The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Works of John Dryden, now first collected in eighteen volumes. Volume 02

This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: The Works of John Dryden, now first collected in eighteen volumes. Volume 02

Author: John Dryden

Editor: Walter Scott

Release date: April 1, 2004 [eBook #12166]
Most recently updated: December 14, 2020

Language: English


Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Michel Boto and PG Distributed Proofreaders

John Dryden,

Now First Collected In Eighteen Volumes.

With Notes,
Historical, Critical, And Explanatory,
A Life Of The Author,
Walter Scott, Esq.

VOL. II. 1808.


Dedication of Mr Congreve's edition of Dryden's
  Dramatic Works to the Duke of Newcastle

The Wild Gallant, a Comedy

The Rival Ladies, a Tragi-comedy
  Dedication to the Earl of Orrery

The Indian Queen, a Tragedy

The Indian Emperor, or the Conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards
  Dedication to the Duchess of Monmouth and Buccleuch
  Defence of an Essay of Dramatic Poesy
  Connection of the Indian Emperor to the Indian Queen

Secret Love, or the Maiden Queen




Mr Congreve's edition of Dryden's dramatic works, in six volumes 12mo, printed for Tonson in 1735, has been chiefly resorted to for the text of the Plays in the present edition, although the assistance of the older copies, in quarto and folio, has been called in, where difficulties occurred, or improvements were obvious. The preliminary Dissertations, Dedications, and Prefaces, have been corrected from the excellent edition of Mr Malone. Congreve appears deeply to have felt the bequest, left him by his great predecessor, when, "just abandoning the ungrateful stage" he made it his intreaty, that his successor would be kind to his remains. Considerable pains have been bestowed by the present editor in correcting the text. The notes are limited to the explanation of such passages, as the fashion in language, in manners, or in literature, has, in the space of a century, rendered doubtful or obscure.



[Footnote 1: Thomas Pelham, Duke of Newcastle. No satire ever can convey such bitter reproof as the high-strained eulogy of this dedication. This great and wealthy man unblushingly received Congreve's tribute of praise and gratitude, for his munificence in directing a splendid monument to be raised over Dryden's remains. But the incense of the dedicator was wasted on a block, more insensible than his Grace's workmen could have dug from the quarry. Neither pride nor shame could induce the Duke to accomplish what vanity had led him voluntarily to propose; and the dedication, instead of producing a tomb in honour of Dryden, will remain itself an eternal monument of the patron's disgrace.]

My Lord, It is the fortune of this edition of the dramatic works of the late Mr Dryden, to come into the world at a time, when your Grace has just given order for erecting, at your own expense, a noble monument to his memory.

This is an act of generosity, which has something in it so very uncommon, that the most unconcerned and indifferent persons must be moved with it. How much more must all such be affected by it, who had any due regard for the personal merits of the deceased, or are capable of any taste and distinction for the remains and elegant labours of one of the greatest men, that our nation has produced!

That, which distinguisheth actions of pure and elevated generosity, from those of a mixed and inferior nature, is nothing else but the absolutely disinterested views of the agent.

My Lord, this being granted, in how fair a light does your munificence stand? A munificence to the memory, to the ashes, of a man whom you never saw—whom you never can see; and who, consequently, never could, by any personal obligation, induce you to do this deed of bounty; nor can he ever make you any acknowledgment for it, when it shall be done.

It is evident, your Grace can have acted thus from no other motive but your pure regard to merit; from your entire love for learning; and from that accurate taste and discernment, which, by your studies, you have so early attained to in the politer arts.

And these are the qualities, my Lord, by which you are more distinguished, than by all those other uncommon advantages, with which you are attended. Your great disposition, your great ability to be beneficent to mankind, could by no means answer that end, if you were not possessed of a judgment to direct you in the right application and just distribution of your good offices.

You are now in a station, by which you necessarily preside over the liberal arts, and all the practisers and professors of them. Poetry is more particularly within your province; and with very good reason may we hope to see it revive and flourish under your influence and protection.

What hopes of reward may not the living deserver entertain, when even the dead are sought out for, and their very urns and ashes made partakers of your liberality?

As I have the honour to be known to you, my Lord, and to have been distinguished by you by many expressions and instances of your goodwill towards me, I take a singular pleasure to congratulate you upon an action so entirely worthy of you. And as I had the happiness to be very conversant, and as intimately acquainted with Mr Dryden as the great disproportion in our years could allow me to be, I hope it will not be thought too assuming in me, if, in love to his memory, and in gratitude for the many friendly offices, and favourable instructions, which, in my early youth, I received from him, I take upon me to make this public acknowledgment to your Grace, for so public a testimony, as you are pleased to give to the world, of that high esteem, in which you hold the performances of that eminent man.

I can, in some degree, justify myself for so doing, by a citation of a kind of right to it, bequeathed to me by him. And it is, indeed, upon that pretension, that I presume even to make a dedication of these his works to you.

In some very elegant, though very partial, verses, which he did me the honour to write to me, he recommended it to me to be kind to his remains[2].

[Footnote 2: These are the affecting lines referred to.

  Already I am worn with cares and age,
  And just abandoning th' ungrateful stage;
  Unprofitably kept at heaven's expense,
  I live a rent-charge on his providence.
  But you, whom every muse and grace adorn,
  Whom I foresee to better fortune born,
  Be kind to my remains; and, O! defend,
  Against your judgment, your departed friend:
  Let not the insulting foe my fame pursue,
  But shade those laurels which descend to you;
  And take, for tribute, what these lines express:
  You merit more, nor could my love do less.

Epistle to MR CONGREVE]

I was then, and have been ever since, most sensibly touched with that expression; and the more so, because I could not find in myself the means of satisfying the passion which I felt in me, to do something answerable to an injunction laid upon me in so pathetic and so amicable a manner.

You, my Lord, have furnished me with ample means of acquitting myself, both of my duty and obligation to my departed friend. What kinder office lies in me to do to these, his most valuable and imperishable remains, than to commit them to the protection, and lodge them under the roof, of a patron, whose hospitality has extended itself even to his dust?

If I would permit myself to run on in the way which so fairly opens itself before me, I should tire your Grace with reiterated praises and acknowledgments; and I might possibly (notwithstanding my pretended right so to do) give some handle to such, who are inclinable to censure, to tax me of affectation and officiousness, in thanking you, more than comes to my share, for doing a thing, which is, in truth, of a public consideration, as it is doing an honour to your country. For so unquestionably it is, to do honour to him, who was an honour to it.

I have but one thing to say, either to obviate or to answer such an objection, if it shall be made to me, which is, that I loved Mr Dryden.

I have not touched upon any other public honour or bounty, done by you to your country. I have industriously declined entering upon a theme of so extensive a nature; and of all your numerous and continual largesses to the public, I have only singled out this, as what most particularly affected me. I confess freely to your Grace, I very much admire all those other donations, but I much more love this; and I cannot help it, if I am naturally more delighted with any thing that is amiable, than with any thing that is wonderful.

Whoever shall censure me, I dare be confident, you, my Lord, will excuse me for any thing that I shall say with due regard to a gentleman, for whose person I had as just an affection as I have an admiration of his writings. And indeed Mr Dryden had personal qualities to challenge both love and esteem from all who were truly acquainted with him.

He was of a nature exceedingly humane and compassionate; easily forgiving injuries, and capable of a prompt and sincere reconciliation with them who had offended him.

Such a temperament is the only solid foundation of all moral virtues and sociable endowments. His friendship, where he professed it, went much beyond his professions; and I have been told of strong and generous instances of it by the persons themselves who received them, though his hereditary income was little more than a bare competency.

As his reading had been very extensive, so was he very happy in a memory, tenacious of every thing that he had read. He was not more possessed of knowledge than he was communicative of it. But then his communication of it was by no means pedantic, or imposed upon the conversation; but just such, and went so far, as, by the natural turns of the discourse in which he was engaged, it was necessarily promoted or required. He was extreme ready and gentle in his correction of the errors of any writer, who thought fit to consult him; and full as ready and patient to admit of the reprehension of others, in respect of his own oversight or mistakes. He was of very easy, I may say, of very pleasing access; but something slow, and, as it were, diffident in his advances to others. He had something in his nature, that abhorred intrusion into any society whatsoever. Indeed, it is to be regretted, that he was rather blameable in the other extreme; for, by that means, he was personally less known, and, consequently, his character might become liable both to misapprehensions and misrepresentations.

To the best of my knowledge and observation, he was, of all the men that ever I knew, one of the most modest, and the most easily to be discountenanced in his approaches either to his superiors or his equals.

I have given your Grace this slight sketch of his personal character, as well to vindicate his memory, as to justify myself for the love which I bore to his person; and I have the rather done it, because I hope it may be acceptable to you to know, that he was worthy of the distinction you have shewn him, as a man, as well as an author.

As to his writings, I shall not take upon me to speak of them: For to say little of them would not be to do them right; and to say all that I ought to say, would be to be very voluminous. But I may venture to say, in general terms, that no man hath written in our language so much, and so various matter, and in so various manners so well. Another thing I may say very peculiar to him, which is, that his parts did not decline with his years, but that he was an improving writer to his last, even to near seventy years of age, improving even in fire and imagination, as well as in judgment; witness his Ode on St Cecilia's Day, and his Fables, his latest performances.

He was equally excellent in verse and in prose. His prose had all the clearness imaginable, together with all the nobleness of expression; all the graces and ornaments proper and peculiar to it, without deviating into the language or diction of poetry. I make this observation, only to distinguish his style from that of many poetical writers, who, meaning to write harmoniously in prose, do, in truth, often write mere blank verse.

I have heard him frequently own with pleasure, that if he had any talent for English prose, it was owing to his having often read the writings of the great Archbishop Tillotson.

His versification and his numbers he could learn of no body; for he first possessed those talents in perfection in our tongue. And they, who have best succeeded in them since his time, have been indebted to his example; and the more they have been able to imitate him, the better have they succeeded.

As his style in prose is always specifically different from his style in poetry, so, on the other hand, in his poems, his diction is, wherever his subject requires it, so sublimely and so truly poetical, that its essence, like that of pure gold, cannot be destroyed. Take his verses and divest them of their rhymes, disjoint them in their numbers, transpose their expressions, make what arrangement and disposition you please of his words, yet shall there eternally be poetry, and something which will be found incapable of being resolved into absolute prose; an incontestible characteristic of a truly poetical genius.

I will say but one word more in general of his writings, which is, that what he has done in any one species, or distinct kind, would have been sufficient to have acquired him a great name. If he had written nothing but his prefaces, or nothing but his songs or his prologues, each of them would have entitled him to the preference and distinction of excelling in his kind.

But I have forgot myself; for nothing can be more unnecessary than an attempt to say any thing to your Grace in commendation of the writings of this great poet; since it is only to your knowledge, taste, and approbation of them, that the monument, which you are now about to raise to him, is owing. I will, therefore, my Lord, detain you no longer by this epistle; and only entreat you to believe, that it is addressed to your Grace from no other motive than a sincere regard to the memory of Mr Dryden, and a very sensible pleasure which I take in applauding an action, by which you are so justly and so singularly entitled to a dedication of his labours, though many years after his death, and even though most of them were produced by him many years before you were born. I am, with the greatest respect,


Your Grace's most obedient,

And most humble servant,




The Editor may be pardoned in bestowing remarks upon Dryden's plays, only in proportion to their intrinsic merit, and to the attention which each has excited, either at its first appearance, or when the public attention has been since directed towards them. In either point of view, little need be said on the "Wild Gallant." It was Dryden's first theatrical production, and its reception by no means augured his future pre-eminence in literature; nor was it more than tolerated, when afterwards revived under the sanction of his increasing fame. It was brought upon the stage in February 1662-3, according to the conjecture of Mr Malone, who observes, that the following lines in the prologue.

  It should have been but one continued song;
  Or, at the least, a dance of three hours long;

must refer to D'Avenant's opera, called the "Siege of Rhodes," acted in 1662; and that the expression, "in plays, he finds, you love mistakes," alludes to the blunders of Teague, an Irish footman, in Sir Robert Howard's play of the "Committee." The "Wild Gallant" was revived and published in 1669, with a new prologue and epilogue, and some other alterations, not of a nature, judging from the prologue, to improve the morality of the piece. That the play had but indifferent success in the action, the poet himself has informed us, with the qualifying addition, that it more than once was the divertisement of Charles II., by his own command. This honourable distinction it probably acquired by the influence of the Countess of Castlemaine, then the royal favourite, to whom Dryden addresses some verses on her encouraging this play.—See Vol. XI p. 18.—The plot is borrowed avowedly from the Spanish, and partakes of the unnatural incongruity, common to the dramatic pieces of that nation, as also of the bustle and intrigue, with which they are usually embroiled. Few modern audiences would endure the absurd grossness of the deceit practised on Lord Nonsuch in the fourth act; nor is the plot of Lady Constance, to gain her lover, by marrying him in the disguise of a heathen divinity, more grotesque than unnatural.—Yet, in the under characters, some liveliness of dialogue is maintained; and the reader may be amused with particular scenes, though, as a whole, the early fate of the play was justly merited.

These passages, in which the plot stands still, while the spectators are entertained with flippant dialogue and repartee, are ridiculed in the scene betwixt Prince Prettyman and Tom Thimble in the Rehearsal; the facetious Mr Bibber being the original of the latter personage. The character of Trice, at least his whimsical humour of drinking, playing at dice by himself, and quarrelling as if engaged with a successful gamester, is imitated from the character of Carlo, in Jonson's "Every Man out of his Humour," who drinks with a supposed companion, quarrels about the pledge, and tosses about the cups and flasks in the imaginary brawl. We have heard similar frolics related of a bon-vivant of the last generation, inventor of a game called solitaire, who used to complain of the hardship of drinking by himself, because the toast came too often about.

The whole piece seems to have been intended as a sacrifice to popular taste; and, perhaps, our poet only met a deserved fate, when he stooped to sooth the depraved appetite, which his talents enabled him to have corrected and purified. Something like this feeling may be interred from the last lines of the second epilogue:

Would you but change, for serious plot and verse,
This motley garniture of fool and farce;
Nor scorn a mode, because 'tis taught at home,
Which dues, like vests,[A] our gravity become;
Our poet yields you should this play refuse,
As tradesmen by the change of fashions lose,
With some content, their fripperies of France,
In hope it may their staple trade advance.

[Footnote A: This seems to allude to the Polish dress, which, upon his restoration, Charles wished to introduce into Britain. It was not altered for the French, till his intimacy with that court was cemented by pecuniary dependence.]

In the prologue, the author indulges himself in a display of the terms of astrology, of which vain science he was a believer and a student.


It would be a great impudence in me to say much of a comedy, which has had but indifferent success in the action. I made the town my judges, and the greater part condemned it: after which, I do not think it my concernment to defend it with the ordinary zeal of a poet for his decried poem. Though Corneille is more resolute in his preface before his Pertharite[A], which was condemned more universally than this; for he avows boldly, that, in spite of censure, his play was well and regularly written; which is more than I dare say for mine. Yet it was received at court; and was more than once the divertisement of his Majesty, by his own command; but I have more modesty than to ascribe that to my merit, which was his particular act of grace. It was the first attempt I made in dramatic poetry; and, I find since, a very bold one, to begin with comedy, which is the most difficult part of it. The plot was not originally my own; but so altered by me, (whether for the better or worse I know not) that whoever the author was, he could not have challenged a scene of it. I doubt not but you will see in it the uncorrectness of a young writer; which is yet but a small excuse for him, who is so little amended since. The best apology I can make for it, and the truest, is only this, that you have, since that time, received with applause, as bad, and as uncorrect plays from other men.

[Footnote A: "Le succés de cette tragédie à été si malheureux, que pour m'epargner le chagrin de m'en souvenir, je n'en dirai presque rien.—J'ajoute ici malgré sa disgrace, que les sentimens en sont assez vifs et nobles, les vers assez bien tournes, et que la façon dont le sujet s'explique dans la première scène ne manque pas d'artifice."

Examen de Pertharite.]



Is it not strange to hear a poet say,
He comes to ask you, how you like the play?
You have not seen it yet: alas! 'tis true;
But now your love and hatred judge, not you:
And cruel factions (bribed by interest) come,
Not to weigh merit, but to give their doom.
Our poet, therefore, jealous of th' event,
And (though much boldness takes) not confident,
Has sent me, whither you, fair ladies, too,
Sometimes upon as small occasions, go;
And, from this scheme, drawn for the hour and day,
Bid me enquire the fortune of his play.

The curtain drawn discovers two Astrologers; the prologue is presented to them.

1 Astrol. reads, A figure of the heavenly bodies in their several Apartments, Feb. the 5th, half-an-hour after three afternoon, from whence you are to judge the success of a new play, called the Wild Gallant.

2 Astrol. Who must judge of it, we, or these gentlemen? We'll not meddle with it, so tell your poet. Here are, in this house, the ablest mathematicians in Europe for his purpose.

              They will resolve the question, ere they part.
1 Att. Yet let us judge it by the rules of art;
              First Jupiter, the ascendant's lord disgraced,
              In the twelfth house, and near grim Saturn placed,
              Denote short life unto the play:—
2 Ast. —Jove yet,
              In his apartment Sagittary, set
              Under his own root, cannot take much wrong.
1 Ast. Why then the life's not very short, nor long;
2 Ast. The luck not very good, nor very ill;
Prole. That is to say, 'tis as 'tis taken still.
1 Ast. But, brother, Ptolemy the learned says,
              'Tis the fifth house from whence we judge of plays.
              Venus, the lady of that house, I find
              Is Peregrine; your play is ill-designed;
              It should have been but one continued song,
              Or, at the least, a dance of three hours long.
Ast. But yet the greatest mischief does remain,
              The twelfth apartment bears the lords of Spain;
              Whence I conclude, it is your author's lot,
              To be endangered by a Spanish plot.
Prolo. Our poet yet protection hopes from you,
              But bribes you not with any thing that's new;
              Nature is old, which poets imitate,
              And, for wit, those, that boast their own estate,
              Forget Fletcher and Ben before them went,
              Their elder brothers, and that vastly spent;
              So much, 'twill hardly be repair'd again,
              Not, though supplied with all the wealth of Spain,
              This play is English, and the growth your own;
              As such, it yields to English plays alone.
              He could have wish'd it better for your sakes,
              But that, in plays, he finds you love mistakes:
              Besides, he thought it was in vain to mend,
              What you are bound in honour to defend;
              That English wit, howe'er despised by some,
              Like English valour, still may overcome.



As some raw squire, by tender mother bred,
'Till one-and-twenty keeps his maidenhead;
(Pleased with some sport, which he alone does find;
And thinks a secret to all humankind;)
'Till mightily in love, yet half afraid,
He first attempts the gentle dairy maid:
Succeeding there, and, led by the renown
Of Whetston's park, he comes at length to town;
Where entered, by some school-fellow or friend,
He grows to break glass windows in the end:
His valour too, which with the watch began,
Proceeds to duel, and he kills his man.
By such degrees, while knowledge he did want,
Our unfledged author writ a Wild Gallant.
He thought him monstrous lewd, (I lay my life)
Because suspected with his landlord's wife;
But, since his knowledge of the town began,
He thinks him now a very civil man;
And, much ashamed of what he was before,
Has fairly play'd him at three wenches more.
'Tis some amends his frailties to confess;
Pray pardon him his want of wickedness:
He's towardly, and will come on apace;
His frank confession shows he has some grace.
You baulked him when he was a young beginner,
And almost spoiled a very hopeful sinner;
But if once more you slight his weak endeavour,
For aught I know, he may turn tail forever;


Lord NONSUCH, an old rich humorous lord.
Justice TRICE, his neighbour.
Mr LOVEBY, the Wild Gallant.
Sir TIMOROUS, a bashful knight.
FAILER, } hangers-on of Sir TIMOROUS.
BIBBER, a tailor.
SETSTONE, a jeweller.

Lady CONSTANCE, Lord NONSUCH'S daughter,
Madam ISABELLA, her cousin.
Mrs BIBBER, the tailors wife.

Serjeants, Boy to LOVEBY, Servants, a Bawd and Whores, Watch and Constable.



SCENE I.—FAILER entering to BURR, who is putting on his buff-coat.

Fail. What! not ready yet, man?

Burr. You do not consider my voyage from Holland last night.

Fail. Pish, a mere ferry; get up, get up: My cousin's maids will come and blanket thee anon; art thou not ashamed to lie a-bed so long?

Burr. I may be more ashamed to rise; and so you'll say, dear heart, if you look upon my clothes: the best is, my buff-coat will cover all.

Fail. Egad, there goes more cunning than one would think to the putting thy clothes together. Thy doublet and breeches are Guelphs and Ghibellins to one another; and the stitches of thy doublet are so far asunder, that it seems to hang together by the teeth. No man could ever guess to what part of the body these fragments did belong, unless he had been acquainted with 'em as long as thou hast been. If they once lose their hold, they can never get together again, except by chance the rags hit the tallies of one another. He, that gets into thy doublet, must not think to do it by storm; no, he must win it inch by inch, as the Turk did Rhodes.

Burr. You are very merry with my wardrobe; but, till I am provided of a better, I am resolved to receive all visits in this truckle-bed.

Fail. Then will I first scotch the wheels of it, that it may not run: Thou hast cattle enough in it to carry it down stairs, and break thy neck; 'tis got a yard nearer the door already.

Enter Boy.

Boy. Sir, Mr Bibber your tailor's below, and desires to speak with you.

Fail. He's an honest fellow, and a fashionable; he shall set thee forth, I warrant thee.

Burr. Ay; but where's the money for this, dear heart?

Fail. Well, but what think you of being put into a suit of clothes without money? [Aside.

Burr. You speak of miracles.

Fail. Do you not know Will Bibber's humour?

Burr. Pr'ythee, what have I to do with his humour?

Fail. Break but a jest, and he'll beg to trust thee for a suit; nay, he will contribute to his own destruction, and give thee occasions to make one. He has been my artificer these three years; and, all the while, I have lived upon his favourable apprehension. Boy, conduct him up. [Exit Boy.

Burr. But what am I the better for this? I ne'er made jest in all my life.

Fail. A bare clinch will serve the turn; a car-wichet, a quarter-quibble, or a pun.

Burr. Wit from a Low Country soldier! One, that has conversed with none but dull Dutchmen these ten years! What an unreasonable rogue art thou? why, I tell thee, 'tis as difficult to me, as to pay him ready money.

Fail. Come, you shall be ruled for your own good; I'll throw the clothes over you to help meditation. And, upon the first opportunity, start you up, and surprise him with a jest.

Burr. Well, I think this impossible to be done: but, however, I'll attempt. [Lies down, FAILER covers him.

Fail. Husht! he's coming up.


Bib. 'Morrow, Mr Failer: What, I warrant you think I come a dunning now?

Fail. No, I vow to gad, Will; I have a better opinion of thy wit, than to think thou would'st come to so little purpose.

Bib. Pretty well that: No, no, my business is to drink my morning's-draught in sack with you.

Fail. Will not ale serve thy turn, Will?

Bib. I had too much of that last night; I was a little disguised, as they say.

Fail. Why disguised? Hadst thou put on a clean band, or washed thy face lately? Those are thy disguises, Bibber.

Bib. Well, in short, I was drunk; damnably drunk with ale; great hogan-mogan bloody ale: I was porterly drunk, and that I hate of all things in nature.

Burr, rising.] And of all things in nature I love it best.

Bib. Art thou there, i'faith? and why, old boy?

Burr. Because, when I am porterly drunk, I can carry myself.

Bib. Ha, ha, boy.

Fail. This porter brings sad news to you, Will; you must trust him for a suit of clothes, as bad as 'tis: Come, he's an honest fellow, and loves the king.

Bib. Why, it shall be my suit to him, that I may trust him.

Burr. I grant your suit, sir.

Fail. Burr, make haste and dress you; Sir Timorous dines here to-day: you know him?

Burr. Aye, aye, a good honest young fellow; but no conjurer; he and I are very kind.

Fail. Egad, we two have a constant revenue out of him: He would now be admitted suitor to my Lady Constance Nonsuch, my Lord Nonsuch's daughter; our neighbour here in Fleetstreet.

Burr. Is the match in any forwardness?

Fail. He never saw her before yesterday, and will not be brought to speak to her this month yet.

Burr. That's strange.

Fail. Such a bashful knight did I never see; but we must move for him.

Bib. They say, here's a great dinner to be made to-day here, at your cousin Trice's, on purpose for the interview.

Burr. What, he keeps up his old humour still?

Fail. Yes, certain; he admires eating and drinking well, as much as ever, and measures every man's wit by the goodness of his palate.

Burr. Who dines here besides?

Fail. Jack Loveby.

Bib. O, my guest.

Burr. He has ever had the repute of a brave clear-spirited fellow.

Fail. He's one of your Dear Hearts, a debauchee.

Burr. I love him the better for't: The best heraldry of a gentleman is a clap, derived to him from three generations. What fortune has he?

Fail. Good fortune at all games; but no estate: He had one; but he has made a devil on't long ago. He's a bold fellow, I vow to gad: A person, that keeps company with his betters; and commonly has gold in's pockets. Come, Bibber, I see thou longest to be at thy morning's watering: I'll try what credit I have with the butler.

Bib. Come away, my noble Festus and new customer.

Fail. Now will he drink, till his face be no bigger than a three-pence. [Exeunt.


Enter LOVEBY and BOY; followed by FRANCES, BIBBER'S wife.

Lov. Nay, the devil take thee, sweet landlady, hold thy tongue: Was't not enough thou hast scolded me from my lodging, which, as long as I rent it, is my castle; but to follow me here to Mr Trice's, where I am invited; and to discredit me before strangers, for a lousy, paltry sum of money?

Fran. I tell you truly, Mr Loveby, my husband and I cannot live by love, as they say; we must have wherewithal, as they say; and pay for what we take; or some shall smoke fort.

Lov. Smoke! why a piece of hung beef in Holland is not more smoked, than thou hast smoked me already. Thou knowest I am now fasting; let me have but fair play; when I have lined my sides with a good dinner, I'll engage upon reputation to come home again, and thou shall scold at me all the afternoon.

Fran. I'll take the law on you.

Lov. The law allows none to scold in their own causes: What dost thou think the lawyers take our money for?

Fran. I hope you intend to deal by my husband like a gentleman, as they say?

Lov. Then I should beat him most unmercifully, and not pay him neither.

Fran. Come, you think to fobb me off with your jests, as you do my husband; but it won't be: yonder he comes, and company with him. Husband, husband! why, William, I say!

Enter BIBBER, BURR, and FAILER, at the other end.

Lov. Speak softly, and I will satisfy thee.

Fran. You shall not satisfy me, sir; pay me for what you owe me, for chamber-rent and diet, and many a good thing besides, that shall be nameless.

Lov. What a stygian woman's this, to talk thus? Hold thy tongue 'till they be gone, or I'll cuckold thy husband.

Fran. You cuckold him—would you durst cuckold him! I will not hold my tongue, sir.

Bib. Yonder's my guest; what say you, gentlemen? Shall I call him to go down with us?

Lov. I must make a loose from her, there's no other way. Save ye, Mr Failer; is your cousin Trice stirring yet? Answer me quickly, sir, is your cousin Trice yet stirring?

Fail. I'll go and see, sir. Sure the man has a mind to beat me; but I vow to gad I have no mind to be beaten by him. Come away, Burr. Will, you follow us.

Bib. I'll be with you immediately.

[Exeunt BURR and FAILER.

Lov. Who was that with Failer, Will?

Bib. A man at arms, that's come from Holland.

Lov. A man out at arms thou mean'st, Will.

Bib. Good, i'faith.

Fran. Aye, aye; you run questing up and down after your gambols, and your jests, William; and never mind the main chance, as they say: Pray get in your debts, and think upon your wife and children.

Lov. Think upon the sack at Carey-house, with the Abricot flavour, Will. Hang a wife; what is she, but a lawful kind of manslayer? Every little hug in bed is a degree of murdering thee: and for thy children, fear 'em not: thy part of 'em shall be taylors, and they shall trust; and those, thy customers get for thee, shall be gentlemen, and they shall be trusted by their brethren; and so thy children shall live by one another.

Bib. Did you mark that, Frances? There was wit now; he call'd me cuckold to my face, and yet for my heart I cannot be angry with him. I perceive you love Frances, sir; and I love her the better for your sake; speak truly, do you not like such a pretty brown kind of woman?

Lov. I do i'faith, Will; your fair women have no substance in 'em, they shrink in the wetting.

Fran. Well, you may be undone if you will, husband: I hear there are two or three actions already out against him: You may be the last, if you think good.

Bib. Tis true she tells me; I love your wit well, sir; but I must cut my coat according to my cloth.

Fran. Sir, we'll come by our own as we can; if you put us oft' from week to week thus.

Lov. Nay, but good landlady—

Fran. Will good landlady set on the pot, as they say; or make the jack go? then I'll hear you.

Bib. Now she's too much on t'other hand; hold your prating, Frances; or I'll put you out of your Pater Nosters, with a sorrow to you.

Fran. I did but lay the law open to him, as they say, whereby to get our money in: But if you knew how he had used me, husband!

Bib. Has he used you, Frances? put so much more into his bill for lodging.

Lov. Honest Will, and so he died[A]; I thank thee, little Bibber, being sober, and, when I am drunk, I will kiss thee for't.

[Footnote A: This expression seems proverbial.]

Bib. Thank me, and pay me my money, sir; though I could not forbear my jest, I do not intend to lose by you; if you pay me not the sooner, I must provide you another lodging; say I give you warning.

Lov. Against next quarter, landlord?

Bib. Of an hour, sir.

Lov. That's short warning, Will.

Bib. By this hand you shall up into the garret, where the little bed is; I'll let my best room to a better pay-master: you know the garret, sir?

Franc. Aye, he knows it, by a good token, husband.

Lov. I sweat to think of that garret, Will; thou art not so unconscionable to put me there? Why, 'tis a kind of little ease[B], to cramp thy rebellious prentices in; I have seen an usurer's iron chest would hold two on't: A penny looking-glass cannot stand upright in the window, that and the brush tills it: the hat-case must be disposed under the bed, and the comb-case will hang down, from the ceiling to the floor. If I chance to dine in my chamber, I must stay till I am empty before I can get out: and if I chance to spill the chamber-pot, it will overflow it from top to bottom.

[Footnote B: A kind of dungeon, so called from its construction.]

Bib. Well, for the description of the garret, I'll bate you something of the bill.

Lov. All, all, good Will; or, to stay thy fury till my rents come up, I will describe thy little face.

Bib. No, rather describe your own little money; I am sure that's so little it is not visible.

Lov. You are in the right, I have not a cross at present, as I am a sinner; an you will not believe me, I'll turn my pockets inside outward—Ha! What's the meaning of this? my pockets heavy! has my small officer put in counters to abuse me?—How now! yellow boys, by this good light? sirrah, varlet, how came I by this gold? Ha!

Boy. What gold do you mean, sir? the devil a piece you had this morning. In these last three weeks, I have almost forgot what my teeth were made for; last night good Mrs Bibber here took pity on me, and crumm'd me a mess of gruel with the children, and I popt and popt my spoon three or four times to my mouth, before I could find the way to't.

Lov. 'Tis strange, how I should come by so much money! [Aside.] Has there been nobody about my chamber this morning, landlady?

Boy. O yes, sir; I forgot to tell you that: This morning a strange fellow, as ever eyes beheld, would needs come up to you, when you were asleep; but when he came down again, he said, he had not waked you.

Lov. Sure this fellow, whoe'er he was, was sent by Fortune to mistake me into so much money.—Well, this is not the first time my necessities have been strangely supplied: some Cadua or other has a kindness for me, that's certain: [Aside.]—Well, Mons. Bibber, from henceforward I'll keep my wit for more refined spirits; you shall be paid with dirt;—there's money for you.

Bib. Nay, good sir.

Lov. What's your sum? tell it out: will the money burn your fingers? Sirrah, boy, fetch my suit with the gold-lace at sleeves, from tribulation.

[Gives him gold. Exit Boy.] Mr Taylor, I shall turn the better bill-man[A], and knock that little coxcomb of yours, if you do not answer me what I owe you.

[Footnote A: Alluding to the ancient weapon called the bill; a never-failing source of puns in old plays.]

Bib. Pray, sir, trouble not yourself; 'tis nothing; i'feck now 'tis not.

Lov. How nothing, sir?

Fran. An't, please your worship, it was seventeen pounds and a noble yesterday at noon, your worship knows: And then your worship came home ill last night, and complained of your worship's head; and I sent for three dishes of tea for your good worship, and that was six pence more, and please your worship's honour.

Lov. Well; there's eighteen pieces, tell 'em.

Bib. I say, Frances, do not take 'em.

Lov, What, is all your pleading of necessity come to this?

Bib. Now I see he will pay, he shall not pay. Frances, go home, and fetch him the whole bag of forty pounds; I'll lend it him, and the lease of the house too; he shall want for nothing.

Lov. Take the money, or I'll leave your house.

Bib. Nay, rather than displease his worship, take it. [She takes it.

Lov. So, so; go home quietly and suckle my godson, Frances. [Exit FRANCES.

Bib. If you are for the cellar, sir, you know the way. [Exit BIBBER.

Lov. No, my first visit shall be to my mistress, the Lady Constance Nonsuch. She's discreet, and how the devil she comes to love me, I know not; yet I am pretty confident she loves me. Well, no woman can be wiser, than you-know-what will give her leave to be.

Enter Lady CONSTANCE, and Madam ISABELLA.

Isa. Look, look; is not that your servant Loveby?

Lov. Tis she; there's no being seen, 'till I am better habited. [Exit LOVEBY.

Const. Let him go, and take no notice of him: Poor rogue! he little thinks I know his poverty.

Isa. And less, that you supply it by an unknown hand.

Const. Aye, and falsified my father's key to do it.

Isa. How can you answer this to your discretion?

Const. Who could see him want, she loves?


Isa. O here's Mr Setstone come, your jeweller, madam.

Const. Welcome, Setstone; hast thou performed thy visit happily, and without discovery?

Set. As you would wish it, madam: I went up to his chamber without interruption; and there found him drowning his cares, and pacifying his hunger, with sleep; which advantage I took, and; undiscovered by him, left the gold divided in his pockets.

Const. Well, this money will furnish him, I hope, that we may have his company again.

Set. Two hundred and fifty good pounds, madam. Has your father missed it yet?

Const. No; if he had, we should have all heard on't before now: But, pray God Monsieur Loveby has no other haunts to divert him, now he's ransomed! What a kind of woman is his landlady?

Set. Well enough to serve a tailor; or to kiss when he comes home drunk, or wants money; but far unlikely to create jealousy in your ladyship.

Enter Servant.

Serv. Madam, Justice Trice desires your ladyship's excuse, that he has not yet performed the civilities of his hour to you; he is dispatching a little business, about which he is earnestly employed.

Const. He's master of his own occasions. [Exit Servant.

Isa. We shall see him anon, with his face as red as if it had been boiled in pump-water: But, when comes this mirror of knighthood, that is to be presented you for your servant?

Const. Oh, 'tis well thought on; 'faith thou know'st my affections are otherwise disposed; he's rich, and thou want'st a fortune; atchieve him, if thou can'st; 'tis but trying, and thou hast as much wit as any wench in England.

Isa. On condition you'll take it for a courtesy to be rid of an ass, I care not if I marry him: the old fool, your father, would be so importunate to match you with a young fool, that, partly for quietness sake, I am content to take him.

Const. To take him! then you make sure on't.

Isa. As sure, as if the sack posset were already eaten.

Const. But, what means wilt thou use to get him?

Isa. I'll bribe Failer; he's the man.

Const. Why, this knight is his inheritance; he lives upon him: Do'st thou think he'll ever admit thee to govern him? No, he fears thy wit too much: Besides, he has already received an hundred pounds, to make the match between Sir Timorous and me.

Isa. 'Tis all one for that; I warrant you, he sells me the fee-simple of him.

Set. Your father, madam—


Isa. The tempest is risen; I see it in his face; he puffs and blows yonder, as if two of the winds were fighting upwards and downwards in his belly.

Set. Will he not find your false keys, madam?

Isa. I hope he will have more humanity than to search us.

Const. You are come after us betimes, sir.

Non. Oh child! I am undone; I am robbed, I am robbed; I have utterly lost all stomach to my dinner.

Const. Robbed! good my lord, how, or of what?

Non. Two hundred and fifty pounds, in fair gold, out of my study: An hundred of it I was to have paid a courtier this afternoon for a bribe.

Set. I protest, my lord, I had as much ado to get that parcel of gold for your lordship—

Non. You must get me as much more against to-morrow; for then my friend at court is to pay his mercer.

Isa. Nay, if that be all, there's no such haste: the courtiers are not so forward to pay their debts.

Const. Has not the monkey been in the study? He may have carried it away, and dropt it under the garden-window: the grass is long enough to hide it.

Non. I'll go see immediately.


Fail. This is the gentleman, my lord.

Non. He's welcome.

Fail. And this the particular of his estate.

Non. That's welcome too.

Fail. But, besides the land here mentioned, he has wealth in specie.

Non. A very fine young gentleman.

Tim. Now, my lord, I hope there's no great need of wooing: I suppose my estate will speak for me; yet, if you please to put in a word—

Non. That will I instantly.

Tim. I hope I shall have your good word, too, madam, to your cousin for me. [To ISABELLA.

Isa. Any thing within my power, Sir Timorous.

Non. Daughter, here's a person of quality, and one, that loves and honours you exceedingly—

Tim. Nay, good my lord! you discover all at first dash.

Non. Let me alone, sir; have not I the dominion over my own daughter? Constance, here's a knight in love with you, child.

Const. In love with me, my lord! it is not possible.

Non. Here he stands, that will make it good, child.

Tim. Who, I, my lord? I hope her ladyship has a better opinion of me than so.

Non. What! are not you in love with my daughter? I'll be sworn you told me so but even now: I'll eat words for no man.

Tim. If your ladyship will believe all reports, that are raised on men of quality—

Non. He told it me with his own mouth, child: I'll eat words for no man; that's more than ever I told him yet.

Fail. You told him so but just now; fie, Sir Timorous.

Non. He shall have no daughter of mine, an he were a thousand knights; he told me, he hoped I would speak for him: I'll eat no man's words; that's more than ever I told him yet.

Isa. You need not keep such a pudder about eating his words; you see he has eaten 'em already for you.

Non. I'll make him stand to his words, and he shall not marry my daughter neither: By this good day, I will. [Exit NONSUCH.

Const. 'Tis an ill day to him; he has lost two hundred and fifty pounds in't. [To ISABELLA.

Burr. He swears at the rate of two thousand pounds a year, if the Rump act were still in being.

Fail. He's in passion, man; and, besides, he has been a great fanatic formerly, and now has got a habit of swearing, that he may be thought a cavalier.

Burr. What noise is that? I think I hear your cousin Trice's voice.

Fail. I'll go see. [Exit FAIL.

Isa. Come, Sir Timorous, be not discouraged: 'Tis but an old man's frowardness; he's always thus against rain.


Fail. O madam, follow me quickly; and if you do not see sport, melancholy be upon my head.



The SCENE changes, and TRICE is discovered playing at tables by himself, with spectacles on, a bottle, and parmezan by him; they return and see him, undiscovered by him.

Trice. Cinque and quatre: My cinque I play here, sir; my quatre here, sir: Now for you, sir: But first I'll drink to you, sir; upon my faith I'll do you reason, sir: Mine was thus full, sir! Pray mind your play, sir:—Size ace I have thrown: I'll play 'em at length, sir.

—Will you, sir? Then you have made a blot sir; I'll try if I can enter: I have hit you, sir.

—I think you can cog a dye, sir.

—I cog a dye, sir? I play as fair as you, or any man.

—You lie, sir.

—How! lie, sir? I'll teach you what 'tis to give a gentleman the lie, sir.

[Throws down the tables.

[They all laugh and discover themselves.

Isa. Is this your serious business?

Trice. O you rogue, are you there? You are welcome, huswife; and so are you, Constance, Fa tol de re tol de re la. [Claps their backs.

Isa. Pr'ythee be not so rude, Trice.

Trice. Huswife Constance, I'll have you into my larder, and shew you my provision: I have cockles, dainty fat cockles, that came in the night; if they had seen the day, I would not have given a fart for 'em. I would the king had 'em.

Const. He has as good, I warrant you.

Trice. Nay, that's a lie. I could sit and cry for him sometimes; he does not know what 'tis to eat a good meal in a whole year. His cooks are asses: I have a delicate dish of ruffs to dinner, sirrah.

Const. To dinner!

Trice. To dinner! why by supper they had been past their prime. I'll tell thee the story of 'em: I have a friend—

Enter Servant.

Serv. Sir, dinner's upon the table.

Trice. Well, well; I have a friend, as I told you—

Serv. Dinner stays, sir: 'tis dinner that stays: Sure he will hear now.

Trice. I have a friend, as I told you—

Isa. I believe he's your friend, you are so loth to part with him.

Trice. Away, away;—I'll tell you the story between the courses. Go you to the cook immediately, sirrah; and bring me word what we have to supper, before we go to dinner: I love to have the satisfaction of the day before me. [Exeunt.



Trice. Speak thy conscience; was it not well dressed, sirrah?

Tim. What think you of the Park, after our plenteous entertainment, madam?

Isa. I defy the Park, and all its works.

Const. Come, Mr Trice, we'll walk in your garden.

[Exeunt all but FAILER and BURR.

Fail. O, one thing I had almost forgot to tell you; one of us two must ever be near Sir Timorous.

Burr. Why?

Fail. To guard our interest in him from the enemy, madam Isabella; who, I doubt, has designs upon him. I do not fear her wit, but her sex; she carries a prevailing argument about her.

Enter BIBBER with a Bottle.

Bib. By this hand, I have alight upon the best wine in your cousin's cellar; drink but one glass to me, to shew I am welcome, and I am gone.

Fail. Here then, honest Will; 'tis a cup of forbearance to thee.

Bib. Thank you, sir, I'll pledge you—now here's to you again.

Fail. Come away; what is't, Will?

Bib. 'Tis what you christened it, a cup of forbearance, sir.

Fail. Why, I drank that to thee, Will, that thou shouldst forbear thy money.

Bib. And I drink this to you, sir; henceforward I'll forbear working for you.

Fail. Then say I:

Take a little Bibber,
And threw him in the river;
And if he will trust never,
Then there let him lie ever.

Bib. Then say I:

Take a little Failer,
And throw him to the jailor;
And there let him lie,
Till he has paid his tailor.

Burr. You are very smart upon one another, gentlemen.

Fail. This is nothing between us; I use to tell him of his title, Fiery facias; and his setting dog, that runs into ale-houses before him, and comes questing out again, if any of the woots, his customers, be within.

Bib. I'faith 'tis true; and I use to tell him of his two capon's tails about his hat, that are laid spread-eaglewise to make a feather; I would go into the snow at any time, and in a quarter of an hour I would come in with a better feather upon my head; and so farewel, sir; I have had the better on you hitherto, and for this time I am resolved to keep it.


Fail. The rogue's too hard for me; but the best on't is, I have my revenge upon his purse.


Isa. Came not Sir Timorous this way, gentlemen? He left us in the garden, and said he would look out my Lord Nonsuch, to make his peace with him.

Fail. Madam, I like not your enquiring after Sir Timorous: I suspect you have some design upon him: You would fain undermine your cousin, and marry him yourself.

Isa. Suppose I should design it, what are you the worse for my good fortune? Shall I make a proposition to you? I know you two carry a great stroke with him: Make the match between us, and propound to yourselves what advantages you can reasonably hope: You shall chouse him of horses, cloaths, and money, and I'll wink at it.

Burr. And if he will not be choused, shall we beat him out on't?

Isa. For that, as you can agree.

Fail. Give us a handsel of the bargain; let us enjoy you, and 'tis a match.

Isa. Grammercy i'faith, boys; I love a good offer, howe'er the world goes; but you would not be so base to wrong him that way?

Fail. I vow to gad but I would, madam: In a horse, or a woman, I may lawfully cheat my own father: Besides, I know the knight's complexion; he would be sure to follow other women; and all that.

Isa. Nay, if he fought with the sword, he should give me leave to fight with the scabbard.

Burr. What say you, madam? Is't a bargain?

Isa. 'Tis but a promise; and I have learnt a court trick for performing any thing [Aside]. Well, gentlemen, when I am married I'll think upon you; you'll grant there's a necessity I should cuckold him, if it were but to prove myself a wit.

Fail. Nay, there's no doubt you'll cuckold him, and all that; for look you, he's a person fit for nothing else; but I fear we shall not have the graffing of the horns; we must have livery and seisin beforehand of you, or I protest to gad we believe you not.

Isa. I have past my word; is't not sufficient? What! do you think I would tell a lie to save such a paltry thing as a night's lodging?—Hark you, sir. [To BURR.

Fail. Now will she attempt Burr; egad, she has found him out for the weaker vessel.

Isa. I have no kindness for that Failer; we'll strike him out, and manage Sir Timorous ourselves.

Burr. Indeed we won't.

Isa. Failer's a rook; and, besides, he's such a debauched fellow—

Burr. I am ten times worse.

Isa. Leave it, and him that taught it you: You have virtuous inclinations, and I would not have you ruin yourself. He, that serves many mistresses, surfeits on his diet, and grows dead to the whole sex: 'Tis the folly in the world next long ears and braying.

Burr. Now I'm sure you have a mind to me; when a woman once falls a preaching, the next thing is ever use and application.

Isa. Forbear your rudeness!—

Burr. Then I am sure you mean to jilt me: You decline Failer, because he has wit; and you think me such an ass, that you may pack me off so soon as you are married; no, no, I'll not venture certainties for uncertainties.

Isa. I can hold no longer;—Mr Failer, what do you think this fellow was saying of you?

Fail. Of me, madam?

Isa. That you were one of the arrantest cowards in Christendom, though you went for one of the Dear Hearts; that your name had been upon more posts than playbills; and that he had been acquainted with you these seven years, drunk and sober, and yet could never fasten a quarrel upon you.

Burr. Do you believe this, dear heart?

Isa. If you deny it, I'll take his sword, and force you to confess it.

Fail. I vow to gad; this will not do, madam: You shall not set us at variance so easily; neither shall you have Sir Timorous.

Isa. No! then mark my words: I'll marry him in spite of you; and, which is worse, you shall both work my ends, and I'll discard you for your pains.

Fail. You shall not touch a bit of him: I'll preserve his humbles from you, egad; they shall be his keeper's fees[A].

[Footnote A: The keeper of a royal forest had for his fees the skin, head, umbles (i.e. inwards), chine, and shoulders. HOLINSHED'S Chronicle, vol. i. p. 104.]

Burr. She shall cut an atom sooner than divide us. [Exeunt BURR and FAILER.


Const. I have given 'em the slip in the garden, to come and overhear thee: No fat overgrown virgin of forty ever offered herself so dog-cheap, or was more despised; methinks now this should mortify thee exceedingly.

Isa. Not a whit the more for that: Cousin mine, our sex is not so easily put out of conceit with our own beauties.

Const. Thou hast lost the opinion of thy honesty, and got nothing in recompence: Now that's such an oversight in a lady—

Isa. You are deceived; they think me too virtuous for their purpose; but I have yet another way to try, and you shall help me.

Enter LOVEBY, new habited.

Const. Mr Loveby, welcome, welcome: Where have you been this fortnight?

Lov. Faith, madam, out of town, to see a little thing that's fallen to me upon the death of a grandmother.

Const. You thank death for the windfall, servant: But why are you not in mourning for her?

Lov. Troth, madam, it came upon me so suddenly, I had not time: 'Twas a fortune utterly unexpected by me.

Isa. Why, was your grandmother so young, you could not look for her decease?

Lov. Not for that neither; but I had many other kindred, whom she might have left it to; only she heard I lived here in fashion, and spent my money in the eye of the world.

Const. You forge these things prettily; but I have heard you are as poor as a decimated cavalier, and had not one foot of land in all the world.

Lov. Rivals' tales, rivals' tales, madam.

Const. Where lies your land, sir?

Lov. I'll tell you, madam, it has upon it a very fair manor house; from one side you have in prospect an hanging garden.

Isa. Who was hanged there? not your grandmother, I hope?

Lov. In the midst of it you have a fountain: You have seen that at Hampton-court? it will serve to give you a slight image of it. Beyond the garden you look to a river through a perspective of fruit-trees; and beyond the river you see a mead so flowery!—Well, I shall never be at quiet, till we two make hay there.

Const. But where lies this paradise?

Lov. Pox on't; I am thinking to sell it, it has such a villanous unpleasant name, it would have sounded so harsh in a lady's ear. But for the fountain, madam—

Const. The fountain's a poor excuse, it will not hold water; come, the name, the name.

Lov. Faith, it is come so lately into my hands, that I have forgot the name on't.

Isa. That's much, now, that you should forget the name, and yet could make such an exact description of the place.

Lov. If you would needs know, the name's Bawdy.—Sure this will give a stop to their curiosity. [Aside.

Isa. At least you will tell us in what county it lies, that my cousin may send to enquire about it: come, this shall not serve your turn; tell us any town that's near it.

Lov. 'Twill be somewhat too far to send; it lies in the very north of Scotland.

Isa. In good time, a paradise in the Highlands; is't not so, sir?

Const. It seems you went post, servant: in troth you are a rank rider, to go to the north of Scotland, stay and take possession, and return again, in ten days time.

Isa. I never knew your grandmother was a Scotch woman: Is she not a Tartar too? Pray whistle for her, and let's see her dance; come—whist, grannee!

Const. Fie, fie, servant; what, no invention in you? all this while a-studying for a name of your manor? come, come, where lies it? tell me.

Lov. No, faith, I am wiser than so; I'll discover my seat to no man; so I shall have some damned lawyer keep a prying into my title, to defeat me of it.

Const. How then shall I be satisfied, there is such a thing in nature?

Lov. Tell me what jewel you would wear, and you shall have it: Enquire into my money, there's the trial.

Const. Since you are so flush, sir, you shall give me a locket of diamonds, of three hundred pounds.

Isa. That was too severe; you know he has but two hundred and fifty pounds to bestow. [_To her.

Lov_. Well, you shall have it, madam: But I cannot higgle; I know you'll say it did not cost above two hundred pieces.

Isa. I'll be hanged if he does not present you with a parcel of melted flints set in gold, or Norfolk pebbles.

Lov. Little gentlewoman, you are so keen—Madam, this night I have appointed business, to-morrow I'll wait upon you with it. [Exit LOVEBY.

Isa. By that time he has bought his locket, and paid his landlady, all his money will be gone. But do you mean to prosecute your plot to see him this evening?

Const. Yes, and that very privately; if my father know it, I am undone.


Isa. I heard him say, this night he had appointed business.

Set. Why, that was it, madam; according to your order, I put on a disguise, and found him in the Temple-walks: Having drawn him aside, I told him, if he expected happiness, he must meet me in a blind alley, I nam'd to him, on the back side of Mr Trice's house, just at the close of evening; there he should be satisfied from whom he had his supplies of money.

Const. And how did he receive the summons?

Set. Like a bold Hector of Troy; without the least doubt or scruple: But, the jest on't was, he would needs believe that I was the devil.

Const. Sure he was afraid to come then?

Set. Quite contrary; he told me I need not be so shy, to acknowledge myself to him; he knew I was the devil; but he had learnt so much civility, as not to press his friend to a farther discovery than he was pleased. I should see I had to do with a gentleman; and any courtesy I should confer on him, he would not be unthankful; for he hated ingratitude of all things.

Const. 'Twas well carried not to disabuse him: I laugh to think what sport I shall have anon, when I convince him of his lies, and let him know I was the devil, to whom he was beholden for his money: Go, Setstone; and in the same disguise be ready for him. [Exit SETSTONE.

Isa. How dare you trust this fellow?

Const. I must trust some body: Gain has made him mine, and now fear will keep him faithful.


Fail. Pray, my lord, take no pique at it: 'Tis not given to all men to be confident: Egad, you shall see Sir Timorous will redeem all upon the next occasion.

Non. A raw miching boy.

Isa. And what are you but an old boy of five and fifty? I never knew any thing so humoursome—I warrant you, Sir Timorous; I'll speak for you.

Non. Would'st thou have me be friends with him? for thy sake he shall only add five hundred a-year to her jointure, and I'll be satisfied: Come you hither, sir.

[Here TRICE and NONSUCH and TIMOROUS talk privately; BURR with FAILER apart, CONSTANCE with ISABELLA.

Const. You'll not find your account in this trick to get Failer beaten; 'tis too palpable and open.

Isa. I warrant you 'twill pass upon Burr for a time: So my revenge and your interest will go on together.

Fail. Burr, there's mischief a-brewing, I know it by their whispering, I vow to gad: Look to yourself, their design is on you; for my part, I am a person that am above 'em.

Tim. to Trice. But then you must speak for me, Mr Trice: and you too, my lord.

Non. If you deny't again, I'll beat you; look to't, boy.

Trice. Come on; I'll make the bargain.

Isa. You were ever good in a flesh-market.

Trice. Come, you little harlotry; what satisfaction can you give me for running away before the ruffs came in?

Const. Why, I left you to 'em, that ever invite your own belly to the greatest part of all your feasts.

Trice. I have brought you a knight here, huswife, with a plentiful fortune to furnish out a table; and what would you more? Would you be an angel in heaven?

Isa. Your mind's ever upon your belly.

Trice. No: 'tis sometimes upon yours: But, what say'st thou to sir Timorous, little Constance?

Const. Would you have me married to that king Midas's face?

Trice. Midas me no Midas; he's a wit; he understands eating and drinking well: Poeta coquus, the heathen philosopher could tell you that.

Const. Come on, sir: what's your will with me? [Laughs.

Tim. Why, madam, I could only wish we were a little better acquainted, that we might not laugh at one another so.

Const. If the fool puts forward, I am undone.

Tim. Fool!—do you know me, madam?

Const. You may see I know you, because I call you by your name.

Fail. You must endure these rebukes with patience, Sir Timorous.

Const. What, are you planet struck? Look you, my lord, the gentleman's tongue-tied.

Non. This is past enduring.

Fail. 'Tis nothing, my lord;—courage, Sir Timorous.

Non. I say 'tis past enduring; that's more than ever I told you yet: Do you come to make a fool of my daughter?

Isa. Why lord—

Non. Why lady—[Exit NONSUCH.

Trice. Let's follow the old man, and pacify him.

Isa. Now, cousin,—[Exeunt ISA. TRICE, BURR.

Const. Well, Mr Failer, I did not think you, of all the rest, would have endeavoured a thing so much against my inclination, as this marriage: if you had been acquainted with my heart, I am sure you would not.

Fail. What can the meaning of this be? you would not have me believe you love me; and yet how otherwise to understand you I vow to gad I cannot comprehend.

Const. I did not say I loved you; but if I should take a fancy to your person and humour, I hope it is no crime to tell it you. Women are tied to hard unequal laws: The passion is the same in us, and yet we are debarred the freedom to express it. You make poor Grecian beggars of us ladies; our desires must have no language, but only be fastened to our breasts.

Fail. Come, come; egad I know the whole sex of you: Your love's at best but a kind: of blind-man's-buff, catching at him that's next in your way.

Const. Well, sir, I can take nothing ill from you; when 'tis too late you'll see how unjust you have been to me. I have said too much already.—[Is going.

Fail. Nay stay, sweet madam! I vow to gad my fortune's better than I could imagine.

Const. No, pray let me go, sir; perhaps I was in jest.

Fail. Really, madam, I look upon you as a person of such worth, and all that, that I vow to gad I honour you of all persons in the world; and though I am a person that am inconsiderable in the world, and all that, madam, for a person of your worth and excellency I would—

Const. What would you, sir?

Fail. Sacrifice my life and fortunes, I vow to gad, madam.

Enter ISABELLA, BURR, and TIMOROUS, at a distance from them.

Isa. There's Failer close in talk with my cousin; he's soliciting your suit, I warrant you, Sir Timorous: Do but observe with what passion he courts for you.

Burr. I do not like that kneading of her hand though.

Isa. Come, you are such a jealous coxcomb: I warrant you suspect there's some amour between 'em; there can be nothing in't, it is so open: Pray observe.

Burr. But how come you so officious, madam? you, that ere now had a design upon Sir Timorous for yourself?

Isa. I thought you had a better opinion of my wit, than to think I was in earnest. My cousin may do what she pleases, but he shall never pin himself upon me, assure him.

Const. to Fail. Sir Timorous little knows how dangerous a person he has employed in making love.—[Aloud.

Burr. How's this! Pray, my lady Constance, what's the meaning of that you say to Failer?

Fail. What luck was this, that he should overhear you! Pax on't!

Const. Mr Burr, I owe you not that satisfaction; what you have heard you may interpret as you please.

Tim. The rascal has betrayed me.

Isa. In earnest, sir, I do not like it.

Fail. Dear Mr Burr, be pacified; you are a person I have an honour for; and this change of affairs shall not be the worse for you, egad, sir.

Const. Bear up resolutely, Mr Failer; and maintain my favours, as becomes my servant.

Burr. He maintain 'em! go, you Judas; I'll teach you what 'tis to play fast and loose with a man of war. [Kicks him.

Tim. Lay it on, Burr.

Isa. Spare him not, Burr.

Const. Fear him not, servant.

Fail. Oh, oh! would nobody were on my side! here I am praised, I vow to gad, into all the colours of the rainbow.

Const. But remember 'tis for me.

Burr. As you like this, proceed, sir; but, come not near me to-night, while I'm in wrath.

[Exeunt BURR and TIMOROUS.

Const. Come, sir; how fare you after your sore trial? You bore it with a most heroic patience.

Isa. Brave man at arms, but weak to Balthazar[A]!

[Footnote A: Alluding to the old play of Hieronymo.]

Fail. I hope to gad, madam, you'll consider the merit of my sufferings. I would not have been beaten thus, but to obey that person in the world—

Const. Heaven reward you for't; I never shall.

Fail. How, madam!

Isa. Art thou such an ass, as not to perceive thou art abused? This beating I contrived for you: you know upon what account; and have yet another or two at your service. Yield up the knight in time, 'tis your best course.

Fail. Then does not your ladyship love me, madam?

Const. Yes, yes, I love to see you beaten.

Isa. Well, methinks now you have had a hard bargain on't: You have lost your cully, Sir Timorous, and your friend, Burr, and all to get a poor beating. But I'll see it mended against next time for you.

[Exeunt CONSTANCE and ISABELLA, laughing.

Fail. I am so much amazed, I vow to gad, I do not understand my own condition. [Exit.


Enter LOVEBY solus, in the dark, his sword drawn, groping out his way.

Lov. This is the time and place he pointed me, and 'tis certainly the devil I am to meet; for no mortal creature could have that kindness for me, to supply my necessities as he has done, nor could have done it in so strange a manner. He told me he was a scholar, and had been a parson in the fanatic's times: a shrewd suspicion it was the devil; or at least a limb of him. If the devil can send churchmen on his errands, lord have mercy on the laity! Well, let every man speak as he finds, and give the devil his due; I think him a very honest and well-natured fellow; and if I hear any man speak ill of him, except it be a parson, that gets his living by it, I wear a sword at his service. Yet, for all this, I do not much care to see him. He does not mean to hook me in for my soul, does he? If he does, I shall desire to be excused. But what a rogue am I, to suspect a person, that has dealt so much like a gentleman by me! He comes to bring me money, and would do it handsomely, that it might not be perceived. Let it be as 'twill, I'll seem to trust him; and, then, if he have any thing of a gentleman in him, he wills corn to deceive me, as much as I would to cozen him, if I were the devil, and he Jack Loveby.

Enter FAILER at the other end of the stage.

Fail. What will become of me to-night! I am just in the condition of an out-lying deer, that's beaten from his walk for offering to rut. Enter I dare not, for Burr.

Lov. I hear a voice, but nothing do I see. Speak, what thou art?

Fail. There he is, watching for me. I must venture to run by him; and, when I am in, I hope my cousin Trice will defend me. The devil would not lie abroad in such a night.

Lov. I thought it was the devil, before he named himself.

[FAILER goes to run off, and falls into LOVEBY'S arms.

Lov. Honest Satan, well encountered! I am sorry, with all my heart, it is so dark. 'Faith, I should be very glad to see thee at my lodging; pr'ythee, let's not be such strangers to one another for the time to come. And what hast thou got under thy cloak there, little Satan? I warrant thou hast brought me some more money.

Fail. Help, help; thieves! thieves!

[LOVEBY lets him go.

Lov. This is Failer's voice: How the devil was I mistaken! I must get off, ere company comes in.

[Exit Loveby.

Fail. Thieves! thieves!

Enter Trice, Burr, and Timorous, undressed.

All. Where! where!

Fail. One was here just now; and it should be Loveby by his voice, but I have no witness.

Trice. It cannot be; he wants no money.

Burr. Come, sirrah; I'll take pity on you to-night: You shall lie in the truckle-bed.

Trice. Pox o' this noise! it has disturbed me from such a dream of eating!—[Exeunt.


Enter Constance and Isabella.

Const. Twas ill luck to have the meeting broke last night, just as Setstone was coming towards him.

Isa. But, in part of recompence, you'll have the pleasure of putting him on farther straits. O, these little mischiefs are meat and drink to me.

Const. He shall tell me from whence he has his money: I am resolved now to try him to the utmost.

Isa. I would devise something for him to do, which he could not possibly perform.

Const. As I live, yonder he comes, with the jewel in his hand he promised me. Pr'ythee, leave me alone with him.

Isa. Speed the plough! If I can make no sport, I'll hinder none. I'll to my knight, Sir Timorous; shortly you shall hear news from Dametas[A].

[Footnote A: A foolish character in Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia, who seems to have become proverbial.]



Lov. Look you, madam, here's the jewel; do me the favour to accept it, and suppose a very good compliment delivered with it.

Const. Believe me, a very fair jewel. But why will you be at this needless charge? What acknowledgment do you expect? You know I will not marry you.

Lov. How the devil do I know that? I do not conceive myself, under correction, so inconsiderable a person.

Const. You'll alter your partial opinion, when I tell you, 'tis not a flash of wit fires me, nor is it a gay out-side can seduce me to matrimony.

Lov. I am neither fool, nor deformed, so much as to be despicable. What do I want?

Const. A good estate, that makes every thing handsome: Nothing can look well without it.

Lov. Does this jewel express poverty?

Const. I conjure you by your love to me, tell me one truth not minced by your invention, how came you by this jewel?

Lov. 'Tis well I have a voucher. Pray ask your own jeweller, Setstone, if I did not buy it of him.

Const. How glad you are now, you can tell a truth so near a lie. But where had you the money, that purchased it? Come—without circumstances and preambles—

Lov. Umph—Perhaps, that may be a secret.

Const. Say, it be one; yet he, that loved indeed, could not keep it from his mistress.

Lov. Why should you be thus importunate?

Const. Because I cannot think you love me, if you will not trust that to my knowledge, which you conceal from all the world beside.

Lov. You urge me deeply—

Const. Come, sweet servant, you shall tell me; I am resolved to take no denial. Why do you sigh?

Lov. If I be blasted, it must out.

Const. Either tell me, or resolve to take your leave for ever.

Lov. Then know, I have my means,—I know not how.

Const. This is a fine secret.

Lov. Why, then, if you will needs know, 'tis from the devil; I have money from him, what, and when I please.

Const. Have you sealed a covenant, and given away your soul for money?

Lov. No such thing intended on my part.

Const. How then?

Lov. I know not yet what conditions he'll propose. I should have spoke with him last night, but that a cross chance hindered it.

Const. Well, my opinion is, some great lady, that is in love with you, supplies you still; and you tell me an incredible tale of the devil, merely to shadow your infidelity.

Lov. Devise some means to try me.

Const. I take you at your word. You shall swear freely to bestow on me whatever you shall gain this unknown way; and, for a proof, because you tell me you can have money, what, and when you please, bring me a hundred pounds ere night.—If I do marry him for a wit, I'll see what he can do; he shall have none from me. [Aside.

Lov. You overjoy me, madam; you shall have it, an 'twere twice as much.

Const. How's this?

Lov. The devil a cross that I have, or know where to get; but I must promise well, to save my credit.—Now, devil, if thou dost forsake me!


Const. I mistrust you; and, therefore, if you fail, I'll have your hand to show against you; here's ink and paper. [LOVEBY writes.


Burr. What makes Loveby yonder? He's writing somewhat.

Tim. I'll go see. [Looks over him.

Lov. Have you no more manners than to overlook a man when he's a writing?—Oh! is't you, Sir Timorous? You may stand still; now I think on't, you cannot read written hand.

Burr. You are very familiar with Sir Timorous.

Lov. So am I with his companions, sir.

Burr. Then there's hopes you and I may be better acquainted. I am one of his companions.

Lov. By what title? as you are an ass, sir?

Const. No more, Loveby.

Lov. I need not, madam. Alas! this fellow is only the solicitor of a quarrel, 'till he has brought it to an head; and will leave the fighting part to the courteous pledger. Do not I know these fellows? You shall as soon persuade a mastiff to fasten on a lion, as one of those to engage with a courage above their own: They know well enough whom they can beat, and who can beat them.

_Enter _FAILER at a distance.

Fail. Yonder they are: Now, would I compound for a reasonable sum, that I were friends with Burr. If I am not, I shall lose Sir Timorous.

Const. O, servant, have I spied you? let me run into your arms.

Fail. I renounce my lady Constance: I vow to gad, I renounce her.

Tim. To your task, Burr.


Const. Hold, gentlemen! no sign of quarrel.

Non. O, friends! I think I shall go mad with grief: I have lost more money.

Lov. Would I had it: that's all the harm I wish myself. Your servant, madam; I go about the business.


Non. What! does he take no pity on me?

Const. Pr'ythee, moan him, Isabella.

Isa. Alas, alas, poor uncle! could they find in their hearts to rob him!

Non. Five hundred pounds, out of poor six thousand pounds a-year! I, and mine, are undone for ever.

Fail. Your own house, you think, is clear, my lord?

Const. I dare answer for all there, as much as for myself.

Burr. Oh, that he would but think that Loveby had it!

Fail. If you'll be friends with me, I'll try what I can persuade him to.

Burr. Here's my hand, I will, dear heart.

Fail. Your own house being clear, my lord, I am apt to suspect this Loveby for such a person. Did you mark how abruptly he went out?

Non. He did indeed, Mr Failer. But why should I suspect him? his carriage is fair, and his means great; he could never live after this rate, if it were not.

Fail. This still renders him the more suspicious: He has no land, to my knowledge.

Burr. Well said, mischief. [Aside.

Const. My father's credulous, and this rogue has found the blind side of him; would Loveby heard him! [To ISABELLA.

Fail. He has no means, and he loses at play; so that, for my part, I protest to gad, I am resolved he picks locks for his living.

Burr. Nay, to my knowledge, he picks locks.

Tim. And to mine.

Fail. No longer ago than last night he met me in the dark, and offered to dive into my pockets.

Non. That's a main argument for suspicion.

Fail. I remember once, when the keys of the Exchequer were lost in the Rump-time, he was sent for upon an extremity, and, egad, he opens me all the locks with the blade-bone of a breast of mutton.

Non. Who, this Loveby?

Fail. This very Loveby. Another time, when we had sate up very late at ombre in the country, and were hungry towards morning, he plucks me out (I vow to gad I tell you no lie) four ten-penny nails from the dairy lock with his teeth, fetches me out a mess of milk, and knocks me 'em in again with his head, upon reputation.

Isa. Thou boy!

Non. What shall I do in this case? My comfort is, my gold's all marked.

Const. Will you suspect a gentleman of Loveby's worth, upon the bare report of such a rascal as this Failer?

Non. Hold thy tongue, I charge thee; upon my blessing hold thy tongue. I'll have him apprehended before he sleeps; come along with me, Mr Failer.

Fail. Burr, look well to Sir Timorous; I'll be with you instantly.

Const. I'll watch you by your favour. [Aside. [Exeunt NONSUCH and FAILER, CONSTANCE following them.

Isa. A word, Sir Timorous.

Burr. [Gets behind.] She shall have a course at the knight, and come up to him, but when she is just ready to pinch, he shall give such a loose from her, shall break her heart.

Isa. Burr there still, and watching us? There's certainly some plot in this, but I'll turn it to my own advantage. [Aside.

_Tim. Did you mark Burr's retirement, madam?

Isa Ay; his guilt, it seems, makes him shun your company.

Tim. In what can he be guilty?

Isa. You must needs know it; he courts your mistress.

Tim. Is he, too, in love with my lady Constance?

Isa. No, no: but, which is worse, he courts me.

Tim. Why, what have I to do with you? You know I care not this for you.

Isa. Perhaps so; but he thought you did: and good reason for it.

Tim. What reason, madam?

Isa. The most convincing in the world: He knew my cousin Constance never loved you: He has heard her say, you were as invincibly ignorant as a town-fop judging a new play: as shame-faced as a great overgrown school-boy: in fine, good for nothing but to be wormed out of your estate, and sacrificed to the god of laughter.

Tim. Was your cousin so barbarous to say this?

Isa. In his hearing.

Tim. And would he let me proceed in my suit to her?

Isa. For that I must excuse him; he never thought you could love one of my cousin's humour; but took your court to her, only as a blind to your affection for me; and, being possessed with that opinion, he thought himself as worthy as you to marry me.

Tim. He is not half so worthy; and so I'll tell him, in a fair way.

Burr. [To a Boy entering.] Sirrah, boy, deliver this note to madam Isabella; but be not known I am so near.

Boy. I warrant you, sir.

Burr. Now, Fortune, all I desire of thee is, that Sir Timorous may see it; if he once be brought to believe there is a kindness between her and me, it will ruin all her projects.

Isa. [To the Boy.] From whom?

Boy. From Mr Burr, madam.

Isa. [Reads.] These for Madam Isabella. Dear rogue, Sir Timorous knows nothing of our kindness, nor shall for me; seem still to have designs upon him; it will hide thy affection the better to thy servant, BURR.

