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Or by what accident return'd,) the mother,
Th' expulsed Apicata, finds them there;
Whom when she saw lie spread on the degrees, 2
After a world of fury on herself,
Tearing her hair, defacing of her face,
Beating her breasts and womb, kneeling amaz'd,
Crying to heaven, then to them; at last,
Her drowned voice gat up above her woes,
And with such black and bitter execrations
As might affright the gods, and force the sun
Run backward to the east; nay, make the old
Deformed chaos rise again, t' o'erwhelm
Them, us, and all the world, she fills the air,
Upbraids the heavens with their partial dooms,
Defies their tyrannous powers, and demands,
What she, and those poor innocents have trans-
gress'd,

420

That they must suffer such a share in vengeance,

Whilst Livia, Lygdus, and Eudemus live,
Who, as she says, and firmly vows to prove it
To Caesar and the senate, poison'd Drusus?
Lep. Confederates with her husband!
Nun.
Lep.

Ay.

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Strange act! Arr. And strangely open'd. What says now my monster,

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The multitude? They reel now, do they not? Nun. Their gall is gone, and now they 'gin

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And though he dares give them five lives to mend it,

'Tis known, five weeks fully penn'd it,

From his own hand, without a coadjutor,

Novice, journeyman, or tutor.

Yet thus much I can give you as a token

Of his play's worth, no eggs are broken,

Nor quaking custards with fierce teeth affrighted,
Wherewith your rout are so delighted;

Nor hales he in a gull, old ends reciting,
To stop gaps in his loose writing ;

With such a deal of monstrous and forc'd action,
As might make Bethlem1 a faction:

1 Bedlam; the madhouse.

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Nor made he his play for jests stol'n from each table,
But makes jests to fit his fable;

And so presents quick comedy refin'd,

As best critics have design'd;

The laws of time, place, persons he observeth,

From no needful rule he swerveth.

All gall and copperas1 from his ink he draineth,
Only a little salt remaineth,

Wherewith he'll rub your cheeks, till, red with laughter,
They shall look fresh a week after.

АСТ І

SCENE I.2

[Enter] VOLPONE, MOSCA.

Volp. Good morning to the day; and next, my gold!

Open the shrine, that I may see my saint. [Mosca withdraws the curtain, and discovers piles of gold, plate jewels, etc.]

Hail the world's soul, and mine! More glad

than is

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The teeming earth to see the long'd-for sun
Peep through the horns of the celestial Ram,
Am I, to view thy splendour dark'ning his;
That lying here, amongst my other hoards,
Show'st like a flame by night, or like the day
Struck out of chaos, when all darkness fled
Unto the centre. O thou son of Sol,
But brighter than thy father, let me kiss,
With adoration, thee, and every relic
Of sacred treasure in this blessed room.
Well did wise poets, by thy glorious name,
Title that age which they would have the best;
Thou being the best of things, and far tran-

scending

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All style of joy, in children, parents, friends,
Or any other waking dream on earth:
Thy looks when they to Venus did ascribe,
They should have given her twenty thousand

Cupids;

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Such are thy beauties and our loves! Dear saint,

Riches, the dumb god, that giv'st all men

tongues,

That canst do nought, and yet mak'st men do all things;

The price of souls; even hell, with thee to boot,

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Is made worth heaven. Thou art virtue, fame, Honour, and all things else. Who can get thee, He shall be noble, valiant, honest, wise— 4 Mos. And what he will, sir. Riches are in fortune

A greater good than wisdom is in nature.

Volp. True, my beloved Mosca. Yet I glory More in the cunning purchase of my wealth, 31 Than in the glad possession, since I gain

1 Green vitriol, used in making ink. 2A room in Volpone's house.

3 Centre of the earth.

4 Gifford and others have noted that in this splendid speech Jonson is indebted to Pindar, Euripides, and Horace.

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Or to your dwarf, or your hermaphrodite,
Your eunuch, or what other household trifle es
Your pleasure allows maintenance

Vol.
Hold thee, Mosca,
Take of my hand; thou strik'st on truth in all,
And they are envious term thee parasite.
Call forth my dwarf, my eunuch, and my fool,
And let 'em make me sport. [Erit Mos.]
What should I do,
But cocker up my genius, and live free
To all delights my fortune calls me to?

I have no wife, no parent, child, ally,

To give my substance to; but whom I make

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That bring me presents, send me plate, coin, jewels,

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With hope that when I die (which they expect
Each greedy minute) it shall then return
Tenfold upon them; whilst some, covetous
Above the rest, seek to engross me whole,
And counter-work the one unto the other,
Contend in gifts, as they would seem in love:
All which I suffer, playing with their hopes, 85
And am content to coin 'em into profit,

And look upon their kindness, and take more,
And look on that; still bearing them in hand,2
Letting the cherry knock against their lips,
And draw it by their mouths, and back again.-
How now!

SCENE II.8

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Besides ox and ass, camel, mule, goat, and brock,5

In all which it hath spoke, as in the cobbler's cock.6

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But I come not here to discourse of that matter,
Or his one, two, or three, or his great oath,
BY QUATER!7

His musics, his trigon,8 his golden thigh,
Or his telling how elements shift; but I
Would ask, how of late thou hast suffer'd
translation,

And shifted thy coat in these days of reformation.

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And. Like one of the reform'd, a fool, as you

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And gave him all, what he should be to-morrow; What large return would come of all his ventures;

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How he should worshipp'd be, and reverenc'd;
Ride with his furs, and foot cloths; waited on
By herds of fools and clients; have clear way
Made for his mule, as letter'd as himself;
Be call'd the great and learned advocate:
And then concludes, there's nought impossible.
Volp. Yes, to be learned, Mosca.
Mos.
O, no: rich
Implies it. Hood an ass with reverend purple,
So you can hide his two ambitious 3 ears,
And he shall pass for a cathedral doctor.
Volp. My caps, my caps, good Mosca. Fetch
him in.

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Mos. Stay, sir; your ointment for your eyes. Volp. That's true; Dispatch, dispatch: I long to have possession Of my new present. Mos.

That, and thousands more,

I hope to see you lord of."

Volp.
Thanks, kind Mosca.
Mos. And that, when I am lost in blended
dust,

And hundreds such as I am, in succession - 120
Volp. Nay, that were too much, Mosca.
Mos.

Still to delude these harpies.

Volp.

You shall live

Loving Mosca!

[Exit Mosca.]

'Tis well: my pillow now, and let him enter.

Now, my feign'd cough, my phthisic, and my gout,

My apoplexy, palsy, and catarrhs,

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Help, with your forced functions, this my pos

ture,

Wherein, this three year, I have milk'd their hopes.

He comes; I hear him-Uh! [coughing] uh!

uh! uh! O

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And arms engraven. Volp.

Good! and not a fox

Sharp, sir.

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Volp. Give me my furs.

[Puts on his sick dress.] Why dost thou laugh so, man

Mos. I cannot choose, sir, when I apprehend What thoughts he has without now, as he

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ing

And hath brought A piece of antique plate, bought of St. Mark,5 With which he here presents you.

With a reference to the etymological sense of "moving round."

4 The same.

• At one of the goldsmith's shops beside St. Mark's.

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