Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

A Collection Of Old English Plays, Vol. IV. by Editor: A.H. Bullen

Part 6 out of 9

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.8 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

_Fred_. Speech doth want modesty to set her forth
In her true forme, base and contemptible;
The very hindes and peasants of the land
Will bee Corrivals with your excellence
If you espouse such a notorious Trull.

_Albert_. We shall have lust a virtue in the Court,
The wayes of sinne be furthered by reward,
Panders and Parasites sit in the places
Of the wise Counsellors and hurry all.

_Fred_. Father, as you are princely in your birth,
Famous in your estate, belov'd of all,
And (which ads greatest glory to your greatnesse,)
Esteemed[195] wise, shew not such open[196] folly
Such palpable, such grosse, such mountaine folly;
Be not the By-word of your neighbour Kings,
The scandall of your Subjects, and the triumph
Of _Lenos, Macrios_,[197] and the hatefull stewes.
Why speake you not, that are his brother friends,
You that doe weare the Liveries of time,
The silver cognizance of gravitie?
Shall none but young me schoole the reverent [_sic_] old?
Birds teach the Dam, stars fill the glorious spheares
Of the all lightning Sunne? speake whilst you may,
Or this rash deede will make a fatall day.

_Duke_. You have said too much, encourage none to speake
More then have spoke[n]; by my royall blood,
My mind's establisht, not to be withstood.
Those that applaud my choyse give us your hands,
And helpe to tye these sacred nuptiall bands.

_Hat_. What likes your excellence, likes me well.

_Alfred_. And I agree to what my Soveraigne please.

_Fred_. These are no brothers, they are flatterers,
Contrary to themselves in their owne speech.
You that doe love the honour of your Prince,
The care and long life of my father,
The hereditary right deriv'd to me,
Your countries Welfare, and your owne renowne,
Lend me your hands to plucke her from the throne.

_Valen_. Princes, forbeare, I doe not seeke the match;
It is his highnesse pleasure I sit here,
And if he love me 'tis no fault of mine.
Behoves me to be thankefull to his Grace,
And strive in virtue to deserve this place.

_Duke_. Thou speak'st too mildly to these hare braind youthes.
He that presumes to plucke her from the chaire
Dyes in the attempt, this sword shall end all care.

_Fred_. Why, shee's notorious.

_Duke_. But she will amend.

_Fred_. 'Tis too farre growne to have a happy end.

_Duke_. The dangerous the disease, greater's the cure.

_Fred_. Princes may seeke renowne by wayes more sure,
Shee is dishonest.

_Duke_. Honestie's unseene;
Shee's faire, and therefore fit to be a Queene.

_Fred_. But vertue is to be preferd ere lust.

_Duke_. Those that are once false, shall we ne're trust?

_Fred_. Wise men approve their actions by the tryall.

_Duke_. I say she is mine in spight of all deniall;
Bring me the Crowne.

_Fred_. To set upon her head?
Friends, draw your swords, first strike the strumpet dead.

_Duke_. My guard, my guard!

_Alfred_. For shame, put up your swords.

_Fred_. For shame, great Rulers, leave your flattering words.

_Albert_. 'Tis madnesse in the King and worse in you.

_Hat_. Though you prove traytors, we'll not prove untrue.

_Fred_. Will you dismisse this Strumpet to the stewes,
Or our allegance in this act refuse?

_Duke_. Doe what you dare, the election still shall stand.

_Fred_. Woe and destruction then must rule the land.
Come, Lord _Rinaldo_, valiant _Alberto_, come;
We have friends enough to grace a warlike Drum. [_A shout within_.
Hearke how the Commons doe applaud our cause.
Lascivious Duke, farewell, father, oh vilde!
Where Queanes are mothers, _Fredericke_ is no child.

[_Exeunt_.

_Duke_. My guard pursue them, and alive or dead
Cut off the cause by which these cries are bred.
Come, my faire Dutchesse; first unto the Church,
There sollemnize our nuptials; then unto our armes:
A little rough breath overbeares these stormes.

[_Exeunt. Manet Alfred & Hatto_.

_Alfred_. The Duke's besotted. Now we are secure;
This match makes well for us; we may command
And on them lay the abuses of the land.

_Hat_. Excellent good; we are like to have warres indeed,
But in the meane the poore will starve for bread.
Wee must share proffits, howsoere things goe.
Winner or looser, neither is our foe;
For mutually we'll beare our selues in all
Or taking part leane to the strongest wall.

[_Exeunt_.

[SCENE 2.]

_Enter Constantine and Euphrata_.

_Euph_. My father married to a Concubine!
Then he will pardon though I marry thee;
And howsoe'r, about it presently,
The rather for _Montano_ is repealde,
Because of his alliance to _Valentia_.

_Con_. I am ready, gentle love, and glad in mind
That my faire _Euphrata_ will prove so kind.

_Euph_. Come my deare _Constantine_, performe this right [_sic_],
And arme in arme thus will we sleepe to night.

[_Exeunt_.

[SCENE 3.]

_Enter Fredericke, Rinaldo, and Alberto, with Drum,
Colours, and Souldiers_.

_Fred_. You that are carefull of your countries weale,
Fellow compere, Supporter of the State,
Let us imbrace in steele, our cause is good.
What minde so base that would not shed his blood
To free his countrey from so great an ill
As now raignes in it by lascivious will?
Our[198] friends to warre and, for my part,
Ere lust beare sway, Ile gladly yeeld my heart.

_Alberto_. I heare the Duke is strong.

_Fred_. Suppose him so,
And be advis'd strongly to meete the foe.
I had rather, you should think him ten thousand strong
Then find it so to our destruction.
An enemy thought many and found few,
When our first courage failes, gives us a new.

[_Alarum_.

_Alberto_. That's the Dukes Drum.

_Fred_. They are welcome to their death,
The ground they tread on covers them with earth.

[_Exeunt_.

_Enter Fredericke and Duke severall_.

_Fred_. The enemy sends forth a Champion
To encounter me, I heard him use my name;
The honour of the combate shall be mine.

_Duke_. Come, boy, retreate not, only I intend
With thy lifes losse this bloody warre to end.

_Fred_. My naturall father in my blood I feele,
Passion more powerfull then that conquering steele.

_Duke_. Why dost thou pause, base boy? thy Soveraigne's come,
To inter the life I gave thee in this tombe.

_Fred_. My father, oh my father! nature, be still
That I may have my fame, or he his will.

_Duke_. What, dost thou feare thy cause? is't now so evill?

_Fred_. I am possest with a relenting devill;
Legions of kinde thoughts have supriz'd my sense
And I am too weake to be mine owne defence.

_Duke_. Thou art a coward.

_Fred_. And you make me so,
For you come charm'd like a dishonest[199] foe.
You have conferr'd with spirits, and tane their aydes
To make me weake, by them I am betraid,
My strength drawne from me by a slight;
What other meanes could hold me from the fight?

_Duke_. I have no spells about me.

_Fred_. 'Tis untrue,
For naturall Magique you have brought with you,
And such an exorcisme in your name
That I forbeare the combate to my shame.
But that I am no coward, from your host
Elect two of the valiantst that dare most;
Double that number, treble it, or more,
I have heart at will t'encounter with a score.
Or had your selfe come in a strange attire,
One of us twaine had lost his living fire.

_Enter[200] Montano, Alfred, Vandermas, Valentia, and others_.

_Duke_. Ile trie your valour; see, audacious boy,
Thou art incompast with a world of foes
_Montano, Alfred, Vandermas_, and all:
My Dutchesse comes, too, to behold thy fall.
If thou hast spirit enough, now crave her ayd,
Never was poore ventrous souldier worse apayd.
[_Exit Duke_.

_Fred_. My[201] desire now from the skie of starres.
Dart all your Deitie, since I am beset,
In honourable wise pay[202] all Natures debt.

_They fight, Fredericke beats them off and courses
the Dutchesse over the stage_.

_Actus Quartus_.

[SCENE 1.]

_Enter [at one door] Duke, Montano, Valentia, Hatto, and Alfred.

Drumme, Colours, and Souldiers. [At another door
enter Frederick, Rinaldo, Alberto, with soldiers_.]

_Duke_. Our anger long agoe, renowned Lords,
Is satisfied in faire _Valentias_ love.
Behold our proud sonne and these traiterous crew
That dares confront us in the field of _Mars_.

_Valen_. You have been too patient, my beloved Lord,
In calming these tumultuous jarring spirits.
Scourge them with steele, and make the proudest know
Tis more then death to have their Prince their foe.

