A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 9 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 508 pages of information about A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 9.
That ’still their brain to quench their love’s disdain: 
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 me now;
But, sirrah, out of jesting will they come?

MEN.  Yes, and it like your ladyship, presently;
Here may you have me prest[177] 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.

MEN.  Whither?

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.

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A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 9 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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