Part 2 out of 6
How antic and ridiculous soe'er
It suit with us, yet will our muffled thought
Choose rather not to see it, than avoid it:
And if we can but banish our own sense,
We act our mimic tricks with that free license,
That lust, that pleasure, that security;
As if we practised in a paste-board case,
And no one saw the motion, but the motion.
Well, check thy passion, lest it grow too loud:
While fools are pitied, they wax fat, and proud.
SCENE I. -- THE COURT.
ENTER CUPID AND MERCURY, DISGUISED AS PAGES.
CUP. Why, this was most unexpectedly followed, my divine delicate
Mercury, by the beard of Jove, thou art a precious deity.
MER. Nay, Cupid, leave to speak improperly; since we are turn'd
cracks, let's study to be like cracks; practise their language, and
behaviours, and not with a dead imitation: Act freely, carelessly,
and capriciously, as if our veins ran with quicksilver, and not
utter a phrase, but what shall come forth steep'd in the very brine
of conceit, and sparkle like salt in fire.
CUP. That's not every one's happiness, Hermes: Though you can
presume upon the easiness and dexterity of your wit, you shall give
me leave to be a little jealous of mine; and not desperately to
hazard it after your capering humour.
MER. Nay, then, Cupid, I think we must have you hood-wink'd again;
for you are grown too provident since your eyes were at liberty.
CUP. Not so, Mercury, I am still blind Cupid to thee.
MER. And what to the lady nymph you serve?
CUP. Troth, page, boy, and sirrah: these are all my titles.
MER. Then thou hast not altered thy name with thy disguise?
CUP. O, no, that had been supererogation; you shall never hear
your courtier call but by one of these three.
MER. Faith, then both our fortunes are the same.
CUP. Why, what parcel of man hast thou lighted on for a master?
MER. Such a one as, before I begin to decipher him, I dare not
affirm to be any thing less than a courtier. So much he is during
this open time of revels, and would be longer, but that his means
are to leave him shortly after. His name is Hedon, a gallant
wholly consecrated to his pleasures.
CUP. Hedon! he uses much to my lady's chamber, I think.
MER. How is she call'd, and then I can shew thee?
CUP. Madame Philautia.
MER. O ay, he affects her very particularly indeed. These are his
graces. He doth (besides me) keep a barber and a monkey; he has a
rich wrought waistcoat to entertain his visitants in, with a cap
almost suitable. His curtains and bedding are thought to be his
own; his bathing-tub is not suspected. He loves to have a fencer,
a pedant, and a musician seen in his lodging a-mornings.
CUP. And not a poet?
MER. Fie no: himself is a rhymer, and that's thought better than
a poet. He is not lightly within to his mercer, no, though he come
when he takes physic, which is commonly after his play. He beats a
tailor very well, but a stocking-seller admirably: and so
consequently any one he owes money to, that dares not resist him.
He never makes general invitement, but against the publishing of a
new suit; marry, then you shall have more drawn to his lodging,
than come to the launching of some three ships; especially if he be
furnish'd with supplies for the retiring of his old wardrobe from
pawn: if not, he does hire a stock of apparel, and some forty or
fifty pound in gold, for that forenoon to shew. He is thought a
very necessary perfume for the presence, and for that only cause
welcome thither: six milliners' shops afford you not the like
scent. He courts ladies with how many great horse he hath rid that
morning, or how oft he hath done the whole, or half the pommado in a
seven-night before: and sometime ventures so far upon the virtue of
his pomander, that he dares tell 'em, how many shirts he has sweat
at tennis that week; but wisely conceals so many dozen of balls he
is on the score. Here he comes, that is all this.
ENTER HEDON, ANAIDES, AND GELAIA.
HED. Are any of the ladies in the presence?
MER. None yet, sir.
HED. Give me some gold, -- more.
ANA. Is that thy boy, Hedon?
HED. Ay, what think'st thou of him?
ANA. I'd geld him; I warrant he has the philosopher's stone.
HED. Well said, my good melancholy devil: sirrah, I have devised
one or two of the prettiest oaths, this morning in my bed, as ever
thou heard'st, to protest withal in the presence.
ANA. Prithee, let's hear them.
HED. Soft, thou'lt use them afore me.
ANA. No, d--mn me then -- I have more oaths than I know how to
utter, by this air.
HED. Faith, one is, "By the tip of your ear, sweet lady." Is it
not pretty, and genteel?
ANA. Yes, for the person 'tis applied to, a lady. It should be
light, and --
HED. Nay, the other is better, exceeds it much: the invention is
farther fet too. "By the white valley that lies between the alpine
hills of your bosom, I protest. -- "
ANA. Well, you travell'd for that, Hedon.
MER. Ay, in a map, where his eyes were but blind guides to his
understanding, it seems.
HED. And then I have a salutation will nick all, by this caper:
ANA. How is that?
HED. You know I call madam Philautia, my Honour; and she calls me
her Ambition. Now, when I meet her in the presence anon, I will
come to her, and say, "Sweet Honour, I have hitherto contented my
sense with the lilies of your hand; but now I will taste the roses
of your lip"; and, withal, kiss her: to which she cannot but
blushing answer, "Nay now you are too ambitious." And then do I
reply: "I cannot be too Ambitious of Honour, sweet lady." Will't
not be good? ha? ha?
ANA. O, assure your soul.
HED. By heaven, I think 'twill be excellent: and a very politic
achievement of a kiss.
ANA. I have thought upon one for Moria of a sudden too, if it take.
HED. What is't, my dear Invention?
ANA. Marry, I will come to her, (and she always wears a muff, if
you be remembered,) and I will tell her, "Madam your whole self
cannot but be perfectly wise; for your hands have wit enough to
keep themselves warm."
HED. Now, before Jove, admirable! [GELAIA LAUGHS.] Look, thy page
takes it too. By Phoebus, my sweet facetious rascal, I could eat
water-gruel with thee a month for this jest, my dear rogue.
ANA. O, Hercules 'tis your only dish; above all your potatoes or
oyster-pies in the world.
HED. I have ruminated upon a most rare wish too, and the prophecy
to it; but I'll have some friend to be the prophet; as thus: I do
wish myself one of my mistress's cioppini. Another demands, Why
would he be one of his mistress's cioppini? a third answers,
Because he would make her higher: a fourth shall say, That will
make her proud: and a fifth shall conclude, Then do I prophesy
pride will have a fall; -- and he shall give it her.
ANA. I will be your prophet. Gods so, it will be most exquisite;
thou art a fine inventious rogue, sirrah.
HED. Nay, and I have posies for rings, too, and riddles, that they
dream not of.
ANA. Tut, they'll do that, when they come to sleep on them, time
enough: But were thy devices never in the presence yet, Hedon?
HED. O, no, I disdain that.
ANA. 'Twere good we went afore then, and brought them acquainted
with the room where they shall act, lest the strangeness of it put
them out of countenance, when they should come forth.
[EXEUNT HEDON AND ANAIDES.]
CUP. Is that a courtier, too.
MER. Troth, no; he has two essential parts of the courtier, pride
and ignorance; marry, the rest come somewhat after the ordinary
gallant. 'Tis Impudence itself, Anaides; one that speaks all that
comes in his cheeks, and will blush no more than a sackbut. He
lightly occupies the jester's room at the table, and keeps
laughter, Gelaia, a wench in page's attire, following him in place
of a squire, whom he now and then tickles with some strange
ridiculous stuff, utter'd as his land came to him, by chance. He
will censure or discourse of any thing, but as absurdly as you
would wish. His fashion is not to take knowledge of him that is
beneath him in clothes. He never drinks below the salt. He does
naturally admire his wit that wears gold lace, or tissue: stabs
any man that speaks more contemptibly of the scholar than he. He
is a great proficient in all the illiberal sciences, as cheating,
drinking, swaggering, whoring, and such like: never kneels but to
pledge healths, nor prays but for a pipe of pudding-tobacco. He
will blaspheme in his shirt. The oaths which he vomits at one
supper would maintain a town of garrison in good swearing a
twelvemonth. One other genuine quality he has which crowns all
these, and that is this: to a friend in want, he will not depart
with the weight of a soldered groat, lest the world might censure
him prodigal, or report him a gull: marry, to his cockatrice or
punquetto, half a dozen taffata gowns or satin kirtles in a pair or
two of months, why, they are nothing.
CUP. I commend him, he is one of my clients.
[THEY RETIRE TO THE BACK OF THE STAGE.]
ENTER AMORPHUS, ASOTUS, AND COS.
AMO. Come, sir. You are now within regard of the presence, and
see, the privacy of this room how sweetly it offers itself to our
retired intendments. -- Page, cast a vigilant and enquiring eye
about, that we be not rudely surprised by the approach of some
COS. I warrant you, sir. I'll tell you when the wolf enters, fear
MER. O what a mass of benefit shall we possess, in being the
invisible spectators of this strange show now to be acted!
