Ben Jonson

"The Alchemist (Act 5 Scene 2)"

SCENE 2

A Room in the same.


ENTER SUBTLE, LEADING IN DAPPER, WITH HIS EYES BOUND AS BEFORE.

SUBTLE.
How! you have eaten your gag?

DAPPER.
Yes faith, it crumbled
Away in my mouth.

SUBTLE.
You have spoil'd all then.

DAPPER.
No!
I hope my aunt of Fairy will forgive me.

SUBTLE.
Your aunt's a gracious lady; but in troth
You were to blame.

DAPPER.
The fume did overcome me,
And I did do't to stay my stomach. 'Pray you
So satisfy her grace.

[ENTER FACE, IN HIS UNIFORM.]
Here comes the captain.

FACE.
How now! is his mouth down?

SUBTLE.
Ay, he has spoken!

FACE.
A pox, I heard him, and you too.
—He's undone then.—
I have been fain to say, the house is haunted
With spirits, to keep churl back.

SUBTLE.
And hast thou done it?

FACE.
SURLYe, for this night.

SUBTLE.
Why, then triumph and sing
Of Face so famous, the precious king
Of present wits.

FACE.
Did you not hear the coil
About the door?

SUBTLE.
Yes, and I dwindled with it.

FACE.
Show him his aunt, and let him be dispatch'd:
I'll send her to you.

[EXIT FACE.]

SUBTLE.
Well, sir, your aunt her grace
Will give you audience presently, on my suit,
And the captain's word that you did not eat your gag
In any contempt of her highness.

[UNBINDS HIS EYES.]

DAPPER.
Not I, in troth, sir.

[ENTER DOL, LIKE THE QUEEN OF FAIRY.]

SUBTLE.
Here she is come. Down o' your knees and wriggle:
She has a stately presence.

[DAPPER KNEELS, AND SHUFFLES TOWARDS HER.]

Good! Yet nearer,
And bid, God save you!

DAPPER.
Madam!

SUBTLE.
And your aunt.

DAPPER.
And my most gracious aunt, God save your grace.

DOL COMMON.
Nephew, we thought to have been angry with you;
But that sweet face of yours hath turn'd the tide,
And made it flow with joy, that ebb'd of love.
Arise, and touch our velvet gown.

SUBTLE.
The skirts,
And kiss 'em. So!

DOL COMMON.
Let me now stroak that head.
"Much, nephew, shalt thou win, much shalt thou spend,
Much shalt thou give away, much shalt thou lend."

SUB TLE
[ASIDE].
Ay, much! indeed.—
Why do you not thank her grace?

DAPPER.
I cannot speak for joy.

SUBTLE.
See, the kind wretch!
Your grace's kinsman right.

DOL COMMON.
Give me the bird.
Here is your fly in a purse, about your neck, cousin;
Wear it, and feed it about this day sev'n-night,
On your right wrist—

SUBTLE.
Open a vein with a pin,
And let it suck but once a week; till then,
You must not look on't.

DOL COMMON.
No: and kinsman,
Bear yourself worthy of the blood you come on.

SUBTLE.
Her grace would have you eat no more Woolsack pies,
Nor Dagger frumety.

DOL COMMON.
Nor break his fast
In Heaven and Hell.

SUBTLE.
She's with you every where!
Nor play with costarmongers, at mum-chance, tray-trip,
God make you rich; (when as your aunt has done it);
But keep
The gallant'st company, and the best games—

DAPPER.
Yes, sir.

SUBTLE.
Gleek and primero; and what you get, be true to us.

DAPPER.
By this hand, I will.

SUBTLE.
You may bring's a thousand pound
Before to-morrow night, if but three thousand
Be stirring, an you will.

DAPPER.
I swear I will then.

SUBTLE.
Your fly will learn you all games.

FACE
[WITHIN]. Have you done there?

SUBTLE.
Your grace will command him no more duties?

DOL COMMON.
No:
But come, and see me often. I may chance
To leave him three or four hundred chests of treaSURLYe,
And some twelve thousand acres of fairy land,
If he game well and comely with good gamesters.

SUBTLE.
There's a kind aunt! kiss her departing part.—
But you must sell your forty mark a year, now.

DAPPER.
Ay, sir, I mean.

SUBTLE.
Or, give't away; pox on't!

DAPPER.
I'll give't mine aunt. I'll go and fetch the writings.

[EXIT.]

SUBTLE.
'Tis well—away!

[RE-ENTER FACE.]

FACE.
Where's SUBTLE?

SUBTLE.
Here: what news?

FACE. Drugger is at the door, go take his suit,
And bid him fetch a parson, presently;
Say, he shall marry the widow. Thou shalt spend
A hundred pound by the service!

[EXIT SUBTLE.]

Now, queen Dol,
Have you pack'd up all?

DOL COMMON.
Yes.

FACE.
And how do you like
The lady Pliant?

DOL COMMON.
A good dull innocent.

[RE-ENTER SUBTLE.]

SUBTLE.
Here's your Hieronimo's cloak and hat.

FACE.
Give me them.

SUBTLE.
And the ruff too?

FACE.
Yes; I'll come to you presently.

[EXIT.]

SUBTLE.
Now he is gone about his project, Dol,
I told you of, for the widow.

DOL COMMON.
'Tis direct
Against our articles.

SUBTLE.
Well, we will fit him, wench.
Hast thou gull'd her of her jewels or her bracelets?

DOL COMMON.
No; but I will do't.

SUBTLE.
Soon at night, my Dolly,
When we are shipp'd, and all our goods aboard,
Eastward for Ratcliff, we will turn our course
To Brainford, westward, if thou sayst the word,
And take our leaves of this o'er-weening rascal,
This peremptory Face.

DOL COMMON.
Content, I'm weary of him.

SUBTLE. Thou'st cause, when the slave will run a wiving, Dol,
Against the instrument that was drawn between us.

DOL COMMON.
I'll pluck his bird as bare as I can.

SUBTLE.
Yes, tell her,
She must by any means address some present
To the cunning man, make him amends for wronging
His art with her suspicion; send a ring,
Or chain of pearl; she will be tortured else
Extremely in her sleep, say, and have strange things
Come to her. Wilt thou?

DOL COMMON.
Yes.

SUBTLE.
My fine flitter-mouse,
My bird o' the night! we'll tickle it at the Pigeons,
When we have all, and may unlock the trunks,
And say, this's mine, and thine; and thine, and mine.

[THEY KISS.]

[RE-ENTER FACE.]

FACE.
What now! a billing?

SUBTLE.
Yes, a little exalted
In the good passage of our stock-affairs.

FACE.
Drugger has brought his parson; take him in, SUBTLE,
And send Nab back again to wash his face.

SUBTLE.
I will: and shave himself?

[EXIT.]

FACE.
If you can get him.

DOL COMMON.
You are hot upon it, Face, whate'er it is!

FACE.
A trick that Dol shall spend ten pound a month by.

[RE-ENTER SUBTLE.]

Is he gone?

SUBTLE.
The chaplain waits you in the hall, sir.

FACE.
I'll go bestow him.

[EXIT.]

DOL COMMON.
He'll now marry her, instantly.

SUBTLE.
He cannot yet, he is not ready. Dear Dol,
Cozen her of all thou canst. To deceive him
Is no deceit, but justice, that would break
Such an inextricable tie as ours was.

DOL COMMON.
Let me alone to fit him.

[RE-ENTER FACE.]

FACE.
Come, my venturers,
You have pack'd up all? where be the trunks? bring forth.

SUBTLE.
Here.

FACE.
Let us see them. Where's the money?

SUBTLE.
Here,
In this.

FACE.
MAMMON's ten pound; eight score before:
The brethren's money, this. Drugger's and DAPPER's.
What paper's that?

DOL COMMON.
The jewel of the waiting maid's,
That stole it from her lady, to know certain—

FACE.
If she should have precedence of her mistress?

DOL COMMON.
Yes.

FACE. What box is that?

SUBTLE.
The fish-wives' rings, I think,
And the ale-wives' single money. Is't not, Dol?

DOL COMMON.
Yes; and the whistle that the sailor's wife
Brought you to know an her husband were with Ward.

FACE.
We'll wet it to-morrow; and our silver-beakers
And tavern cups. Where be the French petticoats,
And girdles and hangers?

SUBTLE.
Here, in the trunk,
And the bolts of lawn.

FACE.
Is Drugger's damask there,
And the tobacco?

SUBTLE.
Yes.

FACE.
Give me the keys.

DOL COMMON.
Why you the keys?

SUBTLE.
No matter, Dol; because
We shall not open them before he comes.

FACE.
'Tis true, you shall not open them, indeed;
Nor have them forth, do you see? Not forth, DOL COMMON.

DOL COMMON.
No!

FACE.
No, my smock rampant. The right is, my master
Knows all, has pardon'd me, and he will keep them;
Doctor, 'tis true—you look—for all your figures:
I sent for him, indeed. Wherefore, good partners,
Both he and she be satisfied; for here
Determines the indenture tripartite
'Twixt SUBTLE, Dol, and Face. All I can do
Is to help you over the wall, o' the back-side,
Or lend you a sheet to save your velvet gown, DOL COMMON.
Here will be officers presently, bethink you
Of some course suddenly to 'scape the dock:
For thither you will come else.

[LOUD KNOCKING.]

Hark you, thunder.

SUBTLE.
You are a precious fiend!

OFFI
[WITHOUT]. Open the door.

FACE.
Dol, I am sorry for thee i'faith; but hear'st thou?
It shall go hard but I will place thee somewhere:
Thou shalt have my letter to mistress Amo—

DOL COMMON.
Hang you!

FACE.
Or madam Caesarean.

DOL COMMON.
Pox upon you, rogue,
Would I had but time to beat thee!

FACE.
SUBTLE,
Let's know where you set up next; I will send you
A customer now and then, for old acquaintance:
What new course have you?

SUBTLE.
Rogue, I'll hang myself;
That I may walk a greater devil than thou,
And haunt thee in the flock-bed and the buttery.

[EXEUNT.]

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