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Full Online Book HomePlaysCynthia's Revels - Act 4 Scene 1
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Cynthia's Revels - Act 4 Scene 1 Post by :Ndoki Category :Plays Author :Ben Jonson Date :May 2012 Read :1672

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Cynthia's Revels - Act 4 Scene 1

ACT IV SCENE I. AN APARTMENT IN THE PALACE.

(ENTER PHANTASTE, PHILAUTIA, ARGURION, MORIA, AND CUPID.)

PHA. I would this water would arrive once, our travelling friend so commended to us.

ARG. So would I, for he has left all us in travail with expectation of it.

PHA. Pray Jove, I never rise from this couch, if ever I thirsted more for a thing in my whole time of being a courtier.

PHI Nor I, I'll be sworn: the very mention of it sets my lips in a worse heat, than if he had sprinkled them with mercury. Reach me the glass, sirrah.

CUP. Here, lady.

MOR. They do not peel, sweet charge, do they?

PHI. Yes, a little, guardian.

MOR. O, 'tis an eminent good sign. Ever when my lips do so, I am sure to have some delicious good drink or other approaching.

ARG. Marry, and this may be good for us ladies, for it seems 'tis far fet by their stay.

MOR. My palate for yours, dear Honour, it shall prove most elegant I warrant you. O, I do fancy this gear that's long a coming, with an unmeasurable strain.

PHA. Pray thee sit down, Philautia; that rebatu becomes thee singularly.

PHI. Is it not quaint?

PHA. Yes faith. Methinks, thy servant Hedon is nothing so obsequious to thee, as he was wont to be: I know not how, he is grown out of his garb a-late, he's warp'd.

MOR. In trueness, and so methinks too; he is much converted.

PHI. Tut; let him be what he will, 'tis an animal I dream not of. This tire, methinks, makes me look very ingeniously, quick, and spirited; I should be some Laura, or some Delia, methinks.

MOR. As I am wise, fair Honours, that title she gave him, to be her Ambition, spoil'd him: before, he was the most propitious and observant young novice --

PHA. No, no, you are the whole heaven awry, guardian; 'tis the swaggering coach-horse Anaides draws with him there, has been the diverter of him.

PHI. For Cupid's sake speak no more of him; would I might never dare to look in a mirror again, if I respect ever a marmoset of 'em all, otherwise than I would a feather, or my shuttle-cock, to make sport with now and then.

PHA. Come sit down: troth, and you be good beauties, let's run over them all now: Which is the properest man amongst them? I say, the traveller, Amorphus.

PHI. O, fie on him, he looks like a Venetian trumpeter in the battle of Lepanto, in the gallery yonder; and speaks to the tune of a country lady that comes ever in the rearward or train of a fashion.

MOR. I should have judgment in a feature, sweet beauties.

PHA. A body would think so, at these years.

MOR. And I prefer another now, far before him, a million at least.

PHA. Who might that be, guardian?

MOR. Marry, fair charge, Anaides.

PHA. Anaides! you talk'd of a tune, Philautia; there's one speaks in a key, like the opening of some justice's gate, or a postboy's horn, as if his voice feared an arrest for some ill words it should give, and were loth to come forth.

PHI. Ay, and he has a very imperfect face.

PHA. Like a sea-monster, that were to ravish Andromeda from the rock.

PHI. His hands too great too, by at least a straw's breadth.

PHA. Nay, he has a worse fault than that too.

PHI. A long heel?

PHA. That were a fault in a lady, rather than him: no, they say he puts off the calves of his legs, with his stockings, every night.

PHI. Out upon him! Turn to another of the pictures, for love's sake. What says Argurion? Whom does she commend afore the rest?

CUP. I hope I have instructed her sufficiently for an answer. (ASIDE.)

MOR. Troth, I made the motion to her ladyship for one to-day, i'the presence, but it appear'd she was otherways furnished before: she would none.

PHA. Who was that Argurion?

MOR. Marry, the poor plain gentleman in the black there.

PHA. Who, Crites?

ARG. Ay, ay, he: a fellow that nobody so much as look'd upon, or regarded; and she would have had me done him particular grace.

PHA. That was a true trick of yourself, Moria, to persuade Argurion to affect the scholar.

ARG. Tut, but she shall be no chooser for me. In good faith, I like the citizen's son there, Asotus; methinks none of them all come near him.

PHA. Not Hedon?

ARG. Hedon! In troth no. Hedon's a pretty slight courtier, and he wears his clothes well, and sometimes in fashion; marry, his face is but indifferent, and he has no such excellent body. No, the other is a most delicate youth; a sweet face, a straight body, a well-proportion'd leg and foot, a white hand, a tender voice.

PHI. How now, Argurion!

PHA. O, you should have let her alone, she was bestowing a copy of him upon us. Such a nose were enough to make me love a man, now.

PHI. And then his several colours he wears; wherein he flourisheth changeably, every day.

PHA. O, but his short hair, and his narrow eyes!

PHI. Why she doats more palpably upon him than ever his father did upon her.

PHA. Believe me, the young gentleman deserves it. If she could doat more, 'twere not amiss. He is an exceeding proper youth, and would have made a most neat barber surgeon, if he had been put to it in time.

