History of Literature

Ben Jonson

"The Alchemist"





Type of work: Drama
Author: Ben Jonson (15737-1637)
Type of plot: Comedy of manners
Time of plot: Early seventeenth century
Locale: London
First presented: 1610

A masterpiece of plot construction, The Alchemist marked the peak of Jonson's career. A delightful, entertaining satire on human greed, this play is free of the sermonizing that characterizes the dramatist's other work.

Principal Characters

Subtle, the Alchemist, a moldy, disreputable cheat. Joining forces with Jeremy Butler and Dol Common, he uses his fund of scientific and pseudo-scientific jargon to fleece the gullible. He promises large returns from transmutation of metals, astrological prophecies, physical nostrums, or whatever seems most likely to entrap his victims. When the master of the house returns, he is forced to take flight without his gains.
Face (Jeremy Butler), Subtle's contact man, who furnishes his master's house as the Alchemist's headquarters. He is a resourceful, quick-witted improviser. Disguised as a rough, blunt captain, he entices victims to the house. When his master, Lovewit, returns home unexpectedly, he arranges a marriage between Lovewit and the Widow Pliant, thereby escaping punishment.
Dol Common, the third of the tricksters, common mistress of the other two. Her dominant personality keeps her quarrelsome cohorts in line. She can act various roles, such as an exotic lady or the Queen of the Fairies to carry out Subtle's various schemes. Along with Subtle she is forced to flee with the jeers of Face following her.
Sir Epicure Mammon, a fantastic voluptuary. He is a veritable fountain of lust and imagined luxury, and he seeks the philosopher's stone to help him to unbounded self-indulgence. When his investment is wiped out by the explosion of the Alchemist's furnace, planned and well-timed by Subtle, Sir Epicure confesses that he has been justly punished for his voluptuous mind.
Abel Drugger, a small-time tobacconist ambitious for commercial success. Engaged to the Widow Pliant, he brings her and her brother Kastril to the Alchemist. He is tricked out of not only his money but the widow.
Kastril, the angry boy, brother of the Widow Pliant. He has come up to London to learn to smoke and quarrel. Face uses him to get rid of the skeptic, Surly. He is much taken with old Lovewit, who quarrels well, and consent* to his sister's marriage with him.
Pertinax Surly, a sour skeptic who prides himself on being too astute to be tricked. First coming to the Alchemist's as a friend of Sir Epicure, he returns disguised as a Spanish don, planning to save the Widow Pliant from Subtle and Face and to marry her. He is driven away by Kastril and loses the widow to Lovewit.
Tribulation Wholesome, an oily Puritan hypocrite from Amsterdam. Himself quite willing to compromise his conscience for profit, he has difficulty restraining his uncompromising companion, Deacon Ananias.
Ananias, a deacon, a hot-tempered zealot who considers even the word Christmas a Papist abomination. Quarrelsome at first, he finally agrees that counterfeiting is lawful if it is for the benefit of the faithful. Along with Tribulation he is driven away by Lovewit.
Dame Pliant, an easy-going, attractive young widow, affianced to Drugger, but perfectly willing to accept another husband. Subtle and Face both hope to marry her, but the latter decides that it is safer to hand her over to Lovewit, his master.
Lovewit, the master of the house who has left London because of the plague. His absence sets up the plot; his return resolves it. He drives away Subtle. Dol. and their victims, but forgives Jeremy Butler (Face) when he arranges a marriage between his master and the rich young widow, Dame Pliant.

The Story

Master Lovewit having left the city because of plague, his butler, Jeremy, known as Face to his friends of the underworld, invited Subtle, a swindler posing as an alchemist, and Dol Common, a prostitute, to join him in using the house as a base of operations for their rascally activities. Matters fared well for the three until a dispute arose between Face and Subtle over authority. Dol, seeing their money-making projects doomed if this strife continued, rebuked the two men and cajoled them back to their senses.
No sooner had Face and Subtle become reconciled than Dapper, a gullible lawyer's clerk given to gambling, called, by previous arrangement with Face, to learn from the eminent astrologer, Doctor Subtle, how to win at all games of chance. Dapper, in the hands of the two merciless rascals, was relieved of all his ready cash, in return for which Subtle predicted that Dapper would have good luck at the gaming tables. In order to gull Dapper further, Subtle told him to return later to confer with the Queen of Fairy, a mysterious benefactress who could promote Dapper's worldly success.
Abel Drugger, an ambitious young druggist who had been led on by Face, was the next victim to enter the house. To his delight, he learned from Subtle, who spoke in incomprehensible pharmaceutical and astrological jargon, that he would have a rich future.
Next arrived Sir Epicure Mammon, a greedy and lecherous knight, with his friend Pertinax Surly, a man versed in the ways of London confidence men. Having been promised the philosopher's stone by Subtle, Mammon had wild visions of transforming all of his possessions into gold and silver, but he was completely taken in by the duplicities of Subtle and Face. Subtle further aroused Mammon's greed by describing at length, in the pseudo-scientific gibberish of the alchemist-confidence man, the processes which led to his approximate achievement of the mythical philosopher's stone. Surly, quick to see what was afoot, scoffed at Subtle and at the folly of Mammon.
During the interview Mammon caught sight of Dol, who appeared inadvertently, and was fascinated. Thinking quickly. Face told Mammon that Dol was an aristocratic lady who, being mad, was under the care of Doctor Subtle but who in her moments of sanity was most affable. Before he left the house Mammon promised to send to the unprincipled Subtle certain of his household objects of base metal for the purpose of having them transmuted into gold.
The parade of victims continued. Elder Ananias of the Amsterdam community of extreme Protestants came to negotiate for his group with Subtle for the philosopher's stone. Subtle, with Face as his assistant, repeated his extravagant jargon to the impressionable Ananias, who, in his greed, declared that the brethren were impatient with the slowness of the experiment. Subtle, feigning professional indignation, frightened Ananias with a threat to put out forever his alchemist's fire.
Drugger reappeared to be duped further. Subtle and Face were delighted when he told them that a wealthy young widow had taken lodgings near his and that her brother, just come into an inheritance, had journeyed to London to learn how to quarrel in rakish fashion. The two knaves plotted eagerly to get brother and sister into their clutches.
Ananias returned with his pastor, Tribulation Wholesome. Both Puritans managed to wink at moral considerations as Subtle glowingly described the near completion of the philosopher's stone. Prepared to go to any ends to procure the stone, Ananias and Tribulation contracted to purchase Mammon's household articles, which, Subtle explained, he needed for the experiment; the proceeds of the sale would go toward the care of orphans for whom Subtle said he was responsible.
Subtle and Face also plotted to sell these same household articles to the young widow, who, having just moved to London, was probably in need of such items. In the meantime Face met in the streets a Spanish Don—Surly in clever disguise—who expressed a desire to confer with Subtle on matters of business and health.
Dapper returned to meet the Queen of Fairy. At the same time Drugger brought to the house Master Kastril, the angry young man who would learn to quarrel. Kastril was completely taken in. Subtle, promising to make him a perfect London gallant, arranged to have him instructed by Face, who posed as a city captain. Kastril was so pleased with his new acquaintances that he sent Drugger to bring his sister to the house.
Kastril having departed, Dol, Subtle, and Face relieved Dapper of all of his money in a ridiculous ritual in which Dapper was to see and talk to the Queen of Fairy. During the shameless proceedings Mammon knocked. Dapper, who had been blindfolded, was gagged and hastily put into a water closet at the rear of the house. Mammon entered and began to woo Dol, whom he believed to be a distracted aristocratic lady. Face and Subtle, in order to have the front part of the house clear for further swindles, shunted the amorous pair to another part of the house.
Young Kastril returned with his widowed sister, Dame Pliant; both were deeply impressed by Subtle's manner and by his rhetoric. When the Spanish Don arrived, Subtle escorted Kastril and Dame Pliant to inspect his laboratory. By that time both Subtle and Face were determined to wed Dame Pliant.
Face introduced the Spaniard to Dame Pliant, who, in spite of her objections to Spaniards in general, consented to walk in the garden with the Don.
Meanwhile, in another part of the house, Dol assumed madness. Subtle, discovering the distraught Mammon with her, declared that Mammon's moral laxity would surely delay completion of the philosopher's stone. Following a loud explosion, Face reported that the laboratory was a shambles. Mammon despondently left the house, and Subtle simulated a fainting spell.
In the garden Surly revealed his true identity to Dame Pliant and warned the young widow against the swindlers. When, as Surly, he confronted the two rogues, Face, in desperation, told Kastril that Surly was an impostor who was trying to steal Dame Pliant away. Drugger entered and, being Face's creature, insisted that he knew Surly to be a scoundrel. Then Ananias came to the house and all but wrecked Subtle's plot by talking indiscreetly of making counterfeit money. Unable to cope with the wily rascals, Surly departed, followed by Kastril.
Glad to be rid of his callers, Subtle placed Dame Pliant in Dol's care. But they were once more thrown into confusion when Lovewit, owner of the house, made an untimely appearance. Face, quickly reverting to his normal role of Jeremy, the butler, went to the door in an attempt to detain his master long enough to permit Subtle and Dol to escape.
Although warned by his butler that the house was infested, Lovewit suspected that something was amiss when Mammon and Surly returned to expose Subtle and Face. Kastril, Ananias, and Tribulation confirmed their account. Dapper, having managed to get rid of his gag, cried out inside the house. Deciding that honesty was the only policy, Face confessed everything to his master and promised to provide him with a wealthy young widow as his wife, if Lovewit would have mercy on his servant.
In the house, meanwhile, Subtle concluded the gulling of Dapper and sent the young clerk on his way, filled with the belief that he would win at all games of chance. Subtle and Dol then tried to abscond with the threesome's loot, but Face, back in Lovewit's good graces, thwarted them in their attempt. They were forced to escape empty-handed by the back gate.
Lovewit won the hand of Dame Pliant and in his good humor forgave his crafty butler. When those who had been swindled demanded retribution, they were finally convinced that they had been mulcted as a result of their own selfishness and greed.


Critical Evaluation

For anyone interested in learning how to take in the gullible, Ben Jonson's The Alchemist is a fundamental text. "Cony-catching" was a popular practice in Elizabethan England, and Jonson, an intimate of London's jails, taverns, theaters, and places of even less repute, here reveals the technique on several of the most amusing and lucrative ploys. And his protagonist, it should be noted, gets off scot-free.
The complex and incongruous tone of life in London in the Elizabethan Age helped account for the widespread faith in astrology and alchemy and helped make them leading gimmicks. Commerce thrived, but people were not far from believing in the dragons slain by King Arthur's knights. Many believed also that the dawning age of science would discover a "Philosopher's Stone" which would transmute dross into gold. Jonson's London, the London of The Alchemist, was growing and glittering and slightly hysterical, and cozening was easy, widespread, and immensely successful.
The critical response to the play has been intriguing. Coleridge, presumably impressed by the play's adherence to the classical unities, praised it as having one of the most perfect plots in literature. Several modern commentators have contended that while The Alchemist does cleave to the classical ideals, it is not a proper comedy, it has no plot at all, and it consists merely of a series of linked incidents. Romantic and Victorian critics particularly, enchanted by Jonson's contemporary and diametric opposite, William Shakespeare, were put off by Jonson's classical forms, his satiric manner, and his coarseness. They also disliked his unemotional tone, controlled plots, and intellectual detachment. While The Alchemist lacks none of these features, they do not necessarily render it deficient.
The classical ideals are so well met in The Alchemist that the play is in its own way a small masterpiece. Jonson observes unity of time in that the dramatic situation is enacted in the same amount of time that it would take in real life. Unity of place is maintained in that the scene, Lovewit's house in the Friars, is specific and limited. The discrete beginning, middle, and conclusion of the play provide for unity of action. The characters are types who behave consistently, doing nothing unexpected, and thus the ideal of decorum, the paramount classical precept, is met; Jonson's prostitute is bawdy, his churchmen sanctimonious.
Faithfulness to classical concepts, however, is not the only virtue of The Alchemist. A talented actor as well as a writer of poetry, masques, criticism, and tragic and comic plays, Jonson was a masterful manipulator of theatrical effects. The opening argument of The Alchemist, presented in antic verse, catapults the play headlong into a rollicking, boisterous, bawd\ life of its own. The simple yet ingenious plot provides for the multiplicity of incident dear to the Renaissance heart; costume, disguise, and transmutation of idemit\ are similarly exploited.
The internal development is more complex than some critics suggest. The characters are introduced in approximate order of both their social status and rapacity. As these advance, so does the degree of cozening inflicted by Face and Subtle, and this progression reinforces the cohesiveness of the play. Although the fates of the characters are not contingent, since all are frauds or dupes, they interact in complex and amusing ways. These interactions, which become so dense that eventually Face and Subtle have their victims cozening each other, engender organic unity and dramatic tension simultaneously. As the play advances, the number of characters on stage increases, the pace quickens, and the scenes grow shorter. The climax is predictable but impressive, the denouement tidy, and the entire proceeding animated by a genuine and hearty spirit.
Despite its qualifications as a well-wrought, clever, and entertaining play in the classical mode, The Alchemist owes much of its literary interest and charm to Jon-son's rhetorical flourishes. The underworld slang and alchemical jargon used by the protagonists lend color and authenticity. Double entendres and simultaneous dialogue (which originated with Jonson) add to the effect. But most impressive, perhaps, is the way Subtle and Face use a debased eloquence in perpetrating their frauds. One of Subtle's elegant, highly rhetorical, pseudo-rational arguments, for example, seems unequivocally to establish the propensity of all metals to turn into gold. Surly's calm and earnest reasoning with Dame Pliant, on the other hand, seems but a pale counterfeit of Subtle's spirited equivocation.
The Alchemist dramatizes what might happen when moral order is suspended by plague in London. Lovewit, representing responsible society, jettisons civic responsibility and flees the city, leaving behind only knaves and fools. Although the reader is reminded early that order will eventually be restored, society in the hands of the unscrupulous degenerates into chaos. The servant supplants the master, science is overthrown by alchemy, reason is toppled by rhetoric, nature's secrets are transcended, and the moral order is subverted as churchmen become swindlers.
Jonson's vehicle, satire, was quite popular in Elizabethan England, and in The Alchemist its effect is intensified by the plague in the background. Jonson intended to be instructive, even if it meant instructing by ridicule. And the classicist in him wanted to restore to England some of the glory of Augustan Rome. To this end Jonson adopted Cicero's famous definition of tragedy: "a copy of life, a mirror of custom, a representation of truth." Accordingly, he anchors his play in contemporary London and reflects the speech, behavior, and attitudes of its citizens. The Renaissance saw a shift in emphasis from the world of the Church to the world of experience, but while Jonson set an extremely worldly stage, his morality was severe and almost medieval. His moral values, clear from the first scene on, are constantly reiterated as The Alchemist indicts vain and wishful thinking and directs the mind to the contemplation of virtue. It is a sign of Ben Jonson's genius that he does so both unequivocally and entertainingly.







In the age of sacrifices, the truth of religion was not in the greatness and fat of the offerings, but in the devotion and zeal of the sacrificers: else what could a handle of gums have done in the sight of a hecatomb? or how might I appear at this altar, except with those affections that no less love the light and witness, than they have the conscience of your virtue? If what I offer bear an acceptable odour, and hold the first strength, it is your value of it, which remembers where, when, and to whom it was kindled. Otherwise, as the times are, there comes rarely forth that thing so full of authority or example, but by assiduity and custom grows less, and loses. This, yet, safe in your judgment (which is a Sidney's) is forbidden to speak more, lest it talk or look like one of the ambitious faces of the time, who, the more they paint, are the less themselves.

Your ladyship's true honourer,


If thou beest more, thou art an understander, and then I trust thee. If thou art one that takest up, and but a pretender, beware of what hands thou receivest thy commodity; for thou wert never more fair in the way to be cozened, than in this age, in poetry, especially in plays: wherein, now the concupiscence of dances and of antics so reigneth, as to run away from nature, and be afraid of her, is the only point of art that tickles the spectators. But how out of purpose, and place, do I name art? When the professors are grown so obstinate contemners of it, and presumers on their own naturals, as they are deriders of all diligence that way, and, by simple mocking at the terms, when they understand not the things, think to get off wittily with their ignorance. Nay, they are esteemed the more learned, and sufficient for this, by the many, through their excellent vice of judgment. For they commend writers, as they do fencers or wrestlers; who if they come in robustuously, and put for it with a great deal of violence, are received for the braver fellows: when many times their own rudeness is the cause of their disgrace, and a little touch of their adversary gives all that boisterous force the foil. I deny not, but that these men, who always seek to do more than enough, may some time happen on some thing that is good, and great; but very seldom; and when it comes it doth not recompense the rest of their ill. It sticks out, perhaps, and is more eminent, because all is sordid and vile about it: as lights are more discerned in a thick darkness, than a faint shadow. I speak not this, out of a hope to do good to any man against his will; for I know, if it were put to the question of theirs and mine, the worse would find more suffrages: because the most favour common errors. But I give thee this warning, that there is a great difference between those, that, to gain the opinion of copy, utter all they can, however unfitly; and those that use election and a mean. For it is only the disease of the unskilful, to think rude things greater than polished; or scattered more numerous than composed.


SUBTLE, the Alchemist.
FACE, the Housekeeper.

DOL COMMON, their Colleague.

DAPPER, a Lawyer's Clerk.

DRUGGER, a Tobacco Man.

LOVEWIT, Master of the House.



TRIBULATION WHOLESOME, a Pastor of Amsterdam.

ANANIAS, a Deacon there.

KASTRIL, the angry Boy.

DAME PLIANT, his Sister, a Widow.


Officers, Attendants, etc.


T he sickness hot, a master quit, for fear,
H is house in town, and left one servant there;
E ase him corrupted, and gave means to know

A Cheater, and his punk; who now brought low,
L eaving their narrow practice, were become
C ozeners at large; and only wanting some
H ouse to set up, with him they here contract,
E ach for a share, and all begin to act.
M uch company they draw, and much abuse,
I n casting figures, telling fortunes, news,
S elling of flies, flat bawdry with the stone,
T ill it, and they, and all in fume are gone.

Fortune, that favours fools, these two short hours,
We wish away, both for your sakes and ours,
Judging spectators; and desire, in place,
To the author justice, to ourselves but grace.
Our scene is London, 'cause we would make known,
No country's mirth is better than our own:
No clime breeds better matter for your whore,
Bawd, squire, impostor, many persons more,
Whose manners, now call'd humours, feed the stage;
And which have still been subject for the rage
Or spleen of comic writers. Though this pen
Did never aim to grieve, but better men;
Howe'er the age he lives in doth endure
The vices that she breeds, above their cure.
But when the wholesome remedies are sweet,
And in their working gain and profit meet,
He hopes to find no spirit so much diseased,
But will with such fair correctives be pleased:
For here he doth not fear who can apply.
If there be any that will sit so nigh
Unto the stream, to look what it doth run,
They shall find things, they'd think or wish were done;
They are so natural follies, but so shewn,
As even the doers may see, and yet not own.

ACT 1.

SCENE 1.1.



FACE. Believe 't, I will.

SUB. Thy worst. I fart at thee.

DOL. Have you your wits? why, gentlemen! for love—

FACE. Sirrah, I'll strip you—

SUB. What to do? lick figs
Out at my—

FACE. Rogue, rogue!—out of all your sleights.

DOL. Nay, look ye, sovereign, general, are you madmen?

SUB. O, let the wild sheep loose. I'll gum your silks
With good strong water, an you come.

DOL. Will you have
The neighbours hear you? will you betray all?
Hark! I hear somebody.

FACE. Sirrah—

SUB. I shall mar
All that the tailor has made, if you approach.

FACE. You most notorious whelp, you insolent slave,
Dare you do this?

SUB. Yes, faith; yes, faith.

FACE. Why, who
Am I, my mungrel? who am I?

SUB. I'll tell you.,
Since you know not yourself.

FACE. Speak lower, rogue.

SUB. Yes, you were once (time's not long past) the good,
Honest, plain, livery-three-pound-thrum, that kept
Your master's worship's house here in the Friars,
For the vacations—

FACE. Will you be so loud?

SUB. Since, by my means, translated suburb-captain.

FACE. By your means, doctor dog!

SUB. Within man's memory,
All this I speak of.

FACE. Why, I pray you, have I
Been countenanced by you, or you by me?
Do but collect, sir, where I met you first.

SUB. I do not hear well.

FACE. Not of this, I think it.
But I shall put you in mind, sir;—at Pie-corner,
Taking your meal of steam in, from cooks' stalls,
Where, like the father of hunger, you did walk
Piteously costive, with your pinch'd-horn-nose,
And your complexion of the Roman wash,
Stuck full of black and melancholic worms,
Like powder corns shot at the artillery-yard.

SUB. I wish you could advance your voice a little.

FACE. When you went pinn'd up in the several rags
You had raked and pick'd from dunghills, before day;
Your feet in mouldy slippers, for your kibes;
A felt of rug, and a thin threaden cloke,
That scarce would cover your no buttocks—

SUB. So, sir!

FACE. When all your alchemy, and your algebra,
Your minerals, vegetals, and animals,
Your conjuring, cozening, and your dozen of trades,
Could not relieve your corps with so much linen
Would make you tinder, but to see a fire;
I gave you countenance, credit for your coals,
Your stills, your glasses, your materials;
Built you a furnace, drew you customers,
Advanced all your black arts; lent you, beside,
A house to practise in—

SUB. Your master's house!

FACE. Where you have studied the more thriving skill
Of bawdry since.