Isa. Alas, poor woodcock, dost thou go a-birding? Thou hast e'en set a springe to catch thy own neck. Look you here, Sir Timorous; here's something to confirm what I have told you. [Gives him the letter.

Tim. D, e, a, r, dear; r, o, g, u, e, rogue. Pray, madam, read it; this written hand is such a damned pedantic thing, I could never away with it.

Isa. He would fain have robbed you of me: Lord, Lord! to see the malice of a man.

Tim. She has persuaded me so damnably, that I begin to think she's my mistress indeed.

Isa. Your mistress? why, I hope you are not to doubt that, at this time of day. I was your mistress from the first day you ever saw me.

Tim. Nay, like enough you were so; but I vow to gad now, I was wholly ignorant of my own affection.

Isa. And this rogue pretends he has an interest in me, merely to defeat you: Look you, look you, where he stands in ambush, like a Jesuit behind a Quaker, to see how his design will take.

Tim. I see the rogue: Now could I find in my heart to marry you in spite to him; what think you on't, in a fair way?

Isa. I have brought him about as I could wish; and now I'll make my own conditions. [Aside.] Sir Timorous, I wish you well; but he I marry must promise me to live at London: I cannot abide to be in the country, like a wild beast in the wilderness, with no Christian soul about me.

Tim. Why, I'll bear you company.

Isa. I cannot endure your early hunting-matches there; to have my sleep disturbed by break of day, with heigh, Jowler, Jowler! there Venus, ah Beauty! and then a serenade of deep-mouthed curs, to answer the salutation of the huntsman, as if hell were broke loose about me: and all this to meet a pack of gentlemen savages, to ride all day, like mad-men, for the immortal fame of being first in at the hare's death: to come upon the spur, after a trial at four in the afternoon, to destruction of cold meat and cheese, with your lewd company in boots; fall a-drinking till supper time, be carried to bed, tossed out of your cellar, and be good for nothing all the night after.

Tim. Well, madam, what is it you would be at? you shall find me reasonable to all your propositions.

Isa. I have but one condition more to add; for I will be as reasonable as you; and that is a very poor request—to have all the money in my disposing.

Tim. How, all the money?

Isa. Ay, for I am sure I can huswife it better for your honour; not but that I shall be willing to encourage you with pocket-money, or so, sometimes.

Tim. This is somewhat hard.

Isa. Nay, if a woman cannot do that, I shall think you have an ill opinion of my virtue: Not trust your own flesh and blood, Sir Timorous?

Tim. Well, is there any thing more behind?

Isa. Nothing more, only the choice of my own company, my own hours, and my own actions: These trifles granted me, in all things of moment, I am your most obedient wife and servant, Isabella.

Tim. Is't a match, then?

Isa. For once I am content it shall; but 'tis to redeem you from those rascals, Burr and Failer—that way, Sir Timorous, for fear of spies; I'll meet you at the garden door.—[Exit TIMOROUS.] I have led all women the way, if they dare but follow me. And now march off, if I can scape but spying, With my drums beating, and my colours flying.


Burr. So, their wooing's at an end; thanks to my wit.


Fail. O Burr! whither is it Sir Timorous and Madam Isabella are gone together?

Burr. Adore my wit, boy; they are parted, never to meet again.

Fail. I saw them meet just now at the garden-door: So ho, ho, ho, who's within there! Help here quickly, quickly.

Enter NONSUCH and two Servants.

Non. What's the matter?

Fail. Your niece Isabella has stolen away Sir Timorous.

Non. Which way took they?

Fail. Follow me, I'll show you.

Non. Break your necks after him, you idle varlets.



Enter LOVEBY. LOVEBY'S collar unbuttoned, band carelessly on, hat on the table, as new risen from sleep.

Lov. Boy! how long have I slept, boy?

Enter Boy.

Boy. Two hours and a half, sir.

Lov. What's a-clock, sirrah?

Boy. Near four, sir.

Lov. Why, there's it: I have promised my lady Constance an hundred pounds ere night; I had four hours to perform it in, when I engaged to do it; and I have slept out more than two of them. All my hope to get this money lies within the compass of that hat there. Before I lay down, I made bold a little to prick my finger, and write a note, in the blood of it, to this same friend of mine in t'other world, that uses to supply me: the devil has now had above two hours to perform it in; all which time I have slept, to give him the better opportunity: time enough for a gentleman of his agility to fetch it from the East Indies, out of one of his temples where they worship him; or, if he were lazy, and not minded to go so far, 'twere but stepping over sea, and borrowing so much money out of his own bank at Amsterdam: hang it, what's an hundred pounds between him and me? Now does my heart go pit-a-pat, for fear I should not find the money there: I would fain lift it up to see, and yet I am so afraid of missing: Yet a plague, why should I fear he'll fail me; the name of a friend's a sacred thing; sure he'll consider that. Methinks, this hat looks as if it should have something under it: If one could see the yellow boys peeping underneath the brims now: Ha! [Looks under round about.] In my conscience I think I do. Stand out o'the way, sirrah, and be ready to gather up the pieces, that will flush out of the hat as I take it up.

Boy. What, is my master mad, trow?

[LOVEBY snatches up the hat, looks in it hastily, and sees nothing but the paper.

Low. Now, the devil take the devil! A plague! was ever man served so as I am! [Throws his hat upon the ground.] To break the bands of amity for one hundred pieces! Well, it shall be more out of thy way than thou imaginest, devil: I'll turn parson, and be at open defiance with thee: I'll lay the wickedness of all people upon thee, though thou art never so innocent; I'll convert thy bawds and whores; I'll Hector thy gamesters, that they shall not dare to swear, curse, or bubble; nay, I'll set thee out so, that thy very usurers and aldermen shall fear to have to do with thee.

[A noise within of ISABELLA and FRANCES.

Enter FRANCES, thrusting back ISABELLA and TIMOROUS.

Franc. How now, what's the matter?

Isa. Nay, sweet mistress, be not so hard-hearted; all I desire of you is but harbour for a minute: you cannot, in humanity, deny that small succour to a gentlewoman.

Franc. A gentlewoman! I thought so; my house, affords no harbour for gentlewomen: you are a company of proud harlotries: I'll teach you to take place of tradesmen's wives, with a wannion to you.

Lov. How's this! Madam Isabella!

Isa. Mr Loveby! how happy am I to meet with you in my distress!

Lov. What's the matter, madam?

Isa. I'll tell you, if this gentlewoman will give me leave.

Franc. No, gentlewoman, I will not give you leave; they are such as we maintain your pride, as they say. [ISABELLA and LOVEBY whisper.] Our husbands trust you, and you must go before their wives. I am sure my good-man never goes to any of your lodgings, but he comes home the worse for it, as they say.

Lov. Is that all? pr'ythee, good landlady, for my sake entertain my friends.

Franc. If the gentleman's worship had come alone, it may be I might have entertained him; but for your minion!

Enter NONSUCH, FAILER, BURR, and Officers. Cry within, Here, here.

Fail. My lord, arrest Sir Timorous upon a promise of marriage to your daughter, and we'll witness it.

Tim. Why, what a strange thing of you's this, madam Isabella, to bring a man into trouble thus!

Fail. You are not yet married to her?

Tim. Not that I remember.

Isa. Well, Failer, I shall find a time to reward your diligence.

Lov. If the knight would have owned his action, I should have taught some of you more manners, than to come with officers into my lodging.

Franc. I'm glad with all my heart this minx is prevented of her design: the gentleman had got a great catch of her, as they say. His old father in the country would have given him but little thanks for it, to see him bring down a fine-bred woman, with a lute, and a dressing-box, and a handful of money to her portion.

Isa. Good Mistress Whatdeelack! I know your quarrel to the ladies; do they take up the gallants from the tradesmen's wives? Lord, what a grievous thing it is, for a she citizen to be forced to have children by her own husband!

Franc. Come, come, you're a slanderful huswife, and I squorn your harlotry tricks, that I do, so I do.

Isa. Steeple-hat your husband never gets a good look when he comes home, except he brings a gentleman to dinner; who, if he casts an amorous eye towards you, then, "Trust him, good husband, sweet husband, trust him for my sake: Verily the gentleman's an honest man, I read it in his countenance: and if you should not be at home to receive the money, I know he will pay the debt to me." Is't not so, mistress?

Enter BIBBER in slippers, with a skein of silk about his neck.

Franc. Will you see me wronged thus, under my own roof, as they say, William?

Isa. Nay, 'tis very true, mistress: you let the men, with old compliments, take up new clothes; I do not mean your wife's clothes, Mr Merchant-Tailor.

Bib. Good, i'faith! a notable smart gentlewoman!

Isa. Look to your wife, sir, or, in time, she may undo your trade; for she'll get all your men-customers to herself.

Bib. An' I should be hanged, I can forbear no longer. [He plucks out his measure, and runs to ISABELLA, to take measure of her.

Isa. How now! what means Prince Pericles by this?

Bib. [On his knees.] I must beg your ladyship e'en to have the honour to trust you but for your gown, for the sake of that last jest, flowered sattin, wrought tabby, silver upon any grounds; I shall run mad if I may not trust your ladyship.

Franc. I think you are mad already, as they say, William: You shall not trust her—

[Plucks him back.

Bib. Let me alone, Frances: I am a lion when I am angered.

Isa. Pray do not pull your lion by the tail so, mistress—In these clothes, that he now takes measure of me for, will I marry Sir Timorous; mark that, and tremble, Failer.

Fail. Never threaten me, madam; you're a person I despise.

Isa. I vow to gad, I'll be even with you, sir.


Non. [To the Bailiff's.]—And when you have arrested him, be sure you search him for my gold.

Bailiffs. [To LOVEBY.] We arrest you, sir, at my Lord Nonsuch's suit.

Lov. Me, you rascals!

Non. Search him for my gold; you know the marks on't.

Lov. If they can find any marked or unmarked gold about me, they'll find more than I can. You expect I should resist now; no, no; I'll hamper you for this.

Bail. There's nothing to be found about him.

Fail. 'Tis no matter, to prison with him; there all his debts will come upon him.

Lov. What, hurried to durance, like a stinkard!

Job. Now, as I live, a pleasant gentleman; I could find in my heart to bail him; but I'll overcome myself, and steal away. [Is going.

Bail. Come, sir, we must provide you of another lodging; but I believe you'll scarce like it.

Lov. If I do not, I ask no favour; pray turn me out of doors.

Bib. Turn him out of doors! What a jest was there? Now, an' I should be hanged, I cannot forbear bailing him: Stay, officers, I bail him body and soul for that jest.

Fail. Let us begone in time, Burr.


Franc. You shall not bail him.

Bib. I know I am a rogue to do it; but his wit has prevailed upon me, and a man must not go against his conscience. There, officers.

Lov. to Non. Old man, if it were not for thy daughter—

Non. Well, well; take your course, sir.

[Exeunt NONSUCH and Bailiffs.

Lov. Come, Will, I'll thank thee at the tavern. Frances, remember this the next time you come up to make my bed.

Franc. Do your worst, I fear you not, sir. This is twice to day, William; to trust a gentlewoman, and bail a ragamuffin: I am sure he called you cuckold but yesterday, and said he would make you one.

Lov. Look you, Frances, I am a man of honour, and, if I said it, I'll not break my word with you.

Bib. There he was with you again, Frances: An excellent good jest, i'faith la.

Franc. I'll not endure it, that I won't, so I won't: I'll go to the justice's worship, and fetch a warrant for him.

Lov. But, landlady, the word cuckold will bear no action in the law, except you could prove your husband prejudiced by it. Have any of his customers forsook him for't? Or any mercer refused to trust him the less, for my calling him so?

Franc. Nay, I know not for the mercers; perhaps the citizens may take it for no slander among one another, as they say: but for the gentlemen—

Lov. Will, have they forsaken thee upon it?

Bib. No, I assure you, sir.

Lov. No, I warrant 'em: A cuckold has the signification of an honest well-meaning citizen; one, that is not given to jealousies or suspicions; a just person to his wife, &c.; one that, to speak the worst of him, does but to her, what he would be content should be done to her by other men.

Franc. But that another man should be the father of his children, as they say; I don't think that a civil thing, husband.

Lov. Not civil, landlady! why all things are civil, that are made so by custom.

Bib. Why may not he get as fine children as I, or any man?

Franc. But if those children, that are none of yours, should call you father, William!

Bib. If they call me father, and are none of mine, I am the more beholden to 'em.

Franc. Nay, if that be your humour, husband, I am glad I know it, that I may please you the better another time, as they say. [Exit FRANCES.

Bib. Nay, but Frances, Frances! 'tis such another woman. [Exit BIBBER.

Lov. 'Tis such another man:—My coat and sword, boy, I must go to Justice Trice's; bring the women; and come after me. [Exit LOVEBY.


A Table set with Cards upon it.

TRICE walking: Enter Servant.

Serv. Sir, some company is without upon justice-business.

Trice. Saucy rascal, to disturb my meditations. [Exit Servant.—Ay, it shall be he: Jack Loveby, what think'st thou of a game at piquet, we two, hand to fist? you and I will play one single game for ten pieces: 'Tis deep stake, Jack, but 'tis all one between us two: You shall deal, Jack:—Who I, Mr Justice! that's a good one; you must give me use for your hand then; that's six i'the hundred.—Come, lift, lift;—mine's a ten; Mr Justice:—mine's a king; oh ho, Jack, you deal. I have the advantage of this, i'faith, if I can keep it. [He deals twelve a piece, two by two, and looks on his own cards.] I take seven, and look on this—Now for you, Jack Loveby.

Enter LOVEBY behind.

Lov. How's this? Am I the man he fights with?

Trice. I'll do you right, Jack; as I am an honest man, you must discard this; there's no other way: If you were my own brother, I could do no better for you.—Zounds, the rogue has a quint-major, and three aces younger hand.—[Looks on the other cards.] Stay; what am I for the point? But bare forty, and he fifty-one: Fifteen, and five for the point, twenty, and three by aces, twenty-three; well, I am to play first: one, twenty-three; two, twenty-three; three, twenty-three; four, twenty-three;—Pox on't, now I must play into his hand: five:—now you take it, Jack;—five, twenty-four, twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-seven, twenty-eight, twenty-nine, thirty, and the cards forty.

Lov. Hitherto it goes well on my side.—

Trice. Now I deal: How many do you take, Jack? All. Then I am gone: What a rise is here! Fourteen by aces, and a sixieme-major; I am gone, without looking into my cards.—[Takes up an ace and bites it.] Ay, I thought so: If ever man play'd with such cursed fortune, I'll be hanged, and all for want of this damned ace—there's your ten pieces, with a pox to you, for a rooking beggarly rascal as you are.

LOVEBY enters.

Lov. What occasion have I given you for these words, sir? Rook and rascal! I am no more rascal than yourself, sir.

Trice. How's this! how's this!

Lov. And though for this time I put up, because I am a winner— [Snatches the gold.

Trice. What a devil do'st thou put up? Not my gold, I hope, Jack?

Lov. By your favour, but I do; and 'twas won fairly: a sixieme, and fourteen by aces, by your own confession,—What a pox, we don't make childrens' play, I hope?

Trice. Well, remember this, Jack; from this hour I forswear playing with you when I am alone; what, will you bate me nothing on't?

Lov. Not a farthing, Justice; I'll be judged by you; if I had lost, you would have taken every piece on't: What I win, I win—and there's an end.

Enter Servant.

Serv. Sir, these people stay without, and will not be answered.

Trice. Well, what's their business?

Serv. Nay, no great matter; only a fellow for getting a wench with child.

Trice. No great matter, say'st thou? 'Faith, but it is. Is he a poor fellow, or a gentleman?

Serv. A very poor fellow, sir.

Trice. Hang him, rogue; make his mittimus immediately; must such as he presume to get children?

Lov. Well considered: A poor lousy rascal, to intrench upon the game of gentlemen! He might have passed his time at nine-pins, or shovel-board; that had been fit sport for such as he: Justice, have no mercy on him.

Trice. No, by the sword of justice will I not.

Lov. Swear'st thou, ungracious boy[A]? That's too much, on the other hand, for a gentleman. I swear not, I drink not, I curse not, I cheat not; they are unnecessary vices: I save so much out of those sins, and take it out in that one necessary vice of wenching.

[Footnote A: Henry IV. Part 1. Act ii. Scene 4.]

Enter LOVEBY'S Boy.

Boy. Sir, the parties are without, according to your order.

Lov. 'Tis well; bring 'em in, boy.

Enter Lady Du LAKE, and two or three Whores.

Justice, I recommend this ancient gentlewoman, with these virtuous ladies, to thy patronage; for her part, she is a person of exemplary life and behaviour; of singular conduct to break through, and patience to bear the assaults of fortune: A general benefactress of mankind, and, in fine, a promoter of that great work of nature, love.

Trice. Or, as the vulgar translation hath it, a very sufficient and singular good bawd: Is't not so, boy?

Lov. Ay, boy: Now for such a pettifogging fellow as thy clerk to persecute this lady; pr'ythee think on't: Tis a grievance of the free-born subject.

L. Du Lake. To see the ingratitude of this generation! That I, that have spent my youth; set at nought my fortune; and, what is more dear to me, my honour, in the service of gentlemen; should now, in my old age, be left to want and beggary, as if I were the vilest and most unworthy creature upon God's earth! [Crying.

Lov. Nay, good mother, do not take it so bitterly.

L. Du Lake. I confess, the unkindness of it troubles me.

Lov. Thou shalt not want, so long as I live.—Look, here's five pieces of cordial gold, to comfort thy heart with: I won it, e'en now, off Mr Justice; and I dare say he thinks it well bestowed.

Trice. My money's gone to very pious uses.

L. Du Lake. [Laying her hand on LOVEBY'S head.] Son Loveby, I knew thy father well; and thy grandfather before him. Fathers they were both to me; and I could weep for joy to see how thou tak'st after them. [Weeping again.] I wish it lay in my power too to gratify this worthy Justice in my vocation.

Trice. 'Faith, I doubt I am past that noble sin.

Lov. Pr'ythee, good magistrate, drink to her, and wipe sorrow from her eyes.

Trice. Right reverend, my service to you in canary. [She drinks after him, and stays at half a glass.

L. Du Lake. 'Tis a great way to the bottom; but heaven is all-sufficient to give me strength for it. [Drinks it up.] Why, God's blessing on your heart, son Trice! I hope 'tis no offence to call you son? hem!—hem!—Son Loveby, I think my son Trice and I are much of the same years: let me see, son, if nature be utterly extinct in you: Are you ticklish, son Trice? [Tickles him.

Trice. Are you ticklish, Mother Du Lake?

[Tickles her sides. She falls off her chair; he falls off his to her; they roll one over the other.

Lov. I would have all London now show me such another sight of kindness in old age. [They help each other up.] Come, a dance, a dance; call for your clerk, Justice; he shall make one, in sign of amity. Strike up, fidlers!

[They dance a round dance, and sing the tune.


Isa. Are you at that sport, i'faith? Have among you, blind harpers. [She falls into the dance.

[At the dance's ending, LOVEBY sees CONSTANCE.

Trice. Is she come? A pox of all honest women at such a time!

Lov. If she knows who these are, by this light, I am undone.

Const. Oh, servant! I come to mind you of your promise. Come, produce my hundred pounds; the time's out I set you.

Lov. Not till dark night, upon my reputation! I have not yet spoke with the gentleman in the black pantaloons; you know he seldom walks abroad by day-light. Dear madam, let me wait on you to your coach; and, if I bring it not within this hour, discard me utterly.

Const. You must give me leave to salute the company. What are they?

Lov. Persons of quality of my acquaintance; but I'll make your excuse to 'em.

Const. Nay, if they are persons of quality, I shall be rude to part from 'em so abruptly.

Lov. Why so?—the devil owed me a shame; and now he has paid me. I must present 'em, whate'er come on't. [Aside.]—This, madam, is my Lady Du Lake—the Lady Springwell—the Lady Hoyden.

[She and ISABELLA salute them.

Isa. What a whiff was there came from my Lady Hoyden; and what a garlic breath my Lady Springwell had!

Trice. Ha, ha, ha, ha!

Lov. Do not betray me, Justice; if you do—[Aside.

Isa. Oh, are you thereabouts, sir? then I smell a rat, i'faith; but I'll say nothing. [Aside.

Const. Ladies, I am an humble servant to you all; and account it my happiness to have met with so good company at my cousin Trice's.

Trice. Ha, ha, ha!

L. Du Lake. Are these two ladies of your acquaintance, son Loveby?

Lov. Son, quoth a'! a pox of our relation! [Aside.

L. Du Lake. I shall be glad to be better known to your ladyships.

Const. You too much honour your servants, madam.

Isa. How Loveby fidges up and down! In what pain he is! well, if these be not they, they call whores, I'll be hanged, though I never saw one before. [Aside.

Lov. Will your ladyship please to go, madam?

Const. I must beg the favour of these ladies first, that I may know their lodgings, and wait on them.

L. Du. Lake. It will be our duty to pay our respects first to your ladyship.

Const. I beg your ladyship's pardon, madam—

L. Du Lake. Your ladyship shall excuse us, madam—

Isa. Trice. Ha, ha, ha!

Low. Ah, devil grin you! [Aside.

Trice. I must go out, and laugh my belly-full.

[Exit TRICE.

Const. But in earnest, madam, I must have no denial; I beseech your ladyship instruct me, where I may tender my devoirs.

L. Du Lake. Since your ladyship commands me, madam, I dare disobey no longer. My lodgings are in St Lucknor's Lane, at the Cat and Fiddle.

Const. Whereabouts is that lane, servant?

Lov. Faith, madam, I know not that part o'the town.—Lord, how I sweat for fear! [Aside.

Const. And yours, madam, where, I beseech your ladyship?

2 Whore. In Dog and Bitch yard, an't please your ladyship.

3 Whore. And mine in Sodom, so like your ladyship.

Const. How, Loveby! I did not think you would have used me thus?

Lov. I beseech your ladyship, but hear my justification as I lead you.

Const. By no means, sir; that were such a rudeness to leave persons of quality, to wait upon me: Unhand me, sir.

Isa. Ha, ha, ha!—[Exeunt CONST. ISA.

Lov. I am ruined! for ever ruined. Plague, had you no places in the town to name, but Sodom, and Lucknor's Lane, for lodgings!

L. Du Lake. If any prejudice arise from it, upon my honour, son, 'twas by mistake, and not intended you: I thought she desired to have been admitted of the quality.

Lov. I was curst, when I had first to do with you.

[Kicks them.

L. Du Lake. Well, I thank heaven, that has indued me with such patience.

[Exeunt all but LOVEBY and his Boy.

Lov. I have made a fair hand on't to-day;—both lost my mistress, and hear no news from my friend below: The world frowns upon me, and the devil and my mistress have forsaken me: My godfathers and godmothers have promised well for me: Instead of renouncing them, they have renounced me.

Boy. Sir, I saw my Lady Constance smile as she went out: I am confident she's angry but from the teeth outwards: you might easily make fair weather with her, if you could get the money you promised her, but there's the devil—

Lov. Where is he, boy? shew me him quickly.

Boy. Marry, God bless us! I mean, sir, there's the difficulty.

Lov. Damned rogue, to put me in hope so—

Enter BIBBER at the other end.

Lov. Uds so, look where Bibber is: Now I think on't, he offered me a bag of forty pounds, and the lease of his house yesterday: But that's his pocky humour; when I have money, and do not ask him, he will offer it; but when I ask him, he will not lend a farthing.—Turn this way, sirrah, and make as though we did not see him.

Bib. Our gentleman, I think, a-talking with his boy there.

Lov. You understand me?—

Boy. I warrant you, sir.

Lov. No news yet; what an unlucky rascal 'tis! if the rogue should hereafter be reduced to the raiment of his own shreds, I should not pity him.

Bib. How's this!

Lov. Now is this rascal hunting after jests, to make himself the greatest to all that know him.

Bib. This must be me.

Boy. I can hear neither tale nor tidings of him: I have searched him in all his haunts; amongst his creditors; and in all companies where they are like to break the least jest. I have visited the coffee-houses for him; but among all the news there, I heard none of him.

Bib. Good, i' faith.

Lov. Where's the warrant? I'll put in my own name, since I cannot find him.

Boy. Sir, I gave it a scrivener at next door, because I could not write, to fill up the blank place with Mr Bibber's name.

Lov. What an unlucky vermin 'tis! now, for an hundred pound, could I have gratified him with a waiter's place at the custom-house, that had been worth to him an hundred pound a-year upon the nail.

Bib. Could you so, could you so, sir? give me your hand, and I thank you heartily, Mr Loveby.

Lov. Art thou honest Will? faith, 'tis not worth thy thanks, till it be done: I wish I had the money for thee.

Bib. How much is't, sir?

Lov. An hundred pounds would do it.

Bib. Let me see: forty, I have already by me; take that in part, sir;—and that, and the lease of my house, would over-do it.

Lov. By all means thy lease, Will: ne'er scruple at that; hang a piece of parchment, and two bits of soft wax! thou shalt do't, thou shalt, boy.

Bib. Why, then I will, sir:—But stay, stay: now I think on't, Frances has one hundred and twenty pieces of old grandam-and-aunt gold left her, that she would never let me touch: if we could get that, Mr Loveby! but she'll never part with it.

Lov. Tis but saying the place is for her; a waiting woman's place in the custom-house: Boy, go, and tell her on't immediately. [Exit Boy

Bib. Hold a little; she has been very desirous to get a place in court, that she might take place as the queen's servant.

Lov. She shall have a dresser's place, if thou'lt keep counsel. The worst on't is, I have never a warrant ready.

Bib. 'Tis all one for that, sir; she can neither write nor read; 'tis but my telling her 'tis a warrant, and all's well. I can't but laugh to think how she'll be choused.

Lov. And you too: [Aside.] Mum, she's here, Will.


Franc. A waiting-woman's place in the custom-house! there's news for me! thank you, kind Mr Loveby; you have been instrumental, I hear, of my preferment.

Lov. No, 'tis a dresser's place at court, landlady.

Franc. O gemini! that's better news.

Bib. Aye, but you must make haste and fetch an hundred pieces: I can assure you five hundred are bidden for it: And the courtiers are such slippery youths, they are ever for the fairest chapman.

Franc. I'll fetch it presently;—oh how my heart quops now, as they say: I'll fetch it presently: Sweet Mr Loveby, if the business can be done, it shall be a good thing in your worship's way, I promise you: O the father! that it could be done: O sweet father! [Loveby plucks out a paper.

Lov. Here, Mr Bibber, pray put in Madam Bibber's name into the warrant.

Bib. Madam Bibber! there's joy!—I must call you wife no more, 'tis Madam Bibber now.

Franc. Pray read it, Mr Bibber.

Bib. An order for the admission of the illustrious lady, Madam Bibber, into her majesty's service.

Franc. Pray give me the paper, I'll have nobody touch it but myself; I am sure my money pays for it, as they say. These are the finest words; Madam Bibber! pray, chicken, shew me where Madam is written, that I may kiss it all over. I shall make bold now to bear up to those flirting gentlewomen, that sweep it up and down with their long tails. I thought myself as good as they, when I was as I was; but now I am as I am.

Lov. Good landlady, dispatch, and bring the money—

Franc. Truly, in the place of a dresser, I dare be bold to say, as they say, I shall give their majesties worships good content: I'll go fetch it.


Bib. We must keep the poor soul in ignorance as long as we can, sir; for when she has once smoked it, I have no other way but to retreat into the body of my janizaries, my journey-men; and never come out into her presence more. Where will you be at nine o'clock, sir, that we may rejoice over our good fortune?

Lov. Call me at my Lord Nonsuch's house, and I'll go with you.

Bib. We'll have the fiddles, and triumph, i'faith.


Lov. Lord, how eager this vermin was to cheat himself! Well, I'll after; I long to finger these Jacobus's: Perhaps they may make my peace again with my mistress.

[_Exit _LOVEBY.



Fail. I vow to gad, my lord, Sir Timorous is the most dejected person in the world, and full of regret for what is past. 'Twas his misfortune to be drawn in by such a person as Madam Isabella.

Non. Tis well his estate pleads for him; he should ne'er set foot more within my doors else.

Fail. I'll be security for him for time to come: Leave it to me to get the licence: All I desire is, your daughter may be ready to-morrow morning.

Non. Well, let me alone with her.


Isa. You heard the dreadful sound, to-morrow, cousin.

Const. I would not throw myself away upon this fool, if I could help it.

Isa. Better marry a tertian ague than a fool, that's certain; there's one good day and night in that.

Const. And yet thou art mad for him thyself.

Isa. Nay, the fool is a handsome fool, that's somewhat; but 'tis not that; 'tis a kind of fancy I have taken to a glass coach, and six Flanders mares; rich liveries, and a good fortune.

Const. Pr'ythee do not mind me of 'em; for though I want 'em not, yet I find all women are caught with gaieties: One grain more would turn the balance on his side; I am so vexed at the wild courses of this Loveby.

Isa. Vexed? why vexed? the worst you can say of him is, he loves women: And such make the kindest husbands, I'm told. If you had a sum of money to put out, you would not look so much whether the man were an honest man, (for the law would make him that) as if he were a good sufficient pay-master.


Const. As I live, thou art a mad girl.

Set. She must be used as mad folks are then; had into the dark and cured.

Const. But all this is no comfort to the word, to-morrow.

Isa. Well, what say you, if I put you to-night into the arms of Loveby?

Const. My condition's desperate, and past thy physic.

Isa. When physic's past, what remains but to send for the divine? here's little Nicodemus, your father's chaplain: I have spoke with him already; for a brace of angels he shall make all sure betwixt you without a license; aye, and prove ten at night a more canonical hour than ten i'the morning.

Const. I see not which way thou can'st perform it; but if thou do'st, I have many admirations in store for thee. [Whispers.

Isa. Step in, and get a cushion underneath your apron.

Const. O, I must be with child, it seems!

Isa. And Loveby shall bring you to bed to-night, if the devil be not in the dice: away, make haste;—[Exit CONSTANCE.] Setstone, be not you far off: I shall have need of you too: I hear my uncle coming—Methinks I long to be revenged of this wicked elder, for hindering of my marriage to-day: Hark you, Setstone— [Whispers;

Set. Tis impossible, madam; 'twill never take.

Isa. I warrant you; do not I know him? he has not brains enough, if they were buttered, to feed a blackbird—Nay, no replies—out of what I have said, you may instruct my cousin too.



Isa. Oh, are you there, sir? Faith, it was kindly done of you to hinder me of a good husband this afternoon: And but for one thing, I would resolve to leave your house.

Non. I'm glad there's any thing will stay thee.

Isa. If I stay, 'tis for love of my cousin Constance, not of you: I should be loth to leave her in this sad condition.

Non. What condition?

Isa. Nay, I know not; she has not worn her busk this fortnight. I think she's grown fat o'the sudden.

Non. O devil, devil! what a fright I'm in!

Isa. She has qualms too every morning: ravens mightily for green fruit; and swoons at the sight of hot meat.

Non. She's with child: I am undone! I am undone!

Isa. I understand nothing of such matters: She's but in the next room; best call her, and examine her about it.

Non. Why Constance, Constance!

Enter CONSTANCE, as with child.

Isa. Now for a broad-side; turn your prow to him, cousin.

[To her.

Non. Now, gentlewoman! is this possible?

Const. I do not reach your meaning, sir.

Non. Where have you been of late?

Const. I seldom stir without you, sir: These walls most commonly confine me.

Non. These walls can get no children; nor these hangings; though there be men wrought in 'em.

Isa. Yet, by your favour, nuncle, children may be wrought behind the hangings.

Non. O Constance, Constance! How have my grey hairs deserved this of thee? Who got that belly there?

Const. You, I hope, sir.

Non. Tell me the truth, for I will know it; come, the story.

Const. The story's quickly told, sir; I am with child.

Non. And who is the father?

Const. I do not know, sir.

Non. Not know! went there so many to't?

Const. So far from that, that there were none at all, to my best knowledge, sir.

Non. Was't got by miracle? Who was the father?

Const. Who got your money, sir, that you have lost?

Non. Nay, Heaven knows who got that.

Const. And, Heaven knows who got this: for, on my conscience, he, that had your money, was the father on't.

Non. The devil it was as soon.

Const. That's all I fear, sir.

Isa. 'Tis strange;—and yet 'twere hard, sir, to suspect my cousin's virtue, since we know the house is haunted.

Non. 'Tis true, that nothing can be laid, though under lock and key, but it miscarries.

Isa. 'Tis not to be believed, what these villainous spirits can do: they go invisible.

Const. First, they stole away my prayer-book; and, a little after that, a small treatise I had against temptation; and when they were gone, you know, sir—

Isa. If there be such doings, pray heaven we are not all with child. 'Tis certain, that none live within these walls, but they have power of: I have reared Toby, the coachman, any time this fortnight.

Non. Out, impudence! A man with child! why 'tis unnatural.

Isa. Ay, so is he that got it.

Non. Thou art not in earnest?

Isa. I would I were not:—Hark! I hear him groan hither. Come in, poor Toby.

Enter TOBY, the coachman, with an urinal.

Non. How now! what have you there, sirrah?

Tob. An't please your worship, 'tis my water. I had a spice o'the new disease here i'the house; and so carried it to master doctor.

Non. Well; and what did he say to you?

Tob. He told me very sad news, an' please you: I am somewhat bashful to speak on't.

Isa. Out with it, man.

Tob. Why, truly, he told me, the party that owned the water was with child.

Isa. I told you so, uncle.

Non. To my best remembrance, I never heard of such a thing before.

Tob. I never stretch out myself to snap my whip, but it goes to the heart of me.

Isa. Alas, poor Toby!

Non. Begone, and put off your livery, sirrah!—You shall not stay a minute in my service.

Tob. I beseech your good worship, be good to me; 'twas the first fault I ever committed in this kind. I have three poor children by my wife; and if you leave me to the wide world, with a new charge upon myself—

Non. Begone! I will not hear a word.

Tob. If I must go, I'll not go alone: Ambrose Tinis, the cook, is as bad as I am.

Non. I think you'll make me mad. Call the rascal hither! I must account with him on another score, now I think on't.


Non. Sirrah, what made you send a pheasant with one wing to the table yesterday?

Amb. I beseech your worship to pardon me; I longed for't.

Isa. I feared as much.

Amb. And I beseech your worship let me have a boy, to help me in the kitchen; for I find myself unable to go through with the work. Besides, the doctor has warned me of stooping to the fire, for fear of a mischance.

Non. Why, are you with child, sirrah?

Amb. So he tells me; but, if I were put to my oath, I know not that ever I deserved for't.

Non. Still worse and worse. And here comes Setstone groaning.


Set. O, sir! I have been so troubled with swooning fits; and have so longed for cherries!

Non. He's poopt too.

Isa. Well, this is not the worst yet: I suspect something more than I will speak of.

Non. What dost thou suspect, ha!

Isa. Is not your lordship with child, too?

Non. Who, I with child! marry, heaven forbid! What dost thou see by me, to ground it on?

Isa. You're very round of late;—that's all, sir.

Non. Round! that's only fat, I hope. I have had a very good stomach of late, I'm sure.

Isa. Alas, and well you may;—You eat for two, sir.

Non. Setstone, look upon me, and tell me true: Do you observe any alteration in me?

Set. I would not dishearten your ladyship—your lordship, I would say—but I have observed, of late, your colour goes and comes extremely. Methinks your lordship looks very sharp, and bleak i'the face, and mighty puffed i'the body.

Non. O, the devil! Wretched men, that we are all! Nothing grieves me, but that, in my old age, when others are past child-bearing, I should come to be a disgrace to my family.

Const. How do you, sir? Your eyes look wondrous dim. Is not there a mist before 'em?

Isa. Do you not feel a kicking in your belly—When do you look, uncle?

Non. Uh, uh!—Methinks, I am very sick o'the sudden.

Isa. What store of old shirts have you against the good time? Shall I give you a shift, uncle?

Non. Here's like to be a fine charge towards! We shall all be brought to-bed together! Well, if I be with devil, I will have such gossips: an usurer, and a scrivener, shall be godfathers.

Isa. I'll help you, uncle; and Sawney's two grannies shall be godmothers. The child shall be christened by the directory; and the gossips' gifts shall be the gude Scotch kivenant.

Const. Set. Non. Tob. Amb. Uh! uh! uh!

Isa. What rare music's here!

Non. Whene'er it comes from me, 'twill kill me; that's certain.

Set. Best take a vomit.

Isa. An't come upward, the horns will choke him.

Non. Mass! and so they will.

Isa. Your only way, is to make sure o'the man-midwife.

Non. But my child's dishonour troubles me the most. If I could but see her well married, before I underwent the labour and peril of child-bearing!—What would you advise, niece?

Isa. That which I am very loth to do. Send for honest Jack Loveby, and let him know the truth on't: He's a fellow without a fortune, and will be glad to leap at the occasion.

Non. But why Loveby, of all the world? 'Tis but staying 'till to-morrow, and then Sir Timorous will marry her.

Const. Uh!—I swell so fast, I cannot hide it 'till to-morrow.

Isa. Why, there's it now!

Non. I'll send for the old alderman, Getwell, immediately: He'll father the devil's bastard, I warrant you.

Isa. Fie, uncle! my cousin's somewhat too good yet for an alderman. If it were her third child, she might hearken to you.

Non. Well, since it must be so, Setstone, go you to Loveby; make my excuse to him for the arrest, and let him know, what fortune may attend him.

Isa. Mr Setstone, pray acquaint him with my cousin's affection to him; and prepare him to father the cushion underneath her petticoat.

[Aside to SETSTONE. Exit.]

Set. I'll bring him immediately.

Isa. When he comes, uncle, pray cover your great belly with your hat, that he may not see it.

Non. It goes against my heart to marry her to this Loveby; but, what must be, must be.


Const. O, Mr Loveby! The welcomest man alive! You met Setstone, I hope, that you came so opportunely?

Lov. No, faith, madam; I came of my own accord.

Isa. 'Tis unlucky; he's not prepared.

Lov. Look you, madam, I have brought the hundred pounds; the devil was as punctual as three o' clock at a playhouse. Here; 'tis right, I warrant it, without telling: I took it upon his word.

[Gives it.

Const. Your kindness shall be requited, servant: But I sent for you upon another business. Pray, cousin, tell it him, for I am ashamed to do't.

Lov. Ha! 'tis not that great belly, I hope. Is't come to that?

Isa. Hark you, Mr Loveby; a word with you.

Lov. A word with you, madam: Whither is your cousin bound?

Isa. Bound, sir?

Lov. Ay, bound: Look you, she's under sail, with a lusty fore-wind.

Non. I sent for you, sir; but, to be plain with you, 'twas more out of necessity than love.

Lov. I wonder, my lord, at your invincible ill-nature. You forget the arrest, that I passed by: But this it is to be civil to unthankful persons; 'tis feeding an ill-natured dog, that snarls while he takes victuals from your hand.

Non. All friends! all friends! No ripping up old stories; you shall have my daughter.

Lov. Faith, I see your lordship would let lodgings ready furnished; but I am for an empty tenement.

Non. I had almost forgot my own great belly. If he should discover that too! [Claps his hat before it.

Isa. [To Lov.] You will not hear me, sir. 'Tis all roguery, as I live.

Lov. Flat roguery, I'll swear! If I had been father on't, nay, if I had but laid my breeches upon the bed, I would have married her: But I see we are not ordained for one another.

[Is going.

Non. I beseech you, sir.

Lov. Pray cover, my lord.

Isa. He does his great belly, methinks.

Non. I'll make it up in money to you.

Lov. That cannot tempt me. I have a friend, that shall be nameless, that will not see me want; and so, your servant.


Isa. I'll after, and bring him back.

Non. You shall not stir after him;—Does he scorn my daughter?

Isa. Lord, how fretful you are! This breeding makes you so peevish, uncle.

Non. 'Tis no matter, she shall straight be married to Sir Timorous.

Const. I am ruined, cousin.


Isa. I warrant you.—My lord, I wish her well married to Sir Timorous; but Loveby will certainly infect him with the news of her great belly.

Non. I'll dispatch it, ere he can speak with him.

Isa. Whene'er he comes, he'll see what a bona roba she is grown.

Non. Therefore, it shall be done i'the evening.

Isa. It shall, my lord.

Const. Shall it?


Isa. Let me alone, cousin.—And to this effect she shall write to him, that, to conform to your will, and his modesty, she desires him to come hither alone this evening.

Non. Excellent wench!—I'll get my chaplain ready.


Const. How can you hope to deceive my father?

Isa. If I don't, I have hard luck.

Const. You go so strange a way about, your bowl must be well bias'd to come in.

Isa. So plain a ground, there's not the least rub in't. I'll meet Sir Timorous in the dark; and, in your room, marry him.

Const. You'll be sure to provide for one.

Isa. You mistake me, cousin:—Oh! here's Setstone again.


Mr Jeweller, you must again into your devil's shape, and speak with
Loveby. But pray be careful not to be discovered.

Set. I warrant you, madam. I have cozened wiser men than he in my own shape; and, if I cannot continue it in a worse, let the devil, I make bold with, e'en make as bold with me.

Isa. You must guide him, by back ways, to my uncle's house, and so to my cousin's chamber, that he may not know where he is when he comes there. The rest I'll tell you as we go along.



Enter TIMOROUS; after him BURR and FAILER.

Tim. Here, here, read this note; there's news for us.

Fail. Let me see't. [Reads.

Sir Timorous, Be at the garden-door at nine this evening; there I'll receive you with my daughter. To gratify your modesty I designed this way, after I had better considered on it: and pray leave your caterpillars, Burr and Failer, behind you. Yours, Nonsuch.

There is some trick in this, whate'er it be. But this word, caterpillars—You see, Burr, Sir Timorous is like to be lured from us. [Aside.

Burr. Is there no prevention? [Aside.

Fail. One way there is.—Sir Timorous, pray walk a turn, while Burr and I confer a little upon this matter.—Look you, Burr, there is but one remedy in nature, I vow to gad; that is, for you to have a new Sir Timorous, exceeding this person in bounty to you. Observe, then; in Sir Timorous' place will I go, and, egad, I'll marry my lady Constance; and then, from the bowels of friendship, bless thee with a thousand pounds, besides lodging and diet for thy life, boy.

Burr. Umph, very well thought on.—No, sir! you shall trust to my bounty; I'll go in his place. Murmur or repine, speak the least word, or give thy lips the least motion, and I'll beat thee till thou art not in condition to go.

Fail. I vow to gad, this is extreme injustice.—Was it not my invention?

Burr. Why, dost thou think thou art worthy to make use of thy own invention?—Speak another word, d'ye see!—Come, help me quickly to strip Sir Timorous; his coat may conduce to the deceit.—Sir Timorous, by your leave. [Fatts on him.

Tim. O, Lord! what's the matter?—Murder? murder!

Burr. D'ye open? I have something in my pocket that will serve for a gag, now I think on't.

[Gags, and binds him.

So, lie there, knight. Come, sir, and help to make me Sir Timorous; and, when I am married, remember to increase your manners with my fortune.—Yet we'll always drink together. [Exeunt.



Const. This is just the knight's hour; and lovers seldom come after their time.

Non. Good night, daughter; I'll to bed, and give you joy to-morrow morning. [Exit.

Isa. I'm glad he's gone: What, your train takes?

Const. Yes, yes; Loveby will come: Setstone has been with him in disguise; and promised him golden mountains, if he will not be wanting to his own fortune.

Isa. Is your habit provided too?

Const. All is ready.

Isa. Away then; for this is the place where we must part like knights errant, that take several paths to their adventures.

Const. 'Tis time, for I hear somebody come along the alley; without question 'tis Timorous. Farewell; the chaplain stays for me in the chamber.

Isa. And I'll post after you to matrimony; I have laid a fresh parson at the next stage, that shall carry me tantivy.


Enter BURR with TIMOROUS'S coat on.

Burr. My lady Constance!

Isa. The same: Sir Timorous?

Burr. The same.

Isa. Sir Timorous takes me for my cousin.


Burr. My lady Constance mistakes me for the knight.


Isa. Here, sir; through the dark walk: 'tis but a little way about—He's my own beyond redemption—


Burr. The Indies are mine; and a handsome lady into the bargain.


Enter FAILER, dogging them, as they go off.

Fail. He shall be hanged, ere he shall get her. Thus far I have dogged them, and this way I am sure they must pass, ere they come to the house. The rogue had got the old dog-trick of a statesman; to fish things out of wiser heads than his own, and never so much as to take notice of him that gave the counsel—

Enter ISABELLA and BURR again.

Now, if I can but give her the hint without his knowledge!—Madam—my lady Constance!

Isa. What voice is that?

Fail. A word in private, or you are undone—Pray step aside.

Burr. Where are you, madam?

Isa. Immediately, Sir Timorous.

Fail. You are mistaken, madam; 'tis not Sir Timorous, but Burr in his clothes; he has stripped the knight, gagged him, and locked him up.

Isa. Failer?

Fail. The same. I could not but prevent your unhappiness, though I hazard my person in the discovery, I vow to gad, madam.

Burr. Who's that talks to you, my lady Constance?

Isa. A maid of my acquaintance, that's come to take her leave of me before I marry; the poor soul does so pity me.

Burr. How will that maid lie, thinking of you and me to-night!

Isa. Has he the key about him? [To FAILER.

Fail. I think so, madam.

Isa. Could not you possibly pick his pocket, and give me the key? then let me alone to release Sir Timorous; and you shall be witness of the wedding.

Fail. Egad, you want your cousin Isabella's wit to bring that to pass, madam.

Isa. I warrant you, my own wit will serve to fool Burr—and you too, or I am much deceived. [Aside.

Fail. I am a little apprehensive of the rascal's fingers, since I felt them last; and yet my fear has not power to resist the sweet temptation of revenge; I vow to gad I'll try, madam.

Isa. Never fear; let me alone to keep him busy.

Burr. Come, madam, and let me take off these tasteless kisses the maid gave you; may we not join lips before we are married?

Isa. No; fie, Sir Timorous.

[They struggle a little, and in that time FAILER picks his pocket of the key.

Fail. I have it—here it is—now, shift for yourself, as I'll do; I'll wait you in the alley.


Isa. Sir Timorous, pray go into my chamber, and make no noise till I return; I'll but fetch the little man of God, and follow you in a twinkling.

Burr. There's no light, I hope?

Isa. Not a spark.

Burr. For to light me to the mark—


Isa. What a scowering have I 'scaped to-night! Fortune, 'tis thou hast been ingenious for me! Allons, Isabella! Courage! now to deliver my knight from the enchanted castle.


Enter LOVEBY, led by SETSTONE, antickly habited; with a torch in one hand, and a wand in the other.

Lov. What art thou, that hast led me this long hour through lanes and alleys, and blind passages?

Set. I am thy genius; and conduct thee to wealth, fame, and honour; what thou comest to do, do boldly; fear not; with this rod I charm thee; and neither elf nor goblin now can harm thee.

Lov. Well, march on; if thou art my genius, thou art bound to be answerable for me; I'll have thee hanged, if I miscarry.

Set. Fear not, my son.

Lov. Fear not, quotha! then, pr'ythee, put on a more familiar shape:—one of us two stinks extremely: Pr'ythee, do not come so near me; I do not love to have my face bleached like a tiffany with thy brimstone.

Set. Fear not, but follow me.

Lov. 'Faith, I have no great mind to't; I am somewhat godly at present; but stay a month longer, and I'll be proud, and fitter for thee. In the mean time, pr'ythee, stay thy stomach with some Dutchman; an Hollander, with butter, will fry rarely in hell.

Set. Mortal, 'tis now too late for a retreat; go on, and live; step back, and thou art mine.

Lorn. So I am, however, first or last; but for once I'll trust thee. [Exeunt.


_The scene opens, and discovers CONSTANCE, and a Parson by her; she habited like Fortune.

Enter again_.

Set. Take here the mighty queen of good and ill, Fortune; first marry, then enjoy thy fill Of lawful pleasures; but depart ere morn; Slip from her bed, or else thou shalt be torn Piecemeal by fiends; thy blood caroused in bowls, And thy four quarters blown to the top of Paul's.

Lov. By your favour, I'll never venture. Is marrying the business? I'll none, I thank you.


Set. Fortune will turn her back if twice denied.

Lav. Why, she may turn her girdle too on t'other side[A]. This is the devil; I will not venture on her.

[Footnote A: A usual expression of indifference for a man's displeasure.]

Set. Fear not; she swears thou shalt receive no harm.

Lov. Ay, if a man durst trust her; but the devil is got into such an ill name of lying—

Set. Whene'er you are not pleased, it shall be lawful to sue out your divorce.

Lov. Ay, but where shall I get a lawyer? there you are aforehand with me; you have retained most of them already. For the favours I have received, I am very much her servant; but, in the way of matrimony, Mr Parson there can tell you 'tis an ordinance, and must not be entered into without mature deliberation; besides, marriages, you know, are made in heaven; and that I am sure this was not.

Set. She bids you then, at least, restore that gold, which she, too lavishly, poured out on you, unthankful man.

Lov. Faith, I have it not at present; 'tis all gone, as I am a sinner; but, 'tis gone wickedly; all spent in the devil her father's service.

Set. Where is the grateful sense of all your favours? Come, fiends, with flesh-hooks, tear the wretch in pieces, And bear his soul upon your leather wings, Below the fountain of the dark abyss.

Lov. What, are you a-conjuring? If you are good at that sport, I can conjure as well as you—[Draws his sword.

Const. Hold; for Heaven's sake, hold! I am no spirit; touch but my hand; ghosts have no flesh and blood. [Discovering.

Lov. My lady Constance! I began to suspect it might be a trick, but never could imagine you the author. It seems you are desirous I should father this hans en kelder here?

Const. I know not how, without a blush, to tell you, it was a cheat I practised for your love.

Set. A mere tympany, sir, raised by a cushion; you see 'tis gone already.

Const. Setstone was sent to have acquainted you; but, by the way, unfortunately missed you.

Lev. Twas you, then, that supplied me all this while with money? pretty familiar, I hope to make thee amends ere I sleep to-night. Come, parson, pr'ythee make haste and join us. I long to be out of her debt, poor rogue.

[The parson takes them to the side of the stage; they turn their backs to the audience, while he mumbles to them.

Set. I'll be the clerk; Amen—give you joy, Mr Bridegroom, and Mrs Bride.

Lov. Const. Thanks, honest Setstone.

[BIBBER, FRANCES, and music without—they play.

Music. God give your worship a good even, Mr Loveby.

Const. Hark! what noise is that! Is this music of your providing, Setstone?

Set. Alas, madam, I know nothing of it.

Lov. We are betrayed to your father; but the best on't is, he comes too late to hinder us—fear not, madam, I'll bear you through them all.

[As they rush out, BIBBER, FRANCES, and Music are entering in; BIBBER and FRANCES are beaten down.—Exeunt LOVEBY; CONSTANCE, SETSTONE, and Parson.

All cry out. Oh the devil! the devil! the devil!

Bib. Lord bless us, where are you, Frances!

Fran. Here, William! this is a judgment, as they say, upon you, William, for trusting wits, and calling gentlemen to the tavern, William.

Bib. No; 'twas a judgment upon you, for desiring preferment at court, Frances. Let's call up the watch, and Justice Trice, to have the house searched.

Fran. Ay, ay; there's more devils there, I warrant you. [Exeunt.


Lov. It was certainly Will Bibber and his wife, with music; for, now I remember myself, I 'pointed him this hour at your father's house: but we frighted them worse than they frighted us.

Const. Our parson ran away too, when they cried out the devil!

Lov. He was the wiser; for if the devil had come indeed, he has preached so long against him, it would have gone hard with him.

Set. Indeed, I have always observed parsons to be more fearful of the devil than other people.

Lov. Oh, the devil's the spirit, and the parson's the flesh; and betwixt those two there must be a war; yet, to do them both right, I think in my conscience they quarrel only like lawyers for their fees, and meet good friends in private, to laugh at their clients.

Const. I saw him run in at my cousin Isabella's chamber door, which was wide open; I believe she's returned: We'll fetch a light from the gallery, and give her joy.

Lov. Why, is she married, madam?

Const. I'll tell you as we go. [Exeunt.


BURR and the Parson enter, meeting in the dark.

Burr. My lady Constance, are you come again? That's well; I have waited sufficiently for you in the dark.

Par. Help, help, help, good Christian people! the devil, the devil's here.

Burr. 'Tis I, madam; what do you mean?

Par. Avoid, Satan! avoid, avoid.

Burr. What have I here, the hairy woman?

Enter LOVEBY, and CONSTANCE with the light.

Ha! yonder's my lady Constance! who have I got? a stone priest, by this good light. How's this, Loveby too!

Lov. Burr a-beating my reverend clergy? What makes you here at this unseasonable hour? I'll know your business. [Draws.

Burr. Will you, sir? [They fight.

Const. Set. Par. Help, murder, murder!

Enter, at one door, TRICE drunk, with the Watch; BIBBER and FRANCES following; at the other, NONSUCH and Servants, and FAILER.

Non. Murder, murder! beat down their weapons. Will you murder Sir Timorous, Mr Loveby?—[They disarm both.] Sir Timorous?—ha, Burr! Thieves, thieves!—sit down, good Mr Justice, and take their examinations. Now I shall know how my money went.

Trice. They shall have justice, I warrant them. [Goes to sit, and misses the chair.

Bib. The justice is almost dead drunk, my lord.

Fran. But an't please your worship, my lord, this is not the worst sight that we have seen here to-night in your worship's house; we met three or four hugeous ugly devils, with eyes like saucers, that threw down my husband, that threw down me, that made my heart so panck ever since, as they say!—

Non. The devil again in my house?

Lov. Nay, here he was, that's certain; he brought me hither, I know not how myself, and married me; Mr Setstone there can justify it: But the best is, I have a charm about me, that will lay him yet ere midnight.

Fail. And I vow to gad, my lord, I know as little how I came hither as any man.

Burr. Nor I.

Trice. Nor I.

Lot. No, I dare swear do'st thou not, Mr Justice.

Trice. But I wonder how the devil durst come into our ward, when he knows I have been at the duties of—my family—this evening.

Enter one of the Watch, with TIMOROUS and ISABELLA.

Watch. An please your worship, I met this couple in the street late, and so, seeing them to be a man and woman, I brought them along with me, upon suspicion of felony together.

Fran. This is the proud minx, that sought shelter in my house this afternoon, Mr Justice.

Fail. Sir Timorous and Madam Isabella! I vow to gad, we are undone, Burr.—

Isa. Do not you know me, Mr Justice?

Lov. Justice is blind, he knows nobody.

Isa. My name is Isabella.

Fran. No, thy name is Jezebella; I warrant you, there's none but rogues and papists would be abroad at this time of night.

Bib. Hold, Frances.—

Trice. She's drunk, I warrant her, as any beast. I wonder, woman, you do not consider what a crying sin drunkenness is: Whom do you learn it from in our parish? I am sure you never see me worse.

Isa. Burr and Failer, acknowledge yourselves a couple of recreant knights: Sir Timorous is mine: I have won him in fair field from you.

Const. Give you joy, cousin, give you joy!

Lov. Married!

Isa. And in Diana's grove, boy.

Lov. Why, 'tis fine, by Heaven; 'tis wondrous fine; as the poet goes on sweetly.

Tim. I am sure they had gagged me, and bound me, and stripped me almost stark naked, and locked me up as fast as a butterfly, 'till she came and made me a man again; and therefore I have reason to love her the longest day I have to live.

Isa. Ay, and the longest night too, or you are to blame. And you have one argument I love you, if the proverb be true, for I took you almost in your bare shirt.

Burr. So much for us, Failer!

Const. Well, my lord, it had as good out at first as at last: I must beg your lordship's blessing for this gentleman and myself. [Both kneel.

Non. Why, you are not married to him, I hope! he's married to the devil.

Lov. 'Twas a white devil of your lordship's getting, then; Mr Setstone and the reverend here can witness it.

Set. Par. We must speak truth, my lord.

Non. Would I had another child for your sake! you should ne'er see a penny of my money.

Lov. Thank you, my lord; but methinks 'tis much better as it is.

Isa. Come, nuncle, 'tis in vain to hold out, now 'tis past remedy: 'Tis like the last act of a play, when people must marry; and if fathers will not consent then, they should throw oranges at them from the galleries. Why should you stand off, to keep us from a dance?

Non. But there's one thing still that troubles me; that's her great belly, and my own too.

Const. Nay, for mine, my lord, 'tis vanished already; 'twas but a trick to catch the old one.

Lov. But I'll do my best; she shall not be long without another.

Isa. But as for your great belly, nuncle, I know no way to rid you on't, but by taking out your guts.

Lov. 'Tis such a pretty smart rascal, 'tis well I am pleased with my own choice: but I could have got such Hectors, and poets, and gamesters, out of thee!—

Const. No, no; two wits could never have lived well together; want would have so sharpened you upon one another.

Isa. A wit should naturally be joined to a fortune; by the same reason your vintners feed their hungry wines.

Const. And if Sir Timorous and I had married, we two fortunes must have built hospitals with our money; we could never have spent it else.

Lov. Or what think you of paying courtiers' debts with it?

Isa. Well, to shew I am in charity with my enemies, I'll make a motion: While we are in town, let us hire a large house, and live together: Burr and Failer—

Fail. Shall be utterly discarded; I knew 'twould come to that, I vow to gad.

Isa. Shall be our guests.

[BURR and FAILER throw up their caps, and cry, Vive Madam ISABELLA!

Lov. And Bibber shall make our wedding clothes without trusting.

Bib. No, henceforward I'll trust none but landed men, and such as have houses and apple-trees in the country, now I have got a place in the custom-house.

Fran. Nothing vexes me, but that this flirting gentlewoman should go before me; but I'll to the herald's office, and see whether the queen's majesty's dresser, should not take place of any knight's wife in Christendom.

Bib. Now all will out—no more, good Frances.

Fran. I will speak, that I will, so I will: What! shall I be a dresser to the queen's majesty, and nobody must know on't? I'll send Mr Church-warden word on't; and, gentlemen, when you come to St Bride's church (if ever you come to church, gentlemen), you shall see me in the pew that's next the pulpit; thank Mr Loveby's worship for it.

Lov. Spare your thanks, good landlady; for the truth is, they came too late, the place is gone; and so is yours, Will; but you shall have two hundred pounds for one, if that will satisfy you.

Fran. This is bitter news, as they say.

Lov. Cheer up thy wife, Will. Where are the fiddles? A dance should do it.

Bib. I'll run and call them.

Isa. I have found out that, will comfort her: Henceforward I christen her by the name of Madam Bibber.

All. A Madam Bibber, a Madam Bibber!

Fran. Why, I thank you, sweet gentlemen and ladies; this is a cordial to my drooping spirits: I confess I was a little eclipsed; but I'll cheer up with abundance of love, as they say. Strike up, fiddles.

Lov. That's a good wench.


Trice. This music and a little nod has recovered me. I'll in, and provide for the sack posset.

Non. To bed, to bed; 'tis late. Son Loveby, get me a boy to-night, and I'll settle three thousand a-year upon him the first day he calls me grandsire.

Lov. I'll do my best, To make the bargain sure before I sleep. Where love and money strike, the blow goes deep.

[Exeunt omnes.



The Wild Gallant has quite played out his game;
He's married now, and that will make him tame;
Or if you think marriage will not reclaim him,
The critics swear they'll damn him, but they'll tame him.
Yet, though our poet's threatened most by these,
They are the only people he can please:
For he, to humour them, has shown to-day,
That which they only like, a wretched play:
But though his play be ill, here have been shown
The greatest wits, and beauties of the town;
And his occasion having brought you here,
You are too grateful to become severe.
There is not any person here so mean,
But he may freely judge each act and scene:
But if you bid him chuse his judges, then,
He boldly names true English gentlemen:
For he ne'er thought a handsome garb or dress
So great a crime, to make their judgment less:
And with these gallants he these ladies joins,
To judge that language, their converse refines.
But if their censures should condemn his play,
Far from disputing, he does only pray
He may Leander's destiny obtain:
Now spare him, drown him when he comes again.



Of all dramatic writing, comic wit,
As 'tis the best, so 'tis most, hard to hit.
For it lies all in level to the eye,
Where all may judge, and each defect may spy.
Humour is that, which every day we meet,
And therefore known as every public street;
In which, if e'er the poet go astray,
You all can point, 'twas there he lost his way.
But, what's so common, to make pleasant too,
Is more than any wit can always do.
For 'tis like Turks, with hen and rice to treat;
To make regalios out of common meat.
But, in your diet, you grow savages:
Nothing but human flesh your taste can please;
And, as their feasts with slaughtered slaves began,
So you, at each new play, must have a man.
Hither you come, as to see prizes fought;
If no blood's drawn, you cry, the prize is naught.
But fools grow wary now; and, when they see
A poet eyeing round the company,
Straight each-man for himself begins to doubt;
They shrink like seamen when a press comes out.
Few of them will be found for public use,
Except you charge an oaf upon each house,
Like the train bands, and every man engage
For a sufficient fool, to serve the stage.
And when, with much ado, you get him there,
Where he in all his glory should appear,
Your poets make him such rare things to say,
That he's more wit than any man i' th' play:
But of so ill a mingle with the rest,
As when a parrot's taught to break a jest.
Thus, aiming to be fine, they make a show,
As tawdry squires in country churches do.
Things well considered, 'tis so hard to make
A comedy, which should the knowing take,
That our dull poet, in despair to please,
Does humbly beg, by me, his writ of ease.
'Tis a land-tax, which he's too poor to pay;
You therefore must some other impost lay.
Would you but change, for serious plot and verse,
This motely garniture of fool and farce,
Nor scorn a mode, because 'tis taught at home,
Which does, like vests, our gravity become,
Our poet yields you should this play refuse:
As tradesmen, by the change of fashions, lose,
With some content, their fripperies of France,
In hope it may their staple trade advance.




This play, like that which preceded it, is a drama of intrigue, borrowed from the Spanish, and claiming merit only in proportion to the diversity and ingenuity of the incidents represented. On this point every reader can decide for himself; and it would be an invidious task to point out blemishes, where, to own the truth, there are but few beauties. The ease with which the affections of almost every female in the drama are engrossed by Gonsalvo, and afterwards transferred to the lovers, upon whom the winding up of the plot made it necessary to devolve them, will, it is probable, strike every reader as unnatural. In truth, when the depraved appetite of the public requires to be gratified by trick and bustle, instead of nature and sentiment, authors must sacrifice the probable, as well as the simple, process of events.

The author seems principally to have valued himself on this piece, because it contains some scenes executed in rhyme, in what was then called the heroic manner. Upon this opinion, which Dryden lived to retract, I have ventured to offer my sentiments in the Life of the Author. In other respects, though not slow in perceiving and avouching his own merit, our author seems to consider the "Rival Ladies" as no very successful dramatic effort.

The "Rival Ladies" is supposed to have been first acted in 1663, and was certainly published in the year following. Of its success we know nothing particular. It is probable, the flowing verse, into which some part of the dialogue is thrown, with the strong point and antithesis, which distinguishes Dryden's works, and particularly his argumentative poetry, tended to redeem the credit of the author of the "Wild Gallant."


[Footnote 1: This distinguished person was fifth son of Richard Boyle, known by the title of the great Earl of Cork. His first title was Lord Broghill, under which he distinguished himself in Ireland. Cromwell, although his lordship was a noted royalist, and in actual correspondence with the exiled monarch, had so much confidence in his honour and talents, that he almost compelled him to act as lord lieutenant of that kingdom, under the stipulation that he was to come under no oaths, and only to act against the rebel Irish, then the common enemy. He was instrumental in the restoration, and created earl of Orrery by Charles II, in 1660, He deserved Dryden's panegyric in every respect, except as a poet—the very character, however, in which he is most complimented, and perhaps was best pleased to be so. He wrote, 1st, The Art of War—2d, Parthenissa, a romance—3d, Some Poems—4th; Eight Plays—5th, State Tracts.]

My Lord,

This worthless present was designed you long before it was a play; when it was only a confused mass of thoughts, tumbling over one another in the dark; when the fancy was yet in its first work, moving the sleeping images of things towards the light, there to be distinguished, and then either chosen or rejected by the judgment; it was yours, my lord, before I could call it mine. And, I confess, in that first tumult of my thoughts, there appeared a disorderly kind of beauty in some of them, which gave me hope, something, worthy my lord of Orrery, might be drawn from them: But I was then in that eagerness of imagination, which, by overpleasing fanciful men, flatters them into the danger of writing; so that, when I had moulded it into that shape it now bears, I looked with such disgust upon it, that the censures of our severest critics are charitable to what I thought (and still think) of it myself: It is so far from me to believe this perfect, that I am apt to conclude our best plays are scarcely so; for the stage being the representation of the world, and the actions in it, how can it be imagined, that the picture of human life can be more exact than life itself is? He may be allowed sometimes to err, who undertakes to move so many characters and humours, as are requisite in a play, in those narrow channels which are proper to each of them; to conduct his imaginary persons through so many various intrigues and chances, as the labouring audience shall think them lost under every billow; and then, at length, to work them so naturally out of their distresses, that, when the whole plot is laid open, the spectators may rest satisfied, that every cause was powerful enough to produce the effect it had; and that the whole chain of them was with such due order linked together, that the first accident would naturally beget the second, till they all rendered the conclusion necessary.

These difficulties, my lord, may reasonably excuse the errors of my undertaking; but for this confidence of my dedication, I have an argument, which is too advantageous for me not to publish it to the world. It is the kindness your lordship has continually shown to all my writings. You have been pleased, my lord, they should sometimes cross the Irish seas, to kiss your hands; which passage (contrary to the experience of others) I have found the least dangerous in the world. Your favour has shone upon me at a remote distance, without the least knowledge of my person; and (like the influence of the heavenly bodies) you have done good, without knowing to whom you did it. It is this virtue in your lordship, which emboldens me to this attempt; for, did I not consider you as my patron, I have little reason to desire you for my judge; and should appear with as much awe before you in the reading, as I had when the full theatre sat upon the action. For, who could so severely judge of faults as he, who has given testimony he commits none? Your excellent poems have afforded that knowledge of it to the world, that your enemies are ready to upbraid you with it, as a crime for a man of business to write so well. Neither durst I have justified your lordship in it, if examples of it had not been in the world before you; if Xenophon had not written a romance, and a certain Roman, called Augustus Caesar, a tragedy, and epigrams. But their writing was the entertainment of their pleasure; yours is only a diversion of your pain. The muses have seldom employed your thoughts, but when some violent fit of the gout has snatched you from affairs of state; and, like the priestess of Apollo, you never come to deliver his oracles, but unwillingly, and in torment. So that we are obliged to your lordship's misery for our delight: You treat us with the cruel pleasure of a Turkish triumph, where those, who cut and wound their bodies, sing songs of victory as they pass, and divert others with their own sufferings. Other men endure their diseases; your lordship only can enjoy them. Plotting and writing in this kind are certainly more troublesome employments than many which signify more, and are of greater moment in the world: The fancy, memory, and judgment, are then extended (like so many limbs) upon the rack; all of them reaching with their utmost stress at nature; a thing so almost infinite and boundless, as can never fully be comprehended, but where the images of all things are always present. Yet I wonder not your lordship succeeds so well in this attempt; the knowledge of men is your daily practice in the world; to work and bend their stubborn minds, which go not all after the same grain, but each of them so particular a way, that the same common humours, in several persons, must be wrought upon by several means. Thus, my lord, your sickness is but the imitation of your health; the poet but subordinate to the statesman in you; you still govern men with the same address, and manage business with the same prudence; allowing it here (as in the world) the due increase and growth, till it comes to the just height; and then turning it when it is fully ripe, and nature calls out, as it were, to be delivered. With this only advantage of ease to you in your poetry, that you have fortune here at your command; with which wisdom does often unsuccessfully struggle in the world. Here is no chance, which you have not foreseen; all your heroes are more than your subjects, they are your creatures; and though they seem to move freely in all the sallies of their passions, yet you make destinies for them, which they cannot shun. They are moved (if I may dare to say so) like the rational creatures of the Almighty Poet, who walk at liberty, in their own opinion, because their fetters are invisible; when, indeed, the prison of their will is the more sure for being large; and, instead of an absolute power over their actions, they have only a wretched desire of doing that, which they cannot chuse but do[1].

[Footnote 1: The earl of Orrery was author of several plays. If the reader is not disposed to admit, that his habit of composing them, when tormented by the gout, enhanced their value, it may be allowed to apologise for their faults.]

I have dwelt, my lord, thus long upon your writing, not because you deserve not greater and more noble commendations, but because I am not equally able to express them in other subjects. Like an ill swimmer, I have willingly staid long in my own depth; and though I am eager of performing more, yet am loth to venture out beyond my knowledge: for beyond your poetry, my lord, all is ocean to me. To speak of you as a soldier, or a statesman, were only to betray my own ignorance; and I could hope no better success from it, than that miserable rhetorician had, who solemnly declaimed before Hannibal, of the conduct of armies, and the art of war. I can only say, in general, that the souls of other men shine out at little crannies; they understand some one thing, perhaps, to admiration, while they are darkened on all the other parts; but your lordship's soul is an entire globe of light, breaking out on every side; and, if I have only discovered one beam of it, it is not that the light falls unequally, but because the body, which receives it, is of unequal parts.

The acknowledgment of which is a fair occasion offered me, to retire from the consideration of your lordship to that of myself. I here present you, my lord, with that in print, which you had the goodness not to dislike upon the stage; and account it happy to have met you here in England; it being, at best, like small wines, to be drunk out upon the place, and has not body enough to endure the sea.

I know not whether I have been so careful of the plot and language as I ought; but, for the latter, I have endeavoured to write English, as near as I could distinguish it from the tongue of pedants, and that of affected travellers. Only I am sorry, that (speaking so noble a language as we do) we have not a more certain measure of it, as they have in France, where they have an academy erected for that purpose, and endowed with large privileges by the present king. I wish we might at length leave to borrow words from other nations, which is now a wantonness in us, not a necessity; but so long as some affect to speak them, there will not want others, who will have the boldness to write them.