PHI. Say you so? Methinks he looks like a tailor already.

PHA. Ay, that had sayed on one of his customer's suits. His face is like a squeezed orange, or --

ARG. Well ladies, jest on: the best of you both would be glad of such a servant.

MOR. Ay, I'll be sworn would they, though he be a little shame-faced.

PHA. Shame-faced, Moria! out upon him. Your shame-faced servant is your only gull.

MOR. Go to, beauties, make much of time, and place, and occasion, and opportunity, and favourites, and things that belong to them, for I'll ensure you they will all relinquish; they cannot endure above another year; I know it out of future experience; and therefore take exhibition, and warning: I was once a reveller myself, and though I speak it, as mine own trumpet, I was then esteem'd --

PHI. The very march-pane of the court, I warrant you.

PHA. And all the gallants came about you like flies, did they not?

MOR. Go to, they did somewhat; that's no matter now.

PHA. Nay, good Moria, be not angry. Put case, that we four now had the grant from Juno, to wish ourselves into what happy estate we could, what would you wish to be, Moria?

MOR. Who, I! let me see now. I would wish to be a wise woman, and know all the secrets of court, city, and country. I would know what were done behind the arras, what upon the stairs, what in the garden, what in the nymphs' chamber, what by barge, and what by coach. I would tell you which courtier were scabbed and which not; which lady had her own face to lie with her a-nights and which not; who put off their teeth with their clothes in court, who their hair, who their complexion; and in which box they put it. There should not a nymph, or a widow, be got with child in the verge, but I would guess, within one or two, who was the right father, and in what month it was gotten; with what words, and which way. I would tell you which madam loved a monsieur, which a player, which a page; who slept with her husband, who with her friend, who with her gentleman-usher, who with her horse-keeper, who with her monkey, and who with all; yes, and who jigg'd the cock too.

PHA. Fie, you'd tell all, Moria! If I should wish now, it should be to have your tongue out. But what says Philautia? Who should she be?

PHI. Troth, the very same I am. Only I would wish myself a little more command and sovereignty; that all the court were subject to my absolute beck, and all things in it depending on my look; as if there were no other heaven but in my smile, nor other hell but in my frown; that I might send for any man I list, and have his head cut off when I have done with him, or made an eunuch if he denied me; and if I saw a better face than mine own, I might have my doctor to poison it. What would you wish, Phantaste?

PHA. Faith, I cannot readily tell you what: but methinks I should wish myself all manner of creatures. Now I would be an empress, and by and by a duchess; then a great lady of state, then one of your miscellany madams, then a waiting-woman, then your citizen's wife, then a coarse country gentlewoman, then a dairy-maid, then a shepherd's lass, then an empress again, or the queen of fairies: and thus I would prove the vicissitudes and whirl of pleasures about and again. As I were a shepherdess, I would be piped and sung to; as a dairy-wench, I would dance at maypoles, and make syllabubs; as a country gentlewoman, keep a good house, and come up to term to see motions; as a citizen's wife, to be troubled with a jealous husband, and put to my shifts; others' miseries should be my pleasures. As a waiting-woman, I would taste my lady's delights to her; as a miscellany madam, invent new tires, and go visit courtiers; as a great lady, lie a-bed, and have courtiers visit me; as a duchess, I would keep my state; and as an empress, I would do any thing. And, in all these shapes, I would ever be follow'd with the affections of all that see me. Marry, I myself would affect none; or if I did, it should not be heartily, but so as I might save myself in them still, and take pride in tormenting the poor wretches. Or, now I think on't, I would, for one year, wish myself one woman; but the richest, fairest, and delicatest in a kingdom, the very centre of wealth and beauty, wherein all lines of love should meet; and in that person I would prove all manner of suitors, of all humours, and of all complexions, and never have any two of a sort. I would see how love, by the power of his object, could work inwardly alike, in a choleric man and a sanguine, in a melancholic and a phlegmatic, in a fool and a wise man, in a clown and a courtier, in a valiant man and a coward; and how he could vary outward, by letting this gallant express himself in dumb gaze; another with sighing and rubbing his fingers; a third with play-ends and pitiful verses; a fourth, with stabbing himself, and drinking healths, or writing languishing letters in his blood; a fifth, in colour'd ribands and good clothes; with this lord to smile, and that lord to court, and the t'other lord to dote, and one lord to hang himself. And, then, I to have a book made of all this, which I would call the "Book of Humours," and every night read a little piece ere I slept, and laugh at it. -- Here comes Hedon.

(ENTER HEDON, ANAIDES, AND MERCURY, WHO RETIRES WITH CUPID TO THE BACK OF THE STAGE, WHERE THEY CONVERSE TOGETHER.)

HED. Save you sweet and clear beauties! By the spirit that moves in me, you are all most pleasingly bestow'd, ladies. Only I can take it for no good omen, to find mine Honour so dejected.

PHI. You need not fear, sir; I did of purpose humble myself against your coming, to decline the pride of my Ambition.

HED. Fair Honour, Ambition dares not stoop; but if it be your sweet pleasure, I shall lose that title, I will, as I am Hedon, apply myself to your bounties.

