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ears, sir.

Corb. 'Tis true.

And all turns air! Who's that there, now? a Mos. Yes, sir

third? Corb. I thought on that too. See how he

(Another I nocks.) should le Mos. Close to your couch again: I hear his

voice. The very organ to express my thoughts! Mos. You are he,

It is Corvino, our spruce merchant. For whom I labour, here.

Volp. Dead.

Mos. Another bout, sir, Corb. I, do, do, do:


your eyes.

Who's there? I'll straight about it.

Mos. Rook go with you, raven.
Corb. I know thee honest.
Mos. You do lie, sir

Corvino, a Merchant, enters.
Corb. And
Mos. Your knowledge is no better than your Mos. Signior Corvino! come most wisht fir!

0, Corb. I do not doubt to be a father to thee. How happy were you, if you knew it now! Mos. Nor I to gull my brother of his bless- Corv. Why? what? wherein ?


Mos. The tardy lour is come, sir. Corb. I may ha' my youth restored to me, Corv. He is not dead?

why not?

Mos. Not dead, sir, but as good; Mos. Your worship is a precious ass

He knows no man. Corb. What saist thou?

Corv. How shall I do then? Mos. I do desire your worship to make haste, Mos. Why, sir?


Corv. I have brought him here a pearl. Corb. ”Tis done, 'tis done, I go. (Exit.) Mos. Perhaps he has Volp. O, I shall burst;

So much remembrance left, as to know you, sir: Let out my sides, let out my sides

He still calls on you: nothing but your name Mos. Contain

Is in his mouth: is your pearl orient, sir? Your flux of laughter, sir: you know this hope Corv. Venice was never owner of the like. Is such a bait it covers any hook.

Volp. Signior Corvino.
Volp. O, but thy working, and thy placing it! Mos. Hark.
I cannot hold: good rascal, let me kiss thee: Volp. Signior Corvino.
I never knew thee in so rare a humour.

Mos. He calls you, step and give it him. Mos. Alas, sir, I but do, as I am taught;

He's here, sir? Follow your grave instructions; give 'em words: And he has brought you à zich pearl. Pour oil into their ears: and send them hence.

Corv. How do you, sir?

Tell him it doubles the twelfth caract. Volp. 'Tis true, 'tis true. What a rare

Mos. Sir, punishment

He cannot understand, his hearing's gone; Is avarice to itself!

And yet it comforts him to see you
Mos. I, with our help, sir.

Corv. Say,
Volp. So many cares, so many maladies, I have a diamond for him too.
So many fears attending on old age,

Mos. Best shew't, sir,
Yea, death so often callid on, as no wish Put it into his hand; 'tis only there
Can be more frequent with 'em; their limbs faint, He apprehends: he has his feeling yet.
Their senses dull, their seeing, hearing, going, See how he grasps it!
All dead before them; yea their very teeth, Corv. 'Las, good gentleman!
Their instruments of eating, failing them: How pitiful the sight is!
Yet this is reckon'd life! Nay here was one, Mos. Tut forget, sir.
Is now gone home, that wishes to live longer! The weeping of an heit should still be laughter,
Feels not his gout, nor palsy, feigns himself Under a visor.
Younger by scores of years, flatters his age, Corv. Why, am I his heir ?
With confident belying it, hopes he may

Mos. Sir, I am sworn, I may not shew the With charms, like Aeson, have his youth re

will, stored:

Till he be dead: but, here has been Corbaccio, And with these thoughts so battens, as if Fate Here has been Voltore, here were others too, Would be as easily cheated on as he:

( cannot number 'em, they were so many

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All gaping here for legacies; but I,
Taking the vantage of his naming you,
Signior Corvino, Signior Corvino) took
Paper, and pen, and ink, and there I a-k'd him,
Whom he would have his heir? Corvino. Who
Should be executor! Corvino. And
To any question he was silent to,

I still interpreted the nods, he made
Through weakness, for consent: and sent home
the others,
to cry, and curse.
Does he not per-
ceive us?

Nothing bequeath'd them, but
Corv. O, my dear Mosca.

Mos. No more than a blind harper. knows no man,

'Cover'd with hide, instead of skin: (nay help, sir)

That look like frozen dish-clouts set on end. Cor. Or, like an old smok'd wall, on which the rain



No face of friend, nor name of any servant,
Who't was that fed him last, or gave him drink,
Not those he hath begotten, or brought up,
Can he remember.

Corv. Has he children?