_Mon_. Bloody constraints beseemes where dutie failes,
And, oratory ceasing, force prevailes.

_Hat_. Peace would doe better, so it pleas'd your sonne.

_Fred_. In her allurements first [the strife] begun;
Banish her from the land, and Ile resigne.

_Duke_. Learne thine owne dutie, traitor, I know mine.

_Albert_. Then there's no banishment?

_Duke_. None but by death;
Thy head is forfeit for that daring breath.

_Alfred_. Submit, degenerate and presumptuous Lord.

_Albert_. When we are ignorant to weild a sword.

_Fred_. Never shall noble knee bend to this ground,
As long as that vile strumpet liveth crownd.

_Duke_. I cannot stay to heare my love deprav'd.
In few words is it peace, or shall we fight
Till our deepe wounds shall dampe the heavenly light,
Make the ayre purple with the reaking gore?

_Fre_. Fight, whilst life serves you, we will nere give ore;
The grasse greene pavement shall be drownd in blood,
And yet Ile wade to kill her in the flood.

_Duke_. Alarum, Drum! madnesse is on their side,
All vertuous counsell is by them defied.
Upon our part strike Drums, Trumpets proclaime
Death most assur'd to those that love their shame.

_Alarum, fight lustily, and drive away the Duke;
Fredericke pursues Valentia over the stage and
takes her; a Retreate sounded_.

_Enter at one doore the Duke, Mon., Hatto, and
Alfred, with Drum and Colours.--Enter at the
other doore Fredericke leading Valentia prisoner,
Rinaldo and Alberto with Drum and Colours_.

_Duke_. Why doe traitors sound retreate so soone?

_Fred_. Behold the cause.

_Duke_. _Valentia_ prisoner?

_Fred_. The firebrand of this tumultuous warre,
The originall from whence your subjects bloud
Flowes in abundance on[203] this spatious playn.

_Valen_. And what of all this?

_Fred_. That thy lifes too meane
To satisfie the unworthiest of the Campe
For the effusion of a loyall drop.

_Duke_. Meanes _Fredericke_ then, to kill his fathers heart In faire
_Valentia's_ death?

_Fred_. Not touch your hand,
Other then humble as becomes a sonne;
But she shall suffer for enchanting you.

_Valen_. I am a Dutchesse, set my ransome downe.

_Fred_. A Dutchesse! whence proceeds that borowed name?
Of what continuance? scarcely hath the Sunne
Beheld thy pride a day, but doth decline
Shaming to view a crowned Concubine.

_Duke_. In mine owne honour, _Fredericke_, I command
Thou set a ransome on _Valentia_.

_Fred_. What honor's that? your Dukedomes interest?
Your princely birth? your honerable fame?
All these are blemisht with a strumpets name.

_Mon_. Be not so cruell to bereave her life
'Twill draw upon thee a perpetuall scar,--
Thy fathers curse, and a continuall warre.

_Duke_. Oh doe not threaten; _Fredericke_ is so mild
He will not prove such a degenerate child.
I cannot blame him tho' hee rise in armes:
'Twas not in hate to me, but in disdaine
That I should sell my royaltie so vaine;
But did he know the value of the jem,
Hee would not crase[204] it for a Dyadem.
That shee was common her owne words approve,
But many faults are cover'd where men love.
As thou respects my blessing and good dayes,
Restore her, _Fredericke_, and augment her prayse.

_Fred_. Restore her?

_Albert_. Never.

_Duke_. _Albert_, thou wert kind
And I ne're wrong'd thee; doe not change thy minde.

_Hat_. You doe abase your honour to intreate.

_Duke_. How can I choose? my affection is so great.

_Alfred_. Your power is strong, the enemy is but weake.

_Duke_. In her destruction all my powers will breake.
As thou dost hope of kindnesse in thy choyse
If ere thou love, give eare unto my voice;
Turne not aside thy eye, the feares I feele
Makes me to bow, where tis thy part to kneele.
Loe vassailelike, laying aside command,
I humbly crave this favour at thy hand:
Let me have my beloved, and take my state;
My life I undervalue to that rate.
Crave anything that in my power doth lye,
Tis thine, so faire _Valentia_ may not dye.

_Fred_. My soule is griev'd, and it appals my blood
To see my father pusseld in such mood.
Yet shall shee dye, Ile doe as I have said;
With mine hand Ile chop off the Strumpets head.

_Alberto_. Kill her, my Lord, or let me have the honour.

_Duke_. Tigers would save her, if they lookt upon her;
Shee is so beautifull, so heavenly bright,
That she would make them love her for the sight.
Thou art more rude then such if thou proceede
In the execution of so vilde a deede.
Remember one thing, I did never love
Till thou, my _Fredericke_, broughtst that fatall Glove.
That and the Owners name thou didst descry;
Onely for that cause, let not my love dye.

_Fred_. O gods!

_Duke_. Cannot my kneeling serve, my teares prevaile,
When all helpes faile mee, yet this will not faile:
Proffer thy weapon to her beautious side,
And with her heart my heart I will divide.
Intreaty Ile urge none more then are past,
And either now relent or heres my last.

_Fred_. Stay: if I should relent, will you agree
To sign our general pardon presently?

_Duke_. By heaven I doe, I freely pardon all
And a reward I give in generall.

_Fred_. Then take her, you deserve her were shee better,
Making your Crown and life to be her Debter.

_Duke_. Welcome a thousand times, welcome, sweete wife,
Never more deare then now I have saved[205] thy life.

_Valen_. This more then kindnesse I turne backe to you,
Doubling my chast vow to bee ever true.

_Fred_. Then here the warres end, here[206] our fightings marde,
Yet by your leave Ile stand upon my Guard.

_Duke_. Take any course you please, Citie or Towne,
My royall word Ile keepe by this my Crowne.

_Fred_. Then thus Ile take my leave.

_Duke_. Since we must part,
Farewell, my Sonne, all farewell with my heart.

[_Exeunt Fred, and his [sic]_.

_Mon_. Twas well, my Lord, 'twas a good policie,
To gaine your bride: I hope your grace did not meane
To be thus overrulde, by a proud Sonne.

_Duke_. Why, thinke you he intends some treachery?

_Mon_. Why not? and did release _Valentia_
To blind your eyes. Hee that could be so proud,
To rise in armes against his naturall Father,
Hath courage to doe more when he sees time.

_Duke_. But I have pardon'd that offence by oath.

_Mon_. It were no periury to make him know
Hee is your Sonne, and sonnes a dutie owe.
This sequestration will in time aspire
Unto a flame shall set your Realme on fire;
For[207] when a Subject hath the meanes of will,
'Tis not enough, to say he has no will;
For will is alter'd by the place and time
And hee that's once up knowes the way to clime.
I speake perchance like a prophetique foole,
But these are wise can counsaile with your bride;
Wisedome adviseth timely to provide.

_Duke_. What thinkes my love of _Frederickes_ reconcilment?

_Valen_. That he has spirit enough, to be a traytor.
But I am beholding to him for a life
And he may brag he gave your grace a wife.
A [O?] good old man, he could not choose but feele
For shame some small remorse to see you kneele.
Pray God he gave me not into your hand
That he might be the ruine of your land.

_Duke_. Thinkes my love so? but, brothers, what's your censure?

_Hat_. I am no Polititian.

_Alfred_. Neither I:
Wee are both content to live quietly.

_Duke_. Hee may be a villaine tho' he be my Sonne.

_Mon_. Why not? and worke your ruine like a foe.
Had he meant well, why did he leave you so?
Your noble heart was free from all deceipt,
But hee's retirde to doe some dangerous feate.
When Subjects stand upon their guard, looke to't,
They have some plot in hand, and they will do't.

_Duke_. What course is readiest to prevent such mischiefe?

_Mon_. Plucke up the fulsome thistle in the prime:
Young trees bend lightly, but grow strong in time.
Were I the worthiest to advise your honour,
You should pursue him with your spredding bandes
Swifter in march then is the lightning flame,
And take him tardy whilst his plots are tame.
Now to charge on his army, questionlesse
Would drive them all into a great distresse,
If not confound them; having tane your Sonne,
You may be as kind, and doe as hee hath done;
So shall he know himself and be lesse proud.

_Valen_. The counsailes good.

_Duke_. And it shall be allowed.
You that doe love me, see the host prepar'd
To scare those traytors that our liues have scarde.
Our armie's many, but their power is few:[208]
Besides, they are traytors, all with us are true.
Sound Drums and trumpets, make the world rebound;
Hearten our friends, and all our foes confound.
[_Alarum_.

[_Exeunt_.

[SCENE 2.]

