Part 3 out of 6
ARG. Wilt thou forsake me, then?
ASO. Od so! what would you have me do?
MOR. Come hither, master Asotus. -- I do ensure your ladyships, he
is a gentleman of a very worthy desert: and of a most bountiful
nature. -- You must shew and insinuate yourself responsible, and
equivalent now to my commendment. -- Good honours grace him.
ASO. I protest, more then most fair ladies, "I do wish all variety
of divine pleasures, choice sports, sweet music, rich fare, brave
attire, soft beds, and silken thoughts, attend these fair
beauties". Will it please your ladyship to wear this chain of
pearl, and this diamond, for my sake?
ASO. And you, madam, this jewel and pendants?
PHA. We know not how to deserve these bounties, out of so slight
PHI. No, in faith, but there's my glove for a favour.
PHA. And soon after the revels, I will bestow a garter on you.
ASO. O lord, ladies! it is more grace than ever I could have
hoped, but that it pleaseth your ladyships to extend. I protest
it is enough, that you but take knowledge of my -- if your
ladyships want embroidered gowns, tires of any fashion, rebatues,
jewels, or carcanets, any thing whatsoever, if you vouchsafe to
CUP. And for it they will help you to shoe-ties, and devices.
ASO. I cannot utter myself, dear beauties, but; you can conceive --
PHA. Sir, we will acknowledge your service, doubt not --
henceforth, you shall be no more Asotus to us, but our goldfinch,
and we your cages.
ASO. O Venus! madams! how shall I deserve this? if I were but
made acquainted with Hedon, now, -- I'll try: pray you, away.
MER. How he prays money to go away from him.
ASO. Amorphus, a word with you; here's a watch I would bestow upon
you, pray you make me known to that gallant.
AMO. That I will, sir. -- Monsieur Hedon, I must entreat you to
exchange knowledge with this gentleman.
HED. 'Tis a thing, next to the water, we expect, I thirst after,
sir. Good monsieur Asotus.
ASO. Good monsieur Hedon, I would be glad to be loved of men of
your rank and spirit, I protest. Please you to accept this pair of
bracelets, sir; they are not worth the bestowing --
MER. O Hercules, how the gentleman purchases, this must needs
bring Argurion to a consumption.
HED. Sir, I shall never stand in the merit of such bounty, I fear.
ASO. O Venus, sir; your acquaintance shall be sufficient. And if
at any time you need my bill, or my bond --
ARG. O! O! [SWOONS.]
AMO. Help the lady there!
MOR. Gods-dear, Argurion! madam, how do you?
PHA. Have her forth, and give her air.
ASO. I come again straight, ladies.
[EXEUNT ASOTUS, MORUS, AND ARGURION.]
MER. Well, I doubt all the physic he has will scarce recover her;
she's too far spent.
RE-ENTER ANAIDES WITH GELAIA, PROSAITES, AND COS, WITH THE BOTTLES.
PHI. O here's the water come; fetch glasses, page.
GEL. Heart of my body, here's a coil, indeed, with your jealous
humours! nothing but whore and bitch, and all the villainous
swaggering names you can think on! 'Slid, take your bottle, and put
it in your guts for me, I'll see you pox'd ere I follow you any
ANA. Nay, good punk, sweet rascal; d--n me, if I am jealous now.
GEL. That's true, indeed, pray let's go.
MOR. What's the matter there?
GEL. 'Slight, he has me upon interrogatories, (nay, my mother
shall know how you use me,) where I have been? and why I should
stay so long? and how is't possible? and withal calls me at his
pleasure I know not how many cockatrices, and things.
MOR. In truth and sadness, these are no good epitaphs Anaides, to
bestow upon any gentlewoman; and I'll ensure you if I had known you
would have dealt thus with my daughter, she should never have
fancied you so deeply as she has done. Go to.
ANA. Why, do you hear, mother Moria? heart!
MOR. Nay, I pray you, sir, do not swear.
ANA. Swear! why? 'sblood, I have sworn afore now, I hope. Both
you and your daughter mistake me. I have not honour'd Arete, that
is held the worthiest lady in the court, next to Cynthia, with half
that observance and respect, as I have done her in private,
howsoever outwardly I have carried myself careless, and negligent.
Come, you are a foolish punk, and know not when you are well
employed. Kiss me, come on; do it, I say.
MOR. Nay, indeed, I must confess, she is apt to misprision. But I
must have you leave it, minion.
AMO. How now, Asotus! how does the lady?
ASO. Faith, ill. I have left my page with her, at her lodging.
HED. O, here's the rarest water that ever was tasted: fill him
PRO. What! has my master a new page?
MER. Yes, a kinsman of the lady Moria's: you must wait better
now, or you are cashiered, Prosaites.
ANA. Come, gallants; you must pardon my foolish humour; when I am
angry, that any thing crosses me, I grow impatient straight. Here,
I drink to you.
PHI. O, that we had five or six bottles more of this liquor!
PHA. Now I commend your judgment, Amorphus: --
Who's that knocks? look, page. [EXIT COS.]
MOR. O, most delicious; a little of this would make Argurion well.
PHA. O, no, give her no cold drink, by any means.
ANA. 'Sblood, this water is the spirit of wine, I'll be hang'd
RE-ENTER COS WITH ARETE.
COS. Here's the lady Arete, madam.
ARE. What, at your bever, gallants?
MOR. Will't please your ladyship to drink? 'tis of the New
ARE. Not I, Moria, I thank you. -- Gallants, you are for this
night free to your peculiar delights; Cynthia will have no sports:
when she is pleased to come forth, you shall have knowledge. In
the mean time, I could wish you did provide for solemn revels, and
some unlooked for device of wit, to entertain her, against she
should vouchsafe to grace your pastimes with her presence.
AMO. What say you to a masque?
HED. Nothing better, if the project were new and rare.
ARE. Why, I'll send for Crites, and have his advice: be you ready
in your endeavours: he shall discharge you of the inventive part.
PHA. But will not your ladyship stay?
ARE. Not now, Phantaste. [EXIT.]
PHI. Let her go, I pray you, good lady Sobriety, I am glad we are
rid of her.
PHA. What a set face the gentlewoman has, as she were still going
to a sacrifice!
PHI. O, she is the extraction of a dozen of Puritans, for a look.
MOR. Of all nymphs i' the court, I cannot away with her; 'tis the
PHI. I wonder how Cynthia can affect her so above the rest. Here
be they are every way as fair as she, and a thought, fairer, I
PHA. Ay, and as ingenious and conceited as she.
MOR. Ay, and as politic as she, for all she sets such a forehead
PHI. Would I were dead, if I would change to be Cynthia.
PHA. Or I.
MOR. Or I.
AMO. And there's her minion, Crites: why his advice more than
Amorphus? Have I not invention afore him? Learning to better
that invention above him? and infanted with pleasant travel --
ANA. Death, what talk you of his learning? he understands no more
than a schoolboy; I have put him down myself a thousand times, by
this air, and yet I never talk'd with him but twice in my life:
you never saw his like. I could never get him to argue with me but
once; and then because I could not construe an author I quoted at
first sight, he went away, and laughed at me. By Hercules, I scorn
him, as I do the sodden nymph that was here even now; his mistress,
Arete: and I love myself for nothing else.
HED. I wonder the fellow does not hang himself, being thus
scorn'd and contemn'd of us that are held the most accomplish'd
society of gallants.
MER. By yourselves, none else.
HED. I protest, if I had no music in me, no courtship; that I were
not a reveller and could dance, or had not those excellent
qualities that give a man life and perfection, but a mere poor
scholar as he is, I think I should make some desperate way with
myself; whereas now, -- would I might never breathe more, if I do
know that creature in this kingdom with whom I would change.
CUP. This is excellent! Well, I must alter all this soon.
MER. Look you do, Cupid. The bottles have wrought, it seems.
ASO. O, I am sorry the revels are crost. I should have tickled it
soon. I did never appear till then. 'Slid, I am the neatliest-made
gallant i' the company, and have the best presence; and my dancing
-- well, I know what our usher said to me last time I was at the
school: Would I might have led Philautia in the measures, an it
had been the gods' will! I am most worthy, I am sure.
