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This HTML etext of John Ford's "The Broken Heart" (1633) was created in June 2004 by Anniina Jokinen of Luminarium. The text is unaltered, and this etext also preserves, as much as possible within the constraints of the medium, the layout of the print edition.
    Source text:
    Ford, John. "The Broken Heart." The Chief Elizabethan Dramatists, Excluding Shakespeare.
    William Allan Neilson, Ed.
    Cambridge, MA: The Riverside Press, 1911.  770-799.
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THE BROKEN HEART

BY JOHN FORD

THE SPEAKERS' NAMES FITTED TO THEIR QUALITIES

AMYCLAS, Common to the Kings of Laconia. CALANTHA, Flower of beauty, the King's Daughter.
ITHOCLES, Honour of loveliness, a Favourite. PENTHEA, Complaint, Sister to Ithocles [and Wife to
     Bassanes].
ORGILUS, Angry, son to Crotolon.
BASSANES, Vexation, a jealous Nobleman. EUPHRANEA, Joy, a Maid of honour [Daughter to Croto-
     lon].
ARMOSTES, an Appeaser, a Councillor of State.
CROTOLON, Noise, another Councillor. CHRISTALLA, Christal, }
Maids of honour.
PROPHILUS, Dear, Friend to Ithocles. PHILEMA, A Kiss.
NEARCHUS, Young Prince, Prince of Argos. GRAUSIS, 1 Old Beldam, Overseer of Penthea.
TECNICUS, Artist, a Philosopher.
HEMOPHIL, Glutton, }
two Courtiers.
PERSONS INCLUDED.
GRONEAS, Tavern-haunter,
AMELUS, Trusty, Friend to Nearchus. THEASUS, Fierceness, Father of Ithocles.
PHULAS, Watchful, Servant to Bassanes. APLOTES, Simplicity, Orgilus so disguised.
Lords, Courtiers, Officers, Attendants, etc.

SCENE Sparta.

PROLOGUE

OUR scene is Sparta. He whose best of art
hath drawn this piece calls it THE BROKEN HEART.
The title lends no expectation here
Of apish laughter, or of some lame jeer
At place or persons; no pretended clause
Of jests fit for a brothel courts applause
From vulgar admiration: such low songs,
Tun'd to unchaste ears, suit not modest tongues.
The Virgin Sisters then deserv'd fresh bays
When Innocence and Sweetness crown'd their lays;
Then vices gasp'd for breath, whose whole commerce
Was whipp'd to exile by unblushing verse.
This law we keep in our presentment now,
Not to take freedom more than we allow;
What may be here thought fiction, 2 when time's youth
Wanted some riper years, was known a truth:
In which, if words have cloth'd the subject right,
You may partake a pity with delight.


                 ACT I

                   SCENE I. 3

      Enter CROTOLON and ORGILUS.

Crot. Dally not further; I will know the reason
That speeds thee to this journey.

Ory.                                    Reason! good sir,
I can yield many.

Crot.                 Give me one, a good one;
Such I expect, and ere we part must have.
Athens! Pray, why to Athens? You intend not 5
To kick against the world, turn cynic, stoic,
Or read the logic lecture, or become
An Areopagite, 4 and judge in cases
Touching the commonwealth; for, as I take it,
The budding of your chin cannot prognosticate
So grave an honour.

Org.                      All this I acknowledge. 11

Crot. You do! Then, son, if books and love
         of knowledge
Inflame you to this travel, here in Sparta
You may as freely study.

____________________
1 Q. Gransis, throughout.
2 Q. a fiction.
3 A room in Crotolon's house.
4 A member of the Areopagus, the highest judicial
court in Athens.

770




Org.                                 'T is not that, sir.
Crot. Not that, sir! As a father, I command
         thee 15
To acquaint me with the truth.

Org.                                      Thus I obey ye.
After so many quarrels as dissension,
Fury, and rage had broacht in blood, and some-
         times
With death to such confederates as sided
With now-dead Thrasus and yourself, my lord;
Our present king, Amyclas, reconcil'd 21
Your eager swords and seal'd a gentle peace:
Friends you profest yourselves; which to con-
         firm,
A resolution for a lasting league
Betwixt your families was entertain'd, 25
By joining in a Hymenean bond
Me and the fair Penthea, only daughter
To Thrasus.

Crot.          What of this?

Org.                               Much, much, dear sir.
A freedom of converse, an interchange
Of holy and chaste love, so fixt our souls 30
In a firm growth of union, that no time
Can eat into the pledge: we had enjoy'd
The sweets our vows expected, had not cruelty
Prevented all those triumphs we prepar'd for,
By Thrasus his untimely death.

Crot.                                     Most certain. 35

Org. From this time sprouted up that poison-
         ous stalk
Of aconite, whose ripened fruit hath ravisht
All health, all comfort of a happy life;
For Ithocles, her brother, proud of youth,
And prouder in his power, nourisht closely 40
The memory of former discontents,
To glory in revenge. By cunning partly,
Partly by threats, 'a woos at once and forces
His virtuous sister to admit a marriage
With Bassanes, a nobleman, in honour 45
And riches, I confess, beyond my fortunes.

Crot. All this is no sound reason to impor-
         tune
My leave for thy departure.

Org.                                  Now it follows.
Beauteous Penthea, wedded to this torture
By an insulting brother, being secretly 50
Compell'd to yield her virgin freedom up
To him who never can usurp her heart,
Before contracted mine, is now so yok'd
To a most barbarous thraldrom, misery,
Affliction, that he savours not humanity, 55
Whose sorrow melts not into more than pity
In hearing but her name.

Crot.                           As how, pray?

Org.                                             Bassanes,
The man that calls her wife, considers truly
What heaven of perfections he is lord of
By thinking fair Penthea his: this thought 60
Begets a kind of monster-love, which love
Is nurse unto a fear so strong and servile
As brands all dotage with a jealousy:
All eyes who gaze upon that shrine of beauty
He doth resolve 1 do homage to the miracle; 65
Some one, he is assur'd, may now or then,
If opportunity but sort, 2 prevail.
So much, out of a self-unworthiness,
His fears transport him; not that he finds
         cause
In her obedience, but his own distrust. 70

Crot.
You spin out your discourse.

Org.
                            My griefs are violent:
For knowing how the maid was heretofore
Courted by me, his jealousies grow wild
That I should steal again into her favours,
And undermine her virtues; which the gods 75
Know I nor dare nor dream of. Hence, from
         hence
I undertake a voluntary exile;
First, by my absence to take off the cares
Of jealous Bassanes; but chiefly, sir,
To free Penthea from a hell on earth; 80
Lastly, to lose the memory of something
Her presence makes to live in me afresh.

Crot.
Enough, my Orgilus, enough. To Ath-
         ens,
I give a full consent. Alas, good lady!
We shall hear from thee often?

Org.                                       Often.

Crot.                                              See, 85
Thy sister comes to give a farewell.

             Enter EUPHRANEA.

Euph.                                              Brother!

Org. Euphranea, thus upon thy cheeks I
         print
A brother's kiss; more careful of thine honour,
Thy health, and thy well-doing, than my life.
Before we part, in presence of our father, 90
I must prefer a suit t' ye.

Euph.                             You may style it,
My brother, a command.

Org.                            That you will promise
To pass never to any man, however
Worthy, your faith, till, with our father's
         leave,
I give a free consent.

Crot.                       An easy motion! 95
I'll promise for her, Orgilus.

Org.                                   Your pardon;
Euphranea's oath must yield me satisfaction.

Euph. By Vesta's sacred fires I swear.

Crot.                                                 And I,
By Great Apollo's beams, join in the vow,
Not without thy allowance to bestow her 100
On any living.

Org.               Dear Euphranea,
Mistake me not: far, far 't is from my thought,
As far from any wish of mine, to hinder
Preferment to an honourable bed
Or fitting fortune; thou art young and hand-
         some; 105
And 't were injustice, more, a tyranny,
Not to advance thy merit. Trust me, sister,
It shall be my first care to see thee match'd
As may become thy choice and our contents. 109
I have your oath.

Euph.       You have. But mean you, brother,
To leave us, as you say?

Crot.                              Ay, ay, Euphranea;

____________________
1 Decide
2 Agree.

771




He has just grounds direct him. I will prove
A father and a brother to thee.

Euph.                                     Heaven
Does look into the secrets of all hearts:
Gods, you have mercy with ye, else

Crot.                                     Doubt nothing; 115
Thy brother will return in safety to us.

Org. Souls sunk in sorrows never are without
         'em.
They change fresh airs, but bear their griefs
about 'em.                            Exeunt omnes.

                  SCENE II. 1

Flourish.   Enter AMYCLAS the King, ARMOS-
   TES, PROPHILUS, [Courtiers,] and Attendants.

Amy. The Spartan gods are gracious; our
         humility
Shall bend before their altars, and perfume
Their temples with abundant sacrifice.
See, lords, Amyclas, your old king, is ent'ring
Into his youth again! I shall shake off 5
This silver badge of age, and change this snow
For hairs as gay as are Apollo's locks;
Our heart leaps in new vigour.

Arm.                                     May old time
Run back to double your long life, great sir!

Amy. It will, it must, Armostes: thy bold
         nephew, 10
Death-braving Ithocles, brings to our gates
Triumphs and peace upon his conquering
         sword.
Laconia is a monarchy at length;
Hath in this latter war trod under foot
Messene's pride; Messene bows her neck 15
To Lacedaemon's royalty. O, 't was
A glorious victory, and doth deserve
More than a chronicle a temple, lords,
A temple to the name of Ithocles.
Where didst thou leave him, Prophilus?

Pro.                                             At Pephon, 20
Most gracious sovereign; twenty of the noblest
Of the Messenians there attend your pleasure,
For such conditions as you shall propose
In settling peace, and liberty of life.

Amy. When comes your friend, the general?

Pro.                                            He promis'd 25
To follow with all speed convenient.

Enter CALANTHA, EUPHRANEA; CHRISTALLA
   and PHILEMA [with a garland;] and CROTO-
   LON.

Amy. Our daughter! Dear Calantha, the
         happy news,
The conquest of Messene, hath already
Enrich'd thy knowledge.

Cal.                                With the circumstance
And manner of the fight, related faithfully 30
By Prophilus himself: But, pray, sir, tell me
How doth the youthful general demean
His actions in these fortunes?

Pro.                                     Excellent princess,
Your own fair eyes may soon report a truth
Unto your judgment, with what moderation, 35
Calmness of nature, measure, bounds, and limits
Of thankfulness and joy, 'a doth digest
Such amplitude of his success as would
In others, moulded of a spirit less clear,
Advance 'em to comparison with heaven: 40
But Ithocles

Cal.               Your friend

Pro.                                    He is so, madam,
In which the period of my fate consists:
He, in this firmament of honour, stands
Like a star fixt, not mov'd with any thunder
Of popular applause or sudden lightning 45
Of self-opinion; he hath serv'd his country,
And thinks 't was but his duty.

Crot.                                     You describe
A miracle of man.

Amy.                   Such, Crotolon,
On forfeit of a king's word, thou wilt find
him.                                          Flourish. 49
Hark, warning of his coming! All attend him.

Enter ITHOCLES, HEMOPHIL, and GRONEAS;
   the rest of the
Lords ushering him in.

Return into these arms, thy home, thy sanctuary,
Delight of Sparta, treasure of my bosom,
Mine own, own Ithocles!

Ith.                                Your humblest subject.

Arm. Proud of the blood I claim an interest
         in.
As brother to thy mother, I embrace thee, 55
Right noble nephew.

Ith.                           Sir, your love's too partial.

Crot. Our country speaks by me, who by thy
         valour,
Wisdom, and service, shares in this great ac-
         tion;
Returning thee, in part of thy due merits,
A general welcome.

Ith.                         You exceed in bounty. 60

Cal. Christalla, Philema, the chaplet. [Takes
the chaplet from them.
] Ithocles,
Upon the wings of Fame the singular
And chosen fortune of an high attempt
Is borne so past the view of common sight,
That I myself with mine own hands have
         wrought, 65
To crown thy temples, this provincial garland: 2
Accept, wear, and enjoy it as our gift
Deserv'd, not purchas'd.

Ith.                                 Y' are a royal maid.

Amy. She is in all our daughter.

Ith.                                          Let me blush,
Acknowledging how poorly I have serv'd, 70
What nothings I have done, compar'd with th'
         honours
Heap'd on the issue of a willing mind;
In that lay mine ability, that only:
For who is he so sluggish from his birth,
So little worthy of a name or country, 75
That owes not out of gratitude for life
A debt of service, in what kind soever
Safety or counsel of the commonwealth
Requires, for payment?

____________________
1 A room in the palace.
2 The laurel wreath . . . conferred on those who
added a province to the empire. (Gifford.)

772




Cal.                           'A speaks truth.

Ith.                                          Whom heaven
Is pleas'd to style victorious, there to such 80
Applause runs madding, like the drunken
         priests
In Bacchus' sacrifices, without reason,
Voicing the leader-on a demi-god;
Whenas, indeed, each common soldier's blood
Drops down as current coin in that hard pur-
         chase 85
As his whose much more delicate condition
Hath suckt the milk of ease: judgment; com-
         mands,
But resolution executes. I use not,
Before this royal presence, these fit slights 1
As in contempt of such as can direct; 90
My speech hath other end; not to attribute
All praise to one man's fortune, which is
         strengthen'd
By many hands. For instance, here is Prophilus,
A gentleman I cannot flatter truth
Of much desert; and, though in other rank, 95
Both Hemophil and Groneas were not missing
To wish their country's peace; for, in a word,
All there did strive their best, and 't was our
         duty.

Amy. Courtiers turn soldiers! We vouch-
         safe our hand.

          [HEMOPHIL and GRONEAS kiss his
              hand.]

Observe your great example.

Hem.                                   With all diligence. 100

Gron. Obsequiously and hourly.