SUB. Yes, in your master's house.
You and the rats here kept possession.
Make it not strange. I know you were one could keep
The buttery-hatch still lock'd, and save the chippings,
Sell the dole beer to aqua-vitae men,
The which, together with your Christmas vails
At post-and-pair, your letting out of counters,
Made you a pretty stock, some twenty marks,
And gave you credit to converse with cobwebs,
Here, since your mistress' death hath broke up house.

FACE. You might talk softlier, rascal.

SUB. No, you scarab,
I'll thunder you in pieces: I will teach you
How to beware to tempt a Fury again,
That carries tempest in his hand and voice.

FACE. The place has made you valiant.

SUB. No, your clothes.—
Thou vermin, have I ta'en thee out of dung,
So poor, so wretched, when no living thing
Would keep thee company, but a spider, or worse?
Rais'd thee from brooms, and dust, and watering-pots,
Sublimed thee, and exalted thee, and fix'd thee
In the third region, call'd our state of grace?
Wrought thee to spirit, to quintessence, with pains
Would twice have won me the philosopher's work?
Put thee in words and fashion, made thee fit
For more than ordinary fellowships?
Giv'n thee thy oaths, thy quarrelling dimensions,
Thy rules to cheat at horse-race, cock-pit, cards,
Dice, or whatever gallant tincture else?
Made thee a second in mine own great art?
And have I this for thanks! Do you rebel,
Do you fly out in the projection?
Would you be gone now?

DOL. Gentlemen, what mean you?
Will you mar all?

SUB. Slave, thou hadst had no name—

DOL. Will you undo yourselves with civil war?

SUB. Never been known, past equi clibanum,
The heat of horse-dung, under ground, in cellars,
Or an ale-house darker than deaf John's; been lost
To all mankind, but laundresses and tapsters,
Had not I been.

DOL. Do you know who hears you, sovereign?

FACE. Sirrah—

DOL. Nay, general, I thought you were civil.

FACE. I shall turn desperate, if you grow thus loud.

SUB. And hang thyself, I care not.

FACE. Hang thee, collier,
And all thy pots, and pans, in picture, I will,
Since thou hast moved me—

DOL. O, this will o'erthrow all.

FACE. Write thee up bawd in Paul's, have all thy tricks
Of cozening with a hollow cole, dust, scrapings,
Searching for things lost, with a sieve and sheers,
Erecting figures in your rows of houses,
And taking in of shadows with a glass,
Told in red letters; and a face cut for thee,
Worse than Gamaliel Ratsey's.

DOL. Are you sound?
Have you your senses, masters?

FACE. I will have
A book, but barely reckoning thy impostures,
Shall prove a true philosopher's stone to printers.

SUB. Away, you trencher-rascal!

FACE. Out, you dog-leech!
The vomit of all prisons—

DOL. Will you be
Your own destructions, gentlemen?

FACE. Still spew'd out
For lying too heavy on the basket.

SUB. Cheater!

FACE. Bawd!

SUB. Cow-herd!

FACE. Conjurer!

SUB. Cut-purse!

FACE. Witch!

DOL. O me!
We are ruin'd, lost! have you no more regard
To your reputations? where's your judgment? 'slight,
Have yet some care of me, of your republic—

FACE. Away, this brach! I'll bring thee, rogue, within
The statute of sorcery, tricesimo tertio
Of Harry the Eighth: ay, and perhaps thy neck
Within a noose, for laundring gold and barbing it.

DOL [SNATCHES FACE'S SWORD]. You'll bring your head within
a cockscomb, will you?
And you, sir, with your menstrue—
Gather it up.—
'Sdeath, you abominable pair of stinkards,
Leave off your barking, and grow one again,
Or, by the light that shines, I'll cut your throats.
I'll not be made a prey unto the marshal,
For ne'er a snarling dog-bolt of you both.
Have you together cozen'd all this while,
And all the world, and shall it now be said,
You've made most courteous shift to cozen yourselves?
You will accuse him! you will "bring him in
Within the statute!" Who shall take your word?
A whoreson, upstart, apocryphal captain,
Whom not a Puritan in Blackfriars will trust
So much as for a feather:
and you, too,
Will give the cause, forsooth! you will insult,
And claim a primacy in the divisions!
You must be chief! as if you only had
The powder to project with, and the work
Were not begun out of equality?
The venture tripartite? all things in common?
Without priority? 'Sdeath! you perpetual curs,
Fall to your couples again, and cozen kindly,
And heartily, and lovingly, as you should,
And lose not the beginning of a term,
Or, by this hand, I shall grow factious too,
And take my part, and quit you.

FACE. 'Tis his fault;
He ever murmurs, and objects his pains,
And says, the weight of all lies upon him.

SUB. Why, so it does.

DOL. How does it? do not we
Sustain our parts?

SUB. Yes, but they are not equal.

DOL. Why, if your part exceed to-day, I hope
Ours may, to-morrow match it.

SUB. Ay, they MAY.

DOL. May, murmuring mastiff! ay, and do. Death on me!
Help me to throttle him.


SUB. Dorothy! mistress Dorothy!
'Ods precious, I'll do any thing. What do you mean?

DOL. Because o' your fermentation and cibation?

SUB. Not I, by heaven—

DOL. Your Sol and Luna
—help me.

SUB. Would I were hang'd then? I'll conform myself.

DOL. Will you, sir? do so then, and quickly: swear.

SUB. What should I swear?

DOL. To leave your faction, sir,
And labour kindly in the common work.

SUB. Let me not breathe if I meant aught beside.
I only used those speeches as a spur
To him.

DOL. I hope we need no spurs, sir. Do we?

FACE. 'Slid, prove to-day, who shall shark best.

SUB. Agreed.

DOL. Yes, and work close and friendly.

SUB. 'Slight, the knot
Shall grow the stronger for this breach, with me.


DOL. Why, so, my good baboons! Shall we go make
A sort of sober, scurvy, precise neighbours,
That scarce have smiled twice since the king came in,
A feast of laughter at our follies? Rascals,
Would run themselves from breath, to see me ride,
Or you t' have but a hole to thrust your heads in,
For which you should pay ear-rent? No, agree.
And may don Provost ride a feasting long,
In his old velvet jerkin and stain'd scarfs,
My noble sovereign, and worthy general,
Ere we contribute a new crewel garter
To his most worsted worship.

SUB. Royal Dol!
Spoken like Claridiana, and thyself.

FACE. For which at supper, thou shalt sit in triumph,
And not be styled Dol Common, but Dol Proper,
Dol Singular: the longest cut at night,
Shall draw thee for his Doll Particular.


SUB. Who's that? one rings. To the window, Dol:
—pray heaven,
The master do not trouble us this quarter.

FACE. O, fear not him. While there dies one a week
O' the plague, he's safe, from thinking toward London.
Beside, he's busy at his hop-yards now;
I had a letter from him. If he do,
He'll send such word, for airing of the house,
As you shall have sufficient time to quit it:
Though we break up a fortnight, 'tis no matter.


SUB. Who is it, Dol?

DOL. A fine young quodling.

My lawyer's clerk, I lighted on last night,
In Holborn, at the Dagger. He would have
(I told you of him) a familiar,
To rifle with at horses, and win cups.

DOL. O, let him in.

SUB. Stay. Who shall do't?

FACE. Get you
Your robes on: I will meet him as going out.

DOL. And what shall I do?

FACE. Not be seen; away!
Seem you very reserv'd.

SUB. Enough.


FACE [ALOUD AND RETIRING]. God be wi' you, sir,
I pray you let him know that I was here:
His name is Dapper. I would gladly have staid, but—

DAP [WITHIN]. Captain, I am here.

FACE. Who's that?—He's come, I think, doctor.


Good faith, sir, I was going away.

DAP. In truth
I am very sorry, captain.

FACE. But I thought
Sure I should meet you.

DAP. Ay, I am very glad.
I had a scurvy writ or two to make,
And I had lent my watch last night to one
That dines to-day at the sheriff's, and so was robb'd
Of my past-time.
Is this the cunning-man?

FACE. This is his worship.

DAP. Is he a doctor?

FACE. Yes.

DAP. And have you broke with him, captain?


DAP. And how?

FACE. Faith, he does make the matter, sir, so dainty
I know not what to say.

DAP. Not so, good captain.

FACE. Would I were fairly rid of it, believe me.

DAP. Nay, now you grieve me, sir. Why should you wish so?
I dare assure you, I'll not be ungrateful.

FACE. I cannot think you will, sir. But the law
Is such a thing—and then he says, Read's matter
Falling so lately.

DAP. Read! he was an ass,
And dealt, sir, with a fool.

FACE. It was a clerk, sir.

DAP. A clerk!

FACE. Nay, hear me, sir. You know the law
Better, I think—

DAP. I should, sir, and the danger:
You know, I shewed the statute to you.

FACE. You did so.

DAP. And will I tell then! By this hand of flesh,
Would it might never write good court-hand more,
If I discover. What do you think of me,
That I am a chiaus?

FACE. What's that?

DAP. The Turk was here.
As one would say, do you think I am a Turk?

FACE. I'll tell the doctor so.

DAP. Do, good sweet captain.

FACE. Come, noble doctor, pray thee let's prevail;
This is the gentleman, and he is no chiaus.

SUB. Captain, I have return'd you all my answer.
I would do much, sir, for your love—But this
I neither may, nor can.

FACE. Tut, do not say so.
You deal now with a noble fellow, doctor,
One that will thank you richly; and he is no chiaus:
Let that, sir, move you.

SUB. Pray you, forbear—

FACE. He has
Four angels here.

SUB. You do me wrong, good sir.

FACE. Doctor, wherein? to tempt you with these spirits?

SUB. To tempt my art and love, sir, to my peril.
Fore heaven, I scarce can think you are my friend,
That so would draw me to apparent danger.

FACE. I draw you! a horse draw you, and a halter,
You, and your flies together—

DAP. Nay, good captain.

FACE. That know no difference of men.

SUB. Good words, sir.

FACE. Good deeds, sir, doctor dogs-meat. 'Slight, I bring you
No cheating Clim o' the Cloughs or Claribels,
That look as big as five-and-fifty, and flush;
And spit out secrets like hot custard—

DAP. Captain!

FACE. Nor any melancholic under-scribe,
Shall tell the vicar; but a special gentle,
That is the heir to forty marks a year,
Consorts with the small poets of the time,
Is the sole hope of his old grandmother;
That knows the law, and writes you six fair hands,
Is a fine clerk, and has his cyphering perfect.
Will take his oath o' the Greek Testament,
If need be, in his pocket; and can court
His mistress out of Ovid.

DAP. Nay, dear captain—

FACE. Did you not tell me so?

DAP. Yes; but I'd have you
Use master doctor with some more respect.

FACE. Hang him, proud stag, with his broad velvet head!—
But for your sake, I'd choak, ere I would change
An article of breath with such a puckfist:
Come, let's be gone.


SUB. Pray you let me speak with you.

DAP. His worship calls you, captain.

FACE. I am sorry
I e'er embark'd myself in such a business.

DAP. Nay, good sir; he did call you.

FACE. Will he take then?

SUB. First, hear me—

FACE. Not a syllable, 'less you take.

SUB. Pray you, sir—

FACE. Upon no terms but an assumpsit.

SUB. Your humour must be law.

FACE. Why now, sir, talk.
Now I dare hear you with mine honour. Speak.
So may this gentleman too.

SUB. Why, sir—

FACE. No whispering.

SUB. Fore heaven, you do not apprehend the loss
You do yourself in this.

FACE. Wherein? for what?

SUB. Marry, to be so importunate for one,
That, when he has it, will undo you all:
He'll win up all the money in the town.

FACE. How!

SUB. Yes, and blow up gamester after gamester,
As they do crackers in a puppet-play.
If I do give him a familiar,
Give you him all you play for; never set him:
For he will have it.

FACE. You are mistaken, doctor.
Why he does ask one but for cups and horses,
A rifling fly; none of your great familiars.

DAP. Yes, captain, I would have it for all games.

SUB. I told you so.

FACE [TAKING DAP. ASIDE]. 'Slight, that is a new business!
I understood you, a tame bird, to fly
Twice in a term, or so, on Friday nights,
When you had left the office, for a nag
Of forty or fifty shillings.

DAP. Ay, 'tis true, sir;
But I do think now I shall leave the law,
And therefore—

FACE. Why, this changes quite the case.
Do you think that I dare move him?

DAP. If you please, sir;
All's one to him, I see.

FACE. What! for that money?
I cannot with my conscience; nor should you
Make the request, methinks.

DAP. No, sir, I mean
To add consideration.

FACE. Why then, sir,
I'll try.—
Say that it were for all games, doctor.

SUB. I say then, not a mouth shall eat for him
At any ordinary, but on the score,
That is a gaming mouth, conceive me.

FACE. Indeed!

SUB. He'll draw you all the treasure of the realm,
If it be set him.

FACE. Speak you this from art?

SUB. Ay, sir, and reason too, the ground of art.
He is of the only best complexion,
The queen of Fairy loves.

FACE. What! is he?

SUB. Peace.
He'll overhear you. Sir, should she but see him—

FACE. What?

SUB. Do not you tell him.

FACE. Will he win at cards too?

SUB. The spirits of dead Holland, living Isaac,
You'd swear, were in him; such a vigorous luck
As cannot be resisted. 'Slight, he'll put
Six of your gallants to a cloke, indeed.

FACE. A strange success, that some man shall be born to.

SUB. He hears you, man—

DAP. Sir, I'll not be ingrateful.

FACE. Faith, I have confidence in his good nature:
You hear, he says he will not be ingrateful.

SUB. Why, as you please; my venture follows yours.

FACE. Troth, do it, doctor; think him trusty, and make him.
He may make us both happy in an hour;
Win some five thousand pound, and send us two on't.

DAP. Believe it, and I will, sir.

FACE. And you shall, sir.
You have heard all?

DAP. No, what was't? Nothing, I, sir.

FACE. Nothing!

DAP. A little, sir.

FACE. Well, a rare star
Reign'd at your birth.

DAP. At mine, sir! No.

FACE. The doctor
Swears that you are—

SUB. Nay, captain, you'll tell all now.

FACE. Allied to the queen of Fairy.

DAP. Who! that I am?
Believe it, no such matter—

FACE. Yes, and that
You were born with a cawl on your head.

DAP. Who says so?

FACE. Come,
You know it well enough, though you dissemble it.

DAP. I'fac, I do not; you are mistaken.

FACE. How!
Swear by your fac, and in a thing so known
Unto the doctor? How shall we, sir, trust you
In the other matter? can we ever think,
When you have won five or six thousand pound,
You'll send us shares in't, by this rate?

DAP. By Jove, sir,
I'll win ten thousand pound, and send you half.
I'fac's no oath.

SUB. No, no, he did but jest.

FACE. Go to. Go thank the doctor: he's your friend,
To take it so.

DAP. I thank his worship.

Another angel.

DAP. Must I?

FACE. Must you! 'slight,
What else is thanks? will you be trivial?—Doctor,
When must he come for his familiar?

DAP. Shall I not have it with me?

SUB. O, good sir!
There must a world of ceremonies pass;
You must be bath'd and fumigated first:
Besides the queen of Fairy does not rise
Till it be noon.

FACE. Not, if she danced, to-night.

SUB. And she must bless it.

FACE. Did you never see
Her royal grace yet?

DAP. Whom?

FACE. Your aunt of Fairy?

SUB. Not since she kist him in the cradle, captain;
I can resolve you that.

FACE. Well, see her grace,
Whate'er it cost you, for a thing that I know.
It will be somewhat hard to compass; but
However, see her. You are made, believe it,
If you can see her. Her grace is a lone woman,
And very rich; and if she take a fancy,
She will do strange things. See her, at any hand.
'Slid, she may hap to leave you all she has:
It is the doctor's fear.

DAP. How will't be done, then?

FACE. Let me alone, take you no thought. Do you
But say to me, captain, I'll see her grace.

DAP. "Captain, I'll see her grace."

FACE. Enough.


SUB. Who's there?
—Conduct him forth by the back way.—
Sir, against one o'clock prepare yourself;
Till when you must be fasting; only take
Three drops of vinegar in at your nose,
Two at your mouth, and one at either ear;
Then bathe your fingers' ends and wash your eyes,
To sharpen your five senses, and cry "hum"
Thrice, and then "buz" as often; and then come.


FACE. Can you remember this?

DAP. I warrant you.

FACE. Well then, away. It is but your bestowing
Some twenty nobles 'mong her grace's servants,
And put on a clean shirt: you do not know
What grace her grace may do you in clean linen.


SUB [WITHIN]. Come in! Good wives, I pray you forbear me now;
Troth I can do you no good till afternoon—
What is your name, say you? Abel Drugger?

DRUG. Yes, sir.

SUB. A seller of tobacco?

DRUG. Yes, sir.

SUB. Umph!
Free of the grocers?

DRUG. Ay, an't please you.

SUB. Well—
Your business, Abel?

DRUG. This, an't please your worship;
I am a young beginner, and am building
Of a new shop, an't like your worship, just
At corner of a street:—Here is the plot on't—
And I would know by art, sir, of your worship,
Which way I should make my door, by necromancy,
And where my shelves; and which should be for boxes,
And which for pots. I would be glad to thrive, sir:
And I was wish'd to your worship by a gentleman,
One captain Face, that says you know men's planets,
And their good angels, and their bad.

SUB. I do,
If I do see them—


FACE. What! my honest Abel?
Though art well met here.

DRUG. Troth, sir, I was speaking,
Just as your worship came here, of your worship:
I pray you speak for me to master doctor.

FACE. He shall do any thing.—Doctor, do you hear?
This is my friend, Abel, an honest fellow;
He lets me have good tobacco, and he does not
Sophisticate it with sack-lees or oil,
Nor washes it in muscadel and grains,
Nor buries it in gravel, under ground,
Wrapp'd up in greasy leather, or piss'd clouts:
But keeps it in fine lily pots, that, open'd,
Smell like conserve of roses, or French beans.
He has his maple block, his silver tongs,
Winchester pipes, and fire of Juniper:
A neat, spruce, honest fellow, and no goldsmith.

SUB. He is a fortunate fellow, that I am sure on.

FACE. Already, sir, have you found it? Lo thee, Abel!

SUB. And in right way toward riches—

FACE. Sir!

SUB. This summer
He will be of the clothing of his company,
And next spring call'd to the scarlet; spend what he can.

FACE. What, and so little beard?

SUB. Sir, you must think,
He may have a receipt to make hair come:
But he'll be wise, preserve his youth, and fine for't;
His fortune looks for him another way.

FACE. 'Slid, doctor, how canst thou know this so soon?
I am amused at that!

SUB. By a rule, captain,
In metoposcopy, which I do work by;
A certain star in the forehead, which you see not.
Your chestnut or your olive-colour'd face
Does never fail: and your long ear doth promise.
I knew't by certain spots, too, in his teeth,
And on the nail of his mercurial finger.

FACE. Which finger's that?

SUB. His little finger. Look.
You were born upon a Wednesday?

DRUG. Yes, indeed, sir.

SUB. The thumb, in chiromancy, we give Venus;
The fore-finger, to Jove; the midst, to Saturn;
The ring, to Sol; the least, to Mercury,
Who was the lord, sir, of his horoscope,
His house of life being Libra; which fore-shew'd,
He should be a merchant, and should trade with balance.

FACE. Why, this is strange! Is it not, honest Nab?

SUB. There is a ship now, coming from Ormus,
That shall yield him such a commodity
Of drugs
—This is the west, and this the south?

DRUG. Yes, sir.

SUB. And those are your two sides?

DRUG. Ay, sir.

SUB. Make me your door, then, south; your broad side, west:
And on the east side of your shop, aloft,
Write Mathlai, Tarmiel, and Baraborat;
Upon the north part, Rael, Velel, Thiel.
They are the names of those mercurial spirits,
That do fright flies from boxes.

DRUG. Yes, sir.

SUB. And
Beneath your threshold, bury me a load-stone
To draw in gallants that wear spurs: the rest,
They'll seem to follow.

FACE. That's a secret, Nab!

SUB. And, on your stall, a puppet, with a vice
And a court-fucus to call city-dames:
You shall deal much with minerals.

DRUG. Sir, I have.
At home, already—

SUB. Ay, I know you have arsenic,
Vitriol, sal-tartar, argaile, alkali,
Cinoper: I know all.—This fellow, captain,
Will come, in time, to be a great distiller,
And give a say—I will not say directly,
But very fair—at the philosopher's stone.

FACE. Why, how now, Abel! is this true?

DRUG [ASIDE TO FACE]. Good captain,
What must I give?

FACE. Nay, I'll not counsel thee.
Thou hear'st what wealth (he says, spend what thou canst,)
Thou'rt like to come to.

DRUG. I would gi' him a crown.

FACE. A crown! and toward such a fortune? heart,
Thou shalt rather gi' him thy shop. No gold about thee?

DRUG. Yes, I have a portague, I have kept this half-year.

FACE. Out on thee, Nab! 'Slight, there was such an offer—
Shalt keep't no longer, I'll give't him for thee. Doctor,
Nab prays your worship to drink this, and swears
He will appear more grateful, as your skill
Does raise him in the world.

DRUG. I would entreat
Another favour of his worship.

FACE. What is't, Nab?

DRUG. But to look over, sir, my almanack,
And cross out my ill-days, that I may neither
Bargain, nor trust upon them.

FACE. That he shall, Nab:
Leave it, it shall be done, 'gainst afternoon.

SUB. And a direction for his shelves.

FACE. Now, Nab,
Art thou well pleased, Nab?

DRUG. 'Thank, sir, both your worships.

