Part 3 out of 10
_Bib_. No; 'twas a judgment upon you, for desiring preferment at
court, Frances. Let's call up the watch, and Justice Trice, to have
the house searched.
_Fran_. Ay, ay; there's more devils there, I warrant you.
_Enter LOVEBY, CONSTANCE, and SETSTONE again_.
_Lov_. It was certainly Will Bibber and his wife, with music;
for, now I remember myself, I 'pointed him this hour at your father's
house: but we frighted them worse than they frighted us.
_Const_. Our parson ran away too, when they cried out the devil!
_Lov_. He was the wiser; for if the devil had come indeed, he has
preached so long against him, it would have gone hard with him.
_Set_. Indeed, I have always observed parsons to be more fearful
of the devil than other people.
_Lov_. Oh, the devil's the spirit, and the parson's the flesh;
and betwixt those two there must be a war; yet, to do them both right,
I think in my conscience they quarrel only like lawyers for their
fees, and meet good friends in private, to laugh at their clients.
_Const_. I saw him run in at my cousin Isabella's chamber door,
which was wide open; I believe she's returned: We'll fetch a light
from the gallery, and give her joy.
_Lov_. Why, is she married, madam?
_Const_. I'll tell you as we go. [_Exeunt_.
_BURR and the Parson enter, meeting in the dark_.
_Burr_. My lady Constance, are you come again? That's well; I
have waited sufficiently for you in the dark.
_Par_. Help, help, help, good Christian people! the devil, the
_Burr_. 'Tis I, madam; what do you mean?
_Par_. Avoid, Satan! avoid, avoid.
_Burr_. What have I here, the hairy woman?
_Enter LOVEBY, and CONSTANCE with the light_.
Ha! yonder's my lady Constance! who have I got? a stone priest, by
this good light. How's this, Loveby too!
_Lov_. Burr a-beating my reverend clergy? What makes you here at
this unseasonable hour? I'll know your business. [_Draws_.
_Burr_. Will you, sir? [_They fight_.
_Const. Set. Par_. Help, murder, murder!
_Enter, at one door, TRICE drunk, with the Watch; BIBBER and FRANCES
following; at the other, NONSUCH and Servants, and FAILER_.
_Non_. Murder, murder! beat down their weapons. Will you
murder Sir Timorous, Mr Loveby?--[_They disarm both_.] Sir
Timorous?--ha, Burr! Thieves, thieves!--sit down, good Mr Justice, and
take their examinations. Now I shall know how my money went.
_Trice_. They shall have justice, I warrant them. [_Goes to
sit, and misses the chair_.
_Bib_. The justice is almost dead drunk, my lord.
_Fran_. But an't please your worship, my lord, this is not the
worst sight that we have seen here to-night in your worship's house;
we met three or four hugeous ugly devils, with eyes like saucers, that
threw down my husband, that threw down me, that made my heart so panck
ever since, as they say!--
_Non_. The devil again in my house?
_Lov_. Nay, here he was, that's certain; he brought me hither, I
know not how myself, and married me; Mr Setstone there can justify it:
But the best is, I have a charm about me, that will lay him yet ere
_Fail_. And I vow to gad, my lord, I know as little how I came
hither as any man.
_Burr_. Nor I.
_Trice_. Nor I.
_Lot_. No, I dare swear do'st thou not, Mr Justice.
_Trice_. But I wonder how the devil durst come into our ward,
when he knows I have been at the duties of--my family--this evening.
_Enter one of the Watch, with_ TIMOROUS _and_ ISABELLA.
_Watch_. An please your worship, I met this couple in the street
late, and so, seeing them to be a man and woman, I brought them along
with me, upon suspicion of felony together.
_Fran_. This is the proud minx, that sought shelter in my house
this afternoon, Mr Justice.
_Fail_. Sir Timorous and Madam Isabella! I vow to gad, we are
_Isa_. Do not you know me, Mr Justice?
_Lov_. Justice is blind, he knows nobody.
_Isa_. My name is Isabella.
_Fran_. No, thy name is Jezebella; I warrant you, there's none
but rogues and papists would be abroad at this time of night.
_Bib_. Hold, Frances.--
_Trice_. She's drunk, I warrant her, as any beast. I wonder,
woman, you do not consider what a crying sin drunkenness is: Whom do
you learn it from in our parish? I am sure you never see me worse.
_Isa_. Burr and Failer, acknowledge yourselves a couple of
recreant knights: Sir Timorous is mine: I have won him in fair field
_Const_. Give you joy, cousin, give you joy!
_Isa_. And in Diana's grove, boy.
_Lov_. Why, 'tis fine, by Heaven; 'tis wondrous fine; as the poet
goes on sweetly.
_Tim_. I am sure they had gagged me, and bound me, and stripped
me almost stark naked, and locked me up as fast as a butterfly, 'till
she came and made me a man again; and therefore I have reason to love
her the longest day I have to live.
_Isa_. Ay, and the longest night too, or you are to blame. And
you have one argument I love you, if the proverb be true, for I took
you almost in your bare shirt.
_Burr_. So much for us, Failer!
_Const_. Well, my lord, it had as good out at first as at last:
I must beg your lordship's blessing for this gentleman and myself.
_Non_. Why, you are not married to him, I hope! he's married to
_Lov_. 'Twas a white devil of your lordship's getting, then; Mr
Setstone and the reverend here can witness it.
_Set. Par_. We must speak truth, my lord.
_Non_. Would I had another child for your sake! you should ne'er
see a penny of my money.
_Lov_. Thank you, my lord; but methinks 'tis much better as it
_Isa_. Come, nuncle, 'tis in vain to hold out, now 'tis past
remedy: 'Tis like the last act of a play, when people must marry; and
if fathers will not consent then, they should throw oranges at them
from the galleries. Why should you stand off, to keep us from a dance?
_Non_. But there's one thing still that troubles me; that's her
great belly, and my own too.
_Const_. Nay, for mine, my lord, 'tis vanished already; 'twas but
a trick to catch the old one.
_Lov_. But I'll do my best; she shall not be long without
_Isa_. But as for your great belly, nuncle, I know no way to rid
you on't, but by taking out your guts.
_Lov_. 'Tis such a pretty smart rascal, 'tis well I am pleased
with my own choice: but I could have got such Hectors, and poets, and
gamesters, out of thee!--
_Const_. No, no; two wits could never have lived well together;
want would have so sharpened you upon one another.
_Isa_. A wit should naturally be joined to a fortune; by the same
reason your vintners feed their hungry wines.
_Const_. And if Sir Timorous and I had married, we two fortunes
must have built hospitals with our money; we could never have spent it
_Lov_. Or what think you of paying courtiers' debts with it?
_Isa_. Well, to shew I am in charity with my enemies, I'll make
a motion: While we are in town, let us hire a large house, and live
together: Burr and Failer--
_Fail_. Shall be utterly discarded; I knew 'twould come to that,
I vow to gad.
_Isa_. Shall be our guests.
[_BURR and FAILER throw up their caps, and cry, Vive Madam
_Lov_. And Bibber shall make our wedding clothes without
_Bib_. No, henceforward I'll trust none but landed men, and such
as have houses and apple-trees in the country, now I have got a place
in the custom-house.
_Fran_. Nothing vexes me, but that this flirting gentlewoman
should go before me; but I'll to the herald's office, and see whether
the queen's majesty's dresser, should not take place of any knight's
wife in Christendom.
_Bib_. Now all will out--no more, good Frances.
_Fran_. I will speak, that I will, so I will: What! shall I be a
dresser to the queen's majesty, and nobody must know on't? I'll
send Mr Church-warden word on't; and, gentlemen, when you come to St
Bride's church (if ever you come to church, gentlemen), you shall see
me in the pew that's next the pulpit; thank Mr Loveby's worship for
_Lov_. Spare your thanks, good landlady; for the truth is, they
came too late, the place is gone; and so is yours, Will; but you shall
have two hundred pounds for one, if that will satisfy you.
