Old Fortunatus – Act Two, Scene Two

Return to previous scene

Enter ANDELOCIA very gallant, and SHADOW.

ANDELOCIA
Shadow?  What have I lost today in dice?

SHADOW
More than you will win again in a month.

ANDELOCIA
Why, sir, how much comes to it?

SHADOW
It comes to nothing, sir, for you have lost your wits, and when a man’s wits are lost, the man is like twenty pounds worth of tobacco, which mounts into th’air and proves nothing but one thing.

ANDELOCIA
And what thing is that, you ass?

SHADOW
Marry, sir, that he is an ass that melts so much money in smoke.

ANDELOCIA
‘Twere a charitable deed to hang thee a smoking.

SHADOW
I should never make good bacon, because I am not fat.

ANDELOCIA
I’ll be sworn thy wit is lean.

SHADOW
It’s happy I have a lean wit.  But, master, you have none, for when your money tripp’d away, that went after it, and ever since you have been mad.  Here comes your brother.  Borrow a dram of him.

Enter AMPEDO.

If he be not mouldy; for men’s wits in these days are like the cuckoo; bald once a year, and that makes motley so dear, and fools so good cheap.

ANDELOCIA
Brother, all hail.

SHADOW
There’s a rattling salutation.

ANDELOCIA
You must lend me some more money.  Nay, never look so strange, and you will come off, so.  If you will bar me from square play, do.  Come, come, when the old traveller my father comes home, like a young ape, full of fantastic tricks, or a painted parrot stuck full of outlandish feathers, he’ll lead the world in a string, and then, like a hot shot, I’ll charge and discharge all.

SHADOW
I would be loth, master, to see that day, for he leads the world in a string that goes to hanging.

ANDELOCIA
Take heed I turn not that head into the world, and lead you so?
Brother wilt be?  Hay any ends of gold or silver?

AMPEDO
Thus wanton revelling breeds beggary.
Brother, ‘twere better that you still liv’d poor.
Want would make wisdom rich; but when your coffers
Swell to the brim, then riot sets up sails,
And like a desperate unskill’d mariner
Drives your unsteady fortunes on the point
Of wrath inevitable.  Of all the wealth
Left by our father when he left us last,
This little is unspent, and this being wasted,
Your riot ends.  Therefore consume it all.
I’ll live, or dying find some burial.

ANDELOCIA
Thanks for my crowns.  Shadow, I am villainous hungry to hear one of the seven wise master talk thus emptily.

SHADOW
I am a villain, master, if I am not hungry.

ANDELOCIA
Because I’ll save this gold, Sirrah Shadow, we’ll feed ourselves with paradoxes.

SHADOW
Oh rare!  What meat’s that?

ANDELOCIA
Meat, you gull!  ‘Tis no meat.  A dish of paradoxes is a feast of strange opinion.  ‘Tis an ordinary that our greatest gallants haunt nowadays, because they would be held for statesmen.

SHADOW
I shall never fill my belly with opinions.

ANDELOCIA
In despite of swag-bellies, gluttons, and sweet mouth’d epicures, I’ll have thee maintain a paradox in commendations of hunger.

SHADOW
I shall never have the stomach to do’t.

ANDELOCIA
Seest thou this crusado?  Do it and turn this into a feast.

SHADOW
Covetousness and lechery are two devils.  They’ll tempt a man to wade through deep matters.  I’ll do’t though good cheer conspire my death, for peaking reason against her.

ANDELOCIA
Fall to it then with a full mouth.

SHADOW
Oh famine, inspire me with thy miserable reasons.  I begin, master.

AMPEDO
Oh, miserable invocation!

ANDELOCIA
Silence.

SHADOW
There’s no man but loves one of those three beasts, a horse, a hound, or a whore.  The horse by his good will has his head ever in the manger; the whore with your ill will has her hand ever in your purse; and a hungry dog eats dirty puddings.

ANDELOCIA
This is profound.  Forward.  The conclusion of this now.

SHADOW
The conclusion is plain:  for since all men love one of these three monsters, being such terrible eaters, therefore all men love hunger.

AMPEDO
A very lean argument.

SHADOW
I can make it no fatter.

ANDELOCIA
Proceed, good Shadow.  This fats me.

SHADOW
Hunger is made of gunpowder.

ANDELOCIA
Give fire to that opinion.

SHADOW
Stand by, lest it blow you up.  Hunger is made of gunpowder, or gunpowder of hunger, for they both eat through stone walls.  Hunger is a grindstone:  it sharpens wit.  Hunger is fuller of love than Cupid, for it makes a man eat himself.  Hunger was the first that ever open’d a cook’s shop; cooks the first that ever made sauce; sauce, being liquorish, licks up good meat; good meat preserves life.  Hunger therefore preserves life.

