Part 1 out of 5
Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Jayam Subramanian and PG Distributed
A KING, AND NO KING.
By Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher
Persons Represented in the Play.
Arbaces, _King_ of Iberia.
Tigranes, _King of_ Armenia.
Gobrias, _Lord Protector, and Father of_ Arbaces.
Bacurius, _another Lord_.
Bessus, ) _Two Captains_
Ligo[n]es, _Father of_ Spaconia.
_Three Men and a Woman_.
Philip, _a servant, and two Citizens Wives_.
_A Servant to_ Bacurius.
Arane, ) _The [Queen-Mother_.
Panthea,) _Her Daughter_.
Spaconia,) _A Lady Daughter of_ Ligones
Mandane,) _A waiting woman, and other attendants_.
* * * * *
_Actus primus. Scena prima_.
* * * * *
_Enter_ Mardonius _and_ Bessus, _Two Captains_.
_Bessus_, the King has made a fair hand on't, he has ended the
Wars at a blow, would my sword had a close basket hilt to hold
Wine, and the blade would make knives, for we shall have nothing
but eating and drinking.
We that are Commanders shall do well enough.
Faith _Bessus_, such Commanders as thou may; I had as lieve set
thee Perdue for a pudding i'th' dark, as _Alexander_ the Great.
I love these jests exceedingly.
I think thou lov'st 'em better than quarrelling _Bessus_, I'le
say so much i'thy behalf, and yet thou 'rt valiant enough upon a
retreat, I think thou wouldst kill any man that stopt thee if
But was not this a brave Combate _Mardonius_?
Why, didst thou see't?
You stood wi'me.
I did so, but me thought thou wink'dst every blow they strook.
Well, I believe there are better souldiers than I, that never saw
two Princes fight in lists.
By my troth I think so too _Bessus_, many a thousand, but
certainly all that are worse than thou have seen as much.
'Twas bravely done of our King.
Yes, if he had not ended the wars: I'me glad thou dar'st talk of
such dangerous businesses.
To take a Prince prisoner in the heart of's own Country in single
See how thy blood curdles at this, I think thou couldst be
contented to be beaten i'this passion.
Shall I tell you truly?
I could willingly venture for't.
Um, no venture neither _Bessus_.
Let me not live, if I do not think 'tis a braver piece of service
than that I'me so fam'd for.
Why, art thou fam'd for any valour?
Fam'd! I, I warrant you.
I'me e'en heartily glad on't, I have been with thee e're since
thou cam'st to th'wars, and this is the first word that ever I
heard on't, prethee who fames thee.
The Christian world.
'Tis heathenishly done of'em in my conscience, thou deserv'st it
Yes, I ha' don good service.
I do not know how thou mayst wait of a man in's Chamber, or thy
agility of shifting of a Trencher, but otherwise no service good
You saw me do the service your self.
Not so hasty sweet _Bessus_, where was it, is the place
At _Bessus_ desp'rate redemption.
At _Bessus_ desp'rate redemption, where's that?
There where I redeem'd the day, the place bears my name.
Pray thee, who Christened it?
If I were not a very merrily dispos'd man, what would become of
thee? one that had but a grain of choler in the whole composition
of his body, would send thee of an errand to the worms for
putting thy name upon that field: did not I beat thee there i'th'
head o'th' Troops with a Trunchion, because thou wouldst needs
run away with thy company, when we should charge the enemy?
True, but I did not run.
Right _Bessus_, I beat thee out on't.
But came I not up when the day was gone, and redeem'd
Thou knowest, and so do I, thou meanedst to flie, and thy fear
making thee mistake, thou ranst upon the enemy, and a hot charge
thou gav'st, as I'le do thee right, thou art furious in running
away, and I think, we owe thy fear for our victory; If I were the
King, and were sure thou wouldst mistake alwaies and run away
upon th' enemy, thou shouldst be General by this light.
You'l never leave this till I fall foul.
No more such words dear _Bessus_, for though I have ever known
thee a coward, and therefore durst never strike thee, yet if thou
proceedest, I will allow thee valiant, and beat thee.
Come, our King's a brave fellow.
He is so _Bessus_, I wonder how thou cam'st to know it. But if
thou wer't a man of understanding, I would tell thee, he is
vain-glorious, and humble, and angry, and patient, and merry and
dull, and joyful and sorrowful in extremity in an hour: Do not
think me thy friend for this, for if I ear'd who knew it, thou
shouldst not hear it _Bessus_. Here he is with his prey in his
_Enter &c. Senet Flourish_.
