Swetnam the Woman Hater – Act Four, scene three

 

Return to previous scene

Enter MISOGYNOS and SWASH.

MISOGYNOS
Swash!

SWASH
At your buckler, sir.

MISOGYNOS
Preceiv’st thou nothing, Swash?

SWASH
How mean you, sir?

MISOGYNOS
No strange sign of alteration, hum?

SWASH
Beyond imagination.

MISOGYNOS
How, good Swash?

SWASH
Why, from a fencer, you’re turn’d orator.

MISOGYNOS
Oh! Cedunt arma togæ; that’s no wonder.
Perceiv’st thou nothing else? Look I not pale?
Are not my arms enfolded? My eyes fix’d?
My head directed? My words passionate?
And yet perceiv’st thou nothing?

SWASH
Let me see.
Methinks you look, sir, like some desperate gamester
That had lost all his estate in a dicing house.
You met not with those money-changers, did you?
Or have you fal’n amongst the female sex,
And they have paid you for your last day’s work?

MISOGYNOS
No, no, thou art as wide as short in my disease.
Thou never canst imagine what it is,
Unless, I tell thee, Swash, I am in love.

SWASH
Ha, ha, ha! In love?

MISOGYNOS
Nay, ‘tis such a wonder, Swash, I scarce believe
It can be so myself, and yet it is.

SWASH
The devil it is as soon, and sooner too.
You love the devil better than a woman.

MISOGYNOS
Oh, do not say so, Swash. I do recant.

SWASH
In love? Not possible.
This is some tempting siren has bewitch’d you.

MISOGYNOS
Oh, peace, good Swash!

SWASH
Some cockatrice—the very curse of man?

MISOGYNOS
No more, if thou dost love me.

SWASH
Your own words.
I know not how to please you beter, sir.
Will you from orator turn heretic,
And sin against your own conscience?

MISOGYNOS
Oh, Swash, Swash!
Cupid, the little fencer, play’d his prize,
At several weapons in Atlanta’s eyes.
He challeng’d me, we met, and both did try
His utmost skill to get the victory.
Looks were oppos’d ‘gainst looks, and stead of swords,
Were banded frown ‘gainst frown, and words ‘gainst words.
But cunning Cupid forc’d me to recoil;
For when he play’d at shrape, I had the foil.

SWASH
Nay, now he is in love; I see it plain.
I was inspir’d with this poetical vein
When I fell first in love. God bi’ you, sir.
I must go look another master.

MISOGYNOS
Swash!

SWASH
Y’are a dead man; believe it, sir.
I would not give twopence for a lease
Of a hundred pound a year made for you life.
Can you that have been at deviance with ‘em all
Abused, arraigned ‘em, hang’d ‘em, if you could.
You hang’d ‘em more than half, you took away
All their good names, I’m sure. Can you then hope
That any will love you? A lady, sir,
Will sooner meet a tinker in the street
And try what metal lies within his budget;
A countess lie with me; an emperor
Take a poor milkmaid, sir, to be his wife,
Before a kitchen-wench will fancy you.

MISOGYNOS
Do not torment me, misbelieving dolt!
I tell thee, I do love, and must enjoy.

SWASH
Who, in the name of women, should this be?

MISOGYNOS
What an obtuse conception dost thou bear?
Did not I tell thee ‘twas Atlanta, Swash?

MISOGYNOS
Who, the Amazonian dame, your advocate,
A masculine feminine?

MISOGYNOS
Ay, Swash.
She must be more than female, has the power
To mollify me the temper of my love.

SWASH
Why, she’s the greatest enemy you have.

MISOGYNOS
The greater is my glory, Swash, in that,
That having vanquish’d all, I attain her.
The prize consists alone
In my eternal credit and renown.
Oh, what a race of witty orators
Shall we beget betwixt us. Come, good Swash,
I’ll write a letter to her presently,
Which thou shalt carry. If thou speedst, I swear,
Thou shalt be Swetnam’s heir.

SWASH
The devil, I fear,
Will dispossess me of that heritage.                                                             [Exeunt.

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: