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, talked as he were possess'd.
And now he 's dealing pieces on 't away.

I see no end of his labours. He will make
Nature ashamed 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 last, he 'll turn the age to gold.



The following exhibition of the character of a covetous sensualist is, perhaps, unequalled in the whole range of the drama. We cannot, however, show how thoroughly Jonson has worked up the idea;—his coarseness is unbounded:


Mam. 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;
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.

Mam. 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.

Enter FACE, as a servant.

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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,
Give lords th' affront. Is it, my Zephyrus, right?
Blushes the bolt's-head?

My only care is,

Where to get stuff enough now, to project on;
This town will not half serve me.

Face. No, Sir? buy

The covering off o' churches.

Mam. That's true.

Face. Yes.

Let them stand bare, as do their auditory;
Or cap them, new, with shingles.
Mam. No, good thatch :

Thatch will be light upon the rafters, Lungs.
Lungs, I will manumit thee from the furnace;
I will restore thee thy complexion, Puffe,
Lost in the embers; and repair this brain,
Hurt with the fume o' the metals.

Face. I have blown, Sir,

Hard for your worship; thrown by many a coal,
When 'twas not beech; weigh'd those I put in, just
To keep your heat still even; these blear❜d eyes
Have wak'd to read your several colours, Sir,
Of the pale citron, the green lion, the crow,
The peacock's tail, the plumed swan.
Mam. And, lastly,

Thou hast descry'd the flower, the sanguis agni?

Face. Yes, Sir.

Mam. We will be brave, Puffe, now we have the med'cine.

My meat shall all come in, in Indian shells,

Dishes of agate set in gold, and studded

With emeralds, sapphires, hyacinths, and rubies.
The tongues of carps, dormice, and camel's heels
Boil'd in the spirit of Sol, and dissolv'd pearl,
Apicius' diet 'gainst the epilepsy:

And I will eat these broths with spoons of amber,
Headed with diamond and carbunele.

My foot-boy shall eat pheasants, calver'd salmons,
Knots, godwits, lampreys: I myself will have
The beards of barbels served, instead of sallads;
Oil'd mushrooms; and the swelling unctuous paps
Of a fat pregnant sow, newly cut off,

Drest with an exquisite, and poignant sauce;
For which, I'll say unto my cook, There's gold,
Go forth, and be a knight.




Face. Sir, I'll go
A little, how it heightens.

Mam. Do. My shirts

I'll have of taffeta-sarsnet, soft and light
As cobwebs; and for all my other raiment,
It shall be such as might provoke a Persian,
Were he to teach the world riot anew.

My gloves of fishes' and birds' skins, perfumed
With gums of paradise, and eastern air-



The master suddenly returns, and the whole imposture is at length discovered. The impudence of the Alchemist and the lamentations of his dupes, are inimitably painted. We have only room to exhibit the manœuvres by which Face retards the period of his exposure :—

Before LOVEWIT's door.

Enter LOVEWIT, with several of the NEIGHBOURS.

Love. Has there been such resort, say you?

1 Nei. Daily, Sir.

2 Nei. And nightly, too.

3 Nei. Ay, some as brave as lords.

4 Nei. Ladies and gentlewomen.
5 Nei. Citizens' wives.

1 Nei. And knights.

6 Nei. In coaches.

2 Nei. Yes, and oyster-women.
1 Nei. Beside other gallants.

3 Nei. Sailors' wives.

4 Nei. Tobacco-men.

5 Nei. Another Pimlico!

Love. What should my knave advance,

To draw this company? he hung out no banners
Of a strange calf with five legs to be seen,

Or a huge lobster with six claws?

6 Nei. No, Sir.

3 Nei. We had gone in then, Sir.

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Love. Nor heard a drum struck for baboons or puppets? 5 Nei. Neither, Sir.

Love. When saw you him?

1 Nei Who, Sir, Jeremy? 2 Nei. Jeremy, butler? We saw him not this month.

Love. How!

4 Nei. Not these five weeks, Sir.

6 Nei. These six weeks at the least.

Love. You amaze me, neighbours!

5 Nei. Sure, if your worship know not where he is, He's slipt away.

6 Nei. Pray God, he be not made away.

Love. Ha! it's no time to question, then.

[Knocks at the door.

Enter FACE, in his butler's livery.

Face. What mean you, Șir?

1, 2, 4 Nei. O, here's Jeremy!

Face. Good Sir, come from the door.

Love. Why, what 's the matter?

Face. Yes farther, you are too near yet.

Love. In the name of wonder,

What means the fellow!

Face. The house, Sir, has been visited.

Love. What, with the plague? Stand thou then farther,

Face. No, Sir.

I had it not!

Love. Who had it then? I left

None else but thee in the house.

Face. Yes, Sir, my fellow,

The cat that kept the buttery, had it on her

A week before I spied it; but I got her

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