The Case is Altered, by Ben Jonson

Act V.

Scene I.

Enter Angelo, Christophero.

Ang. Sigh for a woman! would I fold mine arms,
Rave in my sleep, talk idly being awake,

Pine and look pale, make love walks in the night,
To steal cold comfort from a day-star's eyes.
Kit, thou'rt a fool; wilt thou be wise; then, lad,
Renounce this boy-god's nice idolatry,
Stand not on compliment, and wooing tricks;
Thou lov'st old Jaques's daughter, dost thou?

Chr. Love her!

Ang. Come, come, I know't; be rul'd, and she's thine own.
Thou'lt say, her father Jaques, the old beggar,
Hath pawn'd his word to thee, that none but thou
Shalt be his son-in-law.

Chr. He has.

Ang. He has!
Wilt thou believe him, and be made a cook,
To wait on such an antique weather-cock;
While he is more inconstant than the sea,
His thoughts, Camelion-like, change every minute.
No, Kit, work soundly, steal the wench away,
Wed her, and bed her, and when that is done,
Then say to Jaques, shall I be your son?
But come, to our device; where is this gold?

Chr. Here, signior Angelo.

Ang. Bestow it, bid thy hands shed golden drops;
Let these bald French crowns be uncover'd,
In open sight to do obeysance
To Jaques' staring eyes when he sets forth;
The needy beggar will be glad of gold.
So now keep them aloof, and as he treads
This gilded path, stretch out his ambling hopes
With scattering more and more, and as thou goest,
Cry Jaques, Jaques.

Chr. Tush, let me alone.

Ang. But first, I'll play the ghost, I'll call him out;
Kit, keep aloof.

Chr. But, signior Angelo,
Where will yourself and Rachel stay for me,
After the jest is ended?

Ang. Mass, that's true,
At the old priory behind St. Foy's.

Chr. Agreed, no better place: I'll meet you there.

Ang. Now to this geer, — Jaques! Jaques! what Jaques!

Jaq. within. Who calls? who's there?

Ang. Jaques!

Jaq. within. Who calls?

Ang. Steward, he comes, he comes, Jaques.

Enter Jaques.

Jaq. What voice is this?
No body here? was I not call'd? I was;
And one cry'd Jaques with a hollow voice.
I was deceiv'd; no, I was not deceiv'd.
See, see, it was an angel call'd me forth.
Gold, gold, man-making gold! another star!
Drop they from heav'n? no, no, my house, I hope,
Is haunted with a fairy. My dear Lar,
My houshold god, my fairy, on my knees.

[Exit Christophero.

Chr. Jaques!

Jaq. My Lar doth call me; O sweet voice,
Musical as the spheres! see, see, more gold!

Chr. within. Jaques!

Enter Rachel.

Jaq. What Rachel, Rachel, lock my door, look to my house.

Chr. within. Jaques!

Jaq. Shut fast my door;
A golden crown, Jaques shall be a king.


Ang. To a fool's paradise that path will bring
Thee and thy houshold Lar.

Rach. What means my father?
I wonder what strange humour ——

Ang. Come, sweet soul,
Leave wondering, start not, 'twas I laid this plot,
To get your father forth.

Rach. O Angelo!

Ang. O me no O's, but hear; my lord, your love,
Paulo Ferneze, is return'd from war,
Lingers at Pont Valerio, and from thence,
By post, at midnight last, I was conjur'd
To man you thither. Stand not on replies,
A horse is saddled for you, will you go?
And I am for you, if you will stay, why so.

Rach. O Angelo, each minute is a day
Till my Ferneze come; come, we'll away, sir.

Ang. Sweet soul, I guess thy meaning by thy looks;
At Pont Valerio thou thy love shalt see,
But not Ferneze. Steward, fare you well;
You wait for Rachel too, when can you tell?


Enter Jaques.

Jaq. O in what golden circle have I danc'd!
Milan, these od'rous and enflower'd fields
Are none of thine; no, here's Elizium;
Here blessed ghosts do walk; this is the court
And glorious palace, where the god of gold
Shines like the sun of sparkling majesty.
O my fair-feather'd, my red-breasted birds,
Come flie with me, I'll bring you to a choir,
Whose concert being sweeten'd with your sound,
The musick will be fuller, and each hour
The ears shall banquet with your harmony.
O! O! O!