But I fear, lest, defending the received words, I shall be accused for following the new way, I mean, of writing scenes in verse. Though, to speak properly, it is not so much a new way amongst us, as an old way new revived; for, many years before Shakspeare's plays, was the tragedy of Queen Gorboduc, in English verse, written by that famous Lord Buckhurst, afterwards earl of Dorset, and progenitor to that excellent person, who (as he inherits his soul and title) I wish may inherit his good fortune[1]. But, supposing our countrymen had not received this writing till of late; shall we oppose ourselves to the most polished and civilised nations of Europe? Shall we, with the same singularity, oppose the world in this, as most of us do in pronouncing Latin? Or do we desire that the brand, which Barclay has (I hope unjustly) laid upon the English, should still continue? Angli suos ac sua omnia impense mirantur; caeteras nationes despectui habent. All the Spanish and Italian tragedies, I have yet seen, are writ in rhyme. For the French, I do not name them, because it is the fate of our countrymen to admit little of theirs among us, but the basest of their men, the extravagancies of their fashions, and the frippery of their merchandise. Shakspeare (who, with some errors not to be avoided in that age, had undoubtedly a larger soul of poesy than ever any of our nation) was the first who, to shun the pains of continual rhyming, invented[A] that kind of writing which we call blank verse, but the French, more properly, prose mesuré; into which the English tongue so naturally slides, that, in writing prose, it is hardly to be avoided. And therefore, I admire some men should perpetually stumble in a way so easy, and, inverting the order of their words, constantly close their lines with verbs, which, though commended sometimes in writing Latin, yet we were whipt at Westminster if we used it twice together. I knew some, who, if they were to write in blank verse, Sir, I ask your pardon, would think it sounded more heroically to write, Sir, I your pardon ask. I should judge him to have little command of English, whom the necessity of a rhyme should force often upon this rock; though sometimes it cannot easily be avoided; and indeed this is the only inconvenience with which rhyme can be charged. This is that which makes them say, rhyme is not natural; it being only so, when the poet either makes a vicious choice of words, or places them, for rhyme sake, so unnaturally as no man would in ordinary speaking; but when it is so judiciously ordered, that the first word in the verse seems to beget the second, and that the next, till that becomes the last word in the line, which, in the negligence of prose, would be so; it must then be granted, rhyme has all the advantages of prose, besides its own. But the excellence and dignity of it were never fully known till Mr Waller taught it; he first made writing easily an art; first shewed us to conclude the sense, most commonly in distichs, which, in the verse of those before him, runs on for so many lines together, that the reader is out of breath to overtake it. This sweetness of Mr Waller's lyric poesy was afterwards followed in the epic by Sir John Denham, in his Cooper's-Hill, a poem which, your Lordship knows, for the majesty of the style, is, and ever will be, the exact standard of good writing. But if we owe the invention of it to Mr Waller, we are acknowledging for the noblest use of it to Sir William D'Avenant, who at once brought it upon the stage, and made it perfect, in the Siege of Rhodes.

[Footnote 1: The tragedy of Ferrex and Perrex (which is the proper title) was written by Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, afterwards earl of Dorset, and Thomas Norton, a barrister at law. In Sackville's part of the play, which comprehends the two last acts, there is some poetry worthy of the author of the sublime Introduction to the Mirror of Magistrates. While both the authors were out of England, one William Griffiths published a spurious copy, under the title of Gorboduc, the name of one of the principal personages, who is not, however, queen, but king, of England, But, what was a wider mistake, considering Dryden's purpose of mentioning the work, it is not written in rhyme, but in blank verse, excepting the choruses, which are in stanzas of six lines. The name of the queen is Videna. Sir Philip Sydney says, "Gorboduc is full of stately speeches and well sounding phrases, climbing up to the height of Seneca his style, and as full of notable morality, which it doth most delightfully teach, and thereby obtain the very end of poetry."]

[Footnote A: This is a mistake. Marlow, and several other dramatic authors, used blank verse before the days of Shakspeare.]

The advantages which rhyme has over blank verse are so many, that it were lost time to name them. Sir Philip Sidney, in his Defence of Poesy, gives us one, which, in my opinion, is not the least considerable; I mean the help it brings to memory, which rhyme so knits up, by the affinity of sounds, that, by remembering the last word in one line, we often call to mind both the verses. Then, in the quickness of repartees (which in discoursive scenes fall very often), it has so particular a grace, and is so aptly suited to them, that the sudden smartness of the answer, and the sweetness of the rhyme, set off the beauty of each other. But that benefit which I consider most in it, because I have not seldom found it, is, that it bounds and circumscribes the fancy. For imagination in a poet is a faculty so wild and lawless, that, like an high-ranging spaniel, it must have clogs tied to it, lest it out-run the judgment. The great easiness of blank verse renders the poet too luxuriant; he is tempted to say many things, which might better be omitted, or at least shut up in fewer words; but when the difficulty of artful rhyming is interposed, where the poet commonly confines his sense to his couplet, and must contrive that sense into such words, that the rhyme shall naturally follow them, not they the rhyme; the fancy then gives leisure to the judgment to come in, which, seeing so heavy a tax imposed, is ready to cut off all unnecessary expences. This last consideration has already answered an objection which some have made, that rhyme is only an embroidery of sense, to make that, which is ordinary in itself, pass for excellent with less examination. But certainly, that, which most regulates the fancy, and gives the judgment its busiest employment, is like to bring forth the richest and clearest thoughts. The poet examines that most, which he produceth with the greatest leisure, and which, he knows, must pass the severest test of the audience, because they are aptest to have it ever in their memory; as the stomach makes the best concoction, when it strictly embraces the nourishment, and takes account of every little particle as it passes through. But, as the best medicines may lose their virtue, by being ill applied, so is it with verse, if a fit subject be not chosen for it. Neither must the argument alone, but the characters and persons, be great and noble; otherwise, (as Scaliger says of Claudian) the poet will be ignobitiore materiâ depressus. The scenes, which, in my opinion, most commend it, are those of argumentation and discourse, on the result of which the doing or not doing some considerable action should depend.

But, my lord, though I have more to say upon this subject, yet I must remember, it is your lordship to whom I speak; who have much better commended this way by your writing in it, than I can do by writing for it. Where my reasons cannot prevail, I am sure your lordship's example must. Your rhetoric has gained my cause; at least the greatest part of my design has already succeeded to my wish, which was to interest so noble a person in the quarrel, and withal to testify to the world how happy I esteem myself in the honour of being,


Your Lordship's most humble, and most obedient servant, JOHN DRYDEN.


'Tis much desired, you judges of the town
Would pass a vote to put all prologues down;
For who can show me, since they first were writ,
They e'er converted one hard-hearted wit?
Yet the world's mended well; in former days
Good prologues were as scarce as now good plays.
For the reforming poets of our age,
In this first charge, spend their poetic rage:
Expect no more when once the prologue's done;
The wit is ended ere the play's begun.
You now have habits, dances, scenes, and rhymes;
High language often; ay, and sense, sometimes.
As for a clear contrivance, doubt it not;
They blow out candles to give light to th' plot.
And for surprise, two bloody-minded men
Fight till they die, then rise and dance again.
Such deep intrigues you're welcome to this day:
But blame yourselves, not him who writ the play;
Though his plot's dull, as can be well desired,
Wit stiff as any you have e'er admired:
He's bound to please, not to write well; and knows,
There is a mode in plays as well as clothes;
Therefore, kind judges—

Second Prologue enters.

2.—Hold; would you admit For judges all you see within the pit?

1. Whom would he then except, or on what score?

2. All, who (like him) have writ ill plays before;
For they, like thieves condemned, are hangmen made,
To execute the members of their trade.
All that are writing now he would disown,
But then he must except—even all the town;
All cholerick, losing gamesters, who, in spite,
Will damn to day, because they lost last night;
All servants, whom their mistress' scorn upbraids;
All maudlin lovers, and all slighted maids;
All, who are out of humour, or severe;
All, that want wit, or hope to find it here.


DON GONSALVO DE PERALTA, a young gentleman newly arrived from the
Indies, in love with
DON RODORIGO DE SYLVA, in love with the same lady.

JULIA, elder sister to DON MANUEL, promised to RODORIGO. HONORIA, younger sister to DON MANUEL, disguised in the habit of a man, and going by the name of HIPPOLITO, in love with GONSALVO. ANGELINA, sister to DON RODORIGO, in man's habit, likewise in love with GONSALVO, and going by the name of AMIDEO.

Servants, Robbers, Seamen, and Masquers.




Enter GONSALVO and a Servant.

Gon. Nay, 'twas a strange as well as cruel storm,
To take us almost in the port of Sevile,
And drive us up as far as Barcelona;
The whole plate fleet was scattered, some part wrecked;
There one might see the sailors diligent
To cast o'erboard the merchant's envied wealth,
While he, all pale and dying, stood in doubt,
Whether to ease the burden of the ship,
By drowning of his ingots, or himself.

Serv. Fortune, sir, is a woman everywhere, But most upon the sea.

Gons. Had that been all,
I should not have complained; but, ere we could
Repair our ship, to drive us back again,
Was such a cruelty—

Serv. Yet that short time you staid at Barcelona You husbanded so well, I think you left A mistress there.

Gons. I made some small essays
Of love; what might have been I cannot tell:
But, to leave that, upon what part of Spain
Are we now cast?

Serv. Sir, I take that city to be Alicant.

Gons. Some days must of necessity be spent In looking to our ship; then back again For Sevile.

Serv. There you're sure you shall be welcome.

Gons. Aye, if my brother Rodoric be returned From Flanders; but 'tis now three years since I Have heard from him, and, since I saw him, twelve.

Serv. Your growth, and your long absence in the Indies, Have altered you so much, he'll scarcely know you.

Gons. I'm sure I should not him, and less my sister;
Who, when I with my uncle went this voyage,
Was then one of those little prating girls,
Of whom fond parents tell such tedious stories:
Well, go you back.

Serv. I go, sir.

Gons. And take care None of the seamen slip ashore.

Serv. I shall, sir. [Exit Servant.

Gons. I'll walk a little while among these trees,
Now the fresh evening air blows from the hills,
And breathes the sweetness of the orange flowers
Upon me, from the gardens hear the city.

Robbers within.

1 Rob. I say, make sure, and kill him.

Hip. For heaven's dear sake have pity on my youth.


Gons. Some violence is offered in the wood
By robbers to a traveller: Whoe'er
Thou art, humanity obliges me
To give thee succour.

Hip. Help! ah cruel men! [Within.

Gons. This way, I think, the voice came; 'tis not far. [Exit.

The SCENE draws, and discovers HIPPOLITO bound to a tree, and two Robbers by him with drawn swords.

2 Rob. Strip him, and let him go.

1 Rob. Dispatch him quite; off with his doublet quickly.

Hip. Ah me, unfortunate!

Enter GONSALVO, seizes the sword of one of them, and runs him through; then, after a little resistance, disarms the other.

2 Rob. If you have mercy in you, spare my life;
I never was consenting to a deed
So black as murder, though my fellow urged me:
I only meant to rob, and I am punished
Enough, in missing of my wicked aim.

Gons. Do they rob angels here? This sweet youth has
A face so like one, which I lately saw,
It makes your crime of kin to sacrilege:
But live; and henceforth
Take nobler courses to maintain your life:
Here's something that will rescue you from want,
'Till you can find employment.
[Gives him gold, and unbinds HIPPOLITO.

Hip. What strange adventure's this! How little hoped I, When thus disguised I stole from Barcelona, To be relieved by brave Gonsalvo here? [Aside.

2 Rob. That life, you have preserved, shall still be yours;
And that you may perceive, how much my nature
Is wrought upon by this your generous act,
That goodness, you have shown to me, I'll use
To others for your sake, if you dare trust me
A moment from your sight.

Gons. Nay, take your sword;
I will not so much crush a budding virtue,
As to suspect. [Gives him his sword. Exit Robber.
—Sweet youth, you shall not leave me,
Till I have seen you safe.

Hip. You need not doubt it:
Alas! I find I cannot, if I would:
I am but freed to be a greater slave: [Aside.
How much am I obliged, sir, to your valour!

Gons. Rather to your own sweetness, pretty youth;
You must have been some way preserved, though I
Had not been near; my aid did but prevent
Some miracle more slowly setting out
To save such excellence.

Hip. How much more gladly could I hear those words, If he, that spoke them, knew he spoke to me! [Aside.

Enter the Robber again with Don MANUEL, and JULIA, bound.

My brother and my sister prisoners too!
They cannot sure discover me through this
Disguise; however, I'll not venture it.
 [Steps behind the trees.

2 Rob. This gentleman and lady [To GONS. privately. My fellows bound. [Exit Robber.

Man. We must prepare to die; This is the captain of the Picarons.

Jul. Methinks he looks like one; I have a strange Aversion to that man; he's fatal to me.

Gons. I ne'er saw excellence in womankind [Stares on her. Till now, and yet discern it at the first: Perfection is discovered in a moment; He, that ne'er saw the sun before, yet knows him.

Jul. How the villain stares upon me!

Gons. Wonder prepares my soul, and then love enters: But wonder is so close pursued by love, That, like a fire, it warms as soon as born.

Man. If we must die, what need these circumstances?

Jul. Heaven defend me from him!

Gons. Why, madam, can you doubt a rudeness from me?
Your very fears and griefs create an awe,
Such majesty they bear; methinks, I see
Your soul retired within her inmost chamber.
Like a fair mourner sit in state, with all
The silent pomp of sorrow round about her.

Man. Your language does express a man, bred up To worthier ways than those you follow now.

Gons. What does he mean? [Aside.

Man. If (as it seems) you love; love is a passion,
Which kindles honour into noble acts:
Restore my sister's liberty; oblige her,
And see what gratitude will work.

Gons. All this is stranger yet.

Man. Whate'er a brother's power To-morrow can do for you, claim it boldly.

Gons. I know not why you think yourselves my prisoners;
This lady's freedom is a thing too precious
To be disposed by any but herself:
But value this small service as you please,
Which you reward too prodigally, by
Permitting me to pay her more.

Jul. Love from an outlaw? from a villain, love?
If I have that power on thee, thou pretend'st,
Go and pursue thy mischiefs, but presume not
To follow me:—Come, brother. [Ex. Jul. and Man.

Gons. Those foul names of outlaw and of villain
I never did deserve: They raise my wonder. [Walks.
Dull that I was, not to find this before!
She took me for the captain of the robbers;
It must be so; I'll tell her her mistake.

[Goes out hastily, and returns immediately.

She's gone, she's gone, and who or whence she is
I cannot tell; methinks, she should have left
A track so bright, I might have followed her;
Like setting suns, that vanish in a glory.
O villain that I am! O hated villain!

Enter HIPPOLITO again.

Hip. I cannot suffer you to wrong yourself
So much; for, though I do not know your person,
Your actions are too fair, too noble, sir,
To merit that foul name.

Gons. Pr'ythee, do not flatter me; I am a villain; That admirable lady said I was.

Hip. I fear, you love her, sir.

Gons. No, no, not love her:
Love is the name of some more gentle passion;
Mine is a fury, grown up in a moment
To an extremity, and lasting in it;
An heap of powder set on fire, and burning
As long as any ordinary fuel.

Hip. How could he love so soon? and yet, alas!
What cause have I to ask that question,
Who loved him the first minute that I saw him?
I cannot leave him thus, though I perceive
His heart engaged another way. [Aside.

Sir, can you have such pity on my youth, [To Him.
On my forsaken and my helpless youth,
To take me to your service?

Gons. Would'st thou serve
A madman? how can he take care of thee,
Whom fortune and his reason have abandoned?
A man, that saw, and loved, and disobliged,
Is banished, and is mad, all in a moment.

Hip. Yet you alone have title to my service; You make me yours by your preserving me: And that's the title heaven has to mankind.

Gons. Pr'ythee, no more.

Hip. I know your mistress too.

Gons. Ha! dost thou know the person I adore? Answer me quickly; speak, and I'll receive thee: Hast thou no tongue?

Hip. Why did I say I knew her? All I can hope for, if I have my wish To live with him, is but to be unhappy. [Aside.

Gons. Thou false and lying boy, to say thou knew'st her; Pr'ythee, say something, though thou cozen'st me.

Hip. Since you will know, her name is Julia, sir, And that young gentleman you saw, her brother, Don Manuel de Torres.

Gons. Say I should take thee, boy, and should employ thee To that fair lady, would'st thou serve me faithfully?

Hip. You ask me an hard question: I can die For you; perhaps I cannot woo so well.

Gons. I knew thou would'st not do't.

Hip. I swear I would:
But, sir, I grieve to be the messenger
Of more unhappy news; she must be married
This day to one Don Roderick de Sylva,
Betwixt whom and her brother there has been.
A long (and it was thought a mortal) quarrel,
But now it must for ever end in peace:
For, happening both to love each others sisters,
They have concluded it in a cross marriage;
Which, in the palace of Don Rodorick,
They went to celebrate from their countryhouse,
When, taken by the thieves, you rescued them.

Gons. Methinks I am grown patient on a sudden,
And all my rage is gone: like losing gamesters,
Who fret and storm, and swear at little losses;
But, when they see all hope of fortune vanished,
Submit, and gain a temper by their ruin.

Hip. Would you could cast this love, which troubles you, Out of your mind!

Gons. I cannot, boy; but since
Her brother, with intent to cozen me,
Made me the promise of his best assistance,
I'll take some course to be revenged of him.

[Is going out.

But stay—I charge thee, boy, discover not
To any, who I am.

Hip. Alas, I cannot, sir; I know you not.

Gons. Why, there's it; I am mad again; Oh love!

Hip. Oh love! [Exeunt.


Enter two Servants of Don RODORICK'S, placing chairs, and talking as they place them.

1 Serv. Make ready quickly there; Don Manuel And his fair sister, that must be our lady, Are coming in.

2 Serv. They have been long expected; 'Tis evening now, and the canonic hours For marriage are past.

1 Serv. The nearer bedtime,
The better still; my lord will not defer it:
He swears, the clergy are no fit judges
Of our necessities.

2 Serv. Where is my lord?

1 Serv. Gone out to meet his bride.

2 Serv. I wonder that my lady Angelina Went not with him; she's to be married too.

1 Serv. I do not think she fancies much the man:
Only, to make the reconcilement perfect
Betwixt the families, she's passive in it;
The choice being but her brother's, not her own.

2 Serv. Troth, were't my case, I cared not who chose for me.

1 Serv. Nor I; 'twould save the process of a tedious
A long law-suit of love, which quite consumes
An honest lover, ere he gets possession:
I would come plump, and fresh, and all my self,
Served up to my bride's bed like a fat fowl,
Before the frost of love had nipped me through.
I look on wives as on good dull companions,
For elder brothers to sleep out their time with;
All, we can hope for in the marriage-bed,
Is but to take our rest; and what care I,
Who lays my pillow for me?

Enter a Poet with verses.

1 Serv. Now, what's your business, friend?

Poet. An epithalamium, to the noble bridegrooms.

1 Serv. Let me see; what's here? as I live,
 [Takes it.
Nothing but downright bawdry: Sirrah, rascal,
Is this an age for ribaldry in verse;
When every gentleman in town speaks it
With so much better grace, than thou canst write it?
I'll beat thee with a stave of thy own rhymes.

Poet. Nay, good sir—[Runs off, and Exit.

2 Serv. Peace, they are here.

[Enter Don RODORICK, Don MANUEL, JULIA, and Company.

1 Serv. My lord looks sullenly, and fain would hide it.

2 Serv. Howe'er he weds Don Manuel's sister, yet I fear he's hardly reconciled to him.

Jul. I tremble at it still.

Rod. I must confess
Your danger great; but, madam, since 'tis past,
To speak of it were to renew your fears.
My noble brother, welcome to my breast.
Some, call my sister; say, Don Manuel,
Her bridegroom, waits.

Man. Tell her, in both the houses There now remains no enemy but she.

Rod. In the mean time let's dance; madam, I hope You'll grace me with your hand.—

[Enter LEONORA, woman to ANGELINA; takes the two men aside.

Leon. O sir, my lady Angelina—

Rod. Why comes she not?

Leon. Is fallen extremely sick.

Both. How?

Leon. Nay, trouble not yourselves too much; These fits are usual with her, and not dangerous.

Rod. O rarely counterfeited. [Aside.

Man. May not I see her?

Leon. She does, by me, deny herself that honour. [As she speaks, steals a note into his hand. I shall return, I hope, with better news; In the mean time she prays, you'll not disturb The company. [_Exit _LEONORA.

Rod. This troubles me exceedingly.

Man. A note put privately into my hand By Angelina's woman? She's my creature: There's something in't; I'll read it to myself.— [Aside.

Rod. Brother, what paper's that?

Man. Some begging verses, Delivered me this morning on my wedding.

Rod. Pray, let me see them.

Man. I have many copies, Please you to entertain yourself with these. [Gives him another paper. MANUEL reads.

My lady feigns this sickness to delude you:
Her brother hates you still; and the plot is,
That he shall marry first your sister,
And then deny you his



Since I writ this, I have so wrought upon her,
(Who, of herself, is timorous enough)
That she believes her brother will betray her,
Or else be forced to give her up to you;
Therefore, unknown to him, she means to fly:
Come to the garden door at seven this evening,
And there you may surprise her; mean time, I
Will keep her ignorant of all things, that
Her fear may still increase

Enter LEONORA again.

Rod. How now? How does your lady?

Leon. So ill, she cannot possibly wait on you.

Man. Kind heaven, give me her sickness!

Rod. Those are wishes: What's to be done?

Man. We must defer our marriages.

Rod. Leonora, now! [Aside to her

Leon. My lady, sir, has absolutely charged, Her brother's should go forward.

Rod. Absolutely!

Leon. Expressly, sir; because, she says, there are
So many honourable persons here,
Whom to defraud of their intended mirth,
And of each others company, were rude:
So, hoping your excuse—[Exit LEONORA.

Rod. That privilege of power, which brothers have
In Spain, I never used, therefore submit
My will to hers; but with much sorrow, sir,
My happiness should go before, not wait
On yours: Lead on.

Man. Stay, sir; though your fair sister, in respect
To this assembly, seems to be content
Your marriage should proceed, we must not want
So much good manners as to suffer it.

Rod. So much good manners, brother?

Man.—I have said it.
Should we, to show our sorrow for her sickness,
Provoke our easy souls to careless mirth,
As if our drunken revels were designed
For joy of what she suffers?

Rod. 'Twill be over In a few days.

Man. Your stay will be the less.

Rod. All things are now in readiness, and must not Be put off, for a peevish humour thus.

Man. They must; or I shall think you mean not fairly.

Rod. Explain yourself.

Man. That you would marry first, And afterwards refuse me Angelina.

Rod.—Think so.

Man. You are—

Rod. Speak softly.

Man. A foul villain.

Rod. Then—

Man. Speak softly.

Rod. I'll find a time to tell you, you are one.

Man. 'Tis well.
Ladies, you wonder at our private whispers,
 [To the company.
But more will wonder when you know the cause;
The beauteous Angelina is fallen ill;
And, since she cannot with her presence grace
This day's solemnity, the noble Roderick
Thinks fit it be deferred, 'till she recover;
Then, we both hope to have your companies.

Lad. Wishing her health, we take our leaves. [Exeunt company. Rod. Your sister yet will marry me.

Man. She will not: Come hither, Julia.

Jul. What strange afflicting news is this you tell us?

Man. 'Twas all this false man's plot, that when he had Possest you, he might cheat me of his sister.

Jul. Is this true, Roderick?—Alas, his silence
Does but too much confess it: How I blush
To own that love, I cannot yet take from thee!
Yet for my sake be friends.

Man. 'Tis now too late: I am by honour hindered.

Rod. I by hate.

Jul. What shall I do?

Man. Leave him, and come away; Thy virtue bids thee.

Jul. But love bids me stay.

Man. Her love's so like my own, that I should blame
The brother's passion in the sister's flame.
Rodorick, we shall meet.—He little thinks
I am as sure this night of Angelina,
As he of Julia. [Aside. Exit MANUEL.

Rod. Madam, to what an ecstasy of joy Your goodness raises me! this was an act Of kindness, which no service e'er can pay.

Jul. Yes, Rodorick, 'tis in your power to quit The debt you owe me.

Rod. Do but name the way.

Jul. Then briefly thus; 'tis to be just to me, As I have been to you.

Rod. You cannot doubt it.

Jul. You know I have adventured, for your sake,
A brother's anger, and the world's opinion:
I value neither; for a settled virtue
Makes itself judge, and, satisfied within,
Smiles at that common enemy, the world.
I am no more afraid of flying censures,
Than heaven of being fired with mounting sparkles.

Rod. But wherein must my gratitude consist?

Jul. Answer yourself, by thinking what is fit For me to do.

Rod. By marriage, to confirm Our mutual love.

Jul. Ungrateful Rodorick! Canst thou name marriage, while thou entertain'st A hatred so unjust against my brother?

Rod. But, unkind Julia, you know the causes Of love and hate are hid deep in our stars, And none but heaven can give account of both.

Jul. Too well I know it: for my love to thee
Is born by inclination, not by judgment;
And makes my virtue shrink within my heart,
As loth to leave it, and as loth to mingle.

Rod. What would you have me do?

Jul. Since I must tell thee,
Lead me to some near monastery; there
(Till heaven find out some way to make us happy)
I shall be kept in safety from my brother.

Rod. But more from me; what hopes can Rodorick
That she, who leaves him freely, and unforced,
Should ever of her own accord return?

Jul. Thou hast too great assurance of my faith,
That, in despite of my own self, I love thee.
Be friends with Manuel, I am thine; 'till when
My honour's. Lead me.


SCENE III.—The representation of a Street discovered by twilight.

Enter Don MANUEL, solus.

Man. This is the time and place, where I expect
My fugitive mistress; if I meet with her,
I may forget the wrongs, her brother did me;
If otherwise, his blood shall expiate them.
I hope her woman keeps her ignorant
How all things passed, according to her promise.

A door opens,—Enter ANGELINA in boy's clothes. LEONORA behind at the door.

Leon. I had forgot to tell him of this habit She has put on; but sure he'll know her in it.


Man. Who goes there?

Ang. 'Tis Don Manuel's voice; I must run back: The door shut on me?—Leonora! where?—Does she not follow me? I am betrayed.

Man. What are you?

Ang. A poor boy.

Man. Do you belong to Rodorick?

Ang. Yes, I do.

Man. Here's money for you; tell me where's his sister?

Ang. Just now I met her coming down the stairs, Which lead into the garden.

Man. 'Tis well; leave me In silence.

Ang. With all my heart; was ever such a 'scape? [Exit running.

Man. She cannot now be long; sure by the moons shine I shall discover her:


This must be she; I'll seize her.

Jul. Help me, Roderick.

Rod. Unhand the lady, villain.

Man. Roderick! I'm glad we meet alone; now is the time To end our difference.

Rod. I cannot stay.

Man. You must.

Rod. I will not.

Man. 'Tis base to injure any man; but yet Tis far more base, once done, not to defend it.

Rod. Is this an hour, for valiant men to fight?
They love the sun should witness what they do;
Cowards have courage, when they see not death;
And fearful hares, that sculk in forms all day,
Yet fight their feeble quarrels by the moonlight.

Man. No; light and darkness are but poor distinctions Of such, whose courage comes by fits and starts.

Rod. Thou urgest me above my patience; This minute of my life was not my own, But hers, I love beyond it. [They draw, and fight.

Jul. Help, help! none hear me! Heaven, I think, is deaf too: O Roderick! O brother!


Jul. Whoe'er you are, if you have honour, part them! [MANUEL stumbles, and falls.

Gons. Hold, sir, you are too cruel; he, that kills At such advantage, fears to fight again.


Man. Cavalier, I may live to thank you for this favour. [Rises.

Rod. I will not quit you so.

Man. I'll breathe, and then—

Jul. Is there no way to save their lives?

Hip. Run out of sight, If 'tis concerning you they quarrel.

[JULIA retires to a corner.

Hip. Help, help, as you are cavaliers; the lady. For whom you thus contend, is seized by some Night-robbing villains.

All. Which way took they?

Hip. 'Twas so dark I could not see distinctly.

Rod. Let us divide; I this way. [Exit.

Gons. Down yonder street I'll take.

Man. And I down that. [Exeunt severally.

Hip. Now, madam, may we not lay by our fear? They are all gone.

Jul. Tis true; but we are here, Exposed to darkness, without guide or aid, But of ourselves.

Hip. And of ourselves afraid.

Jul. These dangers, while 'twas light, I could
Then I was bold, but watched by many eyes:
Ah! could not heaven for lovers find a way,
That prying people still might sleep by day?


Hip. Methinks I'm certain I discover some.

Jul. This was your speaking of them, made them come.

Hip. There is but one, perhaps he may go by.

Ang. Where had I courage for this bold disguise,
Which more my nature than my sex belies?
Alas! I am betrayed to darkness here;
Darkness, which virtue hates, and maids most fear:
Silence and solitude dwell every where:
Dogs cease to bark; the waves more faintly roar,
And roll themselves asleep upon the shore:
No noise but what my footsteps make, and they
Sound dreadfully, and louder than by day:
They double too, and every step I take
Sounds thick, methinks, and more than one could
Ha! who are these?
I wished for company, and now I fear.
Who are you, gentle people, that go there?

Jul. His voice is soft as is the upper air,
Or dying lovers' words: O pity us.
Ang. O pity me! take freely as your own
My gold, my jewels; spare my life alone.

Hip. Alas, he fears as much as we.

Jul. What say you, Sir, will you join with us?

Ang. Yes, madam; but If you would take my sword, you'll use it better.

Hip. Ay, but you are a man.

Ang. Why, so are you.

Hip. Truly my fear had made me quite forget it.


Gons. Hippolito! how barbarous was I To leave my boy! Hippolito!

_Hip. _Here, here. Now, madam, fear not, you are safe.

Jul. What is become, sir, of those gentlemen?

Gons. Madam, they all went several ways; not like To meet.

Jul. What will become of me?

Gons. Tis late, And I a stranger in the town; yet all Your dangers shall be mine.

Jul. You're noble, sir.

Gons. I'll pawn the hopes of all my love, to see You safe.

Jul. Whoe'er your mistress be, she has My curses, if she prove not kind.

Ang. And mine.

Hip. My sister will repent her, when she knows
For whom she makes that wish; but I'll say nothing,
Till day discovers it. [Aside.] A door opens;
I hope it is some inn.

[A door opens, at which a Servant appears.

Ang. Friend, can you lodge us here?

Serv. Yes, friend, we can.

Jul. How shall we be disposed?

Serv. As nature would;
The gentleman and you: I have a rule,
That, when a man and woman ask for lodging,
They are ever husband and wife.

Jul. Rude and unmannered!

Gons. Sir, this lady must be lodged apart.

Serv. Then the two boys, that are good for nothing But one another, they shall go together.

Ang. Lie with a man! sweet heaven defend me!

Hip. Alas, friend, I ever lie alone.

Serv. Then to save trouble, sir, because 'tis late, One of the youths shall be disposed with you.

Ang. Who, I! not for the world.

Hip. Neither of us; for, though I would not lodge with you Myself, I never can endure he should.

Ang. Why then, to end the difference, if you please. I and that lady will be bed-fellows.

Hip. No, she and I will lodge together rather.

Serv. You are sweet youths indeed; not for the world You would not lodge with men! none but the lady Would serve your turn.

Aug. Alas, I had forgot I am a boy; I am so lately one. [Aside.

Serv. Well, well; all shall be lodged apart.

Gons. to Hip. I did not think you harboured wanton thoughts; So young, so bad?

Hip. I can make no defence, But must be shamed by my own innocence. [Exeunt.


SCENE I.—A Chamber.

[Enter GONSALVO, HIPPOLITO, and ANGELINA as AMIDEO at a distance.

Gon. Hippolito, what is this pretty youth, That follows us?

Hip. I know not much of him:
Handsome you see, and of graceful fashion;
Of noble blood, he says, and I believe him;
But in some deep distress; he'll tell no more,
And I could cry for that, which he has told.
So much I pity him.

Gon. My pretty youth, Would I could do thee any service.

Ang. Sir, The greatest you can do me, is accepting mine.

Hip. How's this? methinks already I begin
To hate this boy, whom but even now I moaned,
You serve my master? Do you think I cannot
Perform all duties of a servant better,
And with more care, than you?

Ang. Better you may,
But never with more care:
Heaven, which is served with angels, yet admits
Poor man to pay his duty, and receives it.

Hip. Mark but, my lord, how ill behaved a youth, How very ugly, what a dwarf he is.

Ang. My lord, I yet am young enough to grow, And 'tis the commendation of a boy, That he is little. [Cries.

Gons. Pr'ythee, do not cry; Hippolito, 'twas but just now you praised him, And are you changed so soon?

Hip. On better view.

Gons. What is your name, sweet heart?

Hip. Sweet heart! since I Have served you, you ne'er called me so.

Ang. O, ever, Ever call me by that kind name; I'll own No other, because I would still have that.

Hip. He told me, sir, his name was Amideo; Pray, call him by't.

Gons. Come, I'll employ you both; Reach me my belt, and help to put it on.

Amid. I run, my lord.

Hip. You run? it is my office.

[They both take it up, and strive for it; HIPPOLITO gets it, and puts it on.

Amid. Look you, my lord, he puts it on so aukwardly; [Crying. The sword does not sit right.

Hip. Why, where's the fault?

Amid. I know not that; but I am sure 'tis wrong.

Gons.The fault is plain, 'tis put on the wrong shoulder.

Hip. That cannot be, I looked on Amideo's, And hung it on that shoulder his is on.

Amid. Then I doubt mine is so.

Gons. It is indeed:
You're both good boys, and both will learn in time.
Hippolito, go you and bring me word,
Whether that lady, we brought in last night,
Be willing to receive a visit from, me.

Hip. Now, Amideo, since you are so forward To do all service, you shall to the lady.

Amid. No, I'll stay with my master, he bid you.

Hip. It mads me to the heart to leave him here:
But I will be revenged. [Aside.
My lord, I beg
You would not trust this boy with any thing
Till my return; pray, know him better first. [Exit.

Gons. 'Twas my unhappiness to meet this lady
Last night; because it ruined my design
Of walking by the house of Roderick:
Who knows but through some window I had spied
Fair Julia's shadow passing by the glass;
Or if some others, I would think it hers;
Or if not any, I would see the place
Where Julia lives. O Heaven, how small a blessing
Will serve to make despairing lovers happy!

Amid. Unhappy Angelina, thou art lost: Thy lord loves Julia. [Aside.


Jul.—Where is thy master?
I long to give him my acknowledgments
For my own safety, and my brother's both.
Ha! Is it he? [Looks.

Gons. Can it be Julia? Could night so far disguise her from my knowledge!

Jul. I would not think thee him, I see thou art: Pr'ythee disown thyself in pity to me: Why should I be obliged by one I hate?

Gons. I could say something in my own defence; But it were half a crime to plead my cause, When you would have me guilty.

Amid. How I fear The sweetness of those words will move her pity! I'm sure they would do mine.

Gons. You took me for a robber, but so far I am from that—

Jul. O, pr'ythee, be one still, That I may know some cause for my aversion.

Gons. I freed you from them, and more gladly did it—

Jul. Be what thou wilt, 'tis now too late to tell me: The blackness of that image, I first fancied, Has so infected me, I still must hate thee.

Hip. Though (if she loves him) all my hopes are ruined,
It makes me mad to see her thus unkind. [Aside.
Madam, what see you in this gentleman,
Deserves your scorn or hatred? love him, or
Expect just Heaven should strangely punish you.

Gons. No more: Whate'er she does is best; and if You would be mine, you must, like me, submit Without dispute.

Hip. How can I love you, sir, and suffer this? She has forgot that, which, last night, you did In her defence.

Jul. O call that night again;
Pitch her with all her darkness round: then set me
In some far desert, hemmed with mountain wolves
To howl about me: This I would endure,
And more, to cancel my obligements to him.

Gons. You owe me nothing, madam; if you do,
I make it void; and only ask your leave
To love you still; for, to be loved again
I never hope;

Jul. If that will clear my debt, enjoy thy wish;
Love me, and long, and desperately love me.
I hope thou wilt, that I may plague thee more:
Mean time, take from me that detested object;
Convey thy much loathed person from my sight.

Gons. Madam, you are obeyed.
Hippolito and Amideo, wait
Upon fair Julia; look upon her for me
With dying eyes, but do not speak one word
In my behalf; for, to disquiet her,
Even happiness itself were bought too dear.

[Goes farther off, towards the end of the stage.

My passion swells too high;
And, like a vessel struggling in a storm,
Requires more hands than one to steer her upright;
I'll find her brother out.

Jul. That boy, I see, he trusts above the other:
He has a strange resemblance with a face
That I have seen, but when, or where, I know not.
I'll watch till they are parted; then, perhaps,
I may corrupt that little one to free me.

[Aside. Exit.

Amid. Sweet Hippolito, let me speak with you.

Hip. What would you with me?

Amid. Nay, you are so fierce;
By all that's good, I love and honour you,
And, would you do but one poor thing I'll ask you,
In all things else you ever shall command me.
Look you, Hippolito, here's gold and jewels;
These may be yours.

Hip. To what end dost thou show These trifles to me? or how cam'st thou by them? Not honestly, I fear.

Amid. I swear I did: And you shall have them; but you always press Before me in my master's service so—

Hip. And always will.

Amid. But, dear Hippolito,
Why will you not give way, that I may be
First in his favour, and be still employed?
Why do you frown? 'tis not for gain I ask it;
Whatever he shall give me shall be yours,
Except it be some toy you would not care for,
Which I should keep for his dear sake, that gave it.

Hip. If thou wouldst offer both the Indies to me,
The eastern quarries, and the western mines,
They should not buy one look, one gentle smile
Of his from me; assure thy soul they should not,
I hate thee so.

Amid. Henceforth I'll hate you worse.
But yet there is a woman whom he loves,
A certain Julia, who will steal his heart
From both of us; we'll join at least against
The common enemy.

Hip. Why does he fear my lord should love a
The passion of this boy is so like mine,
That it amazes me. [Aside.

Enter a Servant.

Serv. Young gentleman, Your master calls for you.

Hip. I'll think upon't—

[Exuent HIPPOLITO and Serv


Jul. Now is the time, he is alone.

Amid. Here comes The saint, my lord adores; love, pardon me The fault, I must commit.

Jul. Fair youth, I am A suitor to you.

Amid. So am I to you.

Jul. You see me here a prisoner.

Amid. My request Is, I may set you free; make haste, sweet madam; Which way would you go?

Jul. To the next Religious house.

Amid. Here through the garden, madam; How I commend your holy resolution! [Exeunt.

Enter DON MANUEL in the street, and a Servant with him.

Man. Angelina fled to a monastery, say you?

Serv. So 'tis given out: I could not see her woman:
But, for your sister, what you heard is true;
I saw her at the inn:
They told me, she was brought in late last night;
By a young cavalier, they showed me there.

Man. This must be he that rescued me: What would I give to see him!

Serv. Fortune is
Obedient to your wishes; he was coming
To find out you; I waited on him to
The turning of the street, and stepped before
To tell you of it.

Man. You o'erjoy me.

Serv. This, sir, is he.

Enter GONSALVO. DON MANUEL is running to embrace him, and stops.

Man.—The captain of the robbers!

Gons. As such, indeed, you promised me your sister.

Man. I promised all the interest I should have; Because I thought, before you came to claim it, A husband's right would take my title from me.

Gons. I come to see if any manly virtue Can dwell with falsehood: Draw, thou'st injured me.

Man. You say already I have done you wrong, And yet would have me right you by a greater.

Gons. Poor abject thing!

Man. Who doubts another's courage
Wants it himself; but I, who know my own,
Will not receive a law from you to fight,
Or to forbear: for then I grant your courage
To master mine, when I am forced to do
What of myself I would not.

Gons. Your reason?

Man. You saved my life.

Gons. I'll quit that debt, to be
In a capacity of forcing you
To keep your promise with me; for I come
To learn, your sister is not yet disposed.

Man. I've lost all privilege to defend my life;
And, if you take it now, 'tis no new conquest;
Like fish, first taken in a river, then
Bestowed in ponds to catch a second time.

Gons. Mark but how partially you plead your
Pretending breach of honour if you fight,
Yet think it none to violate your word.

Man. I cannot give my sister to a robber.

Gons. You shall not; I am none, but born of blood
As noble as yourself; my fortunes equal
At least with yours, my reputation yet,
I think, unstained.

Man. I wish, sir, it may prove so; I never had so strong an inclination To believe any man as you—But yet—

Gons. All things shall be so clear, there shall be left
No room for any scruple. I was born
In Seville, of the best house in that city;
My name Gonsalvo de Peralta: Being
A younger brother, 'twas my uncle's care
To take me with him in a voyage to
The Indies, where since dying, he has left me
A fortune not contemptible; returning
From thence with all my wealth in the plate fleet,
A furious storm almost within the port
Of Seville took us, scattered all the navy.
My ship, by the unruly tempest borne
Quite through the Streights, as far as Barcelona,
There first cast anchor; there I stept ashore:
Three days I staid, in which small time I made
A little love, which vanished as it came.

Man. But were you not engaged to her you courted?

Gons. Upon my honour, no; what might have been
I cannot tell: But ere I could repair
My beaten ship, or take fresh water in,
One night, when there by chance I lay aboard,
A wind tore up my anchor from the bottom,
And with that violence it brought me thither,
Has thrown me in this port.

Mon. But yet our meeting in the wood was strange.

Gons. For that I'll satisfy you as we walk.


Hip. O sir, how glad am I to find you!—


Man. That boy I have seen somewhere, or one like him, But where, I cannot call to mind.

Hip. I found it out, and got before them— And here they are—


Man. My sister! as I could have wished it.

Amid. O! we are caught!

Jul. I did expect as much: Fortune has not forgot that I am Julia.

Man. Sister, I'm glad you're happily returned; 'Twas kindly done of you thus to prevent The trouble of my search.

Jul. I would not have you
Mistake my love to Roderick so much,
To think I meant to fall into your hands.
My purpose is for the next nunnery;
There I'll pray for you: So farewell.

Man. Stay, Julia, you must go with me.

Jul. Lead, lead; You think I am your prisoner now.

Gons. If you will needs to a religious house, Leave that fair face behind; a worse will serve To spoil with watching, and with fasting there.

Man. Pr'ythee, no more of this; the only way To make her happy is to force it on her. Julia, prepare yourself strait to be married.

Jul. To whom?

Man. You see your bridegroom: And you know
My father's will, who, with his dying breath
Commanded, you should pay as strict obedience
To me, as formerly to him: If not,
Your dowry is at my dispose.

Jul. O, would
The loss of that dispense with duty in me,
How gladly would I suffer it! and yet,
If I durst question it, methinks 'tis hard!
What right have parents over children, more
Than birds have o'er their young? yet they impose
No rich-plumed mistress on their feathered sons;
But leave their love, more open yet and free
Than all the fields of air, their spacious birthright.

[GONSALVO seems to beg MANUEL not to be harsh.

Man. Nay, good Gonsalvo, trouble not yourself, There is no other way; when 'tis once done, She'll thank me for't.

Jul. I ne'er expected other usage from you;
A kind brother you have been to me,
And to my sister: You have sent, they say,
To Barcelona, that my aunt should force her
To marry the old Don you brought her.

Hip. Who could, that once had seen Gonsalvo's. face? Alas, she little thinks I am so near! [Aside.

Man. Mind not what she says. A word with you—[To GONSALVO.

Amid. Don Manuel eyes me strangely; the best is, he never saw me yet but at a distance: My brother's jealousy (who ne'er intended I should be his) restrained our nearer converse. [Aside.

Jul. My pretty youth, I am enforced to trust thee
With my most near concerns; friends I have none,
If thou deny'st to help me.

Amid. Any thing To break your marriage with my master.

Jul. Go to Roderick, and tell him my condition: But tell it him as from thyself, not me.

Amid. That you are forced to marry?

Jul. But do not ask him To succour me; if of himself he will not, I scorn a love that must be taught its duty.

Man. What youth is that? I mean the little one.

Gons. I took him up last night.

Man. A sweet-faced boy, I like him strangely: Would you part with him?

Amid. Alas, sir, I am good for nobody, But for my master.

Hip. Sir, I'll do your errand Another time, for letting Julia go. [To AMIDEO.

Man. Come, sir.

Gons. I beg your pardon for a moment, I'll but dispatch some business in my ship, And wait you presently:

Man. We'll go before;
I'll make sure Roderick shall never have her;
And 'tis at least some pleasure to destroy
His happiness, who mined first my joy.

[Exeunt all but GONSALVO; who, before he goes, whispers HIPPOLITO.

Gons. Against her will fair Julia to possess,
Is not to enjoy, but ravish happiness:
Yet women pardon force, because they find
The violence of love is still most kind:
Just like the plots of well built comedies,
Which then please most, when most they do surprise:
But yet constraint love's noblest end destroys,
Whose highest joy is in another's joys:
Where passion rules, how weak does reason prove!
I yield my cause, but cannot yield my love. [Exit.


SCENE I.—A great room in DON MANUEL'S house.


My master bid me speak for him to Julia:
Hard fate, that I am made a confident
Against myself!
Yet, though unwillingly I took the office,
I would perform it well: But how can I
Prove lucky to his love, who to my own
Am so unfortunate? he trusts his passion
Like him, that ventures all his stock at once
On an unlucky hand.


Amid. Where is the lady Julia?

Hip. What new treason Against my master's love have you contrived With her?

Amid. I shall not render you account.

Enter JULIA.

Jul. I sent for him; yet if he comes, there's danger;
Yet if he does not, I for ever lose him.
What can I wish? and yet I wish him here,
Only to take the care of me from me.
Weary with sitting out a losing hand,
Twill be some ease to see another play it.
Yesterday I refused to marry him,
To-day I run into his arms unasked;
Like a mild prince encroached upon by rebels,
Love yielded much, till honour asked for all.
How now, where's Roderick? [Sees AMIDEO.
I mean Gonsalvo. [Sees HIPPOLITO.

Hip. You would do well to meet him—

Amid. Meet him! you shall not do't: I'll throw myself,
Like a young fawning spaniel, in your way
So often, you shall never move a step,
But you shall tread on me.

Jul. You need not beg me: I would as soon meet a syren, as see him.

Hip. His sweetness for those frowns no subject finds:
Seas are the field of combat for the winds:
But when they sweep along some flowery coast,
Their wings move mildly, and their rage is lost.

Jul. 'Tis that which makes me more unfortunate;
Because his sweetness must upbraid my hate.
The wounds of fortune touch me not so near;
I can my fate, but not his virtue, bear.
For my disdain with my esteem is raised;
He most is hated when he most is praised:
Such an esteem, as like a storm appears,
Which rises but to shipwreck what it bears.

Hip. Infection dwells upon my kindness, sure, Since it destroys even those whom it would cure.

[Cries, and exit.

Amid. Still weep, Hippolito; to me thy tears
Are sovereign, as those drops the balm-tree sweats.—
But, madam, are you sure you shall not love him?
I still fear.—

Jul. Thy fear will never let thee be a man.

Amid. Indeed I think it won't.

Jul. We are now Alone; what news from Roderick?

Amid. Madam, he begs you not to fear; he has A way, which, when you think all desperate, Will set you free.

Jul. If not, I will not live A moment after it.

Amid. Why? there's some comfort.

Jul. I strongly wish, for what I faintly hope:
Like the day-dreams of melancholy men,
I think and think on things impossible,
Yet love to wander in that golden maze.

Enter DON MANUEL, HIPPOLITO, and company.

Amid. Madam, your brother's here.

Man. Where is the bridegroom?

Hip. Not yet returned, sir, from his ship.

Man. Sister, all this good company is met, To give you joy.

Jul. While I am compassed round
With mirth, my soul lies hid in shades of grief,
Whence, like the bird of night, with half shut eyes,
She peeps, and sickens at the sight of day. [Aside.

Enter Servant.

Serv. Sir, some gentlemen and ladies are without, Who, to do honour to this wedding, come To present a masque.

Man. Tis well; desire them They would leave put the words, and fall to dancing. The poetry of the foot takes most of late.

Serv. The poet, sir, will take that very ill; He's at the door, with the argument o'the masque In verse.

Man. Which of the wits is it that made it?

Serv. None of the wits, sir; 'tis one of the poets.

Man. What subject has he chose?

Serv. The rape of Proserpine.


Man. Welcome, welcome, you have been long expected.

Gons. I staid to see the unlading of some rarities, Which are within— Madam, your pardon that I was so long absent.

Jul. You need not ask it for your absence, sir.

Gons. Still cruel, Julia?

Jul. The danger's here, and Roderick not here: I am not grieved to die; but I am grieved To think him false. [Aside.

Man. Bid him begin. [The music plays.

A Cupid descends in swift motion, and speaks these verses.

Cup. Thy conquests, Proserpine, have stretched too far;
Amidst heavens peace thy beauty makes a war:
For when, last night, I to Jove's palace went,
(The brightest part of all the firmament)
Instead of all those gods, whose thick resort
Filled up the presence of the thunderers court;
There Jove and Juno all forsaken sate,
Pensive, like kings in their declining state:
Yet (wanting power) they would preserve the show,
By hearing prayers from some few men below:
Mortals to Jove may their devotions pay;
The gods themselves to Proserpine do pray.
To Sicily the rival powers resort;
'Tis Heaven wherever Ceres keeps her court.
Phoebus and Mercury are both at strife,
The courtliest of our gods who want a wife.
But Venus, whate'er kindness she pretends,
Yet (like all females envious of their friends),
Has, by my aid, contrived a black design,
The god of hell should ravish Proserpine:
Beauties, beware; Venus will never bear
Another Venus shining in her sphere

After Cupid's speech, Venus and Ceres descend in the slow machines;
Ceres drawn by dragons, Venus by swans.

After them Phoebus and Mercury descend in swift motion. Then Cupid turns to Julia, and speaks.

Cup. The rival deities are come to woo
A Proserpine, who must be found below:
Would you, fair nymph, become, this happy hour,
In name a goddess, as you are in power?
Then to this change the king of shades will owe
A fairer Proserpine than heaven can show

[Julia, first whispered by AMIDEO, goes into the dance, performed by Cupid, Phoebus, Mercury, Ceres, Venus, and JULIA. Towards the end of the dance, RODORICK, in the habit of Pluto, rises from below in a black chariot, all flaming, and drawn by black horses; he ravishes Julia, who personated Proserpine, and as he is carrying her away, his vizard fails off: HIPPOLITO first discovers him.

Hip. A rape, a rape! 'tis Roderick, 'tis Roderick!

Rod. Then I must have recourse to this. [Draws.

Jul. O heavens!

[DON MANUEL and GONSALVO draw, and a Servant; the two that acted Phoebus and Mercury return to assist RODORICK, and are beat back by MANUEL and a Servant, while GONSALVO attacks RODORICK.

Gons. Unloose thy hold, foul villain.

Rod. No, I'll grasp her Even after death.

Jul. Spare him, or I'll die with him.

Gons. Must ravishers and villains live, while I In vain implore her mercy?

[Thrusts at him, and hurts JULIA in the arm.

Jul. Oh, I am murdered!

Gons. Wretched that I am,
What have I done? To what strange punishment
Will you condemn this guilty hand? And yet
My eyes were guilty first—For they could look
On nothing else but you; and my unlucky hand
Too closely followed them!—

Enter MANUEL again.

Man. The powers above are just, that thou still livest, For me to kill.

Rod. You'll find no easy task on't
Alone; come both together, I defy you!
Curse on this disguise, that has betrayed me
Thus cheaply to my death.—

Man. Under a devil's shape, thou could'st not be Disguised.

Jul. Then, must he die?— Yet, I'll not bid my Roderick farewell; For they take leave, who mean to be long absent.

Gons. Hold, sir! I have had blood enough already; And must not murder Julia again In him she loves. Live, sir; and thank this lady.

Rod. Take my life, and spare my thanks.

Man. Though you Forgive him, let me take my just revenge.

Gons. Leave that distinction to our dull divines: That ill, I suffer to be done, I do.

Hip. My heart bleeds for him: to see his virtue O'ercome so fatally, against such odds Of fortune, and of love!—

Man. Permit his death, and Julia will be yours.

Jul. Permit it not, and Julia will thank you.

Gons. Who e'er could think, that one kind word from Julia
Should be preferred to Julia herself?
Could any man think it a greater good
To save a rival, than possess a mistress?
Yet this I do! these are thy riddles, love!—
What fortune gives me, I myself destroy;
And feed my virtue, but to starve my joy.
Honour sits on me like some heavy armour,
And with its stiff defence, encumbers me;
And yet, when I would put it off, it sticks
Like Hercules's shirt; heats me at once;
And poisons me!

Man. I find myself grow calm by thy example;
My panting heart heaves less and less, each pulse;
And all the boiling spirits scatter from it.
Since thou desirest he should not die, he shall not,
'Till I on nobler terms can take his life.

Rod. The next turn may be yours.—Remember, I owed this danger to your wilfulness: Once, you might easily have been mine, and would not. [Exit RODORICK.

Man. Lead out my sister, friend; her hurt's so
'Twill scarce disturb the ceremony.
Ladies, once more your pardons.

[Leads out the Company. Exeunt.

Manent JULIA, GONSALVO, AMIDEO, and HIPPOLITO. GONSALVO offers his hand, JULIA pulls back hers.

Jul. This hand would rise in blisters, should'st
thou touch it!—
My Roderick's displeased with me, and thou,
Unlucky man, the cause. Dare not so much
As once to follow me. [Exit JULIA.

Gons. Not follow her! Alas, she need not bid me! Oh, how could I presume to take that hand, To which mine proved so fatal! Nay, if I might, should I not fear to touch it?— murderer's touch would make it bleed afresh!

Amid. I think, sir, I could kill her for your sake.

Gons. Repent that word, or I shall hate thee
Harsh words from her, like blows from angry kings,
Though they are meant affronts, are construed favours.

Hip. Her inclinations and aversions Are both alike unjust; and both, I hope, Too violent to last: Chear up yourself; for if I live, (I hope I shall not long) [Aside. She shall be yours.

Amid. 'Twere much more noble in him,
To make a conquest of himself, than her.
She ne'er can merit him; and, hadst not thou
A mean low soul, thou wouldst not name her to him.

Hip. Poor child, who would'st be wise above thy years!
Why dost thou talk, like a philosopher,
Of conquering love, who art not yet grown up,
To try the force of any manly passion?
The sweetness of thy mother's milk is yet
Within thy veins, not soured and turned by love.

Gons. Thou hast not field enough in thy young breast, To entertain such storms to struggle in.

Amid. Young as I am, I know the power of love;
Its less disquiets, and its greater cares,
And all that's in it, but the happiness.
Trust a boy's word, sir, if you please, and take
My innocence for wisdom; Leave this lady;
Cease to persuade yourself you are in love,
And you will soon be freed. Not that I wish
A thing, so noble as your passion, lost
To all the sex: Bestow it on some other;
You'll find many as fair, though none so cruel.—
Would I could be a lady for your sake!

Hip. If I could be a woman, with a wish, You should not be without a rival long.

Amid. A cedar, of your stature, would not cause Much jealousy.

Hip. More than a shrub of yours.

Gons. How eagerly these boys fall out for nothing!— Tell me, Hippolito, wert thou a woman, Who would'st thou be?

Hip. I would be Julia, sir, Because you love her.

Amid. I would not be she, Because she loves not you. Hip. True, Amideo; And, therefore, I would wish myself a lady, Who, I am sure, does infinitely love him.

Amid. I hope that lady has a name?

Hip. She has:
And she is called Honoria, sister to
This Julia, and bred up at Barcelona;
Who loves him with a flame so pure and noble,
That, did she know his love to Julia,
She would beg Julia to make him happy.

Gons. This startles me!

Amid. Oh, sir, believe him not: They love not truly, who, on any terms, Can part with what they love.

Gons. I saw a lady
At Barcelona, of what name I know not,
Who, next to Julia, was the fairest creature
My eyes did e'er behold: But, how camest thou
To know her?

Hip. Sir, some other time I'll tell you.

Amid. It could not be Honoria, whom you saw;
For, sir, she has a face so very ugly,
That, if she were a saint for holiness,
Yet no man would seek virtue there.

Hip. This is the lyingest boy, sir;—I am sure
He never saw Honoria; for her face,
'Tis not so bad to frighten any man—
None of the wits have libelled it.

Amid. Don Roderick's sister, Angelina, does
So far exceed her, in the ornaments
Of wit and beauty, though now hid from sight,
That, like the sun, (even when eclipsed) she casts
A yellowness upon all other faces.

Hip. I'll not say much of her, but only this,
Don Manuel saw not with my eyes, if e'er
He loved that Flanders shape; that lump of earth,
And phlegm together.

Amid. You have often seen her,
It seems, by your description of her person:
But I'll maintain on any Spanish ground,
Whate'er she be, yet she is far more worthy
To have my lord her servant, than Honoria.

Hip. And I'll maintain Honoria's right against her, In any part of all the world.

Gons. You go Too far, to quarrel on so slight a ground.

Hip. O pardon me, my lord, it is not slight: I must confess, I am so much concerned, I shall not bear it long.

Amid. Nor I, assure you.

Gons. I will believe what both of you have said, That Honoria, and Angelina, Both equally are fair.

Amid. Why did you name Honoria first?

Gons. And, since you take their parts so eagerly
Henceforth I'll call you by those ladies' names:
You, my Hippolito, shall be Honoria;
And you, my Amideo, Angelina.

Amid. Then all my services, I wish, may make You kind to Angelina, for my sake.

Hip. Put all my merits on Honoria's score, And think no maid could ever love you more.



MANUEL solus.

Man. Thus I provide for others' happiness,
And lose my own. 'Tis true, I cannot blame
Thy hatred, Angelina, but thy silence.
Thy brother's hatred made thine just; but yet
'Twas cruel in thee not to tell me so.
Conquest is noble, when an heart stands out;
But mine, which yielded, how could'st thou betray?
That heart, of which thou could'st not be deprived
By any force or power, beside thy own;
Like empires, to that fatal height arrived,
They must be ruined by themselves alone.
My guarded freedom cannot be a prize
To any scornful face a second time;
For thy idea, like a ghost, would rise,
And fright my thoughts from such another crime.

Enter a Servant, with a letter.

Man. From whom?

Serv. Sir, the contents will soon resolve you.

[He read.

Man. Tell Roderick, he has prevented me
In my design of sending to him first.
I'll meet him, single, at the time and place;
But, for my friend, tell him, he must excuse me:
I'll hazard no man in my quarrel, but
Myself alone.—[Exit Servant.
Who's within there?

Enter a Servant.

Go, call my sister, and Gonsalvo, hither.
 [Exit Servant.
'Twas pushed so far, that, like two armies, we
Were drawn so closely up, we could not part
Without engagement.—But they must not know it.


I have some business calls me hence, and know not
When I shall return: But, ere I go,
That power I have, by my dead father's will,
Over my sister, I bequeath to you: [To GONS.
She, and her fortunes, both be firmly yours;
And this when I revoke, let cowardice
Blast all my youth, and treason taint my age.

Gons. Sir—

Man. Nay, good, no thanks; I cannot stay— [Exit MANUEL.

Gons. There's something more than ordinary in this; Go, Amideo, quickly follow him, And bring me word which way he takes.

Amid. I go, sir. [Exit AMID. JULIA kneels.

Gons. Madam, when you implore the powers divine, You have no prayers in which I will not join, Though made against myself. [Kneels with her.

Jul. In vain I sue, Unless my vows may be conveyed by you.

Gons. Conveyed by me! My ill success in love
Shews me, too sure, I have few friends above.
How can you fear your just desires to want?
When the gods pray, they both request and grant.

Jul. Heaven has resigned my fortune to your hand, If you, like heaven, the afflicted understand.

Gons. The language of the afflicted is not new; Too well I learned it, when I first saw you.

Jul. In spite of me, you now command my fate;
And yet the vanquished seeks the victor's hate;
Even in this low submission, I declare,
That, had I power, I would renew the war.
I'm forced to stoop, and 'twere too great a blow
To bend my pride, and to deny me too.

Gons. You have my heart; dispose it to your will; If not, you know the way to use it ill.

Jul. Cruel to me, though kind to your desert,
My brother gives my person, not my heart;
And I have left no other means to sue,
But to you only, to be freed from you.

Gons. From such a suit how can you hope success, Which, given, destroys the giver's happiness?

Jul. You think it equal you should not resign
That power you have, yet will not leave me mine;
Yet on my will I have the power alone,
And, since you cannot move it, move your own.
Your worth and virtue my esteem may win,
But women's passions from themselves begin;
Merit may be, but force still is, in vain.

Gons. I would but love you, not your love constrain; And though your brother left me to command, He placed his thunder in a gentle hand.

Jul. Your favour from constraint has set me free,
But that secures not my felicity;
Slaves, who, before, did cruel masters serve,
May fly to deserts, and in freedom starve.
The noblest part of liberty they lose,
Who can but shun, and want the power to chuse.

Gons. O whither would your fatal reasons move! You court my kindness, to destroy my love.

Jul. You have the power to make my happiness, By giving that, which you can ne'er possess.

Gons. Give you to Roderick? there wanted yet That curse, to make my miseries complete.

Jul. Departing misers bear a nobler mind;
They, when they can enjoy no more, are kind;
You, when your love is dying in despair,
Yet want the charity to make an heir.

Gons. Though hope be dying, yet it is not dead; And dying people with small food are fed.

Jul. The greatest kindness dying friends can have, Is to dispatch them, when we cannot save.

Gons. Those dying people, could they speak' at all,
That pity of their friends would murder call:
For men with horror dissolution meet;
The minutes even of painful life are sweet.

Jul. But I'm by powerful inclination led; And streams turn seldom to their fountain head.

Gons. No; 'tis a tide which carries you away; And tides may turn, though they can never stay.

Jul. Can you pretend to love, and see my grief Caused by yourself, yet give me no relief?

Gons. Where's my reward?

Jul. The honour of the flame.

Gons. I lose the substance, then, to gain the name.

Jul. I do too much mistress' power betray;
Must slaves be won by courtship to obey?
Thy disobedience does to treason rise,
Which thou, like rebels, would'st with love disguise.
I'll kill myself, and, if thou can'st deny
To see me happy, thou shalt see me die.

Gons. O stay! I can with less regret bequeath My love to Roderick, than you to death: And yet—

Jul. What new objection can you find?

Gons. But are you sure you never shall be kind?

Jul. Never.

Gons. What! never?

Jul. Never to remove.

Gons. Oh fatal never to souls damned in love!

Jul. Lead me to Roderick.

Gons. If it must be so—

Jul. Here, take my hand, swear on it thou wilt go.

Gons. Oh balmy sweetness! but 'tis lost to me,
 [He kisses her hand.
Like food upon a wretch condemned to die:
Another, and I vow to go:—Once more;
If I swear often, I shall be foreswore.
Others against their wills may haste their fate;
I only toil to be unfortunate:
More my own foe than all my stars could prove;
They give her person, but I give her love.
I must not trust myself—Hippolito!


Hip. My lord!

Gons. Quickly go find Don Roderick out:
Tell him, the lady Julia will be walking
On the broad rock, that lies beside the port,
And there expects to see him instantly.
In the mean time I'll call for Amideo.

Jul. You'll keep your promise to Don Roderick?

Gons. Madam, since you bring death, I welcome it; But to his fortune, not his love, submit. [Exit GONSALVO.

Hip. I dare not ask what I too fain would hear: But, like a tender mother, hope and fear, My equal twins, my equal care I make, And keep hope quiet, lest that fear should wake. [Aside. Exit HIPPOLITO.

Jul. So, now I'm firmly at my own dispose; And all the lets, my virtue caused, removed: Now, Roderick, I come—

Enter GONSALVO again.

Gons. Madam, my boy's not yet returned.

Jul. No matter, we'll not stay for him.

Gon. Pray make not too much haste.

[Exeunt JUL. and GONS.


Enter DON RODORICK, and a Servant.

Rod. Have you bespoke a vessel, as I bid you?

Serv. I have done better; for I have employed
Some, whom I know, this day to seize a ship;
Which they have done, clapping the men within her
All under hatches, with such speed and silence,
That, though she rides at anchor in the port
Among the rest, the change is not discovered.

Rod. Let my best goods and jewels be embarked With secrecy: We'll put to sea this night. Have you yet found my sister, or her woman?

Serv. Neither, sir; but in all probability She is with Manuel.

Rod. Would God the meanest man in Alicant
Had Angelina, rather than Don Manuel!
I never can forgive, much less forget,
How he (the younger soldier) was preferred
To that command of horse, which was my due.

Serv. And, after that, by force disseized you of Your quarters—

Rod. Should I meet him seven years hence
At the altar, I would kill him there:—I had
Forgot to tell you, the design we had,
To carry Julia by force away,
Will now be needless: she'll come to the rock
To see me; you, unseen, shall stand behind,
And carry her into the vessel.

Serv. Shall I not help you to dispatch Don Manuel?

Rod. I neither doubt my valour nor my fortune:
But if I die, revenge me: Presently
About your business; I must to the rock,
For fear I come too late. [Exeunt severally.

SCENE III.—Through a rock is discovered a navy of ships riding at a distance.


Amid. Thus far, unseen by Manuel, I have traced him; He can be gone no farther than the walk Behind the rock: I'll back, and tell my master.

Enter HIPPOLITO at the other end.

Hip. This is the place, where Roderick must expect His Julia:—How! Amideo here!

Amid. Hippolito!

Hip. This were so fit a time
For my revenge, had I the courage, now!
My heart swells at him, and my breath grows short;
But whether fear or anger choaks it up,
I cannot tell.

Amid. He looks so ghastfully,
Would I were past him; yet I fear to try it,
Because my mind misgives me he will stop me.
By your leave, Hippolito.

Hip. Whither so fast?

Amid. You'll not presume to hinder my lord's business? He shall know it.

Hip. I'll make you sure, before,
For telling any tales: Do you remember,
Since you defended Angelina's beauty
Against Honoria's; nay, and would maintain it.

Amid. And so I will do still; (I must feign courage, There is no other way.) [Aside.

Hip. I'll so revenge That injury! (if my heart fails me not.)

Amid. Come, confess truly, for, I know, it fails you. What would you give to avoid fighting now?

Hip. No, 'tis your heart that fails.

Amid. I scorn the danger;
Yet, what compassion on your youth might do,
I cannot tell; and, therefore, do not work
Upon my pity; for I feel already
My stout heart melts.

Hip. Oh! Are you thereabout? Now I am sure you fear; and you shall fight.

Amid. I will not fight.

Hip. Confess, then, Angelina Is not so fair as is Honoria.

Amid. I do confess; now are you satisfied?

Hip. There's more behind; confess her not so worthy To be beloved, nor to possess Gonsalvo, As fair Honoria is.

Amid. That's somewhat hard.

Hip. But you must do't, or die.

Amid. Well, life is sweet; She's not so worthy: Now, let me be gone.

Hip. No, never to my master; swear to quit His service, and no more to see his face.

Amid. I fain would save my life, but that, which you Propose, is but another name to die. I cannot live without my master's sight.

Hip. Then you must fight with me for him.

Amid. I would Do any thing with you, but fighting for him.

Hip. Nothing but that will serve.

Amid. Lay by our swords, And I'll scratch with you for him.

Hip. That's not manly.

Amid. Well, since it must be so, I'll fight:—Unbutton.

[HIPPOLITO unbuttons slowly.

How many buttons has he? I'll be one
Behind him still. [Aside.

[Unbuttons one by one after him. HIPPOLITO makes more haste.

You are so prodigal! if you loved my master,
You would not tear his doublet so:—How's this!
Two swelling breasts! a woman, and my rival!
The stings of jealousy have given me courage,
Which nature never gave me:
Come on, thou vile dissembler of thy sex;
Expect no mercy; either thou or I
Must die upon this spot: Now for Gonsalvo—

Hip. This courage is not counterfeit; ah me! What shall I do? for pity, gentle boy—

Amid. No pity; such a cause as ours Can neither give nor take it: If thou yieldest, I will not spare thee; therefore, fight it out. [Tears open his doublet.

Hip. Death to my hopes! a woman! and so rare
A beauty, that my lord must needs doat on her.
I should myself, if I had been a man:
But, as I am, her eyes shoot death at me.

Amid. Come, have you said your prayers?

Hip. For thy confusion,—
Thou ravenous harpy, with an angel's face,—
Thou art discovered, thou too charming rival;
I'll be revenged upon those fatal eyes.

Amid. I'll tear out thine.

Hip. I'll bite out hungry morsels From those plump cheeks, but I will make them thinner.

Amid. I'd beat thee to the blackness of a Moor.
But that the features of thy face are such,
Such damnable, invincible good features,
That as an Ethiop thou would'st still be loved.

Hip. I'll quite unbend that black bow o'er thine eyes; I'll murder thee, and Julia shall have him, Rather than thou.

Amid. I'll kill both thee and her, Rather than any one but I shall have him.

Hip. Come on, thou witch.

Amid. Have at thy heart, thou Syren.

[They draw and fight awkwardly, not coming near one another.

Amid. I think I paid you there.

Hip. O stay a little, And tell me in what corner of thy heart Gonsalvo lies, that I may spare that place.

Amid. He lies in the last drop of all my blood, And never will come out, but with my soul.

Hip. Come, come, we dally; Would one of us were dead, no matter which! [They fight nearer.

Enter Don MANUEL.

Man. The pretty boys, that serve Gonsalvo, fighting! I come in time to save the life of one.

 [HIPPOLITO gets AMIDEO down in closing:
 MANUEL takes away their swords

Hip. For goodness' sake, hinder not my revenge.

Amid. The noble Manuel has saved my life: Heavens, how unjustly have I hated him. [Aside.

Man. What is it, gentle youths, that moves you thus?
I cannot tell what causes you may find;
But, trust me, all the world, in so much sweetness,
Would be to seek where to begin a quarrel:
You seem the little Cupids in the song,
Contending for the honey-bag.

