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As if we practised in a paste-board case,
And no one saw the motion, but the motion.
Well, check thy passion, lest it grow too loud:
While fools are pitied, they wax fat and proud.


SCENE I. The Court.
Enter CUTLD and MERCURY, disguised as Pages.

Cup. Why, this was most unexpectedly followed, my divine
delicate Mercury; by the beard of Jove, thou art a precious deity.

Mer. Nay, Cupid, leave to speak improperly; since we are turn'd
cracks, let's study to be like cracks; practise their language and
behaviours, and not with a dead imitation: Act freely, carelessly,
and capriciously, as if our veins ran with quicksilver, and not utter
a phrase, but what shall come forth steep'd in the very brine of
conceit, and sparkle like salt in fire.

Cup. That's not every one's happiness, Hermes: Though you
can presume upon the easiness and dexterity of your wit, you
shall give me leave to be a little jealous of mine; and not desperately
to hazard it after your capering humour.

Mer. Nay, then, Cupid, I think we must have you hood-wink'd
again; for you are grown too provident since your eyes were at

Cup. Not so, Mercury, I am still blind Cupid to thee.

Mer. And what to the lady nymph you serve ?

Cup. Troth, page, boy, and sirrah: these are all my titles.

Mer. Then thou hast not altered thy name, with thy disguise ?

Cup. O, no, that had been supererogation; you shall never hear
your courtier call but by one of these three.

Mer. Faith, then both our fortunes are the same.

Cup. Why, what parcel of man hast thou lighted on for a master ?

Mer. Such a one as, before I begin to decipher him, I dare not
affirm to be any thing less than a courtier. So much he is during
this open time of revels, and would be longer, but that his means
are to leave him shortly after. His name is Hedon, a gallant wholly
consecrated to his pleasures.

Cup. Hedon! he uses mii''h t<> my lady's chamber, I think.

Mer. How is she call'd, and then I can shew thee?

Cup. .Madam Philauti i.

Mer. ay, he affects her very particularly indrrd. Those an?
his graces. He doth (Ix-sidrs me) krrp a barber and a monkey; lie
has a rich wrought waistcoat to entertain his visitants in, with a

1 66 Ben Jonson's Plays

cap almost suitable. His curtains and bedding are thought to be
his own; his bathing-tub is not suspected. He loves to have a
fencer, a pedant, and a musician seen in his lodging a-mornings.

Cup. And not a poet?

Mer. Fie, no: himself is a rhymer, and that's thought better
than a poet. He is not lightly within to his mercer, no, though he
come when he takes physic, which is commonly after his play. He
beats a tailor very well, but a stocking-seller admirably: and so
consequently any one he owes money to, that dares not resist him.
He never makes general invitement, but against the publishing of
a new suit; marry, then you shall have more drawn to his lodging,
than come to the launching of some three ships; especially if he be
furnish' d with supplies for the retiring of his old wardrobe from
pawn: if not, he does hire a stock of apparel, and some forty or fifty
pound in gold, for that forenoon, to shew. He is thought a very
necessary perfume for the presence, and for that only cause welcome
thither: six milliners' shops afford you not the like scent. He
courts ladies with how many great horse he hath rid that morning,
or how oft he hath done the whole, or half the pomrnado in a
seven-night before: and sometime ventures so far upon the virtue of
his pomander, that he dares tell 'em how many shirts he has sweat
at tennis that week; but wisely conceals so many dozen of balls
he is on the score. Here he cames, that is all this.


Hed. Boy!

Mer. Sir.

Hed. Are any of the ladies in the presence?

Mer. None yet, sir.

Hed. Give me some gold, more.

Ana. Is that thy boy, Hedon?

Hed. Ay, what think'st thou of him?

Ana. I'd geld him; I warrant he has the philosopher's stone.

Hed. Well said, my good melancholy devil: sirrah, I have devised
one or two of the prettiest oaths, this morning in my bed, as ever
thou heard'st, to protest withal in the presence.

Ana. Prithee, let's hear them.

Hed. Soft, thou' It use them afore me.

Ana. No, d mn me then I have more oaths than I know how
to utter, by this air.

Hed. Faith, one is, By the tip of your ear, sweet lady. Is it not
pretty, and genteel ?

Ana. Yes, for the person 'tis applied to, a lady. It should be
light and

Hed. Nay, the other is better, exceeds it much: the invention is
farther fet too. By the white valley that lies between the alpine hills
of your bosom, I protest.

Ana. Well, you travell'd for that, Hedon.

Cynthia's Revels 167

Mer. Ay, in a map, where his eyes were but blind guides to his
understanding, it seems.

