Page images

Propitious Jove! I will prove sure and trusty:
You will not fail me books?

Pro. Nor aught besides

Thy heart can wish. This lady's name's Euphranea, Mine Prophilus.

Org. I have a pretty memory;

It must prove my best friend. I will not miss 165 One minute of the hours appointed.

Pro. Write The books thou wouldst have bought thee in a note, Or take thyself some money.

Org. No, no money;

Money to scholars is a spirit invisible,
We dare not finger it: or books, or nothing. 170
Pro. Books of what sort thou wilt: do not forget
Our names.
Org. I warrant ye, I warrant ye.

Pro. Smile, Hymen, on the growth of our desires; c We'll feed thy torches with eternalfires!

[Exeunt Prophilus and Euphranea. Org. Put out thy torches, Hymen, or their light Shall meet a darkness of eternal night! 176 Inspire me, Mercury, with swift deceits. Ingenious Fate has leapt into mine arms, Beyond the compass of my brain. Mortality Creeps on the dung of earth, and cannot reach 180 The riddles which are purposed by the gods. . Great arts best write themselves in their own stories; They die too basely who outlive their glories. [Exit. ACT THE SECOND.

Scene I. A Room in Bassanes' House.

Enter Bassanes and Phulas.

Bass. I'll have that window next the street dammed up;

It gives too full a prospect to temptation,
And courts a gazer's glances; there's a lust
Committed by the eye, that sweats and travails,
Plots, wakes, contrives, till the deformed bear-whelp,
Adultery, be licked into the act, 6
The very act : thatjigbjt.shall be dammedjap;
D'ye hear, sir?

Phu. I do hear, my lord; a mason

Shall be provided suddenly.

Bass. Some rogue,

Some rogue of your confederacy,—factor 10
For slaves and strumpets !—to convey close packets
From this spruce springal and the t'other youngster;
That gaudy earwig, or my lord your patron,
Whose pensioner you are.—I'll tear thy throat out,
Son of a cat, ill-looking hound's head, rip-up 15
Thy ulcerous maw, if I but scent a paper,
A scroll, but half as big as what can cover
A wart upon thy nose, a spot, a pimple,
Directed to my lady; it may prove
A mystical preparative to lewdness. 20

Phu. Care shall be had; I will turn every thread About me to an eye.—[Aside] Here's a sweet life!

Bass. The city housewives, cunning in the traffic Of chamber merchandise, set all at price By wholesale; yet they wipe their mouths and simper, 25 Cull, kiss, and cry " sweetheart," and stroke the head Which they have branched; and all is well again! Dull clods of dirt, who dare not feel the rubs Stuck on their foreheads.

Phu. 'Tis a villainous world;

One cannot hold his own in't.

Bass. Dames at court, 30

Who flaunt in riots, run another bias;
Their pleasure heaves the patient ass that suffers
Up on the stilts of office, titles, incomes;
Promotion justifies the shame, and sues for't.
Poor honour, thou art stabbed, and bleed'st to death
By such unlawful hire! The country mistress 36
Is yet more wary, and in blushes hides
Whatever trespass draws her troth to guilt.
But all are false: on this truth I am bold,
No woman but can fall, and doth, or would.— 40
Now for the newest news about the city;
What blab the voices, sirrah?

Phu. O, my lord,

The rarest, quaintest, strangest, tickling news
That ever—

Bass. Hey-dey! up and ride me, rascal!
What is't?

Phu. Forsooth, they say the king has mewed 45

All his gray beard, instead of which is budded
Another of a pure carnation colour,
Speckled with green and russet.

Bass. Ignorant block!

Phu. Yes, truly ; and 'tis talked about the streets, That since Lord Ithocles came home, the lions 50 Never left roaring, at which noise the bears Have danced their very hearts out.

Bass. Dance out thine too.

Phu. Besides, Lord Orgilus is fled to Athens Upon a fieryjdragon, and 'tis thought He never can return. Bass. Grant it, Apollo! 55

Phu. Moreover, please your lordship, 'tis reported
For certain, that whoever is found jealous
Without apparent proof that's wife is wanton
Shall be divorced: but this is but she-news;
I had it from a midwife. I have more yet. 60

Bass. Antic, no more! idiots and stupid fools
Grate my calamities. Why to be fair
Should yield presumption of a faulty soul—
Look to the doors.

Phu. The horn of plenty crest him! r~

[Aside and exit.

Bass. Swarms of confusion huddle in my thoughts In rare distemper.—Beauty! O, it is 66 An unmatchejd-bJessiftg.Qr a horrid curse. (tShe-corries, she comes! so shoots the morning forth,\\ I Vipangled with pearls of transparent dew.— The way to poverty is to be rich, 70

As I in her am wealthy; but for her,
In all contents a bankrupt.

Enter Penthea and Grausis.

Loved Penthea! How fares my heart's best joy?

Grau. In sooth, not well,

She is over-sad.

Bass. Leave chattering, magpie.—

Thy brother is returned, sweet, safe and honoured
With a triumphant victory; thou shalt visit him: 76
We will to court, where, if it be thy pleasure,
Thou shalt appear in such a ravishing lustre
Of jewels above value, that the dames
Who brave it there, in rage to be outshined, 80
Shall hide them in their closets, and unseen
Fret in their tears; whiles every wondering eye
Shall crave none other brightness but thy presence.
Choose thine own recreations; be a queen
Of what delights thou fanciest best, what company, 85
What place, what times; do anything, do all things
Youth can command, so thou wilt chase these clouds
From the pure firmament of thy fair looks.

Grau. Now 'tis well said, my lord.—What, lady! laugh,

Be merry; time is precious.

Bass. [aside] Furies whip thee! 90

Pen. Alas,my lord,this language to your hand-maid Sounds as would music to the deaf; I need No braveries nor cost of art to draw The whiteness of my name into offense:

« PreviousContinue »