AMO. Plant yourself there, sir; and observe me. You shall now, as
well be the ocular, as the ear-witness, how clearly I can refel
that paradox, or rather pseudodox, of those, which hold the face to
be the index of the mind, which, I assure you, is not so in any
politic creature: for instance; I will now give you the particular
and distinct face of every your most noted species of persons, as
your merchant, your scholar, your soldier, your lawyer, courtier,
etc., and each of these so truly, as you would swear, but that your
eye shall see the variation of the lineament, it were my most
proper and genuine aspect. First, for your merchant, or city-face,
'tis thus; a dull, plodding-face, still looking in a direct line,
forward: there is no great matter in this face. Then have you
your student's, or academic face; which is here an honest, simple,
and methodical face; but somewhat more spread then the former. The
third is your soldier's face, a menacing and astounding face, that
looks broad and big: the grace of his face consisteth much in a
beard. The anti-face to this, is your lawyer's face, a contracted,
subtile, and intricate face, full of quirks and turnings, a
labyrinthean face, now angularly, now circularly, every way
aspected. Next is your statist's face, a serious, solemn, and
supercilious face, full of formal and square gravity; the eye, for
the most part, deeply and artificially shadow'd; there is great
judgment required in the making of this face. But now, to come to
your face of faces, or courtier's face; 'tis of three sorts,
according to our subdivision of a courtier, elementary, practic,
and theoric. Your courtier theoric, is he that hath arrived to his
farthest, and doth now know the court rather by speculation than
practice; and this is his face: a fastidious and oblique face; that
looks as it went with a vice, and were screw'd thus. Your courtier
practic, is he that is yet in his path, his course, his way, and
hath not touch'd the punctilio or point of his hopes; his face is
here: a most promising, open, smooth, and overflowing face, that
seems as it would run and pour itself into you: somewhat a
northerly face. Your courtier elementary, is one but newly
enter'd, or as it were in the alphabet, or ut-re-mi-fa-sol-la of
courtship. Note well this face, for it is this you must practise.
ASO. I'll practise them all, if you please, sir.
AMO. Ay, hereafter you may: and it will not be altogether an
ungrateful study. For, let your soul be assured of this, in any
rank or profession whatever, the more general or major part of
opinion goes with the face and simply respects nothing else.
Therefore, if that can be made exactly, curiously, exquisitely,
thoroughly, it is enough: but for the present you shall only apply
yourself to this face of the elementary courtier, a light,
revelling, and protesting face, now blushing, now smiling, which
you may help much with a wanton wagging of your head, thus, (a
feather will teach you,) or with kissing your finger that hath the
ruby, or playing with some string of your band, which is a most
quaint kind of melancholy besides: or, if among ladies, laughing
loud, and crying up your own wit, though perhaps borrow'd, it is
not amiss. Where is your page? call for your casting-bottle, and
place your mirror in your hat, as I told you; so! Come, look not
pale, observe me, set your face, and enter.
MER. O, for some excellent painter, to have taken the copy of all
these faces! [ASIDE.]
AMO. Fie! I premonish you of that: in the court, boy, lacquey, or
COS. Master, lupus in -- O, 'tis Prosaites.
ASO. Sirrah, prepare my casting-bottle; I think I must be
enforced to purchase me another page; you see how at hand Cos waits
[EXEUNT AMORPHUS, ASOTUS, COS, AND PROSAITES.]
MER. So will he too in time.
CUP. What's he Mercury?
MER. A notable smelt. One that hath newly entertain'd the beggar
to follow him, but cannot get him to wait near enough. 'Tis
Asotus, the heir of Philargyrus; but first I'll give ye the other's
character, which may make his the clearer. He that is with him is
Amorphus, a traveller, one so made out of the mixture of shreds of
forms, that himself is truly deform'd. He walks most commonly with
a clove or pick-tooth in his mouth, he is the very mint of
compliment, all his behaviours are printed, his face is another
volume of essays, and his beard is an Aristarchus. He speaks all
cream skimm'd, and more affected than a dozen waiting women. He
is his own promoter in every place. The wife of the ordinary gives
him his diet to maintain her table in discourse; which, indeed, is
a mere tyranny over her other guests, for he will usurp all the
talk: ten constables are not so tedious. He is no great shifter;
once a year his apparel is ready to revolt. He doth use much to
arbitrate quarrels, and fights himself, exceeding well, out at a
window. He will lie cheaper than any beggar, and louder than most
clocks; for which he is right properly accommodated to the
Whetstone, his page. The other gallant is his zany, and doth most
of these tricks after him; sweats to imitate him in every thing to
a hair, except a beard, which is not yet extant. He doth learn to
make strange sauces, to eat anchovies, maccaroni, bovoli, fagioli,
and caviare, because he loves them; speaks as he speaks, looks,
walks, goes so in clothes and fashion: is in all as if he were
moulded of him. Marry, before they met, he had other very pretty
sufficiencies, which yet he retains some light impression of; as
frequenting a dancing school, and grievously torturing strangers
with inquisition after his grace in his galliard. He buys a fresh
acquaintance at any rate. His eyes and his raiment confer much
together as he goes in the street. He treads nicely like the
fellow that walks upon ropes, especially the first Sunday of his
silk stockings; and when he is most neat and new, you shall strip
him with commendations.
CUP. Here comes another. [CRITES PASSES OVER THE STAGE.]
MER. Ay, but one of another strain, Cupid; This fellow weighs
CUP. His name, Hermes?
MER. Crites. A creature of a most perfect and divine temper: one,
in whom the humours and elements are peaceably met, without
emulation of precedency; he is neither too fantastically
melancholy, too slowly phlegmatic, too lightly sanguine, or too
rashly choleric; but in all so composed and ordered; as it is clear
Nature went about some full work, she did more than make a man when
she made him. His discourse is like his behaviour, uncommon, but
not unpleasing; he is prodigal of neither. He strives rather to be
that which men call judicious, than to be thought so; and is so
truly learned, that he affects not to shew it. He will think and
speak his thought both freely; but as distant from depraving
another man's merit, as proclaiming his own. For his valour, 'tis
such, that he dares as little to offer any injury, as receive one.
In sum, he hath a most ingenuous and sweet spirit, a sharp and
season'd wit, a straight judgment and a strong mind. Fortune
could never break him, nor make him less. He counts it his
pleasure to despise pleasures, and is more delighted with good
deeds than goods. It is a competency to him that he can be
virtuous. He doth neither covet nor fear; he hath too much reason
to do either; and that commends all things to him.
CUP. Not better than Mercury commends him.
MER. O, Cupid, 'tis beyond my deity to give him his due praises:
I could leave my place in heaven to live among mortals, so I were
sure to be no other than he.
CUP. 'Slight, I believe he is your minion, you seem to be so
ravish'd with him.
MER. He's one I would not have a wry thought darted against,
CUP. No, but a straight shaft in his bosom I'll promise him, if I
am Cytherea's son.
MER. Shall we go, Cupid?
CUP. Stay, and see the ladies now: they'll come presently. I'll
help to paint them.
MER. What lay colour upon colour! that affords but an ill blazon.
CUP. Here comes metal to help it, the lady Argurion.
[ARGURION PASSES OVER THE STAGE.]
MER. Money, money.
CUP. The same. A nymph of a most wandering and giddy disposition,
humorous as the air, she'll run from gallant to gallant, as they
sit at primero in the presence, most strangely, and seldom stays
with any. She spreads as she goes. To-day you shall have her look
as clear and fresh as the morning, and to-morrow as melancholic as
midnight. She takes special pleasure in a close obscure lodging,
and for that cause visits the city so often, where she has many
secret true concealing favourites. When she comes abroad she's
more loose and scattering than dust, and will fly from place to
place, as she were wrapped with a whirlwind. Your young student,
for the most part, she affects not, only salutes him, and away: a
poet, nor a philosopher, she is hardly brought to take any notice
of; no, though he be some part of an alchemist. She loves a player
well, and a lawyer infinitely; but your fool above all. She can do
much in court for the obtaining of any suit whatsoever, no door
but flies open to her, her presence is above a charm. The worst in
her is want of keeping state, and too much descending into inferior
and base offices; she's for any coarse employment you will put upon
her, as to be your procurer, or pander.
MER. Peace, Cupid, here comes more work for you, another character
ENTER PHANTASTE, MORIA, AND PHILAUTIA.
PHA. Stay sweet Philautia; I'll but change my fan, and go
MOR. Now, in very good serious, ladies, I will have this order
revers'd, the presence must be better maintain'd from you: a
quarter past eleven, and ne'er a nymph in prospective! Beshrew my
hand, there must be a reform'd discipline. Is that your new ruff,
sweet lady-bird? By my troth, 'tis most intricately rare.