Amy.                                         Some repose
After these toils is 2 needful. We must think
         on
Conditions for the conquered; they expect 3
         'em.
On! Come, my Ithocles.

Euph.                            Sir, with your favour,
I need not a supporter.

Pro.                            Fate instructs me. 105

Exeunt.  HEMOPHIL stays CHRIS-
   TALLA; GRONEAS, PHILEMA.

Chris. With me?

Phil.                 Indeed, I dare not stay.

Hem.                                            Sweet lady.
Soldiers are blunt, your lip.

Chris.                              Fie, this is rudeness:
You went not hence such creatures.

Gro.                                       Spirit of valour
Is of a mounting nature.

Phil.                            It appears so.
Pray, in earnest, how many men apiece 110
Have you two been the death of?

Gro.                                    'Faith, not many;
We were compos'd of mercy.

Hem.                                     For our daring,
You heard the general's approbation
Before the king.

Chris. You "wish'd your country's peace;"
That show'd your charity: where are your
         spoils, 115
Such as the soldier fights for?

Phil.                                  They are coming.

Chris. By the next carrier, are they not?

Gro.                                    Sweet Philema,
When I was in the thickest of mine enemies,
Slashing off one man's head, another's nose,
Another's arms and legs,

Phil.                                 And all together. 120

Gro. Then would I with a sigh remember
         thee,
And cry "Dear Philema, 't is for thy sake
I do these deeds of wonder!" Dost not love
         me
With all thy heart now?

Phil.                                 Now as heretofore.
I have not put my love to use; the principal 125
Will hardly yield an interest.

Gro.                                  By Mars,
I'll marry thee!

Phil.                 By Vulcan, you 're forsworn,
Except my mind do alter strangely.

Gro.                                            One word.

Chris. You lie beyond all modesty: for-
         bear me. 129

Hem.
I'll make thee mistress of a city; 't is
Mine own by conquest.

Chris.                            By petition; sue for 't
In forma pauperis. City! kennel. Gallants,
Off with your feathers, put on aprons, gallants;
Learn to reel, thrum, 4 or trim a lady's dog, 134
And be good quiet souls of peace, hobgoblins!

Hem. Christalla!

Chris.                  Practise to drill hogs, in hope
To share in the acorns. Soldiers! corncutters,
But not so valiant; they ofttimes draw blood,
Which you durst never do. When you have
         practis'd
More wit or more civility, we'll rank ye 140
I' th' list of men: till then, brave things-at-
         arms,
Dare not to speak to us, most potent Gro-
         neas!

Phil. And Hemophil the hardy! at your
         services.

         Exeunt CHRISTALLA and PHILEMA.

Gro. They scorn us as they did before we
         went.

Hem. Hang 'em! let us scorn them, and be
         reveng'd. 145

Gro.  Shall we?

Hem. We will: and when we slight them thus,
Instead of following them, they'll follow us;
It is a woman's nature,

Gro.                         'T is a scurvy one.  Exeunt.

                  SCENE III. 5

Enter  TECNICUS, a philosopher, and ORGILUS
              disguised like a Scholar of his.

Tec. Tempt not the stars; young man, thou
         canst not play
With the severity of fate: this change
Of habit and disguise in outward view
Hides not the secrets of thy soul within thee
From their quick-piercing eyes, which dive at
         all times 5

____________________
1 Appropriately belittling terms.
2 Q. are.
3 Await.
4 Weave.
5 The gardens of the palace. A grove.

773




Down to thy thoughts: in thy aspect I note
A consequence of danger.

Org.                                 Give me leave,
Grave Tecnicus, without foredooming destiny,
Under thy roof to ease my silent griefs,
By applying to my hidden wounds the balm 10
Of thy oraculous lectures. If my fortune
Run such a crooked by-way as to wrest
My steps to ruin, yet thy learned precepts
Shall call me back and set my footings straight.
I will not court the world.

Tec.                                Ah, Orgilus, 15
Neglects in young men of delights and life
Run often to extremities; they care not
For harms to others who contemn their own.

Org. But I, most learned artist, am not so
         much
At odds with nature that I grudge the thrift 20
Of any true deserver; nor doth malice
Of present hopes so check them with despair
As that I yield to thought of more affliction
Than what is incident to frailty: wherefore
Impute not this retired course of living 25
Some little time to any other cause
Than what I justly render, the information
Of an unsettled mind; as the effect
Must clearly witness.

Tec.                      Spirit of truth inspire thee!
On these conditions I conceal thy change, 30
And willingly admit thee for an auditor.
I'll to my study.

Org.                  I to contemplations
In these delightful walks.         Exit TECNICUS.
                                      Thus metamorphos'd
I may without suspicion hearken after
Penthea's usage and Euphranea's faith. 35
Love, thou art full of mystery! The deities
Themselves are not secure 1 in searching out
The secrets of those flames, which, hidden,
         waste
A breast made tributary to the laws
Of beauty: physic yet hath never found 40
A remedy to cure a lover's wound.
Ha! who are those that cross yon private walk
Into the shadowing grove in amorous foldings?

PROPHILUS passeth over, supporting 2 EUPHRA-
                         NEA, and whispering.

My sister! O, my sister! 't is Euphranea
With Prophilus: supported too! I Would 45
It were an apparition! Prophilus
Is Ithocles his friend: it strangely puzzles me.
Again! help me, my book; this scholar's habit
Must stand my privilege: my mind is busy,
Mine eyes and ears are open.

                                            Walks by, reading.

    Re-enter PROPHILUS and EUPHRANEA.

Pro.                                      Do not waste 50
The span of this stol'n time, lent by the gods
For precious use, in niceness. 3 Bright Eu-
         phranea,
Should I repeat old vows, or study new,
For purchase of belief to my desires,

Org. [Aside.] Desires!

Pro.              My service, my integrity, 55

Org. [Aside.] That's better.

Pro.                     I should but repeat a lesson
Oft conn'd without a prompter but thine eyes.
My love is honourable.

Ory. [Aside]                So was mine
To my Penthea, chastely honourable.

Pro. Nor wants there more addition to my
         wish 60
Of happiness than having thee a wife;
Already sure of Ithocles, a friend
Firm and unalterable.

Org. [Aside.]            But a brother
More cruel than the grave.

Euph. What Can you look for,
In answer to your noble protestations, 65
From an unskilful maid, but language suited
To a divided mind?

Org. [Aside.]          Hold out, Euphranea!

Euph. Know, Prophilus, I never undervalu'd,
From the first time you mentioned worthy love,
Your merit, means, or person: it had been 70
A fault of judgment in me, and a dulness
In my affections, not to weigh and thank
My better stars that offered me the grace
Of so much blissfulness. For, to speak truth,
The law of my desires kept equal pace 75
With yours; nor have I left that resolution:
But only, in a word, whatever choice
Lives nearest in my heart must first procure
Consent both from my father and my brother,
Ere he can own me his.

Org. [Aside.]               She is forsworn else. 80

Pro. Leave me that task.

Euph.                   My brother, ere he parted
To Athens, had my oath.

Org. [Aside.]               Yes, yes, 'a had, sure.

Pro. I doubt not, with the means the court
         supplies,
But to prevail at pleasure.

Org. [Aside.]                   Very likely!

Pro. Meantime, best, dearest, I may build
         my hopes 85
On the foundation of thy constant suff'rance
In any opposition.

Euph.                   Death shall sooner
Divorce life and the joys I have in living
Than my chaste vows from truth.

Pro.                                 On thy fair hand
I seal the like. 90

Org.
[Aside.]   There is no faith in woman.
Passion, O, be contain'd! My very heart-strings
Are on the tenters.4

Euph.                      Sir, we are overheard.
Cupid protect us! 'T was a stirring, sir,
Of some one near.

Pro.                   Your fears are needless, lady; 95
None have access into these private pleasures
Except some near in court, or bosom-student
From Tecnicus his oratory, granted
By special favour lately from the king
Unto the grave philosopher.

Euph.                                 Methinks 100
I hear one talking to himself, I see him.

____________________
1 Certain.
2 With his arm round her waist. (Dyce.)
3 Coyness; over-particular scruples.
4 Hooks for stretching cloth; on the rack.

774




Pro. 'T is a poor scholar, as I told you, lady.

Org. [Aside.] I am discovered. [Half aloud
to himself, as if studying.
] Say it; is it
         possible,
With a smooth tongue, a leering countenance,
Flattery, or force of reason I come t' ye,
         sir 105
To turn or to appease the raging sea?
Answer to that. Your art! what art to catch
And hold fast in a net the sun's small atoms?
No, no; they'll out, they'll out: ye may as
         easily
Outrun a cloud driven by a northern blast 110
As fiddle-faddle so! Peace, or speak sense,

Euph. Call you this thing a scholar? 'Las,
         he's lunatic.

Pro. Observe him, sweet; 't is but his recrea-
         tion.

Org. But will you hear a little? You're so
         tetchy,
You keep no rule in argument. Philosophy 115
Works not upon impossibilities,
But natural conclusions. Mew! absurd!
The metaphysics are but speculations
Of the celestial bodies, or such accidents
As not mixt perfectly, in the air engend'red 120
Appear to us unnatural; that's all.
Prove it; yet, with a reverence to your gravity,
I'll balk illiterate sauciness, submitting
My sole opinion to the touch of writers.

Pro. Now let us fall in with him.

                                  [They come forward.]

Org.                                          Ha, ha, ha! 125

These apish boys, when they but taste the
         grammates 1
And principles of theory, imagine
They can oppose their teachers. Confidence
Leads many into errors.

Pro.                               By your leave, sir.

Euph. Are you a scholar, friend?

Org.                                I am, gay creature, 130
With pardon of your deities, a mushroom
On whom the dew of heaven drops now and
         then;
The sun shines on me too, I thank his beams!
Sometime I feel their warmth; and eat and
         sleep.

Pro.           Does Tecnicus read to thee?

Org.                                        Yes, forsooth. 135
He is my master surely; yonder door
Opens upon his study.

Pro.                            Happy creatures!
Such people toil not, sweet, in heats of state,
Nor sink in thaws of greatness; their affections
Keep order with the limits of their modesty; 140
Their love is love of virtue. What's thy
         name?

Org.           Aplotes, sumptuous master, a poor
         wretch.

Euph.  Dost thou want anything?

Org.                             Books, Venus, books.

Pro. Lady, a new conceit; comes in my
         thought,
And most available for both our comforts. 145

Euph.
My lord,

Pro.
                 Whiles I endeavour to deserve
Your father's blessing to our loves, this
         scholar
May daily at some certain hours attend 2
What notice I can write of my success, 149
Here in this grove, and give it to your hands
The like from you to me: so can we never
Barr'd of our mutual speech, want sure intelli-
         gence,
And thus our hearts may talk when our tongues
         cannot.

Euph.          Occasion is most favourable; use it.

Pro. Aplotes, wilt thou wait us twice a day,
At nine i' the morning and at four at night, 156
Here in this bower, to convey such letters
As each shall send to other? Do it willingly,
Safely, and secretly, and I will furnish
Thy study, or what else thou canst desire. 160

Org.
Jove, make me thankful, thankful, I
         beseech thee
Propitious Jove! I will prove sure and trusty.
You will not fail me books?

Pro.                                 Nor aught besides
Thy heart can wish. This lady's name's Eu-
         phranea,
Mine Prophilus.

Org. I have a pretty memory; 165
It must prove my best friend. I will not miss
One minute of the hours appointed.

Pro.                                                Write
The books thou wouldst have bought thee in a
         note,
Or take thyself some money.

Org. No, no money;
Money to scholars is a spirit invisible, 170
We dare not finger it: or books, or nothing.

Pro. Books of what sort thou wilt: do not
         forget
Our names.

Org. I warrant ye, I warrant ye.

Pro. Smile, Hymen, on the growth of our
         desires;
We'll feed thy torches with eternal fires! 175

    Exeunt PROPHILUS and EUPHRANEA.

Org. Put out thy torches, Hymen, or their
         light
Shall meet a darkness of eternal night!
Inspire me, Mercury, with swift deceits.
Ingenious Fate has leapt into mine arms,
Beyond the compass of my brain. 3 Mortality 180
Creeps on the dung of earth, and cannot reach
The riddles which are purpos'd by the gods.
Great arts best write themselves in their own
         stories;
They die too basely who outlive their glories.
                                                              Exit.

 

                  ACT II

                     SCENE I. 4

         Enter BASSANES and PHULAS.

Bass. I'll have that window next the street
         damm'd up;

____________________
1 Rudiments.
2 Wait for.
3 Beyond what I could have planned.
4 A room in Bassanes' house.

775





It gives too full a prospect to temptation,
And courts a gazer's glances. There's a lust
Committed by the eye, that sweats and trav-
         ails,
Plots, wakes, contrives, till the deformed bear-
         whelp, 5
Adultery, be lick'd into the act,
The very act. That light shall be damm'd up;
D' ye hear, sir?

Phu.                I do hear, my lord; a mason
Shall be provided suddenly. 1

Bass.                                     Some rogue,
Some rogue of your confederacy, -- factor 2 10
For slaves and strumpets! to convey close
         packets
From this spruce springal 3 and t' other young-
         ster,
That gaudy earwig, or my lord your patron,
Whose pensioner you are. I'll tear thy throat
         out,
Son of a cat, ill-looking hound's-head, rip-up 15
Thy ulcerous maw, if I but scent a paper,
A scroll, but half as big as what can cover
A wart upon thy nose, a spot, a pimple,
Directed to my lady; it may prove
A mystical preparative to lewdness. 20

Phu.
Care shall be had: I will turn every
         thread
About me to an eye. [Aside.] Here's a sweet
         life!

Bass.       The city housewives, cunning in the
         traffic
Of chamber merchandise, set all at price
By wholesale; yet they wipe their mouths and
         simper, 25
Cull,4 kiss, and cry "sweetheart," and stroke
         the head
Which they have branch'd; 5 and all is well
         again!
Dull clods of dirt, who dare not feel the rubs
Stuck on the[ir] foreheads.

