This HTML etext of Robert Greene's "The Scottish History of James the Fourth" (1598) was created in July 2006 by Anniina Jokinen of Luminarium. The text is unaltered.
Greene, Robert. "The Scottish History of James the Fourth."
The Dramatic and Poetical Works of Robert Greene and George Peele.
Alexander Dyce, ed. London: Routledge, 1861. 187-224.
THE SCOTTISH HISTORY OF JAMES THE FOURTH
KING OF ENGLAND.
KING OF SCOTS.
BISHOP OF ST. ANDREWS.
SIR CUTHBERT ANDERSON.
SLIPPER, } sons to BOHAN.
NANO, a dwarf, } sons to BOHAN.
Purveyor, Herald, Scout, Huntsmen, Soldiers, Revellers, &c.
DOROTHEA, Queen of Scots.
COUNTESS OF ARRAN.
IDA, her daughter.
OBERON, King of Fairies.
Antics, Fairies, &c.
Music playing within, enter ASTER OBERON, King of Fairies; and Antics,
who dance about a tomb placed conveniently on the stage; out of the which
suddenly starts up, as they dance, BOHAN, a Scot, attired like a ridstall
man, from whom the Antics fly. OBERON manet.
Boh. Ay say, what's thou?
Ober. Thy friend, Bohan.
Boh. What wot I or reck I that? Whay, guid man, I reck no friend nor ay
reck no foe; als ene to me. Git thee ganging, and trouble not may whayet, or ays
gar thee recon me nene of thay friend, by the Mary mass, sall I.
Ober. Why, angry Scot, I visit thee for love; then what moves thee to
Boh. The deil a whit reck I thy love; for I know too well that true
love took her flight twenty winter sence to heaven, whither till ay can, weel I
wot, ay sal ne'er find love: an thou lovest me, leave me to myself. But what
were those puppets that hopped and skipped about me year whayle?
Ober. My subjects.
Boh. Thay subjects! whay, art thou a king?
Ober. I am.
Boh. The deil thou art! whay, thou lookest not so big as the King of
Clubs, nor so sharp as the King of Spades, nor so fain as the King o' Daymonds:
be the mass, ay take thee to be the king of false hearts; therefore I rid thee
away, or ayse so curry your kingdom that you's be glad to run to save your life.
Ober. Why, stoical Scot, do what thou darest to me: here is my breast,
Boh. Thou wilt not threap me, this whinyard has gard many better men to
lope than thou? [Tries to draw his sword.] But how now! Gos sayds, what,
will't not out? Whay, thou witch, thou deil! Gad's fute, may whinyard!
Ober. Why, pull, man: but what an 'twere out, how then?
Boh. This, then,—thou weart best be gone first; for ay'l so lop
thy limbs that thou's go with half a knave's carcass to the deil.
Ober. Draw it out: now strike, fool, canst thou not?
Boh. Bread ay gad, what deil is in me? Whay, tell me, thou skipjack,
what art thou?
Ober. Nay, first tell me what thou wast from thy birth, what thou hast
passed hitherto, why thou dwellest in a tomb and leavest the world? and then I
will release thee of these bonds; before, not.
Boh. And not before! then needs must, needs sall. I was born a
gentleman of the best blood in all Scotland, except the king. When time brought
me to age, and death took my parents, I became a courtier; where, though ay list
not praise myself, ay engraved the memory of Bohan on the skin-coat of some of
them, and revelled with the proudest.
Ober. But why, living in such reputation, didst thou leave to be a
Boh. Because my pride was vanity, my expense loss, my reward fair words
and large promises, and my hopes spilt, for that after many years' service one
outran me; and what the deil should I then do there? No, no; flattering knaves,
that can cog and prate fastest, speed best in the court.
Ober. To what life didst thou then betake thee?
Boh. I then changed the court for the country, and the wars for a wife:
but I found the craft of swains more vile than the knavery of courtiers, the
charge of children more heavy than servants, and wives' tongues worse than the
wars itself; and therefore I gave o'er that, and went to the city to dwell; and
there I kept a great house with small cheer, but all was ne'er the near.
Ober. And why?
Boh. Because, in seeking friends, I found tableguests to eat me and my
meat, my wife's gossips to bewray the secrets of my heart, kindred to betray the
effect of my life: which when I noted, the court ill, the country worse, and the
city worst of all, in good time my wife died,—ay would she had died twenty
winter sooner, by the mass!—leaving my two sons to the world, and shutting
myself into this tomb, where if I die I am sure I am safe from wild beasts, but
whilst I live cannot be free from ill company. Besides, now I am sure, gif all
my friends fail me, I sall have a grave of mine own providing. This is all. Now,
what art thou?
Ober. Oberon, King of Fairies, that loves thee because thou hatest the
world; and to gratulate thee, I brought these antics to show thee some sport in
dancing, which thou hast loved well.
Boh. Ha, ha, ha! Thinkest thou those puppets can please me? whay, I
have two sons, that with one Scottish jig shall break the neck of thy antics.
Ober. That would I fain see.
Boh. Why, thou shalt.—Ho, boys!
Enter SLIPPER and NANO.
Haud your clacks, lads, trattle not for thy life, but gather up your legs, and
dance me forthwith a jig worth the sight.
Slip. Why, I must talk, an I die for't: wherefore was my tongue made?
Boh. Prattle, an thou darest, ene word more, and ais dab this whinyard
in thy wemb.
Ober. Be quiet, Bohan. I'll strike him dumb, and his brother too: their
talk shall not hinder our jig.—Fall to it; dance, I say, man.
Boh. Dance Humer, dance, ay rid thee.
[The two dance a jig devised for the nonst.
Now get you to the wide world with more than my father gave me, that's learning
enough both kinds, knavery and honesty; and that I gave you, spend at pleasure.
Ober. Nay, for their sport I will give them this gift: to the dwarf I
give a quick wit, pretty of body, and awarrant his preferment to a prince's
service, where by his wisdom he shall gain more love than common; and to
loggerhead your son I give a wandering life, and promise he shall never lack,
and avow, if in all distresses he call upon me, to help him. Now let them go.
[Exeunt SLIPPER and NANO with courtesies.
Boh. Now, king, if thou be a king, I will show thee whay I hate the world
by demonstration. In the year fifteen hundred and twenty, was in Scotland a
king, over-ruled with parasites, misled by lust, and many circumstances too long
to trattle on now, much like our court of Scotland this day. That story have I
set down. Gang with me to the gallery, and I'll show thee the same in action by
guid fellows of our countrymen; and then when thou see'st that, judge if any
wise man would not leave the world if he could.
Ober. That will I see: lead, and I'll follow thee.
Laus Deo detur in œternum.
Enter the KING OF ENGLAND, the KING OF SCOTS, QUEEN DOROTHEA, the
COUNTESS OF ARRAN, IDA, and Lords; and ATEUKIN aloof.
K. of Scots. Brother of England, since our neighbouring land[s]
And near alliance do invite our loves,
The more I think upon our last accord,
The more I grieve your sudden parting hence.
First, laws of friendship did confirm our peace,
Now both the seal of faith and marriage-bed,
The name of father, and the style of friend;
These force in me affection full confirm'd;
So that I grieve—and this my hearty grief
The heavens record, the world may witness well—
To lose your presence, who are now to me
A father, brother, and a vowèd friend.
K. of Eng. Link all these lovely styles, good king, in one:
And since thy grief exceeds in my depart,
I leave my Dorothea to enjoy
Thy whole compact [of] loves and plighted vows.
Brother of Scotland, this is my joy, my life,
Her father's honour, and her country's hope,
Her mother's comfort, and her husband's bliss:
I tell thee, king, in loving of my Doll,
Thou bind'st her father's heart, and all his friends,
In bands of love that death can not dissolve.
K. of Scots. Nor can her father love her like to me,
My life's light, and the comfort of my soul.—
Fair Dorothea, that wast England's pride,
Welcome to Scotland; and, in sign of love,
Lo, I invest thee with the Scottish crown.—
Nobles and ladies, stoop unto your queen,
And trumpets sound, that heralds may proclaim
Fair Dorothea peerless Queen of Scots.
All. Long live and prosper our fair Queen of Scots!
[They install and crown her.
Q. Dor. Thanks to the king of kings for my dignity;
Thanks to my father that provides so carefully;
Thanks to my lord and husband for this honour;
And thanks to all that love their king and me.
All. Long live fair Dorothea, our true queen!
K. of Eng. Long shine the sun of Scotland in her pride,
Her father's comfort, and fair Scotland's bride!
But, Dorothea, since I must depart,
And leave thee from thy tender mother's charge,
Let me advise my lovely daughter first
What best befits her in a foreign land.
Live, Doll, for many eyes shall look on thee,
With care of honour and the present state;
For she that steps to height of majesty
Is even the mark whereat the enemy aims:
Thy virtues shall be construèd to vice,
Thine affable discourse to abject mind;
If coy, detracting tongues will call thee proud.
Be therefore wary in this slippery state:
Honour thy husband, love him as thy life,
Make choice of friends, as eagles of their young,
Who soothe no vice, who flatter not for gain,
But love such friends as do the truth maintain.
Think on these lessons when thou art alone,
And thou shalt live in health when I am gone.
Q. Dor. I will engrave these precepts in my heart:
And as the wind with calmness wooes you hence,
Even so I wish the heavens in all mishaps
May bless my father with continual grace.
K. of Eng. Then, son, farewell:
The favouring winds invite us to depart.
Long circumstance in taking princely leaves
Is more officious than convenient.
Brother of Scotland, love me in my child;
You greet me well, if so you will her good.
K. of Scots. Then, lovely Doll, and all that favour me,
Attend to see our English friends at sea:
Let all their charge depend upon my purse:
They are our neighbours, by whose kind accord
We dare attempt the proudest potentate.
Only, fair countess, and your daughter, stay;
With you I have some other thing to say.
[Exeunt, in all royalty, the KING OF ENGLAND, QUEEN DOROTHEA, and Lords.
[Aside.] So let them triumph that have cause to joy:
But, wretched king, thy nuptial knot is death,
Thy bride the breeder of thy country's ill;
For thy false heart dissenting from thy hand,
Misled by love, hath made another choice,
Another choice, even when thou vow'd'st thy soul
To Dorothea, England's choicest pride:
O, then thy wandering eyes bewitch'd thy heart!
Even in the chapel did thy fancy change,
When, perjur'd man, though fair Doll had thy hand,
The Scottish Ida's beauty stale thy heart:
Yet fear and love have tied thy ready tongue
From blabbing forth the passions of thy mind,
'Less fearful silence have in subtle looks
Bewray'd the treason of my new-vow'd love.
Be fair and lovely, Doll; but here's the prize,
That lodgeth here, and enter'd through mine eyes:
Yet, howsoe'er I love, I must be wise.—
Now, lovely countess, what reward or grace
May I employ on you for this your zeal,
And humble honours, done us in our court,
In entertainment of the English king?
Count. of A. It was of duty, prince, that I have done;
And what in favour may content me most,
Is, that it please your grace to give me leave
For to return unto my country-home.
K. of Scots. But, lovely Ida, is your mind the same?
Ida. I count of court, my lord, as wise men do,
'Tis fit for those that know what 'longs thereto:
Each person to his place; the wise to art,
The cobbler to his clout, the swain to cart.
K. of Scots. But, Ida, you are fair, and beauty shines,
And seemeth best, where pomp her pride refines.
Ida. If beauty, as I know there's none in me,
Were sworn my love, and I his life should be,
The farther from the court I were remov'd,
The more, I think, of heaven I were belov'd.
K. of Scots. And why?
Ida. Because the court is counted Venus' net,
Where gifts and vows for stales are often set:
None, be she chaste as Vesta, but shall meet
A curious tongue to charm her ears with sweet.
K. of Scots. Why, Ida, then I see you set at naught
The force of love.
Ida. In sooth, this is my thought,
Most gracious king,—that they that little prove,
Are mickle blest from bitter sweets of love.
And weel I wot, I heard a shepherd sing,
That, like a bee, Love hath a little sting:
He lurks in flowers, he percheth on the trees,
He on kings' pillows bends his pretty knees;
The boy is blind, but when he will not spy,
He hath a leaden foot and wings to fly:
Beshrew me yet, for all these strange effects,
If I would like the lad that so infects.
K. of Scots. [aside.] Rare wit, fair face, what heart could more
But Doll is fair and doth concern thee near:
Let Doll be fair, she is won; but I must woo
And win fair Ida, there's some choice in two.—
But, Ida, thou art coy.
Ida. And why, dread king?
K. of Scots. In that you will dispraise so sweet a thing
As love. Had I my wish—
Ida. What then?
K. of Scots. Then would I place
His arrow here, his beauty in that face.
Ida. And were Apollo mov'd and rul'd by me,
His wisdom should be yours, and mine his tree.
K. of Scots. But here returns our train.
Re-enter QUEEN DOROTHEA and Lords.
Welcome, fair Doll:
How fares our father? is he shipp'd and gone?
Q. Dor. My royal father is both shipp'd and gone:
God and fair winds direct him to his home!
K. of Scots. Amen, say I.—[Aside.] Would thou wert with him
Then might I have a fitter time to woo.—
But, countess, you would be gone, therefore, farewell,—
Yet, Ida, if thou wilt, stay thou behind
To accompany my queen:
But if thou like the pleasures of the court,—
Or if she lik'd me, though she left the court,—
What should I say? I know not what to say.—
You may depart:—and you, my courteous queen,
Leave me a space; I have a weighty cause
To think upon:—Ida, it nips me near;
It came from thence, I feel it burning here.
[Exeunt all except the KING OF SCOTS and ATEUKIN.
Now am I free from sight of common eye,
Where to myself I may disclose the grief
That hath too great a part in mine affects.
Ateu. [aside.] And now is my time by wiles and words to rise,
Greater than those that think themselves more wise.
K. of Scots. And first, fond king, thy honour doth engrave
Upon thy brows the drift of thy disgrace.
Thy new-vow'd love, in sight of God and men,
Links thee to Dorothea during life;
For who more fair and virtuous than thy wife?
