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Volt. I'm sorry,

seen, sir.

Volp. Bring him near ; where is he?

And return; make knots, and undo them; I long to feel his hand.

Give forked counsel ; take provoking gold Mos. The plate is here, sir.

On either hand, and put it up: These men, Volt, How fare you, sir ?

He knew, would thrive with their humility. Volp. I thank you, signior Voltore.

And, for his part, he thought he should be blessed, Where is the plate? mine eyes are bad.

To have his heir of such a suffering spirit,

So wise, so grave, of so perplexed a tongue, To see you still thus weak.

And loud withal, that could not wag, nor scarce Mos. That he is not weaker.

Lie still, without a fee; when every word Volp. You are too munificent.

Your worship but lets fall, is a cecchine! Volt. No, sir, would to Heaven,

Who's that one knocks; I would not have you I could as well give health to you, as that plate,

[Another knocks. Volp. You give, sir, what you can. I thank And yet-pretend you came, and went in haste; you. Your love

I'll fashion an excuse. And, gentle sir, Hath taste in this, and shall not be unanswered. When you do come to swim in golden lard, I pray you see me often.

Up to the arms in honey, that your chin Volt. Yes, I shall, sir.

Is borne up stiff with fatness of the flood, Volp. Be not far from me.

Think on your vassal ; but remember me: Mos. Do you observe that, sir?

I ha' not been your worst of clients. Volp. Hearken unto me still: it will concern you. Volt. Mosca Mos. You are a happy man, sir, know your Mos. When will you have your inventory good.

brought, sir? Volp. I cannot now last long

Or see a copy of the will ? anon, Mos. You are his heir, sir.

I'll bring 'em to you, sir. Away, be gone, Volt. Am I?

Put business i' your face.

[Erit VOLT, Volp. I feel me going, uh, uh, uh, uh.

Volp. Excellent Mosca ! I am sailing to my port, uh, uh, uh, uh,

Come hither, let me kiss thee. And I am glad I am so near my haven.

Mos. Keep you still, sir, Mos. Alas, kind gentleman; well, we must all Here is Corbaccio. go

Volp. Set the plate away, Volt. But Mosca

The vulture's gone, and the old raven's come.
Mos. Age will conquer.
Volt. Pr’ythee hear me.

SCENE IV.
Am I inscribed his heir for certain ?
Mos. Are you?

MOSCA, CORBACCIO, and VOLPONE.
I do beseech you, sir, you will vouchsafe

Mos. Betake you to your silence, and your To write me i' your family. All my hopes

sleep: Depend upon your worship. I am lost, Stand there, and multiply. Now shall we see. Except the rising sun do shine on me.

A wretch, who is, indeed, more impotent Volt. It shall both shine and warm thee, Mosca. Than this can feign to be; yet hopes to hop Mos. Sir,

Over his grave. Signior Corbaccio !
I am a man that have not done your love You're very welcome, sir.
All the worst offices : Here I wear your keys, Corb. How does your patron ?
See all your coffers and your caskets locked, Alos. Troth, as he did, sir; no amends.
Keep the poor inventory of your jewels,

Corb. What? mends he?
Your plate, and monies; I am your steward, sir, Mos. No, sir; he is rather worse.
Husband your goods are here.

Corb. That's well. Where is he?
Volt. But am I sole heir ?

Mlos. Upon his couch, sir, newly fallen asleep. Mos. Without a partner, sir, confirmed this Corb. Does he sleep well? morning;

Mos. No wink, sir, all this night,
The wax is warm yet, and the ink scarce dry Nor yesterday ; but slumbers.
Upon the parchment.

Corb. Good! He should take
Volt. Happy, happy me!

Some counsel of physicians : I have brought him By what good chance, swect Mosca ?

An opiate here from mine own doctorMos. Your desert, sir;

Mos. He will not hear of drugs. I know no second cause.

Corb. Why? I myself Volt. Thy modesty

Stood by, while 'twas made ; saw all the ingreIs loth to know it; well, we shall requite it.

dients, Mos. He ever liked your course, sir ; that first And know it cannot but most gently work. took him.