_Fran_. This is bitter news, as they say.
_Lov_. Cheer up thy wife, Will. Where are the fiddles? A dance
should do it.
_Bib_. I'll run and call them.
_Isa_. I have found out that, will comfort her: Henceforward I
christen her by the name of Madam Bibber.
_All_. A Madam Bibber, a Madam Bibber!
_Fran_. Why, I thank you, sweet gentlemen and ladies; this is a
cordial to my drooping spirits: I confess I was a little eclipsed; but
I'll cheer up with abundance of love, as they say. Strike up, fiddles.
_Lov_. That's a good wench.
_Trice_. This music and a little nod has recovered me. I'll in,
and provide for the sack posset.
_Non_. To bed, to bed; 'tis late. Son Loveby, get me a boy
to-night, and I'll settle three thousand a-year upon him the first day
he calls me grandsire.
_Lov_. I'll do my best, To make the bargain sure before I sleep.
Where love and money strike, the blow goes deep.
WHEN IT WAS FIRST ACTED.
The _Wild Gallant_ has quite played out his game;
He's married now, and that will make him tame;
Or if you think marriage will not reclaim him,
The critics swear they'll damn him, but they'll tame him.
Yet, though our poet's threatened most by these,
They are the only people he can please:
For he, to humour them, has shown to-day,
That which they only like, a wretched play:
But though his play be ill, here have been shown
The greatest wits, and beauties of the town;
And his occasion having brought you here,
You are too grateful to become severe.
There is not any person here so mean,
But he may freely judge each act and scene:
But if you bid him chuse his judges, then,
He boldly names true English gentlemen:
For he ne'er thought a handsome garb or dress
So great a crime, to make their judgment less:
And with these gallants he these ladies joins,
To judge that language, their converse refines.
But if their censures should condemn his play,
Far from disputing, he does only pray
He may Leander's destiny obtain:
Now spare him, drown him when he comes again.
Of all dramatic writing, comic wit,
As 'tis the best, so 'tis most, hard to hit.
For it lies all in level to the eye,
Where all may judge, and each defect may spy.
Humour is that, which every day we meet,
And therefore known as every public street;
In which, if e'er the poet go astray,
You all can point, 'twas there he lost his way.
But, what's so common, to make pleasant too,
Is more than any wit can always do.
For 'tis like Turks, with hen and rice to treat;
To make regalios out of common meat.
But, in your diet, you grow savages:
Nothing but human flesh your taste can please;
And, as their feasts with slaughtered slaves began,
So you, at each new play, must have a man.
Hither you come, as to see prizes fought;
If no blood's drawn, you cry, the prize is naught.
But fools grow wary now; and, when they see
A poet eyeing round the company,
Straight each-man for himself begins to doubt;
They shrink like seamen when a press comes out.
Few of them will be found for public use,
Except you charge an oaf upon each house,
Like the train bands, and every man engage
For a sufficient fool, to serve the stage.
And when, with much ado, you get him there,
Where he in all his glory should appear,
Your poets make him such rare things to say,
That he's more wit than any man i' th' play:
But of so ill a mingle with the rest,
As when a parrot's taught to break a jest.
Thus, aiming to be fine, they make a show,
As tawdry squires in country churches do.
Things well considered, 'tis so hard to make
A comedy, which should the knowing take,
That our dull poet, in despair to please,
Does humbly beg, by me, his writ of ease.
'Tis a land-tax, which he's too poor to pay;
You therefore must some other impost lay.
Would you but change, for serious plot and verse,
This motely garniture of fool and farce,
Nor scorn a mode, because 'tis taught at home,
Which does, like vests, our gravity become,
Our poet yields you should this play refuse:
As tradesmen, by the change of fashions, lose,
With some content, their fripperies of France,
In hope it may their staple trade advance.
THE RIVAL LADIES,
THE RIVAL LADIES.
This play, like that which preceded it, is a drama of intrigue,
borrowed from the Spanish, and claiming merit only in proportion to
the diversity and ingenuity of the incidents represented. On this
point every reader can decide for himself; and it would be an invidious
task to point out blemishes, where, to own the truth, there are but
few beauties. The ease with which the affections of almost every
female in the drama are engrossed by Gonsalvo, and afterwards
transferred to the lovers, upon whom the winding up of the plot made
it necessary to devolve them, will, it is probable, strike every
reader as unnatural. In truth, when the depraved appetite of the
public requires to be gratified by trick and bustle, instead of nature
and sentiment, authors must sacrifice the probable, as well as the
simple, process of events.
The author seems principally to have valued himself on this piece,
because it contains some scenes executed in rhyme, in what was then
called the heroic manner. Upon this opinion, which Dryden lived to
retract, I have ventured to offer my sentiments in the Life of the
Author. In other respects, though not slow in perceiving and avouching
his own merit, our author seems to consider the "Rival Ladies" as no
very successful dramatic effort.
The "Rival Ladies" is supposed to have been first acted in 1663, and
was certainly published in the year following. Of its success we know
nothing particular. It is probable, the flowing verse, into which some
part of the dialogue is thrown, with the strong point and antithesis,
which distinguishes Dryden's works, and particularly his argumentative
poetry, tended to redeem the credit of the author of the "Wild
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE ROGER, EARL OF ORRERY.
[Footnote 1: This distinguished person was fifth son of Richard Boyle,
known by the title of the great Earl of Cork. His first title was Lord
Broghill, under which he distinguished himself in Ireland.
Cromwell, although his lordship was a noted royalist, and in actual
correspondence with the exiled monarch, had so much confidence in
his honour and talents, that he almost compelled him to act as lord
lieutenant of that kingdom, under the stipulation that he was to come
under no oaths, and only to act against the rebel Irish, then the
common enemy. He was instrumental in the restoration, and created earl
of Orrery by Charles II, in 1660, He deserved Dryden's panegyric in
every respect, except as a poet--the very character, however, in which
he is most complimented, and perhaps was best pleased to be so. He
wrote, 1st, The Art of War--2d, Parthenissa, a romance--3d, Some
Poems--4th; Eight Plays--5th, State Tracts.]
This worthless present was designed you long before it was a play;
when it was only a confused mass of thoughts, tumbling over one
another in the dark; when the fancy was yet in its first work,
moving the sleeping images of things towards the light, there to be
distinguished, and then either chosen or rejected by the judgment; it
was yours, my lord, before I could call it mine. And, I confess, in
that first tumult of my thoughts, there appeared a disorderly kind of
beauty in some of them, which gave me hope, something, worthy my lord
of Orrery, might be drawn from them: But I was then in that eagerness
of imagination, which, by overpleasing fanciful men, flatters them
into the danger of writing; so that, when I had moulded it into that
shape it now bears, I looked with such disgust upon it, that the
censures of our severest critics are charitable to what I thought
(and still think) of it myself: It is so far from me to believe this
perfect, that I am apt to conclude our best plays are scarcely so; for
the stage being the representation of the world, and the actions in
it, how can it be imagined, that the picture of human life can be more
exact than life itself is? He may be allowed sometimes to err, who
undertakes to move so many characters and humours, as are requisite in
a play, in those narrow channels which are proper to each of them; to
conduct his imaginary persons through so many various intrigues and
chances, as the labouring audience shall think them lost under every
billow; and then, at length, to work them so naturally out of their
distresses, that, when the whole plot is laid open, the spectators may
rest satisfied, that every cause was powerful enough to produce the
effect it had; and that the whole chain of them was with such due
order linked together, that the first accident would naturally beget
the second, till they all rendered the conclusion necessary.