FACE. Away.
Why, now, you smoaky persecutor of nature!
Now do you see, that something's to be done,
Beside your beech-coal, and your corsive waters,
Your crosslets, crucibles, and cucurbites?
You must have stuff brought home to you, to work on:
And yet you think, I am at no expense
In searching out these veins, then following them,
Then trying them out. 'Fore God, my intelligence
Costs me more money, than my share oft comes to,
In these rare works.

SUB. You are pleasant, sir.
—How now!
What says my dainty Dolkin?

DOL. Yonder fish-wife
Will not away. And there's your giantess,
The bawd of Lambeth.

SUB. Heart, I cannot speak with them.

DOL. Not afore night, I have told them in a voice,
Thorough the trunk, like one of your familiars.
But I have spied sir Epicure Mammon—

SUB. Where?

DOL. Coming along, at far end of the lane,
Slow of his feet, but earnest of his tongue
To one that's with him.

SUB. Face, go you and shift.
Dol, you must presently make ready, too.

DOL. Why, what's the matter?

SUB. O, I did look for him
With the sun's rising: 'marvel he could sleep,
This is the day I am to perfect for him
The magisterium, our great work, the stone;
And yield it, made, into his hands: of which
He has, this month, talked as he were possess'd.
And now he's dealing pieces on't away.—
Methinks I see him entering ordinaries,
Dispensing for the pox, and plaguy houses,
Reaching his dose, walking Moorfields for lepers,
And offering citizens' wives pomander-bracelets,
As his preservative, made of the elixir;
Searching the spittal, to make old bawds young;
And the highways, for beggars, to make rich.
I see no end of his labours. He will make
Nature asham'd of her long sleep: when art,
Who's but a step-dame, shall do more than she,
In her best love to mankind, ever could:
If his dream lasts, he'll turn the age to gold.


ACT 2.

SCENE 2.1.




MAM. Come on, sir. Now, you set your foot on shore
In Novo Orbe; here's the rich Peru:
And there within, sir, are the golden mines,
Great Solomon's Ophir! he was sailing to't,
Three years, but we have reached it in ten months.
This is the day, wherein, to all my friends,
I will pronounce the happy word, BE RICH;
You shall no more deal with the hollow dye,
Or the frail card. No more be at charge of keeping
The livery-punk for the young heir, that must
Seal, at all hours, in his shirt: no more,
If he deny, have him beaten to't, as he is
That brings him the commodity. No more
Shall thirst of satin, or the covetous hunger
Of velvet entrails for a rude-spun cloke,
To be display'd at madam Augusta's, make
The sons of Sword and Hazard fall before
The golden calf, and on their knees, whole nights
Commit idolatry with wine and trumpets:
Or go a feasting after drum and ensign.
No more of this. You shall start up young viceroys,
And have your punks, and punketees, my Surly.
And unto thee I speak it first, BE RICH.
Where is my Subtle, there? Within, ho!

FACE [WITHIN]. Sir, he'll come to you by and by.

MAM. That is his fire-drake,
His Lungs, his Zephyrus, he that puffs his coals,
Till he firk nature up, in her own centre.
You are not faithful, sir. This night, I'll change
All that is metal, in my house, to gold:
And, early in the morning, will I send
To all the plumbers and the pewterers,
And by their tin and lead up; and to Lothbury
For all the copper.

SUR. What, and turn that too?

MAM. Yes, and I'll purchase Devonshire and Cornwall,
And make them perfect Indies! you admire now?

SUR. No, faith.

MAM. But when you see th' effects of the Great Medicine,
Of which one part projected on a hundred
Of Mercury, or Venus, or the moon,
Shall turn it to as many of the sun;
Nay, to a thousand, so ad infinitum:
You will believe me.

SUR. Yes, when I see't, I will.
But if my eyes do cozen me so, and I
Giving them no occasion, sure I'll have
A whore, shall piss them out next day.

MAM. Ha! why?
Do you think I fable with you? I assure you,
He that has once the flower of the sun,
The perfect ruby, which we call elixir,
Not only can do that, but, by its virtue,
Can confer honour, love, respect, long life;
Give safety, valour, yea, and victory,
To whom he will. In eight and twenty days,
I'll make an old man of fourscore, a child.

SUR. No doubt; he's that already.

MAM. Nay, I mean,
Restore his years, renew him, like an eagle,
To the fifth age; make him get sons and daughters,
Young giants; as our philosophers have done,
The ancient patriarchs, afore the flood,
But taking, once a week, on a knife's point,
The quantity of a grain of mustard of it;
Become stout Marses, and beget young Cupids.

SUR. The decay'd vestals of Pict-hatch would thank you,
That keep the fire alive, there.

MAM. 'Tis the secret
Of nature naturis'd 'gainst all infections,
Cures all diseases coming of all causes;
A month's grief in a day, a year's in twelve;
And, of what age soever, in a month:
Past all the doses of your drugging doctors.
I'll undertake, withal, to fright the plague
Out of the kingdom in three months.

SUR. And I'll
Be bound, the players shall sing your praises, then,
Without their poets.

MAM. Sir, I'll do't. Mean time,
I'll give away so much unto my man,
Shall serve the whole city, with preservative
Weekly; each house his dose, and at the rate—

SUR. As he that built the Water-work, does with water?

MAM. You are incredulous.

SUR. Faith I have a humour,
I would not willingly be gull'd. Your stone
Cannot transmute me.

MAM. Pertinax, [my] Surly,
Will you believe antiquity? records?
I'll shew you a book where Moses and his sister,
And Solomon have written of the art;
Ay, and a treatise penn'd by Adam—

SUR. How!

MAM. Of the philosopher's stone, and in High Dutch.

SUR. Did Adam write, sir, in High Dutch?

MAM. He did;
Which proves it was the primitive tongue.

SUR. What paper?

MAM. On cedar board.

SUR. O that, indeed, they say,
Will last 'gainst worms.

MAM. 'Tis like your Irish wood,
'Gainst cob-webs. I have a piece of Jason's fleece, too,
Which was no other than a book of alchemy,
Writ in large sheep-skin, a good fat ram-vellum.
Such was Pythagoras' thigh, Pandora's tub,
And, all that fable of Medea's charms,
The manner of our work; the bulls, our furnace,
Still breathing fire; our argent-vive, the dragon:
The dragon's teeth, mercury sublimate,
That keeps the whiteness, hardness, and the biting;
And they are gathered into Jason's helm,
The alembic, and then sow'd in Mars his field,
And thence sublimed so often, till they're fixed.
Both this, the Hesperian garden, Cadmus' story,
Jove's shower, the boon of Midas, Argus' eyes,
Boccace his Demogorgon, thousands more,
All abstract riddles of our stone.
—How now!
Do we succeed? Is our day come? and holds it?

FACE. The evening will set red upon you, sir;
You have colour for it, crimson: the red ferment
Has done his office; three hours hence prepare you
To see projection.

MAM. Pertinax, my Surly.
Again I say to thee, aloud, Be rich.
This day, thou shalt have ingots; and to-morrow,
Give lords th' affront.—Is it, my Zephyrus, right?
Blushes the bolt's-head?

FACE. Like a wench with child, sir,
That were but now discover'd to her master.

MAM. Excellent witty Lungs!—my only care
Where to get stuff enough now, to project on;
This town will not half serve me.

FACE. No, sir! buy
The covering off o' churches.

MAM. That's true.

FACE. Yes.
Let them stand bare, as do their auditory;
Or cap them, new, with shingles.

MAM. No, good thatch:
Thatch will lie light upon the rafters, Lungs.—
Lungs, I will manumit thee from the furnace;
I will restore thee thy complexion, Puffe,
Lost in the embers; and repair this brain,
Hurt with the fume o' the metals.

FACE. I have blown, sir,
Hard for your worship; thrown by many a coal,
When 'twas not beech; weigh'd those I put in, just,
To keep your heat still even; these blear'd eyes
Have wak'd to read your several colours, sir,
Of the pale citron, the green lion, the crow,
The peacock's tail, the plumed swan.

MAM. And, lastly,
Thou hast descry'd the flower, the sanguis agni?

FACE. Yes, sir.

MAM. Where's master?

FACE. At his prayers, sir, he;
Good man, he's doing his devotions
For the success.

MAM. Lungs, I will set a period
To all thy labours; thou shalt be the master
Of my seraglio.

FACE. Good, sir.

MAM. But do you hear?
I'll geld you, Lungs.

FACE. Yes, sir.

MAM. For I do mean
To have a list of wives and concubines,
Equal with Solomon, who had the stone
Alike with me; and I will make me a back
With the elixir, that shall be as tough
As Hercules, to encounter fifty a night.—
Thou'rt sure thou saw'st it blood?

FACE. Both blood and spirit, sir.

MAM. I will have all my beds blown up, not stuft;
Down is too hard: and then, mine oval room
Fill'd with such pictures as Tiberius took
From Elephantis, and dull Aretine
But coldly imitated. Then, my glasses
Cut in more subtle angles, to disperse
And multiply the figures, as I walk
Naked between my succubae. My mists
I'll have of perfume, vapour'd 'bout the room,
To lose ourselves in; and my baths, like pits
To fall into; from whence we will come forth,
And roll us dry in gossamer and roses.—
Is it arrived at ruby?—Where I spy
A wealthy citizen, or [a] rich lawyer,
Have a sublimed pure wife, unto that fellow
I'll send a thousand pound to be my cuckold.

FACE. And I shall carry it?

MAM. No. I'll have no bawds,
But fathers and mothers: they will do it best,
Best of all others. And my flatterers
Shall be the pure and gravest of divines,
That I can get for money. My mere fools,
Eloquent burgesses, and then my poets
The same that writ so subtly of the fart,
Whom I will entertain still for that subject.
The few that would give out themselves to be
Court and town-stallions, and, each-where, bely
Ladies who are known most innocent for them;
Those will I beg, to make me eunuchs of:
And they shall fan me with ten estrich tails
A-piece, made in a plume to gather wind.
We will be brave, Puffe, now we have the med'cine.
My meat shall all come in, in Indian shells,
Dishes of agat set in gold, and studded
With emeralds, sapphires, hyacinths, and rubies.
The tongues of carps, dormice, and camels' heels,
Boil'd in the spirit of sol, and dissolv'd pearl,
Apicius' diet, 'gainst the epilepsy:
And I will eat these broths with spoons of amber,
Headed with diamond and carbuncle.
My foot-boy shall eat pheasants, calver'd salmons,
Knots, godwits, lampreys: I myself will have
The beards of barbels served, instead of sallads;
Oil'd mushrooms; and the swelling unctuous paps
Of a fat pregnant sow, newly cut off,
Drest with an exquisite, and poignant sauce;
For which, I'll say unto my cook, "There's gold,
Go forth, and be a knight."

FACE. Sir, I'll go look
A little, how it heightens.


MAM. Do.—My shirts
I'll have of taffeta-sarsnet, soft and light
As cobwebs; and for all my other raiment,
It shall be such as might provoke the Persian,
Were he to teach the world riot anew.
My gloves of fishes' and birds' skins, perfumed
With gums of paradise, and eastern air—

SUR. And do you think to have the stone with this?

MAM. No, I do think t' have all this with the stone.

SUR. Why, I have heard he must be homo frugi,
A pious, holy, and religious man,
One free from mortal sin, a very virgin.

MAM. That makes it, sir; he is so: but I buy it;
My venture brings it me. He, honest wretch,
A notable, superstitious, good soul,
Has worn his knees bare, and his slippers bald,
With prayer and fasting for it: and, sir, let him
Do it alone, for me, still. Here he comes.
Not a profane word afore him: 'tis poison.—
Good morrow, father.

SUB. Gentle son, good morrow,
And to your friend there. What is he, is with you?

MAM. An heretic, that I did bring along,
In hope, sir, to convert him.

SUB. Son, I doubt
You are covetous, that thus you meet your time
In the just point: prevent your day at morning.
This argues something, worthy of a fear
Of importune and carnal appetite.
Take heed you do not cause the blessing leave you,
With your ungovern'd haste. I should be sorry
To see my labours, now even at perfection,
Got by long watching and large patience,
Not prosper where my love and zeal hath placed them.
Which (heaven I call to witness, with your self,
To whom I have pour'd my thoughts) in all my ends,
Have look'd no way, but unto public good,
To pious uses, and dear charity
Now grown a prodigy with men. Wherein
If you, my son, should now prevaricate,
And, to your own particular lusts employ
So great and catholic a bliss, be sure
A curse will follow, yea, and overtake
Your subtle and most secret ways.

MAM. I know, sir;
You shall not need to fear me; I but come,
To have you confute this gentleman.

SUR. Who is,
Indeed, sir, somewhat costive of belief
Toward your stone; would not be gull'd.

SUB. Well, son,
All that I can convince him in, is this,
The WORK IS DONE, bright sol is in his robe.
We have a medicine of the triple soul,
The glorified spirit. Thanks be to heaven,
And make us worthy of it!—Ulen Spiegel!

FACE [WITHIN]. Anon, sir.

SUB. Look well to the register.
And let your heat still lessen by degrees,
To the aludels.

FACE [WITHIN]. Yes, sir.

SUB. Did you look
On the bolt's-head yet?

FACE [WITHIN]. Which? on D, sir?

SUB. Ay;
What's the complexion?

FACE [WITHIN]. Whitish.

SUB. Infuse vinegar,
To draw his volatile substance and his tincture:
And let the water in glass E be filter'd,
And put into the gripe's egg. Lute him well;
And leave him closed in balneo.

FACE [WITHIN]. I will, sir.

SUR. What a brave language here is! next to canting.

SUB. I have another work, you never saw, son,
That three days since past the philosopher's wheel,
In the lent heat of Athanor; and's become
Sulphur of Nature.

MAM. But 'tis for me?

SUB. What need you?
You have enough in that is perfect.

MAM. O but—

SUB. Why, this is covetise!

MAM. No, I assure you,
I shall employ it all in pious uses,
Founding of colleges and grammar schools,
Marrying young virgins, building hospitals,
And now and then a church.


SUB. How now!

FACE. Sir, please you,
Shall I not change the filter?

SUB. Marry, yes;
And bring me the complexion of glass B.


MAM. Have you another?

SUB. Yes, son; were I assured—
Your piety were firm, we would not want
The means to glorify it: but I hope the best.—
I mean to tinct C in sand-heat to-morrow,
And give him imbibition.

MAM. Of white oil?

SUB. No, sir, of red. F is come over the helm too,
I thank my Maker, in S. Mary's bath,
And shews lac virginis. Blessed be heaven!
I sent you of his faeces there calcined:
Out of that calx, I have won the salt of mercury.

MAM. By pouring on your rectified water?

SUB. Yes, and reverberating in Athanor.
How now! what colour says it?

FACE. The ground black, sir.

MAM. That's your crow's head?

SUR. Your cock's-comb's, is it not?

SUB. No, 'tis not perfect. Would it were the crow!
That work wants something.

SUR [ASIDE]. O, I looked for this.
The hay's a pitching.

SUB. Are you sure you loosed them
In their own menstrue?

FACE. Yes, sir, and then married them,
And put them in a bolt's-head nipp'd to digestion,
According as you bade me, when I set
The liquor of Mars to circulation
In the same heat.

SUB. The process then was right.

FACE. Yes, by the token, sir, the retort brake,
And what was saved was put into the pellican,
And sign'd with Hermes' seal.

SUB. I think 'twas so.
We should have a new amalgama.

SUR [ASIDE]. O, this ferret
Is rank as any pole-cat.

SUB. But I care not:
Let him e'en die; we have enough beside,
In embrion. H has his white shirt on?

FACE. Yes, sir,
He's ripe for inceration, he stands warm,
In his ash-fire. I would not you should let
Any die now, if I might counsel, sir,
For luck's sake to the rest: it is not good.

MAM. He says right.

SUR [ASIDE]. Ay, are you bolted?

FACE. Nay, I know't, sir,
I have seen the ill fortune. What is some three ounces
Of fresh materials?

MAM. Is't no more?

FACE. No more, sir.
Of gold, t'amalgame with some six of mercury.

MAM. Away, here's money. What will serve?

FACE. Ask him, sir.

MAM. How much?

SUB. Give him nine pound:—you may give him ten.

SUR. Yes, twenty, and be cozen'd, do.

MAM. There 'tis.

SUB. This needs not; but that you will have it so,
To see conclusions of all: for two
Of our inferior works are at fixation,
A third is in ascension. Go your ways.
Have you set the oil of luna in kemia?

FACE. Yes, sir.

SUB. And the philosopher's vinegar?



SUR. We shall have a sallad!

MAM. When do you make projection?

SUB. Son, be not hasty, I exalt our med'cine,
By hanging him in balneo vaporoso,
And giving him solution; then congeal him;
And then dissolve him; then again congeal him;
For look, how oft I iterate the work,
So many times I add unto his virtue.
As, if at first one ounce convert a hundred,
After his second loose, he'll turn a thousand;
His third solution, ten; his fourth, a hundred:
After his fifth, a thousand thousand ounces
Of any imperfect metal, into pure
Silver or gold, in all examinations,
As good as any of the natural mine.
Get you your stuff here against afternoon,
Your brass, your pewter, and your andirons.

MAM. Not those of iron?

SUB. Yes, you may bring them too:
We'll change all metals.

SUR. I believe you in that.

MAM. Then I may send my spits?

SUB. Yes, and your racks.

SUR. And dripping-pans, and pot-hangers, and hooks?
Shall he not?

SUB. If he please.

SUR.—To be an ass.

SUB. How, sir!

MAM. This gentleman you must bear withal:
I told you he had no faith.

SUR. And little hope, sir;
But much less charity, should I gull myself.

SUB. Why, what have you observ'd, sir, in our art,
Seems so impossible?

SUR. But your whole work, no more.
That you should hatch gold in a furnace, sir,
As they do eggs in Egypt!

SUB. Sir, do you
Believe that eggs are hatch'd so?

SUR. If I should?

SUB. Why, I think that the greater miracle.
No egg but differs from a chicken more
Than metals in themselves.

SUR. That cannot be.
The egg's ordain'd by nature to that end,
And is a chicken in potentia.

SUB. The same we say of lead and other metals,
Which would be gold, if they had time.

MAM. And that
Our art doth further.

SUB. Ay, for 'twere absurb
To think that nature in the earth bred gold
Perfect in the instant: something went before.
There must be remote matter.

SUR. Ay, what is that?

SUB. Marry, we say—

MAM. Ay, now it heats: stand, father,
Pound him to dust.

SUB. It is, of the one part,
A humid exhalation, which we call
Material liquida, or the unctuous water;
On the other part, a certain crass and vicious
Portion of earth; both which, concorporate,
Do make the elementary matter of gold;
Which is not yet propria materia,
But common to all metals and all stones;
For, where it is forsaken of that moisture,
And hath more driness, it becomes a stone:
Where it retains more of the humid fatness,
It turns to sulphur, or to quicksilver,
Who are the parents of all other metals.
Nor can this remote matter suddenly
Progress so from extreme unto extreme,
As to grow gold, and leap o'er all the means.
Nature doth first beget the imperfect, then
Proceeds she to the perfect. Of that airy
And oily water, mercury is engender'd;
Sulphur of the fat and earthy part; the one,
Which is the last, supplying the place of male,
The other of the female, in all metals.
Some do believe hermaphrodeity,
That both do act and suffer. But these two
Make the rest ductile, malleable, extensive.
And even in gold they are; for we do find
Seeds of them, by our fire, and gold in them;
And can produce the species of each metal
More perfect thence, than nature doth in earth.
Beside, who doth not see in daily practice
Art can beget bees, hornets, beetles, wasps,
Out of the carcases and dung of creatures;
Yea, scorpions of an herb, being rightly placed?
And these are living creatures, far more perfect
And excellent than metals.

MAM. Well said, father!
Nay, if he take you in hand, sir, with an argument,
He'll bray you in a mortar.

SUR. Pray you, sir, stay.
Rather than I'll be brayed, sir, I'll believe
That Alchemy is a pretty kind of game,
Somewhat like tricks o' the cards, to cheat a man
With charming.

SUB. Sir?

SUR. What else are all your terms,
Whereon no one of your writers 'grees with other?
Of your elixir, your lac virginis,
Your stone, your med'cine, and your chrysosperm,
Your sal, your sulphur, and your mercury,
Your oil of height, your tree of life, your blood,
Your marchesite, your tutie, your magnesia,
Your toad, your crow, your dragon, and your panther;
Your sun, your moon, your firmament, your adrop,
Your lato, azoch, zernich, chibrit, heautarit,
And then your red man, and your white woman,
With all your broths, your menstrues, and materials,
Of piss and egg-shells, women's terms, man's blood,
Hair o' the head, burnt clouts, chalk, merds, and clay,
Powder of bones, scalings of iron, glass,
And worlds of other strange ingredients,
Would burst a man to name?

SUB. And all these named,
Intending but one thing; which art our writers
Used to obscure their art.

MAM. Sir, so I told him—
Because the simple idiot should not learn it,
And make it vulgar.

SUB. Was not all the knowledge
Of the Aegyptians writ in mystic symbols?
Speak not the scriptures oft in parables?
Are not the choicest fables of the poets,
That were the fountains and first springs of wisdom,
Wrapp'd in perplexed allegories?

MAM. I urg'd that,
And clear'd to him, that Sisyphus was damn'd
To roll the ceaseless stone, only because
He would have made Ours common.

Who is this?

SUB. 'Sprecious!—What do you mean? go in, good lady,
Let me entreat you.
—Where's this varlet?


FACE. Sir.

SUB. You very knave! do you use me thus?

FACE. Wherein, sir?

SUB. Go in and see, you traitor. Go!


MAM. Who is it, sir?

SUB. Nothing, sir; nothing.

MAM. What's the matter, good sir?
I have not seen you thus distemper'd: who is't?

SUB. All arts have still had, sir, their adversaries;
But ours the most ignorant.—
What now?

FACE. 'Twas not my fault, sir; she would speak with you.

SUB. Would she, sir! Follow me.


MAM [STOPPING HIM]. Stay, Lungs.

FACE. I dare not, sir.

MAM. Stay, man; what is she?

FACE. A lord's sister, sir.

MAM. How! pray thee, stay.

FACE. She's mad, sir, and sent hither—
He'll be mad too.—

MAM. I warrant thee.—
Why sent hither?

FACE. Sir, to be cured.

SUB [WITHIN]. Why, rascal!

FACE. Lo you!—Here, sir!


MAM. 'Fore God, a Bradamante, a brave piece.

SUR. Heart, this is a bawdy-house! I will be burnt else.

MAM. O, by this light, no: do not wrong him. He's
Too scrupulous that way: it is his vice.
No, he's a rare physician, do him right,
An excellent Paracelsian, and has done
Strange cures with mineral physic. He deals all
With spirits, he; he will not hear a word
Of Galen; or his tedious recipes.—
How now, Lungs!

FACE. Softly, sir; speak softly. I meant
To have told your worship all. This must not hear.

MAM. No, he will not be "gull'd;" let him alone.

FACE. You are very right, sir, she is a most rare scholar,
And is gone mad with studying Broughton's works.
If you but name a word touching the Hebrew,
She falls into her fit, and will discourse
So learnedly of genealogies,
As you would run mad too, to hear her, sir.

MAM. How might one do t' have conference with her, Lungs?

FACE. O divers have run mad upon the conference:
I do not know, sir. I am sent in haste,
To fetch a vial.

SUR. Be not gull'd, sir Mammon.

MAM. Wherein? pray ye, be patient.

SUR. Yes, as you are,
And trust confederate knaves and bawds and whores.

MAM. You are too foul, believe it.—Come here, Ulen,
One word.

FACE. I dare not, in good faith.

MAM. Stay, knave.

FACE. He is extreme angry that you saw her, sir.

MAM. Drink that.
What is she when she's out of her fit?

FACE. O, the most affablest creature, sir! so merry!
So pleasant! she'll mount you up, like quicksilver,
Over the helm; and circulate like oil,
A very vegetal: discourse of state,
Of mathematics, bawdry, any thing—

MAM. Is she no way accessible? no means,
No trick to give a man a taste of her—wit—
Or so?


FACE. I'll come to you again, sir.


MAM. Surly, I did not think one of your breeding
Would traduce personages of worth.

SUR. Sir Epicure,
Your friend to use; yet still loth to be gull'd:
I do not like your philosophical bawds.
Their stone is letchery enough to pay for,
Without this bait.

MAM. 'Heart, you abuse yourself.
I know the lady, and her friends, and means,
The original of this disaster. Her brother
Has told me all.

SUR. And yet you never saw her
Till now!

MAM. O yes, but I forgot. I have, believe it,
One of the treacherousest memories, I do think,
Of all mankind.

SUR. What call you her brother?

MAM. My lord—
He will not have his name known, now I think on't.

SUR. A very treacherous memory!

MAM. On my faith—

SUR. Tut, if you have it not about you, pass it,
Till we meet next.

MAM. Nay, by this hand, 'tis true.
He's one I honour, and my noble friend;
And I respect his house.

SUR. Heart! can it be,
That a grave sir, a rich, that has no need,
A wise sir, too, at other times, should thus,
With his own oaths, and arguments, make hard means
To gull himself? An this be your elixir,
Your lapis mineralis, and your lunary,
Give me your honest trick yet at primero,
Or gleek; and take your lutum sapientis,
Your menstruum simplex! I'll have gold before you,
And with less danger of the quicksilver,
Or the hot sulphur.


FACE. Here's one from Captain Face, sir,
Desires you meet him in the Temple-church,
Some half-hour hence, and upon earnest business.
if you please to quit us, now; and come
Again within two hours, you shall have
My master busy examining o' the works;
And I will steal you in, unto the party,
That you may see her converse.—Sir, shall I say,
You'll meet the captain's worship?

SUR. Sir, I will.—
But, by attorney, and to a second purpose.
Now, I am sure it is a bawdy-house;
I'll swear it, were the marshal here to thank me:
The naming this commander doth confirm it.
Don Face! why, he's the most authentic dealer
In these commodities, the superintendant
To all the quainter traffickers in town!
He is the visitor, and does appoint,
Who lies with whom, and at what hour; what price;
Which gown, and in what smock; what fall; what tire.
Him will I prove, by a third person, to find
The subtleties of this dark labyrinth:
Which if I do discover, dear sir Mammon,
You'll give your poor friend leave, though no philosopher,
To laugh: for you that are, 'tis thought, shall weep.

FACE. Sir, he does pray, you'll not forget.

SUR. I will not, sir.
Sir Epicure, I shall leave you.


MAM. I follow you, straight.

FACE. But do so, good sir, to avoid suspicion.
This gentleman has a parlous head.

MAM. But wilt thou Ulen,
Be constant to thy promise?

FACE. As my life, sir.

MAM. And wilt thou insinuate what I am, and praise me,
And say, I am a noble fellow?

FACE. O, what else, sir?
And that you'll make her royal with the stone,
An empress; and yourself, King of Bantam.

MAM. Wilt thou do this?

FACE. Will I, sir!

MAM. Lungs, my Lungs!
I love thee.

FACE. Send your stuff, sir, that my master
May busy himself about projection.

MAM. Thou hast witch'd me, rogue: take, go.

FACE. Your jack, and all, sir.

MAM. Thou art a villain—I will send my jack,
And the weights too. Slave, I could bite thine ear.
Away, thou dost not care for me.

FACE. Not I, sir!

MAM. Come, I was born to make thee, my good weasel,
Set thee on a bench, and have thee twirl a chain
With the best lord's vermin of 'em all.

FACE. Away, sir.

MAM. A count, nay, a count palatine—

FACE. Good, sir, go.

MAM. Shall not advance thee better: no, nor faster.



SUB. Has he bit? has he bit?

FACE. And swallowed, too, my Subtle.
I have given him line, and now he plays, i'faith.

SUB. And shall we twitch him?

FACE. Thorough both the gills.
A wench is a rare bait, with which a man
No sooner's taken, but he straight firks mad.

SUB. Dol, my Lord What'ts'hums sister, you must now
Bear yourself statelich.

DOL. O let me alone.
I'll not forget my race, I warrant you.
I'll keep my distance, laugh and talk aloud;
Have all the tricks of a proud scurvy lady,
And be as rude as her woman.

FACE. Well said, sanguine!

SUB. But will he send his andirons?

FACE. His jack too,
And's iron shoeing-horn; I have spoke to him. Well,
I must not lose my wary gamester yonder.

SUB. O monsieur Caution, that WILL NOT BE GULL'D?

If I can strike a fine hook into him, now!
The Temple-church, there I have cast mine angle.
Well, pray for me. I'll about it.

SUB. What, more gudgeons!
Dol, scout, scout!
Stay, Face, you must go to the door,
'Pray God it be my anabaptist—Who is't, Dol?

DOL. I know him not: he looks like a gold-endman.

SUB. Ods so! 'tis he, he said he would send what call you him?
The sanctified elder, that should deal
For Mammon's jack and andirons. Let him in.
Stay, help me off, first, with my gown.
Madam, to your withdrawing chamber.
In a new tune, new gesture, but old language.—
This fellow is sent from one negociates with me
About the stone too, for the holy brethren
Of Amsterdam, the exiled saints, that hope
To raise their discipline by it. I must use him
In some strange fashion, now, to make him admire me.—
Where is my drudge?


FACE. Sir!

SUB. Take away the recipient,
And rectify your menstrue from the phlegma.
Then pour it on the Sol, in the cucurbite,
And let them macerate together.

FACE. Yes, sir.
And save the ground?

SUB. No: terra damnata
Must not have entrance in the work.—Who are you?

ANA. A faithful brother, if it please you.

SUB. What's that?
A Lullianist? a Ripley? Filius artis?
Can you sublime and dulcify? calcine?
Know you the sapor pontic? sapor stiptic?
Or what is homogene, or heterogene?

ANA. I understand no heathen language, truly.

SUB. Heathen! you Knipper-doling? is Ars sacra,
Or chrysopoeia, or spagyrica,
Or the pamphysic, or panarchic knowledge,
A heathen language?

ANA. Heathen Greek, I take it.

SUB. How! heathen Greek?

ANA. All's heathen but the Hebrew.

SUB. Sirrah, my varlet, stand you forth and speak to him,
Like a philosopher: answer in the language.
Name the vexations, and the martyrisations
Of metals in the work.

FACE. Sir, putrefaction,
Solution, ablution, sublimation,
Cohobation, calcination, ceration, and

SUB. This is heathen Greek to you, now!—
And when comes vivification?

FACE. After mortification.

SUB. What's cohobation?

FACE. 'Tis the pouring on
Your aqua regis, and then drawing him off,
To the trine circle of the seven spheres.

SUB. What's the proper passion of metals?

FACE. Malleation.

SUB. What's your ultimum supplicium auri?

FACE. Antimonium.

SUB. This is heathen Greek to you!—And what's your mercury?

FACE. A very fugitive, he will be gone, sir.

SUB. How know you him?

FACE. By his viscosity,
His oleosity, and his suscitability.

SUB. How do you sublime him?

FACE. With the calce of egg-shells,
White marble, talc.

SUB. Your magisterium now,
What's that?

FACE. Shifting, sir, your elements,
Dry into cold, cold into moist, moist into hot,
Hot into dry.

SUB. This is heathen Greek to you still!
Your lapis philosophicus?

FACE. 'Tis a stone,
And not a stone; a spirit, a soul, and a body:
Which if you do dissolve, it is dissolved;
If you coagulate, it is coagulated;
If you make it to fly, it flieth.

SUB. Enough.
This is heathen Greek to you! What are you, sir?

ANA. Please you, a servant of the exiled brethren,
That deal with widows' and with orphans' goods,
And make a just account unto the saints:
A deacon.

SUB. O, you are sent from master Wholesome,
Your teacher?

ANA. From Tribulation Wholesome,
Our very zealous pastor.

SUB. Good! I have
Some orphans' goods to come here.

ANA. Of what kind, sir?

SUB. Pewter and brass, andirons and kitchen-ware,
Metals, that we must use our medicine on:
Wherein the brethren may have a pennyworth
For ready money.

ANA. Were the orphans' parents
Sincere professors?

SUB. Why do you ask?

ANA. Because
We then are to deal justly, and give, in truth,
Their utmost value.

SUB. 'Slid, you'd cozen else,
And if their parents were not of the faithful!—
I will not trust you, now I think on it,
'Till I have talked with your pastor. Have you brought money
To buy more coals?

ANA. No, surely.

SUB. No! how so?

ANA. The brethren bid me say unto you, sir,
Surely, they will not venture any more,
Till they may see projection.

SUB. How!

ANA. You have had,
For the instruments, as bricks, and lome, and glasses,
Already thirty pound; and for materials,
They say, some ninety more: and they have heard since,
That one at Heidelberg, made it of an egg,
And a small paper of pin-dust.

SUB. What's your name?

ANA. My name is Ananias.

SUB. Out, the varlet
That cozen'd the apostles! Hence, away!
Flee, mischief! had your holy consistory
No name to send me, of another sound,
Than wicked Ananias? send your elders
Hither to make atonement for you quickly,
And give me satisfaction; or out goes
The fire; and down th' alembics, and the furnace,
Piger Henricus, or what not. Thou wretch!
Both sericon and bufo shall be lost,
Tell them. All hope of rooting out the bishops,
Or the antichristian hierarchy, shall perish,
If they stay threescore minutes: the aqueity,
Terreity, and sulphureity
Shall run together again, and all be annull'd,
Thou wicked Ananias!
This will fetch 'em,
And make them haste towards their gulling more.
A man must deal like a rough nurse, and fright
Those that are froward, to an appetite.


FACE. He is busy with his spirits, but we'll upon him.

SUB. How now! what mates, what Baiards have we here?

FACE. I told you, he would be furious.—Sir, here's Nab,
Has brought you another piece of gold to look on:
—We must appease him. Give it me,—and prays you,
You would devise—what is it, Nab?

DRUG. A sign, sir.

FACE. Ay, a good lucky one, a thriving sign, doctor.

SUB. I was devising now.

FACE. 'Slight, do not say so,
He will repent he gave you any more—
What say you to his constellation, doctor,
The Balance?

SUB. No, that way is stale, and common.
A townsman born in Taurus, gives the bull,
Or the bull's-head: in Aries, the ram,
A poor device! No, I will have his name
Form'd in some mystic character; whose radii,
Striking the senses of the passers by,
Shall, by a virtual influence, breed affections,
That may result upon the party owns it:
As thus—

FACE. Nab!

SUB. He shall have "a bell," that's "Abel;"
And by it standing one whose name is "Dee,"
In a "rug" gown, there's "D," and "Rug," that's "drug:"
And right anenst him a dog snarling "er;"
There's "Drugger," Abel Drugger. That's his sign.
And here's now mystery and hieroglyphic!

FACE. Abel, thou art made.

DRUG. Sir, I do thank his worship.

FACE. Six o' thy legs more will not do it, Nab.
He has brought you a pipe of tobacco, doctor.

DRUG. Yes, sir;
I have another thing I would impart—

FACE. Out with it, Nab.

DRUG. Sir, there is lodged, hard by me,
A rich young widow—

FACE. Good! a bona roba?

DRUG. But nineteen, at the most.

FACE. Very good, Abel.

DRUG. Marry, she's not in fashion yet; she wears
A hood, but it stands a cop.

FACE. No matter, Abel.

DRUG. And I do now and then give her a fucus—

FACE. What! dost thou deal, Nab?

SUB. I did tell you, captain.

DRUG. And physic too, sometime, sir; for which she trusts me
With all her mind. She's come up here of purpose
To learn the fashion.

FACE. Good (his match too!)—On, Nab.

DRUG. And she does strangely long to know her fortune.

FACE. Ods lid, Nab, send her to the doctor, hither.

DRUG. Yes, I have spoke to her of his worship already;
But she's afraid it will be blown abroad,
And hurt her marriage.

FACE. Hurt it! 'tis the way
To heal it, if 'twere hurt; to make it more
Follow'd and sought: Nab, thou shalt tell her this.
She'll be more known, more talk'd of; and your widows
Are ne'er of any price till they be famous;
Their honour is their multitude of suitors.
Send her, it may be thy good fortune. What!
Thou dost not know.

DRUG. No, sir, she'll never marry
Under a knight: her brother has made a vow.

FACE. What! and dost thou despair, my little Nab,
Knowing what the doctor has set down for thee,
And seeing so many of the city dubb'd?
One glass o' thy water, with a madam I know,
Will have it done, Nab: what's her brother, a knight?

DRUG. No, sir, a gentleman newly warm in his land, sir,
Scarce cold in his one and twenty, that does govern
His sister here; and is a man himself
Of some three thousand a year, and is come up
To learn to quarrel, and to live by his wits,
And will go down again, and die in the country.

FACE. How! to quarrel?

DRUG. Yes, sir, to carry quarrels,
As gallants do; to manage them by line.

FACE. 'Slid, Nab, the doctor is the only man
In Christendom for him. He has made a table,
With mathematical demonstrations,
Touching the art of quarrels: he will give him
An instrument to quarrel by. Go, bring them both,
Him and his sister. And, for thee, with her
The doctor happ'ly may persuade. Go to:
'Shalt give his worship a new damask suit
Upon the premises.

SUB. O, good captain!

FACE. He shall;
He is the honestest fellow, doctor.—Stay not,
No offers; bring the damask, and the parties.

DRUG. I'll try my power, sir.

FACE. And thy will too, Nab.

SUB. 'Tis good tobacco, this! What is't an ounce?

FACE. He'll send you a pound, doctor.

SUB. O no.

FACE. He will do't.
It is the goodest soul!—Abel, about it.
Thou shalt know more anon. Away, be gone.
A miserable rogue, and lives with cheese,
And has the worms. That was the cause, indeed,
Why he came now: he dealt with me in private,
To get a med'cine for them.

SUB. And shall, sir. This works.

FACE. A wife, a wife for one on us, my dear Subtle!
We'll e'en draw lots, and he that fails, shall have
The more in goods, the other has in tail.

SUB. Rather the less: for she may be so light
She may want grains.

FACE. Ay, or be such a burden,
A man would scarce endure her for the whole.

SUB. Faith, best let's see her first, and then determine.

FACE. Content: but Dol must have no breath on't.

SUB. Mum.
Away you, to your Surly yonder, catch him.

FACE. 'Pray God I have not staid too long.

SUB. I fear it.


ACT 3.

SCENE 3.1.



TRI. These chastisements are common to the saints,
And such rebukes, we of the separation
Must bear with willing shoulders, as the trials
Sent forth to tempt our frailties.

ANA. In pure zeal,
I do not like the man; he is a heathen,
And speaks the language of Canaan, truly.

TRI. I think him a profane person indeed.

ANA. He bears
The visible mark of the beast in his forehead.
And for his stone, it is a work of darkness,
And with philosophy blinds the eyes of man.

TRI. Good brother, we must bend unto all means,
That may give furtherance to the holy cause.

ANA. Which his cannot: the sanctified cause
Should have a sanctified course.

TRI. Not always necessary:
The children of perdition are oft-times
Made instruments even of the greatest works:
Beside, we should give somewhat to man's nature,
The place he lives in, still about the fire,
And fume of metals, that intoxicate
The brain of man, and make him prone to passion.
Where have you greater atheists than your cooks?
Or more profane, or choleric, than your glass-men?
More antichristian than your bell-founders?
What makes the devil so devilish, I would ask you,
Sathan, our common enemy, but his being
Perpetually about the fire, and boiling
Brimstone and arsenic? We must give, I say,
Unto the motives, and the stirrers up
Of humours in the blood. It may be so,
When as the work is done, the stone is made,
This heat of his may turn into a zeal,
And stand up for the beauteous discipline,
Against the menstruous cloth and rag of Rome.
We must await his calling, and the coming
Of the good spirit. You did fault, t' upbraid him
With the brethren's blessing of Heidelberg, weighing
What need we have to hasten on the work,
For the restoring of the silenced saints,
Which ne'er will be, but by the philosopher's stone.
And so a learned elder, one of Scotland,
Assured me; aurum potabile being
The only med'cine, for the civil magistrate,
T' incline him to a feeling of the cause;
And must be daily used in the disease.

ANA. I have not edified more, truly, by man;
Not since the beautiful light first shone on me:
And I am sad my zeal hath so offended.

TRI. Let us call on him then.

ANA. The motion's good,
And of the spirit; I will knock first.
Peace be within!



SCENE 3.2.



SUB. O, are you come? 'twas time. Your threescore minutes
Were at last thread, you see: and down had gone
Furnus acediae, turris circulatorius:
Lembec, bolt's-head, retort and pelican
Had all been cinders.—Wicked Ananias!
Art thou return'd? nay then, it goes down yet.

TRI. Sir, be appeased; he is come to humble
Himself in spirit, and to ask your patience,
If too much zeal hath carried him aside
From the due path.

SUB. Why, this doth qualify!

TRI. The brethren had no purpose, verily,
To give you the least grievance; but are ready
To lend their willing hands to any project
The spirit and you direct.

SUB. This qualifies more!

TRI. And for the orphans' goods, let them be valued,
Or what is needful else to the holy work,
It shall be numbered; here, by me, the saints,
Throw down their purse before you.

SUB. This qualifies most!
Why, thus it should be, now you understand.
Have I discours'd so unto you of our stone,
And of the good that it shall bring your cause?
Shew'd you (beside the main of hiring forces
Abroad, drawing the Hollanders, your friends,
From the Indies, to serve you, with all their fleet)
That even the med'cinal use shall make you a faction,
And party in the realm? As, put the case,
That some great man in state, he have the gout,
Why, you but send three drops of your elixir,
You help him straight: there you have made a friend.
Another has the palsy or the dropsy,
He takes of your incombustible stuff,
He's young again: there you have made a friend,
A lady that is past the feat of body,
Though not of mind, and hath her face decay'd
Beyond all cure of paintings, you restore,
With the oil of talc: there you have made a friend;
And all her friends. A lord that is a leper,
A knight that has the bone-ache, or a squire
That hath both these, you make them smooth and sound,
With a bare fricace of your med'cine: still
You increase your friends.

TRI. Ay, it is very pregnant.

SUB. And then the turning of this lawyer's pewter
To plate at Christmas.—

ANA. Christ-tide, I pray you.

SUB. Yet, Ananias!

ANA. I have done.

SUB. Or changing
His parcel gilt to massy gold. You cannot
But raise you friends. Withal, to be of power
To pay an army in the field, to buy
The king of France out of his realms, or Spain
Out of his Indies. What can you not do
Against lords spiritual or temporal,
That shall oppone you?

TRI. Verily, 'tis true.
We may be temporal lords ourselves, I take it.

SUB. You may be any thing, and leave off to make
Long-winded exercises; or suck up
Your "ha!" and "hum!" in a tune. I not deny,
But such as are not graced in a state,
May, for their ends, be adverse in religion,
And get a tune to call the flock together:
For, to say sooth, a tune does much with women,
And other phlegmatic people; it is your bell.

ANA. Bells are profane; a tune may be religious.

