SCENE III. [The same. ]


Mam. Good morrow, father.

Sub. Gentle son, good morrow,

And to your friend there. What is he is with you?

Mam. An heretic, that I did bring along,

In hope, sir, to convert him.

Sub. Son, I doubt

You're covetous, that thus you meet your time

I' the just〖Exact.〗 point, prevent〖Anticipate.〗 your day at morning.

This argues something worthy of a fear

Of importune and carnal appetite.

Take heed you do not cause the blessing leave you,

With your ungovern'd haste. I should be sorry

To see my labours, now e'en at perfection,

Got by long watching and large patience,

Not prosper where my love and zeal hath plac'd them.

Which (heaven I call to witness, with your self,

To whom I have pour'd my thoughts) in all my ends,

Have look'd no way, but unto public good,

To pious uses, and dear charity

Now grown a prodigy with men. Wherein

If you, my son, should now prevaricate,

And to your own particular lusts employ

So great and catholic a bliss, be sure

A curse will follow, yea, and overtake

Your subtle and most secret ways.

Mam. I know, sir;

You shall not need to fear me; I but come

To ha' you confute this gentleman.

Sur. Who is,

Indeed, sir, somewhat costive of belief

Toward your stone; would not be gull'd.

Sub. Well, son,

All that I can convince him in, is this,

The work is done, bright Sol is in his robe.

We have a med'cine of the triple soul,

The glorified spirit. Thanks be to heaven,

And make us worthy of it!—Ulen Spiegel!〖The hero of a well-known German jest-book.〗

Face. [Within.] Anon, sir.

Sub. Look well to the register.

And let your heat still lessen by degrees,

To the aludels.〖A pear-shaped vessel, open at both ends.〗

Face. [Within.] Yes, sir.

Sub. Did you look

O' the bolt's head yet?

Face. [Within.] Which? On D, sir?

Sub. Ay;

What's the complexion?

Face. [Within.] Whitish.

Sub. Infuse vinegar,

To draw his volatile substance and his tincture:

And let the water in glass E be filt'red,

And put into the gripe's egg.〖An egg-shaped vessel. Gripe is griffin.〗 Lute〖Seal with clay.〗 him well;

And leave him clos'd in balneo.〖A dish of warm water.〗

Face. [Within.] I will, sir.

Sur. What a brave language here is! next to canting.〖Rogues' slang.〗

Sub. I have another work you never saw, son,

That three days since past the philosopher's wheel,

In the lent heat of Athanor;〖An alchemical furnace.〗 and's become

Sulphur o' Nature.

Mam. But 'tis for me?

Sub. What need you?

You have enough, in that is, perfect.

Mam. O, but——

Sub. Why, this is covetise!

Mam. No, I assure you,

I shall employ it all in pious uses,

Founding of colleges and grammar schools,

Marrying young virgins, building hospitals,

And now and then a church.

[Re-enter FACE]

Sub. How now!

Face. Sir, please you,

Shall I not change the filter?

Sub. Marry, yes;

And bring me the complexion of glass B. [Exit FACE.]

Mam. Ha' you another?

Sub. Yes, son; were I assur'd

Your piety were firm, we would not want

The means to glorify it: but I hope the best.

I mean to tinct C in sand-heat to-morrow,

And give him imbibition.〖Absorption.〗

Mam. Of white oil?

Sub. No, sir, of red. F is come over the helm too,

I thank my maker, in S. Mary's bath,

And shows lac virginis. Blessed be heaven!

I sent you of his fæces there calcin'd:

Out of that calx, I ha' won the salt of mercury.

Mam. By pouring on your rectified water?

Sub. Yes, and reverberating in Athanor.

[Re-enter FACE]

How now! what colour says it?

Face. The ground black, sir.

Mam. That's your crow's head?

Sur. Your cock's-comb's, is it not?

Sub. No, 'tis not perfect. Would it were the crow!

That work wants something.

Sur. [Aside.]O, I look'd for this,

The hay's〖A net for catching rabbits.〗 a pitching.

Sub. Are you sure you loos'd 'em

In their own menstrue?〖Dissolving fluids.〗

Face. Yes, sir, and then married 'em,

And put 'em in a bolt's-head nipp'd to digestion,

According as you bade me, when I set

The liquor of Mars to circulation

In the same heat.

Sub. The process then was right.

Face. Yes, by the token, sir, the retort brake,

And what was sav'd was put into the pellican,

And sign'd with Hermes' seal.