These difficulties, my lord, may reasonably excuse the errors of
my undertaking; but for this confidence of my dedication, I have an
argument, which is too advantageous for me not to publish it to the
world. It is the kindness your lordship has continually shown to all
my writings. You have been pleased, my lord, they should sometimes
cross the Irish seas, to kiss your hands; which passage (contrary
to the experience of others) I have found the least dangerous in the
world. Your favour has shone upon me at a remote distance, without the
least knowledge of my person; and (like the influence of the heavenly
bodies) you have done good, without knowing to whom you did it. It is
this virtue in your lordship, which emboldens me to this attempt; for,
did I not consider you as my patron, I have little reason to desire
you for my judge; and should appear with as much awe before you in the
reading, as I had when the full theatre sat upon the action. For, who
could so severely judge of faults as he, who has given testimony he
commits none? Your excellent poems have afforded that knowledge of it
to the world, that your enemies are ready to upbraid you with it, as
a crime for a man of business to write so well. Neither durst I have
justified your lordship in it, if examples of it had not been in the
world before you; if Xenophon had not written a romance, and a certain
Roman, called Augustus Caesar, a tragedy, and epigrams. But their
writing was the entertainment of their pleasure; yours is only a
diversion of your pain. The muses have seldom employed your thoughts,
but when some violent fit of the gout has snatched you from affairs
of state; and, like the priestess of Apollo, you never come to deliver
his oracles, but unwillingly, and in torment. So that we are obliged
to your lordship's misery for our delight: You treat us with the cruel
pleasure of a Turkish triumph, where those, who cut and wound their
bodies, sing songs of victory as they pass, and divert others with
their own sufferings. Other men endure their diseases; your lordship
only can enjoy them. Plotting and writing in this kind are certainly
more troublesome employments than many which signify more, and are of
greater moment in the world: The fancy, memory, and judgment, are then
extended (like so many limbs) upon the rack; all of them reaching
with their utmost stress at nature; a thing so almost infinite and
boundless, as can never fully be comprehended, but where the images of
all things are always present. Yet I wonder not your lordship succeeds
so well in this attempt; the knowledge of men is your daily practice
in the world; to work and bend their stubborn minds, which go not all
after the same grain, but each of them so particular a way, that
the same common humours, in several persons, must be wrought upon by
several means. Thus, my lord, your sickness is but the imitation of
your health; the poet but subordinate to the statesman in you; you
still govern men with the same address, and manage business with the
same prudence; allowing it here (as in the world) the due increase and
growth, till it comes to the just height; and then turning it when it
is fully ripe, and nature calls out, as it were, to be delivered.
With this only advantage of ease to you in your poetry, that you
have fortune here at your command; with which wisdom does often
unsuccessfully struggle in the world. Here is no chance, which you
have not foreseen; all your heroes are more than your subjects, they
are your creatures; and though they seem to move freely in all the
sallies of their passions, yet you make destinies for them, which
they cannot shun. They are moved (if I may dare to say so) like the
rational creatures of the Almighty Poet, who walk at liberty, in their
own opinion, because their fetters are invisible; when, indeed, the
prison of their will is the more sure for being large; and, instead of
an absolute power over their actions, they have only a wretched desire
of doing that, which they cannot chuse but do.
[Footnote 1: The earl of Orrery was author of several plays. If the
reader is not disposed to admit, that his habit of composing them,
when tormented by the gout, enhanced their value, it may be allowed to
apologise for their faults.]
I have dwelt, my lord, thus long upon your writing, not because you
deserve not greater and more noble commendations, but because I am not
equally able to express them in other subjects. Like an ill swimmer,
I have willingly staid long in my own depth; and though I am eager of
performing more, yet am loth to venture out beyond my knowledge: for
beyond your poetry, my lord, all is ocean to me. To speak of you as a
soldier, or a statesman, were only to betray my own ignorance; and I
could hope no better success from it, than that miserable rhetorician
had, who solemnly declaimed before Hannibal, of the conduct of armies,
and the art of war. I can only say, in general, that the souls of
other men shine out at little crannies; they understand some one
thing, perhaps, to admiration, while they are darkened on all the
other parts; but your lordship's soul is an entire globe of light,
breaking out on every side; and, if I have only discovered one beam
of it, it is not that the light falls unequally, but because the body,
which receives it, is of unequal parts.
The acknowledgment of which is a fair occasion offered me, to retire
from the consideration of your lordship to that of myself. I here
present you, my lord, with that in print, which you had the goodness
not to dislike upon the stage; and account it happy to have met you
here in England; it being, at best, like small wines, to be drunk out
upon the place, and has not body enough to endure the sea.
I know not whether I have been so careful of the plot and language as
I ought; but, for the latter, I have endeavoured to write English, as
near as I could distinguish it from the tongue of pedants, and that
of affected travellers. Only I am sorry, that (speaking so noble a
language as we do) we have not a more certain measure of it, as they
have in France, where they have an academy erected for that purpose,
and endowed with large privileges by the present king. I wish we might
at length leave to borrow words from other nations, which is now a
wantonness in us, not a necessity; but so long as some affect to speak
them, there will not want others, who will have the boldness to write
But I fear, lest, defending the received words, I shall be accused for
following the new way, I mean, of writing scenes in verse. Though, to
speak properly, it is not so much a new way amongst us, as an old
way new revived; for, many years before Shakspeare's plays, was the
tragedy of Queen Gorboduc, in English verse, written by that famous
Lord Buckhurst, afterwards earl of Dorset, and progenitor to that
excellent person, who (as he inherits his soul and title) I wish may
inherit his good fortune. But, supposing our countrymen had not
received this writing till of late; shall we oppose ourselves to the
most polished and civilised nations of Europe? Shall we, with the same
singularity, oppose the world in this, as most of us do in pronouncing
Latin? Or do we desire that the brand, which Barclay has (I hope
unjustly) laid upon the English, should still continue? _Angli suos
ac sua omnia impense mirantur; caeteras nationes despectui habent_.
All the Spanish and Italian tragedies, I have yet seen, are writ in
rhyme. For the French, I do not name them, because it is the fate of
our countrymen to admit little of theirs among us, but the basest of
their men, the extravagancies of their fashions, and the frippery of
their merchandise. Shakspeare (who, with some errors not to be avoided
in that age, had undoubtedly a larger soul of poesy than ever any of
our nation) was the first who, to shun the pains of continual rhyming,
invented[A] that kind of writing which we call blank verse, but the
French, more properly, _prose mesure_; into which the English
tongue so naturally slides, that, in writing prose, it is hardly to be
avoided. And therefore, I admire some men should perpetually stumble
in a way so easy, and, inverting the order of their words, constantly
close their lines with verbs, which, though commended sometimes in
writing Latin, yet we were whipt at Westminster if we used it twice
together. I knew some, who, if they were to write in blank verse,
_Sir, I ask your pardon_, would think it sounded more heroically
to write, _Sir, I your pardon ask_. I should judge him to have
little command of English, whom the necessity of a rhyme should force
often upon this rock; though sometimes it cannot easily be avoided;
and indeed this is the only inconvenience with which rhyme can be
charged. This is that which makes them say, rhyme is not natural; it
being only so, when the poet either makes a vicious choice of words,
or places them, for rhyme sake, so unnaturally as no man would in
ordinary speaking; but when it is so judiciously ordered, that the
first word in the verse seems to beget the second, and that the next,
till that becomes the last word in the line, which, in the negligence
of prose, would be so; it must then be granted, rhyme has all the
advantages of prose, besides its own. But the excellence and dignity
of it were never fully known till Mr Waller taught it; he first made
writing easily an art; first shewed us to conclude the sense, most
commonly in distichs, which, in the verse of those before him, runs
on for so many lines together, that the reader is out of breath to
overtake it. This sweetness of Mr Waller's lyric poesy was afterwards
followed in the epic by Sir John Denham, in his Cooper's-Hill, a poem
which, your Lordship knows, for the majesty of the style, is, and
ever will be, the exact standard of good writing. But if we owe the
invention of it to Mr Waller, we are acknowledging for the noblest use
of it to Sir William D'Avenant, who at once brought it upon the stage,
and made it perfect, in the Siege of Rhodes.
[Footnote 1: The tragedy of Ferrex and Perrex (which is the proper
title) was written by Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, afterwards
earl of Dorset, and Thomas Norton, a barrister at law. In Sackville's
part of the play, which comprehends the two last acts, there is some
poetry worthy of the author of the sublime Introduction to the Mirror
of Magistrates. While both the authors were out of England, one
William Griffiths published a spurious copy, under the title of
Gorboduc, the name of one of the principal personages, who is not,
however, _queen_, but _king_, of England, But, what was a
wider mistake, considering Dryden's purpose of mentioning the work, it
is not written in rhyme, but in blank verse, excepting the choruses,
which are in stanzas of six lines. The name of the queen is Videna.
Sir Philip Sydney says, "Gorboduc is full of stately speeches and well
sounding phrases, climbing up to the height of Seneca his style, and
as full of notable morality, which it doth most delightfully teach,
and thereby obtain the very end of poetry."]
[Footnote A: This is a mistake. Marlow, and several other dramatic
authors, used blank verse before the days of Shakspeare.]
The advantages which rhyme has over blank verse are so many, that
it were lost time to name them. Sir Philip Sidney, in his Defence
of Poesy, gives us one, which, in my opinion, is not the least
considerable; I mean the help it brings to memory, which rhyme so
knits up, by the affinity of sounds, that, by remembering the last
word in one line, we often call to mind both the verses. Then, in the
quickness of repartees (which in discoursive scenes fall very often),
it has so particular a grace, and is so aptly suited to them, that the
sudden smartness of the answer, and the sweetness of the rhyme, set
off the beauty of each other. But that benefit which I consider most
in it, because I have not seldom found it, is, that it bounds and
circumscribes the fancy. For imagination in a poet is a faculty so
wild and lawless, that, like an high-ranging spaniel, it must have
clogs tied to it, lest it out-run the judgment. The great easiness of
blank verse renders the poet too luxuriant; he is tempted to say many
things, which might better be omitted, or at least shut up in fewer
words; but when the difficulty of artful rhyming is interposed, where
the poet commonly confines his sense to his couplet, and must contrive
that sense into such words, that the rhyme shall naturally follow
them, not they the rhyme; the fancy then gives leisure to the judgment
to come in, which, seeing so heavy a tax imposed, is ready to cut off
all unnecessary expences. This last consideration has already answered
an objection which some have made, that rhyme is only an embroidery of
sense, to make that, which is ordinary in itself, pass for excellent
with less examination. But certainly, that, which most regulates the
fancy, and gives the judgment its busiest employment, is like to bring
forth the richest and clearest thoughts. The poet examines that most,
which he produceth with the greatest leisure, and which, he knows,
must pass the severest test of the audience, because they are aptest
to have it ever in their memory; as the stomach makes the best
concoction, when it strictly embraces the nourishment, and takes
account of every little particle as it passes through. But, as the
best medicines may lose their virtue, by being ill applied, so is it
with verse, if a fit subject be not chosen for it. Neither must the
argument alone, but the characters and persons, be great and
noble; otherwise, (as Scaliger says of Claudian) the poet will
be _ignobitiore materia depressus_. The scenes, which, in my
opinion, most commend it, are those of argumentation and discourse, on
the result of which the doing or not doing some considerable action
But, my lord, though I have more to say upon this subject, yet I must
remember, it is your lordship to whom I speak; who have much better
commended this way by your writing in it, than I can do by writing for
it. Where my reasons cannot prevail, I am sure your lordship's example
must. Your rhetoric has gained my cause; at least the greatest part of
my design has already succeeded to my wish, which was to interest so
noble a person in the quarrel, and withal to testify to the world how
happy I esteem myself in the honour of being,
Your Lordship's most humble,
and most obedient servant,
'Tis much desired, you judges of the town
Would pass a vote to put all prologues down;
For who can show me, since they first were writ,
They e'er converted one hard-hearted wit?
Yet the world's mended well; in former days
Good prologues were as scarce as now good plays.
For the reforming poets of our age,
In this first charge, spend their poetic rage:
Expect no more when once the prologue's done;
The wit is ended ere the play's begun.
You now have habits, dances, scenes, and rhymes;
High language often; ay, and sense, sometimes.
As for a clear contrivance, doubt it not;
They blow out candles to give light to th' plot.
And for surprise, two bloody-minded men
Fight till they die, then rise and dance again.
Such deep intrigues you're welcome to this day:
But blame yourselves, not him who writ the play;
Though his plot's dull, as can be well desired,
Wit stiff as any you have e'er admired:
He's bound to please, not to write well; and knows,
There is a mode in plays as well as clothes;
Therefore, kind judges--
_Second Prologue enters_.
2.--Hold; would you admit
For judges all you see within the pit?
1. Whom would he then except, or on what score?
2. All, who (like him) have writ ill plays before;
For they, like thieves condemned, are hangmen made,
To execute the members of their trade.
All that are writing now he would disown,
But then he must except--even all the town;
All cholerick, losing gamesters, who, in spite,
Will damn to day, because they lost last night;
All servants, whom their mistress' scorn upbraids;
All maudlin lovers, and all slighted maids;
All, who are out of humour, or severe;
All, that want wit, or hope to find it here.
DON GONSALVO DE PERALTA, _a young gentleman newly arrived from the
Indies, in love with_ JULIA.
DON RODORIGO DE SYLVA, _in love with the same lady_.
DON MANUEL DE TORRES, _brother to_ JULIA.
JULIA, _elder sister to_ DON MANUEL, _promised to_ RODORIGO.
HONORIA, _younger sister to_ DON MANUEL, _disguised in the
habit of a man, and going by the name of_ HIPPOLITO, _in love
ANGELINA, _sister to_ DON RODORIGO, _in man's habit, likewise
in love with_ GONSALVO, _and going by the name of_ AMIDEO.
_Servants, Robbers, Seamen, and Masquers_.
THE RIVAL LADIES.
SCENE I--_A Wood_.
_Enter_ GONSALVO _and a Servant_.
_Gon_. Nay, 'twas a strange as well as cruel storm,
To take us almost in the port of Sevile,
And drive us up as far as Barcelona;
The whole plate fleet was scattered, some part wrecked;
There one might see the sailors diligent
To cast o'erboard the merchant's envied wealth,
While he, all pale and dying, stood in doubt,
Whether to ease the burden of the ship,
By drowning of his ingots, or himself.
_Serv_. Fortune, sir, is a woman everywhere,
But most upon the sea.
_Gons_. Had that been all,
I should not have complained; but, ere we could
Repair our ship, to drive us back again,
Was such a cruelty--
_Serv_. Yet that short time you staid at Barcelona
You husbanded so well, I think you left
A mistress there.
_Gons_. I made some small essays
Of love; what might have been I cannot tell:
But, to leave that, upon what part of Spain
Are we now cast?
_Serv_. Sir, I take that city to be Alicant.
_Gons_. Some days must of necessity be spent
In looking to our ship; then back again
_Serv_. There you're sure you shall be welcome.
_Gons_. Aye, if my brother Rodoric be returned
From Flanders; but 'tis now three years since I
Have heard from him, and, since I saw him, twelve.
_Serv_. Your growth, and your long absence in the Indies,
Have altered you so much, he'll scarcely know you.
_Gons_. I'm sure I should not him, and less my sister;
Who, when I with my uncle went this voyage,
Was then one of those little prating girls,
Of whom fond parents tell such tedious stories:
Well, go you back.
_Serv_. I go, sir.
_Gons_. And take care
None of the seamen slip ashore.
_Serv_. I shall, sir. [_Exit Servant_.
_Gons_. I'll walk a little while among these trees,
Now the fresh evening air blows from the hills,
And breathes the sweetness of the orange flowers
Upon me, from the gardens hear the city.
_1 Rob_. I say, make sure, and kill him.
_Hip_. For heaven's dear sake have pity on my youth.
_Gons_. Some violence is offered in the wood
By robbers to a traveller: Whoe'er
Thou art, humanity obliges me
To give thee succour.