MER. Good Jove, what reverend gentlewoman in years might this be?
CUP. 'Tis madam Moria, guardian of the nymphs; one that is not now
to be persuaded of her wit; she will think herself wise against all
the judgments that come. A lady made all of voice and air, talks
any thing of any thing. She is like one of your ignorant poetasters
of the time, who, when they have got acquainted with a strange
word, never rest till they have wrung it in, though it loosen the
whole fabric of their sense.
MER. That was pretty and sharply noted, Cupid.
CUP. She will tell you, Philosophy was a fine reveller, when she
was young, and a gallant, and that then, though she say it, she was
thought to be the dame Dido and Helen of the court: as also, what
a sweet dog she had this time four years, and how it was called
Fortune; and that, if the Fates had not cut his thread, he had been
a dog to have given entertainment to any gallant in this kingdom;
and unless she had whelp'd it herself, she could not have loved a
thing better in this world.
MER. O, I prithee no more; I am full of her.
CUP. Yes, I must needs tell you she composes a sack-posset well;
and would court a young page sweetly, but that her breath is
MER. Now, her breath or something more strong protect me from her!
The other, the other, Cupid.
CUP. O, that's my lady and mistress, madam Philautia. She admires
not herself for any one particularity, but for all: she is fair,
and she knows it; she has a pretty light wit too, and she knows it;
she can dance, and she knows that too; play at shuttle-cock, and
that too: no quality she has, but she shall take a very particular
knowledge of, and most lady-like commend it to you. You shall have
her at any time read you the history of herself, and very subtilely
run over another lady's sufficiencies to come to her own. She has
a good superficial judgment in painting; and would seem to have so
in poetry. A most complete lady in the opinion of some three
PHI. Faith, how liked you my quip to Hedon, about the garter?
Was't not witty?
MOR. Exceeding witty and integrate: you did so aggravate the jest
PHI. And did I not dance movingly the last night?
MOR. Movingly! out of measure, in troth, sweet charge.
MER. A happy commendation, to dance out of measure!
MOR. Save only you wanted the swim in the turn: O! when I was at
PHI. Nay, that's mine own from any nymph in the court, I'm sure
on't; therefore you mistake me in that, guardian: both the swim and
the trip are properly mine; every body will affirm it that has any
judgment in dancing, I assure you.
PHA. Come now, Philautia, I am for you; shall we go?
PHI. Ay, good Phantaste: What! have you changed your head-tire?
PHA. Yes, faith; the other was so near the common, it had no
extraordinary grace; besides, I had worn it almost a day, in good
PHI. I'll be sworn, this is most excellent for the device, and
rare; 'tis after the Italian print we look'd on t'other night.
PHA. 'Tis so: by this fan, I cannot abide any thing that savours
the poor over-worn cut, that has any kindred with it; I must have
variety, I: this mixing in fashion, I hate it worse than to burn
juniper in my chamber, I protest.
PHI. And yet we cannot have a new peculiar court-tire, but these
retainers will have it; these suburb Sunday-waiters; these
courtiers for high days; I know not what I should call 'em --
PHA. O, ay, they do most pitifully imitate; but I have a tire a
coming, i'faith, shall --
MOR. In good certain, madam, it makes you look most heavenly; but,
lay your hand on your heart, you never skinn'd a new beauty more
prosperously in your life, nor more metaphysically: look good lady,
sweet lady, look.
PHI. 'Tis very clear and well, believe me. But if you had seen
mine yesterday, when 'twas young, you would have -- Who's your
PHA. Nay, that's counsel, Philautia; you shall pardon me: yet I'll
assure you he's the most dainty, sweet, absolute, rare man of the
whole college. O! his very looks, his discourse, his behaviour, all
he does is physic, I protest.
PHI. For heaven's sake, his name, good dear Phantaste?
PHA. No, no, no, no, no, no, believe me, not for a million of
heavens: I will not make him cheap. Fie --
[EXEUNT PHANTASTE, MORIA, AND PHILAUTIA.]
CUP. There is a nymph too of a most curious and elaborate strain,
light, all motion, an ubiquitary, she is every where, Phantaste --
MER. Her very name speaks her, let her pass. But are these,
Cupid, the stars of Cynthia's court? Do these nymphs attend upon
CUP. They are in her court, Mercury, but not as stars; these never
come in the presence of Cynthia. The nymphs that make her train
are the divine Arete, Time, Phronesis, Thauma, and others of that
high sort. These are privately brought in by Moria in this
licentious time, against her knowledge; and, like so many meteors,
will vanish when she appears.
ENTER PROSAITES SINGING, FOLLOWED BY GELAIA AND COS, WITH BOTTLES.
Come follow me, my wags, and say, as I say,
There's no riches but in rags, hey day, hey day:
You that profess this art, come away, come away,
And help to bear a part. Hey day, hey day, etc.
[MERCURY AND CUPID COME FORWARD.]
MER. What, those that were our fellow pages but now, so soon
preferr'd to be yeomen of the bottles! The mystery, the mystery,
CUP. Some diet-drink they have the guard of.
PRO. No, sir, we are going in quest of a strange fountain, lately
CUP. By whom?
COS. My master or the great discoverer, Amorphus.
MER. Thou hast well entitled him, Cos, for he will discover all he
GEL. Ay, and a little more too, when the spirit is upon him.
PRO. O, the good travelling gentleman yonder has caused such a
drought in the presence, with reporting the wonders of this new
water, that all the ladies and gallants lie languishing upon the
rushes, like so many pounded cattle in the midst of harvest,
sighing one to another, and gasping, as if each of them expected a
cock from the fountain to be brought into his mouth; and without
we return quickly, they are all, as a youth would say, no better
then a few trouts cast ashore, or a dish of eels in a sand-bag.
MER. Well then, you were best dispatch, and have a care of them.
Come, Cupid, thou and I'll go peruse this dry wonder. [EXEUNT.]
SCENE I. -- AN APARTMENT AT THE COURT.
ENTER AMORPHUS AND ASOTUS.
AMO. Sir, let not this discountenance or disgallant you a whit;
you must not sink under the first disaster. It is with your young
grammatical courtier, as with your neophyte player, a thing usual
to be daunted at the first presence or interview: you saw, there
was Hedon, and Anaides, far more practised gallants than yourself,
who were both out, to comfort you. It is no disgrace, no more than
for your adventurous reveller to fall by some inauspicious chance
in his galliard, or for some subtile politic to undertake the
bastinado, that the state might think worthily of him, and respect
him as a man well beaten to the world. What? hath your tailor
provided the property we spake of at your chamber, or no?
ASO. I think he has.
AMO. Nay, I entreat you, be not so flat and melancholic. Erect
your mind: you shall redeem this with the courtship I will teach
you against the afternoon. Where eat you to-day?
ASO. Where you please, sir; any where, I.
AMO. Come, let us go and taste some light dinner, a dish of sliced
caviare, or so; and after, you shall practise an hour at your
lodging some few forms that I have recall'd. If you had but so far
gathered your spirits to you, as to have taken up a rush when you
were out, and wagg'd it thus, or cleansed your teeth with it; or
but turn'd aside, and feign'd some business to whisper with your
page, till you had recovered yourself, or but found some slight
stain in your stocking, or any other pretty invention, so it had
been sudden, you might have come off with a most clear and courtly
ASO. A poison of all! I think I was forespoke, I.
AMO. No, I must tell you, you are not audacious enough; you must
frequent ordinaries a month more, to initiate yourself: in which
time, it will not be amiss, if, in private, you keep good your
acquaintance with Crites, or some other of his poor coat; visit his
lodging secretly and often; become an earnest suitor to hear some
of his labours.
ASO. O Jove! sir, I could never get him to read a line to me.
AMO. You must then wisely mix yourself in rank with such as you
know can; and, as your ears do meet with a new phrase, or an acute
jest, take it in: a quick nimble memory will lift it away, and, at
your next public meal, it is your own.
ASO. But I shall never utter it perfectly, sir.
AMO. No matter, let it come lame. In ordinary talk you shall play
it away, as you do your light crowns at primero: it will pass.
ASO. I shall attempt, sir.
AMO. Do. It is your shifting age for wit, and, I assure you, men
must be prudent. After this you may to court, and there fall in,
first with the waiting-woman, then with the lady. Put case they do
retain you there, as a fit property, to hire coaches some pair of
months, or so; or to read them asleep in afternoons upon some
pretty pamphlet, to breathe you; why, it shall in time embolden you
to some farther achievement: in the interim, you may fashion
yourself to be careless and impudent.
ASO. How if they would have me to make verses? I heard Hedon
spoke to for some.