_Enter_ Arbaces _and_ Tigranes, _Two Kings and two Gentlemen_.
Thy sadness brave _Tigranes_ takes away
From my full victory, am I become
Of so small fame, that any man should grieve
When I o'recome him? They that plac'd me here,
Intended it an honour large enough, (though he
For the most valiant living, but to dare oppose me single,
Lost the day. What should afflict you, you are as free as I,
To be my prisoner, is to be more free
Than you were formerly, and never think
The man I held worthy to combate me
Shall be us'd servilely: Thy ransom is
To take my only Sister to thy Wife.
A heavy one _Tigranes_, for she is
A Lady, that the neighbour Princes send
Blanks to fetch home. I have been too unkind
To her _Tigranes_, she but nine years old
I left her, and ne're saw her since, your wars
Have held me long and taught me though a youth,
The way to victory, she was a pretty child,
Then I was little better, but now fame
Cries loudly on her, and my messengers
Make me believe she is a miracle;
She'l make you shrink, as I did, with a stroak
But of her eye _Tigranes_.
Is't the course of _Iberia_ to use their prisoners thus?
Had fortune thrown my name above _Arbace_,
I should not thus have talk'd Sir, in _Armenia_
We hold it base, you should have kept your temper
Till you saw home again, where 'tis the fashion
Perhaps to brag.
Be you my witness earth, need I to brag,
Doth not this captive Prince speak
Me sufficiently, and all the acts
That I have wrought upon his suffering Land;
Should I then boast! where lies that foot of ground
Within his whole Realm, that I have not past,
Fighting and conquering; Far then from me
Be ostentation. I could tell the world
How I have laid his Kingdom desolate
By this sole Arm prop't by divinity,
Stript him out of his glories, and have sent
The pride of all his youth to people graves,
And made his Virgins languish for their Loves,
If I would brag, should I that have the power
To teach the Neighbour world humility,
Mix with vain-glory?
Indeed this is none.
_Tigranes_, Nay did I but take delight
To stretch my deeds as others do, on words,
I could amaze my hearers.
So you do.
But he shall wrong his and my modesty,
That thinks me apt to boast after any act
Fit for a good man to do upon his foe.
A little glory in a souldiers mouth
Is well-becoming, be it far from vain.
'Tis pity that valour should be thus drunk.
I offer you my Sister, and you answer
I do insult, a Lady that no suite
Nor treasure, nor thy Crown could purchase thee,
But that thou fought'st with me.
Though this be worse
Than that you spake before, it strikes me not;
But that you think to overgrace me with
The marriage of your Sister, troubles me.
I would give worlds for ransoms were they mine,
Rather than have her.
See if I insult
That am the Conquerour, and for a ransom
Offer rich treasure to the Conquered,
Which he refuses, and I bear his scorn:
It cannot be self-flattery to say,
The Daughters of your Country set by her,
Would see their shame, run home and blush to death,
At their own foulness; yet she is not fair,
Nor beautiful, those words express her not,
They say her looks have something excellent,
That wants a name: yet were she odious,
Her birth deserves the Empire of the world,
Sister to such a brother, that hath ta'ne
Victory prisoner, and throughout the earth,
Carries her bound, and should he let her loose,
She durst not leave him; Nature did her wrong,
To Print continual conquest on her cheeks,
And make no man worthy for her to taste
But me that am too near her, and as strangely
She did for me, but you will think I brag.
I do I'le be sworn. Thy valour and thy passions sever'd, would
have made two excellent fellows in their kinds: I know not
whether I should be sorry thou art so valiant, or so passionate,
wou'd one of 'em were away.
Do I refuse her that I doubt her worth?
Were she as vertuous as she would be thought,
So perfect that no one of her own sex
Could find a want, had she so tempting fair,
That she could wish it off for damning souls,
I would pay any ransom, twenty lives
Rather than meet her married in my bed.
Perhaps I have a love, where I have fixt
Mine eyes not to be mov'd, and she on me,
I am not fickle.
Is that all the cause?
Think you, you can so knit your self in love
To any other, that her searching sight
Cannot dissolve it? So before you tri'd,
You thought your self a match for me in [f]ight,
Trust me _Tigranes_, she can do as much
In peace, as I in war, she'l conquer too,
You shall see if you have the power to stand
The force of her swift looks, if you dislike,
I'le send you home with love, and name your ransom
Some other way, but if she be your choice,
She frees you: To _Iberia_ you must.
Sir, I have learn'd a prisoners sufferance,
And will obey, but give me leave to talk
In private with some friends before I go.
