Benjamin [Ben] Jonson

C. H. Herford and Percy Simpson (eds), Ben Jonson, Vol. 5: Volpone; Epicoene; The Alchemist; Catiline

Find Location in text

Main Text

Act iiii. Scene i.

Critical Apparatus1

Face, Mammon, Dol. O' Sir, yo'are come i'the onely, finest time——


Mam. Where's master?

Fac. Now preparing for proiection, sir.

3Your stuffe will b⟨e⟩'all chang'd shortly.

Mam. Into gold?

Critical Apparatus4

Fac. To gold, and siluer, sir.

Mam. Siluer, I care not for.


Fac. Yes, sir, a little to giue beggars.

Mam. Where's the lady?

Critical Apparatus6

Fac. At hand, here. I ha' told her such braue things, o' you,

7Touching your bountie and your noble spirit——

Mam. Hast thou?


Fac. As shee is almost in her fit to see you.

9But, good sir, no diuinitie i' your conference,

10For feare of putting her in rage——

Mam. I warrant thee.

Critical Apparatus11

Fac. Sixe men will not hold her downe. And then,

Critical Apparatus12If the old man should heare, or see you——

Mam. Feare not.


Fac. The very house, sir, would runne mad. You know it

14How scrupulous he is, and violent,

15'Gainst the least act of sinne. Physick, or Mathematiques,

16Poetrie, State, or Bawdry (as I told you)

17Shee will endure, and neuer startle: But

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus18No word of controuersie.

Mam. I am school'd, good Vlen.

pg 360 19

Fac. And you must praise her house, remember that,

20And her nobilitie.

Mam. Let me, alone:

Editor’s Note21No Herald, no nor Antiquarie, Lungs,

22Shall doe it better. Goe.

Fac. Why, this is yet

23A kind of moderne happinesse, to haue

Critical Apparatus24Dol Common for a great lady.

Mam. Now, Epicvre,

25Heighten thy selfe, talke to her, all in gold;

26Raine her as many showers, as Iove did drops

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus27Vnto his Danae: Shew the God a miser,

Critical Apparatus28Compar'd with Mammon. What? the stone will do't.

29Shee shall feele gold, tast gold, heare gold, sleepe gold:

30Nay, we will concumbere gold. I will be puissant,

Critical Apparatus31And mightie in my talke to her I Here shee comes.


Fac. To him, Dol, suckle him. This is the noble knight,

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus33I told your ladiship——

Mam. Madame, with your pardon,

34I kisse your vesture.

Dol. Sir, I were vn-ciuill

Critical Apparatus35If I would suffer that, my lip to you, sir.

Critical Apparatus36

Mam. I hope, my lord your brother be in health, lady?


Dol. My lord, my brother is, though I no ladie, sir.

Critical Apparatus38

Fac. (Well said my Guiny-hird.)

Mam. Right noble madame——

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus39

Fac. (O, we shall haue most fierce idolatrie!)


Mam. 'Tis your prerogatiue.

Dol. Rather your courtesie.


Mam. Were there nought else t'inlarge your vertues, to me,

Editor’s Note42These answeres speake your breeding, and your bloud.

Editor’s Note43

Dol. Bloud we boast none, sir, a poore Baron's daughter.

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus44

Mam. Poore! and gat you? Prophane not. Had your father

pg 361

45Slept all the happy remnant of his life

46After the act, lyen but there still, and panted,

47H'had done inough, to make himselfe, his issue,

48And his posteritie noble.

Dol. Sir, although

Critical Apparatus49We may be said to want the guilt, and trappings,

50The dresse of honor; yet we striue to keepe

51The seedes, and the materialls.

Mam. I doe see

52The old ingredient, vertue, was not lost,

Critical Apparatus53Nor the drug, money, vs'd to make your compound.

54There is a strange nobilitie, i' your eye,

Critical Apparatus55This lip, that chin! Me thinks you doe resemble

56One o' the Austriack princes.

Fac. Very like,

57Her father was an Irish costar-monger.

Critical Apparatus58

Mam. The house of Valois, iust, had such a nose.

59And such a fore-head, yet, the Medici

Editor’s Note60Of Florence boast.