Hip. 'Tis well You're come; you may prevent a greater mischief: Here 'tis Gonsalvo has appointed Roderick—

Man.To fight?

Hip. What's worse: to give your sister to him.
Won by her tears, he means to leave her free,
And to redeem her misery with his:
At least so I conjecture.

Man. 'Tis a doubtful Problem; either he loves her violently, Or not at all.

Amid. You have betrayed my master:—


Hip. If I have injured you, I mean to give you The satisfaction of a gentlewoman.


Man. Oh, they are here; now I shall be resolved.

Jul. My brother Manuel! what fortune's this!

Man. I'm glad I have prevented you.

Gons. With what
Variety my fate torments me still!
Never was man so dragged along by virtue;
But I must follow her.

Jul. Noble Gonsalvo, Protect me from my brother.

Gons. Tell me, sir, When you bestowed your sister on me, did not You give her freely up to my dispose?

Man. 'Tis true, I did; but never with intent You should restore her to my enemy.

Gons. 'Tis past; 'tis done: She undermined my soul With tears; as banks are sapped away by streams.

Man. I wonder what strange blessing she expects From the harsh nature of this Rodorick; A man made up of malice and revenge.

Jul. If I possess him, I may be unhappy;
But if I lose him, I am surely so.
Had you a friend so desperately sick,
That all physicians had forsook his cure;
All scorched without, and all parched up within,
The moisture that maintained consuming nature
Licked up, and in a fever fried away;
Could you behold him beg, with dying eyes,
A glass of water, and refuse it him,
Because you knew it ill for his disease?
When he would die without it, how could you
Deny to make his death more easy to him?

Man. Talk not to me of love, when honour suffers. The boys will hiss at me.

Gons. I suffer most:
Had there been 'choice, what would I not have chose?
To save my honour I my love must lose:
But promises, once made, are past debate,
And truth's of more necessity than fate.

Man. I scarce can think your promise absolute; There might some way be thought on, if you would, To keep both her and it.

Gons. No, no; my promise was no trick of state: I meant to be made truly wretched first, And then to die; and I'll perform them both.

Man. Then that revenge, I meant on Rodorick, I'll take on you. [Draws.

Gons.—I draw with such regret, As merchants throw their wealth into the sea, To save their sinking vessels from a wreck.

Man. I find I cannot lift my hand against thee: Do what thou wilt; but let not me behold it. [Goes off a little way. I'll cut this gordian knot I cannot loose: To keep his promise, Rodorick shall have her, But I'll return and rescue her by force; Then giving back what he so frankly gave, At once my honour and his love I'll save. [Exit MANUEL.


Rod. How! Julia brought by him?—Who sent for me?

Gons. 'Twas I.

Rod. I know your business then; 'tis fighting.

Gons. You're mistaken; 'tis something that I fear.

Rod. What is't?

Gons. Why,—'twill not out: Here, take her;
And deserve her: but no thanks;
For fear I should consider what I give,
And call it back.—

Jul. O my dear Rodorick!

Gons. O cruel Julia!
For pity shew not all your joy before me;
Stifle some part of it one minute longer,
'Till I am dead.

Jul. My Rodorick shall know, He owes his Julia to you; thank him, love; In faith I take it ill you are so slow.

Rod. You know he has forbid me; and, beside, He'll take it better from your mouth than mine; All that you do must needs be pleasing to him.

Jul. Still sullen and unkind!

Rod. Why, then, in short, I do not understand the benefit.

Gons. Not to have Julia in thy free possession?

Rod. Not brought by you; not of another's leaving.

Jul. Speak softly, Rodorick: Let not these hear thee; But spare my shame for the ill choice I made, In loving thee.

Rod. I will speak loud, and tell thee,
Thou com'st, all cloyed and tired with his embraces,
To proffer thy palled love to me; his kisses
Do yet bedew thy lips; the very print,
His arms made round thy body, yet remains.

Gons. O barbarous jealousy!

Jul. 'Tis an harsh word: I am too pure for thee; but yet I love thee.

[Offers to take his hand.

Rod. Away, foul impudence.

Gons. Madam, you wrong Your virtue, thus to clear it by submission.

Jul. Whence grows this boldness, sir? did I ask you To be my champion?

Rod. He chose to be your friend, and not your husband: Left that dull part of dignity to me; As often the worst actors play the kings.

Jul. This jealousy is but excess of passion, Which grows up, wild, in every lover's breast; But changes kind when planted in an husband.

Rod. Well, what I am, I am; and what I will be, When you are mine, my pleasure shall determine. I will receive no law from any man.

Jul. This strange unkindness of my Rodorick
I owe to thee, and thy unlucky love;
Henceforth go lock it up within thy breast;
'Tis only harmless while it is concealed,
But, opened, spreads infection like a vault.
Go, and my curse go with thee!—

Gons. I cannot go 'till I behold you happy:—
—Here, Rodorick, receive her on thy knees;
Use her with that respect, which thou would'st pay
Thy guardian angel, if he could be seen.
—Do not provoke my anger by refusing.—
I'll watch thy least offence to her; each word,
Nay, every sullen look;—
And, as the devils, who are damned to torments,
Yet have the guilty souls their slaves to punish;
So, under me, while I am wretched, thou
Shalt be tormented.—

Rod. Would'st thou make me the tenant of thy lust,
To toil, and for my labour take the dregs,
The juicy vintage being left for thee?
No: she's an infamous, lewd prostitute:
I loath her at my soul.

Gons. I can forbear No longer: swallow down thy lie, foul villain.

[They fight off the stage. Exeunt.

Jul. Help, help!

Amid. Here is that witch, whose fatal beauty Began the mischief; she shall pay for all.

[Goes to kill JULIA.

Hip. I hate her for it more than thou canst do; But cannot see her die, my master loves.

[Goes between with her sword.

Enter GONSALVO, following RODORICK, who falls.

Rod. So, now I am at rest:—
I feel death rising higher still, and higher,
Within my bosom; every breath I fetch
Shuts up my life within a shorter compass,
And, like the vanishing sound of bells, grows less
And less each pulse, 'till it be lost in air.

[Swoons away.

Gons. Down at your feet, much injured innocence, I lay that sword, which—

Jul. Take it up again;
It has not done its work 'till I am killed:
For ever, ever, thou hast robbed me of
That man, that only man, whom I could love:
Dost thou thus court thy mistress? thus oblige her?
All thy obligements have been fatal yet,
Yet the most fatal now would most oblige me.
Kill me:—yet I am killed before in him.
I lie there on the ground; cold, cold, and pale:
That death, I die in Roderick, is far
More pleasant than that life, I live in Julia.—
—See how he stands—when he is bid dispatch me!
How dull! how spiritless! that sloth possest
Thee not, when thou didst kill my Roderick.

Gons. I'm too unlucky to converse with men:
I'll pack together all my mischiefs up,
Gather with care each little remnant of them,
That none of them be left behind: Thus loaded,
Fly to some desert, and there let them loose,
Where they may never prey upon mankind.
But you may make my journey shorter:—Take
This sword; 'twill shew you how:—

Jul.I'll gladly set you on your way:— [Takes his sword.

Enter three of RODORICK'S servants.

1 Serv. Make haste; he's now unarmed, we may with ease Revenge my master's death.

Jul. Now these shall do it.

Gons. I'll die by none but you.—

Hip. O here, take my sword, sir.

Amid. He shall have mine.

[Both give their swords to GONSALVO.


Man. Think not of death. We'll live and conquer.

[They beat them off.

Man. These fellows, though beat off, will strait return With more; we must make haste to save ourselves.

Hip. 'Tis far to the town, And, ere you reach it, you will be discovered.

Gons. My life's a burden to me, were not Julia's Concerned; but, as it is, she, being present, Will be found accessary to his death.

Man. See where a vessel lies, not far from shore;
And near at hand a boat belonging to her;
Let's haste aboard, and what with prayers and gifts
Buy our concealment there:—Come, Julia.

Gons. Alas, she swoons away upon the body.

Man. The night grows on apace; we'll take her in Our arms, and bear her hence.

[Exeunt GONSALVO, and the boys, with MANUEL, carrying JULIA.

The Servants enter again.

1 Serv. They are all gone, we may return with safety: Help me to bear the body to the town.

2 Serv. He stirs, and breathes a little; there may be Some hope.

3 Serv. The town's far off, and the evening cold. Let's carry him to the ship.

1 Serv. Haste then away: Things, once resolved, are ruined by delay.



The Scene lying in a Carrack.

Enter a Pirate and the Captain.

Pir. Welcome a ship-board, captain; you staid long.

Capt. No longer than was necessary for shifting trades; to change me from a robber to a pirate.

Pir. There's a fair change wrought in you since yesterday morning; then you talked of nothing but repentance, and amendment of life.

Capt. 'Faith, I have considered better on't: for, conversing a whole day together with honest men, I found them all so poor and beggarly, that a civil person would be ashamed to be seen with them:—but you come from Don Roderick's cabin; what hopes have you of his life?

Pir. No danger of it, only loss of blood had made him faint away; he called for you.

Capt. Well, are his jewels and his plate brought in?

Pir. They are.—When hoist we sails?

Capt. At the first break of day: When we are got out clear, we'll seize on Roderick and his men: They are not many, but fear may make them desperate.

Pir. We may take them, when they are laid to sleep.

Capt. 'Tis well advised.

Pir. I forgot to tell you, sir, that a little before Don Roderick was brought in, a company of gentlemen (pursued it seems by justice) procured our boat to row them hither. Two of them carried a very fair lady betwixt them, who was either dead, or swooned.

Capt. We'll sell them altogether to the Turk,—at least I'll tell them so. [Aside.

Pir. Pray, sir, let us reserve the lady to our own uses; it were a shame to good catholicks to give her up to infidels.

Capt. Don Roderick's door opens; I'll speak to him.

The Scene draws, and discovers the Captains cabin; RODORICK on a bed, and two Servants by him.

Capt. How is it with the brave Don Roderick? Do you want any thing?

Rod. I have too much
Of that I would not, love;
And what I would have, that I want, revenge.
I must be set ashore.

Capt. That you may, sir; But our own safety must be thought on first.

[One enters, and whispers the Captain.

Capt. I come:—Seignior, think you are lord here, and command all freely.

[Exeunt Captain and Pirates.

Rod. He does well to bid me think so: I am of opinion We are fallen into huckster's hands.

1 Serv. Indeed he talked suspiciously enough; He half denied to land us.

Rod. These, Pedro, are your confiding men—

2 Serv. I think them still so.

Rod. Would I were from them.

2 Serv. 'Tis impossible To attempt it now; you have not strength enough To walk.

Rod. That venture must be mine: We're lost, If we stay here to-morrow.

2 Serv. I hope better.

1 Serv. One whom I saw among 'em, to my knowledge, Is a notorious robber.

2 Serv. He looked so like a gentleman, I could not know him then.

Rod. What became of Julia when I fell?

1 Serv. We left her weeping over you, till we Were beaten off; but she, and those with her, Were gone when we returned.

Rod. Too late I find,
I wronged her in my thoughts. I'm every way
A wretched man:—
Something we must resolve on, ere we sleep;
Draw in the bed, I feel the cold.

[Bed drawn in. Exeunt.



Hip. Nay, 'tis too true; for, peeping through a chink,
I saw Don Roderick lying on a bed,
Not dead, as we supposed, but only hurt;
So waited on as spoke him master here.

Man. Was there ever so fatal an adventure!
To fly into that very ship, for refuge,
Where the only person, we would shun, commands!
This mischief is so strange, it could not happen,
But was the plot and juggle of our fate,
To free itself, and cast the blame on us.

Gons. This is not yet our fortune's utmost malice;
The gall remains behind. This ship was that,
Which yesterday was mine; I can see nothing
Round me, but what's familiar to my eyes;
Only the persons new: Which makes me think,
Twas seized upon by Roderick, to revenge
Himself on me.

Man. Tis wonderful indeed.

Amid. The only comfort is, we are not known; For when we entered it was dark.

Hip. That comfort Is of as short continuance as the night; The day will soon discover us.

Man. Some way must be invented to get out.

Hip. Fair Julia, sadly pining by herself.
Sits on her bed; tears falling from her eyes,
As silently as dews in dead of night.
All we consult of must be kept from her:
That moment, that she knows of Roderick's life,
Dooms us to certain death.

Man. 'Tis well considered.

Gons. For my part, were not you and she concerned,
I look upon my life, like an estate,
So charged with debts, it is not worth the keeping.
We cannot long be undiscovered by them;
Let us then rush upon them on the sudden,
(All hope of safety placed in our despair)
And gain quick victory, or speedy death.

Man. Consider first, the impossibility
Of the attempt; four men, and two poor boys,
(Which, added to our number, make us weaker)
Against ten villains, more resolved for death,
Than any ten among our holiest priests.
Stay but a little longer, till they all
Disperse to rest within their several cabins;
Then more securely we may set upon them,
And kill them half, before the rest can wake:
By this means too, the boys are useful for us,
For they can cut the throats of sleeping men.

Hip. Now have I the greatest temptation in the world to reveal, Thou art a woman. [To AMIDEO.

Amid. If 'twere not for thy beauty, my master should know, What a man he keeps. [To HIPPOLITO.

Hip. Why should we have recourse to desperate ways,
When safer may be thought on?
'Tis like giving the extreme unction.
In the beginning of a sickness;
Can you imagine to find all asleep?
The wicked joy, of having such a booty
In their possession, will keep some awake;
And some, no doubt, will watch with wounded

Amid. What would your wisdom now propose?

Hip. To say
That some of us are sea-sick; (your complexion
Will make the excuse for us who are less fair:)
So, by good words and promises, procure
We may be set ashore, ere morning come.

Amid. O, the deep reasons of the grave Hippolito!—
As if 'twere likely, in so calm a season,
We should be sick so soon; or, if we were,
Whom should we chuse among us to go tell it?
For whoe'er ventures out must needs be known:
Or, if none knew us, can you think that pirates
Will let us go upon such easy terms,
As promising rewards?—Let me advise you.

Hip. Now, we expect an oracle.

Amid. Here are bundles,
Of canvas and of cloth, you see lie by us;
In which one of us shall sew up the rest,
Only some breathing place, for air, and food:
Then call the pirates in, and tell them, we,
For fear, had drowned ourselves: And when we come
To the next port, find means to bring us out.

Hip. Pithily spoken!—
As if you were to bind up marble statues,
Which only bore the shapes of men without,
And had no need of ever easing nature.

Gons. There's but one way left, that's this;—
You know the rope, by which the cock-boat's tied,
Goes down by the stern, and now, we are at anchor,
There sits no pilot to discover us;
My counsel is, to go down by the ladder,
And, being once there, unloose, and row to shore.

Man. This, without doubt, were best; but there lies ever Some one, or more, within the boat, to watch it.

Gons. I'll slide down first, and run the venture of it; You shall come after me, if there be need, To give me succour.

Man. 'Tis the only way.

Gons. Go in to Julia, then, and first prepare her, With knowledge of the pirates, and the danger Her honour's in, among such barbarous people.

Man. Leave it to me.

Amid. Hippolito and Julia, My rivals, like two pointed rocks appear; And I, through both, must to Gonsalvo steer. [Aside.

[Exeunt all but HIPPOLITA.

Hip. As from some steep and dreadful precipice
The frighted traveller casts down his eyes,
And sees the ocean at so great a distance,
It looks as if the skies were sunk below him;
Yet if some neighbouring shrub (how weak soe'er)
Peeps up, his willing eyes stop gladly there,
And seem to ease themselves, and rest upon it:
So, in my desperate state, each little comfort
Preserves me from despair. Gonsalvo strove not
With greater care to give away his Julia,
Than I have done to part with my Gonsalvo;
Yet neither brought to pass our hateful wish.
Then, we may meet, since different ways we move,
Chasing each other in the maze of love.


Enter Don RODORICK, carried by two Servants.

1 Serv. It was the only way that could be thought on, To get down by the ladder to the boat.

2 Serv. You may thank me for that invention.

Rod. What a noise is here, when the least breath's As dangerous as a tempest.

2 Serv. If any of those rogues should hear him talk, In what a case were we?

Rod. O, patience! patience!— This ass brays out for silence.

Enter, at the other end, MANUEL, leading JULIA, GONSALVO, HIPPOLITO, and AMIDEO.

Gons. Hark! what noise is that? go softly.

[They meet on the middle of the stage.

Rod. Who's here? I am betrayed! and nothing grieves me, But I want strength to die with honour.

Jul. Roderick!
Is it thy voice, my love?—Speak, and resolve me,
Whether thou livest, or I am dead with thee?

Man. Kill him, and force our way.

Rod. Is Manuel there? Hold up my arm, that I may make one thrust At him, before I die.

Gons. Since we must fall, We'll sell our lives as dearly as we can.

1 Serv. And we'll defend our master to the last. [Fight.

Enter Pirates, without their Captain.

1 Pirate. What's the meaning of this uproar?—Quarrelling Amongst yourselves at midnight?

2 Pirate. We are come in a fit time to decide the difference.

Man. Hold, gentlemen! we're equally concerned. [To RODORICK'S Servants. We for our own, you for your master's safety; If we join forces, we may then resist them, If not, both sides are ruined.

1 Serv. We agree.

Gons. Come o'er on our side then. [They join.

1 Pirate. A mischief on our captain's drowsiness; We're lost, for want of him! [They fight.

Gons. Dear madam, get behind; while you are safe, We cannot be o'ercome. [To JULIA.

[They drive off the Pirates, and follow them off. RODORICK remains on the ground.

Rod. I had much rather my own life were lost, Than Manuel's were preserved.

Enter the Pirates, retreating before GONSALVO, &c.

1 Pirate. All's lost! they fight like devils, and our captain Yet sleeping in his bed.

2 Pirate. Here lies Don Roderick; If we must die, we'll not leave him behind.

[Goes to kill him.

Jul. O, spare my Roderick's life; and, in exchange, Take mine! I put myself within your power, To save or kill.

1 Pirate. So, here's another pawn, For all our safeties.

Man. Heaven! what has she done?

Gons. Let go the lady, or expect no mercy!—The least drop of her blood is worth all yours. And mine together.

1 Pirate. I am glad you think so:— Either deliver up your sword, or mine Shall pierce her heart this moment.

Gons. Here, here, take it.

Man. You are not mad, to give away all hopes

[MANUEL holds him

Of safety and defence, from us, from her,
And from yourself, at once!

Gons. When she is dead, What is there worth defending?

Man. Will you trust A pirate's promise, sooner than your valour?

Gons. Any thing, rather than see her in danger.

1 Pirate. Nay, if you dispute the matter!—

[Holds his sword to her breast.

Gons. I yield, I yield!—Reason to love must bow: Love, that gives courage, can make cowards too!

[Gives his sword.

Jul. O, strange effect of a most generous passion!

Rod. His enemies themselves must needs admire it.

Man. Nay, if Gonsalvo makes a fashion of it, 'Twill be valour to die tamely. [Gives his.

Hip. I am for dying too with my dear master.

Amid. My life will go as easily as a fly's; The least fillip does it in this fright.

1 Pirate. One call our captain up: Tell him, he deserves little of the booty.

Jul. It has so much prevailed upon my soul, I ever must acknowledge it. [To GONS.

Rod. Julia has reason, if she love him; yet, I find I cannot bear it. [Aside.

Gons. Say but, you love me; I am more than paid.

Jul. You ask that only thing, I cannot give;—
Were I not Roderick's first, I should be yours;
My violent love for him, I know, is faulty;
Yet passion never can be placed so ill,
But that to change it is the greater crime.
Inconstancy is such a guilt, as makes
That very love suspected, which it brings;
It brings a gift, but 'tis of ill-got wealth,
The spoils of some forsaken lover's heart.
Love, altered once, like blood let out before,
Will lose its virtue, and can cure no more.

Gons. In those few minutes which I have to live,
To be called yours, is all I can enjoy.
Roderick receives no prejudice by that;
I would but make some small acquaintance here,
For fear I never should enquire you out
In that new world, which we are going to.

Amid. Then, I can hold no longer;—You desire, In death, to be called hers; and all I wish, Is, dying, to be yours.

Hip. You'll not discover? [Aside.

Amid. See here the most unfortunate of women,
That Angelina, whom you all thought lost;
And lost she was indeed, when she beheld
Gonsalvo first.

All. How?—Angelina!

Rod. Ha! My sister!

Amid. I thought to have fled love in flying Manuel,
But love pursued me in Gonsalvo's shape:
For him, I ventured all that maids hold dear;
The opinion of my modesty, and virtue,
My loss of fortune, and my brother's love.
For him, I have exposed myself to dangers,
Which, great themselves, yet greater would appear,
If you could see them through a woman's fear.
But why do I my right by dangers prove?
The greatest argument for love is love:
That passion, Julia, while he lives, denies,
He should refuse to give her when he dies:
Yet grant he did his life to her bequeath,
May I not claim my share of him in death?
I only beg, when all the glory's gone,
The heatless beams of a departing sun.

Gons. Never was passion, hid so modestly, So generously revealed.

Man. We're now a chain of lovers linked in death;
Julia goes first, Gonsalvo hangs on her,
And Angelina holds upon Gonsalvo,
As I on Angelina.

Hip. Nay, here's Honoria too:—You look on me with wonder in your eyes, To see me here, and in this strange disguise.

Jul. What new miracle is this? Honoria!

Man. I left you with my aunt at Barcelona, And thought, ere this, you had been married to The rich old man, Don Estevan de Gama.

Hip. I ever had a strange aversion for him:
But when Gonsalvo landed there, and made
A kind of courtship, (though, it seems, in jest,)
It served to conquer me; which Estevan
Perceiving, pressed my aunt to haste the marriage.
What should I do? My aunt importuned me
For the next day: Gonsalvo, though I loved him,
Knew not my love; nor was I sure his courtship
Was not the effect of a bare gallantry.

Gons. Alas! how grieved I am, that slight address Should make so deep impression on your mind, In three days time!

Hip. That accident, in which
You saved my life, when first you saw me, caused it,
Though now the story be too long to tell.
Howe'er it was, hearing that night, you lay
Aboard your ship, thus, as you see, disguised,
In clothes belonging to my youngest nephew,
I rose ere day, resolved to find you out,
And, if I could, procure to wait on you
Without discovery of myself: but fortune
Crossed all my hopes.

Gons. It was that dismal night
Which tore my anchor up, and tossed my ship,
Past hope of safety, many days together,
Until at length it threw me on this port.

Hip. I will not tell you what my sorrows were,
To find you gone; but there was now no help.
Go back again, I durst not; but, in fine,
Thought best, as fast as my weak legs would bear me,
To come to Alicant, and find my sister,
Unknown to any else: But, being near
The city, I was seized upon by thieves,
From whom you rescued me.—The rest you know.

Gons. I know too much indeed for my repose.

Enter Captain.

Capt. Do you know me?

Gons. Now I look better on thee, Thou seemest a greater villain than I thought thee.

Jul 'Tis he!

Hip. That bloody wretch, that robbed us in The woods.

Gons. Slave! darest thou lift thy hand against me?
Darest thou touch any one whom he protects,
Who gave thee life? But I accuse myself,
Not thee: The death of all these guiltless persons
Became my crime, that minute when I spared thee.

Capt. It is not all your threats can alter me From what I have resolved.

Gons. Begin, then, first With me.

Capt. I will, by laying here my sword. [Lays his sword at Gonsalvo's feet.

All. What means this sudden change?

Capt. Tis neither new, nor sudden.—From that time
You gave me life, I watched how to repay it;
And Roderick's servant gave me speedy means
To effect my wish: For, telling me, his master
Meant a revenge on you, and on Don Manuel,
And then to seize on Julia, and depart,
I proffered him my aid to seize a vessel;
And having, by enquiry, found out yours,
Acquainted first the captain with my purpose,
To make a seeming mastery of the ship.

Man. How durst he take your word?

Capt. That I secured,
By letting him give notice to the ships
That lay about: This done, knowing the place
You were to fight on was behind the rock,
Not far from thence, I, and some chosen men,
Lay out of sight, that, if foul play were offered,
We might prevent it:
But came not in; because, when there was need,
Don Manuel, who was nearer, stepped before me.

Gons. Then the boat, which seemed To lie by chance, hulling not far from shore, Was placed by your direction there?

Capt. It was.

Gons. You're truly noble; and I owe much more Than my own life and fortunes to your worth.

Capt. 'Tis time I should restore their liberty To such of yours, as yet are seeming prisoners. I'll wait on you again. [Exit Captain.

Rod. My enemies are happy; and the storm, Prepared for them, must break upon my head.

Gons. So far am I from happiness, heaven knows
My griefs are doubled!
I stand engaged in hopeless love to Julia;
In gratitude to these:—
Here I have given my heart, and here I owe it.

Hip. Dear master, trouble not yourself for me;
I ever made your happiness my own;
Let Julia witness with what faith I served you.
When you employed me in your love to her,
I gave your noble heart away, as if
It had been some light gallant's, little worth:
Not that I loved you less than Angelina,
But myself less than you.

Gons. Wonder of honour!
Of which my own was but a fainter shadow.
When I gave Julia, whom I could not keep,
You fed a fire within, with too rich fuel,
In giving it your heart to prey upon;
The sweetest offering that was ever burnt
Since last the Phoenix died.

Hip. If Angelina knew, like me, the pride
Of noble minds, which is to give, not take,
Like me she would be satisfied, her heart
Was well bestowed, and ask for no return.

Amid. Pray, let my heart alone; you'll use it as The gipsies do our money; If they once touch it, they have power upon't.

Enter the Servant, who appeared in the first act with GONSALVO.

Serv. O, my dear lord, Gonsalvo de Peralta!

Rod. De Peralta, said you? You amaze me!

Gons. Why?—Do you know that family in Seville?

Rod. I am myself the elder brother of it.

Gons. Don Rodorick de Peralta!

Rod. I was so,
Until my mother died, whose name, de Sylva,
I chose, (our custom not forbidding it)
Three years ago, when I returned from Flanders:
I came here to possess a fair estate,
Left by an aunt, her sister; for whose sake
I take that name; and liked the place so well,
That never since have I returned to Seville.

Gons. 'Twas then that change of name, which caused my letters
All to miscarry. What an happy tempest
Was this, which would not let me rest at Seville,
But blew me farther on, to see you here!

Amid. Brother, I come to claim a sister's share: But you're too near me, to be nearer now.

Gons. In my room, let me beg you to receive Don Manuel.

Amid. I take it half unkindly,
You give me from yourself so soon: Don Manuel,
I know, is worthy, and, but yesterday,
Preserved my life; but, it will take some time
To change my heart.

Man. I'll watch it patiently, as chemists do
Their golden birth; and, when 'tis changed, receive it
With greater care than they their rich elixir,
Just passing from one vial to another.

Rod. Julia is still my brother's, though I lose her.

Gons. You shall not lose her; Julia was born
For none but you;
And I for none but my Honoria:
Julia is yours by inclination;
And I, by conquest, am Honoria's.

Hon. 'Tis the most glorious one that e'er was made: And I no longer will dispute my happiness.

Rod. Julia, you know my peevish jealousies; I cannot promise you a better husband Than you have had a servant.

Jul. I receive you With all your faults.

Rod. And think, when I am froward,
My sullen humour punishes itself:
I'm like a day in March, sometimes o'ercast
With storms, but then the after clearness is
The greater. The worst is, where I love most,
The tempest falls most heavy.

Jul. Ah! what a little time to love is lent! Yet half that time is in unkindness spent.

Rod. That you may see some hope of my amendment, I give my friendship to Don Manuel, ere My brother asks, or he himself desires it.

Man. I'll ever cherish it.

Gons. Since, for my sake, you become friends, my care
Shall be to keep you so. You, captain, shall
Command this carrack, and, with her, my fortunes.
You, my Honoria, though you have an heart
Which Julia left, yet think it not the worse;
'Tis not worn out, but polished by the wearing.
Your merit shall her beauty's power remove;
Beauty but gains, obligement keeps our love.





The plays of Sir Robert Howard were tolerated by his contemporaries, on account of the rank, gallantry, and loyalty, of the author; at least, we are now unable to discover any better reason for their success. The Committee, alone, kept possession of the stage till our time; and that solely supported by the humours of Teague, an honest blundering Irish footman, such as we usually see in a modern farce. From a hint, given by Langbaine, Sir Robert Howard seems to have been suspected of frequent plagiarisms. At any rate it is certain, that, in the composition of the Indian Queen, he was so fortunate, as to have the assistance of our great poet, who was bound to him by ties of personal obligation.

It is, of course, difficult even to guess at the share which Dryden had in the Indian Queen. Several of the characters have a strong resemblance to others, which he afterwards drew in bolder colours. Thus, Montezuma, who, like the hero of an ancient romance, bears fortune to any side which he pleases to espouse, is justly pointed out by Settle, as the prototype of Almanzor; though we look in vain for the glowing language, which, though sometimes bordering on burlesque, suits so well the extravagant character of the Moorish hero. Zempoalla strongly resembles Nourmuhal in Aureng-Zebe; both shewing that high spirit of pride, with which Dryden has often invested his female characters. The language of the Indian Queen possesses, in general, greater ease, and a readier flow of verse, than Sir Robert Howard appears to have possessed, when unassisted. Of this he seems, himself, to have been sensible; and alludes to Dryden's acknowledged superiority, when maintaining against him the cause of dramatic blank verse, as preferable to rhyme[1]. Besides general hints towards the conception of the characters, and a superintendance of the dialogue, it is probable, that Dryden wrote some entire scenes of the following piece. In the third act particularly, the passage respecting the incantation, which resembles that in the Indian Emperor, has strong traces of our author's manner.

[Footnote 1: "But writing the epistle in so much haste, I had almost forgot one argument, or observation, which that author (Dryden) has most good fortune in. It is in his Epistle Dedicatory, before his essay of Dramatic Poesie; where, speaking of rhyme in plays, he desires it may be observed, that none are violent against it, but such as have not attempted it, or who have succeeded ill in the attempt: Which, as to myself, and him, I easily acknowledge;—for, I confess, none has written in that way better than himself, nor few worse than I."

Introduction to the Great Favourite, or the Duke of Lerma.]

The Indian Queen was acted in 1664; and received, says Langbaine, with great applause. It was printed in 1665.


_As the music plays a soft air, the curtain rises slowly, and discovers an Indian Boy and Girl sleeping under two plantain-trees; and, when the curtain is almost up, the music turns into a tune expressing an alarm, at which the Boy awakes, and speaks;

Boy. WAKE, wake, Quevira! our soft rest must cease,
And fly together with our country's peace!
No more must we sleep under plantain shade,
Which neither heat could pierce, nor cold invade;
Where bounteous nature never feels decay,
And opening buds drive falling fruits away.

Que. Why should men quarrel here, where all possess
As much as they can hope for by success?—
None can have most, where nature is so kind,
As to exceed man's use, though not his mind.

Boy. By ancient prophecies we have been told, Our world shall be subdued by one more old;— And, see, that world already hither come.

Que. If these be they, we welcome then our doom! Their looks are Such, that mercy flows from thence, More gentle than our native innocence.

Boy. Why should we then fear these, our enemies, That rather seem to us like deities?

Que. By their protection, let us beg to live;
They came not here to conquer, but forgive.—
If so, your goodness may your power express,
And we shall judge both best by our success.


The Inca of Peru. MONTEZUMA, his General. ACACIS, son to ZEMPOALLA. TRAXALLA, General to ZEMPOALLA. GARUCCA, a faithful subject to AMEXIA. The God of Dreams. ISMERON, one of the prophets, a conjuror. Officers and Soldiers. Peruvians and Mexicans. Priests.

AMEXIA, the lawful queen of Mexico.
ZEMPOALLA, the usurping Indian Queen.
ORAZIA,daughter to the Inca.
Attendants of Ladies.



Enter Inca, ORAZIA, MONTEZUMA, ACACIS, prisoners, with Peruvians.

Inca. Thrice have the Mexicans before us fled,
Their armies broke, their prince in triumph led;
Both to thy valour, brave young man, we owe;
Ask thy reward, but such as it may show
It is a king thou hast obliged, whose mind
Is large, and, like his fortune, unconfined.

Mont. Young, and a stranger, to your court I
There, by your favour, raised to what I am:
I conquer, but in right of your great fate,
And so your arms, not mine, are fortunate.

Inca. I am impatient, till this debt be paid.
Which still encreases on me while delayed;
A bounteous monarch to himself is kind:
Ask such a gift as may for ever bind
Thy service to my empire, and to me.

Mont. What can this gift, he bids me ask him, be!
Perhaps he has perceived our mutual fires,
And now, with ours, would crown his own desires;
'Tis so, he sees my service is above
All other payments but his daughter's love.


Inca. So quick to merit, and to take so slow?
I first prevent small wishes, and bestow
This prince, his sword and fortunes, to thy hand;
He's thine unasked; now make thy free demand.

Mont. Here, prince, receive this sword, as only due

[Gives ACACIS his sword.

To that excess of courage shown in you.—
When you, without demand, a prince bestow,
Less than a prince to ask of you were low.

Inca. Then ask a kingdom; say, where thou wilt reign.

Mont. I beg not empires, those my sword can gain;
But, for my past and future service too,
What I have done, and what I mean to do;
For this of Mexico which I have won,
And kingdoms I will conquer yet unknown;
I only ask from fair Orazia's eyes
To reap the fruits of all my victories.

1 Peru. Our Inca's colour mounts into his face.

2 Peru. His looks speak death.

Inca. Young man of unknown race,
Ask once again; so well thy merits plead,
Thou shall not die for that which thou hast said;
The price of what thou ask'st, thou dost not know;
That gift's too high.

Mont. And all besides too low.

Inca. Once more I bid thee ask.

Mont. Once more I make The same demand.

Inca. The Inca bids thee take Thy choice, what towns, what kingdoms thou would'st have.

Mont. Thou giv'st me only what before I gave. Give me thy daughter.

Inca. Thou deserv'st to die.
O thou great author of our progeny,
Thou glorious sun, dost thou not blush to shine,
While such base blood attempts to mix with thine!

Mont. That sun, thou speak'st of, did not hide his face, When he beheld me conquering with his race.

Inca. My fortunes gave thee thy success in fight! Convey thy boasted valour from my sight; I can o'ercome without thy feeble aid.

[Exeunt Inca, ORAZIA, and Peruvians.

Mont. And is it thus my services are paid? Not all his guards—

[Offers to go, ACACIS holds him.

Aca. Hold, sir.

Mont. Unhand me.

Aca. No, I must your rage prevent
From doing what your reason would repent;
Like the vast seas, your mind no limits knows,
Like them, lies open to each wind that blows.

Mont. Can a revenge, that is so just, be ill?

Aca. It is Orazia's father, you would kill.

Mont. Orazia! how that name has charmed my sword!

Aca. Compose these wild distempers in your breast; Anger, like madness, is appeased by rest.

Mont. Bid children sleep, my spirits boil too high;
But, since Orazia's father must not die,
A nobler vengeance shall my actions guide;
I'll bear the conquest to the conquered side,
Until this Inca for my friendship sues,
And proffers what his pride does now refuse.

Aca. Your honour is obliged to keep your trust.

Mont. He broke that bond, in ceasing to be just.

Aca. Subjects to kings should more obedience pay.

Mont. Subjects are bound, not strangers, to obey.

Aca. Can you so little your Orazia prize,
To give the conquest to her enemies?
Can you so easily forego her sight?
I, that hold liberty more dear than light,
Yet to my freedom should my chains prefer,
And think it were well lost to stay with her.

Mont. How unsuccessfully I still o'ercome!
I brought a rival, not a captive, home;
Yet I may be deceived; but 'tis too late
To clear those doubts, my stay brings certain fate.
Come, prince, you shall to Mexico return,
Where your sad armies do your absence mourn;
And in one battle I will gain you more
Than I have made you lose in three before.

Aca. No, Montezuma, though you change your side, I, as a prisoner, am by honour tied.

Mont. You are my prisoner, and I set you free.

Aca. 'Twere baseness to accept such liberty.

Mont. From him, that conquered you, it should be sought.

Aca. No, but from him, for whom my conqueror fought.

Mont. Still you are mine, his gift has made you so.

Aca. He gave me to his general, not his foe.

Mont. How poorly have you pleaded honour's laws! Yet shun the greatest in your country's cause.

Aca. What succour can the captive give the free.

Mont. A needless captive is an enemy. In painted honour you would seem to shine; But 'twould be clouded, were your wrongs like mine.

Aca. When choler such unbridled power can
Thy virtue seems but thy revenge's slave:
If such injustice should my honour stain,
My aid would prove my nation's loss, not gain.

Mont. Be cozened by thy guilty honesty, To make thyself thy country's enemy.

Aca. I do not mean in the next fight to stain
My sword in blood of any Mexican,
But will be present in the fatal strife,
To guard Orazia's and the Inca's life.

Mont. Orazia's life, fond man! First guard thy own; Her safety she must owe to me alone.

Aca. Your sword, that does such wonders, cannot be, In an ill cause, secure of victory.

Mont. Hark, hark! [Noise of trampling.

Aca. What noise is this invades my ear?
Fly, Montezuma! fly, the guards are near:
To favour your retreat, I'll freely pay
That life, which you so frankly gave this day.

Mont. I must retire; but those, that follow me, Pursue their deaths, and not their victory.

[Exit MONT.

Aca. Our quarrels kinder than our friendships prove: You for my country fight, I for your love.

Enter INCA and Guards.

Inca. I was to blame to leave this madman free; Perhaps he may revolt to the enemy, Or stay, and raise some fatal mutiny.

Aca. Stop your pursuits, for they must pass through me.

Inca. Where is the slave?

Aca. Gone.

Inca. Whither?

Aca. O'er the plain; Where he may soon the camp, or city, gain.

Inca. Curse on my dull neglect! And yet I do less cause of wonder find, That he is gone, than that thou stayest behind.

Aca. My treatment, since you took me, was so free,
It wanted but the name of liberty.
I with less shame can still your captive live,
Than take that freedom, which you did not give.

Inca. Thou brave young man, that hast thy years outdone,
And, losing liberty, hast honour won,
I must myself thy honour's rival make,
And give that freedom, which thou would'st not take.
Go, and be safe.—

Aca. But that you may be so—
Your dangers must be past before I go.
Fierce Montezuma will for fight prepare,
And bend on you the fury of the war,
Which, by my presence, I will turn away,
If fortune gives my Mexicans the day.

Inca. Come, then, we are alike to honour just, Thou to be trusted thus, and I to trust. [Exeunt.

SCENE II.—Mexico.

Enter ZEMPOALLA, TRAXALLA, and attendants.

Zemp. O my Acacis!
Does not my grief, Traxalla, seem too rude,
Thus to press out before my gratitude
Has paid my debts to you?—yet it does move
My rage and grief, to see those powers above
Punish such men, as, if they be divine,
They know will most adore, and least repine.

Trax. Those, that can only mourn when they are crost,
May lose themselves with grieving for the lost.
Rather to your retreated troops appear,
And let them see a woman void of fear:
The shame of that may call their spirits home.
Were the prince safe, we were not overcome,
Though we retired: O, his too youthful heat,
That thrust him where the dangers were so great!
Heaven wanted power his person to protect
From that, which he had courage to neglect:
But since he's lost, let us draw forth, and pay
His funeral rites in blood; that we or they
May, in our fates, perform his obsequies,
And make death triumph when Acacis dies.

Zemp. That courage, thou hast shown in fight, seems less
Than this, amidst despair to have excess:
Let thy great deeds force fate to change her mind:
He, that courts fortune boldly, makes her kind.

Trax. If e'er Traxalla so successful proves,
May he then say he hopes, as well as loves;
And that aspiring passion boldly own,
Which gave my prince his fate, and you his throne?
I did not feel remorse to see his blood
Flow from the spring of life into a flood;
Nor did it look like treason, since to me
You were a sovereign much more great than he.

Zemp. He was my brother, yet I scorned to pay
Nature's mean debts, but threw those bonds away;
When his own issue did my hopes remove,
Not only from his empire, but his love.
You, that in all my wrongs then bore a part,
Now need not doubt a place within my heart:
I could not offer you my crown and bed,
Till fame and envy with long time were dead;
But fortune does now happily present
Occasions, fit to second my intent.
Your valour may regain the public love,
And make the people's choice their queen's approve.


Hark, hark, what noise is this, that strikes my ear!

Trax. 'Tis not a sound that should beget a fear; Such shouts as these have I heard often fly From conquering armies, crowned with victory.

Zemp. Great God of vengeance, here I firmly vow,
Make but my Mexicans successful now,
And with a thousand feasts thy flames I'll feed;
And that I take shall on the altars bleed;
Princes themselves shall fall, and make thy shrine,
Died with their blood, in glorious blushes shine.

Enter a Messenger.

Trax. How now! What news is this that makes thy haste a flight?

Mess. Such as brings victory without a fight. The prince Acacis lives—

Zemp. Oh, I am blest!—

Mess. Reserve some joy till I have told the rest.
He's safe, and only wants his liberty:
But that great man, that carries victory
Where'er he goes; that mighty man, by whom
In three set battles we were overcome;
Ill used (it seems) by his ungrateful king,
Does to our camp his fate and valour bring.
The troop gaze on him, as if some bright star
Shot to their aids; call him the god of war:
Whilst he, as if all conquest did of right
Belong to him, bids them prepare to fight;
Which if they should delay one hour, he swears
He'll leave them to their dangers, or their fears,
And shame, which is the ignoble coward's choice.
At this the army seemed to have one voice,
United in a shout, and called upon
The god-like stranger, "Lead us, lead us on."
Make haste, great sir, lest you should come too late,
To share with them in victory, or fate.

Zemp. My general, go; the gods be on our side; Let valour act, but let discretion guide.

[Exit TRAX.

Great god of vengeance,
I see thou dost begin to hear me now:
Make me thy offering, if I break my vow. [Exeunt.


Enter INCA and ORAZIA, as pursued in a battle.

Oraz. O fly, sir, fly; like torrents your swift foes Come rolling on—

Inca. The gods can but destroy. The noblest way to fly is that death shows; I'll court her now, since victory's grown coy.

Oraz. Death's winged to your pursuit, and yet you wait To meet her—

Inca. Poor Orazia, time and fate Must once o'ertake me, though I now should fly.

Oraz. Do not meet death; but when it comes, then die.

Enter three Soldiers.

3 Sold. Stand, sir, and yield yourself, and that fair prey.

Inca. You speak to one, unpractised to obey.


Mont. Hold, villains, hold, or your rude lives shall be
Lost in the midst of your own victory:
These have I hunted for;—nay, do not stare;
Be gone, and in the common plunder share.

[Exeunt Soldiers.

How different is my fate, from theirs, whose fame
From conquest grows! from conquest grows my shame.

Inca. Why dost thou pause? thou canst not give me back,
With fruitless grief, what I enjoyed before;
No more than seas, repenting of a wreck,
Can with a calm our buried wealth restore.

Mont. 'Twere vain to own repentance, since I know
Thy scorn, which did my passions once despise,
Once more would make my swelling anger flow,
Which now ebbs lower than your miseries:
The gods, that in my fortunes were unkind,
Gave me not sceptres, nor such gilded things;
But, whilst I wanted crowns, enlarged my mind
To despise sceptres, and dispose of kings.

Inca. Thou art but grown a rebel by success,
And I, that scorned Orazia should be tied
To thee my slave, must now esteem thee less:
Rebellion is a greater guilt than pride.

Mont. Princes see others' faults, but not their own;
'Twas you that broke that bond, and set me free:
Yet I attempted not to climb your throne,
And raise myself; but level you to me.

Oraz. O, Montezuma, could thy love engage
Thy soul so little, or make banks so low
About thy heart, that thy revenge and rage,
Like sudden floods, so soon should overflow?
Ye gods, how much I was mistaken here!
I thought you gentle as the gall-less dove;
But you as humoursome as winds appear,
And subject to more passions than your love.

Mont. How have I been betrayed by guilty rage,
Which, like a flame, rose to so vast a height,
That nothing could resist, nor yet assuage,
Till it wrapt all things in one cruel fate.
But I'll redeem myself, and act such things,
That you shall blush Orazia was denied;
And yet make conquest, though with wearied wings,
Take a new flight to your own fainting side.

Inca. Vain man, what foolish thoughts fill thy swelled mind!
It is too late our ruin to recall;
Those, that have once great buildings undermined,
Will prove too weak to prop them in their fall.

Enter TRAXALLA, with the former soldiers.

1 Sold. See, mighty sir, where the bold stranger stands, Who snatched these glorious prisoners from our hands.

Trax. 'Tis the great Inca; seize him as my prey, To crown the triumphs of this glorious day.

Mont. Stay your bold hands from reaching at what's mine,
If any title springs from victory;
You safer may attempt to rob a shrine,
And hope forgiveness from the deity.


Trax. O, my dear prince, my joys to see you live Are more than all that victory can give.

Aca. How are my best endeavours crost by fate!
Else you had ne'er been lost, or found so late.
Hurried by the wild fury of the fight,
Far from your presence, and Orazia's sight,
I could not all that care and duty show,
Which, as your captive, mighty prince, I owe.

Inca. You often have preserved our lives this day,
And one small debt with many bounties pay.
But human actions hang on springs, that be
Too small, or too remote, for us to see.
My glories freely I to yours resign,
And am your prisoner now, that once were mine.

Mont. These prisoners, sir, are mine by right of war; And I'll maintain that right, if any dare.

Trax. Yes, I would snatch them from thy weak defence;
But that due reverence, which I owe my prince,
Permits me not to quarrel in his sight;
To him I shall refer his general's right.

Mont. I knew too well what justice I should find From an armed plaintiff, and a judge so kind.

Aca. Unkindly urged, that I should use thee so; Thy virtue is my rival, not my foe; The prisoners fortune gave thee shall be thine.

Trax. Would you so great a prize to him resign?

Aca. Should he, who boldly for his prey designed
To dive the deepest under swelling tides,
Have the less title if he chance to find
The richest jewel that the ocean hides?
They are his due—
But in his virtue I repose that trust,
That he will be as kind as I am just:
Dispute not my commands, but go with haste,
Rally our men, they may pursue too fast,
And the disorders of the inviting prey
May turn again the fortune of the day.

[Exit TRAX.

Mont. How gentle all this prince's actions be! Virtue is calm in him, but rough in me.

Aca. Can Montezuma place me in his breast?

Mont. My heart's not large enough for such a guest.

Aca. See, Montezuma, see, Orazia weeps.

[ORAZ. weeps.

Mont. Acacis! is he deaf, or, waking, sleeps?
He does not hear me, sees me not, nor moves;
How firm his eyes are on Orazia fixt!
Gods, that take care of men, let not our loves
Become divided by their being mixt.

Aca. Weep not, fair princess, nor believe you are
A prisoner, subject to the chance of war;
Why should you waste the stock of those fair eyes,
That from mankind can take their liberties?
And you, great sir, think not a generous mind
To virtuous princes dares appear unkind,
Because those princes are unfortunate,
Since over all men hangs a doubtful fate:
One gains by what another is bereft;
The frugal deities have only left
A common bank of happiness below,
Maintained, like nature, by an ebb and flow.



ZEMPOALLA _appears seated upon a throne, frowning upon her attendants; then comes down and speaks.

Zemp_. No more, you, that above your prince's
dare proclaim,
With your rebellious breath, a stranger's name.

1 Peru. Dread empress—

Zemp. Slaves, perhaps you grieve to see Your young prince glorious, 'cause he sprang from me; Had he been one of base Amexia's brood, Your tongues, though silent now, had then been loud.


Traxalla, welcome; welcomer to me
Than what thou bring'st, a crown and victory.

Trax. All I have done is nothing; fluttering
Now tells no news, but of the stranger's name,
And his great deeds; 'tis he, they cry, by whom
Not men, but war itself is overcome;
Who, bold with his success, dares think to have
A prince to wear his chains, and be his slave.

Zemp. What prince?

Trax. The great Peruvian Inca, that of late
In three set battles was so fortunate,
Till this strange man had power to turn the tide,
And carry conquest into any side.

Zemp. Would you permit a private man to have
The great Peruvian Inca for his slave?
Shame to all princes! was it not just now
I made a sacred, and a solemn vow,
To offer up (if blest with victory)
The prisoners that were took? and they shall die.

Trax. I soon had snatched from this proud stranger's hand
That too great object for his bold demand;
Had not the prince, your son, to whom I owe
A kind obedience, judged it should be so.

Zemp. I'll hear no more; go quickly take my guards,
And from that man force those usurped rewards;
That prince, upon whose ruins I must rise,
Shall be the gods', but more my sacrifice:
They, with my slaves, in triumph shall be tied,
While my devotion justifies my pride:
Those deities, in whom I place my trust,
Shall see, when they are kind, that I am just. [Exit.

Trax. How gladly I obey!
There's something shoots from my enlivened frame,
Like a new soul, but yet without a name,
Nor can I tell what the bold guest will prove;
It must be envy, or it must be love:
Let it be either, 'tis the greatest bliss
For man to grant himself, all he dares wish;
For he, that to himself himself denies,
Proves meanly wretched, to be counted wise.



Aca. You wrong, me, my best friend, not to believe
Your kindness gives me joy; and when I grieve,
Unwillingly my sorrows I obey:
Showers sometimes fall upon a shining day.

Mont.. Let me, then, share your griefs, that in your fate Would have took part.

Aca. Why should you ask me that? Those must be mine, though I have such excess; Divided griefs increase, and not grow less.

Mont. It does not lessen fate, nor satisfy The grave, 'tis true, when friends together die; And yet they are unwilling to divide.

Aca. To such a friend nothing can be denied.
You, when you hear my story, will forgive
My grief, and rather wonder that I live;
Unhappy in my title to a throne,
Since blood made way for my succession:
Blood of an uncle too, a prince so free
From being cruel, it taught cruelty.
His queen Amexia then was big with child;
Nor was he gentler than his queen was mild;
Th'impatient people longed for what should come
From such a father, bred in such a womb;
When false Traxalla, weary to obey,
Took with his life their joys and hopes away.
Amexia, by the assistance of the night,
When this dark deed was acted, took her flight;
Only with true Garucca for her aid:
Since when, for all the searches that were made,
The queen was never heard of more: Yet still
This traitor lives, and prospers by the ill:
Nor does my mother seem to reign alone,
But with this monster shares the guilt and throne.
Horror choaks up my words: now you'll believe,
'Tis just I should do nothing else but grieve.

Mont. Excellent prince! How great a proof of virtue have you shown, To be concerned for griefs, though not your own!

Aca. Pray, say no more.

Enter a Messenger hastily.

Mont. How now, whither so fast?

Mess. O sir, I come too slow with all my haste! The fair Orazia—

Mont. Ha, what dost thou say?

Mess. Orazia with the Inca's forced away
Out of your tent; Traxalla, in the head
Of the rude soldiers, forced the door, and led,
Those glorious captives, who on thrones once shined,
To grace the triumph, that is now designed. [Exit.

Mont. Orazia forced away!—what tempests roll
About my thoughts, and toss my troubled soul!
Can there be gods to see, and suffer this?
Or does mankind make his own fate or bliss;
While every good and bad happens by chance,
Not from their orders, but their ignorance?—
I will pull a ruin on them all,
And turn their triumph to a funeral.

Aca. Be temperate, friend.

Mont. You may as well advise That I should have less love, as grow more wise.

Aca. Yet stay—I did not think to have revealed
A secret, which my heart has still concealed;
But, in this cause since I must share with you,
'Tis fit you know—I love Orazia too:
Delay not then, nor waste the time in words,
Orazia's cause calls only for our swords.

Mont. That ties my hand, and turns from thee that rage
Another way, thy blood should else assuage:
The storm on our proud foes shall higher rise,
And, changing, gather blackness as it flies:
So, when winds turn, the wandering waves obey,
And all the tempest rolls another way.

Aca. Draw then a rival's sword, as I draw mine.
And, like friends suddenly to part, let's join
 In this one act, to seek one destiny;
 Rivals with honour may together die. [Exeunt.


ZEMPOALLA appears seated upon her Slaves in triumph, and the Indians, as to celebrate the victory, advance in a warlike dance; in the midst of which triumph, ACACIS and MONTEZUMA fall in upon them.

ZEMPOALLA descends from her triumphant throne, and ACACIS and MONTEZUMA _are brought in before her.

Zemp_. Shame of my blood, and traitor to thy own:
Born to dishonour, not command a throne!
Hast thou, with envious eyes, my triumph seen?
Or couldst not see thy mother in thy queen?
Couldst thou a stranger above me prefer?

Aca. It was my honour made my duty err; I could not see his prisoners forced away, To whom I owed my life, and you the day.

Zemp. Is that young man the warrior so renowned?

Mont. Yes, he, that made thy men thrice quit their ground. Do, smile at Montezuma's chains; but know, His valour gave thee power to use him so.

Trax. Grant that it did, what can his merits be,
That sought his vengeance, not our victory?
What has thy brutish fury gained us more,
Than only healed the wounds, it gave before?
Die then, for, whilst thou liv'st, wars cannot cease;
Thou may'st bring victory, but never peace.
Like a black storm thou roll'st about us all,
Even to thyself unquiet, till thy fall.
 [Draws to kill him.

Aca. Unthankful villain, hold!

Trax. You must not give Him succour, sir.

Aca. Why then, I must not live. Posterity shall ne'er report, they had Such thankless fathers, or a prince so bad.

Zemp. You're both too bold to will or to deny:
On me alone depends his destiny.
Tell me, audacious stranger, whence could rise
The confidence of this rash enterprise?

Mont. First tell me, how you dared to force from me The fairest spoils of my own victory?

Zemp. Kill him—hold, must he die?—why, let him die;—
Whence should proceed this strange diversity.
In my resolves?
Does he command in chains? What would he do,
Proud slave, if he were free, and I were so?
But is he bound, ye gods, or am I free?
'Tis love, 'tis love, that thus disorders me.
How pride and love tear my divided soul!
For each too narrow, yet both claim it whole:
Love, as the younger, must be forced away.—
Hence with the captives, general, and convey
To several prisons that young man, and this
Peruvian woman.

Trax. How concerned she is! I must know more.

Mont. Fair princess, why should I
Involve that sweetness in my destiny?
I could out-brave my death, were I alone
To suffer, but my fate must pull yours on.
My breast is armed against all sense of fear;
But where your image lies, 'tis tender there.

Inca. Forbear thy saucy love, she cannot be So low, but still she is too high for thee.

Zemp. Be gone, and do as I command; away!

Mont. I ne'er was truly wretched till this day.

Oraz. Think half your sorrows on Orazia fall, And be not so unkind to suffer all: Patience, in cowards, is tame hopeless fear, But, in brave minds, a scorn of what they bear. [Exit Inca, MONTEZUMA, ORAZIA, and TRAXALLA.

Zemp. What grief is this which in your face appears?

Aca. The badge of sorrow, which my soul still wears.

Zemp. Though thy late actions did my anger move,
It cannot rob thee of a mother's love.
Why shouldst thou grieve?
Grief seldom joined with blooming youth is seen;
Can sorrow be where knowledge scarce has been?
Fortune does well for heedless youth provide,
But wisdom does unlucky age misguide;
Cares are the train of present power and state,
But hope lives best that on himself does wait:
O happiest fortune if well understood,
The certain prospect of a future good!

Aca. What joy can empire bring me, when I know That all my greatness to your crimes I owe:

Zemp. Yours be the joy, be mine the punishment.

Aca. In vain, alas, that wish to Heaven is sent For me, if fair Orazia must not live.

Zemp. Why should you ask me what I cannot
She must be sacrificed: Can I bestow
What to the gods, by former vows, I owe?

Aca. O plead not vows; I wish you had not shown You slighted all things sacred for a throne.

Zemp. I love thee so, that, though fear follows still,
And horror urges, all that have been ill,
I could for thee
Act o'er my crimes again; and not repent,
Even when I bore the shame and punishment.

Aca. Could you so many ill acts undertake, And not perform one good one for my sake?

Zemp. Prudence permits not pity should be shown To those, that raised the war to shake my throne.

Aca. As you are wise, permit me to be just;
What prudence will not venture, honour must;
We owe our conquest to the stranger's sword,
Tis just his prisoners be to him restored.
I love Orazia; but a nobler way,
Than for my love my honour to betray.

Zemp. Honour is but an itch of youthful blood,
Of doing acts extravagantly good;
We call that virtue, which is only heat
That reigns in youth, till age finds out the cheat.

Aca. Great actions first did her affections move, And I, by greater, would regain her love.

Zemp. Urge not a suit which I must still deny; Orazia and her father both shall die: Begone, I'll hear no more.

Aca. You stop your ears—
But though a mother will not, Heaven will hear;
Like you I vow, when to the powers divine
You pay her guiltless blood, I'll offer mine. [Exit.

Zemp. She dies, this happy rival, that enjoys
The stranger's love, and all my hopes destroys;
Had she triumphed, what could she more have done,
Than robbed the mother, and enslaved the son?
Nor will I, at the name of cruel, stay:
Let dull successive monarchs mildly sway:
Their conquering fathers did the laws forsake,
And broke the old, ere they the new could make,
I must pursue my love; yet love, enjoyed,
Will, with esteem, that caused it first, grow less:
But thirst and hunger fear not to be cloyed,
And when they be, are cured by their excess.


Trax. Now I shall see, what thoughts her heart
For that, which wisdom covers, love reveals. [Aside.
Madam, the prisoners are disposed.

Zemp. They are? And how fares our young blustering man of war? Does he support his chains with patience yet?

Trax. He, and the princess, madam—

Zemp. Are they met?

Trax. No: but from whence is all this passion grown?

Zemp. 'Twas a mistake.

Trax. I find this rash unknown Is dangerous; and, if not timely slain, May plunge your empire in new wars again.

Zemp. Thank ye; I shall consider.

Trax. Is that all?
The army doat on him, already call
You cruel; and, for aught I know, they may
By force unchain, and crown him in a day.

Zemp. You say, I have already had their curse For his bad usage; should I use him worse?

Trax. Yet once you feared his reputation might Obscure the prince's in the people's sight.

Zemp. Time will inform us best what course to
But let us not our sacred vows defer:
The Inca and his daughter both shall die.

Trax. He suffers justly for the war; but why Should she share his sad fate? A poor pretence, That birth should make a crime of innocence.

Zemp. Yet we destroy the poisonous viper's young, Not for themselves, but those from whom they sprung.

Trax. O no, they die not for their parents' sake,
But for the poisonous seed which they partake.
Once more behold her, and then let her die,
If in that face or person you can see
But any place to fix a cruelty.
The heavens have clouds, and spots are in the moon;
But faultless beauty shines in her alone.

Zemp. Beauty has wrought compassion in your mind!

Trax. And you to valour are become as kind. To former services there's something due, Yet be advised—

Zemp. Yes, by myself, not you.

Trax. Princes are sacred.

Zemp. True, whilst they are free:
But power once lost, farewell their sanctity:
'Tis power, to which the gods their worship owe,
Which, uncontrouled, makes all things just below:
Thou dost the plea of saucy rebels use;
They will be judge of what their prince must chuse:
Hard fate of monarchs, not allowed to know
When safe, but as their subjects tell them so.
Then princes but like public pageants move,
And seem to sway, because they sit above. [Exit.

Trax. She loves him; in one moment this new
Has drove me out from this false woman's breast;
They, that would fetter love with constancy,
Make bonds to chain themselves, but leave him free
With what impatience I her falsehood bear!
Yet do myself that, which I blame in her;
But interest in my own cause makes me see
That act unjust in her, but just in me. [Exit.



Zemp. Ho, Ismeron, Ismeron!
He stirs not; ha, in such a dismal cell
Can gentle sleep with his soft blessings dwell?
Must I feel tortures in a human breast,
While beasts and monsters can enjoy their rest?
What quiet they possess in sleep's calm bliss!
The lions cease to roar, the snakes to hiss,
While I am kept awake,
Only to entertain my miseries.
Or if a slumber steal upon my eyes,
Some horrid dream my labouring soul benumbs
And brings fate to me sooner than it comes.
Fears most oppress when sleep has seized upon
The outward parts, and left the soul alone.
What envied blessings these cursed things enjoy!
Next to possess, 'tis pleasure to destroy.
Ismeron! ho, Ismeron, Ismeron! [Stamps.

Ism. Who's that, that with so loud and fierce a call Disturbs my rest?

Zemp. She, that has none at all, Nor ever must, unless thy powerful art Can charm the passions of a troubled heart.

Ism. How can you have a discontented mind, To whom the gods have lately been so kind?

Zemp. Their envious kindness how can I enjoy, When they give blessings, and the use destroy?

Ism. Dread empress, tell the cause of all your grief; If art can help, be sure of quick relief.

Zemp. I dreamed, before the altar that I led
A mighty lion in a twisted thread;
I shook to hold him in so slight a tie,
Yet had not power to seek a remedy:
When, in the midst of all my fears, a clove,
With hovering wings, descended from above,
Flew to the lion, and embraces spread,
With wings, like clasping arms, about his head,
Making that murmuring noise that cooing doves
Use, in the soft expression of their loves;
While I, fixed by my wonder, gazed to see
So mild a creature with so fierce agree:
At last the gentle dove turned from his head,
And, pecking, tried to break the slender thread,
Which instantly she severed, and released
From that small bond the fierce and mighty beast,
Who presently turned all his rage on me,
And, with his freedom, brought my destiny.

Ism. Dread empress, this strange vision you relate
Is big with wonder, and too full of fate,
Without the god's assistance, to expound.
In those low regions, where sad night hangs round
The drowsy vaults, and where moist vapours steep
The god's dull brows, that sways the realm of sleep;
There all the informing elements repair,
Swift messengers of water, fire, and air,
To give account of actions, whence they came,
And how they govern every mortal frame;
How, from their various mixture, or their strife,
Are known the calms and tempests of our life:
Thence souls, when sleep their bodies overcome,
Have some imperfect knowledge of their doom.
From those dark caves those powers shall strait appear;
Be not afraid, whatever shapes they wear.

Zemp. There's nothing, thou canst raise, can make me start; A living form can only shake my heart.

Ism. You twice ten hundred deities,
            To whom we daily sacrifice;
            You powers, that dwell with fate below,
            And see what men are doomed to do;
            Where elements in discord dwell;
            Thou god of sleep, arise and tell
            Great Zempoalla what strange fate
            Must on her dismal vision wait.

Zemp. How slow these spirits are! Call, make them rise, Or they shall fast from flame and sacrifice.

Ism. Great empress,
Let not your rage offend what we adore,
And vainly threaten, when we must implore.
Sit silently, and attend—
While my powerful charms I end.

            By the croaking of the toad,
            In their caves that make abode;
            Earthy Dun that pants for breath,
            With her swelled sides full of death;
            By the crested adders' pride,
            That along the clifts do glide;
            By thy visage fierce and black;
            By the death's-head on thy back;
            By the twisted serpents placed
            For a girdle round thy waist;
            By the hearts of gold that deck
            Thy breast, thy shoulders, and thy neck:
            From thy sleepy mansion rise,
            And open thy unwilling eyes,
            While bubbling springs their music keep,
            That use to lull thee in thy sleep.

God of Dreams rises.

God. Seek not to know what must not be revealed;
Joys only flow where fate is most concealed:
Too busy man would find his sorrows more,
If future fortunes he should know before;
For, by that knowledge of his destiny,
He would not live at all, but always die.
Enquire not, then, who shall from bonds be freed,
Who 'tis shall wear a crown, and who shall bleed:
All must submit to their appointed doom;
Fate and misfortune will too quickly come:
Let me no more with powerful charms be pressed;
I am forbid by fate to tell the rest.

[The god descends.

Zemp. Stay, cozener, thou, that hat'st clear truth like light,
And usest words dark as thy own dull night.
You tyrant gods, do you refuse to free
The soul, you gave, from its perplexity?
Why should we in your mercies still believe,
When you can never pity, though we grieve?
For you have bound yourselves by harsh decrees;
And those, not you, are now the deities.
 [Sits down sad.

Ism. She droops under the weight of rage and care:
You spirits, that inhabit in the air,
With all your powerful charms of music, try
To bring-her soul back to its harmony.


  Poor mortals, that are clogged with earth below,
    Sink under love and care,
    While we, that dwell in air,
   Such heavy passions never know.
    Why then should mortals be
    Unwilling to be free
    From blood, that sullen cloud,
    Which shining souls does shroud?
    Then they'll shew bright,
    And like us light,
   When leaving bodies with their care,
    They slide to us and air

Zemp. Death on these trifles! Cannot your art find
Some means, to ease the passions of the mind?
Or, if you cannot give a lover rest,
Can you force love into a scornful breast?

Ism. Tis reason only can make passions less;
Art gives not new, but may the old increase;
Nor can it alter love in any breast,
That is with other flames before possessed.

Zemp. If this be all your slighted arts can do, I'll kindle other flames, since I must burn, And all their temples into ashes turn.

Ism. Great queen—

_Zemp. If you would have this sentence staid,
Summon their godheads quickly to your aid,
And presently compose a charm, that may
Love's flames into the stranger's breast convey,
The captive stranger, he whose sword and eyes
Wheree'er they strike, meet ready victories:
Make him but burn for me, in flames like mine,
Victims shall bleed, and feasted altars shine:
If not—
  Down go your temples, and your gods shall see
  They have small use of their divinity. [Exeunt.


SCENE I.—The scene opens, and discovers MONTEZUMA sleeping in prison.

Enter TRAXALLA leading in ORAZIA.

Trax. Now take your choice, and bid him live or die;
To both shew pity, or shew cruelty:
'Tis you that must condemn, I'll only act;
Your sentence is more cruel than my fact.

Oraz. You are most cruel, to disturb a mind, Which to approaching fate was so resigned.

Trax. Reward my passion, and you'll quickly prove
There's none dare sacrifice what I dare love.
Next to thee, stranger; wake, and now resign
The bold pretences of thy love to mine,
Or in this fatal minute thou shalt find—

Mont. Death, fool; in that thou may'st be just and kind:
'Twas I that loved Orazia, yet did raise
The storm, in which she sinks: Why dost thou gaze,
Or stay thy hand from giving that just stroke,
Which, rather than prevent, I would provoke?
When I am dead, Orazia may forgive;
She never must, if I dare wish to live.

Oraz. Hold, hold—O Montezuma, can you be
So careless of yourself, but more of me?
Though you have brought me to this misery,
I blush to say I cannot see you die.

Mont. Can my approaching fate such pity move? The gods and you at once forgive and love.

Trax. Fond fool, thus to mis-spend that little breath
I lent thee to prevent, not hasten, death:
Let her thank you she was unfortunate,
And you thank her for pulling on your fate;
Prove to each other your own destinies. [Draws.

Enter ZEMPOALLA hastily, and sets a dagger to ORAZIA'S breast.

Zemp. Hold, hold, Traxalla, or Orazia dies.—
O, is't Orazia's name that makes you stay?
'Tis her great power, not mine, that you obey.
Inhuman wretch, dar'st thou the murderer be
Of him, that is not yet condemned by me?

Trax. The wretch, that gave you all the power you have,
May venture sure to execute a slave;
And quench a flame your fondness would have burn,
Which may this city into ashes turn,
The nation in your guilty passion lost;
To me ungrateful, to your country most:
But this shall be their offering, I their priest.

Zemp. The wounds, thou giv'st, I'll copy on her breast:
Strike, and I'll open here a spring of blood,
Shall add new rivers to the crimson flood.
How his pale looks are fixed on her!—'tis so.
Oh, does amazement on your spirits grow?
What, is your public love Orazia's grown?
Could'st thou see mine, and yet not hide thy own?
Suppose I should strike first, would it not breed
Grief in your public heart to see her bleed?

Trax. She mocks my passion; in her sparkling eyes
Death, and a close dissembled fury lies:
I dare not trust her thus. [Aside.]—If she must die,
The way to her loved life through mine shall lie.

[He puts her by, and steps before ORAZIA; and she runs before MONTEZUMA.

Zemp. And he, that does this stranger's fate design, Must, to his heart, a passage force through mine.

Trax. Can fair Orazia yet no pity have? 'Tis just she should her own preserver save.

Zemp. Can Montezuma so ungrateful prove To her, that gave him life, and offers love?

Oraz. Can Montezuma live, and live to be
Just to another, and unjust to me?
You need not be ungrateful; can she give
A life to you, if you refuse to live?—
Forgive my passion; I had rather see
You dead, than kind to any thing but me.

Mont. O, my Orazia!
To what new joys and knowledge am I brought!
Are death's hard lessons by a woman taught?
How to despise my fate I always knew;
But ne'er durst think, at once, of death and you:
Yet since you teach this generous jealousy,
I dare not wish your life, if I must die.
How much your love my courage does exceed!
Courage alone would shrink to see you bleed!

Zemp. Ungrateful stranger! thou shalt please thy eyes,
And gaze upon Orazia while she dies!—
I'll keep my vow!—It is some joy to see,
That my revenge will prove my piety.

Trax. Then both shall die!—We have too long withstood, By private passions urged, the public good.

Zemp. Sure he dissembles; and, perhaps, may prove My ruin, with his new ambitious love: Were but this stranger kind, I'd cross his art, And give my empire, where I gave my heart. [Aside. Yet, thou ungrateful man, Let thy approaching ruin make thee wise.

Mont. Thee, and thy love, and mischief, I despise!

Zemp. What shall I do? Some way must yet be tried;— What reason can she use whom passions guide!

[Aside. Trax. Some black designs are hatching now:—False eyes Are quick to see another's treacheries.

[Aside. Zemp. Rash stranger, thus to pull down thy own fate!

Mont. You, and that life you offer me, I hate.

Enter Jailor.

Zemp. Here, jailor, take—What title must he have? Slave, slave!—Am I then captive to a slave?— Why art thou thus unwilling to be free?

Mont. Death will release me from these chains, and thee.

Zemp. Here, jailor, take this monster from my sight,
And keep him where it may be always night.
Let none come near him; if thou dost, expect
To pay thy life, the price of the neglect.

