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Title: A Select Collection of Old English Plays
       Volume 14 of 15

Author: Robert Dodsley

Editor: William Carew Hazlitt

Release Date: August 10, 2010 [EBook #33398]

Language: English

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A SELECT COLLECTION
OF
OLD ENGLISH PLAYS.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY ROBERT DODSLEY
IN THE YEAR 1744.

FOURTH EDITION,

NOW FIRST CHRONOLOGICALLY ARRANGED, REVISED AND ENLARGED
WITH THE NOTES OF ALL THE COMMENTATORS,
AND NEW NOTES

BY

W. CAREW HAZLITT.

BENJAMIN BLOM, INC.

Publishers Logo

New York


First published 1874-1876
Reissued 1964 by Benjamin Blom, Inc.
L.C. Catalog Card No.: 64-14702

Printed in U.S.A. by
NOBLE OFFSET PRINTERS, INC.
NEW YORK 3, N. Y.


CONTENTS

 Page
THE REBELLION1
ACT I - ACT II - ACT III - ACT IV - ACT V
LUST'S DOMINION or THE LASCIVIOUS QUEEN93
ACT I - ACT II - ACT III - ACT IV - ACT V
ANDROMANA or THE MERCHANT'S WIFE193
ACT I - ACT II - ACT III - ACT IV - ACT V
LADY ALIMONY273
ACT I - ACT II - ACT III - ACT IV - ACT V
THE PARSON'S WEDDING369
ACT I - ACT II - ACT III - ACT IV - ACT V

[1]

THE REBELLION.


[2]

EDITION.

The Rebellion; a Tragedy: As it was acted nine dayes together, and divers times since, with good applause, by his Majesties Company of Revells. Written by Thomas Rawlins. London: Printed by I. Okes, for Daniell Frere, and are to be sold at the Signe of the Red Bull in Little Brittaine. 1640, 4o.[1]


[3]

INTRODUCTION.


Thomas Rawlins, author of "The Rebellion," was a medallist by profession, and afterwards became an engraver of the Mint, a vocation which, in his preface, he prefers to the threadbare occupation of a poet. [He also employed his talents occasionally in engraving frontispieces and portraits for books, of which several signed specimens are known.[2] It is said that he died in 1670.] It is an argument, as well of his personal respectability, as of his easy circumstances, that no fewer than eleven copies of prefatory verses, by the wits of the time, are prefixed to the old edition. Notwithstanding the popularity of the piece, [which, as it appears from the introductory poems, was composed by Rawlins in early life,] and several passages of real merit, it was [only once] republished, perhaps because rebellion soon assumed the whole kingdom for its stage.

[Besides his play, Rawlins published in 1648 an octavo volume of poems, written also in his youth, under the title of "Calanthe."[3]]


[4]

TO THE WORSHIPFUL, AND HIS HONOURED KINSMAN,

ROBERT DUCIE,[4]

OF ASTON, IN THE COUNTY OF STAFFORD,
ESQUIRE;

SON TO SIR R. DUCIE, KNIGHT AND BARONET, DECEASED.


Sir,—Not to boast of any perfections, I have never yet been owner of ingratitude, and would be loth envy should tax me now, having at this time opportunity to pay part of that debt I owe your love. This tragedy had at the presentment a general applause; yet I have not that want of modesty as to conclude it wholly worthy your patronage, although I have been bold to fix your name unto it. Yet, however, your charity will be famous in protecting this plant from the breath of Zoilus, and forgiving this my confidence, and your acceptance cherish a study of a more deserving piece, to quit the remainder of the engagement. In

Your kinsman, ready to serve you,
THOMAS RAWLINS.


[5]

TO THE READER.

Reader, if courteous, I have not so little faith as to fear thy censure, since thou knowest youth hath many faults, whereon I depend, although my ignorance of the stage is also a sufficient excuse. If I have committed any, let thy candour judge mildly of them; and think not those voluntary favours of my friends (by whose compulsive persuasions I have published this) are commendations of my seeking, or through a desire in me to increase the volume, but rather a care that you (since that I have been over-entreated to present it to you) might find therein something worth your time. Take no notice of my name, for a second work of this nature shall hardly bear it. I have no desire to be known by a threadbare cloak, having a calling that will maintain it woolly. Farewell.


TO HIS LOVING FRIEND THE AUTHOR,

UPON HIS TRAGEDY "THE REBELLION."

To praise thee, friend, and show the reason why,
Issues from honest love, not flattery.
My will is not to flatter, nor for spite
To praise or dispraise, but to do thee right
Proud daring rebels in their impious way
Of Machiavellian darkness this thy play
Exactly shows; speaks thee truth's satirist,
Rebellion's foe, time's honest artist.
Thy continu'd scenes, parts, plots, and language can
Distinguish (worthily) the virtuous man
[6] From the vicious villain, earth's fatal ill,
Intending mischievous traitor Machiavel.
Him and his treach'rous 'complices, that strove
(Like the gigantic rebels war 'gainst Jove)
To disenthrone Spain's king (the Heaven's anointed),
By stern death all were justly disappointed.
Plots meet with counterplots, revenge and blood:
Rebels' ruin makes thy tragedy good.

Nath. Richards. [5]


TO HIS WORTHY ESTEEMED MASTER,

THOMAS RAWLINS, ON HIS "REBELLION."

I may not wonder, for the world does know,
What poets can, and ofttimes reach unto.
They oft work miracles: no marvel, then,
Thou mak'st thy tailor here a nobleman:
Would all the trade were honest too; but he
Hath learn'd the utmost of the mystery,
Filching with cunning industry the heart
Of such a beauty, which did prove the smart
Of many worthy lovers, and doth gain
That prize which others labour'd for in vain.
Thou mak'st him valiant too, and such a spirit,
As every noble mind approves his merit.
But what renown th' hast given his worth, 'tis fit
The world should render to thy hopeful wit,
And with a welcome plaudit entertain
This lovely issue of thy teeming brain.
That their kind usage to this birth of thine
May win so much upon thee, for each line
[7] Thou hast bequeath'd the world, thou'lt give her ten,
And raise more high the glory of thy pen.
Accomplish these our wishes, and then see
How all that love the arts will honour thee.

C. G.[6]


TO MY FRIEND MASTER RAWLINS,

UPON THIS PLAY, HIS WORK.

Friend, in the fair completeness of your play
Y' have courted truth; in these few lines to say
Something concerning it, that all may know
I pay no more of praise than what I owe.
'Tis good, and merit much more fair appears
Appareled in plain praise, than when it wears
A complimental gloss. Tailors may boast
Th' have gain'd by your young pen what they long lost
By the old proverb, which says, Three to a man:
But to your vindicating muse, that can
Make one a man, and a man noble, they
Must wreaths of bays as their due praises pay.

Robert Davenport.[7]


TO THE AUTHOR, ON HIS "REBELLION."

Thy play I ne'er saw: what shall I say then?
I in my vote must do as other men,
And praise those things to all, which common fame
Does boast of such a hopeful growing flame
Which, in despite of flattery, shall shine,
Till envy at thy glory do repine:
[8] And on Parnassus' cliffy top shall stand,
Directing wand'ring wits to wish'd-for land;
Like a beacon o' th' Muses' hill remain,
That still doth burn, no lesser light retain;
To show that other wits, compar'd with thee,
Is but Rebellion i' th' high'st degree.
For from thy labours (thus much I do scan)
A tailor is ennobled to a man.

R. W.[8]


TO HIS DEAR FRIEND, MR. THOMAS RAWLINS.

To see a springot of thy tender age
With such a lofty strain to word a stage;
To see a tragedy from thee in print,
With such a world of fine meanders in't,
Puzzles my wond'ring soul; for there appears
Such disproportion 'twixt thy lines and years,
That when I read thy lines, methinks I see
The sweet-tongued Ovid fall upon his knee,
With (parce precor) every line and word
Runs in sweet numbers of its own accord:
But I am wonder-struck that all this while
Thy unfeather'd quill should write a tragic style.
This above all my admiration draws,
That one so young should know dramatic laws.
'Tis rare, and therefore is not for the span
Or greasy thumbs of every common man.
The damask rose, that sprouts before the spring,
Is fit for none to smell at but a king.
Go on, sweet friend; I hope in time to see
Thy temples rounded with the Daphnean tree.
[9] And if men ask who nurs'd thee, I'll say thus,
It was the ambrosian spring of Pegasus.

Robert Chamberlain.[9]


TO HIS FRIEND, MASTER THOMAS RAWLINS,

ON HIS PLAY CALLED "THE REBELLION."

I will not praise thee, friend, nor is it fit,
Lest I be said to flatter what y' have writ:
For some will say I writ to applaud thee,
That when I print, thou may'st do so for me.
Faith, they're deceiv'd, thou justly claim'st thy bays:
Virtue rewards herself; thy work's thy praise.

T. Jourdan.[10]


TO THE AUTHOR, MASTER THOMAS RAWLINS.

Kind friend, excuse me, that do thus intrude,
Thronging thy volume with my lines so rude.
Applause is needless here, yet this I owe,
As due to th' Muses; thine ne'er su'd (I know)
For hands, nor voice, nor pen, nor other praise
Whatsoe'er by mortals us'd, thereby to raise
An author's name eternally to bliss.
Were't rightly scann'd (alas!) what folly 'tis!
As if a poet's single work alone
Wants power to lift him to the spangled throne
Of highest Jove; or needs their lukewarm fires,
To cut his way or pierce the circled spheres.
[10] Foolish presumption! whosoe'er thou art,
Thus fondly deem'st of poet's princely art,
Here needs no paltry petty pioneer's skill
To fortify; nay, thy mellifluous quill
Strikes Momus with amaze and silence deep,
And doom'd poor Zoilus to the Lethean sleep.
Then ben't dismay'd, I know thy book will live,
And deathless trophies to thy name shall give.
Who doubts, where Venus and Minerva meet
In every line, how pleasantly they greet?
Strewing thy paths with roses, red and white,
To deck thy silver-streams of fluent wit;
And entertain the graces of thy mind.
O, may thy early head sweet shelter find
Under the umbrage of those verdant bays,
Ordain'd for sacred poesy's sweet lays!
Such are thy lines, in such a curious dress,
Compos'd so quaintly, that, if I may guess,
None save thine own should dare t' approach the press.

I. Gough.[11]


TO THE INGENIOUS AUTHOR.

A sour and austere kind of men there be,
That would outlaw the laws of poesy;
And from a commonwealth's well-govern'd lists
Some grave and too much severe Platonists
Would exclude poets, and have enmity
With the soul's freedom, ingenuity.
These are so much for wisdom, they forget
That Heaven allow'th the use of modest wit.
These think the author of a jest alone
Is the man that deserves damnation;
Holding mirth vicious, and to laugh a sin:
Yet we must give these cynics leave to grin.
[11] What will they think, when they shall see thee in
The plains of fair Elysium? sit among
A crowned troop of poets, and a throng
Of ancient bards, which soul-delighting choir
Sings daily anthems to Apollo's lyre?
Amongst which thou shalt sit, and crowned thus,
Shalt laugh at Cato and Democritus.
Thus shall thy bays be superscrib'd: my pen
Did not alone make plays, but also men.

E. B.[12]


TO HIS FRIEND THE AUTHOR.

Bless me, you sacred Sisters! What a throng
Of choice encomiums 's press'd? such as was sung
When the sweet singer Stesichorus liv'd;
Upon whose lips the nightingale surviv'd.
What makes my sickly fancy hither hie
(Unless it be for shelter), when the eye
Of each peculiar artist makes a quest
After my slender judgment? then a jest
Dissolves my thoughts to nothing, and my pains
Has its reward in adding to my stains.
But as the river of Athamas can fire
The sullen wood, and make its flames aspire,
So the infused comfort I receive
By th' tie of friendship, prompts me to relieve
My fainting spirits, and with a full sail
Rush 'mongst your argosies; despite of hail
Or storms of critics, friend, to thee I come:
I know th' hast harbour, I defy much room:
Besides, I'll pay thee for't in grateful verse,
Since that thou art wit's abstract, I'll rehearse:
Nothing shall wool your ears with a long phrase
Of a sententious folly; for to raise
[12] Sad pyramids of flattery, that may be
Condemn'd for the sincere prolixity.
Let envy turn her mantle, and expose
Her rotten entrails to infect the rose,
Or pine—like greenness of thy extant wit:
Yet shall thy Homer's shield demolish it.
Upon thy quill as on an eagle's wing,
Thou shalt be led through th' air's sweet whispering:
And with thy pen thou shalt engrave thy name
(Better than pencil) in the list of fame.

I. Tatham.[13]


ON MASTER RAWLINS AND HIS TAILOR,
IN "THE REBELLION."

In what a strange dilemma stood my mind,
When first I saw the tailor, and did find
It so well-fraught with wit! but when I knew
The noble tailor to proceed from you,
I stood amaz'd, as one with thunder struck,
And knew not which to read; you or your book.
I wonder how you could, being of our race,
So eagle-like look Phœbus in the face.
I wonder how you could, being so young,
And teeming yet, encounter with so strong
And firm a story; 'twould indeed have prov'd
A subject for the wisest, that had lov'd
To suck at Aganippe. But go on,
My best of friends; and as you have begun
With that is good, so let your after-times
Transcendent be. Apollo he still shines
On the best wits; and if a Momus chance
On this thy volume scornfully to glance,
[13] Melpomene will defend, and you shall see,
That virtue will at length make envy flee.

I. Knight.[14]


TO HIS INGENIOUS FRIEND, MASTER RAWLINS,

THE AUTHOR OF "THE REBELLION."

What need I strive to praise thy worthy frame,
Or raise a trophy to thy lasting name?
Were my bad wit with eloquence refin'd,
When I have said my most, the most's behind.
But that I might be known for one of them,
Which do admire thy wit and love thy pen,
I could not better show forth my good-will,
Than to salute you with my virgin quill,
And bring you something to adorn your head
Among a throng of friends, who oft have read
Your learned poems, and do honour thee
And thy bright genius. How like a curious tree
Is thy sweet fancy, bearing fruit so rare
The learned still will covet. Momus no share
Shall have of it; but end his wretched days
In grief, 'cause now he seeth th' art crown'd with bays.

Jo. Meriell.[15]


[14]

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

A Cupid.
King of Spain.
Antonio, a count.
Machiavel, a count.

Alerzo,
Fulgentio,
Pandolpho,

}

three Spanish colonels.

Petruchio, Governor of Filford.
Raymond (a Moor), General of the French army.

Leonis,
Gilberti,
Firenzo,

}

three French colonels.

Sebastiano, Petruchio's son, in the disguise of a tailor called Giovanno.
Old Tailor.
Vermin, his man.
Three Tailors more.
Captain of the Banditti.
Two Ruffians and a Bravo.
Philippa, the Moor's wife.
Auristella, Machiavel's wife.
Evadne, Antonio's sister.
Aurelia, Sebastiano's sister.
Nurse, attendant on Evadne.

Attendants.

SceneSeville.


[15]

THE REBELLION.


ACT I., SCENE 1.

Enter severally, Alerzo, Fulgentio, and Pandolpho.

Aler. Colonel?

Ful. Signor Alerzo?

Aler. Here.

Pan. Signors, well-met:
The lazy morn has scarcely trimm'd herself
To entertain the sun; she still retains
The slimy tincture of the banish'd night:
I hardly could discern you.

Aler. But you appear fresh as a city bridegroom,
That has sign'd his wife a warrant for the
Grafting of horns; how fares Belinda
After the weight of so much sin? you lay with her
To-night; come, speak, did you take up on trust,
Or have you pawn'd a colony of oaths?
Or an embroidered belt? or have you ta'en
The courtier's trick, to lay your sword at mortgage?
Or perhaps a feather? 'twill serve in traffic,
To return her ladyship a fan, or so.

Pan. Y' are merry.
[16]

Ful. Come, be free,
Leave modesty for women to gild
Their pretty thriving art of plentitude,
To enrich their husbands' brows with cornucopias.
A soldier, and thus bashful! Pox! be open.

Pan. Had I the pox, good colonel, I should stride
Far opener than I do; but pox o' the fashion!

Aler. Count Antonio.

[To them enter Antonio.

Ful. Though he appear fresh as a bloom
That newly kiss'd the sun, adorn'd with pearly
Drops, flung from the hand of the rose-finger'd morn,
Yet in his heart lives a whole host of valour.

Pan. He appears
A second Mars.

Aler. More powerful, since he holds wisdom
And valour captive.

Ful. Let us salute him.

[Whilst they salute Antonio, enters Count Machiavel.

Mach. Ha! how close they strike, as if they heard
A winged thunderbolt [that] threaten'd his death,
And each ambitious were to lose his life;
So it might purchase him a longer being:
Their breath engenders like two peaceful winds,
That join a friendly league, and fill the air
With silken music;
I may pass by, and scarce be spar'd a look,
Or any else but young Antonio.
Rise from thy scorching den, thou soul of mischief!
My blood boils hotter than the poison'd flesh
Of Hercules cloth'd in the Centaur's shirt:
Swell me, revenge, till I become a hill,
High as Olympus' cloud-dividing top;
[17] That I might fall, and crush them into air.
I'll observe.

[Exit behind the hangings.

Ant. Command, I prythee, all[16]
This little world I'm master of contains,
And be assur'd 'tis granted; I have a life,
I owe to death; and in my country's cause I should——

Ful. Good sir, no more,
This ungrateful land owes you too much already.

Aler. And you still bind it in stronger bonds.

Pan. Your noble deeds that, like to thoughts, outstrip
The fleeting clouds, dash all our hopes of payment:
We are poor, but in unprofitable thanks;
Nay, that cannot rehearse enough your merit.

Ant. I dare not hear this; pardon, bashful ears,
For suffering such a scarlet to o'erspread
Your burning portals.
Gentlemen, your discourses taste of court,
They have a relish of known flattery;
I must deny to understand their folly:
Your pardon, I must leave you:
Modesty commands.

Ful. Your honour's vassals.

Ant. O good colonel, be more a soldier,
Leave compliments for those that live at ease,
To stuff their table-books; and o'er a board,
Made gaudy with some pageant, beside custards,
Whose quaking strikes a fear into the eaters,
Dispute 'em in a fashionable method.
A soldier's language should be (as his calling)
Rough, to declare he is a man of fire.
Farewell without the straining of a sinew,
No superstitious cringe! adieu!

[Exit.

[18]

Aler. Is't not a hopeful lord?
Nature to him has chain'd the people's hearts;
Each to his saint offers a form of prayer
For young Antonio.

Pan. And in that loved name pray for the kingdom's good.

Ful. Count Machiavel!

Enter Machiavel from behind the hangings.

Aler. Let's away.

[Exeunt: manet Machiavel.

Mach. Heart, wilt not burst with rage, to see these slaves
Fawn like to whelps on young Antonio,
And fly from me as from infection? Death,
Confusion, and the list of all diseases, wait upon your lives
Till you be ripe for hell, which when it gapes,
May it devour you all: stay, Machi'vel,
Leave this same idle chat, it becomes woman
That has no strength, but what her tongue
Makes a monopoly; be more a man,
Think, think; in thy brain's mint
Coin all thy thoughts to mischief:
That may act revenge at full.
Plot, plot, tumultuous thoughts, incorporate;
Beget a lump, howe'er deform'd, that may at length,
Like to a cub lick'd by the careful dam,
Become (like to my wishes) perfect vengeance.
Antonio, ay, Antonio—nay, all,
Rather than lose my will, shall headlong fall
Into eternal ruin; my thoughts are high.
Death, sit upon my brow; let every frown
Banish a soul that stops me of a crown.

[Exit.

[19]

Enter Evadne and Nurse.

Evad. The tailor yet return'd, nurse?

Nur. Madam, not yet.

Evad. I wonder why he makes gowns so imperfect;
They need so many says.

Nur. Truly, in sooth, and in good deed, la, madam,
The stripling is in love: deep, deep in love.

Evad. Ha!
Does his soul shoot with an equal dart
From the commanding bow of love's great god,
Keep passionate time with mine? or has
She spi'd my error to reflect with eager beams
Of thirsty love upon a tailor, being myself
Born high? [Aside.]——I must know more—
In love, good nurse, with whom?

Nur. Truly, madam, 'tis a fortune,
Cupid, good lad—prais'd be his godhead for't,
Has thrown upon me, and I am proud on't;
O, 'tis a youth jocund as sprightly May,
One that will do discreetly with a wife,
Board her without direction from the stars,
Or counsel from the moon to do for physic;
No, he's a back;—O, 'tis a back indeed!

Evad. Fie! this becomes you not.

Nur. Besides, he is of all that conquering calling,
A tailor, madam: O, 'tis a taking trade!
What chambermaid—with reverence may
I speak of those lost maidenheads—
Could long hold out against a tailor?

Evad. Y' are uncivil.

Nur. What aged female, for
I must confess I am worn threadbare—
[20] Would not be turn'd, and live a marriage life,
To purchase heaven?

Evad. Heaven——

Nur. Yes, my dear madam, heaven; whither,
My most sweet lady, but to heaven? hell's a
Tailor's warehouse; he has the keys, and sits
In triumph cross-legg'd o'er the mouth:
It is no place of horror,
There's no flames made blue with brimstone;
But the bravest silks, so fashionable—
O, I do long to wear such properties!

Evad. Leave your talk,
One knocks: go, see.

[Knocks within.

Nur. O, 'tis my love! I come.

[Exit.

Evad. A tailor; fie! blush, my too tardy soul,
And on my brow place a becoming scorn,
Whose fatal sight may kill his mounting hopes.
Were he but one that, when 'twas said he's born,
Had been born noble, high,
Equal in blood to that our house boasts great;
I'd fly into his arms with as much speed
As an air-cutting arrow to the stake.
But, O, he comes! my fortitude is fled.

Enter Nurse and Giovanno with a gown.

Gio. Yonder she is, and walks, yet in sense strong enough to maintain argument; she's under my cloak; for the best part of a lady, as this age goes, is her clothes; in what reckoning ought we tailors to be esteemed then, that are the master-workmen to correct nature! You shall have a lady, in a dialogue with some gallant touching his suit, the better part of man, so suck the breath that names the skilful tailor, as if it nourished her. Another Donna fly from the close embracements of her lord, to be all-over-measured by her tailor.[21] One will be sick, forsooth, and bid her maid deny her to this don, that earl, the other marquis, nay, to a duke; yet let her tailor lace and unlace her gown, so round the skirts to fit her to the fashion. Here's one has in my sight made many a noble don to hang the head, dukes and marquises, three in a morning, break their fasts on her denials; yet I, her tailor, blessed be the kindness of my loving stars, am ushered; she smiles, and says I have stayed too long, and then finds fault with some slight stitch, that eyelet-hole's too close, then must I use my bodkin, 'twill never please else; all will not do. I must take it home for no cause but to bring it her again next morning. We tailors are the men, spite o' the proverb, ladies cannot live without. It is we

That please them best in their commodity:
There's magic in our habits, tailors can
Prevail 'bove him honour styles best of man.
Evad. Bid him draw near.

Nur. Come hither, love, sweet chuck:
My lady calls.

Gio. What means this woman? sure, she loves me too,
Tailors shall speed, had they no tongues to woo:
Women would sue to them.

[Aside.]

Evad. What, have you done it now?

Gio. Madam, your gown by my industry
Is purg'd of errors.

Evad. Lord, what a neat methodical way you have
To vent your phrases; pray, when did you commence?

Gio. What mean you, madam?

Evad. Doctor, I mean; you speak so physical.

Nur. Nay, madam, 'tis a youth, I praise my stars
[22] For their kind influence, a woman may be proud on,
And I am.
O, 'tis a youth in print, a new Adonis.
And I could wish, although my glass tells me
I'm wondrous fair, I were a Venus for him.

Gio. O lady, you are more fairer by far.

Nur. La you there, madam!

Gio. Where art thou, man? art thou transform'd,
Or art thou grown so base, that
This ridiculous witch should think I love her?

[Aside.]

Evad. Leave us.

Nur. I go.
Duck, I'll be here anon;
I will, dove.

[Exit.

Gio. At your best leisure.
Protect me, manhood, lest my glutted sense,
Feeding with such an eager appetite on
Your rare beauty, [and] breaking the sluices,
Burst into a flood of passionate tears.
I must, I will enjoy her, though a
Destroying clap from Jove's artillery were the reward:
And yet, dull-daring sir, by your favour, no,
He must be more than savage can attempt
To injure so much spotless innocence:
Pardon, great powers, the thought of such offence.

[Aside.]

Evad. When Sebastiano, clad in conquering steel,
And in a phrase able to kill, or from a coward's heart
Banish a thought of fear, woo'd me,
[He] won not so much on my captive soul
As this youth's silence does.
Help me, some power, out of this tangling maze,
I shall be lost else.

[Aside.

[23]

Gio. Fear, to the breast of women; build
Thy throne on their soft hearts; mine must not be
Thy slave.—[Aside.] Your pleasure, madam?

Evad. I have a question must be directly answer'd;
No excuse, but from thy heart a truth.

Gio. Command me, madam; were it a secret,
On whose hinges hung the casements of my life,
Yet your command shall be obey'd to the least
Scruple.

Evad. I take your word:
My aged nurse tells me you love her:
Answer; is't a truth?

Gio. She's jealous, I'll try;
As oracle.

Evad. Ha!

Gio. 'Tis so, I'll further; I love her, madam,
With as rich a flame as anchorites
Do saints they offer prayers unto.
I hug her memory as I would embrace
The breath of Jove when it pronounced me
Happy, or prophet that should speak my
After-life great, even with adoration deified.

Evad. My life, like to a bubble i' th' air,
Dissolv'd by some uncharitable wind,
Denies my body warmth: your breath
Has made me nothing.

[She faints.

Gio. Rather let me lose all external being.
Madam, good madam.

Evad. You say you love her.

Gio. Madam, I do.
Can any love the beauty of a stone,
Set by some curious artist in a ring,
But he must attribute some [virtue] to
The file that adds unto the lustre?
You appear like to a gem, cut by the
[24] Steady hand of careful nature into such
Beauteous tablets, that dull art,
Famous in skilful flattery, is become
A novice in what fame proclaim'd him doctor;
He can't express one spark of your great lustre.
Madam, those beauties that, but studied on
By their admirers, are deifi'd, serve
But as spots to make your red and white
Envi'd of cloister'd saints.

Evad. Have I, ungrateful man, like to the sun,
That from the heavens sends down his
Cherishing beams on some religious plant,
That with a bow, the worship of the
Thankful, pays the preserver of his life
And growth: but thou, unthankful man,
In scorn of me, to love a calendar of many
Years.[17]

Gio. Madam, upon my knees, a superstitious rite,
The Heathens us'd to pay their gods, I offer up
A life, that until now ne'er knew a price—
Made dear because you love it.

Evad. Arise;
It is a ceremony due unto none but heaven.

Gio. Here I'll take root, and grow into my grave,
Unless, dear goddess, you forget to be
Cruel to him adores you with a zeal,
Equal to that of hermits.

Evad. I believe you, and thus exchange a devout vow
Humbly upon my knees, that, though the
Thunder of my brother's rage should force divorce,
Yet in my soul to love you; witness all
The wing'd inhabitants of the highest heaven!
[25]

Gio. If sudden lightning, such as vengeful Jove
Clears the infectious air with, threaten'd to scorch
My daring soul to cinders, if I
Did love you, lady, I would love you, spite
Of the dogged fates or any power those curs'd
Hags set to oppose me.

To them enter Nurse.

Evad. Be thyself again.

Nur. Madam, your brother.

Evad. Fie! you have done it ill; our brother, say you?
Pray you, take it home and mend it.

Gio. Madam, it shall be done; I take my leave.
Love, I am made thy envy; I am he
This vot'ress prays unto, as unto thee:
Tailors are more than men; and here's the odds:
They make fine ladies: ladies make them gods:
And so they are not men, but far above them.
This makes the tailors proud; then ladies love them.

[Exit.

Antonio meets him.

Ant. What's he that pass'd?

Evad. My tailor.

Ant. There's something in his face I (sure) should know.
But, sister, to your beads; pray for distress'd Seville;
Whilst I mount some watchtower,
To o'erlook our enemies: religion's laws
Command me fight for my lov'd country's cause.

[Exit.

Evad. Love bids me pray, and on his altars make
A sacrifice for my lov'd tailor's sake.

[Exit.

[26]

Alarum. Enter Raymond, Philippa, Leonis, Gilberti, and Firenzo.

Ray. Stand.

Leo. Stand.

Gil. Stand.

Fir. Give the word through the army, stand there.

Within. Stand, stand, stand, stand, ho!

Ray. Bid the drum cease, whilst we embrace our love:
Come, my Philippa, like the twins of war,
Lac'd in our steelly corselets, we're become
The envy of those brain-begotten gods
Mouldy antiquity lifted to heaven;
Thus we exchange our breath.

[Kiss.

Phil. My honour'd lord,
Duty commands, I pay it back again.
'Twill waste me into smoke else.
Can my body retain that breath that would
Consume an army dress'd in a rougher habit?
Pray, deliver (come, I'm a gentle thief)
The breath you stole.

[He kisses her.

Ray. Restore back mine. [She kisses him.] So, go, pitch our tent, we'll
Have a combat i' th' field of love with thee
Philippa, ere we meet the foe: thou art
A friendly enemy. How say you, lords?
Does not my love appear
Like to the issue of the brain of Jove,
Governess of arms and arts, Minerva!
Or a selected beauty from a troop of Amazons?

Lords. She is a mine of valour.

Phil. Lords, spare your praises till, like Bradamant,
The mirror of our sex, I make the foe
Of France and us crouch like a whelp,
[27] Awed by the heaving of his master's hand;
My heart runs through my arm, and when I deal
A blow, it sinks a soul.
My sword flies nimbler than the bolts of Jove,
And wounds as deep. Spain, thy proud host shall feel
Death has bequeath'd his office to my steel.

Ray. Come on, brave lords; upon your general's word,
Philippa loves no parley like the sword.

[Exeunt.

Enter Giovanno, Old Tailor, Vermin, and two more.

Gio. Come, bullies, come; we must forsake the use of nimble shears, and now betake us to our Spanish needles, stiletto blades, and prove the proverb lies, lies in his throat: one tailor can erect sixteen, nay more, of upstart gentlemen, known by their clothes, and leave enough materials in hell to damn a broker.

O. Tai. We must to the wars, my boys.

Ver. How, master, to the wars?

O. Tai. Ay, to the wars, Vermin; what say'st thou to that?

Ver. Nothing, but that I had rather stay at home: O, the good penny-bread at breakfasts that I shall lose! Master, good master, let me alone to live with honest John, noble John Black.

2d Tai. Wilt thou disgrace thy worthy calling, Vermin?

Ver. No, but I am afraid my calling will disgrace me: I shall be gaping for my morning's loaf and dram of ale, I shall; and now and then look for a cabbage-leaf or an odd remnant to clothe my bashful buttocks.

[28]

O. Tai. You shall.

Ver. Yes, marry; why, I hope poor Vermin must be fed, and will be fed, or I'll torment you.

Gio. Master, I take privilege from your love to hearten on my fellows.

O. Tai. Ay, ay, do, do, good boy.

[Exit.

Gio. Come, my bold fellows, let us eternise,
For our country's good, some noble act,
That may by time be regist'red at full:
And as the year renews, so shall our fame
Be fresh to after-times: the tailor's name,
So much trod under and the scorn of all,
Shall by this act be high, whilst others fall.

3d Tai. Come, Vermin, come.

Ver. Nay, if Vermin slip from the back of a tailor, spit him with a Spanish needle: or torment him in the louse's engine—your two thumb-nails.

[Exit all but Giovanno.

Gio. The city's sieged, and thou thus chain'd
In airy fetters of a lady's love!
It must not be: stay, 'tis Evadne's love;
Her life is with the city ruined, if
The French become victorious:
Evadne must not die: her chaster name,
That once made cold, now doth my blood inflame.

[Exit.


ACT II., SCENE 1.

A table and chairs.

Enter (after a shout crying Antonio) the Governor and Count Machiavel.

Gov. Hell take their spacious throats! we shall ere long
Be pointed as a prodigy!
[29] Antonio is the man they load with praise,
And we stand as a cypher to advance
Him by a number higher.

Mach. Now, Mach'vel, plot his ruin.

[Aside.

It is not to be borne; are not you our
Master's substitute? then why should he
Usurp a privilege without your leave
To preach unto the people a doctrine
They ought not hear?
He incites 'em not to obey your charge,
Unless it be to knit a friendly league
With the opposing French, laying before 'em
A troop of feigned dangers will ensue,
If we do bid 'em battle.

Gov. Dares he do this?

Mach. 'Tis done already;
Smother your anger, and you shall see here
At the council-board he'll break into a
Passion, which [Aside] I'll provoke him to.

To them Antonio, Alerzo, Fulgentio, and Pandolpho: they sit in council.

Gov. Never more need, my worthy partners in
The dangerous brunts of iron war, had we
Of counsel: the hot-reined French, led by
That haughty Moor, upon whose sword sits victory
Enthroned, daily increase;
And, like the army of another Xerxes,
Make the o'erburthen'd earth groan at their weight.
We cannot long hold out; nor have we hope
Our royal master can raise up their siege,
Ere we be forc'd to yield:
My lord, your counsel; 'tis a desperate grief.

Mach. And must, my lord, find undelay'd release?
[30] Noble commanders, since that war's grim god,
After our sacrifice of many lives,
Neglects our offerings, and repays our service
With loss; 'tis good to deal with policy.
He's no true soldier, that deals heedless blows
With the endangering of his life; and may
Walk in a shade of safety, yet o'erthrow
His towering enemy.
Great Alexander made the then known world
Slave to his powerful will more by the help
Of politic wit
Than by the rough compulsion of the sword.
Troy, that endur'd the Grecians ten years' siege,
By policy was fir'd, and became like to
A lofty beacon all on flame.

Gov. Hum, hum!

Mach. Suppose the French be mark'd for conquerors?
Stars have been cross'd, when at a natural birth
They dart prodigious beams; their influence,
Like to the flame of a new-lighted taper,
Has with the breath of policy been blown
Out,—even to nothing.

Ful. Hum, hum!

Aler. This has been studied.

[Aside.]

Pan. He's almost out.

[Aside.]

Gov. Good.
But to the matter. You counsel?

Mach. 'Tis this, my lord,
That straight, before the French have pitched their tents,
Or rais'd a work before our city walls—
As yet their ships have not o'erspread the sea—
We send a regiment, that may with speed
Land on the marshes, and begirt their backs,
Whilst we open our gates, and with a strong assault
[31] Force 'em retreat into the arms of death:
So the revengeful earth shall be their tomb,
That did erewhile trample her teeming womb.

Gov. Machiavel speaks oracle; what says
Antonio?

Ant. Nothing.

Gov. How?

Ant. Nothing.

Mach. It takes; revenge,
I hug thee; young lord, thou art lost.

[Aside.

Gov. Speak, Antonio, your counsel.

Ant. Nothing.

Gov. How?

Ant. So;
And could my wish obtain a sudden grant
From yon tribunal, I would crave my senses
Might be all steeped in Lethe, to forget
What Machiavel has spoken.

Mach. Ha! it takes unto my wish.

[Aside.

Why, Antonio?

Ant. Because you speak
Not like a man, that were possess'd with a
Mere soldier's heart, much less a soul guarded
With subtle sinews. O madness! can there be
In nature such a prodigy, so senseless,
So much to be wondered at,
As can applaud or lend a willing ear
To that my blushes do betray? I've been
Tardy to hear your childish policy.

Gov. Antonio, you're too bold; this usurp'd liberty
To abuse a man of so much merit is not
Seemly in you: nay, I'll term it sauciness.

Ant. Nay, then, my lord, I claim the privilege
Of a councillor, and will object.
This my prophetic fear whisper'd my heart:
When from a watchtow'r I beheld the French
[32] Erect their spears which, like a mighty grove,
Denied my eyes any other object:
The tops show'd by a stolen reflection from
The sun like diamonds, or as the glorious
Gilder of the day should deign a lower visit.
Then my warm blood, that used to play like
Summer, felt a change; grey-bearded winter
Froze my very soul, till I became,
Like the Pyrenian hills, wrapp'd in a robe of ice:
My arctic[18] fears froze me into a statue.

Aler. Cowardly Antonio!

Ful. I have lost my faith,
And can behold him now without a wonder.

Gov. Antonio, y' are too long, and rack our patience;
Your counsel?

Ant. I fear'd—but what? not our proud enemies:
No, did they burthen all our Spanish world,
And I, poor I, only surviv'd to threat defiance
In the mounseers'[19] teeth, and stand defendant
For my country's cause, naked, unarm'd,
I'd through their bragging host, and pay my life
A sacrifice to death for my loved country's safety.

Aler. Fulgentio, thou hast not lost
Thy faith?

[Aside.]

Ful. No, I'm reform'd; he's valiant.

[Aside.]

Gov. Antonio, your counsel?

Mach. Ay, your counsel?

Ant. Our foes increase to an unreckon'd number;
We less than nothing, since we have no hope
To arrive a number, that may cope with
[33] Half their army.
'Tis my counsel we strike a league:
'Tis wisdom to sue peace, where powerful fate
Threatens a ruin: lest [we] repent too late.

Ful. 'Tis god-like counsel.

[Aside.

Aler. And becomes the tongue of young Antonio.

[Aside.

Gov. Antonio, let me tell you, you have lost
Your valiant heart; I can with safety now
Term you a coward.

Ant. Ha!

Gov. Nay, more,
Since by your oratory you strive
To rob your country of a glorious conquest,
That may to after-times beget a fear,
Even with the thought should awe the trembling
World, you are a traitor.

Ant. Ha! my lord! coward and traitor! 'tis a damned lie,
And in the heart of him dares say't again
I'll write his error.

Mach. 'Tis as I would have't.

[Aside.

Ful. Noble Antonio!

[Aside.

Aler. Brave-spirited lord!

[Aside.

Ful. The mirror of a soldier!

[Aside.

Gov. O, are you mov'd, sir? has the deserved name
Of traitor prick'd you?

Ant. Deserv'd?

Gov. Yes.

Mach. Yes.

Ant. Machiavel, thou liest; hadst thou a heart
Of harden'd steel, my powerful arm
Should pierce it.

[They fight all in a confused manner: Antonio kills the Governor, Machiavel falls.

[34]

Aler. The governor
Slain by Antonio's hand?

Ful. No, by the hand of justice; fly, fly, my lord!

Aler. Send for a chirurgeon to dress Count Machiavel:
He must be now our governor; the king
Signed it in the dead governor's commission.

[Exeunt.

Ant. Now I repent too late my rash contempt:
The horror of a murtherer will still
Follow my guilty thoughts, fly where I will.

[Exit Antonio.

Mach. I'm wounded; else, coward Antonio,
Thou shouldst not fly from my revengeful arm:
But may my curses fall upon thy head,
Heavy as thunder! may'st thou die
Burthen'd with ulcerous sins, whose very weight
May sink thee down to hell,
Beneath the reach of smooth-fac'd mercy's arm!

[A shout within, crying Antonio.

Confusion choke your rash officious throats!
And may that breath that speaks his loathed name
Beget a plague, whose hot infectious air
May scald you up to blisters, which foretel
A purge of life! Up, Machiavel,
Thou hast thy will, howe'er cross fate
Divert the people's hearts; they must perforce
Sue to that shrine our liking shall erect.
The governor is dead, Antonio's lost
To anything but death; 'tis our glad fate
To gripe the staff of what we look'd for—state.
My blood's ambitious, and runs through my veins,
Like nimble water through a leaden pipe
Up to some barren mountain. I must have more;
All wealth, in my thoughts, to a crown is poor.

[35]

Enter Giovanno, Evadne, and Nurse.

Gio. 'Tis a neat gown, and fashionable, madam; is't not, love?

Nur. Upon my virginity, wonderful handsome: dear, when we are married, I'll have such a one; shall I not, chicken, ha?

Gio. What else, kind nurse?

Nur. Truly you tailors are the most sanctified members of a kingdom: how many crooked and untoward bodies have you set upright, that they go now so straight in their lives and conversation, as the proudest on them all?

Gio. That's certain, none prouder.

Evad. How mean you, sir?

Gio. Faith, madam, your crooked movables in artificial bodies, that rectify the deformity of nature's overplus, as bunching backs: or scarcity, as scanty shoulders—are the proudest creatures; you shall have them jet it with an undaunted boldness; for the truth is, what they want in substance they have in air: they will scold the tailor out of his art, and impute the defect of nature to his want of skill, though his labour make her appearance pride-worthy.

Nur. Well said, my bird's-nye, stand for the credit of tailors whilst thou livest; wilt thou not, chuck? Ha, say'st thou, my dear?

Gio. I were ungrateful else.

Evad. Nurse, pray leave us, your presence makes your sweetheart negligent of what he comes about; pray, be won to leave us here.

Nur. Madam, your will's obey'd:
Yet I can hardly pass from thee, my love,
At such a sudden warning.

Gio. Your eager love may be termed dotage;
[36] For shame! confine[20] yourself to less expressions,
[And] leave my lady.

Nur. A kiss, and then I go; so, farewell, my duck.

[Exit.

Gio. Death, she has left a scent to poison me;
Love her, said she? is any man so mad to hug a disease,
Or embrace a colder image than Pygmalion's,
Or play with the bird of
Frosty antiquity? not I:
Her gums stink worse than a pest-house,
And more danger of infecting.

[Aside.

As I'm a mortal tailor, and your servant, madam,
Her breath has tainted me: I dare not salute
Your ladyship.

Evad. Come, you are loth to part with't, 'tis so sweet.

Gio. Sweet, say you, madam? a muster of diseases
Can't smell worse than her rotten teeth.
Excuse my boldness, to defer your longing;
Thus I am new-created with your breath.

[Kisses.

My gaping pores will ne'er be satisfied.
Again!—they still are hungry.

Evad. My dear friend, let not thy lovely person
March with the scolding peace-affrighting drum:
War is too cruel: come, I'll chain
You here—here in my arms; and stifle you
With kisses; you sha' not go—by this, you sha' not go.

Gio. By this, I must.

[He kisses her.

[37]

Evad. I'll smother that harsh breath.

[She kisses him.

Gio. Again I countercheck it.

[Kiss.

Enter Antonio, as pursued; he sees them, and stands amazed.

Ant. O sister! ha!
What killing sight is this? cannot be she.
Sister.

Evad. O my dear friend, my brother! w' are undone.

Ant. Degenerate girl, lighter than wind or air!
Canst thou forget thy birth? or, 'cause thou'rt fair,
Art privileg'd, dost think, with such a zeal
To grasp an under-shrub? dare you exchange
Breath with your tailors without fear of vengeance
From the disturbed ghosts of our dead parents,
For their blood's injury? or are your favours
Grown prostitute to all? my unkind fate
Grieves me not half so much as thee forgetful.

Gio. Sir, if on me this language, I must tell you,
You are too rash to censure. My unworthiness,
That makes me[21] seem so ugly in your eyes,
Perhaps hangs in these clothes, and's shifted off with them.
I am as noble, but that I hate to make
Comparisons, as any you can think worthy
To be call'd her husband.
[38]

Ant. Shred of a slave, thou liest!

Gio. Sir, I am hasty too; yet, in the presence of
My mistress [I] can use a temper.

Ant. [O] brave! your mistress!

Enter Machiavel with Officers.

Mach. Lay hold on him!
Ere we presume to meet the enemy,
We'll purge the city; lest the wrath of Heaven
Fall heavy on us. Antonio, I arrest thee
Of capital treason 'gainst the king and realm.
To prison with him!

Evad. O my lost brother!

Gio. 'Tis but an error; treason, d'ye call it, to kill
The governor in heat of blood, and not intended?
For my Evadne's sake, something I'll do
Shall save his life.

[Exit.

Mach. To prison with him!

Ant. Farewell, Evadne, as thou lovest the peace
Of our dead ancestors, cease to love
So loath'd a thing; a tailor!
Why, 'tis the scorn of all; therefore be rul'd
By thy departing brother, do not mix
With so much baseness.
Come, officers, bear me e'en where you please,
My oppress'd conscience nowhere can have ease.

[Exit with Officers.

Mach. Lady, we here enjoin you to
Your chamber
As a prisoner, to wait a further censure;
Your brother's fault has pull'd a punishment
Upon your head, which you must suffer.
[39]

Evad. E'en what you please, your tyranny can't bear
A shape so bad to make Evadne fear:
Strong innocence shall guard my afflicted soul,
Whose constancy shall tyranny control.

[Exeunt. A noise within, crying Rescue, rescue! Enter Antonio and Guard; to them Giovanno and Tailors, and rescue him, and beat them off.

Enter an Officer, meeting Machiavel.

Off. A troop of tailors by force have ta'en
Antonio from us, and have borne him (spite
Of the best resistance we could make) unto some
Secret place; we cannot find him.

Mach. Screech-owl, dost know what thou hast said?
Death! find him, or you die! O my cross stars!
He must not live to torture our vex'd sense,
But die; though he'd no fault but innocence.

[Exit.

Enter Giovanno, Antonio, and the Old Tailor.

Gio. Can this kindness merit your love?
Do I deserve your sister?

Ant. My sister! worthy tailor, 'tis a gift lies not in me to give: ask something else, 'tis thine, although it be gained with the quite extinguishing of this—this breath you gave me.

Gio. Have not I——

Ant. Speak no further; I confess you have been all unto me, life and being; I breathe but with your licence: will no price buy out your interest in me but her love? I tell thee, tailor, I have[40] blood runs in me, Spain cannot match for greatness next her kings. Yet, to requite thy love, I'll call thee friend; be thou Antonio's friend—a favour nobles have thirsted for: will this requite thee?

Gio. Sir, this may, but——

Ant. My sister, thou wouldst say, most worthy tailor; she's not mine to give; honour spake in my dying father: 'tis a sentence that's registered here in Antonio's heart—I must not wed her but to one in blood calls honour father. Prythee, be my friend; forget I have a sister; in love I'll be more than a brother, though not to mingle blood.

Gio. May I not call her mistress?

Ant. As a servant, far from the thoughts of wedlock.

Gio. I'm yours, friend: I am proud on't; you shall find
That, though a tailor, I've an honest mind.
Pray, master, help my lord unto a suit; his life
Lies at your mercy.

1st Tai. I'll warrant you.

Ant. But for thy men.

1st Tai. O, they are proud in that they rescu'd you,
And my blood of honour; since you are pleas'd
To grace the now declining trade of tailors
By being shrouded in their homely clothes,
And deck a shop-board with your noble person;
The taunting scorns the foul-mouth'd world can throw
Upon our needful calling shall be answered:
They injure honour, since your honour is a
Noble practitioner in our mystery.

Gio. Cheer up, Antonio, take him in.
The rest will make him merry; I'd go try
The temper of a sword upon some shield
[41] That guards a foe. Pray for my good success.

[Exit.

1st Tai. Come, come, my lord, leave melancholy
To hired slaves, that murther at a price:
Yours was——

Ant. No more: flatter not [so] my sin.

1st Tai. You are too strict a convertite; let's in.

[Exit.

After a confused noise within, enter Raymond, Leonis, Gilberti, hastily.

Ray. What means this capering echo?
Or whence did this so lively counterfeit
Of thunder break out [in] to liberty?

Gil. 'Tis from the city.

Ray. It cannot be their voice should outroar Jove;
Our army, like a basilisk, has struck
Death through their eyes; our number, like a wind,
Broke from the icy prison of the north,
Has froze the portals to their shivering hearts;
They scarce have breath enough to speak't
They live.

[A shout within.

Gil. 'Tis certainly from thence.

Leo. Y' are deceived, poor Spaniards! Fear
Has chang'd their elevated gait to a dejection:
They're planet-struck.

Ray. 'Tis from our jocund fleet, my genius prompts me;
They have already plough'd th' unruly seas,
And with their breasts, proof 'gainst the battering
Waves, dash'd the big billows into angry froth,
And, spite of the contentious foul-mouth'd gods
Of sea and wind, have reach'd the city frontiers,
[42] And [have] begirt her navigable skirts.
Again! 'tis so.

[Again within.

Gil. My creed's another way;
I have no faith but to the city.

Alarum. Enter a Soldier bloody.

Leo. Here's one:
Now we shall know. Ha! he appears
Like one compos'd of horror.

Ray. What speaks thy troubled front?

Leo. Speak, crimson meteor.

Ray. Speak, prodigy, or on my sword thou fall'st.

Sol. The bold Spaniards, setting aside all cold acknowledgment of any odds, or notice of the number our army is made proud with, sends from their walls more lightning than great Jove affrights the trembling world with, when the air is turn'd to mutiny.

Ray. Villain, thou liest; 'twere madness to believe thee. Foolish Spain may, like those giants that heap hill on hill, mountain on mountain, to pluck Jove from heaven, who with a hand of vengeance flung 'em down beneath the centre, and those cloud-contemning mounts heav'd by the strength of their ambitious arms, became their monuments; so Spain's rash folly from this arm of mine shall find their graves amongst the rubbish of their ruin'd cities.

Enter a second Soldier.

What, another! thy hasty news?

2d Mess. The daring enemies have through[43] their gates made a victorious sally: all our troops have jointly, like the dust before the wind, made a dishonoured flight. Hark!

[Alarum within.]

The conquering foe makes hitherward.

Ray. Run to my tent, fetch my Philippa, slave. Why movest thou not?

2d Mess. The enemy's upon us.

Ray. Shall I send thy coward soul down the vaults of horror? Fly, villain, or thou diest!

[Strikes him.

Alarum. Enter Machiavel, Alerzo, Fulgentio, Pandolpho, with Philippa prisoner, Giovanno with Tailor.

Mach. Let one post to my castle, and conduct
My lady; tell her I have a prisoner would become
Proud in her forc'd captivity, to wait
Upon her beauty: fly, let not the tardy clouds outsail thee.

Phil. Canst thou, proud man, think that Philippa's heart
Is humbled with her fortunes? No, didst thou
Bring all the rough tortures
From the world's childhood to this hour invented,
And on my resolute body, proof against pain,
Practis'd Sicilian tyranny, my giant thoughts
Should, like a cloud of wind-contemning smoke,
Mingle with heaven:
And not a look so base as to be pitied
Shall give you cause of triumph.

Aler. 'Fore heaven, a fiery girl.

Ful. A masculine spirit.

Pan. An Amazon.

[44] Ray. See, my Philippa, her rich colour's fled, and like that soul
The furrow-fronted fates have made an anvil
To forge diseases on, she's lost herself
With her fled beauty; yet, pale as she stands,
She adds more glory to our churlish foe,
Than bashful Titan to the eastern world.
Spaniards, she is a conquest; Rome,
When her two-neck'd eagles aw'd the world,
Would have swum through her[22] own blood to purchase:
Nor must you enjoy that gem the superstitious gods
Would quarrel for, but through my heart.
Courage, brave friends, they're valiant that can fly
I' th' mouth of danger; 'tis they win, though die.

Gio. This Moor speaks truth,
Wrapp'd in a voice of thunder.

Ray. Speak, my Philippa, what untutor'd slave
Durst lay a rugged hand upon thy softness?

Phil. 'Twas the epitome of Hercules:
No big Colossus, yet for strength far bigger:
A little person, great with matchless valour.

Ray. What pains thou takest to praise
Thine enemy!

Phil. 'Twere sin to rob him that has wasted so his blood for praise: this noble soldier, he 'twas made me captive; nor can he boast 'twas in an easy combat; for my good sword, now ravish'd from mine arm, forc'd crimson drops that, like a gory sweat, buried his manly body in oblivion: those that were skill'd in his effigies, as drunk with Lethe, had forgot 'twas he; till by the drawing[45] of the rueful curtain, they saw in him their error.