Sub. I think 'twas so.

We should have a new amalgama.

Sur. [Aside.]O, this ferret

Is rank as any polecat.

Sub. But I care not;

Let him e'en die; we have enough beside,

In embrion. H has his white shirt on?

Face. Yes, sir,

He's ripe for inceration, he stands warm,

In his ash-fire. I would not you should let

Any die now, if I might counsel, sir,

For luck's sake to the rest: it is not good.

Mam. He says right.

Sur. [Aside.]Ah, are you bolted?

Face. Nay, I know't, sir,

I have seen the ill fortune. What is some three ounces

Of fresh materials?

Mam. Is't no more?

Face. No more, sir.

Of gold, t' amalgam with some six of mercury.

Mam. Away, here's money. What will serve?

Face. Ask him, sir.

Mam. How much?

Sub. Give him nine pound: you may gi' him ten.

Sur. Yes, twenty, and be cozen'd, do.

Mam. There 'tis. [Gives FACE the money.]

Sub. This needs not; but that you will have it so,

To see conclusions of all: for two

Of our inferior works are at fixation,

A third is in ascension. Go your ways.

Ha' you set the oil of luna in kemia?

Face. Yes, sir.

Sub. And the philosopher's vinegar?

Face. Ay.[Exit.]

Sur. We shall have a salad!

Mam. When do you make projection?

Sub. Son, be not hasty, I exalt our med'cine,

By hanging him in balneo vaporoso,

And giving him solution; then congeal him;

And then dissolve him; then again congeal him;

For look, how oft I iterate the work,

So many times I add unto his virtue.

As if at first one ounce convert a hundred,

After his second loose, he'll turn a thousand;

His third solution, ten; his fourth, a hundred;

After his fifth, a thousand thousand ounces

Of any imperfect metal, into pure

Silver or gold, in all examinations,

As good as any of the natural mine.

Get you your stuff here against afternoon,

Your brass, your pewter, and your andirons.

Mam. Not those of iron?

Sub. Yes, you may bring them too;

We'll change all metals.

Sur. I believe you in that.

Mam. Then I may send my spits?

Sub. Yes, and your racks.

Sur. And dripping-pans, and pot-hangers, and hooks?

Shall he not?

Sub. If he please.

Sur. —To be an ass.

Sub. How, sir!

Mam. This gent'man you must bear withal:

I told you he had no faith.

Sur. And little hope, sir;

But much less charity, should I gull myself.

Sub. Why, what have you observ'd, sir, in our art,

Seems so impossible?

Sur. But your whole work, no more.

That you should hatch gold in a furnace, sir,

As they do eggs in Egypt!

Sub. Sir, do you

Believe that eggs are hatch'd so?

Sur. If I should?

Sub. Why, I think that the greater miracle.

No egg but differs from a chicken more

Than metals in themselves.

Sur. That cannot be.

The egg's ordain'd by nature to that end,

And is a chicken in potentia.

Sub. The same we say of lead and other metals,

Which would be gold if they had time.

Mam. And that

Our art doth further.

Sub. Ay, for 'twere absurb

To think that nature in the earth bred gold

Perfect i' the instant: something went before.

There must be remote matter.

Sur. Ay, what is that?

Sub. Marry, we say——

Mam. Ay, now it heats: stand, father,

Pound him to dust.

Sub. It is, of the one part,

A humid exhalation, which we call

Material liquida, or the unctuous water;

On th' other part, a certain crass and viscous

Portion of earth; both which, concorporate,

Do make the elementary matter of gold;

Which is not yet propria materia,

But common to all metals and all stones;

For, where it is forsaken of that moisture,

And hath more dryness, it becomes a stone:

Where it retains more of the humid fatness,

It turns to sulphur, or to quicksilver,

Who are the parents of all other metals.

Nor can this remote matter suddenly

Progress so from extreme unto extreme,

As to grow gold, and leap o'er all the means.

Nature doth first beget th' imperfect, then

Proceeds she to the perfect. Of that airy

And oily water, mercury is engend'red;

Sulphur o' the fat and earthy part; the one,

Which is the last, supplying the place of male,

The other, of the female, in all metals.

Some do believe hermaphrodeity,

That both do act and suffer. But these two

Make the rest ductile, malleable, extensive.

And even in gold they are; for we do find

Seeds of them by our fire, and gold in them;

And can produce the species of each metal

More perfect thence, than nature doth in earth.