Mont. I scorn thy pity, and thy cruelty; And should despise a blessing sent from thee.

Zemp. O, horror to my soul! take him away!—
My rage, like dammed-up streams, swelled by some stay,
Shall, from this opposition, get new force,
And leave the bound of its old easy course.—
Come, my Traxalla, let us both forgive,
And in these wretches' fates begin to live.
The altars shall be crowned with funeral boughs,
Peace-offerings paid,—but with unquiet vows.
 [Exeunt ZEMP. and TRAX.

Oraz. How are things ordered, that the wicked should
Appear more kind and gentle than the good?
Her passion seems to make her kinder prove,
And I seem cruel through excess of love:
She loves, and would prevent his death; but I,
That love him better, fear he should not die.
My jealousy, immortal as my love,
Would rob my grave below, and me above,
Of rest.—Ye gods, if I repine, forgive!
You neither let me die in peace, nor live.

Enter ACACIS, Jailor, and Indian.

Jail. They are just gone, sir.

Aca. 'Tis well: Be faithful to my just design, And all thy prince's fortune shall be thine. [Exit ACACIS.

Ind. This shall to the empress. [Exit Indian.

Oraz. What can this mean!—
'Twas Prince Acacis, if I durst believe
My sight; but sorrow may like joy deceive:
Each object different from itself appears,
That comes not to the eyes, but through their tears.

Enter ACACIS, bringing in MONTEZUMA. Ha!—

Aca. Here, sir, wear this again;—[Gives a sword. Now follow me.

Mont. So, very good;— I dare not think, for I may guess amiss; None can deceive me while I trust in this. [Exeunt.


Enter ORAZIA, conducted by two Indians with their swords drawn; MONTEZUMA, ACACIS whispering another Indian.

Aca. Think what a weight upon thy faith I lay.

Ind. I ne'er did more unwillingly obey.

Aca. First, Montezuma, take thy liberty;
Thou gavest me freedom, here I set thee free:
We're equal now. Madam, the danger's great
Of close pursuit; to favour your retreat,
Permit we two a little while remain
Behind, while you go softly o'er the plain.

Oraz. Why should I go before?—What's your intent?— Where is my father?—Whither am I sent?

Aca. Your doubts shall soon be cleared. Conduct her on.
 [Exit ORAZIA.

So, Montezuma, we are now alone.
That which my honour owed thee I have paid;
As honour was, so love must be obeyed.
I set Orazia, as thy captive, free;
But, as my mistress, ask her back from thee.

Mont. Thou hast performed what honour bid thee do: But friendship bars what honour prompts me to.— Friends should not fight.

Aca. If friendship we profess,
Let us secure each others happiness:
One needs must die, and he shall happy prove
In her remembrance, t'other in her love.
My guards wait near; and, if I fail, they must
Give up Orazia, or betray their trust.

Mont. Suppose thou conquer'st, would'st thou wander o'er
The south-sea sands, or the rough northern shore,
That parts thy spacious kingdom from Peru,
And, leaving empire, hopeless love pursue?

Aca. By which of all my actions could you guess,
Though more your merit, that my love was less?
What prize can empire with Orazia bear?
Or, where love fills the breast, what room for fear?

Mont. Let fair Orazia then the sentence give, Else he may die whom she desires to live.

Aca. Your greater merits bribe her to your side; My weaker title must by arms be tried.

Mont. Oh, tyrant love! how cruel are thy laws!
I forfeit friendship, or betray thy cause:
That person, whom I would defend from all
The world, that person by my hand must fall.

Aca. Our lives we to each others friendship owe;
But love calls back what friendship did bestow:
Love has its cruelties, but friendship none;
And we now fight in quarrels not our own. [_Fight.

Enter_ ORAZIA.

Oraz. What noise is this?— Hold, hold! what cause could be so great, to move This furious hatred?—

Mont. 'Twas our furious love.—

Aca. Love, which I hid till I had set you free,
And bought your pardon with my liberty;
That done, I thought, I less unjustly might
With Montezuma, for Orazia, fight;
He has prevailed, and I must now confess
His fortune greater, not my passion less;
Yet cannot yield you, till his sword remove
A dying rival, that holds fast his love.

Oraz. Whoever falls, 'tis my protector still,
And then the crime's as great, to die as kill.—
Acacis, do not hopeless love pursue;
But live, and this soft malady subdue.

Aca. You bid me live, and yet command me die!
I am not worth your care;—Fly, madam, fly!
(While I fall here unpitied) o'er this plain,
Free from pursuit, the faithless mountains gain;
And these I charge,
As they would have me think their friendship true,
Leave me alone, to serve, and follow you:
Make haste, fair princess, to avoid that fate,
Which does for your unhappy father wait.

Oraz. Is he then left to die, and shall he see Himself forsaken, ere his death, by me?

Mont. That would you do?

Oraz. To prison I'll return, And there, in fetters, with my father mourn.

Mont. That saves not his, but throws your life away.

Oraz. Duty shall give what nature once must pay.

Aca. Life is the gift, which heaven and parents give, And duty best preserves it, if you live.

Oraz. I should but further from my fountain fly, And, like an unfed stream, run on and die: Urge me no more, and do not grieve to see Your honour rivalled by my piety. [She goes softly of, and often looks back.

Mont. If honour would not, shame would lead the way; I'll back with her.

Aca. Stay, Montezuma, stay!— Thy rival cannot let thee go alone, My love will bear me, though my blood is gone.

[As they are going off,

Enter ZEMPOALLA, TRAXALLA, the Indian that went to tell her, and the rest, and seize them.

Zemp. Seize them!—

Aca. Oh, Montezuma, thou art lost.

Mont. No more, proud heart, thy useless courage boast!— Courage, thou curse of the unfortunate! That canst encounter, not resist, ill fate.

Zemp. Acacis bleeds!— What barbarous hand has wounded thus my son?

Mont. 'Twas I; by my unhappy sword 'twas done.— Thou bleed'st, poor prince, and I am left to grieve My rival's fall.

Trax. He bleeds, but yet may live.

Aca. Friendship and love my failing strength renew;
I dare not die, when I should live for you;
My death were now my crime, as it would be
My guilt to live when I have set you free:
Thus I must still remain unfortunate,
Your life and death are equally my fate.

ORAZIA comes back.

Oraz. A noise again!—alas, what do I see!
Love, thou didst once give place to piety:
Now, piety, let love triumph awhile;—
Here, bind my hands: Come, Montezuma, smile
At fortune; since thou sufferest for my sake,
Orazia will her captive's chains partake.

Mont. Now, fate, thy worst.

Zemp. Lead to the temple straight, A priest and altar for these lovers wait: They shall be joined, they shall.

Trax. And I will prove Those joys in vengeance, which I want in love.

Aca. I'll quench your thirst with blood, and will destroy
Myself, and, with myself, your cruel joy.
Now, Montezuma, since Orazia dies,
I'll fall before thee, the first sacrifice;
My title in her death shall exceed thine,
As much as, in her life, thy hopes did mine:
And when with our mixed blood the altar's dyed,
Then our new title let the gods decide.


_The Scene opens, and discovers the Temple of the Sun, all of gold, and four Priests, in habits of white and red feathers, attending by a bloody altar, as ready for sacrifice.

Then enter the Guards_, ZEMPOALLA, and TRAXALLA; Inca, ORAZIA, and MONTEZUMA, bound. As soon as they are placed, the Priest sings.


  You to whom victory we owe,
    Whose glories rise
    By sacrifice,
   And from our fates below;
    Never did your altars shine
   Feasted with blood so near divine;
    Princes to whom we bow,
     As they to you:—
  Thus you can ravish from a throne,
  And, by their loss of power, declare your own.

Zemp. Now to inflict those punishments, that are
Due to the authors of invasive war;
Who, to deceive the oppressed world, like you,
Invent false quarrels to conceal the true.

Inca. My quarrel was the same, that all the gods
Must have to thee, if there be any odds
Betwixt those titles that are bad or good,
To crowns descended, or usurped by blood:—
Swell not with this success; 'twas not to thee,
But to this man, the gods gave victory.

Mont. Since I must perish by my own success,
Think my misfortunes more, my crimes the less;
And so, forgiving, make me pleased to die,
Thus punished for this guilty victory.

Inca. Death can make virtue easy; I forgive:
That word would prove too hard, were I to live;
The honour of a prince would then deny,
But in the grave all our distinctions die.

Mont. Forgive me one thing yet; to say, I love,
Let it no more your scorn and anger move;
Since, dying in one flame, my ashes must
Embrace and mingle with Orazia's dust.

Inca. Name thy bold love no more, lest that last breath, Which should forgive, I stifle with my death.

Oraz. Oh, my dear father! Oh, why may not I, Since you gave life to me, for you now die?

Mont. 'Tis I, that wrought this mischief, ought to fall
A just and willing sacrifice for all.
Now, Zempoalla, be both just and kind,
And, in my fate, let me thy mercy find:
Be grateful, then, and grant me that esteem,
That as alive, so dead, I may redeem.

Oraz. O, do not for her cruel mercy move; None should ask pity but from those they love.


Inca. Fond girl! to let thy disobedient eyes Show a concern for him, whom I despise.

Oraz. How love and nature may divide a breast,
At once by both their powers severely prest!
Yet, sir, since love seems less, you may forgive;
I would not have you die, nor have him live;
Yet if he dies, alas! what shall I do?
I cannot die with him, and live with you.

Mont. How vainly we pursue this generous strife,
Parting in death more cruel than in life!—
Weep not, we both shall have one destiny;
As in one flame we lived, in one we'll die.

Trax. Why do we waste in vain these precious hours?
Each minute of his life may hazard ours:
The nation does not live whilst he enjoys
His life, it is his safety that destroys.
He shall fall first, and teach the rest to die.

Zemp. Hold!—
Who is it that commands;—ha! you, or I?—
Your zeal grows saucy!—sure, you may allow
Your empress freedom first to pay her vow.

Trax. She may allow—a justice to be done By him, that raised his empress to her throne.

Zemp. You are too bold,—

Trax. And you too passionate.

Zemp. Take heed, with his, you urge not your own fate.— For all this pity is now due to me.

Mont. I hate thy offered mercy more than thee.

Trax. Why will not then the fair Orazia give Life to herself, and let Traxalla live?

Mont. Orazia will not live, and let me die; She taught me first this cruel jealousy.

Oraz. I joy that you have learned it!— That flame not like immortal love appears. Where death can cool its warmth, or kill its fears.

Zemp. What shall I do? am I so quite forlorn,
No help from my own pride, nor from his scorn!
My rival's death may more effectual prove;
He, that is robbed of hope, may cease to love:—
Here, lead these offerings to their deaths.

Trax. Let none Obey but he, that will pull on his own!

Zemp. Tempt me not thus; false and ungrateful too!

Trax. Just as ungrateful, and as false, as you.

Zemp. 'Tis thy false love that fears her destiny.

Trax. And your false love that fears to have him die.

Zemp. Seize the bold traitor!

Trax. What a slighted frown Troubles your brow! feared nor obeyed by none; Come, prepare for sacrifice.

Enter ACACIS weakly.

Aca. Hold, hold! such sacrifices cannot be
Devotions, but a solemn cruelty:
How can the gods delight in human blood?
Think them not cruel, if you think them good.
In vain we ask that mercy, which they want,
And hope that pity, which they hate to grant.

Zemp. Retire, Acacis;— Preserve thyself, for 'tis in vain to waste Thy breath for them: The fatal vow is past.

Aca. To break that vow is juster than commit A greater crime, by your preserving it.

Zemp. The gods themselves their own will best express To like the vow, by giving the success.

Aca. If all things by success are understood,
Men, that make war, grow wicked to be good:
But did you vow, those that were overcome,
And he that conquered, both, should share one doom?
There's no excuse; for one of these must be
Not your devotion, but your cruelty.

Trax. To that rash stranger, sir, we nothing owe;
What he had raised, he strove to overthrow:
That duty lost, which should our actions guide,
Courage proves guilt, when merits swell to pride.

Aca. Darest thou, who didst thy prince's life betray,
Once name that duty, thou hast thrown away?
Like thy injustice to this stranger shown,
To tax him with a guilt, that is thy own?—
Can you, brave soldiers, suffer him to die,
That gave you life, in giving victory?
Look but upon this stranger, see those hands,
That brought you freedom, fettered up in bands.
Not one looks up,—
Lest sudden pity should their hearts surprise,
And steal into their bosoms through their eyes.

Zemp. Why thus, in vain, are thy weak spirits prest? Restore thyself to thy more needful rest.

Aca. And leave Orazia!—

Zemp. Go, you must resign: For she must be the gods'; not yours, nor mine.

Aca. You are my mother, and my tongue is tied
So much by duty, that I dare not chide.—
Divine Orazia!
Can you have so much mercy to forgive?
I do not ask it with design to live,
But in my death to have my torments cease:
Death is not death, when it can bring no peace.

Oraz. I both forgive, and pity;—

Aca. O, say no more, lest words less kind destroy
What these have raised in me of peace and joy:
You said, you did both pity and forgive;
You would do neither, should Acacis live.
By death alone the certain way appears,
Thus to hope mercy, and deserve your tears.

[Stabs himself.

Zemp. O, my Acacis! What cruel cause could urge this fatal deed?—


He faints!—help, help! some help! or he will bleed
His life, and mine, away!—
Some water there!—Not one stirs from his place!
I'll use my tears to sprinkle on his face.

Aca. Orazia,—

Zemp. Fond child! why dost thou call upon her name? I am thy mother.

Aca. No, you are my shame.
That blood is shed that you had title in,
And with your title may it end your sin!—
Unhappy prince, you may forgive me now,
Thus bleeding for my mother's cruel vow.

Inca. Be not concerned for me; Death's easier than the changes I have seen: I would not live to trust the world again.

Mont. Into my eyes sorrow begins to creep; When hands are tied, it is no shame to weep.

Aca. Dear Montezuma,
I may be still your friend, though I must die
Your rival in her love: Eternity
Has room enough for both; there's no desire,
Where to enjoy is only to admire:
There we'll meet friends, when this short storm is past.

Mont. Why must I tamely wait to perish last?

Aca. Orazia weeps, and my parched soul appears
Refreshed by that kind shower of pitying tears;
Forgive those faults my passion did commit,
'Tis punished with the life that nourished it;
I had no power in this extremity
To save your life, and less to see you die.
My eyes would ever on this object stay,
But sinking nature takes the props away.
Kind death,
To end with pleasures all my miseries,
Shuts up your image in my closing eyes.


Enter a Messenger.

Mess. To arms, to arms!

Trax. From whence this sudden fear?

Mess. Stand to your guard, my lord, the danger's near: From every quarter crowds of people meet, And, leaving houses empty, fill the street.

[Exit Mess.

Trax. Fond queen, thy fruitless tears a while defer;
Rise, we must join again—Not speak, nor stir!
I hear the people's voice like winds that roar,
When they pursue the flying waves to shore.

Enter Second Messenger.

2 Mess. Prepare to fight, my lord; the banished queen, With old Garucca, in the streets are seen.

Trax. We must go meet them or it be too late; Yet, madam, rise; have you no sense of fate?

Enter third Messenger.

3 Mess. King Montezuma their loud shouts proclaim,
The city rings with their new sovereign's name;
The banished queen declares he is her son,
And to his succour all the people run.


Zemp. Can this be true? O love! O fate! have I Thus doated on my mortal enemy?

Trax. To my new prince I thus my homage pay; Your reign is short, young king—

Zemp. Traxalla, stay— 'Tis to my hand that he must owe his fate, I will revenge at once my love and hate.

[She sets a dagger to MONTEZUMA'S breast.

Trax. Strike, strike, the conquering enemy is near. My guards are passed, while you detain me here.

Zemp. Die then, ungrateful, die; Amexia's son
Shall never triumph on Acacis' throne.
Thy death must my unhappy flames remove:
Now where is thy defence—against my love?

[She cuts the cords, and gives him the dagger.

Trax. Am I betrayed? [He draws and thrusts at MONTEZUMA, he puts it by and kills him.

Mont. So may all rebels die: This end has treason joined with cruelty.

Zemp. Live thou whom I must love, and yet must hate; She gave thee life, who knows it brings her fate.

Mont. Life is a trifle which I would not take,
But for Orazia's and her father's sake:
Now, Inca, hate me, if thou canst; for he,
Whom thou hast scorned, will die, or rescue thee.

As he goes to attack the guards with TRAXALLA'S sword, enter AMEXIA, GARUCCA, Indians, driving some of the other party before them.

Gar. He lives; ye gods, he lives! great queen, see here Your coming joys, and your departing fear.

Amex. Wonder and joy so fast together flow,
Their haste to pass has made their passage slow;
Like struggling waters in a vessel pent,
Whose crowding drops choak up the narrow vent.
My son!—

[She embraces him.

Mont. I am amazed! it cannot be That fate has such a joy in store for me.

Amex. Can I not gain belief that this is true?

Mont. It is my fortune I suspect, not you.

Gar. First ask him if he old Garucca know.

Mont. My honoured father! let me fall thus low.

Gar. Forbear, great prince; 'tis I must pay to you
That adoration, as my sovereign's due:
For, from my humble race you did not spring;
You are the issue of our murdered king,
Sent by that traitor to his blest abode,
Whom, to be made a king, he made a god:
The story is too full of fate to tell,
Or what strange fortune our lost queen befel.

Amex. That sad relation longer time will crave;
I lived obscure, he bred you in a cave,
But kept the mighty secret from your ear,
Lest heat of blood to some strange course should steer
Your youth.

Mont. I owe him all, that now I am;
He taught me first the noble thirst of fame.
Shewed me the baseness of unmanly fear,
Till the unlicked whelp I plucked from the rough bear,
And made the ounce and tyger give me way,
While from their hungry jaws I snatched the prey:
'Twas he that charged my young arms first with toils,
And drest me glorious in my savage spoils.

Gar. You spent in shady forest all the day,
And joyed, returning, to shew me the prey,
To tell the story, to describe the place,
With all the pleasures of the boasted chace;
Till fit for arms, I reaved you from your sport,
To train your youth in the Peruvian court:
I left you there, and ever since have been
The sad attendant of my exiled queen.

Zemp. My fatal dream comes to my memory;
That lion, whom I held in bonds, was he,
Amexia was the dove that broke his chains;
What now but Zempoalla's death remains?

Mont. Pardon, fair princess, if I must delay
My love a while, my gratitude to pay.
Live, Zempoalla—free from dangers live,
For present merits I past crimes forgive:
Oh, might she hope Orazia's pardon, too!

Oraz. I would have none condemned for loving you; In me her merit much her fault o'erpowers; She sought my life, but she preserved me yours.

Amex. Taught by my own, I pity her estate, And wish her penitence, but not her fate.

Inca. I would not be the last to bid her live; Kings best revenge their wrongs, when they forgive.

Zemp. I cannot yet forget what I have been:
Would you give life to her, that was a queen?
Must you then give, and must I take? there's yet
One way, that's by refusing, to be great:
You bid me live—bid me be wretched too;
Think, think, what pride, unthroned, must undergo:
Look on this youth, Amexia, look, and then
Suppose him yours, and bid me live again;
A greater sweetness on these lips there grows,
Than breath shut out from a new-folded rose:
What lovely charms on these cold cheeks appear!
Could any one hate death, and see it here?
But thou art gone—

Mont. O that you would believe Acacis lives in me, and cease to grieve.

Zemp. Yes, I will cease to grieve, and cease to be.
His soul stays watching in his wound for me;
All that could render life desired is gone,
Orazia has my love, and you my throne,
And death, Acacis—yet I need not die,
You leave me mistress of my destiny;
In spite of dreams, how am I pleased to see,
Heaven's truth, or falsehood, should depend on me!
But I will help the Gods;
The greatest proof of courage we can give,
Is then to die when we have power to live. [Kills herself.

Mont. How fatally that instrument of death Was hid—

Amex. She has expired her latest breath.

Mont. But there lies one, to whom all grief is due.

Oraz. None e'er was so unhappy and so true.

Mont. Your pardon, royal sir.

Inca. You have my love. [Gives him ORAZIA.

Amex. The gods, my son, your happy choice approve.

Mont. Come, my Orazia, then, and pay with me, [Leads her to ACACIS. Some tears to poor Acacis' memory; So strange a fate for men the gods ordain, Our clearest sunshine should be mixt with rain; How equally our joys and sorrows move! Death's fatal triumphs, joined with those of love. Love crowns the dead, and death crowns him that lives, Each gains the conquest, which the other gives. [Exeunt omnes.



You see what shifts we are enforced to try,
To help out wit with some variety;
Shows may be found that never yet were seen,
'Tis hard to find such wit as ne'er has been:
You have seen all that this old world can do,
We, therefore, try the fortune of the new,
And hope it is below your aim to hit
At untaught nature with your practised wit:
Our naked Indians, then, when wits appear,
Would as soon chuse to have the Spaniards here.
'Tis true, you have marks enough, the plot, the show,
The poet's scenes, nay, more, the painter's too;
If all this fail, considering the cost,
'Tis a true voyage to the Indies lost:
But if you smile on all, then these designs,
Like the imperfect treasure of our minds,
Will pass for current wheresoe'er they go,
When to your bounteous hands their stamps they owe.



Dum relego, scripsisse pudet, quia plurima cerno,
  Me quoque, qui feci, judice, digna limi. OVID.


[Footnote A: Anne Scott, duchess of Buccleuch and Monmouth, was the last scion of a race of warriors, more remarkable for their exploits in the field, than their address in courts, or protection of literature. She was the heiress of the Scotts, barons and earls of Buccleuch; and became countess, in her own right, upon the death of her elder sister, lady Mary, who married the unfortunate Walter Scott, earl of Tarras, and died without issue in 1662. In 1665, Anne, countess of Buccleuch, married James Fitzroy, duke of Monmouth, eldest natural son of Charles II. They were afterwards created duke and duchess of Buccleuch. She was an accomplished and high-spirited lady, distinguished for her unblemished conduct in a profligate court. It was her patronage which first established Dryden's popularity; a circumstance too honourable to her memory to be here suppressed.]

May it please Your Grace, The favour which heroic plays have lately found upon our theatres, has been wholly derived to them from the countenance and approbation they have received at court. The most eminent persons for wit and honour in the royal circle having so far owned them, that they have judged no way so fit as verse to entertain a noble audience, or to express a noble passion; and among the rest which have been written in this kind, they have been so indulgent to this poem, as to allow it no inconsiderable place. Since, therefore, to the court I owe its fortune on the stage; so, being now more publicly exposed in print, I humbly recommend it to your grace's protection, who by all knowing persons are esteemed a principal ornament of the court. But though the rank which you hold in the royal family might direct the eyes of a poet to you, yet your beauty and goodness detain and fix them. High objects, it is true, attract the sight; but it looks up with pain on craggy rocks and barren mountains, and continues not intent on any object, which is wanting in shades and greens to entertain it. Beauty, in courts, is so necessary to the young, that those, who are without it, seem to be there to no other purpose than to wait on the triumphs of the fair; to attend their motions in obscurity, as the moon and stars do the sun by day; or, at best, to be the refuge of those hearts which others have despised; and, by the unworthiness of both, to give and take a miserable comfort. But as needful as beauty is, virtue and honour are yet more: The reign of it without their support is unsafe and short, like that of tyrants. Every sun which looks on beauty wastes it; and, when it once is decaying, the repairs of art are of as short continuance, as the after-spring, when the sun is going further off. This, madam, is its ordinary fate; but yours, which is accompanied by virtue, is not subject to that common destiny. Your grace has not only a long time of youth in which to flourish, but you have likewise found the way, by an untainted preservation of your honour, to make that perishable good more lasting: And if beauty, like wines, could be preserved, by being mixed and embodied with others of their own natures, then your grace's would be immortal, since no part of Europe can afford a parallel to your noble lord in masculine beauty, and in goodliness of shape. To receive the blessings and prayers of mankind, you need only to be seen together: We are ready to conclude, that you are a pair of angels sent below to make virtue amiable in your persons, or to sit to poets when they would pleasantly instruct the age, by drawing goodness in the most perfect and alluring shape of nature. But though beauty be the theme on which poets love to dwell, I must be forced to quit it as a private praise, since you have deserved those which are more public: For goodness and humanity, which shine in you, are virtues which concern mankind; and, by a certain kind of interest, all people agree in their commendation, because the profit of them may extend to many. It is so much your inclination to do good, that you stay not to be asked; which is an approach so nigh the Deity, that human nature is not capable of a nearer. It is my happiness, that I can testify this virtue of your grace's by my own experience; since I have so great an aversion from soliciting court-favours, that I am ready to look on those as very bold, who dare grow rich there without desert. But I beg your grace's pardon for assuming this virtue of modesty to myself, which the sequel of this discourse will no way justify: For in this address I have already quitted the character of a modest man, by presenting you this poem as an acknowledgment, which stands in need of your protection; and which ought no more to be esteemed a present, than it is accounted bounty in the poor, when they bestow a child on some wealthy friend, who will better breed it up. Offsprings of this nature are like to be so numerous with me, that I must be forced to send some of them abroad; only this is like to be more fortunate than his brothers, because I have landed him on a hospitable shore. Under your patronage Montezuma hopes he is more safe than in his native Indies; and therefore comes to throw himself at your grace's feet, paying that homage to your beauty, which he refused to the violence of his conquerors. He begs only, that when he shall relate his sufferings, you will consider him as an Indian Prince, and not expect any other eloquence from his simplicity, than what his griefs have furnished him withal. His story is, perhaps, the greatest which was ever represented in a poem of this nature; the action of it including the discovery and conquest of a new world. In it I have neither wholly followed the truth of the history, nor altogether left it; but have taken all the liberty of a poet, to add, alter, or diminish, as I thought might best conduce to the beautifying of my work: it being not the business of a poet to represent historical truth, but probability. But I am not to make the justification of this poem, which I wholly leave to your grace's mercy. It is an irregular piece, if compared with many of Corneille's, and, if I may make a judgment of it, written with more flame than art; in which it represents the mind and intentions of the author, who is with much more zeal and integrity, than design and artifice,

Your Grace's most obedient,
And most obliged servant,
October 12. 1667.

Betwixt 1664, when our author assisted Sir Robert Howard in composing the preceding play, and the printing of the Indian Emperor in 1668, some disagreement had arisen betwixt them. Sir Robert appears to have given the first provocation, by prefixing to his tragedy of the Duke of Lerma, or Great Favourite, in 1668, some remarks, which drew down the following severe retort. It is therefore necessary to mention the contents of the offensive preface.

Sir Robert Howard begins, as one taking leave of the drama and dramatic authors, "his too long acquaintances;" and unwilling again to venture "into the civil wars of Censure,

Ubi—Nullos habitura triumphos."

He states his unwilling interference to be owing to the "unnecessary understanding" of some, who endeavoured to apply as strict rules to poetry as mathematics, which rendered it incumbent on him to justify his having written some scenes of his tragedy in blank verse. In the next paragraph, Dryden is expressly pointed out as the author of the Essay on Dramatic Poetry; and is ridiculed for attempting to prove, not that rhyme is more natural in a dialogue on the stage supposed to be spoken extempore, but grander and more expressive. In like manner, Sir Robert unfortunately banters our author for drawing from Seneca an instance of a lofty mode of expressing so ordinary a thing as shutting a door[A], instead of giving an example to the same effect in English.

[Footnote A:

Reserate clusos regii postes laris.

Howard's mistranslation of this passage seems to have been inadvertent. In the Essay it is rendered,

"Set wide the palace gates."]

The author of the Duke of Lerma proceeds to attack the unities; arguing, because it is impossible that the stage can represent exactly a house, or that the time of acting can be extended to twenty-four hours; therefore it is needless there should be any limitation whatever as to time or place, since otherwise it must be inferred, that there are degrees in impossibility, and that one thing may be more impossible than another.

The whole tone of the preface is that of one who wished to have it supposed, that he was writing concerning a subject rather beneath his notice, and only felt himself called forth to do so by the dogmatism of those who laid down confident rules or laws in matters so trifling. This affectation of supercilious censure appears deeply to have provoked Dryden, and prompted the acrimony of the following Defence, which he prefixed to a second edition of the Indian Emperor published in 1668, probably shortly after the offence had been given. The angry friends were afterwards reconciled; and Dryden, listening more to the feelings of former kindness than of recent passion, cancelled the Defence, which was never afterwards reprinted, till Congreve collected our author's dramatic works. It is worthy of preservation, as it would be difficult to point out deeper contempt and irony, couched under language so temperate, cold, and outwardly respectful.


The former edition of "the Indian Emperor" being full of faults, which had escaped the printer, I have been willing to overlook this second with more care: and though I could not allow myself so much time as was necessary, yet by that little I have done, the press is freed from some errors which it had to answer for before. As for the more material faults of writing, which are properly mine, though I see many of them, I want leisure to amend them. It is enough for those who make one poem the business of their lives, to leave that correct: yet, excepting Virgil, I never met with any which was so in any language.

But while I was thus employed about this impression, there came to my hands a new printed play, called, "The Great Favourite, or, The Duke of Lerma;" the author of which, a noble and most ingenious person, has done me the favour to make some observations and animadversions upon my Dramatic Essay. I must confess he might have better consulted his reputation, than by matching himself with so weak an adversary. But if his honour be diminished in the choice of his antagonist, it is sufficiently recompensed in the election of his cause: which being the weaker, in all appearance, as combating the received opinions of the best ancient and modern authors, will add to his glory, if he overcome; and to the opinion of his generosity, if he be vanquished, since he engages at so great odds; and, so like a cavalier, undertakes the protection of the weaker party. I have only to fear, on my own behalf, that so good a cause as mine may not suffer by my ill management, or weak defence; yet I cannot in honour but take the glove when it is offered me; though I am only a champion by succession, and no more able to defend the right of Aristotle and Horace, than an infant Dimock[A] to maintain the title of a king.

[Footnote A: The family of Dimock, or Dymock, are hereditary champions of England; and, as such, obliged to maintain the king's title in single combat against all challengers.]

For my own concernment in the controversy, it is so small, that I can easily be contented to be driven from a few notions of dramatic poesy; especially by one, who has the reputation of understanding all things: and I might justly make that excuse for my yielding to him, which the philosopher made to the emperor; why should I offer to contend with him, who is master of more than twenty legions of arts and sciences? But I am forced to fight, and therefore it will be no shame to be overcome.

Yet I am so much his servant, as not to meddle with any thing which does not concern me in his preface: therefore I leave the good sense and other excellencies of the first twenty lines, to be considered by the critics. As for the play of "The Duke of Lerma," having so much altered and beautified it as he has done, it can justly belong to none but him. Indeed they must be extremely ignorant, as well as envious, who would rob him of that honour; for you see him putting in his claim to it, even in the first two lines:

  Repulse upon repulse, like waves thrown back,
  That slide to hung upon obdurate rocks.

After this, let detraction do its worst; for if this be not his, it deserves to be. For my part, I declare for distributive justice; and from this, and what follows, he certainly deserves those advantages, which he acknowledges to have received from the opinion of sober men.

In the next place, I must beg leave to observe his great address in courting the reader to his party: For, intending to assault all poets, both ancient and modern, he discovers not his whole design at once, but seems only to aim at me, and attacks me on my weakest side, my defence of verse.

To begin with me, he gives me the compellation of "The Author of a Dramatic Essay;" which is a little discourse in dialogue, for the most part borrowed from the observations of others: therefore, that I may not be wanting to him in civility, I return his compliment, by calling him, "The Author of the Duke of Lerma."

But (that I may pass over his salute) he takes notice of my great pains to prove rhyme as natural in a serious play, and more effectual than blank verse. Thus indeed I did state the question; but he tells me, "I pursue that which I call natural in a wrong application; For 'tis not the question, whether rhyme, or not rhyme, be best, or most natural for a serious subject, but what is nearest the nature of that it represents."

If I have formerly mistaken the question, I must confess my ignorance so far, as to say I continue still in my mistake: But he ought to have proved that I mistook it; for it is yet but gratis dictum; I still shall think I have gained my point, if I can prove that rhyme is best, or most natural for a serious subject. As for the question as he states it, whether rhyme be nearest the nature of what it represents, I wonder he should think me so ridiculous as to dispute, whether prose or verse be nearest to ordinary conversation.

It still remains for him to prove his inference; that, since verse is granted to be more remote than prose from ordinary conversation, therefore no serious plays ought to be writ in verse: and when he clearly makes that good, I will acknowledge his victory as absolute as he can desire it.

The question now is, which of us two has mistaken it; and if it appear I have not, the world will suspect, "what gentleman that was, who was allowed to speak twice in parliament, because he had not yet spoken to the question[A];" and perhaps conclude it to be the same, who, as it is reported, maintained a contradiction in terminis, in the face of three hundred persons.

[Footnote A: A sneer which Sir Robert aims at Dryden. Dryden had written twice on the question of rhyming tragedies.]

But to return to verse, whether it be natural or not in plays, is a problem which is not demonstrable of either side: It is enough for me, that he acknowledges he had rather read good verse than prose: for if all the enemies of verse will confess as much, I shall not need to prove that it is natural. I am satisfied if it cause delight; for delight is the chief, if not the only, end of poesy: Instruction can be admitted but in the second place, for poesy only instructs as it delights. It is true, that to imitate well is a poet's work; but to affect the soul, and excite the passions, and, above all, to move admiration (which is the delight of serious plays), a bare imitation will not serve. The converse, therefore, which a poet is to imitate, must be heightened with all the arts and ornaments of poesy; and must be such as, strictly considered, could never be supposed spoken by any without premeditation.

As for what he urges, that "a play will still be supposed to be a composition of several persons speaking extempore, and that good verses are the hardest things which can be imagined to be so spoken;" I must crave leave to dissent from his opinion, as to the former part of it: For, if I am not deceived, a play is supposed to be the work of the poet, imitating, or representing, the conversation of several persons: and this I think to be as clear, as he thinks the contrary.

But I will be bolder, and do not doubt to make it good, though a paradox, that one great reason why prose is not to be used in serious plays, is, because it is too near the nature of converse: There may be too great a likeness; as the most skilful painters affirm, that there may be too near a resemblance in a picture: To take every lineament and feature is not to make an excellent piece, but to take so much only as will make a beautiful resemblance of the whole: and, with an ingenious flattery of nature, to heighten the beauties of some parts, and hide the deformities of the rest. For so says Horace,

  Ut pictura poesis erit. &c.—
  Haec amat obscurum, vult haec sub luce videri,
  Judicis argutum quae formidat acumen.
                              Et quae
  Desperat tractata nitescere posse, relinquit.

In "Bartholomew Fair," or the lowest kind of comedy, that degree of heightening is used, which is proper to set off that subject: It is true the author was not there to go out of prose, as he does in his higher arguments of comedy, "The Fox" and "Alchemist;" yet he does so raise his matter in that prose, as to render it delightful; which he could never have performed, had he only said or done those very things, that are daily spoken or practised in the fair: for then the fair itself would be as full of pleasure to an ingenious person as the play, which we manifestly see it is not. But he hath made an excellent lazar of it; the copy is of price, though the original be vile. You see in "Catiline" and "Sejanus," where the argument is great, he sometimes ascends to verse, which shews he thought it not unnatural in serious plays; and had his genius been as proper for rhyme as it was for humour, or had the age in which he lived attained to as much knowledge in verse as ours, it is probable he would have adorned those subjects with that kind of writing.

Thus Prose, though the rightful prince, yet is by common consent deposed, as too weak for the government of serious plays: and he failing, there now start up two competitors; one, the nearer in blood, which is Blank Verse; the other, more fit for the ends of government, which is Rhyme. Blank Verse is, indeed, the nearer Prose, but he is blemished with the weakness of his predecessor. Rhyme (for I will deal clearly) has somewhat of the usurper in him; but he is brave, and generous, and his dominion pleasing. For this reason of delight, the ancients (whom I will still believe as wise as those who so confidently correct them) wrote all their tragedies in verse, though they knew it most remote from conversation.

But I perceive I am falling into the danger of another rebuke from my opponent; for when I plead that the ancients used verse, I prove not that they would have admitted rhyme, had it then been written. All I can say is only this, that it seems to have succeeded verse by the general consent of poets in all modern languages; for almost all their serious plays are written in it; which, though it be no demonstration that therefore they ought to be so, yet at least the practice first, and then the continuation of it, shews that it attained the end, which was to please; and if that cannot be compassed here, I will be the first who shall lay it down: for I confess my chief endeavours are to delight the age in which I live. If the humour of this be for low comedy, small accidents, and raillery, I will force my genius to obey it, though with more reputation I could write in verse. I know I am not so fitted by nature to write comedy: I want that gaiety of humour which is required to it. My conversation is slow and dull; my humour saturnine and reserved: In short, I am none of those who endeavour to break jests in company, or make repartees. So that those, who decry my comedies, do me no injury, except it be in point of profit: reputation in them is the last thing to which I shall pretend. I beg pardon for entertaining the reader with so ill a subject; but before I quit that argument, which was the cause of this digression, I cannot but take notice how I am corrected for my quotation of Seneca, in my defence of plays in verse. My words are these: "Our language is noble, full, and significant; and I know not why he, who is a master of, it, may not clothe ordinary things in it as decently as in the Latin, if he use the same diligence in his choice of words." One would think, "unlock a door," was a thing as vulgar as could be spoken; yet Seneca could make it sound high and lofty in his Latin.

"Reserate clusos regii postes laris."

But he says of me, "That being filled with the precedents of the ancients, who writ their plays in verse, I commend the thing, declaring our language to be full, noble, and significant, and charging all defects upon the ill placing of words, which I prove by quoting Seneca loftily expressing such an ordinary thing as shutting a door."

Here he manifestly mistakes; for I spoke not of the placing, but of the choice of words; for which I quoted that aphorism of Julius Caesar, Delectus verborum est origo eloquentiae; but delectus verborum is no more Latin for the placing of words, than reserate is Latin for shut the door, as he interprets it, which I ignorantly construed unlock or open it.

He supposes I was highly affected with the sound of those words, and I suppose I may more justly imagine it of him; for if he had not been extremely satisfied with the sound, he would have minded the sense a little better.

But these are now to be no faults; for ten days after his book is published, and that his mistakes are grown so famous, that they are come back to him, he sends his Errata[A] to be printed, and annexed to his play; and desires, that, instead of shutting, you would read opening, which, it seems, was the printer's fault. I wonder at his modesty, that he did not rather say it was Seneca's or mine; and that, in some authors, reserate was to shut as well as to open, as the word barach, say the learned, is both to bless and curse.

[Footnote A: This erratum has been suffered to remain in the edition of the Knight's plays now before us, published in 1692.]

Well, since it was the printer, he was a naughty man to commit the same mistake twice in six lines: I warrant you delectus verborum, for placing of words, was his mistake too, though the author forgot to tell him of it: If it were my book, I assure you I should. For those rascals ought to be the proxies of every gentleman author, and to be chastised for him, when he is not pleased to own an error. Yet since he has given the errata, I wish he would have enlarged them only a few sheets more, and then he would have spared me the labour of an answer: For this cursed printer is so given to mistakes, that there is scarce a sentence in the preface without some false grammar, or hard sense in it; which will all be charged upon the poet, because he is so good-natured as to lay but three errors to the printer's account, and to take the rest upon himself, who is better able to support them. But he needs not apprehend that I should strictly examine those little faults, except I am called upon to do it: I shall return therefore to that quotation of Seneca, and answer, not to what he writes, but to what he means. I never intended it as an argument, but only as an illustration of what I had said before concerning the election of words; and all he can charge me with is only this, that if Seneca could make an ordinary thing sound well in Latin by the choice of words, the same, with the like care, might be performed in English: If it cannot, I have committed an error on the right hand, by commending too much the copiousness and well-sounding of our language, which I hope my countrymen will pardon me; at least the words which follow in my Dramatic Essay will plead somewhat in my behalf; for I say there, that this objection happens but seldom in a play; and then, too, either the meanness of the expression may be avoided, or shut out from the verse by breaking it in the midst.

But I have said too much in the defence of verse; for, after all, it is a very indifferent thing to me whether it obtain or not. I am content hereafter to be ordered by his rule, that is, to write it sometimes because it pleases me, and so much the rather, because he has declared that it pleases him. But he has taken his last farewell of the muses, and he has done it civilly, by honouring them with the name of "his long acquaintances," which is a compliment they have scarce deserved from him. For my own part, I bear a share in the public loss; and how emulous soever I may be of his fame and reputation, I cannot but give this testimony of his style, that it is extremely poetical, even in oratory; his thoughts elevated sometimes above common apprehension; his notions politic and grave, and tending to the instruction of princes, and reformation of states; that they are abundantly interlaced with variety of fancies, tropes, and figures, which the critics have enviously branded with the name of obscurity and false grammar.

"Well, he is now fettered in business of more unpleasant nature:" The muses have lost him, but the commonwealth gains by it; the corruption of a poet is the generation of a statesman.

"He will not venture again into the civil wars of censure, ubi—nullos habitura triumphos:" If he had not told us he had left the muses, we might have half suspected it by that word ubi, which does not any way belong to them in that place: the rest of the verse is indeed Lucan's, but that ubi, I will answer for it, is his own. Yet he has another reason for this disgust of poesy; for he says immediately after, that "the manner of plays which are now in most esteem is beyond his power to perform:" to perform the manner of a thing, I confess, is new English to me. "However, he condemns not the satisfaction of others, but rather their unnecessary understanding, who, like Sancho Panza's doctor, prescribe too strictly to our appetites; for," says he, "in the difference of tragedy and comedy, and of farce itself, there can be no determination but by the taste, nor in the manner of their composure."

We shall see him now as great a critic as he was a poet; and the reason why he excelled so much in poetry will be evident, for it will appear to have proceeded from the exactness of his judgment. "In the difference of tragedy, comedy, and farce itself, there can be no determination but by the taste." I will not quarrel with the obscurity of his phrase, though I justly might; but beg his pardon if I do not rightly understand him. If he means that there is no essential difference betwixt comedy, tragedy, and farce, but what is only made by the people's taste, which distinguishes one of them from the other, that is so manifest an error, that I need not lose time to contradict it. Were there neither judge, taste, nor opinion in the world, yet they would differ in their natures; for the action, character, and language of tragedy, would still be great and high; that of comedy, lower and more familiar. Admiration would be the delight of one, and satire of the other.

I have but briefly touched upon these things, because, whatever his words are, I can scarce imagine, that "he, who is always concerned for the true honour of reason, and would have no spurious issue fathered upon her," should mean any thing so absurd as to affirm, "that there is no difference betwixt comedy and tragedy but what is made by the taste only;" unless he would have us understand the comedies of my lord L. where the first act should be pottages, the second fricassees, &c. and the fifth a chere entiere of women.

I rather guess he means, that betwixt one comedy or tragedy and another, there is no other difference, but what is made by the liking or disliking of the audience. This is indeed a less error than the former, but yet it is a great one. The liking or disliking of the people gives the play the denomination of good or bad, but does not really make or constitute it such. To please the people ought to be the poet's aim, because plays are made for their delight; but it does not follow that they are always pleased with good plays, or that the plays which please them are always good. The humour of the people is now for comedy; therefore, in hope to please them, I write comedies rather than serious plays: and so far their taste prescribes to me. But it does not follow from that reason, that comedy is to be preferred before tragedy in its own nature; for that, which is so in its own nature, cannot be otherwise, as a man cannot but be a rational creature: But the opinion of the people may alter, and in another age, or perhaps in this, serious plays may be set up above comedies.

This I think a sufficient answer; if it be not, he has provided me of an excuse: it seems, in his wisdom, he foresaw my weakness, and has found out this expedient for me, "That it is not necessary for poets to study strict reason, since they are so used to a greater latitude than is allowed by that severe inquisition, that they must infringe their own jurisdiction, to profess themselves obliged to argue well."

I am obliged to him for discovering to me this back door; but I am not yet resolved on my retreat; for I am of opinion, that they cannot be good poets, who are not accustomed to argue well. False reasonings and colours of speech are the certain marks of one who does not understand the stage: for moral truth is the mistress of the poet as much as of the philosopher; poesy must resemble natural truth, but it must be ethical. Indeed, the poet dresses truth, and adorns nature, but does not alter them:

Ficta voluptatis causa sint proxima veris.

Therefore, that is not the best poesy, which resembles notions of things, that are not, to things that are: though the fancy may be great, and the words flowing, yet the soul is but half satisfied when there is not truth in the foundation. This is that which makes Virgil be preferred before the rest of poets. In variety of fancy, and sweetness of expression, you see Ovid far above him; for Virgil rejected many of those things which Ovid wrote. "A great wit's great work is to refuse," as my worthy friend Sir John Berkenhead has ingeniously expressed it: you rarely meet with any thing in Virgil but truth, which therefore leaves the strongest impression of pleasure in the soul. This I thought myself obliged to say in behalf of poesy; and to declare, though it be against myself, that when poets do not argue well, the defect is in the workmen, not in the art.

And now I come to the boldest part of his discourse, wherein he attacks not me, but all the ancients and moderns; and undermines, as he thinks, the very foundations on which Dramatic Poesy is built. I could wish he would have declined that envy which must of necessity follow such an undertaking, and contented himself with triumphing over me in my opinions of verse, which I will never hereafter dispute with him; but he must pardon me if I have that veneration for Aristotle, Horace, Ben Jonson, and Corneille, that I dare not serve him in such a cause, and against such heroes, but rather fight under their protection, as Homer reports of little Teucer, who shot the Trojans from under the large buckler of Ajax Telamon.

[Greek: Stae d ax up Aiantos sachei Telamoniadao]
He stood beneath his brother's ample shield;
And covered there, shot death through all the field.

The words of my noble adversary are these:

"But if we examine the general rules laid down for plays by strict reason, we shall find the errors equally gross; for the great foundation which is laid to build upon, is nothing as it is generally stated, as will appear upon the examination of the particulars."

These particulars in due time shall be examined. In the mean while, let us consider what this great foundation is, which he says is nothing, as it is generally stated. I never heard of any other foundation of Dramatic Poesy than the imitation of nature; neither was there ever pretended any other by the ancients or moderns, or me, who endeavour to follow them in that rule. This I have plainly said in my definition of a play; that it is a just and lively image of human nature, &c. Thus the foundation, as it is generally stated, will stand sure, if this definition of a play be true; if it be not, he ought to have made his exception against it, by proving that a play is not an imitation of nature, but somewhat else, which he is pleased to think it.

But 'tis very plain, that he has mistaken the foundation for that which is built upon it, though not immediately: for the direct and immediate consequence is this; if nature be to be imitated, then there is a rule for imitating nature rightly, otherwise there may be an end, and no means conducing to it. Hitherto I have proceeded by demonstration; but as our divines, when they have proved a Deity, because there is order, and have inferred that this Deity ought to be worshipped, differ afterwards in the manner of the worship; so, having laid down, that nature is to be imitated, and that proposition proving the next, that then there are means which conduce to the imitating of nature, I dare proceed no farther positively; but have only laid down some opinions of the ancients and moderns, and of my own, as means which they used, and which I thought probable for the attaining of that end. Those means are the same which my antagonist calls the foundations, how properly the world may judge; and to prove that this is his meaning, he clears it immediately to you, by enumerating those rules or propositions against which he makes his particular exceptions; as, namely, those of time and place, in these words: "First, we are told the plot should not be so ridiculously contrived, as to crowd two several countries into one stage; secondly, to cramp the accidents of many years or days into the representation of two hours and an half; and, lastly, a conclusion drawn, that the only remaining dispute is, concerning time, whether it should be contained in twelve or twenty-four hours; and the place to be limited to that spot of ground where the play is supposed to begin: and this is called nearest nature; for that is concluded most natural, which is most probable, and nearest to that which it presents."

Thus he has only made a small mistake, of the means conducing to the end for the end itself, and of the superstructure for the foundation: But he proceeds:

"To shew therefore upon what ill grounds they dictate laws for Dramatic Poesy," &c. He is here pleased to charge me with being magisterial, as he has done in many other places of his preface; therefore, in vindication of myself, I must crave leave to say, that my whole discourse was sceptical, according to that way of reasoning which was used by Socrates, Plato, and all the academics of old, which Tully and the best of the ancients followed, and which is imitated by the modest inquisitions of the Royal Society. That it is so, not only the name will shew, which is, An Essay, but the frame and composition of the work. You see it is a dialogue sustained by persons of several opinions, all of them left doubtful, to be determined by the readers in general; and more particularly deferred to the accurate judgment of my Lord Buckhurst, to whom I made a dedication of my book. These are my words in my epistle, speaking of the persons whom I introduced in my dialogue: "'Tis true they differed in their opinions, as 'tis probable they would: neither do I take upon me to reconcile, but to relate them, leaving your lordship to decide it in favour of that part which you shall judge most reasonable." And after that, in my advertisement to the reader, I said this: "The drift of the ensuing discourse is chiefly to vindicate the honour of our English writers from the censure of those who unjustly prefer the French before them. This I intimate, lest any should think me so exceeding vain, as to teach others an art, which they understand much better than myself." But this is more than necessary to clear my modesty in that point: and I am very confident, that there is scarce any man who has lost so much time, as to read that trifle, but will be my compurgator, as to that arrogance whereof I am accused. The truth is, if I had been naturally guilty of so much vanity as to dictate my opinions; yet I do not find that the character of a positive or self-conceited person is of such advantage to any in this age, that I should labour to be publicly admitted of that order.

But I am not now to defend my own cause, when that of all the ancients and moderns is in question. For this gentleman, who accuses me of arrogance, has taken a course not to be taxed with the other extreme of modesty. Those propositions, which are laid down in my discourse as helps to the better imitation of nature, are not mine (as I have said), nor were ever pretended so to be, but derived from the authority of Aristotle and Horace, and from the rules and examples of Ben Jonson and Corneille. These are the men with whom properly he contends, and against "whom he will endeavour to make it evident, that there is no such thing as what they all pretend."

His argument against the unities of place and time is this: "That 'tis as impossible for one stage to present two rooms or houses truly, as two countries or kingdoms; and as impossible that five hours or twenty-four hours should be two hours, as that a thousand hours or years should be less than what they are, or the greatest part of time to be comprehended in the less: for all of them being impossible, they are none of them nearest the truth, or nature of what they present; for impossibilities are all equal, and admit of no degree."

This argument is so scattered into parts, that it can scarce be united into a syllogism; yet, in obedience to him, I will abbreviate, and comprehend as much of it as I can in few words, that my answer to it may be more perspicuous. I conceive his meaning to be what follows, as to the unity of place: (if I mistake, I beg his pardon, professing it is not out of any design to play the Argumentative Poet.) If one stage cannot properly present two rooms or houses, much less two countries or kingdoms, then there can be no unity of place. But one stage cannot properly perform this: therefore there can be no unity of place.

I plainly deny his minor proposition; the force of which, if I mistake not, depends on this, that the stage being one place cannot be two. This indeed is as great a secret, as that we are all mortal; but to requite it with another, I must crave leave to tell him, that though the stage cannot be two places, yet it may properly represent them successively, or at several times. His argument is indeed no more than a mere fallacy, which will evidently appear when we distinguish place, as it relates to plays, into real and imaginary. The real place is that theatre, or piece of ground, on which the play is acted. The imaginary, that house, town, or country where the action of the drama is supposed to be, or, more plainly, where the scene of the play is laid. Let us now apply this to that Herculean argument, "which if strictly and duly weighed, is to make it evident, that there is no such thing as what they all pretend." 'Tis impossible, he says, for one stage to present two rooms or houses: I answer, 'tis neither impossible, nor improper, for one real place to represent two or more imaginary places, so it be done successively; which, in other words, is no more than this, that the imagination of the audience, aided by the words of the poet, and painted scenes, may suppose the stage to be sometimes one place, sometimes another; now a garden, or wood, and immediately a camp: which I appeal to every man's imagination, if it be not true. Neither the ancients nor moderns, as much fools as he is pleased to think them, ever asserted that they could make one place two; but they might hope, by the good leave of this author, that the change of a scene might lead the imagination to suppose the place altered: so that he cannot fasten those absurdities upon this scene of a play, or imaginary place of action, that it is one place, and yet two. And this being so clearly proved, that 'tis past any shew of a reasonable denial, it will not be hard to destroy that other part of his argument, which depends upon it, namely, that 'tis as impossible for a stage to represent two rooms or houses, as two countries or kingdoms: for his reason is already overthrown, which was, because both were alike impossible. This is manifestly otherwise; for 'tis proved that a stage may properly represent two rooms or houses; for the imagination being judge of what is represented, will in reason be less choked with the appearance of two rooms in the same house, or two houses in the same city, than with two distant cities in the same country, or two remote countries in the same universe. Imagination in a man, or reasonable creature, is supposed to participate of reason, and when that governs, as it does in the belief of fiction, reason is not destroyed, but misled, or blinded; that can prescribe to the reason, during the time of the representation, somewhat like a weak belief of what it sees and hears; and reason suffers itself to be so hood-winked, that it may better enjoy the pleasures of the fiction: But it is never so wholly made a captive, as to be drawn headlong into a persuasion of those things which are most remote from probability: It is in that case a free-born subject, not a slave; it will contribute willingly its assent, as far as it sees convenient, but will not be forced. Now, there is a greater vicinity in nature betwixt two rooms, than betwixt two houses; betwixt two houses, than betwixt two cities; and so of the rest: Reason, therefore, can sooner be led, by imagination, to step from one room into another, than to walk to two distant houses, and yet rather to go thither, than to fly like a witch through the air, and be hurried from one region to another. Fancy and Reason go hand in hand; the first cannot leave the last behind: And though Fancy, when it sees the wide gulph, would venture over, as the nimbler, yet it is with-held by Reason, which will refuse to take the leap, when the distance over it appears too large. If Ben Jonson himself will remove the scene from Rome into Tuscany in the same act, and from thence return to Rome, in the scene which immediately follows, reason will consider there is no proportionable allowance of time to perform the journey, and, therefore, will choose to stay at home. So, then, the less change of place there is, the less time is taken up in transporting the persons of the drama, with analogy to reason; and in that analogy, or resemblance of fiction to truth, consists the excellency of the play.

For what else concerns the unity of place, I have already given my opinion of it in my Essay, that there is a latitude to be allowed to it, as several places in the same town or city, or places adjacent to each other in the same country; which may all be comprehended under the larger denomination of one place; yet with this restriction, that the nearer and fewer those imaginary places are, the greater resemblance they will have to truth; and reason, which cannot make them one, will be more easily led to suppose them so.

What has been said of the unity of place, may easily be applied to that of time: I grant it to be impossible, that the greater part of time should be comprehended in the less, that twenty-four hours should be crowded into three: But there is no necessity of that supposition; for as place, so time relating to a play, is either imaginary or real: The real is comprehended in those three hours, more or less, in the space of which the play is represented; the imaginary is that which is supposed to be taken up in the representation, as twenty-four hours, more or less. Now, no man ever could suppose, that twenty-four real hours could be included in the space of three; but where is the absurdity of affirming, that the feigned business of twenty-four imagined hours, may not more naturally be represented in the compass of three real hours, than the like feigned business of twenty-four years, in the same proportion of real time? For the proportions are always real, and much nearer, by his permission, of twenty-four to three, than of four thousand to it.

I am almost fearful of illustrating any thing by similitude, lest he should confute it for an argument; yet I think the comparison of a glass will discover very aptly the fallacy of his argument, both concerning time and place. The strength of his reason depends on this, that the less cannot comprehend the greater. I have already answered, that we need not suppose it does; I say not that the less can comprehend the greater, but only, that it may represent it. As in a glass, or mirror, of half-a-yard diameter, a whole room, and many persons in it, may be seen at once; not that it can comprehend that room, or those persons, but that it represents them to the sight.

But the author of the "Duke of Lerma" is to be excused for his declaring against the unity of time; for, if I be not much mistaken, he is an interested person;—the time of that play taking up so many years, as the favour of the Duke of Lerma continued; nay, the second and third act including all the time of his prosperity, which was a great part of the reign of Philip the Third: For in the beginning of the second act he was not yet a favourite, and, before the end of the third, was in disgrace. I say not this with the least design of limiting the stage too servilely to twenty-four hours, however he be pleased to tax me with dogmatising on that point, In my dialogue, as I before hinted, several persons maintained their several opinions: One of them, indeed, who supported the cause of the French poesy, said how strict they were in that particular; but he who answered, in behalf of our nation, was willing to give more latitude to the rule, and cites the words of Corneille himself, complaining against the severity of it, and observing, what beauties it banished from the stage, p. 44. of my Essay. In few words, my own opinion is this, (and I willingly submit it to my adversary, when he will please impartially to consider it) that the imaginary time of every play ought to be contrived into as narrow a compass, as the nature of the plot, the quality of the persons, and variety of accidents will allow. In comedy, I would not exceed twenty-four or thirty hours; for the plot, accidents, and persons, of comedy are small, and may be naturally turned in a little compass: But in tragedy, the design is weighty, and the persons great; therefore, there will naturally be required a greater space of time in which to move them. And this, though Ben Jonson has not told us, yet it is manifestly his opinion: For you see that to his comedies he allows generally but twenty-four hours; to his two tragedies, "Sejanus," and "Catiline," a much larger time, though he draws both of them into as narrow a compass as he can: For he shews you only the latter end of Sejanus's favour, and the conspiracy of Catiline already ripe, and just breaking out into action.

But as it is an error, on the one side, to make too great a disproportion betwixt the imaginary time of the play, and the real time of its representation; so, on the other side, it is an oversight to compress the accidents of a play into a narrower compass than that in which they could naturally be produced. Of this last error the French are seldom guilty, because the thinness of their plots prevents them from it; but few Englishmen, except Ben Jonson, have ever made a plot, with variety of design in it, included in twenty-four hours, which was altogether natural. For this reason, I prefer the "Silent Woman" before all other plays, I think justly, as I do its author, in judgment, above all other poets. Yet, of the two, I think that error the most pardonable, which in too strait a compass crowds together many accidents, since it produces more variety, and, consequently, more pleasure to the audience; and, because the nearness of proportion betwixt the imaginary and real time, does speciously cover the compression of the accidents.

Thus I have endeavoured to answer the meaning of his argument; for, as he drew it, I humbly conceive that it was none,—as will appear by his proposition, and the proof of it. His proposition was this:

"If strictly and duly weighed, it is as impossible for one stage to present two rooms, or houses, as two countries, or kingdoms," &c. And his proof this: "For all being impossible, they are none of them nearest the truth or nature of what they present."

Here you see, instead of proof or reason, there is only petitio principii. For, in plain words, his sense is this: Two things are as impossible as one another, because they are both equally impossible: But he takes those two things to be granted as impossible, which he ought to have proved such, before he had proceeded to prove them equally impossible: He should have made out first, that it was impossible for one stage to represent two houses, and then have gone forward to prove, that it was as equally impossible for a stage to present two houses, as two countries.

After all this, the very absurdity, to which he would reduce me, is none at all: For he only drives at this, that, if his argument be true, I must then acknowledge that there are degrees in impossibilities, which I easily grant him without dispute; and, if I mistake not, Aristotle and the School are of my opinion. For there are some things which are absolutely impossible, and others which are only so ex parte; as it is absolutely impossible for a thing to be, and not to be at the same time: But for a stone to move naturally upward, is only impossible ex parte materiae; but it is not impossible for the first mover to alter the nature of it.

His last assault, like that of a Frenchman, is most feeble; for whereas I have observed, that none have been violent against verse, but such only as have not attempted it, or have succeeded ill in their attempt, he will needs, according to his usual custom, improve my observation to an argument, that he might have the glory to confute it, But I lay my observation at his feet, as I do my pen, which I have often employed willingly in his deserved commendations, and now most unwillingly against his judgment. For his person and parts, I honour them as much as any man living, and have had so many particular obligations to him, that I should be very ungrateful, if I did not acknowledge them to the world. But I gave not the first occasion of this difference in opinions. In my epistle dedicatory, before my "Rival Ladies," I had said somewhat in behalf of verse, which he was pleased to answer in his preface to his plays. That occasioned my reply in my essay; and that reply begot this rejoinder of his, in his preface to the "Duke of Lenna." But as I was the last who took up arms, I will be the first to lay them down. For what I have here written, I submit it wholly to him; and if I do not hereafter answer what may be objected against this paper, I hope the world will not impute it to any other reason, than only the due respect which I have for so noble an opponent.


The Indian Emperor is the first of Dryden's plays which exhibited, in a marked degree, the peculiarity of his stile, and drew upon him the attention of the world. Without equalling the extravagancies of the Conquest of Granada, and the Royal Martyr, works produced when our author was emboldened, by public applause, to give full scope to his daring genius, the following may be considered as a model of the heroic drama, A few words, therefore, will not be here misplaced, on the nature of the kind of tragedies, in which, during the earlier part of his literary career, our author delighted and excelled.

The heroic, or rhyming, plays, were borrowed from the French, to whose genius they are better suited than to the British. An analogy may be observed between all the different departments of the belles lettres; and none seem more closely allied, than the pursuits of the dramatic writer, and those of the composer of romances or novels. Both deal in fictitious adventure; both write for amusement; and address themselves nearly to the same class of admirers. Nay, although the pride of the dramatist may be offended by the assertion, it would seem, that the nature of his walk is often prescribed by the successful impression of a novel upon the public mind. If we laugh over low adventures in a novel, we soon see low comedy upon the stage: If we are horror-struck with a tale of robbers and murder in our closet, the dagger and the green carpet will not long remain unemployed in the theatre; and if ghosts haunt our novels, they soon stalk amongst our scenes. Under this persuasion, we have little doubt that the heroic tragedies were the legitimate offspring of the French romances of Calprenede and Scuderi. Such as may deign to open these venerable and neglected tomes, will be soon convinced of their extreme resemblance to the heroic drama. A remarkable feature in both, is the ideal world which they form for themselves. Every sentiment is lofty, splendid, and striking; and no apology is admitted for any departure from the dignity of character, however natural or impressive. The beauty of the heroine, and the valour of the hero, must be alike resistless; and the moving spring, through the whole action, is the overbearing passion of love. Their language and manners are as peculiar to themselves, as their prowess and susceptibility. The pastoral Arcadian does not differ more widely from an ordinary rustic, than these lofty persons do from the princes and kings of this world. Neither is any circumstance of national character, or manners, allowed as an apology for altering the established character, which must be invariably sustained by the persons of the heroic drama. The religion, and the state of society of the country where the scene is laid, may be occasionally alluded to as authority for varying a procession, or introducing new dresses and decorations; but, in all other respects, an Indian Inca, attired in feathers, must hold the same dignity of deportment, and display the same powers of declamation, and ingenuity of argument, with a Roman emperor in his purple, or a feudal warrior in his armour; for the rule and decorum of this species of composition is too peremptory, to give way either to the current of human passions, or to the usages of nations. Gibbon has remarked, that the kings of the Gepidae, and the Ostrogoths in Corneille's tragedy of Attila, are profound politicians, and sentimental lovers;—a description which, with a varying portion of pride, courtesy, and heroism, will apply to almost all the characters in plays drawn upon this model.

It is impossible to conceive any thing more different from the old English drama, than the heroic plays which were introduced by Charles II. The former, in labouring to exhibit a variety and contrast of passions, tempers, or humours, frequently altogether neglected the dignity of the scene. In the heroical tragedy, on the other hand, nothing was to be indecorous, nothing grotesque: The personages were to speak, not as men, but as heroes; to whom, as statuaries have assigned a superiority of stature, so these poets have given an uniform grandeur of feeling and of expression. It may be thought, that this monotonous splendour of diction would have palled upon an English audience, less pleased generally with refinement, however elegant, than with bursts of passion, and flights of novelty. But Dryden felt his force in the line which he chose to pursue and recommend. The indescribable charms of his versification gratified the ear of the public, while their attention was engaged by the splendour of his images, and the matchless ingenuity of his arguments. It must also be admitted, that, by their total neglect of the unities, our ancient dramatic authors shocked the feelings of the more learned, and embarrassed the understanding of the less acute, among the spectators. We do not hold it treason to depart from the strict rules respecting time and place, inculcated by the ancients, and followed in the heroic plays. But it will surely be granted to us, that, where they can be observed, without the sacrifice of great beauties, or incurring such absurdities as Dennis has justly charged upon Cato, the play will be proportionally more intelligible on the stage, and more pleasing in the closet. And although we willingly censure the practice of driving argument, upon the stage, into metaphysical refinement, and rendering the contest of contrasted passions a mere combat in logic, yet we must equally condemn those tragedies, in which the poet sketches out the character with a few broken common-places, expressive of love, of rage, or of grief, and leaves the canvas to be filled up by the actor, according to his own taste, power, and inclination.

The Indian Emperor is an instance, what beautiful poetry may be united to, we had almost said thrown away upon, the heroic drama. The very first scene exhibits much of those beauties, and their attendant deformities. A modern audience would hardly have sate in patience to hear more than the first extravagant and ludicrous supposition of Cortez:

  As if our old world modestly withdrew;
  And here, in private, had brought forth a new.

But had they condemned the piece for this uncommon case of parturition, they would have lost the beautiful and melodious verses, in which Cortez, and his followers, describe the advantages of the newly discovered world; and they would have lost the still more exquisite account, which, immediately after, Guyomar gives of the arrival of the Spanish fleet. Of the characters little need be said; they stalk on, in their own fairy land, in the same uniform livery, and with little peculiarity of discrimination. All the men, from Montezuma down to Pizarro, are brave warriors; and only vary, in proportion to the mitigating qualities which the poet has infused into their military ardour. The women are all beautiful, and all deeply in love; differing from each other only, as the haughty or tender predominates in their passion. But the charm of the poetry, and the ingenuity of the dialogue, render it impossible to peruse, without pleasure, a drama, the faults of which may be imputed to its structure, while its beauties are peculiar to Dryden.

The plot of the Indian Emperor is certainly of our author's own composition; since even the malignant assiduity of Langbaine has been unable to point out any author from whom it is borrowed. The play was first acted in 1665, and received with great applause.


[Footnote A: This argument was printed, and dispersed amongst the audience upon the first night of representation. Hence Bayes is made to say, in the Rehearsal, that he had printed many reams, to instil into the audience some conception of his plot.]

The conclusion of the Indian Queen (part of which poem was wrote by me) left little matter for another story to be built on, there remaining but two of the considerable characters alive, viz. Montezuma and Orazia. Thereupon the author of this thought it necessary to produce new persons from the old ones; and considering the late Indian Queen, before she loved Montezuma, lived in clandestine marriage with her general Traxalla, from those two he has raised a son and two daughters, supposed to be left young orphans at their death. On the other side, he has given to Montezuma and Orazia, two sons and a daughter; all now supposed to be grown up to mens' and womens' estate; and their mother, Orazia, (for whom there was no further use in the story,) lately dead.

So that you are to imagine about twenty years elapsed since the coronation of Montezuma; who, in the truth of the history, was a great and glorious prince; and in whose time happened the discovery and invasion of Mexico, by the Spaniards, under the conduct of Hernando Cortez, who, joining with the Traxallan Indians, the inveterate enemies of Montezuma, wholly subverted that flourishing empire;—the conquest of which is the subject of this dramatic poem.

I have neither wholly followed the story, nor varied from it; and, as near as I could, have traced the native simplicity and ignorance of the Indians, in relation to European customs;—the shipping, armour, horses, swords, and guns of the Spaniards, being as new to them, as their habits and their language were to the Christians.

The difference of their religion from ours, I have taken from the story itself; and that which you find of it in the first and fifth acts, touching the sufferings and constancy of Montezuma in his opinions, I have only illustrated, not altered, from those who have written of it.


Almighty critics! whom our Indians here
Worship, just as they do the devil—for fear;
In reverence to your power, I come this day,
To give you timely warning of our play.
The scenes are old, the habits are the same
We wore last year, before the Spaniards came[A].
Now, if you stay, the blood, that shall be shed
From this poor play, be all upon your head.
We neither promise you one dance, or show;
Then plot, and language, they are wanting too:
But you, kind wits, will those light faults excuse,
Those are the common frailties of the muse;
Which, who observes, he buys his place too dear;
For 'tis your business to be cozened here.
These wretched spies of wit must then confess,
They take more pains to please themselves the less.
Grant us such judges, Phoebus, we request,
As still mistake themselves into a jest;
Such easy judges, that our poet may
Himself admire the fortune of his play;
And, arrogantly, as his fellows do,
Think he writes well, because he pleases you.
This he conceives not hard to bring about,
If all of you would join to help him out:
Would each man take but what he understands,
And leave the rest upon the poet's hands.

[Footnote A: Alluding to the Indian Queen, in which the scene is laid before the arrival of the Spaniards in America, and which was acted in 1664, as this was in 1665.]



MONTEZUMA, Emperor of Mexico.
ODMAR, his eldest son.
GUYOMAR, his younger son.
ORBELLAN, son of the late Indian Queen by TRAXALLA.
High Priest of the Sun.


ALMERIA, } Sisters; and daughters to the late
ALIBECH, } Indian Queen.


CORTEZ, the Spanish General.
VASQUEZ, } Commanders under him.

SCENE—Mexico, and two leagues about it.



SCENE I.—A pleasant Indian country.

Enter CORTEZ, VASQUEZ, PIZARRO, with Spaniards and Indians of their party.

Cort. On what new happy climate are we thrown,
So long kept secret, and so lately known;
As if our old world modestly withdrew,
And here in private had brought forth a new?

Vasq. Corn, oil, and wine, are wanting to this ground,
In which our countries fruitfully abound;
As if this infant world, yet unarrayed,
Naked and bare in Nature's lap were laid.
No useful arts have yet found footing here,
But all untaught and savage does appear.

Cort. Wild and untaught are terms which we alone
Invent, for fashions differing from our own;
For all their customs are by nature wrought,
But we, by art, unteach what nature taught.

Piz. In Spain, our springs, like old men's children, be
Decayed and withered from their infancy:
No kindly showers fall on our barren earth,
To hatch the season in a timely birth:
Our summer such a russet livery wears,
As in a garment often dyed appears.

