SCENE I. -- THE COUNTRY; BEFORE PUNTARVOLO'S HOUSE.
ENTER FASTIDIOUS BRISK, CINEDO, CARLO BUFFONE, AND SOGLIARDO.
FAST. Cinedo, watch when the knight comes, and give us word.
CIN. I will, sir.
FAST. How lik'st thou my boy, Carlo?
CAR. O, well, well. He looks like a colonel of the Pigmies horse, or one of these motions in a great antique clock; he would shew well upon a haberdasher's stall, at a corner shop, rarely.
FAST. 'Sheart, what a damn'd witty rogue's this! How he confounds with his similes!
CAR. Better with similes than smiles: and whither were you riding now, signior?
FAST. Who, I? What a silly jest's that! Whither should I ride but to the court?
CAR. O, pardon me, sir, twenty places more; your hot-house, or your whore-house --
FAST. By the virtue of my soul, this knight dwells in Elysium here.
CAR. He's gone now, I thought he would fly out presently. These be our nimble-spirited catsos, that have their evasions at pleasure, will run over a bog like your wild Irish; no sooner started, but they'll leap from one thing to another, like a squirrel, heigh! dance and do tricks in their discourse, from fire to water, from water to air, from air to earth, as if their tongues did but e'en lick the four elements over, and away.
FAST. Sirrah, Carlo, thou never saw'st my gray hobby yet, didst thou?
CAR. No; have you such a one?
FAST. The best in Europe, my good villain, thou'lt say when thou seest him.
CAR. But when shall I see him?
FAST. There was a nobleman in the court offered me a hundred pound for him, by this light: a fine little fiery slave, he runs like a -- oh, excellent, excellent! -- with the very sound of the spur.
CAR. How! the sound of the spur?
FAST. O, it's your only humour now extant, sir; a good gingle, a good gingle.
CAR. S'blood! you shall see him turn morrice-dancer, he has got him bells, a good suit, and a hobby-horse.
SIG. Signior, now you talk of a hobby-horse, I know where one is will not be given for a brace of angels.
FAST. How is that, sir?
SOG. Marry, sir, I am telling this gentleman of a hobby-horse; it was my father's indeed, and though I say it --
CAR. That should not say it -- on, on.
SOG. He did dance in it, with as good humour and as good regard as any man of his degree whatsoever, being no gentleman: I have danc'd in it myself too.
CAR. Not since the humour of gentility was upon you, did you?
SOG. Yes, once; marry, that was but to shew what a gentleman might do in a humour.
CAR. O, very good.
MIT. Why, this fellow's discourse were nothing but for the word humour.
COR. O bear with him; an he should lack matter and words too, 'twere pitiful.
SOG. Nay, look you, sir, there's ne'er a gentleman in the country has the like humours, for the hobby-horse, as I have; I have the method for the threading of the needle and all, the --
CAR. How, the method?
SOG. Ay, the leigerity for that, and the whighhie, and the daggers in the nose, and the travels of the egg from finger to finger, and all the humours incident to the quality. The horse hangs at home in my parlour. I'll keep it for a monument as long as I live, sure.
CAR. Do so; and when you die, 'twill be an excellent trophy to hang over your tomb.
SOG. Mass, and I'll have a tomb, now I think on't; 'tis but so much charges.
CAR. Best build it in your lifetime then, your heirs may hap to forget it else.
SOG. Nay, I mean so, I'll not trust to them.
CAR. No, for heirs and executors are grown damnable careless, 'specially since the ghosts of testators left walking. -- How like you him, signior?
FAST. 'Fore heavens, his humour arrides me exceedingly.
CAR. Arrides you!
FAST. Ay, pleases me: a pox on't! I am so haunted at the court, and at my lodging, with your refined choice spirits, that it makes me clean of another garb, another sheaf, I know not how! I cannot frame me to your harsh vulgar phrase, 'tis against my genius.
SOG. Signior Carlo!
COR. This is right to that of Horace, "Dum vitant stulti vitia, in contraria currunt"; so this gallant labouring to avoid popularity, falls into a habit of affectation, ten thousand times hatefuller than the former.
CAR. [POINTING TO FASTIDIOUS.] Who, he? a gull, a fool, no salt in him i' the earth, man; he looks like a fresh salmon kept in a tub; he'll be spent shortly. His brain's lighter than his feather already, and his tongue more subject to lye, than that is to wag; he sleeps with a musk-cat every night, and walks all day hang'd in pomander chains for penance; he has his skin tann'd in civet, to make his complexion strong, and the sweetness of his youth lasting in the sense of his sweet lady; a good empty puff, he loves you well, signior.
SOG. There shall be no love lost, sir, I'll assure you.
