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V O L P O N E,

O R,  T H E

F O X.

A   C O M E D Y.

First Acted in the Year 1605. By the KINGS MAJESTY'S Servants.

With the Allowance of the Master of REVELS.

The Author B. J.

Simul & jucunda, & idonea dicere vitζ.  Horat.

To the most N O B L E and most E Q U A L  S I S T E R S,

The two Famous Universities,

For their Love and Acceptance shewn to his P O E M in the P R E S E N T A T I O N,

B E N.  J O H N S O N,

The Grateful Acknowledger, Dedicates both It and Himself.

Ever (most Equal Sisters) had any Man a Wit so presently Excellent, as that it could raise it self; but there must come both Matter, Occasion, Commenders, and Favourers to it. If this be true, and that the Fortune of all Writers doth daily prove it, it behoves the Careful to provide well toward these Accidents; and, having acquir'd them, to preserve that part of Reputation most tenderly, wherein the Benefit of a Friend is also defended. Hence is it, that I now render my self grateful, and am studious to justifie the Bounty of your Act; to which, though your meer Authority were satisfying, yet it being an Age wherein Poetry and the Professors of it hear so ill on all Sides, there will a Reason be look't for in the Subject. It is certain, nor can it with any Forehead be oppos'd, that the too much Licence of Poetasters in this Time, hath much deform'd their Mistris; that, every day, their manifold and manifest Ignorance doth stick unnatural Reproaches upon her: But for their Petulancy, it were an Act of the greatest Injustice, either to let the Learned suffer, or so Divine a Skill (which indeed should not be attempted with unclean Hands) to fall under the least Contempt. For, if Men will impartially, and not asquint, look toward the Offices and Function of a Poet, they will easily conclude to themselves the Impossibility of any Man's being the good Poet, without first being a good Man. He that is said to be able to inform young Men to all good Disciplines, inflame grown Men to all great Vertues, keep old Men in their best and supream State, or as they decline to Childhood, recover them to their first Strength; that comes forth the Interpreter and Arbiter of Nature, a Teacher of Things Divine no less than Humane, a Master in Manners; and can alone (or with a few) effect the Business of Mankind: This, I take him, is no Subject for Pride and Ignorance to exercise their failing Rhetorick upon. But it will here be hastily answer'd, That the Writers of these Days are other Things; that not only their Manners, but their Natures are inverted, and nothing remaining with them of the Dignity of Poet, but the abused Name, which every Scribe usurps; that now, especially in Drammatick, or (as they term it) Stage-Poetry, nothing but Ribaldry, Prophanation, Blasphemy, all Licence of Offence to God and Man is practis'd. I dare not deny a great part of this, (and I am sorry I dare not) because in some Mens abortive Features (and would they had never boasted the Light) it is over-true: But that all are imbark'd in this bold Adventure for Hell, is a most uncharitable Thought, and, utter'd, a more malicious Slander. For my particular, I can (and from a most clear Conscience) affirm, That I have ever trembled to think toward the least Profaneness; have loathed the use of such foul and unwash'd Bawd'ry, as is now made the Food of the Scene: And, howsoever I cannot
X                                              escape


escape from some the Imputation of Sharpness, but that they will say, I have taken a pride, or lust, to be bitter, and not my youngest Instant but hath come into the World with all his Teeth; I would ask of these supercilious Politicks, What Nation, Society, or general Order or State I have provoked? What Publick Person? Whether I have not (in all these) preserv'd their Dignity, as mine own Person, safe? My Works are read, allow'd, (I speak of those are intirely mine) look into them: What broad Repoofs have I us'd? Where have I been particular? Where Personal? Except to a Mimick, Cheater, Bawd, or Buffon, Creatures (for their Insolencies) worthy to be tax'd? Yet to which of these so pointingly, as he might not either ingenuously have confest, or wisely dissembled his Disease? But it is not Rumour can make Men guilty, much less entitle me to other Mens Crimes. I know, that nothing can be so innocently writ or carried, but may be made obnoxious to Construction; marry, whilst I bear mine Innocence about me, I fear it not. Application is now grown a Trade with many; and there are that profess to have a Key for the decyphering of every thing: But let Wise and Noble Persons take heed how they be too credulous, or give leave to these invading Interpreters to be over-familiar with their Fames, who cunningly, and often, utter their own virulent Malice, under other Mens simplest Meanings. As for those that will (by Faults which Charity hath rak'd up, or common Honesty conceal'd) make themselves a Name with the Multitude, or (to draw their rude and beastly Claps) care not whose living Faces they intrench with their petulant Styles, may they do it without a Rival, for me: I chuse rather to live grav'd in Obscurity, than share with them in so preposterous a Fame. Nor can I blame the Wishes of those severe and wise Patriots, who providing the Hurts these licentious Spirits may do in a State, desire rather to see Fools and Devils, and those antick Relicks of Barbarism retriv'd, with all other ridiculous and exploded Follies, than behold the Wounds of Private Men, of Princes and Nations. For, as Horace makes Trebatius speak, among these,

——— Sibi quisque timet, quanquam est intactus, & odit.

And Men may justly impute such Rages, if continu'd, to the Writer, as his Spots. The Increase of which Lust in Liberty, together with the present Trade of the Stage, in all their Masc'line Enterludes, what Learned or Liberal Soul doth not already abhor? Where nothing but the Filth of Time is utter'd, and that with such impropriety of Phrase, such plenty of Solœcisms, such dearth of Sense, so bold Prolepses, so rack'd Metaphors, with Brothelry able to violate the Ear of a Pagan, and Blasphemy, to turn the Blood of a Christian to Water. I cannot but be serious in a Cause of this nature, wherein my Fame, and the Reputations of divers Honest and Learned are the Question; when a Name so full of Authority, Antiquity, and all great Mark, is (through their Insolence) become the lowest Scorn of the Age; and those Men subject to the Petulancy of every vernaculous Orator, that were wont to be the Care of Kings and happiest Monarchs. This it is that hath not only rap't me to present Indignation, but made me studious heretofore, and by all my Actions to stand off from them; which may most appear in this my latest Work (which you, most learned Arbitresses, have seen, judg'd, and to my Crown, approv'd) wherein I have labour'd, for their instruction and amendment, to reduce not only the ancient Forms, but Manners of the Scene, the Easiness, the Propriety, the Innocence, and last the Doctrine, which is the principal End of Poesie, to inform Men in the best Reason of living. And though my Catastrophe may, in the strict rigour of Comick Law, meet with Censure, as turning back to my Promise; I desire the Learned and Charitable Critick, to have so much faith in me, to think it was done of Industry: For, with what ease I could have varied it nearer his Scale (but that I fear to boast my own Faculty) I could here insert. But my special aim being to put the Snaffle in their Mouths, that cry out, we never punish Vice in our Enterludes, &c. I took the more liberty; though not without some Lines of Example, drawn even in the Ancients themselves, the Goings-out of whose Comœdies are not always joyful, but oft-times the Bawds, the Servants, the Rivals, yea, and the Masters, are mulcted; and fitly, it being the Office of a Comick Poet to imitate Justice, and instruct to Life, as well as Purity of Language, or stir up gentle Affections: To which I shall take the occasion elsewhere to speak. For the present (most Reverenced Sisters) as I have car'd to be thankful for your Affections past, and here made the Understanding acquainted with some Ground of your Favours; let me not despair their Continuance, to the maturing of some worthier Fruits: Wherein, if my Muses be true to me, I shall raise the despis'd Head of Poetry again, and stripping her out of those rotten and base Rags wherewith the Times have adulterated her Form, restore her to her primitive Habit, Feature, and Majesty, and render her worthy to be embraced and kist of all the Great and Master-Spirits of our World. As for the Vile and Slothful, who never affected an Act worthy of Celebration, or are so inward with their own vicious Natures, as they worthily fear her, and think it a high Point of Policy to keep her in contempt with their declamatory and windy Invectives; she shall out of just rage incite her Servants (who are Genus iritabile) to spout Ink in their Faces, that shall eat farther than their Marrow, into their Fames; and not Cinnamus the Barber, with his Art, shall be able to take out the Brands; but they shall live, and be read, till the Wretches die, as Things worst deserving of Themselves in chief, and then of all Mankind.

The PERSONS of the PLAY.

VOLPONE, a Magnifico.
MOSCA, his Parasite.
VOLTORE, an Advocate.
CORACCIO, an old Gentleman.
CORVINO, a Merchant.
AVOCATORI, four Magistrates.
NOTARIO, the Register.
NANO, a Dwarf.
CASTRONE, an Eunuch.
PEREGRINE, a Gent. Traveller.
BONARIO, a young Gentleman.
FINE MADAM WOULD-BE, the Knight's Wife.
CELIA, the Merchant's Wife.
MERCATORI, three Merchants.
ANDROGYNO, a Hermaphrodite.
SERVITORE, a Servant.

The Scene V E N I C E.

The Principal C O M œ D I A N S were,




V O L P O N E.


V O L P O N E,
O R,
The Fox.

T H E  A R G U M E N T.

V olpone, Childless, Rich, feigns Sick, despairs,
O ffers his State to Hopes of several Heirs,
L ies languishing: His Parasite receives
P resents of all, assures, deludes; then weaves
O ther cross Plots, which ope' themselves, are told.
N ew Tricks for safety are sought; they thrive: When bold,
E each tempts th' other again, and all are sold.

P R O L O G U E.

Ow, Luck yet send us, and a little Wit
   Will serve, to make our Play hit;
(According to the Palates of the Season)
   Here is Rhyme, not empty of Reason.
This we were bid to credit, from our Poet,
   Whose true Scope, if you would know it,
In all his
Poems still hath been this Measure,
   To mix Profit with your Pleasure;
And not as some (whose Throats, their Envy failing)
   Cry hoarsly, All he writes is Railing:
And, when his
Plays come forth, think they can flout them,
   With saying, He was a Year about them.
To these there needs no Lie, but this his Creature,
   Which was two Months since no Feature;
And, though he dares give them Five Lives to mend it,
   'Tis known, Five Weeks fully penn'd it;
From his own Hand, without a Co-adjutor,
   Novice, Journey-man, or Tutor.
Yet thus much I can give you, as a Token
   Of his Plays worth, No Eggs are broken,
Nor quaking Custards with fierce Teeth affrighted,
   Wherewith your Rout are so delighted;
Nor hales he in a Gull, old Ends reciting,
   To stop Gaps in his loose Writing;
With such a deal of monstrous and forc'd Action,
   As might make
Beth'lem a Faction:
Nor made he his Play for Jests stol'n from each Table,
   But makes Jests to fit his Fable;
And so presents quick
Comedy refined,
   As best Criticks have designed:
The Laws of Time, Place, Persons, he observeth,
   From no needful Rule he swerveth.
All Gall and Coppress from his Ink be draineth,
   Only a little Salt remaineth,
Wherewith he'll rub your Cheeks, till (Red with Laughter)
   They shall look fresh a Week after.

Act I.    Scene I.

Volpone, Mosca.

Ood Morning to the Day; and next, my Gold:
 Open the Shrine, that I may see my Saint.
Hail the World's Soul, and mine! More glad than is

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The teeming Earth to see the long'd-for Sun
Peep through the Horns of the Celestial Ram,
Am I, to view thy Splendor, darkning his;
That lying here, amongst my other Hoards,
Shew'st like a Flame by Night, or like the Day
Struck out of Chaos, when all Darkness fled
Unto the Center. O thou Son of Sol,
(But brighter than thy Father) let me kiss,
With Adoration, thee, and every Relick
Of sacred Treasure in this blessed Room.
Well did wise Poets by thy glorious Name
Title that Age which they would have the best;
Thou being the best of Things, and far transcending
All Style of Joy, in Children, Parents, Friends,
Or any other waking Dream on Earth.
Thy Looks when they to Venus did ascribe,
They should have given her Twenty thousand Cupids;
Such are thy Beauties and our Loves! Dear Saint,
Riches, the dumb God, that giv'st all Men Tongues,
That canst do naught, and yet mak'st Men do all things;
The Price of Souls; even Hell, with thee to boot,
Is made worth Heav'n. Thou art Vertue, Fame,
Honour, and all things else. Who can get thee,
He shall be Noble, Valiant, Honest, Wise —
   Mos. And what he will, Sir. Riches are in Fortune
A greater Good, than Wisdom is in Nature.
   Vol. True, my beloved Mosca. Yet I glory
More in the cunning Purchase of my Wealth,
Than in the glad Possession, since I gain
No common way; I use no Trade, no Venture;
I wound no Earth with Plow-shares, I fat no Beasts
To feed the Shambles; have no Mills for Iron,
Oyl, Corn, or Men, to grind 'em into Powder:
I blow no subtil Glass, expose no Ships
To Threatnings of the furrow-faced Sea;
I turn no Monies in the Publick Bank,
Nor Usure Private.   Mos. No, Sir, nor devour
Soft Prodigals. You shall ha' some will swallow
A melting Heir as glibly as your Dutch
Will Pills of Butter, and ne'er purge for't;
Tear forth the Fathers of poor Families
Out of their Beds, and Coffin them alive
In some kind clasping Prison, where their Bones
May be forth-coming, when the Flesh is rotten:
But your sweet Nature doth abhor these Courses;
You loath the Widows or the Orphans Tears
X 2                                               Should            

156 The Fox.                     

Should wash your Pavements, or their piteous Cries
Ring in your Roofs, and beat the Air for Vengeance.
   Vol. Right, Mosca, I do loath it.   Mos. And besides, Sir,
You are not like a Thresher, that doth stand
With a huge Flail, watching a Heap of Corn,
And, hungry, dares not taste the smallest Grain,
But feeds on Mallows, and such bitter Herbs;
Nor like the Merchant, who hath fill'd his Vaults
With Romagnia, and rich Candian Wines,
Yet drinks the Lees of Lombards Vinegar:
You will not lie in Straw, whilst Moths and Worms
Feed on your sumptuous Hangings and soft Beds.
You know the Use of Riches, and dare give now
From that bright Heap, to me, your poor Observer,
Or to your Dwarf, or your Hermaphrodite,
Your Eunuch, or what other Houshold Trifle
Your Pleasure allows Maint'nance — Vol. Hold thee, Mosca,
Take of my Hand; thou strik'st on Truth in all,
And they are envious term thee Parasite.
Call forth my Dwarf, my Eunuch, and my Fool,
And let 'em make me sport. What should I do,
But cocker up my Genius, and live free
To all Delights my Fortune calls me to?
I have no Wife, no Parent, Child, Allie,
To give my Substance to; but whom I make
Must be my Heir; and this makes Men observe me:
This draws new Clients daily to my House,
VVomen and Men, of every Sex and Age,
That bring me Presents, send me Plate, Coin, Jewels,
VVith hope that when I die (which they expect
Each greedy minute) it shall then return
Ten-fold upon them; whilst some, covetous
Above the rest, see to engross me whole,
And counter-work the one unto the other,
Contend in Gifts, as they would seem in Love:
All which I suffer, playing with their Hopes,
And am content to coin 'em into Profit,
And look upon their Kindness, and take more,
And look on that; still bearing them in hand,
Letting the Cherry knock against their Lips,
And draw it by their Mouths, and back again. How now!

Act I.    Scene II.

Nano, Androgyno, Castrone, Volpone, Mosca.

Ow room for fresh Gamesters, who do will you to know,
 They do bring you neither Play, nor University Show;
And therefore do entreat you, that whatsoever they rehearse,
   May not fare a whit the worse, for the false Pace of the Verse.
If you wonder at this, you will wonder more e're we pass;
   For know, here is inclos'd the Soul of
That Juggler Divine, as hereafter shall follow;
   Which Soul (fast and loose, Sir) came first from
And was breath'd into
Ζthalides, Mercurius his Son,
   Where it had the Gift to remember all that ever was done.
From thence it fled forth, and made quick Transmigration
   To Goldy-lockt
Euphorbus, who was kill'd in good fashion,
At the Siege of old
Troy, by the Cuckold of Sparta.
   Hermotimus was next (I find it in my Charta)
To whom it did pass, where no sooner it was missing,
   But with one
Pyrrhus of Delos it learn'd to go a fishing;
And thence did it enter the Sophist of
Pythagore, she went into a beautiful Piece,
Aspasia, the Meretrix; and the next Toss of her
   Was again of a Whore she became a Philosopher,
Crates the Cynick, (as it self doth relate it)
   Since Kings, Knights, and Beggars, Knaves, Lords, and Fools gat it,
Besides Ox and Ass, Camel, Mule, Goat, and Brock,
   In all which it hath spoke, as in the Cobler's Cock.
But I come not here to discourse of that Matter,
   Or his
One, Two, or Three, or his great Oath, By Quater,
Musicks, his Trigon, his Golden Thigh,
   Or his telling how Elements shift; but I

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Would ask, how of late thou hast suffered Translation,
   And shifted thy Coat in these Days of Reformation?
And. Like one of the Reformed, a Fool, as you see,
   Counting all old Doctrine
Nan. But not on thine own forbid Meats hast thou ventur'd?
   And. On Fish, when first a Carthusian I enter'd.
Nan. Why, then thy dogmatical Silence hath left thee?
   And. Of that an obstreperous Lawyer bereft me.
Nan. O wonderful Change! When Sir Lawyer forsook thee,
Pythagore's sake, what Body then took thee?
And. A good dull Moyl.   Nan. And how! by that means
   Thou wert brought to allow of the eating of Beans?

And. Yes.   Nan. But from the Moyl into whom didst thou pass?
   And. Into a very strange Beast, by some Writers call'd an Ass;
By others, a precise, pure, illuminate Brother,
   Of those devour Flesh, and sometimes one another;
And will drop you forth a Libel, or a sanctified Lie,
   Betwixt every Spoonful of a Nativity-Pie.

Nan. Now quit thee, for Heaven, of that profane Nation,
   And gently report thy next Transmigration.

And. To the same that I am.   Nan. A Creature of Delight?
   And (what is more than a Fool) an
Now prithee, sweet Soul, in all thy Variation,
   Which Body would'st thou chuse, to keep up thy Station?

And. Troth, this I am in; even here would I tarry.
   Nan. 'Cause here the Delight of each Sex thou canst vary?
And. Alas, those Pleasures be stale and forsaken;
   No, 'tis your Fool wherewith I am so taken,
The only one Creature that I can call Blessed;
   For all other Forms I have prov'd most distressed.

Nan. Spoke true, as thou wert in Pythagoras still.
   This learned Opinion we celebrate will,
Fellow Eunuch, (as behoves us) with all our Wit and Art,
   To dignifie that whereof our selves are so great and special a Part.

   Vol. Now very, very pretty: Mosca, this
VVas thy Invention?   Mos. If it please my Patron,
Not else.   Vol. It doth, good Mosca.   Mos. Then it was, Sir.

S O N G.                  
Ools, they are the only Nation
 Worth Mens Envy or Admiration;
Free from Care, or Sorrow-taking,
Selves and others merry making:
All they speak or do is Sterling.
Your Fool he is your Great Man's Darling,
And your Ladies Sport and Pleasure;
Tongue and Bable are his Treasure.
E'en his Face begetteth Laughter,
And he speaks Truth free from Slaughter;
He's the Grace of every Feast,
And sometimes the Chiefest Guest;
Hath his Trencher and his Stool,
When Wit waits upon the Fool.
O, who would not be                            
He, he, he?

One knocks without.                
   Vol. VVho's that? Away, look, Mosca.
   Mos. Fool, be gone, 'tis Signior Voltore the Advocate,
I know him by his Knock.   Vol. Fetch me my Gown,
My Furs, and Night-caps; say, my Couch's changing:
And let him entertain himself a while
VVithout i' th' Gallery. Now, now, my Clients
Begin their Visitation! Vulture, Kite,
Raven, Gorcrow, all my Birds of Prey,
That think me turning Carcass, now they come:
I am not for 'em yet. How now? the news?
   Mos. A piece of Plate, Sir.
   Vol. Of what bigness?   Mos. Huge,
Massie, and Antique, with your Name inscib'd,inscrib'd
And Arms engraven.   Vol. Good! and not a Fox
Stretcht on the Earth, with fine delusive Sleights,
Mocking a gaping Crow? ha, Mosca?   Mos. Sharp, Sir.
   Vol. Give me my Furs. VVhy dost thou laugh so, Man?
Mos. I                                 

             The Fox. 157

   Mos. I cannot chuse, Sir, when I apprehend
What thoughts he has (without) now, as he walks:
That this might be the last gift he should give;
That this would fetch you; if you died to day,
And gave him all, what he should be too morrow;
What large return would come of all his venters;
How he should worship'd be, and reverenc'd;
Ride, with his Furs, and Foot-clothes; waited on
By herds of Fools, and Clients; have clear way
Made for his moile, as letter'd as himself;
Be call'd the great, and learned Advocate:
And then concludes, there's naught impossible.
   Vol. Yes, to be learned, Mosca.   Mos. O, no: rich
Implies it. Hood an Ass with reverend Purple,
So you can hide his two ambitious Ears,
And he shall pass for a cathedral Doctor.
   Vol. My Caps, my Caps, good Mosca; fetch him in.
   Mos. Stay, Sir, your Ointment for your Eyes.
   Vol. That's true;
Dispatch, dispatch: I long to have possession
Of my new Present.   Mos. That, and thousands more,
I hope, to see you Lord of.   Vol. Thanks, kind Mosca.
   Mos. And that, when I am lost in blended dust,
And hundred such as I am, in succession ——
   Vol. Nay, that were too much, Mosca.
   Vos.Mos. You shall live,
Still, to delude these Harpies.   Vol. Loving Mosca,
'Tis well, my Pillow now, and let him enter.
Now, my fain'd Cough, my Phthisick, and my Gout,
My Apoplexy, Palsie, and Catarhs,
Help, with your forced Functions, this my posture,
Wherein, this three year, I have milk'd their hopes.
He comes, I hear him (uh, uh, uh, uh) O.

