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His own most fair and proper wife; the beauty, Mos. Ay, now you have put your fortune in Only of price, in Venice
her hands. Coro. "'Tis well urg'd.
Why, i' faith, it is her modesty, I must quit her; Mos. To be your comfortress, and to preserve If you were absent, she would be more coming; you.
I know it; and dare undertake for her. Volp. Alas, I am past already! 'pray you, thank What woman can, before her husband ? 'pray you, him,
Let us depart, and leave her here. For his good care, and promptness; but for that Coro. Sweet Celia, 'Tis a vain labour, e'en to fight 'gainst Heaven; Thou may'st redeem all, yet ; I'll say no more: Applying fire to a stone: (uh, uh, uh, uh,) If not, esteem yourself as lost. Nay, stay there. Making a dead leaf grow again. I take
[Erit Cory. His wishes gently, though ; and you may tell him, Cel. O God, and his good angels! whither, What I've done for him : marry, my state is hope
Is shame fled human breasts that with such case Will him to pray for me; and tuse his fortune, Men dare put off your honours, and their own! With reference, when he comes to't.
Is that, which ever was a cause of life, Mos. Do you hear, sir?
Now plac'd beneath the basest circumstance? Go to him, with your wife.
And modesty an exile made, for money? Cort. Heart of my father!
Volp. Ay, in Corvino, and such earth-fed Wilt thou persist thus? come, I pray thee come,
minds, (Leaping off from his couch, Thou seest 'tis nothing, Celia, by this hand,
That never tasted the true heav'n of love. I shall grow violent. Come, do't, I say.
Assure thee, Celia, he that would sell thee, Cel. Sir, kill me rather: I will take down Only for hope of gain, and that uncertain, poison,
He would have sold his part of Paradise Eat burning coals, do any thing
For ready money, had he met a copeman. Corp. Be damn'd.
Why art thou ’maz'd, to see me thus reviv'd ? Heart! I will drag thee hence, home, by the hair ; Rather applaud thy beauty's miracle ; Cry thee a strumpet, through the streets; rip up 'Tis thy great work: that hath, not now alone, Thy mouth, unto thine ears; and slit thy nose,
But sundry times, rais'd me, in several shapes, Like a raw rotchet--Do not tempt me, conie.
And, but this morning, like a mountebank, Yield, I am loth—Death!I will buy some slave, To see thee at thy window. Ay, before Whom I will kill, and bind thee to him, alive ; I would have left my practice, for thy love, And at my window hang you forth ; devising In varying figures, I would have contended Some monstrous crime, which I, in capital letters,
With the blue Proteus, or the horned flood. Will eat into thy flesh with aquafortis,
Now art thou welcome.
Nor let thy false imagination
That I was bed-rid, make thee think I am so : Coro. Be not thus obstinate, I ha' not de Thou shalt not find it. I am, now, as fresh, serv'd it:
As hot, as high, and in as jovial plight, Think who it is intreats you. 'Pry thee, sweet ;
As when (in that so celebrated scene, Good faith, thou shalt have jewels, gowns, at
At recitation of our comedy, tires,
For entertainment of the great Valoys) What thou wilt think, and ask. Do you but kiss I acted young Antinous; and attracted him,
The eyes and ears of all the ladies present, Or touch him, but. For my sake. At my suit. T admire each graceful gesture, note, and footThis once. No? not? I shall remember this.
Come, my Celia, let us prode,
Time will not be ours for ever, 'Tis very scurvy: and you are
He, at length, our good will sever; Mos. Nay, good sir,
Spend not then his gifts in duin. Cord. An arrant locust, by Heaven, a locust. Suns, that set, inuy rise again : Whore,
But if once we lose this light, Crocodile, that hast thy tears prepar'd,
'Tis with us perpetual night. Expecting how thou'lt bid 'em flow.
Why should we defer our joys ? Mos. Nay, 'pray you, sir, she will consider. Fume and rumour ure but toys, Cel. Would my life wou'd serve to satisfy. Cannot we delude the eyes
Coro. 'S'death, if she would but speak to him, Of a few poor household spies ? And save my reputation, 'twere somewhat;
Or his eusier ears beguile, But, spitefully to affect my utter ruin !.
Thus removed by our wile VOL. III.
I am your
'Tis no sin love's fruits to steal ;
That the curious shall not know But the sweet thefts to reveal :
How to tell them as they flow ; To be taken, to be seen,
And the envious, when i hey find These have crimes accounted been.