PHI. That were the next way to dis-title myself of honour. O, no, rather be still Ambitious, I pray you.

HED. I will be any thing that you please, whilst it pleaseth you to be yourself, lady. Sweet Phantaste, dear Moria, most beautiful Argurion --

ANA. Farewell, Hedon.

HED. Anaides, stay, whither go you?

ANA. 'Slight, what should I do here? an you engross them all for your own use, 'tis time for me to seek out.

HED. I engross them! Away, mischief; this is one of your extravagant jests now, because I began to salute them by their names.

ANA. Faith, you might have spared us madam Prudence, the guardian there, though you had more covetously aim'd at the rest.

HED. 'Sheart, take them all, man: what speak you to me of aiming or covetous?

ANA. Ay, say you so! nay, then, have at them: Ladies, here's one hath distinguish'd you by your names already: It shall only become me to ask how you do.

HED. Ods so, was this the design you travail'd with?

PHA. Who answers the brazen head? it spoke to somebody.

ANA. Lady Wisdom, do you interpret for these puppets?

MOR. In truth, and sadness, honours, you are in great offence for this. Go to; the gentleman (I'll undertake with him) is a man of fair living, and able to maintain a lady in her two coaches a day, besides pages, monkeys, and paraquettoes, with such attendants as she shall think meet for her turn; and therefore there is more respect requirable, howso'er you seem to connive. Hark you, sir, let me discourse a syllable with you. I am to say to you, these ladies are not of that close and open behaviour as haply you may suspend; their carriage is well known to be such as it should be, both gentle and extraordinary.

MER. O, here comes the other pair.

(ENTER AMORPHUS AND ASOTUS.)

AMO. That was your father's love, the nymph Argurion. I would have you direct all your courtship thither; if you could but endear yourself to her affection, you were eternally engallanted.

ASO. In truth, sir! pray Phoebus I prove favoursome in her fair eyes.

AMO. All divine mixture, and increase of beauty to this bright bevy of ladies; and to the male courtiers, compliment and courtesy.

HED. In the behalf of the males, I gratify you, Amorphus.

PHA. And I of the females.

AMO. Succinctly return'd. I do vail to both your thanks, and kiss them; but primarily to yours, most ingenious, acute, and polite lady.

PHI. Ods my life, how he does all-to-bequalify her! "ingenious, acute", and "polite!" as if there was not others in place as ingenious, acute, and polite as she.

HED Yes, but you must know, lady, he cannot speak out of a dictionary method.

PHA. Sit down, sweet Amorphus. When will this water come, think you?

AMO. It cannot now be long, fair lady.

CUP. Now observe, Mercury.

ASO. How, most ambiguous beauty! love you? that I will, by this handkerchief.

MER. 'Slid, he draws his oaths out of his pocket.

ARG. But will you be constant?

ASO. Constant, madam! I will not say for constantness; but by this purse, which I would be loth to swear by, unless it were embroidered, I protest, more than most fair lady, you are the only absolute, and unparallel'd creature, I do adore, and admire, and respect, and reverence in this court, corner of the world, or kingdom. Methinks you are melancholy.

ARG. Does your heart speak all this?

ASO. Say you?

MER. O, he is groping for another oath.

ASO. Now by this watch -- I marle how forward the day is -- I do unfeignedly avow myself -- 'slight, 'tis deeper than I took it, past five -- yours entirely addicted, madam.

ARG. I require no more, dearest Asotus; henceforth let me call you mine, and in remembrance of me, vouchsafe to wear this chain and this diamond.

ASO. O lord, sweet lady!

CUP. There are new oaths for him. What! doth Hermes taste no alteration in all this?

MER. Yes, thou hast strook Argurion enamour'd on Asotus, methinks.

CUP. Alas, no; I am nobody, I; I can do nothing in this disguise.

MER. But thou hast not wounded any of the rest, Cupid.

CUP. Not yet; it is enough that I have begun so prosperously.

ARG. Nay, these are nothing to the gems I will hourly bestow upon thee; be but faithful and kind to me, and I will lade thee with my richest bounties: behold, here my bracelets from mine arms.

ASO. Not so, good lady, by this diamond.

ARG. Take 'em, wear 'em; my jewels, chain of pearl pendants, all I have.

ASO. Nay then, by this pearl you make me a wanton.

CUP. Shall not she answer for this, to maintain him thus in swearing?

MER. O no, there is a way to wean him from this, the gentleman may be reclaim'd.

CUP. Ay, if you had the airing of his apparel, coz, I think.

ASO. Loving! 'twere pity an I should be living else, believe me. Save you, sir, save you, sweet lady, save you, monsieur Anaides, save you, dear madam.

ANA. Dost thou know him that saluted thee, Hedon?

HED. No, some idle Fungoso, that hath got above the cupboard since yesterday.

ANA. 'Slud, I never saw him till this morning, and he salutes me as familiarly as if we had known together since the deluge, or the first year of Troy action.

AMO. A most right-handed and auspicious encounter. Confine yourself to your fortunes.

PHI. For sport's sake let's have some Riddles or Purposes, ho!

