John Fletcher

Philaster, or Love Lies a-Bleeding





Texto utilizado para esta edición digital:
Beaumont, Francis, and John Fletcher. Philaster, or Love Lies a-Bleeding. In: Brooke, C. F. T.; Paradise, N. B. (ed.) English Drama 1580-1642. Boston: D. C. Heath and Company, 1933.
Adaptación digital para EMOTHE:
  • Tronch Pérez, Jesus

Note on this digital edition


For this digital edition, names of characters have been expanded in speech prefixes and stage directions. Line numbers may not coincide with those in the source text.

With the support of research project GVAICO2016-094, funded by Generalitat Valenciana (2016-2017).

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THE ACTORS' NAMES

KING of Sicily [and Calabria]
PHILASTER, Heir to the Crown [of Sicily]
PHARAMOND, a Spanish Prince
DION, a Lord
CLEREMONT, }
THRASILINE, } Noble Gentlemen, his Associates
ARETHUSA, the King's Daughter
EUPHRASIA, Daughter of Dion, but disguised like a page and called Bellario
GALATEA, a wise modest Lady attending the Princess
MEGRA, a lascivious Lady
An old Captain
five Citizens
a Country Fellow
two Woodmen
the King's Guard and Train
Messenger
two Ladies

SCENE: Sicily. The Court and a neighboring Forest

Actus Primus

Scena Prima

[The Palace.]
Enter Dion, Cleremont, and Thrasiline

Cleremont
Here's nor lords nor ladies.

Dion
Credit me, gentlemen, I wonder at it. They receiv'd strict charge from the King to attend here; besides, it was boldly published
5
that no officer should forbid any gentleman that desired to attend and hear.

Cleremont
Can you guess the cause?

Dion
Sir, it is plain, about the Spanish Prince that's come to marry our kingdom's heir and
10
be our sovereign.

Thrasiline
Many that will seem to know much say she looks not on him like a maid in love.

Dion
Faith, sir, the multitude, that seldom know anything but their own opinions, speak
15
that they would have; but the prince, before his own approach, receiv'd so many confident messages from the state, that I think she's resolv'd to be rul'd.

Cleremont
Sir, it is thought, with her he shall enjoy
20
both these kingdoms of Sicily and Calabria.

Dion
Sir, it is without controversy so meant. But 't will be a troublesome labour for him to enjoy both these kingdoms with safety, the right heir to one of them living, and living
25
so virtuously: especially, the people admiring the bravery of his mind and lamenting his injuries.

Cleremont
Who? Philaster?

Dion
Yes; whose father, we all know, was
30
by our late King of Calabria unrighteously deposed from his fruitful Sicily. Myself drew some blood in those wars, which I would give my hand to be washed from.

Cleremont
Sir, my ignorance in state-policy will not
35
let me know why, Philaster being heir to one of these kingdoms, the King should suffer him to walk abroad with such free liberty.

Dion
Sir, it seems your nature is more constant than to inquire after state-news. But the
40
King, of late, made a hazard of both the kingdoms, of Sicily and his own, with offering but to imprison Philaster; at which the city was in arms, not to be charm'd down by any state-order, or proclamation, till they saw
45
Philaster ride through the streets pleas'd and without a guard; at which they threw their hats and their arms from them; some to make bonfires, some to drink, all for his deliverance: which wise men say is the cause the King labours
50
to bring in the power of a foreign nation to awe his own with.

Enter Galatea, Megra, and a Lady

Thrasiline
See, the ladies! What's the first?

Dion
A wise and modest gentlewoman that attends the princess.

Cleremont
55
The second?

Dion
She is one that may stand still discreetly enough and ill-favour'dly dance her measure; simper when she is courted by her friend, and slight her husband.

Cleremont
60
The last?

Dion
Faith, I think she is one whom the state keeps for the agents of our confederate princess; she'll cog and lie with a whole army, before the league shall break. Her name is
65
common through the kingdom, and the trophies of her dishonour advanced beyond Hercules' Pillars. She loves to try the several constitutions of men's bodies; and, indeed, has destroyed the worth of her own body by making
70
experiment upon it for the good of the commonwealth.

Cleremont
She's a profitable member.

Lady
Peace, if you love me! You shall see these gentlemen stand their ground and not court us.

Galatea
What if they should?

Megra
75
What if they should!

Lady
Nay, let her alone. – What if they should! What, if they should, I say they were never abroad. What foreigner would do so? It writes them directly untravell'd.

Galatea
80
Why, what if they be?

Megra
What if they be!

Lady
Good madam, let her go on. – What if they be! Why, if they be, I will justify, they cannot maintain discourse with a judicious
85
lady, nor make a leg nor say "Excuse me."

Galatea
Ha, ha, ha!

Lady
Do you laugh, madam?

Dion
You desires upon you, ladies!

Lady
Then you must sit beside us.

Dion
90
I shall sit near you then, lady.

Lady
Near me, perhaps; but there's a lady endures no stranger; and to me you appear a very strange fellow.

Megra
Methinks he's not so strange; he
95
would quickly be acquainted.

Thrasiline
Peace, the King!

Enter King, Pharamond, Arethusa, and Train

King
To give a stronger testimony of love
Than sickly promises (which commonly
In princes find both birth and burial
100
In one breath) we have drawn you, worthy sir,
To make your fair endearments to our daughter
And worthy services known to our subjects,
Now lov'd and wondered at; next, our intent
To plant you deeply our immediate heir
105
Both to our blood and kingdoms. For this lady,
(The best part of your life, as you confirm me,
And I believe,) though her few years and sex
Yet teach her nothing but her fears and blushes,
Desires without desire, discourse and knowledge
110
Only of what herself is to herself,
Make her feel moderate health; and when she sleeps,
In making no ill day, knows no ill dreams.
Think not, dear sir, these undivided parts,
That must mould up a virgin, are put on
115
To show her so, as borrow'd ornaments
To speak her perfect love to you, or add
An artificial shadow to her nature, –
No, sir; I boldly dare proclaim her yet
No woman. But woo her still, and think her modesty
120
A sweeter mistress than the offer'd language
Of any dame, were she a queen, whose eye
Speaks common loves and comforts to her servants.
Last, noble son (for so I now must call you),
What I have done thus public, is not only
125
To add a comfort in particular
To you or me, but all; and to confirm
The nobles and the gentry of these kingdoms
By oath to your succession, which shall be
Within this month at most.

Thrasiline
130
This will be hardly done.

Cleremont
It must be ill done, if it be done.

Dion
When 't is at best, 't will be but half done, whilst
So brave a gentleman's wrong'd and flung off.

Thrasiline
I fear.

Cleremont
135
Who does not?

Dion
I fear not for myself, and yet I fear too.
Well, we shall see, we shall see. No more.

Pharamond
Kissing your white hand, mistress, I take leave
To thank your royal father; and thus far
140
To be my own free trumpet. Understand,
Great King, and these your subjects, mine that must be,
(For so deserving you have spoke me, sir,
And so deserving I dare speak myself,)
To what a person, of what eminence,
145
Ripe expectation, of what faculties,
Manners and virtues, you should wed your kingdoms:
You in me have your wishes. Oh, this country!
By more than all the gods, I hold it happy;
Happy in their dear memories that have been
150
Kings great and good; happy in yours that is;
And from you (as a chronicle to keep
Your noble name from eating age) do I
Opine myself most happy. Gentlemen,
Believe me in a word, a prince's word,
155
There shall be nothing to make up a kingdom
Mighty and flourishing, defenced, fear'd,
Equal to be commanded and obeyed,
But through the travails of my life I'll find it,
And tie it to this country. By all the gods,
160
My reign shall be so easy to the subject,
That every man shall be his prince himself,
And his own law – yet I his prince and law.
And, dearest lady, to your dearest self
(Dear in the choice of him whose name and lustre
165
Must make you more and mightier) let me say,
You are the blessed'st living; for, sweet princess,
You shall enjoy a man of men to be
Your servant; you shall make him yours, for whom
Great queens must die.

Thrasiline
170
Miraculous!

Cleremont
This speech calls him Spaniard, being nothing but a large inventory of his own commendations.

Dion
I wonder what's his price; for certainly
He'll sell himself, he has so prais'd his shape.
Enter Philaster
175
But here comes one more worthy those large speeches
Than the large speaker of them.
Let me be swallow'd quick, if I can find,
In all the anatomy of yon man's virtues,
One sinew sound enough to promise for him,
180
He shall be constable. By this sun,
He'll ne'er make king unless it be of trifles,
In my poor judgment.

Philaster
[kneeling.]
Right noble sir, as low as my obedience
And with a heart as loyal as my knee,
185
I beg your favour.

King
Rise; you have it, sir.

[Philaster rises.]

Dion
Mark but the king, how pale he looks with fear!
Oh, this same whoreson conscience, how it jades us!

King
Speak your intents, sir.

Philaster
Shall I speak 'em freely?
Be still my royal sovereign.

King
As a subject,
190
We give you freedom.

Dion
Now it heats.

Philaster
Then thus I turn
My language to you, prince, you foreign man!
Ne'er stare nor put on wonder, for you must
Endure me, and you shall. This earth you tread upon
(A dowry, as you hope, with this fair princess),
195
By my dead father (oh, I had a father,
Whose memory I bow to!) was not left
To your inheritance, and I up and living –
Having myself about me and my sword,
The souls of all my name and memories,
200
These arms and some few friends besides the gods –
To part so calmly with it, and sit still
And say, "I might have been." I tell thee, Pharamond,
When thou art king, look I be dead and rotten,
And my name ashes: for, hear me, Pharamond!
205
This very ground thou goest on, this fat earth,
My father's friends made fertile with their faiths,
Before that day of shame shall gape and swallow
Thee and thy nation, like a hungry grave,
Into her hidden bowels. Prince, it shall:
210
By the just gods, it shall!

Pharamond
He's mad beyond cure, mad.

Dion
Here is a fellow has some fire in 's veins:
The outlandish prince looks like a tooth-drawer.

Philaster
Sir Prince of popinjays, I'll make it well
Appear to you I am not mad.

King
You displease us:
215
You are too bold.

Philaster
No, sir, I am too tame,
Too much a turtle, a thing born without passion,
A faint shadow, that every drunken cloud
Sails over, and makes nothing.

King
I do not fancy this.
Call our physicians; sure, he's somewhat tainted.

Thrasiline
220
I do not think 't will prove so.

Dion
H'as given him a general purge already,
For all the right he has; and now he means
To let him blood. Be constant, gentlemen:
By heaven, I'll run his hazard, although I run
225
My name out of the kingdom!

Cleremont
Peace, we are all one soul.

Pharamond
What you have seen in me to stir offence
I cannot find, unless it be this lady,
Offer'd into mine arms with the succession;
Which I must keep, (though it hath pleas'd your fury
230
To mutiny within you,) without disputing
Your genealogies, or taking knowledge
Whose branch you are. The king will leave it me,
And I dare make it mine. You have your answer.

Philaster
If thou wert sole inheritor to him
235
That made the world his, and couldst see no sun
Shine upon anything but thine; were Pharamond
As truly valiant as I feel him cold,
And ring'd among the choicest of his friends,
(Such as would blush to talk such serious follies,
240
Or back such bellied commendations),
And from this presence, spite of all these bugs,
You should hear further from me.

King
Sir, you wrong the prince; I gave you not this freedom
To brave our best friends. You deserve our frown.
245
Go to; be better temper'd.

Philaster
It must be, sir, when I am nobler us'd.

Galatea
Ladies,
This would have been a pattern of succession,
Had he ne'er met this mischief. By my life,
250
He is the worthiest the true name of man
This day within my knowledge.

Megra
I cannot tell what you may call your knowledge;
But the other is the man set in mine eye.
Oh, 't is a prince of wax!

Galatea
A dog it is.

King
255
Philaster, tell me
The injuries you aim at in your riddles.

Philaster
If you had my eyes, sir, and sufferance,
My griefs upon you, and my broken fortunes,
My wants great, and now-nothing hopes and fears,
260
My wrongs would make ill riddles to be laugh'd at.
Dare you be still my king, and right me not?

King
Give me your wrongs in private.

Philaster
Take them,
And ease me of a load would bow strong Atlas.

They whisper.

Cleremont
He dares not stand the shock.

Dion
265
I cannot blame him; there's danger in 't. Every man in this age has not a soul of crystal, for all men to read their actions through: men's hearts and faces are so far asunder, that they hold no intelligence. Do but view
270
yon stranger well, and you shall see a fever through all his bravery, and feel him shake like a true tyrant. If he give not back his crown again upon the report of an elder-gun, I have no augury.

King
275
Go to;
Be more yourself, as you respect our favour;
You'll stir us else. Sir, I must have you know,
That y' are and shall be, at our pleasure, what
Fashion we will put upon you. Smooth your brow,
280
Or by the gods –

Philaster
I am dead, sir; y' are my fate. It was not I
Said I was wrong'd: I carry all about me
My weak stars lead me to, all my weak fortunes.
Who dares in all this presence speak, (that is
285
But man of flesh, and may be mortal,) tell me
I do not most entirely love this prince,
And honour his full virtues!

King
Sure, he's possess'd.

Philaster
Yes, with my father's spirit. It's here, O King,
A dangerous spirit! Now he tells me, King,
290
I was a king's heir, bids me be a king,
And whispers to me, these are all my subjects.
'T is strange he will not let me sleep, but dives
Into my fancy, and there gives me shapes
That kneel and do me service, cry me king.
295
But I'll suppress him; he's a factious spirit,
And will undo me. –
[To Pharamond]
Noble sir, your hand;
I am your servant.

King
Away! I do not like this:
I'll make you tamer, or I'll dispossess you
300
Both of your life and spirit. For this time
I pardon your wild speech, without so much
As your imprisonment.

Exeunt King, Pharamond, Arethusa.

Dion
I thank you, sir; you dare not for the people.

Galatea
Ladies, what think you now of this brave fellow?

Megra
305
A pretty talking fellow, hot at hand. But eye yon stranger: is he not a fine complete gentleman? Oh, these strangers, I do affect them strangely! They do the rarest home-things, and please the fullest! As I live, I could
310
love all the nation over and over for his sake.

Galatea
Gods comfort your poor head-piece, lady! 'T is a weak one, and had need of a night-cap.

Exeunt Ladies.

Dion
See, how his fancy labours! Has he not
315
Spoke home and bravery? What a dangerous train
Did he give fire to! How he shook the king,
Made his soul melt within him, and his blood
Run into whey! It stood upon his brow
Like a cold winter dew.

Philaster
Gentlemen,
320
You have no suit to me? I am no minion.
You stand, methinks, like men that would be courtiers,
If you could well be flatter'd at a price
Not to undo your children. Y'are all honest:
Go, get you home again, and make your country
325
A virtuous court, to which your great ones may,
In their diseased age, retire and live recluse.

Cleremont
How do you, worthy sir?

Philaster
Well, very well;
And so well that, if the king please, I find
I may live many years.

Dion
The king must please,
330
Whilst we know what you are and who you are,
Your wrongs and virtues. Shrink not, worthy sir,
But add your father to you; in whose name
We'll waken all the gods, and conjure up
The rods of vengeance, the abused people,
335
Who, like to raging torrents, shall swell high,
And so begirt the dens of these male-dragons,
That, through the strongest safety, they shall beg
For mercy at your sword's point.

Philaster
Friends, no more;
Our ears may be corrupted; 't is an age
340
We dare not trust our wills to. Do you love me?

