Ben Jonson

"Cynthia’s Revels Act 3. Scene 3"

                     ANOTHER APARTMENT IN THE SAME.

ENTER AMORPHUS, FOLLOWED BY ASOTUS AND HIS TAILOR.

Amo.
A little more forward: so, sir. Now go in, discloak
yourself, and come forth. [EXIT ASOTUS.] Tailor; bestow
thy absence upon us; and be not prodigal of this secret,
but to a dear customer.

[EXIT TAILOR.]

RE-ENTER ASOTUS.

'Tis well enter'd sir. Stay, you come on too fast; your pace is
too impetuous. Imagine this to be the palace of your pleasure, or
place where your lady is pleased to be seen. First you present
yourself, thus: and spying her, you fall off, and walk some two
turns; in which time, it is to be supposed, your passion hath
sufficiently whited your face, then, stifling a sigh or two, and
closing your lips, with a trembling boldness, and bold terror, you
advance yourself forward. Prove thus much, I pray you.

Aso.
Yes, sir;—pray Jove I can light on it! Here I come in,
you say, and present myself?

Amo.
Good.

Aso.
And then I spy her, and walk off?

Amo.
Very good.

Aso.
Now, sir, I stifle, and advance forward?

Amo.
Trembling.

Aso.
Yes, sir, trembling; I shall do it better when I come to it.
And what must I speak now?

Amo.
Marry, you shall say; "Dear Beauty", or "sweet Honour" (or by
what other title you please to remember her), "methinks you are
melancholy". This is, if she be alone now, and discompanied.

Aso.
Well, sir, I'll enter again; her title shall be, "My dear
Lindabrides".

Amo.
Lindabrides!

Aso.
Ay, sir, the emperor Alicandroe's daughter, and the prince
Meridian's sister, in "the Knight of the Sun"; she should have been
married to him, but that the princess Claridiana—

Amo.
O, you betray your reading.

Aso.
Nay, sir, I have read history, I am a little humanitian.
Interrupt me not, good sir. "My dear Lindabrides,—my dear
Lindabrides,—my dear Lindabrides, methinks you are melancholy".

Amo.
Ay, and take her by the rosy finger'd hand.

Aso.
Must I so: O!—"My dear Lindabrides, methinks you are
melancholy".

Amo.
Or thus sir. "All variety of divine pleasures, choice
sports, sweet music, rich fare, brave attire, soft beds, and silken
thoughts, attend this dear beauty."

Aso.
Believe me, that's pretty. "All variety of divine pleasures,
choice sports, sweet music, rich fare, brave attire, soft beds, and
silken thoughts, attend this dear beauty."

Amo.
And then, offering to kiss her hand, if she shall coily
recoil, and signify your repulse, you are to re-enforce yourself
with, "More than most fair lady,
Let not the rigour of your just disdain
Thus coarsely censure of your servant's zeal."
And withal, protest her to be the only and absolute unparallel'd
creature you do adore, and admire, and respect, and reverence,
in this court, corner of the world, or kingdom.

Aso.
This is hard, by my faith. I'll begin it all again.

Amo.
Do so, and I will act it for your lady.

Aso.
Will you vouchsafe, sir? "All variety of divine pleasures,
choice sports, sweet music, rich fare, brave attire, soft beds, and
silken thoughts, attend this dear beauty."

Amo.
So sir, pray you, away.

Aso.
"More than most fair lady,
Let not the rigour of your just disdain
Thus coarsely censure of your servant's zeal;
I protest you are the only and absolute unapparell'd—"

Amo.
Unparallel'd.

Aso.
"Unparallel'd creature, I do adore, and admire, and respect,
and reverence, in this corner of the world, or kingdom."

Amo.
This is, if she abide you. But now, put the case she should
be passant when you enter, as thus: you are to frame your gait
thereafter, and call upon her, "lady, nymph, sweet refuge, star of
our court." Then, if she be guardant, here; you are to come on,
and, laterally disposing yourself, swear by her blushing and
well-coloured cheek, the bright dye of her hair, her ivory teeth,
(though they be ebony,) or some such white and innocent oath, to
induce you. If regardant, then maintain your station, brisk and
irpe, show the supple motion of your pliant body, but in chief of
your knee, and hand, which cannot but arride her proud humour
exceedingly.

Aso.
I conceive you sir. I shall perform all these things in good
time, I doubt not, they do so hit me.

Amo.
Well sir, I am your lady; make use of any of these
beginnings, or some other out of your own invention; and prove how you can hold up, and follow it. Say, say.

Aso.
Yes sir. "My dear Lindabrides."

Amo.
No, you affect that Lindabrides too much; and let me tell you
it is not so courtly. Your pedant should provide you some parcels
of French, or some pretty commodity of Italian, to commence with,
if you would be exotic and exquisite.

Aso.
Yes, sir, he was at my lodging t'other morning, I gave him a
doublet.

Amo.
Double your benevolence, and give him the hose too; clothe
you his body, he will help to apparel your mind. But now, see what
your proper genius can perform alone, without adjection of any
other Minerva.

Aso.
I comprehend you sir.

Amo.
I do stand you, sir; fall back to your first place. Good,
passing well: very properly pursued.

Aso.
"Beautiful, ambiguous, and sufficient lady, what! are you all
alone?"

Amo.
"We would be, sir, if you would leave us."

Aso.
"I am at your beauty's appointment, bright angel; but—"

Amo.
"What but?"

Aso.
"No harm, more than most fair feature."

Amo.
That touch relish'd well.

Aso.
"But I protest—"

Amo.
"And why should you protest?"

Aso.
"For good will, dear esteem'd madam, and I hope your ladyship
will so conceive of it:
And will, in time, return from your disdain,
And rue the suff'rance of our friendly pain."

Amo.
O, that piece was excellent! If you could pick out more of
these play-particles, and, as occasion shall salute you, embroider
or damask your discourse with them, persuade your soul, it would
most judiciously commend you. Come, this was a well-discharged and auspicious bout. Prove the second.

Aso.
"Lady, I cannot ruffle it in red and yellow."

Amo.
"Why if you can revel it in white, sir, 'tis sufficient."

Aso.
"Say you so, sweet lady! Lan, tede, de, de, de, dant, dant,
dant, dante. [SINGS AND DANCES.] No, in good faith, madam,
whosever told your ladyship so, abused you; but I would be glad to
meet your ladyship in a measure."

Amo.
"Me sir! Belike you measure me by yourself, then?"

Aso.
"Would I might, fair feature."

Amo.
"And what were you the better, if you might?"

Aso.
"The better it please you to ask, fair lady."

Amo.
Why, this was ravishing, and most acutely continued. Well,
spend not your humour too much, you have now competently exercised your conceit: this, once or twice a day, will render you an
accomplish'd, elaborate, and well-levell'd gallant. Convey in
your courting-stock, we will in the heat of this go visit the
nymphs' chamber.

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