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Daw. Is mistress Epicene gone?
Cler. Gone afore, with Sir Dauphine, I warrant, to the place.
Tru. Gone afore! that were a manifest injury, a disgrace and a half; to refuse Sir John at fuch a festival time as this, being a bravery, and a wit too.
Cler. Tut, he'll swallow it like cream: He's better read, than to esteem any thing a disgrace, is offered him from a mistress.
Daw. Nay, let her e’en go; she shall sit alone, and be dumb in her chamber a week together, for John Daw, I warrant her: Does she refuse me?
Cler. No, Sir, do not take it so to heart: Good faith, Truewit, you were to blame to put it into his head, that she does refuse him.
Tru. Sir, she does refuse him palpably, however you mince it. An I were as he, I would swear to speak ne'er a word to her to-day for’t.
Daw. By this light, no more I will not.
Cler. It had been an excellent happy condition for the company, if you could have drawn him to it.
Daw. I'll be very melancholick, i’faith.
myself up for this day in troth, they should not unwind me.
Daw. By this pick-tooth, so I will.
Cler. ?Tis well done : He begins already to be angry with his teeth.
Daw. Will you go, gentlemen?
Cler. Nay, you must waļk alone, if you be right melancholick, Sir John.
Tru. Yes, Sir, we'll dog you, we'll follow you afar off.
[Exit Sir John, Cler. Was there ever such a two-yards of knighthood measur'd out by time, to be sold to laughter?
Tru. A mere talking mole! hang him: No mushroom was ever so fresh. A fellow fo utterly nothing, as he knows not what he would be.
Cler. Let's follow him : But first, let's go to Dauphine ; he's hovering about the house, to hear what news. Tru. Content.
Scene, the house of Morose.
Enter Morose and Mute, meeting Epicæne and Cutberd,
Mor. Welcome, Cutberd; draw near with your fair charge: And in her ear, softly entreat her to unmalk() So. Is the door shut? (-)
Enough. Now, Cutberd, with the same discipline I use to my family, I will question you. As I conceive, Cutberd, this gentlewoman is she you have provided, and brought, in hope she will fit me in the place and person of a wife?) Very well done, Cutberd. I conceive besides, Cutberd, you have been pre-acquainted with her birth, education, and qualities, or else you would not prefer her to my acceptance, in the weighty consequence of marriage. This I conceive, Cutberd. (-) Very well done, Curberd. Give aside now a little, and leave me to examine her condition, and aptitude to my affection. Give afide! [Cutberd retires.] She is exceeding fair, and of a special good favour; a sweet compofition, or harmony of limbs; her temper of beauty has the true height of my blood. [He goes about her, and views her.] The knave hath exceedingly well fitted me without: I will now try her within. Come near, fair gentlewoman. [At the breaks The curtjies.] Let not my behaviour seem rude; though unto you, being rare, it may haply appear strange. (-) Nay, lady, you may speak, though Cutberd and my man might not; for of all founds, only the sweet voice of a fair lady has the just length of mine ears. I befeech you, say, lady; out of the first fire of meeting
eyes (they say) love is stricken: Do you feel any -fuch motion ? ha, lady? (mo) Alas, lady, these answers by filent curt'fies are too courtless and simple. Can you speak, lady? Epi. Judge you, forsooth.
[She speaks softly. Mor. What fay you, lady? Speak out, I beseech you.
Epi. Judge you, forfooth.
Mor. O' my judgment, a divine softness ! Excellent ! Divine ! If it were possible she should hold out thus! Peace, Cutberd; thou art made for ever, as thou hast made me, if this felicity have lasting: But I will try her further. And can you, dear lady, not taking pleasure in your tongue (which is woman's chiefest pleafure) think it plausible to answer me by filent gestures?
Epi. I should be forry else.
Mor. What say you, lady? Good lady, speak out.
Epi. I should be sorry else.
Mor. That forrow doth fill me with gladness. Oh, Morofe! thou art happy above mankind ! Pray that thou may'st contain thyself. But hear me, fair lady ; I do also love to see her whom I shall chufe, to be the first and principal in all fashions ; and how will you be able, lady, with this frugality
of speech, to give the manifold (but necessary)
Epi. I'll leave it to you, Sir.
Mor. Admirable creature ! I will trouble you no