Ben Jonson

"Ben Jonson (Act 2 Scene 2.2)"

A ROOM IN VOLPONE'S HOUSE.

ENTER VOLPONE AND MOSCA.


VOLP: O, I am wounded!

MOS: Where, sir?

VOLP: Not without;
Those blows were nothing: I could bear them ever.
But angry Cupid, bolting from her eyes,
Hath shot himself into me like a flame;
Where, now, he flings about his burning heat,
As in a furnace an ambitious fire,
Whose vent is stopt. The fight is all within me.
I cannot live, except thou help me, Mosca;
My liver melts, and I, without the hope
Of some soft air, from her refreshing breath,
Am but a heap of cinders.

MOS: 'Las, good sir,
Would you had never seen her!

VOLP: Nay, would thou
Had'st never told me of her!

MOS: Sir 'tis true;
I do confess I was unfortunate,
And you unhappy: but I'm bound in conscience,
No less than duty, to effect my best
To your release of torment, and I will, sir.

VOLP: Dear Mosca, shall I hope?

MOS: Sir, more than dear,
I will not bid you to dispair of aught
Within a human compass.

VOLP: O, there spoke
My better angel. Mosca, take my keys,
Gold, plate, and jewels, all's at thy devotion;
Employ them how thou wilt; nay, coin me too:
So thou, in this, but crown my longings, Mosca.

MOS: Use but your patience.

VOLP: So I have.

MOS: I doubt not
To bring success to your desires.

VOLP: Nay, then,
I not repent me of my late disguise.

MOS: If you can horn him, sir, you need not.

VOLP: True:
Besides, I never meant him for my heir.—
Is not the colour of my beard and eyebrows,
To make me known?

MOS: No jot.

VOLP: I did it well.

MOS: So well, would I could follow you in mine,
With half the happiness!
[ASIDE.]
—and yet I would
Escape your Epilogue.

VOLP: But were they gull'd
With a belief that I was Scoto?

MOS: Sir,
Scoto himself could hardly have distinguish'd!
I have not time to flatter you now; we'll part;
And as I prosper, so applaud my art.

[EXEUNT.]

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