THE ALCHEMIST

BEN JONSON

Dramatis Personae

Scene: London.

The Alchemist to the lady most deserving her name and blood: Lady Mary Wroth.

Madam,

In the age of sacrifices, the truth of religion was not in the greatness and fat of the offerings, but in the devotion and zeal of the sacrificers: else what could a handle of gums have done in the sight of a hecatomb? or how might I appear at this altar, except with those affections that no less love the light and witness, than they have the conscience of your virtue? If what I offer bear an acceptable odour, and hold the first strength, it is your value of it, which remembers where, when, and to whom it was kindled. Otherwise, as the times are, there comes rarely forth that thing so full of authority or example, but by assiduity and custom grows less, and loses. This, yet, safe in your judgment (which is a Sidney’s) is forbidden to speak more, lest it talk or look like one of the ambitious faces of the time, who, the more they paint, are the less themselves.

To the Reader

If thou beest more, thou art an understander, and then I trust thee. If thou art one that takest up, and but a pretender, beware of what hands thou receivest thy commodity; for thou wert never more fair in the way to be cozened, than in this age, in poetry, especially in plays: wherein, now the concupiscence of dances and of antics so reigneth, as to run away from nature, and be afraid of her, is the only point of art that tickles the spectators. But how out of purpose, and place, do I name art? When the professors are grown so obstinate contemners of it, and presumers on their own naturals, as they are deriders of all diligence that way, and, by simple mocking at the terms, when they understand not the things, think to get off wittily with their ignorance. Nay, they are esteemed the more learned, and sufficient for this, by the many, through their excellent vice of judgment. For they commend writers, as they do fencers or wrestlers; who if they come in robustuously, and put for it with a great deal of violence, are received for the braver fellows: when many times their own rudeness is the cause of their disgrace, and a little touch of their adversary gives all that boisterous force the foil. I deny not, but that these men, who always seek to do more than enough, may some time happen on some thing that is good, and great; but very seldom; and when it comes it doth not recompense the rest of their ill. It sticks out, perhaps, and is more eminent, because all is sordid and vile about it: as lights are more discerned in a thick darkness, than a faint shadow. I speak not this, out of a hope to do good to any man against his will; for I know, if it were put to the question of theirs and mine, the worse would find more suffrages: because the most favour common errors. But I give thee this warning, that there is a great difference between those, that, to gain the opinion of copy, utter all they can, however unfitly; and those that use election and a mean. For it is only the disease of the unskilful, to think rude things greater than polished; or scattered more numerous than composed.

The Alchemist

Argument

The sickness hot, a master quit, for fear,
His house in town, and left one servant there;
Ease him corrupted, and gave means to know

A Cheater, and his punk; who now brought low,
Leaving their narrow practice, were become
Cozeners at large; and only wanting some
House to set up, with him they here contract,
Each for a share, and all begin to act.
Much company they draw, and much abuse,
In casting figures, telling fortunes, news,
Selling of flies, flat bawdry with the stone,
Till it, and they, and all in fume are gone.

Prologue

Fortune, that favours fools, these two short hours,
We wish away, both for your sakes and ours,
Judging spectators; and desire, in place,
To the author justice, to ourselves but grace.
Our scene is London, ’cause we would make known,
No country’s mirth is better than our own:
No clime breeds better matter for your whore,
Bawd, squire, impostor, many persons more,
Whose manners, now called humours, feed the stage;
And which have still been subject for the rage
Or spleen of comic writers. Though this pen
Did never aim to grieve, but better men;
Howe’er the age he lives in doth endure
The vices that she breeds, above their cure.
But when the wholesome remedies are sweet,
And in their working gain and profit meet,
He hopes to find no spirit so much diseased,
But will with such fair correctives be pleased:
For here he doth not fear who can apply.
If there be any that will sit so nigh
Unto the stream, to look what it doth run,
They shall find things, they’d think or wish were done;
They are so natural follies, but so shown,
As even the doers may see, and yet not own.

Act I

Scene I

A room in Lovewit’s house.

Face

Believ’t, I will.

Subtle

Thy worst. I fart at thee.

Dol Common

Have you your wits? Why, gentlemen! For love⁠—

Face

Sirrah, I’ll strip you⁠—

Subtle

What to do? Lick figs
Out at my⁠—

Face

Rogue, rogue!⁠—out of all your sleights.

Dol Common

Nay, look ye, sovereign, general, are you madmen?

Subtle

O, let the wild sheep loose. I’ll gum your silks
With good strong water, an you come.

Dol Common

Will you have
The neighbours hear you? Will you betray all?
Hark! I hear somebody.

Face

Sirrah⁠—

Subtle

I shall mar
All that the tailor has made, if you approach.

Face

You most notorious whelp, you insolent slave,
Dare you do this?

Subtle

Yes, faith; yes, faith.

Face

Why, who
Am I, my mongrel? Who am I?

Subtle

I’ll tell you,
Since you know not yourself.

Face

Speak lower, rogue.

Subtle

Yes, you were once (time’s not long past) the good,
Honest, plain, livery-three-pound-thrum, that kept
Your master’s worship’s house here in the Friars,
For the vacations⁠—

Face

Will you be so loud?

Subtle

Since, by my means, translated Suburb-Captain.

Face

By your means, Doctor Dog!

Subtle

Within man’s memory,
All this I speak of.

Face

Why, I pray you, have I
Been countenanced by you, or you by me?
Do but collect, sir, where I met you first.

Subtle

I do not hear well.

Face

Not of this, I think it.
But I shall put you in mind, sir;⁠—at Pie-corner,
Taking your meal of steam in, from cooks’ stalls,
Where, like the father of hunger, you did walk
Piteously costive, with your pinched-horn-nose,
And your complexion of the Roman wash,
Stuck full of black and melancholic worms,
Like powder corns shot at the artillery-yard.

Subtle

I wish you could advance your voice a little.

Face

When you went pinned up in the several rags
You had raked and picked from dunghills, before day;
Your feet in mouldy slippers, for your kibes;
A felt of rug, and a thin threaden cloak,
That scarce would cover your no buttocks⁠—

Subtle

So, sir!

Face

When all your alchemy, and your algebra,
Your minerals, vegetals, and animals,
Your conjuring, cozening, and your dozen of trades,
Could not relieve your corps with so much linen
Would make you tinder, but to see a fire;
I gave you countenance, credit for your coals,
Your stills, your glasses, your materials;
Built you a furnace, drew you customers,
Advanced all your black arts; lent you, beside,
A house to practise in⁠—

Subtle

Your master’s house!

Face

Where you have studied the more thriving skill
Of bawdry since.

Subtle

Yes, in your master’s house.
You and the rats here kept possession.
Make it not strange. I know you were one could keep
The buttery-hatch still locked, and save the chippings,
Sell the dole beer to aqua-vitae men,
The which, together with your Christmas vails
At post-and-pair, your letting out of counters,
Made you a pretty stock, some twenty marks,
And gave you credit to converse with cobwebs,
Here, since your mistress’ death hath broke up house.

Face

You might talk softlier, rascal.

Subtle

No, you scarab,
I’ll thunder you in pieces: I will teach you
How to beware to tempt a Fury again,
That carries tempest in his hand and voice.

Face

The place has made you valiant.

Subtle

No, your clothes.⁠—
Thou vermin, have I ta’en thee out of dung,
So poor, so wretched, when no living thing
Would keep thee company, but a spider, or worse?
Raised thee from brooms, and dust, and watering-pots,
Sublimed thee, and exalted thee, and fixed thee
In the third region, called our state of grace?
Wrought thee to spirit, to quintessence, with pains
Would twice have won me the philosopher’s work?
Put thee in words and fashion, made thee fit
For more than ordinary fellowships?
Given thee thy oaths, thy quarrelling dimensions,
Thy rules to cheat at horse-race, cock-pit, cards,
Dice, or whatever gallant tincture else?
Made thee a second in mine own great art?
And have I this for thanks! Do you rebel,
Do you fly out in the projection?
Would you be gone now?

Dol Common

Gentlemen, what mean you?
Will you mar all?

Subtle

Slave, thou hadst had no name⁠—

Dol Common

Will you undo yourselves with civil war?

Subtle

Never been known, past equi clibanum,
The heat of horse-dung, under ground, in cellars,
Or an alehouse darker than deaf John’s; been lost
To all mankind, but laundresses and tapsters,
Had not I been.

Dol Common

Do you know who hears you, Sovereign?

Face

Sirrah⁠—

Dol Common

Nay, General, I thought you were civil.

Face

I shall turn desperate, if you grow thus loud.

Subtle

And hang thyself, I care not.

Face

Hang thee, collier,
And all thy pots, and pans, in picture, I will,
Since thou hast moved me⁠—

Dol Common

O, this will o’erthrow all.

Face

Write thee up bawd in Paul’s, have all thy tricks
Of cozening with a hollow coal, dust, scrapings,
Searching for things lost, with a sieve and sheers,
Erecting figures in your rows of houses,
And taking in of shadows with a glass,
Told in red letters; and a face cut for thee,
Worse than Gamaliel Ratsey’s.

Dol Common

Are you sound?
Have you your senses, masters?

Face

I will have
A book, but barely reckoning thy impostures,
Shall prove a true philosopher’s stone to printers.

Subtle

Away, you trencher-rascal!

Face

Out, you dog-leech!
The vomit of all prisons⁠—

Dol Common

Will you be
Your own destructions, gentlemen?

Face

Still spewed out
For lying too heavy on the basket.

Subtle

Cheater!

Face

Bawd!

Subtle

Cowherd!

Face

Conjurer!

Subtle

Cutpurse!

Face

Witch!

Dol Common

O me!
We are ruined, lost! Have you no more regard
To your reputations? Where’s your judgment? ’Slight,
Have yet some care of me, of your republic⁠—

Face

Away, this brach! I’ll bring thee, rogue, within
The statute of sorcery, tricesimo tertio
Of Harry the Eighth: ay, and perhaps thy neck
Within a noose, for laundering gold and barbing it.

Dol Common

Snatches Face’s sword.
You’ll bring your head within a cockscomb, will you?
And you, sir, with your menstrue⁠—
Dashes Subtle’s vial out of his hand.
Gather it up.⁠—
’Sdeath, you abominable pair of stinkards,
Leave off your barking, and grow one again,
Or, by the light that shines, I’ll cut your throats.
I’ll not be made a prey unto the marshal,
For ne’er a snarling dog-bolt of you both.
Have you together cozened all this while,
And all the world, and shall it now be said,
You’ve made most courteous shift to cozen yourselves?
To Face.
You will accuse him! You will “bring him in
Within the statute!” Who shall take your word?
A whoreson, upstart, apocryphal Captain,
Whom not a Puritan in Blackfriars will trust
So much as for a feather:
To Subtle.
and you, too,
Will give the cause, forsooth! You will insult,
And claim a primacy in the divisions!
You must be chief! As if you only had
The powder to project with, and the work
Were not begun out of equality?
The venture tripartite? All things in common?
Without priority? ’Sdeath! You perpetual curs,
Fall to your couples again, and cozen kindly,
And heartily, and lovingly, as you should,
And lose not the beginning of a term,
Or, by this hand, I shall grow factious too,
And take my part, and quit you.

Face

’Tis his fault;
He ever murmurs, and objects his pains,
And says, the weight of all lies upon him.

Subtle

Why, so it does.

Dol Common

How does it? Do not we
Sustain our parts?

Subtle

Yes, but they are not equal.

Dol Common

Why, if your part exceed today, I hope
Ours may, tomorrow match it.

Subtle

Ay, they may.

Dol Common

May, murmuring mastiff! Ay, and do. Death on me!
Help me to throttle him.

Seizes Subtle by the throat.
Subtle

Dorothy! Mistress Dorothy!
’Ods precious, I’ll do anything. What do you mean?

Dol Common

Because o’ your fermentation and cibation?

Subtle

Not I, by heaven⁠—

Dol Common

Your Sol and Luna
To Face.
—help me.

Subtle

Would I were hanged then? I’ll conform myself.

Dol Common

Will you, sir? Do so then, and quickly: swear.

Subtle

What should I swear?

Dol Common

To leave your faction, sir,
And labour kindly in the common work.

Subtle

Let me not breathe if I meant aught beside.
I only used those speeches as a spur
To him.

Dol Common

I hope we need no spurs, sir. Do we?

Face

’Slid, prove today, who shall shark best.

Subtle

Agreed.

Dol Common

Yes, and work close and friendly.

Subtle

’Slight, the knot
Shall grow the stronger for this breach, with me.

They shake hands.
Dol Common

Why, so, my good baboons! Shall we go make
A sort of sober, scurvy, precise neighbours,
That scarce have smiled twice since the king came in,
A feast of laughter at our follies? Rascals,
Would run themselves from breath, to see me ride,
Or you t’ have but a hole to thrust your heads in,
For which you should pay ear-rent? No, agree.
And may Don Provost ride a feasting long,
In his old velvet jerkin and stained scarfs,
My noble Sovereign, and worthy General,
Ere we contribute a new crewel garter
To his most worsted worship.

Subtle

Royal Dol!
Spoken like Claridiana, and thyself.

Face

For which at supper, thou shalt sit in triumph,
And not be styled Dol Common, but Dol Proper,
Dol Singular: the longest cut at night,
Shall draw thee for his Dol Particular.

Bell rings without.
Subtle

Who’s that? One rings. To the window, Dol:

Exit Dol.

—pray heaven,
The master do not trouble us this quarter.

Face

O, fear not him. While there dies one a week
O’ the plague, he’s safe, from thinking toward London.
Beside, he’s busy at his hop-yards now;
I had a letter from him. If he do,
He’ll send such word, for airing of the house,
As you shall have sufficient time to quit it:
Though we break up a fortnight, ’tis no matter.

Re-enter Dol.
Subtle

Who is it, Dol?

Dol Common

A fine young quodling.

Face

O,
My lawyer’s clerk, I lighted on last night,
In Holborn, at the Dagger. He would have
(I told you of him) a familiar,
To rifle with at horses, and win cups.

Dol Common

O, let him in.

Subtle

Stay. Who shall do’t?

Face

Get you
Your robes on: I will meet him as going out.

Dol Common

And what shall I do?

Face

Not be seen; away!

Exit Dol.

Seem you very reserved.

Subtle

Enough.

Exit.
Face

Aloud and retiring.
God be wi’ you, sir,
I pray you let him know that I was here:
His name is Dapper. I would gladly have stayed, but⁠—

Dapper

Within. Captain, I am here.

Face

Who’s that?⁠—He’s come, I think, Doctor.

Enter Dapper.
Good faith, sir, I was going away.
Dapper

In truth
I am very sorry, Captain.

Face

But I thought
Sure I should meet you.

Dapper

Ay, I am very glad.
I had a scurvy writ or two to make,
And I had lent my watch last night to one
That dines today at the sheriff’s, and so was robbed
Of my past-time.

Re-enter Subtle in his velvet cap and gown.

Is this the cunning-man?

Face

This is his worship.

Dapper

Is he a Doctor?

Face

Yes.

Dapper

And have you broke with him, Captain?

Face

Ay.

Dapper

And how?

Face

Faith, he does make the matter, sir, so dainty
I know not what to say.

Dapper

Not so, good Captain.

Face

Would I were fairly rid of it, believe me.

Dapper

Nay, now you grieve me, sir. Why should you wish so?
I dare assure you, I’ll not be ungrateful.

Face

I cannot think you will, sir. But the law
Is such a thing⁠—and then he says, Read’s matter
Falling so lately.

Dapper

Read! He was an ass,
And dealt, sir, with a fool.

Face

It was a clerk, sir.

Dapper

A clerk!

Face

Nay, hear me, sir. You know the law
Better, I think⁠—

Dapper

I should, sir, and the danger:
You know, I showed the statute to you.

Face

You did so.

Dapper

And will I tell then! By this hand of flesh,
Would it might never write good court-hand more,
If I discover. What do you think of me,
That I am a chiaus?

Face

What’s that?

Dapper

The Turk was here.
As one would say, do you think I am a Turk?

Face

I’ll tell the Doctor so.

Dapper

Do, good sweet Captain.

Face

Come, noble Doctor, pray thee let’s prevail;
This is the gentleman, and he is no chiaus.

Subtle

Captain, I have returned you all my answer.
I would do much, sir, for your love⁠—But this
I neither may, nor can.

Face

Tut, do not say so.
You deal now with a noble fellow, Doctor,
One that will thank you richly; and he is no chiaus:
Let that, sir, move you.

Subtle

Pray you, forbear⁠—

Face

He has
Four angels here.

Subtle

You do me wrong, good sir.

Face

Doctor, wherein? To tempt you with these spirits?

Subtle

To tempt my art and love, sir, to my peril.
Fore heaven, I scarce can think you are my friend,
That so would draw me to apparent danger.

Face

I draw you! A horse draw you, and a halter,
You, and your flies together⁠—

Dapper

Nay, good Captain.

Face

That know no difference of men.

Subtle

Good words, sir.

Face

Good deeds, sir, Doctor Dogs-meat. ’Slight, I bring you
No cheating Clim o’ the Cloughs or Claribels,
That look as big as five-and-fifty, and flush;
And spit out secrets like hot custard⁠—

Dapper

Captain!

Face

Nor any melancholic under-scribe,
Shall tell the vicar; but a special gentle,
That is the heir to forty marks a year,
Consorts with the small poets of the time,
Is the sole hope of his old grandmother;
That knows the law, and writes you six fair hands,
Is a fine clerk, and has his cyphering perfect.
Will take his oath o’ the Greek Testament,
If need be, in his pocket; and can court
His mistress out of Ovid.

Dapper

Nay, dear Captain⁠—

Face

Did you not tell me so?

Dapper

Yes; but I’d have you
Use master Doctor with some more respect.

Face

Hang him, proud stag, with his broad velvet head!⁠—
But for your sake, I’d choke, ere I would change
An article of breath with such a puckfist:
Come, let’s be gone.

Going.
Subtle

Pray you let me speak with you.

Dapper

His worship calls you, Captain.

Face

I am sorry
I e’er embarked myself in such a business.

Dapper

Nay, good sir; he did call you.

Face

Will he take then?

Subtle

First, hear me⁠—

Face

Not a syllable, ’less you take.

Subtle

Pray you, sir⁠—

Face

Upon no terms but an assumpsit.

Subtle

Your humour must be law.
He takes the four angels.

Face

Why now, sir, talk.
Now I dare hear you with mine honour. Speak.
So may this gentleman too.

Subtle

Why, sir⁠—
Offering to whisper Face.

Face

No whispering.

