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Title: Swetnam, the Woman-hater, arraigned by women
       A new comedie, acted at the Red Bull, by the late Queenes seruants.

Author: Anonymous

Release Date: November 18, 2018 [EBook #58303]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


Produced by Richard Tonsing and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
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Transcriber's Note:

The cover image was created by the transcriber and is placed in the public domain.

A new Comedie,
Acted at the Red Bull, by the late Queenes Seruants.

Printed for Richard Meighen, and are to be sold at his Shops at Saint Clements Church, ouer-against Essex House, and at Westminster Hall. 1620.

Enter Loretta,

The Women are all welcome; for the men,
They will be welcome: our care’s not for them.
’Tis we poore women, that must stand the brunt
Of this dayes try all: we are all accused.
How wee shall cleere our selues, there lyes the doubt.
The men, I know, will laugh, when they shall heare
Vs rayl’d at, and abused; and say, ’Tis well,
We all deserue as much. Let vm laugh on,
Lend but your kind assistance: you shall see
We will not be ore-come with Infamie,
And slanders that we neuer merited.
Be but you patient, I dare boldly say,
(If euer women pleased) weele please to day.
Vouchsafe to reade, I dare presume to say,
Yee shall be pleased; and thinke ’tis a good play.

Actorvm Nomina.

Atticus, King of Sicilie.
Lorenzo, his Sonne.
Lisandro, Prince of Naples.
Iago, } three Noblemen
of Sicilie.
Scanfardo, Servant to Nicanor.
Two Gentlemen.
A Captaine.
Swetnam, alias, Misogynos, The Woman-hater.
Swash, his Man.
Two Iudges.
Womens Parts.
Aurelia, Queene.
Leonida, the Princesse.
Loretta, her Maid.
Three or foure other Women.

Act. I. Scen. I.

Enter Iago and Nicanor, two Noblemen of Sicilia, in private conference.

Hee was a vertuous and a hopefull Prince,
And we haue iust cause to lament his death,
For had he liu’d, and Spaine made war agen,
He would ha’ prou’d a Terror to his Foe.
Iag. A greater cause of griefe was neuer knowne,
Not onely in his death, but for the losse
Of Prince Lorenzo too, his yonger brother,
Who hath beene missing almost eighteene moneths,
And none can tell whether aliue or dead.
Nic. How do’s the King beare these afflictions?
Enter another Lord.
Iag. Now you shall heare how fares his Maiestie.
Lord. Oh my good Lords, our sorrowes still increase,
A greater tide of woe is to be fear’d,
The Kings decay, with griefe for his two sonnes.
Iag. The gods forbid, let’s in and comfort him.
3. Lord. Alas, his sorrow’s such
He will not suffer vs to speake to him;
But turnes away in rage, and seemes to tread
The pace of one (if liuing) liuing dead.
Iag. See where he comes,
Lords, let vs all attend, |Enter King in black, reading.|
Vntill his grace be pleas’d to speake to vs.
Dead March.
Attic. Death is the ease of paine, and end of sorrow,
How can that be? Death gaue my sorrowes life,
For by his death my paine and griefe begun,
And in beginning, neuer will haue end: for though I die,
My losse will liue in future memorie,
I and (perhaps) will be lamented too,
And registred by some, when all shall heare
Sicilia had two sonnes, yet had no heire.
Ha! What are you?
Who dares presume to interrupt vs thus?
What meanes this sorrow? Wherefore are these signes?
Or vnto whom are these obseruances?
Nic. Vnto our King.
3. Lords. To you my Soueraigne.
Iag. Your Subiects all lament to see you sad.
Attic. You all are Traytors then, and by my life
I will account you so:
Can you not be content with State and rule,
But you must come to take away my Crowne?
For solitude is sorrowes chiefest Crowne.
Griefe hath resign’d ouer his right to mee,
And I am King of all woes Monarchie.
You powers that grant Regeneration,
What meant you first to giue him vitall breath?
And make large Kingdomes proud of such a Prince
As my Lusyppus was, so good, so vertuous:
Then, in his prime of yeares,
To take him from mee by vntimely death?
Oh! had my spirit wings, I would ascend
And fetch his soule againe from——
Oh my sad sorrowes! Whither am I driuen?
Into what maze of errors will you lead mee?
This Monster (Griefe) hath so distracted mee,
I had almost forgot mortalitie.
Iag. Deare Lord haue patience, though the heauens are pleas’d
To punish Princes for their Subiects faults,
In taking from vs such a hopefull Prince,
No doubt they will restore your yonger sonne,
Who cannot be but stay’d, and will, I hope
Be quickly heard of, to recall your ioyes.
Attic. No, I shall neuer see Lorenzo more,
This eighteene moneths I haue not heard of him,
I feare some Traytors hand had seyz’d his life:
If hee were liuing, as that cannot bee;
I sooner looke to see the dead then hee:
For I am almost spent; This heape of age,
Mixt with my sorrow, soone will end my dayes.
Nic. My Liege, take comfort, I (your Subiect) vow
To goe my selfe to seeke Lorenzo forth,
And ne’r returne vntill I find him out,
Or bring some newes what is become of him.
3. Lord. The like will I, or ne’r come backe agen.
Iag. Old as I am, I’le not be last behind,
And if my Soueraigne please to let mee goe.
Attic. I thanke your loues, but I’le restrain your wils:
If I should part from you, my dayes were done,
For I should neuer liue till your returne.
Enter Nicanor.
Nicanor my deare friend, Iago, Sforza,
One of you three, if I die issuelesse,
Must after mee be King of Sicilie,
Doe not forsake mee then.
Omnes. Long liue your grace:
And may your issue raigne eternally.
Attic. As for our daughter fayre Leonida,
Her female Sexe cannot inherit here, |Shout within.|
One must inioy both her and Sicilie.
What sudden shout was that? Some know the cause;
Can there be so much ioy left in our Land,
To raise mens voyces to so high a sound?
Enter Nicanor.
Or wast a shreeke of some new miserie?
For comfort cannot be expected here.
The newes, Nicanor. |Trumpets.|
Nic. Happie, Sir, I hope,
There is a Souldier new arriu’d at Court,
Can tell some tidings of the long lost Prince:
Sfor. Sir, shall he haue accesse?
Iag. Oh ioyfull newes!
Attic. Is it a question, Sforza? Bring him in,
As you would doe some great Ambassadour;
He is no lesse. Comes he not from a Prince?
He do’s, if from Lorenzo hee be sent.
A flourish, with Trumpets. Enter a Captaine, brought in by the Lord Scanfardoe.
Thou Man of Warre, once play the Orator,
Proue Griefe a guiltie Thiefe, condemne my feares,
And let my sorrowes suffer in these teares:
Haue I a sonne or no? Good Souldier speake.
Capt. Sir, I arriu’d by chance vpon your coast,
Yet hearing of the Proclamation
Which promis’d thousands vnto any man
That could bring newes to the Sicilian King,
Whether Lorenzo were aliue or dead.
Attic. We’le double our reward what-e’r it be,
If hee be liuing: Dead, we’le keepe our word:
Then prethee say, What is become of him?
Capt. Not for reward, but loue to that braue Prince,
Whose memorie deserues to out-liue time,
Come I to tell what I too truely know;
In the Lepanthean battel not long since,
Where he was made Commander of a Fleet,
Vnder Don Iohn the Spanish Generall,
He did demeane himselfe so manfully,
That he perfom’d wonders aboue beliefe;
For when the Nauies ioyn’d, the Cannons plaid,
And thundring clamors rang the dying knels
Of many thousand soules; He, void of feare,
Dalli’d with danger, and pursu’d the Foe
Thorow a bloudy Sea of Victorie:
Whether there slaine, or taken prisoner
By the too mercilesse misbeleeuing Turkes,
No man can tell:
That when Victorie fell to the Christians,
The conquest, and the glorie of the day
Was soone eclipst, in braue Lorenzo’s losse;
That when the battel and the fight was done,
They knew not well whether they lost or wonne.
Attic. This newes is worse then death; Happy were I
If any now could tell me he were dead;
Death is farre sweeter then captiuitie:
My deare Lorenzo! Was it thy desire
To goe to Warre, made thee forsake thy Father,
Countrie, Friends, Life, Libertie? and vndergoe
Death, or Captiuitie, or some disaster
That exceeds ’em both? Yet, howso’er,
Captaine, We thanke thy loue; giue the reward
Was promis’d in the Proclamation.
Capt. I’le not be nice in the refusall, Sir,
It is no wonder t’see a Souldier want:
All good wait on yee; may the Heauens be pleas’d
To make you happy in your long lost sonne.
Attic. My comfort is, whether aliue or dead,
He brauely fought for Heauen and Christendome;
Such battels martyr men: their death’s a life
Suruiuing all this worlds felicitie.
Lords, Where’s Leonida, Our beautious child,
She’s all the comfort we haue left Vs now;
She must not haue her libertie to match,
The Girle is wanton, coy, and fickle too:
How many Princes hath the froward Elfe
Set at debate, desiring but her loue?
What dangers may insue? But to preuent,
Nicanor, wee make you her Gardian:
Let her be Princely vs’d; but no accesse
By any to her presence, but by such
As wee shall send, or giue commandment for:
’Tis death to any other dares attempt it.
I heare, the Prince of Naples seekes her loue:
Shee shall not wed with that presumptuous Boy,
His father and Our selfe were still at oddes,
Nor shall He thinke Wee will submit to Him.
Certaine he knowes not of Lisandro’s sute,
For if he had, he would a come himselfe,
Or sent Ambassadors to speake for him.
We’le giue his answer ere to morrows Sunne
Shall retch to his Meridian, wretched state of Kings,
What end will follow where such woes begins?
Nic. Scanfardoe? |Exeunt omnes.|
Scan. My good Lord? |Manet Nic. & Scanfardoe.|
Nic. How lik’st thou this?
I am made Gardian of my owne harts blisse,
The Princesse is my Prisoner, I her Slaue,
I keepe her Body, but shee holds my Heart
Inuiron’d in a Chest of Adamant.
Scan. Is your Heart Iron?
Nic. Steele, I thinke it is;
And liue an Anuile hammerd by her words,
It sparkles fire that neuer can bee quencht,
But by the dew of her cœlestiall breath.
Oft haue I courted, bin reiected too,
Yet what of that? I’le trye her once agen.
What many Princes haue attempting fail’d,
I by accesse may purchase, that’s my hope;
The King I’me sure affects mee, nothing then
Is wanting but her loue, that once obtain’d
Sicill is ours: Scanfardoe? if we win,
Thou shalt be Lord Nicanor I the King. |Exeunt.|

Scen. II.

Enter Mysogenos solus.
Mis. By this, my thundering Booke is prest abroad,
I long to heare what a report it beares,
I know ’t will startle all our Citie Dames,
Worse then the roring Lyons, or the sound
Of a huge double Canon, Swetnams name,
Will be more terrible in womens eares,
Then euer yet in Misogenysts hath beene.
Enter Clowne.
Clow. Puffe, giue me some ayre,
I am almost stifled, puffe, Oh, my sides!
Mis. From whence comm’st thou in such a puffing heate?
Hast thou been running for a wager, Swash?
Thou art horribly imbost. Where hast thou beene?
My life, he was haunted with some Spirit.
Clow. A Spirit? I thinke all the Deuils in Hell,
Haue had a pinch at my hanches,
I haue beene among the Furies, the Furies:
A Pox on your Booke: I haue beene paid ifaith,
You haue set all the women in the Towne in an vprore.
Mis. Why, what’s the matter, Swash?
Clow. Ne’r was poore Swash, so lasht, and pasht,
And crasht and dasht, as I haue beene,
Looke to your selfe, they’re vp in armes for you.
Mis. Why, Haue they weapons, Swash?
Clow. Weapons, Sir, I, Ile be sworne they haue.
And cutting ones, I felt the smart of ’em,
From the loines to the legs, from the head to th’ hams,
From the Front to the foot, I haue not one free spot.
Oh, I can shew you, Sir, such Characters.
Mis. What dost thou mean, man, wilt shame thy selfe?
Clow. Why, here’s none but you and I, Sir, is there?
Mis. Good, good, ifaith. This was a braue Reuenge.
Clow. If’t be so good, would you had had’t for me.
Mis. And if I liue, I will make all the World
To hate, as I doe, this affliction, Woman.
Clow. But we shall be afflicted in th’ meane time.
Pray let’s leaue this Land: if we stay heere,
We shall be torne a-pieces: would we had kept
In our owne Countrey, there w’are safe enough:
You might haue writ and raild your bellifull,
And few, or none would contradict you, Sir.
Mis. Oh, but for one that writ against me, Swash,
Ide had a glorious Conquest in that Ile,
How my Bookes tooke effect! how greedily
The credulous people swallowed downe my hookes
How rife debate sprang betwixt man and wife!
The little Infant that could hardly speake,
Would call his Mother Whore. O, it was rare!
Clow. Oh, damn’d Rogue!
I stay but here, in hope, to see him hang’d,
And carrie newes to England, then I know,
The women there will neuer see me want,
For God he knowes, I loue vm with my heart,
But dare not shew it for my very eares.
What course, Sir, shall we take to hide our selues?
Mis. The same we did at Bristow, Fencing Boy;
Oh 't is a fearefull name to Females, Swash,
I haue bought Foiles alreadie, set vp Bils,
Hung vp my two-hand Sword, and chang’d my name:
Call me Mysogenos.
Enter Scanfardo.

Clow. A sodden Nose.

Mis. Mysogenos, I say. Remember, Swash, heere comes a Gentleman.

I know him well, he serues a Noble Lord.
Seignior Scanfardo, happily encountred.
Scan. Thanks, my noble Gladiator, Doctor of Defence.

Mis. A Master, Sir, of the most magnanimous Method of Cudgell-cracking.

Scan. Ime glad I met with you.
I was now comming to be entred, Sir.
Mis. That you shall presently. My Rapier, Swash.
Come, Sir, I’ll enter you.
Scan. What meane you, Sir?
Mis. You say you would be entred, if you will,
Ile put you to the Puncto presently.
Scan. Your Scholler, Sir, I meane.
Mis. O welcome, Sir, What, haue you brought your Fees?
Scan. Yes, Sir: what is’t?
Mis. Twentie Piastros, your admittance Sir,
And fiue, your quarteridge.
Clow. Besides Vshers Fees.
There goes a garnish and a breake-fast too.
Scan. Well, I’m content, there ’tis.
Clow. Come when you will, find you Piastros, Sir,
And we’ll find you crackt crownes.
Mis. Booke him, my bold Vsher.
Clow. That I will, your denomination, Seignior.
Scan. Seignior Scanfardo, Della Sancta Cabrado.
Clow. Seig. Scan. Della Sancta Cabrado? a terrible name.
Mis. Giue me your hand, Scholer, so Ile cal you now.
Ile make you one of the Sonnes of Art.
Swash, giue my Scholer the Foyle.
Clow. Doe not take it in scorne,
I haue gi’n many a good Gentleman the Foyle, Sir.
Mis. I was going this morning to practise a young Duellist,
That shortly goes to fight at Callis Sands.
Come, Sir, to your guard.
Scan. Not here in publike, I am a young beginner.
Come to my Chamber, Sir, Ile practise there.

Mis. Doe, and Ile teach you the very mysterie of Fencing, that in a fortnight, you shall be able to challenge any Scholer vnder the degree of a Prouost, and in a quarter of a yeere, beat all the Fencers in Germany. Our English Masters of this Noble Science would ha’ gi’n fortie pound to haue knowne that tricke.