Hed. And then I have a salutation will nick all, by this caper:

Ana. How is that?

Hed. You know I call madam Philautia, my Honour; and she
calls me, her Ambition. Xow, when I meet her in the presence anon,
I will come to her, and say, Sweet Honour, I liave hitherto contented
my sense with the lilies of your hand, but now I will taste the roses oj
your lip ; and, withal, kiss her: to which she cannot but blushing
answer, Nay, noiv you are too ambitious. And then do I reply: /
cannot be too Ambitious of Honour, sweet lady. WuTt not be good?
ha? ha?

Ana. 0, assure your soul.

Hed. By heaven, I think 'twill be excellent: and a very politic
achievement of a kiss.

Ana. I have thought upon one for Gloria of a sudden too, if it take.

Hed. What is't, my dear Invention ?

Ana. Marry, I will come to her, (and she always wears a muff, if
you be remembered,) and I will tell her, Madam, your whole selj
cannot but be perfectly wise ; for your hands have wit enough to keep
themselves warm.

Hed. Now, before Jove, admirable! [Gelaia laughs.] Look, thy
page takes it, too. By Phoebus, my sweet facetious rascal, I could
eat water-gruel with thee a month for this jest, my dear rogue.

Ana. O, Hercules, 'tL your only dish; above all your potatoes or
oyster-pies in the world.

Hed. I have ruminated upon a most rare wish too, and the
prophecy to it; but I'll have some friend to be the prophet; as
thus: I do wish myself one of my mistress's cioppini. Another
demands, Why would he be one of his mistress's cioppini ? a third
answers, Because he would make her higher: a fourth shall say.
That will make her proud: and a fifth shall conclude, Then do I
prophesy pride will have a fall ; and he shall give it her.

Ana. I will be your prophet. Gods so, it will be most exquisite;
thou art a fine inventions rogue, sirrah.

Hed. Nay, and I have posies for rings, too, and riddles that they
dream not of.

Ana. Tut, they'll do that, when they come to sleep on them,
time enough: But were thy devices never in the presence yet,
Hedon ?

Hed. O, no, I disdain that.

Ana. 'Twere good we went afore thrn, and brought them ac-
quainted with the room where they shall act, lest the strangeness of
it put them out of countenance, when they should come forth.

[ I-jxeunt Hedon and Anaides.

Cup. Is that a courtier, too?

Mer. Troth, no; he has t\vo essential parts of the courtier, pride
and ignorance; marry, the rest come somewhat idtrr the ordinary

1 68 Ben Jensen's Plays

gallant. 'Tis Impudence itself, Anaides; one that speaks all that
comes in his cheeks, and will blush no more than a sackbut. He
lightly occupies the jester's room at the table, and keeps laughter,
Gelaia, a wench in page's attire, following him in place of a squire,
whom he now and then tickles with some strange ridiculous stuff,
utter'd as his land came to him, by chance. He will censure or
discourse of any thing, but as absurdly as you would wish. Hia
fashion is not to take knowledge of him that is beneath him in
clothes. He never drinks below the salt. He does naturally
admire his wit that wears gold lace, or tissue: stabs any man that
speaks more contemptibly of the scholar than he. He is a great
proficient in all the illiberal sciences, as cheating, drinking, swagger-
ing, whoring, and such like: never kneels but to pledge healths,
nor prays but for a pipe of pudding-tobacco. He will blaspheme in
his shirt. The oaths which he vomits at one supper would maintain
a town of garrison in good swearing a twelvemonth. One other
genuine quality he has which crowns all these, and that is this: to
a friend in want, he will not depart with the weight of a soldered
groat, lest the world might censure him prodigal, or report him a
gull: marry, to his cockatrice or punquetto, half a dozen taffata
gowns or satin kirtles in a pair or two of months, why, they are

Cup. I commend him, he is one of my clients.

[They retire to the back of the stage.


A mo. Come, sir. You are now within regard of the presence, and
see, the privacy of this room how sweetly it offers itself to our
retired intendments. Page, cast a vigilant and enquiring eye about,
that we be not rudely surprised by the approach of some ruder

Cos. I warrant you, sir. I'll tell you when the wolf enters, fear

Mer. what a mass of benefit shall we possess, in being the
invisible spectators of this strange show now to be acted !