AMO. Why, you must prove the aptitude of your genius; if you find
none, you must hearken out a vein, and buy; provided you pay for
the silence as for the work, then you may securely call it your
ASO. Yes, and I'll give out my acquaintance with all the best
writers, to countenance me the more.
AMO. Rather seem not to know them, it is your best. Ay, be wise,
that you never so much as mention the name of one, nor remember it
mentioned; but if they be offer'd to you in discourse, shake your
light head, make between a sad and a smiling face, pity some, rail
at all, and commend yourself: 'tis your only safe and unsuspected
course. Come, you shall look back upon the court again to-day, and
be restored to your colours: I do now partly aim at the cause of
your repulse -- which was ominous indeed -- for as you enter at the
door, there is opposed to you the frame of a wolf in the hangings,
which, surprising your eye suddenly, gave a false alarm to the
heart; and that was it called your blood out of your face, and so
routed the whole rank of your spirits: I beseech you labour to
forget it. And remember, as I inculcated to you before, for your
comfort, Hedon and Anaides. [EXEUNT.]
SCENE II. -- ANOTHER APARTMENT IN THE SAME.
ENTER HEDON AND ANAIDES.
HEDON. Heart, was there ever so prosperous an invention thus
unluckily perverted and spoiled, by a whoreson book-worm, a
ANA. Nay, be not impatient, Hedon.
HED. 'Slight, I would fain know his name.
ANA. Hang him, poor grogan rascal! prithee think not of him: I'll
send for him to my lodging, and have him blanketed when thou wilt,
HED. Ods so, I would thou couldst. Look, here he comes.
ENTER CRITES, AND WALKS IN A MUSING POSTURE AT THE BACK OF THE
Laugh at him, laugh at him; ha, ha, ha.
ANA. Fough! he smells all lamp-oil with studying by candle-light.
HED. How confidently he went by us, and carelessly! Never moved,
nor stirred at any thing! Did you observe him?
ANA. Ay, a pox on him, let him go, dormouse: he is in a dream
now. He has no other time to sleep, but thus when he walks abroad
to take the air.
HED. 'Sprecious, this afflicts me more than all the rest, that we
should so particularly direct our hate and contempt against him,
and he to carry it thus without wound or passion! 'tis
ANA. 'Slid, my dear Envy, if thou but say'st the word now, I'll
undo him eternally for thee.
HED. How, sweet Anaides?
ANA. Marry, half a score of us get him in, one night, and make him
pawn his wit for a supper.
HED. Away, thou hast such unseasonable jests! By this heaven, I
wonder at nothing more than our gentlemen ushers, that will suffer
a piece of serge or perpetuana to come into the presence: methinks
they should, out of their experience, better distinguish the
silken disposition of courtiers, than to let such terrible coarse
rags mix with us, able to fret any smooth or gentle society to the
threads with their rubbing devices.
ANA. Unless 'twere Lent, Ember-weeks, or fasting days, when the
place is most penuriously empty of all other good outsides. D--n
me, if I should adventure on his company once more, without a suit
of buff to defend my wit! he does nothing but stab, the slave!
How mischievously he cross'd thy device of the prophecy, there?
and Moria, she comes without her muff too, and there my invention
HED. Well, I am resolved what I'll do.
ANA. What, my good spiritous spark?
HED. Marry, speak all the venom I can of him; and poison his
reputation in every place where I come.
ANA. 'Fore God, most courtly.
HED. And if I chance to be present where any question is made of
his sufficiencies, or of any thing he hath done private or public,
I'll censure it slightly, and ridiculously.
ANA. At any hand beware of that; so thou may'st draw thine own
judgment in suspect. No, I'll instruct thee what thou shalt do,
and by a safer means: approve any thing thou hearest of his, to the
received opinion of it; but if it be extraordinary, give it from
him to some other whom thou more particularly affect'st; that's the
way to plague him, and he shall never come to defend himself.
'Slud, I'll give out all he does is dictated from other men, and
swear it too, if thou'lt have me, and that I know the time and
place where he stole it, though my soul be guilty of no such thing;
and that I think, out of my heart, he hates such barren shifts: yet
to do thee a pleasure and him a disgrace, I'll damn myself, or do
HED. Gramercy, my dear devil; we'll put it seriously in practice,
i'faith. [EXEUNT HEDON AND ANAIDES.]
CRI. [COMING FORWARD.]
Do, good Detraction, do, and I the while
Shall shake thy spight off with a careless smile.
Poor piteous gallants! what lean idle slights
Their thoughts suggest to flatter their starv'd hopes!
As if I knew not how to entertain
These straw-devices; but, of force must yield
To the weak stroke of their calumnious tongues.
What should I care what every dor doth buz
In credulous ears? It is a crown to me
That the best judgments can report me wrong'd;
Them liars; and their slanders impudent.
Perhaps, upon the rumour of their speeches,
Some grieved friend will whisper to me; Crites,
Men speak ill of thee. So they be ill men,
If they spake worse, 'twere better: for of such
To be dispraised, is the most perfect praise.
What can his censure hurt me, whom the world
Hath censured vile before me! If good Chrestus,
Euthus, or Phronimus, had spoke the words,
They would have moved me, and I should have call'd
My thoughts and actions to a strict account
Upon the hearing: but when I remember,
'Tis Hedon and Anaides, alas, then
I think but what they are, and am not stirr'd.
The one a light voluptuous reveller,
The other, a strange arrogating puff,
Both impudent, and ignorant enough;
That talk as they are wont, not as I merit;
Traduce by custom, as most dogs do bark,
Do nothing out of judgment, but disease,
Speak ill, because they never could speak well.
And who'd be angry with this race of creatures?
What wise physician have we ever seen
Moved with a frantic man? the same affects
That he doth bear to his sick patient,
Should a right mind carry to such as these;
And I do count it a most rare revenge,
That I can thus, with such a sweet neglect,
Pluck from them all the pleasure of their malice;
For that's the mark of all their enginous drifts,
To wound my patience, howso'er they seem
To aim at other objects; which if miss'd,
Their envy's like an arrow shot upright,
That, in the fall, endangers their own heads.
ARE. What, Crites! where have you drawn forth the day,
You have not visited your jealous friends?
CRI. Where I have seen, most honour'd Arete,
The strangest pageant, fashion'd like a court,
(At least I dreamt I saw it) so diffused,
So painted, pied, and full of rainbow strains;
As never yet, either by time, or place,
Was made the food to my distasted sense;
Nor can my weak imperfect memory
Now render half the forms unto my tongue,
That were convolved within this thrifty room.
Here stalks me by a proud and spangled sir,
That looks three handfuls higher then his foretop;
Savours himself alone, is only kind
And loving to himself; one that will speak
More dark and doubtful than six oracles!
Salutes a friend, as if he had a stitch;
Is his own chronicle, and scarce can eat
For regist'ring himself; is waited on
By mimics, jesters, panders, parasites,
And other such like prodigies of men.
He past, appears some mincing marmoset
Made all of clothes and face; his limbs so set
As if they had some voluntary act
Without man's motion, and must move just so
In spight of their creation: one that weighs
His breath between his teeth, and dares not smile
Beyond a point, for fear t'unstarch his look;
Hath travell'd to make legs, and seen the cringe
Of several courts, and courtiers; knows the time
Of giving titles, and of taking walls;
Hath read court common-places; made them his:
Studied the grammar of state, and all the rules
Each formal usher in that politic school
Can teach a man. A third comes, giving nods
To his repenting creditors, protests
To weeping suitors, takes the coming gold
Of insolent and base ambition,
That hourly rubs his dry and itchy palms;
Which griped, like burning coals, he hurls away
Into the laps of bawds, and buffoons' mouths.
With him there meets some subtle Proteus, one
Can change, and vary with all forms he sees;
Be any thing but honest; serves the time;
Hovers betwixt two factions, and explores
The drifts of both; which, with cross face, he bears
To the divided heads, and is received
With mutual grace of either: one that dares
Do deeds worthy the hurdle or the wheel,
To be thought somebody; and is in sooth
Such as the satirist points truly forth,
That only to his crimes owes all his worth.
ARE. You tell us wonders, Crites.
CRI. This is nothing.
There stands a neophite glazing of his face,
Pruning his clothes, perfuming of his hair,
Against his idol enters; and repeats,
Like an unperfect prologue, at third music,
His part of speeches, and confederate jests,
In passion to himself. Another swears
His scene of courtship over; bids, believe him,
Twenty times ere they will; anon, doth seem
As he would kiss away his hand in kindness;
Then walks off melancholic, and stands wreath'd,
As he were pinn'd up to the arras, thus.
A third is most in action, swims, and frisks,
Plays with his mistress's paps, salutes her pumps;
Adores her hems, her skirts, her knots, her curls,
Will spend his patrimony for a garter,
Or the least feather in her bounteous fan.
