COREB. I will not for the mines of all the earth.

FABELL. Then let me rise, and ere I leave the world, Dispatch some business that I have to do; And in mean time repose thee in that chair.

COREB. Fabell, I will.

[Sit down.]

FABELL. O, that this soul, that cost so great a price As the dear precious blood of her redeemer, Inspired with knowledge, should by that alone Which makes a man so mean unto the powers, Even lead him down into the depth of hell, When men in their own pride strive to know more Then man should know! For this alone God cast the Angels down. The infinity of Arts is like a sea, Into which, when man will take in hand to sail Further then reason, which should be his pilot, Hath skill to guide him, losing once his compass, He falleth to such deep and dangerous whirl-pools As he doth lose the very sight of heaven: The more he strives to come to quiet harbor, The further still he finds himself from land. Man, striving still to find the depth of evil, Seeking to be a God, becomes a Devil.

COREB. Come, Fabell, hast thou done?

FABELL. Yes, yes; come hither.

COREB. Fabell, I cannot.

FABELL. Cannot?--What ails your hollownes?

COREB. Good Fabell, help me.

FABELL. Alas, where lies your grief? Some Aqua-vitae! The Devil's very sick, I fear he'll die, For he looks very ill.

COREB. Darst thou deride the minister of darkness? In Lucifer's dread name Coreb conjures thee To set him free.

FABELL. I will not for the mines of all the earth, Unless thou give me liberty to see Seven years more, before thou seize on me.

COREB. Fabell, I give it thee.

FABELL. Swear, damned fiend.

COREB. Unbind me, and by hell I will not touch thee, Till seven years from this hour be full expired.

FABELL. Enough, come out.

COREB. A vengeance take thy art! Live and convert all piety to evil: Never did man thus over-reach the Devil. No time on earth like Phaetontique flames Can have perpetual being. I'll return To my infernall mansion; but be sure, Thy seven years done, no trick shall make me tarry, But, Coreb, thou to hell shalt Fabell carry.


FABELL. Then thus betwixt us two this variance ends, Thou to thy fellow Fiends, I to my friends.



SCENE I. The George Inn, Waltham.

[Enter Sir Arthur Clare, Dorcas, his Lady, Milliscent, his daughter, young Harry Clare; the men booted, the gentlewomen in cloaks and safeguards. Blague, the merry host of the George, comes in with them.]

HOST. Welcome, good knight, to the George at Waltham, my free-hold, my tenements, goods and chattels. Madam, here's a room is the very Homer and Iliad of a lodging, it hath none of the four elements in it; I built it out of the Center, and I drink ne'er the less sack. Welcome, my little waste of maiden-heads! What? I serve the good Duke of Norfolk.

CLARE. God a mercy, my good host Blague: Thou hast a good seat here.

HOST. Tis correspondent or so: there's not a Tartarian nor a Carrier shall breath upon your geldings; they have villainous rank feet, the rogues, and they shall not sweat in my linen. Knights and Lords too have been drunk in my house, I thank the destinies.

HARRY. Pre' thee, good sinful Innkeeper, will that corruption, thine Ostler, look well to my gelding. Hay, a pox a these rushes!

HOST. You Saint Dennis, your gelding shall walk without doors, and cool his feet for his masters sake. By the body of S. George, I have an excellent intellect to go steal some venison: now, when wast thou in the forest?

HARRY. Away, you stale mess of white-broth! Come hither, sister, let me help you.

CLARE. Mine Host, is not Sir Richard Mounchensey come yet, according to our appointment, when we last dined here?

HOST. The knight's not yet apparent.--Marry, here's a forerunner that summons a parle, and saith, he'll be here top and top- gallant presently.

CLARE. Tis well, good mine host; go down, and see breakfast be provided.

HOST. Knight, thy breath hath the force of a woman, it takes me down; I am for the baser element of the kitchen: I retire like a valiant soldier, face point blank to the foe-man, or, like a Courtier, that must not shew the Prince his posteriors; vanish to know my canuasadoes, and my interrogatories, for I serve the good Duke of Norfolk.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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The Merry Wiues of Windsor
Sherlock Holmes - The Adventure of the Devil's Foot