PHA. No, faith, your Prophecies are best, the t'other are stale.

PHI. Prophecies! we cannot all sit in at them; we shall make a confusion. No; what call'd you that we had in the forenoon?

PHA. Substantives, and adjectives, is it not, Hedon?

PHI. Ay that. Who begins?

PHA. I have thought; speak your adjectives, sirs.

PHI. But do not you change then.

PHA. Not I. Who says?

MOR. Odoriferous.

PHI. Popular.

ARG. Humble.

ANA. White-liver'd.

HED. Barbarous.

AMO. Pythagorical.

HED. Yours, signior.

ASO. What must I do, sir?

AMO. Give forth your adjective with the rest; as prosperous, good, fair, sweet, well --

HED. Anything that hath not been spoken.

ASO. Yes, sir, well-spoken shall be mine.

PHA. What, have you all done?

ALL. Ay.

PHA. Then the substantive is Breeches. Why "odoriferous" breeches, guardian?

MOR. Odoriferous, -- because odoriferous: that which contains most variety of savour and smell we say is most odoriferous; now breeches, I presume, are incident to that variety, and therefore odoriferous breeches.

PHA. Well, we must take it howsoever. Who's next? Philautia?

PHI. Popular.

PHA. Why "popular" breeches?

PHA. Marry, that is, when they are not content to be generally noted in court, but will press forth on common stages and brokers' stalls, to the public view of the world.

PHA. Good. Why "humble" breeches, Argurion?

ARG. Humble! because they use to be sat upon; besides, if you tie them not up, their property is to fall down about your heels.

MER. She has worn the breeches, it seems, which have done so.

PHA. But why "white-liver'd?"

ANA. Why! are not their linings white? Besides, when they come in swaggering company, and will pocket up any thing, may they not properly be said to be white-liver'd?

PHA. O yes, we must not deny it. And why "barbarous," Hedon?

HED. Barbarous! because commonly, when you have worn your breeches sufficiently, you give them to your barber.

AMO. That's good; but how "Pythagorical?"

PHI. Ay, Amorphus, why Pythagorical breeches?

AMO. O most kindly of all; 'tis a conceit of that fortune, I am bold to hug my brain for.

PHA. How is it, exquisite Amorphus?

AMO. O, I am rapt with it, 'tis so fit, so proper, so happy --

PHI. Nay, do not rack us thus.

AMO. I never truly relish'd myself before. Give me your ears. Breeches Pythagorical, by reason of their transmigration into several shapes.

MOR. Most rare, in sweet troth. Marry this young gentleman, for his well-spoken --

PHA. Ay, why "well-spoken" breeches?

ASO. Well-spoken! Marry, well-spoken, because -- whatsoever they speak is well-taken; and whatsoever is well-taken is well-spoken.

MOR. Excellent! believe me.

ASO. Not so, ladies, neither.

HED. But why breeches, now?

PHA. Breeches, "quasi" bear-riches; when a gallant bears all his riches in his breeches.

AMO. Most fortunately etymologised.

PHA. 'Nay, we have another sport afore this, of A thing done, and who did it, etc.

PHI. Ay, good Phantaste, let's have that: distribute the places.

PHA. Why, I imagine, A thing done; Hedon thinks, who did it; Moria, with what it was done; Anaides, where it was done; Argurion, when it was done; Amorphus, for what cause was it done; you, Philautia, what followed upon the doing of it; and this gentleman, who would have done it better. What? is it conceived about?

ALL. Yes, yes.

PHA. Then speak you, sir. "Who would have done it better?"

ASO. How! does it begin at me?

PHA. Yes, sir: this play is called the Crab, it goes backward.

ASO. May I not name myself?

PHI. If you please, sir, and dare abide the venture of it.

ASO. Then I would have done it better, whatever it is.

PHA. No doubt on't, sir: a good confidence. "What followed upon the act," Philautia?

PHI. A few heat drops, and a month's mirth.

PHA. "For what cause," Amorphus?

AMO. For the delight of ladies.

PHA. "When," Argurion?

ARG. Last progress.

PHA. "Where," Anaides?

ANA. Why, in a pair of pain'd slops.

PHA. "With what," Moria?

MOR. With a glyster.

PHA. "Who," Hedon?

HED. A traveller.

PHA. Then the thing done was, "An oration was made." Rehearse. An oration was made --

HED. By a traveller --

MOR. With a glyster --

ANA. In a pair of pain'd slops --

ARG. Last progress --

AMO. For the delight of ladies --

PHI. A few heat drops, and a month's mirth followed.

PHA. And, this silent gentleman would have done it better.

ASO. This was not so good, now.

PHI. In good faith, these unhappy pages would be whipp'd for staying thus.

MOR. Beshrew my hand and my heart else.

AMO. I do wonder at their protraction.

ANA. Pray Venus my whore have not discover'd herself to the rascally boys, and that be the cause of their stay.

ASO. I must suit myself with another page: this idle Prosaites will never be brought to wait well.

MOR. Sir, I have a kinsman I could willingly wish to your service, if you will deign to accept of him.

ASO. And I shall be glad, most sweet lady, to embrace him: Where is he?

