« PreviousContinue »
I will begin, er'n now, to vex 'em all :
Mos. Good, sir.
Enter CASTRONE and NANO.
Mos. What do you mean, sir?
Volp. O, I shall have instantly my vulture, crow, Raven, come flying hither, on the news, To peck for carrion; my she-wolf, and all Greedy, and full of expectationMos. And then to have it ravish'd from their
months ? Volp. 'Tis true, I will ha' thee put on a gown, And take upon thee as thou wert mine heir ; Shew 'em a will; open that chest, and reach Forth one of those that has the blanks. I'll strait Put in thy name.
Mos. It will be rare, sir.
Folp. Ay, When they ev'n gape, and find themselves de
Volp. And thou use them scurvily. Dispatch, Get on the gown.
Mos. But what, sir, if they ask
Fotp. Say it was corrupted.
have it Coffin'd up instantly, and sent away, Volp. Any thing, what thou wilt. Hold, here's
my will; Get thee a cap, a count-book, pen and ink, Papers afore thee; sit, as thou wert taking An inventory of parcels : I'll get up Behind the curtain, on a stool, and hearken; Sometimes peep over; see how they do look; With what degrees their blood doth leave their
faces ! 0, 'twill afford me a real meal of laughter. Mos. Your advocate will turn stark dull upon it. Polp. It will take off his oratory's edge. Mos. But your Clarissimo, old round-back, he Will crump you, like a hog-louse, with the touch.
Folp. And what Corvino ?
Mos. 0, sir, look for him,
face Flow'd all with oils.
Mas. And sweat, sir. Why, your gold
Is such another med cine, it dries up
Acrisius's guards. It is the thing, Makes all the world, her grace, her youth, her
Mos. It is the vulture :
Volp. I'll to my place, thou to thy posturc.
[VOLP. peeps from behind a traverse. Or this Corbaccio? Corb. What do these here?
Corv. Mosca, the will,
Mos. Ten suits of hangings
Volp. Ay, i' their garters, Mosca. Now then Volt. Certain he doth delude all these for me. hopes
Corb. Mosca, the heir ? Are at the gasp.
Volp. O, his four eyes have found it ! Volt. Mosca the heir !
Corb. I'm cozen'd, cheated, by a parasite slave ; Corb. What's that?
Harlot, thou'st gull’d me. Volp. My advocate is dumb! look to my mer Mos. Yes, sir. Stop your mouth, chant!
Or I shall draw the only tooth is left. He has heard of some strange storm, a ship is Are not you he, that filthy covetous wretch, lost,
With the three legs, that here, in hope of prey, He faints · My lady will swoon. Old glazen eyes, ave, any time this three years, snuft about, He hath not reach'd his despair yet.
With your most grov'ling nose; and would have Corb. All these are out of hope : I'm, sure, the
Me to the pois’ning of my patron, sir ! Coro. But, Mosca
Are not you he that have, to-day in court, Mos. Two cabinets
Profess’d the disinheriting of your son? Coro. Is this in earnest ?
Perjured yourself? Go home, and die, and stink: Mos. One of ebony,
If you but croak a syllable, all comes out : Coro. Or do you but delude me
Away and call your porters, go, go, stink. (Erit. Mos. The other, mother of pearl-I am very Volp. Excellent varlet ! busy.
Volt. Now, my faithful Mosca,
Mos. Sir ?
I mar'le, you'll be thus troublesome.
Volt. Nay, leave off now, they are gone. Mos. To-morrow, or next day, I shall be at Mos. Why, who are you? leisure
What? who did send for you? O, cry you mercy, To talk with you all.
Reverend sir! good faith, I am griev'd for you, Corv. Is this my large hopes issue ?
That any chance of mine should thus defeat Lady. Sir, I must have a fairer answer. Your, I must needs say, most deserving travels : Mos. Madam?
But, I protest, sir, it was cast upon me, Marry, and shall: 'Pray you, fairly, quit my house. And I could, almost, wish to be without it, Nay, raise no tempest with your looks ; but, hark But that the will o'th' dead must be observed. you:
Marry, my joy is, that you need it not ;, Remember what your ladyship offered me, You have a gift, sir, (thank your education) To put you in an heir ; go to think on't; Will never let you want, while there are men, And what you said, e'en your best madams did And malice, to breed causes. Would I had For maintenance, and why not you ? enough. But half the like, for all my fortune, sir. Go home, and use the poor Sir Pol. your knight, If I have any suits (as I do hope, well;
Things being so easy and direct, I shall not) For fear I tell some riddles : Go, be melancholic. I will make bold with your obstreperous aid
(Exit. (Conceive me) for your fee, sir. In mean time, Volp. O, my fine devil!
