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AEM. Come, my Dinon, begin.
DIN. Sir, I beg the instruction of your example


AEM. Ye hairbraind’ quacks, take hellebore,
And be death’s harbingers no more.
For our sins ye were sent,
The vile world to torment.
A physitian’s the deadly disease.
Learning was sick
And you came in the nick
To give her dear Ladiship ease.
By diseases you thrive,
By excrements live.
We alone know the nearest, the readiest course
By a clyster to purge the dropsical purse.

BOTH Let this knowledge alone be liberal held,
To this let all arts and all sciences yield.

DIN. Ye patchers of Laws,
Ye finders of flaws,
Ye children of jargon and nose,
An eternall Long Vacation
Seize your jangling dull profession.
Your parents in in strife
Give you being and life
And had but your wives
Lungs like you, then your lives
Were thrice happy. Yet they by their clients are fed.
Then others your causes with eloquence pled,
And without your assistance your children are bred.
By form of law your tricking leave,
And openly, like us, deceive.

BOTH Let this knowledge alone be liberal held,
To this let all arts and all sciences yield.

AEM. The chymist in vain
Rakes in fire for gain.
That philosopher sure
Makes a vow to be poor,
That hopes to grow rich,
And is curs’d with the itch
Of finding their whimisical Stone.
Wou’d you wealthy be and great,
Take this certain fine receipt.
’Tis a tool
Called a fool.
Let him boil
To an oil
Distill him and sqeeze him,
Of all his gold ease him.
Tho’ from foot to head
He’s a lump of dull lead,
Take my word you shall find
Pure gold to your mind.
For a fool is the certain philosopher’s stone.
No more then, ye learned, your happiness date
From the stars, nor believe your the footstalls of Fate,
Ye can never, can never be poor,
While wealthy dull asses are loaden with store.

BOTH Let this knowledge alone be liberal held,
To this let all arts and all sciences yield.

DIN. Advance, you sons of Fortune, you
With beards of wondrous growth and hue,
To whom the stars in heaven are known,
As well as if they were your own.
And tho’ on earth you often stray,
Are never out i’ th’ Milky Way.
No, no more from the stars —

AEM. Away in a trice, sir, mathematically. My master is here.


BOMB. Aemylio!
AEM. Sir.
BOMB. What unknown sound is this? What noise that strikes our ears? Aemylio, I say, must I thunder e’er you will hear?
AEM. Sir, behold your slave.
BOMB. I come from the black Stygian lake, from the infernal Pluto’s horrid mansion.
AEM. I hope you used a guide, sir.
BOMB. What says the scoundrel? I tell thee, this outrageous devil that thus possesses the lares of our family shall be thrown out, and suddenly.
AEM. Very well, sir.
BOMB. There waits without a man. A man, said I? Rather a demi-god, one so learned he can confound Fate’s rigid laws, is intimate with the sun and moon, and not a new-born star does visit heaven, but he is acquainted with the secret.
AEM. I suppose sir, with out any further circumlocution, you mean you have been with a conjurer.
BOMB. This man can terrifie, make Nature start, and in an ague fit forget all order.
AEM. Sir, take heed how you deal with these men, lest fame shou’d talk you borrow all your courage from magicians, and by their assistance conquer.
BOMB. Fame dare not mutter my great neme. Peace, thou dolt.
AEM. Where is he, sir?
BOMB. Before an hour wastes he will be here. Give me the keys.
AEM. To what end?
BOMB. To open these doors.
AEM. What, shall I suffer this indignity? Not worthy then to bear these keyes for you? First corn shall grow in Neptune’s element, and all the fish inhabitants o’ th’ sea fly to the woods for shelter. Nature shall start, and in an ague fit forget all order. Go, sir, before. ’Tis fit I follow you. (Exit Bombardo.) How often hath this machine of ours been a-breaking!