Thrasiline
Do we love Heaven and honour?

Philaster
My Lord Dion, you had
A virtuous gentlewoman call'd you father.
Is she yet alive?

Dion
Most honour'd sir, she is;
345
And, for the penance but of an idle dream
Has undertook a tedious pilgrimage.

Enter a Lady

Philaster
Is it to me, or any of these gentlemen, you come?

Lady
To you, brave lord; the princess would entreat
Your present company.

Philaster
350
The princess send for me! Y'are mistaken.

Lady
If you be call'd Philaster, 't is to you.

Philaster
Kiss her fair hand, and say I will attend her.

[Exit Lady.]

Dion
Do you know what you do?

Philaster
Yes; go to see a woman.

Cleremont
355
But do you weigh the danger you are in?

Philaster
Danger in a sweet face!
By Jupiter, I must not fear a woman!

Thrasiline
But are you sure it was the princess sent?
It may be some foul train to catch your life.

Philaster
360
I do not think it, gentlemen; she's noble.
Her eye may shoot me dead, or those true red
And white friends in her cheeks may steal my soul out:
There's all the danger in 't. But, be what may,
Her single name hath arm'd me.

Exit.

Dion
Go on,
365
And be as truly happy as th'art fearless! –
Come, gentlemen, let's make our friends acquainted,
Lest the king prove false.

Exeunt.

[SCENE II]

[Arethusa's Apartment.]
Enter Arethusa and a Lady

Arethusa
Comes he not?

Lady
Madam?

Arethusa
Will Philaster come?

Lady
Dear madam, you were wont to credit me
At first.

Arethusa
But didst thou tell me so?
5
I am forgetful, and my woman's strength
Is so o'ercharg'd with dangers like to grow
About my marriage, that these under-things
Dare not abide in such a troubled sea.
How look'd he when he told thee he would come?

Lady
10
Why, well.

Arethusa
And not a little fearful?

Lady
Fear, madam! Sure, he knows not what it is.

Arethusa
You all are of his faction; the whole court
Is bold in praise of him; whilst I
15
May live neglected, and do noble things,
As fools in strife throw gold into the sea,
Drown'd in the doing. But, I know he fears.

Lady
Fear, madam! Methought, his looks hid more
Of love than fear.

Arethusa
Of love! To whom? To you?
20
Did you deliver those plain words I sent
With such a winning gesture and quick look
That you have caught him?

Lady
Madam, I mean to you.

Arethusa
Of love to me! Alas, thy ignorance
Lets thee not see the crosses of our births!
25
Nature, that loves not to be questioned
Why she did this or that, but has her ends,
And knows she does well, never gave the world
Two things so opposite, so contrary,
As he and I am: if a bowl of blood
30
Drawn from this arm of mine would poison thee,
A draught of his would cure thee. Of love to me!

Lady
Madam, I think I hear him.

Arethusa
Bring him in.
[Exit Lady.]
You gods, that would not have your dooms withstood,
Whose holy wisdoms at this time it is
35
To make the passion of a feeble maid
The way unto your justice, I obey.

Enter Philaster [with Lady]

Lady
Here is my Lord Philaster.

Arethusa
Oh, 't is well.
Withdraw yourself.

[Exit Lady.]

Philaster
Madam, your messenger
Made me believe you wish'd to speak with me.

Arethusa
40
'T is true, Philaster; but the words are such
I have to say, and do so ill beseem
The mouth of woman, that I wish them said,
And yet am loath to speak them. Have you known
That I have aught detracted from your worth?
45
Have I in person wrong'd you, or have set
My baser instruments to throw disgrace
Upon your virtues?

Philaster
Never, madam, you.

Arethusa
Why, then, should you, in such a public place,
Injure a princess, and a scandal lay
50
Upon my fortunes, fam'd to be so great,
Calling a great part of my dowry in question?

Philaster
Madam, this truth which I shall speak will be
Foolish: but, for your fair and virtuous self,
I could afford myself to have no right
55
To anything you wish'd.

Arethusa
Philaster, know,
I must enjoy these kingdoms.

Philaster
Madam, both?

Arethusa
Both, or I die: by heaven, I die, Philaster,
If I not calmly may enjoy them both.

Philaster
I would do much to save that noble life;
60
Yet would be loath to have posterity
Find in our stories, that Philaster gave
His right unto a sceptre and a crown
To save a lady's longing.

Arethusa
Nay, then, hear:
I must and will have them, and more –

Philaster
What more?

Arethusa
65
Or lose that little life the gods prepared
To trouble this poor piece of earth withal.

Philaster
Madam, what more?

Arethusa
Turn, then, away thy face.

Philaster
No.

Arethusa
No.

Philaster
70
I can endure it. Turn away my face!
I never yet saw enemy that look'd
So dreadfully, but that I thought myself
As great a basilisk as he; or spake
So horrible, but that I thought my tongue
75
Bore thunder underneath as much as his;
Nor beast that I could turn from. Shall I then
Begin to fear sweet sounds? A lady's voice,
Whom I do love? Say you would have my life;
Why, I will give it you; for it is of me
80
A thing so loath'd, and unto you that ask
Of so poor use, that I shall make no price:
If you entreat, I will unmov'dly hear.

Arethusa
Yet, for my sake, a little bend thy looks.

Philaster
I do.

Arethusa
85
Then know, I must have them and thee.

Philaster
And me?

Arethusa
Thy love; without which, all the land
Discover'd yet will serve me for no use
But to be buried in.

Philaster
Is 't possible?

Arethusa
90
With it, it were too little to bestow
On thee. Now, though thy breath do strike me dead,
(Which, now, it may,) I have unripp'd my breast.

Philaster
Madam, you are too full of noble thoughts,
To lay a train for this contemned life,
95
Which you may have for asking. To suspect
Were base, where I deserve no ill. Love you!
By all my hopes, I do, above my life!
But how this passion should proceed from you
So violently, would amaze a man
100
That would be jealous.

Arethusa
Another soul into my body shot
Could not have fill'd me with more strength and sprit
Than this thy breath. But spend not hasty time
In seeking how I came thus; 't is the gods,
105
The gods, that make me so; and, sure, our love
Will be the nobler and the better blest,
In that the secret justice of the gods
Is mingled with it. Let us leave, and kiss;
Lest some unwelcome guest should fall betwixt us,
110
And we should part without it.

Philaster
'T will be ill
I should abide here long.

Arethusa
'T is true; and worse
You should come often. How shall we devise
To hold intelligence, that our true loves,
On any new occasion, may agree
115
What path is best to tread?

Philaster
I have a boy,
Sent by the gods, I hope, to this intent,
Not yet seen in the court. Hunting the buck,
I found him sitting by a fountain's side,
Of which he borrow'd some to quench his thirst,
120
And paid the nymph again as much in tears.
A garland lay him by, made by himself
Of many several flowers bred in the vale,
Stuck in that mystic order that the rareness
Delighted me: but ever when he turn'd
125
His tender eyes upon 'em, he would weep,
As if he meant to make 'em grow again.
Seeing such pretty helpless innocence
Dwell in his face, I ask'd him all his story.
He told me that his parents gentle died,
130
Leaving him to the mercy of the fields,
Which gave him roots; and of the crystal springs,
Which did not stop their courses; and the sun,
Which still, he thank'd him, yielded him his light.
The took he up his garland, and did show
135
What every flower, as country-people hold,
Did signify, and how all, order'd thus,
Express'd his grief; and, to my thoughts, did read
The prettiest lecture of his country-art
That could be wish'd: so that methought I could
140
Have studied it. I gladly entertain'd
Him, who was glad to follow; and have got
The trustiest, loving'st, and the gentlest boy
That ever master kept. Him will I send
To wait on you, and bear our hidden love.

Enter Lady

Arethusa
145
'T is well; no more.

Lady
Madam, the prince is come to do his service.

Arethusa
What will you do, Philaster, with yourself?

Philaster
Why, that which all the gods have pointed out for me.

Arethusa
Dear, hide thyself. –
150
Bring in the prince.

[Exit Lady.]

Philaster
Hide me from Pharamond!
When thunder speaks, which is the voice of Jove,
Though I do reverence, yet I hide me not;
And shall a stranger-prince have leave to brag
Unto a foreign nation, that he made
155
Philaster hide himself?

Arethusa
He cannot know it.

Philaster
Though it should sleep for ever to the world,
It is a simple sin to hide myself,
Which will for ever on my conscience lie.

Arethusa
Then, good Philaster, give him scope and way
160
In what he says; for he is apt to speak
What you are loath to hear. For my sake, do.

Philaster
I will.

Enter Pharamond

Pharamond
My princely mistress, as true lovers ought,
I come to kiss these fair hands, and to show,
165
In outward ceremonies, to dear love
Writ in my heart.

Philaster
If I shall have an answer no directlier,
I am gone.

Pharamond
To what would he have answer?

Arethusa
170
To his claim unto the kingdom.

Pharamond
Sirrah, I forbare you before the king –

Philaster
Good sir, do so still; I would not talk with you.

Pharamond
But now the time is fitter. Do but offer
To make mention of right to any kingdom,
175
Though it be scarce habitable –

Philaster
Good sir, let me go.

Pharamond
And by the gods –

Philaster
Peace, Pharamond! if thou –

Arethusa
Leave us, Philaster.

Philaster
I have done.

[Going.]

Pharamond
You are gone! by Heaven I'll fetch you back.

Philaster
You shall not need.

[Returning.]

Pharamond
What now?

Philaster
Know, Pharamond,
180
I loathe to brawl with such a blast as thou,
Who art nought but a valiant voice; but if
Thou shalt provoke me further, men shall say,
Thou wert, and not lament it.

Pharamond
Do you slight
My greatness so, and in the chamber of
185
The princess?

Philaster
It is a place to which I must confess
I owe a reverence; but were 't the church,
Ay, at the altar, there's no place so safe,
Where thou dar'st injure me, but I dare kill thee.
190
And for your greatness, know sir, I can grasp
You and your greatness thus, thus into nothing.
Give not a word, not a word back! Farewell.

Exit.

Pharamond
'T is an odd fellow, madam; we must stop
His mouth with some office when we are married.

Arethusa
195
You were best make him your controller.

Pharamond
I think he would discharge it well.
But, madam,
I hope our hearts are knit; but yet so slow
The ceremonies of state are, that 't will be long
200
Before our hands be so. If then you please,
Being agreed in heart, let us not wait
For dreaming form, but take a little stolen
Delights, and so prevent our joys to come.

Arethusa
If you dare speak such thoughts,
205
I must withdraw in honour.

Exit.

Pharamond
The constitution of my body will never hold out till the wedding; I must seek elsewhere.

Exit.

Actus Secundus

Scena Prima

[Philaster's Lodging.]
Enter Philaster and his boy, called Bellario

Philaster
And thou shalt find her honourable, boy;
Full of regard unto thy tender youth
For thine own modesty; and, for my sake,
Apter to give than thou wilt be to ask,
5
Ay, or deserve.

Bellario
Sir, you did take me up
When I was nothing; and only yet am something
By being yours. You trusted me unknown;
And that which you are apt to conster
A simple innocence in me, perhaps
10
Might have been craft, the cunning of a boy
Harden'd in lies and theft: yet ventur'd you
To part my miseries and me: for which,
I never can expect to serve a lady
That bears more honour in her breast than you.

Philaster
15
But, boy, it will prefer thee. Thou art young,
And bear'st a childish overflowing love
To them that clap thy cheeks and speak thee fair yet;
But when thy judgment comes to rule those passions,
Thou wilt remember best those careful friends
20
That plac'd thee in the noblest way of life.
She is a princess I prefer thee to.

Bellario
In that small time that I have seen the world,
I never knew a man hasty to part
With a servant he thought trusty. I remember,
25
My father would prefer the boys he kept
To greater men than he; but did it not
Till they were grown too saucy for himself.

Philaster
Why, gentle boy, I find no fault at all
In thy behaviour.

Bellario
Sir, if I have made
30
A fault of ignorance, instruct my youth:
I shall be willing, if not apt, to learn;
Age and experience will adorn my mind
With larger knowledge; and if I have done
A wilful fault, think me not past all hope
35
For once. What master holds so strict a hand
Over his boy, that he will part with him
Without one warning? Let me be corrected
To break my stubbornness, if it be so,
Rather than turn me off; and I shall mend.

Philaster
40
Thy love doth plead so prettily to stay,
That (trust me) I could weep to part with thee.
Alas, I do not turn thee off! Thou knowest
It is my business that doth call thee hence;
And when thou art with her, thou dwell'st with me,
45
Think so, and 't is so; and when time is full,
That thou hast well discharg'd this heavy trust,
Laid on so weak a one, I will again
With joy receive thee; as I live, I will!
Nay, weep not, gentle boy. 'T is more than time
50
Thou didst attend the princess.

Bellario
I am gone.
But since I am to part with you, my lord,
And none knows whether I shall live to do
More service for you, take this little prayer:
Heaven bless your loves, your sighs, all your designs!
55
May sick men, if they have your wish, be well;
And Heaven hate those you curse, though I be one!

Exit.

Philaster
The love of boys unto their lords is strange;
I have read wonders of it: yet this boy
For my sake (if a man may judge by looks
60
And speech) would out-do story. I may see
A day to pay him for his loyalty.

Exit.

[SCENE II]

[Lobby of the Court.]
Enter Pharamond

Pharamond
Why should these ladies stay so long? They must come this way. I know the queen employs 'em not; for the reverend mother sent me word, they would all be for the garden.
5
If they should all prove honest now, I were in a fair taking. I was never so long without sport in my life, and, in my conscience, 't is not my fault. Oh, for our country ladies! Enter Galatea Here's one bolted; I'll hound at her. – Madam!

Galatea
10
Your grace!

Pharamond
Shall I not be a trouble?

Galatea
Not to me, sir.

[Going.]

Pharamond
Nay, nay, you are too quick. By this sweet hand –

Galatea
You'll be forsworn, sir; 't is but an old glove.
If you will talk at distance, I am for you:
15
But, good prince, be not bawdy, nor do not brag.
These two I only bar;
And then, I think, I shall have sense enough
To answer all the weighty apophthegms
Your royal blood shall manage.

Pharamond
20
Dear lady, can you love?

Galatea
Dear prince! how dear? I ne'er cost you a coach yet, nor put you to the dear repentance of a banquet. Here's no scarlet, sir, to blush the sin out it was given for. This wire
25
mine own hair covers; and this face has been so far from being dear to any, that it ne'er cost penny painting; and, for the rest of my poor wardrobe, such as you see, it leaves no hand behind it, to make the jealous mercer's
30
wife curse our good doings.

Pharamond
You mistake me, lady.

Galatea
Lord, I do so; would you or I could help it!

Pharamond
Y' are very dangerous bitter, like a potion.

Galatea
No, sir, I do not mean to purge you, though
35
I mean to purge a little time on you.

Pharamond
Do ladies of this country use to give
No more respect to men of my full being?

Galatea
Full being! I understand you not, unless your grace means growing to fatness; and
40
then your only remedy (upon my knowledge, prince) is, in a morning, a cup of neat white wine brewed with carduus, then fast till supper; about eight you may eat. Use exercise, and keep a sparrow-hawk; you can shoot in a
45
tiller: but, of all, your grace must fly phlebotomy, fresh pork, conger, and clarified whey; they are all dullers of the vital spirits.

Pharamond
Lady, you talk of nothing all this while.