FAST. [ADVANCING TO THEM.] Nay, Carlo, I am not happy in thy love, I see: pray thee suffer me to enjoy thy company a little, sweet mischief: by this air, I shall envy this gentleman's place in thy affections, if you be thus private, i'faith.
CIN. No, sir, but 'tis guess'd he will arrive presently, by his fore-runners.
FAST. His hounds! by Minerva, an excellent figure; a good boy.
CAR. You should give him a French crown for it; the boy would find two better figures in that, and a good figure of your bounty beside.
FAST. Tut, the boy wants no crowns.
CAR. No crown; speak in the singular number, and we'll believe you.
FAST. Nay, thou are so capriciously conceited now. Sirrah damnation, I have heard this knight Puntarvolo reported to be a gentleman of exceeding good humour, thou know'st him; prithee, how is his disposition? I never was so favoured of my stars, as to see him yet. Boy, do you look to the hobby?
CIN. Ay, sir, the groom has set him up.
FAST. 'Tis well: I rid out of my way of intent to visit him, and take knowledge of his -- Nay, good Wickedness, his humour, his humour.
CAR. Why, he loves dogs, and hawks, and his wife well; he has a good riding face, and he can sit a great horse; he will taint a staff well at tile; when he is mounted he looks like the sign of the George, that's all I know; save, that instead of a dragon, he will brandish against a tree, and break his sword as confidently upon the knotty bark, as the other did upon the scales of the beast.
FAST. O, but this is nothing to that's delivered of him. They say he has dialogues and discourses between his horse, himself, and his dog; and that he will court his own lady, as she were a stranger never encounter'd before.
CAR. Ay, that he will, and make fresh love to her every morning; this gentleman has been a spectator of it, Signior Insulso.
SOG. I am resolute to keep a page. -- Say you, sir?
CAR. You have seen Signior Puntarvolo accost his lady?
SOG. O, ay, sir.
FAST. And how is the manner of it, prithee, good signior?
SOG. Faith, sir, in very good sort; he has his humours for it, sir; at first, (suppose he were now to come from riding or hunting, or so,) he has his trumpet to sound, and then the waiting-gentlewoman she looks out, and then he speaks, and then she speaks, -- very pretty, i'faith, gentlemen.
FAST. Why, but do you remember no particulars, signior?
SOG. O, yes, sir, first, the gentlewoman, she looks out at the window.
CAR. After the trumpet has summon'd a parle, not before?
SOG. No, sir, not before; and then says he, -- ha, ha, ha, ha!
CAR. What says he? be not rapt so.
SOG. Says he, -- ha, ha, ha, ha!
FAST. Nay, speak, speak.
SOG. Ha, ha, ha! -- says he, God save you, says he; -- ha, ha!
CAR. Was this the ridiculous motive to all this passion?
SOG. Nay, that that comes after is, -- ha, ha, ha, ha!
CAR. Doubtless he apprehends more than he utters, this fellow; or else --
SOG. List, list, they are come from hunting; stand by, close under this terras, and you shall see it done better than I can show it.
CAR. So it had need, 'twill scarce poise the observation else.
SOG. Faith, I remember all, but the manner of it is quite out of my head.
FAST. O, withdraw, withdraw, it cannot be but a most pleasing object.
ENTER PUNTARVOLO, FOLLOWED BY HIS HUNTSMAN LEADING A GREYHOUND.
PUNT. Forester, give wind to thy horn. -- Enough; by this the sound hath touch'd the ears of the inclos'd: depart, leave the dog, and take with thee what thou has deserved, the horn and thanks.
CAR. Ay, marry, there is some taste in this.
FAST. Is't not good?
SOG. Ah, peace; now above, now above!
PUNT. Stay; mine eye hath, on the instant, through the bounty of the window, received the form of a nymph. I will step forward three paces; of the which, I will barely retire one; and, after some little flexure of the knee, with an erected grace salute her; one, two, and three! Sweet lady, God save you!
GENT. [ABOVE.] No, forsooth; I am but the waiting-gentlewoman.
CAR. He knew that before.
PUNT. Pardon me: 'humanum est errare'.
CAR. He learn'd that of his chaplain.
PUNT. To the perfection of compliment (which is the dial of the thought, and guided by the sun of your beauties,) are required these three specials; the gnomon, the puntilios, and the superficies: the superficies is that we call place; the puntilios, circumstance; and the gnomon, ceremony; in either of which, for a stranger to err, 'tis easy and facile; and such am I.
CAR. True, not knowing her horizon, he must needs err; which I fear he knows too well.
PUNT. What call you the lord of the castle, sweet face?
GENT. [ABOVE.] The lord of the castle is a knight, sir; signior Puntarvolo.
PUNT. Puntarvolo! O --
CAR. Now must he ruminate.
FAST. Does the wench know him all this while, then?
CAR. O, do you know me, man? why, therein lies the syrup of the jest; it's a project, a designment of his own, a thing studied, and rehearst as ordinarily at his coming from hawking or hunting, as a jig after a play.
SOG. Ay, e'en like your jig, sir.
PUNT. 'Tis a most sumptuous and stately edifice! Of what years is the knight, fair damsel?
GENT. Faith, much about your years, sir.
PUNT. What complexion, or what stature bears he?
GENT. Of your stature, and very near upon your complexion.
PUNT. Mine is melancholy, --
CAR. So is the dog's, just.
PUNT. And doth argue constancy, chiefly in love. What are his endowments? is he courteous?
GENT. O, the most courteous knight in Christian land, sir.
PUNT. Is he magnanimous?
GENT. As the skin between your brows, sir.
PUNT. Is he bountiful?
CAR. 'Slud, he takes an inventory of his own good parts.
GENT. Bountiful! ay, sir, I would you should know it; the poor are served at his gate, early and late, sir.
PUNT. Is he learned?
GENT. O, ay, sir, he can speak the French and Italian.
PUNT. Then he has travelled?
GENT. Ay, forsooth, he hath been beyond seas once or twice.
CAR. As far as Paris, to fetch over a fashion, and come back again.
PUNT. Is he religious?
GENT. Religious! I know not what you call religious, but he goes to church, I am sure.
FAST. 'Slid, methinks these answers should offend him.
CAR. Tut, no; he knows they are excellent, and to her capacity that speaks them.
PUNT. Would I might but see his face!
CAR. She should let down a glass from the window at that word, and request him to look in't.
PUNT. Doubtless the gentleman is most exact, and absolutely qualified; doth the castle contain him?
GENT. No, sir, he is from home, but his lady is within.
PUNT. His lady! what, is she fair, splendidious, and amiable?
GENT. O, Lord, sir.
PUNT. Prithee, dear nymph, intreat her beauties to shine on this side of the building.
CAR. That he may erect a new dial of compliment, with his gnomons and his puntilios.
FAST. Nay, thou art such another cynic now, a man had need walk uprightly before thee.
CAR. Heart, can any man walk more upright than he does? Look, look; as if he went in a frame, or had a suit of wainscot on: and the dog watching him, lest he should leap out on't.
FAST. O, villain!
CAR. Well, an e'er I meet him in the city, I'll have him jointed, I'll pawn him in Eastcheap, among the butchers, else.
FAST. Peace; who be these, Carlo?
ENTER SORDIDO AND FUNGOSO.
SORD. Yonder's your godfather; do your duty to him, son.
SOG. This, sir? a poor elder brother of mine, sir, a yeoman, may dispend some seven or eight hundred a year; that's his son, my nephew, there.
PUNT. You are not ill come, neighbour Sordido, though I have not yet said, well-come; what, my godson is grown a great proficient by this.
SORD. I hope he will grow great one day, sir.
FAST. What does he study? the law?
SOG. Ay, sir, he is a gentleman, though his father be but a yeoman.
CAR. What call you your nephew, signior?
SOG. Marry, his name is Fungoso.
CAR. Fungoso! O, he look'd somewhat like a sponge in that pink'd yellow doublet, methought; well, make much of him; I see he was never born to ride upon a mule.
GENT. [REAPPEARS AT THE WINDOW.] My lady will come presently, sir.
SOG. O, now, now!
PUNT. Stand by, retire yourselves a space; nay, pray you, forget not the use of your hat; the air is piercing.
FAST. What! will not their presence prevail against the current of his humour?
CAR. O, no; it's a mere flood, a torrent carries all afore it.
[LADY PUNTARVOLO APPEARS AT THE WINDOW.
FAST. How! in verse!
CAR. An extacy, an extacy, man.
LADY P. [ABOVE] is your desire to speak with me, sir knight?
CAR. He will tell you that anon; neither his brain nor his body are yet moulded for an answer.
PUNT. Most debonair, and luculent lady, I decline me as low as the basis of your altitude.
COR. He makes congies to his wife in geometrical proportions.
MIT. Is it possible there should be any such humorist?
COR. Very easily possible, sir, you see there is.
PUNT. I have scarce collected my spirits, but lately scattered in the administration of your form; to which, if the bounties of your mind be any way responsible, I doubt not but my desires shall find a smooth and secure passage. I am a poor knight-errant, lady, that hunting in the adjacent forest, was, by adventure, in the pursuit of a hart, brought to this place; which hart, dear madam, escaped by enchantment: the evening approaching myself and servant wearied, my suit is, to enter your fair castle and refresh me.
LADY. Sir knight, albeit it be not usual with me, chiefly in the absence of a husband, to admit any entrance to strangers, yet in the true regard of those innated virtues, and fair parts, which so strive to express themselves, in you; I am resolved to entertain you to the best of my unworthy power; which I acknowledge to be nothing, valued with what so worthy a person may deserve. Please you but stay while I descend.
