Ben Jonson

The Alchemist





Source text for this digital edition:
Jonson, Ben. The Alchemist. Edited by David Bevington. In: Bevington, David et al. (eds.). Renaissance Drama: A Norton Anthology. New York: W W Norton, 2001. p. 868-959.
Digital text editor for EMOTHE:
  • Vives Martínez, Mireia

Note on this digital edition

Reproduced with kind permission by W. W. Norton & Company. ©W. W. Norton & Company


To the lady most deserving her name and blood, Mary, Lady Wroth.


THE PERSONS OF THE PLAY

SUBTLE the alchemist
FACE the housekeeper
DOLL Common their colleague
DAPPER a clerk
[Abel] DRUGGER a tobacco man
LOVEWIT master of the house
[Sir] Epicure MAMMON a knight
[Pertinax] SURLY a gamester
TRIBULATION [Wholesome] a pastor of Amsterdam
ANANIAS a deacon there
KASTRIL the angry boy
Dame PLIANT his sister, a widow
NEIGHBORS
OFFICERS


The Argument

T he sickness hot, a master quit for fear
H is house in town, and left one servant there.
E ase him corrupted, and gave means to know
A cheater and his punk, who, now brought low,
L eaving their narrow practice, were become
C oz'ners at large; and, only wanting some
H ouse to set up, with him they here contract
E ach for a share, and all begin to act.
M uch company they draw, and much abuse,
I n casting figures, telling fortunes, news,
S elling of flies, flat bawdry, with the stone
T ill it and they and all in fume are gone.



1.1

[Enter] Face [with a sword], Subtle [with a vial of acid, and] Doll Common.

FACE
1
Believe't, I will.

SUBTLE
Thy worst. I fart at thee!

DOLL
2
Ha' you your wits? Why, gentlemen! For love –

FACE
3
Sirrah, I'll strip you –

SUBTLE
What to do? Lick figs
4
Out at my –

FACE
Rogue, rogue, out of all your sleights!

DOLL
5
Nay, look ye! Sovereign, General, are you madmen?

SUBTLE
6
Oh, let the wild sheep loose. –I'll gum your silks
7
With good strong water, an you come.

DOLL
Will you have
8
The neighbors hear you? Will you betray all?
9
Hark, I hear somebody.

FACE
Sirrah –

SUBTLE
I shall mar
10
All that the tailor has made, if you approach.

FACE
11
You most notorious whelp, you insolent slave,
12
Dare you do this?

SUBTLE
Yes, faith, yes, faith.

FACE
Why, who
13
Am I, my mongrel? Who am I?

SUBTLE
I'll tell you,
14
Since you know not yourself –

FACE
Speak lower, rogue.

SUBTLE
15
Yes. You were once (time's not long past) the good,
16
Honest, plain, livery-three-pound thrum that kept
17
Your master's worship's house here in the Friars,
18
For the vacations –

FACE
Will you be so loud?

SUBTLE
19
Since, by my means, translated suburb-captain.

FACE
20
By your means, Doctor Dog?

SUBTLE
Within man's memory,
21
All this I speak of.

FACE
Why, I pray you, have I
22
Been countenanced by you? Or you by me?
23
Do but collect, sir, where I met you first.

SUBTLE
24
I do not hear well.

FACE
Not of this, I think it.
25
But I shall put you in mind, sir: at Pie Corner,
26
Taking your meal of steam in from cooks' stalls,
27
Where, like the father of hunger, you did walk
28
Piteously costive, with your pinched-horn nose
29
And your complexion of the Roman wash,
30
Stuck full of black and melancholic worms,
31
Like powder-corns shot at th'artillery yard.

SUBTLE
32
I wish you could advance your voice a little.

FACE
33
When you went pinned up in the several rags
34
You'd raked and picked from dunghills before day,
35
Your feet in moldy slippers for your kibes,
36
A felt of rug, and a thin threaden cloak
37
That scarce would cover your no-buttocks –

SUBTLE
So, sir!

FACE
38
When all your alchemy and your algebra,
39
Your minerals, vegetals, and animals,
40
Your conjuring, cozening, and your dozen of trades
41
Could not relieve your corpse, with so much linen
42
Would make you tinder but to see a fire,
43
I ga' you count'nance, credit for your coals,
44
Your stills, your glasses, your materials,
45
Built you a furnace, drew you customers,
46
Advanced all your black arts; lent you, beside,
47
A house to practice in –

SUBTLE
Your master's house.

FACE
48
Where you have studied the more thriving skill
49
Of bawdry since.

SUBTLE
Yes, in your master's house.
50
You and the rats here kept possession.
51
Make it not strange. I know you were one could keep
52
The buttery-hatch still locked and save the chippings,
53
Sell the dole-beer to aqua-vitae men,
54
The which, together with your Christmas vails,
55
At post and pair your letting out of counters,
56
Made you a pretty stock, some twenty marks,
57
And gave you credit to converse with cobwebs
58
Here since your mistress death hath broke up house.

FACE
59
You might talk softlier, rascal.

SUBTLE
No, you scarab,
60
I'll thunder you in pieces. I will teach you
61
How to beware to tempt a Fury again
62
That carries tempest in his hand and voice.

FACE
63
The place has made you valiant.

SUBTLE
No, your clothes.
64
Thou vermin, have I ta'en thee out of dung,
65
So poor, so wretched, when no living thing
66
Would keep thee company but a spider or worse?
67
Raised thee from brooms and dust and wat'ring pots?
68
Sublimed thee, and exalted thee, and fixed thee
69
I'the third region, called our state of grace?
70
Wrought thee to spirit, to quintessence, with pains
71
Would twice have won me the philosophers' work?
72
Put thee in words and fashion? Made thee fit
73
For more than ordinary fellowships?
74
Giv'n thee thy oaths, thy quarrelling dimensions,
75
Thy rules to cheat at horse race, cockpit, cards,
76
Dice, or whatever gallant tincture else?
77
Made thee a second in mine own great art?
78
And have I this for thanks? Do you rebel?
79
Do you fly out i'the projection?
80
Would you be gone, now?

DOLL
Gentlemen, what mean you?
81
Will you mar all?

SUBTLE
Slave, thou hadst had no name –

DOLL
82
Will you undo yourselves with civil war?

SUBTLE
83
Never been known, past equi clibanum,
84
The heat of horse dung, underground, in cellars,
85
Or an alehouse darker than deaf John's; been lost
86
To all mankind but laundresses and tapsters,
87
Had not I been.

DOLL
D'you know who hears you, sovereign?

FACE
88
Sirrah –

DOLL
Nay, General, I thought you were civil.

FACE
89
I shall turn desperate if you grow thus loud.

SUBTLE
90
And hang thyself, I care not.

FACE
Hang thee, collier,
91
And all thy pots and pans! In picture I will,
92
Since thou hast moved me –

DOLL
(aside)
Oh, this'll o'erthrow all.

FACE
93
Write thee up bawd in Paul's; have all thy tricks
94
Of cozening with a hollow coal, dust, scrapings,
95
Searching for things lost with a sieve and shears,
96
Erecting figures in your rows of houses,
97
And taking in of shadows with a glass,
98
Told in red letters; and a face cut for thee
99
Worse than Gamaliel Ratsey's.

DOLL
Are you sound?
100
Ha' you your senses, masters?

FACE
I will have
101
A book, but barely reckoning thy impostures,
102
Shall prove a true philosophers' stone to printers.

SUBTLE
103
Away, you trencher-rascal!

FACE
Out, you dog-leech,
104
The vomit of all prisons –

DOLL
Will you be
105
Your own destructions, gentlemen?

FACE
Still spewed out
106
For lying too heavy o'the basket!

SUBTLE
Cheater!

FACE
107
Bawd!

SUBTLE
Cowherd!

FACE
Conjurer!

SUBTLE
Cutpurse!

FACE
Witch!

DOLL
Oh, me!
108
We are ruined! Lost! Ha' you no more regard
109
To your reputations? Where's your judgment? 'Slight,
110
Have yet some care of me, o'your republic –

FACE
111
Away this brach! I'll bring thee, rogue, within
112
The statue of sorcery, tricesimo tertio
113
Of Harry the Eighth, ay, and perhaps thy neck
114
Within a noose, for laund'ring gold and barbing it.

DOLL
115
You'll bring your head within a coxcomb, will you?
She catcheth out Face his sword, and breaks Subtle's glass.
116
And you, sir, with your menstrue, gather it up.
117
'Sdeath, you abominable pair of stinkards,
118
Leave off your barking and grow one again,
119
Or, by the light that shines, I'll cut your throats.
120
I'll not be made a prey unto the marshal
121
For ne'er a snarling dog-bolt o'you both.
122
Ha' you together cozened all this while,
123
And all the world, and shall it now be said
124
You've made most courteous shift to cozen yourselves?
125
[To Face]
You will accuse him? You will bring him in
126
Within the statue? Who shall take your word?
127
A whoreson, upstart, apocryphal captain,
128
Whom not a Puritan in Blackfriars will trust
129
So much as for a feather!
[To Subtle]
And you, too,
130
Will give the cause, forsooth? You will insult,
131
And claim a primacy in the divisions?
132
You must be chief, as if you only had
133
The powder to project with, and the work
134
Were not begun out of equality?
135
The venture tripartite? All things in common?
136
Without priority? 'Sdeath, you perpetual curs,
137
Fall to your couples again, and cozen kindly
138
And heartily and lovingly, as you should,
139
And lose not the beginning of a term,
140
Or, by this hand, I shall grow factious too,
141
And take my part and quit you.

FACE
'Tis his fault.
142
He ever murmurs, and objects his pains,
143
And says the weight of all lies upon him.

SUBTLE
144
Why, so it does.

DOLL
How does it? Do not we
145
Sustain our parts?

SUBTLE
Yes, but they are not equal.

DOLL
146
Why, if your part exceed today, I hope
147
Ours may tomorrow match it.

SUBTLE
Ay, they may.

DOLL
148
“May,” murmuring mastiff? Ay, and do. Death on me!
149
[To Face]
Help me to throttle him.

[She seizes Subtle.]

SUBTLE
Dorothy, mistress Dorothy!
150
'Od's precious, I'll do anything. What do you mean?

DOLL
151
Because o'your fermentation and cibation?

SUBTLE
152
Not I, by heaven –

DOLL
Your Sol and Luna –
[To Face]
Help me.

SUBTLE
153
Would I were hanged, then! I'll conform myself.

DOLL
154
Will you, sir? Do so, then, and quickly. Swear.

SUBTLE
155
What should I swear?

DOLL
To leave your faction, sir,
156
And labor kindly in the common work.

SUBTLE
157
Let me not breathe if I meant aught beside.
158
I only used those speeches as a spur
159
To him.

DOLL
I hope we need no spurs, sir.
[To Face]
Do we?

FACE
160
'Slid, prove today who shall shark best.

SUBTLE
Agreed.

DOLL
161
Yes, and work close and friendly.

SUBTLE
'Slight, the knot
162
Shall grow the stronger for this breach, with me.

[They shake hands.]

DOLL
163
Why so, my good baboons! Shall we go make
164
A sort of sober, scurvy, precise neighbors,
165
That scarce have smiled twice sin' the king came in,
166
A feast of laughter at our follies? Rascals
167
Would run themselves from breath to see me ride,
168
Or you t'have but a hole to thrust your heads in,
169
For which you should pay ear-rent? No, agree.
170
And may Don Provost ride a-feasting long
171
In his old velvet jerkin and stained scarves,
172
My noble sovereign and worthy general,
173
Ere we contribute a new crewel garter
174
To his most worsted worship.

SUBTLE
Royal Doll!
175
Spoken like Claridiana, and thyself.

FACE
176
For which, at supper, thou shalt sit in triumph,
177
And not be styled Doll Common but Doll Proper,
178
Doll Singular. The longest cut, at night,
179
Shall draw thee for his Doll Particular.

[A bell rings.]

SUBTLE
180
Who's that? One rings. To the window, Doll! Pray heav'n
181
The master do not trouble us this quarter.

[Doll goes to investigate.]

FACE
182
Oh, fear not him. While there dies one a week
183
O'the plague, he's safe from thinking toward London.
184
Beside, he's busy at his hopyards now;
185
I had a letter from him. If he do,
186
He'll send such word for airing o'the house
187
As you shall have sufficient time to quit it.
188
Though we break up a fortnight, 'tis no matter.

SUBTLE
189
[to Doll as she returns]
Who is it, Doll?

DOLL
A fine young quodling.

FACE
Oh,
190
My lawyer's clerk I lighted on last night
191
In Holborn, at the Dagger. He would have
192
(I told you of him) a familiar
193
To rifle with at horses and win cups.

DOLL
194
Oh, let him in.

SUBTLE
Stay. Who shall do't?

FACE
Get you
195
Your robes on. I will meet him, as going out.

DOLL
196
And what shall I do?

FACE
Not be seen. Away!
[Exit Doll.]
197
Seem you very reserved.

SUBTLE
Enough.

[Exit.]

FACE
198
[speaking loudly to Subtle offstage]
God b'w'you, sir.
199
I pray you, let him know that I was here.
200
His name is Dapper. I would gladly have stayed, but –

1.2

DAPPER
1
[calling from offstage]
Captain, I am here.

FACE
Who's that?
2
[He shouts to Subtle]
He's come, I think, Doctor.
[Enter] Dapper.
3
[To Dapper]
Good faith, sir, I was going away.

DAPPER
In truth,
4
I'm very sorry, Captain.

FACE
But I thought
5
Sure I should meet you.

DAPPER
Ay, I'm very glad.
6
I had a scurvy writ or two to make,
7
And I had lent my watch last night to one
8
That dines today at the sheriff's, and so was robbed
9
Of my pass-time.
[Enter] Subtle [in his robes. He stands apart, oblivious to Face and Dapper as they converse in hushed tones].
Is this the cunning man?

FACE
10
This is His Worship.

DAPPER
Is he a doctor?

FACE
Yes.

DAPPER
11
And ha' you broke with him, Captain?

FACE
Ay.

DAPPER
And how?