_Hip_. Help! ah cruel men! [_Within_.
_Gons_. This way, I think, the voice came; 'tis not far. [_Exit_.
_The_ SCENE _draws, and discovers_ HIPPOLITO _bound to a
tree, and two Robbers by him with drawn swords_.
_2 Rob_. Strip him, and let him go.
_1 Rob_. Dispatch him quite; off with his doublet quickly.
_Hip_. Ah me, unfortunate!
_Enter_ GONSALVO, _seizes the sword of one of them, and runs
him through; then, after a little resistance, disarms the other_.
_2 Rob_. If you have mercy in you, spare my life;
I never was consenting to a deed
So black as murder, though my fellow urged me:
I only meant to rob, and I am punished
Enough, in missing of my wicked aim.
_Gons_. Do they rob angels here? This sweet youth has
A face so like one, which I lately saw,
It makes your crime of kin to sacrilege:
But live; and henceforth
Take nobler courses to maintain your life:
Here's something that will rescue you from want,
'Till you can find employment.
[_Gives him gold, and unbinds_ HIPPOLITO.
_Hip_. What strange adventure's this! How little hoped I,
When thus disguised I stole from Barcelona,
To be relieved by brave Gonsalvo here? [_Aside_.
_2 Rob_. That life, you have preserved, shall still be yours;
And that you may perceive, how much my nature
Is wrought upon by this your generous act,
That goodness, you have shown to me, I'll use
To others for your sake, if you dare trust me
A moment from your sight.
_Gons_. Nay, take your sword;
I will not so much crush a budding virtue,
As to suspect. [_Gives him his sword. Exit Robber_.
--Sweet youth, you shall not leave me,
Till I have seen you safe.
_Hip_. You need not doubt it:
Alas! I find I cannot, if I would:
I am but freed to be a greater slave: [_Aside_.
How much am I obliged, sir, to your valour!
_Gons_. Rather to your own sweetness, pretty youth;
You must have been some way preserved, though I
Had not been near; my aid did but prevent
Some miracle more slowly setting out
To save such excellence.
_Hip_. How much more gladly could I hear those words,
If he, that spoke them, knew he spoke to me! [_Aside_.
_Enter the Robber again with Don_ MANUEL, _and_
My brother and my sister prisoners too!
They cannot sure discover me through this
Disguise; however, I'll not venture it.
[_Steps behind the trees_.
_2 Rob_. This gentleman and lady
[_To_ GONS. _privately_.
My fellows bound. [_Exit Robber_.
_Man_. We must prepare to die;
This is the captain of the Picarons.
_Jul_. Methinks he looks like one; I have a strange
Aversion to that man; he's fatal to me.
_Gons_. I ne'er saw excellence in womankind
[_Stares on her_.
Till now, and yet discern it at the first:
Perfection is discovered in a moment;
He, that ne'er saw the sun before, yet knows him.
_Jul_. How the villain stares upon me!
_Gons_. Wonder prepares my soul, and then love enters:
But wonder is so close pursued by love,
That, like a fire, it warms as soon as born.
_Man_. If we must die, what need these circumstances?
_Jul_. Heaven defend me from him!
_Gons_. Why, madam, can you doubt a rudeness from me?
Your very fears and griefs create an awe,
Such majesty they bear; methinks, I see
Your soul retired within her inmost chamber.
Like a fair mourner sit in state, with all
The silent pomp of sorrow round about her.
_Man_. Your language does express a man, bred up
To worthier ways than those you follow now.
_Gons_. What does he mean? [_Aside_.
_Man_. If (as it seems) you love; love is a passion,
Which kindles honour into noble acts:
Restore my sister's liberty; oblige her,
And see what gratitude will work.
_Gons_. All this is stranger yet.
_Man_. Whate'er a brother's power
To-morrow can do for you, claim it boldly.
_Gons_. I know not why you think yourselves my prisoners;
This lady's freedom is a thing too precious
To be disposed by any but herself:
But value this small service as you please,
Which you reward too prodigally, by
Permitting me to pay her more.
_Jul_. Love from an outlaw? from a villain, love?
If I have that power on thee, thou pretend'st,
Go and pursue thy mischiefs, but presume not
To follow me:--Come, brother. [_Ex_. Jul. _and_ Man.
_Gons_. Those foul names of outlaw and of villain
I never did deserve: They raise my wonder. [_Walks_.
Dull that I was, not to find this before!
She took me for the captain of the robbers;
It must be so; I'll tell her her mistake.
[_Goes out hastily, and returns immediately_.
She's gone, she's gone, and who or whence she is
I cannot tell; methinks, she should have left
A track so bright, I might have followed her;
Like setting suns, that vanish in a glory.
O villain that I am! O hated villain!
_Enter_ HIPPOLITO _again_.
_Hip_. I cannot suffer you to wrong yourself
So much; for, though I do not know your person,
Your actions are too fair, too noble, sir,
To merit that foul name.
_Gons_. Pr'ythee, do not flatter me; I am a villain;
That admirable lady said I was.
_Hip_. I fear, you love her, sir.
_Gons_. No, no, not love her:
Love is the name of some more gentle passion;
Mine is a fury, grown up in a moment
To an extremity, and lasting in it;
An heap of powder set on fire, and burning
As long as any ordinary fuel.
_Hip_. How could he love so soon? and yet, alas!
What cause have I to ask that question,
Who loved him the first minute that I saw him?
I cannot leave him thus, though I perceive
His heart engaged another way. [_Aside_.
Sir, can you have such pity on my youth, [To Him.
On my forsaken and my helpless youth,
To take me to your service?
_Gons_. Would'st thou serve
A madman? how can he take care of thee,
Whom fortune and his reason have abandoned?
A man, that saw, and loved, and disobliged,
Is banished, and is mad, all in a moment.
_Hip_. Yet you alone have title to my service;
You make me yours by your preserving me:
And that's the title heaven has to mankind.
_Gons_. Pr'ythee, no more.
_Hip_. I know your mistress too.
_Gons_. Ha! dost thou know the person I adore?
Answer me quickly; speak, and I'll receive thee:
Hast thou no tongue?
_Hip_. Why did I say I knew her?
All I can hope for, if I have my wish
To live with him, is but to be unhappy. [Aside.
_Gons_. Thou false and lying boy, to say thou knew'st
Pr'ythee, say something, though thou cozen'st me.
_Hip_. Since you will know, her name is Julia, sir,
And that young gentleman you saw, her brother,
Don Manuel de Torres.
_Gons_. Say I should take thee, boy, and should
To that fair lady, would'st thou serve me faithfully?
_Hip_. You ask me an hard question: I can die
For you; perhaps I cannot woo so well.
_Gons_. I knew thou would'st not do't.
_Hip_. I swear I would:
But, sir, I grieve to be the messenger
Of more unhappy news; she must be married
This day to one Don Roderick de Sylva,
Betwixt whom and her brother there has been.
A long (and it was thought a mortal) quarrel,
But now it must for ever end in peace:
For, happening both to love each others sisters,
They have concluded it in a cross marriage;
Which, in the palace of Don Rodorick,
They went to celebrate from their countryhouse,
When, taken by the thieves, you rescued them.
_Gons_. Methinks I am grown patient on a sudden,
And all my rage is gone: like losing gamesters,
Who fret and storm, and swear at little losses;
But, when they see all hope of fortune vanished,
Submit, and gain a temper by their ruin.
_Hip_. Would you could cast this love, which troubles you,
Out of your mind!
_Gons_. I cannot, boy; but since
Her brother, with intent to cozen me,
Made me the promise of his best assistance,
I'll take some course to be revenged of him.
[_Is going out_.
But stay--I charge thee, boy, discover not
To any, who I am.
_Hip_. Alas, I cannot, sir; I know you not.
_Gons_. Why, there's it; I am mad again; Oh love!
_Hip_. Oh love! [_Exeunt_.