Oh, Dinon, I suppose you have heard all. What shall we do? I doubt this conjurer will fetch the devil out of us in spight of our teeth.
DIN. A murrain on you and your songs, this ’tis to triumph before the victory. But when will this demi-devil be here?
AEM. Immediately.
DIN. What can we do with our prisoners?
AEM. Let me alone, I have a new thought. Lead the poor wights out. The next house to this is empty, and I have the keys. Carry ’em thither.
DIN. What then?
AEM. And for an amusemenet, if it may be to delay the time till this ransom is return’d by their father, let ’em undertake some business, some art or other. Suppose they set up a School —
DIN. What? Chiromancy, Palmestry, Fortune-telling, hah?
AEM. No, no, those cheats have long been exploded, and no body follows those fellows now, unless a few greensickness girls, to know when they shall lose their maidenheads, or recover their thimbles, two trifles of equal value.
DIN. Yes, wives to enquire when they shall bury, and widows to know how they may buy husbands.
AEM. No, no, this age seems to be mighty fond of wit, or rather wititicisms, those they affect mightily. I know several who wou’d sooner part with their friends, nay their lives, rather than a scurvy half jest, so greedy are they of laughter. Now Grinn is a fellow mightily infected with this distemper.
DIN. Therefore I suppose you’d have ’em set up a Jesting School.
AEM. Right.
DIN. They may create laughter indeed, as monkeys do be derided.
AEM. Why, that’s the humor in vogue. If two words happyen to be a-kin together in sound, oh how the sympathizing syllables create laughter! Another sort of wit in fashion is sarcasm, and that consists in downright abusing our friends, either upon some mismanagement not known to the rest of the company, or rather on a natural unavoidable infirmity confirm’d by a loud strong laughter, contraction of the brow, and putting on a comical phiz. Sometimess, too, they claim in an oath by way of ornament. Now, if they attempt some such thing as this, you know the main design is to secure ’em till the money is return’d, and however things go, our end that way is answer’d.
DIN. I’ll warrant thee, lad, I’ll take care they don’t escape me til we have finger’d their cash.
AEM. About it, then. My furious buskin’d soldier expects me with impatience. (Exeunt severally.)


O. WELD. So obstinately bent again every thing your father commands you? When I was at your age I was a perfect spaniel to my father’s command, fetch’d and carry’d, did every thing with a nod that he throught fit to order. A handsom young wench with a good fortune, and you are not dispos’d to marry, with a mischief?
Y. WELD. But to day, sir, so soon?
O. WELD. “To day, sir?” How finely that came out. Yes, sir, to day. Pray why not?
Y. WELD. On this day, sir, I have vow’d never to undertake any thing whereupon my future happiness depends, for I hold it inauspicious, nor wou’d I break my oath.
O. WELD. What, is the sot grown religious? Sirrah, I shall be asham’d of you, and disown you if I find any more of these conscientious qualms.
Y. WELD. Sir, I am indispos’d.
O. WELD. Yes, sir, to marry, I know it.
Y. WELD. Besides, sir —
O. WELD. What besides, Jack Doodle?
Y. WELD. The family is in disorder by their late fright, nor are they prepar’d.
O. WELD. Ah, boy, measures are taken thus purposely, we would not make a noisy town wedding on’t. Will you make believe now, Jackee, that you can’t go to bed and get a lusty boy without the help of a fidler and a sack posset? Come, come, do it as if you married again both our consents, sillently, cunningly, ’twill relish your pleasures. Go, go about it. Do, I say, as I command you.
Y. WELD. I have not her consent yet, sir.
O. WELD. Pho, pho, her father has consented, and that’s enough. Go, go, make love, you young rogue, make furious love. Ah, when I was of your age — Follow me, follow me. Unless you do as I command you, you shall find a father of me, and a severe one too, that’s all. Well, how great is our prudence thus to moderate the headstrong wills of youth. (Exeunt.)


PERT Tell me, Aemylio, have you heard any thing of the new School just set up? A pleasant fancy, a Joking School. Ah, they shall find what a woman I am. You heard, Aemylio, how bravely, how strenuously I disputed with the devil?
AEM. Your lungs are more powerful tan the strongest exorcisms. But leave fooling, have you a mind to make your fortune?
PERT Certainly, tho’ I have hitherto had no reason to complain of unkind stars.
AEM. Do you think you cou’d behave your self a la mode de gallante in fine cloaths and jewels? Suppose you counterfeited even the daughter of Bombardo, cou’d you take upon you the form of the fiar Eucomissa?
PERT Oh, excellently well! But where shall I have the cloaths to dress me?
AEM. Let me alone for that. Theophilus Grinn Esquire hard by is a retailer in that Joking School you speak of. He is the only son and heir to a rich English gentleman, and, as those wretches generally prove, he is a meer stock. I would have you cheat the ass in this new form I’ll put you into, and marry him, girl.
That is a good jest, indeed, ah, ha, ha. Marry him!
AEM. You’ll have money enough, may govern him as you please, love where you will, and do what you will. I’ll answer for him. He, good man, shall sleep with his eyes broad open, be ignorant of and distrust all his senses to oblige you. And I think, madam, these are no inconsiderable conveniences.
PERT I understand you. When I’m a Lady I must carry my self after the Court fashion. Well, I shall never be unmindful of my Aemylio.
AEM. Haste then, let’s about it. Be sure you conterfeit diligently, and let nothing slip that may in the least give a suspicion of our designs.
PERT Impertinence! Am I to learn at these years to lay baits for your sex? I tell thee, lad, I coiuld trap even thee if I went about it.
AEM. I beg Your Ladiship’s pardon for suspecting you were not hypocrite enough for any design. (Exit Aemylio.)
PERT (Alone.) I’ll marry the fool, but quality like, we ill have separate beds, lest the offspring of that blockhead shou’d prove a disgrace to the parts and wit of its mother. (Exit.).

