas he has done --
Butherehe deignes to come. [Exit WOMAN.] [EnterSIR POLITICS.]
Sir!! Imust craue
Yourcourteous pardon; There hath chanc'd (to day)
Vnkindedisaster'twixt my Ladyand me:
And I waspenning my Apologie
To giveher satisfactionas you camenow.
SirI amgreiu'dI bring you worse disaster;
TheGentlemanyou met at the Portto day
That toldyouhe was newly arriu'd --
NoSiraSpieset on you
And he hasmade relation to the Senate
That youprofest to himto have a plot
To sellthe State of Veniceto the Turke.
For whichwarrants are sign'd by this time
Toapprehend youand to search your study
AlasseSir. I have nonebut notes
Drawne outof Play-bookes--
And someEssayes. What shall I do?
Conuayyour selfe into a Sugar-Chest;
Orif youcould lie rounda Frayle were rare:
And Icould send youaboard.
SirI buttalk'd so
Fordiscourse sakemerely. [Knocking within.]
Hearkethey are there.
I am awretcha wretch.
Whatwillyou do Sir?
Have younere a Curren-Butt to leape into?
They willput you to the Rackyou must be sodaine.
SirIhave an ingine --
SirPolitique Would-be? 4Merchant:[within]
Where is he?
That Ihave thought uponbefore time.
I shallne're indure the torture.
MaryitisSirof a Tortoyse-shell
Aptedforthese extremities: 'Pray you Sirhelpe me.
HereIhave a placeSirto put back my leggs
Please youto lay it onSir[Lies down while PEREGRINE placesthe shell upon him.]
with this cap
And myblack glovesI will lieSirlike a Tortoyse
Till theyare gone
Andcallyou this an ingine?
Mine owndeuise -- Good Sirbid my wiues women
To burnemy papers. [Exit PEREGRINE.] [TheMerchants rush in.]
Where ishe hid?
And willsurefinde him. 2Merchant:
Which ishis study?
I am amerchantthat came here
To lookeupon this Tortoyse.
What Beastis this?
It is aFish.
Nayyoumay strike himSirand tread upon him:
He willbeare a cart.
Whattorunne ouer him?
Let usiumpeupon him; 2Merchant:
Can he notgoe?
Let us seehim creepe. [Pokes him.]
NogoodSiryou will hurt him.
(Heart) Iwill see him creepe; or prick his gutts. 3Merchant:
'Pray youSir [Aside to SIR POLITIC.]
(creepe a little)
Good Sir.[Aside to SIR POLITIC.]
We willsee his leggs. [They pull off the shell and discover him.]
Gods 'sohe has garters!
NowSirPoll. We are euen;
For yournext proiectI shall be prepar'd:
I am soryfor the funerall of your notesSir.
It were arare motionto be seene in Fleete-street! 2Merchant:
Ayeinthe Terme. 1Merchant:
OrSmithfieldin the Faire. 3Merchant:
Methinkesit is but a melancholique sight!
Farewellmost politique Tortoyse. [Exeunt PEREGRINE and MERCHANTS.] [Re-enterWAITING-WOMAN]
Where ismy Lady?
Knowes sheof this?
OI shallbe the fable of all feasts;
Thefreight of the Gazetti; ship-boies tale;
Andwhichis worsteuen talke for Ordinaries. [Re-enter WOMAN]
My Lady iscome most melancholiquehome
And saysSirshe will straight to seafor Physick.
And Itoshunnethis placeand clime for euer;
Creepingwith houseon back: and think it well
To shrinkemy poore headin my politique shell.[Exeunt.]
Scene 5.5A room in VOLPONE’s house.[EnterMOSCA in the habit of a clarissimoand VOLPONE in that of acommendatore.]
Am I thenlike him?
OSiryou are he:
No man canseuer you.
'Foreheau'na braue Clarissimo
thou becom'st it!
Pittythou wert not borne one.
If I hold
My madeoneit will be well.
I willgoeand see
Whatnewesfirstat theCourt. [Exit.]
