Fiction > Harvard Classics > Ben Jonson > The Alchemist
Ben Jonson (1572–1637).  The Alchemist.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
Act II
Scene IV
FACE. 1  [Re-enter]  SUBTLE and DOL

  SUB.  Has he bit? has he bit?
  FACE.        And swallowed, too, my Subtle.
I have given him line, and now he plays, i’ faith.
  SUB.  And shall we twitch him?        4
  FACE.        Thorough both the gills.
A wench is a rare bait, with which a man
No sooner’s taken, but he straight firks mad. 2
  SUB.  Dol, my Lord What’ts’hum’s sister, you must now        8
Bear yourself statelich.
  DOL.        O, let me alone.
I’ll not forget my race, I warrant you.
I’ll keep my distance, laugh and talk aloud;        12
Have all the tricks of a proud scurvy lady,
And be as rude’s her woman.
  FACE.        Well said, sanguine! 3
  SUB.  But will he send his andirons?        16
  FACE.        His jack too,
And ’s iron shoeing-horn; I have spoke to him. Well,
I must not lose my wary gamester yonder.
  SUB.  O, Monsieur Caution, that will not be gull’d?        20
  FACE.  Ay,
If I can strike a fine hook into him, now!—
The Temple-church, there I have cast mine angle.
Well, pray for me. I’ll about it.  Knocking without.        24
  SUB.  What, more gudgeons! 4
Dol, scout, scout!  [DOL goes to the window.]  Stay, Face, you must go to the door,
’Pray God it be my anabaptist—Who is’t, Dol?
  DOL.  I know him not: he looks like a gold-end-man. 5        28
  SUB.  ’Ods so! ’tis he, he said he would send—what call you him?
The sanctified elder, that should deal
For Mammon’s jack and andirons. Let him in.
Stay, help me off, first, with my gown.  [Exit FACE with the gown.]  Away,        32
Madam, to your withdrawing chamber.  [Exit. DOL.]  Now,
In a new tune, new gesture, but old language.—
This fellow is sent from one negotiates with me
About the stone too, for the holy brethren        36
Of Amsterdam, the exil’d saints, that hope
To raise their discipline 6 by it. I must use him
In some strange fashion now, to make him admire me.
Note 1. The same. [back]
Note 2. Runs mad. [back]
Note 3. Red cheeks. [back]
Note 4. Easy dupes. [back]
Note 5. A man who buys broken remnants of gold. [back]
Note 6. Puritan form of church government. [back]


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