FACE
12
Faith, he does make the matter, sir, so dainty,
13
I know not what to say –

DAPPER
Not so, good Captain.

FACE
14
Would I were fairly rid on't, believe me.

DAPPER
15
Nay, now you grieve me, sir. Why should you wish so?
16
I dare assure you I'll not be ungrateful.

FACE
17
I cannot think you will, sir. But the law
18
Is such a thing –and then, he says, Read's matter
19
Falling so lately –

DAPPER
Read? He was an ass,
20
And dealt, sir, with a fool.

FACE
It was a clerk, sir.

DAPPER
21
A clerk?

FACE
Nay, hear me, sir. You know the law
22
Better, I think –

DAPPER
I should, sir; and the danger.
23
You know I showed the statue to you?

FACE
You did so.

DAPPER
24
And will I tell, then? By this hand of flesh,
25
Would it might never write good court hand more
26
If I discovered. What do you think of me,
27
That I am a chiaus?

FACE
What's that?

DAPPER
The Turk was here –
28
As one would say, do you think I am a Turk?

FACE
29
I'll tell the doctor so.

DAPPER
Do, good sweet Captain.

[They approach Subtle.]

FACE
30
Come, noble Doctor, pray thee, let's prevail.
31
This is he gentleman, and he is no chiaus.

SUBTLE
32
Captain, I have returned you all my answer.
33
I would do much, sir, for your love –but this
34
I neither may nor can.

FACE
Tut, do not say so.
35
You deal now with a noble fellow, Doctor,
36
One that will thank you richly, and he's no chiaus.
37
Let that, sir, move you.

SUBTLE
Pray you, forbear –

FACE
He has
38
Four angels here –

SUBTLE
You do me wrong, good sir.

FACE
39
Doctor, wherein? To tempt you with these spirits?

SUBTLE
40
To tempt my art and love, sir, to my peril.
41
'Fore heav'n, I scarce can think you are my friend,
42
That so would draw me to apparent danger.

FACE
43
I draw you? A horse draw you, and a halter,
44
You and your flies together –

DAPPER
Nay, good Captain.

FACE
45
That know no difference of men.

SUBTLE
Good words, sir.

FACE
46
Good deeds, Sir Doctor Dog's Meat. 'Slight, I bring you
47
No cheating Clim o'the Cloughs, or Claribels,
48
That look as big as five-and-fifty and flush,
49
And spit out secrets like hot custard –

DAPPER
Captain!

FACE
50
Nor any melancholic underscribe
51
Shall tell the vicar, but a special gentle
52
That is the heir to forty marks a year,
53
Consorts with the small poets of the time,
54
Is the sole hope of his old grandmother,
55
That knows the law and writes you six fair hands,
56
Is a fine clerk and has his ciphering perfect,
57
Will take his oath o'the Greek Xenophon,
58
If need be, in his pocket, and can court
59
His mistress out of Ovid.

DAPPER
Nay, dear Captain.

FACE
60
Did you not tell me so?

DAPPER
Yes, but I'd ha' you
61
Use Master Doctor with some more respect.

FACE
62
Hang him, proud stag, with his broad velvet head!
63
But for your sake, I'd choke ere I would change
64
An article of breath with such a puck-fist!
65
Come, let's be gone.

[Face starts to leave.]

SUBTLE
Pray you, le' me speak with you.

DAPPER
66
His Worship calls you, Captain.

FACE
I am sorry
67
I e'er embarked myself in such a business.

DAPPER
68
Nay, good sir. He did call you.

FACE
Will he take, then?

SUBTLE
69
First, hear me –

FACE
Not a syllable, 'less you take.

SUBTLE
70
Pray ye, sir –

FACE
Upon no terms but an assumpsit.

SUBTLE
71
Your humor must be law.

He takes the money.

FACE
Why now, sir, talk.
72
Now I dare hear you with mine honor. Speak.
73
So may this gentleman too.

SUBTLE
[pretending confidentiality]
Why, sir –

FACE
No whisp'ring.

SUBTLE
74
'Fore heav'n, you do not apprehend the loss
75
You do yourself in this.

FACE
Wherein? For what?

SUBTLE
76
Marry, to be so importunate for one
77
That, when he has it, will undo you all:
78
He'll win up all the money i'the town.

FACE
79
How!

SUBTLE
Yes, and blow up gamester after gamester,
80
As they do crackers in a puppet play.
81
If I do give him a familiar, –
82
Give you him all you play for; never set him,
83
For he will have it.

FACE
You're mistaken, Doctor.
84
Why, he does ask one but for cups and horses,
85
A rifling fly –none o'your great familiars.

DAPPER
86
Yes, Captain, I would have it for all games.

SUBTLE
87
I told you so.

FACE
88
[drawing Dapper aside]
'Slight, that's a new business!
89
I understood you, a tame bird, to fly
90
Twice in a term or so, on Friday nights,
91
When you had left the office, for a nag
92
Of forty or fifty shillings.

DAPPER
Ay, 'tis true, sir,
93
But I do think now I shall leave the law,
94
And therefore –

FACE
Why, this changes quite the case!
95
D'you think that I dare move him?

DAPPER
If you please, sir,
96
All's one to him, I see.

FACE
What, for that money?
97
I cannot, with my conscience. Nor should you
98
Make the request, methinks.

DAPPER
No, sir, I mean
99
To add consideration.

FACE
Why, then, sir,
100
I'll try.
101
[To Subtle]
Say that it were for all games, Doctor?

SUBTLE
102
I say, then, not a mouth shall eat for him
103
At an ordinary but o'the score,
104
That is a gaming mouth, conceive me.

FACE
Indeed!

SUBTLE
105
He'll draw you all the treasure of the realm,
106
If it be set him.

FACE
Speak you this from art?

SUBTLE
107
Ay, sir, and reason too –the ground of art.
108
He's o'the only best complexion
109
The Queen of Faery loves.

FACE
What! Is he?

SUBTLE
Peace!
110
He'll overhear you. Sir, should she but she him –

FACE
111
What?

SUBTLE
Do not you tell him.

FACE
Will he win at cards too?

SUBTLE
112
The spirits of dead Holland, living Isaac,
113
You'd swear were in him –such a vigorous luck
114
As cannot be resisted. 'Slight, he'll put
115
Six o'your gallants to a cloak, indeed.

FACE
116
A strange success, that some man shall be born to!

SUBTLE
117
He hears you, man –

DAPPER
Sir, I'll not be ingrateful.

FACE
118
Faith, I have a confidence in his good nature.
119
You hear, he says he will not be ingrateful.

SUBTLE
120
Why, as you please; my venture follows yours.

FACE
121
Troth, do it, Doctor. Think him trusty, and make him.
122
He may make us both happy in an hour –
123
Win some five thousand pound, and send us two on't.

DAPPER
124
Believe it, and I will, sir.

FACE
And you shall, sir.
125
You have heard all?

DAPPER
No, what was't? Nothing, I, sir.

FACE
126
Nothing?

Face takes him aside.

DAPPER
A little, sir.

FACE
Well, a rare star
127
Reigned at your birth.

DAPPER
At mine, sir? No!

FACE
The doctor
128
Swears that you are –

SUBTLE
Nay, Captain, you'll tell all, now.

FACE
129
Allied to the Queen of Faery.

DAPPER
Who? That I am?
130
Believe it, no such matter.

FACE
Yes, and that
131
You were born with a caul o'your head.

DAPPER
Who says so?

FACE
Come,
132
You know it well enough, though you dissemble it.

DAPPER
133
I'fac, I do not. You are mistaken.

FACE
How!
134
Swear “by your fac”, and in a thing so known
135
Unto the doctor? How shall we, sir, trust you
136
I'the other matter? Can we ever think,
137
When you have won five or six thousand pound,
138
You'll send us shares in't, by this rate?

DAPPER
By Jove, sir,
139
I'll win ten thousand pound, and send you half.
140
“I'fac” 's no oath.

SUBTLE
[to Face]
No, no, he did but jest.

FACE
141
[to Subtle]
Go to. –Go, thank the doctor. He's your friend
142
To take it so.

DAPPER
I thank His Worship.

FACE
So?
143
Another angel.

DAPPER
Must I?

FACE
“Must you”? 'Slight,
144
What else is thanks? Will you be trivial?
145
[Dapper gives gold to Subtle.]
Doctor,
146
When must he come for his familiar?

DAPPER
147
Shall I not ha' it with me?

SUBTLE
Oh, good sir,
148
There must a world of ceremonies pass.
149
You must be bathed and fumigated first.
150
Besides, the Queen of Faery does not rise
151
Till it be noon.

FACE
Not if she danced tonight.

SUBTLE
152
And she must bless it.

FACE
Did you never see
153
Her Royal Grace yet?

DAPPER
Whom?

FACE
Your aunt of Faery.

SUBTLE
154
Not since she kissed him in the cradle, Captain,
155
I can resolve you that.

FACE
Well, see Her Grace,
156
Whate'er it cost you, for a thing that I know.
157
It will be somewhat hard to compass, but,
158
However, see her. You are made, believe it,
159
If you can see her. Her Grace is a lone woman,
160
And very rich, and if she take a fancy,
161
She will do strange things. See her, at any hand.
162
'Slid, she may hap to leave you all she has!
163
It is the doctor's fear.

DAPPER
How will't be done, then?

FACE
164
Let me alone; take you no thought. Do you
165
But say to me, “Captain, I'll see Her Grace.”

DAPPER
166
Captain, I'll see Her Grace.

FACE
Enough.

One knocks without.

SUBTLE
Who's there?
167
[Calling]
Anon!
168
(To Face)
Conduct him forth, by the back way.
169
[To Dapper]
Sir, against one o'clock, prepare yourself;
170
Till when you must be fasting. Only take
171
Three drops of vinegar in at your nose,
172
Two at your mouth, and one at either ear;
173
Then, bathe your fingers' ends and wash your eyes,
174
To sharpen your five senses; and cry “hum”
175
Thrice, and then “buzz” as often; and then come.

[Exit.]

FACE
176
Can you remember this?

DAPPER
I warrant you.

FACE
177
Well, then, away. 'Tis but your bestowing
178
Some twenty nobles 'mong Her Grace's servants;
179
And put on a clean shirt. You do not know
180
What grace Her Grace may do you in clean linen.

[Exeunt.]

1.3

[Enter] Subtle [with] Drugger.

SUBTLE
1
Come in.
[He calls offstage to imaginary persons.]
2
Good wives, I pray you forbear me now;
3
Troth, I can do you no good till afternoon. –
4
What is your name, say you? Abel Drugger?

DRUGGER
Yes, sir.

SUBTLE
5
A seller of tobacco?

DRUGGER
Yes, sir.

SUBTLE
Umh!
6
Free of the Grocers?

DRUGGER
Ay, an't please you.

SUBTLE
Well –
7
Your business, Abel?

DRUGGER
This, an't please Your Worship:
8
I am a young beginner, and am building
9
Of a new shop, an't like Your Worship, just
10
At corner of a street. Here's the plot on't.
[He shows a diagram.]
11
And I would know, by art, sir, of Your Worship,
12
Which way I should make my door, by necromancy,
13
And where my shelves, and which should be for boxes
14
And which for pots. I would be glad to thrive, sir.
15
And I was wished to Your Worship by a gentleman,
16
One Captain Face, that says you know men's planets,
17
And their good angels, and their bad.

SUBTLE
I do,
18
If I do see 'em –

[Enter] Face.

FACE
What! My honest Abel?
19
Thou art well met here!

DRUGGER
Troth, sir, I was speaking,
20
Just as Your Worship came here, of Your Worship.
21
I pray you, speak for me to Master Doctor.

FACE
22
He shall do anything. –Doctor, do you hear?
23
This is my friend Abel, an honest fellow.
24
He lets me have good tobacco, and he does not
25
Sophisticate it with sack-lees or oil,
26
Nor washes it in muscadel and grains,
27
Nor buries it in gravel, underground,
28
Wrapped up in greasy leather or pissed clouts,
29
But keeps it in fine lily pots that, opened,
30
Smell like conserve of roses or French beans.
31
He has his maple block, his silver tongs,
32
Winchester pipes, and fire of juniper.
33
A neat, spruce, honest fellow, and no goldsmith.

SUBTLE
34
He's a fortunate fellow, that I am sure on –

FACE
35
Already, sir, ha' you found it? –Lo thee, Abel!

SUBTLE
36
And in right way toward riches.

FACE
Sir!

SUBTLE
This summer
37
He will be of the clothing of his company,
38
And next spring called to the scarlet. Spend what he can.

FACE
39
What, and so little beard?

SUBTLE
Sir, you must think
40
He may have a receipt to make hair come.
41
But he'll be wise, preserve his youth, and fine for't;
42
His fortune looks for him another way.

FACE
43
'Slid, Doctor, how canst thou know this so soon?
44
I am amused at that.

SUBTLE
By a rule, Captain,
45
In metoposcopy, which I do work by –
46
A certain star i'the forehead, which you see not.
47
Your chestnut or your olive-colored face
48
Does never fail, and your long ear doth promise.
49
I knew't by certain spots too, in his teeth,
50
And on the nail of his mercurial finger.

FACE
51
Which finger's that?

SUBTLE
[taking Drugger's hand]
His little finger. Look.
52
You were born upon a Wednesday?

DRUGGER
Yes, indeed, sir.

SUBTLE
53
The thumb, in chiromanty, we give Venus,
54
The forefinger to Jove, the midst to Saturn,
55
The ring to Sol, the least to Mercury,
56
Who was the lord, sir, of his horoscope,
57
His house of life being Libra, which foreshowed
58
He should be a merchant and should trade with balance.

FACE
59
Why, this is strange! Is't not, honest Nab?

SUBTLE
60
There is a ship now, coming from Ormuz,
61
That shall yield him such a commodity
62
Of drugs –
63
[He points to the diagram.]
This is the west, and this the south?

DRUGGER
64
Yes, sir.

SUBTLE
And those are your two sides?

DRUGGER
Ay, sir.

SUBTLE
65
Make me your door, then, south; your broad side, west;
66
And, on the east side of your shop, aloft,
67
Write Mathlai, Tarmiel, and Baraborat;
68
Upon the north part, Rael, Velel, Thiel.
69
They are the names of those mercurial spirits
70
That do fright flies from boxes.

