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That understand the fingering

Would stand the fury of a distracted cuckold, Volt. What do you mean?

[Mosca walks by them. Volp. I mean to be a suitor to your worship, Corb. What! come again? For the small tenement, out of reparations ; Volp. Upon 'em, Mosca; save me. That, at the end of your long row of houses, Corb. The air's infected where he breathes. By the Piscaria: It was, in Volpone's time, Corv. Let's fly him. Your predecessor, e'er he grew diseased,

Volp. Excellent basilisk! turn upon the vul-
A handsome, pretty, custom'd bawdy-house,
As any was in Venice (none dispraised)
But fell with him; his body and that house

Decay'd together.
Volt. Come, sir, leave your prating.

Volp. Why, if your worship give me but your Volt. Well, flesh-fly, it is summer with you

hand, That I may ha' the refusal; I have done. Your winter will come on. Tis a mere toy to you, sir; candle-rents:

Mos. Good advocate, As your learn'd worship knows

Pr’y thee not rail, nor threaten out of place, thus; Folt. What do I know?

Thou'lt make a solecism (as madam says.) Volp. Marry, no end of your wealth, sir; God Get you a biggen more: your brain break's loose. decrease it.

Volt. Well, sir. Volt. Mistaken knave! what, mock'st thou my Volp. Would you ha' me beat the insolent misfortune?

slave? Volp. His blessing on your heart, sir; would Throw dirt upon his first good clothes ? 'twere more.

Volt. This same
(Now, to my first again) at the next corner. Is, doubtless, some familiar !

Volp. Sir, the court

In troth stays for you; I am mad, a mule,

That never read Justinian, should get up, CORBACCIO, CORVINO, (MoscA passant,) and And ride an advocate. Had you no quirk, VOLPONE.

To avoid gullage, sir, by such a creature? Corb. See, in our habit ! see the impudent I hope you do but jest; he has not done't: varlet !

This's but confederacy, to blind the rest. Coro. That I could shoot mine eyes at him, You are the heir ? like gun-stones.

Volt. A strange, officious, Volp. But is this true, sir, of the parasite ? Troublesome knave! thou dost torment me. Corb. Again, t'afflict us? Monster!

Volp. I know Folp. In good faith, sir,

It cannot be, sir, that you should be cozen'd; I'm heartily grieved, a beard of your grave length 'Tis not within the wit of man to do it: Should be so over-reach'd. I never brook'd You are so wise, so prudent, and, 'tis fit, That parasite's hair; methought his nose should That wealth and wisdom still should go together.

There still was somewhat in his look, did promise

The bane of a Clarissimo.
Corb. Knave

Four Adacatori, NOTARIO, Commandadore, BoVolp. Methinks

NARIO, CELIA, COREACCIO, CORVINO, VOLYet you, that are so traded i’th world,

TORE, and VOLPONE. A witty merchant, the fine bird, Corvino,

1 Avoc. Are all the parties here? That have such mortal emblems on your name, Not. All but the advocate. Should not have sung your shame, and dropt your 2 Avoc. And here he comes. cheese,

Avoc. Then bring 'em forth to sentence. To let the fox laugh at your emptiness.

Volt. O, my most honour'd fathers, let your Corr. Sirrah, you think the privilege of the


Once win upon your justice, to forgive
And your red saucy cap, that seems (to me) I am distracted
Nails to your jolt-head, with those two cec- Volp. What will he do now?

Volt. O,
Can warrant your abuses ; come you

hither: I know not which t address myself to first, You shall perceive, sir, I do know your valour Whether your fatherhoods, or those innocentswell :

Coro. Will he betray himself?
Since you durst publish what you are, sir. Tarry, Volp. Whom, equally-
Pl speak with you.

Volt. For which, now struck in conscience, Vop. Sir, sir, another time

here I prostrate Cort. Nay, now.

Myself at your offended feet for pardon. Volp. 0 gad, sir ! I were a wise man,

1 2 Avec. Arise.

and run


Cel. O Heav'n! how just thou art !
Volp. I'm caught

I'mine own noose-
Corv. Be constant, sir, nought now

VOLPONE, NANO, ANDROGINO, and CASTRONE: Can help, but impudence.