Amo. Plant yourself there, sir; and observe me. You shall now,
as well be the ocular, as the ear- witness, how clearly I can refel that
paradox, or rather pseudodox, of those, which hold the face to be
the index of the mind, which, I assure you, is not so in any politic
creature: for instance; I will now give you the particular and
distinct face of every your most noted species of persons, as your
merchant, your scholar, your soldier, your lawyer, courtier, etc.,
and each of these so truly, as you would swear, but that your eye
shall see the variation of the lineament, it were my most proper and
genuine aspect. First, for your merchant, or city-face, 'tis thus;
a dull, plodding-face, still looking in a direct line, forward: there is
no great matter in this face. Then have you your student's, or
academic face, which is here an honest, simple, and methodical
face; but somewhat more spread than the former. The third is

Cynthia's Revels 169

your soldier's face, a menacing and astounding face, that looks
broad and big: the grace of his face consisteth much in a beard.
The anti-face to this, is your lawyer's face, a contracted, subtile,
and intricate face, full of quirks and turnings, a labyrinthean face,
now angularly, now circularly, every way aspected. Next is your
statist's face, a serious, solemn, and supercilious face, full of formal
and square gravity; the eye, for the most part, deeply and artificially
shadow'd: there is great judgment required in the making of this
face. But now, to come to your face of faces, or courtier's face;
'tis of three sorts, according to our subdivision of a courtier, ele-
mentary, practic, and theoric. Your courtier theoric, is he that
hath arrived to hL farthest, and doth now know the court rather
by speculation than practice; and this is his face: a fastidious and
oblique face; that looks as it went with a vice, and were screw'd
thus. Your courtier practic, is he that is yet in his path, his course,
his way, and hath not touch'd the punctilio or point of his hopes;
his face is here: a most promising, open, smooth, and overflowing
face, that seems as it would run and pour itself into you: somewhat
a northerly face. Your courtier elementary, is one but newly
enter'd, or as it were in the alphabet, or ut-re-mi-fa-sol-la of court-
ship. Note well this face, for it is this you must practise.

Aso. I'll practise them all, if you please, sir.

A mo. Ay, hereafter you may: and it will not be altogether an
ungrateful study. For, let your soul be assured of this, in any
rank or profession whatever, the more general or major part of
opinion goes with the face and simply respects nothing else. There-
fore, if that can be made exactly, curiously, exquisitely, thoroughly,
it is enough: but for the present you shall only apply yourself to
this face of the elementary courtier, a light, revelling, and protesting
face, now blushing, now smiling, which you may help much with a
wanton wagging of your head, thus, (a feather will teach you,) or
with kissing your finger that hath the ruby, or playing with some
string of your band, which is a most quaint kind of melancholy
besides: or, if among ladies, laughing loud, and crying up your own
wit, though perhaps borrow'd, it is not amiss. Where is your page ?
call for your casting-bottle, and place your mirror in your hat, as
I told you: so! Come, look not pale, observe me, set your face,
and enter.

Mer. 0, for some excellent painter, to have taken the copy of all
these faces! [Aside.

Aso. Prosaites!

A mo. Fie! I premonish you of that: in the court, boy, lacquey,
or sirrah.

Cos. Master, lupus in O, 'tis Prosaites.


Aso. Sirrah, prepare my casting-bottle; I think I must be
enforced to purchase me another page; you see how at hand Cos
waits here. [Exeunt Amorphus, Aaolus, Cos, and Prosaites,

170 Ben Jonson's Plays

J7>r. So will he too, in time.

Cup. What's he, Mercury?

Mer. A notable smelt. One that hath newly entertain'd the
beggar to follow him, but cannot get him to wait near enough.
'Tis Asotus, the heir of Philargyrus; but first I'll give ye the other's
character, which may make his the clearer. He that is with him
is Amorphus, a traveller, one so made out of the mixture of shreds
of forms, that himself is truly deform'd. He walks most commonly
with a clove or pick-tooth in his mouth, he is the very mint of
compliment, all his behaviours are printed, his face is another
volume of essays, and his beard is an Aristarchus. He speaks all
cream skimm'd, and more affected than a dozen waiting women.
He is his own promoter in every place. The wife of the ordinary
gives him his diet to maintain her table in discourse; which, indeed,
is a mere tyranny over her other guests, for he will usurp all the
talk: ten constables are not so tedious. He is no great shifter;
once a year his apparel is ready to revolt. He doth use much to
arbitrate quarrels, and fights himself, exceeding well, out at a
window. He will lie cheaper than any beggar, and louder than
most clocks; for which he is right properly accommodated to the
Whetstone, his page. The other gallant is his zany, and doth most
of these tricks after him; sweats to imitate him in every thing to a
hair, except a beard, which is not yet extant. He doth learn to
make strange sauces, to eat anchovies, maccaroni, bovoli, fagioli,
and caviare, because he loves them; speaks as he speaks, looks,
walks, goes so in clothes and f ashion : is in all as if he were moulded
of him. Marry, before they met, he had other very pretty
sufficiencies, which yet he retains some light impression of; as
frequenting a dancing-school, and grievously torturing strangers
with inquisition after his grace in Ins galliard. He buys a fresh
acquaintance at any rate. His eyes and his raiment confer much
together as he goes in the street. He treads nicely like the fellow
that walks upon ropes, especially the first Sunday of his silk stock-
ings; and when he is most neat and new, you shall strip him with

Cup. Here comes another. [Crites passes over the stage.