MORUS. Master, I can tell you news; the Lady kissed me yonder, and
played with me, and says she loved you once as well as she does me,
but that you cast her off.
ASO. Peace, my most esteemed page.
ASO. What luck is this, that our revels are dash'd, now was I
beginning to glister in the very highway of preferment. An Cynthia
had but seen me dance a strain, or do but one trick, I had been
kept in court, I should never have needed to look towards my
AMO. Contain yourself, you were a fortunate young man, if you knew
your own good; which I have now projected, and will presently
multiply upon you. Beauties and valours, your vouchsafed applause
to a motion. The humorous Cynthia hath, for this night, withdrawn
the light of your delight.
PHA. 'Tis true, Amorphus: what may we do to redeem it?
AMO. Redeem that we cannot, but to create a new flame is in our
power. Here is a gentleman, my scholar, whom, for some private
reasons me specially moving, I am covetous to gratify with title of
master in the noble and subtile science of courtship: for which
grace, he shall this night, in court, and in the long gallery, hold
his public act, by open challenge, to all masters of the mystery
whatsoever, to play at the four choice and principal weapons
thereof, viz., "the Bare Accost, the Better Regard, the Solemn
Address," and "the Perfect Close." What say you?
ALL. Excellent, excellent, Amorphus.
AMO. Well, let us then take our time by the forehead: I will
instantly have bills drawn, and advanced in every angle of the
court. -- Sir, betray not your too much joy. -- Anaides, we must
mix this gentleman with you in acquaintance, monsieur Asotus.
ANA. I am easily entreated to grace any of your friends, Amorphus.
ASO. Sir, and his friends shall likewise grace you, sir. Nay, I
begin to know myself now.
AMO. O, you must continue your bounties.
ASO. Must I? Why, I'll give him this ruby on my finger. Do you
hear sir? I do heartily wish your acquaintance, and I partly know
myself worthy of it; please you, sir, to accept this poor ruby in a
ring, sir. The poesy is of my own device, "Let this blush for me,"
ANA. So it must for me too, for I am not asham'd to take it.
MORUS. Sweet man! By my troth, master, I love you; will you love
me too, for my aunt's sake? I'll wait well, you shall see. I'll
still be here. Would I might never stir, but you are a fine man in
these clothes; master, shall I have them when you have done with
ASO. As for that, Morus, thou shalt see more hereafter; in the
mean time, by this air, or by this feather, I'll do as much for
thee, as any gallant shall do for his page, whatsoever, in this
court, corner of the world, or kingdom.
[EXEUNT ALL BUT THE PAGES.]
MER. I wonder this gentleman should affect to keep a fool:
methinks he makes sport enough with himself.
CUP. Well, Prosaites, 'twere good you did wait closer.
PRO. Ay, I'll look to it; 'tis time.
COS. The revels would have been most sumptuous to-night, if they
had gone forward. [EXIT.]
MER. They must needs, when all the choicest singularities of the
court were up in pantofles; ne'er a one of them but was able to
make a whole show of itself.
ASO. [WITHIN.] Sirrah, a torch, a torch!
PRO. O, what a call is there! I will have a canzonet made, with
nothing in it but sirrah; and the burthen shall be, I come.
MER. How now, Cupid, how do you like this change?
CUP. Faith, the thread of my device is crack'd, I may go sleep
till the revelling music awake me.
MER. And then, too, Cupid, without you had prevented the fountain.
Alas, poor god, that remembers not self-love to be proof against
the violence of his quiver! Well, I have a plot against these
prizers, for which I must presently find out Crites, and with his
assistance pursue it to a high strain of laughter, or Mercury hath
lost of his metal.
SCENE I. -- THE SAME.
ENTER MERCURY AND CRITES.
MER. It is resolved on, Crites, you must do it.
CRI. The grace divinest Mercury hath done me,
In this vouchsafed discovery of himself,
Binds my observance in the utmost term
Of satisfaction to his godly will:
Though I profess, without the affectation
Of an enforced and form'd austerity,
I could be willing to enjoy no place
With so unequal natures.
MER. We believe it.
But for our sake, and to inflict just pains
On their prodigious follies, aid us now:
No man is presently made bad with ill.
And good men, like the sea, should still maintain
Their noble taste, in midst of all fresh humours
That flow about them, to corrupt their streams,
Bearing no season, much less salt of goodness.
It is our purpose, Crites, to correct,
And punish, with our laughter, this night's sport,
Which our court-dors so heartily intend:
And by that worthy scorn, to make them know
How far beneath the dignity of man
Their serious and most practised actions are.
CRI. Ay, but though Mercury can warrant out
His undertakings, and make all things good,
Out of the powers of his divinity,
Th' offence will be return'd with weight on me,
That am a creature so despised and poor;
When the whole court shall take itself abused
By our ironical confederacy.
MER. You are deceived. The better race in court,
That have the true nobility call'd virtue,
Will apprehend it, as a grateful right
Done to their separate merit; and approve
The fit rebuke of so ridiculous heads,
Who, with their apish customs and forced garbs,
Would bring the name of courtier in contempt,
Did it not live unblemish'd in some few,
Whom equal Jove hath loved, and Phoebus form'd
Of better metal, and in better mould.
CRI. Well, since my leader-on is Mercury,
I shall not fear to follow. If I fall,
My proper virtue shall be my relief,
That follow'd such a cause, and such a chief.
SCENE II. -- ANOTHER ROOM IN THE SAME.
ENTER ASOTUS AND AMORPHUS.
ASO. No more, if you love me, good master; you are incompatible to
live withal: send me for the ladies!
AMO. Nay, but intend me.
ASO. Fear me not; I warrant you, sir.
AMO. Render not yourself a refractory on the sudden. I can allow,
well, you should repute highly, heartily, and to the most, of your
own endowments; it gives you forth to the world the more assured:
but with reservation of an eye, to be always turn'd dutifully back
upon your teacher.
ASO. Nay, good sir, leave it to me. Trust me with trussing all
the points of this action, I pray. 'Slid, I hope we shall find wit
to perform the science as well as another.
AMO. I confess you to be of an apted and docible humour. Yet
there are certain punctilios, or (as I may more nakedly insinuate
them) certain intrinsecate strokes and wards, to which your
activity is not yet amounted, as your gentle dor in colours. For
supposition, your mistress appears here in prize, ribanded with
green and yellow; now, it is the part of every obsequious servant,
to be sure to have daily about him copy and variety of colours, to
be presently answerable to any hourly or half-hourly change in his
mistress's revolution --
ASO. I know it, sir.
AMO. Give leave, I pray you -- which, if your antagonist, or
player against you, shall ignorantly be without, and yourself can
produce, you give him the dor.
ASO. Ay, ay, sir.
AMO. Or, if you can possess your opposite, that the green your
mistress wears, is her rejoicing or exultation in his service; the
yellow, suspicion of his truth, from her height of affection: and
that he, greenly credulous, shall withdraw thus, in private, and
from the abundance of his pocket (to displace her jealous conceit)
steal into his hat the colour, whose blueness doth express
trueness, she being not so, nor so affected; you give him the dor.
ASO. Do not I know it, sir?
AMO. Nay, good -- swell not above your understanding. There is
yet a third dor in colours.
ASO. I know it too, I know it.
AMO. Do you know it too? what is it? make good your knowledge.
ASO. Why it is -- no matter for that.
AMO. Do it, on pain of the dor.
ASO. Why; what is't, say you?
AMO. Lo, you have given yourself the dor. But I will remonstrate
to you the third dor, which is not, as the two former dors,
indicative, but deliberative: as how? as thus. Your rival is,
with a dutiful and serious care, lying in his bed, meditating how
to observe his mistress, dispatcheth his lacquey to the chamber
early, to know what her colours are for the day, with purpose to
apply his wear that day accordingly: you lay wait before,
preoccupy the chamber-maid, corrupt her to return false colours; he
follows the fallacy, comes out accoutred to his believed
instructions; your mistress smiles, and you give him the dor.
ASO. Why, so I told you, sir, I knew it.
AMO. Told me! It is a strange outrecuidance, your humour too much
ASO. Why, sir, what, do you think you know more?
AMO. I know that a cook may as soon and properly be said to smell
well, as you to be wise. I know these are most clear and clean
strokes. But then, you have your passages and imbrocatas in
courtship; as the bitter bob in wit; the reverse in face or
wry-mouth; and these more subtile and secure offenders. I will
example unto you: Your opponent makes entry as you are engaged
with your mistress. You seeing him, close in her ear with this
whisper, "Here comes your baboon, disgrace him"; and withal
stepping off, fall on his bosom, and turning to her, politely,
aloud say, Lady, regard this noble gentleman, a man rarely parted,
second to none in this court; and then, stooping over his shoulder,
your hand on his breast, your mouth on his backside, you give him
the reverse stroke, with this sanna, or stork's-bill, which makes
up your wit's bob most bitter.
ASO. Nay, for heaven's sake, teach me no more. I know all as well
-- 'Slid, if I did not, why was I nominated? why did you choose me?
why did the ladies prick out me? I am sure there were other
gallants. But me of all the rest! By that light, and, as I am a
courtier, would I might never stir, but 'tis strange. Would to the
lord the ladies would come once!
MORP. Signior, the gallants and ladies are at hand. Are you
AMO. Instantly. Go, accomplish your attire: [EXIT ASOTUS.]
Cousin Morphides, assist me to make good the door with your
CITIZEN. [WITHIN.] By your leave, my masters there, pray you
let's come by.
PAGES. [WITHIN.] You by! why should you come by more than we?
CITIZEN'S WIFE. [WITHIN.] Why, sir! because he is my brother
that plays the prizes.
MORP. Your brother!
CITIZEN. [WITHIN.] Ay, her brother, sir, and we must come in.
TAILOR. [WITHIN.] Why, what are you?
CITIZEN. [WITHIN.] I am her husband, sir.
TAILOR. [WITHIN.] Then thrust forward your head.
AMO. What tumult is there?
MORP. Who's there? bear back there! Stand from the door!
AMO. Enter none but the ladies and their hang-byes. --
ENTER PHANTASTE, PHILAUTIA, ARGURION, MORIA, HEDON, AND ANAIDES,
INTRODUCING TWO LADIES.
Welcome beauties, and your kind shadows.
HED. This country lady, my friend, good signior Amorphus.
ANA. And my cockatrice here.
AMO. She is welcome.
THE CITIZEN, AND HIS WIFE, PAGES, ETC., APPEAR AT THE DOOR.
MORP. Knock those same pages there; and, goodman coxcomb the
citizen, who would you speak withal?
WIFE. My brother.
AMO. With whom? your brother!
MORP. Who is your brother?
WIFE. Master Asotus.
AMO. Master Asotus! is he your brother? he is taken up with
great persons; he is not to know you to-night.
RE-ENTER ASOTUS HASTILY.
ASO. O Jove, master! an there come e'er a citizen gentlewoman in
my name, let her have entrance, I pray you: it is my sister.
CIT. [THRUSTING IN.] Brother, master Asotus!
ASO. Who's there?
WIFE. 'Tis I, brother.
ASO. Gods me, there she is! good master, intrude her.
MORP. Make place! bear back there!
ENTER CITIZEN'S WIFE.
AMO. Knock that simple fellow there.
WIFE. Nay, good sir, it is my husband.
MORP. The simpler fellow he. -- Away! back with your head, sir!
[PUSHES THE CITIZEN BACK.]
ASO. Brother, you must pardon your non-entry: husbands are not
allow'd here, in truth. I'll come home soon with my sister: pray
you meet us with a lantern, brother. Be merry, sister: I shall
make you laugh anon. [EXIT.]
PHA. Your prizer is not ready, Amorphus.
AMO. Apprehend your places; he shall be soon, and at all points.
ANA. Is there any body come to answer him? shall we have any
AMO. Sport of importance; howsoever, give me the gloves.
HED. Gloves! why gloves, signior?
PHI. What's the ceremony?
AMO. [DISTRIBUTING GLOVES.] Beside their received fitness, at all
prizes, they are here properly accommodate to the nuptials of my
scholar's 'haviour to the lady Courtship. Please you apparel your
hands. Madam Phantaste, madam Philautia, guardian, signior Hedon,
signior Anaides, gentlemen all, ladies.
ALL. Thanks, good Amorphus.
AMO. I will now call forth my provost, and present him.
ANA. Heart! why should not we be masters as well as he?
HED. That's true, and play our masters' prizes as well as the
MOR. In sadness, for using your court-weapons, methinks you may.
PHA. Nay, but why should not we ladies play our prizes, I pray? I
see no reason but we should take them down at their own weapons.
PHI. Troth, and so we may, if we handle them well.
WIFE. Ay, indeed, forsooth, madam, if 'twere in the city, we would
think foul scorn but we would, forsooth.
PHA. Pray you, what should we call your name?
WIFE. My name is Downfall.
HED. Good mistress Downfall! I am sorry your husband could not
WIFE. 'Tis no matter for him, sir.
ANA. No, no, she has the more liberty for herself.
PHA. Peace, peace! they come.
RE-ENTER AMORPHUS, INTRODUCING ASOTUS IN A FULL-DRESS SUIT.
AMO. So, keep up your ruff; the tincture of your neck is not all
so pure, but it will ask it. Maintain your sprig upright; your
cloke on your half-shoulder falling; so: I will read your bill,
advance it, and present you. -- Silence!
"Be it known to all that profess courtship, by these presents (from
the white satin reveller, to the cloth of tissue and bodkin) that
we, Ulysses-Polytropus-Amorphus, master of the noble and subtile
science of courtship, do give leave and licence to our provost,
Acolastus-Polypragmon-Asotus, to play his master's prize, against
all masters whatsoever, in this subtile mystery, at these four, the
choice and most cunning weapons of court-compliment, viz. the BARE
ACCOST; the BETTER REGARD; the SOLEMN ADDRESS; and the
PERFECT CLOSE. These are therefore to give notice to all comers,
that he, the said Acolastus-Polypragmon-Asotus, is here present (by
the help of his mercer, tailor, milliner, sempster, and so forth)
at his designed hour, in this fair gallery, the present day of this
present month, to perform and do his uttermost for the achievement
and bearing away of the prizes, which are these: viz. For the
Bare Accost, two wall-eyes in a face forced: for the Better
Regard, a face favourably simpering, with a fan waving: for the
Solemn Address, two lips wagging, and never a wise word: for the
Perfect Close, a wring by the hand, with a banquet in a corner.
And Phoebus save Cynthia!"
Appeareth no man yet, to answer the prizer? no voice? -- Music,
give them their summons.
PHA. The solemnity of this is excellent.
AMO. Silence! Well, I perceive your name is their terror, and
keepeth them back.
ASO. I'faith, master, let's go; no body comes. 'Victus, victa,
victum; victi, victae, victi -- let's be retrograde.
AMO. Stay. That were dispunct to the ladies. Rather ourself
shall be your encounter. Take your state up to the wall; and,
lady, [LEADING MORIA TO THE STATE.] may we implore you to stand
forth, as first term or bound to our courtship.
HED. 'Fore heaven, 'twill shew rarely.
AMO. Sound a charge. [A CHARGE.]
ANA. A pox on't! Your vulgar will count this fabulous and
impudent now: by that candle, they'll never conceit it.
[THEY ACT THEIR ACCOST SEVERALLY TO MORIA.]
PHA. Excellent well! admirable!
HED. Most fashionably, believe it.
PHI. O, he is a well-spoken gentleman.
PHA. Now the other.
PHI. Very good.
HED. For a scholar, Honour.
ANA. O, 'tis too Dutch. He reels too much. [A FLOURISH.]
HED. This weapon is done.
AMO. No, we have our two bouts at every weapon; expect.
CRI. [WITHIN.] Where be these gallants, and their brave prizer
MORP. Who's there? bear back; keep the door.
ENTER CRITES, INTRODUCING MERCURY FANTASTICALLY DRESSED.
AMO. What are you, sir?
CRI. By your license, grand-master. -- Come forward, sir.
ANA. Heart! who let in that rag there amongst us? Put him out,
an impecunious creature.
HED. Out with him.
MORP. Come, sir.
AMO. You must be retrograde.
CRI. Soft, sir, I am truchman, and do flourish before this
monsieur, or French-behaved gentleman, here; who is drawn hither by
report of your chartels, advanced in court, to prove his fortune
with your prizer, so he may have fair play shewn him, and the
liberty to choose his stickler.
AMO. Is he a master?
CRI. That, sir, he has to shew here; and confirmed under the hands
of the most skilful and cunning complimentaries alive: Please you
read, sir. [GIVES HIM A CERTIFICATE.]
AMO. What shall we do?
ANA. Death! disgrace this fellow in the black stuff, whatever you
AMO. Why, but he comes with the stranger.
HED. That's no matter: he is our own countryman.
ANA. Ay, and he is a scholar besides. You may disgrace him here
AMO. Well, see these first.
ASO. Now shall I be observed by yon scholar, till I sweat again; I
would to Jove it were over.
CRI. [TO MERCURY.] Sir, this is the wight of worth, that dares
you to the encounter. A gentleman of so pleasing and ridiculous a
carriage; as, even standing, carries meat in the mouth, you see;
and, I assure you, although no bred courtling, yet a most
particular man, of goodly havings, well-fashion'd 'haviour, and of
as hardened and excellent a bark as the most naturally qualified
amongst them, inform'd, reform'd, and transform'd, from his
original citycism; by this elixir, or mere magazine of man. And,
for your spectators, you behold them what they are: the most
choice particulars in court: this tells tales well; this provides
coaches; this repeats jests; this presents gifts; this holds up the
arras; this takes down from horse; this protests by this light;
this swears by that candle; this delighteth; this adoreth: yet all
but three men. Then, for your ladies, the most proud, witty
creatures, all things apprehending, nothing understanding,
perpetually laughing, curious maintainers of fools, mercers, and
minstrels, costly to be kept, miserably keeping, all disdaining but
their painter and apothecary, 'twixt whom and them there is this
reciprock commerce, their beauties maintain their painters, and
their painters their beauties.
MER. Sir, you have plaid the painter yourself, and limn'd them to
the life. I desire to deserve before them.
AMO. [RETURNING THE CERTIFICATE.] This is authentic. We must
resolve to entertain the monsieur, howsoever we neglect him.
HED. Come, let's all go together, and salute him.
ANA. Content, and not look on the other.
AMO. Well devised; and a most punishing disgrace.
AMO. Monsieur, we must not so much betray ourselves to
discourtship, as to suffer you to be longer unsaluted: please you
to use the state ordain'd for the opponent; in which nature,
without envy, we receive you.
HED. And embrace you.
ANA. And commend us to you, sir.
PHI. Believe it, he is a man of excellent silence.
PHA. He keeps all his wit for action.
ANA. This hath discountenanced our scholaris, most richly.
HED. Out of all emphasis. The monsieur sees we regard him not.
AMO. Hold on; make it known how bitter a thing it is not to be
look'd on in court.
HED. 'Slud, will he call him to him yet! Does not monsieur
perceive our disgrace?
ANA. Heart! he is a fool, I see. We have done ourselves wrong to
HED. 'Slight, what an ass was I to embrace him!
CRI. Illustrious and fearful judges --
HED. Turn away, turn away.
CRI. It is the suit of the strange opponent (to whom you ought not
to turn your tails, and whose noses I must follow) that he may have
the justice, before he encounter his respected adversary, to see
some light stroke of his play, commenced with some other.
HED. Answer not him, but the stranger: we will not believe him.
AMO. I will demand him, myself.
CRI. O dreadful disgrace, if a man were so foolish to feel it.
AMO. Is it your suit, monsieur, to see some prelude of my scholar?
Now, sure the monsieur wants language --
HED. And take upon him to be one of the accomplished! 'Slight,
that's a good jest; would we could take him with that nullity. --
"Non sapete voi parlar' Italiano?"
ANA. 'Sfoot, the carp has no tongue.
CRI. Signior, in courtship, you are to bid your abettors forbear,
and satisfy the monsieur's request.
AMO. Well, I will strike him more silent with admiration, and
terrify his daring hither. He shall behold my own play with my
scholar. Lady, with the touch of your white hand, let me reinstate
you. [LEADS MORIA BACK TO THE STATE.] Provost, [TO ASOTUS.] begin
to me at the "Bare Accost". [A CHARGE.] Now, for the honour of my
HED. Signior Amorphus, reflect, reflect; what means he by that
CRI. He is in some distaste of your fellow disciple.
MER. Signior, your scholar might have played well still, if he
could have kept his seat longer; I have enough of him, now. He is
a mere piece of glass, I see through him by this time.
AMO. You come not to give us the scorn, monsieur?
MER. Nor to be frighted with a face, signior. I have seen the
lions. You must pardon me. I shall be loth to hazard a reputation
with one that has not a reputation to lose.
CRI. Meaning your pupil, sir.
ANA. This is that black devil there.
AMO. You do offer a strange affront, monsieur.
CRI. Sir, he shall yield you all the honour of a competent
adversary, if you please to undertake him.
MER. I am prest for the encounter.
AMO. Me! challenge me!
ASO. What, my master, sir! 'Slight, monsieur, meddle with me, do
you hear: but do not meddle with my master.
MER. Peace, good squib, go out.
CRI. And stink, he bids you.
AMO. Silence! I do accept him. Sit you down and observe. Me!
he never profest a thing at more charges. -- Prepare yourself sir.
-- Challenge me! I will prosecute what disgrace my hatred can
dictate to me.
CRI. How tender a traveller's spleen is! Comparison to men that
deserve least, is ever most offensive.
AMO. You are instructed in our chartel, and know our weapons?
MER. I appear not without their notice, sir.
ASO. But must I lose the prizes, master?
AMO. I will win them for you; be patient. -- Lady, [TO MORIA.]
vouchsafe the tenure of this ensign. -- Who shall be your stickler?
MER. Behold him. [POINTS TO CRITES.]
AMO. I would not wish you a weaker. -- Sound, musics. -- I provoke
you at the Bare Accost. [A CHARGE.]
PHA. Excellent comely!
CRI. And worthily studied. This is the exalted foretop.
HED. O, his leg was too much produced.
ANA. And his hat was carried scurvily.
PHI. Peace; let's see the monsieur's Accost: Rare!
PHA. Sprightly and short.
ANA. True, it is the French courteau: he lacks but to have his
HED. He does hop. He does bound too much. [A FLOURISH.]
AMO. The second bout, to conclude this weapon. [A CHARGE.]
PHA. Good, believe it!
PHI. An excellent offer!
CRI. This is called the solemn band-string.
HED. Foh, that cringe was not put home.
ANA. He makes a face like a stabb'd Lucrece.
ASO. Well, he would needs take it upon him, but would I had done
it for all this. He makes me sit still here, like a baboon as I
CRI. Making villainous faces.
PHI. See, the French prepares it richly.
CRI. Ay, this is ycleped the Serious Trifle.
ANA. 'Slud, 'tis the horse-start out o' the brown study.
CRI. Rather the bird-eyed stroke, sir. Your observance is too
blunt, sir. [A FLOURISH.]
AMO. Judges, award the prize. Take breath, sir. This bout hath
ASO. And yet your critic, or your besongno, will think these
things foppery, and easy, now!
CRI. Or rather mere lunacy. For would any reasonable creature
make these his serious studies and perfections, much less, only
live to these ends? to be the false pleasure of a few, the true
love of none, and the just laughter of all?
HED. We must prefer the monsieur, we courtiers must be partial.
ANA. Speak, guardian. Name the prize, at the Bare Accost.
MOR. A pair of wall-eyes in a face forced.
