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Title: A Select Collection of Old English Plays (Vol. 15 of 15)

Author: Robert Dodsley

Release Date: June 9, 2015 [EBook #49180]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

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A SELECT COLLECTION
OF
OLD ENGLISH PLAYS.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY ROBERT DODSLEY
IN THE YEAR 1744.
FOURTH EDITION,
NOW FIRST CHRONOLOGICALLY ARRANGED, REVISED AND ENLARGED
WITH THE NOTES OF ALL THE COMMENTATORS,
AND NEW NOTES

BY
W. CAREW HAZLITT.

BENJAMIN BLOM, INC.

New York


CONTENTS

ELVIRA.
EDITION.
INTRODUCTION.
DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.
ACT I.
ACT II.
ACT III.
ACT IV.
ACT V.
THE MARRIAGE NIGHT.
EDITION.
DODSLEY'S PREFACE.
DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.
ACTUS PRIMUS, SCENA PRIMA.
ACTUS SECUNDUS, SCENA PRIMA.
ACTUS TERTIUS. SCENA PRIMA.
ACTUS QUARTUS, SCENA PRIMA.
ACTUS QUINTUS, SCENA PRIMA.
THE ADVENTURES OF FIVE HOURS.
EDITIONS.
PREFACE.
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
THE FIRST SCENE IS THE CITY OF SEVILLE.
THE PROLOGUE AT COURT.
PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION.
PROLOGUE.
DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.
ACT I.
ACT II.
ACT III.
ACT IV.
ACT V.
EPILOGUE.
ALL MISTAKEN;
EDITION.
DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.
ACT I., SCENE I.
ACT II.
ACT III.
ACT IV.
HISTORIA HISTRIONICA.
EDITION.
THE PREFACE.
A DIALOGUE, &c.
ERRATA
INDEX TO NOTES.
GLOSSARIAL INDEX.
A SELECT COLLECTION OF OLD ENGLISH PLAYS.
TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES

[Pg 1]


ELVIRA
OR
THE WORST NOT ALWAYS TRUE.

[Pg 2]


EDITION.

Elvira: Or, The worst not always true. A Comedy, Written by a Person of Quality. Licenced May 15th, 1667, Roger L'Estrange. London, Printed by E. Cotes for Henry Brome in Little-Brittain. 1667. 4o.

[Pg 3]


INTRODUCTION.

George Digby, Earl of Bristol, was the author of the following play. He was, as Mr. Walpole[1] observes, "a singular person, whose life was one contradiction. He wrote against Popery, and embraced it; he was a zealous opposer of the Court, and a sacrifice for it; was conscientiously converted in the midst of his prosecution of Lord Strafford, and was most unconscientiously a prosecutor of Lord Clarendon. With great parts, he always hurt himself and his friends; with romantic bravery, he was always an unsuccessful commander. He spoke for the Test Act, though a Roman Catholic; and addicted himself to astrology on the birthday of true philosophy." The histories of England abound with the adventures of this inconsistent and eccentric nobleman who, amongst his other pursuits, esteemed the drama not unworthy of his attention. Downes, the prompter,[2] asserts that he wrote two plays between the years 1662 and 1665, made out of the Spanish; one called "'Tis better than it was," and the other entitled "Worse and Worse." Whether either of these is the [Pg 4]present performance cannot now be ascertained. It is, however, at least probable to be one of them with a new title.[3] The same writer says he also joined with Sir Samuel Tuke in the composition of "The Adventures of Five Hours." "Elvira" was printed in the year 1667, and Mr Walpole imagines that it occasioned our author being introduced into Sir John Suckling's Session of Poets, a conjecture which, however, will by no means correspond with the time in which Lord Bristol and Sir John Suckling are supposed to have written the respective works before mentioned. From the notice taken of him by Sir John Suckling as a poet, he seems to have been the author of some pieces which are now lost to the world.[4] After a life, which at different periods of it commanded both the respect and contempt of mankind, and not unfrequently the same sentiments at one time, he died, neither loved nor regretted by any party, in the year 1676.

[A MS. note in one of the former editions says: "A play of pure intrigue.—Style feeble and drawling.—Plot extremely complicated, and quite unintelligible without a most fixed attention, which, however, the play has not merit enough to excite. July 1819."]

FOOTNOTES:

[1] "Catalogue of Royal and Noble Authors," ii. 25.

[2] "Roscius Anglicanus," 1708, p. 25.

[3] P. 22.

[4] It is not easy to find out why this inference is drawn, since Sir J. Suckling only mentions him by name, with three others comparatively little known.

"Sands with Townshend, for they kept no order;
Digby and Shillingsworth a little further."

"Session of the Poets."—Collier. [But the Digby here mentioned was Sir Kenelm Digby, surely.]

[Pg 5]


DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

Scene, Valencia.

[Pg 6]
[Pg 7]

ELVIRA;
OR,
THE WORST NOT ALWAYS TRUE.[5]


ACT I.

The room in the inn.

Enter Don Fernando, and at another door his servant Fabio, both in riding-clothes.

Don F. Have you not been with him, Fabio, and given him
The note?
Fab. I found him newly got out of his bed;
He seem'd much satisfied, though much surpris'd,
With your arrival; and as soon as possibly
He can get ready, he'll be with you here.
He says he hopes some good occasion brings you
To Valencia, and that he shall not be
At quiet till he know it. 'Twas not fit
For me, without your orders, to give him
[Pg 8] Any more light than what your ticket did.
Don. F. 'Tis well: go now, and see if Donna Elvira
Be stirring yet, for I would gladly have her
A witness, even at first, to what shall pass
Betwixt my friend and me in our concernments:
If she be still asleep, Fabio, make bold
To knock, and wake her; w' have no time to lose.
O, here she comes. Wait you Don Julio. [Exit Fabio.

Enter Donna Elvira.

Elv. Ah! can you think my cares and sleep consistent?
Slumber and tears have sometimes met in dreams;
But hearts, with such a weight as mine opprest,
Find still the heaviest sleep too light a guest.
Don F. Madam, though such least pity do deserve,
Who by their own unsteadiness have drawn
Misfortune on themselves, yet truly, Elvira,
Such is my sense of yours and my compassion,
To see a lady of your quality
Brought to such sad extremes in what is dearest,
As makes me even forget my own resentments,
Granting to pity the whole place of love;
And at that rate I'll serve you. Yet thus far
You must allow the eruption of a heart
So highly injur'd, as to tell you frankly,
'Tis to comply with my own principles
Of honour now, without the least relation
To former passion or to former favours.
Elv. Those you have found a ready way to cancel;
Your sullen silence, during all our journey,
[Pg 9] Might well have spar'd you these superfluous words;
That had sufficiently instructed me
What power mere appearances have had,
Without examination, to destroy
With an umbrageous nature all that love
Was ever able on the solid'st grounds
To found and to establish. Yet, methinks,
A man that boasts such principles of honour,
And of such force to sway him in his actions,
In spite of all resentments, should reflect,
That honour does oblige to a suspense,
At least of judgment, when surprising chances,
Yet uninquired into, tempt gallant men
To prejudicial thoughts of those with whom
They had settled friendship upon virtuous grounds.
But 'tis from Heav'n, I see, and not from you,
Elvira must expect her vindication;
And until then submit to th' hardest fate
That ever can befall a generous spirit—
Of being oblig'd by him that injures her.
Don F. Nay, speak, Elvira, speak; you've me attentive:

[With a kind of scornful accent.

It were a wonder worthy of your wit
To make me trust my ears before my eyes.
Elv. Those are the witnesses, indeed, Fernando,
To whose true testimony's false inference
You owe my moderation and my silence,
And that I leave it to the gods and time
To make appear both to the world and you
The maxim false, that still the worst proves true.

Enter Fabio.

Fab. Don Julio is without.
Don F. Wait on him in—— [Exit Fabio.
And now, Elvira,
If you'll be pleas'd to rest yourself awhile
[Pg 10] Within that closet, you may hear what passes
Betwixt my friend and me, until such time
As I by some discourse having prevented
Too great surprise, you shall think fit t' appear.
He is the man (as I have often told you
During my happy days) for whom alone
I have no reserves; and 'tis to his assistance
That I must owe the means of serving you
In the concernments of your safety and honour;
And therefore, madam, 'twill be no offence,
I hope, to trust him with the true occasion
That brings me hither to employ his friendship;
Observing that respect in the relation
Which I shall always pay you.
Elv. [Retiring as into the closet.] There needs no management in the relation.
I am indifferent what others think,
Since those who ought t' have thought the best have fail'd me:
Sir, I obey, resign'd up to your conduct,
Till mistress of my own. [Exit.

Enter Don Julio: Don Fernando and he embrace.

Don J. My joy to have my dear Fernando here
So unexpectedly, as great as 'tis,
Cannot make Julio insensible
Of th' injury you have done him, t' have alighted,
And pass'd a night within Valencia
At any other place than at his house:
Donna Blanca herself will scarce forgive it,
When she shall know it.
Don F. I hope she's well.
Don J. She is so, thanks to heaven:
But I must bid you expect a chiding from her.
Don F. You both might well accuse me of a failure,
[Pg 11] Did not th' occasion of my coming hither
Bring with it an excuse, alas! too just,
As you will quickly find.
Don J. Nay, then you raise disquiet; ease me quickly,
By telling me what 'tis. Of this be sure:
Heart, hand and fortune are entirely yours
At all essays.
Don. F. [After pausing awhile.] It is not new t' ye that I was a lover,
Engaged in all the passion that e'er beauty,
In height of its perfection, could produce;
And that confirm'd by reason from her wit,
Her quality and most unblemish'd conduct;
Nor was there more to justify my love,
Than to persuade my happiness in her
Just correspondence to it, by all the ways
Of honourable admission, that might serve
To make esteem transcend the pitch of love.
Don J. Of all this I have not only had knowledge,
But great participation in your joys:
Than which I thought nothing more permanent,
Since founded on such virtue as Elvira's.
Don F. Ah, Julio! how fond a creature is the man
That founds his bliss upon a woman's firmness!
Even that Elvira, when I thought myself
Securest in my happiness, nothing wanting
To make her mine, but those exterior forms,
Without which men of honour, that pretend
In way of marriage, would be loth to find
Greater concession, where the love is greatest;
As I was sitting with her, late at night,
By usual admittance to her chamber,
As two whose hearts in wedlock-bands were join'd,
And seem'd above all other care, but how
[Pg 12] Best to disguise things to a wayward father,
Till time and art might compass his consent;
A sudden noise was heard in th' inner room,
Belonging to her chamber: she starts up
In manifest disorder, and runs in,
Desiring me to stay till she had seen
What caus'd it. I, impatient, follow,
As fearing for her, had it been her father:
My head no sooner was within the room,
But straight I spied, behind a curtain shrinking,
A goodly gallant, but not known to me.
Don J. Heavens, what can this be?
Don F. You will not think that there, and at that hour,
I stay'd to ask his name. He ready as I
To make his sword th' expresser of his mind,
We soon determin'd what we sought: I hurt
But slightly in the arm; he fell as slain,
Run through the body: what Elvira did,
My rage allow'd me not to mark: but straight
I got away, more wounded to the heart
Than he I left for dead.
Don J. Prodigious accident! where can it end?
Don F. I got safe home where, carefully conceal'd,
I sought by Fabio's diligence to learn
Who my slain rival was, and what became
Of my unhappy mistress, and what course
Don Pedro de Mendoça took to right
The honour of his house.
Don J. You long'd not more
To know it then, than I do now.
Don F. All could be learn'd was this: that my rival,
Whom I thought dead, was likely to recover,
And that he was a stranger lately come
Up to the court, to follow some pretensions:
[Pg 13] His name he either learn'd not perfectly,
Or did not well retain. As for Elvira,
That none knew where she was; and that Don Pedro
Had set a stop to prosecution
In any public way, with what reserves
Was not yet known.
Don J. More and more intricate.
Don F. I must now come to that you least look for.
I had but few days pass'd in my concealment
(Resentment and revenge still boiling in me)
When late one evening, as I buried was
In deepest thought, I suddenly was rous'd
By a surprising apparition, Julio—
Elvira in my chamber, speaking to me
With rare assurance thus:—Don Fernando,
I come not here to justify myself,
That were below Elvira towards one,
Whose action in deserting me hath shown
So disobligingly his rash judgment of me.
I come to mind you of honour, not of love:
Mine can protection seek from none but yours.
I've hitherto been shelter'd from the fury
Of my enrag'd father by my cousin Camilla:
But that's no place, you easily may judge,
For longer stay: I do expect from you
To be convey'd where, free from violence
And from new hazards of my wounded fame,
I may attend my righting from the gods.
Don J. Can guilt maintain such confidence in a maid?
Yet how to think her innocent, I know not.
Don F. 'Twere loss of time to dwell on circumstances,
Either of my wonder or reply: in short,
What I found honour dictated, I did.
Within two hours, I put her in a coach,
[Pg 14] And, favour'd by the night, convey'd her safe
Out of Madrid to Ocana, and thence
In three days hither to Valencia,
The only place where (by your generous aid)
I could have hopes to settle and secure
Her person and her honour. That once done,
Farewell to Spain: I'll to the wars of Milan,
And there soon put a noble end to cares.
Don J. Let us first think how to dispose of her,
Since here you say she is; that done (which presses),
You will have time to weigh all other things.
Don F. My thoughts can pitch upon no other way
Decent or safe for her, but in a convent,
If you have any abbess here to friend.
Don J. I have an aunt, ruling the Ursulines,
With whom I have full power; and she is wise,
In case that course were to be fix'd upon.
But that's not my opinion.
Don F. What can
Your reason be?
Don J. Last remedies, in my judgment,
Are not to be used, till easier have been tried.
Had this strange accident been thoroughly
Examined in all its circumstances,
And that from thence she were convicted guilty,
Nought else were to be thought on but a cloister;
But, as things stand imperfectly discover'd,
Although appearances condemn her strongly,
I cannot yet conclude a person guilty
Of what throughout so contradictory seems
To the whole tenor of her former life,
As well as to her quality and wit;
And therefore let's avoid precipitation,
Let my house be her shelter for awhile;
You know my sister Blanca is discreet,
[Pg 15] And may be trusted; she shall there be serv'd
By her and me with care and secrecy.
Don F. The offer's kind, but nowise practicable,
And might prove hazardous to Blanca's honour,
When it should once break out (as needs it must)
From servants seeing such a guest so treated.
Don J. That, I confess, I know not how to answer:
But, could Elvira's mind submit unto it,
I could propose a course without objection.
Don F. That she can soon resolve; what is it, Julio?
Don J. A gentlewoman, who waited on my sister,
Hath newly left her service for a husband,
And it is known she means to take another:
I have a ready way to recommend one—
By Violante, of whose love and mine
You are not ignorant, since that ere this
We had been married, had not kindred forc'd us
To wait a dispensation for 't from Rome.
Blanca (I am sure) will readily
Embrace any occasion of obliging her.
Don F. That were a right expedient indeed,
Could but Elvira's spirit brook it.

Enter Elvira as from the closet.

Elv. You have ill measures of Elvira's spirit,
Mistaken Don Fernando. Till Heaven's justice
Shall her entirely to herself restore,
The lowlier shape her fate shall hide her under,
The more 'twill fit her humour.

[Pg 16]

[Don Julio starts back as it were amazed.

Don J. [Aside.] O heavens! can guilt with such perfection dwell,
And put on such assurance? It cannot be.

Don J. [Addressing himself to her, and beginning; she holding out her hand and interrupting him.] Madam——

Elv. Spare compliments, and let your actions speak:
Those may oblige both him and me; your words
Cannot comply with both.
Don J. [Aside.] Did ever yet
Such majesty with misery combine,
But in this woman? [To her.] Madam, I obey,
And, since you're pleas'd t' approve what I proposed,
No moment shall be lost in th' execution.

[Exit Julio, Fernando accompanying him, and Fabio.

Elv. O, how unkindly have the heavens dealt
With womankind above all other creatures!
Our pleasure and our glory to have placed
All on the brink of precipices, such
As every breath can blow the least light of us
Headlong into, past all hopes of redemption:
Nor can our wit or virtue give exemption.
'Tis true, I lov'd; but justified therein
By spotless thoughts and by the object's merit,
I deem'd myself above the reach of malice;
When in an instant, by another's folly,
I am more lost than any by her[6] own.
Accurs'd Don Zancho, what occasion
E'er gave Elvira to thy mad intrusion?
[Pg 17] Unless disdain and scorn incentives are
To make men's passions more irregular.
Ah, matchless rigour of the Pow'rs above!
Not only to submit our honour's fate
Unto the vanity of those we love,
But to the rashness even of those we hate. [Exit.

Enter Donna Blanca at one door, reading a paper, with great marks of passion and disturbance; and her waiting-woman Francisca at another, observing her.

Blan. Ah, the traitor!
Fran. What can this mean? [Aside.
Blan. Was this thy sweet pretension at Madrid,
Drawn out in length, and hind'ring thy return?
Thy fair pretence, thou shouldst have said, false man.
Fran. For love's sake, madam, what can move you thus?
Blan. For hate's sake, say, and for revenge, Francisca,
And so thou may'st persuade me to discover
My shame unto thee. Read, read that letter;
'Tis from your favourite Chichon.

[Francisca takes the letter and reads it.

"Madam, to make good my engagements of concealing nothing from you during this absence of my master, I am bound to tell you that some ten days since, late at night, he was left for dead, run through the body by another unknown gallant, in the chamber of a famed beauty of the court. Whilst the danger continued, I thought it not fit to let you know either the accident or the occasion; which, now he is recovered, and think[Pg 18]ing of his return to Valencia, I must no longer forbear. I hope you will have a care not to undo me for being more faithful to you than to the master you gave me.—Your creature,

"Chichon."

Blan. Have I not a worthy gallant, think you?
Fran. Madam, this comes of being over-curious,
And gaining servants to betray their masters.
How quiet might you have slept, and never felt
What pass'd with your Don Zancho at Madrid!
His pale and dismal looks at his return,
Though caus'd by loss of blood in the hot service
Of other dames, might fairly have been thought
Effects of care and want of sleep for you,
And (taken so) have pass'd for new endearments.
Who ever pry'd into another's letter,
Or slyly hearken'd to another's whisper,
But saw or heard somewhat that did not please him?
'Twas Eve's curiosity undid us all.
Blan. Away with thy moralities,[7] dull creature!
I'll make thee see, and false Don Zancho feel,
That Blanca's not a dame to be so treated.
But who are those I hear without? Whoe'er
They be, they come at an unwelcome hour. [Francisca looks out.
Fran. Madam, it is a page of Violante's,
Ushering [in] a handsome maid.

[Pg 19]

Enter a Page with a letter, and Elvira. The Page presents the letter to Blanca; she addresses herself to Elvira, and she throws up her veil.

Blan. This letter is in your behalf, fair maid,

[Having read the letter.

There's no denying such a recommender;
But such a face as yours is needed none.
Page, tell your lady as much: and you, Silvia, [Turning.
(For so she says you are call'd) be confident
Y'are fallen into the hands of one that knows
How to be kind, more as your friend than mistress,
If your demeanour and good-nature answer
But what your looks do promise.
Elv.[8] Madam, it is the noble charity
Of those you cast upon me, not mine own,
To which I must acknowledge any advantage
I ever can pretend to, more than what
Fair Violante's meditation gives me.
Blan. She's strangely handsome, and how well
she speaks! [Aside to Francisca.
Fran. So, so, methinks: you know new-comers, madam,
Set still the best foot forward.
Blan. And know as well, that you decaying stagers
Are always jealous of new-comers, young
And handsome.
Fran. You may be as sharp upon me as you please;
I know to what t' attribute your ill-humour.
[Pg 20]
Blan. Francisca, entertain her: I'll go write
To Violante, and then rest awhile,
In hopes to ease the headache that hath seiz'd me;
That done, sweet Silvia, we shall talk at leisure. [Exit Blanca.
Fran. Sweet Silvia! kind epithets are for new faces. [Aside.
Elv. Now comes the hard part of my task indeed,
To act the fellow waiting-woman right.
But, since the gods already have conform'd
My mind to my condition, I do hope
They'll teach me words and gestures suitable.

[Aside. Francisca embraces Elvira.

Fran. Let me embrace thee, my sweet sister, and beg you
To be no niggard of a little kindness:
A very little serves, with such a face,
To gain what heart you please.
Elv. If it can help to gain me yours, I'll take it
For the best office that it ever did me,
And love it much the better.
Fran. Make much on't then, for that 't has done already.
Elv. If you will have me vain enough to think it,
You must confirm it by the proof of being
My kind instructor how to please my lady,
For I am very raw in service.
Fran. O, that
I were so too, and had thy youth t' excuse it.
But my experience, sister, shall be yours
By free communication. Come, let's in,
And rest us in my chamber; there I'll give you
First handsel of the frankness of my nature.

[Pg 21]

[Exeunt Elvira and Francisca.

Enter Don Zancho and Chichon his man, in riding-habits.

Don Z. I must confess, Chichon, the very smell
Of sweet Valencia has e'en reviv'd my spirits.
There's no such pleasure as to suck and breathe
One's native air.
Chi. Chiefly after being in so fair a way,
As you, of never breathing any more!
Don Z. Prythee, no more of that; since I have forgot it,
Methinks thou easily may'st.
Chi. Faith, hardly, sir, whilst still your ghastly face
Doth bear such dismal memorandums of it,
Apter to raise inquisitiveness in those
Knowing nothing of the matter, than t' allay
Remembrance in partakers.
Don Z. Heaven shield us from Donna Blanca's queries!
No matter for the rest.
Chi. You would not wish to find her so unconcern'd;
I'm sure you would not: faith, I long to hear
Th' ingenious defeats, I make account,
You are prepar'd to give to her suspicions.
Don Z. Let me alone for that: but, on thy life,
Be sure that nothing be screw'd out of thee,
Neither by her nor by her sly Francisca.
Chi. Be you, sir, sure, that from your true Chichon
They'll know no more to-day, than yesterday
They did; nor thence more to the world's end,
Than what they did before we left Madrid.
Don Z. Truly, Chichon, we needs must find the means
[Pg 22] To get a sight of her this very night:
I die, if I should miss it.
Chi. Last week left gasping for Elvira's love.
And scarce reviv'd, when presently expiring
For Blanca's again! I did not think Don Cupid
Had been a merchant of such quick returns.
Don Z. Thou art an ass, and want'st distinctiveness
'Twixt love and love: that was a love of sport
To keep the serious one in breath.
Chi. Faith, sir, I must confess my ignorance,
That when I saw you grovelling in your blood,
I thought your love had been in sober sadness.
Don Z. Prythee, leave fooling, and let's carefully
Gain the back way into my house unseen,
That none may know of my return, till Blanca
Find me at her feet. And be you industrious
T' observe Don Julio's going forth this evening:
Doubtless he'll keep his usual hours abroad
At Violante's, since not married yet.
Chi. I shall observe your orders punctually. [Exeunt.

Enter Don Julio, and knocks as at Blanca's door.

Don J. What, sister, at your siesta[9] already? if so,
You must have patience to be wak'd out of it,
For I have news to tell you.

Enter Blanca.

Blan. No, brother, I was much more pleasingly
Employ'd—in serving you; that is, making
[Pg 23] My court to Violante by receiving
To wait upon me, in Lucilla's place,
A gentlewoman of her recommending.
Don J. Where is she? let me see her.
Blan. 'Twere not safe:
She is too handsome. You think now I jest?
But, without raillery, she is so lovely,
That, were not Violante very assur'd
Of her own beauty and the strong ideas
That still upholds within you, one might question
Her wit to have set her in her gallant's way.
But what's the news you mean?
Don J. That our dear friend and kinsman, Don Fernando,
Is come to town, and going for Italy:
The secret of it doth so much import him,
It forc'd him to forbear alighting here,
And lodging with us, as he us'd to do;
But yet he says, nothing shall hinder him
From waiting on you in the dusk of th' evening:
I hope you'll find wherewith to regale[10] him.
Blan. As well as you have drain'd my cabinets
Of late in presents to your mistress, some
Perfumes will yet be found, such as at Rome
Itself shall not disgrace Valencia.
Don J. I know your humour, and that the best present
Can be given you is to give you the occasion
Of presenting; but I am come in now
Only to advertise you, and must be gone;
Yet not, I hope, without a sight of one
So recommended and commended so.
[Pg 24]
Blan. I should have thought you strangely chang'd in humour,
Should you have gone away so uncuriously.
Francisca, ho! [She knocks.

Enter Francisca.

Fran. What please you, madam?
Fran. Prythee, tell Silvia I would speak with her.

[Exit Francisca.

Well, clear your eyes, and say I have no skill,
If she appears not t' ye exceeding handsome.

Enter Francisca with Elvira. Don Julio salutes her.

Don J. Welcome, fair maid, into this family,
Where, whilst you take a servant's name upon you,
To do my sister honour, you must allow
Its master to be yours, and that by strongest ties,
Knowing who plac'd you here, and having eyes.
Elv. I wish my service, sir, to her and you
May merit such a happy introduction.
Don J. Farewell, sister, till anon: accompanied
As now you are, I think you'll miss me little. [Exit Julio.
Blan. I must confess, I ne'er could better spare you
Than at this time, but not for any reason
That you, I hope, can guess at.
Francisca, you and Silvia may retire,

[Exeunt Elvira and Francisca.

And entertain yourselves: I'll to my closet,
And try to rest, or (rather) to vent freely
My restless thoughts. O, the self-torturing part [Aside.
To force complaisance from a jealous heart! [Exit.

FOOTNOTES:

[5] The errors Dodsley committed, and Reed allowed to remain, in the course of this play, were very numerous: it has been thought worth while to point out only a few of them in the notes.—Collier.

[6] The substitution of my for her, in opposition to the authority of the old copy, till now made this passage unintelligible.—Collier.

[7] In former editions misprinted—

"Away with thy formalities, dull creature!"—

which destroys all the spirit of the exclamation.—Collier.

[8] The old copy inserts in the margin opposite Elvira the words by the name of Silvia merely to show more distinctly that Elvira was to pass by that name, which is inserted before what she says.—Collier.

[9] The heat of the day, from noon forwards. So called from Hora Sexta, noonday, a time when the Spanish ladies retire to sleep.

[10] It is singular that in the old copy the author should here have inserted the Spanish verb regalar instead of the English one.—Collier.

[Pg 25]


ACT II.

Scene changes to the room in the inn. Enter Don Julio and Don Fernando.

Don J. Albricias,[11] friend, for the good news I bring you:
All has fallen out as well as we could wish.
As to Elvira's settling with my sister,
So lucky a success in our first aims
Concerning her, I trust, does bode good fortune
Beyond our hopes; yet, in the farther progress
Of this affair——
Don F. There's no such thing in nature left as better,
Julio; the worst proves always true with me.
Yet prythee, tell, how does that noble beauty
(Wherein high quality is so richly stamp'd)
Comport her servile metamorphosis?
Don J. As one whose body, as divine as 'tis,
Seems bound to obey exactly such a mind,
And gently take whate'er shape that imposes.
Don F. Ah, let us mention her no more, my Julio!
Ideas flow upon me too abstracted
From her unfaithfulness, and may corrupt
The firmest reason. Above all, be sure
I do not see her so transform'd, lest that
Transform me too: I'll rather pass with Blanca
Both for unkind and rude, and leave Valencia
Without seeing her.
Don J. Leave that to me, Fernando;
But if you intend the honour to my sister,
It will be time: the night draws on apace.
[Pg 26]
Don F. Come, let's begone then.

[As they are going out, enter Fabio hastily.

Fab. Stay, sir, for heaven's sake, stay——
Don F. Why, what's the matter?
Fab. That will surprise you both, as much as me.
Don Pedro de Mendoça is below,
Newly alighted.
Don F. Ha! What say'st thou, sirrah?
Elvira's father?
Fab. Sir, the very same;
And he had scarcely set one foot to ground
When he inquired, Where lives Don Julio Rocca?
Don J. For my house, Fabio? It cannot be;
I never knew the man.
Don F. The thing does speak itself and my hard fate.
What else can bring him hither but pursuit
Of me and of his daughter, having learn'd
The way we took? and what's so easy, Julio,
Here at Valencia, as to know our friendship;
And then of consequence, your house to be
My likeliest retreat?
Don J. 'Tis surely so;
Let us apply our thoughts to best preventives.
Don F. Whilst we retire into the inner room
T' advise together, Fabio, be you sure
(Since unknown to him) to observe his motions. [Exeunt omnes.

Scene changes to the prospect of Valencia. Enter Don Zancho and Chichon, as in the street near Don Julio's house.

Don Z. Newly gone out, say you?
That is as lucky as we could have wish'd:
[Pg 27] And see but how invitingly the door
Stands open still!
Chi. An open door may lead to a face of wood;

[Aside to Don Zancho.

But mean you, sir, to go abruptly in
Without more ceremony?
Don Z. Surprise redoubles (fool) the joys of lovers.
But stay, Chichon, let's walk aside awhile,
Till yonder coach be past. [Exeunt.

Scene changes to the room in the inn. Enter Don Julio and Don Fernando.

Don J. There's no safety in any other way.
You must not stir from hence, until w' have got
Some farther light what course he means to steer.
Let Fabio be vigilant: I'll get home
Down that back-stairs, and take such order there
Not to be found, in case he come to inquire,
As for this night at least shall break his measures;
And in the morning we'll resolve together,
Whether you ought to quit Valencia or no.
Don F. Farewell, then, for to-night: I'll be alert.
But see y' excuse me fairly to my cousin. [Exeunt.

Scene changes to Blanca's antechamber. Enter Donna Blanca and Francisca.

Blan. As well as Silvia pleases me, Francisca,
I'm glad at present that she is not well,
She would constrain me else: she has wit enough
To descant on my humour, and from thence
To make perhaps discoveries, not fit
For such new-comers.
Fran. If she has wit, she keep it to herself,
[Pg 28] At least from me: of pride and melancholy
I see good store.
Blan. Still envious and detracting?

Enter Don Zancho and Chichon.

Fran. See who comes there, madam, to stop your mouth!

[Donna Blanca casting an eye that way, and Chichon clinging up close behind his master, and making a mouth.

Chi. Sh' has spied us, and it thickens in the clear.
I fear a storm: goes not your heart pit-a-pat?

[To his master, aside.

Blan. Ah, the bold traitor!—but I must dissemble,
And give his impudence a little line,
The better to confound him.

[Advancing to him, and as it were embracing him with an affected cheerfulness.

Welcome as unexpected, my Don Zancho.
Don Z. Nay, then we are safe, Chichon. [Aside to Chichon.
Incomparable maid! Heaven bless those eyes,
From which I find a new life springing in me;
Having so long been banish'd from their rays,
How dark the court appear'd to me without them;
Could it have kept me from their influence,
As from their light, I had expir'd long since.
Blan. Y' express your love now in so courtly a style,
I fear you have acted it in earnest there,
And but rehearse to me your country mistress.
Don Z. Ah, let Chichon but tell you how he hath seen me
During my absence from you.
[Pg 29]
Chi. I vow I have seen him even dead for love.
You might have found it in his very looks,
Before you brought the blood into his cheeks.
Blan. E'en dead (you say) for love! but say of whom?
Don Z. Can Blanca ask a question so injurious,
As well to her own perfections as my faith?
Blan. I can hold no longer. [Aside to Francisca.
My faithful lover, then it is not you—— [To him scornfully.
Chi. She changes tone: I like not, faith, the key,
The music will be jarring. [Aside to his master.
Blan. 'Tis not then you, Don Zancho, who, having chang'd
His suit at court into a love pretension,
And his concurrents into a gallant rival,
Fell by his hand, a bloody sacrifice
At his fair mistress' feet: who was it, then?

[Don Zancho stands awhile as amazed, with folded arms. Chichon behind his master, holding up his hands, and making a pitiful face; Francisca steals to him, and holding up her hand threateningly

Fran. A blab, Chichon, a pick-thank, peaching varlet!
Ne'er think to look me in the face again. [Aside to Chichon.
Chi. In what part shall I look thee, hast thou a worse?
It is the devil has discover'd it—
Some witch dwells here: I've long suspected thee.

[Aside to Francisca.

Fran. I never more shall think thee worth my charms.
[Pg 30]
Blan. What, struck dumb with guilt? perfidious man!
That happens most to the most impudent,
When once detected. Well, get thee hence,
And see thou ne'er presum'st to come again
Within these walls, or I shall let thee see
'Tis not at court alone, where hands are found
To let such madmen blood.

[She turns as going away, and Don Zancho holds her gently by the gown.

Don Z. Give me but hearing, madam, and then if——
Don J. What, ho! no lights below-stairs? [Aloud, as below.
Fran. O heavens! madam, hear you not your brother?
Into the chamber quickly, and let them
Retire behind that hanging; there's a place,
Where usually we throw neglected things.
I'll take the lights and meet him: certainly
His stay will not be long from Violante
At this time of the night; besides, you know,
He never was suspicious.

[Don Zancho and Chichon go behind the hanging, and Donna Blanca, retiring to her chamber, says—

Capricious fate! must I who, whilst I lov'd him,
Ne'er met with checking accident, fall now
Into extremest hazards for a man,
Whom I begin to hate?

[Exit, and Francisca at another door with the lights.

Francisca re-enters with Don Julio.

Don J. Where's my sister?
Fran. In her chamber, sir,
Not very well; she's taken with a megrim.
[Pg 31]
Don J. Light me in to her.

[Exit Don Julio, Francisca lighting him with one of the lights. Chichon peeping out from behind the hangings.

Chi. If this be Cupid's prison, 'tis no sweet one.
Here are no chains of roses; yet I think
Y' had rather b' in 't than in Elvira's chamber,
As gay and as perfum'd as 'twas.
Don Z. Hold your peace, puppy; is this a time for fooling?

Enter Francisca, and Chichon starts back.

Fran. [Coming to the hanging.] Chichon, look out; you may, the coast is clear.

[Chichon looks out.

Could I my lady's near concerns but sever
From yours in this occasion, both of you
Should dearly pay your falsehood.
Chi. You are jealous too, I see; but help us out
This once, and if you catch me here again,
Let Chichon pay for all, faithful Chichon.
Fran. Y' are both too lucky in the likelihood
Of getting off so soon. Stay but a moment,
Whilst I go down to see the wicket open,
And see that there be nobody in the way. [Exit Francisca.
Chi. It is a cunning drab, and knows her trade.

Re-enter Francisca, and comes to the hanging.

Fran. There's now some witch o' th' wing indeed, Chichon,
Julio, that never till this night forbore
To go to Violante's, ere he slept,
And pass some hours there—Julio, who never
Inquired after the shutting of a door,
[Pg 32] Hath lock'd the gate himself at 's coming in,
And bid a servant wait below till midnight,
With charge to say to any that should knock
And ask for him, that he's gone sick to bed!
What it can mean, I know not.
Chi. I would I did not; but I have too true
An almanac in my bones foretells a beating
Far surer than foul weather. He has us, faith,
Fast in Lob's-pound.[12] Heaven send him a light hand,
To whom my fustigation shall belong:
As for my master, he may have the honour
To be rebuk'd at sharp.
Fran. May terror rack this varlet; but for you, sir,
Be not dismay'd, the hazard's not so great.
Yonder balcony, at farther end o' th' room,
Opens into the street, and the descent is
Little beyond your height, hung by the arms:
When Julio is asleep, I shall not fail
To come and let you out; I keep the key.
In the meanwhile, you must have patience.
Chi. It were a nasty hole to stay in long.
Did not my fear correct its evil savour. [Aside.
Dame, you say well for him, with whom I think
Y' have measur'd length, you speak so punctually
Of his dimensions; but I see no care
For me, your pretty, not your proper man,
Who does abhor feats of activity. [To her.
Fran. I'll help you—with a halter!

[Exit Francisca, and Chichon retires.

[Pg 33]

Scene changes to Blanca's Bed-chamber. Enter Blanca and Elvira; and soon after Francisca, as in Blanca's chamber, she sitting at her toilet undressing.

Blan. My brother told me I should see him again,
Before he went to rest.
Fran. I think I hear him coming.
Blan. He'll not stay long, I hope; for I am on thorns
Till I know they are out. I' th' meanwhile,
We must persuade Silvia to go to bed,
Lest some odd chance should raise suspicion in her,
Before I know her fitness for such trusts.

Enter Don Julio. Elvira offers to unpin her gorget.

Blan. I prythee, Silvia, leave, and get thee gone
To bed: you ha'n't been well, nor are not yet;
Your heavy eyes betray indisposition.
Elv. Good madam, suffer me; 'twill make me well
To do you service.
Blan. Brother, I ask your help; [To Julio.
Take Silvia hence, and see her in her chamber.
This night she must be treated as a stranger,
And you must do the honour of your house.

[Julio goes to Elvira, and taking her by the hand, leads her away.

Elv. Since you will not let me begin to serve,
I will begin to obey. [Making a low curtsey.
Fran. Quaint, in good faith! [Bridling.
Don J. My sister's kinder than she thinks, to give me

[To Elvira, as he leads her.

This opportunity of telling Silvia
[Pg 34] How absolutely mistress in this place
Elvira is. [Francisca whispers all this while with Blanca.
Elv. Good sir, forget that name.

[Exeunt Julio and Elvira.

Blan. If that be so, what shall we do, Francisca?
What way to get them out?
Fran. It is a thing so unusual with him,
It raises ominous thoughts, else I make sure
To get them off as well as you can wish;
But, if already awaken'd by suspicion,
Nothing can then be sure.
Blan. O, fear not that: what you have seen him do
Of unaccustom'd, I dare say relates
To quite another business.
Fran. Then set your heart at rest from all disturbance
Arising from this accident.
Blan. If you are certain
To get them off so clear from observation,
'Twill out of doubt be best: I'll tell my brother
Don Zancho is return'd, and had call'd here
This evening to have seen him; for my fears
Sprang only from the hour and the surprise,
Warm'd as he then had found me; since you know
How little apt he is to jealousy.
Fran. Madam, y' have reason; that will make all sure,
In case he should be told of's being here;
The time of's stay can hardly have been noted.

Enter Don Julio.

Don J. As an obedient brother, I have perform'd
What you commanded me.
[Pg 35]
Blan. A hard injunction from a cruel sister,
To wait upon a handsome maid to her chamber!
Don J. You see I've not abused your indulgence
By staying long; nor can I stay indeed
With you, I must be abroad so early
To-morrow morning; therefore, dear, good night.
Blan. Stay, brother, stay; I had forgot to tell you

[As he is going.

Don Zancho de Moneçes is return'd,
And call'd this evening here t' have kiss'd your hands.
Francisca spake with him.
Don J. I hope he's come successful in his suit:
To-morrow I'll go see him. [Exit Don Julio.
Blan. You see he's free from umbrage on that subject.
Fran. I see all's well, and may he sleep profoundly—
The sooner, madam, you are abed the better.
Blan. Would once my fears were over, that my rage
Might have its course.
Fran. I shall not stop it,
But after it has had its full career
'Twill pause, I hope, and reason find an ear. [Exeunt.

Scene changes to the room in the inn. Enter Don Fernando and Fabio.

Don F. Is he gone out?
Fab. No, sir, not as yet;
But seeing the servant he had sent abroad
Newly return'd, I listen'd at his door,
And heard him plainly give him this account—
[Pg 36] That he had found Don Julio Rocca's house,
And having knock'd a good while at the door,
Answer was made him without opening it,
Don Julio's not at home; whereat Don Pedro
Impatient rose, and, calling for his cloak
And sword, he swore he'd rather wait himself
Till midnight at his door, than lose a night
In such a pressing business.—This I thought
Fit to acquaint you with, and that he spake
Doubtfully of his returning to lodge here.
Don F. You have done well, but must do better yet,
In following him, and being sure to lose
No circumstance of what he does.
Fab. To dog him possibly might be observ'd,
This moonlight, by his servant; but since, sir,
We're certain whither he goes, my best course
(I think) will be to go out the back-way,
And place myself beforehand in some porch
Near Julio's house, where I may see and hear
What passes, and then do as I shall see cause.
Don F. 'Tis not ill thought on; but how late soever
Your return be, I shall expect to see you,
Before we go to bed.
Fab. I shall not fail. [Exeunt.

Scene changes to Donna Blanca's antechamber. Enter Francisca, and goes to the hanging where Don Zancho and Chichon are hid.

Fran. Ho! trusty servant with his faithful master!
Come out; the balcony's open, lose no time,
Julio's abed, and fast asleep ere this—
[Pg 37] There's nobody in the street, it is so light
One may discover a mile; therefore be quick.

[Don Zancho and Chichon come out from behind the hanging, and follow her, as leading to the balcony.           [Exeunt.

[And soon after Don Zancho and Chichon appear as in the balcony, and Francisca's head as peeping out of the door into it.

Scene changes to the prospect of Valencia. Enter Fabio as in the street, and settling himself in a porch.

Fab. Here is a porch, as if 'twere built on purpose.

[Fabio, looking up, perceives them in the balcony.

Ha! here's a vision that I little dreamt of.
Stand close, Fabio, and mum!

[Don Zancho gets over the balcony, and letting himself down at arm's length, leaps gently into the street. Chichon offers at the like, but takes a fall as he lights, and (rising) counterfeits lameness. Francisca retires, and locks the balcony.

Chi. Curse on the drab, I think I've broke my leg.
Fab. The moon has turn'd my brains, or I have seen
That person somewhere, and that very lately—

[He pauses, scratching his head.

But, sure, I'm mad to think it can be he.

[Pg 38]

[Exeunt Don Zancho and Chichon, as turning down the next street.

Enter Don Pedro and Fulvio.

Fab. O, now I see my men. [Retiring into the porch.
Don P. This is the street, you say; which is the house?
Fulv. That fair one, over against the monastery.
Shall I go knock?
Don P. What else?

[Fulvio knocks at Don Julio's door, and nobody answers.

Don P. Knock harder.

[He knocks again, and one asks as from within, Who's there?

Don P. A stranger, who must needs speak with Don Julio,
Although unknown to him: my business presses.
From within. Whoe'er you be, and whatsoe'er your business,
You must have patience till to-morrow, sir.
Don Julio went sick to bed, and I dare not
Wake him.
Don P. Fortune takes pleasure, sure, in disappointing,
When men are press'd with most impatience;
But, since there is no remedy, guide, Fulvio,
Unto the lodging y' have provided for me;
I hope 'tis near at hand.
Fulv. Not above three doors from Don Julio's,
There, where it makes the corner of the street. [Pointing.
Fab. Here I must follow, till I've harbour'd them.

[Pg 39]

[Exeunt; Fabio stealing after them.

Scene changes to a room in the inn. Enter Don Fernando alone, as in his chamber.

Don F. It cannot now be long, ere Fabio come,
And 'twere in vain to go to bed before,
For rest, I'm sure, I should not—

[He walks about the room pensively.

Ah, my Elvira!—Mine? thou dost infect
My very words with falsehood, when I name thee.
Did ever mistress make a lover pay
So dear as I for the short bliss she gave?
What now I suffer in exchange of that,
May make mankind afraid of joys excessive.
But here he comes—

Enter Fabio.

Have you learn'd anything
That's worth the knowing? [To Fabio.
Fab. Two things I think considerable, sir:
The one, that Julio hath found means to gain
This night to cast your business in, without
Admitting of Don Pedro, whose pressures
Might have been troublesome, and urged you
To hasty resolutions; whereas now
You've time to take your measures. The other, sir,
Is that Don Pedro lodges here no more,
And consequently hath eas'd you of constraint,
Whilst you rest here, and left the way more free
For intercourse betwixt Don Julio and you.
This more I must observe t' ye, that Don Pedro
Took special care to have his lodging near
Don Julio's house, whereby 'tis evident,
That there he makes account his business lies.
Don F. The news you bring me hath been worth your pains,
And thanks t' ye for 't. I suppose that is all?
[Pg 40]
Fab. Perhaps there's something else.
Don F. Say, Fabio, what is't?
Fab. Pray, sir, allow me
This night to think, whether it be fit or no
To tell it you; since 'tis a thing relates not,
As I conceive, to you nor to your business;
And yet, in the concernments of another,
May trouble you.
Don F. Be not o'erwise, I prythee. I will know
What 'tis, since you have raised curiosity
By such grimaces.
Fab. You must be obey'd; but pray remember, sir,
If afterwards I am call'd fool for my pains,
Who made me so: but since I do not only
Expect the fool, but ready to be thought
A madman too, ere I have done my story,
In this I will be wilful, not to tell it
Till y' are abed, that I may run away—
So if you long to hear it, hasten thither.

[Exit Fabio, as to the chamber within.

Don F. Content, i'faith; you ask no great compliance. [Exit.

Scene changes to the room in Zancho's house. Enter Don Zancho; and Chichon, as at home, halting.

Don Z. We're well come off from danger; would we were
But half as well from Blanca's jealousy.
Chi. Speak for yourself; I never came off worse.
A pox upon your venery, it has made me
Another Vulcan. [He halts about, grumbling.
Don Z. Go, rest to-night, or grumble, as you please;
[Pg 41] But do not think limping will serve your turn
To-morrow: faith, I'll make you stir your stumps.
Think you a lover of my temper likely
To sit down by it so?
Chi. I'm sure I am only fit to sit down by it,
Since I can hardly stand.

[He makes as if he would sit down, and Don Zancho giving him a kick on the breech.

Don Z. Coxcomb, come away.
Chi. To-night's to-night: to-morrow's a new day.[13] [Exeunt.

FOOTNOTES:

[11] See an early note to "The Adventures of Five Hours" in the present volume.

[12] [i.e., In a snare. See Hazlitt's "Proverbs," 1869, p. 200, where it is shown that the earlier phrase is Cob's pound.]

[13] [A common proverbial expression.]


ACT III.

Enter Don Fernando and Fabio, as in the room in the inn.

Don F. Are all things ready, Fabio, in case
Don Julio, when he comes, conclude with me
That I should be gone presently?
Fab. Horses stand ready for you at the posthouse.
Don F. 'Tis well; attend without. [Exit Fabio.

Enter Don Julio.

I see you sleep not in your friend's concerns,
You are so early; and since so, the sooner
We fix a resolution, certainly
'Twill be the better. 'Twas no small point gain'd,
To frustrate for a night Don Pedro's aims,
As Fabio tells me you have done; for he
Ne'er quitted him an inch last night, until
He had harboured him.
Don J. What, has he left his lodging?
[Pg 42]
Don F. That he has,
And (which is more considerable) taken one
Close by your house, which evidences clearly,
Where his suspicions lie: that being so,
I'm confident you'll be of my opinion
For my dislodging from Valencia
Immediately; for, Elvira being
Already so well settled, nothing can
So much endanger her discovery
As my remaining longer in these parts.
Don J. Were I but free as yesterday, Fernando,
To think of nothing but Elvira and your
Concernments, I must confess your absence
From hence were to be wish'd: but, cousin,
There's fallen out this very night a thing,
Which shows how little I beholden am
To fortune that, having so newly lent me
The means of serving handsomely my friend,
Calls back the debt already, and makes me
As needing of your aid, as you of mine.
Don. F. Ho! Fabio, forbid the horses presently.

[Fabio looks in.

The least appearance, Julio, of my being [To Julio.
Useful to you by staying puts an end
To all deliberation for myself;
Say, what's the accident? you have me ready.
Don J. Such and of such a nature, my Fernando,
That, as to be communicated to none
But you (another self), so I am sure
It will astonish you with the rehearsal.
Ah! could you think it possible, that Blanca
Should raise disturbance in the heart of Julio,
As to the honour of his family?
Don F. Heavens forbid!
Don J. Never was brother so secure as I,
Or so unalterable in his persuasion,
[Pg 43] Of having a sister of unmatch'd discretion;
Nor e'er could less than evidence itself
Have shaken such a confidence.
Don F. For God's sake, Julio,
Hold me no longer in such pain of mind.
But, sure, we shall be better there within,
Free from the noise of the street.
Don J. You say well. [Exit Julio.
Don F. [As he follows him, aside.] This is what Fabio told me he saw last night,
Discovered by some accident to Julio;
It can be nothing else. O women, women! [Exit Fernando.

Enter Don Pedro and Fulvio, as in their new lodgings.