Subtle

Fore heaven, you do not apprehend the loss
You do yourself in this.

Face

Wherein? For what?

Subtle

Marry, to be so importunate for one,
That, when he has it, will undo you all:
He’ll win up all the money in the town.

Face

How!

Subtle

Yes, and blow up gamester after gamester,
As they do crackers in a puppet-play.
If I do give him a familiar,
Give you him all you play for; never set him:
For he will have it.

Face

You are mistaken, Doctor.
Why he does ask one but for cups and horses,
A rifling fly; none of your great familiars.

Dapper

Yes, Captain, I would have it for all games.

Subtle

I told you so.

Face

Taking Dapper aside.
’Slight, that is a new business!
I understood you, a tame bird, to fly
Twice in a term, or so, on Friday nights,
When you had left the office, for a nag
Of forty or fifty shillings.

Dapper

Ay, ’tis true, sir;
But I do think now I shall leave the law,
And therefore⁠—

Face

Why, this changes quite the case.
Do you think that I dare move him?

Dapper

If you please, sir;
All’s one to him, I see.

Face

What! For that money?
I cannot with my conscience; nor should you
Make the request, methinks.

Dapper

No, sir, I mean
To add consideration.

Face

Why then, sir,
I’ll try.⁠—
Goes to Subtle.
Say that it were for all games, Doctor.

Subtle

I say then, not a mouth shall eat for him
At any ordinary, but on the score,
That is a gaming mouth, conceive me.

Face

Indeed!

Subtle

He’ll draw you all the treasure of the realm,
If it be set him.

Face

Speak you this from art?

Subtle

Ay, sir, and reason too, the ground of art.
He is of the only best complexion,
The Queen of Fairy loves.

Face

What! Is he?

Subtle

Peace.
He’ll overhear you. Sir, should she but see him⁠—

Face

What?

Subtle

Do not you tell him.

Face

Will he win at cards too?

Subtle

The spirits of dead Holland, living Isaac,
You’d swear, were in him; such a vigorous luck
As cannot be resisted. ’Slight, he’ll put
Six of your gallants to a cloak, indeed.

Face

A strange success, that some man shall be born to.

Subtle

He hears you, man⁠—

Dapper

Sir, I’ll not be ingrateful.

Face

Faith, I have confidence in his good nature:
You hear, he says he will not be ingrateful.

Subtle

Why, as you please; my venture follows yours.

Face

Troth, do it, Doctor; think him trusty, and make him.
He may make us both happy in an hour;
Win some five thousand pound, and send us two on’t.

Dapper

Believe it, and I will, sir.

Face

And you shall, sir.
Takes him aside.
You have heard all?

Dapper

No, what was’t? Nothing, I, sir.

Face

Nothing!

Dapper

A little, sir.

Face

Well, a rare star
Reigned at your birth.

Dapper

At mine, sir! No.

Face

The Doctor
Swears that you are⁠—

Subtle

Nay, Captain, you’ll tell all now.

Face

Allied to the Queen of Fairy.

Dapper

Who! That I am?
Believe it, no such matter⁠—

Face

Yes, and that
You were born with a cawl on your head.

Dapper

Who says so?

Face

Come,
You know it well enough, though you dissemble it.

Dapper

I’fac, I do not; you are mistaken.

Face

How!
Swear by your fac, and in a thing so known
Unto the Doctor? How shall we, sir, trust you
In the other matter? Can we ever think,
When you have won five or six thousand pound,
You’ll send us shares in’t, by this rate?

Dapper

By Jove, sir,
I’ll win ten thousand pound, and send you half.
I’fac’s no oath.

Subtle

No, no, he did but jest.

Face

Go to. Go thank the Doctor: he’s your friend,
To take it so.

Dapper

I thank his worship.

Face

So!
Another angel.

Dapper

Must I?

Face

Must you! ’Slight,
What else is thanks? Will you be trivial?⁠—Doctor,
Dapper gives him the money.
When must he come for his familiar?

Dapper

Shall I not have it with me?

Subtle

O, good sir!
There must a world of ceremonies pass;
You must be bathed and fumigated first:
Besides the Queen of Fairy does not rise
Till it be noon.

Face

Not, if she danced, tonight.

Subtle

And she must bless it.

Face

Did you never see
Her royal Grace yet?

Dapper

Whom?

Face

Your aunt of Fairy?

Subtle

Not since she kissed him in the cradle, Captain;
I can resolve you that.

Face

Well, see her Grace,
Whate’er it cost you, for a thing that I know.
It will be somewhat hard to compass; but
However, see her. You are made, believe it,
If you can see her. Her Grace is a lone woman,
And very rich; and if she take a fancy,
She will do strange things. See her, at any hand.
’Slid, she may hap to leave you all she has:
It is the Doctor’s fear.

Dapper

How will’t be done, then?

Face

Let me alone, take you no thought. Do you
But say to me, Captain, I’ll see her Grace.

Dapper

“Captain, I’ll see her Grace.”

Face

Enough.

Knocking within.
Subtle

Who’s there?
Anon.
Aside to Face.
—Conduct him forth by the back way.⁠—
Sir, against one o’clock prepare yourself;
Till when you must be fasting; only take
Three drops of vinegar in at your nose,
Two at your mouth, and one at either ear;
Then bathe your fingers’ ends and wash your eyes,
To sharpen your five senses, and cry “hum”
Thrice, and then “buz” as often; and then come.

Exit.
Face

Can you remember this?

Dapper

I warrant you.

Face

Well then, away. It is but your bestowing
Some twenty nobles ’mong her Grace’s servants,
And put on a clean shirt: you do not know
What grace her Grace may do you in clean linen.

Exeunt Face and Dapper.
Subtle

Within. Come in! Good wives, I pray you forbear me now;
Troth I can do you no good till afternoon⁠—

Re-enters, followed by Drugger.

What is your name, say you? Abel Drugger?

Drugger

Yes, sir.

Subtle

A seller of tobacco?

Drugger

Yes, sir.

Subtle

Umph!
Free of the grocers?

Drugger

Ay, and’t please you.

Subtle

Well⁠—
Your business, Abel?

Drugger

This, and’t please your worship;
I am a young beginner, and am building
Of a new shop, and’t like your worship, just
At corner of a street:⁠—Here is the plot on’t⁠—
And I would know by art, sir, of your worship,
Which way I should make my door, by necromancy,
And where my shelves; and which should be for boxes,
And which for pots. I would be glad to thrive, sir:
And I was wished to your worship by a gentleman,
One Captain Face, that says you know men’s planets,
And their good angels, and their bad.

Subtle

I do,
If I do see them⁠—

Re-enter Face.
Face

What! My honest Abel?
Though art well met here.

Drugger

Troth, sir, I was speaking,
Just as your worship came here, of your worship:
I pray you speak for me to Master Doctor.

Face

He shall do anything.⁠—Doctor, do you hear?
This is my friend, Abel, an honest fellow;
He lets me have good tobacco, and he does not
Sophisticate it with sack-lees or oil,
Nor washes it in muscadel and grains,
Nor buries it in gravel, under ground,
Wrapped up in greasy leather, or pissed clouts:
But keeps it in fine lily pots, that, opened,
Smell like conserve of roses, or French beans.
He has his maple block, his silver tongs,
Winchester pipes, and fire of Juniper:
A neat, spruce, honest fellow, and no goldsmith.

Subtle

He is a fortunate fellow, that I am sure on.

Face

Already, sir, have you found it? Lo thee, Abel!

Subtle

And in right way toward riches⁠—

Face

Sir!

Subtle

This summer
He will be of the clothing of his company,
And next spring called to the scarlet; spend what he can.

Face

What, and so little beard?

Subtle

Sir, you must think,
He may have a receipt to make hair come:
But he’ll be wise, preserve his youth, and fine for’t;
His fortune looks for him another way.

Face

’Slid, Doctor, how canst thou know this so soon?
I am amused at that!

Subtle

By a rule, Captain,
In metoposcopy, which I do work by;
A certain star in the forehead, which you see not.
Your chestnut or your olive-coloured face
Does never fail: and your long ear doth promise.
I knew’t by certain spots, too, in his teeth,
And on the nail of his mercurial finger.

Face

Which finger’s that?

Subtle

His little finger. Look.
You were born upon a Wednesday?

Drugger

Yes, indeed, sir.

Subtle

The thumb, in chiromancy, we give Venus;
The forefinger, to Jove; the midst, to Saturn;
The ring, to Sol; the least, to Mercury,
Who was the lord, sir, of his horoscope,
His house of life being Libra; which foreshowed,
He should be a merchant, and should trade with balance.

Face

Why, this is strange! Is it not, honest Nab?

Subtle

There is a ship now, coming from Ormus,
That shall yield him such a commodity
Of drugs
Pointing to the plan.
—This is the west, and this the south?

Drugger

Yes, sir.

Subtle

And those are your two sides?

Drugger

Ay, sir.

Subtle

Make me your door, then, south; your broad side, west:
And on the east side of your shop, aloft,
Write Mathlai, Tarmiel, and Baraborat;
Upon the north part, Rael, Velel, Thiel.
They are the names of those mercurial spirits,
That do fright flies from boxes.

Drugger

Yes, sir.

Subtle

And
Beneath your threshold, bury me a loadstone
To draw in gallants that wear spurs: the rest,
They’ll seem to follow.

Face

That’s a secret, Nab!

Subtle

And, on your stall, a puppet, with a vice
And a court-fucus to call city-dames:
You shall deal much with minerals.

Drugger

Sir, I have.
At home, already⁠—

Subtle

Ay, I know you have arsenic,
Vitriol, sal-tartar, argaile, alkali,
Cinoper: I know all.⁠—This fellow, Captain,
Will come, in time, to be a great distiller,
And give a say⁠—I will not say directly,
But very fair⁠—at the philosopher’s stone.

Face

Why, how now, Abel! Is this true?

Drugger

Aside to Face.
Good Captain,
What must I give?

Face

Nay, I’ll not counsel thee.
Thou hear’st what wealth (he says, spend what thou canst,)
Thou’rt like to come to.

Drugger

I would gi’ him a crown.

Face

A crown! And toward such a fortune? Heart,
Thou shalt rather gi’ him thy shop. No gold about thee?

Drugger

Yes, I have a portague, I have kept this half-year.

Face

Out on thee, Nab! ’Slight, there was such an offer⁠—
Shalt keep’t no longer, I’ll give’t him for thee. Doctor,
Nab prays your worship to drink this, and swears
He will appear more grateful, as your skill
Does raise him in the world.

Drugger

I would entreat
Another favour of his worship.

Face

What is’t, Nab?

Drugger

But to look over, sir, my almanack,
And cross out my ill-days, that I may neither
Bargain, nor trust upon them.

Face

That he shall, Nab:
Leave it, it shall be done, ’gainst afternoon.

Subtle

And a direction for his shelves.

Face

Now, Nab,
Art thou well pleased, Nab?

Drugger

’Thank, sir, both your worships.

Face

Away.

Exit Drugger.

Why, now, you smoaky persecutor of nature!
Now do you see, that something’s to be done,
Beside your beech-coal, and your corsive waters,
Your crosslets, crucibles, and cucurbites?
You must have stuff brought home to you, to work on:
And yet you think, I am at no expense
In searching out these veins, then following them,
Then trying them out. ’Fore God, my intelligence
Costs me more money, than my share oft comes to,
In these rare works.

Subtle

You are pleasant, sir.

Re-enter Dol.

—How now!
What says my dainty Dolkin?

Dol Common

Yonder fishwife
Will not away. And there’s your giantess,
The bawd of Lambeth.

Subtle

Heart, I cannot speak with them.

Dol Common

Not afore night, I have told them in a voice,
Thorough the trunk, like one of your familiars.
But I have spied sir Epicure Mammon⁠—

Subtle

Where?

Dol Common

Coming along, at far end of the lane,
Slow of his feet, but earnest of his tongue
To one that’s with him.

Subtle

Face, go you and shift.

Exit Face.

Dol, you must presently make ready, too.

Dol Common

Why, what’s the matter?

Subtle

O, I did look for him
With the sun’s rising: ’marvel he could sleep,
This is the day I am to perfect for him
The magisterium, our great work, the stone;
And yield it, made, into his hands: of which
He has, this month, talked as he were possessed.
And now he’s dealing pieces on’t away.⁠—
Methinks I see him entering ordinaries,
Dispensing for the pox, and plaguey houses,
Reaching his dose, walking Moorfields for lepers,
And offering citizens’ wives pomander-bracelets,
As his preservative, made of the elixir;
Searching the spittal, to make old bawds young;
And the highways, for beggars, to make rich.
I see no end of his labours. He will make
Nature ashamed of her long sleep: when art,
Who’s but a step-dame, shall do more than she,
In her best love to mankind, ever could:
If his dream lasts, he’ll turn the age to gold.

Exeunt.

Act II

Scene I

An outer room in Lovewit’s house.

Enter Sir Epicure Mammon and Surly.
Sir Epicure Mammon

Come on, sir. Now, you set your foot on shore
In Novo Orbe; here’s the rich Peru:
And there within, sir, are the golden mines,
Great Solomon’s Ophir! He was sailing to’t,
Three years, but we have reached it in ten months.
This is the day, wherein, to all my friends,
I will pronounce the happy word, Be Rich;
This day you shall be spectatissimi.
You shall no more deal with the hollow dye,
Or the frail card. No more be at charge of keeping
The livery-punk for the young heir, that must
Seal, at all hours, in his shirt: no more,
If he deny, have him beaten to’t, as he is
That brings him the commodity. No more
Shall thirst of satin, or the covetous hunger
Of velvet entrails for a rude-spun cloak,
To be displayed at Madam Augusta’s, make
The sons of Sword and Hazard fall before
The golden calf, and on their knees, whole nights
Commit idolatry with wine and trumpets:
Or go a feasting after drum and ensign.
No more of this. You shall start up young viceroys,
And have your punks, and punketees, my Surly.
And unto thee I speak it first, Be Rich.
Where is my Subtle, there? Within, ho!

Face

Within.
Sir,
He’ll come to you by and by.

Sir Epicure Mammon

That is his firedrake,
His Lungs, his Zephyrus, he that puffs his coals,
Till he firk nature up, in her own centre.
You are not faithful, sir. This night, I’ll change
All that is metal, in my house, to gold:
And, early in the morning, will I send
To all the plumbers and the pewterers,
And by their tin and lead up; and to Lothbury
For all the copper.

Pertinax Surly

What, and turn that too?

Sir Epicure Mammon

Yes, and I’ll purchase Devonshire and Cornwall,
And make them perfect Indies! You admire now?

Pertinax Surly

No, faith.

Sir Epicure Mammon

But when you see th’ effects of the Great Medicine,
Of which one part projected on a hundred
Of Mercury, or Venus, or the moon,
Shall turn it to as many of the sun;
Nay, to a thousand, so ad infinitum:
You will believe me.

Pertinax Surly

Yes, when I see’t, I will.
But if my eyes do cozen me so, and I
Giving them no occasion, sure I’ll have
A whore, shall piss them out next day.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Ha! Why?
Do you think I fable with you? I assure you,
He that has once the flower of the sun,
The perfect ruby, which we call elixir,
Not only can do that, but, by its virtue,
Can confer honour, love, respect, long life;
Give safety, valour, yea, and victory,
To whom he will. In eight and twenty days,
I’ll make an old man of fourscore, a child.

Pertinax Surly

No doubt; he’s that already.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Nay, I mean,
Restore his years, renew him, like an eagle,
To the fifth age; make him get sons and daughters,
Young giants; as our philosophers have done,
The ancient patriarchs, afore the flood,
But taking, once a week, on a knife’s point,
The quantity of a grain of mustard of it;
Become stout Marses, and beget young Cupids.

Pertinax Surly

The decayed Vestals of Pict-hatch would thank you,
That keep the fire alive, there.

Sir Epicure Mammon

’Tis the secret
Of nature naturised ’gainst all infections,
Cures all diseases coming of all causes;
A month’s grief in a day, a year’s in twelve;
And, of what age soever, in a month:
Past all the doses of your drugging doctors.
I’ll undertake, withal, to fright the plague
Out of the kingdom in three months.

Pertinax Surly

And I’ll
Be bound, the players shall sing your praises, then,
Without their poets.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Sir, I’ll do’t. Meantime,
I’ll give away so much unto my man,
Shall serve the whole city, with preservative
Weekly; each house his dose, and at the rate⁠—

Pertinax Surly

As he that built the waterwork, does with water?

Sir Epicure Mammon

You are incredulous.

Pertinax Surly

Faith I have a humour,
I would not willingly be gulled. Your stone
Cannot transmute me.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Pertinax, [my] Surly,
Will you believe antiquity? Records?
I’ll show you a book where Moses and his sister,
And Solomon have written of the art;
Ay, and a treatise penned by Adam⁠—

Pertinax Surly

How!

Sir Epicure Mammon

Of the philosopher’s stone, and in High Dutch.

Pertinax Surly

Did Adam write, sir, in High Dutch?

Sir Epicure Mammon

He did;
Which proves it was the primitive tongue.

Pertinax Surly

What paper?

Sir Epicure Mammon

On cedar board.

Pertinax Surly

O that, indeed, they say,
Will last ’gainst worms.

Sir Epicure Mammon

’Tis like your Irish wood,
’Gainst cobwebs. I have a piece of Jason’s fleece, too,
Which was no other than a book of alchemy,
Writ in large sheepskin, a good fat ram-vellum.
Such was Pythagoras’ thigh, Pandora’s tub,
And, all that fable of Medea’s charms,
The manner of our work; the bulls, our furnace,
Still breathing fire; our argent-vive, the dragon:
The dragon’s teeth, mercury sublimate,
That keeps the whiteness, hardness, and the biting;
And they are gathered into Jason’s helm,
The alembic, and then sowed in Mars his field,
And thence sublimed so often, till they’re fixed.
Both this, the Hesperian garden, Cadmus’ story,
Jove’s shower, the boon of Midas, Argus’ eyes,
Boccace his Demogorgon, thousands more,
All abstract riddles of our stone.

Enter Face, as a servant.

—How now!
Do we succeed? Is our day come? And holds it?

Face

The evening will set red upon you, sir;
You have colour for it, crimson: the red ferment
Has done his office; three hours hence prepare you
To see projection.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Pertinax, my Surly.
Again I say to thee, aloud, Be rich.
This day, thou shalt have ingots; and tomorrow,
Give lords th’ affront.⁠—Is it, my Zephyrus, right?
Blushes the bolt’s head?

