Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Cat. And was familiar
With entrails, as our augurs.-

Cet. Sons kill'd fathers,
Brothers their brothers.

Cat. And had price and praise : All hate had licence giv'n it; all rage reins. Cet. Slaughter bestrid the streets, and stretch'd

himself To seem more huge : whilst to his stained thighs The gore he drew flow'd up, and carried down Whole heaps of limbs and bodies through his arch. No age was spared, no sex.

10 Cat. Nay, no degree.

Cet. Not infants in the porch of life were free.
The sick, the old, that could but hope a day
Longer by nature's bounty, not let stay.
Virgine and widows, matrons, pregnant wives,
All died.

Cat. 'Twas crime enough that they had lives.
To strike but only those that could do hurt,
Was dull and poor. Some fell, to make the number ;
As some, the
prey.

20 Cet. The rugged Charon fainted, And ask'd a navy rather than a boat, To ferry over the sad world that came : The maws and dens of beasts could not receive The bodies that those souls were frighted from ; And even the graves were fill’d with men yet living, Whose flight and fear had mix'd them with the dead.

Cat. And this shall be again, and more, and more, Now Lentulus, the third Cornelius, Is to stand up in Rome.

30 Lent. Nay, urge not that Is so uncertain.

Cat. How !

Lent. I mean, not clear'd ;
And therefore not to be reflected on.

Cat. The Sybil's leaves uncertain ! or the comments Of our grave, deep, divining men, not clear !

Lent. All prophecies, you know, suffer the torture.

Cat. But this already hath confess’d, without ; And so been weigh'd, examin'd, and compar'd, 40 As 'twere malicious ignorance in him Would faint in the belief.

Lent. Do you believe it?
Cat. Do I love Lentulus, or pray to see it?
Lent. The augurs all are constant I am meant.
Cat. They had lost their science else.
Lent. They count from Cinna-
Cat. And Sylla next-and so make you the

third :
All that can say the sun is ris'n, must think it.

Lent. Men mark me more of late as I come forth ! Cat. Why, what can they do less ? Cinna and

Sylla Aro set and gone ; and we must turn our eyes 10 On him that is, and shines. Noble Cethegus, But view him with me here! He looks already As if he shook a sceptre o'er the senate, And the awed purple dropped their rods and axes. The statues melt again, and household gods In groans confess the travails of the city ; The very walls sweat blood before the change ; And stones start out to ruin, ere it comes.

Cet. But he, and we, and all, are idle still. 19
Lent. I am your creature, Sergius; and whate'er
The great Cornelian name shall win to be,
It is not augury, nor the Sybil's books,
But Catiline, that makes it.

Cat. I am a shadow
To honour'd Lentulus, and Cethegus here ;
Who are the heirs of Mars.

XXXVIII.
THE ALCHEMIST: A COMEDY.

BY THE SAME. EPICURE MAMMON, a Knight, deceived by the pretensions

of Subtle (thé Alchemist), glories in the prospect of obtaining the Philosopher's Sione ; and promises what

rare things he will do with it. MAMMON. SURLY, his Friend. The Scene, SUBTLE'S

House. Mam. Come on, sir. Now you set your foot on

shore In novo orbe. Here's the rich Peru :

And there within, sir, are the golden mines,
Great Solomon's Ophir! He was sailing to't
Three years, but we have reach'd it in ten months.
This is the day wherein to all my friends,
I will pronounce the happy word, Be rich.
This day you shall be spectatissimi.
You shall no more deal with the hollow dye,
Or the frail card. No more be at charge of keeping
The livery-punk for the young heir, that must
Seal at all hours in his shirt. No more,

10
If he deny, ha' him beaten to't, as he is
That brings him the commodity. No more
Shall thirst of satin, or the covetous hunger
Of velvet entrails for a rude-spun cloak
To be display'd at Madam Augustaʼs, make
The sons of Sword and Hazard fall before
The golden calf, and on their knees whole nights
Commit idolatry with wine and trumpets ;
Or go a feasting after drum and ensign.

