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Volpone

by: Ben Jonson

Important Quotations Explained

Volpone: Hail to the world's soul, and mine. More glad than is The teeming earth to see the longed-for sun Peep through the horns of the celestial ram, Am I, to view they splendour, darkening his: That lying here, amongst my other hoards, Show'st like a flame by night; or like the day Struck out of chaos, when all darkness fled Unto the center. Oh, thou son of Sol (But brighter than thy father) let me kiss, With adoration, thee, and every relic Of sacred treasure in this blessed room.

These lines are spoken at the beginning of the play (I.i.3–13). It is early morning, Volpone stands in front of his shrine, which he has collected through confidence tricks like the one he now plays with Corbaccio, Corvino and Voltore. Volpone praises the treasure in ecstatic religious terms, calling it "sacred", and "blessed", and exclaiming with hyperbole that his gold is brighter than the sun. This establishes two of Volpone's key character traits: his intense energy, and his worship of money (which we will soon see extends to all other means of self-gratification).