Ray. A common soldier, owner of a strength worthy
Such praise? Dares he cope with the
French general single?

Phil. My lord, you must strike quick and sure.

Ray. Why pause you? my Philippa must not stay
Captivity's infection.

Mach. We have the day.

Ray. Not till you conquer me: which if my arm
Be not by witchcraft robb'd of his late strength,
Shall spin your labour to an ample length.

Mach. Upon him, then.

Gio. Odds is dishonourable combat: my lads,
Lets one to one; I am for the Moor.

Aler. Thee!

Ful. Tailor, you are too saucy.

Gio. Saucy?

Aler. Untutor'd groom, mechanic slave!

Gio. You have protection by the governor's presence,
Else, my plum'd estridges,[23] 'tis not your feathers,
More weighty than your beads, should stop
My vengeance, but I'd text my wrong
In bloody characters upon your pamper'd flesh.

Ful. You would?

Gio. By heaven, I would!

Ful. You'd be advis'd, and render up your life
A sacrifice to patience.

Gio. Musk-cat, I'd make your civet worship stink
First in your perfumed buff.

Aler. Phlegmatic slave!
[46]

Gio. Bloodless commanders.

Ful.

Pan.

Aler.

}

How?

Gio. So.

Ful.

Pan.

Aler.

}

Let's reward his boldness.

[They fall upon Giovanno.

Mach. Whence this rashness?

Ray. Bless'd occasion! let's on 'em.

[The French whisper. The French fly upon 'em: they turn to their Guard, and beat 'em off.


ACT III., SCENE 1.

Enter Machiavel, Fulgentio, Pandolpho, Alerzo, Giovanno, with Raymond prisoner, and the rest of the Tailors.

All the Tai. A tailor, a tailor, a tailor!

Gio. Raymond, y' are now my prisoner:
Blind chance has favour'd, where your thoughts
Had hope she meant to ruin
From our discord, which Heaven has made victorious,
You meant to strike a harmony should glad you.

Aler. 'Tis not to be borne: a tailor!

[Whisper.

Ful. 'Twas an affront galls me to think on't: besides,
His saucy valour might have ruin'd all
Our forward fortunes, had the French been stronger:
Let him be banish'd.

Mach. It shall be so;
My fears are built on grounds,
[47] Stronger than Atlas' shoulders: this same tailor
Retains a spirit like the lost Antonio;
Whose sister we will banish in pretence
Of love to justice; 'tis a good snare to trap
The vulgar hearts: his and her goods, to gild
My lawless doings, I'll give the poor, whose tongues
Are i' their bellies; which being full,
Is tipp'd with heartless prayers; but, empty,
A falling planet is less dangerous; they'll down
To hell for curses. You tailor!

Gio. My lord.

Mach. Deliver up your prisoner.

Gio. Y' are obey'd.

Mach. So: now we command, on forfeit of thy life,
You be not seen on any ground
Our master's title circles within three days:
Such a factious spirit we must not nourish;
Lest, like the fabl'd serpent, [once] grown warm
In your conceited worth, you sting
Your country's breast, that nurs'd your valour.

Gio. This my reward?

Aler. More than thy worth deserves.

Gio. Pomander-box, thou liest!

Ful. Go purge yourself; your country vomits you.

Gio. Slaves, y' are not worth my anger.

Ful. Go vent your spleen 'mongst satires; pen a
Pamphlet, and call't the "Scourge of Greatness."

Aler. Or "Spain's Ingratitude."

Gio. Ye are not worth my breath,
Else I should curse you; but I must weep,
Not that I part from thee, unthankful Spain,
But my Evadne: well, it must be so:
[48] Heart, keep thy still tough temper, spite of woe.

[Exit.

Mach. My house shall be your prison. Attend 'em, colonel.

[Exeunt Raymond, Philippa, Alerzo, Fulgentio, Pandolpho, Giovanno,[24] &c. Manent Tailors.

Ful. Please you walk.

1st Tai. My servant banish'd?

3d Tai. Famish'd, master? nay, faith, and a tailor come to be famish'd, 'tis a hard world: no bread in this world here, ho, to save the renown'd corpse of a tailor from famishing! 'Tis no matter for drink: give me bread.

2d Tai. Thou hast a gut would swallow a peck-loaf.

3d Tai. Ay, marry would it with vantage; I tell truth, and, as the proverb says, shame the devil; if our hell afford a devil, but I see none, unless he appear in a delicious remnant of nim'd satin, and, by my faith, that's a courteous devil that suffers the brokers to hang him in their ragged wardrobe; and used to sell his devilship for money: I tell truth. A tailor, and lie? faith, I scorn that.

1st Tai. Leave your discovery.

3d Tai. Master, a traveller, you know, is famous for lying; and having travelled as far as hell, may not I make description of the unknown land?

1st Tai. My brain is busy, Sebastiano must not tread an unknown land to find a grave. Unfortunate Sebastiano! First to lose thyself in a disguise,[49] unfitting for thy birth, and then thy country for thy too much valour:

There's danger in being virtuous in this age
Led by those sinful actors; the plunged stage
Of this vice-bearing world would headlong fall,
But charitable virtue bears up all.
I must invent: I ha't so:—
As he's a tailor, he is banish'd Spain,
As Sebastiano, 'tis revok'd again.

[Exit cum suis.

Enter Machiavel solus.

Mach. How subtle are my springes! they take all
With what swift speed unto my chaffy bait
Do all fowls fly unto their hasty ruin?
Clap, clap your wings and flutter, greedy fools,
Whilst I laugh at your folly; I have a wire
Set for the Moor and his ambitious consort;
Which if my wife would second, they are sure.

Enter Auristella.

Aur. What must she second?

Mach. Art thou there, my love?
We're in a path that leads us to a height,
We may confront the sun, and with a breath
Extinguish common stars; be but thou rul'd,
The light, that does create day to this city,
Must be deriv'd from us.

Aur. You fire my soul,
And to my airy wings add quicker feathers:
What task would not I run to be call'd queen?
Did the life-blood of all our family,
Father and mother, stand as a quick wall
To stop my passage to a throne,
[50] I'd with a poignard ope their azure veins,
And squeeze their active blood up into clods,
Till they become as cold as winter's snow;
And as a bridge upon their trunks I'd go.

Mach. Our souls are twins, and thirst with equal heat
For deity: kings are in all things gods,
Saving mortality.

Aur. To be a queen, what danger would I run!
I'd spend my life like to a barefoot nun,
So I might sit above the lesser stars
Of small nobility, but for a day.

Mach. 'Tis to be done, sweet love, a nearer way:
I have already with the sugar'd baits
Of justice, liberality, and all
The fox-like gins that subtle statesmen set
To catch the hearts o' th' giddy multitude:
Which, if it fail, as cautious policy
Forbids, I build too strongly on their drunk,
Uncertain votes. I'd have thee break with my
Great prisoner's wife, as I will do with him;
Promise (the states equal divided) half
Himself shall rule:
So that if need compel us to take arms,
We may have forces from the realm of France,
To seat us in the chair of government.

Aur. I never shall endure to walk as equal
With proud Philippa, no; my ambitious soul
Boils in a thirsty flame of total glory:
I must be all without a second flame
To dim our lustre.

Mach. Still my very soul!
Think'st thou I can endure competitor,
Or let an Ethiop sit by Machiavel's side
As partner in his honour? no, as I
Have seen i' the commonwealth of players,
[51] One that did act the Theban Creon's part:
With such a life I became ravish'd, and on
Raymond mean to plot what he did on
The cavilling boys of Œdipus,
Whilst we grasp the whole dignity.

Aur. As how, sweet Machiavel?

Mach. It is not ripe, my love.
The king, I hear, applauds my justice;
Wherefore I've sent order that Count Antonio,
Once being taken, be sent to Filford Mill;
There ground to death.

Aur. What for his sister?

Mach. Thy envy: she I have banish'd;
And her goods, to guard a shower of curses
From my head, I have given the poor.

Aur. Good policy, let's home to our designs:
I hate to be officious, yet my frown
Shall be dissolv'd to flattery for a crown.

[Exit.

Mach. Attend your lady. So, her forward spleen,
Tickled with thought of greatness makes the scene
Attempts run smooth: the haughty Moor shall be
The ladder, on whose servile back I'll mount
To greatness. If calm peace deny me easy way,
Rough war shall force it; which done, Raymond
And his Philippa must go seek an empire in
Elysium; for to rule predominant belongs
Alone to me: slaves are unworthy rule,
What state would set a crown upon a mule?

[Exit.

Antonio, disguised, sitting in a closet.

Ant. My soul is heavy, and my eyelids feel
The weighty power of lazy Morpheus:
Each element, that breathes a life within me,
Runs a contrary course, and conspire[s]
[52] To counterfeit a chaos: whilst the frame
And weak supporters of my inward man
Crack as beneath the weight of Atlas' burthen.
A sudden change! how my blear'd eyelids strive
To force a sleep 'gainst nature! O you powers,
That rule the better thoughts, if you have ought
To act on my frail body, let it be
With eagles' speed, or, if your wills so please,
Let my forepass'd and undigested wrongs
O'erwhelm my thoughts, and sink me to the ground
With their no less than death's remembrances.
Cease, bastard slave, to clog my senses
With the leaden weights of an unwilling sleep,
Unless thy raw-bon'd brother join his force,
And make a separation 'twixt
My airy soul and my all-earthly body;
I am o'ercome; Heaven work your wills;
My breath submits to this, as 'twould submit to death.

[Sleeps.

Soft music; Love descends half-way, then speaks.

Love. Sleep, entranced man, but be
Wakeful in thy fancy; see,
Love hath left his palace fair,
And beats his wings against the air,
To ease thy panting breast of ill:
Love's a physician, and his[25] will
Must be obey'd: therefore with haste
To Flanders fly; the echoing blast
Of fame shall usher thee along,
And leave thee pester'd in a throng
Of searching troubles, which shall be
But bugbears to thy constancy.

[53]

Enter from one side Death, and from the other side Aurelia; Death strikes three times at Antonio, and Aurelia diverts it. Exeunt severally.

What this same shadow seems to be,
In Flanders thou shalt real see;
The maid that seem'd to conquer death,
And give thee longer lease of breath,
Doats on thy air; report hath been
Lavish in praising thee unseen.
Make haste to Flanders; time will be
Accus'd of slothfulness, if she
Be longer tortur'd: do not stay,
My power shall guide thee on the way.

[Ascendat.[26]

Enter Giovanno and the Old Tailor.

Gio. He is asleep.

O. Tai. See how he struggles, as if some visions had
Assum'd a fuller shape of horror than
His troubled thoughts.[27]

Gio. His conscience gripes him to [a] purpose:
See, [see,] he wakes; let us observe.

Ant. Stay, gentle pow'r, leave hostage that thy promise
Thou wilt perform, and I will offer to
Thy deity
More than my lazy heart has offer'd yet.
But stay, Antonio, can thy easy faith
Give credit to a dream? an airy vision,
[54] Fram'd by a strangeling[28] fancy, to delude weak sense
With a gay nothing? Recollect thyself;
Advise thee by thy fears; it may force hence
This midnight's shade of grief, and gild
It with a morn as full of joy as does
Bright Phœbus to our eastern world, when blushing
He arises from the lap of sea-green Thetis
To give a new day birth.

Gio. Why, how now, friend? what, talking to thyself?

Ant. O Giovanno, 'tis my unpartial thoughts,
That rise in war against my guilty conscience;
O, it stings me!

O. Tai. Be more a man, shrink not beneath a weight
So light a child may bear it; for, believe me,
If my prophetic fear deceive me not,
You'd done an act Spain should for ever praise,
Had you kill'd Machiavel too.

Ant. As how, good master—I must call you so?
This is your livery.

O. Tai. O, y' are a noble tailor. But to Machiavel—
It was my chance, being sent for by his wife
To take the measure of their noble prisoner,
Who, when I came, was busy being plac'd
Into a room, where I might easily hear
Them talk of crowns and kingdoms,
And of two that should be partners in this
End of Spain.

Gio. Who were they?

O. Tai. Machiavel and Raymond! At last Machiavel laugh'd,
[55] Saying: for this I made the governor
To cross Antonio at the council-board;
Knowing that one must, if not both, should die.

Ant. Did he say this?

O. Tai. He did, and added more, [and] under
A feigned show of love to justice,
[He] banished your sister.

Gio. Is Evadne banish'd?

O. Tai. She is; and, as I guess, to Flanders;
Her woman too has left her.

Ant. Nay, droop not, friend: host, pray, tell proud
Mach'vel I have a sword left to chastise
A traitor: come, let's go seek Evadne.

Gio. O Antonio! the sudden grief almost distracts
Thy friend; but come, let's go, each several [way,]
And meet at Filford: if thou findest Evadne,
Bear her unto the castle.

[Exit.

Ant. Farewell, good master.

[Exit.

O. Tai. O, you honour me.
Bootless were all persuasions, they'll not stay.
I'll to the king; this treason may become,
Like a disease, out of the reach of physic,
And may infect past cure, if let alone.

[Exit.

Enter Raymond and Philippa.

Phil. Erect thy head, my Raymond; be more tall
Than daring Atlas, but more safely wise:
Sustain no burthen but the politic care
Of being great: till thou achieve the city's
Axletree, and wave it as thou list.

Ray. Hast thou no skill in magic, that thou fall'st
[56] So just upon my thoughts? thy tongue is tipp'd
Like nature's miracle, that draws the steel
With unresisted violence: I cannot keep
A secret to myself, but thy prevailing
Rhetoric ravishes and leaves my breast
Like to an empty casket,
That once was bless'd with keeping of a jewel
I durst not trust the air with, 'twas so precious:
Pray, be careful.

Phil. You do not doubt me?

Ray. No, were you a woman made of such coarse ingredients as the common, which in our trivial phrase we call mere women, I would not trust thee with a cause so weighty, that the discovery did endanger this—this hair that, when 'tis gone, a lynx's [eye] cannot miss it: but you are—I want expressions, 'tis not common words can speak you truly—you are more than woman.

Phil. My lord, you know my temper, and how to win upon my heart.

Ray. I must be gone, and post a messenger:
France must supply what wants to make thee great—
An army, my Philippa, which these people,
Snoring in pride of their last victory,
Do not so much as dream on:
Nor shall, till they be forced to yield their voices
At our election; which will be ere long.

Phil. O, 'tis an age, I'd rather have it said,
Philippa than a prisoner were dead.

[Exit.

Enter a Criminal Judge and Officers, with Antonio; Petruchio and Aurelia meet him, with Servants.

Jud. Captain Petruchio, take this condemn'd man
[57] Into your charge; it is Antonio, once
A Spanish count, till his rash folly with
His life made forfeit of his honour; he
Was found travelling to your castle;
'Twas Heaven's will that his own feet should with
A willing pace conduct him to his ruin:
For the murther he must be ground to death
In Filford Mill, of which you are the governor:
Here my commission in its end gives strength
To yours. He is your charge: farewell.
His death must be with speed.

[Exit with his.[29]

Ant. Deceive me not, good glasses, [for] your lights
In my esteem never till now was precious,
It is the same, it is the very same
I sleeping saw.

Aur. Is this the man fame speaks so nobly of?
O love, Aurelia never until now
Could say he knew thee; I must dissemble it.

[Aside.

Pet. Come, sir, to my castle.

Aur. Fie on you, sir; to kill a governor, it is a fact death cannot appear too horrible to punish.

Ant. Can this be truth? O shallow, shallow man,
To credit air! believe there can be substance in
A cloud of thick'ned smoke, as truth
Hid in a dream; yes, there is truth that, like
A scroll fetch'd from an oracle,
Betrays the double-dealing of the gods;
Dreams, that speak all of joy, do turn to grief,
And such bad fate deludes my light belief.

Pet. Away with him.

[Exeunt.

[58]

Aurelia sola.

Aur. Oft have I heard my brother with a tongue
Proud of the office, praise this lovely lord;
And my trapp'd soul did with as eager haste
Draw in the breath; and now, O Aurelia!
Buried with him must all the joy thou hast
For ever sleep; and with a pale consumption,
Pitying him wilt thou thyself be ruin'd?
He must not die; if there be any way
Reveal'd to the distressed, I will find it.
Assist a poor lost virgin, some good power,
And lead her to a path, whose secret tract
May guide both him and me unto our safety.
Be kind, good wits, I never until now
Put you to any trouble; 'tis your office
To help at need this little world you live by:
Not yet! O dulness! do not make me mad—
I have't, bless'd brains! now shall a woman's wit
Wrestle with fate, and if my plot but hit,
Come off with wreaths: my duty, nay, my all,
I must forsake, lest my Antonio fall.

[Exit.


ACT IV., SCENE 1.

Enter Giovanno mad, solus.

Not find Evadne! sure, some wanton wind
Has snatch'd her from the earth into the air!
Smooth Zephyr fans the tresses of her hair,
Whilst slick[30] Favonius plays the fawning slave,
And hourly dies, making her breasts his grave.
[59] O false Evadne! is Giovanno's love,
That has outdone all merit for thy sake,
So light that wind outweighs it?
No, no, [no,] no; Evadne is all virtue,
Sweet as the breath of roses; and as chaste
As virgin lilies in their infancy.
Down, you deluding ministers of air,
Evadne is not light, though she be fair.
Dissolve that counterfeit: ha, ha, ha, ha!
See how they shrink! why so, now I will love you:
Go search into the hollows of the earth,
And find my love, or I will chain you up
To eternity: see, see, who's this?
O, I know him now. So, ho, ho! so, ho, ho!
Not hear? 'Tis Phaeton: no, 'tis an heir
Got, since his father's death, into a cloak
Of gold outshines the sun; the headstrong horses of
Licentious youth have broke their reins, and drawn
Him through the signs of all libidinousness.
See, from the whorish front of Capreæ
He's tumbling down as low as beggary.
O, are you come, grim Tartar Rhadamanth!
Go, ask of Pluto, if he have not ta'en
Evadne to his smoky commonwealth,
And ravish'd her? Begone, why stir you not?
Ha, ha, ha! the devil is afraid.

Evad. Help, a rape!

[Within.

Ban. Stop her mouth.

Gio. Who calls for help? 'tis my Evadne; ay,
It was her voice that gave the echo life,
That cried a rape. Devil, dost love a wench?
Who was thy pander, ha? What saucy fiend
Durst lay his unpar'd fangs on my Evadne?
Come, I'll swim unarmed o'er Acheron,
And sink grim Charon in his ferry boat.
[60]

Evad. Murder! a rape!

[Within.

Gio. I come, I come.

[Exit.

Enter the Bandit dragging Evadne by the hair: she drops a scarf. Exeunt.

Enter Giovanno again.

Gio. I cannot find her yet. The king of flames
Protests she is not there: but hang him, rogue,
They say he'll lie. O, how my glutted spleen
Tickles to think how I have paid the slave!
I made him lead me into every hole:
Ha, ha, ha! what crying was there there?
Here on a wheel, turn'd by a fury's hand,
Hangs a distracted statesman, that had spent
The little wit Heaven to strange purpose lent him
To suppress right, make beggars, and get means
To be a traitor. Ha, ha, ha! And here
A usurer, fat with the curses of so many heirs
His extortion had undone, sat to the chin
In a warm bath, made of new-melted gold;
And now and then a draught pass'd through his throat.
He fed upon his god; but he being angry
Scalded his chaps. Right against him
Stood a fool'd gallant, chain'd unto a post,
And lash'd by folly for his want of wit.
The reeling drunkard and plump glutton stood
Making of faces, close by Tantalus:
But drank and fed on air. The whoremaster,
Tied to a painted punk, was by a fury,
Termed insatiate lust, whipped with a blade
Of fire. And here——
What's here? 'tis my Evadne's veil; 'tis hers, I know't:
Some slave has ravish'd my Evadne! Well,
[61] There breathes not such an impious slave in hell.
Nay, it is hers, I know it too-too plain.
Your breath is lost: 'tis hers: you speak in vain.

[Exit.

Thunder and lightning. Enter the Bandit, with Evadne by the hair.

Capt. Come, bring her forward; tie her to that tree, each man shall have his turn: come, minion, you must [now] squench the raging flames of my concupiscence: what, do you weep, you puritanical punk? I shall tickle mirth into you by and by. Trotter, good Trotter, post unto my cell, make compound of muskadine and eggs; for the truth is I am a giant in my promises, but in the act a pigmy: I am old, and cannot do as I have done; good Trotter, make all convenient speed.

Trot. Faith, master, if you cannot, here's them that can ferret in a coney-burrow without a provocative; I'll warrant you, good master.

Capt. No more, I say, it is a parcel of excellent mutton: I'll cut it up myself. Come, minion.

[Exit Trotter. The Captain takes his dagger and winds it about her hair, and sticks it in the ground. Thunder and lightning.

Evad. Kill me! O, kill me! Rather let me die
Than live to see the jewel that adorns
The souls of virtuous virgins ravish'd from me.
Do not add sin to sin, and at a price
That ruins me, and not enriches you,
Purchase damnation: do not, do not do't.
Sheathe here your sword, and my departing soul,
Like your good angel, shall solicit Heaven
[62] To dash out your offences: let my flight
Be pure and spotless: do not injure that
Manhood would blush to think on: it is all
A maid's divinity: wanting her life,
She's a fair corse; wanting her chastity,
A spotted soul of living infamy.

Capt. Hang chastity!

3d Ban. A very voice.

Enter Trotter.

Trot. O captain, captain! yonder is the mad Orlando the furious, and I think he takes me for——What do you call him?

Capt. What, Medor?[31]

Trot. Ay, ay, Medor: the devil Medor him, he has so nuddled[32] me——O, here he comes: I'll be gone.

[Exit.

Enter Giovanno.

Gio. Stay, satyr, stay; you are too light of foot,
I cannot reach your paces, prythee, stay.
What goddess have you there? Sure, 'tis Evadne!
Are you the dragons that ne'er sleep, but watch
The golden fruit of the Hesperides?
Ha! then I am Hercules; fly ye! Sure,
That face dwelt on Evadne's shoulders.

[He beats them off, and unbinds Evadne.

[63] Evad. O thou preserver of near-lost Evadne!
What must my weakness pay?

Gio. 'Tis [she,] 'tis she; she must not know I'm mad.

Evad. Assist me, some good pow'r; it is my friend.

[Aside.]

Make me but wise enough to resolve myself.

Gio. It may be 'tis not she; I'll ask her name.
What are you call'd, sweet goddess?

Evad. They that know me mortal term me Evadne.

Gio. 'Tis she: ay, ay, 'tis she.

Evad. Pray you, sir, unto the bond of what I owe you, which is a poor distressed virgin's life, add this one debt: [tell me,] what are you?

Gio. Not worth your knowledge: I am a poor, a very, very poor despised thing: but say, I pray, are you sure your name's Evadne?

Evad. 'Tis questionless my tailor. [Aside.] I am she; receive me to your arms not alter'd in my heart, though in my clothes.

Gio. I do believe you, indeed I do; but stay, I don't. Are you a maid, a virgin, pray, tell me? for my Evadne could not tell a lie; speak, I shall love you, though that jewel's gone.

Evad. I am as spotless, thank your happy self that sav'd
Me from those robbers, as the child which yet
Is but a jelly, 'tis so young.

Gio. No more, no more, trust me, I do believe you.
[They are] so many slaves, whose flaming appetites
Would in one night ravish a throng of virgins,
And never feel digression in their heat.
I'll after, and murder all.

Evad. How do you?

[64] Gio. Well, very well: belike, you think I am mad.

Evad. You look distractedly.

Gio. 'Tis but your thoughts; indeed I am wondrous well.
How fair she looks after so foul a deed!
It cannot be she should be false to me:
No, thou art mad to think so. Fool, O fool!
Think'st thou those slaves, having so fair a mark,
Would not be shooting? Yes, they would: they have.
Evadne is fly-blown: I cannot love her.

[Aside.]

Evad. What say you, sweet?

Gio. The innocence that sits upon that face
Says she is chaste; the guilty cannot speak
So evenly as she does: guilty, said I?
Alas! it were not her fault, were she ravish'd.
O madness, madness! whither wilt thou bear me?

[Aside.]

Evad. His senses are unsettled; I'll go seek
Some holy man to rectify his wits.
Sweet, will you go unto some hermit's cell?
You look as you lack'd rest.

Gio. She speaks
Like to an angel, she's the same as when
I saw her first: as pure, as chaste. Did she
Retain the substance of a sinner—for she is none—
Her breath would then be sour, and betray
The rankness of the act: but her chaste sighs
Beget as sweet a dew as that of May.
Why weeps Evadne? truly I am not mad.
See, I am tame; pray, lead me where you please.

[Exeunt.

[65]

A banquet is set forth: enter Petruchio, Aurelia, with two Servants bringing Antonio asleep in a chair, and set him to the table.

Pet. The drink has done its part effectually;
'Twas a strong powder that could hold his senses
So fast, that this removing, so full of noise,
Had not the power to wake him.

Aur. Good father, let Aurelia, your daughter,
Do this same act of justice; let me tread
The pin:[33] the fact of his being so foul, so hateful,
Has lent me, though a maid, such fortitude.

Pet. Thou hast thy wish, do't boldly; 'tis a deed
That, in the ignorance of elder ages,
Would be thought full of merit. Be not daunted.

Aur. I have a thought tells me it is religious
To sacrifice a murtherer to death;
Especially one that did act a deed
So generally accounted odious.

Pet. By holy Jaques,[34] I am a governor,
And should my life (though by the hand of him
My duty does call king) be stroke i' th' air;
My injur'd corpse should not forsake the earth
Till I did see't reveng'd: be resolute, thy foot
Is guided by a power that, though unseen,
Is still a furtherer of good attempts.

Aur. Pray, sir, lend me the key of the back-ward,
For though my conscience tells me 'tis an act
I may hereafter boast of, yet I'll pass
Unto our Lady's chapel, when 'tis done,
To be confess'd, ere I am seen of any.

[66] Pet. I am proud to see thee so well given.
Take 'em, [my] girl, and with 'em take my prayers.

Aur. He wakes; pray, leave me, sir.

[Exit Petruchio.

So I'll make fast
The door: goodness, bear witness 'tis a potent
Power outweighs my duty.

Ant. Amazement! on what tenters do you stretch [me].
O, how this alteration wracks my reason! I m[ust try]
To find the axletree on which it hangs!
Am I asleep?

Aur. Shake off thy wonder; leave that seat; 'twas set
To sink thy body for ever from the eyes
Of human sight; to tell thee how would be
A fatal means to both our ruins——briefly,
My love has broke the bands of nature
With my father to give you being.

Ant. Happy, [O] happy vision! the bless'd preparative
To this same hour; my joy would burst me else.

Aur. Receive me to thy arms.

Ant. I would not wish to live but for thee: [but for thee,]
Life were a trouble; welcome to my soul.

Aur. Stand; I have a ceremony
To offer to our safety, ere we go.

[She takes a dog, and ties it to the chair: she stamps: the chair and dog descend: a pistol-shot within: a noise of a mill.

Had not my love, like a kind branch
Of some o'erlooking tree, catch'd thee,
Thou'dst fallen, never to look upon the world again.

Ant. What shall I offer to my life's preserver?

[67] Aur. Only thy heart, crown'd with a wreath of love.
Which I will ever keep; and in exchange
Deliver mine.

Ant. Thus I deliver: in this kiss receive't.

Aur. In the same form Aurelia yields up hers.

[A noise.

Ant. What noise is that?

Aur. I fear my father.

Ant. What's to be done?

Aur. Through the back-ward, of which I have
The key, we'll suddenly make 'scape;
Then in two gowns, of which I am provided,
We'll clothe ourselves, till we be pass'd all fear.

Ant. Be't as you please: 'tis my good genius' will
That I obey—command; I'll follow still.

[Exeunt.

Enter Petruchio with servants.

Pet. She's gone unto her prayers; may every bead
Draw down a blessing on her, that like seed
May grow into a harvest: 'tis a girl
My age is proud of; she's indeed the model
Of her dead mother's virtues, as of shape.
Bear hence this banquet.

[Exit with the banquet.

Giovanno is discovered sleeping in the lap of Evadne.

Evad. Thou silent god, that with the leaden mace
Arresteth all save those prodigious birds,
That are fate's heralds to proclaim all ill;
Deafen Giovanno: let no fancied noise
Of ominous screech-owl's or night-raven's voice
Affright his quiet senses: let his sleep
[68] Be free from horror or unruly dreams;
That may beget a tempest in the streams
Of his calm reason: let 'em run as smooth,
And with as great a silence, as those do
That never took an injury; where no wind
Had yet acquaintance: but like a smooth crystal
Dissolv'd into a water that ne'er frown'd,
Or knew a voice but music.

Enter Antonio and Aurelia in hermits' gowns.

Holy hermits, for such your habits speak you,
Join your prayers with a distressed virgin's,
That the wits of this distracted young man may
Be settled.

Ant. Sure, 'tis my sister, and that
Sleeping man, Giovanno. She loves him still.

[He wakes.

Gio. O, what a blessedness am I bereft of!
What pleasure has the least part of a minute
Stolen from my eyes? methought I did embrace
A brother and a friend; and both Antonio.

Evad. Bless'd be those gentle powers that——

Gio. What, Evadne——have deceived my eyes,
Take heed, Evadne, worship not a dream,
'Tis of a smoky substance, and will shrink
Into the compass of report that 'twas,
And not reward the labour of a word.
Were it substantial! could I now but see
That man of men, I'd by my practice
Of religious prayers add to the calendar
One holy-day, and keep it once a year.

Ant. Behold Antonio!

Evad. Brother!

[To Antonio.

Aur. Brother!

[To Giovanno.

Ant. What earthquake shakes my heart!
With what a speed she flew into his arms!
[69]

Evad. Some power, that hearkens to the prayer of virgins,
Has been distill'd to pity at my fortunes,
And made Evadne happy.

Aur. Now my longing,
That was grown big, is with your sight delivered
Of a joy that will become a giant, and o'ercome me.
Welcome, thrice welcome, brother.

Ant. Ha, her brother! Fortune has bound me so
Much in their debts, I must despair to pay 'em:
Twice has my life been by these twins of goodness
Pluck'd from the hand of death; that fatal enmity
Between our houses here shall end,
Though my father at his death commanded me
To eternity of hatred.
What tie binds stronger than reprieve from death?
Come hither, friend. Now, brother, take her,
Thou'st been a noble tailor.

Gio. Be moderate, my joys, do not o'erwhelm me:
Here, take Aurelia: may you live happy!
O Antonio! this, this was the cause of my disguise;
Sebastiano could not win Evadne's love,
But Giovanno did; come now to our father's castle.

Ant. Pardon me; there is a bar, that does
Concern my life, forbids you as a friend
To think on going to any place
But to the tailor's house, which is not far.
Come: as we go, I will relate the cause.

Aur. Do, good brother.

Evad. Go, good Sebastiano.

Gio. Sebastiano is your page, and bound to follow:
Lead on.
[70]

Ant. O noble temper, I admire thee! may
The world bring forth such tailors every day.

[Exeunt.

Enter three Tailors on a shop-board.

1st Tai. Come, come, let's work; for if my guesses point the right, we shan't work long.

3d Tai. I care not how soon. I have a notable stomach to bread.

2d Tai. Dost hear, I suspect that courtier my master brought in last night to be the king; which if it be, bullies, all the bread in the town shan't satisfy us, for we will eat Cum privilegio.

1st Tai. Come, let's have a device, a thing, a song, boy.

3d Tai. Come, an air——

The Song.

1st Tai. 'Tis a merry life we live,
All our work is brought unto us;
Still are getting, never give,
For their clothes all men do woo us:
Yet (unkind) they blast our names
With aspersions of dishonour:
For which we make bold with their dames,
When we take our measure on her.

All Tai. For which we, &c.

Enter Antonio, Giovanno, and the Old Tailor.

O. Tai. You see the life we live; (To the Tailors) cease.

Ant. O, 'tis a merry one.
[71]

Gio. It is no news to me, I have been us'd to't.

O. Tai. Now for discovery; the king as yet
Is ignorant of your names, and shall be
Till your merits beg your pardon.
My lord, you are for Machiavel; take this gown.

Ant. Pray for success.

[Exit Antonio.

O. Tai. You, in this French disguise, for proud Philippa;
This is her garment. I hear the king: begone:
The Frenchman's folly sit upon your tongue.

[Exeunt.

Enter the King, Evadne, and Aurelia.

King. Believe me, tailor, you've outstripp'd the court,
For such perfections live not everywhere;
Nature was vex'd (as she's a very shrew),
She made all others in an angry mood;
These only she can boast for masterpieces:
The rest want something or in mind or form,
These are precisely made: a critic jury
Of cavilling arts cannot condemn a scruple.

Aur. But that your entrance in this formal speech
Betray'd you are a courtier, I had been angry
At your rank flattery.

King. Can you say so?

Evad. Sir, she has spoke my meaning.

King. Friend, what are those beauties call'd.

[Aside.

O. Tai. Your grace's pardon.

King. Are they oracle, or is the knowledge fatal?
But that I know thy faith, this denial
Would conjure a suspicion in my breast;
[72] Use thy prerogative; 'tis thy own house,
In which you are a king, and I your guest.
Come, ladies.

[Exeunt.

Enter Antonio disguised like a physician.

Ant. This habit will do well, and less suspected;
Wrapp'd i' this cover lives a kingdom's plague;
They kill with licence; Machi'vel's proud dame,
'Tis famed, is sick: upon my soul, howe'er
Her health may be, the aguish commons cry;
She's a disease they groan for: this disguise
Shall sift her ebon soul, and if she be
Infectious, like a megrim or rot limb,
The sword of justice must divide the joint
That holds her to the state-endanger'd body—
She comes.

Enter Machiavel, Auristella leaning on his arm, with two Servants.

Mach. Look up, my Auristella;
Better the sun forsake his course to bless
With his continuing beams th' Antipodes,
And we grovel for ever in eternal night,
Than death eclipse thy rich and stronger light.
Seek some physician: horror to my soul!
She faints; I'd rather lose the issue of my hopes
Than Auristella.

Ant. Issue of his hopes? strange!—

[Aside.

Mach. The crown's enjoyment can yield no content
Without the presence of my Auristella.

Ant. Crown's enjoyment!
O villain!

Mach. Why stir you not? fetch me some skilful man,
[73] My kingdom shall reward him; if his art
Chain her departing soul unto her flesh
But for a day, till she be crown'd a queen:
Fly, bring him unto this walk.

Ant. Stay,
Most honoured count—now for a forged link
Of flattery to chain me to his love.

[Aside.

Having with studious care gone o'er the art
Folly terms magic, which more sublime souls
Skill'd i' the stars know is above that mischief,
I find you're born to be 'bove vulgar greatness,
Even to a throne: but stay, let's fetch this lady.

Mach. All greatness without her is slavery.

Ant. Use modest violence.

Aur. O!

Ant. Stand wider, give her air.

Mach. God-like physician, I and all that's mine,
Will at thy feet offer a sacrifice.

Ant. Forfend it, goodness; I—nay all,
Ere many hours [do] make the now young day
A type of sparkling youth, shall on their knees
Pray for your highness.

Mach. Look up, my Auristella, and be great;
Rise with the sun, but never to decline.

Aur. What have you done?

Mach. Wak'd thee to be a queen.

Aur. A queen! O, don't dissemble; you have robb'd me
Of greater pleasure than the fancied bliss
Elysium owns: O, for a pleasure real, that
Would appear in all unto my dream: that I may
Frown, and then kill: smile, and create again.
Were there a hell, as doating age would have,
To fright from lawless courses heedless youth:
For such a short-liv'd happiness as that
I would be lost unto eternity.

Mach. The day grows old in hours:
[74] Come, Auristella, to the capital;
The greybeard senate shall on humble knees
Pay a religious sacrifice of praise
Unto thy demi-deity: the stars
Have in a general senate made thee queen
Of this our world. Great master of thy art,
Confirm my love.

Ant. Madam——

Mach. Nay, hear him, love;
Believe me, he's a man that may
Be secretary to the gods; he is alone
In art; 'twere sin to name a second: all are
Dunces to him.

Ant. How easy is the faith of the ambitious!

[Aside.

Mach. Follow me to the council.

[Exit.

Aur. Are you the man my husband speaks so high of?
Are you skill'd i' the stars?

Ant. Yes, madam.

Aur. Your habit says, or you abuse the custom,[35]
You're a physician?

Ant. Madam, I'm both.[36]

Aur. And d'ye find no let that stops my rising?

Ant. Not any.

Aur. Away, your skill is dull—dull to derision.
There is a star fix'd i' the heaven of greatness,
That sparkles with a rich and fresher light
Than our sick and defective taper.

Ant. It may be so the horoscope is troubled.

Aur. Confusion take your horoscope and you!
Can you with all your art advise my fears,
How to confound this constellation?
[75]

Ant. Death, how she conjures!

[Aside.

Madam, I must search into the planets.

Aur. Planet me no planets; be a physician,
And from your study of industrious poisons
Fetch me your best-experienc'd speedy one,
And bring it to me straight: what 'tis to do,
Like unresolved riddles, [is] hid from you.

[Exit.

Ant. Planet, said I? upon my life, no planet
Is so swift as her never-resting evil—
That is her tongue: well, I'll not question
What the poison is for; if for herself,
The common hangman's eas'd the labour
Of a blow; for if she live, her head
Must certain off; the poison I'll go get,
And give it her, then to the king:
If Sebastiano's Frenchified disguise
Purchase the like discovery, our eyes
Will be too scanty; we had need to be
All eye to watch such haughty villany.

[Exit.

Enter Giovanno and Philippa.

Gio. Begare, madam, me make de gowne so brave; O, de hole vorle[37] be me patron; me ha vorke for le grand duches le Shevere, le royne de Francia, Spagna, de Angleter, and all d' fine madamosels.

Phil. Nay, monsieur, to deprive desert of praise is unknown language; troth, I use it not; nay, it is very well.

Gio. Be me trot, a, madam, me ner do ill, de English man do ill, de Spanere do, de Duch, de all do ill but your Franchman, and, begare, he do incomparable brave.

Phil. Y' are too proud on't.

[76]

Gio. Begare, me no proud i de vorle, me speak be me trot de trut, ang me no lie: metra, madam, begare, you have de find bode a de vorle, O de fine brave big ting me have ever measure, me waire fit it so pat.[38]

Enter Raymond.

Phil. Welcome, my lord!
Shall I still long, yet lose my longing still?
Is there no art to mount the lofty seat?
No engine that may make us ever great?
Must we be still styl'd subjects, and for fear
Our closest whispers reach the awing ear,
Not trust the wind?

Ray. Be calm, my love;
Ha! who have we here? an eavesdropper?

Gio. Me, signor, be pover a jentle homa a Franch
A votre commandement.

Phil. My tailor.

Gio. Oui, monsieur, de madam tailor.

Ray. Some happy genius does attend my wishes,
Or, spirit-like, a page conducts unto me
The ministers whose sweat must send me ease:[39]
Come hither, Frenchman, canst thou rule thy tongue?
Art not too much a woman?

Gio. No, begare, me show someting for de man.

Ray. Or canst thou be like a perverse one—profess doggedness?
Be as a dead man dumb, briefly be this:
[77] A friend to France, and with a silent speed
Post to our now approaching armed friends:
Tell them that Raymond, ere the hasty sand
Of a short hour be spent, shall be impal'd,
And on his brow, a deputy for France,
Support a golden wreath of kingly cares:
Bid 'em make haste to pluck my partner down
Into his grave; begone, as thou nursest
In thy breast thoughts that do thirst
For nobleness: be secret, and thou'rt made;
If not, thou'rt nothing. Mark, 'tis Raymond says it:
And, as I live, I breathe not, if my deeds
Appear not in a horror 'bove my words.

Gio. Begare, me no ned de threaten, me be as close to your secret, or my lady's secrets, as de skin to de flesh—de flesh to de bone: if me tell, call me de—vat de ye call de moder o de dog, de bich; call me de son o de bich.

Enter Fulgentio.

Ful. Count Machiavel waits your honour i' th' hall.

Ray. Do't, and be more than common in our favour;
Here, take this ring for thy more credit:
Farewell, be quick and secret.

[Exeunt.

Gio. Folly go
From my tongue, the French so nigh. And thou,
Half-ruin'd Spain, so wretchedly provided:
[O] strange, yet not; all countries have bred monsters:
'Tis a proverb—plain as true, and aged as 'tis both:[40]
One tainted sheep mars a whole flock.
[78] Machiavel, that tainted beast, whose spreading ills
Infecteth all, and by infecting kills.
I'll to the French, what he intends to be
Our ruin shall confound their villany.

[Exit.


ACT V., SCENE 1.

Enter the King, Antonio, Old Tailor, Evadne, Aurelia. The King and Antonio whisper.

King. For this discovery be still Antonio;
The frowning law may with a furrowed face
Hereafter look upon, but ne'er shall touch
Thy condemn'd body. Here from a king's hand
Take thy Aurelia; our command shall smoothe
The rising billows of her father's rage,
And charm it to a calm: let one be sent
To certify our pleasure. We would see him.

O. Tai. Your grace's will shall be in all obey'd.

King. Thy loyal love makes thy king poor.

O. Tai. Let not your judgment, royal sir, be question'd.
To term that love was but a subject's duty.

[Exit.

King. You sent the poison, did you?

Ant. Yes, and it like your grace; the apothecary
Call'd it a strong provocative to madness.

King. Did not he question what you us'd it for?

Ant. O, my disguise sav'd him that labour, sir;
My habit, that was more physician than myself,
Told him 'twas to despatch some property,[41]
That had been tortur'd with five thousand drugs
[79] To try experiment: another man
Shan't buy the quantity of so much ratsbane
Shall kill a flea, but shall be had, forsooth,
Before a justice, be question'd; nay, perhaps
Confin'd to peep through an iron grate:
When your physician may poison who [pleaseth him],
Not, cum privilegio: it is his trade.

Enter Giovanno.

Evad. O my Sebastiano!

Gio. Peace, my Evadne, the king must not yet know me.

Evad. My brother has already made you known.

Gio. Will't please your highness?

King. What, Sebastiano, to be still a king
Of universal Spain without a rival?
Yes, it does please me, and you ministers
Of my still growing greatness shall ere long
Find I am pleas'd with you, that boldly durst
Pluck from the fixed arm of sleeping justice.
Her long-sheath'd sword, and whet the rusty blade
Upon the bones of Mach'vel, and his
Confederate rebels.

Gio. That, my lord, is yet
To do: let him mount higher, that
His fall may be too deep for resurrection;[42]
They're gone to the great hall, whither will't please
Your grace disguis'd to go? your person by
Our care shall be secure. Their French troops I
Have sent as useless into France, by virtue
Of Raymond's ring, which he gave me to bid
[80] The general by that token to march
To this city.

King. What say the colonels?
Will they assist me?

Ant. Doubt not, my lord.

King. Come, then, let's go guarded, with such as you
'Twere sin to fear, were all the world untrue.

[Exeunt.

Enter Tailors.

O. Tai. Now for the credit of tailors.

3d Tai. Nay, master, and we do not act, as they say, with any players in the globe of the world, let us be baited like a bull for a company of strutting coxcombs: nay, we can act, I can tell you.

O. Tai. Well, I must to the king; see you be perfect. I'll move it to his highness.

[Exit.

1st Tai. Now, my masters, are we to do; d'ye mark me? do——

3d Tai.[43] Do! what do?—Act, act, you fool you: do, said you, what do? you a player, you a plasterer, a mere dirt-dauber, and not worthy to be mentioned with Vermin, that exact actor: do, I am asham'd on't, fie!

2d Tai. Well said, Vermin, thou ticklest him, faith.

4th Tai. Do, pah!

1st Tai. Well, play; we are to play a play.

3d Tai. Play a play a play, ha, ha, ha! O egredious nonsensensical widgeon, thou shame to our cross-legged corporation; thou fellow of a sound,[81] play a play! why forty-pound Golding of the beggars' theatre speaks better, yet has a mark for the sage audience to exercise their dexterity, in throwing of rotten apples, whilst my stout actor pockets, and then eats up, the injury: play a play! it makes my worship laugh, i' faith.

2d Tai. To him, Vermin; thou bitt'st him, i' faith.

1st Tai. Well, act a play before the king.

2d Tai. What play shall we act?

3d Tai. To fret the French the more, we will act Strange but True, or the Stradling Mounsieur, with the Neapolitan gentleman between his legs.

2d Tai. That would not act well.

3d Tai. O giant of incomparable ignorance! that would not act well, ha, ha! that would not do well, you ass, you!

2d Tai. You bit him for saying do: Vermin, leave biting; you'd best.

1st Tai. What say you to our Spanish Bilbo?

3d Tai. Who, Jeronimo?

1st Tai. Ay.

3d Tai. That he was a mad rascal to stab himself.

1st Tai. But shall we act him?

2d Tai. Ay, let us do him.

3d Tai. Do again, ha!

2d Tai. No, no, let us act him.

3d Tai. I am content.

1st Tai. Who shall act the ghost?

3d Tai. Why, marry that will I—I Vermin.

1st Tai. Thou dost not look like a ghost.

3d Tai. A little player's deceit, howe'er,[44] will do't. Mark me.
I can rehearse, make me rehearse some:[45]
[82] "When this eternal substance of the soul
Did live emprison'd in my wanton flesh,
I was a tailor in the court of Spain."

2d Tai. Courtier Vermin in the court of Spain.

3d Tai. Ay, there's a great many courtiers Vermin indeed:
Those are they beg poor men's livings;
But, I say, tailor Vermin is a court-tailor.

2d Tai. Who shall act Jeronimo?

3d Tai. That will I:
Mark if I do not gape wider than the widest
Mouth'd fowler of them all, hang me!
"Who calls Jeronimo from his naked bed? ha-ugh?"
Now for the passionate part—
"Alas! it is my son Horatio."

1st Tai. Very fine: but who shall act Horatio?

2d Tai. Ay, who shall do your son?

3d Tai. What do, do again? well, I will act Horatio.

2d Tai. Why, you are his father.

3d Tai. Pray, who is fitter to act the son than the father
That begot him?

1st Tai. Who shall act Prince Balthazar and the king?

3d Tai. I will do Prince Balthazar too: and, for the king,
Who but I? which of you all has such a face for a king,
Or such a leg to trip up the heels of a traitor?

2d Tai. You will do all, I think.

3d Tai. Yes, marry, will I; who but Vermin? yet I will
Leave all to play the king:
[83] Pass by, Jeronimo!

2d Tai. Then you are for the king?

3d Tai. Ay, bully, ay.

1st Tai. Let's go seek our fellows, and to this gear.

3d Tai. Come on then.

[Exeunt.

A table and stools set. Enter Bravo.

Bra. Men of our needful profession, that deal in such commodities as men's lives, had need to look about 'em ere they traffic: I am to kill Raymond, the devil's cousin-german, for he wears the same complexion: but there is a right devil that hath hired me—that's Count Machiavel. Good table, conceal me; here will I wait my watchword: but stay, have I not forgot it—Then—Ay, then is my arm to enter. I hear them coming.

[Goes under the table.

Enter the King, Antonio, Old Tailor, Evadne, Aurelia, above. Machiavel, Raymond, Philippa, Auristella, Giovanno, the Colonels with a Guard below.

Mach. Pray, take your seats.

Ray. [To Philippa.] Not well? prythee, retire.

Phil. Sick, sick at heart.

Aur. Well-wrought poison! O, how joy swells me!

[Aside.

Ant. You see, my lord, the poison is box'd up.

[Above.

Phil. Health wait upon this royal company.

King. Knows she we are here?

Ant. O no, my lord, 'tis to the twins of treason: Machiavel and Raymond.

[84]

Ful. Royal! there's something in't.

Aler. It smells rank o' th' traitor.

Pan. Are you i' th' wind on't?

Aur. Will you leave us?

Phil. I cannot stay; O, I am sick to death!

[Exit.

Aur. Or I'll never trust poison more.

[Aside.

Mach. Pray, seat yourselves,
Gentlemen; though your deserts have merit,

[They sit about the table.

And your worths have deserv'd nobly;
But ingratitude, that should be banish'd
From a prince's breast, is Philip's favourite.

King. [Above.] Philip, traitor! why not king? I am so.

Ant. Patience, good my lord; I'll down.

[Exit.

Mach. It lives too near him:
You, that have ventur'd with expense of blood
And danger of your lives, to rivet him
Unto his seat with peace: you, that in war
He term'd his Atlases, and press'd with praises
Your brawny shoulders; call'd you his Colossuses,
And said your looks frighted tall war
Out of his territories: now in peace [behold]
The issue of your labour. This bad man—
Philip, I mean—made of ingratitude,
Wo' not afford a name, that may distinguish
Your worthy selves from cowards; [while]
Civet cats spotted with rats'-dung,
Or a face, like white broth strew'd o'er with currants
For a stirring caper or itching dance, to please
My lady Vanity, shall be made a smock-knight.

King. [Above.] Villain! must our disgrace mount thee?

Ful. To what tends this?

Aler. What means Count Machiavel?

[85]

Enter Antonio below.

Aur. To be your king; fie on this circumstance!
My longing will not brook it: say,
Will you obey us as your kings and queens.

[Aside.

Ful. My Lord Antonio!

Ant. Confine yourselves, the king is within hearing; therefore make show of liking Machiavel's plot: let him mount high, his fall will be the deeper: my life, you shall be safe.

[Aside.

Aur. Say, are you agreed?

Ray. If not, we'll force you to't:
Speak, Frenchman, are our forces i' th' city?

Gio. Oui, mounsier.

Aler.

Ful.

Pan.

}

We acknowledge you our king.

King. More traitors!

Mach. Why——then.

[The Bravo stabs Raymond.

Ray. Ha! from whence this sudden mischief?
Did you not see a hand arm'd with the fatal
Ruin of my life?

Gio. Non pas, signor.

Mach. Ha, ha, ha! lay hold on those French soldiers:
Away with them!

[Exeunt Guard with the French Colonels.

Ray. Was't thy plot, Machiavel? go laughing to thy grave.

[Stabs him.

Aur. Alas! my lord is wounded.

Ray. Come hither, Frenchman, make a dying man
Bound to thy love; go to Philippa,
Sickly as she is, bring her unto me;
[86] Or my flying soul will not depart in peace else:
Prythee, make haste: yet stay, I have not breath
To pay thy labour.
Shrink ye, you twin-born Atlases, that bear
This my near-ruin'd world; have you not strength
To bear a curse, whose breath may taint the air,
That this globe may feel an universal plague?
No; yet bear up, till with a vengeful eye
I outstare day, and from the dogged sky
Pluck my impartial star. O, my blood
Is frozen in my veins—farewell, revenge—me——

[Dies.

Aler. They need no law.

Ful. Nor hangman.

Pan. They condemn and execute without a jury.

Enter Philippa mad.

Phil. I come, I come; nay, fly not, for by hell
I'll pluck thee by the beard, and drag thee thus
Out of thy fiery cave. Ha! on yonder hill
Stand troops of devils waiting for my soul:
But I'll deceive 'em, and, instead of mine,
Send this same spotted tiger's.

[Stabs Auristella.

Aur. O!

Phil. So, whilst they to hell
Are posting with their prize, I'll steal to heaven:
Wolf, dost thou grin? ha! is my Raymond dead?
So ho, so ho! come back
You sooty fiends, that have my Raymond's soul,
Or[46] lay it down, or I will force you do't:
No, won't you stir? by Styx, I'll bait you for't:
Where is my crown? Philippa was a queen,
Was she not, ha? Why so, where is my crown?
[87] O, you have hid it—ha, was't thou

[Overthrows the table.

