The Case is Altered/Act II Scene III

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Enter Aurelia, Phœnixella.

Aur. Room for a case of matrons, colour'd black;

How motherly my mother's death hath made us!

I would I had some girls now to bring up;

O I could make a wench so virtuous,

She should say grace to every bit of meat,

And gape no wider than a wafer's thickness;

And she should make French curt'sies so most low,

That every touch should turn her over backward.

Phœn. Sister, these words become not your attire,

Nor your estate; our virtuous mother's death

Should print more deep effects of sorrow in us,

Than may be worn out in so little time.

Aur. Sister, i' faith you take too much tobacco,

It makes you black within, as y' are without.

What true-stitch sister, both your sides alike!

Be of a slighter work; for of my word,

You shall be sold as dear, or rather dearer.

Will you be bound to customs and to rites,

Shed profitable tears, weep for advantage,

Or else do all things as you are inclin'd?

Eat when your stomach serves (saith the physician)

Not at eleven and six. So, if your humour

Be now affected with this heaviness,

Give it the reins, and spare not, as I do

In this my pleasurable appetite.

It is precisianism to alter that

With austere judgment, that is given by nature.

I wept, you saw too, when my mother dy'd;

For then I found it easier to do so,

And fitter with my mode, than not to weep.

But now 'tis otherwise; another time

Perhaps I shall have such deep thoughts of her,

That I shall weep afresh some twelve month hence;

And I will weep, if I be so dispos'd,

And put on black as grimly then as now.

Let the mind go still with the body's stature,

Judgment is fit for judges, give me nature.