The Alchemist (Jonson)

Act 4, Scene 4.2



FACE. Come, lady: I knew the Doctor would not leave,

Till he had found the very nick of her fortune.

KAS. To be a countess, say you, a Spanish countess, sir?

DAME P. Why, is that better than an English countess?

FACE. Better! 'Slight, make you that a question, lady?

KAS. Nay, she is a fool, captain, you must pardon her.

FACE. Ask from your courtier, to your inns-of-court-man,

To your mere milliner; they will tell you all,

Your Spanish gennet is the best horse; your Spanish

Stoup is the best garb; your Spanish beard

Is the best cut; your Spanish ruffs are the best

Wear; your Spanish pavin the best dance;

Your Spanish titillation in a glove

The best perfume: and for your Spanish pike,

And Spanish blade, let your poor captain speak --

Here comes the doctor.


SUB. My most honour'd lady,

For so I am now to style you, having found

By this my scheme, you are to undergo

An honourable fortune, very shortly.

What will you say now, if some --

FACE. I have told her all, sir,

And her right worshipful brother here, that she shall be

A countess; do not delay them, sir; a Spanish countess.

SUB. Still, my scarce-worshipful captain, you can keep

No secret! Well, since he has told you, madam,

Do you forgive him, and I do.

KAS. She shall do that, sir;

I'll look to it, 'tis my charge.

SUB. Well then: nought rests

But that she fit her love now to her fortune.

DAME P. Truly I shall never brook a Spaniard.

SUB. No!

DAME P. Never since eighty-eight could I abide them,

And that was some three year afore I was born, in truth.

SUB. Come, you must love him, or be miserable,

Choose which you will.

FACE. By this good rush, persuade her,

She will cry strawberries else within this twelvemonth.

SUB. Nay, shads and mackerel, which is worse.

FACE. Indeed, sir!

KAS. Od's lid, you shall love him, or I'll kick you.

DAME P. Why,

I'll do as you will have me, brother.

KAS. Do,

Or by this hand I'll maul you.

FACE. Nay, good sir,

Be not so fierce.

SUB. No, my enraged child;

She will be ruled. What, when she comes to taste

The pleasures of a countess! to be courted --

FACE. And kiss'd, and ruffled!

SUB. Ay, behind the hangings.

FACE. And then come forth in pomp!

SUB. And know her state!

FACE. Of keeping all the idolaters of the chamber

Barer to her, than at their prayers!

SUB. Is serv'd

Upon the knee!

FACE. And has her pages, ushers,

Footmen, and coaches --

SUB. Her six mares --

FACE. Nay, eight!

SUB. To hurry her through London, to the Exchange,

Bethlem, the china-houses --

FACE. Yes, and have

The citizens gape at her, and praise her tires,

And my lord's goose-turd bands, that ride with her!

KAS. Most brave! By this hand, you are not my suster,

If you refuse.

DAME P. I will not refuse, brother.


SUR. Que es esto, senores, que no venga?

Esta tardanza me mata!

FACE. It is the count come:

The doctor knew he would be here, by his art.

SUB. En gallanta madama, Don! gallantissima!

SUR. Por todos los dioses, la mas acabada hermosura, que he visto

en mi vida!

FACE. Is't not a gallant language that they speak?

KAS. An admirable language! Is't not French?

FACE. No, Spanish, sir.

KAS. It goes like law-French,

And that, they say, is the courtliest language.

FACE. List, sir.

SUR. El sol ha perdido su lumbre, con el esplandor que trae

esta dama! Valgame dios!

FACE. He admires your sister.

KAS. Must not she make curt'sy?

SUB. Ods will, she must go to him, man, and kiss him!

It is the Spanish fashion, for the women

To make first court.

FACE. 'Tis true he tells you, sir:

His art knows all.

SUR. Porque no se acude?

KAS. He speaks to her, I think.

FACE. That he does, sir.

SUR. Por el amor de dios, que es esto que se tarda?

KAS. Nay, see: she will not understand him! gull,


DAME P. What say you, brother?

KAS. Ass, my suster.

Go kuss him, as the cunning man would have you;

I'll thrust a pin in your buttocks else.

FACE. O no, sir.

SUR. Senora mia, mi persona esta muy indigna de allegar

a tanta hermosura.

FACE. Does he not use her bravely?

KAS. Bravely, i'faith!

FACE. Nay, he will use her better.

KAS. Do you think so?

SUR. Senora, si sera servida, entremonos.


KAS. Where does he carry her?

FACE. Into the garden, sir;

Take you no thought: I must interpret for her.

SUB. Give Dol the word.


-- Come, my fierce child, advance,

We'll to our quarrelling lesson again.

KAS. Agreed.

I love a Spanish boy with all my heart.

SUB. Nay, and by this means, sir, you shall be brother

To a great count.

KAS. Ay, I knew that at first,

This match will advance the house of the Kastrils.

SUB. 'Pray God your sister prove but pliant!

KAS. Why,

Her name is so, by her other husband.

SUB. How!

KAS. The widow Pliant. Knew you not that?

SUB. No, faith, sir;

Yet, by erection of her figure, I guest it.

Come, let's go practise.

KAS. Yes, but do you think, doctor,

I e'er shall quarrel well?

SUB. I warrant you.