That robb'd Philippa of her Raymond's life?
Nay, I will nip your wings, you shall not fly;
I'll pluck you by the guarded front, and thus
Sink you to hell before me.

[Stabs the Bravo.

Bravo. O, O!

Phil. What, down, ho, ho, ho!
Laugh, laugh, you souls that fry in endless flames;
Ha, whence this chilness—must I die? Nay, then
I come, I come; nay, weep not, for I come:
Sleep, injur'd shadow; O, death strikes [me] dumb!

[Dies.

Aur. Machi'vel, thy hand, I can't repent, farewell:
My burthened conscience sinks me down to hell.

[Dies.

Mach. I cannot tarry long, farewell; we'll meet,
Where we shall never part: if here be any
My life has injur'd, let your charity
Forgive declining Machi'vel: I'm sorry.

Ant. His penitence works strongly on my temper.
Off, disguise; see, falling count, Antonio forgives thee.

Mach. Antonio? O my shame!
Can you, whom I have injur'd most, pardon my guilt?
Give me thy hand yet nearer: this embrace
Betrays thee to thy death: ha, ha, ha!

[Stabs him.

So weeps the Egyptian monster when it kills,
Wash'd in a flood of tears; couldst ever think
Machi'vel's repentance could come from his heart?
No, down, Colossus, author of my sin,
And bear the burthen mingled with thine own,
To finish thy damnation.

[88]

Enter the King, Aurelia, Evadne, Old Tailor.

King. Accursed villain! thou hast murther'd him,
That holds not one small drop of royal blood,
But what is worth thy life.

Evad. O my brother!

Gio. Give him some air, the wound cannot be mortal.

Aur. Alas! he faints: O my Antonio!
Curs'd Machi'vel, may thy soul——

Ant. Peace, peace, Aurelia; be more merciful:
Men are apt to censure, and will condemn
Thy passion, call it madness, and say thou
Want'st religion: nay, weep not, sweet,
For every one must die: it was thy love
For to deceive the law, and give me life:
But death, you see, has reach'd me: O, I die;
Blood must have blood, so speaks the law of heaven:
I slew the governor; for which rash deed
Heaven, fate, and man thus make Antonio bleed.

[Dies.

Mach. Sleep, sleep, great heart, thy virtue made me ill:
Authors of vice, 'tis fit the vicious kill:
But yet forgive me: O, my once great heart
Dissolves like snow, and lessens to a rheum,
Cold as the envious blasts of northern wind:
World, how I lov'd thee, 'twere a sin to boast;
Farewell, I now must leave thee; [for] my life
Grows empty with my veins: I cannot stand; my breath
Is, as my strength, weak; and both seiz'd by death.
Farewell, ambition! catching at a crown,
Death tripp'd me up, and headlong threw me down.

[Dies.

[89] King. So falls an exhalation from the sky,
And's never miss'd because unnatural;
A birth begotten by incorporate ill;
Whose usher to the gazing world is wonder.

Enter Petruchio.

Alas! good man, thou'rt come unto a sight
Will try thy temper, whether joy or grief
Shall conquer most within thee; joy lies here,
Scatter'd in many heaps: these, when they liv'd,
Threaten'd to tear this balsam from our brow,
And rob our majesty of this elixir.

[Points to his crown.

Is't not my right? Was I not heir to Spain?

Pet. You are our prince, and may you live
Long to enjoy your right!

King. But now look here, 'tis plain grief has a hand
Harder than joy; it presses out such tears.
Nay, rise.

Pet. I do beseech your grace not to think me
Contriver of Antonio's 'scape from death;
'Twas my disloyal daughter's breach of duty.

King. That's long since pardon'd.

Pet. You're still merciful.

King. Antonio was thy son; I sent for thee
For to confirm it, but he is dead:
Be merciful, and do not curse the hand
That gave it him, though it deserve it.

Aur. O my griefs, are you not strong enough
To break my heart? Pray, tell me—tell me true
Can it be thought a sin? or is it so
By my own hand to ease my breast of woe?

King. Alas! poor lady, rise; thy father's here.

Pet. Look up, Aurelia; ha! why do you kneel?

[To Giovanno.

[90]

Gio. For a blessing.

Pet. Why she is not Aurelia——do not mock me.

King. But he is Sebastiano, and your son;
Late by our hand made happy by enjoying
The fair Evadne, dead Antonio's sister:
[Her,] for whose sake he became a tailor,
And so long lived in that mean disguise.

Pet. My joy had been too great if he had liv'd;
The thrifty heavens mingle our sweets with gall,
Lest, being glutted with excess of good,
We should forget the giver. Rise, Sebastiano,
With thy happy choice; may'st thou live crown'd
With the enjoyment of those benefits
My prayers shall beg for [thee]: rise, Aurelia,
And in some place, bless'd with religious prayers,
Spend thy left remnant.[47]

Aur. You advise well: indeed, it was a fault
To break the bonds of duty and of law;
But love, O love! thou, whose all-conquering pow'r
Builds castles on the hearts of easy maids,
And makes 'em strong e'en to[48] attempt those dangers
That, but rehears'd before, would fright their souls
Into a jelly. Brother, I must leave you;
And, father, when I send to you a note
That shall desire a yearly stipend to
That holy place my tired feet has found
To rest them in, pray, confirm it.
And now, great king, Aurelia begs of you
To grace Antonio in the mournful march
Unto his grave, which be where you think fit:
We need not be interr'd both in one vault.

King. Bless'd virgin, thy desires I will perform.
[91]

Aur. Then I leave you; my prayers shall still attend you,
As I hope yours shall accompany me.
Father, your blessing, and ere long expect
To hear where I am entertain'd a nun.
Brother and sister, to you both adieu;
Antonio dead, Aurelia marries new.

[Exit.

Pet. Farewell, [my] girl; when I remember thee,
The beads I drop shall be my tears.

Enter Vermin in a cloak for the prologue.

King. She's to all virgins a true mirror.
They that would behold true love, reflect on her:
There 'tis engross'd.

3d Tai. Great king, our grace——

O. Tai. The king is sad, you must not act.

3d Tai. How? not act? Shall not Vermin act?

O. Tai. Yes, you shall act, but not now; the king is indispos'd.

3d Tai. Well, then, some other time, I, Vermin; the king will act before the king.

O. Tai. Very good; pray, make your exit.

3d Tai. I'll muster up all the tailors in the town, and so tickle their sides.

[The King and Giovanno whisper.

O. Tai. Nay, thou'rt a right Vermin; go, be not troublesome.

[Exit Vermin.

Gio. Upon my truth and loyalty, great king, what they did was but feign'd, merely words without a heart: 'twas by Antonio's counsel.

King. Thou art all truth: rise.

[The Colonels kneel.

Omnes. Long live King Philip in the calm of peace to exercise his regal clemency!

[92]

King. Take up Antonio's body, and let the rest
Find Christian burial: mercy befits a king.
Come, trusty tailor,
And to all countries let swift fame report
King Philip made a tailor's house his court.

O. Tai. Your grace much honours me.

King. We can't enough pay thy alone deserts;
Kings may be poor when subjects are like thee,
So fruitful in all loyal virtuous deeds:
March with the body, we'll perform all rites
Of sable ceremony: that done,
We'll to our court, since all our own is won.

[Exeunt.[49]


[93]

LUST'S DOMINION
OR
THE LASCIVIOUS QUEEN.


[94]

EDITION.

Lusts Dominion; or, The Lascivious Queen. A Tragedie. Written by Christofer Marloe, Gent. London, Printed for F. K., and are to be sold by Robert Pollard, at the sign of Ben Johnson's head, on the back-side of the Old-Exchange. 1657. 12mo.


DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

Eleazar, the Moor, Prince of Fez and Barbary.
Philip, King of Spain, father to Fernando, Philip, and Isabella.

Fernando, King of Spain,
Philip, Prince of Spain,

}

sons to Philip.

Alvero, a nobleman, and father-in-law to Eleazar, and father to Hortenzo and Maria.
Mendoza, the cardinal.

Christofero,
Roderigo,

}

two noblemen of Spain.

Hortenzo, lover to Isabella, and son to Alvero.

Zarack,
Balthazar,

}

two Moors attending Eleazar.

Cole,
Crab,

}

two friars.

Emmanuel, King of Portugal.
Captain, Soldiers, cum aliis.
Two Pages attending the queen.
The Queen-Mother of Spain, and wife to King Philip.
Isabella, the Infanta of Spain.
Maria, wife to Eleazar, and daughter to Alvero.

The Scene, Spain.


[95]

PREFACE.


[This play was printed in 12o, 1657 and 1661, with the name of Christopher Marlowe on the title as the author, than which few things are more improbable. Yet Dilke, who printed the piece in his series (1816), believed it to be really by Marlowe, and considered it superior to his "Faustus." He observes:] "In particular passages, and some whole scenes, 'Faustus' has great beauties; but it must have been principally indebted for its success to the superstitious ignorance of the times; 'Lust's Dominion' is a much better play." Dilke continues, "It was altered by Mrs Behn, and performed at the Duke of York's Theatre in 1671, under the title of 'Abdelazar;' and probably furnished hints for the admirable tragedy of 'The Revenge.' But, notwithstanding the luxuriance of imagery in the first scenes, the exquisite delicacy of the language that is throughout given to Maria, and the great beauty of parts, 'it has too much of "King Cambyses'" vein—rape, and murder, and superlatives;' and if the stage be intended as a portraiture of real character, such representations tend only to excite a disgust and abhorrence of human nature: with the[96] exception of the innocent Maria, the fiery Philip, Isabella, Alvero, and Hortenzo, there is not one with whom our feelings hold communion. The open representation of the Devil in 'Faustus' is less offensive than the introduction of him here in the garb of a Moor; but the philanthropy of our ancestors was not shocked at any representation of an African or an Israelite."

Mr Collier[50] remarks, "Thomas Dekker, in partnership with William Haughton and John Day, was the author of 'The Spanish Moor's Tragedy,' which Malone, by a strange error, calls 'The Spanish Morris,' but he gives the right date, January 1599-1600. The mistake was more important than it may appear at first sight, as 'The Spanish Moor's Tragedy' was most likely the production called 'Lust's Dominion,' not printed until 1657, and falsely attributed to Marlowe. A Spanish Moor is the hero of it, and the date in Henslowe, of January 1599-1600, corresponds with that of a tract upon which some of the scenes are even verbally founded. That Marlowe, who was killed in 1593, and could not, therefore, be the author of it, requires no further proof."


[97]

LUST'S DOMINION
OR
THE LASCIVIOUS QUEEN.


ACT I., SCENE 1.

Enter Zarack, Balthazar, two Moors, taking tobacco; music sounding within. Enter Queen-Mother of Spain with two Pages. Eleazar, sitting on a chair, suddenly draws the curtain.[51]

Ele. On me does music spend this sound! on me,
That hate all unity! ah, Zarack! [ah,] Balthazar!

Queen-M. My gracious lord.

Ele. Are you there with your beagles! hark, you slaves!
Did not I bind you on your lives to watch
That none disturb'd us?

Queen-M. Gentle Eleazar.

Ele. There, off: is't you that deaf me with this noise?

[Exeunt two Moors.

[98]

Queen-M. Why is my love's aspèct so grim and horrid?
Look smoothly on me;
Chime out your softest strains of harmony,
And on delicious music's silken wings
Send ravishing delight to my love's ears,
That he may be enamoured of your tunes.
Come, let's kiss.

Ele. Away, away!

Queen-M. No, no says ay; and twice away says stay:
Come, come, I'll have a kiss; but if you strive,
For one denial you shall forfeit five.

Ele. Nay, prythee, good queen, leave me;
I am now sick and heavy, dull[52] as lead.

Queen-M. I'll make thee lighter by taking something from thee.

Ele. Do: take from me this ague and these fits
That, hanging on me,
Shake me in pieces, and set all my blood
A-boiling with the fire of rage: away, away!
Thou believ'st I jest,
And laugh'st to see
My wrath wear antic shapes! Begone, begone!

Queen-M. What means my love?
Burst all those wires, burn all those instruments;
For they displease my Moor. Art thou now pleas'd?
Or wert thou now disturb'd? I'll wage all Spain
To one sweet kiss, this is some new device
To make me fond and long. O, you men
Have tricks to make poor women die for you.

Ele. What, die for me? away!
[99]

Queen-M. Away, what way? I prythee, speak more kindly;
Why dost thou frown? at whom?

Ele. At thee.

Queen-M. At me!
O, why at me? For each contracted frown
A crooked wrinkle interlines my brow:
Spend but one hour in frowns, and I shall look
Like to a beldame of one hundred years.
I prythee, speak to me, and chide me not.
I prythee, chide, if I have done amiss;
But let my punishment be this and this.

[Kiss.

I prythee, smile on me, if but awhile,
Then frown on me, I'll die: I prythee, smile.
Smile on me, and these two wanton boys,
These pretty lads that do attend on me,
Shall call thee Jove, shall wait upon thy cup,
And fill thee nectar: their enticing eyes
Shall serve as crystal, wherein thou may'st see
To dress thyself, if thou wilt smile on me.
Smile on me, and with coronets of pearl
And bells of gold, circling their pretty arms,
In a round ivory fount these two shall swim,
And dive to make thee sport:
Bestow one smile, one little, little smile,
And in a net of twisted silk and gold
In my all-naked arms thyself shall lie.

Ele. Why, what to do? Lust's arms do stretch so wide
That none can fill them. I lie there? away![53]

Queen-M. Where hast thou learn'd this language, that can say
No more but two rude words, away, away?
Am I grown ugly now?

Ele. Ugly as hell.
[100]

Queen-M. Thou lov'dst me once.

Ele. That can thy bastards tell.

Queen-M. What is my sin? I will amend the same.

Ele. Hence, strumpet! use of sin makes thee past shame.

Queen-M. Strumpet!

Ele. Ay, strumpet.

Queen-M. Too true 'tis, woe is me;
I am a strumpet, but made so by thee.

Ele. By me!
No, no, by these young bawds: fetch thee a glass,
And thou shalt see the balls of both thine eyes
Burning in fire of lust. By me! There's here,
Within this hollow cistern of thy breast,
A spring of hot blood: have not I, to cool it,
Made an extraction to the quintessence
Even of my soul: melted all my spirits,
Ravish'd my youth, deflow'r'd my lovely cheeks,
And dried this, this to an anatomy,
Only to feed your lust?—these boys have ears—

[In a whisper.]

Yet wouldst thou murder me.

Queen-M. I murder thee!

Ele. I cannot ride through the Castilian streets
But thousand eyes, through windows and through doors,
Throw killing looks at me; and every slave
At Eleazar darts a finger out,
And every hissing tongue cries, "There's the Moor;
That's he that makes a cuckold of our king;
There goes the minion of the Spanish queen;
That's the black prince of devils; there goes he
That on smooth boys, on masques and revellings,
Spend[s] the revenues of the King of Spain."
Who arms this many-headed beast but you?
Murder and lust are twins, and both are thine.
[101] Being weary of me, thou wouldst worry me,
Because some new love makes thee loathe thine old.

Queen-M. Eleazar!

Ele. Harlot, I'll not hear thee speak.

Queen-M. I'll kill myself unless thou hear'st me speak.
My husband-king upon his deathbed lies,
Yet have I stol'n from him to look on thee:
A queen hath made herself thy concubine,
Yet dost thou now abhor me; hear me speak,
Else shall my sons plague thy adult'rous wrongs,
And tread upon thy heart for murdering me:
This tongue hath murder'd me. Cry murder, boys.

[The Queen shouts.]

Two Boys. Murder! the queen's murder'd!

Ele. Love, slaves, peace!

Two Boys. Murder! the queen's murder'd!

Ele. Stop your throats!
Hark! hush, you squaller. Dear love, look up:
Our chamber-window stares into the court,
And every wide-mouth'd ear, hearing this news,
Will give alarum to the cuckold king:
I did dissemble when I chid my love,
And that dissembling was to try my love.

Queen-M. Thou call'dst me strumpet.

Ele. I'll tear out my tongue
From this black temple for blaspheming thee.

Queen-M. And when I woo'd thee but to smile on me,
Thou cri'dst away, away, and frown'dst upon me.

Ele. Come, now
I will kiss thee; now I'll smile upon thee;
Call to thy ashy cheeks their wonted red;
Come, frown not, pout not; smile, smile upon me,
And with my poniard will I stab my flesh,
And quaff carouses to thee of my blood;
[102] Whilst in moist nectar kisses thou dost pledge me.
How now, why star'st thou thus?

[Knock.

Enter Zarack.

Zar. The king is dead!

Ele. Ah, dead! [ah, dead!] You hear this?
Is't true, is't true? The king [is] dead!
Who dare knock thus?

Zar. It is the cardinal
Making inquiry if the queen were here.

Ele. See, she is here, [go] tell him; and yet [no—]
Zarack, stay.

Enter Balthazar.

Bal. Don Roderigo's come to seek the queen.

Ele. Why should Roderigo seek her here?

Bal. The king hath swooned thrice; and, being recovered,
Sends up and down the court to seek her grace.

Ele. The king was dead with you. [To Zarack.] Run, and with a voice
Erected high as mine, say thus, thus threaten,
To Roderigo and the cardinal:
Seek no queens here, I'll broach them, if they do,
Upon my falchion's point:

[Knock again.

Again! more knocking!

Zar. Your father is at hand, my gracious lord.

Ele. Lock all the chambers, bar him out, you apes:
Hither, a vengeance! stir, Eugenia,
You know your old walk underground; away!
So down, hie to the king; quick, quick, you squalls,
Crawl with your dam i' th' dark; dear love, farewell:
One day I hope to shut you up in hell.

[Eleazar shuts them in.

[103]

SCENE II.

Enter Alvero.

Alv. Son Eleazar, saw you not the queen?

Ele. Hah!

Alv. Was not the queen here with you?

Ele. Queen with me!
Because, my lord, I'm married to your daughter,
You, like your daughter, will grow jealous:
The queen with me! with me a Moor, a devil,
A slave of Barbary, a dog—for so
Your silken courtiers christen me. But, father,
Although my flesh be tawny, in my veins
Runs blood as red, as royal, as the best
And proudest in Spain; there does, old man.
My father, who with his empire lost his life,
And left me captive to a Spanish tyrant,—
O! Go tell him, Spanish tyrant; tell him, do.
He that can lose a kingdom, and not rave,
He's a tame jade; I am not: tell old Philip
I call him tyrant; here's a sword and arms,
A heart, a head, and so, pish!—'tis but death.
Old fellow, she's not here: but ere I die,
Sword, I'll bequeath thee a rich legacy.

Alv. Watch fitter hours to think on wrongs than now;
Death's frozen hand holds royal Philip's heart;
Half of his body lies within a grave;
Then do not now by quarrels shake that state,
Which is already too much ruinate.
Come, and take leave of him, before he die.

[Exit.

Ele. I'll follow you. Now, purple villany,
Sit like a robe imperial on my back,
That under thee I closelier may contrive
My vengeance; foul deeds hid do sweetly thrive.
[104] Mischief, erect thy throne, and sit in state
Here, here upon this head; let fools fear fate,
Thus I defy my stars. I care not, I,
How low I tumble down, so I mount high:
Old Time, I'll wait bareheaded at thy heels,
And be a footboy to thy winged hours;
They shall not tell one minute out in sands,
But I'll set down the number; I'll still wake,
And waste these balls of sight by tossing them
In busy observations upon thee.
Sweet opportunity! I'll bind myself
To thee in base apprenticehood so long,
Till on thy naked scalp grow hair as thick
As mine; and all hands shall lay hold on thee,
If thou wilt lend me but thy rusty scythe,
To cut down all that stand within my wrongs
And my revenge. Love, dance in twenty forms
Upon my beauty, that this Spanish dame
May be bewitch'd and doat; her amorous flames
Shall blow up the old king, consume his sons,
And make all Spain a bonfire. This
Tragedy being acted, hers doth begin:
To shed a harlot's blood can be no sin.

[Exit.

SCENE III.

The Curtain being drawn, there appears in his bed King Philip, with his Lords; the Princess Isabella at the feet, Mendoza, Alvero, Hortenzo, Fernando, Roderigo; and to them enter Queen in haste.

Queen-M. Whose was that screech-owl's voice that, like the sound
Of a hell-tortur'd soul, rung through mine ears
Nothing but horrid shrieks, nothing but death?
[105] Whilst I, vailing my knees to the cold earth,
Drowning my wither'd cheeks in my warm tears,
And stretching out my arms to pull from heaven
Health for the royal majesty of Spain,
All cried, the majesty of Spain is dead!
That last word dead struck through the echoing air
Rebounded on my heart, and smote me down
Breathless to the cold earth, and made me leave
My prayers for Philip's life; but, thanks to heaven,
I see him live, and lives (I hope) to see
Unnumber'd years to guide this empery.

King P. The number of my years ends in one day:
Ere this sun's down, all a king's glory sets,
For all our lives are but death-counterfeits.
Father Mendoza, and you peers of Spain,
Dry your wet eyes; for sorrow wanteth force
T' inspire a breathing soul in a dead corse;
Such is your king. Where's Isabella, our daughter?

Men. At your bed's feet, confounded in her tears.

King P. She of your grief the heaviest burthen bears;
You can but lose a king, but she a father.

Queen-M. She bear the heaviest burthen! O, say rather
I bear, and am borne down; my sorrowing
Is for a husband's loss, loss of a king.

King P. No more. Alvero, call the princess hither.

Alv. Madam, his majesty doth call for you.

King P. Come hither, Isabella, reach a hand,
Yet now it shall not need: instead of thine,
Death, shoving thee back, clasps his hands in mine,
And bids me come away: I must, I must,
[106] Though kings be gods on earth, they turn to dust.
Is not Prince Philip come from Portugal?

Rod. The prince as yet is not return'd, my lord.

King P. Commend me to him, if I ne'er behold him.
This tells the order of my funeral;
Do it as 'tis set down; embalm my body;
Though worms do make no difference of flesh,
Yet kings are curious here to dig their graves;
Such is man's frailty: when I am embalm'd,
Apparel me in a rich royal robe,
According to the custom of the land;
Then place my bones within that brazen shrine,
Which death hath builded for my ancestors;
I cannot name death, but he straight steps in
And pulls me by the arm.

Fer. His grace doth faint;
Help me, my lords, softly to raise him up.

Enter Eleazar, and stands sadly by.

King P. Lift me not up, I shortly must go down.
When a few dribbling minutes have run out,
Mine hour is ended. King of Spain, farewell;
You all acknowledge him your sovereign?

All. When you are dead, we will acknowledge him.

King P. Govern this kingdom well; to be a king
Is given to many, but to govern well
Granted to few. Have care to Isabel;
Her virtue was King Philip's looking-glass;
Reverence the queen your mother; love your sister
And the young prince your brother: even that day,
When Spain shall solemnise my obsequies,
[107] And lay me up in earth, let them crown you.
Where's Eleazar, Don Alvero's son?

Fer. Yonder, with cross'd arms, stands he malcontent.

King P. I do commend him to thee for a man
Both wise and warlike; yet beware of him:
Ambition wings his spirit; keep him down.
What will not men attempt to win a crown?
Mendoza is protector of thy realm,
I did elect him for his gravity;
I trust he'll be a father to thy youth.
Call help, Fernando, now I faint indeed.

Fer. My lords!

King. P. Let none with a distracted voice
Shriek out, and trouble me in my departure.
Heaven's hands, I see, are beckoning for my soul;
I come, I come; thus do the proudest die;
Death hath no mercy, life no certainty.

[Dies.

Men. As yet his soul's not from her temple gone:
Therefore forbear loud lamentation.

Queen-M. O, he's dead, he's dead! lament and die;
In her king's end begins Spain's misery.

Isa. He shall not end so soon. Father, dear father!

Fer. Forbear, sweet Isabella: shrieks are vain.

Isa. You cry forbear; you by his loss of breath
Have won a kingdom, you may cry forbear:
But I have lost a father and a king,
And no tongue shall control my sorrowing.

Hor. Whither, good Isabella?

Isa. I will go
Where I will languish in eternal woe.

Hor. Nay, gentle love.

Isa. Talk not of love to me,
The world and the world's pride henceforth I'll scorn.

[Exit.

[108]

Hor. My love shall follow thee; if thou deny'st
To live with poor Hortenzo as his wife,
I'll never change my love, but change my life.

Enter Philip hastily.

Phil. I know he is not dead; I know proud death
Durst not behold such sacred majesty.
Why stand you thus distracted? Mother, brother,
My Lord Mendoza, where's my royal father?

Queen-M. Here lies the temple of his royal soul.

Fer. Here's all that's left of Philip's majesty;
Wash you his tomb with tears: Fernando's moan,
Hating a partner, shall be spent alone.

[Exit.

Phil. O happy father! miserable son!
Philip is gone to joy, Philip's forlorn:
He dies to live, my life with woe is torn.

Queen-M. Sweet son.

Phil. Sweet mother: O, how I now do shame
To lay on one so foul so fair a name:
Had you been a true mother, a true wife,
This king had not so soon been robb'd of life.

Queen-M. What means this rage, my son?

Phil. Call not me your son.
My father, whil'st he liv'd, tir'd his strong arms
In bearing Christian armour 'gainst the Turks,
And spent his brains in warlike stratagems
To bring confusion on damn'd infidels:
Whilst you, that snorted here at home, betray'd
His name to everlasting infamy;
Whilst you at home suffer'd his bedchamber
To be a brothelry; whilst you at home
Suffer'd his queen to be a concubine,
And wanton red-cheek'd boys to be her bawds;
Whilst she, reeking in that lecher's arms——
[109]

Ele. Me!

Phil. Villain, 'tis thee;
Thou hell-begotten fiend, at thee I stare.

Queen-M. Philip, thou art a villain to dishonour me.

Phil. Mother, I am no villain: 'tis this villain
Dishonours you and me, dishonours Spain,
Dishonours all these lords; this devil is he,
That——

Ele. What! O, pardon me, I must throw off
All chains of duty, wert thou ten kings' sons;
Had I as many souls as I have sins,
As this from hence, so they from this should fly,
In just revenge of this indignity.

Phil. Give way, or I'll make way upon your bosoms.

Ele. Did my dear sovereign live, sirrah, that tongue——

Queen-M. Did but King Philip live, traitor, I'd tell——

Phil. A tale that should rid both your souls to hell.
Tell Philip's ghost, that Philip tells his queen,
That Philip's queen is a Moor's concubine;
Did the king live, I'd tell him how you two
Ripp'd up the entrails of his treasury
With masques and antic revellings.

Ele. Words insupportable! dost hear me, boy?

Queen-M. Stand you all still, and see me thus trod down?

Phil. Stand you all still, yet let this devil stand here?

Men. Forbear, sweet prince. Eleazar, I am now
Protector to Fernando, King of Spain;
By that authority, and by consent
Of all these peers, I utterly deprive thee
Of all those royalties thou holdst in Spain.
[110]

Queen-M. Cardinal, who lends thee this commission?

Ele. Cardinal, I'll shorten thee by the head for this.

Phil. Forward, my Lord Mendoza; damn the fiend.

Ele. Princes of Spain, consent you to this pride?

All. We do.

Queen-M. For what cause? Let his faith be tried.

Men. His treasons need no trial, they're too plain.
Come not within the court; for, if you do,
To beg with Indian slaves I'll banish you.

[Exeunt all but Alvero, Queen and Eleazar.

SCENE IV.

Alv. Why should my son be banished?

Enter Maria.

Queen-M. Of that dispute not now. Alvero,
I'll to the king my son; it shall be tried,
If Castile's king can cool a cardinal's pride.

[Exeunt Queen and Alvero.

Ele. If I digest this gall—O my Maria,
I am whipp'd, and rack'd, and torn upon the wheel
Of giddy Fortune; she and her minions
Have got me down, and treading on my bosom,
They cry, Lie still: the cardinal
(O rare!) would bandy me away from Spain,
And banish me to beg—ay, beg with slaves.

Maria. Conquer with patience these indignities.
[111]

Ele. Patience! ha, ha! yes, yes, an honest cardinal!

Maria. Yet smother [still] the grief, and seek revenge.

Ele. Ha! banish me! s'foot, why, say they do,
There's Portugal—a good air, and France—a fine country,
Or Barbary—rich, and has Moors; the Turk,
Pure devil, and allows enough to fat
The sides of villany—good living there!
I can live there, and there, and there;
Troth, 'tis a villain can live anywhere.
But say I go from hence: I leave behind me
A cardinal that will laugh; I leave behind me
A Philip that will clap his hands for joy.
And dance lavoltoes through the Castile court;
But the deep'st wound of all is this, I leave
My wrongs, dishonours, and my discontents—
O, unreveng'd; my bedrid enemies
Shall never be rais'd up by the strong physical
Curing of my sword; therefore stay still;
Many have hearts to strike, that dare not kill
Leave me, Maria. Cardinal, this disgrace
Shall dye thy soul as inky as my face.
Pish!—hence, Maria.

Enter Alvero.

Maria. To the king I'll fly,
He shall revenge my lord's indignity.

[Exit.

Alv. Mendoza woos the king to banish thee.
Startle thy wonted spirits, awake thy soul,
And on thy resolution fasten wings,
Whose golden feathers may outstrip their hate.

Ele. I'll tie no golden feathers to my wings.

Alv. Shall they thus tread thee down, which once were glad
To lacquey by thy conquering chariot-wheels?
[112]

Ele. I care not: I can swallow more sour wrongs.

Alv. If they triumph o'er thee, they'll spurn me down.

Ele. Look: spurn again!

Alv. What ice hath cool'd that fire,
Which sometimes made thy thoughts to heaven aspire?
This patience had not wont to dwell with thee.

Enter Fernando and Maria.

Ele. 'Tis right, but now the world is chang'd, you see;
Though I seem dead to you, here lives a fire——
No more, here comes the king and my Maria:
The Spaniard loves my wife; she swears to me
She's chaste as the white moon; well, if she be;
Well, too, if she be not, I care not, I;
I'll climb up by that love to dignity.

Fer. Thou woo'st me to revenge thy husband's wrong,
I woo thy fair self not to wrong thyself;
Swear but to love me, and to thee I'll swear
To crown thy husband with a diadem.

Maria. Such love as I dare yield, I'll not deny.

Fer. When in the golden arms of majesty—
I am broke off—yonder thy husband stands;
I'll set him free, if thou unite my bands;
So much for that. Durst then the cardinal
Put on such insolence? tell me, fair madam,
Where's your most valiant husband?

Ele. He sees me, and yet inquires for me.

Maria. Yonder, my lord.

Fer. Eleazar, I have in my breast writ down
From her report your late receiv'd disgrace;
My father lov'd you dearly, so will I.

Ele. True, for my wife's sake.

[Aside.

Fer. This indignity
[113] Will I have interest in; for, being your king,
You shall perceive I'll curb my underling.
This morning is our coronation, and
[Our] father's funeral solemnised.
Be present, step into your wonted place,
We'll gild your dim disgraces with our grace.

[Exeunt.

Ele. I thank my sovereign that you love my wife;
I thank thee, wife, that thou wilt lock my head
In such strong armour to bear off all blows;
Who dare say such wives are their husbands' foes?
Let's see now, by her falling I must rise;
Cardinal, you die if the king bid me live;
Philip, you die for railing at me;
Proud lord, you die, that with Mendoza cried,
Banish the Moor.
And you, my loving liege, you're best sit fast:
If all these live not, you must die at last.

ACT II., SCENE 1.

Enter two Lords, Philip, Mendoza, Eleazar, with him the King crowned; Queen-Mother, Alvero, Zarack, Balthazar, and Attendants.

Men. Why stares this devil thus, as if pale death
Had made his eyes the dreadful messengers
To carry black destruction to the world?
Was he not banish'd Spain?

Phil. Your sacred mouth
Pronounc'd the sentence of his banishment:
Then spurn the villain forth.

Ele. Who spurns the Moor,
[114] Were better set his foot upon the devil.
Do spurn me, and this confounding arm of wrath
Shall, like a thunderbolt breaking the clouds,
Divide his body from his soul! Stand back.
Spurn Eleazar!

Rod. Shall we bear this pride?

Alv. Why not? he underwent much injury.

Men. What injury have we perform'd, proud lord?

Ele. Proud cardinal, my unjust banishment.

Men. 'Twas we that did it, and our words are laws.

King. 'Twas we repeal'd him, and our words are laws.

Zar. Bal. If not, these are.

[All the Moors draw.

Phil. How! threaten'd and outdar'd!

King. Shall we give arm to hostile violence?
Sheathe your swords, sheathe them: it's we command.

Ele. Grant Eleazar justice, my dread liege.

Men. Eleazar hath had justice from our hands,
And he stands banish'd from the court of Spain.

King. Have you done justice? Why, Lord Cardinal,
From whom do you derive authority
To banish him the court without our leave?

Men. From this, the staff of our protectorship;
From this, which the last will of your dead father
Committed to our trust; from this high place,
Which lifts Mendoza's spirits beyond the pitch
Of ordinary honour, and from this——

[King takes the staff from Mendoza, and gives it to Eleazar.

King. Which too much overweening insolence
Hath quite ta'en from thee. Eleazar, up,
And from us sway this staff of Regency.
[115]

All. How's this!

Phil. Dare sons presume to break their father's will?

King. Dare subjects countercheck their sovereign's will?
'Tis done, and who gainsays it, is a traitor.

Phil. I do, Fernando, yet am I no traitor.

Men. Fernando, I am wrong'd; by Peter's chair,
Mendoza vows revenge. I'll lay aside
My cardinal's hat, and in a wall of steel,
The glorious livery of a soldier,
Fight for my late-lost honour.

King. Cardinal!

Men. King! thou shalt be no king for wronging me.
The Pope shall send his bulls through all thy realm,
And pull obedience from thy subjects' hearts,
To put on armour of the Mother Church.
Curses shall fall like lightnings on thy head,
Bell, book, and candle: holy water, prayers,
Shall all chime vengeance to the court of Spain,
Till they have power to conjure down that fiend,
That damn'd Moor, that devil, that Lucifer,
That dares aspire the staff the card'nal sway'd.

Ele. Ha, ha, ha! I laugh yet, that the cardinal's vex'd.

Phil. Laugh'st thou, base slave! the wrinkles of that scorn
Thine own heart's blood shall fill. Brother, farewell;
Since you disprove the will our father left
For base lust of a loathed concubine.

Ele. Ha! concubine! who does Prince Philip mean?

Phil. [To Eleazar.] Thy wife. [To Alvero.] Thy daughter. Base, aspiring lords,
Who to buy honour are content to sell
[116] Your names to infamy, your souls to hell.
And stamp you now? Do, do, for you shall see
I go for vengeance, and she'll come with me.

Ele. Stay, for she's here already, see, proud boy.

[They both draw.

Queen-M. Hold! stay this fury; if you long for blood,
Murder me first. Dear son, you are a king;
Then stay the violent tempest of their wrath.

King. Shall kings be oversway'd in their desires?

Rod. Shall subjects be oppress'd by tyranny?

Queen-M. No state shall suffer wrong; then hear me speak:
Mendoza, you have sworn you love the queen;
Then by that love I charge you leave these arms.
Eleazar, for those favours I have given you,
Embrace the cardinal, and be friends with him.

Ele. And have my wife call'd strumpet to my face!

Queen-M. 'Twas rage made his tongue err; do you not know
The violent love Mendoza bears the queen?
Then speak him fair, for in that honey'd breath
I'll lay a bait shall train him to his death.

[Aside.

Come, come, I see your looks give way to peace;
Lord Cardinal, begin; and [Aside] for reward,
Ere this fair setting sun behold his bride,
Be bold to challenge love, yet be denied.

Men. That promise makes me yield. [Aside.] My gracious lord,
Though my disgrace hath graven its memory
On every Spaniard's eye, yet shall the duty
I owe your sacred highness, and the love
My country challengeth, make me lay by
[117] Hostile intendments, and return again
To the fair circle of obedience.

King. Both pardon and our favour bids you welcome;
And for some satisfaction for your wrongs,
We here create you Salamanca's Duke:
But first, as a true sign all grudges die,
Shake hands with Eleazar, and be friends;
This union pleaseth us. Now, brother Philip,
You are included in this league of love,
So is Roderigo. To forget all wrongs,
Your castle for awhile shall bid us welcome;
Eleazar, shall it not? It is enough.
Lords, lead the way, that [Aside] whilst you feast yourselves,
Fernando may find time all means to prove,
To compass fair Maria for our love.

[Exeunt omnes.

SCENE II.

Queen-Mother and Eleazar.

Ele. Madam, a word: now have you wit or spirit?

Queen-M. Both.

Ele. Set them both to a most gainful task.
Our enemies are in my castle-work.

Queen-M. Ay; but the king's there too; it's dangerous pride
To strike at those that crouch by a lion's side.

Ele. Remove them.

Queen-M. How?

Ele. How! a thousand ways:
By poison, or by this [Points to his sword]; but every groom
Has skill in such base traffic; no, our policies
[118] Must look more strange, must fly with loftier wings;
Vengeance, the higher it falls, more honour brings;
But you are cold—you dare not do.

Queen-M. I dare.

Ele. You have a woman's heart; look you, this hand—

[Takes her hand.

O, 'tis too little to strike home.

Queen-M. At whom?

Ele. Your son.

Queen-M. Which son? the king?

Ele. Angels of heaven
Stand like his guard about him! how, the king!
Not for so many worlds as there be stars
Sticking upon th' embroider'd firmament.
The king! he loves my wife, and should he die,
I know none else would love her; let him live
In heaven.[54]

[Aside.

Good Lord Philip——

Queen-M. He shall die.

Ele. How? good, good.

Queen-M. By this hand.

Ele. When? good, good; when?

Queen-M. This night, if Eleazar give consent.

Ele. Why, then, this night Philip shall not live
To see you kill him! Is he not your son?
A mother be the murd'rer of a brat
That liv'd within her! ha!

Queen-M. 'Tis for thy sake.

Ele. Pish! What excuses cannot damn'd sin make
To save itself! I know you love him well;
But that he has an eye, an eye, an eye.
[119] To others, our two hearts seem to be lock'd
Up in a case of steel; upon our love others
Dare not look; or, if they dare, they cast
Squint, purblind glances. Who care, though all see all,
So long as none dare speak? But Philip
Knows that iron ribs of our villains
Are thin: he laughs to see them, like this hand,
With chinks and crevices; how [with] a villanous,
A stabbing, [a] desperate tongue the boy dare speak:
A mouth, a villanous mouth! let's muzzle him.

Queen-M. How?

Ele. Thus:
Go you, and with a face well-set do
In good sad colours, such as paint out
The cheek of that foul penitence, and with a tongue
Made clean and glib, cull from their lazy swarm
Some honest friars whom that damnation, gold,
Can tempt to lay their souls to the stake;
Seek such—they are rank and thick.

Queen-M. What then? I know such—what's the use?

Ele. This is excellent!
Hire these to write books, preach, and proclaim abroad
That your son Philip is a bastard.

Queen-M. How?

Ele. A bastard. Do you know a bastard? do't:
Say conscience spake with you, and cried out do't;
By this means shall you thrust him from all hope
Of wearing Castile's diadem, and, that spur
Galling his sides, he will fly out and fling,
And grind the cardinal's heart to a new edge
Of discontent; from discontent grows treason,
[120] And on the stalk of treason, death: he's dead,
By this blow and by you; yet no blood shed.
Do't then; by this trick he is gone.
We stand more sure in climbing high;
Care not who fall, 'tis real policy: are you
Arm'd to do this, ha?

Queen-M. Sweet Moor, it is done.

Ele. Away then; work with boldness and with speed:
On greatest actions greatest dangers feed.

[Exit Queen-Mother.

Ha, ha! I thank thee, provident creation,
That seeing[55] in moulding me thou didst intend
I should prove villain; thanks to thee and nature,
That skilful workman: thanks for my face:
Thanks that I have not wit to blush!
What, Zarack! ho, Balthazar!

Enter the two Moors.

Both. My lord.

Ele. Nearer. So: silence!
Hang both your greedy ears upon my lips;
Let them devour my speech, suck in my breath, and in.
Who let's it break prison, here is his death.
This night the card'nal shall be murder'd.

Both. Where?

Ele. And to fill up a grave Philip dies.

Both. Where?

Ele. Here.

Both. By whom?

Ele. By thee, and, slave, by thee.
Have you [the] hearts and hands to execute?

Both. Here's both.
[121]

1st Moor. He dies, were he my father.

Ele. Ho, away.
Stay—go, go—stay; see me no more till night.
Your cheeks are black; let not your souls look white.

Both. Till night?

Ele. Till night: a word! the Mother-Queen
Is trying, if she can, with fire of gold
Warp the green consciences of two covetous friars
To preach abroad Philip's bastardy.

1st Moor. His bastardy! who was his father?

Ele. Who?
Search for these friars: hire them to work with you.
Their holy callings will approve the fact
Most good and meritorious: sin shines clear,
When her black face religion's mask doth wear.
Here comes the queen—good—and the friars.

SCENE III.

Enter two friars, Crab and Cole, and Queen-Mother.

Cole. Your son a bastard? say, we do;
But how then shall we deal with you?
I tell you, as I said before,
His being a bastard, you are so poor
In honour and in name, that time
Can never take away the crime.

Queen-M. I grant that, friar; yet rather I'll endure
The wound of infamy to kill my name,
Than to see Spain bleeding with civil swords.
The boy is proud, ambitious; he woos greatness;
He takes up Spanish hearts on trust to pay them,
[122] When he shall finger Castile's crown. O, then,
Were it not better my disgrace were known,
Than such a base aspirer fill the throne?

Cole. Ha, brother Crab, what think you?

Crab. As you, dear brother Cole.

Cole.Then we agree.
Cole's judgment is as Crab's, you see.
Lady, we swear to speak and write
What you please, so all go right.

Queen-M. Then, as we gave directions, spread abroad
In Cadiz, Madrid, Granada, and Medina,
And all the royal cities of the realm,
Th' ambitious hopes of that proud bastard Philip:
And sometimes, as you see occasion,
Tickle the ears of the rude multitude
With Eleazar's praise; gild his virtues,
Naples' recovery, and his victories
Achiev'd against the Turkish Ottoman.
Will you do this for us?

Ele. Say, will you?

Both. Ay.

Ele. Why start you back and stare?
Ha! are you afraid?

Cole. O, no, sir, no! but, truth to tell,
Seeing your face, we thought of hell.

Ele. Hell is a dream.

Cole. But none do dream in hell.

Ele. Friars, stand to her and me; and by your sin
I'll shoulder out Mendoza from his seat,
And of two friars create you cardinals.
O, how would cardinals' hats on their heads sit?

Cole. This face would look most goodly under it.
Friar[s] Crab and Cole do swear
In those circles still to appear,
In which she or you do charge us rise;
For you our lives we'll sacrifice.
[123] Valete, gaudete:
Si pereamus, flete;
Orate pro nobis,
Oremus pro vobis.
Cole will be burnt and Crab be press'd,
Ere they prove knaves; thus are you cross'd and bless'd.

Ele. Away! you know. [Exeunt Friars.] Now, madam, none shall throw
Their leaden envy in an opposite scale,
To weigh down our true golden happiness.

Queen-M. Yes, there is one.

Ele. One! who?
Give me his name, and I will turn
It to a magic spell to bind
Him here, here. Who?

Queen-M. Your wife Maria.

Ele. Ha! my Maria!

Queen-M. She's
The Hellespont divides my love and me:
She being cut off——

Ele. Stay, stay; cut off!
Let's think upon't; my wife!
Humph! kill her too!

Queen-M. Does her love make thee cold?

Ele. Had I a thousand wives, down go they all.
She dies; I'll cut her off. Now, Balthazar!

Enter Balthazar.

Bal. Madam, the king entreats your company.

Queen-M. His pleasure be obey'd. Dear love, farewell;
Remember your Maria.

[Exit.

Ele. Dear,[56] adieu;
With this I'll guard her, whilst it stabs at you.
[124]

[Points to his sword.

My lord,[57] the friars are won to join with us.
Be prosperous! about it, Balthazar.

Bal. The watchword?

Ele. O, the word; let it be Treason.
When we cry treason, break ope chamber doors:
Kill Philip and the cardinal. Hence!

Bal. I fly.

[Exit.

Ele. Murder, now ride in triumph; darkness, horror,
Thus I invoke your aid; your act begin;
Night is a glorious robe for th' ugliest sin.

SCENE IV.

Enter Cole and Crab in trousers; the Cardinal in one of their weeds, and Philip putting on the other.

Friars. Put on, my lord, and fly, or else you die.

Phil. I will not, I will die first. Cardinal,
Prythee, good cardinal, pluck off, friars; slave!
Murder us two! he shall not, by this sword.

Car. My lord, you will endanger both our lives.

Phil. I care not; I'll kill some before I die.
Away! s'heart! take your rags! Moor, devil, come.

Friars. My lord, put on, or else——

Phil. God's foot! come, help.
[125]

Car. Ambitious villain! Philip, let us fly
Into the chamber of the mother-queen.

Phil. Thunder beat down the lodgings.

Car. Else
Let's break into the chamber of the king.

Phil. Agreed.
A pox upon these lousy gabardines.
Agreed; I am for you, Moor; stand side by side;
Come, hands off; leave your ducking.[58] Hell cannot fright
Their spirits that do desperately fight.

Cole. You are too rash, you are too hot;
Wild desperateness doth valour blot.
The lodging of the king's beset
With staring faces black as jet,
And hearts of iron: your deaths are vow'd,
If you fly that way; therefore shroud
Your body in friar Cole's grey weed;
For is't not madness, man, to bleed,
When you may 'scape untouch'd away?
Here's hell, here's heaven: here if you stay,
You're gone, you're gone; friar Crab and I
Will here dance friskin, whilst you fly.
Gag us, bind us, come put on;
The gag's too wide; so gone, gone, gone!

Phil. O, well, I'll come again. Lord Cardinal,
Take you the castle, I'll to Portugal.
I vow I'll come again, and if I do——

Car. Nay, good my lord.

Phil. Black devil, I'll conjure you.

[Exeunt.

[126]

SCENE V.

To the Friars making a noise, gagged and bound, enter Eleazar, Zarack, Balthazar, and other Moors, all with their swords drawn.

Ele. Guard all the passages. Zarack, stand there;
There Balthazar, there you. The friars?
Where have you plac'd the friars?

All. My lord, a noise![59]

Bal. The friars are gagg'd and bound.

Ele. 'Tis Philip and the cardinal; shoot:—ha! stay—
Unbind them. Where's Mendoza and the prince?

Cole. Santa Maria, who can tell!
By Peter's keys, they bound us well,
And having crack'd our shaven crowns,
They have escap'd you in our gowns.

Ele. Escap'd! escap'd away! I am glad, it's good;
I would their arms may turn to eagles' wings,
To fly as swift as time. Sweet air, give way:
Winds, leave your two-and-thirty palaces,
And meeting all in one, join all your might
To give them speedy and a prosperous flight.
Escaped, friars! which way?

Both. This way.

Ele. Good!
Alas, what sin is't to shed innocent blood?
For look you, holy men, it is the king:
The king, the king. See, friars, sulphury wrath
Having once entered into royal breasts,
[127] Mark how it burns. The queen, Philip's mother.
O, most unnatural! will have you two
Divulge abroad that he's a bastard. O,
Will you do it?

Crab. What says my brother friar?

Cole. A prince's love is balm, their wrath is fire.

Crab. 'Tis true; but yet I'll publish no such thing;
What fool would lose his soul to please a king?

Ele. Keep there—good, there; yet, for it wounds my soul
To see the miserablest wretch to bleed,
I counsel you, in care unto your lives,
T' obey the mother-queen; for by my life,
I think she has been prick'd [in] her conscience.
O, it has stung her for some fact misdone,
She would not else disgrace herself and son.
Do't therefore; hark! she'll work your deaths else, hate
Bred in woman is insatiate. Do't, friars.

Crab. Brother Cole, zeal sets me in a flame:
I'll do't.

Cole. And I: his baseness we'll proclaim.

[Exeunt Friars.

Ele. Do, and be damn'd; Zarack and Balthazar,
Dog them at the heels; and when their poisonous breath
Hath scatter'd this infection on the hearts
Of credulous Spaniards, here reward them thus:

[Points to his sword.

Slaves too much trusted do grow dangerous.
Why this shall feed and fat suspicion
And my policy.
I'll ring through all the court this loud alarum,
That they contriv'd the murder of the king,
The queen, and me; and, being undermin'd,
To 'scape the blowing up, they fled. O, good!
[128] There, there, thou there, cry treason; each one take
A several door; your cries my music make.

Bal. Where is the king? treason pursues him.

Enter Alvero in his shirt, his sword drawn.

Ele. Where is the sleeping queen?
Rise, rise, and arm against the hand of treason.

Alv. Whence comes this sound of treason?

Enter the King in his shirt, his sword drawn.

King. Who frights our quiet slumbers with
This heavy noise?

Enter Queen in her night attire.

Queen-M. Was it a dream, or did the sound
Of monster treason call me from my rest?

King. Who rais'd this rumour? Eleazar, you?

Ele. I did, my liege, and still continue it,
Both for your safety and mine own discharge.

King. Whence comes the ground then?

Ele. From the cardinal
And the young prince who, bearing in his mind
The true idea of his late disgrace
In putting him from the protectorship,
And envying the advancement of the Moor,
Determined this night to murder you;
And for your highness lodged within my castle,
They would have laid the murder on my head.

King. The cardinal and my brother! bring them forth:
Their lives shall answer this ambitious practice.

Ele. Alas! my lord, it is impossible;
For when they saw I had discovered them,
They train'd two harmless friars to their lodgings,
[129] Disrob'd them, gagg'd them, bound them to two posts,
And in their habits did escape the castle.

King. The cardinal is all ambition,
And from him doth our brother gather heart.

Queen-M. Th' ambition of the one infects the other,
And, in a word, they both are dangerous:
But might your mother's counsel stand in force,
I would advise you, send the trusty Moor
To fetch them back, before they have seduc'd
The squint-ey'd multitude from true allegiance,
And drawn them to their dangerous faction.

King. It shall be so. Therefore, my state's best prop,
Within whose bosom I durst trust my life,
Both for my safety and thine own discharge,
Fetch back those traitors; and till your return
Ourself will keep your castle.

Ele. My liege, the tongue of true obedience
Must not gainsay his sovereign's impose.
By heaven! I will not kiss the cheek of sleep,
Till I have fetched those traitors to the court!

King. Why, this sorts right: he gone, his beauteous wife
Shall sail into the naked arms of love.

[Aside.

Queen-M. Why, this is as it should be; he once gone,
His wife, that keeps me from his marriage-bed,
Shall by this hand of mine be murdered.

[Aside.

King. This storm is well-nigh past; the swelling clouds
That hang so full of treason, by the wind
In awful majesty are scattered.
Then each man to his rest. Good night, sweet friend!
Whilst thou pursu'st the traitors that are fled,
Fernando means to warm thy marriage-bed.

[Exeunt.

[130]

Ele. Many good nights consume and damn your souls!
I know he means to cuckold me this night,
Yet do I know no means to hinder it:
Besides, who knows whether the lustful king,
Having my wife and castle at command,
Will ever make surrender back again?
But if he do not, with my falchion's point
I'll lance those swelling veins, in which hot lust
Does keep his revels; and with that warm blood,
Where Venus' bastard cooled his swelt'ring spleen,
Wash the disgrace from Eleazar's brow.