Enter Christophero.

Chr. At the old priory behind St. Foy's,
That was the place of our appointment, sure;
I hope he will not make me lose my gold,
And mock me too: perhaps they are within;
I'll knock.

Jaq. O god, the case is alter'd!

Chr. Rachel! Angelo! signior Angelo!

Jaq. Angels! I, where? mine angels! where's my gold?
Why Rachel! O thou thievish Canibal!
Thou eat'st my flesh in stealing of my gold.

Chr. What gold?

Jaq. What gold? Rachel! call help, come forth!
I'll rip thine entrails, but I'll have my gold.
Rachel! why com'st thou not? I am undone.
Ah me, she speaks not! thou has slain my child.


Christ. What is the man possest, trow! this is strange!
Rachel, I see, is gone with Angelo.
Well, I will once again into the priory,
And see if I can meet them.

[Exit Christophero.

Enter Jaques.

Jaq. 'Tis too true,
Th'ast made away my child, thou hast my gold:
O what hiena call'd me out of doors?
The thief is gone, my gold's gone, Rachel's gone,
All's gone! save I that spend my cries in vain;
But I'll hence too, and die, or end this pain.


Scene II.

Enter Juniper, Onion, Finio, Valentine.

Junip. 'Swounds, let me go; hey catso, catch him alive; I call, I call, boy; I come, I come, sweet heart.

Oni. Page, hold my rapier, while I hold my friend here.

Val. O here's a sweet metamorphosis, a couple of buzzards turn'd to a pair of peacocks.

Junip. Signior Onion, lend me thy boy to unhang my rapier.

Oni. Signior Juniper, for once or so; but truth is, you must inveigle, as I have done, my lord's page here, a poor follower of mine.

Junip. Hey ho! your page then cannot be superintendant upon me; he shall not be addicted, he shall not be incident, he shall not be incident, he shall not be incident,

[He foynes. shall he?

Fin. O sweet signior Juniper!

Junip. 'Sblood stand away, princocks, do not aggravate my joy.

Val. Nay, good master Onion.

Oni. Nay, and he have the heart to draw my blood, let him come.

Junip. I'll slice you, Onion; I'll slice you.

Oni. I'll cleave you, Juniper.

Val. Why hold, hold, ho! what do you mean?

Junip. Let him come, Ingle; stand by, boy, his alabaster blade cannot fear me.

Fin. Why hear you, sweet signior, let not there be any contention between my master and you about me; if you want a page, sir, I can help you to a proper stripling.

Junip. Canst thou? what parentage, what ancestry, what genealogy is he?

Fin. A French boy, sir.

Junip. Has he his French linguist? has he?

Fin. I, sir.

Junip. Then transport him; here's a crusado for thee.

Oni. You will not imbezzle my servant with your benevolence, will you? hold, boy, there's a portmanteau for thee.

Fin. Lord, sir!

Oni. Do, take it, boy; it's three pounds ten shillings, a portmanteau.

[Exit Finio.

Fin. I thank your lordship.

Junip. Sirrah Ningle, thou art a traveller, and I honour thee. I prithee discourse, cherish thy muse, discourse.

Val. Of what, sir?

Junip. Of what thou wilt; 'sblood, hang sorrow.

Oni. Prithee, Valentine, assoile me one thing.

Val. 'Tis pity to soil you, sir, your new apparel.

Oni. Mass thou say'st true, apparel makes a man Forget himself.

Junip. Begin, find your tongue, Ningle.

Val. Now will I gull these ganders rarely: Gentlemen, having in my peregrination through Mesopotamia. ———

Junip. Speak legibly, this game's gone, without the great mercy of God.
Here's a fine tragedy indeed. There's a Keisar royal.
By god'slid, nor king, nor Keisar shall.

Enter Finio, Pacue, Balthasar, Martino.

Balt. Where, where, Finio, where be they?

Junip. Go to, I'll be with you anon.

Oni. O here's the page, signior Juniper.

Junip. What says monsieur Onion, boy?

Fin. What say you, sir?

Junip. Tread out, boy.

Fin. Take up, you mean, sir.

Junip. Tread out, I say; so, I thank you, is this the boy?

Pac. Aue, monsieur.

Junip. Who gave you that name?