Do so. MyFOXE
Is out onhis holeandere he shall re-enter
I willmake him languishin his borrow'd case
Except hecome to compositionwith me:
Gorecreate your seluesabroad; gosport: [Exeunt.]
Sonow Ihave the keiesand am possest.
Since hewillneedesbe deadafore his time
I willburie himor gaine by him; I am his heyre:
And sowill keepe metill he share at least.
To cosenhim of allwere but a cheat
Wellplac'd; no man would construe it a sinne:
Let hissport pay for itthis is call'd the FOXE-trap. [Exit.]
Scene 5.6 A street.[EnterCORBACCIO and CORVINO.]
They saythe Court is set.
Our firsttale goodfor both our reputations.
Why? mineis no tale: my son wouldtherehave kild me.
That istrueI had forgot; [Aside.]
Mine isI am sure
AyeIwill come upon him
For thathereafter; now his Patron is dead.
[EnterVOLPONE in disguise.]
SigniorCoruino! and Corbaccio! Sir
Much ioyunto you.
Dropt downupon you --
Let notyour too much wealthSirmake you furious.
Dost thoumock me?
You mockthe worldSirdid you not change Wills?
O! belikeyou are the man
SigniorCoruino? 'faithyou carry it well;
You grownot mad withall: I love your spirit.
You arenot ouer-leauendwith your fortune.
You shouldhave some would swellnowlike a wine-fat
With suchan Autumne -- Did he give you allSir?
'Trothyour wife has shew'ne
Her selfea very woman; butyou are well
You neednot careyou have a good estate
To beareit out Sir: betterby this chance.
ExceptCorbaccio have a share?
You willnot be a' knowneSir: it is wise
Thus doall Gam'stersat all gamesdissemble;
No manwill seeme to winne: [Exeunt CORVINO and CORBACCIO.]
herecomes my Vulture
Heauinghis beake up in the ayreand snuffing.
Ovt-striptthusby a Parasite? a slaue?
Would runon errands? and make lessfor crums?
WellwhatI will do --
The Courtstayes for your worship.
I ee'nereioyceSirat your worships happinesse
Andthatit fell into so learned hands
Thatvnderstand the fingering.
What doyou meane?
I meane tobe a sutor to your worship
For thesmall tenementout of reparations;
Thatatthe end of your long row of houses
By thePiscaria: It wasin Volpone's time
Yourpredecessore're he grew diseas'd
As any wasin Venice (none disprais'd)
But fellwith him; His bodyand that house
ComeSirleaue your prating.
Whyifyour worship give me but your hand
That I mayhave the refusall; I have done.
It is ameere toyto youSir; candle rents:
As yourlearn'd worship knowes --
What do Iknow?
Marynoend of your wealthSirGod decrease it.
Mistakingknaue! whatmockst thou my mis-fortune?
Hisblessing on your heartSirwould it weremore. [Exit VOLTORE.]
Nowto myfirstagaine; at the next corner.
Scene 5.8 Another part of the street.[EnterCORBACCIO and CORVINO; - MOSCA passes over the stagebeforethem.]
Seeinour habite! see the impudent varlet!
That Icould shoote mine eyes at himlike gunstones.
Butisthis trueSirof the Parasite?
Againetoafflict us? Monster!
I amhartily greeu'da beard of your graue length
Should beso ouer-reach'd. I neuer brook'd
ThatParasites hayreme thought his nose should cosen
Therestill was somewhatin his lookedid promise
The baneof a Clarissimo.
Yet youthat are so traded in the world
A wittymerchantthe fine birdCoruino
That havesuch morall Emblemes on your name
Should nothave sung your shame; and dropt your cheese:
To let theFOXE laugh at your emptinesse.
Sirrahyou thinkthe priuiledge of the place
And yourred saucy capthat seemes (to me)
Nayl'd toyour iolt-headwith those two Cecchines
Canwarrant your abuses; come youhither:
You shallperceiueSirI dare beate you. Approch.
No hastSirI do know your valurewell
Since youdurst publish what you areSir.
I wouldspeakewith you.