Galatea
'T is very true, sir; I talk of you.

Pharamond
50
[Aside.] This is a crafty wench. I like her wit well; 't will be rare to stir up a leaden appetite. She's a Danaë, and must be courted in a shower of gold. – Madam, look here; all these, and more than –

Galatea
55
What have you there, my lord? Gold! now, as I live, 't is fair gold! You would have silver for it, to play with the pages. You could not have taken me in a worse time; but, if you have present use, my lord, I'll send my
60
man with silver and keep your gold safe for you.

[Takes the gold.]

Pharamond
Lady, lady!

Galatea
She's coming, sir, behind, will take white money. –
[Aside.]
Yet for all this I'll match ye.

She slips behind the arras.

Pharamond
If there be but two such more in this
65
kingdom, and near the court, we may even hang up our harps. Ten such camphor constitutions as this would call the golden age again in question, and teach the old way for every ill-fac'd husband to get his own children;
70
and what a mischief that would breed, let all consider! Enter Megra Here's another: if she be of the same last, the devil shall pluck her on. – Many fair mornings, lady!

Megra
75
As many mornings bring as many days,
Fair, sweet and hopeful to your grace!

Pharamond
[Aside.]
She gives good words yet; sure this wench is free.
If your more serious business do not call you,
Let me hold quarter with you; we will talk
80
An hour out quickly.

Megra
What would your grace talk of?

Pharamond
Of some such pretty subject as yourself:
I'll go no further than your eye, or lip;
There's theme enough for one man for an age.

Megra
Sir, they stand right, and my lips are yet even,
85
Smooth, young enough, ripe enough, and red enough,
Or my glass wrongs me.

Pharamond
Oh, they are two twinn'd cherries dy'd in blushes,
Which those fair suns above with their bright beams
Reflect upon and ripen. Sweetest beauty,
90
Bow down those branches, that the longing taste
Of the faint looker-on may meet those blessings,
And taste and live.

They kiss.

Megra
[Aside.]
Oh, delicate sweet prince!
She that hath snow enough about her heart
95
To take the wanton spring of ten such lines off,
May be a nun without probation. – Sir,
You have in such neat poetry gather'd a kiss,
That if I had but five lines of that number,
Such pretty begging blanks, I should commend
100
Your forehead or your cheeks, and kiss you too.

Pharamond
Do it in prose; you cannot miss it, madam.

Megra
I shall, I shall.

Pharamond
By my life, but you shall not;
I'll prompt you first.
[Kisses her.]
Can you do it now?

Megra
105
Methinks 't is easy, now you ha' done 't before me;
But yet I should stick at it.

[Kisses him.]

Pharamond
Stick till to-morrow;
I'll ne'er part you, sweetest. But we lose time:
Can you love me?

Megra
Love you, my lord! How would you have me love you?

Pharamond
110
I'll teach you in a short sentence, 'cause I will not load your memory; this is all: love me, and lie with me.

Megra
Was it "lie with me" that you said? 'T is impossible.

Pharamond
115
Not to a willing mind, that will endeavour. If I do not teach you to do it as easily in one night as you'll go to bed, I'll lose my royal blood for 't.

Megra
Why, prince, you have a lady of your own
120
That yet wants teaching.

Pharamond
I'll sooner teach a mare the old measures than teach her anything belonging to the function. She's afraid to lie with herself if she have but any masculine imaginations
125
about her. I know, when we are married, I must ravish her.

Megra
By my honour, that's a foul fault, indeed;
But time and your good help will wear it out, sir.

Pharamond
And for any other I see, excepting your
130
dear self, dearest lady, I had rather be Sir Tim the schoolmaster, and leap a dairy-maid.

Megra
Has your grace seen the court-star, Galatea?

Pharamond
Out upon her! She's as cold of her favour
135
as an apoplex; she sail'd by but now.

Megra
And how do you hold her wit, sir?

Pharamond
I hold her wit? The strength of all the guard cannot hold it, if they were tied to it: she would blow 'em out of the kingdom. They
140
talk of Jupiter; he's but a squib-cracker to her. Look well about you, and you may find a tongue-bolt. But speak, sweet lady, shall I be freely welcome?

Megra
Whither?

Pharamond
145
To your bed. If you mistrust my faith, you do me the unnoblest wrong.

Megra
I dare not, prince, I dare not.

Pharamond
Make your own conditions: my purse shall seal 'em, and what you dare imagine you
150
can want, I'll furnish you withal. Give two hours to yours thoughts every morning about it.
ErrorMetrica
Come, I know y' re bashful;
Speak in my ear, will you be mine? Keep this,
And with it me: soon I will visit you.

Megra
155
My lord, my chamber's most unsafe; but when 't is night,
I'll find some means to slip into your lodging;
Till when –

Pharamond
Till when, this and my heart go with thee!

Exeunt several ways.
Enter Galatea from behind the hangings

Galatea
Oh, thou pernicious petticoat prince!
160
are these your virtues? Well, if I do not lay a train to blow your sport up, I am no woman: and, Lady Dowsabel, I'll fit you for 't.

Exit.

[SCENE III]

[Arethusa's Apartment.]
Enter Arethusa and a Lady

Arethusa
Where's the boy?

Lady
Within, madam.

Arethusa
Gave you him gold to buy him clothes?

Lady
I did.

Arethusa
5
And has he done't?

Lady
Yes, madam.

Arethusa
'T is a pretty sad-talking boy, is it not? Ask'd you his name?

Lady
No, madam.

Enter Galatea

Arethusa
10
Oh, you are welcome. What good news?

Galatea
As good as any one can tell your grace,
That says she has done that you would have wish'd.

Arethusa
Hast thou discovered?

Galatea
Of modesty for you I have strain'd a point.

Arethusa
15
I prithee, how?

Galatea
In list'ning after bawdry. I see, let a lady live never so modestly, she shall be sure to find a lawful time to hearken after bawdry. Your prince, brave Pharamond, was so hot
20
on 't!

Arethusa
With whom?

Galatea
Why, with the lady I suspected. I can tell the time and place.

Arethusa
Oh, when, and where?

Galatea
25
To-night, his lodging.

Arethusa
Run thyself into the presence; mingle there again
With other ladies; leave the rest to me.
[Exit Galatea.]
If destiny (to whom we dare not say,
"Why didst thou this?") have not decreed it so,
30
In lasting leaves (whose smallest characters
Were never alter'd yet), this match shall break. –
Where's the boy?

Lady
Here, madam.

Enter Bellario

Arethusa
Sir, you are sad to change your service: is 't not so?

Bellario
35
Madam, I have not chang'd; I wait on you,
To do him service.

Arethusa
Thou disclaim'st in me.
Tell me thy name.

Bellario
Bellario.

Arethusa
Thou canst sing and play?

Bellario
40
If grief will give me leave, madam, I can.

Arethusa
Alas, what kind of grief can thy years know?
Hadst thou a curst master when thou went'st to school?
Thou art not capable of other grief;
Thy brows and cheeks are smooth as waters be
45
When no breath troubles them. Believe me, boy,
Care seeks out wrinkled brows and hollow eyes,
And builds himself caves, to abide in them.
Come, sir, tell me truly, does your lord love me?

Bellario
Love, madam! I know not what it is.

Arethusa
50
Canst thou know grief, and never yet knew'st love?
Thou art deceiv'd, boy. Does he speak of me
As if he wish'd me well?

Bellario
If it be love
To forget all respect of his own friends
With thinking of your face; if it be love
55
To sit cross-arm'd and sigh away the day,
Mingled with starts, crying your name as loud
And hastily as men i' the streets do fire;
If it be love to weep himself away
When he but hears of any lady dead
60
Or kill'd, because it might have been your chance;
If, when he goes to rest (which will not be),
'Twixt every prayer he says, to name you once,
As others drop a bead, be to be in love,
Then, madam, I dare swear he loves you.

Arethusa
65
Oh y' are a cunning boy, and taught to lie
For your lord's credit! But thou know'st a lie
That bears this sound is welcomer to me.
Than any truth that says he loves me not.
Lead the way, boy. –
70
[To Lady.]
Do you attend me too. –
'T is thy lord's business hastes me thus. Away!

Exeunt.

[SCENE IV]

[Before Pharamond's Lodging.]
Enter Dion, Cleremont, Thrasiline, Megra, Galatea

Dion
Come, ladies, shall we talk a round? As men
Do walk a mile, women should talk an hour
After supper: 't is their exercise.

Galatea
'T is late.

Megra
5
'T is all
My eyes will do to lead me to my bed.

Galatea
I fear, they are so heavy, you'll scarce find
The way to your own lodging with 'em to-night.

Enter Pharamond

Thrasiline
The prince!

Pharamond
10
Not a-bed, ladies? Y' are good sitters-up.
What think you of a pleasant dream, to last
Till morning?

Megra
I should choose, my lord, a pleasing wake before it.

Enter Arethusa and Bellario

Arethusa
'T is well, my lord; y' are courting of these ladies. –
15
Is 't not late, gentlemen?

Cleremont
Yes, madam.

Arethusa
Wait you here.

Exit.

Megra
[Aside.]
She's jealous, as I live. – Look you, my lord,
The princess has a Hylas, an Adonis.

Pharamond
20
His form is angel-like.

Megra
Why this is he that must, when you are wed,
Sit by your pillow, like young Apollo, with
His hand and voice binding your thoughts in sleep.
The princess does provide him for you and for herself.

Pharamond
25
I find no music in these boys.

Megra
Nor I:
They can do little, and that small they do,
They have not wit to hide.

Dion
Serves he the princess?

Thrasiline
Yes.

Dion
'T is a sweet boy: how brave she keeps him!

Pharamond
Ladies all, good rest; I mean to kill a buck
30
To-morrow morning ere y' have done your dreams.

Megra
All happiness attend your grace!
[Exit Pharamond.]
Gentlemen, good rest. –
Come, shall we to bed?

Galatea
Yes. – All, good night.

Dion
May your dreams be true to you! –
Exeunt Galatea and Megra.
What shall we do, gallants? 't is late. The king
35
Is up still: see, he comes; a guard along
With him.

Enter King, Arethusa, and Guard

King
Look your intelligence be true.

Arethusa
Upon my life, it is; and I hope
Your highness will not tie me to a man
That in the heat of wooing throws me off,
40
And takes another.

Dion
What should this mean?

King
If it be true,
That lady had been better have embrac'd
Cureless diseases. Get you to your rest:
You shall be righted.
Exeunt Arethusa, Bellario.
– Gentlemen, draw near;
45
We shall employ you. Is young Pharamond
Come to his lodging?

Dion
I saw him enter there.

King
Haste, some of you, ad cunningly discover
If Megra be in her lodging.

[Exit Dion.]

Cleremont
Sir,
50
She parted hence but now, with other ladies.

King
If she be there, we shall not need to make
A vain discovery of our suspicion.
[Aside.]
You gods, I see that who unrighteously
Holds wealth or state from others shall be curs'd
55
In that which meaner men are blest withal:
Ages to come shall know no male of him
Left to inherit, and his name shall be
Blotted from earth. If he have any child,
It shall be crossly match'd; the gods themselves
60
Shall sow wild strife betwixt her lord and her.
Yet, if it be yours wills, forgive the sin
I have committed; let it not fall
Upon this underserving child of mine!
She has not broke your laws. But how can I
65
Look to be heard of gods that must be just,
Praying upon the ground I hold by wrong?

Enter Dion

Dion
Sir, I have asked, and her women swear she is within; but they, I think, are bawds. I told 'em, I must speak with her; they laugh'd,
70
and said, their lady lay speechless. I said, my business was important; they said, their lady was about it. I grew hot, and cried, my business was a matter that concern'd life and death; they answered, so was sleeping, at which
75
their lady was. I urg'd again, she had scarce time to be so since last I saw her: they smil'd again, and seem'd to instruct me that sleeping was nothing but lying down and winking. Answers more direct I could not get: in short,
80
sir, I think she is not there.

King
'T is then no time to dally. – You o' the guard,
Wait at the back door of the prince's lodging,
And see that none pass thence, upon your lives.
[Exeunt Guards.]
Knock, gentlemen; knock loud; – louder yet.
[Dion, Cle., &c. knock at the door of Pharamond's Lodging.]
85
What, has their pleasure taken off their hearing?
I'll break your meditations. – Knock again. –
Not yet? I do not think he sleeps, having this
'Larum by him. – Once more. – Pharamond! prince!

Pharamond [appears] above.

Pharamond
What saucy groom knocks at this dead of night?
90
Where be our waiters? By my vexed soul,
He meets is death that meets me, for his boldness.

King
Prince, prince, you wrong your thoughts; we are your friends:
Come down.

Pharamond
The king!

King
The same, sir. Come down:
We have cause of present counsel with you.

Pharamond
95
If your grace please
To use me, I'll attend you to your chamber.

Enter Pharamond below

King
No, 't is too late, prince; I'll make bold with yours.

Pharamond
I have some private reasons to myself
Makes me unmannerly, and say you cannot. –
They press to come in.
100
Nay, press not forward, gentlemen; he must
Come through my life that comes here.

King
Sir, be resolv'd I must and will come. – Enter.

Pharamond
I will not be dishonour'd.
He that enters, enters upon his death.
105
Sir, 't is a sign you make no stranger of me,
To bring these renegadoes to my chamber
At these unseason'd hours.

King
Why do you
Chafe yourself so? You are not wrong'd nor shall be;
Only I'll search your lodging, for some cause
110
To ourself known. – Enter, I say.

Pharamond
I say, no.

[Enter] Megra above

Megra
Let 'em enter, prince, let 'em enter;
I am up and ready: I know their business;
'T is the poor breaking of a lady's honour
They hunt so hotly after: let 'em enjoy it. –
115
You have your business, gentlemen; I lay here.
Oh, my lord the king, this is not noble in you
To make public the weakness of a woman!

King
Come down.

Megra
I dare, my lord. Your hootings and your clamours,
120
Your private whispers and your broad fleerings,
Can no more vex my soul than this base carriage.
But I have vengeance yet in store for some
Shall, in the most contempt you can have of me,
Be joy and nourishment.

King
Will you come down?

Megra
125
Yes, to laugh at your worst; but I shall wring you,
If my skill fail me not.

[Exit above.]

King
Sir, I must dearly chide you for this looseness;
You have wrong'd a worthy lady; but, no more. –
Conduct him to my lodging and to bed.

[Exeunt Pharamond and Attendants.]

Cleremont
130
Get him another wench, and you bring him to bed indeed.

Dion
'T is strange a man cannot ride a stage
Or two, to breathe himself, without a warrant.
If his gear hold, that lodgings be search'd thus,
135
Pray God we may lie with our own wives in safety,
That they be not by some trick of state mistaken!

Enter [Attendants] with Megra [below]

King
Now, lady of honour, where's your honour now?
No man can fit your palate but the prince.
Thou most ill-shrouded rottenness, thou piece
140
Made by a painter and a 'pothecary,
Thou troubled sea of lust, thou wilderness
Inhabited by wild thoughts, thou swoln cloud
Of infection, thou ripe mine of all diseases,
Thou all-sin, all-hell, and last, all-devils, tell me,
145
Had you none to pull on with your courtesies
But he that must be mine, and wrong my daughter?
By all the gods, all these, and all the pages,
And all the court, shall hoot thee through the court,
Fling rotten oranges, make ribald rhymes,
150
And sear thy name with candles upon walls!
Do you laugh, Lady Venus?