Mer. Ay, but one of another strain, Cupid; this fellow weighs

Cup. His name, Hermes?

Mer. Crites. A creature of a most perfect and divine temper:
one, in whom the humours and elements are peaceably met, without
emulation of precedency; he is neither too fantastically melancholy,
too slowly phlegmatic, too lightly sanguine, or too rashly choleric;
but in all" so composed and ordered, as it is clear Nature went about
some full work, she did more than make a man when she made him.
His discourse is like his behaviour, uncommon, but not unpleasing;
he is prodigal of neither. He strives rather to be that which men
call judicious, than to be thought so; and is so truly learned, that
he affects not to shew it. He will think and speak his thought both

Cynthia's Revels 171

freely; but as distant from depraving another man's merit, as
proclaiming his own. For his valour, 'tis such, that he dares as
little to offer any injury as receive one. In sum, he hath a most
ingenuous and sweet spirit, a sharp and season'd wit, a straight
judgment and a strong mind. Fortune could never break him, nor
make him less. He counts it his pleasure to despise pleasures, and
is more delighted with good deeds than goods. It is a competency
to him that he can be virtuous. He doth neither covet nor fear;
he hath too much reason to do either; and that commends all things
to him.

Cup. Not better than Mercury commends him.

Mer. O, Cupid, 'tis beyond my deity to give him his due praises:
I could leave my place in heaven to live among mortals, so I were
sure to be no other than he.

Cup. 'Slight, I believe he is your minion, you seem to be so
ravish'd with him.

Mer. He's one I would not have a wry thought darted against,

Cup. No, but a straight shaft in his bosom I'll promise him, if I
am Cytherea's son.

Mer. Shall we go, Cupid ?

Cup. Stay, and see the ladies now: they'll come presently. I'll
help to paint them.

Mer. What, lay colour upon colour! that affords but an ill

Cup. Here comes metal to help it, the lady Argurion.

[Argurion passes over the stage.

Mer. Money, money.

Cup. The same. A nymph of a most wandering and giddy
disposition, humorous as the air, she'll run from gallant to gallant,
as they sit at primero in the presence, most strangely, and seldom
stays with any. She spreads as she goes. To-day you shall have
her look as clear and fresh as the morning, and to-morrow as
melancholic as midnight. She takes special pleasure in a close
obscure lodging, and for that cause visits the city so often, where
she has many secret true concealing favourites. When she comes
abroad, she's more loose and scattering than dust, and will fly from
place to place, as she were wrapped with a whirlwind. Your young
student, for the most part, she affects not, only salutes him, and
away: a poet, nor a philosopher, she is hardly brought to take any
notice of; no, though he be some part of an alchemist. She loves
a player well, and a lawyer infinitely; but } 7 our fool above all. She
can do much in court for the obtaining of any suit whatsoever, no
door but flies open to her, her presence is above a charm. The
worst in her is want of keeping state, and too much descending into
inferior and base offices; she's for any coarse employment you will
put upon her, as to be your procurer, or pander.

Mer. Peace, Cupid, here comes more work for y<iu, another
character or two.

172 Ben Jonson's Plays


PTia. Stay, sweet Philautia, I'll but change my fan, and go

Hor. Now, in very good serious, ladies, I will have this order
revers'd, the presence must be better maintain' d from you: a
quarter past eleven, and ne'er a nymph in prospective! Beshrew
my hand, there must be a reform'd discipline. Is that your new
ruff, sweet lady-bird ? By my troth, 'tis most intricately rare.

Her. Good Jove, what reverend gentlewoman in years might
this be ?

Cup. 'Tis madam Moria, guardian of the nymphs; one that is
not now to be persuaded of her wit; she will think herself wise
against all the judgments that come. A lady made all of voice and
air, talks any thing of any thing. She is like one of your ignorant
poetasters of the time, who, when they have got acquainted with
a strange word, never rest till they have wrung it in, though it
loosen the whole fabric of their sense.

M er. That was pretty and sharply noted, Cupid.