SCENE VI.

Enter Maria.

Maria. Dear Eleazar!

Ele. If they lock the gates,
I'll toss a ball of wildfire o'er the walls.

Maria. Husband! sweet husband!

Ele. Or else swim o'er the moat,
And make a breach th[o]rough the flinty sides
Of the rebellious walls.

Maria. Hear me, dear heart.

Ele. Or undermine the chamber where they lie,
And by the violent strength of gunpowder
Blow up the castle and th' incestuous couch,
In which lust wallows; but my labouring thoughts,
Wading too deep in bottomless extremes,
Do drown themselves in their own stratagems.

Maria. Sweet husband, dwell not upon circumstance,
When weeping sorrow, like an advocate,
Importunes you for aid; look in mine eye,
[131] There you shall see dim grief swimming in tears,
Invocating succour. O, succour!

Ele. Succour! zounds! for what?

Maria. To shield me from Fernando's unchaste love,
Who with uncessant prayers importun'd me——

Ele. To lie with you! I know't.

Maria. Then seek some means how to prevent it.

Ele. 'Tis [im]possible:
For, to the end that his unbridled lust
Might have more free access unto thy bed,
This night he hath enjoined me
To fetch back Philip and the cardinal.

Maria. Then this ensuing night shall give an end
To all my sorrows; for before foul lust
Shall soil the fair complexion of mine honour,
This hand shall rob Maria of her life.

Ele. Not so, dear soul; for in extremities
Choose out the least: and ere the hand of death
Should suck this ivory palace of thy life,
Embrace my counsel, and receive this poison
Which, in the instant he attempts thy love,
Then give it him: do, do,
Do poison him. [Aside.] He gone, thou'rt next—
Be sound in resolution, and farewell.
By one and one I'll ship you all to hell.

[Aside.]

Spain, I will drown thee with thine own proud blood,
Then make an ark of carcases: farewell!
Revenge and I will sail in blood to hell.

[Exit.

Maria. Poison the king! alas! my trembling hand
Would let the poison fall; and through my cheeks
Fear, suited in a bloodless livery,
Would make the world acquainted with my guilt.
[132] But thanks, prevention: I have found a means,
Both to preserve my royal sovereign's life
And keep myself a true and loyal wife.

[Exit.


ACT III., SCENE 1.

Enter Queen-Mother with a torch.

Queen-M. Fair eldest child of love, thou spotless night,
Empress of silence, and the queen of sleep,
Who with thy black cheeks' pure complexion,
Mak'st lovers' eyes enamour'd of thy beauty,
Thou art like my Moor; therefore will I adore thee
For lending me this opportunity,
O, with the soft-skinn'd negro. Heavens, keep back
The saucy staring day from the world's eye,
Until my Eleazar make return:
Then in his castle shall he find his wife
Transform'd into a strumpet by my son:
Then shall he hate her, whom he would not kill;
Then shall I kill her, whom I cannot love.
The king is sporting with his concubine.
Blush not, my boy; be bold like me thy mother.
But their delights torture my soul like devils,
Except her shame be seen: wherefore awake!
Christophero! Roderigo! raise the court;
Arise, you peers of Spain; Alvero, rise;
Preserve your country from base infamies.

Enter at several doors, with lights and rapiers drawn, Alvero, Roderigo, and Christophero, with others.

All. Who rais'd these exclamations through the court?
[133]

Queen-M. Sheathe up your swords; you need not swords, but eyes
To intercept this treason.

Alv. What's the treason?
Who are traitors? ring the larum-bell;
Cry Arm through all the city: once before
The horrid cry of treason did affright
Our sleeping spirits.

Queen-M. Stay;
You need not cry Arm, arm! for this black deed
Works treason to your king, to me, to you,
To Spain, and all that shall in Spain ensue.
This night Maria (Eleazar's wife)
Hath drawn the king by her lascivious looks
Privately to a banquet; I (unseen)
Stood and beheld him in her lustful arms;
O God! shall bastards wear Spain's diadem?
If you can kneel to baseness, vex them not;
If you disdain to kneel, wash off this blot.

Rod. Let's break into the chamber, and surprise her.

Alv. O miserable me! do, do, break in;
My country shall not blush at my child's sin.

Queen-M. Delay is nurse to danger, follow me;
Come you and witness to her villany.

Alv. Hapless Alvero, how art thou undone
In a light daughter and a stubborn son!

[Exeunt Omnes.

SCENE II.

Enter King, with his rapier drawn in one hand, leading Maria, seeming affrighted, in the other.

Maria. O, kill me, ere you stain my chastity.

King. My hand holds death; but love sits in mine eye.
[134] Exclaim not, dear Maria; do but hear me.
Though thus in dead of night, as I do now,
The lustful Tarquin stole to the chaste bed
Of Collatine's fair wife, yet shall thou be
No Lucrece, nor thy king a Roman slave,
To make rude villany thine honour's grave.

Maria. Why from my bed have you thus frighted me?

King. To let thee view a bloody horrid tragedy.

Maria. Begin it, then; I'll gladly lose my life,
Rather than be an emperor's concubine.

King. By my high birth, I swear thou shalt be none;
The tragedy I'll write with my own hand;
A king shall act it, and a king shall die,
Except sweet mercy's beam shine from thine eye.
If this affright thee, it shall sleep for ever.
If still thou hate me, thus this noble blade
This royal purple temple shall invade.

Maria. My husband is from hence: for his sake spare me.

King. Thy husband is no Spaniard: thou art one:
So is Fernando; then for country's sake,
Let me not spare thee: on thy husband's face
Eternal night in gloomy shades doth dwell;
But I'll look on thee like the gilded sun,
When to the west his fiery horses run.

Maria. True, here you look on me with sunset eyes,
For by beholding you my glory dies.

King. Call me thy morning then; for, like the morn,
In pride Maria shall through Spain be borne.

[Music plays within.

[135]

This music was prepar'd to please thine ears:[60]
Love me, and thou shalt hear no other sounds.

[A banquet brought in.

Lo, here's a banquet set with mine own hands;
Love me, and thus I'll feast thee like a queen.
I might command thee, being thy sovereign;
But love me, and I'll kneel and sue to thee,
And circle this white forehead with the crown
Of Castile, Portugal, and Arragon,
And all those petty kingdoms which do bow
Their tributary knees to Philip's heir.

Maria. I cannot love you whilst my husband lives.

King. I'll send him to the wars, and in the front
Of some main army shall he nobly die.

Maria. I cannot love you if you murder him.

King. For thy sake then I'll call a parliament,
And banish by a law all Moors from Spain.

Maria. I'll wander with him into banishment.

King. It shall be death for any negro's hand
To touch the beauty of a Spanish dame.
Come, come, what needs such cavils with a king?
Night blinds all jealous eyes, and we may play.
Carouse that bowl to me: I'll pledge all this;
Being down, we'll make it more sweet with a kiss.
Begin, I'll lock all doors: begin, Spain's queen:

[Locks the doors.

Love's banquet is most sweet when 'tis least seen.

Maria. O thou conserver of my honour's life:
Instead of poisoning him, drown him in sleep.
Because I'll quench the flames of wild desire,
I'll drink this off—let fire conquer love's fire.

[Aside.

[136]

King. Were love himself in real substance here,
Thus would I drink him down; let your sweet strings
Speak louder: pleasure is but a slave to kings,
In which love swims. Maria, kiss thy king:
Circle me in this ring of ivory;
O, I grow dull, and the cold hand of sleep
Hath thrust his icy fingers in my breast,[61]
And made a frost within me. Sweet, one kiss
To thaw this deadness that congeals my soul.

Maria. Your majesty hath overwatch'd yourself.
He sleeps already—not the sleep of death,
But a sweet slumber, which the powerful drug
Instill'd through all his spirits. O bright day,
Bring home my dear lord ere his king awake,
Else of his unstain'd bed he'll shipwreck make.

[Offers to go.

Enter Oberon, and Fairies dancing before him; and Music with them.

Maria. O me! what shapes are these?

Ober. Stay, stay, Maria.

Maria. My sovereign lord awake, save poor Maria.

Ober. He cannot save thee: save that pain;
Before he wake, thou shalt be slain:
His mother's hand shall stop thy breath,
Thinking her own son is done to death:
And she that takes away thy life,
Does it to be thy husband's wife:
Adieu, Maria, we must hence:
Embrace thine end with patience.
[137] Elves and fairies make no stand,
Till you come in fairyland.

[Exeunt dancing and singing.

Maria. Fairies or devils, whatsoe'er you be,
Thus will I hide me from your company.

[Offers to go.

SCENE III.

To her enter Queen-Mother suddenly, with Alvero and Roderigo with rapiers.

Queen-M. Lay hold upon the strumpet! where's the king?
Fernando! son! Ah me! your king is dead!
Lay hands upon the murd'ress.

Maria. Imperious queen,
I am as free from murder as thyself;
Which I will prove, if you will hear me speak.
The king is living.

Rod. If he liv'd, his breath would beat within his breast.

Queen-M. The life he leads, Maria, thou shalt soon participate.

Maria. O father, save me!

Alv. Thou'rt no child of mine.
Hadst thou been owner of Alvero's spirit,
Thy heart would not have entertain'd a thought
That had convers'd with murder: yet mine eyes,
Howe'er my tongue wants words, brimful with tears
Entreat her further trial.

Queen-M. To what end?
Here lies her trial; from this royal breast
Hath she stolen all comfort—all the life
Of every bosom in the realm of Spain.

Rod. She's both a traitor and [a] murd'ress.
[138]

Queen-M. I'll have her forthwith strangled.

Alv. Hear her speak.

Queen-M. To heaven let her complain, if she have wrong;
I murder but the murd'ress of my son.

All. We murder [but] the murd'ress of our king.[62]

Alv. Ah me! my child! O, O, cease your torturing!

Maria. Heaven ope your windows, that my spotless soul,
Riding upon the wings of innocence,
May enter Paradise. Fairies, farewell;
Fernando's death in mine you did foretell.

[She dies. King wakes.

King. Who calls Fernando? Love—Maria, speak;
O, whither art thou fled? Whence flow these waters,
That fall like winter-storms from the drown'd eyes?

Alv. From my Maria's death.

King. My Maria dead!
Damn'd be the soul to hell that stopp'd her breath.
Maria! O me! who durst murder thee?

Queen-M. I thought my dear Fernando had been dead,
And in my indignation murder'd her.

King. I was not dead, until you murder'd me
By killing fair Maria.

Queen-M. Gentle son——

King. Ungentle mother, you a deed have done
Of so much ruth, that no succeeding age
Can ever clear you of. O my dear love!
[139] Yet heavens can witness thou wert never mine.
Spain's wonder was Maria.

Queen-M. Sweet, have done.

King. Have done! for what? For shedding zealous tears
Over the tomb of virtuous chastity?
You cry Have done, now I am doing good;
But cried Do on, when you were shedding blood.
Have you done, mother? Yes, yes, you have done
That which will undo your unhappy son.

Rod. These words become you not, my gracious lord.

King. These words become not me! no more it did
Become you, lords, to be mute standers-by,
When lustful fury ravish'd chastity:
It ill becomes me to lament her death;
But it became you well to stop her breath!
Had she been fair, and not so virtuous,
This deed had not been half so impious.

Alv. But she was fair in virtue, virtuous fair. O me!

King. O me! she was true honour's heir.
Hence, beldam, from my presence! all, fly hence;
You are all murderers. Come, poor innocent,
Clasp thy cold hand in mine; for here I'll lie,
And since I liv'd for her, for her I'll die.

SCENE IV.

Enter Eleazar with a torch, his rapier drawn.

Ele. Bar up my castle gates! fire and confusion
Shall girt these Spanish curs. Was I for this
Sent to raise power against a fugitive?
[140] To have my wife deflower'd? Zounds! where's my wife?
My slaves cry out she's dallying with the king:
Stand by; where is your king? Eleazar's bed
Shall scorn to be an Emperor's brothelry.

Queen-M. Be patient, Eleazar; here's the king.

Ele. Patience and I am foes. Where's my Maria?

Alv. Here is her hapless corse, that was Maria.

King. Here lies Maria's body, here her grave,
Her dead heart in my breast a tomb shall have.

Ele. Now, by the proud complexion of my cheeks,
Ta'en from the kisses of the amorous sun,
Were he ten thousand kings that slew my love,
Thus should my hand, plum'd with revenge's wings,
Requite mine own dishonour and her death.

[Stabs the King.

Queen-M. Ah me! my son!

All. The king is murder'd!
Lay hold on the damn'd traitor.

Ele. In his breast,
That dares but dart a finger at the Moor,
I'll bury this sharp steel, yet reeking warm
With the unchas'd[63] blood of that lecher-king,
That threw my wife in an untimely grave.

Alv. She was my daughter, and her timeless grave
Did swallow down my joys as deep as yours.
But thus——

Ele. But what? Bear injuries that can:
I'll wear no forked crest.

Rod. Damn this black fiend! cry treason through the court:
The king is murder'd.
[141]

Ele. He that first opes his lips, I'll drive his words
Down his wide throat upon my rapier's point.
The king is murder'd, and I'll answer it.
I am dishonour'd, and I will revenge it.
Bend not your dangerous weapons at my breast;
Think where you are: this castle is the Moor's;
You are environ'd with a wall of flint,
The gates are lock'd, portcullises let down;
If Eleazar spend one drop of blood,

[Zarack and Balthazar above with calivers.[64]]

On those high turret-tops my slaves stand arm'd,
And shall confound your souls with murd'ring shot:
Or if you murder me, yet underground
A villain, that for me will dig to hell,
Stands with a burning linstock in his fist,
Who, firing gunpowder, up in the air
Shall fling your torn and mangled carcases.

Queen-M. O, sheathe your weapons: though my son be slain,
Yet save yourselves; choose a new sovereign.

All. Prince Philip is our sovereign, choose him king!

Ele. Prince Philip shall not be my sovereign.
Philip's a bastard, and Fernando's dead.
Mendoza sweats to wear Spain's diadem:
Philip has sworn confusion to this realm.
They both are up in arms; war's flames do shine
Like lightning in the air. Wherefore, my lords,
Look well on Eleazar; value me,
Not by my sunburnt cheeks, nor by my birth,
But by my loss of blood,
Which I have sacrific'd in Spain's defence.
Then look on Philip and the cardinal;
[142] Look on those gaping curs, whose wide throats
Stand stretch'd wide open like the gates of death,
To swallow you, your country, children, wives.
Philip cries fire and blood: the cardinal
Cries likewise fire and blood. I'll quench those flames.
The Moor cries blood and fire, and that shall burn,
Till Castile, like proud Troy, to cinders turn.

Rod. Lay by these ambages; what seeks the Moor?

Ele. A kingdom, Castile's crown.

Alv. Peace, devil; for shame!

Queen-M. Peace, doating lord, for shame! O misery,
When Indian slaves thirst after empery!
Princes and peers of Spain, we are beset
With horror on each side; [if] you deny him,
Death stands at all our backs: we cannot fly him.
Crown Philip king: the crown upon his head
Will prove a fiery meteor; war and vengeance
And desolation will invade our land.
Besides, Prince Philip is a bastard born.
O, give me leave to blush at mine own shame;
But I, for love to you, love to fair Spain,
Choose rather to rip up a queen's disgrace
Than, by concealing it, to set the crown
Upon a bastard's head: wherefore, my lords,
By my consent, crown that proud blackamoor.
Since Spain's bright glory must so soon grow dim—
Since it must end, let it end all in him.

All. Eleazar shall be king!

Alv. O treachery!
Have you so soon ras'd out Fernando's love?
So soon forgot the duty of true peers?
So soon, so soon, buried a mother's name,
That you will crown him king that slew your king?

Ele. Will you hear him or me? who shall be king?

All. Eleazar shall be Castile's sovereign!
[143]

Alv. Do, do: make haste to crown him. Lords, adieu:
Here hell must be, when the devil governs you.

[Exit.

Ele. By heaven's great star, which Indians do adore,
But that I hate to hear the giddy world
Shame, that I waded to a crown through blood,
I'd not digest his pills: but since, my lords,
You have chosen Eleazar for your king,
Invest me with a general applause.

All. Live, Eleazar, Castile's royal king!

Rod. A villain and a base-born fugitive.

[Aside.]

Chris. A bloody tyrant and usurping slave.

[Aside.]

Ele. Thanks to you all: 'tis not the Spanish crown
That Eleazar strives for, but Spain's peace.
Amongst you I'll divide her empery:
Christofero shall wear Granada's crown;
To Roderigo I'll give Arragon;
Naples, Navarre, and fair Jerusalem
I'll give to other three; and then our viceroys
Shall shine about our bright Castilian crown,
As stars about the sun. Cry all, arm, arm;
Prince Philip and the cardinal do ride
Like Jove in thunder; in a storm we'll meet them.
Go, levy powers; if any man must fall,
My death shall first begin the funeral.

[Exeunt.

SCENE V.

Enter Zarack and Balthazar, with calivers.

Bal. Is thy cock ready, and thy powder dry?

Zar. My cock stands perching like a cock o' the[144] game, with a red coal for his crest, instead of a comb; and for my powder, 'tis but touch and take.

Bal. I have tickling gear too; anon I'll cry, here I have it, and yonder I see it. But, Zarack, is't policy for us to kill these bald-pates?

Zar. Is't policy for us to save ourselves? If they live, we die. Is't not wisdom then to send them to heaven, rather than be sent ourselves? Come, you black slave, be resolute. This way they come; here they will stand, and yonder will I stand.

Bal. And in yonder hole I.

Zar. Our amiable faces cannot be seen if we keep close; therefore hide your cock's head, lest his burning cock's-comb betray us. But soft; which of the two shall be thy white?[65]

Bal. That black villain friar Cole.

Zar. I shall have a sharp piece of service; friar Crab shall be my man. Farewell, and be resolute.

Bal. Zounds! Zarack, I shall never have the heart to do it.

Zar. You rogue, think who commands—Eleazar. Who shall rise—Balthazar. Who shall die—a lousy friar. Who shall live—our good lord and master, the negro-king of Spain.

Bal. Cole, thou art but a dead man, and shalt turn to ashes.

[Exit.

Zar. Crab, here's that shall make vinegar of thy carcase.

[Exit.

[145]

Enter Crab and Cole, two friars, with a rout of stinkards following them.

Crab. Ah! brother, 'tis best so. Now we have drawn them to a head, we'll begin here i' the market-place. Tut, so long as we be commanded by the mother-queen, we'll say her son is a bastard, an' he were ten Philips.

Cole. Take you one market-form, I'll take another.

Crab. No, God's-so',[66] we must both keep one form.

Cole. Ay, in oration, but not in station. Mount, mount.

1st Stink. Well, my masters, you know him not so well as I, on my word. Friar Crab is a sour fellow.

2d Stink. Yet he may utter sweet doctrine, by your leave. But what think you of friar Cole?

1st Stink. He? all fire: an' he be kindled once, a hot catholic.

3d Stink. And you mark him, he has a zealous nose, and richly inflamed.

1st Stink. Peace, you rogues! Now they begin.

Crab. Incipe, Frater.

Cole. Non ego, Domine.

Crab. Nec ego.

Cole. Quare?

Crab. Quia?

Cole. Quæso.

All. Here's a queasy beginning, methinks. Silence! silence!

[146]

Crab. Brethren, citizens, and market-folks of Seville.

Cole. Well-beloved and honoured Castilians.

Crab. It is not unknown to you.

Cole. I am sure you are not ignorant.

Crab. How villanous and strong!

Cole. How monstrous and huge!

Crab. The faction of Prince Philip is.

Cole. Philip, that is a bastard.

Crab. Philip, that is a dastard.

Cole. Philip, that killed your king.

Crab. Only to make himself king.

Cole. And, by Gad's blessed lady, you are all damned, and you suffer it.

1st Stink. Friar Cole says true: he speaks out to the heat of his zeal: look how he glows!

2d Stink. Well, friar Crab for my money; he has set my teeth an edge against this bastard.

1st Stink. O, his words are like vergis to whet a man's stomach.

All. Silence! silence!

Crab. Now contrariwise.

Cole. Your noble king the Moor——

Crab. Is a valiant gentleman;

Cole. A noble gentleman;

Crab. An honourable gentleman;

Cole. A fair black gentleman.

Crab. A friend to Castilians,

Cole. A champion for Castilians,

Crab. A man fit to be a king.

Cole. If he were not borne down by him that would be king, who (as I said before) is a bastard, and no king.

1st Stink. What think you, my masters? Do you mark his words well?

Crab. Further, compare them together.

[147]

All. S'blood! there's no comparison between them.

Cole. Nay, but hear us, good countrymen.

All. Hear friar Cole! hear friar Cole!

Cole. Set[67] that bastard and Eleazar together.

1st Stink. How? mean you by the ears?

Crab. No, but compare them.

Cole. Do but compare them.

2d Stink. Zounds! we say again, comparisons are odious.

1st Stink. But say on, say on.

[Pieces go off; friars die.

All. Treason! treason! every man shift for himself. This is Philip's treason. Arm, arm, arm!

[Exeunt.

SCENE VI.

Enter Eleazar, Zarack, and Balthazar.

Ele. Zarack and Balthazar, are they despatch'd?

Zar. We saw 'em sprawl, and turn up the white of the eye.

Ele. So shall they perish that lay countermines
To cross our high designments: by their habits
The cardinal and Philip 'scap'd our nets,
And by your hands they tasted our revenge.

Enter Queen-Mother.

Here comes the queen; away! under our wings
You shall stand safe, and brave the proudest kings.

[Exeunt.

Queen-M. O, fly, my Eleazar; save thy life,
[148] Else 'point a guard about thee; the mad people,
Tempestuous like the sea, run up and down,
Some crying kill the bastard, some, the Moor;
Some cry, God save King Philip; and some cry,
God save the Moor, some others, he shall die.

Ele. Are these your fears? Thus blow them into air.
I rushed amongst the thickest of their crowds,
And with a countenance majestical,
Like the imperious sun, dispers'd their clouds;
I have perfumed the rankness of their breath,
And by the magic of true eloquence
Transform'd this many-headed Cerberus,
This pied chamelion, this beast multitude,
Whose power consists in number, pride in threats,
Yet melt like snow when majesty shines forth,
This heap of fools who, crowding in huge swarms,
Stood at our court gates like a heap of dung,
Reeking and shouting out contagious breath
Of power to poison all the elements—
This wolf I held by th' ears, and made him tame,
And made them tremble at the Moor's great name:
No, we must combat with a grimmer foe;
That damn'd Mendoza overturns our hopes.
He loves you dearly.

Queen-M. By his secret letters
He hath entreated me to leave the court,
And fly into his arms.

Ele. The world cannot devise a stratagem
Sooner to throw confusion on his pride.
Subscribe to his desires, and in dead night
Steal to his castle; swear to him his love
Hath drawn you thither; undermine his soul,
And learn what villanies are there laid up;
Then for your pleasure walk to take the air:
Near to the castle I'll in ambush lie,
And seem by force to take you prisoner:
[149] This done, I have a practice (plotted here)
Shall rid him of his life and us of fear.
About it, madam, this is all in all;
We cannot stand, unless Mendoza fall.

[Exeunt.


ACT IV., SCENE 1.

Enter Emanuel, King of Portugal, Prince Philip, Mendoza, Alvero, with drums and soldiers marching.

K. of Port. Poor Spain! how is the body of thy peace
Mangled and torn by an ambitious Moor.
How is thy prince and councillors abus'd,
And trodden under the base foot of scorn.
Wrong'd lords, Emanuel of Portugal partakes
A falling share in all your miseries;
And though the tardy hand of slow delay
Withheld us from preventing your mishaps
Yet shall revenge dart black confusion
Into the bosom of that damned fiend.

Phil. But is it possible our mother-queen
Should countenance his ambition?

Alv. Her advice is as a steersman to direct his course;
Besides, as we by circumstance have learnt,
She means to marry him.

Phil. Then, here upon my knees,
I pluck allegiance from her; all that love,
Which by innative duty I did owe her,
Shall henceforth be converted into hate.
This will confirm the world's opinion
That I am base-born, and the damned Moor
Had interest in my birth; this wrong alone
Gives new fire to the cinders of my rage;
[150] I may be well transform'd from what I am,
When a black devil is husband to my dam.

K. of Port. Prince, let thy rage give way to patience,
And set a velvet brow upon the face
Of wrinkled anger: our keen swords
Must right these wrongs, and not light airy words.

Phil. Yet words may make the edge of rage more sharp,
And whet a blunted courage with revenge.

Alv. Here's none wants whetting, for our keen resolves
Are steel'd unto the back with double wrongs;
Wrongs that would make a handless man take arms:
Wrongs that would make a coward resolute.

Car. Why, then, join all our several wrongs in one,
And from these wrongs assume a firm resolve
To send this devil to damnation.

[Drums afar off.

Phil. I hear the sound of his approaching march.
Stand fair; Saint Jacques for the right of Spain!

Enter the Moor, Roderigo, Christofero, with drums, colours, and soldiers marching bravely.

Ele. Bastard of Spain!

Phil. Thou true-stamp'd son of hell,
Thy pedigree is written in thy face.

[Alarum and a battle; the Moor prevails: all exeunt.

SCENE II.

Enter Philip and Cardinal.

Phil. Move forward with your main battalion,
Or else all's lost.
[151]

Car. I will not move a foot.

Phil. S'heart! will you lose the day?

Car. You lose your wits,
You're mad; it is no policy.

Phil. You lie.

Car. Lie!

Phil. Lie! a pox upon't, cardinal, come on,
Second the desperate vanguard which is mine,
And where I'll die or win. Follow my sword
The bloody way I lead it, or, by heaven,
I'll play the devil, and mar all! we'll turn our backs
Upon the Moors, and set on thee; ay, thee,
Thee, cardinal! s'heart! thee.

Car. Your desperate arm
Hath almost thrust quite through the heart of hope:
Our fortunes lie a-bleeding by your rash
And violent onset.

Phil. O, O, s'life! s'foot! will you [not] fight?

Car. We will not hazard all upon one cast.

Phil. You will not?

Car. No.

Phil. Coward!

Car. By deeds I'll try.
Whether your venomous tongue says true. Farewell;
Courage shines both in this and policy.

[Exit.

Phil. To save thy skin whole, that's thy policy.
You whoreson fat-chapp'd guts, Ill melt away
That larded body by the heat of fight,
Which I'll compel thee to, or else by flying:
To work which I'll give way to the proud foe.
Whilst I stand laughing to behold you run.
Cardinal, I'll do't, I'll do't; a Moor, a Moor!
Philip cries a Moor! holla! la! whoo!

[152]

Enter King of Portugal.

K. of Port. Prince Philip! Philip!

Phil. Here: plague, where's the Moor?

K. of Port. The Moor's a devil: never did horrid fiend,
Compell'd by some magician's mighty charm,
Break through the prisons of the solid earth
With more strange horror than this prince of hell,
This damned negro, lion-like doth rush
Through all, and spite of all knit opposition.

Phil. Puh, puh! where, where?
I'll meet him: where? You mad me!
'Tis not his arm
That acts such wonders, but our cowardice.
This cardinal, O, this cardinal is a slave.

Enter Captain.

Capt. Sound a retreat, or else the day is lost!

Phil. I'll beat that dog to death that sounds retreat.

K. of Port. Philip!

Phil. I'll tear his heart out that dares name that sound.

K. of Port. Sound a retreat.

Phil. Who's that? you tempt my sword, sir;
Continue this alarum, fight pell-mell;
Fight, kill, be damn'd. This fat-back, coward cardinal
Lies heavy on my shoulders; this, ay, this,
Shall fling him off. Sound a retreat? Zounds! you mad me!
Ambition plumes the Moor, whilst black despair,
Offering to tear from him the diadem
Which he usurps, makes him to cry at all,
And to act deeds beyond astonishment.
[153] But Philip is the night that darks his glories:
This sword, yet reeking with his negro's blood,
Being grasp'd by equity and this strong arm,
Shall through and through.

All. Away, then!

Phil. From before me.
Stay, stand, stand fast: fight. A Moor, a Moor.

SCENE III.

Enter Eleazar, Zarack, Balthazar, Roderigo, Christofero, and others; they fight: Moors are all beat in. Exeunt omnes. Manet Eleazar, weary; a Moor lies slain.

Ele. O, for more work, more souls to post to hell,
That I might pile up Charon's boat so full,
Until it topple o'er! O, 'twould be sport
To see them sprawl through the black slimy lake.
Ha, ha! there's one going thither: sirrah! you,
You slave, who kill'd thee? How he grins! this breast,
Had it been temper'd and made proof like mine,
It never would have been a mark for fools
To hit afar off with their dastard bullets.
But thou didst well; thou knew'st I was thy lord,
And out of love and duty to me here,
Where I fell weary, thou laidst down thyself
To bear me up thus: God-a-mercy, slave,
A king for this shall give thee a rich grave.

As he sits down, enter Philip with a broken sword.

Phil. I'll wear thee to the pommel, but I'll find
The subject of mine honour and revenge.
[154] Moor, 'tis for thee I seek! come, now, now take me
At good advantage. Speak! where art thou?

Ele. Here!

Phil. Fate and revenge, I thank you. Rise!

Ele. Leave and live.

Phil. Villain, it is Philippo that bids rise.

Ele. It had been good for thee to have hid thy name;
For the discovery, like to a dangerous charm,
Hurts him that finds it. Wherefore do those bloodhounds,
Thy rage and valour, chase me?

Phil. Why? to kill thee.

Ele. With that? what, a blunt axe! Think'st thou, I'll let
Thy fury take a full blow at this head,
Having these arms? Be wise, go change thy weapon.

Phil. O sir!

Ele. I'll stay thy coming.

Phil. Thou'lt be damn'd first.

Ele. By all our Indian gods——

Phil. Puh! never swear.
Thou know'st 'tis for a kingdom which we fight,
And for that who'll not venture to hell-gates?
Come, Moor, I'm arm'd with more than complete steel—
The justice of my quarrel: when I look
Upon my father's wrongs, my brother's wounds,
My mother's infamy, Spain's misery,
And lay my finger here; O, 'tis too dull
To let out blood enough to quench them all.
But when I see your face, and know what fears
Hang on thy troubled soul, like leaden weights,
To make it sink, I know this finger's touch
Has strength to throw thee down; I know this iron
[155] Is sharp and long enough to reach that head.
Fly not, devil; if thou do——

Ele. How? fly? O, base!

Phil. Come then.

Ele. Stay, Philip; whosoe'er begat thee——

Phil. Why, slave, a king begat me.

Ele. May be so;
But I'll be sworn thy mother was a queen;
For her sake will I kill thee nobly.
Fling me thy sword; there's mine. I scorn to strike
A man disarm'd.

Phil. For this dishonouring me,
I'll give thee one stab more.

Ele. I'll run away,
Unless thou change that weapon, or take mine.

Phil. Neither.

Ele. Farewell.

Phil. S'heart! stay; and if you dare,
Do as I do, oppose thy naked breast
Against this poniard; see! here's this for thine.

Ele. I am for thee, Philip.

Phil. Come, nay, take more ground,
That with a full career thou may'st strike home.

Ele. Thou'lt run away then?

Phil. Ha!

Ele. Thou'lt run away then?

Phil. Faith I will; but first on this I'll bear
Thy panting heart, thy head upon thy spear.

Ele. Come.

Enter Cardinal and King of Portugal on the one, and Moors on the other side.

Car. Side, upon the Moors.

1st Moor. Side, upon the cardinal.

Phil. Hold, cardinal; strike not any of our side.

Ele. Hold, Moors; strike not any of our side.

Phil. We two will close this battle.
[156]

Ele. Come, agreed.
Stand, armies, and give aim, whilst we two bleed.

Car. With poniards! 'tis too desperate, dear Philip.

Phil. Away! have at the Moor! s'heart! let me come.

King of P. Be arm'd with manly weapons: 'tis for slaves
To dig their own and such unworthy graves.

Ele. I am for thee any way: thus or, see, thus;
Here try the vigour of thy sinewy arm.
The day is ours already; brainless heads
And bleeding bodies, like a crown, do stand
About the temples of our victory.
Yet, Spaniards, if you dare, we'll fight it out
Thus, man to man alone. I'll first begin
And conquer, or in blood wade up to the chin.

Phil. Let not a weapon stir but his and mine.

Ele. Nor on this side; conquest in blood shall shine.

[Alarum; they fight, the Moor is struck down, which his side seeing, step all in and rescue him; the rest join, and drive in the Moors. Alarum continuing, Spaniards and Moors, with drums and colours, fly over the stage, pursued by Philip, Cardinal, King of Portugal, and others.

Enter Zarack, Christofero, and Eleazar, at several doors.

Chris. Where is my lord?

Zar. Where is my sovereign?

Ele. What news brings Zarack and Christofero?

Zar. O, fly, my lords, fly, for the day is lost!
[157]

Ele. There are three hundred and odd days in a year,
And cannot we lose one of them? come, fight.

Chris. The lords have left us, and the soldiers faint;
You are round-beset with proud fierce enemies;
Death cannot be prevented but by flight.

Ele. He shall, Christofero. I have yet left
One stratagem that, in despite of fate,
Shall turn the wheel of war about once more.
The mother-queen hath all this while sat sadly
Within our tent, expecting to whose bosom
White-winged peace and victory will fly:
Her have I us'd as a fit property
To stop this dangerous current; her have I sent,
Arm'd with love's magic, to enchant the cardinal,
And bind revenge down with resistless charms;
By this time does she hang about his neck,
And by the witchcraft of a cunning kiss
Has she disarm'd him. Hark! they sound retreat;
She has prevail'd; a woman's tongue and eye
Are weapons stronger than artillery.

[Exeunt.

SCENE IV.

Enter Cardinal, Queen-Mother, Soldiers, drums and colours.

Queen-M. By all those sighs which thou, like passionate tunes,
Hast often to my dull ears offered,
By all thy hopes to enjoy my royal bed,
By all those mourning lines which thou hast sent,
Weeping in black, to tell thy languishment;
By love's best, richest treasure, which I swear
[158] I will bestow, and which none else shall wear,
As the most prized jewel, but thyself;
By that bright fire which, flaming through thine eyes,
From thy love-scorched bosom does arise,
I do conjure thee, let no churlish sound,
With war's lewd horror my desires confound.
Dear, dear Mendoza; thus I do entreat,
That still thou wouldst continue this retreat;
I'll hang upon thee, till I hear thee say,
Woman, prevail; or chiding, cri'st Away.

Car. Is there no trick in this, forg'd by the Moor?

Queen-M. I would the Moor's damnation were the ransom
Of all the innocent blood that has been shed
In this black day: I care not for the Moor;
Love to my kingdom's peace makes me put on
This habit of a suppliant; shall I speed?

Car. You shall, were it to have my bosom bleed;
I have no power to spare the negro's head,
When I behold the wounds which his black hand
Has given mine honour: but when I look on you,
I have no power to hate him; since your breath
Dissolves my frozen heart, being spent for him;
In you my life must drown itself or swim.
You have prevail'd: drum, swiftly hence; call back
Our fierce-pursuing troops, that run to catch
The laurel wreath of conquest: let it stand
Awhile untouch'd by any soldier's hand.

[Exit drum.

Away! stay you and guard us. Where's the Moor?
I'll lose what I have got, a victor's prize,
Yielding myself a prisoner to your eyes.
[159]

Queen-M. Mine eyes shall quickly grant you liberty.
The Moor stays my return; I'll put on wings,
And fetch him; to make peace belongs to kings.

As she goes out, enter Eleazar, Zarack, Balthazar, and Soldiers well armed; at sight of each other, all draw.

Car. Soldiers, call back the drum: we are betray'd.

Ele. Moors, stand upon your guard; avoid, look back.

Queen-M. What means this jealousy? Mendoza, Moor,
Lay by your weapons and embrace; the sight
Of this and this begets suspicion.
Eleazar, by my birth, he comes in peace:
Mendoza, by mine honour, so comes he.

Car. Discharge these soldiers then.

Ele. And these.

[Soldiers stand aloof.

Car. Away!

Ele. Go!

Queen-M. Soul, rejoice, to see this glorious day.

[She joins them together; they embrace.

Car. Your virtues work this wonder. I have met
At her most dear command: what's your desires?

Ele. Peace and your honour'd arms: how loathingly
I sounded the alarums, witness heaven.
'Twas not to strike your breast, but to let out
The rank blood of ambition. That Philip
Makes you his ladder, and being climb'd so high
As he may reach a diadem, there you lie.
He's base-begotten,—that's his mother's sin.

Queen-M. God pardon it.
[160]

Ele. Ah! amen. But he's a bastard,
And rather than I'll kneel to him, I'll saw
My legs off by the thighs, because I'll stand
In spite of reverence: he's a bastard, he's!
And to beat down his usurpation
I have thrown about this thunder: but, Mendoza,
The people hate him for his birth;
He only leans on you, you are his pillar;
You gone, he walks on crutches, or else falls.
Then shrink from under him; are not they
Fools that, bearing others up, themselves seem low,
Because they above sit high; why, you do so.

Car. 'Tis true.

Queen-M. Behold this error with fix'd eyes.

Car. 'Tis true. Well?

Ele. O, have you found it? Have you smelt
The train of powder that must blow you up,
Up into air? What air? Why this, a breath;
Look you; in this time may a king meet death.
[Have] an eye to't, check it, check it.

Car. How?

Ele. How? thus—
Steal from the heat of that incestuous blood,
Where ravish'd honour and Philippo lies;
Leave him; divide this huge and monstrous body
Of armed Spaniards into limbs thus big:
Part man from man, send every soldier home;
I'll do the like: peace with an olive branch
Shall fly with dovelike wings about all Spain;
The crown, which I as a good husband keep,
I will lay down upon the empty chair;
Marry you the queen, and fill it: for my part,
These knees are yours, sir.

Car. Is this sound?

Ele. From my heart.

Car. If you prove false——
[161]

Ele. If I do, let fire fall——

Car. Amen.

Ele. Upon thy head [Aside]; and so it shall.

Car. All of myself is yours; soldiers, begone.

Ele. And that way you.

Car. The rest I will divide:
The lords shall be convented.

Ele. Good.

Car. Let's meet.

Queen-M. Where?

Ele. Here anon: this [Aside] is thy winding-sheet.

[Exit Cardinal. The Moor walks up and down musing.

Queen-M. What shape will this prodigious womb bring forth,
Which groans with such strange labour?

Ele. Excellent!

Queen-M. Why, Eleazar, art thou rapt with joys,
Or does thy sinking policy make to shore?

Ele. Ha!

Queen-M. Eleazar, madman! hear'st thou, Moor?

Ele. Well so; you turn my brains; you mar the face
Of my attempts i' the making; for this chaos,
This lump of projects, ere it be lick'd over,
'Tis like a bear's conception; stratagems,
Being but begot and not got out, are like
Charg'd cannons not discharg'd—they do no harm
Nor good. True policy, breeding in the brain,
Is like a bar of iron, whose ribs being broken
And soften'd in the fire, you then may forge it
Into a sword to kill, or to a helmet to defend,
Life. 'Tis therefore wit to try all fashions,
Ere you apparel villany. But—but
I ha' suited him; fit, fit, O, fit!
[162]

Queen-M. How, prythee, how?

Ele. Why, thus;—yet, no;—let's hence
My heart is nearest of my council, yet
I scarce dare trust my heart with't; what I do,
It shall look old the hour wherein 'tis born;
Wonders twice seen are garments overworn.

[Exeunt.

SCENE V.

Enter Cardinal at one door; Philippo half-armed, and two Soldiers following him with the rest of the armour; the Cardinal, seeing him, turns back again.

Phil. Sirrah! you, cardinal! coward! run away!
So ho, ho! what, cardinal!

Car. I am not for your lure.

[Exit.

Phil. For that then, O, [Touching his sword] that it had nail'd thy heart
Up to the pommel to the earth; come, arm me.
Ha! 'sfoot! when all our swords were royally gilt with blood,
When with red sweat, that trickled from our wounds,
We had dearly earn'd a victory; when hell
Had from their hinges heav'd off her iron gates,
To bid the damn'd Moor and the devils enter,
Then to lose all, then to sound base retreat;
Why, soldiers, ha!

1st Sol. I am glad of it, my lord.

Phil. Ha, glad! art glad I am dishonoured,
That thou and he [have me] dishonoured?

1st Sol. Why, my lord,
I am glad that you so cleanly did come off.
[163]

Phil. Thou hast a lean face and a carrion heart;
A plague on him and thee too: then, 'sheart! then
To crack the very heart-strings of our army—
To quarter it in pieces—I could tear my hair,
And in cursing spend my soul;
Cardinal! what, Judas! come, we'll fight,
Till there be left but one; if I be he,
I'll die a glorious death.

1st Sol. So will I, I hope, in my bed.

[Aside.]

2d Sol. Till there be but one left, my lord? Why, that's now; for all our fellows are crawled home; some with one leg, some ne'er an arm, some with their brains beaten out, and glad they 'scaped so.

Phil. But, my dear countrymen, you'll stick to me?

1st Sol. Stick! ay, my lord, stick like bandogs, till we be pulled off.

Phil. That's nobly said: I'll lead you but to death,
Where I'll have greatest share; we shall win fame
For life, and that doth crown a soldier's name.

1st Sol. How! to death, my lord? Not I, by Gad's-lid: I have a poor wife and children at home, and, if I die, they beg: and do you think I'll see her go up and down the wide universal world?

Phil. For every drop of blood which thou shalt lose,
Coward, I'll give thy wife a wedge of gold.

2d Sol. Hang him, meacock! my lord, arm yourself; I'll fight for you, till I have not an eye to see the fire in my touch-hole.

Phil. Be thou a king's companion; thou and I
Will dare the cardinal and the Moor to fight
In single combat; shall we, ha?

[164]

2d Sol. Agreed.

Phil. We'll beat'm to hell-gate; shall we, ha?

2d Sol. Hell-gate's somewhat too hot, somewhat too hot; the porter's a knave: I'd be loth to be damned for my conscience; I'll knock any body's costard, so I knock not there, my lord; hell-gates!

Phil. A pox upon such slaves!

1st Sol. Hang him, a peasant! my lord, you see I am but a scrag; my lord, my legs are not of the biggest, nor the least, nor the best that e'er were stood upon—nor the worst; but they are of God's making; and for your sake, if ever we put our enemies to flight again, by Gad's-lid, if I run not after them like a tiger, hough[68] me.

Phil. But wilt thou stand to't ere they fly, ha, wilt thou?

1st Sol. Will I, quoth-a! by this hand and the honour of a soldier.

Phil. And by a soldier's honour I will load thee
With Spanish pistolets: to have this head,
Thy face, and all thy body stuck with scars,
Why 'tis a sight more glorious than to see
A lady hung with diamonds. If thou lose
A hand, I'll send this after; if an arm,
I'll lend thee one of mine; come then, let's fight.
A mangled, lame, true soldier is a gem
Worth Cæsar's empire, though fools spurn at them.

1st Sol. Yet, my lord, I have seen lame soldiers not worth the crutches they leant upon; hands and arms, quoth-he! Zounds! not I. I'll double my files, or stand sentry, or so; but I'll be hanged and quartered, before I'll have my members cut off.

[165]

2d Sol. And I too: hold thee there.

Phil. Hold you both there; away, you rogues, you dirt!

[Beats them both in.

Thus do I tread upon you; out, begone!
One valiant is an host: fight then alone.

Enter Cardinal, Alvero, Christofero, and Soldiers.

Car. Prince Philip.

Phil. For the crown of Spain, come all.

Car. We come in love and peace.

Phil. But come in war;
Bring naked swords, not laurel boughs, in peace!
Plague on your rank peace! will you fight and cry,
Down with the Moor? and then I'm yours; I'll die.
I have a heart, two arms, a soul, a head;
I'll lay that down; I'll venture all—'sfoot, all!
Come, tread upon me, so that Moor may fall.

Car. By heaven, that Moor shall fall.

Phil. Thy hand and thine.

[Flings down his weapons.

Give me but half your hearts, you have all mine;
By heaven, shall he fall?

Car. Yes, upon thee,
Like to the ruins of a tower, to grind
Thy body into dust. Traitor and bastard,
I do arrest thee of high treason.

Phil. Ha!
Traitor and bastard! and by thee? my weapons!

Car. Lay hands upon him!

Phil. Ah! you're best do so.

Car. Alvero, there's the warrant; to your hands
The prisoner is committed. Lords, let's part:
Look to him, on your life.

[166]

[Exeunt Cardinal, &c.

Manent Philip and Alvero.

Phil. Heart! heart! heart! heart!

[Tears the warrant.

The devil and his dam, the Moor and my mother,
Their warrant I will not obey: old greybeard,
Thou shalt not be my jailer; there's no prison,
No dungeon deep enough, no grates so strong,
That can keep in a man so mad with wrong.
What, dost thou weep?

Alv. I would fain shed a tear,
But from mine eyes so many show'rs are gone;
Grief drinks my tears so fast, that here's not one.
You must to prison.

Phil. Dost thou speak to me?

Alv. You must to prison.

Phil. And from thence to death.
I thought I should have had a tomb hung round
With tatter'd colours, broken spears; I thought
My body should have fallen down full of wounds;
But one can kill an emperor, fool; then why
Wouldst thou have many? Curse, be mad, and die.

[Exeunt.


ACT V., SCENE 1.

Enter Roderigo and Christofero, two bare-headed before them; Cardinal alone; Zarack and Balthazar bearing the crown on a cushion; Eleazar next; Queen-Mother after him; other Lords after her; Alvero, sad, meets them.

Car. Alvero, 'tis the pleasure of the king,
Of the queen-mother, and these honoured states,
To ease you of Philippo; there's a warrant
Sent to remove him to a stronger guard.

Alv. I thank you; you shall rid me of much care.
[167]

Ele. Sit down, and take your place.

Alv. If I might have the place I like best,
It should be my grave.

[Sits down. The Moors stand aside with the crown: Eleazar, rising, takes it.

Ele. Stand in voice-reach, away!

Both Moors. We are gone.

[Exeunt.

Ele. Princes of Spain, if in this royal court
There sit a man that, having laid his hold
So fast on such a jewel, and dare wear it
In the contempt of envy, as I dare,
Yet uncompell'd (as freely as poor pilgrims
Bestow their prayers) would give such wealth away;
Let such a man step forth; what, do none rise?
No, no, for kings indeed are deities;
And who'd not (as the sun) in brightness shine?
To be the greatest is to be divine.
Who, among millions, would not be the mightiest,
To sit in godlike state: to have all eyes
Dazzled with admiration, and all tongues
Shouting loud prayers: to rob every heart
Of love: to have the strength of every arm:
A sovereign's name? why, 'tis a sovereign charm
This glory roundabout me hath thrown beams:
I have stood upon the top of fortune's wheel,
And backward turn'd the iron screw of fate.
The destinies have spun a silken thread
About my life; yet, noble Spaniards, see
Hoc tantum tanti, thus I cast aside
The shape of majesty, and on my knee

[Kneels: the Cardinal fetches the crown, and sets it on the chair.

To this imperial state lowly resign
This usurpation: wiping off your fears,
Which stuck so hard upon me; let a hand,
A right and royal hand, take up this wreath,
[168] And guard it; right is of itself most strong;
No kingdom got by cunning can stand long.

Car. Proceed to new election of a king.

All. Agreed.

Ele. Stay, peers of Spain: if young Philippo
Be Philip's son, then is he Philip's heir;
Then must his royal name be set in gold;
Philip is then the diamond to that ring.
But if he be a bastard, here's his seat,
For baseness has no gall, till it grow great.
First, therefore, let him blood, if he must bleed,
Yet in what vein you strike him, best take heed;
The Portugal's his friend; you saw he came,
At holding up a finger, arm'd: this peace
Rid hence his dangerous friendship; he's at home.
But when he hears that Philip is tied up.
Yet hears not why, he'll catch occasion's lock,
And on that narrow bridge make shift to lead
A scrambling army through the heart of Spain:
Look to't; being in, he'll hardly out again.
Therefore first prove and then proclaim him bastard.

Alv. How shall we prove it?

Ele. He that put him out to making,
I am sure can tell; if not,
Then she that shap'd him can: here's the queen-mother,
Being prick'd in conscience, and preferring Spain
Before her own respect, will name the man.
If he be noble, and a Spaniard born,
He'll hide th' apparent scars of their infamies
With the white hand of marriage; that and time
Will eat the blemish off: say, shall it?

All. No.

Car. Spaniard or Moor, the saucy slave shall die.

Hor. Death is too easy for such villany.
[169]

Ele. Spaniard or Moor, the saucy slave shall die?
I would he might; I know myself am clear,
As is the new-born infant. Madam, stand forth.
Be bold to speak: shame in the grave wants sense,
Heaven with sin's greatest forfeits can dispense.

Queen-M. Would I were cover'd with the veil of night,
You might not see red shame sit on my cheeks;
But being Spain's common safety stands for truth,
Hiding my weeping eyes, I blush and say,
Philippo's father sits here.

Rod. Here! name him.

Queen-M. The Lord Mendoza did beget that son;
O, let not this dishonour further run.

Alv. What, Cardinal Mendoza?

Queen-M. Yes, yes, even he.

Ele. Spaniard or Moor, the saucy slave shall die.

Car. I Philip's father?

[Comes down, the rest talk.

Queen-M. Nay, deny me not;
Now may a kingdom and my love be got.

Car. Those eyes and tongue bewitch me, shame lie here;
That love has sweetest taste that is bought dear.

Chris. What answers Lord Mendoza to the queen?

Car. I confess guilty, Philip is my son;
Her majesty hath nam'd the time and place.

Alv. To you, but not to us; go forward, madam.

Queen-M. Within the circle of twice ten years since,
Your deceas'd king made war in Barbary,
Won Tunis, conquer'd Fez, and hand to hand
[170] Slew great Abdela, King of Fez, and father
To that Barbarian prince.

Ele. I was but young, but now methinks
I see my father's wounds: poor Barbaria!
No more—

Queen-M. In absence of my lord, mourning his want,
To me alone, being in my private walk—
I think at Salamanca:—yes, 'twas there;
Enters Mendoza, under show of shrift,[69]
Threatens my death if I denied his lust;
In fine, by force he won me to his will:
I wept, and cried for help, but all in vain.
Mendoza there abus'd the bed of Spain.

Ele. Spaniard or Moor, that saucy slave shall die.

Alv. Why did you not complain of this vile act?

Queen-M. Alas! I was alone, young, full of fear,
Bashful and doubtful of my own defame;
Knowing King Philip rash and jealous,
I hid his sins, thinking to hide my shame.

Hor. What says the cardinal?

Car. Such a time there was;
'Tis pass'd: I'll make amends with marriage,
And satisfy with trentals,[70] dirges, prayers,
The offended spirit of the wronged king.

[Queen and they talk.

Ele. Spaniard or Moor, the saucy slave shall die.
O, 'twould seem best it should be thus, Mendoza;
She to accuse, I urge, and both conclude
Your marriage, like a comic interlude.
[171] Lords, will you hear this hateful sin confess'd,
And not impose upon the ravisher death,
The due punishment? O, it must be so.

Alv. What does the queen desire?

Queen-M. Justice, revenge,
On vile Mendoza for my ravishment.
I kiss the cold earth with my humble knees,
From whence I will not rise, till some just hand
Cast to the ground the traitor cardinal.

All. Stand forth, Mendoza.

Ele. Swells your heart so high?
Down, lecher; if you will not stand, then lie.