DRUGGER
Yes, sir.

SUBTLE
And
71
Beneath your threshold bury me a lodestone
72
To draw in gallants, that wear spurs. The rest,
73
They'll seem to follow.

FACE
That's a secret, Nab!

SUBTLE
74
And, on your stall a puppet with a vice
75
And a court focus, to call city dames.
76
You shall deal much with minerals.

DRUGGER
Sir, I have,
77
At home, already –

SUBTLE
Ay, I know, you've arsenic,
78
Vitriol, sal tartar, argaile, alkali,
79
Cinoper: I know all. –This fellow, Captain,
80
Will come in time to be a great distiller,
81
And give a say –I will not say directly,
82
But very fair –at the philosophers' stone.

FACE
83
Why, how now, Abel! Is this true?

DRUGGER
[taking Face aside]
Good Captain,
84
What must I give?

FACE
Nay, I'll not counsel thee.
85
Thou hear'st what wealth (he says, spend what thou canst)
86
Thou'rt like to come to.

DRUGGER
I would gi' him a crown.

FACE
87
A crown! And toward such a fortune? Heart,
88
Thou shalt rather gi' him thy shop. No gold about thee?

DRUGGER
89
Yes, I have a portague I ha' kept this half year.

FACE
90
Out on thee, Nab! 'Slight, there was such an offer!
91
'Shalt keep't no longer; I'll gi' it him for thee.
[Face takes the coin and gives it to Subtle.]
92
Doctor, Nab prays Your Worship to drink this, and swears
93
He will appear more grateful as your skill
94
Does raise him in the world.

DRUGGER
I would entreat
95
Another favour of His Worship.

FACE
What is't, Nab?

DRUGGER
96
But to look over, sir, my almanac,
97
And cross out my ill days, that I may neither
98
Bargain nor trust upon them.

FACE
That he shall, Nab.
99
Leave it; it shall be done 'gainst afternoon.

SUBTLE
100
And a direction for his shelves.

FACE
Now, Nab,
101
Art thou well pleased, Nab?

DRUGGER
Thank, sir, both Your Worships.

FACE
102
Away!
[Exit Drugger.]
103
Why, now, you smoky persecutor of nature!
104
Now, do you see that something's to be done
105
Beside your beech coal and your cor'sive waters,
106
Your crosslets, crucibles, and cucurbites?
107
You must have stuff brought home to you to work on?
108
And yet you think I am at no expense
109
In searching out these veins, then following 'em,
110
Then trying 'em out. 'Fore God, my intelligence
111
Costs me more money than my share oft comes to
112
In these rare works.

SUBTLE
You're pleasant, sir.

1.4

[Enter] Doll.

How now?
1
What says my dainty Dollkin?

DOLL
Yonder fishwife
2
Will not away. And there's your giantess,
3
The bawd of Lambeth.

SUBTLE
Heart, I cannot speak with 'em.

DOLL
4
Not afore night, I have told 'em, in a voice
5
Thorough the trunk, like one of your familiars.
6
But I have spied Sir Epicure Mammon –

SUBTLE
Where?

DOLL
7
Coming along at far end of the lane,
8
Slow of his feet, but earnest of his tongue
9
To one that's with him.

SUBTLE
Face, go you and shift.
[Exit Face.]
10
Doll, you must presently make ready too.

DOLL
11
Why, what's the matter?

SUBTLE
Oh, I did look for him
12
With the sun's rising. Marvel he could sleep!
13
This is the day I am to perfect for him
14
The magisterium, our great work, the stone,
15
And yield it, made, into his hands –of which
16
He has, this month, talked as he were possessed;
17
And now he's dealing pieces on't away.
18
Methinks I see him ent'ring ordinaries,
19
Dispensing for the pox, and plaguy-houses,
20
Reaching his dose; walking Moorfields for lepers,
21
And off'ring citizens' wives pomander bracelets
22
As his preservative, made of the elixir;
23
Searching the spital to make old bawds young,
24
And the highways for beggars to make rich.
25
I see no end of his labors. He will make
26
Nature ashamed of her long sleep, when art,
27
Who's but a stepdame, shall do more than she,
28
In her best love to mankind, ever could.
29
If his dream last, he'll turn the age to gold.

[Exeunt.]

2.1

[Enter] Mammon [and] Surly.

MAMMON
1
Come on, sir. Now you set your foot on shore
2
In Novo Orbe; here's the rich Peru,
3
And there within, sir, are the golden mines,
4
Great Solomon's Ophir! He was sailing to't
5
Three years, but we have reached it in ten months.
6
This is the day wherein to all my friends
7
I will pronounce the happy word, “Be rich;
8
This day you shall be spectatissimi.
9
You shall no more deal with the hollow die
10
Or the frail card; no more be at charge of keeping
11
The livery-punk for the young heir that must
12
Seal at all hours in his shirt; no more,
13
If he deny, ha' him beaten to't, as he is
14
That brings him the commodity. No more
15
Shall thirst of satin, or the covetous hunger
16
Of velvet entrails for a rude-spun cloak,
17
To be displayed at Madam Augusta's, make
18
The sons of sword and hazard fall before
19
The golden calf and on their knees, whole nights,
20
Commit idolatry with wine and trumpets,
21
Or go a-feasting after drum and ensign.
22
No more of this. You shall start up young viceroys,
23
And have your punks and punketees, my Surly.
24
And unto thee I speak it first, “Be rich.”
25
[Calling]
Where is my Subtle, there? Within, ho!

FACE
(within)
Sir,
26
He'll come to you by and by.

MAMMON
That's his firedrake,
27
His lungs, his Zephyrus, he that puffs his coals
28
Till he firk nature up in her own center.
29
You are not faithful, sir. This night I'll change
30
All that is metal in my house to gold,
31
And early in the morning will I send
32
To all the plumbers and the pewterers,
33
And buy their tin and lead up, and to Lothbury
34
For all the copper.

SURLY
What, and turn that too?

MAMMON
35
Yes, and I'll purchase Devonshire and Cornwall,
36
And make them perfect Indies! You admire now?

SURLY
37
No, faith.

MAMMON
But when you see th'effects of the great med'cine,
38
Of which one part projected on a hundred
39
Of Mercury, or Venus, or the moon
40
Shall turn it to as many of the sun –
41
Nay, to a thousand, so ad infinitum
42
You will believe me.

SURLY
Yes, when I see't I will.
43
But if my eyes do cozen me so, and I
44
Giving 'em no occasion, sure I'll have
45
A whore shall piss 'em out next day.

MAMMON
Ha! Why?
46
Do you think I fable with you? I assure you,
47
He that has once the flower of the sun,
48
The perfect ruby, which we call elixir,
49
Not only can do that, but by its virtue
50
Can confer honor, love, respect, long life,
51
Give safety, valor, yea, and victory
52
To whom he will. In eight-and-twenty days
53
I'll make an old man of fourscore a child.

SURLY
54
No doubt he's that already.

MAMMON
Nay, I mean
55
Restore his years, renew him, like an eagle,
56
To the fifth age; make him get sons and daughters,
57
Young giants, as our philosophers have done
58
(The ancient patriarchs afore the flood),
59
But taking, once a week on a knife's point,
60
The quantity of a grain of mustard of it,
61
Become stout Marses and beget young Cupids.

SURLY
62
The decayed vestals of Pict-hatch would thank you,
63
That keep the fire alive there.

MAMMON
'Tis the secret
64
Of nature naturized 'gainst all infections,
65
Cures all diseases coming of all causes:
66
A month's grief in a day, a year's in twelve,
67
And of what age soever in a month,
68
Past all the doses of your drugging doctors.
69
I'll undertake withal to fright the plague
70
Out o'the kingdom in three months.

SURLY
And I'll
71
Be bound the players shall sing your praises then,
72
Without their poets.

MAMMON
Sir, I'll do't. Meantime
73
I'll give away so much unto my man
74
Shall serve th'whole city with preservative,
75
Weekly, each house his dose, and at the rate –

SURLY
76
As he that built the waterwork does with water?

MAMMON
77
You are incredulous.

SURLY
Faith, I have a humor;
78
I would not willingly be gulled. Your stone
79
Cannot transmute me.

MAMMON
Pertinax, my Surly,
80
Will you believe antiquity? Records?
81
I'll show you a book where Moses and his sister
82
And Solomon have written of the art;
83
Ay, and a treatise penned by Adam –

SURLY
How!

MAMMON
84
O'the philosophers' stone, and in High Dutch.

SURLY
85
Did Adam write, sir, in High Dutch?

MAMMON
He did,
86
Which proves it was the primitive tongue.

SURLY
What paper?

MAMMON
87
On cedar board.

SURLY
Oh, that, indeed, they say,
88
Will last 'gainst worms.

MAMMON
'Tis like your Irish wood
89
'Gainst cobwebs. I have a piece of Jason's fleece, too,
90
Which was no other than a book of alchemy,
91
Writ in large sheepskin, a good fat ram-vellum.
92
Such was Pythagoras' thigh, Pandora's tub,
93
And all that fable of Medea's charms,
94
The manner of our work: the bulls, our furnace,
95
Still breathing fire; our argent-vive, the dragon;
96
The dragon's teeth, mercury sublimate,
97
That keeps the whiteness, hardness, and the biting;
98
And they are gathered into Jason's helm,
99
Th'alembic, and then sowed in Mars his field,
100
And thence sublimed so often till they are fixed.
101
Both this, th'Hesperian garden, Cadmus' story,
102
Jove's shower, the boon of Midas, Argus' eyes,
103
Boccace his Demogorgon, thousands more,
104
All abstract riddles of our stone. –

2.2

[Enter] Face [as Lungs, the Alchemist's servant].

How now?
1
Do we succeed? Is our day come? And holds it?

FACE
2
The evening will set upon you, sir.
3
You have color for it, crimson; the red ferment
4
Has done his office. Three hours hence, prepare you
5
To see projection.

MAMMON
Pertinax, my Surly,
6
Again, I say to thee aloud, “Be rich.”
7
This day thou shalt have ingots, and tomorrow
8
Give lords th'affront. –Is it, my Zephyrus, right?
9
Blushes the bolt's-head?

FACE
Like a wench with child, sir,
10
That were but now discovered to her master.

MAMMON
11
Excellent witty Lungs! My only care is
12
Where to get stuff enough now to project on;
13
This town will not half serve me.

FACE
No, sir? Buy
14
The covering off o'churches.

MAMMON
That's true.

FACE
Yes.
15
Let 'em stand bare, as do their auditory,
16
Or cap 'em new with shingles.

MAMMON
No, good thatch;
17
Thatch will lie light upo' the rafters, Lungs.
18
Lungs, I will manumit thee from the furnace;
19
I will restore thee thy complexion, Puff,
20
Lost in the embers, and repair this brain,
21
Hurt wi'the fume o'the metals.

FACE
I have blown, sir,
22
Hard for Your Worship; thrown by many a coal
23
When 'twas not beech; weighed those I put in, just,
24
To keep your heat still even. These bleared eyes
25
Have waked to read your several colors, sir,
26
Of the pale citron, the green lion, the crow,
27
The peacock's tail, the plumed swan.

MAMMON
And lastly
28
Thou hast descried the flower, the sanguis agni?

FACE
29
Yes, sir.

MAMMON
Where's master?

FACE
At 's prayers, sir, he;
30
Good man, he's doing his devotions
31
For the success.

MAMMON
Lungs, I will set a period
32
To all thy labors. Thou shalt be the master
33
Of my seraglio.

FACE
Good, sir.

MAMMON
But do you hear?
34
I'll geld you, Lungs.

FACE
Yes, sir.

MAMMON
For I do mean
35
To have a list of wives and concubines
36
Equal with Solomon, who had the stone
37
Alike with me; and I will make me a back
38
With the elixir that shall be as tough
39
As Hercules, to encounter fifty a night.
40
Thou'rt sure thou saw'st it blood?

FACE
Both blood and spirit, sir.

MAMMON
41
I will have all my beds blown up, not stuffed;
42
Down is too hard. And then, mine oval room
43
Filled with such pictures as Tiberius took
44
From Elephantis, and dull Aretine
45
But coldly imitated. Then my glasses
46
Cut in more subtle angles, to disperse
47
And multiply the figures as I walk
48
Naked between my succubae. My mists
49
I'll have of perfume, vapored 'bout the room,
50
To lose ourselves in; and in baths like pits
51
To fall into, from whence we will come forth
52
And roll us dry in gossamer and roses. –
53
Is it arrived at ruby? –Where I spy
54
A wealthy citizen or rich lawyer
55
Have a sublimed pure wife, unto that fellow
56
I'll send a thousand pound to be my cuckold.

FACE
57
And I shall carry it?

MAMMON
No. I'll ha' no bawds
58
But fathers and mothers. They will do it best,
59
Best of all others. And my flatterers
60
Shall be the pure and gravest of divines
61
That I can get for money; my mere fools
62
Eloquent burgesses; and then my poets
63
The same that writ so subtly of the fart,
64
Whom I will entertain still for that subject.
65
The few that would give out themselves to be
66
Court-and town-stallions, and eachwhere belie
67
Ladies who are known most innocent, for them,
68
Those will I beg to make me eunuchs of;
69
And they shall fan me with ten ostrich tails
70
Apiece, made in a plume to gather wind.
71
We will be brave, Puff, now we ha' the med'cine.
72
My meat shall all come in in Indian shells,
73
Dishes of agate set in gold and studded
74
With emeralds, sapphires, hyacinths, and rubies.
75
The tongues of carps, dormice, and camel's heels,
76
Boiled i'the spirit of Sol and dissolved pearl,
77
(Apicius' diet 'gainst the epilepsy) –
78
And I will eat these broths with spoons of amber,
79
Headed with diamond and carbuncle.
80
My footboy shall eat pheasants, calvered salmons,
81
Knots, godwits, lampreys; I myself will have
82
The beards of barbels served instead of salads,
83
Oiled mushrooms, and the swelling unctuous paps
84
Of a fat pregnant sow newly cut off,
85
Dressed with an exquisite and poignant sauce,
86
For which I'll say unto my cook, “There's gold;
87
Go forth, and be a knight.”

FACE
Sir, I'll go look
88
A little how it heightens.

MAMMON
Do.
[Exit Face.]
My shirts
89
I'll have of taffeta-sars'net, soft and light
90
As cobwebs; and for all my other raiment,
91
It shall be such as might provoke the Persian,
92
Were he to teach the world riot anew.
93
My gloves of fishes' and birds' skins, perfumed
94
With gums of Paradise and Eastern air –

SURLY
95
And do you think to have the stone with this?

MAMMON
96
No, I do think t'have all this with the stone.

SURLY
97
Why, I have heard he must be homo frugi,
98
A pious, holy, and religious man,
99
One free from mortal sin, a very virgin.

MAMMON
100
That makes it, sir; he is so. But I buy it;
101
My venture brings it me. He, honest wretch,
102
A notable, superstitious, good souls,
103
Has worn his knees bare and his slippers bald
104
With prayer and fasting for it; and, sir, let him
105
Do it alone, for me, still. Here he comes.
106
Not a profane word afore him; 'tis poison. –

2.3

[Enter] Subtle.

1
Good morrow, father.

SUBTLE
Gentle son, good morrow,
2
And to your friend there. What is he is with you?

MAMMON
3
An heretic that I did bring along
4
In hope, sir, to convert him.

SUBTLE
Son, I doubt
5
You're covetous, that thus you meet your time
6
I'the just point, prevent your day at morning.
7
This argues something worthy of a fear
8
Of importune and carnal appetite.
9
Take heed you do not cause the blessing leave you,
10
With your ungoverned haste! I should be sorry
11
To see my labors, now e'en at perfection,
12
Got by long watching and large patience,
13
Not prosper where my love and zeal hath placed 'em –
14
Which (heaven I call to witness, with yourself,
15
To whom I have poured my thoughts), in all my ends,
16
Have looked no way but unto public good,
17
To pious uses and dear charity,
18
Now grown a prodigy with men; wherein
19
If you, my son, should now prevaricate,
20
And to your own particular lusts employ
21
So great and catholic a bliss, be sure
22
A curse will follow, yea, and overtake
23
Your subtle and most secret ways.

MAMMON
I know, sir;
24
You shall not need to fear me. I but come
25
To ha' you confute this gentleman.

SURLY
Who is,
26
Indeed, sir, somewhat costive of belief
27
Toward your stone –would not be gulled.

SUBTLE
[to Mammon]
Well, son,
28
All that I can convince him in is this:
29
The work is done; bright Sol is in his robe.
30
We have a med'cine of the triple Soul,
31
The glorified spirit. Thanks be to heaven,
32
And make us worthy of it!
33
[Calling offstage]
Ulenspiegel!

FACE
34
[within]
Anon, sir.

SUBTLE
[calling]
Look well to the register,
35
And let your heat still lessen by degrees,
36
To the aludels.

FACE
[within]
Yes, sir.

SUBTLE
Did you look
37
O'the bolt's-head yet?

FACE
[within]
Which, on D, sir?

SUBTLE
Ay.
38
What's the complexion?

FACE
[within]
Whitish.

SUBTLE
Infuse vinegar,
39
To draw his volatile substance and his tincture,
40
And let the water in Glass E be filtered
41
And put into the gripe's egg. Lute him well,
42
And leave him closed in balneo.

FACE
[within]
I will, sir.

SURLY
43
What a brave language here is! Next to canting.

SUBTLE
44
[to Mammon]
I have another work you never saw, son,
45
That three days since passed the philosophers' wheel,
46
In the lent heat of Athanor, and 's become
47
Sulfur o'nature.

MAMMON
But 'tis for me?

SUBTLE
What need you?
48
You have enough, in that is perfect.

MAMMON
Oh, but –

SUBTLE
49
Why, this is covetise!

MAMMON
No, I assure you,
50
I shall employ it all in pious uses,
51
Founding of colleges and grammar schools,
52
Marrying young virgins, building hospitals,
53
And now and then a church.

[Enter] Face.

SUBTLE
How now?

FACE
Sir, please you,
54
Shall I not change the filter?

SUBTLE
Marry, yes.
55
And bring me the complexion of Glass B.

[Exit Face.]

MAMMON
56
Ha' you another?

SUBTLE
Yes, son. Were I assured
57
Your piety were firm, we would not want
58
The means to glorify it. But I hope the best:
59
I mean to tinct C in sand-heat tomorrow,
60
And give him imbibition.

MAMMON
Of white oil?

SUBTLE
61
No, sir, of red. F is come over the helm too,
62
I thank my Maker, in St. Mary's bath,
63
And shows lac Virginis. Blessed be heaven!
64
I sent you of his feces there, calcined;
65
Out of that calx I ha' won the salt of mercury.

MAMMON
66
By pouring on your rectified water?

SUBTLE
67
Yes, and reverberating in Athanor.
[Enter] Face.
68
How now? What color says it?

FACE
The ground black, sir.

MAMMON
69
That's your crow's head?

SURLY
Your coxcomb's, is't not?

SUBTLE
70
No, 'tis not perfect. Would it were the crow!
71
That work wants something.

SURLY
(aside)
Oh, I looked for this.
72
The hay is a-pitching.

SUBTLE
[to Face]
Are you sure you loosed 'em
73
I'their own menstrue?

FACE
Yes, sir, and then married 'em,
74
And put 'em in a bolt's-head nipped to digestion,
75
According as you bade me, when I set
76
The liquor of Mars to circulation
77
In the same heat.

SUBTLE
The process, then, was right.

FACE
78
Yes, by the token, sir, the retort brake,
79
And what was saved was put into the pelican,
80
And signed with Hermes' seal.

SUBTLE
I think 'twas so.
81
We should have a new amalgama.

SURLY
(aside)
Oh, this ferret
82
Is rank as any polecat!

SUBTLE
But I care not.
83
Let him e'en die; we have enough beside,
84
In embryon. H has his white shirt on?

FACE
Yes, sir,
85
He's ripe for inceration; he stands warm
86
In his ash-fire, I would not you should let
87
And die now, if I might counsel, sir,
88
For luck's sake to the rest. It is not good.

MAMMON
89
He says right.

SURLY
(aside)
Ay, are you bolted?

FACE
Nay, I know't, sir;
90
I have seen th'ill fortune. What is some three ounces
91
Of fresh materials?

MAMMON
Is't no more?

FACE
No more, sir,
92
Of gold, t'amalgam, with some six of mercury.

MAMMON
93
Away! Here's money. What will serve?

FACE
[indicating Subtle]
Ask him, sir.

MAMMON
94
[to Subtle]
How much?

SUBTLE
Give him nine pound; you may gi' him ten,

SURLY
95
[aside]
Yes, twenty, and be cozened, do.

MAMMON
[giving money to Face]
There 'tis.

SUBTLE
96
This needs not, but that you will have it so
97
To see conclusions of all. For two
98
Of our inferior works are at fixation;
99
A third is in ascension. Go your ways. –
100
Ha' you set the oil of Luna in kemia?

FACE
101
Yes, sir.

SUBTLE
And the philosophers' vinegar?

FACE
Ay.

[Exit.]

SURLY
102
[aside]
We shall have a salad!

MAMMON
When do you make projection?

SUBTLE
103
Son, be not hasty. I exalt our med'cine
104
By hanging him in balneo vaporoso
105
And giving him solution, then congeal him
106
And then dissolve him, then again congeal him;
107
For look how oft I iterate the work,
108
So many times I add unto his virtue.
109
As, if at first one ounce convert a hundred,
110
After his second loose he'll turn a thousand;
111
His third solution, ten; his fourth, a hundred;
112
After his fifth, a thousand thousand ounces
113
Of any imperfect metal into pure
114
Silver or gold, in all examinations
115
As good as any of the natural mine.
116
Get you your stuff here against afternoon –
117
Your brass, your pewter, and your andirons.

MAMMON
118
Not those of iron?

SUBTLE
Yes. You may bring them too.
119
We'll change all metals.

SURLY
[aside]
I believe you in that.

MAMMON
120
Then I may send my spits?

SUBTLE
Yes, and your racks.

SURLY
121
And dripping-pans and pot-hangers and hooks,
122
Shall he not?

SUBTLE
If he please.

SURLY
To be an ass.

SUBTLE
123
How, sir!

MAMMON
This gent'man you must bear withal.
124
I told you he had no faith.

SURLY
And little hope, sir,
125
But much less charity, should I gull myself.

SUBTLE
126
Why, what have you observed, sir, in our art
127
Seems so impossible?

SURLY
But your whole work, no more.
128
That you should hatch gold in a furnace, sir,
129
As they do eggs in Egypt!

SUBTLE
Sir, do you
130
Believe that eggs are hatched so?

SURLY
If I should?

SUBTLE
131
Why, I think that the greater miracle.
132
No egg but differs from a chicken more
133
Than metals in themselves.

SURLY
That cannot be.
134
The egg's ordained by nature to that end,
135
And is chicken in potential.

SUBTLE
136
The same we say of lead and other metals,
137
Which would be gold, if they had time.

MAMMON
And that
138
Our art doth further.

SUBTLE
Ay, for 'twere absurd
139
To think that nature, in the earth, bred gold
140
Perfect i'the instant. Something went before.
141
There must be remote matter.

SURLY
Ay? What is that?

SUBTLE
142
Marry, we say –

MAMMON
Ay, now it heats. Stand, father;
143
Pound him to dust.

SUBTLE
It is, of the one part,
144
A humid exhalation which we call
145
Materia liquida or the unctuous water;
146
On th'other part, a certain crass and viscous
147
Portion of earth; both which, concorporate,
148
Do make the elementary matter of gold,
149
Which is not yet propria materia,
150
But common to all metals and all stones.
151
For, where it is forsaken of that moisture
152
And hath more dryness, it becomes a stone;
153
Where it retains more of the humid fatness,
154
It turns to sulfur or to quicksilver,
155
Who are the parents of all other metals.
156
Nor can this remote matter suddenly
157
Progress so from extreme unto extreme
158
As to grow gold and leap o'er all the means.
159
Nature doth first beget th'imperfect; then
160
Proceeds she to the perfect. Of that airy
161
And oil water, mercury is engendered;
162
Sulfur o'the fat and earthy part –the one
163
Which is the last supplying the place of male,
164
The other of the female, in all metals.
165
Some do believe hermaphrodeity,
166
That both do act and suffer. But these two
167
Make the rest ductile, malleable, extensive.
168
And even in gold they are; for we do find
169
Seeds of them by our fire, and gold in them,
170
And can produce the species of each metal
171
More perfect thence than nature doth in earth.
172
Beside, who doth not see in daily practice
173
Art can beget bees, hornets, beetles, wasps
174
Out of the carcasses and dung of creatures –
175
Yea, scorpions of an herb, being rightly placed?
176
And these are living creatures, far more perfect
177
And excellent than metals.

MAMMON
Well said, father! –
178
Nay, if he take you in hand, sir, with an argument,
179
He'll bray you in a mortar.

SURLY
Pray you, sir, stay.
180
Rather than I'll be brayed, sir, I'll believe
181
That alchemy is a pretty kind of game,
182
Somewhat like tricks o'the cards, to cheat a man
183
With charming.

SUBTLE
Sir?

SURLY
What else are all your terms,
184
Whereon no one o'your writers 'grees with other?
185
Of your elixir, your lac virginis,
186
Your stone, your med'cine, and your chrysosperm,
187
Your sal, your sulfur, and your mercury,
188
Your oil of height, your tree of life, your blood,
189
Your marcasite, your tutty, your magnesia,
190
Your toad, your crow, your dragon, and your panther,
191
Your sun, your moon, your firmament, your adrop,
192
Your lato, azoch, zernich, chibrit, heautarit,
193
And then, your red man and your white woman,
194
With all your broths, your menstrues, and materials
195
Of piss and eggshells, women's terms, man's blood,
196
Hair o'the head, burnt clouts, chalk, merds, and clay,
197
Powder of bones, scalings of iron, glass,
198
And worlds of other strange ingredients,
199
Would burst a man to name?

SUBTLE
And all these named
200
Intending but one thing, which art our writers
201
Used to obscure their art.

MAMMON
Sir, so I told him –
202
Because the simple idiot should not learn it
203
And make it vulgar.

SUBTLE
Was not all the knowledge
204
Of the Egyptians writ in mystic symbols?
205
Speak not the Scriptures oft in parables?
206
Are not the choicest fables of the poets,
207
That were the fountains and first springs of wisdom,
208
Wrapped in perplexed allegories?

MAMMON
I urged that,
209
And cleared to him that Sisyphus was damned
210
To roll the ceaseless stone only because
211
He would have made ours common. –
Doll is seen.
Who is this?

SUBTLE
212
God's precious, what do you mean? Go in, good lady,
213
Let me intreat you!
[Exit Doll.]
Where's this varlet?

[Enter] Face.

FACE
Sir?

SUBTLE
214
You very knave! Do you use me thus?

FACE
Wherein, sir?

SUBTLE
215
Go in and see, you traitor. Go!

[Exit Face.]

MAMMON
Who is it, sir?

SUBTLE
216
Nothing, sir, nothing.

MAMMON
What's the matter, good sir?
217
I have not seen you thus distempered. Who is't?

SUBTLE
218
All arts have still had, sir, their adversaries,
219
But ours the most ignorant.
Face returns.
What now?

FACE
220
'Twas not my fault, sir. She would speak with you.

SUBTLE
221
Would she, sir? Follow me.

[Exit. Face starts to follow.]

MAMMON
Stay, Lungs!

FACE
I dare not, sir.

MAMMON
222
Stay, man. What is she?

FACE
[still going]
A lord's sister, sir.

MAMMON
223
How! Pray thee, stay.

FACE
She's mad, sir, and sent hither –
224
He'll be mad, too.

MAMMON
I warrant thee. Why sent hither?

FACE
225
Sir, to be cured.

SUBTLE
[shouting from within]
Why, rascal!

FACE
Lo you!
[Calling]
Here, sir!

