Act I - Scene v
BELL. What does he mean? Oh, ’tis Sir Joseph Wittoll with his friend; but I see he has turned the corner and goes another way.
SHARP. What in the name of wonder is it?
BELL. Why, a fool.
SHARP. ’Tis a tawdry outside.
BELL. And a very beggarly lining—yet he may be worth your acquaintance; a little of thy chymistry, Tom, may extract gold from that dirt.
SHARP. Say you so? ’Faith I am as poor as a chymist, and would be as industrious. But what was he that followed him? Is not he a dragon that watches those golden pippins?
BELL. Hang him, no, he a dragon! If he be, ’tis a very peaceful one. I can ensure his anger dormant; or should he seem to rouse, ’tis but well lashing him, and he will sleep like a top.
SHARP. Ay, is he of that kidney?
BELL. Yet is adored by that bigot, Sir Joseph Wittoll, as the image of valour. He calls him his back, and indeed they are never asunder—yet, last night, I know not by what mischance, the knight was alone, and had fallen into the hands of some night-walkers, who, I suppose, would have pillaged him. But I chanced to come by and rescued him, though I believe he was heartily frightened; for as soon as ever he was loose, he ran away without staying to see who had helped him.
SHARP. Is that bully of his in the army?
BELL. No; but is a pretender, and wears the habit of a soldier, which nowadays as often cloaks cowardice, as a black gown does atheism. You must know he has been abroad—went purely to run away from a campaign; enriched himself with the plunder of a few oaths, and here vents them against the general, who, slighting men of merit, and preferring only those of interest, has made him quit the service.
SHARP. Wherein no doubt he magnifies his own performance.
BELL. Speaks miracles, is the drum to his own praise—the only implement of a soldier he resembles, like that, being full of blustering noise and emptiness—
SHARP. And like that, of no use but to be beaten.
BELL. Right; but then the comparison breaks, for he will take a drubbing with as little noise as a pulpit cushion.
SHARP. His name, and I have done?
BELL. Why, that, to pass it current too, he has gilded with a title: he is called Capt. Bluffe.
SHARP. Well, I’ll endeavour his acquaintance—you steer another course, are bound—
For love’s island: I, for the golden coast.
May each succeed in what he wishes most.