Fiction > Harvard Classics > Beaumont and Fletcher > Philaster
Beaumont and Fletcher.  Philaster.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
Act the Fourth
Scene I

  KING.  What, are the hounds before and all the woodmen, Our horses ready and our bows bent?
  DION.        All, sir.
  KING  [to PHARAMOND.]  You are cloudy, sir. Come, we have forgotten
Your venial trespass; let not that sit heavy        4
Upon your spirit; here’s none dare utter it.
  DION.  He looks like an old surfeited stallion, dull as a dormouse. See how he sinks!
  THRA.  He needs no teaching, he strikes sure enough. His greatest fault is, he hunts too much in the purlieus; would he would leave off poaching!
  DION.  And for his horn, h’as left it at the lodge where he lay late. Oh, he’s a precious limehound! 2 Turn him loose upon the pursuit of a lady, and if se lose her, hang him up i’ the slip. When my foxbitch Beauty grows proud, I’ll borrow him.        8
  KING.  Is your boy turn’d away?
  ARE.  You did command, sir, and I obey’d you.
  KING.  ’Tis well done. Hark ye further.  [They talk apart.]
  CLE.  Is’t possible this fellow should repent? Methinks, that were not noble in him; and yet he looks like a mortified member, as if he had a sick man’s salve 3 in’s mouth. If a worse man had done this fault now, some physical 4 justice or other would presently (without the help of an almanack 5) have opened the obstructions of his liver, and let him blood with a dog-whip.        12
  DION.  See, see how modestly yon lady looks, as if she came from churching with her neighbour! Why, what a devil can a man see in her face but that she’s honest! 6
  THRA.  Faith, no great matter to speak of; a foolish twinkling with the eye, that spoils her coat; 7 but he must be a cunning herald that finds it.
  DION.  See how they muster one another! Oh, there’s a rank regiment where the devil carries the colours and his dam drum-major! Now the world and the flesh come behind with the carriage. 8
  CLE.  Sure this lady has a good turn done her against her will; before she was common talk, now none dare say cantharides 9 can stir her. Her face looks like a warrant, willing and commanding all tongues, as they will answer it, to be tied up and bolted when this lady means to let herself loose. As I live, she has got her a goodly protection and a gracious; and may use her body discreetly for her health’s sake, once a week, excepting Lent and dog-days. Oh, if they were to be got for money, what a great sum would come out of the city for these licences!        16
  KING.  To horse, to horse! we lose the morning, gentlemen.  Exeunt.
Note 1. Before the palace. [back]
Note 2. A hunting dog. Lyme=leash. [back]
Note 3. An allusion to a religious work, Thomas Bacon’s “The Sick Man’s Salve,” 1561. [back]
Note 4. Acting as a doctor. [back]
Note 5. Almanacs gave the proper seasons for blood-letting. [back]
Note 6. chaste. [back]
Note 7. Coat of arms. Mason explains that the reference is to the introduction of stars into a coat of arms, denoting a younger branch. [back]
Note 8. Baggage. [back]
Note 9. Spanish fly, used as a provocative. [back]


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