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Ben Jonson - The Alchemist Act IVBack to The Alchemist page.
ACT THE FOURTH
SCENE I: A room in Lovewit's House.
[Enter Face and Mammon.]
Face. O sir, you are come in the only finest time. -
Mammon. Where's master ?
Face. Now preparing for projection, sir.
Your stuff will be all changed shortly.
Mammon. Into gold ?
Face. To gold and silver, sir.
Mammon. Silver I care not for.
Face. Yes, sir, a little to give beggars.
Mammon. Where's the lady ?
Face. At hand here. I have told her such brave things of you,
Touching your bounty, and your noble spirit -
Mammon. 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. -
Mammon. I warrant thee.
Face. Six men [sir] will not hold her down: and then,
If the old man should hear or see you -
Mammon. 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.
Mammon. I am school'd, good Ulen.
Face. And you must praise her house, remember that,
And her nobility.
Mammon. Let me alone:
No herald, no, nor antiquary, Lungs,
Shall do it better. Go.
Face. Why, this is yet
A kind of modern happiness, to have
Dol Common for a great lady. [Aside, and exit.]
Mammon. Now, Epicure,
Heighten thy self, 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... I will be puissant,
And mighty in my talk to her. -
[Re-enter Face with Dol richly dressed.]
Here she comes.
Face. To him, Dol, suckle him; - This is the noble knight,
I told your ladyship -
Mammon. Madam, with your pardon,
I kiss your vesture.
Dol. Sir, I were uncivil
If I would suffer that; my lip to you, sir.
Mammon. I hope my lord your brother be in health, lady.
Dol. My lord, my brother is, though I no lady, sir.
Face. Well said, my Guinea bird. [Aside.]
Mammon. Right noble madam -
Face. O, we shall have most fierce idolatry. [Aside.]
Mammon. 'Tis your prerogative.
Dol. Rather your courtesy.
Mammon. Were there nought else t' enlarge your virtues to me,
These answers speak your breeding, and your blood.
Dol. Blood we boast none, sir, a poor baron's daughter.
Mammon. Poor ! and gat you ? profane not....
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.
Mammon. 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 costarmonger. [Aside.]
Mammon. 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. I'll be sworn, I heard it.
Mammon. I know not how ! it is not any one,
But e'en the very choice of all their features.
Face. I'll in, and laugh. [Aside and exit.]
Mammon. A certain touch, or air,
That sparkles a divinity, beyond
An earthly beauty !
Dol. O, you play the courtier.
Mammon. Good lady, give me leave -
Dol. In faith, I may not,
To mock me, sir.
Mammon. 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.
Mammon. By my soul -
Dol. Nay, oaths are made of the same air, sir.
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.
Mammon. In no ill sense, sweet lady; but to ask
How your fair graces pass the hours ? I see
You are lodg'd 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,
Mammon. 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 -
Mammon. 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.
Mammon. 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 solaecism,
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 ?
Mammon. 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 ?
Mammon. 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 contented, sir ?
Mammon. Nay, in true being,
'I'he envy of princes and the fear of states.
Dol. Say you so, sir Epicure ?
Mammon. 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 ?
Mammon. 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 ?
Mammon. I am the master of the mastery.
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.
Mammon. I am pleased the glory of her sex should know,
This nook, here, of the Friers 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 I 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.
Mammon. If he knew it.
Dol. Yourself do boast it, sir.
Mammon. To thee, my life.
Dol. O, but beware, sir ! you may come to end
The remnant of your days in a loth'd prison,
By speaking of it.
Mammon. '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 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 ?
Mammon. Excellent ! Lungs. There's for thee. [Gives him money.]
Face. But do you hear ?
Good sir, beware, no mention of the rabins.
Mammon. We think not on 'em. [Exeunt Mammon and Dol.]
Face. O, it is well, sir. - Subtle !
Dost thou not laugh?
Subtle. Yes; are they gone ?
Face. All's clear.
Subtle. The widow is come.
Face. And your quarrelling disciple ?