My life for his, 'tis but to make him sleep. I oft have heard him say, how he admired

Volp. Ay, his last sleep, if he would take it. Men of your large profession, that could speak Mos

. Sir, he has no faith in physic. To every cause, and things mere contraries, Corb. Say you ? say you? 'Till they were hoarse again, yet all be law; Mos. He has no faith in physic: he does think That, with most quick agility, could turn, Most of your doctors are the greater danger,

And worse disease, t'escape. I often have Corb. He came unto him, did he ? I thought so. Heard him protest, that your physician

Mos. Yes, and presented him this piece of plate. Should never be his heir.

Corb. To be his heir ? Corb. Not I his heir ?

Mos. I do not know, sir. Mos. Not your physician, sir.

Corb. True, I know it too. Corb. O no, no, no.

Mos. By your own scale, sir. I do not mean it.

Corb. Well; I shall prevent him, yet. See, Mos. No, sir, nor their fees

Mosca, look, He cannot brook: he says, they flay a man Here, I have brought a bag of bright cecchines, Before they kill him.

Will quite weigh down his plate. Corb. Right, I do conceive you.

Mos. Yea, marry, sir. Mos. And then they do it by experiment; This is true physic, this your sacred medicine ; For which the law not only doth absolve 'em, No talk of opiates, to this great elixir. But gives them great reward; and he is loth Corb. 'Tis aurum palpabile, if not potabile. To hire his death so.

Mos. It shall be ministered to him in his bowl? Corb. It is true, they kill,

Corb. Ay, do, do, do. With as much licence as a judge.

Mos. Most blessed cordial. This will recover Mos. Nay, more;

him. For he but kills, sir, where the law condemns, Corb. Yes, do, do, do. And these can kill him too.

Mos. I think it were not best, sir. Corb. Ay, or me;

Corb. What? Or any man. How does his apoplexy?

Mos. To recover him. Is that strong on him still?

Corb. O, no, no, no ; by no means. Mos. Most violent,

Mos. Why, sir, this His speech is broken, and his eyes are set, Will work some strange effect, if he but feel it. His face drawn longer than 'twas wont

Corb. 'Tis true, therefore forbear, I'll take my Corb. How? how?

venture ; Stronger than he was wont ?

Give me't again. Mos. No, sir; his face

Mos. At no hand; pardon me; Drawn longer than 'twas wont.

You shall not do yourself that wrong, sir. I Corb. O, good!

Will so advise you, you shall have it all. Mos. His mouth

Corb. How? Is ever gaping, and his eye-lids hang.

Mos. All, sir, 'tis your right, your own; no man Corb. Good.

Can claim a part: 'Tis yours, without a rival, Mos. A freezing numbness stiffens all his joints, Decreed by destiny. And makes the colour of his flesh like lead. Corb. How? how, good Mosca ? Corb. 'Tis good.

Mos. I'll tell you, sir. This fit he shall reMos. His pulse beats slow and dull. Corb. Good symptoms still.

Corb. I do conceive you. Mos. And from his brain

Mos. And, on first advantage Corb. Ha ! how ? not from his brain ? Of bis gained sense, will I re-importune him Mos. Yes, and from his brain

Unto the making of his testament ; Corb. I conceive you, good.

And shew him this. Jos. Flows a cold sweat, with a continual Corb. Good, good. rbeum

Mos. 'Tis betier, yet, Forth the resolved corners of his eyes.

If you will hear, sir. Corb. Is't possible? yet I am better, ha! Corb. Yes, with all my heart. How does he, with the swimming of his head ? Mos. Now, would I counsel you, make home Jlos. O, sir, 'tis past the Scotomy; he now

with speed; Hath lost his feeling, and hath left to snort : There frame a will ; whereto you shall inscribe Yon hardly can perceive him that he breathes. My master your sole heir. Corb. Excellent, excellent, sure I shall out-last Corb. And disinherit my son ? him :

Mos. O, sir, the better: for that colour
This makes me young again a score of years. Shall make it much more taking.
Mos. I was coming for you, sir.

Corb. O, but colour ?
Corb. Has he made his will ?

Mos. This will, sir, you shall send it unto me. What has he given me?

Now, when I come to inforce (as I will do) Mos. No, sir.

Your cares, your watchings, and your many Corb. Nothing ? ha?

prayers, Mos. He has not made his will, sir.

Your more than many gifts, your this day's preCorb. Oh, oh, oh.

sent, What, then, did Voltore, the lawyer, here? And last, produce your will ; where (without Mos. He smelt a carcase, sir, when he but heard

thought, My master was about his testament;

Or least regard, unto your proper issue, As I did urge him to it, for your good

A son so brave, and highly meriting)

cover

The stream of your diverted love hath throwu you Their senses dull, their seeing, hcaring, going,
Upon my master, and maile hin your heir : All dead before them; yea, their very teeth,
He cannot be so stupid, or stone-dead,

Their instruments of eating, failing them:
But out of conscience, and mere gratitude Yet this is reckon'd life! Nay, here was one,
Cork He must pronounce me his.

Is now gone home, that wishes to live longer!
Mos. 'Tis true.

Feels not his gout, nor palsy, feigns himself Corb. This plot did I think on before. Younger by scores of years, flatters his age, Míos. I do believe it.

With confident belying it, hopes he may Corb. Do you not believe it?

With charms, like Æson, have his youth reMos. Yes, sir.

stored : Coró. Mine own project.

And with these thoughts so battens, as if fate
Dios. Which when he hath done, sir Would be as easily cheated on, as he,
Corb. Published me his heir?

And all turns air ! Who's that there, now? a
Blos. And you so certaiu to survive him-

third?

(Another knocks. Corb. Ay.

Jos. Close, to your couch again: I hear his Mos. Being so lusty a man

voice. Corb. 'Tis true.

It is Corvino, our spruce merchant, Dios. Yes, sir

Volp. Dead Corb. I thought on that too. See, how he Blos. Another bout, sir, with your eyes. Who's should be

there?
The very organ, to express my thoughts !
Mos. You have not only done yourself a good-

SCENE V.
Corb. But multiplied it on my son ?
Mos. 'Tis right, sir.

Mosco, Corvino, and VOLPOne.
Corb. Still, my invention.

Mos. Signior Corvino!come most wish'd for! O, Blos. 'Las, sir, Heaven knows,

How happy were you, if you knew it, now! It hath been all my study, all my care,

Coro. Why? what? wherein?
(I e'en grow grey withal) how to work things Alos. The tardy hour is come, sir.
Corb. I do conceive, sweet Mosca.

Cory. He is not dead?
Dlos. You are he, for whom I labour here. Mos. Not dead, sir, but as good;
Cori. Ay, do, do, do: I'll straight about it. He knows no man.
Mos. Rook go with you, raven.

Corr. Ilow shall I do then?
Corb. I know thee honest,

Mos. Why, sir? Dlos. You do lie, sir

Coro. I have brought him here a pearl.
Corb, And-

Mlos. Perhaps he has
Alos. Your knowledge is no better than your So much remembrance left as to know you, sir;

He still calls on you; nothing but your naine
Corb. I do not doubt, to be a father to thee. Is in his mouth is your pearl orient, sir?
Mos. Nor I, to gull my brother of his blessing. Corr. Venice was never owner of the like.
Corb. I may ha' my youth restored to me, why Volp. Signior Corviuo.

Mos. Hark. Mos. Your worship is a precious ass

Volp. Signior Corvino. Corb. What say'st thou?'

Mos. He calls you, step and give it him. He's Dlos. I do desire your worship to make haste,

here, sir,
sir.

And he has brought you a rich pearl.
Corb. "Tis done, 'tis done, I go. (Erit. Corv. How do you, sir?
Voip. O, I shall burst;

Tell him it doubles the twelfth caract.
Let out my sides, let out my sides-

Mos. Sir,
Jos, Contain

He cannot understand, his hearing's gone;
Your flux of laughter, sir: you know, this hope And yet it comforts him to see you
Is such a bait, it covers my hook.

Coro. Say
l'olp. O, but thy working, and thy placing it! I have a diamond for him too.
I cannot hold; good rascal, let me kiss thee: Mos. Best shew't, sir,
I never knew thee in so rare a humour.

Put it into his hand ; 'tis only there
Mos. Alas! sir, I but do as I amí taught; He apprehends: he has his feeling yet:
Follow your grave instructions; give 'em words; See, how he grasps it!
Pour oil into their ears; and send them hence. Corr. 'Las, good gentleman !
Volp. "Tis true, 'tis true. What a rare pu- How pitiful the sight is !
nishment

Mos. Tut, forget, sir.
Is avarice, to itself?

The weeping of an heir should still be laughter, Mos. Ay, with our help, sir.

Under a visor. Volp. So many cares, so many maladies,

Corv. Why? am I his heir ? So many fears attending on old age,

Alos. Sir, I am sworn, I may not shew the will Yea, death so often calid on, as no wish

Till he be dead: but, here has been Corbaccio, Cau be more frequent with 'ein, their limbs faint, Here has been Voltore, here were others too,

cares, sir,

not

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pearl ?

less care

I cannot number 'em, they were so many, Why should you be thus scrupulous ? Pray you, All gaping here for legacies; but I,

sir. Taking the advantage of his naming yout,

Corv. Nay, at your discretion. (Signior Corvino, Signior Corvino) took

Mos Well, good sir, be gone. Paper, and pen, and ink, and there I ask'd him, Coro. I will not trouble him now, to take my Whom he would have his heir ? Corvino. Who Should be executor? Corvino. And,

Nos. Puh, nor your diamond. What a need. To any question he was silent to, I still interpreted the nods be made,

Is this afflicts you? Is not all here yours? (Through weakness) for consent: and sent home Am not I here? wbom you have made your th'others,

creature? Nothing bequeath'd them, but to cry and curse. That owe my being to you? Core. O, my dear Mosca. Does he not per Corv. Grateful Mosca! ceive us?

[They embrace. Thou art my friend, my fellow, my companion, Alos. No more than a blind harper. He knows My partner, and shalt share in all my fortunes. no man.

Blos. Excepting one. No face of friend, nor name of any servant, Cory. What's that? Who 'twas that fed him last, or gave him drink: Mos. Your gallant wife, sir. [Erit CORV. Not those he hath begotten, or brought up, Now, is he gone: We had no other means Can he remember.

To shoot him hence, but this. Corr. Has he children?

Volp. My divine Mosca ! Mos. Bastards,

Thou last to-day outgone thyself. Who's there? Some dozen, or more, that he begot on beggars,

(Another knocks. Gipsies, and Jews, and Blackanoors, when he I will be troubled with no more. Prepare was drunk,

Me music, dances, banquets, all delights ; Knew you not that, sir? 'Tis the common fable. The Turk is not more sensual in his pleasures, The dwarf, the fool, the eunuch are all his; Than will Volpone. Let me see, a pearl ? He's the true father of his family,

A diamond ? plate: cecchines ? Gw morning's In all, save me: but he has giv'n 'em nothing.

purchase; Coro. That's well, that's well. Art sure he Why, this is better than rob churches yet ; does not hear us?

Or lat, hy eating (once a month) a man. Mos. Sure, sir ? Why, look yon, credit your Who is't?

Mos. The beauteous lady Would-lue, sir, The pox approach, and add to your discases, Wise to the English knight, Sir Politic Would-be, If it would send you hence the sooner, sir. (This is the stile, sir, is directed me) For your incontinence it hath deserv'd it Hath sent to you, how you have slept to-night, Throughly and throughly, and the plague to boot. And if you would be visited. (You may come near, sir,) would would

Voip. Not now. close

Some three hours hence Those filthy eyes of your's, that flow with slime, Alus. I told the squire so much, Like two frog-pits; and those same hanging Polp. When I am high with mirth and wine: cheeks,

Then, then. Cover'd with hide, instead of skin: (Nay, help, 'fore Ileav'n, I wonder at the desperate valour sir,)

Of the bold English, that they dare let loose That look like frozen dish-clouts, set on end. Their wives to all encounters! Cort. Or, like an old smok'd wall, on which Mlos. Sir, this knight the rain

Had not his name for nothing, he is politic, Ran down in streaks.

And knows, howe'er his wife atfects strange airs, Mlos. Excellent, sir, speak out ;

She hath not yet the face to be dishonest.
You may be louder yet: A culvering,

But had she Signior Corvino's wife's face-
Discharged in his ear, would hardly bore it. Vo'p. Has she so rare a face?
Cord. His nose is like a common-shore, still Mos. 0, sir, the wonder,
running.

The blazing star of Italy ! a wench
Mos. 'Tis good! and, what his mouth? O'the first year! a beauty ripe as harvest !
Core. A very draught.

Whose skin is whiter than a swan all over! Mas, 0, stop it up

Than silver, show, or lilies ! a soft lip, Cory. By no means.

Would tempt you to eternity of kissing! Mos. Pray you let me.