Some to await him forth, and see him safe,
But let him freely send for whom he please,
And none dare to disturb his conference,
I will not have him know what bondage is,
Till he be free from me. This Prince, _Mardonius_,
Is full of wisdom, valour, all the graces
Man can receive.
And yet you conquer'd him.
And yet I conquer'd him, and could have don't
Hadst thou joyn'd with him, though thy name in Arms
Be great; must all men that are vertuous
Think suddenly to match themselves with me?
I conquered him and bravely, did I not?
And please your Majesty, I was afraid at first.
When wert thou other?
That you would not have spy'd your best advantages, for your
Majesty in my opinion lay too high, methinks, under favour, you
should have lain thus.
Like a Taylor at a wake.
And then, if please your Majesty to remember, at one time, by my
troth I wisht my self wi'you.
By my troth thou wouldst ha' stunk 'em both out o'th' Lists.
What to do?
To put your Majesty in mind of an occasion; you lay thus, and
_Tigranes_ falsified a blow at your Leg, which you by doing thus
avoided; but if you had whip'd up your Leg thus, and reach'd him
on the ear, you had made the Blood-Royal run down his head.
What Country Fence-school learn'st thou at?
Pish, did not I take him nobly?
Why you did, and you have talked enough on't.
Will you confine my word? by heaven and earth,
I were much better be a King of beasts
Than such a people: if I had not patience
Above a God, I should be call'd a Tyrant
Throughout the world. They will offend to death
Each minute: Let me hear thee speak again,
And thou art earth again: why this is like
_Tigranes_ speech that needs would say I brag'd.
_Bessus_, he said I brag'd.
Ha, ha, ha.
Why dost thou laugh?
By all the world, I'm grown ridiculous
To my own Subjects: Tie me in a Chair
And jest at me, but I shall make a start,
And punish some that others may take heed
How they are haughty; who will answer me?
He said I boasted, speak _Mardonius_,
Did I? He will not answer, O my temper!
I give you thanks above, that taught my heart
Patience, I can endure his silence; what will none
Vouchsafe to give me answer? am I grown
To such a poor respect, or do you mean
To break my wind? Speak, speak, some one of you,
Or else by heaven.
So please your.
I cannot be heard out, they cut me off,
As if I were too saucy, I will live
In woods, and talk to trees, they will allow me
To end what I begin. The meanest Subject
Can find a freedom to discharge his soul
And not I, now it is a time to speak,
May it please.
I mean not you,
Did not I stop you once? but I am grown
To balk, but I defie, let another speak.
I hope your Majesty.
Thou drawest thy words,
That I must wait an hour, where other men
Can hear in instants; throw your words away,
Quick, and to purpose, I have told you this.
And please your Majesty.
Wilt thou devour me? this is such a rudeness
As you never shew'd me, and I want
Power to command too, else _Mardonius_
Would speak at my request; were you my King,
I would have answered at your word _Mardonius_,
I pray you speak, and truely, did I boast?
Truth will offend you.
You take all great care what will offend me,
When you dare to utter such things as these.
You told _Tigranes_, you had won his Land,
With that sole arm propt by Divinity:
Was not that bragging, and a wrong to us,
That daily ventured lives?
O that thy name
Were as great, as mine, would I had paid my wealth,
It were as great, as I might combate thee,
I would through all the Regions habitable
Search thee, and having found thee, wi'my Sword
Drive thee about the world, till I had met
Some place that yet mans curiosity
Hath mist of; there, there would I strike thee dead:
Forgotten of mankind, such Funeral rites
As beasts would give thee, thou shouldst have.
The King rages extreamly, shall we slink away? He'l strike us.
There I would make you know 'twas this sole arm.
I grant you were my instruments, and did
As I commanded you, but 'twas this arm
Mov'd you like wheels, it mov'd you as it pleas'd.
Whither slip you now? what are you too good
To wait on me (_puffe_,) I had need have temper
That rule such people; I have nothing left
At my own choice, I would I might be private:
Mean men enjoy themselves, but 'tis our curse,
To have a tumult that out of their loves
Will wait on us, whether we will or no;
Go get you gone: Why here they stand like death,
My words move nothing.
Must we go?
_Bes_. I know not.
I pray you leave me Sirs, I'me proud of this,
That you will be intreated from my sight:
Why now the[y] leave me all: _Mardonius_.
[_Exeunt all but_ Arb. _and_ Mar.
Will you leave me quite alone? me thinks
Civility should teach you more than this,
If I were but your friend: Stay here and wait.
Sir shall I speak?
Why, you would now think much
To be denied, but I can scar[c]e intreat
What I would have: do, speak.
