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The Devil is an Ass.

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457


T H E
D  E  V  I  L
I S   A N
A   S   S.
A   C O M E D Y.

Acted in the Year 1616. By His M A J E S T Y' S Servants.


The Author Ben. Johnson.

Ficta voluptatis Causβ, sint proxima veris.   Hor. de Art. Poet.


The P E R S O N S of the P L A Y.

S A T A N,   The great Devil. T R A I N E S,   The Projector's man.
P U G.   The less Devil. G U I L T-H E A D,   A Gold-Smith.
I N I Q U I T Y,                       The Vice. P L U T A R C H U S.                His Son.
F I T Z-D O T T R E L L,   A Squire of Norfolk.       Sir POULE EITHER-SIDE,   A Lawyer, and Justice.
Mistris F R A N C E S,   His Wife. Lady E I T H E R-S I D E,   His Wife.
M E E R-C R A F T,   The Projector. Lady T A I L E-B U S H,   The Lady Projectress.
E V E R I L L,   His Champion. P I T-F A L L.   Her woman.
W I T T I P O L.   A young Gallant. A M B L E R.   Her Gentleman-Usher.
M A N L Y,   His Friend. S L E D G E.   A Smith, the Constable.
I N G I N E,   A Broker. S H A C K L E S.   Keeper of Newgate.
S E R J E A N T S.


The S C E N E,   L O N D O N.


T H E





458




T H E

P R O L O G U E.

T
HE Devil is an Ass: That is, to day,
 The Name of what you are met for, a new Play.
Yet, Grandee's, would you were not come to grace
Our matter, with allowing us no place.
Though you presume,
Satan, a subtle thing,
And may have heard he's worn in a thumb-ring;
Do not on these Presumptions, force us act,
In compass of a Cheese-trencher. This tract
VVill ne're admit our
Vice, because of yours.
Anon, who worse than you, the fault endures.period should be omitted
That your selves make? when you will thrust and spurn,
And knock us o' the Elbows; and bid, turn;
As if, when we had spoke, we must be gone,
Or, till we speak, must all run in, to one,
Like the young Adders, at the old ones mouth?
Would we could stand due
North; or had no South,
If that offend: or were
Muscovy Glass,
That you might look our
Scenes through as they pass.
We know not how to affect you. If you'll come
To see new
Plays, pray you afford us room,
And shew this but the same face you have done
Your dear delight, the
Devil of Edmunton.
Or, if, for want of room it must miscarry,
'Twill be but Justice that your Censure tarry,
Till you give some. And when six times you ha' seen't,
If this
Play do not like, the Devil is in't.










T H E






459


T H E
D  E  V  I  L
I S   A N
A   S   S.



Act I.    Scene I.

Devil, Pug, Iniquity.

H

Oh, hoh, hoh, hoh, hoh, hoh, hoh, hoh, &c.
 To Earth? and why to Earth, thou foolish
         Spirit?
 What would'st thou do on Earth?
   Pug. For that, great Chief!
As time shall work. I do but ask my month.
Which every petty pui'ny Devil has;
Within that term the Court of Hell will hear
Something may gain a longer grant, perhaps.
   Sat. For what? the laming a poor Cow, or two?
Entring a Sow, to make her cast her Farrow?
Or crossing of a Market-womans Mare,
'Twixt this and Totnam? these were wont to be
Your main atchievements, Pug, You have some plot now,
Upon a tonning of Ale, to stale the Yest,
Or keep the Churn so, that the Butter come not,
'Spight o' the Housewives Cord, or her hot Spit?
Or some good Ribibe, about Kentish Town,
Or Hogsden, you would hang now, for a Witch,
Because she will not let you play round Robbin;
And you'll go sowre the Citizens Cream 'gainst Sunday?
That she may be accus'd for't, and condemn'd,
By a Middlesex Jury, to the satisfaction
Of their offended Friends, the Londoners Wives,
Whose teeth were set on edge with it? Foolish Fiend,
Stay i' your place, know your own strength, and put not
Beyond the Sphere of your Activity.
You are too dull a Devil to be trusted
Forth in those parts, Pug, upon any affair
That may concern our Name on Earth. It is not
Every ones work. The State of Hell must care
Whom it imploys, in point of Reputation,
Here about London. You would make, I think,
An Agent to be sent for Lancashire,
Proper enough; or some parts of Northumberland,
So yo' had good Instructions, Pug.
   Pug. O Chief!
You do not know, dear Chief, what there is in me.
Prove me but for a fortnight, for a week,
And lend me but a Vice, to carry with me,
To practice there with any play-fellow,
And you will see, there will come more upon't,
Then you'll imagine, precious Chief.

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   Sat. What Vice?
What kind wouldst th' have it of?
   Pug. Why, any Fraud,
Or Covetousness, or Lady Vanity,
Or old Iniquity: I'll call him hither.
   Ini. What is he calls upon me, and would seem to
         lack a Vice?
Ere his words be half spoken, I am with him in a trice;
Here, there, and every where, as the Cat is with the
         Mice:
True vetus Iniquitas. Lack'st thou Cards, friend, or Dice?
I will teach thee cheat, Child, to cog, lie and swagger,
And ever and anon to be drawing forth thy Dagger:
To swear by Gogs-nowns, like a lusty Juventus,
In a Cloak to thy Heel, and a Hat like a Penthouse.
Thy Breeches of three Fingers, and thy Doublet all Belly,
With a Wench that shall feed thee, with Cock-Stones and
         Gelly.
   Pug. Is it not excellent, Chief? how nimble he is!
   Ini. Child of Hell, this is nothing! I will fetch thee a
         leap
From the top of Paul's Steeple to the Standard in Cheap:
And lead thethee a daunce through the Streets, without fail,
Like a Needle of Spain, with a Thread at my tail.
We will survey the Suburbs, and make forth our Sallies,
Down Petticoat-lane, and up the Smock-Allies,
To Shoreditch, White-Chappel, and so to Saint Katherns.
To drink with the Dutch there, and take forth their Pat-
         terns:
From thence, we will put in at Custom-house Key there,
And see how the Factors, and Prentices play there,
False with their Masters; and gueld many a full Pack,
To spend it in Pies, at the Dagger and the Wool-Sack.
   Pug. Brave, brave, Iniquity! will not this do, Chief?
   Ini. Nay, boy, I will bring thee to the Bawds, and the
         Roysters,
At Billings-gate, feasting with Claret-wine and Oysters;
From thence shoot the Bridge, Child, to the Cranes i' the
         Vintry,
And see there the Gimblets, how they make their entry!
Or if thou hadst rather to the Strand down to fall,
'Gainst the Lawyers come dabled from Westminster-Hall,
And mark how they cling, with their Clients together,
Like Ivy to Oak, so Velvet to Leather:
Ha, boy, I would shew thee.
   Pug. Rare, rare!   Dev. Peace, Dotard,
And thou more ignorant thing, that so admir'st,
Art thou the Spirit thou seem'st? so poor? to chuse
N n n 2                             This               




460 The Devil is an Ass.               


This for a Vice, t' advance the Cause of Hell,
Now, as Vice stands this present Year? Remember
What number it is, Six Hundred and Sixteen.
Had it but been Five Hundred, though some Sixty
Above; that's Fifty years agone, and Six,
(When every Great Man had his Vice stand by him,
In his long Coat, shaking his wooden Dagger)
I could consent, that then this your grave choice
Might have done that, with his Lord Chief, the which
Most of his Chamber can do now. But Pug,
As the times are, who is it will receive you?
What Company will you go to? or whom mix with?
Where canst thou carry him, except to Taverns?
To mount up on a Joynt-Stool, with a Jews trump,
To put down Cokeley, and that must be to Citizens?
He ne're will be admitted there, where Vennor comes.
He may perchance, in tail of a Sheriffs Dinner,
Skip with a Rime o' the Table, from New-nothing,
And take his Almain-leap into a Custard,
Shall make my Lady Mayoress, and her Sisters,
Laugh all their Hoods over their Shoulders. But
This is not that will do, they are other things
That are receiv'd now upon Earth, for Vices;
Stranger and newer: and chang'd every hour.
They ride 'em like their Horses off their Legs,
And here they come to Hell, whole Legions of 'em,
Every week tyr'd. We still strive to breed,
And rear 'em up new ones; but they do not stand,
When they come there: they turn 'em on our hands.
And it is fear'd they have a Stud o' their own
Will put down ours. Both our Breed and Trade
VVill suddenly decay, if we prevent not.
Unless it be a Vice of Quality,
Or Fashion now, they take none from us. Car-men
Are got into the yellow Starch, and Chimney-sweepers
To their Tobacco and Strong-waters, Hum,
Meath,
and Obarni. VVe must therefore aim
At extraordinary subtle ones now,
VVhen we do send to keep us up in credit.
Not old Iniquities. Get you e'en back, Sir,
To making of your Rope of Sand again.
You are not for the Manners, nor the Times:
They have their Vices there, most like to Vertues;
You cannot know 'em apart by any difference:
They wear the same Clothes, eat the same Meat,
Sleep i' the self-same beds, ride i' those Coaches.
Or very like, Four Horses in a Coach,
As the best Men and VVomen. Tissue Gowns,
Garters and Roses, Fourscore pound a pair,
Embroidred Stockings, Cut-work Smocks and Shirts,
More certain Marks of Lechery now and Pride,
Than e're they were of true Nobility!
But, Pug, since you do burn with such desire
To do the Commonwealth of Hell some service;
I am content, assuming of a body,
You go to earth, and visit Men a day.
But you must take a body ready made, Pug,
I can create you none: nor shall you form
Your self an airy one, but become subject
To all impression of the Flesh you take,
So far as humane frailty. So, this morning,
There is a handsome Cut-purse hang'd at Tyburn,
VVhose Spirit departed, you may enter his body:
For Clothes, imploy your credit with the Hang-man,
Or let our tribe of Brokers furnish you.
And look how far your Subtilty can work
Thorough those Organs, with that body, spy
Amongst Mankind.period should be moved to end of parenthetical comment (you cannot there want Vices,
And therefore the less need to carry 'em wi' you)
But as you make your soon at nights relation,
And we shall find it merits from the State,
You shall have both trust from us, and imployment.
   Pug. Most gracious Chief!
   Dev. Only thus more I bind you,

[column break]

To serve the first man that you meet; and him
I'll shew you now: Observe him. Yon' is he,
[He shews Fitz-dottrel to him, coming forth.

You shall see first after your clothing. Follow him:
But once engag'd, there you must stay and fix;
Not shift, until the midnights Cock do crow.
   Pug. Any Conditions to be gone.
   Dev. Away, then.

Act I.    Scene II.

Fitz-Dottrel.

I
, they do now, name Bretnor, as before,
 They talk'd of Gresham, and of Doctor Fore-man,
Franklin,
and Fiske, and Savory (he was in too);
But there's not one of these that ever could
Yet shew a man the Devil in true sort.
They have their Chrystals, I do know, and Rings,
And Virgin-Parchment, and their dead mens Sculls,
Their Ravens VVings, their Lights, and Pentacles,
VVith Characters; I ha' seen all these. But ——
VVould I might see the Devil. I would give
A hundred o' these Pictures to see him
Once out of Picture. May I prove a Cuckold,
(And that's the one main mortal thing I fear)
If I begin not now to think, the Painters
Have only made him. 'Slight, he would be seen,
One time or other else. He would not let
An ancient Gentleman, of a good House
As most are now in England, the Fetz dottrel's,
Run wild, and call upon him thus in vain,
As I ha' done this twelve month. If he be not
At all, why are there Conjurers? If they be not,
VVhy are there Laws against 'em? The best Artists
Of Cambridge, Oxford, Middlesex and London,
Essex
and Kent, I have had in pay to raise him,
These fifty weeks, and yet h' appears not. 'Sdeath,
I shall suspect they can make Circles only
Shortly, and know but his hard names. They do say,
H' will meet a man (of himself) that has a mind to him:
If he would so, I have a mind and a half for him:
He should not be long absent. Pray thee come,
I long for thee. An' I were with Child by him,
And my wife too; I could not more. Come yet,
[He expresseth a longing to see the Devil.

Good Beelzebub. VVere he a kind Devil,
And had humanity in him, he would come, but
To save ones longing. I should use him well,
I swear, and with respect (would he would try me)
Not as the Conjurers do, when they ha' rais'd him,
Get him in Bonds, and send him Post on Errands
A thousand Miles: it is preposterous, that:
And I believe, is the true Cause he comes not.
And he has reason. VVho would be engag'd,
That might live freely, as he may do? I swear,
They are wrong all. The burnt Child dreads the fire.
They do not know to entertain the Devil.
I would so welcome him, observe his Diet,
Get him his Chamber hung with Arras, two of 'em,
I' my own house; lend him my VVives wrought Pil-
          lows:
And as I am an honest Man, I think,
If he had a mind to her too; I should grant him,
To make our Friendship perfect. So I would not
To every man. If he but hear me now?
And should come to me in a brave young shape,
And take me at my word? ha! VVho is this?


Act    




           The Devil is an Ass. 461


Act I.    Scene III.

Pug, Fitz-dottrel.

S
I R, your good pardon, that I thus presume
 Upon your Privacy. I am born a Gentleman,
A younger brother, but in some disgrace,
Now with my Friends: and want some little means
To keep me upright, while things be reconcil'd.
Please you to let my Service be of use to you, Sir.
   Fit. Service? 'fore Hell, my heart was at my mouth,
Till I had view'd his Shooes well: for those Roses
VVere big enough to hide a cloven foot.
[He looks and surveys his Feet over and over.

No, Friend, my number's full. I have one Servant
VVho is my all indeed; and from the Broom
Unto the Brush: for just so far I trust him.
He is my VVardrobe-man, my Cater, Cook,
Butler and Steward; looks unto my Horse;
And helps to watch my VVife. H'has all the places,
That I can think on, from the Garret downward,
E'en to the Manger, and the Curry-comb.
   Pug. Sir, I shall put your VVorship to no charge,
More than my Meat, and that but very little;
I'll serve you for your Love.
   Fit. Ha! without VVages?
I'll hearken o' that Ear, were I at leisure.
But now I'm busie. 'Prythe,'Prythee Friend, forbear me,
And' thou hast been a Devil, I should say
Somewhat more to thee. Thou dost hinder now
My Meditations.   Pug. Sir, I am a Devil.
   Fit. How!   Pug. A true Devil, Sir.
   Fit. Nay, now you lie:
Under your favour, Friend, for I'll not quarrel.
I look'd o' your feet afore, you cannot cozen me,
Your Shooe's not cloven, Sir, you are whole hoof'd.
[He views his Feet again.

   Pug. Sir, that's a popular Error, deceives many:
But I am that I tell you.
   Fit. What's your Name?
   Pug. My Name is Devil, Sir.
   Fit. Say'st thou true.   Pug. Indeed, Sir.
   Fit. 'Slid! there's some Omen i' this! what Countryman?
   Pug. Of Derby-shire, Sir, about the Peak.
   Fit. That Hole
Belong'd to your Ancestors?
   Pug. Yes, Devil's Arse, Sir.
   Fit. I'll entertain him for the Name sake. Ha?
And turn away my t'other Man? and save
Four Pound a year by that? there's luck and thrift too!
The very Devil may come hereafter as well.
Friend, I receive you: but (withal) I acquaint you
Aforehand, if yo' offend me, I must beat you.
It is a kind of Exercise I use;
And cannot be without.   Pug. Yes, if I do not
Offend, you can sure.   Fit. Faith, Devil, very hardly:
I'll call you by your Surname, 'cause I love it.

Act I.    Scene IV.

Ingine, Wittipol, Manly, Fitz-dottrel, Pug.

Y
Onder he walks, Sir, I'll go lift him for you.
   Wit. To him, good Ingine, raise him up by degrees,
Gently, and hold him there too, you can do it.
Shew your self now a Mathematical Broker.
   Ing. I'll warrant you for half a piece.
   Wit. 'Tis done, Sir.
   Man. Is't possible there should be such a Man!
   Wit. You shall be your own Witness, I'll not labour
To tempt you past your faith.   Man. And is his Wife
So very handsome, say you?
   Wit. I ha' not seen her

[column break]

Since I came home from travel: and they say,
She is not alter'd. Then, before I went,
I saw her once; but so, as she hath stuck
Still i' my view, no Object hath remov'd her.
   Man. 'Tis a fair Guest, Friend, Beauty: and once lodg'd
Deep in the Eyes, she hardly leaves the Inn.
How do's he keep her?
   Wit. Very brave. However,
Himself be sordid, he is sensual that way.
In every dressing, he do's study her.
   Man. And furnish forth himself so from the Broker?
   Wit. Yes, that's a hir'd Suit he now has on,
To see the Devil is an Ass, to day, in.
(This Ingine gets three or four pound a week by him),
He dares not miss a new Play, or a Feast,
What Rate soever Clothes be at; and thinks
Himself still new, in other Mens old.
   Man. But stay,
Do's he love Meat so?
   Wit. Faith, he do's not hate it.
But that's not it. His Belly and his Palate
Would be compounded with for Reason. Marry,
A Wit he has, of that strange Credit with him,
'Gainst all Mankind; as it doth make him do
Just what it list: it ravishes him forth,
Whither it please, to any Assembly or Place,
And would conclude him ruin'd, should he scape
One publick Meeting, out of the belief
He has of his own great, and Catholick strengths,
In arguing and Discourse. It takes, I see:
H' has got the Cloak upon him.
[Ingine hath won Fitz-dottrel, to 'say on the Cloak.

   Fit. A fair Garment,
By my Faith, Ingine!   Ing. It was never made, Sir,
For threescore pound, I assure you: 'Twill yield thirty.
The Plush, Sir, cost three pound ten shillings a yard!
And then the Lace and Velvet.   Fit. I shall, Ingine,
Be look'd at, prettily, in it! Art thou sure
The Play is play'd to day?
   Ing. O here's the Bill, Sir.
[He gives him the Play-Bill.

I' had forgot to gi't you.
   Fit. Ha? the Devil!
I will not lose you, Sirrah! But, Ingine, think you,
The Gallant is so furious in his folly?
So mad upon the Matter, that he'll part
With's Cloak upo' these terms?
   Ing. Trust not your Ingine,
Break me to pieces else, as you would do
A rotten Cain,Crane or an old rusty Jack,
That has not one true Wheel in him. Do but talk with him.
   Fit. I shall do that, to satisfie you, Ingine,
And my self too. With your leave, Gentlemen.
[He turns to Wittipol.

Which of you is it is so meer Idolater
To my Wives Beauty, and so very prodigal
Unto my patience, that, for the short Parley?
Of one swift hours quarter, with my Wife,
He will depart with (let me see) this Cloak here,
The price of Folly? Sir, are you the Man?
   Wit. I am that vent'rer, Sir.
   Fit. Good time! your Name
Is Wittipol?   VVit. The same, Sir.
   Fit. And 'tis told me,
Yo' have travell'd lately?
   VVit. That I have, Sir.   Fit. Truly,
Your Travels may have alter'd your Complexion;
But sure, your Wit stood still.
   VVit. It may well be, Sir.
All Heads ha' not like growth.
   Fit. The good Man's Gravity,
That left you Land, your Father never taught you
These pleasant Matches?
   VVit. No, nor can his Mirth,
With       




462 The Devil is an Ass.               


With whom I make 'em put me off.   Fit. You are
Resolv'd then?   VVit. Yes, Sir.
   Fit. Beauty is the Saint,
You'll sacrifice your self into the Shirt too?
   VVit. So I may still cloth,clothe and keep warm your Wisdom?
   Fit. You lade me, Sir!
   VVit. I know what you will bear, Sir.
   Fit. Well, to the Point. 'Tis only, Sir, you say,
To speak unto my Wife?
   VVit. Only to speak to her.
   Fit. And in my presence?
   VVit. In your very presence.
   Fit. And in my hearing?   VVit. In your hearing: so
You interrupt us not.   Fit. For the short space
You do demand, the fourth part of an hour,
I think I shall, with some convenient study,
And this good help to boot, bring my self to't.
[He shrugs himself up in the Cloak.

   VVit. I ask no more.
   Fit. Please you, walk to'ard my house,
Speak what you list; that time is yours: My Right
I have departed with. But not beyond
A Minute, or a Second, look for. Length,
And drawing out, ma' advance much to these Matches.
And I except all kissing. Kisses are
Silent Petitions still with willing Lovers.
   VVit. Lovers? How falls that o' your phantsie?
   Fit. Sir,
I do know somewhat, I forbid all Lip-work.
   VVit. I am not eager at forbidden Dainties.
Who covets unfit things, denies himself.
   Fit. You say well, Sir, 'Twas prettily said, that same.
He do's indeed. I'll have no touches therefore,
Nor takings by the Armes, nor tender Circles
Cast 'bout the Wast, but all be done at distance.
Love is brought up with those soft migniard handlings:
His pulse lies in his palm; and I defend
All melting joynts and fingers, (that's my bargain)
I do defend 'em, any thing like Action.
But talk, Sir, what you will. Use all the Tropes
And Schemes, that Prince Quintilian can afford you:
And much good do your Rhetoricks heart.
You are welcome, Sir.
Ingine, God b' w' you.   Wit. Sir, I must condition  |
To have this Gentleman by, a Witness.   Fit. Well,
I am content, so he be silent.   Man. Yes, Sir.
   Fit. Come, Devil, I'll make you room straight. But
           I'll shew you
First, to your Mistris, who's no common one,
You must conceive, that brings this gain to see her.
I hope thou'st brought me good luck.
   Pug. I shall do't, Sir.