Act I.    Scene III.

Mosca, Voltore, Volpone.

OU still are, what you were, Sir. Only you
 (Of all the rest) are he, commands his love:
And you do wisely, to preserve it thus,
With early visitation, and kind notes
Of your good meaning to him, which, I know,
Cannot but come most grateful. Patron, Sir,
Here's Signior Voltore is come — Volp. What say you?
   Mos. Sir, Signior Voltore is come, this morning,
To visit you.   Volp. I thank him.   Mos. And hath brought
A piece of antique Plate, bought of S. Mark,
With which he here presents you.   Volp. He is welcome.
Pray him, to come more often   Mos. Yes.
   Volt. What says he?
   Mos. He thanks you, and desires you see him often.
   Volp. Mosca.   Mos. My Patron?
   Volp. Bring him near, where is he?
I long to feel his hand.   Mos. The Plate is here, Sir.
   Volt. How fare you, Sir?
   Volp. I thank you, Signior Voltore,
Where is the Plate? mine Eyes are bad.   Volt. I'm sorry,
To see you still thus weak.   Mos. That he is not weaker.
   Volp. You are too munificent.
   Volt. No, Sir, would to Heaven,
I could as well give health to you, as that Plate.
   Volp. You give, Sir, what you can. I thank you. Your love
Hath taste in this, and shall not be un-answer'd.
I pray you see me often.   Volt. Yes, I shall, Sir.
   Volp. Be not far from me.
   Mos. Do you observe that, Sir?
   Volp. Harken unto me still: It will concern you.
   Mos. You are a happy Man, Sir, know your good.
   Volp. I cannot now last long ——
   (Mos. You are his Heir, Sir.
   Volt. Am I?)   Volp. I feel me going, (uh, uh, uh, uh.)
I am sailing to my Port, (uh, uh, uh, uh?)
And I am glad, I am so near my Haven.

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   Mos. Alas, kind Gentleman, well, we must all go —
   Volt. But Mosca — Mos. Age will conquer.
   Volt. 'Pry thee, hear me.
Am I inscrib'd his Heir, for certain?   Mos. Are you?
I do beseech you, Sir, you will vouchsafe
To write me i' your Family. All my hopes,
Depend upon your worship. I am lost,
Except the rising Sun do shine on me.
   Volt. It shall both shine, and warnwarm thee, Mosca.
   Mos. Sir,
I am a Man, that have not done your love
All the worst Offices: here I wear your Keys,
See all your Coffers, and your Caskets lockt,
Keep the poor Inventory of your Jewels,
Your Plate, and Moneys; I'm your Steward, Sir,
Husband your Goods here.   Volt. But am I sole Heir?
   Mos. Without a Partner, Sir, confirm'd this morning;
The Wax is warm yet, and the Ink scarce dry
Upon the Parchment.   Volt. Happy, happy, me!
By what good chance, sweessweet Mosca?
   Mos. Your desert, Sir;
I know no second cause.   Volt. Thy modesty
Is loth to know it; well, we shall requite it.
   Mos. He ever lik'd your course, Sir; that first took him.
I oft have heard him say, how he admir'd
Men of your large profession, that could speak
To every cause, and things meer contraries,
Till they were hoarse again, yet all be Law;
That, with most quick agility, could turn,
And re-turn; make knots, and undo them;
Give forked Counsel; take provoking Gold
On either hand, and put it up: these Men,
He knew, would thrive, with their humility.
And (for his part) he thought, he should be blest
To have his Heir of such a suffering spirit,
So wise, so grave, of so perplex'd a Tongue,
And loud withal, that could not wag, nor scarce
Lie still, without a fee; when every word
Your Worship but lets fall, is a Cecchine!
[Another knocks.

Who's that? one knocks, I would not have you seen, Sir.
And yet — pretend you came, and went in haste;
I'll fashion an excuse. And, gentle Sir,
When you do come to swim; in golden Lard,
Up to the Arms, in Hony, that your Chin
Is born up stiff, with fatness of the Flood,
Think on your Vassal; but remember me:
I ha' not been your worst of Clients.   Volt. Mosca ——
   Mos. When will you have your Inventory brought, Sir?
Or see a Copy of the Will? (anon)
I'll bring 'em to you, Sir. Away, be gone
Put business i' your Face.   Volp. Excellent Mosca!
Come hither, let me kiss thee.   Mos. Keep you still, Sir.
Here is Corbaccio.   Volp. Set the Plate away,
The Vulture's gone, and the old Raven's come.

Act I.    Scene IV.

Mosca, Corbaccio, Volpone.

Etake you, to your silence, and your sleep:
 Stand there, and multiply. Now, shall we see
A wretch who is (indeed) more impotent,
Than this can fain to be; yet hopes to hop
Over his Grave. Signior Corbaccio!
Yo' are very welcome, Sir.
   Corb. How do's your Patron?
   Mos. Troth, as he did, Sir; no amends.
   Corb. What? mends he?
   Mos. No, Sir: he is rather worse.
   Corb. That's well. Where is he?
   Mos. Upon his Couch, Sir, newly fall'n asleep.
   Corb. Do's he sleep well?
   Mos. No wink, Sir, all this Night,

158 The Fox.                     

Nor yesterday; but slumbers.
   Corb. Good! He shall take
Some Counsel of Physicians: I have brought him
An Opiate here, from mine own Doctor —
   Mos. He will not hear of Drugs.
   Corb. Why? I my self
Stood by, while 'twas made: saw all th' Ingredients:
And know, it cannot but most gently work.
My life for his, 'tis but to make him sleep.
   Volp. I, his last sleep, if he would take it.   Mos. Sir,
He has no faith in Physick.   Corb. 'Say you? 'say you?
   Mos. He has no faith in Physick: he do's think,
Most of your Doctors are the greater danger,
And worse Disease, t' escape. I often have
Heard him protest, that your Physician
Should never be his Heir.   Corb. Not I his Heir?
   Mos. Not your Physician, Sir.   Corb. O, no, no, no,
I do not mean it.   Mos. No, Sir, nor their fees
He cannot brook: he says, they flay a Man,
Before they kill him.   Corb. Right, I do conceive you.
   Mos. And then, they do it by Experiment;
For which the Law not only doth absolve 'em,
But gives them great reward: and, he is loth
To hire his death, so.   Corb. It is true, they kill,
With as much license, as a Judge.   Mos. Nay, more;
For he but kills, Sir, where the Law condemns,
And these can kill him too.   Corb. I, or me;
Or any Man. How do's his Apoplex?
Is that strong on him still?   Mos. Most violent.
His Speech is broken, and his Eyes are set,
His Face drawn longer, than 'twas wont ——
   Corb. How? how?
Stronger, than he was wont?   Mos. No, Sir: his Face
Drawn longer than 'twas wont.   Corb. O, good.
   Mos. His Mouth
Is ever gaping, and his Eye-lids hang.   Corb. Good.
   Mos. A freezing numness stiffens all his Joints,
And makes the colour of his Flesh like Lead.
   Corb. 'Tis good.
   Mos. His Pulse beats slow, and dull.
   Corb. Good symptoms still.
   Mos. And from his Brain. —
   Corb. Ha? how? not from his Brain?
   Mos. Yes, Sir, and from his Brain —
   (Corb. I conceive you, good.)
   Mos. Flows a cold Sweat, with a continual Rhume,
Forth the resolved corners of his Eyes.
   Corb. Is't possible? yet I am better, ha!
How do's he, with the swimming of his Head?
   Mos. O, Sir, 'tis past the Scotomy; he now,
Hath lost his feeling, and hath left to snort:
You hardly can perceive him, that he breaths.
   Corb. Excellent, excellent, sure I shall out-last him:
This makes me young again, a score of Years.
   Mos. I was a coming for you, Sir.
   Corb. Has he made his Will?
What has he giv'n me?   Mos. No, Sir.   Corb. Nothing? ha?
   Mos. He has not made his Will, Sir.   Corb. Oh, oh, oh.
What then did Voltore, the Lawyer, here?
   Mos. He smelt a Carcass, Sir, when he but heard
My Master was about his Testament;
As I did urge him to it, for your good ——
   Corb. He came unto him, did he? I thought so.
   Mos. Yes, and presented him this piece of Plate.
   Corb. To be his Heir?
   Mos. I do not know, Sir.   Corb. True,
I know it too.   Mos. By your own Scale, Sir.
   Corb. Well,
I shall prevent him, yet. See Mosca, look,
Here, I have brought a Bag of bright Cecchines,
VVill quite weigh down his Plate.
   Mos. Yea, marry, Sir.
This is true Physick, this your sacred Medicine;
No talk of Opiates, to this great Elixir.

[column break]

   Corb. 'Tis aurum palpabile, if not potabile.
'Mos.' omittedIt shall be minister'd to him, in his Bowle?
   Corb. I, do, do, do.   Mos. Most blessed Cordial.
This will recover him.   Corb. Yes, do, do, do.
   Mos. I think it were not best, Sir.
   Corb. VVhat?   Mos. To recover him.
   Corb. O, no, no, no; by no means.
   Mos. VVhy, Sir, this
VVill work some strange effect, if he but feel it.
   Corb. 'Tis true, therefore forbear, I'll take my venture:
Give me't again.   Mos. At no hand; pardon me;
You shall not do your self that wrong, Sir. I
VVill so advise you, you shall have it all.
   Corb. How?
   Mos. All, Sir, 'tis your right, your own; no Man
Can claim a part: 'tis yours, without a rival,
Decreed by destiny.   Corb. How? how, good Mosca?
   Mos. I'll tell you, Sir. This fit he shall recover;
   Corb. I do conceive you.
   Mos. And, on first advantage
Of his gain'd sense, will I re-importune him
Unto the making of his Testament:
And shew him this.   Corb. Good, good.
   Mos. 'Tis better yet,
If you will hear, Sir.   Corb. Yes, with all my heart.
   Mos. Now, would I counsel you, make home with speed;
There, frame a VVill; whereto you shall inscribe
My Master your sole Heir.   Corb. And disinherit
My Son?   Mos. O, Sir, the better: for that colour
Shall make it much more taking.   Corb. O, but colour?
   Mos. This Will, Sir, you shall send it unto me.
Now, when I come to inforce (as I will do)
Your Cares, your Watchings, and your many Prayers,
Your more than many Gifts, your this days Present,
And last, produce your Will; where (without thought,
Or least regard, unto your proper Issue,
A Son so brave, and highly meriting)
The stream of your diverted love hath thrown you
Upon my Master, and made him your Heir:
He cannot be so stupid, or stone-dead,
But out of Conscience, and meer Gratitude ——
   Corb. He must pronounce me his?
   Mos. 'Tis true.   Corb. This Plot
Did I think on before.   Mos. I do believe it.
   Corb. Do you not believe it?   Mos. Yes, Sir.
   Corb. Mine own project.
   Mos. Which when he hath done, Sir —
   Corb. Published me his Heir?
   Mos. And you so certain, to survive him — Corb. I.
   Mos. Being so lusty a Man — Corb. 'Tis true.
   Mos. Yes, Sir —
   Corb. I thought on that too. See, how he should be
The very Organ, to express my thoughts!
   Mos. You have not only done your self a good —
   Corb. But multiplied it on my Son.   Mos. 'Tis right, Sir.
   Corb. Stil, my invention.   Mos. 'Lass, Sir, Heaven knows,
It hath been all my study, all my care,
(I' e'en grow grey withal) how to work things —
   Corb. I do conceive, sweet Mosca.   Mos. You are he,
For whom I labour, here.   Corb. I, do, do, do:
I'll straight about it.   Mos. Rook go with you, Raven.
   Corb. I know thee honest.
   Mos. You do lie, Sir —— Corb. And —
   Mos. Your knowledge is no better than your Ears, Sir.
   Corb. I do not doubt, to be a Father to thee.
   Mos. Nor I to gull my Brother of his Blessing.
   Corb. I may ha' my youth restor'd to me, why not?
   Mos. Your Worship is a precious Ass —
   Corb. What saist thou?
   Mos. I do desire your Worship, to make haste, Sir.
   Corb. 'Tis done, 'tis done, I go.   Volp. O, I shall burst;
Let out my sides, let out my sides — Mos. Contain
Your flux of laughter, Sir: you know, this hope
Is such a bait, it covers any Hook.
Volp. O,

             The Fox. 159

   Volp. O, but thy working, and thy placing it!
I cannot hold; good Rascal, let me kiss thee:
I never knew thee, in so rare a humour.
   Mos. Alas, Sir, I but do, as I am taught;
Follow your grave instructions; give 'em words;
Pour Oyl into their Ears: and send them hence.
   Volp. 'Tis true, 'tis true. What a rare punishment
Is avarice, to it self?   Mos. I, with our help, Sir.
   Volp. So many cares, so many maladies,
So many fears attending on old age,
Yea, death so often call'd on, as no wish
Can be more frequent with 'em, their Limbs faint,
Their Senses dull, their Seeing, Hearing, Going,
All dead before them; yea, their very Teeth,
Their Instruments of eating, failing them:
Yet this is reckon'd life! Nay, here was one,
Is now gone home, that wishes to live longer!
Feels not his Gout, nor Palsie, fains himself
Younger, by scores of Years, flatters his Age,
With confident belying it, hopes he may
VVith Charms, like Ζson, have his Youth restor'd:
And with these thoughts so battens, as if Fate
VVould be as easily cheated on, as he,
And all turns Air! VVho's that there, now? a third?
[Another knocks.

   Mos. Close, to your Couch again: I hear his Voice.
It is Corvino, our spruce Merchant.   Volp. Dead.
   Mos. Another bout, Sir, with your Eyes. VVho's there?

Act I.    Scene V.

Mosca, Corvino, Volpone.

Ignior Corvino! come most wisht for! O,
 How happy were you, if you knew it, now!
   Corv. Why? what? wherein?
   Mos. The tardy Hour is come, Sir.
   Corv. He is not dead?   Mos. Not dead, Sir, but as good;
He knows no Man.   Corv. How shall I do then?
   Mos. Why, Sir?
   Corv. I have brought him here a Pearl.
   Mos. Perhaps, he has
So much remembrance left, as to know you, Sir;
He still calls on you; nothing but your name
Is in his Mouth: Is your Pearl Orient, Sir?
   Corv. Venice was never owner of the like.
   Volp. Signior Corvino.   Mos. Hark.
   Volp. Signior Corvino.
   Mos. He calls you, step and give it him. H's here, Sir,
And he has brought you a rich Pearl.
   Corv. How do you, Sir?
Tell him, it doubles the twelf Caract.   Mos. Sir,
He cannot understand, his Hearing's gone;
And yet it comforts him, to see you — Corv. Say,
I have a Diamond for him, too.   Mos. Best shew't, Sir,
Put it into his hand; 'tis only there
He apprehends: he has his feeling, yet.
See how he grasps it!   Corv. 'Las, good Gentleman!
How pittiful the Sight is!   Mos. Tut, forget, Sir.
The weeping of an Heir should still be laughter,
Under a Visor.   Corv. Why? am I his Heir?
   Mos. Sir, I am sworn, I may not shew the Will,
Till he be dead: But, here has been Corbaccio,
Here has been Voltore, here were others too,
I cannot number 'em, they were so many,
All gaping here for Legacies; but I,
Taking the vantage of his naming you,
(Signior Corvino, Signior Corvino) took
Paper, and Pen, and Ink, and there I ask'd him,
Whom he would have his Heir? Corvino. Who
Should be Executor? Corvino. And,
To any question, he was silent too,
I still interpreted the nods, he made
(Through weakness) for consent: and sent home th' others,
Nothing bequeath'd them, but to cry, and curse.

[column break]

   Corv. O, my dear Mosca. Do's he not perceive us?
[They embrace.

   Mos. No more than a blind Harper. He knows no Man
No Face of Friend, nor name of any Servant,
Who't was that fed him last, or gave him drink?
Not those, he hath begotten, or brought up
Can he remember.   Corv. Has he Children.
   Mos. Bastards,
Some dozen, or more, that he begot on Beggers,
Gypsies, and Jews, and black-Moors, when he was drunk,
Knew you not that, Sir? 'Tis the common Fable.
The Dwarf, the Fool, the Eunuch are all his;
H'is the true Father of his Family,
In all, save me: but he has giv'en 'em nothing.
   Corv. That's well, that's well. Art sure he does not hear us?
   Mos. Sure, Sir? why, look you, credit your own Sense.
The Pox approach, and add to your Diseases,
If it would send you hence the sooner, Sir,
For your incontinence, it hath deserv'd it
Throughly, and throughly, and the Plague to boot.
(You may come near, Sir) would you would once close
Those filthy Eyes of yours, that flow with slime,
Like two Frog-pits; and those same hanging Cheeks,
Cover'd with Hide, instead of Skin: (nay, help, Sir)
That look like frozen Dish-clouts, set on end.
   Corv. Or, like an old smok'd wall, on which the Rain
Ran down in streaks.   Mos. Excellent, Sir, speak out;
You may be louder yet: a Culvering,
Discharged in his Ear, would hardly bore it.
   Corv. His Nose is like a common shewer, still running.
   Mos. 'Tis good! and, what his Mouth?
   Corv. A very draught.
   Mos. O, stop it up — Corv. By no means.
   Mos. 'Pray you let me.
Faith I could stifle him rarely, with a Pillow.
As well as any Woman that should keep him.
   Corv. Do as you will, but I'll be gone.   Mos. Be so;
It is your presence makes him last so long.
   Corv. I pray you use no violence.   Mos. No, Sir? why?
Why should you be thus scrupulous? 'pray you, Sir.
   Cor. Nay, at your discretion.   Mos. Well, good Sir, be gone.
   Corv. I will not trouble him now, to take my Pearl.
   Mos. Puh, nor your Diamond. What a needless care
Is this afflicts you? Is not all here yours?
Am not I here? whom you have made your Creature?
That owe my being to you?   Corv. Grateful Mosca!
Thou art my friend, my fellow, my companion,
My partner, and shalt share in all my Fortunes.
   Mos. Excepting one.   Corv. What's that?
   Mos. Your gallant Wife, Sir.
Now, is he gone: we had no other means,
To shoot him hence, but this,   Volp. My divine Mosca!
Thou hast to day out-gone thy self. Who's there?
[Another knocks.

I will be troubled with no more. Prepare
Me Musick, Dances, Banquets, all Delights;
The Turk is not more sensual in his Pleasures,
Than will Volpone. Let me see, a Pearl?
A Diamant? Plate? Cecchines? good mornings purchase;
Why, this is better than rob Churches, yet:
Or fat, by eating (once a Month) a Man.
VVho is't.   Mos. The beauteous Lady Would-bee, Sir,
VVife to the English Knight, Sir Politique Would-bee,
(This is the stile, Sir, is directed me)
Hath sent to know, how you have slept to night,
And if you would be visited.   Volp. Not, now.
Some three hours hence. —
   Mos. I told the Squire so much.
   Volp. When I am high with Mirth, and Wine: then, then.
'Fore Heaven, I wonder at the desperate valour
Of the bold English, that they dare let loose
Their VVives, to all encounters!   Mos. Sir, this Knight
Had not his name for nothing, he is politique,
And knows, how ere his VVife affect strange Airs,

160 The Fox.                     

She hath not yet the Face to be dishonest:
But had she Signior Corvino's Wives Face —
   Vol. Has she so rare a Face?   Mos. O, Sir, the Wonder,
The Blazing Star of Italy! A Wench
O' the first Year! a Beauty ripe as Harvest!
Whose Skin is whiter than a Swan all over!
Than Silver, Snow, or Lillies! a soft Lip,
Would tempt you to eternity of Kissing!
And Flesh that melteth in the touch to Blood!
Bright as your Gold, and lovely as your Gold!
   Volp. Why had not I known this before?
   Mos. Alas, Sir — My self but yesterday discover'd it.
   Volp. How might I see her?   Mos. O, not possible;
She's kept as warily as in your Gold,
Never does come abroad, never takes Air,
But at a Window. All her Looks are sweet,
As the first Grapes or Cherries, and are watch'd
As neer as they are.   Volp. I must see her — Mos. Sir,
There is a Guard of ten Spies thick upon her,
All his whole Houshold; each of which is set
Upon his Fellow, and have all their Charge;
When he goes out, when he comes in, examin'd.
   Volp. I will go see her, though but at her Window.
   Mos. In some Disguise then.   Volp. That is true: I must
Maintain mine own Shape still the same: We'll think.

Act II.    Scene I.

Politick Would-be, Peregrine.

Ir, to a wise Man all the World's his Soil.
 It is not Italy, nor France, nor Europe,
That must bound me, if my Fates call me forth.
Yet, I protest, it is no salt Desire
Of seeing Countries, shifting a Religion,
Nor any disaffection to the State
Where I was bred (and unto which I owe
My dearest Plots) hath brought me out; much less
That idle, antick, stale, grey-headed Project
Of knowing Mens Minds and Manners, with Ulysses:
But a peculiar Humour of my Wifes,
Laid for this height of Venice, to observe,
To quote, to learn the Language, and so forth —
I hope you travel, Sir, with License.   Per. Yes.
   Pol. I dare the safelier converse — How long, Sir,
Since you left England?   Per. Seven Weeks.   Pol. So lately!
You ha' not been with my Lord Ambassador?
   Per. Not yet, Sir.
   Pol. Pray you, what News, Sir, vents our Climate?
I heard last night a most strange thing reported
By some of my Lord's Followers, and I long
To hear how 'twill be seconded.   Per. What was't, Sir?
   Pol. Marry, Sir, of a Raven that should build
In a Ship Royal of the King's.   Per. This Fellow,
Does he gull me, trow? or is gull'd? Your Name, Sir?
   Pol. My Name is Politick Would-be.
   Per. O, that speaks him. A Knight, Sir?
   Pol. A poor Knight, Sir.   Per. Your Lady
Lies here in Venice, for Intelligence
Of Tires, and Fashions, and Behaviour,
Among the Courtezans? the Fine Lady Would-be?
   Pol. Yes, Sir, the Spider and the Bee, oft-times,
Suck from one Flower.   Per. Good Sir Politick,
I cry you mercy; I have heard much of you:
'Tis true, Sir, of your Raven.   Pol. On your knowledg?
   Per. Yes, and your Lion's Whelping in the Tower.
   Pol. Another Whelp!
   Per. Another, Sir.   Pol. Now, Heaven!
What Prodigies be these? The Fires at Berwick!
And the new Star! These things concurring, strange!
And full of Omen! Saw you these Meteors?
   Per. I did, Sir.