19 No more of this. You shall start up young Viceroys, And have your punques and punquetees, my Surly : And unto thee I speak it first, Be rich. Where is my Subtle there ? within ho

Face answers from within.

Sir,
He'll come to you by and by:

Mam. That's his fire-drake,
His Lungs, his Zephyrus, he that puffs his coals
Till he firk Nature up in her own centre.
You are not faithful, sir. This night I'll change
All that is metal in my house to gold :

30
And early in the morning will I send
To all the plumbers and the pewterers,
And buy their tin and lead up ; and to Lothbury,
For all the copper.

Sur. What, and turn that too ?
Mam. Yes, and I'll purchase Devonshire and

Cornwall,
And make them perfect Indies! You admire now !

Sur. No, faith.
Mam. But when you see the effects of the great

medicine,

Of which one part projected on a hundred
Of Mercury, or Venus, or the Moon,
Shall turn it to as many of the Sun;
Nay, to a thousand, so ad infinitum :
You will believe me.

Sur. Yes, when I see 't, I will.

Mam. Ha ! why!
Do you think I fable with you? I assure you,
He that has once the flower of the Sun,
The perfect Ruby, which we call Elixir,

10
Not only can do that, but by its virtue
Can confer honour, love, respect, long life,
Give safety, valour, yea, and victory,
To whom he will. In eight and twenty days
I'll make an old man of fourscore a child.

Sur. No doubt; he's that already.

Mam. Nay, I mean, Restore his years, renew him like an eagle, To the fifth age ; make him get sons and daughters, Young giants, as our philosophers have done 20 (The ancient patriarchs afore the flood,) But taking, once a week, on a knife's point The quantity of a grain of mustard of it, Become stout Marses, and beget young Cupids.

Sur. The decay'd vestals of Pickt-hatch would That keep the fire alive there.

Mam. "Tis the secret Of Nature naturized 'gainst all infections, Cures all diseases, coming of all causes ; A month's grief in a day; a year's in twelve ; 30 And of what age soever, in a month : Past all the doses of your drugging doctors. I'll undertake withal to fright the plague Out o' the kingdom in three months.

Sur. And I'll Be bound, the players shall sing your praises, then, Without their poets.

Mam. Sir, I'll do't. Meantime, I'll give away so much unto my man, Shall serve th' whole city with preservative 40 Weekly ; each house his dose, and at the rate

thank you,

Sur. As he that built the water-work, does with

water ?
Mam. You are incredulous.

Sur. Faith, I have a humour,
I would not willingly be gull’d. Your stone
Cannot transmute me.

Mam. Pertinax, my Surly,
Will
you

believe antiquity ? Records ! I'll show you a book, where Moses, and his sister, And Solomon, have written of the Art ? Ay, and a treatise penn'd by Adam.

10 Sur. How? Mam. Of the Philosopher's Stone, and in High

Dutch.
Sur. Did Adam write, Sir, in High Dutch ?

Mam. He did,
Which proves it was the primitive tongue.

Sur. What paper ?
Mam. On cedar-board.

Sur. O that, indeed, they say,
Will last 'gainst worms.
Mam. Tis like your Irish wood

20
'Gainst cobwebs. "I have a piece of Jason's Fleece too
Which was no other than a book of Alchemy,
Writ in large sheep-skin, a good fat ram-vellum.
Such was Pythagoras' Thigh, Pandora's Tub,
And all that fable of Medea's charms,
The manner of our work : the bulls, our furnace,
Still breathing fire : our Argent-vive, the Dragon :
The Dragon's teeth, Mercury sublimate,
That keeps the whiteness, hardness, and the biting :
And they are gather'd into Jason's helm

30 (Th'Alembic) and then sow'd in Mars his field, And thence sublim'd so often, till they are fix'd. Both this, the Hesperian Garden, Cadmus' Story, Jove's Shower, the Boon of Midas, Argus' Eyes, Boccace his Demogorgon, thousands more, All abstract riddles of our Stone.

FACE enters.
How now!
Do we succeed ? is our day come ! and holds it?

Face. The evening will set red upon you, sir ;

« ZurückWeiter »