He goes out.

MAMMON
226
'Fore God, a Bradamante, a brave piece!

SURLY
227
Heart, this is a bawdy house! I'll be burnt else. –

MAMMON
228
Oh, by this light, no. Do not wrong him. He's
229
Too scrupulous that way. It is his vice.
230
No, he's a rare physician; do him right.
231
An excellent Paracelsian, and has done
232
Strange cures with mineral physic. He deals all
233
With spirits, he. He will not hear a word
234
Of Galen or his tedious recipes. –
Face again.
235
How now, Lungs!

FACE
Softly, sir, speak softly. I meant
236
To ha' told Your Worship all. This must not hear.

MAMMON
237
No, he will not be gulled; let him alone.

FACE
238
You're very right, sir: she is a most rare scholar,
239
And is gone mad with studying Broughton's works.
240
If you but name a word touching the Hebrew,
241
She falls into her fit and will discourse
242
So learnedly of genealogies
243
As you would run mad, too, to hear her, sir.

MAMMON
244
How might one do t'have conference with her, Lungs?

FACE
245
Oh, divers have run mad upon the conference.
246
I do not know, sir. I am sent in haste
247
To fetch a vial.

SURLY
Be not gulled, Sir Mammon.

MAMMON
248
Wherein? Pray ye, be patient.

SURLY
Yes, as you are,
249
And trust confederate knaves and bawds and whores.

MAMMON
250
You are too foul, believe it. –Come, here, Ulen.
251
One word.

[He whispers in Face's ear.]

FACE
I dare not, in good faith.

[Going.]

MAMMON
Stay, knave.

FACE
252
He's extreme angry that you saw her, sir.

MAMMON
253
[giving money]
Drink that. What is she when she's out of her fit?

FACE
254
Oh, the most affablest creature, sir! So merry!
255
So pleasant! She'll mount you up like quicksilver
256
Over the helm, and circulate like oil,
257
A very vegetal; discourse of state,
258
Of mathematics, bawdry, anything –

MAMMON
259
Is she no way accessible? No means,
260
No trick, to give a man a taste of her –wit–
261
Or so?

SUBTLE
[within]
Ulen!

FACE
I'll come to you again, sir.

[Exit.]

MAMMON
262
Surly, I did not think one o'your breeding
263
Would traduce personages of worth.

SURLY
Sir Epicure,
264
Your friend to use, yet still loath to be gulled.
265
I do not like your philosophical bawds.
266
Their stone is lechery enough to pay for
267
Without this bait.

MAMMON
Heart, you abuse yourself.
268
I know the lady, and her friends, and means,
269
The original of this disaster. Her brother
270
Has told me all.

SURLY
And yet you ne'er saw her
271
Till now?

MAMMON
Oh, yes, but I forgot. I have, believe it,
272
One o'the treacherous'st memories, I do think,
273
Of all mankind.

SURLY
What call you her brother?

MAMMON
My lord –
274
He wi' not have his name known, now I think on't.

SURLY
275
A very treacherous memory!

MAMMON
O'my faith –

SURLY
276
Tut, if you ha' it not about you, pass it
277
Till we meet next.

MAMMON
Nay, by this hand, 'tis true.
278
He's one I honor, and my noble friend,
279
And I respect his house.

SURLY
Heart! Can it be
280
That a grave sir, a rich, that has no need,
281
A wise sir, too, at other times, should thus
282
With his own oaths and arguments make hard means
283
To gull himself? An this be your elixir,
284
Your lapis mineralis, and your lunary,
285
Give me your honest trick yet at primero
286
Or gleek, and take your lutum sapientis,
287
Your menstruum simplex! I'll have gold before you,
288
And with less danger of the quicksilver
289
Or the hot sulfur.

[Enter Face as Lungs.]

FACE
(to Surly)
Here's one from Captain Face, sir,
290
Desires you meet him i'the Temple Church
291
Some half hour hence, and upon earnest business.
292
(He whispers [to] Mammon.)
Sir, if you please to quit us now and come
293
Again within two hours, you shall have
294
My master busy examining o'the works,
295
And I will steal you in unto the party,
296
That you may see her converse.
297
[Aloud to Surly]
Sir, shall I say
298
You'll meet the Captain's Worship?

SURLY
Sir, I will.
299
[Aside]
But by attorney, and to a second purpose.
300
Now I am sure it is a bawdy house;
301
I'll swear it, were the marshal here to thank me.
302
The naming this commander doth confirm it.
303
Don Face! Why, he's the most authentic dealer
304
I'these commodities, the superintendent
305
To all the quainter trafficers in town!
306
He is their visitor, and does appoint
307
Who lies with whom, and at what hour, what price,
308
Which gown, and in what smock, what fall, what tire.
309
Him will I prove, by a third person, to find
310
The subtleties of this dark labyrinth,
311
Which if I do discover, dear Sir Mammon,
312
You'll give your poor friend leave, though no philosopher,
313
To laugh; for you that are, 'tis thought, shall weep.

FACE
314
Sir. He does pray you'll not forget.

SURLY
I will not, sir. –
315
Sir Epicure, I shall leave you.

MAMMON
I follow you straight.

[Exit Surly.]

FACE
316
But do so, good sir, to avoid suspicion.
317
This gent'man has a parlous head.

MAMMON
But wilt thou, Ulen,
318
Be constant to thy promise?

FACE
As my life, sir.

MAMMON
319
And wilt thou insinuate what I am, and praise me,
320
And say I am a noble fellow?

FACE
Oh, what else, sir?
321
And that you'll make her royal with the stone,
322
An empress, and yourself King of Bantam.

MAMMON
323
Wilt thou do this?

FACE
Will I, sir?

MAMMON
Lungs, my Lungs!
324
I love thee.

FACE
Send your stuff, sir, that my master
325
May busy himself about projection.

MAMMON
326
Th'hast witched me, rogue.
[Giving money]
Take, go.

FACE
Your jack and all, sir.

MAMMON
327
Thou art a villain! I will send my jack,
328
And the weights too. Slave, I could bite thine ear.
329
Away! Thou dost not care for me.

FACE
Not I, sir?

MAMMON
330
Come, I was born to make thee, my good weasel,
331
Set thee on a bench, and ha' thee twirl a chain
332
With the best lord's vermin of 'em all.

FACE
Away, sir.

MAMMON
333
A count, nay, a count palatine –

FACE
Good sir, go.

MAMMON
334
Shall not advance thee better; no, nor faster.

[Exit.]

2.4

[Enter] Subtle [and] Doll.

SUBTLE
1
Has he bit? Has he bit?

FACE
And swallowed too, my Subtle.
2
I ha' giv'n him line, and now he plays, i'faith.

SUBTLE
3
And shall we twitch him?

FACE
Thorough both the gills.
4
A wench is a rare bait, with which a man
5
No sooner's taken but he straight firks mad.

SUBTLE
6
Doll, my Lord What's-um's sister, you must now
7
Bear yourself statelich.

DOLL
Oh, let me alone.
8
I'll not forget my race, I warrant you.
9
I'll keep my distance, laugh, and talk aloud,
10
Have all the tricks of a proud, scurvy lady,
11
And be as rude as her woman.

FACE
Well said, sanguine!

SUBTLE
12
But will he send his andirons?

FACE
His jack too,
13
And 's iron shoeing-horn; I ha' spoke to him. Well,
14
I must not lose my wary gamester yonder.

SUBTLE
15
Oh, Monsieur Caution, that will not be gulled?

FACE
16
Ay, if I can strike a fine hook into him, now!
17
The Temple Church, there I have cast mine angle.
18
Well, pray for me. I'll about it.

One knocks.

SUBTLE
What, more gudgeons?
19
Doll, scout, scout!
[Doll goes to the window.]
Stay, Face, you must go to the door.
20
Pray God it be my Anabaptist. –Who is't, Doll?

DOLL
21
I know him not. He looks like a gold-end-man.

SUBTLE
22
Godso, 'tis he! He said he would send –what call you him? –
23
The sanctified elder, that should deal
24
For Mammon's jack and andirons. Let him in.
25
Stay, help me off first with my gown. Away,
26
Madam, to your withdrawing chamber.
[Exit Doll, and Face with Subtle's gown.]
Now,
27
In a new tune, new gesture, but old language.
28
This fellow is sent from one negotiates with me
29
About the stone, too, for the holy Brethren
30
Of Amsterdam, the exiled Saints, that hope
31
To raise their discipline by it. I must use him
32
In some strange fashion now, to make him admire me.

2.5

[Enter] Ananias. [Subtle pretends not to see him.]

SUBTLE
1
[calling]
Where is my drudge?

[Enter] Face.

FACE
Sir?

SUBTLE
Take away the recipient,
2
And rectify your menstrue from the phlegma.
3
Then pour it o'the Sol in the cucurbite
4
And let 'em macerate together.

FACE
Yes, sir.
5
And save the ground?

SUBTLE
No. Terra damnata
6
Must not have entrance in the work.
7
[To Ananias]
Who are you?

ANANIAS
8
A faithful Brother, if it please you.

SUBTLE
What's that?
9
A Lullianist? A Ripley? Filius artis?
10
Can you sublime and dulcify? Calcine?
11
Know you the sapor pontic? Sapor styptic?
12
Or what is homogene or heterogene?

ANANIAS
13
I understand no heathen language, truly.

SUBTLE
14
Heathen, you Knipperdoling? Is Ars sacra,
15
Or chrysopoeia, or spagirica,
16
Or the pamphysic or panarchic knowledge
17
A heathen language?

ANANIAS
Heathen Greek, I take it.

SUBTLE
18
How? Heathen Greek?

ANANIAS
All's heathen but the Hebrew.

SUBTLE
19
[to Face]
Sirrah, my varlet, stand you forth and speak to him
20
Like a philosopher; answer i'the language.Name the vexations and the martyrizations
21
Of metals in the work.

FACE
Sir, putrefaction,
22
Solution, ablution, sublimation,
23
Cohobation, calcination, ceration, and
24
Fixation.

SUBTLE
[to Ananias]
This is heathen Greek to you, now? –
25
And when comes vivification?

FACE
After mortification.

SUBTLE
26
What's cohobation?

FACE
'Tis the pouring on
27
Your aqua regis and then drawing him off
28
To the trine circle of the seven spheres.

SUBTLE
29
What's the proper passion of metals?

FACE
Malleation.

SUBTLE
30
What's your ultimum supplicium auri?

FACE
Antimonium.

SUBTLE
31
This's heathen Greek to you? –And what's your mercury?

FACE
32
A very fugitive; he will be gone, sir.

SUBTLE
33
How know you him?

FACE
By his viscosity,
34
His oleosity, and his suscitability.

SUBTLE
35
How do you sublime him?

FACE
With the calce of eggshells,
36
White marble, talc.

SUBTLE
Your magisterium, now?
37
What's that?

FACE
Shifting, sir, your elements,
38
Dry into cold, cold into moist, moist in-
39
To hot, hot into dry.

SUBTLE
[to Ananias]
This's heathen Greek to you still? –
40
Your lapis philosophicus?

FACE
'Tis a stone and not
41
A stone; a spirit, a soul, and a body,
42
Which, if you do dissolve, it is dissolved;
43
If you coagulate, it is coagulated;
44
If you make it to fly, it flieth.

SUBTLE
Enough.
[Exit Face.]
45
This's heathen Greek to you? What are you, sir?

ANANIAS
46
Please you, a servant of the exiled Brethren,
47
That deal with widows' and with orphans' goods,
48
And make a just account unto the Saints –
49
A deacon.

SUBTLE
Oh, you are sent from Master Wholesome,
50
Your teacher?

ANANIAS
From Tribulation Wholesome,
51
Our very zealous pastor.

SUBTLE
Good. I have
52
Some orphans' goods to come here.

ANANIAS
Of what kind, sir?

SUBTLE
53
Pewter, and brass, andirons, and kitchenware,
54
Metals that we must use our med'cine on,
55
Wherein the Brethren may have a penn'orth,
56
For ready money.

ANANIAS
Were the orphans' parents
57
Sincere professors?

SUBTLE
Why do you ask?

ANANIAS
Because
58
We then are to deal justly, and give, in truth,
59
Their utmost value.

SUBTLE
'Slid, you'd cozen else,
60
And if their parents were not of the faithful?
61
I will not trust you, now I think on't,
62
Till I ha' talked with your pastor. Ha' you brought money
63
To buy more coals?

ANANIAS
No, surely.

SUBTLE
No? How so?

ANANIAS
64
The Brethren bid me say unto you, sir
65
Surely they will not venture any more
66
Till they may see projection.

SUBTLE
How!

ANANIAS
You've had,
67
For the instruments, as bricks, and loam, and glasses,
68
Already thirty pound, and for materials,
69
They say, some ninety more; and they have heard since
70
That one at Heidelberg made it of an egg
71
And a small paper of pin dust.

SUBTLE
What's your name?

ANANIAS
72
My name is Ananias. –

SUBTLE
Out, the varlet
73
That cozened the apostles! Hence, away!
74
Flee, mischief! Had your holy consistory
75
No name to send me, of another sound,
76
Than wicked Ananias? Send your elders
77
Hither to make atonement for you quickly
78
And gi' me satisfaction, or out goes
79
The fire, and down th'alembics, and the furnace,
80
Piger Henricus, or what not. Thou wretch,
81
Both sericon and bufo shall be lost,
82
Tell 'em. All hope of rooting out the bishops
83
Or th'anti-Christian hierarchy shall perish
84
If they stay threescore minutes. The aqueity,
85
Terreity, and sulfureity
86
Shall run together again and all be annulled.
87
Thou wicked Ananias!
[Exit Ananias.]
This will fetch 'em
88
And make 'em haste towards their gulling more.
89
A man must deal like a rough nurse and fright
90
Those that are forward to an appetite.

2.6

[Enter] Face [and] Drugger.

FACE
1
[aside to Drugger]
He's busy with his spirits, but well upon him.

SUBTLE
2
How now! What mates, what Bayards ha' we here?