SUB. No warning with you! then farewell my patience.
'Slight, it shall down: I will not be thus tortured.

TRI. I pray you, sir.

SUB. All shall perish. I have spoken it.

TRI. Let me find grace, sir, in your eyes; the man
He stands corrected: neither did his zeal,
But as your self, allow a tune somewhere.
Which now, being tow'rd the stone, we shall not need.

SUB. No, nor your holy vizard, to win widows
To give you legacies; or make zealous wives
To rob their husbands for the common cause:
Nor take the start of bonds broke but one day,
And say, they were forfeited by providence.
Nor shall you need o'er night to eat huge meals,
To celebrate your next day's fast the better;
The whilst the brethren and the sisters humbled,
Abate the stiffness of the flesh. Nor cast
Before your hungry hearers scrupulous bones;
As whether a Christian may hawk or hunt,
Or whether matrons of the holy assembly
May lay their hair out, or wear doublets,
Or have that idol starch about their linen.

ANA. It is indeed an idol.

TRI. Mind him not, sir.
I do command thee, spirit of zeal, but trouble,
To peace within him! Pray you, sir, go on.

SUB. Nor shall you need to libel 'gainst the prelates,
And shorten so your ears against the hearing
Of the next wire-drawn grace. Nor of necessity
Rail against plays, to please the alderman
Whose daily custard you devour; nor lie
With zealous rage till you are hoarse. Not one
Of these so singular arts. Nor call yourselves
By names of Tribulation, Persecution,
Restraint, Long-patience, and such-like, affected
By the whole family or wood of you,
Only for glory, and to catch the ear
Of the disciple.

TRI. Truly, sir, they are
Ways that the godly brethren have invented,
For propagation of the glorious cause,
As very notable means, and whereby also
Themselves grow soon, and profitably, famous.

SUB. O, but the stone, all's idle to it! nothing!
The art of angels' nature's miracle,
The divine secret that doth fly in clouds
From east to west: and whose tradition
Is not from men, but spirits.

ANA. I hate traditions;
I do not trust them—

TRI. Peace!

ANA. They are popish all.
I will not peace: I will not—

TRI. Ananias!

ANA. Please the profane, to grieve the godly; I may not.

SUB. Well, Ananias, thou shalt overcome.

TRI. It is an ignorant zeal that haunts him, sir;
But truly, else, a very faithful brother,
A botcher, and a man, by revelation,
That hath a competent knowledge of the truth.

SUB. Has he a competent sum there in the bag
To buy the goods within? I am made guardian,
And must, for charity, and conscience sake,
Now see the most be made for my poor orphan;
Though I desire the brethren too good gainers:
There they are within. When you have view'd and bought 'em,
And ta'en the inventory of what they are,
They are ready for projection; there's no more
To do: cast on the med'cine, so much silver
As there is tin there, so much gold as brass,
I'll give't you in by weight.

TRI. But how long time,
Sir, must the saints expect yet?

SUB. Let me see,
How's the moon now? Eight, nine, ten days hence,
He will be silver potate; then three days
Before he citronise: Some fifteen days,
The magisterium will be perfected.

ANA. About the second day of the third week,
In the ninth month?

SUB. Yes, my good Ananias.

TRI. What will the orphan's goods arise to, think you?

SUB. Some hundred marks, as much as fill'd three cars,
Unladed now: you'll make six millions of them.—
But I must have more coals laid in.

TRI. How?

SUB. Another load,
And then we have finish'd. We must now increase
Our fire to ignis ardens; we are past
Fimus equinus, balnei, cineris,
And all those lenter heats. If the holy purse
Should with this draught fall low, and that the saints
Do need a present sum, I have a trick
To melt the pewter, you shall buy now, instantly,
And with a tincture make you as good Dutch dollars
As any are in Holland.

TRI. Can you so?

SUB. Ay, and shall 'bide the third examination.

ANA. It will be joyful tidings to the brethren.

SUB. But you must carry it secret.

TRI. Ay; but stay,
This act of coining, is it lawful?

ANA. Lawful!
We know no magistrate; or, if we did,
This is foreign coin.

SUB. It is no coining, sir.
It is but casting.

TRI. Ha! you distinguish well:
Casting of money may be lawful.

ANA. 'Tis, sir.

TRI. Truly, I take it so.

SUB. There is no scruple,
Sir, to be made of it; believe Ananias:
This case of conscience he is studied in.

TRI. I'll make a question of it to the brethren.

ANA. The brethren shall approve it lawful, doubt not.
Where shall it be done?


SUB. For that we'll talk anon.
There's some to speak with me. Go in, I pray you,
And view the parcels. That's the inventory.
I'll come to you straight.
Who is it?—Face! appear.
How now! good prize?

FACE. Good pox! yond' costive cheater
Never came on.

SUB. How then?

FACE. I have walk'd the round
Till now, and no such thing.

SUB. And have you quit him?

FACE. Quit him! an hell would quit him too, he were happy.
'Slight! would you have me stalk like a mill-jade,
All day, for one that will not yield us grains?
I know him of old.

SUB. O, but to have gull'd him,
Had been a mastery.

FACE. Let him go, black boy!
And turn thee, that some fresh news may possess thee.
A noble count, a don of Spain, my dear
Delicious compeer, and my party-bawd,
Who is come hither private for his conscience,
And brought munition with him, six great slops,
Bigger than three Dutch hoys, beside round trunks,
Furnished with pistolets, and pieces of eight,
Will straight be here, my rogue, to have thy bath,
(That is the colour,) and to make his battery
Upon our Dol, our castle, our cinque-port,
Our Dover pier, our what thou wilt. Where is she?
She must prepare perfumes, delicate linen,
The bath in chief, a banquet, and her wit,
For she must milk his epididimis.
Where is the doxy?

SUB. I'll send her to thee:
And but despatch my brace of little John Leydens,
And come again my self.

FACE. Are they within then?

SUB. Numbering the sum.

FACE. How much?

SUB. A hundred marks, boy.


FACE. Why, this is a lucky day. Ten pounds of Mammon!
Three of my clerk! A portague of my grocer!
This of the brethren! beside reversions,
And states to come in the widow, and my count!
My share to-day will not be bought for forty—


DOL. What?

FACE. Pounds, dainty Dorothy! art thou so near?

DOL. Yes; say, lord general, how fares our camp?

FACE. As with the few that had entrench'd themselves
Safe, by their discipline, against a world, Dol,
And laugh'd within those trenches, and grew fat
With thinking on the booties, Dol, brought in
Daily by their small parties. This dear hour,
A doughty don is taken with my Dol;
And thou mayst make his ransom what thou wilt,
My Dousabel; he shall be brought here fetter'd
With thy fair looks, before he sees thee; and thrown
In a down-bed, as dark as any dungeon;
Where thou shalt keep him waking with thy drum;
Thy drum, my Dol, thy drum; till he be tame
As the poor black-birds were in the great frost,
Or bees are with a bason; and so hive him
In the swan-skin coverlid, and cambric sheets,
Till he work honey and wax, my little God's-gift.

DOL. What is he, general?

FACE. An adalantado,
A grandee, girl. Was not my Dapper here yet?

DOL. No.

FACE. Nor my Drugger?

DOL. Neither.

FACE. A pox on 'em,
They are so long a furnishing! such stinkards
Would not be seen upon these festival days.—
How now! have you done?

SUB. Done. They are gone: the sum
Is here in bank, my Face. I would we knew
Another chapman now would buy 'em outright.

FACE. 'Slid, Nab shall do't against he have the widow,
To furnish household.

SUB. Excellent, well thought on:
Pray God he come!

FACE. I pray he keep away
Till our new business be o'erpast.

SUB. But, Face,
How cam'st thou by this secret don?

FACE. A spirit
Brought me th' intelligence in a paper here,
As I was conjuring yonder in my circle
For Surly; I have my flies abroad. Your bath
Is famous, Subtle, by my means. Sweet Dol,
You must go tune your virginal, no losing
O' the least time: and, do you hear? good action.
Firk, like a flounder; kiss, like a scallop, close;
And tickle him with thy mother tongue. His great
Verdugoship has not a jot of language;
So much the easier to be cozen'd, my Dolly.
He will come here in a hired coach, obscure,
And our own coachman, whom I have sent as guide,
No creature else.
Who's that?


SUB. It is not he?

FACE. O no, not yet this hour.


SUB. Who is't?

DOL. Dapper,
Your clerk.

FACE. God's will then, queen of Fairy,
On with your tire;
and, doctor, with your robes.
Let's dispatch him for God's sake.

SUB. 'Twill be long.

FACE. I warrant you, take but the cues I give you,
It shall be brief enough.
'Slight, here are more!
Abel, and I think the angry boy, the heir,
That fain would quarrel.

SUB. And the widow?

Not that I see. Away!
O sir, you are welcome.
The doctor is within a moving for you;
I have had the most ado to win him to it!—
He swears you'll be the darling of the dice:
He never heard her highness dote till now.
Your aunt has given you the most gracious words
That can be thought on.

DAP. Shall I see her grace?

FACE. See her, and kiss her too.—
What, honest Nab!
Hast brought the damask?

NAB. No, sir; here's tobacco.

FACE. 'Tis well done, Nab; thou'lt bring the damask too?

DRUG. Yes: here's the gentleman, captain, master Kastril,
I have brought to see the doctor.

FACE. Where's the widow?

DRUG. Sir, as he likes, his sister, he says, shall come.

FACE. O, is it so? good time. Is your name Kastril, sir?

KAS. Ay, and the best of the Kastrils, I'd be sorry else,
By fifteen hundred a year. Where is the doctor?
My mad tobacco-boy, here, tells me of one
That can do things: has he any skill?

FACE. Wherein, sir?

KAS. To carry a business, manage a quarrel fairly,
Upon fit terms.

FACE. It seems, sir, you are but young
About the town, that can make that a question.

KAS. Sir, not so young, but I have heard some speech
Of the angry boys, and seen them take tobacco;
And in his shop; and I can take it too.
And I would fain be one of 'em, and go down
And practise in the country.

FACE. Sir, for the duello,
The doctor, I assure you, shall inform you,
To the least shadow of a hair; and shew you
An instrument he has of his own making,
Wherewith no sooner shall you make report
Of any quarrel, but he will take the height on't
Most instantly, and tell in what degree
Of safety it lies in, or mortality.
And how it may be borne, whether in a right line,
Or a half circle; or may else be cast
Into an angle blunt, if not acute:
And this he will demonstrate. And then, rules
To give and take the lie by.

KAS. How! to take it?

FACE. Yes, in oblique he'll shew you, or in circle;
But never in diameter. The whole town
Study his theorems, and dispute them ordinarily
At the eating academies.

KAS. But does he teach
Living by the wits too?

FACE. Anything whatever.
You cannot think that subtlety, but he reads it.
He made me a captain. I was a stark pimp,
Just of your standing, 'fore I met with him;
It is not two months since. I'll tell you his method:
First, he will enter you at some ordinary.

KAS. No, I'll not come there: you shall pardon me.

FACE. For why, sir?

KAS. There's gaming there, and tricks.

FACE. Why, would you be
A gallant, and not game?

KAS. Ay, 'twill spend a man.

FACE. Spend you! it will repair you when you are spent:
How do they live by their wits there, that have vented
Six times your fortunes?

KAS. What, three thousand a-year!

FACE. Ay, forty thousand.

KAS. Are there such?

FACE. Ay, sir,
And gallants yet. Here's a young gentleman
Is born to nothing,—
forty marks a year,
Which I count nothing:—he is to be initiated,
And have a fly of the doctor. He will win you,
By unresistible luck, within this fortnight,
Enough to buy a barony. They will set him
Upmost, at the groom porter's, all the Christmas:
And for the whole year through, at every place,
Where there is play, present him with the chair;
The best attendance, the best drink; sometimes
Two glasses of Canary, and pay nothing;
The purest linen, and the sharpest knife,
The partridge next his trencher: and somewhere
The dainty bed, in private, with the dainty.
You shall have your ordinaries bid for him,
As play-houses for a poet; and the master
Pray him aloud to name what dish he affects,
Which must be butter'd shrimps: and those that drink
To no mouth else, will drink to his, as being
The goodly president mouth of all the board.

KAS. Do you not gull one?

FACE. 'Ods my life! do you think it?
You shall have a cast commander, (can but get
In credit with a glover, or a spurrier,
For some two pair of either's ware aforehand,)
Will, by most swift posts, dealing [but] with him,
Arrive at competent means to keep himself,
His punk and naked boy, in excellent fashion,
And be admired for't.

KAS. Will the doctor teach this?

FACE. He will do more, sir: when your land is gone,
As men of spirit hate to keep earth long,
In a vacation, when small money is stirring,
And ordinaries suspended till the term,
He'll shew a perspective, where on one side
You shall behold the faces and the persons
Of all sufficient young heirs in town,
Whose bonds are current for commodity;
On th' other side, the merchants' forms, and others,
That without help of any second broker,
Who would expect a share, will trust such parcels:
In the third square, the very street and sign
Where the commodity dwells, and does but wait
To be deliver'd, be it pepper, soap,
Hops, or tobacco, oatmeal, woad, or cheeses.
All which you may so handle, to enjoy
To your own use, and never stand obliged.

KAS. I'faith! is he such a fellow?

FACE. Why, Nab here knows him.
And then for making matches for rich widows,
Young gentlewomen, heirs, the fortunat'st man!
He's sent to, far and near, all over England,
To have his counsel, and to know their fortunes.

KAS. God's will, my suster shall see him.

FACE. I'll tell you, sir,
What he did tell me of Nab. It's a strange thing:—
By the way, you must eat no cheese, Nab, it breeds melancholy,
And that same melancholy breeds worms; but pass it:—
He told me, honest Nab here was ne'er at tavern
But once in's life!

DRUG. Truth, and no more I was not.

FACE. And then he was so sick—

DRUG. Could he tell you that too?

FACE. How should I know it?

DRUG. In troth we had been a shooting,
And had a piece of fat ram-mutton to supper,
That lay so heavy o' my stomach—

FACE. And he has no head
To bear any wine; for what with the noise of the fidlers,
And care of his shop, for he dares keep no servants—

DRUG. My head did so ach—

FACE. And he was fain to be brought home,
The doctor told me: and then a good old woman—

DRUG. Yes, faith, she dwells in Sea-coal-lane,—did cure me,
With sodden ale, and pellitory of the wall;
Cost me but two-pence. I had another sickness
Was worse than that.

FACE. Ay, that was with the grief
Thou took'st for being cess'd at eighteen-pence,
For the water-work.

DRUG. In truth, and it was like
T' have cost me almost my life.

FACE. Thy hair went off?

DRUG. Yes, sir; 'twas done for spight.

FACE. Nay, so says the doctor.

KAS. Pray thee, tobacco-boy, go fetch my suster;
I'll see this learned boy before I go;
And so shall she.

FACE. Sir, he is busy now:
But if you have a sister to fetch hither,
Perhaps your own pains may command her sooner;
And he by that time will be free.

KAS. I go.


FACE. Drugger, she's thine: the damask!—
Subtle and I
Must wrestle for her.
—Come on, master Dapper,
You see how I turn clients here away,
To give your cause dispatch; have you perform'd
The ceremonies were enjoin'd you?

DAP. Yes, of the vinegar,
And the clean shirt.

FACE. 'Tis well: that shirt may do you
More worship than you think. Your aunt's a-fire,
But that she will not shew it, t' have a sight of you.
Have you provided for her grace's servants?

DAP. Yes, here are six score Edward shillings.

FACE. Good!

DAP. And an old Harry's sovereign.

FACE. Very good!

DAP. And three James shillings, and an Elizabeth groat,
Just twenty nobles.

FACE. O, you are too just.
I would you had had the other noble in Maries.

DAP. I have some Philip and Maries.

FACE. Ay, those same
Are best of all: where are they? Hark, the doctor.


SUB [IN A FEIGNED VOICE]. Is yet her grace's cousin come?

FACE. He is come.

SUB. And is he fasting?

FACE. Yes.

SUB. And hath cried hum?

FACE. Thrice, you must answer.

DAP. Thrice.

SUB. And as oft buz?

FACE. If you have, say.

DAP. I have.

SUB. Then, to her cuz,
Hoping that he hath vinegar'd his senses,
As he was bid, the Fairy queen dispenses,
By me, this robe, the petticoat of fortune;
Which that he straight put on, she doth importune.
And though to fortune near be her petticoat,
Yet nearer is her smock, the queen doth note:
And therefore, ev'n of that a piece she hath sent
Which, being a child, to wrap him in was rent;
And prays him for a scarf he now will wear it,
With as much love as then her grace did tear it,
About his eyes,
to shew he is fortunate.
And, trusting unto her to make his state,
He'll throw away all worldly pelf about him;
Which that he will perform, she doth not doubt him.

FACE. She need not doubt him, sir. Alas, he has nothing,
But what he will part withal as willingly,
Upon her grace's word—throw away your purse—
As she would ask it;—handkerchiefs and all—
She cannot bid that thing, but he'll obey.—
If you have a ring about you, cast it off,
Or a silver seal at your wrist; her grace will send
Her fairies here to search you, therefore deal
Directly with her highness: if they find
That you conceal a mite, you are undone.

DAP. Truly, there's all.

FACE. All what?

DAP. My money; truly.

FACE. Keep nothing that is transitory about you.
Bid Dol play music.—
Look, the elves are come.
To pinch you, if you tell not truth. Advise you.


DAP. O! I have a paper with a spur-ryal in't.

FACE. Ti, ti.
They knew't, they say.

SUB. Ti, ti, ti, ti. He has more yet.

FACE. Ti, ti-ti-ti.
In the other pocket.

SUB. Titi, titi, titi, titi, titi.
They must pinch him or he will never confess, they say.


DAP. O, O!

FACE. Nay, pray you, hold: he is her grace's nephew,
Ti, ti, ti? What care you? good faith, you shall care.—
Deal plainly, sir, and shame the fairies. Shew
You are innocent.

DAP. By this good light, I have nothing.

SUB. Ti, ti, ti, ti, to, ta. He does equivocate she says:
Ti, ti do ti, ti ti do, ti da;
and swears by the LIGHT when he is blinded.

DAP. By this good DARK, I have nothing but a half-crown
Of gold about my wrist, that my love gave me;
And a leaden heart I wore since she forsook me.

FACE. I thought 'twas something. And would you incur
Your aunt's displeasure for these trifles? Come,
I had rather you had thrown away twenty half-crowns.
You may wear your leaden heart still.—
How now!

SUB. What news, Dol?

DOL. Yonder's your knight, sir Mammon.

FACE. 'Ods lid, we never thought of him till now!
Where is he?

DOL. Here hard by: he is at the door.

SUB. And you are not ready now! Dol, get his suit.
He must not be sent back.

FACE. O, by no means.
What shall we do with this same puffin here,
Now he's on the spit?

SUB. Why, lay him back awhile,
With some device.
—Ti, ti, ti, ti, ti, ti, Would her grace speak with me?
I come.—Help, Dol!


FACE [SPEAKS THROUGH THE KEYHOLE]. Who's there? sir Epicure,
My master's in the way. Please you to walk
Three or four turns, but till his back be turned,
And I am for you.—Quickly, Dol!

SUB. Her grace
Commends her kindly to you, master Dapper.

DAP. I long to see her grace.

SUB. She now is set
At dinner in her bed, and she has sent you
From her own private trencher, a dead mouse,
And a piece of gingerbread, to be merry withal,
And stay your stomach, lest you faint with fasting:
Yet if you could hold out till she saw you, she says,
It would be better for you.

FACE. Sir, he shall
Hold out, an 'twere this two hours, for her highness;
I can assure you that. We will not lose
All we have done.—

SUB. He must not see, nor speak
To any body, till then.

FACE. For that we'll put, sir,
A stay in's mouth.

SUB. Of what?

FACE. Of gingerbread.
Make you it fit. He that hath pleas'd her grace
Thus far, shall not now crincle for a little.—
Gape, sir, and let him fit you.


SUB. Where shall we now
Bestow him?

DOL. In the privy.

SUB. Come along, sir,
I now must shew you Fortune's privy lodgings.

FACE. Are they perfumed, and his bath ready?

SUB. All:
Only the fumigation's somewhat strong.

Sir Epicure, I am yours, sir, by and by.


ACT 4.

SCENE 4.1.



FACE. O sir, you're come in the only finest time.—

MAM. Where's master?

FACE. Now preparing for projection, sir.
Your stuff will be all changed shortly.

MAM. Into gold?

FACE. To gold and silver, sir.

MAM. Silver I care not for.

FACE. Yes, sir, a little to give beggars.

MAM. Where's the lady?

FACE. At hand here. I have told her such brave things of you,
Touching your bounty, and your noble spirit—

MAM. Hast thou?

FACE. As she is almost in her fit to see you.
But, good sir, no divinity in your conference,
For fear of putting her in rage.—

MAM. I warrant thee.

FACE. Six men [sir] will not hold her down: and then,
If the old man should hear or see you—

MAM. Fear not.

FACE. The very house, sir, would run mad. You know it,
How scrupulous he is, and violent,
'Gainst the least act of sin. Physic, or mathematics,
Poetry, state, or bawdry, as I told you,
She will endure, and never startle; but
No word of controversy.

MAM. I am school'd, good Ulen.

FACE. And you must praise her house, remember that,
And her nobility.

MAM. Let me alone:
No herald, no, nor antiquary, Lungs,
Shall do it better. Go.

FACE [ASIDE]. Why, this is yet
A kind of modern happiness, to have
Dol Common for a great lady.