Scan. Say you so, Sir?

By this hand, I shall thinke my money well bestowed then: but to tell you the truth, Sir, the reason I would learne, is, because I am to bee married shortly: and they say, Then or neuer, is the time for a man to get the mastery.

Mis. How, marry, Scholer? thou art not mad, I hope. Doe you know what you doe?

Scan. I know what I shall doe, Master, that’s as good.

Mis. Doe you know what she is you are to marrie?

Scan. A woman, I am sure a that.

Mis. No, she’s a Deuill, Harpie, Cockatrice.

Scan. And you were not my Master——

Mis. Scholer, be aduised, they are all
Most vile and wicked.

Scan. How, Sir?

Mis. Dissemblers, the very curse of man, Monsters indeed.

Clow. That Ile be sworne they are, for I haue knowne some of vm, that ha’ deuoured you three Lordships, in Cullices and Caudles before Break-fast.

Mis. And creatures the most imperfect: for looke yee, Sir,
Th’are nothing of themselues,
Onely patcht vp to coozen and gull men,
Borrowing their haire from one, complexions from another,
Nothing their own that’s pleasing, all dissembled,
Not so much, but their very breath
Is sophisticated with Amber-pellets, and kissing causes.
Marry a woman, Scholer? thou vndergo’st an harder task,
Then those bold Spirits, that did vndertake
To steale the great Turke into Christendome.
A woman! she’s an Angell at ten, a Saint at fifteene,
A Deuill at fortie, and a Witch at fourescore.
If you will marry, marry none of these:
Neither the faire, nor the foule; the rich, nor the poore;
The good, nor the bad.
Scan. Who should I marry then, Sir?
Mis. Marry none at all.
Scan. Proceeds this from Experience?
Mis. From Reason, Sir, the Mistris of Experience.
Happy were man, had woman neuer bin.
Why did not Nature infuse the gift of Procreation
In man alone, without the helpe of woman,
Euen as we see one seed, produce another?
Clow. Or as you see one Knaue make twentie, Master.
Mis. Thou saist true, Swash: or why might not a man
Reuiue againe, like to the Elme and Oake?
Clow. Many Logger-heads doe, Sir.
Mis. When they are cut downe to the very roote,
Yet in short time you see, young branches spring againe.
Clow. If ’twere so at Tyburne, what a fine companie
of Crack-ropes would spring vp then?

Mis. Then we should ne’r be acquainted with the deceitfull deuices of a womans crooked conditions, which are so many, that if all the World were Paper, the Sea, Inke, Trees and Plants, Pens, and euery man Clarkes, Scribes, and Notaries: yet would all that Paper be scribled ouer, the Inke wasted, Pens worne to the stumps, and all the Scriueners wearie, before they could describe the hundreth part of a womans wickednesse.

Scan. Me thinks you are too generall: some, no doubt,
As many men, are bad: condemne not all for some.
What thinke you, Sir, of those that haue good wiues?
I hope, you will confesse a difference.
Mis. And Reason too: and here’s the difference,
Those that haue good wiues, ride to Hell
Vpon ambling Hackneyes, and all the rest
Vpon trotting Iades to the Deuill.
Scan. Is that the difference? Ile not marrie sure,
Ile rather turne Whore-master,
And goe a-foot to the Deuill.
Clow. You’l hardly doe that, if you loue whoring, Sir.
For many lose a Legge in such seruice.

Scan. But doe you heare, Sir? how long is’t since you became such a bitter Enemie to women?

Mis. Since I had wisdome. When I was a Foole,

I doted on such Follies, but now I haue left vm, and doe vow to be the euerlasting scourge to all their Sex: What the reason is, Ile tell you, Sir, hereafter: reade but that,

I haue arraign’d vm all, and painted forth
Those Furies to the life,
That all the World may know that doth it read,
I was a true Mysogenist indeed. |Exeunt.|

Scen. III.

Enter Iago, and Lorenzo disguised.
Iag. You haue not seene the Court then?
Lor. Not as yet.
But I desire to obserue the Fashions there.
How doe you stile your King of Sicilie?
Iag. Men call him, Sir, The iust King Atticus;
And truly too: for with an equall Scale
He waighes the offences betwixt man and man,
He is not sooth’d with adulation,
Nor mou’d with teares, to wrest the course of Iustice
Into an vniust current, to oppresse the Innocent,
Nor do’s he make the Lawes
Punish the man, but in the man the cause.
Shall I in briefe giue you his Character?
Lor. A thing I couet much.
Iag. Attend mee then.
His state is full of maiestie and grace,
Whose basis is true Pietie and Vertue,
Where, vnderneath a rich triumphant Arch,
That does resemble the Tribunall Seat,
Garded with Angels, borne vpon two Columnes,
Iuftice and Clemencie, he sits inthron’d,
His subiects serue him freely, not perforce,
And doe obey him more for loue, then feare;
Being a King not of themselues alone,
And their estates, but their affections:
A soueraigntie that farre more safetie brings,
Then do’s an Armie to the guard of Kings.
Lor. You haue describ’d, Sir, such a worthy Prince,
That well I cannot say, who is most happie;
Either the King for hauing so good subiects,
Or else the subiects for so good a King.
But pray proceed.
Iag. The Heauens to crowne his ioy,
With Immortalitie in his happie Issue
Sent him two Royall sonnes, of whom the eldest
Was the sweet Prince Lusyppus. Was! oh me,
That euer I should liue to say, he was:
He was, but is not now, for he is dead.
The yongest was Lorenzo, for his yeeres,
The pride and glory of Sicilians,
And miracle of Nature, whose aspect,
Euen like a Comet, did attract all eyes
With admiration, wonder and amazement,
And he good Prince, is lost, or worse, I feare:
But for his Daughter faire Leonida,
Her Fame not able to be circumscrib’d
Within the bounds of Sicilie, hath gone
Beyond the Pirean Mountaines, and brought backe
The chiefe Italian Princes, but their Loues
Were quitted with contempt and crueltie:
And many of our braue Sicilian Youths
Haue sacrific’d their liues to her disdaine.
Now to preuent the like euent hereafter,
’Twas thought fit her libertie should be awhile restraind,
For which intent, his Highnesse hath elected
The Lord Nicanor for her Guardian,
Who, ’tis thought, shall after his decease,
Espouse the Princesse, and be heire of Sicill.
Lor. You told me of a Prince, you said was lost,
Which you pronounc’d so feelingly, as if
It had beene your losse in particular.
Iag. Oh, it was mine, and euery good mans else,
That is oblig’d to vertue and desert.
Lor. See how Report is subiect to abuse.
I knew the Prince Lorenzo.
Iag. Did you, Sir?
Lor. But neuer knew in him any one sparke
Of worth or merit, that might thus inflame
The zeale of your affection.
Iag. Traytor, thou lyest.
Which I will proue eu’n to thy heart, thou ly’st,
I tell thee, thou hast committed such a sinne
Against his deare Report, that thy base life
Is farre too poore to expiate that wrong.
Sir, will you draw?
Lor. Forbeare, incensed man. I doe applaud
Thy noble courage, and I tell you, Sir,
The Prince Lorenzo was a man I lou’d
As dearely as my selfe: but pray resolue me;
Does he liue or not?
Iag. He liues,
In our eternall memorie he liues: but otherwise,
It’s the generall feare of Sicily,
That he is dead, or in Captiuitie.
For when Don Iohn, the Spanish Generall,
Went with an Armie ’gainst the cruell Turkes,
In that still memorable Battell of Lepanto,
Our braue Lorenzo, too too vent’rous,
There lost his life, or worse, his libertie.
Lor. Hath not Time with his rude hand
Defac’d the Impression of his Effigies
In your memories yet?
Iag. No, nor will euer be, so long
As worth shall be admir’d, and vertue loued.
Lor. You know him, if you see him.
Iag. My Lord Lorenzo!
Lor. Rise, my worthy Friend,
I haue made proofe of thy vnfayned loue.
Iag. Th’exceeding happinesse to see you well,
Is more then ioy can vtter: On my knees
I beg your pardon for th’vnciuill speech
My ignorant tongue committed.
Lor. No, thus I’le be reueng’d. |Imbraces him.|
I know thou louest mee, and I must inioyne
Thy loue vnto an act of secresie,
Which you must not denie.
Iag. Sir, I obey.
Lor. Then thus it is, I must coniure your faith,
And priuacie in my arriuall yet,
For I intend a while in some disguise
To obserue the times and humors of the Court.
Iag. How meanes your Grace? can you indure to see
The Court eclipst with clouds of discontent,
Your father mourne your absence, and all hearts
Ore-whelm’d with sorrow, and you present, Sir?
Lor. Iago, I’me resolu’d:
Therefore what shape or humor I assume,
Take you no notice that I am the Prince.
Iag. Sir, I consent,
And vow to your concealement.
Lor. It is enough, my brother’s dead, thou saist:
I haue some teares to spend vpon his Tombe,
We are the next vnto the Diadem,
That’s the occasion I obscure my selfe.
Happie’s that Prince, that ere he rules, shall know,
VVhere the chiefe errors of his State doe grow.

Act. II.

Enter Lisandro, and Loretta, seuerall.
Lor. My Lord Lisandro, y’are met happily.
Lis. Loretta! welcome, welcome as my life.
How fares my dearest Saint?
Lor. Like a distressed Prisoner, whose hard fate
Hath bard her from all ioy in losing you,
A torment which she counts insufferable.
Lis. This separation, like the stroke of death,
Makes a diuorce betwixt my soule and mee;
For how can I liue without her
In whom my life subsists?
For neuer did the Load-stone more respect
The Northerne Pole, by natures kind instinct,
Then my affections truly sympathize
With her, the Starre of my felicitie.
Lor. Therefore shee prayes you, henceforth to desist,
Respecting your owne safetie: VVorthie Prince,
The times are troublesome and dangerous:
As for her selfe, she’s arm’d to vndergoe
All malice that for you they can inflict.
Lis. Oh my Loretta! thou appli’st a balme
VVorse then the wound it selfe: It is impossible
For me to liue at all but in her sight.
But was this all shee said,
That I should leaue her? Death could not ha’ spoke
A word more fatall to my soule and mee:
Let her inioyne mee to some other taske,
Tho it were greater then the sonne of Ioue
Did for his Step-dame Iuno euer act:
Let it be any thing, so I may not leaue
Her sweet societie.
Lor. Then, here my Lord, read this.
Lis. I kisse thee for her sake, whose beautious hand
Hath here inclos’d so mild and sweet a doome.
See what a negatiue command shee hath
Impos’d vpon my sloth to visit her,
As if she taxed my neglect so long:
But pardon, deare Leonida, I come
To intimate thy fauor for my stay,
Tho thou wert garded with an host of men.
But how?
I must disguise me in some other shape,
For this is noted, and too full of danger.
Loretta, Who’s admitted best accesse
Vnto thy Lady?
Lor. Frier Anthonie,
Her Graces Confessor.
Lis. As I could wish: I know the Frier well;
I must assume that shape; It is the best:
Loretta, weare this Iewell for my sake;
Nay, prethee take it, not as recompence,
But as a token of that future good
Shall crowne thy merits, with such height and honour,
Fortune shall be asham’d, and held a Foole,
To suffer poore desert to ouer-match her. |Exit Lis.|
Lor. I humbly thanke your Grace: Why, here’s a gift
Able to make a Saint turne Oratrix,
And pleade ’gainst Chastitie: I must confesse,
Lisandro is a Noble Gentleman, and ha’s good gifts,

And is, indeed, gracious with my Ladie: Yet for all that, wee poore Gentlewomen, that haue no other fortunes but our attendance, must now and then make the best vse of our places: wee haue president, and very lately too. But who comes here? my Lord Nicanor?

Enter Nicanor.

Here’s another Client——I must deuise some quaint deuice for him, to delude his frostie apprehension—— Oh I ha’t.

Nic. Loretta, how is’t, wench? How thriues my suit, ha? Hast broke with thy Lady yet?

Lor. He takes me for a Shee-Broker, but I’le fit him:
I haue my Lord, but find her so obdure,
That when I speake, she turnes away her eare,
As if her mind were fixt on something else.
The other day, finding her Grace alone,
I came and mou’d your suit; told her how deare
She stood in your affection; and protested,
You lou’d her more then all the World beside.
Nic. Good, good: proceed.
Lor. At this she answer’d not a word,
But kept her eye still fixt vpon me;
Then I begun agen, and told her Grace
(As from my selfe) how much your Honour
Had merited her fauour by desert;
How great you stood ith’ generall eye of all,
And one selected by the King her Father,
(Since Prince Lorenzo’s death) to personate
The King of Sicill after his decease.
Nic. Excellent good i’faith. Then what said shee?
Lor. At this, I might perceiue her colour change
From red to pale, and then to red againe,
As if disdaine and rage had faintly stroue
In her confused brest for victorie.
At length, hauing recal’d her spirits,
She broke forth into these words; What, wilt thou
Conspire with youth and frailtie, to inforce
The rule of my affection ’gainst my will?
Tho’ my body be confin’d his prisoner,
Yet my mind is free. With that, shee charg’d mee
That I neuer should hereafter vrge your suit;
And this was all the comfort that I could
From her with all my diligence attaine.
Nic. Cold comfort, Wench, but ’tis the generall fault
Of women all, to make shew of dislike
To those they most affect: and in that hope
Thou shalt to her againe: No Citie
Euer yeelded at first skirmish. Before,
You came but to a parley, thou shalt now
Giue an assault: There’s nothing batters more
A womans resolution, then rich gifts;
Then goe, Loretta.
Lor. 'Las, my Lord, you know——
Nic. Feare nothing, Wench, giue her this chaine of pearle,
With it my selfe.
Lor. My Lord, I’le see what I can doe with her,
Nic. What, Loretta? Oh, you looke for a fee:
Here, take this Gold: And if thou canst preuaile,
(Harke in thine eare) When I am King——
Lor. I thanke your Lordship: Ha, ha, ha.— |Exit Lor.|
Nic. This womans weaknesse was wel wrought vpon,
Her words may take effect: ’Tis often seene
That women are like Diamonds; nothing cuts so soone
As their owne powder: yet there is one more
Will make a happy second,
Frier Anthonie her Confessor; such men as hee
Can preuaile much with credulous Penitents
In causes of perswasion. Hoe, within?
Enter Seruant.
Scan. Your Lordship call?
Nic. Bid Frier Anthonie
Come visit mee with all speed possible,
I could not thinke vpon a better Agent.
Their seeming sanctitie makes all their acts
Sauour of Truth, Religion, Pietie,
And proue that loue’s a heauenly Charitie,
Without which there’s no safetie. Here he comes.
Enter Lisandro like a Frier.
Lis. The benediction of the blessed Saints
Attend your honour.
Nic. Welcome, holy Frier.
Lis. And crowne your wishes to your hearts desire.
Nic. Amen, Anthonio,
I’le say Amen to that; but yet the meanes
To make mee happy, lies within thy power.
Lis. Your Honour may command mee.
Nic. Then ’tis thus;
Thou know’st with what a generall consent
Of all Sicilia I was prelected
By my dread Soueraigne, to espouse the faire
Yet fond Leonida; granting me for dower
The Crowne of Sicil, after his decease.
Lis. I hope, my Lord, there’s none dares question that.
Nic. To which intent, how many hopefull Princes
Haue beene non-suted, onely for my sake?
And to preuent all meanes of their accesse,
Establish’d mee her Guardian: Now, the Princesse,
Although I haue her Person, yet her Heart
I find estrang’d from mee, and all my loue
Is quitted with contempt.
Lis. The Heauens forbid.
Nic. It is forbidden both by Heauen and Earth,
And yet Shee do’s it; and thou know’st then, Frier,
My hopes are frustrate. Therefore (holy Man)
Thou art her Counsel-Closet, her Confessor,
Of reuerend opinion with the Princesse.
Lis. I doe conceiue your Honour.
Nic. Be my Orator.
Lis. In what I may, my Lord.
Nic. If thou preuail’st,
I le make thee Metropolitane of Sicil.
Lis. It shall be all my care.
Nic. Then farewell, Father. |Exit Nic.|
Lis. All my prayers attend yee.
So, here’s the fence throwne open; now my way
Is made before mee: Godamercy Cowle;
It is no maruell tho’ the credulous World
Thought themselues safe from danger, when they were
Inuested with this habit, ’tis the best,
To couer, or to gaine a free accesse,
That can be possible in any proiect.
How finely I haue guld my Politician,
That couets Loue, onely to gaine a Crowne?
But if my Loue proue constant, Ile withstand
All his desires with a more powerfull hand. |Exit.|
Enter Leonida and Loretta.
Le. Tell me, Loretta, Art thou sure ’twas he?
Lor. Madame, I liue not else.
Le. Thou do’st delude
My feares with fond impossibilities:
Prethee resolue me truly, I do long
Most infinitely.
Lor. Not a syllable more now,
And ’twould saue your life: not be-beleeu’d?
Le. Nay, sweet Loretta.
Troth, I doe beleeue thee.
Lor. Discredited?
I could fight with any liuing creature
In this quarrell ’tis so iust.
Le. Haue I deseru’d
No more respect, then to be trifled thus?
Come, prethee tell me.
Lor. Yes? to delude
Your feares with fond impossibilities?
Le. Nay, now thou tortur’st me.
Lor. Well, I haue done.
But leaue your sighes, your heigh-ho’s, and ay-me’s:
For I haue newes will warme you like the Sunne,
And make you open like the Marigold.
Le. Why, now thou rauish’st me.
Lor. I heard you not cry out yet.
Le. Thou takest such a delight in crossing me.
Lor. 'Faith, now you talke of Crosses, Ile tell you,
You haue chosen a Husband, so handsome, so complete,
As if he had beene pickt
Out of the Christ-Crosse row.
Le. As how, I prethee?
Lor. Why, Madame, thus:

Ile begin with A. and so proceed to the latter end of the Alphabet, comparing his good parts as thus: for A. hee is Amiable, Bountifull, Courteous, Diligent, Eloquent, Faithfull, Gracious, Humble, Iouiall, Kind, Louing, Magnanimous, Noble, Patient, Quiet, Royall, Secret, Trustie, Vigilant, Wittie, and Xceeding Youthfull. Now for Z, he’s zealous: so I conclude, pray God hee bee not Iealous.

Le. An excellent obseruation.
Lor. Who doe you think’s in loue with you?
The old Dragon Nicanor, that watches the fruit of your Hesperides.
Le. Oh, that newes is stale.
Lor. He met but iust now, and would needs know,
What returne I had made of his Aduenture.
But I deuised such a Tale for my old Marchant,
Able to make a Bankrout at report,
But he notwithstanding fraughts me agen,
With that he was not able, but with this,
This Chaine of Pearle.
Le. Prethee, away with it, Ile not be chain’d to him.
Lor. Faith, and ’tis true, a Chaine is the worst Gift
A Louer can send his Mistris, ’tis such an Embleme
Of bondage hereafter. Who’s that?
Enter Lisandro.
Le. Father.
Lis. How fares my worthy Daughter?
Le. Eu’n as one
Deuoted vnto sorrow, griefe and mone.
Lis. Then I must blame you, Ladie, you doe ill,
To blast those Rosiall blossomes. Will you kill
This gift of Nature, Beautie in the prime?
Le. Father, I vnderstand not what you say:
The other day you talkt of Penitence,
Commended Patience, Sorrow and Contrition,
As Antidotes against the soules decay:
And now, me thinkes, you speake of no such thing.
Lis. Mistake me not, deare Daughter, I spake then,
Onely to mortifie the sinfull minde,
But now I come with comfort, to restore
Your fainting spirits that were grieu’d before:
But Daughter, I must chide you.
Le. Father, why?
Lis. For your neglect, and too much crueltie
To one that dearely loues you.
Le. Whom in the name of wonder?
Lor. On my life,
This Frier’s made an agent in my suit.
Lis. The hope of Sicill, Map of true Nobilitie,
Patterne of Wisdome, Grace and Grauitie.
Le. You prayse him highly, ha’s he ne’r a name?
Lis. Yes, is’t my Lord Nicanor.
Le. Oh, is’t he?
His gray head shewes his wisdomes grauitie:
And are you made his Agent,
His Aduocate, to play the spokesman? Fie.
Lis. Daughter, this is a worke of Charitie,
A holy action to combine in one:
Two different hearts in holy Vnion.
Le. Frier, no more.
I doe not like of these perswasions,
Either ya’re not the same you seeme to be,
Or all your Actions are Hypocrisie,
My Faith is past alreadie, and my heart
Ingag’d vnto a farre more worthy man:
Lisandro is the Prince my loue hath wonne.
Lis. Then here the Frier concludes: my taske is done.
Le. Lisandro, my deare Loue!
Lis. The same, sweet Princesse.
Le. Oh, you were too aduentrous, dearest Loue,
What made you vndertake this hard attempt?
Lis. Your loue, sweet Lady,
That makes all things easie.
Le. Oh, I am made immortall with thy sight:
Here let me euer liue: I feare not now
The worst that Fate or Malice can afflict:
I haue enough, hauing thy companie.
Lis. And when I leaue to loue you, vertuous Madame,
Vpon that minute, let me leaue to liue,
That loue and life may both expire together.
Lor. Come, leaue your prating and protesting,
And get you both in, and be naught awhile.
’Tis dangerous talking here in publike,
Good Frier, look my Ladie dye no Nun. |Exit Le. & Lis.|
Heigho! now could I wish my Sweet-heart
Heere too, I feele such a tickling, somewhere
About me: if he were here now, I would
Neuer cast such an vnwilling deniall vpon him
As I haue done, hauing so good a president as I haue.
But stay, who’s this?
As true as I liue, ’tis he.
Oh, sweet Rogue, thou art come
In the happiest minute.
Enter Scanfardo.
Scan. Am I, Loretta? Masse, I like that well.
What, all alone? I like that better too.
But where’s the Princesse?
Lor. Oh, she’s safe enough!
Scan. Is she indeed? I like that best of all.
Lor. And so do’s shee, I warrant yee,
Or any woman else, that’s in her Case: ha, ha, ha!
Scan. There’s something in the wind now, that you
laugh at.
Lor. Nothing indeed, sweet Loue: but ha, ha!
I laugh at an odde Iest.
Scan. Come, I must know’t.
Lor. 'Deed but you must not.
Scan. Why? Dare you not trust me?
Lor. Yes, I dare: but
As you are a man, reueale it not.
Scan. In troth, Ime angry, that you should mistrust me.
Lor. The Frier, the Frier: ha, ha, ha!
He that the Lord imploy’d to be his Agent,
Who doe you thinke it was?
Scan. Father Anthonie, wast not?
Lor. The Deuill it was: no faith,
It was, ha, ha, ha!
It was no other, then Lisandro Prince of Naples,
That stole to my Lady in that Habit,
And guld your Lord most palpably.
Scan. Is’t possible?
And where are they now?
Lor. Why? faith th’are eu’n at,
Ha, ha, ha, ha!
But good Sweet-heart, be silent.
Scan. Not a syllable I: it was a bold attempt,
Knowing ’twas death, if but discouered once.
But come, Sweet-heart, weele eu’n doe,
As our betters haue done before vs,
The example is easly followed,
Hauing so good a Schoole-mistris.
Shall we to bed?
Lor. Fye, seruant, how you talke?
Troth you are to blame, to offer to assault
The chastitie of any Gentlewoman,
Vpon aduantage.
Scan. Pox, leaue this forc’d modesty: for by this hand,
I must enioy you now before we part.
Lor. I haue so farre ingag’d my selfe, you know,
’Tis now vaine to resist.
Scan. Why, now I like thee well.
Where shall we meet?
Lor. In the with-drawing Chamber, there I lye.
Scan. Goe then, Ile follow.
Lor. Ile put out the light.
Scan. No matter, I shall find the way i’ the darke.
Here was a strange discouerie but indeed,
What will not women blab to those they loue?
I am very loth to leaue my sport to night,
And yet more loth to lose that rich reward
My Lord will giue for this discouerie,
Chiefly to be reueng’d vpon his riuall:
Ile not forsake it, Venerie is sweet.
But he that has good store of gold and wealth,
May haue it at command, and not by stealth. |Exit.|
Enter Lisandro and Leonida.
Lis. ’Tis late, deare Loue.
Le. You shall not part from me,
Good sooth, you shall not. Frier Anthonie,
You say, is faithfull: for Loretta’s truth
I dare ingage my life.
Lis. Why, so you doe;
Should she proue false, both yours and mine, you know,
Are forfeit to the Law.
Le. You are secure.
Mistrust not then: true loue is void of feare.
No danger can afflict a constant mind.
This is no durance, no imprisonment,
Rather a Paradise in ioying thee:
My libertie alone consists in thee.
Lis. That is the reason, Ime so iealous, Sweet,
Since in my freedome both our liues remaine.
As for my selfe, what perill could be thought,
I would not vndergoe to gaine your loue?
Were it to scale the flaming Ætna’s top:
Whose sulphurous smoke kils with infection,
Cut through the Northerne Seas, or shoote the Gulfe?
Le. I doe beleeue thee, Sweet.
Lis. But yet this houre
Is not frequented by your Confessor, there lyes the danger.
Le. I ha’ confest to thee, from morne till night,
From night till morne againe, all my transgression.
Enter Nicanor.
Lis. Were I your Confessor, I know you would
Both sinne, and be confest.
Nic. Breake ope the doore.
Lis. By Heauen, we are betrai’d.
Le. Oh my deare Loue.
Lis. My thoughts presag’d as much.
What shall we doe? |Enter Nicanor and a Guard.|
Le. Do not resist, Lisandro, stand: the worst,
We can but dye.
Oh, this Loretta, false, inhumane wretch!
Nic. Lay hands vpon them both. Is’t so indeed?
Is this the zeale of your Confession?
I feare, death giues the absolution.
Le. Hence, doting Foole, more welcome far is death,
Then to bee linkt to Ages Leprosie. |Exeunt.|
Nic. Beare vm away into their seuerall Wards.
Let them be guarded strongly, till such time
I shall acquaint my Soueraigne with this Plot.
Rather then lose the Royall Dignitie,
Ile striue to ruine a whole Progenie. |Exit.|

Act. III.

