Your pleasure allows maintenance.
VOLP: Hold thee, Mosca,
[GIVES HIM MONEY.]
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 them make me sport.
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
Must be my heir: and this makes men observe me:
This draws new clients daily, to my house,
Women and men of every sex and age,
That bring me presents, send me plate, coin, jewels,
With hope that when I die (which they expect
Each greedy minute) it shall then return
Ten-fold 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,
And am content to coin them into profit,
To look upon their kindness, and take more,
And look on that; still bearing them in hand,
Letting the cherry knock against their lips,
And draw it by their mouths, and back again.--
[RE-ENTER MOSCA WITH NANO, ANDROGYNO, AND CASTRONE.]
NAN: Now, room for fresh gamesters, who do will you to know,
They do bring you neither play, nor university show;
And therefore do entreat you, that whatsoever they rehearse,
May not fare a whit the worse, for the false pace of the verse.
If you wonder at this, you will wonder more ere we pass,
For know, here is inclosed the soul of Pythagoras,
That juggler divine, as hereafter shall follow;
Which soul, fast and loose, sir, came first from Apollo,
And was breath'd into Aethalides; Mercurius his son,
Where it had the gift to remember all that ever was done.
From thence it fled forth, and made quick transmigration
To goldy-lock'd Euphorbus, who was killed in good fashion,
At the siege of old Troy, by the cuckold of Sparta.
Hermotimus was next (I find it in my charta)
To whom it did pass, where no sooner it was missing
But with one Pyrrhus of Delos it learn'd to go a fishing;
And thence did it enter the sophist of Greece.
From Pythagore, she went into a beautiful piece,
Hight Aspasia, the meretrix; and the next toss of her
Was again of a whore, she became a philosopher,
Crates the cynick, as it self doth relate it:
Since kings, knights, and beggars, knaves, lords and fools gat it,
Besides, ox and ass, camel, mule, goat, and brock,
In all which it hath spoke, as in the cobler's cock.
But I come not here to discourse of that matter,
Or his one, two, or three, or his greath oath, BY QUATER!
His musics, his trigon, his golden thigh,
Or his telling how elements shift, but I
Would ask, how of late thou best suffered translation,
And shifted thy coat in these days of reformation.
AND: Like one of the reformed, a fool, as you see,
Counting all old doctrine heresy.
NAN: But not on thine own forbid meats hast thou ventured?
AND: On fish, when first a Carthusian I enter'd.
NAN: Why, then thy dogmatical silence hath left thee?
AND: Of that an obstreperous lawyer bereft me.
NAN: O wonderful change, when sir lawyer forsook thee!
For Pythagore's sake, what body then took thee?
AND: A good dull mule.
NAN: And how! by that means
Thou wert brought to allow of the eating of beans?
NAN: But from the mule into whom didst thou pass?
AND: Into a very strange beast, by some writers call'd an ass;
By others, a precise, pure, illuminate brother,
Of those devour flesh, and sometimes one another;
And will drop you forth a libel, or a sanctified lie,
Betwixt every spoonful of a nativity pie.
NAN: Now quit thee, for heaven, of that profane nation;
And gently report thy next transmigration.
AND: To the same that I am.
NAN: A creature of delight,
And, what is more than a fool, an hermaphrodite!
Now, prithee, sweet soul, in all thy variation,
Which body would'st thou choose, to keep up thy station?
AND: Troth, this I am in: even here would I tarry.
NAN: 'Cause here the delight of each sex thou canst vary?
AND: Alas, those pleasures be stale and forsaken;
No, 'tis your fool wherewith I am so taken,
The only one creature that I can call blessed:
For all other forms I have proved most distressed.
NAN: Spoke true, as thou wert in Pythagoras still.
This learned opinion we celebrate will,
Fellow eunuch, as behoves us, with all our wit and art,
To dignify that whereof ourselves are so great and special a part.
VOLP: Now, very, very pretty! Mosca, this
Was thy invention?
MOS: If it please my patron,
VOLP: It doth, good Mosca.
MOS: Then it was, sir.
NANO AND CASTRONE [SING.]: Fools, they are the only nation
Worth men's envy, or admiration:
Free from care or sorrow-taking,
Selves and others merry making:
All they speak or do is sterling.
Your fool he is your great man's darling,
And your ladies' sport and pleasure;
Tongue and bauble are his treasure.
E'en his face begetteth laughter,
And he speaks truth free from slaughter;
He's the grace of every feast,
And sometimes the chiefest guest;
Hath his trencher and his stool,
When wit waits upon the fool:
O, who would not be
He, he, he?
VOLP: Who's that? Away!
[EXEUNT NANO AND CASTRONE.]
Look, Mosca. Fool, begone!
MOS: 'Tis Signior Voltore, the advocate;
I know him by his knock.
VOLP: Fetch me my gown,
My furs and night-caps; say, my couch is changing,
Here's signior Voltore is come--
VOLP [FAINTLY.]: What say you?
MOS: Sir, signior Voltore is come this morning
To visit you.
VOLP: I thank him.
MOS: And hath brought
A piece of antique plate, bought of St Mark,
With which he here presents you.
VOLP: He is welcome.
Pray him to come more often.
VOLT: What says he?
MOS: He thanks you, and desires you see him often.
MOS: My patron!
VOLP: Bring him near, where is he?
I long to feel his hand.
MOS: The plate is here, sir.
VOLT: How fare you, sir?
VOLP: I thank you, signior Voltore;
Where is the plate? mine eyes are bad.
VOLT [PUTTING IT INTO HIS HANDS.]: I'm sorry,
To see you still thus weak.
MOS [ASIDE.]: That he's not weaker.
VOLP: You are too munificent.
VOLT: No sir; would to heaven,
I could as well give health to you, as that plate!
VOLP: You give, sir, what you can: I thank you. Your love
Hath taste in this, and shall not be unanswer'd:
I pray you see me often.
VOLT: Yes, I shall sir.
VOLP: Be not far from me.
MOS: Do you observe that, sir?
VOLP: Hearken unto me still; it will concern you.
MOS: You are a happy man, sir; know your good.
VOLP: I cannot now last long--
MOS: You are his heir, sir.
VOLT: Am I?
VOLP: I feel me going; Uh! uh! uh! uh!
I'm sailing to my port, Uh! uh! uh! uh!
And I am glad I am so near my haven.
MOS: Alas, kind gentleman! Well, we must all go--
VOLT: But, Mosca--
MOS: Age will conquer.
VOLT: 'Pray thee hear me:
Am I inscribed his heir for certain?
MOS: Are you!
I do beseech you, sir, you will vouchsafe
To write me in your family. All my hopes
Depend upon your worship: I am lost,
Except the rising sun do shine on me.
VOLT: It shall both shine, and warm thee, Mosca.
I am a man, that hath not done your love
All the worst offices: here I wear your keys,
See all your coffers and your caskets lock'd,
Keep the poor inventory of your jewels,
Your plate and monies; am your steward, sir.
Husband your goods here.
VOLT: But am I sole heir?
MOS: Without a partner, sir; confirm'd this morning:
CORB: How does your patron?
MOS: Troth, as he did, sir; no amends.
CORB: What! mends he?
MOS: No, sir: he's rather worse.
CORB: That's well. Where is he?
MOS: Upon his couch sir, newly fall'n asleep.
CORB: Does he sleep well?
MOS: No wink, sir, all this night.
Nor yesterday; but slumbers.
CORB: Good! he should take
Some counsel of physicians: I have brought him
An opiate here, from mine own doctor.
MOS: He will not hear of drugs.
CORB: Why? I myself
Stood by while it was made; saw all the ingredients:
And know, it cannot but most gently work:
My life for his, 'tis but to make him sleep.
VOLP [ASIDE.]: Ay, his last sleep, if he would take it.
He has no faith in physic.
CORB: 'Say you? 'say you?
MOS: He has no faith in physic: he does think
Most of your doctors are the greater danger,
And worse disease, to escape. I often have
Heard him protest, that your physician
Should never be his heir.
CORB: Not I his heir?
MOS: Not your physician, sir.
CORB: O, no, no, no,
I do not mean it.
MOS: No, sir, nor their fees
He cannot brook: he says, they flay a man,
Before they kill him.
CORB: Right, I do conceive you.
MOS: And then they do it by experiment;
For which the law not only doth absolve them,
But gives them great reward: and he is loth
To hire his death, so.
CORB: It is true, they kill,
With as much license as a judge.
MOS: Nay, more;
For he but kills, sir, where the law condemns,
And these can kill him too.
CORB: Ay, or me;
Or any man. How does his apoplex?
Is that strong on him still?
MOS: Most violent.
His speech is broken, and his eyes are set,
His face drawn longer than 'twas wont--
CORB: How! how!
Stronger then he was wont?
MOS: No, sir: his face
Drawn longer than 'twas wont.
CORB: O, good!
MOS: His mouth
Is ever gaping, and his eyelids hang.
MOS: A freezing numbness stiffens all his joints,
And makes the colour of his flesh like lead.
CORB: 'Tis good.
MOS: His pulse beats slow, and dull.
CORB: Good symptoms, still.
MOS: And from his brain--
CORB: I conceive you; good.
MOS: Flows a cold sweat, with a continual rheum,
Forth the resolved corners of his eyes.
CORB: Is't possible? yet I am better, ha!
How does he, with the swimming of his head?
B: O, sir, 'tis past the scotomy; he now
Hath lost his feeling, and hath left to snort:
You hardly can perceive him, that he breathes.
CORB: Excellent, excellent! sure I shall outlast him:
But out of conscience, and mere gratitude--
CORB: He must pronounce me his?
MOS: 'Tis true.
CORB: This plot
Did I think on before.
MOS: I do believe it.
CORB: Do you not believe it?
MOS: Yes, sir.
CORB: Mine own project.
MOS: Which, when he hath done, sir.
CORB: Publish'd me his heir?
MOS: And you so certain to survive him--
MOS: Being so lusty a man--
CORB: 'Tis true.
MOS: Yes, sir--
CORB: I thought on that too. See, how he should be
The very organ to express my thoughts!
MOS: You have not only done yourself a good--
CORB: But multiplied it on my son.
MOS: 'Tis right, sir.
CORB: Still, my invention.
MOS: 'Las, sir! heaven knows,
It hath been all my study, all my care,
(I e'en grow gray withal,) how to work things--
CORB: I do conceive, sweet Mosca.
MOS: You are he,
For whom I labour here.
CORB: Ay, do, do, do:
I'll straight about it.
MOS: Rook go with you, raven!
CORB: I know thee honest.
MOS [ASIDE.]: You do lie, sir!
MOS: Your knowledge is no better than your ears, sir.
CORB: I do not doubt, to be a father to thee.
MOS: Nor I to gull my brother of his blessing.
CORB: I may have my youth restored to me, why not?
MOS: Your worship is a precious ass!
CORB: What say'st thou?
MOS: I do desire your worship to make haste, sir.
CORB: 'Tis done, 'tis done, I go.
VOLP [LEAPING FROM HIS COUCH.]: O, I shall burst!
Let out my sides, let out my sides--
Your flux of laughter, sir: you know this hope
Is such a bait, it covers any hook.
VOLP: O, but thy working, and thy placing it!
I cannot hold; good rascal, let me kiss thee:
I never knew thee in so rare a humour.
MOS: Alas sir, I but do as I am taught;