Volp. To make a snare for mine own' neck, 1 Avoc. Speak forward. Com. Silence

My head into it wilfully! with laughter ! Voit. It is not passion in me, reverend fathers,

When I had newly scap’d, was free, and clear ! But only conscience, conscience, my good sires,

Out of mere wantonness! O, the dull devil That makes me now tell truth. That parasite, Was in this brain of mine, when I devis'd it; That knave bath been the instrument of all.

And Mosca gave it second : He must now Avoc. Where is that knave? fetch him.

Help to sear up this vein, or we bleed dead. Volp. I go.

How now! who let you loose! whither go you Corv. Grave fathers,

now? This man's distracted; he confess'd it now:

What? to buy ginger-bread? or to drown kitlings? For, hoping to be old Volpone's heir,

Nan, Sir, master Mosca call'd us out of doors, Who now is dead

And bid us all go play, and took the keys. 3 Avoc. How •

And. Yes. 2 Adoc. Is Volpone dead?

Volp. Did master Mosca take the keys? why Corv. Dead since, grave fathers Bon. O, sure vengeance !

I am farther in. These are my fine conceits ! 1 Avoc. Stay,

I must be merry, with a mischief to me! Then he was no deceiver?

What a vile wretch was I, that could not bear Volt. O no, none:

My fortune soberly? I must ha' my crotchets ! The parasite, grave fathers.

And my conundrums ! well, go you and seek him: Coro. He does speak

His meaning may be truer than my fear. Out of mere envy, 'cause the servant's made

Bid him, he straight come to me to the court ;
The thing he gap'd for; please your fatherhoods, Thither will I, and, if't be possible,
This is the truth : Though I'll not justify Unscrew my advocate upon new hopes ;
The other, but he may be some-deal faulty. When I provok'd hiin, then I lost myself,
Volt. Ay, to your hopes, as well as mine,

Corvino :
But I'll use modesty. Pleaseth your wisdoms

To view these certain notes, and but confer

Avocatori, &c. As I hope favour, they shall speak clear truth. Avoc. These things can ne'er be reconcil'd. Coro. The devil has ent’red him !

He, here, Bon. Or bides in you.

Professeth, that the gentleman was wrong'd; 4 Avoc. We have done ill by a public officer And that the gentlewoman was brought thither, To send for him, if he be heir.

Forc'd by her husband, and there left. 2 dvoc. For whom?

Volp. Most true. 4 Avoc. Him that they call the parasite. Cel. How ready is Heav'n to those that pra y! 3 Avoc. 'Tis true;

1 Atoc. But, that He is a man of great estate, now left.

Volpone would have ravish'd her, he holds 4 Avoc. Go you, and learn his name; and Utterly false, knowing his impotence. say, the court

Coro. Grave fathers, he is possessed ; again, I Entreats his presence here; but, to the clearing

say, Of some few doubts.

Possessed : Nay, if there be possession, 2 Avoc, This same's a labyrinth!

And obsession, he has both. 1 Avoc. Stand you unto your first report? 8 Avoc. Here comes our officer. Coro. My state, my life, my fame

Volp. The parasite will straight be here, grave Bon. Where is't?

fathers. Cory. Are at the stake.

4 Avoc. You might invent some other name, 1 Avoc. Is your's too?

Sir Varlet. Corb. The advocate's a knave:

3 Avoc. Did not the notary meet him? And has a forked tongue

Volp. Not that I know. 2 Avoc. Speak to the point.

4 Avoc. His coming will clear all. Corb. So is the parasite too.

2 Avoc. Yet it is misty. 1 dvoc. This is confusion.

Volt. May't please your fatherhoodsVolt. I do beseech your fatherhoods, read but Volp. Sir, the parasite those.

Willd me to tell you, that his master lives; Corv. And credit nothing the false spirit hath

(VOLPOne whispers the Advocate. writ;

That you are still the man ; your hopes the same ; It cannot be, but he is possess’d, grave fathers. And this was only a jest


Volt. How?

Had betray'd all; but now it is recover'd : Volp, Sir, to try

All's o' the hinge again

-say, I am living. If you were firm, and how you stood affected. Mos. What busy knaye is this, most reverend Volt. Art sure he lives?

fathers! Volp. Do I live, sir?

I sooner had attended your grave pleasures, Volt. O me!

But that my order for the funeral I was too violent.

Of my dead patron did require meVolp. Sir, you may redeem it.

Volp. Mosca ! They said you were possest; fall down, and Alos. Whom I intend to bury like a gentle. seem so: [VOLTORE falls.

man. I'll help to make it good. God bless the man ! Volp. Ay, quick, and çozen me of all. (Stop your wind hard, and swell) see, see, see,

2 Avoc. Still stranger ! see !

More intricate! He vomits crooked pins! his eyes are set, 1 Avoc. And come about again! Like a dead hare's hung in a poulterer's shop! 4 Avoc. It is a match, my daughter is bestow'd. His mouth's running away! do you see, signior? Mos. Will you gi' me half? Now 'tis in his belly.

Volp. First, I'll

be hang'd. Mos. I know,

(Aside. Cort. Ay, the devil ! Volp. Now in his throat.

Your voice is good, cry not so loudCoro. Ay, I perceive it plain.

1 Avoc. Demand
Volp. 'Twill out, 'twill out; stand clear. See The advocate. Sir, did not you affirm
where it flies !

Volpone was alive?
In shape of a blue toad, with bat's wings ! Volp. Yes, and he is;
Do not you see it, sir?

This gentleman told me so.- -Thou shalt have Corb. What? I think I do.

half. Corr. 'Tis too manifest.

Mos. Whose drunkard is this same? speak Volp. Look, he comes t' himself!

some that know him : Volt. Where am I?

I never saw his face. I cannot now
Volp. Take good heart, the worst is past, sir. Afford it you so cheap.
You are dispossest.

Volp. No? 1 Acoc. What accident is this?

1 Adoc. What say you

? % Avoc. Sudden, and full of wonder!

Volt. The officer told me. S dooc. If he were

Volp. I did, grave fathers, Possest, as it appears, all this is nothing. And will maintain he lives, with mine own life,

Cors. He has been often subject to these fits. And that this creature told me. I was born

1 Apoc. Shew him that writing; do you know With all good stars my enemies ! it, sir?

Mos. Most grave fathers,
Volp. Deny it, sir, forswear it, know it not. If such an insolence as this must pass

Volt. Yes, I do know it well, it is my hand : Upon me, I am silent: 'Twas not this,
But all that it contains is false.

For which you sent, I hope. Bon. O practice!

2 Avoc. Take him away. 2 Avoc. What maze is this !

Volp. Mosca ! 1 Apoc. Is he not guilty then,

3 4voc. Let him be whipp'd. Whom you there name the parasite?

Volp. Wilt thou betray me! cozen me? Folt. Grave fathers !

3 Avoc. And taught to bear himself No more than his good patron, old Volpone. Toward a person of his rank, 4 Avoc. Why, he is dead?

4 Avoc, Away! Volt. O no, my honour'd fathers,

Mos, I humbly thank your

fatherhoods. He lives —

Volp. Soft, soft:—whipp’d? 1 Adoc. How! lives?

And lose all that I have? If I confess, Volt. Lives.

It cannot be much more. 2 Adoc. This is subtler yet!

4 Avoc. Sir, are you married? 3 Adoc. You said he was dead ?

Volp. They'll be allied, anon; I must be reVolt. Never.

solute: 3 Avoc. You said so.

The fox shall here uncase. Coro. I heard so.

Mos. Patron ! 4 Avoc. Here comes the gentleman, make him Volp. Nay, now,

My ruin shall not come alone : your match Ś Asoc. A stool.

(He puts off his disguise 4 Aroc. À proper man! and, were Volpone I'll hinder sure: my substance shall not glew

dead, A fit match for my daughter,

Nor screw you into a family. 3 Apoc. Give him way.

Mos. Why, patron ? Volp. Mosca, I was almost lost, the advocate Volp. I am Volpone, and this is my knave; VOL. III.



This, his own knave ; this avarice's fool; And, since the most was gotten by imposture, This a chimera, of wittol, fool, and knave: By feigning lame, gout, palsy, and such diseases, And, reverend fathers, since we all can hope Thou art to lie in prison, cra with irons, Nought but a sentence, let's not now despair it. "Till thou be'st sick and lame indeed. -Remove You hear me brief.

him ! Coro. May it please your fatherhoods ! Volp. This is call'd mortifying of a fox. Com. Silence.

| Adoc. Thou Voltore, to take away the scan1 Avoc. The knot is now undone, by miracle!

dal 2 Avoc. Nothing can be more clear.

