Go gild the tongues of bawds and parasites;
Come not within my thoughts. But thou, deceit,
Break up the pleasure of my brimful breast,
Enrich my mind with subtle policies.
Well then, I’ll go; whither? nay, what know I?
And do, in faith I will, the devil knows what.
What, if I set them all at variance,
And so obtain to speak? it must be so.
It must be so, but how? there lies the point:
How? thus: tut, this device will never prove,
Augment it so: ’twill be too soon descried;
Or so, nor so; ’tis too-too dangerous.
Pish, none of these! what, if I take this course? ha!
Why, there it goes; good, good; most excellent!
He that will catch eels must disturb the flood;
The chicken’s hatch’d, i’ faith; for they are proud,
And soon will take a cause of disagreement.
MENDACIO, attired in a
taffeta suit of a light colour
changeable, like an ordinary page.
LIN. I see the heavens nurse my new-born device;
For lo, my page Mendacio comes already,
To file and burnish that I hammer’d out.
Never in better time, Mendacio,
What! hast thou done?
MEN. Done? yes, long ago.
LIN. Is’t possible thou shouldst despatch so soon?
MEN. Madam, I had no sooner told
Tactus that Gustus would fain speak with him,
But I spied Visus, Gustus, and the rest,
And serv’d them all with sauce of several lies.
Now the last sense I spake with was Olfactus
Who, having smelt the meaning of my message,
Straight blew his nose, and quickly puff’d me hither;
But in the whirlwind of his furious blast,
Had not by chance a cobweb held me fast,
Mendacio had been with you long ere this.
LIN. Witness this lie, Mendacio’s with
But, sirrah, out of jesting will they come?
MEN. Yes, and it like your ladyship, presently;
Here may you have me prest to flatter them.
LIN. I’ll flatter no such proud companions,
’Twill do no good, therefore I am determin’d
To leave such baseness.
MEN. Then shall I turn and bid them stay at home?
LIN. No; for their coming hither to this grove
Shall be a means to further my device.
Therefore I pray thee, Mendacio, go presently;
Run, you vile ape.
LIN. What, dost thou stand?
MEN. Till I know what to do.
LIN. ’Sprecious, ’tis true,
So might’st thou finely overrun thine errand.
Haste to my chest.
MEN. Ay, ay.
LIN. There shalt thou find
A gorgeous robe and golden coronet;
Convey them hither nimbly, let none see them.
MEN. Madam, I fly, I fly. [Exit MENDACIO.
LIN. But hear you, sirrah?
Lock up your fellow-servant Veritas.