AMPEDO
By my consent thou shouldst still live by hunger.

SHADOW
Not so.  Hunger makes no man mortal.  Hunger is an excellent physician, for he dares kill anybody.  Hunger is one of the seven liberal sciences.

ANDELOCIA
Oh learned!  Which of the seven?

SHADOW
Music, for she’ll make a man leap at a crust; but, as few care for her six sisters, so none love to dance after her pipe.  Hunger, master, is hungry and covetous, therefore the Crusado.

ANDELOCIA
But hast thou no sharper reasons then this?

SHADOW
Yes, one:  the dagger is Cyprus had never stabb’d out such six penny pies, but for hunger.

ANDELOCIA
Why, you dolt, these pies are but in their minority.

SHADOW
My belly and my purse have been twenty times at dagger’s drawing, with parting the little urchins.

Enter FORTUNATUS.

AMPEDO
Peace, idiot, peace.  My father is return’d.

FORTUNATO
Touch me not, boys.  I am nothing but air.  Let none speak to me till you have mark’d me well.

SHADOW
Now speak your mind.

AMPEDO
Villain, why hast thou chalk’d my father’d back?

SHADOW
Only to mark him and to try what colour air is made of.

FORTUNATUS
Regard him not, Ampedo.  Andelocia, Shadow, view me.  Am I as you are, or am I transform’d?

ANDELOCIA
I thought travel would turn my father, mad man or fool.

AMPEDO
How should you be transform’d?  I see no change.

SHADOW
If your wits be not planet strucken; if your brains lie in their right place, you are well enough, for your body is little mended by your fetching fegaries.

ANDELOCIA
Methinks, father, you look as you did; only your face is more withered.

FORTUNATUS
That’s not my fault.  Age is like love; it cannot be hid.

SHADOW
Or like gunpowder a fire, or like a fool, or like a young novice new come to his lands; for all these will show of what house they come. Now, sir, you may amplify.

FORTUNATUS
Shadow, turn thy tongue to a shadow.  Be silent.  Boys, be proud.  Your father hath the whole world in this compass.  I am all felicity up to the brims.  In a minute am I come from Babylon.  I have been this half hour in Famagosta.

ANDELOCIA
How?  In a minute, father?  Ha, ha, I see travellers must lie.

SHADOW
‘Tis their destiny.  The Fates to so conspire.

FORTUNATUS
I have cut through the air like a falcon.  I would have it seem strange to you.

SHADOW
So it does, sir.

FORTUNATUS
But ‘tis true.  I would not have you believe it neither.

SHADOW
No more we do not, sir.

FORTUNATUS
But ‘tis miraculous and true.  Desire to see you, brought me to Cyprus.  I’ll leave you more gold and go visit more countries.

SHADOW
Leave us gold enough and we’ll make all countries come visit us.

AMPEDO
The frosty hand of age now nips your blood
And strews hers snowy flowers upon your head,
And give you warning that within few years
Death needs must marry you.  Those short-lived minutes
That dribble out your life must needs be spent
In peace, not travel.  Rest in Cyprus then.
Could you survive ten worlds, yet you must die,
And bitter is the sweet that’s reap’d thereby.

ANDELOCIA
Faith, father, what pleasure have you met by walking your stations?

FORTUNATUS
What pleasure, boy?  I have revell’d with kinds, danc’d with queens, dallied with ladies, worn strange attires, seen fantasticoes, convers’d with humorists, been ravish’d with divine raptures of Dorick, Lidian, and Phrygian harmonies, I have spent the day in triumphs, and the night in banqueting.

ANDELOCIA
Oh rare!  This was heavenly.

SHADOW
Methinks ‘twas horrible.

ANDELOCIA
He that would not be an Arabian Phœnix to burn in these sweet fires, let him life like an owl for the world to wonder at.

AMPEDO
Why, brother are not these vanities?

FORTUNATUS
Vanities?  Ampedo, thy soul is made of lead:  too dull, too ponderous to mount up to the incomprehensible glory that travel lifts men to.

SHADOW
My old master’s soul is cork and feathers, and being so light doth easily mount up.

ANDELOCO
Sweeten mine ears, good father, with some more.

FORTUNATUS
When in the warmth of mine own country’s arms
We yawn’d like sluggards when this small horizon
Imprison’d up my body, then mine eyes
Worshipp’d these clouds at brightest.  But, my boys,
The glist’ring beams which do abroad appear,
In other heavens, fire is not half so clear.