Pac. Give me de name, vat name?

Oni. He thought your name had been We. Young gentleman, you must do more than his legs can do for him, bear with him, sir.

Junip. Sirrah, give me instance of your carriage; you'll serve my turn, will you?

Pac. Vat, turn upon the toe?

Fin. O signior, no.

Junip. Page, will you follow me? I'll give you good exhibition.

Pac. By gar, shall not alone follow you, but shall lead you too.

Oni. Plaguy boy, he sooths his humour; these French villains ha' pocky wits.

Junip. Here, disarm me, take my semitary.

Val. O rare! this would be a rare man, and he had a little travel. Balthasar, Martino, put off your shoes, and bid him cobble them.

Junip. Friends, friends, but pardon me for fellows, no more in occupation, no more in corporation; 'tis so, pardon me; the case is alter'd; this is law, but I'll stand to nothing.

Pac. Dat so me tink.

Junip. Well, then God save the duke's majesty; is this any harm now? speak, is this any harm now?

Oni. No, nor good neither, 'sblood.

Junip. Do you laugh at me? do you laugh at me? do you laugh at me?

Val. I, sir, we do.

Junip. You do indeed?

Val. I, indeed, sir.

Junip. 'Tis sufficient; page carry my purse; dog me.


Oni. Gentlemen, leave him not; you see in what case he is; he is not in adversity, his purse is full of money; leave him not.


Scene III.

Enter Angelo, with Rachel.

Ang. Nay, gentle Rachel.

Rach. Away, forbear, ungentle Angelo,
Touch not my body with those impious hands,
That, like hot irons, sear my trembling heart,
And make it hiss at your disloyalty.
[Enter Chamont, Paulo Ferneze.
Was this your drift, to use Ferneze's name?
Was he your fittest stale? O wild dishonour!

Paul. Stay, noble sir.

Ang. 'Sblood, how like a puppet do you talk now!
Dishonour! what dishonour! come, come, fool;
Nay, then I see y'are peevish. S'heart, dishonour!
To have you to a priest, and marry you,
And put you in an honourable state.

Rach. To marry me! O heaven! can it be?
That men should live with such unfeeling souls,
Without or touch or conscience of religion?
Or that their warping appetites should spoil
Those honour'd forms, that the true scale of friendship
Had set upon their faces?

Ang. Do you hear?
What needs all this? say, will you have me, or no?

Rach. I'll have you gone, and leave me, if you would.

Ang. Leave you! I was accurst to bring you hither,
And make so fair an offer to a fool.
A pox upon you, why should you be coy,
What good thing have you in you to be proud of?
Are ye any other than a beggar's daughter?
Because you have beauty. O god's light! a blast!

Pau. I, Angelo.

Ang. You scornful baggage,
I lov'd thee not so much, but now I hate thee.

Rach. Upon my knees, you heavenly powers, I thank you,
That thus have tam'd his wild affections.

Ang. This will not do, I must to her again.
Rachel, O that thou sawest my heart, or didst behold
The place from whence that scalding sigh evented!
Rachel, by Jesu, I love thee as my soul, Rachel, sweet Rachel.

Rach. What again return'd
Unto this violent passion!

Ang. Do but hear me;
By heaven I love you, Rachel.

Rach. Pray forbear.
O that my lord Ferneze were but here!

Ang. 'Sblood an' he were, what would he

Pau. This would he do, base villain.

Rach. My dear lord.

Paul. Thou monster! even the soul of treachery!
O what dishonour'd title of reproach
May my tongue spit in thy deserved face!
Methinks my very presence should invert
The steeled organs of those traiterous eyes,
To take into thy heart, and pierce it through.
Turn'st thou them on the ground! wretch, dig a grave
With their sharp points, to hide thy abhorred head.
Sweet love, thy wrongs have been too violent
Since my departure from thee, I perceive;
But now true comfort shall again appear,
And, like an armed angel, guard thee safe
From all th' assaults of cover'd villainy.
Come, monsieur, let us go, and leave this wretch
To his despair.

Ang. My noble Ferneze.

Pau. What canst thou speak to me, and not thy tongue,
Forc'd with the torment of thy guilty soul,
Break that infected circle of thy mouth,
Like the rude clapper of a crazed bell?
I, that in thy bosom lodg'd my soul,
With all her train of secrets, thinking them
To be as safe and richly entertain'd
As in a prince's court, or tower of strength,
And thou to prove a traitor to my trust,
And basely to expose it; O this world!