ANA. Give the monsieur. Amorphus hath lost his eyes.
AMO. I! Is the palate of your judgment down? Gentles, I do
ASO. Yes, master, to me: the judges be fools.
ANA. How now, sir! tie up your tongue, mungrel. He cannot
ASO. Say, you sir?
ANA. Sit you still, sir.
ASO. Why, so I do; do not I, I pray you?
MER. Remercie, madame, and these honourable censors.
AMO. Well, to the second weapon, the "Better Regard". I will
encounter you better. Attempt.
HED. Sweet Honour.
PHI. What says my good Ambition?
HED. Which take you at this next weapon? I lay a Discretion with
you on Amorphus's head.
PHI. Why, I take the French-behaved gentleman.
HED. 'Tis done, a Discretion.
CRI. A Discretion! A pretty court-wager! Would any discreet
person hazard his wit so?
PHA. I'll lay a Discretion with you, Anaides.
ANA. Hang 'em, I'll not venture a doit of Discretion on either of
CRI. No, he should venture all then.
ANA. I like none of their plays. [A CHARGE.]
HED. See, see! this is strange play!
ANA. 'Tis too full of uncertain motion. He hobbles too much.
CRI. 'Tis call'd your court-staggers, sir.
HED. That same fellow talks so now he has a place!
ANA. Hang him! neglect him.
MER. "Your good ladyship's affectioned."
WIFE. Ods so! they speak at this weapon, brother.
ASO. They must do so, sister; how should it be the Better Regard,
PHA. Methinks he did not this respectively enough.
PHI. Why, the monsieur but dallies with him.
HED. Dallies! 'Slight, see! he'll put him to't in earnest. --
Well done, Amorphus!
ANA. That puff was good indeed.
CRI. Ods me! this is desperate play: he hits himself o' the
HED. An he make this good through, he carries it, I warrant him.
CRI. Indeed he displays his feet rarely.
HED. See, see! he does the respective leer damnably well.
AMO. "The true idolater of your beauties shall never pass their
deities unadored: I rest your poor knight."
HED. See, now the oblique leer, or the Janus: he satisfies all
with that aspect most nobly. [A FLOURISH.]
Cri. And most terribly he comes off; like your rodomontado.
PHA. How like you this play, Anaides?
ANA. Good play; but 'tis too rough and boisterous.
AMO. I will second it with a stroke easier, wherein I will prove
his language. [A CHARGE.]
ANA. This is filthy, and grave, now.
HED. O, 'tis cool and wary play. We must not disgrace our own
camerade too much.
AMO. "Signora, ho tanto obligo per le favore resciuto da lei; che
veramente desidero con tutto il core, a remunerarla in parte: e
sicurative, signora mea cara, che io sera sempre pronto a servirla,
e honorarla. Bascio le mane de vo' signoria."
CRI. The Venetian dop this.
PHA. Most unexpectedly excellent! The French goes down certain.
ASO. As buckets are put down into a well;
Or as a school-boy --
CRI. Truss up your simile, jack-daw, and observe.
HED. Now the monsieur is moved.
HED. O, most antick.
CRI. The French quirk, this sir.
ANA. Heart, he will over-run her.
MER. "Madamoyselle, Je voudroy que pouvoy monstrer mon affection,
mais je suis tant malhereuse, ci froid, ci layd, ci -- Je ne scay
qui de dire -- excuse moi, Je suis tout vostre." [A FLOURISH.]
PHI. O brave and spirited! he's a right Jovialist.
PHA. No, no: Amorphus's gravity outweighs it.
CRI. And yet your lady, or your feather, would outweigh both.
ANA. What's the prize, lady, at this Better Regard?
MOR. A face favourably simpering, and a fan waving.
ANA. They have done doubtfully. Divide. Give the favourable face
to the signior, and the light wave to the monsieur.
AMO. You become the simper well, lady.
MER. And the wag better.
AMO. Now, to our "Solemn Address." Please the well-graced
Philautia to relieve the lady sentinel; she hath stood long.
PHI. With all my heart; come, guardian, resign your place.
[MORIA COMES FROM THE STATE.]
AMO. Monsieur, furnish yourself with what solemnity of ornament
you think fit for this third weapon; at which you are to shew all
the cunning of stroke your devotion can possibly devise.
MER. Let me alone, sir. I'll sufficiently decipher your amorous
solemnities. -- Crites, have patience. See, if I hit not all their
practic observance, with which they lime twigs to catch their
CRI. Ay, but you should do more charitably to do it more openly,
that they might discover themselves mock'd in these monstrous
affections. [A CHARGE.]
MER. Lackey, where's the tailor?
ENTER TAILOR, BARBER, PERFUMER, MILLINER, JEWELLER, AND
TAI. Here, sir.
HED. See, they have their tailor, barber, perfumer, milliner,
jeweller, feather-maker, all in common!
[THEY MAKE THEMSELVES READY ON THE STAGE.]
ANA. Ay, this is pretty.
AMO. Here is a hair too much, take it off. Where are thy mullets?
MER. Is this pink of equal proportion to this cut, standing off
this distance from it?
TAI. That it is, sir.
MER. Is it so, sir? You impudent poltroon, you slave, you list,
you shreds, you -- BEATS THE TAILOR.]
HED. Excellent! This was the best yet.
ANA. Why, we must use our tailors thus: this is our true
MER. Come, go to, put on; we must bear with you for the times'
AMO. Is the perfume rich in this jerkin?
PER. Taste, smell; I assure you, sir, pure benjamin, the only
spirited scent that ever awaked a Neapolitan nostril. You would
wish yourself all nose for the love on't. I frotted a jerkin for a
new-revenued gentleman yielded me three-score crowns but this
morning, and the same titillation.
AMO. I savour no sampsuchine in it.
PER. I am a Nulli-fidian, if there be not three-thirds of a
scruple more of sampsuchinum in this confection, than ever I put in
any. I'll tell you all the ingredients, sir.
AMO. You shall be simple to discover your simples.
PER. Simple! why, sir? What reck I to whom I discover? I have
it in musk, civet, amber, Phoenicobalanus, the decoction of
turmerick, sesana, nard, spikenard, calamus odoratus, stacte,
opobalsamum, amomum, storax, ladanum, aspalathum, opoponax,
oenanthe. And what of all these now? what are you the better?
Tut, it is the sorting, and the dividing, and the mixing, and the
tempering, and the searching, and the decocting, that makes the
fumigation and the suffumigation.
AMO. Well, indue me with it.
PER. I will, sir.
HED. An excellent confection.
CRI. And most worthy a true voluptuary, Jove! what a coil these
musk-worms take to purchase another's delight? for themselves, who
bear the odours, have ever the least sense of them. Yet I do like
better the prodigality of jewels and clothes, whereof one passeth
to a man's heirs; the other at least wears out time. This
presently expires, and, without continual riot in reparation, is
lost: which whoso strives to keep, it is one special argument to
me, that, affecting to smell better than other men, he doth indeed
smell far worse.
MER. I know you will say, it sits well, sir.
TAI. Good faith, if it do not, sir, let your mistress be judge.
MER. By heaven, if my mistress do not like it, I'll make no more
conscience to undo thee, than to undo an oyster.
TAI. Believe it, there's ne'er a mistress in the world can mislike
MER. No, not goodwife tailor, your mistress; that has only the
judgment to heat your pressing-tool. But for a court-mistress that
studies these decorums, and knows the proportion of every cut to a
hair, knows why such a colour is cut upon such a colour, and when a
satin is cut upon six taffataes, will look that we should dive into
the depth of the cut -- Give me my scarf. Shew some ribands,
sirrah. Have you the feather?
FEAT. Ay, sir.
MER. Have you the jewel?
JEW. Yes, sir.
MER. What must I give for the hire on't?
JEW. You shall give me six crowns, sir.
MER. Six crowns! By heaven, 'twere a good deed to borrow it of
thee to shew, and never let thee have it again.
JEW. I hope your worship will not do so, sir.
MER. By Jove, sir, there be such tricks stirring, I can tell you,
and worthily too. Extorting knaves, that live by these
court-decorums, and yet -- What's your jewel worth, I pray?