Face

Like a wench with child, sir,
That were but now discovered to her master.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Excellent witty Lungs!⁠—my only care
Where to get stuff enough now, to project on;
This town will not half serve me.

Face

No, sir! Buy
The covering off o’ churches.

Sir Epicure Mammon

That’s true.

Face

Yes.
Let them stand bare, as do their auditory;
Or cap them, new, with shingles.

Sir Epicure Mammon

No, good thatch:
Thatch will lie light upon the rafters, Lungs.⁠—
Lungs, I will manumit thee from the furnace;
I will restore thee thy complexion, Puffe,
Lost in the embers; and repair this brain,
Hurt with the fume o’ the metals.

Face

I have blown, sir,
Hard for your worship; thrown by many a coal,
When ’twas not beech; weighed those I put in, just,
To keep your heat still even; these bleared eyes
Have waked to read your several colours, sir,
Of the pale citron, the green lion, the crow,
The peacock’s tail, the plumed swan.

Sir Epicure Mammon

And, lastly,
Thou hast descryed the flower, the sanguis agni?

Face

Yes, sir.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Where’s master?

Face

At his prayers, sir, he;
Good man, he’s doing his devotions
For the success.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Lungs, I will set a period
To all thy labours; thou shalt be the master
Of my seraglio.

Face

Good, sir.

Sir Epicure Mammon

But do you hear?
I’ll geld you, Lungs.

Face

Yes, sir.

Sir Epicure Mammon

For I do mean
To have a list of wives and concubines,
Equal with Solomon, who had the stone
Alike with me; and I will make me a back
With the elixir, that shall be as tough
As Hercules, to encounter fifty a night.⁠—
Thou’rt sure thou saw’st it blood?

Face

Both blood and spirit, sir.

Sir Epicure Mammon

I will have all my beds blown up, not stuffed;
Down is too hard: and then, mine oval room
Filled with such pictures as Tiberius took
From Elephantis, and dull Aretine
But coldly imitated. Then, my glasses
Cut in more subtle angles, to disperse
And multiply the figures, as I walk
Naked between my succubae. My mists
I’ll have of perfume, vapoured ’bout the room,
To lose ourselves in; and my baths, like pits
To fall into; from whence we will come forth,
And roll us dry in gossamer and roses.⁠—
Is it arrived at ruby?⁠—Where I spy
A wealthy citizen, or [a] rich lawyer,
Have a sublimed pure wife, unto that fellow
I’ll send a thousand pound to be my cuckold.

Face

And I shall carry it?

Sir Epicure Mammon

No. I’ll have no bawds,
But fathers and mothers: they will do it best,
Best of all others. And my flatterers
Shall be the pure and gravest of divines,
That I can get for money. My mere fools,
Eloquent burgesses, and then my poets
The same that writ so subtly of the fart,
Whom I will entertain still for that subject.
The few that would give out themselves to be
Court and town-stallions, and, each-where, bely
Ladies who are known most innocent for them;
Those will I beg, to make me eunuchs of:
And they shall fan me with ten ostrich tails
Apiece, made in a plume to gather wind.
We will be brave, Puffe, now we have the medicine.
My meat shall all come in, in Indian shells,
Dishes of agate set in gold, and studded
With emeralds, sapphires, hyacinths, and rubies.
The tongues of carps, dormice, and camels’ heels,
Boiled in the spirit of Sol, and dissolved pearl,
Apicius’ diet, ’gainst the epilepsy:
And I will eat these broths with spoons of amber,
Headed with diamond and carbuncle.
My footboy shall eat pheasants, calvered salmons,
Knots, godwits, lampreys: I myself will have
The beards of barbels served, instead of salads;
Oiled mushrooms; and the swelling unctuous paps
Of a fat pregnant sow, newly cut off,
Dressed with an exquisite, and poignant sauce;
For which, I’ll say unto my cook, “There’s gold,
Go forth, and be a knight.”

Face

Sir, I’ll go look
A little, how it heightens.

Exit.
Sir Epicure Mammon

Do.⁠—My shirts
I’ll have of taffeta-sarsnet, soft and light
As cobwebs; and for all my other raiment,
It shall be such as might provoke the Persian,
Were he to teach the world riot anew.
My gloves of fishes’ and birds’ skins, perfumed
With gums of paradise, and eastern air⁠—

Pertinax Surly

And do you think to have the stone with this?

Sir Epicure Mammon

No, I do think t’ have all this with the stone.

Pertinax Surly

Why, I have heard he must be homo frugi,
A pious, holy, and religious man,
One free from mortal sin, a very virgin.

Sir Epicure Mammon

That makes it, sir; he is so: but I buy it;
My venture brings it me. He, honest wretch,
A notable, superstitious, good soul,
Has worn his knees bare, and his slippers bald,
With prayer and fasting for it: and, sir, let him
Do it alone, for me, still. Here he comes.
Not a profane word afore him: ’tis poison.⁠—

Enter Subtle.

Good morrow, Father.

Subtle

Gentle son, good morrow,
And to your friend there. What is he, is with you?

Sir Epicure Mammon

An heretic, that I did bring along,
In hope, sir, to convert him.

Subtle

Son, I doubt
You are covetous, that thus you meet your time
In the just point: prevent your day at morning.
This argues something, worthy of a fear
Of importune and carnal appetite.
Take heed you do not cause the blessing leave you,
With your ungoverned haste. I should be sorry
To see my labours, now even at perfection,
Got by long watching and large patience,
Not prosper where my love and zeal hath placed them.
Which (heaven I call to witness, with yourself,
To whom I have poured my thoughts) in all my ends,
Have looked no way, but unto public good,
To pious uses, and dear charity
Now grown a prodigy with men. Wherein
If you, my son, should now prevaricate,
And, to your own particular lusts employ
So great and catholic a bliss, be sure
A curse will follow, yea, and overtake
Your subtle and most secret ways.

Sir Epicure Mammon

I know, sir;
You shall not need to fear me; I but come,
To have you confute this gentleman.

Pertinax Surly

Who is,
Indeed, sir, somewhat costive of belief
Toward your stone; would not be gulled.

Subtle

Well, son,
All that I can convince him in, is this,
The work is done, bright Sol is in his robe.
We have a medicine of the triple soul,
The glorified spirit. Thanks be to heaven,
And make us worthy of it!⁠—Ulen Spiegel!

Face

Within. Anon, sir.

Subtle

Look well to the register.
And let your heat still lessen by degrees,
To the aludels.

Face

Within. Yes, sir.

Subtle

Did you look
On the bolt’s head yet?

Face

Within. Which? On D, sir?

Subtle

Ay;
What’s the complexion?

Face

Within. Whitish.

Subtle

Infuse vinegar,
To draw his volatile substance and his tincture:
And let the water in glass E be filtered,
And put into the gripe’s egg. Lute him well;
And leave him closed in balneo.

Face

Within. I will, sir.

Pertinax Surly

What a brave language here is! Next to canting.

Subtle

I have another work, you never saw, son,
That three days since past the philosopher’s wheel,
In the lent heat of Athanor; and’s become
Sulphur of Nature.

Sir Epicure Mammon

But ’tis for me?

Subtle

What need you?
You have enough in that is perfect.

Sir Epicure Mammon

O but⁠—

Subtle

Why, this is covetise!

Sir Epicure Mammon

No, I assure you,
I shall employ it all in pious uses,
Founding of colleges and grammar schools,
Marrying young virgins, building hospitals,
And now and then a church.

Re-enter Face.
Subtle

How now!

Face

Sir, please you,
Shall I not change the filter?

Subtle

Marry, yes;
And bring me the complexion of glass B.

Exit Face.
Sir Epicure Mammon

Have you another?

Subtle

Yes, son; were I assured⁠—
Your piety were firm, we would not want
The means to glorify it: but I hope the best.⁠—
I mean to tinct C in sand-heat tomorrow,
And give him imbibition.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Of white oil?

Subtle

No, sir, of red. F is come over the helm too,
I thank my Maker, in St. Mary’s bath,
And shows lac virginis. Blessed be heaven!
I sent you of his faeces there calcined:
Out of that calx, I have won the salt of mercury.

Sir Epicure Mammon

By pouring on your rectified water?

Subtle

Yes, and reverberating in Athanor.

Re-enter Face.

How now! What colour says it?

Face

The ground black, sir.

Sir Epicure Mammon

That’s your crow’s head?

Pertinax Surly

Your cockscomb’s, is it not?

Subtle

No, ’tis not perfect. Would it were the crow!
That work wants something.

Pertinax Surly

Aside. O, I looked for this.
The hay’s a pitching.

Subtle

Are you sure you loosed them
In their own menstrue?

Face

Yes, sir, and then married them,
And put them in a bolt’s head nipped to digestion,
According as you bade me, when I set
The liquor of Mars to circulation
In the same heat.

Subtle

The process then was right.

Face

Yes, by the token, sir, the retort brake,
And what was saved was put into the pelican,
And signed with Hermes’ seal.

Subtle

I think ’twas so.
We should have a new amalgama.

Pertinax Surly

Aside. O, this ferret
Is rank as any polecat.

Subtle

But I care not:
Let him e’en die; we have enough beside,
In embrion. H has his white shirt on?

Face

Yes, sir,
He’s ripe for inceration, he stands warm,
In his ash-fire. I would not you should let
Any die now, if I might counsel, sir,
For luck’s sake to the rest: it is not good.

Sir Epicure Mammon

He says right.

Pertinax Surly

Aside. Ay, are you bolted?

Face

Nay, I know’t, sir,
I have seen the ill fortune. What is some three ounces
Of fresh materials?

Sir Epicure Mammon

Is’t no more?

Face

No more, sir.
Of gold, t’amalgam with some six of mercury.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Away, here’s money. What will serve?

Face

Ask him, sir.

Sir Epicure Mammon

How much?

Subtle

Give him nine pound:⁠—you may give him ten.

Pertinax Surly

Yes, twenty, and be cozened, do.

Sir Epicure Mammon

There ’tis.
Gives Face the money.

Subtle

This needs not; but that you will have it so,
To see conclusions of all: for two
Of our inferior works are at fixation,
A third is in ascension. Go your ways.
Have you set the oil of luna in kemia?

Face

Yes, sir.

Subtle

And the philosopher’s vinegar?

Face

Ay.

Exit.
Pertinax Surly

We shall have a salad!

Sir Epicure Mammon

When do you make projection?

Subtle

Son, be not hasty, I exalt our medicine,
By hanging him in balneo vaporoso,
And giving him solution; then congeal him;
And then dissolve him; then again congeal him;
For look, how oft I iterate the work,
So many times I add unto his virtue.
As, if at first one ounce convert a hundred,
After his second loose, he’ll turn a thousand;
His third solution, ten; his fourth, a hundred:
After his fifth, a thousand thousand ounces
Of any imperfect metal, into pure
Silver or gold, in all examinations,
As good as any of the natural mine.
Get you your stuff here against afternoon,
Your brass, your pewter, and your andirons.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Not those of iron?

Subtle

Yes, you may bring them too:
We’ll change all metals.

Pertinax Surly

I believe you in that.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Then I may send my spits?

Subtle

Yes, and your racks.

Pertinax Surly

And dripping-pans, and pot-hangers, and hooks?
Shall he not?

Subtle

If he please.

Pertinax Surly

—To be an ass.

Subtle

How, sir!

Sir Epicure Mammon

This gentleman you must bear withal:
I told you he had no faith.

Pertinax Surly

And little hope, sir;
But much less charity, should I gull myself.

Subtle

Why, what have you observed, sir, in our art,
Seems so impossible?

Pertinax Surly

But your whole work, no more.
That you should hatch gold in a furnace, sir,
As they do eggs in Egypt!

Subtle

Sir, do you
Believe that eggs are hatched so?

Pertinax Surly

If I should?

Subtle

Why, I think that the greater miracle.
No egg but differs from a chicken more
Than metals in themselves.

Pertinax Surly

That cannot be.
The egg’s ordained by nature to that end,
And is a chicken in potentia.

Subtle

The same we say of lead and other metals,
Which would be gold, if they had time.

Sir Epicure Mammon

And that
Our art doth further.

Subtle

Ay, for ’twere absurb
To think that nature in the earth bred gold
Perfect in the instant: something went before.
There must be remote matter.

Pertinax Surly

Ay, what is that?

Subtle

Marry, we say⁠—

Sir Epicure Mammon

Ay, now it heats: stand, Father,
Pound him to dust.

Subtle

It is, of the one part,
A humid exhalation, which we call
Materia liquida, or the unctuous water;
On the other part, a certain crass and vicious
Portion of earth; both which, concorporate,
Do make the elementary matter of gold;
Which is not yet propria materia,
But common to all metals and all stones;
For, where it is forsaken of that moisture,
And hath more dryness, it becomes a stone:
Where it retains more of the humid fatness,
It turns to sulphur, or to quicksilver,
Who are the parents of all other metals.
Nor can this remote matter suddenly
Progress so from extreme unto extreme,
As to grow gold, and leap o’er all the means.
Nature doth first beget the imperfect, then
Proceeds she to the perfect. Of that airy
And oily water, mercury is engendered;
Sulphur of the fat and earthy part; the one,
Which is the last, supplying the place of male,
The other of the female, in all metals.
Some do believe hermaphrodeity,
That both do act and suffer. But these two
Make the rest ductile, malleable, extensive.
And even in gold they are; for we do find
Seeds of them, by our fire, and gold in them;
And can produce the species of each metal
More perfect thence, than nature doth in earth.
Beside, who doth not see in daily practice
Art can beget bees, hornets, beetles, wasps,
Out of the carcases and dung of creatures;
Yea, scorpions of an herb, being rightly placed?
And these are living creatures, far more perfect
And excellent than metals.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Well said, Father!
Nay, if he take you in hand, sir, with an argument,
He’ll bray you in a mortar.

Pertinax Surly

Pray you, sir, stay.
Rather than I’ll be brayed, sir, I’ll believe
That Alchemy is a pretty kind of game,
Somewhat like tricks o’ the cards, to cheat a man
With charming.

Subtle

Sir?

Pertinax Surly

What else are all your terms,
Whereon no one of your writers ’grees with other?
Of your elixir, your lac virginis,
Your stone, your medicine, and your chrysosperm,
Your sal, your sulphur, and your mercury,
Your oil of height, your tree of life, your blood,
Your marcasite, your tutie, your magnesia,
Your toad, your crow, your dragon, and your panther;
Your sun, your moon, your firmament, your adrop,
Your lato, azoch, zernich, chibrit, heautarit,
And then your red man, and your white woman,
With all your broths, your menstrues, and materials,
Of piss and eggshells, women’s terms, man’s blood,
Hair o’ the head, burnt clouts, chalk, merds, and clay,
Powder of bones, scalings of iron, glass,
And worlds of other strange ingredients,
Would burst a man to name?

Subtle

And all these named,
Intending but one thing; which art our writers
Used to obscure their art.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Sir, so I told him⁠—
Because the simple idiot should not learn it,
And make it vulgar.

Subtle

Was not all the knowledge
Of the Egyptians writ in mystic symbols?
Speak not the scriptures oft in parables?
Are not the choicest fables of the poets,
That were the fountains and first springs of wisdom,
Wrapped in perplexed allegories?

Sir Epicure Mammon

I urged that,
And cleared to him, that Sisyphus was damned
To roll the ceaseless stone, only because
He would have made Ours common.

Dol Common

Appears at the door.⁠—
Who is this?

Subtle

’Sprecious!⁠—What do you mean? Go in, good lady,
Let me entreat you.

Dol retires.

—Where’s this varlet?

Re-enter Face.
Face

Sir.

Subtle

You very knave! Do you use me thus?

Face

Wherein, sir?

Subtle

Go in and see, you traitor. Go!

Exit Face.
Sir Epicure Mammon

Who is it, sir?

Subtle

Nothing, sir; nothing.

Sir Epicure Mammon

What’s the matter, good sir?
I have not seen you thus distempered: who is’t?

Subtle

All arts have still had, sir, their adversaries;
But ours the most ignorant.⁠—

Re-enter Face.

What now?

Face

’Twas not my fault, sir; she would speak with you.

Subtle

Would she, sir! Follow me.

Exit.
Sir Epicure Mammon

Stopping him. Stay, Lungs.

Face

I dare not, sir.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Stay, man; what is she?

Face

A lord’s sister, sir.

Sir Epicure Mammon

How! Pray thee, stay.

Face

She’s mad, sir, and sent hither⁠—
He’ll be mad too.⁠—

Sir Epicure Mammon

I warrant thee.⁠—
Why sent hither?

Face

Sir, to be cured.

Subtle

Within. Why, rascal!

Face

Lo you!⁠—Here, sir!

Exit.
Sir Epicure Mammon

’Fore God, a Bradamante, a brave piece.

Pertinax Surly

Heart, this is a bawdyhouse! I will be burnt else.

Sir Epicure Mammon

O, by this light, no: do not wrong him. He’s
Too scrupulous that way: it is his vice.
No, he’s a rare physician, do him right,
An excellent Paracelsian, and has done
Strange cures with mineral physic. He deals all
With spirits, he; he will not hear a word
Of Galen; or his tedious recipes.⁠—

Re-enter Face.

How now, Lungs!

Face

Softly, sir; speak softly. I meant
To have told your worship all. This must not hear.

Sir Epicure Mammon

No, he will not be “gulled;” let him alone.

Face

You are very right, sir, she is a most rare scholar,
And is gone mad with studying Broughton’s works.
If you but name a word touching the Hebrew,
She falls into her fit, and will discourse
So learnedly of genealogies,
As you would run mad too, to hear her, sir.

Sir Epicure Mammon

How might one do t’ have conference with her, Lungs?

Face

O divers have run mad upon the conference:
I do not know, sir. I am sent in haste,
To fetch a vial.

Pertinax Surly

Be not gulled, Sir Mammon.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Wherein? Pray ye, be patient.

Pertinax Surly

Yes, as you are,
And trust confederate knaves and bawds and whores.

Sir Epicure Mammon

You are too foul, believe it.⁠—Come here, Ulen,
One word.

Face

I dare not, in good faith.
Going.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Stay, knave.

Face

He is extreme angry that you saw her, sir.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Drink that. Gives him money.
What is she when she’s out of her fit?

Face

O, the most affablest creature, sir! So merry!
So pleasant! She’ll mount you up, like quicksilver,
Over the helm; and circulate like oil,
A very vegetal: discourse of state,
Of mathematics, bawdry, anything⁠—

Sir Epicure Mammon

Is she no way accessible? No means,
No trick to give a man a taste of her⁠—wit⁠—
Or so?

Subtle

Within. Ulen!