Dol. Troth, and I haue beene lik'ned

Editor’s Note61To all these Princes.

Fac. I'll be sworne, I heard it.

Critical Apparatus62

Mam. I know not how! it is not any one,

Critical Apparatus63But e'en the very choise of all their features.

Critical Apparatus64

Fac. I'll in, and laugh.

Mam. A certaine touch, or aire,

65That sparkles a diuinitie, beyond

Critical Apparatus66An earthly beautie!

Dol. O, you play the courtier.


Mam. Good lady, gi' me leaue———

Dol. In faith, I may not,

68To mock me, sir.

Mam. To burne i' this sweet flame:

69The Phœnix neuer knew a nobler death.

Critical Apparatus70

Dol. Nay, now you court the courtier: and destroy

Critical Apparatus71What you would build. This art, sir, i' your words,

72Calls your whole faith in question.

Mam. By my soule——


Dol. Nay, oathes are made o' the same aire, sir.

Mam. Nature

74Neuer bestow'd vpon mortalitie.

pg 362

75A more vnblam'd, a more harmonious feature:

76Shee play'd the step-dame in all faces, else.

77Sweet madame, le' me be particular——


Dol. Particular, sir? I pray you, know your distance.

Editor’s Note79

Mam. In no ill sense, sweet lady, but to aske

Critical Apparatus80How your faire graces passe the houres? I see

81Yo'are lodg'd, here, i'the house of a rare man,

82An excellent Artist: but, what's that to you?


Dol. Yes, sir. I studie here the mathematiques,

Critical Apparatus84And distillation.

Mam. O, I crie your pardon.

85H'is a diuine instructer! can extract

Critical Apparatus86The soules of all things, by his art; call all

Editor’s Note87The vertues, and the miracles of the Sunne,

88Into a temperate fornace: teach dull nature

89What her owne forces are. A man, the Emp'rour

90Has courted, aboue Kelley: sent his medalls,

91And chaines, t'inuite him.

Dol. I, and for his physick, sir——


Mam. Aboue the art of Æscvlapivs,

Critical Apparatus93That drew the enuy of the Thunderer!

Editor’s Note94I know all this, and more.

Dol. Troth, I am taken, sir,

95Whole, with these studies, that contemplate nature:

Critical Apparatus96

Mam. It is a noble humour. But, this forme

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus97Was not intended to so darke a vse!

98Had you beene crooked, foule, of some course mould,

99A cloyster had done well: but, such a feature

100That might stand vp the glorie of a kingdome,

Critical Apparatus101To liue recluse! is a mere solœcisme,

102Though in a nunnery. It must not be.

Critical Apparatus103I muse, my lord your brother will permit it!

104You should spend halfe my land first, were I hee.

105Do's not this diamant better, on my finger,

Critical Apparatus106Then i' the quarrie?

Dol. Yes.

Mam. Why, you are like it.

pg 363Editor’s Note

Critical Apparatus107You were created, lady, for the light!

108Heare, you shall weare it; take it, the first pledge

109Of what I speake: to binde you, to beleeue me.


Dol. In chaines of adamant?

Mam. Yes, the strongest bands.

111And take a secret, too. Here, by your side,

Critical Apparatus112Doth stand, this houre, the happiest man, in Europe.


Dol. You are contented, sir?

Mam. Nay, in true being:

114The enuy of Princes, and the feare of States.

Critical Apparatus115

Dol. Say you so, sir Epicvre!

Mam. Yes, & thou shalt proue it,

116Daughter of honor. I haue cast mine eye

117Vpon thy forme, and I will reare this beautie,

Critical Apparatus118Aboue all stiles.

Dol. You meane no treason, sir!


Mam. No, I will take away that iealousie.

120I am the lord of the Philosophers stone,

Critical Apparatus121And thou the lady.

Dol. How sir! ha' you that?


Mam. I am the master of the maistrie.

Editor’s Note123This day, the good old wretch, here, o' the house

124Has made it for vs. Now, hee's at protection.

125Thinke therefore, thy first wish, now; let me heare it:

Editor’s Note126And it shall raine into thy lap, no shower,

127But flouds of gold, whole cataracts, a deluge,

128To get a nation on thee!