Deceitful murderer of a quiet mind,
Fond love, vile lust, that thus misleads us men,
To vow our faiths, and fall to sin again!
But kings stoop not to every common thought:
Ida is fair and wise, fit for a king;
And for fair Ida will I hazard life,
Venture my kingdom, country, and my crown:
Such fire hath love to burn a kingdom down.
Say Doll dislikes that I estrange my love;
Am I obedient to a woman's look?
Nay, say her father frown when he shall hear
That I do hold fair Ida's love so dear;
Let father frown and fret, and fret and die,
Nor earth nor heaven shall part my love and I.
Yea, they shall part us, but we first must meet,
And woo and win, and yet the world not see't.
Yea, there's the wound, and wounded with that thought,
So let me die, for all my drift is naught.
Ateu. [coming forward.] Most gracious and imperial majesty,—
[Aside.] A little flattery more were but too much.
K. of Scots. Villain, what art thou
That thus dar'st interrupt a prince's secrets?
Ateu. Dread king, thy vassal is a man of art,
Who knows, by constellation of the stars,
By oppositions and by dry aspécts,
The things are past and those that are to come.
K. of Scots. But where's thy warrant to approach my presence?
Ateu. My zeal, and ruth to see your grace's wrong,
Make me lament I did detract so long.
K. of Scots. If thou know'st thoughts, tell me, what mean I now?
Ateu. I'll calculate the cause
Of those your highness' smiles, and tell your thoughts.
K. of Scots. But lest thou spend thy time in idleness,
And miss the matter that my mind aims at, Tell me,
What star was opposite when that was thought?
[Strikes him on the ear.
Ateu. 'Tis inconvenient, mighty potentate,
Whose looks resemble Jove in majesty,
To scorn the sooth of science with contempt.
I see in those imperial looks of yours
The whole discourse of love: Saturn combust,
With direful looks, at your nativity,
Beheld fair Venus in her silver orb:
I know, by certain axioms I have read,
Your grace's griefs, and further can express
Her name that holds you thus in fancy's bands.
K. of Scots. Thou talkest wonders.
Ateu. Naught but truth, O king.
'Tis Ida is the mistress of your heart,
Whose youth must take impression of affects;
For tender twigs will bow, and milder minds
Will yield to fancy, be they follow'd well.
K. of Scots. What god art thou, compos'd in human shape,
Or bold Trophonius, to decide our doubts?
How know'st thou this?
Ateu. Even as I know the means
To work your grace's freedom and your love.
Had I the mind, as many courtiers have,
To creep into your bosom for your coin,
And beg rewards for every cap and knee,
I then would say, "If that your grace would give
This lease, this manor, or this patent seal'd,
For this or that I would effect your love:"
But Ateukin is no parasite, O prince.
I know your grace knows scholars are but poor;
And therefore, as I blush to beg a fee,
Your mightiness is so magnificent,
You cannot choose but cast some gift apart,
To ease my bashful need that cannot beg.
As for your love, O, might I be employ'd,
How faithfully would Ateukin compass it!
But princes rather trust a smoothing tongue,
Than men of art that can accept the time.
K. of Scots. Ateukin, if so thy name, for so thou say'st,
Thine art appears in entrance of my love;
And since I deem thy wisdom match'd with truth,
I will exalt thee, and thyself alone
Shalt be the agent to dissolve my grief.
Sooth is, I love, and Ida is my love;
But my new marriage nips me near, Ateukin,
For Dorothea may not brook th' abuse.
Ateu. These lets are but as motes against the sun,
Yet not so great; like dust before the wind,
Yet not so light. Tut, pacify your grace:
You have the sword and sceptre in your hand;
You are the king, the state depends on you;
Your will is law. Say that the case were mine:
Were she my sister whom your highness loves,
She should consent, for that our lives, our goods,
Depend on you; and if your queen repine,
Although my nature cannot brook of blood,
And scholars grieve to hear of murderous deeds,
But if the lamb should let the lion's way,
By my advice the lamb should lose her life.
Thus am I bold to speak unto your grace,
Who am too base to kiss your royal feet,
For I am poor, nor have I land nor rent,
Nor countenance here in court, but for my love,
Your grace shall find none such within the realm.
K. of Scots. Wilt thou effect my love? shall she be mine?
Ateu. I'll gather moly, crocus, and the herbs
That heal the wounds of body and the mind;
I'll set out charms and spells, naught shall be left
To tame the wanton if she shall rebel:
Give me but tokens of your highness' trust.
K. of Scots. Thou shalt have gold, honour, and wealth enough;
Win my love, and I will make thee great.
Ateu. These words do make me rich, most noble prince;
I am more proud of them than any wealth.
Did not your grace suppose I flatter you,
Believe me, I would boldly publish this;—
Was never eye that saw a sweeter face,
Nor never ear that heard a deeper wit:
O God, how I am ravish'd in your worth!
K. of Scots. Ateukin, follow me; love must have ease.
Ateu. I'll kiss your highness' feet, march when you please.
Enter SLIPPER, NANO, and ANDREW, with their bills, ready written, in
And. Stand back, sir; mine shall stand highest.
Slip. Come under mine arm, sir, or get a foot-stool; or else, by the
light of the moon, I must come to it.
Nano. Agree, my masters; every man to his height: though I stand
lowest, I hope to get the best master.
And. Ere I will stoop to a thistle, I will change turns; as good luck
comes on the right hand as the left: here's for me, and me, and mine. [They
set up their bills.] But tell me, fellows, till better occasion come, do you
Slip. } We do.
Nano. } We do.
And. But what can you do worthy preferment?
Nano. Marry, I can smell a knave from a rat.
Slip. And I can lick a dish before a cat.
And. And I can find two fools unsought,—how like you that?
But, in earnest, now tell me of what trades are you two?
Slip. How mean you that, sir, of what trade? Marry, I'll tell you, I
have many trades: the honest trade when I needs must; the filching trade when
time serves; the cozening trade as I find occasion. And I have more qualities: I
cannot abide a full cup unkissed, a fat capon uncarved, a full purse unpicked,
nor a fool to prove a justice as you do.
And. Why, sot, why callest thou me fool?
Nano. For examining wiser than thyself.
And. So do many more than I in Scotland.
Nano. Yea, those are such as have more authority than wit, and more
wealth than honesty.
Slip. This is my little brother with the great wit; 'ware him!—But
what canst thou do, tell me, that art so inquisitive of us?
And. Any thing that concerns a gentleman to do, that can I do.
Slip. So you are of the gentle trade?
Slip. Then, gentle sir, leave us to ourselves, for here comes one as if
he would lack a servant ere he went.
[ANDREW stands aside.
Ateu. Why, so, Ateukin, this becomes thee best,
Wealth, honour, ease, and angels in thy chest:
Now may I say, as many often sing,
"No fishing to the sea, nor service to a king."
Unto this high promotion doth belong
Means to be talk'd of in the thickest throng.
And first, to fit the humours of my lord,
Sweet lays and lines of love I must record;
And such sweet lines and love-lays I'll indite,
As men may wish for, and my liege delight:
And next a train of gallants at my heels,
That men may say, the world doth run on wheels;
For men of art, that rise by indirection
To honour and the favour of their king,
Must use all means to save what they have got,
And win their favours whom they never knew.
If any frown to see my fortunes such,
A man must bear a little, not too much.
But, in good time, these bills portend, I think,
That some good fellows do for service seek.
If any gentleman, spiritual or temporal, will entertain out of his service
a young stripling of the age of thirty years, that can sleep with the soundest,
eat with the hungriest, work with the sickest, lie with the loudest, face with
the proudest, &c., that can wait in a gentleman's chamber when his master is a
mile off, keep his stable when 'tis empty, and his purse when 'tis full, and
hath many qualities worse than all these,—let him write his name and go his
way, and attendance shall be given.
By my faith, a good servant: which is he?
Slip. Truly, sir, that am I.
Ateu. And why dost thou write such a bill? are all these qualities in
Slip. O Lord, ay, sir, and a great many more, some better, some worse,
some richer, some poorer. Why, sir, do you look so? do they not please you?
Ateu. Truly, no, for they are naught, and so art thou: if thou hast no
better qualities, stand by.
Slip. O, sir, I tell the worst first; but, an you lack a man, I am for
you: I'll tell you the best qualities I have.
Ateu. Be brief, then.
Slip. If you need me in your chamber, I can keep the door at a whistle;
in your kitchen, turn the spit, and lick the pan, and make the fire burn; but if
in the stable,—
Ateu. Yea, there would I use thee.
Slip. Why, there you kill me, there am I, and turn me to a horse and a
wench, and I have no peer.
Ateu. Art thou so good in keeping a horse? I pray thee tell me how many
good qualities hath a horse?
Slip. Why, so, sir: a horse hath two properties of a man, that is, a
proud heart and a hardy stomach; four properties of a lion, a broad breast, a
stiff docket,—hold your nose, master,—a wild countenance, and four
good legs; nine properties of a fox, nine of a hare, nine of an ass, and ten of
Ateu. A woman! why, what properties of a woman hath a horse?
Slip. O, master, know you not that? draw your tables, and write what
wise I speak. First, a merry countenance; second, a soft pace; third, a broad
forehead; fourth, broad buttocks; fifth, hard of ward; sixth, easy to leap upon;
seventh, good at long journey; eighth, moving under a man; ninth, alway busy
with the mouth; tenth, ever chewing on the bridle.
Ateu. Thou art a man for me: what's thy name?
Slip. An ancient name, sir, belonging to the chamber and the night-
gown: guess you that.
Ateu. What's that? Slipper?
Slip. By my faith, well guessed; and so 'tis indeed. You'll be my
Ateu. I mean so.
Slip. Read this first.
Ateu. [reads.] Pleaseth it any gentleman to entertain a servant
of more wit than stature, let them subscribe, and attendance shall be given.
What of this?
Slip. He is my brother, sir; and we two were born together, must serve
together, and will die together, though we be both hanged.
Ateu. What's thy name?
Ateu. The etymology of which word is a dwarf. Art not thou the old
stoic's son that dwells in his tomb?
Slip. } We are.
Nano. } We are.
Ateu. Thou art welcome to me. Wilt thou give thyself wholly to be at my
Nano. In all humility I submit myself.
Ateu. Then will I deck thee princely, instruct thee courtly, and
present thee to the queen as my gift: art thou content?
Nano. Yes, and thank your honour too.
Slip. Then welcome, brother, and fellow now.
And. [coming forward.] May it please your honour to abase your eye
so low as to look either on my bill or myself?
Ateu. What are you?
And. By birth a gentleman; in profession a scholar; and one that knew
your honour in Edinburgh, before your worthiness called you to this reputation:
by me, Andrew Snoord.
Ateu. Andrew, I remember thee: follow me, and we will confer further,
for my weighty affairs for the king command me to be brief at this
time.—Come on, Nano.—Slipper, follow.
Enter SIR BARTRAM, with EUSTACE, and others, booted.
Sir Bar. But tell me, lovely Eustace, as thou lov'st me,
Among the many pleasures we have pass'd,
Which is the rifest in thy memory,
To draw thee over to thine ancient friend?
Eust. What makes Sir Bartram thus inquisitive?
Tell me, good knight, am I welcóme or no?
Sir Bar. By sweet Saint Andrew and may sale I swear,
As welcome is my honest Dick to me
As morning's sun, or as the watery moon
In merkest night, when we the borders track.
I tell thee, Dick, thy sight hath clear'd my thoughts
Of many baneful troubles that there woon'd:
Welcome to Sir Bartram as his life!
Tell me, bonny Dick, hast got a wife?
Eust. A wife! God shield, Sir Bartram, that were ill,
To leave my wife and wander thus astray:
But time and good advice, ere many years,
May chance to make my fancy bend that way.
What news in Scotland? therefore came I hither,
To see your country and to chat together.
Sir Bar. Why, man, our country's blithe, our king is well,
Our queen so-so, the nobles well and worse,
And weel are they that are about the king,
But better are the country gentlemen:
And I may tell thee, Eustace, in our lives
We old men never saw so wondrous change.
But leave this trattle, and tell me what news
In lovely England with our honest friends?
Eust. The king, the court, and all our noble friends
Are well; and God in mercy keep them so!
The northern lords and ladies hereabouts,
That know I come to see your queen and court,
Commend them to my honest friend Sir Bartram,
And many others that I have not seen.
Amongst the rest, the Countess Elinor,
From Carlisle, where we merry oft have been,
Greets well my lord, and hath directed me
By message this fair lady's face to see.
[Shows a portrait.
Sir Bar. I tell thee, Eustace, 'less mine old eyes daze,
This is our Scottish moon and evening's pride;
This is the blemish of your English bride.
Who sail by her are sure of wind at will;
Her face is dangerous, her sight is ill;
And yet, in sooth, sweet Dick, it may be said,
The king hath folly, there's virtue in the maid.
Eust. But knows my friend this portrait? be advis'd.
Sir Bar. Is it not Ida, the Countess of Arran's daughter's?
Eust. So was I told by Elinor of Carlisle:
But tell me, lovely Bartram, is the maid
Evil-inclin'd, misled, or concubine
Unto the king or any other lord?
Sir Bar. Should I be brief and true, then thus, my Dick.
All England's grounds yield not a blither lass,
Nor Europe can surpass her for her gifts
Of virtue, honour, beauty, and the rest:
But our fond king, not knowing sin in lust,
Makes love by endless means and precious gifts;
And men that see it dare not say't, my friend,
But we may wish that it were otherwise.
But I rid thee to view the picture still,
For by the person's sight there hangs some ill.
Eust. O, good Sir Bartram, you suspect I love
(Then were I mad) her whom I never saw.
But howsoe'er, I fear not enticings;
Desire will give no place unto a king:
I'll see her whom the world admires so much,
That I may say with them, "There lives none such."
Sir Bar. Be gad, and sall both see and talk with her;
And when thou'st done, whate'er her beauty be,
I'll warrant thee her virtues may compare
With the proudest she that waits upon your queen.
Serv. My lady entreats your worship in to supper.
Sir Bar. Guid, bonny Dick, my wife will tell thee more:
Was never no man in her book before;
Be gad, she's blithe, fair, lewely, bonny, &c.
Enter BOHAN and OBERON after the first act; to them a round of
Fairies, or some pretty dance.
Boh. Be gad, gramercies, little king, for this;
This sport is better in my exile life
Than ever the deceitful werld could yield.
Ober. I tell thee, Bohan, Oberon is king
Of quiet, pleasure, profit, and content,
Of wealth, of honour, and of all the world;
Tied to no place, yet all are tied to me.
Live thou this life, exil'd from world and men,
And I will show thee wonders ere we part.
Boh. Then mark my story, and the strange doubts
That follow flatterers, lust, and lawless will,
And then say I have reason to forsake
The world and all that are within the same.
Go shroud us in our harbour, where we'll see
The pride of folly, as it ought to be.
After the first Act.
Ober. Here see I good fond actions in thy jig,
And means to paint the world's inconstant ways:
But turn thine ene, see what I can command.
Enter two battles, strongly fighting, the one led by SEMIRAMIS, the other
by STABROBATES: she flies, and her crown is taken, and she hurt.
Boh. What gars this din of mirk and baleful harm,
Where every wean is all betaint with blood?
Ober. This shows thee, Bohan, what is worldly pomp:
Semiramis, the proud Assyrian queen,
When Ninus died, did levy in her wars
Three millions of footmen to the fight,
Five hundred thousand horse, of armèd cars
A hundred thousand more, yet in her pride
Was hurt and conquer'd by Stabrobates.
Then what is pomp?
Boh. I see thou art thine ene,
Thou bonny king, if princes fall from high:
My fall is past, until I fall to die.
Now mark my talk, and prosecute my jig.
Ober. How should these crafts withdraw thee from the world!
But look, my Bohan, pomp allureth.
Enter CYRUS, kings humbling themselves; himself crowned by Olive Pat: at
last dying, laid in a marble tomb with this inscription:
"Whoso thou be that passest [by],
For I know one shall pass, know I
Am Cyrus of Persia, and I pray
Leave me not thus like a clod of clay
Wherewith my body is coverèd."
Enter the King in great pomp, who reads it, and issueth, crying "Ver
Boh. What meaneth this?
Ober. Cyrus of Persia,
Mighty in life, within a marble grave
Was laid to rot; whom Alexander once
Beheld entomb'd, and weeping did confess,
Nothing in life could scape from wretchedness:
Why, then, boast men?
Boh. What reck I, then, of life,
Who make the grave my home, the earth my wife?
Ober. But mark me more.
Boh. I can no more; my patience will not warp
To see these flatterers how they scorn and carp.
Ober. Turn but thy head.
Enter [f]our Kings carrying crowns, Ladies presenting odours
to Potentate enthroned, who suddenly is slain by his Servants and thrust
out; and so they eat.
Boh. Sike is the werld; but whilk is he I saw?
Ober. Sesostris, who was conqueror of the world,
Slain at the last and stamp'd on by his slaves.
Boh. How blest are peur men, then, that know their graves!
Now mark the sequel of my jig;
An he weel meet ends. The mirk and sable night
Doth leave the peering morn to pry abroad;
Thou nill me stay: hail, then, thou pride of kings?
I ken the world, and wot well worldly things.
Mark thou my jig, in mirkest terms that tells
The loath of sins and where corruption dwells.
Hail me ne mere with shows of guidly sights;
My grave is mine, that rids me from despites;
Accept my jig, guid king, and let me rest;
The grave with guid men is a gay-built nest
Ober. The rising sun doth call me hence away
Thanks for thy jig, I may no longer stay
But if my train did wake thee from thy rest.
So shall they sing thy lullaby to nest.
The COUNTESS OF ARRAN and IDA discovered in their porch, sitting at
work: a Servant attending.
Count. of A. Fair Ida, might you choose the greatest good,
Midst all the world in blessings that abound,
Wherein, my daughter, should your liking be?
Ida. Not in delights, or pomp, or majesty.
Count. of A. And why?
Ida. Since these are means to draw the mind
From perfect good, and make true judgment blind.
Count. of A. Might you have wealth and Fortune's richest store?
Ida. Yet would I, might I choose, be honest-poor;
For she that sits at Fortune's feet a-low
Is sure she shall not taste a further woe,
But those that prank on top of Fortune's ball
Still fear a change, and, fearing, catch a fall.
Count. of A. Tut, foolish maid, each one contemneth need.
Ida. Good reason why, they know not good indeed.
Count. of A. Many, marry, then, on whom distress doth lour.
Ida. Yes, they that virtue deem an honest dower.
Madam, by right this world I may compare
Unto my work, wherein with heedful care
The heavenly workman plants with curious hand,
As I with needle draw each thing on land,
Even as he list: some men like to the rose
Are fashion'd fresh; some in their stalks do close,
And, born, do sudden die; some are but weeds,
And yet from them a secret good proceeds:
I with my needle, if I please, may blot
The fairest rose within my cambric plot;
God with a beck can change each worldly thing,
The poor to rich, the beggar to the king.
What, then, hath man wherein he well may boast,
Since by a beck he lives, a lour is lost?
Count. of A. Peace, Ida, here are strangers near at hand.
Enter EUSTACE with letters.
Eust. Madam, God speed!
Count. of A. I thank you, gentle squire.
Eust. The country Countess of Northumberland
Doth greet you well, and hath requested me
To bring these letters to your ladyship.
[Delivers the letters.
Count. of A. I thank her honour, and yourself, my friend.
I see she means you good, brave gentleman.—
Daughter, the Lady Elinor salutes
Yourself as well as me: then for her sake
'Twere good you entertain'd that courtier well.
Ida. As much salute as may become my sex,
And he in virtue can vouchsafe to think,
I yield him for the courteous countess' sake.—
Good sir, sit down: my mother here and I
Count time misspent an endless vanity.
Eust. [aside.] Beyond report, the wit, the fair, the shape!—
What work you here, fair mistress? may I see it?
Ida. Good sir, look on: how like you this compáct?
Eust. Methinks in this I see true love in act:
The woodbines with their leaves do sweetly spread,
The roses blushing prank them in their red;
No flower but boasts the beauties of the spring;
This bird hath life indeed, if it could sing.
What means, fair mistress, had you in this work?
Ida. My needle, sir.
Eust. In needles, then, there lurk
Some hidden grace, I deem, beyond my reach.
Ida. Not grace in them, good sir, but those that teach.
Eust. Say that your needle now were Cupid's sting,—
[Aside.] But, ah, her eye must be no less,
In which is heaven and heavenliness,
In which the food of God is shut,
Whose powers the purest minds do glut!
Ida. What if it were?
Eust. Then see a wondrous thing;
I fear me you would paint in Tereus' heart
Affection in his power and chiefest part.
Ida. Good Lord, sir, no! for hearts but prickèd soft
Are wounded sore, for so I hear it oft.
Eust. What recks the wound, where but your happy eye
May make him live whom Jove hath judg'd to die?
Ida. Should life and death within this needle lurk,
I'll prick no hearts, I'll prick upon my work.
Count. of A. Peace, Ida, I perceive the fox at hand.
Eust. The fox! why, fetch your hounds, and chase him hence.
Count. of A. O, sir, these great men bark at small offence.
Come, will it please you to enter, gentle sir?
[They offer to go out.
Enter ATEUKIN and SLIPPER.
Ateu. Stay, courteous ladies; favour me so much
As to discourse a word or two apart.
Count. of A. Good sir, my daughter learns this rule of me,
To shun resort and strangers' company;
For some are shifting mates that carry letters,
Some, such as you, too good because our betters.
Slip. Now, I pray you, sir, what akin are you to a pickerel?
Ateu. Why, knave?
Slip. By my troth, sir, because I never knew a proper situation fellow
of your pitch fitter to swallow a gudgeon.
Ateu. What meanest thou by this?
Slip. Shifting fellow, sir,—these be thy words; shifting fellow:
this gentlewoman, I fear me, knew your bringing up.
Ateu. How so?
Slip. Why, sir, your father was a miller, that could shift for a peck
of grist in a bushel, and you['re] a fair-spoken gentleman, that can get more
land by a lie than an honest man by his ready money.
Ateu. Caitiff, what sayest thou?
Slip. I say, sir, that if she call you shifting knave, you shall not
put her to the proof.
Ateu. And why?
Slip. Because, sir, living by your wit as you do, shifting is your
letters-patents: it were a hard matter for me to get my dinner that day wherein
my master had not sold a dozen of devices, a case of cogs, and a suit of shifts,
in the morning. I speak this in your commendation, sir, and, I pray you, so take
Ateu. If I live, knave, I will be revenged. What gentleman would
entertain a rascal thus to derogate from his honour?
Ida. My lord, why are you thus impatient?
Ateu. Not angry, Ida; but I teach this knave
How to behave himself among his betters.—
Behold, fair countess, to assure your stay,
I here present the signet of the king,
Who now by me, fair Ida, doth salute you:
And since in secret I have certain things
In his behalf, good madam, to impart,
I crave your daughter to discourse apart.
Count. of A. She shall in humble duty be addrest
To do his highness' will in what she may.
Ida. Now, gentle sir, what would his grace with me?
Ateu. Fair, comely nymph, the beauty of your face,
Sufficient to bewitch the heavenly powers,
Hath wrought so much in him that now of late
He finds himself made captive unto love;
And though his power and majesty require
A straight command before an humble suit,
Yet he his mightiness doth so abase
As to entreat your favour, honest maid.
Ida. Is he not married, sir, unto our queen?
Ateu. He is.
Ida. And are not they by God accurs'd,
That sever them whom he hath knit in one?
Ateu. They be: what then? we seek not to displace
The princess from her seat, but, since by love
The king is made your own, he is resolv'd
In private to accept your dalliance,
In spite of war, watch, or worldly eye.
Ida. O, how he talks, as if he should not die!
As if that God in justice once could wink
Upon that fault I am asham'd to think!
Ateu. Tut, mistress, man at first was born to err;
Women are all not formèd to be saints:
'Tis impious for to kill our native king,
Whom by a little favour we may save.
Ida. Better, than live unchaste, to lie in grave.
Ateu. He shall erect your state, and wed you well.
Ida. But can his warrant keep my soul from hell?
Ateu. He will enforce, if you resist his suit.
Ida. What tho? the world may shame to him account,
To be a king of men and worldly pelf,
Yet hath no power to rule and guide himself.
Ateu. I know you, gentle lady, and the care
Both of your honour and his grace's health
Makes me confusèd in this dangerous state.
Ida. So counsel him, but soothe thou not his an.
'Tis vain allurement that doth make him love:
I shame to hear, be you asham'd to move.
Count. of A. I see my daughter grows impatient:
I fear me, he pretends some bad intent.
Ateu. Will you despise the king and scorn him so?
Ida. In all allegiance I will serve his grace,
But not in lust: O, how I blush to name it!
Ateu. [aside.] An endless work is this: how should I frame it?
[They discourse privately.
Slip. O, mistress, may I turn a word upon you?
Count. of A. Friend, what wilt thou?
Slip. O, what a happy gentlewoman be you truly! the world reports this
of you, mistress, that a man can no sooner come to your house but the butler
comes with a black-jack and says, "Welcome, friend, here's a cup of the best for
you": verily, mistress, you are said to have the best ale in all Scotland.
Count. of A. Sirrah, go fetch him drink.
[Servant brings drink.
How lik'st thou this?
Slip. Like it, mistress! why, this is quincy quarie pepper de watchet,
single goby, of all that ever I tasted. I'll prove in this ale and toast the
compass of the whole world. First, this is the earth,—it lies in the
middle, a fair brown toast, a goodly country for hungry teeth to dwell upon;
next, this is the sea, a fair pool for a dry tongue to fish in: now come I, and
seeing the world is naught, I divide it thus; and because the sea cannot stand
without the earth, as Aristotle saith, I put them both into their first chaos,
which is my belly: and so, mistress, you may see your ale is become a miracle.
Eust. A merry mate, madam, I promise you.
Count. of A. Why sigh you, sirrah?
Slip. Truly, madam, to think upon the world, which, since I denounced
it, keeps such a rumbling in my stomach that, unless your cook give it a
counterbuff with some of your roasted capons or beef, I fear me I shall become a
loose body, so dainty, I think, I shall neither hold fast before nor behind.
Count. of A. Go take him in, and feast this merry swain.—
Sirrah, my cook is your physician;
He hath a purge for to digest the world.
[Exeunt SLIPPER and Servant.
Ateu. Will you not, Ida, grant his highness this?
Ida. As I have said, in duty I am his:
For other lawless lusts that ill beseem him,
I cannot like, and good I will not deem him.
Count. of A. Ida, come in:—and, sir, if so you please,
Come, take a homely widow's entertain.
Ida. If he have no great haste, he may come nigh;
If haste, though he be gone, I will not cry.
[Exeunt the COUNTESS OF ARRAN, IDA, and EUSTACE.
Ateu. I see this labour lost, my hope in vain;
Yet will I try another drift again.
Enter, one by one, the BISHOP OF ST. ANDREWS, DOUGLAS, MORTON, and others,
one way; QUEEN DOROTHEA with NANO, another way.
Bp. of St. And. [aside.] O wreck of commonweal, O wretched state!
Doug. [aside.] O hapless flock whereas the guide is blind!
Mort. [aside.] O heedless youth where counsel is despis'd!
[They all are in a muse.
Q. Dor. Come, pretty knave, and prank it by my side;
Let's see your best attendance out of hand.
Nano. Madam, although my limbs are very small,
My heart is good; I'll serve you therewithal.
Q. Dor. How, if I were assail'd, what couldst thou do?
Nano. Madam, call help, and boldly fight it too:
Although a bee be but a little thing,
You know, fair queen, it hath a bitter sting.
Q. Dor. How couldst thou do me good, were I in grief?
Nano. Counsel, dear princess, is a choice relief:
Though Nestor wanted force, great was his wit,
And though I am but weak, my words are fit.