Cort. Here nature spreads her fruitful sweetness round,
Breathes on the air, and broods upon the ground:
Here days and nights the only seasons be;
The sun no climate does so gladly see:
When forced from hence, to view our parts, he mourns;
Takes little journies, and makes quick returns.

Vasq. Methinks, we walk in dreams on Fairy-land,
Where golden ore lies mixt with common sand;
Each downfal of a flood, the mountains pour
From their rich bowels, rolls a silver shower.

Cort. Heaven from all ages wisely did provide
This wealth, and for the bravest nation hide,
Who, with four hundred foot and forty horse,
Dare boldly go a new-found world to force.

Piz. Our men, though valiant, we should find too few,
But Indians join the Indians to subdue;
Taxallan, shook by Montezuma's powers,
Has, to resist his forces, called in ours.

Vasq. Rashly to arm against so great a king, I hold not safe; nor is it just to bring A war, without a fair defiance made.

Piz. Declare we first our quarrel; then invade.

Cort. Myself, my king's ambassador, will go; Speak, Indian guide, how far to Mexico?

Ind. Your eyes can scarce so far a prospect make,
As to discern the city on the lake;
But that broad causeway will direct your way,
And you may reach the town by noon of day.

Cort. Command a party of our Indians out,
With a strict charge, not to engage, but scout:
By noble ways we conquest will prepare;
First, offer peace, and, that refused, make war.


SCENE II.—A Temple.

The High Priest with other Priests. To them an Indian.

Ind. Haste, holy priest, it is the king's command.

High Pr. When sets he forward?

Ind. He is near at hand.

High Pr. The incense is upon the altar placed,
The bloody sacrifice already past;
Five hundred captives saw the rising sun,
Who lost their light, ere half his race was run.
That which remains we here must celebrate;
Where, far from noise, without the city gate,
The peaceful power that governs love repairs,
To feast upon soft vows and silent prayers.
We for his royal presence only stay,
To end the rites of this so solemn day.

[Exit Ind.

Enter MONTEZUMA; his eldest son, ODMAR; his daughter, CYDARIA; ALMERIA, ALIBECH, ORBELLAN, and Train. They place themselves.

High Pr. On your birthday, while we sing
To our gods and to our king,
Her, among this beauteous quire,
Whose perfections you admire,
Her, who fairest does appear,
Crown her queen of all the year,
Of the year and of the day,
And at her feet your garland lay.

Odm. My father this way does his looks direct; Heaven grant, he give it not where I suspect!

[MONTEZUMA rises, goes about the Ladies, and at length stays at ALMERIA, and bows.

Mont. Since my Orazia's death, I have not seen A beauty, so deserving to be queen As fair Almeria.

Alm. Sure he will not know [To her brother and sister, aside. My birth I to that injured princess owe, Whom his hard heart not only love denied, But in her sufferings took unmanly pride.

Alib. Since Montezuma will his choice renew,
In dead Orazia's room electing you,
'Twill please our mother's ghost that you succeed
To all the glories of her rival's bed.

Alm. If news be carried to the shades below, The Indian queen will be more pleased, to know, That I his scorns on him, who scorned her, pay.

Orb. Would you could right her some more noble way!

[She turns to him, who is kneeling all this while.

Mont. Madam, this posture is for heaven designed, [Kneeling. And what moves heaven I hope may make you kind.

Alm. Heaven may be kind; the gods uninjured live.
And crimes below cost little to forgive:
By thee, inhuman, both my parents died;
One by thy sword, the other by thy pride.

Mont. My haughty mind no fate could ever bow, Yet I must stoop to one, who scorns me now: Is there no pity to my sufferings due?

Alm. As much as what my mother found from you.

Mont. Your mother's wrongs a recompence shall meet; I lay my sceptre at her daughter's feet.

Alm. He, who does now my least commands obey, Would call me queen, and take my power away.

Odm. Can he hear this, and not his fetters break?
Is love so powerful, or his soul so weak?
I'll fright her from it.—Madam, though you see
The king is kind, I hope your modesty
Will know, what distance to the crown is due.

Alm. Distance and modesty prescribed by you!

Odm. Almeria dares not think such thoughts as these.

Alm. She dares both think and act what thoughts she please. Tis much below me on his throne to sit; But when I do, you shall petition it.

Odm. If, sir, Almeria does your bed partake, I mourn for my forgotten mother's' sake.

Mont. When parents' loves are ordered by a son, Let streams prescribe their fountains where to run.

Odm. In all I urge, I keep my duty still, Not rule your reason, but instruct your will.

Mont. Small use of reason in that prince is shown, Who follows others, and neglects his own.

[ALMERIA to ORBELLAN and ALIBECH, who are this while whispering to her.

Alm. No, he shall ever love, and always be The subject of my scorn and cruelty.

Orb. To prove the lasting torment of his life,
You must not be his mistress, but his wife.
Few know what care an husband's peace destroys,
His real griefs, and his dissembled joys.

Alm. What mark of pleasing vengeance could be shown, If I, to break his quiet, lose my own?

Orb. A brother's life upon your love relics,
Since I do homage to Cydaria's eyes:
How can her father to my hopes be kind,
If in your heart he no example find?

Alm. To save your life I'll suffer any thing,
Yet I'll not flatter this tempestuous king;
But work his stubborn soul a nobler way,
And, if he love, I'll force him to obey.
I take this garland, not as given by you,
 [To MONT.
But as my merit and my beauty's due.
As for the crown, that you, my slave, possess,
To share it with you would but make me less.

Enter GUYOMAR hastily.

Odm. My brother Guyomar! methinks I spy Haste in his steps, and wonder in his eye.

Mont. I sent thee to the frontiers; quickly tell The cause of thy return; are all things well?

Guy. I went, in order, sir, to your command,
To view the utmost limits of the land:
To that sea-shore where no more world is found,
But foaming billows breaking on the ground;
Where, for a while, my eyes no object met,
But distant skies, that in the ocean set;
And low-hung clouds, that dipt themselves in rain,
To shake their fleeces on the earth again.
At last, as far as I could cast my eyes
Upon the sea, somewhat, methought, did rise,
Like blueish mists, which, still appearing more,
Took dreadful shapes, and moved towards the shore.

Mont. What forms did these new wonders represent?

Guy. More strange than what your wonder can invent.
The object, I could first distinctly view,
Was tall straight trees, which on the waters flew;
Wings on their sides, instead of leaves, did grow,
Which gathered all the breath the winds could blow:
And at their roots grew floating palaces,
Whose outblowed bellies cut the yielding seas.

Mont. What divine monsters, O ye gods, were these, That float in air, and fly upon the seas! Came they alive, or dead, upon the shore?

Guy. Alas, they lived too sure; I heard them roar.
All turned their sides, and to each other spoke;
I saw their words break out in fire and smoke.
Sure 'tis their voice, that thunders from on high,
Or these the younger brothers of the sky.
Deaf with the noise, I took my hasty flight;
No mortal courage can support the fright.

High Pr. Old prophecies foretel our fall at hand, When bearded men in floating castles land. I fear it is of dire portent.

Mont. Go see
What it foreshows, and what the gods decree.
Meantime proceed we to what rites remain.—
Odmar, of all this presence does contain,
Give her your wreath, whom you esteem most fair.

Odm. Above the rest I judge one beauty rare, And may that beauty prove as kind to me, [He gives ALIBECH the wreath. As I am sure fair Alibech is she.

Mont. You, Guyomar, must next perform your part.

Guy. I want a garland, but I'll give a heart: My brother's pardon I must first implore, Since I with him fair Alibech adore.

Odm. That all should Alibech adore, 'tis true; But some respect is to my birthright due. My claim to her by eldership I prove.

Guy. Age is a plea in empire, not in love.

Odm. I long have staid for this solemnity, To make my passion public.

Guy. So have I.

Odm. But from her birth my soul has been her slave;
My heart received the first wounds which she save:
I watched the early glories of her eyes,
As men for daybreak watch the eastern skies.

Guy. It seems my soul then moved the quicker pace; Yours first set out, mine reached her in the race.

Mont. Odmar, your choice I cannot disapprove;
Nor justly, Guyomar, can blame your love.
To Alibech alone refer your suit,
And let her sentence finish your dispute.

Alib. You think me, sir, a mistress quickly won.
So soon to finish what is scarce begun:
In this surprise should I a judgment make,
'Tis answering riddles ere I'm well awake:
If you oblige me suddenly to chuse,
The choice is made, for I must both refuse:
For to myself I owe this due regard,
Not to make love my gift, but my reward.
Time best will show, whose services will last.

Odm. Then judge my future service by my past. What I shall be, by what I was, you know: That love took deepest root, which first did grow.

Guy. That love, which first was set, will first decay; Mine, of a fresher date, will longer stay.

Odm. Still you forget my birth.

Guy. But you, I see, Take care still to refresh my memory.

Mont. My sons, let your unseemly discord cease, If not in friendship, live at least in peace. Orbellan, where you love, bestow your wreath.

Orb. My love I dare not, even in whispers, breathe.

Mont. A virtuous love may venture any thing.

Orb. Not to attempt the daughter of my king.

Mont. Whither is all my former fury gone?
Once more I have Traxalla's chains put on,
And by his children am in triumph led:
Too well the living have revenged the dead!

Alm. You think my brother born your enemy; He's of Traxalla's blood, and so am I.

Mont. In vain I strive.
My lion-heart is with love's toils beset;
Struggling I fall still deeper in the net.
Cydaria, your new lover's garland take,
And use him kindly for your father's sake.

Cyd. So strong an hatred does my nature sway.
That, spite of duty, I must disobey:
Besides, you warned me still of loving two;
Can I love him, already loving you?

Enter a Guard hastily.

Mont. You look amazed, as if some sudden fear Had seized your hearts; is any danger near?

1 Guard. Behind the covert, where this temple stands,
Thick as the shades, there issue swarming bands
Of ambushed men, whom, by their arms and dress,
To be Taxallan enemies I guess.

2 Guard. The temple, sir, is almost compassed round.

Mont. Some speedy way for passage must be found.
Make to the city by the postern gate,
I'll either force my victory, or fate;
A glorious death in arms I'll rather prove,
Than stay to perish tamely by my love.


An alarm within. Enter MONTEZUMA, ODMAR, GUYOMAR, ALIBECH, ORBELLAN, CYDARIA, ALMERIA, as pursued by Taxallans.

Mont. No succour from the town?

Odm. None, none is nigh.

Guy. We are inclosed, and must resolve to die.

Mont. Fight for revenge, now hope of life is past But one stroke more, and that will be my last.

Enter CORTEZ, VASQUEZ, PIZARRO, to the Taxallans: CORTEZ stays them, just falling on.

Cort. Contemned? my orders broke even in my sight? Did I not strictly charge, you should not fight?

[To his Indians.

Ind. Your choler, general, does unjustly rise,
To see your friends pursue your enemies.
The greatest and most cruel foes we have,
Are these, whom you would ignorantly save.
By ambushed men, behind their temple laid,
We have the king of Mexico betrayed.

Cort. Where, banished virtue, wilt thou shew thy face,
If treachery infects thy Indian race?
Dismiss your rage, and lay your weapons by:
Know I protect them, and they shall not die.

Ind. O wondrous mercy, shewn to foes distrest!

Cort. Call them not so, when once with odds opprest;
Nor are they foes my clemency defends,
Until they have refused the name of friends:
Draw up our Spaniards by themselves, then fire
Our guns on all, who do not strait retire.


Ind. O mercy, mercy! at thy feet we fall, [Indians kneeling. Before thy roaring Gods destroy us all: See, we retreat without the least reply; Keep thy Gods silent! if they speak we die.

[The Taxallans retire.

Mont. The fierce Taxatlans lay their weapons down, Some miracle in our relief is shewn.

Guy. These bearded men in shape and colour be Like those I saw come floating on the sea.

[MONT. kneels to CORT.

Mont. Patron of Mexico, and God of wars, Son of the sun, and brother of the stars—

Cort. Great monarch, your devotion you misplace.

Mont. Thy actions shew thee born of heavenly race.
If then thou art that cruel God, whose eyes
Delight in blood, and human sacrifice,
Thy dreadful altars I with slaves will store,
And feed thy nostrils with hot reeking gore;
Or if that mild and gentle God thou be,
Who dost mankind below with pity see,
With breath of incense I will glad thy heart;
But if, like us, of mortal seed thou art,
Presents of choicest fowls, and fruits I'll bring,
And in my realms thou shalt be more than king.

Cort. Monarch of empires, and deserving more
Than the sun sees upon your western shore;
Like you a man, and hither led by fame,
Not by constraint, but by my choice, I came;
Ambassador of peace, if peace you chuse,
Or herald of a war, if you refuse.

Mont. Whence, or from whom, dost thou these offers bring?

Cort. From Charles the Fifth, the world's most potent king.

Mont. Some petty prince, and one of little fame,
For to this hour I never heard his name:
The two great empires of the world I know,
That of Peru, and this of Mexico;
And since the earth none larger does afford,
This Charles is some poor tributary lord.

Cort. You speak of that small part of earth you know;
But betwixt us and you wide oceans flow,
And watry desarts of so vast extent,
That passing hither four full moons we spent.

Mont. But say, what news, what offers dost thou bring From so remote, and so unknown a king?

[While VASQUEZ speaks, CORTEZ spies the ladies and goes to them, entertaining CYDARIA with courtship in dumb shew.

Vasq. Spain's mighty monarch, to whom heaven thinks fit,
That all the nations of the earth submit,
In gracious clemency, does condescend
On these conditions to become your friend.
First, that of him you shall your sceptre hold;
Next, you present him with your useless gold:
Last, that you leave those idols you implore,
And one true deity with him adore.

Mont. You speak your prince a mighty emperor,
But his demands have spoke him proud and poor;
He proudly at my free-born sceptre flies,
Yet poorly begs a metal I despise.
Gold thou mayest take, whatever thou canst find,
Save what for sacred uses is designed:
But, by what right pretends your king to be
The sovereign lord of all the world and me?

Piz. The sovereign priest— Who represents on earth the power of heaven, Has this your empire to our monarch given.

Mont. Ill does he represent the powers above,
Who nourishes debate, not preaches love;
Besides, what greater folly can be shewn?
He gives another what is not his own.

Vasq. His power must needs unquestioned be below, For he in heaven an empire can bestow.

Mont. Empires in heaven he with more ease may give,
And you, perhaps, would with less thanks receive;
But heaven has need of no such viceroy here,
Itself bestows the crowns that monarchs wear.

Piz. You wrong his power, as you mistake our end, Who came thus far religion to extend.

Mont. He, who religion truly understands, Knows its extent must be in men, not lands.

Odm. But who are those that truth must propagate Within the confines of my father's state?

Vasq. Religious men, who hither must be sent
As awful guides of heavenly government;
To teach you penance, fasts, and abstinence,
To punish bodies for the soul's offence.

Mont. Cheaply you sin, and punish crimes with ease,
Not as the offended, but the offenders please;
First injure heaven, and, when its wrath is due,
Yourselves prescribe it how to punish you.

Odm. What numbers of these holy men must come?

Piz. You shall not want, each village shall have some; Who, though the royal dignity they own, Are equal to it, and depend on none.

Guy. Depend on none! you treat them sure in state, For 'tis their plenty does their pride create.

Mont. Those ghostly kings would parcel out my power,
And all the fatness of my land devour.
That monarch sits not safely on his throne
Who bears, within, a power that shocks his own.
They teach obedience to imperial sway,
But think it sin if they themselves obey.

Vasq. It seems, then, our religion you accuse, And peaceful homage to our king refuse.

Mont. Your Gods I slight not, but will keep my own;
My crown is absolute, and holds of none.
I cannot in a base subjection live,
Nor suffer you to take, though I would give.

Cort. Is this your answer, sir?

Mont.—This, as a prince,
Bound to my people's and my crown's defence,
I must return; but, as a man, by you
Redeemed from death, all gratitude is due.

Cort. It was an act my honour bound me to:
But what I did, were I again to do,
I could not do it on my honour's score,
For love would now oblige me to do more.
Is no way left that we may yet agree?
Must I have war, yet have no enemy?

Vasq. He has refused all terms of peace to take.

Mont. Since we must fight, hear, heavens, what prayers I make!
First, to preserve this ancient state and me,
But if your doom the fall of both decree,
Grant only he, who has such honour shewn,
When I am dust, may fill my empty throne!

Cort. To make me happier than that wish can do,
Lies not in all your Gods to grant, but you;
Let this fair princess but one minute stay,
A look from her will your obligements pay.


Mont. to Cyd. Your duty in your quick return be shewn.— Stay you, and wait my daughter to the town. [To his guards.

[CYDARIA is going, but turns and looks back upon CORTEZ, who is looking on her all this while.

Cyd. My father's gone, and yet I cannot go; Sure I have something lost or left behind!


Cort. Like travellers who wander in the snow, I on her beauty gaze 'till I am blind.


Cyd. Thick breath, quick pulse, and heaving of my heart,
All signs of some unwonted change appear:
I find myself unwilling to depart,
And yet I know not why I would be here.
Stranger, you raise such torments in my breast,
That when I go, (if I must go again)
I'll tell my father you have robbed my rest,
And to him of your injuries complain.

Cort. Unknown, I swear, those wrongs were which I wrought,
But my complaints will much more just appear,
Who from another world my freedom brought,
And to your conquering eyes have lost it here.

Cyd. Where is that other world, from whence you came?

Cort. Beyond the ocean, far from hence it lies.

Cyd. Your other world, I fear, is then the same,
That souls must go to when the body dies.
But what's the cause that keeps you here with me,
That I may know what keeps me here with you?

Cort. Mine is a love which must perpetual be, If you can be so just as I am true.


Orb. Your father wonders much at your delay.

Cyd. So great a wonder for so small a stay!

Orb. He has commanded you with me to go.

Cyd. Has he not sent to bring the stranger too?

Orb. If he to-morrow dares in fight appear, His high-placed love perhaps may cost him dear.

Cort. Dares!—that word was never spoke to Spaniard yet,
But forfeited his life, who gave him it;
Haste quickly with thy pledge of safety hence,
Thy guilt's protected by her innocence.

Cyd. Sure in some fatal hour my love was born, So soon o'ercast with absence in the morn!

Cort. Turn hence those pointed glories of your eyes;
For if more charms beneath those circles rise,
So weak my virtue, they so strong appear,
I shall turn ravisher to keep you here.



SCENE I.—The Magician's Cave.

Enter MONTEZUMA, and High-Priest.

Mont. Not that I fear the utmost fate can do,
Come I the event of doubtful war to know;
For life and death are things indifferent;
Each to be chose as either brings content:
My motive from a nobler cause does spring,
Love rules my heart, and is your monarch's king;
I more desire to know Almeria's mind,
Than all that heaven has for my state designed.

High Pr. By powerful charms, which nothing can withstand, I'll force the Gods to tell what you demand.


Thou moon, that aidest us with thy magic might,
And ye small stars, the scattered seeds of light,
Dart your pale beams into this gloomy place,
That the sad powers of the infernal race
May read above what's hid from human eyes,
And in your walks see empires fall and rise.
And ye, immortal souls, who once were men,
And now, resolved to elements again,
Who wait for mortal frames in depths below,
And did before what we are doomed to do;
Once, twice, and thrice, I wave my sacred wand,
Ascend, ascend, ascend at my command.

[An earthy spirit rises.

Spir. In vain, O mortal men, your prayers implore
The aid of powers below, which want it more:
A God more strong, who all the Gods commands,
Drives us to exile from our native lands;
The air swarms thick with wandering deities,
Which drowsily, like humming beetles, rise
From our loved earth, where peacefully we slept,
And, far from heaven, a long possession kept.
The frighted satyrs, that in woods delight,
Now into plains with pricked-up ears take flight;
And scudding thence, while they their horn-feet ply,
About their sires the little silvans cry.
A nation loving gold must rule this place,
Our temples ruin, and our rites deface:
To them, O king, is thy lost sceptre given.
Now mourn thy fatal search, for since wise heaven
More ill than good to mortals does dispense,
It is not safe to have too quick a sense.


Mont. Mourn they, who think repining can remove
The firm decrees of those, who rule above;
The brave are safe within, who still dare die:
Whene'er I fall, I'll scorn my destiny.
Doom as they please my empire not to stand,
I'll grasp my sceptre with my dying hand.

High Pr. Those earthy spirits black and envious are;
I'll call up other Gods, of form more fair:
Who visions dress in pleasing colour still,
Set all the good to shew, and hide the ill.
Kalib, ascend, my fair-spoke servant rise,
And sooth my heart with pleasing prophesies.

KALIB ascends all in white, in shape of a woman, and sings.

Kal. I looked and saw within the book of fate,
       Where, many days did lowr,
       When lo one happy hour
       Leapt up, and smiled to save thy sinking state;
       A day shall come when in thy power
       Thy cruel foes shall be;
       Then shall thy land be free,
       And thou in peace shalt reign.
       But take, O take that opportunity,
       Which, once refused, will never come again.


Mont. I shall deserve my fate, if I refuse
That happy hour which heaven allots to use:
But of my crown thou too much care dost take;
That which I value more, my love's at stake.

High Pr. Arise, ye subtle spirits, that can spy,
When love is entered in a female's eye;
You, that can read it in the midst of doubt,
And in the midst of frowns can find it out;
You, that can search those many cornered minds,
Where women's crooked fancy turns and winds;
You, that can love explore, and truth impart,
Where both lie deepest hid in woman's heart,

[The ghosts of TRAXALLA and ACACIS arise; they stand still, and point at MONTEZUMA.

High Pr. I did not for these ghastly visions send;
Their sudden coming does some ill portend.
Begone,—begone,—they will not disappear!
My soul is seized with an unusual fear.

Mont. Point on, point on, and see whom you can fright.
Shame and confusion seize these shades of night!
Ye thin and empty forms, am I your sport?
 [They smile.
If you were flesh—
You know you durst not use me in this sort.

[The ghost of the Indian Queen rises betwixt the ghosts, with a dagger in her breast.

Mont. Ha!
I feel my hair grow stiff, my eye-balls roll!
This is the only form could shake my soul.

Ghost. The hopes of thy successful love resign;
Know, Montezuma, thou art only mine;
For those, who here on earth their passion shew
By death for love, receive their right below.
Why dost thou then delay my longing arms?
Have cares, and age, and mortal life such charms?
The moon grows sickly at the sight of day,
And early cocks have summoned me away:
Yet I'll appoint a meeting place below,
For there fierce winds o'er dusky vallies blow,
Whose every puff bears empty shades away,
Which guidless in those dark dominions stray.
Just at the entrance of the fields below,
Thou shalt behold a tall black poplar grow;
Safe in its hollow trunk I will attend,
And seize thy spirit when thou dost descend.


Mont. I'll seize thee there, thou messenger of fate.—
Would my short life had yet a shorter date!
I'm weary of this flesh which holds us here,
And dastards manly souls with hope and fear;
These heats and colds still in our breast make war,
Agues and fevers all our passions are. [Exeunt.


CYDARIA and ALIBECH, betwixt the two armies.

Alib. Blessings will crown your name, if you prevent
That blood, which in this battle will be spent;
Nor need you fear so just a suit to move,
Which both becomes your duty and your love.

Cyd. But think you he will come? their camp is near, And he already knows I wait him here.

Alib. You are too young your power to understand, Lovers take wing upon the least command; Already he is here.

Enter CORTEZ and VASQUEZ to them.

Cort. Methinks, like two black storms on either hand,
Our Spanish army and your Indians stand;
This only space betwixt the clouds is clear,
Where you, like day, broke loose from both appear.

Cyd. Those closing skies might still continue bright,
But who can help it, if you'll make it night?
The Gods have given you power of life and death,
Like them to save, or ruin, with a breath.

Cort. That power they to your father did dispose, 'Twas in his choice to make us friends or foes.

Alib. Injurious strength would rapine still excuse,
By offering terms the weaker must refuse;
And such as these your hard conditions are,
You threaten peace, and you invite a war.

Cort. If for myself to conquer here I came,
You might perhaps my actions justly blame:
Now I am sent, and am not to dispute
My prince's orders, but to execute.

Alib. He, who his prince so blindly does obey, To keep his faith his virtue throws away.

Cort. Monarchs may err; but should each private breast Judge their ill acts, they would dispute their best.

Cyd. Then all your care is for your prince, I see;
Your truth to him out-weighs your love to me:
You may so cruel to deny me prove,
But never after that pretend to love.

Cort. Command my life, and I will soon obey; To save my honour I my blood will pay.

Cyd. What is this honour which does love controul?

Cort. A raging fit of virtue in the soul; A painful burden which great minds must bear, Obtained with danger, and possest with fear.

Cyd. Lay down that burden if it painful grow; You'll find, without it, love will lighter go.

Cort. Honour, once lost, is never to be found.

Alib. Perhaps he looks to have both passions crowned; First dye his honour in a purple flood, Then court the daughter in the father's blood.

Cort. The edge of war I'll from the battle take, And spare her father's subjects for her sake.

Cyd. I cannot love you less when I'm refused.
But I can die to be unkindly used;
Where shall a maid's distracted heart find rest.
If she can miss it in her lover's breast?

Cort. I till to-morrow will the fight delay; Remember you have conquered me to-day.

Alib. This grant destroys all you have urged before;
Honour could not give this, or can give more.
Our women in the foremost ranks appear;
March to the fight, and meet your mistress there:
Into the thickest squadrons she must run,
Kill her, and see what honour will be won.

Cyd. I must he in the battle, but I'll go
With empty quiver, and unbended bow;
Not draw an arrow in this fatal strife,
For fear its point should reach your noble life.


Cort. No more: your kindness wounds me to the death:
Honour, be gone! what art thou but a breath?
I'll live, proud of my infamy and shame,
Graced with no triumph but a lover's name;
Men can but say, love did his reason blind,
And love's the noblest frailty of the mind.—
Draw off my men; the war's already done.

Piz. Your orders come too late, the fight's begun; The enemy gives on, with fury led, And fierce Orbellan combats at their head.

Cort. He justly fears, a peace with me would
Of ill concernment to his haughty love;
Retire, fair excellence! I go to meet
New honour, but to lay it at your feet.



Odm. Now, madam, since a danger does appear
Worthy my courage, though below my fear;
Give leave to him, who may in battle die,
Before his death, to ask his destiny.

Guy. He cannot die, whom you command to live; Before the fight, you can the conquest give; Speak, where you'll place it?

Alib. Briefly, then, to both,
One I in secret love, the other loathe;
But where I hate, my hate I will not show,
And he, I love, my love shall never know;
True worth shall gain me, that it may be said,
Desert, not fancy, once a woman led.
He who, in fight, his courage shall oppose,
With most success, against his country's foes,
From me shall all that recompence receive,
That valour merits, or that love can give.
'Tis true, my hopes and fears are all for one,
But hopes and fears are to myself alone.
Let him not shun the danger of the strife;
I but his love, his country claims his life.

Odm. All obstacles my courage shall remove.

Guy. Fall on, fall on.

Odm. For liberty!

Guy. For love!

[Exeunt, the women following.

SCENE III.—Changes to the Indian country.

Enter Montezuma, attended by the Indians.

Mont. Charge, charge! their ground the faint Taxallans yield!
Bold in close ambush, base in open field.
The envious devil did my fortune wrong:—
Thus fought, thus conquered I, when I was young.


Alarm. Enter CORTEZ bloody.

Cort. Furies pursue these false Taxallans' flight;
Dare they be friends to us, and dare not fight?
What friends can cowards be, what hopes appear
Of help from such, who, where they hate, show fear!


Piz. The field grows thin; and those, that now remain, Appear but like the shadows of the slain.

Vasq. The fierce old king is vanished from the place, And, in a cloud of dust, pursues the chase.

Cort. Their eager chase disordered does appear, Command our horse to charge them in the rear: [To PIZARRO. You to our old Castilian foot retire, [To VASQ. Who yet stand firm, and at their backs give fire. [Exeunt severally.


Enter ODMAR and GUTOMAR, meeting each other in the battle.

Odm. Where hast thou been, since first the fight began, Thou less than woman in the shape of man?

Guy. Where I have done what may thy envy move, Things worthy of my birth, and of my love.

Odm. Two bold Taxallans with one dart I slew, And left it sticking ere my sword I drew.

Guy. I sought not honour on so base a train,
Such cowards by our women may be slain;
I felled along a man of bearded face,
His limbs all covered with a shining case:
So wondrous hard, and so secure of wound,
It made my sword, though edged with flint, re-bound.

Odm. I killed a double man; the one half lay Upon the ground, the other ran away.

[_Guns go off within.

Enter_ Montezuma, out of breath, with him Alibech, and an

Mont. All is lost!—
Our foes with lightning and with thunder fight;
My men in vain shun death by shameful flight:
For deaths invisible come winged with fire,
They hear a dreadful noise, and strait expire.
Take, gods! that soul, ye did in spite create,
And made it great, to be unfortunate:
Ill fate for me unjustly you provide,
Great souls are sparks of your own heavenly pride:
That lust of power we from your godheads have,
You're bound to please those appetites you gave.

Enter Vasquez and Pizarro, with Spaniards.

Vasq. Pizarro, I have hunted hard to-day,
Into our toils, the noblest of the prey;
Seize on the king, and him your prisoner make,
While I, in kind revenge, my taker take.

[Pizarro, with two, goes to attack the king. Vasquez, with another, to seize Alibech.

Guy. Their danger is alike;—whom shall I free?

Odm. I'll follow love!

Guy. I'll follow piety!

[Odmar retreats from Vasquez, with Alibech, off the stage; Guyomar fights for his father.

Guy. Fly, sir! while I give back that life you gave; Mine is well lost, if I your life can save.

[Montezuma fights off; Guyomar, making his retreat, stays.

Guy. Tis more than man can do to scape them all; Stay, let me see where noblest I may fall.

[He runs at Vasquez, is seized behind and taken.

Vasq. Conduct him off, And give command, he strictly guarded be.

Guy. In vain are guards, death sets the valiant free.

[Exit Guyomar, with guards.

Vasq. A glorious day! and bravely was it fought;
Great fame our general in great dangers sought;
From his strong arm I saw his rival run,
And, in a crowd, the unequal combat shun.

Enter Cortez leading Cydaria, who seems crying and begging of him.

Cort. Man's force is fruitless, and your gods would fail
To save the city, but your tears prevail;
I'll of my fortune no advantage make,
Those terms, they had once given, they still may take.

Cyd. Heaven has of right all victory designed, Where boundless power dwells in a will confined; Your Spanish honour does the world excel.

Cort. Our greatest honour is in loving well.

Cyd. Strange ways you practise there, to win a heart; Here love is nature, but with you 'tis art.

Cort. Love is with us as natural as here,
But fettered up with customs more severe.
In tedious courtship we declare our pain,
And, ere we kindness find, first meet disdain.

Cyd. If women love, they needless pains endure; Their pride and folly but delay their cure.

Cort. What you miscall their folly, is their care;
They know how fickle common lovers are:
Their oaths and vows are cautiously believed,
For few there are but have been once deceived.

Cyd. But if they are not trusted when they vow, What other marks of passion can they show?

Cort. With feasts, and music, all that brings delight, Men treat their ears, their palates, and their sight.

Cyd. Your gallants, sure, have little eloquence,
Failing to move the soul, they court the sense:
With pomp, and trains, and in a crowd they woo,
When true felicity is but in two;
But can such toys your women's passions move?
This is but noise and tumult, 'tis not love.

Cort. I have no reason, madam, to excuse Those ways of gallantry, I did not use; My love was true, and on a nobler score.

Cyd. Your love, alas! then have you loved before?

Cort. 'Tis true I loved, but she is dead, she's dead;
And I should think with her all beauty fled,
Did not her fair resemblance live in you,
And, by that image, my first flames renew.

Cyd. Ah! happy beauty, whosoe'er thou art!
Though dead, thou keep'st possession of his heart;
Thou makest me jealous to the last degree,
And art my rival in his memory:
Within his memory! ah, more than so,
Thou livest and triumph'st o'er Cydaria too.

Cort. What strange disquiet has uncalmed your breast,
Inhuman fair, to rob the dead of rest!—
Poor heart! she slumbers in her silent tomb;
Let her possess in peace that narrow room.

Cyd. Poor heart!—he pities and bewails her death!—
Some god, much hated soul, restore thy breath,
That I may kill thee; but, some ease 'twill be,
I'll kill myself for but resembling thee.

Cort. I dread your anger, your disquiet fear,
But blows, from hands so soft, who would not bear?
So kind a passion why should I remove?
Since jealousy but shows how well we love.
Yet jealousy so strange I never knew;
Can she, who loves me not, disquiet you?
For in the grave no passions fill the breast,
'Tis all we gain by death, to be at rest.

Cyd. That she no longer loves, brings no relief; Your love to her still lives, and that's my grief.

Cort. The object of desire once ta'en away, 'Tis then not love, but pity, which we pay.

Cyd. 'Tis such a pity I should never have,
When I must lie forgotten in the grave;
I meant to have obliged you, when I died,
That, after me, you should love none beside.—
But you are false already.

Cort. If untrue, By heaven! my falsehood is to her, not you.

Cyd. Observe, sweet heaven, how falsely he does swear!— You said, you loved me for resembling her.

Cort. That love was in me by resemblance bred, But shows you cheared my sorrows for the dead.

Cyd. You still repeat the greatness of your grief.

Cort. If that was great, how great was the relief!

Cyd. The first love still the strongest we account.

Cort. That seems more strong which could the first surmount: But if you still continue thus unkind, Whom I love best, you, by my death, shall find.

Cyd. If you should die, my death shall yours pursue; But yet I am not satisfied you're true.

Cort. Hear me, ye gods! and punish him you hear, If aught within the world I hold so dear.

Cyd. You would deceive the gods and me; she's dead, And is not in the world, whose love I dread.— Name not the world; say, nothing is so dear.

Cort. Then nothing is,—let that secure your fear.

Cyd. 'Tis time must wear it off, but I must go. Can you your constancy in absence show?

Cort. Misdoubt my constancy, and do not try, But stay, and keep me ever in your eye.

Cyd. If as a prisoner I were here, you might
Have then insisted on a conqueror's right,
And staid me here; but now my love would be
The effect of force, and I would give it free.

Cort. To doubt your virtue, or your love, were sin! Call for the captive prince, and bring him in.

Enter Guyomar, bound and sad.

You look, sir, as your fate you could not bear:
[To Guy.
Are Spanish fetters, then, so hard to wear?
Fortune's unjust, she ruins oft the brave,
And him, who should be victor, makes the slave.

Guy. Son of the sun! my fetters cannot be
But glorious for me, since put on by thee;
The ills of love, not those of fate, I fear;
These can I brave, but those I cannot bear:
My rival brother, while I'm held in chains,
In freedom reaps the fruit of all my pains.

Cort. Let it be never said that he, whose breast
Is filled with love, should break a lover's rest.—
Haste! lose no time!—your sister sets you free:—
And tell the king, my generous enemy,
I offer still those terms he had before,
Only ask leave his daughter to adore.

Guy. Brother, (that name my breast shall ever own,
 [He embraces him.
The name of foe be but in battles known;)
For some few days all hostile acts forbear,
That, if the king consents, it seem not fear:
His heart, is noble, and great souls must be
Most sought and courted in adversity.—
Three days, I hope, the wished success will tell.

Cyd. Till that long time,—

Cort. Till that long time, farewell.

[Exeunt severally.


SCENE I.—A Chamber Royal.


Odm. The gods, fair Alibech, had so decreed,
Nor could my valour against fate succeed;
Yet though our army brought not conquest home,
I did not from the fight inglorious come:
If, as a victor, you the brave regard,
Successless courage, then, may hope reward;
And I, returning safe, may justly boast,
To win the prize which my dear brother lost.

Enter GUYOMAR behind him.

Guy. No, no, thy brother lives! and lives to be
A witness, both against himself and thee;
Though both in safety are returned again,
I blush to ask her love for vanquished men.

Odm. Brother, I'll not dispute but you are brave; Yet I was free, and you, it seems, a slave.

Guy. Odmar, 'tis true that I was captive led;
As publicly 'tis known, as that you fled:
But of two shames, if she must one partake,
I think the choice will not be hard to make.

Odm. Freedom and bondage in her choice remain; Darest thou expect she will put on thy chain?

Guy. No, no, fair Alibech, give him the crown,
My brother is returned with high renown:
He thinks by flight his mistress must be won,
And claims the prize, because he best did run.

Alib. Your chains were glorious, and your flight was wise,
But neither have o'ercome your enemies:
My secret wishes would my choice decide,
But open justice bends to neither side.

Odm. Justice already does my right approve,
If him, who loves you most, you most should love.
My brother poorly from your aid withdrew,
But I my father left, to succour you.

Guy. Her country she did to herself prefer,
Him who fought best, not who defended her;
Since she her interest, for the nation's, waved,
Then I, who saved the king, the nation saved.
You, aiding her, your country did betray;
I, aiding him, did her commands obey.

Odm. Name it no more; in love there is a time
When dull obedience is the greatest crime.
She to her country's use resigned your sword,
And you, kind lover, took her at her word;
You did your duty to your love prefer,
Seek your reward from duty, not from her.

Guy. In acting what my duty did require,
'Twas hard for me to quit my own desire;
That fought for her, which, when I did subdue,
'Twas much the easier task I left to you.

Alib. Odmar a more than common love has shown,
And Guyomar's was greater, or was none;
Which I should chuse, some god direct my breast.
The certain good, or the uncertain best.—
I cannot chuse,—you both dispute in vain,—
Time and your future acts must make it plain;
First raise the siege, and set your country free,
I, not the judge, but the reward, will be.

To them, Enter MONTEZUMA, talking with ALMERIA and ORBELLAN.

Mont. Madam, I think, with reason, I extol
The virtue of the Spanish general;
When all the gods our ruin have foretold,
Yet generously he does his arms withhold,
And, offering peace, the first conditions make.

Alm. When peace is offered, 'tis too late to take;
For one poor loss, to stoop to terms like those!—
Were we o'ercome, what could they worse impose?
Go, go, with homage your proud victors meet!
Go, lie like dogs beneath your masters' feet!
Go, and beget them slaves to dig their mines,
And groan for gold, which now in temples shines!
Your shameful story shall record of me,
The men all crouched, and left a woman free!

Guy. Had I not fought, or durst not fight again,
I my suspected counsel should refrain;
For I wish peace, and any terms prefer,
Before the last extremities of war.
We but exasperate those we cannot harm,
And fighting gains us but to die more warm:
If that be cowardice, which dares not see
The insolent effects of victory,
The rape of matrons, and their childrens cries,—
Then I am fearful, let the brave advise.

Odm. Keen cutting swords, and engines killing far,
Have prosperously begun a doubtful war:
But now our foes with less advantage fight,
Their strength decreases with our Indians' fright.

Mont. This noble vote does with my wish comply,— I am for war.

Alm. And so am I.

Orb. And I.

Mont. Then send to break the truce, and I'll take care To chear the soldiers, and for fight prepare.

[Exeunt MONT. ODM. GUY. and ALIB.

Alm. to Orb. 'Tis now the hour which all to rest allow,
And sleep sits heavy upon every brow;
In this dark silence softly leave the town,
 [GUYOMAR returns, and hears them.
And to the general's tent,—'tis quickly known,—
Direct your steps: You may despatch him: strait,
Drowned in his sleep, and easy for his fate:
Besides, the truce will make the guards more slack.

Orb. Courage, which leads me on, will bring me back.— But I more fear the baseness of the thing: Remorse, you know, bears a perpetual sting.

Alm. For mean remorse no room the valiant find,
Repentance is the virtue of weak minds;
For want of judgment keeps them doubtful still,
They may repent of good, who can of ill;
But daring courage makes ill actions good,
'Tis foolish pity spares a rival's blood;
You shall about it strait.

[Exeunt ALM. and ORB.

Guy. Would they betray
His sleeping virtue, by so mean a way!—
And yet this Spaniard is our nation's foe,—
I wish him dead,—but cannot wish it so;—
Either my country never must be freed,
Or I consenting to so black a deed.—
Would chance had never led my steps this way!
Now if he dies, I murder him, not they;—
Something must be resolved ere 'tis too late;—
He gave me freedom, I'll prevent his fate.



Enter CORTEZ alone, in a night-gown.

Cort. All things are hushed, as nature's self lay dead;
The mountains seem to nod their drowsy head;
The little birds, in dreams, their songs repeat,
And sleeping flowers beneath the night-dew sweat.
Even lust and envy sleep; yet love denies
Rest to my soul, and slumber to my eyes.—
Three days I promised to attend my doom,
And two long days and nights are yet to come:—
'Tis sure the noise of some tumultuous fight,
 [Noise within.
They break the truce, and sally out by night.

Enter ORBELLAN, flying in the dark, his sword drawn.

Orb. Betrayed! pursued! O, whither shall I fly?
See, see! the just reward of treachery!—
I'm sure among the tents, but know not where;
Even night wants darkness to secure my fear.

[Comes near CORTEZ, who hears him.

Cort. Stand! who goes there?

Orb. Alas, what shall I say?—
A poor Taxallan that mistook his way,
And wanders in the terrors of the night.

Cort. Soldier, thou seem'st afraid; whence comes thy fright?

Orb. The insolence of Spaniards caused my fear, Who in the dark pursued me entering here.

Cort. Their crimes shall meet immediate punishment, But stay thou safe within the general's tent.

Orb. Still worse and worse.

Cort. Fear not, but follow me; Upon my life I'll set thee safe and free.

[CORTEZ leads him in, and returns.
To him
VASQUEZ, PIZARRO, and Spaniards with Torches.

Vasq. O sir, thank heaven, and your brave Indian friend,
That you are safe; Orbellan did intend
This night to kill you sleeping in your tent:
But Guyomar his trusty slave has sent,
Who, following close his silent steps by night,
Till in our camp they both approached the light,
Cried-Seize the traitor, seize the murtherer!
The cruel villain fled I know not where;
But far he is not, for he this way bent.

Piz. The enraged soldiers seek, from tent to tent, With lighted torches, and in love to you, With bloody vows his hated life pursue.

Vasq. This messenger does, since he came, relate,
That the old king, after a long debate,
By his imperious mistress blindly led,
Has given Cydaria to Orbellan's bed.

Cort. Vasquez, the trusty slave with you retain; Retire a while, I'll call you back again. [Exeunt VASQ. and PIZ. CORTEZ at his tent door. Indian, come forth; your enemies are gone, And I, who saved you from them, here alone.

Enter ORBELLAN, holding his face aside.

You hide your face, as you were still afraid:
Dare you not look on him, who gave you aid?

Orb. Moon, slip behind some cloud, some tempest, rise, And blow out all the stars that light the skies, To shrowd my shame!

Cort. In vain you turn aside, And hide your face; your name you cannot hide: I know my rival and his black design.

Orb. Forgive it, as my passion's fault, not mine.

Cort. In your excuse your love does little say; You might, howe'er, have took a fairer way.

Orb. 'Tis true, my passion small defence can make; Yet you must spare me for your honour's sake, That was engaged to set me safe and free.

Cort. 'Twas to a stranger, not an enemy:
Nor is it prudence to prolong thy breath,
When all my hopes depend upon thy death;
Yet none shall tax me with base perjury:
Something I'll do, both for myself and thee;
With vowed revenge my soldiers search each tent,
If thou art seen, none can thy death prevent;
Follow my steps with silence and with haste.


They go out, the Scene changes to the Indian Country, they return.

Cort. Now you are safe, you have my outguards past.

Orb. Then here I take my leave.

Cort. Orbellan, no; When you return, you to Cydaria go: I'll send a message.

Orb. Let it be exprest; I am in haste.

Cort. I'll write it in your breast.


Orb. What means my rival?

Cort. Either fight or die,
I'll not strain honour to a point too high;
I saved your life, and keep it if you can,
Cydaria shall be for the bravest man;
On equal terms you shall your fortune try,
Take this, and lay your flint-edged weapon by;
 [Gives him a sword.
I'll arm you for my glory, and pursue
No palm, but what's to manly virtue due.
Fame, with my conquest, shall my courage tell.
This you shall gain, by placing love so well.

Orb. Fighting with you, ungrateful I appear.

Cort. Under that shadow, thou would'st hide thy fear: Thou would'st possess thy love at thy return, And in her arms my easy virtue scorn.

Orb. Since we must fight, no longer let's delay; The moon shines clear, and makes a paler day.

[They fight, ORBELLAN_ is wounded in the hand, his sword falls out of it_.

Cort. To courage, even of foes, there's pity due; It was not I, but fortune, vanquished you: [Throws his sword again. Thank me with that, and so dispute the prize, As if you fought before Cydaria's eyes.

Orb. I would not poorly such a gift requite; You gave me not this sword to yield, but fight: [He strives to hold it, but cannot. But see, where yours has forced its bloody way; My wounded hand my heart does ill obey.

Cort. Unlucky honour, that controul'st my will?
Why have I vanquished, since I must not kill?
Fate sees thy life lodged in a brittle glass,
And looks it through, but to it cannot pass.

Orb. All I can do is frankly to confess,—
I wish I could, but cannot, love her less:
To swear I would resign her, were but vain,
Love would recal that perjured breath again;
And in my wretched case, 'twill be more just,
Not to have promised, than deceive your trust.
Know, if I live once more to see the town,
In bright Cydaria's arms my love I'll crown.

Cort. In spite of that, I give thee liberty,
And with thy person leave thy honour free;
But to thy wishes move a speedy pace,
Or death will soon o'ertake thee in the chase.—
To arms, to arms; fate shows my love the way,
I'll force the city on thy nuptial day.

[Exeunt severally.

SCENE IV.—Mexico.


Mont. It moves my wonder, that in two days space, This early famine spreads so swift a pace.

Odm. 'Tis, sir, the general cry; nor seems it strange,
The face of plenty should so swiftly change:
This city never felt a siege before,
But from the lake received its daily store;
Which now shut up, and millions crowded here,
Famine will soon in multitudes appear.

Mont. The more the number, still the greater shame.

Alm. What if some one should seek immortal fame, By ending of the siege at one brave blow?

Mont. That were too happy!

Alm. Yet it may be so. What if the Spanish general should be slain?

Guy. Just heavens I hope, does otherwise ordain.


Mont. If slain by treason, I lament his death.

Enter ORBELLAN, and whispers his sister.

Odm. Orbellan seems in haste, and out of breath.

Mont. Orbellan, welcome; you are early here, A bridegroom's haste does in your looks appear.

[ALMERIA aside to her brother.

Alm. Betrayed! no, 'twas thy cowardice and fear;
He had not 'scaped with life, had I been there:
But since so ill you act a brave design,
Keep close your shame;—fate makes the next turn mine.


Alib. O sir, if ever pity touched your breast,
Let it be now to your own blood exprest:
In tears your beauteous daughter drowns her sight,
Silent as dews that fall in dead of night.

Cyd. To your commands I strict obedience owe,
And my last act of it I come to show:
I want the heart to die before your eyes,
But grief will finish that which fear denies.

Alm. Your will should by your father's precept move.

Cyd. When he was young, he taught me truth in love.

Alm. He found more love than he deserved, 'tis true,
And that, it seems, is lucky too to you;
Your father's folly took a headstrong course,
But I'll rule yours, and teach you love by force.

Enter Messenger.

Mess. Arm, arm, O king! the enemy comes on, A sharp assault already is begun; Their murdering guns play fiercely on the walls.

Odm. Now, rival, let us run where honour calls.

Guy. I have discharged what gratitude did owe, And the brave Spaniard is again my foe.

[Exeunt ODMAR and GUYOMAR.

Mont. Our walls are high, and multitudes defend: Their vain attempt must in their ruin end; The nuptials with my presence shall be graced.

Alib. At least but stay 'till the assault be past.

Alm. Sister, in vain you urge him to delay, The king has promised, and he shall obey.

Enter second Messenger.

2 Mess. From several parts the enemy's repelled, One only quarter to the assault does yield.

Enter third Messenger.

3 Mess. Some foes are entered, but they are so few, They only death, not victory, pursue.

Orb. Hark, hark, they shout! From virtue's rules I do too meanly swerve, I, by my courage, will your love deserve.


Mont. Here, in the heart of all the town, I'll stay; And timely succour, where it wants, convey.

A noise within. Enter ORBELLAN, Indians driven in, CORTEZ after them, and one or two Spaniards.

Cort. He's found, he's found! degenerate coward, stay: Night saved thee once, thou shalt not scape by day.


Orb. O, I am killed—



Guy. Yield, generous stranger, and preserve your life; Why chuse you death in this unequal strife?

[He is beset.


Cort. What nobler fate could any lover meet? I fall revenged, and at my mistress' feet.

[They fall on him, and bear him down, GUYOMAR takes his sword.

Alib. He's past recovery; my dear brother's slain, Fate's hand was in it, and my care is vain.

Alm. In weak complaints you vainly waste your breath: They are not tears that can revenge his death. Despatch the villain strait.

Cort. The villain's dead.

Alm. Give me a sword, and let me take his head.

Mont. Though, madam, for your brother's loss I grieve, Yet let me beg—

Alm. His murderer may live?

Cyd. 'Twas his misfortune, and the chance of war.

Cort. It was my purpose, and I killed him fair: How could you so unjust and cruel prove, To call that chance, which was the act of love?

Cyd. I called it any thing to save your life:
Would he were living still, and I his wife!
That wish was once my greatest misery:
But 'tis a greater to behold you die.

Alm. Either command his death upon the place, Or never more behold Almeria's face.

Guy. You by his valour once from death were freed: Can you forget so generous a deed?


Mont. How gratitude and love divide my breast!
Both ways alike my soul is robbed of rest.
But—let him die—Can I his sentence give?
Ungrateful, must he die, by whom I live?
But can I then Almeria's tears deny?
Should any live whom she commands to die?

Guy. Approach who dares: He yielded on my word; And, as my prisoner, I restore his sword. [Gives his sword. His life concerns the safety of the state, And I'll preserve it for a calm debate.

Mont. Dar'st thou rebel, false and degenerate boy? That being, which I gave, I thus destroy.

[Offers to kill him, ODMAR steps between.

Odm. My brother's blood I cannot see you spill,
Since he prevents you but from doing ill.
He is my rival, but his death would be
For him too glorious, and too base for me.

Guy. Thou shalt not conquer in this noble strife:
Alas, I meant not to defend my life:
Strike, sir, you never pierced a breast more true;
'Tis the last wound I e'er can take for you.
You see I live but to dispute your will;
Kill me, and then you may my prisoner kill.

Cort. You shall not, generous youths, contend for me: It is enough that I your honour see: But that your duty may no blemish take, I will myself your father's captive make: [Gives his sword to MONTEZUMA. When he dares strike, I am prepared to fall: The Spaniards will revenge their general.

Cyd. Ah, you too hastily your life resign, You more would love it, if you valued mine!

Cort. Despatch me quickly, I my death forgive;
I shall grow tender else, and wish to live;
Such an infectious face her sorrow wears,
I can bear death, but not Cydaria's tears.

Alm. Make haste, make haste, they merit death all three:
They for rebellion, and for murder he.
See, see, my brother's ghost hangs hovering there
O'er his warm blood, that steams into the air;
Revenge, revenge, it cries.

Mont. And it shall have;
But two days respite for his life I crave:
If in that space you not more gentle prove,
I'll give a fatal proof how well I love.
'Till when, you, Guyomar, your prisoner take;
Bestow him in the castle on the lake:
In that small time I shall the conquest gain
Of these few sparks of virtue which remain;
Then all, who shall my headlong passion see,
Shall curse my crimes, and yet shall pity me.



SCENE I.—A prison.

Enter ALMERIA and an Indian; they speak entering.

Ind. A dangerous proof of my respect I show.

Alm. Fear not, Prince Guyomar shall never know: While he is absent let us not delay; Remember 'tis the king thou dost obey.

Ind. See where he sleeps.

[CORTEZ appears chained and laid asleep.

Alm.—Without, my coming wait; And, on thy life, secure the prison gate.

[Exit Indian.

[She plucks out a dagger, and approaches him.

Spaniard, awake: thy fatal hour is come:
Thou shalt not at such ease receive thy doom.
Revenge is sure, though sometimes slowly paced:
Awake, awake, or, sleeping, sleep thy last.

Cort. Who names revenge?

Alm.—Look up, and thou shalt see.

Cort. I cannot fear so fair an enemy.

Alm. No aid is nigh, nor canst thou make defence: Whence can thy courage come?

Cort.—From innocence.

Alm. From innocence? let that then take thy part.
Still are thy looks assured—have at thy heart!
 [Holds up the dagger.
I cannot kill thee; sure thou bear'st some charm,
 [Goes back.
Or some divinity holds back my arm.
Why do I thus delay to make him bleed?
Can I want courage for so brave a deed?
I've shook it off; my soul is free from fear.
 [Comes again.
And I can now strike any where—but here:
His scorn of death, how strangely does it move!
A mind so haughty who could chuse but love!
 [Goes off.
Plead not a charm, or any god's command,
Alas, it is thy heart that holds thy hand:
In spite of me I love, and see, too late,
My mother's pride must find my mother's fate.
—Thy country's foe, thy brother's murderer,—
For shame, Almeria, such mad thoughts forbear:
It w'onnot be,—if I once more come on,
 [Coming on again.
I shall mistake the breast, and pierce my own.

[Comes with her dagger down.

Cort. Does your revenge maliciously forbear To give me death, 'till 'tis prepared by fear? If you delay for that, forbear or strike, Foreseen and sudden death are both alike.

Alm. To show my love would but increase his pride:
They have most power, who most their passions hide.
Spaniard, I must confess, I did expect
You could not meet your death with such neglect;
I will defer it now, and give you time:
You may repent, and I forget your crime.

Cort. Those, who repent, acknowledge they do ill: I did not unprovoked your brother kill.

Alm. Petition me, perhaps I may forgive.

Cort. Who begs his life does not deserve to live.

Alm. But if 'tis given, you'll not refuse to take?

Cort. I can live gladly for Cydaria's sake.

Alm. Does she so wholly then possess your mind?
What if you should another lady find,
Equal to her in birth, and far above
In all that can attract, or keep your love,
Would you so doat upon your first desire,
As not to entertain a nobler fire?

Cort. I think that person hardly will be found,
With gracious form and equal virtue crowned:
Yet if another could precedence claim,
My fixed desires could find no fairer aim.

Alm. Dull ignorance! he cannot yet conceive:
To speak more plain, shame will not give me leave.
—Suppose one loved you, whom even kings adore:
 [To him.
Who, with your life, your freedom would restore,
And add to that the crown of Mexico:
Would you, for her, Cydaria's love forego?

Cort. Though she could offer all you can invent, I could not of my faith, once vowed, repent.

Alm. A burning blush has covered all my face;
Why am I forced to publish my disgrace?
What if I love? you know it cannot be,
And yet I blush to put the case—'twere me.
If I could love you with a flame so true,
I could forget what hand my brother slew—
—Make out the rest—I am disordered so,
I know not farther what to say or do:
—But answer me to what you think I meant.

Cort. Reason or wit no answer can invent: Of words confused who can the meaning find?

Alm. Disordered words show a distempered mind.

Cort. She has obliged me so, that could I chuse, I would not answer what I must refuse. [Aside.

Alm. His mind is shook—suppose I loved you, speak, Would you for me Cydaria's fetters break?

Cort. Things, meant in jest, no serious answer need.

Alm. But, put the case that it were so indeed.

Cort. If it were so,—which but to think were pride,—
My constant love would dangerously be tried:
For since you could a brother's death forgive,
He, whom you save, for you alone should live:
But I, the most unhappy of mankind,
Ere I knew yours, have all my love resigned:
'Tis my own loss I grieve, who have no more:
You go a-begging to a bankrupt's door.
Yet could I change, as sure I never can,
How could you love so infamous a man?
For love, once given from her, and placed in you,
Would leave no ground I ever could be true.

Alm. You construed me aright—I was in jest:
And, by that offer, meant to sound your breast;
Which since I find so constant to your love,
Will much my value of your worth improve.
Spaniard, assure yourself you shall not be
Obliged to quit Cydaria for me:
'Tis dangerous though to treat me in this sort,
And to refuse my offers, though in sport. [Exit.

Cort. In what a strange condition am I left?
More than I wish I have, of all I wish bereft!
In wishing nothing, we enjoy still most;
For even our wish is, in possession, lost:
Restless, we wander to a new desire,
And burn ourselves, by blowing up the fire:
We toss and turn about our feverish will,
When all our ease must come by lying still:
For all the happiness mankind can gain
Is not in pleasure, but in rest from pain.
 [Goes in, and the scene closes upon him.

SCENE II.—Chamber-royal.


Mont. My ears are deaf with this impatient crowd.

Odm. Their wants are now grown mutinous and loud: The general's taken, but the siege remains; And their last food our dying men sustains.

Guy. One means is only left. I to this hour
Have kept the captive from Almeria's power;
And though, by your command, she often sent
To urge his doom, do still his death prevent.

Mont. That hope is past: Him I have oft assailed;
But neither threats nor kindness have prevailed;
Hiding our wants, I offered to release
His chains, and equally conclude a peace:
He fiercely answered, I had now no way
But to submit, and without terms obey:
I told him, he in chains demanded more
Than he imposed in victory before:
He sullenly replied, he could not make
These offers now; honour must give, not take.

Odm. Twice have I sallied, and was twice beat back: What desp'rate course remains for us to take!

Mont. If either death or bondage I must chuse, I'll keep my freedom, though my life I lose.

Guy. I'll not upbraid you, that you once refused Those means, you might have then with honour used; I'll lead your men, perhaps bring victory: They know to conquer best, who know to die. [Exeunt MONTEZUMA and ODMAR.

Alib. Ah me, what have I heard! stay, Guyomar, What hope you from this sally you prepare?

Guy. A death, with honour, for my country's good: A death, to which yourself designed my blood.

Alib. You heard, and I well know the town's distress,
Which sword and famine both at once oppress:
Famine so fierce, that what's denied man's use,
Even deadly plants, and herbs of poisonous juice,
Wild hunger seeks; and, to prolong our breath,
We greedily devour our certain death:
The soldier in th' assault of famine falls:
And ghosts, not men, are watching on the walls.
As callow birds—
Whose mother's killed in seeking of the prey,
Cry in their nest, and think her long away;
And at each leaf that stirs, each blast of wind,
Gape for the food, which they must never find:
So cry the people in their misery.

Guy. And what relief can they expect from me?

Alib. While Montezuma sleeps, call in the foe:
The captive general your design may know:
His noble heart, to honour ever true,
Knows how to spare as well as to subdue.

Guy. What I have heard I blush to hear: And grieve,
Those words you spoke I must your words believe.
I to do this! I, whom you once thought brave,
To sell my country, and my king enslave?
All I have done by one foul act deface,
And yield my right to you, by turning base?
What more could Odmar wish that I should do,
To lose your love, than you persuade me to?
No, madam, no, I never can commit
A deed so ill, nor can you suffer it:
'Tis but to try what virtue you can find
Lodged in my soul.

Alib. I plainly speak my mind;
Dear as my life my virtue I'll preserve,
But virtue you too scrupulously serve:
I loved not more than now my country's good,
When for its service I employed your blood:
But things are altered, I am still the same,
By different ways still moving to one fame;
And by disarming you, I now do more
To save the town, than arming you before.

Guy. Things good or ill by circumstances be, In you 'tis virtue, what is vice in me.

Alib. That ill is pardoned, which does good procure.

Guy. The good's uncertain, but the ill is sure.

Alib. When kings grow stubborn, slothful, or unwise, Each private man for public good should rise.

Guy. Take heed, fair maid, how monarchs you accuse:
Such reasons none but impious rebels use:
Those, who to empire by dark paths aspire,
Still plead a call to what they most desire;
But kings by free consent their kingdoms take,
Strict as those sacred ties which nuptials make;
And whate'er faults in princes time reveal,
None can be judge where can be no appeal.

Alib. In all debates you plainly let me see
You love your virtue best, but Odmar me:
Go, your mistaken piety pursue:
I'll have from him what is denied by you;
With my commands you shall no more be graced.
Remember, sir, this trial was your last.

Guy. The gods inspire you with a better mind;
Make you more just, and make you then more kind!
But though from virtue's rules I cannot part,
Think I deny you with a bleeding heart:
'Tis hard with me whatever choice I make;
I must not merit you, or must forsake:
But, in this strait, to honour I'll be true,
And leave my fortune to the gods and you.

Enter Messenger privately.

Mess. Now is the time; be aiding to your fate;
From the watch-tower, above the western-gate,
I have discerned the foe securely lie,
Too proud to fear a beaten enemy:
Their careless chiefs to the cool grottoes run,
The bowers of kings, to shade them from the sun.

Guy. Upon thy life disclose thy news to none; I'll make the conquest or the shame my own. [Exeunt GUYOMAR and Messenger.

Enter ODMAR.

Alib. I read some welcome message in his eye:
Prince Odmar comes: I'll see if he'll deny.—
Odmar, I come to tell you pleasing news;
I begged a thing, your brother did refuse.

Odm. The news both pleases me, and grieves me
For nothing, sure, should be denied to you:
But he was blessed who might commanded be;
You never meant that happiness to me.

Alib. What he refused, your kindness might bestow, But my commands, perhaps, your burden grow.

Odm. Could I but live till burdensome they prove, My life would be immortal as my love. Your wish, ere it receive a name, I grant.

Alib. 'Tis to relieve your dying country's want;
All hopes of succour from your arms is past,
To save us now you must our ruin haste;
Give up the town, and, to oblige him more.
The captive general's liberty restore.

Odm. You speak to try my love; can you forgive So soon, to let your brother's murderer live?

Alib. Orbellan, though my brother, did disgrace,
With treacherous deeds, our mighty mother's race;
And to revenge his blood, so justly spilt,
What is it less than to partake his guilt?
Though my proud sister to revenge incline,
I to my country's good my own resign.

Odm. To save our lives, our freedom I betray—
Yet, since I promised it, I will obey;
I'll not my shame nor your commands dispute;
You shall behold your empire's absolute. [Exit.

Alib. I should have thanked him for his speedy grant,
And yet, I know not how, fit words I want:
Sure I am grown distracted in my mind;—
That joy, this grant should bring, I cannot find:
The one, denying, vexed my soul before;
And this, obeying, has disturbed me more:
The one, with grief, and slowly, did refuse,
The other, in his grant, much haste did use:
—He used too much—and, granting me so soon,
He has the merit of the gift undone:
Methought with wondrous ease he swallowed down
His forfeit honour, to betray the town:
My inward choice was Guyomar before,
But now his virtue has confirmed me more—
I rave, I rave, for Odmar will obey,
And then my promise must my choice betray.
Fantastic honour, thou hast framed a toil
Thyself, to make thy love thy virtue's spoil. [Exit.


_A pleasant grotto discovered; in it a fountain spouting; round about it Vasquez, Pizarro, and other Spaniards, lying carelessly unarmed, and by them many Indian women, one of which sings the following song.


Ah fading joy! how quickly art thou past!
Yet we thy ruin haste.
As if the cares of human life were few,
We seek out new:
And follow fate, which would too fast pursue.

See, how on every bough the birds express,
In their sweet notes, their happiness.
They all enjoy, and nothing spare;
But on their mother nature lay their care:
Why then should man, the lord of all below,
Such troubles chuse to know,
As none of all his subjects undergo?

Hark, hark, the waters, fall, fall, fall,
And with a murmuring sound
Dash, dash, upon the ground,
To gentle slumbers call.

After the song two Spaniards arise, and dance a saraband with castanietas: At the end of which Guyomar and his Indians enter, and, ere the Spaniards can recover their swords, seize them.

Guy. Those, whom you took without, in triumph bring; But see these strait conducted to the king.

Piz. Vasquez, what now remains in these extremes?

Vasq. Only to wake us from our golden dreams.

Piz. Since by our shameful conduct we have lost
Freedom, wealth, honour, which we value most,
I wish they would our lives a period give:
They live too long, who happiness out-live.

[Spaniards are led out.

1 Ind. See, sir, how quickly your success is spread; The king comes marching in the army's head.

Enter Montezuma, Alibech, Odmar discontented.

Mont. Now all the Gods reward and bless my son. [Embracing. Thou hast this day thy father's youth outdone.

Alib. Just heaven all happiness upon him shower, Till it confess its will beyond its power.

Guy. The heavens are kind, the Gods propitious
I only doubt a mortal deity:
I neither fought for Conquest, nor for fame,
Your love alone can recompence my flame.

Alib. I gave my love to the most brave in war; But that the king must judge.

Mont.—'Tis Guyomar.

[Soldiers shout, A Guyomar, &c.

Mont. This day your nuptials we will celebrate;
But guard these haughty captives 'till their fate:
Odmar, this night to keep them be your care,
To-morrow for their sacrifice prepare.

Alib. Blot not your conquest with your cruelty.

Mont. Fate says, we are not safe unless they die:
The spirit, that foretold this happy day,
Bid me use caution and avoid delay:
Posterity be juster to my fame;
Nor call it murder, when each private man
In his defence may justly do the same:
But private persons more than monarchs can:
  All weigh our acts, and whate'er seems unjust,
  Impute not to necessity, but lust.


Odm. Lost and undone! he had my father's voice,
And Alibech seemed pleased with her new choice:
Alas, it was not new! too late I see,
Since one she hated, that it must be me.
—I feel a strange temptation in my will
To do an action, great at once and ill:
Virtue, ill treated, from my soul is fled;
I by revenge and love am wholly led:
Yet conscience would against my rage rebel—
Conscience, the foolish pride of doing well!
Sink empire, father perish, brother fall,
Revenge does more than recompence you all.
Conduct the prisoners in.


Spaniards, you See your own deplored estate:
What dare you do to reconcile your fate?

Vasq. All that despair, with courage joined, can do.

Odm. An easy way to victory I'll shew;
When all are buried in their sleep or joy,
I'll give you arms, burn, ravish, and destroy;
For my own share one beauty I design;
Engage your honour that she shall be mine.

Piz. I gladly swear.

Vasq.—And I; but I request That, in return, one, who has touched my breast, Whose name I know not, may be given to me.

Odm. Spaniard, 'tis just; she's yours, whoe'er she be.

Vasq. The night comes on: if fortune bless the bold, I shall possess the beauty.

Piz. I the gold. [Exeunt.

SCENE IV.—A Prison.

CORTEZ discovered bound: ALMERIA talking with him.

Alm. I come not now your constancy to prove; You may believe me when I say I love.

Cort. You have too well instructed me before In your intentions, to believe you more.

Alm. I'm justly plagued by this your unbelief, And am myself the cause of my own grief: But to beg love, I cannot stoop so low; It is enough that you my passion know: 'Tis in your choice; love me, or love me not; I have not yet my brother's death forgot. [Lays hold on the dagger.

Cort. You menace me and court me in a breath: Your Cupid looks as dreadfully as death.

Alm. Your hopes, without, are vanished into smoke: Your captains taken, and your armies broke.

Cort. In vain you urge me with my miseries:
When fortune falls, high courages can rise;
Now should I change my love, it would appear
Not the effect of gratitude, but fear.

Alm. I'll to the king, and make it my request,
Or my command, that you may be releast;
And make you judge, when I have set you free,
Who best deserves your passion, I, or she.

Cort. You tempt my faith so generous a way,
As without guilt might constancy betray:
But I'm so far from meriting esteem,
That, if I judge, I must myself condemn;
Yet having given my worthless heart before,
What I must ne'er possess, I will adore:
Take my devotion then this humbler way;
Devotion is the love which heaven we pay.
 [Kisses her hand.


Cyd. May I believe my eyes! what do I see! Is this her hate to him, his love to me! 'Tis in my breast she sheaths her dagger now. False man, is this thy faith? is this thy vow? [To him.

Cort. What words, dear saint, are these I hear you use? What faith, what vows, are those which you accuse?

Cyd. More cruel than the tyger o'er his spoil;
And falser than the weeping crododile:
Can you add vanity to guilt, and take
A pride to hear the conquests, which you make?
Go, publish your renown; let it be said,
You have a woman, and that loved, betrayed.

Cort. With what injustice is my faith accused! Life, freedom, empire, I at once refused; And would again ten thousand times for you.

Alm. She'll have too great content to find him true;
And therefore, since his love is not for me,
I'll help to make my rival's misery. [Aside.
Spaniard, I never thought you false before:
 [To him.
Can you at once two mistresses adore?
Keep the poor soul no longer in suspence,
Your change is such as does not need defence.

Cort. Riddles like these I cannot understand.

Alm. Why should you blush? she saw you kiss my hand.

Cyd. Fear not; I will, while your first love's denied,
Favour your shame, and turn my eyes aside;
My feeble hopes in her deserts are lost:
I neither can such power nor beauty boast:
I have no tie upon you to be true,
But that, which loosened yours, my love to you.

Cort. Could you have heard my words!

Cyd.—Alas, what needs To hear your words, when I beheld your deeds?

Cort. What shall I say? the fate of love is such,
That still it sees too little or too much.
That act of mine, which does your passion move,
Was but a mark of my respect, not love.

Alm. Vex not yourself excuses to prepare: For one, you love not, is not worth your care.

Cort. Cruel Almeria, take that life you gave; Since you but worse destroy me, while you save.

Cyd. No, let me die, and I'll my claim resign; For while I live, methinks, you should be mine.

Cort. The bloodiest vengeance, which she could pursue, Would be a trifle to my loss of you.

Cyd. Your change was wise: for, had she been denied,
A swift revenge had followed from her pride:
You from my gentle nature had no fears,
All my revenge is only in my tears.

Cort. Can you imagine I so mean could prove, To save my life by changing of my love?

Cyd. Since death is that which naturally we shun, You did no more than I, perhaps, had done.

Cort. Make me not doubt, fair soul, your constancy; You would have died for love, and so would I.

Alm. You may believe him; you have seen it proved.

Cort. Can I not gain belief how I have loved? What can thy ends, malicious beauty, be: Can he, who kill'd thy brother, live for thee?

[A noise of clashing of swords. [VASQUEZ within, Indians against him.

Vasq. Yield, slaves, or die; our swords shall force our way.

Ind. We cannot, though o'er-powered, our trust betray.