SHADOW
Why, sir, are there other heavens in other countries?

ANDELOCIA
Peace!  Interrupt him not upon thy life.

FORTUNATUS
For still in all the regions I have seen,
I scorn’d to crowd among the muddy throng
Of the rank multitude, whose thickened breath,
Like to condensed fogs do cloak that beauty
Which else would dwell in every kingdom’s cheek.
No, I still boldly stepp’d into their courts,
For them to live is rare, oh, ‘tis divine.
There shall you see faces angelical;
There shall you see troops of chaste goddesses
Whose star-like eyes have power, might they still shine,
To make night day, and day more crystalline.
Near these you shall behold great heroes,
White-headed councillors, and jovial spirits
Standing like fiery cherubins to guard
The monarch, who in godlike glory sits
I midst of these, as if this deity
Had with a look created a new world.
The standers-by, being the fair workmanship.

ANDELOCIA
Oh, how my soul is rapt to a third heaven!
I’ll travel sure, and live with none but kings.

SHADOW
Then Shadow must die among knaves, and yet why so?  In a bunch of cards, knaves wait upon the kings.

ANDELOCIA
When I turn king, then shalt thou wait upon me..

SHADOW
Well, there’s nothing impossible.  A dog has his day, and so have you.

AMPEDO
But tell me, father, have you in all courts
Beheld such glory so majestical
In all perfection, no way blemished?

FORTUNATUS
In some courts shall you see ambition
Sit piecing Dædalus old waxen wings
But being clapp’d on, and they about to fly,
Even when their hopes are busied in the clouds,
They melt against the sun of majesty
And down they tumble to destruction.
For since the heavens strong arms teach kings to stand,
Angels are plac’d about their glorious throne
To guard it from the strokes of trait’rous hands.
By travel, boys, I have seen all these things,
Fantastic complement stalks up and down,
Trick’d in outlandish feathers, all his words,
His looks, his oaths, are all ridiculous,
All apish, childish, and Italianate.

Enter FORTUNE; after her, Three Destinies working.

SHADOW
I know a miracle for that malady.

FORTUNATUS
By travel, boys, I have seen all these things.

ANDELOCIA
And these are sights for none but gods and kings.

SHADOW
Yes, and for Christian creatures, if they be not blind.

FORTUNATUS
In these two hands do I grip all the world.
This leather purse and this bald woollen hat
Make me a monarch.  Here’s my crown and sceptre.
In progress will I now go through the world.
I’ll crack your shoulders, boys, with bags of gold
Ere I depart.  On Fortune’s wings I ride
And not sit in the height of human pride.

FORTUNE
Now, fool, thou liest.  Where thy proud feet doth tread,
These shall throw down thy cold and breathless head.

FORTUNATUS
Oh, sacred deity, what sin is done,                                                   [All kneel.
That death’s iron fist should wrestle with thy son?

FORTUNE
Thou art no son of Fortune, but her slave.
Thy cedar hath aspir’d to his full height.
Thy sun, like glory, hath advanc’d herself
Into the top of pride’s meridian
And down amain it comes.  From beggary
I plum’d thee like an ostrich; like that ostrich
Thou hast eaten metals and abus’d my gifts;
Hast play’d the ruffian, wasted that in riots,
Which as a blessing I bestow’d on thee.

FORTUNATUS
Forgive me.  I will be more provident.

FORTUNE
No, endless follies follow endless wealth.
Thou hadst thy fancy, I must have thy fate,
Which is, to die when th’art most fortunate.
This inky thread thy ugly sins have spun;
Black life, black death; faster that it were done.

FORTUNATUS
Oh, let me live, but till I can redeem!

FORTUNE
The destinies deny thee longer life.

FORTUNATUS
I am but now lifted to happiness.

FORTUNE
And now take I most pride to cast thee down.
Hadst thou chosen wisdom, this black had been white,
And death’s stern brow could not thy soul afright.

FORTUNATUS
Take this again.  [Offers purse.] Give wisdom to my sons.

FORTUNE
No, fool.  ‘Tis now too late.  As death strikes thee,
So shall their ends sudden and wretched be.
Jove’s daughters, righteous Destinies, make haste.
His life hath wasteful been, and let it waste.

[Exeunt FORTUNE and the Three Destinies.

ANDELOCIA
Why the pox dost thou sweat so?

SHADOW
For anger to see any of God’s creatures have such filthy faces as these sempsters had that went hence.