The School opens

GER. I tell you, Marcus Tullius Cicero, that prince of orators, and whom I love more than my own eyes, deny’d there could be any Art of Wit.
GRINN Cicero! There’s a fellow now, that out of so many tropes and figures and sentences, and all that, never so much as made one jest.
GER. Don’t be too sharp upon Cicero, Pupil, for he was the Father of Eloquence.
GRINN (Looking in and turning over his book.) Let me see the title. “Jesting term,” “Jesting term.” No, no, “Hillary Term.” Ha, ha, ay, that’s better. Oh ho, a jest upon the the Mayor of the towns horns. A jest upon a ragged soldier, whether his cloaths were deserters. Oh ho, six demi-jokes, fourteen quibbles, fifty quarter quibbles, and one hundred and sixty puns, besides innumerable speeches. This will do, Tutor.
GER. Let us see what customers we have had. Here was a Justice o’ Peace purchas’d four jokes in honour of the law, and six fine speeches to entertain some friends he had invited to supper with him. Yes, here was a Jesuit too, tho’ he was adorn’d in a habit as little becoming the humility of his profession as his practice of his preaching, and he has left earnest to make him an ingenious tart dialogue between Luther and the Devil.

There is no equivalent of Naufragium Ioculare III.vii

Enter a WOMAN

WOM. Who’s within here?
SHAL. What would the woman have?
WOM. Are you the Master of this School?
SHAL. Yes, mistress. Your business, quick.
WOM. (Whispers him.) An’t please you, sir, I am marry’d to a foul mouth’d, ill manner’d beastly fellow of a husband, who uses me barbarously, calls me a thousand ill names. I wouild, an’t please you, buy some sharp sayings upon him.
SHAL. (Aloud.) You say, woman, you are marry’d to a fouil mouth’d, ill manner’d beastly fellow of a husband. Very well —
GER. Very well, Pupil? ’Tis very ill, I think.
SHAL. Don’t interrupt me, Tutor. And you wou’d be witty upon him. What sort of jests do you want?
WOM. Any sort you pleaase, sir.
GER. Give her some pious jests, we shall never get them off our hands to any body else.
WOM. If you please, I don’t much care for pious jests.
GER. What, not a few for Sundays, woman? Will you have some gentlemens jests? But I must tell you they are a little smutty.
WOM. Oh, they’ll do rarely, no mattter, sir. Your price?
GER. Here, here these are richly worth a pistole, but you shall have them for six shillings.
SHAL. (To the woman, going.) Nay, you shall give me something more too. I will stand hard for a kiss. (Enter a collegian.)
COL. Pray, sir, will you present me to the Arch Scholar of this seat of the Muses?
SHAL. Present, sir. No, you may have any thing here for your money, but nothing on free cost.
COL. (To Grinn.) Are you the Master of this School?
SHAL. Hey ho, no body ever suspects me for the Master. I am perfectly hid in these cloaths.
COL. Sir, a neighboring academick is to pun in publick, and hath sent me humbly to desire your assistance in so weighty an affair. And he will gratefully return his thanks, and has sent you this in earnest.
GER. Money from him? Sir, by no means, he is our brother.
COL. His brothers are the men he fears.
GER. Know, worthy sir, that we who have consum’d our hours in the sacred study of the Muses cannot be so unpolish’d to demand a mercenary acknowledgment from our brethren in Apollo. Pray return this answer, that we will furnish him compleatly forth.
COL. He hath scrap’d together with much ado among all his friends two or three demi-jokes.
GER. In our native country, sir, the Professor of Puns bears the name of Tripos, and there he hauls the syllables along with him whether they will or no, and by their help abuses all the Doctors of Physick, Law and Divinity in the whole University. Friends and foes all fall a sacrifice to his inclement wit. (Exit Collegian.) Pray, sir, return our first answer. (Enter AEMYLIO and PERT in other cloaths.)