Act I.    Scene V.

Wittipol, Manly.

I
Ngine, you hope o' your half piece? 'Tis there, Sir.
 Be gone. Friend Manly, who's within here? fixed?
[Wittipol knocks his Friend o' the Breast.

   Man. I am directly in a fit of wonder
What'll be the issue of this Conference!
   VVit. For that ne'er vex your self till the Event.
How like yo' him?
   Man. I would fain see more of him.
   VVit. What think you of this?
   Man. I am past degrees of thinking.
Old Africk, and the new America,
With all their Fruit of Monsters cannot shew
So just a Prodigy.
   VVit. Could you have believ'd,
Without your sight, a mind so sordid inward,
Should be so specious, and laid forth abroad,
To all the shew that ever Shop or Ware was?

[column break]

   Man. I believe any thing now, though I confess
His Vices are the most Extremities
I ever knew in Nature. But why loves he
The Devil so?   VVit. O Sir! for hidden Treasure,
He hopes to find: and has propos'd himself
So infinite a Mass, as to recover,
He cares not what he parts with, of the present,
To his Men of Art, who are the Race, may coyn him.
Promise Gold Mountains, and the covetous
Are still most prodigal.
   Man. But ha' you faith,
That he will hold his Bargain?
   VVit. O dear, Sir!
He will not off on't. Fear him not. I know him.
One baseness still accompanies another.
See! he is here already, and his Wife too.
   Man. A wondrous handsome creature, as I live!

Act I.    Scene VI.

Fitz-dottrel, Mistris Fitz-dottrel, VVittipol, Manly.

C
Ome, Wife, this is the Gentleman. Nay, blush not.
 Mrs. Fit. Why, what do you mean, Sir? ha' you
         your Reason?   Fit. Wife,
I do not know that I have lent it forth
To any one; at least, without a Pawn, Wife:
Or that I have eat or drunk the thing, of late,
That should corrupt it. Wherefore, gentle Wife,
Obey, it is thy Vertue: hold no acts
Of Disputation.   Mrs. Fit. Are you not enough
The talk of Feasts and Meetings, but you'll still
Make argument for fresh?
   Fit. Why, careful Wedlock,
If I have a longing to have one tale more
Go of me, what is that to thee, dear heart?
Why shouldst thou envy my delight? or cross it?
By being solicitous, when it not concerns thee?
   Mrs. Fit. Yes, I have share in this. The scorn will fall
As bitterly on me, where both are laught at.
   Fit. Laught at, sweet Bird? is that the scruple?
         Come, come,
Thou art a Niaise. Which of your great Houses,
[A Niaise is a young Hawk, tane

crying out of the Nest.

(I will not mean at home here, but abroad)
Your Families in France, Wife, send not forth
Something within the seven year, may be laught at?
I do not say seven months, nor seven weeks,
Nor seven days, nor hours: but seven year, Wife.
I give 'em time. Once within seven year,
I think they may do something may be laught at.
In France, I keep me there still. Wherefore, Wife,
Let them that list, laugh still, rather than weep
For me. Here is a Cloak cost fifty pound, Wife,
Which I can sell for thirty, when I ha' seen
All London in't, and London has seen me.
To day I go to the Black-Friers Play-house,
Sit i' the view, salute all my acquaintance,
Rise up between the Acts, let fall my Cloak,
Publish a handsome Man, and a rich Suit
(As that's a special end, why we go thither,
All that pretend to stand for't o' the Stage)
The Ladies ask, who's that? (For they do come
To see us, Love, as we do to see them)
Now I shall lose all this, for the false fear
Of being laught at? Yes, wusse. Let 'em laugh, Wife,
Let me have such another Cloak to morrow
And let 'em laugh again, Wife, and again,
And then grow fat with laughing, and then fatter:
All my young Gallants, let 'em bring their Friends too:
Shall I forbid 'em? No, let Heaven forbid 'em:
Or Wit, if't have any charge on 'em. Come, thy Ear, Wife,
Is all, I'll borrow of thee. Set your Watch, Sir;
Thou    




           The Devil is an Ass. 463


Thou only art to hear, not speak a word, Dove,
To ought he says. That I do gi' you in precept,
No less than Council,Counsel on your Wive-hood, Wife,
Not though he flatter you, or make Court, or Love,
(As you must look for these) or say, he rail;
VVhat e're his Arts be, VVife, I will have thee
Delude 'em with a trick, thy obstinate silence;
I know advantages; and I love to hit
These pragmatick young men at their own weapons.
Is your VVatch ready? Here my Sail bears for you:
Tack toward him, sweet Pinnace, where's your VVatch?
[He disposes his VVife to his place,

and sets his VVatch.

   VVit. I'll set it, Sir, with yours.
   Mrs. Fit. I must obey.
   Man. Her Modesty seems to suffer with her Beauty,
And so as if his Folly were away,
It were worth pity.
   Fit. Now th' art right, begin, Sir.
But first, let me repeat the Contract briefly.
[He repeats his Contract again.

I am, Sir, to enjoy this Cloak I stand in,
Freely, and as your Gift; upon condition
You may as freely speak here to my Spouse,
Your quarter of an hour, always keeping
The measur'd distance of your yard, or more,
From my said Spouse: and in my sight and hearing.
This is your Covenant?   VVit. Yes, but you'll allow
For this time spent now?   Fit. Set 'em so much back.
   VVit. I think I shall not need it.
   Fit. VVell, begin, Sir,
There is your bound, Sir. Not beyond that Rush.
   VVit. If you interrupt me, Sir, I shall discloak you.
[VVittipol begins.

The time I have purchast, Lady, is but short;
And therefore if I imploy it thriftily,
I hope I stand the nearer to my pardon.
I am not here to tell you, you are fair,
Or lovely, or how well you dress you, Lady;
I'll save my self that Eloquence of your Glass,
Which can speak these things better to you than I.
And 'tis a Knowledge wherein Fools may be
As wise as a Court-Parliament. Nor come I
With any prejudice or doubt, that you
Should, to the notice of your own worth, need
Least Revelation. She's a simple Woman,
Knows not her good: (whoever knows her ill)
And at all characts. That you are the Wife
To so much blasted Flesh as scarce hath soul,
Instead of salt, to keep it sweet: I think,
Will ask no Witnesses to prove. The cold
Sheets that you lie in, with the watching Candle,
That sees, how dull to any thaw of Beauty,
Pieces and quarters, half and whole nights sometimes,
The Devil-given Elfine Squire, your Husband,
Doth leave you, quitting here his proper Circle,
For a much worse, i' the Walks of Lincolns-Inn,
Under the Elms, t' expect the Fiend in vain, there
VVill confess for you.   Fit. I did look for this Geer.
   VVit. And what a Daughter of Darkness he does
            make you,
Lock'd up from all Society, or Object;
Your Eye not let to look upon a Face,
Under a Conjurers (or some Mould for one,
Hollow and lean, like his) but by great means,
As I now make; your own too sensible sufferings,
VVithout the extraordinary aids
Of Spells, or Spirits, may assure you, Lady.
For my part, I protest 'gainst all such practice,
I work by no false Arts, Medicines, or Charms,
To be said forward and backward.
   Fit. No, I except.
   VVit. Sir, I shall ease you.   Fit. Mum.
[He offers to discloak him.


[column break]

   VVit. Nor have I Ends, Lady,
Upon you, more than this: to tell you how Love,
Beauties good Angel, he that waits upon her
At all occasions, and no less than Fortune,
Helps th' adventrous, in me makes that profer,
VVhich never fair one was so fond to lose,
VVho could but reach a hand forth to her freedom.
On the first sight I lov'd you: since which time,
Tho I have travell'd, I have been in travelalternate spelling of 'travail'
More for this second blessing of your Eyes,
VVhich now I have purchas'd, than for all aims else.
Think of it, Lady, be your Mind as active
As is your Beauty: view your Object well.
Examine both my fashion and my years;
Things that are like, are soon familiar:
And Nature joys still in Equality.
Let not the sign o' the Husband fright you, Lady:
But e're your Spring be gone, enjoy it. Flowers,
Tho fair, are oft but of one Morning. Think,
All Beauty doth not last until the Autumn.
You grow old while I tell you this. And such
As cannot use the present, are not wise.
If Love and Fortune will take care of us,
VVhy should our will be wanting? This is all.
[She stands mute.
VVhat do you answer, Lady?
   Fit. Now the sport comes.
Let him still wait, wait, wait: while the watch goes,
And the time runs, wife!
   VVit. How! not any word?
Nay, then I taste a Trick in't. VVorthy Lady,
I cannot be so false to mine own thoughts
Of your presumed Goodness to conceive
This, as your Rudeness, which I see's impos'd.
Yet, since your cautelous Jaylor here stands by you,
And yo' are deny'd the Liberty o' the House,
Let me take warrant, Lady, from your silence,
(VVhich ever is interpreted Consent)
To make your answer for you: which shall be
To as good purpose as I can imagine,
And what I think you'ld speak.
   Fit. No, no, no, no.
   VVit. I shall resume, Sir.
   Man. Sir, what do you mean?
[He sets Mr. Manly, his Friend, in her place.

   VVit. One interruption more, Sir, and you go
Into your Hose and Doublet, nothing saves you.
And therefore hearken. This is for your VVife.
[And speaks for her.
   Man. You must play fair, Sir.
   VVit. Stand for me, good Friend.
Troth, Sir, 'tis more than true that you have utt'red
Of my unequal and so sordid Match here,
VVith all the Circumstances of my Bondage.
I have a Husband, and a two-legg'd one,
But such a Moonling, as no wit of Man
Or Roses can redeem from being an Ass.
H' is grown too much the story of Mens Mouthes,
To scape his lading: Should I make't my study,
And lay all ways, yea, call Mankind to help
To take his burden off; why, this one act
Of his, to let his VVife out to be courted,
And at a price, proclaims his Asinine Nature
So loud, as I am weary of my Title to him.
But, Sir, you seem a Gentleman of Vertue,
No less than Blood; and one that every way
Looks as he were of too good Quality,
To intrap a credulous VVoman, or betray her:
Since you have paid thus dear, Sir, for a Visit,
And made such venture on your VVit and Charge
Meerly to see me, or at most, to speak to me,
I were too stupid; or (what's worse) ingrate
Not to return your venture. Think but how
I may with safety do it, I shall trust
My Love and Honour to you, and presume,

You'll




464 The Devil is an Ass.               


You'll ever husband both, against this Husband;
Who, if we chance to change his liberal Ears,
To other Ensigns, and with labour make
A new Beast of him, as he shall deserve,
Cannot complain, he is unkindly dealt with.
This day he is to go to a new Play, Sir,
From whence no Fear, no, nor Authority,
Scarcely the Kings Command, Sir, will restrain him,
Now you have fitted him with a Stage-garment,
For the meer names sake, were there no things else;
And many more such Journeys he will make.
Which, if they now, or any time hereafter,
Offer us opportunity, you hear, Sir,
Who'll be as glad, and forward to embrace,
Meet, and enjoy it chearfully as you.
I humbly thank you, Lady.
   Fit. Keep your ground, Sir.
   Wit. Will you be lightned?
   Fit. Mum.   VVit. And but I am,
By the sad Contract, thus to take my leave of you
At this so envious distance, I had taught
Our Lips e're this, to seal the happy mixture
Made of our Souls. But we must both now yield
To the necessity. Do not think yet, Lady,
But I can kiss, and touch, and laugh, and whisper,
And do those Crowning Courtships too, for which
Day, and the Publick, have allow'd no Name;
But now my Bargain binds me. 'Twere rude Injury
T' importune more, or urge a Noble Nature,
To what of its own Bounty it is prone to:
Else I should speak —— But, Lady, I love so well,
As I will hope you'll do so too. I have done, Sir.
   Fit. Well, then, I ha' won?
   VVit. Sir, and I may win too.
   Fit. O yes! no doubt on't. I'll take careful Order,
That she shall hang forth Ensigns at the Window,
To tell you when I am absent. Or I'll keep
Three or Four Foot-men, ready still of purpose,
To run and fetch you at her Longings, Sir.
I'll go bespeak me straight a gilt Caroch,
For her and you to take the Air in: yes,
Into Hide-Park, and thence into Black-Fryers,
Visit the Painters, where you may see Pictures,
And note the properest Limbs, and how to make 'em.
Or what do you say unto a midling Gossip?
To bring you aye together, at her lodging?
Under pretext of teaching o' my Wife
Some rare Receipt of drawing Almond Milk? ha?
It shall be a part of my care. Good Sir, God b' w' you.
I ha' kept the Contract, and the Cloak is mine own.
   VVit. Why, much good do't you Sir; it may fall out,
That you ha' bought it dear, though I ha' not sold it.
   Fit. A pretty Riddle! Fare you well, good Sir.
Wife, your Face this way, look on me, and think
Ya' have had a wicked Dream, Wife, and forget it.
[He turns his Wife about.

   Man. This is the strangest Motion I e're saw.
   Fit. Now, Wife, sits this fair Cloak the worse upon me
For my great sufferings, or your little patience? ha?
They laugh, you think?
   Mrs. Fit. Why, Sir, and you might see't.
What thought they have of you, may be soon collected
By the Young Gentleman's Speech.
   Fit. Young Gentleman?
Death! you are in love with him, are you? Could he not
Be nam'd the Gentleman, without the Young?
Up to your Cabbin again.
   Mrs. Fit. My Cage, yo' were best
To call it?   Fit. Yes, sing there. You'ld fain be making
Blanck Manger with him at your Mothers! I know you.
Go, get you up. How now! what say you, Devil?

[column break]

Act I.    Scene VII.

Pug, Fitz-Dottrel, Ingine.

H
Ere is one Ingine, Sir, desires to speak with you.
   Fit. I thought he brought some news of a Bro-
           ker! Well,
Let him come in, good Devil; fetch him else.
O, my fine Ingine! what's th' affair? More Cheats?
   Ing. No, Sir, the Wit, the Brain, the great Projector,
I told you of, is newly come to Town.
   Fit. Where, Ingine?
   Ing. I ha' brought him (H' is without)
E're he pull'd off his Boots, Sir, but so follow'd,
For businesses.   Fit. But what is a Projector?
I would conceive.   Ing. Why, one, Sir, that projects
Ways to enrich Men, or to make 'em great,
By Suits, by Marriages, by Undertakings:
According as he sees they humour it.
   Fit. Can he not conjure at all?
   Ing. I think he can, Sir,
(To tell you true.) But you do know, of late,
The State hath tane such note of 'em, and compell'd 'em
To enter such great Bonds, they dare not practice.
   Fit. 'Tis true, and I lie fallow for't the while!
   Ing. O, Sir! you'll grow the richer for the rest.
   Fit. I hope I shall: but, Ingine, you do talk
Somewhat too much o' my Courses. My Cloak-Cu-
            stomer
Could tell me strange particulars.
   Ing. By my means?
   Fit. How should he have 'em else?
   Ing. You do not know, Sir,
What he has: and by what Arts! A money'd Man, Sir,
And is as great with your Almanack-Men as you are!
   Fit. That Gallant?
   Ing. You make the other wait too long here:
And he is extream punctual.   Fit. Is he Gallant?
   Ing. Sir, you shall see: He' is in his Riding Suit,
As he comes now from Court. But hear him speak:
Minister Matter to him, and then tell me.



Act II.    Scene I.

Meer-craft, Fitz-dottrel, Ingine, Trains, Pug.

S
I R, Money's a Whore, a Bawd, a Drudge;
 Fit to run out on Errands: Let her go.
Via Pecunia! when she's run and gone,
And fled, and dead; then will I fetch her again
With Aqua-Vitζ, out of an Old Hogs-head!
While there are Lees of Wine, or Dregs of Beer,
I'll never want her! Coyn her out of Cobwebs,
Dust, but I'll have her! Raise Wooll upon Egg-shells,
Sir, and make Grass grow out o' Marrow-bones,
To make her come. (Commend me to your Mistris.
[To a Waiter.

Say, let the Thousand Pound but be had ready,
And it is done) I would but see the Creature
(Of Flesh and Blood) the Man, the Prince indeed,
That could imploy so many Millions
As I would help him to.   Fit. How talks he? Millions?
   Mer. (I'll give you an account of this to morrow.)
[To another.
Yes, I will talk no less, and do it too;
If they were Myriades: and without the Devil,
By direct means, it shall be good in Law.   Ing. Sir.
   Mer. Tell Mr. Woodcock, I'll not fail to meet him
Upon th' Exchange at night. Pray him to have
The Writings there, and we'll dispatch it: Sir,
You are a Gentleman of a good Presence,
A handsom Man, (I have considered you)
As a fit Stock to graft Honours upon:
I have




           The Devil is an Ass. 465


I have a Project to make you a Duke now.
That you must be one, within so many Months,
As I set down, out of true Reason of State,
You sha' not avoid it. But you must harken then.
   Ing. Harken? why Sir, do you doubt his Ears? Alas!
You do not know Master Fitz-dottrel.
   Fit. He do's not know me indeed. I thank you, Ingine,
For rectifying him.   Mer. Good! Why, Ingine, then
I'll tell it you. (I see you ha' Credit, here,
And, that you can keep counsel, I'll not question.)
He shall but be an undertaker with me,
In a most feasible Business. It shall cost him
Nothing.   Ing. Good, Sir.
   Mer. Except he please, but's Countenance;
(That I will have) t'appear in't, to great Men,
For which I'll make him one. He shall not draw
A String of's Purse. I'll drive his Pattent for him.
We'll take in Citizens, Commoners, and Aldermen,
To bear the charge, and blow 'em off again,
Like so many dead Flyes, when 'tis carried.
The thing is for recovery of drown'd Land,
Whereof the Crown's to have a Moiety,
If it be Owner; Else the Crown and Owners
To share that Moiety, and the Recoverers
T'enjoy the t'other Moiety for their charge.
   Ing. Throughout England?   Mer. Yes, which will arise
To Eighteen Millions, Seven the first year:
I have computed all, and made my Survey
Unto my Acre: I'll begin at the Pan,
Not at the Skirts; as some ha' done, and lost
All that they wrought, their Timber-work, their Trench,
Their Banks, all born away, or else fill'd up
By the next Winter. Tut, they never went
The way: I'll have it all.   Ing. A Gallant Tract
Of Land it is!   Mer. 'Twill yield a Pound an Acre.
We must let cheap, ever at first. But Sir,
This looks too large for you, I see. Come hither,
We'll have a less. Here's a plain Fellow, you see him,
Has his black Bag of Papers there, in Buckram,
Wi' not be sold for th' Earldom of Pancridge: Draw,
Gi' me out one by chance. Project; four Dogs Skins?
Twelve thousand Pound! the very worst at first.
   Fit. Pray you let's see't, Sir.   Mer. 'Tis a Toy, a Trifle!
   Fit. Trifle! Twelve thousand Pound for Dogs Skins?
   Merperiod omitted Yes, but, by my way of dressing, you must
        know, Sir,
And med'cining the Leather, to a height
Of improv'd Ware, like your Borachio
Of Spain, Sir, I can fetch Nine thousand for't —
   Ing. Of the Kings Glover?
   Mer. Yes, how heard you that?
   Ing. Sir, I do know you can.
   Mer. Within this Hour:
And reserve half my Secret. Pluck another;
See if thou hast a happier Hand: I thought so.
[He plucks out the 2. Bottle-ale.

The very next worse to it! Bottle-ale.
Yet, this is Two and twenty thousand?Missing text:
......... Pry'thee,
Pull out another, two or three.
   Fit. Good, stay friend,
By bottle-ale two and twenty thousand pound?
   Mer. Yes, Sir, it's cast to Penny-hal'penny-farthing.
O' the back-side, there you may see it, read,
I will not bate a Harrington o' the Sum.
I'll win it i' my Water, and my Malt,
My Furnaces, and hanging o' my Coppers,
The tonning, and the subtility o' my Yest;
And, then the Earth of my Bottles, which I dig,
Turn up, and steep, and work, and neal, my self,
To a degree of Porc'lane. You will wonder,
At my Proportions, what I will put up
In Seven years! for so long time I ask
For my Invention. I will save in Cork,
In my mere stop'ling, 'bove Three thousand Pound
Within that Term: by googing of 'em out
Just to the size of my Bottles, and not slicing.
There's infinite loss i' that. What hast thou there?

[column break]

O' making Wine of Raisins: this is in hand now,
[He draws out another. Raisins.

