Scene I.A Street.
Mos. I fear, I shall begin to grow in love
With my dear self, and my most prosperous parts,
They do so
spring and burgeon; I can feel
A whimsy in my blood: I know not how,
Success hath made me wanton. I
Out of my skin, now, like a subtle snake,
I am so limber. O! your parasite
Is a most precious
thing, dropt from above,
Not bred mongst clods and clodpoles, here on earth.
I muse, the mystery was
not made a science,
It is so liberally profest! almost
All the wise world is little else, in nature,
or sub-parasites.And yet,
I mean not those that have your bare town-art,
To know whos fit to feed them; have
No family, no care, and therefore mould
Tales for mens ears, to bait that sense; or get
invention, and some stale receipts
To please the belly, and the groin; nor those,
With their court dog-tricks,
that can fawn and fleer,
Make their revenue out of legs and faces,
Echo my lord, and lick away a moth:
your fine elegant rascal, that can rise,
And stoop, almost together, like an arrow;
Shoot through the air
as nimbly as a star;
Turn short as doth a swallow, and be here,
And there, and here, and yonder, all at
Present to any humour, all occasion;
And change a visor, swifter than a thought!
This is the creature
had the art born with him;
Toils not to learn it, but doth practise it
Out of most excellent nature: and such
Are the true parasites, others but their zanis.
Whos this? Bonario, old Corbaccios son?
The person I was bound to seek.Fair sir,
You are happily
Bon. That cannot be by thee.
Mos. Why, sir?
Bon. Nay, pray thee, know thy way, and leave me:
I would be loth to interchange discourse
With such a
mate as thou art.
Mos. Courteous sir,
Scorn not my poverty.
Bon. Not I, by heaven;
But thou shalt give me leave to hate thy baseness.
Bon. Ay; answer me, is not thy sloth
Sufficient argument? thy flattery?
Thy means of feeding?
Mos. Heaven be good to me!
These imputations are too common, sir,
And easily stuck on virtue when
You are unequal to me, and however
Your sentence may be righteous, yet you are not
ere you know me, thus proceed in censure:
St. Mark bear witness gainst you, tis inhuman.
Bon. What! does he weep? the sign is soft and good:
I do repent me that I was so harsh.
Mos. Tis true, that, swayd by strong necessity,
I am enforced to eat my careful bread
With too much
obsequy; tis true, beside,
That I am fain to spin mine own poor raiment
Out of my mere observance, being
To a free fortune: but that I have done
Base offices, in rending friends asunder,
Whispering false lies, or mining men with praises,
Traind their credulity with perjuries,
chastity, or am in love
With mine own tender ease, but would not rather
Prove the most rugged, and laborious
That might redeem my present estimation,
Let me here perish, in all hope of goodness.