JEW. A hundred crowns, sir.
MER. A hundred crowns, and six for the loan on't an hour! what's
that in the hundred for the year? These impostors would not be
hang'd! Your thief is not comparable to them, by Hercules. Well,
put it in, and the feather; you will have it and you shall, and the
pox give you good on't!
AMO. Give me my confects, my moscadini, and place those colours in
MER. These are Bolognian ribands, I warrant you.
MIL. In truth, sir, if they be not right Granado silk --
MER. A pox on you, you'll all say so.
MIL. You give me not a penny, sir.
MER. Come, sir, perfume my devant;
"May it ascend, like solemn sacrifice,
Into the nostrils of the Queen of Love!"
HED. Your French ceremonies are the best.
ANA. Monsieur, signior, your Solemn Address is too long; the
ladies long to have you come on.
AMO. Soft, sir, our coming on is not so easily prepared. Signior
PER. Ay, sir.
AMO. Can you help my complexion, here?
PER. O yes, sir, I have an excellent mineral fucus for the
purpose. The gloves are right, sir; you shall bury them in a
muck-hill, a draught, seven years, and take them out and wash them,
they shall still retain their first scent, true Spanish. There's
ambre in the umbre.
MER. Your price, sweet Fig?
PER. Give me what you will, sir; the signior pays me two crowns a
pair; you shall give me your love, sir.
MER. My love! with a pox to you, goodman Sassafras.
PER. I come, sir. There's an excellent diapasm in a chain, too,
if you like it.
AMO. Stay, what are the ingredients to your fucus?
PER. Nought but sublimate and crude mercury, sir, well prepared
and dulcified, with the jaw-bones of a sow, burnt, beaten, and
AMO. I approve it. Lay it on.
MER. I'll have your chain of pomander, sirrah; what's your price?
PER. We'll agree, monsieur; I'll assure you it was both decocted
and dried where no sun came, and kept in an onyx ever since it was
MER. Come, invert my mustachio, and we have done.
AMO. 'Tis good.
BAR. Hold still, I pray you, sir.
PER. Nay, the fucus is exorbitant, sir.
MER. Death, dost thou burn me, harlot!
BAR. I beseech you, sir.
MER. Beggar, varlet, poltroon. [BEATS HIM.]
HED. Excellent, excellent!
ANA. Your French beat is the most natural beat of the world.
ASO. O that I had played at this weapon. [A CHARGE.]
PHA. Peace, now they come on; the second part.
AMO. "Madam, your beauties being so attractive, I muse you are
left thus alone."
PHI. "Better be alone, sir, than ill accompanied."
AMO. "Nought can be ill, lady, that can come near your goodness."
MER. "Sweet madam, on what part of you soever a man casts his eye,
he meets with perfection; you are the lively image of Venus
throughout; all the graces smile in your cheeks; your beauty
nourishes as well as delights; you have a tongue steeped in honey,
and a breath like a panther; your breasts and forehead are whiter
than goats' milk, or May blossoms; a cloud is not so soft as your
HED. Well strook, monsieur! He charges like a Frenchman indeed,
thick and hotly.
MER. "Your cheeks are Cupid's baths, wherein he uses to steep
himself in milk and nectar: he does light all his torches at your
eyes, and instructs you how to shoot and wound with their beams.
Yet I love nothing in you more than your innocence; you retain so
native a simplicity, so unblamed a behaviour! Methinks, with such
a love, I should find no head, nor foot of my pleasure: you are
the very spirit of a lady."
ANA. Fair play, monsieur, you are too hot on the quarry; give your
AMO. "Lady, how stirring soever the monsieur's tongue is, he will
lie by your side more dull than your eunuch."
ANA. A good stroke; that mouth was excellently put over.
AMO. "You are fair, lady --"
CRI. You offer foul, signior, to close; keep your distance; for
all your bravo rampant here.
AMO. "I say you are fair, lady, let your choice be fit, as you are
MER. "I say ladies do never believe they are fair, till some fool
begins to doat upon them."
PHI. You play too rough, gentlemen.
AMO. "Your frenchified fool is your only fool, lady: I do yield
to this honourable monsieur in all civil and humane courtesy."
ANA. Admirable. Give him the prize, give him the prize: that
mouth again was most courtly hit, and rare.
AMO. I knew I should pass upon him with the bitter bob.
HED. O, but the reverse was singular.
PHA. It was most subtile, Amorphus.
ASO. If I had done't, it should have been better.
MER. How heartily they applaud this, Crites!
CRI. You suffer them too long.
MER. I'll take off their edge instantly.
ANA. Name the prize, at the "Solemn Address."
PHI. Two lips wagging.
CRI. And never a wise word, I take it.
ANA. Give to Amorphus. And, upon him again; let him not draw free
AMO. Thanks, fair deliverer, and my honourable judges. Madam
Phantaste, you are our worthy object at this next weapon.
PHA. Most covetingly ready, Amorphus.
[SHE TAKES THE STATE INSTEAD OF PHILAUTIA.]
HED. Your monsieur is crest-fallen.
ANA. So are most of them once a year.
AMO. You will see, I shall now give him the gentle Dor presently,
he forgetting to shift the colours, which are now changed with
alteration of the mistress. At your last weapon, sir. "The
Perfect Close." Set forward. [A CHARGE.] Intend your approach,
MER. 'Tis yours, signior.
AMO. With your example, sir.
MER. Not I, sir.
AMO. It is your right.
MER. By no possible means.
AMO. You have the way.
MER. As I am noble --
AMO. As I am virtuous --
MER. Pardon me, sir.
AMO. I will die first.
MER. You are a tyrant in courtesy.
AMO. He is removed. -- [STAYS MERCURY ON HIS MOVING.] -- Judges,
MER. What of that, sir?
AMO. You are removed, sir.
AMO. I challenge you; you have received the Dor. Give me the
MER. Soft, sir. How, the Dor?
AMO. The common mistress, you see, is changed.
MER. Right, sir.
AMO. And you have still in your hat the former colours.
MER. You lie, sir, I have none: I have pulled them out. I meant
to play discoloured. [A FLOURISH.]
CRI. The Dor, the Dor, the Dor, the Dor, the Dor, the palpable
ANA. Heart of my blood, Amorphus, what have you done? stuck a
disgrace upon us all, and at your last weapon!
ASO. I could have done no more.
HED. By heaven, it was most unfortunate luck.
ANA. Luck! by that candle, it was mere rashness, and oversight;
would any man have ventured to play so open, and forsake his ward?
D--n me, if he have not eternally undone himself in court, and
discountenanced us that were his main countenance, by it.
AMO. Forgive it now: it was the solecism of my stars.
CRI. The wring by the hand, and the banquet, is ours.
MER. O, here's a lady feels like a wench of the first year; you
would think her hand did melt in your touch; and the bones of her
fingers ran out at length when you prest 'em, they are so gently
delicate! He that had the grace to print a kiss on these lips,
should taste wine and rose-leaves. O, she kisses as close as a
cockle. Let's take them down, as deep as our hearts, wench, till
our very souls mix. Adieu, signior: good faith I shall drink to
you at supper, sir.
ANA. Stay, monsieur. Who awards you the prize?
CRI. Why, his proper merit, sir; you see he has played down your
grand garb-master, here.
ANA. That's not in your logic to determine, sir: you are no
courtier. This is none of your seven or nine beggarly sciences, but
a certain mystery above them, wherein we that have skill must
pronounce, and not such fresh men as you are.
CRI. Indeed, I must declare myself to you no profest courtling;
nor to have any excellent stroke at your subtile weapons; yet if
you please, I dare venture a hit with you, or your fellow, sir
ANA. With me!
CRI. Yes, sir.
ANA. Heart, I shall never have such a fortune to save myself in a
fellow again, and your two reputations, gentlemen, as in this.
I'll undertake him.
HED. Do, and swinge him soundly, good Anaides.
ANA. Let me alone; I'll play other manner of play, than has been
seen yet. I would the prize lay on't.