MAM. Now, Epicure,
Heighten thyself, talk to her all in gold;
Rain her as many showers as Jove did drops
Unto his Danae; shew the god a miser,
Compared with Mammon. What! the stone will do't.

She shall feel gold, taste gold, hear gold, sleep gold;
Nay, we will concumbere gold: I will be puissant,
And mighty in my talk to her.—
Here she comes.

FACE. To him, Dol, suckle him.—This is the noble knight,
I told your ladyship—

MAM. Madam, with your pardon,
I kiss your vesture.

DOL. Sir, I were uncivil
If I would suffer that; my lip to you, sir.

MAM. I hope my lord your brother be in health, lady.

DOL. My lord, my brother is, though I no lady, sir.

FACE [ASIDE]. Well said, my Guinea bird.

MAM. Right noble madam—

FACE [ASIDE]. O, we shall have most fierce idolatry.

MAM. 'Tis your prerogative.

DOL. Rather your courtesy.

MAM. Were there nought else to enlarge your virtues to me,
These answers speak your breeding and your blood.

DOL. Blood we boast none, sir, a poor baron's daughter.

MAM. Poor! and gat you? profane not. Had your father
Slept all the happy remnant of his life
After that act, lien but there still, and panted,
He had done enough to make himself, his issue,
And his posterity noble.

DOL. Sir, although
We may be said to want the gilt and trappings,
The dress of honour, yet we strive to keep
The seeds and the materials.

MAM. I do see
The old ingredient, virtue, was not lost,
Nor the drug money used to make your compound.
There is a strange nobility in your eye,
This lip, that chin! methinks you do resemble
One of the Austriac princes.

FACE. Very like!
Her father was an Irish costermonger.

MAM. The house of Valois just had such a nose,
And such a forehead yet the Medici
Of Florence boast.

DOL. Troth, and I have been liken'd
To all these princes.

FACE [ASIDE]. I'll be sworn, I heard it.

MAM. I know not how! it is not any one,
But e'en the very choice of all their features.

FACE [ASIDE]. I'll in, and laugh.


MAM. A certain touch, or air,
That sparkles a divinity, beyond
An earthly beauty!

DOL. O, you play the courtier.

MAM. Good lady, give me leave—

DOL. In faith, I may not,
To mock me, sir.

MAM. To burn in this sweet flame;
The phoenix never knew a nobler death.

DOL. Nay, now you court the courtier, and destroy
What you would build. This art, sir, in your words,
Calls your whole faith in question.

MAM. By my soul—

DOL. Nay, oaths are made of the same air, sir.

MAM. Nature
Never bestow'd upon mortality
A more unblamed, a more harmonious feature;
She play'd the step-dame in all faces else:
Sweet Madam, let me be particular—

DOL. Particular, sir! I pray you know your distance.

MAM. In no ill sense, sweet lady; but to ask
How your fair graces pass the hours? I see
You are lodged here, in the house of a rare man,
An excellent artist; but what's that to you?

DOL. Yes, sir; I study here the mathematics,
And distillation.

MAM. O, I cry your pardon.
He's a divine instructor! can extract
The souls of all things by his art; call all
The virtues, and the miracles of the sun,
Into a temperate furnace; teach dull nature
What her own forces are. A man, the emperor
Has courted above Kelly; sent his medals
And chains, to invite him.

DOL. Ay, and for his physic, sir—

MAM. Above the art of Aesculapius,
That drew the envy of the thunderer!
I know all this, and more.

DOL. Troth, I am taken, sir,
Whole with these studies, that contemplate nature.

MAM. It is a noble humour; but this form
Was not intended to so dark a use.
Had you been crooked, foul, of some coarse mould
A cloister had done well; but such a feature
That might stand up the glory of a kingdom,
To live recluse! is a mere soloecism,
Though in a nunnery. It must not be.
I muse, my lord your brother will permit it:
You should spend half my land first, were I he.
Does not this diamond better on my finger,
Than in the quarry?

DOL. Yes.

MAM. Why, you are like it.
You were created, lady, for the light.
Here, you shall wear it; take it, the first pledge
Of what I speak, to bind you to believe me.

DOL. In chains of adamant?

MAM. Yes, the strongest bands.
And take a secret too—here, by your side,
Doth stand this hour, the happiest man in Europe.

DOL. You are contended, sir!

MAM. Nay, in true being,
The envy of princes and the fear of states.

DOL. Say you so, sir Epicure?

MAM. Yes, and thou shalt prove it,
Daughter of honour. I have cast mine eye
Upon thy form, and I will rear this beauty
Above all styles.

DOL. You mean no treason, sir?

MAM. No, I will take away that jealousy.
I am the lord of the philosopher's stone,
And thou the lady.

DOL. How, sir! have you that?

MAM. I am the master of the mystery.
This day the good old wretch here o' the house
Has made it for us: now he's at projection.
Think therefore thy first wish now, let me hear it;
And it shall rain into thy lap, no shower,
But floods of gold, whole cataracts, a deluge,
To get a nation on thee.

DOL. You are pleased, sir,
To work on the ambition of our sex.

MAM. I am pleased the glory of her sex should know,
This nook, here, of the Friars is no climate
For her to live obscurely in, to learn
Physic and surgery, for the constable's wife
Of some odd hundred in Essex; but come forth,
And taste the air of palaces; eat, drink
The toils of empirics, and their boasted practice;
Tincture of pearl, and coral, gold, and amber;
Be seen at feasts and triumphs; have it ask'd,
What miracle she is; set all the eyes
Of court a-fire, like a burning glass,
And work them into cinders, when the jewels
Of twenty states adorn thee, and the light
Strikes out the stars! that when thy name is mention'd,
Queens may look pale; and we but shewing our love,
Nero's Poppaea may be lost in story!
Thus will we have it.

DOL. I could well consent, sir.
But, in a monarchy, how will this be?
The prince will soon take notice, and both seize
You and your stone, it being a wealth unfit
For any private subject.

MAM. If he knew it.

DOL. Yourself do boast it, sir.

MAM. To thee, my life.

DOL. O, but beware, sir! You may come to end
The remnants of your days in a loth'd prison,
By speaking of it.

MAM. 'Tis no idle fear.
We'll therefore go withal, my girl, and live
In a free state, where we will eat our mullets,
Soused in high-country wines, sup pheasants' eggs,
And have our cockles boil'd in silver shells;
Our shrimps to swim again, as when they liv'd,
In a rare butter made of dolphins' milk,
Whose cream does look like opals; and with these
Delicate meats set ourselves high for pleasure,
And take us down again, and then renew
Our youth and strength with drinking the elixir,
And so enjoy a perpetuity
Of life and lust! And thou shalt have thy wardrobe
Richer than nature's, still to change thy self,
And vary oftener, for thy pride, than she,
Or art, her wise and almost-equal servant.


FACE. Sir, you are too loud. I hear you every word
Into the laboratory. Some fitter place;
The garden, or great chamber above. How like you her?

MAM. Excellent! Lungs. There's for thee.


FACE. But do you hear?
Good sir, beware, no mention of the rabbins.

MAM. We think not on 'em.


FACE. O, it is well, sir.—Subtle!
Dost thou not laugh?

SUB. Yes; are they gone?

FACE. All's clear.

SUB. The widow is come.

FACE. And your quarrelling disciple?

SUB. Ay.

FACE. I must to my captainship again then.

SUB. Stay, bring them in first.

FACE. So I meant. What is she?
A bonnibel?

SUB. I know not.

FACE. We'll draw lots:
You'll stand to that?

SUB. What else?

FACE. O, for a suit,
To fall now like a curtain, flap!

SUB. To the door, man.

FACE. You'll have the first kiss, 'cause I am not ready.


SUB. Yes, and perhaps hit you through both the nostrils.

FACE [WITHIN]. Who would you speak with?

KAS [WITHIN]. Where's the captain?

FACE [WITHIN]. Gone, sir,
About some business.


FACE [WITHIN]. He'll return straight.
But master doctor, his lieutenant, is here.


SUB. Come near, my worshipful boy, my terrae fili,
That is, my boy of land; make thy approaches:
Welcome; I know thy lusts, and thy desires,
And I will serve and satisfy them. Begin,
Charge me from thence, or thence, or in this line;
Here is my centre: ground thy quarrel.

KAS. You lie.

SUB. How, child of wrath and anger! the loud lie?
For what, my sudden boy?

KAS. Nay, that look you to,
I am afore-hand.

SUB. O, this is no true grammar,
And as ill logic! You must render causes, child,
Your first and second intentions, know your canons
And your divisions, moods, degrees, and differences,
Your predicaments, substance, and accident,
Series, extern and intern, with their causes,
Efficient, material, formal, final,
And have your elements perfect.

KAS [ASIDE]. What is this?
The angry tongue he talks in?

SUB. That false precept,
Of being afore-hand, has deceived a number,
And made them enter quarrels, often-times,
Before they were aware; and afterward,
Against their wills.

KAS. How must I do then, sir?

SUB. I cry this lady mercy: she should first
Have been saluted.
I do call you lady,
Because you are to be one, ere't be long,
My soft and buxom widow.

KAS. Is she, i'faith?

SUB. Yes, or my art is an egregious liar.

KAS. How know you?

SUB. By inspection on her forehead,
And subtlety of her lip, which must be tasted
Often to make a judgment.
'Slight, she melts
Like a myrobolane:—here is yet a line,
In rivo frontis, tells me he is no knight.

DAME P. What is he then, sir?

SUB. Let me see your hand.
O, your linea fortunae makes it plain;
And stella here in monte Veneris.
But, most of all, junctura annularis.
He is a soldier, or a man of art, lady,
But shall have some great honour shortly.

DAME P. Brother,
He's a rare man, believe me!


KAS. Hold your peace.
Here comes the t'other rare man.—'Save you, captain.

FACE. Good master Kastril! Is this your sister?

KAS. Ay, sir.
Please you to kuss her, and be proud to know her.

FACE. I shall be proud to know you, lady.


DAME P. Brother,
He calls me lady too.

KAS. Ay, peace: I heard it.


FACE. The count is come.

SUB. Where is he?

FACE. At the door.

SUB. Why, you must entertain him.

FACE. What will you do
With these the while?

SUB. Why, have them up, and shew them
Some fustian book, or the dark glass.

FACE. 'Fore God,
She is a delicate dab-chick! I must have her.


SUB. Must you! ay, if your fortune will, you must.—
Come, sir, the captain will come to us presently:
I'll have you to my chamber of demonstrations,
Where I will shew you both the grammar and logic,
And rhetoric of quarrelling; my whole method
Drawn out in tables; and my instrument,
That hath the several scales upon't, shall make you
Able to quarrel at a straw's-breadth by moon-light.
And, lady, I'll have you look in a glass,
Some half an hour, but to clear your eye-sight,
Against you see your fortune; which is greater,
Than I may judge upon the sudden, trust me.



FACE. Where are you, doctor?

SUB [WITHIN]. I'll come to you presently.

FACE. I will have this same widow, now I have seen her,
On any composition.


SUB. What do you say?

FACE. Have you disposed of them?

SUB. I have sent them up.

FACE. Subtle, in troth, I needs must have this widow.

SUB. Is that the matter?

FACE. Nay, but hear me.

SUB. Go to.
If you rebel once, Dol shall know it all:
Therefore be quiet, and obey your chance.

FACE. Nay, thou art so violent now—Do but conceive,
Thou art old, and canst not serve—

SUB. Who cannot? I?
'Slight, I will serve her with thee, for a—

FACE. Nay,
But understand: I'll give you composition.

SUB. I will not treat with thee; what! sell my fortune?
'Tis better than my birth-right. Do not murmur:
Win her, and carry her. If you grumble, Dol
Knows it directly.

FACE. Well, sir, I am silent.
Will you go help to fetch in Don in state?


SUB. I follow you, sir. We must keep Face in awe,
Or he will over-look us like a tyrant.
Brain of a tailor! who comes here? Don John!

SUR. Senores, beso las manos a vuestras mercedes.

SUB. Would you had stoop'd a little, and kist our anos!

FACE. Peace, Subtle.

SUB. Stab me; I shall never hold, man.
He looks in that deep ruff like a head in a platter,
Serv'd in by a short cloke upon two trestles.

FACE. Or, what do you say to a collar of brawn, cut down
Beneath the souse, and wriggled with a knife?

SUB. 'Slud, he does look too fat to be a Spaniard.

FACE. Perhaps some Fleming or some Hollander got him
In d'Alva's time; count Egmont's bastard.

SUB. Don,
Your scurvy, yellow, Madrid face is welcome.

SUR. Gratia.

SUB. He speaks out of a fortification.
Pray God he have no squibs in those deep sets.

SUR. Por dios, senores, muy linda casa!

SUB. What says he?

FACE. Praises the house, I think;
I know no more but's action.

SUB. Yes, the casa,
My precious Diego, will prove fair enough
To cozen you in. Do you mark? you shall
Be cozen'd, Diego.

FACE. Cozen'd, do you see,
My worthy Donzel, cozen'd.

SUR. Entiendo.

SUB. Do you intend it? so do we, dear Don.
Have you brought pistolets, or portagues,
My solemn Don?—Dost thou feel any?


SUB. You shall be emptied, Don, pumped and drawn
Dry, as they say.

FACE. Milked, in troth, sweet Don.

SUB. See all the monsters; the great lion of all, Don.

SUR. Con licencia, se puede ver a esta senora?

SUB. What talks he now?

FACE. Of the sennora.

SUB. O, Don,
This is the lioness, which you shall see
Also, my Don.

FACE. 'Slid, Subtle, how shall we do?

SUB. For what?

FACE. Why Dol's employ'd, you know.

SUB. That's true.
'Fore heaven, I know not: he must stay, that's all.

FACE. Stay! that he must not by no means.

SUB. No! why?

FACE. Unless you'll mar all. 'Slight, he will suspect it:
And then he will not pay, not half so well.
This is a travelled punk-master, and does know
All the delays; a notable hot rascal,
And looks already rampant.

SUB. 'Sdeath, and Mammon
Must not be troubled.

FACE. Mammon! in no case.

SUB. What shall we do then?

FACE. Think: you must be sudden.

SUR. Entiendo que la senora es tan hermosa, que codicio tan
verla, como la bien aventuranza de mi vida.

FACE. Mi vida! 'Slid, Subtle, he puts me in mind of the widow.
What dost thou say to draw her to it, ha!
And tell her 'tis her fortune? all our venture
Now lies upon't. It is but one man more,
Which of us chance to have her: and beside,
There is no maidenhead to be fear'd or lost.
What dost thou think on't, Subtle?

SUB. Who? I? why—

FACE. The credit of our house too is engaged.

SUB. You made me an offer for my share erewhile.
What wilt thou give me, i'faith?

FACE. O, by that light
I'll not buy now: You know your doom to me.
E'en take your lot, obey your chance, sir; win her,
And wear her out, for me.

SUB. 'Slight, I'll not work her then.

FACE. It is the common cause; therefore bethink you.
Dol else must know it, as you said.

SUB. I care not.

SUR. Senores, porque se tarda tanto?

SUB. Faith, I am not fit, I am old.

FACE. That's now no reason, sir.

SUR. Puede ser de hazer burla de mi amor?

FACE. You hear the Don too? by this air, I call,
And loose the hinges: Dol!

SUB. A plague of hell—

FACE. Will you then do?

SUB. You are a terrible rogue!
I'll think of this: will you, sir, call the widow?

FACE. Yes, and I'll take her too with all her faults,
Now I do think on't better.

SUB. With all my heart, sir;
Am I discharged o' the lot?

FACE. As you please.

SUB. Hands.


FACE. Remember now, that upon any change,
You never claim her.

SUB. Much good joy, and health to you, sir,
Marry a whore! fate, let me wed a witch first.

SUR. Por estas honradas barbas—

SUB. He swears by his beard.
Dispatch, and call the brother too.


SUR. Tengo duda, senores, que no me hagan alguna traycion.

SUB. How, issue on? yes, praesto, sennor. Please you
Enthratha the chambrata, worthy don:
Where if you please the fates, in your bathada,
You shall be soked, and stroked, and tubb'd and rubb'd,
And scrubb'd, and fubb'd, dear don, before you go.
You shall in faith, my scurvy baboon don,
Be curried, claw'd, and flaw'd, and taw'd, indeed.
I will the heartlier go about it now,
And make the widow a punk so much the sooner,
To be revenged on this impetuous Face:
The quickly doing of it is the grace.



SCENE 4.2.



FACE. Come, lady: I knew the Doctor would not leave,
Till he had found the very nick of her fortune.

KAS. To be a countess, say you, a Spanish countess, sir?

DAME P. Why, is that better than an English countess?

FACE. Better! 'Slight, make you that a question, lady?

KAS. Nay, she is a fool, captain, you must pardon her.

FACE. Ask from your courtier, to your inns-of-court-man,
To your mere milliner; they will tell you all,
Your Spanish gennet is the best horse; your Spanish
Stoup is the best garb; your Spanish beard
Is the best cut; your Spanish ruffs are the best
Wear; your Spanish pavin the best dance;
Your Spanish titillation in a glove
The best perfume: and for your Spanish pike,
And Spanish blade, let your poor captain speak—
Here comes the doctor.


SUB. My most honour'd lady,
For so I am now to style you, having found
By this my scheme, you are to undergo
An honourable fortune, very shortly.
What will you say now, if some—

FACE. I have told her all, sir,
And her right worshipful brother here, that she shall be
A countess; do not delay them, sir; a Spanish countess.

SUB. Still, my scarce-worshipful captain, you can keep
No secret! Well, since he has told you, madam,
Do you forgive him, and I do.

KAS. She shall do that, sir;
I'll look to it, 'tis my charge.

SUB. Well then: nought rests
But that she fit her love now to her fortune.

DAME P. Truly I shall never brook a Spaniard.

SUB. No!

DAME P. Never since eighty-eight could I abide them,
And that was some three year afore I was born, in truth.

SUB. Come, you must love him, or be miserable,
Choose which you will.

FACE. By this good rush, persuade her,
She will cry strawberries else within this twelvemonth.

SUB. Nay, shads and mackerel, which is worse.

FACE. Indeed, sir!

KAS. Od's lid, you shall love him, or I'll kick you.

DAME P. Why,
I'll do as you will have me, brother.

KAS. Do,
Or by this hand I'll maul you.

FACE. Nay, good sir,
Be not so fierce.

SUB. No, my enraged child;
She will be ruled. What, when she comes to taste
The pleasures of a countess! to be courted—

FACE. And kiss'd, and ruffled!

SUB. Ay, behind the hangings.

FACE. And then come forth in pomp!

SUB. And know her state!

FACE. Of keeping all the idolaters of the chamber
Barer to her, than at their prayers!

SUB. Is serv'd
Upon the knee!

FACE. And has her pages, ushers,
Footmen, and coaches—

SUB. Her six mares—

FACE. Nay, eight!

SUB. To hurry her through London, to the Exchange,
Bethlem, the china-houses—

FACE. Yes, and have
The citizens gape at her, and praise her tires,
And my lord's goose-turd bands, that ride with her!

KAS. Most brave! By this hand, you are not my suster,
If you refuse.

DAME P. I will not refuse, brother.


SUR. Que es esto, senores, que no venga?
Esta tardanza me mata!

FACE. It is the count come:
The doctor knew he would be here, by his art.

SUB. En gallanta madama, Don! gallantissima!

SUR. Por todos los dioses, la mas acabada hermosura, que he visto
en mi vida!

FACE. Is't not a gallant language that they speak?

KAS. An admirable language! Is't not French?

FACE. No, Spanish, sir.

KAS. It goes like law-French,
And that, they say, is the courtliest language.

FACE. List, sir.

SUR. El sol ha perdido su lumbre, con el esplandor que trae
esta dama! Valgame dios!

FACE. He admires your sister.

KAS. Must not she make curt'sy?

SUB. Ods will, she must go to him, man, and kiss him!
It is the Spanish fashion, for the women
To make first court.

FACE. 'Tis true he tells you, sir:
His art knows all.

SUR. Porque no se acude?

KAS. He speaks to her, I think.

FACE. That he does, sir.

SUR. Por el amor de dios, que es esto que se tarda?

KAS. Nay, see: she will not understand him! gull,

DAME P. What say you, brother?

KAS. Ass, my suster.
Go kuss him, as the cunning man would have you;
I'll thrust a pin in your buttocks else.

FACE. O no, sir.

SUR. Senora mia, mi persona esta muy indigna de allegar
a tanta hermosura.

FACE. Does he not use her bravely?

KAS. Bravely, i'faith!

FACE. Nay, he will use her better.

KAS. Do you think so?

SUR. Senora, si sera servida, entremonos.


KAS. Where does he carry her?

FACE. Into the garden, sir;
Take you no thought: I must interpret for her.

SUB. Give Dol the word.
—Come, my fierce child, advance,
We'll to our quarrelling lesson again.

KAS. Agreed.
I love a Spanish boy with all my heart.

SUB. Nay, and by this means, sir, you shall be brother
To a great count.

KAS. Ay, I knew that at first,
This match will advance the house of the Kastrils.

SUB. 'Pray God your sister prove but pliant!

KAS. Why,
Her name is so, by her other husband.

SUB. How!

KAS. The widow Pliant. Knew you not that?

SUB. No, faith, sir;
Yet, by erection of her figure, I guest it.
Come, let's go practise.

KAS. Yes, but do you think, doctor,
I e'er shall quarrel well?

SUB. I warrant you.



SCENE 4.3.