What their number is, be pin’d. Cel. Some syren. blast me, or dire lightning Cel. If you have ears that will be pierc'd, or strike
eyes This my offending face!
That can be open'd; a heart, may be touch'd; Volp. Why droops my Celia ?
Or any part that yet sounds man about you ; Thou hast, in place of a base husband, found If you have touch of holy saints, or ileav'n, A worthy lover: use thy fortune well,
Do me the grace to let me 'scape. If not, With secrecy and pleasure. See, behold, Be bountiful, and kill me. You do know, What thou art queen of; not in expectation, I am a creature, hither ill betray’d, As I feed others; but possess'd and crown’d. By one, whose shame I would forget it were ; See here, a rope of pearl : and each more orient If you will deign me neither of these graces, Than that the brave Egyptian queen carous’d: Yet feed your wrath, sir, rather than your lust ; Dissolve, and drink 'em. See, a carbuncle, (It is a vice comes nearer manliness) May put out both the eyes of our St Mark; And punish that unhappy crime of nature, A diamond would have bought Lollia Paulina, Which you miscall my beauty: flay my face, When she came in, like star-light, hid with Or poison it with ointments, for seducing jewels,
Your blood to this rebellion. Rub these hands, That were the spoils of provinces; take these, With what may cause an eating leprosy, And wear, and lose 'em; yet remains an ear E'en to my bones and marrow : Any thing ring
That may disfavour me, save in my honour. To purchase them again, and this whole state. And I will kneel to you, pray for you, pay down A gem, but worth a private patrimony,
A thousand hourly vows, sir, for your health ; Is nothing: We will eat such at a meal. Report, and think you virtuousThe heads of parrots, tongues of nightingales, Voip. Think me cold, The brains of peacocks, and of estriches, Frozen and impotent, and so report me! Shall be our food; and, could we get the phenix, That I had Nestor's hernia, thou wouldst think. (Though nature lost her kind) she were our dish. I do degenerate, and abuse my nation, Cel. Good sir, these things might move a mind To play with opportunity thus long: affected
I should have done the act, and then have With such delights; but I, whose innocence
parley'd Is all I can think wealthy, or worth th' enjoying, Yield, or I'll force thee. And which once lost, I have nought to lose be Cel. O! just God. yond it,
Volp. In vainCannot be taken with these sensual baits :
Bon. Forbear, foul ravisher, libidinous swine, If you have conscience
(Leuping out from where Mosca had Volp. 'Tis the beggar's virtue. If thou hast wisdom, hear me, Celia.
Free the forc'd lady, or thou dy'st, impostor. Thy bathis shall be the juice of July-flowers, But that I'm loath to snatch thy punishment Spirit of roses, and of violets,
Out of the hand of justice, thou should’st, yet, The milk of unicorns, and panther's breath,
Be made the timely sacrifice of vengeance, Gather’d in bags, and mix'd with Cretan wines. Before this altar, and this dross, thy idol. Our drink shall be prepared gold, and amber; Lady, let's quit the place, it is the den Which we will take, until my roof whirl round Of villany; fear nought, you have a guard : With the vertigo : And my dwarf shall dance, And he, e'er long, shall meet his just reward. My eunuch sing, my fool make up the antic,
(Ex. Bon, and CEL.
Mosco and VOLPONE.
To beat out my unlucky brains ! Or some quick negro, or cold Russian;
Volp. Here, here. And I will meet thee in as many shapes : What! dost thou bleed? Where we may so transfuse our wand'ring souls Mos. O, that his well-driv'n sword Out at our lips, and score up sums of pleasures, Had been so covetous to have cleft me down,
Unto the navel, e'er I liv'd to see
You are his only; and mine also; are you not? My life, my hopes, my spirits, my patron, all Mos. Who? I, Sir! Thus desperately engaged, by my error.
Volt. You, sir. What device is this about a Volp. Woe on thy fortune!
will? Mos. And my follies, sir.
Mos. A plot for you, sir. Volp. Th' hast made me miserable.
Volt. Come, put not your foists upon me; I Mos. And myself, sir.
shall scent 'em. Who would have thought he would have heark Mos. Did you not hear it? en'd so?
Volt. Yes, I hear Corbaccio Volp. What shall we do?
Hath made your patron there, his heir.
Mos. 'Tis true,
And you have promis'd ?
Mos. For your good I did, sir. I bear some footing officers, the Saffi,
Nay more, I told his son, brought, hid him here, (They knock without. Where he might hear his father pass the deed; Come to apprehend us! I do feel the brand Being persuaded to it by this thought, sir, Hissing already at my forehead: Now,
That the unnaturalness, first of the act, Mine ears are boring.