PUNT. Most admired lady, you astonish me.
CAR. What! with speaking a speech of your own penning?
FAST. Nay, look: prithee, peace.
CAR. Pox on't! I am impatient of such foppery.
FAST. O let us hear the rest.
CAR. What! a tedious chapter of courtship, after sir Lancelot and queen Guenever? Away! I marle in what dull cold nook he found this lady out; that, being a woman, she was blest with no more copy of wit but to serve his humour thus. 'Slud, I think he feeds her with porridge, I: she could never have such a thick brain else.
SOG. Why, is porridge so hurtful, signior?
CAR. O, nothing under heaven more prejudicial to those ascending subtle powers, or doth sooner abate that which we call 'acumen ingenii', than your gross fare: Why, I'll make you an instance; your city-wives, but observe 'em, you have not more perfect true fools in the world bred than they are generally; and yet you see, by the fineness and delicacy of their diet, diving into the fat capons, drinking your rich wines, feeding on larks, sparrows, potato-pies, and such good unctuous meats, how their wits are refined and rarified; and sometimes a very quintessence of conceit flows from them, able to drown a weak apprehension.
ENTER LADY PUNTARVOLO AND HER WAITING-WOMAN.
FAST. Peace, here comes the lady..
LADY. Gad's me, here's company! turn in again.
FAST. 'Slight, our presence has cut off the convoy of the jest.
CAR. All the better, I am glad on't; for the issue was very perspicuous. Come let's discover, and salute the knight.
PUNT. Stay; who be these that address themselves towards us? What Carlo! Now by the sincerity of my soul, welcome; welcome, gentlemen: and how dost thou, thou 'Grand Scourge', or 'Second Untruss of the time'?
CAR. Faith, spending my metal in this reeling world (here and there), as the sway of my affection carries me, and perhaps stumble upon a yeoman-feuterer, as I do now; or one of fortune's mules, laden with treasure, and an empty cloak-bag, following him, gaping when a gab will untie.
PUNT. Peace, you bandog, peace! What brisk Nymphadoro is that in the white virgin-boot there?
CAR. Marry, sir, one that I must interest you to take a very particular knowledge of, and with more than ordinary respect; monsieur Fastidious.
PUNT. Sir, I could wish, that for the time of your vouchsafed abiding here, and more real entertainment, this is my house stood on the Muses hill, and these my orchards were those of the Hesperides.
FAST. I possess as much in your wish, sir, as if I were made lord of the Indies; and I pray you believe it.
CAR. I have a better opinion of his faith, than to think it will be so corrupted.
SOG. Come, brother, I'll bring you acquainted with gentlemen, and good fellows, such as shall do you more grace than --
SORD. Brother, I hunger not for such acquaintance: Do you take heed, lest --
SOG. Husht! My brother, sir, for want of education, sir, somewhat nodding to the boor, the clown; but I request you in private, sir.
FUNG. [LOOKING AT FASTIDIOUS BRISK.] By heaven, it is a very fine suit of clothes.
COR. Do you observe that signior? There's another humour has new-crack'd the shell.
MIT. What! he is enamour'd of the fashion, is he?
COR. O, you forestall the jest.
FUNG. I marle what it might stand him in.
FUNG. 'Fore me, it's an excellent suit, and as neatly becomes him.
SOG. When saw you my niece?
FUNG. Marry, yesternight I supp'd there. -- That kind of boot does very rare too.
SOG. And what news hear you?
FUNG. The gilt spur and all! Would I were hang'd, but 'tis exceeding good. [ASIDE.] -- Say you, uncle?
SOG. Your mind is carried away with somewhat else: I ask what news you hear?
FUNG. Troth, we hear none. -- In good faith [LOOKING AT FASTIDIOUS BRISK] I was never so pleased with a fashion, days of my life. O an I might have but my wish, I'd ask no more of heaven now, but such a suit, such a hat, such a band, such a doublet, such a hose, such a boot, and such a --
SOG. They say, there's a new motion of the city of Nineveh, with Jonas and the whale, to be seen at Fleet-bridge. You can tell, cousin?
FUNG. Here's such a world of questions with him now! -- Yes, I think there be such a thing, I saw the picture. -- Would he would once be satisfied! Let me see, the doublet, say fifty shillings the doublet, and between three or four pound the hose; then boots, hat, and band: some ten or eleven pound will do it all, and suit me for the heavens!
SOG. I'll see all those devices an I come to London once.
FUNG. Ods 'slid, an I could compass it, 'twere rare [ASIDE.] -- Hark you, uncle.
SOG. What says my nephew?