Face

I’ll come to you again, sir.

Exit.
Sir Epicure Mammon

Surly, I did not think one of your breeding
Would traduce personages of worth.

Pertinax Surly

Sir Epicure,
Your friend to use; yet still loth to be gulled:
I do not like your philosophical bawds.
Their stone is letchery enough to pay for,
Without this bait.

Sir Epicure Mammon

’Heart, you abuse yourself.
I know the lady, and her friends, and means,
The original of this disaster. Her brother
Has told me all.

Pertinax Surly

And yet you never saw her
Till now!

Sir Epicure Mammon

O yes, but I forgot. I have, believe it,
One of the treacherousest memories, I do think,
Of all mankind.

Pertinax Surly

What call you her brother?

Sir Epicure Mammon

My lord⁠—
He will not have his name known, now I think on’t.

Pertinax Surly

A very treacherous memory!

Sir Epicure Mammon

On my faith⁠—

Pertinax Surly

Tut, if you have it not about you, pass it,
Till we meet next.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Nay, by this hand, ’tis true.
He’s one I honour, and my noble friend;
And I respect his house.

Pertinax Surly

Heart! Can it be,
That a grave sir, a rich, that has no need,
A wise sir, too, at other times, should thus,
With his own oaths, and arguments, make hard means
To gull himself? An this be your elixir,
Your lapis mineralis, and your lunary,
Give me your honest trick yet at primero,
Or gleek; and take your lutum sapientis,
Your menstruum simplex! I’ll have gold before you,
And with less danger of the quicksilver,
Or the hot sulphur.

Re-enter Face.
Face

Here’s one from Captain Face, sir,
To Surly.
Desires you meet him in the Temple-church,
Some half-hour hence, and upon earnest business.
Whispers to Mammon.
Sir, if you please to quit us, now; and come
Again within two hours, you shall have
My master busy examining o’ the works;
And I will steal you in, unto the party,
That you may see her converse.⁠—Sir, shall I say,
You’ll meet the Captain’s worship?

Pertinax Surly

Sir, I will.⁠—
Walks aside.
But, by attorney, and to a second purpose.
Now, I am sure it is a bawdyhouse;
I’ll swear it, were the Marshal here to thank me:
The naming this Commander doth confirm it.
Don Face! Why, he’s the most authentic dealer
In these commodities, the superintendant
To all the quainter traffickers in town!
He is the visitor, and does appoint,
Who lies with whom, and at what hour; what price;
Which gown, and in what smock; what fall; what tire.
Him will I prove, by a third person, to find
The subtleties of this dark labyrinth:
Which if I do discover, dear Sir Mammon,
You’ll give your poor friend leave, though no philosopher,
To laugh: for you that are, ’tis thought, shall weep.

Face

Sir, he does pray, you’ll not forget.

Pertinax Surly

I will not, sir.
Sir Epicure, I shall leave you.

Exit.
Sir Epicure Mammon

I follow you, straight.

Face

But do so, good sir, to avoid suspicion.
This gentleman has a parlous head.

Sir Epicure Mammon

But wilt thou Ulen,
Be constant to thy promise?

Face

As my life, sir.

Sir Epicure Mammon

And wilt thou insinuate what I am, and praise me,
And say, I am a noble fellow?

Face

O, what else, sir?
And that you’ll make her royal with the stone,
An empress; and yourself, King of Bantam.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Wilt thou do this?

Face

Will I, sir!

Sir Epicure Mammon

Lungs, my Lungs!
I love thee.

Face

Send your stuff, sir, that my master
May busy himself about projection.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Thou hast witched me, rogue: take, go.
Gives him money.

Face

Your jack, and all, sir.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Thou art a villain⁠—I will send my jack,
And the weights too. Slave, I could bite thine ear.
Away, thou dost not care for me.

Face

Not I, sir!

Sir Epicure Mammon

Come, I was born to make thee, my good weasel,
Set thee on a bench, and have thee twirl a chain
With the best lord’s vermin of ’em all.

Face

Away, sir.

Sir Epicure Mammon

A count, nay, a count palatine⁠—

Face

Good, sir, go.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Shall not advance thee better: no, nor faster.

Exit.
Re-enter Subtle and Dol.
Subtle

Has he bit? Has he bit?

Face

And swallowed, too, my Subtle.
I have given him line, and now he plays, i’faith.

Subtle

And shall we twitch him?

Face

Thorough both the gills.
A wench is a rare bait, with which a man
No sooner’s taken, but he straight firks mad.

Subtle

Dol, my Lord What’ts’hums sister, you must now
Bear yourself statelich.

Dol Common

O let me alone.
I’ll not forget my race, I warrant you.
I’ll keep my distance, laugh and talk aloud;
Have all the tricks of a proud scurvy lady,
And be as rude as her woman.

Face

Well said, sanguine!

Subtle

But will he send his andirons?

Face

His jack too,
And’s iron shoeing-horn; I have spoke to him. Well,
I must not lose my wary gamester yonder.

Subtle

O Monsieur Caution, that will not be gulled?

Face

Ay,
If I can strike a fine hook into him, now!
The Temple-church, there I have cast mine angle.
Well, pray for me. I’ll about it.
Knocking without.

Subtle

What, more gudgeons!
Dol, scout, scout!
Dol goes to the window.
Stay, Face, you must go to the door,
’Pray God it be my Anabaptist⁠—Who is’t, Dol?

Dol Common

I know him not: he looks like a gold-endman.

Subtle

Ods so! ’Tis he, he said he would send what call you him?
The sanctified elder, that should deal
For Mammon’s jack and andirons. Let him in.
Stay, help me off, first, with my gown.

Exit Face with the gown.

Away,
Madam, to your withdrawing chamber.

Exit Dol.

Now,
In a new tune, new gesture, but old language.⁠—
This fellow is sent from one negotiates with me
About the stone too, for the holy Brethren
Of Amsterdam, the exiled saints, that hope
To raise their discipline by it. I must use him
In some strange fashion, now, to make him admire me.⁠—

Enter Ananias.

Aloud.
Where is my drudge?

Re-enter Face.
Face

Sir!

Subtle

Take away the recipient,
And rectify your menstrue from the phlegma.
Then pour it on the Sol, in the cucurbite,
And let them macerate together.

Face

Yes, sir.
And save the ground?

Subtle

No: Terra damnata
Must not have entrance in the work.⁠—Who are you?

Ananias

A faithful brother, if it please you.

Subtle

What’s that?
A Lullianist? A Ripley? Filius artis?
Can you sublime and dulcify? Calcine?
Know you the sapor pontic? Sapor stiptic?
Or what is homogene, or heterogene?

Ananias

I understand no heathen language, truly.

Subtle

Heathen! You Knipper-doling? Is Ars sacra,
Or chrysopoeia, or spagyrica,
Or the pamphysic, or panarchic knowledge,
A heathen language?

Ananias

Heathen Greek, I take it.

Subtle

How! Heathen Greek?

Ananias

All’s heathen but the Hebrew.

Subtle

Sirrah, my varlet, stand you forth and speak to him,
Like a philosopher: answer in the language.
Name the vexations, and the martyrisations
Of metals in the work.

Face

Sir, putrefaction,
Solution, ablution, sublimation,
Cohobation, calcination, ceration, and
Fixation.

Subtle

This is heathen Greek to you, now!⁠—
And when comes vivification?

Face

After mortification.

Subtle

What’s cohobation?

Face

’Tis the pouring on
Your aqua regis, and then drawing him off,
To the trine circle of the seven spheres.

Subtle

What’s the proper passion of metals?

Face

Malleation.

Subtle

What’s your ultimum supplicium auri?

Face

Antimonium.

Subtle

This is heathen Greek to you!⁠—And what’s your mercury?

Face

A very fugitive, he will be gone, sir.

Subtle

How know you him?

Face

By his viscosity,
His oleosity, and his suscitability.

Subtle

How do you sublime him?

Face

With the calce of eggshells,
White marble, talc.

Subtle

Your magisterium now,
What’s that?

Face

Shifting, sir, your elements,
Dry into cold, cold into moist, moist into hot,
Hot into dry.

Subtle

This is heathen Greek to you still!
Your lapis philosophicus?

Face

’Tis a stone,
And not a stone; a spirit, a soul, and a body:
Which if you do dissolve, it is dissolved;
If you coagulate, it is coagulated;
If you make it to fly, it flieth.

Subtle

Enough.

Exit Face.

This is heathen Greek to you! What are you, sir?

Ananias

Please you, a servant of the exiled Brethren,
That deal with widows’ and with orphans’ goods,
And make a just account unto the Saints:
A Deacon.

Subtle

O, you are sent from master Wholesome,
Your teacher?

Ananias

From Tribulation Wholesome,
Our very zealous pastor.

Subtle

Good! I have
Some orphans’ goods to come here.

Ananias

Of what kind, sir?

Subtle

Pewter and brass, andirons and kitchenware,
Metals, that we must use our medicine on:
Wherein the Brethren may have a pennyworth
For ready money.

Ananias

Were the orphans’ parents
Sincere professors?

Subtle

Why do you ask?

Ananias

Because
We then are to deal justly, and give, in truth,
Their utmost value.

Subtle

’Slid, you’d cozen else,
And if their parents were not of the faithful!⁠—
I will not trust you, now I think on it,
’Till I have talked with your pastor. Have you brought money
To buy more coals?

Ananias

No, surely.

Subtle

No! How so?

Ananias

The Brethren bid me say unto you, sir,
Surely, they will not venture any more,
Till they may see projection.

Subtle

How!

Ananias

You have had,
For the instruments, as bricks, and loam, and glasses,
Already thirty pound; and for materials,
They say, some ninety more: and they have heard since,
That one at Heidelberg, made it of an egg,
And a small paper of pin-dust.

Subtle

What’s your name?

Ananias

My name is Ananias.

Subtle

Out, the varlet
That cozened the Apostles! Hence, away!
Flee, mischief! Had your holy Consistory
No name to send me, of another sound,
Than wicked Ananias? Send your elders
Hither to make atonement for you quickly,
And give me satisfaction; or out goes
The fire; and down th’ alembics, and the furnace,
Piger Henricus, or whatnot. Thou wretch!
Both sericon and bufo shall be lost,
Tell them. All hope of rooting out the Bishops,
Or the antichristian hierarchy, shall perish,
If they stay threescore minutes: the aqueity,
Terreity, and sulphureity
Shall run together again, and all be annulled,
Thou wicked Ananias!

Exit Ananias.

This will fetch ’em,
And make them haste towards their gulling more.
A man must deal like a rough nurse, and fright
Those that are froward, to an appetite.

Re-enter Face, in his uniform, followed by Drugger.
Face

He is busy with his spirits, but we’ll upon him.

Subtle

How now! What mates, what Baiards have we here?

Face

I told you, he would be furious.⁠—Sir, here’s Nab,
Has brought you another piece of gold to look on:
—We must appease him. Give it me⁠—and prays you,
You would devise⁠—what is it, Nab?

Drugger

A sign, sir.

Face

Ay, a good lucky one, a thriving sign, Doctor.

Subtle

I was devising now.

Face

’Slight, do not say so,
He will repent he gave you any more⁠—
What say you to his constellation, Doctor,
The Balance?

Subtle

No, that way is stale, and common.
A townsman born in Taurus, gives the bull,
Or the bull’s-head: in Aries, the ram,
A poor device! No, I will have his name
Formed in some mystic character; whose radii,
Striking the senses of the passers by,
Shall, by a virtual influence, breed affections,
That may result upon the party owns it:
As thus⁠—

Face

Nab!

Subtle

He shall have “a bell,” that’s “Abel;”
And by it standing one whose name is “Dee,”
In a “rug” gown, there’s “D,” and “Rug,” that’s “drug:”
And right anenst him a dog snarling “er;”
There’s “Drugger,” Abel Drugger. That’s his sign.
And here’s now mystery and hieroglyphic!

Face

Abel, thou art made.

Drugger

Sir, I do thank his worship.

Face

Six o’ thy legs more will not do it, Nab.
He has brought you a pipe of tobacco, Doctor.

Drugger

Yes, sir;
I have another thing I would impart⁠—

Face

Out with it, Nab.

Drugger

Sir, there is lodged, hard by me,
A rich young widow⁠—

Face

Good! A bona roba?

Drugger

But nineteen, at the most.

Face

Very good, Abel.

Drugger

Marry, she’s not in fashion yet; she wears
A hood, but it stands a cop.

Face

No matter, Abel.

Drugger

And I do now and then give her a fucus⁠—

Face

What! Dost thou deal, Nab?

Subtle

I did tell you, Captain.

Drugger

And physic too, sometime, sir; for which she trusts me
With all her mind. She’s come up here of purpose
To learn the fashion.

Face

Good (his match too!)⁠—On, Nab.

Drugger

And she does strangely long to know her fortune.

Face

Ods lid, Nab, send her to the Doctor, hither.

Drugger

Yes, I have spoke to her of his worship already;
But she’s afraid it will be blown abroad,
And hurt her marriage.

Face

Hurt it! ’Tis the way
To heal it, if ’twere hurt; to make it more
Followed and sought: Nab, thou shalt tell her this.
She’ll be more known, more talked of; and your widows
Are ne’er of any price till they be famous;
Their honour is their multitude of suitors.
Send her, it may be thy good fortune. What!
Thou dost not know.

Drugger

No, sir, she’ll never marry
Under a knight: her brother has made a vow.

Face

What! And dost thou despair, my little Nab,
Knowing what the Doctor has set down for thee,
And seeing so many of the city dubbed?
One glass o’ thy water, with a Madam I know,
Will have it done, Nab: what’s her brother, a knight?

Drugger

No, sir, a gentleman newly warm in his land, sir,
Scarce cold in his one and twenty, that does govern
His sister here; and is a man himself
Of some three thousand a year, and is come up
To learn to quarrel, and to live by his wits,
And will go down again, and die in the country.

Face

How! To quarrel?

Drugger

Yes, sir, to carry quarrels,
As gallants do; to manage them by line.

Face

’Slid, Nab, the Doctor is the only man
In Christendom for him. He has made a table,
With mathematical demonstrations,
Touching the art of quarrels: he will give him
An instrument to quarrel by. Go, bring them both,
Him and his sister. And, for thee, with her
The Doctor haply may persuade. Go to:
’Shalt give his worship a new damask suit
Upon the premises.

Subtle

O, good Captain!

Face

He shall;
He is the honestest fellow, Doctor.⁠—Stay not,
No offers; bring the damask, and the parties.

Drugger

I’ll try my power, sir.

Face

And thy will too, Nab.

Subtle

’Tis good tobacco, this! What is’t an ounce?

Face

He’ll send you a pound, Doctor.

Subtle

O no.

Face

He will do’t.
It is the goodest soul!⁠—Abel, about it.
Thou shalt know more anon. Away, be gone.

Exit Drugger.

A miserable rogue, and lives with cheese,
And has the worms. That was the cause, indeed,
Why he came now: he dealt with me in private,
To get a medicine for them.

Subtle

And shall, sir. This works.

Face

A wife, a wife for one on us, my dear Subtle!
We’ll e’en draw lots, and he that fails, shall have
The more in goods, the other has in tail.

Subtle

Rather the less: for she may be so light
She may want grains.

Face

Ay, or be such a burden,
A man would scarce endure her for the whole.

Subtle

Faith, best let’s see her first, and then determine.

Face

Content: but Dol must have no breath on’t.

Subtle

Mum.
Away you, to your Surly yonder, catch him.

Face

’Pray God I have not stayed too long.

Subtle

I fear it.

Exeunt.

Act III

Scene I

The lane before Lovewit’s house.

Enter Tribulation Wholesome and Ananias.
Tribulation Wholesome

These chastisements are common to the saints,
And such rebukes, we of the separation
Must bear with willing shoulders, as the trials
Sent forth to tempt our frailties.

Ananias

In pure zeal,
I do not like the man; he is a heathen,
And speaks the language of Canaan, truly.

Tribulation Wholesome

I think him a profane person indeed.

Ananias

He bears
The visible mark of the beast in his forehead.
And for his stone, it is a work of darkness,
And with philosophy blinds the eyes of man.

Tribulation Wholesome

Good brother, we must bend unto all means,
That may give furtherance to the holy cause.

Ananias

Which his cannot: the sanctified cause
Should have a sanctified course.

Tribulation Wholesome

Not always necessary:
The children of perdition are ofttimes
Made instruments even of the greatest works:
Beside, we should give somewhat to man’s nature,
The place he lives in, still about the fire,
And fume of metals, that intoxicate
The brain of man, and make him prone to passion.
Where have you greater atheists than your cooks?
Or more profane, or choleric, than your glass-men?
More antichristian than your bell-founders?
What makes the Devil so devilish, I would ask you,
Satan, our common enemy, but his being
Perpetually about the fire, and boiling
Brimstone and arsenic? We must give, I say,
Unto the motives, and the stirrers up
Of humours in the blood. It may be so,
When as the work is done, the stone is made,
This heat of his may turn into a zeal,
And stand up for the beauteous discipline,
Against the menstruous cloth and rag of Rome.
We must await his calling, and the coming
Of the good spirit. You did fault, t’ upbraid him
With the Brethren’s blessing of Heidelberg, weighing
What need we have to hasten on the work,
For the restoring of the silenced saints,
Which ne’er will be, but by the philosopher’s stone.
And so a learned elder, one of Scotland,
Assured me; aurum potabile being
The only medicine, for the civil magistrate,
T’ incline him to a feeling of the cause;
And must be daily used in the disease.

Ananias

I have not edified more, truly, by man;
Not since the beautiful light first shone on me:
And I am sad my zeal hath so offended.

Tribulation Wholesome

Let us call on him then.

Ananias

The motion’s good,
And of the spirit; I will knock first.
Knocks.
Peace be within!

The door is opened, and they enter.

Scene II

A room in Lovewit’s house.

Enter Subtle, followed by Tribulation and Ananias.
Subtle

O, are you come? ’Twas time. Your threescore minutes
Were at last thread, you see: and down had gone
Furnus acediae, turris circulatorius:
Lembec, bolt’s head, retort and pelican
Had all been cinders.⁠—Wicked Ananias!
Art thou returned? Nay then, it goes down yet.

Tribulation Wholesome

Sir, be appeased; he is come to humble
Himself in spirit, and to ask your patience,
If too much zeal hath carried him aside
From the due path.

Subtle

Why, this doth qualify!

Tribulation Wholesome

The Brethren had no purpose, verily,
To give you the least grievance; but are ready
To lend their willing hands to any project
The spirit and you direct.

Subtle

This qualifies more!

