Instant Monologues
Jonson Volpone Instant Monologue

by Ben Jonson


Volpone, to Celia.


'Tis the beggar's virtue,

If thou hast wisdom, hear me, Celia.

Thy baths shall be the juice of July-flowers,

Spirit of roses, and of violets,

The milk of unicorns, and panthers' breath

Gather'd in bags, and mixt with Cretan wines.

Our drink shall be prepared gold and amber;

Which we will take, until my roof whirl round

With the vertigo: and my dwarf shall dance,

My eunuch sing, my fool make up the antic.

Whilst we, in changed shapes, act Ovid's tales,

Thou, like Europa now, and I like Jove,

Then I like Mars, and thou like Erycine:

So, of the rest, till we have quite run through,

And wearied all the fables of the gods.

Then will I have thee in more modern forms,

Attired like some sprightly dame of France,

Brave Tuscan lady, or proud Spanish beauty;

Sometimes, unto the Persian Sophy's wife;

Or the Grand Signior's mistress; and, for change,

To one of our most artful courtesans,

Or some quick Negro, or cold Russian;

And I will meet thee in as many shapes:

Where we may so transfuse our wandering souls,

Out at our lips, and score up sums of pleasures,


That the curious shall not know

How to tell them as they flow;

And the envious, when they find

What there number is, be pined.

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