ANDELOCIA
Sempsters?  Why, you ass, they are Destinies.

SHADOW
Indeed, if be one’s destiny to have a filthy face, I know no remedy; but to go mask’d and cry, “woe worth the Fates!”

AMPEDO
Why droops my father?  These are only shadows
Rais’d by the malice of some enemy
To fright your life, o’er which they have no power.

SHADOW
Shadows?  I defy their kindred.

FORTUNATUS
O, Ampedo, I faint.  Help me, my sons.

ANDELOCIA
Shadow, I pray thee ru n and call more help.

SHADOW
If that desperate Don Dego death hath ta’en up the cudgels once, here’s never a fencer in Cyprus date take my old master’s part.

ANDELOCIA
Run, villain, call more help.

SHADOW
Bid him thank the Destinies for this.                                                                [Exit.

FORTUNATUS
Let me shrink down and die between your arms.
Help comes in vain.  No hand can conquer Fate.
This instant is the last of my life’s date.
This goddess, if at least she be a goddess,
Names herself Fortune; wan’dring in a wood
Half-famish’d, her I met.  “I have,” quote she,
“Six gifts to spend upon mortality:
Wisdom, strength, health, beauty, long life, and riches.
Out of my bounty one of these is thine.”

AMPEDO
What benefit did from your choice arise?

FORTUNATUS
Listen, my sons.  In this small compass lies
Infinite treasure.  This she gave to me,
And gave me this, this virtue.  “Take,” quote she,
“So often as from hence thou draw’st thy hand,
Ten golden pieces of that kingdom’s coin,
Wheree’re thou liv’st, which plenteous sure shall last
After thy death, till thy sons’ lives do waste.

ANDELOCIA
Father, your choice was rare, the gift divine.

FORTUNATUS
It had been so, if riches had been mine.

AMPEDO
But hath this golden virtue never fail’d?

FORTUNATUS
Never.

ANDELOCIA
Oh, admirable!  Here’s a fire
Hath power to thaw thy very heart of death
And give stones life, by this most sacred breath.
See, brother, here’s all India in my hand.

FORTUNAUS
Inherit you, my sons, that golden land.
This hat I brought away from Babylon.
I robb’d the Souldan of it; ‘tis a prize
Worth twenty empires.  In this jewel lies—

ANDELOCIA
How, father?  Jewel?  Call you this a jewel?  Its course wool, a bald fashion and greasy to the brim.  I have bought a better felt for a French crown forty times.  Of what virtuous block is this hat, I pray?

FORTUNATUS
Set it upon thy head, and with a wish,
Thou in a moment on the winds swift as wings
Shalt be transported into any place.

ANDELOCIA
A wishing hat, and a golden mine?

FORTUNATUS
Oh, Andelocia, Andelocia, now death
Sounds his third summons.  I must hence.  These jewels
To both I do bequeath.  Divide them not,
But use them equally.  Never bewray
What virtue’s are in them, for if you do,
Must shame, much grief, much danger follows you.
Peruse this book.  Farewell.  Behold in me
The rotten strength of proud mortality.                                                                [Dies.

AMPEDO
His soul is wand’ring to the Elysium shades.

AMDELOCIO
The flower that’s fresh at noon at sunset fades.
Brother, close you down his eyes, because you were his eldest, and with them close up your tears, whilst I, as all younger brothers do, shift for myself.  Let us mourn, because he’s dead, but mourn the less, because he cannot revive.  The honour we can do him is to bury him royally.  Let’s about it then, for I’ll not melt myself to death with scalding signs, nor drop my soul out at mine eyes, were my father an emperor.

AMPEDO
Hence, hence, thou stop’st the tide of my true tears.
True grief is dumb, though it hath open ears.

ANDELOCIA
Yet God send my grief a tongue that I may have good utterance for it.  Sob on, brother mine, whilst you sigh there.  I’ll sit and read was story my father has written here.                                                                            [They both fall asleep. 

FORTUNE and a company of Satyres enter with music, and playing about FORTUNATUS’ body, take him away.  They gone, SHADOW enters running.

SHADOW
I can get none, I can find none.  Where are you, master?  Have I ta’en you napping?  And you too?  I see sorrow’s eyelids are made of a dormouse skin; they seldom open or of a miser’s purse that’s always shut.  So ho, master.

ANDELOCIA
Shadow, why how now?  What’s the matter?

SHADOW
I can get none, sir, ‘tis impossible.

AMPEDO
What is impossible?  What canst not get?

SHADOW
No help for my old master.

ANDELOCIA
Hast thou been all this while calling for help?