[column break]

   Pol. Fearful! Pray you, Sir, confirm me,
Were there three Porpoises seen above the Bridge,
As they give out?   Per. Six, and a Sturgeon, Sir.
   Pol. I am astonish'd.   Per. Nay, Sir, be not so;
I'll tell you a greater Prodigy than these ——
   Pol. VVhat should these things portend!
   Per. The very day
(Let me be sure) that I put forth from London,
There was a VVhale discover'd in the River,
As high as Wolwich, that had waited there
(Few know how many Months) for the Subversion
Of the Stode-Fleet.   Pol. Is't possible? Believe it,
'Twas either sent from Spain, or the Archdukes!
's VVhale, upon my Life, my Credit!
VVill they not leave these Projects? VVorthy Sir,
Some other News.   Per. Faith, Stone the Fool is dead,
And they do lack a Tavern-fool extreamly.
   Pol. Is Mass' Stone dead.
   Per. He's dead, Sir; why? I hope
You thought him not Immortal? O, this Knight
(VVere he well known) would be a precious thing
To fit our English Stage: He that should write
But such a Fellow, should be thought to feign
Extremely, if not maliciously.   Pol. Stone dead!
   Per. Dead. Lord! how deeply, Sir, you apprehend it?
He was no Kinsman to you?   Pol. That I know of.
VVell! that same Fellow was an unknown Fool.
   Per. And yet you knew him, it seems?   Pol. I did so. Sir,
I knew him one of the most dangerous Heads
Living within the State, and so I held him.
   Per. Indeed, Sir?   Pol. VVhile he liv'd, in action.
He has receiv'd weekly Intelligence,
Upon my knowledge, out of the Low Countries,
(For all Parts of the VVorld) in Cabbages;
And those dispens'd again to Ambassadors,
In Oranges, Musk-melons, Apricots,
Limons, Pomecitrons, and such-like; sometimes
In Colchester-Oysters, and your Selsey-Cockles.
   Per. You make me wonder!
   Pol. Sir, upon my knowledge.
Nay, I have observ'd him, at your Publick Ordinary,
Take his Advertisement from a Traveller
(A conceal'd Statesman) in a Trencher of Meat;
And instantly, before the Meal was done,
Convey an Answer in a Tooth-pick.   Per. Strange!
How could this be, Sir?   Pol. VVhy, the Meat was cut
So like his Character, and so laid, as he
Must easily read the Cypher.   Per. I have heard,
He could not read, Sir.   Pol. So 'twas given out
(In politie) by those that did employ him:
But he could read, and had your Languages,
And to't, as sound a Noodle — Per. I have heard, Sir,
That your Babiouns were Spies, and that they were
A kind of subtle Nation, near to China.
   Pol. I, I, your Mamuluchi. Faith, they had
Their Hand in a French Plot or two; but they
VVere so extremely given to VVomen, as
They made discovery of all: Yet I
Had my Advices here (on Wednesday last)
From one of their own Coat, they were return'd,
Made their Relations, (as the Fashion is)
And now stand fair for fresh Employment.   Per. 'Heart!
This Sir Pol. will be ignorant of nothing.
It seems, Sir, you know all?   Pol. Not all, Sir: But
I have some general Notions: I do love
To note, and to observe; though I live out
Free from the active Torrent, yet I'ld mark
The Currents and the Passages of Things,
For mine own private use; and know the Ebbs
And Flows of State.   Per. Believe it, Sir, I hold
My self in no small tie unto my Fortunes,
For casting me thus luckily upon you,
VVhose Knowledge (if your Bounty equal it)
May do me great Assistance, in Instruction

             The Fox. 161

For my Behaviour, and my bearing, which
Is yet so rude, and raw — Pol. Why? came you forth
Empty of Rules, for travail?   Per. Faith, I had
Some common ones, from out that vulgar Grammar,
Which he, that cry'd Italian to me, taught me.
   Pol. Why, this it is, that spoyls all our brave Bloods,
Trusting our hopeful Gentry unto Pedants,
Fellows of out-side, and meer bark. You seem
To be a Gentleman, of ingenious Race —
I not profess it, but my fate hath been
To be, where I have been consulted with,
In this high kind, touching some great Mens Sons,
Persons of Blood, and Honour —— Per. Who be
      these, Sir?

Act II.    Scene II.

Mosca, Politique, Peregrine, Volpone, Nano, Grege.

Nder that Window, there't must be. The same.
   Pol. Fellows, to mount a Bank! did your Instructer
In the dear Tongues, never discourse to you
Of the Italian Mountebanks?   Per. Yes, Sir.   Pol. Why,
Here shall you see one.   Per. They are Quack-salvers,
Fellows, that live by venting Oyls, and Drugs?
   Pol. Was that the Character he gave you of them?
   Per. As I remember.   Pol. Pitty his ignorance.
They are the only knowing Men of Europe!
Great general Schollars, excellent Physicians,
Most admir'd States-men, profest Favourites,
And Cabinet-Counsellors to the greatest Princes!
The only languag'd Men of all the World!
   Per. And, I have heard, they are most lewd Impostors;
Made all of Terms and Shreds; no less belyers
Of great Mens favours, than their own vile Med'cines;
Which they will utter upon monstrous Oaths:
Selling that drug, for Two-pence, e're they part,
VVhich they have valu'd at Twelve Crowns, before.
   Pol. Sir, Calumnies are answer'd best with silence:
Your self shall judge. VVho is it mounts, my Friends?
   Mos. Scoto of Mantua, Sir.   Pol. Is't he? nay, then
I'll proudly promise, Sir, you shall behold
Another Man, than has been phant'sied to you.
I wonder, yet, that he should mount his Bank,
Here in this Nook, that has been wont t' appear
In Face of the Piazza! Here, he comes.
   Volp. Mount, Zany.   Gre. Follow, follow, follow,
      follow, follow.
   Pol. See how the People follow him! he's a Man
May write 10000 Crowns in Bank here. Note,
Mark but his Gesture: I do use to observe
The state he keeps, in getting up!   Per. 'Tis worth it, Sir.
   Volp. Most noble Gent. and my worthy Patrons, it may
seem strange, that I, your
Scoto Mantuano, who was ever
wont to fix my Bank in Face of the publick
Piazza, near
the shelter of the
Portico, to the Procuratia, should now
(after Eight Months absence, from this Illustrious City of
nice) humbly retire my self, into an obscure Nook of the Piazza.
   Pol. Did not I, now, object the same!   Per. Peace, Sir.
Volp. Let me tell you: I am not (as your Lombard Proverb
saith) cold on my Feet; or content to part with my Commo-
dities at a cheaper rate, than I accustomed: look not for it.
Nor that the calumnious reports of that impudent Detractor,
and shame to our Profession, (
Alessandro Buttone, I mean)
who gave out, in publick, I was condemn'd a'
Sforzato to the
Galleyes, for poysoning the Cardinal
Bembo's —— Cook, hath
at all attached, much less dejested me. No, no, worthy Gent.
(to tell you true) I cannot indure to see the Rabble of these
Ciarlitani, that spred their Clokes on the Pavement,
as if they meant to do feats of activity, and then come in
lamely, with their mouldy Tales out of
Boccacio, like stale
Tabarine, the Fabulist: some of them discoursing their Tra-
vels, and of their tedious Captivity in the
Turks Galleys,
when indeed (were the truth known) they were the Chri-

[column break]

stians Gallies, where very temp'rately they eat Bread, and
drunk Water as a wholsom Penance (enjoyn'd them by their
Confessors) for base Pilferies.

   Pol. Note but his bearing, and contempt of these.
Volp. These Turdy-facy-nasty-paty-lousie-fartical Rogues,
with one poor Groats-worth of unprepar'd
Antimony, finely
wrapt up in several
Scartoccios, are able, very well, to
kill their twenty a Week, and play; yet, these meager
starv'd Spirits, who have half stopt the Organs of their Minds
with Earthy oppilations, want not their Favourers among
your shrivel'd, sallad-eating
Artizans: who are overjoy'd,
that they may have their Half-pe'rth of Physick, though it
purge 'em into another World, 't makes no matter.

   Pol. Excellent! ha' you heard better Language, Sir?
Volp. Well, let 'em go. And Gentlemen, honourable Gentle-
men, know, that for this time, our Bank, being thus remov'd
from the Clamours of the
Canaglia, shall be the Scene of
Pleasure and Delight: For, I have nothing to sell, little or
nothing to sell.

   Pol. I told you, Sir, his end.   Per. You did so, Sir.
Volp. I protest, I, and my six Servants are not able to make
of this pretious Liquor, so fast, as it is fetch'd away from my
Lodging by Gentlemen of your City; strangers of the
ferma; worshipful Merchants; I, and Senators too: who, e-
ver since my arrival, have detained me to their uses, by their
splendidous Liberalities. And worthily. For, what avails
your rich Man to have his
Magazines stuft with Moscadelly,
or of the purest grape, when his Physicians prescribe him (on
pain of death) to drink nothing but Water, cocted with
seeds? O, health! health! the blessing of the Rich! the Riches
of the Poor! who can buy thee at too dear a rate, since there
is no enjoying this World without thee? Be not then so spa-
ring of your Purses, honourable Gentlemen, as to abridge the
natural course of Life
   Per. You see his end?   Pol. I, is't not good?
Volp. For, when a humid Flux, or Catarrh, by the muta-
bility of Air, falls from your Head into an Arm or Shoulder,
or any other part; take you a Duckat, or your
Cecchine of
Gold, and apply to the place affected: see, what good effect it
can work. No, no, 'tis this blessed
Unguento, this rare ex-
traction, that hath only power to disperse all malignant Hu-
mours, that proceed, either of hot, cold, moist, or windy
Causes ——

   Per. I would he had put in dry to.   Pol. 'Pray you,
Volp. To fortifie the most indigest and crude Stomack, I
were it of one that (through extream weakness) vomited
Blood, applying only a warm Napkin to the Place, after the
Unction and Fricace; for the
Vertigine, in the Head, putting
but a drop into your Nostrils, likewise, behind the Ears; a
most soveraign and approved Remedy: the
Cramps, Convulsions, Paralysies, Epilepsies,
retired Nerves, ill Vapours of the Spleen, stopping of the
Liver, the Stone, the Strangury,
Hernia ventosa, Iliaca
passio; stops a Disenteria immediately; easeth the Torsion
of the small Guts; and cures
Melancholia Hypocondri-
aca, being taken and applyed, according to my printed Re-

to his Bill
and his
ceipt. For, this is the Physician, this the Me-
dicine; this Counsels, this Cures; this gives the
Direction, this works the Effect: and (in sum) both
together may be term'd an abstract of the Theorick
and Practick in the
Ζsculapian Art. 'Twill cost
you Eight Crowns. And,
Zan Fritada, pr'y thee sing a
extempore in Honour of it.
   Pol. How do you like him, Sir?   Per. Most strangely, I!
   Pol. Is not his Language rare?   Per. But Alchimy,
I never heard the like: or Broughtons Books.

S O N G.

Ad old Hippocrates, or Galen,
 (That to their Books put Med'cines all in)
But known this Secret, they had never
(Of which they will be guilty ever)
Y                                  Been                     

162 The Fox.                     

Been murderers of so much Paper,
Or wasted many a hurtless taper:
Indian drug had e're been famed,
Tabacco, Sassafras not named;
Ne yet, of
Guacum one small stick, Sir,
Raymund Lullies great Elixir.
Ne, had been known the
Danish Gonswart.
Paracelsus, with his long Sword.

   Per. All this, yet, will not do; Eight Crowns is high.
Volp. No more. Gentlemen, if I had but time to discourse
to you the miraculous effects of this my Oyl, surnamed
del Scoto; with the countless Catalogue of those I have
cured of th' aforesaid, and many more Diseases; the Pat-
tents and Priviledges of all the Princes and Commonwealths
of Christendom; or but the dispositions of those that appear'd
on my part, before the
Signiory of the Sanitβ, and most
learned Colledge of Physitians; where I was authorized, upon
notice taken of the admirable Vertues of my Medicaments, and
mine own Excellency, in matter of rare and unknown Se-
crets, not only to disperse them publickly in this famous
City, but in all the Territories, that happily joy under the
Government of the most pious and magnificent States of
But may some other gallant Fellow say, O, there be divers
that make profession to have as good, and as experiment-
ed Receipts as yours: Indeed, very many have assay'd, like
Apes in imitation of that, which is really and essentially in me,
to make of this Oyl; bestow'd great cost in Furnaces, Stills,
Alembecks, continual Fires, and preparation of the Ingredients,
(as indeed there goes to it Six hundred several simples, be-
sides, some quantity of human Fat, for the conglutination,
which we buy of the Anatomists) but, when these Practitioners
come to the last decoction, blow, blow, puff, puff, and all flies
fumo: ha, ha, ha. Poor Wretches! I rather pitty their Folly
and Indiscretion, than their loss of Time and Money; for those
may be recovered by industry: but to be a Fooll born is a Dis-
ease incurable. For my self, I always from my youth have
endeavour'd to get the rarest Secrets, and book them; either
in exchange or for Money: I spared nor cost, nor labour, where
any thing was worthy to be learned. And Gentlemen, ho-
nourable Gentlemen, I will undertake (by vertue of Chymical
Art) out of the honourable Hat thotthat covers your Head, to ex-
tract the Four Elements; that is to say, the Fire, Air, Wa-
ter, and Earth, and return you your Felt without burn or stain.
For, whilst others have been at the
Balloo, I have been at my
Book: and am now past the craggy Paths of Study, and come
to the flowry Plains of Honour and Reputation.

   Pol. I do assure you, Sir, that is his aim.
   Volp. But, to our price.   Per. And that withal, Sir Pol.
   Volp. You all know, (honourable Gentlemen) I never va-
lu'd this
Ampulla, or Villa, at less than Eight Crowns; but
for this time, I am content to be depriv'd of it for six; Six
Crowns is the price; and less in courtesie I know you cannot
offer me: take it or leave it, howsoever, both it and I am
at your service. I ask you not as the value of the thing, for
then I should demand of you a thousand Crowns, so the Car-
Montalto, Fernese, the great Duke of Tuscany, my
Gossip, with divers other Princes have given me; but I de-
spise Money: only to shew my affection to you, Honourable
Gentlemen, and your illustrious State here, I have neglected
the Messages of these Princes, mine own Offices, fram'd my
Journey hither, only to present you with the Fruits of my Travels,
Tune your Voyces once more to the touch of your Instruments, and
give the honourable Assembly some delightful Recreation.

   Per. VVhat monstrous and most painful Circumstance
Is here, to get some three or four Gazets!
Some Three-pence i'th' whole, for that 'twill come to.

S O N G.

Ou that would last long, list to my Song,
 Make no more coyl, but buy of this Oyl.
Would you be ever fair and young?
Stout of Teeth; and strong of Tongue?

[column break]

Tart of Palat? quick of ear?
Sharp of sight? of Nostril clear?
Moist of Hand? and light of Foot?
(Or I will come nearer to't)
Would you live free from all Diseases?         
Do the act, your Mistris pleases;
Yea fright all Aches from your Bones?
Here's a Med'cine for the Nones.

   Volp. Well, I am in a humour (at this time) to make a
Present of the small quantity my Coffer contains: to the Rich
in Courtesie, and to the poor, for Gods sake. Wherefore now
mark; I ask'd you Six Crowns; and Six Crowns, at
other times, you have paid me; you shall not give me Six
Crowns, nor Five, nor Four, nor Three, nor Two, nor One;
nor half a Duckat; no, nor a
muccinigo: Six — pence it will
cost you, or Six hundred Pound — expect no lower price, for by
the Banner of my Front, I will not bate a
bagatine, that I
will have only a Pledge of your Loves, to carry something
from amongst you, to shew, I am not contemn'd by you. There-
fore, now, toss your Handkerchiefs, chearfully, chearfully; and
be advertised, that the first heroick Spirit, that deigns to
grace me, with a Handkerchief, I will give it a little remem-
brance of something, beside, shall please it better, than if I had
presented it with a double Pistolet.

   Per. VVill you be that heroick Spark, Sir Pol?
   O, see! the VVindow has prevented you.
[Celia at the Window throws down her Handkerchief.

Volp. Lady, I kiss your Bounty; and for this timely Grace you
have done your poor
Scoto of Mantua, I will return you over
and above my Oyl, a Secret of that high and inestimable Na-
ture, shall make you for ever enamour'd on that Minute,
wherein your Eye first descended on so mean (yet not altoge-
ther to be despis'd) an Object. Here is a Poulder conceal'd in
this Paper, of which, if I should speak to the worth, Nine
thousand Volumns were but as one Page, that Page as a Line,
that Line as a word: so short is this Pilgrimage of Man (which
some call Life) to the expressing of it. Would I reflect on the
price? why, the whole World were but as an Empire, that
Empire as a Province, that Province as a Bank, that Bank as
a private Purse to the purchase of it. I will only tell you; It is
the Poulder that made
Venus a Goddess (given her by Apollo)
that kept her perpetually young, clear'd her Wrincles, firm'd her
Gums, fill'd her Skin, colour'd her Hair; from her deriv'd to
Helen, and at the sack of Troy (unfortunately) lost: till now,
in this our Age, it was as happily recovered, by a studious Anti-
quary, out of some Ruins of
Asia, who sent a Moyety of it
to the Court of
France (but much sophisticated) wherewith
the Ladies there, now, colour their Hair. The rest (at this
present) remains with me; extracted to a quintessence: so that,
where-ever it but touches, in Youth it perpetually preserves, in
Age restores the Complexion; seats your Teeth, did they dance
like virginal Jacks, firm as a Wall; makes them white as I-
vory, that were black as

Act II.    Scene III.

Corvino, Politique, Peregrine.

Pight o' the Devil, and my shame! come down, here;
 Come down: no House but mine to make your Scene?
Signior Flaminio, will you down, Sir? down?
VVhat is my VVife your Franciscina? Sir?
No VVindows on the whole Piazza, here,
To make your Properties, but mine? but mine?
Heart! ere to morrow I shall be new christen'd,
And call'd the Pantalone Di Besogniosi,
About the Town.   Per. VVhat should this mean, Sir Pol?
   Pol. Some trick of State, believe it. I will home.
   Per. It may be some design, on you.   Pol. I know not.
I'll stand upon my Guard.   Per. 'Tis your best, Sir.
   Pol. This three VVeeks, all my Advices, all my Letters,
They have been intercepted.   Per. Indeed, Sir?
Best have a care.   Pol. Nay, so I will.   Per. This Knight,
I may not lose him, for my mirth, till night.

             The Fox. 163

Act II.    Scene IV.

Volpone, Mosca.

, I am wounded.   Mos. Where, Sir?   Vol. Not without;
 Those blows were nothing: I could bear them ever.
But angry Cupid, bolting from her Eyes,
Hath shot himself into me like a Flame;
Where, now, he flings about his burning heat,
As in a Furnace, some ambitious Fire,
Whose vent is stopt. The fight is all within me.
I cannot live, except thou help me, Mosca;
My Liver melts, and I, without the hope
Of some soft Air, from her refreshing breath,
Am but a heap of Cindars.   Mos. 'Lass, good Sir,
Would you had never seen her.   Volp. Nay, would thou
Hadst never told me of her.   Mos. Sir, 'tis true;
I do confess I was unfortunate,
And you unhappy: but I'am bound in Conscience,
No less than Duty, to effect my best
To your release of torment, and I will, Sir.
   Volp. Dear Mosca, shall I hope?   Mos. Sir, more than dear,
I will not bid you to despair of ought,
Within a human compass.   Volp. O, there spoke
My better Angel. Mosca, take my Keys,
Gold, Plate, and Jewels, all's at thy Devotion;
Employ them how thou wilt; nay, Coyn me too:
So thou, in this, but Crown my Longings. Mosca?
   Mos. Use but your patience.   Volp. So I have.   Mos. I
      doubt not
To bring success to your desires.   Volp. Nay, then,
I not repent me of my late disguise.
   Mos. If you can horn him, Sir, you need not.   Volp. True:
Besides, I never meant him for my Heir.
Is not the colour o' my Beard and Eye-brows
To make me known?   Mos. No jot.   Volp. I did it well.
   Mos. So well, would I could follow you in mine,
With half the Happiness; and yet I would
Escape your Epilogue.   Volp. But, were they gull'd
With a belief that I was Scoto?   Mos. Sir,
Scoto himself could hardly have distinguish'd!
I have not time to flatter you, now, we'll part:
And as I prosper, so applaud my Art.

Act II.    Scene V.

Corvino, Celia, Servitore.

