SCENE I. [A room in Lovewit's house.]


Face. O, sir, you're come i' the only finest time.——

Mam. Where's master?

Face. Now preparing for projection, sir.

Your stuff will be all chang'd shortly.

Mam. Into gold?

Face. To gold and silver, sir.

Mam. Silver I care not for.

Face. Yes, sir, a little to give beggars.

Mam. Where's the lady?

Face. At hand here. I ha' told her such brave things o' you,

Touching your bounty and your noble spirit——

Mam. Hast thou?

Face. As she is almost in her fit to see you.

But, good sir, no divinity i' your conference,

For fear of putting her in rage.——

Mam. I warrant thee.

Face. Six men [sir] will not hold her down. And then,

If the old man should hear or see you—

Mam. Fear not.

Face. The very house, sir, would run mad. You know it,

How scrupulous he is, and violent,

'Gainst the least act of sin. Physic or mathematics,

Poetry, state,〖Politics.〗 or bawdry, as I told you,

She will endure, and never startle; but

No word of controversy.

Mam. I am school'd, good Ulen.

Face. And you must praise her house, remember that,

And her nobility.

Mam. Let me alone:

No herald, no, nor antiquary, Lungs,

Shall do it better. Go.

Face. [Aside.] Why, this is yet

A kind of modern happiness,〖Up-to-date appropriateness.〗 to have

Dol Common for a great lady. [Exit.]

Mam. Now, Epicure,

Heighten thyself, talk to her all in gold;

Rain her as many showers as Jove did drops

Unto his Danaё; show the god a miser,

Compar'd with Mammon. What! the stone will do't.

She shall feel gold, taste gold, hear gold, sleep gold;

Nay, we will concumbere gold: I will be puissant,

And mighty in my talk to her.—

[Re-enter FACE with DOL richly dressed]

Here she comes.

Face. To him, Dol, suckle him. This is the noble knight

I told you ladyship——

Mam. Madam, with your pardon,

I kiss your vesture.

Dol. Sir, I were uncivil

If I would suffer that; my lip to you, sir.

Mam. I hope my lord your brother be in health, lady.

Dol. My lord my brother is, though I no lady, sir.

Face. [Aside.] Well said, my Guinea bird.

Mam. Right noble madam——

Face. [Aside.] O, we shall have most fierce idolatry.

Mam. 'Tis your prerogative.

Dol. Rather your courtesy.

Mam. Were there nought else 't enlarge your virtues to me,

These answers speak your breeding and your blood.

Dol. Blood we boast none, sir; a poor baron's daughter.

Mam. Poor! and gat you? Profane not. Had your father

Slept all the happy remnant of his life

After that act, lien but there still, and panted,

He'd done enough to make himself, his issue,

And his posterity noble.

Dol. Sir, although

We may be said to want the gilt and trappings,

The dress of honour, yet we strive to keep

The seeds and the materials.

Mam. I do see

The old ingredient, virtue, was not lost,

Nor the drug money us'd to make your compound.

There is a strange nobility i' your eye,

This lip, that chin! Methinks you do resemble

One o' the Austriac princes.

Face. [Aside.]Very like!

Her father was an Irish costermonger.

Mam. The house of Valois just had such a nose,

And such a forehead yet the Medici

Of Florence boast.

Dol. Troth, and I have been lik'ned

To all these princes.

Face. [Aside.] I'll be sworn, I heard it.

Mam. I know not how! it is not any one,

But e'en the very choice of all their features.

Face. [Aside.] I'll in, and laugh. [Exit.]

Mam. A certain touch, or air,

That sparkles a divinity beyond

An earthly beauty!

Dol. O, you play the courtier.

Mam. Good lady, gi' me leave——

Dol. In faith, I may not,

To mock me, sir.

Mam. To burn i' this sweet flame;

The phoenix never knew a nobler death.

Dol. Nay, now you court the courtier, and destroy

What you would build. This art, sir, i' your words,

Calls your whole faith in question.

Mam. By my soul——

Dol. Nay, oaths are made o' the same air, sir.

Mam. Nature

Never bestow'd upon mortality

A more unblam'd, a more harmonious feature;

She play'd the step-dame in all faces else:

Sweet madam, le' me be particular——

Dol. Particular, sir! I pray you know your distance.

Mam. In no ill sense, sweet lady; but to ask

How your fair graces pass the hours? I see

You're lodg'd here, in the house of a rare man,

An excellent artist; but what's that to you?

Dol. Yes, sir; I study here the mathematics,

And distillation.

Mam. O, I cry your pardon.

He's a divine instructor! can extract

The souls of all things by his art; call all

The virtues, and the miracles of the sun,

Into a temperature furnace; teach dull nature

What her own forces are. A man, the emp'ror

Has courted above Kelly;〖The partner of Dee, the astrologer.〗 sent his medals

And chains, t' invite him.

Dol. Ay, and for his physic, sir—

Mam. Above the art of Æsculapius,

That drew the envy of the thunderer!

I know all this, and more.

Dol. Troth, I am taken, sir,

Whole with these studies, that contemplate nature.

Mam. It is a noble humour; but this form

Was not intended to so dark a use.

Had you been crooked, foul, of some coarse mould,

A cloister had done well; but such a feature

That might stand up the glory of a kingdom,

To live recluse! is a mere solœcism,

Though in a nunnery. It must not be.

I muse, my lord your brother will permit it:

You should spend half my land first, were I he.

Does not this diamond better on my finger

Than i' the quarry?

Dol. Yes.

Mam. Why, you are like it.

You were created, lady, for the light.

Here, you shall wear it; take it, the first pledge

Of what I speak, to bind you to believe me.

Dol. In chains of adamant?

Mam. Yes, the strongest bands.

And take a secret too.—Here, by your side,

Doth stand this hour the happiest man in Europe.

Dol. You are contended, sir?

Mam. Nay, in true being,

The envy of princes and the fear of states.

Dol. Say you so, Sir Epicure?

Mam. Yes, and thou shalt prove it,

Daughter of honour. I have cast mine eye

Upon thy form, and I will rear this beauty

Above all styles.

Dol. You mean no treason, sir?

Mam. No, I will take away that jealousy.

I am the lord of the philosopher's stone,

And thou the lady.

Dol. How, sir! ha' you that?

Mam. I am the master of the mastery.〖The art of transmutation.〗

This day the good old wretch here o' the house

Has made it for us: now he's at projection.

Think therefore thy first wish now, let me hear it;

And it shall rain into thy lap, no shower,

But floods of gold, whole cataracts, a deluge,

To get a nation on thee.

Dol. You are pleas'd, sir,

To work on the ambition of our sex.

Mam. I'm pleas'd the glory of her sex should know,

This nook here of the Friars is no climate

For her to live obscurely in, to learn

Physic and surgery, for the constable's wife

Of some odd hundred in Essex; but come forth,

And taste the air of palaces; eat, drink

The toils of empirics, and their boasted practice;

Tincture of pearl, and coral, gold, and amber;

Be seen at feasts and triumphs; have it ask'd,

What miracle she is; set all the eyes

Of court a-fire, like a burning glass,

And work them into cinders, when the jewels

Of twenty states adorn thee, and the light

Strikes out the stars! that, when thy name is mention'd,

Queens may look pale; and we but showing our love,

Nero's Poppæa may be lost in story!

Thus will we have it.

Dol. I could well consent, sir.

But in a monarchy, how will this be?

The prince will soon take notice, and both seize

You and your stone, it being a wealth unfit

For any private subject.

Mam. If he knew it.

Dol. Yourself do boast it, sir.

Mam. To thee, my life.

Dol. O, but beware, sir! You may come to end

The remnant of your days in a loath'd prison,

By speaking of it.

Mam. 'Tis no idle fear.

We'll therefore go with all, my girl, and live

In a free state, where we will eat our mullets,

Sous'd in high-country wines, sup pheasants' eggs,

And have our cockles boil'd in silver shells;

Our shrimps to swim again, as when they liv'd,

In a rare butter made of dolphins' milk,

Whose cream does look like opals; and with these

Delicate meats set ourselves high for pleasure,

And take us down again, and then renew

Our youth and strength with drinking the elixir,

And so enjoy a perpetuity

Of life and list! And thou shalt ha' thy wardrobe

Richer than nature's, still to change thyself,

And vary oftener, for thy pride, than she,

Or art, her wise and almost-equal servant.

[Re-enter FACE]

Face. Sir, you are too loud. I hear you every word

Into the laboratory. Some fitter place;

The garden, or great chamber above. How like you her?

Mam. Excellent! Lungs. There's for thee.

[Gives him money.]

Face. But do you hear?

Good sir, beware, no mention of the rabbins.

Mam. We think not on 'em.[Exeunt MAM. and DOL.]

Face. O, it is well, sir.—Subtle!

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