FACE
3
[to Drugger]
I told you he would be furious. –Sir, here's Nab,
4
Has brought you another piece of gold to look on –
5
(To Drugger)
We must appease him. Give it me –
6
[To Subtle]
and prays you
7
You would devise –
(To Drugger)
What is it, Nab?

DRUGGER
A sign, sir.

FACE
8
Ay, a good lucky one, a thriving sign, Doctor.

SUBTLE
9
I was devising now.

FACE
(aside to Subtle)
'Slight, do not say so;
10
He will repent he ga' you any more. –
11
[Aloud]
What say you to his constellation, Doctor?
12
The Balance?

SUBTLE
No, that way is stale and common.
13
A townsman, born in Taurus, gives the Bull,
14
Or the Bull's head; in Aries, the Ram –
15
A poor device! No, I will have his name
16
Formed in some mystic character, whose radii,
17
Striking the senses of the passersby,
18
Shall, by a virtual influence, breed affections
19
That may result upon the party owns it,
20
A thus –

FACE
Nab!

SUBTLE
He first shall have a bell, that's Abel;
21
And by it standing one whose name is Dee,
22
In a rug gown; there's D, and rug, that's Drug;
23
And right anenst him, a Dog snarling “er” –
24
There's Drugger, Abel Drugger. That's his sign.
25
And here's now mystery and hieroglyphic!

FACE
26
Abel, thou art made.

DRUGGER
[bowing]
Sir, I do thank His Worship.

FACE
27
Six o'thy legs more will not do it, Nab. –
28
He has brought you a pipe of tobacco, Doctor.

DRUGGER
[presenting the pipe to Subtle]
Yes, sir.
29
I have another thing I would impart –

FACE
30
Out with it, Nab.

DRUGGER
Sir, there is lodged hard by me
31
A rich young widow –

FACE
Good! A bona roba?

DRUGGER
32
But nineteen at the most.

FACE
Very good, Abel.

DRUGGER
33
Marry, sh' is not in fashion, yet; she wears
34
A hood, but 't stands a-cop.

FACE
No matter, Abel.

DRUGGER
35
And I do now and then give her a focus –

FACE
36
What, dost thou deal, Nab?

SUBTLE
I did tell you, Captain.

DRUGGER
37
And physic too sometime, sir, for which she trust me
38
With all her mind. She's come up here of purpose
39
To learn the fashion.

FACE
Good! His match too! On, Nab.

DRUGGER
40
And she does strangely long to know her fortune.

FACE
41
God's lid, Nab, send her to the doctor, hither.

DRUGGER
42
Yes, I have spoke to her of His Worship already;
43
But she's afraid it will be blown abroad
44
And hurt her marriage.

FACE
Hurt it? 'Tis the way
45
To heal it, if 'twere hurt –to make it more
46
Followed and sought. Nab, thou shalt tell her this.
47
She'll be more known, more talked of, and your widows
48
Are ne'er of any price till they be famous;
49
Their honor is their multitude of suitors.
50
Send her; it may be thy good fortune. What?
51
Thou dost not know?

DRUGGER
No, sir, she'll never marry
52
Under a knight. Her brother has made a vow.

FACE
53
What, and dost thou despair, my little Nab,
54
Knowing what the doctor has set down for thee,
55
And seeing so many o'the city dubbed?
56
One glass o'thy water, with a madam I know,
57
Will have it done, Nab. What's her brother? A knight?

DRUGGER
58
No, sir, a gentleman newly warm in his land, sir,
59
Scarce cold in his one-and-twenty, that does govern
60
His sister here, and is a man himself
61
Of some three thousand a year, and is come up
62
To learn to quarrel and to live by his wits,
63
And will go down again and die i'the country.

FACE
64
How! To quarrel?

DRUGGER
Yes, sir, to carry quarrels,
65
As gallants do, and manage 'em by line.

FACE
66
'Slid, Nab, the doctor is the only man
67
In Christendom for him. He has made a table,
68
With mathematical demonstrations,
69
Touching the art of quarrels. He will give him
70
An instrument to quarrel by. Go, bring 'em both,
71
Him and his sister. And, for thee, with her
72
The doctor haply may persuade. Go to!
73
Shalt give His Worship a new damask suit
74
Upon the premises.

SUBTLE
Oh, good Captain!

FACE
He shall;
75
He is the honestest fellow, Doctor. –Stay not,
76
No offers; bring the damask and the parties.

DRUGGER
77
I'll try my power, sir.

FACE
And thy will too, Nab.

SUBTLE
78
[smoking]
'Tis good tobacco, this! What is't an ounce?

FACE
79
He'll send you a pound, Doctor.

SUBTLE
Oh, no.

FACE
He will do't.
80
It is the goodest soul! –Abel, about it.
81
(Aside to him)
Thou shalt know more anon. Away, be gone!
[Exit Drugger.]
82
A miserable rogue, and lives with cheese,
83
And has the worms. That was the cause indeed
84
Why he came now. He dealt with me in private
85
To get a med'cine for 'em.

SUBTLE
And shall, sir. This works.

FACE
86
A wife, a wife, for one on's, my dear Subtle!
87
We'll e'en draw lots, and he that fails shall have
88
The more in goods, the other has in tail.

SUBTLE
89
Rather, the less. For she may be so light
90
She may want grains.

FACE
Ay, or be such a burden
91
A man would scarce endure her for the whole.

SUBTLE
92
Faith, best let's see her first and then determine.

FACE
93
Content. But Doll must ha' no breath on't.

SUBTLE
Mum.
94
Away! You to your Surly yonder; catch him.

FACE
95
Pray God I ha' not stayed too long.

SUBTLE
I fear it.

[Exeunt.]

3.1

[Enter] Tribulation [Wholesome and] Ananias.

TRIBULATION
1
These chastisements are common to the Saints,
2
And such rebukes we of the separation
3
Must bear with willing shoulders as the trials
4
Sent forth to tempt our frailties.

ANANIAS
In pure zeal,
5
I do not like the man. He is a heathen,
6
And speaks the language of Canaan, truly.

TRIBULATION
7
I think him a profane person, indeed.

ANANIAS
He bears
8
The visible mark of the Beast in his forehead.
9
And for his stone, it is a work of darkness,
10
And with philosophy blinds the eyes of man.

TRIBULATION
11
Good brother, we must bend unto all means
12
That may give furtherance to the holy cause.

ANANIAS
13
Which his cannot. The sanctified cause
14
Should have a sanctified course.

TRIBULATION
Not always necessary.
15
The children of perdition are ofttimes
16
Made instruments even of the greatest works.
17
Beside, we should give somewhat to man's nature,
18
The place he lives in, still about the fire
19
And fume of metals, that intoxicate
20
The brain of man and make him prone to passion.
21
Where have you greater atheists than your cooks?
22
Or more profane or choleric than your glassmen?
23
More anti-Christian than your bell-founders?
24
What makes the devil so devilish, I would ask you –
25
Satan, our common enemy –but his being
26
Perpetually about the fire and boiling
27
Brimstone and arsenic? We must give, I say,
28
Unto the motives and the stirrers-up
29
Of humors in the blood. It may be so.
30
Whenas the work is done, the stone is made,
31
This heat of his may turn into a zeal
32
And stand up for the beauteous discipline
33
Against the menstruous cloth and rag of Rome. –
34
We must await his calling and the coming
35
Of the good spirit. You did fault t'upbraid him
36
With the Brethren's blessing of Heidelberg, weighing
37
What need we have to hasten on the work
38
For the restoring of the silenced Saints,
39
Which ne'er will be but by the philosophers' stone.
40
And so a learned elder, one of Scotland,
41
Assured me, aurum potabile being
42
The only med'cine for the civil magistrate
43
T'incline him to a feeling of a cause,
44
And must be daily used in the disease.

ANANIAS
45
I have not edified more, truly, by man,
46
Not since the beautiful light first shone on me;
47
And I am sad my zeal hath so offended.

TRIBULATION
48
Let us call on him, then.

ANANIAS
The motion's good,
49
And of the spirit. I will knock first.
50
[He knocks.]
Peace be within!

3.2

[Enter] Subtle.

SUBTLE
1
Oh, are you come? 'Twas time. Your threescore minutes
2
Were at the last thread, you see, and down had gone
3
Furnus acediae, turris circulatorius;
4
'Lembic, bolt's-head, retort, and pelican
5
Had all been cinders. Wicked Ananias!
6
Art thou returned? Nay then, it goes down yet.

TRIBULATION
7
Sir, be appeased. He is come to humble
8
Himself in spirit, and to ask your patience
9
If too much zeal hath carried him aside
10
From the due path.

SUBTLE
Why, this doth qualify!

TRIBULATION
11
The Brethren had no purpose, verily,
12
To give you the least grievance, but are ready
13
To lend their willing hands to any project
14
The spirit and you direct.

SUBTLE
This qualifies more!

TRIBULATION
15
And, for the orphans' goods, let them be valued,
16
Or what is needful else to the holy work,
17
It shall be numbered. Here, by me, the Saints
18
Throw down their purse before you.

SUBTLE
This qualifies most!
19
Why, thus it should be; now you understand.
20
Have I discoursed so unto you of our stone
21
And of the good that it shall bring your cause?
22
Showed you –beside the main of hiring forces
23
Abroad, drawing the Hollanders, your friends,
24
From th'Indies, to serve you, with all their fleet –
25
That even the med'cinal use shall make you a faction
26
And party in the realm? As, put the case
27
That some great man in state, he have the gout,
28
Why, you but send three drops of your elixir,
29
You help him straight; there you have made a friend.
30
Another has the palsy or the dropsy;
31
He takes of your incombustible stuff,
32
He's young again; there you have made a friend.
33
A lady that is past the feat of body,
34
Though not of mind, and hath her face decayed
35
Beyond all cure of paintings, you restore
36
With the oils of talc; there you have made a friend,
37
And all her friends. A lord that is a leper,
38
A knight that has the boneache, or a squire
39
That hath both these, you make 'em smooth and sound
40
With a bare fricace of your med'cine; still
41
You increase your friends.

TRIBULATION
Ay, 'tis very pregnant.

SUBTLE
42
And then the turning of this lawyer's pewter
43
To plate at Christmas –

ANANIAS
“Christ-tide,” I pray you.

SUBTLE
44
Yet, Ananias?

ANANIAS
I have done.

SUBTLE
Or changing
45
His parcel gilt to massy gold. You cannot
46
But raise you friends. Withal, to be of power
47
To pay an army in the field, to buy
48
The King of France out of his realms, or Spain
49
Out of his Indies –what can you not do
50
Against lords spiritual or temporal
51
That shall oppone you?

TRIBULATION
Verily, 'tis true.
52
We may be temporal lords ourselves, I take it.

SUBTLE
53
You may be anything, and leave off to make
54
Long-winded exercises or suck up
55
Your “ha!” and “hum!” in a tune. I not deny
56
But such as are not graced in a state
57
May, for their ends, be adverse in religion,
58
And get a tune to call the flock together –
59
For, to say sooth, a tune does much with women
60
And other phlegmatic people; it is your bell.

ANANIAS
61
Bells are profane. A tune may be religious.

SUBTLE
62
No warning with you? Then farewell my patience.
63
'Slight, it shall down. I will not be thus tortured.

TRIBULATION
64
I pray you, sir –

SUBTLE
All shall perish, I have spoke it.

TRIBULATION
65
Let me find grace, sir, in your eyes. The man,
66
He stands corrected. Neither did his zeal,
67
But as yourself, allow a tune, somewhere,
68
Which now, being to'ard the stone, we shall not need.

SUBTLE
69
No, nor your holy vizard, to win widows
70
To give you legacies, or make zealous wives
71
To rob their husbands for the common cause;
72
Nor take the start of bonds broke but one day
73
And say they were forfeited by Providence.
74
Nor shall you need o'ernight to eat huge meals,
75
To celebrate your next day's fast the better,
76
The whilst the Brethren and the Sisters, humbled,
77
Abate the stiffness of the flesh. Nor cast
78
Before your hungry hearers scrupulous bones:
79
As, whether a Christian may hawk or hunt,
80
Or whether matrons of the holy assembly
81
May lay their hair out, or wear doublets,
82
Or have that idol, starch, about their linen.

ANANIAS
83
It is indeed an idol.

TRIBULATION
[to Subtle]
Mind him not, sir. –
84
I do command thee, spirit of zeal but trouble,
85
To peace within him! –Pray you, sir, go on.

SUBTLE
86
Nor shall you need to libel 'gainst the prelates,
87
And shorten so your ears against the hearing
88
Of the next wiredrawn grace. Nor of necessity
89
Rail against plays to please the alderman
90
Whose daily custard you devour. Nor lie
91
With zealous rage till you are hoarse. Not one
92
Of these so singular arts! Nor call yourselves
93
By names of Tribulation, Persecution,
94
Restraint, Long-Patience, and suchlike, affected
95
By the whole family or wood of you
96
Only for glory and to catch the ear
97
Of the disciple.

TRIBULATION
Truly, sir, they are
98
Ways that the godly Brethren have invented
99
For propagation of the glorious cause,
100
As very notable means, and whereby also
101
Themselves grow soon and profitably famous.

SUBTLE
102
Oh, but the stone, all's idle to it! Nothing!
103
The art of angels, nature's miracle,
104
The divine secret that doth fly in clouds
105
From east to west, and whose tradition
106
Is not from men, but spirits.

ANANIAS
I hate traditions.
107
I do not trust then –

TRIBULATION
Peace!

ANANIAS
They are popish all.
108
I will not peace. I will not –

TRIBULATION
Ananias!

ANANIAS
109
Please the profane to grieve the godly I may not.

SUBTLE
110
Well, Ananias, thou shalt overcome.

TRIBULATION
111
It is an ignorant zeal that haunts him, sir –
112
But truly, else, a very faithful Brother,
113
A botcher, and a man by revelation,
114
That hath a competent knowledge of the truth.

SUBTLE
115
Has he a competent sum there i'the bag
116
To buy the goods within? I am made guardian,
117
And must, for charity and conscience' sake,
118
Now see the most be made for my poor orphans –
119
Though I desire the Brethren, too, good gainers.
120
There they are, within. When you have viewed and bought 'em,
121
And ta'en the inventory of what they are,
122
They are ready for projection; there's no more
123
To do. Cast on the med'cine so much silver
124
As there is tin there, so much gold as brass;
125
I'll gi' it you in by weight.