MOR. I can fetch him, sir, but I would be loth to make you turn away your other page.

ASO. You shall not most sufficient lady; I will keep both: pray you let's go see him.

ARG. Whither goes my love?

ASO. I'll return presently, I go but to see a page with this lady.

(EXEUNT ASOTUS AND MORIA.)

ANA. As sure as fate, 'tis so: she has opened all: a pox of all cockatrices! D--n me, if she have play'd loose with me, I'll cut her throat within a hair's breadth, so it may be heal'd again.

MER. What, is he jealous of his hermaphrodite?

CUP. O, ay, this will be excellent sport.

PHI. Phantaste, Argurion! what, you are suddenly struck, methinks! For love's sake let's have some music till they come: Ambition, reach the lyra, I pray you.

HED. Anything to which my Honour shall direct me.

PHI. Come Amorphus, cheer up Phantaste.

AMO. It shall be my pride, fair lady, to attempt all that is in my power. But here is an instrument that alone is able to infuse soul into the most melancholic and dull-disposed creature upon earth. O, let me kiss thy fair knees. Beauteous ears attend it.

HED. Will you have "the Kiss" Honour?

PHI. Ay, good Ambition.

HEDON SINGS.

O, that joy so soon should waste!
Or so sweet a bliss
As a kiss
Might not for ever last!
So sugar'd, so melting, so soft, so delicious,
The dew that lies on roses,
When the morn herself discloses,
Is not so precious.
O rather than I would it smother,
Were I to taste such another;
It should be my wishing
That I might die with kissing.

HED. I made this ditty, and the note to it, upon a kiss that my Honour gave me; how like you it, sir?

AMO. A pretty air; in general, I like it well: but in particular, your long die-note did arride me most, but it was somewhat too long. I can show one almost of the same nature, but much before it, and not so long, in a composition of mine own. I think I have both the note and ditty about me.

HED. Pray you, sir, see.

AMO. Yes, there is the note; and all the parts, if I misthink not. I will read the ditty to your beauties here; but first I am to make you familiar with the occasion, which presents itself thus. Upon a time, going to take my leave of the emperor, and kiss his great hands, there being then present the kings of France and Arragon, the dukes of Savoy, Florence, Orleans, Bourbon, Brunswick, the Landgrave, Count Palatine; all which had severally feasted me; besides infinite more of inferior persons, as counts and others: it was my chance (the emperor detained by some exorbitant affair) to wait him the fifth part of an hour, or much near it. In which time, retiring myself into a bay-window, the beauteous lady Annabel, niece to the empress, and sister to the king of Arragon, who having never before eyed me, but only heard the common report of my virtue, learning, and travel, fell into that extremity of passion for my love, that she there immediately swooned: physicians were sent for, she had to her chamber, so to her bed; where, languishing some few days, after many times calling upon me, with my name in her lips, she expired. As that (I must mourningly say) is the only fault of my fortune, that, as it hath ever been my hap to be sued to, by all ladies and beauties, where I have come; so I never yet sojourn'd or rested in that place or part of the world, where some high-born, admirable, fair feature died not for my love.

MER. O, the sweet power of travel! -- Are you guilty of this, Cupid?

CUP. No, Mercury; and that his page Cos knows, if he were here present to be sworn.

PHI. But how doth this draw on the ditty, sir?

MER. O, she is too quick with him; he hath not devised that yet.

AMO. Marry, some hour before she departed, she bequeath'd to me this glove: which golden legacy, the emperor himself took care to send after me, in six coaches, cover'd all with black-velvet, attended by the state of his empire; all which he freely presented me with: and I reciprocally (out of the same bounty) gave to the lords that brought it: only reserving the gift of the deceased lady, upon which I composed this ode, and set it to my most affected instrument, the lyra.

Thou more then most sweet glove,
Unto my more sweet love,
Suffer me to store with kisses
This empty lodging, that now misses
The pure rosy hand, that wear thee,
Whiter than the kid that bare thee:
Thou art soft, but that was softer;
Cupid's self hath kiss'd it ofter
Than e'er he did his mother's doves.
Supposing her the queen of loves
That was thy mistress, BEST OF GLOVES.

MER. Blasphemy, blasphemy, Cupid!

CUP. I'll revenge it time enough, Hermes.

PHI. Good Amorphus, let's hear it sung.

AMO. I care not to admit that, since it pleaseth Philautia to request it.

HED. Here, sir.

AMO. Nay, play it, I pray you; you do well, you do well. (HE SINGS IT.) -- How like you it, sir?

HED. Very well, in troth.

AMO. But very well! O, you are a mere mammothrept in judgment, then. Why, do not observe how excellently the ditty is affected in every place? that I do not marry a word of short quantity to a long note? nor an ascending syllable to a descending tone? Besides, upon the word "best" there, you see how I do enter with an odd minum, and drive it through the brief; which no intelligent musician, I know, but will affirm to be very rare, extraordinary, and pleasing.

MER. And yet not fit to lament the death of a lady, for all this.

CUP. Tut, here be they will swallow anything.

PHA. Pray you, let me have a copy of it, Amorphus.

PHI. And me too; in troth I like it exceedingly.

