Act II - Act II, Scene VII


JERE. He is here, sir.

VAL. Your blessing, sir.

SIR SAMP. You've had it already, sir; I think I sent it you to-day in a bill of four thousand pound: a great deal of money, brother Foresight.

FORE. Ay, indeed, Sir Sampson, a great deal of money for a young man; I wonder what he can do with it!

SIR SAMP. Body o' me, so do I. Hark ye, Valentine, if there be too much, refund the superfluity; dost hear, boy?

VAL. Superfluity, sir? It will scarce pay my debts. I hope you will have more indulgence than to oblige me to those hard conditions which my necessity signed to.

SIR SAMP. Sir, how, I beseech you, what were you pleased to intimate, concerning indulgence?

VAL. Why, sir, that you would not go to the extremity of the conditions, but release me at least from some part.

SIR SAMP. Oh, sir, I understand you--that's all, ha?

VAL. Yes, sir, all that I presume to ask. But what you, out of fatherly fondness, will be pleased to add, shall be doubly welcome.

SIR SAMP. No doubt of it, sweet sir; but your filial piety, and my fatherly fondness would fit like two tallies. Here's a rogue, brother Foresight, makes a bargain under hand and seal in the morning, and would be released from it in the afternoon; here's a rogue, dog, here's conscience and honesty; this is your wit now, this is the morality of your wits! You are a wit, and have been a beau, and may be a--why sirrah, is it not here under hand and seal-- can you deny it?

VAL. Sir, I don't deny it.

SIR SAMP. Sirrah, you'll be hanged; I shall live to see you go up Holborn Hill. Has he not a rogue's face? Speak brother, you understand physiognomy, a hanging look to me--of all my boys the most unlike me; he has a damned Tyburn face, without the benefit o' the clergy.

FORE. Hum--truly I don't care to discourage a young man,--he has a violent death in his face; but I hope no danger of hanging.

VAL. Sir, is this usage for your son?--For that old weather-headed fool, I know how to laugh at him; but you, sir -

SIR SAMP. You, sir; and you, sir: why, who are you, sir?

VAL. Your son, sir.

SIR SAMP. That's more than I know, sir, and I believe not.

VAL. Faith, I hope not.

SIR SAMP. What, would you have your mother a whore? Did you ever hear the like? Did you ever hear the like? Body o' me -

VAL. I would have an excuse for your barbarity and unnatural usage.

SIR SAMP. Excuse! Impudence! Why, sirrah, mayn't I do what I please? Are not you my slave? Did not I beget you? And might not I have chosen whether I would have begot you or no? 'Oons, who are you? Whence came you? What brought you into the world? How came you here, sir? Here, to stand here, upon those two legs, and look erect with that audacious face, ha? Answer me that! Did you come a volunteer into the world? Or did I, with the lawful authority of a parent, press you to the service?

VAL. I know no more why I came than you do why you called me. But here I am, and if you don't mean to provide for me, I desire you would leave me as you found me.

SIR SAMP. With all my heart: come, uncase, strip, and go naked out of the world as you came into 't.

VAL. My clothes are soon put off. But you must also divest me of reason, thought, passions, inclinations, affections, appetites, senses, and the huge train of attendants that you begot along with me.

SIR SAMP. Body o' me, what a manyheaded monster have I propagated!

VAL. I am of myself, a plain, easy, simple creature, and to be kept at small expense; but the retinue that you gave me are craving and invincible; they are so many devils that you have raised, and will have employment.

SIR SAMP. 'Oons, what had I to do to get children,--can't a private man be born without all these followers? Why, nothing under an emperor should be born with appetites. Why, at this rate, a fellow that has but a groat in his pocket may have a stomach capable of a ten shilling ordinary.

JERE. Nay, that's as clear as the sun; I'll make oath of it before any justice in Middlesex.

SIR SAMP. Here's a cormorant too. 'S'heart this fellow was not born with you? I did not beget him, did I?

JERE. By the provision that's made for me, you might have begot me too. Nay, and to tell your worship another truth, I believe you did, for I find I was born with those same whoreson appetites too, that my master speaks of.

SIR SAMP. Why, look you there, now. I'll maintain it, that by the rule of right reason, this fellow ought to have been born without a palate. 'S'heart, what should he do with a distinguishing taste? I warrant now he'd rather eat a pheasant, than a piece of poor John; and smell, now, why I warrant he can smell, and loves perfumes above a stink. Why there's it; and music, don't you love music, scoundrel?

JERE. Yes; I have a reasonable good ear, sir, as to jigs and country dances, and the like; I don't much matter your solos or sonatas, they give me the spleen.

SIR SAMP. The spleen, ha, ha, ha; a pox confound you--solos or sonatas? 'Oons, whose son are you? How were you engendered, muckworm?

JERE. I am by my father, the son of a chair-man; my mother sold oysters in winter, and cucumbers in summer; and I came upstairs into the world; for I was born in a cellar.

FORE. By your looks, you should go upstairs out of the world too, friend.

SIR SAMP. And if this rogue were anatomized now, and dissected, he has his vessels of digestion and concoction, and so forth, large enough for the inside of a cardinal, this son of a cucumber.--These things are unaccountable and unreasonable. Body o' me, why was not I a bear, that my cubs might have lived upon sucking their paws? Nature has been provident only to bears and spiders; the one has its nutriment in his own hands; and t'other spins his habitation out of his own entrails.

VAL. Fortune was provident enough to supply all the necessities of my nature, if I had my right of inheritance.

SIR SAMP. Again! 'Oons, han't you four thousand pounds? If I had it again, I would not give thee a groat.--What, would'st thou have me turn pelican, and feed thee out of my own vitals? S'heart, live by your wits: you were always fond of the wits, now let's see, if you have wit enough to keep yourself. Your brother will be in town to-night or to-morrow morning, and then look you perform covenants, and so your friend and servant: --come, brother Foresight.