Act II - Act II, Scene V


SIR SAMP. Nor no more to be done, old boy; that's plain--here 'tis, I have it in my hand, old Ptolomey, I'll make the ungracious prodigal know who begat him; I will, old Nostrodamus. What, I warrant my son thought nothing belonged to a father but forgiveness and affection; no authority, no correction, no arbitrary power; nothing to be done, but for him to offend and me to pardon. I warrant you, if he danced till doomsday he thought I was to pay the piper. Well, but here it is under black and white, signatum, sigillatum, and deliberatum; that as soon as my son Benjamin is arrived, he's to make over to him his right of inheritance. Where's my daughter that is to be?--Hah! old Merlin! body o' me, I'm so glad I'm revenged on this undutiful rogue.

FORE. Odso, let me see; let me see the paper. Ay, faith and troth, here 'tis, if it will but hold. I wish things were done, and the conveyance made. When was this signed, what hour? Odso, you should have consulted me for the time. Well, but we'll make haste -

SIR SAMP. Haste, ay, ay; haste enough. My son Ben will be in town to-night. I have ordered my lawyer to draw up writings of settlement and jointure--all shall be done to-night. No matter for the time; prithee, brother Foresight, leave superstition. Pox o' the time; there's no time but the time present, there's no more to be said of what's past, and all that is to come will happen. If the sun shine by day, and the stars by night, why, we shall know one another's faces without the help of a candle, and that's all the stars are good for.

FORE. How, how? Sir Sampson, that all? Give me leave to contradict you, and tell you you are ignorant.

SIR SAMP. I tell you I am wise; and sapiens dominabitur astris; there's Latin for you to prove it, and an argument to confound your Ephemeris.--Ignorant! I tell you, I have travelled old Fircu, and know the globe. I have seen the antipodes, where the sun rises at midnight, and sets at noon-day.

FORE. But I tell you, I have travelled, and travelled in the celestial spheres, know the signs and the planets, and their houses. Can judge of motions direct and retrograde, of sextiles, quadrates, trines and oppositions, fiery-trigons and aquatical-trigons. Know whether life shall be long or short, happy or unhappy, whether diseases are curable or incurable. If journeys shall be prosperous, undertakings successful, or goods stolen recovered; I know -

SIR SAMP. I know the length of the Emperor of China's foot; have kissed the Great Mogul's slippers, and rid a-hunting upon an elephant with a Cham of Tartary. Body o' me, I have made a cuckold of a king, and the present majesty of Bantam is the issue of these loins.

FORE. I know when travellers lie or speak truth, when they don't know it themselves.

SIR SAMP. I have known an astrologer made a cuckold in the twinkling of a star; and seen a conjurer that could not keep the devil out of his wife's circle.

FORE. What, does he twit me with my wife too? I must be better informed of this. [Aside.] Do you mean my wife, Sir Sampson? Though you made a cuckold of the king of Bantam, yet by the body of the sun -

SIR SAMP. By the horns of the moon, you would say, brother Capricorn.

FORE. Capricorn in your teeth, thou modern Mandeville; Ferdinand Mendez Pinto was but a type of thee, thou liar of the first magnitude. Take back your paper of inheritance; send your son to sea again. I'll wed my daughter to an Egyptian mummy, e'er she shall incorporate with a contemner of sciences, and a defamer of virtue.

SIR SAMP. Body o' me, I have gone too far; I must not provoke honest Albumazar: --an Egyptian mummy is an illustrious creature, my trusty hieroglyphic; and may have significations of futurity about him; odsbud, I would my son were an Egyptian mummy for thy sake. What, thou art not angry for a jest, my good Haly? I reverence the sun, moon and stars with all my heart. What, I'll make thee a present of a mummy: now I think on't, body o' me, I have a shoulder of an Egyptian king that I purloined from one of the pyramids, powdered with hieroglyphics, thou shalt have it brought home to thy house, and make an entertainment for all the philomaths, and students in physic and astrology in and about London.

FORE. But what do you know of my wife, Sir Sampson?

SIR SAMP. Thy wife is a constellation of virtues; she's the moon, and thou art the man in the moon. Nay, she is more illustrious than the moon; for she has her chastity without her inconstancy: 'sbud I was but in jest.