   Ing. Is not that strange, Sir, to make Wine of Raisins?
   Mer. Yes, and as true a Wine as th' Wines of France,
Or Spain, or Italy: Look of what Grape
My Raisin is, that Wine I'll render perfect,
As of the Muscatell Grape, I'll render Muscatell;
Of the Canary his; the Claret his;
So of all kinds: and bate you of the Prices
Of Wine throughout the Kingdom half in half.
   Ing. But, how, Sir, if you raise the other Commodity,
Raisins?   Mer. Why, then I'll make it out of Black-berries:
And it shall do the same. 'Tis but more Art,
And the Charge less. Take out another.   Fit. No, good Sir,
Save you the trouble. I'll not look, nor hear
Of any, but your first, there: the Drown'd-land:
If't will do, as you say.   Mer. Sir, there's not Place
To gi' you demonstration of these things,
They are a little to subtile. But, I could shew you
Such a necessity in't, as you must be,
But what you please: against the receiv'd Heresie,
That England bears no Dukes. Keep you the Land, Sir,
The greatness of th' Estate shall throw't upon you.
If you like better turning it to Money,
VVhat may not you, Sir, purchase with that wealth?
Say you should part with two o' your Millions,
To be the thing you would, who would not do't?
As I protest, I will, out of my Divident,
Lay, for some petty'pretty' in 1640 folio Principality,
In Italy, from the Church: Now, you perhaps,
Fancy the Smoak of England, rather? But —
Ha' you no private Room, Sir, to draw to,
T' enlarge our selves more upon?   Fit. O yes, Divel!
   Mer. These, Sir, are Businesses, ask to be carried
With caution, and in Cloud.   Fit. I apprehend,
They do so, Sir. Divel, which way is your Mistris?
   Pug. Above, Sir, in her Chamber.   Fit. O that's well.
Then, this way, good Sir.
   Mer. I shall follow you; Trains,
Gi' me the Bag, and go you presently,
Commend my Service to my Lady Tailbush.
Tell her I am come from Court this Morning; say,
I have got our business mov'd, and well: Intreat her,
That she give you the Four-score Angels, and see 'em
Dispos'd of to my Council,Counsel Sir Poul Eitherside.
Sometime, to day, I'll wait upon her Ladiship,
With the Relation.   Ing. Sir, of what dispatch,
He is! Do you mark?   Mer. Ingine, when did you see
My Cousin Ever-ill?keeps he still your Quarter
I' the Bermudas?   Ing. Yes, Sir, he was writing
This morning, very hard.   Mer. Be not you known to
      him,
That I am come to Town: I have effected
A Business for him, but I would have it take him,
Before he thinks for't.   Ing. Is it past?   Mer. Not yet.
'Tis well o' the way.   Ing. O Sir! your Worship takes
Infinite pains.   Mer. I love Friends, to be active:
A sluggish Nature puts off Man, and kind.
   Ing. And such a Blessing follows it.   Mer. I thank
My Fate. Pray you let's be private, Sir.   Fit. In, here.
   Mer. Where none may interrupt us.
   Fit. You hear, Divel,
Lock the Street-doors fast, and let no one in
(Except they be this Gentlemans Followers)
To trouble me. Do you mark? Yo' have heard and seen
Something to day; and, by it, you may gather
Your Mistris is a Fruit, that's worth the stealing,
And therefore worth the watching. Be you sure, now,
Yo' have all your Eyes about you; and let in
No Lace-woman; nor Bawd, that brings French-Masks,
And Cut-works. See you? Nor old Croans, with
      Wafers,
To convey Letters. Nor no youths, disguis'd
Like Country-wives, with Cream, and Marrow-puddings.
O o o                             Much   




466 The Devil is an Ass.               


Much Knavery may be vented in a Pudding,
Much bawdy Intelligence: They' are shrewd Siphers.
Nor turn the Key to any Neighbours need;
Be't but to kindle Fire, or beg a little,
Put it out, rather: all out, to an Ash,
That they may see no Smoak. Or Water, spill it;
Knock o' the empty Tubs, that by the sound
They may be forbid entry. Say, we are robb'd,
If any come to borrow a Spoon, or so.
I wi' not have good Fortune, or Gods Blessing
Let in, while I am busie.   Pug. I'll take care, Sir.
They sha' not trouble you if they would.
   Fit. Well, do so.

Act II.    Scene II.

Pug, Mistris Fitz-dootrell.

I
 Have no singular Service of this now?
 Nor no superlative Master? I shall wish
To be in Hell again at leisure? Bring
A Vice from thence? That had been such a subtilty,
As to bring Broad-clothes hither; or transport
Fresh Oranges into Spain. I find it now;
My Chief was i' the right. Can any Fiend
Boast of a better Vice, then here by Nature
And Art th' are owners of? Hell ne'er own me,
But I am taken! the fine Tract of it
Pulls me along! To hear Men such Professors
Grown in our subtlest Sciences! My first Act, now,
Shall be, to make this Master of mine Cuckold:
The Primitive work of darkness, I will Practise!
I will deserve so well of my fair Mistris
By my Discoveries first; my Counsels after;
And keeping counsel, after that: as who,
So ever is one, I'll be another sure,
I'll ha' my share. Most delicate damn'd Flesh!
She will be! O! that I could stay time, now,
Midnight will come too fast upon me, I fear,
To cut my Pleasure — Mrs. Fit. Look at the Back-door,
[She sends Devil out.

One knocks, see who it is.   Pug. Dainty She-Devil!
   Mrs. Fit. I cannot get this venture of the Cloke,
Out of my fancy; nor the Gentlemans way
He took, which though 'twere strange, yet 'twas handsom,
And had a Grace withal, beyond the newness.
Sure he will think me that dull stupid Creature,
He said, and my conclude it; if I find not
Some thought to thank th' attempt. He did presume,
By all the Carriage of it, on my Brain,
For answer; and will swear 'tis very Barren,
If it can yield him no return. Who is it?
[Devil returns.

   Pug. Mistris, it is, but first, let me assure
The Excellence of Mistresses, I am,
Although my Masters Man, my Mistris Slave,
The Servant of her Secrets, and sweet Turns,
And know, what fitly will conduce to either.
   Mrs. Fit. What's this? I pray you come to your self,
      and think
What your part is; to make an answer. Tell,
Who is at the Door?   Pug. The Gentleman, Mistris,
Who was at the Cloak-charge to speak with you,
This Morning, who expects only to take
Some small Command'ments from you, what you please,
Worthy your Form, he says, and gentlest Manners.
   Mrs. Fit. O! you'll anon prove his hir'd man, I fear,
What has he giv'n you, for this Message? Sir,
Bid him put off his hopes of Straw, and leave
To spread his Nets, in view, thus. Though they take
Master Fitz dotterel, I am no such foul
Nor fair one, tell him, will be had with stalking;
And wish him to forbear his acting to me,
At the Gentlemans Chamber-window in Lincolns-Inn there,

[column break]

That opens to my Gallery; else I swear
T' acquaint my Husband with his Folly, and leave him           
To the just rage of his offended Jealousie.
Or if your Masters Sense be not so quick
To right me, tell him, I shall find a Friend
That will repair me. Say, I will be quiet.
In mine own House? Pray you, in those words give it him.
   Pug. This is some Fool turn'd!
[He goes out.
   Mrs. Fit. If he be the Master,
Now, of that State and Wit which I allow him;
Sure, he will understand me: I durst not
Be more direct; For this officious Fellow,
My Husbands new Groom, is a Spy upon me,
I find already. Yet, if he but tell him
This in my words, he cannot but conceive
Himself both apprehended and requited.
I would not have him think he met a Statue;
Or spoke to one, not there, though I were silent.
How now? ha' you told him?   Pug. Yes.
   Mrs. Fit. And what says he?
   Pug. Says he? That which my self would say to you,
      if I durst.
That you are proud, sweet Mistriss? and withal,
A little Ignorant, to entertain
The Good that's proffer'd; and (by your Beauties leave)
Not all so wise, as some true Politick Wife
Would be; who having match'd with such a Nupson
(I speak it with my Masters Peace) whose Face
Hath left t'accuse him, now, for't doth confess him,
What you can make him; will yet (out of Scruple,
And a spic'd Conscience) defraud the poor Gentleman,
At least delay him in the thing he longs for,
And makes it his whole Study, how to compass
Only a Title. Could but he write Cuckold,
He had his ends. For, look you — Mrs. Fit. This can be
None but my Husbands Wit.   Pug. My pretious Mistris.
   Mrs. Fit. It creaks his Ingine: The Groom never durst
Be else so sawcy — Pug. If it were not clearly,
His worshipful Ambition; and the top of it;
The very forked top too: why should he
Keep you thus mur'd up in a back Room, Mistris,
Allow you ne'er a Casement to the Street,
Fear of engendering by the Eyes, with Gallants,
Forbid you Paper, Pen and Ink, like Rats-bane,
Search your half Pint of Muscatel, lest a Letter
Be sunck i' the Pot: and hold your new-laid Egg
Against the Fire, lest any charm be writ there?
Will you make benefit of Truth, dear Mistris,
If I do tell it you: I do't not often:
I am set over you, imploy'd indeed
To watch your Steps, your Looks, your very Breathings,
And to report them to him. Now, if you
Will be a true, right delicate sweet Mistris,
Why, we will make a Cokes of this Wise Master,
We will, my Mistris, an absolute fine Cokes,
And mock, to air, all the deep Diligences
Of such a solemn and effectual Ass,
An Ass to so good purpose as we'll use him.
I will contrive it so, that you shall go
To Plays, to Masks, to Meetings, and to Feasts.
For, why is all this Rigging, and fine Tackle, Mistris,
If you neat handsom Vessels, of good sail,
Put not forth ever and anon with your Nets
Abroad into the World. It is your fishing.
There, you shall choose your Friends, your Servants, Lady,
Your Squires of Honour; I'll convey your Letters,
Fetch Answers, do you all the Offices
That can belong to your Blood and Beauty. And,
For the variety at my times, although
I am not in due Symmetry, the Man
Of that Proportion; or in Rule
Of Physick, of the just Complexion;
Or of that Truth of Picardill, in Clothes,
To boast a Soveraignty o're Ladies: yet
I  




           The Devil is an Ass. 467


I know, to do my turns, sweet Mistris. Come, kiss —
   Mrs. Fit. How now!
   Pug. Dear delicate Mistris, I am your Slave,
Your little Worm, that loves you: your fine Monkey;
Your Dog, your Jack, your Pug, that longs to be
Stil'd o' your Pleasures.
   Mrs. Fit. Hear you all this? Sir, pray you,
Come from your standing, do, a little, spare
[She thinks her Husband watches.

Your self, Sir, from your watch, t' applaud your Squire,
That so well follows your Intructions!

Act II.    Scene III.

Fitz-dotterel, Mistris Fitz-dotterel, Pug.

H
Ow now, sweet Heart? what's the matter.
   Mrs. Fit. Good!
You are a stranger to the Plot! you set not
Your sawcy Devil, here to tempt your Wife,
With all the insolent uncivil Language,
Or Action, he could vent?   Fit. Did you so, Devil?
   Mrs. Fit. Not you? you were not planted i' your
      Hole to hear him,
Upo' the Stairs? or here, behind the Hangings?
I do not know your Qualities? he durst do it,
And you not give Directions?   Fit. You shall see Wife,
Whether he durst or no; and what it was I did direct.
[Her Husband goes out, and enters presently
        with a Cudgel upon him.


   Pug. Sweet Mistris, are you mad?
   Fit. You most meer Rogue! you open manifest Villain!
You Fiend apparent you! you declar'd Helhound!
   Pug. Good Sir.   Fit. Good Knave, good Rascal, and
      good Traitor.
Now, I do find you parcel Devil indeed.
Upo' the Point of Trust? I' your first Charge?
The very day o' your Probation?
To tempt your Mistris? Yo do see, good Wedlock,
How I directed him.   Mrs. Fit. Why, where Sir, were you?
   Fit. Nay, there is one blow more for Exercise:
[After a pause, he strikes him again.

I told you, I should do it.   Pug. Would you had done, Sir.
   Fit. O Wife, the rarest man! yet there's another
To put you in mind o' the last, such a brave man, Wife!
Within, he has his Projects, and does vent 'em,
[and again.

The gallantest! wherewere you tentiginous? ha?
Would you be acting of the Incubus?
Did her Silks rustling move you?   Pug. Gentle Sir.
   Fit. Out of my sight. If thy Name were not Devil,
Thou should'st not stay a Minute with me. In,
Go, yet stay: yet go too. I am resolv'd
What I will do: and you shall know't afore-hand.
Soon as the Gentleman is gone, do you hear?
I'll help your lisping. Wife, such a Man Wife!
[Devil goes out.

He has such Plots! He will make me a Duke!
No less by Heaven! Six Mares to your Coach, VVife!
That's your Proportion! And your Coach-man bald,
Because he shall be bare enough. Do not you laugh,
VVe are a looking for a Place, and all i' the Map
VVhat to be of. Have faith, be not an Infidel.
You know I am not easie to be gull'd.
I swear, when I have my Millions, else I'll make
Another Dutchess; if you ha' not Faith.
   Mrs. Fit. You'll ha' too much, I fear, in these false Spirits,comma should be replaced with a period
   Fit. Spirits? O, no such thing! VVife! wit, meer wit!
This Man defies the Devil and all his VVorks!
He dos't by Ingine, and devises, he!
He has his winged Ploughs, that go with Sails,
VVill plough you Forty Acres, at once! and Mills
VVill spout you Water ten miles off! All Crowland
Is ours VVife; and the Fens, from us, in Norfolk,

[column break]

To the utmost bounds of Lincoln-shire! we have view'd it,
And measur'd it within all; by the Scale!
The richest Tract of Land, Love, i' the Kingdom!
There will be made Seventeen or eighteen Millions;
Or more, as't may be handled! wherefore think,
Sweet heart, if th' hast a fancy to one Place
More than another, to be Dutchess of;
Now, name it: I will ha't what ere it cost,
(If't will be had for Money) either here,
Or'in France, or Italy.   Mrs. Fit. You ha' strange Phantasies!

Act II.    Scene IV.

Merecraft, Fitz-dottrell, Ingine.

W
Here are you, Sir?   Fit. I see thou hast no Talent
 This way, VVife. Up to thy Gallery; do Chuck,
Leave us to talk of it, who understand it.
   Mer. I think we ha' found a Place to fit you, now, Sir.
Glocester.   Fit. O, no, I'll none!
   Mer. VVhy, Sir?   Fit. 'Tis fatal.
   Mer. That you say right in. Spenser, I think the younger.period should be replaced with a comma
Had his last Honour thence. But, he was but Earl.
   Fit. I know not that, Sir. But Thomas of Woodstock,
I'm sure, was Duke, and he was made away
At Calice, as Duke Humphery was at Bury:
And Richard the Third, you know what end he came too.
   Mer. By m' faith you are cunning i' the Chronicle, Sir.
   Fit. No, I confess I ha't from the Play books,
And think they'are more Authentick.
   Ing. That's sure, Sir.
   Mer. VVhat say you (to this then)question mark omitted
[He whispers him of a Place.
   Fit. No, a noble House.period should be omitted
Pretends to that. I will do no Man wrong.
   Mer. Then take one Proposition more, and hear it
As past exception.   Fit. What's that?   Mer. To be
Duke of those Lands, you shall recover: take
Your Title thence, Sir, Duke of the Drown'd Lands,
Or Drown'd-land.   Fit. Ha? that last has a good sound!
I like it well. The Duke of Drown'd-land?   Ing. Yes;
It goes like Groen-land, Sir, if you mark it.   Mer. I,
And drawing thus your honour from the work,
You make the Reputation of that, greater;
And stay't the longer i' your Name.   Fit. 'Tis true.
Drown'd-lands will live in Drown'd-land!
   Mer. Yes, when you
Ha' no foot left; as that must be, Sir, one day.
And, though it tarry in your Heirs, some Forty,
Fifty
Descents, the longer liver, at last, y et,yet
Must thrust 'em out on't: if no Quirk in Law,
Or odd Vice o' their own not do it first.
We see those changes, daily: the fair Lands,
That were the Clyents, are the Lawyers, now:
And those rich Mannors, there, of Good-man Taylors,
Had once more Wood upon 'em, then the Yard,
By which th' were measur'd out for the last Purchase.
Nature hath these vicissitudes. She makes
No man a state of Perpetuety, Sir.
   Fit. Yo' are i' the right. Let's in then, and conclude.
[He spies Devil.

II' my sight, again? I'll talk with you anon.

Act II.    Scene V.

Pug.

S
ure he will geld me if I stay: or worse,
 Pluck out my Tongue, one o' the two. This Fool,
There is no trusting of him: and to quit him,
Were a contempt against my Chief, past pardon.
It was a shrewd disheartning this, at first!
Who would ha' thought a Woman so well harness'd,
Or rather well-caparison'd, indeed,

O o o 2                             That               




468 The Devil is an Ass.               


That wears such Petticoats, and Lace to her Smocks,
Broad Seaming Laces (as I see 'em hang there)
And Garters which are lost, if she can shew 'em,
Could ha' done this? Hell! why is she so brave?
It cannot be to please Duke Dotterel, sure,
Nor the dull Pictures in her Gallery,
Yet that may be: I have known many of 'em
Begin their Pleasure, but none end it there:
(That I consider, as I go along with it)
They may, for want of better Company,
Or that they think the better, spend an hour;
Two, three, or four, discoursing with their Shaddow:
But sure they have a farther Speculation.
No Woman drest with so much care, and study,
Doth dress her self in vain. I'll vex this Problem,
A little more, before I leave it sure.

Act II.    Scene VI.

Wittipol, Manly, Mistris Fitz-dottrel, Pug.

T
His was a Fortune, happy above Thought,
 That this should prove thy Chamber; which I fear'd
Would be my greatest trouble! this must be
The very Window, and that the Room.   Man. It is.
I now remember, I have often seen there
A Woman, but I never mark'd her much.
   Wit. Where was your soul, Friend?
   Man. Faith, but now and then,
Awake unto those Objects.   Wit. You pretend so.
Let me not live, if I am not in love
More with her wit, for this direction now,
Then with her Form, though I ha' prais'd that prettily,
Since I saw her and you to day. Read those.
[He gives him a Paper, wherein is the Copy of
        a Song.


They'll go unto the Air you love so well.
Try 'em unto the Note, may be the Musick
Will call her sooner; light, she's here! Sing quickly.
   Mrs. Fit. Either he understood him not: or else,
The Fellow was not faithful in delivery
Of what I bad. And, I am justly pay'd,
That might have made my Profit of his Service,
But by mistaking, have drawn on his Envy,
And done the worse defeat upon my self.
[Manly sings, Pug enters perceives it.

How! Musick? then he may be there: and is sure.
   Pug. O! Is it so? Is there the Enter-view?
Have I drawn to you, at last, my cunning Lady?
The Devil is an Ass! fool'd off! and beaten!
Nay, made an Instrument! and could not sentscent it!
Well, since yo' have shewn the malice of a VVoman,
No less then her true VVit and Learning, Mistris,
I'll try, if little Pug have the malignity
To recompence it, and so save his danger.
'Tis not the Pain, but the Discredit of it,
The Devil should not keep a Body intire.
   Wit. Away, fall back, she comes.
   Man. I'll leave you, Sir,
The Master of my Chamber. I have business.
   Wit. Mistris!   Mrs. Fit. You make me Paint, Sir.
   Wit. The' are fair Colours Lady, and natural! I did receive
Some Commands from you, lately, gentle Lady,
[This Scene is acted at two Windows, as out of
        two contiguous Buildings.


But so perplex'd, and wrap'd in the Delivery,
As I may fear to have mis-interpreted:
But must make suit still, to be neer your Grace.
   Mrs. Fit. Who is there with you, Sir?
   Wit. None but my self.
It falls out, Lady, to be a dear Friends Lodging.
Wherein there's some Conspiracy of Fortune
With your poor Servants blest Affections.

[column break]

   Mrs. Fit. Who was it sung?
   Wit. He, Lady, but he's gone,
Upon my Entreaty of him, seeing you
Approach the Window. Neither need you doubt him,
If he were here. He is too much a Gentleman.
   Mrs. Fit. Sir, if you judge me by this simple Action,
And by the outward Habit, and Complexion
Of easiness, it hath, to your design;
You may with Justice, say, I am a Woman:
And a strange Woman. But when you shall please,
To bring but that concurrence of my Fortune
To Memory, which to day your self did urge:
It may beget some favour like excuse,
Though none like Reason.   Wit. No, my tune-full Mistris?
Then, surely, Love hath none; nor Beauty any;
Nor Nature violenced in both these:
With all whose gentle Tongues you speak, at once.
I thought I had enough remov'd already
That Scruple from your Breast, and left yo' all Reason;
When through my Mornings Perspective I shew'd you
A Man so above Excuse, as he is the Cause,
Why any thing is to be done upon him;
And nothing call'd an Injury mis-plac'd.
I' rather, now had hope, to shew you how Love
By his Accesses grows more Natural:
And, what was done this Morning with such force,
Was but devis'd to serve the present, then.
That since Love hath the Honour to approach
[He grows more familiar in his Courtship.