_Enter Montano, with two or three souldiers;
Vandarmas leading Fredericke bound_.

_Fred_. Base cowards, traytors! how am I surprizde,
[Bound] with these bonds? I am a Prince by birth,
And princely spirits disdaine such clogs of earth.
Let goe, you slaves.

_Mon_. First know your fathers pleasure.

_Fred_. You are too bold.

_Mon_. But you shall keepe a measure.

_Fred_. Thou blood of common Concubines, must I
Be bound by thee, and heir of _Saxony_?

_Enter Duke and Valen_.

_Duke_. It is our pleasure.

_Valen_. Have you caught him so?
Now shall you waite the mercy we will shew:
I was too base to be your father's wife.

_Duke_. But he shall sue to thee to save his life.

_Fred_. Perjurde, ungratefull, unnaturall,
Is this the pardon given in generall?

_Duke_. Wee'l talke of that hereafter; make him fast.

_Valen_. Helpe, _Vandermas_, our self will ayding be
To keepe in awe such sencelesse trechery.

_Duke_. My helpe and all to prison, there till death
Remaine in duresse.

_Fred_. Rather stop my breath,
Strangle me with these cords; prison to me
Is twenty deaths, I will have liberty.
Now as you are a father, be more kind;
You did not find me in so sterne a mind.
Are[209] you forgetful of the life I sav'd?
Shall a Duke's Sonne by treason thus be slav'd?
If you suspect my love, grant me the fight;
I dare in single combate any knight,
Any adventurer, any pandorus hinde,
To proue my faith of an unfained mind.

_Duke_. Away with him.

_Fred_. I see my death's set downe,
And some adulterous heire must weare that Crowne.
To intreate a _Rodophe_, I had rather dye
Then have my life lodg'd in such infamy:
If all my fortunes on her words depend,
Let her say kill me, and so make an end.

_Duke_. Why stay you?

_Vander_. Good my Lord.

_Fred_. Peace, untaught Groome,
My heart's so great that Ide forerun my doome.
There's no release meant, you have vowed I see
To dam your soules by wilfull periury.
Yet that I am my self, let these words shew:
To die is naturall, tis a death I owe,
And I will pay it, with a mind as free
As I enjoyed in my best libertie.
But this assure your self, when all is done,
They'l kill the father that will kill the sonne. [_Exit_.

_Duke_. What's to be done now?

_Mon_. Seale unto his death,
Your warrant nere the sooner takes effect:
'Twill be a meanes to make him penitent.
Seeing his fault, hee'l taste your mercie best,
When now he proudly thinkes he is opprest.

_Duke_. A Warrant shall be sign'd, and unto thee
I doe commend it; deale not partially;
If he be sorry and in true remorse,
Cancell the Writ, else let it have full force.
Had I ten sonnes, as I have onely this,
They should all die, ere thou depriv'd of blisse.
So great is my affection, my faire wife,
That to save thine Ide frankly give my life.
Come, weele about it strait, all time seemes long,
Where thou hast found slight cause to feare my wrong.

_Valen_. That writ Ile take, and a conclusion trie:
If he can love he lives, if hate me die.
For howsoere, I seeme to scorne the man,
Hee's somewhat deare in my affection.--
Here comes your brothers.

_Enter Alfred, and Hatto_.

_Alfred_. May it please your grace,
By chance entring into Saint _Maries_ Church,
This morn by breake of day, I espied
That that I know will vexe your Excellence:
Your daughter _Euphrata_ is married
To the ambitious beggar _Constantine_.

_Duke_. My daughter married to my Chamber-squire?

_Mon_. Your Excellence did banish me the land
Because I did suspect her with that fellow.

_Duke_. He shall be tortur'd with th'extreamest plague
For his presumption.--Have you brought them,
That I may kill them with a killing looke?

_Hat_. Without direction we have ventured
To lay upon them your strict command,
And they attend.

_Duke_. Bring the presumptuous.

_Enter Constantine, and Euphrata, Otho following in disguise_.

_Euph_. Forward, _Constantine_, our Rites are done,
Thou art my husband, doe not feare his eye,
The worst it can import is but to die.

_Duke_. Base and degenerate.

_Euph_. He is a Gentleman,
'Twas base of you to wed a Curtizan.

_Mon_. Her brothers spirit right, bold and audacious.

_Euph_. When[210] I am no bastard, wherefore should I feare?
The knot is sacred, and I hold it deare;
I am wedded unto virtue, not to will,
Such blessed unions never bring forth ill.
If I offend, in disobedience,
Judge of the power of love by your offence.
Father, you have no reason for this ire;
Frowne whilst you kill us, desire is desire.

_Duke_. A Curtezan? hath that ambitious boy
Taught you such Rethoricke? you shall taste like joy.
I will not reason with you, words are vaine,
The fault is best discerned in the paine.
Your hastie marriage hath writ downe his death,
And thy proud words shall scale it with thy breath.
By what is dearest to mee, here I sweare,
Both of your heads, shall grace a fatall beere.
Take them to prison, Ile not heare a word,
This is the mercie that we will afford.
Since they are growne so proud, next morn begun,
Let them be both beheaded with my sonne.

_Con_. Short and sweet: _Euphrata_, the doome is faire,
We shall be soone in heaven, there ends my care.
I scorne entreatie, and, my deare, I know,
All such slavery thou hatest so,
'Twill be a famous deed for this good man
To kill all's children for a Curtezan.

_Euph_. Wilt thou die with me?

_Const_. Would I live in heaven?
Thou art now too high for me, death makes us even.

_Euph_. Looke to your dukedome: those that hast our fall
Have by their avarice almost hurried all.
There's a whole Register of the poores crie:
Whilst they are reading them, imbrace and die.

[_Flings downe her lap full of Petitions_.

[_Exeunt Euph. and Constant_.

_Duke_. Beare them away.--And now let's reade these Writes.
What's here? complaints against my worthy brothers
For corne transported, Copper money stampt,[211]
Our subjects goods ceaz'd, and I know not what.
A plague upon this busie-headed rabble!
We will have tortures made to awe the slaves;
Peace makes them ever proud and malapert,
They'l be an Overseer of the State.

_Valen_. And plead reformation to depose you.

_Duk_. True, my faire Dutchesse, but Ile cut them short.
Rule still, deare brothers: take these to the fire,
Let me reade somewhat that augments desire,
Authors and golden Poems full of love;
Such the Petitions are that I approve.
So I may live in quiet with my wife,
Let fathers, mothers, children, all lose life.
If thou have issue, in despight of fate
They shall succeed in our Imperiall state.
Come, sweet, to dauncing, then to sport and play,
Till we have ruled all our life away.

[_Exeunt_.

_Manet, Otho_.

_Otho_. O pittifull condition of a Realme,
Where the chiefe ruler is ore-rul'd by pleasure!
Seeing my friend supriz'd, in this disguise
I followed him to meete the consequence.
And to my griefe I see his marriage rites
Will cut him short of all this earths delights.
What's that to me? When _Constantine_ is dead,
I have some hope to attaine her Nuptiall bed.
But she is doom'd as well as hee to die:
Can the Duke act his daughters Tragedie?
It is impossible; he will relent,
And Ile perswade her freely to repent.
Yet 'tis most likelie that he will agree:
He is so farre spent in vild tyrannie.
The commons hate him for the wrong he hath done
(By his brothers meanes), the Nobles for his sonne.
Famine spreads through the land, the people die;
Yet he lives senselesse of their miserie.
Never were subjects more mislead by any,
Nor ever Soveraigne hated by so many.
But, _Constantine_, to thee I cast an eye;
Shall all our friendship end in enmitie?
Shall I, that ever held thee as my life,
Hasten thy death that I may get thy wife?
Or love or friendship, whether shall exceed,
Ile explaine your vertue in this following deed.

[_Exit_.

[SCENE 3.]

_Enter Valentia, Montano, and Vandermas_.

_Val_. Have you the instruments I gave in charge.

_Vand_. Wee have.

_Val_. And resolution fitting for the purpose?

_Mon_. All things are ready, with our faithfull hearts.

_Val_. And she that undertakes so great an act
As I intend, had need of faithfull hearts
This is the prison, and the jaylor comes
In happy time: where's trayterous _Fredericke_?

_Enter Jaylor_.

_Jaylor_. What is your highnesse pleasure with the Prince?

_Val_. Looke there, if you can reade.

_Jai_. O heavenly God,
What doe I read? a warrant for his death?

_Valen_. Resigne your keyes, goe weepe a dirge or twaine
But make no clamour with your lamentation.