TRIBULATION
But how long time,
126
Sir, must the Saints expect, yet?

SUBTLE
Let me see:
127
How's the moon now? Eight, nine, ten days hence
128
He will be silver potate; then three days
129
Before he citronize; some fifteen days,
130
The magisterium will be perfected.

ANANIAS
131
About the second day of the third week
132
In the ninth month?

SUBTLE
Yes, my good Ananias.

TRIBULATION
133
What will the orphans' goods arise to, think you?

SUBTLE
134
Some hundred marks; as much as filled three cars,
135
Unladed now; you'll make six millions of 'em.
136
But I must ha' more coals laid in.

TRIBULATION
How!

SUBTLE
Another load,
137
And then we ha' finished. We must now increase
138
Our fire to ignis ardens; we are past
139
Fimus equinus, balnei, cineris,
140
And all those lenter heats. If the holy purse
141
Should with this draft fall low, and that the Saints
142
Do need a present sum, I have a trick
143
To melt the pewter you shall buy now instantly,
144
And with a tincture make you as good Dutch dollars
145
As any are in Holland.

TRIBULATION
Can you so?

SUBTLE
146
Ay, and shall bide the third examination.

ANANIAS
147
It will be joyful tidings to the Brethren.

SUBTLE
148
But you must carry it secret.

TRIBULATION
Ay, but stay.
149
This act of coining: is it lawful?

ANANIAS
Lawful?
150
We know no magistrate. Or, if we did,
151
This's foreign coin.

SUBTLE
It is no coining, sir.
152
It is but casting.

TRIBULATION
Ha! You distinguish well.
153
Casting of money may be lawful.

ANANIAS
'Tis, sir.

TRIBULATION
154
Truly, I take it so.

SUBTLE
There is no scruple,
155
Sir, to be made of it. Believe Ananias;
156
This case of conscience he is studied in.

TRIBULATION
157
I'll make a question of it to the Brethren.

ANANIAS
158
The Brethren shall approve it lawful, doubt not.
159
Where shall't be done?

SUBTLE
For that we'll talk anon.
Knock without.
160
There's some to speak with me. Go in, I pray you,
161
And view the parcels.
162
[He gives them a paper.]
That's the inventory.
163
I'll come to you straight.
[Exeunt Tribulation and Ananias.]
[Calling]
Who is it? Face! Appear!

3.3

[Enter] Face [in his captain's uniform].

1
How now? Good prize?

FACE
Good pox! Yond costive cheater
2
Never came on.

SUBTLE
How then?

FACE
I ha' walked the round
3
Till now, and no such thing.

SUBTLE
And ha' you quit him?

FACE
4
Quit him? An hell would quit him too, he were happy.
5
'Slight, would you have me stalk like a mill-jade,
6
All day, for one that will not yield us grains?
7
I know him of old.

SUBTLE
Oh, but to ha' gulled him
8
Had been a maistry!

FACE
Let him go, black boy!
9
And turn thee, that some fresh news may possess thee.
10
A noble count, a don of Spain (my dear
11
Delicious compeer and my party-bawd),
12
Who is come hither private for his conscience
13
And brought munition with him, six great slops,
14
Bigger than three Dutch hoys, beside round trunks,
15
Furnished with pistolets and pieces of eight,
16
Will straight be here, my rogue, to have thy bath
17
(That is the color) and to make his batt'ry
18
Upon our Doll, our castle, our Cinque Port,
19
Our Dover pier, our what thou wilt. Where is she?
20
She must prepare perfumes, delicate linen,
21
The bath in chief, a banquet, and her wit,
22
For she must milk his epididymis.
23
Where is the doxy?

SUBTLE
I'll send her to thee,
24
And but dispatch my brace of little John Leydens
25
And come again myself.

FACE
Are they within, then?

SUBTLE
26
Numb'ring the sum.

FACE
How much?

SUBTLE
A hundred marks, boy.

[Exit.]

FACE
27
Why, this's a lucky day. Ten pounds of Mammon!
28
Three o'my clerk! A portague o'my grocer!
29
This o'the Brethren! Beside reversions
30
And states to come i'the widow and my count!
31
My share today will not be bought for forty –

[Enter] Doll.

DOLL
What?

FACE
32
Pounds, dainty Dorothy. Art thou so near?

DOLL
33
Yes. Say, Lord General, how fares our camp?

FACE
34
As with the few that had entrenched themselves
35
Safe, by their discipline, against a world, Doll,
36
And laughed with those trenches, and grew fat
37
With thinking on the booties, Doll, brought in
38
Daily by their small parties. This dear hour
39
A doughty don is taken with my Doll,
40
And thou mayst make his ransom what thou wilt,
41
My Dowsabell. He shall be brought here, fettered
42
With thy fair looks before he sees thee, and thrown
43
In a down bed as dark as any dungeon,
44
Where thou shalt keep him waking with thy drum –
45
Thy drum, my Doll, thy drum –till he be tame
46
As the poor blackbirds were i'the great frost,
47
Or bees are with a basin, and so hive him
48
I'the swanskin coverlid and cambric sheets
49
Till he work honey and wax, my little God's-gift.

DOLL
50
What is he, General?

FACE
An adalantado,
51
A grandee, girl. Was not my Dapper here yet?

DOLL
52
No.

FACE
Nor my Drugger?

DOLL
Neither.

FACE
A pox on 'em,
53
They are so long a-furnishing! Such stinkards
54
Would not be seen upon these festival days.
[Enter] Subtle.
55
How now! Ha' you done?

SUBTLE
Done. They are gone. The sum
56
Is here in bank, my Face. I would we knew
57
Another chapman now would buy 'em outright.

FACE
58
'Slid, Nab shall do't against he ha' the widow,
59
To furnish household.

SUBTLE
Excellent! Well thought on.
60
Pray God he come.

FACE
I pray he keep away
61
Till our new business be o'erpast.

SUBTLE
But Face,
62
How cam'st thou by this secret don?

FACE
A spirit
63
Brought me th'intelligence in a paper here,
64
As I was conjuring yonder in my circle
65
For Surly; I ha' my flies abroad. Your bath
66
Is famous, Subtle, by my means. –Sweet Doll,
67
You must go tune your virginal, no losing
68
O'the least time. And, do you hear? Good action.
69
Firk like a flounder, kiss like a scallop, close,
70
And tickle him with thy mother tongue. His great
71
Verdugoship has not a jot of language –
72
So much the easier to be cozened, my Dolly.
73
He will come here in a hired coach, obscure,
74
And our own coachman, whom I have sent, as guide,
75
No creature else.
(One knocks.)
Who's that?

[Doll goes to the window.]

SUBTLE
It i' not he?

FACE
76
Oh, no, not yet this hour.

SUBTLE
[to Doll, as she returns]
Who is't?

DOLL
Dapper,
77
Your clerk.

FACE
God's will, then, Queen of Faery,
78
On with your tire! And, Doctor, with your robes.
79
Let's dispatch him, for God's sake.

[Exit Doll.]

SUBTLE
'Twill be long.

FACE
80
I warrant you, take but the cues I give you,
81
It shall be brief enough.
82
[He goes to the window.]
'Slight, here are more!
83
Abel, and I think the angry boy, the heir
84
That fain would quarrel.

SUBTLE
And the widow?

FACE
No,
85
Not that I see. Away!

[Exit Subtle.]

3.4

[Enter] Dapper.

Oh, sir, you are welcome.
1
The doctor is within, a-moving for you;
2
I have had the most ado to win him to it!
3
He swears you'll be the darling o'the dice;
4
He never heard Her Highness dote till now, he says.
5
Your aunt has giv'n you the most gracious words
6
That can be thought on.

DAPPER
Shall I see Her Grace?

FACE
7
See her, and kiss her too. –
[Enter] Drugger [and] Kastril.
What, honest Nab!
8
Hast brought the damask?

DRUGGER
No, sir, here's tobacco.

FACE
9
'Tis well done, Nab. Thou'lt bring the damask too?

DRUGGER
10
Yes. Here's the gentleman, Captain, Master Kastril,
11
I have brought to see the doctor.

FACE
Where's the widow?

DRUGGER
12
Sir, as he likes, his sister, he says, shall come.

FACE
13
Oh, is it so? Good time. –Is your name Kastril, sir?

KASTRIL
14
Ay, and the best o'the Kastrils –I'd be sorry else –
15
By fifteen hundred a year. Where is the doctor?
16
My mad tobacco-boy here tells me of one
17
That can do things. Has he any skill?

FACE
Wherein, sir?

KASTRIL
18
To carry a business, manage a quarrel fairly,
19
Upon fit terms.

FACE
It seems, sir, you're but young
20
About the town, that can make that a question.

KASTRIL
21
Sir, not so young but I have heard some speech
22
Of the angry boys, and seen 'em take tobacco,
23
And in his shop; and I can take it too.
24
And I would fain be one of 'em, and go down
25
And practice i'the country.

FACE
Sir, for the duello,
26
The doctor, I assure you, shall inform you
27
To the least shadow of a hair, and show you
28
An instrument he has of his own making,
29
Wherewith no sooner shall you make report
30
Of any quarrel but he will take the height on't,
31
Most instantly, and tell in what degree
32
Of safety it lies in, or mortality,
33
And how it may be borne, whether in a right line
34
Or a half circle, or may else be cast
35
Into an angle blunt, if not acute! –
36
All this he will demonstrate. And then rules
37
To give and take the lie by.

KASTRIL
How? To take it?

FACE
38
Yes, in oblique, he'll show you, or in circle,
39
But never in diameter. The whole town
40
Study his theorems, and dispute them ordinarily
41
At the eating academies.

KASTRIL
But does he teach
42
Living by the wits too?

FACE
Anything whatever.
43
You cannot think that subtlety but he read it.
44
He made me a captain. I was a stark pimp,
45
Just o'your standing, 'fore I met with him;
46
It i' not two months since. I'll tell you his method.
47
First, he will enter you at some ordinary.

KASTRIL
48
No, I'll not come there. You shall pardon me.

FACE
For why, sir?

KASTRIL
49
There's gaming there, and tricks.

FACE
Why, would you be
50
A gallant, and not game?

KASTRIL
Ay, 'twill spend a man.

FACE
51
Spend you? It will repair you when you are spent.
52
How do they live by their wits there, that have vented
53
Six times your fortunes?

KASTRIL
What, three thousand a year?

FACE
54
Ay, forty thousand.

KASTRIL
Are there such?

FACE
Ay, sir.
55
And gallants, yet.
56
[Indicating Dapper]
Here's a young gentleman
57
Is born to nothing –forty marks a year,
58
Which I count nothing. He's to be initiated
59
And have a fly o'the doctor. He will win you
60
By unresistible luck, within this fortnight,
61
Enough to buy a barony. They will set him
62
Upmost, at the groom-porter's, all the Christmas,
63
And, for the whole year through, at every place
64
Where there is play, present him with the chair,
65
The best attendance, the best drink, sometimes
66
Two glasses of canary, and pay nothing;
67
The purest linen and the sharpest knife,
68
The partridge next his trencher, and somewhere
69
The dainty bed, in private, with the dainty.
70
You shall ha' your ordinaries bid for him,
71
As playhouses for a poet, and the master
72
Pray him, aloud, to name what dish he affects,
73
Which must be buttered shrimps; and those that drink
74
To no mouth else will drink to his, as being
75
The goodly, president mouth of all the board.

KASTRIL
76
Do you not gull one?

FACE
Od's my life! Do you think it?
77
You shall have a cast commander (can but get
78
In credit with a glover or a spurrier
79
For some two pair of either's ware aforehand)
80
Will, by most swift posts, dealing with him,
81
Arrive at competent means to keep himself,
82
His punk, and naked boy in excellent fashion,
83
And be admired for't.

KASTRIL
Will the doctor teach this?

FACE
84
He will do more, sir: when your land is gone
85
(As men of spirit hate to keep earth long),
86
In a vacation, when small money is stirring
87
An ordinaries suspended till the term,
88
He'll show a perspective where on one side
89
You shall behold the faces and the persons
90
Of all sufficient young heirs in town,
91
Whose bonds are current for commodity;
92
On th'other side, the merchants' forms, and others
93
That, without help of any second broker,
94
Who would expect a share, will trust such parcels;
95
In the third square, the very street and sign
96
Where the commodity dwells and does but wait
97
To be delivered, be it pepper, soap,
98
Hops, or tobacco, oatmeal, woad, or cheeses –
99
All which you may so handle to enjoy
100
To your own use and never stand obliged.

KASTRIL
101
I'faith! Is he such a fellow?

FACE
Why, Nab here knows him.
102
And then for making matches for rich widows,
103
Young gentlewomen, heirs, the fortunat'st man!
104
He's sent to, far and near, all over England,
105
To have his counsel and to know their fortunes.

KASTRIL
106
God's will, my sister shall see him.

FACE
I'll tell you, sir,
107
What he did tell me of Nab. It's a strange thing!
108
(By the way, you must eat no cheese, Nab, it breeds melancholy,
109
And that same melancholy breeds worms; but pass it.)
110
He told me honest Nab here was ne'er at tavern
111
But once in's life.

DRUGGER
Truth, and no more I was not.

FACE
112
And then he was so sick –

DRUGGER
Could he tell you that, too?

FACE
113
How should I know it?

DRUGGER
In troth, we had been a-shooting,
114
And had a piece of fat ram-mutton to supper
115
That lay so heavy o'my stomach –

FACE
And he has no head
116
To bear any wine; for, what with the noise o'the fiddlers,
117
And care of his shop, for he dares keep no servants –

DRUGGER
118
My head did so ache –

FACE
As he was fain to be brought home,
119
The doctor told me. And then, a good old woman –

DRUGGER
120
Yes, faith, she dwells in Seacoal Lane –did cure me
121
With sodden ale and pellitory o'the wall;
122
Cost me but twopence. I had another sickness
123
Was worse than that.