DOL. "For after Alexander's death"—

MAM. Good lady—

DOL. "That Perdiccas and Antigonus, were slain,
The two that stood, Seleuc', and Ptolomee"—

MAM. Madam—

DOL. "Made up the two legs, and the fourth beast,
That was Gog-north, and Egypt-south: which after
Was call'd Gog-iron-leg and South-iron-leg"—

MAM. Lady—

DOL. "And then Gog-horned. So was Egypt, too:
Then Egypt-clay-leg, and Gog-clay-leg"—

MAM. Sweet madam—

DOL. "And last Gog-dust, and Egypt-dust, which fall
In the last link of the fourth chain. And these
Be stars in story, which none see, or look at"—

MAM. What shall I do?

DOL. "For," as he says, "except
We call the rabbins, and the heathen Greeks"—

MAM. Dear lady—

DOL. "To come from Salem, and from Athens,
And teach the people of Great Britain"—


FACE. What's the matter, sir?

DOL. "To speak the tongue of Eber, and Javan"—

She's in her fit.

DOL. "We shall know nothing"—

FACE. Death, sir,
We are undone!

DOL. "Where then a learned linguist
Shall see the ancient used communion
Of vowels and consonants"—

FACE. My master will hear!

DOL. "A wisdom, which Pythagoras held most high"—

MAM. Sweet honourable lady!

DOL. "To comprise
All sounds of voices, in few marks of letters"—

FACE. Nay, you must never hope to lay her now.


DOL. "And so we may arrive by Talmud skill,
And profane Greek, to raise the building up
Of Helen's house against the Ismaelite,
King of Thogarma, and his habergions
Brimstony, blue, and fiery; and the force
Of king Abaddon, and the beast of Cittim:
Which rabbi David Kimchi, Onkelos,
And Aben Ezra do interpret Rome."

FACE. How did you put her into't?

MAM. Alas, I talk'd
Of a fifth monarchy I would erect,
With the philosopher's stone, by chance, and she
Falls on the other four straight.

FACE. Out of Broughton!
I told you so. 'Slid, stop her mouth.

MAM. Is't best?

FACE. She'll never leave else. If the old man hear her,
We are but faeces, ashes.

SUB [WITHIN]. What's to do there?

FACE. O, we are lost! Now she hears him, she is quiet.


MAM. Where shall I hide me!

SUB. How! what sight is here?
Close deeds of darkness, and that shun the light!
Bring him again. Who is he? What, my son!
O, I have lived too long.

MAM. Nay, good, dear father,
There was no unchaste purpose.

SUB. Not? and flee me
When I come in?

MAM. That was my error.

SUB. Error?
Guilt, guilt, my son: give it the right name. No marvel,
If I found check in our great work within,
When such affairs as these were managing!

MAM. Why, have you so?

SUB. It has stood still this half hour:
And all the rest of our less works gone back.
Where is the instrument of wickedness,
My lewd false drudge?

MAM. Nay, good sir, blame not him;
Believe me, 'twas against his will or knowledge:
I saw her by chance.

SUB. Will you commit more sin,
To excuse a varlet?

MAM. By my hope, 'tis true, sir.

SUB. Nay, then I wonder less, if you, for whom
The blessing was prepared, would so tempt heaven,
And lose your fortunes.

MAM. Why, sir?

SUB. This will retard
The work a month at least.

MAM. Why, if it do,
What remedy? But think it not, good father:
Our purposes were honest.

SUB. As they were,
So the reward will prove.
—How now! ah me!
God, and all saints be good to us.—
What's that?

FACE. O, sir, we are defeated! all the works
Are flown in fumo, every glass is burst;
Furnace, and all rent down, as if a bolt
Of thunder had been driven through the house.
Retorts, receivers, pelicans, bolt-heads,
All struck in shivers!
Help, good sir! alas,
Coldness and death invades him. Nay, sir Mammon,
Do the fair offices of a man! you stand,
As you were readier to depart than he.
Who's there? my lord her brother is come.

MAM. Ha, Lungs!

FACE. His coach is at the door. Avoid his sight,
For he's as furious as his sister's mad.

MAM. Alas!

FACE. My brain is quite undone with the fume, sir,
I ne'er must hope to be mine own man again.

MAM. Is all lost, Lungs? will nothing be preserv'd
Of all our cost?

FACE. Faith, very little, sir;
A peck of coals or so, which is cold comfort, sir.

MAM. O, my voluptuous mind! I am justly punish'd.

FACE. And so am I, sir.

MAM. Cast from all my hopes—

FACE. Nay, certainties, sir.

MAM. By mine own base affections.

O, the curst fruits of vice and lust!

MAM. Good father,
It was my sin. Forgive it.

SUB. Hangs my roof
Over us still, and will not fall, O justice,
Upon us, for this wicked man!

FACE. Nay, look, sir,
You grieve him now with staying in his sight:
Good sir, the nobleman will come too, and take you,
And that may breed a tragedy.

MAM. I'll go.

FACE. Ay, and repent at home, sir. It may be,
For some good penance you may have it yet;
A hundred pound to the box at Bethlem—

MAM. Yes.

FACE. For the restoring such as—have their wits.

MAM. I'll do't.

FACE. I'll send one to you to receive it.

MAM. Do.
Is no projection left?

FACE. All flown, or stinks, sir.

MAM. Will nought be sav'd that's good for med'cine,
think'st thou?

FACE. I cannot tell, sir. There will be perhaps,
Something about the scraping of the shards,
Will cure the itch,—though not your itch of mind, sir.
It shall be saved for you, and sent home. Good sir,
This way, for fear the lord should meet you.




SUB. Is he gone?

FACE. Yes, and as heavily
As all the gold he hoped for were in's blood.
Let us be light though.

SUB [LEAPING UP]. Ay, as balls, and bound
And hit our heads against the roof for joy:
There's so much of our care now cast away.

FACE. Now to our don.

SUB. Yes, your young widow by this time
Is made a countess, Face; she has been in travail
Of a young heir for you.

FACE. Good sir.

SUB. Off with your case,
And greet her kindly, as a bridegroom should,
After these common hazards.

FACE. Very well, sir.
Will you go fetch Don Diego off, the while?

SUB. And fetch him over too, if you'll be pleased, sir:
Would Dol were in her place, to pick his pockets now!

FACE. Why, you can do't as well, if you would set to't.
I pray you prove your virtue.

SUB. For your sake sir.


SCENE 4.4.



SUR. Lady, you see into what hands you are fall'n;
'Mongst what a nest of villains! and how near
Your honour was t' have catch'd a certain clap,
Through your credulity, had I but been
So punctually forward, as place, time,
And other circumstances would have made a man;
For you're a handsome woman: would you were wise too!
I am a gentleman come here disguised,
Only to find the knaveries of this citadel;
And where I might have wrong'd your honour, and have not,
I claim some interest in your love. You are,
They say, a widow, rich: and I'm a batchelor,
Worth nought: your fortunes may make me a man,
As mine have preserv'd you a woman. Think upon it,
And whether I have deserv'd you or no.

DAME P. I will, sir.

SUR. And for these household-rogues, let me alone
To treat with them.


SUB. How doth my noble Diego,
And my dear madam countess? hath the count
Been courteous, lady? liberal, and open?
Donzel, methinks you look melancholic,
After your coitum, and scurvy: truly,
I do not like the dulness of your eye;
It hath a heavy cast, 'tis upsee Dutch,
And says you are a lumpish whore-master.
Be lighter, and I will make your pockets so.

SUR [THROWS OPEN HIS CLOAK]. Will you, don bawd and
how now! reel you?
Stand up, sir, you shall find, since I am so heavy,
I'll give you equal weight.

SUB. Help! murder!

SUR. No, sir,
There's no such thing intended: a good cart,
And a clean whip shall ease you of that fear.
I am the Spanish don "that should be cozen'd,
Do you see, cozen'd?" Where's your Captain Face,
That parcel broker, and whole-bawd, all rascal!


FACE. How, Surly!

SUR. O, make your approach, good captain.
I have found from whence your copper rings and spoons
Come, now, wherewith you cheat abroad in taverns.
'Twas here you learned t' anoint your boot with brimstone,
Then rub men's gold on't for a kind of touch,
And say 'twas naught, when you had changed the colour,
That you might have't for nothing. And this doctor,
Your sooty, smoky-bearded compeer, he
Will close you so much gold, in a bolt's-head,
And, on a turn, convey in the stead another
With sublimed mercury, that shall burst in the heat,
And fly out all in fumo! Then weeps Mammon;
Then swoons his worship.
Or, he is the Faustus,
That casteth figures and can conjure, cures
Plagues, piles, and pox, by the ephemerides,
And holds intelligence with all the bawds
And midwives of three shires: while you send in—
Captain!—what! is he gone?—damsels with child,
Wives that are barren, or the waiting-maid
With the green sickness.
—Nay, sir, you must tarry,
Though he be scaped; and answer by the ears, sir.


FACE. Why, now's the time, if ever you will quarrel
Well, as they say, and be a true-born child:
The doctor and your sister both are abused.

KAS. Where is he? which is he? he is a slave,
Whate'er he is, and the son of a whore.—Are you
The man, sir, I would know?

SUR. I should be loth, sir,
To confess so much.

KAS. Then you lie in your throat.

SUR. How!

FACE [TO KASTRIL]. A very errant rogue, sir, and a cheater,
Employ'd here by another conjurer
That does not love the doctor, and would cross him,
If he knew how.

SUR. Sir, you are abused.

KAS. You lie:
And 'tis no matter.

FACE. Well said, sir! He is
The impudent'st rascal—

SUR. You are indeed: Will you hear me, sir?

FACE. By no means: bid him be gone.

KAS. Begone, sir, quickly.

SUR. This 's strange!—Lady, do you inform your brother.

FACE. There is not such a foist in all the town,
The doctor had him presently; and finds yet,
The Spanish count will come here.
—Bear up, Subtle.

SUB. Yes, sir, he must appear within this hour.

FACE. And yet this rogue would come in a disguise,
By the temptation of another spirit,
To trouble our art, though he could not hurt it!

KAS. Ay,
I know—Away,
you talk like a foolish mauther.

SUR. Sir, all is truth she says.

FACE. Do not believe him, sir.
He is the lying'st swabber! Come your ways, sir.

SUR. You are valiant out of company!

KAS. Yes, how then, sir?


FACE. Nay, here's an honest fellow, too, that knows him,
And all his tricks. Make good what I say, Abel,
This cheater would have cozen'd thee o' the widow.—
He owes this honest Drugger here, seven pound,
He has had on him, in two-penny'orths of tobacco.

DRUG. Yes, sir.
And he has damn'd himself three terms to pay me.

FACE. And what does he owe for lotium?

DRUG. Thirty shillings, sir;
And for six syringes.

SUR. Hydra of villainy!

FACE. Nay, sir, you must quarrel him out o' the house.

KAS. I will:
—Sir, if you get not out of doors, you lie;
And you are a pimp.

SUR. Why, this is madness, sir,
Not valour in you; I must laugh at this.

KAS. It is my humour: you are a pimp and a trig,
And an Amadis de Gaul, or a Don Quixote.

DRUG. Or a knight o' the curious coxcomb, do you see?


ANA. Peace to the household!

KAS. I'll keep peace for no man.

ANA. Casting of dollars is concluded lawful.

KAS. Is he the constable?

SUB. Peace, Ananias.

FACE. No, sir.

KAS. Then you are an otter, and a shad, a whit,
A very tim.

SUR. You'll hear me, sir?

KAS. I will not.

ANA. What is the motive?

SUB. Zeal in the young gentleman,
Against his Spanish slops.

ANA. They are profane,
Lewd, superstitious, and idolatrous breeches.

SUR. New rascals!

KAS. Will you begone, sir?

ANA. Avoid, Sathan!
Thou art not of the light: That ruff of pride
About thy neck, betrays thee; and is the same
With that which the unclean birds, in seventy-seven,
Were seen to prank it with on divers coasts:
Thou look'st like antichrist, in that lewd hat.

SUR. I must give way.

KAS. Be gone, sir.

SUR. But I'll take
A course with you—

ANA. Depart, proud Spanish fiend!

SUR. Captain and doctor.

ANA. Child of perdition!

KAS. Hence, sir!—
Did I not quarrel bravely?

FACE. Yes, indeed, sir.

KAS. Nay, an I give my mind to't, I shall do't.

FACE. O, you must follow, sir, and threaten him tame:
He'll turn again else.

KAS. I'll re-turn him then.



FACE. Drugger, this rogue prevented us for thee:
We had determin'd that thou should'st have come
In a Spanish suit, and have carried her so; and he,
A brokerly slave! goes, puts it on himself.
Hast brought the damask?

DRUG. Yes, sir.

FACE. Thou must borrow
A Spanish suit. Hast thou no credit with the players?

DRUG. Yes, sir; did you never see me play the Fool?

FACE. I know not, Nab:—Thou shalt, if I can help it.—
Hieronimo's old cloak, ruff, and hat will serve;
I'll tell thee more when thou bring'st 'em.

ANA. Sir, I know
The Spaniard hates the brethren, and hath spies
Upon their actions: and that this was one
I make no scruple.—But the holy synod
Have been in prayer and meditation for it;
And 'tis revealed no less to them than me,
That casting of money is most lawful.

SUB. True.
But here I cannot do it: if the house
Shou'd chance to be suspected, all would out,
And we be locked up in the Tower for ever,
To make gold there for the state, never come out;
And then are you defeated.

ANA. I will tell
This to the elders and the weaker brethren,
That the whole company of the separation
May join in humble prayer again.

SUB. And fasting.

ANA. Yea, for some fitter place. The peace of mind
Rest with these walls!


SUB. Thanks, courteous Ananias.

FACE. What did he come for?

SUB. About casting dollars,
Presently out of hand. And so I told him,
A Spanish minister came here to spy,
Against the faithful—

FACE. I conceive. Come, Subtle,
Thou art so down upon the least disaster!
How wouldst thou ha' done, if I had not help't thee out?

SUB. I thank thee, Face, for the angry boy, i'faith.

FACE. Who would have look'd it should have been that rascal,
Surly? he had dyed his beard and all. Well, sir.
Here's damask come to make you a suit.

SUB. Where's Drugger?

FACE. He is gone to borrow me a Spanish habit;
I'll be the count, now.

SUB. But where's the widow?

FACE. Within, with my lord's sister; madam Dol
Is entertaining her.

SUB. By your favour, Face,
Now she is honest, I will stand again.

FACE. You will not offer it.

SUB. Why?

FACE. Stand to your word,
Or—here comes Dol, she knows—

SUB. You are tyrannous still.


FACE. Strict for my right.—How now, Dol!
Hast [thou] told her,
The Spanish count will come?

DOL. Yes; but another is come,
You little look'd for!

FACE. Who's that?

DOL. Your master;
The master of the house.

SUB. How, Dol!

FACE. She lies,
This is some trick. Come, leave your quiblins, Dorothy.

DOL. Look out, and see.


SUB. Art thou in earnest?

DOL. 'Slight,
Forty of the neighbours are about him, talking.

FACE. 'Tis he, by this good day.

DOL. 'Twill prove ill day
For some on us.

FACE. We are undone, and taken.

DOL. Lost, I'm afraid.

SUB. You said he would not come,
While there died one a week within the liberties.

FACE. No: 'twas within the walls.

SUB. Was't so! cry you mercy.
I thought the liberties. What shall we do now, Face?

FACE. Be silent: not a word, if he call or knock.
I'll into mine old shape again and meet him,
Of Jeremy, the butler. In the mean time,
Do you two pack up all the goods and purchase,
That we can carry in the two trunks. I'll keep him
Off for to-day, if I cannot longer: and then
At night, I'll ship you both away to Ratcliff,
Where we will meet to-morrow, and there we'll share.
Let Mammon's brass and pewter keep the cellar;
We'll have another time for that. But, Dol,
'Prythee go heat a little water quickly;
Subtle must shave me: all my captain's beard
Must off, to make me appear smooth Jeremy.
You'll do it?

SUB. Yes, I'll shave you, as well as I can.

FACE. And not cut my throat, but trim me?

SUB. You shall see, sir.


ACT 5.

SCENE 5.1.



LOVE. Has there been such resort, say you?

1 NEI. Daily, sir.

2 NEI. And nightly, too.

3 NEI. Ay, some as brave as lords.

4 NEI. Ladies and gentlewomen.

5 NEI. Citizens' wives.

1 NEI. And knights.

6 NEI. In coaches.

2 NEI. Yes, and oyster women.

1 NEI. Beside other gallants.

3 NEI. Sailors' wives.

4 NEI. Tobacco men.

5 NEI. Another Pimlico!

LOVE. What should my knave advance,
To draw this company? he hung out no banners
Of a strange calf with five legs to be seen,
Or a huge lobster with six claws?

6 NEI. No, sir.

3 NEI. We had gone in then, sir.

LOVE. He has no gift
Of teaching in the nose that e'er I knew of.
You saw no bills set up that promised cure
Of agues, or the tooth-ach?

2 NEI. No such thing, sir!

LOVE. Nor heard a drum struck for baboons or puppets?

5 NEI. Neither, sir.

LOVE. What device should he bring forth now?
I love a teeming wit as I love my nourishment:
'Pray God he have not kept such open house,
That he hath sold my hangings, and my bedding!
I left him nothing else. If he have eat them,
A plague o' the moth, say I! Sure he has got
Some bawdy pictures to call all this ging!
The friar and the nun; or the new motion
Of the knight's courser covering the parson's mare;
Or 't may be, he has the fleas that run at tilt
Upon a table, or some dog to dance.
When saw you him?

1 NEI. Who, sir, Jeremy?

2 NEI. Jeremy butler?
We saw him not this month.

LOVE. How!

4 NEI. Not these five weeks, sir.

6 NEI. These six weeks at the least.

LOVE. You amaze me, neighbours!

5 NEI. Sure, if your worship know not where he is,
He's slipt away.

6 NEI. Pray God, he be not made away.

LOVE. Ha! it's no time to question, then.


6 NEI. About
Some three weeks since, I heard a doleful cry,
As I sat up a mending my wife's stockings.

LOVE. 'Tis strange that none will answer! Didst thou hear
A cry, sayst thou?

6 NEI. Yes, sir, like unto a man
That had been strangled an hour, and could not speak.

2 NEI. I heard it too, just this day three weeks, at two o'clock
Next morning.

LOVE. These be miracles, or you make them so!
A man an hour strangled, and could not speak,
And both you heard him cry?

3 NEI. Yes, downward, sir.

Love, Thou art a wise fellow. Give me thy hand, I pray thee.
What trade art thou on?

3 NEI. A smith, an't please your worship.

LOVE. A smith! then lend me thy help to get this door open.

3 NEI. That I will presently, sir, but fetch my tools—


1 NEI. Sir, best to knock again, afore you break it.



FACE. What mean you, sir?

1, 2, 4 NEI. O, here's Jeremy!

FACE. Good sir, come from the door.

LOVE. Why, what's the matter?

FACE. Yet farther, you are too near yet.

LOVE. In the name of wonder,
What means the fellow!

FACE. The house, sir, has been visited.

LOVE. What, with the plague? stand thou then farther.

FACE. No, sir,
I had it not.

LOVE. Who had it then? I left
None else but thee in the house.

FACE. Yes, sir, my fellow,
The cat that kept the buttery, had it on her
A week before I spied it; but I got her
Convey'd away in the night: and so I shut
The house up for a month—

LOVE. How!

FACE. Purposing then, sir,
To have burnt rose-vinegar, treacle, and tar,
And have made it sweet, that you shou'd ne'er have known it;
Because I knew the news would but afflict you, sir.

LOVE. Breathe less, and farther off! Why this is stranger:
The neighbours tell me all here that the doors
Have still been open—

FACE. How, sir!

LOVE. Gallants, men and women,
And of all sorts, tag-rag, been seen to flock here
In threaves, these ten weeks, as to a second Hogsden,
In days of Pimlico and Eye-bright.

FACE. Sir,
Their wisdoms will not say so.

LOVE. To-day they speak
Of coaches and gallants; one in a French hood
Went in, they tell me; and another was seen
In a velvet gown at the window: divers more
Pass in and out.

FACE. They did pass through the doors then,
Or walls, I assure their eye-sights, and their spectacles;
For here, sir, are the keys, and here have been,
In this my pocket, now above twenty days:
And for before, I kept the fort alone there.
But that 'tis yet not deep in the afternoon,
I should believe my neighbours had seen double
Through the black pot, and made these apparitions!
For, on my faith to your worship, for these three weeks
And upwards the door has not been open'd.

LOVE. Strange!

1 NEI. Good faith, I think I saw a coach.

2 NEI. And I too,
I'd have been sworn.

LOVE. Do you but think it now?
And but one coach?

4 NEI. We cannot tell, sir: Jeremy
Is a very honest fellow.

FACE. Did you see me at all?

1 NEI. No; that we are sure on.

2 NEI. I'll be sworn o' that.

LOVE. Fine rogues to have your testimonies built on!


3 NEI. Is Jeremy come!

1 NEI. O yes; you may leave your tools;
We were deceived, he says.

2 NEI. He has had the keys;
And the door has been shut these three weeks.

3 NEI. Like enough.

LOVE. Peace, and get hence, you changelings.


FACE [ASIDE]. Surly come!
And Mammon made acquainted! they'll tell all.
How shall I beat them off? what shall I do?
Nothing's more wretched than a guilty conscience.

SUR. No, sir, he was a great physician. This,
It was no bawdy-house, but a mere chancel!
You knew the lord and his sister.

MAM. Nay, good Surly.—

SUR. The happy word, BE RICH—

MAM. Play not the tyrant.—

SUR. "Should be to-day pronounced to all your friends."
And where be your andirons now? and your brass pots,
That should have been golden flagons, and great wedges?