FUNG. Faith, uncle, I would have desired you to have made a motion for me to my father, in a thing that -- Walk aside, and I'll tell you, sir; no more but this: there's a parcel of law books (some twenty pounds worth) that lie in a place for a little more than half the money they cost; and I think, for some twelve pound, or twenty mark, I could go near to redeem them; there's Plowden, Dyar, Brooke, and Fitz-Herbert, divers such as I must have ere long; and you know, I were as good save five or six pound, as not, uncle. I pray you, move it for me.
SOG. That I will: when would you have me do it? presently?
FUNG. O, ay, I pray you, good uncle: [SOGLIARDO TAKES SORDIDO ASIDE.] -- send me good luck, Lord, an't be thy will, prosper it! O my stars, now, now, if it take now, I am made for ever.
FAST. Shall I tell you, sir? by this air, I am the most beholden to that lord, of any gentleman living; he does use me the most honourably, and with the greatest respect, more indeed than can be utter'd with any opinion of truth.
PUNT. Then have you the count Gratiato?
FAST. As true noble a gentleman too as any breathes; I am exceedingly endear'd to his love: By this hand, I protest to you, signior, I speak it not gloriously, nor out of affectation, but there's he and the count Frugale, signior Illustre, signior Luculento, and a sort of 'em, that when I am at court, they do share me amongst them; happy is he can enjoy me most private. I do wish myself sometime an ubiquitary for their love, in good faith.
CAR. There's ne'er a one of them but might lie a week on the rack, ere they could bring forth his name; and yet he pours them out as familiarly, as if he had seen them stand by the fire in the presence, or ta'en tobacco with them over the stage, in the lord's room.
PUNT. Then you must of necessity know our court-star there, that planet of wit, madona Saviolina?
FAST. O Lord, sir, my mistress.
PUNT. Is she your mistress?
FAST. Faith, here be some slight favours of hers, sir, that do speak it, she is; as this scarf, sir, or this ribbon in my ear, or so; this feather grew in her sweet fan sometimes, though now it be my poor fortune to wear it, as you see, sir: slight, slight, a foolish toy.
PUNT. Well, she is the lady of a most exalted and ingenious spirit.
FAST. Did you ever hear any woman speak like her? or enriched with a more plentiful discourse?
CAR. O villainous! nothing but sound, sound, a mere echo; she speaks as she goes tired, in cobweb-lawn, light, thin; good enough to catch flies withal.
PUNT. O manage your affections.
FAST. Well, if thou be'st not plagued for this blasphemy one day --
PUNT. Come, regard not a jester: It is in the power of my purse to make him speak well or ill of me.
FAST. Sir, I affirm it to you upon my credit and judgment, she has the most harmonious and musical strain of wit that ever tempted a true ear; and yet to see! -- a rude tongue would profane heaven, if it could.
PUNT. I am not ignorant of it, sir.
FAST. Oh, it flows from her like nectar, and she doth give it that sweet quick grace, and exornation in the composure that by this good air, as I am an honest man, would I might never stir, sir, but -- she does observe as pure a phrase, and use as choice figures in her ordinary conferences, as any be in the 'Arcadia'.
CAR. Or rather in Green's works, whence she may steal with more security.
SORD. Well, if ten pound will fetch 'em, you shall have it; but I'll part with no more.
FUNG. I'll try what that will do, if you please.
SORD. Do so; and when you have them, study hard.
FUNG. Yes, sir. An I could study to get forty shillings more now! Well, I will put myself into the fashion, as far as this will go, presently.
SORD. I wonder it rains not: the almanack says, we should have a store of rain to-day.
PUNT. Why, sir, to-morrow I will associate you to court myself, and from thence to the city about a business, a project I have; I will expose it to you sir; Carlo, I am sure has heard of it.
CAR. What's that, sir?
PUNT. I do intend, this year of jubilee coming on, to travel: and because I will not altogether go upon expense, I am determined to put forth some five thousand pound, to be paid me five for one, upon the return of myself, my wife, and my dog from the Turk's court in Constantinople. If all or either of us miscarry in the journey, 'tis gone: if we be successful, why, there will be five and twenty thousand pound to entertain time withal. Nay, go not, neighbour Sordido; stay to-night, and help to make our society the fuller. Gentlemen, frolic: Carlo! what! dull now?
CAR. I was thinking on your project, sir, an you call it so. Is this the dog goes with you?
PUNT. This is the dog, sir.
CAR. He does not go barefoot, does he?
PUNT. Away, you traitor, away!
CAR. Nay, afore God, I speak simply; he may prick his foot with a thorn, and be as much as the whole venture is worth. Besides, for a dog that never travell'd before, it's a huge journey to Constantinople. I'll tell you now, an he were mine, I'd have some present conference with a physician, what antidotes were good to give him, preservatives against poison; for assure you, if once your money be out, there'll be divers attempts made against the life of the poor animal.
