Ben Jonson

"The New Inn. Act 2. Scene 6."

        Host, Tipto, Prudence, Beaufort, Latimer, Franck,
                 Nurse, Lady, Fly, Lovel.

     Make place, stand by, for the Queen Regeant, Gentlemen.

    Tip. This is thy Queen that shall be, Bird, our Soveraign.

    Bea. Translated Prudence!     Pru. Sweet my Lord, hand off;
It is not now, as when plain Prudence liv'd
And reach'd her Ladiship --     Host. The Chamber-pot.
    Pru. The Lookinglass, mine Host, loose your House Metaphor?
You've a negligent Memory indeed;
Speak the Host's Language. Here's a young Lord
Will make't a precedent else.     Lat. Well acted Pru.
    Host. First minute of her Reign! what will she do
Forty year hence? God bless her!     Pru. If you'll kiss,
Or complement, my Lord, behold a Lady,
A stranger, and my Ladies Kinswoman.
    Bea. I do confess my rudeness, the had need
To have mine Eye directed to his Beauty.
    Fra. It was so little, as it ask'd a Perspicill.
    Bea. Lady, your name?     Fra. My Lord, it is Laetitia.
    Bea. Laetitia! a fair Omen! and I take it.
Let me have still such Lettice for my Lips:
But that o' your Family, Lady?     Fra. Silly, Sir.
    Bea. My Ladies Kinswoman?     Fra. I am so honour'd.
    Host. Already, it takes!     Lad. An excellent fine Boy.
    Nur. He is descended of a right good Stock, Sir.
    Bea. What's this? an Antiquary?     Host. An Antiquity,
By th'dress, you'ld swear! An old Welsh Heralds widdow:
She's a wild-Irish born! Sir, and a Hybride,
That lives with this young Lady, a mile off here,
And studies vincent against York.     Bea. She'll conquer
If she read Vincent. Let me study her.
    Host. She's perfect in most Pedigrees, most Descents.
    Bea. A Baud, I hope, and knows to blaze a Coat.
    Host. And judgeth all things with a single Eye.
Fly, come you hither; no discovery
Of what you see, to your Colonel Toe, or Tip here,
But keep all close, tho' you stand i' the way o' preferment,
Seek it off from the Road; no Flattery for't:
No Lick-foot, pain of loosing your proboscis:
My Liquorish Fly.     Tip. What says old Velvet-head?
    Fly. He will present me himself, Sir, if you will not.
    Tip. Who? he present? what? whom? An Host? A Groom?

Divine the thanks with me? share in my Glories?
Lay up. I say no more.     Host. Then silence Sir,
And hear the Sov'raign.     Tip. Hostlers? to usurp
Upon my Sparta or Province, as they say?
No Broom but mine?     Host. Still Colonel you mutter!
    Tip. I dare speak out, as Cuerpo.     Fly. Noble Colonel --
    Tip. And carry what I ask --     Hos. Ask what you can Sir,
So't be i'th House.     Tip. I ask my Rights and Priviledges;
And though for form I please to call it a Suit,
I have not been accustomed to repulse.
    Pru. No, sweet Sir Glorious, you may still command --
    Host. And go without.     Pru. But yet, Sir, being the first,
And call'd a Suit, you'll look it shall be such
As we may grant.     Lad. It else denies it self.
    Pru. You hear the opinion of the Court.     Tip. I mind
No Court Opinions.     Pru. 'Tis my Ladies though.
    Tip. My Lady is a Spinster at the Law,
And my Petition is of right.     Pru. What is it?
    Tip. It is for this poor learned Bird.     Host. The Fly?
    Tip. Professor in the Inn, here, of small matters.
    Lat. How he commends him!     Host. As to save himself in him.