_Jay_. I dare not prophesie what my soule feares,
Yet Ile lament his tragedie in teares. [_Exit_.

_Valen_. Oft have I seene a Nobleman arraign'd
By mighty Lords, the pillars of the land,
Some of which number, his inclined friends,
Have wept, yet past the verdict of his death:
So fares it with the Prince. Were I his jaylor,
And so affected unto _Fredericks_ life,
The fearfull'st tyrant nor the cruell'st plagues
That ever lighted on tormented soules,
Should make me yeeld my prisoner to their hands.

_Mon_. Madam, he knowes his duty, and performes it.

_Valen_. Setting aside all dutie, I would die
Ere like a woman weepe a tragedie;
Tis basenesse, cowardize. Dutie! O slave,
Had I a friend, I'de dye in my friends grave.
But it sorts well for us; Hindes will be Hindes,
And the Ambitious tread upon such mindes.
Waite, whilest I call you, in the jaylors house.

_Mon_. We will.
[_Exeunt Van. and Mon_.

_Valen_. My Lord, Prince _Fredericke_.

_Enter Fred_.

_Fred_. Wofull _Fredericke_
Were a beseeming Epitaph for me,
The other tastes of too much soveraigntie.
What? is it you! the glory of the stewes!

_Valen_. Thy mother, _Fredericke_.

_Fred_. I detest that name,
My mother was a Dutches of true fame;
And now I thinke upon her, when she died
I was ordain'd to be indignified.
She never did incense my Princely Father
To the destruction of his loving sonne:
Oh she was vertuous, trulie naturall,
But this step-divell doth promise our fall.

_Val_. Why doest thou raile on me? I am come
To set thee free from all imprisonment.

_Fred_. By what true supersedeas but by death?
If it be so, come, strike me to the earth;
Thou needest no other weapon but thine eye;
Tis full of poyson, fixe it, and Ile die.

_Val_. Uncharitable youth, I am no serpent venom'd,
No basiliske to kill thee with my sight.

_Fre_. Then thou speak'st death, I am sorry I mistooke;
They both are fatall, theres but little choice;
The first inthral'd my father, the last me,
No deadlier swords ever us'd enemie;
My lot's the best that I dye with the sound,
But he lives dying in a death profound.
I grow too bitter, being so neere my end;
Speake quickly, boldly, what your thoughts intend.

_Valen_. Behold this warrant, you can reade it well.

_Fred_. But you the interpretation best can tell:
Speake, beautious ruine, twere great injurie
That he should reade the sentence that must dye.

_Val_. Then know in briefe 'tis your fathers pleasure.

_Fred_. His pleasure, what?

_Val_. That you must loose your life.

_Fred_. Fatall is his pleasure, 'tis to please his wife.
I prethee, tell me, didst thou ever know
A Father pleased his sonne to murder so?
For what is't else but murder at the best?
The guilt whereof will gnawe him in his brest,
Torment him living, and when I am dead
Curse thee by whose plot I was murdered?
I have seene the like example, but, O base!
Why doe I talke with one of your disgrace?
Where are the officers? I have liv'd too long,
When he that gave me life does me this wrong.

_Val_. That is thy fathers hand, thou dost not doubt?
And if thou shouldst, I have witnesse to approve it.
Yet tho it be his hand, grant to my request,
Love me and live.

_Fred_. To live so, I detest. Love thee!

_Valen_. I, love me, gentle _Fredericke_, love me.

_Fred_. Incestuous strumpet, cease.

_Val_. Oh thou dealest ill,
To render so much spleene for my good will.

_Fred_. Torment farre worse then death.

_Valen_. Ile follow thee:
Deare _Fredericke_, like thy face, be thy words faire.

_Fre_. This monstrous dealing doubles my deaths care.

_Valen_. What shall I call thee to allay this ire?

_Fred_. Why, call me son and blush at thy desire.

_Valen_. I never brought thee foorth.

_Fred_. Art thou not wife
Unto my father?

_Val_. Thinke upon thy life:
It lyes like mine, onely in gentle breath;
Or that thy father's dead, and after death
'Tis in my choice to marry whom I will.

_Fred_. Any but me.

_Valen_. O doe not thinke so ill,
Rather thinke, thou art a stranger, not his sonne;
Then 'tis no incest tho the Act be done.
Nature unto her selfe is too unkind
To buzze such scruples into _Fredericks_ minde;
Twas a device of man to avoid selfe love,
Else every pleasure in one stocke should move,
Beautie in grace part never from the kinne.

_Fred_. If thou persever as thou hast begun,
I shall forget I am my fathers sonne,
I shall forget thou art my fathers wife,
And where 'tis I must die abridge thy life.

_Valen_. Why did'st not kill me, being thy prisoner then,
But friendly didst deliver me again[212]
Unto thy father, wert not thou didst love me?

_Fred_. Beyond all sufferance, monster, thou dost move me.
'Twas for my fathers sake, not for thine owne;
That, to thy lifes losse, thou hadst throughly knowne
But that relenting nature playde her part,
To save thy blood whose losse had slaine his heart:
And it repents me not hee doth survive,
But that his fortune was so ill to wive.
Come, kill, for for that you came; shun delayes
Lest living Ile tell this to thy dispraise,
Make him to hate thee, as he hath just cause,
And like a strumpet turne thee to the lawes.

_Valen_. Good _Fredericke_.

_Fred_. Tis resolv'd on, I haue said.

_Valen_. Then fatall Ministers I craue your ayde.

_Enter Van. and Mont_.

Come, _Vandermas, Montano_, wheres your corde?
Quicklie dispatch, strangle this hatefull Lord.
Or stay: because I love him, he shall chuse
The easiest of three deaths that we may use,
The halter, poyson, or bloodshedding blade.

_Fred_. Any of them.

_Valen_. This Aconite's well made, a cup of poyson
Stuft with despatching simples, give him this,
And he shall quickly leave all earthly blisse.
There, take it, _Fredericke_, our last guift of grace;
Since thou must die, Ile have thee die apace.

_Fred_. O happie meanes, given by a trecherous hand,
To be my true guide to the heavenly land!
Death steales upon me like a silken sleepe;
Through every vaine doe leaden rivers flowe,[213]
The gentlest poyson that I ever knewe,
To work so coldly, yet to be so true.
Like to an infant patiently I goe,
Out of this vaine world, from all worldly woe;
Thankes to the meanes, tho they deserve no thankes,
My soule beginnes t'ore-flow these fleshly bankes.
My death I pardon unto her and you,
My sinnes God pardon; so vaine world adiew.
[_He falls asleep_.

_Valen_. Ha, ha, ha.

_Mon_. Hee's dead, why does your highnesse laugh?

_Valen_. Why, Lord _Montano_, that I love to see,
He that hath sav'd my life, to die for me.
But theres a riddle in this Princes death,
And Ile explaine it on this floore of earth.
Come, to his sisters execution goe,
We have varietie of joyes in woe.
I am sure, you have heard his Excellence did sweare
Both of their heads should grace a Kingly beare.
Upon a mourning hearse let him be layd;
He shalbe intombed with a wived maid.

[_Exeunt_.

_Actus Quintus_.

[SCENE 1.]

_Enter Duke, Hatto, and Alfred_.

_Duke_. Bring forth the prisoners: wher's my beauteous Dutches
That she may see the ruine of her foes?
She that upbraided her with slanderous wordes,
She that in scorne of due obedience
Hath matcht the honour of the _Saxons_ blood
Unto a beggar; let them be brought foorth,
I will not rise from this tribunal seate
Till I have seene their bodies from their heads.

_Alfred_. Here comes the Dutches with proud _Fredericks_ hearse.

_Enter, Valentia, Montano, Vandermas, with others,
bearing the hearse, with Fredericke on, covered
with a black robe_.

_Duke_. So, set it downe: why have you honored it
With such a sable coverture? A traytor,
Deserves no cloth of sorrow: set it downe,
And let our other offspring be brought foorth.
My beauteous, lovely, and admired love,
Come, sit by us in an imperiall chayre,
And grace this state throne with a state more fayre.

_Valen_. My gracious Lord, I hope your Excellence
Will not be so forgetfull of your honour,
Prove so unnaturall to your loving daughter
As to bereave her of her life
Because she hath wedded basely gainst your will.
Though _Fredericke_ dyed deservedly, yet shee
May by her loves death clear her indignitie.

_Duke_. She and her love we have sentenced to die,
Not for her marriage onely, tho that deede
Crownes the contempt with a deserved death,
But chiefly for she raild against thy worth,
Upbraided thee with tearmes so monstrous base
That nought but death can cleare the great disgrace.
How often shall I charge they be brought foorth?
Were my heart guilty of a crime so vilde,
I'de rend it forth, then much more kill my childe.

_Val_. O, that this love may last! 'tis sprung so hie,
Like flowers at full growth that grow to die.

_Enter Julia, with a vaile over her head, Otho with
another, with Officers_.

_Duke_. What means these sable vailes upon their faces?

_Val_. In signe they sorrow for your high displeasure.
For since the houre they were imprisoned,
They have liv'd like strangers, hood-winkt together.
You may atchieve great fame, victorious Lord,
To save the lives of two such innocents.

_Duke_. Tis pretty in thee, my soule lov'd Dutchesse,
To make this Princely motion for thy foes.
Let it suffice, the'are traitors to the state,
Confederators with those that sought my life,
A kinne to _Fredericke_, that presumptious boy,
That durst beare armes against his naturall father:
Are they more deare then he? off with their vailes.

_Mon_. O yet be mercifull unto your daughter.

_Duke_. You make me mad, headsman; dispatch I say,
They are doom'd to die, and this the latest day.

_Otho_. Then let him strike, who ever traitors be,
I am sure no treason lives in her or me.

_Duke_. How now, whats here? _Otho_ and _Julia_!
Am I deluded? where is _Euphrata_,
And that audacious traitor _Constantine_?

_Otho_. Why, fled.

_Duke_. To whom?

_Otho_. To safetie, here was none.
I can resolve you of the circumstance:
Betwixt the noble _Constantine_ and I,--
Noble I call him for his virtuous minde--
There was a league of love so strongly made
That time wants houres, and occasion cause,
To violate the contract of our hearts.
Yet on my part the breach did first appeare:
He brought me to behold his beauteous love
The faire _Euphrata_; her Angel sight
Begate in me the fire of private love:
I that before did like her for my friend,
Now to deceive him, sought her for my selfe;
But my device was knowne unto my friend,
And worthilie he banisht me his sight.

_Duke_. Whats this to their destruction? seeke them forth.

_Otho_. They are far enough from suffering such a death.
I, well considering my unfriendly part,
Bethought me how to reconcile my self
Unto my hearts endeared _Constantine_;
And seeing him carried to the prison, we
Followed, and found meanes for their libertie.

_Duke_. Are they escapt then?

_Otho_. Both, in our disguise,
And we stand here to act their tragedies.
If they have done amisse, on us
Impose the Law.

_Julia_. O let our suites prevaile,
I ask to dye for my deare Ladies sake.

_Otho_. I for my friend.

_Duke_. This friendly part doth make
My heart to bleede within me, and my minde
Much perplext that I have beene so unkind.
What second funerall march is that I heare?

_Enter Rainaldo and Alberto, like schollers, grieving
before the Beare, others following them with bodies of
Euphrata and Constantine covered with blacke_.

_Alberto_. Health to this presence, though the newes
Impairing health I bring unto this presence;
The bodies of the drowned _Constantine_
And the faire _Euphrata_, behold them both.

_Duke_. Of drowned _Constantine_ and _Euphrata_!
Declare the manner, and with killing words
Temper thy words, that it may wound my life.

_Albert_. Passing the _Rhine_, bordering upon the tower,
From whence, it seemes they lately had escapt,
By an unskilfull Guide their gundelet[214]
Encountred with an other, and the shocke
Drown'd both the vessayles, and their haplesse lives.
Their bodies hardly were recovered;[215]
But, knowne, we brought them to your excellence
As to a father, that should mourne for them.

_Duke_. Unto a tyrant, doe not call me father,
For I have beene no father to their lives.
The barbarous Canniball, that never knew
The naturall touch of humane beauty,
Would have beene farre more mercifull then I.
Oh tyrannic, the overthrow of Crownes,
Kingdomes subversion, and the deaths of Kings!
Loe here a piteous object so compleate
With thy intestine and destroying fruite,
That it will strike thee dead! oh _Euphrata_,
Oh princely _Fredericke_, never deare to me
Till now, in you I see my misery.
My sonne, my daughter, vertuous _Constantine_!

_Hat_. What meanes this griefe, my Lord? these are the traytors
That you in justice sentenced to dye.

_Alfred_. A trecherous sonne and a rebellious daughter.

_Valen_. Those that did seeke to take away your life.

_Mon_. Bereave you of your Crownes prerogative.

_Duke_. Hence from my sight, blood-thirsty Counsellors!
They never sought my life, but you have sought it.
Vertuous _Alberto_ and _Rinaldo_,
Had I given eare to them and to my sonne,
My joyes had flourished, that now are done.

_Valen_. Yet for my sake allay this discontent.

_Duke_. Tis for thy sake, thou vilde notorious woman,
That I have past the limits of a man,
The bonds of nature.
'Twas thy bewitching eye, thy Syrens voice,
That throwes me upon millions of disgrace,
Ile have thee tortur'd on the Racke,
Plucke out those basiliske enchaunting eyes,
Teare thee to death with Pincers burning hot,
Except thou giue me the departed lives
Of my deare childeren.

_Valen_. What, am I a Goddesse
That I should fetch their flying soules from heaven
And breath them once more in their clay cold bodies?

_Duke_. Thou art a witch, a damn'd sorceresse,
No goddesse, but the goddesse of blacke hell,
And all those devils thy followers.
What makes thou, on the earth, to murder men?
Will not my sonnes and daughters timelesse[216] lives,
Taken away in prime of their fresh youth,
Serve to suffice thee?

_Valen_. O, you are mad, my Lord.

_Duke_. How can I choose,
And such a foule _Erynnis_ gase on me,
Such furious legions circle me about,
And my slaine Sonne and Daughters fire brands
Lying so neere me, to torment my soule?
Extremitie of all extremities:
Take pitty on the wandering sense of mine
Or it will breake the prison of my soule
And like to wild fire fly about the world,
Till they have no abiding in the world.
I faint, I dye, my sorrowes are so great,
Oh mortalitie, renounce thy seate. [_He fals down_.

_Valen_. The Duke, I feare, is slaine with extreame griefe.
I that had power, to kill him, will assay henceforth
My utmost industry to save his life.
Looke up my Lord, 'tis not _Valentias_ voice,
That Courtezan that hath betray'd thy honour,
Murder'd thy childeren, and almost slaine thee:
I am thy sonne, I am Prince _Fredericke_;
If thou hast any liking for that name,
Looke on my face, I come to comfort thee.

_Duke_. The name of _Fredericke_ is like Hermes wande
Able to charme and uncharme sorrowfull men.
Who nam'd _Fredericke_?

_Valen_. I pronounc't his name,
That have the power to give thee thy lost Sonne,
Had I like virtue to restore the other.
Behold my Lord, behold thy headlesse Sonne
Blest with a head, the late deceased living;
As yet not fully waken'd from the sleepe,
My drowsie potion kindled in his braine,
But much about this houre the power should cease;
And see, he wakes.

_Duke_. O happinesse, tis hee.

_Valen_. Imbrace him then, but ne're more imbrace me.

_Fred_. Where am I, in what dungeon, wheres my grave?
Was I not dead, or dreamt I was dead?
This am I sure, that I was poisoned.[217]

_Duke_. Thou art deceiv'd, my Sonne, but this deceit
Is worth commendations; thanke my Dutchesse,
Her discretion reedified thy life,
But she hath prov'd her selfe a gracious wife.

_Fred_. She tempt[ed] me to lust; wast in my grave?

_Valen_. 'Twas but to try thy faith unto thy father:
Let it suffice, his hand was at thy death
But twas my mercie that proclaim'd thy breath.

_Fred_. To heaven and you, I render worthy thankes.

_Duke_. O liv'd my _Euphrata_ and _Constantine_,
How gladly would I all my griefe resigne.

_Albert_. On that condition, and with this besides,
That you be pleas'd to pardon us and them,
We doe referre our persons to your mercie.

_Duke_. My daughter, my deare sonne in law,
Vertuous _Alberto_? then, my friend,
My joyes are at the highest, make this plaine
How these sav'd drownd, as _Fredericke_ has bin slaine.

_Albert_. Presuming on the example of these friends,
And know we are all actors in this plot
Boldly presented your presence, with this minde,
If pardoning them your grace would pardon us;
If otherwise, this was the joy of either,
That death's lesse painefull when friends die together.

_Duke_. We doe receive you all into our favour,
And my faire Dutchesse; my unkind divorce
Shall be confounded with a second marriage,
I here receive thee once more as my wife.

_Val_. You have your childeren, I have paid that debt,
You have divorc'd me, therefore I am free,
And henceforth I will be at libertie.

_Duke_. Theres no divorce can part thee from thy Lord.

_Valen_. Like to unkindnesse there is no divorce,
I will no more be won unto your bed,
But take some course to lament my life mislead.

_Duke_. Canst thou live better then in sacred wedlock?

_Valen_. Wedlocke to me is unpleasing, since my Lord
Hath broke the band of marriage with unkindnesse.

_Duke_. Intreate her, children, _Fredericke, Euphrata_,
Let me not loose the essence of my soule.

_Fred_. Divine _Valentia_, mirrour of thy sexe,
The pride of true reclaim'd incontinence,
Honour of the dishonoring, yeeld I pray,
And be mercifull, pitty my fathers smart,
Since thy last thraldome hath neare cleft his heart.

_Euph_. 'Twas for his children that his spleene did rise,
Anger a torture haunting the most wise.

_Valen_. O no I am a murderesse, an _Erinnis_,
A fury sent from _Limbo_ to affright
Legions of people with my horrid sight.

_Hat_. What doe you meane? be won by their intreaties.

_Alfred_. 'Tis madnesse in you to be thus perverse.

_Val_. Who ever speaks, base wretches, be you dumb;
You are the catterpillers of the state,
By your bad dealings he is unfortunate.
Thou, honorable, true, beloved Lord,
Hearken to me, and by thy antient love,
I charge thee, banish these realme-sucking slaves,
That build their pallace upon poore mens graves.
O those are they that have wrong'd both you and me,
Made this blest land a land of miserie;
And since, by too much loving, your grace hath falne
Into a generall hating of your subjects,
Redeeme your lost estate with better dayes;
So shall you merit never dying praise,
So shall you gaine lives quietnesse on earth,
And after death a new celestiall birth.

_Duke_. Unto thy wisedome I referre their doomes,
My selfe, my Dukedome, and my crowne.
Oh were there anything of higher rate,
That unto [t]hee I'de wholly consecrate.

_Val_. This kind surrender shewes you are a Prince,
Worthy to be an Angell in the world
Of immortalitie,
Which these cursed creatures never can attaine.
But that this world may know how much I hate
This cruell, base oppression of the poore,
First, I enjoyne you for the wrongs you have done,
Make restitution; and because your goods
Are not sufficient so to satisfie,
I doe condemn your bodies to the Mynes,
Where live like golden drudges all your lives,
In digging of the mettall you best love:
Death is your due, but for your noble race
This gentle sentence I impose on you:
The Duke succeeding shall behold it done.

_Duke_. Who's that, my love?

_Valen_. Kind _Fredericke_, your sonne:
The interest that your grace hath given to me,
I freely doe impart.

_Duke_. We doe agree,
To what my Dutchesse please.

_Valen_. The state is thine,
Thy Uncles sentence, _Fredericke_, shall be mine.

_Fred_. Beare them away, what you have said shall stand,
Whilst I have interest in this new given land.

_Hat_. We doe receive our judgements, with a curse.

_Valen_. Learne to pray better, or it shall be worse:
Lords, see those wormes of kingdomes be destroyed.
And now, to give a period to my speeche
I doe intreate your grace, if that your love
Be not growne colde, but that your heart desires
The true societie of a chaste wife,
Be pleas'd to undergoe a further doome.
Wee haue liv'd too lightly, we have spent our dayes,
Which should be dedicated to our God,
In soule destroying pleasure, and our sloth
Hath drawne upon the Realme a world of plagues.[218]
Therefore hereafter let us live together
In some removed cell or hermitage,
Unto the which poore travellers mislead
May have direction and reliefe of wants.

_Duke_. A hermetary life is better then a kingdome,
So my _Valentia_ beare me company.

_Valen_. If my dread Lord will for my sake endure
So strickt a calling, my bewitching haires
Shall be made napkins to dry up the teares
That true repentance wringeth from our hearts;
Our sinnes we'l number with a thousand sighes,
Fasting shall be the Steward of our Feast,
Continuall prayer in stead of costly cates,
And the remainder of our life a schoole
To learne new lessons for the land of heaven.
The will, where power is wanting, is good payment;
Grace doth reject no thought, tho' nere so small,
So it be good; our God is kind to all.
Come, my deare Lord, this is a course more kind;
No life like us that have a heavenly mind.

_Mon_. O let me be a servant in that life.

_Valen_. With all my heart, a Partner let him be
There's small ambition in humility.

_Duke_. _Fredericke_, farewell, deare _Euphrata_, adue;
Remember us in prayer, as we will you.

[_Exeunt D. & D_

_Fred_. A happy change: would all that step awry
Would take like course in seeking pietie.

_Otho_. Two humble suites I crave of my best friend:
First, pardon for my rashnesse in your love,
Next this most loyall Virgin for my wife.

_Con_. With all my heart, if _Julia_ be pleas'd.

_Julia_. I have no power to disobey your grant.

_Con_. Then she is yours.

_Fred_. _Alberto_,
The offices belonging to our Uncles
We doe derive to you for your good service
In our late warres, and in our sisters love.
And now set forwards: Lords, let us be gone
To solemnize two mariages in one.

_The Epilogue.

Encouragement unto the valiant
Is like a golden spurre upon the heele
Of a young Knight, like to a wreath of Bay
To a good Poet; like a sparkeling Crowne,
Unto a Kings Son. Honour and renowne
Is the efficient and persevering cause
Of every well deserved action.
Take away some recorde, encouragement,
And the World's like a_ Chaos, _all delight
Buried unborne in everlasting night.
Even so it fares with us, and with the rest
Of the same facultie, all meerely nothing:
Without your favour every labour dyes,
Save such whose second springs comes from your eyes.
Extend your beames of love to us at full,
As the Sunne does unto the Easterne clime,
And England may bring forth like India
As costly spice, as orientall Jems.
The earth's all one, the heate refines the moulde,
And favour makes the poorest ground yielde gold_.

FINIS.

INTRODUCTION TO EVERIE WOMAN IN HER HUMOR.

This old "comical satire" has come down in a very corrupt state. A sadly
tattered appearance is presented by the metrical passages. I have
ventured to patch only a few of the many rents in the old coat of 1609.

The anonymous playwright owes much more than the title of the play to
Ben Jonson. Acutus, overflowing with bitter and tedious moralising, is
evidently modelled on Macilente in _Every Man Out of His Humour_. The
very dog--Getica's dog--was suggested by Puntarvolo's dog. Indeed,
throughout the play we are constantly reminded of _Every Man Out of His
Humour_; but the unknown writer had some inventiveness of his own, and
was not a mere copyist. The jolly fat host, with his cheery cry "merry
hearts live long," is pleasant company; and his wife, the hard-working
hostess, constantly repining at her lot, yet seemingly not dissatisfied
at heart, has the appearance of being a faithful transcript from life.
Cornutus (the hen-pecked citizen) and his gadding wife are familiar
figures, but not the less welcome on that account. Getica's anxiety at
the loss of her dog is amusingly depicted. In fact, the whole play would
be tolerable, if the moralising were cut out and the text were free from
corruptions.

EVERIE Woman in her Humor.

LONDON Printed by E.A. for _Thomas Archer_, and are to be solde at his
shop in the _Popes-head-Pallace_, neere the Royall Exchange. 1609.

_Everie Woman in her_
Humor.

_Enter Flavia as a Prologue_.

Gentles of both sexes and all sortes, I am sent to bid yee welcome; I
am but instead of a Prologue, for a she-prologue[219] is as rare as an
Usurers Almes, _non reperitur in usu_; and the rather I come woman
because men are apt to take kindelye any kinde thing at a womans hand;
and wee poore foules are but too kinde if wee be kindely intreated,
marry otherwise, there I make my _Aposiopesis_. The Author hath indeede
made me an honest merrye wench one of his humorists, yet I am so much
beholding to him, I cannot get mee a husband in his play that's worthe
the having, unlesse I be better halfe of the sutor my selfe; and having
imposed this audacity on me, he sends me hither first for exercise. I
come among ye all, these are the Contentes: that you would heare with
patience, judge with lenity, and correct with smiles; for the which our
endeavour[220] shall shew it selfe, like a tall fellow in action; if we
shall joyne hands, a bargaine.

As a lowely earnest, I give this curtesie before,
And in conceite I give ye twenty more.

[ACT THE FIRST.

_Scene_ 1.]

_Enter Accutus and Graccus_.

_Gra_. Nay but, _Accutus_, prethee what mis-shapen vizard of Melancholly
hast thou mask't thy selfe in? Thou lookst as thou wer't changing thy
religion; what? is there a breach in thy Faith? come declare, and let me
set thy [my?] wits on worke to amend it.