And then his father's oft disclaiming him, Mos. To your couch, sir, you
(Which I did mean to help on) would sure enMake that place good however. Guilty men Suspect what they deserve still. Signior Cor- To do some violence upon his parent, baccio!
On which the law should take sufficient hold,
And you be stated in a double hope:
Truth be my comfort, and my conscience,
My only aim was to dig you a fortune CORBACCIO, Mosca, VOLTORE, and VOLPONE. Out of these two old rotten sepulchres
Volt. I cry thee mercy, Mosca. Corb. Why! how now, Mosca?
Mos. Worth your patience, Mos. O, undone, amaz’d, sir.
And your greatmerit, sir. And see the change! Your son (I know not by what accident)
Volt. Why? what success? Acquainted with your purpose to my patron, Mos. Most hapless! you must help, sir. Touching your will, and making him your heir, Whilst we expected th' old raven, in comes Entered our house with violence, his sword drawn, Corvino's wife, sent hither by her husband Sought for you, call'd you wretch, unnatural, Volt. What, with a present ? Vow'd he would kill you.
Mos. No, sir, on visitation : Corb. Me?
(I'll tell you how anon) and, staying long, Mos. Yes, and my patron.
The youth he grows impatient, rushes forth, Corb. This act shall disinherit him indeed : Seizeth the lady, wounds me, makes her swear Here is the will
(Or he would murder her, that was his vow) Mos. 'Tis well, sir.
T'affirm my patron to have done her
rape : Corb. Right and well.
Which, how unlike it is, you see! and, hence, Be you as careful now for me.
With that pretext, he's gone t accuse his father, Mos. My life, sir,
Defame my patron, defeat you Is not more tender'd. I am only yours.
Volt. Where's her husband ? Corb. How does he? will he die shortly, think'st Let him be sent for strait. thou?
Mos. Sir, I'll go fetch him. Mos. I fear he'll outlast May.
Volt. Bring him to the Scrutineo. Corb. To-day?
Mos. Sir, I will. Mos. No, last out May, sir.
Volt. This must be stopt. Corb. Could'st thou not gi' him a dram? Mos. O, you do nobly, sir. Mos. O, by no means, sir.
Alas, 'twas labour'd all, sir, for your good; Corb. Nay, I'll not bind you.
Nor was there want of counsel in the plot : Volt. This is a knave, I see.
But fortune can, at any time, o'erthrow Mos. How, signior Voltore ! did he hear me? The projects of a hundred learned clerks, sir. Polt. Parasite!
Corb. What's that? Mos. Who's that! O, sir, most timely wel Volt. Will't please you, sir, to go along?
Mos. Patron, go on, and pray for our success. Volt. Scarce, to the discovery of your tricks, Volp. Need makes devotion: Heav’n your laI fear,
Pol. With certain projects, that I have :
Which I may not discover.
Per. If I had
But one to wager with, I would lay odds, now,
And at a certain rate, from Rotterdam, Only for this meridian; fit to be known Where I have correspondence. There's a letter, Of your crude traveller, and they are these. Sent me from one of th' States, and to that purI will not touch, sir, at your phrase, or clothes,
pose; For they are old.
He cannot write his name, but that's his mark. Per. Sir, I have better.
Per. He is a chandler? Pol. Pardon ; I meant, as they are themes. Pol. No, a cheesemonger. Per. O, sir, proceed:
There are some others too, with whom I treat, I'll slander you no more of wit, good sir. About the same negociation; Pol. First, for your garb, it must be grave and And, I will undertake it: For, 'tis thus, serious;
I'll do't with ease, I've cast it all. Your hoigh Very reserv'd, and lockt; not tell a secret, Carries but three men in her, and a boy: On any terms, not to your father; scarce And she shall make me three returns a year: A fable, but with caution; make sure choice So, if there come but one of three, I save, Both of your company and discourse; beware, If two, I can defalk. But, this is now, You never speak a truth
If my main project fail. Per. How!