Dol. You are pleas'd, sir,

129To worke on the ambition of our sexe.

Editor’s Note130

Mam. I'am pleas'd, the glorie of her sexe should know,

131This nooke, here, of the Friers, is no climate

132For her, to liue obscurely in, to learne

133Physick, and surgery, for the Constables wife

134Of some odde Hundred in Essex; but come forth,

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus135And tast the aire of palaces; eate, drinke

Critical Apparatus136The toyles of Emp'ricks, and their boasted practice;

137Tincture of pearle, and corrall, gold, and amber;

pg 364

138Be seene at feasts, and triumphs; haue it ask'd,

Editor’s Note139What miracle shee is? set all the eyes

Editor’s Note140Of court a-fire, like a burning glasse,

141And worke 'hem into cinders; when the iewells

142Of twentie states adorne thee; and the light

143Strikes out the starres; that, when thy name is mention'd,

Critical Apparatus144Queenes may looke pale: and, we but shewing our loue,

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus145Nero's Poppæa may be lost in storie!

146Thus, will we haue it.

Dol. I could well consent, sir.

147But, in a monarchy, how will this be?

Critical Apparatus148The Prince will soone take notice; and both seize

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus149You, and your stone: it being a wealth vnfit

150For any priuate subiect.

Mam. If he knew it.


Dol. Your selfe doe boast it, sir.

Mam. To thee, my life.

Critical Apparatus152

Dol. O, but beware, sir! You may come to end

153The remnant of your daies, in a loth'd prison,

Critical Apparatus154By speaking of it.

Mam. 'Tis no idle feare!

Critical Apparatus155Wee'll therefore goe with all, my girle, and Hue

Critical Apparatus156In a free state; where we will eate our mullets,

Editor’s Note157Sous'd in high-countrey wines, sup phesants egges,

158And haue our cockles, boild in siluer shells,

159Our shrimps to swim againe, as when they liu'd,

Editor’s Note160In a rare butter, made of dolphins milke,

Editor’s Note161Whose creame do's looke like opalls: and, with these

162Delicate meats, set our selues high for pleasure,

Critical Apparatus163And take vs downe againe, and then renew

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus164Our youth, and strength, with drinking the elixir,

165And so enioy a perpetuitie

166Of life, and lust. And, thou shalt ha' thy wardrobe,

Critical Apparatus167Richer then Natures, still, to change thy selfe,

168And vary oftener, for thy pride, then shee:

Critical Apparatus169Or Art, her wise, and almost-equall seruant.

pg 365 170

Fac. Sir, you are too loud. I heare you, euery word,

Critical Apparatus171Into the laboratory. Some fitter place.

172The garden, or great chamber aboue. How like you her?


Mam. Excellent! Lungs. There's for thee.

Fac. But, doe you heare?

174Good sir, beware, no mention of the Rabbines.

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus175

Mam. We thinke not on 'hem.

Fac. O, it is well, sir. Svbtle!

Notes Settings


Critical Apparatus
Act iv. Scene i. | A Room in Lovewit's House. | Enter Face and Mammon. G
Critical Apparatus
iv. i. Mammon] Mammom F2
Critical Apparatus
4 Siluer,] Siluer Q
Critical Apparatus
6 o'] on Q
Critical Apparatus
11 men] men, sir, G
And then,] And, then Q, Ff
Critical Apparatus
12 you——] you. Q
Critical Apparatus
18 Vlen] Lungs Q
Editor’s Note
iv. i. 14. How scrupulous he is. Developing the point made in ii. ii. 97–8.
Editor’s Note
18, 21. ulen. ii. iii. 32. Lungs. ii. i. 27.
Critical Apparatus
iv. i. 24 After 'lady.' Aside, and exit. G
Critical Apparatus
27 Danae:] Danae,: Q
Editor’s Note
23. moderne, ordinary, commonplace. Poet. v. iii. 280.
Critical Apparatus
28 Compar'd] Compa'rd Q
Critical Apparatus
31 her!] her. Q After 'her!' Re-enter Face with Dol richly dressed. G
Critical Apparatus
33 ladiship——] Ladiship. Q
Editor’s Note
29, 30. feele gold So Randolph, The Jealous Lovers, iii. vi (1632):
  • Ball. Melt him, Phryne, melt him: … Suck like a horse-leach …
  • Sim. Thou art my better Angel.
  • Wilt thou eat gold—drink gold, lie in gold,
  • I have it for thee.
Jonson's concumbere gold is modelled on Juvenal's 'concumbunt Graece' (Sat. vi. 191).
Critical Apparatus
35 that,] that; corr. F2
Critical Apparatus
36 hope,] hope F2
Critical Apparatus
38 (Well … -bird.) ] Well … -bird, Q
Critical Apparatus
39 (O, … idolatrie!) ] O, … Idolatry! Q
Editor’s Note
35. my lip. Cf. S. of N. ii. v. 47.
Editor’s Note
38. Guiny-bird. A cant name for a prostitute: Othello, i. iii. 314–16, 'Ere I would say, I would drowne my selfe for the loue of a Gynney Hen, I would change my Humanity with a Baboone.' Armin, The two Maids of Moreclacke, 1609, D1v, a father, intercepting a love-letter to his daughter, 'Wife coope vp our ginnie henne, that wants the treading.'
Editor’s Note
39. fierce idolalrie. Poet. v. iii. 129, 'fierce credulitie'.
Critical Apparatus
44 Poore!] Poore, Q
not. Had] not, had Q
Editor’s Note
40–51. Cf. Ep. cix. 9, 10.
Critical Apparatus
iv. i. 49 want] Want Q originally
guilt] gilt corr. F2
Critical Apparatus
53 drug,] Drug, Q: drug Ff
Critical Apparatus
55 chin!] chinne. Q
Critical Apparatus
58 nose.] Nose; Q
Editor’s Note
56. the Austriack princes. Gifford quotes John Bulwer, Anthropo-metamorphosis, 1650, p. 106, 'In these parts of the World, the Austrian Lip at this day is by good right in high esteem; it being observed, that all the House of Austria have a sweet fulnesse of the Nether lip.' So J. Howell, Familiar Letters, i, section 3, ix, of the Infanta whom Charles tried to marry, 'She is full and big-lipp'd; which is held a Beauty rather than a Blemish, or any Excess, in the Austrian Family; it being a thing incident to most of the Race.' According to Brewer (Phrase and Fable) the Hapsburgs derived their thick under-lip from Cymburgis, daughter of Ziemovitz, Duke of Masovia, and niece to the then King of Poland.
To round off the Hapsburg lip with the Valois nose and the Medici forehead (58, 59) is a joke of Jonson's; neither feature is distinctive in those families.
Editor’s Note
57. an Irish costar-monger. Irish M. 4–6, Christmas, 218–21; Dekker, The Honest Whore, part ii, i. i (1630, A2v): 'In England, … why Sir, there all Coster-mongers are Irishmen.'
Critical Apparatus
62 not how! it] not, how; It Q
Critical Apparatus
63 e'en] ee'n Q, Ff
Critical Apparatus
64 After 'laugh.' Aside and exit. G
Critical Apparatus
66 beautie!] beauty, Q
Critical Apparatus
70 court] court, Q originally
courtier:] Courtier, Q
Critical Apparatus
71 art, … words, Ff: Art … words Q originally: Art … words , corr. Q
Editor’s Note
75. feature, make, composition. So 99.
Critical Apparatus
iv. i. 80 houres] howers Q
Critical Apparatus
84 your] you F2
Critical Apparatus
86 art;] art, Q
Editor’s Note
83, 84. mathematiques, astrology; distillation, chemistry.
Critical Apparatus