Mos. Bastards,

Some dozen, or more, that he begot on beggars., Gypsies, and Jews, and black - moors, when he was drunk:

Knew you not that, sir? 'Tis the common fable,¦
The dwarf, the fool, the eunuch, are all his;
He's the true father of his family,

In all, save me: but he has given 'em nothing.
Cory. That's well, that's well. Art sure he
does not hear us?
Mos. Sure, sir? why look you, credit your

own sense.

The pox approach, and add to your diseases,
If it would send you hence the sooner, sir
For your incontinence, it hath deserv'd it
Throughly, and throughly, and the plague to


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Ran down in streaks.

Mos. Excellent, sir, speak out;
You may be louder yet: a culvering
Discharged in his ear, would hardly bore it.
Corv. His nose is like a common sewer, still

Mos. Tis good; and what his mouth?

Corv. A very draught.

Mos. O, stop it up —

Corv. By no means.

Mos. Pray you let me.

(You may come near, sir) would you would once


Those filthy eyes of your's that flow with slime,
Like two frog-pits: and those same hanging:


Faith I could stifle him rarely with a pillow,
As well as any woman that should keep him.
Corv. Do as you will, but I'll begone.
Mos. Be so;

It is your presence makes him last so long.
Cory. I pray you use no violence.
Mos. No, sir, why?

Why should you be thus scrupulous? Pray you,


Corv. Nay at your discretion.
Mos. Well, good sir, be gone.

Corv. I will not trouble him now, to take
my pearl.
Mos. Puh, nor your diamond.

What a
needless care
Is this afflicts you? Is not all here yours?
Am not I here, whom you have made your

That owe my being to you?

Corv. Grateful Mosca!


Thou art my friend, my fellow, my companion,
My partner, and shalt share in all my fortunes.

Volp. My divine Mosca!
Thou hast to-day out-gone thyself.

Thomas Decker.

Die Lebensverhältnisse dieses dramatischen Dichters, der bald allein, bald in Verbindung mit Anderen für die Bühne arbeitete, sind unermittelt geblieben. Man weiss nur, dass er 1597 zuerst ein Drama lieferte und seit 1603 sich als Prosaist, vorzüglich durch scharfe und treffende Sittenschilderungen bekannt machte, welche ihm wahrscheinlich eine dreijährige Gefangenschaft zuzogen. Ben Jonson griff ihn in seinem Poetaster als Crispinus heftig an, was Decker in seinem Satyromastix erwiderte, in welchem er seinen Gegner siegreich geisselte. Er muss um 1639 gestorben sein.

Decker war sehr fruchtbar und hinterliess u. A. zwei und dreissig Dramen, die er zum Theil allein, zum Theil mit Anderen gemeinschaftlich verfasst hatte, die aber nicht alle im Druck erschienen sind. Sein Talent war nicht gering und offenbart sich besonders durch kräftige und consequente Characterzeichnung und gute Erfindung. Fortunat, von dem wir hier einige Scenen mittheilen, wird als sein gelungenstes Werk betrachtet.


rom the Comedy of old Fortunatus. By Thomas Decker.

That Jove shall turn away young Ganimede,
And with immortal arms shall circle thee.
Are thy desires Long Life? thy vital thread

The Goddess Fortune appears to Fortunatus, and Shall be stretch'd out, thou shalt behold the offers him the choice of six things. He chuses


Fortune. Fortunatus.


Of monarchies, and see those children die
Whose great great grandsires now in cradles lie.

Fortune. Before thy soul at this deep lot- If through Gold's sacred hunger thou dost pine,


Draw forth her prize, ordain'd by destiny,
Know that here's no recanting a first choice.
Chuse then discreetly: for the laws of fate,
Being grav'n in steel, must stand inviolate.
Fortunat. Daughters of Jove and the un-
blemish'd Night,
Most righteous Parcae, guide my genius right:
Wisdom, Strength, Health, Beauty, Long Life,
and Riches.

Those gilded wantons which in swarms do run
To warm their slender bodies in the sun,
Shall stand for number of those golden piles
Which in rich pride shall swell before thy feet:
As those are, so shall these be infinite.

Fortunat. O whither am I rapt beyond

More violent conflicts fight in every thought
Than his whose fatal choice Troy's downfall

Fortune. Stay Fortunatus; once more hear Shall I contract myself to Wisdom's love?
Then I lose Riches; and a wise man poor

me speak.