Tribulation Wholesome

And for the orphans’ goods, let them be valued,
Or what is needful else to the holy work,
It shall be numbered; here, by me, the Saints,
Throw down their purse before you.

Subtle

This qualifies most!
Why, thus it should be, now you understand.
Have I discoursed so unto you of our stone,
And of the good that it shall bring your cause?
Showed you (beside the main of hiring forces
Abroad, drawing the Hollanders, your friends,
From the Indies, to serve you, with all their fleet)
That even the medicinal use shall make you a faction,
And party in the realm? As, put the case,
That some great man in state, he have the gout,
Why, you but send three drops of your elixir,
You help him straight: there you have made a friend.
Another has the palsy or the dropsy,
He takes of your incombustible stuff,
He’s young again: there you have made a friend,
A lady that is past the feat of body,
Though not of mind, and hath her face decayed
Beyond all cure of paintings, you restore,
With the oil of talc: there you have made a friend;
And all her friends. A lord that is a leper,
A knight that has the bone-ache, or a squire
That hath both these, you make them smooth and sound,
With a bare fricace of your medicine: still
You increase your friends.

Tribulation Wholesome

Ay, it is very pregnant.

Subtle

And then the turning of this lawyer’s pewter
To plate at Christmas.⁠—

Ananias

Christ-tide, I pray you.

Subtle

Yet, Ananias!

Ananias

I have done.

Subtle

Or changing
His parcel gilt to massy gold. You cannot
But raise you friends. Withal, to be of power
To pay an army in the field, to buy
The King of France out of his realms, or Spain
Out of his Indies. What can you not do
Against lords spiritual or temporal,
That shall oppone you?

Tribulation Wholesome

Verily, ’tis true.
We may be temporal lords ourselves, I take it.

Subtle

You may be anything, and leave off to make
Long-winded exercises; or suck up
Your “ha!” and “hum!” in a tune. I not deny,
But such as are not graced in a state,
May, for their ends, be adverse in religion,
And get a tune to call the flock together:
For, to say sooth, a tune does much with women,
And other phlegmatic people; it is your bell.

Ananias

Bells are profane; a tune may be religious.

Subtle

No warning with you! Then farewell my patience.
’Slight, it shall down: I will not be thus tortured.

Tribulation Wholesome

I pray you, sir.

Subtle

All shall perish. I have spoken it.

Tribulation Wholesome

Let me find grace, sir, in your eyes; the man
He stands corrected: neither did his zeal,
But as yourself, allow a tune somewhere.
Which now, being toward the stone, we shall not need.

Subtle

No, nor your holy vizard, to win widows
To give you legacies; or make zealous wives
To rob their husbands for the common cause:
Nor take the start of bonds broke but one day,
And say, they were forfeited by providence.
Nor shall you need o’er night to eat huge meals,
To celebrate your next day’s fast the better;
The whilst the Brethren and the Sisters humbled,
Abate the stiffness of the flesh. Nor cast
Before your hungry hearers scrupulous bones;
As whether a Christian may hawk or hunt,
Or whether matrons of the holy assembly
May lay their hair out, or wear doublets,
Or have that idol starch about their linen.

Ananias

It is indeed an idol.

Tribulation Wholesome

Mind him not, sir.
I do command thee, spirit of zeal, but trouble,
To peace within him! Pray you, sir, go on.

Subtle

Nor shall you need to libel ’gainst the prelates,
And shorten so your ears against the hearing
Of the next wire-drawn grace. Nor of necessity
Rail against plays, to please the alderman
Whose daily custard you devour; nor lie
With zealous rage till you are hoarse. Not one
Of these so singular arts. Nor call yourselves
By names of Tribulation, Persecution,
Restraint, Long-patience, and suchlike, affected
By the whole family or wood of you,
Only for glory, and to catch the ear
Of the disciple.

Tribulation Wholesome

Truly, sir, they are
Ways that the godly Brethren have invented,
For propagation of the glorious cause,
As very notable means, and whereby also
Themselves grow soon, and profitably, famous.

Subtle

O, but the stone, all’s idle to it! Nothing!
The art of angels’ nature’s miracle,
The divine secret that doth fly in clouds
From east to west: and whose tradition
Is not from men, but spirits.

Ananias

I hate traditions;
I do not trust them⁠—

Tribulation Wholesome

Peace!

Ananias

They are popish all.
I will not peace: I will not⁠—

Tribulation Wholesome

Ananias!

Ananias

Please the profane, to grieve the godly; I may not.

Subtle

Well, Ananias, thou shalt overcome.

Tribulation Wholesome

It is an ignorant zeal that haunts him, sir;
But truly, else, a very faithful Brother,
A botcher, and a man, by revelation,
That hath a competent knowledge of the truth.

Subtle

Has he a competent sum there in the bag
To buy the goods within? I am made guardian,
And must, for charity, and conscience sake,
Now see the most be made for my poor orphan;
Though I desire the Brethren too good gainers:
There they are within. When you have viewed and bought ’em,
And ta’en the inventory of what they are,
They are ready for projection; there’s no more
To do: cast on the medicine, so much silver
As there is tin there, so much gold as brass,
I’ll give’t you in by weight.

Tribulation Wholesome

But how long time,
Sir, must the saints expect yet?

Subtle

Let me see,
How’s the moon now? Eight, nine, ten days hence,
He will be silver potate; then three days
Before he citronise: Some fifteen days,
The magisterium will be perfected.

Ananias

About the second day of the third week,
In the ninth month?

Subtle

Yes, my good Ananias.

Tribulation Wholesome

What will the orphan’s goods arise to, think you?

Subtle

Some hundred marks, as much as filled three cars,
Unladed now: you’ll make six millions of them.⁠—
But I must have more coals laid in.

Tribulation Wholesome

How?

Subtle

Another load,
And then we have finished. We must now increase
Our fire to ignis ardens; we are past
Fimus equinus, balnei, cineris,
And all those lenter heats. If the holy purse
Should with this draught fall low, and that the saints
Do need a present sum, I have a trick
To melt the pewter, you shall buy now, instantly,
And with a tincture make you as good Dutch dollars
As any are in Holland.

Tribulation Wholesome

Can you so?

Subtle

Ay, and shall ’bide the third examination.

Ananias

It will be joyful tidings to the Brethren.

Subtle

But you must carry it secret.

Tribulation Wholesome

Ay; but stay,
This act of coining, is it lawful?

Ananias

Lawful!
We know no magistrate; or, if we did,
This is foreign coin.

Subtle

It is no coining, sir.
It is but casting.

Tribulation Wholesome

Ha! You distinguish well:
Casting of money may be lawful.

Ananias

’Tis, sir.

Tribulation Wholesome

Truly, I take it so.

Subtle

There is no scruple,
Sir, to be made of it; believe Ananias:
This case of conscience he is studied in.

Tribulation Wholesome

I’ll make a question of it to the Brethren.

Ananias

The Brethren shall approve it lawful, doubt not.
Where shall it be done?

Knocking without.
Subtle

For that we’ll talk anon.
There’s some to speak with me. Go in, I pray you,
And view the parcels. That’s the inventory.
I’ll come to you straight.

Exeunt Tribulation and Ananias

Who is it?⁠—Face! Appear.

Enter Face in his uniform.

How now! Good prize?

Face

Good pox! Yond’ costive cheater
Never came on.

Subtle

How then?

Face

I have walked the round
Till now, and no such thing.

Subtle

And have you quit him?

Face

Quit him! An hell would quit him too, he were happy.
’Slight! Would you have me stalk like a mill-jade,
All day, for one that will not yield us grains?
I know him of old.

Subtle

O, but to have gulled him,
Had been a mastery.

Face

Let him go, black boy!
And turn thee, that some fresh news may possess thee.
A noble count, a don of Spain, my dear
Delicious compeer, and my party-bawd,
Who is come hither private for his conscience,
And brought munition with him, six great slops,
Bigger than three Dutch hoys, beside round trunks,
Furnished with pistolets, and pieces of eight,
Will straight be here, my rogue, to have thy bath,
(That is the colour,) and to make his battery
Upon our Dol, our castle, our Cinque-Port,
Our Dover pier, our what thou wilt. Where is she?
She must prepare perfumes, delicate linen,
The bath in chief, a banquet, and her wit,
For she must milk his epididimis.
Where is the doxy?

Subtle

I’ll send her to thee:
And but despatch my brace of little John Leydens,
And come again myself.

Face

Are they within then?

Subtle

Numbering the sum.

Face

How much?

Subtle

A hundred marks, boy.

Exit.
Face

Why, this is a lucky day. Ten pounds of Mammon!
Three of my clerk! A portague of my grocer!
This of the Brethren! Beside reversions,
And states to come in the widow, and my count!
My share today will not be bought for forty⁠—

Enter Dol.
Dol Common

What?

Face

Pounds, dainty Dorothy! Art thou so near?

Dol Common

Yes; say, lord General, how fares our camp?

Face

As with the few that had entrenched themselves
Safe, by their discipline, against a world, Dol,
And laughed within those trenches, and grew fat
With thinking on the booties, Dol, brought in
Daily by their small parties. This dear hour,
A doughty don is taken with my Dol;
And thou mayst make his ransom what thou wilt,
My Dousabel; he shall be brought here fettered
With thy fair looks, before he sees thee; and thrown
In a down-bed, as dark as any dungeon;
Where thou shalt keep him waking with thy drum;
Thy drum, my Dol, thy drum; till he be tame
As the poor blackbirds were in the great frost,
Or bees are with a bason; and so hive him
In the swanskin coverlid, and cambric sheets,
Till he work honey and wax, my little God’s-gift.

Dol Common

What is he, General?

Face

An adalantado,
A grandee, girl. Was not my Dapper here yet?

Dol Common

No.

Face

Nor my Drugger?

Dol Common

Neither.

Face

A pox on ’em,
They are so long a furnishing! Such stinkards
Would not be seen upon these festival days.⁠—

Re-enter Subtle.

How now! Have you done?

Subtle

Done. They are gone: the sum
Is here in bank, my Face. I would we knew
Another chapman now would buy ’em outright.

Face

’Slid, Nab shall do’t against he have the widow,
To furnish household.

Subtle

Excellent, well thought on:
Pray God he come!

Face

I pray he keep away
Till our new business be o’erpast.

Subtle

But, Face,
How cam’st thou by this secret don?

Face

A spirit
Brought me th’ intelligence in a paper here,
As I was conjuring yonder in my circle
For Surly; I have my flies abroad. Your bath
Is famous, Subtle, by my means. Sweet Dol,
You must go tune your virginal, no losing
O’ the least time: and, do you hear? Good action.
Firk, like a flounder; kiss, like a scallop, close;
And tickle him with thy mother tongue. His great
Verdugoship has not a jot of language;
So much the easier to be cozened, my Dolly.
He will come here in a hired coach, obscure,
And our own coachman, whom I have sent as guide,
No creature else.
Knocking without.
Who’s that?

Exit Dol.
Subtle

It is not he?

Face

O no, not yet this hour.

Re-enter Dol.
Subtle

Who is’t?

Dol Common

Dapper,
Your clerk.

Face

God’s will then, Queen of Fairy,
On with your tire; and, Doctor, with your robes.

Exit Dol.

Let’s dispatch him for God’s sake.

Subtle

’Twill be long.

Face

I warrant you, take but the cues I give you,
It shall be brief enough.
Goes to the window.
’Slight, here are more!
Abel, and I think the angry boy, the heir,
That fain would quarrel.

Subtle

And the widow?

Face

No,
Not that I see. Away!

Exit Subtle.
Enter Dapper.

O sir, you are welcome.
The Doctor is within a moving for you;
I have had the most ado to win him to it!⁠—
He swears you’ll be the darling of the dice:
He never heard her Highness dote till now.
Your aunt has given you the most gracious words
That can be thought on.

Dapper

Shall I see her Grace?

Face

See her, and kiss her too.⁠—

Enter Drugger, followed by Kastril.

What, honest Nab!
Hast brought the damask?

Drugger

No, sir; here’s tobacco.

Face

’Tis well done, Nab; thou’lt bring the damask too?

Drugger

Yes: here’s the gentleman, Captain, master Kastril,
I have brought to see the Doctor.

Face

Where’s the widow?

Drugger

Sir, as he likes, his sister, he says, shall come.

Face

O, is it so? Good time. Is your name Kastril, sir?

Kastril

Ay, and the best of the Kastrils, I’d be sorry else,
By fifteen hundred a year. Where is the Doctor?
My mad tobacco-boy, here, tells me of one
That can do things: has he any skill?

Face

Wherein, sir?

Kastril

To carry a business, manage a quarrel fairly,
Upon fit terms.

Face

It seems, sir, you are but young
About the town, that can make that a question.

Kastril

Sir, not so young, but I have heard some speech
Of the angry boys, and seen them take tobacco;
And in his shop; and I can take it too.
And I would fain be one of ’em, and go down
And practise in the country.

Face

Sir, for the duello,
The Doctor, I assure you, shall inform you,
To the least shadow of a hair; and show you
An instrument he has of his own making,
Wherewith no sooner shall you make report
Of any quarrel, but he will take the height on’t
Most instantly, and tell in what degree
Of safety it lies in, or mortality.
And how it may be borne, whether in a right line,
Or a half circle; or may else be cast
Into an angle blunt, if not acute:
And this he will demonstrate. And then, rules
To give and take the lie by.

Kastril

How! To take it?

Face

Yes, in oblique he’ll show you, or in circle;
But never in diameter. The whole town
Study his theorems, and dispute them ordinarily
At the eating academies.

Kastril

But does he teach
Living by the wits too?

Face

Anything whatever.
You cannot think that subtlety, but he reads it.
He made me a Captain. I was a stark pimp,
Just of your standing, ’fore I met with him;
It is not two months since. I’ll tell you his method:
First, he will enter you at some ordinary.

Kastril

No, I’ll not come there: you shall pardon me.

Face

For why, sir?

Kastril

There’s gaming there, and tricks.

Face

Why, would you be
A gallant, and not game?

Kastril

Ay, ’twill spend a man.

Face

Spend you! It will repair you when you are spent:
How do they live by their wits there, that have vented
Six times your fortunes?

Kastril

What, three thousand a-year!

Face

Ay, forty thousand.

Kastril

Are there such?

Face

Ay, sir,
And gallants yet. Here’s a young gentleman
Points to Dapper.
Is born to nothing⁠—forty marks a year,
Which I count nothing:⁠—he is to be initiated,
And have a fly of the Doctor. He will win you,
By unresistible luck, within this fortnight,
Enough to buy a barony. They will set him
Upmost, at the Groom porter’s, all the Christmas:
And for the whole year through, at every place,
Where there is play, present him with the chair;
The best attendance, the best drink; sometimes
Two glasses of Canary, and pay nothing;
The purest linen, and the sharpest knife,
The partridge next his trencher: and somewhere
The dainty bed, in private, with the dainty.
You shall have your ordinaries bid for him,
As playhouses for a poet; and the master
Pray him aloud to name what dish he affects,
Which must be buttered shrimps: and those that drink
To no mouth else, will drink to his, as being
The goodly president mouth of all the board.

Kastril

Do you not gull one?

Face

’Ods my life! Do you think it?
You shall have a cast commander, (can but get
In credit with a glover, or a spurrier,
For some two pair of either’s ware aforehand,)
Will, by most swift posts, dealing with him,
Arrive at competent means to keep himself,
His punk and naked boy, in excellent fashion,
And be admired for’t.

Kastril

Will the Doctor teach this?

Face

He will do more, sir: when your land is gone,
As men of spirit hate to keep earth long,
In a vacation, when small money is stirring,
And ordinaries suspended till the term,
He’ll show a perspective, where on one side
You shall behold the faces and the persons
Of all sufficient young heirs in town,
Whose bonds are current for commodity;
On th’ other side, the merchants’ forms, and others,
That without help of any second broker,
Who would expect a share, will trust such parcels:
In the third square, the very street and sign
Where the commodity dwells, and does but wait
To be delivered, be it pepper, soap,
Hops, or tobacco, oatmeal, woad, or cheeses.
All which you may so handle, to enjoy
To your own use, and never stand obliged.

Kastril

I’faith! Is he such a fellow?

Face

Why, Nab here knows him.
And then for making matches for rich widows,
Young gentlewomen, heirs, the fortunat’st man!
He’s sent to, far and near, all over England,
To have his counsel, and to know their fortunes.

Kastril

God’s will, my sister shall see him.

Face

I’ll tell you, sir,
What he did tell me of Nab. It’s a strange thing:⁠—
By the way, you must eat no cheese, Nab, it breeds melancholy,
And that same melancholy breeds worms; but pass it:⁠—
He told me, honest Nab here was ne’er at tavern
But once in’s life!

Drugger

Truth, and no more I was not.

Face

And then he was so sick⁠—

Drugger

Could he tell you that too?

Face

How should I know it?

Drugger

In troth we had been a-shooting,
And had a piece of fat ram-mutton to supper,
That lay so heavy o’ my stomach⁠—

Face

And he has no head
To bear any wine; for what with the noise of the fiddlers,
And care of his shop, for he dares keep no servants⁠—

Drugger

My head did so ache⁠—

Face

And he was fain to be brought home,
The Doctor told me: and then a good old woman⁠—

Drugger

Yes, faith, she dwells in Sea-coal Lane⁠—did cure me,
With sodden ale, and pellitory of the wall;
Cost me but twopence. I had another sickness
Was worse than that.

Face

Ay, that was with the grief
Thou took’st for being ’sessed at eighteen-pence,
For the water-work.

Drugger

In truth, and it was like
T’ have cost me almost my life.

Face

Thy hair went off?

Drugger

Yes, sir; ’twas done for spite.

Face

Nay, so says the Doctor.

Kastril

Pray thee, tobacco-boy, go fetch my sister;
I’ll see this learned boy before I go;
And so shall she.

Face

Sir, he is busy now:
But if you have a sister to fetch hither,
Perhaps your own pains may command her sooner;
And he by that time will be free.

Kastril

I go.

Exit.
Face

Drugger, she’s thine: the damask!⁠—

Exit Drugger.

Subtle and I
Must wrestle for her.
Aside.
—Come on, master Dapper,
You see how I turn clients here away,
To give your cause dispatch; have you performed
The ceremonies were enjoined you?

Dapper

Yes, of the vinegar,
And the clean shirt.

Face

’Tis well: that shirt may do you
More worship than you think. Your aunt’s afire,
But that she will not show it, t’ have a sight of you.
Have you provided for her Grace’s servants?

Dapper

Yes, here are six score Edward shillings.

Face

Good!