Don P. I am glad you have lighted on so fit a place
For all I intend, as this is, Fulvio.
I shall repair the last night's disappointment
By early care this morning: in the meanwhile,
Fail not of your part in the discovery
Where my enemy dwells, and i' th' observation
Of all his motions; that's the important part.
Fulv. Rely, sir, on my care and vigilance.

[Exeunt Don Pedro and Fulvio.

Enter Don Julio and Don Fernando, as in the outward room of the inn.

Don J. It is a quarter
Always reserv'd to my own privacy.
There lying unsuspected, if, whilst I
Continue late abroad, under pretence
Of being at Violante's, you keep watch
Carefully within, he cannot 'scape us:
[Pg 44] So you be sure to observe punctually
The sign agreed, and bolting of the doors,
When he is once within.
Don F. Since you have so resolv'd and laid your business,
Dispose of me, and lead the way, whilst I
Give Fabio his instruction what to do
During my absence. [Exeunt Fernando and Julio.

Enter Donna Blanca and Francisca, as in Blanca's antechamber.

Fran. Since the black cloud, that threaten'd you last night
With such a storm, is luckily blown over
Without a sprinkling, I hope, madam, you
Will imitate the Fates, and grow serene
From all those clouds which so much threaten'd others.
Blan. Ah! Francisca, canst thou—

[She stops, seeing Elvira coming.

Enter Elvira, with a fine basin of flowers.

But here's Silvia.
O, the sharp thorns she brings me at this time,
With flowers in her hand, by the constraint
Her presence gives me! [Aside.
Elv. Madam, I wish the 'ranging of these flowers
May be to your mind; but alas, I fear
I am too dull for works of fancy.
Blan. 'Tis me you find too dull to relish them:
Anon they may be welcomer.
Elv. I'll wait that happy hour.
[Aside.] She's in ill humour. [Exit Elvira.
[Pg 45]
Blan. But tell me now, didst ever see, Francisca,
So false and bold a creature? The impudence
He had to clothe his treachery with new courtships,
Provokes me most of all.
Fran. Last night indeed, incens'd as you were, madam,
I fain would know what air so soft and gentle
He could have breath'd, would not have blown the flame
Higher and higher; but methinks your pillow
Should in so many hours have had some power
T' allay and mollify: I then complied
(He present) with your anger; but now, madam,
You must allow me to speak reason t' you
In his behalf, before you go too far,
And put things in your passion past recal,
Which, that once over, you would give your life
To have again.
Blan. Pray, think me not so tame.
Fran. So tame, say you? I think you wild, I swear,
To take so much to heart, what at the most
Deserves but some such sparkling brisk resentment,
As, once flash'd out in a few choleric words,
Ought to expire in a next visit's coyness.
Blan. Make you so slight of infidelity?
Fran. Cupid forbid! I'd have men true to love;
But I'd have women, too, true to themselves,
And not rebuke their gallants by requiring
More than the nature of frail flesh will bear.
I'd have men true as steel; but steel, you know,
(The purest and best-polish'd steel) will ply,
Urg'd from its rectitude, forsooth; but then
With a smart spring comes to its place again.
[Pg 46]
Blan. Come, leave your fooling, and speak soberly.
Fran. Why then, in sober sadness, you're i' th' wrong—
I do not say in being angry with him,
And nettled at the thing—that's natural.
We love no partners, even in what we know
We cannot keep all to ourselves: but, madam,
To think the worse of him for it: or resolve
A breach of friendship for a slight excursion,
That were a greater fault than his, who has
For one excuse long absence; and in truth
Another you'd be sorry he wanted—youth.
Blan. You talk as if——
Fran. [interrupting her.] Stay, madam, I beseech you,
And let me make an end: I have not yet
Touch'd the main point in his excuse, a suit
At court, enough I trow for any dog-trick.
Blan. How like a goose you talk! a court pretension!
What has that to do, one way or other,
With his faith to me?
Fran. So one, displeased to find his crawfishes
Shrivell'd within and empty, said to his cook
(Who laid the fault upon the wane o' th' moon):
What has the moon to do with crawfishes?
Marry, she has, 'tis she that governs shell-fish;
And 'tis as true, in courts that love rules business
By as preposterous an influence.
Blan. I prythee, make an end, or come to th' point.
Fran. Why, then, I'll tell you: you may believe me
(Having been train'd up in my youth, you know,
In the best school to learn court mysteries,
An aunt of mine being mother of the maids),
[Pg 47] Love holds the rudder, and steers in all courts.
How oft, when great affairs perplex the brains
Of mighty politicians to conjecture,
From whence sprung such designs, such revolutions:
Such exaltations, madam, such depressions,
Against the rules of their mysterious art;
And when, as in surprising works of nature,
Reason's confounded, men cry those are secrets
Of the high pow'rs above, that govern all
Grave lookers on, stroking their beards, would say,
What a transcendent fetch of state is this!
These are the things that wisdom hides and hatches
Under black cap of weighty jobbernowl;
I mean Count Olivarez. All the while,
We female Machiavels would smile to think,
How closely lurking lay the nick of all
Under our daughter Doll's white petticoat.
Blan. All this, I grant you, may be true, and yet
Ne'er make a jot for his excuse, Francisca.
His suit had no relation to such matters.
Fran. Whate'er the thing be, 'tis all one. D' you think
Suits, be they what they will, can be obtain'd
By such as pass for fops, as all young men
Without a mistress or a confidant
Are sure to do there? A sharp-pointed hat
(Now that you see the gallants all flat-headed)
Appears not so ridiculous as a younker
Without a love-intrigue to introduce
And sparkify him there. Madam, in short,
Allow me once to be sententious:
It is a thing that always was, and is,
And ever will be, true to the world's end:
That, as in courts of justice, none can carry
On business well without a procurator,
[Pg 48] So none in princes' courts their suits make surer,
Than those that work them by the best procurer.
Blan. [Smiling a little.] Well, hast done, Francisca?
Fran. Madam, I have.
Blan. Then letting pass
Thy fine reflections politic, now vented
To shew thy skill in courts, I'll tell thee freely,
I'm not transported in my jealousy
So far beyond the bounds of reason, as
Not to know well the difference betwixt
Such escapades of youth, as only spring
From warmth of blood or gales of vanity,
And such engagements as do carry with them
Dishonour unto those, whose quality
And love leave little to the serious part,
Once embark'd by them in a gallantry.
Fran. I see the clouds disperse. There's no such art
Of compassing one's ends with those above us,
As that of working them into good humour
By things brought in by the by. [Aside.
Why, surely, madam, unless anger lend you
Its spectacles to see things, I cannot think
You judge Don Zancho's fault to be any other
Than of the first kind, so well stated by you.
Blan. Francisca, were I otherwise persuaded,
I am not of an humour that could suffer
Such parleys for him, much less intercession;
But since, upon reflection, I find cause
To think what he has done a sally only
Of youth and vanity, when I shall find him
Sufficiently mortified, I may pardon him.
Fran. Heavens bless so sweet a temper! but, madam,
Have a care, I beseech you, of one thing.
Blan. What's that?
[Pg 49]
Fran. That, whilst your pride of heart
Prolongs his readmission, his despair
Urge him not to some precipitate attempt
That may expose your honour, safe as yet.
You see what danger the last night's distemper
Had like t' have brought you into: transported lovers,
Like angels fallen from their bliss, grow devils.
Blan. What, would you have me appear so flexible?
Is't not enough
I tell you I may pardon him in due time?
Fran. Good madam, be advis'd: I do not press you
For his sake, but your own. Trust my experience,
To women nought's so fatal as suspense;
Whose smartest actions ne'er did cast such blot
On honour as this—shall I? shall I not?
Blan. I'd rather die, than have him think me easy.
Fran. Your spirit never can be liable
To that suspicion. Madam, leave to me
The conduct of this matter, I beseech you:
If, ere you sleep, you do not see the gallant
Sufficiently humbled at your feet,
Ne'er trust Francisca more.
Blan. You are so troublesome: do what you will.

[Blanca turns away, and exit as into her closet.

Fran. What, gone away?
I'll do what she would have, but dares not say. [Exit.

Enter Don Julio and Elvira, as in Blanca's chamber.

Don J. Where's my sister, Silvia? [Looking about him.
[Pg 50]
Elv. In her closet, sir:
As yet not ready.
Don J. And where's Francisca?
Elv. She's with her, dressing her.
Don J. Why then, Elvira,
Let me not lose this opportunity
Of telling you how sad a man I am
To see you in this posture, and to assure you
How gladly I would lay down life and fortune
To serve you in Don Fernando's absence.
Elv. Your generosity I make no doubt of:
But is Fernando gone?
Don J. I cannot say
That he is gone; for he was not himself,
With the thought of leaving you, and yet less
Himself, whene'er he thought of staying near you;
Tortur'd by two such contrary passions,
As love and sharp resentment.
Elv. He is gone then?—— [She pauses.
Ah, generous Don Julio, [Putting her handkerchief to her eyes.
You needs must be indulgent to a weakness
Which, whilst that he was present, indignation,
And a just sense of what I am, had pow'r
To keep within myself; but now I find
That check remov'd, nature will have its tribute,
And you must pardon my withdrawing, where [She weeps.
Such grief may pay it with unwitness'd tears. [Exit Elvira.
Don J. Can a demeanour so compos'd, so noble,
And yet so tender, want true innocence?
It cannot be. It grieves my heart, I swear,
T' have given her new affliction; but the secret
Of Don Fernando's close concealment here
Is so important, it necessitated
[Pg 51] My saying what I did, since secrets are
Ever kept best by those that know them least.

Enter Blanca and Francisca.

Now, high dissimulation play, thy part! [Aside.
Good morrow, sister, have you rested well?
And do you rise serene, as does the sun?
Free from distemper, as the day from clouds?
Your looks persuade it me, they are so clear
And fresh this morning.
Blan. The pleasure of seeing you puts life into them,
Else they'd be dull enough, this ugly headache
Having tormented me all night. You might
Have heard me call Francisca up at midnight.
Fran. That was well thought on, for 'tis possible
He may have heard some noise. [Aside.
Don J. How cunning she is! [Aside.
Faith, now you put me in mind of it (I think)
'Twixt sleep and waking, I once heard some stirring.
Blan. The worst of my indisposition is,
That 'twill, I fear, hinder me again to-day
From visiting Violante, to thank her
For Silvia.
Don J. I charge myself with all your compliments;
For this whole afternoon, till late at night,
I needs must pass with her, to make amends
For yesterday's failings, caus'd, as you know,
By Don Fernando's being in town.
Blan. I must not hope to see you then again
To-day, when once gone out?
Don J. Hardly; unless to wait on Violante,
In case she come to see you, as 'tis likely,
When I shall tell her you are indispos'd:
And so farewell. [Exit Don Julio.
[Pg 52]
Blan. All's well, I see, Francisca, as to him:
I wish my heart were but as much at rest
In what concerns Don Zancho.
Fran. It shall be
Your own fault if it be not quickly so,
As I'll order the matter.
Blan. Take heed you make him not grow insolent,
By discovering to him my facility.
Fran. I'm too well vers'd to need instructions.
Blan. I leave all t' you. But how does Silvia
This morning?
Fran. I think she has been crying,
She looks so dull and moped.
Blan. I'll in and see her. [Exeunt.

Scene changes to Don Zancho's house. Enter Don Zancho, and Chichon limping.

Don Z. What, not yet gone, thou lazy, trifling rascal?
Chi. What juster excuse, sir, for not going,
Than is a broken leg?
Don Z. If you find not your own leg quickly, sirrah,
I shall find you a wooden one.
Chi. Be as angry as you will, sir, I'll not go
Till I have made my conditions: the true time
For servants to stand upon points is, when
Their masters stand upon thorns.
Don Z. What are they, owl's face?
Chi. Assurance, sir, but of free air within,
With fair retreat upon an even floor;
And that it shall not be in a slut's power,
After having kept me in a nasty place,
To empty me out at window.
Don Z. Prythee, Chichon,
[Pg 53] Ha' done, and miss not th' opportunity
By fooling. Unless you take Francisca,
Just as she comes from mass, this day is lost,
And I lost with it.
Chi. Come, I'll hobble to her.
Expect a sorry account, but yet a true one;
Truth always comes by the lame messenger. [Exeunt.

Scene changes to a fine pleasant apartment. Enter Don Julio, and knocks, as at the door of his private apartment: Fernando opens the door and lets him in.

Don F. Y' have given me here a very pleasant prison:
But what news, my Julio? Are things disposed
For clearing of your doubts? My own concerns
I cannot think on during your disquiet.
Don. J. And I come now so strangely mov'd with yours,
I scarce have sense or memory of my own.
A heart of adamant could not be hinder'd,
I think, from liquefaction into tears,
To 've seen and heard Elvira, as I have done,
Upon th' occasion of my telling her
That you were gone.
A sense so gallant and so tender both
I never saw in woman.
Don. F. Can that high heart descend to tenderness?
Don J. Not whilst (you present) noble pride upheld it;
But, nature once set free from that constraint,
O, how pathetic was her very silence!
And the restraint of tears in her swol'n eyes,
More eloquent in grief than others' torrents.
If she be guilty, all her sex are devils.
[Pg 54]
Don. F. O, say no more; for were there room but left
For self-deceit, I might be happy yet.
Ah! evidence too cruel to deny me that! [A noise without.
Don. J. But what can be the noise I hear without—
In the next room? [Fernando peeps through the key-hole.
Don F. 'Slife! I see Don Pedro,
Elvira's father: there's no avoiding him;
He'd not a' come up so, without being sure
You are within.
Don J. Farther put-off would be of little use,
Since first or last he must be satisfied,
Being come hither upon such an errand.
The sooner now we see what 'tis he drives at,
The sooner we shall take from thence our measures;
I'll therefore go out to him, and be sure
To entertain him still so near the door,
That you may hear what passes.
Don F. I shall be attentive, and expect the issue
With much impatience. [Exit Don Julio.

Scene changes to Don Julio's antechamber. Enter Don Pedro and his Servant, and Don Julio and a Page.

Don P. My business, sir, is to Don Julio Rocca;

[Addressing himself to Don Julio.

If you be he, I shall desire the favour
Of some few words with you in private.
Don J. Sir, I am he to serve you. Page, set chairs.

[He points to the Page, and makes him set the chairs by the door where Don Fernando is, and then the Page and Don Pedro's man retire.           [They sit down.

[Pg 55]

Don P. Having not the honour to be known t' you, sir,
'Tis fit this letter make my introduction:
'Tis from the Duke of Medina.

[He gives Don Julio the letter, which he receives with great respect; and going a little aside, reads it.

"Don Pedro de Mendoça, my kinsman and most particular friend, goes to Valencia in pursuit of one who hath highly injured his family, whose righting I am so much concerned in, as, could it have been done without too much publication of the thing, I would have accompanied him myself, but my presence will be needless in a place where you have power: I do therefore conjure you, and expect from your regard and kindness to me, that you employ it thoroughly in his behalf, and what service you shall do him, put it upon my account, whom you shall always find

"Your most affectionate cousin to serve you,

The Duke of Medina."

Don J. [giving the letter to Don Pedro, and he taking it.] Sir, it is fit you see how heartily
The Duke hath recommended your concernments,
Whose will's a law to me.

[Don Pedro having read it, and restoring it.

Don P. He told me, indeed, how very sure he was
Of your friendship and dependence.
I am proud to find he makes
So obliging use of it to my advantage.
Don J. I do avow myself his creature, sir;
Therefore the sooner you shall let me know
In what I may be useful t' you, the sooner
You'll see my readiness to serve you.
Don P. Your personal reputation, sir, as well
[Pg 56] As your relation to the duke, assur'd me
Beforehand of what I find; and therefore
As hard a part as it is for a gentleman
Of my blood and temper to become
Relater of his own shame, unreveng'd
On the author of it, I shall tell you in short:
I live under an affront of th' highest nature
To the honour of my family; and the person
Who did it makes Valencia his retreat.
'Tis against him, Don Julio,
That your assistance must support me here:
I have already got some notice of him,
And when I shall be ascertain'd, I'll repair
Again unto you for your friendly aid,
And for the present trouble you no farther.

[Don Pedro offers to rise, as going away.

Don J. A little patience, I beseech you, sir.
I have express'd my readiness, and be sure
I am a man never to fail, where once
I have engag'd my word; but, sir, withal
You must consider with a fair reflection,
That in this place are all my chief relations
Of blood and friendship; and though neither shall
Have power t' exempt me from the serving you
In any just pretension, yet you know
That men of honour ever ought to seek,
How to comply with one duty without
Violating another.
Don P. I understand you, sir; and as 'tis that
Which well becomes a person of your worth
To have reflected on, so it becomes me
To satisfy, before I engage you farther.
Then give me leave to ask you, whether or no
Don Zancho de Moneçes be of the number
Of those, towards whom y'are under obligation
Either of blood or friendship?

[Pg 57]

[Don Julio showing some little surprise, but presently recovering.

Don J. Don Zancho de Moneçes, say you?
Don P. Sir, the same—
He startled at his name. [Aside.
Don J. He is a person I have always liv'd
In friendly correspondence with, without
Any such tie upon me towards him,
As ought to hinder my frank serving you.
Don P. You have reviv'd me; and since I have now nam'd
My enemy, I can conceal no longer
The grounds on which he is so. That Don Zancho,
About a fortnight since, was late at night
Found in my house, run newly through the body,
And welt'ring in his blood, ready to expire.
I by the outcry brought upon the place,
Surpris'd as you may imagine, and enrag'd,
Was yet so far master of my passion,
As to disdain the owing my revenge
To an unknown hand, perhaps as guilty
Towards me as was the sufferer. I made
Him straight be carried to a surgeon, where
I thought it generous to give him life,
Then dead, that living I might give him death.
Recover'd sooner than I thought, he fled,
And with him, as I have reason to believe,
My only daughter, who the very night
Of the accident was missing. O, the curse
Of men, to have their honours subjected
To the extravagance of such vile creatures!
Don J. [Sighing.] 'Tis our hard fate indeed.
Don P. I presently employ'd all diligence
To know what way he took, and having learn'd
'Twas towards this place, hither I have pursued him;
Confirm'd in my pursuit by information
Along the road, that an unknown gallant
[Pg 58] Had, with his servant, guarded all the way
A conceal'd lady in a coach. And thus, sir,
You have the story of my injury;
Whereof I doubt not but your generous heart
Will wed the just revenge.
Don J. You may rely on't, sir, without reserves,
To th' utmost of my power.
Don P. May the gods reward you
The life that you renew to these grey hairs!
I'll take my leave at present, and return t' ye,
As soon as from the diligences used
I shall have clearer lights.
Don J. Here you shall find me waiting your commands.

[Exit Don Pedro, Don Julio waiting on him out.

Scene changes. Enter Don Julio and Don Fernando, as in the private apartment.

Don J. I hope you overheard us?
Don F. All distinctly,
And with surprising joy at his mistake.
Did ever bloodhound, in a hot pursuit,
Run on so readily upon the change?
Don J. I hope it bodes good fortune in the rest.
Don F. Were e'er two friends engag'd in an adventure
So intricate as we, and so capricious?
Don J. Sure, never in this world: methinks it merits
A special recapitulation.
You, at the height of all your happiness,
Supplanted with your mistress by a rival
You neither knew nor dreamt of, evidence
Anticipating jealousy.
[Pg 59]
Don F. And when that rival, fallen by my sword
In her own presence, is by miracle
Revived, and fitter to serve her than I,
That faithless mistress with the same assurance
She could have done, had she been true as fair,
And for my sake expos'd to fatal hazards,
Flies to my arms for her protection.
Don J. And whilst that you, refining point of honour,
In spite of rage expose yourself to serve her,
She asks and takes, with a vow'd indignation
To be beholden t' ye, new obligations.
Don F. I have recourse unto my only friend,
To help me in protecting my false mistress,
And he, at the same time, by highest powers [is]
Impos'd upon to be her persecutor.
Don J. Whilst the same friend, and by the selfsame pow'rs,
Is urg'd to act in their revenge against
The man, on whom you most desire to take it:
And then, to heighten all beyond invention,
That very friend is forc'd, even in that instant,
To a dependence on your only aid,
In his honour's nearest and most nice concerns.
Don F. Heaven, sure, delights t' involve us in a kind
Of labyrinth will pose itself t' unwind. [Exeunt.

ACT IV.

Scene changes to the room at Don Zancho's. Enter Don Zancho, and Chichon at another door, halting still with a staff.

Don Z. What, here again already! have you sped?
[Pg 60]
Chi. Lame as I am, you see I've made good speed
In my return, whate'er I've had in my errand.
Don Z. Leave, fool, your quibbling, and deliver me
From the disquiet of uncertainty.
Chi. That's quickly done. Set, sir, your heart at rest
From the vain hopes of ever seeing Blanca—
Now you are at ease, I trow?
Don Z. You'll be at little, unless you leave your jesting
With such edge-tools. Is banishment from her
Matter of raillery? Say, sirrah, and say
Quickly, what hopes?——
Prythee, if thou lov'st me, [Kindly.
Hold me no longer in suspense, Chichon.
Chi. Why, then, for fear—the devil a bit for love—
I'll tell you, sir, that luckily I met
The drab Francisca at the capuchin's,
Lodging behind her lady, I think on purpose;
For I perceiv'd her eager sparrowhawk's eye,
With her veil down (ne'er stirs a twinkling-while
From its sly peeping-hole) had found me straight—
took my time i' th' nick, but she outnick'd me;
For trudging on, her face another way,
With such a voice, as some you have seen have had
The trick to draw from caverns of their belly,
And make one think it came from a mile off,
She made me hear these words: About twilight
Fail not to pass by our door, and ask no more
At this time, varlet. And thus, sir, you see,
That neither she nor I have been prolix,
For this is all. You have leave to make your comment
On a brief text.
[Pg 61]
Don Z. As sweet methinks as short: such words imply
Little less than a demi-assignation.
Chi. All puddings have two ends,[14] and most short sayings
Two handles to their meaning.
Don Z. I'm sure I'll still lay hold upon the pleasing'st,
Till it be wrested from me: i' th' meanwhile,
If any visitants come this afternoon,
Be sure to tell them I am gone abroad,
That nothing else embark us at the time.
You shall not go alone.
Chi. I thank you for it—
I cannot go alone.

[Holding up his staff. Exeunt, Chichon halting.

Scene changes to Don Julio's private apartment. Enter Don Fernando and Julio.

Don J. All things are rightly laid, for Violante
Will pass the afternoon with Blanca, and then,
I waiting on her home in th' evening, Blanca
Will be secure from me till late at night.
I shall be where I told you, in full view
Of those two windows. If the gallant come
Up the great stairs, he must pass through that room,
And cannot 'scape your knowledge; if up the back one,
You needs must see him passing through the entry,
Close by that door. If this latter way,
Be sure to set the candle in that window: [Pointing.
If up the other, in that: and in either case,
[Pg 62] As soon as he's within, fail not to bolt,
On th' inside, th' entry-door, and so he may
Find no retreat that way, I coming up
The other.
Don F. Be assured I shall be punctual,
As you direct. [Exeunt.

Scene changes to Don Pedro's lodging. Enter Don Pedro and his servant Fulvio.

Don P. Are you sure of what you say?
Fulv. As sure, sir,
As my own eyes can make me of what I saw.
You cannot doubt my knowing him, since 'twas I
(You may remember) fetch'd the surgeon to him,
And saw his wounds dress'd more than once or twice.
The tavern, where I was, looks into his garden,
And there I left him walking to come tell you.
Don P. We are well advanc'd then towards my just revenge.
I found Don Julio as ready to comply
With all the duke's desires as I could wish;
And my great fear is over, that Don Zancho
Might possibly have been some near relation
Of his own: so that now, Fulvio, if you
Keep but a careful eye upon his motions,
And give me notice, he can hardly 'scape us.
Fulv. Doubt not my diligence. [Exeunt.

Scene changes to the garden. Enter Blanca and Francisca as in a fine garden with orange-trees and fountains.

Blan. You must have your will; but know, Francisca,
[Pg 63] If you expose me to his vanity,
I never shall forgive you.
Fran. I tell you, madam, I will bring him t' ye
So mortified, he shall an object be
For pity, not for anger: you'll need employ
Kindness to erect the poor dejected knight.
Blan. It fell out luckily, that Violante
Came hither; for, my brother now engag'd
With her, we're safe till ten o'clock at least.
Fran. But how shall we dispose of Silvia?
It will be hard to 'scape her observation,
For she has wit, and of the dangerous kind—
A melancholy wit. O the unlucky star,
That leads a lady, engaged in love-intrigues,
To take a new attendant near her person!
Blan. 'Twas an unluckiness; but Violante
Could not be denied, I having told her
So often that I wanted one; besides,
Who could have thought sh' had one ready at hand?
But we must make the best on't for this night:
'Twill not be hard to busy her, till 't be late,
In the perfuming-room. This near occasion
Well o'er, I think it will not be amiss,
Against another, to say somewhat to her,
That may, in case she have perceiv'd anything,
Persuade her she is not distrusted.
Fran. Madam, take heed of that: whene'er you find
It necessary to say anything,
Be sure to say that, that she may think all.
Take one rule more from my experience:
Nothing so fatal as a confidence
By halves in amorous transactions.
But here she comes—

[Pg 64]

Enter ELVIRA.

Blan. Come, Silvia, and take your part of this sweet place;
This is a day indeed to taste its freshness.
Elv. Madam, I needs must say, within a town
I never saw so fine a one.
Blan. In truth
I think not many sweeter. Those fountains,
Playing among the orange-trees and myrtles,
Have a fine mix'd effect on all the senses,
But think not, Silvia, to enjoy the pleasure
Without contributing to make it more.
Elv. How can I be so happy?
Blan. Francisca tells me she has overheard you
Warbling alone such notes unto yourself,
As have not only a good voice betray'd,
But skill to manage it.
Elv. It is Francisca,
That has betray'd a very ill one, madam.
Blan. Under yon palm-tree's shade, there is a seat
That yields to none in the advantages
It lends to music: let's go sit down there.
For this first time, one song shall satisfy.
Elv. When you have heard that one, I shall not fear
Your asking me another.

[They go and sit down under the palm-tree, and Elvira sings.

The Song.

See, O, see!
[Pg 65] How every tree,
Every bower,
Every flower,
A new life gives to others' joys;
Whilst that I,
Grief-stricken, lie,
Nor can meet
With any sweet,
But what faster mine destroys.
What are all the senses' pleasures,
When the mind has lost all measures?
Hear, O, hear!
How sweet and clear
The nightingale
And waters'-fall
In concert join for others' ears;
Whilst to me
For harmony
Every air
Echoes despair,
And every drop provokes a tear.
What are all the senses' pleasures,
When the mind has lost all measures?
Blan. I thank you, Silvia; but I'll not allow
One of your youth to nourish melancholy
By tunes and words so flattering to that passion.
Elv. The happiness of serving you may fit me
In time for gayer things.
Blan. I will not ask another for the present;
Not for your reason, but because I'll be
More moderate in my pleasures. Now, Silvia,
I have a task to give you.
Elv. Whate'er it be, 'twill be a pleasing one,
Of your imposing.
Blan. 'Tis to gather store of
Fresh orange-flowers, and then carefully
To shift the oils in the perfuming-room,
As in the several ranges you shall see
[Pg 66] The old begin to wither. To do it well
Will take you up some hours; but 'tis a work
I oft perform myself; and that you may
Be sure not to mistake, I'll go thither
With you, and show you the manner of it.
Elv. I hope I shall not fail, so well instructed. [Exeunt.

Scene changes to the room at Don Zancho's. Enter Don Zancho and Chichon.

Chi. Y'are so impatient, sir, you will mar all:
I tell you that 'tis yet too light by half,
The sun is hardly set: pray fetch a turn
Or two more in the garden, ere you go.
Don Z. You must be governor, I see, to-night,
You are so proud o' th' service you have done.
Come away. [Exeunt.

Scene changes to the garden again. Elvira appears in the garden, as gathering flowers from the orange-trees, and then (with her apron full) going away, says

Elv. The task enjoin'd me is a sweet one, truly,
But I smell somewhat more in the imposal.
So far I am happy yet in my misfortune,
That I am lighted into a lady's service
Of an obliging humour; but (most of all)
One that, as kind as she is, I see 's as glad
To leave me alone, as I to be it. Somewhat
There is mysterious in her looks and conduct:
Such motions just, such inequalities,
Such flatteries to those I trusted least,
Such pretty employments found to busy those
I would be rid of, and such arts are these
To single out her confidant (unnoted),
[Pg 67] I well remember would Elvira use,
Whilst the unquiet joys of love possess'd her,
How innocent soever. And, besides,
Francisca's sitting up so late last night,
And going up and down so warily,
Whilst others slept, is evidence enough
What god reigns here, as well as at the court.
But I forget myself. Let descants cease,
Who serves, though she observes, must hold her peace.

[Exit Elvira.

Scene changes to the prospect of Valencia. Enter Don Zancho, with his cloak over his face, and Chichon.

Don Z. Advance, Chichon, I'll follow at a distance.
'Tis the right time—just light enough, you see,
For warn'd expecters to know one another.
I hope she will not fail you.
Chi. She fail us!
No sentinel perdu is half so alert
As she in these occasions.

Enter Francisca veiled, peeping as out of the portal of Don Julio's house.

Fran. There comes the varlet; and I'm much deceived,
Or that's his master lagging at a distance—
I'll give them a go-by, cover'd with my veil.

[She passes by them heedlessly.

Chi. By that light, as little as 'tis, 'tis she:
I'll to her.
Don Z. And I'll stand close the while—
When you have broken the ice, I'll take my time.

[Pg 68]

[Chichon, going to Francisca, lays hold of her veil, and she turns about.

Chi. What signifies a veil to hide my doxy,
When every motion of a leg or wing
Darts round perfuming and informing airs?
Thou art the very cauliflower of women.
Fran. And thou the very cabbage-stalk of men,
That never stank to me, as does a blab.
Chi. Curse on thee, hold thy tongue! Dost thou not see,
Who stands against that wall?
Fran. Away, sauce-box!

[She, thrusting him off, goes on. Don Zancho sets himself just in her way, and makes as if he would lie down in it.

Don Z. Pass, trample on me, do, trample—but hear me!
Fran. These shoes have been my lady's, and she'd ne'er
Forgive it, should they do you so much honour. [Showing her foot.
'Tis thou hast caus'd all this. [Aside, turning to Chichon.
Chi. Fire on thy tongue!
Don Z. Ah, my Francisca, if there be no hopes
Of pardon, nor of pity, yet at least
Let Blanca, for her own sake, be so just
As not to give me cruel death unheard:
Do you your part at least, and do but give her
This letter from me—

[He offers her a letter, and she starting back:

Fran. Guarda! that's a thing
She has forbidden with such menaces,
I dare as well become another Porcia,[15]
And eat red burning coals. I had much rather
Consent that, now she's all alone at home,
You should transportedly rush in upon her,
As following me: so possibly you might
Attain your end without exposing me
[Pg 69] Who, in that case, know how to act my part
So smartly against you, as shall keep her clear
From all suspicion. But I am to blame
Thus to forget my duty: I'll stay no longer.

[He stops her, and, pulling out a purse of money, puts it into her hand. Francisca offers to restore the purse, but yet holding it fast.

Don. Z. Spoke like an angel.
Fran. This is, you know, superfluous with me,
And shocks my humour; but anything from you!
Be sure you follow boisterously.

[She trudges away, and goes in hastily, as at Julio's house, and Don Zancho follows her in. Chichon stops at the door.

Chi. I'll bring you no ill-luck a second time.
If for sport's sake you have projected me
Another summersault from the balcony,
Make your account that 'tis already done,
Here you will find me halting in the street. [Exit Chichon.

Scene changes to Donna Blanca's antechamber. Enter Blanca.

Blan. How true it is that nature cheats mankind,
And makes us think ourselves the only tasters
Of pure delight and bliss; when as indeed,
Oppressing us with pains and griefs, she makes
Deliv'rance from them pass for solid pleasure!
Witness in me those images of joy,
Wherewith she flatters now my expectation:
What will its highest satisfaction be
At most, but ease from what tormented me?

[Pg 70]

Enter FRANCISCA hastily.

Fran. It now imports you have affected rage
As ready at hand as usually you have
Anger in earnest. But, above all, be sure
You discharge it smartly upon me; for here
He presses at my heels.

Enter Don Zancho, and goes to cast himself at Donna Blanca's feet, and she starting back from him.

Blan. What insolence is this? Think not, Francisca,
That I am to be fool'd! This is your work:
You shall not stay an hour within these walls—
By all that's good, you shall not!
Fran. For heaven's sake, madam, be not so unjust [Whining.
To an old servant, always full of duty.
But can I govern madmen? Would y' have had me
Make all the street take notice? There he attack'd me
With such transportment, the whole town had rung on't,
Had I not run away. Could I imagine
A man so wild as to pursue me hither
Into your presence?
Blan. It is well, Don Zancho; [Severely and scornfully.
Blanca may be thus used; but he that does it
Shall find——

[She turns away as going out, he holds her by the sleeve.

Don Z. Pardon this rudeness, madam, but a man
Made desperate hath nothing more to manage.
Hither I come to give you satisfaction,
[Pg 71] And if my reasons can't, my heart-blood shall;
But you must hear me, or here see me dead.
Blan. Since to be rid of him, Francisca, I see

[Turning to Francisca.

I must the penance undergo of hearing him,
Keep careful watch to prevent accidents.
Fran. Madam, your closet will be much more proper
For such a conference; for in case your brother
Should come, Don Zancho has a safe retreat
From thence down the back-stairs. I shall be sure
To give you timely notice.
Don Z. And I know perfectly the passage thorough
Th' entry; I've come up more than once that way
During my happy days.
Blan. I think y' have reason; since I must have patience,
Light us in thither.

[Francisca takes the lights, and going before them, exeunt omnes.

Scene changes to the prospect of Valencia. Enter Don Julio, as in the portal of his own house.

Don J. The light was in the farther window; therefore
He went up this way: now, if Fernando
Have not forgot to bolt the entry-door,
He cannot 'scape us, sure, whoe'er he be.
'Tis the only comfort,
In such misfortunes, when a man hath means
To right his honour, without other help
Than such a friend as is another self,
And that the shame's even from domestics hid,
Until it be reveng'd.

[Pg 72]

[Exit Don Julio, as going into his own house.

Enter Chichon, as coming out of the porch before Don Julio's house.

Chi. 'Slight! 'tis Don Julio that I saw go in!
My master's like to pass his time but ill;
I'll steal in after, and observe: although
My courage cannot stead him, my wit may,
As things may possibly fall out.

[Exit Chichon, as stealing after Don Julio into his house.

Scene changes to Donna Blanca's closet. Enter Don Zancho and Donna Blanca, as in her closet.

Blan. As fine a story as may be! No, Don Zancho,
I, Blanca Rocca, am not carta blanca,[16]
Fit to receive whate'er impression
Your art——

Enter Francisca hastily.

Fran. Your brother's in the hall already;
Quick, quick, and let him find you in your chamber
Before your glass, I have set it ready there,
Whilst he retires the way it was resolv'd.

[Pointing to Don Zancho.

[Francisca takes the candle, and exeunt she and Donna Blanca; Don Zancho, another way.

[Pg 73]

Scene changes to Donna Blanca's bed-chamber. Re-enter Donna Blanca and Francisca, as in Blanca's chamber, she newly seated at her toilet, and beginning to unpin.

Enter Don Julio.

Don J. Blanca, I thought you had been abed ere this.
Have you had company to entertain you,
And keep you up beyond your usual hour?
Blan. What company can I have, you abroad,
At this time of the night?
Don J. I fain would find out some such as might please you.

[Ironically.

Francisca, take a candle and light me in
To Blanca's closet.
Blan. Good brother, what's the matter?
You were not wont to be so curious,
As thus to pry into my privacies.
Don J. That you shall know anon. Do as I bid you,
Francisca.

[Francisca takes one of the candles, and going before him stumbles, and falling puts out the light. Don Julio, taking it up, lights it again at the other on the table, and going with it himself towards Donna Blanca's closet.

These tropes are lost on me. [Exit.
Fran. Let him go, now we have gain'd time
enough.
Blan. Thanks to thy timely fall!
Fran. Persons employ'd
In such trusts must have their wits about them.
[Pg 74] 'Tis clear that he suspects, but know—he cannot.
When once you see all safe, 'twill then import you
To play the tyrant over him, with reproaches
For this his jealousy.
Blan. Let me alone for that.
But let us follow him in, that we may mark
His whole demeanour. [Exeunt.

Enter Don Zancho in disorder.

Don Z. Curse on't, the entry-door's bolted within,
What shall I do? [He pauses.] I must seek a way,
Through the perfuming-room into the garden. [Exit.

Enter Don Julio, with a candle in his hand, and passing hastily over the stage.

Don J. He must be gone this way, there is no other;
The entry-door was bolted.

Enter Donna Blanca and Francisca, who pass over the stage, as if stealing after Don Julio.

Fran. All's safe: he takes that way. Let him, a God's name,
Follow his nose to the perfuming-room.
Blan. He'll fright poor Silvia out of her wits;
But I'll come to her succour with a peal
Will ring him. [Exeunt Donna Blanca and Francisca.

[Pg 75]

Scene changes to the laboratory. Here is to open a curious scene of a laboratory in perspective, with a fountain in it, some stills, many shelves, with pots of porcelain and glasses, with pictures above them: the room paved with black and white marble, with a prospect through pillars at the end, discovering the full moon, and by its light a perspective of orange-trees, and towards that farther end Elvira appears at a table, shifting flowers, her back turned.

Enter Don Zancho hastily: Elvira turning about, they both startle, and stand awhile as it were amazed.

Don Z. O heavens! what is't I see? 'Tis mere illusion,
Or 'tis the devil in that angel's form,
Come here to finish by another hand
The fatal work that she began upon me
By Don Fernando's.
Elv. Good gods! Don Zancho here! it cannot be!
Or 'tis his ghost, come to revenge his death
On its occasioner; for, were he alive,
He could not but have more humanity
Than (having been my ruin at Madrid,
And robb'd me of my home and honour there)
To envy me an obscure shelter here.

[Whilst they amazed step back from one another, enter Don Julio, who, seeing Don Zancho with his back towards him, drawing his sword, says

Don J. Think not (whoe'er thou art), by flying thus
From room to room, to 'scape my just revenge.
[Pg 76] Shouldst thou retire to th' centre of the earth,
This sword should find thee there, and pierce thy heart.

[Throwing down the candle, he makes towards Don Zancho; but upon his turning about towards him, he makes a little stop, and says

Nay then, if it be you, I'm happy yet
In my misfortune, since the gods thus give me
The means at once, and by the self-same stroke,
To right my honour, and revenge my friend;
And, by that action, fully to comply
With what the Duke requires in the behalf
Of wrong'd Don Pedro.

[Don Julio makes at Don Zancho: he draws, and they begin to fight; Elvira crying out, Help! help! runs to part them, and they stop upon her interposing.

Enter Don Fernando hastily over the stage, as coming from the private apartment.

Don F. I hear an outcry and [a] clattering of swords.
My friend (engag'd) must find me by his side.

[Exit, and re-enters at another door.

[As Fernando comes to the door of the perfuming-room, seeing them at a stand, he stops and stands close.

Don F. They are parleying: let's hear. [Aside.

[Blanca and Francisca passing over the stage.

Blan. 'Twas Silvia's voice: my heart misgives me somewhat.
Fran. 'Tis some new accident or some mistake;
Don Zancho cannot but be safe long since.
[Pg 77]
Blan. However let us in, and see.

[Exeunt Blanca and Francisca, and re-enter as at another door of the perfuming-room, and make a stand, as surprised with what they see.

Blan. We are all undone, I fear.
Fran. A little patience. [Chichon stealing over the stage.
Chi. The noise is towards the perfuming-room,
I know the back-way to it through the garden.

[Exit Chichon, and re-enters at the farther end of the laboratory, and stands close.

Don Z. Wit must repair the disadvantages
I'm under here, and save my Blanca's honour.
That once secur'd, there will be time enough
To save Elvira's. [Aside.

[Whilst this passes, Elvira holds Julio by the arm, he striving to get from her.

Since, by this lady's interposing thus,
You have thought fit our swords should pause awhile,
It may (I think) consist enough with honour
So far to seek your satisfaction, sir,
As to remove mistakes. Know then, Don Julio,
That, though I have presum'd upon your house,
I have not wrong'd your honour: it is she,
With whom you find me, that hath brought me hither;
Her I have long ador'd, and, having got
Intelligence that she was here conceal'd,
My passion (I confess) transported me
Beyond that circumspection and regard,
Which men of quality use, and ought t' observe
Towards one another's dwellings.
Don J. Good gods, what an adventure's here!
Yet all
[Pg 78] Is well, so Blanca's honour be but safe. [Aside.
Sir, you surprise me much; can this be true?

[To Don Zancho.

Blan. Francisca, heard you that? had ever man
So ready a wit in such an exigent? [Aside.
Don J. [to Elvira.] What say you, madam?
Fran. We're surer lost than ever, unless she
Have wit and heart to take the thing upon her. [Aside.
Madam, make signs to her, and earnestly. [To Blanca.

[Blanca makes earnest signs to Elvira.

Fran. [aside to Blanca.] She looks this way, as if she comprehended
Your meaning.
Elv. I understand her, and I know as well
What mischief I may bring upon myself;
But let Elvira still do generously,
And leave the rest to fate. [Aside.] Sir, since you press me,

[To Don Julio.

My humour ne'er could disavow a truth:
Don Zancho's passion and transportments for me,
Beyond all rules of temper and discretion,
Have been the cause of all my sad misfortunes,
And still I see must be the cause of more.
Don J. Unhappy creature! how thou hast deceiv'd
My prone persuasion of thy innocence!
Don Z. If that suffice not, sir, you have this ready
To give you satisfaction. [Holding out his sword.
Don F. Hell and furies!—but I will yet contain
Myself, and see how far my friend will drive it. [Aside.
Don J. Stay, Don Zancho,
[Pg 79] And answer me one question. Is this night
The first of your presuming thus to enter
My house by stealth?
Don Z. The query is malicious;
But I must thorough, as I have begun. [Aside.
Blan. [Aside to Francisca.] There was a question makes me tremble still.
Don Z. No, sir, it is not: I'll keep nothing from you.
Last night upon the same occasion——
Don J. Hold! it suffices.
Fran. [Aside hastily to Blanca.] All's safe, you see: for God's sake, let's away
Ere Julio perceive us.
Your presence here can serve for nothing, madam,
But to beget new chances and suspicions.

[Exeunt Blanca and Francisca. Don Fernando rushes out, drawing his sword.

Don F. Yes, it suffices, Julio, to make
This hand strike surer than it did before.
Elvira. Nothing was wanting to my misery,
But his being here to overhear; but yet
I must not suffer the same hand to kill him
A second time, upon a greater error
Than was the first.

[Aside. Don Fernando making at Don Zancho; Elvira steps between, and Julia also offers to stay him.

Don F. [Striving to come at Don Zancho.]
Strive to protect your gallant from me, do!
Strive, but in vain: the gods themselves cannot!
What, you, Don Julio, too?

[Chichon, running out from the place where he lurked, strikes out both the lights with his hat.

Chi. I have lov'd to see fighting; but at present
I love to hinder seeing how to fight.
[Pg 80] Knights, brandish your blades, 'twill make fine work
Among the gallipots! [Aloud.
You have me by your side, sir, let them come;
They are but two to two. [As to his master.
Sir, follow me, I'll bring you to the door.

[Aside to his master, and pulling him.

Don Z. There's no dishonour in a wise retreat
From disadvantages, to meet again
One's enemy upon a fairer score.

[Chichon pushing his master before him out of door.

Chi. [Aside to his master.] There 'tis; advance, sir, I'll make good the rear.

[Exit Don Zancho and Chichon.

Don J. Ho! who's without? bring lights. [He stamps.] They cannot hear us,
The room is so remote from all the rest.—
What a confusion's this! Recall, Fernando,
Your usual temper, and let's leave this place,
And that unhappy maid unto its darkness,
To hide her blushes, since her shame it cannot.

[Exit Don Julio groping, and drawing Don Fernando with him.

Elv. [Alone.] Darkness and horror welcome, since the gods
Live in the dark themselves; for had they light
Of what's done here below, they would afford
Some ray to shine on injur'd innocence,
And not, instead thereof, thus multiply
Obscuring clouds upon it, such as the sun,
Should he with all his beams illuminate
Men's understandings, scarce could dissipate.
I now begin to pardon thee, Fernando,
Since what thou hast heard in this enchanted place
Carries conviction in 't against my firmness,
Above the pow'r of nature to suspend
[Pg 81] My condemnation: unless wrong'd virtue might
Expect in thee a justice so refin'd,
As ne'er was found in man to womankind.
'Tis now, I must confess, the lost Elvira
Fit only for a cloister, where, secure
In her own spotless mind, she may defy
All censures, and without impiety
Reproach her fate even to the deity. [Exit, groping her way.

FOOTNOTES:

[14] [The proverb is, Everything hath an end, and a pudding hath two.]

[15] [The wife of Brutus.]

[16] [i.e., A fool. See Hazlitt's "Proverbs," 1869, p. 38.]


ACT V.

Enter Don Julio talking to himself, and at another door Fernando who, perceiving it, stands close.

Don J. Bless'd be the gods that yet my honour's safe
Amidst such strange perplexities, from which
Fortune and wit (I think) together join'd,
With all their strength, could hardly an issue find.
To temper, comfort, or to serve my friend
What argument? what means? how to assist
Don Pedro in his aims, and to comply
With what I owe the duke, I see as little;
And less conceive, how to behave myself,
As ought a gentleman towards a lady,
With whose protection he hath charg'd himself,
And brought her to his house on that assurance;
Whom to expose cannot consist with honour,
However she may have expos'd her own;
And (least of all) how to repair to Blanca
The injury I have done her, whose high spirit,
I fear, will be implacable. O heavens!
What a condition's mine?

[Pg 82]

[He stands pausing, and startles, seeing Don Fernando.

Enter Don Fernando.

Don F. Pardon, dear cousin, if, to avoid one rudeness,
I have another unawares committed.
Whilst fearing t' interrupt, I have o'erheard;
Yet nothing, cousin, but the self-same things
My thoughts have been revolving all this night,
Concern'd for you, much more than for myself;
For I, upon reflection, find I am
Much easier than I was; by certainty
Freed from the sorest weight, perplexity.
In the first place you must forgive your friend
The high distemper of last night's transportments:
I hope you'll find me well recovered from them,
And that my morning resolutions are
Such as will make amends.
Don J. Make no excuses, dear friend: such provocations
Surprising are above philosophy;
And 'tis no small experiment of yours,
If after them you can have brought yourself
So soon to fix a judgment what to do.
Don F. I have fix'd on that, which I am sure will serve
All interests but my own, as heretofore
I understood my happiness; but now
I shall no longer place it in anything
Dependent on the wild caprice[17] of others.
No, Julio,
[Pg 83] I will be happy even in spite of fate,
By carrying generosity up to th' height.
Elvira shall her dear bliss owe to me,
Not only by desisting, but by making
Her lov'd Don Zancho marry her: his refusal
Alone can make me kill him o'er again.
Don J. Since that unhappy maid, with all her beauty
And that high quality, hath made herself
Unworthy of your marriage, certainly
None but Fernando ever could have pitch'd
Upon so noble a thought: but think withal,
What difficulties are likely to obstruct it!
Don F. Say what occurs to you.
Don J. Don Zancho is a man of wit and courage;
And though his passion out of doubt be great,
Since it hath made him do so wild an action,
As that of coming twice into my house
After so strange a manner; yet, Fernando,
You cannot but imagine such a one
Likely to have quite different reflections
Upon Elvira's conduct for a wife,
From what he has upon it for a mistress:
They are two notions very differing.
Besides, should the proposal but appear
In the least kind to spring from your desire,
Whose former commerce with her's not unknown,
It were the only way to drive him off
Past all recal. I think few have accepted
Wives recommended to them by their rival.
Don F. In that y' have reason, I confess; but, Julio,
Think of the way; for marry her he must,
Or die, and by no other hand but mine.
[Pg 84]
Don J. [Pausing.] I am thinking of it, and, I hope, to purpose.[18]
What interposer can be found so fit
As Blanca in this business, since Don Zancho
Has long been her particular acquaintance?
And what can be more natural, than for her
To take to heart Elvira's chief concernment,
Whom he finds here retir'd in her misfortune,
As to her surest friends?
Don F. Y' have lighted, cousin, on the only way;
And lose no time, I beg you.
Don J. The least that may be; but you must consider
In what a predicament I am likely
To be with Blanca at present.
Don F. I understand you (since the jealousy
You expressed of her); but 'tis to be hoped
The peace will not be long a-making.
Don J. You little know her spirit, once inflam'd.
But as I'll lose no time, so I'll omit
No art to bring her to a temper fit
To hear and to advance the proposition.
Don F. Heaven give you good success!
Don J. [Turning back to Fernando.] I had forgot to tell you that I think
It will be necessary that, as soon
As I have weather'd Blanca's storm, I make
A visit to Don Pedro, to prevent
His coming hither to disorder us,
Before we have set [all] things right.
Don F. 'Twas not ill thought on: and till you return
I shall keep close in your apartment;
[Pg 85] For Blanca has not seen me, and Elvira
Has too great cares upon her to be curious. [Exeunt.