But will you hear me out?
With me you Article to talk thus: well,
I will hear you out.
Sir, that I have ever lov'd you, my sword hath spoken for me;
that I do, if it be doubted, I dare call an oath, a great one to
my witness; and were you not my King, from amongst men, I should
have chose you out to love above the rest: nor can this challenge
thanks, for my own sake I should have done it, because I would
have lov'd the most deserving man, for so you are.
Alas _Mardonius_, rise you shall not kneel,
We all are souldiers, and all venture lives:
And where there is no difference in mens worths,
Titles are jests, who can outvalue thee?
_Mardonius_ thou hast lov'd me, and hast wrong,
Thy love is not rewarded, but believe
It shall be better, more than friend in arms,
My Father, and my Tutor, good _Mardonius_.
Sir, you did promise you would hear me out.
And so I will; speak freely, for from thee
Nothing can come but worthy things and true.
Though you have all this worth, you hold some qualities that do
Eclipse your vertues.
Eclipse my vertues?
Yes, your passions, which are so manifold, that they appear even
in this: when I commend you, you hug me for that truth: but when
I speak your faults, you make a start, and flie the hearing but.
When you commend me? O that I should live
To need such commendations: If my deeds
Blew not my praise themselves about the earth,
I were most wretched: spare your idle praise:
If thou didst mean to flatter, and shouldst utter
Words in my praise, that thou thoughtst impudence,
My deeds should make 'em modest: when you praise I hug
you? 'tis so [false], that wert thou worthy thou shouldst receive
a death, a glorious death from me: but thou shalt understand
thy lies, for shouldst thou praise me into Heaven, and there
leave me inthron'd, I would despise thee though as much as
now, which is as much as dust because I see thy envie.
However you will use me after, yet for your own promise sake,
hear me the rest.
I will, and after call unto the winds, for they shall lend as
large an ear as I to what you utter: speak.
Would you but leave these hasty tempers, which
I do not say take from you all your worth, but darken 'em,
then you will shine indeed.
Yet I would have you keep some passions, lest men should take you
for a God, your vertues are such.
Why now you flatter.
I never understood the word, were you no King, and free from
these moods, should I choose a companion for wit and pleasure, it
should be you; or for honesty to enterchange my bosom with, it
should be you; or wisdom to give me counsel, I would pick out
you; or valour to defend my reputation, still I should find you
out; for you are fit to fight for all the world, if it could come
in question: Now I have spoke, consider to your self, find out a
use; if so, then what shall fall to me is not material.
Is not material? more than ten such lives, as mine, _Mardonius_:
it was nobly said, thou hast spoke truth, and boldly such a truth
as might offend another. I have been too passionate and idle,
thou shalt see a swift amendment, but I want those parts you
praise me for: I fight for all the world? Give me a sword, and
thou wilt go as far beyond me, as thou art beyond in years, I
know thou dar'st and wilt; it troubles me that I should use so
rough a phrase to thee, impute it to my folly, what thou wilt, so
thou wilt par[d]on me: that thou and I should differ thus!
Why 'tis no matter Sir.
Faith but it is, but thou dost ever take all things I do, thus
patiently, for which I never can requite thee, but with love, and
that thou shalt be sure of. Thou and I have not been merry
lately: pray thee tell me where hadst thou that same jewel in
Why at the taking of a Town.
A wench upon my life, a wench _Mardonius_ gave thee that jewel.
Wench! they respect not me, I'm old and rough, and every limb
about me, but that which should, grows stiffer, I'those
businesses I may swear I am truly honest: for I pay justly for
what I take, and would be glad to be at a certainty.
Why, do the wenches encroach upon thee?
I by this light do they.
Didst thou sit at an old rent with 'em?
And do they improve themselves?
I ten shillings to me, every new young fellow they come
How canst live on't?
Why I think I must petition to you.
Thou shalt take them up at my price.
_Enter two Gentlemen and_ Bessus.
I at the Kings price.
That may be more than I'me worth.
Is he not merry now?
I think not.
He is, he is: we'l shew our selves.
Bessus, I thought you had been in _Iberia_ by this, I bad you
hast; _Gobrias_ will want entertainment for me.
And please your Majesty I have a sute.
Is't not lousie _Bessus_, what is't?
I am to carry a Lady with me.
Then thou hast two sutes.
And if I can prefer her to the Lady _Pentha_ your Majesties
Sister, to learn fashions, as her friends term it, it will be
worth something to me.
So many nights lodgings as 'tis thither, wilt not?
I know not that Sir, but gold I shall be sure of.