Enter Atticvs, Iago, Nicanor, two Iudges, Notarie, and Attendants.
Att. How full of troubles is the state of Kings,
Abroad with Foes, at home, with faithlesse Friends,
Within with cares, without, a thousand feares?
Yet all summ’d vp together, doth not make
Such an impression in our troubled thoughts,
As this one Act of disobedience
In our owne Issue.
Iag. Gracious Soueraigne, yet for that high respect,
Be fauourable: she is your Daughter.
1. Iud. And the onely hope
Of all Sicilie, since Lorenzo’s losse.
Att. Bring to the Barre the Prisoners: this offence
Hath lost in vs a Father and a Friend,
And cals for Iustice from vs, as a King:
Yet thinke not, Lords, but ’tis with griefe of mind,
Nor can a Father easly forget a Daughter,
Whom hee once so dearely lou’d:
Yet we had rather become Issulesse,
Then leaue it noted to Posteritie,
An Act of such Iniustice.
2. Iud. Yet, dread Liege,
Oh, doe not too much aggrauate the crime.
Rather impute it to their childish loue.
Att. To loue, my Lords? if that were lowable,
What Act so vile, but might be so excus’d?
The Murderer, that sheddeth guiltlesse bloud,
Might plead, it was for loue of his Reuenge,
The Felon likewise might excuse his theft,
With loue of money, and the Traytor too
Might say, It was for loue of Soueraigntie.
And indeed, all offenders so might plead. |A Barre.|
Therefore, my Lords, you that sit here to Iudge,
Let all respect of persons be forgot,
And deale vprightly, that you may resemble
The highest Iudge, whose seat on Earth you hold:
And for you know, the Lawes of Sicilie
Forbid to punish two, for one offence,
Let your care be to find the principall,
The Primus Motor that begun the cause;
For the effect (you see) is but the issue
That one of them may worthily receiue
Deserued death; the other, may be sent
(As lesse offending) into banishment. |Exit King.|
The Prisoners brought to the Barre by a Gard. |Enter Lisandro, and Leonida.|
1. Iudg. Th’offence wherewith you both stand tax’d withall,
Appeares so manifest in grosse, that now
We need not question all particulars
In publique here: yet your triall shall
Be honourable, as your Persons were
Before this blacke Impression. Therefore say,
Which of you two begun th’occasion,
By any meanes, direct or indirect?
And answer truely, as you looke for grace.
Lis. ’Twas I, my honour’d Lords.
Leo. My Lords, ’twas I.
Lis. Let not this honourable Court be swaid
By false suggestions; that the fault was mine,
Appeares as manifest as mid-dayes Sunne,
’Twas I that first attempted, su’d, and prai’d,
Vs’d all the subtile engins Art could inuent,
Or Nature yeeld, to force affection,
Onely to gaine the royall Princesse loue;
For what can Women aboue weakenesse act?
Or, what Fort’s so strong, but yeelds at length
To a continued siege?
Th’attempt, I knew, was hard and dangerous:
Therefore more honourable in the conquest;
Which ere I would haue left, I would ha’ past
More dangers then ere Iason vnder-went.
Then, since you see (my Lords) the guilt was mine,
Pardon the Princesse, Mee to death resigne.
Leo. Pardon (my Lords) Lisandro, let me dye:
If euer you’le performe an act of iustice
Shall make you truely famous, doe it here,
Here vpon me; the guilt alone is mine:
’Twas this alluring face, and tempting smiles,
That drew on his affections. Say that Hee
Did first commence the suit; the fault was mine
In yeelding to it: ’Tis a greater shame
For women to consent, then men to aske:
And yet, before he spoke, I had ingag’d
My heart and loue to him, vnask’d, vnpraid;
And then (you know) how soone our eyes discouers
The true affection that we beare our Louers:
Then since the guilt alone remaines in Mee,
Let me be iudg’d, and set Lisandro free.
2. Iudg. This knot is intricate.
Lis. ’Tis fallacie.
Who can alledge one Article ’gainst her?
Th’offence was, breaking of the Kings command,
That none, on paine of death, should visit her,
Vnlesse appoynted by the King himselfe;
And that alone was mine: ’Twas my deuice;
I tooke the borrowed shape; I broke the Law,
And I must suffer for’t: Then doe not wrong
Her spotlesse Chastitie.
4. Iudg. How, Chastitie?
Lis. If any here conceiue her otherwise,
That very thought will damne him:
She’s as chaste
As ere your Mothers in their cradles were,
For any act committed.
2. Iudg. Harder still.
1. Iudg. A confused Labyrinth: we shal ne’r wind out.
Leo. My Lords, beleeue him not; the guilt lies here:
’Twas I that sent him that deluding shape,
In which he got admittance; The offence
Rests onely here: And therefore (good my Lords)
Let the condemning sentence passe on mee;
Or else, I will protest to all the world,
You are vniust;
And take my death vpon’t.
Lis. Fie, Madam, how you wrong your innocence!
And seeming (Lady) to be pittifull
To mee, you are most cruell; for my life
Should be a willing sacrifice to death,
To expiate the guilt of my offence.
Remember what continuall paines I tooke,
By messages, intreaties, gifts, and prayers,
To win your fauour, deare Leonida,
Iustice in this will be Impietie,
Vnlesse it here be shew’d. I beg it may.
Leo. I beg against him: He is innocent;
The fact alone was mine: I was the first,
The middle, and the end;
And Iustice here must end.
Or ’tis iniustice.
Enter King.
Attic. Is the sentence giuen?
2. Iudg. Not yet, my Lord: We are as far to seeke,
In the true knowledge of the prime Offender,
As at the first; for they plead guilty both;
Both striue to aggrauate their owne offence,
And Both excuse each other. On our liues,
We cannot yet determine where’s the cause,
Attic. It is impossible
That sacred Iustice should be hudwink’t still,
Though she be falsly painted so; Her eyes
Are cleare, and so perspicuous, that no cryme
Can maske it selfe in any borrowed shape,
But shee’le discouer it. Let vm be returnd
Backe to their seuerall Wards, till we deuise
Some better course for the discouery.
Nic. Dread Soueraigne, I know no better way,
Then to assay by torture, to inforce
A free confession, seuerall, one from other:
For though they now, out of affection,
Plead their owne guilt, as if they feard not death;
Yet, when they feele him sting once, then the care
Of life, and safetie, will discouer all.
Iag. My Lord Nicanor, this is ill aduis’d,
Sauoring too much of force and tyrannie.
Is’t fit that Princes should subiect themselues
To any tortures, such as are prepared
For base Offendors? ’Tis ignobly done,
So to incense the King.
Nic. How, Sir!
Iag. Eu’n so:
You shew a proud aspiring mind, my Lord,
After a Kingdome, that would ruinate
Two royall Louers for so small a fact:
But, Marke my words, Nicanor; Ere the Crowne
Impale thy Temples by Her timelesse end,
Mine and fiue thousand liues shall all expire.
Nic. I wey thy words not this.
Iag. Nor I thy frowne;
I’le incense one, shall quickly pull you downe. |Exit.|
Attic. How’s your opinion then,
To search it out?
1. Iudg. My Liege, we know no better way then this,
Let there be publique Proclamation made
Throughout the Kingdome, that there may be found
Two Aduocates, to plead this difference
In publique disputation, Man and Woman,
The wisest, and the best experienc’d
That can be found, or heard of in the Land;
Or any such will proffer of themselues
To vndertake the plea; For, questionlesse,
None are so impudent to vndergoe
So great a controuersie, except those
That know themselues sufficient.
Attic. Wee are pleas’d.
See it effected with all the speed you can:
The charge be yours, my Lord. Dissolue the Court. |Exeunt Om.|
Enter Iago and Lorenzo, disguised like an Amazon.
Lor. Has my poore Sister then withstood a triall?
Iag. I, and behau’d her selfe
Most royall, and discreetly: Insomuch,
Shee put the Iudges to a non-plus, Sir;
Defending and excusing eythers cause,
Vntill Nicanor, with his kind aduice,
Desir’d the King they might be tortured,
To see if that would force confession.
Lor. Was he the onely Tyrant? Well, ere long
It may be in Our power to quittance him.
I’me glad I know the Serpents subtiltie.
But how concluded they?
Iag. I was so vext,
I could not stay a full conclusion.
The Prisoners were dismist before I came:
But how they did determine afterwards,
I long to heare. But what intends your Grace
In this disguise?
Lor. To visit the sicke Court,
And free my Sister from captiuitie,
With that good Prince Lisandro.
Enter Misogynos and Scanfardo.
Mis. A Woman!
Why the more I thinke of their wickednesse,
The more incomprehensible I find it;
For they are, coozening, cologuing, vngrateful, deceitful,
Wauering, waspish, light, toyish, proud, sullen,
Discourteous, cruell, vnconstant; and what not?
Yet, they were created, and by nature formed,
And therefore of all men to be auoyded.
Lor. Oh impious conclusion! What is hee?
Iag. I ne’r had conuersation with him yet;
But (by report) I’le tell you, He’s a man,
Who’s breeding has beene like the Scarrabee,
Altogether vpon the excrement of the time;
And being swolne with poysonous vapors,
He breakes wind in publique, to blast the
Reputation of all Women; His acquaintance
Has bin altogether amongst Whores and Bawds,
And therefore speakes but in’s owne element.
His owne vnworthie foule deformitie,
Because no Female can affect the same,
Begets in him despaire; and despaire, enuie.
He cares not to defame their very soules,
But that he’s of the Turkes opinion: They haue none.
He is the Viper, that not onely gnawes
Vpon his Mothers fame, but seekes to eat
Thorow all Womens reputations.
Lor. Is’t possible! that Sicilie should breed
Such a degenerate Monster, shame of men?
Iag. Blame not your Countrie, he’s an Englishman.
Lor. I will not see the glories of that Sexe
Be-spawld by such a dogged Humorist,
And passe vnpunisht.
Iag. What intends your Grace?
Lor. To vndertake this iust and honest quarrell,
In the defence of Vertue, till I haue
Seuerely punisht his opprobrious word,
Committed against Women, who’s iust fame
Merits an Angels Pen to register.
Scan. Sir, you haue alter’d me, I thanke you for’t.
Mis. Oh! they are all the very pits of Sin,
Which men, for want of wisdome, fall into.
Scan. I see it, Sir, and will proclaime as much. |Exit Scan.|
Lor. Leaue me, Iago.
Iag. I’me gone, sweet Prince.
Lor. Tell me, thou iangling Mastiffe, with what feare
Dar’st thou behold that too much wronged Sex,
Whose Vertues thou hast basely slander’d?
Mis. Ha, ha, ha.
Lor. Laugh’st thou, inhumane wretch? By my best hope,
But that thy malice hath deseru’d reuenge
More infamous, and publique, then to fall
By me in priuate, I would hew thy flesh
Smaller then Attomes.
Mis. What, haue we here
A Woman rampant? ha!
Tempt me not, Syren, lest thou dost inuoke
A Furie worse then Woman.
Lor. Hellish Fiend,
How dar’st thou vtter such blasphemous words,
In the contempt of Women, whose deserts
Thy dunghill basenesse neuer could discerne?
Assure thy selfe, thy malice shall be plagu’d
Seuerely, as in iustice thou deseru’st.
Mis. I wey not your threats this; spit out your poysons,
Till your gals doe burst, I will oppose you all;
I cannot flatter, I: nor will I fawne
To gaine a fauor; Prayse the hand and foot,
And sweare your face is Angel-like, and lye
Most grosly. No, I will not do’t.
But when I come, it shall be in a storme,
To terrifie you all, that you shall quake
To heare my name resounding in your eares:
And Fortune, if thou be’st a deitie,
Giue me but opportunitie, that I
May all the follies of your Sex declare,
That henceforth Men of Women may beware.
Enter a Herald, with a Proclamation, a Trumpet before him, a great rabble of men following him.

Heral. Atticus, King of Sicilia, to all his louing Subiects sendeth greeting: Whereas there is a doubtfull question to be decided in publique disputation, which concernes the honour of all men in generall, that is to say, Whether the Man or the Woman in loue, stand guilty of the greatest offence: Know therefore, if that any man, of what estate or condition soeuer, will vndertake to defend the equitie of men, against the false imputations of women, let vm repayre to the Court, they shall be honourably entertayned, graciously admitted, and well rewarded.

God saue the King.
Omnes. Heauen preserue his Grace.
Mis. Fortune, I doe adore thee for this newes:
Why, here’s the thing I lookt for; ’tis a prize
Will make me euer famous. Herald, stay,
I will maintaine the Challenge, and approue
That women are first tempters vnto loue.
I’le blazon forth their colours in such sort,
Shall make their painted cheekes looke red, for vm
To haue them noted theirs, that all may know
That women onely are the cause of woe.
Omnes. A Champion, a Champion! |Exeunt.|
Enter a Woman with a Proclamation, and as many Women as may be, with a Trumpet afore them.

Lor. Aurelia, Queene, by the especiall priuiledge of the Maiestie of Sicilia, to all Ladies, gentle and others, of the Female Sex, sends greeting: Whereas there is a question to be decided in publike disputation before, an Honourable Assembly of both parts, that is, whether the man or the woman in loue comit the greatest offence, by giuing the first and principall occasion of sinning: therefore know, that if any woman will vndertake to defend the innocency of women, against the false imputations of detracting men, let her repaire to the Court, shee shall bee honourably entertayned, graciously admitted, and well rewarded. |God saue the Queene.|

Omnes. Heauens preserue her.
Lor. I doe accept it, tis a cause so iust,
In equitie and vertue, in defence
Of wronged women, whose distressed fames
Lye buried in contempt, whose Champion
I doe professe my selfe, and doe desire
No greater glorie, then to haue that name.
What woman can indure to heare the Wrongs,
Slanders, Reproches, and base Forgeries,
That base men vaunt forth, to dimme the rayes
Of our weake tender Sex? But they shall know,
Themselues, not women, are the cause of woe.
A Champion, a Champion. |Exeunt Omnes.|
Enter Atticus, Misogynos, two Iudges, Notarie, Cryer, and Attendants——And then Lisandro, and Hortensia guarded.
Att. That Equitie and Iustice both may meet,
In paralels, like to Apollo’s Twinnes,
We haue ordayn’d this Session. In the which
Let all vnequall and impartiall thoughts
Be laid aside; with such regard of truth,
As not the name of Daughter, or the Bloud
Which we call ours, running in her veines,
May any way diuert vs. Therefore goe on,
And take your seat, stout Champion, and preuaile,
As is the truth you deale for, in this doubtfull,
And much ambiguous businesse.
Mis. So I wish—— |Passe to his seat with Trumpets.|
Enter to them Aurelia, leading Atlanta, Loretta, and two or three more women.
Aur. Braue Amazonian beautie, learned Atlanta,
Now is it time your intellectuall powers,
Of wit and iudgement shou’d aduance themselues
Against the forked tongues of Slanderers,
That pierce the spotlesse innocence of women,
And poyson sweetnesse with the breath of Malice.
So on, and take thy seat! It is our trust,
Th’euent will prosper, for our cause is iust.
Atlan. That makes me confident—— |Passe to the seat.|
Att. Prepare the Court.

Cry. O yes! O yes! O yes! If there be any man——or woman——in this Honourable Court——that can produce——any lawfull cause——against either of the Aduocates——why they should not bee admitted——Let them now speake, or for euer hereafter hold their peace——

Att. ’Tis well. Now sweare the Iudges.

Not. Yee shall sweare by the sacred hand of Atticus, not to respect the person of either of the Offendors: but iustly and truly to waigh and ballance the Reasons and Arguments of the deputed Aduocates, and thereupon to determine and proceed in iudgement, according to the Lawes of this Iland, as you tender the pleasure of Royall Atticus.

Both Iudg. To this we freely sweare.

Att. Now then, to your Arguments.

Aur. Atlanta, for poore innocent women.

Att. Misogynos for the men.

Atlan. It is an honour farre beyond my weaknesse,
(Most equall Iudges) that I am accepted,
I but a woman, before men to plead,
Dumbe feare and bashfulnesse to speake before
Bold Orators of State, men graue and wise,
That can at euery breathing pause, correct
The slipp’ry passages of a womans speech:
But yet withall my hopes are doubly arm’d.
1. Iudg. How doubly arm’d?
2. Iudg. Presume not more then Reason.
Atlan. First, that my bashfull weaknesse claymes excuse,
And is to speake before such temp’rate Iudges,
Who in their wisdome will, no doubt, conniue
At small defects in me a silly woman.
1. Law. Smoothly put on.
2. Law. A quaint insinuation.
Atlan. Next, that the cause I handle, is so iust,
And full of truth, as were corruption seated
Vpon your hearts (as who can euer doubt
Wisdome shou’d so decline) I wou’d not feare,
But that my pregnant Reasons soone shou’d purge,
And clense your secret bosomes from vntruth.
1. Law. A promising Exordium.
2. Law. The successe is all.
Atlan. I need not tell you what I come to prooue:
That rayling Woman-hater hath alreadie
With his foule breath belcht forth into the Ayre,
The shamelesse cause in question, and doth charge
The supple wax, the courteous natur’d woman,
As blamefull for receiuing the impression
Of Iron hearted man, in whom is grauen,
With curious and deceiuing Art, foule shapes
And stamps of much abhord impietie.
Wou’d any man, once hauing fixt his Seale
To any Deed, though after he repent
The Fact so done, rayle at the supple Wax,
As though that were the cause of his vndoing?
O idle leuitie! Wax hath’s vse,
And woman easly beares the mans abuse.
1. Law. Here’s a by-blow.
2. Law. How can my Fencer ward it?
Stay: he comes on.
Mis. Hum. Doe you wax vpon me? as if man
Once hauing fixt the Seale of Armes of loue,
On waxen-harted woman, though another
Came after him, and did adulterate
The stampe imprinted on her, she, forsooth,
Must still be held excus’d. ’Tis weake, and fond,
And woman-like: you flye on waxen wings,
That melt against the Sunne. Therefore attend,
And I will proue vnto this honour’d Court,
In all their passions women are impetuous,
And beyond men, ten times more violent.
Atlan. I grant you that. But who begins the motion,
And is first agent? for as I conceiue,
That’s the cause in question.
Mis. Deluding woman.
Atlan. Flattring and periur’d man.
Mis. Did not th’inticing beautie of a woman,
Set Troy on fire?
Atlan. Did not man first begin
To tempt that beautie with the fire of lust?
Mis. Beautie first tempts to lust.
Atlan. Lust tempteth Beautie:
Witnesse the vowes, the oaths, the protestations,
And Crocodile teares of base dissembling men,
To winne their shamelesse purpose: Whereof missing,
Then but obserue their Gifts, their Messages,
Their wanton Letters, and their amorous Sonnets,
Whereby they vent the smoke of their affections,
Readie to blind poore women, and put out
The Eye of Reason. But if still they faile,
Then come they on with vndermining cunning,
And with our Maides, our Pages and Attendants,
Corruptly worke and make insinuation,
Whilst they at hand with fained languishment,
Make shew as if they meant to dye for loue,
When they but swelter in the reeke of Lust.
But heere’s not all: for if this all preuaile not,
Then are they vp againe, and with pale cheekes,
Like some poore Starueling, or some Mimick Ghost,
They stalke into the presence of their Mistris,
Fold vp their armes, hang downe their wanton heads,
Cast loue-sicke glances, and as wofull Comma’s,
In this dumbe Oratorie, now and then they breathe
A passionate sigh, whereat the gentle nature
Of milde compassionate woman once relenting,
Straight they fall out into such sweet complaints
Of their sad suffrings, tuning words of Art,
Able to melt a gentle Eye in teares,
As they doe speake. Then with officious dutie,
They licke a Moat off from her vpper garment,
Dust her curl’d Ruffe with their too busie fingers,
As if some dust were there: and many toyes
They vse to please, till side by side they ioyne,
And palme with palme supplies the amorous heart,
To pay a wanton kisse on Loues faire lips,
And then the Prize is wonne. Iudge therefore, Lords,
Whether the guilt doth lye on vs or them,
And as your Wisdomes find, saue or condemne.
A Plaudite by the women, with shouts, crying, Atlanta, Atlanta, Atlanta!
Lisan. Truth hath she said in all.
Hort. O, but the Art of Woman——
1. Iud. Silence! you haue no voice in Court.
2. Iud. You haue your Aduocates, therefore must not speake.
1. Law. These Allegations are vnanswerable.
2. Law. The Court must needs allow them.
Mis. Bragge not too fast! for all this glorious speech,
Is but a painted Pageant, made to vsher
Some homely Scauenger, and is borne vp,
Vpon the backes of Porters. It wants true worth,
To carrie State, and vsher learned Iudgement
Into this Court. For what a foolish reason,
Is it to say, Lust tempteth garish Beautie,
Because men court their wanton Mistresses,
In sundry formes of Complement? There’s not
A Citie Tradesman throughout all the Streets,
From the East Chappell, to the Westerne Palace,
But knowes full well the garish setting out
Of Beautie in their shops, will call in Customers
To cheapen ware: Beautie set forth to sale,
Wantons the bloud, and is mans tempting Stale.
1. Law. How boldly he comes on?
2. Law. But marke his reasons.
Mis. And this is woman, who well knowes her strength,
And trimmes her Beautie forth in blushing Pride,
To draw as doth the wanton Morning Sunne,
The eyes of men to gaze. But marke their natures,
And from their Cradles you shall see them take
Delight in making Babies, deuising Christnings,
Bidding of Gossips, calling to Vp-sittings,
And then to Festiuals, and solemne Churchings,
In imitation of the wanton ends,
Their riper yeeres will ayme at. But goe further,
And looke vpon the very Mother of Mischiefe,
Who as her Daughters ripen, and doe bud
Their youthfull Spring, straight she instructs them how
To set a glosse on Beautie, adde a lustre
To the defects of Nature, how to vse
The mysterie of Painting, Curling, Powdring,
And with strange Periwigs, pin knots, Bordrings,
To deck them vp like to a Vintners Bush,
For men to gaze at on a Midsummer Night,
1. Law. The tyde begins to turne.
2. Law. Women goe downe.
Mis. This done, they are instructed by like Art,
How to giue entertainment, and keepe distance
With all their Sutors, Friends, and Fauourites,
When to deny, and when to feed their hopes,
Now to draw on, and then againe put off,
To frowne and smile, to weepe and laugh out-right,
All in a breath, and all to trayne poore man
Into his ruine: Nay, by Art they know
How to forme all their gesture, how to adde
A Venus Mole on euery wanton cheeke,
To make a gracefull dimple when she laughes:
And (if her teeth be bad) to lispe and simper,
Thereby to hide that imperfection:
And these once learn’d, what wants the Tempter now,
To snare the stoutest Champion of men?
Therefore, graue Iudges, let me thus conclude:
Man tempts not woman, woman doth him delude.
A Plaudite by the Men with shouts, crying, Misogynos, Misogynos, Misogynos!
1. Law. Women, looke to’t, the Fencer giues you a veney.
2. Law. Beleeue it, he hits home.
Mis. Nay, I wou’d speake.
What Tyrannies, Oppressions, Massacres,
Women stand guiltie of: and which is more,
What Cities haue beene sackt and ruinate,
Kingdomes subuerted, Lands depopulated,
Monarchies ended? and all these by women.
Atlan. Base snarling Dogge, bite out thy slandrous tongue,
And spit it in the face of Innocence,
That at once all thy rancour may haue end:
And doe not still opprobriously condemne
Woman that bred thee, who in nothing more
Is guiltie of dishonour to her Sex:
But that she hath brought forth so base a Viper,
To teare her reputation in his teeth,
As thou hast done.
Mis. O doe not scold, good woman!
1. Iud. Goe to the purpose.
Atlan. I forgot my selfe:
Therefore, graue Iudges, let this base Impostor
Tell me one man that euer gaue his life,
To keepe his vow safe and inuiolate,
Against the assaults of Lust: and for that one,
He find a thousand women, that to keepe
Their Chastities and Honours vndefil’d,
Haue laid their liues downe at base Tyrants feet.
A Plaudite by Women, crying, Atlanta, Atlanta, Atlanta!
1. Law. This is but a flourish.
2. Law. The Fencers Schoole-play beares it.
Mis. What hath beene is not now: The Kalender
Of Women Saints is fild vp long agoe:
For now a vniuersall leprosie,
Like to an Inundation, ouer-flowes,
And breakes vpon you all: scarce one is free
From wanton lightnesse and vaine leuitie.
Atlan. None like to Nero, and Heliogabulus.
Mis. Yes, wanton Hellen and Cleopatra.
Atlan. I cou’d name more.
Mis. I, ten for one, of Women.
Atlan. Sense-pleasing Sardanapalus is beyond
All Women that can be nam’d.
Mis. Ile name you one
Beyond all Men, th’insatiate Messalina:
Who when she had to satisfie her lust,
Imbrac’d the change of Louers, and was weakened
So farre, she could no longer hold it out:
And being askt if then she were satisfied,
She answerered, No: for though she then were tyr’d,
No change could satisfie her appetite.
A Plaudite by the Men, crying, Misogynos, Misogynos, Misogynos.
Atlan. O monstrous impietie!
Aur. Stop the Detractors mouth: Away with him.
Women. Teare him in pieces.
Not. Silence in the Court.
Attic. It is enough: my Lords, proceed to iudgement;
And lead away Misogynos to his Chamber.
The two Lawyers lead Misogynos away.
1. Iudge. Read the decree.
Not. We the sworne Iudges of this present Court,
In equall ballance hauing weigh’d the reasons,
And allegations of both Aduocates,
In their late Declamations, doe adiudge,
And here conclude that——
Attic. Read out.
Not. That women are the first and worst temptations
To loue and lustfull folly: and to this
We are here present, ready to subscribe.
Atlan. You are impartiall, and we doe appeale
From you to Iudges more indifferent:
You are all men, and in this weightie businesse,
Graue Women should haue sate as Iudges with you.
Aur. ’Tis true, ’tis true: Let vs haue iustice.
Attic. It is decreed already; attend the iudgement.
Aur. Yet at the last let your Aurelia kneele,
And for the Ofspring of your loynes and mine,
Begge fauour.
Attic. Peace.
Aur. You alwayes haue bin iust
In other causes; Will you in your owne
Be so vniust, seuere, nay tyrannous?
The very Beasts, by naturall instinct,
Preserue their issue; and will you be then,
More cruell and vnnaturall then they?
Attic. Arise; and know, A King is like a Starre,
By which each Subiect, as a Mariner,
Must steere his course. Iustice in Vs is ample,
From whom Inferiors will deriue example.
Aur. Oh, be not so obdurate!
Attic. I’le heare no more.
Atlan. Yet, gracious Sir, for my indeuouring paines,
(Though fruitlesse now) let mee (a Stranger) beg
One boone——
Attic. But not the freedome of Leonida.
Atlan. Since she must die; I beg she may not basely
Be hurried forth amongst vnciuill men;
But that your Queene, and I, and some few others,
With any one of your attendant Lords,
May see her execution.
Attic. Take your desire.
Leo. The blessed Heauens be thankfull to Atlanta.
Lis. And crowne her with all blessings.
Attic. Take my thanks too. And now, my Lords, proceed,
And giue your finall censure.
Exit Attic.
Cornets, a flourish.
Au. Come, Atlanta, come;
Teares fill mine eyes, and Griefe doth strike me dumbe.
Exit Aur. Atlan. and all the Women.
1. Iudge. Leonida, By the iudgement of this Court,
You are found guiltie as the Principall,
In the offence committed; for which, we doome you
(According to the Lawes of this our Iland)
To lose your Head.
2. Iudge. And you withall, Lisandro,
By the like Law, must within fifteene daies,
Betake you to perpetuall banishment.
Leo. Welcome, sweet death.
Lis. Nothing can expiate
The Kings seuere Decree, and Her Hard fate. |Exeunt.|

Act. IIII.

Enter Iago and Sforza, seuerall.
Sfor. Health to your Honour.
Iag. Noble Sforza, thankes.
Sfor. Haue you not heard the newes?
Iag. Of what, my Lord?
Sfor. Lisandro, and the Princesse.
Iag. Not as yet.
Sfor. Then I’le resolue you.
Iag. Pray you doe, my Lord.
Sfor. The Aduocates both vsed their vtmost skill,
To iustifie and quit the Sex they stood for,
With arguments, and reasons so profound
On eyther side, that it was hard to say,
Which way the scale of Iustice would incline.
Iag. I ioy to heare it; And to say the truth,
Both Sexes equally should beare the blame;
For both offend alike. But pray’ proceed.
Sfor. At length, the Aduocate that stood for vs,
Preuail’d so farre, with his forc’d Oratorie,
The Lord Nicanor too, abetting him,
That maugre all the Amazonians wit,
Which was (indeed) beyond expression,
The sentence past against the female Sex;
And the poore Princesse is adiudg’d to death.
Iag. The Heauens forbid! The Princesse doom’d to die?
Sfor. Too true, my Lord: I heard the words pronounc’d.
Iag. A sentence most vniust, and tyrannous.
Where’s the Detractor?
Sfor. Crown’d with Victorie,
And intertain’d with Triumph.
Iag. That iust Heauen
Should suffer such an impious wretch to live!
I must goe looke the Princesse; when must she dye?
Sfor. To morrow’s Sun beholds a daughters fall.
Iag. A Sunne must rise to night, to dimme that Sunne,
From the beholding such a horrid deed.
’Twas cruell in a King, for such a fact;
But in a Father, it is tyrannie.
Enter Misogynos.
Sfor. Forbeare, my Lord, the times are dangerous.
See! here’s the Champion.
Iag. Looke how the Slaue glories in his conquest,
How insolent he stalkes!
Shall we indure such saucie impudence?
Sfor. Put vp, put vp, my Lord,
He is not worth our indignation:
Let vs a-while obserue him for some sport.
Enter Scanfardoe.
Scan. My noble Fencer, I congratulate
Your braue atchieuements in the last dayes triumph.
Mis. I thanke you, Scholler. Was’t not brauely done?
Scanf. Done like thy selfe: the spirits of Mantua
And old Diogenes doubled in thee.
Mis. I thinke, I haue giuen
The Female reputation such a wound,
Will not be cured in haste.
Enter two Gentlemen.
Iag. Ha, ha, ha, ha; Pernicious slaue.
1. Gent. Worthie Misogynos.
2. Gent. Noble Champion,
We doe applaud
Your merit, in the report
Of your late conquest.
Mis. Thanke you, Gentlemen
Truth will preuaile, you see.
I speake not for my selfe, in my owne quarrel;
But the generall good of all men in the world.
1. Gent. We know it, Sir.
Iag. Degenerate Monster, how he iustifies
His slandrous forgeries?
Mis. But, Gentlemen,
How goes the rumour?
What do’s the Multitude report of mee?
1. Gent. Oh Sir, the Men applaud you infinitely;
But the Women——
Mis. I respect not them:
Their curses are my prayers.
Iag. Oh damn’d Rogue!
1. Gent. If you’le be rul’d by me, go shew your selfe
Amongst them all in publique: O 'twill fret
Their very galls in pieces.
Iag. That was well.
Some body second that, and we shall see
Excellent pastime; for they’le ne’r indure
His sight with any patience.
Scanf. Doe i’faith
That they may see you haue conquer’d.
Mis. And I will.
But should they grow outragious—
2. Gent. Feare not that: we’le all along with ye.
Mis. Will you conduct me safe vnto my Schoole?
Scan. I, I, we’le be your Gard. |Exeunt.|
Sfor. Oh what a Coward ’tis?
Iag. You doe him wrong:
He fights not with his hands, but with his tongue.
Why doe I trifle time? I’le to the Court;
This crueltie afflicts my very soule.
Good my Lord, ioyne with me; we’le to the King,
And see if wee can alter this decree.
Oh ’tis a royall Princesse, faire, and chaste!
Sfor. But her disdaine, my Lord, hath bin the cause
Of many hopefull Youths vntimely end;
’Tis that has harden’d both the Commons hearts,
And many a noble Peeres,
Iag. Why, what of that?
It is not fit affection should be forc’d:
Let’s kneele vnto his Grace for her release.
Iustice (like Lightning) euer should appeare
To few mens ruine, but to all mens feare. |Exit.|

Scen. II.

Enter Nicanor, and a Gentleman.
Nic. The Princesse suffers then?
Gent. This Morning, Sir,
Vnlesse the mercie of the King be found
More then is yet expected.
Nic. Oh my heart,
Canst thou indure to heare that heauie sound,
And wilt not burst with griefe?
Gent. Nay, good my Lord:
Nic. Oh, worthie Sir, you did not know the ioyes
That we all lost in her. She was the hope,
And onely comfort of Sicilia;
And the last Branch was left of that faire stocke;
Which (if she dye) is wither’d, quite decay’d.
But I haue such a losse.
Gent. You haue indeed:
Yours is the greatest of a particular:
For you haue lost a beautious Spouse, my Lord;
And yet the rich hopes of a royall Crowne
Might mitigate your sorrow. You are next.
Nic. Doe not renew my griefe with naming that.
Oh that it were to morrow! happie day,
Bestow’d on some more meritorious,
That might continue long, for I am old.
I should be well content.
Gent. Say not so:
There’s no one merits that more then your selfe:
You are elected by the Kings owne house,
And generall consent of all the Realme,
For the Successour after his decease:
Whose life pray Heauen defend.
Nic. Amen, Amen,
And send him long to raigne; but not on earth.
Sir, you are neere the King; Pray, if you heare
His Highnesse aske for me, excuse me, Sir:
You see my sorrow’s such, I am vnfit
To come into the presence of a King.
Gent. I see it, Sir, and will report as much.
Nic. You will report a lye then; ha, ha, ha.
My Lungs will not afford me wind enough
To laugh my passions out. To gaine a Crowne,
Who would not at a funerall laugh and sing?
All men of wisedome would, and so will I:
Yet to the worlds eye, I am drown’d in teares,
And held most carefull of the King and State,
When I meane nothing lesse. Lorenzo’s dead:
The scornefull Princesse, that refus’d my loue,
Is going to her death. The King, I know,
Cannot continue long: Then may I say,
As our Italian heires at fathers deaths,
Quid Iude, Reine ta soll.
The King alone made mee the King:
Me thinkes I feele the royall Diadem
Vpon my head already; ha, ha, ha. |Exit.|
A dumbe shew.
Enter two Mourners, Atlanta with the Axe, Leonida all in white, her haire loose, hung with ribans; supported on eyther side by two Ladies, Aurelia following as chiefe Mourner. Pase softly ouer the stage.
A Song in parts.
Whilst wee sing the dolefull knell
Of this Princesse passing-bell,
Let the Woods and Valleys ring
Ecchoes to our sorrowing;
And the Tenor of their Song,
Be ding dong, ding, dong, dong,
ding, dong, dong,
ding, dong.
Nature now shall boast no more,
Of the riches of her Store,
Since in this her chiefest prize,
All the Stocke of beautie dies;
Then, what cruell heart can long
Forbeare to sing this sad ding dong?
This sad ding dong,
ding dong.
Fawnes and Siluans of the Woods,
Nimphes that haunt the Cristall flouds,
Sauage Beasts more milder then
The vnrelenting hearts of men,
Be partakers of our mone,
And with vs sing ding dong, ding dong,
ding dong, dong,
ding dong.
Exeunt Omnes.
Enter Misogynos, and Swash.
Mis. Swash.
Swa. At your Buckler, Sir?
Mis. Perceiu’st thou nothing, Swash?
Swa. How meane you, Sir?
Mis. No strange signe of alteration; hum.
Swa. Beyond imagination.
Mis. How, good Swash?
Swa. Why, from a Fencer, you’re turn’d Orator.
Mis. Oh! Cedunt arma Togæ; that’s no wonder.
Perceiu’st thou nothing else? Looke I not pale?
Are not my armes infolded? my eyes fixt,
My head deiected, my words passionate,
And yet perceiu’st thou nothing?
Swash. Let me see, me thinkes, you looke Sir, like some
Desperate Gamester, that had lost all his estate
In a dicing House: you met not
With those Money-changers, did you?
Or haue you falne amongst the female Sex,
And they haue paid you for your last dayes worke?
Mis. No, no, thou art as wide, as short in my disease:
Thou neuer canst imagine what it is,
Vnlesse, I tell thee. Swash, I am in loue.
Swash. Ha, ha, ha, in loue?
Mis. Nay, ’tis such a wonder, Swash, I scarce beleeue,
It can be so, my selfe, and yet it is.
Swash. The Deuill it is as soone, and sooner too:
You loue the Deuill, better then a woman.
Mis. Oh, doe not say so, Swash, I doe recant.
Swash. In loue? not possible:
This is some tempting Syren has bewitcht you.
Mis. Oh! peace, good Swash.
Swash. Some Cockatrice, the very Curse of man?
Mis. No more, if thou dost loue me.
Swash. Your owne words.
I know not how to please you better, Sir.
Will you from Oratour, turne Heretike,
And sinne against your owne Conscience?
Mis. Oh, Swash, Swash!
Cupid, the little Fencer playd his Prize,
At seuerall weapons in Atlanta’s eyes,
He challeng’d me, we met and both did try
His vtmost skill, to get the Victorie.
Lookes were oppos’d ’gainst lookes, and stead of words,
Were banded frowne ’gainst frowne, and words ’gainst words
But cunning Cupid forecast me to recoile:
For when he plaid at sharpe, I had the foyle.
Swash. Nay, now he is in loue, I see it plaine:
I was inspir’d with this Poeticall vaine,
When I fell first in loue: God bo’y yee, Sir:
I must goe looke another Master.
Mis. Swash.
Swash. Y’are a dead man: beleeue it, Sir,
I would not giue two-pence for a Lease
Of a hundred pound a yeere made for your life.
Can you that haue bin at defiance with vm all,
Abused, arraigned vm, hang’d vm, if you could:
You hang’d vm more then halfe, you tooke away
All their good names, I’me sure, can you then hope,
That any will loue you? A Ladie, Sir,
Will sooner meet a Tinker in the street,
And try what Metall lyes within his Budget,
A Countesse lye with me, an Emperour
Take a poore Milke-maide, Sir, to be his Wife,
Before a Kitchen-Wench will fancie you.
Mis. Doe not torment me, misbeleeuing Dolt,
I tell thee, I doe loue, and must enioy.
Swash. Who, in the name of women, should this bee?
Mis. What an obtuse Conception do’st thou beare?
Did not I tell thee, ’twas Atlanta, Swash?
Swash. Who, she Amazonian Dame, your Aduocate,
A Masculine Feminine?
Mis. I, Swash,
She must be more then Female, has the power
To mollifie the temper of my Loue.
Swash. Why, she’s the greatest enemie you haue.
Mis. The greater is my glorie, Swash, in that
That hauing vanquisht all, I attaine her.
The Prize consists alone
In my eternall credit and renowne.
Oh, what a Race of wittie Oratours
Shall we beget betwixt vs: Come, good Swash,
Ile write a Letter to her presently,
Which thou shalt carry: if thou speedst, I sweare,
Thou shalt be Swetnams Heire.
Swash. The Deuill I feare,
Will dispossesse me of that Heritage.
Enter two Gentlemen.
1. Gent. But are you sure she is beheaded, Sir?
2. Gent. Most certaine, Sir, both by the Kings Decree,
And generall voyce of all, for instance see.
1. Gent. The wofull’st sight.
That ere mine eyes beheld.
2. Gent. A sight of griefe and horrour.
1. Gent. It is a piece of the extremest Iustice
That euer Memory can Register.
2. Gent. I, in a Father.
1. Gent. Oh, I pray forbeare,
The time is full of danger euery-where. |Exeunt.|
Enter Lisander, and the Guard.
Lis. Good gentle friends, before I leaue the Land,
Suffer me to take my last fare-well
Of my owne dearest deare Leonida.
Accept this poore reward: would time permit.
I would more largely recompence your loues.
1. Gua. You haue preuail’d, my Lord, but pray bee briefe.
We are inioyn’d by strict Commission,
To see you shipt away this present tyde.
Lis. Indeed, I will.
1. Gua. Then here you may behold,
All that is left of faire Leonida.
Lis. Oh——
2. Gua. How fare you, Sir.
Lis. Oh, Gentlemen,
Can you behold this sacred Cabinet,
Which Nature once had made her Treasurie?
But now broke ope by sacrilegious hands,
And not let fall a teare: you are vnkind.
Not Marble but would wet at such a sight,
And cannot you, strange stupiditie!
Thou meere Relike of my dearest Saint!
Vpon this Altar I will sacrifice
This Offering to appeaze thy murd’red Ghost.
1. Gua. Restraine, my Lord, this Passion, we lament
As much as you, and grieue vnfaynedly
For her vntimely losse.
Lis. As much as I? Oh, ’tis not possible.
You temporize with sorrow: mine’s sincere,
Which I will manifest to all the World.
See what a beauteous forme she yet retaynes,
In the despight of Fate, that men may see,
Death could not seize but on her mortall parts:
Her beautie was diuine and heauenly.
1. Gua. Nay, good my Lord, dispatch, the time’s but short.
Lis. Indeed, I will, to make an end of time:
For I can liue no longer, since that she,
For whose sake onely, I held truce with time,
Hath left me desolate: no, diuinest loue,
What liuing was deny’d vs, weele enioy
In Immortalitie, where no Crueltie,
Vnder the forme of Iustice, dare appeare.
Sweet sacred Spirit, make not too much haste
To the Elizian Fields, stay but awhile,
And I will follow thee with swifter speed,
Then meditation: thus I seale my vow. |Kisses.|
Me thinkes, I feele fresh heat, as if her soule
Had resum’d her former seate agen,
To solemnize this blessed Vnion,
In our last consummation, or else it stayes,
Awayting onely for my companie:
It does, indeed, and I haue done thee wrong,
To let thy heauenly eyes want me so long,
But now I come, deare Loue, Oh, oh!
1. Gua. What sound was that?
2. Gua. Oh, we are all vndone,
The Prince has slaine himselfe: what shall we doe?
1. Gua. There is no way but one, let’s leaue the Land,
If we stay heere, we shall be sure to dye,
And suffer for our too much lenitie,
Though we are innocent.
2. Gua. Then haste away:
The doome weele execute vpon our selues,
And ship with speed for Holland, there, no doubt,
We shall haue entertaynment,
There are warres threatned betwixt Spaine and them.
1. Gua. Then let vs hoyse vp sayle, mercy receiue
Thy soule to Heauen, Earth to Earth we leaue. |Exeunt.|
Enter Atlanta.
Atlan. What spectacle is this? A man new slaine,
Close by the Princes Herse! Who is’t? Oh, me,
The Noble Prince Lisandro. Cruell Fate,
Is there no hope of life? See, he looks vp,
Ile beare him out of the ayre, and stop his wound:
If there be any hope, I haue a Balme
Of knowne experience, in effecting cures
Almost impossible, and if the wound
Be not too deadly, will recouer him. |Exit Lorenzo.|
Enter Aurelia and Iago.
Iag. Deare Queene, haue patience.
Aur. How, Iago, patience?
Tis such a sinne, that were I guiltie of,
I should despayre of mercie. Can a Mother
Haue all the blessings both of Heauen and Earth,
The hopefull issue of a thousand soules
Extinct in one, and yet haue patience?
I wonder patient Heauen beares so long,
And not send thunder to destroy the Land.
The Earth, me thinkes, should vomit sulph’rous Damps,
To stifle and annoy both man and beast,
Seditious Hell should send blacke Furies forth.
To terrifie the hearts of tyrant Kings.
What say the people? doe they not exclaime,
And curse the seruile yoke, in which th’are bound.
Vnder so mercilesse a Gouernour?
Iag. Madame, in euery mouth is heard to sound.
Nothing but murmurings and priuate whispers,
Tending to seuerall ends: but all conclude,
The King was too seuere for such a Fact.
Enter Atlanta.
Aur. Atlanta, welcome, Oh my child, my child.
There lies the summe of all my miserie!
Atl. Gracious Madame, doe but heare me speake.
Aur. Atlanta, I should wrong thy merit else.
What wouldst thou say?
Something I know, to mitigate my griefe.
Atl. Rather to adde to your afflictions,
I am the Messenger of heauie Newes.
Lisandro, Prince of Naples,
Aur. What of him?
Atl. Beholding the sad obiect of his loue,
His violent passion draue him to despayre,
And he hath slaine himselfe.
Iag. Disastrous chance!
Atl. I found him gasping for his latest breath,
And bore him to my Lord Iago’s house,
I vs’d my best of skill to saue his life:
But all, I feare, in vaine: the mortall wound
I find incurable: yet I prolong’d
His life a little, that he yet drawes breath:
Goe you and visit him with vtmost speed:
The Queene and I will follow.
Iag. Goe? Ile runne. |Exit Iago.|
Aur. Was euer Father so vnmercifull,
But for that Monster that was cause of this,
That bloudie, cruell, and inhumane wretch,
That slanderous Detractor of our Sex:
That Misogynos, that blasphemous Slaue?
I will be so reueng’d.
Enter Clowne.
Atlan. Madame, no more,
He is not worth your wrath:
Let me alone with him.
Clow. Whist, doe you heare?
Atlan. How now, what art thou?
Clow. Not your Seruant, and yet a Messenger,
No Seruingman, and yet an Vsher too.
Atlan. What are you then, Sir? speake.
Clow. That can resolue you, and yet cannot speake,
I am no Foole, I am a Fencer, Sir.
Aur. A Fencer, sirrah? ha, what Countrey-man?
Clow. This Countrey-man, forsooth, but yet borne in
Aur. How? borne in England, & this Countrey-man?
Clow. I haue bin borne in many Countreyes, Madame,
But I thinke I am best be this Countrey-man,
For many take me for a silly one.
Aur. For a silly one?
Clow. I, a silly one.
Atlan. Oh, Madame, I haue such welcomenesse!
Aur. For me, what is’t?
Atlan. The baytes of women haue preuented vs,
And hee has intrapt himselfe.
Aur. How, by what accident?
Atlan. Loue, Madame, loue, read that.
Aur. How’s this?
To the most wise and vertuous Amazon,
Chiefe pride and glorie of the Female Sex.
A promising induction: what’s within?
Magnanimous Ladie, maruell not,
That your once Aduersary do’s submit himselfe
To your vnconquer’d beautie.
Atlan. Cunning Slaue.
Aur. Rather impute it to the power of loue,
Whose heauenly influence hath wrought in me,
So strange a Metamorphosis.
Atlan. The very quintessence of flatterie.
Aur. In so much, I vow hereafter, to spend all my dayes,
Deuoted to your seruice, it shall be
To expiate my former blasphemies:
My desire is shortly to visit you.
Atlan. It shall be to your cost then.
Aur. To make testimony of my hearty contrition,
Till when and euer I will protest my selfe,
To be the conuerted Misogynist.
Atlan. Ha, ha, ha, why, this is excellent!
Beyond imagination.
Aur. You must not slip this oportunitie.
Atlan. Ile not let passe a minute: his owne man
Ile make an instrument to feed his
Follies with a kind acceptance, and when he comes,
Let me alone to plot his punishment.
Aur. Excellent Atlanta, I applaud thy wit.
Atlan. Ile make him an example to all men,
That dares calumniate a womans fame.
Attend an answere, Ile reward thee well.
Clow. I thanke your Madame-ship, Ime glad o’ this,
Tis the best hit that euer Fencer gaue. |Exeunt.|
Enter Atticus, Iago, Sforza, and Nicanor.
Att. How took the Girle her death? did she not raue?
Exclaime vpon me for the Iustice done
By a iust Father? how tooke Naples sonne
His Exile from our Land? What, no man speake?
My Lords, whence springs this alteration?
Why stand you thus amaz’d? Methinks your eyes
Are fixt in Meditation; and all here
Seeme like so many sencelesse Statues,
As if your soules had suffer’d an eclipse,
Betwixt your iudgements and affections:
Is it not so? 'Sdeath, no man answers?
Iago, you can tell: I’me sure you saw
The execution of Leonida,
Not yet a sillable? If once agen
We doe but aske the question, Death tyes vp
Your soules for euer. Call a Heads-man there.
If for our daughter this dumbe griefe proceed,
Why should not We lament as well as you?
I was her father; whose deare life I priz’d
Aboue mine owne, before she did transgresse:
And, could the Law haue so bin satisfi’d.
Mine should ha’ paid the ransome of her cryme.
But, that the World should know our equitie,
Were she a thousand daughters she should die.
Iag. I can forbeare no longer. Then (Sir) know,
It was about that time, when as the Sunne
Had newly climb’d ouer the Easterne hils,
To glad the world with his diurnall heat,
When the sad ministers of Iustice tooke
Your daughter from the bosome of the Queene
Whom now she had instructed to receiue
Deaths cold imbraces with alacritie:
Which she so well had learn’d, that shee did striue,
Like a too forward Scholler, to exceed
Her Teachers doctrine,
So cheerefully she went vnto the Block,
As if shee’d past vnto her nuptiall bed.
And as the trembling Bride when she espies
The Bridegroome hastily vnclothe himselfe,
And now beginning to approch the bed,
Then she began to quake and shrinke away,
To shun the separation of that head,
Which is imaginary onely, and not reall.
So, when she saw her Executioner
Stand readie to strike out that fatall blow,
Nature, her frailtie, and the alluring world,
Did then begin to oppose her constancie:
But she, whose mind was of a nobler frame,
Vanquish’d all oppositions, and imbrac’d
The stroke with courage beyond Womans strength;
And the last words she spoke, said, I reioyce
That I am free’d of Fathers tyrannie.
Attic. Forbeare to vtter more. We are not pleas’d
With these vnpleasing accents: Leaue the world
So cheerefully, and speake of tyrannie:
She was not guiltie sure. We’le heare no more.
Iag. Sir, but you shall: since you inforc’d me speake,
I will not leaue a sillable vntold.
You ask’d if Naples sonne were banish’d too?
Yes, he is banish’d euer from the sight
Of mortall eyes againe: for he is dead.
Nic. Lisandro dead! By what occasion?
Iag. I scorne to answer thee. The King shall know,
It was his chance vpon that haplesse houre,
To passe that way, conducted by his gard,
Towards his banishment; where he beheld
The wofull obiect of the Princesse head:
There might you see loue, pittie, rage, despaire,
Acting together in their seuerall shapes;
That it was hard to iudge, which of all those
Were most predominant. At last, despaire
Became sole Monarke of his passions,
Which drew him to this error: Hauing got
Leaue of his gard to celebrate his vowes,
Vnto that precious relique of his Saint,
Where hauing breath’d a mournfull Elegie,
After a thousand sighs, ten thousand grones,
Still crying out, Leonida, my loue!
Then, as his death were limited by hers,
He sacrifiz’d his life vnto her loue:
For there (vnluckily) he slew himselfe.
Sfor. The King’s displeas’d, my Lord.
Iag. No matter: I’me glad I touch’d his conscience
To the quicke. Did you not see
How my relation chang’d his countenance,
As if my words ingendred in his brest
Some new-bred passions?
Sfor. Yes, and did obserue
How fearefully he gaz’d vpon vs all: |Enter Queene.|
Pray heauen it proue not ominous.
Iag. The Queene!
Quee. Where is this King? this King? this tyrant? He
That would be cald The iust and righteous King,
When in his actions he is most vniust;
Beyond example, cruell, tyrannous?
Where is my daughter? Where’s Leonida?
Where is Lusippus too, my first borne hope?
And where is deare Lorenzo? dead? all dead?
And would to God I were intomb’d with them,
Emptie of substance. Curse of Soueraigntie,
That feed’st thy fancie with deluding hopes
Of fickle shadowes; promising to one,
Eternitie of fame; and vnto all,
To be accounted wise and vertuous,
Obseruing but your Lawes and iust decrees;
That vnder shew of being mercifull,
Art most vnkind, and cruell: nay, ’tis true.
Goe where thou wilt, still will I follow thee,
And with my sad laments still beat thy eares,
Till all the world of thy iustice heares. |Ex. King, and Qu.|