Eath of mine Honour, with the Cities Fool?
 A Juggling, Tooth-drawing, prating Mountebank?
And at a publik Window? where, whilst he,
With his strain'd Action, and his dole of Faces,
To his Drug-lecture draws your itching Ears,
A Crew of old, un-married, noted Lechers,
Stood leering up like Satyrs: and you smile
Most graciously! and fan your Favours forth,
To give your hot Spectators satisfaction!
What, was your Mountebank their Call? their Whistle?
Or were you' enamour'd on his Copper Rings?
His Saffron Jewel, with the Toad-stone in't?
Or his imbroydered Sute, with the Cope-stitch,
Made of a Herse-cloth? or his old Tilt-feather?
Or his starch'd Beard? well! you shall have him, yes:
He shall come home, and Minister unto you
The Fricace for the Moother.Mother Or, let me see,
I think you' had rather mount? would you not mount?
Why, if you'll mount, you may; yes truly, you may:
And so, you may be seen, down to th' Foot.
Get you a Cittern, Lady Vanity,
And be a dealer with the Vertuous Man;
Make one: I'll but protest my self a Cuckold,
And save your Dowry. I am a Dutchman, I!
For, if you thought me an Italian,

[column break]

You would be damn'd, ere you did this, you Whore:
Thou'ldst tremble, to imagine, that the murder
Of Father, Mother, Brother, all thy Race,
Should follow, as the Subject of my Justice!
   Cel. Good Sir, have patience!   Corv. What couldst
      thou propose
Less to thy self, than in this heat of Wrath,
And stung with my dishonour, I should strike
This Steel into thee, with as many stabs,
As thou wert gaz'd upon with Goatish Eyes?
   Cel. Alas, Sir, be appeas'd! I could not think
My being at the Window should more, now,
Move your impatience, than at other times.
   Corv. No? not to seek and entertain a Parle,
With a known Knave? before a Multitude?
You were an Actor with your Handkerchief!
Which he, most sweetly, kist in the Receipt,
And might (no doubt) return it with a Letter,
And point the Place, where you might meet: your Sisters,
Your Mothers, or your Aunts might serve the turn.
   Cel. Why, dear Sir, when do I make these Excuses?
Or ever stir abroad, but to the Church?
And that so seldom — Corv. Well, it shall be less;
And thy restraint before was Liberty,
To what I now decree: and therefore mark me.
First, I will have this bawdy Light dam'd up;
And till't be done, some two or three Yards off,
I'll chalk a Line: o're which, if thou but chance
To set thy desp'rate Foot; more Hell, more Horror,
More wild remorseless Rage shall seize on thee,
Than on a Conjurer, that had heedless left
His circles safety ere his Devil was laid.
Then here's a Lock, which I will hang upon thee;
And, now I think on't, I will keep thee backwards;
Thy Lodging shall be backward; thy walks backwards;
Thy Prospect-all be backwards; and no pleasure,
That thou shalt know but backwards: Nay, since you force
My honest nature, know, it is your own
Being too open, makes me use you thus.
Since you will not contain your subtil Nostrils
In a sweet Room, but they must snuff the Air
Of rank and sweaty Passengers —— One knocks.
[Knock within.

Away, and be not seen, pain of thy Life;
Not look toward the Window: if thou dost ——
(Nay stay, hear this) let me not prosper, Whore,
But I will make thee an Anatomy,
Dissect thee mine own self, and read a Lecture
Upon thee, to the City, and in publick.
Away. Who's there?   Ser. 'Tis Signior Mosca, Sir.

Act II.    Scene VI.

Corvino, Mosca.

Et him come in, his Master's dead: There's yet
 Some good, to help the bad. My Mosca, welcom,
I guess your news.   Mos. I fear you cannot, Sir.
   Corv. Is't not his death?   Mos. Rather the contrary.
   Corv. Not his recovery?   Mos. Yes, Sir.   Corv. I am curs'd,
I am bewitch'd, my Crosses meet to vex me.
How? how? how? how?   Mos. Why, Sir, with Scoto's Oyl!
Corbaccio, and Voltore brought of it,
VVhilst I was busie in an inner Room ——
   Corv. Death! that damn'd Mountebank! but, for the Law
Now, I could kill the Rascal: 't cannot be,
His Oyl should have that Vertue. Ha' not I
Known him a common Rogue, come fidling in
To th' Osteria, with a tumbling VVhore,
And, when he has done all his forc'd tricks, been glad
Of a poor spoonful of dead VVine, with Flies in't?
It cannot be. All his Ingredients
Are a Sheeps Gall, a rosted Bitches Marrow,
Some few sod Earwigs, pounded Caterpillers,
Y 2                                 A                     

164 The Fox.                     

A little Capons Grease, and Fasting Spittle:
I know 'em to a Dram.   Mos. I know not, Sir,
But some on't, there, they powr'd into his Ears,
Some in his Nostrils, and recover'd him;
Applying but the fricace.   Corv. Pox o' that fricace.
   Mos. And since, to seem the more officious
And flatt'ring of his health, there, they have had
(At extream Fees) the Colledge of Physicians
Consulting on him, how they might restore him;
Where one would have a Cataplasm of Spices,
Another a flayd Ape clapt to his Breast,
A third would ha' it a Dog, a fourth an Oyl
With wild Cats Skins: at last, they all resolv'd
That, to preserve him, was no other means,
But some young Woman must be straight sought out,
Lusty and full of Juice, to sleep by him;
And, to this Service (most unhappily,
And most unwillingly) am I now imploy'd,
Which here I thought to pre-acquaint you with,
For your advice, since it concerns you most,
Because, I would not do that thing might cross
Your ends, on whom I have my whole dependance, Sir:
Yet, if I do it not, they may delate
My slackness to my Patron, work me out
Of his Opinion; and there, all your hopes,
Ventures, or whatsoever, are all frustrate.
I do but tell you, Sir. Besides, they are all
Now striving, who shall first present him. Therefore —
I could intreat you, briefly, conclude somewhat:
Prevent 'em if you can.   Corv. Death to my hopes!
This is my villanous Fortune! Best to hire
Some common Curtezan?   Mos. I, I thought on that, Sir.
But they are all so subtil, full of Art,
And age again doting and flexible,
So as —— I cannot tell —— we may perchance
Light on a Quean, may cheat us all.   Corv. 'Tis true.
   Mos. No, no: it must be one, that has no tricks, Sir,
Some simple thing, a Creature made unto it;
Some Wench you may command. Ha' you no Kinswoman?
Gods so — Think, think, think, think, think, think, think, Sir.
One o' the Doctors offer'd there, his Daughter.
   Corv. How!   Mos. Yes, Signior Lupo, the Physician.
   Cor. His Daughter?   Mos. And a Virgin, Sir. Why? Alass,
He knows the state of's Body, what it is;
That nought can warm his Blood, Sir, but a Fever;
Nor any incantation raise his Spirit:
A long forgetfulness hath seiz'd that part.
Besides, Sir, who shall know it? some one or two —
   Corv. I prythee give me leave. If any Man
But I had had this luck —— The thing in't self,
I know, is nothing —— Wherefore should not I
As well command my Blood and my Affections,
As this dull Doctor? In the point of Honour,
The Cases are all one of Wife and Daughter.
   Mos. I hear him coming.   Corv. She shall do't: 'Tis done.
Slight, if this Doctor, who is not engag'd,
Unless't be for his Counsel (which is nothing)
Offer his Daughter, what should I, that am
So deeply in? I will prevent him, Wretch!
Covetous Wretch! Mosca, I have determin'd.
   Mos. How, Sir?   Corv. VVe'll make all sure. The
      Party, you wot of,
Shall be mine own Wife, Mosca.   Mos. Sir. The thing,
(But that I would not seem to counsel you)
I should have motion'd to you at the first:
And make your count, you have cut all their Throats.
Why! 'tis directly taking a possession!
And, in his next Fit, we may let him go.
'Tis but to pull the Pillow from his Head,
And he is thratled: 't had been done, before,
But for your scrupulous Doubts.   Corv. I, a plague on't,
My Conscience Fools my Wit. Well, I'll be brief,
And so be thou, lest they should be before us:
Go home, prepare him, tell him, with what zeal,

[column break]

And willingness, I do it; swear it was,
On the first hearing (as thou maist do, truely)
Mine own free motion.   Mos. Sir, I warrant you,
I'll so possess him with it, that the rest
Of his starv'd Clients shall be banisht all;
And only you receiv'd. But come not, Sir,
Until I send, for I have something else
To ripen, for your good (you must not know't)
   Corv. But do not you forget to send now.   Mos. fear not.

Act II.    Scene VII.

Corvino, Celia.

Here are you, Wife? my Celia? Wife? what
Come, dry those Tears. I think thou thoughtest me in
Ha? by this light, I talk'd so but to try thee.
Me-thinks, the lightness of the occasion
Should ha' confirm'd thee. Come, I am not jealous.
   Cel. No?   Corv. Faith, I am not, I, nor never was:
It is a poor unprofitable Humour.
Do not I know if Women have a Will,
They'll do 'gainst all the watches o' the VVorld?
And that the fiercest Spies are tam'd with Gold?
Tut, I am confident in thee, thou shalt see't:
And see, I'll give thee cause too, to believe it.
Come, kiss me. Go, and make thee ready straight,
In all thy best Attire, thy choicest Jewels,
Put 'em all on, and, with 'em, thy best Looks:
VVe are invited to a solemn Feast,
At old Volpone's, where it shall appear
How far I'am free, from jealousie or fear.

Act III.    Scene I.


 Fear, I shall begin to grow in love
 VVith my dear self, and my most prosp'rous Parts,
They do so spring, and burgeon; I can feel
A whimsie i' my Blood: (I know not how)
Success hath made me wanton. I could skip
Out of my Skin, now, like a subtil Snake,
I am so limber. O! Your Parasite
Is a most precious thing, dropt from above,
Not bred 'mongst Clods and Clot-pouls, here on Earth.
I muse, the Mystery was not made a Science,
It is so liberally profest! almost
All the wise world is little else, in Nature,
But Parasites, or Sub-parasites. And, yet,
I mean not those that have your bare Town-art,
To know, who's fit to feed 'em; have no House,
No Family, no Care, and therefore mould
Tales for Mens Ears, to bait that Sense; or get
Kitchin-invention, and some stale Receipts
To please the Belly, and the Groin; nor those,
VVith their Court-dog-tricks, that can fawn and fleer,
Make their Revenue out of Legs and Faces
Eccho my Lord, and lick away a Moth:
But your fine elegant Rascal, that can rise,
And stoop (almost together) like an Arrow,
Shoot through the Air as nimbly as a Star?
Turn short, as doth a Swallow; and be here,
And there, and here, and yonder all at once;
Present to any Humour, all Occasion;
And change a Visor, swifter than a Thought!
This is the Creature had the Art born with him;
Toils not to learn it, but doth practise it
Out of most excellent Nature: and such Sparks
Are the true Parasites, others but their Zani's


             The Fox. 165

Act III.    Scene II.

Mosca, Bonario.

Ho's this? Bonario? old Corbaccio's Son?
 The Person I was bound to seek. Fair Sir,
You are happily met.   Bon. That cannot be by thee.
   Mos. Why, Sir?   Bon. Nay, prythee know thy way,
      and leave me:
I would be loath to interchange Discourse,
With such a Mate as thou art.   Mos. Courteous Sir,
Scorn not my Poverty.   Bon. Not I, by Heaven:
But thou shalt give me leave to hate thy baseness.
   Mos. Baseness?   Bon. I answer, me, is not thy sloth
Sufficient Argument? thy flattery?
Thy means of feeding?   Mos. Heaven, be good to me.
These Imputations are too common, Sir,
And easily struck on Vertue, when she's poor;
You are unequal to me, and how ere
Your sentence may be righteous, yet you are not,
That ere you know me, thus, proceed in Censure:
St. Mark bear witness 'gainst you, 'tis inhuman.
   Bon. What? does he weep? the sign is soft, and good!
I do repent me, that I was so harsh.
   Mos. 'Tis true, that, sway'd by strong necessity,
I am enforc'd to eat my careful Bread
With too much obsequy; 'tis true, beside,
That I am fain to spin mine own poor Rayment,
Out of my meer observance, being not born
To a free Fortune: but that I have done
Base Offices, in rendring Friends asunder,
Dividing Families, betraying Counsels,
Whispering false Lyes, or mining Men with Praises,
Train'd their Credulity with Perjuries,
Corrupted Chastity, or am in love
VVith mine own tender ease, but would not rather
Prove the most rugged, and laborious course,
That might redeem my present estimation;
Let me here perish, in all hope of goodness.
   Bon. This cannot be a personated Passion!
I was to blame, so to mistake thy Nature;
Prythee forgive me: and speak out thy business.
   Mos. Sir, it concerns you; and though I may seem,
At first to make a main offence in Manners,
And in my gratitude, unto my Master;
Yet, for the pure love, which I bear all right,
And hatred of the wrong, I must reveal it.
This very hour, your Father is in purpose
To disinherit you — Bon. How!   Mos. And thrust you forth,
As a meer stranger to his Blood; 'tis true, Sir:
The work no way ingageth me, but, as
I claim an Interest in the general state
Of Goodness and true Vertue, which I hear
T' abound in you: and, for which meer respect,
VVithout a second aim, Sir, I have done it.
   Bon. This tale hath lost thee much of the late trust,
Thou hadst with me; it is impossible:
I know not how to lend it any thought,
My Father should be so unnatural.
   Mos. It is a confidence, that well becomes
Your Piety; and form'd (no doubt) it is
From your own simple Innocence: which makes
Your wrong more monstrous and abhor'd. But, Sir,
I now will tell you more. This very Minute,
It is, or will be doing: And, if you
Shall be but pleas'd to go with me, I'll bring you,
(I dare not say where you shall see, but) where
Your Ear shall be a witness of the Deed;
Hear your self written Bastard: and profest
The common Issue of the Earth.   Bon. I'm maz'd!
   Mos. Sir, if I do it not, draw your just Sword,
And score your vengeance, on my front and Face;
Mark me your Villain: You have too much wrong,

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And I do suffer for you, Sir. My Heart
Weeps Blood in anguish — Bon. Lead. I follow thee.

Act III.    Scene III.

Volpone, Nano, Androgyno, Castrone.

Osca stays long methinks. Bring forth your sports
 And help to make the wretched time more sweet.
   Nan. Dwarf, Fool, and Eunuch, well met here we be.
   A question it were not, whether of us three,
Being all the known delicates of a rich Man,
   In pleasing him, claim the Precedency can?
Cas. I claim for my self.   And. And, so doth the Fool.
Nan. 'Tis foolish indeed: let me set you both to School.
First, for your Dwarf, he's little and witty,
   And every thing, as it is little, is pritty;
Else why do Men say to a Creature of my shape,
   So soon as they see him, it's a pretty little Ape?
And why a pretty Ape? but for pleasing imitation
   Of greater Mens Actions, in a ridiculous fashion.
Beside, this feat Body of mine doth not crave
   Half the Meat, Drink, and Cloth, one of your bulks will have.
Admit your Fools Face be the Mother of laughter,
   Yet, for his Brain, it must always come after:
And though that do feed him, it's a pitiful Case,
   His Body is beholding to such a bad Face.

   Volp. Who's there? my Couch, away, look, Nano, see:
[One knoks.

Give me my Caps, first — go, enquire. Now, Cupid
Send it by Mosca, and with fair return.
   Nan. It is the beauteous Madam — Volp. Would-be — is it?
   Nan. The same.   Volp. Now' torment on me; Squire her in:
For she will enter, or dwell here for ever.
Nay, quickly, that my Fit were past. I fear
A second Hell too, that my loathing this
Will quite expel my Appetite to the other:
Would she were taking now her tedious leave.
Lord how it threats me what I am to suffer.

Act III.    Scene IV.

Lady, Volpone, Nano, Women. 2.

 Thank you, good Sir. 'Pray you signifie
 Unto your Patron, I am here. This Band
Shews not my Neck enough (I trouble you, Sir,
Let me request you, bid one of my Women
Come hither to me) in good faith, I am drest
Most favourably, to day; it is no matter,
'Tis well enough. Look, see, these petulant things!
How they have done this!   Volp. I do feell the Fever
Entring in at mine Ears; O, for a Charm,
To fright it hence.   Lad. Come nearer: is this Curl
In his right Place? or this? why is this higher
Than all the rest? you ha' not wash'd your Eyes, yet?
Or do they not stand even i' your Head?
Where's your fellow? call her.   Nan. Now. St. Mark
Deliver us: anon, she'll beat her Women,
Because her Nose is red.   Lad. I pray you, view
This Tire, forsooth: are all things apt or no?
   Wom. One Hair a little, here, sticks out, forsooth.
   Lad. Dos't so forsooth? and where was your dear sight
When it did so forsooth? what now? Bird-ey'd?
And you too? 'pray you both approach, and mend it.
Now (by that light) I muse, yo'are not asham'd!
I, that have preach'd these things, so oft, unto you,
Read you the Principles, argu'd all the Grounds,
Disputed every fitness, every grace,
Call'd you to counsel of so frequent dressings —
   (Nan. More carefully, than of your Fame or Honour)
   Lad. Made you acquainted, what an ample Dowry
The knowledg of these things would be unto you,
Able, alone, to get you Noble Husbands

166 The Fox.                     

At your return: and you thus to neglect it?
Besides, you seeing what a curious Nation
Th' Italians are, what will they say of me?
The English Lady cannot dress her self;
Here's a fine Imputation to our Countrey!
Well, go your ways, and stay i' the next Room.
This fucus was too course too, it's no matter.
Good-Sir, you'll give 'em entertainment?
   Volp. The Storm comes toward me.   Lad. How dos
      my Volp?
   Volp. Troubled with noise, I cannot sleep; I dreamt
That a strange Fury entred, now, my House,
And, with the dreadful tempest of her Breath,
Did cleave my Roof asunder.   Lad. Believe me, and I
Had the most fearful Dream, could I remember't —
   Volp. Out on my fate; I ha' given her the occasion
How to torment me: she will tell me hers.
   Lad. Me thought, the Golden mediocrity
Polite, and delicate — Volp. O, if you do love me,
No more; I sweat, and suffer, at the mention
Of any Dream: feell how I tremble yet.
   Lad. Alas, good Soul! the Passion of the Heart.
Seed-pearl were good now, boild with Syrrup of Apples,
Tincture of Gold, and Corral, Citron-Pills,
Your Elicampane Root, Myrobalanes ——
   Volp. Ay me, I have tane a Grass-hopper by the Wing.
   Lad. Burnt Silk, and Amber, you have Muscadel
Good i' the House — Volp. You will not drink, and part?
   Lad. No, fear not that. I doubt, we shall not get
Some English Saffron (half a Dram would serve)
Your sixteen Cloves, a little Musk, dri'd Mints,
Bugloss, and Barly-meal — Volp. She's in again;
Before I fain'd Diseases, now I have one.
   Lad. And these appli'd, with a right Scarlet-cloth —
   Volp. Another Flood of words! a very Torrent!
   Lad. Shall I, Sir, make you a Poultise?   Volp. No, no, no,
I'm very well: you need prescribe no more.
   Lad. I have a little studdied Physick; but now,
I'm all for Musick save, i' the Forenoons,
An hour or two for painting. I would have
A Lady, indeed, t' have all, Letters, and Arts,
Be able to discourse, to write, to paint,
But principal (as Plato holds) your Musick
(And so does wise Pythagoras, I take it)
Is your true Rapture; when there is consent
In Face, in Voyce, and Clothes: and is indeed,
Our Sexes chiefest Ornament.   Volp. The Poet,
As old in time as Plato, and as knowing,
Says that our highest Female grace is silence.
   Lad. Which o' your Poets? Petrarch? or Tasso? or Dante?
Guerrini? Ariosto? Aretine?
Cieco di Hadria?
I have read them all.
   Volp. Is every thing a Cause to my destruction?
   Lad. I think, I ha' two or three of 'em about me!
   Volp. The Sun, the Sea will sooner both stand still,
Than her eternal Tongue! nothing can scape it.
   Lad. Here's Pastor Fido — Volp. Profess obstinate silence;
That's now my safest.   Lad. All our English Writers,
I mean such as are happy in th' Italian,
Will deign to steal out of this Author, mainly;
Almost as much, as from Montagnie:
He has so modern and facile a Vein,
Fitting the time, and catching the Court-ear;
Your Petrarch is more passionate, yet he,
In days of sonnetting, trusting 'em, with much:
Dante is hard, and few can understand him.
But, for a desperate wit, there's Aretine!
Only, his Pictures are a little obscene ——
Your mark me not?   Volp. Alas, my Mind's perturb'd.
   Lad. Why, in such Cases, we must cure our selves,
Make use of our Philosophy — Volp. O'y me.
   Lad. And, as we find our Passions do rebel,
Encounter 'em with Reason; or divert 'em,
By giving scope unto some other Humour

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Of lesser danger: as, in Politick Bodies,
There's nothing, more, doth over-whelm the Judgment,
And clouds the Understanding, than too much
Settling, and fixing, and (as 'twere) subsiding
Upon one Object. For the incorporating
Of these same outward things, into that part,
Which we call mental, leaves some certain fζces,
That stop the Organs, and, as Plato says,
Assassinates our knowledg.   Volp. Now, the Spirit
Of patience help me.   Lad. Come, in faith, I must
Visit you more adays; and make you well:
Laugh and be lusty.   Volp. My good Angels save me.
   Lad. There was but one sole Man in all the VVorld,
VVith whom I ere could sympathise; and he
VVould lye you often, three, four Hours together,
To hear me speak: and be (sometime) so rap't,
As he would answer me quite from the purpose,
Like you, and you are like him, just. I'll discourse
(And't be but only, Sir, to bring you asleep)
How we did spend our time, and loves, together,
For some six years.   Volp. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.
   Lad. For we were coζtanei, and brought up ——
   Volp. Some power, some fate, some Fortune rescue me.

Act III.    Scene V.

Mosca, Lady, Volpone.