_Acut_. Ha, ha, ha!

_Gra_. Prettie; a man's well advisd to offer good counsell, and be
laught at for his labour: we shall shortly have no counsellors, but
Physitians; I spend my breath to thee, and thou answerest me some half
an houre after in a sem[i]breve, or like to a Sexton, with a Sobeit or
Amen.

_Acu_. Condemn my Stars then!

_Grac_. I should wrong am then, as thou dost with a false inditment. I
know it took not beeing at thy birth: thou hast been merrie, thou hast
sounded hoopes, swallowed whiffes, walkt late, worn favours, seene
whoresons; thou canst feele and understand, come thou hast bene a
sinner, unloade, discharge, untune, confesse, is _Venus_ dominatrix? art
not in love?

_Acut_. Yes, I love God and my neighbors.

_Grac_. Then either for God's sake or thy Neighbors, or both, be smothe,
and participate; ist not some underlayer, some she Cammell, that will
beare as much of her belly as three beastes on their backes? some
Lanthorne-maker? Ile holde thy head; come, up with't!

_Acut_. Prethee, I hate none, but heaven hate me if I be in love with
any.

_Grac_. Off with these clogs; then break prison and get out of this
melancholly Gaole. Harke how the generall noise doth welcome from the
_Parthian_ wars; each spirit's jocund, fraught with glee, then wrong not
thine with this dull meditation.

_Accut_. Oh! how doe they then wrong my meditation! my thoughts are with
themselues at a counsell; til with noise, and thou with continuall
talke, hast driven them to a _nonplus_.

_Gra_. Then make me of thy counsell, and take my advice, for ile take no
denyall; Ile not leave thee til the next new Almanackes be out of date;
let him threaten the sharpest weather he can in Saint _Swithin_ week, or
it snow on our Ladies face, ile not budge, ile be thy mid-wife til thou
beest delivered of this passion.

_Accut_. Partake then, and give me the beleefe; thinkst thou or knowst
thou any of this opinion, that that mooving marish element, that swels
and swages as it please the Moone, to be in bignes equall to that solid
lump that brings us up?

_Gra_. I was sure that thou wer't beyond the _Antipodes_; faith, I am of
that faith I was brought up in, I have heard my Father say, and i'me
sure, his Recordes came from his Father, that Land and Sea are in nature
thus much alike; the owne [_sic_] growes by the Sunne, the other by the
Moone, both by God's blessing, and the Sea rather the greater; and so
thinke I.

_Acut_. Good; there we have a farther scope, and holde the sea can (as a
looking glasse) answer with a meere simile[221] any mooving shape uppon
the earth.

_Gra_. Nay, that's most certaine, I have heard of Sea-horses,
Sea-calves, and Sea-monsters.

_Acut_. Oh, they are monstrous, madde, merrie, wenches, and they are
monsters.

_Grac_.[222] They call them Sea-maides, or Mermaides, singing sweetelye,
but none dares trust them; and are verie like our Land-wenches,
devouring Serpents, from the middle downeward.

_Acut_. Thou hast even given me satisfaction, but hast thou this by
proofe?

_Grac_. Not by my travels (so God helpe me): marrie, ile bring ye fortie
Saylers, will sweare they have seene them.

_Acut_. In truth!

_Grac_. In truth or otherwise.

_Acut_. Faith they are not unlike our land-monsters, else why should
this _Maximilian_ Lord, for whom these shoots [_sic_] and noises befits
thus, forsake his honours to sing a Lullabye?
These seeming Saints, alluring evils,
That make earth _Erebus_, and mortals devils--

_Gra_. Come, thou art Sea-sicke, and will not be well at ease, til thou
hast tane a vomit: up with 't.

_Acu_. Why, ifaith, I must; I can not soothe the World
With velvet words and oyly flatteries,
And kiss the sweatie feet of magnitude
To purchace smiles or a deade mans office;
I cannot holde to see a rib of man,
A moytie of it selfe, commaund the whole;
Bafful and bend to muliebritie.
O[223] female scandal! observe, doe but observe:
Heere one walks ore-growne with weeds of pride,
The earth wants shape to apply a simile,
A body prisoned up with walles of wyer,
With bones of whales; somewhat allyed to fish,
But from the wast declining, more loose doth hang
Then her wanton dangling lascivious locke
Thats whirld and blowne with everie lustfull breath;
Her necke in chaines, all naked lyes her brest,
Her body lighter than the feathered Crest.
Another powtes, and scoules, and hangs the lip,
Even as the banckrout[224] credit of her husband
Cannot equal her with honors liverie.
What does she care if, for to deck her brave,
Hee's carryed from the Gate-house to his grave!
Another in a rayling pulppet key,
Drawes through her nose the accent of her voice,
And in the presence of her good-man Goate
Cries 'fye, now fye, uppon these wicked men
That use such beastly and inhumane talke,'
When being in private all her studies warne
To make him enter into _Capricorn_.
Another as she goes treads a _Canarie_[225] pace,
Jets it so fine and minces so demure
As mistris Bride upon her marriage day;
Her heels are Corke, her body Atlas,
Her Beautie bought, her soule an Atomus.
Another, with a spleene-devoured face,
Her eies as hollow as Anatomy,[226]
Her tung more venome then a Serpents sting,
Which when it wagges within her chap-faln jawes
Is noise more horrid then a cry of hounds
With open mouths pursuing of their game.
Wants she but ritch attire or costly dyet,
With her the Devill can nere live in quiet.
Yet these are weaker vessels, heaven doth knowe;
Lay on them ought but ease, you doe them wrong;
They are as weake as water and indeede as strong,
And then, like mightie ships when pellets sincke,
To them lay more men, sheele never shrinke.

[_Enter[227] Getica and Boss, with a dog_.]

_Boss_. Mistris, that face wants a fresh Glosse.

_Gent_. Prethee, dib it in well, _Bos_.

_Acut_. _Pigmaleon, Pigmaleon_, I coniure thee appeare; to worke, to
worke, make more Marble Ingles. Nature thou art a foole, Art is above
thee; _Belzebub_, paint thy face there's some will love thee.

_Boss_. Rare, Mistris, heeres a cheeke like a Camelion or a blasing
Star, you shall heere me blaze it; heere's two saucers sanguine in a
sable field pomegranet, a pure pendat ready to drop out of the stable, a
pin and web argent in hayre de Roy.

_Grac_. And a fooles head in the Crest.

_Bos_. In the Crest? oh sweete Vermilion mistris, tis pittie the
Vermilion Wormes shoulde eate thee, ile set it with pretious stones and
ye will.

_Gent_. Enough, sweete _Bosse_, throwe a little water to spurt's face
and lets away.

_Bo_. Hold up; so, sir, now away. Oh Mistris, your scantling, most
sweete mistriss, most derydent starre.

_Acut_. Then most rydent starre, faire fall ye.

_Grac_. Nay tis the Moone her self, for there's her man and her Dogge
before.

_Bosse_. I, sir, but the man is not in the moone, and my bush is before
me, _ergo_, not at my backe, _et ergo_, not moone sir.

_Gent_. What's your will sir?

_Acut_. That you would leave us.

_Boss_. Leave you! zounds, sir! we scorne their companies, come they are
still, doe not open to them, we have no Conies to catch.

[_Exeunt[228] Getica and Boss, with the dog_.

_Acut_. Away, keepe no distance, even both together,
for wit ye may be Coacht together.
What sleeke-browde Saint can see this Idiotisme,
The shape and workmanship of omnipotency
To be so blinde with drugs of beastlinesse,
That will not bend the browe and bite the lippe,
Trouble his quiet soule with venome spleene
And feare least the all over-seeer
Can without vengeance see these ignomies?

_Grac_. Why, therfore are they belooved like Sargeants
and entertained like Beggers;
Think'st thou but any honorable Gate,
But will be shut against these Butterflies?

_Acut_. Oh _Graccus_! thou beguil'st opinion:
The Gates of great men stand more wide
To entertaine a foole then _Cresus_ armes
To hug the Golden God; and faster bard
Against necessitie then _Dives_ entrance
At _Olympus_ gate.

_Enter Servulus,[229] Scillicet, Philautus and boy_.

_Servu_.[230] Fa, la, sol, lasol; Boy, a Glasse.

_Boy_. Tis but one and all, sir.

_Acut_. Angels protect us, what have we heare?

_Boy_. Ye haue a good memorie, Sir, for they are five minutes ere
windefall of your Glasse.

_Ser_. Sir, be credible, tis ballanst to be superlative politicke
custome in these houres to dwell in shallowe accoutrements, as a defence
for the abilitie of his pursse from the infringed Oath of some impudent
face, that will borrowe a gentlemans revenewes if he be vestally adornd:
Ile tell you sir by this bright Horrison--

_Scil_. A word, I pray yee, sir, ere ye go any further: Boy, my Tables.

_Boy_. Your Tables are ready, Sir, and all the men ye keep which is
indeede halfe a Boy, _Scillicet Videlicet_.

_Scil_. I pray ye let me request that oath of you.

_Serv_. A graceful enquirie, and well observ'd: Sir, my company shall
make ye copious of novelties, let your Tables befriend your memorie:
write, 'by this bright Horrison.'

_Phy_. 'Here's[231] none but only I' [_sing_]; Boy, how likest thou my
head of hayre?

_Boy_. Your Glasse may flatter ye, but truely I will not; your head is
not a hayre better than it should be.

_Phy_. Is there any scarcitie of haire, Boy?

_Boy_. Somewhat thin and yet there is more hayre than wit.[232]

_Phy_. How, Boy?

_Boy_. Then wit of man can number sir, take it i'th right sence,
I pray yee.

_Phy_. Most ingenious!

_Acu_. O muffle muffle, good _Graccus_, do not taint thy sence
With sight of these infectious animalles,
'Less[233] reason in thee have the upper hand
To governe sence, to see and shun the sight.
Here's new discovered sins, past all the rest;
Men strive to practice how to sweare the best.'

_Scil_. I have quoted it, sir; by this bright Hore, Horeson, pronounce
ye, sir?

_Serv_. Horison!

_Scil_. Horison:--the Widowes mite, sir.

_Serv_. Not for the Soldans crown, sir.

_Scil_. Indeede yee shall, by this bright horison ye shall; beleeve me,
if I sweare, I think myself beholding for I know it to be no common
oath.

_Serv_. Were it common it past not these doores; Sir, I shift my oathes,
as I wash my hands, twice in the artificial day; for in dialoguising,
tis to be observ'd, your sentences, must ironically, metaphorically, and
altogether figuratively, [be] mixt with your morning oathes.

_Scil_. Faith, tis verie true.

_Accu_. That he neither knowes what he saies nor thou understandest.

_Serv_. As for example, by this illuminate welkin.

_Scil_. Oh excellent! it shall be downe to.

_Accut_. There's another Ducket. He utters his oathes apace.
Sure this Villaine has no soule, and for gold
Heele damn his body too, hee's at peace with hell
And brings his Merchandise from thence to sell.

_Boy_. I have heere two Mistresses, but if the best were chosen out, if
_Poliphemus_ tother eye were out his choice might be as good as _Argus_
broade waking, so difficult is the difference.

_Phy_. Boy, sleepe wayward thoughts?

_Boy_. Sir.

_Phy_. Is it not now most amyable and faire?

_Boy_. Yes sir, God be praised.

_Phy_. What meanst thou, Boy?

_Boy_. The weather, sir.

_Phy_. I meane my haire and face, Boy.

_Boy_. Twere amiable if it would not alter.

_Phy_. Wherfore I often repaire it.

_Boy_. Me thinkes that should weare it the sooner.

_Phy_. Not so Boy, for to trimme the Hayer well is a rare qualitie; to
bee rarelye quallified is to be wise; apply, Boy.

_Boy_. That you are wise in trimming your hayre, Maister?

_Phy_. Right, to be wise is to be rare, for it is rare to see a wise
man.

_Boy_. True, Maister, but if youle see a foole, looke in your Glasse,
maister!

_Phy_. Goe to, I must correct you, Boy.

_Boy_. You can correct no more then is your own; I am but halfe yours to
commaund, if you steale away any parte that is not your owne you are so
farre in daunger as the striking of an other mans servant.

_Scil_.[234] By this illuminate welkin! most sincere and singular: as a
small remembrance.

_Serv_. Not for to winne the faire _Angelica_.

_Scillicet_. By this illuminate Welkin ye shall now.[235] Sir, I doe not
bestowe it, for that I thinke you have neede of it; for if you had, by
this bright Horizon, I would not give it, for I know tis no credit to
give to the poore. By this illuminate welkin I have (since I tooke upon
me this fleshie desire of a Gentleman) throwne out of a window, for a
hunts-up, when I had as leef have heard the grinding of a Mustard-Mill;
for those are thinges are heere too day, and gone to morrowe; this will
sticke by a man, and doe him credit where ere hee goes.

_Acut_. I, when the foole is clad in clay,
It will sticke sore unto thy soule for aye.

_Phy_. Signior _Scillicet_, I assure you I have discovered the most
queint and new-found device for the encounter of the Ladies at the
interview; tis in pricke-song.

_Scil_. That's excellent and rare.

_Phi_. I, for prick-song to Ladies is most pleasant and delightfull: as
thus for your congie, All hayle to my belooved; then for your departure,
sad dispaire doth drive me hence: for all must be to effect.

_Grac_. Nay, prethee raise no quarrels.

_Acut_. I can holde no longer: heare you, sir, are not you a foole? and
you an Asse? and you a knave?

_Phy_. Zoundes! an Asse?

_Scil_. A Foole?

_Ser_. A Knave, without respect?

_Acut_. I, for an Asse can beare, a Foole abide, and a Knave deserve.

_Omn_. Helpe, Helpe!

_Gra_. Prethee let's away.

_Acut_. Fooles often brings wise men to trouble,
Farewell, another time ile pay ye double.
[_Exit_.

_Enter Host, Hostesse, and Prentises_.

_Host_. Bring your Clubs out of doores. There goe in, my fine hostes,
Ile talke to the proudest; what, knaves are i'th streete, my dore is my
dore, my house is my castell, goe in dame _Helena_, let thine Host alon
with this; he that knocks at my hobby, while I have Ale in my house,
shall pay for a Surgeon: the honest shall come in, the knaves shall go
by; bring Clubs, I say.

_Scil_. Nay, sir, the heate is past, they that did it have tooke them to
their heeles, for indeed heere are of us--

_Host_. Away with your Clubs then; welcome, my brave Bullies, my Guests
shall take no wrong; but welcome, my Bullies.

_Scil_. Indeede sir, I am a man of few words, I have put up a little
bloodshed; marrie, I hope it shall be no stain to my manhoode, if I
keepe it out of my clothes.

_Host_. He shall pay for the blood-shed, my guestes shall take no wrong;
mine Host will spend his Cruse as franke as an Emperor; welcome, my
brave bullies.

_Ser_. Sir, be pacificall, the fellowe was possest with some critique
frenzie, and wee impute it to his madnes.

_Scil_. Madde! by Gods slid, if he were as madde as a weaver, I can
hardly put it up; for my blow, I care not so much, but he cald me foole;
slid, if I live till I dye, the one of us shall prove it.

_Host_. Some prophane Villaine, ile warrant him.

_Scil_. Doe you thinke I may not have an action against him?

_Host_. There's so many swaggerers; but alasse, how fel ye out?

_Scil_. By the welkin, I gave him not a foule word; first he calles me
foole, then he makes a full blowe at my body, and if, by good chance, I
had not warded it with my head, he might have spoild me.

_Enter Prentices_.

_Host_. There, there my fine fil-pots; give the word as you passe; anon,
anon, sir anon; heere and there in the twinckling, looke well at the
barre, there again my little Mercuries, froath them up to the brimme,
and fill as tis needeful; if their Pates be full of Wine let your
Pottles be three quarters; trip and goe, here and there; now, my brave
Lad, wash thy woundes with good Wine; bidde am welcom, my little Sybil;
put sugar in his hole there, I must in to my guests; sleepe soundly till
morning; Canarie is a Jewell, and a Figge for Browne-bastard.[236]
[_Exit_.

_Hostes_. Gentlemen, ye are welcom, though my husband be a little
talkative, yet truly he is an unreasonable honest man, yee shall finde
his words and his sayings all one.

_Scil_. I thinke no less, yet I would desire to enter as time and place
shall serve.

_Hostes_. Ile lead the way forsooth.

_Phy_. Nay, pray ye, Hostesse, a word. I say little, but i'me sure I
have sustained the most wrong; by this light, I had rather he had broke
my head in three places; I pray you lend me a brush, hee has put my hat
quite out of fashion.

_Host_. That shall ye sir, a brush there, hoe!

_Enter[237] Boss, with the dog_.

_Bos_. _Salve, sis salvus_. I pray yee which of you five is Hostis of
this house?

Book of the day: