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Cel. Would my life would serve
I would have left my practice, for thy love, To satisfy.
In varying figures, I would have contended Coro. (S'death) if she would but speak to With the blue Proteus, or the horned flood. him,
Now art thou welcome.
Volp. Nay, fly me not;
[so; her hands.
[her; That I was bed-rid, make thee think, I am Why i' faith, it is her modesty, I must quit Thou shalt not find it. I am, now, as fresh, If you were absent, she would be more As hot, as high, and in as jovial plight, coming;
As when (in that so celebrated scene, I know it: and dare undertake for her. At recitation of our comedy, What woman can before her husband? pray For entertainment of the great Vatoys) Let us depart, and leave her here. [you, I acted young Antinous; and attracted Coro. Sweet Celia,
The eyes and ears of all the ladies present, Thou may'st redeem all, yet; I'll say no T'admire each graceful gesture, note, and
footing. If not, esteem yourself as lost. Nay, stay Cel. O God, and his good angels! whi
SONG. ther, whither, Is shame fled human breasts ? that with “ Come, my Celia, let us prove,
“ While we can, the sports of love '', Men dare put off your honours, and their “ Time will not be ours for ever, own?
"He, at length, our good will sever; Is that, which ever was a cause of life,
Spend not then his gifts in vain, Now plac'd beneath the basest circum- “ Suns, that set, may rise again: stance?
“ But if once we lose this light, And modesty an exile made, for money? “ 'Tis with us perpetual night. Volp. I, in Corvino, and such earth-fed Why should we defer our joys ? minds,
“ Fame and rumour are but toys.
“ These have crimes accounted been.” 'Tis thy great work; that hath, not now alone,
(shapes, Cel. Some serene blast me ", or dire
An errant LOCUST, by hearen, a LOCUST!
Expecting how thou'lt bid’em flow. Locust is not the mischievous insect so named; but, if I understand our learned poet right, he calls her another Locusta, an infamous woman skilful in poisoning, who assisted Nero in destroying Britannicus, and Agrippina in poisoning Claudius. In the same sense, Juvenal :
Instituitque rudes melior Locusta propinquas. Sat. i. 71.-Mr. Upton. Thou hast thy tears, &c. This likewise is imitated from the same satirist :
Qun jubeat munaré modo.-Sat iv. 271.
Had he met a cope-Man.] i. e. a chap-man. So Verstegan in the word ceapman : for this we now say chapman; which is as much as to say, as a merchani, or cope-man. *10 Come, my Celia, let us prove,
While we can, the sports of love.] This song is imitated from Catullus : it is also in the collection of our author's smaller poems, which he calls The Forest.
1 Some serene blast me.] Serene is, here, not that disorder in the eyes called gutta serena, which often occasions blindness; but it means a calm, moist, warm air, or evening, which is frequently the cause of blasts or blights. Jonson uses the same word again in his epigrams;
A worthy lover: use thy fortune well, Gather'd in bags, and mixt with Cretan With secrecy and pleasure. See, behold,
wines. What thou art queen of; not in expectation, Our drink shall be prepared gold and amber; As I feed others: but possess’d and crown'd. Which we will take, until my roof wbiri. See, here a rope of pearl ; and each, more
[rous'd: With the vertigo: and my dwarf shall dance, Than that the brave Ægyptian queen ca- My eunuch sing, iny foolinake up the antick, Dissolve and drink'en "2. See, a carbuncle, Whilst we in changed shapes, act Ovid's May put out both the eyes of our St. Mark;
tales, A diamond would have bought Lollia Pau- Thou, like Europa now, and I like Jove, lina,
Then I like Mars, and thou like Erycine; When she came in like star-light, hid with So, of the rest, till we have quite run through, jewels,
And wearied all the fables of the gods. That were the spoils of provinces"': take Then will I have thee in more modern forms, these,
[ear-ring Attired like some sprightly dame of France, And wear, and lose 'em : vet remains an Brave Tuscan lady, or proud Spanish beauTo purchase them again, and this whole
ty ; state.
Sometimes, unto the Persian sophy's wife; A gem but worth a private patrimony, Or the grand-signior's mistress; and, for Is nothing: we will eat such at a meal.
change, The heads of parrots, tongues of nightin- To one of our most artful curtizans, gales ,
Or some quick Negro, or cold Russian ;
(sure, (Though nature lost her kind) she were our Out at our lips, and score up sums of pleaCel. Good sir, these things might move a mind affected
" That the curious shall not know With such delights; but I, whose innocence
“ How to tell them as they flow;
" And the envious, when they find Is all I can think wealthy, or worth th' enjoying, [beyond it,
“ What their number is, be pin’d.“ And which, once lost, I have nought to lose Cel. If you have cars that will be pierc'd; Cannot be taken with these sensual baits : If you have conscience
That can be open'd; a heart may be touch'd; Volp. 'Tis the beggar's virtue :
Or any part, that yet sounds man about you : If thou hast wisdom, hear me, Celia. If you have touch of holy saints, or heaven, Thy baths shall be the juice of July-flowers, Do me the grace to let me 'scape. If not, Spirit of roses, and of violets,
Be bountiful and kill me. You do know, The milk of unicorns, and panthers' breath I am a creature, hither ill betray'd,
Wherever death doth please t appear,
“ Seas, serenes, swords, shot, sickness, all are there.-Epig. 32. And it is used also by Daniel in the same sense:
“The fogs and the serene offend us more,
And, each more orient
Dissolve and drink 'em.] The Ægyptian queen is Cleopatra; the story of her dissolving a pearl and drinking it, is well known. 13 A diamond ruould have BROUGHT Luullia Paulina,
When she came in, like star-light hid with jewels,
That were the spoils of provinces.] We must first reform the text and punctuation, and then explain the story. Brought should be bought; Laullia is called by the historians Lollia; and the comma which is set after cume in, must be removed, and placed at starlight. The verse will then stand thus:
When she came in like starlight, hid with jewels. The story itself is from Pliny: Lollia Paulina, quæ fuit Caii principis matrona, ne serio quidem, aut solemni cærimoniarum aliquo apparatu, sed mediocrium etiam sponsalium cæna, vidi smarugdis margaritisque opertam, alter no tertu fulgentibus, toto capite, crinibus, spirá, auribus, collo, monilibus, digitisque.Nec dona prodigi principis fuerunt, sed avitæ opes, provinciarum scilicet spoliis partæ.-L. 9. 3. 58. . The heads of parrots, tongues of nightingales,
The brains of piacocks, and of estriches
Shall be our food!] This is a strain of luxury taken from the emperor Heliogabalus : Comedit, says Ælius Lampridius, linguas padonum & lusciniarum : and he had the brains of 500 ostriches to furnish out a single dish.
By one, whose shame I would forget it were. Unto the navel, 'e'er I liv'd to see
Volp. Woe on thy fortune. (It is a vice comes nearer manliness)
Mos. And my follies, sir.
Who would have thought he would have Or poison it with ointments, for seducing
hearken'd so? Your blood to this rebellion. Rub these Volp. What shall we do? hands,
Mos. I know not; if my heart [out. With what may cause an eating leprosie, Could expiate the mischance, I'ld pluck it E'en to my bones and marrow: any thing, Will
you be pleas’d to hang me, or cut my That may disfavour me, save in my honour.
[Romans, And I will kneel to you, pray for you, pay And I'll requite you, sir. Let's die like down
Since we have liv'd like Grecians.
[They knock without. Volp. Think me cold,
I hear some footing; officers, the safti, Frozen and impotent, and so report ine? Come to apprehend us; I do feel the brand That I had Nestor's hernia, thou would'st Hissing already at my forehead ; now, think 15.
Mine ears are Loring.
with opportunity thus long: Make that place good, however. Guilty men I should have done the act, and then have Suspect what they deserve still. Signior parley'd.
(swine, Bon. Forbear, foul ravisher, libidinous
Corbaccio, Mosca, Voltore, Volpone. Free the forc'd lady, or thou dy'st, impostor. Corb. Why, how now,
Mosca? [He leaps out from where Mosca had Mos. O, undone, amaz’d, sir. placed him.