Enter Blanca and Francisca; Blanca with a gay air, as in her antechamber.

Blan. Say, my Francisca, can romances equal
Our last night's adventure? was there ever
Such a come-off! Our sex has us'd to boast
Presence of mind in exigents of love;
But I believe none of us ever match'd
Don Zancho's readiness in an occasion
So sudden and so critical.
Fran. Ever give me the man of ready parts.
Blan. But prythee, whilst we give Don Zancho 's dues,
Let us be just, too, to poor Silvia's merit;
Was ever anything so generous
Or so obliging to a mistress!
Fran. So it appears, madam, I must confess;
But the excess of it makes it suspicious.
Blan. Fie, leave this humour of detracting still,
And call her to me, that I may embrace,
And thank her; that done, consider how
To bring her off, who's brought us off so well. [Offers to go out.

Enter Don Julio.

Fran. Stay, I beseech you, and compose yourself
To act a part quite of another nature;
Here comes Don Julio, towards whom I hope
You'll tune yourself to a far differing key
From that of thanks and kindness.
[Pg 86]
Blan. Let me alone for that: I'll play the dragon.

[As Don Julio advances, Blanca turns from him with a furious countenance, and flies out of the room, Don Julio following her.

Don J. Dear sister, stay, and hear me.
Blan. Detested brother, leave me.

[She makes as if she were going, and he holds her.

Don J. Hear me but, Blanca, and then vent your passion
Against a brother that condemns himself
As much as you can do; but hear me speak.
Blan. Your actions, Julio, have spoke loud enough
To echo through the world your shame and mine.
Has all the tenor of my life been such,
With such exactness of unblemish'd conduct,
That malice might have stain'd the noonday sun
More easily than tarnish'd Blanca's honour,
And must that honour now be prostitute
By the caprice of an unworthy brother?
Should any other have invaded it,
Had not you righted her, she has a heart
Would have found ways to right herself; but you
Th' aggressor, what remedy but rage?

[She flings from him and exit.

Fran. She acts it rarely. [Aside.
Don. J. Was ever man so unfortunate as I? [To Francisca.
I must confess she has reason, and the sense
She thus expresses of my fault becomes her;
But it must be your work, my dear Francisca,
To pacify. When once you shall but know
All that has pass'd these nights, I am certain
You'll say no human confidence could e'er
Be proof against such circumstances.
Fran. Alas! my offices can signify
[Pg 87] But little. But I'm sure the occasion
Gives me a sad heart. O my dear lady! [As if she were crying.
Don J. I love good-nature; but I prythee, leave,
And come in with me, that I may tell thee all. [Exeunt.

Enter Don Pedro and Fulvio, as in his lodging.

Don P. A' God's name, Fulvio, what has been thy meaning,
To make me sit up almost all last night
Expecting thee, when such impatience held me?
Thou wert not wont to be so negligent
In things of so great weight.
Fulv. Nor have I been it now: 'tis overcare
Of your commands hath held me so long from you.
You know the orders that you gave me, sir,
To watch Don Zancho's motions? accordingly
I sat all day in my observing-place,
Till about twilight I saw him and 's man
Steal as it were abroad: I as warily
Dogg'd them from street to street, till, sir, at length
He made a stand up close against a wall,
Whilst that his servant entertain'd a woman
Close-veil'd, who was come out, I think, on purpose,
From an adjacent house; soon after, he
Accosted her himself. Their conference
Lasted but little; she made haste away
To th' house from whence she came, and he as much
To follow her in.
Don P. Where was't? and why cam'st thou not presently,
To give me notice, as you were directed?
[Pg 88]
Fulv. At that you will not wonder, when you know
Whose house he enter'd; but at this you'll wonder—
It was Don Julio's.
Don P. [Starting.] Ha! Don Julio's, say'st thou?— [He pauses.
But, now I think on't, 'tis no marvel, Fulvio,
Since newly come to town; for I remember
Don Julio told me, that Don Zancho and he
Had always liv'd in friendly correspondence.
Fulv. Visits, sir, only of fair civility,
After long absence, are not usually
Begun by twilight in such cautious manner;
Nor usher'd in by female veil'd conductors.
But pray, sir, hear the rest.
Don P. What can this be? [Aside.] Say on then quickly.

[To Fulvio.

Fulv. I presently concluded with myself
That, since Don Julio was the friend on whose
Assistance you relied against Don Zancho,
You ne'er would think, sir, of attacking him,
As he came out from thence: I judg'd it, therefore,
My wisest course to stay, and mark the issue.
And stay I did, till it was after midnight;
About which time, walking from side to side,
That I might see both issues of the house,
It being as light almost as day, I saw
The gallant and his man leap from the wall
Of Julio's garden, and from thence in haste
Make home.
Don P. 'Sdeath, man, thou dream'st! Don Zancho from Don Julio's
In that manner? Awake, fool, and speak sense.
Fulv. I say but what I saw, as I see you.
Don P. O, the devil! what, the same villain
Found the affronter of my friend too here
[Pg 89] In the same kind! Give me my cloak and sword,
I must know the bottom of this. [Exeunt.

Enter Blanca and Francisca, as in her antechamber.

Blan. I come from seeing and caressing Silvia;
But with most strange surprise at her comportment
Towards me.
Fran. How, madam!
Blan. My words and actions both expressing to her,
Not only highest gratitude and kindness,
But a solicitude in the concerns
Of her honour, equal to what she had shown
In mine, they were receiv'd with such a coldness,
With such an air of melancholy pride,
With half replies, and those not half to th' purpose,
As make me with amazement to conclude,
That either she has lost her understanding,
Or that there's somewhat in't we understand not.
Fran. She is a maid of an odd composition;
And besides that, I needs must tell you, madam,
That having had my observation freer
Than you, perhaps, during last night's adventure,
I remark'd somewhat, both in her demeanour
And in Don Zancho's, makes me confident
They met not there strangers to one another,
As you imagine. But there's time enough
To think and talk of that: what presses now,
Is your right ordering of Don Julio:
You have begun as well as can be wish'd.
Blan. Say, did I not do my part? [Jollily.
Fran. Beyond imagination;
But take heed now of overdoing it,
'Tis time to tack about to reconcilement,
And thought of drawing those advantages
[Pg 90] From the embroilment, as may for the future
Secure you from like accidents.
Blan. You say well; but how?
Fran. The first step must atonement be between you,
Of which he hath so earnestly conjur'd me
To be an instrument that, you consenting
To give him a hearing through my mediation,
I am made for ever, and settled in the power
Of serving you by better cosening him:
Besides, he tells me, he hath that to say
And to propose unto you, as shall not only
Excuse him with you, but prevent all danger
Of prejudicial rumours, which might rise
From last night's accident.
Blan. Agreed; let's in,
And play the second part. [Exeunt.

Enter Don Zancho and Chichon, as in his own house.

Don Z. Were we not born with cauls upon our heads?[19] [Jollily.
Think'st thou, Chichon, to come off twice a-row
[Pg 91] Thus rarely from such dangerous adventures?
Chi. Rather, I think, with combs, so oft to venture.
Don Z. Thou coxcomb, say, had I not my wits about me?
Chi. 'Twere too uncomplaisant to deny that.
You know I love not to talk seriously,
But tell me now in earnest, are you satisfied
To have come off so? is there no qualm remaining
Upon your gentle heart for leaving i' th' suds
A poor distressed virgin? Who she is,
I neither know nor care; but I am sure,
Had generous Chichon, to save his life,
Play'd a sweet innocent lady such a trick,
He would have pass'd but for a recreant knight;
And much the more, she having shown herself
So gallant as, to save her lady's honour,
T' expose her own. Say, true Don Galor,[20] say,
Were your part found in a romance or play,
Whose character would it not dislustre?
Don Z. How soon a fool's bolt's shot without distinction?
Of what's the mark! Thou censur'st without knowing,
Who th' exposed lady is. Know, then, Chichon,
And wonder! 'tis Elvira!—that Elvira
For whom I sighed like to have sigh'd my last,
[Pg 92] On her score at Madrid—Don Pedro's daughter.
Chi. You raise enchanted castles in the air;
But were it as you say, that makes the thing
More inexcusable. You had been to blame
T' have us'd a stranger so; but so t' have serv'd
A lady[21] you had once profess'd to love,
Raises the fault above all heightening.
Don Z. Nay, then, I see I must once play the fool,
In answering a fool seriously.
The things thou say'st are heightenings indeed,
Not of my fault, but merit in the action,
Towards my Blanca; since, to save her honour,
I did not only sacrifice Elvira's,
But thus expose mine own. Time may recover
Elvira's fame, and mine this quickly shall.

[Clapping his hand on his sword.

Here, take this letter, and employ your wit
In finding out the means with secrecy
To give it Don Fernando unobserv'd.
I shall not stir from home, till I've his answer.
Chi. You found him, sir, a man of quick dispatch,
In your last business with him at Madrid! [Exit Don Zancho.
How honourable 'tis to serve a Don!
What petty Basque on t' other side the mountains
Durst have aspir'd to the high dignity
Of carrying a cartel? A monsieur
Would sooner have put up a twinge by the nose,
Than sent a challenge by a serving-man. [Exit.

[Pg 93]

Enter Blanca furiously, and, running to the cabinet, takes out thence a stiletto; and Francisca earnestly after her, as in Blanca's closet.

Blan. Villains shall find I am not unprovided
Wrongs to revenge, that cannot be forgiven.
Fran. I thought the strange constraint upon herself,
Wherewith she heard her brother, would serve in the end
But to make rage break out with greater fury;
Yet it is well she kept it in so long
As to get rid of him. [Aside.
Good madam, moderate yourself a little.
Blan. Preach temper to the damned souls in hell,
That they may teach the traitor moderation,
When I have sent him thither with his devil.
Fran. I do confess the provocation such,
As more than justifies all these transportments;
And therefore I beseech you think not, madam,
In what I say, I can the least aim have
Of saving him from the extremest fury
Of your resentment, or preserving her,
Who has had the impudence to abuse you so,
Under pretence of serving. May they perish!
But let it be in such a way, as may not
Draw a more dismal ruin on yourself:
Let swift destruction seize them; yet let not,
Madam, your hand, but head dispense their fate.
What can the issue be of such an action,
As that of which I see that shining steel
And flaming eyes of yours the threat'ning comets?
I beg but the reflection of a moment!

[Blanca walking upon the stage with enraged gestures pauses, at length sheathing and putting her stiletto in her sleeve with a sober, composed, tone:

[Pg 94]

Blan. Francisca, I thank you for recalling me
Thus to myself: I will be temperate,
[Aside.] But it shall be to make revenge the surer.
Fran. Her tone nor gestures cannot cosen me,
They both seem to disguise a black design;
But I shall watch you: 'tis a half-gain'd cause
In fury's course to have begot a pause. [Aside.
Blan. Do what I bid you presently, Francisca.
Send to Don Zancho, and let him know from me,
I earnestly desire to speak with him.
Fran. Lord, madam, what d'ye mean?
Blan. To make the pleasing proposition to him,
As I told my brother I would. Say, am I not moderate?
But do without reply, what I command.
Fran. Madam, I shall obey. But [aside] observe you so withal,
As to prevent the mischief, if I can. [Exit Francisca.
Blan. Ye gods, assist me in my just revenge,
Or you will make an atheist. My first work
Must be, before Don Zancho comes, to speak
With his sweet mistress; and with words and looks,
As false as hers have been, so to delude her
With hopes of what she wishes, that they both
May jointly fall my honour's sacrifice. [Exit.

Enter Don Fernando, as in Don Julio's private apartment.

Don F. Since generosity hath so far got
The mastery, as to have made me fix
Upon a resolution so unheard of,
I long to see it executed. But stay:
I think I hear Elvira's voice without,
[Pg 95] And Blanca's too. Here curiosity
To overhear is pardonable.

[He makes as if he hearkened, and then exit, as to go where he may better hear.

Enter Elvira and Blanca as in the antechamber, and Fernando peeping as from behind a door.

Don F. Here not a word can 'scape me.
Elv. Madam, you wrong my zeal in serving you,
Whilst you attribute to any other motive
My yesterday's behaviour.
Blan. Such niceties, Elvira, are, out of season.

[In a tone that may show what she says to be forced.

I seek your satisfaction in a love,
Wherein it seems you have been long engag'd.

[Elvira looking round, and Fernando starting back.

Don F. I hope she did not see me. [Aside.
Elv. My satisfaction, say you, in my love?
Of whom, for heaven's sake? If you mean Don Zancho,
Y'are very far from guessing at my thoughts.
Don F. By heaven, sh' has seen me, and plays the devil still.

[Aside.

Elv. By all that's good, I am far from loving him—
I say not worse [aside], because I know she loves him.
Don F. Ah, Elvira! this is too much, yet not enough
To change in me a noble resolution. [Aside.

[A noise is heard, as of people coming up stairs.

Blan. I hear some coming up stairs: should it be Don Zancho, I am not yet ready for him.—

[Pg 96]

[Aside.

I see we are likely to be interrupted here, [To Elvira.
Elvira, we shall be better in my closet. [Exit Blanca.
Elvi. Madam, I'll follow you.
What can she mean? since that she needs must think
I know the passion she herself[22] has for him.

[Elvira having stayed awhile behind, as she is going to follow Blanca, enter her father Don Pedro and Fulvio: she starts, and stands confounded; he, seeing her, draws out his dagger, and makes at her.

Don P. Vile stainer of my blood, have I here found thee?

[Elvira perceiving the door a little open, where Don Fernando is, flies thither, and gets in.

Don F. This makes it clear she saw me.

[Aside, as Elvira thrusts in.

[Don Pedro seizes the door, before it be quite shut, and they struggle, he to pull it open, and Don Fernando to shut it: after some contest, Don Fernando gets it close, and bolts it within: Don Pedro, as an enraged person, pulls and bounces at the door.

Don P. In vain should mountains interpose between
Her and her punishment.

[He bounces still, as to break down the door.

Enter Blanca.

Blan. What Bedlam have we here, and where's Elvira?
[Pg 97]
Don P. You have one here will know how to revenge
Conspiracies t' affront him: and you, lady,
Whoe'er you are, that seem to take upon you,
Y' had best produce the wicked thing you've named,
Or by this steel— [Blanca cries out.
Blan. Ho! brother, brother! help against a madman!

Enter Don Julio.

Don J. Peace, Blanca, peace, you know not what you say:
Don Pedro is master here.
Blan. I know not your Don Pedro; but I'm sure
One to be tied in chains could do no more,
That he has done.
Don J. Have patience, sister: 'tis Elvira's father,
With cares enough upon him to justify
Any distemper.
Blan. Precious! Elvira's father?—
Nay, then I leave you. [Blanca flings out of the room.
Don F. O the unluckiness of his coming
So unseasonably! 'Twas to prevent that,
I went abroad to seek him. [Aside.
Don P. What's this, Don Julio? can a gentleman
Of blood and honour use another thus?
What, after such engagements to the Duke
And to myself to be my friend and helper,
To prove the shelter of my shame's chief author?
I do not wonder now Don Zancho himself
Should have been here at midnight.
[Pg 98]
Don J. I am hard put to't: help, wit, to bring us off. [Aside.
Be as distemper'd as you please, Don Pedro,
It shall not alter me! but yet methinks
It would not ill become your gravity,
To think a while, before you make a judgment,
And rashly frame injurious conclusions
From things, wherein a friend has merited from you.
Do but consider, and then say, what Julio
Could do of more advance to what you wish,
Than, having found your daughter, to have brought her
To his own house, where she might be with honour
Accompanied, and serv'd as such by Blanca,
Until such time as, things maturely weigh'd,
You should a final resolution take.
And since Don Zancho's being here last night,
I see 's no secret t' ye, methinks you ought
T' have been so just to me, as to believe
That, since I admitted him within these walls,
It was in order to the serving you.
Don P. Noble Don Julio, you must pity have
Of an old man's distemper in affliction.
I see I was in the wrong; pray, pardon it.
Don J. O, this is more than needs. And now, good sir,
If you'll be pleas'd to walk a turn or two
I' the garden, I'll there give you a full account
How I have laid things for your satisfaction.
Don P. I'll wait on you.
Don J. Go, sir, there lies your way;
And you, boy, fail not, when Don Zancho comes,

[Turning to the Page.

To give me notice of it in the garden. [Exeunt.

[Pg 99]

Enter Don Zancho, and passes over the stage with Chichon after him: and enter Francisca, and pulling Chichon, stays him.

Fran. Stay, stay, Chichon, a word w' ye: it imports—

[She whispers with him.

Chi. I hope you are not in earnest.
Fran. By my soul, I am—
There is no other way, but for us both
To get up the back-way, and there to watch
The time to interpose.
Chi. Can she be such a fury? her looks are
All milk and honey.
Fran. You cannot fancy anything so tragic,
But she is capable of executing,
When once provok'd in point of love and honour
Beyond her bounds of temper.
Chi. Lead the way—
I'll have the pleasure to bold up the fright [Aside.
She's in, since I am sure there is no danger,
Knowing, as I do, my master's mind towards Blanca:
Besides, 'tis to be hop'd, that these disorders
May produce somewhat that may put an end
To my master's quarrel, or afford me means
To give Fernando his letter. [Exeunt.

Enter Don Fernando, Elvira lying upon the couch in the private apartment.

Don. F. This last dissimulation moves me more
Than all the rest; but yet it must not alter
What honour hath inspir'd. See, how she lies,
And how, scarce brought to life from her dismay,
She resumes scorn, to have been sav'd by me!
But multiply what injuries thou wilt,
Perfidious maid, thou shalt not disappoint
[Pg 100] Fernando of the glory that he aims at:
Of making thy proud heart, Elvira, owe
Its happiness to him. But I hear again [He peeps
A noise without—It is Don Zancho,
And I see Blanca coming towards him.
This falls out luckily, that I may hear
What passes; for certainly their meeting
Avowedly thus can be no other subject,
But what Don Julio has proposed to Blanca. [Exit as to hearken.

Enter Don Julio and Don Pedro, as in the garden.

Don J. That's all the remedy, that in these cases
The wisest can propose unto themselves:
His fortune's strait, 'tis true.
Don P. That's what I least regard in this occasion,
So honour be but safe: the less they have,
The more will be her penance for her folly.
But should Don Zancho, upon any umbrage
From what has pass'd between them, prove so insolent
As to reject the marriage, then I trust—
Don J. O, say no more of that: rely upon't,
Should he be guilty of that horrid outrage,
This sword should pierce his heart, though th' only friend
I have i' the world should interpose his own.
And, sir, to let you see my frank proceeding,
Come along with me; I'll bring you to a place
Where, jointly overhearing all that passes
'Twixt him and Blanca, should he play the villain,
His life may pay for't, ere he stir from thence.
Don P. May heaven repay such generous acts of friendship! [Exeunt.

[Pg 101]

Enter Don Zoncho, and Fernando appears as behind the door.

Don Z. For her so suddenly and so avowedly
To send for me hither, is very strange:
What can it mean?

Enter Blanca.

Blan. Now lend me temper, Heaven, but for a moment,
Till calmly I have drawn him to pronounce
The sentence of his own too noble death
For such a traitor— [Aside.
I think you come not without some surprise,

[To him with an affected cheerfulness.

Don Zancho, at my sending for you so:
But let's sit down, for I have much to say t' ye.

[She takes him by the hand and seats him in one chair, and she sits herself in the other close to him on his right hand, and fumbles in her sleeve.

I'm so well plac'd I cannot miss the mark. [Aside.
Don Z. Good madam, what's the matter? for I see
Disorder in you: put me out of pain.
Blan. That I shall quickly do: [Aside.
Know then, Don Zancho,
In the first place, you must not interrupt me,
Whatever you shall hear; I'll take it ill else.
When I have done, then speak your mind at leisure.
I come not to argue, but conclude.
Don Z. Your will's a law to me;
But whither tends all this? [Aside.
Blan. I do for once allow you to remember
All that has pass'd between us:
[Pg 102] The folly of my love, the falsehood of yours;
That done, and never to be thought on more—
Don Z. For Heaven's sake, madam—
Blan. Break not the rule was set:
Know I instructed am in all your story,
And am so far grown mistress of myself,
That I, who th' other day could scarce o'ercome
The sense of a slight failure at Madrid,
Can here at home suffer indignities,
And tell you calmly and with unconcern'dness,
Be you Elvira's and Elvira yours.
I come to do a part you little look'd for
From Blanca's spirit: I must make the marriage.
All things are ready, and her father here.
Now you may speak, Don Zancho; but the thing
Admits of no delay.
Don Z. But can this be in earnest? sure, it cannot.
What needs these trials of so firm a faith? [Pausing awhile.
Blan. Leave trifling; 'tis no longer time for tricks.
It is not in the pow'r of fate to alter
The resolution taken. [Don Zancho pauses.
Don. F. She has put it home. [Aside.
Don Z. Madam, you use me hardly; this demeanour
Passes my skill, to judge from whence it springs.
You say it is not in the pow'r of fate
To change your resolutions; but I'm sure,
If they be such, 'twill less be in its pow'r
To alter mine: but yet, before I die,
You must be left without excuse by knowing
The truth of all.
Don F. Here it imports indeed to be attentive. [Aside.
Don Z. Madam, 'tis true that, absent at Madrid,
The custom of the court and vanity
[Pg 103] Embark'd me lightly in a gallantry
With the most fam'd of beauties there, Elvira:
Those and no other the true motives were
To all my first addresses, till her scorns,
Which should have stopp'd them, had engag'd me more,
And made a love in jest a point of honour.
I bore all her disdains without transportment,
Till, having gain'd her waiting-woman's kindness,
I learn'd from her that all Elvira's slightings
She would have thought had sprung from severe maxims
And preciousness of humour, were th' effects
Of deep engagement in another love
With a young gallant, Don Fernando Solis,
With whom the cruel dame was so far gone,
As to admit him almost[23] every night
Into her chamber.
Don F. Bless'd gods, what do I hear? [Aside.
Don Z. [continuing] I, scarce believing the thing possible,
Urg'd my intelligencer to do for me
That which her lady for another did,
And to admit me to her chamber where,
By being eye-witness of her lady's actions,
I might transfer my entire love to herself.
She granted my request, and late one night,
Somewhat before the gallant's usual hour,
She brought me a back-way up to[24] her chamber,
Within Elvira's. My stay had not been long,
When, having found the truth of what she'd told me,
Converting rage into appearing kindness
To my informer, and expressing it
Uncautiously, we made a sudden noise,
[Pg 104] With which Elvira alarm'd, and coming in,
Follow'd by Don Fernando, that fell out,
Which you have heard before.

[Don Julio beckoning Don Pedro after him, passing over one corner of the stage.

Don J. By this time, I suppose, she will have made
The proposition to the full, and we
Shall come at the just time to hear his answer.

[Exeunt Don Pedro and Don Julio.

Don Z. [Continuing.] If since that hour I have ever seen
Or thought upon her, till last night's surprise,
May I for ever perish: and methinks
The use of that to your advantage
Might challenge from you a more just construction.
Blan. I told you at first, I came not here to argue,
But to conclude. Say, will you marry her?

[Don Julio and Don Pedro peep out as from behind the hanging.

Don J. W'are come, you see, just as we could have wish'd. [Aside.
Don P. His fate hangs on his lips. [Aside.
Don Z. You are mistress of your words and actions, madam,
And may use me as you please; but this hand
Shall sooner pierce this heart than e'er be given
In marriage to Elvira.

[Don Pedro and Don Julio rush in with their swords and daggers drawn, and Don Zancho draws too.

Don P. Then, villain, die! Heav'n is too weak to save thee
By any other means. [Don Fernando draws, and rushing out.
[Pg 105]
Don F. But here is one that shall—
Or all by his side.
Don P. O heavens! what's this?
Don Fernando Solis protecting him!
Nay, then the whole world conspires against my honour.
Blan. For heaven's sake, gentlemen! [Blanca runs in between.
Chi. Now, by my grandame's pantable,[25] 'tis pretty!

[From behind.

I'll brush their coats, if once it come to fighting.
Fernando's of our side.

Francisca, and Chichon with a long broom, run out also from behind the hanging.

Don J. What frenzy's this, Fernando? was't not you
Engaged me to effect the marriage? Sure, w'are all
Bewitch'd.
Don F. Stay, my Don Julio, stay,
And let Don Pedro have patience but to hear me—
'Tis true; but you know well upon what grounds:
Those are quite chang'd by my having overheard
All that hath pass'd; for my Elvira, Julio,
Proves spotless in her faith, as in her beauty,
And I the only guilty, to have doubted.
What have I then to do, but here to prostrate
Myself at her offended father's feet,
And beg his pardon? that obtain'd, t' implore
His help to gain me hers, as to a person
In whom respect for him hath always held
Proportion with my passion for his daughter.
Don P. You know, Don Julio, when I spake with you,
The terms of estimation and respect,
[Pg 106] Wherewith I mention'd t' ye this gentleman;
And, therefore, since in his address t' Elvira
There was no other fault, but making it
Unknown to me, and that I see his thoughts
Are truly noble, honour thus engaged,
That ought to be forgot, and I to think
Myself most happy in such a son-in-law.
But where's Elvira?
Don F. She's there within, where I dare not appear
Before her, knowing now such guilt upon me.
If Blanca would employ her interest
And eloquence, perhaps she might prevail
To get her hither, when she shall have told her
What changes a few minutes' time have wrought.
Blan. I never went on a more pleasing errand. [Exit Blanca.
Fran. I am struck dumb with wonder. [Exit.
Don F. Now Blanca is away, I'll take this time
To spare her blushes, Julio, and tell you,
Though I have broke one marriage for Don Zancho,
You needs must give me leave to make another;
To which, unless I'm very much deceiv'd,
You'll find on neither part repugnancy.
Don J. I understand you; and I thank the gods
They did not make me understand the wrong,
Till they have made it none, since I observe
Don Zancho's looks joining in your desires.
Don Z. A heart so full of love, as mine for Blanca,
Does best express itself when it speaks least.

[Pg 107]

Enter Donna Blanca, Donna Elvira, and Francisa. Elvira casts herself at her father's feet.

Elv. Now that the justice of the gods at length
Hath clear'd me from suspicions derogatory
To th' honour of your blood, I hope a cloister
May expiate my fault as to a father.
Don P. Rise, child. The enclosure I condemn you to [Raising her.
Is Don Fernando's arms: give him your hand.
Elv. 'Tis yours, sir, to dispose of, I confess,
And if it be your will, I must submit;
But let him know, who could suspect Elvira,
She never could be his but by obedience.
Don F. I am thunderstruck. [Elvira giving him her hand.
Elv. Be not dismay'd, Fernando,
Since I profess this a mere act of duty;
Another duty may Elvira move
To reinflame on better grounds her love.
Don J. [ironically.] Blanca, I fear you'll hardly be persuaded
To give yours to Don Zancho; but a brother
For once may play the tyrant. Give it him:
It must be so. [They join hands.
Don F. I now renounce old maxims: having you,
Elvira, I am sure the very best proves true.
Chi. Hold there, I beg you, sir: that will appear
By that time you have married been a year. [Exeunt.

[Pg 108]

FOOTNOTES:

[17] Without any sufficient reason, and to the evident injury of the metre, of which the author has nowhere been very careful, he here and elsewhere preferred the Spanish word capricho, to the English word caprice.—Collier.

[18] Dodsley and Reed very absurdly gave this line to Don Fernando, when it is evidently a reply by Don Julio to the request of his friend. The old copy did not mislead the former editors.—Collier.

[19] Cauls are little membranes, found on some children, encompassing the head, when born. The vulgar opinion has generally been, that every person possessed of one of these cauls, whether originally belonging to him, or obtained by purchase, would be fortunate, and escape dangers. "Lampridius tells us, that the midwives sold cauls at a good price to the advocates and pleaders of his time; it being an opinion, that while they had this about them, they should carry with them a force of persuasion which no judge could withstand: the canons forbid the use of it, because some witches and sorcerers, it seems, had abused it."—See ["Popular Antiquities of Great Britain," 1870, iii., 139-42.]

Sir T. Brown ("Vulgar Errors," b. v., ch. 21) quotes "the life of Antonius delivered by Spartianus" on the subject. The caul, a "sillyhow" (as Sir T. Brown terms it), is still considered a preservative against danger, and especially against drowning. Notices of the sale of them used to be daily posted on the Royal Exchange, and they are bought by captains of ships and others going to sea, and great prices given for them. The Times newspaper of March 17, 1827, has the following advertisement:—"A child's caul, well worth £20, to be sold for £14. Apply at Academy," &c.—Collier.

[20] He calls him Sir Galor in reference to the character this knight sustained in the old romances. He was sometimes known by other names.—Collier. [More properly, Sir Galaor. He was a brother of Amadis of Gaul.]

[21] [Old copy, lady whom, which injures the metre. The latter, however, is not very regular or correct in this play.]

[22] Herself, omitted by Dodsley and Reed.—Collier.

[23] Almost omitted by Dodsley and Reed.—Collier.

[24] [Old copy into.]

[25] Or pantofle. In "Damon and Pithias" [iv. 67,] we have seen it called pantacle.—Collier.

[Pg 109]

[Pg 110]


THE MARRIAGE NIGHT.


EDITION.

The Marriage Night. Written by the Lord Viscount Fawkland.

Scientia non habet Inimicum
Præter Ignorantiam.

London. Printed by W. G. for R. Crofts at the Crown in Chancery-Lane under Sergeants-Inne. 1664. 4o.

The "Marriage Night" was excluded from the second and third editions of Dodsley's collection. The punctuation of the old copy, and of the reprint of 1744, is very corrupt; but the text itself seems to be unusually free from errors.

[Pg 111]


DODSLEY'S PREFACE.

Henry Cary, Viscount Falkland, was the son of him who is commonly called the Great Lord Falkland. He was a person very eminent for his extraordinary parts and heroic spirit. When he was first elected to serve in Parliament, some of the members opposed his admission, urging that he had not sowed his wild oats. "Then it will be the best way," replied he, "to sow them in the House, where there are geese enough to pick them up." He died in 1643, being cut off in the prime of his years, as much missed when dead, says Langbaine, as beloved when living. I am informed from very good hands, that it was he who wrote the epilogue to Lord Rochester's "Valentinian." And I believe the same person wrote the copy of verses, which is prefixed to Sandys' tragedy, entitled, "Christ's Passion," translated, or rather imitated, from the Latin of Hugo Grotius.

[Pg 112]


DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

The King.
De Bereo, a duke, brother to the king.
De Castro, counts, brothers.
Dessandro,
De Flame, a count.
Pirez, two lords.
Sampayo,
De Loome, attendants to the duke.
La Gitterne,
Silliman, steward to the duchess.
Two Judges.

Claudilla, a duchess.
Cleara, sister to De Flame.
Torguina, ladies to the duchess.
De Prate,
Attendants.

Scene, Castile.

[Pg 113]

THE MARRIAGE NIGHT.


ACTUS PRIMUS, SCENA PRIMA.

Enter Pirez and Sampayo.

Pir. Is't possible?
Dessandro quit from his command o' th' citadel?
So sharply too? Brushing times, my lord!
Pray, by virtue of what offence?
Samp. It may be treason to ask their wisdoms that;
But the huge mountebank, the vulgar rout,
Quarrel'd with's religion; 'cause 'tis not in the
Smallest print: and the king——was to say nothing.
Pir. Good King! I could wish something;
And heartily, if I durst: Well, from grave hypocrisy
And beardless wisdom, good heaven deliver us!
Nothing in his great father's memory to hold him
Worthy of his place.
Samp. That makes him taste it
To the extremity of sense and anger.
Pir. Let us but slight some gull; or his gay dress,
Whose clothes and folly are his sense of honour;
How will it conjure up his blood, and bend his brow?
[Pg 114] And can Dessandro want a just and valiant anger
To feel the merits of so brave a father,
And his own too (kept at a noble height)
Rendered disgraced and sullied? He may believe
H' has deserv'd better, both in himself and father:
But how does his resolution take it?
Samp. As fire and air compress'd when (struggling) they
Break forth in thunders; or the vexed wind, amongst
A grove of trees, spending his scorn and rage.
Pir. Men of his soul and constitution cannot
Play with their passions, and stroke 'em tame,
When so provok'd. The duke!

Enter Duke De Bereo, passing over the stage, De Castro whispering with him, De Loome, La Gitterne, and other Attendants.

Duke. Let him be confident of me, in something
More worthy of himself than the command
H' has lost; and bid him use my promise.
De C. We are the creatures
Of your favour; and but own our lives
T' acknowledge it. [Exeunt.
Pir. Here's state embroidery!
But pray'e, what holiday things be they that spread
So in his train? I don't remember I left
Such faces in the court.
Samp. The first of them
Stalks in a knighthood, like a boy
In a Dutch burgher's doublet; and 'tis as much
Too wide for him; he has travell'd, and speaks languages,
As a barber's boy plays o' th' gittern; and those gay clouts, sir,
Came out of's father's shop.
[Pg 115]
Pir. His remnants.
The other? That looks like the age to come,
Which must be worse than this.
Samp. His fortune and industry
Has preferr'd him to be barber and pimp;
Two men's places, till of late our noblemen,
Growing frugal, do find one may do
Both the employments.
Pir. It is both thriving and genteel.
Samp. Genteel indeed; for they have produc'd knights,
And made statesmen of broken citizens with the help
Of a wife. But he, whose youth and sorrow shows him
Like a fair day, set in a cloudy evening is——
Pir. The Lord de Castro—I know him: and methinks
Some sparks of his father, great Velasco's, character
Shines in this young man through all the darkness
Of his fate.
Samp. That name alone has glory enough
To make him a brave presage to us.
The duke's father's character was deriv'd,
And circled in himself; and a full age
Of men shall rarely show another of
So much great and balanc'd man in't.
Pir. They are all court-fancies; pageants of state:
And want allowance both of brain and soul,
To make their blood and titles weight
Samp. He was strangely
Shuffled to the block.
Pir. That blow did bleed Castile too weak,
And left us in a faint and sickly pang.
Samp. The pulse, sir, of Castile beats in another temper,
Than when you left it.
[Pg 116]
Pir. I find it: The city wears a cap, and looks
As if all were not right there.
Samp. Except their wives.
Pir. The court, methinks, has strangely chang'd
Complexion too.
Samp. Those that deride us say the clergy
Has catch'd the falling-sickness: the court, a deep
Consumption; and that the commons have the spleen.
Pir. I know not what disease the court has; but the Lords
Look as if they had oversat themselves at play,
And lost odds, so scurvily—
Samp. How does your lordship find
The ladies?
Pir. I ha' not been amongst 'em yet
To take up my arrears: only had the court-happiness
To kiss her hand, who in herself contracts them all
For grace and lustre, the widow-duchess Claudilla.
Samp. Why, there my admiration leaves you; I grant her
A brave and courtly girl; has trim and dazzle,
Enough of white and red, to attract the eye,
Like an indifferent copy, flourish'd with golden trails.
But place your judgment nearer, it retreats,
And cries you mercy for the mistake. At distance,
She is a goodly landskip.
Pir. Alas, her blooming beauties
Yet languish and pine o'er her husband's hearse,
Like roses scatter'd from the morning's brow
Into the day's parch'd lap.
Samp. Their spring will shine again; grow glorious
And fruitful in the arms of her De Flame;
It is my hearty wish to their affections;
[Pg 117] That count does bear an honour'd character
From all that know him.
Pir. A brave young man; and one that is more honour
To his title, than it to him. But when
Must their hymeneal tapers flame, and she
Offer her turtle pantings at the altar,
Purpling the morn with blushes, as she goes;
And scatter such bright rays, as the sun may
Dress his beams with for that day's glory?
Samp. After
He has deliver'd his sister to Dessandro's hand,
He will not defer those minutes long; and he thinks himself
Behind in some expression of their friendship,
Until the knot meet there.
Pir. Cleara is a lady
Of a sweet and honour'd fame.
Samp. All other of her sex
Are dull and sullied imitations, pale glimmerings,
Set by her. Whate'er the modest fictions
Of sweet'ned pens has meant, she is their moral.
Pir. You speak like one that knows what virtue is,
And can love it.

Enter De Castro and Dessandro to them.

Des. I thank the duke; he has a right soul.
But, prythee, no more of these sad consolations;
They hang upon my heart like pond'rous weights
At trembling wires; or like the dull labourings
Of that clock, which groan'd out our dear father's
Fatal minute.
De C. I have done.
Des. I could chide this tame and phlegmy vapour
From my blood. Our passions melt into soft
[Pg 118] Murmurs, like hollow springs:
The manhood of cold hinds would not be tempted
To this sense, but leap with rage into their eyes;
Brother, it would; and wake 'em into tempests.
A wretched fly would show its spleen.
De C. This anger will but show men, where you bleed,
And keep the wound still green.
Des. The scar will stick for ever.
O, the dark hypocrisy and juggling of our times!
Great men are slaves to slaves; and we are theirs:
The law's a tame wolf cowards and fools
May stroke with giving hands: while he shall
Couchant lie, and wag the tail; but show
His fangs at you and I. A noble wish
Is dangerous: is't not, my lord?
Pir. What, Dessandro?
Des. The vulgar's a kennel of black-mouth'd dogs,
That worry men's deserts and fame: my curse
Fester in their temples!
De C. Prythee, Dessandro, collect these scatter'd thoughts.
Des. I'll hollow them through all the world, and say't
Again. Worth and honour now are crimes, and giants
'Gainst the state. My lords, shall's be merry,
And talk something the hangman may thank
Us for?
Pir. Treason? I vow, Dessandro, I speak the worst
Ex tempore of any man living.
Samp. I could mutter it well enough; but I'm to marry
A city widow, and buy a place at court.
Pir. When I have sold my land, we'll venture on
[Pg 119] A merry catch, and ever subscribe your servant,
Noble Dessandro.
Des. I shall find a time and place to pay your lordship
The accompt of my engagements.
De C. Brother, my attendance calls me to the king;
I'll wait upon your lordship, if y'are for the court.
Pir. Your lordship's servant thither. [Exeunt.
Des. So streams divide, and ruffle by their banks.
My brother's of a safe contracted bosom:
Can strangle his labouring rages in their thought;
When they do tug like poisons at my breast,
Until I give them air. But I'll observe,
And creep into men's souls: hug my dear anger
To myself, until it gnaw my entrails through,
That men may court my patience and discourse,
As now they shun it.
And when black night has stretch'd her gloomy limbs,
And laid her head upon some mountain-top,
Bound up in foggy mists, then keep my haunts
By some dull-groaning stream, with screeching owls
And bats; there pay my broken thoughts
Unto thy ghost, Velasco!——
Echo shall wake, and midnight, to help me curse their souls
That thrust thee to thy grave; whilst I will hang
About night's neck, until the moon do wake
To rescue her.

Enter the Duke.

Duke. Dessandro,
You must not be angry my power came short
[Pg 120] Of my desires to serve you: we'll try some other way.
You see by what engines the times move;
The king refers all to his council; and though
They do not tie his hands, they hold 'em by a strange
Courtesy. I'm but a single looker-on: perhaps
They may take notice of me for his brother;
That is, when they please, too; but this
Came nearest to me; upon the engagement of my honour
To deny my friend, and one, whose single faith
Had been enough for all the kingdom's safety—
The holding of such a trifle as the citadel.
Des. It has recompens'd me in part to know, where
That close annoy lay which wounded me i' th' dark:
I shall now collect myself against it; and know,
My lord, where my poor life and powers are
To be prostrate. Could I enlarge them to my wish,
They might appear, sir, to your highness' use.
Duke. I know how far you can, bravest man;
Your worth has taken fire here, where I will
Preserve it in a noble flame.
My greatest thirst of fame is my expression
To men of your merit, who cannot want
A friend, whilst I have power to be one:
But I am scanted and weak'ned in my desires,
Else fam'd Velasco had not yet slept in his dust
To please the common hangman; nor men of glorious
Parts live shrouded in obscure homes, like
Pamphlets out of date.
Des. You are the patron of our honoured actions,
[Pg 121] And all their glory meets and circles in
Your fame.
Duke. I will disengage you from this forc'd compliment:
It keeps me at too great a distance from that
Bosom, where I would lodge a friend, Dessandro:
I must take't unkindly too, that in the scroll
Of all your friends I stand dash'd out, a stranger
To your joys.
Des. My lord!
Duke. But you shall not steal the day so: I'll be
One at the ceremony, though the bride tell me
In a blush, I came unwish'd-for.
Des. 'Tis but the busy voice that, like the nightmare,
Rides men, and can find strange shapes and prodigies
I'th' clouds. I must confess, Cleara has the
Engagement of all her virtues and a brother's on me.
When it concerns me nearer, it must not be a secret
To your highness, to whom all that's deriv'd
To my poor life and fortune is a just debt.
Duke. You know the way unto a friend—if you can think
I have power enough to make me so.
Des. Sir, I was only showed to the world to be talk'd on:
Fortune (I thank her) has given me many knacks
To play with in her mood, but taken 'em away again scurvily,
To tell me I was not born to any real purpose;
And I wish nothing she can give me.
Duke. She will acknowledge her mistake, and put
[Pg 122] On her smiles to court your merits.
La Gitterne, is the king come from's sport? [La Gitterne waits.
La G. He dines abroad, my lord.
Duke. Colonel, this day you shall bestow on me:
I owe the Duchess Claudilla a visit;
Make ready straight; we'll spend a dinner-time
There, and the afternoon at tennis. [Exeunt.

A Song.

That done, Claudilla and De Flame discovered sitting in a rich couch; at each end a lady waiting.

De F. This does but find our melancholy out,
And cast it in a minute's trance; when one
Soft accent from Claudilla's voice leaves nought
That's earth about me. My soul's in her Elysium,
And every sense immortal, dilated into joys:
Heaven becomes attentive, and the soft winds
Put on their perfum'd wings to hover near those lips.
That blush does show the sparkles of some incensed thought!
My poor expressions rob ye; but I appeal
To this white hand for pardon.
Claud. Sir, my thoughts are all acknowledgments of that delight
I hear and see you with, what dress soe'er you please
To send your courtship in to try 'em;
We have outliv'd those arts and common charms,
And need not seek our hearts in scatter'd flames;
As those, whose lesson yet is at the hand or eye;
[Pg 123] Our hearts have read Love's deep divinity
And all his amorous volumes over; we must write
Stories of our love, my lord.
De F. And chaste ones, madam:
How glorious the frontispiece would show
With great Claudilla's name, tried in a true
Love's knot to her De Flame's! Though the
Great distance of your shining attributes both
Of blood and virtue, consider'd in the poverty of mine,
Would draw squint eyes and envy to my stars;
But speak your name great as the example of your
Goodness, and make it worth the imitation
Of all noble minds, that shall but read your love
And sweetness, which (most excellent of your sex)
Condescended unto me, who else had
Languish'd in a heap of ashes.
Claud. My lord, you have found an easy way into
My heart, and won me from myself, ere I
Could call my thoughts [forth] to resistance;
Such strength brought your deserts! But now
I hope, nay, can be confident (best sir), they are
Treasured in a breast, whose virtues will
Preserve them with themselves.
De F. O madam!
Claud. It may be, some discourse that, when first
I entertain'd your love, I had not yet given
The world and my dead husband's earth a full
Accompt of sorrow, or paid his memory
A year's just rent of tears: but I appeal
To my own heart; and you, my lord, can say——
De F. Your heart has been but too severe unto itself;
And I can say I have not seen a beam break
[Pg 124] From those eyes, but through dark clouds and showers;
Or like the sun, drench'd in the swelling main;
Nor a look with the least comfort of a smile in't.
Nay, divinest madam, now you do but chide
Heaven in your tears, and cannot raise the dead.
Claud. True, sir.
De F. Tears are but shallow murmurs of our grief.
I envy not his grave a tear, but owe all
Noble mention to't; yet, madam, I did hope
You had discharg'd the smart and cruelty of grief
From your soft breast, and would call your beauties
[Back] to their natural springs.
Look on yourself, rare lady, in this change:
With what high flame and rapture it becomes you:
So breaks the morning forth of a crystal cloud,
And so the sun ascends his glittering chair,
And from his burnish'd locks shakes day about.
The summer puts not on more delights and various
Glory, than shines in bright Claudilla;
And shall the grave exhaust their pride
And youth?

Enter Torguina.

Tor. Madam, the king's brother gives you a visit.
De F. Who's with him?
Tor. The colonel your lordship calls friend.
De F. Dessandro?
Claud. Let's meet 'em, sir. [Exeunt.

[Pg 125]


ACTUS SECUNDUS, SCENA PRIMA.

Enter the Duke, Duchess, Cleara, De Flame, Dessandra, Attendants.

Duke. I'm in arrears yet unto your grace.
Claud. A widow's entertainment, sir, you please to honour.
Duke. I wish the hours but short, that bring the night
You are to lose that name in; and then, to what
Length your own desires would spin 'em,
Widow! Madam, there's disconsonancy in
The name, methinks. Claudilla widow!
Duchess, and still widow (like a cypress
Cast o'er a bed of lilies) darkens your other titles:
'Tis a weed in your garden, and will spoil the youth
And beauty it grows nigh: a word of mortality
Or a memento mori to all young ladies,
And a passing-bell to old ones. Indeed, it is
A mere privation; and all widows are in
The state of outlaws, till married again.
Claud. Your highness holds a merry opinion of us
Poor widows.
De F. I say virgins are the ore: widows,
The gold tried and refin'd.
Duke. A fair young lady and widow is
A rich piece of stuff rumpled: an old one's
A blotting-paper a man shall never
Write anything on—she sinks so.
Dessandro, your comment.
De F. Friend, you are dull o' th' sudden.
Cle. He is not well.
Claud. Not well, sir?
[Pg 126]
Des. Not well, madam.
Duke. Dull! Shall's to tennis? I have some pistolets
Will pay your borrow'd time, Dessandro.
Des. Your pardon, sir: I am unfit to wait on you.
My life hangs in a dew upon me;
And I have drunk poison.
De F. Ha!
A physician with all speed! Dessandro!
Cle. Dear sir!
Des. Cleara! Lend me thy hand: so—
I'm struck upon a rock. [Swoons.
Cle. He's dead; I shall not overtake him.
Duke. Look to the lady.
Claud. He swells like a stopp'd torrent or a teeming cloud;
Have I no servants there? [Carry him off.
De F. What a sudden storm is fallen?
Duke. How fares the lady?
Claud. Madam!
Cle. As you are tender-natur'd, let no hand
Close his eyes but mine: I am come back
Thus far to take my farewell on his cold lip. [De Flame returns.
De F. Sister, let thy warm blood flow back:
Thy Dessandro lives, my girl!
Cle. O, may I not see him?
De F. You shall. [Exeunt.
Duke. Give me leave to make this opportunity happy
On your hand. How! Not vouchsafe it? [Duchess goes off.
What a tyranny shot from her scornful eye!
Where have I lost myself and her?
There's a cross and peevish genius haunts my hopes;
[Pg 127] A black and envious cloud; and I must get above it.
Not kiss your hand? Is your blood surfeited? I'll quit
This scorn; indeed I will, coy madam!
Thou, that are lord of my proud horoscope;
Great soul of mysteries, kindle my brain
With thy immortal fires!
That if I fall, my name may rise divine:
So Cæsar's glory set, and so set mine! [Exit.