Bp. of St. And. [aside.] Like to a ship upon the ocean-seas,
Tost in the doubtful stream, without a helm,
Such is a monarch without good advice.
I am o'erheard: cast rein upon thy tongue;
Andrews, beware; reproof will breed a scar.
Mor. Good day, my lord.
Bp. of St. And. Lord Morton, well y-met.—
Whereon deems Lord Douglas all this while?
Doug. Of that which yours and my poor heart doth break,
Although fear shuts our mouths, we dare not speak.
Q. Dor. [aside.] What mean these princes sadly to consult?
Somewhat, I fear, betideth them amiss,
They are so pale in looks, so vex'd in mind.—
In happy hour, ye noble Scottish peers,
Have I encounter'd you: what makes you mourn?
Bp. of St. And. If we with patience may attention gain,
Your grace shall know the cause of all our grief.
Q. Dor. Speak on, good father; come and sit by me:
I know thy care is for the common good.
Bp. of St. And. As fortune, mighty princess, reareth some
To high estate and place in commonweal,
So by divine bequest to them is lent
A riper judgment and more searching eye,
Whereby they may discern the common harm;
For where our fortunes in the world are most,
Where all our profits rise and still encrease,
There is our mind, thereon we meditate,
And what we do partake of good advice,
That we employ for to concern the same.
To this intent, these nobles and myself,
That are, or should be, eyes of commonweal,
Seeing his highness' reckless course of youth,
His lawless and unbridled vein in love,
His too intentive trust to flatterers,
His abject care of counsel and his friends,
Cannot but grieve; and since we cannot draw
His eye or judgment to discern his faults,
Since we have spoke and counsel is not heard,
I, for my part,—let others as they list,—
Will leave the court, and leave him to his will,
Lest with a ruthful eye I should behold
His overthrow, which, sore I fear, is nigh.
Q. Dor. Ah father, are you so estrang'd from love,
From due allegiance to your prince and land,
To leave your king when most he needs your help?
The thrifty husbandmen are never wont,
That see their lands unfruitful, to forsake them;
But when the mould is barren and unapt,
They toil, they plough, and make the fallow fat:
The pilot in the dangerous seas is known;
In calmer waves the silly sailor strives.
Are you not members, lords, of commonweal,
And can your head, your dear anointed king,
Default, ye lords, except yourselves do fail?
O, stay your steps, return, and counsel him!
Doug. Men seek not moss upon a rolling stone,
Or water from the sieve, or fire from ice,
Or comfort from a reckless monarch's hands.
Madam, he sets us light that serv'd in court,
In place of credit, in his father's days:
If we but enter presence of his grace,
Our payment is a frown, a scoff, a frump;
Whilst flattering Gnatho pranks it by his side,
Soothing the careless king in his misdeeds:
And if your grace consider your estate,
His life should urge you too, if all be true.
Q. Dor. Why, Douglas, why?
Doug. As if you have not heard
His lawless love to Ida grown of late,
His careless estimate of your estate.
Q. Dor. Ah Douglas, thou misconstru'st his intent!
He doth but tempt his wife, he tries my love:
This injury pertains to me, not you.
The king is young; and if he step awry,
He may amend, and I will love him still.
Should we disdain our vines because they sprout
Before their time? or young men, if they strain
Beyond their reach? No; vines that bloom and spread
Do promise fruits, and young men that are wild
In age grow wise. My friends and Scottish peers,
If that an English princess may prevail,
Stay, stay with him: lo, how my zealous prayer
Is plead with tears! fie, peers, will you hence?
Bp. of St. And. Madam, 'tis virtue in your grace to plead;
But we, that see his vain untoward course,
Cannot but fly the fire before it burn,
And shun the court before we see his fall.
Q. Dor. Will you not stay? then, lordings, fare you well.
Though you forsake your king, the heavens, I hope,
Will favour him through mine incessant prayer.
Nano. Content you, madam; thus old Ovid sings,
'Tis foolish to bewail recureless things.
Q. Dor. Peace, dwarf; these words my patience move.
Nano. Although you charm my speech, charm not my love.
[Exeunt QUEEN and NANO.
Enter the KING OF SCOTS; the Nobles, spying him as they are about to
go off, return.
K. of Scots. Douglas, how now! why changest thou thy cheer?
Doug. My private troubles are so great, my liege,
As I must crave your license for a while,
For to intend mine own affairs at home.
K. of Scots. You may depart.
But why is Morton sad?
Mor. The like occasion doth import me too,
So I desire your grace to give me leave.
K. of Scots. Well, sir, you may betake you to your ease.
[Aside.] When such grim sirs are gone, I see no let
To work my will.
Bp. of St. And. What, like the eagle, then,
With often flight wilt thou thy feathers lose?
O king, canst thou endure to see thy court
Of finest wits and judgments dispossess'd,
Whilst cloaking craft with soothing climbs so high
As each bewails ambition is so bad?
Thy father left thee with estate and crown,
A learnèd council to direct thy course:
These carelessly, O king, thou castest off
To entertain a train of sycophants.
Thou well mayst see, although thou wilt not see,
That every eye and ear both sees and hears
The certain signs of thine incontinence.
Thou art allied unto the English king
By marriage; a happy friend indeed,
If usèd well, if not, a mighty foe.
Thinketh your grace, he can endure and brook
To have a partner in his daughter's love?
Thinketh your grace, the grudge of privy wrongs
Will not procure him change his smiles to threats?
O, be not blind to good! call home your lords,
Displace these flattering Gnathoes, drive them hence;
Love and with kindness take your wedlock wife;
Or else, which God forbid, I fear a change:
Sin cannot thrive in courts without a plague.
K. of Scots. Go pack thou too, unless thou mend thy talk:
On pain of death, proud bishop, get you gone,
Unless you headless mean to hop away.
Bp. of St And. Thou God of heaven prevent my country's fall!
[Exit with other Nobles.
K. of Scots. These stays and lets to pleasure plague my thoughts,
Forcing my grievous wounds anew to bleed:
But care that hath transported me so far,
Fair Ida, is dispers'd in thought of thee,
Whose answer yields me life or breeds my death.
Yond comes the messenger of weal or woe.
Ateukin, what news?
Ateu. The adamant, O king, will not be fil'd
But by itself, and beauty that exceeds
By some exceeding favour must be wrought.
Ida is coy as yet, and doth repine,
Objecting marriage, honour, fear, and death:
She's holy-wise and too precise for me.
K. of Scots. Are these thy fruits of wit, thy sight in art,
Thine eloquence, thy policy, thy drift,—
To mock thy prince? Then, caitiff, pack thee hence,
And let me die devourèd in my love.
Ateu. Good Lord, how rage gainsayeth reason's power!
My dear, my gracious, and belovèd prince,
The essence of my soul, my god on earth,
Sit down and rest yourself: appease your wrath,
Lest with a frown ye wound me to the death.
O, that I were included in my grave,
That either now, to save my prince's life,
Must counsel cruelty, or lose my king!
K. of Scots. Why, sirrah, is there means to move her mind?
Ateu. O, should I not offend my royal liege,—
K. of Scots. Tell all, spare naught, so I may gain my love.
Ateu. Alas, my soul, why art thou torn in twain,
For fear thou talk a thing that should displease!
K. of Scots. Tut, speak whatso thou wilt, I pardon thee.
Ateu. How kind a word, how courteous is his grace!
Who would not die to succour such a king?
My liege, this lovely maid of modest mind
Could well incline to love, but that she fears
Fair Dorothea's power: your grace doth know,
Your wedlock is a mighty let to love.
Were Ida sure to be your wedded wife,
That then the twig would bow you might command:
Ladies love presents, pomp, and high estate.
K. of Scots. Ah Ateukin, how should we displace this let?
Ateu. Tut, mighty prince,—O, that I might be whist!
K. of Scots. Why dalliest thou?
Ateu. I will not move my prince;
I will prefer his safety 'fore my life.
Hear me, O king! 'tis Dorothea's death
Must do you good.
K. of Scots. What, murder of my queen!
Yet, to enjoy my love, what is my queen?
O, but my vow and promise to my queen!
Ay, but my hope to gain a fairer queen:
With how contrarious thoughts am I withdrawn!
Why linger I twixt hope and doubtful fear?
If Dorothea die, will Ida love?
Ateu. She will, my lord.
K. of Scots. Then let her die: devise, advise the means;
All likes me well that lends me hope in love.
Ateu. What, will your grace consent? then let me work.
There's here in court a Frenchman, Jaques call'd,
A fit performer of our enterprise,
Whom I by gifts and promise will corrupt
To slay the queen, so that your grace will seal
A warrant for the man, to save his life.
K. of Scots. Naught shall he want; write thou, and I will sign:
And, gentle Gnatho, if my Ida yield,
Thou shalt have what thou wilt; I'll give thee straight
A barony, an earldom for reward.
Ateu. Frolic, young king, the lass shall be your own:
I'll make her blithe and wanton by my wit.
Enter BOHAN with OBERON.
Boh. So, Oberon, now it begins to work in kind.
The ancient lords by leaving him alone,
Disliking of his humours and despite,
Let him run headlong, till his flatterers,
Soliciting his thoughts of lawless lust
With vile persuasions and alluring words,
Make him make way by murder to his will.
Judge, fairy king, hast heard a greater ill?
Ober. Nor seen more virtue in a country maid.
I tell thee, Bohan, it doth make me sorry,
To think the deeds the king means to perform.
Boh. To change that humour, stand and see the rest:
I trow my son Slipper will show's a jest.
Enter SLIPPER with a companion, boy or wench, dancing a hornpipe,
and dance out again.
Now after this beguiling of our thoughts,
And changing them from sad to better glee,
Let's to our cell, and sit and see the rest,
For, I believe, this jig will prove no jest.
Enter SLIPPER one way, and SIR BARTRAM another way.
Sir Bar. Ho, fellow! stay, and let me speak with thee.
Slip. Fellow! friend, thou dost abuse me; I am a gentleman.
Sir Bar. A gentleman! how so?
Slip. Why, I rub horses, sir.
Sir Bar. And what of that?
Slip. O simple-witted! mark my reason. They that do good service in the
commonweal are gentlemen; but such as rub horses do good service in the
commonweal, ergo, tarbox, master courtier, a horse-keeper is a gentleman.
Sir Bar. Here is overmuch wit, in good earnest.
But, sirrah, where is thy master?
Slip. Neither above ground nor under ground, drawing out red into
white, swallowing that down without chawing that was never made without
Sir Bar. Why, where is he, then?
Slip. Why, in his cellar, drinking a cup of neat and brisk claret in a
bowl of silver. O, sir, the wine runs trillill down his throat, which cost the
poor vintner many a stamp before it was made. But I must hence, sir, I have
Sir Bar. Why, whither now, I prithee?
Slip. Faith, sir, to Sir Silvester, a knight, hard by, upon my master's
errand, whom I must certify this, that the lease of East Spring shall be
confirmed: and therefore must I bid him provide trash, for my master is no
friend without money.
Sir Bar. [aside.] This is the thing for which I su'd so long,
This is the lease which I, by Gnatho's means,
Sought to possess by patent from the king;
But he, injurious man, who lives by crafts,
And sells king's favours for who will give most,
Hath taken bribes of me, yet covertly
Will sell away the thing pertains to me:
But I have found a present help, I hope,
For to prevent his purpose and deceit.—
Stay, gentle friend.
Slip. A good word; thou hast won me: this word is like a warm caudle to
a cold stomach.
Sir Bar. Sirrah, wilt thou, for money and reward,
Convey me certain letters, out of hand,
From out thy master's pocket?
Slip. Will I, sir? why, were it to rob my father, hang my mother, or
any such like trifles, I am at your commandment, sir. What will you give me,
Sir Bar. A hundred pounds.
Slip. I am your man: give me earnest. I am dead at a pocket, sir; why,
I am a lifter, master, by my occupation.
Sir Bar. A lifter! what is that?
Slip. Why, sir, I can lift a pot as well as any man, and pick a purse
as soon as any thief in my country.
Sir Bar. Why, fellow, hold; here is earnest, ten pound to assure thee.
[Gives money.] Go, despatch, and bring it me to yonder tavern thou seest;
and assure thyself, thou shalt both have thy skin full of wine and the rest of
Slip. I will, sir.—Now room for a gentleman, my masters! who gives
me money for a fair new angel, a trim new angel?
Enter ANDREW and Purveyor.
Pur. Sirrah, I must needs have your master's horses: the king cannot be
And. Sirrah, you must needs go without them, because my master must be
Pur. Why, I am the king's purveyor, and I tell thee I will have them.
And. I am Ateukin's servant, Signior Andrew, and I say, thou shalt not
Pur. Here's my ticket, deny it if thou darest.
And. There is the stable, fetch them out if thou darest.
Pur. Sirrah, sirrah, tame your tongue, lest I make you.
And. Sirrah, sirrah, hold your hand, lest I bum you.
Pur. I tell thee, thy master's geldings are good, and therefore fit for
And. I tell thee, my master's horses have galled backs, and therefore
cannot fit the king. Purveyor, purveyor, purvey thee of more wit: darest thou
presume to wrong my Lord Ateukin, being the chiefest man in court?
Pur. The more unhappy commonweal where flatterers are chief in court.
And. What sayest thou?
Pur. I say thou art too presumptuous, and the officers shall school
And. A fig for them and thee, purveyor! they seek a knot in a ring that
would wrong my master or his servants in this court.
Pur. The world is at a wise pass when nobility is afraid of a
Jaq. Sirrah, what be you that parley contre Monsieur my Lord
Ateukin? en bonne foi, prate you against Sir Altesse, me maka your
tête to leap from your shoulders, par ma foi c'y ferai-je.
And. O, signior captain, you show yourself a forward and friendly
gentleman in my master's behalf: I will cause him to thank you.
Jaq. Poltron, speak me one parola against my bon gentilhomme, I
shall estramp your guts, and thump your backa, that you no point manage this
Pur. Sirrah, come open me the stable, and let me have the
horses:—and, fellow, for all your French brags, I will do my duty.