Phu.                            'T is a villanous world;
One cannot hold his own in 't.

Bass.                                    Dames at court, 30
Who flaunt in riots, run another bias; 6
Their pleasure heaves the patient ass that suf-
         fers
Up on the stilts of office, titles, incomes;
Promotion justifies the shame, and sues for 't.
Poor honour, thou art stabb'd, and bleed'st to
         death 35
By such unlawful hire! The country mistress
Is yet more wary, and in blushes hides
Whatever trespass draws her troth to guilt.
But all are false: on this truth I am bold,
No woman but can fall, and doth, or would.
Now for the newest news about the city; 41
What blab the voices, sirrah?

Phu.                                      O, my lord,
The rarest, quaintest, strangest, tickling news
That ever

Bass.          Hey-day! up and ride me, rascal!
What is 't?

Phu.          Forsooth, they say the king has
         mew'd 7 45
All his gray beard, instead of which is budded
Another of a pure carnation colour,
Speckled with green and russet.

Bass.                                     Ignorant block!

Phu. Yes, truly; and 't is talkt about the
         streets
That, since Lord Ithocles came home, the lions
Never left roaring, at which noise the bears 51
Have danc'd their very hearts out.

Bass.                               Dance out thine too.

Phu. Besides, Lord Orgilus is fled to Athens
Upon a fiery dragon, and 't is thought
'A never can return.

Bass.                     Grant it, Apollo! 55

Phu. Moreover, please your lordship, 't is re-
         ported
For certain, that whoever is found jealous
Without apparent proof that 's wife is wanton
Shall be divorc'd: but this is but she-news;
I had it from a midwife. I have more yet. 60

Bass. Antic, no more! Idiots and stupid fools
Grate my calamities. Why to be fair
Should yield presumption of a faulty soul
Look to the doors.

Phu. [Aside.]      The horn of plenty crest him!
                                                              Exit.

Bass. Swarms of confusion huddle in my
         thoughts 65
In rare distemper. Beauty! O, it is
An unmatcht blessing or a horrid curse.

    Enter PENTHEA and GRAUSIS, an old Lady.

She comes, she comes! so shoots the morning
         forth,
Spangled with pearls of transparent dew.
The way to poverty is to be rich, 70
As I in her am wealthy; but for her,
In all contents a bankrupt.
                                            Lov'd Penthea!
How fares my heart's best joy?

Grau.                               In sooth, not well,
She is so over-sad.

Bass.                 Leave chattering, magpie.
Thy brother is return'd, sweet, safe, and hon-
         our'd 75
With a triumphant victory; thou shalt visit
         him:
We will to court, where, if it be thy pleasure,
Thou shalt appear in such a ravishing lustre
Of jewels above value, that the dames
Who brave it there, in rage to be outshin'd, 60
Shall hide them in their closets, and unseen
Fret in their tears; whiles every wond'ring eye
Shall crave none other brightness but thy pres-
         ence.
Choose thine own recreations; be a queen
Of what delights thou fanciest best, what com-
         pany, 85
What place, what times; do anything, do all
         things
Youth can command, so thou wilt chase these
         clouds
From the pure firmament of thy fair looks.

____________________
1 At once.
2 Agent.
3 Youth.
4 Embrace.
5 Cuckolded: the inevitable jest on the cuckold's
horns.
6 Direction.
7 Moulted.

776




Grau. Now 't is well said, my lord. What,
         lady! laugh,
Be merry; time is precious.

Bass. [Aside.]                   Furies whip thee! 90

Pen. Alas, my lord, this language to your
         hand-maid
Sounds as would music to the deaf; I need
No braveries nor cost of art to draw
The whiteness of my name into offence:
Let such, if any such there are, who covet 95
A curiosity of admiration,
By laying-out their plenty to full view,
Appear in gaudy outsides; my attires
Shall suit the inward fashion of my mind;
From which, if your opinion, nobly plac'd, 100
Change not the livery your words bestow,
My fortunes with my hopes are at the highest.

Bass. This house, methinks, stands some-
         what too much inward,
It is too melancholy; we'll remove 104
Nearer the court: or what thinks my Penthea
Of the delightful island we command?
Rule me as thou canst wish.

Pen.                                   I am no mistress.
Whither you please, I must attend; all ways
Are alike pleasant to me.

Grau.                             Island; prison!
A prison is as gaysome: we'll no islands; 110
Marry, out upon 'em! Whom shall we see
         there?
Sea-gulls, and porpoises, and water-rats,
And crabs, and mews, and dog-fish; goodly
         gear
For a young lady's dealing, or an old one's!
On no terms islands; I'll be stew'd first.

Bass. [Aside to GRAUSIS.]        Grausis, 115
You are a juggling bawd. This sadness,
         sweetest,
Becomes not youthful blood. [Aside to GRAU-
         SIS.]  I'll have you pounded.
For my sake put on a more cheerful mirth;
Thou 'lt mar thy cheeks, and make me old in
         griefs.
[Aside to GRAUSIS.] Damnable bitch-fox!

Grau.                           I am thick of hearing, 120
Still, when the wind blows southerly. What
         think ye,
If your fresh lady breed young bones, my
         lord?
Would not a chopping boy d'ye good at heart?
But, as you said

Bass. [Aside to GRAUSIS.] I'll spit thee on a
         stake,
Or chop thee into collops!

Grau.                             Pray, speak louder. 125
Sure, sure the wind blows south still.

Pen.                                Thou prat'st madly.

Bass. 'T is very hot; I sweat extremely.

            Re-enter PHULAS.
                                                         Now?

Phu. A herd of lords, sir.

Bass.                             Ha!

Phu.                                 A flock of ladies.

Bass. Where?

Phu.              Shoals of horses.

Bass.                                   Peasant, how?

Phu.                                          Caroches 1
In drifts; th' one enter, th' other stand with-
         out, sir: 130
And now I vanish.                            Exit.

Enter PROPHILUS, HEMOPHIL, GRONEAS,
   CHRISTALLA, and PHILEMA.

Pro.                    Noble Bassanes!

Bass. Most welcome, Prophilus; ladies, gen-
         tlemen,
To all my heart is open; you all honour me,
[Aside.]  A tympany 2 swells in my head al-
         ready,
Honour me bountifully. [Aside.] How they
         flutter, 135
Wagtails and jays together!

Pro.                                  From your brother
By virtue of your love to him, I require
Your instant presence, fairest.

Pen.                                     He is well, sir?
Pro. The gods preserve him ever! Yet, dear
         beauty,
I find some alteration in him lately, 140
Since his return to Sparta. My good lord,
I pray, use no delay.

Bass.                        We had not needed
An invitation, if his sister's health
Had not fallen into question. Haste, Penthea,
Slack not a minute. Lead the way, good
         Prophilus; 145
I'll follow step by step.

Pro.                            Your arm, fair madam.

    Exeunt all but BASSANES and GRAUSIS.

Bass. One word with your old bawdship: th'
         hadst been better
Rail'd at the sins 3 thou worshipp'st than have
         thwarted
My will: I'll use thee cursedly.

Grau.                                    You dote,
You are beside yourself. A politician 150
In jealousy? No, y' are too gross, too vulgar.
Pish, teach not me my trade; I know my cue.
My crossing you sinks me into her trust,
By which I shall know all; my trade's a sure
         one.

Bass. Forgive me, Grausis, 't was considera-
         tion 155
I relish'd not; 4 but have a care now.

Grau.                                           Fear not.
I am no new-come-to 't.

Bass.                                Thy life's upon it,
And so is mine. My agonies are infinite.
                                                     Exeunt.

                Scene II. 5

         Enter
ITHOCLES, alone.

Ith. Ambition! 't is of vipers' breed: it
         gnaws
A passage through the womb that gave it mo-
         tion.
Ambition, like a seeled 6 dove, mounts upward,
Higher and higher still, to perch on clouds,
But tumbles headlong down with heavier ruin.

____________________
1 Coaches.
2 Swelling.
3 Gifford emend. saints.
4 I did not see the point of.
5 The palace. Ithocles' apartment.
6 Blinded by sewing up the eye-lids.

777





So squibs and crackers fly into the air,
Then, only breaking with a noise, they vanish
In stench and smoke. Morality, appli'd
To timely practice, keeps the soul in tune,
At whose sweet music all our actions dance: 10
But this is form of books and school-tradition;
It physics not the sickness of a mind
Broken with griefs: strong fevers are not eas'd
With counsel, but with best receipts and means;
Means, speedy means and certain; that's the
         cure. 15

    Enter ARMOSTES and CROTOLON.

Arm. You stick, Lord Crotolon, upon a point
Too nice and too unnecessary; Prophilus
Is every way desertful. I am confident
Your wisdom is too ripe to need instruction
From your son's tutelage.

Crot.                              Yet not so ripe, 20
My Lord Armostes, that it dares to dote
Upon the painted meat 1 of smooth persuasion,
Which tempts me to a breach of faith.

Ith.                                                   Not yet
Resolv'd, my lord? Why, if your son's consent
Be so available, we'll write to Athens 25
For his repair to Sparta. The king's hand
Will join with our desires; he has been mov'd
         to 't.

Arm. Yes, and the king himself impórtun'd
         Crotolon
For a dispatch.

Crot. Kings may command; their wills
Are laws not to be questioned.

Ith.                                      By this marriage 30
You knit an union so devout, so hearty,
Between your loves to me and mine to yours,
As if mine own blood had an interest in it;
For Prophilus is mine, and I am his.

Crot. My lord, my lord!

Ith. What, good sir? Speak your thought. 35

Crot. Had this sincerity been real once,
My Orgilus had not been now unwiv'd,
Nor your lost sister buried in a bride-bed.
Your uncle here, Armostes knows this truth;
For had your father Thrasus liv'd, but peace
Dwell in his grave! I have done.

Arm.                         Y' are bold and bitter. 41

Ith. [Aside.] 'A presses home the injury; it
         smarts.
No reprehensions, uncle; I deserve 'em.
Yet, gentle sir, consider what the heat
Of an unsteady youth, a giddy brain, 45
Green indiscretion, flattery of greatness,
Rawness of judgment, wilfulness in folly,
Thoughts vagrant as the wind and as uncertain,
Might lead a boy in years to: 't was a fault,
A capital fault; for then I could not dive 50
Into the secrets of commanding love;
Since when, experience, by the extremes 2 (in
         others),
Hath forc'd me collect. 3 And, trust me, Croto-
         lon,
I will redeem those wrongs with any service
Your satisfaction can require for current. 55

Arm. The 4 acknowledgment is satisfaction:
What would you more?

Crot.                 I'm conquer'd: if Euphranea
Herself admit the motion, let it be so;
I doubt not my son's liking.

Ith.                                     Use my fortunes,
Life, power, sword, and heart, all are your
own. 60

Arm. The princess, with your sister.

Enter     CALANTHA,    PENTHEA,    EUPHRANEA,
   CHRISTALLA, PHILEMA, GRAUSIS, BASSANES,
   and PROPHILUS.

Cal.                                               I present ye
A stranger here in court, my lord; for did not
Desire of seeing you draw her abroad,
We had not been made happy in her company.

Ith. You are a gracious princess. Sister,
         wedlock 65
Holds too severe a passion in your nature,
Which can engross all duty to your husband,
Without attendance on so dear a mistress.
[To BASSANES.] 'T is not my brother's pleasure,
         I presume,
T' immure her in a chamber.

Bass.                                    'T is her will; 70
She governs her own hours. Noble Ithocles,
We thank the gods for your success and wel-
         fare:
Our lady has of late been indispos'd,
Else we had waited on you with the first.

Ith. How does Penthea now?

Pen.                     You best know, brother, 75
From whom my health and comforts are de-
         riv'd.

Bass. [Aside.] I like the answer well; 't is
         sad and modest.
There may be tricks yet, tricks. Have an eye,
         Grausis!

Cal. Now, Crotolon, the suit we join'd in
         must not
Fall by too long demur.

Crot.                         'T is granted, princess, 80
For my part.

Arm.           With condition, that his son
Favour the contract.

Cal. Such delay is easy.
The joys of marriage make thee, Prophilus,
A proud deserver of Euphranea's love,
And her of thy desert!

Pro.                           Most sweetly gracious! 85

Bass. The joys of marriage are the heaven on
         earth,
Life's paradise, great princess, the soul's quiet,
Sinews of concord, earthly immortality,
Eternity of pleasures; no restoratives
Like to a constant woman! [Aside.] But
         where is she? 90
'T would puzzle all the gods but to create
Such a new monster. I can speak by proof,
For I rest in Elysium; 't is my happiness.

Crot. Euphranea, how are you resolv'd, speak
         freely,
In your affections to this gentleman? 95

Euph.
Nor more nor less than as his love as-
         sures me;

____________________
1 Gifford suggests bait.
2 Q. extremities.
3 Infer, understand.
4 Q. Thu.

778



Which if your liking with my brother's war-
         rants
I cannot but approve in all points worthy.

Crot. So, so! [To PROPHILUS.] I know your
         answer.

Ith.                'T had been pity
To sunder hearts so equally consented. 100

                  Enter HEMOPHIL.

Hem. The king, Lord Ithocles, commands
         your presence;
And, fairest princess, yours.

Cal.                                 We will attend him.

                Enter GRONEAS.

Gro. Where are the lords? All must unto the
         king
Without delay: the Prince of Argos

Cal.                                               Well, sir?

Gro. Is coming to the court, sweet lady.

Cal.                                                    How! 105
The Prince of Argos?

Gro.                   'T was my fortune, madam,
T' enjoy the honour of these happy tidings.

Ith. Penthea!

Pen.                  Brother?

Ith.                             Let me an hour hence
Meet you alone within the palace-grove; 109
I have some secret with you. Prithee, friend,
Conduct her thither, and have special care
The walks be clear'd of any to disturb us.

Pro. I shall.

Bass. [Aside.] How's that?

Ith.                           Alone, pray be alone.
I am your creature, princess. On, my lords!

                         Exeunt all but BASSANES.

Bass. Alone! alone! What means that word
         "alone"? 115
Why might not I be there? hum! he's
         her brother.
Brothers and sisters are but flesh and blood,
And this same whoreson court-ease is tempta-
         tion
To a rebellion in the veins; besides, 119
His fine friend Prophilus must be her guar-
         dian:
Why may not he dispatch a business nimbly
Before the other come? or pand'ring, pan-
         d'ring
For one another, be 't to sister, mother
Wife, cousin, anything, 'mongst youths of
         mettle
Is in request; it is so stubborn fate! 125
But if I be a cuckold, and can know it,
I will be fell, and fell.

              Re-enter GRONEAS.

Gro.                      My lord, y 'are call'd for.

Bass. Most heartily I thank ye. Where's my
         wife, pray ?

Gro. Retir'd amongst the ladies.

Bass.                                   Still I thank ye.
There 's an old waiter with her; saw you her
         too? 130

Gro.
She sits i 'th' presence-lobby fast asleep,
         sir.

Bass. Asleep !  asleep, sir!

Gro.                    Is your lordship troubled ?
You will not to the king?

Bass.                           Your humblest vassal.

Gro. Your servant, my good lord.

Bass.                            I wait your footsteps.
                                                        Exeunt.


                SCENE III. 1

   Enter PROPHILUS and PENTHEA.

Pro. In this walk, lady, will your brother find
         you:
And, with your favour, give me leave a little
To work a preparation. In his fashion
I have observ'd of late some kind of slackness
To such alacrity as nature [once] 5
And custom took delight in; sadness grows
Upon his recreations, which he hoards
In such a willing silence, that to question
The grounds will argue little skill in friendship,
And less good manners.

Pen.                           Sir, I'm not inquisitive 10
Of secrecies without an invitation.

Pro. With pardon, lady, not a syllable
Of mine implies so rude a sense; the drift

    Enter ORGILUS, [disguised as before.]

[To ORG.]                                   Do thy best
To make this lady merry for an hour.     Exit. 15

Org.
Your will shall be a law, sir.

Pen.                                   Prithee, leave me;
I have some private thoughts I would account
         with;
Use thou thine own.

Org.             Speak on, fair nymph; our souls
Can dance as well to music of the spheres
As any's who have feasted with the gods. 20

Pen. Your school-terms are too troublesome.

Org.                                        What Heaven
Refines mortality from dross of earth
But such as uncompounded beauty hallows
With glorified perfection ?

Pen.                                 Set thy wits
In a less wild proportion.

Org.                               Time can never 25
On the white table of unguilty faith
Write counterfeit dishonour; turn those eyes,
The arrows of pure love, upon that fire,
Which once rose to a flame, perfum'd with
         vows
As sweetly scented as the incense smoking 30
On Vesta's altars, . . . . . . . 2
. . . the holiest odours, virgin's tears,
. . . . sprinkled, like dews, to feed 'em
And to increase their fervour.

Pen.                                     Be not frantic.

Org. All pleasures are but mere imagination,
Feeding the hungry appetite with steam 36
And sight of banquet, whilst the body pines,
Not relishing the real taste of food:
Such is the leanness of a heart divided
From intercourse of troth-contracted loves; 40

____________________
1  The gardens of the palace.  A grove.
2  Gifford's emend. Q. reads
                 as the incense smoking
The holiest altars, virgin tears (like
On Vesta's odours) sprinkled dews to feed 'em
And to increase.

779




No horror should deface that precious figure
Seal'd with the lively stamp of equal souls.

Pen. Away! some Fury hath bewitch'd thy
         tongue.
The breath of ignorance, that flies from thence,
Ripens a knowledge in me of afflictions 45
Above all suff'rance. Thing of talk, begone!
Begone, without reply!

Org.                            Be just, Penthea,
In thy commands; when thou send'st forth a
         doom
Of banishment, know first on whom it lights.
Thus I take off the shroud, in which my cares 50
Are folded up from view of common eyes.
                  [Throws of his Scholar's dress.]
What is thy sentence next ?

Pen.                            Rash man! thou layest
A blemish on mine honour, with the hazard
Of thy too-desperate life: yet I profess,
By all the laws of ceremonious wedlock, 55
I have not given admittance to one thought
Of female change since cruelty enforc'd
Divorce betwixt my body and my heart.
Why would you fall from goodness thus ?

Org.                                                 O, rather
Examine me, how I could live to say 60
I have been much, much wrong'd. 'T is for thy
         sake
I put on this imposture: dear Penthea,
If thy soft bosom be not turn'd to marble,
Thou 'lt pity our calamities; my interest
Confirms me thou art mine still.

Pen.                                   Lend your hand; 65
With both of mine I clasp it thus, thus kiss it,
Thus kneel before ye.

Org.                          You instruct my duty.

Pen. We may stand up. Have you aught
         else to urge
Of new demand? As for the old, forget it;
'T is buried in an everlasting silence, 70
And shall be, shall be ever. What more would
         ye ?

Org. I would possess my wife; the equity
Of very reason bids me.

Pen.                               Is that all ?

Org. Why, 't is the all of me, myself.

Pen.                                               Remove
Your steps some distance from me: at this
         space 75
A few words I dare change; but first put on
Your borrowed shape.

Org.                     You are obey'd; 't is done.
                           [He resumes his disguise.]

Pen.  How, Orgilus, by promise I was thine
The heavens do witness: they can witness too
A rape done on my truth: how I do love thee 80
Yet, Orgilus, and yet, must best appear
In tendering thy freedom; for I find
The constant preservation of thy merit,
By thy not daring to attempt my fame
With injury of any loose conceit, 85
Which might give deeper wounds to discon-
         tents.
Continue this fair race: 1 then, though I cannot
Add to thy comfort, yet I shall more often
Remember from what fortune I am fallen, 89
And pity mine own ruin. Live, live happy,
Happy in thy next choice, that thou mayst peo-
         ple
This barren age with virtues in thy issue!
And O, when thou art married, think on me
With mercy, not contempt! I hope thy wife,
Hearing my story, will not scorn my fall. 95
Now let us part.

Org.                   Part! yet advise thee better:
Penthea is the wife to Orgilus,
And ever shall be.

Pen.                      Never shall nor will.

Org.  How!

Pen. Hear me; in a word I'll tell thee why.

The virgin-dowry which my birth bestow'd 100
Is ravish'd by another; my true love
Abhors to think that Orgilus deserv'd
No better favours than a second bed.

Org. I must not take this reason.

Pen.                                      To confirm it
Should I outlive my bondage, let me meet 105
Another worse than this and less desir'd,
If, of all men alive, thou shouldst but touch
My lip or hand again!

Org.                            Penthea, now
I tell ye, you grow wanton in my sufferance:
Come, sweet, th' art mine.

Pen.                           Uncivil sir, forbear! 110
Or I can turn affection into vengeance;
Your reputation, if you value any,
Lies bleeding at my feet. Unworthy man,
If ever henceforth thou appear in language,
Message, or letter, to betray my frailty, 115
I'll call thy former protestations lust,
And curse my stars for forfeit of my judgment.
Go thou, fit only for disguise, and walks, 2
To hide thy shame: this once I spare thy life.
I laugh at mine own confidence; my sorrows
By thee are made inferior to my fortunes. 121
If ever thou didst harbour worthy love,
Dare not to answer. My good genius guide me,
That I may never see thee more! Go from
         me!

Org.  I'll tear my veil of politic French off,
And stand up like a man resolv'd to do: 126
Action, not words, shall show me. O Penthea!
                                                                  Exit.

Pen. 'A sighed my name, sure, as he parted
         from me:
I fear I was too rough. Alas, poor gentleman
'A look'd not like the ruins of his youth, 130
But like the ruins of those ruins. Honour,
How much we fight with weakness to preserve
         thee!                                [Walks aside.]

        Enter BASSANES and GRAUSIS.

Bass. Fie on thee ! damn thee, rotten mag-
         got, damn thee!
Sleep? sleep at court? and now? Aches, 3 con-
         vulsions,
Imposthumes, rheums, gouts, palsies, clog thy
         bones 135
A dozen years more yet!

____________________
1 Course.
2 Apparently corrupt.
3 The word was pronounced aitches.

780




Grau.                            Now y' are in humours.

Bass. She's by herself, there's hope of that;
         she's sad too;
She's in strong contemplation; yes, and fixt:
The signs are wholesome.

Grau.                            Very wholesome, truly.

Bass. Hold your chops, 1 nightmare! Lady,
         come; your brother 140
Is carried to his closet; you must thither.

Pen. Not well, my lord ?

Bass.                    A sudden fit; 't will off!
Some surfeit or disorder. How dost, dearest ?

Pen. Your news is none o' the best.

               Re-enter PROPHILUS.

Pro.                                    The chief of men,
The excellentest Ithocles, desires 145
Your presence, madam.

Bass.                            We are hasting to him.

Pen. In vain we labour in this course of life
To piece our journey out at length, or crave
Respite of breath: our home is in the grave.

Bass. Perfect philosophy!

[Pen.]                            Then let us care 150
To live so, that our reckonings may fall even
When we 're to make account.

Pro.                                         He cannot fear
Who builds on noble grounds: sickness or pain
Is the deserver's exercise; 2 and such
Your virtuous brother to the world is known.
Speak comfort to him, lady; be all gentle: 156
Stars fall but in the grossness of our sight;
A good man dying, th' earth doth lose a light.
                                                             Exeunt omnes.


                   ACT III

                       SCENE I. 3

Enter
TECNICUS, and ORGILUS in his own
                                 shape.

Tec. Be well advis'd; let not a resolution
Of giddy rashness choke the breath of reason.

Org. It shall not, most sage master.

Tec.                                        I am jealous; 4
For if the borrowed, shape so late put on
Inferr'd a consequence, we must conclude 5
Some violent design of sudden nature
Hath shook that shadow off, to fly upon
A new-hatch'd execution. Orgilus,
Take heed thou hast not, under our integrity,
Shrouded unlawful plots; our mortal eyes 10
Pierce not the secrets of your heart, the gods
Are only privy to them.

Org.                               Learned Tecnicus
Such doubts are causeless; and, to clear the
         truth
From misconceit, the present state commands
         me.

The Prince of Argos comes himself in person 15
In quest of great Calantha for his bride,
Our kingdom's heir; besides, mine only sister,
Euphranea, is dispos'd to Prophilus;
Lastly, the king is sending letters for me
To Athens, for my quick repair to court: 20
Please to accept these reasons.

Tec.                                             Just ones, Orgilus,
Not to be contradicted: yet beware
Of an unsure foundation; no fair colours
Can fortify a building faintly jointed.
I have observ'd a growth in thy aspéct 25
Of dangerous extent, sudden, and look to 't
I might add, certain

Org.                            My aspéct! Could art
Run through mine inmost thoughts, it should
         not sift
An inclination there more than what suited
With justice of mine honour.

Tec.                                     I believe it. 30
But know then, Orgilus, what honour is.
Honour consists not in a bare opinion
By doing any act that feeds content,
Brave in appearance, 'cause we think it brave;
Such honour comes by accident, not nature, 35
Proceeding from the vices of our passion,
Which makes our reason drunk: but real hon-
         our
Is the reward of virtue, and acquir'd
By justice, or by valour which for basis
Hath justice to uphold it. He then fails 40
In honour, who for lucre [or] revenge
Commits thefts, murders, treasons, and adul-
         teries,
With suchlike, by intrenching on just laws,
Whose sovereignty is best preserv'd by justice.
Thus, as you see how honour must be grounded
On knowledge, not opinion, for opinion 46
Relies on probability and accident,
But knowledge on necessity and truth,
I leave thee to the fit consideration
Of what becomes the grace of real honour, 50
Wishing success to all thy virtuous meanings.

Org. The gods increase thy wisdom, reverend
         oracle,
And in thy precepts make me ever thrifty! 5

Tec.
I thank thy wish.                              Exit.
                                             Much mystery of fate
Lies hid in that man's fortunes; curiosity 55
May lead his actions into rare attempts:
But let the gods be moderators still;
No human power can prevent their will.

    Enter ARMOSTES [with a casket].

From whence come ye ?

Arm.                    From King Amyclas, pardon
My interruption of your studies. Here, 60
In this seal'd box, he sends a treasure [to you,]
Dear to him as his crown. 'A prays your grav-
         ity
You would examine, ponder, sift, and bolt
The pith and circumstance of every tittle
The scroll within contains.

Tec.                             What is 't, Armostes? 65

Arm. It is the health of Sparta, the king's
         life,
Sinews and safety of the commonwealth;
The sum of what the oracle deliver'd
When last he visited the prophetic temple
At Delphos: what his reasons are, for which, 70

____________________
1 Jaws.
2 Discipline.
3 The study of Tecnicus.
4 Suspicious.
5 Make me ever avail myself of thy precepts.

781




After so long a silence, he requires
Your counsel now, grave man, his majesty
Will soon himself acquaint you with.

Tec. [ Takes the casket. ]               Apollo
Inspire my intellect! The Prince of Argos
Is entertain'd ?

Arm.                  He is; and has demanded 75
Our princess for his wife; which I conceive
One special cause the king importunes you
For resolution of the oracle.

Tec. My duty to the king, good peace to
         Sparta,
And fair day to Armostes!

Arm.                   Like to Tecnicus!   Exeunt. 80

                          [SCENE II.] 1

Soft music,  during which time enter 
PROPHILUS,
   BASSANES, PENTHEA, GRAUSIS, passing over
   the stage.
BASSANES and GRAUSIS enter again
   softly, stealing to several stands, and listen.

                         A SONG.