Per. Then you have others ? Pol. Not to strangers,
Pol. I should be loth to draw the subtle air For those be they you must converse with most; Of such a place, without my thousand aims. Others I would not know, sir, but at distance, I'll not dissemble, sir, where'er I come, So as I still might be a saver in 'em :
I love to be considerative; and 'tis true, You shall have tricks else past upon you hourly. I have, at my free hours, thought upon And then, for your religion, profess none; Some certain goods, unto the state of Venice, But wonder at the diversity of all;
Which I do call my cautions and, sir, which And, for your part, protest, were there no other I mean (in hope of pension propound But simply the laws o'th' land, you could con To the great council
, then into the forty, tent you:
So to the ten. My means we made alreadyNich. Machiavel, and monsieur Bodine, both Per. By whom? Were of this mind. Then, must you learn the use Pol. Sir, one, that, then this place be obAnd handling of your silver fork, at meals :
scure, The metal of your glass; (these are main matters Yet he can sway, and the hear him. He's With your Italian) and to know the hour, A commandadore, When you must eat your melons, and your figs. Per. What, a common serjeant ? Per. Is that a point of state too?
Pol. Sir, such as they are, put it in their Pol. Here it is.
mouths, For your Venetian, if he see a man
What they should say, sometimes; as well as Preposterous in the least, he has him straight;
Pol. But you shall swear unto me, on your All took me for a citizen of Venice,
gentry, I knew the forms so well
Not to anticipate Per. And nothing else.
Per. Ay, sir? Pol. I had read Contarene, took me a house, Pol. Nor reveal Dealt with my Jews, to furnish it with move A circumstance-My paper is not with me. ables
Per. O, but you can remember, sir.
No family is here without its box;
Unto the state, sir; with it in our pockets,
Might not I go into the arsenal;
With a Dutch merchant, 'bout Ragion Delstato. Or you; come out again ; and none the wiser ? From him I went, and paid a moccinigo, Per. Except yourself, sir.
For piecing my silk stockings; by the way, Pol. Go to, then. I, therefore,
I cheapen'd sprats: and, at St Mark's, I urin'd. Advertise the state, how fit it were,
'Faith, these are politic notes ! That none but such as we known patriots,
Pol. Sir, I do slip
Lady, NANO, Women, Politic, and PEREBy present demonstration, whether a ship
GRINE. Newly arriv'd from Soria, or from
Lady. Where should this loose knight be, Any suspected part of all the Levant,
trow? sure, he's hous'd. Be guilty of the plague: And, where they use Nano. Why, then he's fast. To lie out forty, fifty days, sometimes,
Ludy. Ay, he plays both, with me: About the lazaretto, for their trial ;
I pray you, stay." This heat will do more harm I'll save that charge, and loss unto the merchant, To my complexion, than his heart is worth. And, in an hour, clear the doubt.
(I do not care to hinder, but to take him :) Per. Indeed, sir?
How it comes off! Pol. Or I will lose my labour.
Wom. My master's yonder. Per. 'My faith, that's much.
Lady. Where? Pol. Nay, sir, conceive me. 'Twill cost me,i Wom. With a young gentleman. in onions,
Lady. That same's the party! Some thirty livres
In man's apparel. 'Pray you, sir, jog my knight: Per. Which is one pound sterling.
I will be tender to his reputation,
Pol. 'Tis she indeed, sir, you shall know her. I stick my onions, cut in halves; the other
I durst compare
Per. Being your wife, she cannot miss that.
Here is a gentleman, 'pray you use him fairly, Now 'tis known, 'tis nothing,
He seems a youth, but he isPer. You are right, sir.
Lady. None? Pol. I would I had my notę.
Pol. Yes, one Per. 'Faith, so would I:
Has put his face, as soon, into the worldBut, you ha' done well, for once, sir.
Lady. You mean, as early? but to-day? Pol. Were I false,
Pol. How's this! Or would be made so, I could shew you reasons, Lady. Why in this habit, sir ? You apprehend How I could sell this state, now, to the Turk; Spite of their galleys, or their
Well, Master Would-be, this doth not become Per. Pray you, sir Pol.
you; Pol. I have 'em not about me.
I had thought the odour, sir, of your good name, Per. That I fear'd.
Had been more precious to you,
would They're there, sir?
not Pol. No, this is my diary,
Have done this dire massacre on your honour; Wherein I note my actions of the day.
One of your gravity, and rank, besides ! Per. 'Pray you, let's see, sir. What is here? But knights, I see, care little for the oath Notandum,
They make to ladies; chiefly, their own ladies. A rat had gnawn my spur-leathers; notwith Pol. Now, by my spurs, (the symbol of my standing,
knighthood) I put on new, and did go forth: But, first,
Per. Lord! how his brain is humbled for an I threw three beans over the threshold. Item,
oath. I went, and bought two tooth-picks, whereof one Pol. I reach you not. I burst immediately, in a discourse
Lady. Right, sir, your polity