Enter Silliman, a bottle tied in a riband to his pocket.

Sil. Brave canary, intelligent canary,
That does refresh our weak and mortal bodies!
I will have thee canonis'd Saint Canary at
My own charge, and call my eldest son
Canary. Yet for a man to love thee at
His own cost is damnable, very damnable;
And I defy it.
And Siss is the blithest lass in our town,
For she sells ale by the pound and the dozen;
Ale! Hang ale!

Enter a Messenger.

Mes. By your worship's leave, I would speak with
Signior Silliman, the Duchess's steward, an't like ye.
Sil. Wou'd you speak with Signior Silliman, an't like ye?
Mes. Please God and your worship, an't like ye.
Sil. In what language wou'd you speak with him, hum?
[Pg 128]
Mes. Yes, verily, I would speak with him, an't like ye.
Sil. At what posture?
Mes. Marry, from a friend, an't like ye.
Sil. Very good, my friend. Didst ever say thy [Drinks.
Prayers in the canary tongue?
Mes. My prayers, an't like ye? Your worship's dispos'd
To be merry: I have a wife and seven small
Children, an't like ye, to wind and turn as they say,
Simple as your worship sees me here, an't like ye.
Sil. Pox o' wives; I'll not give a gazet for thy wife;
She's tough, and too much powder'd. Fetch me
Thy daughter, thy youngest daughter, sirrah!
If the creature be a virgin, and desirable:
Look ye! there's money to buy her clean linen.
I'll have a bath of rich canary and Venus' milk;
Where we will bathe and swim together, like
So many swans, and then be call'd Signior
Jupiter Sillimano. But is she man's meat?
I have a tender appetite, and can scarcely digest
One in her teens.
Mes. Does your worship think I wou'd be a Judas, an't like ye?
She's as neat a girl, and as tight at her business
As the back of your hand, an't like ye; but heaven
Bless ye, and cry ye mercy, if you be his worship,
Here's a letter from the Lady de Prate, an't like ye.
Sil. The Lady de Prate (mark me, sirrah) is a
Noble lady; we say so—— [Reads a letter.
I never knew what bondage was till now;
[Pg 129] I fear the gilded heart you sent me was
Enchanted—(O, O)—I long to see you
(Hum—hum)—therefore let me have the happiness
To know the place and time—(even so)—as
You love her, that blushes to write this——
Yes, yes, I'll enchant ye! I'll time and place ye!
Surely, there's something more about me, than I can
Perceive. Grant that I may bear my fate
Discreetly! I never knew what bondage was [Reads.
Till now. Well; 'tis heaven's goodness! For what am I,
Silly wretch, to such a lady, as she that writes so
Pitifully unto me? It wou'd overcome e'en a heart
Of flint: Good gentlewoman! [Weeps.
As you love her, that blushes to write this[Reads.
Hum—yes, yes; she knows I love her: it
Will work—I can't contain my good-nature. [Drinks and weeps.

Enter La Gitterne and De Loome.

De L. Here he is; and stands like a map of
Sundry countries. [Aside.
La G. One wou'd take him for some foreign beast,
And that fellow to show him. How the gander
Ruffles and prunes himself, as if he would
Tread the goose by him!
De L. 'Tis a pure goat!
La G. And will clamber a pyramid in scent of's female.
De L. The wenches swear, he kisses like a giant still;
And will ride his heats as cleanly as a dieted
Gelding. Let's fall in. Signior Silliman!
My best wishes kiss your hand.
[Pg 130]
La G. Continue me worthy of the title of your servant, sir.
Sil. I am very glad to see you well; and hope you are
In good health and sound, gentlemen.
La G. And when shall's draw cuts again for a
Wench, signior, ha?
Sil. Your pleasure [is] to say so.
De L. The slave's rose-drunk, o' my life.
Sil. Please you to take notice of my worthy friend here.
De L. Your admirer, sir. [Salutes Messenger.
La G. Slave to your sedan, sir.
Mes. God bless the good duchess, and all that love the
King, I say, gentlemen, an't like ye.
De L. Pray, sir, what news abroad, or at court?
Mes. News, quotha! Indeed, sir, the truth is I am a
Shoemaker by my trade; my name is Latchet,
And I work to some ladies in the house here,
Though I say't myself; and yet the times were
Never harder, nor leather dearer.
De L. This winter will make amends;
You shall have horsehides cheap, horsehides dog-cheap.
Latch. Cheap, quotha! Why, sir, I'll tell you, (for you
Look like a very honest gentleman), I am put to
Find a pike myself; and must, the parish swears,
Or lose all the shoes in my shop.
De L. 'Tis very brave! Why, you look like a champion;
And have a face the parish may confide in.
Latch. Fide, quotha! sir; be judge yourself, if ever
You knew the like. I have been at the trade
[Pg 131] This forty years, off and on; and those children's
Shoes, I have sold for sixpence or a groat upon some
Occasion, we now sell for twelvepence, as they say.
De L. Then the misery is, you get the more.
Latch. More, quotha! Pray, sir, a word. You are a
Courtier, if I may be so bold. They say we must
All be fain to shut up shop, and mortgage
Our wives to the soldiers. D'ye hear any
Such talk, sir?
De L. Some buzzing: but the blades will not accept 'em
Without special articles and a flock of money and
Plate, to keep the babies they shall beget valiant.
Latch. Valiant, quoth-a! Truly, sir, I'll tell ye,
On the truth of a poor man, my Lady de Prate's foot
Is but of the sixes: and yet we pay five pistoles
A dicker.
Sil. My lady's foot but o' the sixes? you lie, sirrah!
By Saint Hugh! there's never a lady i' th' land has a
Prettier foot and leg; if you ha' not spoil'd 'em
With your calf's-skin, sirrah.
La G. Why, the sixes is a good handsome size for a lady.
Latch. Lady, quotha! my life for her's, there's few ladies
I' the court go more upright, nor pay better:
I'll say that.
Sil. You say that? foh! I scorn to wear an inch
Of leather thy nasty flesh shall handle.
De L. O, your worthy friend, signior; and an elder in's parish;
[Pg 132] A pikeman too for the republic. Come, come,
He shall be shoemaker to us all. Canst trust?
Latch. Trust, quotha! My name's Latchet, sir. I
Serv'd eleven years to my vocation, before I
Could be free, and have drunk many a good bowl
Of beer i' th' duchess's cellar since that.
De L. I like a man can answer so punctually
To a thing.
Latch. Thing, quotha! it is our trade, sir.
De L. Spoke like the warden of the company! [Exeunt.

Enter Claudilla, and Dessandro in a nightgown.

Claud. I am at extremity of wonder.
Des. The story may deserve it, lady; when you shall
Cast your thoughts upon the man it treats on;
The circumstances and progress of my love:
Nay, it may raise your anger higher than your wonder;
And work the modest pantings of your breast
Into a hectic rage. I saw this tempest
Gather'd in a cloud, dismal and black, ready to break
Its womb in storms upon me; and I have cast
My soul on every frown and horror you can arm
Your passion with. I have held conflict with the wilder
Guilt and tremblings of my blood to rescue it; but
Heaven and my angry fate has thrown me grovelling
At your feet; and I want soul to break the charm.
Claud. This is a strange mystery, to betray my virtue
With your own; and I shall sin to hear it.
[Pg 133]
Des. If pity be a sin, lock up those beauties
From the view of men; or they will damn all the
Eyes that look upon you.
Claud. Has your blood lost all the virtue it should inherit?
And think you by this treacherous siege to take
My honour in? Let me shun you, or you will
Talk me leprous.
Des. Do, madam.
Tear up the wounds your eyes have made——
I'll keep them bleeding sacrifices to your cruelty.
And when cold Death has cast his gloomy shade
O'er this dust, perhaps you may bestow one gentle
Sigh to hallow it: when you shall know
The height of my desires was but to die worthy
Of your pardon, without the ambition of a bolder thought:
And still had scorch'd and smother'd here without
A tongue, only to beg your mercy to my grave.
Claud. Play not yourself into a shame will rūst your brightest
Worths, and hide your dust in curses and black fame:
I now shall think your valour flatter'd, that can
Sink it to such effeminate and lovesick crafts,
For our stale women to mollify the usher with.
Dessandro has a fame, high and active as the voice
It flies on; and could you wander from your
Religious self in such a dream as this?
Cleara's virtue has an interest near your heart,
Should wake you to your first man again.
Des. Cleara still is here in the first sculpture of
Her virtues; and I their honourer.
Claud. No more!——
My grief and shame are passionate, to find
So much bad man got near your heart; and shows
This sick complexion in your honour, more
[Pg 134] Tainted than the face of your imposture.——
You have play'd the excellent counterfeit, and your skill
Does make you proud: you cannot blush— [Exit.
Des. She's gone;—
A star shot from her eye, and light'ned through
My blood. I must provide for thunder and
Thy revenge, De Flame, as horrid as thought can
Shape it.

Enter Cleara.

Cle. Sir!
Des. Proud love, I'll meet thee with burning sighs
And bleeding turtles at thy shrine. [Aside.
Cle. This is too bold a hazard for your health,
Which yet sits wan and troubled on your cheek.
Des. Madam!
Cle. Indeed, I'll chide ye. [Aside.
Des. O, cry ye mercy!
Some retired meditations.
Cle. I shall observe 'em;
Let me but leave you with the joy to know
I stand not in the hazard of that frown.
Des. We'll kiss next time.
Cle. Sir!
Des. Or never.
Cle. Ha! d'ye know me?
Des. So well, methinks we should not part so soon:
Our hearts have been more ceremonious, and hung
In panting sighs upon our lips, to bid adieu.
One kiss must now sum up all; and seal their
General release. I know Cleara more constant
To her virtue and brave mind, than to ask heaven
Idle questions. 'Tis fate, not will. [Exit.
Cle. So.
[Pg 135] I feel thy marble hand lie here: 'Tis cold, and heavy!
How my poor heart throbs under it, and struggles to
Find air! not one kind sigh lend thee a gale
For yonder haven! It's gone! quite vanish'd!
Beshrew me, it was a most horrible apparition!
I wou'd not see it again
In such a cruel look for all my hopes;
Yet it held me gently by the hand, and left a warm farewell there,
As my Dessandro us'd. As my Dessandro, said I?
O, how fain my hopes would mock my apprehension;
And that my sorrow!——
I'll woo thy pity with my groans, kind earth!
And lay my throbbing breast to thine!
Until I am dissolv'd into a spring,
Whose murmurs shall eternally repeat
This minute's story.

Enter De Flame.

De F. Ha!
Cleara, drown'd in her own tears? Sister! Cleara!
Cle. I had a gentle slumber; and all the world
(Methought) was in a midnight calm.
De F. Dear girl,
Clear up those sad eyes and my cold doubts.
Prythee, tell me, is our Dessandro dead?
Cle. Heaven defend!
De F. No! what then, in all the volumes of black destiny
And nature, can throw you into this posture?
Unkind Cleara, why dost dissemble it? I see him
Breathless on thy cheek, and lost.
Cle. Lost for ever.
[Pg 136]
De F. My fears did prompt me so. For ever!
There's horror and amazement in the thought.
See, Cleara, my eyes can overtake thee.
Gone at so short a farewell, friend? Death,
Thou art the murderer of all our joys and hopes.
Cle. Sir, Dessandro's well, very well; we parted
Even but now.
De F. What!
Cle. O brother, I have lost a jewel that he gave me;
I shall vex my eyes out.
De F. Beshrew this serious folly; you have vex'd my
Blood into a sullen fit.
Cle. You shall not chide me;
Tell me, didst ever in thy life meet with a grief
That made thy poor heart sick, and did divide
Thy sleeps and hours into groans and sighs?
De F. Never, [I] thank my indifferent fate.
Cle. Nor in the legend of some injur'd maid,
That made thine eye to pause, and with a tear
Bedew it?
De F. I cannot untie riddled knots, Cleara.
Cle. Come, I'll but dry mine eyes, and tell you a story,
That shall deserve a groan. [Exeunt.

ACTUS TERTIUS. SCENA PRIMA.

Enter De Castro and Dessandro.

Des. Tush! they had only tongue
And malice; and that great zeal they
Seem'd to owe to Rome was unto themselves
[Pg 137] And their own estates. What were they but wranglers
In schools and law? and studied words to make men
Guilty. They liv'd at ease; and slept in purples and
Warm furs; but bold-minded Catiline threat'ned
Their wise sleeps.
De C. There was too much attempt and fact in't.
Des. 'Twas fact then to look sour on a gownman:
They were mere citizens, jealous of their wives
And daughters—that condemn'd 'em too!
De Castro, there's a lethargy in our blood:
We sleep and dream away our lives. If such
Wore purple for well-talking, what shall he merit,
That cures the wounds and smart his country groans with?
De C. The people shall enshrine his name with reverence;
And fill their temples with his statues. 'Tis
The great end we are all born to.
Des. Which can't be, whilst by-respect shall closely
Wound the bosom of our laws and freedom:
For what was't less, that took our father's life?
De C. In whose blow the heads of all brave men were
Threat'ned.
Des. Then, if we dare not do a general good,
Yet let us secure our own dear lives and honours.
De C. The State is full of dangerous whispers.
Des. There's an imposthume swells it.
De C. Wou'd 'twere lanc'd!
Des. Spoken with the soul of Cassius! We have the cure,
And may do it with a little stir. But then
[Pg 138] We must deal like true physicians of state;
And where we find it ulcer'd (though in ourselves,
Friends and allies), not lay soft effeminate hands on't.
Nature has made us nearest to ourselves:
And I would pay the last warm drop of blood
From all these veins, to see the hopes and honours of our blood
(That's now benighted in our father's fate)
Dawn on De Castro's youth again.
De C. No, Dessandro; these hopes are lost upon a high
And angry sea; and I must see fools and stale
Parasites (whose progeny ne'er bled one drop, nor had
A valiant thought to serve their country) begin
A spurious issue on my birthright, that will on tiptoes,
Collossus-like, bestride us, and grasp our fate.
Des. Take me into thy bosom, brave man; we meet
Like amorous streams, and as we ought;
Our honour, life and fortunes have but one heart.
Give me thy hand, De Castro. This sword [Draws.
Our father hath oft made glorious in the blood
Of De Castro's foes; and I'll not doubt,
How much it prompts thy valiant soul.
O brother, tears, and some sad discourse,
Is all that we have paid him yet. Strangers
Can be far braver in their sense unto his fame.
The tears we ought to shed ought to be blood, De Castro!
Blood, warm from their veins, that made us weep
In streams, and mingle it with the dust of vulgar
Feet, as they did his. Swear by all the glorious acts
[Pg 139] Of our great ancestry, their hallowed urns,
Our father's injur'd memory, and all
The hopes and honour we derive from them,
To pay his blood a sad account in some
Revenge, worthy his ghost and our bold hands.
De C. All which religiously I vow to.
Des. And I. So now we are brothers by as strong
Divinity as nature. I'll not break open the
Design, till we shall hear't confirm'd by higher warrant:
Anon meet at the Duchess-Dowager's.
De C. Claudilla's?
Des. Yes; where you shall hear something worthy the
Encouragement of our father's spirit in thee.
I am now to wait upon the duke: he
That keeps us what we are.
De C. The duke!—--I have the game in view,
And now discern what I must pay him for my place.
Des. You are full of thoughts, my lord!
De C. Brother, our lives are on the cast; but 'tis not that
Does interpose 'em. There's something in my fears
Still presents Cleara. Take heed, Dessandro;
A virgin's tears leave sad and fatal prints.
Des. Your wishes are a brother's; but those dreams
Chill not my sleeps. Think on that concerns us
Near, and be active.
De C. I shall not fail ye. Farewell! [Exit De Castro.

Enter Pirez.

Pir. Colonel Dessandro!
[Pg 140]
Des. Your lordship's pardon: Which way walk you?
Pir. As you please to dispose me; my business
Now designs it so: 'Tis there, in short.

[Gives a paper, which Dessandro reads.

I love this gallant mastery of a man's self:
I look'd his temper would have flam'd about my ears.
Not a sparkle in his brow, nor the least change of blood.
Strange! I have seen him ruffl'd into a storm,
And all fury: now, not a frown nor smile!
Des. De Flame? Well,
My lord, this is a down-flat challenge.
Pir. I brought it for one.
Des. I accept it, with thanks to your lordship, and shall be
Ready to serve you in any power I have.
Pir. 'Tis not worth it, colonel.
Des. The Lord de Flame's angry, it seems, that Fortune should
Give me right without his hand in't; he has turn'd his style
High and strangely on me: But I shall coolly respite
That, till we have room to argue it. That he is
Far more worthy his expectations in the duchess, I can
Confess: that's no assent, sir, to my quarrel, nor yet
A law to her. For those, whom her thoughts please
To think most worthy, are so to her.
Pir. But does not bind the opinion of another.
Des. Nor that opinion her freedom.
Pir. Yet there be rules in virtue, from which all noble
Judgments should take their level, even in love itself.
[Pg 141]
Des. If it be thought she's too partial in her grace
To me, I shall dispute it, as 'tis question'd.
Pir. I come not to add exceptions, or to make any.
Des. I stand not in so cheap a rank, but that her
Favour may make my services as meritorious
As his lordship's, and can engage as much blood and
Fame for't.
Pir. You know him of a noble breast, and one
That will not flatter weak pretences into truths;
Nor let 'em work with such impressions on his soul,
Did not his honour bleed in't. Sir, I come,
As one that ever honour'd your great parts,
And wish that you could think on't o'er again.
Think how black you must expect that morn to rise
Upon your wishes, when you lead her to the altar;
Where the faint lights with blue and ghastly flames
Will receive ye; and all the things of holy ceremony
Present pale glimmerings to your eyes, to fright your bride
Back unto her first vows. And then, methinks,
Each tear and groan the fair Cleara sends
To overtake ye, should show a speaking fury
To untwine your trembling hands.
Des. No; nor all the squadrons hell can spare
To aid them—though her brother led them on,
And you brought up the rear!
Pir. Sir!
Des. Pish! the meanest thought Claudilla
Pleases to bestow here (under this humble guard)
Must be without the affright (my lord) of all the
Dangers in his muster, stare they like giants
On me, and in armies. As for Cleara,
If she held flattering glasses to her thoughts
[Pg 142] Which render'd 'em wide and airy, they must not forfeit
Me. You may deserve her better. I'll not start, sir,
A scruple from his demands and yours. Expect it,
And so farewell. [Going off.
Pir. Farewell.——The time?
Des. I shall think on't.
Pir. Shall? It must not so tamely be thought on.
Des. How?
Pir. I spoke it, sir.
Des. Are you sent to own the quarrel?
Pir. No; but look on't with so much soul, as I think't
An honour to wear a sword in't.
Des. Go, go hang it in your mistress's chamber!
It stinks, sir, of perfume.
Pir. It may, sir (for destiny has many ways to the wood[26]),
Cut your throat; and then I'll give't your footboy.
Des. My throat, Pirez! that saucy thought has
Ruin'd thee. [Fight.

Enter Sampayo and De Loome.

Samp. Hold, hold, colonel.
De L. My lord, y'are hurt. [To Pirez.
Pir. I must owe him this for't.
Des. Canst talk yet?
Samp. Command your passion; see how the common herd
Come gazing in. Do not become their talk
And wonder. Noble Dessandro! put up, my lord!
Thank ye. [They part.
[Pg 143]
De L. Sir, my lord duke sent me to tell you
He expects your company.
Des. I wait on him. [To Pirez.] Bid the ladies tear
Their clean smocks to wrap you in.
Pir. Insolent man! [Offers to fight.
Samp. Again! [Exeunt.

Enter three Townsmen, as the Watch.

1st T. Was not I about to tell you so? They
would be afraid of true men, when we came.
2d T. By'r lady; but that mun not serve their
turns; for we must know flatly which was plantan
and which defendam,[27] or we shall discharge but a
sorry conscience to the king's justice.
1st T. I'll take my oath upon the corporal Bible,
I saw two glittering swords run a tilt, and two to
that, if need be.
2d T. Neighbours, I cannot tell; we are old
men, or should be at least; some of us have lived
threescore years and upwards in a parish, as they
say; I name nobody; and therefore it is good to be
sure, and make all our tales bonum fidrum: for we
are not all one man's children. And yet, if I be
not mistaken, I am sure I saw three more, and
glittering ones indeed, as you call them. God bless
every good man and woman from the like! They
e'en yearned my heart; and yet, by my fay, I am
a hundred and two, come the time.
3d T. You talk like sucking infants. Neighbours,
I'll be sworn, if I were to take my oath before
the best man living, high or low, there was
twenty drawn swords, little and great. I'm sure,
I might ha' seen 'em, like a fool, had I been worth
my head, but my little boy Jack did.
[Pg 144]
1st T. La, there; and that same's a murrain
wise boy, if you mark him, and will see a thing, I
warrant you, as soon as the wisest of us all, were
he twice as old again.
3d T. I could ha' seen too at his bigness, for all
I'm lame now, God help us! You remember the
Powder Plot?
2d T. Powder Plot, quotha! I shall not forget
it, while the world stands.
1st T. Nor I, were I to die a thousand deaths.
3d T. That very day was I working in our garret.
2d T. Say you so?
1st T. Nay, neighbours, beshrew me, this may
be true; for I have known this man here able to
do as tight a day's work by noon, as the tallest
fellow the king keeps (God bless him!) take him
from top to toe.
3d T. All's one for that. Mark me! there has
not been a glass window there time out of mind:
since I came nor after; and I tell you truly (I'm
a false liar else) I smelt the powder as hot as if it
had been done the next day.
1st T. See, see, the wind! the wind, neighbours,
is much; God bless us!
3d T. Go to; I am no made fool, though a born
fool, my masters. True, the wind may be something,
as you say. But if there had not been
something else, I would not give a fart for't. I did
not work at court with a master-carpenter for
nothing, my boys; and see the king's grace fasting
and full, as I did, to a hairsbreadth, as they
say. Let me alone for casting my cards, give me but
ground enough; and yet I can neither write nor
read, heaven make me thankful!
2d T. Heaven make us all thankful! I have seen
the king too in my prime, and gave him a beck
[Pg 145] upon his milk-white steed; as near as one should
say, what's this? and all his royal lords and ladies
sporting.
1st T. Ay, ay, those were the days (peace be
with 'em!) a poor man's tale might be heard at court.
There are some lords and ladies now were lousy then.
3d T. Go thy ways, by the rood! Nay, he'll have
his old talk, for all the world, up and down.
1st T. It was ever my condition; I care not who
knows it; and yet I never scathed the least sucking
child that begs his bread; but little does
another man know where the king's shoe wrings
him, but those that wear it, as my mother would
often say; and she lived long enough to know it.
3d T. Nay, that's certain; the king's but a man,
as we three are; no more is the queen, if you go
to that. Did you never hear of my uncle's observations?
He's but a poor knave (as they call him),
but such a knave as cares neither for king nor
kæsar, the least on 'em.
1st T. Then he may be hanged, neighbour Palmer.
3d T. If he be, he's not the first that has been
hanged for treason, I hope. [Exeunt.

Enter the Duke and Claudilla.

Duke. That frown was shot with pretty tyranny
From your brow; but this kiss shall sacrifice
Me to my Claudilla's bosom.
Claud. You'll sully your honour in't; widows
are but rumpled stuff.
Duke. That again! By all my hopes and by
thyself, the next and greatest—
Claud. Your brother's crown's betwixt us.
Duke. I did [that] but to sharp De Flame into some
Expression of his wit and love.
[Pg 146]
Claud. Alas! he sighs all.
Duke. And, like some crude chaplain, spits most
Of his mind.
Claud. Yet the tame dove can tire me sometimes
With penn'd speeches, when we're alone, and flatter.
I'm resolv'd to bestow him on my woman.

Duke. Now he can come to hand. Ha, ha, thinking men never love heartily, unless they be dank powder.

Claud. His courtship is like thick embroidery upon
Slight stuff. I must confess, I never
Lov'd the man, only as a rich gown out of
Fashion, for a day's change sometimes at home,
When I take physic.
Duke. You may wear him as you please, and to what
Purpose; his honest nature was meant you so;
But Dessandro is the man of men (I must confess),
That I could wish most near you now.
Claud. Dessandro!
Duke. And suddenly, before your honour blush too palpably:
I have discovered him and his devotions.
Claud. Then your brains were in his plot.
Duke. 'Twas his own.
Claud. Stol'n from some romance or play! but
For De Flame——
Duke. One wheel will move another to the period.
Claud. Methinks, his soft and easy spirit should be
The fitter engine, and more pliant to your aim.
Duke. He has too much of Venus in his mixture; all his
[Pg 147] Desires would be at home still in the circle of those
Eyes: the other is all fire, and thinks that fame
Too cheap, that's found so near; and there will
Want such men abroad.
Claud. But where's my honour, duke?
Duke. Lock'd in my heart and cares: the king must die,
Claudilla, to smoothe the way, and lift us to our wishes.
Claud. That still is talk'd on.
Duke. His last glass is now turn'd, and runs apace.
He gives thee to Dessandro, and is your guest; and
That night receives eternal thanks for't. Then
(My fair) Dessandro cannot want lustre and honour for
Your bed, nor thy commands, what all Castile can give.
Claud. I understand not, sir.
Duke. Thou shalt in time. O my Claudilla! my best and nearest
Joy, our loves have been entire as a flame: one centre
To our thoughts and wishes; and crown our bosoms with
Delight and safety. But they are come.

Enter De Castro and Dessandro.

Claud. I have not known so little of his fame
To be a stranger to his worth. Sir, I honour it:
Nor am I so proud and dark in my opinion,
To think I stand upon myself, but stoop in
Honour to one of his deserts and blood. This is
The way, my lord, I ever summ'd up man, and set
His titles down but for cyphers.
De C. Observe. [Aside.
[Pg 148]
Duke. Which will most clearly show his merits, and heighten
Them in value to you; for, madam, look on him
In the spring of his deserts; and you'll say, titles
Are but narrow spheres; and if honoured actions
Be the soul and breath, he's then above them,
And stands in the first rank of men.
Des. I shall want life to pay this debt. [Aside.
Claud. But, with your grace's favour, I must be tender here:
For I stand a tall mark to voice and censure;
And need not tell your highness, with what strong
Expectation the Count de Flame hath long
Time visited me.
Duke. If you will stand engaged, madam,
I am silent.
Claud. No, sir—but——
Duke. You expect honour and fortune to your bed:
I know Castile owns not a subject (I'll not
Except myself; and had I another's freedom, I should
Not speak my wishes in a second person) that
Looks not with ambition on you: but, madam, weigh
Them all; take but off their grains of fortune,
He shall hoist them into the air; and to my
Wish he's come. Dessandro, your name was
Mentioned—happily, I hope. Let me present
His value to your grace's hand; and to a sister,
Madam, I would say, her bosom.
De C. You purchase our poor lives too highly, sir.
Duke. I would have rich jewels set to their worth;
And shall be proud to give any advantage unto his.
The Duchess shall not slight me in't: I will be
[Pg 149] Heard against the proudest courtship that shall
Charm her. Come, my lord, what sport will you
Win some ducats at?
De C. I will lose some at any your grace pleases.
Duke. My brother has got a fortunate hand of late
'Gainst all the court: I cannot rise at even terms
From him.
De C. I saw him draw deep from your grace last night.
Duke. Two thousand ducats; but I expect 'em
with interest again.
Des. I cannot pawn myself to the unworthy ends
Of flattery and compliment; but this honour
Outbids the value of a thousand lives:
What this poor glimpse of expression can show me in;
Saints are not more unfeigned in their prayers,
Than I to serve you.
Claud. I shall not doubt, how much I may be indebted
To your noble wishes; but let me add, sir, he that
Lays out for me without my warrant, shall scarcely
Put it on my account for thanks—much less, debt.
Des. Not good devotions!
Claud. Them I desire, and shall repay.
Des. Then pay back mine.
Claud. I'm not to learn my prayers, sir.
Des. Teach me yours, that I may turn the virtue
Of their charms back to your bosom.
Claud. Colonel, mine would hardly please you;
I never pray for wars.
Duke. You have back-friends, my lord?
De C. That some malignant cloud does interpose
The king's cheerful favour, I am most sensible.
[Pg 150]
Duke. It wou'd spread to me too, if they durst.
De C. Had they but so much virtue left, they durst
Own their names by, I should make pale envy blush.
Duke. Come, we'll to cards, and leave them to parl. [Exeunt.
Des. Madam, but mean it in a smile.
Claud. What!
Des. Love.
Claud. Fie!
Des. Yet stay; the air has busy wings. But give
The thought consent, and I will take it in soft
Whispers from your lip.
Claud. You will?
Des. I feel it creep in flames through all my blood!

Enter De Flame.

Claud. Sir, the Count de Flame!
Des. With a black evening in his face!
De F. O my faithful Achilles, I came
To give you joy!
Claud. Who! me, sir?
De F. My virtuous friend and you.
Claud. Of what?
De F. Of your entertainment under him. Y' have a brave commander,
And he a—I cannot be angry enough to tell you what.
Claud. I begin to doubt his wits; he looks so ghastly.
De F. Yes, I see a devil in those eyes, that makes my hair
Stare upward. False woman, my love durst scarce
Doubt before, what now I find and tremble at.
[Pg 151] But heaven has wrath in ambush and scorpion-stings!
Claud. For what, my lord?
De F. Duchess, thy perjury and warm engagements
To this, this huge impostor!
Claud. Sir, he has crack'd his brains with poetry;
Pray, forgive him——
Des. Count, you know what privilege this roof can give
You on my anger, or else I should make your frenzy
Tongueless. Don't requite it barbarously on her,
That gives you leave to live by it. Gather your
Scatter'd wits up; go home, sir, and repent.
De F. Privilege!
I'll meet thee in a ring of flames, or on the tempest
Of some billow, upon whose back the raging north wind strides:
Yet I'd not ha' thee lose one spark of thy full man in noise
And air; that when next we greet, I may find thee worthy
My revenge. This frailty now protects thee.
Claud. Uncivil man, know the way back, or I shall
Let that justice loose upon you you deserve.
De F. Your centaur there, you mean; he must
Stare bigger to move a hair of mine.
Claud. You sha' not stir, sir; as you love me, do not:
Let him die mad.
De F. Do kiss him, and clap his cheek.
[Pg 152]
Claud. And circle him in my arms from your pale envy.
Does that make you foam? Look ye— [Kisses Dessandro.
De F. He shall not blossom there.
Claud. He shall, though thou dost bribe the Furies
With thy soul.
Des. Madam, your commands will hold me, till I scorch away!
I am in flames and torment, and there's not so much
Mercy under heaven, but your own, would let him use
That tongue a minute longer. Thou has seen this
Sword reeking from hilt to point, and sweating
Showers of blood o'er thy head; whilst I bestrid thy
Life, and rescu'd it 'gainst many gallant foes:
And durst thou tempt it to thine own throat now?
Prythee, begone; and let us meet no more.
There's something in thy youth I still can love,
And will forget to call thee to account for this.
Be wise unto thyself, and ask this lady pardon.
De F. O my blood! Must I bear this! I am
More cold than marble, sure!
Claud. Within there! Where's his grace?

Enter Servant.

Serv. At cards, madam.
De F. O, cry you mercy! your bak'd meats sha' not cool for me;
I only wish that they may choke ye. That paper, sir,
I sent, wou'd be worth your noble answer.
Des. 'Tis there again, and has stopp'd the use I took it for.
[Pg 153]
De F. Ha! I'll make thy name a boy's play,
And kill thee on the threshold of thy door.
Des. Go, go, take your rest! When you are
Recovered, I may own you.
De F. Thou hast not blood enough to answer this. [Exeunt.

Enter Pirez and Sampayo.

Samp. You tell me strange ones.
Pir. But true ones.
Samp. Nice windings!
Pir. This duke can strangely back his purposes,
Where they like him. 'Tis a fair lift
To Dessandro's fortune; his stars shin'd.
Samp. True; she has a spacious fortune; but I shall
Tell your lordship what perhaps you know not.
Pir. You may.
Samp. She has no blood. From her first, an honest
Tradesman's wife, who left her very rich and
Handsome, the duke (as he still keeps a
Kennel for that purpose) had her presented
To him for his game; remov'd her from the
Cuckoo's nest into another sphere; but with all
Caution and private sleight; and you must
Imagine, now she spreads a larger wing;
Stirs not abroad, but studded like the night
With flames; and at length becomes the court's
Discourse and wonder; but still keeps[28] the
Country her retiring place.
Pir. Unknown!
Samp. Or unsuspected, as the duke's instruments dealt it;
And the young Henrique being in those parts
[Pg 154] With our king's brother for sport, casually (as 'twas plotted)
Visits her house, falls in love, and marries her. This
Is the epitome.
Pir. I hope the Duke Bereo had no dull hand in't.
Samp. 'Tis thought (only by me, sir,) [he] keeps his
Acquaintance to this day.
Pir. It must be fatally answer'd somewhere;
Heaven has a justice.
Samp. The preparation makes huge noise.
Pir. 'Tis well the king's a guest; their triumph
Might miscarry else.
Samp. The king gives her in church. Methinks
The Count de Flame must needs be all a-flame at it:
And I believe, sir, your affront bleeds freshly in him.
Pir. It must be put to an account somewhere.
Samp. To return his challenge and honour with such a scorn
Must work such a spirit to high extremes.
Pir. The saddest story is his sister.
Samp. A rose new-blown, and flung aside to wither in
Her sweets! Poor innocence! that has much chang'd
My opinion of Dessandro.
Pir. His resolution and ambition are like vast trees,
Whose spreading tops hide their own roots
From the kind sun.
Samp. Let out unto so vast a pride, as shades all his natural
[Pg 155] Virtues, or makes 'em grow up rank and sour.
The event will tell us all.
Pir. I wish it without blood. Your lordship's for the solemnity?
Samp. My attendance ties me to his majesty's person.
Pir. My best wishes to your lordship. [Exeunt.

FOOTNOTES:

[26] [The common saying is, "There are more ways to the wood than one."]

[27] [Plaintiff and defendant.]

[28] [Old copy, kept.]


ACTUS QUARTUS, SCENA PRIMA.

Loud Music.

Enter the King, Cardinal, Duke, Duchess, Dessandro, De Castro, Sampayo, ladies bearing up her train, voices, lutes: they pass over.

Manent De Loome and La Gitterne.

De L. So by this time the confines ring
Of our great solemnity.
La G. She became his hand bravely, and with so skilful a brow,
As if the first fruits of her honour were to be gathered yet.
De L. Our duke will lick his lips at this night's sport.
La G. And wind her up for him, 'twill go hard else.
De L. That shall not hinder our sport, I hope.
La G. Expect the steward and his bottles; I'll warrant you.
De L. The ladies too! we shall not tickle heartily else.
La G. Where are the great ones bedded?
De L. I' th' old place.
La G. I' th' corner lobby?

[Pg 156]

Enter De Flame and Cleara disguised.

De F. You belong to the Duke de Bereo, sir?
De L. Who told you so?
De F. A friend that wou'd commend me with a poor suit
Unto you, sir, if you be Signior de Loome.
De L. But this is no year for suit, sir.
De F. Mine brings thanks ready-told, sir; look ye:
All double pistoles, signior.
De L. Sir, I shall try my power, and be ready in any
Service t' ye, for my friend's sake.
De F. D' ye know who 'tis?
De L. Hum! no matter; I'll undertake your business.
De F. Sir, can you please to pardon some light gold?
De L. You shall find me a gentleman in anything for my friend's sake.
De F. Nay, sir, it weighs a hundred pound at all, peradventures.
De L. And I'll tell you one thing of myself, sir, more than
Perhaps my friend rememb'red: I am very honest, where
I take; and every man is not to be trusted in matters
Of such consequence. A very fair purse, I assure you!
De F. Nest and birds are all your own.
De L. Your business is done, believ't, sir; please you to kiss
The king's hand into the bargain?
De F. At fitter opportunity, let me be ambitious of your
[Pg 157] Offer: but I shall woo your courtesy to be only a
Looker on now.

De L. Anything, sir, you can make worthy your request. Nay—I hope, you do not wish me [to] forfeit good manners—as I'm virtuous.

[Compliment for the door.

De F. I am a stranger to the way. Gentlemen, know yourselves, I beseech you.
La G. To obey you, signior.
De L. Sir, you need not speak on't to this man:
He's but my lord's barber. Since you command it so—

[Exeunt De Loome and La Gitterne.

De F. Light, light, revenge! heave up thy gloomy tapers!
That thou may'st see thy smeared altar shine
In blood. Come, my Cleara! my better soul!
Whose gallant mind will leave thy name
In the first place of women, and raise thee temples.
Bravest of thy sex, I could expire on thy cheek,
And pay thee reverence, my most excellent sister.
Cle. Just heaven and your brave virtue (my dearest brother)
Has waken'd my dull breast and trembling sex:
I do not feel one pale or coward thought;
But all [are] high and active to my wish.
De F. I see it lovely in thy brow: like the gleaming
Dawnings of the morn, when day first kindles;
Yet our presage is fair.

Enter Duke, whispering with De Castro.

Cle. The Duke!
De F. Now, innocence, guard thyself! the wolf is up:
[Pg 158] See, how mischief teems and quickens on their brow:
Some black thing is spawning: night must be midwife to't:
If we stay, my poniard will break loose. [Exeunt.
Duke. Who's that?
De C. Some of the duchess's servants, I believe, sir.
Duke. Your hand will lay a new foundation to a kingdom;
And I am busy how to divide it with thee, when
We can call it ours.
De C. 'Tis his last night with mankind; the poison, sir,
Will do't so subtlely: whilst he but holds the
Knife, the least warmth attracts, and so dispreads
Itself through his blood and spirits. Not any
Struggling for't with nature; his life steals from
Him in a gentle slumber.
Duke. Grow in my bosom, till you spread to the first honours
Of your wish. My fortune is too narrow for your
Merits, to whom I owe it and all my power, brave friend. [Exeunt.

Enter Steward, Butler, Cook, and Maids.

Stew. Come, my masters: the great ones shall not
Have all to themselves: we'll have a civil
Bout or two to get us a stomach to bedward,
My sweethearts.
Cook. Noble master steward!
But. Brave master steward!
[Pg 159]
Cook. The fire of my respects shall ne'er go out unto you.
But. Nor mine be quench'd.
Stew. Here, cook, here's a bit for you to lick your lips at:
And here's a clean napery for you, butler. [Gives each a wench.
Take it. [A dance.
Stew. So, so; I am almost spent; every man to his function.

[Exeunt.

Enter King, Cardinal, Dessandro, Duke, Duchess, attendants.

King. The night begins to frown at our uncivil stay;
And Hymen's tapers do burn out apace:
Good night; you shall not stir a foot, Dessandro.
Duke. All the wishes of a bridal bed crown
your wishes and embraces!
Card. And all the blessings of true joy.
Duke. To bed, to bed! [Exeunt.

Enter De Loome, De Flame, and Cleara.

De L. You are as melancholy as [the] day, when sun sets:
I hope you do not doubt my promise?
De F. No.
De L. Ye sha' not: I'll not leave you, till the grant be yours.
Be confidant; and that's more than a courtier is bound
To by his oath. Sir, where are you? Why, you were
Living but e'en now; could speak—had sense, too:
Ha' you seen anything against nature or stomach?
[Pg 160] Hum! sweetheart, has thy master any fits o' th' mother [To Cleara.
Or falling-sickness? Pretty knave! 'tis pity
This face was made for breeches.
De F. Ha!
De L. I am glad you are come to yourself again.
De F. You are pleasant.
De L. I would ha' you so: I have provided some mirth
And good company for you. Please you, but spare an
Idle hour from your sleep, we'll allow't again in
The total of your business (I must not lose his
Money). If you can smile, you shall not want a
Subject: Besides, we shall have the wit of a
Handsome lady or two, and hear their voices.

Enter Steward, and a man with bottles.

Look ye, sir, here's the imprimis of the house:
Master steward himself, whose company may be worth
Your observation. Signior Silliman, this gentleman
Is a friend of my lord duke's: pray, let him know he's welcome.
Stew. I am but the duchess's poor steward, sir, but my
Place is at your command, sir. You shall not have
Me claim kindred of her for all that; yet
Sir Thomas de Loome here can say something,
If he please, sir.
De F. Thank ye, sir.
Stew. Look ye, Sir Thomas, I never fail; here be the
[Pg 161] Perquisites of life and good company. There's that
Will elevate voices. Come, disburthen thyself in
That lobby, my honest rational camel!
Is this gentleman dumb? He can say nothing but
Thank you, sir.
De L. I fear he's planetstruck.
Stew. 'Tis great pity; yet he makes very gentle signs.
De F. I'm got into a dark and slippery labyrinth, and
Grope but by a spark; whilst every pause is fatal.
No. It had miscarried; and the king's presence
Was a sacred guard: now, to break in upon them were
To betray our lives to nothing. Sure, heaven will not
Lose the glory of such a justice, and by a hand so
Justly engaged.

Enter La Gitterne, Torguina, and La Prate.

De L. The ladies! Good girls, this deserves a double
Thanks. Here's a gentleman, whose merits may
Invite him to your acquaintance, ladies.
Tor. I shall ever study that due honour, by all the
Ambitiousness of your humble servant, sir.
La P. You may please to pardon her, whose demerits
Make her modest in her expressions to honour
You, noble sir.
De F. You engage a poor life to your virtue.
De L. What, ladies, have you put 'em together
for a brave boy to-night?
La P. That's as the dice run, sir.
La G. The colonel will find a piece of service on't to-night.

[Pg 162]

La P. If he put her to the worst, 'twill be worth her pardon, being so tried a soldier.

Tor. If his valour should be shortbreath'd, a retreat may be honourable sometimes.

La P. If he fight not flat coward, and make it in policy.

Tor. Sir, we have read over Aristotle's Politics and Polybius to that purpose.

La P. Who calls policy the very breath of all war.

Tor. And so, by your ladyship's good licence, in all battalions, leaguers, skirmishes, sieges, invasions, parleys, treaties, truces, and other cessations.

De F. Excellent ladies!

De L. For the theoric.

La P. We can say something to the practic too, signior.

Tor. Both concerning your postures and motions, as
Which may be necessary for service: her ladyship has
Written a small tract for her private experience,
To show how they may be reduced, and a man
Exercis'd with far less trouble, but with as much
Activity and proportion of comfort.
La P. For body and service, madam?
Tor. I mean so: I warrant you this gentleman
Understands me.
De F. And will not your goodness bestow it on the public?
It would rank your name amongst the illustrious
Benefactors of the general cause.
La P. I know not what I may, sir, when the press is fit
For a woman of quality. Is this gentleman a soldier?
De F. That ambition has grown with me from the
Cradle, madam.
[Pg 163]
La P. I shall render myself with more endearment to
Your worth, and ever subscribe to soldiers as the bravest men.
De L. The duchess, I hope, will be of your opinion;
But, madam, had I the use of that key for an
Hour or two, I would take some notes in shorthand
Behind the hangings.
La P. You wou'd?
De L. Yes, indeed, my precious wit, I shou'd.
De F. That key!
Tor. Signior, pleaseth you to think our humble
Invitation worthy the grant of your society.
De F. I could wish the trouble of ten lives more, to be
Accepted in your command, fairest of ladies,
La P. Were all our days multiplied into years, and
Those years to lives, 'twere but a span of time
To study our thanks in.—— Exeunt.

Manent Silliman and La Prate.

Sil. Madam! lady!
I never knew what bandage was until now:
I fear the golden heart you sent me was
Enchanted: I long to see you.——
La P. What d'ye mean, sir?
Sil. Ha, ha, ha! hum! nothing, madam, but there
Be them that love a good nature with all their heart;
That have four hundred pounds a year, and money
In their purse to be knighted, if need be.
La P. Wit and opportunity assist me!
The thing will make an excellent husband for the
[Pg 164] Times; and four hundred pounds a year is a
Considerable fortune to boot. I must take him at
His bond, or perhaps die in the list of stale chambermaids:
A court-plague for a misspent youth and service.
Sil. I am a gentleman already, else the heralds took my
Money for nothing: and methinks, madam, you
And I might——
La P. What, signior?
Sil. Be as wise as our forefathers.
La P. You and I?
Sil. Yes, what say ye to you and I? Is not you and I
Good Spanish? Why, madam, I am able to warm
My own sheets, and get children without the help of
A doctor; and can kiss as warm and close:
And you shall swear my breath is sweet.
La P. Y'are merry, sir, beyond my apprehension.
Sil. Pardon me, lady, if I be: I mean no harm,
I protest.
La P. Very witty!
Sil. I am what I am: but I was never beholden to any
Living thing for thus much wit: I might
Have been an arrant younger brother, but for my mother——
Thereby hangs a tale, madam, and yet I cou'd ha' danc'd
My cinque pace in Greek at a dozen. Alpha,
Beta, Gamma, Delta, cost me five shillings:
Can you believe me, lady? By this light, you shall
Wear this diamond! There; sha't, sha't ha't:
Sha't, sha't, sha't ha't.
La P. There is such sorcery in your words!
Sil. No, no, no; troth, love me: come, thou shalt;
[Pg 165] By this——nay, never sigh, my dear; they are
All orient, sweet wench: Thou art worth all Spain
For a good disposition——
La P. You will undo me, master steward.
Sil. Pish! who? I undo thee? my life! thou dost wrong
Me: canst find in thy heart to think so? away, away.
La P. But is this profession honourable, sir?
Sil. I scorn to deal upon dishonourable terms. Do I
Kiss like a man that would propound dishonourable
Conditions?
La P. Men are so nice and cunning!
Sil. Do'st think me a Jew; swear me to anything.
La P. Well, you have taken a poor heart at
advantage; and make me blush to confess it.
Sil. Kiss me; here's my hand, till death us do part:
Thine more than mine own, Signior Bouche
Ouverte Sillimano: seal'd and deliver'd; but
I hope, lady, there is no quit rent to be paid out of this copyhold.
La P. Not for your life, sir.
Sil. Lawful possession then, and thou'rt mine own. [Exeunt.

Enter De Flame and Cleara.

De F. So, let 'em drench their souls in laughter: kindle
Thy noble heart into a flame, my sister!
Fate cannot give nor we ask more unto
Our cause: all things conspire and prompt us to't.
Just and divine revenge!
[Pg 166] I'll strew thy midnight haunts with cypress wreaths,
And wear thee in rich medals. Propitious goddess!
This night thy wan and meagre cheek shall blush,
And smile with warm and wanton blood. Night grows heavy-ey'd,
And drops her slumbering head in her dark bosom:
And now their rage and lust will make them ripe
To bleed. Let us embrace, and interchange
A sigh or two, Cleara: whate'er become of me,
Thou wilt wear chaplets in Elysium.
Cle. My hopes and joys are yours, dear sir, and heaven,
I hope, will not divide them.

[Unlocks the door, and discovers them.

De F. See, what a modest blush
Sleep has cast o'er their guilt!
Cle. Here is a look
Tyrants would bashfully gaze at, and fear
To think it mortal. Glorious hypocrisy!
Virtue is at wonder in herself, and looks pale,
To own what she has given.
De F. I should mock heaven's justice, to let 'em dream
Their souls away in such a calm: we'll startle
Them into horror of their sin, and then
Let 'em see the vengeance they deserve.
Cle. Ye chaster powers, to whom I and my virginity
Groan, may every drop breathe incense to your justice?
Whilst thus I break their springs open. [Stabs Claudilla.
Claud. O Dessandro! O, whose hand's that?
Cle. Cleara's, Cleara's! carry that name in thy last breath
Down to the shades of lust and perjury.
De F. So quick and brave, Cleara?
[Pg 167]
Claud. O! [Expirat.
Des. Cleara! madam, madam! your sleeps are troubled——
Who's there? De Flame!

De F. Raise not thy voice an accent: if thou dost, by my eternal hopes and soul! this strikes it back unto thy heart. See'st thou revenge sit pale upon the point? 'Tis steeled with virgin's curses, and shall fly like lightning through thy blood; and it is a justice thy vast pride hath lost thee to.

