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I cannot hold good rascal, let me kiss thee:
I never knew thee in so rare a humour.

Mos. Alas, sir, I but do, as I am taught;
Follow your grave instructions; give 'em words:
Pour oil into their ears: and send them hence.

Volp. 'Tis true, 'tis true. What a rare punishment
Is avarice to itself!

Mos. I, with our help, sir.

Volp. So many cares, so many maladies,

So many fears attending on old age,

Yea, death so often call'd on, as no wish

Can be more frequent with 'em, their limbs faint,
Their senses dull, their seeing, hearing, going,
All dead before them; yea their very teeth,
Their instruments of eating, failing them:
Yet this is reckon'd life! Nay here was one,
Is now gone home, that wishes to live longer!
Feels not his gout, nor palsy, feigns himself
Younger by scores of years, flatters his age,
With confident belying it, hopes he may
With charms, like Eson, have his youth restored:
And with these thoughts so battens, as if Fate
Would be as easily cheated on as he:

And all turns air! Who's that there, now? a third?

(Another knocks.)

Mos. Close to your couch again: I hear his voice.

It is Corvino, our spruce merchant.

Volp. Dead.

Mos. Another bout, sir, with your eyes. Who's there?

Corvino, a Merchant, enters.

Mos. Signior Corvino! come most wisht for! O,
How happy were you, if you knew it now!

Coro. Why? what? wherein?

Mos. The tardy hour is come, sir.

Corv. He is not dead?

Mos. Not dead, sir, but as good;

He knows no man.

Corv. How shall I do then?


Mos. Why, sir?

Corv. I have brought him here a pearl.
Mos. Perhaps he has

So much remembrance left, as to know you, sir:
He still calls on you: nothing but your name

Is in his mouth is your pearl orient, sir?


Corv. Venice was never owner of the like.
Volp. Signior Corvino.

Mos. Hark.

Volp. Signior Corvino.

Mos. He calls you, step and give it him. He's here,


And he has brought you a rich pearl,

Corv. How do you, sir?

Tell him it doubles the twelfth caract.
Mos. Sir,

He cannot understand, his hearing's gone;

And yet it comforts him to see you

Coro. Say,

I have a diamond for him too.

Mos. Best shew't, sir,

Put it into his hand; tis only there

He apprehends: he has his feeling yet.

See how he graps it!

Corv. 'Las, good gentleman!

How pitiful the sight is!

Mos. Tut forget, sir.

The weeping of an heir should still be laughter,
Under a visor.

Corv. Why, am I his heir?

Mos. Sir, I am sworn, I may not shew the will,
Till he be dead: but, here has been Corbaccio,
Here has been Voltore, here were others too,
I cannot number 'em, they were so many,
All gaping here for legacies; but I,
Taking the vantage of his naming you,
(Signior Corvino, Signior Corvino) took

Paper, and pen, and ink, and there I ask'd him,
Whom he would have his heir? Corvino, Who


Should be executor! Corvino. And
To any question he was silent to,
I still interpreted the nods, he made

Through weakness, for consent: and sent home the others,

Nothing bequeath'd them, but to cry, and curse.

Corv. O, my dear Mosca. Does he not perceive us? Mos. No more than a blind harper. He knows no man, No face of friend, nor name of any servant, Who't was that fed him last, or gave him drink; Not those he hath begotten, or brought up, Can he remember.

Corv. Has he children?

Mos. Bastards,

Some dozen, or more, that he begot on beggars,

Gypsies, and Jews, and black-moors, when he was drunk:

Knew you not that, sir? 'Tis the common fable,

The dwarf, the fool, the eunuch, are all his ;

He's the true father of his family,

In all, save me: but he has given 'em nothing.

Corv. That's well, that's well. Art sure he does not

hear us?

Mos. Sure, sir? why look you, credit your own sense. The pox approach, and add to your diseases, If it would send you hence the sooner, sir, For your incontinence, it hath deserv'd it Throughly, and throughly, and the plague to boot. (You may come near, sir) would you would once close

Those filthy eyes of your's, that flow with slime,
Like two frog-pits: and those same hanging cheeks,
Cover'd with hide, instead of skin: (nay help, sir)
That look like frozen dish-clouts set on end.

Corv. Or, like an old smok'd wall, on which the rain Ran down in streaks.

Mos. Excellent, sir, speak out

You may be louder yet: a culvering

Discharged in his ear, would hardly bore it.

Corv. His nose is like a common sewer, still running. Mos. 'Tis good; and what his mouth?

Corv. A very draught.

Mos. O, stop it up

Corv. By no means.

Mos. Pray you let me.

Faith I could stifle him rarely with a pillow,
As well as any woman that should keep him.
Corv. Do as you will, but I'll begone.
Mos. Be so;

It is your presence makes him last so long.
Corv. I pray you use no violence.

Mos. No, sir, why?

Why should you be thus scrupulous? 'Pray you, sir. Corv. Nay at your discretion.

Mos. Well, good sir, be gone.

Coro. I will not trouble him now, to take my pearl. Mos. Puh, nor your diamond. What a needless care Is this afflicts you? Is not all here yours?

Am not I here, whom you have made your creature,
That owe my being to you?

Corv. Grateful Mosca !

Thou art my friend, my fellow, my companion,
My partner, and shalt share in all my fortunes. [Exit,
Volp. My divine Mosca !

Thou hast to-day out gone thyself.



Violanta, Daughter to a Nobleman of Milan, is with child by Gerrard, supposed to be of mean descent: an offence which by the laws of Milan is made capital to both parties,


Viol. Why does my Gerrard grieve?
Ger. O my sweet mistress,

It is not life (which by our Milan law

My fact hath forfeited) makes me thus pensive;
That I would lose to save the little finger

Of this your noble burthen from least hurt,

Because your blood is in it. But since your love
Made poor incompatible me the parent
(Being we are not married) your dear blood
Falls under the same cruel penalty:

And can heaven think fit ye die for me?

For Heaven's sake say I ravish'd you; I'll swear it,
To keep your life and repute unstain'd.

Viol. O Gerrard, thou art my life and faculties,
And if I lose thee, I'll not keep mine own;
The thought of whom sweetens all miseries.
Would'st have me murder thee beyond thy death?
Unjustly scandal thee with ravishment?

It was so far from rape, that heaven doth know,
If ever the first lovers, ere they fell,
Knew simply in the state of innocence,

Such was this act, this, that doth ask no blush.


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