Why thou shalt bid her entertain her from me, so thou wilt
resolve me one thing.
If I can.
Faith 'tis a very disputable question, and yet I think thou canst
Your Majesty has a good opinion of my understanding.
I have so good an opinion of it: 'tis whether thou be valiant.
Some body has traduced me to you: do you see this sword Sir?
If I do not make my back-biters eat it to a knife within this
week, say I am not valiant.
_Enter a Messenger_.
Health to your Majesty.
How does he, is he well?
In perfect health.
Take that for thy good news. A trustier servant to his Prince
there lives not, than is good Gobrias.
The King starts back.
His blood goes back as fast.
_2 Gent_. And now it comes again.
He alters strangely.
The hand of Heaven is on me, be it far from me to struggle, if my
secret sins have pull'd this curse upon me, lend me tears now to
wash me white, that I may feel a child-like innocence within my
breast; which once perform'd, O give me leave to stand as fix'd
as constancy her self, my eyes set here unmov'd, regardless of
the world though thousand miseries incompass me.
This is strange, Sir, how do you?
Mardonius, my mother.
Is she dead?
Alas she's not so happy, thou dost know how she hath laboured
since my Father died to take by treason hence this loathed life,
that would but be to serve her, I have pardoned, and pardoned,
and by that have made her fit to practise new sins, not repent
the old: she now had stirr'd a slave to come from thence, and
strike me here, whom Gobrias sifting out, took and condemn'd and
executed there, the carefulst servant: Heaven let me but live to
pay that man; Nature is poor to me, that will not let me have as
many deaths as are the times that he hath say'd my life, that I
might dye 'em over all for him.
Sir let her bear her sins on her own head,
Vex not your self.
What will the world
Conceive of me? with what unnatural sins
Will they suppose me loaden, when my life
Is sought by her that gave it to the world?
But yet he writes me comfort here, my Sister,
He saies, is grown in beauty and in grace.
In all the innocent vertues that become
A tender spotless maid: she stains her cheeks
With morning tears to purge her mothers ill,
And 'mongst that sacred dew she mingles Prayers
Her pure Oblations for my safe return:
If I have lost the duty of a Son,
If any pomp or vanity of state
Made me forget my natural offices,
Nay farther, if I have not every night
Expostulated with my wandring thoughts,
If ought unto my parent they have err'd,
And call'd 'em back: do you direct her arm
Unto this foul dissembling heart of mine:
But if I have been just to her, send out
Your power to compass me, and hold me safe
From searching treason; I will use no means
But prayer: for rather suffer me to see
From mine own veins issue a deadly flood,
Than wash my danger off with mothers blood.
I n'ere saw such suddain extremities.
_Enter_ Tigranes _and_ Spaconia.
Why? wilt thou have me die Spaconia.
What should I do?
Nay let me stay alone,
And when you see _Armenia_ again,
You shall behold a Tomb more worth than I;
Some friend that ever lov'd me or my cause,
Will build me something to distinguish me
From other women, many a weeping verse
He will lay on, and much lament those maids,
That plac'd their loves unfortunately high,
As I have done, where they can never reach;
But why should you go to _Iberia_?
Alas, that thou wilt ask me, ask the man
That rages in a Fever why he lies
Distempered there, when all the other youths
Are coursing o're the Meadows with their Loves?
Can I resist it? am I not a slave
To him that conquer'd me?
That conquer'd thee _Tigranes_! he has won
But half of thee, thy body, but thy mind
May be as free as his, his will did never
Combate thine, and take it prisoner.
But if he by force convey my body hence,
What helps it me or thee to be unwilling?
O _Tigranes_, I know you are to see a Lady there,
To see, and like I fear: perhaps the hope
Of her make[s] you forget me, ere we part,
Be happier than you know to wish; farewel.
_Spaconia_, stay and hear me what I say:
In short, destruction meet me that I may
See it, and not avoid it, when I leave
To be thy faithful lover: part with me
Thou shalt not, there are none that know our love,
And I have given gold unto a Captain
That goes unto _Iberia_ from the King,
That he will place a Lady of our Land
With the Kings Sister that is offered me;
Thither shall you, and being once got in
Perswade her by what subtil means you can
To be as backward in her love as I.
Can you imagine that a longing maid
When she beholds you, can be pull'd away
With words from loving you?
Dispraise my health, my honesty, and tell her I am jealous.
Why, I had rather lose you: can my heart
Consent to let my tongue throw out such words,
And I that ever yet spoke what I thought,
Shall find it such a thing at first to lie?
Yet do thy best.
What, is your Majesty ready?
There is the Lady, Captain.
Sweet Lady, by your leave, I co[u]ld wish my self more full of
Courtship for your fair sake.
Sir I shall feel no want of that.
Lady, you must hast, I have received new letters from the King
that require more hast than I expected, he will follow me
suddenly himself, and begins to call for your Majesty already.
He shall not do so long.
Sweet Lady, shall I call you my Charge hereafter?
I will not take upon me to govern your tongue Sir, you shall call
me what you please.
_Enter_ Gobrias, Bacurius, Arane, Panthe, _and_ Mandane,
_ Waiting-women with Attendants_.
My Lord Bacurius, you must have regard unto the Queen, she is
your prisoner, 'tis at your peril if she make escape.
My Lord, I know't, she is my prisoner from you committed; yet she
is a woman, and so I keep her safe, you will not urge me to keep
her close, I shall not shame to say I sorrow for her.
So do I my Lord; I sorrow for her, that so little grace doth
govern her: that she should stretch her arm against her King, so
little womanhood and natural goodness, as to think the death of
her own Son.
Thou knowst the reason why, dissembling as thou art, and wilt not
There is a Lady takes not after you,
Her Father is within her, that good man
Whose tears weigh'd down his sins, mark how she weeps,
How well it does become her, and if you
Can find no disposition in your self
To sorrow, yet by gracefulness in her
Find out the way, and by your reason weep:
All this she does for you, and more she needs
When for your self you will not lose a tear,
Think how this want of grief discredits you,
And you will weep, because you cannot weep.
You talk to me as having got a time fit for your purpose; but you
should be urg'd know I know you speak not what you think.
I would my heart were Stone, before my softness
Against my mother, a more troubled thought
No Virgin bears about; should I excuse
My Mothers fault, I should set light a life
In losing which, a brother and a King
Were taken from me, if I seek to save
That life so lov'd, I lose another life
That gave me being, I shall lose a Mother,
A word of such a sound in a childs ears
That it strikes reverence through it; may the will
Of heaven be done, and if one needs must fall,
Take a poor Virgins life to answer all.
But _Gobrias_ let us talk, you know this fault
Is not in me as in another Mother.
I know it is not.
Yet you make it so.
Why, is not all that's past beyond your help?
I know it is.
Nay should you publish it before the world,
Think you 'twould be believ'd?
I know it would not.
Nay should I joyn with you, should we not both be torn and yet
both die uncredited?
I think we should.
Why then take you such violent courses? As for me I do but right
in saving of the King from all your plots.
I bad you rest with patience, and a time
Would come for me to reconcile all to
Your own content, but by this way you take
Away my power, and what was done unknown,
Was not by me but you: your urging being done
I must preserve my own, but time may bring
All this to light, and happily for all.
Accursed be this over curious brain
That gave that plot a birth, accurst this womb
That after did conceive to my disgrace.
My Lord Protector, they say there are divers Letters come from
_Armenia_, that _Bessus_ has done good service, and brought again
a day, by his particular valour, receiv'd you any to that effect?
Yes, 'tis most certain.
I'm sorry for't, not that the day was won,
But that 'twas won by him: we held him here
A Coward, he did me wrong once, at which I laugh'd,
And so did all the world, for nor I,
Nor any other held him worth my sword.
_Enter_ Bessus _and_ Spaconia.
Health to my Protector; from the King
These Letters; and to your grace Madam, these.
How does his Majesty?
As well as conquest by his own means and his valiant
C[o]mmanders can make him; your letters will tell you all.
I will not open mine till I do know
My Brothers health: good Captain is he well?
As the rest of us that fought are.
But how's that? is he hurt?
He's a strange souldier that gets not a knock.
I do not ask how strange that souldier is
That gets no hurt, but whether he have one.
He had divers.
And is he well again?
Well again, an't please your Grace: why I was run twice through
the body, and shot i'th' head with a cross-arrow, and yet am well
I do not care how thou do'st, is he well?
Not care how I do? Let a man out of the mightiness of his spirit,
fructifie Foreign Countries with his blood for the good of his
own, and thus he shall be answered: Why I may live to relieve
with spear and shield, such a Lady as you distressed.
Why, I will care, I'me glad that thou art well, I prethee is he
The King is well and will be here to morrow.
My prayer is heard, now will I open mine.
_Bacurius_, I must ease you of your charge:
Madam, the wonted mercy of the King,
That overtakes your faults, has met with this,
And struck it out, he has forgiven you freely,
Your own will is your law, be where you please.
I thank him.
You will be ready to wait upon his Majesty to morrow?
Madam be wise hereafter; I am glad I have lost this Office.
Good Captain _Bessus_, tell us the discourse betwixt _Tigranes_
and our King, and how we got the victory.
I prethee do, and if my Brother were
In any danger, let not thy tale make
Him abide there long before thou bring him off,
For all that while my heart will beat.
Madam let what will beat, I must tell the truth, and thus it was;
they fought single in lists, but one to one; as for my own part,
I was dangerously hurt but three days before, else, perhaps, we
had been two to two, I cannot tell, some thought we had, and the
occasion of my hurt was this, the enemy had made Trenches.
Captain, without the manner of your hurt be much material to this
business, we'l hear't some other time.
I prethee leave it, and go on with my Brother.
I will, but 'twould be worth your hearing: To the
Lists they came, and single-sword and gantlet was their fight.
Without the Lists there stood some dozen Captains of either side
mingled, all which were sworn, and one of those was I: and 'twas
my chance to stand next a Captain o'th' enemies side, called
_Tiribasus_; Valiant they said he was; whilst these two Kings
were streaching themselves, this _Tiribasus_ cast something a
scornful look on me, and ask't me who I thought would overcome: I
smil'd and told him if he would fight with me, he should perceive
by the event of that whose King would win: something he answered,
and a scuffle was like to grow, when one _Zipetus_ offered to
help him, I--
All this is of thy self, I pray thee _Bessus_ tell something of
my Brother, did he nothing?
Why yes, I'le tell your Grace, they were not to fight till the
word given, which for my own part, by my troth I confess I was
not to give.
See for his own part.
I fear yet this fellow's abus'd with a good report.
Still of himself.
Cri'd give the word, when as some of them say, _Tigranes_ was
stooping, but the word was not given then, yet one _Cosroes_ of
the enemies part, held up his finger to me, which is as much with
us Martialists, as I will fight with you: I said not a word, nor
made sign during the combate, but that once done.
He slips o're all the fight.
I call'd him to me, _Cosroes_ said I.
I will hear no more.
No, no, I lie.
I dare be sworn thou dost.
Captain said I, so it was.
I tell thee, I will hear no further.
No? Your Grace will wish you had.
I will not wish it, what is this the Lady
My brother writes to me to take?
And please your Grace this is she: Charge, will you come near the
You'r welcome from your Country, and this land shall shew unto
you all the kindness that I can make it; what's your name?
Y'are very welcome, you have got a letter to put you to me, that
has power enough to place mine enemy here; then much more you
that are so far from being so to me that you ne're saw me.
Madam, I dare pass my word for her truth.
Why Captain, do you think I am afraid she'l steal?
I cannot tell, servants are slippery, but I dare give my word for
her, and for honesty, she came along with me, and many favours
she did me by the way, but by this light none but what she might
do with modesty, to a man of my rank.
Why Captain, here's no body thinks otherwise.
Nay, if you should, your Grace may think your pleasure; but I am
sure I brought her from _Armenia_, and in all that way, if ever I
touch'd any bare of her above her knee, I pray God I may sink
where I stand.
Above my knee?
No, you know I did not, and if any man will say, I did, this
sword shall answer; Nay, I'le defend the reputation of my charge
whilst I live, your Grace shall understand I am secret in these
businesses, and know how to defend a Ladies honour.
I hope your Grace knows him so well already, I shall not need to
tell you he's vain and foolish.
I you may call me what you please, but I'le defend your good name
against the world; and so I take my leave of your Grace, and of
you my Lord Protector; I am likewise glad to see your Lordship
O Captain _Bessus_, I thank you, I would speak with you
When you please, I will attend your Lordship.
Madam, I'le take my leave too.
[_Exeunt_ Bes. _and_ Bac.
Madam what writes his Majesty to you?
O my Lord, the kindest words, I'le keep 'em whilst I live, here
in my bosom, there's no art in 'em, they lie disordered in this
paper, just as hearty nature speaks 'em.
And to me he writes what tears of joy he shed to hear how you
were grown in every vertues way, and yields all thanks to me, for
that dear care which I was bound to have in training you, there
is no Princess living that enjoys a brother of that worth.
My Lord, no maid longs more for any thing,
And feels more heat and cold within her breast,
Than I do now, in hopes to see him.
Yet I wonder much
At this he writes, he brings along with him
A husband for you, that same Captive Prince,
And if he loves you as he makes a shew,
He will allow you freedom in your choice.
And so he will my Lord, I warrant you, he will but offer and give
me the power to take or leave.
