SCENE I.-A GROVE AND FOUNTAIN.
ENTER CUPID, AND MERCURY WITH HIS CADUCEUS, ON DIFFERENT SIDES.
CUP. Who goes there?
MER. 'Tis I, blind archer.
CUP. Who, Mercury?
MER. Stay Cupid.
CUP. Not in your company, Hermes, except your hands were riveted at
MER. Why so, my little rover?
CUP. Because I know you have not a finger, but is as long as my
quiver, cousin Mercury, when you please to extend it.
MER. Whence derive you this speech, boy?
CUP. O! 'tis your best polity to be ignorant. You did never steal
Mars his sword out of the sheath, you! nor Neptune's trident! nor
Apollo's bow! no, not you! Alas, your palms, Jupiter knows, they
are as tender as the foot of a foundered nag, or a lady's face new
mercuried, they'll touch nothing.
MER. Go to, infant, you'll be daring still.
CUP. Daring! O Janus! what a word is there? why, my light
feather-heel'd coz, what are you any more than my uncle Jove's
pander? a lacquey that runs on errands for him, and can whisper a
light message to a loose wench with some round volubility? wait
mannerly at a table with a trencher, warble upon a crowd a little,
and fill out nectar when Ganymede's away? one that sweeps the god's
drinking-room every morning, and sets the cushions in order again,
which they threw one at another's head over night; can brush the
carpets, call the stools again to their places, play the crier of
the court with an audible voice, and take state of a president upon
you at wrestlings, pleadings, negociations, etc. Here's the
catalogue of your employments, now! O, no, I err; you have the
marshalling of all the ghosts too that pass the Stygian ferry, and
I suspect you for a share with the old sculler there, if the truth
were known; but let that scape. One other peculiar virtue you
possess, in lifting, or leiger-du-main, which few of the house of
heaven have else besides, I must confess. But, methinks, that
should not make you put that extreme distance 'twixt yourself and
others, that we should be said to "over-dare" in speaking to your
nimble deity. So Hercules might challenge priority of us both,
because he can throw the bar farther, or lift more join'd stools at
the arm's end, than we. If this might carry it, then we, who have
made the whole body of divinity tremble at the twang of our bow,
and enforc'd Saturnius himself to lay by his curled front, thunder,
and three-fork'd fires, and put on a masking suit, too light for a
reveller of eighteen to be seen in-
MER. How now! my dancing braggart in decimo sexto! charm your
skipping tongue, or I'll-
CUP. What! use the virtue of your snaky tip staff there upon us?
MER. No, boy, but the smart vigour of my palm about your ears.
You have forgot since I took your heels up into air, on the very
hour I was born, in sight of all the bench of deities, when the
silver roof of the Olympian palace rung again with applause of