_Enter two Servants of Don_ RODORICK'S, _placing
chairs, and talking as they place them_.
_1 Serv_. Make ready quickly there; Don Manuel
And his fair sister, that must be our lady,
Are coming in.
_2 Serv_. They have been long expected;
'Tis evening now, and the canonic hours
For marriage are past.
_1 Serv_. The nearer bedtime,
The better still; my lord will not defer it:
He swears, the clergy are no fit judges
Of our necessities.
_2 Serv_. Where is my lord?
_1 Serv_. Gone out to meet his bride.
_2 Serv_. I wonder that my lady Angelina
Went not with him; she's to be married too.
_1 Serv_. I do not think she fancies much the man:
Only, to make the reconcilement perfect
Betwixt the families, she's passive in it;
The choice being but her brother's, not her own.
_2 Serv_. Troth, were't my case, I cared not who
chose for me.
_1 Serv_. Nor I; 'twould save the process of a tedious
A long law-suit of love, which quite consumes
An honest lover, ere he gets possession:
I would come plump, and fresh, and all my self,
Served up to my bride's bed like a fat fowl,
Before the frost of love had nipped me through.
I look on wives as on good dull companions,
For elder brothers to sleep out their time with;
All, we can hope for in the marriage-bed,
Is but to take our rest; and what care I,
Who lays my pillow for me?
_Enter a Poet with verses_.
_1 Serv_. Now, what's your business, friend?
_Poet_. An epithalamium, to the noble bridegrooms.
_1 Serv_. Let me see; what's here? as I live,
Nothing but downright bawdry: Sirrah, rascal,
Is this an age for ribaldry in verse;
When every gentleman in town speaks it
With so much better grace, than thou canst write it?
I'll beat thee with a stave of thy own rhymes.
_Poet_. Nay, good sir--[_Runs off, and Exit_.
_2 Serv_. Peace, they are here.
[_Enter_ Don RODORICK, _Don_ MANUEL, JULIA, _and Company_.
_1 Serv_. My lord looks sullenly, and fain would
_2 Serv_. Howe'er he weds Don Manuel's sister, yet
I fear he's hardly reconciled to him.
_Jul_. I tremble at it still.
_Rod_. I must confess
Your danger great; but, madam, since 'tis past,
To speak of it were to renew your fears.
My noble brother, welcome to my breast.
Some, call my sister; say, Don Manuel,
Her bridegroom, waits.
_Man_. Tell her, in both the houses
There now remains no enemy but she.
_Rod_. In the mean time let's dance; madam, I
hope You'll grace me with your hand.--
[_Enter_ LEONORA, _woman to_ ANGELINA; _takes the two men aside_.
_Leon_. O sir, my lady Angelina--
_Rod_. Why comes she not?
_Leon_. Is fallen extremely sick.
_Leon_. Nay, trouble not yourselves too much;
These fits are usual with her, and not dangerous.
_Rod_. O rarely counterfeited.
_Man_. May not I see her?
_Leon_. She does, by me, deny herself that honour.
[_As she speaks, steals a note into his hand_.
I shall return, I hope, with better news;
In the mean time she prays, you'll not disturb
_Rod_. This troubles me exceedingly.
_Man_. A note put privately into my hand
By Angelina's woman? She's my creature:
There's something in't; I'll read it to myself.--
_Rod_. Brother, what paper's that?
_Man_. Some begging verses,
Delivered me this morning on my wedding.
_Rod_. Pray, let me see them.
_Man_. I have many copies,
Please you to entertain yourself with these.
[_Gives him another paper_. MANUEL _reads_.
_My lady feigns this sickness to delude you:
Her brother hates you still; and the plot is,
That he shall marry first your sister,
And then deny you his_.--
_Since I writ this, I have so wrought upon her,
(Who, of herself, is timorous enough)
That she believes her brother will betray her,
Or else be forced to give her up to you;
Therefore, unknown to him, she means to fly:
Come to the garden door at seven this evening,
And there you may surprise her; mean time, I
Will keep her ignorant of all things, that
Her fear may still increase_.
_Enter_ LEONORA _again_.
_Rod_. How now? How does your lady?
_Leon_. So ill, she cannot possibly wait on you.
_Man_. Kind heaven, give me her sickness!
_Rod_. Those are wishes:
What's to be done?
_Man_. We must defer our marriages.
_Rod_. Leonora, now! [_Aside to her_
_Leon_. My lady, sir, has absolutely charged,
Her brother's should go forward.
_Leon_. Expressly, sir; because, she says, there are
So many honourable persons here,
Whom to defraud of their intended mirth,
And of each others company, were rude:
So, hoping your excuse--[_Exit_ LEONORA.
_Rod_. That privilege of power, which brothers have
In Spain, I never used, therefore submit
My will to hers; but with much sorrow, sir,
My happiness should go before, not wait
On yours: Lead on.
_Man_. Stay, sir; though your fair sister, in respect
To this assembly, seems to be content
Your marriage should proceed, we must not want
So much good manners as to suffer it.
_Rod_. So much good manners, brother?
_Man_.--I have said it.
Should we, to show our sorrow for her sickness,
Provoke our easy souls to careless mirth,
As if our drunken revels were designed
For joy of what she suffers?
_Rod_. 'Twill be over
In a few days.
_Man_. Your stay will be the less.
_Rod_. All things are now in readiness, and must not
Be put off, for a peevish humour thus.
_Man_. They must; or I shall think you mean not fairly.
_Rod_. Explain yourself.
_Man_. That you would marry first,
And afterwards refuse me Angelina.
_Man_. You are--
_Rod_. Speak softly.
_Man_. A foul villain.
_Man_. Speak softly.
_Rod_. I'll find a time to tell you, you are one.
_Man_. 'Tis well.
Ladies, you wonder at our private whispers,
[_To the company_.
But more will wonder when you know the cause;
The beauteous Angelina is fallen ill;
And, since she cannot with her presence grace
This day's solemnity, the noble Roderick
Thinks fit it be deferred, 'till she recover;
Then, we both hope to have your companies.
_Lad_. Wishing her health, we take our leaves.
_Rod_. Your sister yet will marry me.
_Man_. She will not: Come hither, Julia.
_Jul_. What strange afflicting news is this you tell us?
_Man_. 'Twas all this false man's plot, that when he had
Possest you, he might cheat me of his sister.
_Jul_. Is this true, Roderick?--Alas, his silence
Does but too much confess it: How I blush
To own that love, I cannot yet take from thee!
Yet for my sake be friends.
_Man_. 'Tis now too late:
I am by honour hindered.
_Rod_. I by hate.
_Jul_. What shall I do?
_Man_. Leave him, and come away;
Thy virtue bids thee.
_Jul_. But love bids me stay.
_Man_. Her love's so like my own, that I should blame
The brother's passion in the sister's flame.
Rodorick, we shall meet.--He little thinks
I am as sure this night of Angelina,
As he of Julia. [_Aside. Exit_ MANUEL.
_Rod_. Madam, to what an ecstasy of joy
Your goodness raises me! this was an act
Of kindness, which no service e'er can pay.
_Jul_. Yes, Rodorick, 'tis in your power to quit
The debt you owe me.
_Rod_. Do but name the way.
_Jul_. Then briefly thus; 'tis to be just to me,
As I have been to you.
_Rod_. You cannot doubt it.
_Jul_. You know I have adventured, for your sake,
A brother's anger, and the world's opinion:
I value neither; for a settled virtue
Makes itself judge, and, satisfied within,
Smiles at that common enemy, the world.
I am no more afraid of flying censures,
Than heaven of being fired with mounting sparkles.
_Rod_. But wherein must my gratitude consist?
_Jul_. Answer yourself, by thinking what is fit
For me to do.
_Rod_. By marriage, to confirm
Our mutual love.
_Jul_. Ungrateful Rodorick!
Canst thou name marriage, while thou entertain'st
A hatred so unjust against my brother?