    Lad. So do all Politicks in their Commendations.
    Host. This is a State-bird, and the verier Fly;
    Tip. But hear him problematize.     Pru. Bless us, what's that?
    Tip. Or syllogize, elenchize.     Lad. Sure, petard's,
To blow us up.     Lat. Some inginious strong words!
    Hos. He means to erect a Castle i' the Air,
And make his Fly and Elephant to carry it.
    Tip. Bird of the Arts he is, and Fly by Name!
    Pru.Buz.     Host. Blow him off good Pru, they'll mar all else.
    Tip. The Soveraign's Honour is to cherish Learning.
    Pru. What in a Fly?     Tip. In any thing industrious.
    Pru. But Flies are busie!     Lad. There's nothing more troblesom,
Or importune!     Tip. There nothing more domestick,
Tame or familiar then your Fly in Cuerpo.
    Hos. This is when his Wings are cut, he is tame indeed, else
Nothing more impudent and greedy; licking:
    Lad. Or sawcy, good Sir Glorious.     Pru. Leave your Advocate-ship
Except that we shall call you Orator Fly,
And send you down to the Dresser and the Dishes.
    Hos. A good flap, that!     Pru. Commit you to the Steem!
    Lad. Or else condemn you to the Bottles.     Pru. And Pots.
There is his quarry.     Hos. He will chirp far better,
Your Bird, below.     Lad. And make you finer Musick.
    Pru. His Buz will there become him.     Tip. Come away,
Buz, in their Faces: Give 'em all the Buz,
Dor in their Ears and Eyes, Hum, Dor, and Buz!
I will statuminate and under-prop thee.
If they scorn us, let us scorn them -- We'll find
The Thorough-fare below, and Quaere him,
Leave these Relicts, Buz; they shall see that I,
Spight of their jears, dare drink, and with a Fly.
    Lat. A fair remove at once, of two Impertinents!
Excellent Pru! I love thee for thy Wit,
No less then State.     Pru. One must preserve the other.
    Lad. Who's here?     Pru. O Lovel, Madam, your sad Servant.
    Lad. Who's here?     Pru. O Lovel, Madam, your sad Servant.
    Lad. Sad? he is sullen still, and wears a Cloud
About his Brows; I know not how to approach him.
    Pru. I will instruct you, Madam, if that be all,
Go to him and kiss him.     Lad. How, Pru?     Pru. Go, and kiss him,
I do command it.     Lad. Th'art not wild, Wench!     Pru. No,
Tame, and exceeding tame, but still your Sov'raign.
    Lad. Hath too much bravery made thee mad?     Pru. Nor proud.
Do what I enjoyn you. No disputing
Of my Prerogative, with a front or frown;
Do not detract; you know th' Authority
Is mine, and I will exercise it swiftly,
If you provoke me.     Lad. I have woven a Net
To snare my self in! Sir, I am enjoyn'd
To tender you a kiss; but do not know
Why, or wherefore, only the Pleasure Royal
Will have it so, and urges -- Do not you
Triumph on my Obedience, seeing it forc'd thus.
There 'tis.     Lov. And welcome. Was there ever kiss
That relish'd thus! or had a Sting like this,
Of so much Nectar, but, with Aloes mixt.
    Pru. No murmuring, no repinning, I am fixt.
    Lov. It had, me thinks, a quintessence of either,
But that which was the better, drown'd the bitter.
How soon it pass'd away! how unrecovered!
The distillation of another Soul
Was not so sweet! and till I meet again,
That kiss, those Lips, like relish, and this taste.
Let me turn all Conumption, and here wast.
    Pru. The Royal Assent is past, and cannot alter.
    Lad. You'll turn a Tyran.     Pru. Be not you a Rebel,
It is a Name is alike odious.
    Lad. You'll hear me?     Pru. No, not o' dis Argument.
Would you make Laws, and be the first that brek 'em?
The Example is pernicious in a Subject,
And of your quality, most,     Lat. Excellent Princess!
    Host. Just Queen!     Lat. Brave Sov'raign.     Host. A she Trajan!

    Bea. What is't! Proceed incomparable Pru!
I am glad I am scarce at leisure to applaud thee.
    Lat. It's well for you, you have so happy Expressions.

    Lad. Yes, cry her up; with Acclamations, do,
And cry m down, run all with Soveraignity:
Prince, power will never want her Parasites.
    Pru. Nor Murmur her Pretences: Master Lovel,
For so your Libel here, or Bill of Complaint,
Exhibited, in our High Court of Sov'raignty,
At this first hour of our Reign, declares
Against this noble Lady, a dis-respect
You have conceiv'd, if not receiv'd, from her.
    Host. Received, so the Charge lies in our Bill.
    Pru. We see it, his learned Council, leave your planning.
We that do love our Justice, above all
Our other Attributes; and have the nearness,
To know your extraordinary Merit,
As also to discern this Ladies Goodness;
And find how loth she'd be to lose the Honour,
And Reputation, she hath had, in having
So worthy a Servant, though but for few Minutes.
Do here Enjoyn.     Hos. Good!     Pru. Charge, Will and Commeand
Her Ladiship, pain of our high Displeasure,
And commiting an extream Contempt,
Unto the Court, our Crown and Dignity.
    Host. Excellent Soveraign! And egregious Pru!
    Pru. To entertain you for a pair of Hours,
(Choose, when you please, this day) with all respects,
And valuation of a principal Servant,
To give you all the Titles, all the Priviledges,
The Freedoms, Favours, Rights, she can bestow.
    Hos. Large, ample Words, of a brave Latitude!
    Pru. Or can be expected, from a Lady of Honour,
Or Quality, in Discourse, Acces, Address.     Hos. Good.
    Pru. Not to give Ear, or admit Conference
With any Person but your self. Nor there,
Of any other Argument but Love,
And the Companion of it, gentile Courtship,
For which your two hours Service, you shall take
Two kisses.     Hos. Noble!     Pru. For each hour a kiss,
To be tane freely, fully, and legally,
Before us: in the Court here, and our Presence.     Hos. Rare!
    Pru. But those hours past, and the two kisses paid,
The binding Caution is, never to hope
Renewing of the Time, or of the Suit,
On any Circ*mstance.     Hos. A hard Condition!
    Lat. Had it been easier, I should have suspected
The Sov'raign's Justice.     Hos. O you are Servant,
My Lord, unto the Lady, and a Rival:
In point of Law, my Lord, you may be challeng'd.
    Lat. I am not jealous!     Host. Of so short a time
Your Lordship needs not, and being done, in foro.
    Pru. What is the answer?     Host. He craves respite, Madam,

To advise with his Learned Council.     Pru. Be you he,
And go together quickly.     Lad. You are no Tyran?
    Pru. If I be Madam, you were best appeal me!
    Lat. Beaufort! --     Bea. I am busie, pr'ythee let me alone:
I have a Cause in hearing too.     Lat. At what Bar?
    Bea. Love's Court o' Requests!     Lat. Bring't into the Soveraignty:
It is the Nobler Court, afore Judge Pru,
The only Learned Mother of the Law!
And Lady o' Conscience, too!     Bea. 'Tis well wnough
Before this Mistress of Requests, where it is.
    Host. Let 'em not scorn you. Bear up Master Lovel,
And take your Hours and Kisses, They are a Fortune.
    Lov. Which I cannot approve, and less make use of.
    Host. Still i' this Cloud! why cannot you make use of?
    Lov. Who would be rich to be so soon undone?
The Beggars best is Wealth, he doth not know:
And, but to shew it him, inflames his want:
    Host. Two hours at height?     Lov. That Joy is too too narrow.
Would bound a Love, so infinite as mine:
And being past, leaves an eternal loss.
Who so prodigiously affects a Feast,
To forfeit Health and Appetite, to see it?
Or but to taste a Spoon-full, would forgo
All gust of Delicacy ever after?
    Host. These, yet, are hours of hope.     Lov. But all hours following
Years of Despair, ages of Misery!
Nor can so short a happiness, but spring
A World of fear, with thought of loosing it;
Better be never happy, then to feell
A little of it, and then loose it ever.
    Host. I do confess, it is a strict injunction;
But then the hope is, it may not be kept.
A thousand things may intervene, we see
The Wind shift often, thrice a day sometimes;
Decrees may alter upon better motion,
And riper hearing. The best Bow may start,
And th' Hand may vary. Pru. may be a Sage
In Law, and yet not sour, sweet Pru, smooth Pru,
Soft, debonaire, and amiable Pru,
May do as well as rough and rigid Pru;
And yet maintain her, Venerable Pru,
Majestick Pru, and Serenissimous Pru.
Try but one hour first, and as you like
The loose o' that, draw home and prove the other.
    Lov. If one hour could, the other happy make,
I should attempt it.     Hos. Put it on: and do.
    Lov. Or in the blest Attempt that I might dye!
    Hos. I marry, there were happiness indeed;
Transcendent to the Melancholy, meant.
It were a Fate above a Monument,
And all Inscription, to die so. A Death
For Emperours to enjoy! And the kings
Of the Rich East to pawn their Regions for;
To sow their Treasure, open all their Mines,
Spend all their Spices to embalm their Corps,
And wrap the Inches up in Sheets of Gold,
That fell by such a Noble destiny!
And for the wrong to your Friend, that fear's away.
He rather wrongs himself, following fresh Light,
New Eyes to swear by. If Lord Beaufort change,
It is no Crime in you to reamin constant.
And upon these Conditions, at a Game
So urg'd upon you.     Pru. Sir you, Resolution --
    Hos. How is the Lady affected?     Pru. Sov'raigns use not
To ask their Subjects suffrage where 'tis due;
But where Conditional.     Host. A Royal Sov'raign!
    Lat. And a rare States-woman. I admire her bearing
In her new Regiment.     Host. Come choose your hours,
Better be happy for a part of time,
Then not the whole: and a short Part, then never.
Shall I appoint 'em, pronounce for you?     Lov. Your Pleasure.

    Host. Then he designs his first hour after Dinner;
His second after Supper. Say ye? Content?
    Pru. Content.     Lad. I am content.     Fra. Content.

    Bea. What's that? I am content too.     Lat. You have reason,
You had it on the by, and we observ'd it.
    Nur. Trot I am not content: in fait' I am not.
    Host. Why art not thou content, Good sheele-nien?
    Nur. He tauk so desperate, and so debausht,
So baudy like a Courtier and a Lord,
God Bless him, one that tak'th Tobacco.     Host. Very well mixt.
What did he say?     Nur. Nay, nothing to the purposh,
Or very little, nothing at all to purposh.
    Host. Let him alone Nurse.     Nur. I did tell him of Serly
Was a great Family come out of ireland,
Descend of O Neal, Mac Con, Mac Dermot,
Mac Murrogh,
but he mark'd not.     Host. Nor do I,
Good Queen of Heralds, ply the Bottle, and sleep.

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