A fourth, he only comes in for a mute;
Divides the act with a dumb show, and exit.
Then must the ladies laugh, straight comes their scene,
A sixth times worse confusion then the rest.
Where you shall hear one talk of this man's eye,
Another of his lip, a third, his nose,
A fourth commend his leg, a fifth, his foot,
A sixth, his hand, and every one a limb;
That you would think the poor distorted gallant
Must there expire. Then fall they in discourse
Of tires, and fashions, how they must take place,
Where they may kiss, and whom, when to sit down,
And with what grace to rise; if they salute,
What court'sy they must use; such cobweb stuff
As would enforce the common'st sense abhor
Th' Arachnean workers.
ARE. Patience, gentle Crites.
This knot of spiders will be soon dissolved,
And all their webs swept out of Cynthia's court,
When once her glorious deity appears,
And but presents itself in her full light:
'Till when, go in, and spend your hours with us,
Your honour'd friends. Time and Phronesis,
In contemplation of our goddess' name.
Think on some sweet and choice invention now,
Worthy her serious and illustrious eyes,
That from the merit of it we may take
Desired occasion to prefer your worth,
And make your service known to Cynthia.
It is the pride of Arete to grace
Her studious lovers; and, in scorn of time,
Envy, and ignorance, to lift their state
Above a vulgar height. True happiness
Consists not in the multitude of friends,
But in their worth, and choice. Nor would I have
Virtue a popular regard pursue:
Let them be good that love me, though but few.
CRI. I kiss thy hands, divinest Arete,
And vow myself to thee, and Cynthia. [EXEUNT.]
SCENE III. -- ANOTHER APARTMENT IN THE SAME.
ENTER AMORPHUS, FOLLOWED BY ASOTUS AND HIS TAILOR.
AMO. A little more forward: so, sir. Now go in, discloak
yourself, and come forth. [EXIT ASOTUS.] Tailor; bestow
thy absence upon us; and be not prodigal of this secret,
but to a dear customer.
'Tis well enter'd sir. Stay, you come on too fast; your pace is
too impetuous. Imagine this to be the palace of your pleasure, or
place where your lady is pleased to be seen. First you present
yourself, thus: and spying her, you fall off, and walk some two
turns; in which time, it is to be supposed, your passion hath
sufficiently whited your face, then, stifling a sigh or two, and
closing your lips, with a trembling boldness, and bold terror, you
advance yourself forward. Prove thus much, I pray you.
ASO. Yes, sir; -- pray Jove I can light on it! Here I come in,
you say, and present myself?
ASO. And then I spy her, and walk off?
AMO. Very good.
ASO. Now, sir, I stifle, and advance forward?
ASO. Yes, sir, trembling; I shall do it better when I come to it.
And what must I speak now?
AMO. Marry, you shall say; "Dear Beauty", or "sweet Honour" (or by
what other title you please to remember her), "methinks you are
melancholy". This is, if she be alone now, and discompanied.
ASO. Well, sir, I'll enter again; her title shall be, "My dear
ASO. Ay, sir, the emperor Alicandroe's daughter, and the prince
Meridian's sister, in "the Knight of the Sun"; she should have been
married to him, but that the princess Claridiana --
AMO. O, you betray your reading.
ASO. Nay, sir, I have read history, I am a little humanitian.
Interrupt me not, good sir. "My dear Lindabrides, -- my dear
Lindabrides, -- my dear Lindabrides, methinks you are melancholy".
AMO. Ay, and take her by the rosy finger'd hand.
ASO. Must I so: O! -- "My dear Lindabrides, methinks you are
AMO. Or thus sir. "All variety of divine pleasures, choice
sports, sweet music, rich fare, brave attire, soft beds, and silken
thoughts, attend this dear beauty."
ASO. Believe me, that's pretty. "All variety of divine pleasures,
choice sports, sweet music, rich fare, brave attire, soft beds, and
silken thoughts, attend this dear beauty."
AMO. And then, offering to kiss her hand, if she shall coily
recoil, and signify your repulse, you are to re-enforce yourself
"More than most fair lady,
Let not the rigour of your just disdain
Thus coarsely censure of your servant's zeal."
And withal, protest her to be the only and absolute unparallel'd
creature you do adore, and admire, and respect, and reverence,
in this court, corner of the world, or kingdom.
ASO. This is hard, by my faith. I'll begin it all again.
AMO. Do so, and I will act it for your lady.
ASO. Will you vouchsafe, sir? "All variety of divine pleasures,
choice sports, sweet music, rich fare, brave attire, soft beds, and
silken thoughts, attend this dear beauty."
AMO. So sir, pray you, away.
ASO. "More than most fair lady,
Let not the rigour of your just disdain
Thus coarsely censure of your servant's zeal;
I protest you are the only and absolute unapparell'd --
ASO. Unparallel'd creature, I do adore, and admire, and respect,
and reverence, in this corner of the world, or kingdom."
AMO. This is, if she abide you. But now, put the case she should
be passant when you enter, as thus: you are to frame your gait
thereafter, and call upon her, "lady, nymph, sweet refuge, star of
our court." Then, if she be guardant, here; you are to come on,
and, laterally disposing yourself, swear by her blushing and
well-coloured cheek, the bright dye of her hair, her ivory teeth,
(though they be ebony,) or some such white and innocent oath, to
induce you. If regardant, then maintain your station, brisk and
irpe, show the supple motion of your pliant body, but in chief of
your knee, and hand, which cannot but arride her proud humour
ASO. I conceive you sir. I shall perform all these things in good
time, I doubt not, they do so hit me.
AMO. Well sir, I am your lady; make use of any of these
beginnings, or some other out of your own invention; and prove how
you can hold up, and follow it. Say, say.
ASO. Yes sir. "My dear Lindabrides."
AMO. No, you affect that Lindabrides too much; and let me tell you
it is not so courtly. Your pedant should provide you some parcels
of French, or some pretty commodity of Italian, to commence with,
if you would be exotic and exquisite.
ASO. Yes, sir, he was at my lodging t'other morning, I gave him a
AMO. Double your benevolence, and give him the hose too; clothe
you his body, he will help to apparel your mind. But now, see what
your proper genius can perform alone, without adjection of any
ASO. I comprehend you sir.
AMO. I do stand you, sir; fall back to your first place. Good,
passing well: very properly pursued.
ASO. "Beautiful, ambiguous, and sufficient lady, what! are you all
AMO. "We would be, sir, if you would leave us."
ASO. "I am at your beauty's appointment, bright angel; but --"
AMO "What but?"
ASO. "No harm, more than most fair feature."
AMO. That touch relish'd well.
ASO. "But I protest --"
AMO. "And why should you protest?"
ASO. "For good will, dear esteem'd madam, and I hope your ladyship
will so conceive of it:
And will, in time, return from your disdain,
And rue the suff'rance of our friendly pain."
AMO. O, that piece was excellent! If you could pick out more of
these play-particles, and, as occasion shall salute you, embroider
or damask your discourse with them, persuade your soul, it would
most judiciously commend you. Come, this was a well-discharged and
auspicious bout. Prove the second.
ASO. "Lady, I cannot ruffle it in red and yellow."
AMO. "Why if you can revel it in white, sir, 'tis sufficient."
ASO. "Say you so, sweet lady! Lan, tede, de, de, de, dant, dant,
dant, dante. [SINGS AND DANCES.] No, in good faith, madam,
whosever told your ladyship so, abused you; but I would be glad to
meet your ladyship in a measure."
AMO. "Me sir! Belike you measure me by yourself, then?"
ASO. "Would I might, fair feature."
AMO. "And what were you the better, if you might?"
ASO. "The better it please you to ask, fair lady."
AMO. Why, this was ravishing, and most acutely continued. Well,
spend not your humour too much, you have now competently exercised
your conceit: this, once or twice a day, will render you an
accomplish'd, elaborate, and well-levell'd gallant. Convey in
your courting-stock, we will in the heat of this go visit the
SCENE I. -- AN APARTMENT IN THE PALACE.
ENTER PHANTASTE, PHILAUTIA, ARGURION, MORIA, AND CUPID.
PHA. I would this water would arrive once, our travelling friend
so commended to us.
ARG. So would I, for he has left all us in travail with
expectation of it.
PHA. Pray Jove, I never rise from this couch, if ever I thirsted
more for a thing in my whole time of being a courtier.
PHI Nor I, I'll be sworn: the very mention of it sets my lips in a
worse heat, than if he had sprinkled them with mercury. Reach me
the glass, sirrah.
CUP. Here, lady.
MOR. They do not peel, sweet charge, do they?
PHI. Yes, a little, guardian.
MOR. O, 'tis an eminent good sign. Ever when my lips do so, I am
sure to have some delicious good drink or other approaching.
ARG. Marry, and this may be good for us ladies, for it seems 'tis
far fet by their stay.