NOTE: this portion of the scene is based on Naufragium Ioculare IV.v

GRINN What have we here? A fine woman truly, ’tis well of she guards her self against my wit.
SHAL. How beautiful she is! Dewce take these cloaths, they make one so modest.
AEM. (To Pert.) Now’s your time, wench. Strike for your fortune.
PERT[To Aemylio.} Pish, let me alone. I warrant I handle the ass. [Aloud.] Oh Venus! Is this the School? Well, I always lov’d wit. When I was a little one my nurse wou’d always say, “Ah, thou’rt too witty to live.”
AEM. Pho, pho, to the matter.
PERT Well, where is the Master of this thrice famous School?
GER. Fair lady, I am he.
GRINN Oh my conscience, I have some spell upon me, I can’t make one little joke! Oh! I believe I am coming to my self. [To himself.] The roses envy the blushes of your cheeks, and the pale moon confesses the unequal contest. Nor dare the lillies of the vale to vie, nor can the stars —
SHAL. Now were I dress’d, I would accost her with that very speech.
GER. St, Shallow where are you?
SHAL. St, I tell you I am not here.
AEM. Unless you told me so your self, I shou’d not believe you.
GER. Come forth, Pupil.
AEM. I shou’d certainly deny this thing to be rational, if Philosophy had not taught me that visibility is a sure sign of reason.
GER. Human est errare. Sir, but I must tell you every man is rational, as Simplicius most accurately observes.
PERT Sir, the gentleman is modest only.
SHAL. She praises me.
GRINN (Musing.) Oh! I have it now.
SHAL. (In Grinn’s words.) Faith, I’ll speak to her. Madam, the roses envy the blushes of your cheeks, and the pale moon confesses the unequal conquest, nor dare the lillies of the vale to vie, nor can the stars —
Oh the varlet! He hast murder’d me, six jokes and three love speeches incontinently!
GER. Go on, Shallow.
SHAL. Go on as you will, I have said enough.
GER. This, madam, is one of the inspired train, he has a double portion of Apollo’s spirit.
PERT Fame hath spoke loudly in his praise, and we came on purpose to discourse him.
GRINN Madam, I have less obligation to that propitious star to whose lucky auspicy I owe my birth, than to those stars, your eyes, which have so perspicuously delineated the most devoted of your slaves. Gad, I always speak best ex tempore, a sign of a ready wit. (To Aemylio.) Pray, sir, what lady is this?
AEM. A lady of quality and fortune, the daughter of the wealthy Bombardo.
GRINN Ah! I know him too well.
AEM. Come, gentlemen, since you are here set up, and open’d a shop for sale of wit, let us edifie by the visit we have made you. Let us not depart without a jest, at least.
GER. Sir, I hope you will excuse me if, considering that degree I have here taken, I a little forget the gravity of my quondam profession, and unbending my self from the seriosity of my former study, am witty.
AEM. Sir, you may readily have a pardon. But, most learned Moderator, as yet, believe me, you stand excused from any crime of that nature. Neither will it in this country in the least detract from your gravity, for here Doctors jest in the pulpit, judges upon the bench jest on condemn’d criminals. They nod, they sleep, and that’s a very great jest. Gentlemen pay their creditors in jest. Hhere people do every thing in jest: promise in jest, swear in jest, lie in jest, pray in jest, and I had almost said live in jest. In short, they jest in earnest.
GER. Come, my Shallow, then do you begin.
SHAL. Well, Tutor, but pray take care to number my jests.
AEM. Hei, what will you dispute with those cloaths? They want mode and figure, there can be no consequence.
SHAL. Do my cloaths hurt you, friend?
GRINN Shallow’s cholerick. Be not angry, Pupil, ira furor brevis est.
AEM. Ha, ha, ha.
SHAL. What does the fool laugh at?
GER. Go on, Pupil.
SHAL. I won’t, then. He has put all the good things out of my head.
GRINN Madam, you honour your slave too much, and I doubt not by your instructions to improve my self in this noble art, to be the admiration and envy of the polish’d world.
PERT If you will give your self the trouble to follow me, we will discourse farther of this matter. Learned Moderator, farewell.
GRINN I am happy, madam, beyond the power of words to express.
PERT Aemylio, go before. Good sir, no ceremony.
SHAL. Nay, I’ll go with you, man. Don’t think to sneak off so.
GER. And I will go in and consider what are the most proper methods to be used to extricate our selves from these difficulties Fate hath involved us in, but we must yield to the laws supreme, for
Dii nos homines quasi pilas habent,
The gods make footbals of us,
according to the poet.

Go to Act IV