Des. O, what hast thou done?
A deed that flinty Scythians and curl'd Ethiops
Would hide their eyes from.
De F. Our revenge shall wear a glorious title. Know'st
Thou that injur'd face? It is Cleara's, injur'd Cleara's.
Des. Cleara!
De F. What see'st thou on that brow?
Des. Murder!
De F. Horror and guilt unto thy soul.
Des. I'll not be tamely butcher'd, coward. Without there!
Help, help, help!
De F. Whirlwinds and earthquakes cannot do it.
Think on thy sin.
Cle. Thy perjury.
De F. Thy lust. [Cleara stabs at him.
Des. Cleara! O, thou hast a skilful hand in
Murder. Help, help! murder!

De F. So falls a wretched statue from its haughty station, when Fate would make it ominous and fright a state. What a thick cloud steams from his tainted blood! The air shrinks back, and with dull wings fans it from heaven.

[Pg 168]

Enter De Loome, La Gitterne, Torguina, &c.

Tor. Murder, murder! 'twas his voice.
De L. It was his voice.
Tor. The key?
La G. Gone!
Tor. Cut from my side! I'm betray'd!
De L. Look, search the room: where's the stranger?
La G. The door is fast. [Knocks.
De F. You may come in: make up your wonder there. [Opens the door.
Tor. My lady murder'd!
De L. You have astonish'd heaven.
Tor. And pull'd eternal curses on your head.
De F. They'll fall like brittle shafts upon my shield.
Cle. Unjust Dessandro! yet on thy lip I'll
Tender my last vows, that the world may tell
I loved thee dead—and this—and this——

[Kisses him, then stabs herself.

De F. Hold, hold that cruel hand! Cleara! sister!
De L. Cleara! This is a horrid scene, my lord.
De F. 'Twould not be worth my name, did it not strike
Amazement through your souls, and leave a paleness
On his cheek that hears it. But here, here I
Could melt, transfuse my brains through my sad eyes,
Till they wept blood, and dropp'd their jelly forth:
She was a jewel too rich for our dull orb.

Enter more servants.

You need not multiply your fears; I am
Too proud of my revenge to start from it:
[Pg 169] Let the law frown, and fall in tempests on me.
Cowards repent,
When valiant blood ne'er pales at the event. [Exeunt.

ACTUS QUINTUS, SCENA PRIMA.

Enter Pirez and De Loome.

De L. A sad court indeed, my lord.

Pir. As sad a kingdom! Where the news is spread, men that hear it stand struck, as if their own passing-bells did call unto them.

De L. Kings' glasses are as brittle as their meanest subjects', their footings as slippery and uncertain. He was a brave prince, and his life will be memorable in Castile.

Pir. His death is much admired for the sudden strangeness of it. What opinion give the physicians on't?

De L. They've a hard name for't, if I could think on't.

Pir. Not suspicion of poison?

De L. How, my lord! by whom would you suspect it?

Pir. Nay, I dare suspect none, nor don't; but such quirks of state I have read of in the days of old.

De L. I never saw him discount a day with more content and freedom; his very thoughts were hearty.

Pir. 'Twas a fatal one, and will give a sad discourse to our posterity, and leave it on record in bleeding characters.

De L. The count's resolution had too much blood and cruelty in't.

[Pg 170]

Pir. Dessandro urged as much as mortal sense could groan with.

De L. I now call to mind, still as he spake and glanced upon Cleara's face, I had strange startlings in me.

Pir. As the times have.

De. L. The times, my lord? for what?

Pir. The king's death, sir.

De L. Why, my lord, the times are not of the worst presage, though that may cloud them a little.

Pir. I am no Booker, sir, nor Lilly to prognosticate what seven years may travail with; but I could wish the price of knaves may fall.

De L. Your lordship's virtues command not a more humble and observant creature. [Exit.

Pir. This fellow must be muzzled.

Enter Sampayo.

Samp. Who's that?

Pir. The duke's thing, his trifle-broker.

Sano. The king's now.

Pir. Castile did never hear more news, I fear.

Samp. We shall now see the fine turns and games of the state.

Pir. When fools and knaves chase trump.

Samp. Now heads and points will be the sport.

Pir. The king will have the heads then, I believe.

Samp. Observe 'em.

Pir. So near?

Enter Bereo, nobles soliciting him with papers.

All. Heavens bless your majesty! Heavens keep your majesty!

[Within.

Please you hear your most faithful subjects?
[Pg 171]
Duke. Who are they, that bark so?

De L. A rout of porters, prentices, and sailors' wives, with such a spawn, who are modest petitioners your majesty would give 'em leave to govern you in some matters of state, and humbly pray to be admitted of your privy council. Here's another, sir, from the most reverend bags of the city to purchase all the churches of your majesty for warehouses; and this, sir, from the corporation of weavers, cobblers, and feltmakers: that you would please to give 'em leave to fire all universities and schools of learning, that the profane might better see the truth.

Duke. No more. Their stinking breath will stifle me! Keep back their clamour. Wealth and ease have made the rascals wanton, and profane their allegiance. My lord [De Castro kneels], you need not kneel in a cause, that equally concerns us with you; and the groans of your brother's wounds echo unto our sleeps. Our honour and the laws bleed in them, until a justice stop their issues, which our own care shall take a speedy account of. Sampayo! [Whispers.

Samp. I shall, my lord. [Exit.
Duke. O my lords, we are circled in a tide of grief,
Where every billow threatens a grave: but in your loves
Our hope takes new life, which we as zealously
Shall sacrifice again to you and yours.
Let me be beholden t' you for a minute's conference
With my own sad thoughts. [Exeunt.
So take breath, my hopes.
Whilst we with pride look upon the world behind us,
And then survey the glory of our progress
And success, the print of every step is glorious,
[Pg 172] And methinks we stand like Rome herself, in midst
Of all her triumphs, when her threat'ned head
Lean'd on the spangled breast of heaven, and
Jostled with the gods; from whose imperious frown
The world took all her laws and dooms. Yet her
Vast story shall look pale to mine; and time
Begin his great example here.
Castile, thou now shalt blush for thy neglect:
I'll print thy scorns on thy own brow, till my revenge
Look lovely as did Rome's, in her bright flames,
To Nero; and Nature shall repent, that she
Mistook the man Fortune meant thine. Then up,
My soul, and from thy glorious stand see
Thy proud hopes and wishes court thee! Thou hast
Been bashful yet, and hid in blushes. Make
Room for thy more spacious thoughts, and let
The petty world know this: all things
Depend upon the breath of gods and kings. [Exit.

Enter two Officers.

1st Off. There, there! Lay that in the place; so, so; here, help to spread this carpet. Quick, quick!

2d Off. Will our new king be here to give the forked herd an oration?

1st Off. An halter! Thou dost so fumble! But what's the general voice of the king's death? Here's the mourning for that bar.

2d Off. Marry, some think he died against his will; and others, that his brother—Where stands this?—will bury him very royally——

1st Off. Hum! and others think if thou wert[Pg 173] hanged, when 'tis thy due, there would be quickly a knave less. Despatch, despatch! I hear them coming.

Enter Judges, the two Ladies, DE LOOME, LA GITTERNE, and others. De Flame stands at the bar.

Off. Pray, by your leave; make way; give back there! For shame, sir; you press so hard upon the judges, they scarce have liberty to breathe. Clear the bar; peace!

1st Judge. My lord, here's none but knows you, and I believe do grieve to see you stand thus, and for a fact of such a bloody nature. A gentleman of your fair hopes and fortunes, blood and spirit, and other excellent parts, all cast upon untimely hazards by such an act (as indeed I know not how to name it). You needs must, therefore, be worthy our grief; and I presume you are not now to know the laws and customs of this your country, with what religious care they look unto the safety of our lives and our estates, and with what strictness on perpetrations of such a dye——

2d Judge. Especially, where innocent blood is shed; and therefore we, being but the tongues of the law (my lord), may hope you will interpret the justice of it clearly from our mouths.

De F. Please you, most reverend lords, is there aught else but this I am to stand accused for?

2d Judge. Not that we know.

De F. Then, my good lords, you need not labour much to find out circumstances to condemn me; nor do I wish or think, my lords, to satisfy the law by talking in my own defence. Nor will I brand myself with such a fear, much[Pg 174] less hope, as to bespeak a melting tear. That were to wish the act undone, and rob my justice of a glory I would be torn to atoms for. No, I come to meet the law; and if your wisdoms can contract the spacious volumes of it into one doom, I shall not startle, or divide my breast. My resolution was above it, when first I undertook to be my own law and judge.

1st Judge. I grieve to hear this language from you: it takes much from the man that you have seemed, my lord; stain not your noble and religious fame with such an atheism.

2d Judge. Look back into the deed, my lord. See, what a tide of blood pursues you, and breaks upon your soul in angry seas.

De F. Look back to our fame, grave lords, the blood and honour of our family; nor think it my vainglory to urge it here, since the cause does. There has not yet, in all the ages it hath served the state, one stain fallen on our escutcheon; and although, my lords, these honours are derived to us in a vast circle of time and blood, the passage must be still through our veins, and so are treasured here as heat in fire; so as the least taint in us reflects a blush on the first virtue of our great ancestors. And what has man called sacred but his honour? That dwells not in the smiles of Fortune; nor can she place the fool or coward in that rank. And can your wisdoms think ours so cheap, as to become the scorn of such?

2d Judge. My lord, 'twould better satisfy all those that know you to hear your grief than passion.

De F. O, cry ye mercy! He was your lordship's kinsman; yet I will add, he basely did betray a love and innocence more noble than a thousand of their lives. Poor Cleara! perjured[Pg 175] his faith and honour, and quite dissolved their holy ties in the lascivious arms of her, whose name shall not take honour from my breath.

2d Judge. We spend time; pray, give those ladies leave to speak.

Enter De Castro.

De C. My lords, the king is come to sit amongst ye.

Off. Stand back there, ho! you, Goodman Roundhead, you'd best breathe in the king's face: pull back your horns, sir!—D' you mutter? Take that, and crowd further. The rogues are as hollow as a vault, and sound like one with a blow.

Enter Bereo, De Castro, attendants; at the other door, the King himself.

[Within.] The king, the king! Whoo?
1st Judge. What's the matter?
Duke. De Castro, is this a mask or apparition?
King. Seize on the traitor!
Duke. Ha!
King. Hence, monstrous thing!
Duke. Traitor!
King. Yes; and a foul one. My lords, suspend
Your wonder. We thank ye. Prodigy to thy blood,
We have given you leave to wanton in your guilt
And see at what mighty impiety it would reach;
To fasten you the surer in your toil.
Take your places. Durst thou derive the glory
Of our grandsires to thyself, whilst with unnatural hands
[Pg 176] Thou tear'st their graves up; mingling blood and shame
With their bless'd dust? Have we not shar'd our kingdom with thee:
Let thee into our heart nearer than nature,
If possible? And could all this beget
No better thanks than poison? The very thought
Unnerves my joints.
Duke. Treason? Who dares avow it, sir,
Or charge the least stain upon my loyal bosom,
And make it good? I challenge all mankind,
And envy from the nether hells; 'tis but
Some engine to betray me to you.
De C. I did but quit a sin,
Which would have betray'd us both eternally,
And bore so sad a shape of horror,
As it affrighted all within me, and, like a frenzy,
Held me, till I had purged it from my bosom.
Duke. Had thy revenge no other way but this,
To undermine the virtue of nature against itself?
My lords, there's forgery in't, poison, and treason!
It did amaze my innocence. Sounds, that my blood
Do shiver at. And did not I see his father's treason
Blush yet upon his brow, I should not think
Castile infected with the thought.
1st Judge. My Lord De Castro,
What proof or circumstance have you to urge
This clearer to his highness?
Duke. Grave patriots of the law,
Give me your leave in this, that would blemish
The honour of my fame for ever. Let him produce but any
That may accuse me to your reverend judgments,
And Bereo will lay down his head to the block.
But I know your wisdoms will discern a plot in't:
[Pg 177] And how far he stands incompetent against me
In faith and honour.
King. What say you, my lord?
De C. Sir, what I have told your Majesty—my life
Shall make good on my torture: my brother being dead,
Heaven only and my conscience can clear it:
And to quit my innocence of malice, your own conscience
Must tell you, my lord, that when first you used my brother
To ensnare me, and press'd it in the duchess's garden,
How much I argued to divert you; but then—
Duke. My lords, I desire justice and reparation
On the villain.
2d Judge. My Lord. De Castro,
The king has pleased to give us your relation,
In which (though the least tenderness cannot be
Impertinent to his sacred safety) there's nothing
That can raise the law to any argument, which may reach
The Duke, scarce as a peer, which looks upon him
As the second man in whom all our safeties and hopes are stor'd:
Not to be touch'd with every jealousy,
But at a high and reverend form of proof.
Duke. Let me appeal unto yourself, dread sir;
Which of my actions or services of state
Can be suspected? And do you not perceive
That where his father left, his treason would begin?
De C. Help me, dear truth, or else I shall suffer
For my loyalty. Great sir, be pleased——
Duke. That most judicious judge has well observ'd,
[Pg 178] There is an envy in his soul would reach
From you to your succession, and leave the character
Of his father's treason on it in blood and ruin.
Wretched man, trust me, I grieve for thy slidefrom piety;
And when I look upon the love and pity
I have cast away on such a thing, I repent
My easy faith. Good heaven! what will men fall to?
King. Take the Count unto the citadel, and let none
Be admitted to him upon peril— [Exeunt with De Castro.
Brother, they were no easy insinuations
That did engage our fears to this: but such
As nam'd a higher proof and circumstance.
And, we confess, it struck our nature with some passionate strugglings:
Not that the wish of our ambition is fix'd here,
And would revive a term of years
To rob ye of one minute's glorious trouble:
Yet, my lord, if our laws take care
To preserve the meanest subject's life, our own
Ought not to be look'd on with less providence:
And fears are happy cautions many times.
But mine retire.
Let our desires meet, and reconcile me to your arms—— [Embrace.
His merit shall find the justice it has scandall'd,
If it stand guilty.
Duke. If, my lord? Can yet that scruple stay behind?

Returns with De Castro and Dessandro. A physician and chirurgeon, &c.

De C. See, royal sir, I have met a miracle, [They kneel.
[Pg 179] That heaven has preserv'd and sent to guard your
Sacred highness and the truth.
De F. Dessandro risen from the dead?
King. Dessandro!
Des. The vilest wretch alive, who throws himself
At your feet in tears of blood, and so much
Horrid guilt as calls for all the wrath of
This and the other world: not daring to
Lift my hopes to any pardon. O sir!
'Twas he (back'd by that bad Prince and other giddy
Hopes) that would have seduc'd my brother to
That act against your sacred life.
King. Would it went no further? Duke de Bereo,
Can now your brow change colour?
Duke. 'Tis all imposture.
King. Fie, fie; don't glory against heaven, that hath
Left thy sin to subterfuge.
Duke. You would not fright me from myself?
King. Well; our guard!
Doct. May it please— [Kneels.
King. Rise, What would you say, sir?

Doct. Under your gracious licence this. We found our princely lady and the lady Cleara cold in their clodded gore: this Colonel so spent in expense of blood, as we could not say alive; for that half spark of heat left in his veins was then e'en going out. Our care having preserved and kindled it to life again, after his shattered faculties could pant and breathe, he called for pen and ink, and caused us to write what is there contained.

[Gives a paper.

Des. Of too much truth; and I blush for those few
Drops of blood I have left to expiate.
[Pg 180]
Duke. I am betrayed and lost!
Could'st be in love with that saint life, for one
Poor minute's smile, to betray it to ignominy and law?
I could trample on thy skull, until thy reeking
Brain sparkled about the dust. See how busily
They contract their dusky brows! Consult things
Safely, and let some reverend statute be ordained
In honour of all cowards. [Aside.] De Castro! for this good
Service know, 'twas I that laid thy father's head
Upon the block: complotted with the Portuguese
To make him guilty to the King: and envying that
He spread with so much shadow in the state, by a close
Faction rend'red him odious to the people: an engine,
I knew could not fail. I hurried thee to the Duchess's
Wanton bed, Dessandro, knowing De Flame's high
Blood would quit the debt I owed thee——
Des. He's proud all mischief can call him patron.
Duke. Nor had I shar'd the pleasure of a kiss to you
Or him, but that our purpose needs would have it so.
De F. Sir!
Duke. The language is plain and true.
De F. Then Claudilla was your court-mistress, Duke?—
'Twere profanation to say whore!
Duke. Young lord, I can forgive that language
In a suffering man.
De F. Forgive it!
Duke. Forgive it; and had De Flame himself
[Pg 181] Enjoy'd her bed, and reap'd the scattered minutes
Of our love, he must have found another gloss more
Safe and honourable.
De F. Must! What saw you in me did promise
So tame a thing, as to feed on your high scraps?
Glorious mischief!
Des. My lord, I beg your mercy; and to deserve it
Will weep the remnant of this unworthy life
Unto Cleara's name.
De F. All mankind has my peaceful wish, but this
Black speckled serpent, whose load doth make
The earth to groan and sweat.
Duke. My fair Claudilla, methinks I see thee
Lovely in that ghastly trim of death, while
Yet thy soul was struggling through thy cruel
Wounds.
De F. The day begins to frown and creep into
Eternal night: we'll bed together in one grave, Cleara.
Castile shall hide us in a golden heap, and name me
With her patriots for taking this foul monster
From her bosom.
Duke. I'll find thee in the myrtle groves below,
And leave a story that shall tell the world,
How much I lov'd thee. [They stab each other.
King. Desperate atheists!
Duke. You were beforehand, sir.
De F. You've overtaken me: the world is hid in a
Cloud, and shrinks to chaos. O, whither
Must I wander in this mist? So, so—
I feel thee glide away, and leave me sunk
Upon a quicksand. [Expirat.
[Pg 182]
King. What a thirst of blood burnt up their hearts,
That they must quench it in their own?
Duke. Hast thou not air enough, my panting soul?
O, what a stitch is coming! [Expirat.
King. Wou'd thou had'st better lov'd thyself and us:
For while thou priz'd the honour of that blood,
We priz'd thee with it. O ambition!
The grandame of all sin, that strikes at stars
With an undaunted brow, whilst thus thy feet
Slide to the nether hell! Like some vast stream,
That takes into its womb all springs that neighbour by it,
And would proudly carry all their currents in its own:
Swells o'er its banks, and wantons like a tyrant.
Take hence the sight: it stirs our indignation.

[Exeunt cum corporibus.

Omnes. Long live the great and good King of Castile!
King. We thank ye, and just heaven which hath (unto wonder)
Unknotted all these mischiefs, and kept us safe:
And because we do not love to use the laws
In their extremity, or execute with blood,
Where we can moderate without; but chiefly,
Dessandro, to endear ye more to heaven
In your acknowledgment, we do enjoin you
To some religious house of Orders, there
By an humble life to expiate your guilt.
Des. Upon my knees I do acknowledge
Your God-like mercy.
King. De Castro
Our thanks shall make your loyalty
[Pg 183] Exemplary to all times: nor wish we to live longer
Than to gain the faith of all; that we may find
Ourself and title most secure, and greatest
In your loves; which gives us more
Than giddy fortune can——
This is our fate, and to the wise is known;
All goods without us are, not (sure) our own.
In tenui labor est; at tenuis non gloria.

[Pg 184]
[Pg 185]

[Pg 186]


THE ADVENTURES OF FIVE HOURS.


EDITIONS.

The Adventures of Five Hours. A Tragi-Comedy.—Non ego Ventosæ Plebis suffragia venor. Horat. Fr. 21o, 1662. Imprimatur, John Birkenhead. London. Printed for Henry Herringman, at the Anchor in the Lower Walk of the New Exchange, 1663. fol.[29]

The Adventures of Five Houres: a Tragi-Comedy. As it is acted at His Royal Highness the Duke of York's Theatre. The third impression. Revised and corrected by the author, Sir Samuel Tuke, Kt. and Bart. Nonumque prematur in Annum. Horat. de Art Poet. London: Printed by T. N. for Henry Herringman, at the sign of the Blew Anchor, on the Lower Walk of the New Exchange. 1671. 4o.[30]

FOOTNOTES:

[29] The title of the copy of 1664 is precisely the same as that of the first edition. It is in 4to.

[30] There was a fourth impression in 1704.

[Pg 187]


PREFACE.

Sir Samuel Tuke, of Temple Cressy, in the county of Essex, was a colonel of horse in the king's army, and served against the Parliament, as long as the affairs of his master had any prospect of success. He was very active in that rising in the county of Essex which ended fatally to some of the chief actors in it. From the prologue to the present play, spoken at court, it appears that he intended to retire from business soon after the Restoration, but was diverted from that design for some time by his Majesty's recommending him to adapt a Spanish play[31] to the English stage, which he executed with some degree of success. On the 31st March,[32] 1664, he was created a baronet. He married Mary, the daughter of Edward Sheldon, a lady who was one of the dressers to Queen Mary, and probably a Roman Catholic, of which persuasion our author seems also to have been.[33] He died at Somerset House, on the 26th of January 1673, and was buried in the vault [Pg 188]under the chapel there. Langbaine, by mistake, says he was alive at the time he (Langbaine) published his "Lives of the Dramatic Poets."

Sir Samuel did not escape the censure of his brother poets.[34] One of them, speaking of Cowley, says he

Writ verses unjustly in praise of Sam Tuke.[35]

And in the same poem—

Sam Tuke sat, and formally smiled at the rest;
But Apollo, who well did his vanity know,
Call'd him to the bar to put him to the test,
But his muse was so stiff, she scarcely could go.
She pleaded her age, desir'd a reward;
It seems in her age she doated on praise:
But Apollo resolv'd that such a bold bard
Should never be grac'd with a per'wig of bays.

There is some reason for assigning to Sir Samuel Take part authorship of "Pompey the Great," which is generally supposed to have been translated by Waller, Lord Dorset, Sir C. Sedley, and Godolphin, and printed in 1664. At the end of an edition of Sir John Denham's poems, "printed by J. M. for H. Herringman," 1684, is a catalogue of other works published by the same bookseller, and among them this entry:—"By Samuel Tuke, and several persons of honour. Pompey."

Sir Samuel was one of the first members of the Royal Society, and wrote a history of the ordering and generation of green Colchester oysters, printed in Spratt's "History," p. 307.

FOOTNOTES:

[31] [By Calderon. It is supposed that the Earl of Bristol, author of "Elvira," assisted Tuke.—See Halliwell's "Dictionary of Old Plays," 1860, in v. Halliwell there quotes a passage from Evelyn's "Diary," where Evelyn, by a slip of the pen, speaks of Sir George Tuke, an oversight which is left uncorrected.]

[32] Heylin's "Help to History."

[33] Wood's "Ath.," vol. ii. p. 802.

[34] Dryden's "Miscellanies," vol. ii. p. 92.

[35] These were prefixed to the edition of "The Adventures of Five Hours," printed the year after the author was made a baronet, but without bearing on the title any mark of his advancement. He is there called only Colonel Tuke.

[Pg 189]


TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
HENRY HOWARD
OF NORFOLK.[36]

Since it is your pleasure, Noble Sir, that I should hold my fortune from you, like those tenants, who pay some inconsiderable trifle in lieu of a valuable rent, I humbly offer you this poem, in acknowledgment of my tenure: and I am well pleas'd with this occasion to publish my sense of your favours, since it seems to me a kind of ingratitude to be thankful in private.

It was bred upon the terrace-walks in your garden at Albury; and if I mistake not, it resembles the place where it was brought up: the plot is delightful, the elevations natural, the ascents easy, without any great embellishments of art.

I designed the character of Antonio, as a copy of your steady virtue; if it appear to those, who have the honour to know you, short of the original, [Pg 190]I take leave to inform them, that you have not sat to me long; 'tis possible hereafter I may gratify my country, for their civility to this essay, with something more worthy of your patronage and their indulgence.

In the interim, I make it my glory to avow that, had Fortune been just to me, she could not have recompensed the loyal industry of my life with a more illustrious title than that which you have been pleased to confer upon me, of Your Friend. To which (as in gratitude I am bound) I subjoin that of

Your most humble servant,

S. TUKE.

FOOTNOTES:

[36] This dedication, and the prologue and epilogue which follow, are only found in the first and second edition.—Collier.

[Pg 191]


THE FIRST SCENE IS THE CITY OF SEVILLE.

The Prologue enters with a play-bill in his hand, and reads—This day, being the 15th of December, shall be acted a new play, never play'd before, call'd The Adventures of Five Hours.

A NEW PLAY.

Th' are i' the right, for I dare boldly say,
The English stage ne'er had so new a play;
The dress, the author, and the scenes are new.
This ye have seen before ye'll say; 'tis true;
But tell me, gentlemen, who ever saw
A deep intrigue confin'd to five hours' law?
Such as for close contrivance yields to none:
A modest man may praise what's not his own.
'Tis true, the dress is his, which he submits
To those who are, and those who would be wits;
Ne'er spare him, gentlemen; for to speak truth,
He has a per'lous cens'rer been in's youth;
And now grown bald with age, doating on praise,
He thinks to get a periwig of bays.
Teach him what 'tis, in this discerning age,
To bring his heavy genius on the stage;
Where you have seen such nimble wits appear,
That pass'd so soon, one scarce could say th'were here.
Yet, after our discoveries of late
Of their designs, who would subvert the state,
You'll wonder much, if it should prove his lot
To take all England with a Spanish plot;
But if, through his ill conduct or hard fate,
This foreign plot (like that of eighty-eight)
Should suffer shipwreck in your narrow seas,
You'll give your modern poet his writ of ease;
For, by th' example of the King of Spain,
He resolves ne'er to trouble you again.

[Pg 192]


THE PROLOGUE AT COURT.
HE ADDRESSES HIMSELF TO THE PIT.

This refers to the author's purpose of retirement, at that time when his Majesty recommended this plot to him.
As to a dying lamp one drop of oil
Gives a new blaze, and makes it live awhile;
So th' author, seeing his decaying light,
And therefore thinking to retire from sight,
Was hindered by a ray from the upper sphere,
Just at that time he thought to disappear.
He chanced to hear his Majesty once say,
He lik'd this plot; he stay'd, and writ the play:
So should obsequious subjects catch the minds
Of princes, as your seamen do the winds.
If this attempt then shows more zeal than light,
'T may teach you to obey, though not to write.
He looking up, and seeing the King, starts.
He kneels. He rises.
Ah! he is there himself. Pardon my sight,
My eyes were dazzled with excess of light;
Even so the sun, who all things else displays,
Is hid from us i' the glory of his rays.
Will you vouchsafe your presence? You, that were given
To be our Atlas, and support our heaven?
Will you, dread sir, your precious moments lose
To grace the first endeavours of our muse?
This with your character most aptly suits,
Even heaven itself is pleas'd with the first-fruits.
[Pg 193]

PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION.

Having been desired by a lady, who has more than ordinary favour for this play, though in other things very judicious, to make a song, and insert it in that scene where you may now read it, I found it more difficult to disobey the commands of this excellent person, than to obtain of myself to write any more upon subjects of this nature.

This occasioned the revising of this piece, upon which I had not cast my eyes since it was first printed; and finding there some very obvious faults (with respect to their judgments who have been pleased to applaud it), I could not well imagine how they came to escape my last hand; unless poetic rage, or (in a more humble phrase) heat of fancy, will not at the same time admit the calm temper of judgment; or that, being importuned by those for whose benefit this play was intended, I was even forced to expose it before it was fit to be seen in such good company.

This refers only to the dress, for certainly the plot needs no apology; it was taken out of Don Pedro Calderon,[37] a celebrated Spanish author, the nation of the [Pg 194]world who are the happiest in the force and delicacy of their inventions, and recommended to me by his sacred majesty as an excellent design, whose judgment is no more to be doubted than his commands to be disobeyed. And therefore it might be a great presumption in me to enter my sentiments with his royal suffrage; but as secretaries of state subscribe their names to the mandates of their prince, so at the bottom of the leaf I take the boldness to sign my opinion, that this is incomparably the best plot that I ever met with. And yet, if I may be allowed to do myself justice, I might acquaint the readers that there are several alterations in the copy which do not disgrace the original.

I confess, 'tis something new that trifles of this nature should have a second edition; but if in truth this essay be at present more correct, I have then found an easy way to gratify their civility who have been pleased to indulge the errors in the former impressions.

If they who have formerly seen or read this play should not perceive the amendments, then I have touched the point, since the chiefest art in writing is the concealing of art; and they who discover 'em, and are pleased with them, are indebted only to themselves for their new satisfaction, since their former favour to [Pg 195]our negligent Muses has occasioned their appearing again in a more studied dress; and certainly those labours are not ungrateful with which the writers and readers are both pleased.

And since I am upon the subject of novelties, I take the boldness to advertise the reader that, though it be unusual, I have in a distinct column prefixed the several characters of the most eminent persons in the play, that, being acquainted with them at his first setting out, he may the better judge how they are carried on in the whole composition. For, plays being moral pictures, their chiefest perfections consist in the force and congruity of passions and humours, which are the features and complexion of our minds; and I cannot choose but hope that he will approve the ingenuity of this design, though possibly he may dislike the painting.

As for those who have been so angry with this innocent piece, not guilty of so much as that current wit—obscenity and profaneness—these are to let them know that, though the author converses with but few, he writes to all; and aiming as well at the delight as profit of his readers, if there be any amongst them who are pleased to enter their haggard muses at so mean a quarry, they may freely use their poetic licence, for he pretends not to any royalty on the mount of Parnassus; and I dare answer for him, that he will sing no more till he comes into that choir where there is room enough for all; and such, he presumes, is the good-breeding of these critics, that they will not be so unmannerly as to crowd him there.

Farewell.

FOOTNOTES:

[37] [Don Pedro Calderon della Barca appears to have been born at Madrid, of a good family, in 1601. Like Lope de Vega, his contemporary, he signalised his dramatic genius at a very early date, producing his "Carro del Cielo" at the age of thirteen. He devoted the better part of his life to the military profession, but afterwards took holy orders, and became a canon of Toledo. He is supposed to have died in 1681. His plays were printed at Madrid between 1683 and 1691, in 9 vols. 4o; but the best edition, according to Brunet, is that published at Madrid, 1760-63, 11 vols. 4o. Some of Calderon's dramas were never printed, and have perished.]

[Pg 196]


PROLOGUE.
SPOKEN BY MR BETTERTON.[38]

If we could hit on't, gallants, there are due
Certain respects from writers and from you:
Which, well observ'd, would celebrate this age,
And both support and vindicate the stage.
If there were only candour on your part,
And on the poets', judgment, fancy, art;
If they remember that their audience
Are persons of the most exalted sense;
And you consider well the just respect
Due to their poems, when they are correct;
Our two houses then may have the fate
To help to form the manners of the state:
For there are crimes arraign'd a' th' poets' bar,
Which cannot be redress'd at Westminster.
Our ancient bards their morals did dispense
In numbers, to insinuate the sense,
Knowing that harmony affects the soul,
And who our passions charm, our wills control.
This our well-meaning author had in view,
And, though but faintly executed, you
Indulg'd th' attempt with such benevolence,
That he has been uneasy ever since;
For though his vanity you gratified,
The obligation did provoke his pride.
But he has now compounded with ambition
[Pg 197] For that more solid greatness, self-fruition;
And, going to embrace a civil death,
He's loth to die indebted to your breath.
Therefore he would be even w' you, but wants force;
The stream will rise no higher than the source.
And they, who treat such judges, should excel;
Here 'tis to do ill, to do only well.
He has, as other writers have, good-will,
And only wants (like those) nature and skill;
But, since he cannot reach the envied height,
H' has cast some grains in this to mend the weight;
And, being to part w' you, prays you to accept
This revived piece as legacy or debt.

FOOTNOTES:

[38] This prologue first appeared in the edition of 1671, after the revival of the play.—Collier.

[Pg 198]


DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

PERSONS. RELATIONS. CHARACTERS.
Don Henrique, In love with Camilla,but rejected. Choleric, jealous, revengeful.
Don Carlos, Near kinsman to DonHenrique. A well-natured, moral gentleman.
Don Octavio, In love with Porcia, but feigning to bein love with Camilla. A valiant and accomplished cavalier.
Don Antonio, Contracted to Porcia by proxy, before he saw her. A soldier, haughty, and of exact honour.
Porcia, Sister to Don Henrique. Ingenious, constant, and severely virtuous.
Camilla, Sister to Don Carlos. Susceptible of love, but cautious of her honour.
Diego, Servant to Octavio, bred a scholar. A great coward, and a pleasant droll.
Flora, Waiting-woman to Porcia. Witty, contriving, and faithful to her mistress.
Ernesto, Servants to Don Antonio.
Sancho,
Silvio, Servants to Don Henrique.
Geraldo,
Pedro,
Bernardino,
Jago,
The Corregidor and Attendants.[39]

The Scene, Seville.

[Pg 199]

THE ADVENTURES OF FIVE HOURS.[40]


ACT I.

Scene—Don Antonio's house.

Enter Don Henrique.

Don H. How happy are the men of easy phlegm,
Born on the confines of indifference:
Holding from nature the securest tenure,
The peaceful empire o'er themselves; which we,
[Pg 200] Th' unhappy men of fire, without the aids
Of mighty reason or almighty grace,
Are all our lives contending for in vain,
'Tis evident, that solid happiness
Is founded on the conquest of our passions;
But since they are the favourites of sense,
Self-love bribes reason still in their defence:
Thus in a calm I reason; but when cross'd,
The pilot quits the helm, and I am toss'd.

Enter Silvio.

Sil. Sir, Don Carlos is without.
Don H. Wait on him in.

Enter Don Carlos.

Don C. Cousin, methinks this day hath longer seem'd
Than usual; since 'tis so far advanc'd
Without our seeing one another.
Don H. If I had not been hinder'd by some business,
I should, ere this, have seen you, t' have told you
Some pleasing news I lately have receiv'd:
You have so often borne with my distempers,
'Tis fit that once, at least, you should partake
Of my good-humour.
Don C. What cause soever has produc'd this change,
I heartily rejoice in the effect;
And may it long continue.
Don H. I can inform you by experience now,
How great a satisfaction 'tis to find
A heart and head eas'd of a weighty care;
For a gentleman of my warm temper,
[Pg 201] Jealous of the honour of his family,
(As yet ne'er blemish'd) to be fairly freed
From the tuition of an orphan sister,
Rich, beautiful and young.
Don C. You know, Don Henrique, for these thirteen years,
That I have been with the like province charg'd:
An only sister, by our parents' will
(When they were call'd from all[41] their cares below)
Committed to my trust, much more expos'd
To the great world than yours; and, sir, unless
Nearness of blood deceive me, short of few
In those perfections which invite the gallants:
Yet, thanks to my temper, cousin, as well
As to her virtue, I have seen her grow,
Even from her childhood to her dangerous age,
Without the least disturbance to my rest;
And when with equal justice I reflect
On the great modesty and circumspection
Of lovely Porcia, I conclude that you
Might well have slept as undisturb'd as I.
Don H. Sir, I complain not of my sister's conduct;
But you know well, young maids are so expos'd
To the invasion of audacious men,
And to the malice of their envious sex,
You must confess the confines of their fame
Are never safe till guarded by a husband.
'Tis true, discreet relations ought to use
Preventions of all kinds; but, dear Carlos,
[Pg 202] The blemish once receiv'd, no wash is good
For stains of honour but th' offender's blood.
Don C. Y' are too severe a judge of points of honour.
Don H. And therefore, having not long since receiv'd
The news that Don Antonio de Mendoza
Is likely to be here this night from Flanders,
To whom my sister, by th' intervention
O' th' Marquis d'Olivera, is contracted,
I will not close these eyes, till I have seen
Her and my cares safe lodg'd within his arms.
Don C. I find your travels, cousin, have not cur'd you
Of that innate severity to women,
Urg'd justly as a national reproach
To all of us abroad. The rest o' th' world
Lament that tender sex amongst us here,
Born only to be honourable prisoners;
The greater quality, the closer kept:
Which cruelty is reveng'd upon ourselves,
Whilst, by immuring those whom most we love,
We sing, and sigh only to iron gates.
As cruel is that overcautious custom
By proxy to contract parties unknown
To one another; this is only fit
For sovereign princes, whose high qualities
Will not allow of previous interviews:
They sacrifice their love to public good,
Consulting interest of state and blood;
A custom which as yet I never knew
Us'd amongst persons of a lower rank
Without a sequel of sad accidents.
Sir, understand me right; I speak not this
By way of prophecy: I am no stranger
To Don Antonio's reputation,
[Pg 203] Which I believe so just, I no way doubt
Your sister's being happy in him.
Don H. Don Carlos, let us quit this argument:
I am now going to our noble friend
And kinsman, the corregidor, to see
If he'll oblige us with his company
At my sister's wedding. Will you come along?
Don C. Most willingly, as soon as I have brought
My sister hither, who has given this evening
To her cousin Porcia.
Don H. I have business, cousin, by the way;
I'll go before, and wait you i' th' Piazza.
Your servant, sir.

[Don Henrique waits on him to the door. Exit Don Carlos.

Don H. This kinsman is my bosom friend; and yet,
Of all men living, I must hide from him
My deep resentments of his sister's scorn.
That cruel maid, to wound me to the heart,
Then close her ears against my just complaints!
But though as yet I cannot heal my wound,
I may by my revenge upon my rival
Divert the pain; and I will drive it home.
There's in revenge a balm which will appease
The present grief, till[42] time cure the disease.

[Exit Don Henrique.

Enter Porcia.

Por. My heart is so oppress'd with fear and grief,
That it must break, unless it finds relief;
The man I love is forc'd to fly my sight,
[Pg 204] And like a Parthian[43] kills me in his flight:
One, whom I never saw, I must embrace,
Or else destroy the honour of my race.
A brother's care, more cruel than his hate:
O, how perplex'd are the intrigues of fate!

Enter Don Carlos and Camilla.

Don C. Cousin, I thought my sister's company
Would not displease you, whilst I wait upon
Your brother in a visit.
Por. Sir, you oblige me with a welcome favour.
I rather should have styl'd it charity
To bring a friend to her, whose cruel fate
Has robb'd her of herself. [Aside.
Cam. Methinks, 'tis pity that a wall should make
The houses two of friends so entirely one
As you and I, and our two brothers, are.
Por. If it be true that lovers live much more
There where they love than where they breathe, I'm sure
No walls can sever us: we're still together.
Don C. Were I not much engag'd, I would not quit
So sweet a conversation; but, sister,
At my return I'll wait upon you home.
Por. For this night, cousin, pray let her be mine,
I beg it of you both.
Don C. You may command; we are both yours. [Exit Don Carlos.
[Pg 205]
Por. My dear Camilla, how I long'd to have thee,

[Porcia throws herself on Camilla's neck.

Where, freely breathing out my grief, I might
Some mitigation from thy pity find!
But since there's no true pity without pain,
Why should I ease by thy affliction gain?
Cam. Ah, Porcia! if compassion suffering be,
And to condole be pain, my destiny
Will full revenge in the same kind afford,
Should I but my unequall'd griefs relate,
And you but equally participate.
Por. If yours, as mine, from love-disasters rise,
Our fates are more allied than families.
Cam. What to our sex and blooming age can prove
An anguish worthy of our sighs but love?
Por. 'Tis true, Camilla, were your fate like mine,
Hopeless to hold, unable to resign.
Cam. Let's tell our stories, then we soon shall see
Which of us two excels in misery.
Por. Cousin, agreed.
Cam. Do you begin then.
Por. You know, Camilla, best how generously,
How long, and how discreetly, Don Octavio
Has serv'd me; and what trials of his faith
And fervour I did make, ere I allow'd him
The least hope to sustain his noble love.
Cousin, all this you know: 'twas in your house
We had our interviews, where you were pleas'd
To suffer feign'd addresses to yourself,
To cover from my watchful brother's eyes
The passion which Octavio had for me.
Cam. My memory in this needs no refreshing.
Por. And how one evening (O that fatal hour!)
My brother, passing by Don Carlos' house
With his great friend and confidant, Don Pedro,
[Pg 206] Did chance to see th' unfortunate Octavio
In your balcony entertaining me:
Whom not believing there he took for you;
My back being towards him, and both dress'd alike.
Enraged with jealousy, this cruel man
(To whom all moderation is unknown)
Resolves to stamp all your neglects of him
In's suppos'd rival, poor Octavio's, heart.
They take their stand i' th' corner of our street;
And after some little time Octavio,
Free from suspicion as design of ill,
Retires: they assault him, and in's own defence
He kills Don Pedro, and is forc'd to fly.
My brother cruelly pursues him still
With such insatiate thirst after revenge,
That nothing but Octavio's blood can quench:
Covering his ill-nature and suspicion
With the resentment of Don Pedro's death.
Cam. Is this the sum of your sad story, Porcia?
Is this all?
Por. No, no, Camilla, 'tis the prologue only:
The tragedy will follow. This brother,
To whose impetuous will my deceas'd parents
(May their souls rest in peace!) having condemn'd
Me and my fortune, treats me like a slave:
So far from suffering me to make my choice,
That he denounces death if I refuse;
And now, to frustrate all my hopes at once,
Has very lately made me sign a contract
To one in Flanders whom I never saw,[44]
And is this night (they say) expected here.
[Pg 207]
Cam. Is such a rigour possible, dear Porcia?
Por. Was ever misery like mine, Camilla?
Reduc'd to such extremes, past all relief?
If I acquaint my brother with my love
T' Octavio, the man whom he most hates,
I must expect the worst effects of fury:
If I endeavour to forget Octavio,
Even that attempt renews his memory,
And heightens my disquiet: if I refuse
To marry, I am lost: if I obey,
I cast Octavio and myself away.
Two such extremes of ill no choice admit.
Each seems the worst; on which rock shall I split?
Since, if I marry, I cannot survive,
And not to marry were to die alive.
Cam. Your story, I confess, is strangely moving;
Yet if you could my fortune weigh with yours
In scales of equal sensibility,
You would not change your sufferings for mine.
Por. What can there be in Nature more afflicting,
Than to be torn from th' object of my love,
And forc'd t' embrace a man whom I must hate?
Cam. Have you not known that object of your love,
And entertain'd the person you esteem?
Have you not heard, and answer'd to his sighs?
Has he not borne his part in all your cares?
Do you not live and reign within his heart?
Por. I doubt no more his faith than my hard fate.
Cam. Tell me, dearest Porcia—if I love one,
Whom I shall never see: suff'ring as much
Without the means of e'er expressing it,
As what I suffer is above expression;
If all my sighs wander in fleeting air,
And ne'er can reach his ears for whom they're form'd;
[Pg 208] If all my passion, all my killing cares,
Must be for ever to their cause unknown;
If their sad weight must sink me to my grave
Without one groan, that he can ever hear,
Or the least hope that I should e'er obtain
Ease by's pity or cure by his disdain—
If this the state of my misfortune be
(As heaven, that has decreed it, knows it is)
Say, dearest Porcia, do you envy me?
Por. What overcruel laws of decency
Have struck you dumb? Have you misplac'd your love?
On such a party as you dare not own?
Cam. No, no, the cause is worthy of th' effect:
For though I had no passion for this person,
I were ungrateful if I should not give
The first place in my heart to such high merit.
Por. If he had been so happy to deserve
Your love, why are not you so just to let
Him know it?
Cam. 'Tis impossible. Ah, that dismal word
Clearly states the difference of our fortunes!
You in your first adventure have been cross'd,
But I, before I can set out, am lost.
Por. Pray, make me comprehend this mystery.
Cam. It is t' open my wounds afresh, dear Porcia;
But you must be obey'd—— [After a little pause.
His excellence the Conde d'Oniate,
Being sent ambassador to th' emperor,
We, having the honour to be near allied
To's lady, went with him. My brother
Was desir'd by her to make that journey:
Whose tenderness for me not suffering him
To let me stay behind, I was engag'd,
And treated by th' ambassadress my cousin
With more respect than I could ever merit.
Por. She is a lady fam'd for great civility.
[Pg 209]
Cam. We had not pass'd much time i' th' emperor's court,
When my dear brother unexpectedly
By urgent business was call'd back to Seville.
In our return (passing too near a garrison
Of th' enemy's) our convoy was surpris'd
And routed by a party of their horse——
Por. Camilla, you begin to raise my fears.
Cam. We, being pris'ners, were hurried straight away
To th' enemy's quarters, where my ill fate
Made me appear too pleasing to the eyes
Of their commander, who at first approach
Pretends to parley in a lover's style,
Protesting that my face had chang'd our fortunes,
And him my captive made: but finding soon,
How little he advanc'd in his design
By flattery and his feign'd submission,
He shifts his person, calls me his prisoner,
And swears my virgin treasure was his prize:
But yet protests he had much rather owe it
To my indulgence than his own good-fortune.
And so, through storms and calms, the villain still
Pursues his course to his accursed end;
But finding me inflexible to his threats
As well as fawnings, he resolves to use
The last and uncontrolled argument
Of impious men in power—force.
Por. Ah, poor Camilla! where was your dear[45] brother
At a time of such distress?
Cam. My brother? he, alas! was long before
Borne away from me in the first encounter;
Where having certainly behav'd himself
As well became his nation and his name,
[Pg 210] Remain'd sore wounded in another house.
Por. Prythee, make haste to free me from this fright.
Cam. The brute approaches, and by violence
Endeavours to accomplish his intent:
I invocate my guardian angel, and resist,
But with unequal force, though rage supplied
Those spirits which my fear had put to flight.
At length, grown faint with crying out and striving,
I spied a dagger by the villain's side,
Which snatching boldly out, as my last refuge,
With his own arms I wound the savage beast:
He at the stroke unseiz'd me, and gave back.
So guilt produces cowardice. Then I,
The dagger pointing to my breast, cried out,
Villain, keep off, for, if thou dost persist,
I'll be myself both sacrifice and priest:
I boldly now defy thy lust and hate;
She, that dares choose to die, may brave her fate!
Por. O, how I love and envy thee at once!

[Porcia starts to her, and kisses her.

Go on, brave maid.
Cam. Immediately the drums and trumpets sound,
Pistols go off, and a great cry, To arms,
To arms! The lustful satyr flies. I stand,
Fix'd with amazement to the marble floor,
Holding my guardian dagger up aloft,
As if the ravisher had threaten'd still.
Por. I fancy thee, Camilla, in that brave posture,
Like a noble statue which I remember
To have seen of the enraged Juno,
When she had robb'd Jove of his thunderbolt.
Cam. Freed from this fright, my spirits flow'd so fast
[Pg 211] To the forsaken channels of my heart,
That they, who by their orderly access
Would have supported life, by throngs oppress:
O'ercharg'd with joy, I fell into a swoon,
And that, which happen'd during this interval,[46]
Is not within the circle of my knowledge.
Por. Y' have rais'd me to a mighty expectation:
Will the adventure answer it, Camilla?
Cam. At my return to life, op'ning my eyes,
Think, dearest Porcia, how I was astonish'd
To find there, kneeling by my side, a man
Of a most noble form, who bowing to me:
Madam (says he) y' are welcome to the world:
Pardon, I pray, the boldness of a stranger,
Who humbly sues t' you to continue in it:
Or, if you needs will leave us, stay at least
Until I have reveng'd your wrongs, and then
I'll wait upon you to the other world;
For, you withdrawn, this will a desert seem,
And life a torment.
Por. High gallantry, cousin, for the first address!
Cam. 'Twas so surprising, that my confusion
Check'd my reply; but I suppose my looks
Did speak the grateful language of my heart;
For I perceiv'd an air of joy enlighten
His manly face; but, O, how soon 'twas clouded
By fresh alarms! we heard the soldiers cry,
Where's Antonio? the enemy is rallied,
And coming on to give a second charge!
[Pg 212] He started up, and with a mien that mark'd
The conflict 'twixt his honour and his love,
Madam (says he) the soul was never yet
With such convulsion from the body torn,
As I from you; but it must ne'er be said
That Don Antonio de Mendoza
Follows those in dangers whom he ought to lead.
Thus the vanquish'd conqueror disappear'd,
Leaving that image stamp'd upon my heart
To which I all the joys must sacrifice
Of the poor remnant of my wretched life;
If properly to live I may be said,
When all my hopes of seeing him are dead.