SHADOW
Yes, sir.  He scorn’d all Famagosta when he was in his huffing, and now he lies puffing for wind, they say they scorn him.

AMPEDO
The poison of their scorn infects not him.
He wants no help.  See where he breathless lies.
Brother, to what place have you borne his body?

ANDELOCIA
I bear it?  I touch’d it not.

AMPEDO
Nor I.  A leaden slumber press’d mine eyes.

SHADOW
Whether it were lead or latten that hapst down those winking casements, I know not, but I found you both snoring.

AMPEDO
And in that sleep, methought I heard the tunes
Of sullen passions apt for funerals,
And saw my father’s lifeless body bourne
By satyrs.  Oh, I fear that deity
Hath stol’n him hence, that snudge his destiny.

ANDELOCIA
I fear he’s risen again.  Didst thou not meet him?

SHADOW
I, sir?  Do you think this white and red durst have kiss’d my sweet cheeks if they had seen a ghost?  But, master, if the Destinies, or Fortune, or the Fates, or the fairies have stol’n him,  never indict them for the felony; for by this means the charges of a tomb is sav’d, and you being his heirs, may do as many rich executors do—put that money in your purses and give you he died a begger.

ANDELOCIA
Away, you rogue.  My father die a begger?
I’ll build a tomb for him of massy gold.

SHADOW
Methinks, master, it were better to let the memory of his shine in his own virtues, if he had any, than in alabaster.

ANDELOCIA
I shall mangle that alabaster face, you whoreson virtuous vice.

SHADOW
He has a marble heart that can mangle a face of alabaster.

ANDELOCIA
Brother, come, come, mourn not.  Our father is bet stepp’d to agree with Charon for this boat hire to Elysium.  See, here’s a story of all this travels.  This book shall come out with a new addition.  I’ll tread after my father’s steps. I’ll go measure the world.  Therefore let’s share these jewels.  Take this or this.

AMPEDO
Will you then violate our father’s will?

ANDELOCIA
A puritan?  Keep a dead man’s will?  Indeed, in the old time, when men were buries in soft churchyards that their ghosts might rise, it was good.  But, brother, now they are imprison’d in strong brick and marble they are fast.  Fear not.  Away, away.  These are fooleries, galleries, trumperies.  Here’s this or this, or I am gone with both.

AMPEDO
Do as you please.  The sin shall not be mine.
Fools call those things profane that are divine.

ANDELOCIA
Are you content to wear the jewels by turns?  I’ll have the purse for a year, you the hat, and as much gold as you’ll ask, and when my purseship ends, I’ll resign and cap you.

AMPEDO
I am content to bear all discontent.                                                                          [Exit.

ANDELOCIA
I should serve this bearing ass rarely now if I should load him, but I will not though conscience be, like physic, seldom used, for it does least hurt, yet I’ll take a dram of it.  This for him, and some gold; this for me, for having this mint about me, I shall want to wishing cap.  Gold is an eagle that can fly to any place, and like death that dares enter all places.  Shadow, wilt thou travel with me?

SHADOW
I shall never fadge with the humour because I cannot lie.

ANDELOCIA
Thou dolt.  We’ll visit all the kings’ courts in the world.

SHADOW
So we may, and return dolts home, but what shall learn by travail?

ANDELOCIA
Fashions.

SHADOW
That’s a beastly disease.  Methinks it’s better staying in your own country.

ANDELOCIA
How?  In mine own country?  Like a cage-bird and see nothing?

SHADOW
Nothing?  Yes, you may see things enough, for what can you see abroad that is not at home?  The same sun calls you up in the morning, and the same man in the moon lights you to bed at night; our fields are as green as theirs in summer, and their frosts will nip us more in winter; our birds sing as sweetly, and our women are as fair.  In other countries you shall have one drink to you, whilst you kiss your hand, and suck, heal poison you.  I confess you shall meet more fools and asses and knaves abroad then at home—yet God be thanked we have pretty store of all—but for punks, we put them down.

ANDELOCIA
Prepare thy spirits, for thou shalt go with me.
To England shall our stars direst out course.
Thither the prince of Cyprus, our king’s son,
Is gone to see the lovely Agripyne.
Shadow, we’ll gaze upon that English dame
And try what virtue gold has to inflame.
First to my brother, then away let’s fly.
Shadow must be a courtier ere he die.                                                                      [Exit.

SHADOW

If I must, the Fates shall be serv’d.  I have seen many clowns courtiers; then why not a Shadow?  Fortune, I am for thee.                                                                      [Exit.

Proceed to the next scene

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: