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VOLPONE; OR, THE FOX: A COMEDY.
BY THE SAME.
VOLPONE, a rich Venetian nobleman, who is without child.
ren, feigns himself to be dying, to draw gifts from such as pay their court to him in the expectation of becoming his heirs. Mosca, his knavish confederate, persuades each of these men in turn, that he is named for the inheritance, and by this means extrocts from their cre.
dulity many costly presents. VOLPONE, as on his death-bed. Mosca. CORBACCIO, an
old gentleman. Mos. Signior Corbaccio, You're very welcome, sir.
Corb. How does your patron ?
10 Nor yesterday; but slumbers.
Corb. Good ! he shall take
Mos. He will not hear of drugs.
Corb. Why? I myself Stood by, while it was made ; saw all th' ingredients; And know it cannot but most gently work. My life for his, 'tis but to make him sleep.
Volp. Ay, his last sleep if he would take it. 20
Corb. Say you, say you ?
Corb. Not I his heir ?
Corb. O, no, no, no,
Mos. No, sir, nor their fees
Corb. Right, I do conceive you.
Mos. And then, they do it by experiment;
Corb. It is true, they kill
Mos. Nay, more ;
Corb. Ay, or me,
Corb. How? how ? Stronger than he was wont ?
Mos. No, sir: his face Drawn longer than 'twas wont.
Corb. O, good.
Mos. His mouth
30 Corb. Good
Mos. A freezing numbness stiffens all his joints, And makes the colour of his flesh like lead.
Corb. 'Tis good.
40 Mos. Flows a cold sweat, with a continual rheum Forth the resolved corners of his eyes.
Corb. Is 't possible ? yet I am better, ha!
How does he with the swimming of his head ?
Mos. 0, sir, 'tis past the scotomy; he now Hath lost his feeling, and hath left to snort : You hardly can perceive him that he breathes. Corb. Excellent, excellent, sure I shall outlast
him : This makes me young again a score of years.
Mos. I was coming for you, sir.
Corb. Has he made his will ?
Corb. Oh, oh, oh.
Mos. He smelt a carcase, sir, when he but heard
Corb. He came unto him, did he? I thought so.
20 Mos. I do not know, sir.
Mos. By your own scale, sir.
Mos. Yea marry, sir,
Mos. Most blessed cordial.
Corb. Yes, do, do, do,
40 Mos. Why, sir, this
Will work some strange effect if he but feel it.
venture ; Give me't again.
Mos. At no hand ; pardon me
Mos. All sir, 'tis your right, your own ; no man Can claim a part ; 'tis yours without a rival, Decreed by destiny.
Mos. And on first advantage
Corb. Good, good.
Mos. 'Tis better yet, If you will hear, sir.
20 Corb. Yes, with all my heart. Mos. Now would I counsel you, make home with
speed; There frame a will ; whereto you shall inscribe My master your sole heir.
Corb. And disinherit My son ?
Mos. O sir, the better ; for that colour Shall make it much more taking.
Corb. O, but colour ?
Mos. This will, sir, you shall send it unto me. 30 Now, when I come to inforce (as I will do) Your cares, your watchings, and your many prayers, Your more than many gifts, your this day's present, And last produce your will ; where, (without thought, Or least regard unto your proper issue, A son so brave, and highly meriting) The stream of your diverted love hath thrown you Upon my master, and made him your heir : He cannot be so stupid, or stone-dead, But out of conscience, and mere gratitude- 40
Corb. He must pronounce me his?
Mos. 'Tis true.
Corb. This plot Did I think on before.
Mos. I do believe it.
Mos. You have not only done yourself a good-
20 Mos. 'Las, sir, heaven knows, It hath been all my study, all my care (I e'en grow grey withal) how to work things
Corb. I do conceive, sweet Mosca.
Mos. You are he,
Corb. Ay, do, do, do:
Mos. Rook go with you, raven.
not? Mos. Your worship is a precious ass— Corb. What say'st thou ? Mos. I do desire your worship to make haste, sir. Corb. 'Tis done, 'tis done, I go. [Exit. 40 Volp. O, I shall burst;