[She puts her handkerchief to her eyes.

Por. Though you have kept this part of your adventure
Still from me—
Cam. And from everybody living.
Por. I have observ'd the signs of smother'd grief:
I've often seen those lovely eyes much swoll'n.
Those are true tears, Camilla, which are stol'n.
But what said you was his name, Camilla?
Cam. Antonio de Mendoza.
Por. O heavens! Antonio de Mendoza!

Enter Don Henrique.

Don H. I'm pleased to find you speaking of your husband.
Cam. What's that I hear? her husband! [Aside.
Don H. Have you the letter ready I desir'd you
To write to him? I'll send a servant with it
To meet him on the way; 'twill show respect.
Por. You know my obedience, brother.
Don H. 'Tis well, sister.

[Pg 213]

Enter Silvio.

Sil. Sir, here's a servant of Don Antonio
Newly alighted at the gate: he's come
Post from his master, charg'd with letters for you.
Don H. I could not have receiv'd more welcome news.
Go, bring him in. Sister, you may withdraw.

[Exeunt Porcia and Camilla.

Enter Ernesto and Silvio.

Ern. Sir, Don Antonio kisses your hands,
And sends me to present this letter to you.

[He gives a letter to Don Henrique. Don Henrique opens it, and, having read it to himself, says

Don H. I'm glad to find by's letter he's in health;
Yet methinks, friend, he writes but doubtfully
Of's being here this night, as I expected.
Ern. His letter, I suppose, sir, speaks his purpose.
Don H. I'll answer't, and despatch you presently:
In the meanwhile, go: make him welcome, Silvio.

[Exeunt Silvio and Ernesto.

I would to heaven he were arriv'd; I grow
Each minute more impatient. As bodies
Near the centre move with more violence,
So when we approach the ends of our designs,
Our expectations are the more intense,
And our fears greater of all cross-events. [Exit Don Henrique.

Enter Silvio, Ernesto, Geraldo, Pedro, Bernardino, Jago, with some cups of chocolate.

Sil. Methinks, camerade, a sup of chocolate
[Pg 214] Is not amiss after a tedious journey—
Your master's health, sir. [He drinks.
Ern. I'll do you reason, sir.[47]
Sil. Pray, how long is't, brother, since you left Spain?
Ern. 'Tis now five years and upwards since I went
From Seville with my master into Flanders,
The king's fencing-school, where all his subjects
Given to fighting are taught the use of arms,
And notably kept in breath.
Sil. Your master, I am sure, has got the fame
To be a per'lous man in that rough trade.
Ern. He's a brave soldier, envy must confess it.
Ped. It seems so, faith, since merely by the force
Of his great reputation he can take
Our bright young mistress in without a siege.
Ern. If I mistake not, she will be reveng'd
On him ere long, and take him too by th' force
Of her rare wit and beauty.
Ped. Sh' has a fair
Portion, sir, of both, I dare assure you.
Sil. But prythee, brother, instruct us a little;
Tell us, what kind of country is this Holland,
That's so much talk'd of, and so much fought for?
Ern. Why, friend, 'tis a huge ship at anchor, fraught
With a sort of creatures made up of turf
And butter.
Ped. Pray, sir, what do they drink in that country?
'Tis said, there's neither fountains there
Nor vines.
Ern. This is the butler, sure, by his apt question. [Aside.
Friend, they drink there a certain muddy liquor,
[Pg 215] Made of that grain with which you feed your mules.
Ped. What, barley? can that juice quench their thirst?
Ern. You'd scarce believe it could, did you but see
How oft they drink.
Ped. But methinks that should make them drunk, camerade?
Ern. Indeed most strangers are of that opinion;
But they themselves believe it not, because
They are so often.
Ger. A nation, sure, of walking tuns, the world
Has not the like.
Ern. Pardon me, friend, there is but a great ditch
Betwixt them and such another nation;
If these good fellows would but join, and drink
That dry, i' faith they might shake hands.
Ger. Prythee, friend, can these Dutch Borachios[48] fight?
Ern. They can do even as well, for they can pay
Those that can fight.
Sil. But where, I pray, sir, do they get their money?
Ern. O sir, they have a thriving mystery;
They cheat their neighbouring princes of their trade,
And then they buy their subjects for their soldiers.
Sil. Methinks our armies should beat these butter-boxes.
Out of the world.
Ern. Trust me, brother, they'll sooner beat our armies
Out of their country: why, ready money, friend,
[Pg 216] Will do much more in camps, as well as courts,
Than a ready wit, I dare assure you.
Ger. Methinks, camerade, our king should have more money
Than these Dutch swabbers; he's master o' th' Indies,
Where money grows.
Ern. But they have herrings which, I assure you,
Are worth our master's mines.
Ger. Herrings! why, what a devil, do they grow
In their country?
Ern. No, faith, they fish 'em on the English coast,
And fetch their salt from France; then they pickle 'em,
And sell 'em all o'er the world.
Ger. 'Slife, these rascals live by cookery!
Ern. This is the coddled cook, I've found him out. [Aside.
Ber. What kind of beds, sir, have they i' that country?
Ern. This, I dare swear, 's the groom o' th' chamber. [Aside.
Sir, they have certain niches in their walls,[49]
Where they climb up o' nights; and there they stew
In their own grease till morning.
Jago. Pray, sir, give me leave to ask you one question:
What manner of women have they in that country?
[Pg 217]
Ern. The gentleman-usher, upon my life! [Aside.
Pray excuse me, sir: we gentlemen-soldiers
Value ourselves upon our civility
To that soft sex; and in good faith they are
The softest of that sex I ever met with.
Jago. Does any of our Spaniards ever marry
With'em?
Ern. Yes, some lean families, that have a mind
To lard their progeny.
Sil. What, a' God's name, could come into the heads
Of this people to make them rebel?
Ern. Why, religion; that came into their heads
A' God's name.
Ger. But what a devil made the noblemen
Rebel? they never mind religion.
Ern. Why, that which made the devil himself rebel—
Ambition.
Sil. This is a pleasant fellow. [Aside.
I find you gentlemen-soldiers want no wit.
Ern. When we're well paid, sir, but that's so seldom,
I find that gentleman wants wit that is
A soldier. Your company's very good,
But I have business which requires despatch.
Ped. Will you not mend your draught before you go?
Ern. I thank you, sir, I have done very well.
All. Your servant, your servant, &c. [Exeunt.

Enter Camilla, Porcia, Flora.

Por. Was e'er disaster like to mine, Camilla?
Cam. Was e'er misfortune, Porcia, like to mine?
Por. That I must never see Octavio more?
[Pg 218]
Cam. That I again must Don Antonio see,
Yet never see him mine?
Por. I, to be married to the man I hate!
Cam. And I, to have the man I love torn from me!
Por. I am, by robbing of my friend, undone!
Cam. I, for not hind'ring of the theft, am lost!
Por. Ye powers, who these entangled fortunes give,
Instruct us how to die or[50] I how to live. [She weeps.
Cam. Cousin, when we should act, then to complain
Is childishly to beat the air in vain.
These descants on our griefs only perplex;
Let's seek the remedy. You know, our sex
This honour bears from men, in exigents
Of love never to want expedients.
Por. You have awaken'd me, give me your veil:

[Porcia takes off Camilla's veil, and puts it on herself.

Quickly, dear cousin, quickly; and you, Flora,
Run presently, and see whether my brother
Be settled to despatch Antonio's man. [Exit Flora.
Cam. What mean you, Porcia?
Por. If once my brother be set down to write,
I may securely reckon one hour mine;
For he is so extravagantly jealous,
That he distrusts the sense of his own words,
And will weigh a subscription to a scruple,
Lest he should wrong his family by his style:
Therefore, I'll serve myself of[51] this occasion
To see Octavio, and to let him know
That all our hopes are ready to expire,
Unless he finds some prompt expedient
For our relief.
[Pg 219]
Cam. Pray, how and where d' you hope to speak with him?
Por. At his own house, where he lies yet conceal'd:
'Tis not far off, and I will venture thither.
Cam. D' you know the way?
Por. Not very well; but Flora's a good guide.

Enter Flora hastily.

Flo. O madam! he's coming already.
Por. Ah, spiteful destiny! Come, let's retire
Into my chamber, cousin. [Exeunt Porcia and Camilla.

Enter Don Henrique and Ernesto.

Don H. If you desire to see her, friend, you may.
Ern. I should be glad to acquaint my master, sir,
That I have had the honour to see his bride.
Don H. Where's your lady, Flora?
Flo. She's in her chamber, sir.
Don H. Tell her, Antonio's man attends her here,
To do his duty to her ere he goes. [Exit Flora.
Stay here: you'll find her with a kinswoman,
In her home dress without a veil; but you
Are privileg'd by your relation for this access:
I'll go despatch my letter. [Exit Henrique.

Enter Camilla, Porcia, and Flora. Ernesto addresses himself to Camilla, seeing her without a veil.

Ern. Madam, I have been bold to beg the honour
Of seeing your ladyship, to make myself
More welcome to my lord at my return.
[Pg 220]
Por. A rare mistake! further it, dear Camilla!
Who knows what good this error may produce? [Aside.
Cam. Friend, in what state left you your lord and mine?
Ern. As happy as the hopes of being yours
Could make him, madam.
Cam. I would the master were as easily deceiv'd. [Aside.
I pray present my humble service to him;
And let him know that I am very glad
He has pass'd his journey so successfully—
Give him the letter, Flora.[52] Farewell, friend.

[Exeunt Camilla, Porcia, and Flora.

Ern. Now, by my life, she is a lovely lady;
My master will be ravish'd with her form.
I hope this blind bargain, made by proxy,
May prove as happy a marriage as those
Made after th' old fashion, chiefly for love,
And that this unseen beauty may have charms
To bring him back to his right wits again
From his wild ravings on an unknown dame,
Whom, as he fancies (once upon a time)
He recover'd from a trance, that's to say
From a sound sleep, which makes him dream e'er since.
I'll hasten to him with this pleasing news. [Exit Ernesto.

[Pg 221]

Enter Camilla, Porcia, and Flora.

Cam. My melancholy could hardly hinder me
From laughing at the formal fool's mistake.
But, tell me, did not I present your person
With rare assurance? The way for both to thrive
Is to make me your representative.
Por. Most willingly; and I am confident,
When you your charms shall to his heart apply,
You all your rivals safely may defy.
Cam. I wish I could be vain enough to hope it.
But, cousin, my despairs are so extreme,
I can't be flatter'd, though but in a dream.
Flo. Madam, do we go, or what do you resolve on?
Por. I must resolve, but know not what to choose.
Cam. Cousin, take heed, I am afraid you venture
Too much: your brother cannot tarry long,
And if at his return he finds you missing——
Por. Y' have reason; th' opportunity is lost.
What is't o'clock, Flora?
Flo. I think, near seven, for the clock struck six
Just as Camilla enter'd the chamber.
Por. Quick then, Flora, fetch your veil; you shall carry
My tablets to Octavio; there he'll find
The hour and place where I would have him meet. [Exit Flora.
Cam. 'Tis well resolv'd; but where do you design
Your meeting.
Por. In the remotest part of all the garden,
Which answers, as you know, to my apartment;
And Flora has the key of the back-door.
[Pg 222]
Cam. As the case stands, you choose the fittest place.

[Flora returns veiled.

Por. Cousin, I beg your patience whilst I write.

[Porcia writes in her tablets.

Cam. You, Mistress Flora, by this accident
May chance to see your faithful lover Diego.
Flo. He is a faithful lover of himself—[53]
Without a rival, madam.
Cam. Damsel, your words and thoughts hardly agree;
For could we see his image in your heart,
'Twould be a fairer far than e'er his glass
Reflected.
Flo. Madam, I am not yet so very old,
That I should doat.
Cam. Nor yet so very young but you may love:
Dotage and love are cousin-germans, Flora.
Flo. Yes, when we love and are not lov'd again; [Smiling.
For else I think they're not so near akin.
Cam. I have touch'd a nettle, and stung myself. [Aside.
Por. Make all the haste you can, pray, Flora.
Flo. Madam, I'll fly.
Should I not play my part, I were to blame,
Since all my fortune's betted on her game. [Aside.
Madam, has Octavio the other key
Belonging to the tablets?
Por. Yes, yes; I pray, make haste. [Exit Flora.
Cam. Cousin, pray, call for Mirabel, and let her
Divert us with a song.
Por. Who waits there?

[Pg 223]

Enter Page.

Page, bid Mirabel come in, and Floridor
With his lute, and send in somebody with chairs.
Cam. Pray, cousin, let her sing her newest air.
Por. What you please.
Cam. Tell me, prythee, whose composition was it?
Por. Guess, and I'll tell you true. [They bring in chairs.
Cam. Octavio's?
Por. Y' are i' th' right.

Enter Mirabel and Floridor.

Por. Mirabel, sing "Mistaken Kindness."

The Song.[54]

Can Luciamira so mistake,
To persuade me to fly?
'Tis cruel-kind for my own sake
To counsel me to die;
Like those faint souls, who cheat themselves of breath,
And die for fear of death.
Since love's the principle of life,
And you the object lov'd,
Let's, Luciamira, end this strife,
I cease to be remov'd.
We know not what they do are gone from hence,
But here we love by sense.
If the Platonics, who would prove
[Pg 224] Souls without bodies love,
Had, with respect, well understood,
The passions i' the blood,
Th' had suffer'd bodies to have had their part
And seated love i' the heart.

[Exeunt Mirabel and Floridor.

Por. What discord there's in music, when the heart,
Untun'd by trouble, cannot bear a part!
Cam. In vain we seek content in outward things;
'Tis only from within where quiet springs. [Exeunt.

FOOTNOTES:

[39] In this list of characters three very unimportant personages, Mirabel, Floridor, and a Page, are omitted.—Collier.

[40] This play, in the third edition from which it is here printed, received some additions and improvements. The first performance of it was at court; and on its appearance on the stage at the Duke's Theatre it met with great applause, and was acted thirteen nights successively. Echard, in the preface to his translation of Terence, gives it this general character, that it "is one of the pleasantest stories that ever appeared upon our stage, and has as much variety of plots and intrigues, without anything being precipitated, improper or unnatural, as to the main action." In the year 1767, Mr Hull made some alterations in it, with which it was acted at Covent Garden Theatre about nine nights, under the title of "The Perplexities." To the second edition were prefixed complimentary verses by James Long, J. Evelyn, A. Cowley Jasper Nedham, M.D., Lod. Carlile, Chr. Wase, William Joyner, and one copy signed Melpomene. In Sir Wm. Davenant's Works, p. 339, is a prologue written by him, addressed to the Lord Chancellor, on the acting of this play at the Inner Temple.

[41] Till now the measure was spoiled by the omission of the word all. The four editions read the line as it now stands. The play has been hitherto very carelessly printed, and a few of the errors are pointed out in the notes.—Collier. [But it must be added that even Mr Collier left the text and (more particularly) the punctuation in so corrupt a state, that many passages were unintelligible.]

[42] [Former edits., and.]

[43] Prior has adopted this image—

"So when the Parthian turn'd his steed,
And from the hostile camp withdrew,
He backward sent the fatal reed,
Secure of conquest as he flew."

—Poems, i. 40, edit. 1778.

[44] This speech is very much altered from the first and second editions, where it stands that Don Henrique has already married Porcia

"By proxy
To one in Flanders."

Collier.

[45] This word was omitted by Reed and Dodsley.—Collier.

[46] The author has not been very strict in the observance of his metre in any part of the play, and in this respect the changes he made in the third edition were sometimes injurious. Thus in the two earlier copies this line, which would have read very well if in had been substituted for during, is given as follows—

"And what was done in this parenthesis."

It was a point gained, however, to get rid of the figure.—Collier.

[47] [I'll pledge you. See Nares, edit. 1859, p. 216.]

[48] [Literally a bottle. See Halliwell in v.]

[49] [Cupboard beds, similar to those still used throughout Holland among the humbler classes.]

[50] [Former edits., and.]

[51] [Former edits., on.]

[52] This is hardly intelligible, as it stands here and in the third edition. In the two earlier copies, Porcia says to Flora on entering—

"If thou lov'st me, get him away quickly
Before my brother come, and give him this.

[She gives Flora a letter."

Collier. [There does not appear to be any obscurity here. In a subsequent scene, Ernesto delivers the letter handed to him by Flora from Camilla, whom he mistakes for Porcia.]

[53] [Of himself seems to be used here in the sense of by himself, per se, standing alone.]

[54] The song, and its introduction, were new in the copy of 1671.—Collier.


ACT II.

Scene.—The city of Seville.

Enter Don Antonio and Sancho, in riding-clothes.

San. Sir, we are arriv'd in very good time.
Don A. I did not think it would have been so soon
By an hour at least; but lovers ride apace.
Why smile you, Sancho?
San. Faith, at the novelty of your amours,
To fall in love with one you hardly saw,
And marry one you never saw: 'tis pretty;
But we poor mortals have another method.
Don A. Y' are very pleasant, friend; but is not this
The market-place, behind the Jacobins?
San. Yes, sir.
Don A. 'Tis here I charg'd Ernesto to expect me.
San. Since you are here, sir, earlier than you thought,
[Pg 225] Why might you not go shift you at the post-house,
And be return'd before Ernesto come?
Howe'er, 'tis better that he wait for you,
Than you for him, in the open street.
Don A. 'Tis well thought on; come, let's go then. [Exeunt.

Enter Don Octavio and Diego.

Don O. Come, Diego, 'tis now time to quit our dens,
And to begin our chase.
Diego. Of what, sir? bats or owls, now the sun's set?
Call you this making of love? why, methinks,
'Tis more like making of war: marching all night
In arms, as if we design'd to beat up
The enemy's quarters.
Don O. Why, would not you venture as much for Flora?
Diego. No, in good faith, sir; I shall venture enough,
If e'er I marry her: I'll run no hazard
By my good-will beforehand.
Don O. That's from your fear, not prudence, Diego.
Diego. Sir, you may call it what you please; but I
Dare boldly say, there lives not in the world
A more valiant man than I, whilst danger
Keeps its distance; but when saucily
It presses on, then, I confess, 'tis true,
I have a certain tenderness for life,
Which checks my ardour, and inclines my prudence
Timely to withdraw.
Don O. Your style is wondrous civil to yourself;
How you soften that harsh word call'd cowardice.
[Pg 226] But the danger is not always evident,
When you are pleas'd, my friend, to run away.
Diego. It may be so, sir—not to vulgar eyes;
But I have such a piercing sight, that I
Discover perils out of others' ken;
Which they, not seeing soon enough to shun,
Are forc'd t' encounter; and then their struggling
Is by th' unwary world taken for courage.
Don O. Who's truly valiant will be always so.
Diego. Who's wisely valiant will avoid the foe.
Don O. You have more light, Diego, I see, than heat;
But I'll allow your wit and honesty
To come to composition for your want
Of courage.
Diego. I have courage enough for the profession
To which my parents did design me.
Don O. Why, what was that?
Diego. An advocate. I could have acted choler
In my client's sight, and, when his back was turn'd,
Have hugg'd the lawyer of the adverse party;
And, if I mistake not, they sell their breath
Much dearer than you soldiers do your blood.
'Tis true, you get honour, a fine light food
For delicate complexions; but I have
Known some captains of plain stomachs starve upon't.
Don O. The varlet's i' the right. [Aside.] How came't about
You were not of this thriving trade?
Diego. After I had spent seven years at Salamanca,
My father, a rich merchant of this city,
Was utterly undone by that damn'd Englishman,
With whom we fright our children.
Don O. Who, Captain Drako? Was he a pirate?
[Pg 227]
Diego. He had been so on this side of the line.
Don O. 'Tis strange that war and peace should have degrees
Of latitude: one would have thought they should
Have been the same all o'er the world. But what's this
To my amours? I trifle away my time.
Was ever lover's fate so rude as mine?
Condemn'd to darkness, forc'd to hide my head,
As well as love; and, to spite me the more,
Fortune has contradictions reconcil'd:
I am at once a pris'ner and exil'd.

Enter Don Antonio and Sancho.

Don A. Methinks Ernesto should not tarry long,
If not already come. Sancho, how call you
The street there just before us, where you see
Yon gentleman with his cloak o'er his face?
I have lost all my measures of this town.
Sancho. I am as much to seek as you, sir.
Don A. Let us go to him, Sancho, and inquire:
He has a notable good mien: I ne'er
Saw an air more like [to] Octavio's.
Don O. Unless my eyes do very much deceive me,
That's Don Antonio; if it be he, Diego,
There is no danger in his knowing us:
He was my comrade when I first bore arms.

[Don Octavio lets fall his cloak from before his face.

Tis he.
Don A. You injure me, Octavio, to be so long
A-knowing one who's so entirely yours. [They embrace.
Don O. Your presence in this place, noble Antonio,
[Pg 228] Was so unexpected, I hardly durst
Believe my eyes. When came you to this town?
Don A. I am just now arrived.
Don O. I joy to see you here, but should have thought
It likelier to have heard of you at court,
Pursuing there the recompenses due
To your great merit.
Don A. That is no place for men of morality:
I have been taught, Octavio, to deserve,
But not to seek, reward, that does profane
The dignity of virtue. If princes,
For their own interests, will not advance
Deserving subjects, they must raise themselves
By a brave contempt of fortune.
Don O. Rig'rous virtue! which makes us to deserve,
Yet suffer the neglect of those we serve.
Don A. Virtue to interest has no regard:
Nor is it virtue, if w' expect reward.
Don A. If for their service kings our virtues press,
Is no pay due to valour and success?
Don O. When we gave up our persons to their will,
We gave with those our valour, fortune, skill.
Don O. But this condition tacitly was meant,
Kings should adjust reward and punishment.
Don A. Kings are the only judges of deserts,
And our tribunal's seated in their hearts.
Don O. But if they judge and act amiss, what then?
Don A. They must account to th' powers above, not men.[55]
[Pg 229]
Don O. Then we must suffer?
Don A. Yes; if we reject
Their power as too great, we must erect
A greater to control them; and thus we,
Instead of shrinking, swell the tyranny.
Don O. W' obey for fear, then?
Don A. True: 'tis only above,
Where pow'r is justice, and obedience love.
Don O. I'm glad to find in you the seeds yet left
Of steady virtue; may they bring forth fruit,
Fit to illustrate and instruct the age.
Let me once more embrace you: welcome, brave man,

[Embraces Don Antonio.

Both the delight and honour of your friends.
Don A. You will give me leave, sir, to distinguish
Betwixt your judgment and civility.
Don O. He has not liv'd i' th' reach of public fame,
Who is a stranger to your character.
This is my house; be pleas'd, sir, to go in,
And make it yours, though truly at present
I am but in an ill condition
To receive the honour of such a guest,
Having, by an unlucky accident,
Been forc'd of late to keep myself conceal'd.
Don A. I humbly thank you, sir, but cannot yet
Receive your favour; for I must stay here,
Expecting the return of one I sent
Before me to my brother-in-law's.
[Pg 230]
Don O. Have you a brother-in-law in Seville?
You surprise me much.
Don A. It is most true, Octavio, I come hither
A married man, as much as friends can make me.
Don O. Since it imports you not to miss your servant,
Let us stay here without until he comes,
And then go in and rest yourself awhile.
But how go our affairs in Flanders?
Don A. I left our armies in a better state
Than formerly.
Don O. And your governor, the Duke of Alva,
I suppose, in great[er] reputation?
Don A. The honour of our country and the terror
Of others: Fortune consulted Reason
When she bestow'd such favours upon him.
Don O. And yet 'tis said, he loses ground at court.
Don A. 'Tis possible: under a jealous prince
A great's as prejudicial as an evil fame.
Don O. They say he's cruel, even to barbarity.
Don A. 'Tis mercy, that which they call cruelty.
In a civil war, in fertile provinces
(And the sun sees not richer than are these),
The soldier, especially the auxiliary,
Whose trade it is to fight for salary,
Is brib'd by gain the rebels' lives to spare,
That mutual quarter may prolong the war;
Till this slow fever has consum'd their force,
And then they'll fall to our rival France, of course.
War made in earnest maketh war to cease,
And vigorous prosecution hastens peace.
Don O. Y' have made me comprehend his conduct: he's sure
As great a politician as a soldier.
Don A. Loyalty's his centre, his circumf'rence, glory;
And t' after ages he'll show great in story.
[Pg 231]
Don O. And is our good friend, the Marquis d'Olivera,
In high esteem?
Don A. The boast of [all] our army: h' has exceeded
Hope, and made flattery impossible.
Don O. They say he did wonders at the siege of Mons.[56]
Don A. You mean, as I suppose, at the pursuit
O' th' German army, led by the Prince of Orange?
Indeed his courage and his conduct there
Were very signal.
Don O. You'll much oblige me if, whilst you expect
Your servant here, I might learn from yourself
Some few particulars of your own actions;
Fame speaks loudly of them, but not distinctly.
Don A. Fame, like water, bears up the lighter things,
And lets the weighty sink. I do not use
To speak in the first person; but if you needs
Will have a story to fill up the time,
I'll tell you an adventure of my own,
Where you'll find love so intermix'd with arms,
That, I am confident, 'twill raise your wonder,
How, being prepossess'd with such a passion,
I should, upon prudential motives only,
Be engag'd, as now you find me, to marry
[Pg 232] A lady whom I never saw.
Don O. The person and the subject, sir, both challenge
My best attention.
Don A. [After a little pause.] The following evening to that glorious day,
Wherein the Duke of Alva gain'd such fame
Against the cautelous Nassau, some horse
Were sent from the army under my command.
To cover the Limbourg frontiers, much expos'd
To th' enemy's inroads. My troops scarce lodg'd,
I receiv'd intelligence that a party
Of th' enemy, about two hundred horse,
Were newly come t' a village three leagues off,
Intending there to lodge. Immediately
We sounded to horse, and march'd[57] to their surprise
So lustily,[58] that by the break of day
Their quarters were on fire.
Don O. You had been taught, sir, by your wise general,
That diligence in execution is
(Even above fortune) mistress of success.
Don A. They made but faint resistance: some were slain,
Some perish'd in the fire, others escap'd,
Giving the alarm in quarters more remote
To their companions drown'd in sleep and wine
Who, at the outcry and the noise of trumpets,
Methinks I fancy starting from their beds,
As pale and wan, as from their dormitories
Those the last trump shall rouse: diff'ring in this,
That those awake to live, but these to die.
[Pg 233]
Don O. O, how unsafe it is to be secure!
Don A. Finding no more resistance, I made haste
To a lofty structure which, as I conceiv'd,
Was the likeliest quarter for their officer;
Led thither by desire to rescue both—
Him from the soldier's rage, that from the fire.
Don O. A care most worthy of a gallant leader.
Don A. But think, Octavio, how I was surpris'd
When, entering a pavilion i' th' garden,
I found a woman of a matchless form,
Stretch'd all along upon the marble floor.
Don O.[59] I easily can divine how such a heart,
As harbours in the brave Antonio's breast,
May suffer at so sad a spectacle.
Don A. At the first sight I did believe her dead;
Yet in that state so awful she appear'd,
That I approach'd her with as much respect
As if the soul had animated still
That body which, though dead, scarce mortal seem'd.
But as, the sun from our horizon gone,
His beams do leave a tincture on the skies,
Which shows it was not long since he withdrew:
So in her lovely face there still appear'd
Some scatter'd streaks of those vermilion beams,
Which us'd t' irradiate that bright firmament.
Thus did I find that distress'd miracle,
Able to wound a heart as if alive,
Uncapable to cure it as if dead.
Don O. I no more doubt your pity than your wonder.
[Pg 234]
Don A. My admiration did suspend my aid,
Till passion join'd to pity made me bold.
I kneel'd, and took her in my arms, then bow'd
Her body gently forward; at which instant
A sigh stole from her. O the ravishing sound!
Which being a symptom of remaining life
Made me forget that 'twas a sign of grief.
At length she faintly opens her bright eyes:
So breaks the day, and so do all the creatures
Rejoice, as I did, at the new-born light:
But as the Indians, who adore the sun,
Are scorch'd by's beam, ere half his race be run,
So I, who did adore her rising eyes,
Found myself wounded by those deities.
Don O. I am big with expectation; pray
Deliver me.
Don A. From her fair hand a bloody poniard fell,
Which she held fast during her trance, as if
Sh' had only needed arms whilst she did sleep,
And trusted to her eyes when she did wake.
What I said to her, being a production
Of mere ecstasy, I remember not.
She made me no reply; yet I discern'd,
In a serener air of her pale face,
Some lines of satisfaction mix'd with fear.
Don O. Such looks in silence have an eloquence.
But pray go on.
Don A. Rais'd from the ground, and to herself return'd,
I stepp'd a fitting distance back, as well
To gaze upon that lovely apparition,
As to express respect; when at that instant
The trumpets sound a charge; my soldiers cry,
Where is our leader? Where's Antonio?
My love awhile disputed with my honour,
But that, being the longer-settled power,
[Pg 235] O'ercame; I join'd my troops, left in reserve,
As they were ready to receive a charge
From divers squadrons of fresh horse who, being
Quarter'd in neighbouring villages, had taken
Hotly th' alarm, and came, though then too late,
In succour of their friends. Honour and love
Had so inflam'd my heart, that I advanc'd
Beyond the rules of conduct, and receiv'd
So many wounds, that I with faintness fell.
Don O. How can this story end?
Don A. My soldiers beat the enemy, and brought me off,
Where surgeons quickly cur'd my outward wounds;
But the remembrance of that heroine
My inward hurts kept bleeding still afresh;
Till, by the business of the war constrain'd
T' attend my charge i' th' army, my despair
Of ever seeing her again conspiring
With the strong persuasions of Olivera,
I was at length even forc'd to an engagement
Of marriage with a lady of this city,
Rich, noble, and, as they say, beautiful.
And so you have me here, come to consummate
Those nuptial rites to which my interest,
And the importunity of trusty friends,
O'errule my judgment, though against my heart.
Don O. A wonderful adventure! but pray, sir,
May I not take the liberty to ask you,
Who may this noble lady be, to whom
The fates have destin'd so much happiness?
Don A. I have no reserves for you, Octavio,
'Tis the sister of——

Enter Ernesto, and Don Octavio retires hastily, and covers his face with his cloak.

Don A. [Nodding to Octavio.] It is my servant, sir.
[Pg 236]
Don O. Step to Antonio, Diego, and desire him
To send him off. [Diego goes to Antonio and whispers.
Don A. I will immediately. Well, Ernesto,
What good news? speak freely.
Ern. Sir, as you charg'd me, I told your brother-in-law
I thought you hardly could be there this night.
He kisses your hands, and bad me tell you,
That he expects your coming with impatience.
This letter's from Don Henrique, th' other's from
Your beauteous bride, the most accomplish'd person
I ever saw: my being of your train
Gave me the privilege of a domestic,
To see her in her chamber-dress without
A veil, either to cover faults or hide
Perfections.
Don A. Tell me truly, is she so very handsome?
Ern. Handsomer far, in my opinion, sir,
Than all those Brussels beauties, which you call
The finish'd pieces: but I say no more;
Let your own eyes inform you; here's a key
Of the apartment that's made ready for you;
A lower quarter, very nobly furnish'd,
That opens on St Vincent's Street.
Don A. Give it me, and go to the post-house,
And take care that my things be brought from, thence.

[Exit Ernesto.

Octavio, will you go along with me,
And be a witness of my first address?
Don O. Sir, you choose in me an ill companion
Of lovers' interviews or nuptial joys:
One whose misfortunes to such sad extremes
Are heighten'd, that the very mentioning
Of happy hours serves only to embitter
The memory of my lost joys.
[Pg 237]
Don A. So very deep a sense of your misfortunes
Holds no proportion with Octavio's mind.

Enter Flora in haste.

Flo. Where's your master, Diego?
Diego. There's some ill towards, when this bird appears. [Aside.
Do you not see him? y' have liv'd too long a maid.
Flo. Sir, I have something to say t' you in private,
That requires haste.
Don O. What new accident brings you hither, Flora?
Flo. These tablets will inform you, sir. [Flora retires.
Diego. Will you not stay for an answer, damsel?
Flo. 'Tis a command, not a question, Diego.
Diego. Short and sweet, Flora.
Don O. Good Flora, stay a minute. I much fear
It is some new misfortune.
Diego. Nay, sir, you may be sure 'tis some disaster,
Else it would ne'er have come so easily,
And so unsought for.
Don O. Will you allow me for a moment, sir,
To step into my house, and read a letter? [Bowing to Antonio.
Don A. I'll wait upon you in, and stay your leisure.

[Exeunt all but Diego.

Diego. These little black books do more devils raise
Than all the figures of the conjurors.
This is some missive from the heroine:
If it ends not in fighting, I'll be hang'd;
[Pg 238] It is the method of their dear romances,
And persons of their rank make love by book.
Curse o'[60] th' inventor of that damn'd device
Of painting words, and speaking to our eyes!
Had I a hundred daughters, by this light,
Not one of 'em should ever read or write.

Enter Flora, and seems to go away in haste.

Here she comes again. 'Twas a quick despatch.
A word, Flora, or a kind glance at least;
What, grown cruel?
Flo. Diego, nobody w' you?[61]
This is no time for fooling, friend.
Diego. Nay, if you be so serious, fare you well.
But, now I think on't better, I'll do th' honours
Of our street, and bring you to the end on't.
Flo. I shall be well help'd up with such a squire.
If some wandering knight should chance to assault you,
To bear away your damsel, what would you do?
Diego. I'd use no other weapon but a torch:
I'd put aside your veil, show him your face,
That, I suppose, would guard us both.
Flo. Why, d' you think 'twould fright him, Diego?
Diego. O no, 'twould charm him, Flora.
Flo. Well, such as 'tis, I'll venture it without
Engaging your known valour: [so,] good night. [Exit Flora.

Enter Don Octavio and Don Antonio.

Don O. What may this be? I swear I cannot guess;
The warning's short; but she must be obeyed.
[Pg 239] The hour draws near. I must go seek a friend,
Her words seem to imply need of a second:
'Twere barbarous to engage Antonio,
Newly arriv'd, and come on such an errand. [Aside.
Noble Antonio, my confusion's great, [Addressing Antonio.
To tell you thus abruptly I must leave you;
Th' occasion's indispensable.
Don A. I must not quit you, sir, I know too well
The laws of honour to desert you now:
When I perceive my friend in such disorder,
And[62] all the marks that he is call'd to danger,
To leave him then——
Don O. It is a summons from a lady, sir,
Whom I have lov'd with passion and success,
To meet her in her garden presently.
All is propitious on her part and mine;
But she's so guarded by a tyrant brother,
So naturally jealous, and so incens'd
By a late accident which I shall tell you,
That to assure you there would be no danger
In this adventure, were (sir) to abuse you:
But for that very reason I am bound
Not to consent you should embark yourself
In a business so directly opposite
To the occasion which has brought you hither.
Don A. I like the omen: at my first arrival
To have the honour to serve so brave a friend.
Don O. You from a life of perils hither come
To find a nuptial-bed, not seek a tomb.
Don A. My friend engag'd, it never must be said
Antonio left him so to go to bed.
[Pg 240]
Don O. Y' are married, and expose what's not your own.
Don A. Wedded to honour, that must yield to none.
Don O. Honour makes me refuse your aid; we must
As well to friends as to ourselves be just.
Don A. He ought not to pretend to friendship's name,
Who reckons not himself and friend the same.
Don O. Friendship with justice must not disagree,
That were to break the virtue's harmony.
Don A. Friendship is justice; for whene'er we give,
We then receive: so 'tis commutative.
Don O. So great's your friendship, you your friend oppress:
To make it juster, you must make it less.
Don A. Friendship can never err in the extent:
Like Nile, when't overflows, 'tis most beneficent.
Don O. I find, Antonio, you will still subdue.
Don A. I owe my triumph to my cause, not you.
Come, we lose time; your mistress must not stay.
Don O. Who's so accompani'd, needs not fear his way. [Exeunt.

FOOTNOTES:

[55] It may be mentioned here, that throughout the third edition certain sententious passages, and moral and political apothegms, are printed in italics. This ultra-loyal line, and some others of the same kind so distinguished, were first inserted in the copy of the play published two years before the death of the author.—Collier.

[56] In the year 1572 the town of Mons, in Hainault, was surprised by Count Lodowicke, who fortified himself in it, intending to hold it against the power of Spain. It was soon after invested by the Duke of Alva, and surrendered to him after a long siege, notwithstanding the Prince of Orange, who came before it with an army, with which he some time harassed his enemy, but without effecting his principal design.

[57] [Former edits., march.]

[58] [Former edits., luckily.]

[59] In the third edition, by an error, this speech is not distinguished from Antonio's description, but it would evidently belong to Octavio, even if, in the two earlier copies, the same mistake had been committed.—Collier.

[60] [i.e., On. Former edits., of.]

[61] [In former edits. this line is given to Diego.]

[62] [Perhaps we should read With.]


ACT III.

Scene.Don Henrique's house.

Camilla, Porcia, and Flora appear in a balcony.

Por. Come, cousin, the hour assign'd approaches.
Cam. Nay, more than so; for 'tis already night.
[Pg 241]
Flo. And, thanks to your stars, sufficiently dark.
Por. To the clouds you would say, Flora; for stars,
In this occasion, would not much befriend us.
Pray, cousin, when Octavio shall arrive,
Do you and Flora watch above with care;
For if my cruel brother should surprise us——
Cam. Let us alone to play the sentinels.
Flo. I'm confident he's abroad, and will not
Suddenly return; for I heard him say
He'd pass the evening at the corregidor's:
And thence, you know, he seldom comes home early.

Enter Antonio, Octavio, and Diego, with their cloaks over their faces, and their swords undrawn in their hands.

Don A. Is it not something early for adventures
Of this nature.
Don O. 'Tis the hour she appointed.
Don A. How dark 'tis grown o' th' sudden! there's not one
Star appears in all the firmament.
Diego. So much the better; for when I must fight,
I covet no spectators of my prowess. [Aside.
Don O. Stay you here, Antonio; I'll step before,
and give the sign. When you hear the door open,
then come on, and follow me in.

Enter at the other side of the stage Don Henrique and Don Carlos.

Don H. The corregidor's is a sweet place.
Don C. The walks and fountains so entice me, I still
Weary myself before I can retire.
[Pg 242]
Don H. Indeed we have stay'd longer than we thought,
And therefore let's go home the shorter way:
The back-door of my garden's here at hand.
Don C. It will be better than to go about.
Por. Would he were come, I fear the rising moon
Will give us little time.

[Above in the balcony. Octavio knocks upon the hilt of his sword.

I think I hear his usual knock. Who's there?
Don O. 'Tis I.
Por. I hope y' are not alone.
Don O. No; here's Diego with me, and a friend.
Por. 'Tis well. I'll open the door presently.
Don H. Come, we are now hard by the garden-gate.
Don O. Let's to the door; sure, she's there by this time.
Be not afraid, Diego.
Diego. You had as good command me not to breathe.
Don O. Come on; what are you thinking on?
Diego. That I see company, or that my fear does.
Don O. Y' are i' th' right; let's, to avoid suspicion,
Walk on at large till they are out of distance.

[The noise of a lock.

Don C. I think I heard your garden door open.
Don H. I think so too; ha! at this time of the night?
Why, what a devil can this mean? 'Tis so.
Don A. They have open'd this door: 'tis time for me
To follow; surely Octavio is gone in.

[Antonio goes towards the door.

Por. What stay you for? [Holding the door half open.
[Pg 243]
Don H. What is't I hear? sure, 'tis Porcia's voice.
Por. What mean you to stand there? come in, I say.
Don H. Hell and furies! [He goes to draw his sword.
Don C. Be patient, sir, and you will make a clearer
Discovery of your affront.
Por. You may come in securely, Octavio. [Setting open the door.
I have set those will watch my brother's coming.
Don A. Madam, I am not Octavio.
Por. Not Octavio! who are you then, and who's
That shadow there?
Don H. I can hold no longer. [Aside.] I'm thy destiny,

[Draws his sword.

Vile woman, and his mortal enemy.
Don A. Ha, my mortal enemy?
Don H. Yes, villain. Whoe'er them art, thou shalt pay
This treachery with thy life.
Don A. Vain man! whoe'er thou art, know [that] the life
Thou threaten'st is guarded by a trusty sword.

[Don Carlos draws, and they all enter the garden fighting.

Don H. Make fast the door. [To Don Carlos.
Thou art some desperate villain hir'd to murder.

[Octavio and Diego come to the door.

Don A. Hir'd by friendship, and honour's my salary. [In the garden.
Don O. That's Antonio's voice within the garden:

[Runs to the door and finds it shut.

What, the door shut! my friend engaged, and I
Excluded! cursed fate! this tree may help me
To climb o'er; if not, I'll fly t' him. [He climbs up.
[Pg 244]
Diego. You may do so; your sprightly love has wings,
And's ever fledg'd;[63] 'tis moulting-time with mine:
Yet I'll up too; the hazard's not in climbing.

[Diego climbs the tree.

Here I will sit, and out of danger's reach
Expect the issue.

Scene changes to a garden, out of which they issue fighting.

Don O. Courage, brave friend; you have Octavio by you.
Don A. So seconded, a coward would grow firm.
Don H. What, is there more of your crew? then 'tis time
To call for help. Ho! Silvio, Geraldo,
Pedro! come forth, and bring out torches with you.

Enter Silvio, with his sword drawn.

Sil. Here am I, sir, my camarades[64] will follow [They fight.
As soon as they have lighted their torches.
Don A. How I despise these slaves, Octavio,
Having you by me!
Diego. Their swords do clatter bravely in the dark. [In the tree.
Sil. I'm slain.

[Silvio falls. Don Henrique, stepping back, falls over Silvio, and loses his sword, and Carlos runs in to him.

Don C. What,[65] are you hurt?
[Pg 245]
Don H. No, I fell by chance; help me to find my sword.
Don O. What, do you give back? you do well to take breath,
Whilst you have any left; 'twill not be long,
Now that the rising moon lends us some light.

[The rising moon appears behind the scene. Porcia runs out to Octavio.

Por. O Octavio, let not this moment slip
To free me from my cruel brother's fury,
Or never hope to see me any more
Amongst the living. [Octavio leads her away by the arm.
Don O. Ah, noble maid! he that is once possess'd
Of such a treasure, and defends it not,
Let him live wretched, and detested die.
Where's my brave friend?
Don A. You have me by your side: lead off your mistress;
I'll secure your retreat.
Diego. That, doubtless, is my master who, victorious,

[In the tree, pointing to those who are going off.

Is bravely marching off with his fair prize:
I'll down and follow.
Don C. But whilst I was engag'd to succour you,

[Having helped up Don Henrique.

Our enemies, I fear, are got away:
I heard the door open, and see none here:
Although the night's much brighter than it was.
I'll follow, and trace the villains, if I can,
To their dens: meanwhile take care of your sister:
And pray, till my return, be moderate.
[Pg 246]
Don H. How! moderation in this case?—what, ho!
Geraldo, Pedro! Ah, ye cursed rogues!

Enter Servants with torches.

Durst ye not show your heads till they were gone?
Geraldo, light me in, whilst Pedro looks
To his hurt companion. Ah, Porcia, Porcia!

[Exeunt Don Henrique and Geraldo: Pedro carries out Silvio fainting with his hurts.

Scene changes to the city of Seville. Enter Don Octavio, Porcia, Don Antonio, and a little after Diego, and after them Don Carlos.

Diego. Sure, that's Antonio bringing up the rear?
Sir, th' are but just before; my master bears her

[Looking back to Don Carlos.

Most gallantly away: lose not sight of me.
Don C. This rogue takes me for one of his own crew;
He will by his mistake help me to harbour 'em. [Exeunt.

Camilla and Flora appear in the balcony. Scene changes to Don Henrique's house.

Cam. Was there ever such a disaster, Flora?
Sure, th' are all dead, so great's the silence.
Porcia! Porcia! Nobody answers.
Flo. Madam, let us go down into the garden.
Cam. Excuse me; that were to involve myself
In this unlucky scandal. 'Tis possible,
Affrighted with the scuffle, she's return'd
[Pg 247] Into her quarter by the other door;
Let's away thither. [They go down upon the stage.

Flo. O madam! I see a light, and Don Henrique coming this way with his sword drawn; what shall we do?

Cam. Peace; let us hide ourselves behind the door

[They go behind the door.

Till we discover his intentions.

Enter Don Henrique and Geraldo with a torch, and Pedro with a light: Don Henrique and Geraldo, their swords drawn.

Ped. Sir, I have search'd all the rooms of the house,
And cannot find her.
Don H. Base, infamous woman! maybe, she's fled
To the quarter order'd for Antonio.
Ped. That door is lock'd, and's servant has the key.
Don H. Ah, this cursed vagabond! thus to rob [He stamps.
A brother of the fruits of all his care,
And cast this stain on th' honour of our house!
But if ever I get the fugitive
Within my reach, I'll sacrifice her blood
To the offended spirits of my ancestors.
Flo. Madam, d' you hear?
Cam. Yes, and tremble, Flora.
Don H. Call for her woman.
Ped. Flora! Flora!

Enter Flora.

Flo. My good angel guard me! What's your pleasure, sir?
[Pg 248]
Don H. Where's your mistress, hussy?
Flo. She told me, sir, about half an hour since,
She would go down into the garden. [Exit Flora.
Don H. My shame is certain. Ah! the sad condition
Of us men of honour! how unequally
Our crosses and our comforts mingled are!
Our orphan sisters are no sooner grown
Above the follies of their childish age
(During which season custom does exact
Our watchful caution over all their actions),
But they are grafted on some stranger stock,
Where they do change both their abodes and names
Without the least reflection on their kindness,
Who pain'd themselves to cultivate their youth;
Or else remain to exercise our fears.
O unjust heavens! why suffer you that they,
Who to our joys of life such bubbles are,
Should add such weight unto our griefs and care?
Ah, Porcia, Porcia!.

Enter Don Carlos.

Don C. Don Henrique, if I am not much mistaken,
I have in this short time made a great progress
Towards your redress: I come from harbouring
The villains who have done you this affront.
Cam. [behind.] It imports to be attentive now.
Don H. O, you revive me! May I but once enjoy
The pleasure of my revenge, though the next
Moment were the last period of my life,
I should depart contented. Are the villains
Within our reach?
[Pg 249]
Don C. Be patient, sir, and I'll inform you fully.
You were no sooner up, but I pursu'd
Your flying enemies, hoping the night,
Grown somewhat lighter, might help me to discover
The place of their retreat. One of their party
Who was behind the rest, mistaking me
For one of his camerades, bad me come on,
Saying his master was but just before;
That he had borne his mistress bravely off,
And put her champion brother out of combat.
Don H. Insolent rascal! [He stamps.
Don C. We had not pass'd above a street or two,
Before he stopp'd, and at the second house
Beyond the church, in Saint Iago's Street,
He enter'd and desired me to follow him.
I making a stand, he grew suspicious,
And from my silence guessing his mistake,
He slipp'd into the house, and lock'd the door.
When I had well observ'd the street and house,
I came with speed to give you this account.
Flo. O madam, this is Don Octavio's house:
Without all doubt, they've carri'd Porcia thither.

[To Camilla behind the door.

