Ben Jonson

"The New Inn. Act 4. Scene 4."

     Lady, Lovel, Tipto, Latimer, Beaufort, Pru, Frank,
                Nurse, Host.

Servant, what have you there?     Lov. A Meditation,
Or rather a Vision, Madam, and of Beauty,
Our Former Subject.     Lad. Pray you let us hear it.

            Lov. It was a Beauty that I saw
             So pure, so perfect, as the frame
             Of all the Universe was lame,
             To that one Figure could I draw,
             Or give least line of it a law!

             A Skein of Silk without a Knot!
             A fair March made without a Halt!
             A curious Form without a Fault!
             A printed book without a blot.
             All beauty, and without a spot.

    Lad. They are gentle Words, and would deserve a Note,
Set to 'em, as gentle.     Lov. I have try'd my Skill.
To close the second Hour, if you will hear them,
My Boy by that time will have got it perfect.
    Lad. Yes, gentle Servant. In what calm he speaks,
After this noise and tumult, so unmov'd,
With that serenity of countenance,
As if his thoughts did acquiesce in that
Which is the Object of the second Hour,
And nothing else.     Pru. Well then, summon the Court.
    Lad. I have a Sute to the Soveraign of Love,
If it may stand with the Honour of the Court,
To change the Question but from Love to valour,
To hear it said, but what true Valour is,
Which oft begets true Love.     Lat. It is a Question
Fit for the Court to take true knowledge of,
And hath my just assent.     Pru. Content.     Bea. Content.
    Fra. Content. I am content, give him his Oath.
    Host. Herbert Lovel, Thou shalt swear upon the
Testament of Love, To make Answer to this Question propounded
to thee by the Court, What true Valour is? And therein to tell
the truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth. So
help thee Love, and thy bright Sword at need.

    Lov. So help me Love, and my good Sword at need.
It is the greatest Vertue, and the Safety
Of all Mankind, the Object of it is danger.
A certain Meen 'twixt Fear and Confidence:
No inconsiderate Rashness, or vain appetite
Of false encountring formidable things;
But a true Science of distinguishing
What's good or evil. It springs out of Reason,
And tends to perfect Honesty, the Scope
Is always Honour, and the Publick Good:
It is no Valour for a private Cause.
    Bea. No? not for Reputation?
    Lov. That's Man's Idol,
Set up against God, the Maker of all Laws,
Who hath commmanded us we should not kill;
And yet we say, we must for Reputation.
What honest Man can either fear his own,
Or else will hurt another's Reputation?
Fear to do base, unworthy things, is Valour;
If they be done to us, to suffer them,
Is Valour too. The Office of a Man
That's truly Valiant, is considerable
Three ways: The first is in respect of Matter,
Which still is danger; in respect of Form,
Wherein he must preserve his Dignity;
And in the End, which must be ever lawful.
    Lat. But Men, when they are heated, and in passion,
Cannot consider.     Lov. Then it is not valour.
I never thought an angry person valiant:
Vertue is never aided by a Vice.
What need is there of anger, and of tumult?
When reason can do the same things, or more?
    Bea. O yes, 'tis profitable, and of use,
It makes us fierce, and fit to undertake.
    Lov. Why, somwill Drink make us both bold and rash,
Or phrensie if you will, do these make valiant?
They are poor helps, and Vertue needs them not.
No Man is valianter by being angry,
But he that could not valiant be without:
So that it comes not in the aid of Vertue,
But in the stead of it.     Lat. He holds the right.
    Lov. And 'tis an odious kind of Remedy,
To owe our health to a disease.     Tip. If Man
Should follow the Dictamen of his Passion,
He could not scape --
    Bea. To discompose himself.
    Lat. According to Don Lewis!
    Host. Or Caranza!
    Lov. Good Colonel Glorious, whilst we treat of Valour,
Dismiss your self.     Lat. You are not concern'd.
    Lov. Go drink,
And congregate the Hostlers and the Tapsters,
The Under-Officers o' your Regiment;
Compose with them, and be not angry valiant?
            [Tipto goes out.
    Bea. How do's that differ from true Valour?
    Lov. Thus.
In the Efficient, or that which makes it:
For it proceeds from Passion, not from Judgement:
Then brute beasts have it, wicked persons: there
It differs in the Subject; in the Form,
'Tis carried rashly, and with Violence:
Then i' the End, where it repects not Truth,
Or Publick Honesty; but meer Revenge.
Now confident, and undertaking Valour,
Sways from the true, two other ways, as being
A trust in our own Faculties, Skill, or Strength,
And not the Right, or Conscience o' the Cause,
That works it: Then i' the End, which is the Victory,
And not the Honour.
    Bea. But the ignorant Valour,
That knows not why it undertakes, but doth it
T' escape the Infamy meerly --
    Lov. Is worst of all:
That Vaour lies i' the Eyes o' the lookers on;
And is call'd Valour with a witness.     Bea. Right.
    Lov. The things true Valour is exercis'd about,
Are Poverty, restraint, Captivity,
Banishment, loss of Children, long Disease:
The least is Death. Here Valour is beheld,
Properly seen; about these it is present:
Not trivial things, which but require our Confidence.
And, yet to those, we must object our selves,
Only for Honesty: if any other
Respect be mixt, we quite put out her light.
And as all Knowledge, when it is remov'd,
Or separate from Justice, is call'd Craft,
Rather than Wisdom: So a Mind affecting,
Or undertaking dangers, for ambitions,
Or any Self-Pretext, not for the Publick,
Deserves the name of Daring, not of valour.
And over-daring is as great a Vice,
As over-fearing.     Lat. Yes, and often greater.
    Lov. But as it is not the meer Punishment,
But Cause, that makes a Martyr, so it is not
Fighting, or dying; but the manner of it
Renders a Man himself. A Valiant Man
Ought not to undergo, or tempt a danger,
But worthily, and by selected ways
He undertakes with Reason, not by Chance.
His Valour is the Salt to his other Vertues,
They are all unseason'd without it. The Waiting-maids,

