A scene for 4 characters from the play "Endimion" by John Lyly



About this Monologue

  • Characters: Sir Tophas Epiton Dares Samias
  • Scene type / Who are: Friends, Colleagues
  • Type: Comic
  • Year: 1591
  • Period: Renaissance
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Description: Sir Tophas confides in his servant Epiton that he is in love with Dipsas
  • Location: ACT III, Scene 3


The story of Endimion focuses primarily on Endimion's love for the Moon goddess, Cynthia. After he confides with his friend Euminides about his feelings, Endimion's former lover, Tellus, in jealousy, hires a witch called Dipsas to enchant Endimion into a deep sleep from which he can't be awakened. Eventually Euminides, who is turn is in love with Semele, learns that the only way to awaken Endimion is by having Cynthia kiss him. She does and wakes Endimion. The play ends with all the characters marrying their love interest except for Endimion who can't marry Cynthia since she is a goddess.

The scene below concerns ...

Written by Administrator



Scene III.3
[Enter Sir Tophas (armed as before) and Epiton (with a gown and other paraphernalia.]


EPITON: ~~~ Here sir.

TOPHAS: Unrig me. Heighho!

EPITON: ~~~ What's that?

TOPHAS: An interjection, whereof some are of mourning,
as eho, yah.

EPITON: I understand you not.

TOPHAS: Thou seest me

EPITON: ~~~ Ay.

TOPHAS: Thou hearst me.

EPITON: ~~~ Ay.

TOPHAS: Thou feelest me.

EPITON: ~~~ Ay.

TOPHAS: And not understandst me?

EPITON: ~~~ No. ... [III.3.10]

TOPHAS: Then I am but three quarters of a noun substantive.
But alas, Epi, to tell thee the truth, I am a noun adjective.


TOPHAS: Because I cannot stand without another.

EPITON: Who is that?

TOPHAS: Dipsas.

EPITON: Are you in love?

TOPHAS: No, but love hath, as it were, milked my thoughts
and drained from my heart the very substance of my
accustomed courage. It worketh in my head like new wine, ... [III.3.20]
so as I must hoop my sconce with iron lest my head break,
and so I bewray my brains; but I pray thee, first discover
me in all parts, that I may be like a lover, and then will I sigh
and die. Take my gun, and give me a gown. Cedant arma togae.

EPITON: [Helping Sir Tophas to disarm.] Here.

TOPHAS: Take my sword and shield. and give me beard-brush
and scissors. Bella gerant alii; tu, Pari, semper ama.

EPITON: Will you be trimmed, sir?

TOPHAS: Not yet, for I feel a contention within me whether
I shall frame the bodkin beard or the bush. But take my ... [III.3.30]
pike and give me pen. Dicere quae puduit, scribere jussit amor.

EPITON: I will furnish you, sir.

TOPHAS: Now for my bow and bolts, give me ink and paper;
for my smiter, a penknife. For scalpellum, calami,
atramentum, charta, libelli, sint semper studiis arma parata

EPITON: Sir, will you give over wars and play with that
bauble called love?

TOPHAS: Give over wars? No Epi. Militat omnis amans, et
habet sua castra Cupido. ... [III.3.40]

EPITON: Love hath made you very eloquent, but your face
is nothing fair.

TOPHAS: Non formosus erat, sed erat facundus Ulysses.

EPITON: Nay, I must seek a new master if you can speak
nothing but verses.

TOPHAS: Quicquid conabar dicere versus erat. Epi, I feel all
Ovid de Arte Amandi lie as heavy at my heart as a load of
logs. O what a fine thin hair hath Dipsas! What a pretty
low forehead! What a tall and stately nose! What little
hollow eyes! What great and goodly lips! How harmless she ... [III.3.50]
is, being toothless! Her fingers fat and short, adorned with
long nails like a bittern! In how sweet a proportion her cheeks
hang down to her breasts like dug, and her paps to her waist
like bags! What a low stature she is, and yet what a great
foot she carrieth! How thrifty must she be in whom there is
no waste! How virtuous she is like to be, over whom no man
can be jealous!

EPITON: Stay, master, you forget yourself.

TOPHAS: O, Epi, even as a dish melteth by the fire, so doth
my wit increase by love. [[[ III.3.60]

EPITON: Pithily, and to the purpose. But what, begin you
to nod?

TOPHAS: Good Epi, let me take a nap. For as some man may
better steal a horse than another look over the hedge, so
divers shall be sleepy when they would fainest take rest.
[He sleeps.]

EPITON: Who ever saw such a woodcock? Love Dipsas?
Without doubt all the world will now account him valiant,
that ventureth on her whom none durst undertake. But here
cometh two wags. [Enter Samias and Dares.]

SAMIAS: [To Dares.] Thy master hath slept his share. ... [III.3.70]

DARES: [To Samias.] I think he doth it because he would
not pay me my board wages.

SAMIAS: It is a thing most strange, and I think mine will
never return; so that we must both seek new masters, for we
shall never live by our manners.

EPITON: [To Samias and Dares.] If you want manners, join
with me and serve Sir Tophas, who must needs keep more
men because he is toward marriage.

SAMIAS: What, Epi, where's thy master?

EPITON: Yonder sleeping in love. ... [III.3.80]

DARES: Is it possible?

EPITON: He hath taken his thoughts a hole lower and saith,
seeing it is the fashion of the world, he will vail bonnet to

SAMIAS: How is he attired?

EPITON: ~~~ Lovely.

DARES: Whom loveth this amorous knight?

EPITON: ~~~ Dipsas.

SAMIAS: That ugly creature? Why, she is a fool, a scold, fat,
without fashion, and quite without favor.

EPITON: Tush, you be simple. My master hath a good
marriage. ... [III.3.90]

DARES: Good? As how?

EPITON: Why, in marrying Dipsas, he shall have every day
twelve dishes of meat to his dinner, though there be none
but Dipsas with him. Four of flesh, four of fish, four of fruit.

SAMIAS: As how, Epi?

EPITON: For flesh, these: woodcock, goose, bittern, and rail.

DARES: Indeed, he shall not miss if Dipsas be there.

EPITON: For fish, these: crab, carp, lump and pouting.

SAMIAS: Excellent! For, of my word, she is both crabbish,
lumpish and carping. ... [III.3.100]

EPITON: For fruit these: fritters, medlars, heart-i-chokes,
and lady-longings. Thus you see he shall fare like a king,
though he be but a beggar.

DARES: Well, Epi, dine thou with him, for I had rather fast
than see her face. But see, thy master is asleep. Let us have a
song to wake this amorous knight.

EPITON: Agreed.

SAMIAS: Content.


EPITON: Here snores Tophas,.
That amorous ass, ... [III.3.110]
Who loves Dipsas,
With face so sweet.
Nose and chin meet.

ALL THREE: At sight of her each Fury skips
And flings into her lap their whips.

DARES: Holla, holla in his ear.

SAMIAS: The witch sure thrust her fingers there.

EPITON: Cramp him, or wring the fool by th' nose.

DARES: Or clap some burning flax to his toes.

SAMIAS: What music's best to wake him? ... [III.3.120]

EPITON: Bow-wow. Let bandogs shake him.

DARES: Let adders hiss in's ear.

SAMIAS: Else earwigs wriggle there.

EPITON: No, let him batten; when his tongue
Once goes, a cat is not worse strung.

ALL THREE: But if he ope nor mouth nor eyes,
He may in time sleep himself wise.

TOPHAS: [To himself, as he awakens.] Sleep is a binding of
the senses, love a loosing.

EPITON: [Aside, to Samias and Dares.]
Let us hear him awhile. ... [III.3.130]

TOPHAS: There appeared in my sleep a goodly owl, who,
sitting on my shoulder, cried 'Twit, twit,' and before mine
eyes presented herself the express image of Dipsas. I
marveled what the owl said, till at the last I perceived
'Twit, twit,' 'To it, to it,' only by contraction admonished by
this vision to make account of my sweet Venus.

SAMIAS: Sir Tophas, you have overslept yourself.

TOPHAS: No, youth, I have but slept over my love.

DARES: Love? Why, it is impossible that into so noble and
unconquered a courage, love should creep, having first a ... [III.3.140]
head as hard to pierce as steel, then to pass to a heart
armed with a shirt of mail.

EPITON: [Aside, to Samias and Dares.] Ay, but my master
yawning one day in the sun, love crept into his mouth
before he could close it, and there kept such a tumbling in
his body that he was glad to untruss the points of his heart
and entertain Love as a stranger.

TOPHAS: If there remain any pity in you, plead for me to

DARES: Plead? Nay, we will press her to it. [Aside to Samias.] ... [III.3.150]
Let us go with him to Dipsas, and there shall we have good
sport. -- But Sir Tophas, when shall we go? For I find my
tongue voluble and my heart venturous, and all myself
like myself.

SAMIAS: [Aside to Dares.] Come, Dares, let us not lose him
till we find our masters, for as long as he liveth, we shall lack
neither mirth nor meat.

EPITON: We will traverse. -- Will you go, sir?

TOPHAS: I prae: sequar. [Exeunt.]

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