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Face. That's a secret, Nab!

Sub. And on your stall, a puppet, with a vice
And a court-fucus to call city-dames :
You shall deal much with minerals.

Drug. Sir, I have
At home, already –

Sub. Ay, I know you have arsenic,
Vitriol, sal-tartar, argaile, alkali,
Cinoper: I know all. — This fellow, captain,
Will come, in time, to be a great distiller,
And give assay — I will not say directly,
But very fair - at the philosopher's stone.

Face. Why, how now, Abel! is this true?

Drug. Good captain, What must I give?

[Aside to FACE. Face. Nay, I'll not counsel thee. Thou hear'st what wealth (he says, spend what thou canst) Thou’rt like to come to.

Drug. I would gi' him a crown.

Face. A crown! and toward such a fortune? Heart, Thou shalt rather gi' him thy shop. No gold about thee?

Drug. Yes, I have a portague I have kept this half-year.

Face. Out on thee, Nab! 'Slight, there was such an offer — Shalt keep't no longer, I'll give 't him for thee. Doctor, Nab prays your worship to drink this, and swears He will appear more grateful as your Does raise him in the world.

Drug. I would entreat Another favour of his worship.

Face. What is't, Nab?

Drug. But to look over, sir, my almanac,
And cross out my ill days, that I may neither
Bargain nor trust upon them.

Face. That he shall, Nab;
Leave it, it shall be done 'gainst afternoon.

Sub. And a direction for his shelves.

Face. Now, Nab,
Art thou well pleased, Nab?

Drug. 'Thank, sir, both your worships.
Face. Away. -

Why, now, you smoky persecutor of nature !
Now do you see that something's to be done
Besides your beech-coal and your corsive waters,
Your crosslets, crucibles, and cucurbites ?
You must have stuff brought home to you, to work on :


And yet you think I am at no expense
In searching out these veins, then following them,
Then trying them out. 'Fore God, my intelligence
Costs me more money than my share oft comes to,
In these rare works.
Sub. You are pleasant, sir.

Re-enter Dol.

How now !
What says my Dainty Dolkin?

Dol. Yonder fishwife
Will not away. And there's your giantess,
Come out of Lambeth.

Sub. Heart, I can not speak with them.

Dol. Not afore night, I have told them in a voice,
Thorough the trunk, like one of your familiars.
But I have spied Sir Epicure Mammon

Sub. Where?

Dol. Coming along, at far end of the lane,
Slow of his feet, but earnest of his tongue
To one that's with him.
Sub. Face, go you, and shift.

[Exit Face. Dol, you must presently make ready too.

Dol. Why, what's the matter?

Sub. Oh, I did look for him With the sun's rising : marvel he could sleep; This is the day I am to perfect for him The magisterium, our great work, the stone; And yield it, made, into his hands; of which He has this month talk'd as he were possess'd. And now he's dealing pieces on't away. Methinks I see him entering ordinaries, Dispensing for the pox and plaguy houses, Reaching his dose, walking Moorfields for lepers, And offering citizens' wives pomander bracelets, As his preservative, made of the elixir; Searching the spital, to make old bones young ; And the highways for beggars to make rich : I see no end of his labours. He will make Nature asham'd of her long sleep: when art, Who's but a step-dame, shall do more than she, In her best love to mankind, ever could : If his dream lasts, he'll turn the age to gold. [Exeunt.





AM. Come on, sir. Now, you set your foot on shore
In Novo Orbe ; here's the rich Peru:

And there within, sir, are the golden mines,
Great Solomon's Ophir ! he was sailing to 't,
Three years, but we have reach'd it in ten months.
This is the day wherein, to all my friends,
I will pronounce the happy word, BE RICH;
You shall no more deal with the hollow die
Or the frail card. No more be at charge of keeping
The house of call for the young heir. No more
Shall thirst of satin, or the covetous hunger
Of velvet entrails for a rude-spun cloak,
To be display'd at Madam Augusta's, make
The sons of Sword and Hazard fall before
The golden calf, and on their knees, whole nights,
Commit idolatry with wine and trumpets :
Or go a feasting, after drum and ensign.
No more of this. You shall start up young viceroys,
And have your punks and punketees, my Surly.
And unto thee I speak it first, BE RICH.
Where is my Subtle, there? Within, ho !