Cort. 'Tis Vasquez's voice, he brings me liberty.

Vasq. In spite of fate I'll set my general free; [Within. Now victory for us, the town's our own.

Alm. All hopes of safety and of love are gone:
As when some dreadful thunder-clap is nigh,
The winged fire shoots swiftly through the sky,
Strikes and consumes, ere scarce it does appear,
And by the sudden ill prevents the fear:
Such is my state in this amazing woe,
It leaves no power to think, much less to do.
—But shall my rival live, shall she enjoy
That love in peace, I laboured to destroy? [Aside.

Cort. Her looks grow black as a tempestuous wind; Some raging thoughts are rolling in her mind.

Alm. Rival, I must your jealousy remove, You shall, hereafter, be at rest for love.

Cyd. Now you are kind.

Alm.—He whom you love is true: But he shall never be possest by you.

[Draws her dagger, and runs towards her.

Cort. Hold, hold, ah barbarous woman! fly, oh fly!

Cyd. Ah pity, pity, is no succour nigh!

Cort. Run, run behind me, there you may be sure, While I have life, I will your life secure. [CYDARIA gets behind him.

Alm. On him, or thee,—light vengeance any where [She stabs and hurts him. —What have I done? I see his blood appear!

Cyd. It streams, it streams from every vital part: Was there no way but this to find his heart?

Alm. Ah! cursed woman, what was my design! This weapon's point shall mix that blood with mine!

[Goes to stab herself, and being within his reach he snatches the dagger.

Cort. Now neither life nor death are in your power.

Alm. Then sullenly I'll wait my fatal hour.

Enter VASQUEZ and PIZARRO, with drawn swords.

Vasq. He lives, he lives.

Cort.—Unfetter me with speed; Vasquez, I see you troubled that I bleed: But 'tis not deep, our army I can head.

Vasq. You to a certain victory are led; Your men, all armed, stand silently within: I with your freedom did the work begin.

Piz. What friends we have, and how we came so strong, We'll softly tell you as we march along.

Cort. In this safe place let me secure your fear:
No clashing swords, no noise can enter here.
Amidst our arms as quiet you shall be,
As Halcyons brooding on a winter sea.

Cyd. Leave me not here alone, and full of fright,
Amidst the terrors of a dreadful night:
You judge, alas, my courage by your own;
I never durst in darkness be alone:
I beg, I throw me humbly at your feet.

Cort. You must not go where you may dangers meet. The unruly sword will no destinction make; And beauty will not there give wounds, but take.

Alm. Then stay and take me with you; tho' to be
A slave to wait upon your victory.
My heart unmoved can noise and horror bear:
Parting from you is all the death I fear.

Cort. Almeria, 'tis enough I leave you free: You neither must stay here, nor go with me.

Aim. Then take my life, that will my rest restore: 'Tis all I ask, for saving yours before.

Cort. That were a barbarous return of love.

Alm. Yet, leaving it, you more inhuman prove. In both extremes I some relief should find; Oh! either hate me more, or be more kind.

Cort. Life of my soul, do not my absence mourn:
But chear your heart in hopes of my return.
 [To CYD.
Your noble father's life shall be my care;
And both your brothers I'm obliged to spare.

Cyd. Fate makes you deaf, while I in vain implore;—
My heart forebodes, I ne'er shall see you more:
I have but one request,—when I am dead,
Let not my rival to your love succeed.

Cort. Fate will be kinder than your fears foretell; Farewell, my dear.

Cyd.—A long and last farewell: —So eager to employ the cruel sword? Can you not one, not one last look afford!

Cort. I melt to womanish tears, and if I stay,
I find my love, my courage will betray;
Yon tower will keep you safe, but be so kind
To your own life, that none may entrance find.

Cyd. Then lead me there.—[He leads her. For this one minute of your company, I go, methinks, with some content to die.


Alm. Farewell, O too much lov'd, since lov'd in vain! What dismal fortune does for me remain! Night and despair my fatal footsteps guide; That chance may give the death which he denied. [Exit.


Cort. All I hold dear I trust to your defence; [To Piz. Guard her, and on your life, remove not hence. [Exeunt CORTEZ and VASQUEZ. Piz. I'll venture that.— The Gods are good; I'll leave her to their care, Steal from my post, and in the plunder share. [Exit.


SCENE I.—A chamber royal, an Indian hammock discovered in it.

Enter ODMAR with soldiers, GUYOMAR, and ALIBECH bound.

Odm. Fate is more just than you to my desert, And in this act you blame, heaven takes my part.

Guy. Can there be gods, and no revenge provide?

Odm. The gods are ever of the conquering side: She's now my queen; the Spaniards have agreed, I to my father's empire shall succeed.

Alib. How much I crowns contemn, I let thee see, Chusing the younger, and refusing thee.

Guy. Were she ambitious, she'd disdain to own
The pageant pomp of such a servile throne;
A throne, which thou by parricide dost gain,
And by a base submission must retain.

Alib. I loved thee not before; but, Odmar, know, That now I hate thee, and despise thee too.

Odm. With too much violence you crimes pursue,
Which if I acted, 'twas for love of you.
This, if it teach not love, may teach you fear:
I brought not sin so far, to stop it here.
Death in a lover's mouth would sound but ill:
But know, I either must enjoy, or kill.

Alib. Bestow, base man, thy idle threats elsewhere,
My mother's daughter knows not how to fear.
Since, Guyomar, I must not be thy bride,
Death shall enjoy what is to thee denied.

Odm. Then take thy wish—

Guy. Hold, Odmar, hold: My right in Alibech I will resign; Rather than see her die, I'll see her thine.

Alib. In vain thou wouldst resign, for I will be,
Even when thou leav'st me, constant still to thee:
That shall not save my life: Wilt thou appear
Fearful for her, who for herself wants fear?

Odm. Her love to him shows me a surer way:
I by her love her virtue must betray.—[Aside.
Since, Alibech, you are so true a wife, [To her.
'Tis in your power to save your husband's life:
The gods, by me, your love and virtue try;
For both will suffer, if you let him die.

Alib. I never can believe you will proceed To such a black, and execrable deed.

Odm. I only threatened you; but could not prove So much a fool, to murder what I love: But in his death I some advantage see: Worse than it is I'm sure it cannot be. If you consent, you with that gentle breath Preserve his life: If not, behold his death. [Holds his sword to his breast.

Alib. What shall I do!

Guy. What, are your thoughts at strife
About a ransom to preserve my life?
Though to save yours I did my interest give,
Think not, when you were his, I meant to live.

Alib. O let him be preserved by any way: But name not the foul price which I must pay. [To ODM.

Odm. You would, and would not,—I'll no longer stay. [Offers again to kill him.

Alib. I yield, I yield; but yet, ere I am ill,
An innocent desire I would fulfil:
With Guyomar I one chaste kiss would leave,
The first and last he ever can receive.

Odm. Have what you ask: That minute you agree To my desires, your husband shall be free. [They unbind her, she goes to her husband.

Guy. No, Alibech, we never must embrace. [He turns from her. Your guilty kindness why do you misplace? 'Tis meant to him, he is your private choice; I was made yours but by the public voice. And now you leave me with a poor pretence, That your ill act is for my life's defence.

Alib. Since there remains no other means to try, Think I am false; I cannot see you die.

Guy. To give for me both life and honour too,
Is more, perhaps, than I could give for you.
You have done much to cure my jealousy,
But cannot perfect it unless both die!
For since both cannot live, who stays behind
Must be thought fearful, or, what's worse, unkind.

Alib. I never could propose that death you chuse; But am, like you, too jealous to refuse. [Embracing him. Together dying, we together show That both did pay that faith, which both did owe.

Odm. It then remains I act my own design: Have you your wills, but I will first have mine. Assist me, soldiers— [They go to bind her: She cries out.

Enter VASQUEZ, and two Spaniards.

Vasq. Hold, Odmar, hold! I come in happy time To hinder my misfortune, and your crime.

Odm. You ill return the kindness I have shown.

Vasq. Indian, I say, desist.

Odm. Spaniard, be gone.

Vasq. This lady I did for myself design: Dare you attempt her honour, who is mine?

Odm. You're much mistaken; this is she, whom I
Did with my father's loss, and country's buy:
She, whom your promise did to me convey,
When all things else were made your common prey.

Vasq. That promise made, excepted one for me; One whom I still reserved, and this is she.

Odm. This is not she; you cannot be so base.

Vasq. I love too deeply to mistake the face: The vanquished must receive the victor's laws.

Odm. If I am vanquished, I myself am cause.

Vasq. Then thank yourself for what you undergo.

Odm. Thus lawless might does justice overthrow.

Vasq. Traitors, like you, should never justice name.

Odm. You owe your triumphs to that traitor's shame. But to your general I'll my right refer.

Vasq. He never will protect a ravisher:
His generous heart will soon decide our strife;
He to your brother will restore his wife.
It rests we two our claim in combat try,
And that with this fair prize the victor fly.

Odm. Make haste, I cannot suffer to be long perplext; Conquest is my first wish, and death my next. [They fight, the Spaniards and Indians fight.

Alib. The gods the wicked by themselves o'erthrow: All fight against us now, and for us too! [Unbinds her husband.

[The two Spaniards and three Indians kill each other, VASQUEZ kills ODMAR, GUYOMAR runs to his brothers sword.

Vasq. Now you are mine; my greatest foe is slain. [To AL.

Guy. A greater still to vanquish does remain.

Vasq. Another yet! The wounds, I make, but sow new enemies, Which from their blood, like earth-born brethren, rise.

Guy. Spaniard, take breath: Some respite I'll afford, My cause is more advantage than your sword.

Vasq. Thou art so brave—could it with honour be, I'd seek thy friendship more than victory.

Guy. Friendship with him, whose hand did Odmar kill! Base as he was, he was my brother still: And since his blood has washed away his guilt. Nature asks thine for that which thou hast spilt. [They fight a little and breathe, ALIBECH takes up a sword and comes on.

Alib. My weakness may help something in the strife.

Guy. Kill not my honour to preserve my life:
 [Staying her.
Rather than by thy aid I'll conquest gain,
Without defence I poorly will be slain.

[She goes back, they fight again, VASQUEZ falls.

Guy. Now, Spaniard, beg thy life, and thou shalt live.

Vasq. 'Twere vain to ask thee what thou canst not give; My breath goes out, and I am now no more; Yet her, I loved, in death I will adore. [Dies.

Guy. Come, Alibech, let us from hence remove.
This is a night of horror, not of love.
From every part I hear a dreadful noise,
The vanquished crying, and the victor's joys.
I'll to my father's aid and country's fly,
And succour both, or in their ruin die. [Exeunt.

SCENE II.—A Prison.

MONTEZUMA, Indian High Priest, bound; PIZARRO, Spaniards with swords drawn, a Christian Priest.

Piz. Thou hast not yet discovered all thy store.

Mont. I neither can nor will discover more; The gods will punish you, if they be just; The gods will plague your sacrilegious lust.

Chr. Priest. Mark how this impious heathen justifies
His own false gods, and our true God denies:
How wickedly he has refused his wealth,
And hid his gold, from christian hands, by stealth:
Down with him, kill him, merit heaven thereby.

Ind. High Pr. Can heaven be author of such cruelty?

Piz. Since neither threats nor kindness will prevail, We must by other means your minds assail; Fasten the engines; stretch 'em at their length, And pull the straitened cords with all your strength. [They fasten them to the rack, and then pull them.

Mont. The gods, who made me once a king, shall know,
I still am worthy to continue so:
Though now the subject of your tyranny,
I'll plague you worse than you can punish me.
Know, I have gold, which you shall never find;
No pains, no tortures, shall unlock my mind.

Chr. Pr. Pull harder yet; he does not feel the rack.

Mont. Pull 'till my veins break, and my sinews crack.

Ind. High Pr. When will you end your barbarous cruelty? I beg not to escape, I beg to die.

Mont. Shame on thy priesthood, that such prayers can bring!
Is it not brave, to suffer with thy king?
When monarchs suffer, gods themselves bear part;
Then well mayest thou, who but my vassal art:
I charge thee, dare not groan, nor shew one sign;
Thou at thy torments dost the least repine.

Ind. High Pr. You took an oath, when you received the crown,
The heavens should pour their usual blessings down;
The sun should shine, the earth its fruits produce,
And nought be wanting to your subjects' use:
Yet we with famine were opprest, and now
Must to the yoke of cruel masters bow.

Mont. If those above, who made the world, could be Forgetful of it, why then blamest thou me?

Chr. Pr, Those pains, O prince, thou sufferest now, are light
Compared to those, which, when thy soul takes flight,
Immortal, endless, thou must then endure,
Which death begins, and time can never cure.

Mont. Thou art deceived; for whensoe'er I die,
The Sun, my father, bears my soul on high:
He lets me down a beam, and mounted there,
He draws it back, and pulls me through the air:
I in the eastern parts, and rising sky,
You in heaven's downfal, and the west must lie.

Chr. Pr. Fond man, by heathen ignorance misled, Thy soul destroying when thy body's dead: Change yet thy faith, and buy eternal rest.

Ind. High Pr. Die in your own, for our belief is best.

Mont. In seeking happiness you both agree,
But in the search, the paths so different be,
That all religions with each other fight,
While only one can lead us in the right.
But till that one hath some more certain mark,
Poor human kind must wander in the dark;
And suffer pain eternally below,
For that, which here we cannot come to know.

Chr. Pr. That, which we worship, and which you believe,
From nature's common hand we both receive:
All, under various names, adore and love
One Power immense, which ever rules above.
Vice to abhor, and virtue to pursue,
Is both believed and taught by us and you:
But here our worship takes another way—

Mont. Where both agree, 'tis there most safe to stay: For what's more vain than public light to shun, And set up tapers, while we see the sun?

Chr. Pr. Though nature teaches whom we should adore, By heavenly beams we still discover more.

Mont. Or this must be enough, or to mankind
One equal way to bliss is not designed;
For though some more may know, and some know less,
Yet all must know enough for happiness.

Chr. Pr. If in this middle way you still pretend To stay, your journey never will have end.

Mont. Howe'er, 'tis better in the midst to stay, Than wander farther in uncertain way.

Chr. Pr. But we by martyrdom our faith avow.

Mont. You do no more than I for ours do now.
To prove religion true—
If either wit or sufferings would suffice,
All faiths afford the constant and the wise:
And yet even they, by education swayed,
In age defend what infancy obeyed.

Chr. Pr. Since age by erring childhood is misled, Refer yourself to our unerring head.

Mont. Man, and not err! what reason can you give?

Chr. Pr. Renounce that carnal reason, and believe.

Mont. The light of nature should I thus betray, 'Twere to wink hard, that I might see the day.

Chr. Pr. Condemn not yet the way you do not know; I'll make your reason judge what way to go.

Mont. 'Tis much too late for me new ways to take, Who have but one short step of life to make.

Piz. Increase their pains, the cords are yet too slack.

Chr. Pr. I must by force convert him on the rack.

Ind. High Pr. I faint away, and find I can no more: Give leave, O king, I may reveal thy store, And free myself from pains, I cannot bear.

Mont. Think'st thou I lie on beds of roses here, Or in a wanton bath stretched at my ease? Die, slave, and with thee die such thoughts as these. [High Priest turns aside, and dies.

Enter CORTEZ attended by Spaniards, he speaks entering.

Cort. On pain of death, kill none but those who fight;
I much repent me of this bloody night:
Slaughter grows murder when it goes too far,
And makes a massacre what was a war:
Sheath all your weapons, and in silence move,
'Tis sacred here to beauty, and to love.
Ha—[Sees MONT.
What dismal sight is this, which takes from me
All the delight, that waits on victory!
 [Runs to take him off the rack.
Make haste: How now, religion, do you frown?
Haste, holy avarice, and help him down.
Ah, father, father, what do I endure
 [Embracing MONT.
To see these wounds my pity cannot cure!

Mont. Am I so low that you should pity bring,
And give an infant's comfort to a king?
Ask these, if I have once unmanly groaned;
Or aught have done deserving to be moaned.

Cort. Did I not charge, thou shouldst not stir from hence?
 [To Piz.
But martial law shall punish thy offence.
And you, [To the Christian Priest.
Who saucily teach monarchs to obey,
And the wide world in narrow cloisters sway;
Set up by kings as humble aids of power,
You that which bred you, viper-like, devour,
You enemies of crowns—

Chr. Pr. Come, let's away, We but provoke his fury by our stay.

Cort. If this go free, farewell that discipline,
Which did in Spanish camps severely shine:
Accursed gold, 'tis thou hast caused these crimes;
Thou turn'st our steel against thy parent climes!
And into Spain wilt fatally be brought,
Since with the price of blood thou here art bought.

[Exeunt Priest and PIZARRO. [CORTEZ kneels by MONTEZUMA, and weeps.

Cort. Can you forget those crimes they did commit?

Mont. I'll do what for my dignity is fit:
Rise, sir, I'm satisfied the fault was theirs:
Trust me, you make me weep to see your tears:
Must I chear you?

Cort. Ah heavens!

Mont. You're much to blame;
Your grief is cruel, for it shows my shame,
Does my lost crown to my remembrance bring:
But weep not you, and I'll be still a king.
You have forgot, that I your death designed,
To satisfy the proud Almeria's mind:
You, who preserved my life, I doomed to die.

Cort. Your love did that, and not your cruelty.

Enter a Spaniard.

Span. Prince Guyomar the combat still maintains,
Our men retreat, and he their ground regains:
But once encouraged by our general's sight,
We boldly should renew the doubtful fight.

Cort. Remove not hence, you shall not long attend; [To MONTEZUMA. I'll aid my soldiers, yet preserve my friend.

Mont. Excellent man! [Exeunt CORTEZ, &c. But I, by living, poorly take the way To injure goodness, which I cannot pay.


Alm. Ruin and death run armed through every street;
And yet that fate, I seek, I cannot meet:
What guards misfortunes are and misery!
Death, that strikes all, yet seems afraid of me.

Mont. Almeria here! Oh turn away your face! Must you be witness too of my disgrace?

Alm. I am not that Almeria whom you knew,
But want that pity I denied to you:
Your conqueror, alas, has vanquished me;
But he refuses his own victory:
While all are captives in your conquered state,
I find a wretched freedom in his hate.

Mont. Couldst thou thy love on one who scorned thee lose?
He saw not with my eyes, who could refuse:
Him, who could prove so much unkind to thee,
I ne'er will suffer to be kind to me.

Alm. I am content in death to share your fate; And die for him I love, with him I hate.

Mont. What shall I do in this perplexing strait! My tortured limbs refuse to bear my weight: [Endeavouring to walk, not being able. I cannot go to death to set me free; Death must be kind, and come himself to me.

Alm. I've thought upon't: I have affairs below,
 [ALM. musing.
Which I must needs despatch before I go:
Sir, I have found a place where you may be, [To him.
(Though not preserved) yet, like a king, die free;
The general left your daughter in the tower,
We may a while resist the Spaniards' power,
If Guyomar prevail.

Mont. Make haste and call; She'll hear your voice, and answer from the wall.

Alm. My voice she knows and fears, but use your own; And, to gain entrance, feign you are alone. [ALM. steps behind.

Mont. Cydaria!

Alm. Louder.

Mont. Daughter!

Alm. Louder yet.

Mont. Thou canst not, sure, thy father's voice forget.

[He knocks at the door, at last CYDARIA looks over the balcony.

Cyd. Since my love went, I have been frighted so,
With dismal groans, and noises from below;
I durst not send my eyes abroad, for fear
Of seeing dangers, which I yet but hear.

Mont. Cydaria!

Cyd. Sure, 'tis my father calls.

Mont. Dear child, make haste;
All hope of succour, but from thee, is past:
As when, upon the sands, the traveller
Sees the high sea come rolling from afar,
The land grow short, he mends his weary pace,
While death behind him covers all the place:
So I, by swift misfortunes, am pursued,
Which on each other are, like waves, renewed.

Cyd. Are you alone?

Mont. I am.

Cyd. I'll strait descend; Heaven did you here for both our safeties send.

[CYDARIA descends and opens the door, ALMERIA rushes betwixt with MONTEZUMA.

Cyd. Almeria here! then I am lost again. [Both thrust.

Alm. Yield to my strength, you struggle but in vain. Make haste and shut, our enemies appear.

[CORTEZ and Spaniards appear at the other end.

Cyd. Then do you enter, and let me stay here.

[As she speaks, ALMERIA overpowers her, thrusts her in, and shuts.

Cort. Sure I both heard her voice and saw her face:
She's like a vision vanished from the place.
Too late I find my absence was too long;
My hopes grow sickly, and my fears grow strong.

[He knocks a little, then MONTEZUMA, CYDARIA, and ALMERIA, appear above.

Alm. Look up, look up, and see if you can know Those, whom in vain you think to find below.

Cyd. Look up, and see Cydaria's lost estate.

Mont. And cast one look on Montezuma's fate.

Cort. Speak not such dismal words as wound my ear;
Nor name death to me, when Cydaria's there.
Despair not, sir; who knows but conquering Spain
May part of what you lost restore again?

Mont. No, Spaniard; know, he who, to empire born,
Lives to be less, deserves the victor's scorn:
Kings and their crowns have but one destiny:
Power is their life; when that expires, they die.

Cyd. What dreadful words are these!

Mont. Name life no more;
'Tis now a torture worse than all I bore;
I'll not be bribed to suffer life, but die,
In spite of your mistaken clemency.
I was your slave, and I was used like one;
The shame continues when the pain is gone:
But I'm a king while this is in my hand—[His sword.
He wants no subjects, who can death command:
You should have tied him up, t'have conquered me;
But he's still mine, and thus he sets me free.
[Stabs himself.

Cyd. Oh, my dear father!

Alm. When that is forced, there yet remain two more. [The Soldiers break open the first door, and go in. We shall have time enough to take our way, Ere any can our fatal journey stay.

Mont. Already mine is past: O powers divine,
Take my last thanks: no longer I repine;
I might have lived my own mishap to mourn,
While some would pity me, but more would scorn!
For pity only on fresh objects stays,
But with the tedious sight of woes decays.
Still less and less my boiling spirits flow;
And I grow stiff, as cooling metals do.
Farewell, Almeria. [Dies.

Cyd. He's gone, he's gone, And leaves poor me defenceless here alone.

Alm. You shall not long be so: Prepare to die, That you may bear your father company.

Cyd. O name not death to me! you fright me so,
That with the fear I shall prevent the blow:
I know, your mercy's more than to destroy
A thing so young, so innocent as I.

Cort. Whence can proceed thy cruel thirst of blood,
Ah, barbarous woman? Woman! that's too good,
Too mild for thee: There's pity in that name,
But thou hast lost thy pity with thy shame.

Alm. Your cruel words have pierced me to the heart; But on my rival I'll revenge my smart.

Cort. Oh stay your hand; and, to redeem my fault,
I'll speak the kindest words—
That tongue e'er uttered, or that heart e'er thought.

Alm. This but offends me more; You act your kindness on Cydaria's score.

Cyd. For his dear sake let me my life receive.

Alm. Fool, for his sake alone you must not live: Revenge is now my joy; he's not for me, And I'll make sure he ne'er shall be for thee.

Cyd. But what's my crime?

Alm. 'Tis loving where I love.

Cyd. Your own example does my act approve.

Alm. 'Tis such a fault I never can forgive.

Cyd. How can I mend, unless you let me live? I yet am tender, young, and full of fear, And dare not die, but fain would tarry here.

Cort. If blood you seek, I will my own resign: O spare her life, and in exchange take mine!

Alm. The love you shew but hastes her death the more.

Cort. I'll run, and help to force the inner door. [Is going in haste.

Alm. Stay, Spaniard, stay; depart not from my eyes: That moment that I lose your sight, she dies. To look on you, I'll grant a short reprieve.

Cort. O make your gift more full, and let her live! I dare not go; and yet how dare I stay!— Her I would save, I murder either way.

Cyd. Can you be so hard-hearted to destroy
My ripening hopes, that are so near to joy?
I just approach to all I would possess:
Death only stands 'twixt me and happiness.

Alm. Your father, with his life, has lost his throne: Your country's freedom and renown is gone. Honour requires your death; you must obey.

Cyd. Do you die first, and shew me then the way.

Alm. Should you not follow, my revenge were lost.

Cyd. Then rise again, and fright me with your ghost.

Alm. I will not trust to that; since death I chuse,
I'll not leave you that life which I refuse:
If death's a pain, it is not less to me;
And if 'tis nothing, 'tis no more to thee.
But hark! the noise increases from behind;
They're near, and may prevent what I designed;
Take there a rival's gift. [Stabs her.

Cort. Perdition seize thee for so black a deed.

Alm. Blame not an act, which did from love proceed:
I'll thus revenge thee with this fatal blow;
 [Stabs herself.
Stand fair, and let my heart-blood on thee flow.

Cyd. Stay, life, and keep me in the cheerful light!
Death is too black, and dwells in too much night.
Thou leav'st me, life, but love supplies thy part,
And keeps me warm, by lingering in my heart:
Yet dying for him, I thy claim remove;
How dear it costs to conquer in my love!
Now strike: That thought, I hope, will arm my breast.

Alm. Ah, with what differing passions am I prest!

Cyd. Death, when far off, did terrible appear; But looks less dreadful as he comes more near.

Alm. O rival, I have lost the power to kill;
Strength hath forsook my arm, and rage my will:
I must surmount that love which thou hast shown;
Dying for him is due to me alone.
Thy weakness shall not boast the victory,
Now thou shalt live, and dead I'll conquer thee:
Soldiers, assist me down.

[Exeunt from above, led by Soldiers, and enter both, led by CORTEZ.

Cort. Is there no danger then? [To CYDARIA.

Cyd. You need not fear My wound; I cannot die when you are near.

Cort. You, for my sake, life to Cydaria give; [To ALM. And I could die for you, if you might live.

Alm. Enough, I die content, now you are kind;
Killed in my limbs, reviving in my mind:
Come near, Cydaria, and forgive my crime.
 [CYDARIA starts back.
You need not fear my rage a second time:
I'll bathe your wounds in tears for my offence.
That hand, which made it, makes this recompence.
 [Ready to join their hands.
I would have joined you, but my heart's too high:
You will, too soon, possess him when I die.

Cort. She faints; O softly set her down.

Alm. 'Tis past!
In thy loved bosom let me breathe my last.
Here, in this one short moment that I live,
I have whate'er the longest life could give. [Dies.

Cort. Farewell, thou generous maid: Even victory,
Glad as it is, must lend some tears to thee;
Many I dare not shed, lest you believe [To CYD.
I joy in you less than for her I grieve.

Cyd. But are you sure she's dead?
I must embrace you fast, before I know,
Whether my life be yet secure, or no:
Some other hour I will to tears allow,
But, having you, can shew no sorrow now.

Enter GUYOMAR and ALIBECH bound, with Soldiers.

Cort. Prince Guyomar in bonds! O friendship's shame! It makes me blush to own a victor's name. [Unbinds him, CYDARIA, ALIBECH.

Cyd. See, Alibech, Almeria lies there; But do not think 'twas I that murdered her.

[ALIBECH kneels, and kisses her dead sister.

Cort. Live, and enjoy more than your conqueror: [To GUYOMAR. Take all my love, and share in all my power.

Guy. Think me not proudly rude, if I forsake
Those gifts I cannot with my honour take:
I for my country fought, and would again,
Had I yet left a country to maintain:
But since the gods decreed it otherwise,
I never will on its dear ruins rise.

Alib. Of all your goodness leaves to our dispose,
Our liberty's the only gift we chuse:
Absence alone can make our sorrows less;
And not to see what we can ne'er redress.

Guy. Northward, beyond the mountains, we will go,
Where rocks lie covered with eternal snow,
Thin herbage in the plains and fruitless fields,
The sand no gold, the mine no silver yields:
There love and freedom we'll in peace enjoy;
No Spaniards will that colony destroy.
We to ourselves will all our wishes grant;
And, nothing coveting, can nothing want.

Cort. First your great father's funeral pomp provide: That done, in peace your generous exiles guide; While I loud thanks pay to the powers above, Thus doubly blest, with conquest, and with love. [Exeunt.



To all and singular in this full meeting,
Ladies and gallants, Phoebus sends ye greeting.
To all his sons, by whate'er title known,
Whether of court, or coffee-house, or town;
From his most mighty sons, whose confidence
Is placed in lofty sound, and humble sense,
Even to his little infants of the time,
Who write new songs, and trust in tune and rhyme:
Be't known, that Phoebus (being daily grieved
To see good plays condemned, and bad received)
Ordains, your judgment upon every cause,
Henceforth, be limited by wholesome laws.
He first thinks fit no sonnetteer advance
His censure, farther than the song or dance.
Your wit burlesque may one step higher climb,
And in his sphere may judge all doggrel rhyme:
All proves, and moves, and loves, and honours too;
All that appears high sense, and scarce is low.
As for the coffee-wits, he says not much;
Their proper business is to damn the Dutch:
For the great dons of wit—
Phoebus gives them full privilege alone,
To damn all others, and cry up their own.
Last, for the ladies, 'tis Apollo's will,
They should have power to save, but not to kill:
For love and he long since have thought it fit,
Wit live by beauty, beauty reign by wit.


  Vitiis nemo sine nascitur; optimus ille
Qui minimis urgetur


The Maiden Queen is said, by Langbaine, to be founded upon certain passages in "The Grand Cyrus," and in "Ibrahim, the illustrious Bassa." Few readers will probably take the trouble of consulting these huge volumes, for the purpose of ascertaining the truth of this charge. Even our duty, as editors, cannot impel us to the task; satisfied, as we are, that, since these ponderous folios at that time loaded every toilette, Dryden can hardly have taken more from such well-known sources, than the mere outline of the story. Indeed, to a certain degree, the foundation of the plot, upon a story in the "Cyrus," is admitted by the author. The character of the queen is admirably drawn, and the catastrophe is brought very artfully forward; the uncertainty, as to her final decision, continuing till the last moment. In this, as in all our author's plays, some passages of beautiful poetry occur in the dialogue; as, for example, the scene in act 3d betwixt Philocles and Candiope. The characters, excepting that of the Maiden Queen herself, are lame and uninteresting. Philocles, in particular, has neither enough of love to make him despise ambition, nor enough of ambition to make him break the fetters of love. We might have admired him, had he been constant; or sympathised with him, had he sinned against his affections, and repented; but there is nothing interesting in the vacillations of his indecision. The comic part of the play contains much of what was thought wit in the reign of Charles II.; for marriage is railed against, and a male and female rake join in extolling the pleasures of a single life, even while the usage of the theatre compels them, at length, to put on the matrimonial chains. It is surprising, that no venturous author, in that gay age, concluded, by making such a couple happy in their own way. The novelty of such a catastrophe would have insured its success; and, unlike to the termination of the loves of Celadon and Florimel, it would have been strictly in character.

The Maiden Queen was first acted in 1667; and printed, as the poet has informed us, by the command of Charles himself, who graced it with the title of HIS play. Dryden mentions the excellence of the acting, so it was probably received very favourably.


It has been the ordinary practice of the French poets, to dedicate their works of this nature to their king; especially when they have had the least encouragement to it, by his approbation of them on the stage. But, I confess, I want the confidence to follow their example, though, perhaps, I have as specious pretences to it, for this piece, as any they can boast of; it having been owned in so particular a manner by his majesty, that he has graced it with the title of his play, and thereby rescued it from the severity (that I may not say malice) of its enemies. But though a character so high and undeserved has not raised in me the presumption to offer such a trifle to his most serious view, yet I will own the vanity to say, that after this glory which it has received from a sovereign prince, I could not send it to seek protection from any subject. Be this poem, then, sacred to him, without the tedious form of a dedication, and without presuming to interrupt those hours which he is daily giving to the peace and settlement of his people.

For what else concerns this play, I would tell the reader, that it is regular, according to the strictest of dramatic laws; but that it is a commendation which many of our poets now despise, and a beauty which our common audiences do not easily discern. Neither indeed do I value myself upon it; because, with all that symmetry of parts, it may want an air and spirit (which consists in the writing) to set it off. 'Tis a question variously disputed, whether an author may be allowed as a competent judge of his own works. As to the fabric and contrivance of them, certainly he may; for that is properly the employment of the judgment; which, as a master-builder, he may determine, and that without deception, whether the work be according to the exactness of the model; still granting him to have a perfect idea of that pattern by which he works, and that he keeps himself always constant to the discourse of his judgment, without admitting self-love, which is the false surveyor of his fancy, to intermeddle in it. These qualifications granted (being such as all sound poets are presupposed to have within them), I think all writers, of what kind soever, may infallibly judge of the frame and contexture of their works. But for the ornament of writing, which is greater, more various, and bizarre in poesy than in any other kind, as it is properly the child of fancy; so it can receive no measure, or at least but a very imperfect one, of its own excellences or failures from the judgment. Self-love (which enters but rarely into the offices of the judgment) here predominates; and fancy (if I may so speak), judging of itself, can be no more certain, or demonstrative of its own effects, than two crooked lines can be the adequate measure of each other. What I have said on this subject may, perhaps, give me some credit with my readers, in my opinion of this play, which I have ever valued above the rest of my follies of this kind; yet not thereby in the least dissenting from their judgment, who have concluded the writing of this to be much inferior to my "Indian Emperor." But the argument of that was much more noble, not having the allay of comedy to depress it; yet if this be more perfect, either in its kind, or in the general notion of a play, it is as much as I desire to have granted for the vindication of my opinion, and what as nearly touches me, the sentence of a royal judge. Many have imagined the character of Philocles to be faulty; some for not discovering the queen's love, others for his joining in her restraint: But though I am not of their number, who obstinately defend what they have once said, I may, with modesty, take up those answers which have been made for me by my friends; namely, that Philocles, who was but a gentleman of ordinary birth, had no reason to guess so soon at the queen's passion; she being a person so much above him, and, by the suffrages of all her people, already destined to Lysimantes: Besides, that he was prepossessed (as the queen somewhere hints it to him) with another inclination, which rendered him less clear-sighted in it, since no man, at the same time, can distinctly view two different objects; and if this, with any shew of reason, may be defended, I leave my masters, the critics, to determine, whether it be not much more conducing to the beauty of my plot, that Philocles should be long kept ignorant of the queen's love, than that with one leap he should have entered into the knowledge of it, and thereby freed himself, to the disgust of the audience, from that pleasing labyrinth of errors which was prepared for him. As for that other objection, of his joining in the queen's imprisonment, it is indisputably that which every man, if he examines himself, would have done on the like occasion. If they answer, that it takes from the height of his character to do it; I would enquire of my overwise censors, who told them I intended him a perfect character, or, indeed, what necessity was there he should be so, the variety of images being one great beauty of a play? It was as much as I designed, to shew one great and absolute pattern of honour in my poem, which I did in the person of the queen: all the defects of the other parts being set to shew, the more to recommend that one character of virtue to the audience. But neither was the fault of Philocles so great, if the circumstances be considered, which, as moral philosophy assures us, make the essential differences of good and bad; he himself best explaining his own intentions in his last act, which was the restoration of his queen; and even before that, in the honesty of his expressions, when he was unavoidably led by the impulsions of his love to do it. That which with more reason was objected as an indecorum, is the management of the last scene of the play, where Celadon and Florimel are treating too lightly of their marriage in the presence of the queen, who likewise seems to stand idle, while the great action of the drama is still depending. This I cannot otherwise defend, than by telling you, I so designed it on purpose, to make my play go off more smartly; that scene being, in the opinion of the best judges, the most divertising of the whole comedy. But though the artifice succeeded, I am willing to acknowledge it as a fault, since it pleased his majesty, the best judge, to think it so.

I have only to add, that the play is founded on a story in the "Cyrus," which he calls the Queen of Corinth; in whose character, as it has been affirmed to me, he represents that of the famous Christina, queen of Sweden. This is what I thought convenient to write by way of preface to "The Maiden Queen;" in the reading of which I fear you will not meet with that satisfaction, which you have had in seeing it on the stage; the chief parts of it, both serious and comic, being performed to that height of excellence, that nothing but a command, which I could not handsomely disobey, could have given me the courage to have made it public.



He who writ this, not without pains and thought,
From French and English theatres has brought
The exactest rules, by which a play is wrought.


The unities of action, place, and time;
The scenes unbroken; and a mingled chime
Of Jonson's humour, with Corneille's rhyme.


But while dead colours he with care did lay,
He fears his wit, or plot, he did not weigh,
Which are the living beauties of a play.


Plays are like towns, which, howe'er fortified
By engineers, have still some weaker side,
By the o'er-seen defendant unespied.


And with that art you make approaches now;
Such skilful fury in assaults you show,
That every poet without shame may bow.


Ours, therefore, humbly would attend your doom,
If, soldier-like, he may have terms to come,
With flying colours, and with beat of drum.

The Prologue goes out, and stays while a tune is played, after which he returns again.


I had forgot one half, I do protest,
And now am sent again to speak the rest.
He bows to every great and noble wit;
But to the little Hectors of the pit
Our poet's sturdy, and will not submit.
He'll be beforehand with 'em, and not stay
To see each peevish critic stab his play;
Each puny censor, who, his skill to boast,
Is cheaply witty on the poet's cost.
No critic's verdict should, of right, stand good,
They are excepted all, as men of blood;
And the same law shall shield him from their fury,
Which has excluded butchers from a jury.
You'd all be wits—
But writing's tedious, and that way may fail;
The most compendious method is to rail:
Which you so like, you think yourselves ill used,
When in smart prologues you are not abused.
A civil prologue is approved by no man;
You hate it, as you do a civil woman:
Your fancy's palled, and liberally you pay
To have it quickened ere you see a play;
Just as old sinners, worn from their delight,
Give money to be whipped to appetite.
But what a pox keep I so much ado
To save our poet? He is one of you;
A brother judgment, and, as I hear say,
A cursed critic as e'er damned a play.
Good savage gentlemen, your own kind spare;
He is, like you, a very wolf or bear;
Yet think not he'll your ancient rights invade,
Or stop the course of your free damning trade;
For he (he vows) at no friend's play can sit,
But he must needs find fault, to shew his wit:
Then, for his sake, ne'er stint your own delight;
Throw boldly, for he sits to all that write;
With such he ventures on an even lay,
For they bring ready money into play.
Those who write not, and yet all writers nick,
Are bankrupt gamesters, for they damn on tick.


LYSIMANTES, first Prince of the Blood.
PHILOCLES, the Queen's favourite.
CELADON, a courtier.

Queen of Sicily.
CANDIOPE, Princess of the Blood.
ASTERIA, the Queen's confident.
FLORIMEL, a maid of honour.
FLAVIA, another maid of honour.

Guards, Pages of Honour, Soldiers.



SCENE I.—Walks near the Court.

Enter CELADON and ASTERIA, meeting each other, he in a riding habit; they embrace.

Cel. Dear Asteria!—

Ast. My dear brother, welcome! A thousand welcomes! Methinks, this year, you have been absent, has been so tedious:—I hope, as you have made a pleasant voyage, so you have brought your good humour back again to court?

Cel. I never yet knew any company I could not be merry in, except it were an old woman's.

Ast. Or at a funeral.

Cel. Nay, for that you shall excuse me; for I was never merrier than I was at a creditor's of mine, whose book perished with him. But what new beauties have you at court? How do Melissa's two fair daughters?

Ast. When you tell me which of them you are in love with, I'll answer you.

Cel. Which of them, naughty sister! what a question's there? With both of them; with each and singular of them.

Ast. Bless me!—You are not serious?

Cel. You look, as if it were a wonder to see a man in love. Are they not handsome?

Ast. Ay; but both together—

Cel. Ay, and both asunder; why, I hope there are but two of them; the tall singing and dancing one, and the little innocent one?

Ast. But you cannot marry both?

Cel. No, nor either of them, I trust in Heaven: but I can keep them company; I can sing and dance with them, and treat them; and that, I take it, is somewhat better than musty marrying them. Marriage is poor folks' pleasure, that cannot go to the cost of variety; but I am out of danger of that with these two, for I love them so equally, I can never make choice between them. Had I but one mistress, I might go to her to be merry, and she, perhaps, be out of humour; there were a visit lost: But here, if one of them frown upon me, the other will be the more obliging, on purpose to recommend her own gaiety; besides a thousand things that I could name.

Ast. And none of them to any purpose.

Cel. Well, if you will not be cruel to a poor lover, you might oblige me, by carrying me to their lodgings.

Ast. You know I am always busy about the queen.

Cel. But once or twice only; 'till I am a little flushed in my acquaintance with other ladies, and have learned to prey for myself. I promise you I'll make all the haste I can to end the trouble, by being in love somewhere else.

Ast. You would think it hard to be denied now?

Cel. And reason good. Many a man hangs himself for the loss of one mistress: How do you think, then, I should bear the loss of two; especially in a court, where, I think, beauty is but thin sown?

Ast. There's one Florimel, the queen's ward, a new beauty, as wild as you, and a vast fortune.

Cel. I am for her before the world. Bring me to her, and I'll release you of your promise for the other two.

Enter a Page.

Page. Madam, the queen expects you.

Cel. I see you hold her favour; adieu, sister:—you have a little emissary there, otherwise I would offer you my service.

Ast. Farewell, brother; think upon Florimel.

Cel. You may trust my memory for a handsome woman: I'll think upon her, and the rest too; I'll forget none of them. [Exit ASTERIA.


Enter a Gentleman walking over the stage hastily; After him FLORIMEL and FLAVIA masked.

Fla. Phormio! Phormio! you will not leave us?

Gent. In faith, I have a little business.

[Exit Gent.

Cel. Cannot I serve you in the gentleman's room, ladies?

Fla. Which of us would you serve?

Cel. Either of you, or both of you.

Fla. Why, could you not be constant to one?

Cel. Constant to one!—I have been a courtier, a soldier, and a traveller, to good purpose, if I must be constant to one: Give me some twenty, some forty, some a hundred mistresses! I have more love than any woman can turn her to.

Flo. Bless us! let us be gone, cousin: We two are nothing in his hands.

Cel. Yet, for my part, I can live with as few mistresses as any man. I desire no superfluities; only for necessary change or so, as I shift my linen.

Flo. A pretty odd kind of fellow this; he fits my humour rarely. [Aside.

Fla. You are as inconstant as the moon.

Flo. You wrong him, he's as constant as the sun; he would see all the world in twenty-four hours.

Cel. 'Tis very true, madam; but, like him, I would visit, and away.

Flo. For what an unreasonable thing it were, to stay long, be troublesome, and hinder a lady of a fresh lover.

Cel. A rare creature this! [Aside]—Besides, madam, how like a fool a man looks, when, after all his eagerness of two minutes before, he shrinks into a faint kiss, and a cold compliment.—Ladies both, into your hands I commit myself; share me betwixt you.

Fla. I'll have nothing to do with you, since you cannot be constant to one.

Cel. Nay, rather than lose either of you, I'll do more; I'll be constant to an hundred of you. Or, if you will needs fetter me to one, agree the matter between yourselves; and the most handsome take me.

Flo. Though I am not she, yet since my mask is down, and you cannot convince me, have a good faith of my beauty, and for once I take you for my servant.

Cel. And for once I'll make a blind bargain with you. Strike hands; is't a match, mistress?

Flo. Done, servant.

Cel. Now I am sure I have the worst on't: For you see the worst of me, and that I do not of you, 'till you shew your face.—Yet, now I think on't, you must be handsome.

Flo. What kind of beauty do you like?

Cel. Just such a one as yours.

Flo. What's that?

Cel. Such an oval face, clear skin, hazel eyes, thick brown eye-brows, and hair as you have, for all the world.

Fla. But I can assure you, she has nothing of all this.

Cel. Hold thy peace, envy; nay, I can be constant an I set on't.

Flo. 'Tis true she tells you.

Cel. Ay, ay, you may slander yourself as you please: Then you have,—let me see.

Flo. Ill swear, you shall not see.

Cel. A turned up nose, that gives an air to your face:—Oh, I find I am more and more in love with you!—a full nether lip, an out-mouth, that makes mine water at it; the bottom of your cheeks a little blub, and two dimples when you smile: For your stature, 'tis well; and for your wit, 'twas given you by one that knew it had been thrown away upon an ill face.—Come, you're handsome, there's no denying it.

Flo. Can you settle your spirits to see an ugly face, and not be frighted? I could find in my heart to lift up my mask, and disabuse you.

Cel. I defy your mask:—Would you would try the experiment!

Flo. No, I won't; for your ignorance is the mother of your devotion to me.

Cel. Since you will not take the pains to convert me, I'll make bold to keep my faith. A miserable man, I am sure, you have made me.

Fla. This is pleasant.

Cel. It may be so to you, but it is not to me; for aught I see, I am going to be the most constant Maudlin,—

Flo. 'Tis very well, Celadon; you can be constant to one you have never seen, and have forsaken all you have seen?

Cel. It seems, you know me then:—Well, if thou should'st prove one of my cast mistresses, I would use thee most damnably, for offering to make me love thee twice.

Flo. You are i'the right: An old mistress, or servant, is an old tune; the pleasure on't is past, when we have once learned it.

Fla. But what woman in the world would you wish her like?

Cel. I have heard of one Florimel, the queen's ward; would she were as like her for beauty, as she is for humour!

Fla. Do you hear that, cousin? [To FLOR. aside.

Flo. Florimel's not handsome: Besides she's inconstant; and only loves for some few days.

Cel. If she loves for shorter time than I, she must love by winter days and summer nights, i'faith.

Flo. When you see us together, you shall judge. In the mean time, adieu, sweet servant.

Cel. Why, you won't be so inhuman to carry away my heart, and not so much as tell me where I may hear news on't?

Flo. I mean to keep it safe for you; for, if you had it, you would bestow it worse: Farewell, I must see a lady.

Cel. So must I too, if I can pull off your mask.

Flo. You will not be so rude, I hope.

Cel. By this light, but I will!

Flo. By this leg, but you shan't.

[Exeunt FLO. and FLA. running.


Enter PHILOCLES, and meets him going out.

Cel. How! my cousin, the new favourite!—[Aside.

Phil. Dear Celadon! most happily arrived.—
I hear you've been an honour to your country
In the Calabrian wars; and I am glad
I have some interest in it.

Cel. But in you
I have a larger subject for my joys:
To see so rare a thing as rising virtue,
And merit, understood at court.

Phil. Perhaps it is the only act, that can Accuse our queen of weakness.

Enter LYSIMANTES, attended.

Lys. O, my lord Philocles, well overtaken! I came to look you.

Phil. Had I known it sooner,
My swift attendance, sir, had spared your trouble.—
Cousin, you see prince Lysimantes [To CEL.
Is pleased to favour me with his commands:
I beg you'll be no stranger now at court.

Cel. So long as there be ladies there, you need Not doubt me. [Exit CELADON.

Phil. Some of them will, I hope, make you a convert.

Lys. My lord Philocles, I'm glad we are alone; There is a business, that concerns me nearly, In which I beg your love.

Phil. Command my service.

Lys. I know your interest with the queen is great;
(I speak not this as envying your fortune,
For, frankly, I confess you have deserved it;
Besides, my birth, my courage, and my honour,
Are all above so base a vice,)—

Phil. I know, my lord, you are first prince o'the blood;
Your country's second hope:
And that the public vote, when the queen weds,
Designs you for her choice.

Lys. I am not worthy,
Except love makes desert;
For doubtless she's the glory of her time:
Of faultless beauty, blooming as the spring
In our Sicilian groves; matchless in virtue,
And largely souled where'er her bounty gives,
As, with each breath, she could create new Indies.

Phil. But jealous of her glory,—

Lys. You are a courtier; and, in other terms,
Would you say, she is averse from marriage,
Lest it might lessen her authority.
But whensoe'er she does, I know the people
Will scarcely suffer her to match
With any neighbouring prince, whose power might bend
Our free Sicilians to a foreign yoke.

Phil. I love too well my country to desire it.

Lys. Then, to proceed, (as you well know, my lord,)
The provinces have sent their deputies,
Humbly to move her, she would chuse at home;
And, (for she seems averse from speaking with them,)
By my appointment, have designed these walks,
Where well she cannot shun them.—Now, if you
Assist their suit, by joining yours to it,
And by your mediation I prove happy,
I freely promise you—

Phil. Without a bribe, command my utmost in it:— And yet, there is a thing, which time may give me The confidence to name,—

Lys. 'Tis yours whatever:— But, tell me true, does she not entertain Some deep and settled thoughts against my person?

Phil. I hope, not so; but she, of late, is froward;
Reserved, and sad, and vexed at little things;
Which her great soul, ashamed of, strait shakes off,
And is composed again.

Lys. You are still near the queen; and all our actions Come to princes' eyes, as they are represented By them, that hold the mirror.

Phil. Here she comes, and with her the deputies: I fear all is not right.

Enter Queen, Deputies after her; ASTERIA, Guard, FLAVIA, OLINDA, and SABINA. Queen turns back to the Deputies, and speaks entering.

Queen. And I must tell you, It is a saucy boldness, thus to press On my retirements.

1 Dep. Our business being of no less concern, Than is the peace and quiet of your subjects;— And that delayed,—

2 Dep. We humbly took this time To represent your people's fears to you.

Queen. My people's fears! who made them statesmen?
They much mistake their business, if they think,
It is to govern.
The rights of subjects, and of sovereigns,
Are things distinct in nature:—Theirs is to
Enjoy propriety, not empire.

Lys. If they have erred, 'twas but an over-care; An ill-timed duty.

Queen. Cousin, I expect
From your near blood, not to excuse, but check them.
They would impose a ruler upon their lawful queen:
For what's an husband else?

Lys. Far, madam, be it from the thoughts
Of any, who pretends to that high honour,
To wish for more than to be reckoned
As the most graced, and first of all your servants.

Queen. These are the insinuating promises
Of those, who aim at power. But tell me, cousin,
(For you are unconcerned, and may be judge,)
Should that aspiring man compass his ends,
What pawn of his obedience could he give me,
When kingly power were once invested in him?

Lys. What greater pledge than love! When those fair eyes Cast their commanding beams, he, that could be A rebel to your birth, must pay them homage.

Queen. All eyes are fair,
That sparkle with the jewels of a crown:
But now I see my government is odious;
My people find I am not fit to reign,
Else they would never—

Lys. So far from that, we all acknowledge you
The bounty of the gods to Sicily:
More than they are you cannot make our joys;
Make them but lasting in a successor.

Phil. Your people seek not to impose a prince;
But humbly offer one to your free choice:
And such a one he is—may I have leave
To speak some little of his great deserts?—

Queen. I'll hear no more.— For you, attend to-morrow at the council: [To the Deputies. There you shall have my firm resolves:—meantime, My cousin, I am sure, will welcome you.

Lys. Still more and more mysterious: But I have
Gained one of her women that shall unriddle it.—
Come, gentlemen.

All Dep. Heaven preserve your majesty! [Exeunt LYS. and Dep.

Queen. Philocles, you may stay.

Phil. I humbly wait your majesty's commands.

Queen. Yet, now I better think on't, you may go.

Phil. Madam!

Queen. I have no commands;—or, what's all one, You, no obedience.

Phil. How! no obedience, madam? I plead no other merit; 'tis the charter By which I hold your favour, and my fortunes.

Queen. My favours are cheap blessings, like rain and sunshine, For which we scarcely thank the gods, because We daily have them.

Phil. Madam, your breath, which raised me from the dust,
May lay me there again:
But fate nor time can ever make me lose
The sense of your indulgent bounties to me.

Queen. You are above them now, grown popular:—
Ah, Philocles! could I expect from you
That usage!—no tongue but yours
To move me to a marriage?—[Weeps.
The factious deputies might have some end in't,
And my ambitious cousin gain a crown:
But what advantage could there come to you?
What could you hope from Lysimantes' reign,
That you can want in mine?

Phil. You yourself clear me, madam. Had I sought
More power, this marriage sure was not the way.
But, when your safety was in question,
When all your people were unsatisfied,
Desired a king,—nay more, designed the man,—
It was my duty then,—

Queen. Let me be judge of my own safety. I am a woman; But danger from my subjects cannot fright me.

Phil. But Lysimantes, madam, is a person,—

Queen. I cannot love.
Shall I,—I, who was born a sovereign queen,
Be barred of that, which God and nature gives
The meanest slave, a freedom in my love?—
Leave me, good Philocles, to my own thoughts;
When next I need your counsel, I'll send for you.

Phil. I'm most unhappy in your high displeasure; But, since I must not speak, madam, be pleased To peruse this, and therein read my care.

[He plucks out a paper, and presents it to her; but drops, unknown to him, a picture. Exit PHI.

Queen. [reads.] A catalogue of such persons,— What's this he has let fall, Asteria? [Spies the box.

Ast. Your majesty?—

Queen. Take that up; it fell from Philocles.

[She takes it up, looks on it, and smiles.

Queen. How now, what makes you merry?

Ast. A small discovery I have made, madam.

Queen. Of what?

Ast. Since first your majesty graced Philocles, I have not heard him named for any mistress, But now this picture has convinced me.

Queen. Ha! let me see it.— [Snatches it from her. Candiope, prince Lysimantes' sister!

Ast. Your favour, madam, may encourage him,—
And yet he loves in a high place for him:
A princess of the blood; and, what is more,
Beyond comparison the fairest lady
Our isle can boast.

Queen. How!—she the fairest Beyond comparison!—'Tis false! you flatter her; She is not fair.

Ast. I humbly beg forgiveness on my knees, If I offended you:—But next yours, madam, Which all must yield to.

Queen. I pretend to none.

Ast. She passes for a beauty.

Queen. Ay, she may pass:—But why do I speak of her?— Dear Asteria, lead me, I am not well o' the sudden. [She faints.

Ast. Who's near there?—help the queen!

[The guards are coming.

Queen. Bid them away: 'Twas but a qualm, And 'tis already going.

Ast. Dear madam, what's the matter?
You are of late so altered, I scarce know you.
You were gay humoured, and you now are pensive;
Once calm, and now unquiet:—
Pardon my boldness, that I press thus far
Into your secret thoughts: I have, at least,
A subject's share in you.

Queen. Thou hast a greater. That of a friend:—But I am froward, say'st thou?

Ast. It ill becomes me, madam, to say that.

Queen. I know I am:—Pr'ythee, forgive me for it,— I cannot help it;—but thou hast Not long to suffer it.

Ast. Alas!

Queen. I feel my strength each day and hour consume,
Like lilies wasting in a lymbeck's heat.
Yet a few days,
And thou shalt see me lie, all damp and cold,
Shrouded within some hollow vault, among
My silent ancestors.

Ast. O dearest madam! Speak not of death; or think not, if you die, That I will stay behind.

Queen. Thy love has moved me;—I, for once, will have The pleasure to be pitied. I'll unfold A thing so strange, so horrid of myself—

Ast. Bless me, sweet heaven!— So horrid, said you, madam?

Queen. That sun, who with one look surveys the globe,
Sees not a wretch like me!—And could the world
Take a right measure of my state within,
Mankind must either pity me, or scorn me.

Ast. Sure none could do the last.

Queen. Thou longest to know it,
And I to tell thee, but shame stops my mouth.
First, promise me thou wilt excuse my folly;
And, next, be secret.

Ast. Can you doubt it, madam?

Queen. Yet you might spare my labour:— Can you not guess?

Ast. Madam, please you, I'll try.

Queen. Hold, Asteria!—
I would not have you guess; for should you find it,
I should imagine that some other might,
And then I were most wretched:—
Therefore, though you should know it, flatter me,
And say you could not guess it.

Ast. Madam, I need not flatter you, I cannot—and yet, Might not ambition trouble your repose?

Queen. My Sicily, I thank the Gods, contents me.
But, since I must reveal it, know,—'tis love:
I, who pretended so to glory, am
Become the slave of love.

Ast. I thought your majesty had framed designs
To subvert all your laws; become a tyrant,
Or vex your neighbours, with injurious wars;
Is this all, madam?

Queen. Is not this enough?
Then, know, I love below myself; a subject;
Love one, who loves another, and who knows not
That I love him.

Ast. He must be told it, madam.

Queen. Not for the world, Asteria: Whene'er he knows it, I shall die for shame.

Ast. What is it, then, that would content you?

Queen. Nothing, but that I had not lov'd.

Ast. May I not ask, without offence, who 'tis?

Queen. Ev'n that confirms me, I have loved amiss; Since thou canst know I love, and not imagine It must be Philocles.

Ast. My cousin is, indeed, a most deserving person; Valiant, and wise; handsome, and well-born.

Queen. But not of royal blood:
I know his fate, unfit to be a king.
To be his wife, I could forsake my crown; but not my glory:
Yet—would he did not love Candiope;
Would he loved me—but knew not of my love,
Or e'er durst tell me his.

Ast. In all this labyrinth, I find one path, conducting to our quiet.

Queen. O tell me quickly then!

Ast. Candiope, as princess of the blood,
Without your approbation cannot marry:
First, break his match with her, by virtue of
Your sovereign authority.

Queen. I fear, that were to make him hate me, Or, what's as bad, to let him know, I love him: Could you not do it of yourself?

Ast. I'll not be wanting to my pow'r:
But if your majesty appears not in it,
The love of Philocles will soon surmount
All other difficulties.

Queen. Then, as we walk, we'll think what means are best; Effect but this, and thou shar'st half my breast. [Exeunt.


SCENE I—The Queens Apartment.

ASTERIA alone.

Nothing thrives that I have plotted;
For I have sounded Philocles, and find
He is too constant to Candiope:
Her too I have assaulted, but in vain,
Objecting want of quality in Philocles.
I'll to the queen, and plainly tell her,
She must make use of her authority
To break the match.

Enter CELADON looking about him.

Brother! what make you here
About the queen's apartments?
Which of the ladies are you watching for?

Cel. Any of 'em, that will do me the good turn, to make me soundly in love.

Ast. Then I'll bespeak you one, you will be desperately in love with; Florimel: So soon as the queen heard you were returned, she gave you her for mistress.

Cel. Thank her majesty; but, to confess the truth, my fancy lies partly another way.

Ast. That's strange: Florimel vows you are already in love with her.

Cel. She wrongs me horribly; if ever I saw or spoke with this Florimel—

Ast. Well, take your fortune, I must leave you.


Enter FLORIMEL, sees him, and is running back.

Cel. Nay, i'faith I am got betwixt you and home; you are my prisoner, lady bright, till you resolve me one question.

[She makes signs she is dumb.]

Pox, I think, she's dumb: what a vengeance dost thou at court, with such a rare face, without a tongue to answer to a kind question? Art thou dumb indeed? then thou canst tell no tales—

[Goes to kiss her.

Flo. Hold, hold, you are not mad!

Cel. Oh, my miss in a mask! have you found your tongue?

Flo. 'Twas time, I think; what had become of me if I had not?

Cel. Me thinks your lips had done as well.

Flo. Ay, if my mask had been over 'em, as it was when you met me in the walks.

Cel. Well; will you believe me another time? Did not I say, you were infinitely handsome? they may talk of Florimel, if they will, but, i'faith, she must come short of you.

Flo. Have you seen her, then?

Cel. I look'd a little that way, but I had soon enough of her; she is not to be seen twice without a surfeit.

Flo. However, you are beholden to her; they say she loves you.

Cel. By fate she shan't love me: I have told her a piece of my mind already? Pox o' these coming women: They set a man to dinner, before he has an appetite. [FLAVIA at the door.

Fla. Florimel, you are call'd within—[Exit.

Cel. I hope in the lord, you are not Florimel!

Flo. Ev'n she, at your service; the same kind and coming Florimel, you have described.

Cel. Why then we are agreed already: I am as kind and coming as you, for the heart of you: I knew, at first, we two were good for nothing but one another.

Flo. But, without raillery, are you in love?

Cel. So horribly much, that, contrary to my own maxims, I think, in my conscience, I could marry you.

Flo. No, no, 'tis not come to that yet; but if you are really in love, you have done me the greatest pleasure in the world.

Cel. That pleasure, and a better too, I have in store for you.

Flo. This animal, call'd a lover, I have long'd to see these two years.

Cel. Sure you walk'd with your mask on all the while; for if you had been seen, you could not have been without your wish.

Flo. I warrant, you mean an ordinary whining lover; but I must have other proofs of love, ere I believe it.

Cel. You shall have the best that I can give you.

Flo. I would have a lover, that, if need be, should hang himself, drown himself, break his neck, poison himself, for very despair: He, that will scruple this, is an impudent fellow if he says he is in love.

Cel. Pray, madam, which of these four things would you have your lover to do? For a man's but a man; he cannot hang, and drown, and break his neck, and poison himself, all together.

Flo. Well, then, because you are but a beginner, and I would not discourage you, any of these shall serve your turn, in a fair way.

Cel. I am much deceiv'd in those eyes of yours, if a treat, a song, and the fiddles, be not a more acceptable proof of love to you, than any of those tragical ones you have mentioned.

Flo. However, you will grant it is but decent you should be pale, and lean, and melancholick, to shew you are in love: And that I shall require of you when I see you next.

Cel. When you see me next? Why you do not make a rabbit of me, to be lean at twenty-four hours warning? in the mean while, we burn day-light, lose time and love.

Flo. Would you marry me without consideration?

Cel. To chuse, by heaven; for they that think on't, twenty to one would never do it. Hang forecast! to make sure of one good night is as much in reason, as a man should expect from this ill world.

Flo. Methinks, a few more years and discretion would do well: I do not like this going to bed so early; it makes one so weary before morning.

Cel. That's much as your pillow is laid, before you go to sleep.

Flo. Shall I make a proposition to you? I will give you a whole year of probation to love me in; to grow reserved, discreet, sober, and faithful, and to pay me all the services of a lover—

Cel. And at the end of it, you'll marry me?

Flo. If neither of us alter our minds before.

Cel. By this light a necessary clause. But if I pay in all the foresaid services before the day, you shall be obliged to take me sooner into mercy.

Flo. Provided, if you prove unfaithful, then your time of a twelve-month to be prolonged; so many services, I will bate you so many days or weeks; so many faults, I will add to your 'prenticeship so much more: And of all this, I only to be judge.


Lys. Is the queen this way, madam?

Flo. I'll see, so please your highness: Follow me, captive.

Cel. March on, conqueror—[She pulls him.

[Exeunt CEL. FLO.

Lys. You're sure her majesty will not oppose it?

Phil. Leave that to me, my lord.

Lys. Then, tho' perhaps my sister's birth might challenge
An higher match,
I'll weigh your merits, on the other side,
To make the balance even.

Phil. I go, my lord, this minute.

Lys. My best wishes wait on you. [Exit LYSIMANTES.

Enter the Queen and ASTERIA.

Queen. Yonder he is; have I no other way?

Ast. O madam, you must stand this brunt:
Deny him now, and leave the rest to me:
I'll to Candiope's mother,
And, under the pretence of friendship, work
On her ambition to put off a match
So mean as Philocles.

Queen. You may approach, sir; [To PHIL. We two discourse no secrets.

Phil. I come, madam, to weary out your royal bounty.

Queen. Some suit, I warrant, for your cousin Celadon. Leave his advancement to my care.

Phil. Your goodness still prevents my wishes.—
Yet I have one request,
Might it not pass almost for madness, and
Extreme ambition in me—

Queen. You know you have a favourable judge; It lies in you not to ask any thing I cannot grant.

Phil. Madam, perhaps, you think me too faulty: But love alone inspires me with ambition, Tho' but to look on fair Candiope were an excuse for both.

Queen. Keep your ambition, and let love alone:
That I can cloy, but this I cannot cure.
I have some reasons (invincible to me) which must forbid
Your marriage with Candiope.

Phil. I knew I was not worthy.

Queen. Not for that, Philocles; you deserve all things,
And, to shew I think it, my admiral, I hear, is dead;
His vacant place (the best in all my kingdom,)
I here confer on you.

Phil. Rather take back all you had giv'n before,
Than not give this;
For believe, madam, nothing is so near
My soul, as the possession of Candiope.

Queen. Since that belief would be to your disadvantage, I will not entertain it.

Phil. Why, madam, can you be thus cruel to me?
To give me all things, which I did not ask,
And yet deny that only thing, I beg:
And so beg, that I find I cannot live
Without the hope of it.

Queen. Hope greater things; But hope not this. Haste to o'ercome your love; It is but putting a short-liv'd passion to a violent death.

Phil. I cannot live without Candiope; But I can die, without a murmur, Having my doom pronounced from your fair mouth.

Queen. If I am to pronounce it, live, my Philocles,
But live without, (I was about to say) [Aside.
Without his love, but that I cannot do;
Live Philocles without Candiope.

Phil. Madam, could you give my doom so quickly,
And knew it was irrevocable!
'Tis too apparent,
You, who alone love glory, and whose soul
Is loosened from your senses, cannot judge
What torments mine, of grosser mould, endures.

Queen. I cannot suffer you
To give me praises, which are not my own:
I love like you, and am yet much more wretched,
Than you can think yourself.

Phil. Weak bars they needs must be, that fortune puts
'Twixt sovereign power, and all it can desire.
When princes love, they call themselves unhappy;
Only, because the word sounds handsome in a lover's mouth;
But you can cease to be so when you please,
By making Lysimantes fortunate.

Queen. Were he indeed the man, you had some reason; But 'tis another, more without my power, And yet a subject too.

Phil. O, madam, say not so:
It cannot be a subject, if not he;
It were to be injurious to yourself
To make another choice.

Queen. Yet, Lysimantes, set by him I love,
Is more obscured, than stars too near the sun:
He has a brightness of his own,
Not borrowed of his father's, but born with him.

Phil. Pardon me if I say, whoe'er he be,
He has practis'd some ill arts upon you, madam;
For he, whom you describe, I see, is born
But from the lees o' the people.

Queen. You offend me, Philocles.
Whence had you leave to use those insolent terms,
Of him I please to love? One, I must tell you,
(Since foolishly I have gone thus far)
Whom I esteem your equal,
And far superior to prince Lysimantes;
One, who deserves to wear a crown—

Phil. Whirlwinds bear me hence, before I live
To that detested day!—That frown assures me
I have offended, by my over-freedom;
But yet, methinks, a heart so plain and honest,
And zealous of your glory, might hope your pardon for it.

Queen. I give it you; but, When you know him better, You'll alter your opinion; he's no ill friend of yours.

Phil. I well perceive,
He has supplanted me in your esteem;
But that's the least of ills this fatal wretch
Has practised—Think, for heaven's sake, madam, think,
If you have drunk no philtre.

Queen. Yes, he has given me a philtre; But I have drunk it only from his eyes.

Phil. Hot irons thank 'em for't! [Softly, or turning from her.

Queen. What's that you mutter? Hence from my sight! I know not whether I ever shall endure to see you more.

Phil. But hear me, madam.

Queen. I say, begone.—See me no more this day.—
I will not hear one word in your excuse:
Now, sir, be rude again; and give laws to your queen.
 [Exit PHILOCLES bowing.
Asteria, come hither.
Was ever boldness like to this of Philocles?
Help me to reproach him, for I resolve
Henceforth no more to love him.

Ast. Truth is, I wondered at your patience, madam: Did you not mark his words, his mein, his action, How full of haughtiness, how small respect?

Queen. And he to use me thus, he whom I favoured, Nay more, he whom I loved?

Ast. A man, methinks, of vulgar parts and presence!

Queen. Or, allow him something handsome, valiant, Or so—Yet this to me!—

Ast. The workmanship of inconsiderate favour,
The creature of rash love; one of those meteors
Which monarchs raise from earth,
And people, wondering how they came so high,
Fear, from their influence, plagues, and wars, and famine.

Queen. Ha!

Ast. One, whom, instead of banishing a day,
You should have plumed of all his borrowed honours,
And let him see what abject things they are,
Whom princes often love without desert.

Queen. What has my Philocles deserved from thee,
That thou shouldst use him thus?
Were he the basest of mankind, thou couldst not
Have given him ruder language.

Ast. Did not your majesty command me? Did not yourself begin?

Queen. I grant I did, but I have right to do it:
I love him, and may rail; in you 'tis malice;
Malice in the most high degree; for never man
Was more deserving than my Philocles.
Or, do you love him, ha! and plead that title?
Confess, and I'll forgive you—
For none can look on him, but needs must love.

Ast. I love him, madam! I beseech your majesty, Have better thoughts of me.

Queen. Dost thou not love him then?
Good heaven, how stupid, and how dull is she?
How most invincibly insensible!
No woman does deserve to live,
That loves not Philocles.

Ast. Dear madam, recollect yourself; alas!
How much distracted are your thoughts; and how
Disjointed all your words!
The sibyl's leaves more orderly were laid.
Where is that harmony of mind, that prudence,
Which guided all you did? that sense of glory,
Which raised you high above the rest of kings,
As kings are o'er the level of mankind?

Queen. Gone, gone, Asteria; all is gone,
Or lost within me, far from any use.
Sometimes I struggle, like the sun in clouds,
But straight I am o'ercast.

Ast. I grieve to see it.

Queen. Then thou hast yet the goodness To pardon what I said? Alas! I use myself much worse than thee. Love rages in great souls, For there his power most opposition finds; High trees are shook, because they dare the winds. [Exeunt.


SCENE I.—The Court Gallery.


'Tis true, she banished me but for a day;
But favourites, once declining, sink apace.
Yet fortune, stop—this is the likeliest place
To meet Asteria, and by her convey
My humble vows to my offended queen.
Ha! She comes herself; unhappy man,
Where shall I hide?—[Is going out.

Enter Queen and ASTERIA.

Queen. Is not that Philocles, Who makes such haste away? Philocles, Philocles!—

Phil. I feared she saw me. [Coming back.

Queen. How now, sir, am I such a bugbear, That I scare people from me?

Phil. 'Tis true, I should more carefully have shunned
The place where you might be; as, when it thunders,
Men reverently quit the open air,
Because the angry gods are then abroad.

Queen. What does he mean, Asteria? I do not understand him.

Ast. Your majesty forgets, you banished him Your presence for this day. [To her softly.

Queen. Ha! banished him! 'tis true indeed; But, as thou sayest, I had forgot it quite.

Ast. That's very strange, scarce half an hour ago.