MOR. My palate for yours, dear Honour, it shall prove most elegant
I warrant you. O, I do fancy this gear that's long a coming, with
an unmeasurable strain.
PHA. Pray thee sit down, Philautia; that rebatu becomes thee
PHI. Is it not quaint?
PHA. Yes faith. Methinks, thy servant Hedon is nothing so
obsequious to thee, as he was wont to be: I know not how, he is
grown out of his garb a-late, he's warp'd.
MOR. In trueness, and so methinks too; he is much converted.
PHI. Tut; let him be what he will, 'tis an animal I dream not of.
This tire, methinks, makes me look very ingeniously, quick, and
spirited; I should be some Laura, or some Delia, methinks.
MOR. As I am wise, fair Honours, that title she gave him, to be
her Ambition, spoil'd him: before, he was the most propitious and
observant young novice --
PHA. No, no, you are the whole heaven awry, guardian; 'tis the
swaggering coach-horse Anaides draws with him there, has been the
diverter of him.
PHI. For Cupid's sake speak no more of him; would I might never
dare to look in a mirror again, if I respect ever a marmoset of 'em
all, otherwise than I would a feather, or my shuttle-cock, to make
sport with now and then.
PHA. Come sit down: troth, and you be good beauties, let's run
over them all now: Which is the properest man amongst them? I
say, the traveller, Amorphus.
PHI. O, fie on him, he looks like a Venetian trumpeter in the
battle of Lepanto, in the gallery yonder; and speaks to the tune of
a country lady that comes ever in the rearward or train of a
MOR. I should have judgment in a feature, sweet beauties.
PHA. A body would think so, at these years.
MOR. And I prefer another now, far before him, a million at least.
PHA. Who might that be, guardian?
MOR. Marry, fair charge, Anaides.
PHA. Anaides! you talk'd of a tune, Philautia; there's one speaks
in a key, like the opening of some justice's gate, or a postboy's
horn, as if his voice feared an arrest for some ill words it should
give, and were loth to come forth.
PHI. Ay, and he has a very imperfect face.
PHA. Like a sea-monster, that were to ravish Andromeda from the
PHI. His hands too great too, by at least a straw's breadth.
PHA. Nay, he has a worse fault than that too.
PHI. A long heel?
PHA. That were a fault in a lady, rather than him: no, they say
he puts off the calves of his legs, with his stockings, every
PHI. Out upon him! Turn to another of the pictures, for love's
sake. What says Argurion? Whom does she commend afore the rest?
CUP. I hope I have instructed her sufficiently for an answer.
MOR. Troth, I made the motion to her ladyship for one to-day,
i'the presence, but it appear'd she was otherways furnished before:
she would none.
PHA. Who was that Argurion?
MOR. Marry, the poor plain gentleman in the black there.
PHA. Who, Crites?
ARG. Ay, ay, he: a fellow that nobody so much as look'd upon, or
regarded; and she would have had me done him particular grace.
PHA. That was a true trick of yourself, Moria, to persuade
Argurion to affect the scholar.
ARG. Tut, but she shall be no chooser for me. In good faith, I
like the citizen's son there, Asotus; methinks none of them all
come near him.
PHA. Not Hedon?
ARG. Hedon! In troth no. Hedon's a pretty slight courtier, and he
wears his clothes well, and sometimes in fashion; marry, his face
is but indifferent, and he has no such excellent body. No, the
other is a most delicate youth; a sweet face, a straight body, a
well-proportion'd leg and foot, a white hand, a tender voice.
PHI. How now, Argurion!
PHA. O, you should have let her alone, she was bestowing a copy of
him upon us. Such a nose were enough to make me love a man, now.
PHI. And then his several colours he wears; wherein he flourisheth
changeably, every day.
PHA. O, but his short hair, and his narrow eyes!
PHI. Why she doats more palpably upon him than ever his father did
PHA. Believe me, the young gentleman deserves it. If she could
doat more, 'twere not amiss. He is an exceeding proper youth, and
would have made a most neat barber surgeon, if he had been put to
it in time.
PHI. Say you so? Methinks he looks like a tailor already.
PHA. Ay, that had sayed on one of his customer's suits. His face
is like a squeezed orange, or --
ARG. Well ladies, jest on: the best of you both would be glad of
such a servant.
MOR. Ay, I'll be sworn would they, though he be a little
PHA. Shame-faced, Moria! out upon him. Your shame-faced servant
is your only gull.
MOR. Go to, beauties, make much of time, and place, and occasion,
and opportunity, and favourites, and things that belong to them,
for I'll ensure you they will all relinquish; they cannot endure
above another year; I know it out of future experience; and
therefore take exhibition, and warning: I was once a reveller
myself, and though I speak it, as mine own trumpet, I was then
PHI. The very march-pane of the court, I warrant you.
PHA. And all the gallants came about you like flies, did they not?
MOR. Go to, they did somewhat; that's no matter now.
PHA. Nay, good Moria, be not angry. Put case, that we four now
had the grant from Juno, to wish ourselves into what happy estate
we could, what would you wish to be, Moria?
MOR. Who, I! let me see now. I would wish to be a wise woman,
and know all the secrets of court, city, and country. I would know
what were done behind the arras, what upon the stairs, what in the
garden, what in the nymphs' chamber, what by barge, and what by
coach. I would tell you which courtier were scabbed and which not;
which lady had her own face to lie with her a-nights and which not;
who put off their teeth with their clothes in court, who their
hair, who their complexion; and in which box they put it. There
should not a nymph, or a widow, be got with child in the verge, but
I would guess, within one or two, who was the right father, and in
what month it was gotten; with what words, and which way. I would
tell you which madam loved a monsieur, which a player, which a
page; who slept with her husband, who with her friend, who with her
gentleman-usher, who with her horse-keeper, who with her monkey,
and who with all; yes, and who jigg'd the cock too.
PHA. Fie, you'd tell all, Moria! If I should wish now, it should
be to have your tongue out. But what says Philautia? Who should
PHI. Troth, the very same I am. Only I would wish myself a little
more command and sovereignty; that all the court were subject to my
absolute beck, and all things in it depending on my look; as if
there were no other heaven but in my smile, nor other hell but in
my frown; that I might send for any man I list, and have his head
cut off when I have done with him, or made an eunuch if he denied
me; and if I saw a better face than mine own, I might have my
doctor to poison it. What would you wish, Phantaste?
PHA. Faith, I cannot readily tell you what: but methinks I should
wish myself all manner of creatures. Now I would be an empress,
and by and by a duchess; then a great lady of state, then one of
your miscellany madams, then a waiting-woman, then your citizen's
wife, then a coarse country gentlewoman, then a dairy-maid, then a
shepherd's lass, then an empress again, or the queen of fairies:
and thus I would prove the vicissitudes and whirl of pleasures
about and again. As I were a shepherdess, I would be piped and
sung to; as a dairy-wench, I would dance at maypoles, and make
syllabubs; as a country gentlewoman, keep a good house, and come up
to term to see motions; as a citizen's wife, to be troubled with a
jealous husband, and put to my shifts; others' miseries should be
my pleasures. As a waiting-woman, I would taste my lady's delights
to her; as a miscellany madam, invent new tires, and go visit
courtiers; as a great lady, lie a-bed, and have courtiers visit me;
as a duchess, I would keep my state; and as an empress, I would do
any thing. And, in all these shapes, I would ever be follow'd with
the affections of all that see me. Marry, I myself would affect
none; or if I did, it should not be heartily, but so as I might
save myself in them still, and take pride in tormenting the poor
wretches. Or, now I think on't, I would, for one year, wish myself
one woman; but the richest, fairest, and delicatest in a kingdom,
the very centre of wealth and beauty, wherein all lines of love
should meet; and in that person I would prove all manner of
suitors, of all humours, and of all complexions, and never have any
two of a sort. I would see how love, by the power of his object,
could work inwardly alike, in a choleric man and a sanguine, in a
melancholic and a phlegmatic, in a fool and a wise man, in a clown
and a courtier, in a valiant man and a coward; and how he could
vary outward, by letting this gallant express himself in dumb gaze;
another with sighing and rubbing his fingers; a third with
play-ends and pitiful verses; a fourth, with stabbing himself, and
drinking healths, or writing languishing letters in his blood; a
fifth, in colour'd ribands and good clothes; with this lord to
smile, and that lord to court, and the t'other lord to dote, and
one lord to hang himself. And, then, I to have a book made of all
this, which I would call the "Book of Humours," and every night
read a little piece ere I slept, and laugh at it. -- Here comes
ENTER HEDON, ANAIDES, AND MERCURY, WHO RETIRES WITH CUPID TO THE
BACK OF THE STAGE, WHERE THEY CONVERSE TOGETHER.