Ang. My honourable lord.

Pau. The very owl, whom other birds do stare
And wonder at, shall hoot at thee; and snakes,
In every bush, shall deaf thine ears with their —

Cha. Nay, good my lord, give end unto your passions.

Ang. You shall see I will redeem your lost opinion.

Rach. My lord, believe him.

Cha. Come, be satisfy'd;
Sweet lord, you know our haste; let us to horse,
The time for my engag'd return is past.
Be friends again, take him along with you.

Pau. Come, signior Angelo, hereafter prove more true.


Scene IV.

Enter count Ferneze, Maximilian, Francisco.

Count. Tut, Maximilian, for your honour'd self,
I am persuaded; but no words shall turn
The edge of purpos'd vengeance on that wretch.
Come, bring him forth to execution.
Enter Camillo bound, with servants.
I'll hang him for my son, he shall not 'scape,
Had he a hundred lives. Tell me, vile slave,
Think'st thou I love my son? is he my flesh?
Is he my blood, my life? and shall all these
Be tortur'd for thy sake, and not reveng'd?
Truss up the villain.

Max. My lord, there is no law to confirm this action.
'Tis dishonourable.

Count. Dishonourable, Maximilian!
It is dishonourable in Chamont,
The day of his prefixt return is past,
And he shall pay for't.

Cam. My lord, my lord,
Use your extremest vengeance; I'll be glad
To suffer ten times more for such a friend.

Count. O resolute and peremptory wretch!

Franc. My honour'd lord, let us intreat a word.

Count. I'll hear no more; I say, he shall not live;
Myself will do it. Stay, what form is this
Stands betwixt him and me, and holds my hand?
What miracle is this? 'tis my own fancy
Carves this impression in me; my soft nature
That ever hath retain'd such foolish pity
Of the most abject creature's misery,
That it abhors it. What a child am I
To have a child? ah me! my son, my son!
Enter Christophero.

Chr. O my dear love, what is become of thee?
What unjust absence layest thou on my breast,
Like weights of lead, when swords are at my back,
That run me thorough with thy unkind flight,
My gentle disposition waxeth wild;
I shall run frantick: O my love, my love!
Enter Jaques.

Jaq. My gold, my gold, my life, my soul, my heaven!
What is become of thee? see, I'll impart
My miserable loss to my good lord.
Let me have search, my lord, my gold is gone.

Count. My son, Christophero, think'st thou it possible
I ever shall behold his face again?

Chr. O father, where's my love? were you so careless
To let an unthrift steal away your child?

Jaq. I know your lordship may find out my gold.
For god's sake pity me; justice, sweet lord.

Count. Now they have young Chamont, Christophero,
Surely they never will restore my son.

Chr. Who would have thought you could have been so careless
To lose your only daughter?

Jaq. Who would think
That looking to my gold with such hare's eyes,
That ever open, I, even when I sleep,
I thus should lose my gold, my noble lord,
What says your lordship?

Count. O my son, my son!

Chr. My dearest Rachel!

Jaq. My most honey gold!

Count. Hear me, Christophero.

Chr. Nay, hear me, Jaques.

Jaq. Hear me, most honour'd lord.

Max. What rule is here?

Count. O god, that we should let Chamont escape.

Enter Aurelia, Phœnixella.

Chr. I, and that Rachel, such a virtuous maid,
Should be thus stolen away.

Jaq. And that my gold,
Being so hid in earth, should be found out.

Max. O confusion of languages, and yet no tower of Babel!

Fran. Ladies, beshrew me, if you come not fit
To make a jangling consort; will you laugh
To see three constant passions.

Max. Stand by,
I will urge them; sweet count, will you be comforted?

Count. It cannot be
But he is handled the most cruelly
That ever any noble prisoner was.

Max. Steward, go chear my lord.

Chr. Well, if Rachel took her flight willingly.

Max. Sirrah, speak you touching your daughter's flight?

Jaq. O that I could so soon forget to know
The thief again that had my gold, my gold.

Max. Is not this pure?

Count. O thou base wretch, I'll drag thee through the streets;
Enter Balthasar, and whispers with him.
And as a monster make thee wonder'd at.
How now?