Car. You have betray'd me by my too much trust;
I never did this deed of rape and lust.

Rod. Your tongue confess'd it.

Car. True, I was entic'd.

Ele. Entic'd! do you believe that?

Queen-M. Justice, lords;
Sentence the cardinal for his hateful sin.

Alv. We will assemble all the states of Spain,
And as they judge, so justice shall be done.

Ele. A guard! To prison with the cardinal.

Enter Zarack, Balthazar, and others.

Car. Damn'd slave, my tongue shall go at liberty
To curse thee, ban that strumpet; dogs, keep off.

Ele. Hist, hist! on, on!

Queen-M. I cannot brook his sight.

Alv. You must to prison, and be patient.

Car. Weep'st thou, Alvero? all struck dumb? My fears
Are that those drops will change to bloody tears.
This woman and this serpent——

Queen-M. Drag him hence.
[172]

Car. Who dares lay hands upon me? Lords of Spain,
Let your swords bail me: this false queen did lie.

Ele. Spaniard or Moor, the saucy slave shall die.

Car. I'll fight thee, damned hellhound, for my life.

Ele. Spaniard or Moor, the saucy slave shall die.

Car. I'll prove upon thy head——

Ele. The slave shall die.

Car. Lords, stop this villain's throat.

Ele. Shall die, shall die.

Car. Hear me but speak.

Ele. Away.

Alv. Words are ill-spent,
Where wrong sits judge; you're arm'd, if innocent.

Car. Well then, I must to prison: Moor, no more.
Heavens, thou art just! Prince Philip I betray'd,
And now myself fall; guile with guile is paid.

[Exit.

Queen-M. Philip being prov'd a bastard, who shall sit
Upon this empty throne?

Ele. Strumpet, not you.

Queen-M. Strumpet! and I not sit there, who [shall] then?

Ele. Down!
Back! if she touch it, she'll bewitch the chair;
This throne belongs to Isabel the fair.
Bring forth the princess dress'd in royal robes,
The true affecter of Alvero's son,
Virtuous Hortenzo. Lords, behold your queen.

[173]

SCENE II.

Enter Isabella in royal robes, and Hortenzo.

Queen-M. Thou villain, what intend'st thou, savage slave?

Ele. To advance virtue thus, and thus to tread
On lust, on murder, on adultery's head.
Look, lords, upon your sovereign Isabel;
Though all may doubt the fruits of such a womb,
Is she not like King Philip? Let her rule.

Queen-M. She rule!

Ele. She rule: ay, she.

Queen-M. A child
To sway an empire? I am her protectress;
I'll pour black curses on thy damned head
If thou wrong'st me. Lords, lords!

Ele. Princes of Spain,
Be deaf, be blind; hear not, behold her not;
She kill'd my virtuous wife.

Queen-M. He kill'd your king.

Ele. 'Twas in my just wrath.

Queen-M. 'Twas to get his crown.

Ele. His crown! why, here 'tis: thou slew'st my Maria,
To have access to my unstained bed.

Queen-M. O heaven!

Ele. 'Tis true: how often have I stopp'd
Thy unchaste songs from passing through mine ears.
How oft, when thy luxurious arms have twin'd
About my jetty neck, have I cried out:
Away, those scalding veins burn me—'tis true.

Queen-M. Devil, 'tis a lie!

Ele. Thou slew'st my sweet Maria;
Alvero, 'twas thy daughter, 'twas; Hortenzo,
[174] She was thy sister; justice, Isabella;
This serpent poison'd thy dear father's bed,
Setting large horns on his imperial head.

Queen-M. Hear me!

Ele. Ha, why?

Alv. Madam, you shall be heard
Before the courts, before the courts of Spain.

Ele. A guard! a guard!

Enter two Moors and others.

Queen-M. A guard! for what? for whom?

Hor. To wait on you;
So many great sins must not wait with few.

Queen-M. Keep me in prison! dare you, lords?

Alv. O no!
Were your cause strong, we would not arm you so;
But honour fainting needeth many hands;
Kingdoms stand safe when mischief lies in bands.
You must to prison.

[Exeunt.

Queen-M. Must I! must I! Slave,
I'll damn thee, ere thou triumph'st o'er my grave.

[Exit with a guard.

SCENE III.

Manet Eleazar.

Ele. Do, do, my jocund spleen
It does, it will, it shall. I have at one throw
Rifled away the diadem of Spain;
'Tis gone, and there's no more to set but this
At all. Then, at this last cast, I'll sweep up
My former petty losses, or lose all,
Like to a desperate gamester.

[175]

Enter Zarack.

Ha, how? fast?

Zar. Except their bodies turn to airy spirits,
And fly through windows, they are safe, my lord:
If they can eat through locks and bars of iron,
They may escape; if not, then not.

Ele. O Zarack!
Wit is a thief; there's picklock policy,
To whom all doors fly open; therefore go;
In our name charge the keeper to resign
His office; and if he have tricks of cruelty,
Let him bequeath 'em at his death—for kill him.
Turn all thy body into eyes,
And watch them; let those eyes, like fiery comets,
Sparkle out nothing but the death of kings.
And ah! now thus: thou know'st I did invent
A torturing iron chain.

Zar. O, for necks, my lord?

Ele. Ay; that, that, that; away, and yoke them. Stay,

Enter Balthazar.

Here's Balthazar: go both, teach them to preach
Through an iron pillory. I'll spread a net
To catch Alvero; O, he is old and wise;
They are unfit to live that have sharp eyes.
Hortenzo, Roderigo, to't to't: all
They have supple knees, sleek'd brows, but hearts of gall;
The bitterness shall be wash'd off with blood:
Tyrants swim safest in a crimson flood.

Bal. I come to tell your grace that Isabella
Is with Hortenzo arm in arm at hand;
Zarack and I may kill them now with ease.
Is't done? and then 'tis done.
[176]

Zar. Murther thou the man,
And I'll stab her.

Ele. No, I'll speed[71] her myself.
Arm in arm? so, so; look upon this ring;
Whoever brings this token to your hands,
Regard not for what purpose, seize on them,
And chain them to the rest: they come—away!
Murder, be proud; and, tragedy, laugh on,
I'll seek a stage for thee to jet[72] upon.

Enter Isabella and Hortenzo; seeing the Moor, they turn back.

Ele. My lord, my Lord Hortenzo.

Hor. Ah, is't you?
Trust me, I saw you not.

Ele. What makes your grace so sad?

Hor. She grieves for the imprison'd queen her mother
And for Philippo; in the sandy heap
That wait upon an hour, there are not found
So many little bodies, as those sighs
And tears which she hath every minute spent,
Since her lov'd brother felt imprisonment.

Ele. Pity, great pity; would it lay in me
To give him liberty.

Isa. It does.

Ele. In me!
Free him, your mother-queen and cardinal too.
In me? alas! not me; no, no, in you!
Yet, for I'll have my conscience white and pure,
Here, madam, take this ring; and if my name
Can break down castle-walls and open gates,
Take it, and do't; fetch them all forth,—and yet
'Tis unfit you should go.
[177]

Hor. That happy office I'll execute myself.

Ele. Will you? Would I
Stood gracious in their sight! Well, go:
Do what you will: Hortenzo, if this charm
Unbinds them, here 'tis: lady, you and I
Aloof will follow him, and when we meet,
Speak for me, for I'll kiss Philippo's feet.

Hor. I shall be proud to see all reconcil'd.

[Exit.

Ele. Alas, my lord! why, true; go, go.

Isa. Make haste, dear love.

Ele. Hortenzo is a man
Compos'd of sweet proportion; has a foot,
A leg, a hand, a face, an eye, a wit—
The best, Hortenzo, in the Spanish court.
O, he's the nonpareil.

Isa. Your tongue had wont
To be more sparing in Hortenzo's praise.

Ele. Ah! I may curse his praises, rather ban
Mine own nativity: why did this colour
Dart in my flesh so far! O, would my face
Were of Hortenzo's fashion; else would yours
Were as black as mine is.

Isa. Mine like yours? why?

Ele. Hark,
I love you; yes, faith, I said this—I love you.
I do—leave him.

Isa. Damnation! vanish from me.

Ele. Coy!
Were you as hard as flint, O, you should yield
Like soften'd wax; were you as pure as fire,
I'd touch you; yes, I'll taint you: see you this?
I'll bring you to this lure.

Isa. If I want hands
To kill myself, before thou dost it, do.

Ele. I'll cut away your hands. Well, my desire
[178] Is raging as the sea, and mad as fire.
Will you?

Isa. Torment me not, good devil.

Ele. Will you.

Isa. I'll tear mine eyes out, if they tempt thy lust.

Ele. Do.

Isa. Touch me not; these knives——

Ele. Ha, ha! kill yourself,
Because I jest with you! I wrong Hortenzo.
Settle your thoughts, 'twas but a trick to try
That which few women have, true constancy.

Isa. If then my speeches taste of gall——

Ele. Nay, faith,
You are not bitter; no; you should have rail'd,
Have spit upon me, spurn'd me; you're not bitter:
Why, do you think that I would nurse a thought,
To hurt your honour? If that thought had brains,
I'd beat them out. But come; by this Hortenzo
Is fast.

Isa. Ha! fast?

Ele. Ay, fast—in Philip's arms;
Wrestling together for the prize of love;
By this they're on the way: I'll be your guard;
Come, follow me; I'll lead you in the van,
Where [Aside] thou shalt see four chins upon one chain.

[Exeunt.

SCENE IV.

Hortenzo, Queen-Mother, Cardinal, and Philip, chained by the necks. Zarack and Balthazar busy about fastening Hortenzo.

Hor. You damned ministers of villany,
Sworn to damnation by the book of hell;
[179] You maps of night, you element of devils,
Why do you yoke my neck with iron chains?

Bal. Many do borrow chains, but you have this
Gratis for nothing.

Car. Slaves, unbind us.

Both. No.

[Exeunt the two Moors.

Phil. I am impatient; veins, why crack you not,
And tilt your blood into the face of heaven,
To make red clouds, like ensigns in the sky,
Displaying a damn'd tyrant's cruelty!
Yet can I laugh in my extremest pangs
Of blood and spirit to see the cardinal
Keep rank with me, and my vile mother-queen,
To see herself where she would have me seen.
Good fellowship, i' faith!

Hor. And I can tell,
True misery loves a companion well.

Phil. Thou left'st me to the mercy of a Moor
That hath damnation dyed upon his flesh;
'Twas well; thou, mother, didst unmotherly
Betray thy true son to false bastardy;
Thou left'st me then: now thou art found and staid,
And thou, who didst betray me, art betray'd.
A plague upon you all!

Car. Thou cursest them
Whom I may curse: first, may I curse myself,
Too credulous of loyalty and love;
Next may I curse the Moor, more than a devil;
And last thy mother, mother of all evil.

Queen-M. All curses and all crosses light on thee!
What need I curse myself, when all curse me?
I have been deadly impious, I confess:
Forgive me, and my sin will seem the less.
[180] This heavy chain, which now my neck assaults,
Weighs ten times lighter than my heavy faults.

Phil. Hortenzo, I commend myself to thee;
Thou that are near'st, stand'st furthest off from me.

Hor. That mould of hell, that Moor, has chain'd me here;
'Tis not myself, but Isabel I fear.

SCENE V.

Enter Eleazar, Isabella, Zarack, and Balthazar.

Ele. It's strange!
Will not Prince Philip come with Hortenzo?

Zar. He swears he'll live and die there.

Ele. Marry, and shall.

[Aside.

I pray, persuade him, you, to leave the place.
A prison! why, it's hell. 'Las, here they be!
Ha! they are they, i' faith; see, see, see, see.

All. Moor, devil, toad, serpent!

Ele. O sweet airs, sweet voices!

Isa. O my Hortenzo!

Ele. Do not these birds sing sweetly, Isabella?
O, how their spirits would leap aloft and spring,
Had they their throats at liberty to sing!

Phil. Damnation dog thee!

Car. Furies follow thee!

Queen-M. Comets confound thee!

Hor. And hell swallow thee!

Ele. Sweeter and sweeter still. O harmony!
Why, there's no music like to misery.

Isa. Hast thou betrayed me thus?

Ele. Not I, not I.

Phil. Sirrah hedgehog.

Ele. Ha! I'll hear thee presently.
[181]

Isa. Hear me then, hellhound; slaves, unchain my love,
Or by——

Ele. By what? Is't not rare walking here?
Methinks this stage shows like a tennis-court;
Does it not, Isabel? I'll show thee how—
Suppose that iron chain to be the line,
The prison-doors the hazard, and their heads,
Scarce peeping o'er the line, suppose the balls!
Had I a racket now of burnish'd steel,
How smoothly could I bandy every ball
Over this globe of earth, win set, and all.

Phil. How brisk the villain jets in villany!

Ele. Prating! he's proud because he wears a chain:
Take it off, Balthazar, and take him hence.

[They unbind him.

Phil. And whither then, you dog?

Isa. Pity my brother.

Ele. Pity him! no; away!

Phil. Ay, come, do come.[73] I pray thee kill me: come.

Ele. I hope to see
Thy own hands do that office. Down with him!

Phil. Is there another hell?

Two Moors. Try, try; he's gone.

Ele. So him next, he next, and next him; and then——

All. Worse than damnation! fiend, monster of men!

Ele. Why, when! Down, down!

Car. Slave, as thou thrust me down
Into this dungeon, so sink thou to hell.

Queen-M. Amen, amen.

Ele. Together so; and you—
[182]

Isa. O, pity my Hortenzo!

Hor. Farewell, my Isabel; my life, adieu.

All. Mischief and horror let the Moor pursue!

Ele. A concert! that amain;[74] play that amain;
Amain, amain. No; so soon fallen asleep!
Nay, I'll not lose this music; sirrah, sirrah,
Take thou a drum, a trumpet thou; and hark,
Mad them with villanous sounds.

Zar. Rare sport; let's go.

[Exeunt Zarack and Balthazar.

Ele. About it: music will do well in woe.
How like you this?

Isa. Set my Hortenzo free,
And I'll like anything.

Ele. A fool, a fool.
Hortenzo free! why, look you, he free! no;
Then must he marry you; you must be queen,
He in a manner king; these dignities,
Like poison, make men swell; this ratsbane honour,
O, 'tis so sweet! they'll lick it, till all burst:
He will be proud; and pride, you know, must fall.
Come, come, he shall not; no, no, 'tis more meet
To keep him down safe standing on his feet.

Isa. Eleazar!

Ele. Mark, the imperial chair of Spain
Is now as empty as a miser's alms:
Be wise, I yet dare sit in't; it's for you,
If you will be for me; there's room for two.
Do—meditate—muse on't: its best for thee
To love me, live with me, and lie with me.

Isa. Thou know'st I'll first lie in the arms of death.
My meditations are how to revenge
[183] Thy bloody tyrannies. I fear thee not,
Inhuman slave, but to thy face defy
Thy lust, thy love, thy barbarous villany.

Ele. Zarack.

Enter Zarack.

Zar. My lord.

Ele. Where's Balthazar?

Zar. A-drumming.

Ele. I have made them rave and curse, and so guard her.
Your court shall be this prison; guard her, slaves,
With open eyes: defy me! see my veins
Struck't out, being overheated with my blood,
Boiling in wrath; I'll tame you.

Isa. Do, do.

Ele. Ha,
I will! and once more fill a kingdom's throne.
Spain, I'll new-mould thee: I will have a chair
Made all of dead men's bones; and the ascents
Shall be the heads of Spaniards set in ranks:
I will have Philip's head, Hortenzo's head,
Mendoza's head, thy mother's head, and this—
This head, that is so cross, I'll have't.
The scene wants actors; I'll fetch more, and clothe it
In rich cothurnal pomp: a tragedy
Ought to be grave: graves this shall beautify.
Moor, execute to th' life my dread commands;
Vengeance, awake, thou hast much work in hand.

[Exit.

Zar. I am weary of this office and this life;
It is too thirsty, and I would your blood
Might 'scape the filling out. By heaven, I swear,
I scorn these blows and his rebukes to bear.
[184]

Isa. O Zarack, pity me; I love thee well;
Love deserves pity; pity Isabel.

Zar. What would you have me do?

Isa. To kill this Moor.

Zar. I'll cast an eye of death upon my face;
I'll be no more his slave. Swear to advance me,
And, by yon setting sun, this hand and this
Shall rid you of a tyrant.

Isa. By my birth,
No Spaniard's honour'd place shall equal thine.

Zar. I'll kill him then.

Isa. And Balthazar?

Zar. And he.

Isa. I pray thee, first fetch Philip and Hortenzo
Out of that hell; they two will be most glad
To aid thee in this execution.

Zar. My Lord Philippo and Hortenzo, rise.
Your hands; so, talk to her: at my return
This sword shall reek with blood of Balthazar.

[Exit.

Phil. Three curses (like three commendations
To their souls) I send: thy tortured brother;
Does curse the cardinal, the Moor, thy mother.

Isa. Curse not at all! dear souls, revenge is hot,
And boils in Zarack's brains; the plot is cast
Into the mould of hell: you freemen are:
Zarack will kill the Moor and Balthazar.

Hor. How can that relish?

Isa. I'll tell you how:
I did profess, ay, and protested too,
I lov'd him well; what will not sorrow do!
Then he profess'd, ay, and protested too,
To kill them both; what will not devils do!

Phil. Then I profess, ay, and protest it too,
That here's for him; what will not Philip do!

Hor. See where he comes.

[185]

Enter the two Moors.

Bal. Zarack, what do I see?
Hortenzo and Philippo? who did this?

Zar. I, Balthazar.

Bal. Thou art half-damn'd for it;[75]
I'll to my lord.

Zar. I'll stop you on your way;
Lie there, thy tongue shall tell no tales to-day.

[Stabs him.

Phil. Nor thine to-morrow: this revenge was well.

[Stabs him.

By this time both the slaves shake hands in hell.

Isa. Philippo and Hortenzo, stand you still?
What, doat you both? Cannot you see your play?
Well fare a woman then to lead the way.
Once rob the dead; put the Moors' habits on,
And paint your faces with the oil of hell:
So, waiting on the tyrant——

Phil. Come, no more,
'Tis here and here: room there below; stand wide,
Bury them well, since they so godly died.

Hor. Away then, fate: now let revenge be plac'd.

Phil. Here.

Hor. And here; a tyrant's blood doth sweetly taste.

[Exeunt.

SCENE VI.

Enter Eleazar, Alvero, Roderigo, Christofero, and other Lords.

Ele. What, I imprison! Who?

All. Philip and Hortenzo.
[186]

Ele. Philip and Hortenzo! ha, ha, ha!

Rod. Why laughs the Moor?

Ele. I laugh, because you jest:
Laugh at a jest. Who, I imprison them?
I prize their lives with weights, their necks with chains,
Their hands with manacles! do I all this?
Because my face is in night's colour dyed,
Think you my conscience and my soul is so?
Black faces may have hearts as white as snow;
And 'tis a general rule in moral schools,[76]
The whitest faces have the blackest souls.

Alv. But touching my Hortenzo——

Ele. Good old man,
I never touch'd him; do not touch me then
With thy Hortenzo.

Chris. Where's Philip too?

Ele. And where is Philip too?
I pray, I pray, is Philip a tame Spaniard?
What, can I Philip him hither, hither make him fly?
First, where's Hortenzo? Where's Philip too?

Rod. And where is Isabel? She was with you.

Ele. And where is Isabel? She was with me!

Enter Philip and Hortenzo, like Moors.

And so are you; yet are you well, you see:
But in good time, see where their keepers come.
Come hither, Zarack; Balthazar, come hither:
Zarack, old Lord Alvero asks of thee
Where young Hortenzo is.

Hor. My lord, set free.

Ele. O, is he so? Come hither, Balthazar:
[187] Lord Christofero here would ask of thee
Where Prince Philippo is.

Phil. My lord, set free.

Ele. O, is he so?
Roderigo asketh me for Isabel.

Phil. I say, my lord, she's free.

Ele. O, is she so?

Phil. Believe me, lords.

Hor. And me.

Phil. I set Philippo——

Hor. I, Hortenzo free.

Ele. My lords, because you shall believe me too,
Go to the castle: I will follow you.

Alv. Thanks to the mighty Moor; and, for his fame,
Be more in honour than thou art in name:
But let me wish the other prisoners well,
The queen and cardinal: let all have right,
Let law absolve them, or dissolve them quite.

Ele. Grave man, thy grey hairs paint out gravity,
Thy counsels wisdom, thy wit policy.
There let us meet, and with a general brain
Erect the peace of spirit and of Spain.

Alv. Then will Spain flourish.

Ele. Ay, when it is mine.

Rod. O heavenly meeting!

Ele. We must part in hell.

[Aside.

Chris. True peace of joy.

[Exeunt.

Manent Eleazar, Philip, and Hortenzo.

Ele. 'Tis a dissembling knell;
Farewell, my lords; meet there; so, ha, ha, ha!

[Draws his rapier.

Now, tragedy, thou minion of the night,
[188] Rhamnusia's[77] pew-fellow, to thee I'll sing
Upon a harp made of dead Spanish bones,
The proudest instrument the world affords;
When thou in crimson jollity shalt bathe
Thy limbs, as black as mine, in springs of blood
Still gushing from the conduit-head of Spain.
To thee, that never blushest, though thy cheeks
Are full of blood—O Saint Revenge, to thee
I consecrate my murders, all my stabs,
My bloody labours, tortures, stratagems,
The volume of all wounds that wound from me;
Mine is the stage, thine is the tragedy.
Where am I now? O, at the prison; true.
Zarack and Balthazar, come hither; see,
Survey my library. I study, ha,
Whilst you two sleep; marry, 'tis villany.
Here's a good book, Zarack, behold it well,
It's deeply written, for 'twas made in hell:
Now, Balthazar, a better book for thee;
But for myself, this, this, the best of all;
And therefore do I claim it every day,
For fear the readers steal the art away.
Where thou stand'st now, there must Hortenzo hang,
Like Tantalus in a maw-eating pang.
There, Balthazar, must Prince Philip stand,
Like damn'd Prometheus; and to act his part,
Shall have a dagger sticking at his heart.
But in my room I'll set the cardinal,
And he shall preach repentance to them all.
Ha, ha, ha!

Phil. Damnation tickles him; he laughs again.
Philip must stand there, and bleed to death.
Well, villain, I only laugh to see
That we shall live to outlaugh him and thee.

Ele. O, fit, fit, fit! stay, a rare jest, rare jest!
[189] Zarack, suppose thou art Hortenzo now;
I pray thee stand in passion of a pang,
To see, by thee, how quaintly he would hang.

Hor. I am Hortenzo; tut, tut, fear not, man;
Thou lookest like Zarack.

[Aside.

Ele. Ay, Hortenzo,
He shall hang here, i' faith; come, Zarack, come,
And, Balthazar, take thou Philippo's room:
First let me see you plac'd.

Phil. We're plac'd.

Ele. Slaves; ha, ha, ha!
You are but players, that[78] must end the play;
How like Hortenzo and Philippo! ha!
Stand my two slaves, were they as black as you.
Well, Zarack, I'll unfix thee first of all,
Thou shalt help me to play the cardinal:
This iron engine on his head I'll clap,
Like a pope's mitre or a cardinal's cap;
Then manacle his hands, as thou dost mine;
So, so, I pray thee, Zarack, set him free,
That both of you may stand and laugh at me.

Phil. 'Tis fine, i' faith; call in more company;
Alvero, Roderigo, and the rest:
Who will not laugh at Eleazar's jest?

Ele. What? Zarack, Balthazar!

Phil. Ah! anon, anon;
We have not laugh'd enough: it's but begun.

[Knocking.

Who knocks?

Ele. Unmanacle my hands, I say.

Phil. Then shall we mar our mirth, and spoil the play.

[Knocking again.

Who knocks?

Alv. [Within.] Alvero.

Phil. Let Alvero in.

Ele. And let me out.

[190]

Enter all below.

Phil. I thank you for that flout,[79]
To let Alvero in, and let you out.

Ele. Villains! slaves! am not I your lord, the Moor?
And Eleazar?

Queen-M. And the devil of hell;
And more than that, and Eleazar too.

Ele. And, devil's dam, what do I here with you?

Queen-M. My tongue shall torture thee.

Ele. I know thee then;
All women's tongues are tortures unto men.

Queen-M. Spaniards, this was the villain; this is he
Who, through enticements of alluring lust
And glory, which makes silly women proud
And men malicious, did incense my spirit
Beyond the limits of a woman's mind
To wrong myself and that lord cardinal;
And (that which sticks more near unto my blood),
He that was nearest to my blood, my son,
To dispossess him of his right by wrong:
O, that I might embrace him on this breast,
Which did enclose him, when he first was born:
No greater happiness can heav'n show'r upon
Me than to circle in these arms of mine
That son, whose royal blood I did defame,
To crown with honour an ambitious Moor.

Phil. Thus then thy happiness is complete;

[Embraces her.

Behold thy Philip ransom'd from that prison,
In which the Moor had cloistered him.

Hor. And here's Hortenzo.
[191]

Ele. Then am I betrayed and cosen'd in
My own designs: I did contrive
Their ruin; but their subtle policy
Hath blasted my ambitious thoughts. Villains!
Where's Zarack? Where's Balthazar?
What have you done with them?

Phil. They're gone to Pluto's kingdom, to provide
A place for thee, and to attend thee there.
But, lest they should be tired with too long
Expecting hopes, come, brave spirits of Spain,
This is the Moor, the actor of these evils;
Thus thrust him down to act among the devils.

[Stabs him.

Ele. And am I thus despatch'd!
Had I but breath'd the space of one hour longer,
I would have fully acted my revenge:
But O, now pallid death bids me prepare,
And haste to Charon for to be his fare.
I come, I come: but ere my glass is run,
I'll curse you all, and, cursing, end my life.
May'st thou, lascivious queen, whose damned charms
Bewitch'd me to the circle of thy arms,
Unpiti'd die, consum'd with loathed lust,
Which thy venereous mind hath basely nurs'd:
And for you, Philip, may your days be long,
But clouded with perpetual misery:
May thou, Hortenzo, and thy Isabel
Be fetch'd alive by furies into hell,
There to be damn'd for ever. O, I faint;
Devils, come claim your right, and when I am
Confin'd within your kingdom, then shall I
Outact you all in perfect villany.

[Dies.

Phil. Take down his body, while his blood streams forth;
His acts are pass'd, and our last act is done.
[192] Now do I challenge my hereditary right
To the roy'l Spanish throne, usurp'd by him,
In which, in all your sights, I thus do plant myself.
Lord Cardinal, and you the queen my mother,
I pardon all those crimes you have committed.

Queen-M. I'll now repose myself in peaceful rest,
And fly unto some solitary residence,
Where I'll spin out the remnant of my life
In true contrition for my pass'd offences.

Phil. And now, Hortenzo, to close up your wound,
I here contract my sister unto thee,
With comic joy to end a tragedy.
And, for the barbarous Moor and his black train,
Let all the Moors be banished from Spain.

[193]

ANDROMANA
OR
THE MERCHANT'S WIFE.


[194]

EDITION.

Andromana; or, The Merchant's Wife. The Scene Iberia. By J. S. London: Printed for John Bellinger; and are to be sold at his shop, in Clifford's Inn Lane, in Fleet-street. 1660. 4o.

This play was printed in the year 1660, and has the letters J. S. in the title-page. Chetwood, in his "British Theatre," p. 47, says that it was revived in 1671, when a prologue was spoken before it, in which were the following lines—

"'Twas Shirley's muse that labour'd for its birth,
Though now the sire rests in the silent earth."

[But there is in fact no authority whatever for believing it to be from Shirley's pen; nor is it included in Gifford and Dyce's edition of that writer.[80]]

The plot is taken from the story of Plangus, in Sir Philip Sydney's "Arcadia." The same subject had before been made use of by Beaumont and Fletcher in their play of "Cupid's Revenge."


[195]

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

Ephorbas, King of Iberia.
Plangus, his son.

Eubulus,
Anamedes,
Rinatus,

}

three lords, and councillors to the king.

Inophilus, son to Rinatus, and friend to the prince.

Zopiro,
Nicetes,
Aramnes,

}

captains.

Artesio, an informing courtier.
Andromana, a merchant's wife.
Libacer, her servant.
Messenger.
Captains and Soldiers.

Scene, Iberia.

[196]


[197]

ANDROMANA
OR
THE FATAL AND DESERVED END OF DISLOYALTY AND AMBITION.


ACT I., SCENE 1.

Enter Nicetes and Aramnes.

Nic. I have observ'd it too; but the cause is
As unknown to me as actions done
In countries not found out yet.

Ara. Some wench, my life to a brass farthing!

Nic. As like as may be:
We soldiers are all given that way; especially,
When our blood boils high, and [our] pulses beat
Alarms to Cupid's battles; we are apter
To sally on a young [in]flaming girl,
Than on an enemy that braves it
Before our trenches.

Ara. I ask it not to know his privacies; for if
His freedom doth not acquaint me with them,
Let them be secret still: yet I could wish
An opportunity to tell him
A little circumspection would
Be handsome, and set a gloss upon all.
Times might be chosen of less public notice:
[198] It looks so poorly in a prince to be
Thus careless of his own affairs: men do
So talk on it. Here comes Inophilus;
If anybody knows, it must be he.

Enter Inophilus.

Ino. Your servant, captains. Saw you the prince to-day?

Nic. Not we: we hop'd to hear of him from you.

Ino. 'Tis strange a man, adorn'd with so much wisdom,
Should on the sudden fall off from the care
Of his own fame! I am his friend, and so,
I know, are you; but to speak plainly to you,
He's grown my wonder now as much
As other men's. I, that have found a sweetness
In his company beyond whatever
Lovers dream of in a mistress, that as
He spoke, methought have smell'd the air perfum'd;
Nor could have wished a joy greater
Than living with him, next those of heaven;
And those preferr'd the more, because I knew
Plangus would be there.
I say, even I of late am grown out of love
With anything that's mortal; since I've found
Plangus so far beneath (I will not say
My expectations) but the assurances
All good men had of future gallantry.
He's melancholy now, and hath thrown off
The spirit which so well became him; and all
That sweetness which bewitch'd men's hearts is grown
So rugged, so incompos'd to all commerce,
Men fear he'll shortly quarrel with himself.
Nay more, he doth not answer the fondness
[199] Of his father's love with half that joy
He us'd to do.

Ara. 'Tis now about a week I have observ'd
This alteration; it shakes him, like an ague,
Once in two days, but holds him longer
Than a fit o' th' gout. They whisper about the court
As if the king had chid him for it,
And now at length [had] found his haunts——

Ino. A poor discovery! Who might not find 'em out,
That would be so uncivil? I was about
To follow him, but thought it an ignoble way,
Beneath the name of friendship, and so desisted.
About four days ago, meeting him i' th' long gallery,
I ask'd him how he did? Taking me by the hand,
He wrung it, and after a sigh or two, told me,
"Not very well, but he had business"—and so we parted.
I saw him not again in twenty hours after;
And then I ask'd him where he'd been so long?
He told me (as if he was ashamed
To deny me such a poor request) I must not know:
And when I told him his often absence was observ'd,
Is it? (saith he) I cannot help it; but it shall
No more be so; and at the last he stole away:
Since when I saw him not.

Nic. O this wicked peace! Inophilus,
Is there no hopes of war?
To lie at home to see our armours rust;
We could keep the prince sober and merry too,
If he would but exchange his court for a camp.

Ino. The king is old, and doats upon his son;
Is loth to venture him to danger:
[200] Yet at this time there is occasion.
The Argives have refus'd to pay their tribute,
And are for certain preparing for invasion:
Some say they have got into Iberia already.

Ara. Nay, then there's hopes;
If we could but find the prince with a buff-coat again,
I should be once more merry.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.

Enter Ephorbas the King, Rinatus, Eubulus, and Aramnes, three Lords.

Eph. See the ambassadors entertain'd
With such an evenness as should be us'd to men
We neither fear nor love; let neither
Too much obsequiousness teach them insolency,
Nor any ill-usage brand us with incivility:
Stay you, Rinatus.

[He sighs. Exeunt Eubulus and Aramnes.

Open thy bosom, and receive torrents of sorrow,
That lie like rocks of lead upon my soul;
Honest Rinatus, experience bids me trust thee
With a mighty secret. Thou canst not choose
But know my son of late is much retir'd.
I do not like that youth should be thus melancholy:
Let them enjoy themselves; for age will come,
Whose impotency will deny all pleasures.
I do believe he loves me. Ha?

Rin. Yes, doubtless, better than sick men health;
Or those who are penn'd up in darkness
Love the sun.

Eph. I speak not, as if I thought he did not;
[201] For thou know'st I humour him, afford him
Liberty enough; I never chide him, nor express
The least dislike of any action. Am not I a gentle father?
Methinks, were I a son again to such a father,
I should not think he liv'd too long; shouldst thou, Rinatus?

Rin. No more doth he, upon my soul:
One command of yours would make him venture upon
Lightning, nay, almost make him act a sin,
A thing he fears to name.

Eph. I do believe thee:
But yet, methinks, should he be grown so impious,
There might be found excuses.
A crown is a temptation; especially so near one:
'Tis not with princes as with other sons;
And I am told too—
Hath not my hand the palsy?—
Doth a crown become grey hairs? To be a king
Might make some men forswear all conscience.
But I know Plangus hath far nobler thoughts;
And yet an empire might excuse a parricide.

Rin. Sir, sure, you are a stranger to your son;
For, give me leave to say, your fears are vain:
So great a virtue as the prince's cannot
Anticipate his hopes by any sin.
Honour and duty have been acquainted with him now
Too long to be divorc'd. Some sycophants there are
(Such creatures still will haunt the court), I know,
Love not the prince, because he loves not them.
Sir, shut your ears to them: they will betray you
To your ruin. Jealousy's a disease
Should be below a king, as that which seizeth
On the basest spirits. O, shut it from your soul!
[202] One may read in story what dire effects
The fury hath brought forth. Kings make away
Their only sons, and princes their fathers;
And when they have done, they may despair at leisure.

Eph. I do not think Plangus
Hath plots or on my crown or me;
He was virtuous always, and is still, I hope:
But why is he so much from court then, and alone too?
I do but ask the question.

Rin. It can be no design, believe me, sir;
For crowns are won by other courses.
Aspirers must grow popular, be hedg'd about
With their confederates. Then would he flatter you,
Be jolly still, as if no melancholy thought were in him.
A guilty conscience would then teach him policy,
And he would seek to take suspicion from all his carriages;
Innocence makes him careless now.

Eph. Thou hast almost resolv'd me,
The tempest in my soul is almost laid,
And wants but time to calm it.
Youth hath its whimsies, nor are we
To examine all their paths too strictly.
We went awry ourselves when we were young.

Rin. Sir!

Eph. Thou may'st be gone, Rinatus.

[Exit Rinatus.

SCENE III.

Ephorbas solus.

The blessing of an honest servant!
This Rinatus is truer unto me.
[203] He loves the king as well as I Ephorbas;
And may I live but to reward him,
For he's too honest for a court.

Enter Artesio.

How now, Artesio? thy looks speak strong amazement;
I am with child to hear the news: prythee,
Be quick in the delivery.

Art. The prince, an't please your majesty——

Eph. What of him, Artesio?

Art. I have observ'd, is much retir'd of late.

Eph. So have I too; this is no news.

Art. And I can whisper in your ear the cause.
'Twas chance, no policy of mine, betray'd his privacies:
Ill-offices are not the engines I desire
To rise by, only love to the young prince
Makes me reveal them.

Eph.Nay, nay, without apology;
If it were treason, it should not go down
The sooner for all the gilded preparation.
Nor am I of so feminine a humour
As to mistrust affection delivered bluntly:
Plain meaning should be plainly told;
Bad wares may have false lights, good can abide the day.

Art. But I know the nature of my office;
Though kings still hug suspicion in their bosoms,
They hate the causers; love to hear secrets too,
Yet the revealers still fare the worse,
Being either thought guilty of ends or weakness;
And so esteem'd by those they tell them to
Either unfit or dangerous to be trusted.
Perhaps, sir, when the prince and you are friends again
[204] You'll tell me that, had my love been real,
I should have whisper'd the prince's errors to himself.

Eph. Without a syllable of prologue more,
Or I shall verify your fears.

Art. In this brave city (take it as brief as may be)
There lives a beauty, fit to command
Them that command the world,
And might be Alexander's mistress, were he yet alive,
And had added empires as large as his desires:
She's but a private merchant's wife;
Yet the prince is so far gravell'd in her affection,
I fear——

Eph. Then there is hopes I may recall him:
Love is a childish evil, though the effects
Are dangerous. A prince's errors grown public
Will be scandalous. Poor boy! perhaps
The jealous husband may commit a murder;
I would not have him cut off so young:
Love should be princes' recreation, not their business.
What physic must we give him for his cure?

Art. I dare not counsel you;
But in my poor judgment some gentle
Fatherly persuasions will work upon so good a nature.

Eph. Couldst thou but possibly effect, how I
Might take him napping?

Art. That is beyond my skill:
But I can show you the house and time he walks
From hence in, which will be about an hour
Hence; for then her husband comes home from
The Rialto.

Eph. Time will not tarry for a king; let's go.

[Exeunt.

[205]

SCENE IV.

Ino. What is become of this young prince? or where
Doth he bestow himself? Doth he walk invisible?
Where have I [not] been to look him? the horses
Are in the stables, his page and I at home too,
That us'd to be as inseparable companions.

Enter Nicetes, Aramnes.

Ara. Well met, gentlemen! where is the hermit Plangus?

Nic. We cannot tell, nor have we been to seek him.
If at the court, we should hear presently; if not,
We might be too officious in his search, and our
Inquiry might make his absence
But so much the more notorious; and I'm confident
He's well: his virtue guards him still from all mischances.

Ino. Though his company's the dearest thing I love,
Yet for his good I could digest his absence,
But that I doubt a mighty mischief might spring
From this small grain of indiscretion.
The king is old, and there are knaves about the court
That (if he knew it not) would tell him so:
And men, conscious to themselves of a deficiency,
Are still most jealous of a growing worth.
Perhaps a thinking father (for plodding
Is old age's sickness) may take notice of
His son's retirement, and misconstrue it so:
Nothing is impossible: heaven send it otherwise!
[206]

Ara. This care becomes you, sir; but I dare swear
'Tis needless: the king is but an ill dissembler; and had he
But the least thought of such a thing, he'd hide it
Less than the sun conceals his brightness:
Besides, a man as great as Ephorbas is, whose rule
Of living hath been directed by the line
Of virtue, cannot mistrust that vice in his
Own son, of which himself was never guilty;
Had his younger years been tainted with inordinate
Desires, or had his crown been the effect
Of some audacious crime, perhaps his guilty
Conscience might have mistrusted.
But 'tis impossible, where there is no guilt,
To fear a punishment.

Ino. You speak my hopes:
But this for certain, gentlemen: the king,
Who was admired for his matchless sleeping,
Whose night no noise disturb'd, and it was difficult
To wake before his hour, sleeps but unquietly of late,
Will start at midnight, and cry Plangus:
Is greedy after news, and walks unevenly,
And sometimes on the sudden looks behind him;
And when one speaks to him, scarcely marks one syllable.
Surely the mind of some distemper shakes
His soul into this looseness.

Enter Messenger.

Mes. My lord, the prince desires
To meet you half an hour hence i' th' gallery.

Ino. Me?
[207]

Mes. Yes, my lord.

Ino. I shall. Your servant, captains.

All. Yours, my lord.

[Exeunt at several doors.

SCENE V.

Plangus, Andromana.

Plan. It cannot be so late.

And. Believe't, the sun is set, my dear,
And candles have usurp'd the office of the day.

Plan. Indeed, methinks a certain mist,
Like darkness, hangeth[81] on my eyelids.
But too great lustre may undo the sight:
A man may stare so long upon the sun
That he may look his eyes out; and certainly
'Tis so with me: I have so greedily
Swallow'd thy light that I have spoil'd my own.

And. Why shouldst thou tempt me to my ruin thus?
As if thy presence were less welcome to me
Than day to one who, 'tis so long ago
He saw the sun, hath forgot what light is.
Love of thy presence makes me wish this absence.
Phœbus himself must suffer an eclipse,
And clouds are still foils to the brightest splendour:
Some short departure will (like [to] a river
Stopp'd) make the current of our pleasures run
The higher at our next meeting.

Plan. Alas, my dearest! tell those so
That know not what it is to part from blessing;
Bid not him surfeit to taste health's sweetness,
That knows what 'tis to groan under a disease.

And. Then let us stand and outface danger,
Since you will have it so; despise report,
[208] And contemn scandals into nothing,
Which vanish with the breath that utters 'em;
Love is above these vanities. Should the
Innocent thing my husband take thee here,
He could not spite me but by growing jealous;
And jealousy's black[est] effect would be a cloister,
Perhaps to kill me too: but that's impossible—
I cannot die so long as Plangus loves me.
Yet say this piece of earth should play the coward,
And fall at some unlucky stroke,
Love would transport my better half to its centre
[In] Plangus' heart, and I should live in him.
But, sir, you have a fame to lose, which should be
A prince's only care and darling: which
Should have an eternity beyond his life:
If he should take that from you, I should be
Killed indeed.

Plan. Why dost thou use
These arguments to bid me go,
Yet chain me to thy tongue, while the angel-like
Music of thy voice, ent'ring my thirsty ears,
Charms up my fears to immobility?
'Tis more impossible for me to leave thee
Than for this carcase to quoit[82] away its gravestone,
When it lies destitute of a soul t' inform it.
Mariners might with far greater ease
Hear whole shoals of Sirens singing,
And not leap out to their destruction,
Than I forsake so dangerous a sweetness.

And. I will be dumb then.

Plan. I will be deaf first. I have thought a way now,
I'll run from hence, and leave my soul behind me.
It shall be so—and yet it shall not neither:
What! shall a husband banish a prince his house
[209] For fear? A husband! 'tis but an airy title;
I will command there shall be no such thing,
And then Andromana is mine, or his,
Or any man's she will herself. These ceremonies
Fetter the world, and I was born to free it.
Shall man, that noble creature, be afraid
Of words, things himself made? Shall sounds,
A thing of seven small letters, give check
T'a prince's will?

And. Did you not promise me, dear sir?
Have you not sworn, too, you would not stay
beyond the time?
Have oaths no more validity with princes?
Let me not think so.

Plan. Come, I will go; thou shalt not ask in vain.
But let us kiss at parting; it may be
Our last, perhaps—
I cannot now move one foot, though all the furies
Should whip me forward with their snakes.
Woman, thou stol'st my heart—just now thou stol'st it.
A cannon bullet might have kiss'd my lips,
And left me as much life.

[The King, having listened, comes in softly.

Are we betray'd?
What art? speak, or resolve to die.

King. A well-wisher of the prince's.

Plan. The king? It cannot be!

[He starts.

King. Though thou hast thrown all nature off,
I cannot what's my duty. Ungracious boy!
Hadst been the offspring of a sinful bed,
Thou might'st have claim'd adult'ry as inheritance;
Lust would have been thy kinsman,
And what enormity thy looser life
Could have been guilty of had found excuse
[210] In an unnatural conception.
Prythee, hereafter seek another father:
Ephorbas cannot call him son that makes
Lust his deity. Had I but known
(But we are hoodwink'd still to all mischances)
I should have had a son that would make it
His study to embrace corruption, and
Take delight in unlawful sheets. I would
Have hugg'd a monster in mine arms
Before thy mother. Good, O heavens!
What will this world come to at last?
When princes, that should be the patterns
Of all virtue, lead up the dance to vice!
What shall we call our own, when our own wives
Banish their faith, and prove false to us?
Have I with so much care promis'd myself
So pleasing a spring of comfort, and are all
Those blossoms nipp'd, and buds burnt up by th' fire
Of lust and sin?—
Have I thus long laboured against the billows,
That did oppose my growing hopes,
And must I perish in the haven's mouth?
No gulf but this to be devoured in?
Could not youth's inclination find out
Another rock to split itself upon?
Hadst thou hugg'd drunkenness, the wit
Or mirth of company might have excus'd it.
Prodigality had been a sin a prince
Might have been proud in compared to this.
Or had thy greener years incited thee
To treason and attempt a doubting father's crown,
T' had been a noble vice. Ambition
Runs through the veins of princes; it brings forth
[211] Acts [as] great as themselves and it; spurs on
To honour, and resolves great things.
But this—this lechery is such a thing, sin is
Too brave a name for it. A prince (I might say son,[83]
But let that pass), and dare to show himself
To nought but darkness and black chambers,
Whose motions, like some planet, are all eccentric:
Not two hours together in his own sphere,
The court?—but I am tame to talk thus;
Begone, with as much speed as a coward would
Avoid his death; and never more presume
To look upon this woman, [upon] this whore:
Thou losest both thy eyes and me else.

[Plangus is going out, but comes again.

Plan. [O] sir, the reverence that I owe my father,
And the injury I have done this gentlewoman,
Had charm'd me up to silence; but I must
Speak something for her honour:
When I have done, command me to the altar.
Whilst (I confess) you tainted me with sin,
I did applaud you, and condemn myself—
It looked like a father's care—but when
You us'd that term of whore to her that stands there,
I would have given ten thousand kingdoms,
You had had no more relation to me
Than hath the northern to the southern pole. I should
Have flown to my revenge swifter than lightning.
But I forbear; and pray, imagine not
What I had done——

King. Upon my life, she's very handsome.

[Aside.

[212]

Plan. To be a whore is more unknown to her,
Than what is done in the Antipodes;
She is so pure she cannot think a sin,
Nor ever heard the name to understand it.

King. No doubt, these private meetings were to read
Her moral lectures, and teach her chastity!

Plan. Nay, give me leave, sir. I do not say
My addresses have been all so virtuous;
For whatsoever base desires a flaming
Beauty could kindle in a heart, were all alive
In me, and prompted me to seek some ease
By quenching burnings hotter than Ætna.
Imagine but a man that had drunk mercury,
And had a fire within his bones,
Whose blood was hotter than the melted ore!
If he should wish for drink, nay, steal it too,
Could you condemn him?

Eph. Marri'd, do they say?

[Aside.

Plan. I did endure a heat seas could not cool;
It would have kill'd a salamander.
Then, taught both impudence and wit,
I singled out my foe, us'd all the arts
That love could think upon, and in the end
Found a most absolute repulse.

King. Well, Plangus, youth excuses the first fault;
But a relapse exceeds all pardon.

[Exeunt King and Plangus.

SCENE VI.

And. Curs'd be old age, and he that first
Number'd fourscore!
What devil has betray'd us to a doating fool?
Did I but now promise myself, what hopes
[213] Ambitious thoughts could reach; and shall I sink
Down to my first foundation without the pleasure of
A tasted greatness? Death and disgrace!
I dare provoke the utmost of your malice,
After the sweetness of some sharp revenge.

Enter Libacer in haste.

Lib. Madam, my master.

And. You may both hang together.

Lib. Why, this it is, if a man should kill his father
For you, he should be thus rewarded; as soon as
Your turn's served, I may be hang'd that did it.

And. Since he is dead, how was it done?

Lib. Why, nothing; only as he was taking water
At the Rialto, his foot slipp'd a little,
And he came tumbling in the sea;
Whence he was taken up, but not alive.

And. Heav'n prospers not these courses,
I see it plainly; let them be acted with as much closeness,
Or to what end soever, they never thrive. Libacer,
We are undone, undone; the king hath found
His son here, and I have lost him to eternity.

Lib. You women are the shallowest creatures;
You never look beyond the present.
Rome was not built in one day, madam;
Greatness is never sweet that comes too easily.
Should Plangus be a fool now, and obey his father—
Pox o' this virtue, it spoils most men living.
We have hopes yet: revenge is something;
And if my old trade fail not.
[214] Princes are mortal as well as other men;
Yet my soul inspires me with half a confidence
That Leon hath not died in vain. I use to see
As far into mischief as another: I'll go to him,
And if I bring him not within this half hour,
As hot and eager on the scent as e'er he was,
Take me and hang me at my coming home—
Madam, here is a messenger from court.

[As he is going out he meets Artesio.

And. If from thence, I may be bold to ask
How Plangus, the noblest prince alive, doth?

Art. Madam, as well as soldiers can
That are sick for honour; I suppose by this time
H' hath left the court, and is gone in quest for glory,
Which h' intends to ravish from young Argo's brow,
The valiant leader of the Argives' army.

And. I'm confident then, sir,
Your business is not to me; if anybody else
Hath sent you, sir, be pleas'd to spare the message,
And tell them, I neither have learned the tricks
O' th' court, nor yet intend it; I want no new gowns,
And have heard men forswear themselves
In better language and to better purpose
Than gaining of a lady's honour.

Art. Madam, my business is from the king,
Who doth entreat you would be pleas'd to bless
The court this afternoon with your fair presence,
And bring an answer; I must not stay for one.

[Exit Artesio.

And. Now we do see an end of all our mischiefs;
The prince hath gone from court, and the king
Hath sent for us. Doth not the name
Strike terror to thy curdling blood?
[215]

Lib. No, by my troth, not at all.
As far as I see, you're better than you were.
I'll lay my life the old man would turn gamester.
Take my counsel, play deep, or not at all:
Not an ace under a kingdom. Your grace,
I hope, will remember your poor friends.

And. If I do find any such thing,
Let me alone to melt his ice.
Go, get me mourning with all haste.

[Exit Libacer.

Let froward Fortune do her worst; I shall
Create my greatness, or attempting fall:
And when I fall, I will deserve my ruin.

[Exit.


ACT II., SCENE 1.

Enter Plangus, Nicetes, Aramnes.

Nic. What, sir, and are you melancholy, when fate
Hath shower'd a happiness so unexpected on us?
This ugly, sneaking peace is the soldier's rock
He splits his fortunes on. Bawdry's a virtue to't.
Pox o' these beaver hats, they make one's headache
Worse than a cap of steel: and bear not off a knock
The tenth part so well.

Plan. You're mad for fighting, gentlemen,
And we shall have enough of it.
The Argives, fifty thousand strong,
Have like a whirlwind borne down all before 'em;
And I, with thirteen thousand, that remain
Undisbanded of the last expedition,
Have command to fight that multitude
Of old tough soldiers: while ours,
[216] In a month or two, won't have pick'd up that valour
That in this idle time hath slipp'd from them.
They have forgot what noise a musket makes;
And start if they but hear a drum.
Are these fellows either enow, or fit,
On whom a kingdom's safety should be built?
Indeed, were they to encounter some mistress,
Or storm a brothel-house, perhaps they'd venture;
But for my part I yield; nor would I oppose my father:
If he sees good we perish, I am already
Sacrific'd; yet our enemies shall dearly purchase
Their victory. Pray look to your charge, Nicetes,
And you, Aramnes, with all care and speed; and when
You come into the field, then let me see
This countenance, that frowning smile, and I
Shall like it: I love a man runs laughing
Upon death. But we lose time in talk.

[Exeunt Nicetes and Aramnes.

SCENE II.

Enter Inophilus.

Ino. Your servant, captains. Sir, pray a word with you.

Plan. Prythee, be short, Inophilus; thou know'st
My business.

Ino. Sir, I am mad to see your tameness:
A man bound up by magic is not so still as you;
Nothing was ever precipitated thus,
And yet refus'd to see its ruin.
[217]

Plan. Thou art tedious, I shall not tarry.

Ino. You are made general.

Plan. I know it.

Ino. Against the Argives.

Plan. So.

Ino. With thirteen thousand men, no more, sir.

Plan. I am glad on't, the honour is the greater.

Ino. The danger is the greater; you will be kill'd, sir,
And lose your army.

Plan. Is this all? I care not.

Ino. But so do I, and so do all your friends.
I smell a rat, sir; there's juggling in this business;
I am as confident of it as I am alive.
The king might within this twenty-four hours
Have made a peace on fair conditions.

Plan. But dishonourable.

Ino. And would not—
On a sudden useth the ambassadors scurvily,
And provokes the Argives, yet himself
In no posture of defence.

Plan. But——

Ino. Pray give me leave, sir.
After this, you are on a sudden created general,
And pack'd away with a crowd of unhewn fellows,
Whose courage hangs as loose about them
As a slut's petticoats. Sir, he had other spirits
In the court created for such perils.
Excuse me, I know you fear not to meet destruction;
But where men are sure to perish,
'Twere well the persons were of less concernment.
He might have let you stay'd till you had gather'd
An army fit for your command, and sent
Some petty things upon this expedition
Whose loss would have been nothing, and of whom
[218] It might have been recorded in our story
As an honour, that they died monuments
Of the king's folly. But let that pass;
You'll say perhaps, you only have a spirit
Fit for such undertakings? I wish you had not;
Your want then would not be half so grievous.
But here is the prodigy! you must fight them presently.
Come, 'tis a project put into the king's head
By some who have a plot on you and him.

Plan. It may be so, Inophilus, and I believe
All this is true you tell me, and 't might startle
A man were less resolv'd than I.
But danger and I have been too long acquainted
To shun a meeting now; I am engaged, and
Cannot any ways come off with reputation.
Hadst told me this before, perhaps I might
Have thought on't; and yet I should not neither.
If the king thinks I am grown dangerous,
It is all one to me which way he takes
Me from his fears. He could not do it
Handsomer than thus; it makes less noise now—
But come, I must not fear such things, Inophilus:
The king hath more virtue and honour than
To do these actions, fit only for guilty souls;
Nor must I fear, when my Inophilus fights by me.

Ino. Troth, sir, for all your compliment, if you've
No valour but what owes itself to my company, you're like
To make cold breakfast of your enemies:
I have other business than to throw away
My life, when there is so much odds against it:
I'll stay at home, and pray for you, that's all, sir.

Plan. How! wilt not go then, Inophilus?
[219]

Ino. The time hath been, I thought it better sport
To bustle through a bristly grove of pikes;
When I have courted rugged danger with
Hotter desires than handsome faces,
And thought no woman half so beautiful
As bloody gaping wounds:
But, sir,
To go and cast away myself now would not
Be gallant, nor an action worth my envy:
'Tis weakness to make those that seek my ruin
Laugh at my folly,
With jaws stretch'd wider than the gulf that swallows us.
I know when honour calls me, and when treason counterfeits
Her voice.

Plan. Well, stay at home and freeze,
And lose all sense of glory in
A mistress' arms. Go, perish tamely, drunk
With sin and peace; and may'st thou, since thou dar'st
Not die with them,
Outlive thy noble friends.

Ino. I thank you, sir, but I cannot be angry.

SCENE III.

Enter Nicetes and Aramnes, with some Captains and Soldiers.

Nic. Yonder's the bones o' th' army ralli'd up
Together, but they look'd rather as if
They came home from being soundly beaten.
Methinks such tatter'd rogues should never conquer,
Victory would look so scurvily among 'em,
They'd so bedaub her if she wore clean linen.
[220]

Capt. Sir, we wear as sound hearts in these torn breeches,
As e'er a courtier of them all.
We are not afraid of spoiling our hands for want
Of gloves, nor need we almond-butter, when
We go to bed. And though my lieutenant
Is pleased to be a little merry, you
Shall see us die as handsomely in these old clothes
As those wear better, and become our wounds
As well, and perhaps smell as sweet
When we are rotten.

Plan. We hope it.
Captains and fellow-soldiers, we are proud
Of this occasion to try your valours;
You shall go no farther than your prince doth,
I'll be no bringer up of rears. Let not
The number of the foe affright you,
The more they are, the more will the honour be.
The lion scorns to prey upon a hare,
Nor is the blinking taper fit to try eagles' eyes.
The weight of glory makes our danger light.
When victory comes easily, 'tis half
A shame to conquer.

[Soldiers shout, and exeunt.

Ino. I'll stay at home, and grieve, that so many
Daring souls should die on such advantage.

[Exit Inophilus.

SCENE IV.

Enter the King solus.

King. Her husband dead too! Fates, let me die,
I am too happy to remain long thus
Without a ruin, great as the height I fell from.
Plangus was my only obstacle; but him I have
Removed. But love commanded:
[221] His presence would have countermanded all attempts;
I need not fear his magic at this distance.
His looks and actions were one entire enchantment,
All[84]-powerful over a lady's heart.
I sent for her; but she's not come yet.
Who waits without?

Enter Artesio.

Art. There's a mourning lady, sir,
Would speak with the king.

King. Admit her, and begone.

SCENE V.

Enter Andromana in mourning, with a hood over her face, which she throws up when she sees the King.

King. So riseth Phœbus from the gloomy night,
While pale-fac'd Dian maketh haste to hide
Her borrow'd glory in some neighb'ring cloud,
Envying the beauty of the new-born day,
When darkness crowds into the other world.
Madam, why kneel you? You, at whose name monarchs

[She kneels.

Themselves might tremble, and mortals bow
With reverence great as they pay to altars:
Sceptres should break in pieces and adore you;
At whose sight the sun and moon should blush
Themselves to blood and darkness, and falling
[222] From their sphere, crush the audacious world to atoms,
For daring to behold a lustre so much greater
Than their own.

And. Sir, give me leave to wonder
What sin I have committed, which calling
Down the vengeance of the gods,
Hath made me author of all this blasphemy.
Sir, I beseech your majesty, if you are angry
With your creature, speak some cruel word and blast me.
Scorn me not into the other world, where I have
Sins enough of my own to blush for, and shall not need
To dye his cheeks for other men's offences.

King. Lady, though Parthian darts are not so sharp
As are those killing words; yet that breath, which
Utters them is sweeter than the morning dew.
I'll be dumb, for praises cannot add, but rather
Diminish Andromana's worth.

And. I wonder now no longer at this language,
'Tis such as kings are bred in.
But I beseech you, sir, if there be aught
You will command your servant—if Andromana
Must do or suffer anything for great Ephorbas,
Lay by yourself a minute, and remember
A merchant's wife must hear you.

King. Your husband Leon's dead, I hear, lady—

[She weeps.

Nay, spare those pearls, madam; cast not away
Such treasure upon the memory of one
Who, if the best of men, deserves them not.
Come, come, forget these sorrows, lady,
And wear not mourning weeds before the world's
Destruction; hide not those fair eyes, whose splendour
[223] Would enrich our court. Madam, though none
There be in court can merit such a beauty,
Yet I myself have taken pains to search
A husband for you: what think you of myself?

And. Great sir, your care is, like yourself, all noble;
But suits with me no better
Than Phœbus' horses did with Phaeton,
Ruin'd the world and him. First, sir, you do
Debase yourself to honour her, whose worth
Is less considerable than lovers' oaths:
My husband's ashes are scarce cold yet,
And would your majesty have me forsake
My honour and his memory so soon? I have
Not paid oblations due to's ashes yet.

King. You compliment away the worth we know
You have, Andromana: what say you to the prince?

And. I say he is the prince, and great Ephorbas' son;
He's Plangus: and if you think there yet remains
A title that can be either better or greater,
I think him worthy of it.

King. But dost [thou] think him worthy Andromana?

And. O heavens! Is Jove worth heav'n,
Or doth the sun deserve to be a light
To all the world? Can virtue deserve honour,
Or labour riches? Can gods merit altars?
It might have been a puzzling question
To them whose ears have not been bless'd
With Plangus' worth. But this is so below him——

King. But say he loves thee?

And. I dare not say so:
[224] For when I think a prince pretends to such poor things
As I am, I feel an ice runs through my veins,
And my blood curdles into flakes of snow,
And bids me fear him—not with an awe or reverence,
But as a spotted sinful thing, which is
The worse for being great. 'Tis such a fear,
As I should conceive 'gainst an armed ravisher.

King. These things may be expected, lady, I confess,
From blood that boils in flames hot as the sun
In scorching Libra, or sturdy Hercules,
When he unmaiden'd fifty in one night;
But from a man whose years have tam'd those vices,
Whose love is dotage and not lust,
Who doth adore a handsome virtue, and pays
His vows to't, you should have other hopes.
Plangus is young, a soldier, and by consequence
Something which youth excuses. But Ephorbas
Hath left these toys behind him, when he shook off
His youth.

And. Sir, now my fears are out. O virtue!
Are there just pow'rs which men adore, and throw
Away their pray'rs upon, that lend their eyes
To human actions? or was the name of heaven
Invented to still petty sinners?
Sir, sure, I am mistaken,
You are not great Ephorbas, sir, whose virtue
Is a theme of wonder to all neighbour nations;
Pray help me to him, I would see that angel;
The kingdom's honour and [all] good men's sanctuary.
But if you are the man, whom I have pray'd for
Oft'ner than I have slept; pray, sir, belie not
A virtue which I've hitherto admired.
[225]

King.I see
You are a stranger, lady—give me leave
To say so—to Ephorbas;
But if a lady of thy melting years
Can love this greyness, I vow my sceptre,
Throne, kingdom, and myself are thine;
Thou'rt fit to be a queen.

[She starts back.

And. A queen! sir, have your subjects anger'd you?
Have they rebell'd, or done some sin that wants
A name? I'll cleave to the pavement, till I have begg'd
A vengeance great as their crime; but this
You mention is a punishment, which your subjects
Must study years to curse you for; no sin
Deserves it. You would blind my eyes with throwing gold
Before 'em,
Or set me up so high on the steep pinnacle
Of honour's temple, that you would have me not be
Able to look down on my own simplicity.
You can create me great, I know, sir,
But good you cannot. You might compel,
Entice me too, perhaps, to sin. But
Can you allay a gnawing conscience,
Or bind up bleeding reputation?
I did never hear that physic could afford
A remedy for a wounded honour.

Eph. Thou'rt a fool, Andromana. You must be mine.
Consider on't.

And. You may command your vassal.

King. That's kindly said.

And. But—I humbly take my leave;
Goodness protect you!

[Exit.

[226]

SCENE VI.

Enter Rinatus, Eubulus, and Aramnes.

Eph. Wait on that lady forth.

Rin. Would there were not a woman in the world,
So we had our prince again! Sir, are you mad?
Or have forgot you are a father? You
Have undone us all.

Eph. Why, what's the matter?

Rin. O sir, the prince——

Eph. He is not dead, Rinatus, is he?

Rin. Sir, if he be, 'tis you have murder'd him:
Was it for this you were so jealous t'other day?
May my Inophilus never pretend to virtue,
I'll teach him a more thriving art.
Come to the window a little, sir, and hear
How the good people curse you. As cold weather
As it is, some are so hard at it, they sweat again.

Eph. Prythee, unriddle; hast thou drunk hemlock,
Since I saw thee last?

Rin. I would not be in my wits for anything
I' th' world; my grief would kill me if I were.
He's mad that will speak sense or reason,
Now you have thrown away our prince thus:
Whose innocence was clearer than his own eyes:
Can you think how you have murder'd so much virtue,
And not blush yourself to death?

Eph. I think indeed I sent him general
Against the Argives; but—'twas his own desire.

Rin. 'Twas not his own desire, sir, to have
But thirteen thousand men, sir, was it?
Was that army fit to oppose great Argo?
[227] There came a messenger just now, that saw
The prince not sixteen miles from hence
(For thither is the foe marched) draw up his men
T' engage the enemy.

Eph. For heav'n's sake,
Rinatus, post him back again, bid him retreat;
Command my son from me
Not to go on till greater forces follow him.
If it be possible, redeem the error;
I'd give my kingdom, life, or anything,
It were to do again.

Rin. I am glad to see this now;
Heav'n send it be n't too late!

Eph. Nay, stand not prating.

[A horn within.

Rin. 'Tis from the army, sir. O heaven, I fear!

Eph. If from the army, prythee, put on better looks.

Enter Messenger.

Mes. Your son—nay more, your dying son—
Commanded me to bring you word,
He died true to his honour, king, and countrymen;
Nor let me stay to see the brightest lamp
Go out, that ever grac'd this orb.

[The King faints.

Rin. O heaven, the king! why this is worse, sir,
Than the other; let us not lose you both.

Eph. Let me but hear how 'twas he made his exit,
And then my glass is run: I will not live
One minute longer.

Mes. Sir, thus it was——
'Tis scarce three hours ago, since the brave Plangus
Marched from Lixa with an army,
Whose souls were richer than their clothes by far,
Though their valour had put on all the bravery
[228] That soldiers ever wore. The prince, whose presence
Breathed new fire into these flaming spirits,
Resolv'd to meet the enemy with his handful,
And with a winged speed fell down to th' Elean Straits,
Determining to try it with him there.[85] His soldiers also,
True sons of war, contemning so great odds,
When victory and their country was to crown
The conquerors, whetted their eager valours
With impatient expectation of the enemy
Who, trusting to his multitude, came on
Wing'd both with scorn and anger to see, that paucity
Should dare dispute victory against their odds.
Plangus who, though he saw, yet could not fear
Destruction, and scorn'd to avoid it,
When the king commanded him to meet it,
Marshall'd his army to the best advantage,
And having given Zopiro the left wing,
The body to Evarnes, himself chose out the right;
Because he would be opposite to Argo.
And keeping a reserve, as great as could be hop'd for
From so small a company—not above five hundred men,
He gave the command of them to Zenon,
Who with his fellows took it ill they should
Be so long idle, and had not the honour
To be thought worthy
To die with the most forward, and would, no question,
Have refused the charge; but that the smiling
Prince promis'd them they should have time to die.
[229] Words here were useless, nor had he time to use them.

Rin. What, was Inophilus idle all this while?

Mes. I only heard the prince wish, just as he
Spurred his horse against the valiant Argo,
He had fewer by a thousand men:
So he had Inophilus.

Rin. O traitorous boy!

Mess. The prince and Argo met; and like
Two mighty tides encountered. Here death
Put on her sable livery, and the two gallants,
Whose valour animated each army, bandied a long time
With equal force, till at last
Great Argo fell.
And, on a sudden, multitudes of men
Accompani'd him, so that the wing
Went presently to rout and execution.
Zopiro also and Evarnes, having slain
Their opposite leaders, breath'd death and destruction
To their reeling foes. Thus flush'd
With victory and blood, th' Iberians revell'd
Th[o]rough the flying field, till there came on
The enemy's reserve of twenty thousand men,
Who, fresh and lusty, grinded their teeth for anger
At their fellows' overthrow, and pouring on
Our weary soldiers, turn'd the stream of victory.
But the prince's valour and good fortune soon
O'ercame this opposition, and having rallied
His broken troops, went to relieve his friends,
Who had far'd worse; when presently he saw
Evarnes, who had pil'd up enemies about him,
As an obelisk of his own death and victory,
Fall bleeding at his foot, and having kiss'd it
With his dying lips, entreated him to save
Himself for a more happy day, and died.
[230] 'Twas not long after the gallant Zenon
Who had perform'd that day deeds of eternal fame,
And with his few, spite of opposition, thrice charg'd
And routed some thousands of the enemy,
Expir'd; which when the prince beheld,
Weeping for anger, he flew amongst his enemies,
Sustain'd only by the greatness of his courage,
For blood and strength had both forsook him;
He spent that spark of life was left in him,
In slaughter and revenge, when leaning on
His weapon's point, that dropp'd with blood as fast
As he, he then conjur'd me with all speed
Only to tell the king I saw him
Die worthy of his father and himself.

[A horn without. A shout.

Eph. O heaven! what mean these acclamations? What, do

[A shout again.

The Iberians welcome their bloody conquerors
With so much joy?

SCENE VII.

Enter Plangus, Inophilus, and Zopiro, Captains.

Eph. O, O!

[He faints.

Rin. O cowardly boy! for that base word includes
All baseness, doth not shame kill thee,
Or fear chill thy dastard blood to an ice,
At sight of that most noble injur'd ghost?
'Tis well, dear Plangus (if thy divinity deserve not
A more lasting name) that thou art come
To take revenge on that most traitorous son,
[231] In's father's presence, who detests his baseness
More than thyself can do——

Plan. Excuse us, dear Rinatus,
That wonder froze to such a silence,
If when we expected such a welcome
As had that Roman son whose mother died
For joy to see him, we found so cold
An entertainment, something made us look'd upon
So like an inconvenience, that we could
Not but put on some small amazement.

Eph. And do I hear thee speak again,
And see thee, or only dream a happiness,
Whose reality stars and my genius deny me?
Or art thou Plangus' angel, come to rouse
Me from despair?

Plan. Sir, pray, believe it; and be not
Backward in th' entertainment of these soldiers,
If you esteem't a happiness; in a word,
You are a conqueror: and th' audacious Argives
Have paid their lives as sacrifices
To your offended sword.

Eph. A messenger of comfort to a despairing lover
Is a less acceptable thing than this thy presence;
If what yon fellow told me were untruth,
Thy welcome sight hath amply made amends
For those tormenting fears he put me to.
But if it were not, let me know what chance
Redeem'd you?

Plan. If you have heard how things then went, when I
Sent away that messenger——

Eph. Yes, I have heard it.

Plan. Then know, when death and our own fates had sworn
Our ruin, and we, like some strong wall that long
Resists the iron vomits of the flaming cannon,
[232] At last shakes itself into a dreadful ruin
To those who throw it down; so had the Iberians,
With valour great as the cause they fought for,
Strove with a noble envy, who should first[86]
Outgo his fellow in slaughtering the Argives:
At last, oppress'd with multitude and toil,
We sunk under the unequal burden;
Then was our emulation chang'd, and who before
Strove to outdo each other, now eagerly contended
To run the race of death first. Sir, there it was
I (and many other braver captains) fell,
Being one wound from head to foot. O, then
It was Inophilus came in,
With about twenty other gallants, and with what speed
The nimble lightning flies from east to west,
Redeem'd this bleeding trunk, which the
Insulting Argive had encompass'd,
Blown up with victory and pride; he with
A gallantry like none but great Inophilus,
Being bravely back'd by his own soldiers,
Whose actions spoke them more than men, had not
Inophilus been by, redeem'd the honour
Of a bleeding day. And thus are[87] [now] our troops,
As little in number[88] as their valour great,
Enrich'd with victory, blood, and jewels,
Of which the opposite army wanted no store,
Return'd with the renown of an achievement,
As full of glory and honour to the conquerors,
As ruin to the Argives.

Ino. My liege,
Had this action and my merit been so great
As our prince would make it, I then might
[233] Own it, and expect reward.——
But it was so small, so much below my duty,
That I must, upon my knees, beg pardon
That I came no sooner.

Eph. This is a prodigy
Beyond whatever yet was wrote in story.
Inophilus, we have been too backward
In cherishing thy growing virtue, we will
Hereafter mend it.
And, dear Rinatus, be proud of thy brave son,
And let the people honour the remaining army;
We shall esteem it as a favour done to us.
We have a largess for your valorous captains,
You have not fought in vain.
This day let our court put on its greatest jollity,
And let none wear a discontented brow;
For where a frown is writ, we'll think it reason
To say, that face hath characters of treason.

[Exeunt.


ACT III., SCENE 1.

Enter Plangus and Inophilus.

Ino. But, sir, when you consider she's a woman——

Plan. O dear Inophilus!
Let earth and heav'n forget there are such things;
Or if they ever name them, let it be
With a curse heavy as are the ills they act. A mandrake's note
Would ring a better peal of music in my ears,
Than those two syllables pronounc'd again.

Ino. Pray, sir, put off this humour,
This peevish pet, and reason tamely. Sir,
[234] You've lost a wench, and will you therefore lose
Yourself too? Hear me but patiently a word.[89]

Plan. Prythee, go teach the galley-slaves that word,
Things that dare own no thought beyond their chains,
And stand in fear of whipping and wanting bread.
Bid them be tame and patient that fry in sulphur:
'Tis a word I've forsworn to know the meaning of;
Or if I must, 'tis but to shun it, and hate it more.
O, were thy wrongs as great as mine, Inophilus,
Or didst thou love but half so well as Plangus,
Thou wouldst instil into me the poison of revenge,
And puff me up with thought of vengeance
Till I did burst, and, like a breaking cloud,
Spread a contagion on those have injur'd me.

Ino. Why, this were handsome in some country-fellow,
Whose soul is dirty as the thing he's mad for:
'Twere pretty in a lady that had lost her dog;
[Her dog;] but——

Plan. I know what thou wouldst say—
But for Plangus. O, 'tis for none but him to
Be so. Those that have injur'd me are persons
I once held dearer than my eyes; but how much
Greater was my love, so much more is th' offence;
Wounds from our friends are deepest.
Had any but my father—and yet methinks
That name should have protected me; or was it
Made only to secure offenders?
My life was his, he gave it me: my honour, too,
I could have parted with; but, 'las, my love
Was none of mine, no more than vows made to
[235] A deity and not perform'd. And for that creature,
Who must be lost for ills, through which I must
Make way to my revenge—
Had she betray'd my honour to anything
But him that gave me being, she had made
Me half amends, in that my way to vengeance
Had been open. Now I am spurr'd forward
To revenge by fury, and yet held in by the rein
Of a foolish piety, that doth no man good
But them that use it not.
'Tis like the miser's idol, it yielded him
No gold till he had broke the head off.
Nay, Inophilus, one secret more,
And the horror of it blow thee from earth to heaven,
Where there are no such things as women:
'Twill turn thy soul the inside outward:
I cannot get it out. Prythee what is't, Inophilus?

Ino. Alas, I know not, sir.

Plan. Do but imagine the worst of ills
Earth ever groan'd under; a sin nothing but woman,
Nay, such a woman as Andromana, durst think on;
And it is that.

Ino. How revenge transports you!
Princes have lost their mistresses before,
Nay, and to those have not such right to them,
As hath Ephorbas to what Plangus hath.
Who could command her, if not Ephorbas?

Plan. But I have—O Inophilus, I burst—
Yet it will out—dost thou not see it here?

[Unbuttons his doublet.

O, I have known Andromana as
Ephorbas did last night.——

Ino. Why, sir,
The sin done by your father is not yours,
If you could not help it.——
[236]

Plan. Why, there it is:
'Tis that which gnaws me here.
But I swore by all the gods that she was
As innocent from my unclean embraces as is
The new-fall'n snow, or ermines that will meet
Ten deaths before one spot: I made my father think
The thoughts of angels were less innocent than she.
No, it was I betray'd him; his virtue was too great
To[90] have suspected it. How do I look, Inophilus?

Ino. Like some bless'd man that, griev'd for others' sins,
Could,[91] out of a good nature, part with half
His own whiteness to purge the others' stains.

Plan. Now thou soothest, and, like some flattering glass,
Present'st me to advantage. I am, in short,
One born to make Iberia unhappy.
Had I as black a face as is my soul, you would
Find in respect of it Ægyptians were snow-white.
Methinks I hear Heaven tell me I am slow,
And it is time I had begun revenge.
Ephorbas has done him wrong, who lov'd him
More than heaven or his happiness, and would
Have run out of the world to have left him
Free [to] whatever he would lay claim to, but
Andromana—
Nay, she also had been
His, so it could have been without a sin.
But she knew the sin she acted, and yet did it;
And [yet she] lives free from the stroke of thunder!
Is there such a thing as heaven, or such a one
As Justice dwells there? and can I ask the question?
O, the tameness of a conscience loaded with sin.
[237] Which reasons and talks, when it should do!
But I will be reveng'd, and thus I begin. Inophilus,

[He draws.

Be sure, when I am dead, to meet my ghost,
And do as that instructs thee. 'Twill tell all the particulars
Of my revenge, who must die first, who last, and
What way too. I have my lesson perfect.

[He leans the pommel on the ground to fall on it: Inophilus kicks it by with his foot.

Ino. Is this the revenge befits great Plangus?

Plan. Had this been done two days ago, thou durst
As well have met the lightning naked
As have opposed my will thus.

[He draws.

Ino. Hear me;
Ask me no questions, nor answer me; or if you do,
By Heav'n, I'll never speak more. It is revenge
You'd have, and 'tis a great one, a very noble one,
To kill yourself! Be confident, your greatest foes
Wish nothing more.
When after-ages come to hear your story,
What will they say? Just as they did of Cato:
He durst not look great Cæsar in the face—
So Plangus was afraid, and died.
A very pretty story, and much to a man's credit:
For shame, dear Plangus (let friendship use that title):
Show your great soul the world believes you're master of—
And I dare swear you are in this action.
Nay, rally up yourself, and fight it stoutly.
Shake from your mind revenge, and having laid
That passion by, put on that virtue the world
Admires in you; 'tis now the time to show it.
The sun, broke from a cloud, doubles his light;
And fire, the more resisted, flames more bright.
[238] Andromana has injur'd you; scorn her, therefore,
As though[92] she had done nothing; I'd not do her the favour
To have one thought of her, or could be troubled
At that she did. As for your father, sir,
Besides the tie of nature, he knows not
He hath wrong'd you: or if he doth,
'Tis love that caus'd him;
A word that once made an excuse with Plangus
For what offence soever.

Plan. Thou hast wrought upon me,
And I am resolved to live a day or two more:
But if I like it not—well, I'll go try
To sleep a little; perhaps that may—I am
Strangely melancholy: prythee, lie down by me,
Inophilus, I'm safe while in thy company.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.

Enter Plangus, as from sleep.

Plan. Lord! how this spirit of revenge still haunts me,
And tempts me with such promis'd opportunity,
And magnifies my injuries! Sometimes
It calls me coward, and tells me conscience,
In princes who are injur'd like myself,
Is but an excuse they find for what is in truth
Poorness of spirit or something baser.
It tells me 'tis a sin to be good, when all
The world is bad.
It makes me look upon myself, whilst wearing
This garb of virtue, like some old antiquary
In clothes that are out of fashion in Iberia.
[239] But I will not yield to it: I know it is a greater glory
To a man's self (and he that courts opinion
Is of a vulgar spirit) to disobey than satisfy
An appetite which I know is sinful.
Good Heaven, guard me, how am I tempted

Enter Andromana.

To put on my former temper! but thus
I fling it from me.

[Throws away his sword.

SCENE III.

And. Why, how now, prince? if you part with your darling
So easily, there is small hopes but you
Have thrown all love behind you.

Plan. Heaven, how she's alter'd!
I, that once swore Jove from the well-tun'd sphere
Ne'er heard such harmony as I did when
She spake: methinks I can now, in comparison
Of her voice, count screech-owls' music,
Or the croaking toad.

[Aside.

And. Who is't you speak of, sir?

Plan. Tempt me not, madam, with another word;
For, by Heaven, you know I'm apt, being incens'd——
Wake not those wrongs, that bellow louder in
My soul than wretches in the brazen bull, or Jove
Who speaks in thunder; those wrongs my goodness
Had half laid aside—or if you do,
I have a soul dares what you dare tempt me to.

And. Sir, I must speak,
[240] Though Jove forbad me with a flash of lightning.
You think perhaps, sir, I have forgot my Plangus?
But, sir, I have infinitely injur'd you,
And could not satisfy my conscience—if I
Should say my love too, I should not lie—
Till I had ask'd your pardon.

Plan. Madam, the fault's forgiven and forgotten,
Without you move me to remember't with
A worse apology. Live and enjoy your sins
And the angry gods. Nay, the severest plague
I wish you is, that you may die
Without one cross (for afflictions commonly teach
Virtues to them that know them not while prosperous)
Secure, without one thought or sense of a repentance.

And. Methinks you have a steely temper on, to that
Which the other day you wore, when you were
More soft than down of bees. But, sir, if you
But knew the reason why I've done the action
Which you perhaps call treason to our loves,
You would forbear such language.

Plan. Reason!
No doubt the man that robs a church, or profanes altars,
Hath reason for what he doth: to satisfy your lust,
You have that reason, madam.

And. That I have loved you once,
I call Heaven, my own heart, and you to witness;
Now, by that love, by all those vows have pass'd
Betwixt us, hear me.

Plan. O Heaven! is that a conjuration!
Things you have broke, with as much ease as politicians
[241] Do maxims of religion! But I will hear,
To know you and to hate you more. Speak on.

And. You know whilst Leon liv'd, whose due they were,
I out of love resign'd my love and honour
Unto your——

Plan. Lust, madam.

And. I know not, sir:
Your eloquence gave it that title then.
How many dangers walk'd I fearless through
To satisfy your pleasures, your very will—
Nay more, your word—nay, if I thought by sympathy
A thought of yours, that I imagin'd you
Might blush to speak, I made it straight my own,
And work'd and studied as much to put it into act,
As doth a gamester upon loss to compass money.
At last we were betray'd, sir, to your father's spies, who
Denied us afterwards those opportunities we stole
Before, befriended by my husband's ignorance.
Now was I brought to that which is the worst of ills,
A seeing, but not enjoying of that which I held dearest.
To see you daily, and to live without you,
Was a death many degrees beyond my own.
I knew the love was great, so great
I durst not own it. Nay more, I knew
It was noble too, so noble, I knew
My husband being dead, you would not stick
To ask your father's leave for public marriage.

Plan. Heaven and the gods can witness I intended it.
[242]

And. Nay, farther yet, I knew your father's love,
Which would not have denied you anything,
Would also have granted that.

Plan. Madam, you riddle strangely.

And. When I had
Forecast these easy possibilities, I yet
Foresaw one thing that crossed our designs—
That was a sense of honour I had in me.
Methought in honour I could not condescend
You should debase yourself so low. It pleas'd me
Better to be your mistress than your queen;
And stol'n embraces, without the scandal
Of a public eye, were sweeter than those
Which might bring upon me—for rising greatness
Is still envied—the rancour of the people,
And consequent distaste[93] against their prince.
Sir, now we may act safely what might have
Been less secure. Your father's name gives a protection——
Or, if that startle you, we'll call him husband!

Plan. Are you in earnest?

And. As serious as love can be.

Plan. Then I want words to tell you how I hate you:
I would sooner meet Megæra 'tween a pair of sheets.
And can you think I should have so small pity,
As to be false unto my father's bed?
That I lov'd you once, I confess with shame;
And that I should have done so still, had you
Preserv'd those flames, I think of now with horror.
But for those sins, and whatsoever else
I must repent, I shall no doubt have great
[243] Occasion, when I shall see th' kingdom
Envelop'd in those swarms of plagues your sins
Call down, and feel a share of them myself.
For heaven's sake, madam! for my father's sake,
Nay, for my own, if that have any interest,
Learn now at last a virtue, that may make us
As happy as much as hitherto unfortunate,
And render your story to posterity so burnish'd
With your shining goodness, that their eyes may not
Perceive the error of your former years.
Perhaps I then shall have a reverence for you,
As great as any son hath for a father's wife.
You wonder, lady, to see me talk thus different
From what you saw me half an hour ago.
I look'd upon myself as one that had lost
A blessing. But heaven hath been happier to me;
For I am now so far from thinking you one,
That I look upon you as a plague no sin
Of good Ephorbas could deserve. But love
To you——

And. Sir!

Plan. Answer me not in words, but deeds;
I know you always talk'd unhappily,[94]
And if your heart dare do what's ill,
I know it can well teach your tongue excuses.

[Exit Plangus.

SCENE IV.

And. And is my love then scorn'd?
The chaos of eternal night possess my breast,
[244] That it may not see to startle at any
Undertakings, though they would make
Medusa's snakes curl into rings for fear.
If greatness have inspired me with thoughts
Of a more brave revenge, they shall be acted.
A husband's murder was such a puny sin,
I blush to speak it; but it was great enough
For a merchant's wife: a queen must be more
Daring in her revenge, nor must her wrath
Be pacifi'd under a whole kingdom's ruin.

SCENE V.

Enter Libacer.

My better genius, thou art welcome as
A draught of water to a thirsty man:
I ne'er had need of thee till now.
Muster those devils dwell within thy breast,
And let them counsel me to a revenge
As great as is my will to act it.

Lib. Madam, leave words. The rest you take
In breathing makes your anger cool. Out with it,
And if I do it not; if I startle at
Any ill to do you service, though it be
To kill my mother, let me be troubled with
The plague of a tender conscience, and lie
Sick of repentance a half year after.

And. What need I tell thee more?
Plangus must die, and after him Ephorbas,
Because he is his father.

Lib. Madam, he shall. But give me leave to ask you
How he, for whom alone of all the world
You had a passion, is now become
[245] An object of your hatred so great, as others
Must die because they have relation to him?

And. The air is hot yet with those words I proffer'd him
In satisfaction, and he refus'd it.
What need I speak?
Is't safe that he should live knows so much by us?

Lib. He had been happy had he never known
What virtue meant. I wonder that paltry thing
Is not banish'd earth, it ne'er did any good yet.
Beggary's a blessing to't; whoe'er grew rich
By virtue? Madam, we are not troubled with it.
But to our business:—I have thought a way.
You know his father loves him. 'Tis he shall ruin him,
And let's alone for him.

And. Pish! pish! that cannot be.

Lib. These women are always with their cannots.
What cannot be? Have you but read
The Sophy,[95] you will find that Haly
(O, how I hug that fellow's name!) ruin'd
Great Mirza by his father, and his father by his son.
That great politician, while all the court
Flam'd round about him, sat secure, and laugh'd,
Like those throw fireworks among the waving people
That have nothing but fire and smoke about them,
And yet not singe one hair. Indeed he fell at last,
'Tis true; but he was shallow in that part o' th' plot.
What have we his example [for] but to learn by it?
[246] Praise Plangus to Ephorbas then so far,
That first he may fear for his kingdom;
And if you do proceed till he grew jealous of
His bed, 'twill do the better.
The king is coming, I must be gone.

[Exit Libacer.

SCENE VI.

Enter Ephorbas.

Eph. How fares Andromana?
I'm glad this greatness sits so well about thee;
My court was bless'd that hour I knew thee first.
We'll live and still grow happy; we shall flourish
Like some spreading tree that shall never cease
Till its proud height o'erlook the skies. I hope
I bad fair for a boy to-night. How happy
Should I count myself could I but leave
My kingdom something that had thy image in't.

And. Sir, never think
Iberia can be happy in another son,
When such a prince as Plangus lives the heir,
Who is the subject of all men's pray'rs—nay,
The deserver too. There's not a man or woman
In the kingdom hath one good wish within their breast
But they straight bestow it upon Plangus:
A prince whom mothers show their little children
As something they should learn betime
To worship and admire.

Eph. I know, Andromana; but——

And. Sir, virtue's perfection
Is at the height in him. Whatever after
Ages bear, or give the name of worth to,
[247] Must, if compar'd to him, be but as foils
To set his glory off the brighter.
Nor are the men only thus taken with him;
There's not a lady in the land but sighs
With passion for him, and dreams on him a-nights.
Husbands grow jealous of him, yet with joy
That they are Plangus' rivals.

Eph. All this is nothing.
Men talk'd as loud of me when I was young.

And. Yea, but they say, sir, you were
Not half so mincing in your carriage, nor so majestic.
Besides——

Eph. I hope they do not make comparisons.

[Starts.

And. Sir, I thought we could not have discours'd on a
More welcome theme than what is full of Plangus.

Eph. No more you cannot. Let him as a less star
Enjoy his splendour, but it must not be so great
To darken me; but, prythee, do they compare us then?

And. You're discompos'd, sir!—I have done.

Eph.Nay, nothing
But the remembrance of a foolish dream—what say they?

And. Why, sir, some went so far to say, they wonder'd
A lady of my years could marry the father,
Though a king, when I might have had Plangus himself.

Eph. They did not?

And. Then I confess I blush'd, and had been out
Of temper, but that I thought it might be
[248] The court fashion to talk boldly.

Eph.This story jump'd
Just with my dream to-night;[96] but methought I saw
Him threat'ning to kill me 'cause thou hadst married me——
But the young saucy boy shall know I hold
My sceptre strong enough to crush him into atoms.
Did they not name Inophilus?

And. I think they did. He had some share
Of praises too; but it was so as gleanings
To a loading cart, they sometimes fell beside.

Eph. Then I am satisfied. 'Tis an aspiring youth: 'tis something
That unites Plangus and him so. I must
Be speedy in resolves.

[Exit Ephorbas.

SCENE VII.

And. Who waits without there?

Enter Libacer.

O, art thou come? Stay, let me breathe, or else——

Lib. Nay, spare your pains, I know it all; I saw him
Drink it with as great greediness as usurers
Do unthrifts' lands, or jealous husbands confirm
Their cuckoldships by ocular testimony.

And. It took most rarely,
Beyond our hopes. I'll leave the rest to thee,
[249] Thou art so fortunate in all designs. Go on and prosper.

Lib. And I'll attend for an opportunity to meet
With Plangus, and betray him to ruin
As great as unavoidable.

[Exeunt.


ACT IV., SCENE 1.

Enter Ephorbas, solus.

Eph. For aught I know, my bed may be the next;
Men are not bad by halves, nor doth one mischief
Stop a man in his career of sin.
There's as much reason i' th' one as th' other.
Doth he affect my kingdom, 'cause I'm old?
No, that's not it; he knows I must die shortly.
'Tis not a desire of rule, and glory of
Their bending knees makes him forget his duty.
He may as well covet Andromana, 'cause she's handsome.
He satisfies a lust alike in both. Well, let him be
My rival in the kingdom; 'tis but what
He was born to, and I must leave it him;
But for my wife he must excuse me—nay,
He shall [Pauses.]——Yet now I think on't better,
The grounds are slender, and my suspicions slight;
No evidence against him but the people's love,
And that's no fault of his, unless deserving
Be a crime. Who is without there?

Enter Libacer.

Go, call in Plangus, and bid him not stay,
For I must speak with him.

[Exit King.

[250]

SCENE II.

Lib. Nay, then, all's dashed, if once he comes to parley.
I must not have them talk. But here he is.

SCENE III.

Enter Plangus.

Lib. All health and happiness attend the prince.

Plan. Pray, tell me if you saw the king?
Be short, for I am very melancholy.

Lib. He parted hence just now, but with such
A fury revelling in his looks, there had been
Less danger in a basilisk.

Plan. Went he this way?

Lib. Yes, sir.

[He is going out, but turns short.

Plan. But dost not thou know what mov'd him?

Lib. I heard some such words as these:
My rival in the kingdom——There's evidence against him——
The people's love——Deserving is a crime——
And somewhat else my fear made me forget.

Plan. Who was there with him lately?

Lib. I cannot tell: but about a quarter of an hour ago
He ask'd for you; and every time he nam'd you
He seem'd angry.

Plan. Named me! thou art mistaken.

Lib. I had almost forgot, sir,
I have a message to you from Andromana.

Plan. I will not hear one syllable.

Lib. No!—so she told me; but charged me to speak it,
Or die; for it concerned your life, which she
[251] Held dearer than her own.

Plan. I value it not; but speak the mystery.

Lib. When first her lips began to move, a blush
O'erflow'd her face, as if her heart had sent
Her tainted blood to seek a passage out. Then with
A show'r of tears she told me how inordinate
Desires had made her but this morning tempt you
To th' acting of a sin she would not name;
And that your virtue had so wrought upon her,
She had not left one thing unchang'd.
She loves you still, but with affection
That carries honour and converted thoughts.
And next, she bad me whisper in your ear
(For time was short) that, if you lov'd her or yourself,
Or intended to cherish the people's growing hopes,
You should not come when the king sent for you,
For something had incensed him so highly
Against you, that there was mighty danger in it.
She bad me haste, for time would not permit her
To say more. I was scarce out o' th' chamber,
When your father came and ask'd for you, and bad
Me seek you out with speed. Sir, I should be
Most proud to serve you.

Plan. I thank thee, friend;
But prythee, tell thy mistress
Innocence knows no fear: 'tis for guilty souls
To doubt their safety. If she would have me safe,
My only way is by present appearance to clear
Myself; for I believe my false accusers
Wish nothing more than that I should be absent.

Lib. The devil's in him, sure, he guesseth so right.

[Aside.

[252]

She told me so, sir, and would have wish'd you to it;
But that there was a way to serve you better by.
She say'th Ephorbas told her, a few minutes hence
He'd call a council, where they'd consult about you.
The place is hang'd so, that behind the wall, sir,
You may stand secure, and hear what passeth;
And according to what they determine, you may
Provide for your safety; only for more security
She wisheth you would arm yourself. Sir, pray resolve:
She'll pacify the king, that you appear
Not presently.

Plan. Well I will be persuaded:
Tell her, I am resolv'd I will not come.

Lib. Happiness attend you! Half an hour hence I'll wait
Upon you.

[Exit Libacer.

Plan. We shall reward thee.

SCENE IV.

Plan. Whence should this kindness come? and on a sudden too?
A strange alteration! She who a day ago
Forgot the vows her soul was fetter'd in,
And but this morning tempted me to a sin
I can scarce think on without fear, should on
An instant be careful for my safety, and
That from a principle of virtue too!

[253]

SCENE V.

Enter Inophilus.

Ino. Who was that with you, sir, just now?

Plan. An honest fellow certainly, but one I know not.

Ino. An honest fellow call you him?
If he have not rogue writ in great letters in's face,
I have no physnomy.[97] Pray, sir, what was
His business to you?

Plan. A message from Andromana
Who, out of love, desires me not to go to
My father, because something hath put him in
A fume against me.

Ino. Did the king send for you?

Plan. He did so.

Ino. But upon her entreaty you forbore to go?

Plan. What then?

Ino. Then you are mad, sir.
And tacitly conspire to your own ruin.
Do, take an enemy's advice, and die, the object
Both of their joy and scorn. Where are
Your senses, sir, or pray, whence springs
This friendship of Andromana's? Alas! you should not
Measure her malice by the smallness of your own.
She has injur'd you, she knows it, sir; and though
At present she enjoys her treachery, she may
Soon fall beside it; Ephorbas is not immortal,
Nor can she promise to herself security,
When you have power to call her ills in question.
[254] Were't nothing else, her safety would make her
To plot your death. I hinder you in talking;
But pray begone, and when you see your father,
Speak boldly to him, or you're gone for ever.

Plan. I tell thee once again, Inophilus,
Since I have said I would not go
Both heaven and thee shall want a motive
To make me stir one foot. Were danger just
Before me, running with open jaws upon me;
And had my word been giv'n to remain here,
I would be forc'd from life before my place.

Ino. Here is a bravery now would make a man
Forswear all gallantry! to fool away
Your life thus in a humour!—
I met the court just now, sir: as full of whispers,
Every man's eyes spoke strong amazement.
My father's sent for, with two other lords,
Eubulus and Anamedes; and the Court-gates are lock'd.
Resolve, sir, and command me something,
Wherein I may have an occasion to serve you.

Plan. Then I resolve to do as I am caution'd.
Walk in; I'll tell thee more.

[Exeunt.

SCENE VI.

Enter Ephorbas and Libacer.

Eph. What was his answer, then?

Lib. "Tell him, I am resolv'd I will not come,"
Those were the very words, sir.

Eph.'Twas very pretty
[And] resolute, methinks. If he be grown
So stubborn already, the next we must expect
Is action.
[255]

Lib. But yet he bids me, if you
Ask'd why he came not, to find some excuse or other.

Eph. He could find none himself then? Call in
The lords: we must be sudden in our execution.
But prythee, one thing more: who was there with him?

Lib. Nobody;
But I met going to him young Inophilus;
And heard one servant tell another in great haste,
Their lord would speak with some o' the captains o' the army.

[Exit.

SCENE VII.

Enter Rinatus, Eubulus, and Anamedes.

Eph. Sit down, my lords, we have business with you
Requires your hands and hearts, both speed and counsel.
Our danger's such, that I could wish't had flown
Upon us without warning, for so cross the fates are,
Our safety must be bought at such a price,
That we must lose what is as dear to us
Almost as it. 'Tis Plangus' death or mine
Must secure the other's life. Nay, startle not:
If I am grown as wearisome to you as
To him, your calling is in vain, my lords;
Nor shall I labour longer to preserve
A life denied me by the gods and you.
But if there's any here who hath a son
Brought to these years with so much care and love
[256] As mine hath been, think what a grief it is
To lose him, and shed one tear with me.
But for that son to plume himself with feathers
Pluck'd from his father's wings, would melt one's eyeballs.
Yet Plangus, who hath vizarded his ends with virtue,
Finding it useless now, hath thrown it from him,
And openly attempts my crown and life.
When mischief's wheel once runs, how fast it speeds
Headlong to put in act the blackest deeds!
Were my crown his, had he my life to give,
Though he would let me, I would scorn to live.

Eub. Sir, we are called upon a great affair, and if it
Be true, the speed of our resolves
Shall be as great as it.
Your majesty hath reign'd so happily and long,
We will not think a time beyond it.
And such, so great your virtue still hath been,
Strangers have been enamour'd, and admir'd it.
Our enemies, that could have wish'd it less,
Yet have sat down with envy, nor attempted
Aught against you, knowing (I am confident)
By such unjust attempts the gods would be
Their foes. Methinks 'tis therefore much less likely
That Plangus, who hath hitherto been found
A miracle of filial piety, and one
That we may say was born the heir to all
Your virtues, all your goodness, as well as
The kingdom; who counts it glory as much
To be an honest man as a great prince:
I say, for him who, as he is your son,
And as we hitherto have found him full
[257] Of worth and honour, we cannot but behold
As him in whom the spreading hopes of all
Iberia grow, and promise to themselves
A still green happiness, that ne'er shall know,
What autumn or a naked winter means.
For him that hath scarce yet put off
Those clothes, which still wear the badges
Of the great danger he was in, not for
Himself, my liege, but you and us; for had
He wish'd the ruin of his father and his country,
The Argives would have done that for him,
And he not have been call'd in question.
But when we must remember with what wings
He flew to meet the torrent, both against
The counsel of his friends and his own hopes;
How love to you and us spurr'd him on forward
To those impossibilities, which nothing
But love and valour durst have attempted,
Why then, methinks, 'tis strange, yea, very strange,
Thus in a moment t' have flung all nature off
And all religion; and that, sir, against you,
Whom we all well know and think with fear
(But our fading hopes spring fresh from Plangus),
Must shortly pay your tribute to the grave.
Nor that we doubt your majesty hath cause
To apprehend a danger; only 'tis wish'd,
Those who inform'd you were examin'd strictly,
And Plangus sent for to answer for himself.
Slanders, like mists, still vanish at the sight
Of innocents, who bring their lies to light.

Eph. If an oration could have made him clear,
No doubt my fears are vain, and we shall lie
Still sleeping in security as great
And lasting as Plangus and his accomplices
Can wish upon us, nor wake till we are bound
In the securest chains, death's fetters.
[258] That I am old is true, and Plangus knows it.
He would have catch'd a cannon-bullet sooner
Else 'tween his naked hands, than have provok'd
My fury: but [old] age hath froze[n] me
To an icy numbness: yet shall he know
My veins have fire as well as his, and when
Incens'd, my eyes shoot as much poison too.
What you allege about his battle 'gainst the Argives
As an excuse, it is a proof against him.
Though thieves rob others, yet they fight themselves
For those that rob, when strangers set on them,
And all unite against a common enemy.
Had Plangus' private interest not held
Him to us, no doubt he'd [have] left us naked
Of all defence; but an intestine fury,
To see the Argives bear away the fruits
Of all his labours, all his treasons,
Shot him into despair, and made him play
A game was almost lost, rather than give all o'er.
Besides, that action hath endear'd him to the people;
Gain'd him the soldiers' hearts with so great ease,
The danger's nothing in respect o' th' rise
He takes from hence to climb up to his ends.
And for the virtue that hath gull'd us all,
I'd blush to speak it, that a son of mine
Should ever be so base to seek a cloak
For what he doth, but that I have disclaim'd
All my relations to him, and would adopt
A cannibal sooner for a son than he.
The evidence we have is what we wish were less,
Then might I hug my Plangus, and he me;
But since the Fates and his own ills deny
That intercourse, what can remain,
But that we should proceed to sentence
[259] Speedy as themselves, and stop the ill, which may
Strike when 'tis night, or while 'tis call'd to-day?
He knows his guilt too well, and hath denied
To come, that so he might be justified:
Once disobey'd as father, the next thing
Will be rebellion to me as his king.

SCENE VIII.

Enter Libacer.

Rin. As sure as death, this is one of the rogues
That hath his roguery to act, and comes in like
Something that hath brought news in th' latter end
Of a play. Now shall we have some strange discovery—
How the rogue stares!

Lib. No sooner had we shut the gates, my liege,
Than an uncertain rumour spread among the people
That Plangus was in danger.
When, if you ever saw a hive of bees:
How, if you stir but one, the whole swarm moves,
And testify their anger; so straight whole crowds
Of people, the greatest half not knowing what
They came for, swarm'd to the gates, and with confus'd
Cries hinder'd themselves from being understood;
Till some having divers times cried Plangus:
[And] some their prince: all with one note, made up
A common voice, and so continued, till some
Captains, with one or two selected troops, made up
[260] To them, and having promised them they would
Secure the prince, desir'd them to withdraw.
And when they came so nigh as to be heard,
They did in earnest what the other had
Attempted with such[98] noise, and fail'd in;
For they told the porter, in plain soldier's language,
They would either see Plangus safe, or force
The gates upon him. He, in this exigence,
Hath sent to know your pleasure.

Eph. How say you now, my lords? where is
The innocence, the love to you and us?
For my part, I will meet the danger;
Tame expectation is beneath a king.
Only let me entreat you to see my queen safe.
'Tis pity she should smart who hath no sin
To answer for but calling me her husband.
Plangus, Iberia shall be thine; but with curses
O' th' angry gods, and a kind injur'd dying father.

[He goes to stab himself, Rinatus stays him.

Rin. Heav'n bless you, sir, what a despair is this?
Because you hate a hangman, you will be
Your executioner yourself. Believe me,
That which presents so great danger to you,
I look upon with joy. There is no subject
That loves you or the prince, but must be glad
To see the zeal Iberians bear to a true virtue,
When bending under an unjust oppression;
No doubt their love had been as great to you,
Had you been in like danger. Besides, my lord,
You are not sure 'tis with the prince's consent,
The soldiers do this. My life for yours, you will
[261] Be safe, let the worst come. Let us
Go meet your fears.

[They begin to rise, when at the instant Andromana enters undressed, and in a fright.

And. Happy am I, my lord,

[She weeps.

This sudden flight[99] hath rescu'd me from being
Made the subject of some villain's lust, who
With his sword drawn just now was forcing me
To lewd embraces; if you command to search the court,
He cannot be far hence, for he ran that way.

Rin. O impudence!
That durst attempt a sin darkness and woods
Have too many eyes for in the open court.

[Plangus stirs behind the hangings.

I shall be with you. The devil hath
Armour on!

[Rinatus draws, and runs at him.

Eph. Drag him to torture——

[They fetch him out.

My son! why have I liv'd to see this?
Away with him to death; the air will grow infectious.
Why stay you?

SCENE IX.

Enter Zopiro and Inophilus, with Soldiers.