And. I'll make garters of thy guts, thou villain, if thou enter this
Jaq. Mort Dieu, take me that cappa pour votre labeur: be gone,
villain, in the mort.
Pur. What, will you resist me, then? well, the council, fellow, shall
know of your insolency.
And. Tell them what thou wilt, and eat that I can best spare from my
back-parts, and get you gone with a vengeance.
Ateu. Where be my writings I put in my pocket last night?
And. Which, sir? your annotations upon Machiavel?
Ateu. No, sir; the letters-patents for East Spring.
And. Why, sir, you talk wonders to me, if you ask that question.
Ateu. Yea, sir, and will work wonders too with you, unless you find
them out: villain, search me them out, and bring them me, or thou art but dead.
And. A terrible word in the latter end of a sessions. Master, were you
in your right wits yesternight?
Ateu. Dost thou doubt it?
And. Ay, and why not, sir? for the greatest clerks are not the wisest,
and a fool may dance in a hood, as well as a wise man in a bare frock: besides,
such as give themselves to philautia, as you do, master, are so choleric of
complexion that that which they burn in fire over night they seek for with fury
the next morning. Ah, I take care of your worship! this commonweal should have a
great loss of so good a member as you are.
Ateu. Thou flatterest me.
And. Is it flattery in me, sir, to speak you fair? what is it, then, in
you to dally with the king?
Ateu. Are you prating, knave? I will teach you better nurture. Is this
the care you have of my wardrobe, of my accounts, and matters of trust?
And. Why, alas, sir, in times past your garments have been so well
inhabited as your tenants would give no place to a moth to mangle them; but
since you are grown greater, and your garments more fine and gay, if your
garments are not fit for hospitality, blame your pride and commend my
cleanliness: as for your writings, I am not for them, nor they for me.
Ateu. Villain, go fly, find them out: if thou losest them, thou losest
And. Alas, sir, can I lose that you never had?
Ateu. Say you so? then hold, feel you that you never felt. [Beats
Jaq. O monsieur, ayez patience; pardon your pauvre valet: me be at
Ateu. Signior Jaques, well met; you shall command me.—Sirrah, go
cause my writings be proclaimed in the market-place; promise a great reward to
them that find them: look where I supped and everywhere.
And. I will, sir.—Now are two knaves well met, and three well
parted: if you conceive mine enigma, gentlemen, what shall I be, then? faith, a
Ateu. Sieur Jaques, this our happy meeting hinders
Your friends and me of care and grievous toil;
For I that look into deserts of men,
And see among the soldiers in this court
A noble forward mind, and judge thereof,
Cannot but seek the means to raise them up
Who merit credit in the commonweal.
To this intent, friend Jaques, I have found
A means to make you great, and well-esteem'd
Both with the king and with the best in court;
For I espy in you a valiant mind,
Which makes me love, admire, and honour you.
To this intent, if so your trust, and faith,
Your secrecy be equal with your force,
I will impart a service to thyself,
Which if thou dost effect, the king, myself,
And what or he, and I with him, can work,
Shall be employ'd in what thou wilt desire.
Jaq. Me sweara by my ten bones, my signior, to be loyal to your
lordship's intents, affairs: yea, my monseigneur, que non ferai-je pour your
pleasure? By my sworda, me be no babillard.
Ateu. Then hoping on thy truth, I prithee see How kind Ateukin is to
Hold, [giving money] take this earnest-penny of my love,
And mark my words; the king, by me, requires
No slender service, Jaques, at thy hands.
Thou must by privy practice make away
The queen, fair Dorothea, as she sleeps,
Or how thou wilt, so she be done to death:
Thou shalt not want promotion here in court.
Jaq. Stabba the woman! par ma foi, monseigneur, me thrusta my
weapon into her belly, so me may be guard par le roi. Me de your service:
but me no be hanged pour my labour?
Ateu. Thou shalt have warrant, Jaques, from the king:
None shall outface, gainsay, and wrong my friend.
Do not I love thee, Jaques? fear not, then:
I tell thee, whoso toucheth thee in aught
Shall injure me: I love, I tender thee:
Thou art a subject fit to serve his grace.
Jaques, I had a written warrant once,
But that by great misfortune late is lost.
Come, wend we to Saint Andrews, where his grace
Is now in progress, where he shall assure
Thy safety, and confirm thee to the act.
Jaq. We will attend your nobleness.
Enter QUEEN DOROTHEA, SIR BARTRAM, NANO, ROSS, Ladies, Attendants.
Q. Dor. Thy credit, Bartram, in the Scottish court,
Thy reverend years, the strictness of thy vows,
All these are means sufficient to persuade;
But love, the faithful link of loyal hearts,
That hath possession of my constant mind,
Exiles all dread, subdueth vain suspect.
Methinks no craft should harbour in that breast
Where majesty and virtue are install'd:
Methink[s] my beauty should not cause my death.
Sir Bar. How gladly, sovereign princess, would I err,
And bind my shame to save your royal life!
'Tis princely in yourself to think the best,
To hope his grace is guiltless of this crime:
But if in due prevention you default,
How blind are you that were forewarn'd before!
Q. Dor. Suspicion without cause deserveth blame.
Sir Bar. Who see, and shun not, harms, deserve the same.
Behold the tenor of this traitorous plot.
Q. Dor. What should I read? perhaps he wrote it not.
Sir Bar. Here is his warrant, under seal and sign,
To Jaques, born in France, to murder you.
Q. Dor. Ah careless king, would God this were not thine!
What though I read? ah, should I think it true?
Ross. The hand and seal confirm the deed is his.
Q. Dor. What know I though, if now he thinketh this?
Nano. Madam, Lucretius saith that to repent
Is childish, wisdom to prevent.
Q. Dor. What tho?
Nano. Then cease your tears that have dismay'd you,
And cross the foe before he have betray'd you.
Sir Bar. What need these long suggestions in this cause,
When every circumstance confirmeth truth?
First, let the hidden mercy from above
Confirm your grace, since by a wondrous means
The practice of your dangers came to light:
Next, let the tokens of approvèd truth
Govern and stay your thoughts too much seduc'd,
And mark the sooth and listen the intent.
Your highness knows, and these my noble lords
Can witness this, that whilst your husband's sire
In happy peace possess'd the Scottish crown,
I was his sworn attendant here in court;
In dangerous fight I never fail'd my lord,
And since his death, and this your husband's reign,
No labour, duty, have I left undone,
To testify my zeal unto the crown.
But now my limbs are weak, mine eyes are dim,
Mine age unwieldy and unmeet for toil,
I came to court, in hope, for service past,
To gain some lease to keep me, being old.
There found I all was upsy-turvy turn'd,
My friends displac'd, the nobles loth to crave:
Then sought I to the minion of the king,
Ateukin, who, allurèd by a bribe,
Assur'd me of the lease for which I sought.
But see the craft! when he had got the grant,
He wrought to sell it to Sir Silvester,
In hope of greater earnings from his hands.
In brief, I learn'd his craft, and wrought the means,
By one his needy servant for reward,
To steal from out his pocket all the briefs;
Which he perform'd, and with reward resign'd.
Them when I read,—now mark the power of God,—
I found this warrant seal'd among the rest,
To kill your grace, whom God long keep alive!
Thus, in effect, by wonder are you sav'd:
Trifle not, then, but seek a speedy flight;
God will conduct your steps and shield the right.
Q. Dor. What should I do? ah poor unhappy queen,
Born to endure what fortune can contain!
Alas, the deed is too apparent now!
But, O mine eyes, were you as bent to hide
As my poor heart is forward to forgive,
Ah cruel king, my love would thee acquit!
O, what avails to be allied and match'd
With high estates, that marry but in show!
Were I baser born, my mean estate
Could warrant me from this impendent harm:
But to be great and happy, these are twain.
Ah Ross, what shall I do? how shall I work?
Ross. With speedy letters to your father send,
Who will revenge you and defend your right.
Q. Dor. As if they kill not me, who with him fight!
As if his breast be touch'd, I am not wounded!
As if he wail'd, my joys were not confounded!
We are one heart, though rent by hate in twain;
One soul, one essence doth our weal contain:
What, then, can conquer him, that kills not me?
Ross. If this advice displease, then, madam, flee.
Q. Dor. Where may I wend or travel without fear?
Nano. Where not, in changing this attire you wear?
Q. Dor. What, shall I clad me like a country maid?
Nano. The policy is base, I am afraid.
Q. Dor. Why, Nano?
Nano. Ask you why? What, may a queen
March forth in homely weed, and be not seen?
The rose, although in thorny shrubs she spread,
Is still the rose, her beauties wax not dead;
And noble minds, although the coat be bare,
Are by their semblance known, how great they are.
Sir Bar. The dwarf saith true.
Q. Dor. What garments lik'st thou, than?
Nano. Such as may make you seem a proper man.
Q. Dor. He makes me blush and smile, though I am sad.
Nano. The meanest coat for safety is not bad.
Q. Dor. What, shall I jet in breeches like a squire?
Alas, poor dwarf, thy mistress is unmeet!
Nano. Tut, go me thus, your cloak before your face,
Your sword uprear'd with quaint and comely grace:
If any come and question what you be,
Say you, "A man," and call for witness me.
Q. Dor. What should I wear a sword, to what intent?
Nano. Madam, for show; it is an ornament:
If any wrong you, draw: a shining blade
Withdraws a coward thief that would invade.
Q. Dor. But if I strike, and he should strike again,
What should I do? I fear I should be slain.
Nano. No, take it single on your dagger so:
I'll teach you, madam, how to ward a blow.
Q. Dor. How little shapes much substance may include!—
Sir Bartram, Ross, ye ladies, and my friends,
Since presence yields me death, and absence life,
Hence will I fly disguisèd like a squire,
As one that seeks to live in Irish wars:
You, gentle Ross, shall furnish my depart.
Ross. Yea, prince, and die with you with all my heart:
Vouchsafe me, then, in all extremest states
To wait on you and serve you with my best.
Q. Dor. To me pertains the woe: live thou in rest.
Friends, fare you well: keep secret my depart:
Nano alone shall my attendant be.
Nano. Then, madam, are you mann'd, I warrant ye:
Give me a sword, and if there grow debate,
I'll come behind, and break your enemy's pate.
Ross. How sore we grieve to part so soon away!
Q. Dor. Grieve not for those that perish if they stay.
Nano. The time in words mispent is little worth;
Madam, walk on, and let them bring us forth.
Chorus. Enter BOHAN.
Boh. So, these sad motions make the fairy sleep;
And sleep he shall in quiet and content:
For it would make a marble melt and weep,
To see these treasons 'gainst the innocent.
But since she scapes by flight to save her life,
The king may chance repent she was his wife.
The rest is ruthful; yet, to beguile the time,
'Tis interlac'd with merriment and rhyme.
After a noise of horns and shoutings, enter certain Huntsmen (if you
please, singing) one way; another way ATEUKIN and JAQUES.
Ateu. Say, gentlemen, where may we find the king?
First Hunts. Even here at hand, on hunting;
And at this hour he taken hath a stand,
To kill a deer.
Ateu. A pleasant work in hand.
Follow your sport, and we will seek his grace.
First Hunts. When such him seek, it is a woful case.
[Exeunt Huntsmen one way, ATEUKIN and
Enter the COUNTESS OF ARRAN, IDA, and EUSTACE.
Count. of A. Lord Eustace, as your youth and virtuous life
Deserve a far more fair and richer wife,
So, since I am a mother, and do wit
What wedlock is and that which 'longs to it,
Before I mean my daughter to bestow,
'Twere meet that she and I your state did know.
Eust. Madam, if I consider Ida's worth,
I know my portion merits none so fair,
And yet I hold in farm and yearly rent
A thousand pound, which may her state content.
Count. of A. But what estate, my lord, shall she possess?
Eust. All that is mine, grave countess, and no less.—
But, Ida, will you love?
Ida. I cannot hate.
Eust. But will you wed?
Ida. 'Tis Greek to me, my lord:
I'll wish you well, and thereon take my word.
Eust. Shall I some sign of favour, then, receive
Ida. Ay, if her ladyship will give me leave.
Count. of A. Do what thou wilt.
Ida. Then, noble English peer,
Accept this ring, wherein my heart is set,
A constant heart with burning flames be-fret,
But under-written this, O morte dura:
Hereon whenso you look with eyes pura,
The maid you fancy most will favour you.
Eust. I'll try this heart, in hope to find it true.
Enter certain Huntsmen and Ladies.
First Hunts. Widow Countess, well y-met;
Ever may thy joys be many;—
Gentle Ida, sair beset,
Fair and wise, not fairer any;
Frolic huntsmen of the game
Will you well and give you greeting.
Ida. Thanks, good woodman, for the same,
And our sport, and merry meeting.
First Hunts. Unto thee we do present
Silver hart with arrow wounded.
Eust. [aside.] This doth shadow my lament,
Both [with] fear and love confounded.
First Lady. To the mother of the maid,
Fair as the lilies, red as roses,
Even so many goods are said,
As herself in heart supposes.
Count. of A. What are you, friends, that thus do wish us well?
First Hunts. Your neighbours nigh, that have on hunting been,
Who, understanding of your walking forth,
Prepar'd this train to entertain you with:
This Lady Douglas, this Sir Egmond is.
Count. of A. Welcome, ye ladies, and thousand thanks for this:
Come, enter you a homely widow's house,
And if mine entertainment please you, let us feast.
First Hunts. A lovely lady never wants a guest.
[Exeunt COUNTESS OF ARRAN, Huntsmen, and Ladies.
Eust. Stay, gentle Ida, tell me what you deem,
What doth this hart, this tender hart beseem?
Ida. Why not, my lord, since nature teacheth art
To senseless beasts to cure their grievous smart;
Dictamnum serves to close the wound again.
Eust. What help for those that love?
Ida. Why, love again.
Eust. Were I the hart,———
Ida. Then I the herb would be:
You shall not die for help; come, follow me.
Enter ANDREW and JAQUES.
Jaq. Mon dieu, what malheur be this! Me come a the chamber, Signior
Andrew, mon dieu; taka my poniard en ma main to give the estocade to
the damoisella: par ma foi, there was no person; elle s'est en allée.
