Ben Jonson – “Volpone” Act II scene 2

Volpone continues with his spiel, peppered with a lot of Latin medical phrases for better effect. If you are ill, can your gold cure you? No, only this elixir can. It can treat all manners of diseases. He makes a break, presumably to catch his breath, while Nano sings a song in praise of the elixir. Then he picks up where he left off, claiming he’s been authorized to practice as a doctor in all the Italian states. Other would-be medics tried to imitate his medicine, but they didn’t know the procedure and even though they spent lots of money on the ingredients and the technology, it always blew in their faces in the end. It’s only Volpone, because he was so studious in his youth, who mastered this recipe. Sir Politic admires this speech enormously.


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