Ino. Unhand the prince, or else by heav'n he treads
Into his grave that moves a foot to touch him.
Madam, though Plangus' noble self was blind,
And could not see the deep black darkness of
[262] Your hellish actions, his friends had eyes about them.
Was this your love? this your repentance?
This your advice, your counsel? Had I, I must confess,[100]
And these his noble friends, been[101] rul'd by him, ere this
He'd been a sacrifice to your revenge and you.
Why stand you mute, sir? Want you a tongue to justify
Your innocence our swords and we maintain?
And now, my liege, we turn to you, whom we
Have serv'd as truly as e'er subjects did
Any prince alive; and whilst you're worthy, we
Will do so still; but we'll be no man's slaves
Alive, much less be his that is another's,
While this base witch (for so she is) constrains
You to do actions children would blush at,
And wise men laugh at, which will after leave you
Both to repentance and despair. This beggar, whom
T'other day you took up as some lost thing,
Gave your honour to, and in that our safety;
That knew less to be good than devils do,
And hath ills lodged in her that would make hell
Beyond that the furies dwell in,
Banish her hence, send her to some place
Where murders, rapines, or sins yet
Unheard of do inhabit, and where she can
Do us no mischief. Do you betake yourself
To your former virtue, and restore the prince
To those affections you once had for him.
[263] We then perhaps may live to see
Iberia happy.

Eph. Why am I forc'd thus to declare his shame,
Which at the bound strikes me, and's made my own?
You know not how well Plangus can dissemble:
He is an hypocrite, I need not tell you more,
Those three syllables comprehend all ill.
My queen just now 'scaped from his base attempt,
Wherein he would have forc'd her to have damn'd
Herself and him, and dishonoured me.
What meant that armour on, and why so guarded?
Where was a danger threat'ned him? or doth he
Think his conscience could not sting him through it?
I wish, my lords,[102] he might live. But, as nature
That, as he is my son, bids me preserve him;
So honour, which pleads to the king stronger
Than nature can, tells me, for that very reason,
I can less pardon him than something born
A stranger to my blood. But I deserve
To die, as well as he. If he be grown
A burden to the earth, I am so too,
That gave the monster being. Wherefore
Let me be drawn to execution too,
For fathers are guilty of their children's ills.

Ino. Would Plangus then have forc'd Andromana?
Yes, so would Daphne have ravish'd Phœbus!
I'll undertake goats are less salt than she.
But for his armour:—can any man that breathes
One common air with her not need an armour?
Brass walls can't be security enough.
Why speak you not, sir? are you dumb too?
[264]

Plan. 'Tis for them to speak are sure to be believ'd,
And not for him that is condemn'd as guilty.
Words can excuse slight faults.
If mine are esteem'd such, that all my actions,
A speaking duty of one-and-twenty years,
Speak not enough to clear me, silence shall.
I've no more to say, therefore, but
To bid you do your duty to the king,
And ask him pardon for this[103] intemperate zeal:
Heav'n knows I wish'd it not, nor would I buy
My safety at one of my father's angry thoughts,
Much less his fears, for those I fall by.
Obey my father, and if ye love me, gentlemen,
Shed not one tear for Plangus.
For I am timely taken from those plagues
This woman's crying sins must bring upon
Iberia, and make you wish that you
Had died as soon and innocent as I.

And. That I was nothing, I confess; that what I am,
I owe to Ephorbas; nay, that the greatness
I am now in tells me it is too high
To be secure, my fears bear witness.
I wish my life would excuse Plangus his; at least
My blood wash off the blackness of his guilt,
Heav'n knows it should not be one minute, ere
He should be restor'd to his former virtues;
But since it cannot be, I'll in and weep—
Not for myself, but him.

[Exit.

Ino. Millions of plagues go with thee. Sir [To Plangus], you shall
Along with us; we will not trust you
Or to the king or her.

[Exeunt.


[265]

ACT V., SCENE 1.

Libacer solus.

Lib. What politician was there ever yet
Who, swimming through a sea of plots and treasons,
Sank not at last i' th' very haven's mouth?
And shall I do so too? No, my thoughts prompt me,
I shall be told in story, as the first
That stood secure upon the dreadful ruins
He had thrown down beneath him. Yet I'm nigh
The precipice I strive to shun with so much care.
I have betray'd Plangus, 'tis true, and still
Have found a growing fortune; but so long
As jealousy binds up Ephorbas' thoughts
From searching deeper, deeper, 'tis not well
That Plangus lives at all: though he be disgrac'd.
H' has friends enow about the king, and they
Will find a time to pacify him, which will be
My undoing. He must not therefore live.
Andromana is of that mind too;
But how to compass it? or when perhaps
I have, what will become of me?
Nothing more usual than for those folks, who
Have by sinister means reach'd to the top
O' th' mountain of their hopes, but they throw down
And forget the power that rais'd them; indeed
Necessity enforceth them, lest others climb
By the same steps they did, and ruin them.
I must not therefore trust her womanship,
Who, though I know she cannot stand without
Me now; yet, when she's queen alone,
[266] Fortune may alter her, and make her look
Upon me as one whose life whispers
Unto her own guilt. 'Tis not safe to be
The object of a princess' fear; then she will find
Others will be as apt to keep her up
As I to raise her. I'll prevent her first.
Time is not ripe yet; but when it is (for
I must walk on with her a little farther)
I will unravel all this labyrinth ev'n
To the king himself. Then let her accuse me,
Though she should damn herself to hell,
I know she'll be believ'd no more
Than Plangus hath been hitherto.
Thus shall I still grow great, though all the world
Be to a dreadful ruin madly hurl'd.

[Exit.

SCENE II.

Plangus solus.

Plan. I can no longer hold; 'tis not i' th' power
Of fate to make me less. Bid me outstare
The sun, outrun a falling star,
Feed upon flames, or pocket up the clouds;
Or if there be a task mad Juno's hate
Could not invent to plague poor Hercules,
Impose it upon me, I'll do't without a grudge.
Condemn me to a galley, load me with chains
Whose weight may so keep me down, I can scarce
Swell under my burden to let out a sigh,
I would o'ercome all. Were there a deity
That men adore, and throw their prayers upon,
That would lend just ears to human wishes,
I would grow great by being punished, and be
A plague myself, so that when people curs'd
Beyond invention, to their prodigious rhetoric
[267] This epiphonema should be added,
"Become as miserable as wretched Plangus."
I have been jaded, basely jaded,
By those tame fools, honour and piety,
And now am wak'd into revenge, breathing forth ruin
To those first spread this drowsiness upon
My soul. A woman! O heaven, had I been gull'd
By anything had borne the name of man!
But this will look so sordidly in story:
I shall be grown discourse for grooms and footboys,
Be balladed, and sung to filthy tunes. But do
I talk still? well, I must leave this patience.
And now, Ephorbas,
Since thou hast wrought me to this temper,
I'll be reveng'd with as much skill as thou
Hast injur'd me. I will to these presently, for
My hour-glass shall not run ten minutes longer,
And having kill'd myself before thee,
I'll pluck my heart out, tell thee all
My innocence, and leave thee hemm'd in with
A despair thicker than Egyptian darkness.
I know thou canst not choose but die for grief.
But here he is.

[Exit.

SCENE III.

Ephorbas solus.

Eph. Riddle on[104] riddle! I have dream'd this night
Plangus was cloth'd, like innocence, all white;
[268] And Andromana then methought was grown
So black, nothing but all one guilt was shown.
What shall I do? Shall I believe a dream?
Which is a vapour borne along the stream
Of fancy, and sprung up from the gross fumes
Of a full stomach, sent to th' upper rooms
O' th' brain by our ill genius, to spoil our sight,
And cloud our judgments like a misty night.
Why do I doubt? 'tis ominous to stay
Demurring, when the way is plain. Is day
Or night best to judge colours? shall I stand,
Trying the water's soundness, when the land
Presents firm footing? Truth by day appears,
And I from tapers hope to find my fears
Oppos'd. And yet methinks 'tis very strange,
A son of mine should suddenly thus change,
And throw his nature off; I did not so
When I was young. I am resolv'd to know
The truth, and clear this mist from 'fore my eyes,
If't can be done by care, by gold, or spies.

[Exit.

SCENE IV.

Andromana sola.

And. So badgers dig the holes, and foxes live in them.
Of all factors, state-factors are the worst,
And get least to themselves of all their labour.
This Libacer
Is wading to the throat in blood to do me
Service. Tame fool! can he imagine I
Remove a husband and a son, to suffer him
To live still and upbraid my ills?

[269]

Enter Libacer.

Lib. It is resolv'd.
But here she is, I must speak fairly for awhile.

And. How doth it succeed now, my darling?
Shall we be great? [be] great alone?

Lib. As great as pride and fulness of revenge
Can swell us. Hark in your ear, madam,
I'll tell you all our plot; but softly, for
Perhaps the jealous walls may echo back
The treason.

[They whisper.

SCENE V.

Enter Plangus with his sword drawn.

Plan. I bore whil[e]st I could; but now 'tis grown
Too great to be contain'd in human breast,
And it shall out, though hoop'd with walls of brass.
Are they at it? I stood once listening
At their entreaty; this time at my own
I'll stand and hearken.

[Steps aside.

And. 'Tis impossible.

Lib. I tell you, no. I'll aggravate the injuries,
And tell him how basely poor it was for
A father to betray his son so.

And. His piety shall never——

Lib. But his fury shall.
I'll stab the king himself, and bring
Those witnesses shall swear 'twas Plangus.

Plan. Nay, then, 'tis time to strike—
There, carry thy intents to hell.

[He stabs Libacer.

And. Help! murder, murder! a rape, a rape!

[270]

Enter Ephorbas.

Eph. What dismal note was that?

And.Sir, there
You see your martyr, whose force being
Too weak to save my honour, his fidelity
Was greater, and [has] died a royal sacrifice,
Offer'd by th' impious hand of that vile man.

Eph. O heav'n! doth not the earth yet gape and swallow thee?
Thy life shall be my crime no longer; I gave it thee,
And thus resume it with a thousand curses.

[He stabs Plangus.

Plan. Sir, I at length am happy to the height
Of all my wishes. I'm a-going suddenly

[Faints.

From all my troubles, all your fears; but I
Will tell my story first—
How you have wrong'd, and been wronged yourself.
This woman, to be short, hath twin'd
Like ivy with my naked limbs, before
She married you, and would—O,
In spite of death
I will go on—have tempted me
To bed her since. Upon refusal, she
Turned her love to hate, and plots my ruin,
And next your death—I can no more—I kill'd
The instrument—farewell, forgive me.

[Dies.

Eph. Can this be true, Andromana?

And. Do you believe it?

Eph. I wish I had not cause——

And. Sir, every syllable was true he told you;
Whose words I thus confirm.

[She takes Plangus's dagger, flings it at Ephorbas, and kills him.

Eph. I'm slain! mercy, Heaven!

[271]

Enter Inophilus.

And. You should have come a little sooner.

Ino. Do I see well? or is the prince here slain?

And. He is, and 'cause you love him,
Carry that token of my love to him.

[Stabs Inophilus.

I know he'll take it kindly that you take
So long a journey only to see him.

Ino. It was the devil struck, sure,
A woman could not do it.—Plangus, O!

[Dies.

SCENE VI.

Enter Rinatus, Eubulus, Anamedes.

Rin. Heav'n defend us! what a sight is here? The king,
The prince, both slain? what, and my son too?
Only this woman living? Speak out, [thou]
Screech-owl, witch, how came they by their deaths!

And. By me; how else?

Rin. Let's torture her.

And.I can
Prevent you; I wouldn't live a minute longer
Unless to act my ills again, for all Iberia.

[Stabs herself.

I have lived long enough to boast an act,
After which no mischief shall be new——

[Dies.

Rin. Let's in, and weep our weary lives away;
When this is told, let after-ages say,
But Andromana none could have begun it,
And none but Andromana could have done it.

[Exeunt.

[272]


[273]

LADY ALIMONY.


[274]

EDITION.

Lady Alimony; or, The Alimony Lady. An Excellent Pleasant New Comedy. Duly Authorized, daily Acted, and frequently Followed.

Nolumus amplexus sponsales; æra novellos
Nocte parent Socios, qui placuere magis.
Lucret.

London, Printed by Tho. Vere and William Gilbertson, and are to be sold at the Angel without New-gate, and at the Bible in Gilt-spur-street. 1659. 4o.

This piece is now first reprinted from the original edition. It is a curious and peculiar production, and was perhaps written twenty or twenty-five years before the date which appears on the title-page. Its attribution jointly to Thomas Lodge and Robert Greene is one of those alike silly and capricious affiliations of our earlier bibliographers, which sometimes scarcely seem as if they were seriously intended. From a passage at p. 281, it is readily apparent that it was not in existence till after 1633.

The interest and point of the present play principally depend on a vivid description of the doings of certain ladies of pleasure, or bona-robas, who are styled Ladies Alimony. The peculiarity of the piece in point of structure and character may be thought, perhaps, to go some way in atoning for its occasional licentiousness.

A considerable number of uncommon phrases are scattered through "Lady Alimony;" some of them are not noticed by our glossographers.


[275]

THE ACTORS PERSONATED IN THIS DRAMATIC.

Eugenio, the duke.

Sir Amadin Puny,
Sir Jasper Simpleton,
Sir Arthur Heartless,
Sir Gregory Shapeless,
Sir Tristram Shorttool,
Sir Reuben Scattergood,

}

cashiered consorts.

Madam Fricase,
Madam Caveare,
Madam Julippe,
Madam Joculette,
Madam Medler,
Madam Tinder,

}

alimony ladies.

Florello,
Caranto,
Palisado,
Salibrand,
Morisco,
Tillyvally,

}

the ladies' Platonic confidants.

Gallerius, ghost.
Timon, the composer.
Trillo, the censor.
Siparius, the book-holder.

Chorist, Constable, Watch, Country Boors, Trepanners, Pages, with other Officials.

The Scene, Seville.

[276]


[277]

LADY ALIMONY.


ACT I., SCENE 1.

Enter Trillo.

Tril. Hey, boys! never did my spirit chirp more cheerfully since I had one. Here is work for Platonics. Never did ladies, brave buxom girls, dispense at easier rates with their forfeited honours. This were an excellent age for that Roman Carvilius to live in, who never loved any sheets worser than those his wife lay in, nor his wife any lodging worse than where her decrepit consort slept in. Divorces are now as common as scolding at Billingsgate. O Alimony, Alimony! a darling incomparably dearer than a sear-icy bed, possessed of the spirit of a dull, inactive husband! A fresh flowery spring and a chill frosty winter never suit well together. He were a rare justice, in these times of separation, who had the ceremonial art to join hearts together as well as hands; but that chemical cement is above the alchemy of his office or verge of his ministerial charge. Heyday! who comes here? The very professed smock-satyr or woman-hater in all Europe; one who, had he lived in that state, or under that zone, might have compared[278] with any Swetnam[105] in all the Albion Island.

SCENE II.

Enter Timon, Siparius, and a Page.

But, sure, he has some high design in hand; he pores so fixedly upon the ground, as on my life he has some swingeing stuff for our fresh Dabrides, who have invested themselves in the Platonic order, and retain courage enough to make an exchange of their old consorts with their new confidants and amorous pretenders. Let us hear him; he mumbles so strangely, he must surely either disburthen [him]self, or stifle his teeming birth for want of timely delivery.

Tim. Good, as I live, wondrous good! this is the way to catch the old one. Be all things ready, Siparius?

Sip. How do you mean, sir?

Tim. What a drolling bufflehead is this! He has been book-holder to my revels for decades of years, and the cuckoldry drone, as if he had slept in Trophonius' cave all his days, desires to know my meaning in the track of his own calling! Sir, shall I question you in your own dialect? Be your stage-curtains artificially drawn, and so covertly shrouded as the squint-eyed groundling[s] may not peep into your discovery?

Sip. Leave that care to me, sir; it is my charge.

Tim. But were our bills posted, that our house may be with a numerous auditory stored? our boxes by ladies of quality and of the new dress[279] crowdingly furnished? our galleries and ground-front answerably to their pay completed?

Sip. Assure yourself, sir, nothing is a-wanting that may give way to the poet's improvement.

Tim. Thou sayest well; this is indeed the poet's third day, and must raise his pericranium deeply steeped in Frontiniac, a fair revenue for his rich Timonic fancy; or he must take a long adieu of the spirit of sack and that noble napry till the next vintage. But, Siparius——

Sip. Your will, sir?

Tim. Be sure that you hold not your book at too much distance. The actors, poor lapwings, are but pen-feathered; and once out, out for ever. We had a time, indeed—and it was a golden time for a pregnant fancy—when the actor could embellish his author, and return a pæan to his pen in every accent; but our great disaster at Cannæ, than which none ever more tragical to our theatre, made a speedy despatch of our rarest Rosciuses, closing them jointly in one funeral epilogue. Now for you, boy: as you play the chorus, so be mindful of your hint. I know you to be a wag by nature, and you must play the waggish actor.

Page. I shall not sleep in my action, sir, if your line have so much life as to provoke a laughter. I shall not strangle the height of your conceit with a dull gesture; nor weaken the weight of your plot with too flat or unbecoming a deportment.

Tim. Thou promisest fairly; go on.

Tril. And so does Timon too, or his judgment fails him. Well, I will accost him.—Health to our stock of stoical wit, ingenious Timon! Come, sir, what brave dramatic piece has your running Mercury now upon the loom? The title of your new play, sir?

[280]

Tim. Every post may sufficiently inform you; nay, the fame of the city cannot choose but echo it to you, so much is expected. Neither shall you discover a mouse peeping out of a mountain, believe it.

Nulla fides spectanda feris, nec gratia victis.

Tril. No, nor a monkey dancing his tricotee on a rope, for want of strong lines from the poet's pen.

Corpora distendunt versibus affanda nefandis.

Tim. You are i' th' right on't, Trillo. These pigmies of mine shall not play the egregious puppies in deluding an ignorant rabble with the sad presentment of a roasted savage.

Tempora sunt Cuculi gratissima labilis anni;

Tril. Your conceit is above the scale of admiration. But the subject of your invention, sir? Where may you lay your scene; and what name [do] you bestow upon this long-expected comedy?

Cornua sunt sponsis trista, læta procis.—Auson.

Tim. My scene, Trillo, is Horn Alley: the name it bears is "Lady Alimony." The subject I shall not preoccupate. Let the fancies of my thirsty auditory fall a-working; if ever their small expense confined to three hours' space were better recompensed, I will henceforth disclaim my society with a happy genius, and bestow the remainder of my time in catching flies with Domitian.

Tril. Excellent, excellent! I am confident your acrimonious spirit will discurtain our changeable taffeta ladies to a hair.

Tim. Thou knowest my humour, and let me perish if I do not pursue it. Thou hast heard, no doubt, how I never found any branch more pleasingly fruitful, nor to my view more grateful, than when I found a woman hanging on it; wishing heartily that all trees in mine orchard bore such fruit.

Tril. If your wish had proved true, no doubt[281] but your orchard would have rendered you store of medlars. But your hour, sir, your hour.

Tim. You know, Trillo, our theatral time to a minute. One thing I must tell you, and you will attest it upon our presentment, that never was any stage, since the first erection of our ancient Roman amphitheatres, with suitable properties more accurately furnished, with choicer music more gracefully accommodated, nor by boys, though young, with more virile spirits presented.

Tril. I'm already noosed in your poetical springe, and shall henceforth wish, for your sake, that all crop-eared histriomastixes, who cannot endure a civil, witty comedy, but by his racked exposition renders it downright drollery, may be doomed to Ancyrus, and skip there amongst satyrs for his rough and severe censure.

Tim. Parnassus is a debtor to thee, Trillo, for thy clear and serene opinion of the Muses and their individual darling; of which, meaning to imprint our addresses all the better in your memory, our stage presents ever the most lively and lovely fancy:—

"Where th' stage breathes lines, scenes, subject, action fit,
Th' age must admire it, or it has no wit."

Tril. Yet I have heard, Timon, that you were sometimes stoical, and could not endure the noise of an interlude, but snuff at it, as the satyr did at the first sight of fire.

Tim. All this is most authentically true; but shall I unbosom myself ingeniously[106] to thee, my dear Trillo? As his hate to woman made Eupolis[282] eat nettle pottage, so became I fired in my spirit. My experience of a shrew drove me to turn the shrewd comedian; and yet all our boxes are stored with complete doxies; nay, some, whose carriage give life to this day's action.

Tril. May the poet's day prove fair and fortunate! Full audience and honest door-keepers. I shall, perchance, rank myself amongst your gallery-men.

Tim. We shall hold our labours incomparably heightened by the breath of such approved judgments.

Enter Messenger.

Mes. Sir, here is a proud, peremptory, pragmatical fellow, newly come into our tiring-room, who disturbs our preparation, vowing, like a desperate haxter,[107] that he has express command to seize upon all our properties.

Tim. The devil he has! What furious Mercury might this be?

Mes. Nay, sir, I know not what he may be; but, sure, if he be what he seems to be, he can be no less than one of our city Hectors; but I hope your spirit will conjure him, and make him a Clinias. He speaks nothing less than braving, buff-leather language, and has made all our boys so feverish, as if a quotidian ague had seized on them.

Tim. Sure, it is one of our trepanning decoys, sent forth for a champion to defend those ladies'[283] engaged honour, whom our stage is this day to present! This shall not serve their turn. Call him in; we will collar him.

Tril. Ha-ha-ha! This will prove rare sport, to see how the poet's genius will grapple with this bawdry!

SCENE III.

Enter Haxter.

Hax. Sir!

Tim. Surly sir, your design?

Hax. To ruin your design, illicentiate playwright. Down with your bills, sir.

Tim. Your bill cannot do it, sir.

Hax. But my commission shall, sir. Can you read, sir?

Tim. Yes, sir, and write too, else were I not fit for this employment.

[He reads the paper.

Tril. With what a scurvy, screwed look the myrmidon eyes him! He will surely bastinado our comedian out of his laureate periwig. Hold him tug, poet, or thou runs thy poetical pinnace on a desperate shelf!

Tim. What bugbear has your terrible bladeship brought us here? A mandate from one of our own society to blanch the credit of our comedy! You're in a wrong box, sir; this will not do't.

Hax. You dare not disobey it!

Tim. Dare not! A word of high affront to a professed Parnassian! I dare exchange in pen with you and your penurious poetaster's pike; and if your valour or his swell to that height or heat as it will admit no other cooler but a downright scuffle, let wit perish and fall a-wool-gathering, if with a cheerful brow I leave not the precious[284] rills of Hippocrene, and wing my course for Campus Martius.

Hax. 'Slid, this Musæus is a Martialist; and if I had not held him a feverish white-livered staniel,[108] that would never have encountered any but the Seven Sisters, that knight of the sun[109] who employed me should have done his errand himself. Well, I would I were out of his clutches! The only way, then, is to put on a clear face, lest I bring a storm upon myself. [Aside.] Virtuous sir, what answer will your ingenuity be pleased to return by your most humble and obsequious vassal?

Tim. Ho! sir, are you there with you[r] bears? How this Gargantua's spirit begins to thaw! Sirrah, you punto[110] of valour!

Hax. I have, indeed, puissant sir, been in my time rallied amongst those blades; but it has been my scorn of late to engage my tuck upon unjust grounds.

Tim. Tucca, thy valour is infinitely beholden to thy discretion. But, pray thee, resolve me: art thou made known to the purport of thine errand?

Hax. In part I am.

Tim. And partly I will tell thee; this squirt-squib wherewith that pragmatical monopolist Nasutius Neapolitanus has here employed thee to obstruct our action shall be received and returned with as much scorn as it was sent us with spiteful impudence![285] Let him come if he like; he may trouble himself and his own impoverished patience, but we shall slight him on our stage, and tax him of frontless insolence.

Hax. You shall do well, sir.

Tim. Well or ill, sir, we will do it. Pray, tell me, brave spark, what Archias may this be who takes thus upon him to excise the revenues of our theatral pleasure to his purse? Be his monopolising brains of such extent as they have power to engross all inventions to his coffer, all our stage-action to his exchequer?

Hax. I would be loth to praise him too much, because your transcendent self prize[s] him so little; but his travels have highly improved his expression.

Tim. We know it, don, and he knows it too, to his advantage. But no man knows the issue of his travel better than Timon. It is true, he addressed his course for Malagasco; but for what end?—to learn hard words, school himself in the Utopian tongue; and, to close up all, he sticked not, Xerxes-like, to deface bridges in the ruins whereof, poor gentleman, he irreparably suffered.

Hax. To my knowledge, he speaks no more than authentic truth; for I myself, in my own proper person, got a snap by a Neapolitan ferret at the very same time; ever since which hot Ætnean service my legs have been taught to pace iambics, and jadishly to interfere upon any condition.

[Aside.

Tim. Thus much for your despatch. Only this: be it your civility, valiant don, to present my service to his naked savages, monkeys, baboons, and marmosets, advising, withal, your master of the bear-yard, that he henceforth content his hydroptic thoughts with his own box-holders; and, lest he[286] lose by his outlandish properties, be it his care to pick out some doxies of his own, lest those she-sharks whom he has employed upon that trading occasion abuse his confidence.

Hax. Your commands, sir, shall be observed with all punctuality.

Tim. Do so, brave don, lest I call you to account, and return your wages with a bastinado. But withal tell that cockspur, your magnificent Mecænas, that he keep at home, and distemper not our stage with the fury of his visits, lest he be encountered by my little terriers, which will affright him more than all his Spanish gipsies.

Hax. Account me, invincible sir, your most serviceable slave upon all interests. Well, I have secured my crazy bulk as well from a basting as ever mortal did; and if ever I be put on such desperate adventures again, let this weak radish body of mine become stuck round with cloves, and be hung up for a gammon of Westphalia bacon to all uses and purposes.

[Aside. Exit.

Tril. So, you have conjured down the spirit of one furious haxter!

SCENE IV.

Enter Boy.

Tim. And just so must all our tavern tarmagons be used, or they'll trepan you, as they did that old scarified friar, whose bitter experiences furnished with ability enough to discover their carriage and his feverish distemper.

Boy. Sir, all our boxes are already stored and seated with the choicest and eminentest damosellas that all Seville can afford. Besides, sir, all our[287] galleries and ground-stands are long ago furnished. The groundlings within the yard grow infinitely unruly.

Tim. Go to, boy; this plebeian incivility must not precipitate the course of our action. How oft have they sounded?

Boy. They're upon the last sound; but our expectance of that great Count, whose desires are winged for us, foreflow our entry.

Extremâ nocte nullam scænis feliciorem reperi.—Afran.

Tim. These comic presentments may properly resemble our comet apparitions, where their first darting begets impressions of an affectionate wonder or prophetic astonishment. The world, I must confess, is a ball racketed above the line and below into every hazard: but whimseys and careers challenge such influence over the judgment of our gallant refined wits; as their fancies must be humoured, and their humours tickled, or they leave our rooms discontented. So as the comedian's garden must find lettuce for all lips, or the disrelished poet must be untrussed, and paid home with a swingeing censure. This must be my fate; for I can expect no less from these satirical madams, whose ticklish resentment of their injured honour will make them kick before they be galled. But Timon is armed cap-a-pie against all such feminine assailants. They shall find my scenes more modest than some of their actions have merited; and I must tell thee one thing by the way, my ingenious Trillo—that I never found more freedom in my sprightly genius, than in the very last night, when I set my period to this living fancy. But time and conveniences of the stage enjoin me to leave thee; make choice of thy place, and expect the sequel.

Tril. May your acts live to a succeeding age, And the Ladies Alimony enrich your stage.

[Exeunt.

[288]

After the third sound

PROLOGUE.

Madams, you're welcome; though our poet show
A severe brow, it is not meant to you.
Your virtues, like your features, they are such,
They neither can be priz'd nor prais'd too much:
Lov'd and admir'd wheres'ever you are known,
Scorning to mix Platonics with your own:
Sit with a pleasing silence, and take view
Of forms vermillion'd in another hue.
Who make free traffic of their nuptial bed,
As if they had of fancy surfeited:
Who come not here to hear our comic scenes,
But to complete imaginary dreams
With realler conceptions. If you mind them,
Their new loves stand before, old loves behind them:
And from that prospect this impresa read,
Rich pearls show best when they are set in lead.
Such be your blameless beauties, which comply
With no complexion but a native dye,
Apt for a spousal hug, and, like rich ore,
Admit one choice impression and no more.
Those faces only merit our esteem,
Seem what they be, and be the same they seem.
For they who beauty clothe with borrow'd airs,
May well disclaim them, being none of theirs.
Here shall you see Nature adorn'd with skill,
And if this do not please, sure, nothing will.

ACT II., SCENE 1.

Enter two Boys.

1st Boy. Room, room for the ladies of the new dress.

2d Boy. Thou styles them rightly, Tim; for[289] they have played the snakes, and put off their old slough. New brooms sweep clean. Frosty age and youth suit not well together. These bona-robas must sate their appetites with fresh cates, or their sharp attractive stomachs will be quickly cloyed.

1st Boy. True, Nick; hadst thou known their nightly quartering as well as I have done, thou wouldst hold them rare coy-ducks for retrieving new game, and storing their lobbies upon all adventures.

2d Boy. Why, Tim, art thou one of that covey?

1st Boy. Let it suffice thee, wag, I know all their fagaries[111] to a hair. I have not played such a truant in my place as to become their pee-dee[112] during all the time of their restraint, and not to attain the principles of a puisne bolt: a faithful secret pimp deserves his constant pay.

2d Boy. But, in good sadness, resolve me: were these dainty Dabrides ever in restraint?

1st Boy. As close cooped up, believe it, as any parachitoes ever were. Only they assumed to their pretended aggrievances to exclaim against their hard fortunes in being matched with such impotent and defective husbands; and now they have, by long flickering and strong favourites, got out o' th' cage, and wrought themselves into alimony.

2d Boy. Uds! so will their dainty fingers tug in alum-work?

1st Boy. What an ignorant puppy thou art! This is no alum-work, but such a calcinated metal as it will run like quicksilver over all their husbands' domains, and in very short time make a quick despatch of all his Long-acre.[290]

2d Boy. Trust me, Tim, these be mad-mettled girls, brave braches to breed on!

1st Boy. What a wanton monkey is this? He's but newly bred, and he can talk of wenches breeding! Well, thou wilt grow a cock of th' game if thy pen-feathered youth mount to't. But silence, wag; the she-myrmidons are entering the stage, and I am pricked out for the chorus.

SCENE II.

Enter Ladies fantastically habited, in a wanton and pleasant posture: passing over the stage, they are encountered by six amorous complimental Servants, every one singling forth his mistress for discourse.

2d Boy. What humorous tomboys be these?

1st Boy. The only gallant Messalinas of our age. That love-spotted ermine is Madam Fricase, a woman of a rampant spirit; a confident pretender to language; and, for the Latin, she makes herself as familiar with the breach of Priscian's head as if it were her husband's.

2d Boy. Who is she, that looks like a mounted scaledrake?[113]

1st Boy. That spitfire is Madam Caveare: one whose assiduate trading brought age upon her before her time. But art has taught her to supply furrowed deformities with ceruse boxes, and to repair a decayed complexion with an Italian fucus. This, with other fomentations, have so enlivened her, as they render her no less active than if she at last grass had but casten her colt's-tooth. The next in rank is that mincing madam Julippe, who would not bear a child for a world[291] (though her endeavours be pregnant enough), for fear she should disfeature the comeliness of her body.

2d Boy. Yet she's a medlar.[114]

1st Boy. A mellow one, and as ready to fall in autumn upon all occasions.

2d Boy. What may that gaudy gewgaw lady be, that throws such scornful looks upon our galleries?

1st Boy. That's a brave martial Milanoise: Semiramis never had a more imperious spirit. She styles herself Madam Joculette; a jocund girl, on my word, and one that will not engage her honour, nor barter in a low commodity, for nothing. She was a tirewoman at first in the suburbs of Milan; but falling into an ebb of fortune, and hearing the quaint and various fancies of our country damosellas, she took upon her this adventure to improve her annual pension; which she has by the dexterity of her wit and incomparable curiosity of art highly enlarged, and by this unexpected means—for it happened, to give an addition to her future happiness, that one Sir Gregory Shapeless, a mundungo[115] monopolist, a paltry-penurious-pecking pinchgut, who had smoked himself into a mercenary title of knightship, set his affection upon her soon after her arrival here; whom thou may imagine, Nick, to be no sooner wooed than won. But scarcely were their marriage-sheets warm, till her dissembled fancy, having no other bait but lucre to feed it, grew cold, and the mundungo-knight became pitifully crest-fallen—more in love with the world than his Italian doxy. A divorce she sues, and so happily pursues, as by the solicitancy of her[292] private ingles she became whole sharer in his trucking fortunes; since which time she pastures freely upon the common without fear of enclosure.

2d Boy. Why should she not? A barren ranging doe, having once leapt over her own pale, may encroach, though not with security, upon any other's liberty.

1st Boy. That next her in rank, and as right as my leg in her career, is Madam Medler, a cunning civil trader, who with much simpering secrecy, as one that would seem sparing in discovery of her husband's debility, calls him[116] Sir Tristram Shorttool, a good, well-meaning man, and one that might content any woman under the equinoctial line, if Nature had measured her[117] right. Whereas his sufficiency has been elsewhere tried, which his many branches, sprung from other stocks, may sufficiently witness, being scions[118] of his own inoculating, and at his own proper charge for breeding. As for that lady with the inflamed face, Madam Tinder, her desires are so strong and enlarged, as that torrid zone, where she sometimes planted, could not accommodate her supplies. And let this serve thee, Nick, for a short character of these alimonial ladies.

2d Boy. Those Platonic servants of theirs are upon a strong debate with their amorous mistresses.

1st Boy. But note, my precious wag, how infinitely they seem tickled with the accounts, which those ladies return them of their court proceedings.

[They retire, and listen.

[293]

SCENE III.

Flo. You overglad me, Madam Fricase,
With your select discourse, closing so fairly
With our expected wishes.

Car.No conceit
Struck more on fancy than the tale you told me;
'Tis so attractive, Madam Caveare.
It acts delight without a passive object,
And forms an embryo in the phantasy
By love's mysterious spell. May Ida's court
Ne'er see Caranto exercise his revels,
If he neglect those ceremonial rites
Which love and duty have oblig'd him to.
May all the orbs make music in their motion,
And smile on our enjoyment!

Pal.Fair Julippe,
Your choice has crown'd me; nor shall track of time
Raze out that imprese which[119] your free assent
Has here engraven. Palisado's zeal
Shall merit your affection, if endeavours
May mount to such a pitch as they may cheer
My hopes in retribution. Secrecy,
Or what may most suit with a lady's honour,
Shall in this breast keep constant sentry.[120]

Sal. If Salibrand fall short, may he be forc'd
To sue his own divorce. Dear Joculette,
May your estrangement from a loathed bed
Complete your choice with a delightful change.

Mor. Balls, treats, rear-banquets, theatral receipts
To solace tedious hours, shall entertain
My mellow Medlar; and when evening pleasure
Shall with enlivening vigour summon more
Duly-reserved offices, which Love
[294] In her arrival, her desir'd repose,
Shall pay his loyal tribute, only due
To crowns and nuptial rites: or as pure times
Make these divisions legal, to supply
Defects by abler farmers, which defray'd,
Proves man to be himself. I'll vow no more:
Only give leave to your devoted servant,
Whose purest victim is a constant heart,
To make this tender good. Before I fail
In acting your content, may youthful heat
Disclaim its interest in me, and this spirit,
Active and sprightly, lose his native strength—
Nay, thaw itself to atoms, and resolve
To ophic powder, juice of cucumber,
Or what may show most chilness in the blood.

Til. Like brave Platonic, you profess much love,
Which, you enamel with gilt promises;
But my affection's conscious of no guilt,[121]
Nor a rhetoric tincture. Some can speak,
And call the heavens to record, when their fancy,
Mere planet-struck, has fix'd their influence
On various objects: this deludes poor wenches,
And makes them melt like ceruse! Heav'ns forgive them!
I'm none of that light leaven; nor, Florello,
Caranto, Palisado, Salibrand,
Nor you, Morisco. Moments of delight
May prompt unmanag'd youths to damn'd protests
And vows which they intend not: whereas, madams,
Your choice has made you happy in your change.
This shall my dear affianc'd Tinder find
In her embraces; and in those conclude
Stol'n waters be the sweetest.
[295]

All.Excellent;
Thou shalt be styl'd th' Platonic Pythias.

Fri. Our faith is not confirm'd by oratory.
If man, he cannot falsify his trust
In offices of love; we leave our own
For your enjoyment; were there piety
In making love the anvil of your treason?
No, no; we shall not entertain a thought,
That may suggest suspicion, nor retain
In our late-widow'd breasts a crime so foul
As jealousy. Let our cornutos harbour
That marrow-eating fury. Dear Florello,
Hold my exchanged love complete in thee!

Cav. Hold same opinion of thy Caveare,
My best Caranto.

Jul. Treasure like esteem
In thy Julippe's choice, brave Palisado.

Joc. In Joculette, active Salibrand.

Med. Thy sprightliest revels, may they be reserv'd
For thy endearèd Medlar, my Morisco.

Tin. So may thy hopes be crownèd in thy Tinder,
My valiant Tilly; and rest thus resolv'd:
That th' tender tinder of my tried affection
Shall ne'er obscure its lustre, if neglect
Extinguish not that heat.

Til.May th' frigid zone
Sooner contract my sinews!

Mor.And love's grove
Become an hermit's cell!

Sal.And our revels
A sullen stoic dream.

Pal.And this exchange
A period to our joys.

Car.And our protests
Affrighting shadows.
[296]

Flo.Or (what's worst of all)
May those contents, which you expect from us,
Discover our defects, and make you wish
Your nuptial beds untouch'd.

All.May all these fall,
And crush us with their grandeur.

Ladies.Be it so,
And if our levity disvalue vows,
Or what may most oblige us: may like censure
Impeach our perish'd honours.

[They retire.

1st Boy.So: the match
Is clapp'd already up. They need no witness.

2d Boy. Trust me, they couple handsomely, as if they had been married after th' new fashion.

1st Boy. These need no dispensation. Fancy can act it without more ado. A mad match soon shuffled up!

2d Boy. But what shuffling would there be, if any of these wanton gossips should cry out before their time?

1st Boy. That cry, my dainty wag, would be soon stifled. There be many ways, as I have heard my old grannam say (who had been in her youth a Paracelsian doctor's leman), to impregnate a birth, and, by secret applications o' possems[122] and cordials, not only to facilitate, but expedite, their production.

2d Boy. And what of all this?

1st Boy. Why then, Tim, the only safe way for these gamesome macquerellas[123] is to antedate their conception before their separation. This has been an approved receipt; and, upon a long consult, found so, and returned authentic. Joy or grief produce wondrous effects in humorous[124] ladies.

[297]

2d Boy. Thou art a cunning, sifting ningle for all rogueries.

SCENE IV.

Enter again the Ladies with their Platonic Confidants.

1st Boy. What! so soon returned? upon my life, there's some amorous design on foot, either in displaying of the weakness of those rams'-heads whom they have deserted, or some pasquil of light mirth to ingratiate their late-entertained servants.

2d Boy. No drollery, for love sake:
"Facetious fancies are the least profane."

1st Boy. That's a precious strain of modesty,
Nick: make much on't: let's fasten our attentions.
They are moving.

[Boys retire again.

Flo. Dear Madam Fricase, present those scenes,
Those love-attractive scenes, your noble self
With these long-injur'd ladies tend'red
To your prudential senate.

Fri.Sure, Florello,
You much mistake them; can you call them scenes
Which just complaints exhibit? True, they might,—
They might have prov'd to us, and to our honours
That lay at stake, and by spectators thought
Highly engag'd, nay, desperately expos'd
To a judicial sentence—a decree
Of fatal consequence.

Car.But pregnant wits,
Stor'd with maturest judgment, polite tongues,
Calm'd an approaching storm.

Pal.Nay, made you gracious
Before those rigid consuls.

Sal.For my part,
[298] I never knew a good face spoil a cause,
Though th' bench were ne'er so gravely ancient:
Nor ripe in years.

Mor. Beauty's a taking bait,
Which each fish nibbles at: this Appius felt,
A reverend sage, whom furrowed brow, loose lip,
Strait line of life, a rough distemper'd cough,
Aged catarrhs, a shiver'd shell turn'd earth,
Where nought appear'd that might partake of man,
Save a weak breathing motion: yet could he
Send forth light wand'ring eyes, and court Virginia
With a dull admiration: so the bard
Describes his daring-doting appetite,
Which he pursu'd, yet thought none durst discover:
"Appius had silent tongue, but speaking eyes;
Yet who says Appius loves Virginia, lies."

Til. Not I, I vow; let age attire itself,
And in that garish habit fool his soul
With fruitless wishes. What's all this to me?
Pygmalion may with his incessant vows,
Sweet'ned with fancy's incense, seek t'enliven
Motionless marble; but such statues render
Icy content. Imagination may
Make th' image seem a Leda, yet the swan
Retains her feature and her nature too.
Let's leave these apprehensions; they suit better
With shady than essential favourites.
Good madams, second our desires; let's hear,
How you were dealt withal.

Flo. Our instancy
Begs so much favour.

Car. It will cheer our spirits
In the relation of your fair proceedings.

Mor. Where th' issue crown'd your suit with that success,
No fates seem'd more propitious.
[299]

Pal.We must leave't;
You know what longing means.

Sal.Come, who begins?

Ladies. Stay, gallants, wing not your too speedy course
With such Pegasian quickness; our consent
Should go along: our interests are concern'd
To perfect your desires.

Flo. And we presume
Your acquiescence will accomplish it.
Our mutual loves close in that harmony
That, though the airs of music still admit
Their closure in divisions, our joint strings,
So sweetly tun'd, may run their diapason
Without a discord.

Fri. By which sense we gather,
That we must prove your fiddlers?

Flo. You mistake me.
We hold you instruments; your fancies, strings,
To actuate our motion with that fulness
Arion ne'er attain'd to.

Ladies. We must yield,
Or they will storm us.

Fri. Yet let our conditions
Bring them within our lists. Well, our surprise
Must make you parties i' th' discovery.

All. For love's sake, how?

Fri. As thus: we stand at bar
T' express our grievances: and you must set
Grave censors or examinates to discuss
The weight of our complaints.

All. Content; we'll do't.

Ladies. But do't exactly, or you spoil the plot.

Car. 'Slid, doubt not, ladies, we have wit enough
To frame intergotaries, so you make answer,
And with your quickness do not puzzle us.
[300]

All. Advance, advance; let's mount, and play the consuls.

[The Confidants ascend the higher seats, erected after the form of the Roman exedras, the Ladies, with petitions in their hands, standing at the bar.

1st Boy. How will these dainty dottrels act their parts?

2d Boy. Rarely, no doubt; their audience makes them confident.

SCENE V.

Flo. Now, fair ladies, what wind has blown you hither?

Fri. The storm of our insufferable wrongs
Call unto you for justice.

Car. And your beauties
Enjoin our just assistance. Show your griefs.

1st Boy. This is a caranto-man, with all my heart! must
Beauty be his landskip on the seat of justice?

[Aside.

2d Boy.2d Boy. Pray thee, give them line.

[Aside.

Fri. Should I discover my misfortunes, consuls,
They would enforce compassion, even in strangers,
Who know not my extraction. My descent,
Besides the fortunes I deriv'd from them
Who gave me being, breeding, with whate'er
Might complete youth, or give embellishment
To Nature's curious workmanship, was known
To shine more graceful in the eye of fame
Than to remain obscure: yet see my fate—
My sad occurring fate!

Flo. Express it, madam.

Fri. I married, reverend consul, and in that
Lost both my freedom, fortune, and myself.
My former single sweet condition
[301] Clothes that remembrance in a sable weed,
Resolves mine eyes to Niobe's, whose tears
Might drop to marble, and erect an urn
T' inhume my funeral spousals.

[She feigns to weep, in resentment of her former estate.

Car. Alas! poor lady.

1st Boy. Pitiful senator, if he have not drunk some coffee to keep him waking, he will questionless fall asleep, or melt into tears, before he delivers his sentence.

[Aside.

Pal. Whence sprung this spring of infelicity?
Resolve us, madam.

Fri. From mine helpless match;
A tender stripling, whose unmanly chin
Had ne'er known razor, nor discover'd
A youthful down: yet his minority
Was by o'erpow'ring friends accounted fit
To match with my maturer growth; but time
Display'd their folly who enjoined me to't.
And (my misfortune most) light was his brain,
But weaker far his strength to satisfy
Those lawful nuptial heats which breathe[125] in us
An active fire. Now I appeal to you,
Judicious consuls.

2d Boy. Hold there, madam, under favour; these brave senators you appeal to are more for execution than judgment.

[Aside.

Fri. Could the patience
Of Grisel, were she living, reap content
In such enjoyments? Could she suffer youth,
Quicken'd with blooming fancy, to expire,
And quench her heat with such an useless snuff?

Flo. A match insufferable!

Car. Opposing nature!

[302] Pal. Nay, what in time would quite depopulate,
And make the world a desert.

Sal. Higher wrongs
Cannot inflicted be on womankind.

Til. Nor aspersing more dishonour on that sex,
That most endearèd sex, to which we owe
Ourselves and fortunes; for should their choice beauties
Suffer a pillage by desertless hands,
Forc'd to a loathed bed, and made a prey
To seared age, or to unripen'd youth:
How soon might these unparallel'd deities,
By fixing their affections on strange faces
And their more graceful posture, which they valued
Above their churlish consorts, become strangers
To their due spousal rites? How soon engage
Their honour to th' embraces of a servant
Of brave deportment, sprightly eyes, neat limbs:
A virile presence and a countenance
'Twixt Ajax and Adonis; neither fierce
Nor too effeminate, but mix'd 'twixt both:
Neither too light to scorn, nor stern to loathe.
'Twas this brought Troy to ruin; for had Helen
Espous'd where she had lov'd, poor Menelaus
Had ne'er been branch'd, nor Troy reduc'd to flames;
Nor Priam and his Hecuba [been] the grounds
Of sad succeeding stories.

1st Boy. A gallant consult, trust me; he has got by heart the ballad of "The Destruction of Troy" to a syllable.

[Aside.

Flo. Honour'd colleague,
You show yourself both learn'd and eloquent.
Madam, be pleased to solace discontent
With a retir'd repose. We have discuss'd
And balanced the grandeur of your wrongs
In a judicious scale, and shall apply
[303] Proper receipts to your aggrievances,
When we have heard the rest.

1st Boy. Receipts of their own application, I warrant thee.

[Aside.

Car. Madam Caveare,
You here appear as a complainant too?

Cav. And none more justly: ne'er was woman match'd
To such a stupid, sottish animal:
One that's compos'd of nonsense, and so weak
In masculine abilities, he ne'er read
The "Wife of Bath's Tale," nor what thing might please
A woman best; my curtain-lectures have
No influence on him. I must confess
He's simply honest; but what's that to me?
He apprehends not what concerns a woman:
Nor what may suit her quality in state
And fit dimension.

Car. A most unfitting husband!

Cav. It was my parents' caution, I remember;
But 'twas my sad fate not t' observe[126] that lesson—
Never to fix my fancy on a person
Who had no sage in's pate, lest progeny of fools
Should make my race unhappy: this has made
My thoughts mere strangers to his weak embraces;
Nor shall I e'er affect him.

Flo.Madam, no law
Would in the Spartan state enjoin a lady
So nobly accomplished to confine
Her fancy to such fury.

Pal.This objection
Admits no long debate.

Sal.Her rich deserts,
Adorn'd with such choice native faculties,
And grac'd with art to make them more complete,
[304] In humane reason should exempt her youth
From such a servile yoke.

Mor. In ancient times,
When wisdom guarded senates, a decree,
Confirmed by public vote, enacted was,
That none should marry till he had observ'd
Domestic discipline; and first to bear
With a composed garb th' indignities
Of a Xantippe, if his fortune were
To cope with such a fury: and to calm
Her passion with his patience. Now, grave colleagues,
What comfort might this injur'd lady drain,
In these punctilios which import her state,
From this insensate sot?

Til.Exchange his bed,
And sue his patent for the Fatuano;
And, to display him to his visitants
In clearer colours, let this motto be
Engraven on those walls, deep-ach'd with time,
"Defective in his head-piece, here he lies,
Object of scorn to all surveying eyes."

2d Boy. So, poor scatterbrain, he has got his judgment already.

[Aside.

Car. Praxiteles could ne'er portray him better,
Nor lodge his sconce more fitly. You may, madam,
Conceive how sensibly we feel your wounds,
And with what promptness we shall expedite
Your long-expected cure.

Pal.Madam Julippe,
You come next in rank; declare your griefs,
And if our judgments hold them meriting
Our just relief, we have compassionate hearts
And powerful hands to vindicate your wrongs
To th' utmost scruple.

Jul.If they weigh not heavy,
Let me incur your censure. Patriots—
For I appeal to your judicious bosoms,
[305] Where serious justice has a residence
Mix'd with a pious pity—I shall unravel
The clue of my misfortunes in small threads,
Thin-spun as is the subtle gossamer.[127]
Deep wounds, like griefs, require contracted lines;
Few words, long sighs: accents that want express.
First give me leave one beamling to bestow
On my obscur'd, once glorious, family.

All. Madam, proceed; Fame made it eminent.

Jul. But now contemptive—by marrying one
Who bears the shape of man, and that is all:
A base, white-liver'd coward, whose regard
To his lost honour stamps him with that brand,
That hateful stigma, which humanity
Scorns as the basest complice.

Pal. Style it, madam.

Jul. Pusillanimity. That ranter breathes not,
Who with his peek'd mouchatoes[128] may not brave him,
Baffle, nay baste him out of his possessions.
His fortunes he esteems not, so his person
May be secur'd from beating.

All. Matchless coward!

Jul. Nor is this all. 'Has sought t' engage my bed,
My nuptial bed and honour—nay, those sheets
Where, I may safely vow, ne'er man lay in,
Beside my husband.

2d Boy. Very like; but how many when he was not there?

[Aside.

Flo. No misfortune worse,
Nor humour hateful to a virile spirit,
Whereof your noble family partakes,
Than want of courage.

Pal. Tush, sir, that's not all.
[306] Her line, in time, might grow degenerate,
And blanch the living memory of those
From whence she came.

Cav. There's none who here appears
Before you, conscript consuls, but can give
Store of evincing instances of this:
For matching with Sir Jasper Simpleton,
An hairbrain'd puppy, most of all my brood
Run like shell-headed lapwings in careers,
Just as their own supposed father did,
Simple Sir Jasper, whose small dose of sense
Proportion'd their discretion—till a change
Impregnated me more wisely.

Fri.So did I
Suffer in my raw, puny Amadin;
Though all my fears summ'd up their period,
And in it crown'd my wishes for one boy
(Who, while he lives, I think, will prove a boy),
I had by my young stripling, who can trace
His father's steps directly: all his games,
Wherein his lineal youth takes sole delight
Are yert-point, nine-pins, job-nut, or span-counter,
Or riding cock-horse, which his dad admires,
Smiling to see such horsemanship perform'd.
Now I appeal to you, whose judgments are
Maturely serious, if these tomboy tricks
Might not perplex me, and enforce me too,
To act what my affections prompt me do?

Joc. If one complain of the minority
Of her thin-downy consort, and you, madam,
Of his simplicity whom you have choos'd,
And you, Julippe, of his cowardice
Whom with averseness you have made your spouse,
What grounds of discontent may I conceive,
Unhappy Joculette, in my choice—
My nightly torture, whose embraces be
[307] Worse than those snaky windings unto me,
Dipt in Medusa's charms.

Car.Unbare your wound.

2d Boy. Nay, let that be the least of your fears; she'll do that to a hair.

[Aside.