PUNT. Thou art still dangerous.
FAST. Is signior Deliro's wife your kinswoman?
SOG. Ay, sir, she is my niece, my brother's daughter here, and my nephew's sister.
SORD. Do you know her, sir?
FAST. O Lord, sir! signior Deliro, her husband, is my merchant.
FUNG. Ay, I have seen this gentleman there often.
FAST. I cry you mercy, sir; let me crave your name, pray you.
FUNG. Fungoso, sir.
FAST. Good signior Fungoso, I shall request to know you better, sir.
FUNG. I am her brother, sir.
FAST. In fair time, sir.
PUNT. Come, gentlemen, I will be your conduct.
FAST. Nay, pray you sir; we shall meet at signior Deliro's often.
SOG. You shall have me at the herald's office, sir, for some week or so at my first coming up. Come, Carlo.
MIT. Methinks, Cordatus, he dwelt somewhat too long on this scene; it hung in the hand.
COR. I see not where he could have insisted less, and to have made the humours perspicuous enough.
MIT. True, as his subject lies; but he might have altered the shape of his argument, and explicated them better in single scenes.
COR. That had been single indeed. Why, be they not the same persons in this, as they would have been in those? and is it not an object of more state, to behold the scene full, and relieved with variety of speakers to the end, than to see a vast empty stage, and the actors come in one by one, as if they were dropt down with a feather into the eye of the spectators?
MIT. Nay, you are better traded with these things than I, and therefore I'll subscribe to your judgment; marry, you shall give me leave to make objections.
COR. O, what else? it is the special intent of the author you should do so; for thereby others, that are present, may as well be satisfied, who haply would object the same you would do.
MIT. So, sir; but when appears Macilente again?
COR. Marry, he stays but till our silence give him leave: here he comes, and with him signior Deliro, a merchant at whose house he is come to sojourn: make your own observation now, only transfer your thoughts to the city, with the scene: where suppose they speak.
SCENE II. A ROOM IN DELIRO'S HOUSE.
ENTER DELIRO, MACILENTE, AND FIDO WITH FLOWERS AND PERFUMES.
DELI. I'll tell you by and by, sir, --
MACI. I thank you, sir. --
DELI. Dispatch! take heed your mistress see you not.
FIDO. I warrant you, sir, I'll steal by her softly.
DELI. Nay, gentle friend, be merry; raise your looks
MACI. I thank you, sir. -- I know my cue, I think.
RE-ENTER FIDO, WITH MORE PERFUMES AND FLOWERS.
DELI. Here, good Fido.
FIDO. No, sir.
DELI. That is well
MACI. What means this, signior Deliro? all this censing?
DELI. Cast in more frankincense, yet more; well said. --
MACI. What, can there not?
DELI. No, that is as sure as death,
MACI. This is such dotage as was never heard.
DELI. Well, this must needs be granted.
MACI. Granted, quoth you?
DELI. Nay, Macilente, do not so discredit
MACI. Is't possible she should deserve so well,
DELI. Ay, and she knows so well
MACI. You are too amorous, too obsequious,
DELI. Believe me, Macilente, this is gospel.
DELI. Why, gentle wife, is now thy walk too sweet?
FAL. Why, an I did find fault, sir?
DELI. Nay, dear wife,
FAL. Ay, long since, perhaps;
DELI. But yesterday, I saw thee at our garden,
FAL. Why, those were growing flowers,
DELI. But yet they have one scent.
FAL. Ay! have they so?
DELI. What shall I do? O, I shall never please her.
MACI. Out on thee, dotard! what star ruled his birth,
DELI. Away with 'em! would I had broke a joint
FAL. Ay, do; for fear
DELI. Why, my sweet heart?
FAL. Sweet heart! O, better still!
DELI. Be they my bane then!
FAL. 'Sbody, sir, but do not:
MACI. O, how she tempts my heart-strings with her eye,
MIT. O, he is welcome.
ENTER FUNGOSO, APPARELLED LIKE FASTIDIOUS BRISK.
FAL. Why should I take you for him?
FUNG. Nay, nothing. -- I was lately in Master Fastidious's company, and
DELI. You have a fair suit, brother, 'give you joy on't.
FUNG. Faith, good enough to ride in, brother; I made it to ride in.
FAL. O, now I see the cause of his idle demand was his new suit.
DELI. Pray you, good brother, try if you can change her mood.
FUNG. I warrant you, let me alone: I'll put her out of her dumps. Sister, how like you my suit!
FAL. O, you are a gallant in print now, brother.
FUNG. Faith, how like you the fashion? it is the last edition, I assure you.
FAL. I cannot but like it to the desert.
