Ben Jonson

"The Staple of News Act 2 Scene 1"

Peni-Boy, Sen. Pecunia, Mortgage, Statute, Band,

Your Grace is sad, methinks, and melancholy!
You do not look upon me with that Face,
As you were wont, my Goddess, bright Pecunia:
Altho your Grace be faln, of Two i' the Hundred,
In Vulgar Estimation; yet am I
Your Graces Servant still: and teach this body
To bend, and these my aged Knees to buckle,
In Adoration, and just Worship of you.
Indeed, I do confess, I have no shape
To make a Minion of, but I'm your Martyr,
Your Graces Martyr. I can hear the Rogues,
As I do walk the Streets, whisper and point,
There goes Old Peni-boy, the Slave of Money,
Rich Peni-boy, Lady Pecunia's Drudge,
A sordid Rascal, one that never made
Good Meal in his Sleep, but sells the Acates are sent him,
Fish, Fowl and Venison, and preserves himself,
Like an Old hoary Rat, with mouldy Pye-Crust.
This I do hear, rejoicing, I can suffer
This, and much more for your good Graces sake.

Why do you so my Guardian? I not bid you,
Cannot my Grace be gotten, and held too?
Without your self-tormentings, and your watches,
Your macerating of your body thus
With Cares and Scantings of your Diet and rest?

P. Se.
O, no, your Services, my Princely Lady,
Cannot with too much zeal of Rites be done,
They are so sacred.

Pec. But my Reputation
May suffer, and the worship of my Family,
When by so servile means they both are sought.

P. Se.
You are a Noble, Young, Free, Gracious Lady,
And would be every bodies, in your Bounty,
But you must not be so. They are a few
That know your Merit, Lady, and can value't.
Your self scarce understands your proper Powers,
They are All-mighty, and that we your Servants,
That have the Honour here to stand so near you,
Know, and can use too. All this Nether-world
Is yours, you command it, and do sway it,
The Honour of it, and the Honesty,
The Reputation, I, and the Religion,
(I was about to say, and had not err'd)
Is Queen Pecunia's. For that Stile is yours,
If Mortals knew your Grace, or their own good.

Please your Grace to retire.

I fear your Grace
Hath tane too much of the sharp Air.

Pec. O, no!
I could endure to take a great deal more
(And with my Constitution, were it left)
Unto my choice, what think you of it, Statute?

A little now and then does well, and keeps
Your Grace in your Complexion.

And true Temper.

But too much, Madam, may encrease cold
Nourish Catarrhs, Green Sicknesses and Agues,
And put you in Consumption.

P. se.
Best to take
Advice of your grave Women, Noble Madam,
They know the State o' your Body, and ha' studied
Your Graces Health.

And honour. Here'll be Visitants,
Or Suitors by and by; and 'tis not fit
They find you here.

'Twill make your Grace too cheap
To give them Audience presently.

Leave your Secretary,
To answer them.

Wait you here, Broker.

I shall, Madam,
And do your Graces Trusts with diligence.

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