MER. It shall if you will, I forgive my right.
ANA. Are you so confident! what's your weapon?
CRI. At any, I, sir.
MER. The Perfect Close, that's now the best.
ANA. Content, I'll pay your scholarity. Who offers?
CRI. Marry, that will I: I dare give you that advantage too.
ANA. You dare! well, look to your liberal sconce.
AMO. Make your play still, upon the answer, sir.
ANA. Hold your peace, you are a hobby-horse.
ASO. Sit by me, master.
MER. Now, Crites, strike home. [A CHARGE.]
CRI. You shall see me undo the assured swaggerer with a trick,
instantly: I will play all his own play before him; court the wench
in his garb, in his phrase, with his face; leave him not so much as
a look, an eye, a stalk, or an imperfect oath, to express himself
by, after me. [ASIDE TO MERCURY.]
MER. Excellent, Crites.
ANA. When begin you, sir? have you consulted?
CRI. To your cost, sir. Which is the piece stands forth to be
courted? O, are you she? [TO PHILAUTIA.] "Well, madam, or sweet
lady, it is so, I do love you in some sort, do you conceive? and
though I am no monsieur, nor no signior, and do want, as they say,
logic and sophistry, and good words, to tell you why it is so; yet
by this hand and by that candle it is so: and though I be no
book-worm, nor one that deals by art, to give you rhetoric and
causes, why it should be so, or make it good it is so? yet, d--n
me, but I know it is so, and am assured it is so, and I and my
sword shall make it appear it is so, and give you reason sufficient
how it can be no otherwise but so --"
HED. 'Slight, Anaides, you are mocked, and so we are all.
MER. How now, signior! what, suffer yourself to be cozened of
your courtship before your face?
HED. This is plain confederacy to disgrace us: let's be gone, and
plot some revenge.
AMO. "When men disgraces share,
The lesser is the care."
CRI. Nay, stay, my dear Ambition, [TO HEDON.] I can do you over
too. You that tell your mistress, her beauty is all composed of
theft; her hair stole from Apollo's goldy-locks; her white and red,
lilies and roses stolen out of paradise; her eyes two stars,
pluck'd from the sky; her nose the gnomon of Love's dial, that
tells you how the clock of your heart goes: and for her other
parts, as you cannot reckon them, they are so many; so you cannot
recount them, they are so manifest. Yours, if his own, unfortunate
Hoyden, instead of Hedon. [A FLOURISH.]
ASO. Sister, come away, I cannot endure them longer.
[EXEUNT ALL BUT MERCURY AND CRITES.]
MER. Go, Dors, and you, my madam Courting-stocks,
Follow your scorned and derided mates;
Tell to your guilty breasts, what mere gilt blocks
You are, and how unworthy human states.
CRI. Now, sacred God of Wit, if you can make
Those, whom our sports tax in these apish graces,
Kiss, like the fighting snakes, your peaceful rod,
These times shall canonise you for a god.
MER. Why, Crites, think you any noble spirit,
Or any, worth the title of a man,
Will be incensed to see the enchanted veils
Of self-conceit, and servile flattery,
Wrapt in so many folds by time and custom,
Drawn from his wronged and bewitched eyes?
Who sees not now their shape and nakedness,
Is blinder than the son of earth, the mole;
Crown'd with no more humanity, nor soul.
CRI. Though they may see it, yet the huge estate
Fancy, and form, and sensual pride have gotten,
Will make them blush for anger, not for shame,
And turn shewn nakedness to impudence.
Humour is now the test we try things in:
All power is just: nought that delights is sin.
And yet the zeal of every knowing man
Opprest with hills of tyranny, cast on virtue
By the light fancies of fools, thus transported.
Cannot but vent the Aetna of his fires,
T'inflame best bosoms with much worthier love
Than of these outward and effeminate shades;
That these vain joys, in which their wills consume
Such powers of wit and soul as are of force
To raise their beings to eternity,
May be converted on works fitting men:
And, for the practice of a forced look,
An antic gesture, or a fustian phrase,
Study the native frame of a true heart,
An inward comeliness of bounty, knowledge,
And spirit that may conform them actually
To God's high figures, which they have in power;
Which to neglect for a self-loving neatness,
Is sacrilege of an unpardon'd greatness.
MER. Then let the truth of these things strengthen thee,
In thy exempt and only man-like course;
Like it the more, the less it is respected:
Though men fail, virtue is by gods protected. --
See, here comes Arete; I'll withdraw myself. [EXIT.]
ARE. Crites, you must provide straight for a masque,
'Tis Cynthia's pleasure.
CRI. How, bright Arete!
Why, 'twere a labour more for Hercules:
Better and sooner durst I undertake
To make the different seasons of the year,
The winds, or elements, to sympathise,
Than their unmeasurable vanity
Dance truly in a measure. They agree!
What though all concord's born of contraries;
So many follies will confusion prove,
And like a sort of jarring instruments,
All out of tune; because, indeed, we see
There is not that analogy 'twixt discords,
As between things but merely opposite.
ARE. There is your error: for as Hermes' wand
Charms the disorders of tumultuous ghosts;
And as the strife of Chaos then did cease,
When better light than Nature's did arrive:
So, what could never in itself agree,
Forgetteth the eccentric property,
And at her sight turns forth with regular,
Whose sceptre guides the flowing ocean:
And though it did not, yet the most of them
Being either courtiers, or not wholly rude,
Respect of majesty, the place, and presence,
Will keep them within ring; especially
When they are not presented as themselves,
But masqued like others: for, in troth, not so
To incorporate them, could be nothing else,
Than like a state ungovern'd, without laws;
Or body made of nothing but diseases:
The one, through impotency, poor and wretched;
The other, for the anarchy, absurd.
CRI. But, lady, for the revellers themselves,
It would be better, in my poor conceit,
That others were employ'd; for such as are
Unfit to be in Cynthia's court, can seem
No less unfit to be in Cynthia's sports.
ARE. That, Crites, is not purposed without
Particular knowledge of the goddess' mind;
Who holding true intelligence, what follies
Had crept into her palace, she resolved
Of sports and triumphs; under that pretext,
To have them muster in their pomp and fulness,
That so she might more strictly, and to root,
Effect the reformation she intends.
CRI. I now conceive her heavenly drift in all;
And will apply my spirits to serve her will.
O thou, the very power by which I am,
And but for which it were in vain to be,
Chief next Diana, virgin heavenly fair,
Admired Arete, of them admired
Whose souls are not enkindled by the sense,
Disdain not my chaste fire, but feed the flame
Devoted truly to thy gracious name.
ARE. Leave to suspect us: Crites well shall find,
As we are now most dear, we'll prove most kind.
ARE. Hark, I am call'd. [EXIT.]
CRI. I follow instantly.
Phoebus Apollo, if with ancient rites,
And due devotions, I have ever hung
Elaborate Paeans on thy golden shrine,
Or sung thy triumphs in a lofty strain,
Fit for a theatre of gods to hear:
And thou, the other son of mighty Jove,
Cyllenian Mercury, sweet Maia's joy,
If in the busy tumults of the mind
My path thou ever hast illumined,
For which thine altars I have oft perfumed,
And deck'd thy statues with discolour'd flowers:
Now thrive invention in this glorious court,
That not of bounty only, but of right,
Cynthia may grace, and give it life by sight. [EXIT.]
ENTER HESPERUS, CYNTHIA, ARETE, TIME, PHRONESIS, AND THAUMA.
MUSIC ACCOMPANIED. HESPERUS SINGS.
Queen and huntress, chaste and fair,
Now the sun is laid to sleep,
Seated in thy silver chair,
State in wonted manner keep:
Hesperus entreats thy light,
Goddess, excellently bright.
Earth, let not thy envious shade
Dare itself to interpose;
Cynthia's shining orb was made
Heav'n to clear, when day did close:
Bless us then with wished sight,
Goddess excellently bright.
Lay thy bow of pearl apart,
And thy crystal shining quiver;
Give unto the flying hart
Space to breathe, how short soever:
Thou, that mak'st a day of night,
Goddess excellently bright.