Od save you, Madam.   Lad. Good Sir.   Volp. Mosca!
VVelcom to my redemption.   Mos. VVhy, Sir?   Volp. Oh,
Rid me of this my torture, quickly, there;
My Madam, with the everlasting Voyce:
The Bells in time of Pestilence, ne'er made
Like noise, or were in that perpetual motion!
The Cock-pit comes not neer it. All my House,
But now, steam'd like a Bath, with her thick Breath.
A Lawyer could not have been heard; nor scarce
Another VVoman, such a hail of words
She has let fall. For Hells sake, rid her hence.
   Mos. Has she presented?   Volp. O, I do not care,
I'll take her absence, upon any price,
VVith any loss.   Mos. Madam — Lad. I ha' brought
      your Patron
A Toy, a Cap here, of mine own work — Mos. 'Tis well,
I had forgot to tell you, I saw your Knight,
VVhere you'ld little think it —— Lad. VVhere?   Mos.
VVhere yet, if you make haste, you may apprehend him,
Rowing upon the VVater in a gondole,
VVith the most cunning Curtizan of Venice.
   Lad. Is't true?   Mos. Pursue 'em, and believe your Eyes:
Leave me, to make your Gift. I knew, 't would take.
For lightly, they that use themselves most Licence,
Are still most jealous.   Volp. Mosca, hearty thanks,
For thy quick fiction and delivery of me.
Now, to my hopes, what sayst thou?   Lad. But do you
      hear, Sir? —
   Volp. Again, I fear a Paroxism.   Lad. VVhich way
Row'd they together?   Mos. Toward the Rialto.
   Lad. I pray you lend me your Dwarf.   Mos. I pray
      you, take him.
Your hopes, Sir, are like happy Blossoms, fair,
And promise timely Fruit, if you will stay
But the maturing; keep you at your Couch,
Corbaccio will arrive strait, with the VVill:
VVhen he is gone, I'll tell you more.   Volp. My Blood,
My Spirits are return'd; I am alive:
And like your wanton Gamester, at Primero,
VVhose thought had whisper'd to him, not go less.
Me thinks I lye, and draw —— for an encounter.


             The Fox. 167

Act III.    Scene VI.

Mosca, Bonario.

Ir, here conceal'd, you may hear all. But pray you
 Have patience, Sir; the same's your Father, knocks:
One knocks.

I am compell'd to leave you.   Bon. Do so. Yet,
Cannot my thought imagine this a Truth.

Act IV.    Scene VII.

Mosca, Corvino, Celia, Bonario, Volpone.

Eath on me! you are come too soon, what meant you?
 Did not I say, I would send?   Corv. Yes, but I feard
You might forget it, and then they prevent us.
   Mos. Prevent? did e're Man haste so, for his Horns?
A Courtier would not ply it so, for a place.
Well, now there's no helping it, stay here;
I'll pesently return.   Corv. Where are you, Celia?
You know not wherefore I have brought you hither?
   Cel. Not well, except you told me.   Corv. Now, I will:
Hark hither.   Mos. Sir, your Father hath sent word,
[To Bonario.

It will be half an hour ere he come;
And therefore, if you please to walk the while
Into that Gallery —— at the upper end,
There are some Books, to entertain the time:
And I'll take care, no Man shall come unto you, Sir.
   Bon. Yes I will stay there, I do doubt this Fellow.
   Mos. There, he is far enough; he can hear nothing:
And, for his Father, I can keep him off.
   Corv. Nay, now, there is no starting back; and therefore,
Resolve upon it: I have so decree'd.
It must be done. Nor, would move't afore,
Because I would avoid all Shifts and Tricks,
That might deny me,   Cel. Sir, let me beseech you,
Affect not these strange Trials; if you doubt
My Chastity, why lock me up, for ever:
Make me the Heir of darkness. Let me live,
Where I may please your fears, if not your Trust.
   Corv. Believe it, I have no such Humour, I.
All that I speak, I mean; yet I am not mad:
Not Horn-mad, see you? Go too, shew your self
Obedient, and a Wife.   Cel. O Heaven!   Corv. I say it,
Do so.   Cel. Was this the Train?   Corv. I' have told you
What the Physicians have set down; how much,
It may concern me; what my Engagements are;
My means; and the necessity of those means,
For my recovery: wherefore, if you be
Loyal, and mine, be won, respect my venture.
   Cel. Before your Honour?   Corv. Honour? tut, a breath;
There's no such thing, in Nature: a meer Term
Invented to awe Fools. What is my Gold
The worse for touching? Cloths for being look'd on?
Why, this's no more. An old decrepit Wretch,
That has no Sense, no Sinew; takes his Meat
With others Fingers; only knows to gape,
When you do scald his Gums; a Voyce; a Shadow;
And, what can this Man hurt you?   Cel. Lord! what Spirit
Is this hath entred him?   Corv. And for your fame
That's such a Jig; as if I would go tell it,
Cry it on the Piazza! who shall know it;
But he that cannot speak it, and this Fellow,
Whose Lips are i' my Pocket: save your self,
If you'll proclaim't, you may. I know no other,
Should come to know it.   Cel. Are Heaven, and Saints
      then nothing?
Will they be blind or stupid?   Corv. How?   Cel. Good Sir
Be jealous still, emulate them; and think
What hate they burn with toward every Sin.

[column break]

   Corv. I grant you: if I thought it were a Sin,
I would not urge you. Should I offer this
To some young Frenchman, or hot Tuscan Blood,
That had read Aretine, conn'd all his Prints,
Knew ever quirk within Lusts laborinth,
And were profest Critick in Lechery;
And I would look up on him, and applaud him,
This were a Sin: but here, 'tis contrary,
A pious Work, meer Charity for Physick,
And honest Polity, to assure mine own.
   Cel. O Heaven! canst thou suffer such a change?
   Volp. Thou art mine honour Mosca, and my pride,
My joy, my tickling, my delight! Go, bring 'em.
   Mos. Please you draw neer, Sir.   Corv. Come on, what —
You will not be rebellious? by that Light ——
   Mos. Sir, Signior Corvino, here, is come to see you.
   Volp. Oh.   Mos. And hearing of the consultation had,
So lately, for your health, is come to offer,
Or rather, Sir, to prostitute — Corv. Thanks, sweet Mosca.
   Mos. (As the true fervent Instance of his Love)
His own most fair and proper Wife; the Beauty,
Only of price, in Venice — Corv. 'Tis well urg'd.
   Mos. To be your comfortress, and to preserve you.
   Volp. Alass, I am past already! 'pray you, thank him
For his good care and promptness; but for that,
'Tis a vain labour e'en to fight 'gainst Heaven;
Applying Fire to a Stone: (uh, uh, uh, uh.)
Making a dead Leaf grow again. I take
His wishes gently, though; and you may tell him,
What I' have done for him: marry, my state is hopeless!
Will him to pray for me; and t'use his Fortune,
With reverence when he comes to't.   Mos. Do you hear,
Go to him, with your Wife.   Corv. Heart of my Father!
Wilt thou persist thus? come, I pray thee come.
Thou seest 'tis nothing, Celia. By this hand,
I shall grow violent. Come, do't, I say.
   Cel. Sir, kill me, rather: I will take down Poyson,
Eat burning Coals, do any thing — Corv. Be damn'd.
(Heart) I will drag thee hence, home, by the Hair;
Cry thee a Strumpet through the Streets; rip up
Thy Mouth, unto thine Ears; and slit thy Nose,
Like a raw Rotchet — do not tempt me, come.
Yield, I am loth — (Death) I will buy some Slave,
Whom I will kill, and bind thee to him, alive;
And at my Window, hang you forth: devising
Some monstrous Crime, which I, in Capital Letters,
Will eat into thy Flesh with Aquafortis,
And burning Cor'sives, on this stubborn Breast.
Now, by the Blood thou hast incens'd, I'll do't.
   Cel. Sir, what you please, you may, I am your Martyr.
   Corv. Be not thus obstinate, I ha' not deserv'd it:
Think who it is intreats you. 'Pr'y thee, Sweet;
(Good faith) thou shalt have Jewels, Gowns, Attires,
What thou wilt think, and ask. Do but go kiss him.
Or touch him, but. For my sake. And my sute.
This once. No? not? I shall remember this.
Will you disgrace me, thus? do' you thirst my undoing?
   Mos. Nay, gentle Lady, be advis'd.   Corv. No, no.
She has watch'd her time. God's precious, this is skirvy,
'Tis very skirvy: and you are — Mos. Nay, good, Sir.
   Corv. An errant Locust, by Heaven, a Locust. Whore,
Crocodile, that hast thy Tears prepar'd,
Expecting, how thou'ld bid 'em flow.   Mos. Nay, 'pray
      you, Sir,
She will consider.   Cel. Would my Life would serve
to satisfie.   Corv. (S'death) if she would but speak to him,
And save my Reputation, 'twere somewhat;
But, spightfully to affect my utter ruin.
   Mos. I, now you' have put your Fortune in her Hands.
Why i'faith, it is her modesty, I must quit her;
If you were absent she would be more coming;
I know it: and dare undertake for her.
What Woman can before her Husband? 'pray you,

168 The Fox.                     

Let us depart, and leave her, here.   Corv. Sweet Celia,
Thou mayst redeem all, yet; I'll say no more:
If not, esteem your self as lost. Nay, stay there.
   Cel. O God, and his good Angels! whether, whether.
Is shame fled human Breasts? that with such ease,
Men dare put off your Honours, and their own?
Is that, which ever was a Cause of Life,
Now plac'd beneath the basest Circumstance?
And modesty an exile made, for Money?
   Volp. I, in Corvino, and such Earth-fed Minds,
[He leaps off from his Couch.

That never tasted the true Heav'n of love.
Assure thee, Celia, he that would sell thee,
Only for hope of gain, and that uncertain,
He would have sold his part of Paradise
For ready money, had he met a Cope-man.
Why art thou maz'd, to see me thus reviv'd?
Rather applaud thy Beauties Miracle;
'Tis thy great VVork: that hath, not now alone,
But sundry times, rais'd me, in several shapes,
And, but this Morning, like a Mountebank,
To see thee at thy Window. I, before
I would have left my practice, for thy love,
In varying Figures, I would have contented
With the blue Proteus, or the horned Flood.
Now art thou welcom.   Cel. Sir!   Volp. Nay, fly me not.
Nor, let thy false imagination
That I was Bed-rid, make thee think, I am so:
Thou shalt not find it. I am, now, as fresh,
As hot, as high, and in as jovial plight,
As when (in that so celebrated Scene,
At recitation of our Comœdy,
For entertainment of the great Valoys)
I acted young Antinous; and attracted
The Eyes and Ears of all the Ladies, present,
T' admire each graceful Gesture, Note, and Footing.

S O N G.   
Ome, my Celia, let us prove,
 While we can, the sports of Love;
Time will not be ours for ever,
He, at length, our good will sever;
Spend not then his Gifts in vain.
Suns, that set, may rise again:
But if once we lose this light,
'Tis with us perpetual night.
Why should we defer our Joys?
Fame and Rumour are but Toys.
Cannot we delude the Eyes
Of a few poor Houshold spies?
Or his easier Ears beguile,
Thus removed by our wile?
'Tis no Sin Loves Fruits to steal;
But the sweet thefts to reveal:
To be taken, to be seen,
These have Crimes accounted been.

   Cel. Some Serene blast me, or dire Lightning strike
This my offending Face.   Volp. VVhy droops my Celia?
Thou hast in place of a base Husband, found
A worthy Lover: use thy Fortune well,
VVith secrecy and pleasure. See, behold,
VVhat thou are Queen of; not in expectation,
As I feed others: but posses'd and crown'd.
See, here, a Rope of Pearl; and each, more Orient
Than that the brave Ζgyptian Queen carrous'd:
Dissolve and drink 'em. See, a Carbuncle,
May put out both the Eyes of our St. Mark;
A Diamond would have brought Laullia Paulina,
VVhen she came in like Star-light hid with Jewels,
That were the Spoyls of Provinces; take these,
And wear, and lose 'em: yet remains an Ear-ring
To purchase them again, and this whole state.
A Gem but worth a private Patrimony,

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Is nothing: we will eat such at a Meal.
The Heads of Parrots, Tongues of Nightingales,
The Brains of Peacocks, and of Estriches
Shall be our Food: and, could we get the Phœnix,
(Though Nature lost her kind) she were our Dish.
   Cel. Good Sir, these things might move a Mind affected
VVith such delights; but I, whose Innocence
Is all I can think wealthy, or worth th' enjoying,
And which once lost, I have nought to lose beyond it,
Cannot be taken with these sensual Baits:
If you have Conscience — Volp. 'Tis the Beggers Vertue,
If thou hast VVisdom, hear me, Celia.
Thy Bathes shall be the Juice of July-flowers,
Spirit of Roses, and of Violets,
The Milk of Unicorns, and Panthers breath
Gather'd in Bags, and mixt with Cretan VVines.
Our drink shall be prepared Gold and Amber;
VVhich we will take, until my Roof whirl round
VVith the Vertigo: and my Dwarf shall dance,
My Eunuch sing, my Fool make up the Antick,
VVhilst we, in changed shapes, act Ovids Tales,
Thou, like Europa now, and I like Jove,
Then I like Mars, and thou like Erycine:
So, of the rest, till we have quite run through,
And wearied all the Fables of the Gods.
Then will I have thee in more modern Forms,
Attired like some sprightly Dame of France,
Brave Tuscan Lady, or proud Spanish Beauty;
Sometimes, unto the Persian Sophies VVife;
Or the Grand Signiors Mistress; and, for change,
To one of our most artful Courtizans,
Or some quick Negro, or cold Russian;
And I will meet thee in as many shapes:
VVhere we may so transfuse our wandring Souls:
Out at our Lips, and score up sums of Pleasures,

That the curious shall not know
   How to tell them, as they flow;
And the envious, when they find
   What their number is, be pind.

   Cel. If you have Ears that will be pierc'd; or Eyes,
That can be open'd; a Heart may be touch'd;
Or any part, that yet sounds Man about you:
If you have touch of Holy Saints, or Heaven,
Do me the Grace to let me scape. If not,
Be bountiful and kill me. You do know,
I am a Creature, hither ill betray'd,
By one, whose shame I would forget it were;
If you will deign me neither of these Graces,
Yet feed your VVrath, Sir, rather than your Lust;
(It is a Vice comes nearer manliness)
And punish that unhappy Crime of Nature,
VVhich you mis-cal my Beauty: flay my Face,
Or Poyson it, with Oyntments, for seducing
Your Blood to this Rebellion. Rub these Hands,
VVith what may cause an eating Leprosie,
E'en to my Bones and Marrow: any thing,
That may disfavour me, save in my Honour.
And I will kneel to you, pray for you, pay down
A thousand hourly Vows, Sir, for your health,
Report and think you vertuous — Volp. Think me cold,
Frozen and impotent, and so report me?
That I had Nestor's Hernia, thou wouldst think.
I do degenerate, and abuse my Nation,
To play with Opportunity thus long:
I should have done the act, and then have parlee'd,
Yield, or I'll force thee.   Cel. O! just God.   Volp. In vain —
   Bon. Forbear, foul Ravisher, libidinous Swine,
Free the forc'd Lady, or thou dy'st, Impostor.
[He leaps out from where Mosca had placed him.

But that I am loth to snatch the Punishment
Out of the hand of Justice, thou shouldst, yet,
Be made the timely Sacrifice of Vengeance,

             The Fox. 169

Before this Altar, and this Dross, thy Idol.
Lady, let's quit the Place, it is the Den
Of Villany; fear nought, you have a Guard:
And he, e're long, shall meet his just Reward.
   Volp. Fall on me, Roof, and bury me in Ruine;
Become my Grave, that wert my Shelter. O!
I am unmask'd, unspirited, undone,
Betray'd to Beggery, to Infamy ———

Act III.    Scene VIII.

Mosca, Volpone.

Here shall I run, most wretched Shame of Men,
 To beat out my unlucky Brains.   Volp. Here, here.
What! dost thou bleed?   Mos. O that his well-driv'n Sword
Had been so covetous to have cleft me down
Unto the Navel, ere I liv'd to see
My Life, my Hopes, my Spirits, my Patron, all
Thus desperately engaged, by my Error.
   Volp. Wo on thy Fortune.   Mos. And my Follies, Sir.
   Volp. Th' hast made me miserable.   Mos. And my self, Sir.
Who would have thought he would have hearkned so?
   Volp. What shall we do?   Mos. I know not; if my Heart
Could expiate the Mischance, I'ld pluck it out.
Will you be pleas'd to hang me, or cut my Throat?
And I'll requite you, Sir. Let's die like Romans,
Since we have liv'd like Grecians.
[They knock without.
   Volp. Hark, who's there?
I hear some Footing; Officers, the Saffi,
Come to apprehend us; I do feel the Brand
Hissing already at my Forehead; now
Mine Ears are boring.   Mos. To your Couch, Sir, you
Make that Place good however. Guilty Men
Suspect what they deserve still. Signior Corbaccio!

Act III.    Scene IX.

Corbaccio, Mosca, Voltore, Volpone.

Hy, how now, Mosca?
   Mos. O, undone, amaz'd, Sir!
Your Son (I know not by what Accident)
Acquainted with your Purpose to my Patron,
Touching your Will, and making him your Heir,
Entred our House with violence, his Sword drawn,
Sought for you, call'd you Wretch, unnatural,
Vow'd he would kill you.
   Corb. Me?   Mos. Yes, and my Patron.
   Corb. This Act shall disinherit him indeed:
Here is the Will.   Mos. 'Tis well, Sir.   Corb. Right and well.
Be you as careful now for me.   Mos. My Life, Sir,
Is not more tender'd. I am only yours.
   Corb. How does he? will he die shortly, think'st thou?
   Mos. I fear, he'll out-last May.
   Corb. To day?   Mos. No, last out May, Sir.
   Corb. Could'st thou not gi' him a Dram?
   Mos. O, by no means, Sir.
   Corb. Nay, I'll not bid you.   Volt. This is a Knave, I see.
   Mos. How, Signior Voltore! Did he hear me?
   Volt. Parasite.
   Mos. Who's that? O, Sir, most timely welcome —
   Volt. Scarce, to the discovery of your Tricks, I fear.
You are his only? and mine also? are you not?
   Mos. Who? I, Sir!   Volt. You, Sir. What Device is this
About a Will?   Mos. A Plot for you, Sir.   Volt. Come,
Put not your Foists upon me, I shall scent 'em.
   Mos. Did you not hear it?
   Volt. Yes, I hear, Corbaccio
Hath made your Patron there his Heir.   Mos. 'Tis true,
By my Device, drawn to it by my Plot,
With hope — Volt. Your Patron should reciprocate?
And you have promis'd?   Mos. For your good, I did, Sir.
Nay more, I told his Son, brought, hid him here,

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Where he might hear his Father pass the Deed;
Being perswaded to it by this Thought, Sir,
That the unnaturalness, first, of the Act,
And then his Father's oft disclaiming in him,
(Which I did mean t' help on) would sure enrage him
To do some Violence upon his Parent,
On which the Law should take sufficient hold,
And you be stated in a double Hope:
Truth be my Comfort, and my Conscience,
My only Aim was to dig you a Fortune
Out of these two old rotten Sepulchers —
   (Volt. I cry thee mercy, Mosca.)
   Mos. Worth your Patience,
And your great Merit, Sir. And see the Change!
   Volt. Why, what Success?
   Mos. Most hapless! You must help, Sir.
Whilst we expected th' old Raven, in comes
Corvino's Wife, sent hither by her Husband —
   Volt. VVhat, with a Present?   Mos. No, Sir, on Visitation:
(I'll tell you how anon) and staying long,
The Youth he grows impatient, rushes forth,
Seizeth the Lady, wounds me, makes her swear
(Or he would murder her, that was his Vow)
T' affirm my Patron to have done her Rape:
VVhich how unlike it is, you see; and hence
VVith that Pretext he's gone t' accuse his Father,
Defame my Patron, defeat you ——
   Volt. VVhere's her Husband?
Let him be sent for streight.   Mos. Sir, I'll go fetch him.
   Volt. Bring him to the Scrutineo.   Mos. Sir, I will.
   Volt. This must be stopt.   Mos. O, you do nobly, Sir.
Alas, 'twas labour'd all, Sir, for your good;
Nor was there wont of Counsel in the Plot:
But Fortune can, at any time o'erthrow
The Projects of a hundred Learned Clerks, Sir.
   Corb. VVhat's that?
   Volt. VVill't please you, Sir, to go along?
   Mos. Patron, go in, and pray for our Success.
   Volp. Need makes Devotion: Heaven your Labour bless.

Act IV.    Scene I.

Politick, Peregrine.