These Sister-swelling Breasts; and touch this soft
And rosie Hand; he hath the skill to draw
Their Nectar forth, with kissing; and could make
More wanton 'salts, from this brave Promontory,
Down to this Valley, then the nimble Roe;
[Plays with her Paps, kisseth her hands, &c.

Could play the hopping Sparrow 'bout these Nets;
And sporting Squirel in these crisped Groves;
Bury himself in every Silk-worms Kell,
Is here unravell'd; run into the Snare,
Which every Hair is, cast into a Curl,
To catch a Cupid flying: Bathe himself
In Milk and Roses here, and dry him there;
Warm his cold Hands, to play with this smooth, round,
And well torn'dturn'd Chin, as with the Billyard-ball;
Rowl on these Lips, the Banks of Love, and there
At once both plant and gather Kisses. Lady,
Shall I, with what I have made to day here, call
All Sense to Wonder, and all Faith to sign
The Mysteries revealed in your Form?
And will Love pardon me the Blasphemy
I utter'd, when I said, a Glass could speak
This Beauty, or that Fools had Power to judge it?

Do but look on her Eyes! They do light ——
     All that
Love's World comprizeth!
Do but look on her Hair! it is bright,
     As
Love's Star, when it riseth!
Do but mark, her Fore-head's smoother,
     Then words that sooth her!
And from her arched Brows, such a Grace
     Sheds it self through the Face;
As alone, there Triumphs to the Life,
     All the Gain, all the Good, of the Elements strife!

Have you seen but a bright Lilly grow,
     Before rude hands have touch'd it?
Have you mark'd but the fall of the Snow,
     Before the Soyl hath smuch'd it?
Have you felt the Wooll o' the Bever?
     Or Swans Down, ever?
Or, have smelt o' the Bud o' the Bryer?
     Or the Nard i' the Fire?
Or, have tasted the Bag o' the Bee?
     O, so white! O, so soft! O, so sweet is she!

Act    




           The Devil is an Ass. 469


Act II.    Scene VII.

Fitz-dottrel, Wittipol, Pug.

Her Husband appears at her Back.

I
S she so, Sir? and I will keep her so,
 If I know how, or can: that wit of Man
Will do't, I'll go no farther. At this Windo'
She shall no more be buz'd at. Take your leave on't.
If you be sweet Meats, Wedlock, or sweet Flesh,
All's one: I do not love this hum about you.
A Fly-blown Wife is not so proper, in:
For you, Sir, look to hear from me.
[He speaks out of his Wives Window.

   Wit. So, I do, Sir.
   Fit. No, but in other terms. There's no Man offers
This to my Wife, but pays for't.
   Wit. That have I, Sir.
   Fit. Nay, then, I tell you, you are.
   Wit. What am I, Sir?
   Fit. Why, that I'll think on, when I ha' cut your
        Throat.
   Wit. Go, you are an Ass.
   Fit. I am resolv'd on't, Sir.
   Wit. I think you are.
   Fit. To call you to a reckoning.
   Wit. Away you Brokers Block, you Property.
   Fit. 'Slight, if you strike me, I'll strike your Mistris,comma should be replaced with a period
[He strikes his Wife.

   Wit. O! I could shoot mine Eyes at him, for that, now;
Or leave my Teeth in him, were they Cuckolds bane
Enough to kill him. What prodigious,
Blind, and most wicked change of Fortune's this?
I ha' no Air of Patience: all my Veins
Swell, and my Sinews start at iniquity of it.
[The Devil speaks below.
I shall break, break.
   Pug. This for the Malice of it,
And my Revenge may pass! But, now, my Conscience
Tells me, I have profited the Cause of Hell
But little, in the breaking off their Loves.
Which, if some other act of mine repair not,
I shall hear ill of in my account.
[Fitz-dottrel enters with his Wife
      as come down.


   Fit. O, Bird!
Could you do this? 'gainst me? and at this time, now?
VVhen I was so imploy'd, wholly for you,
Drown'd i' my care (more than the Land, I swear,
I 'have hope to win) to make you peer-less? studying,
For Footmen for you, fine pac'd Huishers, Pages,
To serve you o' the Knee; with what Knights Wife,
To bear your Train, and sit with your four Women
In Council, and receive Intelligences,
From Foreign parts, to dress you at all Pieces!
Y' have (a'most) turn'd my good Affection to you;
Sowr'd my sweet Thoughts; all my pure Purposes:
I could now find (i' my very Heart) to make
Another Lady Dutchess, and depose you.
VVell, go your ways in. Devil, you have redeem'd all.
I do forgive you. And I'll do you good.

Act II.    Scene VIII.

Mere-craft, Fitz-dottrel, Ingine, Trains.

W
Hy ha' you these Excursions? where ha' you been,
        Sir?
   Fit. VVhere I ha' been vex'd a little, with a Toy!
   Mer. O Sir! no Toys must trouble your grave Head,
Now it is growing to be great. You must
Be above all those things.   Fit. Nay, nay, so I will.
   Mer. Now you are to'ard the Lord, you must put off

[column break]

The Man, Sir.   Ing. He says true.
   Mer. You must do nothing
As you ha' done it heretofore; not know,
Or salute any Man.   Ing. That was your Bedfellow,
The other Month.
   Mer. The other Month? the Week.
Thou dost not know the Priviledges, Ingine,
Follow that Title; nor how swift: To day,
When he has put on his Lord's Face once, then —
   Fit. Sir, for these things I shall do well enough,
There is no fear of me. But then, my Wife is
Such an untoward thing! she'll never learn
How to comport with it! I am out of all
Conceit, on her behalf.
   Mer. Best have her taught, Sir.
   Fit. Where? Are there any Schools for Ladies?
        Is there
An Academy for Women? I do know,
For Men, there was: I learn'd in it my self,
To make my Legs, and do my Postures.   Ing. Sir,
Do you remember the conceit you had ——
O' the Spanish Gown, at home?
[Ingine whispers Merecraft: Merecraft
      turns to Fitz-dottrel.


   Merc. Ha! I do thank thee,
With all my Heart, dear Ingine. Sir, there is
A certain Lady, here about the Town,
An English Widow, who hath lately travel'd,
But she's call'd the Spaniard, cause she came
Latest from thence: and keeps the Spanish habit.
Such a rare woman! all our women here,
That are of spirit and fashion, flock unto her,
As to their President; their Law, their Canon;
More than they ever did to Oracle-Foreman.
Such rare Receits she has, Sir, for the Face;
Such Oils, such Tinctures, such Pomatum's,
Such Perfumes, Medicines, Quintessences, &c.
And such a Mistris of behaviour,
She knows from the Dukes Daughter, to the Doxey,
VVhat is their due just: and no more!   Fit. O Sir!
You please me i' this, more than mine own greatness.
VVhere is she? Let us have her.
   Mer. By you patience,
VVe must use means; cast how to be acquainted —
   Fit. Good, Sir, about it.
   Mer. We must think how, first.   Fit. O!
I do not love to tarry for a thing,
VVhen I have a mind to't. You do not know me,
If you do offer it.   Mer. Your Wife must send
Some pretty token to her, with a complement,
And pray to be receiv'd in her good Graces,
All the great Ladies do't.   Fit. She shall, she shall,
VVhat were it best to be?   Mer. Some little Toy,
I would not have it any great matter, Sir:
A Diamond Ring, of forty or fifty Pound,
VVould do it handsomly: and be a gift
Fit for your Wife to send, and her to take.
   Fit. I'll go, and tell my VVife on't, straight.
[Fitz-dottrel goes out.

   Mer. VVhy this
Is well! The Clothes we' have now; But, where's this
         Lady?
If we could get a witty Boy now, Ingine;
That were an excellent crack. I could instruct him,
To the true height. For any thing takes this Dottrel.
   Ing. Why, Sir, your best will be one o' the Players!
   Mer. No, there's no trusting them. They'll talk on't,
And tell their Poets.   Ing. What if they do? the Jest
Will brook the Stage. But, there be some of 'em
Are very honest Lads. There's Dick Robinson
A very pretty Fellow, and comes often
To a Gentleman's Chamber, a Friends of mine. We had
The merriest Supper of it there, one night,
The Gentleman's Landlady invited him
To      




470 The Devil is an Ass.               


To'a Gossips Feast: Now, he Sir, brought Dick Robinson,
Drest like a Lawyers Wife, amongst 'em all;
(I lent him Cloathes) but, to see him behave it;
And lay the Law, and carve, and drink unto 'em;
And then talk Baudy: and send Frolicks! O!
It would have burst your Buttons, or not left you
A Seam.   Mer. They say he's an ingenious Youth!
   Ing. O Sir! and dresses himself the best! beyond
Forty o' your very Ladies! did you nee'r see him?
   Mer. No, I do seldom see those Toys. But think you,
That we may have him?
   Ing. Sir, the young Gentleman
I tell you of, can command him. Shall I attempt it?
[Enters again.

   Mer. Yes, do it.   Fit. 'Slight, I cannot get my Wife
To part with a Ring, on any terms: and yet
The sullen Monkey has two.
   Mer. It were 'gainst Reason,
That you should urge it; Sir, send to a Goldsmith,
Let not her lose by't.   Fit. How do's she lose by't?
Is't not for her?   Mer. Make it your own bounty,
It will ha' the better success; what is a matter
Of fifty Pound to you, Sir.   Fit. I' have but a hundred
Pieces, to shew here; that I would not break —
   Mer. You shall ha' credit, Sir. I'll send a Ticket
Unto my Goldsmith. Here, my Man comes too,
To carry it fitly. How now, Trains? VVhat Birds?
[Trains enters.

   Tra. Your Cousin Ever-ill met me, and has beat me,
Because I would not tell him where you were:
I think he has dog'd me to the House too.   Fit.Mer. Well —
You shall go out at the back-door then, Trains.
You must get Guilt-head hither, by some means.
   Tra. 'Tis impossible!
   Fit. Tell him, we have Venison,
I'll g' him a piece, and send his Wife a Pheasant.
   Tra. A forrest moves not, till that forty Pound,
Yo' had of him last be paid. He keeps more stir
For that same petty summ, than for your Bond
Of Six; and Statute of Eight hundred!   Fit.Mer. Tell him
VVe'll hedge in that. Cry up Fitz-dottrel to him,
Double his price: Make him a Man of mettal.
   Tra. That will not need, his Bond is currant enough.



Act III.    Scene I.

Guilt-head, Plutarchus.

A
Ll this is to make you a Gentleman:
 I'll have you learn, Son. Wherefore have I plac'd
        you
VVith Sir Poul Either-side, but have so much Law
To keep your own? Besides, he is a Justice,
Here i' the Town; and dwelling, Son, with him,
You shall learn that in a Year, shall be worth twenty
Of having staid you at Oxford, or at Cambridge,
Or sending you to the Inns of Court, or France.
I am call'd for now in haste, by Master Mere-craft
To trust Master Fitz-dottrel, a good Man:
I' have inquire'd him eighteen hundred a Year,
(His name is currant) for a Diamond Ring
Of forty, shall not be worth thirty (that's gain'd)
And this is to make you a Gentleman!
   Plu. O, but good Father, you trust too much!
   Gui. Boy, by,boy
VVe live by finding Fools out to be trusted.
Our Shop-books are our Pastures, our Corn-grounds,
VVe lay 'em op'n, for them to come into:
And when we have 'em there, we drive 'em up
In t' one of our Pounds, the Compters, straight,
And this is to make you a Gentleman!
VVe Citizens never trust, but we do cozen:

[column break]

For, if our Debtors pay, we cozen them;
And if they do not, then we cozen our selves.
But that's a hazard every one must run,
That hopes to make his Son a Gentleman!
   Plu. I do not wish to be one, truly Father.
In a descent, or two, we come to be
Just 'i their State, fit to be cozen'd, like 'em.
And I had rather ha' tarried i' your Trade:
For, since the Gentry scorn the City so much,
Methinks we should in time, holding together,
And matching in our own Tribes, as they say,
Have got an Act of Common Councel for it,
That we might cozen them out of rerum natura.
   Gui. I, if we had an Act first to forbid
The marrying of our wealthy Heirs unto 'em:
And Daughters, with such lavish Portions.
That confounds all.
   Plu. And makes a Mungril breed, Father.
And when they have your Money, then they laugh
       at you:
Or kick you down the Stairs. I cannot abide 'em.
I would fain have 'em cozen'd, but not trusted.

Act III.    Scene II.

Mere-craft, Guilt-head, Fitz-dottrel, Plutarchus.

O
, Is he come! I knew he would not fail me.
 Welcome, good Guilt-head, I must ha' you do
A noble Gentleman a courtesie, here,
In a meer toy (some pretty Ring, or Jewel)
Of fifty, or threescore Pound. (Make it a hundred,
And hedge in the last forty, that I owe you,
And your own price for the Ring.) He's a good Man, Sir,
And you may hap' see him a great one! He,
Is likely to bestow hundreds, and thousands,
Wi' you; if you can humour him. A great Prince
He will be shortly. VVhat do you say?
   Gui. In truth, Sir,
I cannot. 'T has been a long vacation with us.
   Fit. Of what, I pray thee? of Wit? or Honesty?
Those are your Citizens long vacations.
   Plu. Good Father do not trust 'em.
   Mer. Nay, Thom. Guilt-head,
He will not buy a courtesie and beg it:
He'll rather pay than pray. If you do for him,
You must do cheerfully. His credit, Sir,
Is not yet prostitute! VVho's this? thy Son?
A pretty Youth, what's his name?   Plu. Plutarchus, Sir.
   Mer. Plutarchus! How came that about?
   Gui. That Year, Sir,
That I begot him, I bought Plutarch's Lives,
And fell s' in love with the Book, as I call'd my Son
By 'his name, in hope he should be like him:
And write the Lives of our great Men!   Mer. i' the City?
And you do breed him, there?   Gui. His mind, Sir, lies
Much to that way.
   Mer. VVhy, then he is i' the right way.
   Gui. But, now, I had rather get him a good VVife,
And plant him i' the Country; there to use
The blessing I shall leave him.   Mer. Out upon't!
And lose the laudable means, thou hast at home, here,
T' advance, and make him a young Alderman?
Buy him a Captains place, for shame; and let him
Into the World early, and with his Plume,
And Scarfs, march through Cheapside, or along Cornhill;
And by the vertue' of those, draw down a VVife
There from a Windo', worth ten thousand Pound!
Get him the posture Book, and's Leaden Men,
To set upon a Table, 'gainst his Mistris
Chance to come by, that he may draw her in,
And shew her FinsbnryFinsbury Battels.   Gui. I have plac'd him
With Justice Eitherside, to get so much Law. —

Mer.  




           The Devil is an Ass. 471


   Mer. As thou hast Conscience. Come, come, thou
      dost wrong
Pretty Plutarchus, who had not his name,
For nothing: but was born to train the Youth
Of London in the Military truth ———
That way his Genius lies. My Cousin Everill!

Act III.    Scene III.

Everill, Plutarchus, Guilt-head, Mere-craft, Fitz-dottrel.

O
, Are you here, Sir? 'pray you let us whisper.
   Plu. Father, dear Father, trust him if you love me.
   Gui. Why, I do mean it, Boy; but, what I do,
Must not come easily from me: We must deal
With Courtiers, Boy, as Courtiers deal with us.
If I have a Business there, with any of them,
Why, I must wait, I'am sure on't, Son: and though
My Lord dispatch me, yet his worshipful Man ——
Will keep me for his sport, a Month, or two,
To shew me with my fellow Citizens.
I must make his Train long, and full, one quarter;
And help the spectacle of his greatness. There,
Nothing is done at once, but injuries, Boy:
And they come head-long! all their good turns move not,
Or very slowly.   Plu. Yet sweet Father, trust him.
   Gui. Well, I will think.
   Ever. Come, you must do't, Sir.
I'am undone else, and your Lady Tail-bush.period should be omitted
Has sent for me to dinner, and my Cloaths
Are all at pawn. I had sent out this morning,
Before I heard you were come to Town, some twenty
Of my Epistles, and no one return —
[Mere-craft tells him of his faults.

   Mer. Why, I ha' told you o' this. This comes of
      wearing
Scarlet, Gold-lace, and Cut-works! your fine Gartring!
With your blown Roses, Cousin! and your eating
Pheasant, and Godwit, here in London! haunting
The Globes, and Mermaides! wedging in with Lords,
Still at the Table! and affecting Lechery,
In Velvet! where could you ha' contented your self
With Cheese, salt Butter, and a pickled Herring,
I' the Low-countries; there worn Cloth, and Fustian!
Been satisfied with a leap o' your Host's Daughter,
In Garison, a Wench of a Stoter!Storer or,
Your Sutlers Wife, i' the Leaguer, of two Blanks!
You never then had run upon this flat,
To write your Letters missive, and send out
Your privy Seals, that thus have frighted off
All your acquaintance; that they shun you at distance,
Worse than you do the Bailies!   Ever. Pox upon you,
I come not to you for Counsel, I lack Money.
[He repines.

   Mer. You do not think, what you owe me already.
   Ever. I?
They owe you, that mean to pay you. I'll besworn
I never meant it. Come, you will project,
I shall undo your practice, for this Month else:
[And threatens him.
You know me.
   Mer. I, yo' are a right sweet nature!
   Ever. Well, that's all one!
   Mer. You'll leave this Empire one day?
You will not ever have this Tribute paid,
Your Scepter o' the Sword?   Ever. Tie up your wit,
Do, and provoke me not ——
   Mer. Will you, Sir, help
To what I shall provoke another for you?
   Ever. I cannot tell; try me: I think I am not
So utterly, of an ore un-to-be-melted,
[They join.
But I can do my self good, on occasions.
   Mer. Strike in then, for your part, Mr. Fitz-dottrel,
If I transgress in point of Manners, afford me
Your best construction; I must beg my freedom

[column break]

From your affairs, this day.   Fit. How, Sir.   Mer. It is
In succour of this Gentlemans occasions,
[Mere-craft pretends business.
My Kinsman ——
   Fit. You'll not do me that affront, Sir.
   Mer. I am sorry you should so interpret it,
But, Sir, it stands upon his being invested
In a new Office, he has stood for, long:
[Mere-craft describes the Office of De-
       pendancy.


Master of the Dependances! A place
Of my projection too, Sir, and hath met
Much opposition; but the State, now, see's
That great necessity of it, as after all
Their writing, and their speaking, against Duels,
They have erected it. His Book is drawn ——
For, since, there will be differences daily,
'Twixt Gentlemen; and that the roaring manner
Is grown offensive; that those few, we call
The civil Men o' the Sword, abhor the Vapours;
They shall refer now, hither, for their Process;
And such as trespass 'gainst the Rule of Court,
Are to be fin'd —   Fit. In troth, a pretty place!
   Mer. A kind of Arbitrary Court 'twill be, Sir.
   Fit. I shall have matter for it, I believe,
Ere it be long: I had a distaste.   Mer. But now, Sir,
My learned Counsel, they must have a feeling,
They'll part, Sir, with no Books, without the Hand-gout
Be oil'd; and I must furnish. If 't be Money,
To me straight. I am Mine, Mint and Exchequer,
To supply all. What is't? a hundred Pound?
   Ever. No, th' Harpey, now, stands on a hundred Pieces.
   Mer. Why, he must have 'em, if he will. To mor-
        row, Sir,
Will equally serve your occasion's, ———
And therefore, let me obtain, that you will yield
To timing a poor Gentlemans distresses,
In terms of hazard. —   Fit. By no means!   Mer. I must
Get him this Money, and will. ——
   Fit. Sir, I protest,
I'd rather stand engag'd for it my self:
Then you should leave me.
   Mer. O good Sir, do you think
So coursly of our manners, that we would,
For any need of ours, be prest to take it:
Though you be pleas'd to offer it.   Fit. Why, by Heaven,
I mean it!   Mer. I can never believe less.
But we, Sir, must preserve our Dignity,
As you do publish yours. By your fair leave, Sir.
[He offers to be gone.

   Fit. As I am a Gentleman, if you do offer
To leave me now, or if you do refuse me,
I will not think you love me.   Mer. Sir, I honour you.
And with just reason, for these noble Notes,
Of the Nobility, you pretend too! But, Sir —
I would know, why? a motive (he a stranger)
You should do this?
   (Ever. You'll mar all with your fineness)period omitted
   Fit. Why, that's all one, if 'twere, Sir, but my fancy.
But I have a Business, that perhaps I'd have
Brought to his Office.   Mer. O, Sir! I have done, then;
If he can be made profitable to you.
   Fit. Yes, and it shall be one of my ambitions
To have it the first Business? May I not?
   Ever. So you do mean to make't a perfect Business.
   Fit. Nay, I'll do that, assure you: shew me once.
   Mer. Sir, it concerns, the first be a perfect Business,
For his own Honour!   Ever. I, and th' Reputation
Too, of my Place.
   Fit. Why, why do I take this course, else?
I am not altogether an Ass, good Gentlemen,
Wherefore should I consult you? do you think, |
To make a Song on't? How's your manner? tell us.
   Mer. Do, satisfie him: give him the whole course.