AMO. I have denied it to princes; nevertheless to you, the true female twins of perfection, I am won to depart withal.

HED. I hope, I shall have my Honour's copy.

PHA. You are Ambitious in that, Hedon.

(RE-ENTER ANAIDES.)

AMO. How now, Anaides! what is it hath conjured up this distemperature in the circle of your face?

ANA. Why, what have you to do? A pox upon your filthy travelling face! hold your tongue.

HED. Nay, dost hear, Mischief?

ANA. Away, musk-cat!

AMO. I say to thee thou art rude, debauch'd, impudent, coarse, unpolish'd, a frapler, and base.

HED. Heart of my father, what a strange alteration has half a year's haunting of ordinaries wrought in this fellow! that came with a tufftaffata jerkin to town but the other day, and a pair of pennyless hose, and now he is turn'd Hercules, he wants but a club.

ANA. Sir, you with the pencil on your chin; I will garter my hose with your guts, and that shall be all. (EXIT.)

MER. 'Slid, what rare fireworks be here? flash, flash.

PHA. What is the matter Hedon? can you tell?

HED. Nothing, but that he lacks crowns, and thinks we'll lend him some to be friends.

(RE-ENTER ASOTUS AND MORIA, WITH MORUS.)

ASO. Come sweet lady, in good truth I'll have it, you shall not deny me. Morus, persuade your aunt I may have her picture, by any means.

MORUS. Yea, sir: good aunt now, let him have it; he will use me the better; if you love me do, good aunt.

MOR. Well, tell him he shall have it.

MORUS. Master, you shall have it, she says.

ASO. Shall I? thank her, good page.

CUP. What, has he entertained the fool?

MER. Ay, he'll wait close, you shall see, though the beggar hang off a while.

MORUS. Aunt, my master thanks you.

MOR. Call him hither.

MORUS. Yes; master.

MOR. Yes, in verity, and gave me this purse, and he has promised me a most fine dog; which he will have drawn with my picture, he says: and desires most vehemently to be known to your ladyships.

PHA. Call him hither, 'tis good groping such a gull.

MORUS. Master Asotus, master Asotus!

ASO. For love's sake, let me go: you see I am call'd to the ladies.

ARG. Wilt thou forsake me, then?

ASO. Od so! what would you have me do?

MOR. Come hither, master Asotus. -- I do ensure your ladyships, he is a gentleman of a very worthy desert: and of a most bountiful nature. -- You must shew and insinuate yourself responsible, and equivalent now to my commendment. -- Good honours grace him.

ASO. I protest, more then most fair ladies, "I do wish all variety of divine pleasures, choice sports, sweet music, rich fare, brave attire, soft beds, and silken thoughts, attend these fair beauties". Will it please your ladyship to wear this chain of pearl, and this diamond, for my sake?

ARG. O!

ASO. And you, madam, this jewel and pendants?

ARG. O!

PHA. We know not how to deserve these bounties, out of so slight merit, Asotus.

PHI. No, in faith, but there's my glove for a favour.

PHA. And soon after the revels, I will bestow a garter on you.

ASO. O lord, ladies! it is more grace than ever I could have hoped, but that it pleaseth your ladyships to extend. I protest it is enough, that you but take knowledge of my -- if your ladyships want embroidered gowns, tires of any fashion, rebatues, jewels, or carcanets, any thing whatsoever, if you vouchsafe to accept --

CUP. And for it they will help you to shoe-ties, and devices.

ASO. I cannot utter myself, dear beauties, but; you can conceive --

ARG. O!

PHA. Sir, we will acknowledge your service, doubt not -- henceforth, you shall be no more Asotus to us, but our goldfinch, and we your cages.

ASO. O Venus! madams! how shall I deserve this? if I were but made acquainted with Hedon, now, -- I'll try: pray you, away.

(TO ARGURION.)

MER. How he prays money to go away from him.

ASO. Amorphus, a word with you; here's a watch I would bestow upon you, pray you make me known to that gallant.

AMO. That I will, sir. -- Monsieur Hedon, I must entreat you to exchange knowledge with this gentleman.

HED. 'Tis a thing, next to the water, we expect, I thirst after, sir. Good monsieur Asotus.

ASO. Good monsieur Hedon, I would be glad to be loved of men of your rank and spirit, I protest. Please you to accept this pair of bracelets, sir; they are not worth the bestowing --

MER. O Hercules, how the gentleman purchases, this must needs bring Argurion to a consumption.

HED. Sir, I shall never stand in the merit of such bounty, I fear.

ASO. O Venus, sir; your acquaintance shall be sufficient. And if at any time you need my bill, or my bond --

ARG. O! O! (SWOONS.)

AMO. Help the lady there!

MOR. Gods-dear, Argurion! madam, how do you?

ARG. Sick.

PHA. Have her forth, and give her air.

ASO. I come again straight, ladies.

(EXEUNT ASOTUS, MORUS, AND ARGURION.)

MER. Well, I doubt all the physic he has will scarce recover her; she's too far spent.

(RE-ENTER ANAIDES WITH GELAIA, PROSAITES, AND COS, WITH THE BOTTLES.)

PHI. O here's the water come; fetch glasses, page.