Queen. But love had drawn his pardon up so soon, That I forgot he e'er offended me.

Phil. Pardon me, that I could not thank you sooner; Your sudden grace, like some swift flood poured in On narrow banks, o'erflowed my spirits.

Queen. No: 'tis for me to ask your pardon, Philocles,
For the great injury I did you,
In not remembering I was angry with you:
But I'll repair my fault,
And rouse my anger up against you yet.

Phil. No, madam, my forgiveness was your act of grace, And I lay hold of it.

Queen. Princes sometimes may pass Acts of oblivion, in their own wrong.

Phil. 'Tis true, but not recal them.

Queen. But, Philocles, since I have told you there is one
I love, I will go on, and let you know
What passed this day betwixt us; be our judge,
Whether my servant have dealt well with me.

Phil. I beseech your majesty, excuse me: Any thing more of him may make me Relapse too soon, and forfeit my late pardon.

Queen. But you'll be glad to know it.

Phil. May I not hope, then, You have some quarrel to him?

Queen. Yes, a great one.
But first to justify myself:
Know, Philocles, I have concealed my passion
With such care from him, that he knows not yet
I love, but only that I much esteem him.

Phil. O stupid wretch, That, by a thousand tokens, could not guess it!

Queen. He loves elsewhere, and that has blinded him.

Phil. He's blind indeed!
So the dull beasts in the first paradise,
With levelled eyes, gazed each upon their kind;
There fixed their love, and ne'er looked up to view
That glorious creature man, their sovereign lord.

Queen. Y'are too severe on little faults; but he
Has crimes, untold,
Which will, I fear, move you much more against him.
He fell this day into a passion with me,
And boldly contradicted all I said.

Phil. And stands his head upon his shoulders yet? How long shall this most insolent—

Queen. Take heed you rail not; You know you are but on your good behaviour.

Phil. Why then I will not call him traitor,
But only rude, audacious, and impertinent,
To use his sovereign so—I beg your leave
To wish, you have at least imprisoned him.

Queen. Some people may speak ill, and yet mean well:
Remember you were not confined; and yet
Your fault was great. In short, I love him,
And that excuses all; but be not jealous;
His rising shall not be your overthrow,
Nor will I ever marry him.

Phil. That's some comfort yet; He shall not be a king.

Queen. He never shall. But you are discomposed; Stay here a little; I have somewhat for you, Shall shew, you still are in my favour.

[Exeunt Queen and ASTERIA.

Enter to him CANDIOPE, weeping.

Phil. How now, in tears, my fair Candiope?
So, through a watry cloud,
The sun, at once, seems both to weep and shine.
For what forefather's sin do you afflict
Those precious eyes? For sure you have
None of your own to weep.

Cand. My crimes both great and many needs must shew, Since heaven will punish them with losing you.

Phil. Afflictions, sent from heaven without a cause,
Make bold mankind enquire into its laws.
But heaven, which moulding beauty takes such care,
Makes gentle fates on purpose for the fair:
And destiny, that sees them so divine,
Spins all their fortunes in a silken twine:
No mortal hand so ignorant is found,
To weave coarse work upon a precious ground.

Cand. Go preach this doctrine in my mother's ears.

Phil. Has her severity produced these tears?

Cand. She has recalled those hopes she gave before, And strictly bids me ne'er to see you more.

Phil. Changes in froward age are natural;
Who hopes for constant weather in the fall?
'Tis in your power your duty to transfer,
And place that right in me, which was in her.

Cand. Reason, like foreign foes, would ne'er o'ercome, But that I find I am betrayed at home; You have a friend, that fights for you within.

Phil. Let reason ever lose, so love may win.

Enter Queen with a picture in her hand, and ASTERIA

Queen. See there, Asteria,
All we have done succeeds still to the worse;
We hindered him from seeing her at home,
Where I but only heard they loved; and now
She comes to court, and mads me with the sight on't.

Ast. Dear madam, overcome yourself a little, Or they'll perceive how much you are concerned.

Queen. I struggle with my heart— But it will have some vent. Cousin, you are a stranger at the court. [To CAND.

Cand. It was my duty, I confess, To attend oftner on your majesty.

Queen. Asteria, mend my cousin's handkerchief;
It sits too narrow there, and shows too much
The broadness of her shoulders—Nay, fie, Asteria,
Now you put it too much backward, and discover
The bigness of her breasts.

Cand. I beseech your majesty, Give not yourself this trouble.

Queen. Sweet cousin, you shall pardon me;
A beauty such as yours
Deserves a more than ordinary care,
To set it out.
Come hither, Philocles, do but observe,
She has but one gross fault in all her shape,
That is, she bears up here too much,
And the malicious workman has left it
Open to your eye.

Phil. Where, and please your majesty? Methinks 'tis very well.

Queen. Do not you see it? Oh how blind is love!

Cand. And how quick-sighted malice! [Aside.

Queen. But yet, methinks, those knots of sky do not So well with the dead colour of her face.

Ast. Your majesty mistakes, she wants no red.

[The Queen here plucks out her glass, and looks sometimes on herself, sometimes on her rival.

Queen. How do I look to-day, Asteria? Methinks, not well.

Ast. Pardon me, madam, most victoriously.

Queen. What think you, Philocles? come, do not flatter.

Phil. Paris was a bold man, who presumed, To judge the beauty of a goddess.

Cand. Your majesty has given the reason why He cannot judge; his love has blinded him.

Queen. Methinks, a long patch here, beneath her eye, Might hide that dismal hollowness. What think you, Philocles?

Cand. Beseech you, madam, ask not his opinion: What my faults are it is no matter; He loves me with them all.

Queen. Ay, he may love; but when he marries you,
Your bridal shall be kept in some dark dungeon.
Farewell, and think of that, too easy maid!
I blush, thou sharest my blood.

[Exeunt Queen and ASTERIA.

Cand. Inhuman queen! Thou canst not be more willing to resign Thy part in me, than I to give up mine.

Phil. Love, how few subjects do thy laws fulfil, And yet those few, like us, thou usest ill!

Cand. The greatest slaves, in monarchies, are they,
Whom birth sets nearest to imperial sway;
While jealous power does sullenly o'erspy,
We play, like deer, within the lion's eye.
'Would I for you some shepherdess had been,
And, but each May, ne'er heard the name of queen!

Phil. If you were so, might I some monarch be,
Then, you should gain what now you lose by me;
Then, you in all my glories should have part,
And rule my empire, as you rule my heart.

Cand. How much our golden wishes are in vain! When they are past, we are ourselves again.

Enter Queen and ASTERIA above.

Queen. Look, look, Asteria, yet they are not gone. Hence we may hear what they discourse alone.

Phil. My love inspires me with a generous thought,
Which you, unknowing in those wishes, taught.
Since happiness may out of courts be found,
Why stay we here on this enchanted ground;
And chuse not rather with content to dwell
(If love and joy can find it) in a cell?

Cand. Those who, like you, have once in courts been great,
May think they wish, but wish not, to retreat.
They seldom go, but when they cannot stay;
As losing gamesters throw the dice away.
Even in that cell, where you repose would find,
Visions of court will haunt your restless mind;
And glorious dreams stand ready to restore
The pleasing shapes of all you had before.

Phil. He, who with your possession once is blest,
On easy terms will part with all the rest.
All my ambition will in you be crowned;
And those white arms shall all my wishes bound.
Our life shall be but one long nuptial day,
And, like chafed odours, melt in sweets away;
Soft as the night our minutes shall be worn,
And chearful as the birds, that wake the morn.

Cand. Thus hope misleads itself in pleasant way,
And takes more joys on trust, than love can pay:
But, love with long possession once decayed,
That face, which now you court, you will upbraid.

Phil. False lovers broach these tenets, to remove The fault from them, by placing it on love.

Cand. Yet grant, in youth you keep alive your fire,
Old age will come, and then it must expire:
Youth but a while does at love's temple stay,
As some fair inn, to lodge it on the way.

Phil. Your doubts are kind; but, to be satisfied I can be true, I beg I may be tried.

Cand. Trials of love too dear the making cost; For if successless, the whole venture's lost. What you propose, brings wants and care along.

Phil. Love can bear both.

Cand. But is your love so strong?

Phil. They do not want, who wish not to have more; Who ever said an anchoret was poor?

Cand. To answer generously, as you have done,
I should not by your arguments be won:
I know, I urge your ruin by consent;
Yet love too well, that ruin to prevent.

Phil. Like water given to those whom fevers fry, You kill but him, who must without it die.

Cand. Secure me, I may love without a crime; Then, for our flight, appoint both place and time.

Phil. The ensuing hour my plighted vows shall be; The time's not long; or only long to me.

Cand. Then, let us go where we shall ne'er be seen By my hard mother.

Phil. Or my cruel queen.

[Exeunt PHIL. and CAND.

Queen above. O, Philocles, unkind to call me cruel!
So false Aeneas did from Dido fly;
But never branded her with cruelty.
How I despise myself for loving so!

Ast. At once you hate yourself, and love him too.

Queen. No, his ingratitude has cured my wound: A painful cure indeed!

Ast. And yet not sound. His ignorance of your true thoughts Excuses this; you did seem cruel, madam.

Queen. But much of kindness still mixed with it. Who could mistake so grossly, not to know A Cupid frowning, when he draws his bow?

Ast. He's going now to smart for his offence.

Queen. Should he, without my leave, depart from hence?

Ast. No matter; since you hate him, let him go.

Queen. But I my hate by my revenge will show: Besides, his head's a forfeit to the state.

Ast. When you take that, I will believe you hate. Let him possess, and then he'll soon repent; And so his crime will prove his punishment.

Queen. He may repent; but he will first possess.

Ast. O, madam, now your hatred you confess: If his possessing her your rage does move, 'Tis jealousy, the avarice of love.

Queen. No more, Asteria.
Seek Lysimantes out, bid him set his guards
Through all the court and city.
Prevent their marriage first; then stop their flight.
Some fitting punishments I will ordain,
But speak not you of Philocles again:
'Tis bold to search, and dangerous to find,
Too much of heaven's, or of a prince's mind.
[Queen descends, and exit.

As the Queen has done speaking, FLAVIA is going hastily over the stage; ASTERIA sees her.

Ast. Flavia, Flavia, whither so fast?

Fla. Did you call, Asteria?

Ast. The queen has business with Prince Lysimantes; Speak to any gentleman in the court, to fetch him. [Exit ASTERIA from above.

Fla. I suspect somewhat, but I'll watch you close;
Prince Lysimantes has not chose in me
The worst spy of the court—
Celadon! what makes he here?

Enter CELADON, OLINDA, and SABINA; they walk over the stage together, he seeming to court them.

Olind. Nay, sweet Celadon—

Sab. Nay, dear Celadon.

Fla. O ho! I see his business now; 'tis with Melissa's two daughters: Look, look, how he peeps about, to see if the coast be clear; like an hawk that will not plume, if she be looked on.

[Exeunt CEL. OLIND. and SAB.

So—at last he has trussed his quarry.


Flo. Did you see Celadon this way?

Fla. If you had not asked the question, I should have thought you had come from watching him; he's just gone off with Melissa's daughters.

Flo. Melissa's daughters! he did not court 'em, I hope?

Fla. So busily, he lost no time: While he was teaching the one a tune, he was kissing the other's hand.

Flo. O fine gentleman!

Fla. And they so greedy of him! did you never see two fishes about a bait, tugging it this way and t'other way? for my part, I looked at least he should have lost a leg or arm i'the service.—Nay, never vex yourself, but e'en resolve to break with him.

Flo. No, no, 'tis not come to that yet; I'll correct him first, and then hope the best from time.

Fla. From time! believe me, there's little good to be expected from him. I never knew the old gentleman with the scythe and hour-glass bring any thing but grey hair, thin cheeks, and loss of teeth: You see Celadon loves others.

Flo. There's the more hope he may love me among the rest: Hang it, I would not marry one of these solemn fops; they are good for nothing, but to make cuckolds. Give me a servant, that is an high flier at all games, that is bounteous of himself to many women; and yet, whenever I pleased to throw out the lure of matrimony, should come down with a swing, and fly the better at his own quarry.

Fla. But are you sure you can take him down when you think good?

Flo. Nothing more certain.

Fla. What wager will you venture upon the trial?

Flo. Any thing.

Fla. My maidenhead to yours.

Flo. That's a good one; who shall take the forfeit?

Fla. I'll go and write a letter, as from these two sisters, to summon him immediately; it shall be delivered before you. I warrant, you see a strange combat betwixt the flesh and the spirit: If he leaves you to go to them, you'll grant he loves them better?

Flo. Not a jot the more: A bee may pick of many flowers, and yet like some one better than all the rest.

Fla. But then your bee must not leave his sting behind him.

Flo. Well; make the experiment however: I hear him coming, and a whole noise of fidlers at his heels. Hey-day, what a mad husband shall I have!—


Fla. And what a mad wife will he have! Well, I must go a little way, but I'll return immediately, and write it: You'll keep him in discourse the while? [Exit FLA.

Cel. Where are you, madam? What, do you mean to run away thus? Pray stand to't, that we may despatch this business.

Flo. I think you mean to watch me, as they do witches, to make me confess I love you. Lord, what a bustle have you kept this afternoon? What with eating, singing, and dancing, I am so wearied, that I shall not be in case to hear any more love this fortnight.

Cel. Nay, if you surfeit on't before trial, Lord have mercy upon you, when I have married you.

Flo. But what king's revenue, do you think, will maintain this extravagant expence?

Cel. I have a damnable father, a rich old rogue, if he would once die! Lord, how long does he mean to make it ere he dies!

Flo. As long as ever he can, I'll pass my word for him.

Cel. I think, then, we had best consider him as an obstinate old fellow, that is deaf to the news of a better world; and ne'er stay for him.

Flo. But e'en marry; and get him grandchildren in abundance, and great-grandchildren upon them, and so inch him and shove him out of the world by the very force of new generations—if that be the way, you must excuse me.

Cel. But dost thou know what it is to be an old maid?

Flo. No, nor hope I shan't these twenty years.

Cel. But when that time comes, in the first place, thou wilt be condemned to tell stories, how many men thou mightst have had; and none believe thee: Then thou growest forward, and impudently weariest all thy friends to solicit man for thee.

Flo. Away with your old common-place-wit: I am resolved to grow fat, and look young till forty, and then slip out of the world, with the first wrinkle, and the reputation of five and twenty.

Cel. Well, what think you now of a reckoning betwixt us?

Flo. How do you mean?

Cel. To discount for so many days of my years service, as I have paid in this morning.

Flo. With all my heart.

Cel. Imprimis, for a treat. Item, For my glass coach. Item, For sitting bare, and wagging your fan. And lastly, and principally, for my fidelity to you this long hour and half.

Flo. For this I bate you three weeks of your service; now hear your bill of faults; for your comfort 'tis a short one.

Cel. I know it.

Flo. Imprimis, item, and sum total, for keeping company with Melissa's daughters.

Cel. How the pox came you to know of that? Gad, I believe the devil plays booty against himself, and tells you of my sins. [Aside.

Flo. The offence being so small, the punishment shall be but proportionable; I will set you back only half a year.

Cel. You're most unconscionable: When then do you think we shall come together? There's none but the old patriarchs could live long enough to marry you at this rate. What, do you take me for some cousin of Methusalem's, that I must stay an hundred years, before I come to beget sons and daughters?

Flo. Here's an impudent lover! he complains of me without ever offering to excuse himself; item, a fortnight more for that.

Cel. So, there's another puff in my voyage, has blown me back to the north of Scotland.

Flo. All this is nothing to your excuse for the two sisters.

Cel. 'Faith, if ever I did more than kiss them, and that but once—

Flo. What could you have done more to me?

Cel. An hundred times more; as thou shalt know, dear rogue, at time convenient.

Flo. You talk, you talk; could you kiss them, though but once, and ne'er think of me?

Cel. Nay, if I had thought of thee, I had kissed them over a thousand times, with the very force of imagination.

Flo. The gallants are mightily beholden to you; you have found them out a new way to kiss their mistresses, upon other women's lips.

Cel. What would you have? You are my Sultana Queen, the rest are but in the nature of your slaves; I may make some slight excursions into the enemy's country for forage, or so, but I ever return to my head quarters.

Enter one with a letter.

Cel. To me?

Mess. If your name be Celadon. [CEL. reads softly.

Flo. He is swallowing the pill; presently we shall see the operation.

Cel. to the page.] Child, come hither, child; here's money for thee: So, begone quickly, good child, before any body examines thee: Thou art in a dangerous place, child—[Thrusts him out.] Very good; the sisters send me word, they will have the fiddles this afternoon, and invite me to sup there!—Now, cannot I forbear, an I should be damned, tho' I have scap'd a scouring so lately for it. Yet I love Florimel better than both of them together; there's the riddle on't: But only for the sweet sake of variety.—[Aside.] Well, we must all sin, and we must all repent, and there's an end on't.

Flo. What is it, that makes you fidge up and down so?

Cel. 'Faith, I am sent for by a very dear friend, and 'tis upon a business of life and death.

Flo. On my life, some woman?

Cel. On my honour, some man; do you think I would lie to you?

Flo. But you engaged to sup with me.

Cel. But I consider it may be scandalous to stay late in your lodgings. Adieu, dear miss! If ever I am false to thee again!— [Exit CELADON.

Flo. See what constant metal you men are made of! He begins to vex me in good earnest. Hang him, let him go and take enough of 'em: And yet, methinks, I can't endure he should neither. Lord, that such a mad-cap as I should ever live to be jealous! I must after him. Some ladies would discard him now, but I A fitter way for my revenge will find; I'll marry him, and serve him in his kind.

[Exit FLO.


SCENE I,—The Walks.


Mel. I must take this business up in time: This wild fellow begins to haunt my house again. Well, I'll be bold to say it, 'tis as easy to bring up a young lion without mischief, as a maidenhead of fifteen, to make it tame for an husband's bed. Not but that the young man is handsome, rich, and young, and I could be content he should marry one of them; but to seduce them both in this manner:—Well, I'll examine them apart, and if I can find out which he loves, I'll offer him his choice.—Olinda, come hither, child.

Olin. Your pleasure, madam?

Met. Nothing but for your good, Olinda; what think you of Celadon?

Olin. Why I think he's a very mad fellow; but yet I have some obligements to him: he teaches me new airs of the guitar, and talks wildly to me, and I to him.

Mel. But tell me in earnest, do you think he loves you?

Olin. Can you doubt it? There were never two so cut out for one another; we both love singing, dancing, treats, and music. In short, we are each other's counterpart.

Mel. But does he love you seriously?

Olin. Seriously?—I know not that; if he did, perhaps I should not love him: But we sit and talk, and wrangle, and are friends; when we are together, we never hold our tongues; and then we have always a noise of fiddles at our heels; he hunts me merrily, as the hound does the hare; and either this is love, or I know it not.

Mel. Well, go back, and call Sabina to me.

[OLINDA goes behind.

This is a riddle past my finding out: Whether he loves her, or no, is the question; but this, I am sure of, she loves him:—O my little favourite, I must ask you a question concerning Celadon: is he in love with you?

Sab. I think, indeed, he does not hate me; at least, if a man's word may be taken for it.

Mel. But what expressions has he made you?

Sab. Truly, the man has done his part: He has spoken civilly to me, and I was not so young but I understood him.

Mel. And you could be content to marry him?

Sab. I have sworn never to marry: besides he's a wild young man; yet, to obey you, mother, I would be content to be sacrificed.

Mel. No, no, we would but lead you to the altar.

Sab. Not to put off the gentleman neither; for if I have him not, I am resolved to die a maid, that's once, mother.

Mel. Both my daughters are in love with him, and I cannot yet find he loves either of them.

Olin. Mother, mother, yonder's Celadon in the walks.

Mel. Peace, wanton; you had best ring the bells for joy. Well, I'll not meet him, because I know not which to offer him; yet he seems to like the youngest best: I'll give him opportunity with her. Olinda, do you make haste after me.

Olin. This is something hard though.

[Exit MEL.


Cel. You see, ladies, the least breath of yours brings me to you: I have been seeking you at your lodgings, and from thence came hither after you.

Sab. 'Twas well you found us.

Cel. Found you! half this brightness betwixt you two was enough to have lighted me; I could never miss my way: Here's fair Olinda has beauty enough for one family; such a voice, such a wit, so noble a stature, so white a skin!—

Olin. I thought he would be particular at last. [Aside.

Cel. And young Sabina, so sweet an innocence, such a rose-bud newly blown. This is my goodly palace of love, and that my little withdrawing room. A word, madam.—[To SAB.

Olin. I like not this—[Aside.] Sir, if you are not too busy with my sister, I would speak with you.

Cel. I come, madam.

Sab. Time enough, sir; pray finish your discourse—and as you were a saying, sir,—

Olin. Sweet sir,—

Sab. Sister, you forget, my mother bid you make haste.

Olin. Well, go you, and tell her I am coming.

Sab. I can never endure to be the messenger of ill news; but, if you please, I'll send her word you won't come.

Olin. Minion, minion, remember this—[Exit OLIN.

Sab. She's horribly in love with you.

Cel. Lord, who could love that walking steeple! She's so high, that every time she sings to me, I am looking up for the bell that tolls to church.—Ha! give me my little fifth-rate, that lies so snug. She! hang her, a Dutch-built bottom: She's so tall, there's no boarding her. But we lose time—madam, let me seal my love upon your mouth. [Kiss] Soft and sweet, by heaven! sure you wear rose-leaves between your lips.

Sab. Lord, Lord, what's the matter with me! my breath grows so short, I can scarce speak to you.

Cel. No matter, give me thy lips again, and I'll speak for thee.

Sab. You don't love me—

Cel. I warrant thee; sit down by me, and kiss again,—She warms faster than Pygmalion's image. [Aside]—[Kiss.]—Ay marry, sir, this was the original use of lips; talking, eating, and drinking came in by and by.

Sab. Nay, pray be civil; will you be at quiet?

Cel. What, would you have me sit still, and look upon you, like a little puppy-dog, that's taught to beg with his fore-leg up?


Flo. Celadon the faithful! in good time, sir,—

Cel. In very good time, Florimel; for heaven's sake, help me quickly.

Flo. What's the matter?

Cel. Do you not see? here's a poor gentlewoman in a swoon! (Swoon away.) I have been rubbing her this half hour, and cannot bring her to her senses.

Flo. Alas! how came she so?

Cel. Oh barbarous! do you stay to ask questions? run, for charity.

Flo. Help, help! alas! poor lady—[Exit FLO.

Sab. Is she gone?

Cel. Ay, thanks be to my wit, that helped me at a pinch; I thank heaven, I never pumpt for a lye in all my life yet.

Sab. I am afraid you love her, Celadon!

Cel. Only as a civil acquaintance, or so; but, however, to avoid slander, you had best be gone before she comes again.

Sab. I can find a tongue as well as she.

Cel. Ay, but the truth is, I am a kind of scandalous person, and for you to be seen in my company—stay in the walks, by this kiss I'll be with you presently.

Enter FLORIMEL running.

Flo. Help, help!—I can find nobody.

Cel. Tis needless now, my dear; she's recovered, and gone off; but so wan and weakly,—

Flo.Umph! I begin to smell a rat.—What was your business here, Celadon?

Cel. Charity, Christian charity; you saw I was labouring for life with her.

Flo. But how came you hither?—Not that I care this, but only to be satisfied. [Sings.

Cel. You are jealous, in my conscience!

Flo. Who, I jealous!—then I wish this sigh may be the last that ever I may draw. [Sighs.

Cel. But why do you sigh, then?

Flo. Nothing but a cold, I cannot fetch my breath well. But what will you say, if I wrote the letter you had, to try your faith?

Cel. Hey day! this is just the devil and the sinner; you lay snares for me, and then punish me for being taken: Here's trying a man's faith indeed!—What, do you think I had the faith of a stock, or of a stone? Nay, an you go to tantalize a man—I love upon the square, I can endure no tricks to be used to me.

[OLINDA and SABINA at the door peeping.

Olin. and Sab. Celadon! Celadon!

Flo. What voices are those?

Cel. Some comrades of mine, that call me to play.—Pox on them, they'll spoil all. [Aside.

Flo. Pray, let's see them.

Cel. Hang them, tatterdemallions! they are not worth your sight.—Pray, gentlemen, begone; I'll be with you immediately.

Sab. No; we'll stay here for you.

Flo. Do your gentlemen speak with treble voices? I am resolved to see what company you keep.

Cel. Nay, good my dear.

[He lays hold of her to pull her back, she lays hold of OLINDA, by whom SABINA holds; so that, he pulling, they all come in.

Flo. Are these your comrades? [Sings.] 'Tis Strephon calls, what would my love? Why do you not roar out, like a great bass-viol, Come follow to the myrtle-grove.—Pray, sir, which of these fair ladies is it, for whom you were to do the courtesy? for it were unconscionable to leave you to them both:—What, a mans but a man, you know.

Olin. The gentleman may find an owner.

Sab. Though not of you.

Flo. Pray, agree whose the lost sheep is, and take him.

Cel. 'Slife, they'll cry me anon, and tell my marks.

Flo. Troth, I pity your highness there; I perceive he has left you for the little one: Methinks he should have been afraid to break his neck, when he fell so high as from you to her.

Sab. Well, my drolling lady, I may be even with you.

Flo. Not this ten years, by the growth, yet.

Sab. Can flesh and blood endure this!

Flo. How now, my amazon in decimo sexto!

Olin. Do you affront my sister?

Flo. Ay; but thou art so tall, I think I shall never affront thee.

Sab. Come away, sister; we shall be jeered to death else. [Exeunt OLIN. and SAB.

Flo. Why do you look that way? You can't forbear leering after the forbidden fruit.—But whene'er I take a wencher's word again!

Cel. A wencher's word!—Why should you speak so contemptibly of the better half of mankind? I'll stand up for the honour of my vocation.

Flo. You are in no fault, I warrant!—'Ware my busk[A].

[Footnote A: The now almost forgotten busk was a small slip of steel or wood, used to stiffen the stays. Florimel threatens to employ it as a rod of chastisement.]

Cel. Not to give a fair lady the lie, I am in fault; but otherwise—Come, let us be friends, and let me wait on you to your lodgings.

Flo. This impudence shall not save you from my table-book. Item, A month more for this fault. [They walk to the door.

1 Sold. [within.] Stand!—

2 Sold. Stand, give the word!

Cel. Now, what's the meaning of this, trow?—guards set!

1 Sold. Give the word, or you cannot pass:—These are they, brother; let's in and seize them.

The two Soldiers enter.

1 Sold. Down with him!

2 Sold. Disarm him!Cel. How now, rascals?— [Draws, and beats one off, and catches the other. Ask your life, you villain. 2 Sold. Quarter! quarter!

Cel. Was ever such an insolence?

2 Sold. We did but our duty;—here we were set to take a gentleman and lady, that would steal a marriage without the queen's consent, and we thought you had been they. [Exit Sold.

Flo. Your cousin Philocles, and the princess Candiope, on my life! for I heard the queen give private orders to Lysimantes, and name them twice or thrice.

Cel. I know a score or two of madcaps here hard by, whom I can pick up from taverns, and gaming-houses, and bordels; those I'll bring to aid him,—Now, Florimel, there's an argument for wenching: Where would you have had so many honest men together, upon the sudden, for a brave employment?

Flo. You'll leave me then, to take my fortune?

Cel. No:—If you will, I'll have you into the places aforesaid, and enter you into good company.

Flo. 'Thank you, sir; here's a key, will let me through this back-door to my own lodgings.

Cel. If I come off with life, I'll see you this evening; if not,—adieu, Florimel!

Flo. If you come not, I shall conclude you are killed; or taken, to be hanged for a rebel to-morrow morning: and then I'll honour your memory with a lampoon, instead of an epitaph.

Cel. No, no! I trust better in my fate: I know I am reserved to do you a courtesy. [Exit CEL.

[As FLORIMEL is unlocking the door to go out, FLAVIA opens it against her, and enters to her, followed by a Page.

Fla. Florimel, do you hear the news?

Flo. I guess they are in pursuit of Philocles.

Fla. When Lysimantes came with the queen's orders,
He refused to render up Candìope;
And, with some few brave friends he had about him,
Is forcing of his way through all the guards.

Flo. A gallant fellow!—I'll in, will you with me?— Hark! the noise comes this way!

Fla. I have a message from the queen to Lysimantes.— I hope I may be safe among the soldiers.

Flo. Oh, very safe!—Perhaps some honest fellow in the tumult may take pity of thy maidenhead, or so.—Adieu! [Exit FLO.

Page. The noise comes nearer, madam.

Fla. I am glad on't.—This message gives me the opportunity of speaking privately with Lysimantes.

Enter PHILOCLES and CANDIOPE, with three Friends, pursued by LYSIMANTES, and Soldiers.

Lys. What is it renders you thus obstinate? You have no hope of flight, and to resist is full as vain.

Phil. I'll die rather than yield her up.

Fla. My lord!

Lys. How now? some new message from the queen?— Retire a while to a convenient distance.

[To the Soldiers. LYS. and FLAV. whisper.

Lys. O Flavia, 'tis impossible! the queen in love with Philocles!

Fla. I have suspected it before; but now
My ears and eyes are witnesses.
This hour I overheard her, to Asteria,
Making such sad complaints of her hard fate!—
For my part, I believe, you lead him back
But to his coronation.

Lys. Hell take him first!

Fla. Presently after this she called for me,
And bid me run, and, with strict care, command you,
On peril of your life, he had no harm:
But, sir, she spoke it with so great concernment,
Methought I saw love, anger, and despair,
All combating at once upon her face.

Lys. Tell the queen,—I know not what,
I am distracted so.—
But go, and leave me to my thoughts.—
 [Exit FLAVIA.
Was ever such amazing news,
Told in so strange and critical a moment?—
What shall I do?—
Does she love Philocles, who loves not her;
And loves not Lysimantes, who prefers her
Above his life?—What rests, but that I take
This opportunity, which she herself
Has given me, to kill this happy rival!—
Assist me, soldiers!

Phil. They shall buy me dearly.

Cand. Ah me, unhappy maid!

_Enter _CELADON, with his Friends, unbuttoned and reeling.

Cel. Courage, my noble cousin! I have brought A band of blades, the bravest youths of Syracuse; Some drunk, some sober, all resolved to run Your fortune to the utmost.—Fall on, mad boys!

Lys. Hold a little!—I'm not secure of victory against these desperate ruffians.

Cel. No, but I'll secure you! They shall cut your throat for such another word of them. Ruffians, quoth a'! call gamesters, whoremasters, and drunkards, ruffians!

Lys. Pray, gentlemen, fall back a little.

Cel. O ho, are they gentlemen now with you!—Speak first to your gentlemen soldiers to retire; And then I'll speak to my gentlemen ruffians. [CEL. signs to his party. There's your disciplined men now.—[They sign, and the Soldiers retire on both sides. Come, gentlemen, let's lose no time: While they are talking, let's have one merry main before we die, for mortality sake.

1 Fr. Agreed! here's my cloak for a table.

2 Fr. And my hat for a box.

[They lie down and throw.

Lys. Suppose I killed him!
'Twould but exasperate the queen the more:
He loves not her, nor knows he she loves him:—
sudden thought is come into my head,—
So to contrive it, that this Philocles,
And these his friends, shall bring to pass that for me,
Which I could never compass.—True, I strain
A point of honour; but then her usage to me—
It shall be so.—
Pray, Philocles, command your soldiers off;
As I will mine: I've somewhat to propose,
Which you perhaps may like.

Can. I will not leave him.

Lys. 'Tis my desire you should not.

Phil. Cousin, lead off your friends.

Cel. One word in your ear, coz:—Let me advise you, either make your own conditions, or never agree with him: his men are poor rogues, they can never stand before us.

[Exeunt all but Lys. Phil. and Cand.

Lys. Suppose some friend, ere night,
Should bring you to possess all you desire;
And not so only, but secure forever
The nation's happiness?

Phil. I would think of him, As some god or angel.

Lys. That god or angel you and I may be to one another.
We have betwixt us
An hundred men; the citadel you govern:
What were it now to seize the queen?

Phil. O impiety! to seize the queen!— To seize her, said you?

Lys. The word might be too rough,—I meant, secure her.

Phil. Was this your proposition?— And had you none to make it to but me?

Lys. Pray hear me out, ere you condemn me!—
I would not the least violence were offered
Her person. Two small grants is all I ask;
To make me happy in herself, and you
In your Candiope.

Cand. And will not you do this, my Philocles?— Nay, now my brother speaks but reason.

Phil. Interest makes all seem reason, that leads to it. Interest, that does the zeal of sects create, To purge a church, and to reform a state.

Lys. In short, the queen hath sent to part you two:— What more she means to her, I know not.

Phil. To her, alas!—Why, will not you protect her?

Lys. With you I can; but where's my power alone?

Cand. You know she loves me not: You lately heard her,
How she insulted over me: How she
Despised that beauty, which you say I have.—
I see, she purposes my death.

Phil. Why do you fright me with it? 'Tis in your brother's power to let us 'scape, And then you run no danger.

Lys. True, I may; But then my head must pay the forfeit of it.

Phil. O wretched Philocles! whither would love Hurry thee headlong?

Lys. Cease these exclamations.
There's no danger on your side: 'tis but to
Live without my sister; resolve that,
And you have shot the gulf.

Phil. To live without her! Is that nothing, think you? The damned in hell endure no greater pain, Than seeing heaven from far with hopeless eyes.

Cand. Candiope must die, and die for you:— See it not unrevenged at least.

Phil. Ha, unrevenged! On whom should I revenge it?—
But yet she dies, and I may hinder it?
'Tis I then murder my Candiope:—
And yet, should I take arms against my queen!
That favoured me, raised me to what I am?—
Alas! it must not be.

Lys. He cools again.—[Aside.
True, she once favoured you;
But now I am informed.
She is besotted on an upstart wretch
So far, that she intends to make him master
Both of her crown and person.

Phil. Knows he that!
Then, what I dreaded most is come to pass.—[Aside.
I am convinced of the necessity;
Let us make haste to raze
That action from the annals of her reign:
No motive but her glory could have wrought me.
I am a traitor to her, to preserve her
From treason to herself: Yet heaven knows,
With what a heavy heart
Philocles turns reformer. But have care
This fault of her strange passion take no air.
Let not the vulgar blow upon her fame.

Lys. I will be careful:—Shall we go, my lord?

Phil. Time wastes apace; each first prepare his men.— Come, my Candiope. [Exeunt PHIL. and CAND.

Lys. This ruins him forever with the queen;
The odium's half his, the profit all my own.
Those who, like me, by others' help would climb,
To make them sure, must dip them in their crime. [Exit.

SCENE II.—The Queen's apartments.

Enter Queen and ASTERIA.

Queen. No more news yet from Philocles?

Ast. None, madam, since Flavia's return.

Queen. O, my Asteria! if you loved me, sure You would say something to me of my Philocles! I could speak ever of him.

Ast. Madam, you commanded me no more to name him to you.

Queen. Then I command you now, speak of nothing else:— I charge you here, on your allegiance, tell me What I should do with him?

Ast. When you gave orders that he should be taken, You seemed resolved how to dispose of him.

Queen. Dull Asteria! not to know,
Mad people never think the same thing twice!—
Alas! I'm hurried restless up and down:—
I was in anger once, and then I thought
I had put into shore:
But now a gust of love blows hard against me,
And bears me off again.

Ast. Shall I sing the song, you made of Philocles, And called it Secret Love?

Queen. Do; for that's all kindness. And while thou singest it, I can think nothing but what pleases me.


_I feed a flame within, which so torments me,
That it both pains my heart, and yet contents me:
'Tis such a pleasing smart, and I so love if,
That I had rather die, than once remove it.

Yet he, for whom I grieve, shall never know it;
My tongue does not betray, nor my eyes show it.
Not a sigh, nor a tear, my pain discloses,
But they fall silently, like dew on roses.

Thus, to prevent my love from being cruel,
My heart's the sacrifice, as 'tis the fuel:
And while I suffer this to give him quiet,
My faith rewards my love, though he deny it.

On his eyes will I gaze, and there delight me;
While I conceal my love no frown can fright me:
To be more happy, I dare not aspire;
Nor can I fall more low, mounting no higher_.

Queen. Peace!—Methinks I hear the noise Of clashing swords, and clattering arms below.


Now; what news, that you press in so rudely?

Fla. Madam, the worst that can be:— Your guards upon the sudden are surprised, Disarmed; some slain; all scattered.

Queen. By whom?

Fla. Prince Lysimantes, and Lord Philocles.

Queen. It cannot be; Philocles is a prisoner.

Fla. What my eyes saw,—

Queen. Pull them out; they are false spectacles.

Ast. O, virtue! impotent and blind as fortune! Who would be good, or pious, if this queen, Thy great example, suffers!

Queen. Peace, Asteria! accuse not virtue; She has but given me a great occasion Of showing what I am, when fortune leaves me.

Ast. Philocles to do this!

Queen. Ay, Philocles!—I must confess 'twas hard!—
But there's a fate in kindness,
Still to be least returned, where most 'tis given.—
Where's Candiope?

Fla. Philocles was whispering to her.

Queen. Hence, screech-owl!—Call my guards quickly there!—
Put them apart in several prisons!—
Alas! I had forgot, I have no guards,
But those which are my jailors.
Never 'till now unhappy queen!
The use of power, till lost, is seldom known;
Now, I should strike, I find my thunder gone.
[Exeunt Queen and FLAV.

PHILOCLES enters, and meets ASTERIA going out.

Phil. Asteria, where's the queen?

Ast. Ah, my lord! what have you done? I came to seek you.

Phil. Is it from her you come?

Ast. No; but on her behalf:—Her heart's too great, In this low ebb of fortune, to entreat.

Phil. Tis but a short eclipse, Which past, a glorious day will soon ensue.— But I would ask a favour too from you.

Ast. When conquerors petition, they command: Those, that can captive queens, who can withstand?

Phil. She, with her happiness, might mine create;
Yet seems indulgent to her own ill fate:
But she in secret hates me, sure; for why,
If not, should she Candiope deny?

Ast. If you dare trust my knowledge of her mind, She has no thoughts of you that are unkind.

Phil. I could my sorrows with some patience bear,
Did they proceed from any one but her:
But from the queen! whose person I adore,
By duty much, by inclination more.

Ast. He is inclined already; did he know, That she loved him, how would his passion grow! [Aside.

Phil. That her fair hand with destiny combines!
Fate ne'er strikes deep, but when unkindness joins:
For, to confess the secret of my mind,
Something so tender for the queen I find,
That even Candiope can scarce remove,
And, were she lower, I should call it love.

Ast. She charged me, not this secret to betray;
But I best serve her, if I disobey.
For, if he loves, 'twas for her interest done;
If not, he'll keep it secret for his own. [Aside.

Phil. Why are you in obliging me so slow?

Ast. The thing's of great importance, you would know; And you must first swear secresy to all.

Phil. I swear.

Ast. Yet hold; your oath's too general: Swear that Candiope shall never know.

Phil. I swear.

Ast. No; not the queen herself.

Phil. I vow.

Ast. You wonder why I am so cautious grown,
In telling what concerns yourself alone:
But spare my vow, and guess what it may be,
That makes the queen deny Candiope:
'Tis neither heat, nor pride, that moves her mind;
Methinks the riddle is not hard to find.

Phil. You seem so great a wonder to intend, As were, in me, a crime to apprehend.

Ast. 'Tis not a crime to know; but would be one, To prove ungrateful when your duty's known.

Phil. Why would you thus my easy faith abuse:
I cannot think the queen so ill would chuse.
But stay, now your imposture will appear;
She has herself confessed she loved elsewhere:
On some ignoble choice has placed her heart,
One, who wants quality, and more, desert.

Ast. This, though unjust, you have most right to say; For, if you'll rail against yourself, you may.

Phil. Dull that I was!
A thousand things now crowd my memory.
That make me know it could be none but I.
Her rage was love; and its tempestuous flame,
Like lightning, showed the heaven from whence it came.
But in her kindness my own shame I see;
Have I dethroned her, then for loving me?
I hate myself for that which I have done,
Much more, discovered, than I did unknown.
How does she brook her strange imprisonment?

Ast. As great souls should, that make their own content.
The hardest term, she for your act could find,
Was only this, O Philocles, unkind!
Then, setting free a sigh, from her fair eyes
She wiped two pearls, the remnant of wild showers,
Which hung like drops upon the bells of flowers:
And thanked the heavens,
Which better did, what she designed, pursue,
Without her crime, to give her power to you.

Phil. Hold, hold! you set my thoughts so near a crown,
They mount above my reach, to pull them down:
Here constancy, ambition there does move;
On each side beauty, and on both sides love.

Ast. Methinks the least you can, is to receive This love with reverence, and your former leave.

Phil. Think but what difficulties come between!

Ast. 'Tis wondrous difficult to love a queen.

Phil. For pity, cease more reasons to provide,
I am but too much yielding to your side;
And, were my heart but at my own dispose,
I should not make a scruple now to chuse.

Ast. Then if the queen will my advice approve, Her hatred to you shall expel her love.

Phil. Not to be loved by her as hard would be, As to be hated by Candiope.

Ast. I leave you to resolve while you have time; You must be guilty, but may chuse your crime. [Exit ASTERIA.

Phil. One thing I have resolved; and that I'll do, Both for my love, and for my honour too; But then (ingratitude and falsehood weighed), I know not which would most my soul upbraid. Fate shoves me headlong down a rugged way; Unsafe to run, and yet too steep to stay. [Exit PHIL.


SCENE I.—The Court.

FLORIMEL in man's habit.

Flor. 'Twill be rare now, if I can go through with it, to outdo this mad Celadon in all his tricks, and get both his mistresses from him; then I shall revenge myself upon all three, and save my own stake into the bargain; for I find I do love the rogue, in spite of all his infidelities. Yonder they are, and this way they must come. If clothes and a bon mien will take them, I shall do it.—Save you, Monsieur Florimel! Faith, me thinks you are a very janty fellow, poudré et ajusté, as well as the best of 'em. I can manage the little comb; set my hat, shake my garniture, toss about my empty noddle, walk with a courant slur, and at every step peck down my head: If I should be mistaken for some courtier now, pray where's the difference?

Enter, to her, CELADON, OLINDA, and SABINA.

Olin. Never mince the matter!

Sab. You have left your heart behind with Florimel; we know it.

Cel. You know you wrong me: when I am with Florimel, 'tis still your prisoner, it only draws a longer chain after it.

Flo. Is it e'en so! then farewell, poor Florimel! thy maidenhead is condemned to die with thee.

Cel. But let's leave this discourse; 'tis all digression, that does not speak of your beauties.

Flo. Now for me, in the name of impudence!—[Comes forward.] They are the greatest beauties, I confess, that ever I beheld—

Cel. How now, what's the meaning of this young fellow?

Flo. And therefore I cannot wonder that this gentleman, who has the honour to be known to you, should admire you, since I, that am a stranger—

Cel. And a very impudent one, as I take it, sir.

Flo. Am so extremely surprised, that I admire, love, am wounded, and am dying, all in a moment.

Cel. I have seen him somewhere, but where I know not:—Pry'thee, my friend, leave us; dost thou think, we do not know our way in court?

Flo. I pretend not to instruct you in your way; you see I do not go before you; but you cannot possibly deny me the happiness to wait upon these ladies; me, who—

Cel. Thee, who shalt be beaten most unmercifully, if thou dost follow them.

Flo. You will not draw in court, I hope?

Cel. Pox on him, let's walk away faster, and be rid of him.

Flo. O, take no care for me, sir! you shall not lose me; I'll rather mend my pace, than not wait on you.

Olin. I begin to like this fellow.

Cel. You make very bold here in my seraglio, and I shall find a time to tell you so, sir.

Flo. When you find a time to tell me on't, I shall find a time to answer you: But, pray, what do you find in yourself so extraordinary, that you should serve these ladies better than I? Let me know what 'tis you value yourself upon, and let them judge betwixt us.

Cel. I am somewhat more a man than you.

Flo. That is, you are so much older than I:—Do you like a man ever the better for his age, ladies?

Sab. Well said, young-gentleman.

Cel. Pish, thee! a young raw creature; thou hast ne'er been under the barber's hands yet.

Flo. No, nor under the surgeon's neither, as you have been.

Cel. 'Slife, what would'st thou be at? I am madder than thou art.

Flo. The devil you are! I'll tope with you; I'll sing with you; I'll dance with you;—I'll swagger with you—

Cel. I'll fight with you.

Flo. Out upon fighting; 'tis grown so common a fashion, that a modish man condemns it; a man of garniture and feather is above the dispensation of the sword.

Olin. Uds my life! here's the queen's music just going to us; you shall decide your quarrel by a dance.

Sab. Who stops the fiddles?

Cel. Base and treble, by your leaves, we arrest you at these ladies' suits.

Flo. Come on, sirs, play me a jig; you shall see how I'll baffle him.


Flo. Your judgment, ladies.

Olin. You, sir; you, sir: This is the rarest gentleman! I could live and die with him—

Sab. Lord, how he sweats! please you, sir, to make use of my handkerchief?

Olin. You and I are merry, and just of an humour, sir; therefore we two should love one another.

Sab. And you and I are just of an age, sir; and therefore, methinks, we should not hate one another.

Cel. Then I perceive, ladies, I am a castaway, a reprobate, with you: Why, 'faith, this is hard luck now, that I should be no less than one whole hour in getting your affections, and now must lose 'em in a quarter of it.

Olin. No matter, let him rail; does the loss afflict you, sir?

Cel. No, in faith, does it not; for if you had not forsaken me, I had you: So the willows may flourish, for any branches I shall rob 'em of.

Sab. However, we have the advantage to have left you; not you us.

Cel. That's only a certain nimbleness in nature, you women have, to be first inconstant; but if you had not made the more haste, the wind was veering too upon my weathercock: The best on't is, Florimel is worth both of you.

Flo. 'Tis like she'll accept of their leavings.

Cel. She will accept on't, and she shall accept on't: I think I know more than you of her mind, sir.


Mel. Daughters, there's a poor collation within, that waits for you.

Flo. Will you walk, musty sir?

Cel. No, marry, sir, I will not; I have surfeited of that old woman's face already.

Flo. Begin some frolic, then; what will you do for her?

Cel. Faith, I am no dog, to show tricks for her; I cannot come aloft to an old woman.

Flo. Dare you kiss her?

Cel. I was never dared by any man. By your leave, old madam— [He plucks off her ruff.

Mel. Help! help! do you discover my nakedness?

Cel. Peace, Tiffany! no harm! [He puts on the ruff.] Now, Sir, here's Florimel's health to you. [Kisses her.

Mel. Away, sir!—A sweet young man as you are, to abuse the gift of nature so!

Cel. Good mother, do not commend me so; I am flesh and blood, and you do not know what you may pluck upon that reverend person of yours.—Come on, follow your leader.

[Gives FLORIMEL the ruff; she puts it on.

Flo. Stand fair, mother—

Cel. What, with your hat on? Lie thou there;—and thou, too—

[Plucks off her hat and peruke, and discovers FLORIMEL.

All. Florimel!

Flo. My kind mistresses, how sorry I am, I can do you no further service! I think I had best resign you to Celadon, to make amends for me.

Cel. Lord! what a misfortune it was, ladies, that the gentleman could not hold forth to you?

Olin. We have lost Celadon too.

Mel. Come away; this is past enduring. [Exeunt MEL. and OLIN.

Sab. Well, if ever I believe a man to be a man, for the sake of a peruke and feather again.—

Flo. Come, Celadon, shall we make accounts even? Lord! what a hanging-look was there? indeed, if you had been recreant to your mistress, or had forsworn your love, that sinner's face had been but decent; but, for the virtuous, the innocent, the constant Celadon!

Cel. This is not very heroic in you now, to insult over a man in his misfortunes; but take heed, you have robb'd me of my two mistresses; I shall grow desperately constant, and all the tempest of my love will fall upon your head: I shall so pay you!—

Flo. Who, you pay me! you are a bankrupt, cast beyond all possibility of recovery.

Cel. If I am a bankrupt, I'll be a very honest one; when I cannot pay my debts, at least I'll give you up the possession of my body.

Flo. No, I'll deal better with you; since you are unable to pay, I'll give in your bond.

Enter PHILOCLES with a commanders staff in his hand, attended.

Phil. Cousin, I am sorry I must take you from your company about an earnest business.

Flo. There needs no excuse, my lord; we had despatched our affairs, and were just parting.

Cel. Will you be going, sir? sweet sir,—damn'd sir!—I have but one word more to say to you.

Flo. As I am a man of honour, I'll wait on you some other time.

Cel. By these breeches,—

Flo. Which, if I marry you, I am resolved to wear; put that into our bargain, and so adieu, sir.

[Exit FLO.

Phil. Hark you, cousin,—[They whisper. You'll see it exactly executed; I rely upon you.

Cel. I shall not fail, my lord; may the conclusion of it prove happy to you. [Exit CEL.


Wheree'er I cast about my wandering eyes,
Greatness lies ready in some shape to tempt me.
The royal furniture in every room,
The guards, and the huge waving crowds of people,
All waiting for a sight of that fair queen,
Who makes a present of her love to me:
Now tell me, Stoick!
If all these with a wish might be made thine,
Would'st thou not truck thy ragged virtue for 'em?
If glory was a bait, that angels swallow'd,
How then should souls allied to sense resist it?


Ah poor Candiope! I pity her,
But that is all.—

Cand. O my dear Philocles!
A thousand blessings wait on thee!
The hope of being thine, I think, will put
Me past my meat and sleep with ecstasy,
So I shall keep the fasts of seraphims,
And wake for joy, like nightingales in May.

Phil. Wake, Philocles, wake from thy dream of
'Tis all but shadow to Candiope:
Canst thou betray a love so innocent? [Aside.

Cand. What makes you melancholick? I doubt, I have displeased you.

Phil. No, my love, I am not displeased with you, But with myself, when I consider, How little I deserve you.

Cand. Say not so, my Philocles; a love so true as yours, That would have left a court, and a queen's favour, To live in a poor hermitage with me,—

Phil. Ha! she has stung me to the quick!
As if she knew the falsehood I intended:
But, I thank heaven, it has recall'd my virtue;
Oh! my dear, I love you, and you only; [To her.
Go in, I have some business for a while;
But I think minutes ages till we meet.

Cand. I knew you had; but yet I could not chuse, But come and look upon you. [Exit CANDIOPE.

Phil. What barbarous man would wrong so sweet a virtue!

Enter the Queen in black, with ASTERIA.

Madam, the states are straight to meet; but why
In these dark ornaments will you be seen?

Queen. They fit the fortune of a captive queen.

Phil. Deep shades are thus to heighten colours set; So stars in night, and diamonds shine in jet.

Queen. True friends should so in dark afflictions shine, But I have no great cause to boast of mine.

Phil. You may have too much prejudice for some, And think them false, before their trials come. But, madam, what determine you to do?

Queen. I came not here to be advised by you:
But charge you, by that power which once you owned,
And which is still my right, even when unthroned,
That whatsoe'er the states resolve of me,
You never more think of Candiope.

Phil. Not think of her! ah, how should I obey! Her tyrant eyes have forced my heart away.

Queen. By force retake it from those tyrant eyes, I'll grant you out my letters of reprise.

Phil. She has too well prevented that design, By giving me her heart, in change for mine.

Queen. Thus foolish Indians gold for glass forego;
'Twas to your loss you prized your heart so low.
I set its value when you were advanced,
And as my favours grew, its rate enhanced.

Phil. The rate of subjects' hearts by yours must go, And love in yours has set the value low.

Queen. I stand corrected, and myself reprove;
You teach me to repent my low-placed love:
Help me this passion from my heart to tear!—
Now rail on him, and I will sit and hear.

Phil. Madam, like you, I have repented too, And dare not rail on one, I do not know.

Queen. This, Philocles, like strange perverseness shews, As if whate'er I said you would oppose; How come you thus concerned for this unknown?

Phil. I only judge his actions by my own.

Queen. I've heard too much, and you too much have said. O heavens, the secret of my soul's betrayed! He knows my love, I read it in his face, And blushes, conscious of his queen's disgrace. [Aside. Hence quickly, hence, or I shall die with shame. [To him.

Phil. Now I love both, and both with equal flame. Wretched I came, more wretched I retire: When two winds blow it, who can quench the fire? [Exit PHILOCLES.

Queen. O my Asteria! I know not whom to accuse; But either my own eyes, or you, have told My love to Philocles.

Ast. Is't possible that he should know it, madam?

Queen. Methinks, you ask that question guiltily. [Lays her hand on ASTERIA'S shoulder. Confess, for I will know, what was the subject Of your long discourse i'th' antichamber with him.

Ast. It was business to convince him, madam, How ill he did, being so much obliged, To join in your imprisonment.

Queen. Nay, now I am confirmed my thought was true; For you could give him no such reason Of his obligements, as my love.

Ast. Because I saw him much a malecontent,
I thought to win him to your interest, madam,
By telling him it was no want of kindness,
Made your refusal of Candiope.
And he, perhaps—

Queen. What of him now?

Ast. As men are apt, interpreted my words, To all the advantage he could wrest the sense, As if I meant you loved him.

Queen. Have I deposited within thy breast
The dearest treasure of my life, my glory,
And hast thou thus betrayed me!
But why do I accuse thy female weakness,
And not my own, for trusting thee!
Unhappy queen, Philocles knows thy fondness,
And needs must think it done by thy command.

Ast. Dear madam, think not so.

Queen. Peace, peace, thou should'st for ever hold thy tongue:
For it has spoke too much for all thy life. [To her.
Then Philocles has told Candiope,
And courts her kindness with his scorn of me.
O whither am I fallen!
But I must rouse myself, and give a stop
To all these ills by headlong passion caused.
In hearts resolved weak love is put to flight,
And only conquers, when we dare not fight.
But we indulge our harms, and, while he gains
An entrance, please ourselves into our pains.


Ast. Prince Lysimantes, madam.

Queen. Come near, you poor deluded criminal;
See how ambition cheats you:
You thought to find a prisoner here,
But you behold a queen.

Lys. And may you long be so! 'tis true, this act May cause some wonder in your majesty.

Queen. None, cousin, none; I ever thought you Ambitious, proud, designing.

Lys. Yet all my pride, designs, and my ambition, Were taught me by a master, With whom you are not unacquainted, madam.

Queen. Explain yourself; dark purposes, like yours, Need an interpretation.

Lys. 'Tis love, I mean.

Queen. Have my low fortunes given thee This insolence, to name it to thy queen?

Lys. Yet you have heard, love named without offence. As much below you as you think my passion, I can look down on yours.

Queen. Does he know it too! This is the extremest malice of my stars! [Aside.

Lys. You see that princes' faults,
(Howe'er they think them safe from public view)
Fly out thro the dark crannies of their closets:
We know what the sun does,
Even when we see him not, in t'other world.

Queen. My actions, cousin, never feared the light.

Lys. Produce him, then, your darling of the dark. For such an one you have.

Queen. I know no such.

Lys. You know, but will not own him.

Queen. Rebels ne'er want pretence to blacken kings, And this, it seems, is yours: Do you produce him, Or ne'er hereafter sully my renown With this aspersion:—Sure he dare not name him. [Aside.

Lys. I am too tender of your frame; or else—
Nor are things brought to that extremity:
Provided you accept my passion,
I'll gladly yield to think I was deceived.

Queen. Keep in your error still; I will not buy Your good opinion at so dear a rate, And my own misery, by being yours.

Lys. Do not provoke my patience by such scorns. For fear I break through all, and name him to you.

Queen. Hope not to fright me with your mighty looks; Know, I dare stem that tempest in your brow, And dash it back upon you.

Lys. Spite of prudence it will out:—'Tis Philocles!
Now judge, when I was made a property
To cheat myself, by making him your prisoner,
Whether I had not right to take up arms?

Queen. Poor envious wretch! Was this the venom that swelled up thy breast? My grace to Philocles mis-deemed my love!

Lys. Tis true, the gentleman is innocent; He ne'er sinned up so high, not in his wishes; You know he loves elsewhere.

Queen. You mean your sister.

Lys. I wish some Sibyl now would tell me, Why you refused her to him.

Queen. Perhaps I did not think him worthy of her.

Lys. Did you not think him too worthy, madam?
This is too thin a veil to hide your passion;
To prove you love him not, yet give her him,
And I'll engage my honour to lay down my arms.

Queen. He is arrived where I would wish— [Aside. Call in the company, and you shall see what I will do.

Lys. Who waits without there? [Exit LYS.

Queen. Now hold, my heart, for this one act of honour,
And I will never ask more courage of thee:
Once more I have the means to reinstate myself into my glory.
I feel my love to Philocles within me
Shrink, and pull back my heart from this hard trial.
But it must be, when glory says it must:
As children, wading from some river's bank,
First try the water with their tender feet;
Then, shuddering up with cold, step back again,
And straight a little further venture on,
Till, at the last, they plunge into the deep,
And pass, at once, what they were doubting long:
I'll make the experiment; it shall be done in haste,
Because I'll put it past my power to undo.

Enter at one door LYSIMANTES, at the other PHILOCLES, CELADON, CANDIOPE, FLORIMEL, FLAVIA, OLINDA, SABINA, the three deputies, and soldiers.

Lys. In arms! is all well, Philocles?

Phil. No, but it shall be.

Queen. He comes, and with him
The fever of my love returns to shake me.
I see love is not banished from my soul;
He is still there, but is chained up by glory.

Ast. You've made a noble conquest, madam.

Queen. Come hither Philocles: I am first to tell you, I and my cousin are agreed; he has Engaged to lay down arms.

Phil. 'Tis well for him he has; for all his party, By my command, already are surprised, While I was talking with your majesty.

Cel. Yes, 'faith, I have done him that courtesy; I brought his followers, under pretence of guarding it, to a strait place, where they are all coupt up without use of their arms, and may be pelted to death by the small infantry o'er the town.

Queen. 'Twas more than I expected, or could hope; Yet still I thought your meaning honest.

Phil. My fault was rashness, but 'twas full of zeal:
Nor had I e'er been led to that attempt,
Had I not seen, it would be done without me:
But by compliance I preserved the power,
Which I have since made use of for your service.

Queen. And which I purpose so to recompence—

Lys. With her crown, she means: I knew 'twould come to it. [Aside.

Phil. O heavens, she'll own her love!
Then I must lose Candiope for ever,
And, floating in a vast abyss of glory,
Seek and not find myself!—

Queen. Take your Candiope; and be as happy As love can make you both:—How pleased I am, That I can force my tongue To speak words, so far distant from my heart! [Aside.

Cand. My happiness is more than I can utter!

Lys. Methinks I could do violence on myself, for taking arms
Against a queen, so good, so bountiful:
Give me leave, madam, in my ecstasy
Of joy, to give you thanks for Philocles:—
You have preserved my friend, and now he owes not
His fortunes only to your favour; but,
What's more, his life, and, more than that, his love.
I am convinced, she never loved him now;
Since by her free consent, all force removed,
She gives him to my sister.
Flavia was an impostor, and deceived me. [Aside.

Phil. As for me, madam, I can only say, That I beg respite for my thanks; for, on a sudden, The benefit's so great, it overwhelms me.

Ast. Mark but the faintness of the acknowledgement. [To the Queen, aside.

Queen to Ast.] I have observed it with you, and am pleased, He seems not satisfied; for I still wish That he may love me.

Phil. I see Asteria deluded me,
With flattering hopes of the queen's love.
Only to draw me off from Lysimantes:
But I will think no more on't.
I'm going to possess Candiope,
And I am ravished with the joy on't!—ha!
Not ravished neither.
For what can be more charming than that queen!
Behold how night sits lovely on her eye-brows,
While day breaks from her eyes! then a crown too:
Lost, lost, for ever lost; and now 'tis gone,
Tis beautiful.—[Aside.

Ant. How he eyes you still! [To the queen.

Phil. Sure I had one of the fallen angels' dreams; All heaven within this hour was mine! [Aside.

Cand. What is it, that disturbs you, dear?

Phil. Only the greatness of my joy: I've ta'en too strong a cordial, love, And cannot yet digest it.

Queen. Tis done!
 [Clapping her hand on ASTERIA,
But this pang more, and then a glorious birth.—
The tumults of this day, my loyal subjects,
Have settled in my heart a resolution,
Happy for you, and glorious too for me.
First, for my cousin; tho', attempting on my person,
He has incurred the danger of the laws,
I will not punish him.

Lys. You bind me ever to my loyalty.

Queen. Then that I may oblige you more to it,
I here declare you rightful successor,
And heir immediate to my crown:
This, gentlemen—[To the deputies.
I hope will still my subjects' discontents,
When they behold succession firmly settled.

Dep. Heaven preserve your majesty!

Queen. As for myself, I have resolved
Still to continue as I am, unmarried:
The cares, observances, and all the duties
Which I should pay an husband, I will place
Upon my people; and our mutual love
Shall make a blessing more than conjugal,
And this the states shall ratify.

Lys. Heaven bear me witness, that I take no joy In the succession of a crown, Which must descend to me so sad a way.

Queen. Cousin, no more; my resolution's past Which fate shall never alter.

Phil. Then I am once more happy;
For, since none must possess her, I am pleased
With my own choice, and will desire no more:
For multiplying wishes is a curse.
That keeps the mind still painfully awake.

Queen. Celadon.
Your care and loyalty have this day obliged me;
But how to be acknowledging, I know not,
Unless you give the means.

Cel. I was in hope your majesty had forgot me; therefore, if you please, madam, I'll only beg a pardon for having taken up arms once to-day against you; for I have a foolish kind of conscience, which I wish many of your subjects had, that will not let me ask a recompence for my loyalty, when I know I have been a rebel.

Queen. Your modesty shall not serve the turn; ask something.

Cel. Then I beg, madam, you will command Florimel never to be friends with me.

Flo. Ask again; I grant that without the queen: But why are you afraid on't?

Cel. Because I am sure, as soon as ever you are, you'll marry me.

Flo. Do you fear it?

Cel. No, 'twill come with a fear.

Flo. If you do, I will not stick with you for an oath.

Cel. I require no oath till we come to church: and then after the priest, I hope; for I find it will be my destiny to marry thee.

Flo. If ever I say a word after the black gentleman for thee, Celadon—

Cel. Then, I hope, you'll give me leave to bestow a faithful heart elsewhere.

Flo. Ay, but if you would have one, you must bespeak it, for I am sure you have none ready made.

Cel. What say you, shall I marry Flavia?

Flo. No, she'll be too cunning for you.

Cel. What say you to Olinda, then? she's tall, and fair, and bonny.

Flo. And foolish, and apish, and fickle.

Cel. But Sabina there's pretty, and young, and loving, and innocent.

Flo. And dwarfish, and childish, and fond, and flippant: If you marry her sister, you will get may-poles; and if you marry her, you will get fairies to dance about them.

Cel. Nay, then, the case is clear, Florimel; if you take 'em all from me, 'tis because you reserve me for yourself.

Flo. But this marriage is such a bugbear to me! much might be if we could invent but any way to make it easy.

Cel. Some foolish people have made it uneasy, by drawing the knot faster than they need; but we that are wiser will loosen it a little.

Flo. 'Tis true, indeed, there's some difference betwixt a girdle and a halter.

Cel. As for the first year, according to the laudable custom of new-married people, we shall follow one another up into chambers, and down into gardens, and think we shall never have enough of one another. So far 'tis pleasant enough, I hope.

Flo. But after that, when we begin to live like husband and wife, and never come near one another—what then, sir?

Cel. Why, then, our only happiness must be to have one mind, and one will, Florimel.

Flo. One mind, if thou wilt, but pr'ythee let us have two wills; for I find one will be little enough for me alone. But how, if those wills should meet and clash, Celadon?

Cel. I warrant thee for that; husbands and wives keep their wills far enough asunder for ever meeting. One thing let us be sure to agree on, that is, never to be jealous.

Flo. No; but e'en love one another as long as we can; and confess the truth when we can love no longer.

Cel. When I have been at play, you shall never ask me what money I have lost.

Flo. When I have been abroad, you shall never enquire who treated me.

Cel. Item, I will have the liberty to sleep all night, without your interrupting my repose for any evil design whatsoever.

Flo. Item, Then you shall bid me goodnight before you sleep.

Cel. Provided always, that whatever liberties we take with other people, we continue very honest to one another.

Flo. As far as will consist with a pleasant life.

Cel. Lastly, whereas the names of husband and wife hold forth nothing, but clashing and cloying, and dulness and faintness, in their signification; they shall be abolished for ever betwixt us.

Flo. And instead of those, we will be married by the more agreeable names of mistress and gallant.

Cel. None of my privileges to be infringed by thee, Florimel, under the penalty of a month of fasting nights.

Flo. None of my privileges to be infringed by thee, Celadon, under the penalty of cuckoldom.

Cel. Well, if it be my fortune to be made a cuckold, I had rather thou should'st make me one, than any one in Sicily; and, for my comfort, I shall have thee oftener than any of thy servants.

Flo. Look ye now, is not such a marriage as good as wenching, Celadon?

Cel. This is very good; but not so good, Florimel.

Queen. Now set we forward to the assembly.—You promise, cousin, your consent?

Lys. But most unwillingly.

Queen. Philocles, I must beg your voice too.

Phil. Most joyfully I give it.

Lys. Madam, but one word more;—
Since you are so resolved,
That you may see, bold as my passion was,
'Twas only for your person, not your crown;
I swear no second love
Shall violate the flame I had for you,
But, in strict imitation of your oath,
I vow a single life.

Queen. Now, my Asteria, my joys are full;
The powers above, that see
The innocent love I bear to Philocles,
Have given its due reward; for by this means
The right of Lysimantes will devolve
Upon Candiope: and I shall have
This great content, to think, when I am dead,
My crown may fall on Philocles's head.


Our poet, something doubtful of his fate,
Made choice of me to be his advocate,
Relying on my knowledge in the laws;
And I as boldly undertook the cause.
I left my client yonder in a rant,
Against the envious, and the ignorant,
Who are, he says, his only enemies:
But he condemns their malice, and defies
The sharpest of his censurers to say,
Where there is one gross fault in all his play.
The language is so fitted for each part,
The plot according to the rules of art,
And twenty other things he bid me tell you;
But I cried, e'en go do't yourself for Nelly.[A]
Reason with judges, urged in the defence
Of those they would condemn, is insolence;
I therefore wave the merits of his play,
And think it fit to plead this safer way.
If when too many in the purchase share,
Robbing's not worth the danger nor the care;
The men of business must, in policy,
Cherish a little harmless poetry,
All wit would else grow up to knavery.
Wit is a bird of music, or of prey;
Mounting, she strikes at all things in her way.
But if this birdlime once but touch her wings,
On the next bush she sits her down and sings.
I have but one word more; tell me, I pray,
What you will get by damning of our play?
A whipt fanatic, who does not recant,
Is, by his brethren, called a suffering saint;
And by your hands should this poor poet die,
Before he does renounce his poetry,
His death must needs confirm the party more,
Than all his scribbling life could do before;
Where so much zeal does in a sect appear,
'Tis to no purpose, 'faith, to be severe.
But t'other day, I heard this rhyming fop
Say,—Critics were the whips, and he the top;
For, as a top spins more, the more you baste her,
So, every lash you give, he writes the faster.

[Footnote A: The epilogue appears to have been spoken by Nell Gwynn.]



The following prologue and epilogue occur in the "Covent-Garden Drollery" a publication which contains original copies of several of Dryden's fugitive pieces. They appear to have been spoken upon occasion of the male characters in "The Maiden Queen" being represented by female performers. From our author's connection both with the play and with Mrs Reeves, who spoke the epilogue, it is probable he wrote both that and the prologue; and therefore (although not much worth preserving) we have here added them. From the reference to Ravenscroft's play of "The Citizen turned Gentleman," in the last line of the epilogue, it would seem the prologue and epilogue were written and spoken in 1672.

Women, like us, (passing for men,) you'll cry,
Presume too much upon your secrecy.
There's not a fop in town, but will pretend
To know the cheat himself, or by his friend;
Then make no words on't, gallants, 'tis e'en true,
We are condemn'd to look and strut, like you.
Since we thus freely our hard fate confess,
Accept us, these bad times, in any dress.
You'll find the sweet on't: now old pantaloons
Will go as far as, formerly, new gowns;
And from your own cast wigs, expect no frowns.
The ladies we shall not so easily please;
They'll say,—What impudent bold things are these,
That dare provoke, yet cannot do us right,
Like men, with huffing looks, that dare not fight!—
But this reproach our courage must not daunt;
The bravest soldier may a weapon want;
Let her that doubts us still send her gallant.
Ladies, in us you'll youth and beauty find:
All things—but one—according to your mind:
And when your eyes and ears are feasted here,
Rise up, and make out the short meal elsewhere.



What think you, sirs, was't not all well enough?
Will you not grant that we can strut and huff?
Men may be proud; but faith, for aught I see,
They neither walk, nor cock, so well as we;
And, for the fighting part, we may in time
Grow up to swagger in heroic rhyme;
For though we cannot boast of equal force,
Yet, at some weapons, men have still the worse.
Why should not then we women act alone?
Or whence are men so necessary grown?
Our's are so old, they are as good as none.
Some who have tried them, if you'll take their oaths,
Swear they're as arrant tinsel as their clothes.
Imagine us but what we represent,
And we could e'en give you as good content.
Our faces, shapes,—all's better then you see,
And for the rest, they want as much as we.
Oh, would the higher powers behind to us,
And grant us to set up a female house!
We'll make ourselves to please both sexes then,—
To the men women, to the women men.
Here, we presume, our legs are no ill sight,
And they will give you no ill dreams at night:
In dreams both sexes may their passions ease,
You make us then as civil as you please.
This would prevent the houses joining too,
At which we are as much displeased as you;
For all our women most devoutly swear,
Each would be rather a poor actress here,
Then to be made a Mamamouchi [A] there.

[Footnote A: Alluding to Ravenscroft's play of the "Citizen turned Gentleman," acted at the Duke's House in 1672 See Vol. IV. pp. 346, 356-7.]