Or the Concomitants of it, are his Patience,
His Magnanimity, his Confidence,
His Constancy, Security, and Quiet;
He can assure himself against all Rumor!
Despairs of nothing! laughs at Contumelies!
As knowing himself advanced in a height
Where injury cannot teach him, nor aspersion
Touch him with Soyle!
    Lad. Most manly utter'd all:
As if Achilles had the Chair in Valour,
And Hercules were but a Lecturer!
Who would not hang upon these lips for ever!
That strike such Musick? I could run on them;
But Modesty is such a School-mistriss,
To keep our Sex in awe.
    Pru. Or you can fain; my
Subtle and dissembling Lady Mistriss.
    Lat. I fear she means it, Pru, in too good earnest!
    Lov. The purpose of an Injury 'tis to vex
And trouble me: now nothing can do that
To him that's valiant. He that is assected
With the least Injury, is less than it.
It is but reasonable to conclude
That should be stronger, still, which hurts, than that
Which is hurt. Now no Wickedness is stronger
Than what opposeth it: Not Fortunes self,
When she encounters Vertue, but comes off
Both lame and less! Why should a Wise Man then
Confess himself the weaker, by the feeling
Of a Fool's wrong? There may be an injury
Be meant me. I may chuse, if I will take it.
But we are, now come to that delicacy
And tenderness of sense, we think an onsolence
Worse than an injury, bare words worse than deeds;
We are not so much troubled with the wrong,
As with the Opinion of the wrong; like Children,
We are made afraid with Visors! Such poor sounds
As is the lie, or common words of Spight.
Wise Laws thought never worthy a Revenge;
And 'tis the narrowness of Humane Nature,
Our Poverty, and Beggery of Spirit,
To take exception at these things. He laugh'd at me!
He broke a Jest! a third took place of me!
How most ridiculous Quarrels are all these?
Notes of a queasie, and sick Stomach, labouring
With want of a true injury! the main part
Of the wrong, is our Vice of taking it.
    Lat. Or our interpreting it to be such.
    Lov. You take it rightly. If a Woman, or Child
Give me the Lie, would I be angry? No,
Not if I were i' my Wits, sure I should think it
No spice of a disgrace. No more is theirs,
If I will think it, who are to be held
In as contemptible a Rank, or worse.
I am kept out a Masque, sometime thrust out,
Made wait a day, two, three, for a great Word,
Which (when it comes forth) is all frown, and forehead!
What laughter should this breed, rather than anger!
Out of the tumult of so many Errors,
To feel, with contemplation, mine own quiet!
If a great Person do me an affront,
A Giant of the time, sure I will bear it
Or out of Patience, or Necessity!
Shall I do more for Fear, than for my Judgement?
For me now to be angry with Hodge Huffle,
Or Burst (his broken charge,) if he be saucy,
Or our own type of Spanish, Valour, Tipto,
(Who were he now necessitated to beg
Would ask an Alms, like Conde Olivares)
Were just to make my self, such a vain Animal
As one of them. If light wrongs touch me not,
No more shall great; if not a few, not many.
There's nought so sacred with us but may find
A sacrilegious Person, yet the thing is
