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Ben Jonson - The Alchemist Act III

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SCENE I: The Lane before Lovewit's House.

[Enter Tribulation Wholesome, and Ananias.]

Tribulation. 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.
Ananias. In pure zeal,
I do not like the man, he is a heathen,
And speaks the language of Canaan, truly.
Tribulation. I think him a profane person indeed.
Ananias. 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.
Tribulation. Good brother, we must bend unto all means,
That may give furtherance to the holy cause.
Ananias. Which his cannot: the sanctified cause
Should have a sanctified course.
Tribulation. 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
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,...
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.
Ananias. 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.
Tribulation. Let us call on him then.
Ananias. The motion's good,
And of the spirit; I will knock first. [Knocks.] Peace be within !

[The door is opened, and they enter.]

SCENE II: A Room in Lovewit's House.

[Enter Subtle, followed by Tribulation and Ananias.]

Subtle. 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.
Tribulation. 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.
Subtle. Why, this doth qualify !
Tribulation. 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.
Subtle. This qualifies more !
Tribulation. 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.
Subtle. 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: ...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.
Tribulation. Ay, it is very pregnant.
Subtle. And then the turning of this lawyer's pewter
To plate at Christmas; -
Ananias. Christ-tide, I pray you.
Subtle. Yet, Ananias !
Ananias. I have done.
Subtle. 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 ?
Tribulation. Verily,'tis true.
We may be temporal lords ourselves, I take it.
Subtle. 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.
Ananias. Bells are profane; a tune may be religious.
Subtle. No warning with you ! then farewell my patience.
'Slight, it shall down: I will not be thus tortured.
Tribulation. I pray you, sir.
Subtle. All shall perish. I have spoke it.
Tribulation. Let me find grace, sir, in your eyes; the man
He stands corrected: neither did his zeal,
But as yourself, allow a tune somewhere.
Which now, being tow'rd the stone, we shall not need.
Subtle. 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... 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.
Ananias. It is indeed an idol.
Tribulation. Mind him not, sir.
I do command thee, spirit of zeal, but trouble,
To peace within him ! Pray you, sir, go on.
Subtle. 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 your selves
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.
Tribulation. 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.
Subtle. 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.
Ananias. I hate traditions;
I do not trust them.
Tribulation. Peace !
Ananias. They are popish all.
I will not peace: I will not -
Tribulation. Ananias !
Ananias. Please the profane, to grieve the godly; I may not.
Subtle. Well, Ananias, thou shalt overcome.
Tribulation. 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.
Subtle. 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.
Tribulation. But how long time,
Sir, must the saints expect yet ?
Subtle. 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.
Ananias. About the second day of the third week,
In the ninth month !
Subtle. Yes, my good Ananias.
Tribulation. What will the orphan's goods arise to, think you ?
Subtle. 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.
Tribulation. How !
Subtle. 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.
Tribulation. Can you so ?
Subtle. Ay, and shall 'bide the third examination.
Anu. It will be joyful tidings to the brethren.
Subtle. But you must carry it secret.
Tribulation. Ay; but stay,
This act of coining, is it lawful ?
Ananias. Lawful
We know no magistrate: or, if we did,
This is foreign coin.
Subtle. It is no coining, sir.
It is but casting.
Tribulation. Ha ! you distinguish well:
Casting of money may be lawful.
Ananias. 'Tis, sir.
Tribulation. Truly, I take it so.
Subtle. There is no scruple,
Sir, to be made of it; believe Ananias:
This case of conscience he is studied in.
Tribulation. I'll make a question of it to the brethren.
Ananias. The brethren shall approve it lawful, doubt not.
Where shall it be done ? [Knocking without.]
Subtle. 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. [Exeunt Tribulation and Ananias.]
Who is it ? - Face ! appear.

[Enter Face in his uniform.]

How now ! good prize !
Face. Good pox ! yond' costive cheater
Never came on.
Subtle. How then ?
Face. I have walk'd the round
Till now, and no such thing.
Subtle. 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.
Subtle. 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...
Where is the doxy ?
Subtle. I'll send her to thee:
And but dispatch my brace of little John Leydens,
And come again my self.
Face. Are they within then ?
Subtle. Numbering the sum.
Face. How much ?
Subtle. A hundred marks, boy. [Exit.]
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 -

[Enter Dol.]

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....
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. -

[Re-enter Subtle.]

How now ! have you done ?
Subtle. 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.
Subtle. Excellent, well thought on:
Pray God he come.
Face. I pray he keep away
Till our new business be o'erpast.
Subtle. 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... 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. [Knocking without.] Who's that?
[Exit Dol.]
Subtle. It is not he ?
Face. O no, not yet this hour.

[Re-enter Dol.]

Subtle. Who is't?
Dol. Dapper, Your clerk.
Face. God's will then, queen of Fairy,
On with your tire; [Exit DOL.] and, doctor, with your robes.
Let's dispatch him for God's sake.
Subtle. 'Twill be long.
Face. I warrant you, take but the cues I give you,
It shall be brief enough. [Goes to the window.] 'Slight, here are more !
Abel, and I think the angry boy, the heir,
That fain would quarrel.
Subtle. And the widow ?
Face. No, Not that I see. Away! [Exit Subtle.]

[Enter Dapper.]

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.
Dapper. Shall I see her grace ?
Face. See her, and kiss her too. -

[Enter Abel, followed by Kastril.]