And. The worse luck, Jaques: but because I am thy friend, I will advise
thee somewhat towards the attainment of the gallows.
Jaq. Gallows! what be that?
And. Marry, sir, a place of great promotion, where thou shalt by one
turn above ground rid the world of a knave, and make a goodly ensample for all
bloody villains of thy profession.
Jaq. Que dites vous, Monsieur Andrew?
And. I say, Jaques, thou must keep this path, and hie thee; for the
queen, as I am certified, is departed with her dwarf, apparelled like a squire.
Overtake her, Frenchman, stab her: I'll promise thee, this doublet shall be
And. It shall serve a jolly gentleman, Sir Dominus Monseigneur Hangman.
Jaq. C'est tout un; me will rama pour la monnoie.
And. Go, and the rot consume thee!—O, what a trim world is this! My
master lives by cozening the king, I by flattering him; Slipper, my fellow, by
stealing, and I by lying: is not this a wily accord, gentlemen? This last night,
our jolly horsekeeper, being well steeped in liquor, confessed to me the
stealing of my master's writings and his great reward: now dare I not bewray
him, lest he discover my knavery; but thus have I wrought. I understand he will
pass this way, to provide him necessaries; but if I and my fellows fail not, we
will teach him such a lesson as shall cost him a chief place on Pennyless Bench
for his labour. But yond he comes.
Enter SLIPPER, with a Tailor, a Shoemaker, and a Cutler.
Slip. Let my doublet be white northern, five groats the yard: I tell
thee, I will be brave.
Tai. It shall, sir.
Slip. Now, sir, cut it me like the battlements of a custard, full of
round holes: edge me the sleeves with Coventry blue, and let the linings be of
Tai. Very good, sir.
Slip. Make it the amorous cut, a flap before.
Tai. And why so? that fashion is stale.
Slip. O, friend, thou art a simple fellow. I tell thee a flap is a
great friend to a storrie, it stands him instead of clean napery; and if a man's
shirt be torn, it is a present penthouse to defend him from a clean huswife's
Tai. You say sooth, sir.
Slip. [Giving money.] Hold, take thy money; there is seven
shillings for the doublet, and eight for the breeches: seven and eight;
by'rlady, thirty-six is a fair deal of money.
Tai. Farewell, sir.
Slip. Nay, but stay, tailor.
Tai. Why, sir?
Slip. Forget not this special make, let my back-parts be well lined,
for there come many winter-storms from a windy belly, I tell thee. [Exit
Shoe. Gentleman, what shoe will it please you to have?
Slip. A fine neat calves'-leather, my friend.
Shoe. O, sir, that is too thin, it will not last you.
Slip. I tell thee, it is my near kinsman, for I am Slipper, which hath
his best grace in summer to be suited in Jack-ass' skins. Goodwife Calf was my
grandmother, and goodman Netherleather mine uncle; but my mother, good woman,
alas, she was a Spaniard, and being well tanned and dressed by a goodfellow, an
Englishman, is grown to some wealth: as when I have but my upper-parts clad in
her husband's costly Spanish leather, I may be bold to kiss the fairest lady's
foot in this country.
Shoe. You are of high birth, sir: but have you all your mother's marks
Slip. Why, knave?
Shoe. Because if thou come of the blood of the Slippers, you should
have a shoemaker's awl thrust through your ear.
Slip. [Giving money.] Take your earnest, friend, and be packing,
and meddle not with my pro-genitors. [Exit Shoemaker.] Cutler.
Cut. Here, sir.
Slip. I must have a reaper and digger.
Cut. A rapier and dagger, you mean, sir.
Slip. Thou sayest true: but it must have a very fair edge.
Cut. Why so, sir?
Slip. Because it may cut by himself, for truly, my friend, I am a man
of peace, and wear weapons but for fashion.
Cut. Well, sir, give me earnest, I will fit you.
Slip. [Giving money.] Hold, take it: I betrust thee, friend; let me
be well armed.
Cut. You shall.
Slip. Now what remains? there's twenty crowns for a house, three crowns
for household-stuff, six-pence to buy a constable's staff; nay, I will be the
chief of my parish. There wants nothing but a wench, a cat, a dog, a wife, and a
servant, to make an whole family. Shall I marry with Alice, Good-man Grimshawe's
daughter? she is fair, but indeed her tongue is like clocks on Shrovetuesday,
always out of temper. Shall I wed Sisley of the Whighton? O, no; she is like a
frog in a parsley-bed; as skittish as an eel: if I seek to hamper her, she will
horn me. But a wench must be had, Master Slipper; yea, and shall be, dear
And. [aside.] I now will drive him from his contemplations.—O,
my mates, come forward: the lamb is unpent, the fox shall prevail.
Enter three Antics, who dance round, and take SLIPPER with them.
Slip. I will, my friend[s], and I thank you heartily: pray, keep your
courtesy: I am yours in the way of an hornpipe.—[Aside.] They are
strangers, I see, they understand not my language: wee, wee.—Nay, but, my
friends, one hornpipe further, a refluence back, and two doubles forward: what,
not one cross-point against Sundays? What, ho, sirrah, you gome, you with the
nose like an eagle, an you be a right Greek, one turn more.
[Whilst they are dancing, ANDREW takes away SLIPPER'S money, and
then he and the Antics depart.
Thieves, thieves! I am robbed! thieves! Is this the knavery of fiddlers? Well, I
will then bind the whole credit of their occupation on a bag-piper, and he for
my money. But I will after, and teach them to caper in a halter, that have
cozened me of my money.
Enter QUEEN DOROTHEA in man's apparel, and NANO.
Q. Dor. Ah Nano, I am weary of these weeds,
Weary to wield this weapon that I bear,
Weary of love from whom my woe proceeds,
Weary of toil, since I have lost my dear!
O weary life, where wanteth no distress,
But every thought is paid with heaviness!
Nano. Too much of weary, madam: if you please,
Sit down, let weary die, and take your ease.
Q. Dor. How look I, Nano? like a man or no?
Nano. If not a man, yet like a manly shrow.
Q. Dor. If any come and meet us on the way,
What should we do, if they enforce us stay?
Nano. Set cap a-huff, and challenge him the field:
Suppose the worst, the weak may fight to yield.
Q. Dor. The battle, Nano, in this troubled mind
Is far more fierce than ever we may find.
The body's wounds by medicines may be eas'd,
But griefs of mind by salves are not appeas'd.
Nano. Say, madam, will you hear your Nano sing?
Q. Dor. Of woe, good boy, but of no other thing.
Nano. What, if I sing of fancy, will it please?
Q. Dor. To such as nope success such notes breed ease.
Nano. What, if I sing, like Damon, to my sheep?
Q. Dor. Like Phillis, I will sit me down to weep.
Nano. Nay, since my songs afford such pleasure small,
I'll sit me down, and sing you none at all.
Q. Dor. O, be not angry, Nano!
Nano. Nay, you loathe
To think on that which doth content us both.
Q. Dor. And how?
Nano. You scorn disport when you are weary,
And loathe my mirth, who live to make you merry.
Q. Dor. Danger and fear withdraw me from delight.
Nano. 'Tis virtue to contemn false fortune's spite.
Q. Dor. What should I do to please thee, friendly squire?
Nano. A smile a-day is all I will require;
And if you pay me well the smiles you owe me,
I'll kill this cursèd care, or else beshrow me.
Q. Dor. We are descried; O, Nano, we are dead!
Enter JAQUES, his sword drawn.
Nano. Tut, yet you walk, you are not dead indeed.
Draw me your sword, if he your way withstand,
And I will seek for rescue out of hand.
Q. Dor. Run, Nano, run, prevent thy princess' death.
Nano. Fear not, I'll run all danger out of breath.
Jaq. Ah, you calleta, you strumpet! ta Maitressa Doretie, êtes
vous surprise? Come, say your paternoster, car vous êtes morte, par ma
Q. Dor. Callet, me strumpet! caitiff as thou art!
But even a princess born, who scorn thy threats:
Shall never Frenchman say, an English maid
Of threats of foreign force will be afraid.
Jaq. You no dire votres prières? morbleu, mechante femme,
guarda your breasta there: me make you die on my Morglay.
Q. Dor. God shield me, hapless princess and a wife,
And save my soul, although I lose my life!
[They fight, and she is sore wounded.
Ah, I am slain! some piteous power repay
This murderer's cursèd deed, that doth me slay!
Jaq. Elle est tout morte: me will run pour a wager, for fear me be
surpris and pendu for my labour. Bien, je m'en allerai au roi lui dire
mes affaires. Je serai un chevalier for this day's travail.
Re-enter NANO, with SIR CUTHBERT ANDERSON, his sword drawn, and
Sir Cuth. Where is this poor distressèd gentleman?
Nano. Here laid on ground, and wounded to the death.
Ah gentle heart, how are these beauteous looks
Dimm'd by the tyrant cruelties of death!
O weary soul, break thou from forth my breast,
And join thee with the soul I honour'd most!
Sir Cuth. Leave mourning, friend, the man is yet alive.
Some help me to convey him to my house:
There will I see him carefully recur'd,
And send [out] privy search to catch the murderer.
Nano. The God of heaven reward thee, courteous knight!
[Exeunt, bearing out DOROTHEA.
Enter the KING OF SCOTS, JAQUES, ATEUKIN, ANDREW; JAQUES running with his
sword one way, the King with his train another way.
K. of Scots. Stay, Jaques, fear not, sheath thy murdering blade:
Lo, here thy king and friends are come abroad
To save thee from the terrors of pursuit.
What, is she dead?
Jaq. Oui, Monsieur, elle est blessèe par la tête over les
épaules: I warrant, she no trouble you.
Ateu. O, then, my liege, how happy art thou grown,
How favour'd of the heavens, and blest by love!
Methinks I see fair Ida in thine arms,
Craving remission for her late contempt;
Methink[s] I see her blushing steal a kiss,
Uniting both your souls by such a sweet,
And you, my king, suck nectar from her lips.
Why, then, delays your grace to gain the rest
You long desir'd? why lose we forward time?
Write, make me spokesman now, vow marriage:
If she deny you favour, let me die.
And. Mighty and magnificent potentate, give credence to mine honourable
good lord, for I heard the midwife swear at his nativity that the fairies gave
him the property of the Thracian stone; for who toucheth it is exempted from
grief, and he that heareth my master's counsel is already possessed of
happiness; nay, which is more miraculous, as the nobleman in his infancy lay in
his cradle, a swarm of bees laid honey on his lips in token of his eloquence,
for melle dulcior fluit oratio.
Ateu. Your grace must bear with imperfections: This is exceeding love
that makes him speak.
K. of Scots. Ateukin, I am ravish'd in conceit, And yet depress'd again
with earnest thoughts. Methinks, this murder soundeth in mine ear A threatening
noise of dire and sharp revenge: I am incens'd with grief, yet fain would joy.
What may I do to end me of these doubts?
Ateu. Why, prince, it is no murder in a king,
To end another's life to save his own:
For you are not as common people be,
Who die and perish with a few men's tears;
But if you fail, the state doth whole default,
The realm is rent in twain in such a loss.
And Aristotle holdeth this for true,
Of evils needs we must choose the least:
Then better were it that a woman died
Than all the help of Scotland should be blent.
'Tis policy, my liege, in every state,
To cut off members that disturb the head:
And by corruption generation grows,
And contraries maintain the world and state.
K. of Scots. Enough, I am confirm'd. Ateukin, come,
Rid me of love, and rid me of my grief;
Drive thou the tyrant from this tainted breast,
Then may I triumph in the height of joy.
Go to mine Ida, tell her that I vow
To raise her head, and make her honours great:
Go to mine Ida, tell her that her hairs
Shall be embellishèd with orient pearls,
And crowns of sapphire, compassing her brows,
Shall war with those sweet beauties of her eyes:
Go to mine Ida, tell her that my soul
Shall keep her semblance closèd in my breast;
And I, in touching of her milkwhite mould,
Will think me deified in such a grace.
I like no stay; go write, and I will sign:
Reward me Jaques; give him store of crown[s].
And, Sirrah Andrew, scout thou here in court,
And bring me tidings, if thou canst perceive
The least intent of muttering in my train;
For either those that wrong thy lord or thee
Shall suffer death.
Ateu. How much, O mighty king,
Is thy Ateukin bound to honour thee!—
Bow thee, Andrew, bend thine sturdy knees;
Seest thou not here thine only God on earth?
[Exit the King.
Jaq. Mais ou est mon argent, seigneur?
Ateu. Come, follow me.—[A side.] His grave, I see, is made,
That thus on sudden he hath left us here.—
Come, Jaques: we will have our packet soon despatch'd,
And you shall be my mate upon the way.
Jaq. Comme vous plaira, monsieur.
[Exeunt ATEUKIN and JAQUES.
And. Was never such a world, I think, before,
When sinners seem to dance within a net:
The flatterer and the murderer, they grow big;
By hook or crook promotion now is sought.
In such a world, where men are so misled,
What should I do, but, as the proverb saith,
Run with the hare, and hunt with the hound?
To have two means beseems a witty man.
Now here in court I may aspire and climb
By subtlety, for my master's death:
And if that fail, well fare another drift;
I will, in secret, certain letters send
Unto the English king, and let him know
The order of his daughter's overthrow,
That if my master crack his credit here,
As I am sure long flattery cannot hold,
I may have means within the English court
To scape the scourge that waits on bad advice.
Chorus. Enter BOHAN and OBERON.
Ober. Believe me, bonny Scot, these strange events
Are passing pleasing, may they end as well.
Boh. Else say that Bohan hath a barren skull,
If better motions yet than any past
Do not more glee to make the fairy greet.
But my small son made pretty handsome shift
To save the queen his mistress, by his speed.
Ober. Yea, and you laddy, for the sport he made,
Shall see, when least he hopes, I'll stand his friend,
Or else he capers in a halter's end.
Boh. What, hang my son! I trow not, Oberon:
I'll rather die than see him wobegone.
Enter a round, or some dance at pleasure.