You, that have so much law, I know ha' the Corv. Mosca, 'pray you a word.
conscience Mos. Lord ! will not you take your dispatch Not to be covetous of what is mine. hence yet?
Good sir, I thank you
'twill help Methinks, of all
, you should have been th' ex To set up a young man. Good faith, you look ample.
As you were costive; best go home and purge, Why should you stay here? with what thought ?
(E.rit. what promise?
Volp. Bid him eat lettuce well : My witty misHear you, do not you know, I know you an ass ?
chief, And that you would most fain have been a wit- Let me embrace thee! O, that I could now toll,
Transform thee to a Venus—Mosca, go If fortune would have let you? that you are Straight, take my habit of Clarissimo, A declar'd cuckold, on good terms ? this pearl, And walk the streets; be seen, torment 'em You'll say, was your's right, this diamond? I'll not deny't, but thank you. Much here else? We must pursue, as well as plot. Who would It may be so. Why, think that these good works Have lost this feast ! May help to bide your bad: I'll not betray you Mos. I doubt it will lose them. Although you be but extraordinary,
Volp. (), my recovery shall recover all. And have it only in title, it sufficeth.
That I could now but think on some disguise Go home, be melancholic too, or mad. (Erit. To meet 'em in, and ask 'em questions. Volp. Rare Mosca ! how his villany becomes How I would vex 'em still at every turn! him !
Mos. Sir, I can fit you.
Volp. Canst thou?
The gentleman you met at th' port, to-day, Mus. Yes, I know
That told you he was newly arriv'dOne oth commandatori, sir, so like you;
Poi. Ay, was a fugitive punk ? Him will I straight make drunk, and bring you Per. No, sir, a spy set on you: his habit.
And he has made relation to the senate, Volp. A rare disguise, and answering thy brain ! That you profess'd to him, to have a plot, 0, I will be a sharp disease unto 'em.
so sell the state of Venice to the Turk. Mos. Sir, you must look for curses
Pol. O me! Volp. 'Till they burst;
Per. For which warrants are sign'd by this The fox fares ever best, when he is curst.
Pol. Alas, sir, I have none, but notes
Drawn out of play books—-
Per. All the better, sir. 1 Mer. I warrant you.
Pol. And some essays. What shall I do? Per. All my ambition is to fright him only. Per. Sir, best 2 Mer. If you could ship him away, 'twere Convey yourself into a sugar chest, excellent.
Or, if you would lie round, a frail were rare: 3 Mer. To Zant, or to Aleppo.
And I could send you aboard. Per. Yes, and ha' his
Pol. Sir, I but talk'd so, Adventures put in the book of voyages,
For discourse sake merely. And his guli'd story regist'red for truth.
Per. Hark, they are there. Well, gentlemen, when I am in a while,
(They knock without. And that you think us warm in our discourse, Pol. I am a wretch, a wretch! Know your approaches,
Per, What will you do, sir? 1 Mer. Trust it to our care.
ye ne'er a curran-butt to leap into?
They'll put you to the rack : you must be Enter Woman.
sudden. Per. Save you, fair lady. Is sir Pol. within ? Pol. Sir, I have an engineWoon. I do not know, sir.
3 Mer. Sir Politic Would-be ? Per. 'Pray you, say unto him,
2 Mer. Where is he? Here is a merchant, upon earnest business, Pol. That I have thought upon, before time. Desires to speak with him.
Per. What is it? Wom. I will see, sir.
Pol. I shall ne'er endure the torture. Per. 'Pray you.
Marry, it is, sir, of a tortoise-shell, I see the family is all female, here.
Fitted for these extremities: 'Pray you, sir, help Tom. He says, sir, he has weighty affairs of state,
Here I have a place, sir, to put back my legs, That now require him whole, some other time (Please you to lay it on, sir) with this cap, You may possess him.
And my black gloves. I'll lie, sir, like a tortoise, Per. 'Pray you say again,
'Till they are gone. If those require him whole, these will exact him, Per. And call you this an engine? Whercof I bring him tidings.-What might be Pol. Mine own device-Good sir, bid my His grave affair of state, now ? how to make
wife's women Bolognian sausages, here in Venice, sparing
To burn my papers. One o'th' ingredients.
1 Mer. Where's he hid ? [They rush in, Wom. Sir, he says, he knows
3 Mer. We must, By your word, tidings, that you are no states And will, sure, find him. man,
2 Mer. Which is his study? And therefore wills you to stay.
i Mer. What are you, sir? Per. Sweet, 'pray you return him;
Per. I am a merchant, that came here
To look upon this tortoise.
1 Mer. St Mark! What beast is this?
Per. It is a fish.
2 Mer. Come out, here. Pol. Sir, I must crave
Per. Nay, you may strike him, sir, and tread Your courteous pardon. There hath chanc'd, to upon
him : day,
He'll bear a cart. Unkind disaster 'twixt my lady and me;
1 Mer. What! to run over him? And I was penning my apology
Per. Yes, sir. To give her satisfaction, as you come, now.
3 Mer. Let's jump upon him. Per. Sir, I am griev'd, I bring you worse dis 2 Mer. Can he not go? aster;
Per. He creeps, sit.
1 Mer. Let's see him creep.
And so will keep me, 'till he share at least. Per. No, good sir, you will hurt him.
To cozen him of all, were but a cheat 2 Mer. 'Heart, I'll see him creep; or prick Well plac’d; no man would construe it a sin:
Let his sport pay for't, this is callid the fox-trap. 3 Mer. Come out, here. Per. 'Pray you, sir, creep a little.
SCENE VI. 1 Mer. Forth. 2 Mer. Yet farther.
CORBACCIO, CORVINO, and VOLPONE. Per. Good sir, creep.
Corb. They say the court is set. 2 Mer. We'll see his legs.
Cory. We must maintain (They pull off the shell, and discover him. Our first tale good, for both our reputations. 3 Mer. Gad's so, he has garters !
Corb. Why? mine's no tale: my son would 1 Mer. Ay, and gloves !
there have kill'd me. 2 Mer. Is this your fearful tortoise?
Coro. That's true, I had forgot: mine is, I am Per. Now, Sir Politic, we are even; For your next project, I shall be prepard: But, for your will, sir. I am sorry for the funeral of your notes, sir. Corb. Ay, I'll come upon him 1 Mer. 'Twere a rare motion, to be seen in For that, hereafter, now his patron's dead. Fleet-street !
Volp. Signior Corvino ! and Corbaccio! Sir, 2 Mer. Ay, i'the term.
Much joy unto you. 1 Mer. Or Smithfield, in the fair.
Cory. Of what ? 3 Mer. Methinks 'tis but a melancholic sight! Volp. The sudden good Per. Farewell, most politic tortoise.
Dropp'd down upon you Pol. Where's my lady?
Corb. Where? Knows she of this?
Volp. (And, none knows how) Wom. I know not, sir.
From old Volpone, sir. Pol. Enquire.
Corb. Out, arrant knave! 0, I shall be the fable of all feasts;
Volp. Let not your too much wealth, sir, make The freight of the Gazetti; ship-boys tale ;
you furious. And, wh is worst, even talk for ordinaries. Corb. Away, thou varlet.
Wom. My lady's come most melancholic home, Volp. Why, sir? And says, sir, she will straight to sea, for physic. Corb. Dost thou mock me? Pol. And I, to shun this place and clime for Volp. You mock the world, sir; did you not ever ;
change wills? Creeping, with house on back; and think it well, Corb. Out, harlot. To shrink my poor head in my politic shell
. Volp. 0! belike you are the man,
You grow not mad withal : I love your spirit.
You are not over-leaven'd with your fortune.
You should ha' some would swell, now, like a VOLPONE and MOSCA.— The first in the habit
wine-fat, of a Commandatore ; the other, of a Claris. With such an autumn–Did he gi' you all, sir ?
Coro. Avoid, you rascal. Volp. Am I then like him?
Volp. 'Troth, your wife has shewn Mos. O, sir, you are he:
Herself a very woman; but you are well, No man can sever you.
You need not care, you have a good estate Volp. Good.
To bear it out, sir, better by this chance; Mos. But, what am I?
