Act IV - Act IV, Scene XXI


VAL. From a riddle you can expect nothing but a riddle. There's my instruction and the moral of my lesson.

JERE. What, is the lady gone again, sir? I hope you understood one another before she went?

VAL. Understood! She is harder to be understood than a piece of Egyptian antiquity or an Irish manuscript: you may pore till you spoil your eyes and not improve your knowledge.

JERE. I have heard 'em say, sir, they read hard Hebrew books backwards; maybe you begin to read at the wrong end.

VAL. They say so of a witch's prayer, and dreams and Dutch almanacs are to be understood by contraries. But there's regularity and method in that; she is a medal without a reverse or inscription, for indifference has both sides alike. Yet, while she does not seem to hate me, I will pursue her, and know her if it be possible, in spite of the opinion of my satirical friend, Scandal, who says -

That women are like tricks by sleight of hand, Which, to admire, we should not understand.