FUNG. Troth, sister, I was fain to borrow these spurs, I have left my gown in the gage for them, pray you lend me an angel.
FAL. Now, beshrew my heart then.
FUNG. Good truth, I'll pay you again at my next exhibition. I had but bare ten pound of my father, and it would not reach to put me wholly into the fashion.
FAL. I care not.
FUNG. I had spurs of mine own before, but they were not ginglers. Monsieur Fastidious will be here anon, sister.
FAL. You jest!
FUNG. Never lend me penny more while you live then; and that I'd be loth to say, in truth.
FAL. When did you see him?
FUNG. Yesterday; I came acquainted with him at Sir Puntarvolo's: nay, sweet sister.
MACI. I fain would know of heaven now, why yond fool
FAL. [GIVES HIM MONEY.] Come, when will you pay me again, now?
FUNG. O lord, sister!
MACI. Here comes another.
ENTER FASTIDIOUS BRISK, IN A NEW SUIT.
FUNG. How! a new suit? ah me!
DELI. And how does master Fastidious Brisk?
FAST. Faith, live in court, signior Deliro; in grace, I thank God, both of the noble masculine and feminine. I muse speak with you in private by and by.
DELI. When you please, sir.
FAL. Why look you so pale, brother?
FUNG. 'Slid, all this money is cast away now.
MACI. Ay, there's a newer edition come forth.
FUNG. 'Tis but my hard fortune! well, I'll have my suit changed. I'll go fetch my tailor presently but first, I'll devise a letter to my father. Have you any pen and ink, sister?
FAL. What would you do withal?
FUNG. I would use it. 'Slight, an it had come but four days sooner, the fashion.
FAST. There was a countess gave me her hand to kiss to-day, i' the presence: did me more good by that light than -- and yesternight sent her coach twice to my lodging, to intreat me accompany her, and my sweet mistress, with some two or three nameless ladies more: O, I have been graced by them beyond all aim of affection: this is her garter my dagger hangs in: and they do so commend and approve my apparel, with my judicious wearing of it, it's above wonder.
FAL. Indeed, sir, 'tis a most excellent suit, and you do wear it as extraordinary.
FAST. Why, I'll tell you now, in good faith, and by this chair, which, by the grace of God, I intend presently to sit in, I had three suits in one year made three great ladies in love with me: I had other three, undid three gentlemen in imitation: and other three gat three other gentlemen widows of three thousand pound a year.
DELI. Is't possible?
FAST. O, believe it, sir; your good face is the witch, and your apparel the spells, that bring all the pleasures of the world into their circle.
FAL. Ah, the sweet grace of a courtier!
MACI. Well, would my father had left me but a good face for my portion yet! though I had shared the unfortunate with that goes with it, I had not cared; I might have passed for somewhat in the world then.
FAST. Why, assure you, signior, rich apparel has strange virtues: it makes him that hath it without means, esteemed for an excellent wit: he that enjoys it with means, puts the world in remembrance of his means: it helps the deformities of nature, and gives lustre to her beauties; makes continual holiday where it shines; sets the wits of ladies at work, that otherwise would be idle; furnisheth your two-shilling ordinary; takes possession of your stage at your new play; and enricheth your oars, as scorning to go with your scull.
MACI. Pray you, sir, add this; it gives respect to your fools, makes many thieves, as many strumpets, and no fewer bankrupts.
FAL. Out, out! unworthy to speak where he breatheth.
FAST. What's he, signior?
DELI. A friend of mine, sir.
FAST. By heaven I wonder at you citizens, what kind of creatures you are!
DELI. Why, sir?
FAST. That you can consort yourselves with such poor seam-rent fellows.
FAL. He says true.
DELI. Sir, I will assure you, however you esteem of him, he's a man worthy of regard.
FAST. Why, what has he in him of such virtue to be regarded, ha?
DELI. Marry, he is a scholar, sir.
FAST. Nothing else!
DELI. And he is well travell'd.
FAST. He should get him clothes; I would cherish those good parts of travel in him, and prefer him to some nobleman of good place.
DELI. Sir, such a benefit should bine me to you for ever, in my friend's right; and I doubt not, but his desert shall more than answer my praise.
FAST. Why, an he had good clothes, I'd carry him to court with me to-morrow.
DELI. He shall not want for those, sir, if gold and the whole city will furnish him.
FAST. You say well, sir: faith, signior Deliro, I am come to have you play the alchemist with me, and change the species of my land into that metal you talk of.
DELI. With all my heart, sir; what sum will serve you?
FAST. Faith, some three or four hundred.
DELI. Troth, sir, I have promised to meet a gentleman this morning in Paul's, but upon my return I'll dispatch you.
FAST. I'll accompany you thither.
DELI. As you please, sir; but I go not thither directly.