Megra
Faith, sir, you must pardon me;
I cannot choose but laugh to see you merry.
If you do this, O King! nay, if you dare do it,
By all those gods you swore by, and as many
155
More of my own, I will have fellows, and such
Fellows in it, as shall make noble mirth!
The princess, your dear daughter, shall stand by me
On walls, and sung in ballads, anything.
Urge me no more; I know her and her haunts,
160
Her lays, leaps, and outlays, and will discover all;
Nay, will dishonour her. I know the boy
She keeps; a handsome boy, about eighteen;
Know what she does with him, where, and when.
Come, sir, you put me to a woman's madness,
165
The glory of a fury; and if I do not
Do 't to the height –

King
What boy is this she raves at?

Megra
Alas! good-minded prince, you know not these things!
I am loath to reveal 'em. Keep this fault,
As you would keep your health from the hot air
170
Of the corrupted people, or, by Heaven,
I will not fall alone. What I have known
Shall be as public as a print; all tongues
Shall speak it as they do the language they
Are born in, as free and commonly; I'll set it,
175
Like a prodigious star, for all to gaze at,
And so high and glowing, that other kingdoms far and foreign
Shall read it there, nay, travel with it, till they find
No tongue to make it more, nor no more people;
And then behold the fall of your fair princess!

King
180
Has she a boy?

Cleremont
So please your grace, I have seen a boy wait
On her, a fair boy.

King
Go, get you to your quarter:
For this time I will study to forget you.

Megra
Do you study to forget me, and I'll study
185
To forget you.

Exeunt King, Megra, Guard.

Cleremont
Why, here's a male spirit fit for Hercules. If ever there be Nine Worthies of women, this wench shall ride astride and be their captain.

Dion
Sure, she has a garrison of devils in her
190
tongue, she uttered such balls of wild-fire. She has so nettled the king, that all the doctors in the country will scarce cure him. That boy was a strange-found-out antidote to cure her infection: that boy, that princess' boy; that
195
brave, chaste, virtuous lady's boy; and a fair boy, a well-spoken boy! All these considered, can make nothing else – but there I leave you, gentlemen.

Thrasiline
Nay, we'll go wander with you.

Exeunt.

Actus Tertius

Scena Prima

[The Court.]
Enter Cleremont, Dion, and Thrasiline

Cleremont
Nay, doubtless, 't is true.

Dion
Ay; and 't is the gods
That rais'd this punishment, to scourge the king
With his own issue. Is it not a shame
5
For us that should write noble in the land,
For us that should be freemen, to behold
A man that is the bravery of his age,
Philaster, press'd down from his royal right
By his regardless king? and only look
10
And see the sceptre ready to be cast
Into the hands of that lascivious lady,
That lives in lust with a smooth boy, now to be married
To yon strange prince, who, but that people please
To let him be a prince, is born a slave
15
In that which should be his most noble part,
His mind?

Thrasiline
That man that would not stir with you
To aid Philaster, let the gods forget
That such a creature walks upon the earth!

Cleremont
Philaster is too backward in 't himself.
20
The gentry do await it, and the people,
Against their nature, are all bent for him,
And like a field of standing corn, that's mov'd
With a stiff gale, their heads bow all one way.

Dion
The only cause that draws Philaster back
25
From this attempt is the fair princess' love,
Which he admires, and we can now confute.

Thrasiline
Perhaps he'll not believe it.

Dion
Why, gentlemen, 't is without question so.

Cleremont
Ay, 't is past speech she lives dishonestly.
30
But how shall we, if he be curious, work
Upon his faith?

Thrasiline
We all are satisfied within ourselves.

Dion
Since it is true, and tends to his own good,
I'll make this new report to be my knowledge.
35
I'll say I know it; nay, I'll swear I saw it.

Cleremont
It will be best.

Thrasiline
'T will move him.

Enter Philaster

Dion
Here he comes.
Good morrow to your honour: we have spent
Some time in seeking you.

Philaster
My worthy friends,
You that can keep your memories to know
40
Your friend in miseries, and cannot frown
On men disgrac'd for virtue, a good day
Attend you all! What service may I do
Worthy your acceptation?

Dion
My good lord,
We come to urge that virtue, which we know
45
Lives in your breast, forth. Rise, and make a head;
The nobles and the people are all dull'd
With this usurping king; and not a man,
That ever heard the word, knows such a thing
As virtue, but will second your attempts.

Philaster
50
How honourable is this love in you
To me that have deserv'd none! Know, my friends.
(You, that were born to shame your poor Philaster
With too much courtesy,) I could afford
To melt myself in thanks: but my designs
55
Are not yet ripe. Suffice it, that ere long
I shall employ your loves; but yet the time
Is short of what I would.

Dion
The time is fuller, sir, than you expect;
That which hereafter will not, perhaps, be reach'd
60
By violence, many now be caught. As for the king,
You know the people have long hated him;
But now the princess, whom they lov'd –

Philaster
Why, what of her?

Dion
Is loath'd as much as he.

Philaster
By what strange means?

Dion
She's known a whore.

Philaster
Thou liest.

Dion
65
My lord –

Philaster
Offers to draw and is held.
Thou liest,
And thou shalt feel it! I had thought thy mind
Had been of honour. Thus to rob a lady
Of her good name is an infectious sin
70
Not to be pardon'd. Be it false as hell,
'T will never be redeem'd, if it be sown
Amongst the people, fruitful to increase
All evil they shall hear. Let me alone
That I may cut off falsehood whilst it springs!
75
Set hills on hills betwixt me and the man
That utters this, and I will scale them all,
And from the utmost top fall on his neck,
Like thunder from a cloud.

Dion
This is most strange:
Sure, he does love her.

Philaster
I do love fair truth.
80
She is my mistress, and who injures her
Draws vengeance from me. Sirs, let go my arms.

Thrasiline
Nay, good my lord, be patient.

Cleremont
Sir, remember,
This is your honour'd friend,
That comes to do his service, and will show you
85
Why he utter'd this.

Philaster
I ask you pardon, sir;
My zeal to truth made me unmannerly:
Should I have heard dishonour spoke of you,
Behind your back, untruly, I had been
As much distemper'd and enrag'd as now.

Dion
90
But this, my lord, is truth.

Philaster
Oh, say not so!
Good sir, forbear to say so: 't is then truth,
That womankind is false: urge it no more;
It is impossible. Why should you think
The princess light?

Dion
Why, she was taken at it.

Philaster
95
'T is false! by Heaven, 't is false! It cannot be
Can it? Speak, gentlemen; for God's love, speak!
Is 't possible? Can women all be damn'd?

Dion
Why, no, my lord.

Philaster
Why, then, it cannot be.

Dion
And she was taken with her boy.

Philaster
What boy?

Dion
100
A page, a boy that serves her.

Philaster
Oh, good gods!
A little boy?

Dion
Ay; know you him, my lord?

Philaster
[Aside.]
Hell and sin know him! – Sir, you are deceiv'd;
I'll reason it a little coldly with you.
If she were lustful, would she take a boy,
105
That knows not yet desire? She would have one
Should meet her thoughts and know the sin he acts,
Which is the great delight of wickedness.
You are abus'd, and so is she, and I.

Dion
How you, my lord?

Philaster
Why, all the world's abus'd
110
In an unjust report.

Dion
Oh, noble sir, your virtues
Cannot look into the subtle thoughts of woman!
In short, my lord, I took them; I myself.

Philaster
Now, all the devils, thou didst! Fly from my rage!
Would thou hadst ta'en devils engend'ring plagues,
115
When thou didst take them! Hide thee from mine eyes!
Would thou hadst taken thunder on thy breast,
When thou didst take them; or been strucken dumb
For ever; that this foul deed might have slept
In silence!

Thrasiline
120
Have you known him so ill-temper'd?

Cleremont
Never before.

Philaster
The winds that are let loose
From the four several corners of the earth,
And spread themselves all over sea and land,
Kiss not a chaste one. What friend bears a sword
125
To run me through?

Dion
Why, my lord, are you
So mov'd at this?

Philaster
When any fall from virtue,
I am distracted; I have an interest in 't.

Dion
But, good my lord, recall yourself, and think
What's best to be done.

Philaster
I thank you; I will do it.
130
Please you to leave me; I'll consider of it.
To-morrow I will find your lodging forth,
And give you answer.

Dion
All the gods direct you
The readiest way!

Thrasiline
He was extreme impatient.

Cleremont
It was his virtue and his noble mind.

Exeunt Dion, Cleremont, and Thrasiline.

Philaster
135
I had forgot to ask him where he took them;
I'll follow him. Oh that I had a sea
Within my breast, to quench the fire I feel!
More circumstances will but fan this fire:
It more afflicts me now, to know by whom
140
This deed is done, than simply that 't is done;
And he that tells me this is honourable,
As far from lies as she is far from truth.
Oh, that, like beasts, we could not grieve ourselves
With that we see not! Bulls and rams will fight
145
To keep their females, standing in their sight;
But take 'em from them, and you take at once
Their spleens away; and they will fall again
Unto their pastures, growing fresh and fat,
And taste the waters of the springs as sweet
150
As 't was before, finding no start in sleep;
But miserable man –
Enter Bellario
See, see, you gods,
He walks still; and the face you let him wear
When he was innocent is still the same,
Not blasted! Is this justice? Do you mean
155
To intrap mortality, that you allow
Treason so smooth a brow? I cannot now
Think he is guilty.

Bellario
Health to you, my lord!
The princess doth commend her love, her life,
And this, unto you.

He gives him a letter.

Philaster
Oh, Bellario,
160
Now I perceive she loves me: she does show it
In loving thee, my boy. She has made thee brave.

Bellario
My lord, she has attir'd me past my wish,
Past my desert; more fit for her attendant,
Though far unfit for me who do attend.

Philaster
165
Thou art grown courtly, boy. – Oh, let all women,
That love black deeds, learn to dissemble here,
Here, by this paper! She does write to me
As if her heart were mines of adamant
To all the world besides; but, unto me,
170
A maiden-snow that melted with my looks. –
Tell me, my boy, how doth the princess use thee?
For I shall guess her love to me by that.

Bellario
Scarce like her servant, but as if I were
Something allied to her, or had preserv'd
175
Her life three time by my fidelity:
As mothers fond do use their only sons,
As I'd use one that's left unto my trust,
For whom my life should pay if he met harm,
So she does use me.

Philaster
Why, this is wondrous well:
180
But what kind language does she feed thee with?

Bellario
Why, she does tell me she will trust my youth
With all her loving secrets, and does call me
Her pretty servant; bids me weep no more
For leaving you; she'll see my services
185
Regarded: and such words of that soft strain
That I nearer weeping when she ends
Than ere she spake.

Philaster
This is much better still.

Bellario
Are you not ill, my lord?

Philaster
Ill? No, Bellario.

Bellario
Methinks your words
190
Fall not from off your tongue so evenly,
Nor is there in your looks that quietness
That I was wont to see.

Philaster
Thou art deceiv'd, boy:
And she strokes thy head?

Bellario
Yes.

Philaster
And she does clap thy cheeks?

Bellario
She does, my lord.

Philaster
195
And she does kiss thee, boy? ha!

Bellario
How, my lord?

Philaster
She kisses thee?

Bellario
Never, my lord, by heaven.

Philaster
That's strange, I know she does.

Bellario
No, by my life.

Philaster
Why then she does not love me. Come, she does.
I bade her do it; I charg'd her, by all charms
200
Of love between us, by the hope of peace
We should enjoy, to yield thee all delights
Naked as to her bed; I took her oath
Thou shouldst enjoy her. Tell me, gentle boy,
Is she not parallelless? Is not her breath
205
Sweet as Arabian winds when fruits are ripe?
Are not her breasts two liquid ivory balls?
Is she not all a lasting mine of joy?

Bellario
Ay, now I see why my disturbed thoughts
Were so perplex'd. When first I went to her,
210
My heart held augury. You are abus'd;
Some villain has abus'd you; I do see
Whereto you tend. Fall rocks upon his head
That put this to you! 'T is some subtle train
To bring that noble frame of yours to nought.

Philaster
215
Thou think'st I will be angry with thee. Come,
Thou shalt know all my drift. I hate her more
Than I love happiness, and plac'd thee there
To pry with narrow eyes into her deeds.
Hast thou discover'd? Is she fall'n to lust,
220
As I would wish her? Speak some comfort to me.

Bellario
My lord, you did mistake the boy you sent.
Had she the lust of sparrows or of goats,
Had she a sin that way, hid from the world,
Beyond the name of lust, I would not aid
225
Her base desires; but what I came to know
As servant to her, I would not reveal,
To make my life last ages.

Philaster
Oh, my heart!
This is a salve worse than the main disease. –
Tell me thy thoughts; for I will know the least
230
That dwells within thee, or will rip thy heart
To know it. I will see thy thoughts as plain
As I do now thy face.

Bellario
Why, so you do.
She is (for aught I know) by all the gods,
As chaste as ice! But were she foul as hell,
235
And I did know it thus, the breath of kings,
The points of swords, tortures, nor bulls of brass,
Should draw it from me.

Philaster
Then it is no time
To dally with thee; I will take thy life,
For I do hate thee. I could curse thee now.

Bellario
240
If you do hate, you could not curse me worse;
The gods have no a punishment in store
Greater for me than is your hate.

Philaster
Fie, fie,
So young and so dissembling ! Tell me when
And where thou didst enjoy her, or let plagues
245
Fall on me, if I destroy thee not!

Draws his sword.

Bellario
Heaven knows, I never did; and when I lie
To save my life, may I live long and loath'd!
Hew me asunder, and, whilst I can think,
I'll love those pieces you have cut away
250
Better than those that grow, and kiss those limbs
Because you made 'em so.

Philaster
Fear'st thou not death?
Can boys contemn that?

Bellario
Oh, what boy is he
Can be content to live to be a man,
That sees the best of men thus passionate,
255
Thus without reason?

Philaster
Oh, but thou dost not know
What 't is to die.

Bellario
Yes, I do know, my lord:
'T is less than to be born; a lasting sleep;
A quiet resting from all jealousy,
A thing we all pursue. I know, besides,
260
It is but giving over a game
That must be lost.

Philaster
But there are pains, false boy,
For perjur'd souls. Think but on those, and then
Thy heart will melt, and thou wilt utter all.

Bellario
May they fall all upon me whilst I live,
265
If I be perjur'd, or have ever thought
Of that you charge me with! If I be false,
Send me to suffer in those punishments
You speak of; kill me!

Philaster
Oh, what should I do?
Why, who can but believe him? He does swear
270
So earnestly, that if it were not true,
The gods would not endure him. Rise, Bellario:
Thy protestations are so deep, and thou
Dost look so truly when thou utter'st them,
That, though I know 'em false as were my hopes,
275
I cannot urge thee further. But thou wert
To blame to injure me, for I must love
Thy honest looks, and take no revenge upon
Thy tender youth. A love from me to thee
Is firm, whate'er thou dost; it troubles me
280
That I have call'd the blood out of thy cheeks,
That did so well become thee. But, good boy,
Let me not see thee more: something is done
That will distract me, that will make me mad,
If I behold thee. If thou tender'st me,
285
Let me not see thee.

Bellario
I will fly as far
As there is morning, ere I give distaste
To that most honour'd mind. But through these tears,
Shed at my hopeless parting, I can see
A world of treason practis'd upon you,
290
And her, and me. Farewell for evermore!
If you shall hear that sorrow struck me dead,
And after find me loyal, let there be
A tear shed from you in my memory,
And I shall rest in peace.