Dapper

And an old Harry’s sovereign.

Face

Very good!

Dapper

And three James shillings, and an Elizabeth groat,
Just twenty nobles.

Face

O, you are too just.
I would you had had the other noble in Marys.

Dapper

I have some Philip and Marys.

Face

Ay, those same
Are best of all: where are they? Hark, the Doctor.

Enter Subtle, disguised like a priest of Fairy, with a stripe of cloth.
Subtle

In a feigned voice. Is yet her grace’s cousin come?

Face

He is come.

Subtle

And is he fasting?

Face

Yes.

Subtle

And hath cried hum?

Face

Thrice, you must answer.

Dapper

Thrice.

Subtle

And as oft buz?

Face

If you have, say.

Dapper

I have.

Subtle

Then, to her cuz,
Hoping that he hath vinegared his senses,
As he was bid, the Fairy Queen dispenses,
By me, this robe, the petticoat of fortune;
Which that he straight put on, she doth importune.
And though to fortune near be her petticoat,
Yet nearer is her smock, the Queen doth note:
And therefore, ev’n of that a piece she hath sent
Which, being a child, to wrap him in was rent;
And prays him for a scarf he now will wear it,
With as much love as then her Grace did tear it,
About his eyes, to show he is fortunate.
They blind him with the rag.
And, trusting unto her to make his state,
He’ll throw away all worldly pelf about him;
Which that he will perform, she doth not doubt him.

Face

She need not doubt him, sir. Alas, he has nothing,
But what he will part withal as willingly,
Upon her Grace’s word⁠—throw away your purse⁠—
As she would ask it;⁠—handkerchiefs and all⁠—
He throws away, as they bid him.
She cannot bid that thing, but he’ll obey.⁠—
If you have a ring about you, cast it off,
Or a silver seal at your wrist; her Grace will send
Her fairies here to search you, therefore deal
Directly with her highness: if they find
That you conceal a mite, you are undone.

Dapper

Truly, there’s all.

Face

All what?

Dapper

My money; truly.

Face

Keep nothing that is transitory about you.
Aside to Subtle.
Bid Dol play music.⁠—
Dol plays on the cittern within.
Look, the elves are come.
To pinch you, if you tell not truth. Advise you.

They pinch him.
Dapper

O! I have a paper with a spur-rial in’t.

Face

Ti, ti.
They knew’t, they say.

Subtle

Ti, ti, ti, ti. He has more yet.

Face

Ti, ti-ti-ti.
Aside to Subtle.
In the other pocket.

Subtle

Titi, titi, titi, titi, titi.
They must pinch him or he will never confess, they say.

They pinch him again.
Dapper

O, O!

Face

Nay, pray you, hold: he is her Grace’s nephew,
Ti, ti, ti? What care you? Good faith, you shall care.⁠—
Deal plainly, sir, and shame the fairies. Show
You are innocent.

Dapper

By this good light, I have nothing.

Subtle

Ti, ti, ti, ti, to, ta. He does equivocate she says:
Ti, ti do ti, ti ti do, ti da;
and swears by the Light when he is blinded.

Dapper

By this good Dark, I have nothing but a half-crown
Of gold about my wrist, that my love gave me;
And a leaden heart I wore since she forsook me.

Face

I thought ’twas something. And would you incur
Your aunt’s displeasure for these trifles? Come,
I had rather you had thrown away twenty half-crowns.
Takes it off.
You may wear your leaden heart still.⁠—

Enter Dol hastily.

How now!

Subtle

What news, Dol?

Dol Common

Yonder’s your knight, Sir Mammon.

Face

’Ods lid, we never thought of him till now!
Where is he?

Dol Common

Here hard by: he is at the door.

Subtle

And you are not ready now! Dol, get his suit.

Exit Dol.

He must not be sent back.

Face

O, by no means.
What shall we do with this same puffin here,
Now he’s on the spit?

Subtle

Why, lay him back awhile,
With some device.

Re-enter Dol, with Face’s clothes.

—Ti, ti, ti, ti, ti, ti, Would her Grace speak with me?
I come.⁠—Help, Dol!

Knocking without.
Face

Speaks through the keyhole.
Who’s there? Sir Epicure,
My master’s in the way. Please you to walk
Three or four turns, but till his back be turned,
And I am for you.⁠—Quickly, Dol!

Subtle

Her Grace
Commends her kindly to you, master Dapper.

Dapper

I long to see her Grace.

Subtle

She now is set
At dinner in her bed, and she has sent you
From her own private trencher, a dead mouse,
And a piece of gingerbread, to be merry withal,
And stay your stomach, lest you faint with fasting:
Yet if you could hold out till she saw you, she says,
It would be better for you.

Face

Sir, he shall
Hold out, an ’twere this two hours, for her highness;
I can assure you that. We will not lose
All we have done.⁠—

Subtle

He must not see, nor speak
To anybody, till then.

Face

For that we’ll put, sir,
A stay in’s mouth.

Subtle

Of what?

Face

Of gingerbread.
Make you it fit. He that hath pleased her Grace
Thus far, shall not now crinkle for a little.⁠—
Gape, sir, and let him fit you.

They thrust a gag of gingerbread in his mouth.
Subtle

Where shall we now
Bestow him?

Dol Common

In the privy.

Subtle

Come along, sir,
I now must show you Fortune’s privy lodgings.

Face

Are they perfumed, and his bath ready?

Subtle

All:
Only the fumigation’s somewhat strong.

Face

Speaking through the keyhole.
Sir Epicure, I am yours, sir, by and by.

Exeunt with Dapper.

Act IV

Scene I

A room in Lovewit’s house.

Enter Face and Mammon.
Face

O sir, you’re come in the only finest time.⁠—

Sir Epicure Mammon

Where’s master?

Face

Now preparing for projection, sir.
Your stuff will be all changed shortly.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Into gold?

Face

To gold and silver, sir.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Silver I care not for.

Face

Yes, sir, a little to give beggars.

Sir Epicure 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—

Sir Epicure 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.⁠—

Sir Epicure Mammon

I warrant thee.

Face

Six men [sir] will not hold her down: and then,
If the old man should hear or see you⁠—

Sir Epicure 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.

Sir Epicure Mammon

I am schooled, good Ulen.

Face

And you must praise her house, remember that,
And her nobility.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Let me alone:
No herald, no, nor antiquary, Lungs,
Shall do it better. Go.

Face

Aside. Why, this is yet
A kind of modern happiness, to have
Dol Common for a great lady.

Exit.
Sir Epicure Mammon

Now, Epicure,
Heighten thyself, talk to her all in gold;
Rain her as many showers as Jove did drops
Unto his Danae; show the god a miser,
Compared with Mammon. What! The stone will do’t.
She shall feel gold, taste gold, hear gold, sleep gold;
Nay, we will concumbere 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—

Sir Epicure Mammon

Madam, with your pardon,
I kiss your vesture.

Dol Common

Sir, I were uncivil
If I would suffer that; my lip to you, sir.

Sir Epicure Mammon

I hope my lord your brother be in health, lady.

Dol Common

My lord, my brother is, though I no lady, sir.

Face

Aside. Well said, my Guinea bird.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Right noble madam⁠—

Face

Aside. O, we shall have most fierce idolatry.

Sir Epicure Mammon

’Tis your prerogative.

Dol Common

Rather your courtesy.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Were there nought else to enlarge your virtues to me,
These answers speak your breeding and your blood.

Dol Common

Blood we boast none, sir, a poor baron’s daughter.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Poor! And gat you? Profane not. Had your father
Slept all the happy remnant of his life
After that act, lien but there still, and panted,
He had done enough to make himself, his issue,
And his posterity noble.

Dol Common

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.

Sir Epicure 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!
Aside.
Her father was an Irish costermonger.

Sir Epicure Mammon

The house of Valois just had such a nose,
And such a forehead yet the Medici
Of Florence boast.

Dol Common

Troth, and I have been likened
To all these princes.

Face

Aside. I’ll be sworn, I heard it.

Sir Epicure Mammon

I know not how! It is not anyone,
But e’en the very choice of all their features.

Face

Aside. I’ll in, and laugh.

Exit.
Sir Epicure Mammon

A certain touch, or air,
That sparkles a divinity, beyond
An earthly beauty!

Dol Common

O, you play the courtier.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Good lady, give me leave⁠—

Dol Common

In faith, I may not,
To mock me, sir.

Sir Epicure Mammon

To burn in this sweet flame;
The phoenix never knew a nobler death.

Dol Common

Nay, now you court the courtier, and destroy
What you would build. This art, sir, in your words,
Calls your whole faith in question.

Sir Epicure Mammon

By my soul⁠—

Dol Common

Nay, oaths are made of the same air, sir.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Nature
Never bestowed upon mortality
A more unblamed, a more harmonious feature;
She played the stepdame in all faces else:
Sweet Madam, let me be particular⁠—

Dol Common

Particular, sir! I pray you know your distance.

Sir Epicure Mammon

In no ill sense, sweet lady; but to ask
How your fair graces pass the hours? I see
You are lodged here, in the house of a rare man,
An excellent artist; but what’s that to you?

Dol Common

Yes, sir; I study here the mathematics,
And distillation.

Sir Epicure 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 Common

Ay, and for his physic, sir⁠—

Sir Epicure Mammon

Above the art of Aesculapius,
That drew the envy of the thunderer!
I know all this, and more.

Dol Common

Troth, I am taken, sir,
Whole with these studies, that contemplate nature.

Sir Epicure 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 soloecism,
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?

Dol Common

Yes.

Sir Epicure 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 Common

In chains of adamant?

Sir Epicure Mammon

Yes, the strongest bands.
And take a secret too⁠—here, by your side,
Doth stand this hour, the happiest man in Europe.

Dol Common

You are contended, sir!

Sir Epicure Mammon

Nay, in true being,
The envy of princes and the fear of states.

Dol Common

Say you so, Sir Epicure?

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 Common

You mean no treason, sir?

Sir Epicure Mammon

No, I will take away that jealousy.
I am the lord of the philosopher’s stone,
And thou the lady.

Dol Common

How, sir! Have you that?

Sir Epicure Mammon

I am the master of the mystery.
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 Common

You are pleased, sir,
To work on the ambition of our sex.

Sir Epicure Mammon

I am pleased the glory of her sex should know,
This nook, here, of the Friars 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 asked,
What miracle she is; set all the eyes
Of court afire, like a burning glass,
And work them into cinders, when the jewels
Of twenty states adorn thee, and the light
Strikes out the stars! That when thy name is mentioned,
Queens may look pale; and we but showing our love,
Nero’s Poppaea may be lost in story!
Thus will we have it.

Dol Common

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.

Sir Epicure Mammon

If he knew it.

Dol Common

Yourself do boast it, sir.

Sir Epicure Mammon

To thee, my life.

Dol Common

O, but beware, sir! You may come to end
The remnants of your days in a loathed prison,
By speaking of it.

Sir Epicure 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 boiled in silver shells;
Our shrimps to swim again, as when they lived,
In a rare butter made of dolphins’ milk,
Whose cream does look like opals; and with these
Delicate meats set ourselves high for pleasure,
And take us down again, and then renew
Our youth and strength with drinking the elixir,
And so enjoy a perpetuity
Of life and lust! And thou shalt have thy wardrobe
Richer than nature’s, still to change thyself,
And vary oftener, for thy pride, than she,
Or art, her wise and almost-equal servant.

Re-enter Face.
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?

Sir Epicure Mammon

Excellent! Lungs. There’s for thee.

Gives him money.
Face

But do you hear?
Good sir, beware, no mention of the Rabbins.

Sir Epicure Mammon

We think not on ’em.

Exeunt Mammon and Dol.
Face

O, it is well, sir.⁠—Subtle!

Enter Subtle.

Dost thou not laugh?

Subtle

Yes; are they gone?

Face

All’s clear.

Subtle

The widow is come.

Face

And your quarrelling disciple?

Subtle

Ay.

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

Aside. What is this?
The angry tongue he talks in?

Subtle

That false precept,
Of being aforehand, has deceived a number,
And made them enter quarrels, oftentimes,
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 kiss 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 show them
Some fustian book, or the dark glass.

Face

’Fore God,
She is a delicate dabchick! 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 show 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 eyesight,
Against you see your fortune; which is greater,
Than I may judge upon the sudden, trust me.

Exit, followed by Kastril and Dame Pliant.
Re-enter Face.
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.

Re-enter Subtle.
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,
Thou art old, and canst not serve⁠—

Subtle

Who cannot? I?
’Slight, I will serve her with thee, for a⁠—

Face

Nay,
But understand: I’ll give you composition.

Subtle

I will not treat with thee; what! Sell my fortune?
’Tis better than my birthright. 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 overlook us like a tyrant.

Re-enter Face, introducing Surly disguised as a Spaniard.

Brain of a tailor! Who comes here? Don John!

Pertinax Surly

Señores, beso las manos a vuestras mercedes.

Subtle

Would you had stooped a little, and kissed our anos!

Face

Peace, Subtle.

Subtle

Stab me; I shall never hold, man.
He looks in that deep ruff like a head in a platter,
Served 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.

Subtle

Don,
Your scurvy, yellow, Madrid face is welcome.

Pertinax Surly

Gratia.

Subtle

He speaks out of a fortification.
Pray God he have no squibs in those deep sets.

Pertinax Surly

Por dios, señores, 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 cozened, Diego.

Face

Cozened, do you see,
My worthy Donzel, cozened.

Pertinax Surly

Entiendo.

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.

Pertinax Surly

Con licencia, se puede ver a esta señora?

Subtle

What talks he now?

Face

Of the Señora.

Subtle

O, Don,
This is the lioness, which you shall see
Also, my Don.

Face

’Slid, Subtle, how shall we do?

Subtle

For what?

Face

Why Dol’s employed, 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.
This is a travelled punk-master, and does know
All the delays; a notable hot rascal,
And looks already rampant.

Subtle

’Sdeath, and Mammon
Must not be troubled.

Face

Mammon! In no case.

Subtle

What shall we do then?

Face

Think: you must be sudden.

Pertinax Surly

Entiendo que la señora es tan hermosa, que codicio tan
verla, como la bien aventuranza de mi vida.

Face

Mi vida! ’Slid, Subtle, he puts me in mind of 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. It is but one man more,
Which of us chance to have her: and beside,
There is no maidenhead to be feared or lost.
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.

Pertinax Surly

Señores, porque se tarda tanto?

Subtle

Faith, I am not fit, I am old.

Face

That’s now no reason, sir.

Pertinax 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 discharged 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.

Pertinax Surly

Por estas honradas barbas⁠—

Subtle

He swears by his beard.
Dispatch, and call the brother too.

Exit Face.
Pertinax Surly

Tengo duda, señores,
que no me hagan alguna traycion.

Subtle

How, issue on? Yes, praesto, sennor. Please you
Enthratha the chambrata, worthy Don:
Where if you please the fates, in your bathada,
You shall be soaked, and stroked, and tubbed and rubbed,
And scrubbed, and fubbed, dear Don, before you go.
You shall in faith, my scurvy baboon Don,
Be curried, clawed, and flawed, and tawed, indeed.
I will the heartlier go about it now,
And make the widow a punk so much the sooner,
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 jennet is the best horse; your Spanish
Stoop is the best garb; your Spanish beard
Is the best cut; your Spanish ruffs are the best
Wear; your Spanish pavan 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 honoured 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 it, ’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 twelvemonth.

Subtle

Nay, shads and mackerel, which is worse.

Face

Indeed, sir!

Kastril

Od’s lid, you shall love him, or I’ll kick you.

Dame Pliant

Why,
I’ll do as you will have me, brother.

Kastril

Do,
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 kissed, and ruffled!

Subtle

Ay, behind the hangings.

Face

And then come forth in pomp!

Subtle

And know her state!

Face

Of keeping all the idolaters of the chamber
Barer to her, than at their prayers!

Subtle

Is served
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,
Bedlam, the china-houses⁠—

Face

Yes, and have
The citizens gape at her, and praise her tires,
And my lord’s goose-turd bands, that ride with her!

Kastril

Most brave! By this hand, you are not my sister,
If you refuse.

Dame Pliant

I will not refuse, brother.

Enter Surly.
Pertinax Surly

Que es esto, señores, 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!

Pertinax 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.

Pertinax Surly

El sol ha perdido su lumbre, con el
Esplandor que trae esta dama! Válgame Dios!

Face

He admires your sister.

Kastril

Must not she make curtsey?

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.

Pertinax Surly

Porqué no se acude?

Kastril

He speaks to her, I think.

Face

That he does, sir.

Pertinax Surly

Por el amor de Dios, qué es esto que se tarda?

Kastril

Nay, see: she will not understand him! Gull,
Noddy.

Dame Pliant

What say you, brother?

Kastril

Ass, my sister.
Go kiss him, as the cunning man would have you;
I’ll thrust a pin in your buttocks else.

Face

O no, sir.

Pertinax Surly

Señora mía, mi persona esta muy indigna de
Allegara 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?

Pertinax Surly

Señora, si sera servida, 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.

Kastril

Agreed.
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!

Kastril

Why,
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 guessed it.
Come, let’s go practise.

Kastril

Yes, but do you think, Doctor,
I e’er shall quarrel well?

Subtle

I warrant you.

Exeunt.

Scene III

Another room in the same.

Enter Dol in her fit of raving, followed by Mammon.
Dol Common

“For after Alexander’s death”⁠—

Sir Epicure Mammon

Good lady⁠—

Dol Common

“That Perdiccas and Antigonus, were slain,
The two that stood, Seleuc’, and Ptolomee”⁠—

Sir Epicure Mammon

Madam⁠—

Dol Common

“Made up the two legs, and the fourth beast,
That was Gog-north, and Egypt-south: which after
Was called Gog-iron-leg and South-iron-leg”⁠—

Sir Epicure Mammon

Lady⁠—

Dol Common

“And then Gog-horned. So was Egypt, too:
Then Egypt-clay-leg, and Gog-clay-leg”⁠—

Sir Epicure Mammon

Sweet madam⁠—

Dol Common

“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”⁠—

Sir Epicure Mammon

What shall I do?

Dol Common

“For,” as he says, “except
We call the Rabbins, and the heathen Greeks”⁠—

Sir Epicure Mammon

Dear lady⁠—

Dol Common

“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 Common

“To speak the tongue of Eber, and Javan”⁠—

Sir Epicure Mammon

O,
She’s in her fit.

Dol Common

“We shall know nothing”⁠—

Face

Death, sir,
We are undone!

Dol Common

“Where then a learned linguist
Shall see the ancient used communion
Of vowels and consonants”⁠—

Face

My master will hear!