!'hou hast giv'n all worthy men of thy profession, 3 Aroc. Or can more prove these innocent. Art banish'd from their fellowship, and our state. 1 Avoc. Give 'em their liberty.

Corbaccio, bring him near. We here possess Bon. Heav'n could not long let such gross Thy son of all thy state; and confine thee crimes be hid.

To the monastery of San' Spirito: 2 Avoc. It this be held the highway to get Where, since thou knew'st not how to live well riches,

here, May 1 be poor:

Thou shalt be learn'd to die well. 3 Aroc. This's not the gain, but torment. Corb. Ha, what said he ? 1 Avoc. These possess wealth, as sick men

Com. You shall know anon, sir. possess fevers,

1 Avoc. Thou Corvino, shalt Which trulier may be said to possess them. Be straight embark'd from thine own house, and 2 Avoc. Disrobe that parasite.

row'd Corv. Mos. Most honour'd fathers !

Round about Venice, through the grand canal, 1 Avoc. Can you plead aught to stay the Wearing a cap, with fair long ass's ears course of justice ?

Instead of horns; and so to mount, a paper If you can, speak.

Pinn'd on thy breast, to the BerlinoCoro. Voli. We beg favour.

Coro. Yes, Cel. And mercy.

And have mine eyes beat out with stinking fish, 1 Avoc. You hurt your innocence, suing for Bruis’d fruit, and rotten eggs—'Tis well. I'm the gụilty.

glad Stand forth; and first the parasite. You appear I shall not see my shame yet. T' have been the chiefest minister, if not plotter, 1 Adoc. And to expiate In all these lewd impostures; and now, lastly, Thy wrongs done to thy wife, thou art to send Have, with your impudence, abus'd the court,

her And habit of a gentleman of Venice,

Home to her father, with her dowry trebled : Being a fellow of no birth or blood :

And these are all your judgments. For which our sentence is, first thou be whipp'd, All. Honoured fathers ! Then live perpetual prisoner in our galleys. 1 Avoc. Which may not be revok'd.-Now Volt. I thank you for him.

you begin, Mos. Bane to thy wolfish nature !

When crimes are done and past, and to be pu1 Avoc. Deliver him to the Saffi. Thou, Vol.

nish'd, pone,

To think what your crimes are: away with them ! blood and rank a gentleman, canst not fall Let all that see these vices thus rewarded, Under like censure; but our judgment on thee Take heart, and love to study 'em. Mischiefs Is, that thy substance all be strait confiscate

feed To the hospital of the Incurabili;

Like beasts, 'till they be fat, and then they bleed.


The seas'ning of a play is the applause.
Now, though the fox be punish'd by the laws;
He yet doth hope there is no suff’ring due,
For any fact which he hath done 'gainst you ;
If there be, censure him :-here he doubtful

stands :-
If not, fare jovially, and clap your hands !






FORTUNE, that favours fools, these two short

hours We wish away; both for your sakes and ours, Judging spectators: and desire in place, To th' author justice, to ourselves but grace. Our scene is London, 'cause we would make

known, No country's mirth is better than our own. No dime breeds better matter for your whore, Bawd, squire, impostor, many persons more, Whose manners, now callid humours, feed the

stage: And which have still been subject, for the rage Or spleen of comic-writers. Though this pen

Did never aim to grieve, but better men;
Howe'er the age he lives in, doth endure
The vices that she breeds, above their cure.
But, when the wholesome remedies are sweet,
And, in their working, gain and profit meet,
He hopes to find no spirit so much diseas'd,
But will, with such fair correctives, be pleas'd.
For here, he doth not fear, who can apply.
If there be any, that will sit só nigh
Unto the stream, to look what it doth run,
They shall find things, they'd think, or wish,

were done ; They are so natural follies, but so shown, As even the doers may see, and yet not own.


The sickness hot, a master quit, for fear,
H is house in town: And left one servant there.
E ase him corrupted, and gave means to know
A cheater, and his punk; who, now brought low,
Leaving the narrow practice, were become
Cos'ners at large; and, only wanting some
House to set up, with him they here contract,
Each for a share, and all begin to act.
Much company they draw, and much abuse,
In casting figures, telling fortunes, news,
Selling of Aies, flat bawdry, with the stone:
Till it, and they, and all in fume are gone.

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