And flesh that melteth, in the touch, to biood Faith, I could stifle him, rarely, with a pillow, Bright as your gold! and lovely as your yold! As well as any woman that should keep him. Volp. Why, had I not known this before? Corv. Do as you will, but I'll begone.

Alos. Alas, sir,
Mos. Be so;

Myself but yesterday discovered it.
It is your presence makes him last so long, Polp. How might I see her?
Corv. I pray you, ese no violence.

Nos. 0, not possible ;
Mos. No, sir, why

She's kept as wärily as is your gold :

own sense.

you

Once

Never does come abroad, never takes air,
But at a window. All her looks are sweet,
As the first grapes or cherries; and are watch'd
As near as they are.

Volp. I must see her

Mos. Sir,
There is a guard of ten spies thick upon her;
All his whole household: Each of which is set

Upon his fellow, and have all their charge,
When he goes out, when he comes in, examin'u.
Volp. I will go see her, though but at her

window.
Mos. In some disguise then.

Volp. That is true. I must
Maintain mine own shape, still the same: We'll
think,

(Ercunt,

ACT II.

long, sir,

Since you

Per. Good sir Politic:
SCENE I.

I

cry you mercy; I have heard much of you :

'Tis true, sir, of your raven. POLITIC WOULD-BE and PEREGRINE.

Pol. On your knowledge ? Pol. Sir, to a wise man, all the world's his Per. Yes, and your lion's whelping in the soil.

Tower. It is not Italy, nor France, nor Europe,

Pol. Another whelp! That must bound me, if my fates call me forth. Per. Another, sir. Yet, I protest, it is no salt desire

Pol. Now, Heaven ! Of seeing countries, shifting a religion, What prodigies be these! The fires at Berwick ! Nor any disaffection to the state

And the new star ! these things concurring, Where I was bred, (and unto which I owe

strange! My dearest plots) hath brought me out; much And full of omen ! Saw you these meteors ? less,

Per. I did, sir. That idle, antic, stale, gray-headed project Pol. Fearful ! Pray you, sir, confirm me, Of knowing men's minds and manners, with Were there three porpoises seen above the Ulysses:

bridge, But, a peculiar humour of my wife's,

As they give out?
Laid for this heighth of Venice, to observe, Per. Six, and a sturgcon, sir.
To quote, to learn the language, and so forth Pol. I am astonish'd !
I hope you travel, sir, with licence ?

Per. Nay, sir, be not so;
Per. Yes.

I'll tell you a greater prodigy than these---Pol. I dare the safelier converse -How Pol. What should these things portend !

Per. The very day left England?

(Let me be sure) that I put forth from London, Per. Seven weeks.

There was a whale discover'd in the river, Pol. So lately!

As high as Woolwich, that had waited there You ha' not been with my lord ambassador ! (Few know how many months) for the subversion Per. Not yet, sir.

Of the Stode fleet. Pol. Pray you, what news, sir, vents our cli Pol, Is't possible ? Believe it, mate?

'Twas either sent from Spain, or the archdukes ! I heard, last night, a most strange thing reported Spinola's whale, upon my life, my credit ! By some of my lord's followers, and I long Will they not leave these projects? Worthy sir, To hear how 'twill be seconded !

Some other news. Per. What was't, sir ?

Per. Faith, Stone, the fool, is dead; Pol. Marry, sir, of a raven, that should build and they do lack a tảvern-fool extremely. In a ship royal of the king's.

Pol. Is Mass' Stone dead ! Per. This fellow,

Per. He's dead, sir : Why, I hope Does he gull me, trow? or is gulld ? your name, You thought him not immortal? o, this knight sir?

(Were he well known,) would be a precious thing Pol. My name is Politic Would-be.

To fit our English stage! He that should write Per. 0, that speaks him.

But such a fellow, should be thought to feign A knight, sir?

Extremely, if not maliciously. Pol. A poor knight, sir.

Pol. Stone dead ! Per. Your lady

Per. Dead. Lord ! how deeply, sir, you apLies here, in Venice, for intelligence

prehend it? Of tyres, and fashions, and behaviour,

He was no kinsman to you? Among the courtezans? the fine lady Would-be? Pol. That I know of. Pol. Yes, sir; the spider and the bee oft- Well ! that same fellow was an unknown fool: times

Per. And yet you knew him, it seems ? Suck from one flower,

Pol. I did so, sir.

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