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writing letters, corrupting servants, taming spies; where she must have that rich gown for such a great day; a new one for the next; a richer for the third ; be serv’d in silver ; have the chamber fill'd with a succession of grooms, footmen, ushers, and other messengers ; besides embroiderers, jewellers, tirewomen, fempsters, feather-men, perfumers; while she feels not how the land drops away, nor the acres melt; nor foresees the change, when the mercer has your woods for her velvets.
Mor. Gentle Sir, ha' you done? ha' you had your pleasure o' me?
Tru. Yes, Sir: God b'w' you, Sir. [Going returns.] One thing more (which I had almost forgot). This too, with whom you are to marry, may have made a conveyance of her virginity aforehand, as your wise widows do of their states, before they marry, in trust to some friend, Sir, and antedate you
cuckold. The like has been heard of in nature. 'Tis no devis’d impossible thing, Sir. God b'w'you! I'll be bold to leave this rope with you, Sir, for a remembrance. Farewell, Mute.
[Exit. Mor. Come, ha' me to my chamber: But first shut the door. Oh, shut the door: Is he come again?
[The horn again.
Cutb. 'Tis 1, Sir, your barber,
Mor. Oh, Cutberd, Cutberd, Cutberd! here has been a cut-throat with me: Help me in to my bed, and give me phyfick with thy counsel. [Exeunt.
Scene changes to Sir John Daw's.
Daw. Nay, an she will, let her refuse at her own charges : 'Tis nothing to me, gentlemen. But she will not be invited to the like feasts or guests every day.
Cler. Oh, by no means, she may not refuse to stay at home, if you love your reputation : 'Slight, you are invited thither o' purpose to be seen, and laugh’d at by the lady of the college, and her shadows. This trumpeter hath proclaim'd you.
[They disuade her privately. Dau. You shall not go; let him be laugh’d at in your stead, for not bringing you: And put him to his faculty of fooling, and talking loud to satisfy the company.
Cler. He will suspect us; talk aloud. Pray, mistress Epicæne, let's see your verses; we have Sir John Daw's leave: Do not conceal your servant's merit, and your own glories.
Daw. Shew 'em, mistress, fhew'em; I dare own 'em. Nay, I'll read 'em myself too: An author must recite his own works. It is a madrigal of modesty. Modeft, and fair, for fair and good are near
But two in one.
But two in one.
Bright beauty's rays:
I have prais’d thee. Dau. Admirable !
Cler. How it chimes, and cries tink i' the close, divinely!
Dau. Ay, 'tis Seneca.
Daw. The plague on Plutarch and Seneca! I hate it: Mine own imaginations, by that light. I wonder those fellows have such credit with gentle men!
Cler. They are very grave authors.
Daw. Grave affes ! mere effayists! a few loose sentences, and that's all. A man would talk fo; his whole age; I do utter as good things every hour, if they were collected and observ’d, as either of em.
Dau. Indeed, Sir John ?
Cler. He must needs, living among the wits and braveries too.
Dau. Ay, and being president of 'em, as he is.
Daw. There's Aristotle, a mere common-place fellow; Plato, a discourser; Thucydides, and Livy, tedious and dry; Tacitus, an entire knot; sometimes worth the untying, very seldom.
Cler. What do you think of the poets, Sir John?
Daw. Not worthy to be nam'd for authors. Homer, an old tedious prolix ass, talks of curriers, and chines of beef; Virgil, of dunging of land, and bees; Horace, of I know not what.
Cler. I think so.
Daw. And so Pindar, Lycophron, Anacreon, Catullus, Lucan, Propertius, Tibullus, Martial, VOL. III.
Juvenal, Aufonius, Statius, Politian, Valerius,
Cler. What a fack full of names he has got !
Dau. And how he pours 'em out ! 'Fore Heaven, you have a simple learn's servant, lady, in titles.
Cler. I mufe a mistress can be fo filent to the qualities of such a servant.
Daw. Silence is her virtue, Sir. I have written fomewhat of her filence too.
Dau. In verse, Sir John ? How can you justify your own being a poet, that fo flight all the old poets?
Daw. Why, every man that writes in verse, is not a poet ; you have of the wits that write verses, and yet are no poets: They are poets that live by it, the poor fellows that live by it. But silence ! Silence in woman, is like speech in man;
Deny't who can?
Nor is't a tale,
You shall it fee
Prov'd with increase :