_Rod_. But, unkind Julia, you know the causes
Of love and hate are hid deep in our stars,
And none but heaven can give account of both.
_Jul_. Too well I know it: for my love to thee
Is born by inclination, not by judgment;
And makes my virtue shrink within my heart,
As loth to leave it, and as loth to mingle.
_Rod_. What would you have me do?
_Jul_. Since I must tell thee,
Lead me to some near monastery; there
(Till heaven find out some way to make us happy)
I shall be kept in safety from my brother.
_Rod_. But more from me; what hopes can Rodorick
That she, who leaves him freely, and unforced,
Should ever of her own accord return?
_Jul_. Thou hast too great assurance of my faith,
That, in despite of my own self, I love thee.
Be friends with Manuel, I am thine; 'till when
My honour's. Lead me.
SCENE III.--_The representation of a Street discovered
_Enter Don_ MANUEL, _solus_.
_Man_. This is the time and place, where I expect
My fugitive mistress; if I meet with her,
I may forget the wrongs, her brother did me;
If otherwise, his blood shall expiate them.
I hope her woman keeps her ignorant
How all things passed, according to her promise.
_A door opens,--Enter_ ANGELINA _in boy's clothes_.
LEONORA _behind at the door_.
_Leon_. I had forgot to tell him of this habit
She has put on; but sure he'll know her in it.
_Man_. Who goes there?
_Ang_. 'Tis Don Manuel's voice; I must run back:
The door shut on me?--Leonora! where?--Does
she not follow me? I am betrayed.
_Man_. What are you?
_Ang_. A poor boy.
_Man_. Do you belong to Rodorick?
_Ang_. Yes, I do.
_Man_. Here's money for you; tell me where's his
_Ang_. Just now I met her coming down the stairs,
Which lead into the garden.
_Man_. 'Tis well; leave me
_Ang_. With all my heart; was ever such a 'scape?
_Man_. She cannot now be long; sure by the moons shine
I shall discover her:
_Enter_ RODORICK _and_ JULIA.
This must be she; I'll seize her.
_Jul_. Help me, Roderick.
_Rod_. Unhand the lady, villain.
I'm glad we meet alone; now is the time
To end our difference.
_Rod_. I cannot stay.
_Man_. You must.
_Rod_. I will not.
_Man_. 'Tis base to injure any man; but yet
Tis far more base, once done, not to defend it.
_Rod_. Is this an hour, for valiant men to fight?
They love the sun should witness what they do;
Cowards have courage, when they see not death;
And fearful hares, that sculk in forms all day,
Yet fight their feeble quarrels by the moonlight.
_Man_. No; light and darkness are but poor distinctions
Of such, whose courage comes by fits and starts.
_Rod_. Thou urgest me above my patience;
This minute of my life was not my own,
But hers, I love beyond it. [_They draw, and fight_.
_Jul_. Help, help! none hear me!
Heaven, I think, is deaf too:
O Roderick! O brother!
_Enter_ GONSALVO, _and_ HIPPOLITO.
_Jul_. Whoe'er you are, if you have honour, part
them! [MANUEL _stumbles, and falls_.
_Gons_. Hold, sir, you are too cruel; he, that kills
At such advantage, fears to fight again.
_Man_. Cavalier, I may live to thank you for this
_Rod_. I will not quit you so.
_Man_. I'll breathe, and then--
_Jul_. Is there no way to save their lives?
_Hip_. Run out of sight,
If 'tis concerning you they quarrel.
[JULIA _retires to a corner_.
_Hip_. Help, help, as you are cavaliers; the lady.
For whom you thus contend, is seized by some
_All_. Which way took they?
_Hip_. 'Twas so dark I could not see distinctly.
_Rod_. Let us divide; I this way. [_Exit_.
_Gons_. Down yonder street I'll take.
_Man_. And I down that. [_Exeunt severally_.
_Hip_. Now, madam, may we not lay by our fear?
They are all gone.
_Jul_. Tis true; but we are here,
Exposed to darkness, without guide or aid,
But of ourselves.
_Hip_. And of ourselves afraid.
_Jul_. These dangers, while 'twas light, I could
Then I was bold, but watched by many eyes:
Ah! could not heaven for lovers find a way,
That prying people still might sleep by day?
_Hip_. Methinks I'm certain I discover some.
_Jul_. This was your speaking of them, made them
_Hip_. There is but one, perhaps he may go by.
_Ang_. Where had I courage for this bold disguise,
Which more my nature than my sex belies?
Alas! I am betrayed to darkness here;
Darkness, which virtue hates, and maids most fear:
Silence and solitude dwell every where:
Dogs cease to bark; the waves more faintly roar,
And roll themselves asleep upon the shore:
No noise but what my footsteps make, and they
Sound dreadfully, and louder than by day:
They double too, and every step I take
Sounds thick, methinks, and more than one could
Ha! who are these?
I wished for company, and now I fear.
Who are you, gentle people, that go there?
_Jul_. His voice is soft as is the upper air,
Or dying lovers' words: O pity us.
Ang. O pity me! take freely as your own
My gold, my jewels; spare my life alone.
_Hip_. Alas, he fears as much as we.
_Jul_. What say you,
Sir, will you join with us?
_Ang_. Yes, madam; but
If you would take my sword, you'll use it better.
_Hip_. Ay, but you are a man.
_Ang_. Why, so are you.
_Hip_. Truly my fear had made me quite forget it.
_Gons_. Hippolito! how barbarous was I
To leave my boy! Hippolito!
_Hip. _Here, here.
Now, madam, fear not, you are safe.
_Jul_. What is become, sir, of those gentlemen?
_Gons_. Madam, they all went several ways; not like
_Jul_. What will become of me?
_Gons_. Tis late,
And I a stranger in the town; yet all
Your dangers shall be mine.
_Jul_. You're noble, sir.
_Gons_. I'll pawn the hopes of all my love, to see
_Jul_. Whoe'er your mistress be, she has
My curses, if she prove not kind.
_Ang_. And mine.
_Hip_. My sister will repent her, when she knows
For whom she makes that wish; but I'll say nothing,
Till day discovers it. [_Aside_.] A door opens;
I hope it is some inn.
[_A door opens, at which a Servant appears_.
_Ang_. Friend, can you lodge us here?
_Serv_. Yes, friend, we can.
_Jul_. How shall we be disposed?
_Serv_. As nature would;
The gentleman and you: I have a rule,
That, when a man and woman ask for lodging,
They are ever husband and wife.
_Jul_. Rude and unmannered!
_Gons_. Sir, this lady must be lodged apart.
_Serv_. Then the two boys, that are good for nothing
But one another, they shall go together.
_Ang_. Lie with a man! sweet heaven defend me!
_Hip_. Alas, friend, I ever lie alone.
_Serv_. Then to save trouble, sir, because 'tis late,
One of the youths shall be disposed with you.
_Ang_. Who, I! not for the world.
_Hip_. Neither of us; for, though I would not lodge with you
Myself, I never can endure he should.
_Ang_. Why then, to end the difference, if you please.
I and that lady will be bed-fellows.
_Hip_. No, she and I will lodge together rather.
_Serv_. You are sweet youths indeed; not for the world
You would not lodge with men! none but the lady
Would serve your turn.
_Aug_. Alas, I had forgot I am a boy;
I am so lately one. [_Aside_.
_Serv_. Well, well; all shall be lodged apart.
_Gons_. to Hip. I did not think you harboured wanton
So young, so bad?
_Hip_. I can make no defence,
But must be shamed by my own innocence. [_Exeunt_.
SCENE I.--_A Chamber_.
[_Enter_ GONSALVO, HIPPOLITO, _and_ ANGELINA _as_ AMIDEO _at a
_Gon_. Hippolito, what is this pretty youth,
That follows us?
_Hip_. I know not much of him:
Handsome you see, and of graceful fashion;
Of noble blood, he says, and I believe him;
But in some deep distress; he'll tell no more,
And I could cry for that, which he has told.
