1 WOM: One hair a little, here, sticks out, forsooth.
LADY P: Does't so, forsooth? and where was your dear sight,
When it did so, forsooth! What now! bird-eyed?
And you too? 'Pray you, both approach and mend it.
Now, by that light, I muse you are not ashamed!
I, that have preach'd these things so oft unto you,
Read you the principles, argued all the grounds,
Disputed every fitness, every grace,
Call'd you to counsel of so frequent dressings--
NAN [ASIDE.]: More carefully than of your fame or honour.
LADY P: Made you acquainted, what an ample dowry
The knowledge of these things would be unto you,
Able, alone, to get you noble husbands
At your return: and you thus to neglect it!
Besides you seeing what a curious nation
The Italians are, what will they say of me?
"The English lady cannot dress herself."
Here's a fine imputation to our country:
Well, go your ways, and stay, in the next room.
This fucus was too course too, it's no matter.--
Good-sir, you will give them entertainment?
[EXEUNT NANO AND WAITING-WOMEN.]
VOLP: The storm comes toward me.
LADY P [GOES TO THE COUCH.]: How does my Volpone?
VOLP: Troubled with noise, I cannot sleep; I dreamt
That a strange fury enter'd, now, my house,
And, with the dreadful tempest of her breath,
Did cleave my roof asunder.
LADY P: Believe me, and I
Had the most fearful dream, could I remember't--
VOLP [ASIDE.]: Out on my fate! I have given her the occasion
How to torment me: she will tell me hers.
LADY P: Me thought, the golden mediocrity,
Polite and delicate--
VOLP: O, if you do love me,
No more; I sweat, and suffer, at the mention
Of any dream: feel, how I tremble yet.
LADY P: Alas, good soul! the passion of the heart.
Seed-pearl were good now, boil'd with syrup of apples,
Tincture of gold, and coral, citron-pills,
Your elicampane root, myrobalanes--
VOLP [ASIDE.]: Ah me, I have ta'en a grass-hopper by the wing!
LADY P: Burnt silk, and amber: you have muscadel
Good in the house--
VOLP: You will not drink, and part?
LADY P: No, fear not that. I doubt, we shall not get
LADY P: And these applied with a right scarlet cloth.
VOLP [ASIDE.]: Another flood of words! a very torrent!
LADY P: Shall I, sir, make you a poultice?
VOLP: No, no, no;
I am very well: you need prescribe no more.
LADY P: I have a little studied physic; but now,
I'm all for music, save, in the forenoons,
An hour or two for painting. I would have
A lady, indeed, to have all, letters, and arts,
Be able to discourse, to write, to paint,
But principal, as Plato holds, your music,
And, so does wise Pythagoras, I take it,
Is your true rapture: when there is concent
In face, in voice, and clothes: and is, indeed,
Our sex's chiefest ornament.
VOLP: The poet
As old in time as Plato, and as knowing,
Says that your highest female grace is silence.
LADY P: Which of your poets? Petrarch, or Tasso, or Dante?
Guarini? Ariosto? Aretine?
Cieco di Hadria? I have read them all.
VOLP [ASIDE.]: Is every thing a cause to my distruction?
LADY P: I think I have two or three of them about me.
VOLP [ASIDE.]: The sun, the sea will sooner both stand still,
Then her eternal tongue; nothing can 'scape it.
LADY P: Here's pastor Fido--
VOLP [ASIDE.]: Profess obstinate silence,
That's now my safest.
LADY P: All our English writers,
I mean such as are happy in the Italian,
Will deign to steal out of this author, mainly:
Almost as much, as from Montagnie;
He has so modern and facile a vein,
Fitting the time, and catching the court-ear!
Your Petrarch is more passionate, yet he,
In days of sonetting, trusted them with much:
Dante is hard, and few can understand him.
But, for a desperate wit, there's Aretine;
Only, his pictures are a little obscene--
You mark me not.
VOLP: Alas, my mind is perturb'd.
LADY P: Why, in such cases, we must cure ourselves,
Make use of our philosophy--
VOLP: Oh me!
LADY P: And as we find our passions do rebel,
Laugh and be lusty.
VOLP [ASIDE.]: My good angel save me!
LADY P: There was but one sole man in all the world,
With whom I e'er could sympathise; and he
Would lie you, often, three, four hours together
To hear me speak; and be sometimes so rapt,
As he would answer me quite from the purpose,
Like you, and you are like him, just. I'll discourse,
An't be but only, sir, to bring you asleep,
How we did spend our time and loves together,
For some six years.
VOLP: Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh!
LADY P: For we were coaetanei, and brought up--
VOLP: Some power, some fate, some fortune rescue me!
MOS: God save you, madam!
LADY P: Good sir.
VOLP: Mosca? welcome,
Welcome to my redemption.
MOS: Why, sir?
Rid me of this my torture, quickly, there;
My madam, with the everlasting voice:
The bells, in time of pestilence, ne'er made
Like noise, or were in that perpetual motion!
The Cock-pit comes not near it. All my house,
But now, steam'd like a bath with her thick breath.
A lawyer could not have been heard; nor scarce
Another woman, such a hail of words
She has let fall. For hell's sake, rid her hence.
MOS: Has she presented?
VOLP: O, I do not care;
I'll take her absence, upon any price,
With any loss.
LADY P: I have brought your patron
A toy, a cap here, of mine own work.
MOS: 'Tis well.
I had forgot to tell you, I saw your knight,
Where you would little think it.--
LADY P: Where?