No less divine, 'cause the prophane can reaach it.
He is Shot-free, in Battel is not hurt,
Not he that is not hit. So he is Valiant,
That yields not unto wrongs; not he that scapes 'em:
They that do pull down Churches, and deface
The holiest Altars, cannot hurt the God-head.
A calm wise Man may shew as much true Valour,
Amids't these popular provocations,
As can an able Captain shew security,
By his brave Conduct, through an Enemies Country.
A wise Man never goes the Peoples way,
But as the Planets still move contrary
To the World's Motion; so doth he, to opinion:
He will examine, if those accidents
(Which common Fame calls injuries) happen to him
Deservedly, or no? Come they deservedly,
They are no Wrongs then, but his Punishments:
If underservedly, and he not guilty,
The does of them, first, should blush, not he.
    Lat. Excellent!     Bea. Truth, and right!     Fra. An Oracle
Could not have spoken more!
    Lad. Been more believ'd!
    Pru. The whole Court runs into your Sentence, Sir!
And see, your second hour is almost ended.
    Lad. It cannot be! O clip the Wings of Time,
Good Pru, or make him stand still with a Charm.
Distil the Gout into it, Cramps, all Diseases
T' arrest him in the Foot, and ix him here:
O, for an Engine, to keep back all Clocks!
Or make the Sun forget his Motion!
If I but knew what Drink the Time now lov'd,
To set my Trundle at him, mine own Barnabe!
    Pru. Why? I'll consult our Sheele nien, To-mas.
    Nur. Er grae Chreest.
    Bea. Wake her not.     Nur. Tower een Cuppan
D'usque bagh doone.     Pru. Usque bagh's her Drink.
But 'twi' not make the time drunk.
    Host. As't hath her.
Away with her, my Lord, but marry her first, Pru.
    Pru. I, that'll be sport anon too for my Lady.
But she hath other Game to fly at yet:
The Hour is come, your Kiss.
    Lad. My Servants Song, first.
    Pru. I say the Kiss, first; and I so enjoyn'd it:
At your own peril, do, make the contempt.
    Lad. Well, Sir, you must be pay'd, and legally.
    Pru. Nay, nothing, Sir, beyond.
    Lov. One more -- I except.
This was but half a Kiss, and I would change it.
    Pur. The Court's dissolv'd, remov'd, and the Play ended.
No sound, or air of Love more, I decree it.
    Lov. From what a Happiness hath that one Word
Thrown me into the Gulf of Misery?
To what a bottomless Despair? how like
A Court removing, or an ended Play
Shews my abrupt precipitate Estate,
By how much more my vain hopes were increas'd
By these false Hours of Conversation?
Did not I prophesie this of my self,
And gave the true Prognosticks? o' my Brain!
How art thou turned! and my Blood congeal'd!
My Sinews slackned! and my Marrow melted!
That I remember not where I have been,
Or what I am? Only my tongue's on fire;
And burning downward, hurls forth Coals and Cinders,
To tell, thsi Temple of Love, will soon be ashes!
Come Indignation, now, and be my Mistress,
No more of Love's ingrateful tyranny.
His Wheel of Torture, and his Pits of Bird-lime,
His Nets of nooses, Whirl-pools of Vexation,
His Mils, to grind his Servants into powder --
I will go catch the Wind first in a Sieve,
Weigh Smoak, and measure Shadows, plough the Water.