CYN. When hath Diana, like an envious wretch,
That glitters only to his soothed self,
Denying to the world the precious use
Of hoarded wealth, withheld her friendly aid?
Monthly we spend our still-repaired shine,
And not forbid our virgin-waxen torch
To burn and blaze, while nutriment doth last:
That once consumed, out of Jove's treasury
A new we take, and stick it in our sphere,
To give the mutinous kind of wanting men
Their look'd-for light. Yet what is their desert?
Bounty is wrong'd, interpreted as due;
Mortals can challenge not a ray, by right,
Yet do expect the whole of Cynthia's light.
But if that deities withdrew their gifts
For human follies, what could men deserve
But death and darkness? It behoves the high,
For their own sakes, to do things worthily.
ARE. Most true, most sacred goddess; for the heavens
Receive no good of all the good they do:
Nor Jove, nor you, nor other heavenly Powers,
Are fed with fumes, which do from incense rise,
Or sacrifices reeking in their gore;
Yet, for the care which you of mortals have,
(Whose proper good it is that they be so;)
You well are pleased with odours redolent:
But ignorant is all the race of men,
Which still complains, not knowing why, or when.
CYN. Else, noble Arete, they would not blame,
And tax, or for unjust, or for as proud,
Thy Cynthia, in the things which are indeed
The greatest glories in our starry crown;
Such is our chastity, which safely scorns,
Not love, for who more fervently doth love
Immortal honour, and divine renown?
But giddy Cupid, Venus' frantic son.
Yet, Arete, if by this veiled light
We but discover'd (what we not discern)
Any the least of imputations stand
Ready to sprinkle our unspotted fame
With note of lightness, from these revels near:
Not, for the empire of the universe,
Should night, or court, this whatsoever shine,
Or grace of ours, unhappily enjoy.
Place and occasion are two privy thieves;
And from poor innocent ladies often steal
The best of things, an honourable name;
To stay with follies, or where faults may be,
Infers a crime, although the party free.
ARE. How Cynthianly, that is, how worthily
And like herself, the matchless Cynthia speaks!
Infinite jealousies, infinite regards,
Do watch about the true virginity:
But Phoebe lives from all, not only fault,
But as from thought, so from suspicion free.
Thy presence broad-seals our delights for pure;
What's done in Cynthia's sight, is done secure.
CYN. That then so answer'd, dearest Arete,
What th' argument, or of what sort our sports
Are like to be this night, I not demand.
Nothing which duty, and desire to please,
Bears written in the forehead, comes amiss.
But unto whose invention must we owe
The complement of this night's furniture?
ARE. Excellent goddess, to a man's, whose worth,
Without hyperbole, I thus may praise;
One at least studious of deserving well,
And, to speak truth, indeed deserving well.
Potential merit stands for actual,
Where only opportunity doth want,
Not will, nor power; both which in him abound,
One whom the Muses and Minerva love;
For whom should they, than Crites, more esteem,
Whom Phoebus, though not Fortune, holdeth dear?
And, which convinceth excellence in him,
A principal admirer of yourself:
Even through the ungentle injuries of Fate,
And difficulties, which do virtue choke,
Thus much of him appears. What other things
Of farther note do lie unborn in him,
Them I do leave for cherishment to shew,
And for a goddess graciously to judge.
CYN. We have already judged him, Arete,
Nor are we ignorant how noble minds
Suffer too much through those indignities
Which times and vicious persons cast on them.
Ourself have ever vowed to esteem
As virtue for itself, so fortune, base;
Who's first in worth, the same be first in place.
Nor farther notice, Arete, we crave
Then thine approval's sovereign warranty:
Let 't be thy care to make us known to him;
Cynthia shall brighten what the world made dim.
THE FIRST MASQUE.
ENTER CUPID, DISGUISED AS ANTEROS, FOLLOWED BY STORGE, AGLAIA, EUPHANTASTE,
CUP. Clear pearl of heaven, and, not to be farther ambitious in
titles, Cynthia! the fame of this illustrious night, among others,
hath also drawn these four fair virgins from the palace of their
queen Perfection, (a word which makes no sufficient difference
betwixt her's and thine,) to visit thy imperial court: for she,
their sovereign, not finding where to dwell among men, before her
return to heaven, advised them wholly to consecrate themselves to
thy celestial service, as in whose clear spirit (the proper element
and sphere of virtue) they should behold not her alone, their
ever-honoured mistress, but themselves (more truly themselves) to
live enthronised. Herself would have commended them unto thy
favour more particularly, but that she knows no commendation is
more available with thee, than that of proper virtue. Nevertheless
she willed them to present this crystal mound, a note of monarchy,
and symbol of perfection, to thy more worthy deity; which, as here
by me they most humbly do, so amongst the rarities thereof, that is
the chief, to shew whatsoever the world hath excellent, howsoever
remote and various. But your irradiate judgment will soon
discover the secrets of this little crystal world. Themselves,
to appear more plainly, because they know nothing more odious then
false pretexts, have chosen to express their several qualities
thus in several colours.
The first, in citron colour, is natural affection, which, given us
to procure our good, is sometime called Storge; and as every one is
nearest to himself, so this handmaid of reason, allowable
Self-love, as it is without harm, so are none without it: her
place in the court of Perfection was to quicken minds in the
pursuit of honour. Her device is a perpendicular level, upon a
cube or square; the word, "se suo modulo"; alluding to that true
measure of one's self, which as every one ought to make, so is it
most conspicuous in thy divine example.
The second, in green is Aglaia, delectable and pleasant
conversation, whose property it is to move a kindly delight, and
sometime not without laughter: her office to entertain assemblies,
and keep societies together with fair familiarity. Her device,
within a ring of clouds, a heart with shine about it; the word,
'curarum nubila pello': an allegory of Cynthia's light, which no
less clears the sky then her fair mirth the heart.
The third, in the discoloured mantle spangled all over, is
Euphantaste, a well-conceited Wittiness, and employed in honouring
the court with the riches of her pure invention. Her device, upon
a Petasus, or Mercurial hat, a crescent; The word; "sic laus
ingenii"; inferring that the praise and glory of wit doth ever
increase, as doth thy growing moon.
The fourth, in white, is Apheleia, a nymph as pure and simple as the
soul, or as an abrase table, and is therefore called Simplicity;
without folds, without plaits, without colour, without counterfeit;
and (to speak plainly) plainness itself. Her device is no device.
The word under her silver shield, "omnis abest fucus"; alluding to
thy spotless self, who art as far from impurity as from mortality.
Myself, celestial goddess, more fit for the court of Cynthia than
the arbours of Cytherea, am called Anteros, or Love's enemy; the
more welcome therefore to thy court, and the fitter to conduct this
quaternion, who, as they are thy professed votaries, and for that
cause adversaries to Love, yet thee, perpetual virgin, they both
love, and vow to love eternally.
RE-ENTER ARETE, WITH CRITES.
CYN. Not without wonder, nor without delight
Mine eyes have view'd, in contemplation's depth,
This work of wit, divine and excellent:
What shape, what substance, or what unknown power,
In virgin's habit, crown'd with laurel leaves,
And olive-branches woven in between,
On sea-girt rocks, like to a goddess shines!
O front! O face! O all celestial, sure,
And more than mortal! Arete, behold
Another Cynthia, and another queen,
Whose glory, like a lasting plenilune,
Seems ignorant of what it is to wane.
Nor under heaven an object could be found
More fit to please. Let Crites make approach.
Bounty forbids to pall our thanks with stay,
Or to defer our favour, after view:
The time of grace is, when the cause is new.
ARE. Lo, here the man, celestial Delia,
Who (like a circle bounded in itself)
Contains as much as man in fulness may.
Lo, here the man; who not of usual earth,
But of that nobler and more precious mould
Which Phoebus' self doth temper, is composed;
And who, though all were wanting to reward,
Yet to himself he would not wanting be:
Thy favours gain is his ambition's most,
And labour's best; who (humble in his height)
Stands fixed silent in thy glorious sight.