Your son, (I know not by what accident) But that I'm loth to snatch the punishment Acquainted with your purpose to my patron, Out of the hand of justice, thou should'st, yet, Touching your will, and making him your Be made the timely sacrifice of vengeance,
(drawn, Before this altar, and this dross, thy idol. Enter'd our house with violence, his sword Lady, let's quit the place, it is the den Sought for you, call'd you wretch, unnatural, Of villainy ; fear nought, you have a guard: Vow'd he would kill you. And he, ere long, shall meet his just reward. Corb. Me? Volp. Fall on me, roof, and bury me in Mos. Yes, and my patron.
Corb. This act shall disinherit him indeed : Become my grave, that wert my shelter. O! Here is the will. I anı unmask'd, unspirited, undone,
Mos. 'Tis well, sir. Betray'd to beggary, to infamy
Corð. Right and well.
Be you as careful now for me.
Mos. My life, sir,
Is not more tender'd. I am only yours. Mosca, Volpone.
Corb. How does he? will be die shortly, Mos. Where shall I run, most wretched
think'st thou ? shame of men,
Mos. I fear he'll out-last May. To beat out my unlucky brains ?
Corb. To-day? Volp. Here, here.
Mos. No, last out May, sir. Wbat! dost thou bleed?
Corb. Could'st thou not gi' him a dram? Mos. O that his well-driv'n sword
Mos. O, by no means, sir. Had been so courteous to have cleft me Corb. Nay, I'll not bid you. down
Volt. This is a knave, I see. 15 That I hud Nestor's hernia, thou would'st think.] Alluding to these lines of Juvenal :
et quibus incendi jam frigidus ado Laomedontiades, o Nestoris hernia possit. Sat. vi. 324. 16 - that his well-driv'n sword
Had been so COVETOUS to have cleft me down
Unto the navel.] Tho' covetous carries some meaning with it, yet certainly courteous, the reading of the old folio, is the best word. The hyperbole of the expression may be justified by parallel passages from other poets.
Mos. How, signior Voltore! did he hear (Volt. I cry thee mercy, Mosca.). ine?
Mos. Worth your patience, [change! Volt. Parasite.
[welcome And your great merit, sir. “And see the Mos. Who's that? O, sir, most timely Volt. Why, what success? Volt. Scarce,
Mos. Most hapless ! you must help, sir. To the discovery of your tricks, I fear. Whilst we expected the old raven", in You are his only? and mine also ? are you not?
Corvino's wite, sent hither by her husband Mos. Who? I, sir!
Volt. What, with a present? Volt. You, sir. What device is this
Mts. No, sir, on visitation, About a will?
(I'll tell you how anon :) and staying long, Mos. A plot for you, sir.
The youth he grows impatient, rushes forth, Volt. Coine,
['em. Seizeth the lady, wounds me, makes her Put not your foists upon me, I shall scent Mos. Did you not hear it?
(Or he would murder her, that was his vow) Volt. Yes, I hear, Corbaccio
T'afiirm my patron to have done her rape : Hath made your patron there his heir.
Which how unlike it is, you see ; and hence Mos. 'Tis true,
With that pretext he's gone t’ accuse his By my device, drawn to it by my plot.
father, With hope
Defame my patron, defeat you--
Let him be sent for straight.
Volt. This must be stopt. Being persuaded to it by this thought, sir, Mos. () you do nobly, sir. That the unnaturalness, first, of the act, Alas, 'twas labour'd all, sir, for your good; And then his father's oft disclaiming in him", Nor was there want of counsel in the plot: (Which I did mean t belp on) would sure But fortune can, at any time, o'erthrow enrage bim
The projects of a hundred learned clerks, sir. To do some violence
Corb. What's that?
Mlos. Patron, go in, and pray for our Truth be my comfort, and my conscience, My only aim was to dig you a fortune
Volp. Need makes devotion : heaven Out of these two old rotten sepulchres 18
your labour bless. 17 And then his father's ofT DISCLAIMING IN HIM;] A modern writer would say, oft disclaiming him; but I suppose the phrase to be elliptical; and expressed at large it would be, disclaiming any part in him. Our poet's contemporaries use the same diction : so Fletcher,
Thou disclaim'st in me ;
“ Tell me thy wame."--Philaster. Act. II. My only aim was to dig you a fortune
Out of these two rotten sepulchres.] The expression is as natural, as the image is just : treasure has been often found in antient monuments and sepulchres; a title elegantly given to Corbaccio and Volpone.
1 Whilst we erpected the old raven.] i. e. Corbaccio.
(Since we are met here in this height of
see What observation is. You mention'd me For some instructions. I will tell you, sir,
For they are old.
To mine own heart, whom I durst trust, I Per. Sir, I have better.
would Pol. Pardon,
Per. What? what, sir? I meant, as they are theines.
Pol. Make him rich; make him a fortune: Per. O, sir, proceed :
He should not think again. I would comI'll slander you no more of wit, good sir.
mand it. Pol. First, for your garb it must be grave
Per. As how ? and serious,
Pol. With certain projects that I have, Very reserv'd and lockt?; not tell a secret Which I may not discover. On any terms, not to your father ; scurçe Per. If I had A fable, but with caution: make sure choice But one to wager with, I would lay olds now, Both of your company, and discourse; be- He tells me instantly.
Pol. One is (and that
[state You never speak a truth
I care not greatly who knows) to serve the Per. How?
Of Venice with red herrings for three years, Pol. Not to strangers,
[most : And at a certain rate, from Rotterdam, For those be they you must converse with Where I have correspondence. There's a Others I would not know, sir, but at distance,
letter, So as I still might be a saver in 'em :
Sent me from one o' th' states, and to that You shall have tricks else past upon you
He cannot write his name, but that's bis And then for your religion, profess none,
mark. But wonder at the diversity of all; (other Per. He is a chandler ? And, for your part, protest, were there no Pol. No, a cheesemonger.
[treat But simply the laws o'th' land, you could There are some others too, with whom I content you.
About the same negociation; Nic. Machiavel, and monsieur Boilin, both And I will undertake it : for, 'tis thus, Were of this mind. Then must you learn I'll do't with ease, I have cast it all : your the use
hoy And handling of your silver fork at meals, Carries but three men in her, and a boy ; The metal of your glass : (these are main
And she shall make me three returns a year: matters
So if there come but one three, I save; With your Italian ;) and to know the hour If tuo, I can defalk: but this is now, When you must eat your melons and your If my main project fail. tigs.
Per. Then you have others ? [aiz Per. Is that a point of state too?
Pol. I should be loth to draw the subtil Pol. Here it is :
Of such a place, without my thousand aims. For your Venetian, if he see a man
I'll not dissemble, sir ; where-e'er I come, Preposterous in the least, he has him straight; I love to be considerative; and 'tis true, He has; he strips him. I'll acquaint you, sir, I have at iny free hours thought upon I now have liv'd here, 'tis some fourteen Some certain goods unto the state of Venice, months :
Which I do call my cautions; and sir, which Within the first week of my landing here, I mean (in hope of pension) to propound All took me for a citizen of Venice,
To the great council, then unto tie forty, I knew the forms so well
So to the ten. My means are made alreadyPer. And nothing else.
Per. By whoin? Pol. I had read Contarene!, took me a Pol. Sir, one that though his place b' obhouse,
[He's Dealt with my Jews to furnish it with inove- Yet he can sway, and they will hear him. ables
A Commandadore. Well, if I could but find one man, one man Per. What, a common serjeant ? ' I will not touch, sir, at your phrase, or clothes,
For they are old, &c.] Jonson with much humour ridicules the stale counsel and advices, which at this time, when travelling to Italy was so much in vogue, were retailed by every pretender to a knowledge of the world. Sir Politick is well versed in all the exteriors of travelling, which he considers as the essence of knowing men and manners.
Very reserv'd and luckt.] This politician, who studied only appearances, has transferred to modes of dress, what a real statesman prescribed his friend with regard to his sentiments and opinions: I pensieri stretti, ed il viso sciolto, was the advice of sir Henry Wotton to Milton, when he was going on the tour of Italy.
3 I had read Contarene.] A treatise della republica & magistrati di Venetia, di Gasp. Contarini.
Sir, that though his place W obscure.] The sense and metre are both defective; the restoration of a word, dropt in the last edition, supplies both: Sir, one that tho his place b'obscure.