Ben Jonson

"The Magnetick Lady. Act 2. Scene 6."

                 Interest, Practise, Bias, Compass, Palate, Rut, Ironside.

    Int. The truth is, Mr. Practise, now we are sure
That you are off, we dare come on the boulder:
The Portion left was Sixteen thousand Pound,
I do confess it, as a just man should.
And call here Mr. Compass, with these Gentlemen,
To the relation: I will still be just.
Now for the Profits every way arising,
It was the Donors Wisdom, those should pay
Me for my Watch, and breaking of my Sleeps;
It is no petty charge, you know the sum;
To keep a man awake for Fourteen year.

    Pra. But (as you knew to use it i'that time)
It would reward your waking.

    Int. That's my Industry,
As it might be your Reading, Study and Counsel;
And now your Pleading, who denies it you?
I have my Calling too. Well, Sir, the Contract
Is with this Gentleman, Ten thousand pound.
(An ample Portion for a younger Brother,
With a soft, tender, delicate Rib of Mans Flesh,
That he may work like Wax, and print upon.)
He expects no more, than that sum to be tendred,
And he receive it: Those are the Conditions.

    Pra. A direct Bargain, and in open sale Market.

    Int. And what I have furnish'd him withal o' the by,
To appear, or so: A matter of Four hundred,
To be deduc'd upo' the payment. --

    Bia. Right.
You deal like a just Man still.

    Int. Draw up this,
Good Mr. Practise, for us, and be speedy.

    Pra. But here's a mighty gain, Sir, you have made
Of this one Stock! the Principal first doubled,
In the first Seven year; and that redoubled,
I' the next Seven! beside Six thousand Pound,
There's threescore thousand got in Fourteen year,
After the usual Rate of Ten i' the Hundred,
And the Ten thousand paid.

    Int. I think it be!

    Pra. How will you scape the Clamour and the Envy?

    Int. Let'em exclaim and envy; what care I?
Their Murmurs raise no Blisters i' my Flesh.
My Monies are my Blood, my Parents Kindred:
And he that loves not those, he is unnatural:
I am perswaded that the love of Money
Is not a Vertue, only in a Subject,

But might befit a Prince. And (were there need)
I find me able to make good the Assertion,
To any reasonable mans Understanding;
And make him to confess it.

    Com. Gentlemen,
Doctors, and Scholars, you'll hear this, and look for
As much true secular Wit, and deep Lay-sense,
As can be shown on such a common Place.

    Int. First, we all know the Soul of man is infinite
In what it covers. Who desireth knowledge,
Desires it infinitely. Who covets Honour,
Covets it infinettely: It will be then
No hard thing for a coveting man to prove,
Or to confess, he aims at infinite Wealth.

    Com. His Soul lying that way.

    Int. Next, every man
Is i' the hope or possibilty
Of a whole World: this present World being nothing,
But he dispersed Issue of first one:
And therefore I cannot see, but a just man
May with just reason, and in office ought
Propound unto himself.

     An infinite Wealth!
I'll bear the Burden: Go you on, Sir Moath.

    Int. thirdly, if we consider man a Member
But of the Body Politick, we know,
By just Experience, that the Prince hath need
More of one Wealthy, than ten fighting Men.

    Com. There you went out o' the Road, a little from us.

    Int. And therefore, if the Princess aims be infinite,
It must be in that, which makes all.

    Com. Infinite Wealth.

    Int. Fourthly, 'tis natural to all good Subjects,
To set a price on Money, more than Fools
ought on their Mrs. Picture; every piece
Fro' the Penny to the Twelve pence, being the Hierogliphick,
And sacred Sculpture of the Soveraign.

    Com. A manifest Conclusion, and a safe one.

    Int. Fifthly, Wealth gives a Man the leading Voice,
At all Conventions; and displaceth worth,
with general allowance to all Parties:
It makes a Trade to take the Wall of Vertue;
And the mere Issue of a Shop Right Honourable.
Sixthly, it doth inable him that hath it,
To the performance of all real Actions,
Reffering him to himself still: and not binding
His Will to any Circ*mstance; without him;
It gives him precise knowledge of himself;
For, be he rich, he straight with evidence knows
Whether he have any compassion,
Or inclination unto Vertue, or no;
Where the poor Knave erroneously believes,
If he were rich, he would build Churches, or
Do such mad things. Seventhly, your wise poor Men
Have ever been contended to observe
Rich Fools, and so to serve their turns upon them:
Subjecting all their Wit to the others Wealth.
And become Gentlemen Parasites, Squire Bawds,
To feed their Patrons honourable Humours.
Eightly, 'tis certain that a Man may leave
His Wealth, or to his Children, or his Friends;
His Wit he cannot so dispose by Legacy?
As they shall be a Harrington the better for't.

    Com. He may intail a Jest upon his House:
Or leave a Tale to his Posterity,
                    [Enter Ironside.
To be told after him.

    Iro. As you have done here?
T'invite your Friend and Brother to a Feast,
Where all the Guests are so mere Heterogene,
And Strangers, no Man knows another, or cares
If they be Christians or Mahumetans!
That here are met.     Com. Is't any thing to you, Brother,
To know Religions more than those you fight for?

    Iro. Yes, and with whom I eat. I may dispute,
And how shall I hold Argument with such,
I neither know their Humours nor their Heresies;
Which are Religions now, and so receiv'd?
Here's no Man among these that keeps a Servant,
To' inquire his Master of: yet i' the House,
I hear it buz'd there are a brace of Doctors,
A Fool, and a Physician; with a Courtier,
That feeds on Mulberry-leaves, like a true Silk-worm:
A Lawyer, and a kighty Money-Bawd,
Sir Moath! has brought his politick Bias with him:
A man of a most animadverting humour;
Who, to endear himself unto his Lord,
Will tell him, you and I, or any of us,
That there are met, are all pernicious Spirits,
And men of pestilent purpose, meanly affected
Unto the State we live in: and beget
Himself a thanks with the great men o' the time,
By breeding Jealousies in them of us,
Shall cross our Fortunes, frustrate our Endeavours,
Twice seven years after: And this trick be call'd
Cutting of throats, with a whispering, or a Pen-knife.
I must cut his Throat now: I'am bound in Honour,
And by the Law of Arms, to see it done;
I dare to do it; and I dare profess
The doing of it: being to such a Rascal,
Who is the common ofence grown of mankind,
And worthy to be torn up from society.

    Com. You shall not do it here, Sir.

    Iro. Why? will you
Intreat your self into a beating for him.
My curteous Brother? If you will, have at you,
No man deserves it better (now I think on't)
Than you: that will keep consort with such Fidlers,
Pragmatick Flies, Fools, Publicans, and Moaths:
And leave your honest and adopted Brother.

    Int. 'best raise the house upon him, to secure us;
He'll kill us all!

    Pal. I love no Blades in Belts.

    Rut. Nor I.

    Bia. Would I were at my Shop again,
In Court, safe stow'd up, with my politick Bundels.

    Com. How they are scatter'd!

    Iro. Run away like Cimici,
Into the cranies of a rotten Bed-stead.

    Com. I told you such a passage would disperse 'em,
Although the House were their Fee-simple in Law,
And they possest of all the blessings in it.

    Iro. Pray Heaven they be not frighted from their Stomachs:
That so my Ladies Table be disfurnish'd
Of the Provisions!

    Com. No, the Parsons's calling
By this time, all the Covey again, together.
Here comes good tydings! Dinner o' the Board.

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