MAM. Let me but breathe. What, they have shut their doors,

SUR. Ay, now 'tis holiday with them.

MAM. Rogues,
Cozeners, impostors, bawds!

FACE. What mean you, sir?

MAM. To enter if we can.

FACE. Another man's house!
Here is the owner, sir: turn you to him,
And speak your business.

MAM. Are you, sir, the owner?

LOVE. Yes, sir.

MAM. And are those knaves within your cheaters!

LOVE. What knaves, what cheaters?

MAM. Subtle and his Lungs.

FACE. The gentleman is distracted, sir! No lungs,
Nor lights have been seen here these three weeks, sir,
Within these doors, upon my word.

SUR. Your word,
Groom arrogant!

FACE. Yes, sir, I am the housekeeper,
And know the keys have not been out of my hands.

SUR. This is a new Face.

FACE. You do mistake the house, sir:
What sign was't at?

SUR. You rascal! this is one
Of the confederacy. Come, let's get officers,
And force the door.

LOVE. 'Pray you stay, gentlemen.

SUR. No, sir, we'll come with warrant.

MAM. Ay, and then
We shall have your doors open.


LOVE. What means this?

FACE. I cannot tell, sir.

I NEI. These are two of the gallants
That we do think we saw.

FACE. Two of the fools!
Your talk as idly as they. Good faith, sir,
I think the moon has crazed 'em all.—
O me,
The angry boy come too! He'll make a noise,
And ne'er away till he have betray'd us all.

KAS [KNOCKING]. What rogues, bawds, slaves,
you'll open the door, anon!
Punk, cockatrice, my suster! By this light
I'll fetch the marshal to you. You are a whore
To keep your castle—

FACE. Who would you speak with, sir?

KAS. The bawdy doctor, and the cozening captain,
And puss my suster.

LOVE. This is something, sure.

FACE. Upon my trust, the doors were never open, sir.

KAS. I have heard all their tricks told me twice over,
By the fat knight and the lean gentleman.

LOVE. Here comes another.


FACE. Ananias too!
And his pastor!

TRI [BEATING AT THE DOOR]. The doors are shut against us.

ANA. Come forth, you seed of sulphur, sons of fire!
Your stench it is broke forth; abomination
Is in the house.

KAS. Ay, my suster's there.

ANA. The place,
It is become a cage of unclean birds.

KAS. Yes, I will fetch the scavenger, and the constable.

TRI. You shall do well.

ANA. We'll join to weed them out.

KAS. You will not come then, punk devise, my sister!

ANA. Call her not sister; she's a harlot verily.

KAS. I'll raise the street.

LOVE. Good gentlemen, a word.

ANA. Satan avoid, and hinder not our zeal!


LOVE. The world's turn'd Bethlem.

FACE. These are all broke loose,
Out of St. Katherine's, where they use to keep
The better sort of mad-folks.

1 NEI. All these persons
We saw go in and out here.

2 NEI. Yes, indeed, sir.

3 NEI. These were the parties.

FACE. Peace, you drunkards! Sir,
I wonder at it: please you to give me leave
To touch the door, I'll try an the lock be chang'd.

LOVE. It mazes me!

FACE [GOES TO THE DOOR]. Good faith, sir, I believe
There's no such thing: 'tis all deceptio visus.—
Would I could get him away.

DAP [WITHIN]. Master captain! master doctor!

LOVE. Who's that?

FACE. Our clerk within, that I forgot!
I know not, sir.

DAP [WITHIN]. For God's sake, when will her grace be at leisure?

Illusions, some spirit o' the air—
His gag is melted,
And now he sets out the throat.

DAP [WITHIN]. I am almost stifled—

FACE [ASIDE]. Would you were altogether.

LOVE. 'Tis in the house.
Ha! list.

FACE. Believe it, sir, in the air.

LOVE. Peace, you.

DAP [WITHIN]. Mine aunt's grace does not use me well.

SUB [WITHIN]. You fool,
Peace, you'll mar all.

Or you will else, you rogue.

LOVE. O, is it so? Then you converse with spirits!—
Come, sir. No more of your tricks, good Jeremy.
The truth, the shortest way.

FACE. Dismiss this rabble, sir.—
What shall I do? I am catch'd.

LOVE. Good neighbours,
I thank you all. You may depart.
—Come, sir,
You know that I am an indulgent master;
And therefore conceal nothing. What's your medicine,
To draw so many several sorts of wild fowl?

FACE. Sir, you were wont to affect mirth and wit—
But here's no place to talk on't in the street.
Give me but leave to make the best of my fortune,
And only pardon me the abuse of your house:
It's all I beg. I'll help you to a widow,
In recompence, that you shall give me thanks for,
Will make you seven years younger, and a rich one.
'Tis but your putting on a Spanish cloak:
I have her within. You need not fear the house;
It was not visited.

LOVE. But by me, who came
Sooner than you expected.

FACE. It is true, sir.
'Pray you forgive me.

LOVE. Well: let's see your widow.


SCENE 5.2.



SUB. How! you have eaten your gag?

DAP. Yes faith, it crumbled
Away in my mouth.

SUB. You have spoil'd all then.

DAP. No!
I hope my aunt of Fairy will forgive me.

SUB. Your aunt's a gracious lady; but in troth
You were to blame.

DAP. The fume did overcome me,
And I did do't to stay my stomach. 'Pray you
So satisfy her grace.
Here comes the captain.

FACE. How now! is his mouth down?

SUB. Ay, he has spoken!

FACE. A pox, I heard him, and you too.
—He's undone then.—
I have been fain to say, the house is haunted
With spirits, to keep churl back.

SUB. And hast thou done it?

FACE. Sure, for this night.

SUB. Why, then triumph and sing
Of Face so famous, the precious king
Of present wits.

FACE. Did you not hear the coil
About the door?

SUB. Yes, and I dwindled with it.

FACE. Show him his aunt, and let him be dispatch'd:
I'll send her to you.


SUB. Well, sir, your aunt her grace
Will give you audience presently, on my suit,
And the captain's word that you did not eat your gag
In any contempt of her highness.


DAP. Not I, in troth, sir.


SUB. Here she is come. Down o' your knees and wriggle:
She has a stately presence.
Good! Yet nearer,
And bid, God save you!

DAP. Madam!

SUB. And your aunt.

DAP. And my most gracious aunt, God save your grace.

DOL. Nephew, we thought to have been angry with you;
But that sweet face of yours hath turn'd the tide,
And made it flow with joy, that ebb'd of love.
Arise, and touch our velvet gown.

SUB. The skirts,
And kiss 'em. So!

DOL. Let me now stroak that head.
"Much, nephew, shalt thou win, much shalt thou spend,
Much shalt thou give away, much shalt thou lend."

SUB [ASIDE]. Ay, much! indeed.—
Why do you not thank her grace?

DAP. I cannot speak for joy.

SUB. See, the kind wretch!
Your grace's kinsman right.

DOL. Give me the bird.
Here is your fly in a purse, about your neck, cousin;
Wear it, and feed it about this day sev'n-night,
On your right wrist—

SUB. Open a vein with a pin,
And let it suck but once a week; till then,
You must not look on't.

DOL. No: and kinsman,
Bear yourself worthy of the blood you come on.

SUB. Her grace would have you eat no more Woolsack pies,
Nor Dagger frumety.

DOL. Nor break his fast
In Heaven and Hell.

SUB. She's with you every where!
Nor play with costarmongers, at mum-chance, tray-trip,
God make you rich; (when as your aunt has done it);
But keep
The gallant'st company, and the best games—

DAP. Yes, sir.

SUB. Gleek and primero; and what you get, be true to us.

DAP. By this hand, I will.

SUB. You may bring's a thousand pound
Before to-morrow night, if but three thousand
Be stirring, an you will.

DAP. I swear I will then.

SUB. Your fly will learn you all games.

FACE [WITHIN]. Have you done there?

SUB. Your grace will command him no more duties?

DOL. No:
But come, and see me often. I may chance
To leave him three or four hundred chests of treasure,
And some twelve thousand acres of fairy land,
If he game well and comely with good gamesters.

SUB. There's a kind aunt! kiss her departing part.—
But you must sell your forty mark a year, now.

DAP. Ay, sir, I mean.

SUB. Or, give't away; pox on't!

DAP. I'll give't mine aunt. I'll go and fetch the writings.


SUB. 'Tis well—away!


FACE. Where's Subtle?

SUB. Here: what news?

FACE. Drugger is at the door, go take his suit,
And bid him fetch a parson, presently;
Say, he shall marry the widow. Thou shalt spend
A hundred pound by the service!
Now, queen Dol,
Have you pack'd up all?

DOL. Yes.

FACE. And how do you like
The lady Pliant?

DOL. A good dull innocent.


SUB. Here's your Hieronimo's cloak and hat.

FACE. Give me them.

SUB. And the ruff too?

FACE. Yes; I'll come to you presently.


SUB. Now he is gone about his project, Dol,
I told you of, for the widow.

DOL. 'Tis direct
Against our articles.

SUB. Well, we will fit him, wench.
Hast thou gull'd her of her jewels or her bracelets?

DOL. No; but I will do't.

SUB. Soon at night, my Dolly,
When we are shipp'd, and all our goods aboard,
Eastward for Ratcliff, we will turn our course
To Brainford, westward, if thou sayst the word,
And take our leaves of this o'er-weening rascal,
This peremptory Face.

DOL. Content, I'm weary of him.

SUB. Thou'st cause, when the slave will run a wiving, Dol,
Against the instrument that was drawn between us.

DOL. I'll pluck his bird as bare as I can.

SUB. Yes, tell her,
She must by any means address some present
To the cunning man, make him amends for wronging
His art with her suspicion; send a ring,
Or chain of pearl; she will be tortured else
Extremely in her sleep, say, and have strange things
Come to her. Wilt thou?

DOL. Yes.

SUB. My fine flitter-mouse,
My bird o' the night! we'll tickle it at the Pigeons,
When we have all, and may unlock the trunks,
And say, this's mine, and thine; and thine, and mine.



FACE. What now! a billing?

SUB. Yes, a little exalted
In the good passage of our stock-affairs.

FACE. Drugger has brought his parson; take him in, Subtle,
And send Nab back again to wash his face.

SUB. I will: and shave himself?


FACE. If you can get him.

DOL. You are hot upon it, Face, whate'er it is!

FACE. A trick that Dol shall spend ten pound a month by.
Is he gone?

SUB. The chaplain waits you in the hall, sir.

FACE. I'll go bestow him.


DOL. He'll now marry her, instantly.

SUB. He cannot yet, he is not ready. Dear Dol,
Cozen her of all thou canst. To deceive him
Is no deceit, but justice, that would break
Such an inextricable tie as ours was.

DOL. Let me alone to fit him.


FACE. Come, my venturers,
You have pack'd up all? where be the trunks? bring forth.

SUB. Here.

FACE. Let us see them. Where's the money?

SUB. Here,
In this.

FACE. Mammon's ten pound; eight score before:
The brethren's money, this. Drugger's and Dapper's.
What paper's that?

DOL. The jewel of the waiting maid's,
That stole it from her lady, to know certain—

FACE. If she should have precedence of her mistress?

DOL. Yes.

FACE. What box is that?

SUB. The fish-wives' rings, I think,
And the ale-wives' single money. Is't not, Dol?

DOL. Yes; and the whistle that the sailor's wife
Brought you to know an her husband were with Ward.

FACE. We'll wet it to-morrow; and our silver-beakers
And tavern cups. Where be the French petticoats,
And girdles and hangers?

SUB. Here, in the trunk,
And the bolts of lawn.

FACE. Is Drugger's damask there,
And the tobacco?

SUB. Yes.

FACE. Give me the keys.

DOL. Why you the keys?

SUB. No matter, Dol; because
We shall not open them before he comes.

FACE. 'Tis true, you shall not open them, indeed;
Nor have them forth, do you see? Not forth, Dol.

DOL. No!

FACE. No, my smock rampant. The right is, my master
Knows all, has pardon'd me, and he will keep them;
Doctor, 'tis true—you look—for all your figures:
I sent for him, indeed. Wherefore, good partners,
Both he and she be satisfied; for here
Determines the indenture tripartite
'Twixt Subtle, Dol, and Face. All I can do
Is to help you over the wall, o' the back-side,
Or lend you a sheet to save your velvet gown, Dol.
Here will be officers presently, bethink you
Of some course suddenly to 'scape the dock:
For thither you will come else.
Hark you, thunder.

SUB. You are a precious fiend!

OFFI [WITHOUT]. Open the door.

FACE. Dol, I am sorry for thee i'faith; but hear'st thou?
It shall go hard but I will place thee somewhere:
Thou shalt have my letter to mistress Amo—

DOL. Hang you!

FACE. Or madam Caesarean.

DOL. Pox upon you, rogue,
Would I had but time to beat thee!

FACE. Subtle,
Let's know where you set up next; I will send you
A customer now and then, for old acquaintance:
What new course have you?

SUB. Rogue, I'll hang myself;
That I may walk a greater devil than thou,
And haunt thee in the flock-bed and the buttery.


SCENE 5.3.




LOVE. What do you mean, my masters?

MAM [WITHOUT]. Open your door,
Cheaters, bawds, conjurers.

OFFI [WITHOUT]. Or we will break it open.

LOVE. What warrant have you?

OFFI [WITHOUT]. Warrant enough, sir, doubt not,
If you'll not open it.

LOVE. Is there an officer, there?

OFFI [WITHOUT]. Yes, two or three for failing.

LOVE. Have but patience,
And I will open it straight.


FACE. Sir, have you done?
Is it a marriage? perfect?

LOVE. Yes, my brain.

FACE. Off with your ruff and cloak then; be yourself, sir.

SUR [WITHOUT]. Down with the door.

KAS [WITHOUT]. 'Slight, ding it open.

Hold, gentlemen, what means this violence?


MAM. Where is this collier?

SUR. And my captain Face?

MAM. These day owls.

SUR. That are birding in men's purses.

MAM. Madam suppository.

KAS. Doxy, my suster.

ANA. Locusts
Of the foul pit.

TRI. Profane as Bel and the dragon.

ANA. Worse than the grasshoppers, or the lice of Egypt.

LOVE. Good gentlemen, hear me. Are you officers,
And cannot stay this violence?

1 OFFI. Keep the peace.

LOVE. Gentlemen, what is the matter? whom do you seek?

MAM. The chemical cozener.

SUR. And the captain pander.

KAS. The nun my suster.

MAM. Madam Rabbi.

ANA. Scorpions,
And caterpillars.

LOVE. Fewer at once, I pray you.

2 OFFI. One after another, gentlemen, I charge you,
By virtue of my staff.

ANA. They are the vessels
Of pride, lust, and the cart.

LOVE. Good zeal, lie still
A little while.

TRI. Peace, deacon Ananias.

LOVE. The house is mine here, and the doors are open;
If there be any such persons as you seek for,
Use your authority, search on o' God's name.
I am but newly come to town, and finding
This tumult 'bout my door, to tell you true,
It somewhat mazed me; till my man, here, fearing
My more displeasure, told me he had done
Somewhat an insolent part, let out my house
(Belike, presuming on my known aversion
From any air o' the town while there was sickness,)
To a doctor and a captain: who, what they are
Or where they be, he knows not.

MAM. Are they gone?

LOVE. You may go in and search, sir.
Here, I find
The empty walls worse than I left them, smoak'd,
A few crack'd pots, and glasses, and a furnace:
The ceiling fill'd with poesies of the candle,
And madam with a dildo writ o' the walls:
Only one gentlewoman, I met here,
That is within, that said she was a widow—

KAS. Ay, that's my suster; I'll go thump her. Where is she?


LOVE. And should have married a Spanish count, but he,
When he came to't, neglected her so grossly,
That I, a widower, am gone through with her.

SUR. How! have I lost her then?

LOVE. Were you the don, sir?
Good faith, now, she does blame you extremely, and says
You swore, and told her you had taken the pains
To dye your beard, and umber o'er your face,
Borrowed a suit, and ruff, all for her love;
And then did nothing. What an oversight,
And want of putting forward, sir, was this!
Well fare an old harquebuzier, yet,
Could prime his powder, and give fire, and hit,
All in a twinkling!


MAM. The whole nest are fled!

LOVE. What sort of birds were they?

MAM. A kind of choughs,
Or thievish daws, sir, that have pick'd my purse
Of eight score and ten pounds within these five weeks,
Beside my first materials; and my goods,
That lie in the cellar, which I am glad they have left,
I may have home yet.

LOVE. Think you so, sir?

MAM. Ay.

LOVE. By order of law, sir, but not otherwise.

MAM. Not mine own stuff!

LOVE. Sir, I can take no knowledge
That they are yours, but by public means.
If you can bring certificate that you were gull'd of them,
Or any formal writ out of a court,
That you did cozen your self, I will not hold them.

MAM. I'll rather lose them.

LOVE. That you shall not, sir,
By me, in troth: upon these terms, they are yours.
What! should they have been, sir, turn'd into gold, all?

MAM. No,
I cannot tell—It may be they should.—What then?

LOVE. What a great loss in hope have you sustain'd!

MAM. Not I, the commonwealth has.

FACE. Ay, he would have built
The city new; and made a ditch about it
Of silver, should have run with cream from Hogsden;
That every Sunday, in Moorfields, the younkers,
And tits and tom-boys should have fed on, gratis.

MAM. I will go mount a turnip-cart, and preach
The end of the world, within these two months. Surly,
What! in a dream?

SUR. Must I needs cheat myself,
With that same foolish vice of honesty!
Come, let us go and hearken out the rogues:
That Face I'll mark for mine, if e'er I meet him.

FACE. If I can hear of him, sir, I'll bring you word,
Unto your lodging; for in troth, they were strangers
To me, I thought them honest as my self, sir.



TRI. 'Tis well, the saints shall not lose all yet. Go,
And get some carts—

LOVE. For what, my zealous friends?

ANA. To bear away the portion of the righteous
Out of this den of thieves.

LOVE. What is that portion?

ANA. The goods sometimes the orphan's, that the brethren
Bought with their silver pence.

LOVE. What, those in the cellar,
The knight sir Mammon claims?

ANA. I do defy
The wicked Mammon, so do all the brethren,
Thou profane man! I ask thee with what conscience
Thou canst advance that idol against us,
That have the seal? were not the shillings number'd,
That made the pounds; were not the pounds told out,
Upon the second day of the fourth week,
In the eighth month, upon the table dormant,
The year of the last patience of the saints,
Six hundred and ten?

LOVE. Mine earnest vehement botcher,
And deacon also, I cannot dispute with you:
But if you get you not away the sooner,
I shall confute you with a cudgel.

ANA. Sir!

TRI. Be patient, Ananias.

ANA. I am strong,
And will stand up, well girt, against an host
That threaten Gad in exile.

LOVE. I shall send you
To Amsterdam, to your cellar.

ANA. I will pray there,
Against thy house: may dogs defile thy walls,
And wasps and hornets breed beneath thy roof,
This seat of falsehood, and this cave of cozenage!



LOVE. Another too?

DRUG. Not I, sir, I am no brother.

LOVE [BEATS HIM]. Away, you Harry Nicholas! do you talk?


FACE. No, this was Abel Drugger. Good sir, go,
And satisfy him; tell him all is done:
He staid too long a washing of his face.
The doctor, he shall hear of him at West-chester;
And of the captain, tell him, at Yarmouth, or
Some good port-town else, lying for a wind.
If you can get off the angry child, now, sir—


KAS. Come on, you ewe, you have match'd most sweetly,
have you not?
Did not I say, I would never have you tupp'd
But by a dubb'd boy, to make you a lady-tom?
'Slight, you are a mammet! O, I could touse you, now.
Death, mun' you marry, with a pox!

LOVE. You lie, boy;
As sound as you; and I'm aforehand with you.

KAS. Anon!

LOVE. Come, will you quarrel? I will feize you, sirrah;
Why do you not buckle to your tools?

KAS. Od's light,
This is a fine old boy as e'er I saw!

LOVE. What, do you change your copy now? proceed;
Here stands my dove: stoop at her, if you dare.

KAS. 'Slight, I must love him! I cannot choose, i'faith,
An I should be hang'd for't! Suster, I protest,
I honour thee for this match.

LOVE. O, do you so, sir?

KAS. Yes, an thou canst take tobacco and drink, old boy,
I'll give her five hundred pound more to her marriage,
Than her own state.

LOVE. Fill a pipe full, Jeremy.

FACE. Yes; but go in and take it, sir.

LOVE. We will—
I will be ruled by thee in any thing, Jeremy.

KAS. 'Slight, thou art not hide-bound, thou art a jovy boy!
Come, let us in, I pray thee, and take our whiffs.

LOVE. Whiff in with your sister, brother boy.
That master
That had received such happiness by a servant,
In such a widow, and with so much wealth,
Were very ungrateful, if he would not be
A little indulgent to that servant's wit,
And help his fortune, though with some small strain
Of his own candour.
—"Therefore, gentlemen,
And kind spectators, if I have outstript
An old man's gravity, or strict canon, think
What a young wife and a good brain may do;
Stretch age's truth sometimes, and crack it too.
Speak for thy self, knave."

FACE. "So I will, sir."
My part a little fell in this last scene,
Yet 'twas decorum. And though I am clean
Got off from Subtle, Surly, Mammon, Dol,
Hot Ananias, Dapper, Drugger, all
With whom I traded: yet I put my self
On you, that are my country: and this pelf
Which I have got, if you do quit me, rests
To feast you often, and invite new guests."





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