 Told you, Sir, it was a Plot; you see
 What Observation is. You mention'd me
For some Instructions: I will tell you, Sir,
(Since we are met here in this Height of Venice)
Some few Particulars, I have set down,
Only for this Meridian, fit to be known
Of your crude Traveller; and they are these.
I will not touch, Sir, at your Phrase, or Clothes,
For they are old.   Per. Sir, I have better.   Pol. Pardon,
I meant, as they are Themes.   Per. O, Sir, proceed:
I'll slander you no more of Wit, good Sir.
   Pol. First, for your Garb, it must be grave and serious;
Very reserv'd and lockt; not tell a Secret
On any terms, not to your Father; scarce
A Fable, but with caution: Make sure choice
Both of your Company, and Discourse; beware
You never speak a truth — Per. How.   Pol. Not to strangers,
For those be they you must converse with most:
Others I would not know, Sir, but at distance,
So as I still might be a Saver in 'em:
You shall have Tricks else past upon you hourly.
And then, for your Religion, profess none,
But wonder at the diversity of all;
And, for your part, protest, were there no other
But simply the Laws o' th' Land, you could content you.
Nic. Machiavel, and Monsieur Bodine, both
Were of this mind. Then must you learn the Use
And handling of your Silver Fork at Meals,
The Metal of your Glass: (these are main Matters
Z                                     With                   

170 The Fox.                     

With your Italian) and to know the Hour
When you must eat your Melons and your Figs.
   Per. Is that a Point of State too?   Pol. Here it is:
For your Venetian, if he see a Man
Preposterous in the least, he has him strait;
He has; he strips him. I'll acquaint you, Sir,
I now have liv'd here ('tis some fourteen Months:)
Within the first Week of my Landing here,
All took me for a Citizen of Venice,
I knew the Forms so well — Per. And nothing else.
   Pol. I had read Contarene, took me a House,
Dealt with my Jews to furnish it with Movables —
VVell, if I could but find one Man, one Man
To mine own Heart, whom I durst trust, I would —
   Per. VVhat? what, Sir?
   Pol. Make him rich; make him a Fortune:
He should not think again. I would command it.
   Per. As how?   Pol. VVith certain Projects that I have,
VVhich I may not discover.   Per. If I had
But one to wager with, I would lay Odds now,
He tells me instantly.   Pol. One is, (and that
I care not greatly who knows) to serve the State
Of Venice with Red Herrings for three Years,
And at a certain Rate, from Rotterdam,
VVhere I have Correspondence. There's a Letter,
Sent me from one o' th' States, and to that purpose;
He cannot write his Name, but that's his Mark.
   Per. He is a Chandler.   Pol. No, a Cheesmonger.
There are some others too, with whom I treat
About the same Negotiation;
And I will undertake it: For, 'tis thus,
I'll do't with ease, I have cast it all: Your Hoy
Carries but three Men in her, and a Boy;
And she shall make me three Returns a Year:
So if there come but one of three, I save;
If two, I can defalk: But this is now,
If my main Project fail.   Per. Then you have others?
   Pol. I should be loth to draw the subtil Air
Of such a Place, without my thousand Aims.
I'll not dissemble, Sir; where ere I come,
I love to be considerative; and, 'tis true,
I have at my free Hours thought upon
Some certain Goods unto the State of Venice,
VVhich I do call my Cautions; and, Sir, which
I mean (in hope of Pension) to propound
To the Great Counsel, then unto the Forty,
So to the Ten. My Means are made already ——
   Per. By whom?
   Pol. Sir, that though his Place b' obscure,
Yet he can sway, and they will hear him. He's
A Commandadore.   Per. What a common Serjeant?
   Pol. Sir, such as they are, put it in their Mouths,
What they should say, sometimes, as well as greater.
I think I have my Notes to shew you — Per. Good Sir.
   Pol. But you shall swear unto me, on your Gentry,
Not to anticipate — Per. I, Sir?   Pol. Nor reveal
A Circumstance — My Paper is not with me.
   Per. O, but you can remember, Sir.   Pol. My first is
Concerning Tinder-boxes. You must know,
No Family is here without its Box.
Now, Sir, it being so portable a thing,
Put case, that you or I were ill affected
Unto the State, Sir, with it in our Pockets,
Might not I go into the Arsenal,
Or you, come out again, and none the wiser?
   Per. Except your self, Sir.   Pol. Go to then. I therefore
Advertise to the State, how fit it were,
That none but such as were known Patriots,
Sound Lovers of their Country, should be suffer'd
T' enjoy them in their Houses; and even those
Seal'd at some Office, and at such a bigness
As might not lurk in Pockets.   Per. Admirable!
   Pol. My next is, how t' enquire, and be resolv'd,
By present Demonstration, whether a Ship,

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Newly arriv'd from Soria, or from
Any suspected Part of all the Levant,
Be guilty of the Plague: And where they use
To lie out forty, fifty days sometimes,
About the Lazaretto, for their Trial,
I'll save that Charge and Loss unto the Merchant,
And in an Hour clear the Doubt.   Per. Indeed, Sir?
   Pol. Or — I will lose my Labour.
   Per. 'My faith, that's much.
   Pol. Nay, Sir, conceive me. 'Twill cost me, in Onions,
Some thirty Livres — Per. Which is one Pound Sterling.
   Pol. Beside my Water-works: For this I do, Sir.
First, I bring in your Ship 'twixt two Brick-walls;
(But those the State shall venture) on the one
I strain me a fair Tarpaulin, and in that
I stick my Onions, cut in halfs; the other
Is full of Loop-holes, out at which I thrust
The Noses of my Bellows; and those Bellows
I keep, with Water-works, in perpetual Motion,
(Which is the easiest matter of a hundred.)
Now, Sir, your Onion, which doth naturally
Attract th' Infection, and your Bellows blowing
The Air upon him, will shew (instantly)
By his chang'd Colour, if there be Contagion,
Or else remain as fair as at the first.
Now 'tis known, 'tis nothing.   Per. You are right, Sir.
   Pol. I would I had my Note.   Per. 'Faith, so would I:
But you ha' done well for once, Sir.   Pol. Were I false,
Or would be made so, I could shew you Reasons
How I could sell this State now to the Turk,
Spite of their Gallies, or their — Per. Pray you, Sir Pol.
   Pol. I have 'em not about me.   Per. That I fear'd.
They are there, Sir.   Pol. No, this is my Diary,
Wherein I note my Actions of the Day.
   Per. Pray you, let's see, Sir. What is here? Notandum,
A Rat had gnawn my Spur-leathers; notwithstanding,
I put on new, and did go forth: but first
I threw three Beans over the Threshold. Item,
I went and bought two Tooth-picks, whereof one
I burst immediately, in a Discourse
With a Dutch Merchant, 'bout Ragion del Stato.
From him I went, and paid a Moccinigo
For piecing my Silk Stockins; by the way
I cheapned Sprats; and at St. Mark's I urin'd.
'Faith, these are Politick Notes!   Pol. Sir, I do slip
No Action of my Life thus, but I quote it.
   Per. Believe me, it is wise!   Pol. Nay, Sir, read forth.

Act IV.    Scene II.

Lady, Nano, Women, Politick, Peregrine.

Here should this loose Knight be trow? Sure he's
   Nan. Why, then he's fast.
   Lad. I, he plays both with me.
I pray you stay. This Heat will do more harm
To my Complexion, than his Heart is worth.
(I do not care to hinder, but to take him.)
How it comes off!   Wom. My Master's yonder.   Lad. Where?
   Wom. With a young Gentleman.
   Lad. That same's the Party!
In Man's Apparel. 'Pray you, Sir, jog my Knight:
I will be tender to his Reputation,
However he demerit.   Pol. My Lady!   Per. Where?
   Pol. 'Tis she indeed, Sir; you shall know her. She is,
Were she not mine, a Lady of that merit,
For Fashion and Behaviour; and for Beauty
I durst compare — Per. It seems you are not jealous,
That dare commend her.   Pol. Nay, and for DiseourseDiscourse —
   Per. Being your Wife, she cannot miss that.   Pol. Madam,
Here is a Gentleman, 'pray you use him fairly;
He seems a Youth, but he is — Lad. None.   Pol. Yes, one
Has put his Face as soon into the World —
Lad. You              

             The Fox. 171

   Lad. You mean, as early? but to day?   Pol. How's this!
   Lad. Why in this Habit, Sir, you apprehend me.
Well, Master Would-be, this doth not become you;
I had thought, the Odour, Sir, of your good Name
Had been more precious to you; that you would not
Have done this dire Massacre on your Honour;
One of your Gravity, and Rank besides!
But Knights, I see, care little for the Oath
They make to Ladies; chiefly, their own Ladies.
   Pol. Now, by my Spurs, (the symbol of my Knighthood)
   (Per. Lord, how his Brain is humbled for an Oath!)
   Pol. I reach you not.   Lad. Right, Sir, your Politie
May bear it through thus. Sir, a Word with you.
I would be loth to contest publickly
With any Gentlewoman, or to seem
Froward, or violent, (as the Courtier says)
It comes too near Rusticity in a Lady,
Which I would shun by all means; and however
I may deserve from Master Would-be, yet
T' have one fair Gentlewoman thus be made
Th' unkind Instrument to wrong another,
And one she knows not, I, and to persevere;
In my poor Judgment, is not warranted
From being a Solœcism in our Sex,
If not in Manners.   Per. How is this!   Pol. Sweet Madam,
Come nearer to your Aim.   Lad. Marry, and I will, Sir.
Since you provoke me with your Impudence,
And Laughter of your Land-Syren here,
Your Sporus, your Hermaphrodite — Per. What's here?
Poetick Fury, and Historick Storms!
   Pol. The Gentleman, believe it, is of worth,
And of our Nation.   Lad. I, your White-Friars Nation?
Come, I blush for you, Master Would-be, I;
And am asham'd you should ha' no more Forehead,
Than thus to be the Patron, or St. George,
To a lewd Harlot, a base Fricatrice,
A Female Devil, in a Male Out-side.   Pol. Nay,
And you be such a one, I must bid Adieu
To your Delights. The Case appears too liquid.
   Lad. I, you may carry't clear, with your State-face!
But for your Carnival Concupiscence,
Who here is fled for Liberty of Conscience,
From furious Persecution of the Marshal,
Her will I disc'ple.   Per. This is fine, i' faith!
And do you use this often? Is this part
Of your Wits Exercise, 'gainst you have occasion?
Madam — Lad. Go to, Sir.
   Per. Do you hear me, Lady?
Why, if your Knight have set you to beg Shirts,
Or to invite me home, you might have done it
A nearer way by far.   Lad. This cannot work you
Out of my Snare.   Per. Why? am I in it, then?
Indeed your Husband told me you were Fair,
And so you are; only your Nose enclines
(That Side that's next the Sun) to the Queen-apple.
   Lad. This cannot be endur'd, by any Patience.

Act IV.    Scene III.

Mosca, Lady, Peregrine.

Hat's the matter, Madam?   Lad. If the Senate
 Right not my quest in this, I will protest 'em,
To all the World, no Aristocracy.
   Mos. What is the Injury, Lady?   Lad. Why, the Callet
You told me of, here I have tane disguis'd.
   Mos. Who? this? what means your Ladiship? the Creature
I mention'd to you, is apprehended, now,
Before the Senate; you shall see her — Lad. Where?
   Mos. I'll bring you to her. This young Gentleman,
I saw him land this Morning at the Port.
   Lad. Is't possible! how was my Judgment wander'd!
Sir, I must, blushing, say to you, I have err'd;
And plead your Pardon?   Per. What, more Changes yet?

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   Lad. I hope yo' ha' not the malice to remember
A Gentlewomans Passion. If you stay
In Venice here, please you to use me, Sir —
   Mos. Will you go, Madam?
   Lad. 'Pray you, Sir, use me: In faith.
The more you see me, the more I shall conceive
You have forgot our Quarrel.   Per. This is rare!
Sir Politick Would-be? No, Sir Politick Bawd!
To bring me thus acquainted with his Wife!
Well, wise Sir Pol, since you have practis'd thus
Upon my Freshman-ship, I'll try your Salt-head,
What Proof it is against a Counter-plot.

Act IV.    Scene IV.

Voltore, Corbaccio, Corvino, Mosca.

Ell, now you know the Carriage of the Business,
  Your Constancy is all that is requir'd
Unto the Safety of it.   Mos. Is the Lie
Safely convey'd amongst us? is that sure?
Knows every Man his Burden?
   Corv. Yes.   Mos. Then shrink not.
   Corv. But know the Advocate the Truth?   Mos. O, Sir,
By no means. I devis'd a formal Tale,
That salv'd your Reputation. But be valiant, Sir.
   Corv. I fear no one but him, that this his Pleading,
Should make him stand for a Co-heir — Mos. Co-halter!
Hang him, we will but use his Tongue, his Noise,
As we do Croakers here.   Corv. I, what shall he do?
   Mos. When we ha' done, you mean?
   Corv. Yes.   Mos. Why, we'll think:
Sell him for Mummia, he's half Dust already.
[To Voltore.
Do you not smile, to see this Buffalo
How he doth sport it with his Head? — I should
[To Corbaccio.
If all were well, and past. Sir, only you
Are he that shall enjoy the Crop of all,
And these not know for whom they toil.   Corb. I peace.
[To Corvino.
   Mos. But you shall eat it.
[Then to Voltore again.
Much Worshipful Sir,
Mercury sit upon your thundring Tongue,
Or the French Hercules, and make your Language
As conquering as his Club, to beat along
(As with a Tempest) flat, our Adversaries;
But much more yours, Sir.   Volt. Here they come, ha' done.
   Mos. I have another Witness, if you need, Sir,
I can produce.   Volt. Who is it?   Mos. Sir, I have her.

Act IV.    Scene V.

Avocatori 4. Bonario, Celia, Voltore, Corbaccio, Corvino,
Mosca, Notario, Commandadori.

He like of this the Senate never heard of.
   Avoc. 2. 'Twill come most strange to them, when
we report it.
   Avoc. 4. The Gentlewoman has been ever held
Of unreproved Name.   Avoc. 3. So the young Man.
   Avoc. 4. The more unnatural part that of his Father.
   Av. 2. More of the Husband.   Av. 1. I not know to give
His Act a Name, it is so monstrous!
   Avoc. 4. But the Impostor, he is a thing created
T' exceed Example!   Avoc. 1. And all after-times!
   Avoc. 2. I never heard a true Voluptuary
Describ'd, but him.   Avoc. 3. Appear yet those were cited?
   Nota. All but the old Magnifico, Volpone.
   Avoc. 1. Why is not he here?
   Mos. Please your Fatherhoods,
Here is his Advocate: Himself's so weak,
So feeble — Avoc. 4. What are you?
   Bon. His Parasite,
His Knave, his Pandar: I beseech the Court,
He may be forc'd to come, that your grave Eyes
May bear strong Witness of his strange Impostures.
Z 2                                  Volt. Upon              

172 The Fox.                     

   Volt. Upon my Faith and Credit, with your Vertues,
He is not able to endure the Air.
   Avo. 2. Bring him, however.
   Avo. 3. We will see him.   Avo. 4. Fetch him.
   Volt. Your Fatherhoods fit Pleasures be obey'd;
But sure, the Sight will rather move your Pities,
Than Indignation: May it please the Court,
In the mean time, he may be heard in me.
I know this Place most void of Prejudice,
And therefore crave it, since we have no reason
To fear our Truth should hurt our Cause.
   Avoc. 3. Speak free.
   Volt. Then know, most honoured Fathers, I must now
Discover to your strangely' abused Ears
The most prodigious and most frontless Piece
Of solid Impudence, and Treachery,
That ever vicious Nature yet brought forth
To shame the State of Venice. This lewd Woman
(That wants no artificial Looks, or Tears,
To help the Vizor she has now put on)
Hath long been known a close Adulteress
To that lascivious Youth there; not suspected,
I say, but known, and taken in the Act
With him; and by this Man, the easie Husband,
Pardon'd; whose timely Bounty makes him now
Stand here, the most unhappy, innocent Person
That ever Man's own Goodness made accus'd.
For these, not knowing how to owe a Gift
Of that dear Grace, but with their Shame; being plac'd
So' above all Powers of their Gratitude,
Began to hate the Benefit; and, in place
Of Thanks, devise t' extirp the Memory
Of such an Act: Wherein I pray your Fatherhoods
T' observe the Malice, yea, the Rage of Creatures,
Discover'd in their Evils, and what Heart
Such take, even from their Crimes. But that anon
Will more appear. This Gentleman, the Father,
Hearing of this foul Fact, with many others,
Which daily struck at his too tender Ears,
And griev'd in nothing more than that he could not
Preserve himself a Parent, (his Son's Ills
Growing to that strange Flood) at last decree'd
To disinherit him.   Avoc. 1. These be strange Turns!
   Av. 2. The young Mans Fame was ever fair and honest.
   Volt. So much more full of danger is his Vice,
That can beguile so, under shade of Vertue.
But, as I said, (my honour'd Sires) his Father
Having this setled Purpose, (by what means
To him betray'd, we know not) and this day
Appointed for the Deed; that Parricide.
(I cannot stile him better) by Confederacy
Preparing this his Paramour to be there,
Entred Volpone's House, (who was the Man,
Your Fatherhoods must understand, design'd
For the Inheritance) there, sought his Father:
But with what purpose sought he him, my Lords?
(I tremble to pronounce it, that a Son
Unto a Father, and to such a Father,
Should have so foul, felonious intent)
It was to murder him: When, being prevented
By his more happy Absence, what then did he?
Not check his wicked Thoughts; no, now new Deeds;
(Mischief doth ever end where it begins)
An Act of horrour, Fathers! He dragg'd forth
The aged Gentleman, that had there lienlain Bed-rid
Three years and more, out of his innocent Couch,
Naked, upon the Floor, there left him; wounded
His Servant in the Face, and, with this Strumpet,
The Stale to his forg'd Practice, who was glad
To be so active, (I shall here desire
Your Fatherhoods to note but my Collections,
As most remarkable) thought at once to stop
His Father's Ends, discredit his Free Choice
In the old Gentleman, redeem themselves,

[column break]

By laying Infamy upon this Man,
To whom, with blushing, they should owe their Lives.
   Avoc. 1. What Proofs have you of this?
   Bon. Most honour'd Fathers,
I humbly crave, there be no credit given
To this Man's mercenary Tongue.   Avoc. 2. Forbear.
   Bon. His Soul moves in his Fee.
   Avoc. 3. O, Sir.   Bon. This Fellow,
For six Souz more, would plead against his Maker.
   Avoc. 1. You do forget your self.
   Volt. Nay, nay, Grave Fathers,
Let him have scope: Can any Man imagine
That he will spare his Accuser, that would not
Have spar'd his Parent?
   Avoc. 1. Well, produce your Proofs.
   Cel. I would I could forget I were a Creature.
   Volt. Signior Corbaccio.
   Avoc. 4. What is he?   Volt. The Father.
   Avoc. 2. Has he had an Oath?
   Not. Yes.   Corb. What must I do now?
   Not. Your Testimony's crav'd.
   Corb. Speak to the Knave?
I'll ha' my Mouth first stopt with Earth; my Heart
Abhors his Knowledge: I disclaim in him.
   Avoc. 1. But for what Cause?
   Corb. The meer Portent of Nature:
He is an utter Stranger to my Loins.
   Bon. Have they made you to this!
   Corb. I will not hear thee,
Monster of Men, Swine, Goat, Wolf, Parricide,
Speak not, thou Viper.   Bon. Sir, I will sit down,
And rather wish my Innocence should suffer,
Than I resist the Authority of a Father.
   Volt. Signior Corvino.
   Avoc. 2. This is strange!   Avoc. 1. Who's this?
   Not. The Husband.   Avoc. 4. Is he sworn?
   Not. He is.   Avoc. 3. Speak then.
   Corv. This woman (please your Fatherhoods) is a whore,
Of most hot Exercise, more than a Partrich,
Upon Record — Avoc. 1. No more.
   Corv. Neighs like a Jennet.
   Not. Preserve the Honour of the Court.   Corv. I shall,
And Modesty of your most reverend Ears.
And yet I hope that I may say, these Eyes
Have seen her glew'd unto that piece of Cedar,
That fine well-timber'd Gallant; and that here
The Letters may be read, thorow the Horn,
That make the Story perfect.   Mos. Excellent! Sir.
   Corv. There is no Shame in this now, is there?
   Mos. None.
   Corv. Or if I said, I hop'd that she were onward
To her Damnation, if there be a Hell
Greater than Whore, and Woman; a good Catholick
May make the doubt.
   Avoc. 3. His Grief hath made him frantick.
   Avoc. 1. Remove him hence.
[She swoons.
   Avoc. 2. Look to the Woman.
   Corv. Rare! Prettily feign'd! again!
   Avoc. 4. Stand from about her.
   Avoc. 1. Give her the Air.
   Avoc. 3. What can you say?   Mos. My Wound
(May't please your Wisdoms) speaks for me, receiv'd
In aid of my good Patron, when he mist
His sought-for Father, when that well-taught Dame
Had her Cue given her, to cry out, A Rape.
   Bon. O, most laid Impudence! Fathers —
   Avoc. 3. Sir, be silent;
You had your Hearing free, so must they theirs.
   Avoc. 2. I do begin to doubt th' Imposture here.
   Avoc. 4. This Woman has too many Moods.
   Volt. Grave Fathers,
She is a Creature of a most profest
And prostituted Lewdness.   Corv. Most impetuous!
Unsatisfied, Grave Fathers!   Volt. May her Feignings

             The Fox. 173

Not take your Wisdoms: But this day she baited
A Stranger, a grave Knight, with her loose Eyes,
And more lascivious Kisses. This Man saw 'em
Together on the Water, in a Gondola.
   Mos. Here is the Lady her self, that saw 'em too,
Without; who then had in the open Streets
Pursu'd them, but for saving her Knight's Honour.
   Avoc. 1. Produce that Lady.
   Avoc. 2. Let her come.   Avoc. 4. These things,
They strike with wonder.   Avoc. 3. I am turn'd a Stone.

Act IV.    Scene VI.

Mosca, Lady, Avocatori, &c.

E resolute, Madam.   Lad. I, this same is she.
 Out, thou Chamelion Harlot; now thine Eyes
Vie Tears with the Hyζna: Dar'st thou look
Upon my wronged Face? I cry your Pardons,
I fear I have (forgettingly) transgrest
Against the Dignity of the Court — Avoc. 2. No, Madam
   Lad. And been exorbitant —
   Avoc. 2. You have not, Lady.
   Avoc. 4. These Proofs are strong.
   Lad. Surely, I had no purpose
To scandalize your Honours, or my Sexes.
   Avoc. 3. We do believe it.
   Lad. Surely, you may believe it.
   Avoc. 2. Madam, we do.
   Lad. Indeed you may; my Breeding
Is not so course — Avoc. 4. We know it.   Lad. To offend
With Pertinacy — Avoc. 3. Lady.   Lad. Such a Presence!
No, surely.   Avoc. 1. We well think it.
   Lad. You may think it.
   Avoc. 1. Let her o'recome. What Witnesses have you,
To make good your Report?   Bon. Our Consciences.
   Cel. And Heaven, that never fails the Innocent.
   Avoc. 4. These are no Testimonies.
   Bon. Not in your Courts,
Where Multitude and Clamour overcomes.
   Avoc. 1. Nay, then you do wax insolent.
[Volpone is brought in as impotent.
   Volt. Here, here,
   The Testimony comes, that will convince,
And put to utter dumbness their bold Tongues.
See here, Grave Fathers, here's the Ravisher,
The Rider on Mens Wives, the great Impostor,
The grand Voluptuary! Do you not think
These Limbs should affect Venery? or these Eyes
Covet a Concubine? Pray you mark these Hands:
Are they not fit to stroke a Ladies Breasts?
Perhaps he doth dissemble?   Bon. So he does.
   Volt. Would you ha' him tortur'd?
   Bon. I would have him prov'd.
   Volt. Best try him then with Goads, or burning Irons;
Put him to the Strappado: I have heard
The Rack hath cur'd the Gout; faith, give it him,
And help him of a Malady, be courteous.
I'll undertake, before these honour'd Fathers,
He shall have yet as many left Diseases,
As she has known Adulteries, or thou Strumpets.
O, my most equal Hearers, if these Deeds,
Acts of this bold and most exorbitant strain,
May pass with sufferance, what one Citizen
But owes the Forfeit of his Life, yea, Fame,
To him that dares traduce him? Which of you
Are safe, my honour'd Fathers? I would ask
(With leave of your grave Fatherhoods) if their Plot
Have any Face or Colour like to Truth?
Or if, unto the dullest Nostril here,
It smell not rank, and most abhorred Slander?
I crave your Care of this good Gentleman,
Whose Life is much endanger'd by their Fable;
And as for them, I will conclude with this,
That vicious Persons, when they're hot and flesh'd

[column break]

In impious Acts, their Constancy abounds:
Damn'd Deeds are done with greatest Confidence.
   Avoc. 1. Take 'em to Custody, and sever them.
   Avoc. 2. 'Tis pity two such Prodigies should live.
   Avoc. 1. Let the old Gentleman be return'd with care:
I'm sorry our Credulity wrong'd him.
   Avoc. 4. These are two Creatures!
   Avoc. 3. I have an Earthquake in me.
   Avoc. 2. Their shame (even in their Cradles) fled their
   Avoc. 4. You've done a worthy Service to the State, Sir,
In their discovery.   Avoc. 1. You shall hear, ere night,
What Punishment the Court decrees upon 'em.
   Volt. We thank your Fatherhoods.
How like you it?   Mos. Rare.
I'ld ha' your Tongue, Sir, tipt with Gold for this;
I'ld ha' you be the Heir to the whole City;
The Earth I'ld have want Men, ere you want Living:
They're bound to erect your Statue in St. Marks.
Signior Corvino, I would have you go
And shew your self, that you have conquer'd.   Corv. Yes.
   Mos. It was much better that you should profess
Your self a Cuckold thus, than that the other
Should have been prov'd.   Corv. Nay, I consider'd that:
Now it is her fault.   Mos. Then it had been yours.
   Corv. True, I do doubt this Advocate still.   Mos. I'faith
You need not, I dare ease you of that Care.
   Corv. I trust thee, Mosca.
   Mos. As your own Soul, Sir.   Corb. Mosca.
   Mos. Now for your Business, Sir.
   Corb. How? ha' you Business?
   Mos. Yes, yours, Sir.   Corb. O, none else?
   Mos. None else, not I.
   Corb. Be careful then.
   Mos. Rest you with both your Eyes, Sir.
   Corb. Dispatch it.   Mos. Instantly.
   Corb. And look that all,
Whatever, be put in, Jewels, Plate, Moneys,
Houshold-stuff, Bedding, Curtains.   Mos. Curtain-rings, Sir.
Only the Advocate's Fee must be deducted.
   Corb. I'll pay him now; you'll be too prodigal.
   Mos. Sir, I must tender it.   Corb. Two Cecchines is well.
   Mos. No, Six, Sir.   Corb. 'Tis too much.
   Mos. He talk'd a great while;
You must consider that, Sir.   Corb. Well, there's Three —
   Mos. I'll give it him.   Corb. Do so, and there's for thee.
   Mos. Bountiful Bones! What horrid strange Offence
Did he commit 'gainst Nature, in his Youth,
Worthy this Age? You see, Sir, how I work
Unto your Ends: take you no notice.   Volt. No,
I'll leave you.   Mos. All is yours, the Devil and all:
Good Advocate. Madam, I'll bring you home.
   Lad. No, I'll go see your Patron.
   Mos. That you shall not:
I'll tell you why. My purpose is to urge
My Patron to reform his Will; and for
The Zeal you have shewn to day, whereas before
You were but third or fourth, you shall be now
Put in the first; which would appear as begg'd,
If you were present. Therefore — Lad. You shall sway me.

Act V.    Scene I.


Ell, I am here, and all this brunt is past:
 I ne'er was in dislike with my Disguise
Till this fled Moment; here 'twas good, in private;
But in your publick, Cave whilst I breathe.
'Fore God, my left Leg 'gan to have the Cramp,
And I apprehended strait some Power had struck me
With a Dead Palsie: Well, I must be merry,
And shake it off. A many of these Fears

174 The Fox.                     

Would put me into some villanous Disease,
Should they come thick upon me: I'll prevent 'em.
Give me a Bowl of lusty Wine, to fright
[He drinks.
This humour from my heart, (hum, hum, hum.)
'Tis almost gone already: I shall conquer.
Any Device now, of rare ingenious Knavery,
That would possess me with a violent Laughter,
[Drinks again.
Would make me up again. So, so, so, so.
This Heat is Life; 'tis Blood by this time: Mosca!

Act V.    Scene II.

Mosca, Volpone, Nano, Castrone.

Ow now, Sir? Does the Day look clear again?
 Are we recover'd, and wrought out of Error,
Into our Way, to see our Path before us?
Is our Trade free once more?   Volp. Exquisite Mosca!
   Mos. Was it not carried learnedly?   Volp. And stoutly.
Good Wits are greatest in Extremities.
   Mos. It were a Folly, beyond thought, to trust
Any grand Act unto a cowardly Spirit:
You are not taken with it enough, methinks.
   Volp. O, more than if I had enjoy'd the Wench:
The Pleasure of all Woman-kind's not like it.
   Mos. Why now you speak, Sir. We must here be fixt;
Here we must rest; this is our Master-piece:
We cannot think to go beyond this.   Volp. True,
Thou hast plaid thy Prize, my precious Mosca.   Mos. Nay, Sir,
To gull the Court — Volp. And quite divert the Torrent
Upon the Innocent.   Mos. Yes, and to make
So rare a Musick out of Discords — Volp. Right.
That yet to me's the strangest! how th' hast born it!
That these (being so divided 'mongst themselves)
Should not scent somewhat, or in me, or thee,
Or doubt their own Side.   Mos. True, they will not see't.
Too much Light blinds 'em, I think. Each of 'em
Is so possest and stufft with his own Hopes,
That any thing unto the contrary,
Never so true, or never so apparent,
Never so palpable, they will resist it —
   Volp. Like a Temptation of the Devil.   Mos. Right, Sir.
Merchants may talk of Trade, and your great Signiors
Of Land that yields well; but if Italy
Have any Glebe more fruitful than these Fellows,
I am deceiv'd. Did not your Advocate rare?
   Volp. O (My most honour'd Fathers, my grave Fathers,
Under correction of your Fatherhoods,
What Face of Truth is here? If these strange Deeds
May pass, most honour'd Fathers — ) I had much ado
To forbear laughing.   Mos. 'T seem'd to me, you sweat, Sir.
   Volp. In troth, I did a little.   Mos. But confess, Sir,
Were you not daunted?   Volp. In good faith, I was
A little in a Mist, but not dejected;
Never but still my self.   Mos. I think it, Sir.
Now (so Truth help me) I must needs say this, Sir,
And out of Conscience, for your Advocate,
He has taken pains, in faith, Sir, and deserv'd
(In my poor Judgment, I speak it under favour,
Not to contrary you, Sir) very richly —
Well — to be cozen'd.   Volp. Troth, and I think so too,
By that I heard him, in the latter end.
   Mos. O, but before, Sir: had you heard him first
Draw it to certain Heads, then aggravate,
Then use his vehement Figures — I look'd still
When he would shift a Shirt; and doing this
Out of pure Love, no hope of Gain — Volp. 'Tis right.
I cannot answer him, Mosca, as I would,
Not yet; but for thy sake, at thy entreaty,
I will begin, ev'n now, to vex 'em all,
This very instant.
   Mos. Good, Sir.   Volp. Call the Dwarf
And Eunuch forth.
   Mos. Castrone, Nano.   Nan. Here.

[column break]

   Volp. Shall we have a Jig, now?
   Mos. What you please, Sir.   Volp. Go,
Strait give out about the Streets, you two,
That I am dead; do it with constancy,
Sadly, do you hear? Impute it to the Grief
Of this late Slander.
   Mos. What do you mean, Sir?   Volp. O,
I shall have instantly my Vulture, Crow,
Raven, come flying hither, (on the News)
To peck for Carrion, my She-Wolf, and all,
Greedy, and full of expectation —
   Mos. And then to have it ravish'd from their Mouths?
   Volp. 'Tis true; I will ha' thee put on a Gown,
And take upon thee, as thou wert mine Heir;
Shew 'em a Will: Open that Chest, and reach
Forth one of those that has the Blanks; I'll strait
Put in thy Name.   Mos. It will be rare, Sir.   Volp. I,
When they ev'n gape, and find themselves deluded —
   Mos. Yes.   Volp. And thou use them scurvily.
Dispatch, get on thy Gown.
   Mos. But what, Sir, if they ask
After the Body?   Volp. Say, it was corrupted.
   Mos. I'll say, it stunk, Sir; and was fain t' have it
Coffin'd up instantly, and sent away.
   Volp. Any thing, what thou wilt. Hold, here's my Will.
Get thee a Cap, a Count-book, Pen and Ink,
Papers afore thee; sit as thou wert taking
An Inventory of Parcels: I'll get up
Behind the Curtain, on a Stool, and hearken;
Sometime peep over, see how they do look,
With what Degrees their Blood doth leave their Faces!
O, 'twill afford me a rare Meal of Laughter.
   Mos. Your Advocate will turn stark dull upon it.
   Volp. It will take off his Oratories edge.
   Mos. But your Clarissimo, old Round-back, he
Will crump you, like a Hog-louse, with the touch.
   Volp. And what Corvino?   Mos. O, Sir, look for him,
To morrow morning, with a Rope and a Dagger,
To visit all the Streets; he must run mad.
My Lady too, that came into the Court,
To bear False-witness for your Worship — Volp. Yes,
And kiss me 'fore the Fathers, when my Face
Flow'd all with Oils.
   Mos. And Sweat, Sir. VVhy your Gold
Is such another Med'cine, it dries up
All those offensive Savours: It transforms
The most deformed, and restores 'em lovely,
As 'twere the strange Poetical Girdle. Jove
Could not invent t' himself a Shroud more subtile
To pass Acrisius Guards. It is the thing
Makes all the VVorld her Grace, her Youth, her Beauty.
   Volp. I think she loves me.   Mos. Who? the Lady, Sir?
She's jealous of you.   Volp. Dost thou say so?   Mos. Heark,
There's some already.   Volp. Look.   Mos. It is the Vulture;
He has the quickest Scent.   Volp. I'll to my Place,
Thou to thy Posture.   Mos. I am set.   Volp. But Mosca,
Play the Artificer now, torture 'em rarely.

Act V.    Scene III.

Voltore, Mosca, Corbaccio, Corvino, Lady, Volpone.

Ow now, my Mosca?   Mos. Turky Carpets, nine —
   Volt. Taking an Inventory? That is well.
   Mos. Two Sutes of Bedding, Tissue —
   Volt. Where's the Will?
Let me read that the while.   Corb. So, set me down,
And get you home.   Volt. Is he come now, to trouble us?
   Mos. Of Cloth of Gold, two more —
   Corb. Is it done, Mosca?
   Mos. Of several Velvets, eight ——
   Volt. I like his Care.
   Corb. Dost thou not hear?
   Corv. Ha? is the Hour come, Mosca?
Volp. I,      

             The Fox. 175

[Volpone peeps from
   Volp. I now they muster.
behind a Traverse.
   Corv. What does the Advocate here,
Or this Corbaccio?
   Corb. What do these here?   Lad. Mosca?                          
Is his Thred spun?   Mos. Eight Chests of Linen — Volp. O,
My Fine Dame Would-be too!   Corv. Mosca, the Will,
That I may shew it these, and rid 'em hence.
   Mos. Six Chests of Diaper, four of Damask — There.
   Corb. Is that the Will?
   Mos. Down Beds and Bolsters — Volp. Rare!
Be busie still. Now they begin to flutter:
They never think of me. Look, see, see, see!
How their swift Eyes run over the long Deed.
Unto the Name, and to the Legacies,
What is bequeath'd them there —
   Mos. Ten Sutes of Hangings —
   Volp. I, i' their Garters, Mosca. Now their Hopes
Are at the gasp.   Volt. Mosca the Heir!   Corb. What's that?
   Volp. My Advocate is dumb; look to my Merchant,
He has heard of some strange Storm, a Ship is lost,
He faints; my Lady will swoon. Old Glazen-eyes,
He hath not reach'd his Despair yet.   Corb. All these
Are out of hope; I'm sure the Man.   Corv. But Mosca —
   Mos. Two Cabinets — Corv. Is this in earnest?   Mos. One
Of Ebony — Corv. Or do you but delude me?
   Mos. The other, Mother of Pearl — I am very busie.
Good faith, it is a Fortune thrown upon me —
Item, one Salt of Agat — not my seeking.
   Lad. Do you hear, Sir?
   Mos. A perfum'd Box — 'Pray you forbear,
You see I am troubled — made of an Onyx — Lad. How!
   Mos. To morrow or next day I shall be at leisure
To talk with you all.   Corv. Is this my large Hopes Issue?
   Lad. Sir, I must have a fairer Answer.   Mos. Madam!
Marry, and shall: 'Pray you, fairly quit my House.
Nay, raise no Tempest with your Looks; but heark you,
Remember what your Ladiship offer'd me
To put you in an Heir; go to, think on't:
And what you said e'en your best Madams did
For Maintenance; and why not you? Enough.
Go home, and use the poor Sir Pol your Knight well,
For fear I tell some Riddles: Go, be melancholy.
   Volp. O, my fine Devil!   Corv. Mosca, 'pray you a word.
   Mos. Lord! will not you take your Dispatch hence yet?
Methinks (of all) you should have been th' Example.
Why should you stay here? with what thought, what promise?
Hear you? do you not know, I know you an Ass?
And that you would most fain have been a Wittol,
If Fortune would have let you? that you are
A declar'd Cuckold, on good Terms? This Pearl,
You'll say, was yours? Right: This Diamond?
I'll not deny't, but thank you. Much here else?
It may be so. Why, think that these good Works
May help to hide your bad: I'll not betray you;
Although you be but extraordinary
And have it only in Title, it sufficeth.
Go home, be melancholy too, or mad.
   Volp. Rare Mosca! How his Villany becomes him!
   Volt. Certain he doth delude all these for me.
   Corb. Mosca the Heir?
   Volp. O his four Eyes have found it.
   Corb. I am cozen'd, cheated, by a Parosite-slave;
Harlot, t' hast gull'd me.   Mos. Yes, Sir. Stop your mouth,
Or I shall draw the only Tooth is left.
Are not you he, that filthy covetous Wretch,
With the three Legs, that here, in hope of prey,
Have any time this three years snufft about,
VVith your most grov'ling Nose, and would have hir'd
Me to the pois'ning of my Patron, Sir?
Are not you he that have to day in Court
Profess'd the disinheriting of your Son?
Perjur'd your self; Go home, and die, and stink;
If you but croak a Syllable, all comes out:
Away, and call your Porters, go, go, stink.

[column break]

   Volp. Excellent Varlet!   Volt. Now, my faithful Mosca,
I find thy Constancy.   Mos. Sir?
   Volt. Sincere.   Mos. A Table
Of Porphiry — I mar'le you'll be thus troublesom.
   Volt. Nay, leave off now, they are gone.
   Mos. VVhy? who are you?
VVhat? who did send for you? O, cry you mercy,
Reverend Sir! Good faith, I am griev'd for you,
That any Chance of mine should thus defeat
Your (I must needs say) most deserving Travels:
But I protest, Sir, it was cast upon me,
And I could almost wish to be without it,
But that the VVill o' th' Dead must be observ'd.
Marry, my joy is, that you need it not,
You have a Gift, Sir, (thank your Education)
VVill never let you want, while there are Men,
And Malice, to breed Causes. VVould I had
But half the like, for all my Fortune, Sir.
If I have any Sutes (as I do hope,
Things being so easie and direct, I shall not)
I will make bold with your obstreperous Aid,
(Conceive me) for your Fee, Sir. In mean time,
You that have so much Law, I know ha' the Conscience
Not to be Covetous of what is mine,
Good Sir, I thank you for my Place; 'twill help
To set up a young Man. Good faith, you look
As you were costive; best go home and purge, Sir.
   Volp. Bid him eat Lettuce well: My witty Mischief,
Let me embrace thee. O that I could now
Transform thee to a Venus — Mosca, go,
Streight take my Habit of Clarissimo,
And walk the Streets, be seen, torment 'em more:
We must pursue, as well as plot. Who would
Have lost this Feast?   Mos. I doubt it will lose them.
   Volp. O, my Recovery shall recover all.
That I could now but think on some Disguise
To meet 'em in, and ask 'em Questions:
How I would vex 'em still at every turn?
   Mos. Sir, I can fit you.
   Volp. Canst thou?   Mos. Yes, I know
One o' the Commandatori, Sir, so like you;
Him will I streight make drunk, and bring you his Habit.
   Volp. A rare Disguise, and answering thy Brain!
O, I will be a sharp Disease unto 'em.
   Mos. Sir, you must look for Curses ——
   Volp. Till they burst;
The Fox fares ever best when he is curst.

Act V.    Scene IV.

Peregrine, Mercatori 3. Woman, Politick.

M I enough disguis'd?   Mer. 1. I warrant you.
   Per. All my Ambition is to fright him only.
   Mer. 2. If you could Ship him away, 'twere excellent.
   Mer. 3. To Zant, or to Aleppo?   Per. Yes, and ha' his
Adventures put i' th' Book of Voyages,
And his gull'd Story registred for Truth?
Well, Gentlemen, when I am in a while,
And that you think us warm in our Discourse,
Know your Approaches.   Mer. 1. Trust it to our Care.
   Per. Save you, fair Lady. Is Sir Pol within?
   Wom. I do not know, Sir.   Per. Pray you, say unto him,
Here is a Merchant, upon earnest Business,
Desires to speak with him.
   Wom. I will see, Sir.   Per. Pray you.
I see the Family is all Female here.
   Wom. He says, Sir, he has weighty Affairs of State,
That now require him whole; some other time
You may possess him.   Per. Pray you say again,
If those require him whole, these will exact him,
Whereof I bring him Tidings. What might be
His grave Affair of State now? how to make
Bolognian Sausages here in Venice, sparing

176 The Fox.                     

One o' th' ingredients.   Wom. Sir, he says, he knows
By your Word, Tidings, that you are no Statesman,
And therefore wills you stay.
   Per. Sweet, pray you return him;
I have not read so many Proclamations,
And studied them for Words, as he has done;
But — Here he deigns to come.   Pol. Sir, I must crave
Your courteous Pardon. There hath chanc'd (to day)
Unkind Disaster 'twixt my Lady and me,
And I was penning my Apology
To give her satisfaction, as you came now.
   Per. Sir, I am griev'd, I bring you worse Disaster;
The Gentleman you met at th' Port to day,
That told you, he was newly arriv'd — Pol. I, was
A fugitive Punk?   Per. No, Sir, a Spy set on you;
And he has made relation to the Senate,
That you profest to him to have a Plot
To sell the State of Venice to the Turk.
   Pol. O me!
   Per. For which, Warrants are sign'd by this time,
To apprehend you, and to search your Study
For Papers — Pol. Alas, Sir, I have none, but Notes,
Drawn out of Play-books — Per. All the better, Sir.
   Pol. And some Essays. What shall I do?   Per. Sir, best
Convey your self into a Sugar-chest,
Or, if you would lie round, a Frail were rare,
And I could send you aboard.   Pol. Sir, I but talk'd so,
[They knock without.
For Discourse-sake meerly.
   Per. Heark, they are there.
   Pol. I am a Wretch, a Wretch.
   Per. What will you do, Sir?
Ha' you ne'er a Curran-But to leap into?
They'll put you to the Rack, you must be sudden.
   Pol. Sir, I have an Ingine —
   (Mer. 3. Sir Politick Would-be?
   Mer. 2. Where is he?)
   Pol. That I have thought upon before-time.
   Per. What is it?   Pol. (I shall ne'er endure the Torture.)
Marry, it is, Sir, of a Tortoise-shell,
Fitted for these Extremities: pray you, Sir, help me.
Here I have a place, Sir, to put back my Legs,
(Please you to lay it on, Sir) with this Cap,
And my black Gloves. I'll lie, Sir, like a Tortoise,
Till they are gone.   Per. And call you this an Ingine?
   Pol. My own Device —
Good Sir, bid my Wifes Women
[They rush in.
To burn my Papers.
   Mer. 1. Where's he hid?   Mer. 3. We must
And will sure find him.
   Mer. 2. Which is his Study?   Mer. 1. What
Are you, Sir?   Per. I am a Merchant, that came here
To look upon this Tortoise?
   Mer. 3. How?   Mer. 1. St. Mark!
What Beast is this?   Per. It is a Fish.
   Mer. 2. Come out here.
   Per. Nay, you may strike him Sir, and tread upon him:
He'll bear a Cart.
   Mer. 1. What, to run over him?   Per. Yes, Sir.
   Mer. 3. Let's jump upon him.
   Mer. 2. Can he not go?   Per. He creeps, Sir.
   Mer. 1. Let's see him creep.
   Per. No, good Sir, you will hurt him.
   Mer. 2. (Heart) I'll see him creep, or prick his Guts.
   Mer. 3. Come out here.
   Per. Pray you Sir, (creep a little.)
   Mer. 1. Forth.
   Mer. 2. Yet farther.   Per. Good Sir, (creep.)
[They pull off the Shell,
  and discover him.
   Mer. 2. We'll see his Legs.
   Mer. 3. Gods so, he has Garters!
   Mer. 1. I, and Gloves!   Mer. 2. Is this
Your fearful Tortoise?   Per. Now, Sir Pol, we are even;
For your next Project I shall be prepar'd:
I am sorry for the Funeral of your Notes, Sir.
   Mer. 1. 'Twere a rare Motion to be seen in Fleetstreet.

[column break]

   Mer. 2. I, i' the Term.
   Mer. 1. Or Smithfield, in the Fair.
   Mer. 3. Methinks 'tis but a melancholy Sight.
   Per. Farewel, most Politick Tortoise.
   Pol. Where's my Lady?
Knows she of this?   Wom. I know not, Sir.   Pol. Enquire.
O, I shall be the Fable of all Feasts,
The Freight of the Gazetti, Ship-boys Tale;
And, which is worst, even Talk for Ordinaries.
   Wom. My Lady's come most melancholy home,
And says, Sir, she will streight to Sea, for Physick.
   Pol. And I, to shun this Place and Clime for ever,
Creeping with House on Back, and think it well
To shrink my poor Head in my Politick Shell.

Act IV.    Scene V.

Volpone, Mosca.

[The first in the Habit of a Commandatore; the other,
of a

M I then like him?   Mos. O, Sir, you are he:
 No Man can sever you.
   Volp. Good.   Mos. But what am I?
   Volp. 'Fore Heaven, a brave Clarissimo, thou becom'st it.
Pity thou wert not born one.   Mos. If I hold
My made one, 'twill be well.   Volp. I'll go and see
What News first at the Court.   Mos. Do so. My Fox
Is out on his Hole, and ere he shall re-enter,
I'll make him languish in his borrow'd Case,
Except he come to Composition with me:
Androgyno, Castrone, Nano.   All. Here.
   Mos. Go, recreate your selves abroad; go, sport.
So, now I have the Keys, and am possest.
Since he will needs be dead afore his time,
I'll bury him, or gain by him. I am his Heir,
And so will keep me, till he share at least.
To cozen him of all, were but a Cheat
Well plac'd; no Man would construe it a Sin:
Let his Sport pay for't; this is call'd the Fox-trap.

Act V.    Scene VI.

Corbaccio, Corvino, Volpone.

Hey say, the Court is set.   Corv. We must maintain
 Our first tale good, for both our Reputations.
   Corb. Why? mine's no Tale: my Son would there
have kill'd me.
   Corv. That's true, I had forgot; mine is, I am sure.
But for your Will, Sir.   Corb. I, I'll come upon him
For that hereafter, now his Patron's dead.
   Volp. Signior Corvino! and Corbaccio! Sir,
Much joy unto you.   Corv. Of what?
   Volp. The sudden Good
Dropt down upon you — Corb. Where?
   Volp. (And none knows how.)
From old Volpone, Sir.   Corb. Out, errant Knave.
   Volp. Let not your too much Wealth, Sir, make you
furious.   Corb. Away, thou Varlet.
   Volp. Why, Sir?   Corb. Dost thou mock me?
   Volp. You mock the World, Sir;
Did you not change Wills?
   Corb. Out, Harlot.   Volp. O! belike you are the Man,
Signior Corvino? 'Faith, you carry it well;
You grow not mad withal: I love your Spirit:
You are not over-leaven'd with your Fortune.
You should ha' some would swell now, like a Wine-fat,
With such an Autumn — Did he gi' you all, Sir?
   Corv. Avoid, you Rascal.
   Volp. Troth, your Wife has shewn
Her self a very Woman: but you are well,
You need not care, you have a good Estate,

             The Fox. 177

To bear it out, Sir, better by this Chance:
Except Corbaccio have a Share?   Corb. Hence, Varlet.
   Volp. You will not be a' known, Sir; why, 'tis wise.
Thus do all Gamesters, at all Games, dissemble.
No Man will seem to win. Here comes my Vulture,
Heaving his Beak up i' the Air, and snuffing.

Act V.    Scene VII.

Voltore, Volpone.

Ut-stript thus, by a Parasite? a Slave?
 Would run on Errands, and make Legs for Crumbs?
Well, what I'll do ——
   Volp. The Court stays for your worship.
I e'en rejoice, Sir, at your Worships Happiness,
And that it fell into so learned Hands,
That understand the fingering —
   Volt. What do you mean?
   Volp. I mean to be a Suitor to your Worship,
For the small Tenement, out of Reparations,
That at the end of your long row of Houses,
By the Piscaria: It was, in Volpone's time,
Your Predecessor, e'er he grew Diseas'd,
A handsom, pretty, custom'd Bawdy-house,
As any was in Venice, (none disprais'd)
But fell with him; his Body and that House
Decay'd together.
   Volt. Come, Sir, leave your prating.
   Volp. Why, if your Worship give me but your Hand,
That I may ha' the Refusal, I have done.
'Tis a meer Toy to you, Sir, Candle-rents,
As your Learn'd Worship knows —
   Volt. What do I know?
   Volp. Marry, no end of your wealth, Sir; God decrease it.
   Volt. Mistaking Knave! what, mock'st thou my Mis-
   Volp. His Blessing on your heart, Sir; would 'twere more.
(Now to my first again, at the next Corner.)

Act V.    Scene VIII.

Corbaccio, Corvino, (Mosca passant) Volpone.

Ee, in our Habit! see the impudent Varlet!
   Corv. That I could shoot mine Eyes at him, like Gun-stones.
   Volp. But is this true, Sir, of the Parasite?
   Corb. Again, t' afflict us? Monster!
   Volp. In good faith, Sir,
I am heartily griev'd, a Beard of your grave length
Should be so over-reach'd. I never brook'd
That Parasite's Hair; methough thismethought his Nose should cozen:
There still was somewhat in his Look, did promise
The Bane of a Clarissimo.   Corb. Knave — Volp. Methinks
Yet you, that are so traded i' the World,
A witty Merchant, the fine Bird, Corvino,
That have such mortal Emblems on your Name,
Should not have sung your Shame, and dropt your Cheese,
To let the Fox laugh at your Emptiness.
   Corv. Sirrah, you think the Privilege of the Place,
And your red saucy Cap, that seems (to me)
Nail'd to your Jolt-head, with those two Cecchines,
Can warrant your Abuses; come you hither:
You shall perceive, Sir,'I dare beat you; approach.  VOLP. No haste, sir,' omitted I do know your Valour well,
Since you durst publish what you are, Sir.   Corv. Tarry,
I'ld speak with you.   Volp. Sir, Sir, another time —
   Corv. Nay, now.
   Volp. O God, Sir! I were a wise Man,
Would stand the Fury of a distracted Cuckold.
[Mosca walks by them.
   Corb. What, come again?
   Volp. Upon 'em, Mosca; save me.
   Corb. The Air's infected where he breaths.
   Corv. Let's fly him.
   Volp. Excellent Basilisk! turn upon the Vulture.

[column break]

Act V.    Scene IX.

Voltore, Mosca, Volpone.

Ell, Flesh-fly, it is Summer with you now;
 Your Winter will come on.   Mos. Good Advocate,
Pr'ythee not rail, nor threaten out of place thus;
Thou'lt make a Solœcism (as Madam says.)
Get you a Biggen more; your Brain breaks loose.
   Volt. Well, Sir.
   Volp. Would you ha' me beat the insolent Slave?
Throw Dirt upon his first good Clothes?   Volt. This same
Is doubtless some Familiar.   Volp. Sir, the Court
In troth, stays for you; I am mad, a Mule,
That never read Justinian, should get up,
And ride an Advocate. Had you no Quirk
To avoid Gullage, Sir, by such a Creature?
I hope you do but jest; he has not don't:
This's but Confederacy, to blind the rest.
You are the Heir?   Volt. A strange, officious,
Troublesom Knave! thou dost torment me.   Volp. I know —
It cannot be, Sir, that you should be cozen'd;
'Tis not within the Wit of Man to do it;
You are so wise, so prudent; and 'tis fit
That Wealth and Wisdom still should go together.

Act V.    Scene X.

Avocatori 4. Notario, Commandadore, Bonario, Celia,
Corbaccio, Corvino, Voltore, Volpone.

Re all the Parties here?   Not. All but the Advocate.
   Avoc. 2. And here he comes.
   Avoc. 1. Then bring 'em forth to Sentence.
   Volt. O, my most honour'd Fathers, let your Mercy
Once win upon your Justice, to forgive —
I am distracted —
   (Volp. What will he do now?)   Volt. O,
I know not which t' address my self to first,
Whether your Fatherhoods, or these Innocents —
   (Corv. Will he betray himself?)   Volt. Whom equally
I have abus'd, by my false Accusation:
For which, now struck in Conscience, here I prostrate
My self at your offended Feet, for Pardon.
   Avoc. 1, 2. Arise.
   Cel. O Heav'n, how just thou art!   Volp. I am caught
I' my own Noose — Corv. Be constant, Sir: nought now
Can help, but Impudence.
   Avoc. 1. Speak forward.   Com. Silence.
   Volt. It is not Passion in me, Reverend Fathers,
But only Conscience, Conscience, my good Sires,
That makes me now tell Truth. That Parasite,
That Knave hath been the Instrument of all.
   Avoc. Where is that Knave? fetch him.
   Volp. I go.   Corv. Grave Fathers,
This Man's distracted; he confest it now:
For hoping to be old Volpone's Heir,
Who now is dead — Avoc. 3. How!   Avoc. 2. Is Volpone dead?
   Corv. Dead since, Grave Fathers —
   Bon. O sure Vengeance!   Avoc. 1. Stay,
Then he was no Deceiver.   Volt. O no, none:
The Parasite, Grave Fathers.   Corv. He does speak
Out of meer Envy, 'cause the Servant's made
The thing he gap't for: Please your Fatherhoods,
This is the Truth, though I'll not justifie
The other, but he may be some-deal faulty.
   Volt. I, to your Hopes, as well as mine, Corvino:
But I'll use Modesty. Pleaseth your Wisdoms
To view these certain Notes, and but confer them;
As I hope Favour, they shall speak clear Truth.
   Corv. The Devil has enter'd him!   Bon. Or bides in you.
   Avoc. 4. VVe have done ill, by a Publick Officer
To send for him, if he be Heir.   Avoc. 2. For whom?
A a                           Avoc. 4. Him              

178 The Fox.                     

   Av. 4. Him that they call the Parasite.   Av. 3. 'Tis true,
He is a Man of great Estate, now left.
   Av. 4. Go you, and learn his Name, and say, the Court
Intreats his Presence here, but to the clearing
Of some few Doubts.   Avoc. 2. This same's a Labyrinth!
   Av. 1. Stand you unto your first Report.   Corv. My State,
My Life, my Fame —
   Bon. (Where is't?)   Corv. Are at the Stake.
   Av. 1. Is yours so too?   Corb. The Advocate's a Knave,
And has a forked Tongue — (Av. 2. Speak to the Point.)
   Corb. So is the Parasite too.   Avoc. 1. This is Confusion.
   Volt. I do beseech your Fatherhoods, read but those.
   Corv. And credit nothing the false Spirit hath writ:
It cannot be, but he is possest, Grave Fathers.

Act V.    Scene XI.

Volpone, Nano, Androgyno, Castrone.

O make a Snare for mine own Neck! and run
 My Head into it, wilfully! with Laughter!
When I had newly scap't, was free, and clear!
Out of meer Wantonness! O, the dull Devil
Was in this Brain of mine, when I devis'd it,
And Mosca gave it second; He must now
Help to sear up this Vein, or we bleed dead.
How now! who let you loose? whither go you now?
VVhat, to buy Gingerbread, or to drown Kitlings?
   Nan. Sir, Master Mosca call'd us out of doors,
And bid us all go play, and took the Keys.   And. Yes.
   Volp. Did Master Mosca take the Keys? why, so!
I am farther in. These are my fine Conceits!
I must be merry, with a mischief to me!
VVhat a vile VVretch was I, that could not bear
My Fortune soberly? I must ha' my Crotchets!
And my Conundrums! VVell, go you, and seek him:
His Meaning may be truer than my Fear.
Bid him, he streight come to me to the Court;
Thither will I, and, if't be possible,
Unscrew my Advocate, upon new Hopes:
VVhen I provok'd him, then I lost my self.

Act V.    Scene XII.

Avocatori, &c.

Hese things can ne'er be reconcil'd. He here
 Professeth, that the Gentleman was wrong'd,
And that the Gentlewoman was brought thither,
Forc'd by her Husband, and there left.   Volt. Most true.
   Cel. How ready is Heav'n to those that pray!
   Avoc. 1. But that
Volpone would have ravish'd her, he holds
Utterly false, knowing his Impotence.
   Corv. Grave Fathers, he is possest; again, I say,
Possest: Nay, if there be Possession,
And Obsession, he has both.   Av. 3. Here comes our Officer.
   Volp. The Parasite will streight be here, Grave Fathers.
   Avoc. 4. You might invent some other Name, Sir Varlet.
   Avoc. 3. Did not the Notary meet him?
   Volp. Not that I know.
   Avoc. 4. His coming will clear all.
   Avoc. 2. Yet it is misty.
   Volt. May't please your Fatherhoods —
[Volpone whispers the
   Volp. Sir, the Parasite
Will'd me to tell you, that his Master lives
That you are still the Man, your Hopes the same;
And this was only a Jest ——
   Volt. How?   Volp. Sir, to try
If you were firm, and how you stood affected.
   Volt. Art sure he lives?
   Volp. Do I live, Sir?   Volt. O me!
I was too violent.   Volp. Sir, you may redeem it:
They said, you were possest; fall down, and seem so:

[column break]

I'll help to make it good. God bless the Man!
(Stop your wind hard, and swell) see, see, see, see!
He vomits crooked Pins! his Eyes are set,
Like a dead Hares, hung in a Poulterer's Shop!
His Mouth's running away! Do you see, Signior?
Now 'tis in his Belly.   (Corv. I, the Devil!)
   Volp. Now in his Throat.   (Corv. I, I perceive it plain.)
   Volp. 'Twill out, 'twill out, stand clear. See where it flies,
In shape of a blue Toad, with Bats VVings!
Do you not see it, Sir?   Corb. VVhat? I think I do.
   Corv. 'Tis too manifest.
   Volp. Look! he comes t' himself!
   Volt. VVhere am I?
   Volp. Take good heart, the worst is past, Sir.
You are dispossest.   Avoc. 1. VVhat Accident is this?
   Avoc. 2. Sudden, and full of wonder!   Av. 3. If he were
Possest, as it appears, all this is nothing.
   Corv. He has been often subject to these Fits.
   Avoc. 1. Shew him that VVriting: Do you know it, Sir?
   Volp. Deny it, Sir, forswear it, know it not.
   Volt. Yes, I do know it well, it is my Hand:
But all that it contains, is false.   Bon. O Practice!
   Av. 2. What Maze is this!   Av. 1. Is he not guilty then,
Whom you there name the Parasite?   Volt. Grave Fathers,
No more than his good Patron, old Volpone.
   Avoc. 4. Why, he is dead?
   Volt. O no, my honour'd Fathers,
He lives — Avoc. 1. How! lives?
   Volt. Lives.   Avoc. 2. This is subtler yet!
   Avoc. 3. You said, he was dead.
   Volt. Never.   Avoc. 3. You said so.
   Corv. I heard so.
   Avoc. 4. Here comes the Gentleman, make him way.
   Avoc. 3. A Stool.
   Avoc. 4. A proper Man; and, were Volpone dead,
A fit Match for my Daughter.   Avoc. 3. Give him way.
   Volp. Mosca, I was a'most lost; the Advocate
Has betray'd all; but now it is recover'd:
All's o' the Hinge again — Say, I am living.
   Mos. What busie Knave is this! Most reverend Fathers,
I sooner had attended your grave Pleasures,
But that my Order for the Funeral
Of my dear Patron did require me — (Volp. Mosca!)
   Mos. Whom I intend to bury like a Gentleman.
   Volp. I, quick, and cozen me of all.   Av. 2. Still stranger!
More intricate!   Avoc. 1. And come about again!
   Avoc. 4. It is a Match, my Daughter is bestow'd.
   (Mos. Will you gi' me Half?
   Volp. First I'll be hang'd.   Mos. I know
Your Voice is good, cry not so lowd.)   Avoc. 1. Demand
The Advocate: Sir, did not you affirm
Volpone was alive?   Volp. Yes, and he is;
This Gent'man told me so, (thou shalt have Half.)
   Mos. Whose Drunkard is this same?
Speak some that know him:
I never saw his Face. (I cannot now
Afford it you so cheap.   Volp. No?)   Av. 1. What say you?
   Volt. The Officer told me.   Volp. I did, grave Fathers,
And will maintain he lives, with mine own Life,
And that this Creature told me. (I was born
With all good Stars my enemies.)   Mos. Most grave Fathers,
If such an Insolence as this must pass
Upon me, I am silent: 'Twas not this
For which you sent, I hope.   Avoc. 2. Take him away.
   (Volp. Mosca!)   Avoc. 3. Let him be whipt.
   (Volp. Wilt thou betray me?
Cozen me?)   Avoc. 3. And taught to bear himself
Toward a Person of his Rank.   Avoc. 4. Away.
   Mos. I humbly thank your Fatherhoods.
   Volp. Soft, soft, whipt?
And lose all that I have? If I confess,
It cannot be much more.   Avoc. 4. Sir, are you married?
   Volp. They'll be ally'd anon: I must be resolute:
The Fox shall here uncase.   (Mos. Patron.)
Volp. Nay,      

             The Fox. 179

[He puts off his
   Volp. Nay, now
My Ruins shall not come alone; your Match
I'll hinder sure: my Substance shall not glew you,
Nor screw you into a Family.   (Mos. Why, Patron!)
   Volp. I am Volpone, and this is my Knave;
This, his own Knave: this, Avarice's Fool:
This, a Chimera of Wittal, Fool, and Knave:
And, Reverend Fathers, since we all can hope
Nought but a Sentence, let's not now despair it.
You hear me brief.
   Corv. May it please your Fatherhoods — Com. Silence.
   Avoc. 1. The Knot is now undone by Miracle.
   Avoc. 2. Nothing can be more clear.
   Avoc. 3. Or can more prove
These innocent.   Avoc. 1. Give 'em their Liberty.
   Bon. Heaven could not long let such gross Crimes be hid.
   Avoc. 2. If this be held the High-way to get Riches,
May I be poor.   Avoc. 3. This's not the Gain, but Torment.
   Avoc. 1. These possess Wealth, as sick men possess Fevers,
VVhich trulier may be said to possess them.
   Avoc. 2. Disrobe that Parasite.
   Corv. Mos. Most honour'd Fathers.
   Av. 1. Can you plead ought to stay the course of Justice?
If you can, speak.
   Corv. Volt. VVe beg Favour.   Cel. And Mercy.
   Avoc. 1. You hurt your Innocence, suing for the Guilty.
Stand forth; and first, the Parasite. You appear
T' have been the chiefest Minister, if not Plotter,
In all these lewd Impostures; and now, lastly,
Have with your Impudence abus'd the Court,
And Habit of a Gentleman of Venice,
Being a Fellow of no Birth, or Blood:
For which, our Sentence is, first, thou be whipt;
Then live perpetual Prisoner in our Gallies.
   Volt. I thank you for him.
   Mos. Bane to thy VVolvish Nature.
   Avoc. 1. Deliver him to the Saffi. Thou, Volpone,
By Blood and Rank a Gentleman, canst not fall
Under like Censure; but our Judgment on thee
Is, That thy Substance all be streight confiscate
To the Hospital of the Incurabili:

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And since the most was gotten by Imposture,
By feigning Lame, Gout, Palsie, and such Diseases,
Thou art to lie in Prison, crampt with Irons,
Till thou be'st sick and lame indeed. Remove him.
   Volp. This is call'd mortifying of a Fox.
   Avoc. 1. Thou, Voltore, to take away the Scandal
Thou hast given all worthy Men of thy Profession,
Art banisht from their Fellowship, and our State.
Corbaccio, bring him near. We here possess
Thy Son of all thy State, and confine thee
To the Monastery of San' Spirito;
Where, since thou knewst not how to live well here,
Thou shalt be learn'd to die well.   Corb. Ha! what said he?
   Com. You shall know anon, Sir.
   Avoc. 1. Thou, Corvino, shalt
Be streight imbark'd from thine own House, and row'd
Round about Venice, through the Grand Canale,
Wearing a Cap, with fair long Asses Ears,
In stead of Horns; and so to mount (a Paper
Pinn'd on thy Breast) to the Berlino — Corv. Yes,
And have mine Eyes beat out with stinking Fish,
Bruis'd Fruit, and rotten Eggs — 'Tis well. I am glad
I shall not see my Shame yet.   Avoc. 1. And to expiate
Thy Wrongs done to thy Wife, thou art to send her
Home to her Father, with her Dowry trebled:
And these are all your Judgments.
   (All. Honour'd Fathers.)
   Avoc. 1. Which may not be revok'd. Now you begin,
When Crimes are done, and past, and to be punish'd,
To think what your Crimes are: Away with them.
Let all that see these Vices thus rewarded,
Take Heart, and love to study 'em. Mischiefs feed
Like Beasts, till they be fat, and then they bleed.

V O L P O N E.

He seasoning of a Play, is the Applause.
 Now, though the
Fox be punish'd by the Laws,
He yet doth hope there is no Suff'ring due,
For any Fact which he hath done 'gainst you:
If there be, censure him; here he doubtful stands:
If not, fare jovially, and clap your Hands.

T H E   E N D.

A a 2                                                         

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© 2002 by Clark J. Holloway.