Beside, who doth not see in daily practice

Art can beget bees, hornets, beetles, wasps,

Out of the carcases and dung of creatures;

Yea, scorpions of an herb, being rightly plac'd?

And these are living creatures, far more perfect

And excellent that metals.

Mam. Well said, father!

Nay, if he take you in hand, sir, with an argument,

He'll bray you in a mortar.

Sur. Pray you, sir, stay.

Rather than I'll be bray'd, sir, I'll believe

That Alchemy is a pretty kind of game,

Somewhat like tricks o' the cards, to cheat a man

With charming.

Sub. Sir?

Sur. What else are all your terms,

Whereon no one o' your writers 'grees with other?

Of your elixir, your lac virginis,

Your stone, your med'cine, and your chrysosperm,

Your sal, your sulphur, and your mercury,

Your oil of height, your tree of life, your blood,

Your marchesite, your tutie, your magnesia,

Your toad, your crow, your dragon, and your panther;

Your sun, your moon, your firmament, your adrop,

Your lato, azoch, zernich, chibrit, heautarit,

And then your red man, and your white woman,

With all your broths, your menstrues, and materials

Of piss and egg-shells, women's terms, man's blood,

Hair o' the head, burnt clouts, chalk, merds, and clay,

Powder of bones, scalings of iron, glass,

And worlds of other strange ingredients,

Would burst a man to name?

Sub. And all these nam'd,

Intending but one thing; which art our writers

Us'd to obscure their art.

Mam. Sir, so I told him—

Because〖In order that.〗 the simple idiot should not learn it,

And make it vulgar.

Sub. Was not all the knowledge

Of the Ægyptians writ in mystic symbols?

Speak not the scriptures oft in parables?

Are not the choicest fables of the poets,

That where the fountains first springs of wisdom,

Wrapt in perplexed allegories?

Mam. I urg'd that,

And clear'd to him, that Sisyphus was damn'd

To roll the ceaseless stone, only because

He would have made ours common. DOL appears [at the door.]— Who is this?

Sub. 'Sprecious!—What do you mean? Go in, good lady,

Let me entreat you. [DOL retires.]—Where's this varlet?

[Re-enter FACE]

Face. Sir.

Sub. You very knave! do you use me thus?

Face. Wherein, sir?

Sub. Go in and see, you traitor. Go! [Exit FACE.]

Mam. Who is it, sir?

Sub. Nothing, sir; nothing.

Mam. What's the matter, good sir?

I have not seen you thus distemp'red: who is't?

Sub. All arts have still had, sir, their adversaries;

But ours the most ignorant.—

Re-enter FACE

What now?

Face. 'Twas not my fault, sir; she would speak with you.

Sub. Would she, sir! Follow me.[Exit.]

Mam. [stopping him.] Stay, Lungs.

Face. I dare not, sir.

Mam. How! pray thee, stay.

Face. She's mad, sir, and sent hither—

Mam. Stay, man; what is she?

Face. A lord's sister, sir.

He'll be mad too.—

Mam. I warrant thee.—

Why sent hither?

Face. Sir, to be cur'd.

Sub. [within.]Why, rascal!

Face. Lo you!—Here, sir! Exit.

Mam. 'Fore God, a Bradamante, a brave piece.

Sur. Heart, this is a bawdy-house! I'll be burnt else.

Mam. O, by this light, no: do not wrong him. He's

Too scrupulous that way: it is his vice.

No, he's a rare physician, do him right,

An excellent Paracelsian, and has done

Strange cures with mineral physic. He deals all

With spirits, he; he will not hear a word

Of Galen; or his tedious recipes.—

Re-enter FACE

How now, Lungs!

Face. Softly, sir; speak softly. I meant

To have told your worship all. This must not hear.

Mam. No, he will not be gull'd; let him alone.

Face. You're very right, sir; she is a most rare scholar,

And is gone mad with studying Broughton's〖A learned eccentric of the time.〗 works.

If you but name a word touching the Hebrew,

She falls into her fit, and will discourse

So learnedly of genealogies,

As you would run mad too, to hear her, sir.

Mam. How might one do t' have conference with her, Lungs?

Face. O, divers have run mad upon the conference:

I do not know, sir. I am sent in haste

To fetch a vial.

Sur. Be not gull'd, Sir Mammon.

Mam. Wherein? Pray ye, be patient.

Sur. Yes, as you are,

And trust confederate knaves and bawds and whores.

Mam. You are too foul, believe it.—Come here,Ulen,

One word.

