Act IV - Act IV, Scene XIX

[To them] JEREMY.

ANG. Oh, here's a reasonable creature--sure he will not have the impudence to persevere. Come, Jeremy, acknowledge your trick, and confess your master's madness counterfeit.

JERE. Counterfeit, madam! I'll maintain him to be as absolutely and substantially mad as any freeholder in Bethlehem; nay, he's as mad as any projector, fanatic, chymist, lover, or poet in Europe.

VAL. Sirrah, you be; I am not mad.

ANG. Ha, ha, ha! you see he denies it.

JERE. O Lord, madam, did you ever know any madman mad enough to own it?

VAL. Sot, can't you apprehend?

ANG. Why, he talked very sensibly just now.

JERE. Yes, madam; he has intervals. But you see he begins to look wild again now.

VAL. Why, you thick-skulled rascal, I tell you the farce is done, and I will be mad no longer. [Beats him.]

ANG. Ha, ha, ha! is he mad or no, Jeremy?

JERE. Partly, I think,--for he does not know his own mind two hours. I'm sure I left him just now in the humour to be mad, and I think I have not found him very quiet at this present. Who's there? [One knocks.]

VAL. Go see, you sot.--I'm very glad that I can move your mirth though not your compassion.

ANG. I did not think you had apprehension enough to be exceptions. But madmen show themselves most by over-pretending to a sound understanding, as drunken men do by over-acting sobriety. I was half inclining to believe you, till I accidently touched upon your tender part: but now you have restored me to my former opinion and compassion.

JERE. Sir, your father has sent to know if you are any better yet. Will you please to be mad, sir, or how?

VAL. Stupidity! You know the penalty of all I'm worth must pay for the confession of my senses; I'm mad, and will be mad to everybody but this lady.

JERE. So--just the very backside of truth,--but lying is a figure in speech that interlards the greatest part of my conversation. Madam, your ladyship's woman.