Phœn. Sweet gentleman, how too unworthily
Art thou thus tortur'd! brave Maximilian,
Pity the poor youth, and appease my father.

Count. How! my son return'd? O Maximilian,
Francisco, daughters! bid him enter here.

Enter Chamont, Ferneze, Rachel, Angelo.

Dost thou not mock me? O my dear Paulo, welcome.

Max. My lord Chamont!

Cha. My Gasper!

Chr. Rachel.

Jaq. My gold, Rachel, my gold.

Count. Somebody bid the beggar cease his noise.

Chr. O signior Angelo, would you deceive
Your honest friend, that simply trusted you?
Well, Rachel, I am glad thou art here again.

Ang. I'faith she is not for you, steward.

Jaq. I beseech you, madam, urge your father.

Phœn. I will anon; good Jaques, be content.

Aur. Now god-a-mercy fortune, and sweet Venus.
Let Cupid do his part, and all is well.

Phœn. Methinks, my heart's in heaven with this comfort.

Chamont. Is this the true Italian courtesy?
Ferneze, were you tortur'd thus in France?
By my soul's safety ————.

Count. My most noble lord,
I do beseech your lordship.

Cha. Honour'd count,
Wrong not your age with flexure of a knee,
I do impute it to those cares and griefs
That did torment you in your absent son.

Count. O worthy gentlemen, I am asham'd
That my extreme affection to my son
Should give my honour so uncur'd a maim;
But my first son being in Vicenza lost.

Cha. How! in Vicenza! lost you a son there?
About what time, my lord?

Count. O the same night
Wherein your noble father took the town.

Cha. How long's that since, my lord? can you remember?

Count. 'Tis now well nigh upon the twentieth year.

Cha. And how old was he then?

Count. I cannot tell;
Between the years of three and four, I take it.

Cha. Had he no special note in his attire,
Or otherwise, that you can call to mind?

Count. I cannot well remember his attire;
But I have often heard his mother say,
He had about his neck a tablet,
Given to him by the emperor Sigismund,
His godfather, with this inscription,
Under the figure of a silver globe,
In minimo mundus.

Cha. How did you call your son, my lord?

Count. Camillo, lord Chamont.

Cha. Then no more my Gasper, but Camillo,
Take notice of your father. Gentlemen,
Stand not amaz'd; here is a tablet,
With that inscription, found about his neck,
That night, and in Vicenza, by my father,
(Who being ignorant what name he had
Christen'd him Gasper;) nor did I reveal
This secret, till this hour, to any man.

Count. O happy revelation! O blest hour!
O my Camillo!

Phœn. O strange! my brother!

Fran. Maximilian,
Behold how the abundance of his joy
Drowns him in tears of gladness.

Count. O my boy,
Forgive thy father's late austerity.

Max. My lord, I delivered as much before, but your honour would not be persuaded; I will hereafter give more observance to my visions; I dreamt of this.

Jaq. I can be still no longer, my good lord;
Do a poor man some grace amongst all your joys.

Count. Why what's the matter, Jaques?

Jaq. I am robb'd;
I am undone, my lord; robb'd and undone.
A heap of thirty thousand golden crowns
Stolen from me in one minute, and I fear
By her confederacy that calls me father;
But she is none of mine, therefore, sweet lord,
Let her be tortur'd to confess the truth.

Max. More wonders yet.

Count. How, Jaques! is not Rachel then thy daughter?

Jaq. No, I disclaim in her; I spit at her:
She is a harlot, and her customers,
Your son, this gallant, and your steward here,
Have all been partners with her in my spoil;
No less than thirty thousand.

Count. Jaques, Jaques,
This is impossible; how shouldst thou come
To the possession of so huge a heap,
Being always a known beggar?

Jaq. Out, alas!
I have betray'd myself with my own tongue;
The case is alter'd.

Count. Some one stay him here.

Max. What means he to depart? count
Ferneze, upon my soul this beggar, this beggar is a counterfeit.
Urge him: didst thou lose gold?

Jaq. O no, I lost no gold.

Max. Said I not true?

Count. How! didst thou first lose thirty thousand crowns,
And now no gold? was Rachel first thy child,
And is she now no daughter? sirrah, Jaques,
You know how far our Milan laws extend
For punishing of lyars.