Ever.         




472 The Devil is an Ass.               


   Ever. First, by request, or otherwise, you offer
Your Business to the Court wherein you crave;
The judgment of the Master and the Assistants.
   Fit. Well, that's done, now, what do you upon it?
   Ever. We straight, Sir, have recourse to the Spring-
          head;
Visit the Ground; and, so disclose the nature:
If it will carry, or no. If we do find,
By our proportions, it is like to prove
A sullen, and black Bus'ness, that it be
Incorrigible, and out of treaty; then,
We file it, a Dependance!   Fit. So 'tis fil'd.
What follows? I do love the order of these things.
   Ever. We then advise the party, if he be
A Man of Means, and Havings, that forth-with
He settle his Estate: if not, at least
That he pretend it. For, by that, the World
Takes notice, that it now is a Dependance.
And this we call, Sir, Publication.
   Fit. Very sufficient! After Publication, now?
   Ever. Then we grant out our Process, which is divers;
Either by Chartel, Sir, or Ore-tenus,
Wherein the Challenger, and Challengee,
Or (with your Spaniard) your Provocador,
And Provocado, have their several courses —
   Fit. I have enough on't! for an hundred Pieces?
Yes, for two hundred, under-write me, do.
Your Man will take my Bond?   Mer. That he will, sure;
But, these same Citizens, they are such sharks!
There's an old Debt of forty, I ga' my word
For one is run away, to the Bermudas,
And he will hook in that, or he wi' not do.
[He whispers Fitz-dottrel aside.

   Fit. Why, let him. That and the Ring, and a hun-
         dred Pieces,
Will all but make two hundred?
   Mer. No, no more, Sir.
What ready Arithmetick you have? do you hear?
[And then Guilt-head.

A pretty mornings work for you, this! Do it,
You shall ha' twenty Pound on't.   Gui. Twenty Pieces?
   (Plu. Good Father, do't.)
   Mer. You will hook still? well,
Shew us your Ring. You could not ha' done this, now
With gentleness, at first, we might ha' thank'd you;
But groan, and ha' your courtesies come from you
Like a hard stool, and stink. A Man may draw
Your Teeth out easier than your Money. Come,
Were little Guilt-head here, no better a nature,
I should ne'r love him, that could pull his Lips off, now!
[He pulls Plutarchus by the Lips.

Was not thy Mother a Gentlewoman?   Plu. Yes, Sir.
   Mer. And went to the Court at Christmas, and St. Georges-
           tide?

And lent the Lords-men Chains!
   Plu. Of Gold and Pearl, Sir.
   Mer. I knew thou must take after some body!
Thou could'st not be else. This was no Shop-look!
I'll ha' thee Captain Guilt-head, and march up,
And take in Pimlico, and kill the Bush
At every Tavern! Thou shalt have a Wife,
If Smocks will mount, Boy. How now? you ha' there
          now
Some Bristo-stone, or Cornish counterfeit
[He turns to old Guilt-head.
You'ld put upon us.
   Gui. No, Sir, I assure you.
Look on his luster! he will speak himself!
I'll gi' you leave to put him i' the Mill,
H' is no great, large Stone, but a true Paragon,
H' has all his Corners, view him well.
   Mer. H' is yellow.
   Gui. Upo' my faith, Sir, o' the right black-water,
And very deep! H'is set without a foil, too.
Here's one o' the Yellow-water, I'll sell cheap.

[column break]

   Mer. And what do you value this at? thirty Pound?
   Gui. No, Sir, he cost me forty, ere he was set.
   Mer. Turnings, you mean? I know your Equivocks:
You'are grown the better Fathers of 'em o' late.
Well, where't must go, 'twill be judg'd, and therefore,
Look you't be right. You shall have fifty Pound for't.
[Now to Fitz-dottrel.

Not a Deneer more! And because you would
Have things dispatch'd, Sir, I'll go presently,
Inquire out this Lady. If you think good, Sir.
Having an hundred Pieces ready, you may
Part with those now, to serve my Kinsmans turns,
That he may wait upon you anon, the freer;
And take 'em when you ha' seal'd again, of Guilt-head.
   Fit. I care not if I do!   Mer. And dispatch all
Together.   Fit. There, th'are just; a hundred Pieces!
I' ha' told 'em over twice a day these two Months.
[He turns 'em out together: And Everill
      and he fall to share.


   Mer. Well, go and seal then, Sir, make your return
As speedy as you can.   Ever. Come, gi' me.
   Mer. Soft, Sir.
   Ever. Marry, and fair too, then, I'll no delaying, Sir.
   Mer. But you will hear?
   Ever. Yes, when I have my Divident.
   Mer. There's forty Pieces for you.
   Ever. What is this for?
   Mer. Your half. You know, that Guilt-head must ha'
          twenty.
   Ever. And what's your Ring there? shall I ha' none
        o' that?
   Mer. O, that's to be given to a Lady!
   Ever. Is't so?   Mer. By that good light, it is.
   Ever. Come, gi' me
Ten Pieces more, then.   Mer. Why?
   Ever. For Guilt-head? Sir,
Do' you think, I'll allow him any such share?
   Mer. You must.
   Ever. Must I? Do your musts, Sir, I'll do mine;
You wi' not part with the whole, Sir, will you? Go too.
Gi' me ten Pieces!   Mer. By what Law do you this?
   Ever. E'en Lyon-law, Sir, I must roar else.
   Mer. Good!
   Ever. Yo' have heard how th' Ass made his divisions
          wisely?
   Mer. And I am he: I thank you.
   Ever. Much good do you, Sir.
   Mer. I shall be rid o' this Tyranny one day.
   Ever. Not
While you do eat, and lie about the Town here,
And cozen i' your Bullions; and I stand
Your name of Credit, and compound your business;
Adjourn your beatings every Term, and make
New Parties for your projects. I have now
A pretty task of it, to hold you in
Wi' your Lady Tail bush: but the toy will be,
How we shall both come off?
   Mer. Leave you your doubting,
And do your portion, what's assign'd you: I
Never fail'd yet.   Eve. With reference to your aids?
You'll still be unthankful. Where shall I meet you, anon?
You ha' some feat to do alone, now, I see;
You wish me gone, well, I will find you out,
And bring you after to the Audit.   Mer. 'Slight!
There's Ingine's share too, I had forgot! This Reign
Is too-too-unsupportable! I must
Quit my self of this Vassalage! Ingine! welcome.


Act            




           The Devil is an Ass. 473


Act III.    Scene IV.

Mere-craft, Ingine, Wittipol.

H
Ow goes the Cry?   Ing. Excellent well!
   Mer. Will't d o?do
Where's Robinson?   Ing. Here is the Gentleman, Sir,
Will undertake 't himself. I have acquainted him.
   Mer. Why did you so?
   Ing. Why, Robinson would ha' told him,
You know. And he's a pleasant Wit! will hurt
Nothing you purpose. Then, he's of Opinion,
That Robinson might want audacity,
She being such a Gallant. Now, he has been
In Spain, and knows the Fashions there; and can
Discourse; and being but mirth (he says) leave much
[He excepts at
To his care.   Mer. But he is too tall!
his Stature.
   Ing. For that,
He has the bravest Device (you'll love him for't)
To say, he wears Cioppinos: and they do so
In Spain. And Robinson's as tall as he.
   Mer. Is he so?   Ing. Every jot.   Mer. Nay, I had rather            
To trust a Gentleman with it o' the two.
   Ing. Pray you go to him then, Sir, and salute him.
   Mer. Sir, my Friend Ingine has acquainted you
With a strange business, here.   Wit. A merry one, Sir.
The Duke of Drown'd-Land, and his Dutchess?   Mer. Yes, Sir.
Now, that the Conjurers ha' laid him by,
I ha' made bold to borrow him a while.
   Wit. With purpose, yet, to put him out I hope
To his best use.   Mer. Yes, Sir.   Wit. For that small part,
That I am trusted with, put off your care:
I would not lose to do it, for the mirth
Will follow of it; and well, I have a fancy.
   Mer. Sir, that will make it well.
   Wit. You will report it so.
Where must I have my dressing?   Ing. At my House, Sir.
   Mer. You shall have caution, Sir, for what he yields,
To six Pence.   Wit. You shall pardon me. I will share, Sir,
I' your Sports, only: nothing i' your purchace.
But you must furnish me with Complements,
To th' manner of Spain; my Coach, my guarda duenna's;
   Mer. Ingine's your Pro'vedor. But, Sir, I must
(Now I' have entred trust wi' you, thus far)
Secure still i' your Quality, acquaint you
With somewhat beyond this. The Place design'd
To be the Scene, for this our merry Matter,
Because it must have countenance of Women,
To draw discourse, and offer it, is here by,
At the Lady-Tailbushes.   Wit. I know her, Sir,
And her Gentleman huisher.   Mer. Mr. Ambler?
   Wit. Yes, Sir.
   Mer. Sir, It shall be no shame to me, to confess
To you, that we poor Gentlemen, that want Acres,
Must for our needs, turn Fools up, and plough Ladies
Sometime, to try what gleb they are: and this
Is no unfruitful Piece. She and I now
Are on a Project, for the Fact, and venting
Of a new kind of Fucus (paint for Ladies)
To serve the Kingdom: wherein she her self
Hath travaill'd, specially, by way of Service
Unto her Sex, and hopes to get the Monopoly,
As the Reward of her Invention.
   Wit. What is her end in this?   Ev.Mer. Merely Ambition,
Sir, to grow great, and court it with the Secret:
Though she pretend some other. For, she's dealing,
Already, upon caution for the shares,
And Mr. Ambler, is he nam'd Examiner
For the Ingredients; and the Register
Of what is vented; and shall keep the Office.
Now, if she break with you, of this (as I
Must make the leading Thred to your acquaintance,
That, how Experience gotten i' your Being

[column break]

Abroad, will help our Business) think of some
Pretty Additions, but to keep her floating:
It may be she will offer you a Part,
Any strange Names of — Wit. Sir, I have my Instructions.
Is it not high time to be making ready?
   Mer. Yes, Sir.   Ing. The Fool's in sight, Dottrel.
   Mer. Away, then.

Act III.    Scene V.

Mere-craft, Fitz-dottrel, Pug.

R
Eturn'd so soon?   Fit. Yes, here's the Ring: I ha'
      seal'd.
But there's not so much Gold in all the Row, he says —
Till't come fro' the Mint. 'Tis tane up for the Gamesters.
   Mer. There's a Shop-shift! plague on 'em.
   Fit. He do's swear it.
   Mer. He'll swear and forswear too, it is his Trade,
You should not have left him.   Fit. 'Slid, I can go back,
And beat him yet.   Mer. No, now let him alone.
   Fit. I was so earnest, after the main Business,
To have this Ring gone.   Mer. True, and 'tis time.
I' have learn'd, Sir, Sin' you went, her Ladyship eats
With the Lady Tail-bush, here, hard by.   Fit. I' the Lane here?
   Mer. Yes, if you had a Servant, now of Presence,
Well cloath'd, and of an airy voluble Tongue,
Neither too big or little for his Mouth,
That could deliver your Wives Complement;
To send along withal.   Fit. I have one Sir,
A very handsom Gentleman-like-fellow,
That I do mean to make my Dutchess Usher —
I entertain'd him but this Morning too:
I'll call him to you. The worst of him is his Name!
   Mer. She'll take no note of that, but of his Message.
[He shews him his Pug.

   Fit. Devil! How like you him, Sir. Pace, go a little,
Let's see you move.   Mer. He'll serve, Sir, give it him:
And let him go along with me, I'll help
To present him and it.   Fit. Look you do Sirrah,
Discharge this well, as you expect your Place.
D'you hear, go on, come off with all your Honours.
[Gives him Instructions.

I would fain see him do it.   Mer. Trust him with it.
   Fit. Remember kissing of your Hand, and answering
With the French time, in flexure of your Body.
I could now so instruct him — and for his words —
   Mer. I'll put them in his Mouth.
   Fit. O, but I have 'em;
O' the very Academies.   Mer. Sir, you'll have use for 'em
Anon your self, I warrant you, after Dinner
When you are call'd.   Fit. 'Slight, that'll be just Play-time.
[He longs to see the Play.

It cannot be, I must not lose the Play!
   Mer. Sir, but you must, if she appoint to sit.
And she's President.   Fit. 'Slid, it is the Devil!
[Because it is the Devil.

   Mer. And, 'twere his Damm too, you must now apply
Your self, Sir, to this wholly; or lose all.
   Fit. If I could but see a Piece —
   Mer. Sir, Never think on't.
   Fit. Come but to one Act, and I did not care —
But to be seen to rise and go away,
To vex the Players, and to punish their Poet —
Keep him in awe!   Mer. But say that he be one
Wi' not be aw'd! but laugh at you. How then?
   Fit. That he shall pay for 's Dinner himself.
   Mer. Perhaps,
He would do that twice, rather than thank you.
Come get the Devil out of your Head, my Lord,
(I'll call you so in private still) and take
Your Lordship i' your mind. You were, sweet Lord,
[He puts him in mind of his Quarrel:

In talk to bring a Business to the Office.   Fit. Yes.
P p p                                   Mer. Why                




474 The Devil is an Ass.               


   Mer. Why should not you, Sir, carry it o' your self,
Before the Office be up? and shew the World,
You had no need of any mans direction;
In Point, Sir, of sufficiency? I speak
Against a Kinsman, but as one that tenders
Your Graces good.   Fit. I thank you; to proceed —
   Mer. To Publications: ha' your Deed drawn presently.
And leave me a blank to put in your Feoffees,
One, two, or more, as you see cause — Fit. I thank you
Heartily, I do thank you. Not a word more,
I pray you, as you love me. Let me alone.
That I could not think o' this as well as he?
O, I could beat my infinite Block-head — !
[He is angry with himself.

   Mer. Come, we must this way.
   Pug. How far is't?   Mer. Hard by here,
Over the way. Now, to atchieve this Ring
From this same Fellow, that is to assure it,
[He thinks how to cozen the Bearer of the
           Ring.


Before he give it. Though my Spanish Lady,
Be a young Gentleman of means, and scorn
To share, as he doth say, I do not know
How such a Toy may tempt his Ladiship:
And therefore, I think best it be assur'd.
   Pug. Sir, be the Ladies brave we go unto?
   Mer. O, yes.   Pug. And shall I see 'em, and speak
          to 'em?
   Mer. What else? ha' you your False-beard about
[Questions his man.
           you, Trains?
   Tra. Yes.   Mer. And is this one of your double
           Clokes?
   Tra. The best of 'em.
   Mer. Be ready then. Sweet Pitfall!

Act III.    Scene VI.

Mere-craft, Pitfall, Pug, Trains.

[Offers to kiss.
C
Ome, I must buss —— Pit. Away.
   Mer. I'll set thee up again.
Never fear that: canst thou get ne'er a Bird?
No Thrushes hungry? Stay till cold Weather come,
I'll help thee to an Ousel or a Field-fare.
Who's within with Madam?   Pit. I'll tell you straight.
[She runs in in haste; he follows.

   Mer. Please you stay here a while, Sir, I'll go in.
   Pug. I do so long to have a little Venery,
While I am in this Body! I would taste
Of every Sin a little, if it might be,
After the manner of Man! Sweet-heart!
   Pit. What would you, Sir?
[Pug leaps at Pitfall's coming in.

   Pug. Nothing but fall in, to you, be your Black-bird,
My pretty Pit (as the Gentleman said) your Throstle:
Lye tame and taken with you; here is Gold!
To buy you so much new Stuffs from the Shop,
As I may take the old up —— Tra. You must send, Sir,
The Gentleman the Ring.   Pug. There 'tis. Nay look,
[Train's in his false Cloak, brings a false
         Message, and gets the Ring.


Will you be foolish, Pit?   Pit. This is strange rudeness.
   Pug. Dear Pit.   Pit. I'll call, I swear.
   Mer. Where are you, Sir?
Is your Ring ready? Go with me.   Pug. I sent it you.
[Mere-craft follows presently, and asks for it.

   Mer. Me? When? by whom?
   Pug. A Fellow here, e'en now,
Came for it i' your Name.   Mer. I sent none, sure.
My meaning ever was, you shonldshould deliver it
Your self: So was your Masters charge, you know.
[Ent. Trains as himself again.

What Fellow was it, do you know him?   Pug. Here,
But now, he had it.   Mer. Saw you any, Trains?

[column break]

   Tra. Not I.   Pug. The GentlemanGentlewoman saw him.
   Mer. Enquire.
   Pug. I was so earnest upon her, I mark'd not!
[The Devil confesseth himself cozen'd.

My devillish Chief has put me here in Flesh,
To shame me! This dull Body I am in,
I perceive nothing with! I offer at nothing
That will succeed!   Tra. Sir, she saw none, she says.
   Pug. Satan himself has tane a shape t' abuse me.
It could not be else!   Mer. This is above strange!
[Mere-craft accuseth him of negligence.

That you should be so retchless.obsolete variant of 'reckless' What'll you do, Sir?
How you willHow will you answer this, when you are question'd?
   Pug. Run from my Flesh, if I could: put off Mankind!
That's such a scorn! and will be a new Exercise
For my Arch-Duke! Woe to the several Cudgels,
Must suffer on this back! Can you no Succours, Sir?
[He asketh aid.

   Mer. Alas! the use of it is so present.   Pug. I ask,
Sir, Credit for another, but till to morrow.
   Mer. There is not so much time, Sir. But however,
The Lady is a noble Lady, and will
(To save a Gentleman from check) be intreated
[Mere-craft promiseth faintly, yet comforts him.

To say, she has receiv'd it.   Pug,comma should be replaced with a period Do you think so?
Will she be won?   Mer. No doubt, to such an Office,
It will be a Ladies Bravery and her Pride.
   Pug. And not be known on't after, unto him?
   Mer. That were a Treachery! Upon my word,
Be confident. Return unto your Master,
My Lady President sits this Afternoon,
Has tane the Ring, commends her Services
Unto your Lady-Dutchess. You may say
She's a civil Lady, and does give her
All her respects already: Bad you tell her,
She lives but to receive her wish'd Commandments,
And have the honour here to kiss her Hands:
For which she'll stay this hour yet. Hasten you
Your Prince, away.   Pug. And Sir, you will take care
Th' excuse be perfect?   Mer. You confess your fears.
[The Devil is doubtful.

Too much.   Pug. The Shame is more, I'll quit you of either.'I'll quit you of either.' should 
probably be assigned to Mere-craft 
per Peter Whalley.



Act IV.    Scene I.

Taile-bush, Mere-craft, Manly.

A
 Pox upo' referring to Commissioners,
 I' had rather hear that it were past the Seals:
You Courtiers move so Snail-like i' your Business.
Would I had not begun wi' you.   Mer. We must move,
Madam, in order, by degrees: not jump.
   Tay.'Tail-bush' as are other references to 'Tay.' Why, there was Sir John Monie-man could jump
A Business quickly.   Mer. True, he had great Friends,
But, because some, sweet Madam, can leap Ditches,
We must not all shun to go over Bridges.
The harder Parts, I make account are done,
[He flatters her.

Now 'tis referr'd. You are infinitly bound
Unto the Ladies, they ha' so cri'd it up!
   Tay. Do they like it then?
   Mer. The ha' sent the Spanish Lady,
To gratulate with you — Tay. I must send 'em thanks,
And some Remembrances.
   Mer. That you must, and visit 'em. Where's Ambler?
   Tay. Lost, to day, we cannot hear of him.
   Mer. Not, Madam?
   Tay. No in good faith. They say he lay not
At home to night. And here has fall'n a Business
Between your Cousin, and Master Manly, has
Unquieted us all.   Mer. So I hear, Madam.
Pray you how was it?   Tay. Troth, it but appears
Ill           




           The Devil is an Ass. 475


Ill o' your Kinsmans part. You may have heard,
That Manly is a Sutor to me, I doubt not.
   Mer. I guess'd it, Madam.
   Tay. And it seems, he trusted
Your Cousin to let fall some fair reports
Of him unto me,comma should be replaced with a period   Mer. Which he did!   Tay. So far
From it, as he came in, and took him rayling
Against him.   Mer. How! And what said Manly to him?
   Tay. Enough, I do assure you: and with that scorn
Of him, and the Injury, as I do wonder
How Everil bore it! But that guilt undoes
Many Mens Valours.   Mer. Here comes Manly.
   Man. Madam, I'll take my leave ———
[Manly offers to be gone.

   Tay. You sha' not go, i' faith.
I'll ha' you stay, and see this Spanish Miracle,
Of our English Lady.   Man. Let me pray your Ladiship,
Lay your Commands on me some other time.
   Tay. Now, I protest: and I will have all piec'd
And Friends again.   Man. It will be but ill solder'd!
   Tay. You are too much affected with it.   Man. I cannot
Madam, but think on't for th' Injustice.   Tay. Sir,
His Kinsman here is sorry.   Mer. Not I, Madam,
I am no kin to him, we but call Cousins;
[Merecraft denies him.