Siranother time --
O GodSir! I were a wise man
Wouldstand the fury of a distracted cuckold. [As he is running offre-enterMOSCA.]
Upon themMosca; saue me.
The ayreis infectedwhere he breathes.
[ExeuntCORVINO and CORBACCIO.]
ExcellentBasiliske! Turne upon the Vulture.
Wellflesh-flieit is Sommer with you now;
YourWinter will come on.
'Praytheenot raylenor threaten out of placethus;
Thou wiltmake a solo ecisme (as Madam sayes)
Get you abiggenmore: your brayne breakes loose. [Exit.]
Would youhave me beate the insolent slaue?
Throwedurtupon his first good cloathes?
In trothstayes for you. I am madda Mule
That neuerread Iustinianshould get up
And ridean Aduocate. Had you no quirk
To auoidegullageSir.by such a creature?
I hope youdo but iest; he has not done it:
This isbut confederacyto blinde the rest.
You arethe heyre?
Trouble-someknaue! thou dost torment me.
I know --
It cannotbesirthat you should be consen'd;
It is notwithin the wit of manto do it:
You are sowiseso prudent -- Andit is fit
Thatwealthand wisdome stillshould go together --
Scene5.10 The Scrutineo.[EnterAVOCATORINOTARIOBONARIOCELIACORBACCIOCORVINOCOMMENDATORISAFFI&C.]
Are allthe partieshere?
All butthe Aduocate.
[EnterVOLTORE and VOLPONE.]
Then bringthem forth to sentence.
O my mosthonourd Fatherslet your mercy
Once winneupon your iusticeto forgiue --
I amdistracted --
What will he donow?
I know notwhich to addresse my selfe tofirst
Whetheryour Father-hoodsor these innocents --
Will he betray himselfe
I haveabus'dout of most couetous endes --
The man ismad!
For which;now strooke in consciencehere I prostate
My selfeat you offended feetefor pardon.
O heau'nhow iust thou art!
I am caught
In myneown noose --
Be constant. Sirnought now
Can helpebut impudence.
It is notpassion in mereuerend Fathers
But onelyconscienceconsciencemy good Sires
That makesmenowtell trueth. That Parasite
That Knauehath been the instrument of all --
Where isthat Knaue? fetch him.
I go. [Exit.]
This manis distractedhe confest itnow;
Forhoping to be old Volpone's heyre
Who now isdead --
Deadsincegraue Fathers --
Thenhewas no deceiuer?
TheParasitegraue Fathers --
Out ofmere enuie'cause the seruant is made
The thinghe gap't for; please your Father-hoods
This isthe truth: thoughI will not iustifie
The otherbut he may be somewhere faulty.
Ayetoyour hopesas well as mineCoruino:
But I willvse modesty. 'Pleaseth your wisdomes
To viewthese certaine notesand but conferre them;
As I hopefauourthey shall speake cleare truth.
The Deuillhas entred him.
Or bidesin you.
We havedone illby a publike Officer
To sendfor himif he be heire;
Himthatthey call the Parasite.
He is amanof great estatenow left.
Goe youand learne his name; and saythe Court
Intreateshis presencehere: butto the clearing
Of somefewdoubts. [Exit NOTARIO.]
This sameis a labyrinth!
Stand you unto your first report?
My lifemy fame --
Are at thestake
Is yours so too?
TheAduocate is a knave:
And has aforked tongue --
Speake tothe point.
So is theParasitetoo.
I dobeseech your Father-hoodsread but those;[Givingthem papers.]
And creditnothingthe false spirit hath writ:
It cannotbe (my Sires) but he is possest.
Scene 5.11A street.[EnterVOLPONE.]
To make asnarefor mine own neck! and run
My headinto itwilfully! with laughter!
When I hadnewly scap'twas freeand cleare!
Out ofmere wantonnesse! othe dull Deuill
Was inthis braine of minewhen I deuis'd it;
And Moscagaue it second: he must now
Helpe toseare up this veyneor we bleed dead.
How now!who let you loose? whether go younow?
What? tobury Ginger bread? or to drowne Kitlings?
SirMaister Mosca call'd us out of dores
And bid usall go playand tooke the keyes.
DidMaister Mosca take the keyes? whyso!
I amfarderin. These are my fine conceipts!
I must bemerrywith a mischiefe to me!
What avile wretch was Ithat could not beare
Myfortunesoberly? I must have my Crotchets!
And myConundrums! wellgo youand seeke him:
Hismeaning may be truerthen my feare.
Bid himhestreightcome to meto the Court;
Thetherwill I; andif it be possible
Vn-screwmy Aduocateupon new hopes:
When Iprouok'd himthen I lost my selfe.[Exeunt.]
Scene 5.12The Scrutineo.[AVOCATORIBONARIOCELIACORBACCIOCORVINOVOLTORECOMMENDATORISAFFI&c. as before.]
These things can ne're be reconcil'd.
Professeththat the Gentleman was wrong'd;
And thatthe Gentlewoman was brought thether
Forc'd byher husband: and there left.
How readyis heau'n to thosethat pray.
Volponewould have rauish'd herhe holds
Vtterlyfalse; knowing his impotence.
GraueFathershe is possest; againeI say
Possest:nayif there be possession
Andobsessionhe has both.
Here comesour Officer.
[EnterVOLPONEstill in disguise.]
TheParasite will streight beheregraue Fathers.
You mightinuent some other nameSir varlet.
Did notthe Notarie meet him?
Hiscomming will cleare all.
Yet it ismisty.
May itplease your Father-hoods --
Will'd meto tell youthat his Maister liues;
That youare still the man; your hopes the same;
And thiswasonely a iest --
If youwere firmeand how you stood affected.
Art surehe liues?
Do I liueSir?
I was tooviolent.
Siryoumay redeeme it
They saidyou were possest; fall downeand seeme so:
I willhelpe to make it good. [VOLTORE falls.]
God blesse the man!
Stop yourwind hardand swell: Seeseeseesee!
He vomitscrooked pinnes! his eyes are set
Like adead hareshung in a poulters shop!
His mouthis running away! Do you seeSignior?
Nowit isin his belly!
AyeIperceiue it plaine.
It willoutit will out; stand cleere. Seewhere it flyes!
In shapeof a blew toadwith a battes wings!
Do not yousee itSir?
What? Ithink I do.
It is toomanifest.
Looke! hecomes to himselfe!
Take goodheartthe worst is pastSir.
Whataccident is this?
Sodaineand full of wonder!
If he were
Possestas it appearesall this is nothing. [He waves the notes.]
He hasbeeneoftensubiect to these fitts.
Shew himthat writingdo you know itSir?
Deny itSirforweare it
YesI doknow it wellit is my hand:
But allthat it containesis false.
What mazeis this!
Is he notguiltythen
Whome youtherename the Parasite?
No morethenhis good Patronold Volpone.
O nomyhonor'd Fathers
You saydhe was dead?
[toCORVINO] You sayd so!
Here comesthe Gentlemanmake him way.
[EnterMOSCA as a clarissimo.]
A proper man! andwere Volpone dead
A fitmatch for my daughter.
MoscaI was almost lostthe Aduocate
Hadbetrayd all; butnowit is recouer'd:
All is onthe henge againe -- sayI am liuing.
What busieknaue is this. Most reuerend Fathers
I soonerhad attended your graue pleasures
But thatmy orderfor the funerall
Of mydeare Patron did require me --
Whome Iintend to burylike a Gentleman --
[aside]Ayequickand cosen me of all.
It is a matchmy daughter is bestow'd.
Will you give me halfe?
First Iwill be hang'd.
Your voiceis goodcry not so low'd.
TheAduocate. Sirdid not you affirme
ThisGent'man told meso. [Aside to MOSCA.] Thou shalt have halfe.
Whosedrunkard is this same? speake somethat know him:
I neuersaw his face. [Aside to VOLPONE.]
I cannot now
Afford ityou so cheape.
[ToVOLTORE] What say you?
TheOfficer told me.
I didgraue Fathers
And willmaintaynehe liueswith mine own life.