93 Thunderer!] Thunderer. Q
Editor’s Note
90. Kelley. Edward Kelley, alias Talbot (1555–95), worked his way into the favour of the Emperor Rudolph II by boasting that he possessed the Stone. Rudolph imprisoned him in 1593 and 1595 to force him to effect something practical; on the second occasion Kelley tried to escape and was killed. G. Harvey, Pierces Supererogation, 1593, p. 28, 'I wondred to heare, that Kelly had gotten the Golden Fleece, and by vertue thereof was sodenly aduanced into so honorable reputation with the Emperours maiestye.' Fletcher, The Fair Maid of the Inn, iv. ii (Fol. 1647, p. 43): 'Tay. They say he can make gold. | Host. I, I, he learnt it of Kelly in Germany. | There's not a Chimist | In christendome can goe beyond him for multiplying. '
Critical Apparatus
96 humour] Humor Q: humor F2
Critical Apparatus
97 intended] entended Q
vse!] vse. Q
Editor’s Note
93. the enuy of the Thunderer. Aesculapius restored the dead to life, and Zeus killed him with a flash of lightning, lest men should escape death altogether.
Critical Apparatus
101 recluse!] recluse? Q
solœcisme] solœcisme Q, Ff
Critical Apparatus
103 it!] it: Q
Critical Apparatus
106 Then] Than F2
Editor’s Note
103. diamant. Volp. i. v. 17.
Critical Apparatus
iv. i. 107 the light!] light, Q
Critical Apparatus
112 houre] hower Q
in] of Q
Critical Apparatus
115 Dol.] Dol, Q
Epicvre!] Epicure? Q
Critical Apparatus
118 sir!] Sir? Q
Critical Apparatus
121 sir!] Sir, Q
Editor’s Note
119. iealousie, suspicion.
Editor’s Note
122. maistrie, the magisterium (i. iv. 14).
Editor’s Note
126. shower, as in the myth of Danae.
Critical Apparatus
135 palaces;] Palaces, Q
Editor’s Note
131. the Friers, Blackfriars.
Critical Apparatus
136 Emp'ricks] Empricks Q
Editor’s Note
136. Emp'ricks. Cf. For. viii. 29–32:
  • That distill their husbands land
  • In decoctions; and are mann'd
  • With ten Emp'ricks, in their chamber,
  • Lying for the spirit of amber.
Editor’s Note
137. Tincture of pearle. ii. ii. 76.
Critical Apparatus
iv. i. 144 we] we, Q
Critical Apparatus
145 Poppæa F2: Poppæa F1
storie!] story. Q
Editor’s Note
141–3. and the light Volp. iii. vii. 195–7.
Critical Apparatus
148 notice;] notice, Q
Critical Apparatus
149 stone:] Stone, Q
Editor’s Note
145. Nero's Poppæa. Nero 'showed his love ' for her by a poem which he wrote on her 'amber tresses ' (Pliny, N.H. xxxvii. 50), but there seems little point in picking out this pair as consummate types of affection.
Critical Apparatus
152 sir!] Sir. Q
Critical Apparatus
154 feare!] feare. Q
Critical Apparatus
155 with all] withall F2
Critical Apparatus
156 state;] State, Q
Editor’s Note
153. in a loth'd prison. Cf. iv. vii. 79–82, where locking up in the Tower is spoken of. We have cited the case of Cornelius de Lannoy in vol. ii, p. 91.
Editor’s Note
156. mullets. A luxury in ancient Rome in proportion to their size. A mullet weighing 4½ lb., which Tiberius sent to market, was bought for 5,000 sesterces (£50).
Editor’s Note
157. high-countrey wines, wines of le haut pays, the mountainous part of a region as distinguished from le pays plat.
Critical Apparatus
163 againe,] againe; Q
Critical Apparatus
164 elixir,] Elixir: Q
Editor’s Note
160. dolphins milke. Apparently a luxury suggested only because it would be difficult to procure, but the milk of the female dolphin is rich and abundant.
Critical Apparatus
167–8 then] than F2
Critical Apparatus
169 -equall] -æquall Q
Critical Apparatus
After 169 Re-enter Face. G
Critical Apparatus
iv. i. 171 laboratory.] Laboratory: Q: labaratory. Ff
place.] place, Q
Critical Apparatus
175 After ''hem.' Exeunt Mam. and Dol. G
Svbtle!] Subtle— Q
Editor’s Note
171. Into, more emphatic than 'in '; the sound travels into the laboratory.
logo-footer Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved.
Access is brought to you by Log out