Trust me, were I a Lady, I could not like that man were bargain'd
with before I choose him.
But I am not built on such wild humours, if I find him worthy, he
is not less because he's offer'd.
'Tis true, he is not, would he would seem less.
I think there's no Lady can affect
Another Prince, your brother standing by;
He doth Eclipse mens vertues so with his.
I know a Lady may, and more I fear
Another Lady will.
Would I might see him.
Why so you shall, my businesses are great,
I will attend you when it is his pleasure to see you.
I thank you good my Lord.
You will be ready Madam.
I do beseech you Madam, send away
Your other women, and receive from me
A few sad words, which set against your joyes
May make 'em shine the more.
Sirs, leave me all.
I kneel a stranger here to beg a thing
Unfit for me to ask, and you to grant,
'Tis such another strange ill-laid request,
As if a begger should intreat a King
To leave his Scepter, and his Throne to him
And take his rags to wander o're the world
Hungry and cold.
That were a strange request.
As ill is mine.
_Pan_. Then do not utter it.
Alas 'tis of that nature, that it must
Be utter'd, I, and granted, or I die:
I am asham'd to speak it; but where life
Lies at the stake, I cannot think her woman
That will not take something unreasonably to hazard saving of it:
I shall seem a strange Petitioner, that wish all ill to them I
beg of, e're they give me ought; yet so I must: I would you were
not fair, nor wise, for in your ill consists my good: if you were
foolish, you would hear my prayer, if foul, you had not power to
hinder me: he would not love you.
What's the meaning of it.
Nay, my request is more without the bounds
Of reason yet: for 'tis not in the power
Of you to do, what I would have you grant.
Why then 'tis idle, pray thee speak it out.
Your brother brings a Prince into this land,
Of such a noble shape, so sweet a grace,
So full of worth withal, that every maid
That looks upon him, gives away her self
To him for ever; and for you to have
He brings him: and so mad is my demand
That I desire you not to have this man,
This excellent man, for whom you needs must die,
If you should miss him. I do now expect
You should laugh at me.
Trust me I could weep rather, for I have found him
In all thy words a strange disjoynted sorrow.
'Tis by me his own desire so, that you would not love him.
His own desire! why credit me _Thalestris,_ I am no common wooer:
if he shall wooe me, his worth may be such, that I dare not swear
I will not love him; but if he will stay to have me wooe him, I
will promise thee, he may keep all his graces to himself, and
fear no ravishing from me.
'Tis yet his own desire, but when he sees your face, I fear it
will not be; therefore I charge you as you have pity, stop these
tender ears from his enchanting voice, close up those eyes, that
you may neither catch a dart from him, nor he from you; I charge
you as you hope to live in quiet; for when I am dead, for certain
I will walk to visit him if he break promise with me: for as fast
as Oaths without a formal Ceremony can make me, I am to him.
Then be fearless;
For if he were a thing 'twixt God and man,
I could gaze on him; if I knew it sin
To love him without passion: Dry your eyes,
I swear you shall enjoy him still for me,
I will not hinder you; but I perceive
You are not what you seem, rise, rise _Thalestris_,
If your right name be so.
Indeed it is not, _Spaconia_ is my name; but I desire not to be
known to other.
Why, by me you shall not, I will never do you wrong, what good I
can, I will, think not my birth or education such, that I should
injure a stranger Virgin; you are welcome hither, in company you
wish to be commanded, but when we are alone, I shall be ready to
be your servant.
_Enter three Men and a Woman_.
Come, come, run, run, run.
We shall out-go her.
One were better be hang'd than carry out women fidling to these
Is the King hard by?
You heard he with the Bottles said, he thought we should come too
late: What abundance of people here is!
But what had he in those Bottles?
I know not.
Why, Ink goodman fool.
Ink, what to do?
Why the King look you, will many times call for these
Bottles, and break his mind to his friends.
Let's take our places, we shall have no room else.
The man told us he would walk o' foot through the people.
I marry did he.
Our shops are well look't to now.
'Slife, yonder's my Master, I think.
No 'tis not he.
_Enter a man with two Citizens-wives._
Lord how fine the fields be, what sweet living 'tis in the
I poor souls, God help 'em; they live as contentedly as one of
My husbands Cousin would have had me gone into the Country last
year, wert thou ever there?
I, poor souls, I was amongst 'em once.
And what kind of creatures are they, for love of God?
Very good people, God help 'em.
Wilt thou go down with me this Summer when I am brought to bed?
Alas, it is no place for us.
Why, pray thee?
Why you can have nothing there, there's no body cryes brooms.