GEL. Heart of my body, here's a coil, indeed, with your jealous humours! nothing but whore and bitch, and all the villainous swaggering names you can think on! 'Slid, take your bottle, and put it in your guts for me, I'll see you pox'd ere I follow you any longer.

ANA. Nay, good punk, sweet rascal; d--n me, if I am jealous now.

GEL. That's true, indeed, pray let's go.

MOR. What's the matter there?

GEL. 'Slight, he has me upon interrogatories, (nay, my mother shall know how you use me,) where I have been? and why I should stay so long? and how is't possible? and withal calls me at his pleasure I know not how many cockatrices, and things.

MOR. In truth and sadness, these are no good epitaphs Anaides, to bestow upon any gentlewoman; and I'll ensure you if I had known you would have dealt thus with my daughter, she should never have fancied you so deeply as she has done. Go to.

ANA. Why, do you hear, mother Moria? heart!

MOR. Nay, I pray you, sir, do not swear.

ANA. Swear! why? 'sblood, I have sworn afore now, I hope. Both you and your daughter mistake me. I have not honour'd Arete, that is held the worthiest lady in the court, next to Cynthia, with half that observance and respect, as I have done her in private, howsoever outwardly I have carried myself careless, and negligent. Come, you are a foolish punk, and know not when you are well employed. Kiss me, come on; do it, I say.

MOR. Nay, indeed, I must confess, she is apt to misprision. But I must have you leave it, minion.

(RE-ENTER ASOTUS.)

AMO. How now, Asotus! how does the lady?

ASO. Faith, ill. I have left my page with her, at her lodging.

HED. O, here's the rarest water that ever was tasted: fill him some.

PRO. What! has my master a new page?

MER. Yes, a kinsman of the lady Moria's: you must wait better now, or you are cashiered, Prosaites.

ANA. Come, gallants; you must pardon my foolish humour; when I am angry, that any thing crosses me, I grow impatient straight. Here, I drink to you.

PHI. O, that we had five or six bottles more of this liquor!

PHA. Now I commend your judgment, Amorphus: -- (KNOCKING WITHIN.) Who's that knocks? look, page. (EXIT COS.)

MOR. O, most delicious; a little of this would make Argurion well.

PHA. O, no, give her no cold drink, by any means.

ANA. 'Sblood, this water is the spirit of wine, I'll be hang'd else.

(RE-ENTER COS WITH ARETE.)

COS. Here's the lady Arete, madam.

ARE. What, at your bever, gallants?

MOR. Will't please your ladyship to drink? 'tis of the New Fountain water.

ARE. Not I, Moria, I thank you. -- Gallants, you are for this night free to your peculiar delights; Cynthia will have no sports: when she is pleased to come forth, you shall have knowledge. In the mean time, I could wish you did provide for solemn revels, and some unlooked for device of wit, to entertain her, against she should vouchsafe to grace your pastimes with her presence.

AMO. What say you to a masque?

HED. Nothing better, if the project were new and rare.

ARE. Why, I'll send for Crites, and have his advice: be you ready in your endeavours: he shall discharge you of the inventive part.

PHA. But will not your ladyship stay?

ARE. Not now, Phantaste. (EXIT.)

PHI. Let her go, I pray you, good lady Sobriety, I am glad we are rid of her.

PHA. What a set face the gentlewoman has, as she were still going to a sacrifice!

PHI. O, she is the extraction of a dozen of Puritans, for a look.

MOR. Of all nymphs i' the court, I cannot away with her; 'tis the coarsest thing!

PHI. I wonder how Cynthia can affect her so above the rest. Here be they are every way as fair as she, and a thought, fairer, I trow.

PHA. Ay, and as ingenious and conceited as she.

MOR. Ay, and as politic as she, for all she sets such a forehead on't.

PHI. Would I were dead, if I would change to be Cynthia.

PHA. Or I.

MOR. Or I.

AMO. And there's her minion, Crites: why his advice more than Amorphus? Have I not invention afore him? Learning to better that invention above him? and infanted with pleasant travel --

ANA. Death, what talk you of his learning? he understands no more than a schoolboy; I have put him down myself a thousand times, by this air, and yet I never talk'd with him but twice in my life: you never saw his like. I could never get him to argue with me but once; and then because I could not construe an author I quoted at first sight, he went away, and laughed at me. By Hercules, I scorn him, as I do the sodden nymph that was here even now; his mistress, Arete: and I love myself for nothing else.

HED. I wonder the fellow does not hang himself, being thus scorn'd and contemn'd of us that are held the most accomplish'd society of gallants.

MER. By yourselves, none else.

HED. I protest, if I had no music in me, no courtship; that I were not a reveller and could dance, or had not those excellent qualities that give a man life and perfection, but a mere poor scholar as he is, I think I should make some desperate way with myself; whereas now, -- would I might never breathe more, if I do know that creature in this kingdom with whom I would change.

CUP. This is excellent! Well, I must alter all this soon.

MER. Look you do, Cupid. The bottles have wrought, it seems.

ASO. O, I am sorry the revels are crost. I should have tickled it soon. I did never appear till then. 'Slid, I am the neatliest-made gallant i' the company, and have the best presence; and my dancing -- well, I know what our usher said to me last time I was at the school: Would I might have led Philautia in the measures, an it had been the gods' will! I am most worthy, I am sure.

(RE-ENTER MORUS.)

MORUS. Master, I can tell you news; the Lady kissed me yonder, and played with me, and says she loved you once as well as she does me, but that you cast her off.

ASO. Peace, my most esteemed page.

MORUS. Yes.

ASO. What luck is this, that our revels are dash'd, now was I beginning to glister in the very highway of preferment. An Cynthia had but seen me dance a strain, or do but one trick, I had been kept in court, I should never have needed to look towards my friends again.

AMO. Contain yourself, you were a fortunate young man, if you knew your own good; which I have now projected, and will presently multiply upon you. Beauties and valours, your vouchsafed applause to a motion. The humorous Cynthia hath, for this night, withdrawn the light of your delight.

PHA. 'Tis true, Amorphus: what may we do to redeem it?

AMO. Redeem that we cannot, but to create a new flame is in our power. Here is a gentleman, my scholar, whom, for some private reasons me specially moving, I am covetous to gratify with title of master in the noble and subtile science of courtship: for which grace, he shall this night, in court, and in the long gallery, hold his public act, by open challenge, to all masters of the mystery whatsoever, to play at the four choice and principal weapons thereof, viz., "the Bare Accost, the Better Regard, the Solemn Address," and "the Perfect Close." What say you?

ALL. Excellent, excellent, Amorphus.

AMO. Well, let us then take our time by the forehead: I will instantly have bills drawn, and advanced in every angle of the court. -- Sir, betray not your too much joy. -- Anaides, we must mix this gentleman with you in acquaintance, monsieur Asotus.

ANA. I am easily entreated to grace any of your friends, Amorphus.

ASO. Sir, and his friends shall likewise grace you, sir. Nay, I begin to know myself now.

AMO. O, you must continue your bounties.

ASO. Must I? Why, I'll give him this ruby on my finger. Do you hear sir? I do heartily wish your acquaintance, and I partly know myself worthy of it; please you, sir, to accept this poor ruby in a ring, sir. The poesy is of my own device, "Let this blush for me," sir.

ANA. So it must for me too, for I am not asham'd to take it.

MORUS. Sweet man! By my troth, master, I love you; will you love me too, for my aunt's sake? I'll wait well, you shall see. I'll still be here. Would I might never stir, but you are a fine man in these clothes; master, shall I have them when you have done with them?

ASO. As for that, Morus, thou shalt see more hereafter; in the mean time, by this air, or by this feather, I'll do as much for thee, as any gallant shall do for his page, whatsoever, in this court, corner of the world, or kingdom.

(EXEUNT ALL BUT THE PAGES.)

MER. I wonder this gentleman should affect to keep a fool: methinks he makes sport enough with himself.

CUP. Well, Prosaites, 'twere good you did wait closer.

PRO. Ay, I'll look to it; 'tis time.

COS. The revels would have been most sumptuous to-night, if they had gone forward. (EXIT.)

MER. They must needs, when all the choicest singularities of the court were up in pantofles; ne'er a one of them but was able to make a whole show of itself.

ASO. (WITHIN.) Sirrah, a torch, a torch!

PRO. O, what a call is there! I will have a canzonet made, with nothing in it but sirrah; and the burthen shall be, I come. (EXIT.)

MER. How now, Cupid, how do you like this change?

CUP. Faith, the thread of my device is crack'd, I may go sleep till the revelling music awake me.

MER. And then, too, Cupid, without you had prevented the fountain. Alas, poor god, that remembers not self-love to be proof against the violence of his quiver! Well, I have a plot against these prizers, for which I must presently find out Crites, and with his assistance pursue it to a high strain of laughter, or Mercury hath lost of his metal.

(EXEUNT.)

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SCENE I. THE SAME.(ENTER MERCURY AND CRITES.)MER. It is resolved on, Crites, you must do it.CRI. The grace divinest Mercury hath done me,In this vouchsafed discovery of himself,Binds my observance in the utmost termOf satisfaction to his godly will:Though I profess, without the affectationOf an enforced and form'd austerity,I could be willing to enjoy no placeWith so unequal natures.MER. We believe it.But for our sake, and to inflict just painsOn their prodigious follies, aid us now:No man is presently made bad with ill.And good men, like the sea, should still maintainTheir noble taste, in midst of all fresh humoursThat flow about
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ACT III SCENE III. ANOTHER APARTMENT IN THE SAME (ENTER AMORPHUS, FOLLOWED BY ASOTUS AND HIS TAILOR.)AMO. A little more forward: so, sir. Now go in, discloak yourself, and come forth. (EXIT ASOTUS.) Tailor; bestow thy absence upon us; and be not prodigal of this secret, but to a dear customer.(EXIT TAILOR.)(RE-ENTER ASOTUS.)'Tis well enter'd sir. Stay, you come on too fast; your pace is too impetuous. Imagine this to be the palace of your pleasure, or place where your lady is pleased to be seen. First you present yourself, thus: and spying her, you fall off, and walk some two turns;
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