Ben Jonson

"Every Man out of His Humour Act 4. Scene 1"

A ROOM IN DELIRO'S HOUSE.

ENTER FUNGOSO, FALLACE FOLLOWING HIM.

Fal.
Why are you so melancholy, brother?

Fung.
I am not melancholy, I thank you, sister.

Fal.
Why are you not merry then? there are but two of us in all the
world, and if we should not be comforts one to another, God help us!

Fung.
Faith, I cannot tell, sister; but if a man had any true melancholy
in him, it would make him melancholy to see his yeomanly father cut his neighbours' throats, to make his son a gentleman; and yet, when he has cut them, he will see his son's throat cut too, ere he make him a true gentleman indeed, before death cut his own throat. I must be the first head of our house, and yet he will not give me the head till I be made so. Is any man termed a gentleman, that is not always in the fashion? I would know but that.

Fal.
If you be melancholy for that, brother, I think I have as much cause
to be melancholy as any one: for I'll be sworn, I live as little in the
fashion as any woman in London. By the faith of a gentlewoman, beast that I am to say it! I have not one friend in the world besides my husband. When saw you master Fastidious Brisk, brother?

Fung.
But a while since, sister, I think: I know not well in truth. By
this hand I could fight with all my heart, methinks.

Fal.
Nay, good brother, be not resolute.

Fung.
I sent him a letter, and he writes me no answer neither.

Fal.
Oh, sweet Fastidious Brisk! O fine courtier! thou are he makest me
sigh, and say, how blessed is that woman that hath a courtier to her husband, and how miserable a dame she is, that hath neither husband, nor friend in the court! O sweet Fastidious! O fine courtier! How comely he bows him in his court'sy! how full he hits a woman between the lips when he kisses! how upright he sits at the table! how daintily he carves! how sweetly he talks, and tells news of this lord and of that lady! how cleanly he wipes his spoon at every spoonful of any whitemeat he eats! and what a neat case of pick-tooths he carries about him still! O sweet Fastidious! O fine courtier!

ENTER DELIRO AT A DISTANCE, WITH MUSICIANS.

Deli.
See, yonder she is, gentlemen. Now, as ever you'll bear the name of musicians, touch your instruments sweetly; she has a delicate ear, I tell you: play not a false note, I beseech you.

Musi.
Fear not, signior Deliro.

Deli.
O, begin, begin, some sprightly thing: lord, how my imagination
labours with the success of it! [THEY STRIKE UP A LIVELY TUNE.] Well said, good i'faith! Heaven grant it please her. I'll not be seen, for then she'll be sure to dislike it.

Fal.
Hey — da! this is excellent! I'll lay my life this is my husband's
dotage. I thought so; nay, never play bo-peep with me; I know you do nothing but study how to anger me, sir.

Deli.
[COMING FORWARD.] Anger thee, sweet wife! why, didst thou not send for musicians at supper last night thyself?

Fal.
To supper, sir! now, come up to supper, I beseech you: as though
there were no difference between supper-time, when folks should be merry, and this time when they should be melancholy. I would never take upon me to take a wife, if I had no more judgment to please her.

Fal.
Be pleased, sweet wife, and they shall have done; and would to fate
my life were done, if I can never please thee!

[EXEUNT MUSICIANS.

ENTER MACILENTE.

Maci.
Save you lady; where is master Deliro?

Deli.
Here, master Macilente: you are welcome from court, sir; no doubt
you have been graced exceedingly of master Brisk's mistress, and the rest of the ladies for his sake.

Maci.
Alas, the poor fantastic! he's scarce known
To any lady there; and those that know him,
Know him the simplest man of all they know:
Deride, and play upon his amorous humours,
Though he but apishly doth imitate
The gallant'st courtiers, kissing ladies' pumps,
Holding the cloth for them, praising their wits,
And servilely observing every one
May do them pleasure: fearful to be seen
With any man, though he be ne'er so worthy,
That's not in grace with some that are the greatest.
Thus courtiers do, and these he counterfeits,
But sets no such a sightly carriage
Upon their vanities, as they themselves;
And therefore they despise him: for indeed
He's like the zany to a tumbler,
That tries tricks after him, to make men laugh.

Fal.
Here's an unthankful spiteful wretch! the good gentleman vouchsafed to make him his companion, because my husband put him into a few rags, and now see how the unrude rascal backbites him!
[ASIDE.

Deli.
Is he no more graced amongst them then, say you?

Maci.
Faith, like a pawn at chess: fills up a room, that's all.

Fal.
O monster of men! can the earth bear such an envious caitiff?
[ASIDE.

Deli.
Well, I repent me I ever credited him so much: but now I see what
he is, and that his masking vizor is off, I'll forbear him no longer. All his lands are mortgaged to me, and forfeited; besides, I have bonds of his in my hand, for the receipt of now fifty pounds now a hundred, now two hundred; still, as he has had a fan but wagged at him, he would be in a new suit. Well, I'll salute him by a serjeant, the next time I see him i'faith, I'll suit him.

Maci.
Why, you may soon see him sir, for he is to meet signior Puntarvolo at a notary's by the Exchange, presently; where he meant to take up, upon return.

Fal.
Now, out upon thee, Judas! canst thou not be content to backbite thy friend, but thou must betray him! Wilt thou seek the undoing of any man? and of such a man too? and will you, sir, get your living by the counsel of traitors?

Deli.
Dear wife, have patience.

Fal.
The house will fall, the ground will open and swallow us: I'll not
bide here for all the gold and silver in heaven.

[EXIT WITH FUNGOSO.

Deli.
O, good Macilente, let's follow and appease her, or the peace of my
life is at an end.

[EXIT.

Maci.
Now pease, and not peace, feed that life, whose head hangs so
heavily over a woman's manger!

[EXIT.

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