Face. [Within.] Sir, he'll come to you by and by.

Mam. That is his fire-drake,
His Lungs, his Zephyrus, he that puffs his coals,
Till he firk nature up, in her own centre.
You are not faithful, sir. This night I'll change
All that is metal, in my house, to gold :
And early in the morning will I send
To all the plumbers and the pewterers,
And buy their tin and lead up; and to Lothbury
For all the copper.

Sur. What, and turn that too?

Mam. Yes, and I'll purchase Devonshire and Cornwall, And make them perfect Indies ! You admire now?

Sur. No, faith.

Mam. But when you see th' effects of the Great Medicine, Of which one part projected on a hundred Of Mercury, or Venus, or the moon,

Shall turn it to as many of the sun;
Nay, to a thousand, so ad infinitum :
You will believe me.

Sur. Yes, when I see't I will.
But if my eyes do cozen me so, and I
Giving them no occasion, sure I'll have
A crow shall pluck them out next day.

Mam. Ha ! why?
Do you think I fable with you? I assure you,
He that has once the flower of the sun,
The perfect ruby, which we call elixir,
Not only can do that, but by its virtue
Can confer honour, love, respect, long life;
Give safety, valour, yea, and victory,
To whom he will. In eight and twenty days,
I'll make an old man of fourscore a child.

Sur. No doubt; he's that already.

Mam. Nay, I mean,
Restore his years, renew him, like an eagle,
To the fifth age; make him get sons and daughters,
Young giants; as our philosophers have done,
The ancient patriarchs, afore the flood,
But taking, once a week, on a knife's point,
The quantity of a grain of mustard of it;
Become stout Marses, and beget young Cupids.

Sur. The decay'd vestals of Pict-hatch would thank you, That keep the fire alive there.

Mam. 'Tis the secret
Of nature naturized 'gainst all infections,
Cures all diseases coming of all causes;
A month's grief in a day, a year's in twelve;
And of what age soever, in a month :
Past all the doses of your drugging doctors.
I'll undertake, withal, to fright the plague
Out of the kingdom in three months.

Sur. And I'll
Be bound the players shall sing your praises then
Without their poets.

Mam. Sir, I'll do 't. Meantime,
I'll give away so much unto my man
Shall serve the whole city with preservative
Weekly; each house his dose, and at the rate

Sur. As he that built the waterwork does with water?
Mam. You are incredulous,
Sur. Faith, I have a humour

I would not willingly be gull’d. Your stone
Can not transmute me.

Mam. Pertinax, Surly,
Will you believe antiquity ? records?
I'll show you a book where Moses and his sister,
And Solomon have written of the art;
Ay, and a treatise penn'd by Adam

Sur. How !
Mam. Of the philosopher's stone, and in High Dutch.
Sur. Did Adam write, sir, in High Dutch?

Mam. He did !
Which proves it was the primitive tongue.

Sur. What paper?
Mam. On cedar board.

Sur. Oh, that indeed, they say
Will last 'gainst worms.

Mam, 'Tis like your Irish wood 'Gainst cobwebs. I have a piece of Jason's fleece too, Which was no other than a book of alchemy, Writ in large sheepskin, a good fat ram-vellum. Such was Pythagoras' thigh, Pandora's tub, And all that fable of Medea's charms, The manner of our work; the bulls, our furnace, Still breathing fire; our argent-vive, the dragon: The dragon's teeth, mercury sublimate, That keeps the whiteness, hardness, and the biting; And they are gather'd into Jason's helm, The alembic, and then sow'd in Mars his field, And thence sublimed so often, till they're fix'd. Both this, the Hesperian garden, Cadmus' story, Jove's shower, the boon of Midas, Argus' eyes, Boccace his Demogorgon, thousands more, All abstract riddles of our stone.

Enter Face as a Servant.

How now !
Do we succeed? Is our day come? and holds it?

Face. The evening will set red upon you, sir;
You have colour for it, crimson : the red ferment
Has done. his office; three hours hence prepare you
To see projection.

Mam. Pertinax, my Surly,
Again I say to thee aloud, Be rich.
This day thou shalt have ingots; and to-morrow

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