Cup. She will tell you, Philosophy was a fine reveller, when she
was young, and a gallant, and that then, though she say it, she
was thought to be the dame Dido and Helen of the court: as also,
what a sweet dog she had this time four years, and how it was
called Fortune; and that, if the Fates had not cut his thread, he
had been a dog to have given entertainment to any gallant in this
kingdom; and unless she had whelp'd it herself, she could not
have loved a thing better in this world.

Mer. 0, I prithee no more; I am full of her.

Cup. Yes, I must needs tell you she composes a sack-posset well;
and would court a young page sweetly, but that her breath is
against it.

Mer. Now, her breath or something more strong protect me from
her ! The other, the other, Cupid ?

Cup. 0, that's my lady and mistress, madam Philautia. She
admires not herself for any one particularity, but for all: she
is fair, and she knows it; she has a pretty light wit too, and
she knows it; she can dance, and she knows that too; play at
shuttle-cock, and that too: no quality she has, but she shall take a
very particular knowledge of, and most lady-like commend it to you.
You shall have her at any time read you the history of herself, and
very subtilely run over another lady's sufficiencies to come to her
own. She has a good superficial judgment in painting, and would
seem to have so in poetry. A most complete lady in the opinion
of some three beside herself.

Phi. Faith, how liked you my quip to Hedon, about the garter ?
Was 't not witty?

Mor. Exceeding witty and integrate: you did so aggravate the
jest withal.

Phi. And did I not dance movingly the last night ?

Cynthia's Revels 173

.I/or. Movingly ! out of measure, in troth, sweet charge.

Mer. A happy commendation, to dance out of measure !

Nor. Save only you wanted the swim in the turn: 0! when I
was at fourteen

Phi. Xay, that's mine own from any nymph in the court, I'm
sure on't; therefore you mistake me in that, guardian: both the
swim and the trip are properly mine; every body will affirm it that
has any judgment in dancing, I assure you.

Pha. Come now, Philautia, I am for you; shall we go?

Phi. Ay, good Phantaste: What! have you changed your head-

Pha. Yes, faith, the other was so near the common, it had no
extraordinary grace; besides, I had worn it almost a day, in good

Phi. I'll be sworn, this is most excellent for the device, and rare;
'tis after the Italian print we look'd on t'other night.

Pha. 'Tis so: by this fan, I cannot abide any thing that savours
the poor over- worn cut, that has any kindred with it; I must have
variety, I: this mixing in fashion, I hate it worse than to burn
juniper in my chamber, I protest.

Phi. And yet we cannot have a new peculiar court-tire, but these
retainers will have it; these suburb Sunday- waiters; these courtiers
for high days; I know not what I should call 'em

Pha. O, ay, they do most pitifully imitate; but I have a tire
a coming, i'faith, shall

Mor. In good certain, madam, it makes you look most heavenly;
but, lay your hand on your heart, you never skinn'd a new beauty
more prosperously in your life, nor more metaphysically: look,
good lady; sweet lady, look.

Phi. 'Tis very clear and well, believe me. But if you had seen
mine yesterday, when 'twas young, you would have -Who's your
doctor, Phantaste?

Pha. Nay, that's counsel, Philautia; you shall pardon me: yet
I'll assure you he's the most dainty, sweet, absolute, rare man of
the whole college. O! his very looks, his discourse, his behaviour,
all he does is physic, I protest.

Phi. For heaven's sake, his name, good dear Phantaste?

Pha. No, no, no, no, no, no, believe me, not for a million of

heavens: I will not make him cheap. Fie

\L\f i/iit /'//(inl'i.^fr, Morfn, and Philaiilia.

Cup. There is a nymph too of a most curious and elaborate strain,
light, all motion, an ubiquitary, she is every where, Phantaste

Mer. Her very name speaks her, let her pass. I Jut are these.
Cupid, the stars of Cynthia's court? Do these nymphs attend upon
Diana ?

Cup. They are in her court. Mercury, but not as stars; these
never come in the presence of Cynthia. The nymphs that make
her train are the divine Arete, Time. I'hnmesis, Thauma, and others
of that hiiih sort. These are privately brought in by Moria in this

174 Ben Jonson's Plays

licentious time, against her knowledge: and, like so many meteors,
will vanish when she appears.

Enter PROSAITES singing, followed by GELAIA and Cos, with


Come follow me, my wags, and say, as I say,
There's no riches but in rags, hey day, hey day :
You that profess this art, come away, come away,
And help to bear a part. Hey day, hey day, etc.

[Mercury and Cupid come forward.

Mer. What, those that were our fellow pages but now, so soon

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