Face. I must to my captainship again then.
Subtle. Stay, bring them in first.
Face. So I meant. What is she ?
A bonnibel ?
Subtle. I know not.
Face. We'll draw lots:
You'll stand to that ?
Subtle. What else ?
Face. O, for a suit,
To fall now like a curtain, flap !
Subtle. To the door, man.
Face. You'll have the first kiss, 'cause I am not ready. [Exit.]
Subtle. Yes, and perhaps hit you through both the nostrils.
Face. [within.] Who would you speak with ?
Kastril. [within.] Where's the captain ?
Face. [within.] Gone, sir.
About some business.
Kastril. [Within.] Gone !
Face. [Within.] He'll return straight.
But master doctor, his lieutenant, is here.
[Enter Kastril, followed by Dame Pliant.]
Subtle. 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.
Kastril. You lie.
Subtle. How, child of wrath and anger ! the loud lie ?
For what, my sudden boy ?
Kastril. Nay, that look you to,
I am aforehand.
Subtle. 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 ?
Kastril. What is this !
The angry tongue he talks in ? [Aside.]
Subtle. 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.
Kastril. How must I do then, sir ?
Subtle. I cry this lady mercy: she should first
Have been saluted. [Kisses her.] I do call you lady,
Because you are to be one, ere 't be long,
My soft and buxom widow.
Kastril. Is she, i'faith?
Subtle. Yes, or my art is an egregious liar.
Kastril. How know you !
Subtle. By inspection on her forehead,
And subtlety of her lip, which must be tasted
Often, to make a judgment. [Kisses her again.] 'Slight, she melts
Like a myrobolane: - here is yet a line,
In rivo frontis, tells me he is no knight.
Dame Pliant. What is he then, sir ?
Subtle. 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 Pliant. Brother,
He's a rare man, believe me !
[Re-enter Face, in his uniform.]
Kastril. Hold your peace.
Here comes the t' other rare man; - 'Save you, captain.
Face. Good master Kastril! Is this your sister ?
Kastril. Ay, sir.
Please you to kuss her, and be proud to know her.
Face. I shall be proud to know you, lady. [Kisses her.]
Dame Pliant. Brother,
He calls me lady too.
Kastril. Ay, peace: I heard it. [Takes her aside.]
Face. The count is come.
Subtle. Where is he ?
Face. At the door.
Subtle. Why, you must entertain him.
Face. What will you do with these the while ?
Subtle. 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. [Exit.]
Subtle. 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 moonlight.
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.
[Exit, followed by Kastril and Dame Pliant.]
Face. Where are you, doctor ?
Subtle. [Within.] I'll come to you presently.
Face. I will have this same widow, now I have seen her,
On any composition.
Subtle. What do you say ?
Face. Have you disposed of them ?
Subtle. I have sent them up.
Face. Subtle, in troth, I needs must have this widow.
Subtle. Is that the matter ?
Face. Nay, but hear me.
Subtle. 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....
Subtle. 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? [Exit.]
Subtle. I follow you, sir: we must keep Face in awe,
Or he will over-look us like a tyrant.
[Re-enter Face, introducing Surly disguised as a Spaniard.]
Brain of a tailor ! who comes here ? Don John !
Surly. Senores, beso las manos a vuestras mercedes....
Subtle. He looks in that deep ruff like a head in a platter,
Serv'd in by a short cloak upon two trestles.
Face. Or, what do you say to a collar of brawn, cut down
Beneath the souse, and wriggled with a knife ?
Subtle. '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.
Your scurvy, yellow, Madrid face is welcome.
Subtle. He speaks out of a fortification.
Pray God he have no squibs in those deep sets.
Surly. Por dios, senores, muy linda casa !
Subtle. What says he ?
Face. Praises the house, I think;
I know no more but's action.
Subtle. 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.
Subtle. Do you intend it! so do we, dear Don.
Have you brought pistolets, or portagues,
My solemn Don? - Dost thou feel any?
Face. [Feels his pockets.] Full.
Subtle. You shall be emptied, Don, pumped and drawn Dry, as they say.
Face. Milked, in troth, sweet Don.
Subtle. See all the monsters; the great lion of all, Don.
Surly. Con licencia, se puede ver a esta senora ?
Subtle. What talks he now ?
Face. Of the senora.
Subtle. O, Don,
That is the lioness, which you shall see
Also, my Don.
Face. 'Slid, Subtle, how shall we do?
Subtle. For what ?
Face. Why Dol's employ'd, you know.
Subtle. That's true.
'Fore heaven, I know not: he must stay, that's all.
Face. Stay ! that he must not by no means.
Subtle. No ! why ?
Face. Unless you'll mar all. 'Slight, he will suspect it:
And then he will not pay, not half so well....
Subtle. What shall we do then ?
Face. Think: you must be sudden.
Surly. Entiendo que la senora es tan hermosa, pue codicio
tan verla, coma la bien aventuranza de mi vida.
Face. Mi vida! 'Slid, Subtle, he puts me in mind o' 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....
What dost thou think on't, Subtle !
Subtle. Who, I ? why -
Face. The credit of our house too is engaged.
Subtle. 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.
Subtle. 'Slight, I'll not work her then.
Face. It is the common cause; therefore bethink you.
Dol else must know it, as you said.
Subtle. I care not.
Surly. Senores, porque se tarda tanto ?
Subtle. Faith, I am not fit, I am old.
Face. That's now no reason, sir.
Surly. Puede ser de hazer burla de mi amor ?
Face. You hear the Don too ! by this air, I call,
And loose the hinges: Dol !
Subtle. A plague of hell -
Face. Will you then do ?
Subtle. 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.
Subtle. With all my heart, sir;
Am I discharg'd o' the lot ?
Face. As you please.
Subtle. Hands. [They take hands.]
Face. Remember now, that upon any change,
You never claim her.
Subtle. Much good joy, and health to you, sir.
Marry a whore ! fate, let me wed a witch first.
Surly. Por estas honradas barbas -
Subtle. He swears by his beard.
Dispatch, and call the brother too. [Exit Face.]
Surly. Tengo duda, senores, que no me hagan alguna traycion.
Subtle. How, issue on ? yes, praesto, sennor. Please you
Enthratha the chambratha, worthy don:
Where if you please the fates, in your bathada,
You shall be soaked, 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,...
To be revenged on this impetuous Face:
The quickly doing of it is the grace.
[Exeunt Subtle and Surly.]
SCENE II: Another room in the same.
[Enter Face, Kastril, and Dame Pliant.]
Face. Come, lady: I knew the doctor would not leave
Till he had found the very nick of her fortune.
Kastril. To be a countess, say you, a Spanish countess, sir ?
Dame Pliant. Why, is that better than an English countess ?
Face. Better ! 'Slight, make you that a question, lady !
Kastril. 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.
[Enter Subtle, with a paper.]
Subtle. 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.
Subtle. Still, my scarce-worshipful captain, you can keep
No secret ! Well, since he has told you, madam,
Do you forgive him, and I do.
Kastril. She shall do that, sir;
I'll look to't, 'tis my charge.
Subtle. Well then: nought rests
But that she fit her love now to her fortune.
Dame Pliant. Truly I shall never brook a Spaniard.
Subtle. No !
Dame Pliant. Never since eighty-eight could I abide them,
And that was some three year afore I was born, in truth.
Subtle. 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 twelve-month.
Subtle. Nay, shads and mackerel, which is worse.
Face. Indeed, sir !
Kastril. 'Ods lid, you shall love him, or I'Il kick you.
Dame Pliant. Why, I'll do as you will have me, brother.
Or by this hand I'll maul you.
Face. Nay, good sir,
Be not so fierce.
Subtle. 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 !
Subtle. Ay, behind the hangings
Face. And then come forth in pomp !...
Subtle. Is serv'd
Upon the knee !
Face. And has her pages, ushers,
Footmen, and coaches -
Subtle. Her six mares -
Face. Nay, eight !
Subtle. 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 rides with her!
Kastril. Most brave ! By this hand, you are not my suster,
If you refuse.
Dame Pliant. I will not refuse, brother.
Surly. 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.
Subtle. En gallanta madama, Don ! gallantissima !
Surly. Por todos los dioses, la mas acabada hermosura,
que he visto en mi vida !
Face. Is't not a gallant language that they speak ?
Kastril. An admirable language ! Is't not French ?
Face. No, Spanish, sir.
Kastril. It goes like law French,
And that, they say, is the courtliest. language.
Face. List, sir.
Surly. El sol ha perdido su lumbre, con el esplandor que
trae esta dama! Valgame dios!
Face. He admires your sister.
Kastril. Must not she make curt'sy?
Subtle. '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.
Surly. Porque no se acude ?
Kastril. He speaks to her, I think.
Face. That he does, sir.
Surly. Por el amor de dios, que es esto que se tarda ?
Kastril. Nay, see: she will not understand him ! gull, Noddy.
Dame Pliant. What say you, brother?
Kastril. 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.
Surly. Senora mia, mi persona esta muy indigna de allegar a tanta hermosura.
Face. Does he not use her bravely ?
Kastril. Bravely, i' faith !
Face. Nay, he will use her better.
Kastril. Do you think so ?
Surly. Senora, si sera sererida, entremonos.
[Exit with Dame Pliant.]
Kastril. Where does he carry her ?
Face. Into the garden, sir;
Take you no thought: I must interpret for her.
Subtle. Give Dol the word. [Aside to Face, who goes out.] - Come, my fierce child, advance,
We'll to our quarrelling lesson again.
I love a Spanish boy with all my heart.
Subtle. Nay, and by this means, sir, you shall be brother
To a great count.
Kastril. Ay, I knew that at first.
This match will advance the house of the Kastrils.
Subtle. 'Pray God your sister prove but pliant !
Her name is so, by her other husband.
Subtle. How !
Kastril. The widow Pliant. Knew you not that ?
Subtle. No faith, sir;
Yet, by erection of her figure, I guest it.
Come, let's go practise.
Kastril. Yes, but do you think, doctor,
I e'er shall quarrel well ?
Subtle. I warrant you.
SCENE III: Another room in the same.
[Enter Dol in her fit of raving, followed by Mammon.]
Dol. For after Alexander's death -
Mammon. Good lady -
Dol. That Perdiccas and Antigonus were slain,
The two that stood, Seleuc' and Ptolomee -
Dol. Make 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 -
Mammon. Lady -
Dol. And then Gog-horned. So was Egypt, too:
Then Egypt-clay-leg, and Gog-clay-leg -
Mammon. 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 -
Mammon. What shall I do ?
Dol. For, as he says, except
We call the rabbins, and the heathen Greeks -
Mammon. Dear lady.
Dol. To come from Salem, and from Athens,
And teach the people of Great Britain -
[Enter Face hastily, in his servant's dress.]
Face. What's the matter, sir ?
Dol. To speak the tongue of Eber, and Javan -
Mammon. O, 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 -
Mammon. 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.
[They all speak together.]
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 ?
Mammon. 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.
Mammon. Is't best ?
Face. She'll never leave else. If the old man hear her,
We are but faeces, ashes.
Subtle. [within.] What's to do there ?
Face. O, we are lost ! Now she hears him, she is quiet.
[Enter Subtle, they run different ways.]
Mammon. Where shall I hide me !
Subtle. 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.
Mammon. Nay, good, dear father,
There was no unchaste purpose.
Subtle. Not ! and flee me,
When I come in?
Mammon. That was my error.
Subtle. 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 !
Mammon. Why, have you so ?
Subtle. 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 ?
Mammon. Nay, good sir, blame not him;
Believe me, 'twas against his will or knowledge:
I saw her by chance.
Subtle. Will you commit more sin,
To excuse a varlet ?
Mammon. By my hope, 'tis true, sir.
Subtle. Nay, then I wonder less, if you, for whom
The blessing was prepared, would so tempt heaven,
And lose your fortunes.
Mammon. Why, sir ?
Subtle. This will retard
The work, a month at least.
Mammon. Why, if it do,
What remedy ? But think it not, good father:
Our purposes were honest.
Subtle. As they were,
So the reward will prove. [A loud explosion within.] - How now ! ah me !
God, and all saints be good to us. -
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 !
[Subtle falls down as in a swoon.]
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.
Mammon. Ha, Lungs !
Face. His coach is at the door. Avoid his sight,
For he's as furious as his sister's mad.
Mammon. Alas !
Face. My brain is quite undone with the fume, sir,
I ne'er must hope to be mine own man again.
Mammon. 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.
Mammon. O my voluptuous mind ! I am justly punish'd.
Face. And so am I, sir.
Mammon. Cast from all my hopes -
Face. Nay, certainties, sir.
Mammon. By mine own base affections.
Subtle. [Seeming to come to himself.] O, the curst fruits of vice and lust !
Mammon. Good father,
It was my sin. Forgive it.
Subtle. 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.
Mammon. 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 -
Face. For the restoring such as - have their wits.
Mammon. I'll do't.
Face. I'll send one to you to receive it.
Mammon. Do. Is no projection left!
Face. All flown, or stinks, sir.
Mammon. 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. [Aside.]
It shall be saved for you, and sent home. Good sir,
This way for fear the lord should meet you.
Subtle. [raising his head.] Face !
Subtle. Is he gone ?
Face. Yes, and as heavily
As all the gold he hoped for were in's blood.
Let us be light though.
Subtle. [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.
Subtle. 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.
Subtle. 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 ?
Subtle. 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.
Subtle. For your sake, sir.
SCENE IV: Another room in the same.
[Enter Surly and Dame Pliant.]
Surly. 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 bachelor,
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 Pliant. I will, sir.
Surly. And for these household-rogues, let me alone
To treat with them.
Subtle. How doth my noble Diego,
And my dear madam countess? hath the count
Been courteous, lady ? liberal, and open ?
Donzel, methinks you look melancholic,...
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, I will make your pockets so.
[Attempts to pick them.]
Surly. [Throws open his cloak.] Will you, don bawd and pick-purse? [strikes him down.] how now ! Reel you !
Stand up, sir, you shall find, since I am so heavy,
I'll give you equal weight.
Subtle. Help ! murder !
Surly. 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 ?
[Enter Face in his uniform.]
Face. How, Surly !
Surly. O, make your approach, good captain.
I have found from whence your copper rings and spoon
Come, now, wherewith you cheat abroad in taverns.
'Twas here you learn'd 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. [Face slips out.] Or, he is the Faustus,
That casteth figures...
[Seizes Subtle as he is retiring.] - Nay, sir, you must tarry,
Though he be scaped; and answer by the ears, sir.
[Re-enter Face with Kastril.]
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.
Kastril. 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 ?
Surly. I should be loth, sir, to confess so much.
Kastril. Then you lie in your throat.
Surly. 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.
Surly. Sir, you are abused.
Kastril. You lie:
And 'tis no matter.
Face. Well said, sir ! He is
The impudent'st rascal -
Surly. You are indeed: Will you hear me, sir ?
Face. By no means: bid him be gone.
Kastril. Begone, sir, quickly.
Surly. 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. [Aside.]
Subtle. 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 !
I know - Away, [to his sister.] you talk like a foolish mauther.
Surly. Sir, all is truth she says.
Face. Do not believe him, sir.
He is the lying'st swabber ! Come your ways, sir.
Surly. You are valiant out of company !
Kastril. Yes, how then, sir ?
[Enter Drugger with a piece of damask.]
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.- [Aside to Drugger.]
He owes this honest Drugger here seven pound,
He has had on him, in two-penny'orths of tobacco.
Drugger. Yes, sir.
And he has damn'd himself three terms to pay me.
Face. And what does he owe for lotium ?
Drugger. Thirty shillings, sir;
And for six syringes.
Surly. Hydra of villainy !
Face. Nay, sir, you must quarrel him out o' the house:
Kastril. I will:
- Sir, if you get not out o' doors, you lie;
And you are a pimp.
Surly. Why, this is madness, sir,
Not valeur in you; I must laugh at this.
Kastril. It is my humour: you are a pimp and a trig,
And an Amadis de Gaul, or a Don Quixote.
Drugger. Or a knight o' the curious coxcomb, do you see ?
Ananias. Peace to the household !
Kastril. I'll keep peace for no man.
Ananias. Casting of dollars is concluded lawful.
Kastril. Is he the constable ?
Subtle. Peace, Ananias.
Face. No, sir.
Kastril. Then you are an otter, and a shad, a whit. A very tim.
Surly. You'll hear me, sir?
Kastril. I will not.
Ananias. What is the motive?
Subtle. Zeal in the young gentleman,
Against his Spanish slops.
Ananias. They are profane,
Lewd, superstitious, and idolatrous breeches.
Surly. New rascals !
Kastril. Will you be gone, sir ?
Ananias. 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.
Surly. I must give way.
Kastril. Be gone, sir.
Surly. But I'll take
A course with you -
Ananias. Depart, proud Spanish fiend !
Surly. Captain and doctor.
Ananias. Child of perdition !
Kastril. Hence, sir ! - [Exit Surly].
Did I not quarrel bravely ?
Face. Yes, indeed, sir.
Kastril. 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:
Kastril. I'll re-turn him then. [Exit.]
[Subtle takes Ananias aside.]
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 !
Drugger. Yes, sir.
Face. Thou must borrow
A Spanish suit: hast thou no credit with the players ?
Drugger. Yes, sir; did you never see me play the Fool ?
Face. I know not, Nab:- thou shalt, if I can help it, [Aside.]
Hieronimo's old cloak, ruff, and hat will serve;
I'll tell thee more when thou bring'st 'em.
Ananias. 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 reveal'd no less to them than me,
That casting of money is most lawful.
But here I cannot do it: if the house
Shou'd chance to be suspected, all would out,
And we be lock'd up in the Tower for ever,
To make gold there for the state, never come out;
And then are you defeated.
Ananias. I will tell
This to the elders and the weaker brethren,
That the whole company of the separation
May join in humble prayer again.
Subtle. And fasting.
Ananias. Yea, for some fitter place. The peace of mind
Rest with these walls ! [Exit.]
Subtle. Thanks, courteous Ananias.
Face. What did he come for ?
Subtle. 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 ?
Subtle. 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.
Subtle. Where's Drugger ?
Face. He is gone to borrow me a Spanish habit;
I'll be the count, now.
Subtle. But where's the widow ?
Face. Within, with my lord's sister; madam Dol
Is entertaining her.
Subtle. By your favour Face,
Now she is honest, I will stand again
Face. You will not offer it ?
Subtle. Why ?
Face. Stand to your word,
Or - here comes Dol, she knows -
Subtle. You are tyrannous still.
[Enter Dol hastily.]
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 is that ?
Dol. Your master;
The master of the house.
Subtle. How, Dol !
Face. She lies,
This is some trick. Come, leave your quiblins, Dorothy.
Dol. Look out, and see. [Face goes to the window.]
Subtle. Art thou in earnest ?
Forty o' 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.
Subtle. You said he would not come,
While there died one a week within the liberties.
Face. No: 'twas within the walls.
Subtle. 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,
'Prithee 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 ?
Subtle. Yes, I'll shave you, as well as I can.
Face. And not cut my throat, but trim me ?
Subtle. You shall see, sir.
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Works of Nicolas Flamel
Works of George Ripley
Works of Sendivogius
Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum
Emerald tablet of Hermes
Texts from Musaeum Hermeticum
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