HED. Save you sweet and clear beauties! By the spirit that moves
in me, you are all most pleasingly bestow'd, ladies. Only I can
take it for no good omen, to find mine Honour so dejected.
PHI. You need not fear, sir; I did of purpose humble myself
against your coming, to decline the pride of my Ambition.
HED. Fair Honour, Ambition dares not stoop; but if it be your
sweet pleasure, I shall lose that title, I will, as I am Hedon,
apply myself to your bounties.
PHI. That were the next way to dis-title myself of honour. O, no,
rather be still Ambitious, I pray you.
HED. I will be any thing that you please, whilst it pleaseth you
to be yourself, lady. Sweet Phantaste, dear Moria, most beautiful
ANA. Farewell, Hedon.
HED. Anaides, stay, whither go you?
ANA. 'Slight, what should I do here? an you engross them all for
your own use, 'tis time for me to seek out.
HED. I engross them! Away, mischief; this is one of your
extravagant jests now, because I began to salute them by their
ANA. Faith, you might have spared us madam Prudence, the guardian
there, though you had more covetously aim'd at the rest.
HED. 'Sheart, take them all, man: what speak you to me of aiming
ANA. Ay, say you so! nay, then, have at them: Ladies, here's one
hath distinguish'd you by your names already: It shall only become
me to ask how you do.
HED. Ods so, was this the design you travail'd with?
PHA. Who answers the brazen head? it spoke to somebody.
ANA. Lady Wisdom, do you interpret for these puppets?
MOR. In truth, and sadness, honours, you are in great offence for
this. Go to; the gentleman (I'll undertake with him) is a man of
fair living, and able to maintain a lady in her two coaches a day,
besides pages, monkeys, and paraquettoes, with such attendants as
she shall think meet for her turn; and therefore there is more
respect requirable, howso'er you seem to connive. Hark you, sir,
let me discourse a syllable with you. I am to say to you, these
ladies are not of that close and open behaviour as haply you may
suspend; their carriage is well known to be such as it should be,
both gentle and extraordinary.
MER. O, here comes the other pair.
ENTER AMORPHUS AND ASOTUS.
AMO. That was your father's love, the nymph Argurion. I would
have you direct all your courtship thither; if you could but endear
yourself to her affection, you were eternally engallanted.
ASO. In truth, sir! pray Phoebus I prove favoursome in her fair
AMO. All divine mixture, and increase of beauty to this bright
bevy of ladies; and to the male courtiers, compliment and courtesy.
HED. In the behalf of the males, I gratify you, Amorphus.
PHA. And I of the females.
AMO. Succinctly return'd. I do vail to both your thanks, and kiss
them; but primarily to yours, most ingenious, acute, and polite
PHI. Ods my life, how he does all-to-bequalify her! "ingenious,
acute", and "polite!" as if there was not others in place as
ingenious, acute, and polite as she.
HED Yes, but you must know, lady, he cannot speak out of a
PHA. Sit down, sweet Amorphus. When will this water come, think
AMO. It cannot now be long, fair lady.
CUP. Now observe, Mercury.
ASO. How, most ambiguous beauty! love you? that I will, by this
MER. 'Slid, he draws his oaths out of his pocket.
ARG. But will you be constant?
ASO. Constant, madam! I will not say for constantness; but by
this purse, which I would be loth to swear by, unless it were
embroidered, I protest, more than most fair lady, you are the only
absolute, and unparallel'd creature, I do adore, and admire, and
respect, and reverence in this court, corner of the world, or
kingdom. Methinks you are melancholy.
ARG. Does your heart speak all this?
ASO. Say you?
MER. O, he is groping for another oath.
ASO. Now by this watch -- I marle how forward the day is -- I do
unfeignedly avow myself -- 'slight, 'tis deeper than I took it, past
five -- yours entirely addicted, madam.
ARG. I require no more, dearest Asotus; henceforth let me call you
mine, and in remembrance of me, vouchsafe to wear this chain and
ASO. O lord, sweet lady!
CUP. There are new oaths for him. What! doth Hermes taste no
alteration in all this?
MER. Yes, thou hast strook Argurion enamour'd on Asotus, methinks.
CUP. Alas, no; I am nobody, I; I can do nothing in this disguise.
MER. But thou hast not wounded any of the rest, Cupid.
CUP. Not yet; it is enough that I have begun so prosperously.
ARG. Nay, these are nothing to the gems I will hourly bestow upon
thee; be but faithful and kind to me, and I will lade thee with my
richest bounties: behold, here my bracelets from mine arms.
ASO. Not so, good lady, by this diamond.
ARG. Take 'em, wear 'em; my jewels, chain of pearl pendants, all I
ASO. Nay then, by this pearl you make me a wanton.
CUP. Shall not she answer for this, to maintain him thus in
MER. O no, there is a way to wean him from this, the gentleman may
CUP. Ay, if you had the airing of his apparel, coz, I think.
ASO. Loving! 'twere pity an I should be living else, believe me.
Save you, sir, save you, sweet lady, save you, monsieur Anaides,
save you, dear madam.
ANA. Dost thou know him that saluted thee, Hedon?
HED. No, some idle Fungoso, that hath got above the cupboard since
ANA. 'Slud, I never saw him till this morning, and he salutes me
as familiarly as if we had known together since the deluge, or the
first year of Troy action.
AMO. A most right-handed and auspicious encounter. Confine
yourself to your fortunes.
PHI. For sport's sake let's have some Riddles or Purposes, ho!
PHA. No, faith, your Prophecies are best, the t'other are stale.
PHI. Prophecies! we cannot all sit in at them; we shall make a
confusion. No; what call'd you that we had in the forenoon?
PHA. Substantives, and adjectives, is it not, Hedon?
PHI. Ay that. Who begins?
PHA. I have thought; speak your adjectives, sirs.
PHI. But do not you change then.
PHA. Not I. Who says?
HED. Yours, signior.
ASO. What must I do, sir?
AMO. Give forth your adjective with the rest; as prosperous, good,
fair, sweet, well --
HED. Anything that hath not been spoken.
ASO. Yes, sir, well-spoken shall be mine.
PHA. What, have you all done?
PHA. Then the substantive is Breeches. Why "odoriferous"
MOR. Odoriferous, -- because odoriferous: that which contains most
variety of savour and smell we say is most odoriferous; now
breeches, I presume, are incident to that variety, and therefore
PHA. Well, we must take it howsoever. Who's next? Philautia?
PHA. Why "popular" breeches?
PHA. Marry, that is, when they are not content to be generally
noted in court, but will press forth on common stages and brokers'
stalls, to the public view of the world.
PHA. Good. Why "humble" breeches, Argurion?
ARG. Humble! because they use to be sat upon; besides, if you tie
them not up, their property is to fall down about your heels.
MER. She has worn the breeches, it seems, which have done so.
PHA. But why "white-liver'd?"
ANA. Why! are not their linings white? Besides, when they come
in swaggering company, and will pocket up any thing, may they not
properly be said to be white-liver'd?
PHA. O yes, we must not deny it. And why "barbarous," Hedon?
HED. Barbarous! because commonly, when you have worn your
breeches sufficiently, you give them to your barber.
AMO. That's good; but how "Pythagorical?"
PHI. Ay, Amorphus, why Pythagorical breeches?
AMO. O most kindly of all; 'tis a conceit of that fortune, I am
bold to hug my brain for.
PHA. How is it, exquisite Amorphus?
AMO. O, I am rapt with it, 'tis so fit, so proper, so happy --
PHI. Nay, do not rack us thus.
AMO. I never truly relish'd myself before. Give me your ears.
Breeches Pythagorical, by reason of their transmigration into
MOR. Most rare, in sweet troth. Marry this young gentleman, for
his well-spoken --
PHA. Ay, why "well-spoken" breeches?
ASO. Well-spoken! Marry, well-spoken, because -- whatsoever they
speak is well-taken; and whatsoever is well-taken is well-spoken.
MOR. Excellent! believe me.
ASO. Not so, ladies, neither.
HED. But why breeches, now?
PHA. Breeches, "quasi" bear-riches; when a gallant bears all his
riches in his breeches.
AMO. Most fortunately etymologised.
PHA. 'Nay, we have another sport afore this, of A thing done, and
who did it, etc.
PHI. Ay, good Phantaste, let's have that: distribute the places.
PHA. Why, I imagine, A thing done; Hedon thinks, who did it;
Moria, with what it was done; Anaides, where it was done; Argurion,
when it was done; Amorphus, for what cause was it done; you,
Philautia, what followed upon the doing of it; and this gentleman,
who would have done it better. What? is it conceived about?
ALL. Yes, yes.
PHA. Then speak you, sir. "Who would have done it better?"
ASO. How! does it begin at me?
PHA. Yes, sir: this play is called the Crab, it goes backward.