Joc. Know, then, judicious consuls,
These arms are forc'd t' enwreathe a shapeless mass
Of all deformity, a bear unlick'd:
One whom Thersites, that disfigur'd Greek,
So far excell'd in native lineaments,
Proportion, feature, and complexion
(All rare attractives to the eye of love),
As amorous Narcissus in his prime
Surpass'd the roughest sylvan that the woods
E'er nurs'd or harbour'd. Yet enjoin'd am I
To hug this centaur, who appears to me
A prodigy in Nature.

All.'Tis a fate
Exacts compassion, and deserves redress.

Flo. Such a complete and exquisite beauty
Accomplish'd in all parts!

Car.Nay, qualifi'd
With rarity of arts to make her sex
With pious emulation to admire
Her choice perfections——

Pal.And all these obscur'd,
Soil'd, sullied, perish'd by th' immeriting touch
Of a misshapen boor!

Sal.Such precious gems,
Set in ignoble metals, cannot choose
But much detract from th' native graceful lustre,
Which they retain'd, by means of that base ore
Impales their orient splendour.

Mor.This is nothing
To th' injury her lineage may receive
From his deformity.
[308]

Til.I must confess
That threat'neth much of danger: yet I read not
That Vulcan's poult foot or his smutted look
Black'ned with Lemnian sea-coal, brought the issue
Begot by Venus, if he any got,
To change their amorous physnomy.

Mor. He may thank
Mars for that active courtesy, or it had
Disfigur'd much his spurious progeny.

Flo. Well, madam, we compassionate your choice
In your Sir Gregory Shapeless, and shall find
A quick receipt to cure your discontent
With a new-moulded and more pleasing feature
Than your sad fate enjoys. Repose, till we
Have run through all your griefs, and felt your pulses.

2d Boy. For shame's sake, no further, my dainty doctors.

[Aside.

Flo. With th' symptoms or gradations as they stream
In your desertless sufferings; paroxysms,
Or what extremes may most surprise your fancies:
In these our serious judgments shall supply
Such sov'reign cordials as you shall not need
No use nor application of more help
Than what we shall prepare. Let this suffice:
It rests in us to cure your maladies—
Excuse us, Madam Medler; these debates
Have kept us from discovery of your wrongs.

Med. Than which none more depressive—would you judge
Th' musician good that wants his instrument?
Or any artisan, who goes to work
Without provision of a proper tool,
To manage that employment? Modesty
[309] Bids me conceal the rest: my secret wants
Require an active tongue; but womanhood
Enjoins me silence.

Mor. 'Las! I'm sensible
Of her aggrievance, ere her dialect
Can give it breath or accent.

Med. But you say—
And our experience has inform'd us, too—
In that essential truth, that we must first
Disclose our wounds, if we expect a cure:
Let your impartial judgments, then, give ear
To a distressed lady's just complaint.
In my first years, as now I am not old,
My friends resolved to supply a portion,
Which my descent (though good) could not afford,
To match my youth unto a man of age,
Whose nest was richly feather'd, stor'd of all
But native vigour, which express'd itself
As if all radical humour had been drench'd
In a chill shady bed of cucumbers
Before our nuptial night. Oft had I begg'd.
With sighs and tears, that this unequal match
Might be diverted; but it might not be.
The fulness of his fortunes winged them
To consummate the match: this pleased them,
But me displeas'd, whom it concerned most.

Flo. The issue, madam?

Med. None; nor ever shall
With that sear, suckless kex.

Mor. Never was lady
So rarely beautifi'd, so highly wrong'd.

Car. What flinty worldling[s] were those friends of yours
To value fortunes more than your content!

Pal. To prostitute your honour to a clod
Of mould'red earth!
[310]

Sal. And in an icy bed
To starve your blooming comforts?

Til. This exceeds
All spousal suffering, which preceding times
In our Italian stories ever read,
Or in their sable annals register'd.

Flo. Much of Sir Tristram Shorttool (so I think
Men call your husband) have I ofttimes heard,
And his penurious humour. But your wrongs
Were strangers to me, till your own relation
Display'd their quality; which to allay,
Nay, quite remove, transmit the care to us
And our directions, to supply your wants.
We should be just to all, but still retain
A bosom-pity to the weaker sex.
If we observ'd not this with tenderness,
We should not merit this judicial seat,
Whereto——

1st Boy.These Dabrides rais'd you.

[Aside.

Til. Now, Madam Tinder, your aggrieves are last.

Tin. But not the least. What woman could endure
In spousal rights to have a stranger share
In her enjoyments? or remain depriv'd
Of her propriety by losing those
Appropriate dues which nature has ordain'd,
And sacred rights approv'd? You see I'm young,
And youth expects that tribute which our sex
May challenge by descent.

All.Her plea is good.

Tin. Would you not, reverend consuls, hold it strange
To see a savage, unconfined bull,
When th' pasture's fruitful, and the milk-pail full,
And all delights that might content a beast,
Range here and there, and break into those grounds
[311] Which are less fertile, and where neither shade
Affords him umbrage, nor smooth-running brooks
Streams to allay his thirst: nay, where the grass,
Too strow[129] for fodder, and too rank for pasture,
Would generate more fatal maladies
Than a whole college of state empirics
Or country farriers had art to cure?

Flo. Such bullocks, madam, well deserve a baiting.

Til. And beating too!

Tin. Yet this is my condition:
For marrying one Sir Reuben Scattergood,
A person in appearance like enough,
And well-dispos'd for aught my watchful eyes
Could long discover; but, his father dead,
And his revenues by his death swol'n great,
His nuptial bed he leaves, and entertains
Such mercenary prostitutes as fancy—
His loose-exposed fancy—lur'd him to.

Car. Injurious ribald!

Pal. Hateful libertine!

Til. Had she been old, or crook'd, or any way
Deform'd.

Sal. Or ill-condition'd.

Mor.Or averse,
When he was active.

Flo. Or run retrograde
To his just pleasures: these might have abridg'd
And weaken'd his affection. But when beauty,
Composed temper, and a graceful presence,
Cloth'd both with majesty and a sweet smile
Of such attractive quality, as the adamant
Cannot more virtually enforce its object,
Than these impressive motives of content:
He merits not the title of a man,
[312] Much less the embraces of so choice a spouse,
Who violates his faith, deceives her trust.

Car. I am directly, sir, of your opinion.

Pal. So I.

Mor. And I.

All. So all of us concur,
To make our judgments more unanimous.

Tin. And, to confirm't, may you be pleas'd to give
Attention to a story I shall tell,
As true as strange, to manifest th' affronts
My patience has endur'd, and to what height
His luxury ascended.

All. Madam, do;
We shall lend ready ears to your discourse.

Tin. It chanc'd one day,—and ofttimes so it chanc'd,
For doubtful thoughts have ever jealous eyes,—
That my suspicion had begot a fear
That my neglectful husband had a kindness,
And more than usual, unto my maid—
A proper maid, if so she might be call'd:
Now, to possess myself whether those grounds
Whereon I built might just inducements be
Of my late-hatch'd fears, I made pretence,
(What is it jealousy will not design?)
To go from home. But this was no recede,
But a retire: for in the ev'ning-time,
When these two amorous pair expected least
Such an unwelcome visit, I repair'd
To a close arbour set with sycamores,
The tamarisk, and sweet-breath'd eglantine,
That local object which I fix'd upon,
Not of myself, but by direction,
Where I found out what I suspected long:
Such wanton dalliance as the Lemnian smith
Never discover'd more, when he prepar'd
[313] His artful net t' enwreath his Eriena
Impal'd in Mars his arms.

All. Could you contain
Your passion in such Aretine a posture?

Tin. With much reluctancy I did indeed,
Curbing my temper, which was much enrag'd,
With this too mild expression, "Fie, for shame!
Minion, I'll have none of this work, not I."
"You may, when it is offer'd you," said he.

1st Boy. Ha, ha, ha! this was a bold-fac'd niggler;[130] trust me, wag.

[Aside.

Flo. Was't not enough for him t' enjoy his pleasure,
But he must jeer you too?

Car. As if you were
A stale to his light dalliance!

Pal. Or a scorn to his embraces!
Was her servile beauty,
Expos'd to sale, dishonour of her sex,
To be compar'd to yours?

Sal. Whose native splendour,
Without the help of art, which makes complexion
By borrow'd colours much unlike itself:
May challenge a prerogative i' th' rank
Of our completest features.

Mor.It seems strange,
How you could brook th' affront without revenge
On that insulting prostitute.

Til.No doubt
She would take hold of opportunity
By th' foretop, and repair her pressing wrongs
By private satisfactions; which works best,
When their revenge seems sleeping and at rest.
[314] This lady would not rate her worth so small,
As to forego both use and principal.

2d Boy. No, reverend favourite, you will find this madam Spitfire of a keener metal than so. She's right tinder: no sooner touch than take.

[Aside.

Flo. Ladies, we've heard your different complaints,
Forcing our just compassion and resolves
To tender your condition, and redress.
What may the purport be of your petition,
Relating to your grievances?

All-Ladies. A freedom
From our disrelish'd beds.

All-Platonics. 'Tis granted you.

Ladies. With alimony to support our state
In this division.

Plat. Your suit is just;
Should we oppose it, we might wrong ourselves.

1st Boy. Very likely; for they mean to be made whole sharers both in their persons and personal estates. This is brave judicial brokage.

[Aside.

Flo. Speak, fellow-colleagues, shall I limit them,
What we in justice hold expedient
For th' alimonal charge proportion'd them,
And in what measure to supply their wants?

All. Do so, Florello; we shall second it.

Flo. Thus, I conceive, these ladies have resign'd
Their title, property and interest,
In whole and not in part, which they enjoy'd
In their defective husbands. Were't not just
In lieu o' th' whole, which they have here disclaim'd,
That they should seize upon the moiety
Of their revenues, whom they've here deserted
As useless instruments unto the state?

Plat. A just proportion.
[315]

Ladies. We submit to it.

2d Boy. And so ye may well, if your husbands will yield to't.

1st Boy. These be nimble shavers, Nick, as well
as sharers; they know how to cut large thongs
out of other folks' leather.[131]

[Aside.

Flo. This crowns our wishes, when with joint consent
We close our votes, and render you content.

Car. Dismount, dismount, let's exercise no more
These purple seats; their stories stand too high
For our ascent: only let's thus much know,
Whether our parts were acted well or no.

[They descend.

Ladies. Above expectance. Singular in all,
But best in your conclusion.

Fri. You did well
In your proportioning of our alimony,
Moulded to th' moiety of their estates
Whom we have justly left; but we had less
Allotted us in more authentic courts.

Pal. That was not in our verge to regulate.

Cav. Nor skills it much; we have a competence
Aspiring to exceedings; and in this
More bless'd, because exempted from those bonds,
Which our long servitude enchain'd us to.

Flo. Of consuls, then, which title we usurp'd
To cheer your fancies, we shall now become
Your servants, confidants, or favourites,
Or how you please to style us. We are all
Affianc'd yours: firm as the solid rock
In your reserved councils, and what may
Hold correspondence with your interests,
But soft and malleable as liquid amber
In its resolving temper, when delight
[316] Shall sport it in your bosom, and admit
A sociable dalliance.

Fri. Your free discourse,
Grounded on former proofs of constancy,
Has so endear'd me, I am wholly yours.

Cav. Madam, we mean not you shall have it so:
You've broke the ice, and we will trace your steps.
Former experience has engaged me
To fix on my Caranto.

Jul. Palisado shall
Enjoy my love.

Joc. I for my Salibrand.

Med. Morisco mine.

Tin. Tinder shall Tilly's be.

Til. Pure tender Tinder of affection,
The new-blown bloom, that craves a native warmth
To cherish its young growth, shall not receive
More solace from those orient rays which shine
On its fresh-springing beauty, than your choice
Shall in my dear embraces.

Tin. I shall try you.

1st Boy. Thus walks the poor gentlemen's revenues to raise these doxies' alimony: and thus runs their alimony to feed these youngsters' riot.

[Aside.

Pla. Our joy's completed. Seal this joint conveyance
With those ambrosiac signets of your lips.

[They kiss.

"One house did hold, one house shall hold us twain;
Once did we kiss, and we will kiss again."

2d Boy. How turtle-like they couple!

[Aside.

[317]

SCENE VI.

Upon these Platonics' private parlance, dalliance, and embraces of the Ladies, Enter Sir Amadin Puny, Sir Jasper Simpleton, Sir Arthur Heartless, Sir Gregory Shapeless, Sir Tristram Shorttool, Sir Reuben Scattergood, in a melancholy, discontented mood, with their hats over their eyes.

Sir Ama. Is this th' platonic law, all things in common?

Sir Jas. Must all forego their wives that are not wise?

Sir Art. Or be divorc'd, because we dare not fight?

Sir Gre. Or lose our mates, because we are not handsome?

Sir Tris. Nay, 'cause we are not arm'd so well as others be,
Forfeit our consort and our fortunes too?

Sir Reu. Yes, that's the plague on't. Lose a light-heeled trull—
That in my judgment's nothing; but to lose all
Or moiety of that all, or any part at all
For a poor nifling[132] toy that's worse than nothing,
'Tis this that nettleth me! I must confess
Tinder, that light-skirt, with impetuous heat
Sometimes pursu'd me, till that quenchless fire
Burst into flames of boundless jealousy,
Which cross'd mine humour; for variety
Relish'd my palate. Phœnix' brains be rare;
But if our dishes had no other fare,
[318] They would offend the stomach, and so sate it,
As grosser meats would give a better taste:
Such was my surfeit to a marriage-bed;
My fortunes I prefer before her beauty,
Or what may most content the appetite.
Money will purchase wenches; but this want—
This roguish thing called want—makes wanton thoughts
Look much unlike themselves: 'tis this white metal
Enliveneth spirits, knits our arteries
Firm as Alcides. He that binds himself
Apprentice to his wife merely for love,
May he, pen-feathered widgeon, forfeit's freedom,
With whatsoe'er is dearest to the vogue
Of his affections. She were a rare piece
That could engage me, or oblige me hers
With all those ceremonial rites which Flamens use
To Hymen's honour. Beauty, still say I,
Will breed a surfeit, be it ne'er so choice
Nor eye-attractive. I should choose a grave
Before one mistress all mine interest have.
O my alimony, alimony! this is the goad that only prickles me.

Pla. Those be your husbands, ladies;—how pitifully they look?

Ladies. Alas, poor cuckolds!

Knights. Ladies, we were sometimes your husbands.

[These Platonics discover the Knights, and scornfully eye them.

Ladies. True,
You were so: but your known defects have raz'd
That style of wedlock, and enfranchis'd us
From that tyrannic yoke. We're now our own;
Nor shall our beds by you be henceforth known.

Sir Ama. What have I done?
[319]

Fri. Nothing, Sir Amadin.
And that's sufficient to divide us two.
Your puny years must grow in strength and sinews
To prove you man, before you can partake
In my enjoyments; the court has so decreed,
And by resentment of that injury
Your blooming youth, unripened for delight,
Has done to me, your hapless virgin bride,
Held fit to number me amongst these ladies,
All different sufferers; and for supportance
(As everything, you know, would gladly live)
Allots us alimony.

Flo. So his score is paid.

[Aside.

Sir Jas. Madam, look on Sir Jasper.

Cav. Honest simpleton,
And so I will, just as the fowler is wont
On a catch'd dottrel; till your wasted brain
Rise to more growth, I from my widow'd bed
Will rise untouch'd: these breasts shall never give
Their nursing teats unto a brood of fools.

Car. So, good Sir Jasper, you've your doom in folio.[133]

[Aside.

Sir Art. Receive me, dear Julippe.

Jul. For what end?
Have you stol'n from your colours? O, I hate
A coward worser than a maidenhead
Basely bestow'd. These Paphlagonian birds—
These heartless partridges—shall never nestle
Under my feathers. Till your spirit revive,
And look like man, disclaim your interest
And injur'd title in Julippe.

Pal. So;
He must first learn to fight, ere she to love.

[Aside.

Joc. What would Sir Gregory?
[320]

Sir Gre. That you would love me.

Joc. No; you must cast your slough first: can you see
Ought in yourself worth loving? Have you ever,
Since our unhappy meeting, us'd a glass,
And not been startled in the sad perusal
Of your affrightful physnomy? Sir, hear me;
And let me beg your patience, if you hear
Aught may disrelish you. When th' camel shall
Trans-shape himself into a nimble weasel,
Or such-like active creature, and this bunch,
Which Nemesis has on your shoulders pitch'd
(This bunch of grapes, I mean) shall levell'd be,

[She lays her hand upon his shoulders.

And brought into proportion by a press
Equally squeezing, till it shall retain
Adonis' feature, I shall value you,
And hug you for my consort. But till then
Excuse my strangeness.

Sal. So; his cause is heard:
He must unshape himself to gain her love.

Med. Sir Tristram Shorttool, have you ought to do
In this pursuit of fancy?

Sir Tris. Something, madam.

Med. But to small[134] purpose. Sir Tristram, you have been
A man of reading, and on winter nights
You told me tales (for that was all[135] you did),
What strange adventures and what gallant acts
Redoubted knights did for their ladies' sakes;
But what did you for Medler all the while?
Did you e'er toss a pike or brandish blade
For her dear sake? Go to, I shall conceal,
[321] And with a modest, bashful veil enshroud
What sense bids me discover. Let me, sir,
Advise you as a friend; for other styles,
Relating to an husband, I shall never
Henceforth resent them with a free comply:
Love suits not well with your decrepit age;
Let it be your chief care t' intend your health;
Use caudles, cordials, julips, pectorals;
Keep your feet warm; bind up your nape o' th' neck
Close against chilling airs, that you may live
An old man long; but take especial care
You button on your nightcap.

Mor. After th' new fashion
With his loave-ears[136] without it.

[Aside.

Med. This is all—
Only your absence.

Mor. So good night, Sir Tristram.

[Aside.

Sir Reu. Sweet Madam Tinder.

[Sir Reuben offers to kiss her.

Tin. Keep your distance, sir;
I love not to be touch'd.

Sir Reu. Are you so hot,
My tender tinder?

Tin. No, sir; look to the clime
Where you inhabit; there's the torrid zone.

Til. Yea, there goes the hare[137] away!

[Aside.

Sir Reu. Can you not love?

Tin. Not one that loves so many.

Sir Reu. 'Las, pretty peat!

[Offers to touch her.

Tin. Pray, sir, hold off your hand;
Truck with your low-pric'd traders; I must tell you
Mine honour's higher rated.

Sir Reu. Be it so;
I wish you would disclaim your alimony
[322] With that indiff'rent touch as you do love,
You should not need a dispensation, madam;
It should be granted unpetitioned!

Tin. I'm confident it would; nor shall the coolness
Of your affection bring me to an ebb
Of favour with myself. Plant where you please,
I'll henceforth scorn to hug my own disease.

Til. So, Sir Reuben's despatched, and, like a ranger, may tappis[138] where he likes.

[Aside.

Sir Reu. But hark you, madam; what be these brave blades
That thus accoutre you? Are they your Platonics,
Hectors, or champion-haxters,[139] pimps or palliards,
Or your choice cabinet-confidants?

Tin. You may exact accompt from them.

Sir Reu. No, but I will not;
Long since I've heard a proverb made me wise,
And arm'd me cap-a-pie 'gainst such accounts:
"Whos'e'er he be that tugs with dirty foes,
He must be soil'd, admit he win or lose."

Tin. Shall I acquaint them with your adage, sir?

Sir Reu. Do, if you please.

Tin. No, sir, I am too tender
Of your endanger'd honour. Should a baffle
Engage your fame, and I the instrument,
It would disgust me.

Sir Reu. You are wondrous kind;
But, pray you, tell me, is this favourite,
Or turnkey of your council, in the rank
Of generous Hectors? I would be resolv'd,
For it concerns me.
[323]

Tin. Pray, good sir, as how?

Sir Reu. Since 'tis my fate, I would be branched nobly,
Lest mine adulterate line degenerate,
And raze the ancient splendour of mine house,
As many noble families have done
By mixing with inferior apple-squires,
Grooms, pages, ushers, which in time begot
Such middle wits in this our middle region,
None could distinguish them from Corydons,
Nor well discover whence they might derive
Their prime descent, unless it were by th' crest
Their footmen wore, or what their coach presented
In its rear quarter. All your Sir Reuben begs
Aims mainly at your honour's privilege,
Which shielded, I'm secure; and it is this:
"Let choice hands meddle with your tinder-box!"

Tin. Make that your least of fears. We'll keep our fame,
Amidst this freedom, still unblemished.

Knights. So we have all receiv'd their final answers.

Sir Reu. Now[140] do I mean to draw up my rejoinder.
"He who will lose his wits or break his heart
For such a wench as will not take his part,
And will not shun what he may safely fly,
May he a Bedlam or a beggar die!"

Knights. Farewell, inconstant ladies.

Ladies. Adieu, constant Acteons.

[Exeunt omnes, the Ladies ushered in by their Confidants.


[324]

ACT III., SCENE 1.

Enter Two Citizens.

1st Cit. Is it for certain that the duke's voyage holds for Salamanca?

2d Cit. No doubt on't; his resolution is so firmly fixed no motion can decline it; and if we may credit Fame (which seldom errs in all, though it exceed in many), never was fleet more bravely rigged, better prepared, nor with more military strength furnished, nor more virile spirits accompanied, nor by more expert commanders at any time since the battle of Lepanto conducted.

1st Cit. It was thought he would not personally have engaged himself in this adventure, but have deputed some experienced general for perfecting this grand design, and imposing a final period to an action of such high consequence.

2d Cit. 'Tis true: but those many aggrievances, aggravated with numerous petitions presented by our Seville merchants, wrought such strong effects upon the sweet, compassionate nature of the good duke, as endeared that[141] resentment, which he retained upon those merchants' relation, touching the infinitely surcharging losses which they had suffered through the hostile piracy of the Salamancans, as he made a solemn vow to engage himself in their quarrel, and either revenge the injuries and indignities they had sustained, or seal his just desires with the sacrifice of his dearest life.

1st Cit. Were the merchant-losses great?

2d Cit. In shipping infinite, and by accomptants of approved trust computed to many millions;[325] for, besides vessels of lesser burthen in one sea-voyage being driven by contrary winds upon the coasts of Calabria, they lost at one time The Panther, Libbard,[142] Bugle, Antelope, caracts[143] of great and formidable sail, such as would have made their party good against all assailants, had they not been dispersed and weakened by violent tempests, besides the unexpected hurricane, which dashed all the endeavours of the best pilots that all their fleet afforded: yet, reduced to this strait and sad exigent, they found no islander so compassionate as to pity their deplorable condition, but rather such as were ready to add fresh affliction to their late suffering, by seizing on whatsoever remained estimable in their freeborn vessels, and exposing them, without the least remonstrance of humanity or civil hospitality, to the mercy of the winds. This it was which winged the duke to this expedition, choosing, as report goes, the Revenge for his ship-of-war, and that only man-of-war wherein he means to steer his course, return his errand, and requite his quarrel.

1st Cit. The duke's a person of a gallant spirit.

2d Cit. I dare affirm it, sir, that the state of Seville was never with more prowess, prudence, nor martial policy at any time managed, which not only his prosperous exploits abroad (than which none were more successive[144]), but likewise his vigilant care and command at home, may sufficiently manifest. For his late declaration under his great seal has discovered the incomparable zeal he had of serving both court and city, in commanding all such useless and incommodious weeds as trepanners, tarpaulins, with all our abusively entitled Hectors,[326] that they should by a peremptory day depart the city and line of communication in relation to the court: since which time they have resolved, for want of better supplies, to hazard the remainder of their broken fortunes upon a desperate adventure for Tunis.

1st Cit. In such glorious designs, levelling at honour, they declare themselves really Hectors.

Enter a Mariner.

2d Cit. What news, Segasto?

Mar. The duke's upon his march, and near approaching.

1st Cit. How quick's his spirit to redress our wrongs!

[Citizens stand aside.[145]

SCENE II.

Trumpets and kettle-drums sounding, with other martial music usually observed in that country.

Enter Duke Eugenio, Officers, and Soldiers with colours displayed.

Duke. Thus far on our address![146] May prosperous gales
Breathe on our sails: sails, on our just designs
In vindicating of our country's fame,
Too long impair'd by suffering injuries;
Till which redress'd, our honour lies at stake,
And we made aliens to our own estate.
[327] March on then bravely, that it may appear
"Our courage can revenge as well as bear."

[They march over the stage with trumpets, fifes, drums, and colours, and go out; manentibus civibus.

1st Cit. This gallant resolve of the duke, pursued with such alacrity, can never be sufficiently admired; and to engage his person, too, in so perilous adventure!

2d Cit. And all this in vindication of the merchants' honour, and their interest.

1st Cit. Trust me, he appears bravely.

2d Cit. His disposition from his youth foretold
What's manhood would assay——whence comes this noise?

Enter Boy.

Boy. Room for our bravoes, cadets! they march along in ranks and files; their pockets grow shallow; the taverns and ordinaries they vow to be infidels, so as they have enlisted themselves soldiers of fortune.

1st Cit. These be those trepanners whom the duke
Has proscribed, or I mistake it.
Let us observe their posture.

SCENE III.

Enter Captain, Trepanners, Tarpaulins, with other runagadoes, orderly marching, and in the rear, Benhadad, a Quaker, with tobacco-pipes.

1st Tre. Rouse, buckets and tubs! Hey for Tunis and Argiers.[147]

[328]

Capt. Keep your ranks, my comrades, and fight valiantly.

2d Tre. What else, captain? We cheated before for nothing, and now, having nothing, we mean to fight for something.

3d Tre. 'Slid, bullies, I think the duke has done us a pleasure.

1st Tre. Pray thee, how, boy?

3d Tre. I'll tell thee the short and long on't. Before, if any of us had been so valiant (as few of us were) as to borrow money on the highway, we were sometimes forced to repay it at the gibbet: but the world is turned upside down; if we get it, we may keep it, and never answer for it.

1st Tre. Hey, boy, art thou in that lock?[148] But, noble lance-presado,[149] let us have a sea-sonnet, before we launch forth in our adventure-frigate. They say the syrens love singing.

Capt. Agreed, wags. But which shall we have?

1st Tre. That old catch of Tunis and Argiers; good captain, it suits best with our voyage.

Capt. To't then, my Hectors; and keep your elas[150] as you do your march. The syrens will not relish you, if you sing out o' tune.[151]

The Sea-Song.[152]

Capt. To Tunis and to Argiers, boys!
Great is our want, small be our joys.
[329] Let's then some voyage take in hand
To get us means by sea or land.
Come, follow me, my boys, come follow me,
And if thou die, I'll die with thee.

[They join in the close.

Hast thou a wife? I have one too,
And children some, as well as thou;
Yet who can see his brats to starve
So long as he has strength to serve?
Come, follow me, my cubs, come follow me,
And if thou die, I'll die with thee.

[He fixeth his eyes as upon objects in a landskip.

Methinks, my boys, I see the store
Of precious gems and golden ore;
Arabian silks and sables pure
Would make an haggard stoop to th' lure.
Come, follow me, &c.

No worthless mind e'er honour sought;
Let's fight as if we feared nought.
If bullets fly about our ears,
Let's laugh at death, and banish fears.
Come, follow me, &c.

And if thou canst not live so stench,[153]
But thou must needs enjoy thy wench,
If thou, my boy, such pleasure crave,
A dainty doxy thou shalt have.
Come, follow me, &c.

Courage, my sparks, my knights o' th' sun;
Let Seville fame what we have done.
We'd better ten times fight a foe
Than once for all to Tyburn go.
Come, follow me, &c.
[330]

Come, let's away, mount, march away;
This calm portends a prosperous day.
When we return, it shall be said
That by our voyage we are made.
Come, follow me, &c.

But if we ne'er again return,
Enclose our ashes in an urn,
And with them spice a wassal-cup,
And to Good Fellows drink it up.
Come, follow me, &c.

Which health, when it is gone about,
And stoutly set their foot unto't,
No doubt they shall enrolled be
I' th' Book of Fame, as well as we.
Come, follow me, spruce sprigs, come follow me,
And, if thou fall, I'll fall with thee.

Enter a rank of Tarpaulins, pressed for the same adventure, marching over the stage, and joining in the catch, an health-cup in the leader's hand.

Tar.   When this grand health is gone about,
Where you as stoutly stood unto't,
Doubt not you shall recorded be
I' th' Book of Fame, as well as we.
March after me, &c.

And when this bowl shall run so round
Your legs can stand upon no ground,
Fear not, brave blades,[154] but you shall be
Sworn brothers made as well as we.
March after me, &c.
[331]

No other obsequies we crave,
Nor quaint inscriptions on our grave;
A simple shroud's a soldier's share,
Which if he want he needs not care.
March after me, &c.

Such vails are all we wish at last,
Which if we want, the care is past.
This done, to think of us were just—
Who drink not get[155] as dry as dust.
March after me, &c.

While you act what we did before,
Discharge with chalk[156] the hostess' score;
And if the hussy[157] challenge more,
Charm th' maundring gossip with your roar.
March after me, we'll frolic be,
And, if thou die, I'll die with thee.

SCENE IV.

Benhadad furiously accosts them.

Ben. I proclaim you all Edomites; dragooners of Dagon; ding-dongs of Dathan! A generation of vipers!

1st Tre. No, father Benhadad, your gravity is mistaken grossly; we are rather a generation of pipers!

[They smoke tobacco.

2d Tre. Go to, holy Benhadad; stand you to your calling as we to our arms. Thou art for converting the Great Turk, and we for lining our[332] pockets with Tunis gold. Where if we get our design, hold to thy principles, but no further than thou canst maintain them, and we shall create thee our household chaplain.

Enter Mariner.

Mar. To sea, to sea! the winds are prosperous.

Capt. And may we prosper with them! So farewell Seville and her dainty doxies.

All. Ran-tan! hey for Tunis and Argiers!

[Exeunt colours displayed, with fifes and drums.

1st Cit. Such was the duke's care to remove those weeds,
Whose fatal growth might choke maturer seeds.

2d Cit. Good governors wise gardeners imitate:
These cheer their plants; those steer a planted state.

[Exeunt.

Tril. [From the high gallery.] I cannot, gentlemen, contain myself.

Tim. Thy genius has surpass'd itself;
Thy scene is richly various: prease on still;
These galleries applaud thy comic skill.

[He takes his seat again.

SCENE V.

Enter Constable and Watch, in rug gowns, bills, and dark lanthorns.

Con. Come along with your horns, my lads of metal. It was the duke's pleasure before his departure, that we should be appointed the sinks and sentinels of the city, and that none shall have ingress, egress, or regress but by our special authority[333] and favour. But, harm watch, harm catch: for my part, since I crept into this office, I am woven into such a knot of good fellowship, as I can watch no more than a dormouse: nay, I am verily persuaded, if I hold constable long, the deputy of the ward will return me one of the Seven Sleepers. But let me advise you, my birds of the Capitol, that you walk not after my example: be it your care to watch, while I sleep. Many eyes are upon you; but my eyes grow heavy; my day's society bids me take a nap.

Watch. But one word, good master, before you drop into your slumber: report goes, that there be spirits that patrol familiarly in this sentry; what shall we say to them, if they pass by?

Con. Bid them stand.[158]

Watch. But what if they either cannot or will not?

Con. Let them then take themselves to their heels, and thank God you are so well rid of them.

Watch. One word more, good constable, and then good night. Be these the spirits that allure our children with spice and trinkets to their schippers, and so convey them to th' Bermudas?[159]

Con. In no wise, neighbours; these spirits come from the low countries: and though at first sight very frightful, yet, appearing unarmed, they become less fearful.

1st Watch. Nay, if these pretty familiars come[334] to our guard naked,[160] we shall prove hard enough for them.

2d Watch. Well, neighbour Rugweed, let us not presume too far on our strength: these spirits be a dangerous kind of whifflers, and, like our Robin Goodfellows, will play their legerdemain tricks, scudding here and there in a trice, and nimbly snap you, when least suspected.

SCENE VI.

Enter Gallerius' Ghost.

From the Cinnerian depth here am I come
Leaving an Erra Pater in my tomb,
To take a view, which of my fellows be
The thriving'st artists in astronomy.
Rank one by one in astrologic row,
And dying see, whom thou didst living know.

[He makes his figure.

Mount, gainful Crinon; for to thee we give,
As thou deserv'st, the sole prerogative:
For thy divining lines have purchas'd more
Than all our prime professors got before.
Jason won much at Colchis; but thy gain
Has lin'd thy shoulders in a Swedish chain.
Rich divination! But what's knowledge worth,
If people do not credit what's set forth?
Omnia temporibus cecinit Cassandra futuris. Quæ ventura suis—via unquam credita Teucris Melitus.
This was Cassandra's loss, whom we allow
And hold a prophetess as true as thou
But not so well believ'd. Take heed, my blade,
Thy late predictions cannot retrograde,
And give thine erring notions such a check,
As they unlink that chain which decks thy neck.
Signs sometimes change their influence, we see:
[335] I wish the like event befall not thee.
The golden number and saturnian line
Have been propitious to thee all thy time:
Thy says held oracles: thy observations
For death, war, weather, held by foreign nations
As positive maxims: yet one critical point
Will throw this artful fabric out o' joint.
Dog-days each year affords; if thou find none,
Thy fortune's clearer far than any one.
Let me then caution thee, divining Crinon,
Lest thy own bosom prove thy treach'rous Sinon,
Let not opinion make thy judgment err:
"The ev'ning conquest crowns the conqueror."
Hope of reward or one victorious field
Is no firm ground for any one to build.
May ill success clothe him with discontent,
That balanceth the cause by the event.
Next him ascend, Erigonus, whose art,
Richly embellish'd with a loyal heart,
Will not permit thy thoughts to stoop so low
As to pretend more than thy notions know,
Or can attain to. Thou hast ta'en content
With as much freedom under strait restraint,
As Pibrack in his paradox express'd,
Inwardly cheer'd when outwardly distress'd.
I have much mus'd, while thou convers'd with us
Of the gradations o' th' Celestial House,
Yet hadst none of thine own to shelter thee.
This was an humour that transported me:
To see a mind so large, and to discourse
As if he had got Fortunatus' purse!
This caus'd me think that we did greatly err
In holding thee a mere astrologer,
Though't be a sacred-secret speculation,
And highly meriting our admiration:
But rather some rare stoic, well content
With his estate, however the world went.
[336] Yet when I saw thine artificial scheme
Exactly drawn, as none of more esteem,
I wonder'd much how such choice art could want,
Unless the whole world were grown ignorant.
I heard of late, what I did never dream,
Thy farming life had drawn thee to a team,
Preferring th' culture of an husbandman
Before a needful astrologian,
Who in this thankless age may pine and die,
Before he profit by astronomy.
For though I must confess an artist can
Contrive things better than another man,
Yet when the task is done, he finds his pains
Nought[161] but to fill his belly with his brains.
Is this the guerdon due to liberal arts,
T' admire the head, and then to starve the parts?
Timely prevention thou discreetly us'd,
Before the fruits of knowledge were abus'd.
"When learning has incurr'd a fearful damp,
To save our oil 'tis good to quench our lamp."
Rest, then, on thy enjoyments, and receive
What may preserve a life, reserve a grave.
This with convenience may supply thy store,
And lodge thee with content: what wouldst thou more?
While he who thirsts for gold, and does receive it,
Pules like a baby when he's forc'd to leave it.
For you, Liberius, I would have you look
For your improvement on your table-book;
Where you shall find how you bore once a name
Both in the rank of fortune and of fame;
But others, rising to a higher merit,
Darken'd that splendour which you did inherit,
Or those mistakes which caus'd you err so far,
As your late years have proved canicular.
[337] To waste more paper I would never have you,
For I'm resolv'd your book will never save you,
Nor you from it receive a benefit.
Suppress, then, pray thee, thy leaf-falling wit;
Merlin's Collections will not serve thy turn,
Retire, retire, and slumber in thine[162] urn.
Dotage has chill'd thy brain: in silence sleep;
"He's wise enough that can his credit keep."
For you, Columba, and rare Peregrine,
It is your fate to nestle in a clime
Of disadvantage: Wisdom bids you build
Where you may dwell, and sow in such a field,
Where you may reap the harvest you have sown:
"Arts unimprov'd are to no purpose shown."
Those only may be truly said to know,
Whose knowledge pays their country what they owe;
And (with the bee) from labour never cease,
Till they have stor'd their hives with sweet increase.
Which thriving industry, infus'd by nature
In such a small political a creature,
Might by a native model render thee
Conducts of science in astrology:
Saltibus hirsutis haud spatiantur apes.
For she accounts it as a fruitless toil
To browse on suckets in a barren soil.
For you, Alatus, mount with airy wing,
And to [your] scatter'd nest some feathers bring:
Though popular esteem afford delight,
It cannot satisfy the appetite.
Fame is a painted meat, and cannot feed
Nor sate the stomach when it stands in need.
This was mine own condition; while I liv'd,
I to the highest pitch of fame arriv'd;
All the Rialto sounded with my praise,
Yet silence shrouded this within few days;
[338] For after some few funeral tears were shed,
My memory died, before tears went to bed.
Yea, in my lifetime, when my state grew low,
My fame found none she would conduct me to:
And let this caution thee. Though thou swell great
In men's conceit, this will not get thee meat.
"The only means to raise friends, fame, and store,
Is to make industry thy providor."
For Atro-Lucus Serands, they be such
I would not touch them, lest I should too much
Impeach their branded fames: one word for all—
As their disgrace is great, their knowledge small:
Let these demoniacs practise less in black,
It will discolour all their almanac.
But this was not my errand. I would know
How ladies with their husbands suit below.
Those frolic girls, I mean, and of none else,
Who were induc'd by mine and Crinon's spells

[Mephistophilus appears and resolves him.

To choose strange bedfellows. Pray, tell me how,
Dear Mephistophilus, those wantons do.

Meph. All out of joint: they've left their husbands' bed.

Gal. By this it seems they were not rightly wed;
There was no justice in't: for if there had,
Should they break loose, they would be judged mad.
But now mine hour approacheth; I must pass
Down to that vault where late I lodged was.
Fix, Mephistophilus, this on that gate,
That those who knew me may collect my fate.

[Mephistophilus having fixed this inscription on the portal of the gate, they descend.

[339]

Inscription.

The Astronomical Anatomy in a shadowed physnomy, recommended to posterity, dissected and presented in the empirical ghost of D. Nicholas Gallerius. ——Facilis descensus Averni.

Enter Watch distraughtedly, letting fall their lanthorns.

Watch. Spirits, spirits, spirits!

Enter Constable, rubbing his eyes.

Con. Where, where, where?

Watch. Here, there, and everywhere;
Now in the porter's lodge, then in the air!

Con. A foutre for such ranging mawkins! I'll tell you, fellow-officers—for I have been since my weaning sufficiently schooled in the office of a constable—that we have no legislative power (do you mark me?) to commit any person, be he never so notorious a delinquent, if he fly or (as our falconers say) mount up into th' air. We are not bound to follow him, neither to attach nor commit him. And why? says the law. Because it is not in our power to catch him. But if he strut in the street, you may command him to come before me the Constable, as I am the representative body of the duke; or before yourselves, being the representative body of your Constable; and if the person so taken remain under safe custody, and he fly, if you overtake him by speed of foot, or by help of the bellman's mongrel, you may by the law of arms lay him by th' heels.

[Dismiss the Watch, and exeunt.

[340]

SCENE VII.

Enter Sir Amadin Puny, Sir Jasper Simpleton, Sir Arthur Heartless, Sir Gregory Shapeless, Sir Tristram Shorttool, Sir Reuben Scattergood.

Sir Reu. Doubt nothing, my fellow-knights of Hornsey; the plot is so neatly and nimbly laid as it cannot but hold stitch.

All. But be the favourites' suits got, Sir Reuben?

Sir Reu. They are brought to our lodgings already. To try a conclusion, I have most fortunately made their pages our 'coys by the influence of a white powder, which has wrought so powerfully on their tender pulse, as they have engaged themselves ours back and edge. Sunt munera vincula servis.

Sir Tris. 'Tis true, but how shall we pursue this project, that we may act to purpose what your ingenuity has contrived?

Sir Reu. Leave that to me; be it your care to follow my direction, and if I make not these haxters as hateful to our hussies as ever they were to us who were their husbands, set me up for a Jack-a-Lent or a Shrove-cock for every boy to throw at! The net is spread, and if they 'scape the noose, they must have more eyes than their own to discover it.

Sir Ama. Excellent, excellent! I long till I be at work.

Sir Reu. It will admit no delay, Sir Amadin, I assure you. We have not overwatched this night to no purpose. This very morning by times we must be fitted with our properties, and with a[341] scornful neglect pass by that rendezvous where our gamesome ladies expect their youthful Platonics.

Sir Gre. Revenge to me 's far sweeter than to live.

All. To't, to't; for love's sake, let us to't.

Sir Reu. The plot is laid with such industrious skill,
If this take not, I do not know what will.

[Exeunt.


ACT IV., SCENE 1.

Enter Madam Fricase, Madam Caveare, Madam Julippe, Madam Joculette, Madam Medlar, Madam Tinder.

Fri. How tedious morns these be in our expectance
Of what we tender most?

Cav. Credit me, madam,
My marriage-day from th' rising sun to night
Seem'd not so long, though it was long enough—
As the slow-running course of this morn's visit.

Jul. Desires cannot endure protractive hours;
The poet has confirm'd our thoughts in this,
Placing our action far below our wish:
"Sooner quenched is love's fire
With fruition than desire."

Joc. That poet surely was neither Mantuan, Lucian, nor Claudian.

Med. No, sister; nor Alcæus, Eubæus, nor Apuleius; but some cold cucumber-spirit—Xenocrates, who never actually knew how to hug his mistress.

Tin. This is the hour and place.

[342]

Fri. It is so; and no doubt but our feathered favourites have overflown us.

SCENE II.

Enter Vintress and Drawers.

Vin. What do you lack, my princely beauties?

Cav. What your sex cannot furnish us with, my dainty Dabrides.
Did you entertain no gallants lately?

Vin. Not any, madam; but gallants are men of their words; they will stand to their tacking upon occasion: will you be pleased, noble ladies, in their absence to bestow yourselves in a room; or, to procreate yourselves, take a turn in the garden?

Med. 'Slid, does she hold us for Andalusian studs,[163] that can breed by the air, or procreate of ourselves?

Fri. Well, her meaning is good; we will accept her offer, and take a walk or a cheerful repose at our pleasure: and in it let each of us, for want of more real objects, entertain an imaginary apprehension of their absent lover.

[Knocking within.

Draw. Anon, anon, sir; quick, quick as Erebus, good Jeremy! Uds so, what a chattering they make? I verily think our old Tityre Tu's and Bugle Blews are come to town, they keep such a damnable quarter.

2d Draw. They knock as they were madmen in the percullis. Quick, quick; more attendants in the Unicorn. There goes none to the Antwerp. The Lion and the Roebuck[164] have not one drawer[343] to attend them. Who goes into the Ladies' Garden?[165]

1st Draw. We shall have a brave term, if we stir not our stumps better.

[Exeunt.

The Ladies' Garden.Jullippe, &c.

Jul. Th' Elysian groves so richly beautified,
Deck'd with the tufted verdure: watered
With crystal rills, and cloth'd above conceit
In native diap'ry: may emblems be
Of this delicious platform, where each sense
May sate its quest with sweet satiety.

Joc. And th' edifying sense with melody.

[Voices of nightingales.

Dum Philomela canit, spinum sub pectore figit: Crimen ut incestus se meminisse dolet.
Hark, how that ev'ning quire of nightingales
Warble with shrillest notes, pricks at their breasts,
Tereus' incestuous crime; as if't had been
A fact inexpiable: wherein we doubt,
What we should do, if [we] were put unto't.
This is a garden, sure, of great frequent.

Cav. Lucullus nor the Roman Argentine
Had ne'er the like: nor with completer beauties
More gracefully embellish'd: it might be
Styl'd the Spring Garden for variety
Of all delights: balls, treats, and choice invites,
Address'd for amorous parliance; and indeed
To make the bargain up—you know my meaning.

Fri. Thou art a dang'rous beagle. What say you, ladies?
In this perpetual spring-like sweet retire,
To gratify her court'sy and conduct,
Who tender'd these respects: let's have a frolic—
A jovial frolic, till the Platonics come.
[344] Whom we must chide, and with some discontent
Tax for their slowness.

All. The motion's wondrous good;
We all assent to't.

Joc. But in this assent
Scatter such freedom as it may appear
Our fortunes be our own: and that no eye
Of jealousy or parsimonious thrift
Can bound our humour. Let's call up the drawer.

[They ring the bell.

Enter Drawer.

Draw. Your pleasures, madams?

All. What hast within, boy?

Draw. Cakes, creams, stewed prunes, olivets, tongues, tarts, and——

Cav. What else, you Jack-of-all-trades! Doth your mistress take us, you nitty-napry rascal, for her bordella's blouses?[166]

Bring us here pistachio nuts,
Strengthening oringo roots.
Quince, peach, and preserv'd apricock,
With the stones pendant to't.[167]
With such incentive and salacious cates,
As quicken hours, and sharpen appetite.

Draw. You shall, you shall, madam;—on my life, these be the ladies of the New Dress; they'll never be satisfied.

[Aside. Exit.

Cav. Let us imagine ourselves now to be planted in the Sparagus Garden, where if we want anything, it is our own fault. A fair alimony needs no pawn; it will discharge a tavern-bill at any time.

[345]

SCENE III.

Enter again the Vintress and Drawer with wine and fruit.

Vin. How is it, noble ladies? Your honours shall want no rarities that our storehouse may afford you.

Cav. A glass of muscadella for me. Here, Madam Fricase, to Monsieur Florello!

[Drinks.

Fri. This court'sy, madam, must not beget in you a forgetfulness of Caranto.

Cav. So nearly he's unbosomed, you need not fear it.

Jul. Nectarella for me. Here, princely Joculette, to your Salibrand!

[Drinks.

Joc. Meantime, remember loyal Palisado.

Jul. No individual can be well forgot.

Med. Medea shall be mine. This, Madam Tinder, to your Tillyvally!

[Drinks.

Tin. First to your own Morisco! So, this health's gone round.

Fri. Now when our throats are clear, let's join together
In some choice musical air.

All. Agreed, agreed,
What shall we have?

Fri. What may enliven love,
And feather fancy with Icarian wings.

All. We must be mounting then. Your subject, madam?

Fri. Le Drollere Amaranto.

All. Dainty airs,
And lines to suit them: we shall follow you.

[346]

Song, in various Airs.

What shall we poor ladies do,
Match'd to shallops without brains,
Whose demains[168] are in grains,
And their wits in madding veins,
Stor'd with Neapolitan mains?
Give us sprightly sprigs of manhood,
None of these swads nor airy squibs,
Who would fain do, but cannot.

[They alter the air upon the close of every stanza.

Poor ladies, how we dwindle?
Who can spin without a spindle?
Valour never learn'd to tremble,
But in Cupid's dalliance nimble.
Little good does that stud with a stallion,
Fancies alien, weakly jointed,
Meanly mann'd, worse appointed,
Who would do, if he knew how,
But, alas! he would, but cannot.

Penelope, though she were chaste,
Yet she bade her spouse make haste,
Lest by his sojourning long
She might chance to change her song,
And do her Ulysses wrong;
What then may we, who matched be
With these haggards madly manned,
Who would gladly do, but cannot?

Shall our youthful hopes decline;
Fade and perish in their prime:
And like forc'd Andromeda
Estrang'd from fancy's law!
Shall we wives and widows be,
Bound unto a barren tree?
[347]

Ushers come and apple-squires
To complete our free desires:
Platonics there be store
Fitly fram'd and train'd to man it.
Bavin once set afire
Will not so soon expire;
Let's never stay with such as they,
Who gladly would, but cannot.

Shall we love, live, and feel no heat
While our active pulses beat?
Shall we hug none of our own,
But such as drop from th' frigid zone?
Let's rather suit old love adieu,
And i' th' requests suit for some new
Who have the heart to man it.
Tell us not this nor tell us that;
A kid is better than a cat,
And though he show, we know not what,
He cannot.
Fri. As I'm a virgin, ladies, bravely performed!
Once more Frontiniac, and then a walk.

[She drinks.

This wine wants flavour, sapour, odour, vigour;
Taste it, dear madam, 'tis as pall and flat
As a sear fly-flap.

Draw. Our last year's vintage, madam, was but small.

Cav. It seems so by your measure: this would never
Quicken the spirit nor inflame the blood.

[One of the Ladies, looking out, discovers their deserted Knights attired like their favourites, with their cloaks over their faces.

Lady. They come, they come, they come!

All. Let's entertain them with a joint neglect.

[348]

SCENE IV.

As their husbands pass along, they take occasion of discourse one with another.

Knights. Let us pass by them with regardless scorn.

Sir Reu. Pox on these overacting prostitutes!
They sate mine appetite.

[They interchange these expresses as they pass by their Ladies' room.

Sir Tris. Fancy so fed
Begets a surfeit, ere it gets to bed.

Sir Gre. Ere I Platonic turn or Confidant,
Or an officious servant to a puss,
Whose honour lies at stake, let me become
A scorn to my relations.

Sir Art. Or when I
Engage my person, like a profess'd bolt,
To vindicate a mistress, who for sale
Would set her soul at hazard, may my grave
Be in the kennel, and the scavenger
The penman of my epitaph!

Sir Jas. Or I
Embrace a monkey for a mass of treasure.

Sir Ama. May never down seize on this downless chin,
When I become an usher to her sin.

Sir Reu. So, let them chaw of this. Our scene is done,
We'll leave the rest to their digestion:
We must return those Adamites their clothes
To make their visits in, or they're lost men;
But it were strange, should they recruit again.

[Exeunt.

[349]

SCENE V.

Fri. How is it, ladies?

Cav. Sure, we're in a dream.
Whence comes this strangeness?

Jul. From the too much freedom
Of our affection: had we kept them still,
At a discreeter distance, we had play'd
The wiser falc'ners, and caus'd them stoop
Unto our lure with eager appetite.
Fruits offer'd are least valu'd: got by stealth
Or by surprise, they're precious.

Joc. Shall we sleep
With this affront?

Med. Our spirits were remiss,
Should we not pay them home in their own coin.

Tin. Let Tinder lose her name, her family,
And alimony (which she values most),
If Tilly suffer not for this disgrace.

All. We vow the like: revenge may be excus'd,
For love resolves to hate when 'tis abus'd.

[Exeunt.

SCENE VI.

The Favourites appear to their half-bodies in their shirts, in rooms above.

Flo. Why, you whoreson rogue! where's my suit? As I hope for mercy, I am half-persuaded that this slip-halter has pawned my clothes.

Car. Nay, as our rooms be near, our fates are all alike.
If my visit be admitted, I must present it naked.

Joc. When she sees her Salibrand so unmodiously accoutred, she will jeer him out of his periwig, and render him an Adamite cap-a-pie.

Pal. Never were servants without a dress less suitable to ladies of the New Dress.

[350]

Sal. We shall be held for salemen, or Knights of the White Livery, if we encounter them thus habited.

Mor. Nay, rather for Knights o' th' Post, who had forfeited their broked suits for want of swearing.

Til. Nay, for tumblers, truckers, or scullermen: Plato, in all his Commonweal, had never such naked followers.

[Their pages bring their clothes.

Flo. Now, you hemp-strings, had you no time to nim us, but when we were upon our visits?

Pages. Your suits, sir, were not without employment. They were seam-rent, and stood in need of stitching.

All. Go to, rogues, you will never hang well together till you be stitched in a halter.

[They attire themselves.

Pages. Well, we got more clear gains by this shift than you will by your visit.

[Aside.

Car. We trench too much upon t