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ten,

as making him drunk, first with story, and then with wine, but all in kindness, and stripping him

Enter KITELY and DAME KITELY. to his shirt; I left him in that cool vein, depart- Did I not tell you there was a plot against you? ed, sold your worship’s warrant to these two, Did I not smell it out, as a wise magistrate pawned his livery for that varlet's gown to serve ought? Have not you traced, have you not found it in; and thus have brought myself, by my acti- it, eh, Master Kitely? vity, to your worship’s consideration.

Kite. I have-I confess my folly, and ovn I Clem. And I will consider thee in a cup of have deserved what I have suffered for it. The sack. Here's to thee; which having drank off, trial has been severe, but it is past. All I have this is my sentence, pledge me. Thou hast done, to ask now, is, that, as my folly is cured, and my or assisted to nothing, in my judgment, but de- persecutors forgiven, my shame may be forgotserves to be pardoned for the wit of the offence. Go into the next room; let Master Kitely into Clem. That will depend upon yourself, Master this whimsical business, and, if he does not for- Kitely; do not you yourself create the food for give thee, he has less mirth in him than an ho- mischief

, and the mischievous will not prey upon nest man ought to have. How now, who are you. But come, let a general reconciliation go these?

round, and let all discontents be laid aside. You, Enter EDWARD KNO’WELL, WELL-BRED, and

Master Downright, put off your anger. You,

Master Kno'well, your cares. BRIDGET.

And do you, Master

Kitely, and your wife, put off your jealousies. 0, the young company. Welcome, welcome. Kite. Sir, thus they go from me: kiss me, my Give you joy. Nay, Mrs Bridget, blush not ! you

wife. are not so fresh a bride, but the news of it has See, what a drove of horns fly in the air, come hither before you. Master Bridegroom, I Winged with my cleansed and my credulous have made your peace, give me your hand. So breath; will I for the rest, ere you forsake my roof. Watch them, suspicious eyes, watch where they All. We are the more bound to your humani

fall !

See, see, on heads, that think they have none Clem. Only these two have so little of man in

at all. them, they are no part of my care.

0, what a plenteous world of this will come! Step. And what shall I do?

When air rains horns, all may be sure of some. Cien. Oh ! I had lost a sheep, an' he had not Clem. 'Tis well, 'tis well. This night we will bleated. Why, sir, you shall give Mr Downright dedicate to friendship, love, and laughter. Mashis cloak; and I will entreat him to take it. °A ter Bridegroom, take your bride, and lead every trencher and a napkin you shall have in the but- one a fellow. Here is my mistress, Brain-worm! tery, and keep Cob and his wife company there: to whom all my addresses of courtship shall have whom I will entreat first to be reconciled; and their reference: whose adventures this day, when you to endeavour with your wit to keep them so. our grandchildren shall hear to be made a fable, Step. I will do my best.

I doubt not but it shall find both spectators and Clem. Call Master Kitely, and his wife, there. applause.

(Ereunt omnes.

ty, sir.

VOLPONE, OR THE FOX.

BY

BEN JONSON.

PROLOGUE.

Now luck yet send us, and a little wit
Will serve to make our play hit ;
(According to the palates of the season)
Here is rhime, not empty of reason :
This we were bid to credit, from our poet,
Whose true scope, if you would know it,
In all his poems, still hath been this measure,
To mix profit with your pleasure ;
And not as some (whose throats their envy ail-

ing) Cry hoarsely, all he writes is railing : And when his plays come forth, think they can

flout them, With saying he was a year about them. To these there needs no lie, but this his creature, Which was two months since no feature ; And though he dares give them five lives to

mend it, 'Tis known five weeks fully pen’d it : From his own hand, without a coadjutor, Novice, journeyman, or tutor.