Except Corbaccio have a share, Volp. 'Fore Heav'n, a brave Clarissimo, thou Corb. Hence, varlet. becom'st it!
Volp. You will not be a’known, sir: Why, 'tis Pity thou wert not born one.
wise; Mos. If I hold
Thus do all gamesters, at all games, dissemble. My made one, 'twill be well.
No man will seem to win. Here comes my vulVolp. I'll go and see
ture, What news, first, at the court.
(Exit. Heaving his beak up in the air, and snuffing. Mos. Do so. My fox Is out of his hole, and, e'er he shall re-enter,
VOLTORE and VOLPONE.
Volt. Outstript thus, by a parasite, a slave? All. Here.
Would run on errands ? and make legs for crums? Mos. Go, recreate yourselves abroad; go, sport. Well, what I'll doSo, now I have the keys, and am possess’d. Volp. The court stays for your worship. Since he will needs be dead afore his time, I e'en rejoice, sir, at your worship’s happiness, I'll bury him, or gain by him. I am his heir : And that it fell into so learned hands
That understand the fingering
Would stand the fury of a distracted cuckold. Volt. What do you mean?
(MoscA walks by them. Volp. I mean to be a suitor to your worship, Corb. What! come again? For the small tenement, out of reparations ; Volp. Upon 'em, Mosca; save me. That, at the end of your long row of houses, Corb. The air's infected where he breathes. By the Piscaria: It was, in Volpone's time, Corv. Let's fly him. Your predecessor, e'er he grew diseased,
Volp. Excellent basilisk ! turn upon the vul-
VOLTORE, MOSCA, and VOLPONE. Volp. Why, if your worship give me but your Volt. Well, flesh-fly, it is summer with you hand,
now: That I may ha' the refusal ; I have done. Your winter will come on. 'Tis a mere toy to you, sir; candle-rents :
Mos. Good advocate, As your learn'd worship knows
Pr'y thee not rail, nor threaten out of place, thus; Volf. What do I know!
Thou’lt make a solecism (as madam says.) Volp. Marry, no end of your wealth, sir; God Get you a biggen more: your brain breaks loose. decrease it.
Volt. Well, sir. Folt. Mistaken knave! what, mock'st thou my Volp. Would you ha' me beat the insolent misfortune?
slave? Volp. His blessing on your heart, sir; would Throw dirt upon his first good clothes ? 'twere more.
Volt. This same
Volp. Sir, the court
In troth stays for you ; I am mad, a mule,
That never read Justinian, should get up, CORBACCIO, CORVINO, (Mosca passant,) and And ride an advocate. Had you no quirk, VOLPONE.
To avoid gullage, sir, by such a creature? Corb. See, in our habit ! see the impudent I hope you do but jest; he has not done't: varlet !
This's but confederacy, to blind the rest. Coro. That I could shoot mine eyes at him, You are the heir? like gun-stones.
Volt. A strange, officious, Volp. But is this true, sir, of the parasite ? Troublesome knave! thou dost torment me. Corb. Again, t afflict us? Monster!
Volp. I know Volp. In good faith, sir,
It cannot be, sir, that you should be cozen'd; I'm heartily grieved, a beard of your grave length 'Tis not within the wit of man to do it: Should be so over-reach'd. I never brook'd You are so wise, so prudent, and, 'tis fit, That parasite's hair; methought his nose should | That wealth and wisdom still should go together.
Four Avocatori, NOTARIO, Commandadore, BoVolp. Methinks
NARIO, CELIA, CORBACCIO, CORVINO, VOLYet you, that are so traded i'th' world,
TORE, and VOLPONE. A witty merchant, the fine bird, Corvino,
1 Avoc. Are all the parties here? That have such mortal emblems on your name, Not. All but the advocate. Should not have sung your shame, and dropt your
2 Avoc. And here he comes. cheese,
Avoc. Then bring 'em forth to sentence. To let the fox laugh at your emptiness.
Volt. O, my most honour'd fathers, let your Cord. Sirrah, you think the privilege of the
Once win upon your justice, to forgive-
Corv. Will he betray himself ?
Volt. For which, now struck in conscience, Polp. Sir, sir, another time
here I prostrate Coro. Nay, now.
Myself at your offended feet for pardon. Podp. O gad, sir !. I were a wise man,
12 Avoc. Arise.