Dol Common

“A wisdom, which Pythagoras held most high”⁠—

Sir Epicure Mammon

Sweet honourable lady!

Dol Common

“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 Common

“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?

Sir Epicure Mammon

Alas, I talked
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.

Sir Epicure 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.
Sir Epicure 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.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Nay, good, dear Father,
There was no unchaste purpose.

Subtle

Not? And flee me
When I come in?

Sir Epicure 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!

Sir Epicure 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?

Sir Epicure 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?

Sir Epicure 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.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Why, sir?

Subtle

This will retard
The work a month at least.

Sir Epicure 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.⁠—

Re-enter Face.

What’s that?

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.
Knocking within.
Who’s there? My lord her brother is come.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Ha, Lungs!

Face

His coach is at the door. Avoid his sight,
For he’s as furious as his sister’s mad.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Alas!

Face

My brain is quite undone with the fume, sir,
I ne’er must hope to be mine own man again.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Is all lost, Lungs? Will nothing be preserved
Of all our cost?

Face

Faith, very little, sir;
A peck of coals or so, which is cold comfort, sir.

Sir Epicure Mammon

O, my voluptuous mind! I am justly punished.

Face

And so am I, sir.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Cast from all my hopes⁠—

Face

Nay, certainties, sir.

Sir Epicure Mammon

By mine own base affections.

Subtle

Seeming to come to himself.
O, the curst fruits of vice and lust!

Sir Epicure 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.

Sir Epicure 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 Bedlam⁠—

Sir Epicure Mammon

Yes.

Face

For the restoring such as⁠—have their wits.

Sir Epicure Mammon

I’ll do’t.

Face

I’ll send one to you to receive it.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Do.
Is no projection left?

Face

All flown, or stinks, sir.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Will nought be saved that’s good for medicine, 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.

Exit Mammon.
Subtle

Raising his head. Face!

Face

Ay.

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.

Exeunt.

Scene IV

Another room in the same.

Enter Surly and Dame Pliant.
Pertinax Surly

Lady, you see into what hands you are fallen;
’Mongst what a nest of villains! And how near
Your honour was t’ have catched 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 wronged 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 preserved you a woman. Think upon it,
And whether I have deserved you or no.

Dame Pliant

I will, sir.

Pertinax Surly

And for these household-rogues, let me alone
To treat with them.

Enter Subtle.
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,
After your coitum, and scurvy: truly,
I do not like the dullness of your eye;
It hath a heavy cast, ’tis upsee Dutch,
And says you are a lumpish whoremaster.
Be lighter, and I will make your pockets so.
Attempts to pick them.

Pertinax Surly

Throws open his cloak. Will you, don bawd and pickpurse?
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!

Pertinax 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 cozened,
Do you see, cozened?” Where’s your Captain Face,
That parcel broker, and whole-bawd, all rascal!

Enter Face, in his uniform.
Face

How, Surly!

Pertinax Surly

O, make your approach, good Captain.
I have found from whence your copper rings and spoons
Come, now, wherewith you cheat abroad in taverns.
’Twas here you learned 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 and can conjure, cures
Plagues, piles, and pox, by the ephemerides,
And holds intelligence with all the bawds
And midwives of three shires: while you send in⁠—
Captain!⁠—what! Is he gone?⁠—damsels with child,
Wives that are barren, or the waiting-maid
With the green sickness.
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?

Pertinax Surly

I should be loath, sir,
To confess so much.

Kastril

Then you lie in your throat.

Pertinax Surly

How!

Face

To Kastril. A very errant rogue, sir, and a cheater,
Employed here by another conjurer
That does not love the Doctor, and would cross him,
If he knew how.

Pertinax Surly

Sir, you are abused.

Kastril

You lie:
And ’tis no matter.

Face

Well said, sir! He is
The impudent’st rascal⁠—

Pertinax Surly

You are indeed: Will you hear me, sir?

Face

By no means: bid him be gone.

Kastril

Begone, sir, quickly.

Pertinax 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.
Aside.
—Bear up, Subtle.

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!

Kastril

Ay,
I know⁠—
To his sister.
Away, you talk like a foolish mauther.

Pertinax Surly

Sir, all is truth she says.

Face

Do not believe him, sir.
He is the lying’st swabber! Come your ways, sir.

Pertinax 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,
Aside to Drugger.
This cheater would have cozened thee o’ the widow.⁠—
He owes this honest Drugger here, seven pound,
He has had on him, in twopenny ’orths of tobacco.

Drugger

Yes, sir. And he has damned himself three terms to pay me.

Face

And what does he owe for lotium?

Drugger

Thirty shillings, sir;
And for six syringes.

Pertinax Surly

Hydra of villainy!

Face

Nay, sir, you must quarrel him out o’ the house.

Kastril

I will:
—Sir, if you get not out of doors, you lie;
And you are a pimp.

Pertinax Surly

Why, this is madness, sir,
Not valour 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?

Enter Ananias.
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.

Pertinax 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.

Pertinax Surly

New rascals!

Kastril

Will you begone, sir?

Ananias

Avoid, Satan!
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.

Pertinax Surly

I must give way.

Kastril

Be gone, sir.

Pertinax Surly

But I’ll take
A course with you⁠—

Ananias

Depart, proud Spanish fiend!

Pertinax 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 return him then.

Exit.
Subtle takes Ananias aside.
Face

Drugger, this rogue prevented us for thee:
We had determined 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: Aside.⁠—Thou shalt, if I can help it.⁠—
Hieronimo’s old cloak, ruff, and hat will serve;
I’ll tell thee more when thou bring’st ’em.

Exit Drugger.
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 revealed no less to them than me,
That casting of money is most lawful.

Subtle

True.
But here I cannot do it: if the house
Should chance to be suspected, all would out,
And we be locked up in the Tower forever,
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 looked 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 Common

Yes; but another is come,
You little looked for!

Face

Who’s that?

Dol Common

Your master;
The master of the house.

Subtle

How, Dol!

Face

She lies,
This is some trick. Come, leave your quiblins, Dorothy.

Dol Common

Look out, and see.

Face goes to the window.
Subtle

Art thou in earnest?

Dol Common

’Slight,
Forty of the neighbours are about him, talking.

Face

’Tis he, by this good day.

Dol Common

’Twill prove ill day
For some on us.

Face

We are undone, and taken.

Dol Common

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 meantime,
Do you two pack up all the goods and purchase,
That we can carry in the two trunks. I’ll keep him
Off for today, if I cannot longer: and then
At night, I’ll ship you both away to Ratcliff,
Where we will meet tomorrow, and there we’ll share.
Let Mammon’s brass and pewter keep the cellar;
We’ll have another time for that. But, Dol,
’Prythee 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.

Exeunt.

Act V

Scene I

Before Lovewit’s door.

Enter Lovewit, with several of the Neighbours.
Lovewit

Has there been such resort, say you?

1 Neighbour

Daily, sir.

2 Neighbour

And nightly, too.

3 Neighbour

Ay, some as brave as lords.

4 Neighbour

Ladies and gentlewomen.

5 Neighbour

Citizens’ wives.

1 Neighbour

And knights.

6 Neighbour

In coaches.

2 Neighbour

Yes, and oyster women.

1 Neighbour

Beside other gallants.

3 Neighbour

Sailors’ wives.

4 Neighbour

Tobacco men.

5 Neighbour

Another Pimlico!

Lovewit

What should my knave advance,
To draw this company? He hung out no banners
Of a strange calf with five legs to be seen,
Or a huge lobster with six claws?

6 Neighbour

No, sir.

3 Neighbour

We had gone in then, sir.

Lovewit

He has no gift
Of teaching in the nose that e’er I knew of.
You saw no bills set up that promised cure
Of agues, or the toothache?

2 Neighbour

No such thing, sir!

Lovewit

Nor heard a drum struck for baboons or puppets?

5 Neighbour

Neither, sir.

Lovewit

What device should he bring forth now?
I love a teeming wit as I love my nourishment:
’Pray God he have not kept such open house,
That he hath sold my hangings, and my bedding!
I left him nothing else. If he have eat them,
A plague o’ the moth, say I! Sure he has got
Some bawdy pictures to call all this ging!
The friar and the nun; or the new motion
Of the knight’s courser covering the parson’s mare;
Or ’t may be, he has the fleas that run at tilt
Upon a table, or some dog to dance.
When saw you him?

1 Neighbour

Who, sir, Jeremy?

2 Neighbour

Jeremy butler?
We saw him not this month.

Lovewit

How!

4 Neighbour

Not these five weeks, sir.

6 Neighbour

These six weeks at the least.

Lovewit

You amaze me, neighbours!

5 Neighbour

Sure, if your worship know not where he is,
He’s slipt away.

6 Neighbour

Pray God, he be not made away.

Lovewit

Ha! It’s no time to question, then.

Knocks at the door.
6 Neighbour

About
Some three weeks since, I heard a doleful cry,
As I sat up a mending my wife’s stockings.

Lovewit

’Tis strange that none will answer! Didst thou hear
A cry, sayst thou?

6 Neighbour

Yes, sir, like unto a man
That had been strangled an hour, and could not speak.

2 Neighbour

I heard it too, just this day three weeks, at two o’clock
Next morning.

Lovewit

These be miracles, or you make them so!
A man an hour strangled, and could not speak,
And both you heard him cry?

3 Neighbour

Yes, downward, sir.

Lovewit

Thou art a wise fellow. Give me thy hand, I pray thee.
What trade art thou on?

3 Neighbour

A smith, and’t please your worship.

Lovewit

A smith! Then lend me thy help to get this door open.

3 Neighbour

That I will presently, sir, but fetch my tools⁠—

Exit.
1 Neighbour

Sir, best to knock again, afore you break it.

Lovewit

I will. Knocks again.

Enter Face, in his butler’s livery.
Face

What mean you, sir?

1, 2, 4 Neighbour

O, here’s Jeremy!

Face

Good sir, come from the door.

Lovewit

Why, what’s the matter?

Face

Yet farther, you are too near yet.

Lovewit

In the name of wonder,
What means the fellow!

Face

The house, sir, has been visited.

Lovewit

What, with the plague? Stand thou then farther.

Face

No, sir,
I had it not.

Lovewit

Who had it then? I left
None else but thee in the house.

Face

Yes, sir, my fellow,
The cat that kept the buttery, had it on her
A week before I spied it; but I got her
Conveyed away in the night: and so I shut
The house up for a month⁠—

Lovewit

How!

Face

Purposing then, sir,
To have burnt rose-vinegar, treacle, and tar,
And have made it sweet, that you should ne’er have known it;
Because I knew the news would but afflict you, sir.

Lovewit

Breathe less, and farther off! Why this is stranger:
The neighbours tell me all here that the doors
Have still been open⁠—

Face

How, sir!

Lovewit

Gallants, men and women,
And of all sorts, tag-rag, been seen to flock here
In threaves, these ten weeks, as to a second Hogsden,
In days of Pimlico and Eye-bright.

Face

Sir,
Their wisdoms will not say so.

Lovewit

Today they speak
Of coaches and gallants; one in a French hood
Went in, they tell me; and another was seen
In a velvet gown at the window: divers more
Pass in and out.

Face

They did pass through the doors then,
Or walls, I assure their eyesights, and their spectacles;
For here, sir, are the keys, and here have been,
In this my pocket, now above twenty days:
And for before, I kept the fort alone there.
But that ’tis yet not deep in the afternoon,
I should believe my neighbours had seen double
Through the black pot, and made these apparitions!
For, on my faith to your worship, for these three weeks
And upwards the door has not been opened.

Lovewit

Strange!

1 Neighbour

Good faith, I think I saw a coach.

2 Neighbour

And I too,
I’d have been sworn.

Lovewit

Do you but think it now?
And but one coach?

4 Neighbour

We cannot tell, sir: Jeremy
Is a very honest fellow.

Face

Did you see me at all?

1 Neighbour

No; that we are sure on.

2 Neighbour

I’ll be sworn o’ that.

Lovewit

Fine rogues to have your testimonies built on!

Re-enter 3 Neighbour, with his tools.
3 Neighbour

Is Jeremy come!

1 Neighbour

O yes; you may leave your tools;
We were deceived, he says.

2 Neighbour

He has had the keys;
And the door has been shut these three weeks.

3 Neighbour

Like enough.

Lovewit

Peace, and get hence, you changelings.

Enter Surly and Mammon.
Face

Aside. Surly come!
And Mammon made acquainted! They’ll tell all.
How shall I beat them off? What shall I do?
Nothing’s more wretched than a guilty conscience.

Pertinax Surly

No, sir, he was a great physician. This,
It was no bawdyhouse, but a mere chancel!
You knew the lord and his sister.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Nay, good Surly.⁠—

Pertinax Surly

The happy word, Be Rich⁠—

Sir Epicure Mammon

Play not the tyrant.⁠—

Pertinax Surly

“Should be today pronounced to all your friends.”
And where be your andirons now? And your brass pots,
That should have been golden flagons, and great wedges?

Sir Epicure Mammon

Let me but breathe. What, they have shut their doors,
Methinks!

Pertinax Surly

Ay, now ’tis holiday with them.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Rogues,
He and Surly knock.
Cozeners, imposters, bawds!

Face

What mean you, sir?

Sir Epicure Mammon

To enter if we can.

Face

Another man’s house!
Here is the owner, sir: turn you to him,
And speak your business.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Are you, sir, the owner?

Lovewit

Yes, sir.

Sir Epicure Mammon

And are those knaves within your cheaters!

Lovewit

What knaves, what cheaters?

Sir Epicure Mammon

Subtle and his Lungs.

Face

The gentleman is distracted, sir! No lungs,
Nor lights have been seen here these three weeks, sir,
Within these doors, upon my word.

Pertinax Surly

Your word,
Groom arrogant!

Face

Yes, sir, I am the housekeeper,
And know the keys have not been out of my hands.

Pertinax Surly

This is a new Face.

Face

You do mistake the house, sir:
What sign was’t at?

Pertinax Surly

You rascal! This is one
Of the confederacy. Come, let’s get officers,
And force the door.

Lovewit

’Pray you stay, gentlemen.

Pertinax Surly

No, sir, we’ll come with warrant.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Ay, and then
We shall have your doors open.

Exeunt Mammon and Surly.
Lovewit

What means this?

Face

I cannot tell, sir.

1 Neighbour

These are two of the gallants
That we do think we saw.

Face

Two of the fools!
Your talk as idly as they. Good faith, sir,
I think the moon has crazed ’em all.⁠—
Aside.
O me,

Enter Kastril.

The angry boy come too! He’ll make a noise,
And ne’er away till he have betrayed us all.

Kastril

Knocking.
What rogues, bawds, slaves, you’ll open the door, anon!
Punk, cockatrice, my sister! By this light
I’ll fetch the marshal to you. You are a whore
To keep your castle⁠—

Face

Who would you speak with, sir?

Kastril

The bawdy Doctor, and the cozening Captain,
And puss my sister.

Lovewit

This is something, sure.

Face

Upon my trust, the doors were never open, sir.

Kastril

I have heard all their tricks told me twice over,
By the fat knight and the lean gentleman.

Lovewit

Here comes another.

Enter Ananias and Tribulation.
Face

Ananias too!
And his pastor!

Tribulation Wholesome

Beating at the door.
The doors are shut against us.

Ananias

Come forth, you seed of sulphur, sons of fire!
Your stench it is broke forth; abomination
Is in the house.

Kastril

Ay, my sister’s there.

Ananias

The place,
It is become a cage of unclean birds.

Kastril

Yes, I will fetch the scavenger, and the constable.

Tribulation Wholesome

You shall do well.

Ananias

We’ll join to weed them out.

Kastril

You will not come then, punk devise, my sister!

Ananias

Call her not sister; she’s a harlot verily.

Kastril

I’ll raise the street.

Lovewit

Good gentlemen, a word.

Ananias

Satan avoid, and hinder not our zeal!

Exeunt Ananias, Tribulation, and Kastril.
Lovewit

The world’s turned Bedlam.

Face

These are all broke loose,
Out of St. Katherine’s, where they use to keep
The better sort of mad-folks.

1 Neighbour

All these persons
We saw go in and out here.

2 Neighbour

Yes, indeed, sir.

3 Neighbour

These were the parties.

Face

Peace, you drunkards! Sir,
I wonder at it: please you to give me leave
To touch the door, I’ll try an the lock be changed.

Lovewit

It mazes me!

Face

Goes to the door. Good faith, sir, I believe
There’s no such thing: ’tis all deceptio visus.⁠—
Aside.
Would I could get him away.

Dapper

Within. Master Captain! Master Doctor!

Lovewit

Who’s that?

Face

Aside. Our clerk within, that I forgot!
I know not, sir.

Dapper

Within. For God’s sake, when will her Grace be at leisure?

Face

Ha!
Illusions, some spirit o’ the air⁠—
Aside. His gag is melted,
And now he sets out the throat.

Dapper

Within. I am almost stifled⁠—

Face

Aside. Would you were altogether.

Lovewit

’Tis in the house.
Ha! List.

Face

Believe it, sir, in the air.

Lovewit

Peace, you.

Dapper

Within. Mine aunt’s Grace does not use me well.

Subtle

Within. You fool,
Peace, you’ll mar all.

Face

Speaks through the keyhole, while Lovewit advances to the door unobserved.
Or you will else, you rogue.

Lovewit

O, is it so? Then you converse with spirits!⁠—
Come, sir. No more of your tricks, good Jeremy.
The truth, the shortest way.

Face

Dismiss this rabble, sir.⁠—
Aside. What shall I do? I am catched.

Lovewit

Good neighbours,
I thank you all. You may depart.

Exeunt Neighbours.

—Come, sir,
You know that I am an indulgent master;
And therefore conceal nothing. What’s your medicine,
To draw so many several sorts of wild fowl?

Face

Sir, you were wont to affect mirth and wit⁠—
But here’s no place to talk on’t in the street.
Give me but leave to make the best of my fortune,
And only pardon me the abuse of your house:
It’s all I beg. I’ll help you to a widow,
In recompence, that you shall give me thanks for,
Will make you seven years younger, and a rich one.
’Tis but your putting on a Spanish cloak:
I have her within. You need not fear the house;
It was not visited.

Lovewit

But by me, who came
Sooner than you expected.

Face

It is true, sir.
’Pray you forgive me.

Lovewit

Well: let’s see your widow.

Exeunt.

Scene II

A room in the same.

Enter Subtle, leading in Dapper, with his eyes bound as before.
Subtle

How! You have eaten your gag?

Dapper

Yes faith, it crumbled
Away in my mouth.