Face.I dare not, in good faith. [Going.]

Mam. Stay, knave.

Face. He is extreme angry that you saw her, sir.

Mam. Drink that. [Gives him money.] What is she when she's out of her fit?

Face. O, the most affablest creature, sir! so merry!

So pleasant! She'll mount you up, like quicksilver,

Over the helm; and circulate like oil,

A very vegetal: discourse of state,

Of mathematics, bawdry, anything——

Mam. Is she no way accessible? no means,

No trick to give a man a taste of her——wit——

Or so?

Sub. [within.] Ulen!

Face. I'll come to you again, sir. [Exit.]

Mam. Surly, I did not think one of your breeding

Would traduce personages of worth.

Sur. Sir Epicure,

Your friend to use; yet still loth to be gull'd:

I do not like your philosophical bawds.

Their stone is lechery enough to pay for,

Without this bait.

Mam. Heart, you abuse yourself.

I know the lady, and her friends, and means,

The original of this disaster. Her brother

Has told me all.

Sur. And yet you ne'er saw her

Till now!

Mam. O yes, but I forgot. I have, believe it,

One o' the treacherousest memories, I do think,

Of all mankind.

Sur. What call you her brother?

Mam. My lord——

He wi' not have his name known, now I think on't.

Sur. A very treacherous memory!

Mam. On my faith——

Sur. Tut, if you ha' it not about you, pass it,

Till we meet next.

Mam. Nay, by this hand, 'tis true.

He's one I honour, and my noble friend;

And I respect his house.

Sur. Heart! can it be

That a grave sir, a rich, that has no need,

A wise sir, too, at other times, should thus,

With his own oaths, and arguments, make hard means

To gull himself? An this be your elixir,

Your lapis mineralis, and your lunary,

Give me your honest trick yet at primero,

Or gleek;〖Games at cards.〗 and take your lutum sapientis,

Your menstruum simplex! I'll have gold before you,

And with less danger of the quicksilver,

Or the hot sulphur.

[Re-enter FACE]

Face. Here's one from Captain Face, sir, [To SURLY.]

Desires you meet him i' the Temple-church,

Some half-hour hence, and upon earnest business.

Sir, (whispers MAMMON) if you please to quit us now; and come

Again within two hours, you shall have

My master busy examining o' the works;

And I will steal you in unto the party,

That you may see her converse.—Sir, shall I say

You'll meet the captain's worship?

Sur. Sir, I will.— [Walks aside.]

But, by attorney, and to a second purpose.

Now, I am sure it is a bawdy-house;

I'll swear it, were the marshal here to thank me:

The naming this commander doth confirm it.

Don Face! why, he's the most authentic dealer

In these commodities, the superintendent

To all the quainter traffickers in town!

He is the visitor, and does appoint

Who lies with whom, and at what hour; what price;

Which gown, and in what smock; what fall;〖A collar, or a veil.〗 what tire.〖A head-dress.〗

Him will I prove, by a third person, to find

The subtleties of this dark labyrinth:

Which if I do discover, dear Sir Mammon,

You'll give your poor friend leave, though no philosopher,

To laugh: for you that are, 'tis thought, shall weep.

Face. Sir, he does pray you'll not forget.

Sur. I will not, sir.

Sir Epicure, I shall leave you. [Exit.]

Mam. I follow you straight.

Face. But do so, good sir, to avoid suspicion.

This gent'man has a parlous head.

Mam. But wilt thou Ulen,

Be constant to thy promise?

Face. As my life, sir.

Mam. And wilt thou insinuate what I am, and praise me,

And say I am a noble fellow?

Face. O, what else, sir?

And that you'll make her royal with stone,

An empress; and yourself King of Bantam.

Mam. Wilt thou do this?

Face. Will I, sir!

Mam. Lungs, my Lungs!

I love thee.

Face. Send your stuff, sir, that my master

May busy himself about projection.

Mam. Thou'st witch'd me, rogue: take, go.[Gives him money.]

Face. Your jack, and all, sir.

Mam. Thou art a villain—I will send my jack,

And the weights too. Slave, I could bite thine ear.

Away, thou dost not care for me.

Face. Not I, sir!

Mam. Come, I was born to make thee, my good weasel,

Set thee on a bench, and have thee twirl a chain

With the best lord's vermin of 'em all.

Face. Away, sir.

Mam. A count, nay, a count palatine——

Face. Good sir, go.

Mam. Shall not advance thee better: no, nor faster. [Exit.]

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