Exit.

Philaster
295
Blessing be with thee,
Whatever thou deserv'st! Oh, where shall I
Go bathe this body? Nature too unkind;
That made no medicine for a troubled mind!

Exit.

[SCENE II]

[Arethusa's Apartment.]
Enter Arethusa

Arethusa
I marvel my boy comes not back again:
But that I know my love will question him
Over and over, – how I slept, wak'd, talk'd,
How I rememb'red him, when his dear name
5
Was last spoke, and how, when I sigh'd, wept, sung,
And then thousand such, – I should be angry at his stay.

Enter King

King
What, at your meditations! Who attends you?

Arethusa
None but my single self. I need no guard;
I do no wrong, nor fear none.

King
10
Tell me, have you not a boy?

Arethusa
Yes, sir.

King
What kind of boy?

Arethusa
A page, a waiting-boy.

King
A handsome boy?

Arethusa
I think he be not ugly:
Well qualified and dutiful I know him;
I took him not for beauty.

King
15
He speaks and sings and plays?

Arethusa
Yes, sir.

King
About eighteen?

Arethusa
I never ask'd his age.

King
Is he full of service?

Arethusa
By your pardon, why do you ask?

King
Put him away.

Arethusa
Sir!

King
Put him away, I say.
20
H'as done you that good service shames me to speak of.

Arethusa
Good, sir, let me understand you.

King
If you fear me,
Show it in duty; put away that boy.

Arethusa
Let me have reason for it, sir, and then
Your will is my command.

King
25
Do not you blush to ask it? Cast him off,
Or I shall do the same to you. Y' are one
Shame with me, and so near unto myself,
That, by my life, I dare not tell myself,
What you, myself, have done.

Arethusa
30
What have I done, my lord?

King
'T is a new language, that all love to learn:
The common people speak it well already;
They need no grammar. Understand me well:
There be foul whispers stirring. Cast him off,
35
And suddenly. Do it! Farewell.

Exit King.

Arethusa
Where may a maiden live securely free,
Keeping her honour fair? Not with the living.
They feed upon opinions, errors, dreams,
And make 'em truths; they draw a nourishment
40
Out of defamings, grow upon disgraces,
And, when they see a virtue fortified
Strongly above the battery of their tongues,
Oh, how they cast to sink it! and, defeated,
(Soul-sick with poison) strike the monuments
45
Where noble names lie sleeping, till they sweat,
And the cold marble melt.

Enter Philaster

Philaster
Peace to your fairest thoughts, dearest mistress!

Arethusa
Oh, my dearest servant, I have a war within me!

Philaster
He must be more than man that makes these crystals
50
Run into rivers. Sweetest fair, the cause?
And, as I am your slave, tied to your goodness,
Your creature, made again from what I was
And newly-spirited, I'll right your honour.

Arethusa
Oh, my best love, that boy!

Philaster
What boy?

Arethusa
55
The pretty boy you gave me –

Philaster
What of him?

Arethusa
Must be no more mine.

Philaster
Why?

Arethusa
They are jealous of him.

Philaster
Jealous! Who?

Arethusa
The king.

Philaster
[Aside.]
Oh, my misfortune!
Then t is no idle jealousy. – Let him go.

Arethusa
Oh, cruel!
60
Are you hard-hearted too? Who shall now tell you
How much I lov'd you? Who shall swear it to you,
And weep the tears I send? Who shall now bring you
Letters, rings, bracelets? Lose his health in service?
Wake tedious nights in stories of your praise?
65
Who shall now sing your crying elegies,
And strike a sad soul into senseless pictures,
And make them mourn? Who shall take up his lute,
And touch it till he crown a silent sleep
Upon my eye-lids, making me dream, and cry,
70
"Oh, my dear, dear Philaster!"

Philaster
[Aside.]
Oh, my heart!
Would he had broken thee, that made thee know
This lady was not loyal! – Mistress,
Forget the boy; I'll get thee a far better.

Arethusa
75
Oh, never, never such a boy again
As my Bellario!

Philaster
'T is but your fond affection.

Arethusa
With thee, my boy, farewell for ever
All secrecy in servants! Farewell, faith,
And all desire to do well for itself!
80
Let all that shall succeed thee for thy wrongs
Sell and betray chaste love!

Philaster
And all this passion for a boy?

Arethusa
He was your boy, and you put him to me,
And the loss of such must have a mourning for.

Philaster
85
Oh, thou forgetful woman!

Arethusa
How, my lord?

Philaster
False Arethusa!
Hast thou a medicine to restore my wits,
When I have lost 'em? If not, leave to talk,
And do thus.

Arethusa
Do what, sir? Would you sleep?

Philaster
90
For ever, Arethusa. Oh, you gods
Give me a worthy patience! Have I stood,
Naked, alone, the shock of many fortunes?
Have I seen mischiefs numberless and mighty
Grow like a sea upon me? Have I taken
95
Danger as stern as death into my bosom,
And laugh'd upon it, made it but a mirth,
And flung it by? Do I live now like him,
Under this tyrant king, that languishing
Hears his sad bell and sees his mourners? Do I
100
Bear all this bravely, and must sink at length
Under a woman's falsehood? Oh, that boy,
That cursed boy! None but a villain boy
To ease your lust?

Arethusa
Nay, then, I am betray'd:
I feel the plot cast for my overthrow.
105
Oh, I am wretched!

Philaster
Now you may take that little right I have
To this poor kingdom. Give it to your joy;
For I have no joy in it. Some far place,
Where never womankind durst set her foot
110
For bursting with her poisons, must I seek,
And live to curse you;
There dig a cave, and preach to birds and beasts
What woman is, and help to save them from you:
How heaven is in your eyes, but in your hearts
115
More hell than hell has; how your tongues, like scorpions,
Both heal and poison; how your thoughts are woven
With thousand changes in one subtle web,
And worn so by you; how that foolish man,
That reads the story of a woman's face
120
And dies believing it, is lost for ever;
How all the good you have is but a shadow,
I' th' morning with you, and at night behind you,
Past and forgotten; how your vows are frosts,
Fast for a night, and with the next sun gone;
125
How you are, being taken all together,
A mere confusion, and so dead a chaos,
That love cannot distinguish. These sad texts,
Till my last hour, I am bound to utter of you.
So, farewell all my woe, all my delight!

Exit.

Arethusa
130
Be merciful, ye gods, and strike me dead!
What way have I deserv'd this? Make my breast
Transparent as pure crystal, that the world,
Jealous of me, may see the foulest thought
My heart holds. Where shall a woman turn her eyes,
135
To find out constancy?
Enter Bellario
Save me, how black
And guiltily, methinks, that boy looks now!
Oh, thou dissembler, that, before thou spak'st,
Wert in thy cradle false, sent to make lies
And betray innocents! Thy lord and thou
140
May glory in the ashes of a maid
Fool'd by her passion; but the conquest is
Nothing so great as wicked. Fly away!
Let my command force thee to that which shame
Would do without it. If thou understood'st
145
The loathed office thou hast undergone,
Why, thou wouldst hide thee under heaps of hills,
Lest men should dig and find thee.

Bellario
Oh, what god,
Angry with men, hath sent this strange disease
Into the noblest minds! Madam, this grief
150
You add unto me is no more than drops
To seas, for which they are not seen to swell.
My lord hath struck his anger through my heart,
And let out all the hope of future joys.
You need not bid me fly; I came to part,
155
To take my latest leave. Farewell for ever!
I durst not run away in honesty
From such a lady, like a boy that stole
Or made some grievous fault. The power of gods
Assist you in your sufferings! Hasty time
160
Reveal the truth to your abused lord
And mine, that he may know your worth; whilst I
Go seek out some forgotten place to die!

Exit.

Arethusa
Peace guide thee! Thou hast overthrown me once;
Yet, if I had another Troy to lose,
165
Thou, or another villain with thy looks,
Might talk me out of it, and send me naked,
My hair dishevell'd, through the fiery streets.

Enter a Lady

Lady
Madam, the king would hunt, and calls for you
With earnestness.

Arethusa
I am in tune to hunt!
170
Diana, if thou canst rage with a maid
As with a man, let me discover thee
Bathing, and turn me to a fearful hind,
That I may die pursued by cruel hounds,
And have my story written in my wounds!

Exeunt.

Actus Quartus

Scena Prima

[The Court.]
Enter King, Pharamond, Arethusa, Galatea, Megra, Dion, Cleremont, Thrasiline, and Attendants

King
What, are the hounds before and all the woodmen?
Our horses ready and our bows bent?

Dion
All, sir.

King
[to Pharamond.]
Y' are cloudy, sir. Come, we have forgotten
Your venial trespass; let not that sit heavy
5
Upon your spirit; here's none dare utter it.

Dion
He looks like an old surfeited stallion after his leaping, dull as a dormouse. See how he sinks! The wench has shot him between wind and water, and, I hope, sprung a leak.

Thrasiline
10
He needs no teaching, he strikes sure enough. His greatest fault is, he hunts too much in the purlieus; would he would leave off poaching!

Dion
And for his horn, h'as left it at the
15
lodge where he lay late. Oh, he's a precious limehound! Turn him loose upon the pursuit of a lady, and if he lose her, hang him up i' the slip. When my fox-bitch, Beauty, grows proud, I'll borrow him.

King
20
Is your boy turn'd away?

Arethusa
You did command, sir, and I obey'd you.

King
'T is well done. Hark ye further.

[They talk apart.]

Cleremont
Is 't possible this fellow should repent?
25
Methinks, that were not noble in him; and yet he looks like a mortified member, as if he had a "Sick Man's Salve" in 's mouth. If a worse man had done this fault now, some physical justice or other would presently
30
(without the help of an almanac) have opened the obstructions of his liver, and let him blood with a dog-whip.

Dion
See, see how modestly yon lady looks, as if she came from churching with her neighbours!
35
Why, what a devil can a man see in her face but that she's honest!

Thrasiline
Faith, no great matter to speak of: a foolish twinkling with the eye, that spoils her coat; but he must be a cunning herald that
40
finds it.

Dion
See how they muster one another! Oh, there's a rank regiment where the devil carries the colours and his dam drum-major! Now the world and the flesh come behind with the carriage.

Cleremont
45
Sure this lady has a good turn done her against her will; before she was common talk, now none dare say cantharides can stir her. Her face looks like a warrant, willing and commanding all tongues, as they will answer it,
50
to be tied up and bolted when this lady means to let herself loose. As I live, she has got her a goodly protection and a gracious; and may use her body discreetly for her health's sake, once a week, excepting Lent and dog-days. Oh,
55
if they were to be got for money, what a great sum would come out of the city for these licences!

King
To horse, to horse! we lose the morning, gentlemen.

Exeunt.

[SCENE II]

[The Forest.]
Enter two Woodmen.

1 Woodman
What, have you lodged the deer?

2 Woodman
Yes, they are ready for the bow.

1 Woodman
Who shoots?

2 Woodman
The princess.

1 Woodman
5
No, she'll hunt.

2 Woodman
She'll take a stand, I say.

1 Woodman
Who else?

2 Woodman
Why, the young stranger-prince.

1 Woodman
He shall shoot in a stone-bow for
10
me. I never lov'd his beyond-sea-ship since her forsook the say, for paying ten shillings. He was there at the fall of a deer, and would needs (out of his mightiness) give ten groats for the dowcets; marry, his steward would
15
have the velvet-head into the bargain, to turf his hat withal. I think he should love venery; he is an old Sir Tristram; for, if you be rememb'red, he forsook the stag once to strike a rascal miching in a meadow, and her he kill'd
20
in the eye. Who shoots else?

2 Woodman
The Lady Galatea.

1 Woodman
That's a good wench, and she would not chide us for tumbling of her women in the brakes. She's liberal, and by the gods, they
25
say she's honest, and whether that be a fault, I have nothing to do. There's all?

2 Woodman
No, one more; Megra.

1 Woodman
That's a firker, i' faith, boy. There's a wench will ride her haunches as
30
hard after a kennel of hounds as a hunting saddle, and when she comes home, get 'em clapp'd, and all is well again. I have known her lose herself three times in one afternoon (if the woods have been answerable), and it has been
35
work enough for one man to find her, and he has sweat for it. She rides well and she pays well. Hark! let's go.

Exeunt.
Enter Philaster

Philaster
Oh, that I had been nourish'd in these woods
With milk of goats and acorns, and not known
40
The right of crowns nor the dissembling trains
Of women's looks; but digg'd myself a cave
Where I, my fire, my cattle, and my bed
Might have been shut together in one shed;
And then had taken me some mountain-girl,
45
Beaten with winds, chaste as the harden'd rocks
Whereon she dwelt, that might have strew'd my bed
With leaves and reeds, and with the skins of beasts,
Our neighbours, and have borne at her big breasts
My large coarse issue! This had been a life
50
Free from vexation.

Enter Bellario

Bellario
Oh, wicked men!
An innocent may walk safe among beasts;
Nothing assaults me here. See, my griev'd lord
Sits as his soul were searching out a way
To leave his body! – Pardon me, that must
55
Break thy last commandment; for I must speak.
You that are griev'd can pity; hear, my lord!

Philaster
Is there a creature yet so miserable,
That I can pity?

Bellario
Oh, my noble lord,
View my strange fortune, and bestow on me,
60
According to your bounty (if my service
Can merit nothing), so much as may serve
To keep that little piece I hold of life
From cold and hunger!

Philaster
Is it thou? Be gone!
Go, sell those misbeseeming clothes thou wear'st,
65
And feed thyself with them.

Bellario
Alas, my lord, I can get nothing for them!
The silly country-people think 't is treason
To touch such gay things.

Philaster
Now, by the gods, this is
Unkindly done, to vex me with thy sight.
70
Th 'art fallen again to thy dissembling trade;
How shouldst thou think to cozen me again?
Remains there yet a plague untried for me?
Even so thou wept'st, and look'd'st, and spoke'st when first
I took thee up.
75
Curse on the time! If thy commanding tears
Can work on any other, use thy art;
I'll not betray it. Which way wilt thou take,
That I may shun thee, for thine eyes are poison
To mine, and I am loath to grow in rage?
80
This way, or that way?

Bellario
Any will serve; but I will choose to have
That path in chase that leads unto my grave.

Exeunt severally.
Enter [on one side] Dion, and [on the other] the Woodmen

Dion
This is the strangest sudden chance! – You, woodmen!

1 Woodman
85
My lord Dion?

Dion
Saw you a lady come this way on a sable horse studded with stars of white?

2 Woodman
Was she not young and tall?

Dion
Yes. Rode she to the wood or to the
90
plain?

2 Woodman
Faith, my lord, we saw none.

Exeunt Woodmen.

Dion
Pox of your questions then! Enter Cleremont What, is she found?

Cleremont
Nor will be, I think.

Dion
95
Let him seek his daughter himself. She cannot stray about a little necessary natural business, but the whole court must be in arms. When she has done, we shall have peace.

Cleremont
There's already a thousand fatherless
100
tales amongst us. Some say, her horse ran away with her; some, a wolf pursued her; others, 't was a plot to kill her, and that arm'd men were seen in the wood: but questionless she rode away willingly.

Enter King and Thrasiline

King
105
Where is she?

Cleremont
Sir, I cannot tell.

King
How's that?
Answer me so again!

Cleremont
Sir, shall I lie?

King
Yes, lie and damn, rather than tell me that.
I say again, where is she? Mutter not –
Sir, speak you; where is she?

Dion
Sir, I do not know.

King
110
Speak that again so boldly, and, by Heaven,
It is thy last! – You, fellows, answer me;
Where is she? Mark me, all; I am your king:
I wish to see my daughter; show her me;
I do command you all, as you are subjects,
115
To show her me! What! am I not your king?
If ay, then am I not to be obeyed?

Dion
Yes, if you command things possible and honest.

King
Things possible and honest! Hear me, thou, –
Thou traitor, that dar'st confine thy king to things
120
Possible and honest! Show her me,
Or, let me perish, if I cover not
All Sicily with blood!

Dion
Faith, I cannot,
Unless you tell me where she is.

King
You have betray'd me; you have let me lose
125
The jewel of my life. Go, bring her me.
And set her here before me. 'T is the king
Will have it so; whose breath can still the winds,
Uncloud the sun, charm down the swelling sea,
And stop the floods of heaven. Speak, can it not?

Dion
130
No.

King
No! cannot the breath of kings do this?

Dion
No; nor smell sweet itself, if once the lungs
Be but corrupted.

King
Is it so? Take heed!

Dion
Sir, take you heed how you dare the powers
That must be just.

King
Alas! what are we kings?
135
Why do you gods place us above the rest,
To be serv'd, flatter'd, and ador'd, till we
Believe we hold within our hands your thunder?
And when we come to try the power we have,
There's not a leaf shakes at our threatenings.
140
I have sinn'd, 't is true, and here stand to be punish'd;
Yet would not thus be punish'd. Let me choose
My way, and lay it on!

Dion
[Aside.] He articles with the gods. Would somebody would draw bonds for the
145
performance of covenants betwixt them!

Enter Pharamond, Galatea, and Megra

King
What, is she found?

Pharamond
No; we have ta'en her horse;
He gallop'd empty by. There is some treason.
You, Galatea, rode with her into
The wood. Why left you her?

Galatea
She did command me.

King
150
Command! you should not.

Galatea
'T would ill become my fortunes and my birth
To disobey the daughter of my king.

King
Y' are all cunning to obey us for our hurt;
But I will have her.

Pharamond
If I have her not,
155
By this hand, there shall be no more Sicily.

Dion
[Aside.]
What, will he carry it to Spain in 's pocket?

Pharamond
I will not leave one man alive, but the king,
A cook, and a tailor.

Dion
[Aside.] Yes; you may do well to spare
160
your lady-bedfellow; and her you may keep for a spawner.

King
[Aside.] I see the injuries I done must be reveng'd.

Dion
Sir, this is not the way to find her
165
out.

King
Run all, disperse yourselves. The man that finds her,
Or (if she be kill'd) the traitor, I'll make him great.

Dion
I know some would give five thousand pounds to find her.

Pharamond
Come, let us seek.

King
170
Each man a several way; here I myself.

Dion
Come, gentlemen, we here.

Cleremont
Lady, you must go search too.

Megra
I had rather be search'd myself.

Exeunt omnes.

[SCENE III]

[Another part of the Forest.]
Enter Arethusa

Arethusa
Where am I now? Feet, find me out a way,
Without the counsel of my troubled head.
I'll follow you boldly about these woods,
O'er mountains, thorough brambles, pits, and floods.
5
Heaven, I hope, will ease me: I am sick.

Sits down.
Enter Bellario

Bellario
[Aside.]
Yonder 's my lady. God knows I want nothing,
Because I do not wish to live; yet I
Will try her charity. – Oh hear, you that have plenty!
From that flowing store drop some on dry ground. – See,
10
The lively red is gone to guard her heart!
I fear she faints. – Madam, look up! – She breathes not. –
Open once more those rosy twins, and send
Unto my lord your latest farewell! – Oh, she stirs.
How is it, Madam? Speak comfort.

Arethusa
'T is not gently done,
15
To put me in a miserable life,
And hold me there. I prithee, let me go;
I shall do best without thee; I am well.

Enter Philaster

Philaster
I am to blame to be so much in rage.
I'll tell her coolly when and where I heard
20
This killing truth. I will be temperate
I speaking, and as just in hearing. –
Oh, monstrous! Tempt me not, you gods! good gods,
Tempt not a frail man! What's he, that has a heart,
But he must ease it here!

Bellario
25
My lord, help, help! The princess!

Arethusa
I am well: forbear.

Philaster
[Aside.]
Let me love lightning, let me be embrac'd
And kiss'd by scorpions, or adore the eyes
Of basilisks, rather than trust the tongues
30
Of hell-bred women! Some good god look down,
And shrink these veins up! Stick me here a stone,
Lasting to ages in the memory
Of this damn'd act! – Hear me, you wicked ones!
You have put hills of fire into this breast,
35
Not to be quench'd with tears; for which may guilt
Sit on your bosoms! At your meals and beds
Despair await you! What, before my face?
Poison of asps between your lips! Diseases
Be your best issues! Nature make a curse,
40
And throw it on you!

Arethusa
Dear Philaster, leave
To be enrag'd, and hear me.

Philaster
I have done;
Forgive my passion. Not the calmed sea,
When Æolus locks up his windy brood,
Is less disturb'd than I. I'll make you know't.
45
Dear Arethusa, do but take this sword,
Offers his drawn sword.
And search how temperate a heart I have;
Then you and this your boy may live and reign
In lust without control. – Wilt thou, Bellario?
I prithee kill me; thou art poor, and may'st
50
Nourish ambitious thoughts; when I am dead,
Thy way were freer. Am I raging now?
If I were mad, I should desire to live.
Sirs, feel my pulse, whether you have known
A man in a more equal tune to die.

Bellario
55
Alas, my lord, your pulse keeps madman's time!
So does your tongue.

Philaster
You will not kill me, then?

Arethusa
Kill you?

Bellario
Not for the world.

Philaster
I blame not thee,
Bellario; thou hast done but that which gods
Would have transform'd themselves to do. Be gone,
60
Leave me without reply; this is the last
Of all our meetings –
(Exit Bellario.)
Kill me with this sword;
Be wise, or worse will follow: we are two
Earth cannot bear at once. Resolve to do,
Or suffer.

Arethusa
65
If my fortune be so good to let me fall
Upon thy hands, I shall have peace in death.
Yet tell me this, will there be no slanders,
No jealousy in the other world; no ill there?

Philaster
No.

Arethusa
70
Show me, then, the way.

Philaster
Then guide my feeble hand,
You that have power to do it, for I must
Perform a piece of justice! – If your youth
Have any way offended Heaven, let prayers
75
Short and effectual reconcile you to it.

Arethusa
I am prepared.

Enter a Country Fellow

Country Fellow
I'll see the king, if he be in the forest; I have hunted him these two hours. If I should come home and not see him, my sisters
80
would laugh at me. I can see nothing but people better hors'd than myself, that outride me; I can hear nothing but shouting. These kings had need of good brains; this whooping is able to put a mean man out of
85
his wits. There's a courtier with his sword drawn; by this hand, upon a woman, I think!

Philaster
Are you at peace?

Arethusa
With heaven and earth.

Philaster
May they divide thy soul and body!

Philaster wounds her.

Country Fellow
Hold, dastard! strike a woman!
90
Th' art a craven. I warrant thee, thou wouldst be loath to play half a dozen venies at wasters with a god fellow for a broken head.

Philaster
Leave us, good friend,

Arethusa
What ill-bred man art thou, to intrude thyself
95
Upon our private sports, our recreations?

Country Fellow
God 'uds me, I understand you not; but
I know the rogue has hurt you.

Philaster
Pursue thy own affairs: it will be ill
To multiply blood upon my head; which thou
100
Wilt force me to.

Country Fellow
I know not your rhetoric; but I can lay it on, if you touch the woman.

Philaster
Slave, take what thou deservest!

They fight.

Arethusa
Heaven guard my lord!

Country Fellow
Oh, do you breathe?

Philaster
105
I hear the tread of people. I am hurt.
The gods take part against me: could this boor
Have held me thus else? I must shift for life,
Though I do loathe it. I would find a course
To lose it rather by my will than force.

Exit.

Country Fellow
110
I cannot follow the rogue. I pray thee, wench, come and kiss me now.

Enter Pharamond, Dion, Cleremont, Thrasiline, and Woodmen

Pharamond
What art thou?

Country Fellow
Almost kill'd I am for a foolish woman; a knave has hurt her.

Pharamond
115
The princess, gentlemen! – Where's the wound, madam? Is it dangerous?

Arethusa
He has not hurt me.

Country Fellow
By God, she lies; h'as hurt her in the breast:
Look else.

Pharamond
O sacred spring of innocent blood!

Dion
120
'Tis above wonder! Who should dare this?

Arethusa
I felt it not.

Pharamond
Speak, villain, who has hurt the princess?

Country Fellow
Is it the princess?

Dion
Ay.

Country Fellow
125
Then I have seen something yet.

Pharamond
But who has hurt her?

Country Fellow
I told you, a rogue; I ne'er saw him before, I.

Pharamond
Madam, who did it?

Arethusa
Some dishonest wretch;
Alas, I know him not, and do forgive him!

Country Fellow
130
He's hurt too; he cannot go far;
I made my father's old fox fly about his ears.

Pharamond
How will you have me kill him?

Arethusa
Not at all; 't is some distracted fellow.

Pharamond
By this hand, I'll leave ne'er a piece
135
of him bigger than a nut, and bring him all to you in my hat.

Arethusa
Nay, good sir,
If you do take him, bring him quick to me,
And I will study for a punishment
140
Great as his fault.

Pharamond
I will.

Arethusa
But swear.

Pharamond
By all my love, I will. –
Woodmen, conduct the princess to the king,
And bear that wounded fellow to dressing. –
Come, gentlemen, we'll follow the chase close.

Exeunt [on one side] Pharamond, Dion, Cleremont, and Thrasiline; [exit on the other] Arethusa [attended by] 1 Woodman

Country Fellow
145
I pray you, friend, let me see the king.

2 Woodman
That you shall, and receive thanks.

Country Fellow
If I get clear of this, I'll go see no
150
more gay sights.

Exeunt.

[SCENE IV]

[Another part of the Forest.]
Enter Bellario

Bellario
A heaviness near death sits on my brow,
And I must sleep. Bear me, thou gentle bank,
For ever, if thou wilt. You sweet ones all,
[Lies down.]
Let me unworthy press you; I could wish
5
I rather were a corse strew'd o'er with you
Than quick above you. Dulness shuts mine eyes,
And I am giddy; oh, that I could take
So sound a sleep that I might never wake!

[Sleeps.]
Enter Philaster

Philaster
I have done ill; my conscience calls me false
10
To strike at her that would not strike at me.
When I did fight, methought I heard her pray
The gods to guard me. She may be abus'd,
And I a loathed villain; if she be,
She will conceal who hurt her. He has wounds
15
And cannot follow; neither knows he me.
Who's this? Bellario sleeping! If thou be'st
Guilty, there is no justice that thy sleep
Should be so sound, and mine, whom thou hast wrong'd,
So broken.
20
(Cry within.)
Hark! I am pursued. You gods,
I'll take this offer'd means of my escape.
They have no mark to know me by my blood,
If she be true; if false, let mischief light
On all the world at once! Sword, print my wounds
25
Upon this sleeping boy! I ha' none, I think,
Are mortal, nor would I lay greater on thee.

He wounds him.

Bellario
Oh, death, I hope, is come! Blest be that hand!
It meant me well. Again, for pity's sake!

Philaster
I have caught myself;
Falls.
30
The loss of blood hath stay'd my flight. Here, here,
Is he that struck thee: take thy full revenge;
Use me, as I did mean thee, worse than death;
I'll teach thee to revenge. This luckless hand
Wounded the princess; tell my followers
35
Thou didst receive these hurts in staying me,
And I will second thee; get a reward.

Bellario
Fly, fly, my lord and save yourself!

Philaster
How's this?
Wouldst thou I should be safe?

Bellario
Else were it vain
For me to live. These little wounds I have
40
Ha' not bled much. Reach me that noble hand;
I'll help to cover you.

Philaster
Art thou true to me?

Bellario
Or let me perish loath'd! Come, my good lord,
Creep in amongst those bushes; who does know
But that the gods may save your much-lov'd breath?

Philaster
45
Then I shall die for grief, if not for this,
That I have wounded thee. What wilt thou do?

Bellario
Shift for myself well. Peace! I hear 'em come.

[Philaster creeps into a bush.]

[Voices]
[within] Follow, follow, follow! that
50
way they went.

Bellario
With my own wounds I'll bloody my own sword.
I need not counterfeit to fall; Heaven knows
That I can stand no longer.

Falls.
Enter Pharamond, Dion, Cleremont, Thrasiline

Pharamond
To this place we have track'd him by his blood.

Cleremont
55
Yonder, my lord, creeps one away.

Dion
Stay, sir! what are you?

Bellario
A wretched creature, wounded in these woods
By beasts. Relieve me, if your names be me,
Or I shall perish.

Dion
This is he, my lord,
60
Upon my soul, that hurt her. 'T is the boy,
That wicked boy, that serv'd her.

Pharamond
Oh, thou damn'd
In thy creation! What cause couldst thou shape
To hurt the princess?

Bellario
Then I am betray'd.

Dion
Betray'd! No, apprehended.

Bellario
I confess
65
(Urge it no more) that, big with evil thoughts,
I set upon her, and did make my aim
Her death. For charity let fall at once
The punishment you mean, and do not load
This weary flesh with tortures.

Pharamond
I will know
70
Who hir'd thee to this deed.

Bellario
Mine own revenge.

Pharamond
Revenge! for what?

Bellario
It pleas'd her to receive
Me as her page and, when my fortunes ebb'd,
That men strid o'er them careless, she did shower
Her welcome graces on me, and did swell
75
My fortunes till they overflow'd their banks,
Threat'ning the men that cross'd 'em; when, as swift
As storms arise at sea, she turn'd her eyes
To burning suns upon me, and did dry
The streams she had bestow'd, leaving me worse
80
And more contemn'd than other little brooks,
Because I had been great. In short, I knew
I could not live, and therefore did desire
To die reveng'd.

Pharamond
If tortures can be found
Long as thy natural life, resolve to feel
85
The utmost rigour.

Philaster creeps out of a bush.

Cleremont
Help to lead him hence.

Philaster
Turn back, you ravishers of innocence!
Know ye the price of that you bear away
So rudely?

Pharamond
Who's that?

Dion
'T is the Lord Philaster.

Philaster
'T is not the treasure of all kings in one,
90
The wealth of Tagus, nor the rocks of pearl
That pave the court of Neptune, can weigh down
That virtue. It was I that hurt the princess.
Place me, some god, upon a pyramis
Higher than hills of earth, and lend a voice
95
Loud as your thunder to me, that from thence
I may discourse to all the under-world
The worth that dwells in him!

Pharamond
How's this?

Bellario
My lord, some man
Weary of life, that would be glad to die.

Philaster
Leave these untimely courtesies, Bellario.

Bellario
100
Alas, he's mad! Come, will you lead me on?

Philaster
By all the oaths that men ought most to keep,
And gods to punish most when men do break,
He touch'd her not. – Take heed, Bellario,
How thou dost drown the virtues thou hast shown
105
With perjury. – By all that's good, 't was I!
You know she stood betwixt me and my right.

Pharamond
Thy own tongue be thy judge!

Cleremont
It was Philaster.

Dion
Is 't not a brave boy?
Well, sirs, I fear me we were all deceived.

Philaster
110
Have I no friend here?

Dion
Yes.

Philaster
Then show it: some
Good body lend a hand to draw us nearer.
Would you have tears shed for you when you die?
Then lay me gently on his neck, that there
I may weep floods and breathe forth my spirit.
115
'T is not the wealth of Plutus, nor the gold.
[Embraces Bellario.]
Lock'd in the heart of earth, can buy away
This arm-full from me; this had been a ransom
To have redeem'd the great Augustus Cæsar,
Had he been taken. You hard-hearted men,
120
More stony than these mountains, can you see
Such clear pure blood drop, and not cut your flesh
To stop his life, to bind whose bitter wounds,
Queens ought to tear their hair, and with their tears
Bathe 'em? – Forgive me, thou that art the wealth
125
Of poor Philaster!

Enter King, Arethusa, and Guard

King
Is the villain ta'en?

Pharamond
Sir, here be two confess the deed; but sure
It was Philaster.

Philaster
Question it no more;
It was.

King
The fellow that did fight with him
130
Will tell us that.

Arethusa
Aye me! I know he will.

King
Did not you know him?

Arethusa
Sir, if it was he,
He was disguis'd.

Philaster
I was so. –
Aside.
Oh, my stars,
That I should live still.

King
Thou ambitious fool,
Thou that hast laid a train for thy own life! –
135
Now I do mean to do, I'll leave to talk.
Bear them to prison.

Arethusa
Sir, they did plot together to take hence
This harmless life; should it pass unreveng'd,
I should to earth go weeping. Grant me, then,
140
By all the love a father bears his child,
Their custodies, and that I may appoint
Their tortures and their deaths.

Dion
Death! Soft; our law will not reach that for this fault.

King
'T is granted; take 'em to you with a guard. –
145
Come, princely Pharamond, this business past,
We may with more security go on
To your intended match.

[Exeunt all except Dion, Ceremont, and Thrasiline.]

Cleremont
I pray that this action lose not Philaster the hearts of the people.

Dion
150
Fear it not; their over-wise heads will think it but a trick.

Exeunt.

Actus Quintus

Scena Prima

[Front Stage. Location indefinite.]
Enter Dion, Cleremont, and Thrasiline

Thrasiline
Has the king sent for him to death?

Dion
Yes; but the king must know 't is not in his power to war with Heaven.

Cleremont
We linger time; the king sent for Philaster
5
and the headsman an hour ago.

Thrasiline
Are all his wounds well?

Dion
All; they were but scratches; but the
ErrorMetrica
loss of blood made him faint.

Cleremont
We dally, gentlemen.

Thrasiline
10
Away!

Dion
We'll scuffle hard before he perish.

Exeunt.

[SCENE II]

[A prison.]
Enter Philaster, Arethusa, Bellario

Arethusa
Nay, faith, Philaster, grieve not; we are well.

Bellario
Nay, good my lord, forbear; we're wondrous well.

Philaster
Oh, Arethusa, oh, Bellario,
Leave to be kind!
5
I shall be shut from Heaven, as now from earth,
If you continue so. I am a man
False to a pair of the most trusty ones
That ever earth bore; can it bear us all?
Forgive, and leave me. But the king hath sent
10
To call me to my death: oh, show it me,
And then forget me! And for thee, my boy,
I shall deliver words will mollify
The hearts of beasts to spare thy innocence.

Bellario
Alas, my lord, my life is not a thing
15
Worthy your noble thoughts! 'T is not a life,
'T is but a piece of childhood thrown away.
Should I outlive you, I should then outlive
Virtue and honour; and when that day comes,
If ever I shall close these eyes but once,
20
May I live spotted for my perjury,
And waste by time to nothing!

Arethusa
And I ( the woful'st maid that ever was,
Forc'd with my hands to bring my lord to death)
Do by the honour of a virgin swear
25
To tell no hours beyond it!

Philaster
Make me not hated so.

Arethusa
Come from this prison all joyful to our deaths!

Philaster
People will tear me, when they find you true
To such a wretch as I; I shall die loath'd.
Enjoy your kingdoms peaceably, whilst I
30
For ever sleep forgotten with my faults.
Every just servant, every maid in love,
Will have a piece of me, if you be true.

Arethusa
My dear lord, say not so.

Bellario
A piece of you!
He was not born of woman that can cut
35
It and look on.

Philaster
Take me in tears betwixt you, for my heart
Will break with shame and sorrow.

Arethusa
Why 't is well.

Bellario
Lament no more.

Philaster
Why, what would you have done
If you had wrong'd me basely, and had found
40
My life no price compar'd to yours? For love, sirs,
Deal with me truly.

Bellario
'T was mistaken, sir.

Philaster
Why, if it were?

Bellario
Then, sir, we would have ask'd
You pardon.

Philaster
And have hope to enjoy it?

Arethusa
Enjoy it! ay.

Philaster
Would you indeed? Be plain.

Bellario
45
We would, my lord.

Philaster
Forgive me, then.

Arethusa
So, so.

Bellario
'T is as it should be now.

Philaster
Lead to my death.

Exeunt.

[SCENE III]

[The Palace.]
Enter King, Dion, Cleremont, Thrasiline [with a guard]

King
Gentlemen, who saw the prince?

Cleremont
So please you, sir, he's gone to see the city
And the new platform, with some gentlemen
Attending on him.

King
Is the princess ready
5
To bring her prisoner out?

Thrasiline
She waits your grace.

King
Tell her we stay.

[Exit Thrasiline.]

Dion
[Aside.]
King, you may be deceiv'd yet.
The head you aim at cost more setting on
Than to be lost so lightly. If it must off, –
Like a wild overflow, that swoops before him
10
A golden stack, and with it shakes down bridges,
Cracks the strong hearts of pines, whose cable-roots
Held out a thousand storms, a thousand thunders,
And, so made mightier, takes whole villages
Upon his back, and in that heat of pride
15
Charges strong towns, towers, castles, palaces,
And lays them desolate; so shall thy head,
Thy noble head, bury the lives of thousands,
That must bleed with thee like a sacrifice,
In thy red ruins.

Enter Philaster, Arethusa, Bellario in a robe and garland [and Thrasiline]

King
20
How now? What masque is this?

Bellario
Right royal sir, I should
Sing you an epithalamium of these lovers,
But having lost my best airs with my fortunes,
And wanting a celestial harp to strike
25
This blessed union on, thus in glad story
I give you all. These two fair cedar-branches,
The noblest of the mountain where they grew,
Straightest and tallest, under whose still shades
The worthier beasts have made their lairs, and slept
30
Free from the fervour of the Sirian star
And the fell thunder-stroke, free from the clouds
When they were big with humour and deliver'd
In thousand spouts their issues to the earth:
Oh, there was none but silent quiet there!
35
Till never-pleased Fortune shot up shrubs,
Base under-brambles, to divorce these branches;
And for a while they did so, and did reign
Over the mountain, and choke up his beauty
With brakes, rude thorns and thistles, till the sun
40
Scorch'd them even to the roots and dried them there.
And now a gentle gale hath blown again,
That made these branches meet and twine together,
Never to be unarm'd. The god that sings
His holy numbers over marriage-beds
45
Hath knit their noble hearts: and here they stand
Your children, mighty King; and I have done.

King
How, now?

Arethusa
Sir, if you love it in plain truth,
(For now there is no masquing in 't,) this gentleman,
The prisoner that you gave me, is become
50
My keeper, and through all the bitter throes
Your jealousies and his ill fate have wrought him,
Thus nobly hath he struggled, and at length
Arriv'd here my dear husband.

King
Your dear husband! –
Call in the captain of the citadel –
55
There you shall keep your wedding. I'll provide
A masque shall make your Hymen turn his saffron
Into a sullen coat, and sing sad requiems
To your departing souls.
Blood shall put out your torches; and, instead
60
Of gaudy flowers about your wanton necks,
An axe shall hang, like a prodigious meteor,
Ready to crop your loves' sweets. Hear, you gods!
From this time do I shake all title off
Of father to this woman, this base woman;
65
And what there is of vengeance in a lion
Chaf'd among dogs or robb'd of his dear young,
The same, enforc'd more terrible, more mighty,
Expect from me!

Arethusa
Sir, by that little life I have left to swear by,
70
There's nothing than can stir me from myself.
What I have done, I have done without repentance,
For death can be no bugbear unto me,
So long as Pharamond is not my headsman.

Dion
[Aside.]
Sweet peace upon thy soul, thou worthy maid,
75
Whene'er thou diest! For this time I'll excuse thee,
Or be thy prologue.

Philaster
Sir, let me speak next;
And let my dying words be better with you
Than my dull living actions. If you aim
At the dear life of this sweet innocent,
80
You are a tyrant and a savage monster,
That feeds upon the blood you gave a life to;
Your memory shall be as foul behind you,
As you are living; all your better deeds
Shall be in water writ, but this in marble;
85
No chronicle shall speak you, though your own,
But for the shame of men. No monument,
Though high and big as Pelion, shall be able
To cover this base murder: make it rich
With brass, with purest gold, and shining jasper,
90
Like the Pyramids; lay on epitaphs
Such as make great men gods; my little marble,
That only clothes my ashes, not my faults,
Shall far outshine it. And for after-issues,
Think not so madly of the heavenly wisdoms,
95
That they will give you more for your mad rage
To cut off, unless it be some snake, or something
Like yourself, that in his birth shall strangle you.
Remember my father, King! There was a fault.
But I forgive it. Let that sin persuade you
100
To love this lady; if you have a soul,
Think, save her, and be saved. For myself,
I have so long expected this glad hour,
So languish'd under you, and daily wither'd,
That, Heaven knows, it is a joy to die:
105
I find a recreation in 't.

Enter a Messenger

Messenger
Where's the king ?

King
Here.

Messenger
Get to your strength,
And rescue the Prince Pharamond from danger;
He's taken prisoner by the citizens,
Fearing the Lord Philaster.

Dion
[Aside.]
Oh, brave fellows!
110
Mutiny, my fine dear countrymen, mutiny!
Now, my brave valiant foremen, show your weapons
In honour of your mistresses!

Enter another Messenger

2 Messenger
Arm, arm, arm, arm!

King
A thousand devils take these citizens!

Dion
115
[Aside.]
A thousand blessings on 'em!

2 Messenger
Arm, O King! The city is in mutiny,
Led by an old gray ruffian, who comes on
In rescue of the Lord Philaster.

King
Away to the citadel! I'll see them safe,
120
And then cope with these burghers. Let the guard
And all the gentlemen give strong attendance.

Exeunt all except Dion, Cleremont, and Thrasiline.

Cleremont
The city up! This was above our wishes.

Dion
Ay, and the marriage too. By my life,
This noble lady has deceiv'd us all.
125
A plague upon myself, a thousand plagues,
For having such unworthy thoughts of her dear honour!
Oh, I could beat myself! Or do you beat me,
And I'll beat you; for we had all one thought.

Cleremont
No, no, 't will but lose time.

Dion
130
You say true. Are your swords sharp? – Well, my dear countrymen. What-ye-lacks, if you continue, and fall not back upon the first broken shin, I'll have ye chronicled and chronicled, and cut and chronicled, and all-to
135
be-prais'd and sung in sonnets, and bawled in new brave ballads, that all tongues shall troll you in sæcula sæculorum, my kind can-carriers.

Thrasiline
What, if a toy take 'em i' th' heels now, and they run all away, and cry, "the
140
devil take the hindmost"?

Dion
Then the same devil take the foremost too, and souse him for his breakfast! If they all prove cowards, my curses fly among them, and be speeding! May they have murrains
145
reign to keep the gentlemen at home unbound in easy frieze! May the moths branch their velvets, and their silks only be worn before sore eyes! May their false lights undo 'em, and discover presses, holes, stains, and
150
oldness in their stuffs, and make them shop-rid! May they keep whores and horses, and break; and live mewed up with necks of beef and turnips! May they have many children, and none like the father! May they know no
155
language but that gibberish they prattle to their parcels, unless it be the goatish Latin they write in their bonds – and may they write that false, and lose their debts!

Enter the King

King
Now the vengeance of all the gods confound
160
them! How they swarm together! What a hum they raise! – Devils choke your wide throats! – If a man had need to use their valours, he must pay a brokage for it; and then bring 'em on, and they will fight like sheep.
165
'T is Philaster, none but Philaster, must allay this heat. They will not hear me speak, but fling dirt at me and call me tyrant. Oh, run, dear friend, and bring the Lord Philaster! Speak him fair; call him prince; do him all the courtesy
170
you can; commend me to him. Oh, my wits, my wits!

Exit Cleremont.

Dion
[Aside.] Oh, my brave citizens! as I live, I will not buy a pin out of your walls for this. Nay, you shall cozen me, and I'll
175
thank you, and send you brawn and bacon, and soil you every long vacation a brace of foremen, that at Michaelmas shall come up fat and kicking.

King
What they will do with this poor
180
prince, the gods know, and I fear.

Dion
[Aside.] Why, sir, they'll flay him, and make church-buckets on 's skin, to quench rebellion; then clap a rivet in 's sconce, and hang him up for a sign.

Enter Cleremont with Philaster

King
185
Oh, worthy sir, forgive me! Do not make
Your miseries and my faults meet together,
To bring a greater danger. Be yourself,
Still sound amongst diseases. I have wrong'd you;
And though I find it last, and beaten to it,
190
Let first your goodness know it. Calm the people,
And be what you were born to. Take your love,
And with her my repentance, all my wishes,
And all my prayers. By the gods, my heart speaks this;
And if the least fall from me not perform'd,
195
May I be struck with thunder!

Philaster
Mighty sir,
I will not do your greatness so much wrong,
As not to make your word truth. Free the princess
And the poor boy, and let me stand the shock
Of this mad sea-breach, which I'll either turn,
200
Or perish with it.

King
Let your own word free them.

Philaster
Then thus I take my leave, kissing your hand,
And hanging on your royal word. Be kingly,
And be not mov'd, sir. I shall bring you peace
Or never bring myself back.

King
205
All the gods go with thee.

Exeunt omnes.

[SCENE IV]

[A Public Place.]
Enter an old Captain and Citizens with Pharamond

Captain
Come, my brave myrmidons, let us fall on.
Let your caps swarm, my boys, and your nimble tongues
Forget your mother-gibberish of "What do you lack?
And set your mouths ope, children, till your palates
5
Fall frighted half a fathom past the cure
Of bay-salt and gross pepper, and then cry
"Philaster, brave Philaster!" Let Philaster
Be deeper in request, my ding-dongs,
My pairs of dear indentures, kings of clubs,
10
Than your cold water-camlets, or your paintings
Spitted with copper. Let not your hasty silks,
Or your branch'd cloth of bodkin, or your tissues,
Dearly belov'd of spiced cake and custards,
Your Robin Hoods, Scarlets, and Johns, tie your affections
15
In darkness to your shops. No, dainty duckers,
Up with your three-pil'd spirits, your wrought valours;
And let your uncut cholers make the king feel
The measure of your mightiness. Philaster!
Cry, my rose-nobles, cry!

All
Philaster! Philaster!

Captain
20
How do you like this, my Lord Prince?
These are mad boys, I tell you; these are things
That will not strike their top-sails to a foist,
And let a man of war, an argosy,
Hull and cry cockles.

Pharamond
25
Why, you rude slave, do you know what you do?

Captain
My pretty prince of puppets, we do know;
And give your greatness warning that you talk
No more such bug's-words, or that solder'd crown
Shall be scratch'd with a musket. Dear prince Pippin,
30
Down with your noble blood, or, as I live,
I'll have you coddled. – Let him loose, my spirits:
Make us a round ring with your bills, my Hectors,
And let us see what this trim man dares do.
Now, sir, have at you! here I lie;
35
And with this swashing blow (do you see, sweet prince?)
I could hulk your grace, and hang you up cross-legg'd,
Like a hare at a poulter's, and do this with this wiper.

Pharamond
You will not see me murder'd, wicked villains?

1 Citizen
Yes, indeed, will we, sir; we have not seen one
40
For a great while.

Captain
He would have weapons, would he?
Give him a broadside, my brave boys, with your pikes;
Branch me his skin in flowers like a satin,
And between every flower a mortal cut. –
45
Your royalty shall ravel! – Jag him, gentlemen;
I'll have him cut to the kell, then down the seams.
O for a whip to make him galloon-laces!
I'll have a coach-whip.

Pharamond
Oh, spare me, gentlemen!

Captain
Hold, hold;
50
The man begins to fear and know himself.
He shall for this time only be seel'd up,
With a feather through his nose, that he may only
See heaven, and think whither he is going.
Nay, my beyond-sea sir, we will proclaim you:
55
You would be king!
Thou tender heir apparent to a church-ale,
Thou slight prince of single sarcenet,
Thou royal ring-tail, fit to fly at nothing
But poor men's poultry, and have every boy
60
Beat thee from that too with his bread and butter!

Pharamond
Gods keep me from these hell-hounds!

1 Citizen
Shall's geld him, captain?

Captain
No, you shall spare his dowcets, my dear donsels;
As you respect the ladies, let them flourish.
65
The curses of a longing woman kill
As speedy as a plague, boys.

1 Citizen
I'll have a leg, that's certain.

2 Citizen
I'll have an arm.

3 Citizen
I'll have his nose, and at mine own charge build
A college and clap 't upon the gate.

4 Citizen
70
I'll have his little gut to string a kit with;
For certainly a royal gut will sound like silver.

Pharamond
Would they were in thy belly, and I past
My pain once!

5 Citizen
Good captain, let me have his liver to feed ferrets.

Captain
75
Who will have parcels else? Speak.

Pharamond
Good gods, consider me! I shall be tortur'd.

1 Citizen
Captain, I'll give you the trimming of your two-hand sword,
And let me have his skin to make false scabbards.

2 Citizen
He had no horns, sir, had he?

Captain
80
No, sir, he's a pollard.
What wouldst thou do with horns?

2 Citizen
Oh, if he had had,
I would have made rare hafts and whistles of 'em:
But is shin-bones, if they be sound, shall serve me.

Enter Philaster

All
Long live Philaster, the brave Prince Philaster!

Philaster
85
I thank you, gentlemen. But why are these
Rude weapons brought abroad, to teach your hands
Uncivil trades?

Captain
My royal Rosicleer,
We are thy myrmidons, thy guard, thy roarers;
And when thy noble body is in durance,
90
Thus do we clap our musty morions on,
And trace the streets in terror. Is it peace,
Thou Mars of men? Is the king sociable,
And bids thee live? Art thou above thy foe-men,
And free as Pœbus? Speak. If not, this stand
95
Of royal blood shall be abroach, a-tilt,
And run even to the lees of honour.

Philaster
Hold, and be satisfied. I am myself,
Free as my thoughts are; by the gods, I am!

Captain
Art thou the dainty darling of the king?
100
Art thou the Hylas to our Hercules?
Do the lords bow, and the regarded scarlets
Kiss their gumm'd golls, and cry, "We are your servants"?
Is the court navigable and the presence stuck
With flags of friendship? If not, we are thy castle,
105
And this man sleeps.

Philaster
I am what I desire to be, your friend;
I am what I was born to be, your prince.

Pharamond
Sir, there is some humanity in you;
You have a noble soul. Forget my name,
110
And know my misery; set me safe aboard
From these wild cannibals, and as I live,
I'll quit this land for ever. There is nothing, –
Perpetual prisonment, cold, hunger, sickness
Of all sorts, of all dangers, and all together,
115
The worst company of the worst men, madness, age,
To be as many creatures as a woman,
And do as all they do, nay, to despair, –
But I would rather make it a new nature,
And live with all these, than endure one hour
120
Amongst these wild dogs.

Philaster
I do pity you. – Friends, discharge your fears;
Deliver me the prince. I'll warrant you
I shall be old enough to find my safety.

3 Citizen
Good sir, take heed he does not hurt you;
125
He is a fierce man, I can tell you, sir.

He strives.

Captain
Prince, by your leave, I'll have a surcingle,
And mail you like a hawk.

Philaster
Away, away, there is no danger in him:
Alas, he had rather sleep to shake his fit off!
130
Look you, friends, how gently he leads! Upon my word,
He's tame enough, he needs no further watching.
Good my friends, go to your houses,
And by me have your pardons and my love;
And know there shall be nothing in my power
135
You may deserve, but you shall have your wishes.
To give you more thanks, were to flatter you:
Continue still your love; and for an earnest,
Drink this.

[Gives money.]

All
Long mayst thou live, brave prince, brave prince, brave prince!

Exeunt Philaster and Pharamond.

Captain
140
Go thy ways, thou art the king of courtesy!
Fall off again, my sweet youths. Come,
And every man trace to his house again,
And hang his pewter up; then to the tavern,
And bring your wives in muffs. We will have music;
145
And the red grape shall make us dance and rise, boys.

Exeunt.

[SCENE V]

[The Palace.]
Enter King, Arethusa, Galatea, Megra, Dion, Cleremont, Thrasiline, Bellario, and Attendants

King
Is it appeas'd?

Dion
Sir, all is quiet as this dead of night,
As peaceable as sleep. My lord Philaster
Brings on the prince himself.

King
Kind gentleman!
5
I will not break the least word I have given
In promise to him. I have heap'd a world
Of grief upon his head, which yet I hope
To wash away.

Enter Philaster and Pharamond

Cleremont
My lord is come.

King
My son!
Blest be the time that I have leave to call
10
Such virtue mine! Now thou art in mine arms,
Methinks I have a salve unto my breast
For all the stings that dwell there. Streams of grief
That I have wrong'd thee, and as much of joy
That I repent it, issue from mine eyes;
15
Let them appease thee. Take thy right; take her;
She is thy right too; and forget to urge
My vexed soul with that I did before.

Philaster
Sir, it is blotted from my memory,
Past and forgotten. – For you, prince of Spain,
20
Whom I have thus redeem'd, you have full leave
To make an honourable voyage home.
And if would go furnish'd to your realm
With fair provision, I do see a lady,
Methinks, would gladly bear you company.
25
How like you this piece?

Megra
Sir, he likes it well,
For he hath tried it, and hath found it worth
His princely liking. We were ta'en abed;
I know your meaning. I am not the first
That nature taught to seek a fellow forth.
30
Can shame remain perpetually in me,
And not in others? Or have princes salves
To cure ill names, that meaner people want?

Philaster
What mean you?

Megra
You must get another ship,
To bear the princess and her boy together.

Dion
35
How now!

Megra
Others took me, and I took her and him
At that all women may be ta'en sometime.
Ships us all four, my lord; we can endure
Weather and wind alike.

King
40
Clear thou thyself, or know not me for father.

Arethusa
This earth, how false it is! What means is left for me
To clear myself? It lies in your belief.
My lords, believe me; and let all things else
Struggle together to dishonour me.

Bellario
45
Oh, stop your ears, great King, that I may speak
As freedom would! Then I will call this lady
As base as are her actions. Here me, sir;
Believe your heated blood when it rebels
Against your reason, sooner than this lady.

Megra
50
By this good light, he bears it handsomely.

Philaster
This lady! I will sooner trust the wind
With feathers, or the troubled sea with pearl,
Than her with anything. Believe her not.
Why, think you, if I did believe her words,
55
I would outlive 'em? Honour cannot take
Revenge on you; then what were to be known
But death?

King
Forget her, sir, since all is knit
Between us. But I must request of you
One favour, and will sadly be denied.

Philaster
60
Command, whate'er it be.

King
Swear to be true
To what you promise.

Philaster
By the powers above,
Let it not be the death of her or him,
And it is granted!

King
Bear away that boy
To torture; I will have her clear'd or buried.

Philaster
65
Oh, let me call my word back, worthy sir!
Ask something else: bury my life and right
In one poor grave; but do not take away
My life and fame at once.

King
Away with him! It stands irrevocable.

Philaster
70
Turn all your eyes on me. Here stands a man,
The falsest and the basest of this world.
Set swords against this breast, some honest man,
For I have liv'd till I am pitied!
My former deeds were hateful; but this last
75
Is pitiful, for I unwillingly
Have given the dear preserver of my life
Unto his torture. Is it in the power
Of flesh and blood to carry this, and live?

Offers to kill himself.

Arethusa
Dear sir, be patient yet! Oh, stay that hand!

King
80
Sirs, strip that boy.

Dion
Come, sir; your tender flesh
Will try your constancy.

Bellario
Oh, kill me, gentlemen!

Dion
No. – Help, sirs.

Bellario
Will you torture me?

King
Haste there;
Why stay you?

Bellario
Then I shall not break my vow,
You know, just gods, though I discover all.

King
85
How's that? Will he confess?

Dion
Sir, so he says.

King
Speak then.

Bellario
Great King, if you command
This lord to talk with me alone, my tongue
Urg'd by my heart, shall utter all the thoughts
My youth hath known; and stranger things than these
90
You hear not often.

King
Walk aside with him.

[Dion and Bellario walk apart.]

Dion
Why speak'st thou not?

Bellario
Know you this face, my lord?

Dion
No.

Bellario
Have you not seen it, nor the like?

Dion
Yes, I have seen the like, but readily
I know not where.

Bellario
I have been often told
95
In court of one Euphrasia, a lady,
And daughter to you; betwixt whom and me
(They that would flatter my bad face would swear)
There was such strange resemblance, that we two
Could not be known asunder, dress'd alike.

Dion
100
By Heaven, and so there is!

Bellario
For her fair sake,
Who now doth spend the spring-time of her life
In holy pilgrimage, move to the king,
That I may scape this torture.

Dion
But thou speak'st
As like Euphrasia as thou dost look.
105
How came it to thy knowledge that she lives
In pilgrimage?

Bellario
I know it not, my lord;
But I have heard it, and do scarce believe it.

Dion
Oh, my shame! is 't possible? Draw near,
That I may gaze upon thee. Art thou she,
110
Or else her murderer? Where wert thou born?

Bellario
In Syracusa.

Dion
What's thy name?

Bellario
Euphrasia.

Dion
Oh, 't is just, 't is she!
Now I do know thee. Oh, that thou hadst died,
And I had never seen thee nor my shame!
115
How shall I own thee? Shall this tongue of mine
E'er call thee daughter more?

Bellario
Would I had died indeed! I wish it too;
And so I must have done by vow, ere publish'd
What I have told, but that there was no means
120
To hide it longer. Yet I joy in this,
The princess is all clear.

King
What, have you done?

Dion
All is discover'd.

Philaster
Why then hold you me?
All is discover'd! Pray you, let me go.

He offers to stab himself.

King
Stay him.

Arethusa
What is discover'd?

Dion
Why, my shame.
125
It is a woman; let her speak the rest.

Philaster
How? That again!

Dion
It is a woman.

Philaster
Blest be you powers that favour innocence!

King
Lay hold upon that lady.

[Megra is seized.]

Philaster
It is a woman, sir! – Hark, gentlemen,
130
It is a woman! – Arethusa, take
My soul into thy breast, that would be gone
With joy. It is a woman! Thou art fair,
And virtuous still to ages, in despite
Of malice.

King
135
Speak you, where lies his shame?

Bellario
I am his daughter.

Philaster
The gods are just.

Dion
I dare accuse none; but, before you two,
The virtue of our age, I bend my knee
For mercy.

[Kneels.]

Philaster
Take it freely; for I know,
140
Though what thou didst were undiscreetly done,
'T was meant well.

Arethusa
And for me,
I have a power to pardon sins, as oft
As any man has power to wrong me.

Cleremont
Noble and worthy!

Philaster
But, Bellario,
145
(For I must call thee still so,) tell me why
Thou didst conceal thy sex. It was a fault,
A fault, Bellario, though thy other deeds
Of truth outweigh'd it: all these jealousies
Had flown to nothing if thou hadst discover'd
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What now we know.

Bellario
My father oft would speak
Your worth and virtue; and, as I did grow
More and more apprehensive, I did thirst
To see the man so prais'd. But yet all his
Was but a maiden-longing, to be lost
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As soon as found; till, sitting in my window,
Printing my thoughts in lawn, I saw a god,
I thought, (but it was you,) enter our gates.
My blood flew out and back again, as fast
As I had puff'd it forth and suck'd it in
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Like breath. Then was I call'd away in haste
To entertain you. Never was a man,
Heav'd from a sheep-cote to a sceptre, rais'd
So high in thoughts as I. You left a kiss
Upon these lips then, which I mean to keep
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From you for ever. I did hear you talk,
Far above singing. After you were gone,
I grew acquainted with my heart, and search'd
What stirr'd it so: alas, I found it love!
Yet far from lust; for, could I but have liv'd
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In presence of you, I had had my end.
For this I did delude my noble father
With a feign'd pilgrimage, and dress'd myself
In habit of a boy; and, for I knew
My birth no match for you, I was past hope
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Of having you; and, understanding well
Than when I made discovery of my sex
I could not stay with you, I made a vow,
By all the most religious things a maid
Could call together, never to be known,
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Whilst there was hope to hide me from men's eyes,
For other than I seem'd, that I might ever
Abide with you. Then sat I by the fount,
Where first you took me up.

King
Search out a match
Within our kingdom, where and when thou wilt,
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And I will pay thy dowry; and thyself
Wilt well deserve him.

Bellario
Never, sir, will I
Marry; it is a thing within my vow:
But, if I may have leave to serve the princess,
To see the virtues of her lord and her,
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I shall have hope to live.

Arethusa
I, Philaster,
Cannot be jealous, though you had a lady
Dress'd like a page to serve you; nor will I
Suspect her living here. – Come, live with me;
Live free as I do. She that loves my lord,
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Curs'd be the wife that hates her!

Philaster
I grieve such virtue should be laid in earth
Without an heir. – Hear me, my royal father:
Wrong not the freedom of our souls so much,
To think to take revenge of that base woman;
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Her malice cannot hurt us. Set her free
As she was born, saving from shame and sin.

King
Set her at liberty. – But leave the court;
This is no place for such. – You, Pharamond,
Shall have free passage, and a conduct home
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Worthy so great a prince. When you come there,
Remember 't was your faults that lost you her,
And not my purpos'd will.

Pharamond
I do confess,
Renowed sir.

King
Last, join your hands in one. Enjoy, Philaster,
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This kingdom, which is yours, and, after me,
Whatever I call mine. My blessing on you!
All happy hours be at your marriage-joys,
That you may grow yourselves over all lands,
And live to see your plenteous branches spring
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Wherever there is sun! Let princes learn
By this to rule the passions of their blood;
For what Heaven wills can never be withstood.

Exeunt omnes.