Ober. Bohan, be pleas'd, for, do they what they will,
Here is my hand, I'll save thy son from ill.
Enter QUEEN DOROTHEA in man's apparel and in a nightgown, LADY ANDERSON,
and NANO; and SIR CUTHBERT ANDERSON behind.
Lady An. My gentle friend, beware, in taking air,
Your walks grow not offensive to your wounds.
Q. Dor. Madam, I thank you of your courteous care:
My wounds are well-nigh clos'd, though sore they are.
Lady An. Methinks these closèd wounds should breed more grief,
Since open wounds have cure and find relief.
Q. Dor. Madam, if undiscover'd wounds you mean,
They are not cur'd, because they are not seen.
Lady An. I mean the wounds which do the heart subdue.
Nano. O, that is love: madam, speak I not true?
[LADY ANDERSON overhears.
Lady An. Say it were true, what salve for such a sore?
Nano. Be wise, and shut such neighbours out of door.
Lady An. How if I cannot drive him from my breast?
Nano. Then chain him well, and let him do his best.
Sir Cuth. [aside.] In ripping up their wounds, I see their wit;
But if these wounds be cur'd, I sorrow it.
Q. Dor. Why are you so intentive to behold
My pale and woful looks, by care controll'd?
Lady An. Because in them a ready way is found
To cure my care and heal my hidden wound.
Nano. Good master, shut your eyes, keep that conceit;
Surgeons give coin to get a good receipt.
Q. Dor. Peace, wanton son: this lady did amend
My wounds; mine eyes her hidden grief shall end:
Look not too much, it is a weighty case.
Nano. Whereas a man puts on a maiden's face,
For many times, if ladies 'ware them not,
A nine months' wound with little work is got.
Sir Cuth. [aside.] I'll break off their dispute, lest love proceed
From covert smiles to perfect love indeed.
Nano. The cat's abroad, stir not, the mice be still.
Lady An. Tut, we can fly such cats, when so we will.
Sir Cuth. How fares my guest? take cheer, naught shall default,
That either doth concern your health or joy:
Use me, my house, and what is mine as yours.
Q. Dor. Thanks, gentle knight; and if all hopes be true,
I hope ere long to do as much for you.
Sir Cuth. Your virtue doth acquit me of that doubt:
But, courteous sir, since troubles call me hence,
I must to Edinburgh, unto the king,
There to take charge and wait him in his wars.—
Meanwhile, good madam, take this squire in charge,
And use him so as if it were myself.
Lady An. Sir Cuthbert, doubt not of my diligence:
Meanwhile, till your return, God send you health.
Q. Dor. God bless his grace, and, if his cause be just,
Prosper his wars; if not, he'll mend, I trust.
Good sir, what moves the king to fall to arms?
Sir Cuth. The King of England forageth his land,
And hath besieg'd Dunbar with mighty force.
Q. Dor. What other news are common in the court?
Sir Cuth. [giving letters to LADY ANDERSON.] Read you these
letters, madam; tell the squire
The whole affairs of state, for I must hence.
Q. Dor. God prosper you, and bring you back from thence!
[Exit SIR CUTHBERT ANDERSON.
Madam, what news?
Lady An. They say the queen is slain.
Q. Dor. Tut, such reports more false than truth contain.
Lady An. But these reports have made his nobles leave him.
Q. Dor. Ah, careless men, and would they so deceive him?
Lady An. The land is spoil'd, the commons fear the cross;
All cry against the king, their cause of loss:
The English king subdues and conquers all.
Q. Dor. Alas, this war grows great on causes small!
Lady An. Our court is desolate, our prince alone,
Still dreading death.
Q. Dor. Woes me, for him I moan!
Help, now help, a sudden qualm
Assails my heart!
Nano. Good madam, stand his friend:
Give us some liquor to refresh his heart.
Lady An. Daw thou him up, and I will fetch thee forth
Potions of comfort, to repress his pain.
Nano. Fie, princess, faint on every fond report!
How well-nigh had you open'd your estate!
Cover these sorrows with the veil of joy,
And hope the best; for why this war will cause
A great repentance in your husband's mind.
Q. Dor. Ah, Nano, trees live not without their sap,
And Clytie cannot blush but on the sun;
The thirsty earth is broke with many a gap,
And lands are lean where rivers do not run:
Where soul is reft from that it loveth best,
How can it thrive or boast of quiet rest?
Thou know'st the prince's loss must be my death,
His grief, my grief; his mischief must be mine.
O, if thou love me, Nano, hie to court!
Tell Ross, tell Bartram, that I am alive;
Conceal thou yet the place of my abode:
Will them, even as they love their queen,
As they are chary of my soul and joy,
To guard the king, to serve him as my lord.
Haste thee, good Nano, for my husband's care
Consumeth me, and wounds me to the heart.
Nano. Madam, I go, yet loth to leave you here.
Q. Dor. Go thou with speed: even as thou hold'st me dear,
Return in haste.
Re-enter LADY ANDERSON with broth.
Lady An. Now, sir, what cheer? come taste this broth I bring.
Q. Dor. My grief is past, I feel no further sting.
Lady An. Where is your dwarf? why hath he left you, sir?
Q. Dor. For some affairs: he is not travell'd far.
Lady An. If so you please, come in and take your rest.
Q. Dor. Fear keeps awake a discontented breast.
After a solemn service, enter, from the COUNTESS OF ARRAN'S house, a band
of Revellers: to them ATEUKIN and JAQUES.
Ateu. What means this triumph, friend? why are these feasts?
First Revel. Fair Ida, sir, was married yesterday
Unto Sir Eustace, and for that intent
We feast and sport it thus to honour them:
An if you please, come in and take your part;
My lady is no niggard of her cheer.
[Exit with other Revellers.
Jaq. Monseigneur, why be you so sadda? faites
bonne chere: foutre de ce monde!
Ateu. What, was I born to be the scorn of kin?
To gather feathers like to a hopper-crow,
And lose them in the height of all my pomp?
Accursèd man, now is my credit lost!
Where are my vows I made unto the king?
What shall become of me, if he shall hear
That I have caus'd him kill a virtuous queen,
And hope in vain for that which now is lost?
Where shall I hide my head? I know the heavens
Are just and will revenge; I know my sins
Exceed compare. Should I proceed in this,
This Eustace must amain be made away.
O, were I dead, how happy should I be!
Jaq. Est ce donc à tel point votre etat? faith, then, adieu,
Scotland, adieu, Signior Ateukin: me will homa to France, and no be hanged in a
Ateu. Thou dost me good to leave me thus alone,
That galling grief and I may yoke in one.
O, what are subtle means to climb on high,
When every fall swarms with exceeding shame?
I promis'd Ida's love unto the prince,
But she is lost, and I am false forsworn.
I practis'd Dorothea's hapless death,
And by this practice have commenc'd a war.
O cursèd race of men, that traffic guile,
And in the end themselves and kings beguile!
Asham'd to look upon my prince again,
Asham'd of my suggestions and advice,
Asham'd of life, asham'd that I have err'd,
I'll hide myself, expecting for my shame.
Thus God doth work with those that purchase fame
By flattery, and make their prince their game.
Enter the KING OF ENGLAND, PERCY, SAMLES, and others.
K. of Eng. Thus far, ye English peers, have we display'd
Our waving ensigns with a happy war;
Thus nearly hath our furious rage reveng'd
My daughter's death upon the traitorous Scot.
And now before Dunbar our camp is pitch'd;
Which, if it yield not to our compromise,
The plough shall furrow where the palace stood,
And fury shall enjoy so high a power
That mercy shall be banish'd from our swords.
Enter DOUGLAS and others on the walls.
Doug. What seeks the English king?
K. of Eng. Scot, open those gates, and let me enter in:
Submit thyself and thine unto my grace,
Or I will put each mother's son to death,
And lay this city level with the ground.
Doug. For what offence, for what default of ours,
Art thou incens'd so sore against our state?
Can generous hearts in nature be so stern
To prey on those that never did offend?
What though the lion, king of brutish race,
Through outrage sin, shall lambs be therefore slain?
Or is it lawful that the humble die
Because the mighty do gainsay the right?
O English king, thou bearest in thy crest
The king of beasts, that harms not yielding ones:
The roseal cross is spread within thy field,
A sign of peace, not of revenging war.
Be gracious, then, unto this little town;
And, though we have withstood thee for a while
To show allegiance to our liefest liege,
Yet since we know no hope of any help,
Take us to mercy, for we yield ourselves.
K. of Eng. What, shall I enter, then, and be your lord?
Doug. We will submit us to the English king.
[They descend down, open the gates, and humble themselves.
K. of Eng. Now life and death dependeth on my sword:
This hand now rear'd, my Douglas, if I list,
Could part thy head and shoulders both in twain;
But since I see thee wise and old in years,
True to thy king, and faithful in his wars,
Live thou and thine. Dunbar is too-too small
To give an entrance to the English king:
I, eagle-like, disdain these little fowls,
And look on none but those that dare resist.
Enter your town, as those that live by me:
For others that resist, kill, forage, spoil.
Mine English soldiers, as you love your king,
Revenge his daughter's death, and do me right.
Enter a Lawyer, a Merchant, and a Divine.
Law. My friends, what think you of this present state?
Were ever seen such changes in a time?
The manners and the fashions of this age
Are, like the ermine['s] skin, so full of spots,
As soone[r] may the Moor be washèd white
Than these corruptions banish'd from this realm.
Merch. What sees Mas Lawyer in this state amiss?
Law. A wresting power that makes a nose of wax
Of grounded law, a damn'd and subtle drift
In all estates to climb by others' loss,
An eager thirst of wealth, forgetting truth:
Might I ascend unto the highest states,
And by descent discover every crime,
My friends, I should lament, and you would grieve
To see the hapless ruins of this realm.
Div. O lawyer, thou hast curious eyes to pry
Into the secret maims of their estate;
But if thy veil of error were unmask'd,
Thyself should see your sect do maim her most.
Are you not those that should maintain the peace,
Yet only are the patrons of our strife?
If your profession have his ground and spring
First from the laws of God, then country's right,
Not any ways inverting nature's power,
Why thrive you by contentions? why devise you
Clauses and subtle reasons to except?
Our state was first, before you grew so great,
A lantern to the world for unity:
Now they that are befriended and are rich
Oppress the poor: come Homer without coin,
He is not heard. What shall we term this drift?
To say the poor man's cause is good and just,
And yet the rich man gains the best in law.
It is your guise (the more the world laments)
To coin provisos to beguile your laws,
To make a gay pretext of due proceeding,
When you delay your common-pleas for years.
Mark what these dealings lately here have wrought:
The crafty men have purchas'd great men's lands;
They powl, they pinch, their tenants are undone;
If these complain, by you they are undone;
You fleece them of their coin, their children beg,
And many want, because you may be rich:
This scar is mighty, Master Lawyer.
Now war hath gotten head within this land,
Mark but the guise. The poor man that is wrong'd
Is ready to rebel; he spoils, he pills;
We need no foes to forage that we have:
The law, say they, in peace consumèd us,
And now in war we will consume the law.
Look to this mischief, lawyers: conscience knows
You live amiss; amend it, lest you end.
Law. Good Lord, that these divines should see so far
In others' faults, without amending theirs!
Sir, sir, the general defaults in state
(If you would read before you did correct)
Are, by a hidden working from above,
By their successive changes still remov'd.
Were not the law by contraries maintain'd,
How could the truth from falsehood be discern'd?
Did we not taste the bitterness of war,
How could we know the sweet effects of peace?
Did we not feel the nipping winter-frosts,
How should we know the sweetness of the spring?
Should all things still remain in one estate,
Should not in greatest arts some scars be found,
Were all upright nor chang'd, what world were this?
A chaos, made of quiet, yet no world,
Because the parts thereof did still accord:
This matter craves a variance, not a speech.
But, Sir Divine, to you: look on your maims,
Divisions, sects, your simonies, and bribes,
Your cloaking with the great for fear to fall,
You shall perceive you are the cause of all.
Did each man know there were a storm at hand,
Who would not clothe him well, to shun the wet?
Did prince and peer, the lawyer and the least,
Know what were sin without a partial gloss,
We'd need no long discoursing then of crimes,
For each would mend, advis'd by holy men.
Thus [I] but slightly shadow out your sins;
But if they were depainted out for life,
Alas, we both had wounds enough to heal!
Merch. None of you both, I see, but are in fault;
Thus simple men, as I, do swallow flies.
This grave divine can tell us what to do;
But we may say, "Physician, mend thyself."
This lawyer hath a pregnant wit to talk;
But all are words, I see no deeds of worth.
Law. Good merchant, lay your fingers on your mouth;
Be not a blab, for fear you bite yourself.
What should I term your state, but even the way
To every ruin in this commonweal?
You bring us in the means of all excess,
You rate it and retail it as you please;
You swear, forswear, and all to compass wealth;
Your money is your god, your hoard your heaven;
You are the ground-work of contention.
First heedless youth by you is over-reach'd;
We are corrupted by your many crowns:
The gentlemen, whose titles you have bought,
Lose all their fathers' toil within a day,
Whilst Hob your son, and Sib your nutbrown child,
Are gentlefolks, and gentles are beguil'd.
This makes so many noble minds to stray,
And take sinister courses in the state.
Enter a Scout.
Scout. My friends, be gone, an if you love your lives;
The King of England marcheth here at hand:
Enter the camp, for fear you be surpris'd.
Div. Thanks, gentle scout.—God mend that is amiss,
And place true zeal whereas corruption is!
Enter QUEEN DOROTHEA in man's apparel, LADY ANDERSON, and NANO.
Q. Dor. What news in court, Nano? let us know it.
Nano. If so you please, my lord, I straight will show it:
The English King hath all the borders spoil'd,
Hath taken Morton prisoner, and hath slain
Seven thousand Scottish lads not far from Tweed.
Q. Dor. A woful murder and a bloody deed!
Nano. The king, our liege, hath sought by many means
For to appease his enemy by prayers:
Naught will prevail unless he can restore
Fair Dorothea, long supposèd dead:
To this intent he hath proclaimèd late,
That whosoe'er return the queen to court
Shall have a thousand marks for his reward.