Cam. Peace, Flora, and listen to the sequel.
Don H. Come, cousin, we lose time—Heigh! who waits there?
I will besiege the house; if they refuse
To render, I'll reduce that theatre
Of my shame to ashes, and make their fort
Both theirs and its own sepulchre. There are
Such charms in vengeance, that I do not wonder
It is reserv'd for him who form'd the thunder.
Don C. Have patience, cousin, and consult your reason;
[Pg 250] 'Twill soon convince you how unpracticable
And vain your proposition is t' attempt,
At this time of night, a house so guarded
In a well-govern'd city: that would prove
Very like thunder, which the cloud destroys,
Wherein 'twas form'd, producing only noise.
What can the issue be, but to alarm
The town, expose your person and your fortune
To th' rigour of the law, publish your shame,
And frustrate your revenge for ever?
Don H. What! would you have me tarry till these villains,
Who have invaded my house, affronted
My person, murder'd my servant, and robb'd
Me of a sister, may evade my vengeance? [Spoken hastily.
Don C. No, fear not that; let me alone to find
A certain way to hinder their escape.
I'll instantly to the corregidor,
And beg the assistance of his authority
To secure these criminals for the present,
That afterwards the law may punish them.
Don H. A fine proposal! Why, cousin, can you think
That I'll submit a personal injury
To th' tame decision of the formal law?
And, having been affronted by the sword,
To pray the aid of the long robe, and take
An advocate for second? Reliev'd by law!
Don C. Since we all parties are in making laws,
We must not judges be in our own cause:
We hold it infamous to break our words,
Yet cancel the great charter with our swords.
Don H. They by their insolence the laws invade.
Don C. But you by your revenge the laws degrade.
[Pg 251]
Don H. Honour obliges me to take revenge.
Don C. Honour is justice, rightly understood:
Your idol honour's only heat of blood.
Don H. Honour's opinion, which rules all the world.
Don C. Opinion, Henrique, only governs fools;
Reason the wise and truly valiant rules.
Don H. Reason's opinion; for every one
Stamps reason on his own opinion.
Don C. Then, by your argument, when people join
In making laws, because they all opine,
Laws are reasonable, and bind us all——
Don H. Curse on your sophistry, to treat a friend
With figures, that's raging in a fever!
You may as well pretend to teach a man
To sing his part, that's stretch'd upon a rack.
No, sir, I'll sooner lose this irksome life,
Than e'er consent to publish my disgrace
Before I have reveng'd it—to assist
At the funeral of my own honour! [He stamps.
Don C. What a wild creature is a choleric man! [Aside.
'Tis far from my intent; all my design
Is only how we may conceal your shame,
Till we have got these villains in our power;
Which can be brought about by no such means,
As by demanding justice against those
Who did assault your person, and have wounded
Your servant—a very plausible pretence!
Will this content you? Trust my conduct, cousin:
Is not my interest the same with yours?
Don H. Well, since it must be so, I pray, make haste.
Don C. Doubt not my diligence; by this I'll prove
Friendship has fire and wings, as well as love.
[Pg 252]
Don H. If you could fly, you'd move with too much leisure;
Ah, tedious minutes, which revenge does measure! [Exit Carlos.
Flo. Madam, y' have heard their mischievous design?
Cam. Yes, Flora, out of question Porcia's there,
And, if they find her, she is lost for e'er.
Flo. I'll try to hinder it, though I were certain
To perish in th' attempt. I'm confident
The house at present is in such confusion,
I may run thither without being miss'd.
Cam. 'Tis well thought on; in the interim, I'll retire
To Porcia's chamber. [Exeunt from behind the door.

Enter Geraldo.

Ger. Sir, Don Antonio is just arriv'd.
Don H. Ha! what's that you say, sirrah?
Ger. That Don Antonio, sir, your brother-in-law,
Is without, walking i' th' hall, and bad me
Give you notice of it. Shall he come in?
Don H. Antonio arrived! O heavens, this circumstance
Was only wanting to complete my shame!
When he desires to see his wife, shall I
Myself inform a person of his quality
That she is run away? Where shall I find
A heart, a tongue, a voice: or breath, or face,
To utter this unparallel'd disgrace? [Spoken hastily.
O this fantastic sense of honour!
[Pg 253] At my own tribunal stand assoil'd,[66]
Yet, fearing others' censure, am embroil'd.
Ger. What is your pleasure, sir? 'tis possible
That Don Antonio may think it long.
Don. H. Wait on him in, but at the same time tell him
You cannot find me. I will leave my house
And the discovery of my shame to fate,
And any censure rather undergo
Than be the reporter of my own disgrace;
Till first I have my honour's ransom paid
In the vile blood of this perfidious maid. [Exit Henrique.

Enter Don Antonio and Ernesto.

Don A. My friend and his fair mistress safely lodg'd,
And free from their adventure, 'tis now fit
To mind my own engagement. But, Ernesto,
What can the meaning be of this rude usage,
In suffering me to stay without thus long
Upon my first arrival? Come, let's go on
Into the other rooms.
Ern. I swear, sir, I'm amazed at this great change.
'Tis not above two hours since I found here
A numerous and well-order'd family,
In all appearance. Now I see the pages
Bolt out of the doors, then start back again
Into their holes, like rabbits in a warren!
[Pg 254] The maids lie peeping at the garret-windows,
Like th' upper tier of ordnance in a ship;
All looks disorder'd now; nor can I guess
What may have caus'd so great an alteration.
But there I see the servant you sent in.

Enter Geraldo.

Don A. Friend, where's your master?
Ger. I cannot tell, sir.
Don A. Where is his sister?
Ger. In truth, I know not, sir; we men-servants
Have little to do in the ladies' quarters. [Exit Geraldo.
Don A. This looks but oddly. Are you sure, Ernesto,
Y' have not misguided me to a wrong house?
Ern. If you are sure, sir, that we are awake,
Then I am certain this is the same house,
Wherein this afternoon I saw and spoke with
Don Henrique and your bride: by the same token,
There was a lady with her in a veil,
And this very room is the antechamber
To her apartment.
Don A. I should be finely serv'd if, after all
This negotiation and a tedious journey,
My pains and patience should be cast away
On some such wither'd sybil for a wife,
As her own brother is asham'd to show me.
Ern. You'll soon be freed from that fear, sir.

[Ernesto goes toward the door.

Don A. How so?
Ern. Because I see her in the inner room,
Lying along upon her couch, and reading.
Her face is turn'd the other way; but yet
Her shape and clothes assure me 'tis the same.
Don A. Art certain that 'tis she?
[Pg 255]
Ern. There are not many like her.
Don A. If thou be'st sure 'tis she, I'll venture in
Without her brother's presence t' introduce me.
Ern. She's coming this way, sir.

Enter Camilla reading.

Cam. Y' have reason, Dido, and 'tis well remark'd—

[She shuts her book; and after a little pause

The woman who suffers herself to love
Ought likewise to prepare herself to suffer.
There was great power in your charms, Æneas,
T' enthral a lady's heart at first approach,
And make such early and such deep impressions,
That nothing but her death could e'er deface.
Alas, poor Dido!—
Don A. O heavens! what's that I see?—or do I dream?

[Antonio, seeing her, starts, then stands as if amazed.

Sure, I am asleep, and 'tis a vision
Of her who's always present to my thoughts;
Who (fearing my revolt) does now appear
To prove and to confirm my constancy.
When first I saw that miracle, she seem'd
An apparition; here it must be one.
What fit of frenzy's this?
Ern. Sir, 'tis Porcia:
A lovely, living woman, and your bride.
Don A. The blessing is too mighty for my faith.
Ern. Faith! Ne'er trouble your faith in this occasion;
Approach her boldly, sir, and trust your sense.
Don A. As when we dream of some transporting pleasure,
And (finding that we dream) we fear to wake,
[Pg 256] Lest sense should rob us of our fancy's treasure,
And our delightful vision from us take,
Bless'd apparition, so it fares with me.
That very angel now once more appears,
To whose divinity long since I rais'd
An altar in my heart, where I have offer'd
The constant sacrifice of sighs and vows.
My eyes are open, yet I dare not trust 'em!
Bliss above faith must pass for an illusion.
If such it be, O, let me sleep for ever,
Happily deceiv'd? But, celestial maid,
If this thy glorious presence real be,
O, let one word of pity raise my soul
From visionary bliss, and make me die
With real joy instead of ecstasy.
Speak, speak, my destiny; for the same breath
May warm my heart, or cool it into death.
Ern. 'Slife! he's in one of his old fits again—
Why, what d' you mean, sir? 'tis Porcia herself.
Cam. I am that maid, who to your virtue owes
Her honour then and her disquiet since;
Yet in my pain I cannot but be pleas'd
To find a passion, censur'd in our sex,
Justifi'd by so great an obligation.
'Tis true I blush, yet I must own the fire,
To which both love and gratitude conspire.
Don A. Incomparable creature! can it be
That, having suffer'd all which mighty love
Did e'er inflict, I now should be repaid
With as full joys as love could ever give?
Fortune, to make my happiness complete,
Has join'd her power, and made me find a bride
In a lost mistress: but with this allay—
Of leaving me no means my faith to prove,
Since chance anticipates the pains of love.
Cam. The servant's error has misled the master,
He takes me too for Porcia. Bless'd mistake!
[Pg 257] Assist me now, artful dissimulation. [Aside.
But how can that consist with so much passion?
'Tis possible, the sense of my distress'd
Condition might dispose a noble heart
To take impressions then, which afterwards
Time and your second thoughts may have defac'd;
But can a constant passion be produc'd
From those ideas pity introduc'd?
Let your tongue speak your heart; for, should y' abuse me,
I shall in time discover the deceit:
You may paint fire, Antonio, but not heat.
Don A. Madam!
Cam. Hold. Be not too scrupulous, Antonio;
Let me believe it, though it be not true;
For the chief happiness poor maids receive
Is when themselves they happily deceive.
Don A. If, since those conquering eyes I first beheld,
You have not reign'd unrivall'd in my heart,
May you despise me now you are my own;
Which is to me all curses summ'd in one.
But may your servant, madam, take the boldness
To ask if you have ever thought of him?
Cam. A love, so founded in a grateful heart,
Has need of no remembrancer, Antonio;
You know yourself too well: those of your trade
Have skill to hold as well as to invade.
Don A. Fortune has lifted me to such a height
Of happiness, that it may turn my brain
When I look down upon the world.
What have I now to wish but moderation
To temper and to fix my joys?
Cam. I yield as little t' you, noble Antonio,
In happiness as affection; but still
Porcia must do as may become your bride,
And sister to Don Henrique, in whose absence
[Pg 258] A longer conference must be excused:
Therefore I take the freedom to withdraw.
Should I have stay'd until Don Henrique came,
His presence would have marr'd my whole design.

[Aside. Exit Camilla.

Don A. Where beauty, virtue, and discretion join,
'Tis heaven, methinks, to find that treasure mine!

Enter Don Henrique.

Don H. Sure, Don Antonio, having long ere this
Found out th' infamous flight of my vile sister,
Will be retir'd to meditate revenge
Upon us both. Ah, curse! he is there still. [He sees him.
I'll slip away. But it is now too late;
He has perceiv'd me.
Don A. How, Don Henrique! avoid your friend that's come
So long a journey t' embrace you, and cast
Himself at the feet of your fair sister?
Don H. Noble Antonio, you may well imagine
The trouble I am in, that you should find
My house in such disorder, so unfit
To receive th' honour of so brave a guest.
Don A. 'Tis true, Don Henrique, I am much surpris'd
With what I find: I little did expect
Your sister Porcia should have been——
Don H. O heavens! I'm lost, he has discover'd all. [Aside.
'Tis not, Antonio, in a brother's power
To make a sister of a better paste
Than heav'n has made her.
[Pg 259]
Don A. In your case 'specially; for without doubt
Heaven never made a more accomplish'd creature.
Don H. What means the man? [Aside.
Don A. I come just now from entertaining her,
Whose wit and beauty so excel all those
Of her fair sex whom I have ever known,
That my description of her would appear
Rather detraction than a just report
Of her perfections.
Don H. Certainly he mocks me: he never could
Have chosen a worse sufferer of scorn;
But I will yet contain myself awhile,
To see how far he'll drive it. [Aside.] Say you, sir,
That you have seen and entertain'd my sister?
Don A. Yes, Don Henrique; and with such full contentment,
So rais'd above expression, that I think
The pains and care of all my former life
Rewarded with excess in the delight
Of those few minutes of her conversation.
Tis true that satisfaction was abridg'd
By her well-weigh'd severity to give me
A greater pleasure in the contemplation
Of her discreet observance of the rules
Of decency, not suffering me, though now
Her husband, any longer to enjoy
So great a happiness, you not being by.
Don H. I am confounded; but I must dissemble
My astonishment till I can unfold
The mystery. [Aside.] She might have spared that caution:
But I suppose you'll easily forgive
An error on the better side.
[Pg 260]
Don A. Sir, I have seen so much of her perfection
In that short visit, I shall sooner doubt
Our definitions in morality
Than once suppose her capable of error.
Don H. This exposition makes it more obscure,
I must get him away. [Aside.] Sir, is't not time
To wait on you to your chamber? It's late,
And I believe [that] you have need of rest.
Don A. I should accept your offer, sir, with thanks,
If I were not oblig'd, as late as 'tis,
To see a friend before I go to bed.
Don H. I'll bear you company, if you'll give me leave.
Don A. I humbly thank you, sir, but can't consent
To give you so much trouble; I'll return
Within an hour at farthest.
Don H. Whene'er you please; y' are wholly master here.
Don A. I never saw a man so discompos'd,
Whate'er the matter is. [Aside.
Ernesto, I must make a step to see
A friend near-hand; bid Sancho follow me,
And stay you in my chamber till I come.

[Exeunt Antonio and Ernesto.

Don H. Your servant, sir. [Don Henrique waits on him to the door.] This sudden sally hence
At this time of the night, newly arriv'd
From a long journey, and not to suffer me
To wait upon him, does embroil me more.
But now I will not long be in suspense;
I'll to my sister's chamber.

Enter Don Carlos, as Don Henrique is going into Porcia's chamber.

Don C. Ho! Don Henrique! come away, all's prepar'd.
[Pg 261] Our kinsman the corregidor is ready
With a strong band of serjeants, and stays for you.
Don H. Speak softly, Don Antonio is arriv'd,
And some of his may overhear us.
Don C. That's very unlucky; but does he know
Your sister's missing?
Don H. I think not yet.
Don C. Come, let's away; we have no time to lose.
Don H. Pray, stay awhile. I labour with a doubt
Will burst me, if not clear'd before I go.
Don C. What, cousin, will you lose an opportunity
Never to be recover'd? Are you mad?
Will you permit the villains to escape,
And laugh at us for ever? Come away. [He pulls him.
Don H. Well, I must go, and let him make it out;
The worst estate of human life is doubt. [Exeunt.

FOOTNOTES:

[63] [Former edits., fledge.]

[64] [So for metre's sake, instead of comrades.]

[65] [This is printed by Mr Collier, Wat are you hurt?]

[66] Absolved, discharged. Fr. absoudre. Lat. absolvere.—Junius.

See likewise note to Lodge's "Wounds of Civil War" [vii. 169].—Collier.

"Then had the Monkes aucthoritie to preache, baptyse, and assoyle from synne, which they never had afore."—Bale's "Acts of English Votaries," fol. 35, edit. 1550.

See also "World of Wonders," 1607, part i. p. 32.—Gilchrist.


ACT IV.

Scene.Don Octavio's house.

Enter Don Octavio angrily, pushing Diego, and Porcia following.

Don O. Villain, thou hast undone us! cursed villain!
Where was thy soul I had fear quite banish'd it,
And left thee not one grain of common sense?
Por. Was there ever so fatal an accident?
Don O. Why, traitor, didst thou not let me know it
As soon as we were come into the house?
[Pg 262]
Diego. What would y' have done, if you had known it then?
Don O. I would have sallied out and kill'd the rogue,
In whose pow'r thou hast put it to destroy us.
Can it be doubted but that long ere this
He has acquainted Henrique where we are,
From whose black rage we must immediately
Expect t' encounter all the worst extremes
Of malice, seconded by seeming justice?
For the unfortunate are still i' th' wrong.
Curse on all cowards! better far be serv'd
By fools and knaves: they make less dangerous faults.
Diego. Am I in fault because I'm not a cat?
How could I tell i' th' dark whether that rascal
Were a knight-errant or a recreant knight?
I thought him one of us, and true to love.
Were it not for such accidents as these,
That mock man's forecast, sure, the Destinies
Had ne'er been plac'd amongst the deities.
Don O. Peace, cowardly slave! having thus play'd the rogue,
Are you grown sententious? Did I not fear
To stain my sword with such base blood, I'd let
Thy soul out with it at a thousand wounds.
Diego. Why, then, a thousand thanks to my base blood
For saving my good flesh. [Aside.
Don O. Pardon, my dearest mistress, this excess
Of passion in your presence.
Por. What shall we do, Octavio? if we stay here,
We are undone for ever: my brother
Will be instantly upon us. Alas!
My own life I value not, Octavio,
When yours, my better life, such hazard runs;
[Pg 263] But, O my honour! O my innocence!
Expos'd to scandal: there's my deepest sense.
Don O. Though the complexion of your brother's malice
Resemble hell, it is not black enough
To cast a stain upon your virgin innocence.
Sure, two such diff'rent branches ne'er did spring
From the same stock. To me't seems very strange,
Our middle natures, form'd of flesh and blood,
Should have such depths of ill, such heights of good,
An angel sister and a devil brother!
Por. He's my brother, and I know no defence
For injur'd innocence but innocence.
Fly, fly, Octavio! leave me to my fate.
Don O. Your kindness, generous maid, confutes itself.
To save my life, you counsel me to fly,
Which is at once to bid me live and die.
Por. What then, for heaven's sake, d' you resolve to do?
Don O. I must resolve, and suddenly, but what,
I swear, I know not: there have been such turns
In my misfortunes, they have made me giddy.
Por. You must determine; time wastes, Octavio.
Don O. Madam, if I should lead you through the streets,
And chance to meet the officers of justice,
I not daring to avow my person,
For that unlucky accident you know of,
You might, I fear, by that means be in danger:
We must not venture't. Run, rascal, and fetch
A chair immediately.
Diego. A pretty errand at this time o' th' night!
These chairmen are exceedingly well-natur'd;
Th' are likely to obey a servant's orders
After nine of [the] clock! [Exit Diego.
Don O. Ye pow'rs above, why do ye lay so great
[Pg 264] A weight on human nature, and bestow
Such an unequal force to bear our loads?
After a long pursuit, through all those stories,
Which hell-bred malice or the pow'r of fate
Could ever raise t' oppress a noble love,
To be at length possess'd of a rich mine,
Where nature seem'd to have lodged all her treasure,
And in an instant have it ravish'd from me,
Is too rude a trial for my patience
To sustain: I cannot bear it.
Por. My sense of this misfortune equals yours;
But yet I must conjure you to submit
To the decrees of those who rule above:
Such resignation may incline their justice
Th' impending mischief to divert; besides,
In human things there's such vicissitude,
Where hope should end we hardly can conclude.
Don O. Weak hope the parent is of anxious care,
And more tormenting far than fix'd despair:
This makes us turn to new expedients,
That languish 'twixt desire and diffidence.
Por. Fortune will blush for shame when she shall find
Her best-aim'd darts can never touch your mind.
Don O. Ah, Porcia! though my mind be far above
The reach of fate, 'tis level unto love.
Urge it no more: I'll die a thousand deaths,
Ere I'll consent to part with you. [Strikes his breast.
Por. I shall be always yours; for though we're forc'd
To separate, yet we are not divorc'd.
Don O. Whilst our souls act by organs of the sense,
'Twixt death and parting there's no difference.
[Pg 265]
Por. Consult your reason, then you will comply,
Making a virtue of necessity.
Don O. Ah, lovely maid! 'twas not allowed to Jove
To hold at once his reason and his love.

Enter Diego.

Diego. The chair is come, sir, just as I expected.
Don O. Where is it?
Diego. Even where it was: they are deeply engag'd
A las Pintas,[67] and will not leave their game,
They swear, for all the dons in Seville.
Don O. A curse upon these rogues! I'll make 'em come,
Or make their hearts ache. [Don Octavio runs out.
Diego. Madam, though I was never yet unkind
To my own person, I am so much troubled
At the disquiet my mistake has brought you,
That, could I do't conveniently, i' faith,
I would even cudgel myself.
Por. Away, buffoon! is this a time for fooling?

Enter Don Antonio and Sancho.

Don A. Where is my noble friend Octavio?
Diego. Did you not meet him at the door, sir?
Don A. No.
[Pg 266]
Diego. He went out, sir, just as you came in.
Don A. Madam, I might have gone to bed, but not

[Addresses himself to Porcia.

To rest, without returning to inquire
Of yours and of my noble friend's condition,
And once more to offer you my service.
Por. I take the boldness, in Octavio's absence,
To return his with my most humble thanks,
For your late generous assistance of us,
And for this new addition to our debt.
Don A. Though I have not th' honour to be known t' you,
The service of your sex in their distresses
Is the first vow of those of our profession;
And my constant friendship for Octavio
Is of so old a date, that all occasions,
By which I may express the fervour of it,
Are most welcome to me.

Enter Flora in great haste.

Flo. O madam, I am cut of breath with running.
Por. What accident, Flora, brings you hither?
Flo. A sad one, madam, and requiring haste,
To give you timely notice on't. Don Carlos,
Assisted by the light o' th' rising moon,
And by a mistake of some of your train,
Has trac'd you to this house, and in my hearing
Inform'd your brother of the place and manner
Of your retreat: who is now coming hither
Accompanied with the corregidor,
To seize on whomsoever shall be found
Within these walls, upon pretence of murder.
Por. O cruel accident!
Flo. Madam, make haste: get out of the backdoor,
Or you will certainly be met with.
[Pg 267]
Por. How vile a creature am I now become!
For, though in my own innocence secure,
To the censorious world who, like false glasses,
Mingling their own irregular figures,
Misreflect the object, I shall appear
Some sinful woman, sold to infamy.
Don A. Your own clear mind's the glass, which to yourself
Reflects yourself; and, trust me, madam,
W' are only happy then, when all our joys
Flow from ourselves, not from the people's voice.
Flo. Madam, they'll instantly be here.
Por. O, that Octavio should just now be absent!
But to expect till he return were madness.
Don A. Y' have reason, madam; and, if you dare trust
Your person to the conduct of a stranger,
Upon my honour, lady, I'll secure you,
Or perish in th' attempt.
Por. Generous sir, how shall a wretched maid,
Abandon'd by her fate to the pursuit
Of an inhuman brother, e'er be able
Either to merit or requite your favours?
Don A. I am th' oblig'd, if rightly understood,
Being o'erpaid by th' joy of doing good.
Por. Sir, I resign myself to your protection
With equal gratitude and confidence.
Don A. Come, madam, we must lose no time—
Diego, find out your master presently,
And tell him that, the danger not allowing
Our stay till his return, I shall convey
His mistress safely to a nunnery.
Por. And, Flora, stay you here to bring me word
What he resolves to do in this our desperate
Condition. [Exit Diego.
Flo. Madam, I shall.
[Pg 268]
Don A. But stay—I swear I'd like to have committed

[Going out, returns.

A foul mistake: the monastery gates
Will not be open'd at this time o' th' night
Without a strict inquiry into the cause;
Besides, 'tis possible that, once lodg'd there,
She may be out of my friend's pow'r or mine
Ever to get her thence, if it be known.
It must not be. I have thought better on't.

[He pauses, and thinks.

I will convey you to my brother-in-law's,
A person of such quality and honour,
As may protect and serve you with his credit:
And there my wife may have the happiness
T' accompany you, and pay the offices,
Due to your virtue and distress'd condition:
And, going to a house that's so much mine,
Make account, madam, 'tis to your own home.
Sancho, stay you here to attend Octavio, [Turning to Sancho.
And guide him the next way to my apartment:
Here is the key, I shall have little use on't,
Having Ernesto waiting for me there.
One word more, Sancho: let Octavio know
'Tis my advice, that he come in a chair.
He by that means may possibly escape
Examination, if he should be met with.
Por. Flora, I pray, do you continue here,
And if by any accident Octavio
Should be hinder'd from coming after us,
Observe his motions well, and where he fixes;
Then return home, and I shall find some way
Of sending to you to inform myself.
Flo. I shall not fail t' observe your orders, madam.
Don A. Madam, I am ready to attend you.
[Pg 269]
Por. Ah, cruel brother! ah, my dear Octavio!
How am I tortur'd betwixt love and hate!
Don A. W' had better suffer than deserve our fate.

[Exit Don Antonio and Porcia.

San. 'Tis no small compliment my master makes
Your lady and her gallant, at this time
O' th' night to quit his brother-in-law's, and leave
So fair a bride as Porcia all alone.
Flo. What, is his mistress's name Porcia too?
San. Yes; and if she has as fair a handmaid
As yourself, I shall soon forget my damsels
In the Low Countries.
Flo. If your Low-Country damsels resemble us,
You would not be put to't to forget first.
But I believe that you are safe enough:
I have not heard such praises of their wit,
But that we may suppose they have good memories.

Enter Diego.

Diego. Is not my master yet return'd?
Flo. No.
Diego. Well, now have we an honourable cause
To wear the beadle's livery: faith, Flora,
If your tender sex had not been privileg'd
From this harsh discipline, how prettily
Would the beadle's crimson lace show upon
Your white back!
Flo. 'Twon't do so well as on a darker ground:
'Twill suit much better with your tawny hide.
San. I pray, camerade, is it the mode in Seville
To be whipp'd for company?
Diego. O sir, a well-bred soldier will ne'er refuse
[Pg 270] Such a civility to an old friend;
This is a new way of being a second,
To show your passive courage.
San. We soldiers do not use to show our backs.
Diego. Not to your enemies; but, sir, the beadle
Will prove your friend; for, your blood being heated
With riding post, the breathing of a vein
Is very requisite.
San. Would t' heaven that I were i' the camp again:
There we are never stripp'd till we are dead.

Enter Don Octavio, and the Chairmen appear at the door.

Don O. Be sure you stir not thence, till I return.

[To the Chairmen.

Sirrah, where's Porcia?
Diego. She's fled away i' th' dark with a young man
Of your acquaintance.
Don O. Rascal, leave your fooling.
Diego. There's none i' th' case, sir: 'tis the wisest thing
She ever did; had she stay'd your return,
She would have fallen into those very clutches
In which you will immediately be gripp'd,
Unless you make more haste. Flora is come
With all the speed she could, to let you know
Th' are coming with the justice, to lay hold
Of all within this house; pray be quick, sir,
And save yourself. She's safe in a nunnery,
Conducted thither by Antonio.
Don O. Peace, screech-owl! fire consume that tongue of thine!
[Pg 271] What say'st thou, villain! in a nunnery?
Porcia in a nunnery? O heavens! nothing
But this was wanting to make me desperate.
What hope's there left ever to get her thence,
After such accidents as these made public?
Ah, Flora, is it true that my dear Porcia
Is gone into a nunnery?
Flo. Once, sir, 'twas so resolv'd, and Diego sent
To give you notice on't; but afterwards,
He being gone, they chang'd their resolutions.
There's one can tell you more. [Pointing to Sancho.
San. My master bad me stay, to let you know
He has convey'd her to his own apartment
In his brother-in-law's house, a person
So eminent in quality and credit,
That the imagining him in her and your
Protection, sir, may much avail ye both:
Besides, she'll have the satisfaction there
Of being treated by my master's bride.
There he'll expect you, and advises you
To come in a chair, to avoid questioning,
In case of any encounter.
Don O. I'll take his counsel: he's a generous friend.
Come, chairmen, away; pray, friend, do you guide us. [To Sancho.
Diego. Up with your burden, beasts, and fall forthwith
To your half-trot.

[Exeunt. The chair is carried over the stage; Diego, Sancho, and Flora follow.

A noise within. Follow, follow, follow! Enter Don Carlos, the Corregidor, and Sergeants, pursuing Sancho, Flora, and Diego.

Diego. This is one of Don Cupid's pretty jests:
[Pg 272] W' are struck upon a shelf before we could
Put out to sea.
Don C. You find, sir, my conjecture's not ill-grounded.

[To the Corregidore.

Cor. What are you, sirrah?
Diego. A living creature, very like a man:
Only I want a heart.
Cor. Y' are pleasant, sir; pray heaven your mirth continue.
Who is that woman with the veil?
Diego. Let her answer for herself, sh' has a tongue;
Set it but once agoing, and she'll tell
All that she knows, and more.
Cor. Make her uncover her face.

[One of the Sergeants goes to lift up her veil.

Don C. Hold, friend. Cousin, if it should be Porcia,

[Turning to the Corregidore.

It were not fit to expose her here.
Cor. 'Tis very well consider'd. Go you to her.
And speak to her in private. [Don Carlos goes towards Flora.
Flo. 'Tis I, sir, Flora who, being commanded
By my lady——
Don C. Speak softly, prythee, Flora, 'tis enough;
I understand the rest, and pity her:
Bid her sit still i' th' chair, I'll do my best
To save her from dishonour.
Flo. He thinks 'tis Porcia there; a good mistake;
It may secure Octavio from the hands
Of this rude rabble. [Aside.
They take you for my mistress, sir; sit still,

[To Don Octavio in the chair.

I'll follow the chair, and watch all occasions
To further your escape.
[Pg 273]
Don C. We have found our wand'ring nymph, sir.
Cor. Was it Porcia?

Don C. No, sir, 'twas her waiting-woman, Flora, following the chair, wherein they were conveying her lady to some other place.

Cor. We arriv'd luckily: had we but stay'd a moment longer, they had all been fled.

Ser. Will you have us see, sir, who's i' th' chair?
Cor. Forbear, fellow!
Her own folly is punishment enough [To Don Carlos.
T' a woman of her quality, without
Our adding that of public shame.
Don C. 'Twas happily thought on, when you oblig'd
Don Henrique to expect us at your house;
For had he come and found his sister here,
'T had been impossible to have restrain'd
His passion from some great extravagance.
Cor. I could not think it fit to let him come;
For one of such a spirit would ne'er brook
The sight of these had done him these affronts
And's better that a business of this nature,
Especially 'twixt persons of such quality,
Should be compos'd, if it were possible,
By th' mediation of some chosen friends,
Than brought t' a public trial of the law;
Or, which is worse, some barbarous revenge.
Don C. This fellow, if I am not much[68] mistaken,

[Looking upon Diego.

Is Don Octavio's man.
Cor. Who do you belong to, friend?
Diego. To nobody, sir.
[Pg 274]
Cor. Do not you serve?
Diego. Yes, sir; but my master is not himself.
Cor. Take his sword from him, sergeant.

[The Sergeant goes to lake away his sword.

Diego. Diego, disarm'd by any other hand
Than by his own? Know, friend, it is a weapon
Of such dire execution, that I dare not
Give it up but to the hands of justice.

[The Corregidor receives the sword, and gives it to the hands of his Sergeants.

Pray call for't, sir, as soon as you come home,
And hang't up in your hall, then underwrite,
This is bold Diego's sword. O, may it be
Ever from rust, as 'tis from slaughter, free!
Cor. Thou art a fellow of a pleasant humour.
Diego. Faith, sir, I never pain myself for love,
Or fame, or riches; nor do I pretend
To that great subtlety of sense, to feel
Before I'm hurt; and for the most part
I keep myself out of harm's way.
Don C. The definition of a philosopher!
Cor. Come, leave your fooling, sirrah. Where's your master?
Diego. The only way to leave my fooling, sir,
Is to leave my master; for, without doubt,
Whoever has but the least grain of wit
Would never serve a lover militant:
He had better wait upon a mountebank,
And be run through the body twice a week
To recommend his balsam.
Cor. This fellow is an original.
Diego. But of so ill a hand, I am not worth
The hanging up, sir, in my master's room,
Amongst the worst of your collection.

[Pg 275]

Enter Sergeants, with two Footmen and two Maid-servants.

Ser. An't please your worship, we have search'd the house
From the cellars to the garrets, and these
Are all the living cattle we can find.
Cor. Friends, take a special care of that same varlet
And the waiting-woman: we'll find a way
To make them tell the truth, I warrant you.
Flo. O Diego! must we be prisoners together?
Diego. Why, that's not so bad as the bands of wedlock, Flora.
Cor. Come, let's away; but whither to convey her?
To her own house certainly were not fit,
Because of her incensed brother.
Don C. If you approve on't, cousin, I'll carry her
To mine; for since we seek (if possible)
To compose the business, she will be there
With much more decency and satisfaction,
Being in a kinsman's house, and where she'll have
My sister to accompany her.
Cor. This business cannot be in better hands
Than yours; and there I'll leave it, and bid you
Good night.
Don C. Your servant, cousin; I wish you well at home.
You may be pleas'd to take your sergeants with you;

[As the Corregidor goes out

There are without two servants of Don Henrique's,
They'll be enough to guard our prisoners,
And with less notice.
Cor. Come, sergeants, follow me.
[Pg 276]
Don C. Well, ye may go about your business, friends.

[To the Footmen and Maids.

I am glad we did not find Octavio here;
For, though I might justly pretend ignorance,
I would not have him suffer, though by chance. [Exeunt Servants.
San. Well, I am now sufficiently instructed,
And, since there is no notice ta'en of me,
I'll fairly steal away, and give my master
An account of this misfortune. [Exit Sancho.
Don C. Take up the chair, and follow me.

[They take up the chair.

Diego. A lovely dame they bear: 'tis true, she's something
Hairy about the chin, but that, they say, 's
A sign of strength. It tickles me to think
How like an ass he'll look when, op'ning the shell,
His worship finds within so rough a kernel. [Exeunt.

Scene changes to Don Antonio's apartment in Don Henrique's house. Enter Don Antonio and Porcia.

Don A. Madam, banish your fear: you are now safe
Within these walls: be pleas'd to remain here
Till I shall bring some lights, and acquaint Porcia
With th' honour she'll receive in entertaining
So fair a guest.
Por. Who is't you say you will advertise, sir?
Don A. My wife Porcia. Have but a little patience,
And she'll attend you, madam. [Exit Antonio.
Por. Is her name Porcia too? Pray heaven send her
[Pg 277] A better fate than her distress'd name's-sake.
But whither am I brought? What house is this?
What with my fears and darkness of the night,
I have lost all my measures: I can't guess
What quarter of the town it is w' are in;
For, to avoid the meeting with my brother
And his revengeful train, we have been forc'd
To make so many turnings, I am giddy.
But, thanks to providence, I have this comfort,
That now I'm in a place out of his reach.

Enter Don Antonio with two lights, and sets them on the table.

Don A. Madam, my wife will suddenly attend you;
Pardon, I pray, my absence for a moment. [Exit Antonio.
Por. Now I begin to hope my sighs and tears
Have in some measure with just heaven prevail'd
At length to free me. But what do I see!

[Looking about her, she starts.

Am I awake, or is it an illusion?
Bless me, is not this my brother's house? this,
The quarter joining to my own apartment?
There is no room for doubt; and my misfortunes
Are always certain and without redress.
Unerring powers, arbiters of fate,
Teach me my crimes, and how to expiate
Your wrath! Alas! I know not what I have done
To merit this continued persecution!
But how came I here I brought by Octavio's friend,
One on whose virtue I did so rely,
That I my brother's malice durst defy.
Can he betray me? sure, I'm in a dream.
But if Octavio—O vile suspicion!
[Pg 278] Octavio false?—No, truth and he are one.
'Tis possible his friend may guilty be,
But to what end so base a treachery?
And if perfidious, how could he be his friend?
I am confounded with the various forms
Of my misfortunes, heighten'd still the more,
The less I can their hidden cause explore.
This only's evident, that I must fly
Immediately this fatal place. But why
Struggle I thus with fate, since, go or stay,
Death seems alike to wait me every way. [She weeps.

Enter Don Antonio and Camilla.

Cam. I wonder much what lady this can be
Antonio mentions. [Aside.
Don A. Pardon, I beseech you, madam, the liberty
Which I so early take; but I presume
Such is your generous tenderness to those
Whose spiteful fortunes, not their fault, has brought
Into distress, that you will think yourself
Oblig'd to him who gives you the occasion
T' exercise those virtues, which only visit
Others, but reside with you. This fair lady—
But she will best relate her own sad story,
Whilst I seek out Don Henrique, and engage him
T' employ his power and int'rest for her service.

[Exit Don Antonio. Upon Camilla's approach Porcia takes the handkerchief from her eyes.

Cam. Ha! what is that I see? Stay, stay, Antonio,

[She runs after Antonio.

It is not fit Don Henrique—but he's gone,
And we are lost for ever!
[Pg 279]
Por. O heavens! is this Antonio, the same man,
To whom I am betroth'd? then my destruction
Is inevitable.
Cam. Are you an apparition, or are you
Porcia herself? speak; that when y' have said it thrice,
I may not yet believe you.
Por. You well may doubt even what you see, Camilla,
Since my disasters are so new and strange,
They sever truth from credibility.
Cam. How is it possible you should be here?
Por. I know not how: only of this I'm sure,
I have not long to expect the dismal end
Of my sad tragedy; since 'tis evident,
The person that hath led me to this place,
This fatal place, is the abus'd Antonio,
Who has conspir'd with my unnatural brother
To take away my wretched life, and chose
This scene as fittest for their cruelty.
And thus, strange fate! (through ignorance betray'd)
I have sought protection from the same party
Whom I have injur'd, and have made my husband
The only confidant of his own affront:
Who, to accomplish his too just revenge,
As well upon my family as person,
Gives me up to be murder'd by my brother;
So, whilst I'm branded as a faithless bride,
He'll be detested as a parricide.
Cam. Prodigious accident! but wert thou blind,
Not to know thine own house, unhappy Porcia?
Por. Alas! how could I, in so dark a night,
In such confusion, and so full of fear?
Besides, he brought me in by the back-way,
Through his own quarter, where was neither light,
Nor any creature of the family.
[Pg 280]
Cam. Although I cannot comprehend the steps
Of this your strange adventure, yet, dear cousin,
Your case, as I conceive, is not so desperate.
Por. We easily persuade ourselves to hope
The things we wish. But, cousin, my condition
Will not admit self-flattery, and what
Can you propose to temper my despair?
Cam. Don't you remember, how this afternoon
Antonio's man, finding me in your quarter
Without a veil, you having put on mine,
That he applied himself to me, and I,
By your command, assum'd your person?
Por. Yes, very well.
Cam. The master since has, by the man's mistake,
Been happily led into the same error:
I have not disabus'd him yet, in hopes
It might produce advantage to us both.
Por. O, he has spoken with my brother since,
Who (sure) has undeceiv'd him long e'er this.
No, without doubt, they, having found themselves
Affronted both, have both conspir'd my death.
Cam. How, cousin, can that be, if Don Antonio
Has engag'd himself in your protection,
And is Octavio's friend?
Por. Cousin, if you impartially reflect
On the affront which I have done Antonio,
You will not wonder much if he recede
From the scarce-trodden path of rigid honour
To meet with his revenge, and to that end
Proceeds thus cautelously, still pretending
He knows not me, that he may disavow,
Both to Octavio and to all the world,
Th' infamy of betraying a poor maid
To loss of life and honour.
Cam. Misfortunes make you rave: this vile suspicion
[Pg 281] Is inconsistent with Antonio's fame.
You may as well believe that nature will
Reverse the order of the whole creation,
As that Antonio, a man whose soul
Is of so strong and perfect a complexion,
Should e'er descend to such a slavish sin. [Spoken with heat.
And if we had the leisure, I could give you
Such reasons to convince you of your error,
That you would both acknowledge and repent it.
Por. Alas! I had forgot her near concernments
For Antonio. [Aside.] Pardon and pity me, Camilla;
My mind is so distracted by afflictions,
I know not what I should, or should not, fear.
Cam. I pity thee with all my heart. But, cousin,
If Antonio, not knowing you nor your
Relations, should chance to find your brother,
And tell him unawares all that has pass'd,
And that h' has brought the distress'd party hither,
He'll presently imagine it is you,
And then, I fear, 'twill be impossible
(Though he should interpose with all his power)
To stop the torrent, or divert his rage
From breaking in, and executing on us
That horrid parricide which, though too late,
It may be he himself would execrate.
Por. There's too much ground for what you fear, Camilla;
But if I could secure myself this night,
'Tis very possible that to-morrow
We might engage Antonio and your brother
To find out some expedient to relieve me.
Cam. Were you only in pain for your security
This night, I know an easy remedy
For that.
[Pg 282]
Por. Which way, my dearest?
Cam. Why, what does hinder us from making use
On this occasion of the secret door,
By which, you know, you have so often pass'd
Into your house upon more pleasing errands?
By this we shall obtain these benefits—
[A] safety from your brother's present fury,
And time to try if Carlos and Antonio
May be engag'd to mediate in this business;
And I have cause to think you will not find
Antonio so implacable as you
Imagine.
Por. I conceive you, cousin. Fool that I was,
To think a heart once conquer'd by your eyes
Should e'er become another virgin's prize!

Enter Don Antonio.

Don A. So late! a guest in's house, that's come so far
On such a business, and not yet come home!
There's something in't I cannot comprehend. [Aside.
Madam, I han't as yet found out your brother,
But (sure) 'twill not be long ere he return;
Then I'll acquaint him with the accident
Has made his house this lady's sanctuary.
Por. Here is a glimpse of comfort, for I see
He takes my cousin for Don Henrique's sister. [Aside.
O bless'd mistake, so luckily continu'd!
Cam. I am by his permission mistress here;
And since that I am pleas'd, sir, 'tis enough,
Without our troubling him with the account
Of her sad story.
Don A. True, madam, as to her reception here;
[Pg 283] But yet 'twere very fit he knew it too,
That we might serve ourselves of his advice
And credit for this lady's service.

Enter Don Henrique.

Don H. Though I did promise the corregidor
Not to stir from his house till his return,
Yet I could not obtain it of myself; [Aside.
I'm so impatient to unfold the riddle
Of Don Antonio's seeing of my sister,
And entertaining her in her own lodgings.
I shall not now be long i' th' dark. O heavens! [He sees her.
'Tis she herself, and Camilla with her.
Were all my servants mad, or all agreed
T' abuse me in affirming she was fled?
But Don Carlos, was he mad too to swear
That he had trac'd her to another house?
Certainly I or they must be possess'd,
Or some enchantment reigns within these walls.
Don A. O, here comes Don Henrique: now I'll acquaint him
With your sad story, madam.
Cam. I fear we are undone.
Don A. Don Henrique!
Por. I'm dead if he proceed, but how to hinder him——
Don A. Here's a lady with your sister Porcia——
Don H. Yes, sir, I see who 'tis.
Don A. Since you know her, sir, you will the easier
Excuse my boldness.
Don H. Boldness! in what, sir?
Don A. To have been th' occasion of your finding her
Here with your sister at this time o' th' night.
[Pg 284]
Don H. Lord, sir, what do you mean?
Don A. There was in truth such a necessity in it,
That 'twill, I hope, excuse my humble suit to you
In her's and my behalf.
Por. Now all comes out.
Don H. I understand you, sir; she does desire
To pass this night with Porcia, to assist her
In th' ordering of her nuptial ceremonies.
Let her stay, a' God's name.
Por. If he does not dissemble, my condition
Is not so desperate as I imagin'd. [Aside.
Don A. I hope you'll pardon this great liberty:
So early a confidence will need it, sir.
Don H. 'Tis more than enough that you desire it;
Th' occasion, too, does justify her stay.
Don A. 'Tis most true, sir, th' occasion did enforce me
Thus boldly to presume upon your friendship.
Don H. Ha' done, for heaven's sake: is it a novelty,
Think you, for Porcia and her cousin-german
To pass a night together?
Don A. Is she so near a kinswoman of his?
Strange inadvertence in her not to tell me
Her relation to him when I nam'd him first.
I'd made fine work on't, had I told him all. [Aside.
Don H. She knows I owe her many a good turn
Upon Octavio's score, and hope ere long
To be able to repay her to the full.

[Looking on the ladies, and spoken aside, that Antonio might not hear him.

Por. Can he declare his mind in plainer terms?
[Pg 285]
Cam. I cannot tell which of us two he means:
These words may be applied to either of us;
But I begin to fear that he knows all.
Don H. Since 'tis so late, pray give the ladies leave
To retire to their chambers. Go in, sister.
Don A. My brother's words and his behaviour
Imply some mystery; but I must be silent
Till I discover more. [Aside.
Por. Let us be gone; w' are lost if we stay here.
I'm confident he counterfeits this calm
To cover his revenge, until Antonio
And the rest of the house are gone to bed.
Cam. But we shall ne'er be able to get out,
Whilst they continue in the outward rooms.
Por. Yes, by the garden door; but I'm afraid
'Tis shut.
Cam. No, now I think on't, Flora went that way,
And left it open.
Por. Come, let's be gone: I hope heaven will ordain
Ease by that door which first let in my pain.

[Exeunt Porcia and Camilla.

Don A. I'll only make a step, sir, to my chamber,
And then return to you immediately.
Don H. Pray, sir, give me leave to wait on you.
Don A. I humbly thank you, sir; I know the way,
And shall not stay above a moment from you.
Don H. What you please, sir; you command here.
Don A. I'll now go see whether my servant Sancho
Has brought Octavio to my lodgings,
As I directed him. [Exit Don Antonio.
[Pg 286]
Don H. Heavens! was there ever so strange a mystery!
Don Carlos, he affirm'd that those we fought with
Had convey'd Porcia away; and when I come
To seek her in the house, I find her missing:
To second this, her waiting-woman Flora
Tells me that she went down, about that time,
Into the garden: Antonio, not long after,
Affirms that he both saw and entertain'd her
In her own apartment, where I now find her,
And Camilla with her. What can this be?
These, sure, are riddles to pose an Œdipus;
But if, by my own sense, I am assur'd
My honour safe, which was so much in doubt,
What matter is it how 'tis brought about?

FOOTNOTES:

[67] At cards. From pinta, a spot or mark.—Sp.

Although Pintas mean cards generally, yet the word is applied to a particular game in Spain, which we call Basset.—Collier.

[68] Much was omitted by previous editors.—Collier.


ACT V.

Scene.Don Carlos's house.

Enter Diego, Flora, and Pedro, accompanying the chair, groping as in the dark.

Ped. Dame Flora and Signior Diego, go in there; and you, my friends, set down the chair, and let the lady out; go, there's money for you. I'll go fetch a candle.

[Diego and Flora go in, and the chair being set in the door, Octavio goes out into the room: Pedro claps to the door, and goes away.

Enter Don Octavio, Diego, Flora, at another door.

Don O. What! put in all alone here i' th' dark,

[Groping as in the dark.

And the door shut upon me! Diego! Flora!
[Pg 287]
Diego. Here am I, sir, and Mistress Flora too,
Unless my sense of feeling fails me.
Don O. I can't conjecture where we are. I durst not
So much as peep out of the chair since Flora
Gave me the warning; but, where'er I am,
'Tis better far than in the sergeants' hands.
Flo. Though now i' th' dark, I know well where we are.
I have too often walk'd the streets, Octavio,
From your house hither, upon Cupid's errands,
Not to know the back-door of Carlos his
Apartment: 'tis there, I'm sure, w' are now.
Don O. Curse on thee, Flora! hadst thou lost thy wits,
Not to let me know it sooner?
Diego. A gipsy told me by my palm, long since,
A sour-fac'd damsel should be my undoing.
Flo. Suspend awhile your apprehensions, sir;
You may escape before the candles come.
The door was wont to open on this side;
If not, I have another way in store. [Octavio goes to the door.
Don O. Flora, I cannot make the lock go back.

[Pedro unlocks it on the other side, and coming in with a candle, meets with Octavio, and starting back and stumbling, lets the candle fall, then running out again, double-locks the door.

Diego. Nay then, i' faith, w' are fast: I heard him give
The key a double turn. [Diego takes up the candle.
Here's a fair trial for your maiden breath!
Flora, blow't in again; let's owe your mouth
More light than yet your eyes could e'er impart.
[Pg 288]
Flo. Light's cast away on such an owl as you;
But yet I'll try. [Flora blows the candle in.
Diego. Thanks, gentle Flora, to your virgin puff;
'Tis a strong breath that can o'ercome a snuff. [Aside.
But I had rather't had been let alone:
If I must needs be kill'd, unless it were
Behind my back, I'd have it i' th' dark;
For I hate to be kill'd in my own presence.
Don O. What must we do, Flora I all my hope's in you.
Flo. W' have yet some room for hope. There's a back-stairs
Beyond that inner chamber, which goes down
Into the garden: if the door be open,
As certainly it is, the way is easy.
Don O. Come, let's lose no time. Prythee, guide us, Flora. [Exeunt.

Scene changes to Don Henrique's house. Enter Don Henrique.

Don H. As well pleas'd as I am to find my honour
Less desperate than I thought, I cannot rest
Till I have drawn from Porcia a confession
Of the whole truth before she goes to bed.
She's in her chamber now, unless by new
Enchantments carried thence.