And thatthis creature [points to MOSCA]
told me. [Aside.]
With allgood starres my enemies.
If such aninsolenceas thismust passe
Upon meIam silent: it was not this
For whichyou sentI hope.
Let him bewhipt.
Wilt thou betray me? Cosen me?
Andtaughtto beare himselfe
Toward aperson of his ranke.
Away. [The OFFICERS seize VOLPONE.]
I humblythanke your Father-hoods.
And looseall that I have? If I confesse
It cannotbe much more.
Sirare you married?
They will be ally'danone; I must be resolute:
The FOXEshallherevncase. [Throws off his disguise.]
My ruinesshall not come alone; your match
I willhinder sure: my substance shall not glew you
Nor screwyouinto a Family.
I amVolponeand this [pointing to MOSCA]
is my Knaue;
his own Knaue; This[to CORBACCIO]
a Chimoera of WittallFooleand Knaue;
Andreuerend Fatherssince we all can hope
Noughtbut a sentencelet us not now dispaire it.
You heareme breife.
May itplease your Father-hoods --
The knotis now vndoneby miracle!
Nothingcan be more clear.
Give themtheir liberty.
Heauencould notlonglet such grosse crimes be hid.
If this beheld the high wayto get riches
May I bepoore.
This isnot the gainebut torment.
Thesepossesse wealthas sick men possesse Feuers
Whichtrulyermay be sayd to possesse them.
Mosthonor'd Fathers! --
Can youplead ought to stay the course of Iustice?
You hurtyour innocencesuing for the guilty.
Standforth; andfirstthe Parasite. You appeare
To havebeene the chiefest ministerif not plotter
In allthese leud impostures; and nowlastly
Havewithyour impudenceabus'd the Court
And habiteof a Gentleman of Venice
Being afellow of no birth or bloud:
For whichour sentence isfirst thou be whipt;
Then liueperpetuall prisoner in our Gallies.
I thankeyoufor him.
Bane tothy woluish nature.
Deliuerhim to the Saffi. [MOSCA is led out.]
By bloudand ranke a Gentlemancanst not fall
Vnder likecensure; But our iudgement on thee
Isthatthy substance all be straight confiscate
To theHospitallof the Incurabili:
Andsincethe most was gotten by imposture
By fayninglamegoutpalsey and such diseases
Thou artto lie in prisoncrampt with irons
Till thoubee'st sickand lame indeed. Remoue him. [He is led aside.]
This iscall'd mortifiyng of a FOXE.
ThouVoltoreto take away the scandale
Thou hastgiu'n all worthy menof thy profession
Artbanish'd from their Fellowshipand our State.
Corbacciobring him neare. We here possesse
Thy sonof all thy estate; and confine thee
To theMonastery of San' Spirito:
Wheresince thou knewst not how to liue well here
Thou shaltbe learn'd to die well.
Ha! whatsaid he?
You shallknow anoneSir.
Bestraight imbarqu'd from thine own houseand row'd
Roundabout Venicethorough the grand Canale
Wearing acapwith fayrelong Asses eares
In steedof hornes: and soto mount (a paper
Pin'd onthy brest) to the Berlino --
Andhavemine eyes beat out with stinking fish
Brus'dfruit and rotten egges -- it is well. I am glad
I shallnot see my shameyet.
Thy wrongsdone to thy wifethou art to send her
Hometoher fatherwith her dowrie trebled:
And theseare all your Iudgements --
Which maynot be reuok'd. Nowyou begin
Whencrimes are doneand pastand to be punish'd
To thinkwhat your crimes are; awaywith them.
Let allthat see these vices thus rewarded
Takeheartand love to study them. Mischiefes feed
Likebeaststill they be fatand then theybleed. [Exeunt.] [VOLPONEcomes forward.]
Volpone:Theseasoning of a Play is the applauseNowthough the Foxe be punish'd by the lawesHeyetdoth hope there is no suffring dueFor anyfactwhich he hath done against you; Ifthere becensure him: here hedoubtfullstands.If notfare joviallyand clap yourhands. [Exit.]