So much I pity him.
_Gon_. My pretty youth,
Would I could do thee any service.
The greatest you can do me, is accepting mine.
_Hip_. How's this? methinks already I begin
To hate this boy, whom but even now I moaned,
You serve my master? Do you think I cannot
Perform all duties of a servant better,
And with more care, than you?
_Ang_. Better you may,
But never with more care:
Heaven, which is served with angels, yet admits
Poor man to pay his duty, and receives it.
_Hip_. Mark but, my lord, how ill behaved a youth,
How very ugly, what a dwarf he is.
_Ang_. My lord, I yet am young enough to grow,
And 'tis the commendation of a boy,
That he is little. [_Cries_.
_Gons_. Pr'ythee, do not cry;
Hippolito, 'twas but just now you praised him,
And are you changed so soon?
_Hip_. On better view.
_Gons_. What is your name, sweet heart?
_Hip_. Sweet heart! since I
Have served you, you ne'er called me so.
_Ang_. O, ever,
Ever call me by that kind name; I'll own
No other, because I would still have that.
_Hip_. He told me, sir, his name was Amideo;
Pray, call him by't.
_Gons_. Come, I'll employ you both;
Reach me my belt, and help to put it on.
_Amid_. I run, my lord.
_Hip_. You run? it is my office.
[_They both take it up, and strive for it;_
HIPPOLITO _gets it, and puts it on_.
_Amid_. Look you, my lord, he puts it on so aukwardly;
The sword does not sit right.
_Hip_. Why, where's the fault?
_Amid_. I know not that; but I am sure 'tis wrong.
_Gons_.The fault is plain, 'tis put on the wrong shoulder.
_Hip_. That cannot be, I looked on Amideo's,
And hung it on that shoulder his is on.
_Amid_. Then I doubt mine is so.
_Gons_. It is indeed:
You're both good boys, and both will learn in time.
Hippolito, go you and bring me word,
Whether that lady, we brought in last night,
Be willing to receive a visit from, me.
_Hip_. Now, Amideo, since you are so forward
To do all service, you shall to the lady.
_Amid_. No, I'll stay with my master, he bid you.
_Hip_. It mads me to the heart to leave him here:
But I will be revenged. [_Aside_.
My lord, I beg
You would not trust this boy with any thing
Till my return; pray, know him better first. [_Exit_.
_Gons_. 'Twas my unhappiness to meet this lady
Last night; because it ruined my design
Of walking by the house of Roderick:
Who knows but through some window I had spied
Fair Julia's shadow passing by the glass;
Or if some others, I would think it hers;
Or if not any, I would see the place
Where Julia lives. O Heaven, how small a blessing
Will serve to make despairing lovers happy!
_Amid_. Unhappy Angelina, thou art lost:
Thy lord loves Julia. [_Aside_.
_Enter_ HIPPOLITO _and_ JULIA.
_Jul_.--Where is thy master?
I long to give him my acknowledgments
For my own safety, and my brother's both.
Ha! Is it he? [_Looks_.
_Gons_. Can it be Julia?
Could night so far disguise her from my knowledge!
_Jul_. I would not think thee him, I see thou art:
Pr'ythee disown thyself in pity to me:
Why should I be obliged by one I hate?
_Gons_. I could say something in my own defence;
But it were half a crime to plead my cause,
When you would have me guilty.
_Amid_. How I fear
The sweetness of those words will move her pity!
I'm sure they would do mine.
_Gons_. You took me for a robber, but so far
I am from that--
_Jul_. O, pr'ythee, be one still,
That I may know some cause for my aversion.
_Gons_. I freed you from them, and more gladly did it--
_Jul_. Be what thou wilt, 'tis now too late to tell me:
The blackness of that image, I first fancied,
Has so infected me, I still must hate thee.
_Hip_. Though (if she loves him) all my hopes are ruined,
It makes me mad to see her thus unkind. [_Aside_.
Madam, what see you in this gentleman,
Deserves your scorn or hatred? love him, or
Expect just Heaven should strangely punish you.
_Gons_. No more: Whate'er she does is best; and if
You would be mine, you must, like me, submit
_Hip_. How can I love you, sir, and suffer this?
She has forgot that, which, last night, you did
In her defence.
_Jul_. O call that night again;
Pitch her with all her darkness round: then set me
In some far desert, hemmed with mountain wolves
To howl about me: This I would endure,
And more, to cancel my obligements to him.
_Gons_. You owe me nothing, madam; if you do,
I make it void; and only ask your leave
To love you still; for, to be loved again
I never hope;
_Jul_. If that will clear my debt, enjoy thy wish;
Love me, and long, and desperately love me.
I hope thou wilt, that I may plague thee more:
Mean time, take from me that detested object;
Convey thy much loathed person from my sight.
_Gons_. Madam, you are obeyed.
Hippolito and Amideo, wait
Upon fair Julia; look upon her for me
With dying eyes, but do not speak one word
In my behalf; for, to disquiet her,
Even happiness itself were bought too dear.
[_Goes farther off, towards the end of the stage_.
My passion swells too high;
And, like a vessel struggling in a storm,
Requires more hands than one to steer her upright;
I'll find her brother out.
_Jul_. That boy, I see, he trusts above the other:
He has a strange resemblance with a face
That I have seen, but when, or where, I know not.
I'll watch till they are parted; then, perhaps,
I may corrupt that little one to free me.
_Amid_. Sweet Hippolito, let me speak with you.
_Hip_. What would you with me?
_Amid_. Nay, you are so fierce;
By all that's good, I love and honour you,
And, would you do but one poor thing I'll ask you,
In all things else you ever shall command me.
Look you, Hippolito, here's gold and jewels;
These may be yours.
_Hip_. To what end dost thou show
These trifles to me? or how cam'st thou by them?
Not honestly, I fear.
_Amid_. I swear I did:
And you shall have them; but you always press
Before me in my master's service so--
_Hip_. And always will.
_Amid_. But, dear Hippolito,
Why will you not give way, that I may be
First in his favour, and be still employed?
Why do you frown? 'tis not for gain I ask it;
Whatever he shall give me shall be yours,
Except it be some toy you would not care for,
Which I should keep for his dear sake, that gave it.
_Hip_. If thou wouldst offer both the Indies to me,
The eastern quarries, and the western mines,
They should not buy one look, one gentle smile
Of his from me; assure thy soul they should not,
I hate thee so.
_Amid_. Henceforth I'll hate you worse.
But yet there is a woman whom he loves,
A certain Julia, who will steal his heart
From both of us; we'll join at least against
The common enemy.
_Hip_. Why does he fear my lord should love a
The passion of this boy is so like mine,
That it amazes me. [_Aside_.
_Enter a Servant_.
_Serv_. Young gentleman,
Your master calls for you.
_Hip_. I'll think upon't--
[_Exuent_ HIPPOLITO _and Serv_
_Enter_ JULIA _to_ AMIDEO.
_Jul_. Now is the time, he is alone.
_Amid_. Here comes
The saint, my lord adores; love, pardon me
The fault, I must commit.
_Jul_. Fair youth, I am
A suitor to you.
_Amid_. So am I to you.
_Jul_. You see me here a prisoner.
_Amid_. My request
Is, I may set you free; make haste, sweet madam;
Which way would you go?
_Jul_. To the next
_Amid_. Here through the garden, madam;
How I commend your holy resolution! [_Exeunt_.
_Enter_ DON MANUEL _in the street, and a Servant
_Man_. Angelina fled to a monastery, say you?
_Serv_. So 'tis given out: I could not see her woman:
But, for your sister, what you heard is true;
I saw her at the inn:
They told me, she was brought in late last night;
By a young cavalier, they showed me there.
_Man_. This must be he that rescued me:
What would I give to see him!
_Serv_. Fortune is
Obedient to your wishes; he was coming
To find out you; I waited on him to
The turning of the street, and stepped before