Nic. This Physick works too strongly, and may proue a deadly potion. Sforza, good my Lord, if any anger be ’twixt you and I, let it lye buried now; and let’s deuise some pastime to suppresse this heauinesse. A melancholy King makes a sad Court.

Iag. I neuer heard him speake so carefully
Of the Kings welfare. I, with all my heart.
Sfor. Who’le vndertake this charge?
Nic. I will, my Lord: Let the deuice be mine.
Iag. I’le get the Amazon to ioyne with you:
Her rare inuention, and experience too,
In forraine Countries may auaile you much,
In some new quaint conceit.
Nic. Doe, good my Lord:
I’de ha’t assoone presented as I could.
Iag. Tonight, if it be possible: farewell.
I must goe looke her out.
Nic. Ha, ha, ha, ha.
So by this meanes, I shall expresse may selfe
Studious and carefull.

Scen. III.

Enter Atlanta and Avrelia.
Aur. But dost thou thinke hee’le come?
Att. He cannot chuse.
I sent him such a louing answer backe
By his Solliciter, able to make
An Eunuch to come with the conceit.
The houre’s almost at hand. Madam, command
A banquet be set forth: My charge shall be
Enter with a Banquet, Women.
To giue him intertainement: whilst your Grace,
Loretta, and the Ladies of your traine,
Or any others you shall please to appoint,
Be ready to surprise him. So ’tis well.
Now leaue the rest to mee.
Aur. My deare Atlanta, I commend thy care.
Att. Call it my dutie, Madam, and the loue
I owe to sacred vertue, to defend
The same of women. All withdraw awhile, |Ex. Women.|
I thinke I heare him comming. I, ’tis he.
Enter Misogynos and Swash.
Swash. This is the place, Sir, she appoynted you.
Mis. Is this the Orchard then,
Where I must pluck the fruit from that faire tree?
Swash. I would it might proue Stone-fruit,
And so choke him.
Mis. Ha! what’s here? a banquet?
Swa. Banquet? Where?
Mis. Readie prepar’d? why, this is excellent!
What a kind creature ’tis?
Swa. Did not I say
How monstrously she lou’d you? Come, fall to.
Mis. Before my Mistresse come?
Swa. I’faith Sir, I;
This is but onely a prouocatiue,
To make you strong and lustie for the incounter.
Mis. And here’s Wine too;
Nothing but Bloud and Spirit.
Fall to, Swash.
Swa. A sweetthing is loue,
That fills both heart and mind:
There is no comfort in the world,
To women that are kind. Here, Sir, I’le drinke to you.
Mis. I would she would come away once: Now, methinks,
I could performe. And see! but wish and haue.
Enter Atlanta.
Atlan. Oh, are you come? I see you keep your houre.
Mis. I should be sorry else.
Atl. Nay, keepe your place.
Mis. Will you sit downe then? Sirrah? Walke aloofe.
Atl. Let him be doing something. Here, take this.
Mis. I haue made bold to taste your Wine and Cates.
And when you please, we’le try the operation.
Atl. How?
Mis. You know my mind.
Atlan. You men are all so fickle, that poore we
Doe not know whom to trust.
But doe you loue me truely?
Mis. By this kisse.
Atl. No, saue that labour, Sir: I’le take your word.
Yet, how should I beleeue you, when so late
You rail’d against our Sex, and slander’d vs?
Mis. Oh doe not thinke of that, that’s done and gone.
Doe not recall what’s past. I now recant:
And (by this hand) I loue thee truly, Loue.
Atl. May I beleeue all this?
Mis. Come hither, Swash.
How often haue I sworne to thee alone,
I lou’d this Lady; neuer none but shee?
Swa. Yes truely, that he has.
Mis. You may be proud, I tell you, of my loue,
There is a thousand Women in this Towne,
To imbrace me, would clap their hands for ioy,
And run like so many wild Cats.
Swa. That they would,
I dare be sworne for vm,
And hang about him like so many Catch-poles,
He would ne’r get from vm,
And yet this happinesse is profer’d you.
Atl. Which I cannot refuse,
You haue, you know, such a preuayling tongue,
No woman can deny you any thing.
Mis. Why, that was kindly spoke. Where shall wee meet?
Atl. Hearke in your eare, I’le tell you.
Mis. Best of all.
Atl. But—
Mis. Doe you thinke mesuch a foole?
Atl. Till then farewell: I’le speedily returne. |Ex. Atl.|
Mis. Why law now, Swash, I told thee she would yeeld,
No woman in the world can hold out long.
Oh beware when a man of Art courts a woman.
Swa. I, or a Fencer, Sir: We lay vm flat before vs.
But, pray you tell me, Master, Doe you loue
This Lasse sincerely?
Mis. Ha, ha, ha. Loue? that were a iest indeed,
To passe away the time for sport, or so;
Th’are made for nothing else:
And he that loues vm longer, is a foole.
Swa. Me thinkes ’tis pittie to delude her, Sir:
I’faith she’s a handsome wench.
Mis. Away, you Asse.
Delude? what are they good for else?
Enter Atlanta.
She comes againe. Out of the Orchard, Swash.
Welcome, Sweet heart.
Atl. Are you in priuate, Sir?
Mis. There’s not an eye vnder the Horizon
That can behold vs; If Suspicion tell,
I’le beat her blind as euer Fencer was.
Atl. Sir, now you talke of Fencing, I heare you
Professe that noble Science.
Mis. ’Tis most true.
Atl. I loue you, Sir, the better; ’tis a thing
I honour with my heart. If any one
Should scandalize or twit me with your loue,
You can defend my fame, and make such men—
Mis. Creepe on their knees, aske thee forgiuenesse,
Or any other base submission.
Atl. Oh, what a happinesse shall I inioy?
But can can you doe this if occasion serue?
Mis. Would some were here to make experience,
That thou mightst see my skill.
Atl. Sir, that will I. |Strike him.|
Mis. How’s this?
Atl. Impudent slaue,
How dar’st thou looke a woman in the face,
Or commence loue to any: Specially to mee?
Thou know’st I’me vow’d thy publique enemie,
Which this, and this, and this shall testifie.
Mis. Oh that I had a weapon, thou shouldst know,
A thousand women could not stand one blow,
From my vnconquerd arme.
Atl. That shall be tride.
I’le fit you, Sir, in your owne element.
I thinke thou darest not looke vpon a sword.
See, there’s a foyle: I will but thumpe you, Sir.
Thy life’s reseru’d vnto a worse reuenge. |Play.|
Mis. Oh. Some Deuil’s enterd in this Idol sure,
To make mee misbelieue. Oh.
Atl. Cowardly slaue. A Fencer? you a Fidler.
He cannot hold his weapon,
Gard his brest; no, nor defend a thrust. Art not asham’d
Thus to disgrace that noble exercise?
Mis. Oh: Hold, hold; I yeeld, I yeeld.
Atl. Has our Countrie meats fed you so high,
You needs must haue a stale for your base lust?
I’le satiate your sences ere I haue done:
And so much for your feeling: For your taste,
You haue had sufficient in your sweet-meats, Sir:
Your drinke too was perfum’d to please your smell.
Mis. I, but I haue had but sowre sauce to vm.
Atl. Why then the Prouerbe holds. Now for your sight.
Madam, Come forth, and bring your followers.
Enter all the Women.
Mis. I’de rather see so many Cockatrices.
Oh that my eyes might be for euer shut,
So that I might ne’r behold these Crocadils.
Aur. Where’s this bawling Bandog.
Omnes. Here, here, here, here.
Mis. Murder, murder, murder. I’me betraid.
I shall be torne in pieces. Murder, ho.
Aur. Is this the dogged Humorist that cals
Himselfe the woman-hater?
Mis. On my knees.
Aur. Dost thou reply, vile Monster? Binde him, come.
Old W. Let me come to him, Ile so mumble him.
Aur. Remember faire Leonida my child,
Whose innocence was made a Sacrifice
To thy base Forgeries and Sophistrie.
Omnes. Out, you abominable Rascall.
Aur. This for your hearing, Sir: now all is full.
Mis. Ladies, Gentlewomen, sweet Atlanta, all,
Heare me but speake.
Lor. No, not a syllable.
You haue spoke to match alreadie, you damn’d Rogue.
But weele reward you for’t. Skrew his iawes.
Mis. Oh, oh, oh.
Aur. Now, thou inhumane wretch, what punishment
Shall we inuent sufficient to inflict,
According to the height of our reuenge?
Omnes. Let’s teare his limmes in pieces, ioynt from ioynt.
Mis. Oh, oh.
Scold. Three or foure paire of Pincers, now red hot,
Were excellent.
Lor. Will not our Bodkings serue?
Aur. Hang him, Slaue, shall he dye as noble a death
As Cæsar did? No, no: pinch him, pricke him.
A Boy. I haue small Pins enow to serue vs all.
Scold. We cannot wish for better: take him vp,
And bind him to this Post.
Lor. Faith, Post and Paire,
As good a Game as can be.
Aur. Come, let’s to’t,
Shuffle the Cards, and leaue out all the Knaues.
Atl. No, the Knaues in at Post, and out at Paire.
Aur. Shall it be so? Agreed?
Deale round.
Scold. First, stake.
Mis. Oh, oh, oh, oh.
Atl. Passe.
Aur. Passe.
Lor. Nay, Ile not passe it so. |Mis. Oh, oh.|
A Boy. Faith, Ile be in too,
Mis. Oh!
Enter two Old Women and Swash.
Aur. Againe, for me too, I will vye it. |Mis. Oh.|
Atl. And for me, Ile not deny it. |Mis. Oh.|
Lor. Ile see you, and revy’t agen. |Mis. Oh, oh.|
Scold. For your two, Ile put in ten. |Mis. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.|
Aur. How now? stay, who’s this?
Swash. I could not find the way out of the Orchard,
If I should ha’ beene hang’d, but fell into these
Old Women s mouthes: but the best is,
They had no teeth to bite me, but my Grandame heere
Scratches most deuillishly.
Atl. Here’s a Whelpe of the same Litter too.
Come hither Sirrah, doe you know this man?
Swash. Yes, forsooth, I know him,
He was my Master once, want of a better.
Lor. Then you were one of his Confederates, Sir.
Swash. I his Confederate? I defye him,
He knowes I alwayes gaue him good counsell,
If he had had the grace to follow it:
Here he is himselfe, let him deny’t if he can.
Mis. Oh, oh, oh.
Swash. Did not I euer say, Master, take heed,
Wrong not kind Gentlewomen,
Honest louing women? Many a time
Haue I beene beaten by him blacke and blue,
For looking on a woman, is’t not true?
Mis. Oh, oh.
Swash. You seehis bringing vp,
To make a mouth at all this companie.
Aur. This is an honest fellow; he shall escape.
Sirrah, thou lou’st a woman?
Swash. I, with all my heart.
Scold. He lookes as if he did.
Atl. Well, stand aside, weele imploy you anon:
Forbeare your tortors yet, something is hid,
That we must haue reueal’d, and he himselfe
Shall be his owne accuser: you all know,
He hath arraign’d vs for inconstancie:
But now weele arraigne him, and iudge him too,
This is womans counsell: Madame, we make you
Ladie Chiefe Iustice of this Female Court,
Mistris Recorder, I. Loretta, you,
Sit for the Notarie: Crier, she:
The rest shall beare inferior Offices,
As Keepers, Seriants, Executioners.
Swash. Ide rather be a Hangman then a Seriant:
Yet there’s no great difference, if one will not,
T’other must.
Atl. Mother, goe you and call a Iurie full,
Of which y’are the fore-woman.
1. Old W. Thanke you forsooth, Ile fetch one presently:
’Tis fit he should be scratcht, and please your Grace:
Sure, he is no man.
Atl. We want a Barre. O, these two foyles shall serue:
One stucke i’ the Earth, and crosse it from this Tree.
Now take your places, bring him to the Barre,
Sirrah, vngag him.
Swash. Let him be gag’d still:
Then you are sure what e’r you say to him,
He cannot contradict you.
Atl. Pull it out.
Swash. Doe not bite y’are best.
Mis. Oh, that I were a Serpent for your sakes,
Bearing a thousand stings.
Aur. Worse then thou art,
Thou canst not wish to be, abortiue wretch.
Bring him to the Barre.
Swash. You’ld not be rul’d by me: I told you o’this,
And now you see what followes,
Hanging’s the least, what-cu’r followes that.
Aur. Clarke of the Peace,
Reade the Indictment.
Scold. Silence in the Court.
Swash. Silence? & none but women? That were strange!
Lor. Misogynos, hold vp thy hand.
Swash. His name is Swetnam, not Misogynos.
That’s but a borrowed name.
Mis. Peace, you Rogue,
Will you discouer me?
Aur. Swetnam is his name.
Swash. I, Ioseph Swetnam, that’s his name, forsooth,
Ioseph the Iew was a better Gentile farre.
Lor. Then Ioseph Swetnam, alias Misogynos,
Alias Molastomus, alias the Woman-hater.
Swash. How came he by all these names?
I haue heard many say, he was neu’r christen’d.
Lor. Thou art here indicted by these names, that thou,
Contrary to nature, and the peace of this Land,
Hast wickedly and maliciously slandred,
Maligned, and opprobriously defamed the ciuill societie
Of the whole Sex of women: therefore speake,
Guiltie, or not guiltie?
Mis. Not guiltie.
Swash. Hum.
Omnes. Not guiltie.
Mis. No, not guiltie.
Aur. Darest thou denie a truth so manifest?
Didst thou not lately both by word, and deed,
Publish a Pamphlet in disgrace of vs,
And of all women-kind?
Mis. No, no, no, not I.
Swash. Hum.
Atl. Calling vs tyrannous, ambitious, cruell?
Aur. Comparing vs to Serpents, Crocodiles
For Dissimulation, Hiena’s for Subtilties,
Such like?
Lor. And farre worse:
That we are all the Deuils agents,
To seduce Man agen?
Scold. That all our studies are but to delude
Our credulous Husbands?
Mis. I denie all this.
Swash. Hum.
Lor. Nay more,
Thou dost affirme, without distinction,
All married Wiues are the Deuils Hackneyes,
To carrie their Husbands to Hell.
Aur. Inhumane Monster, hast thou neu’r a Mother?
Swash. No, forsooth, he is a Succubus, begot
Betwixt a Deuill and a Witch.
Mis. If I did any such, let it be produc’d.
Atl. Bring in the Books for a firme Euidence,
And bid the Iurie giue the Verdict vp.
Enter two Old Women.
Old W. Guiltie, guiltie, guiltie.
Guiltie of Woman-slander, and defamation.
Atl. Produce the Bookes, and reade the Title of vm.
Lor. The Arraignment of idle, froward,
And vnconstant women.
Aur. What say you, Sir, to this?
Mis. Shew me my name, and then Ile yeeld vnto’t.
Aur. No, that’s your policie and cowardise,
You durst not publish, what you dar’d to write,
Thy man is witnesse to’t: sirrah, confesse,
Or you shall eu’n be seru’d of the same sawce.
Swash. No, no, no, no, Ile tell you all,
He is no Fencer, that’s but for a shew,
For feare of being beaten: the best Clarke,
For cowardise that can be in the World,
To terrifie the Female Champions,
He was in England, a poore Scholer first,
And came to Medley, to eate Cakes and Creame,
At my old Mothers house, she trusted him:
At least some sixteene shillings o’the score,
And he perswaded her, he would make me
A Scholer of the Niniuersitie, which she, kind Foole, beleeu’d:
He neu’r taught me any Lesson, but to raile against women,
That was my morning and my euening Lecture.
And in one yeere he runne away from thence,
And then he tooke the habit of a Fencer:
And set vp Schoole at Bristow: there he liu’d
A yeere or two, till he had writ this Booke:
And then the women beat him out the Towne,
And then we came to London: there forsooth,
He put his Booke i’the Presse, and publisht it,
And made a thousand men and wiues fall out.
Till two or three good wenches, in meere spight,
Laid their heads together, and rail’d him out of th’ Land,
Then we came hither: this is all forsooth.
Aur. ’Tis eu’n enough.
Mis. ’Tis all as false as women.
Omnes. Stop his mouth.
Atlan. Either be quiet, or y’are gag’d agen.
Aur. Proceed in Iudgement.
Atlan. Madame, thus it is.
First, he shall weare this Mouzell, to expresse
His barking humour against women-kind.
And he shall be led, and publike showne,
In euery Street i’ the Citie, and be bound
In certaine places to a Post or Stake,
And bayted by all the honest women in the Parish.
Mis. Is that the worst? there will not one be found
In all the Citie.
Omnes. Out, you lying Rascall.
Forbeare a little.
Atlan. Then he shal be whipt quite thorow the Land,
Till he come to the Sea-Coast, and then be shipt,
And sent to liue amongst the Infidels.
Omnes. Oh, the Lord preserue your Grace.
Lor. Oh, oh, oh.
Aur. Call in his Bookes,
And let vm all be burn’d and cast away,
And his Arraignment now put i’the Presse,
That he may liue a shame vnto his Sex.
Atlan. Sirrah, the charge be yours: which if you faile,
You shall be vs’d so too: if well perform’d,
You shall be well rewarded. Breake vp Court.
Omnes. Away, you bawling Mastiffe.
Clow. Pish, pish. |Exeunt.|
Enter Atticus, Sforza, Nicanor, and one or two Lords more.
King. Why doe you thus pursue me? Can no place
Shelter a King from being bayted thus
With Acclamations beyond sufferance
Of Maiestie, or mortall strength to beare?
We will indure’t no longer. Where’s our Guard?
Where is Aurelia? where’s Iago gone?
To studie new Inuectiues? If agen
They dare but vtter the least syllable,
Or smallest title of inueteracie,
They shall not breathe a minute. Must a Prince
Be checkt, and schooled, pursued and scolded at,
For executing Iustice?
Nic. Royall, Sir.
Be pleased, to cast away these Discontents.
Iago’s sorrie for his bold offence.
The Queene repents her too, and all the Court
Is clowded o’r with griefe: your sadnesse, Sir,
Fils euery Subiects heart with heauinesse.
Will’t please your Highnesse to behold some pastime,
There is a Maske and other sports prepar’d:
Prepared to solace you,
To steale away your sorrowes.
King. Who’s that spoke?
Nicanor, is’t hee? I thought as much:
I knew no other would be halfe so kind,
Nor carefull of our health: doe what thou wilt,
We will deny nothing that thou demandest,
My dearest Comforter, stay to my age,
The hope of Sicilie lyes now in thee.
Come sit by vs, weele see what new deuice
Thy diligence——Nic. My dutie.
King. No, thy loue
Hath studied to delight thy Soueraigne.
Come sit, Nicanor.
Nic. Pardon, Sir, awhile,
Ile giue command to see it straight perform’d,
And instantly returne.
King. Make no delay:
We haue no ioy but in thy companie.
Nic. Nor I no Hell, but thy continuance.
Ile present that will shorten it, I hope.
King. Sforza, thou louest me too: come neerer vs:
But old Iago is a froward Lord,
Honest, but lenatiue, ore-swaid too much
With pitt e against Iustice, that’s not good:
Indeed it is not in a Counsellar.
And he has too much of woman, otherwise
He might be Ruler of a Monarchie,
For policie and wisdome. Sforza sit,
Take you your places to behold this Maske.
Enter Nicanor.
Nic. Now they are readie.
King. Let vm enter then.
Come sit by vs, Nicanor, and describe
The meaning, as they enter.
Enter Iago, and the Queene.
Iag. Heere your Grace
May vndiscouered sit, and view the Maske,
And see how ’tis affected by the King:
I know, 'twill nip him to the verie soule.
The Maskers. |Enter Musike, dance.|
Nic. He that leads the Dance,
Is called wilfull Ignorance.
King. The next that pryes on euery side,
As if feare his feet did guide,
Is held a wretch of base condition,
He is titled false Suspition.
Nic. The third is of a bolder Faction,
But more deadly, ’tis Detraction.
The last is Crueltie, a King that long,
In seeming good, did sacred Iustice wrong.
King. This Moral’s meant by me: by heauen it is,
By Heauen, indeed: for nothing else had power
To make me see my Follies. I confesse,
’Twas wilfull Ignorance, and Selfe-conceit,
Sooth’d with Hypocrisie, that drew me first
Into suspition of my Daughters loue,
And call’d it Disobedience: false Suspect,
’Twas thou possest me, that Leonida
Was spotted and vnchaste.
Nic. So, now it workes.
King. And then Detraction prou’d a deadly Foe.
Iag. I knew ’twould take effect.
Aur. Most happily.
King. I am that King did sacred Iustice wrong,
Vnder a shew of Iustice, now ’tis plaine,
It was my crueltie, not her desert,
That sacrific’d my Child to pallid Death.
Lisandro flew himselfe, but I, not he
Must answere for that guiltlesse bloud was spilt:
For I was Authour on’t, my Crueltie,
Diuorcing two such Louers, was the cause
That drew him to despayre. How they all gaze,
Whisper together, and then point at me,
As if they here had being! yes they haue:
But it shall proue a restlesse bed for them.
Why doe they not begin?
Enter Repentance.
Nic. Belike they want some of their companie.
King. But stay, who’s that descends so prosperously,
With such sweet sounding Musike? All obserue.
Musike, dance.
Nic. See how the splendor of that Maiestie,
That came from Heauen, hath disperst away
Suspition, Ignorance, and Crueltie,
And instantly o’rcome Detraction too,
Those enemies to vertue, foes to man,
Are vanisht from my sight, and from my heart.
But let Repentance stay. Ha, shallow Foole,
Doe I so slightly bid her? On my knees,
She must be followed, call’d and su’d vnto.
And by continuall Prayers, woo’d, and wonne,
Which I will neuer cease, if not too late.
I doe repent me, let this Sacrifice
Make satisfaction for those fore-past Crimes
My ignorant soule committed.
Repen. ’Tis accepted.
Imbrace me freely, rise: neuer too late
To call vpon Repentance.
Nic. I am trapt.
Oh, the great Deuill! whose deuice was this?
Now all will be reueal’d, I neuer dream’t
Vpon Repentance, I: but now I see,
Truth will discouer all mens Trecherie.
King. Liue euer in my bosome. What meanes this?
Enter Lorenzo, Lisandro, Leonida, a Siluan Nymph.
Lor. If a Siluan’s rude behauiour
May not heere despaire of fauour:
Then to thee this newes I bring,
Thou art call’d the righteous King,
And as Fame do’s make report,
Heere liues Iustice in thy Court:
Know, that all the Happinesse
I did in this World possesse,
Was my onely Daughter, who
Pan did on my age bestow,
She was named Claribell,
Whom Palemon loued well:
And she lou’d him as well againe;
So that nothing did remaine,
But the tying Hymens Knot.
But it chanced so, God wot,
That an old decrepit man
Most prepostrously began,
With flatt’ring words to woo my Daughter,
But being still deny’d, he after
Turn’d his loue to mortall hate
Claribell to ruinate,
Striuing to o’rpresse her fame,
With Lust, Contempt, Reproch, and Shame.
Kin. What wouldst thou haue Vs doe?
Good Father, speake.
Lor. This fellow hath subborn’d a rout
Ofsome base Villaines here-about,
To take away my daughters life,
Or else to rauish her. To end this strife
Be pleas’d to ioyne these Louers hands
Into sacred nuptiall bands.
Sfor. Nothing but put vm both together, Sir.
The good old Shepheard would faine ha’t a match.
Kin. We are content. Come giue Vs both your hands.
Lor. You are a King; yet they are loth
To take your word without an othe.
Kin. As We are King of Sicil, ’tis confirm’d
Firme, to be reuoked neuer,
Vntill death their liues disseuer.
Lor. Princes, discouer: Here are witnesses
Inow to testifie this royall match.
Kin. My daughter, and Lisandro, liuing?
Lor. Nay, wonder not, my Liege, your oath is past.
Kin. Which thus, and thus, and thus I ratifie:
There is but one step more, and farewell all.
Aur. Oh, I am made immortall with this sight:
My daughter, and Lisandro, both aliue?
Iag. This is no newes to mee: yet teares of ioy
Ore-flowes mine eyes to see this vnitie.
Kin. Oh daughter, I haue done thee too much wrong:
And, noble Prince, We now confesse Our errour:
But heauen be prais’d that you haue both escap’d
The tyrannie of Our vniust decree.
Aur. What happie accident preseru’d your liues?
Whose was the proiect? Was it thine, old man?
Lor. Madam, ’twas mine: Those that I could not saue
By eloquence, by policie I haue.
Kin. Worthie Atlanta, thou hast merited
Beyond all imitation. We are made
Too poore to gratifie thy high deserts.
Lor. Dread Soueraigne,
All my deserts, my selfe, and what I haue,
Thus I throw downe before your Highnesse feet.
Att. My Sonne Lorenzo! Oh, assist, my Lords.
The current of my ioy’s so violent,
It does o’r-come my spirits. Worthy Sonne,
Welcome from death; from bands, captiuitie.
Aur. Welcome into my bosome as my soule.
Prince. My princely Brother, could I adde a loue
Vnto that dutie that I owe for life,
I am ingag’d vnto’t, you are my lifes Protector,
And my Brother.
Lis. And for a life I stand indebted too,
Which Ile detayne, onely to honour you.
Omnes. And on our knees we must this dutie tender,
To you our Patron, and our Fames Defender.
Rep. Behold the ioyes Repentance brings with her,
Thy blessings are made full in Heauen and Earth.
Att. Was euer Father happier in a Sonne,
Or euer Kingdome had more hopefull Prince?
But in a loyall Subiect, neuer King
More blest then we are: and the grace we owe,
Though farre too poore to quittance, shall make known,
Thy loue and merit. Now we can discerne
Our friends from flatt’rers. Nicanor, as for you,
But that this houre is sacred vnto ioy,
Thy life should pay the ransome of thy guilt.
Nic. Your Graces pardon. ’Twas not pride of state,
But her disdaine, that first inspir’d in me
This hope of Soueraigntie.
Att. Well, we forgiue.
Learne to liue honest now. Come, beautyous Queene,
We hope that all are pleas’d: and now you see,
In vaine we striue to crosse, what Heauens decree.


Enter Swetnam muzzled, hal’d in by Women.
Swet. Why doe you hale me thus? Is’t not enough,
I haue withstood a tryall? beene arraign’d?
Indured the torture of sharp-pointed Needles?
The Whip? and old Wiues Nayles? but I must stand,
To haue another Iurie passe on me?
Loret. It was a generall wrong; therefore must haue
A generall tryall, and a Iudgement too.
Leon. The greatest wrong was mine; he sought my life:
Which fact I freely pardon, to approoue
Women are neither tyrannous, nor cruell,
Though you report vs so.
Swet. I now repent,
And thus to you (kind Iudges) I appeale.
Me thinkes, I see no anger in your eyes:
Mercie and Beautie best doe sympathize:
And here for-euer I put off this shape,
And with it all my spleene and malice too,
And vow to let no time or act escape,
In which my seruice may be shewne to you.
And this my hand, which did my shame commence,
Shall with my Sword be vs’d in your defence.


  1. Did not change “VV” to “W”.
  2. Changed “We all deserue as much” to “We all deserue as much.”
  3. Changed “For I should neuer liue till your returne,” to “For I should neuer liue till your returne.”
  4. Changed “For when the the Nauies ioyn’d, the Cannons plaid” to “For when the Nauies ioyn’d, the Cannons plaid”.
  5. Changed “By this hand, I shall thinke my money vell bestowed” to “By this hand, I shall thinke my money well bestowed”.
  6. ChangedEnter Nicanor.” to “Enter Nicanor.”
  7. ChangedScan. Goe then, Ile follow,” to “Scan. Goe then, Ile follow.”
  8. Changed the second “Scen. II.” to “Scen. III.” in Act IIII.
  9. ChangedAttic. But not the the freedome of Leonida” to “Attic. But not the freedome of Leonida”.
  10. Changed “I neuer heard him speake so carefully” to “Iag. I neuer heard him speake so carefully”. [The catchword on the previous page was “Iag.”]
  11. ChangedScold, He lookes as if he did” to “Scold. He lookes as if he did”.
  12. ChangedKing No, thy loue” to “King. No, thy loue”.
  13. Changed “Thus I throw downe before your Highnesse feet,” to “Thus I throw downe before your Highnesse feet.”
  14. Retained all spellings and punctuations as printed except as noted above.
  15. Except for apostrophes, silently corrected spaces around punctuation, for example changed “ ,” to “,” and “,a” to “, a”.

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