If thou kiss Wisdom's cheek and make her thine, Is like a sacred book that's never read;

She'll breathe into thy lips divinity,

And thou (like Phoebus) shall speak oracle;
Thy heav'n-inspired soul on Wisdom's wings
Shall fly up to the Parliament of Jove,
And read the Statutes of Eternity,

And see what's past and learn what is to come.
If thou lay claim to Strength, armies shall quake
To see thee frown: as Kings at mine do lie,
So shall thy feet trample on empery,

To himself he lives and to all else seems dead.
This age thinks better of a gilded fool,
Than of a threadbare saint in Wisdom's school.
I will be strong: then I refuse Long Life;
And though mine arm should conquer twenty

There's a lean fellow beats all conquerors:
The greatest Strength expires with loss of breath,
The mightiest in one minute stoop to death.

Make Health thine object, thou shalt be strong Then take Long Life, or Health; should I do so,


'Gainst the deep searching darts of surfeiting,

Be ever merry, ever revelling.

Wish but for Beauty, and within thine eyes
Two naked Cupids amorously shall swim

I might grow ugly, and that tedious scroll
Of months and years much misery may enroll:
Therefore I'll beg for Beauty; yet I will not:
The fairest cheek hath oftentimes a soul
Leprous as sin itself, than hell more foul.

And on thy cheeks I'll mix such white and red, The Wisdom of this world is idiotism;

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Strength a weak reed; Health Sickness' enemy, Ladies; worn strange attires; seen Fantasticoes; And it at length will have the victory.

conversed with Humourists; been ravished with Beauty is but a painting; and Long Life divine raptures of Doric, Lydian and Phrygian Is a long journey in December gone,

harmonies; I have spent the day in triumphs Tedious and full of tribulation.

and the night in banquetting. Therefore, dread sacred Empress, make me rich : A nd. O rare: this was heavenly. He that My choice is Store of Gold; the Rich are Wise, would not be an Arabian Phoenix to burn in these He that upon his back rich garments wears sweet tires, let him live like an owl for the world Is Wise, though on his head grow Midas' ears. to wonder at. Gold is the Strength, the Sinews of the world, A mp. Why, brother, are not all these Vanities? The Health, the Soul, the Beauty most divine; Fort. Vanities! Ampedo, thy soul is made of A mask of gold hides all deformities;

lead, too dull, too ponderous, to mount up to the Gold is heaven's physic, life's restorative; incomprehensible glory that Travel lifts men to. Oh therefore make me Rich.

And. Sweeten mine ears, good father, with

some more. Fortune gives to Fortunatus a Purse that is in

Fort. When in the warmth of mine own counexhaustible. With this he puts on costly attire, and visits all the Asian Courts, where he is caressed and

try's arms made much of for his infinite wealth. At Babylon he We yawn'd like sluggards, when this small hois shewn by the Soldan a wondrous Hat, which in a

rizon wish transports the wearer whithersoever he pleases, over land and sea. Fortunatus puts it on, 'wishes Imprison'd up my body, then mine eyes himself at home in Cyprus; where he arrives in a Worship'd these clouds as brightest: but my minute, as his sons Ampedo and Andelocia are talking of him: and tells his Travels.


The glist'ring beams which do abroad appear Fortunatus. Ampedo. Andelocia.

In other heavens, fire is not half so clear. Fort. Touch me not, boys, I am nothing but For still in all the regions I have seen, air, let none speak to me till you have marked I scorn'd to croud among the muddy throng me well. Am I as you are,

or am I trans- Of the rank multitude, whose thicken'd breath formed?

(Like to condensed fogs) do choke that beauty, And. Methinks, father, you look as you did, Which else would dwell in every Kingdom's only your face is more withered.

cheek. Fort. Boys, be proud; your father hath the No; I still boldly stept into their Courts. whole world in this compass. I am all felicity, For there to live 'tis rare, O 'tis divine, up to the brims. In a minute am I come from There shall you see faces angelical; Babylon; I have been this half hour in Fama- There shall you see troops of chaste Goddesses, gosta.

Whose star-like eyes have power (might they And. How! in a minute, father? I see travel

still shine) lers must lie.

To make night day, and day more chrystaline. Fort.

I have cut through the air like a Near these you shall behold great Heroes, falcon. I would have it seem strange to you. But White-headed Counsellors, and Jovial Spirits, 'tis true. I would not have you believe it neither. Standing like fiery Cherubins to guard But 'tis miraculous and true. Desire to see you The monarch, who in godlike glory sits brought me to Cyprus. I'll leave you more gold, In midst of these, as if this deity and go to visit more countries.

Had with a look created a new world, Amp. The frosty hand of age now nips your The standers by being the fair workmanship.


And. Oh how my soul is rapt to a Third And strews her snowy flowers upon your head,

And gives you warning that within few years I'll travel sure, and live with none but Kings.
Death needs must marry you: those short lines, A mp. But tell me, father, have you in all

That dribble out your life, must needs be spent Beheld such glory, so majestical,

peace, not travel; rest in Cyprus then. In all perfection, no way blemished? Could you survey ten worlds, yet you must die; Fort. In some Courts shall you see Ambition And bitter is the sweet that's reapt thereby., Sit, piecing Dedalus' old waxen wings;

And. Faith, father, what pleasure have you But being slapt on, and they about to fly, met by walking your stations ?

Even when their hopes are busied in the clouds, Fort. What pleasure, boy? I have revelled They melt against the sun of Majesty, with Kings, danced with Queens, dallied with | And down they tumble to destruction.

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By travel, boys, I have seen all these things. | That let my true true sorrow make them glad?
Fantastic Compliment stalks up and down, I dance and sing only to anger Grief,
Trickt in outlandish feathers; all his words, That in his anger he might smite life down
His looks, his oaths, are all ridiculous,

With his iron fist: good heart! it seemeth then, All apish, childish, and Italianate. .

They laugh to see grief kill me: O fond Men, Orleans to his friend Galloway defends the passion You laugh at others tears; when others smile, with which, (being a Prisoner in the English King's You tear yourselves in pieces: vile, vile, vile. Court) he is enamoured to frenzy of the king's daugh- Ha, ha, when I behold a swarm of Fools ter Agripyna.

Crowding together to be counted Wise,
Orleans. Galloway.

I laugh because sweet Agripyne's not there. Orl. This music makes me but more out of But weep because she is not any where;

And weep because (whether she be or not) O Agripyna.

My love was ever and is still forgot: forgot, forGall. Gentle friend, no more.

got, forgot. Thou sayst Love is a madness: hate it then, Gall. Draw back this stream: why should my Even for the name's sake.

Orleans mourn? Orl. 0 I love that Madness,

Orl. Look yonder, Galloway, dost thou see Even for the name's sake.

that sun? Gall. Let me tame this frenzy,

Nay, good friend, stare upon it, mark it well: By telling thee thou art a prisoner here, Ere he be two hours elder, all that glory By telling thee she's daughter to a King, Is banish'd heaven, and then, for grief, this sky By telling thee the King of Cyprus’ son (That's now so jocund) will mourn all in black. Shines like a sun between her looks and thine, And shall not Orleans mourn? alack, alack: Whilst thou seem'st but a star to Agripyne. O what a savage tyranny it were He loves her.

To enforce Care laugh, and Woe not shed a tear! Orl. If he do, why so do I.

Dead is my Love; I am buried in her scorn: Gall. Love is ambitious and loves Majesty. That is my sunset; and shall I not mourn! Orl. Dear friend, thou art deceiv’d: Love's Yes by my troth I will.

voice doth sing Gall. Dear friend forbear; As sweetly in a beggar as a king.

Beauty (like Sorrow) dwelleth every where. Gall. Dear friend thou art deceiv’d: 0 bid Rase out this strong idea of her face:

As fair as her's shineth in any place. Lift up her intellectual eyes to heaven,

Orl. Thou art a Traitor to that White and And in this ample book of wonders read,

Red, Of what celestial mold, what sacred essence, Which sitting on her cheeks (being Cupid's throne) Her self is form’d: the search whereof will drive Is my heart's Soveraine : 0 when she is dead, Sounds musical among the jarring spirits, This wonder (beauty) shall be found in none. And in sweet tune set that which none inherits. Now Agripyne's not mine, I vow to be

Orl. I'll gaze on heaven if Agripyne be there. In love with nothing but deformity. If not: fa, la, la, sol, la, etc.

O fair Deformity, I muse all eyes Gall. O call this madness in: see, from the Are not enamour'd of thee: thou didst never


Murder men's hearts, or let them pine like wax Of every eye Derision thrusts out cheeks Melting against the sun of thy destiny; Wrinkled with idiot laughter; every finger

Thou art a faithful nurse to Chastity;
Is like a dart shot from the hand of Scorn, Thy beauty is not like to Agripyne's,
By which thy name is hurt, thy honour torn. For cares, and age, and sickness her's deface,

Orl. Laugh they at me, sweet Galloway? But thine's eternal: 0 Deformity,
Gall. Even at thee.

Thy fairness is not like to Agripyne's
Orl. Ha, ha, I laugh at them: are they not For (dead) her beauty will no beauty have,


But thy face looks most lovely in the grave.

thy soul


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