  Can you paint a thought? or number
Every fancy in a slumber ?
Can you count soft minutes roving
From a dial's point by moving ?
Can you grasp a sigh? or, lastly, 5
Rob a virgin's honour chastely?
    No, O, no! yet you may
Sooner do both that and this,
This and that, and never miss,
Than by any praise display 10
Beauty 's beauty; such a glory,
As beyond all fate, all story,
                     All arms, all arts,
                     All loves, all hearts,
Greater than those or they, 15
Do, shall, and must obey.

Bass. All silent, calm, secure. Grausis, no
         creaking ?
No noise? Dost hear nothing ?

Grau.                                       Not a mouse,
Or whisper of the wind.

Bass.                            The floor is matted;
The bedposts sure are steel or marble. Sol-
         diers 20
Should not affect, methinks, strains so effem-
         inate:
Sounds of such delicacy are but fawnings
Upon the sloth of luxury, they heighten
Cinders of covert lust up to a flame.

Grau. What do you mean, my lord? speak
         low; that gabbling 26
Of yours will but undo us.

Bass.                               Chamber-combats
Are felt, not heard.

Pro. [ within. ]     'A wakes.

Bass.                               What's that ?

Ith. [ within. ]                          Who's there?
Sister? All quit the room else.

Bass.                                     'T is consented!

              Re-enter PROPHILUS.

Pro. Lord Bassanes, your brother would be
         private,
We must forbear; his sleep hath newly left
         him. 30
Please ye withdraw.

Bass.                       By any means; 't is fit.

Pro. Pray, gentlewoman, walk too.

Grau.          Yes, I will, sir.   Exeunt omnes.

ITHOCLES discovered in a chair, and PENTHEA
                         [ beside him ].

Ith. Sit nearer, sister to me; nearer yet.
We had one father, in one womb took life, 34
Were brought up twins together, yet have liv'd
At distance, like two strangers. I could wish
That the first pillow whereon I was cradled
Had prov'd to me a grave.

Pen.                               You had been happy:
Then had you never known that sin of life
Which blots all following glories with a ven-
         geance, 40
For forfeiting the last will of the dead,
From whom you had your being.

Ith.                                            Sad Penthea,
Thou canst not be too cruel; my rash spleen
Hath with a violent hand pluck'd from thy
         bosom
A love-blest 2 heart, to grind it into dust; 45
For which mine 's now a-breaking.

Pen.                                     Not yet, Heaven,
I do beseech thee! First let some wild fires
Scorch, not consume it! may the heat be cher-
         isht
With desires infinite, but hopes impossible!

Ith. Wrong'd soul, thy prayers are heard.

Pen.                                  Here, lo, I breathe, 50
A miserable creature, led to ruin
By an unnatural brother!

Ith.                                 I consume
In languishing affections for that trespass;
Yet cannot die.

Pen.                The handmaid to the wages 54
Of country toil drinks the untroubled streams
With leaping kids and with the bleating lambs,
And so allays her thirst secure; whiles I
Quench my hot sighs with fleetings 3 of my
         tears.

Ith. The labourer doth eat his coarsest
         bread,
Earn'd with his sweat, and lies him down to
         sleep; 60
While 4 every bit I touch turns in digestion
To gall as bitter as Penthea's curse.
Put me to any penance for my tyranny,
And I will call thee merciful.

Pen.                                     Pray kill me,
Rid me from living with a jealous husband; 65
Then we will join in friendship, be again
Brother and sister. Kill me, pray; nay, will
         ye ?

Ith. How does thy lord esteem thee?

Pen.                                         Such an one
As only you have made me; a faith-breaker,
A spotted whore: forgive me, I am one 70
In act, not in desires, the gods must witness.

Ith. Thou dost belie thy friend.

Pen.                                I do not, Ithocles;

____________________
1 The palace. Ithocles' apartment.
2 Q. lover-blest.
3 Streams.
4 Q. Which.

782




For she that's wife to Orgilus, and lives
In known adultery with Bassanes,
Is at the best a whore. Wilt kill me now? 75
The ashes of our parents will assume
Some dreadful figure, and appear to charge
Thy bloody guilt, that hast betray'd their name
To infamy in this reproachful match.

Ith. After my victories abroad, at home 80
I meet despair; ingratitude of nature
Hath made my actions monstrous. Thou shalt
         stand
A deity, my sister, and be worshipp'd
For thy resolved martyrdom; wrong'd maids
And married wives shall to thy hallowed
         shrine 85
Offer their orisons, and sacrifice
Pure turtles, crown'd with myrtle; if thy pity
Unto a yielding brother's pressure lend
One finger but to ease it.

Pen.                              O, no more!
Ith. Death waits to waft me to the Stygian
         banks, 90
And free me from this chaos of my bondage;
And till thou wilt forgive, I must endure.

Pen. Who is the saint you serve?

Ith.                      Friendship, or [nearness] 1
Of birth to any but my sister, durst not
Have mov'd that question; ['t is] 2 a secret,
         sister, 95
I dare not murmur to myself.

Pen.                                     Let me,
By your new protestations I conjure ye,
Partake her name.

Ith. Her name? 't is 't is I dare not.

Pen. All your respects are forg'd.3
Ith.                            They are not. Peace!
Calantha is the princess the king's daugh-
         ter 100
Sole heir of Sparta. Me, most miserable
Do I now love thee? For my injuries
Revenge thyself with bravery, and gossip
My treasons to the king's ears, do: Calantha
Knows it not yet, nor Prophilus, ray nearest. 105

Pen. Suppose you were contracted to her,
         would it not
Split even your very soul to see her father
Snatch her out of your arms against her will,
And force her on the Prince of Argos ?

Ith.                                             Trouble not
The fountains of mine eyes with thine own
         story; 110
I sweat in blood for't.

Pen.                          We are reconcil'd.
Alas, sir, being children, but two branches
Of one stock, 't is not fit we should divide:
Have comfort, you may find it.

Ith.                                       Yes, in thee;
Only in thee, Penthea mine.

Pen.                                    If sorrows 115
Have not too much dull'd my infected brain,
I'll cheer invention for an active strain.4

Ith.
Mad man! why have I wrong'd a maid
         so excellent!

Enter BASSANES with a poniard; PROPHILUS,
        GRONEAS, HEMOPHIL, and GRAUSIS.

Bass. I can forbear no longer; more, I will
         not.
Keep off your hands, or fall upon my point.
Patience is tir'd; for, like a slow-pac'd ass, 121
Ye ride my easy nature, and proclaim
My sloth to vengeance a reproach and property.5

Ith. The meaning of this rudeness?

Pro.                                            He 's distracted.

Pen. O, my griev'd lord!

Grau.       Sweet lady, come not near him; 125
He holds his perilous weapon in his hand
To prick 'a cares not whom nor where, see,
         see, see!

Bass. My birth is noble: though the popu-
         lar blast
Of vanity, as giddy as thy youth,
Hath rear'd thy name up to bestride a cloud, 130
Or progress in the chariot of the sun,
I am no clod of trade, to lackey pride,
Nor, like your slave of expectation,6 wait
The bawdy hinges of your doors, or whistle
For mystical conveyance to your bed-sports. 135

Gro.
Fine humours! they become him.

Hem.                                     How 'a stares,
Struts, puffs, and sweats! Most admirable 7
         lunacy!

Ith.
But that I may conceive the spirit of
         wine
Has took possession of your soberer custom,
I'd say you were unmannerly.

Pen.                                   Dear brother! 140

Bass. Unmannerly! mew, kitling!
         smooth Formality
Is usher to the rankness of the blood,
But Impudence bears up the train. Indeed, sir,
Your fiery mettle, or your springal 8 blaze
Of huge renown, is no sufficient royalty 145
To print upon my forehead the scorn, "cuck-
         old."

Ith.
His jealousy has robb'd him of his wits;
'A talks 'a knows not what.

Bass.                                   Yes, and 'a knows
To whom 'a talks;  to one that franks 9  his lust
In swine-security of bestial incest. 150

Ith.  Ha, devil !

Bass.  I will haloo 't; 10  though I blush more
To name the filthiness than thou to act it.

Ith. Monster !                   [Draws his sword.]

Pro.              Sir, by our friendship

Pen.                                    By our bloods
Will you quite both undo us, brother?

Grau.                                          Out on him!
These are his megrims, firks,11 and melancho-
         lies. 155

Hem.
Well said, old touch-hole.

Gro.                          Kick him out of doors.

Pen. With favour, let me speak. My lord,
         what slackness
In my obedience hath deserv'd this rage ?
Except humility and silent duty

____________________
1 Q. omits.
2 'Tis, Dyce emend. Q. as.
3 I. e. You do not care for me as you say.
4 I will attempt to devise something.
5 Personal characteristics.
6 Attendant slave.
7 Wonderful.
8 Youthful.
9 Feeds; fattens, as one fattens swine.
10 Proclaim.
11 Freaks.

783




Have drawn on your unquiet, my simplicity 160
Ne'er studied your vexation.

Bass.                                     Light of beauty,
Deal not ungently with a desperate wound!
No breach of reason dares make war with
         her
Whose looks are sovereignty, whose breath is
         balm.
O, that I could preserve thee in fruition 165
As in devotion!

Pen.                      Sir, may every evil
Lock'd in Pandora's box shower, in your pre-
         sence,
On my unhappy head, if, since you made me
A partner in your bed, I have been faulty
In one unseemly thought against your honour!

Ith. Purge not his griefs, Penthea.

Bass.                                                       Yes, say on, 171
Excellent creature! [To ITHOCLES.] Good,
         be not a hindrance
To peace and praise of virtue. O, my senses
Are charm'd with sounds celestial! On, dear,
         on:
I never gave you one ill word; say, did I? 175
Indeed I did not.

Pen.                            Nor, by Juno's forehead,
Was I o'er guilty of a wanton error.

Bass. A goddess! let me kneel.

Grau.                                         Alas, kind animal!

Ith. No; but for penance.

Bass.                                     Noble sir, what is it ?
With gladness I embrace it; yet, pray let not
My rashness teach you to be too unmerciful. 181

Ith.
When you shall show good proof that
         manly wisdom,
Not oversway'd by passion or opinion,
Knows how to lead [your] judgment, then
         this lady,
Your wife, my sister, shall return in safety 185
Home, to be guided by you; but, till first
I can out of clear evidence approve it,
She shall be my care.

Bass.                                 Rip my bosom up,
I'll stand the execution with a constancy;
This torture is unsufferable.

Ith.                                                Well, sir, 190
I dare not trust her to your fury.

Bass.                                                      But
Penthea says not so.

Pen.                                        She needs no tongue
To plead excuse who never purpos'd wrong.

Hem. Virgin of reverence and antiquity,
Stay you behind.

Gro. [to GRAUSIS.]        The court wants not
         your diligence. 195

                 Exeunt all but BASS. and GRAU.

Grau.  What will you do, my lord?   My lady's
         gone;
I am deni'd to follow.

Bass.                                   I may see her,
Or speak to her once more ?

Grau.                                    And feel her too, man;
Be of good cheer, she 's your own flesh and
         bone.

Bass. Diseases desperate must find cures
         alike. 200
She swore she has been true.

Grau.                                     True, on my modesty.

Bass. Let him want truth who credits not
         her vows!
Much wrong I did her, but her brother infinite;
Rumour will voice me the contempt of man-
         hood 204
Should I run on thus. Some way I must try
To outdo art, and [jealousy decry.] 1     Exeunt.

                      [SCENE III.] 2

Flourish. Enter AMYCLAS. NEARCHUS, leading
   CALANTHA,  ARMOSTES,  CROTOLON,  EU-
   PHRANEA, CHRISTALLA, PHILEMA, and AM-
   ELUS.

Amy. Cousin of Argos, what the heavens
         have pleas'd,
In their unchanging counsels to conclude
For both our kingdoms' weal, we must submit
         to:
Nor can we be unthankful to their bounties,
Who, when we were even creeping to our
         grave, 5
Sent us a daughter, in whose birth our hope
Continues of succession. As you are
In title next, being grandchild to our aunt,
So we in heart desire you may sit nearest
Calantha's love; since we have ever vow'd 10
Not to enforce affection by our will,
But by her own choice to confirm it gladly.

Near. You speak the nature of a right just
         father.
I come not hither roughly to demand
My cousin's thraldom, but to free mine own. 15
Report of great Calantha's beauty, virtue,
Sweetness, and singular perfections, courted
All ears to credit what I find was publish'd
By constant truth; from which, if any service
Of my desert can purchase fair construction, 20
This lady must command it.

Cal.                                                Princely sir,
So well you know how to profess observance, 3
That you instruct your hearers to become
Practitioners in duty; of which number
I'll study to be chief.

Near.                             Chief, glorious virgin, 25
In my devotions, as in all men's wonder.

Amy. Excellent cousin, we deny no liberty;
Use thine own opportunities. Armostes,
We must consult with the philosophers;
The business is of weight.

Arm.                            Sir, at your pleasure. 30

Amy. You, told me, Crotolon, your son's re-
         turn'd
From Athens: wherefore comes he not to court
As we commanded?

Crot.                                 He shall soon attend
Your royal will, great sir.

Amy.                                         The marriage
Between young Prophilus and Euphranea 35
Tastes of too much delay.

Crot.                                       My lord,

Amy.                                                 Some pleasures
At celebration of it would give life

____________________
1 Q. cry a Iealousie.
2 A room in the palace.
3 Worship, courtship.

784




To th' entertainment of the prince our kins-
         man;
Our court wears gravity more than we relish.

Arm. Yet the heavens smile on all your high
         attempts, 40
Without a cloud.

Crot.                       So may the gods protect us.

Cal. A prince a subject ?

Near.                              Yes, to beauty's sceptre;
As all hearts kneel, so mine.

Cal.                                             You are too courtly.

Enter ITHOCLES, ORGILUS, and PROPHILUS.

Ith. Your safe return to Sparta is most; wel-
         come :
I joy to meet you here, and, as occasion 45
Shall grant us privacy, will yield you reasons
Why I should covet to deserve the title
Of your respected friend; for, without compli-
         ment,
Believe it, Orgilus, 't is my ambition.

Org. Your lordship may command me, your
         poor servant. 50

Ith. [Aside.] So amourously close! so soon!
         my heart!

Pro. What sudden change is next ?

Ith.                                                     Life to the king!
To whom I here present this noble: gentleman,
New come from Athens: royal sir, vouchsafe
Your gracious hand in favour of his merit. 55

                  [The King gives ORGILUS his hand
                     to kiss.]

Crot. [Aside.] My son preferr'd by Ithocles!

Amy.                                                         Our bounties
Shall open to thee, Orgilus; for instance,
Hark in thine ear, if, out of those inventions
Which flow in Athens, thou hast there en-
         grost 1
Some rarity of wit, to grace the nuptials 60
Of thy fair sister, and renown our court
In th' eyes of this young prince, we shall be
         debtor
To thy conceit: think on 't.

Org.                              Your highness honours me.

Near. My tongue and heart are twins.

Cal.                                                                A noble birth,
Becoming such a father. Worthy Orgilus, 65
You are a guest most wish'd for.

Org.                                                         May my duty
Still rise in your opinion, sacred princess!

Ith. Euphranea's brother, sir; a gentleman
Well worthy of your knowledge.

Near.                                                       We embrace him,
Proud of so dear acquaintance.

Amy.                                                    All prepare 70
For revels and disport; the joys of Hymen,
Like Phoebus in his lustre, put to flight
All mists of dulness, crown the hours with
         gladness:
No sounds but music, no discourse but mirth!

Cal. Thine arm, I prithee, Ithocles. Nay,
         good 75
My lord, keep on your way; I am provided.

Near. I dare not disobey.

Ith.                Most heavenly lady!    Exeunt.

                  [SCENE IV.] 2

       Enter CROTOLON and ORGILUS.

Crot. The king hath spoke his mind.

Org.                                               His will he hath;
But were it lawful to hold plea against
The power of greatness, not the reason, haply
Such undershrubs as subjects sometimes might
Borrow of nature justice, to inform 5
That license sovereignty holds without check
Over a meek obedience.

Crot.                                              How resolve you
Touching your sister's marriage? Prophilus
Is a deserving and a hopeful youth.

Org. I envy not his merit, but applaud it; 10
Could wish him thrift 3 in all his best desires,
And with a willingness inleague our blood
With his, for purchase of full growth in friend-
         ship.
He never touch'd on any wrong that malic'd
The honour of our house nor stirr'd our peace:
Yet, with your favour, let me not forget 16
Under whose wing he gathers warmth and com-
         fort,
Whose creature he is bound, made, and must
         live so.

Crot. Son, son, I find in thee a harsh condi-
         tion; 4
No courtesy can win it; 't is too rancorous. 20

Org. Good sir, be not severe in your construc-
         tion;
I am no stranger to such easy calms
As sit in tender bosoms: lordly Ithocles
Hath grac'd my entertainment in abundance,
Too humbly hath descended from that height 25
Of arrogance and spleen which wrought the
         rape
On griev'd Penthea's purity; his scorn
Of my untoward fortunes is reclaim'd
Unto a courtship, almost to a fawning:
I 'll kiss his foot, since you will have it so. 30

Crot. Since I will have it so! Friend, I will
         have it so,
Without our ruin by your politic plots,
Or wolf of hatred snarling in your breast.
You have a spirit, sir, have ye? A familiar
That posts i' th' air for your intelligence? 35
Some such hobgoblin hurried you from Athens,
For yet you come unsent for.

Org.                                                  If unwelcome,
I might have found a grave there.

Crot.                                            Sure, your business
Was  soon  dispatch'd,  or  your  mind  alter'd
         quickly.

Org. 'T was care, sir, of my health cut short
         my journey; 40
For there a general infection
Threatens a desolation.

Crot.                                     And I fear
Thou hast brought back a worse infection with
         thee,
Infection of thy mind; which, as thou say'st,
Threatens the desolation of our family. 45

Org. Forbid it, our dear genius! I will rather

____________________
1 Acquired.
2 A room in the house of Crotolon.
3 Prosperity.
4 Disposition.

785




Be made a sacrifice on Thrasus' monument,
Or kneel to Ithocles, his son, in dust,
Than woo a father's curse. My sister's mar-
         riage
With Prophilus is from my heart confirm'd; 50
May I live hated, may I die despis'd,
If I omit to further it in all
That can concern me!

Crot.                                 I have been too rough.
My duty to my king made me so earnest;
Excuse it, Orgilus.

Org.                            Dear sir!

Crot.                                                   Here comes 55
Euphranea with Prophilus and Ithocles.

Enter PROPHILUS, EUPHRANEA, ITHOCLES,
GRONEAS, and HEMOPHIL.

Org. Most honoured! ever famous!

Ith.                                                  Your true friend;
On earth not any truer. With smooth eyes
Look on this worthy couple; your consent
Can only make them one.

Org.                                      They have it. Sister, 60
Thou pawn'dst to me an oath, of which engage-
         ment
I never will release thee, if thou aim'st
At any other choice than this.

Euph.                                                       Dear brother,
At him, or none.

Crot.                To which my blessing 's added.

Org. Which, till a greater ceremony per-
         fect, 65
Euphranea, lend thy hand, here, take her,
         Prophilus;
Live long a happy man and wife; and further,
That these in presence may conclude an omen,
Thus for a bridal song I close my wishes:


[Sings.
Comforts lasting, loves increasing, 70
Like soft hours never ceasing:
Plenty's pleasure, peace complying,
Without jars, or tongues envying;
Hearts by holy union wedded,
More than theirs by custom bedded;            
75
Fruitful issues; life so graced,
Not by age to be defaced,
Budding, as the year ensu'th,
Every spring another youth:
All what thought can add beside 80
Crown this bridegroom and this bride!


Pro. You have seal'd joy close to my soul.
            Euphranea,
Now I may call thee mine.

Ith.                                          I but exchange
One good friend for another.

Org.                                               If these gallants
Will please to grace a poor invention 85
By joining with me in some slight device,
I'll venture on a strain my younger days
Have studied for delight.

Hem.                            With thankful willingness
I offer my attendance.

Gro.                                  No endeavour
Of mine shall fail to show itself.

Ith.                                                    We will 90
All join to wait on thy directions, Orgilus.

Org. O, my good lord, your favours flow towards
A too unworthy worm; but as you please;
I am what you will shape me.

Ith.                                                 A fast friend.

Crot. I thank thee, son, for this acknowledg-
            ment; 95
It is a sight of gladness.

Org.                                    But my duty.      Exeunt.

[SCENE V.] 1

Enter CALANTHA, PENTHEA, CHRISTALLA, and PHILEMA.

Cal. Whoe'er would speak with us, deny his
         entrance;
Be careful of our charge.

Chris.                                     We shall, madam.

Cal. Except the king himself, give none ad-
            mittance;
Not any.

Phil.         Madam, it shall be our care.

                   Exeunt [CHRISTALLA and PHIL-
                     EMA].

Cal. Being alone, Penthea, you have granted
The opportunity you sought, and might 6
At all times have commanded.

Pen.                                                  'T is a benefit
Which I shall owe your goodness even in death
            for.
My glass of life, sweet princess, hath few minutes
Remaining to run down; the sands are spent;
For by an inward messenger I feel 11
The summons of departure short and certain.

Cal. You feel too much your melancholy.

Pen.                                                                      Glories
Of human greatness are but pleasing dreams
And shadows soon decaying: on the stage 15
Of my mortality my youth hath acted
Some scenes of vanity, drawn out at length
By varied pleasures, sweet'ned in the mixture,
But tragical in issue: beauty, pomp,
With every sensuality our giddiness 20
Doth frame an idol, are unconstant friends,
When any troubled passion makes assault
On the unguarded castle of the mind.

Cal. Contemn not your condition for the proof
Of bare opinion only: to what end 25
Reach all these moral texts?

Pen.                                          To place before ye
A perfect mirror, wherein you may see
How weary I am of a ling'ring life,
Who count the best a misery.

Cal.                                                   Indeed
You have no little cause; yet none so great 30
As to distrust a remedy.

Pen.                                       That remedy
Must be a winding-sheet, a fold of lead,
And some untrod-on corner in the earth.
Not to detain your expectation, princess,
I have an humble suit.

Cal.                            Speak; I enjoy 2 it. 35

Pen. Vouchsafe, then, to be my executrix,
And take that trouble on ye to dispose
Such legacies as I bequeath, impartially.
I have not much to give, the pains are easy;

____________________
1 Calantha's apartment in the palace.
2 So Q.   Dyce suggests enjoin.
[[*AJ Note.  How about enjoy= entertain,
i.e., "I entertain your suit"??*]]

786





Heaven will reward your piety, and thank it 40
When I am dead; for sure I must not live;
I hope I cannot.

Cal.                         Now, beshrew thy sadness,
Thou turn'st me too much woman.      [Weeps.]

Pen. [Aside.]                                      Her fair eyes
Melt into passion. Then I have assurance
Encouraging my boldness. In this paper 45
My will was character'd; which you, with par-
            don,
Shall now know from mine own mouth.

Cal.                                                   Talk on, prithee;
It is a pretty earnest.

Pen.                                 I have left me
But three poor jewels to bequeath. The first is
My youth; for though I am much old in griefs,
In years I am a child.

Cal.                              To whom that [jewel]? 51

Pen. To virgin-wives, such as abuse not wed-
            lock
By freedom of desires, but covet chiefly
The pledges of chaste beds for ties of love, 54
Rather than ranging of their blood; and next
To married maids, such as prefer the number
Of honourable issue in their virtues
Before the flattery of delights by marriage:
May those be ever young!

Cal.                                         A second jewel.
You mean to part with?

Pen.                                    'T is my fame, I trust 60
By scandal yet untouch'd: this I bequeath
To Memory, and Time's old daughter, Truth.
If ever my unhappy name find mention
When I am fall'n to dust, may it deserve
Beseeming charity without dishonour! 65

Cal. How handsomely thou play'st with harmless sport
Of mere imagination! Speak the last.
I strangely like thy will.

Pen.                                     This jewel, madam,
Is dearly precious to me; you must use
The best of your discretion to employ 70
This gift as intend it.

Cal.                              Do not doubt me.

Pen. 'T is long agone since first I lost my heart:
Long I have liv'd without it, else for certain
I should have given that too; but instead
Of it, to great Calantha, Sparta's heir, 75
By service bound and by affection vow'd,
I do bequeath, in holiest rites of love,
Mine only brother, Ithocles.

Cal.                                              What saidst thou?

Pen. Impute not, heaven-blest lady, to am-
            bition
A faith as humbly perfect as the prayers 80
Of a devoted suppliant can endow it.
Look on him, princess, with an eye of pity;
How like the ghost of what he late appear'd
'A moves before you.

Cal.                                   Shall I answer here,
Or lend my ear too grossly?

Pen.                                                First his heart 85
Shall fall in cinders, scorch'd by your disdain,
Ere he will dare, poor man, to ope an eye
On these divine looks, but with low-bent
             thoughts
Accusing such presumption; as for words,
'A dares not utter any but of service: 90
Yet this lost creature loves ye. Be a princess
In sweetness as in blood; give him his doom,
Or raise him up to comfort.

Cal.                                               What new change
Appears in my behaviour, that thou dar'st
Tempt my displeasure?

Pen.                                     I must leave the world 95
To revel in Elysium, and 't is just
To wish my brother some advantage here;
Yet, by my best hopes, Ithocles is ignorant
Of this pursuit. But if you please to kill him,
Lend him one angry look or one harsh word, 100
And you shall soon conclude how strong a
            power
Your absolute authority holds over
His life and end.

Cal.                         You have forgot, Penthea,
How still I have a father.

Pen.                                        But remember
I am a sister, though to me this brother 105
Hath been, you know, unkind, O, most unkind!

Cal. Christalla, Philema, where are ye?
            Lady,
Your check lies in my silence.

    Re-enter CHRISTALLA and PHILEMA.

Chris. and Phil.                    Madam, here.

Cal. I think ye sleep, ye drones: wait on
            Penthea
Unto her lodging. [Aside.] Ithocles? Wrong'd
            lady! 110

Pen. My reckonings are made even; death or fate
Can now  nor strike too soon,  nor  force too late.
                                                               Exeunt.


                   ACT IV

                       SCENE I. 1

           Enter ITHOCLES and ARMOSTES.

Ith.  Forbear your inquisition: curiosity
Is of too subtle and too searching nature,
In fears of love too quick, too slow of credit.
I am not what you doubt me.

Arm.                                              Nephew, be, then,
As I would wish; all is not right. Good
            heaven 5
Confirm your resolutions for dependence
On worthy ends, which may advance your quiet!

Ith.  I did the noble Orgilus much injury,
But griev'd Penthea more: I now repent it,
Now, uncle, now; this "now" is now too late.
So provident is folly in sad issue, 11
That after-wit, like bankrupts' debts, stands
            tallied,
Without all possibilities of payment.
Sure, he's an honest, very honest gentleman;
A man of single 2 meaning.

Arm.                                         I believe it : 15
Yet, nephew, 't is the tongue informs our ears;
Our eyes can never pierce into the thoughts,

____________________
1 The palace. Ithocles' apartment.
2 Sincere.
[[*AJ Note:  And perhaps as well single=singular? *]]

787



For they are lodg'd too inward: but I ques-
         tion
No truth in Orgilus, The princess, sir.

Ith. The princess !  ha !

Arm.              With her the Prince of Argos. 20

Enter  NEARCHUS, leading CALANTHA; AME-
             LUS, CHRISTALLA, PHILEMA.