Subtle

You have spoiled all then.

Dapper

No!
I hope my aunt of Fairy will forgive me.

Subtle

Your aunt’s a gracious lady; but in troth
You were to blame.

Dapper

The fume did overcome me,
And I did do’t to stay my stomach. ’Pray you
So satisfy her Grace.

Enter Face, in his uniform.

Here comes the Captain.

Face

How now! Is his mouth down?

Subtle

Ay, he has spoken!

Face

A pox, I heard him, and you too.⁠—He’s undone then.⁠—
I have been fain to say, the house is haunted
With spirits, to keep churl back.

Subtle

And hast thou done it?

Face

Sure, for this night.

Subtle

Why, then triumph and sing
Of Face so famous, the precious king
Of present wits.

Face

Did you not hear the coil
About the door?

Subtle

Yes, and I dwindled with it.

Face

Show him his aunt, and let him be dispatched:
I’ll send her to you.

Exit Face.
Subtle

Well, sir, your aunt her Grace
Will give you audience presently, on my suit,
And the Captain’s word that you did not eat your gag
In any contempt of her Highness.

Unbinds his eyes.
Dapper

Not I, in troth, sir.

Enter Dol, like the Queen of Fairy.
Subtle

Here she is come. Down o’ your knees and wriggle:
She has a stately presence.
Dapper kneels, and shuffles towards her.
Good! Yet nearer,
And bid, God save you!

Dapper

Madam!

Subtle

And your aunt.

Dapper

And my most gracious aunt, God save your Grace.

Dol Common

Nephew, we thought to have been angry with you;
But that sweet face of yours hath turned the tide,
And made it flow with joy, that ebbed of love.
Arise, and touch our velvet gown.

Subtle

The skirts,
And kiss ’em. So!

Dol Common

Let me now stroke that head.
“Much, nephew, shalt thou win, much shalt thou spend,
Much shalt thou give away, much shalt thou lend.”

Subtle

Aside. Ay, much! Indeed.⁠—Why do you not thank her Grace?

Dapper

I cannot speak for joy.

Subtle

See, the kind wretch!
Your Grace’s kinsman right.

Dol Common

Give me the bird.
Here is your fly in a purse, about your neck, cousin;
Wear it, and feed it about this day sev’n-night,
On your right wrist⁠—

Subtle

Open a vein with a pin,
And let it suck but once a week; till then,
You must not look on’t.

Dol Common

No: and kinsman,
Bear yourself worthy of the blood you come on.

Subtle

Her Grace would have you eat no more Woolsack pies,
Nor Dagger frumety.

Dol Common

Nor break his fast
In Heaven and Hell.

Subtle

She’s with you everywhere!
Nor play with costermongers, at mum-chance, tray-trip,
God make you rich; (when as your aunt has done it);
But keep
The gallantest company, and the best games⁠—

Dapper

Yes, sir.

Subtle

Gleek and primero; and what you get, be true to us.

Dapper

By this hand, I will.

Subtle

You may bring’s a thousand pound
Before tomorrow night, if but three thousand
Be stirring, an you will.

Dapper

I swear I will then.

Subtle

Your fly will learn you all games.

Face

Within. Have you done there?

Subtle

Your Grace will command him no more duties?

Dol Common

No:
But come, and see me often. I may chance
To leave him three or four hundred chests of treasure,
And some twelve thousand acres of Fairyland,
If he game well and comely with good gamesters.

Subtle

There’s a kind aunt! Kiss her departing part.⁠—
But you must sell your forty mark a year, now.

Dapper

Ay, sir, I mean.

Subtle

Or, give’t away; pox on’t!

Dapper

I’ll give’t mine aunt. I’ll go and fetch the writings.

Exit.
Subtle

’Tis well⁠—away!

Re-enter Face.
Face

Where’s Subtle?

Subtle

Here: what news?

Face

Drugger is at the door, go take his suit,
And bid him fetch a parson, presently;
Say, he shall marry the widow. Thou shalt spend
A hundred pound by the service!

Exit Subtle.

Now, queen Dol,
Have you packed up all?

Dol Common

Yes.

Face

And how do you like
The lady Pliant?

Dol Common

A good dull innocent.

Re-enter Subtle.
Subtle

Here’s your Hieronimo’s cloak and hat.

Face

Give me them.

Subtle

And the ruff too?

Face

Yes; I’ll come to you presently.

Exit.
Subtle

Now he is gone about his project, Dol,
I told you of, for the widow.

Dol Common

’Tis direct
Against our articles.

Subtle

Well, we will fit him, wench.
Hast thou gulled her of her jewels or her bracelets?

Dol Common

No; but I will do’t.

Subtle

Soon at night, my Dolly,
When we are shipped, and all our goods aboard,
Eastward for Ratcliff, we will turn our course
To Brainford, westward, if thou sayst the word,
And take our leaves of this o’er-weening rascal,
This peremptory Face.

Dol Common

Content, I’m weary of him.

Subtle

Thou’st cause, when the slave will run a wiving, Dol,
Against the instrument that was drawn between us.

Dol Common

I’ll pluck his bird as bare as I can.

Subtle

Yes, tell her,
She must by any means address some present
To the cunning man, make him amends for wronging
His art with her suspicion; send a ring,
Or chain of pearl; she will be tortured else
Extremely in her sleep, say, and have strange things
Come to her. Wilt thou?

Dol Common

Yes.

Subtle

My fine flitter-mouse,
My bird o’ the night! We’ll tickle it at the Pigeons,
When we have all, and may unlock the trunks,
And say, this’s mine, and thine; and thine, and mine.

They kiss.
Re-enter Face.
Face

What now! A billing?

Subtle

Yes, a little exalted
In the good passage of our stock-affairs.

Face

Drugger has brought his parson; take him in, Subtle,
And send Nab back again to wash his face.

Subtle

I will: and shave himself?

Exit.
Face

If you can get him.

Dol Common

You are hot upon it, Face, whate’er it is!

Face

A trick that Dol shall spend ten pound a month by.

Re-enter Subtle.

Is he gone?

Subtle

The chaplain waits you in the hall, sir.

Face

I’ll go bestow him.

Exit.
Dol Common

He’ll now marry her, instantly.

Subtle

He cannot yet, he is not ready. Dear Dol,
Cozen her of all thou canst. To deceive him
Is no deceit, but justice, that would break
Such an inextricable tie as ours was.

Dol Common

Let me alone to fit him.

Re-enter Face.
Face

Come, my venturers,
You have packed up all? Where be the trunks? Bring forth.

Subtle

Here.

Face

Let us see them. Where’s the money?

Subtle

Here,
In this.

Face

Mammon’s ten pound; eight score before:
The Brethren’s money, this. Drugger’s and Dapper’s.
What paper’s that?

Dol Common

The jewel of the waiting maid’s,
That stole it from her lady, to know certain⁠—

Face

If she should have precedence of her mistress?

Dol Common

Yes.

Face

What box is that?

Subtle

The fishwives’ rings, I think,
And the alewives’ single money. Is’t not, Dol?

Dol Common

Yes; and the whistle that the sailor’s wife
Brought you to know an her husband were with Ward.

Face

We’ll wet it tomorrow; and our silver-beakers
And tavern cups. Where be the French petticoats,
And girdles and hangers?

Subtle

Here, in the trunk,
And the bolts of lawn.

Face

Is Drugger’s damask there,
And the tobacco?

Subtle

Yes.

Face

Give me the keys.

Dol Common

Why you the keys?

Subtle

No matter, Dol; because
We shall not open them before he comes.

Face

’Tis true, you shall not open them, indeed;
Nor have them forth, do you see? Not forth, Dol.

Dol Common

No!

Face

No, my smock rampant. The right is, my master
Knows all, has pardoned me, and he will keep them;
Doctor, ’tis true⁠—you look⁠—for all your figures:
I sent for him, indeed. Wherefore, good partners,
Both he and she be satisfied; for here
Determines the indenture tripartite
’Twixt Subtle, Dol, and Face. All I can do
Is to help you over the wall, o’ the backside,
Or lend you a sheet to save your velvet gown, Dol.
Here will be officers presently, bethink you
Of some course suddenly to ’scape the dock:
For thither you will come else.
Loud knocking.
Hark you, thunder.

Subtle

You are a precious fiend!

Officer

Without. Open the door.

Face

Dol, I am sorry for thee i’faith; but hear’st thou?
It shall go hard but I will place thee somewhere:
Thou shalt have my letter to mistress Amo⁠—

Dol Common

Hang you!

Face

Or madam Caesarean.

Dol Common

Pox upon you, rogue,
Would I had but time to beat thee!

Face

Subtle,
Let’s know where you set up next; I will send you
A customer now and then, for old acquaintance:
What new course have you?

Subtle

Rogue, I’ll hang myself;
That I may walk a greater devil than thou,
And haunt thee in the flock-bed and the buttery.

Exeunt.

Scene III

An outer room in the same.

Enter Lovewit in the Spanish dress, with the Parson. Loud knocking at the door.
Lovewit

What do you mean, my masters?

Sir Epicure Mammon

Without. Open your door,
Cheaters, bawds, conjurers.

Officer

Without. Or we will break it open.

Lovewit

What warrant have you?

Officer

Without. Warrant enough, sir, doubt not,
If you’ll not open it.

Lovewit

Is there an officer, there?

Officer

Without. Yes, two or three for failing.

Lovewit

Have but patience,
And I will open it straight.

Enter Face, as butler.
Face

Sir, have you done?
Is it a marriage? Perfect?

Lovewit

Yes, my brain.

Face

Off with your ruff and cloak then; be yourself, sir.

Pertinax Surly

Without. Down with the door.

Kastril

Without. ’Slight, ding it open.

Lovewit

Opening the door. Hold,
Hold, gentlemen, what means this violence?

Mammon, Surly, Kastril, Ananias, Tribulation, and Officers, rush in.
Sir Epicure Mammon

Where is this collier?

Pertinax Surly

And my Captain Face?

Sir Epicure Mammon

These day owls.

Pertinax Surly

That are birding in men’s purses.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Madam Suppository.

Kastril

Doxy, my sister.

Ananias

Locusts
Of the foul pit.

Tribulation Wholesome

Profane as Bel and the dragon.

Ananias

Worse than the grasshoppers, or the lice of Egypt.

Lovewit

Good gentlemen, hear me. Are you officers,
And cannot stay this violence?

1 Officer

Keep the peace.

Lovewit

Gentlemen, what is the matter? Whom do you seek?

Sir Epicure Mammon

The chemical cozener.

Pertinax Surly

And the Captain pander.

Kastril

The nun my sister.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Madam Rabbi.

Ananias

Scorpions,
And caterpillars.

Lovewit

Fewer at once, I pray you.

2 Officer

One after another, gentlemen, I charge you,
By virtue of my staff.

Ananias

They are the vessels
Of pride, lust, and the cart.

Lovewit

Good zeal, lie still
A little while.

Tribulation Wholesome

Peace, deacon Ananias.

Lovewit

The house is mine here, and the doors are open;
If there be any such persons as you seek for,
Use your authority, search on o’ God’s name.
I am but newly come to town, and finding
This tumult ’bout my door, to tell you true,
It somewhat mazed me; till my man, here, fearing
My more displeasure, told me he had done
Somewhat an insolent part, let out my house
(Belike, presuming on my known aversion
From any air o’ the town while there was sickness,)
To a Doctor and a Captain: who, what they are
Or where they be, he knows not.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Are they gone?

Lovewit

You may go in and search, sir.

Mammon, Ananias, and Tribulation go in.

Here, I find
The empty walls worse than I left them, smoked,
A few cracked pots, and glasses, and a furnace:
The ceiling filled with poesies of the candle,
And madam with a dildo writ o’ the walls:
Only one gentlewoman, I met here,
That is within, that said she was a widow⁠—

Kastril

Ay, that’s my sister; I’ll go thump her. Where is she?

Goes in.
Lovewit

And should have married a Spanish Count, but he,
When he came to’t, neglected her so grossly,
That I, a widower, am gone through with her.

Pertinax Surly

How! Have I lost her then?

Lovewit

Were you the Don, sir?
Good faith, now, she does blame you extremely, and says
You swore, and told her you had taken the pains
To dye your beard, and umber o’er your face,
Borrowed a suit, and ruff, all for her love;
And then did nothing. What an oversight,
And want of putting forward, sir, was this!
Well fare an old harquebuzier, yet,
Could prime his powder, and give fire, and hit,
All in a twinkling!

Re-enter Mammon.
Sir Epicure Mammon

The whole nest are fled!

Lovewit

What sort of birds were they?

Sir Epicure Mammon

A kind of choughs,
Or thievish daws, sir, that have picked my purse
Of eight score and ten pounds within these five weeks,
Beside my first materials; and my goods,
That lie in the cellar, which I am glad they have left,
I may have home yet.

Lovewit

Think you so, sir?

Sir Epicure Mammon

Ay.

Lovewit

By order of law, sir, but not otherwise.

Sir Epicure Mammon

Not mine own stuff!

Lovewit

Sir, I can take no knowledge
That they are yours, but by public means.
If you can bring certificate that you were gulled of them,
Or any formal writ out of a court,
That you did cozen yourself, I will not hold them.

Sir Epicure Mammon

I’ll rather lose them.

Lovewit

That you shall not, sir,
By me, in troth: upon these terms, they are yours.
What! Should they have been, sir, turned into gold, all?

Sir Epicure Mammon

No,
I cannot tell⁠—It may be they should.⁠—What then?

Lovewit

What a great loss in hope have you sustained!

Sir Epicure Mammon

Not I, the Commonwealth has.

Face

Ay, he would have built
The city new; and made a ditch about it
Of silver, should have run with cream from Hogsden;
That every Sunday, in Moorfields, the younkers,
And tits and tomboys should have fed on, gratis.

Sir Epicure Mammon

I will go mount a turnip-cart, and preach
The end of the world, within these two months. Surly,
What! In a dream?

Pertinax Surly

Must I needs cheat myself,
With that same foolish vice of honesty!
Come, let us go and hearken out the rogues:
That Face I’ll mark for mine, if e’er I meet him.

Face

If I can hear of him, sir, I’ll bring you word,
Unto your lodging; for in troth, they were strangers
To me, I thought them honest as myself, sir.

Exeunt Mammon and Surly.
Re-enter Ananias and Tribulation.
Tribulation Wholesome

’Tis well, the saints shall not lose all yet. Go,
And get some carts⁠—

Lovewit

For what, my zealous friends?

Ananias

To bear away the portion of the righteous
Out of this den of thieves.

Lovewit

What is that portion?

Ananias

The goods sometimes the orphan’s, that the Brethren
Bought with their silver pence.

Lovewit

What, those in the cellar,
The knight Sir Mammon claims?

Ananias

I do defy
The wicked Mammon, so do all the Brethren,
Thou profane man! I ask thee with what conscience
Thou canst advance that idol against us,
That have the seal? Were not the shillings numbered,
That made the pounds; were not the pounds told out,
Upon the second day of the fourth week,
In the eighth month, upon the table dormant,
The year of the last patience of the saints,
Six hundred and ten?

Lovewit

Mine earnest vehement botcher,
And deacon also, I cannot dispute with you:
But if you get you not away the sooner,
I shall confute you with a cudgel.

Ananias

Sir!

Tribulation Wholesome

Be patient, Ananias.

Ananias

I am strong,
And will stand up, well girt, against an host
That threaten Gad in exile.

Lovewit

I shall send you
To Amsterdam, to your cellar.

Ananias

I will pray there,
Against thy house: may dogs defile thy walls,
And wasps and hornets breed beneath thy roof,
This seat of falsehood, and this cave of cozenage!

Exeunt Ananias and Tribulation.
Enter Drugger.
Lovewit

Another too?

Drugger

Not I, sir, I am no Brother.

Lovewit

Beats him. Away, you Harry Nicholas! Do you talk?

Exit Drugger.
Face

No, this was Abel Drugger. Good sir, go,

To the Parson.

And satisfy him; tell him all is done:
He stayed too long a washing of his face.
The Doctor, he shall hear of him at Westchester;
And of the Captain, tell him, at Yarmouth, or
Some good port town else, lying for a wind.

Exit Parson.

If you can get off the angry child, now, sir⁠—

Enter Kastril, dragging in his sister.
Kastril

Come on, you ewe, you have matched most sweetly,
have you not?
Did not I say, I would never have you tupped
But by a dubbed boy, to make you a lady tom?
’Slight, you are a mammet! O, I could touse you, now.
Death, mun’ you marry, with a pox!

Lovewit

You lie, boy;
As sound as you; and I’m aforehand with you.

Kastril

Anon!

Lovewit

Come, will you quarrel? I will feize you, sirrah;
Why do you not buckle to your tools?

Kastril

Od’s light,
This is a fine old boy as e’er I saw!

Lovewit

What, do you change your copy now? Proceed;
Here stands my dove: stoop at her, if you dare.

Kastril

’Slight, I must love him! I cannot choose, i’faith,
An I should be hanged for’t! Sister, I protest,
I honour thee for this match.

Lovewit

O, do you so, sir?

Kastril

Yes, an thou canst take tobacco and drink, old boy,
I’ll give her five hundred pound more to her marriage,
Than her own state.

Lovewit

Fill a pipe full, Jeremy.

Face

Yes; but go in and take it, sir.

Lovewit

We will⁠—
I will be ruled by thee in anything, Jeremy.

Kastril

’Slight, thou art not hidebound, thou art a jovy boy!
Come, let us in, I pray thee, and take our whiffs.

Lovewit

Whiff in with your sister, brother boy.

Exeunt Kastril and Dame Pliant.

That master
That had received such happiness by a servant,
In such a widow, and with so much wealth,
Were very ungrateful, if he would not be
A little indulgent to that servant’s wit,
And help his fortune, though with some small strain
Of his own candour.
Advancing.
—“Therefore, gentlemen,
And kind spectators, if I have outstript
An old man’s gravity, or strict canon, think
What a young wife and a good brain may do;
Stretch age’s truth sometimes, and crack it too.
Speak for thyself, knave.”

Face

“So I will, sir.”

Advancing to the front of the stage.

“Gentlemen,
My part a little fell in this last scene,
Yet ’twas decorum. And though I am clean
Got off from Subtle, Surly, Mammon, Dol,
Hot Ananias, Dapper, Drugger, all
With whom I traded: yet I put myself
On you, that are my country: and this pelf
Which I have got, if you do quit me, rests
To feast you often, and invite new guests.”

Colophon

Tamil Bookshelf logo

The Alchemist
was published in 1612 by
Ben Jonson.