ASO. May I not name myself?
PHI. If you please, sir, and dare abide the venture of it.
ASO. Then I would have done it better, whatever it is.
PHA. No doubt on't, sir: a good confidence. "What followed upon
the act," Philautia?
PHI. A few heat drops, and a month's mirth.
PHA. "For what cause," Amorphus?
AMO. For the delight of ladies.
PHA. "When," Argurion?
ARG. Last progress.
PHA. "Where," Anaides?
ANA. Why, in a pair of pain'd slops.
PHA. "With what," Moria?
MOR. With a glyster.
PHA. "Who," Hedon?
HED. A traveller.
PHA. Then the thing done was, "An oration was made." Rehearse.
An oration was made --
HED. By a traveller --
MOR. With a glyster --
ANA. In a pair of pain'd slops --
ARG. Last progress --
AMO. For the delight of ladies --
PHI. A few heat drops, and a month's mirth followed.
PHA. And, this silent gentleman would have done it better.
ASO. This was not so good, now.
PHI. In good faith, these unhappy pages would be whipp'd for
MOR. Beshrew my hand and my heart else.
AMO. I do wonder at their protraction.
ANA. Pray Venus my whore have not discover'd herself to the
rascally boys, and that be the cause of their stay.
ASO. I must suit myself with another page: this idle Prosaites
will never be brought to wait well.
MOR. Sir, I have a kinsman I could willingly wish to your service,
if you will deign to accept of him.
ASO. And I shall be glad, most sweet lady, to embrace him: Where
MOR. I can fetch him, sir, but I would be loth to make you turn
away your other page.
ASO. You shall not most sufficient lady; I will keep both: pray
you let's go see him.
ARG. Whither goes my love?
ASO. I'll return presently, I go but to see a page with this lady.
[EXEUNT ASOTUS AND MORIA.]
ANA. As sure as fate, 'tis so: she has opened all: a pox of all
cockatrices! D--n me, if she have play'd loose with me, I'll cut
her throat within a hair's breadth, so it may be heal'd again.
MER. What, is he jealous of his hermaphrodite?
CUP. O, ay, this will be excellent sport.
PHI. Phantaste, Argurion! what, you are suddenly struck, methinks!
For love's sake let's have some music till they come: Ambition,
reach the lyra, I pray you.
HED. Anything to which my Honour shall direct me.
PHI. Come Amorphus, cheer up Phantaste.
AMO. It shall be my pride, fair lady, to attempt all that is in my
power. But here is an instrument that alone is able to infuse soul
into the most melancholic and dull-disposed creature upon earth.
O, let me kiss thy fair knees. Beauteous ears attend it.
HED. Will you have "the Kiss" Honour?
PHI. Ay, good Ambition.
O, that joy so soon should waste!
Or so sweet a bliss
As a kiss
Might not for ever last!
So sugar'd, so melting, so soft, so delicious,
The dew that lies on roses,
When the morn herself discloses,
Is not so precious.
O rather than I would it smother,
Were I to taste such another;
It should be my wishing
That I might die with kissing.
HED. I made this ditty, and the note to it, upon a kiss that my
Honour gave me; how like you it, sir?
AMO. A pretty air; in general, I like it well: but in particular,
your long die-note did arride me most, but it was somewhat too
long. I can show one almost of the same nature, but much before
it, and not so long, in a composition of mine own. I think I have
both the note and ditty about me.
HED. Pray you, sir, see.
AMO. Yes, there is the note; and all the parts, if I misthink not.
I will read the ditty to your beauties here; but first I am to
make you familiar with the occasion, which presents itself thus.
Upon a time, going to take my leave of the emperor, and kiss his
great hands, there being then present the kings of France and
Arragon, the dukes of Savoy, Florence, Orleans, Bourbon, Brunswick,
the Landgrave, Count Palatine; all which had severally feasted me;
besides infinite more of inferior persons, as counts and others: it
was my chance (the emperor detained by some exorbitant affair) to
wait him the fifth part of an hour, or much near it. In which
time, retiring myself into a bay-window, the beauteous lady
Annabel, niece to the empress, and sister to the king of Arragon,
who having never before eyed me, but only heard the common report
of my virtue, learning, and travel, fell into that extremity of
passion for my love, that she there immediately swooned:
physicians were sent for, she had to her chamber, so to her bed;
where, languishing some few days, after many times calling upon me,
with my name in her lips, she expired. As that (I must mourningly
say) is the only fault of my fortune, that, as it hath ever been my
hap to be sued to, by all ladies and beauties, where I have come;
so I never yet sojourn'd or rested in that place or part of the
world, where some high-born, admirable, fair feature died not for
MER. O, the sweet power of travel! -- Are you guilty of this,
CUP. No, Mercury; and that his page Cos knows, if he were here
present to be sworn.
PHI. But how doth this draw on the ditty, sir?
MER. O, she is too quick with him; he hath not devised that yet.
AMO. Marry, some hour before she departed, she bequeath'd to me
this glove: which golden legacy, the emperor himself took care to
send after me, in six coaches, cover'd all with black-velvet,
attended by the state of his empire; all which he freely presented
me with: and I reciprocally (out of the same bounty) gave to the
lords that brought it: only reserving the gift of the deceased
lady, upon which I composed this ode, and set it to my most
affected instrument, the lyra.
Thou more then most sweet glove,
Unto my more sweet love,
Suffer me to store with kisses
This empty lodging, that now misses
The pure rosy hand, that wear thee,
Whiter than the kid that bare thee:
Thou art soft, but that was softer;
Cupid's self hath kiss'd it ofter
Than e'er he did his mother's doves.
Supposing her the queen of loves
That was thy mistress, BEST OF GLOVES.
MER. Blasphemy, blasphemy, Cupid!
CUP. I'll revenge it time enough, Hermes.
PHI. Good Amorphus, let's hear it sung.
AMO. I care not to admit that, since it pleaseth Philautia to
HED. Here, sir.
AMO. Nay, play it, I pray you; you do well, you do well.
[HE SINGS IT.] -- How like you it, sir?
HED. Very well, in troth.
AMO. But very well! O, you are a mere mammothrept in judgment,
then. Why, do not observe how excellently the ditty is affected in
every place? that I do not marry a word of short quantity to a
long note? nor an ascending syllable to a descending tone?
Besides, upon the word "best" there, you see how I do enter with an
odd minum, and drive it through the brief; which no intelligent
musician, I know, but will affirm to be very rare, extraordinary,
MER. And yet not fit to lament the death of a lady, for all this.
CUP. Tut, here be they will swallow anything.
PHA. Pray you, let me have a copy of it, Amorphus.
PHI. And me too; in troth I like it exceedingly.
AMO. I have denied it to princes; nevertheless to you, the true
female twins of perfection, I am won to depart withal.
HED. I hope, I shall have my Honour's copy.
PHA. You are Ambitious in that, Hedon.
AMO. How now, Anaides! what is it hath conjured up this
distemperature in the circle of your face?
ANA. Why, what have you to do? A pox upon your filthy travelling
face! hold your tongue.
HED. Nay, dost hear, Mischief?
ANA. Away, musk-cat!
AMO. I say to thee thou art rude, debauch'd, impudent, coarse,
unpolish'd, a frapler, and base.
HED. Heart of my father, what a strange alteration has half a
year's haunting of ordinaries wrought in this fellow! that came
with a tufftaffata jerkin to town but the other day, and a pair of
pennyless hose, and now he is turn'd Hercules, he wants but a club.
ANA. Sir, you with the pencil on your chin; I will garter my hose
with your guts, and that shall be all. [EXIT.]
MER. 'Slid, what rare fireworks be here? flash, flash.
PHA. What is the matter Hedon? can you tell?
HED. Nothing, but that he lacks crowns, and thinks we'll lend him
some to be friends.
RE-ENTER ASOTUS AND MORIA, WITH MORUS.
ASO. Come sweet lady, in good truth I'll have it, you shall not
deny me. Morus, persuade your aunt I may have her picture, by any
MORUS. Yea, sir: good aunt now, let him have it; he will use me
the better; if you love me do, good aunt.
MOR. Well, tell him he shall have it.
MORUS. Master, you shall have it, she says.
ASO. Shall I? thank her, good page.
CUP. What, has he entertained the fool?
MER. Ay, he'll wait close, you shall see, though the beggar hang
off a while.
MORUS. Aunt, my master thanks you.
MOR. Call him hither.
MORUS. Yes; master.
MOR. Yes, in verity, and gave me this purse, and he has promised
me a most fine dog; which he will have drawn with my picture, he
says: and desires most vehemently to be known to your ladyships.
PHA. Call him hither, 'tis good groping such a gull.
MORUS. Master Asotus, master Asotus!
ASO. For love's sake, let me go: you see I am call'd to the