FAST. 'Tis no matter, I have no other designment in hand, and therefore as good go along.
DELI. I were as good have a quartain fever follow me now, for I shall ne'er be rid of him. Bring me a cloak there, one. Still, upon his grace at court, I am sure to be visited; I was a beast to give him any hope. Well, would I were in, that I am out with him once, and -- Come, signior Macilente, I must confer with you, as we go. Nay, dear wife, I beseech thee, forsake these moods: look not like winter thus. Here, take my keys, open my counting-houses, spread all my wealth before thee, choose any object that delights thee: if thou wilt eat the spirit of gold, and drink dissolved pearl in wine, 'tis for thee.
FAL. So, sir!
DELI. Nay, my sweet wife.
FAL. Good lord, how you are perfumed in your terms and all! pray you leave us.
DELI. Come, gentlemen.
FAST. Adieu, sweet lady.
FAL. Ay, ay! let thy words ever sound in mine ears, and thy graces disperse contentment through all my senses! O, how happy is that lady above other ladies, that enjoys so absolute a gentleman to her servant! "A countess gives him her hand to kiss": ah, foolish countess! he's a man worthy, if a woman may speak of a man's worth, to kiss the lips of an empress.
RE-ENTER FUNGOSO, WITH HIS TAILOR.
FUNG. What's master Fastidious gone, sister?
FAL. Ay, brother. -- He has a face like a cherubin!
FUNG. 'Ods me, what luck's this? I have fetch'd my tailor and all: which way went he, sister, can you tell?
FAL. Not I, in good faith -- and he has a body like an angel!
FUNG. How long is't since he went?
FAL. Why, but e'en now; did you not meet him? -- and a tongue able to ravish any woman in the earth.
FUNG. O, for God's sake -- I'll please you for your pains, [TO HIS TAILOR.] -- But e'en now, say you? Come, good sir: 'slid, I had forgot it too: if any body ask for mine uncle Sogliardo, they shall have him at the herald's office yonder, by Paul's
FAL. Well, I will not altogether despair: I have heard of a citizen's wife has been beloved of a courtier; and why not I? heigh, ho! well, I will into my private chamber, lock the door to me, and think over all his good parts one after another.
MIT. Well, I doubt, this last scene will endure some grievous torture.
COR. How? you fear 'twill be rack'd by some hard construction?
MIT. Do not you?
COR. No, in good faith: unless mine eyes could light me beyond sense. I see no reason why this should be more liable to the rack than the rest: you'll say, perhaps, the city will not take it well that the merchant is made here to doat so perfectly upon his wife; and she again to be so 'Fastidiously' affected as she is.
MIT. You have utter'd my thought, sir, indeed.
COR. Why, by that proportion, the court might as well take offence at him we call the courtier, and with much more pretext, by how much the place transcends, and goes before in dignity and virtue: but can you imagine that any noble or true spirit in court, whose sinewy and altogether unaffected graces, very worthily express him a courtier, will make any exception at the opening of such as empty trunk as this Brisk is? or think his own worth impeached, by beholding his motley inside?
MIT. No, sir, I do not.
COR. No more, assure you, will any grave, wise citizen, or modest matron, take the object of this folly in Deliro and his wife; but rather apply it as the foil to their own virtues. For that were to affirm, that a man writing of Nero, should mean all emperors; or speaking of Machiavel, comprehend all statesmen; or in our Sordido, all farmers; and so of the rest: than which nothing can be uttered more malicious or absurd. Indeed there are a sort of these narrow-eyed decypherers, I confess, that will extort strange and abstruse meanings out of any subject, be it never so conspicuous and innocently delivered. But to such, where'er they sit concealed, let them know, the author defies them and their writing-tables; and hopes no sound or safe judgment will infect itself with their contagious comments, who, indeed, come here only to pervert and poison the sense of what they hear, and for nought else.
ENTER CAVALIER SHIFT, WITH TWO SI-QUISSES (BILLS) IN HIS HAND.
MIT. Stay, what new mute is this, that walks so suspiciously?
COR. O, marry, this is one, for whose better illustration, we must desire you to presuppose the stage, the middle aisle in Paul's, and that, the west end of it.
MIT. So, sir, and what follows?
COR. Faith, a whole volume of humour, and worthy the unclasping.
MIT. As how? What name do you give him first?
COR. He hath shift of names, sir: some call him Apple-John, some signior Whiffe; marry, his main standing name is cavalier Shirt: the rest are but as clean shirts to his natures.
MIT. And what makes he in Paul's now?
COR. Troth, as you see, for the advancement of a 'si quis', or two; wherein he has so varied himself, that if any of 'em take, he may hull up and down in the humorous world a little longer.
MIT. It seems then he bears a very changing sail?
COR. O, as the wind, sir: here comes more.