And sow my Hopes there, e're I stay in Love.
    Lat. My Jealousie is off, I am now secure.
    Lov. Farewell the craft of Crododiles, Womens Piety,
And practise of it, in this art of flattering,
And fooling Men, I ha' not lost my reason,
Though I have lent my self out for two hours,
Thus to be beffl'd by a Chambermaid,
And the good Actor, her Lady, afore mine Host,
Of the light Heart, here, that hath laught at all --
    Host. Who I?
    Lov. Laugh on, Sir, I'll tell to bed, and sleep,
And dream away the Vapour of Love, if th' House
And your leere Drunkards let me.
    Lad. Pru.     Pru. Sweet Madam.
    Lad. Why would you let him go thus?
    Pru. In whose power
Was it to stay him, prop'rer than my Ladies!
    Lad. Why, in her Ladies? Are not you the Soveraign?
    Pru. Would you, in conscience, Madam, ha' me vex
His Patience more?     Lad. Not but apply the cure,
Now it is vex't.     Pru. That's but one bodies work:
Two cannot do the same thing handsomely.
    Lad. But had not you the authority absolute?
    Pru. And were not you i' rebellion, Lady Frampul,
From the beggining?
    Lad. I was somewhat forward,
I must confess, but frowardness sometime
Becomes a Beauty, being but a Visor
Put on. You'll let a Lady wear her Masque, Pru.
    Pru. But how do I know, when her Ladiship is pleas'd
To leave it off, except she tell me so?
    Lad. You might ha' known that by my looks, and language,
Had you been or regardant, or observant.
One Woman, reads anothers Character.,
Without the tedious trouble of deciphering:
If she but give her mind to't, you knew well,
It could not sort with any Reputation
Of mine, to come in first, having stood out
So long, Without Conditions for mine Honour.
    Pru. I thought you did expect none, you so jeer'd him
And put him off with scorn --
    Lad. Whi, I, with scorn?
I did express my love to Idolatry rather,
And so am justly plagu'd, not understood.
    Pru. I swear, I thought you had dissembled, Madam,
And doubt you do so yet.
    Lad. Dull, stupid, Wench!
Stay i' thy state of ignorance still, be damn'd,
An Idiot Chambermaid! Hath all my Care,
My breeding thee in Fashion, thy Rich Clothes,
Honours, and titles wrought no brighter Effects
On thy dark Soul than thus? Well! go thy ways,
Were not the Taylor's Wife, to be demolish'd,
Ruin'd, uncas'd, thou should'st be she, I vow.
    Pru. Why, take your spangled Properties, your Gown
And Scarfs.     Lad. Pru. Pru. What dost thou mean?
    Pru. I will not buy this Play-boy's Bravery,
At such a Price, to be upbraided for it,
Thus, every minute.     Lad. Take it not to Heart so.
    Pru. The Taylor's Wife? There was a word of scorn!
    Lad. It was a word fell from me, Pru, by chance.
    Pru. Good Madam, please to undeceive your self,
I know when words do slip, and when they are darted
With all their bitterness; uncas'd, demolish'd?
An Idiot -- Chembermaid, stupid, and dull?
Be damn'd for ignorance? I will be so;
And think I do deserve it, that, and more,
Much more I do.
    Lad. Here comes mine Host! No crying!
Good Pru. Where is my Servant Lovel, Host?
    Hos. Yo ha' sent him to bed, would you would follow him!
And make my House amends!
    Lad. Would you advise it?
    Hos. I would I could command it. My light Heart
Should leap till midnight.
    Lad. Pray thee be not sullen,
I yet must ha' thy counsel. Thou shalt wear, Pru,
The new Gown yet.
    Pru. After the Taylor's Wife?
    Lad. Come, be not angry, or griev'd: I have a Project.
    Hos. Wake Sheleenien Thomas! Is this your Heraldry?
And keeping of Records, to lose the main?
Where is your Charge?
    Nor. Gra chreest!     Hos. Go ask th' Oracle
O' the Bottle, at your Girlde, there you lost it:
You are a sober setter of the Watch.

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