Jaq. I, my lord.
What shall I do? I have no starting-holes.
Monsieur Chamont, stand you, my honour'd lord.

Cha. For what, old man?

Jaq. Ill-gotten goods ne'er thrive;
I play'd the thief, and now am robb'd myself.
I am not what I seem, Jaques de Prie,
Nor was I born a beggar as I am,
But some time steward to your noble father.

Cha. What, Melun, that robb'd my father's treasure,
Stole my sister?

Jaq. I, I; that treasure's lost, but Isabel,
Your beauteous sister, here survives in Rachel;
And therefore on my knees ———

Max. Stay, Jaques, stay;
The case still alters.

Count. Fair Rachel, sister to the lord Chamont!

Ang. Steward, your cake is dow, as well as mine.

Pau. I see that honour's flames cannot be hid,
No more than lightning in the blackest cloud.

Max. Then, sirrah, 'tis true, you have lost this gold.

Jaq. I, worthy signior, thirty thousand crowns.

Count. Mass, who was it told me, that a couple of my men were become gallants of late?

Fran. Marry, 'twas I, my lord; my man told me.
Enter Onion and Juniper.

Max. How now! what pageant is this?

Junip. Come, signior Onion, let's not be asham'd to appear;
Keep state, look not ambiguous now.

Oni. Not I, while I am in this suit.

Junip. Lordlings, equivalence to you all.

Oni. We thought good to be so good as see you, gentlemen.

Max. What, monsieur Onion!

Oni. How dost thou, good captain?

Count. What, are my hinds turn'd gentlemen?

Oni. Hinds, sir! 'sblood, and that word will bear an action; it shall cost us a thousand pound a piece, but we'll be reveng'd.

Junip. Wilt thou sell thy lordship, count?

Count. What, peasants purchase lordships?

Junip. Is that any novels, sir?

Max. O transmutation of elements! it is certified you had pages.

Junip. I, sir; but it is known they proved ridiculous; they did pilfer, they did purloin, they did procrastinate our purses; for the which wasting of our stock, we have put them to the stocks.

Count. And thither shall you two presently.
These be the villains that stole Jaques' gold;
Away with them, and set them with their men.

Max. Onion, you will now be peel'd.

Fran. The case is alter'd now.

Oni. Good my lord, good my lord.

Junip. Away, scoundrel; dost thou fear a little elocution?
Shall we be confiscate now? shall we droop now?
Shall we be now in helogabolus?

Oni. Peace, peace, leave thy gabling.

Count. Away, away with them; what's this they prate?

[Exeunt with Juniper and Onion.

Keep the knaves sure; strict inquisition
Shall presently be made for Jaques' gold,
To be dispos'd at pleasure of Chamont.

Cha. She is your own, lord Paulo, if your father
Give his consent.

Ang. How now, Christophero! the case is alter'd.

Chr. With you as well as me; I am content, sir.

Count. With all my heart; and in exchange of her,
(If with your fair acceptance it may stand)
I tender my Aurelia to your love.

Cha. I take her from your lordship with all thanks,
And bless the hour wherein I was made prisoner,
For the fruition of this present fortune,
So full of happy and unlook'd-for joys.
Melun, I pardon thee; and for the treasure
Recover it, and hold it as thine own:
It is enough for me to see my sister
Live in the circle of Ferneze's arms,
My friend, the son of such a noble father;
And my unworthy self wrapt above all
By being the lord of so divine a dame.

Max. Well, I will now swear the case is altered. Lady, fare you well; I will subdue my affections. Madam, as for you, you are a profest virgin, and I will be silent. My honourable lord Ferneze, it shall become you at this time not to be frugal, but bounteous, and open-handed; your fortune hath been so to you, lord Chamont.

You are now no stranger; you must be welcome; you have a fair, amiable, and splendid lady: but signior Paulo, signior Camillo, I know you valiant, be loving. Lady, I must be better known to you. Signiors, for you, I pass you not, though I let you pass; for in truth I pass not of you. Lovers to your nuptials, lordlings to your dances; march fair all, for a fair march is worth a king's ransome.


This Comedy was sundry times acted by the Children of the Black-Friars.


This web edition published by:

The University of Adelaide Library
University of Adelaide
South Australia 5005

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:56