Act III - Act III, Scene XI


SCAN. Alas, Mr Foresight, I'm afraid all is not right. You are a wise man, and a conscientious man, a searcher into obscurity and futurity, and if you commit an error, it is with a great deal of consideration, and discretion, and caution -

FORE. Ah, good Mr Scandal -

SCAN. Nay, nay, 'tis manifest; I do not flatter you. But Sir Sampson is hasty, very hasty. I'm afraid he is not scrupulous enough, Mr Foresight. He has been wicked, and heav'n grant he may mean well in his affair with you. But my mind gives me, these things cannot be wholly insignificant. You are wise, and should not be over-reached, methinks you should not -

FORE. Alas, Mr Scandal,--humanum est errare.

SCAN. You say true, man will err; mere man will err--but you are something more. There have been wise men; but they were such as you, men who consulted the stars, and were observers of omens. Solomon was wise, but how?--by his judgment in astrology. So says Pineda in his third book and eighth chapter -

FORE. You are learned, Mr Scandal.

SCAN. A trifler--but a lover of art. And the Wise Men of the East owed their instruction to a star, which is rightly observed by Gregory the Great in favour of astrology. And Albertus Magnus makes it the most valuable science, because, says he, it teaches us to consider the causation of causes, in the causes of things.

FORE. I protest I honour you, Mr Scandal. I did not think you had been read in these matters. Few young men are inclined -

SCAN. I thank my stars that have inclined me. But I fear this marriage and making over this estate, this transferring of a rightful inheritance, will bring judgments upon us. I prophesy it, and I would not have the fate of Cassandra not to be believed. Valentine is disturbed; what can be the cause of that? And Sir Sampson is hurried on by an unusual violence. I fear he does not act wholly from himself; methinks he does not look as he used to do.

FORE. He was always of an impetuous nature. But as to this marriage, I have consulted the stars, and all appearances are prosperous -

SCAN. Come, come, Mr Foresight, let not the prospect of worldly lucre carry you beyond your judgment, nor against your conscience. You are not satisfied that you act justly.

FORE. How?

SCAN. You are not satisfied, I say. I am loth to discourage you, but it is palpable that you are not satisfied.

FORE. How does it appear, Mr Scandal? I think I am very well satisfied.

SCAN. Either you suffer yourself to deceive yourself, or you do not know yourself.

FORE. Pray explain yourself.

SCAN. Do you sleep well o' nights?

FORE. Very well.

SCAN. Are you certain? You do not look so.

FORE. I am in health, I think.

SCAN. So was Valentine this morning; and looked just so.

FORE. How? Am I altered any way? I don't perceive it.

SCAN. That may be, but your beard is longer than it was two hours ago.

FORE. Indeed! Bless me!