Yet, thus much I can give you as a token
Of his plays worth, no eggs are broken;
Nor quaking custards with fierce teeth affrighted,
Wherewith your rout are so delighted;
Nor hales he in a gull, old ends reciting,
To stop gaps in his loose writing;
With such a deal of monstrous and forc'd action,
As might make Bet'lem a faction ;
Nor made he his play, for jests, stoľn from each

table,
But makes jests to fit his fable.
And so presents quick comedy refined,
As best critics have designed;
The laws of time, place, persons he observeth,
From no needful rule he swerveth.
All gall and copperas from his ink he draineth,
Only a little salt remaineth ;
Wherewith he'll rub your cheeks, 'till (red with

laughter) They shall look fresh a week after.

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DRAMATIS PERSONA.

VOLPONE, a Magnifico.
Mosca, his Parasite.
VOLTORE, an Advocate.
CORBACCIO, an old Gentleman.
CORVINO, a Merchant.
1. Avocatori,
2. Avocatori,
S. Avocatori,

Four Magistrates.
4. Avocatori,
NOTARIO, the Register.
Nano, a Dwarf.

CASTRONE, an Eunuch.
PoliticK WOULD-BE, a Knight.
PEREGRINE, a Gentleman-traveller.
BONARIO, a young Gentleman.
Madam WOULD-BE, the Knight's Wife.
Celia, the Merchant's Wife.
COMMANDADORI, Officers.
MERCATORI, three Merchants.
ANDROGYNO, an Hermaphrodite.
SERVITORE, a Servant.

Women.

SCENE,-Venice.

ACT I.

The price of souls ; even hell, with thee to boot, SCENE 1.

Is made worth Heav'n! Thou art virtue, fame,

Honour, and all things else! Who can get thee, VOLPONE and MOSCA.

He shall be noble, valiant, honest, wise Vol. Good morning to the day; and, next, Mos. And what he will, sir. Riches are in my gold;

fortune Open the shrine, that I may see my samt. A greater good, than wisdom is in nature. Hail, the world's soul, and mine! More glad Volp. True, my beloved Mosca. Yet, I glory than is

More in the cunning purchase of my wealth, The teeming earth to see the long’d-for sun Than in the glad possession, since I gain Peep through the horns of the celestial ram, No common way: I use no trade, no venture; And I, to view thy splendour, dark’ning bis : I wound no earth with plow-shares, I fat no beasts That lying here amongst my other hoards, To feed the shambles; have no mills for iron, Shewst like a flame by night; or like the day Oil, corn, or men, to grind 'em into powder ; Struck out of chaos, when all darkness fled I blow no subtle glass, expose no ships Unto the centre. O, thou son of Sol,

To threatnings of the furrow-faced sea; (But brighter than thy father) let me kiss I turn no monies in the public bank, With adoration thee, and every relic

Nor usure private. Of sacred treasure in this blessed room.

Alos. No, sir, nor devour Well did wise poets by thy glorious name Soft prodigals. You shall ha' some will swallow Title that age, which they would have the best, A melting heir, as glibly as your Dutch Thou being the best of things, and far transcend Will pills of butter, and ne'er purge for't; ing

Tear forth the fathers of poor families All stile of joy in children, parents, friends, Out of their beds, and coffin them alive, Or any other waking dream on earth.

In some kind clasping prison, where their bones Thy looks when they to Venus did ascribe, May be forthcoming, when the flesh is rotten : They should have given her twenty thousand But your sweet nature doth abhor these courses ; Cupids;

You loath the widow's or the orphan's tears Sach are thy beauties, and our loves ! dear saint, Should wash your pavements; or their piteous Riches, the dumb god, that giv'st all men

cries tongues:

Ring in your roofs, and beat the air for vengeance. That canst do naught, and yet mak’st men do all Volp. Right, Mosca, I do loath it. things;

Mos. And besides, sir,

me.

You are not like a thresher that doth stand From thence it fied forth, and made quick transWith a huge fail, watching a heap of corn,

migration And, hungry, dares not taste the smallest grain, To godly-lockt Euphorbus, who was kill'd in good But feeds on mallows, and such bitter herbs;

fashion, Nor like the merchant, who hath fill'd his vaults At the siege of old Troy, by the cuckold of Sparta. With Romagnia, and rich Candian wines, Hermorimus was next (I find it in my charta) Yet drinks the lees of Lombard's vinegar : To whom it did pass, where no sooner it was You will not lie in straw, whilst moths and worms

missing, Feed on your sumptuous hangings and soft beds. But with one Pyrrhus of Delos it learn’d to go You know the use of riches, and dare give now

a-fishing : From that bright heap, to me, your poor observer, And thence did it enter the sophist of Greece. Or to your dwarf, or your hermaphrodite, From Pythagore she went into a beautiful piece, Your eunuch, or what other household-trifle Hight Aspasia, the Meretrix; and the next toss Your pleasure allows maint'nance.

of her Vol. Hold thee, Mosca,

Was, again of a whore she became a philosopher, Take, of my hand; thou strik'st on truth, in all: Crates the Cynic: (as itself doth relate it) And they are envious, term thee parasite. Since kings, knights, and beggars, knaves, lords Call forth my dwarf, my eunuch, and my fool,

and fools gat it, And let 'em make me sport. What should I do, Besides ox and ass, camel, mule, goat and brock, But cocker up my genius, and live free

In all which it hath spoke, as in the cobler's cock. To all delights, my fortune calls me to? But I come not here to discourse of that matter, I have no wife, no parent, child, ally,

Or his one, two or three, or his great oath, by To give my substance to; but whom I make,

quater, Must be my heir : And this makes men observe His musics, his trigon, his golden thigh,

Or his telling how elements shift; but I This draws new clients daily to my house, Would ask, how of late, thou hast suffer'd transWomen and men of ev'ry sex and age,

lation, That bring me presents, send me plate, coin, And shifted thy coat in these days of reformation ? jewels,

And. Like one of the reformed, a fool, as you With hope, that when I die, (which they expect

see, Each greedy minute) it shall then return Counting all old doctrine heresie. Tenfold upon them ; whilst some, covetous

Nan. But not on thine own forbid meats hast Above the rest, seek to engross me whole,

thou ventured ? And counter-work the one unto the other,

And. On fish, when first a Carthusian I enter'd. Contend in gifts, as they would seem in love: Nan. Why, then thy dogmatical silence hath All which I suffer, playing with their hopes,

left thee? And am content to coin them into profit,

And. Of that an obstreperous lawyer berest me. And look upon their kindness, and take more, Nun. O wonderful change! when sir lawyer And look on that; still bearing them in hand,

forsook thee, Letting the cherry knock against their lips, For Pythagore's sake, what body then took thee? And draw it by their mouths, and back again. And. A good dull moyle, How now!

Nan. And how ! by that means,

Thou wert brought to allow of the eating of SCENE II.

beans?

And. Yes. NANO, ANDROGYNO, CASTRONE, VOLPONE,

Nun. But, from the moyle, into whom didst and Mosca.

thou pass ? Nan. Now room for fresh gamesters, who do And. Into a very strange beast, by some wri. will

ters calld an ass; They do bring you neither play, nor university By others, a precise, pure, illuminate brother, show;

Of those devour flesh, and sometimes one anoAnd therefore do intreat you, that whatsoever they rehearse,

And will drop you forth a libel, or a sanctified lie, May not fare a whit the worse, for the false pace Betwixt every spoonful of a nativity-pie. of the verse.

Nun. Now quit thee, for heav'n, of that proIf you wonder at this, you will wonder at more,

fane nation ; e'er we pass,

And gently report thy next transmigration. For know, here is inclosed the soul of Pythagoras, And. To the same that I am. That juggler divine, as hereafter shall follow ; Nan. A creature of delight? Which soul (fast and loose, sir) came first from And (what is more than a fool) an hermaphrodite? Apollo,

Now pri’thee, sweet soul, in all thy variation, And was breath'd into Æthalides, Mercurius his Which body would'st thou choose, to keep up thy son,

station ? Where it had the gift to remember all that ever And. Troth, this I am in, even here would I Was done.

tarry.

you to know,

ther :

and art,

Nan. 'Cause here the delight of each sex thou What thoughts he has (without'

) now, as he walks, can'st vary?

That this might be the last gift he should give; And. Alas! those pleasures be stale, and for- That this would fetch you; if you died to-day, saken;

And gave him all, what he should be to-morrow: No, 'tis your fool wherewith I am so taken, What large return would come of all his ventures; The only one creature that I can call blessed : How he should worshipped be, and reverenced ; For all other forms I have proved most distressed. Ride, with his furs and foot-cloaths; waited on Nan. Spoke true, as thou wert in Pythagoras By herds of fools and clients; have clear way still.

Made for his moyle, as lettered as himself; This learned opinion we celebrate will,

Be called the great and learned advocate: Fellow eunuch (as behoves us) with all our wit And then concludes, there's naught impossible.

Volp. Yes, to be learned, Mosca. To dignify that, whereof ourselves are so great Mos. O, no: rich and special a part.

Implies it. Hood an ass with reverend purple, Pol. Now, very, very pretty: Mosca, this So you can hide his two ambitious ears, Was thy invention?

And he shall pass for a cathedral doctor. Mos. If it please my patron, not else.

Volp. My caps, my caps, good Mosca: fetch Vol. It doth, good Mosca.

him in. Mos. Then it was, sir.

Mos. Stay, sir, your ointment for your eyes.

Volp. That's true;
SONG.

Dispatch, dispatch: I long to have possession

Of my new present.
Fools, they are the only nation

Mos. That, and thousands more,
Worth men's envy, or admiration;

hope to see you lord of.
Free from care, or sorrow-taking,

Volp. Thanks, kind Mosca.
Selves and others merry-making:

Mos. And that, when I am lost in blended dust,
All they speak, or do, is sterling.

An hundred such as I am, in succession-
Your fool he is your great man's darling, Volp. Nay, that were too much, Mosca.
And your lady's sport and pleasure; Mos. You shall live,
Tongue and bauble are his treasure. Still, to delude these harpies.
Ei'n his face begetteth laughter,

Volp. Loving Mosca,
And he speaks truth free from slaughter; Tis well; my pillow, now, and let him enter.
He's the grace of ev'ry feast,

Now, my feigned cough, my phthisic, and my gout.
And sometimes the chiefest guest : My apoplexy, palsy, and catarrhs,
Hath his trencher, and his stool,

Help, with your forced functions, this my posture,
When wit waits upon the fool.

Wherein, these three years, I have milked their (, who would not be

hopes. He, he, he?

He comes, I hear him, uh, uh, r:n, uhr, O. Polp. Who's that? Away, look, Mosca.

SCENE III. [One knocks without. Mos. Fool, begone.

Mosca, VoLTORE, and VOLPONE. 'Tis signior Voltore, the advocate,

Nos. You still are, what you were, sir. Only I know him by his knock.

you Volp. Fetch me my gown,

(Of all the rest) are he, commands his love: My fürs and night-caps ; say, my couch's chan- And you do wisely, to preserve it, thus, ging :

With early visitation, and kind notes And let him entertain himself awhile,

Of your good meaning to him, which I know Without, i' the gallery. Now, now, my clients Cannot but come most grateful. Patron, sir, Begin their visitation! Vulture, kite,

Here's signior Voltore is comeRaven, gor-crow, all my birds of prey,

Volp. What say you ? That think me turning carcase, now they come: Mlos. Sir, signior Voltore is come this morning, I am not for 'em yet. How now? the news ? Mos. A piece of plate, sir.

Volp. I thank him. Volp. Of what bigness?

Mos. And hath brought Mos. Huge,

A piece of antique plate, bought of St Mark, Massy and antique, with your name inscribed,

With which he here presents you. And arms engraven.

Volp. He is welcome.
Volp. Good! and not a fox

Pray him to come more often.
Stretched on the earth, with fine delusive sleights, Mos. Yes.
Mocking a gaping crow? ha, Mosca ?

l'olt. What says he ? Mos. Sharp, sir.

Mos. He thanks you, and desires you to see l'olp. Give me my furs. Why dost thou laugh

him often.

Volp. Mosca.
Mos. I cannot chuse, sir, when I apprehend Mos. My patron ?
VOL. III.

с

To visit you.

so, man!

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