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Shun. We'll give him a broadside first.
Cym. Your red-deer pies?
Shun. With your baked turkeys?
Alm. And your partridges?
Mad. Your pheasants and fat swans!
P. sen. Like you, turn'd geese.
Mad. But such as will not keep your Capitol.
Shun. You were wont to have your breams-
Cym. Fat carps and salmons.
An emblem of yourself, an o'ergrown pike.
Fit. You have made a shift
To swallow twenty such poor jacks ere now.
Alm. If he should come to feed upon poor John-
Mad. On dew.
Shun. Or like a bear, with licking his own claws. Cym. Ay, if his dogs were away.
Alm. He'll eat them first,
While they are fat.
Fit. Faith, and when they are gone, Here's nothing to be seen beyond.
His kindred spiders, natives of the soil.
Alm. Dust he will have enough here, to breed fleas. Mad. But by that time he'll have no blood to rear them.
Shun. He will be as thin as a lanthorn, we shall see through him.
Alm. And his gut colon tell his intestina.
P. sen. Rogues! rascals!
[The dogs bark. [Bow, wow!]
Fit. He calls his dogs to his aid.
Alm. O, they but rise at mention of his tripes.
Shun. Or for custom,
As commonly curs do, one for another.
Lick. Arm, arm you, gentlemen jeerers! the old
Is coming in upon you with his forces,
Shun. Hence !
Cym. What is he?
Álm. Stay not to ask questions.
Fit. He is a flame.
Shun. A furnace.
Alm. A consumption,
Kills where he goes.
[CYM. FIT. MAD. ALM. and SHUN. run off. Lick. See the whole covey is scatter'd; 'Ware, 'ware the hawks! I love to see them fly.
Enter PENNYBOY Canter, PENNYBOY jun. PECUNIA, STATUTE, BAND, WAX, and MORTGAGE.
P. Can. You see by this amazement and distraction,
The wretched, or with buffoon license jest
P. sen. Who's this? my brother! and restored to life!
P. Can. Yes, and sent hither to restore your wits; If your short madness be not more than anger Conceived for your loss! which I return you. See here, your mortgage, Statute, Band, and Wax, Without your Broker, come to abide with you, And vindicate the prodigal from stealing Away the lady. Nay, Pecunia herself Is come to free him fairly, and discharge All ties, but those of love unto her person, To use her like a friend, not like a slave, Or like an idol. Superstition
Doth violate the deity it worships,
No less than scorn doth; and believe it, brother,
P. sen. Wise and honour'd brother!
None but a brother, and sent from the dead,
I thank my destiny, that is so gracious.
P. Can. O, mighty,
Intolerable fines, and mulcts imposed,
Of which I come to warn you: forfeitures
Of whole estates, if they be known and taken.
P. sen. I thank you, brother, for the light you have given me;
I will prevent them all. First, free my dogs,
They could not be committed as close prisoners,
Lick. Who did? I!
I trench the liberty of the subjects!
Picklock, your guest, that Stentor, hath infected you,
P. sen. Next, I restore these servants to their lady, With freedom, heart of cheer, and countenance; It is their year and day of jubilee.
Omnes. We thank you, sir.
P. sen. And lastly, to my nephew
I give my house, goods, lands, all but my vices,
P. jun. And wish they may, as I, enjoy Pecunia. Pec. And so Pecunia herself doth wish, That she may still be aid unto their uses, Not slave unto their pleasures, or a tyrant Over their fair desires; but teach them all The golden mean; the prodigal how to live; The sordid and the covetous how to die : That, with sound mind; this, safe frugality. [Exeunt.
Thus have you seen the maker's double scope,
4 Though the clout we do not always hit.] The metaphor is taken from archery: the clout is the white mark in the butts, which the archers aimed at. And so it is used by Shakspeare. WHAL.
Clout is merely the French clou, the wooden pin by which the target is fastened to the butt. As the head of this pin was com
It will not be imputed to his wit :—
A tree so tried, and bent, as 'twill not start :
And vows, the next fair day he'll have us shoot
monly painted white, to hit the white and hit the clout, were of course synonymous: both phrases expressed perfection in art, or success of any kind. In pursuing his metaphor, Jonson mentions the accidents by which the highest skill in archery was occasionally defeated; humidity, which affected the elasticity of the string, and high winds which diverted the course of the shaft.
There are few of Jonson's dramatic works which exhibit stronger marks of his peculiar talents than this play. The language is forcible, and in some places highly poetical; the satire is powerful and well directed, and the moral pointed and just. Its plot indeed, labours under the same difficulties and defects as that of the Plutus, which the poet had in view, namely, an occasional confusion of the allegorical and real character. Queen Pecunia, like the Deity of Aristophanes, is nearly strangled in leather, smothered in a chest, &c., and subjected to other accidents, which cannot be properly predicated of an existing personage. Jonson, however, offends less frequently in this matter than his great prototype, whom he also surpasses in the moral purpose of his satire. The use and abuse of riches are delineated with great force and discrimination, and the prodigal and the miser corrected in a strain of serious monition that would not misbecome the sacredness of the closet. Aristophanes had no such object in view. If the history of his own time may be trusted, every statesman had his orator, and every orator had his price; thus politics were rendered subservient to money, and the destiny of Athens waited on a bribe. To expose this general venality, he wrote his Plutus. In wit of the brightest kind, in satire of the most poignant and overwhelming quality, it stands pre-eminent, not only over the Staple of News, but over every other drama, ancient or modern: here however its praise must end; it teaches nothing, but that gold is omnipotent, (a pernicious lesson,)