Near. Great fair one, grace my hopes with
         any instance
Of livery,1 from the allowance of your favour;
This little spark
         [ Attempts to take a ring from her finger. ]

Cal.                     A toy!

Near.                              Love feasts on toys,
For Cupid is a child; vouchsafe this bounty:
It cannot be deni'd.

Cal.                         You shall not value, 25
Sweet cousin, at a price, what I count cheap;
So cheap, that let him take it who dares stoop
         for 't,
And give it at next meeting to a mistress:
She 'll thank him for 't, perhaps.

                           Casts the ring to ITHOCLES.

Ame.                                     The ring, sir, is
The princess's; I could have took it up. 30

Ith. Learn manners, prithee. To the blessed
         owner,
Upon my knees

                  Kneels and offers it to CALANTHA.

Near.                    Y' are saucy.

Cal.                                          This is pretty!
I am, belike,  "a mistress" wondrous pretty!
Let the man keep his fortune, since he found
         it;
He's worthy on 't. On, cousin!

Ith. [ to AMELUS.]            Follow, spaniel; 35
I 'll force ye to a fawning else.

Ame.                                     You dare not.

Exeunt. Manent ITH. and ARM.

Arm. My lord, you were too forward.

Ith.                                       Look ye, uncle,
Some such there are whose liberal contents
Swarm without care in every sort of plenty;
Who after full repasts can lay them down 40
To sleep; and they sleep, uncle: in which si-
         lence
Their very dreams present 'em choice of pleas-
         ures,
Pleasures observe me, uncle of rare object;
Here heaps of gold, there increments of hon-
         ours,
Now change of garments, then the votes of
         people; 45
Anon varieties of beauties, courting,
In flatteries of the night, exchange of dalliance:
Yet these are still but dreams. Give me felic-
         ity
Of which my senses waking are partakers,
A real, visible, material happiness; 50
And then, too, when I stagger in expectance
Of the least comfort that can cherish life.
I saw it, sir, I saw it ;  for it came
From her own hand.

Arm.                       The princess threw it t' ye.

Ith. True; and she said well I remember
         what 55
Her cousin prince would beg it.

Arm.                                       Yes, and parted
In anger at your taking on 't.

Ith.                                      Panthea,
O, thou hast pleaded with a powerful language !
I want a fee to gratify thy merit;
But I will do

Arm.                What is 't you say?

Ith.                                                In anger! 60
In anger let him part; for could his breath,
Like whirlwinds, toss such servile slaves as lick
The dust his footsteps print into a vapour,
It durst not stir a hair of mine, it should not;
I'd rend it up by th' roots first. To be any-
         thing 65
Calantha smiles on, is to be a blessing
More sacred than a petty prince of Argos
Can wish to equal, or in worth or title.

Arm. Contain yourself, my lord: Ixion, aim-
         ing
To embrace Juno, bosom'd but a cloud, 70
And begat Centaurs; 't is an useful moral.
Ambition hatch'd in clouds of mere opinion
Proves but in birth a prodigy.

Ith.                                         I thank ye;
Yet, with your licence, I should seem unchari-
         table
To gentler fate, if, relishing the dainties 75
Of a soul's settled peace, I were so feeble
Not to digest it.

Arm.                   He deserves small trust
Who is not privy-counsellor to himself.

Re-enter NEARCHUS and AMELUS, with ORGI-
                                 LUS.

Near. Brave me!

Org. Your excellence mistakes his temper;
For Ithocles in fashion of his mind 80
Is beautiful, soft, gentle, the clear mirror
Of absolute perfection.

Ame.                            Was 't your modesty
Term'd any of the prince's servants "spaniel"?
Your nurse, sure, taught you other language.

Ith.                                              Language!

Near. A gallant man-at-arms is here, a
         doctor 85
In feats of chivalry, blunt and rough-spoken,
Vouchsafing not the fustian of civility,
Which [less] 2 rash spirits style good manners!

Ith.                                                  Manners!

Org. No more, illustrious sir; 't is matchless
         Ithocles.

Near. You might have understood who I am.

Ith.                                                       Yes. 90
I did; else but the presence calm'd th' af-
         front
Y' are cousin to the princess.

Near.                                   To the king, too;
A certain instrument that lent supportance
To you colossic greatness to that king too,
You might have added.

Ith.                               There is more divinity
In beauty than in majesty. 96

____________________
1 Badge of a retainer.
2 Q. omits.

788




Arm.                                     O fie, fie!

Near. This odd youth's pride turns heretic
         in loyalty.
Sirrah! low mushrooms never rival cedars.

                  Exeunt NEARCHUS and AMELUS.

Ith. Come back! What pitiful dull thing
         am I
So to be tamely scolded at! come back! 100
Let him come back, and echo once again
That scornful sound of mushroom! painted
         colts
Like heralds' coats gilt o'er with, crowns and
            sceptres
May bait a muzzled lion.

Arm.                                      Cousin, cousin,
Thy tongue is not thy friend.

Org.                                      In point of honour 105
Discretion knows no bounds. Amelus told me
'T was all about a little ring.

Ith.                                                 A ring
The princess threw away, and I took up.
Admit she threw 't to me, what arm of brass
Can snatch it hence? No; could he grind the
          hoop 110
To powder, 'a might sooner reach my heart
Than steal and wear one dust on 't. Orgilus,
I am extremely wrong'd.

Org.                                      A lady's favour
Is not to be so slighted.

Ith.                                        Slighted!

Arm.                                                        Quiet
These vain unruly passions, which will render
Into a madness. 115

Org.                       Griefs will have their vent.

           Enter TECNICUS [with a scroll].

Arm. Welcome; thou com'st in season, rev-
           erend man,
To pour the balsam of a suppling 1 patience
Into the festering wound of ill-spent fury.

Org. [Aside.] What makes he here?

Tec.            The hurts are yet but 2 mortal, 120
Which shortly will prove deadly. To the king,
Armostes, see in safety then deliver
This seal'd-up counsel; bid him with a con-
           stancy
Peruse the secrets of the gods. O Sparta,
O Lacedaemon! double-nam'd, but one 125
In fate: when kingdoms reel, mark well my
           saw,
Their heads must needs be giddy. Tell the
           king
That henceforth he no more mast inquire after
My aged head; Apollo wills it so:
I am for Delphos.

Arm.                   Not without some conference 130
With our great master?

Tec.                                    Never more to see him :
A greater prince commands me. Ithocles,
When youth is ripe, and age from time doth
           
part,
The lifeless trunk shall wed the broken heart.

Ith. What's this, if understood?

Tec.                                            List, Orgilus; 135
Remember what I told thee long before,
These tears shall be my witness.

Arm.                                                   'Las, good man!

Tec.  Let craft with courtesy a while confer,
           Revenge proves its own executioner.

Org. Dark sentences are for Apollo's priests;
I am not Oedipus.

Tec.                            My hour is come; 141
Cheer up the king; farewell to all. O Sparta,
O Lacedaemon!                                                   Exit.

Arm.                        If prophetic fire
Have warm'd this old man's bosom, we might
           construe
His words to fatal sense.

Ith.                                          Leave to the powers 145
Above us the effects of their decrees;
My burthen lies within me: servile fears
Prevent no great effects. Divine Calantha!

Arm. The gods be still propitious!

                      Exeunt ITHOCLES and ARMOSTES.

Org.                                                 Something oddly
The book-man prated, yet 'a talk'd it weeping;
         Let craft with courtesy a while confer, 151
         Revenge proves its own executioner.
Con it again; for what? It shall not puzzle
         me;
'T is dotage of a withered brain. Penthea
Forbade me not her presence; I may see her,
And gaze my fill. Why see her, then, I may, 156
When, if I faint to speak I must be silent.
                                                             Exit.

                         [SCENE II.] 3

    Enter BASSANES, GRAUSIS, and PHULAS.

Bass. Pray, use your recreations, all the ser-
         vice
I will expect is quietness amongst ye;
Take liberty at home, abroad, at all times,
And in your charities appease the gods,
Whom I, with my distractions, have offended. 5

Grau. Fair blessings on thy heart!

Phu. [Aside.]              Here 's a rare change!
My lord, to cure the itch, is surely gelded;
The cuckold in conceit hath cast his horns.

Bass. Betake ye to your several occasions;
And wherein I have heretofore been faulty, 10
Let your constructions mildly pass it over.
Henceforth I'll study reformation, more
I have not for employment.

Grau.                                O, sweet man!
Thou art the very "Honeycomb of Honesty." 4

Phu. The "Garland of Good-will." Old
         lady, hold up 15
Thy reverend snout, and trot behind me softly,
As it becomes a moil 5 of ancient carriage.

                         Exeunt GRAUSIS and PHULAS.

Bass. Beasts, only capable of sense, enjoy
The benefit of food and ease with thankful-
         ness;
Such silly creatures, with a grudging, kick not
Against the portion nature hath bestow'd: 21
But men, endow'd with reason and the use

____________________
1 Q. supplying.
2 Gifford suggests not.
3 A room in Bassanes' house.
4 The Honeycomb of Honesty, like the Garland of
Goodwill
, was probably one of the popular miscellanies
of the day. ( Gifford.) See Additional Notes.
5 Mule.

789





Of reason, to distinguish from the chaff
Of abject scarcity the quintessence,
Soul, and elixir of the earth's abundance, 25
The treasures of the sea, the air, nay, heaven,
Repining at these glories of creation
Are verier beasts than beasts; and of those
         beasts
The worst am I :  I, who was made a monarch
Of what a heart could wish for, a chaste
         wife, 30
Endeavour'd what in me lay to pull down
That temple built for adoration only,
And level 't in the dust of causeless scandal.
But, to redeem a sacrilege so impious,
Humility shall pour, before the deities 35
I have incenst, a largess of more patience
Than their displeased altars can require:
No tempests of commotion shall disquiet
The calms of my composure.

                        Enter ORGILUS.

Org.                                   I have found thee,
Thou patron of more horrors than the bulk 40
Of manhood, hoop'd about with ribs of iron,
Can cram within thy breast: Penthea, Bas-
         sanes
Curst by thy jealousies, more, by thy dot-
         age,
Is left a prey to words.

Bass.                            Exercise
Your trials for addition to my penánce; 45
I am resolv'd.

Org.                Play not with misery
Past cure: some angry minister of fate hath
Depos'd the empress of her soul, her reason,
From its most proper throne; but, what's the
         miracle
More new, I, I have seen it, and yet live! 50

Bass. You may delude my senses, not my
         judgment;
'T is anchor'd into a firm resolution;
Dalliance of mirth or wit can ne'er unfix it:
Practise 1 yet further.

Org.                    May thy death of love to her
Damn all thy comforts to a lasting fast 55
From every joy of life! Thou barren rock,
By thee we have been split in ken 2 of harbour.

Enter ITHOCLES, PENTHEA her hair about her
    ears,
[ARMOSTES,]  PHILEMAand  CHRIS-
     TALLA
.

Ith. Sister, look up; your Ithocles, your
         brother,
Speaks t' ye; why do you weep? Dear, turn
         not from me.
Here is a killing sight; lo, Bassanes, 60
A lamentable object!

Org.                          Man, dost see't?
Sports are more gamesome; am I yet in merri-
         ment?
Why dost not laugh?

Bass.                         Divine and best of ladies,
Please to forget my outrage; mercy ever
Cannot but lodge under a roof so excellent. 65
I have cast off that cruelty of frenzy
Which once appear'd imposture, 3 and then
         juggled
To cheat my sleeps of rest.

Org.                                  Was I in earnest?

Pen. Sure, if we were all Sirens, we should
         sing pitifully.
And't were a comely music, when in parts 70
One sung another's knell. The turtle sighs
When he hath lost his mate; and yet some say
He must be dead first. 'T is a fine deceit
To pass away in a dream; indeed, I 've slept
With mine eyes open a great while. No false-
         hood 75
Equals a broken faith; there's not a hair
Sticks on my head but, like a leaden plum-
         met,
It sinks me to the grave. I must creep thither;
The journey is not long.

Ith.                    &nbsp:          But, thou, Penthea,
Hast many years, I hope, to number yet, 80
Ere thou canst travel that way.

Bass.                                     Let the sun first
Be wrapp'd up in an everlasting darkness,
Before the light of nature, chiefly form'd
For the whole world's delight, feel an eclipse
So universal!

Org.             Wisdom, look ye, begins 85
To rave! Art thou mad too, antiquity?

Pen. Since I was first a wife, I might have
         been
Mother to many pretty prattling babes;
They would have smil'd when I smil'd, and for
         certain
I should have cri'd when they cri'd: truly,
         brother, 90
My father would have pick'd me out a hus-
         band,
And then my little ones had been no bastards;
But 't is too late for me to marry now,
I am past child-bearing; 't is not my fault.

Bass. Fall on me, if there be a burning
         Aetna, 95
And bury me in flames! Sweats hot as sulphur
Boil through my pores! Affliction hath in store
No torture like to this.

Org.                            Behold a patience!
Lay by thy whining gray dissimulation,
Do something worth a chronicle; show justice
Upon the author of this mischief; dig out 101
The jealousies that hatch'd this thraldom first
With thine own poniard. Every antic rapture
Can roar as thine does.

Ith.                               Orgilus, forbear.

Bass. Disturb him not; it is a talking motion 4
Provided for my torment. What a fool am I 106
To bandy 5 passion! Ere I'll speak a word,
I will look on and burst.

Pen.               I lov'd you once. [To ORGILUS.]

Org. Thou didst, wrong'd creature: in de-
         spite of malice,
For it I love thee ever.

Pen.                            Spare your hand; 110
Believe me, I'll not hurt it.

Org.                                My 6 heart too.

____________________
1 Test me.
2 Sight.
3 Q. appear'd, Impostors.
4 Puppet.
5 Q. baudy.
6 Q. Paine my, and omits [Pen.] in next line.

790




[Pen.] Complain not though I wring it hard.
         I 'll kiss it;
O, 't is a fine soft palm! hark, in thine ear;
Like whom do I look, prithee? Nay, no
         whispering.
Goodness! we had been happy; too much hap-
         piness 115
Will make folk proud, they say but that is
he                               Points at ITHOCLES.
And yet he paid for 't home; alas, his heart
Is crept into the cabinet of the princess;
We shall have points 1 and bride-laces. Re-
         member,
When we last gather'd roses in the garden, 120
I found my wits; but truly you lost yours.
That 's he, and still 't is he.
                       [Again pointing at ITHOCLES.]

Ith.                                  Poor soul, how idly
Her fancies guide her tongue!

Bass. [Aside.]                     Keep in, vexation,
And break not into clamour.

Org. [Aside.]                    She has tutor'd me:
Some powerful inspiration checks my lazi-
         ness. 125
Now let me kiss your hand, griev'd beauty.

Pen.                                                Kiss it.
Alack, alack, his lips be wondrous cold.
Dear soul, h'as lost his colour: have ye seen
A straying heart? All crannies! every drop
Of blood is turned to an amethyst, 130
Which married bachelors hang in their ears.

Org. Peace usher her into Elysium!
If this be madness, madness is an oracle.  Exit.

Ith. Christalla, Philema, when slept my sister,
Her ravings are so wild?

Chris.                      Sir, not these ten days. 135

Phil. We watch by her continually; besides,
We can not any way pray her to eat.

Bass. O, misery of miseries!

Pen.                                    Take comfort;
You may live well, and die a good old man.
By yea and nay, an oath not to be broken, 140
If you had join'd our hands once in the
         temple,
'T was since my father died, for had he liv'd
He would have done 't, I must have call'd
         you father.
O, my wrack'd honour! ruin'd by those tyrants,
A cruel brother and a desperate dotage! 145
There is no peace left for a ravish'd wife
Widow'd by lawless marriage; to all memory
Penthea's, poor Penthea's name is strumpeted:
But since her blood was season'd by the forfeit
Of noble shame with mixtures of pollution, 150
Her blood 't is just be henceforth never
         height'ned
With taste of sustenance ! Starve; let that ful-
         ness
Whose plurisy 2 hath fever'd faith and mod-
         esty
Forgive me; O, I faint!
             [Falls into the arms of her Attendants.]

Arm.                            Be not so wilful,
Sweet niece, to work thine own destruction.

Ith.                                                  Nature 155
Will call her daughter monster! What ! not
         eat?
Refuse the only ordinary means
Which are ordain'd for life? Be not, my sister,
A murderess to thyself. Hear'st thou this,
Bassanes?

Bass. Foh! I am busy; for I have not
         thoughts 160
Enow to think: all shall be well anon.
'T is tumbling in my head; there is a mastery
In art to fatten and keep smooth the outside;
Yes, and to comfort up the vital spirits 164
Without the help of food, fumes or perfumes,
Perfumes or fumes. Let her alone; I 'll search
         out
The trick on 't.

Pen.          Lead me gently; heavens reward ye.
Griefs are sure friends; they leave without control
Nor cure nor comforts for a leprous soul.

                    Exeunt the maids supporting PEN-
                       THEA.

Bass. I grant ye; and will put in practice in-
         stantly 170
What you shall still admire: 't is wonderful,
'T is super-singular, not to be match'd;
Yet, when, I 've done 't, I 've done 't: ye shall
all thank me.                                              Exit.

Arm. The sight is full of terror.

Ith.                                          On my soul
Lies such an infinite clog of massy dulness, 175
As that I have not sense enough to feel it.
See, uncle, th' angry 3 thing returns again;
Shall 's welcome him with thunder? We are
         haunted,
And must use exorcism to conjure down
This spirit of malevolence.

Arm.                               Mildly, nephew. 180

         Enter NEARCHUS and AMELUS.

Near. I come not, sir, to chide your late dis-
         order,
Admitting that th' inurement to a roughness
In soldiers of your years and fortunes, chiefly,
So lately prosperous, hath not yet shook off
The custom of the war in hours of leisure; 185
Nor shall you need excuse, since y' are to ren-
         der
Account to that fair excellence, the princess,
Who in her private gallery expects it
From your own mouth alone: I am a messenger
But to her pleasure.

Ith.                         Excellent Nearchus, 190
Be prince still of my services, and conquer
Without the combat of dispute; I honour ye.

Near. The king is on a sudden indispos'd,
Physicians are call'd for; 't were fit, Armostes,
You should be near him.

Arm.                            Sir, I kiss your hands. 195

      Exeunt ITHOCLES and ARMOSTES.

Near. Amelus, I perceive Calantha's bosom
Is warm'd with other fires than such as can
Take strength from any fuel of the love
I might address to her. Young Ithocles,
Or ever I mistake, is lord ascendant 200

____________________
1 Tagged laces.
2 Excess.
3 Q. augury.

791





Of her devotions; one, to speak him truly,
In every disposition nobly fashioned.

Ame. But can your highness brook to be so
         rivall'd,
Considering the inequality of the persons? 204

Near. I can, Amelus; for affections injur'd
By tyranny or rigour of compulsion,
Like tempest-threat'ned trees unfirmly rooted,
Ne'er spring to timely growth: observe, for in-
         stance,
Life-spent Penthea and unhappy Orgilus.

Ame. How does your grace determine?

Near.                                    To be jealous 210
In public of what privately I'll further;
And though they shall not know, yet they shall
         find it.                                        Exeunt.


                  [SCENE III.] 1

Enter  HEMOPHIL  and  GRONEAS  leading  AMY-
    CLAS, and placing him in a chair;  followed by
   ARMOSTES   [with  a  box],   CROTOLON,   and
   PROPHILUS.

Amy. Our daughter is not near?

Arm.                                She is retir'd, sir.
Into her gallery.

Amy.           Where's the prince our cousin?

Pro.   New walk'd into the grove,  my lord.

Amy.                                       All leave us
Except Armostes, and you, Crotolon;
We would be private.

Pro.                    Health unto your majesty! 5

                 Exeunt PROPHILUS, HEMOPHIL,
                    and GRONEAS.

Amy. What! Tecnicus is gone?

Arm.                                He is to Delphos;
And to your royal hands presents this box.

Amy. Unseal it, good Armostes; therein lie
The secrets of the oracle; out with it:
                  [ARMOSTES takes out the scroll.]
Apollo live our patron! Read, Armostes. 10

Arm. [reads.] The plot in which the vine
         takes root
Begins to dry from head to foot;
The stock soon withering, want of sap
Doth cause to quail the budding grape;
But from the neighbouring elm a dew 15
Shall drop, and feed the plot anew.

Amy. That is the oracle : what exposition
Makes the philosopher?

Arm.                             This brief one only.
[Reads.]   The plot is Sparta, the dri'd vine the
         king;
The quailing grape his daughter; but the thing 20
Of most importance, not to be reveal'd
Is a near prince, the elm: the rest conceal'd.

                                                           TECNICUS.

Amy. Enough; although the opening of this
         riddle
Be but itself a riddle, yet we construe
How near our labouring age draws to a rest. 25
But must Calantha quail too? that young
         grape
Untimely budded! I could mourn for her;
Her tenderness hath yet deserve'd no rigour
So to be crost by fate.

Arm.                            You misapply, sir,
With favour let me speak it, what Apollo 30
Hath clouded in hid sense.  I here conjecture
Her marriage with some neighb'ring prince, the
         dew
Of which befriending elm shall ever strengthen
Your subjects with a sovereignty of power.

Crot. Besides, most gracious lord, the pith of
         oracles 35
Is to be then digested when th' events
Expound their truth, not brought as soon to
         light
As utter'd. Truth is child of Time; and herein
I find no scruple, rather cause of comfort,
With unity of kingdoms.

Amy.                                     May it prove so, 40
For weal of this dear nation! Where is
         Ithocles?
Armostes, Crotolon, when this wither'd vine
Of my frail carcass, on the funeral pile
Is fir'd into its ashes, let that young man
Be hedg'd about still with your cares and
         loves. 45
Much owe I to his worth, much to his service.
Let such as wait come in now.

Arm.                                                 All attend here!

Enter   CALANTHA,   ITHOCLES,   PROPHILUS,
    ORGILUS,   EUPHRANEA,   HEMOPHILand
    GRONEAS.

Cal. Dear sir! king! father!

Ith.                                              O my royal master!

Amy. Cleave not my heart, sweet twins of
         my life's solace,
With your forejudging fears; there is no
         physic 50
So cunningly restorative to cherish
The fall of age, or call back youth and vigour,
As your consents in duty. I will shake off
This languishing disease of time, to quicken
Fresh pleasures in these drooping hours of
         sadness. 55
Is fair Euphranea married yet to Prophilus?

Crot. This morning, gracious lord.

Org.                                         This very morning;
Which, with your highness' leave, you may ob-
         serve too.
Our sister looks, methinks, mirthful and
         sprightly,
As if her chaster fancy could already 60
Expound the riddle of her gain in losing
A trifle maids know only that they know not.
Pish! prithee, blush not; 'tis but honest
         change
Of fashion in the garment, loose for strait,
And so the modest maid is made a wife. 65
Shrewd business is 't not, sister?

Euph.                                              You are pleasant.

Amy. We thank thee, Orgilus; this mirth be-
         comes thee.
But wherefore sits the court in such a silence?
A wedding without revels is not seemly.

Cal. Your late indisposition, Sir, forbade
         it. 70

Amy. Be it thy charge, Calantha, to set forward
The bridal sports, to which I will be present;

____________________
1 An apartment in the palace.

792




If not, at least consenting. Mine own Ithocles,
I have done little for thee yet.

Ith.                                                   Y' have built me
To the full height I stand in.

Cal. [Aside.]                      Now or never! 75
May I propose a suit?

Amy.                                     Demand, and have it.

Cal. Pray, sir, give me this young man, and
         no further
Account him yours than he deserves in all
         things
To be thought worth mine: I will esteem him
According to his merit.

Amy.                      Still thou 'rt my daughter, 80
Still grow'st upon my heart. [To ITHOCLES.]
Give me thine hand;
Calantha, take thine own: in noble actions
Thou 'lt find him firm and absolute. I would not
Have parted with thee, Ithocles, to any
But to a mistress who is all what I am. 85

Ith. A change, great king, most wisht for, 'cause the same.

Cal. [Aside to ITHOCLES.] Th' art mine. Have
I now kept my word?

Ith. [Aside to CALANTHA.]   Divinely.

Org. Rich fortunes guard, [the] 1 favour of a
         princess
Rock thee, brave man, in ever-crowned plenty!
Y' are minion of the time; be thankful for
         it. 90
[Aside.] Ho! here 's a swing in destiny ap-
         parent!
The youth is up on tiptoe, yet may stumble.

Amy. On to your recreations. Now convey
         me
Unto my bed-chamber: none on his forehead
Wear a distempered look.

All.                                     The gods preserve ye! 95

Cal. [Aside to ITHOCLES.] Sweet, be not from
         my sight.

Ith. [Aside to CALANTHA.] My whole felicity!

             Exeunt carrying out the king. ORGI-
                     LUS stays ITHOCLES.

Org. Shall I be bold, my lord?

Ith.                                       Thou canst not, Orgilus.
Call me thine own; for Prophilus must hence-
         forth
Be all thy sister's: friendship, though it cease
         not 100
In marriage, yet is oft at less command
Than when a single freedom can dispose it.

Org. Most right, my most good lord, my most
         great lord,
My gracious princely lord, I might add, royal.

Ith. Royal! A subject royal?

Org.                               Why not, pray, sir? 105
The sovereignty of kingdoms in their nonage
Stoop'd to desert, not birth; there 's as much
         merit
In clearness of affection as in puddle
Of generation: you have conquer'd love
Even in the loveliest; if I greatly err not, 110
The son of Venus hath bequeath'd his quiver
To Ithocles his manage,2 by whose arrows
Calantha's breast is open'd.

Ith.                                              Can't be possible?

Org.  I was myself a piece of suitor once
And forward in preferment too; so forward 115
That, speaking truth, I may without offence,
         sir,
Presume to whisper that my hopes, and hark
         ye
My certainty of marriage stood assured
With as firm footing by your leave as
         any's
Now at this very instant but

Ith.                                                                'T is granted: 120
And for a league of privacy between us,
Read o'er my bosom and partake a secret;
The princess is contracted mine.

Org.                                                       Still, why not?
I now applaud her wisdom: when your king-
         dom
Stands seated in your will, secure and settled, 125
I dare pronounce you will be a just monarch;
Greece must admire and tremble.

Ith.                                              Then the sweetness
Of so imparadis'd a comfort, Orgilus!
It is to banquet with the gods.

Org.                                                      The glory
Of numerous children, potency of nobles, 130
Bent knees, hearts pav'd to tread on!

Ith.                                                With a friendship
So dear, so fast as thine.

Org.                                         I am unfitting
For office; but for service

Ith.                                                  We 'll distinguish
Our fortunes merely in the title; partners
In all respects else but the bed.

Org.                                                       The bed! 135
Forfend it Jove's own jealousy! till lastly
We slip down in the common earth together,
And there our beds are equal; save some mon-
         ument
To show this was the king, and this the sub-
ject.                                                   Soft sad music.
List, what sad sounds are these, extremely
         sad ones? 140

Ith. Sure, from Penthea's lodgings.

Org.                                          Hark! a voice too.

                  A SONG [within].

         O, no more, no more, too late
             Sighs are spent; the burning tapers
         Of a life as chaste as fate,
             Pure as are unwritten papers,
         Are burnt out: no heat, no light
         Now remains; 't is ever night.

         Love is dead; let lovers' eyes,
             Lock'd in endless dreams,
            Th' extremes of all extremes, 150
         Ope no more, for now Love dies,
             Now Love dies, implying
         Love's martyrs must be ever, ever dying.

Ith. O, my misgiving heart!

Org.    &nb