What, honest Nab !
Hast brought the damask ?
Nab. No, sir; here's tobacco.
Face. 'Tis well done, Nab: thou'lt bring the damask too ?
Drugger. Yes: here's the gentleman, captain, master Kastril,
I have brought to see the doctor.
Face. Where's the widow?
Drugger. Sir, as he likes, his sister, he says, shall come.
Face. O, is it so ! good time. Is your name Kastril, sir ?
Kastril. 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?
Kastril. 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.
Kastril. 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:
All this he will demonstrate. And then, rules
To give and take the lie by.
Kastril. 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.
Kastril. But does he teach
Living by the wits too ?
Face. Any thing 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.
Kastril. No, I'll not come there: you shall pardon me.
Face. For why, sir ?
Kastril. There's gaming there, and tricks.
Face. Why, would you be
A gallant, and not game !
Kastril. 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 ?
Kastril. What, three thousand a year !
Face. Ay, forty thousand.
Kastril. Are there such ?
Face. Ay, sir,
And gallants yet. Here's a young gentleman
Is born to nothing, - [Points to Dapper.] 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 porters, 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....
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.
Kastril. 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,...
And be admired for't. .
Kastril. 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, oat-meal, woad, or cheeses.
All which you may so handle, to enjoy
To your own use, and never stand obliged.
Kastril. 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.
Kastril. 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.
Drugger. Truth, and no more I was not.
Face. And then he was so sick -
Drugger. Could he tell you that too ?
Face. How should I know it ?
Drugger. 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 -
Drugger. My head did so ach -
Face. And he was fain to be brought home,
The doctor told me: and then a good old woman -
Drugger. 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.
Drugger. In truth, and it was like
T' have cost me almost my life.
Face. Thy hair went off ?
Drugger. Yes, sir; 'twas done for spite.
Face. Nay, so says the doctor.
Kastril. 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.
Kastril. I go. [Exit.]
Face. Drugger, she's thine: the damask! - [Exit Abel.] Subtle and I
Must wrestle for her. [Aside.] - 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 !
Dapper. 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 ?
Dapper. Yes, here are six score Edward shillings.
Face. Good !
Dapper. And an old Harry's sovereign.
Face. Very good !
Dapper. 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.
Dapper. I have some Philip and Maries.
Face. Ay, those same
Are best of all: where are they ? Hark, the doctor.

[Enter Subtle, disguised like a priest of Fairy, with a stripe of cloth.]

Subtle. [In a feigned voice.] Is yet her grace's cousin come?
Face. He is come.
Subtle. And is he fasting ?
Face. Yes.
Subtle. And hath cried hum ?
Face. Thrice, you must answer.
Dapper. Thrice.
Subtle. And as oft buz ?
Face. If you have, say.
Dapper. I have.
Subtle. 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, [They blind him with the rag.] 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 -

[He throws away, as they bid him.]

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.
Dapper. Truly, there's all.
Face. All what !
Dapper. My money; truly.
Face. Keep nothing that is transitory about you.
Bid Dol play music. [Aside to Subtle.] - Look, the elves are come
[Dol plays on the cittern within.]
To pinch you, if you tell not truth. Advise you.
[They pinch him.]
Dapper. O ! I have a paper with a spur-ryal in't.
Face. Ti, ti.
They knew't, they say.
Subtle. Ti, ti, ti, ta. He has more yet.
Face. Ti, ti-ti-ti. In the other pocket ? [Aside to Sub.]
Subtle. Titi, titi, titi, titi, titi.
They must pinch him or he will never confess, they say.
[They pinch him again.]
Dapper. 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.
Dapper. By this good light, I have nothing.
Subtle. 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.
Dapper. 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.
[Takes it off.]
You may wear your leaden heart still. -

[Enter Dol hastily.]

How now !
Subtle. 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.
Subtle. And you are not ready, now ! Dol, get his suit.
[Exit Dol.]
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 ?
Subtle. Why, lay him back awhile,
With some device.

[Re-enter Dol with Face's clothes.]

-Ti, ti, ti, ti, ti, ti, Would her grace speak with me !
I come. - Help, Dol ! [Knocking without.]
Face. [Speaks through the key-hole.] Who's there? sir Epicure,
My master's in the way. Please you to walk
Three or four turns, but till his back be turn'd,
And I am for you. - Quickly, Dol !
Subtle. Her grace
Commends her kindly to you, master Dapper.
Dapper. I long to see her grace.
Subtle. 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. -
Subtle. He must not see, nor speak
To any body, till then.
Face. For that we'll put, sir,
A stay in's mouth.
Subtle. 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.
[They thrust a gag of gingerbread in his mouth.]
Subtle. Where shall we now bestow him ?
Dol. In the privy.
Subtle. Come along, sir,
I now must shew you Fortune's privy lodgings.
Face. Are they perfum'd, and his bath ready ?
Subtle. All. Only the fumigation's somewhat strong.
Face. [Speaking through the key-hole.] Sir Epicure, I am yours, sir, by and by.

[Exeunt with Dapper.]

If you have problems understanding these alchemical texts, Adam McLean now provides a study course entitled How to read alchemical texts : a guide for the perplexed.
Alchemical texts

16th Century
Practical alchemy
Philosophical alchemy

17th Century
Practical alchemy
Philosophical alchemy

18th Century
Practical alchemy
Philosophical alchemy

Alchemical poetry

Alchemical allegories

Works of Nicolas Flamel
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Works of Sendivogius
Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum
Emerald tablet of Hermes
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Spanish alchemical texts
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