And if we were, Sir, I have no relation
Unto his Crimes.   Man. You are not urged with 'em.
I can accuse, Sir, none but mine own Judgment,
For though it were his Crime, so to betray me,
I' am sure, 'twas more mine own, at all to trust him:
But he therein, did use but his old Manners,
And favour strongly what he was before.
   Tay. Come, he will change!
   Man. Faith, I must never think it.
Nor were it reason in me to expect,
That for my sake, he should put off a Nature
He suck'd in with his Milk. It may be Madam,
Deceiving trust, is all he has to trust to:
If so, I shall be loth, that any hope
Of mine, should bate him of his means.
   Tay. Yo' are sharp, Sir.
This Act may make him honest!   Man. If he were
To be made honest by an Act of Parliament,
I should not alter i' my faith of him.   Tay. Eitherside!
Welcom, dear Eitherside! how hast thou done, good
[She spies the Lady Eitherside.
        Wench?
Thou hast been a stranger! I ha' not seen thee this Week.

Act IV.    Scene II.

To them.]                    Eitherside.Lady Eitherside

E
Ver your Servant, Madam.
   Tay. Where hast thou been?
I did so long to see thee.   Eit. Visiting, and so tyr'd!
I protest, Madam, 'tis a monstrous trouble!
   Tay. And so it is. I swear I must to morrow,
Begin my Visits (would they were over) at Court.
It tortures me, to think on 'em.   Eit. I do hear
You ha' cause, Madam, your Suit goes on.
   Tay. Who told thee?
   Eit. One that can tell: Mr. Eitherside.
   Tay. O, thy Husband!
Yes faith, there's Life in't, now: It is referr'd.
If we once see it under the Seals Wench, then,
Have with 'em for the great Carroch, Six Horses,
And the two Coachmen, with my Ambler, bare,
And my three Women; we will live i' faith,
The Examples o' the Town, and govern it.
I'll lead the Fashion still.   Eit. You do that now,
Sweet Madam.   Tay. O, but then, I'll every day
Bring up some new Device. Thou and I, Eitherside,
Will first be in it, I will give it thee;

[column break]

And they shall follow us. Thou shalt, I swear,
Wear every Month a new Gown out of it.
   Eit. Thank you, good Madam.
   Tay. Pray thee call me Tail-bush,
As I thee Eitherside; I not love this, Madam.
   Eit. Then I protest to you, Tail-bush, I am glad
Your Business so succeeds.
   Tay. Thank thee, good Eitherside.
   Eit. But Master Eitherside tells me, that he likes
Your other Business better.   Tay. Which?
   Eit. O' the Tooth-picks.
   Tay. I never heard on't.   Eit. Ask Mr. Merecraft.
   Mer. Madam? H'is one, in a word, I'll trust his Malice,
With any man's Credit, I would have abus'd!
[Merecraft hath whisper'd with him the while.

   Man. Sir, if you think you do please me, in this,
You are deceiv'd!   Mer. No, but because my Lady
Nam'd him my Kinsman; I would satisfie you
What I think of him: and pray you upon it
To judge me!   Man. So I do: that ill mens Friendship,
Is as unfaithful as themselves.   Tay. Do you hear?
Ha' you a Business about Tooth-picks.
   Mer. Yes, Madam.
Did I ne'r tell't you? I meant to have offer'd it
Your Ladiship, on the perfecting the Patent.
   Tay. How is't!   Mer. For serving the whole State
[The Project for Tooth-picks.
        with Tooth-picks;
(Somewhat an intricate Business to discourse) but —
I show how much the Subject is abus'd,
First, in that one Commodity? then what Diseases
And Putrefactions in the Gums are bred,
By those are made of adultrate and false Wood?
My Plot, for Reformation of these follows.
To have all Toothpicks brought unto an Office,
There seal'd; and such as counterfeit 'em mulcted.
And last, for venting 'em, to have a Book
Printed, to teach their use, which every Child
Shall have throughout the Kingdom that can read,
And learn to pick his Teeth by. Which beginning
Early to Practice, with some other Rules,
Of never sleeping with the Mouth open, chawing
Some Grains of Mastick, will preserve the Breath
Pure and so free from taint — ha' what is't, sai'st thou?
[Trains his Man whispers him.

   Tay. Good faith, it sounds a very pretty Business!
   Eit. So Mr. Eitherside says, Madam.
   Mer. The Lady is come.
   Tay. Is she? Good, wait upon her in. My Ambler
Was never so ill absent. Eitherside,
How do I look to day? Am I not drest,
[She looks in her Glass.

Spruntly?   Fit.Eit. Yes verily, Madam.
   Tay. Pox o' Madam,
Will you not leave that?
   Eit. Yes, good Tailbush.   Tay. So?
Sounds not that better? What vile Fucus is this
Thou hast got on?   Eit. 'Tis Pearl.
   Tay. Pearl? Oyster-shells:
As I breath Eitherside I know't. Here comes
(They say) a wonder, Sirrah, has been in Spain!
Will teach us all! she's sent to me from Court,
To gratulate with me! Prythee let's observe her,
What faults she has, that we may laugh at 'em,
When she is gone.   Eit. That we will heartily, Tail-bush.
[Wittipol enters.

   Tay. O, me! the very Infanta of the Giants!



P p p 2                                    Act  




476 The Devil is an Ass.               


Act IV.    Scene III.

[To them.
                 Merecraft, Wittipol,

                                       Wittipol, drest like a Spanish Lady.

M
Er. Here is a noble Lady, Madam, come,
 From your great Friends, at Court, to see your
      Ladiship:
And have the Honour of your Acquaintance.   Tay. Sir.
She do's us Honour.   Wit. Pray you, say to her Ladiship,
It is the manner of Spain to imbrace only,
Never to kiss. She will excuse the Custom!
[Excuses himself for not kissing.

   Tay. Your use of it is Law. Please you sweet Madam,
To take a Seat.   Wit. Yes, Madam. I' have had
The favour, through a World of fair report
To know your Vertues, Madam; and in that
Name, have desir'd the happiness of presenting
My Service to your Ladiship!   Tay. Your Love, Madam,
I must not own it else.   Wit. Both are due, Madam,
To your great Undertakings.
   Tay. Great? In troth, Madam,
They are my Friends, that think 'em any thing:
If I can do my Sex (by 'em) any Service,
I' have my ends, Madam.   Wit. And they are noble ones,
That make a Multitude beholden, Madam:
The Commonwealth of Ladies, must acknowledge from you.
   Eit. Except some envious, Madam.
   Wit. Yo' are right in that, Madam,
Of which Race, I encountred some but lately.
Who ('t seems) have studyed Reasons to discredit
Your Business.   Tay. How, sweet Madam.
   Wit. Nay, the Parties
Wi' not be worth your pause — Most ruinous things,
       Madam,
That have put off all hope of being recover'd
To a degree of handsomness.
   Tay. But their Reasons, Madam?
I would fain hear.   Wit. Some Madam, I remember.
They say, that painting quite destroys the Face —
   Eit. O, that's an old one, Madam,comma should be replaced with a period
   Wit. There are new ones, too.
Corrupts the Breath; hath left so little sweetness
In kissing, as 'tis now us'd but for Fashion:
And shortly will be taken for a Punishment.
Decays the Fore-teeth that should guard the Tongue;
And suffers that run Riot everlasting!
And (which is worse) some Ladies when they meet
Cannot be merry and laugh, but they do spit
In one anothers Faces!   Man. I should know
This Voyce and Face too:
[Manly begins to know him.

   Wit. Then, they say, 'tis dangerous
To all the faln, yet well dispos'd Mad-dams,
That are industrious, and desire to earn
Their Living with their Sweat! For any Distemper
Of heat and motion, may displace the Colours;
And if the Paint once run about their Faces,
Twenty to one, they will appear so ill-favour'd,
Their Servants run away too, and leave the Pleasure
Imperfect, and the Reckoning als' unpay'd.
   Eit. Pox, these are Poets Reasons.   Tay. Some old Lady
That keeps a Poet, has devis'd these Scandals.
   Eit. Faith we must have the Poets banish'd, Madam,
As Master Either-side says.   Mer. Master Fitz-Dottrel?
And his Wife: where? Madam, the Duke of Drown'd-land,
That will be shortly.   Wit. Is this my Lord?
   Mer. The same.

[column break]

Act IV.    Scene IV.

[To them.
               Fitz-dottrell, Mistris Fitz-dottrel, Pug.

Y
Our Servant Madam!
   Wit. How now? Friend? offended,
That I have found your haunt here?
left bracket '[' omittedWittipol whispers with Manly.

   Man. No, but wondring
At your strange fashion'd venture, hither.   Wit. It is
To shew you what they are you so pursue.
   Man. I think 'twill prove a Med'cine against marriage;
To know their manners.   Wit. Stay, and profit then.
   Mer. The Lady, Madam, whose Prince has brought
      her here,
To be instructed.   Wit. Please you sit with us, Lady.
[He presents Mistris Fitz-dottrel.

   Mer. That's Lady-President.   Fit. A goodly Woman!
I cannot see the Ring, though.   Mer. Sir, she has it.
   Tay. But, Madam, these are very feeble Reasons!
   Wit. So I urg'd Madam, that the new Complexion,
Now to come forth, in name o' your Ladiship's fucus,
Had no Ingredient —   Tay. But I durst eat, I assure you.
   Wit. So do they in Spain.
   Tay. Sweet Madam be so liberal,
To give us some o' your Spanish Fucusees!
   Wit. They are infinite, Madam.
   Tay. So I .hear,stray period before 'hear' should be omitted they have
Water of Gourdes, of Radish, the white Beans,
Flowers of Glass, of Thistles, Rose-marine,
Raw Honey, Mustard-seed, and Bread dough-bak'd,
The Crums o' Bread, Goats-milk, and Whites of Eggs,
Campheere,
and Lilly-roots, the Fat of Swans,
Marrow of Veal, white Pidgeons, and Pine-kernels,
The Seeds of Nettles, Purse'line, and Hares-gall;
Limons,
Thin-skin'd — Eit. How, her Ladiship has studied
All excellent things!   Wit. But ordinary, Madam.
No, the true Rarities, are th' Alvagada,
And Argentata of Queen Isabella!
   Tay. I, what are their Ingredients, gentle Madam?
   Wit. Your Allum Scagliola, or Pol-dipedra;
And Zuccarino; Turpentine of Abbezzo,
Wash'd in nine Waters: Soda di levante,
Or your Fern Ashes; Benjamin di gotta:
Grasso di serpe; Porcelletto marino;

Oyls of Lentisco; Zucche Mugia; make
The admirable Vernish for the Face,
Gives the right Luster; but two drops rub'd on
With a piece of Scarlet, makes a Lady of Sixty
Look at Sixteen. But above all, the Water
Of the white Hen, of the Lady Estifanias!
   Tay. O, I, that same, good Madam, I have heard of:
How is it done?   Wit. Madam, you take your Hen,
Plume it, and skin it, cleanse it o' the Inwards;
Then chop it, bones and all: add to four Ounces
Of Carravicins, Pipitas, Sope of Cyprus,
Make the Decoction, strein it. Then distil it,
And keep it in your Galley-pot well glidder'd:
Three drops preserves from Wrinkles, Warts, Spots, Moles,
Blemish, or Sun-burnings, and keeps the Skin
In decimo sexto, ever bright and smooth,
As any Looking-glass; and indeed, is call'd
The Virgins Milk for the Face, Oglio reale;
A Ceruse, neither cold or heat, will hurt;
And mixt with Oyl of Myrrh, and the red Gilliflower,
Call'd Cataputia; and Flowers of Rovistico,
Makes the best Muta, or dye of the whole World.
   Tay. Dear Madam, will you let us be familiar?
   Wit. Your Ladiships Servant.
   Mer. How do you like her.   Fit. Admirable!
But, yet, I cannot see the Ring.   Pug. Sir.   Mer. I must
[He is jealous about his Ring, and Merecraft
      delivers it.


Deliver           




           The Devil is an Ass. 477


Deliver it, or mar all. This Fool's so jealous.
Madam — Sir, wear this Ring, & pray you take knowledge,
'Twas sent you by his Wife, and give her thanks.
Do not you dwindle, Sir, bear up.   Pug. I thank you, Sir.
   Tay. But for the manner of Spain! Sweet Madam, let us
Be bold, now we are in: Are all the Ladies
There i' the Fashion?   Wit. None but Grandees, Madam,
O' the clasp'd Train, which may be worn at length too,
Or thus, upon my Arm.   Tay. And do they wear
Cioppino's all?   Wit. If they be drest in punto, Madam.
   Eit. Gilt as those are, Madam?
   Wit. Of Goldsmiths Work, Madam;
And set with Diamonds; and their Spanish Pumps,
Of perfum'd Leather.   Tay. I should think it hard
To go in 'em, Madam.   Wit. At the first it is, Madam.
   Tay. Do you never fall in 'em?
   Wit. Never.   Eit. I swear, I should
Six times an hour.   Wit.Tay. But you have Men at hand still,
To help you, if you fall?   Eit.Wit. Only one, Madam,
The Guardo-duenna's, such a little old Man
As this.   Eit. Alas! he can do nothing, this!
   Wit. I'll tell you, Madam, I saw in the Court of Spain once
A Lady fall i' the King's sight, along;
And there she lay, flat spread, as an Umbrella,
Her Hoop here crack'd; no Man durst reach a Hand
To help her, till the Guarda-duenna's came,
Who is the Person onl' allow'd to touch
A Lady there, and he but by this Finger.
   Eit. Ha' they no Servants, Madam, there, nor Friends?
   Wit. An Escudero, or so, Madam, that waits
Upon 'em in another Coach, at distance;
And when they walk or dance, holds by a Handkercher,
Never presumes to touch 'em.   Eit. This's scurvy,
And a forc'd Gravity! I do not like it.
I like our own much better.   Tay. 'Tis more French,
And Courtly, ours.   Eit. And tastes more Liberty.
We may have our dozen of Visitors at once
Make love t' us.
   Tay. And before our Husbands.   Eit. Husband?
As I am honest, Tayl-bush, I do think,
In no body should love me, but my poor Husband,
I should e'en hang my self.   Tay. Fortune forbid, Wench,
So fair a Neck should have so foul a Neck-lace.
   Eit. 'Tis true, as I am handsom?question mark should be replaced with a period   Wit. I receiv'd, Lady,
A Token from you, which I would not be
Rude to refuse, being your first Remembrance.
   (Fit. O, I am satisfied now!   Mer. Do you see it, Sir?)
   Wit. But since you come to know me nearer, Lady,
I'll begg the Honour you will wear it for me,
[Wittipol gives it Mrs. Fitz-dottrel.
It must be so.
   Mrs. Fit. Sure I have heard this Tongue.
[Mere-craft murmurs.
   Mer. What do you mean, Sir?
   Wit. Would you ha' me mercenary?
We'll recompence it anon, in somewhat else.
[He is satisfied, now he sees it.

   Fit. I do not love to be gull'd, though in a Toy.
Wife, do you hear? yo' are come into the School, Wife,
Where you may learn, I do perceive it, any thing!
How to be fine, or fair, or great, or proud,
Or what you will, indeed, Wife; here 'tis taught:
And I am glad on't, that you may not say,
Another day, when Honours come upon you,
You wanted Means. I ha' done my parts; been,
To day, at Fifty pound charge; first, for a Ring,
[He upbraids her with his Bill of Costs.

To get you entred; then left my new Play,
To wait upon you here, to see't confirm'd,
That I may say, both to mine own Eyes and Ears,
Senses, you are my Witness, she' hath enjoy'd
All Helps that could be had for Love or Money —
   Mrs. Fit. To make a Fool of her.
   Fit. Wife, that's your Malice,
The wickedness o' your Nature, to interpret
Your Husband's Kindness thus: but I'll not leave

[column break]

Still to do good, for your deprav'd Affections:
Intend it; bend this stubborn Will; be Great.
   Tay. Good Madam, whom do they use in Messages?
   Wit. They commonly use their Slaves, Madam.
   Tay. And does your Ladiship
Think that so good, Madam?   Wit. No indeed, Madam; I
Therein prefer the Fashion of England far,
Of your young delicate Page, or discreet Usher.
   Fit. And I go with your Ladiship in opinion,
Directly for your Gentleman-Usher;
There's not a finer Officer goes on Ground.
   Wit. If he be made and broken to his Place once.
   Fit. Nay, so I presuppose him.   Wit. And they are fitter
Managers too, Sir; but I would have 'em call'd
Our Escudero's.   Fit. Good.   Wit. Say I should send
To your Ladiship, who (I presume) has gather'd
All the dear Secrets, to know how to make
Pastillo's of the Dutchess of Braganza,
Coquetta's, Almoiavana's, Mantecada's,
Alcorea's, Mustaccioli;
or say it were
The Peladore of Issabella, or Balls
Against the Itch, or Aqua Nanfa, or Oil
Of Jessamine for Gloves, of the Marquess Muja;
Or for the Head and Hair; why, these are Officesperiod omitted
   Fit.Eit. Fit for a Gentleman, not a Slave. They only
Might ask for your Piveti, Spanish Cole,
To burn, and sweeten a Room: but the Arcana
Of Ladies Cabinets —   Fit. Should be elsewhere trusted.
Yo' are much about the truth. Sweet honoured Ladies,
[He enters himself with the Ladies.

Let me fall in wi' you. I ha' my Female Wit,
As well as my Male. And I do know what suits
A Lady of Spirit, or a Woman of Fashion!
   Wit. And you would have your Wife such?
   Fit. Yes, Madam, airy,
Light; not to plain dishonesty, I mean:
But somewhat o' this side.   Wit. I take you, Sir.
H' has reason, Ladies. I'll not give this Rush
For any Lady that cannot be honest
Within a Thred.   Tay. Yes, Madam, and yet venture
As far for th' other, in her Fame — Wit. As can be;
Coach it to Pimlico, dance the Saraband,
Hear and talk Bawdy, laugh as loud as a Larum,
Squeak, spring, do any thing.
   Eit. In young Company, Madam.
   Tay. Or afore Gallants. If they be brave, or Lords,
A Woman is ingag'd.   Fit. I say so, Ladies,
It is Civility to deny us nothing.
   Pug. You talk of a University! why, Hell is
[The Devil admires him.
A Grammar-school to this!
   Eit. But then
She must not lose a Look on Stuffs or Cloth, Madam.
   Tay. Nor no course Fellow.
   Wit. She must be guided, Madam,
By the Clothes he wears, and Company he is in,
Whom to salute, how far —   Fit. I ha' told her this;
And how that Bawdry too, upo' the point,
Is (in it self) as civil a Discours ——
   Wit. As any other Affair of Flesh whatever.
   Fit. But she will ne'er be capable, she is not
So much as coming, Madam; I know not how
She loses all her Opportunities,
[He shews
  his
Pug.
With hoping to be forc'd. I have entertain'd
A Gentleman, a younger Brother, here,
Whom I would fain breed up her Escudero,
Against some Expectations that I have,
And she'll not countenance him.   Wit. What's his Name?
   Fit. Devil, o' Darby-shire.
   Eit. Bless us from him!   Tay. Devil!
Call him De-vile, sweet Madam.
   Mrs. Fit. What you please, Ladies.
   Tay. Devile's a prettier name!
   Eit. And sounds, me thinks,
As it came in with the Conqueror — Man. Over smocks!
What     




478 The Devil is an Ass.               


What things they are? That Nature should be at leasure
Ever to make 'em! My Wooing is at an end.
[Manly goes out with indignation.

   Wit. What can he do?
   Eit. Let's hear him.   Tay. Can he manage?
   Fit. Please you to try him, Ladies. Stand forth, Devil.
   Pug. Was all this but the Preface to my Torment?
   Fit. Come, let their Ladiships see your Honours.   Eit. O,
He makes a wicked Leg.   Tay. As ever I saw!
   Wit. Fit for a Devil.
   Tay. Good Madam, call him De-vile.
   Wit. De-vile, what Property is there most required
I' your conceit now, in the Escudero?
[They begin their Catechism.

   Fit. Why do you not speak?
   Pug. A setled discreet Pace, Madam.
   Wit. I think, a barren Head, Sir, Mountain-like,
To be expos'd to the cruelty of Weathers ——
   Fit. I, for his Valley is beneath the Waste, Madam,
And to be fruitful there, it is sufficient.
Dulness upon you! Could not you hit this?
[He strikes him.
   Pug. Good Sir ———
   Wit. He then had had no barren Head.
You daw him too much, in troth, Sir.   Fit. I must walk
With the French Stick, like an old Vierger, for you.
   Pug. O Chief, call me to Hell again, and free me.
[The Devil prays.

   Fit. Do you murmur now?
   Pug. Not I, Sir.   VVit. What do you take,
Mr. De-vile, the height of your Employment,
In the true perfect Escudero?   Fit. When?
What do you answer?   Pug. To be able, Madam,
First to enquire, then report the working
Of any Ladies Physick, in sweet Phrase.
   VVit. Yes, that's an Act of elegance, and importance.
But what above?   Fit. O, that I had a Goad for him.
   Pug. To find out a good Corn-cutter.   Tay. Out on him!
   Eit. Most barbarous!   Fit. Why did you do this now?
Of purpose to discredit me, you damn'd Devil?
   Pug. Sure, if I be not yet, I shall be. All
My Days in Hell were Holydays, to this!
   Tay. 'Tis Labour lost, Madam.   Eit. H'is a dull Fellow,
Of no Capacity!   Tay. Of no Discourse!
O, if my Ambler had been here!   Eit. I, Madam,
You talk of a Man, where is there such another?
   VVit. Mr. De-vile, put case one of my Ladies here
Had a fine Brach, and would employ you forth
To treat 'bout a convenient Match for her,
What would you observe?
   Pug. The Colour, and the Size, Madam.
   VVit. And nothing else?
   Fit. The Moon, you Calf, the Moon!
   VVit. I, and the Sign.
   Tay. Yes, and Receits for Proneness.
   VVit. Then when the Puppies came, what would you do?
   Pug. Get their Nativities cast!
   VVit. This's well. What more?
   Pug. Consult the Almanack-man which would be least,
Which cleanliest.
   VVit. And which silent'st? This's well, Madam:
And while she were with Puppy?
   Pug. VValk her out,
And air her every Morning.   VVit. Very good!
And be industrious to kill her Fleas!
   Pug. Yes.
   VVit. He will make a pretty Proficient.   Pug. VVho,
Coming from Hell, could look for such Catechising?
The Devil is an Ass, I do acknowledge it.
   Fit. The Top of VVoman! all her Sex in abstract!
[Fitz-dottrel admires Wittipol.

I love her, to each Syllable falls from her.
   Tay. Good Madam, give me leave to go aside with him.
And try him a little!
   VVit. Do, and I'll withdraw, Madam,

[column break]

VVith this fair Lady, read to her the while.
   Tay. Come, Sir.   Pug. Dear Chief, relieve me, or I perish.
[The Devil prays again.

   Wit. Lady, We'll follow. You are not jealous, Sir?
   Fit. O, Madam! you shall see. Stay, Wife, behold,
I give her up here absolutely to you;
She is your own; do with her what you will:
[He gives his Wife to him, taking him to be a Lady.

Melt, cast, and form her as you shall think good:
Set any Stamp on: I'll receive her from you
As a new thing, by your own Standard.   VVit. Well, Sir!

Act IV.    Scene V.

Mere-craft, Fitz-dottrel, Pit-fall, Ever-ill, Plutarchus.

B
Ut what ha' you done i' your Dependance since?
  Fit. O, it goes on; I met your Cousin, the Master —
   Mer. You did not acquaint him, Sir?
   Fit. Faith, but I did, Sir.
And, upon better thought, not without reason!
He being chief Officer, might ha' tane it ill else,
As a Contempt against his Place, and that
In time, Sir, ha' drawn on another Dependance.
No, I did find him in good Terms, and ready
To do me any Service.   Mer. So he said to you?
But, Sir, you do not know him.   Fit. Why, I presum'd,
Because this Bus'ness of my Wives requir'd me,
I could not ha' done better: And he told
Me, that he would go presently to your Counsel,
A Knight here i' the Lane —   Mer. Yes, Justice Either-side.
   Fit. And get the Feoffment drawn, with a Letter of
          Atturney,
For Livery and Seisin.   Mer. That I know's the Course.
But, Sir, you mean not to make him Feoffee?
   Fit. Nay, that I'll pause on!
   Mer. How now, little Pit-fall?
   Pit. Your Cousin, Master Ever-ill, would come in —
But he would know if Mr. Manly were here.
   Mer. No, tell him, if he were, I ha' made his Peace!
[Mere-craft whispers against him.

He's one, Sir, has no State, and a Man knows not
How such a Trust may tempt him.   Fit. I conceive you.
   Eve. Sir, this same Deed is done here.
   Mer. Pretty Plutarchus!
Art thou come with it? and has Sir Poul view'd it?
   Plu. His Hand is to the Draught.
   Mer. Will you step in, Sir,
And read it?   Fit. Yes.   Eve. I pray you, a word wi' you.
[Ever-ill whispers against Mere-craft.

Sir Poul Either-side will'd me gi' you caution
Whom you did make Feoffee; for 'tis the Trust
O' your whole State; and though my Cousin here
Be a worthy Gentleman, yet his Valour has
At the tall Board been question'd; and we hold
Any Man so impeach'd, of doubtful Honesty!
I will not justifie this, but give it you
To make your profit of it; if you utter it,
I can forswear it.   Fit. I believe you, and thank you, Sir.

Act IV.    Scene VI.

VVittipol, Mrs. Fitz-dottrel, Manly, Mere-craft.

B
E not afraid, sweet Lady; yo' are trusted
 To Love, not Violence, here: I am no Ravisher,
But one whom you by your fair Trust again
May of a ServautServant make a most true Friend.
   Mrs. Fit. And such a one I need, but not this way.
Sir, I confess me to you, the meer manner
Of your attempting me this morning, took me;
And I did hold m' Invention, and my Manners,
Were both engag'd to give it a Requital;
But not unto your Ends: My Hope was then,
(Though                     




           The Devil is an Ass. 479


(Though interrupted ere it could be utter'd)
That whom I found the Master of such Language,
That Brain and Spirit, for such an Enterprise,
Could not, but if those Succours were demanded
To a right Use, employ them vertuously,
And make that Profit of his Noble Parts,
Which they would yield. Sir, you have now the ground
To exercise them in: I am a Woman,
That cannot speak more wretchedness of my self,
Than you can read; match'd to a Mass of Folly,
That every day makes haste to his own Ruin;
The wealthy Portion that I brought him, spent:
And (through my Friends neglect) no Jointure made me.
My Fortunes standing in this Precipice,
'Tis Counsel that I want, and honest Aids;
And in this Name I need you for a Friend,
Never in any other; for his ill
Must not make me, Sir, worse.
[Manly conceal'd this while, shews himself.

   Man. O, Friend, forsake not
The brave Occasion Vertue offers you
To keep you innocent: I have fear'd for both,
And watch'd you, to prevent the ill I fear'd.
But since the weaker side hath so assur'd me,
Let not the stronger fall by his own Vice,
Or be the less a Friend, 'cause Vertue needs him.
   VVit. Vertue shall never ask my Succours twice;
Most Friend, most Man, your Counsels are Commands.
Lady, I can love Goodness in you, more
Than I did Beauty; and do here intitle
Your Vertue to the Power upon a Life
You shall engage in any fruitful Service,
Even to forfeit.   Mer. Madam: Do you hear, Sir?
[Mere-craft takes Wittipol aside, and moves
       a Project for himself.


We have another Leg strain'd, for this Dottrel.
H' has a Quarrel to carry, and has caus'd
A Deed of Feoffment of his whole Estate
To be drawn yonder; h' has't within: And you
Only he means to make Feoffee: H' is faln
So desperately enamour'd on you, and talks
Most like a Mad-man: you did never hear
A Phrentick so in love with his own Favour!
Now, you do know, 'tis of no validity
In your name, as you stand: Therefore advise him
To put in me. (H' is come here.) You shall share, Sir.

Act IV.    Scene VII.

VVittipol, Mrs. Fitz-dottrel, Manly, Mere-craft, Fitz-dottrel,
Ever-ill, Plutarchus.

Fit.
M
Adam, I have a Suit to you; and afore-hand,
 I do bespeak you; you must not deny me,
I will be granted.   VVit. Sir, I must know it, though.
   Fit. No, Lady, you must not know it: yet you must too,
For the Trust of it, and the Fame indeed,
Which else were lost me. I would use your Name
But in a Feoffment, make my whole Estate
Over unto you: a trifle, a thing of nothing,
Some Eighteen hundred.   VVit. Alas! I understand not
Those things, Sir: I am a Woman, and most loth
To embark my self — Fit. You will not slight me, Madam?
   VVit. Nor you'll not quarrel me?
   Fit. No, sweet Madam, I have
Already a Dependance; for which cause
I do this: let me put you in, dear Madam,
I may be fairly kill'd.   VVit. You have your Friends, Sir,
About you here for choice.
[He hopes to be the Man.
   Eve. She tells you right, Sir.
   Fit. Death, if she do, what do I care for that?
Say, I would have her tell me wrong.   Wit. Why, Sir,
If for the Trust you'll let me have the Honour
To name you one.

[column break]

   Fit. Nay, you do me the Honour, Madam.
[She designs Manly.
Who is't?   Wit. This Gentleman.
   Fit. O no, sweet Madam,
H' is Friend to him with whom I ha' the Dependance.
   Wit. Who might he be?
   Fit. One Wittipol: do you know him?
   Wit. Alas, Sir, he! a Toy: This Gentleman
A Friend to him? No more than I am, Sir.
   Fit. But will your Ladiship undertake that, Madam?
   Wit. Yes, and what else, for him, you will engage me.
   Fit. What is his Name?
   Wit. His Name is Eustace Manly.
   Fit. Whence does he write himself?
   Wit. Of Middlesex,
Esquire.
   Fit. Say nothing, Madam. Clerk, come hither;
Write Eustace Manly, Squire o' Middlesex.
   Mer. What ha' you done, Sir?
   Wit. Nam'd a Gentleman,
That I'll be answerable for, to you, Sir.
Had I nam'd you, it might ha' been suspected;
This way, 'tis safe.   Fit. Come, Gentlemen, your Hands
For Witness.   Man. What is this?
[Everil applauds it.
   Eve. You ha' made Election
Of a most worthy Gentleman!   Man. Would one of worth
Had spoke it; whence it comes, it is
Rather a Shame to me, than a Praise.
   Eve. Sir, I will give you any Satisfaction.
   Man. Be silent then: "Falshood commends not Truth.
   Plu. You do deliver this, Sir, as your Deed,
To th' Use of Mr. Manly?   Fit. Yes: and Sir ——
When did you see young Wittipol? I am ready
For Process now: Sir, this is Publication.
He shall hear from me; he would needs be courting
My Wife, Sir.   Man. Yes: so witnesseth his Cloke there.
   Fit. Nay, good Sir —— Madam, you did undertake —
[Fitz-dottrel is suspicious of Manly still.

   Wit. What?   Fit. That he was not Wittipol's Friend.
   Wit. I hear,
Sir, no confession of it.   Fit. O, she knows not,
Now I remember. Madam, this young Wittipol
Would ha' debauch'd my Wife, and made me Cuckold
Thorow a Casement; he did fly her home
To mine own Window; but I think I fou't him,
And ravish'd her away out of his Pounces.
I ha' sworn to ha' him by the Ears: I fear
The Toy wi' not do me right.   Wit. No, that were pity!
What right do you ask, Sir? Here he is will do't you.
[Wittipol discovers himself.

   Fit. Ha! Wittipol!   VVit. I, Sir, no more Lady now,
Nor Spaniard!   Man. No indeed, 'tis VVittipol.
   Fit. Am I the thing I fear'd?   VVit. A Cuckold? No, Sir;
But you were late in possibility,
I'll tell you so much.   Man. But your Wife's too vertuous.
   VVit. We'll see her, Sir, at home, and leave you here,
To be made Duke o' Shoreditch with a Project.
   Fit. Thieves, Ravishers.   VVit. Cry but another Note, Sir,
I'll mar the Tune o' your Pipe.   Fit. Gi' me my Deed then.
[He would have his Deed again.

   Wit. Neither: That shall be kept for your Wives good,
Who will know better how to use it.   Fit. Ha!
To feast you with my Land?   Wit. Sir, be you quiet,
Or I shall gag you ere I go; consult
Your Master of Dependences, how to make this
A second Business, you have time, Sir.   Fit. Oh!
[Wittipol baffles him, and goes out.

What will the Ghost of my wise Grandfather,
My learned Father, with my worshipful Mother,
Think of me now, that left me in this World
In state to be their Heir? that am become
A Cuckold, and an Ass, and my Wives Ward;
Likely to lose my Land, ha' my Throat cut;
All, by her Practice!   Mer. Sir, we are all abus'd!
   Fit. And be so still! Who hinders you, I pray you?
Let me alone, I would enjoy my self,
And                      




480 The Devil is an Ass.               


And be the Duke o' Drown'd-land you ha' made me.
   Mer. Sir, we must play an After-game o' this.
   Fit. But I am not in case to be a Gamester,
I tell you once again ——   Mer. You must be rul'd,
And take some Counsel.   Fit. Sir, I do hate Counsel,
As I do hate my Wife, my wicked Wife!
   Mer. But we may think how to recover all,
If you will act.   Fit. I will not think, nor act,
Nor yet recover; do not talk to me:
I'll run out o' my Wits, rather than hear.
I will be what I am, Fabian Fitz-dottrel,
Though all the World say nay to't.   Mer. Let's follow him.



Act V.    Scene I.

Ambler, Pitfall, Mere-craft.

B
Ut has my Lady mist me?   Pit. Beyond telling!
 Here has been that infinity of Strangers!
And then she would ha' had you, to ha' sampled you
With one within, that they are now a teaching,
And does pretend to your Rank.   Amb. Good fellow, Pitfal,
 [Pitfal
Tell Mr. Mere-craft, I intreat a word with him.
goes out.
This most unlucky accident will go near
To be the loss o' my Place, I am in doubt.
   Mer. With me? What say you, Mr. Ambler?   Amb. Sir,
I would beseech your Worship, stand between
Me and my Ladies displeasure, for my absence.
   Mer. O, is that all? I warrant you.
   Amb. I would tell you, Sir,
But how it hapned.   Mer. Brief, good Mr. Ambler,
Put your self to your rack; for I have Task
[Mere-craft seems full of Business.
Of more importance.
   Amb. Sir, you'll laugh at me!
But (so is Truth) a very Friend of mine,
Finding by conference with me, that I liv'd
Too chaste for my Complexion, (and indeed
Too honest for my Place, Sir) did advise me,
If I did love my self, (as that I do,
I must confess.)   Mer. Spare your Parenthesis.
   Amb. To gi' my Body a little Evacuation ——
   Mer. Well, and you went to a Whore?
   Amb. No, Sir, I durst not
(For fear it might arrive at some bodies Ear
It should not) trust my self to a Common House;
[Ambler tells this with extraordinary speed.

But got the Gentlewoman to go with me,
And carry her Bedding to a Conduit-head,
Hard by the Place toward Tyburn, which they call
My L. Mayor's Banquetting-house. Now, Sir, this morning
Was Execution; and I ne'er dreamt on't,
Till I heard the noise o' the People, and the Horses;
And neither I, nor the poor Gentlewoman
Durst stir, till all was done and past: so that
[He flags.
I' the interim we fell asleep again.
   Mer. Nay, if you fall from your Gallop, I am gone, Sir.
   Amb. But when I wak'd, to put on my Clothes, a Sute
I made new for the Action, it was gone,
And all my Money, with my Purse, my Seals,
My Hard-wax, and my Table-books, my Studies,
And a fine new Device I had to carry
My Pen and Ink, my Civet, and my Tooth-picks,
All under one. But that which griev'd me, was
The Gentlewomans Shooes (with a pair of Roses,
And Garters) I had given her for the Business;
So as that made us stay till it was dark:
For I was fain to lend her mine, and walk
In a Rug, by her, barefoot, to St. Giles's.
   Mer. A kind of Irish Penance! Is this all, Sir?
   Amb. To satisfie my Lady.   Mer. I will promise you, Sir.
   Amb. I ha' told the true Disaster.
   Mer. I cannot stay wi' you,
Sir, to condole; but gratulate your Return.

[column break]

   Amb. An honest Gentleman; but he's never at leasure
To be himself, he has such Tides of Business.

Act V.    Scene II.

Pug, Ambler.

O
 Call me home again, dear Chief, and put me
 To yoking Foxes, milking of He-goats,
Pounding of Water in a Mortar, laving
The Sea dry with a Nut-shell, gathering all
The Leaves are faln this Autumn, drawing Farts
Out of dead Bodies, making Ropes of Sand,
Catching the Winds together in a Net,
Mustring of Ants, and numbring Atoms; all
That Hell and you thought exquisite Torments, rather
Than stay me here a thought more: I would sooner
Keep Fleas within a Circle, and be Accomptant
A thousand Year, which of 'em, and how far,
Out-leap'd the other, than endure a Minute
Such as I have within. There is no Hell
To a Lady of fashion. All your Tortures there
Are Pastimes to it. 'Twould be a refreshing
For me, to be i' the Fire again, from hence.
[Ambler comes in, and surveys him.

   Amb. This is my Sute, and those the Shooes and Roses!
   Pug. Th' have such impertinent Vexations,
A general Council o' Devils could not hit ——
[Pug perceives it, and starts.

Ha! This is he I took asleep with his Wench,
And borrow'd his Clothes. What might I do to balk him?
   Amb. Do you hear, Sir?
   Pug. Answer him, but not to th' purpose.
   Amb. What is your Name, I pray you, Sir?
[He answers quite from the purpose.
   Pug. Is't so late, Sir?
   Amb. I ask not o' the time, but of your Name, Sir.
   Pug. I thank you, Sir. Yes, it does hold, Sir, certain.
   Amb. Hold, Sir? What holds?
I must both hold, and talk to you
About these Clothes.   Pug. A very pretty Lace!
But the Taylor cozen'd me.   Amb. No, I am cozen'd
By you! robb'd.   Pug. Why, when you please, Sir; I am
For three-peny Gleek, your Man.   Amb. Pox o' your Gleek,
And three-pence: Give me an answer.   Pug. Sir,
My Master is the best at it.   Amb. Your Master!
Who is your Master?   Pug. Let it be Friday-night.
   Amb. VVhat should be then?
   Pug. Your best Song's Thom. o' Bet'lem.
   Amb. I think, you are he.
Does he mock me trow, from purpose?
Or do not I speak to him what I mean?
Good Sir, your Name.   Pug. Only a couple o' Cocks, Sir;
If we can get a Widgeon, 'tis in season.
   Amb. He hopes to make one o' these Scipticks o' me,
[For Scepticks.

(I think I name 'em right) and does not fly me:
I wonder at that! 'tis a strange Confidence!
I'll prove another way, to draw his answer.

Act V.    Scene III.

Mere craft, Fitz-dottrel, Everill, Pug.

I
T is the easiest thing, Sir, to be done,
 As plain as fizzling: Roll but wi' your Eyes,
And foam at th' Mouth. A little Castle-soap
Will do't, to rub your Lips; and then a Nut-shell,
With Tow, and Touch-wood in it, to spit Fire.
Did you ne'er read, Sir, little Darrel's Tricks
With the Boy o' Burton, and the Seven in Lancashire,
Sommers
at Nottingham? All these do teach it.
And we'll give out, Sir, that your Wife has bewitch'd you.
[They repair their old Plot.

   Eve. And practis'd with those two, as Sorcerers.
   Mer. And ga' you Potions, by which means you were
Not                 




           The Devil is an Ass. 481


Not Compos mentis, when you made your Feoffment.
There's no recovery o' your State but this:
This, Sir, will sting.
   Ever. And move in a Court of Equity.
   Mer. For it is more than manifest, that this was
A plot o' your Wives, to get your Land.   Fit. I think it.
   Ever. Sir, it appears.
   Mer. Nay, and my Cousin has known
These Gallants in these shapes.
   Ever. T' have done strange things, Sir.
One as the Lady, the other as the Squire.
   Mer. How a Mans honesty may be fool'd! I thought him
A very Lady.   Fit. So did I: renounce me else.
   Mer. But this way, Sir, you'll be reveng'd at height.
   Ever. Upon 'em all.
   Mer. Yes faith, and since your Wife
Has run the way of Woman thus, e'en give her —
   Fit. Lost, by this Hand, to me; dead to all joys
Of her dear Dottrel, I shall never pity her,
That could pity her self.   Mer. Princely resolv'd, Sir,
And like your self still, in Potentiβ.

Act V.    Scene IV.

To them.]   Mere-craft, &c. Guilt-head, Sledge, Plutarchus
Serjeants.

G
Uilt-head. What news?
   Fit. O Sir, my hundred Pieces:
[Fitz-dottrel asks for his Money.
Let me ha' them yet?
   Gui. Yes, Sir. Officers,
Arrest him.   Fit. Me?   Ser. I arrest you.
   Sle. Keep the Peace,
I charge you, Gentlemen.   Fit. Arrest me? Why?
   Gui. For better security, Sir. My Son Plutarchus
Assures me y' are not worth a Groat.
   Plu. Pardon me, Father,
I said his Worship had no foot of Land left:
And that I'll justifie, for I writ the Deed.
   Fit. Ha' you these tricks i' the City?
   Gui. Yes, and more.
Arrest this Gallant too, here, at my sute.
[Meaning Mere-craft.

   Sle. I, and at mine. He owes me for his lodging
Two year and a quarter.
   Mer. Why Mr. Guilt-head, Land-Lord,
Thou art not mad, though th'art Constable
Puft up with th' pride of the place? Do you hear, Sirs.
Have I deserv'd this from you two? for all
My pains at Court, to get you each a Patent.
   Gui. For what?   Mer. Upo' my project o' the Forks.
[The Project of Forks.
   Sle. Forks? what be they?
   Mer. The laudable use of Forks,
Brought into custom here, as they are in Italy,
To th' sparing o' Napkins. That, that should have made
Your Bellows go at the Forge, as his at the Fornace.
I ha' procur'd it, ha' the Signet for it,
Dealt with the Linen-drapers, on my private
Bie, 'cause I fear'd they were the likeliest ever
To stir against, to cross it: for 'twill be
A mighty saver of Linen through the Kingdom
(As that is one o' my grounds, and to spare washing.)
Now, on you two, had I laid all the profits.
Guilt-head to have the making of all those
Of Gold and Silver, for the better personages;
And you, of those of Steel for the common sort.
And both by Patent. I had brought you your Seals in,
But now you have prevented me, and I thank you.
[Sledge is brought about.

   Sle. Sir, I will bail you, at mine own ap-peril.
   Mer. Nay chuse.   Plu. Do you so too, good Father.
[And Guilt-head comes.

   Gui. I like the fashion o' the project well,
The Forks! It may be a lucky one! and is not

[column break]

Intricate, as one would say, but fit for
Plain Heads, as ours, to deal in. Do you hear,
Officers, we discharge you.   Mer. Why this shews
A little good nature in you, I confess,
But do not tempt your Friends thus. Little Guilt-head,
Advise your Sire, great Guilt-head, from these courses:
And, here, to trouble a great Man in reversion,
For a matter o' fifty on a false Alarm,
Away, it shews not well. Let him get the Pieces
And bring 'em. You'll hear more else.   Plu. Father.

Act V.    Scene V.

To them.]                          Ambler.

O
 Master Sledge, are you here? I ha' been to seek you.
 You are the Constable, they say. Here's one
That I do charge with Felony, for the sute
He wears, Sir.   Mer. Who? Mr. Fitz-dottrel's Man?
'Ware what you do, Mr. Ambler.
   Amb. Sir, these Clothes,
I'll swear, are mine: and the Shooes the Gentlewomans
I told you of: and ha' him afore a Justice,
I will.   Pug. My Master, Sir, will pass his word for me.
   Amb. O, can you speak to purpose now?   Fit. Not I,
If you be such a one, Sir, I will leave you
To your God-fathers in Law. Let twelve Men work.
[Fitz-dottrel disclaims him.

   Pug. Do you hear, Sir, pray, in private.
   Fit. Well, what say you?
Brief, for I have no time to lose.   Pug. Truth is, Sir,
I am the very Devil, and had leave
To take this body I am in, to serve you:
Which was a Cut-purses, and hang'd this Morning.
And it is likewise true, I stole this sute
To cloath me with. But, Sir, let me not go
To Prison for it. I have hitherto
Lost time, done nothing; shown, indeed, no part
O' my Devils nature. Now, I will so help
Your malice, 'gainst these Parties: so advance
The business, that you have in hand of Witchcraft,
And your possession, as my self were in you.
Teach you such tricks, to make your Belly swell,
And your Eyes turn, to foam, to stare, to gnash
Your Teeth together, and to beat your self,
Laugh round, and feign six voices —   Fit. Out you Rogue!
You most infernal counterfeit wretch! Avant!
Do you think to gull me with your Ζsop's Fables?
Here, take him to you, I ha' no part in him.   Pug. Sir.
   Fit. Away, I do disclaim, I will not hear you.
[And sends him away.

   Mer. What said he to you, Sir?
   Fit. Like a lying Rascal
Told me he was the Devil.   Mer. How! a good Jest!
   Fit. And that he would teach me such fine Devils tricks
For our new resolution.   Ever. O' Pox on him,
'Twas excellent wisely done, Sir, not to trust him.
[Merecraft gives the instructions to him and the rest.

   Mer. Why, if he were the Devil, we sha' not need him,
If you'll be rul'd. Go throw your self on a Bed, Sir,
And feign you ill. We'll not be seen wi' you,
Till after, that you have a fit: and all
Confirm'd within. Keep you with the two Ladies
And perswade them. I'll to Justice Eitherside,
And possess him with all. Trains shall seek out Ingine,
And they two fill the Town with't; every Cable
Is to be veer'd. We must employ out all
Our Emissaries now. Sir, I will send you
Bladders and Bellows. Sir, be confident,
'Tis no hard thing t'out-do the Devil in:
A Boy o' thirteen year old made him an Ass
But t'tothert'other day.   Fit. Well, I'll begin to practise,
And scape the imputation of being Cuckold,
By mine own act.   Mer. Yo' are right.
Q q q                               Ever. Come,        




482 The Devil is an Ass.               


   Ever. Come, you ha' put
Your self to a simple coil here, and your Friends,
By dealing with new Agents, in new Plots.
   Mer. No more o' that, sweet Cousin.
   Ever. What had you
To do with this same Wittipol, for a Lady?
   Mer. Question not that; 'tis done.
   Ever. You had some strain
'Bove E-la?   Mer. I had indeed.
   Ever. And now you crack for't.
   Mer. Do not upbraid me.
   Ever. Come, you must be told on't;
You are so covetous, still, to embrace
More than you can, that you lose all.   Mer. 'Tis right.
What would you more than Guilty? Now, your succours.

Act V.    Scene VI.

Shackles, Pug, Iniquity, Devil.

Pug is brought to Newgate.

H
Ere you are lodg'd, Sir, you must send your garnish,
 If you'll be private.   Pug. There it is, Sir, leave me.
To Newgate, brought? How is the name of Devil
Discredited in me! What a lost Fiend
Shall I be, on return? My Chief will roar
In triumph, now, that I have been on Earth
A day, and done no noted thing, but brought
That body back here, was hang'd out this morning.
Well! would it once were midnight, that I knew
My utmost. I think Time be drunk, and sleeps;
He is so still, and moves not! I do glory
Now i' my torment. Neither can I expect it,
[Enter Iniquity the Vice.
I have it with my fact.
   Ini. Child of Hell, be thou merry:
Put a look on, as round, Boy, and red as a Cherry.
Cast care at thy Posterns, and firk i' thy Fetters:
They are Ornaments, Baby, have graced thy betters:
Look upon me, and hearken. Our Chief doth salute thee,
And lest our cold Iron should chance to confute thee,
H' hath sent thee, Grant-parol by me to stay longer
A Month here on Earth, against cold, Child, or honger.
   Pug. How? longer here a Month?
   Ing.Ini. Yes, Boy, till the Session,
That so thou maist have a triumphal egression.
   Pug. In a Cart, to be hang'd.
   Ing.Ini. No, Child, in a Car,
The Chariot of Triumph, which most of them are.
And in the mean time, to be greazy, and bouzy,
And nasty, and filthy, and ragged and louzy,
With dam'n me, renounce me; and all the fine Phrases,
That bring unto Tyburn, the plentiful gazes.
   Pug. He is a Devil! and may be our Chief!
The great Superior Devil! for his malice:
Arch-devil! I acknowledge him. He knew
What I would suffer, when he ti'd me up thus
In a Rogues body: and he has (I thank him)
His tyrannous pleasure on me, to confine me
To the unlucky Carkass of a Cut-purse,
Wherein I could do nothing.
[The great Devil enters, and upbraids him
       with all his days work.


   Div. Impudent Fiend,
Stop thy lewd Mouth. Dost thou not shame and tremble
To lay thine own dull damn'd defects upon
An innocent case, there? Why, thou heavy slave!
The Spirit that did possess that Flesh before
Put more true life in a Finger and a Thumb,
Than thou in the whole Mass. Yet thou rebell'st
And murmur'st? What one proffer hast thou made,
Wicked enough, this day, that might be call'd
Worthy thine own, much less the name that sent thee?
First, thou did'st help thy self into a beating

[column break]

Promptly, and with't endangered'st too thy Tongue:
A Devil, and could not keep a body intire
One day! That, for our credit: And to vindicate it,
Hinder'dst (for ought thou know'st) a deed of darkness:
Which was an act of that egregious folly,
As no one, to'ard the Devil, could ha' thought on.
This for your acting! but for suffering! why
Thou hast been cheated on, with a false Beard,
And a turn'd Cloke. Faith, would your predecessor
The Cut-purse, think you ha' been so? Out upon thee,
The hurt th' hast done, to let Men know their strength,
And that the'are aresecond 'are' should be omitted able to out-do a Devil
Put in a body, will for ever be
A scar upon our Name! whom hast thou dealt with,
Woman or Man, this day, but have out-gone thee
Some way, and most have prov'd the better Fiends?
Yet, you would be imploy'd? Yes, Hell shall make you
Provincial o' the Cheaters! or Bawd-ledger,
For this side o' the Town! No doubt you'll render
A rare account of things. Bane o' your Itch,
And scratching for Imployment. I'll ha' Brimstone
To allay it sure, and Fire to singe your Nails off,
But that I would not such a damn'd dishonor
Stick on our state, as that the Devil were hang'd;
And could not save a body, that he took
From Tyburn, but it must come thither again:
You should e'en ride. But up, away with him —
[Iniquity takes him on his back.

   Ini. Mount darling of darkness, my Shoulders are broad:
He that carries the Fiend, is sure of his load.
The Devil was wont to carry away the Evil;
But now the Evil out-carries the Devil.

Act V.    Scene VII.

Shackles, Keepers.

A great noise is heard in
Newgate, and the Keepers
come out affrighted.

O
 Me!   Keep. 1. What's this?   2. A piece of Justice
       Hall

Is broken down.   3. Fough! what a steam of Brimstone
Is here?   4. The Prisoner's dead, came in but now!
   Sha. Ha? where?   4. Look here.
   Keep. 'Slid, I should know his countenance!
It is Gill-cut-purse, was hang'd out this morning!
   Sha. 'Tis he!   2. The Devil sure has a hand in this!
   3. What shall we do?   Sha. Carry the news of it
Unto the Sheriffs.   1. And to the Justices.
   4. This 'is' omitted strange!
   3. And favours of the Devil, strongly!
   2. I' ha' the Sulphur of Hell-coal i' my Nose.
   1. Fough.   Sha. Carry him in.   1. Away.
   2. How rank it is!

Act V.    Scene VIII.

To them.]   Sir Poul, Mere-craft, Ever-ill, Trains, Pitfal,
Fitz-dottrel.
To them.
]   Wittipol, Manly, Mistris Fitz-dottrel, Ingine.
To them.
]   Guilt-head, Sledge, Shackles.

The Justice comes out wondring, at the rest informing him.

T
His was the notablest Conspiracy,
 That ere I heard of.
   Mer. Sir, They had giv'n him Potions,
That did enamour him on the counterfeit Lady ——
   Ever. Just to the time o' delivery o' theethe Deed —
   Mer. And then the witchcraft 'gan' t' appear, for
          straight
He fell into his fit.   Ever. Of rage at first, Sir,
Which since has so increased.
Tay. Good            




           The Devil is an Ass. 483


   Tay. Good Sir Poul, see him,
And punish the Impostors.
   Pou. Therefore I come, Madam.
   Eit. Let Mr. Eitherside alone, Madam.
   Pou. Do you hear?
Call in the Constable, I will have him by:
H'is the King's Officer! and some Citizens,
Of credit! I'll discharge my Conscience clearly.
   Mer. Yes, Sir, and send for his Wife.
   Ever. And the two Sorcerers,
By any means!   Tay. I thought one a true Lady,
I should be sworn. So did you, Eitherside?
   Eit. Yes, by that light, would I might ne'er stir else,
         Tailbush.
   Tay. And the other a civil Gentleman.
   Ever. But, Madam,
You know what I told your Ladiship?   Tay. I now see it:
I was providing of a Banquet for 'em.
After I had done instructing o' the Fellow
De-vile, the Gentlemans Man.
   Mer. Who's found a Thief, Madam.
And to have rob'd your Usher, Master Ambler.
This morning.   Tay. How?
   Mer. I'll tell you more, anon.
   Fit. Gi' me some Garlick, Garlick, Garlick, Garlick.
[He begins his fit.

   Mer. Hark, the poor Gentleman, how he is tormented!
   Fit. My Wife is a Whore, I'll kiss her no more: and why?
Ma'st not thou be a Cuckold, as well as I?
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,
&c.
   Pou. That is the Devil speaks, and laughs in him.
[The Justice interprets all.

   Mer. Do you think so, Sir?
   Pou. I discharge my Conscience.
   Fit. And is not the Devil good company? Yes, wis.
   Ever. How he changes, Sir, his Voice!
   Fit. And a Cuckold is
Where ere he put his Head, with a Wanion,
If his Horns be forth, the Devil's companion!
Look, look, look, else.

   Mer. How he foams!   Ever. And swels!
   Tay. O, me! what's that there rises in his Belly!
   Eit. A strange thing! hold it down.
   Tra. Pit. We cannot, Madam.
   Pov.'Pou.' as are other references 
to 'Pov.' in this scene 'Tis too apparent this!   Fit. Wittipol, Wittipol.
[Wittipol, and Manly, and Mrs. Fitz-
      dottrel enter.


   Wit. How now, what play ha' we here:
   Man. What fine, new matters?
   Wit. The Cockscomh,Cockscomb and the Coverlet.
   Mer. O strange impudence!
That these should come to face their sin!
   Ever. And out-face
Justice, they are the Parties, Sir.   Pov. Say nothing.
   Mer. Did you mark, Sir, upon their coming in,
How he call'd Wittipol?   Ever. And never saw 'em.
   Pov. I warrant you did I, let 'em play a while.
   Fit. Buz, buz, buz, buz.   Tay. 'Lass poor Gentleman,
How he is tortur'd!   Mrs. Fit. Fie Master Fitz-dottrel!
What do you mean to counterfeit thus?
[His Wife goes to him.

   Fit. O, O,
She comes with a Needle, and thrusts it in,
She pulls out that, and she puts in a Pin,
And now, and now, I do not know how, nor where,
But she pricks me here, and she pricks me there: Oh, oh:

   Pov. Woman forbear.   Wit. What, Sir?
   Pov. A practice foul
For one so fair.
   Wit. Hath this, then, credit with you?
   Man. Do you believe in't?
   Pov. Gentlemen, I'll discharge
My Conscience. 'Tis a clear conspiracy!
A dark and devillish practice! I detest it!

[column break]

   Wit. The Justice sure will prove the merrier Man!
   Man. This is most strange, Sir!
   Pou. Come not to confront
Authority with impudence: I tell you
I do detest it. Here comes the Kings Constable,
And with him a right worshipful Commoner;
My good Friend, Master Guilt-head! I am glad
I can before such witnesses, profess
My Conscience, and my Detestation of it.
Horrible! most unnatural! abominable!
   Ever. You do not tumble enough.
[They whisper him.

   Mer. Wallow, gnash:
   Tay. O, how he is vexed!   Pou. 'Tis too manifest.
   Ever. Give him more Soap to foam with, now lie still.
[And give him Soap to act with.

   Mer. And act a little.   Tay. What do's he now, Sir.
   Pou. Shew
The taking of Tabacco, with which the Devil
Is so delighted.   Fit. Hum!   Pou. And calls for Hum.
You takers of strong Waters, and Tabacco,
Mark this.   Fit. Yellow, yellow, yellow, yellow, &c.
   Pou. That's Starch! the Devil's Idol of that colour.
He ratifies it, with clapping of his Hands.
The proofs are pregnant.   Gui. How the Devil can act!
   Pou. He is the Master of Players! Master Guilt-head,
And Poets too! you heard him talk in Rhime!
I had forgot to observe it to you, ere while!
   Tay. See, he spits Fire.   Pou. O no he plays at Figgum,
The Devil is the Author of wicked Figgum ——
[Sir Poul interprets Figgum to be a
     Juglers Game.


   Man. Why speak you not unto him?   Wit. If I had
All innocence of Man to be indanger'd,
And he could save, or ruin it: I'ld not breath
A syllable in request, to such a Fool,
He makes himself.   Fit. O they whisper, whisper, whisper.
We shall have more of Devils a score,
To come to dinner, in me the sinner.

   Eit. Alas, poor Gentleman!
   Pou. Put 'em asunder.
Keep 'em one from the other.
   Man. Are you phrentick, Sir?
Or what grave dotage moves you to take part
With so much villany? we are not afraid
Either of Law, or Trial; let us be
Examin'd what our ends were, what the means?
To work by; and possibility of those means.
Do not conclude against us, ere you hear us.
   Pou. I will not hear you, yet I will conclude
Out of the circumstances.   Man. Will you so, Sir?
   Pou. Yes, they are palpable.
   Man. Not as your folly:
   Pou. I will discharge my Conscience, and do all
To the Meridian of Justice.   Gui. You do well, Sir.
   Fit. Provide me to eat, three or four dishes o' good Meat,
I'll feast them, and their trains, a Justice Head and Brains
Shall be the first.
   Pou. The Devil loves not Justice,
There you may see.   Fit. A Spare-rib o' my Wife,
And a Whores Purt'nance! a
Guilt-head whole.
   Pou. Be not you troubled, Sir, the Devil speaks it.
   Fit. Yes, wis, Knight, shite, Poul, Joul, Owle, foul, troul,
        boul.

   Pou. Cramb, another of the Devils Games!
   Mer. Speak, Sir, some Greek, if you can. Is not the
        Justice
A solemn Gamester?   Ever. Peace.   Fit. Oi moi, cacodaimwn,
Kai triscacodaimwn, cai tetraciV, cai pentaciV,
Kai dwdecaciV, cai mnriaciV.
   Pou. He curses
In Greek, I think.   Ever. Your Spanish, that I taught you.
   Fit. Quebrιmos el ojo de burlas.   Ever. How? your rest —
Let's break his Neck in jest, the Devil says,
   Fit. Di grαtia, Signςr mio se haϊete denαri fatamιne parte.
   Mer. What, would the Devil borrow Money?
Q q q 2                                                    Ouy  




484 The Devil is an Ass.               


   Fit. Ouy, Ouy Monsieur, ωn pΰuvre Diable! Diablet in!
   Pou. It is the Devil, by his several Languages.
   Sha. Where's Sir Poul Eitherside?
[Enter the Keeper of Newgate.

   Pou. Here, what's the matter?
   Sha. O! such an accident fal'n out at Newgate, Sir:
A great piece of the Prison is rent down!
The Devil has been there, Sir, in the body ——
Of the young Cut-purse, was hang'd out this morning,
But, in new Clothes, Sir, every one of us know him.
These things were found in his Pocket.
   Amb. Those are mine, Sir.
   Sha. I think he was committed on your charge, Sir.
For a new Felony.   Amb. Yes.
   Sha. He's gone, Sir, now,
And left us the dead body. But withal, Sir,
Such an infernal stink, and steam behind,
You cannot see St. Pulchres Steeple, yet.
They smel't as far as Ware, as the wind lies,
By this time, sure.   Fit. Is this upon your credit, Friend?
[Fitz-dottrel leaves counterfeiting.

   Sha. Sir, you may see, and satisfie your self.
   Fit. Nay, then, 'tis time to leave off counterfeiting.
Sir I am not betwitch'd,bewitch'd nor have a Devil:
No more than you. I do defie him, I,
And did abuse you. These two Gentlemen
Put me upon it. (I have faith against him)
They taught me all my tricks. I will tell truth,
And shame the Fiend. See, here, Sir, are my Bellows,
And my false Belly, and my Mouse, and all
That should ha' come forth?
   Man. Sir, are not you asham'd
Now of your solemn, serious vanity?
   Pou. I will make honourable amends to truth.
   Fit. And so will I. But these are Cozeners still,
And ha' my Land, as Plotters, with my Wife:

[column break]

Who, though she be not a Witch, is worse, a Whore.
   Man. Sir, you belie her. She is chaste, and vertuous,
And we are honest. I do know no glory
A Man should hope, by venting his own Follies,
But you'll still be an Ass in spight of Providence.
Please you go in, Sir, and hear truths, then judge 'em,
And make amends for your late rashness, when
You shall but hear the pains and care was taken,
To save this fool from ruine, (his Grace of Drown'd-land.)
   Fit. My Land is drown'd indeed ——
   Pou. Peace.   Man. And how much
His modest and too worthy Wife hath suffer'd
By mis-construction from him, you will blush,
First, for your own belief, more for his actions!
His Land is his: and never, by my Friend,
Or by my self, meant to another use,
But for her succours, who hath equal right.
If any other had worse Counsels in't,
(I know I speak to those can apprehend me)
Let 'em repent 'em, and be not detected.
It is not manly to take joy, or pride
In human errors (we do all ill things,
They do 'em worst that love 'em, and dwell there,
Till the Plague comes.) The few that have the Seeds
Of goodness left, will sooner make their way
To a true life, by shame than punishment.



The  E P I L O G U E.

T
Hus the Projector, here is over-thrown;
   But I have now a
Project of mine own,
If it may pass, that no Man would invite
   The
Poet from us, to sup forth to night,
If the
Play please. If it displeasant be,
   We do presume, that no Man will: nor we.











T H E   E N D.













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