If This Be Not a Good Play – Act 4, Scene 4

Return to the previous scene

A table is set out with a candle burning, a death’s head, a cloak, and
A cross.  SUBPRIOR sits reading.  Enter SHACKLE-SOUL leading in an
Italian Zany, five or six Courtesans, every-one holding a jewel.

That’s he, and there’s your golden hire to charm him.
Your fees I’ll treble, let but lust’s flame be felt.
The Alpine snow at the sun’s beams does melt,
So let your beauties thaw his frozen age,
First t’act an old lecher, then a devil on Hell’s black stage.
Strike, strike your silver strings, brave set of whore!                            [Music.
At your striking up, devils dance, and all Hell roars.

[Zany and Courtesans fall into a short dance.

What sound offends mine ear?  Soul of temptation!
Enchanters, I defy you; get you gone!
I’m blind to your enticements; from this I learn
At how dear rate the careless world does earn
That thing call’d pleasure; how many souls do fall,
Sold for a little gilt to daub this wall?
Hence with your witchcrafts, the sight of this drives hence
All thoughts besieging out voluptuous sense.

Another bite; at this he will not bite.

 [The Zany sings; SUBPRIOR holds his head down as fast asleep.

Will you have a dainty girl?  here ‘tis!
 Curral lips, teeth of pearl; here ‘tis!
 Cherry cheeks, softest flash; that’s she!
 Breath like May, sweet and fresh; she, she!
 Be she white, black or brown,
 Pleasure your bed shall crown,
  Choose her then, use her then
  Women are made for men.
   Pretty, pretty wast;
   Sweet to be embraced.
  Pretty leg, O, pretty foot;
  To beauty’s tree the root;
  This is she shall do’t;
Or she shall do’t, or she shall do’t, she shall do’t, she shall do’t.
 Kiss, kiss, play, play, come and dally,
 Tumble, tumble, tumble, in beauty’s valley!


His soul is chain’d in pleasures; bind it fast,
If he break your charms, the strongest spell comes last.  [Exit.  All wake SUBPRIOR.

Hence, devils incarnate!  ‘Tis not the sorcery
Of your deceitful tunes shuts up mine eye;
Mine ears are likewise stopp’d.  Hence, hence I say!

Ha, ha, a man of ice, a clod of clay!                                                       [Exeunt.

Enter SHACKLE-SOUL, or some spirit in a frightful shape.

Are all thy incantations spent now?  Art come again?
Base workmanship of Heaven, what other train
Were all Hell’s frightful horrors stuck in thy look
Thou canst not shake me.

I can.

Thou liest, thou shalt not!

I bring thee tidings of thy death this night.

How dost thou know that hour of my last sight?
False herald! Ministers of despair and lies!

I know to how many minutes thy days must rise.

Who gives thee the number?

All things to us are known,
What ever have been, are, or shall be done.

I’ll pose thee presently; what’s this thou fiend
Which now I have turn’d to?  Do but tell me that
And I’ll believe thee.

I scorn to be thy slave.

Down, down, and sink into thy damned cave!
Look here, dost thou fly, thy hell-hound?  I dare thee stand
O’er thee by these holy spells have I strong command;
Thy batt’ries are too weak; by good men’s prayers,
Thy continence of saints, by which, as stairs,
Thy ascend to Heaven, by virgin’s chastity,
By martyr’s crown’d deaths, which recorded lie
In silver leaves above; I charge thee down,
Howl where th’art bound in slavery, till the last dome!

Storms, thunder, lighting, rip up the earth’s womb!

Eternal power, thanks on my humblest knees,
Thou still to constant breasts giv’st victory!                                              [Exit.

No way to conquer thee?  I’ll give thee o’er.
Ne’er fish’d I so, yet lost a soul, before.                                                      [Exit.


Proceed to the next scene


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