FACE
Ay, that was with the grief
124
Thou took'st for being 'sessed at eighteen pence
125
For the waterwork.

DRUGGER
In truth, and it was like
126
T'have cost me almost my life.

FACE
Thy hair went off?

DRUGGER
127
Yes, sir. 'Twas done for spite.

FACE
Nay, so says the doctor.

KASTRIL
128
Pray thee, tobacco-boy, go fetch my suster;
129
I'll see this learned boy before I go,
130
And so shall she.

FACE
Sir, he is busy now.
131
But if you have a sister to fetch hither,
132
Perhaps your own pains may command her sooner,
133
And he by that time will be free.

KASTRIL
I go.

[Exit.]

FACE
134
Drugger, she's thine. The damask!
[Exit Drugger.]
(Aside)
Subtle and I
135
Must wrestle for her. – Come on, Master Dapper.
136
You see how I turn clients here away
137
To give your cause dispatch. Ha' you performed
138
The ceremonies were enjoined you?

DAPPER
Yes, o'the vinegar
139
And the clean shirt.

FACE
'Tis well. That shirt may do you
140
More worship than you think. Your aunt's afire,
141
But that she will not show it, t'have a sight on you.
142
Ha' you provided for Her Grace's servants?

DAPPER
143
Yes, here are six-score Edward shillings –

FACE
Good.

DAPPER
144
And an old Harry's sovereign –

FACE
Very good.

DAPPER
145
And three James shillings, and an Elizabeth groat;
146
Just twenty nobles.

FACE
Oh, you are too just.
147
I would you had had the other noble in Marys.

DAPPER
148
I have some Philip and Marys.

FACE
Ay, those same
149
Are best of all. Where are they? Hark, the doctor.

3.5

[Enter] Subtle disguised like a Priest of Faery [with a tattered robe].

SUBTLE
1
Is yet Her Grace's cousin come?

FACE
He is come.

SUBTLE
2
And is he fasting?

FACE
Yes.

SUBTLE
And hath cried “hum”?

FACE
3
[to Dapper]
Thrice, you must answer.

DAPPER
Thrice.

SUBTLE
And as oft “buzz”?

FACE
4
[to Dapper]
If you have, say.

DAPPER
I have.

SUBTLE
[presenting Dapper the robe]
Then to her coz,
5
Hoping that he hath vinegared his senses
6
As he was bid, the Faeiry Queen dispenses,
7
By me, this robe, the petticoat of Fortune,
8
Which that he straight put on she doth importune.
9
And though to Fortune near be her petticoat,
10
Yet nearer is her smock, the Queen doth note;
11
And therefore even of that a piece she hath sent,
12
Which, being a child, to wrap him in was rent,
13
And prays him for a scarf he now will wear it
14
(With as much love as then Her Grace did tear it)
15
About his eyes, to show he is fortunate.
They blind him with a rag.
16
And, trusting unto her to make his state,
17
He'll throw away all wordly pelf about him –
18
Which that he will perform, she doth not doubt him.

FACE
19
She need not doubt him, sir. Alas, he has nothing
20
But what he will part withal as willingly,
21
Upon Her Grace's word (throw away your purse!)
22
As she would ask it. (Handkerchiefs and all!)
23
She cannot bid that thing but he'll obey.
24
(If you have a ring about you, cast it off,
25
Or a silver seal at your wrist; Her Grace will send
26
Her fairies here to search you! Therefore deal
27
Directly with Her Highness. If they find
28
That you conceal a mite, you are undone.)

He throws away as they bid him.

DAPPER
29
Truly, there's all.

FACE
All what?

DAPPER
My money, truly.

FACE
30
Keep nothing that is transitory about you. –
31
(Aside to Subtle)
Bid Doll play music.
Doll enters with a cittern. They pinch him.
Look, the elves are come
32
To pinch you if you tell not truth. Advise you.

DAPPER
33
Oh, I have a paper with a spur-royal in't.

FACE
Ti, ti!
34
They knew't, they say.

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

FACE
35
Ti, ti, ti, ti! I'the t'other pocket?

SUBTLE
Titi, titi, titi, titi!
36
They must pinch him or he will never confess, they say.

DAPPER
37
Oh, oh!

FACE
Nay, pray you hold. He is Her Grace's nephew. –
38
Ti, ti, ti! What care you? Good faith, you shall care. –
39
Deal plainly, sir, and shame the fairies. Show
40
You are an innocent.

DAPPER
By this good light, I ha' nothing.

SUBTLE
41
Ti ti, ti ti to ta! He does equivocate, she says –
42
Ti, ti do ti, ti ti do, ti da! –and swears by the light, when he is blinded.

DAPPER
43
By this good dark, I ha' nothing but a half crown
44
Of gold about my wrist that my love gave me,
45
And a leaden heart I wore sin' she forsook me.

FACE
46
I thought 'twas something. And would you incur
47
Your aunt's displeasure for these trifles? Come,
48
I had rather you had thrown away twenty half crowns.
[He removes Dapper's coin bracelet.]
49
You may wear your leaden heart still. –How now?

[Subtle, Doll, and Face confer out of Dapper's hearing.]

SUBTLE
50
What news, Doll?

DOLL
Yonder's your knight, Sir Mammon.

FACE
51
God's lid, we never thought of him till now.
52
Where is he?

DOLL
Here, hard by. He's at the door.

SUBTLE
53
And you are not ready now? Doll, get his suit.
[Exit Doll.]
54
He must not be sent back.

FACE
Oh, by no means.
55
What shall we do with same puffin here,
56
Now he's o'the spit?

SUBTLE
Why, lay him back awhile
57
With some device. –
[Enter Doll with the clothes Face wears as Lungs.]
[Aloud]
Ti, ti ti, ti ti ti! Would Her Grace speak with me?
58
I come. –
[Aside]
Help, Doll!

FACE
(He speaks through the keyhole, the other knocking.)
Who's there? Sir Epicure,
59
My master's i'the way. Please you to walk
60
Three or four turns but till his back be turned,
61
And I am for you.
[Aside]
Quickly, Doll!

SUBTLE
[to Dapper]
Her Grace
62
Commends her kindly to you, Master Dapper.

DAPPER
63
I long to see Her Grace.

SUBTLE
She now is set
64
At dinner, in her bed, and she has sent you,
65
From her own private trencher, a dead mouse
66
And a piece of gingerbread to be merry withal
67
And stay your stomach, lest you faint with fasting.
68
Yet if you could hold out till she saw you, she says,
69
It would be better for you.

FACE
Sir, he shall
70
Hold out, an 'twere this two hours, for Her Highness;
71
I can assure you that. We will not lose
72
All we ha' done –

SUBTLE
He must nor see nor speak
73
To anybody till then.

FACE
For that we'll put, sir,
74
A stay in 's mouth.

SUBTLE
Of what?

FACE
Of gingerbread.
75
Make you it fit. He that hath pleased Her Grace
76
Thus far shall not now crinkle for a little. –
77
Gape, sir, and let him fit you.

[They gag Dapper.]

SUBTLE
[aside to Doll and Face]
Where shall we now
78
Bestow him?

DOLL
[to Subtle]
I'the privy.

SUBTLE
[aloud, to Dapper]
Come along, sir.
79
I now must show you Fortunes's privy lodgings

[The rogues converse privately.]

FACE
80
Are they perfumed, and his bath ready?

SUBTLE
All.
81
Only the fumigation's somewhat strong.

FACE
82
[through the door]
Sir Epicure, I am yours, sir, by and by.

[Exeunt Subtle and Doll with Dapper. Face changes to his disguise as Lungs.]

4.1

[Enter] Mammon.

FACE
1
Oh, sir, you're come i'the only finest time!

MAMMON
2
Where's master?

FACE
Now preparing for projection, sir.
3
Your stuff will b' all changed shortly.

MAMMON
Into gold?

FACE
4
To gold and silver, sir.

MAMMON
Silver I care not for.

FACE
5
Yes, sir, a little to give beggars.

MAMMON
Where's the lady?

FACE
6
At hand here. I ha' told her such brave things o'you,
7
Touching your bounty and your noble spirit –

MAMMON
Hast thou?

FACE
8
As she is almost in her fit to see you.
9
But, good sir, no divinity i'your conference,
10
For fear of putting her in rage.

MAMMON
I warrant thee.

FACE
11
Six men will not hold her down. And then
12
If the old man should hear or see you –

MAMMON
Fear not.

FACE
13
The very house, sir, would run mad. You know it,
14
How scrupulous he is and violent
15
'Gainst the least act of sin. Physic or mathematics,
16
Poetry, state, or bawdry, as I told you,
17
She will endure and never startle; but
18
No word of controversy.

MAMMON
I am schooled, good Ulen.

FACE
19
And you must praise her house, remember that,
20
And her nobility.

MAMMON
Let me alone.
21
No herald, no, nor antiquary, Lungs,
22
Shall do it better. Go.

FACE
[aside]
Why, this is yet
23
A kind of modern happiness, to have
24
Doll Common for a great lady.

[Exit.]

MAMMON
Now, Epicure,
25
Heighten thyself. Talk to her all in gold;
26
Rain her as many showers as Jove did drops
27
Unto his Danaë; show the god a miser,
28
Compared with Mammon. What! The stone will do't.
29
She shall feel gold, taste gold, hear gold, sleep gold –
30
Nay, we will concumbere gold. I will be puissant
31
And mighty in my talk to her. Here she comes.

[Enter] Face [with] Doll [richly dressed].

FACE
32
[aside]
To him, Doll, suckle him.
33
[Aloud]
This is the noble knight
34
I told Your Ladyship –

MAMMON
Madam, with your pardon,
35
I kiss your vesture.

DOLL
Sir, I were uncivil
36
If I would suffer that. My lip to you, sir.

[She accepts a kiss.]

MAMMON
37
I hope my lord your brother be in health, lady?

DOLL
38
My lord my brother is, though I no lady, sir.

FACE
39
(aside to Doll)
Well said, my guinea bird.

MAMMON
Right noble madam –

FACE
40
(aside)
Oh, we shall have most fierce idolatry!

MAMMON
41
'Tis your prerogative.

DOLL
Rather your courtesy.

MAMMON
42
Were there nought else t'enlarge your virtues to me,
43
These answers speak your breeding and your blood.

DOLL
44
Blood we boast none, sir; a poor baron's daughter.

MAMMON
45
“Poor”! And gat you? Profane not. Had your father
46
Slept all the happy remnant of his life
47
After that act, lain but there still and panted,
48
He'd done enough to make himself, his issue,
49
And his posterity noble.

DOLL
Sir, although
50
We may be said to want the gilt and trappings,
51
The dress of honor, yet we strive to keep
52
The seeds and the materials.

MAMMON
I do see
53
The old ingredient, virtue, was not lost,
54
Nor the drug, money, used to make your compound.
55
There is a strange nobility i'your eye,
56
This lip, that chin! Methinks you do resemble
57
One o'the Austriac princes.

FACE
[aside]
Very like!
58
Her father was an Irish costermonger.

MAMMON
59
The house of Valois just had such a nose,
60
And such a forehead yet the Medici
61
Of Florence boast.

DOLL
Troth, and I have been lik'ned
62
To all these princes.

FACE
[aside]
I'll be sworn I heard it.

MAMMON
63
I know not how, it is not any one,
64
But e'en the very choice of all their features.

FACE
65
[aside]
I'll in and laugh.

[Exit.]

MAMMON
A certain touch, or air,
66
That sparkles a divinity beyond
67
An earthly beauty!

DOLL
Oh, you play the courtier.

MAMMON
68
Good lady, gi' me leave –

DOLL
In faith, I may not
69
To mock me, sir.

MAMMON
To burn i'this sweet flame;
70
The Phoenix never knew a nobler death.

DOLL
71
Nay, now you court the courtier, and destroy
72
What you would build. This art, sir, i'your words
73
Calls your whole faith in question.

MAMMON
By my soul –

DOLL
74
Nay, oaths are made o'the same air, sir.

MAMMON
Nature
75
Never bestowed upon mortality
76
A more unblamed, a more harmonious feature;
77
She played the stepdame in all faces else.
78
Sweet madam, le' me be particular –

DOLL
79
Particular, sir? I pray you, know your distance.

MAMMON
80
In no ill sense, sweet lady, but to ask
81
How your fair graces pass the hours? I see
82
You're lodged here i'the house of a rare man,
83
An excellent artist –but what's that to you?

DOLL
84
Yes, sir. I study here the mathematics
85
And distillation.

MAMMON
Oh, I cry your pardon.
86
He's a divine instructor, can extract
87
The souls of all things by his art, call all
88
The virtues and the miracles of the sun
89
Into a temperate furnace, teach dull Nature
90
What her own forces are –a man the emp'ror
91
Has courted above Kelly, sent his medals
92
And chains t'invite him.

DOLL
Ay, and for his physic, sir –

MAMMON
93
Above the art of Aesculapius,
94
That drew the envy of the Thunderer!
95
I know all this, and more.

DOLL
Troth, I am taken, sir,
96
Whole with these studies that contemplate nature.

MAMMON
97
It is a noble humor. But this form
98
Was not intended to so dark a use!
99
Had you been crooked, foul, of some coarse mold,
100
A cloister had done well; but such a feature,
101
That might stand up the glory of a kingdom,
102
To live recluse is a mere solecism,
103
Though in a nunnery. It must not be.
104
I muse my lord your brother will permit it!
105
You should spend half my land first, were I he.
106
Does not this diamond better on my finger
107
Than i'the quarry?

DOLL
Yes.

MAMMON
Why, you are like it.
108
You were created, lady, for the light!
[He offers his diamond ring.]
109
Here, you shall wear it; take it, the first pledge
110
Of what I speak: to bind you to believe me.

DOLL
111
In chains of adamant?

MAMMON
Yes, the strongest bands.
112
And take a secret, too: here, by your side,
113
Doth stand, this hour, the happiest man in Europe.

DOLL
114
You are contented, sir?

MAMMON
Nay, in true being:
115
The envy of princes, and the fear of states.

DOLL
116
Say you so, Sir Epicure?

MAMMON
Yes, and thou shalt prove it,
117
Daughter of honor. I have