Lady An. He loves her, then, I see, although enforc'd,
That would bestow such gifts for to regain her.
Why sit you sad, good sir? be not dismay'd.
Nano. I'll lay my life, this man would be a maid.
Q. Dor. [aside.] Fain would I show myself, and change my tire.
Lady An. Whereon divine you, sir?
Nano. Upon desire.
Madam, mark but my skill, I'll lay my life,
My master here will prove a married wife.
Q. Dor. [aside to N.] Wilt thou bewray me, Nano?
Nano. [aside to Q. D.] Madam, no:
You are a man, and like a man you go:
But I that am in speculation seen
Know you would change your state and be a queen.
Q. Dor. [aside to N.] Thou art not, dwarf, to learn thy mistress'
Fain would I with thyself disclose my kind,
But yet I blush.
Nano. [aside to Q. D.] What blush you, madam, than,
To be yourself, who are a feignèd man?
Let me alone.
Lady An. Deceitful beauty, hast thou scorn'd me so?
Nano. Nay, muse not, madam, for he tells you true.
Lady An. Beauty bred love, and love hath bred my shame.
Nano. And women's faces work more wrongs than these:
Take comfort, madam, to cure your disease.
And yet he loves a man as well as you,
Only this difference, he cannot fancy two.
Lady An. Blush, grieve, and die in thine insatiate lust.
Q. Dor. Nay, live, and joy that thou hast won a friend,
That loves thee as his life by good desert.
Lady An. I joy, my lord, more than my tongue can tell:
Though not as I desir'd, I love you well.
But modesty, that never blush'd before,
Discover my false heart: I say no more.
Let me alone.
Q. Dor. Good Nano, stay awhile.
Were I not sad, how kindly could I smile,
To see how fain I am to leave this weed!
And yet I faint to show myself indeed:
But danger hates delay, I will be bold.—
Fair lady, I am not, [as you] suppose,
A man, but even that queen, more hapless I,
Whom Scottish King appointed hath to die;
I am the hapless princess for whose right
These kings in bloody wars revenge despite;
I am that Dorothea whom they seek,
Yours bounden for your kindness and relief;
And since you are the means that save my life,
Yourself and I will to the camp repair,
Whereas your husband shall enjoy reward,
And bring me to his highness once again.
Lady An. Pardon, most gracious princess, if you please,
My rude discourse and homely entertain;
And if my words may savour any worth,
Vouchsafe my counsel in this weighty cause:
Since that our liege hath so unkindly dealt,
Give him no trust, return unto your sire;
There may you safely live in spite of him.
Q. Dor. Ah lady, so would worldly counsel work;
But constancy, obedience, and my love,
In that my husband is my lord and chief,
These call me to compassion of his state:
Dissuade me not, for virtue will not change.
Lady An. What wondrous constancy is this I hear!
If English dames their husbands love so dear,
I fear me, in the world they have no peer.
Nano. Come, princess, wend, and let us change your weed:
I long to see you now a queen indeed.
Enter the KING OF SCOTS, the English Herald, and Lords.
K. of Scots. He would have parley, lords:—herald, say he shall,
And get thee gone: go, leave me to myself.
[Exit Herald.—Lords retire.
'Twixt love and fear continual are the wars;
The one assures me of my Ida's love,
The other moves me for my murder'd queen:
Thus find I grief of that whereon I joy,
And doubt in greatest hope, and death in weal.
Alas, what hell may be compar'd with mine,
Since in extremes my comforts do consist!
War then will cease when dead ones are reviv'd;
Some then will yield when I am dead for hope.—
Who doth disturb me? Andrew?
Enter ANDREW and SLIPPER.
And. Ay, my liege.
K. of Scots. What news?
And. I think my mouth was made at first
To tell these tragic tales, my liefest lord.
K. of Scots. What, is Ateukin dead? tell me the worst.
And. No, but your Ida—shall I tell him all?—
Is married late—ah, shall I say to whom?—
My master sad—for why he shames the court—
Is fled away; ah most unhappy flight!
Only myself—ah, who can love you more!—
To show my duty, duty past belief,
Am come unto your grace, O gracious liege,
To let you know—O, would it were not thus!—
That love is vain and maids soon lost and won.
K. of Scots. How have the partial heavens, then, dealt with me,
Boding my weal for to abase my power!
Alas, what thronging thoughts do me oppress!
Injurious love is partial in my right,
And flattering tongues, by whom I was misled,
Have laid a snare to spoil my state and me.
Methinks I hear my Dorothea's ghost
Howling revenge for my accursèd hate:
The ghosts of those my subjects that are slain
Pursue me, crying out, "Woe, woe to lust!"
The foe pursues me at my palace-door,
He breaks my rest, and spoils me in my camp.
Ah, flattering brood of sycophants, my foes!
First shall my dire revenge begin on you.
I will reward thee, Andrew.
Slip. Nay, sir, if you be in your deeds of charity, remember me. I
rubbed Master Ateukin's horse-heels when he rid to the meadows.
K. of Scots. And thou shalt have thy recompense for that.—Lords,
bear them to the prison, chain them fast, Until we take some order for their
And. If so your grace in such sort give rewards, Let me have naught; I
am content to want.
Slip. Then, I pray, sir, give me all; I am as ready for a reward as an
oyster for a fresh tide; spare not me, sir.
K. of Scots. Then hang them both as traitors to the king.
Slip. The case is altered, sir: I'll none of your gifts. What, I take a
reward at your hands, master! faith, sir, no; I am a man of a better conscience.
K. of Scots. Why dally you? go draw them hence away.
Slip. Why, alas, sir, I will go away.—I thank you, gentle friends;
I pray you spare your pains: I will not trouble his honour's mastership; I'll
K. of Scots. Why stay you? move me not. Let search be made
For vile Ateukin: whoso finds him out
Shall have five hundred marks for his reward.
Away with them!
Enter OBERON and Antics, and carryaway SLIPPER; he makes mops, and
sports, and scorns. ANDREW is removed.
Lords, troop about my tent:
Let all our soldiers stand in battle 'ray,
For, lo, the English to their parley come.
March over bravely, first the English host, the sword carried before the
King by PERCY; the Scottish on the other side, with all their pomp,
What seeks the King of England in this land?
K. of Eng. False, traitorous Scot, I come for to revenge
My daughter's death; I come to spoil thy wealth,
Since thou hast spoil'd me of my marriage-joy;
I come to heap thy land with carcases,
That this thy thirsty soil, chok'd up with blood,
May thunder forth revenge upon thy head;
I come to quit thy lawless love with death:
In brief, no means of peace shall e'er be found,
Except I have my daughter or thy head.
K. of Scots. My head, proud king! abase thy pranking plumes:
So striving fondly mayst thou catch thy grave.
But if true judgment do direct thy course,
These lawful reasons should divide the war:
Faith, not by my consent thy daughter died.
K. of Eng. Thou liest, false Scot! thy agents have confess'd it.
These are but fond delays: thou canst not think
A means to reconcile me for thy friend.
I have thy parasite's confession penn'd;
What, then, canst thou allege in thy excuse?
K. of Scots. I will repay the ransom for her blood.
K. of Eng. What, think'st thou, caitiff, I will sell my child?
No, if thou be a prince and man-at-arms,
In single combat come and try thy right,
Else will I prove thee recreant to thy face.
K. of Scots. I brook no combat, false injurious king.
But since thou needless art inclin'd to war,
Do what thou dar'st; we are in open field;
Arming my battle, I will fight with thee.
K. of Eng. Agreed.—Now, trumpets, sound a dreadful charge.
Fight for your princess, [my] brave Englishmen!
K. of Scots. Now for your lands, your children, and your wives,
My Scottish peers, and lastly for your king!
Alarum sounded; both the battles offer to meet, and, just as they are joining,
enter SIR CUTHBERT ANDERSON and LADY ANDERSON, with QUEEN DOROTHEA
richly attired, and NANO.
Sir Cuth. Stay, princes, wage not war: a privy grudge
'Twixt such as you, most high in majesty,
Afflicts both nocent and the innocent.
How many swords, dear princes, see I drawn!
The friend against his friend, a deadly fiend;
A desperate division in those lands
Which, if they join in one, command the world.
O, stay! with reason mitigate your rage;
And let an old man, humbled on his knees,
Entreat a boon, good princes, of you both.
K. of Eng. I condescend, for why thy reverend years
Import some news of truth and consequence.
K. of Scots. I am content, for, Anderson, I know
Thou art my subject and dost mean me good.
Sir Cuth. But by your gracious favours grant me this,
To swear upon your sword[s] to do me right.
K. of Eng. See, by my sword and by a prince's faith,
In every lawful sort I am thine own.
K. of Scots. And, by my sceptre and the Scottish crown,
I am resolv'd to grant thee thy request.
Sir Cuth. I see you trust me, princes, who repose
The weight of such a war upon my will.
Now mark my suit. A tender lion's whelp,
This other day, came straggling in the woods,
Attended by a young and tender hind,
In courage haught, yet 'tirèd like a lamb.
The prince of beasts had left this young in keep,
To foster up as love-mate and compeer,
Unto the lion's mate, a neighbour-friend:
This stately guide, seducèd by the fox,
Sent forth an eager wolf, bred up in France,
That grip'd the tender whelp and wounded it.
By chance, as I was hunting in the woods,
I heard the moan the hind made for the whelp:
I took them both and brought them to my house.
With chary care I have recur'd the one;
And since I know the lions are at strife
About the loss and damage of the young,
I bring her home; make claim to her who list.
[Discovers QUEEN DOROTHEA.
Q. Dor. I am the whelp, bred by this lion up,
This royal English King, my happy sire:
Poor Nano is the hind that tended me.
My father, Scottish King, gave me to thee,
A hapless wife: thou, quite misled by youth,
Hast sought sinister loves and foreign joys.
The fox Ateukin, cursèd parasite,
Incens'd your grace to send the wolf abroad,
The French-born Jaques, for to end my days:
He, traitorous man, pursu'd me in the woods,
And left me wounded; where this noble knight
Both rescu'd me and mine, and sav'd my life.
Now keep thy promise: Dorothea lives;
Give Anderson his due and just reward:
And since, you kings, your wars began by me,
Since I am safe, return, surcease your fight.
K. of Scots. Durst I presume to look upon those eyes
Which I have tirèd with a world of woes,
Or did I think submission were enough,
Or sighs might make an entrance to my soul,
You heavens, you know how willing I would weep;
You heavens can tell how glad I would submit;
You heavens can say how firmly I would sigh.
Q. Dor. Shame me not, prince, companion in thy bed:
Youth hath misled,—tut, but a little fault:
'Tis kingly to amend what is amiss.
Might I with twice as many pains as these
Unite our hearts, then should my wedded lord
See how incessant labours I would take.—
My gracious father, govern your affects:
Give me that hand, that oft hath blest this head,
And clasp thine arms, that have embrac'd this [neck],
About the shoulders of my wedded spouse.
Ah, mighty prince, this king and I am one!
Spoil thou his subjects, thou despoilest me;
Touch thou his breast, thou dost attaint this heart:
O, be my father, then, in loving him!
K. of Eng. Thou provident kind mother of increase,
Thou must prevail, ah, Nature, thou must rule!
Hold, daughter, join my hand and his in one;
I will embrace him for to favour thee:
I call him friend, and take him for my son.
Q. Dor. Ah, royal husband, see what God hath wrought!
Thy foe is now thy friend.—Good men-at-arms,
Do you the like.—These nations if they join,
What monarch, with his liege-men, in this world,
Dare but encounter you in open field?
K. of Scots. All wisdom, join'd with godly piety!—
Thou English king, pardon my former youth;
And pardon, courteous queen, my great misdeed;
And, for assurance of mine after-life,
I take religious vows before my God,
To honour thee for father, her for wife.
Sir Cuth. But yet my boons, good princes, are not pass'd.
First, English king, I humbly do request,
That by your means our princess may unite
Her love unto mine aldertruest love,
Now you will love, maintain, and help them both.
K. of Eng. Good Anderson, I grant thee thy request.
Sir. Cuth. But you, my prince, must yield me mickle more.
You know your nobles are your chiefest stays,
And long time have been banish'd from your court:
Embrace and reconcile them to yourself;
They are your hands, whereby you ought to work.
As for Ateukin and his lewd compeers,
That sooth'd you in your sins and youthly pomp,
Exile, torment, and punish such as they;
For greater vipers never may be found
Within a state than such aspiring heads,
That reck not how they climb, so that they climb.
K. of Scots. Guid knight, I grant thy suit.—First I submit,
And humbly crave a pardon of your grace.—
Next, courteous queen, I pray thee by thy loves
Forgive mine errors past and pardon me.—
My lords and princes, if I have misdone
(As I have wrong'd indeed both you and yours),
Hereafter, trust me, you are dear to me.
As for Ateukin, whoso finds the man,
Let him have martial law, and straight be hang'd,
As all his vain abettors now are dead.
And Anderson our treasurer shall pay
Three thousand marks for friendly recompense.
Nano. But, princes, whilst you friend it thus in one,
Methinks of friendship Nano shall have none.
Q. Dor. What would my dwarf, that I will not bestow?
Nano. My boon, fair queen, is this,—that you would go:
Although my body is but small and neat,
My stomach, after toil, requireth meat:
An easy suit, dread princess; will you wend?
K. of Scots. Art thou a pigmy-born, my pretty friend?
Nano. Not so, great king, butnature, when she fram'd me,
Was scant of earth, and Nano therefore nam'd me;
And, when she saw my body was so small,
She gave me wit to make it big withal.
K. of Scots. Till time when.
Q. Dor. Eat, then.
K. of Scots. My friend, it stands with wit,
To take repast when stomach serveth it.
Q. Dor. Thy policy, my Nano, shall prevail.—
Come, royal father, enter we my tent:—
And, soldiers, feast it, frolic it, like friends:—
My princes, bid this kind and courteous train
Partake some favours of our late accord.
Thus wars have end, and, after dreadful hate,
Men learn at last to know their good estate.
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