As he is going towards Porcia's chamber, enter Don Carlos in haste.

Don O. I can't imagine what should make Don Henrique
Quit the corregidor's till we return'd:
One of his servants tells me he's come home.
[Pg 289] O, here he is, Now shall I raise a storm
Which (if we do not take a special care)
Will scarce b' allay'd without a shower of blood;
Yet I must venture't, since it so imports
Our friendship and the honour of our house. [Aside.
Happiness is such a stranger to mankind

[Addressing to Don Henrique.

That, like to forc'd motion, it is ever strongest
At the first setting out; then languishing
With time, grows weary of our company:
But to misfortunes we so subject are,
That, like to natural motion, they acquire
More force in their progression.
Don H. What means this philosophical preamble?
Don C. You'll know too soon, I fear.
Don H. Don Carlos, I am so well recover'd
From all m' inquietudes, that for the future
I dare defy the malice of my stars
To cause a new relapse into distemper.
Don C. Cousin, I'm much surpris'd with this great change:
But since y' are such a master of your passions,
I'll spare my ethics, and proceed to give you
In short the narrative of our success.
Our worthy kinsman the corregidor,
Forward to serve you in th' affair I mention'd,
Was pleas'd to go along with me in person
With a strong band of sergeants to the place
Where I, attended by your servants, led him.
Cousin, 'twas there;—it wounds my heart to speak it,
And I conjure you summon all your patience—
'Twas there I found——
Don H. Whom, cousin, did you find? for since I'm sure
[Pg 290] You found no Porcia there, my concernments
In your discoveries are not very likely
To discompose me.
Don C. I would to heaven we had not found her there!
Don H. What's that you say, Don Carlos? My sister there?
Don C. Yes, sir, your sister.
Don H. My sister? that's good, i' faith; ha, ha, ha!
Don C. Why do you laugh! Is the dishonour of
Our family becoming a laughing matter?
This is a worse extreme, methinks, than t'other.
Don H. How can I choose but laugh, to see you dream?
Awake, for heaven's sake, and recall your senses.
Porcia there, said you?
Don C. Yes, sir, Porcia, I say; your sister Porcia;
And, which is more, 'twas in Octavio's house.
Don H. Why, sure, y' are not in earnest, cousin?
Don C. As sure as y' are alive, I found her there.
Don H. Then you transport me, sir, beyond all patience.
Why, cousin, if she has been still at home,
Antonio seen and entertain'd her here,
Accompani'd by Camilla; if even now
I left them there within, is't possible
You should have found her in Octavio's house?
To be here and there too at the same time!
None, sure, but Janus with his double face
Can e'er unfold this mystery.
Don C. Let me advise you, abuse not yourself;
I tell you positive'y, I found her there:
[Pg 291] And, by the same token, her waiting-woman
Flora was there attending her.
Don H. Flora! Dear cousin, do not still persist
Thus to affirm impossibilities.
Don C. Sure, you are making some experiment
Upon my temper, and would fain provoke
My patience to some such high disorder,
That I should ne'er hereafter have the face,
When you are in your fits, to play the stoic.
Don H. Cousin, I swear to you upon my honour,
'Tis not above a quarter of an hour
Since I did speak with Porcia and your sister
In that very apartment, and am now
Returning to them in my sister's chamber.
Don C. And, sir, I swear to you upon my honour,
'Tis not above a quarter of an hour,
Since I left Porcia carrying in a chair
From Don Octavio's house, and your man Pedro
Leading the chairmen to mine, and follow'd
By Flora; whilst I came to find you out,
To acquaint you with this unpleasing news,
But fit for you to know as soon as might be.
Don H. This question, cousin, may be soon decided:
Pray, come along, her chamber's not far off.
Don C. And my house but the next door; let's go thither.
Don H. You'll quickly find your error, cousin.
Don C. And you'll as soon be undeceiv'd. But stay:
Here comes your servant, whom I left to guard her:
He'll instantly convince you of the truth.

Enter Pedro.

Ped. O sir!——
Don H. What brings yon hither, Pedro?
[Pg 292]
Ped. Give me my albricias,[69] sir; I bring you
The rarest news: your enemy Octavio—
I'm quite out of breath——
Don H. What does the varlet mean?
Ped. Sir, I suppose Don Carlos has inform'd you
That he left me to see your sister Porcia,
With Flora and Diego, Oetavio's man,
Safely convey'd t' his house.
Don C. See now, Don Henrique: who was i' the right!
Ped. I did as he commanded me, and put them
All three into Don Carlos's antechamber,
Porcia in the same chair which brought her thither,
And for more safety, double-lock'd the door,
Whilst I went down in haste to fetch some candles.
Don H. As sure as death, this madness is infectious;
My man is now in one of Carlos's fits.
Ped. Returning with some lights a moment after,
I no sooner open'd the door, but, heavens!
Who should I see there, standing just before me,
In the selfsame place where I had left Porcia,
But Octavio, your enemy Octavio.
Don H. Here is some witchcraft, sure. What can this mean?
Ped. Amaz'd at this sight, I let the candle fall,
And clapp'd the door to; then double-lock'd it,
And brought away the key.
Don C. But how could he get in, if you be sure
You lock'd the door when you went out for lights?
[Pg 293]
Ped. I know not whether he was there before,
Or got in after; but of this I'm sure,
That there I have him now, and safe enough.
Don H. Let's not, Don Carlos, now perplex ourselves
With needless circumstances, when and how;
Those queries are too phlegmatic for me:
If the beast be i' th' toil, it is enough;
Let us go seize him, for he must die.

Enter Don Antonio.

Don A. Pray, brother, what unhappy man is he
Whom you so positively doom to death?
I have a sword to serve you on all occasions
Worthy of you and me.
Don H. His intervening, Carlos, is unlucky.
How shall we behave ourselves towards him
In this business, so unfit for his knowledge?
Don C. Cousin, you should consider with yourself

[Carlos draws Henrique aside.

What answer to return him: he's not a man
To be put off with any slight pretences;
Nor yet to be engag'd in such an action
As bears th' appearance rather of brutality
Than true honour. You know Antonio needs
No fresh occasions to support his name.
Who danger seek, are indigent of fame.
Don H. I beg your patience, sir, but for one word
With this gentleman my friend.

[Don Henrique addresses himself to Don Antonio.

Don A. I'll attend your leisure.
I find my coming has disorder'd 'em, [Aside.
There's something they would fain conceal from me:
All here is discompos'd, whate'er's the matter.
[Pg 294]
Don H. I am a rogue, if I know what to do.
Don C. Since the event's so dangerous and doubtful,
'Tis best, in my opinion, sir, to temporise.
Don H. How easily men get the name of wise!
To fear t' engage, is call'd to temporise:
Sure, fear and courage cannot be the same,
Yet th' are confounded by a specious name;
And I must tamely suffer, because fools
Are rul'd by nice distinctions of the schools.
How I hate such cold complexions! [He stamps.
Don C. Why so transported? as if vehemence
Were for your passion an approv'd defence.
Don H. Who condemns passions, Nature he arraigns.
Don C. Th' are useful succours, when they serve in chains:
But he who throws the bridle on their necks,
From a good cause will produce ill effects.
Don H. Be th' effects what they will, I am resolv'd.
I doubt not of your kind concurrence, sir,

[Addressing to Don Antonio.

In all the near concernments of a person
Allied to you as I am; but, noble brother,
It were against the laws of hospitality
And civil breeding to engage a guest
(Newly arriv'd after so long a journey)
In an occasion where there may be danger.
Don A. If such be the occasion, I must then
Acquaint you freely, that I wear a sword,
Which must not be excluded from your service.
I'm sure you are too noble to employ yours
In any cause not justifi'd by honour.
Don H. Though with regret, I see, sir, I must yield
To your excess of generosity,
[Pg 295] This only I shall say to satisfy
Your just reflections, that my resentments
Are grounded on affronts of such a nature
That, as nothing but the offender's life
Can e'er repair 'em, so, as to the forms
Of taking my revenge, they can't admit
Of the least scruple.
Don A. Honour's my standard, and 'tis true that I
Had rather fall, than blush for victory;
But you are such a judge of honour's laws,
That 'twere injurious to suspect your cause.
Allow me, sir, th' honour to lead the way.

[Exeunt Don Antonio and Don Henrique.

Don C. If Porcia be there too (as I believe)
'Twill prove, I fear, a fatal tragedy;
But should she not be there, yet 'tis too much
For such a heart as mine, through ignorance
To have betray'd a gentleman, though faulty,
Into such cruel hands. I must go with them;
But so resolv'd as, in this bloody strife,
I'll salve my honour, or I'll lose my life. [Exit.

Scene changes to Don Carlos's house. Enter Don Octavio, Diego, and Flora with a candle.

Flo. O th' unluckiness! I vow t' you, sir,
I have scarce known that door e'er lock'd before.
Don O. There's no remedy, Flora: I am now
At the mercy of my enemies.
Diego. Having broken into another's ground,
'Tis just, i' faith, you should be put i' th' pound.
Don O. The tide of my ill fate is swoll'n so high,
'Twill not admit increase of misery;
Since, amongst all the curses, there is none
So wounds the spirit as privation:
[Pg 296] For 'tis not where we lie, but whence we fell;
The loss of heaven's the greatest pain in hell.
When I had sail'd the doubtful course of love,
Had safely gain'd my port, and (far above
My hopes) the precious treasure had secured
For which so many storms I had endur'd:
To be so soon from this great blessing torn,
That's hard to say, if 'twere first dead or born,
May doubtless seem such a transcendent curse,
That even the Fates themselves could do no worse:
Yet this I bore with an erected face.
Since fortune, not my fault, caus'd my disgrace;
But now my eyes unto the earth are bent,
Conscious of meriting this punishment:
For trusting a fond maid's officious care,
My life and honour's taken in this snare;
And thus I perish on this unseen shelf,
Pursu'd by fate, and false unto myself.
Flora, when I am dead, I pray present [He pulls out his tablets.
These tablets to your lady; there she'll find
My last request, with reasons which I give,
That for my sake she would vouchsafe to live.
Give me the candle, Flora.

[Octavio sets the candle on a table, and sits down to write in his tablets.

Diego. A double curse upon all love in earnest,
All constant love: 'tis still accompanied
With strange disasters, or else ends in that
Which is the worst of all disasters—marriage.
Flo. Sure, you could wish that everybody living
Had such a soul of quicksilver as yours,
That can fix nowhere.
Diego. Why' 'twould not be the worse for you, dear Flora;
You then might hope in time to have your turn,
As well as those who have much better faces.
[Pg 297]
Flo. You, I presume, sir, would be one o' th' latest,
Which I should hear of; yet 'tis possible
That one might see you before you should be
Welcome.
Diego. She has wit and good-humour, excellent
Ingredients to pass away the time;
And I have kindness for her person too;
But that will end with marriage, and possibly
Her good-humour; for I have seldom known
The husband and the wife make any music,
Though when asunder they can play their parts.
Well, friend Diego, I advise you to look
Before you leap, for if you should be coupled
To a yoke, instead of a yoke-fellow,
'Tis likely you may wear it to your grave.
Yet, honest Diego, now I think on't better,
Your dancing and your vaulting days are done:
Faith, all your pleasures are three storeys high,
They are come up to your mouth; you are now
For ease and eating, the only joys of life;
And there's no cook, no dry-nurse, like a wife.
Don O. Here, take my tablets, Flora: sure, they'll spare
Thy life for thy sex's sake; but for poor Diego——
Diego. Why, sir, they'll never offer to kill me?
There's nothing in the world I hate like death.
Don O. Since death's the passage to eternity,
To be for ever happy we must die.
Diego. 'Tis very true; but most that die would live,
If to themselves they could new leases give.
Don O. We must possess our souls with such indifference,
As not to wish nor fear to part from hence.
Diego. The first I may pretend to, for I swear
I do not wish to part: 'tis true, I fear.
[Pg 298]
Don O. Fear! why, death's only cruel when she flies,
And will not deign to close the weeping eyes.
Diego. That is a cruelty I can forgive,
For I confess I'm not afraid to live.
Don O. We shall still live, though 'tis by others' breath—
By our good fame, which is secur'd by death.
Diego. But we shall catch such colds, sir, under ground,
That we shall never hear Fame's trumpet sound.
Don O. 'Tis but returning, when from hence we go,
As rivers to their mother-ocean flow.
Diego. We know our names and channels whilst w' are here;
W' are swallow'd in that dark abyss when there.
Don O. Engulf'd in endless joys and perfect rest,
Unchangeable, i' th' centre of the bless'd.
Diego. Hark, I hear a noise—

[The noise of the opening of a door. Diego runs to the door, looks into the next room, then comes running to Octavio.

Diego. O sir, w' are lost! I sea two female giants
Coming most terribly upon us.
Don O. Away, you fearful fool——

Enter Camilla and Porcia, the one with a key, the other with a candle.

Por. I'm confident nobody saw us pass
From th' other house.
Cam. However, let us go through my brother's quarter,
And open the back-door into the street;
'Tis good in all events t' have a retreat
More ways than one. [A door claps behind, and both look back.
[Pg 299]
Por. O heavens, our passage is cut off!
The wind has shut the door through which we came.
Cam. The accident's unlucky: 'tis a spring lock,
That opens only on the other side.
Por. Let's on the faster, and make sure of th' other—

[Seeing Octavio, she starts.

Octavio here! [Octavio hearing them, starts up.
Don O. Porcia in this place! may I trust my senses,
Or does my fancy form these chimeras?
Diego. Either we sleep, and dream extravagantly,
Or else the fairies govern in this house.

[Flora runs to Porcia.

Flo. Ah, dearest mistress! you shall never make me
Quit you so again.
Por. But can that be Octavio?
Don O. I was Octavio; but I am at present
So much astonish'd, I am not myself.
Cam. What can the meaning of this vision be?

[Don Octavio approaches Porcia.

Don O. My dearest Porcia, how is't possible
To find you in this place, my friend Antonio
Having so generously undertaken
Your protection?
Por. Did he not yours so too? and yet I find
Octavio here, where he is more expos'd
Than I to certain ruin. I am loth
To say 'tis he who has betray'd us both.
Don O. Antonio false? It is impossible.
Diego. 'Tis but too evident.
Don O. Peace, slave! he is my noble friend, of noble blood,
Whose fame's above the level of those tongues
That bark by custom at the brightest virtues,
As dogs do at the moon.
[Pg 300]
Por. How hard it is for virtue to suspect!
Ah, Octavio! we have been both deceiv'd.
This vile Antonio is the very man
To whom my brother without my consent
Or knowledge has contracted me in Flanders.
Don O. Antonio the man to whom you are contracted?
Porcia the bride whom he is come to marry?
Por. The very same.
Don O. Why did you not acquaint me with it sooner?
Por. Alas! I have not seen you since I knew it;
But those few hours such wonders have produc'd
As exceed all belief, and ask more time
Than your unsafe condition in this place
Will allow me to make you comprehend it.
Cam. Cousin, I cannot blame your apprehensions,
Nor your suspicion of Antonio's friendship;
But I am so possess'd with the opinion
Of his virtue, I shall as soon believe
Impossibilities as his apostasy
From honour.
Don O. What's her concernment in Antonio, Porcia?
Por. O, that's the strangest part of our sad story,
And which requires most time to let you know it

[A blaze of light appears at the window, and a noise without.

See, Flora, at the window, what's that light
And noise we hear. [Flora goes to the window.
Flo. O madam, we are all undone! I see
Henrique, Carlos, and their servants, with torches
All coming hither; and, which is wonderful,
Antonio leading them with his sword drawn.
Cam. Thou dream'st, distracted wench? Antonio false?
[Pg 301] It is impossible——

[Camilla runs to the window, and turning back, says

All she has said is in appearance true.
There is some hidden mystery, which thus
Abuses us; for I shall ne'er believe
Antonio can transgress the rules of friendship.
Don O. Friendship's a specious name, made to deceive
Those whose good-nature tempts them to believe:
The traffic of good offices 'mongst friends
Moves from ourselves, and in ourselves it ends:
When competition brings us to the test,
Then we find friendship is self-interest.
Por. Ye pow'rs above! what pleasure can ye take
To persecute submitting innocence?
Don O. Retire, dear Porcia, to that inner room:
For should thy cruel brother find thee here,
He's so revolted from humanity,
He'll mingle thine with my impurer blood.
Por. That were a kind of contract. Let him come,
We'll meet at once marriage and martyrdom.
Don O. Soul of my life, retire.
Por. I will not leave you.
Don O. Thou preserv'st me by saving of thyself:
For they can murder only half of me,
Whilst that my better part survives in thee.
Por. I will die too, Octavio, to maintain
That different causes form the same effects:
'Tis courage in you men, love in our sex.
Don O. Though souls no sexes have, when w' are above,
If we can know each other, we may love.
Por. I'll meet you there above: here take my word.

[Don Octavio takes her hand and kisses it.

This Porcia knows the way of joining souls,
[Pg 302] As well as th' other, when she swallow'd coals.

[They retire to the other room, Porcia leaning on Camilla, and Octavio waits on them to the door.

Diego. Nay, if y' are good at that, the devil take
The hindmost. 'Tis for your sake, fair Flora,

[Taking Flora by the hand.

I shun these honourable occasions.
Having no weapon, sir, 'tis fit that I
March off with the baggage.

[Turning to Don Octavio. Exeunt Diego and Flora.

Don O. I'm now upon the frontiers of this life,
There's but one step to immortality;
And, since my cruel fortune has allow'd me
No other witness of my tragic end
But a false friend and barbarous enemy,
I'll leave my genius to inform the world
My life and death was uniform: as I
Liv'd firm to love and honour, so I die. [Draws his sword.
Look down, ye spirits above; for if there be
A sight on earth worthy of you to see,
'Tis a brave man, pursu'd by unjust hate,
Bravely contending with his adverse fate. [Waving his sword.
Stay till this heaven-born soul puts off her earth,
And she'll attend ye to her place of birth.

Enter Don Antonio, Don Henrique, Don Carlos, and Pedro, their swords drawn; Don Antonio before the rest.

Don A. Where is the man whose insolence and folly
Has so misled him to affront my friend?
[Pg 303]
Don O. Here is the man thou seek'st, and he whom thou
So basely hast betray'd.
Don A. O heavens! what is't I see? It is Octavio,
My friend.
Don O. Not thy friend, Antonio, but 'tis Octavio,
Who by thy perfidy has been betray'd
To this forlorn condition; but, vile man,
Thou now shalt pay thy treachery with thy life.

[Don Octavio makes at Don Antonio.

Don A. Hold, Octavio! though thy injurious error
May transport thee, it shall not me, beyond
The bounds of honour. Heaven knows I thought
Of nothing less than what I find—Octavio
In this place.
Don H. What pause is this, Antonio? All your fervour
In the concernments of a brother-in-law
Reduc'd to a tame parley with our enemy?
Do all the promises you have made to me,
T' assist my just revenge, conclude in this?
Don O. Do all the promises you have made to me,
T' assist my virtuous love, conclude in this?
Don H. Where is your wonted bravery?
Where your kindness to such a near ally?
Don O. Where is your former honour? where your firmness
To such an ancient friend?
Don A. What course shall my distracted honour steer,
Betwixt these equal opposite engagements? [Aside.
[Pg 304]
Don H. What, demur still? nay, then I'll right myself.

[Don Henrique makes at Don Octavio; Don Antonio turns on Don Octavio's side.

Don A. Who attacks Octavio must pass through me.
Don C. I must lay hold on this occasion. [Aside.
Good cousin, I conjure you to restrain
Your passion for awhile. There lies conceal'd
Some mystery in this which, once unfolded,
May reconcile this difference.
Don H. Sweetly propos'd, sir; an accommodation!
Think'st thou my anger's like a fire of straw,
Only to blaze and then expire in smoke?
Think'st thou I can forget my name and nation,
And barter for revenge, when honour bleeds?
His life must pay this insolence, or mine.

[He makes at Don Octavio again; Don Antonio interposes.

Don A. Mine must protect his, or else perish with him.
Don H. Since neither faith nor friendship can prevail,
'Tis time to try what proof you are, Antonio,
Against your own near interest. Know that the man,
Whom you protect against my just revenge,
Has seconded his insolence to me
By foul attempts upon my sister's honour,
Your Porcia's, sir. If this will not inflame you——

[Don Antonio turns from Don Octavio and beholds him with a stern countenance.

Don O. How! I attempt your sister's honour, Henrique?

[Pg 305]

[Don Antonio turns and looks sternly upon Don Henrique.

The parent of your black designs, the devil,
Did ne'er invent a more malicious falsehood;
'Tis true that I have serv'd the virtuous Porcia
With such devotion and such spotless love,
That, though unworthy, yet she has been pleas'd
To recompense my passion with esteem;

[Don Antonio turns and looks sternly upon Don Octavio.

By which she has so chain'd me to her service,
That here I vow either to live her prize,
Or else in death to fall love's sacrifice.
Don A. O heavens! what's that I hear? Thou blessed angel,
Guardian of my honour, I now implore
Thy powerful assistance, to preserve
That reputation which I hitherto
By virtuous actions have maintain'd unblemish'd.
In vain, Don Henrique, you design to change

[He pauses a little, and rubs his forehead.

My resolutions: it must ne'er be said
That passion could return Antonio
From the strict rules of honour. Sir, I tell you,
Nothing can make me violate my first
Engagement.
Don H. Nay, then, thou shalt die too, perfidious man.
Ho! Geraldo, Pedro, Leonido!

Enter Geraldo, Pedro, and Leonido, with their swords drawn; they join with Don Henrique; Don Carlos interposes.

Don C. For heaven's sake, cousin, draw not on yourself
The horrid infamy of assassinating
Persons of noble blood by servile hands!
[Pg 306]
Don H. Do you defend them too? Kill 'em, I say.
Don A. Retire, Octavio, I'll sustain their shock.
Don O. Octavio retire!
Don A. Trust me, you must, they will surround us else;
Through that narrow passage they'll assail us
With less advantage.

[They retire, fighting, off the stage, Don Henrique and his men pursuing them, and Don Carlos endeavouring to stop Don Henrique.

Don H. What, d'ye give back, ye mighty men of fame?
Don A. Don Henrique, you shall quickly find 'tis honour,
Not fear, makes me retire. [Exeunt.

Enter presently Don Antonio and Don Octavio at another door, which Don Antonio bolts.

Don A. Now we shall have a breathing while at least,
Octavio, and time to look about us.
Pray, see yon other door be fast.

[Don Octavio steps to the door where they went out, and Don Henrique bounces at the door they came in at.

Don H. Geraldo, fetch an iron bar to force
The door.

[Within, aloud. Don Antonio goes to both the doors, to see if they be fast.

Don A. So, 'tis now as I could wish it.
Don O. What do you mean, generous Antonio?
Don A. To kill thee now myself:—having perform'd
What my engagement did exact from me
[Pg 307] In your defence 'gainst others, my love now
Requires its dues, as honour has had his.
There's no protection for you from my sword
But in your own, or in your frank renouncing
All claim to Porcia; she is so much mine,
That none must breathe and have the vanity
Of a pretension to her whilst I live.
Don O. I never will renounce my claims to Porcia,
But still assert them by all noble ways:
Yet, sir, this hand shall never use a sword
(Without the last compulsion) 'gainst that man
Who has so much oblig'd me. No, Antonio,
You are securely guarded by the favours
Which you so frankly have conferr'd upon me.
Don A. Pray, sir, let not your pretended gratitude
Enervate your defence: 'tis not my custom
To serve my friends with prospects of return.
Don O. And, sir, 'tis not my custom to receive
An obligation, but with a purpose,
And within the power of my return.
Friendship, Antonio, is reciprocal.
He that will only give, and not receive,
Enslaves the person whom he would relieve.
Don A. Your rule is right; but you apply it wrong.
It was Octavio, my camerade in arms
And ancient friend, whom I design'd to serve;
Not that disloyal man who has invaded
My honour and my love. 'Tis the intent
Which forms the obligation, not th' event.
Don O. I call those pow'rs, which both discern and punish,
To witness for me that I never knew
You e'er pretended to Don Henrique's sister,
Before I came within these fatal walls:
[Pg 308] This I declare only to clear myself
From th' imputation of disloyalty,
And to prevent the progress of your error.
Don A. How can I think you should speak truth to me
Who am a witness y' have been false to her,
To whom you now profess so high devotion?
Don O. I false to Porcia! take heed, Antonio,
So foul an injury provokes too much.
But, sir, I must confess I owe you more
Than the forgiveness of one gross mistake.
Don A. Rare impudence! I must not trust my senses.
Don O. If we cannot adjust this competition,
Let's charge our envious fortunes, not our passions,
With this fatal breach of friendship.
Don A. Leave your discourses, and defend yourself;
Either immediately renounce all claims
To Porcia, or this must speak the rest. [Shaking his sword.
Don O. Nay, then I must reply.

[They fight. A noise, as if the door were broken open.

Enter Don Henrique, Don Carlos, Leonido, and Geraldo, with their swords drawn.

Don H. What's this! Antonio fighting with Octavio?
This bravery is excessive, gallant friend,
Not to allow a share in your revenge
To him who's most concern'd: he must not fall
Without some marks of mine.

[Don Henrique makes at Don Octavio, and Don Antonio turns to Don Octavio's side.

Don A. Nay, then my honour you invade anew,
[Pg 309] And, by assaulting him, revive in me
My pre-engagements to protect and serve him
Against all others.
Don H. Why, were not you, Antonio, fighting with him?
Were you not doing all you could to kill him?
Don A. Henrique, 'tis true; but finding in my breast
An equal strife 'twixt honour and revenge,
I do, in just compliance with them both,
Preserve him from your sword, to fall by mine.
Don C. Brave man, how nicely he does honour weigh!
Justice herself holds not the scales more even.
Don H. My honour suffers more as yet than yours,
And I must have a share in the revenge.
Don A. My honour, sir, is so sublim'd by love,
'Twill not admit comparison or rival.
Don H. Either he must renounce all claims to Porcia,
Or die immediately.
Don A. Y' are i' the right: that he must do, or die;
But by no other hand than mine.
Don O. Cease your contention, and turn all your swords
Against this breast! whilst Porcia and I have breath,
She must be mine, there's no divorce but death.
Don H. I'll hear no more, protect him if thou canst:
Kill the slave, kill him, I say!

[Don Henrique makes at him, and Don Carlos endeavours to interpose.

Don C. For heaven's sake, hold a moment! certainly
[Pg 310] There's some mistake lies hidden here, which (clear'd)
Might hinder these extremes.

[Don Henrique and his servants press Don Antonio and Don Octavio. Flora peeps out, and, seeing them fight, cries out Camilla! Porcia! Camilla and Porcia looking out, both shriek, and then run out upon the stage.

Enter Porcia and Camilla from the inner room.

Por. Don Henrique!
Cam. Antonio! Carlos!
Por. Octavio!
Cam. and Por. together. Hear us but speak! hear us but speak!
Don H. By heavens, 'tis Porcia! why, how came she here?
Don C. Why, did not I tell you she was brought hither
By my directions? you would not believe me.
Don H. But how then could Octavio come hither?
Don C. Nay, that heaven knows, you heard as well as I
Your man's relation.
Don H. Ah, thou vile woman, that I could destroy
Thy memory with thy life!

[He offers to run at Porcia: Don Antonio interposes.

Don A. Hold, sir, that must not be!
Don H. What, may not I do justice upon her
Neither?
Don A. No, sir: although I have not yet the honour
[Pg 311] To know who this lady is, I have this night
Engag'd myself both to secure and serve her.
Don C. He knows not Porcia. Who was i' the right,
Don Henrique, you or I?
Don H. He not know Porcia! why, 'tis not an hour
Since I saw him entertaining her at home,
Sure w' are enchanted, and all we see's illusion.
Cam. Allow me, Henrique, to unspell these charms.
Who is't, Octavio, you pretend to? speak.
Don O. You might have spar'd that question, madam: none
Knows so well as you, 'tis Porcia I adore.
Don A. Porcia's my wife! disloyal man, thou diest.

[Offers to make at Don Octavio.

Cam. Hold, sir! which is the Porcia you lay claim to?
Don A. Can you doubt of that? why, sure, you know too well
The conquest that you made so long ago[70]
Of my poor heart in Flanders.
Don C. Conquest! poor heart! Flanders! what can this mean?
Don H. New riddles every moment do arise,
And mysteries are born of mysteries.
Don C. Sure, 'tis the pastime of the destinies
To mock us for pretending to be wise.
Cam. Thanks be to heaven, our work draws near an end.
Cousin, it belongs to you to finish it.
Por. To free you from that labyrinth, Antonio,
In which a slight mistake, not rectifi'd,
[Pg 312] Involv'd us all, know the suppos'd Porcia,
Whom you have lov'd, is the true Camilla.
Cam. And you, Don Henrique, know that Don Octavio
Has always been your sister's faithful lover,
And only feign'd a gallantry to me
To hide his real passion for my cousin
From your discerning eyes.
Don A. Generous Octavio!
Don O. Brave Antonio! how happy are we both. [They embrace.
Both in our loves and friendships!
Don A. Ah, how the memory of our crosses pass'd
Heightens our joys when we succeed at last!
Don O. Our pleasures in this world are always mix'd:
'Tis in the next where all our joys are fix'd.

[Camilla takes Don Antonio by the hand, and leads him to Don Carlos.

Cam. This, my dear brother, is that brave commander
To whom you owe your life and liberty;
And I much more—the safety of my honour.
Don C. Is this that gallant leader who redeem'd us
With so much valour from the enemy?
Cam. The very same.
Don C. Why did you not acquaint me with it sooner?
'Twas ill done, Camilla.
Cam. Alas! my dearest brother, gratitude,

[Drawing Don Carlos aside.

Conspiring with the graces of his person,
So soon possess'd him of my heart, that I,
[Pg 313] Asham'd of such a visionary love,
Durst never trust my tongue with my own thoughts.
Don C. 'Tis enough. Here, sir, take from me her hand,

[Addressing to Don Antonio.

Whose heart your merit has long since made yours.

[Don Antonio takes Camilla's hand and kisses it.

Don A. Sir, with your leave and hers, I seal the vows
Of my eternal faith unto you both.
Don C. But let's take heed, Antonio, lest, whilst we
Are joying in our mutual happiness,
Don Henrique's scarcely yet composed distemper
Revive not, and disorder us afresh:
I like not his grim posture.
Don A. 'Tis well thought on; let's approach him.

[Don Octavio, holding Porcia by the hand, advances towards Don Henrique.

Don O. Here with respect we wait your confirmation
Of that which seems to be decreed above,
Though travers'd by unlucky accidents.
This lady, your incomparable sister,
Can witness that I never did invade
Your passion for Camilla; and Pedro's death
Happen'd by your mistaken jealousy.
The causes of your hate being once remov'd,
'Tis just. Don Henrique, the effects should cease.
Don H. I shall consult my honour——
Don C. You cannot take a better councillor
In this case than your own and sister's honour;
What, to secure them both, could have been wish'd
Beyond what fate has of itself produc'd?
[Pg 314]
Don H. How hard it is to act upon constraint!
That which I could have wish'd, I now would fly,
Since 'tis obtruded by necessity.
'Tis fit that I consent, but yet I must
Still seem displeas'd, that m' anger may seem just [Aside.
Don A. Noble Don Henrique, you may reckon me
To be as truly yours by this alliance,
As if a brother's name subsisted still.
Don H. Well, I must yield, I see, or worse will follow. [Aside.
He is a fool who thinks by force or skill
To turn the current of a woman's will:
Since fair Camilla is Antonio's lot,
I Porcia yield to Don Antonio's friend.
Our strength and wisdom must submit to fate:
Stripp'd of my love, I will put off my hate.
Here take her hand, and may she make you, sir,

[Don Henrique takes Porcia by the hand, and gives her to Don Octavio.

Happier than she has done me.

Diego and Flora advance.

Flo. Had e'er disorders such a rare come-off?
Methinks 'twould make a fine plot for a play.
Diego. Faith, Flora, I should have the worst of that;
For, by the laws of comedy, 'twould be
My lot to marry you.
Don O. Well thought on, Diego, tho' 'tis spoke in jest:
We cannot do a better thing in earnest
Than to join these who seem to have been made
For one another. What say'st thou to it, Flora?
[Pg 315]
Flo. Troth, I have had so many frights this night,
That I am e'en afraid to lie alone.

[Diego takes her by the hand.

Diego. Give me thy hand, sweet Flora, 'tis a bargain,
I promise thee, dear spouse, I'll do my best
To make thee first repent this earnest jest.
Flo. You may mistake: we have a certain way,
By going halves, to match your foulest play.
Don C. Since this last happy scene is in my house,
You'll make collation with me, ere you part.
Don A. and Don O. Agreed, agreed, agreed!
Don A. Thus end the strange Adventures of Five Hours,
As sometimes blust'ring storms, in gentle showers.[71]

[Addressing to the Pit.

[Pg 316]

Don O. Thus, noble gallants, after blust'ring lives,
You'll end as we have done, in taking wives.
Diego. Hold, sirs, there's not an end as yet; for then
Come your own brats and those of other men.
Don H. Besides the cares of th' honour of your race
Which, as you know, is my accursed case. [Addressing to the Boxes.
[Pg 317]
Cam. You, ladies, whilst unmarried, tread on snares:
Married, y' are cumber'd with domestic cares.
Por. If handsome, y' are by fools and fame attack'd;
If ugly, then by your own envy rack'd.
Flo. We by unthrifty parents forc'd to serve,
When fed are slaves, and when w' are free, we starve.
Don C. Which put together, we must needs confess,
This world is not the scene of happiness.

FOOTNOTES:

[69] A reward or gratuity given to one that brings good news.—Stevens's "Spanish Dictionary."

[70] All the copies have it so long ago, but Reed followed Dodsley in the absurd error of substituting some days ago.—Collier.

[71] Here the play ended until the third edition which, as has been already noticed, varies materially from those that preceded it. The third edition also omits the original epilogues at the theatre and at court, which, as they are worth preserving, are now inserted in a note.—Collier.

THE EPILOGUE.

Diego comes stealing in, and is followed by Henrique, who stays at the door and listens.

Diego. Come, gentlemen!
Let the Dons and Monsieurs say what they will,
For our parts, we are for Old England still.
Here's a fine Play indeed, to lay the scene
In three houses of the same town, O mean!
Why, we have several plays, where I defy
The devil to tell where the scene does lie:
Sometimes in Greece, and then they make a step
To Transylvania, thence at one leap
To Greece again: this shows a ranging brain,
Which scorns to be confined t' a town in Spain.

Then for the Plot.

The possible Adventures of Five Hours!
A copious design! why, in some of ours
Many of the adventures are impossible,
Or, if to be achiev'd, no man can tell
Within what time: this shows a rare invention,
When the design's above your comprehension;
Whilst here y' are treated with a romance-tale.
And a plot cover'd with a Spanish veil.

As for the Style.

It is as easy as a proclamation,
As if the play were penn'd for the whole nation.
None of those thund'ring lines, which used to crack
Our breaths, and set your wits upon the rack.
Who can admire this piece, or think it good?
There's not one line but may be understood.

The Raillery.

As innocent as if't had pass'd the test
Of a full synod: not one bawdy jest!
Nor any of those words of double sense,
Which make the ladies, to show their innocence,
Look so demure, whilst by a simp'ring smile
The gallant shows he understands the style.
But here you have a piece so subtly writ,
Men must have wit themselves to find the wit.
Faith, that's too much; therefore by my consent,
We'll damn the play.
Henrique. Think'st thou, impertinent,
That these, who know the pangs of bringing forth

[Pointing to the Pit.

A living scene, should e'er destroy this birth?
You ne'er can want such writers, who aspire
To please the judges of that upper tier.
The knowing are his peers, and for the rest
Of the illiterate crowd (though finely dress'd),
The author hopes he never gave them cause
To think he'd waste his time for their applause.
You then (most equal judges) freely give
Your votes, whether this play should die or live.

THE EPILOGUE AT COURT.

We've pass'd the lords and commons, and are come
At length, dread sir, to hear your final doom.
'Tis true your vassals, sir, may vote the laws.
Their sanction comes from your divine applause.
This shining circle then will all sit mute
'Till one pronounce from you Le Roi le veut.[72]

[72] These are the words still used by ancient usage whenever the royal assent is given to any bill that has passed through both Houses of Parliament.—Collier.

[Pg 318]


EPILOGUE.
BY MR SMITH.

Our poet, gentlemen, thought to steal away,
Hoping those wretched rhymes, i' th' end o' th' play,
Might serve for epilogue; for truly he
Takes epilogues for arrant bribery.
H' observes your poet in our modern plays,
Humbly showeth, and then as humbly prays;
So that it can't be said, what they have writ
Was without fear, though often without wit.
He trusts (as ye say papists do) to merit;
Leaves you (like quakers) to be mov'd by th' spirit.
But since that epilogues are so much in vogue,
Take this as prologue to the epilogue.

[Pg 319]

BY MR HARRIS.

Some, as soon as th' enter, we wish 'em gone,
Taking their visit as a visitation:
Yet when they go, there are certain grimaces
(Which in plain English, is but making faces)
That we, for manners' sake, to all allow.
The poet's parting; don't rise, but smile and bow;
And's back being turn'd, ye may take the liberty
To turn him, and all h' has writ to raillery.
Now, as I shall be sav'd, were I as you,
I'd make no bones on't—why, 'tis but his due.
A fop! in this brave, licentious age,
To bring his musty morals on the stage?
Rhyme us to reason, and our lives redress
In metre, as Druids did the savages?
Affront the freeborn vices of the nation?
And bring dull virtue into reputation?
Virtue! would any man of common sense
Pretend to't? why, virtue now is impudence;
And such another modest play would blast
Our new stage, and put your palates out of taste.
We told him, Sir, 'tis whisper'd in the pit
This may be common sense, but 'tis not wit;
That has a flaming spirit, and stirs the blood
That's bawdry, said he, if rightly understood;
Which our late poets make their chiefest tasks,
As if they writ only to th' vizard-masks.
Nor that poetic rage, which hectors heaven,
[Pg 320] Your writer's style, like's temper, 's grown more even;
And he's afraid to shock their tender ears.
Whose God, say they, 's the fiction of their fears;
Your moral's to no purpose. He replied,
Some men talk'd idly just before they died,
And yet we heard them with respect. 'Twas all he said.
Well, we may count him now as good as dead;
And since ghosts have left walking, if you please,
We'll let our virtuous poet rest in peace.

[Pg 321]


ALL MISTAKEN;
OR,
THE MAD COUPLE

[Pg 322]


EDITION.

All Mistaken; Or The Mad Couple. A Comedy, Acted by His Majestyes Servants, at the Theatre Royal. Written by the Honorable James Howard, Esq.; London, Printed by H. Brugis, for James Magnes in Russel-street, neer the Piazza, in Covent-garden, 1672. 4o.

This play formed part of the collection as originally published by Dodsley in 1744, but was excluded from the second and third editions. In the copies of 1672 and 1744, the arrangement of the lines was found very irregular, and the metre correspondingly corrupt. In the present reprint the text has been, to a large extent, reconstructed.

[Pg 323]


DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

The Duke.
Ortellus, next of kin to the Duke; of an ambitious and treacherous nature.
Arbatus, supposed brother to Artabella.
Philidor, a mad kinsman of the Duke's, in love with Mirida.
Zoranzo, the Duke's prisoner of war, in love with Amarissa.
Pinguister, two ridiculous lovers of Mirida.
Lean-man,
Doctor to Pinguister.
Tailor to Lean-man.
Jailor.
Servant to Philidor.
Boy.
Clown.
Guard and attendances.

Amphelia, in love with the Duke.
Artabella, the Duke's sister, but taken for the sister of Arbatus.
Mirida, Philador's mad mistress.
Amarissa, in love with Zoranzo.
Six Ladies.
Three Nurses with children.

Scene, Italy.

[Pg 324]
[Pg 325]

ALL MISTAKEN.


ACT I., SCENE I.

Enter Duke from war, in triumph, leading in his hand Artabella, a woman of that country from whence he came, with Arbatus her brother, and Zoranzo prisoner; and on the other side Amphelia, Ortellus, and Guard.

Duke. Madam, I need not say y'are welcome to this
Country, since 'tis mine.
Art. Sir, leaving my own for yours
Speaks my belief of that, and all things else
You say.
Duke. The same unto your worthy brother,
Besides, my thanks to you, sir, for letting
Your sister take this journey.
Arb. Your highness hath so nobly express'd
Yourself unto my sister, that I
Consented to her coming with you; so
Highly I esteem'd your princely word,
That I have let her trespass on the
Bound of common modesty in this
Adventure: for when this hasty judging
World shall see you have brought a woman
[Pg 326] From her own country, and not your
Wife, how soon will every tongue give her
Another title!
Duke. Sir, my sudden actions shall prevent all
Tongues or thoughts either to name or think her
Anything but my duchess; therefore
All that owe duty or respect to me, pay it
To her. What, Amphelia, did you believe
The world so barren of good faces, that
Yours only does enrich it? or did you think
It was men's fates only to doat on yours?
Look on this lady, and you'll see your error;
Mark well her face, and you will find
In every line beauty sits empress there.
These are the eyes, Amphelia, now, that dart
Obedience through my heart; are not you vex'd
To see I am no constant fool, and love
You still?
Amph. Vexed at what? to see a man I hate
Love another? a very great vexation!
Know, sir, this breast has only room for joy
And love to brave Ortellus—
Forgive my heart that 'twas not yours before,
Since you have long deserv'd it.
Ort. Madam, no time was long enough to wait
This blessed hour.
Amph. Alas, great duke! instead
Of pining for your change, you find me midst
A thousand joys in this new choice.
Duke. So you do me, Amphelia, amidst
Ten thousand; not all the glories that
Attend a conquering soldier can create
One joy so great in me,
As being conquer'd here in my own triumphs.
I am but a slave;
Nor does my victory over thousands please
Me so much, as being overcome by
[Pg 327] One—by this fair one, whose eyes, by shining
On my triumph only, make it glorious.
Amph. Well, sir, we will not change our happy states;
You cannot brag of happiness so great
To make me envy: I am only sorry for
This lady, that had nothing else to do
With her heart but to give it you. Madam,
If your breast had been crowded with some twenty
Or thirty hearts, and amongst these one very
Ill, you might have
Made present of that to this mighty duke.
Duke. Madam, does not this lady's discourse make you
Afraid of me.
Art. Not in the least, sir.
Duke. Where's this bold prisoner?
Guard. Here, and [it] please your highness.
Duke. Well, sir, tho' you did attempt to kill me
In our camp, after you were our prisoner,
You shall not die, since you are of the same
Country this lady is; therefore thank her
And fortune for your life.
Zor. I'd sooner curse them both.
Shall I thank any for my life, but heaven
That gave it me? I'd rather give it to
A cat. A noble death were far more welcome
To me, than a mean life at second hand.
My being here I owe unto the gods.
When they think fit to lend it me no longer,
They know the way to take it from me. I scorn
To run in debt unto a mortal duke for two
Or three days' breath.
Amph. Brave captive! [Aside.
Duke. You're
Very high, considering you are in chains.
Zor. Why, sir, think you these fetters can confine
[Pg 328] My mind as they do my legs, or that my
Tongue is your prisoner, and dares only say:
May it please your highness? How much are you
Mistaken? Know, sir, my soul is
Prompter to my tongue, and gives it courage to say
Anything that heaven will not frown at. We
Should detract from those great pow'rs above,
If we pay fears to any here below.
Perhaps you think I'll beg my life now upon
A pair of bent petitioning knees? No, sir;
Had I a hundred lives, I'd give them all
To sharpest deaths, rather than beg for one.
Duke. You're well resolv'd; perhaps your mind may alter,
When you see the axe. In the meantime commit him
To the closest prison where, if you have any
Accounts with heaven, you will have time to cast
Them up before your death.
Zor. Your sentence brings me
Joy. Welcome the keenest axe that can be set!
'Twill cut my head and chains both off together.
Welcome, most happy stroke, since it will bring
Rest to my eyes, and make a slave a king. [Exit with a Guard.
Duke. Madam, I suppose this journey has so wearied
You, that it is time to show you the way
To your lodgings, and leave you to your
Repose.
Guard. Make way there for the duke!
Amph. My lord, you had best attend the duke, because
'Tis a respect due to him.
Ort. I shall, madam,
At your command. [Exeunt.
[Pg 329]
Amph. How has my tongue belied my too true heart,
In speaking hate unto
The duke, and love to Ortellus! I hate the duke?
So eyes do sleep, that long have known no rest.
How could my lips give passage to such words,
And not have clos'd for ever?
Not by my heart's direction, I am sure; for that
So swell'd, being injured by my mouth, as, had
Not pride and reason kept it here from this
Unquiet feat, it would have forc'd away
To Archimedes' breast, and there have whisper'd to
His heart my tongue's untruth. Why should I love
This man, that shows me nothing but contempt
And hate? Rouse, drooping heart, and think
Of that; think of it always, so by degrees
'Twill bring a winter round thee, that in time
Shall chill the heat of thy undone and lost
Affections. O, it is not true that all
Our sex love change, then I might find one path
That leads to it;
That womanish vice were virtue now in me,
'Twould free my heart, and that were charity.

Enter Duke.

See, where he comes again; O, how I love
And hate that man! Now help me, pride, and fill
My breast with scorn; and pr'ythee, tongue, take heed
You do not falter: hear not, my heart, that will
Distract thy speech, and so betray my feign'd
Unkindness.
Duke. What, Amphelia all alone?
Weary of your new love already? can't
You pass away the time with him one hour?
Amph. Were he
No finer man than yourself, to be with him
[Pg 330] A minute, I should think a
Seven years' penance.
Good heart, lie still, and let my tongue alone. [Aside.
I wonder what a woman can see in you,
Or hear from you, to make her love you.
(I was just going to have said, hate him.) [Aside.
O, what a task is this! therefore let me
Advise you to have a mean opinion
Of yourself.
Duke. Methinks that advice might serve
For yourself. Ha, ha, ha!
Amph. Have patience, heart, I know I lie: thou need'st
Not tell me so—I had better then confess
My love. [Aside.] Do you laugh, duke? [i']faith
So could I at you, till the tears ran down
My cheeks—that they would quickly do, for grief
Would fain unload my eyes.
I must begone,
I cannot longer act this part, unless
I had a heart as hard as his. [Aside.
Duke. What, you are going
Now to your love Ortellus?
Amph. I am so,
And going from you to him, is pleasure double,
Not only pain, to quit, but joy to meet.
Duke. Make haste then, for your departure will oblige
Me too, so we shall be all pleas'd!
Amph. Haste I will make, but with unwilling feet:
For every step from him my grief repeats. [Aside. Exit.
Duke. She's gone, and after her my heart is flown,
'Tis well it has no tongue to make its moan;
[Pg 331] Then 'twould discover what my pride conceals,
A heart in love (though slighted) love reveals.
Yet though I love her still, she shall not know;
Her hate shall seem my joy, which is my woe.
My constancy I'll outwardly disguise,
Though here within I am not half so wise.
Yet rather than disclose my doating fate,
I'll wound my heart by counterfeiting hate.
To whine, it wou'd the worst of follies prove,
Since women only pity when they love.
With how much scorn she gave me welcome home,
Ortellus in her hand, to show my doom!
Me and my triumphs she did so despise,
As if they'd been unworthy of her eyes.
'Tis well to her I show'd as much disdain;
I'd rather perish than she guess my pain.
But O, the horrid act she makes me do,
To fool a woman that is young and true!
So damn'd a sin, that hell could not invent,
It is too foul for any punishment;
To question those above I am afraid,
Else I would ask them, why they woman made.

Enter Philidor.

O my mad cousin, your servant.
Whither so fast?
Phil. So fast, sir? why,
I have been hunted by a pack of hounds
This three hours,
And damn'd deep-mouth'd hounds too, [sir] no less than
Three couple of nurses, three couple
Of plaguy hunting bitches, and with them
Three couple of whelps, alias children, sir.
[Pg 332] They have rung me such a ring this morning
Through every by-turning that leads to a bawdy
House, I wish'd myself earth'd a thousand
Times, as a fox does when he is hard-run,
But that they wou'd have presently digged me
Out with their tongues.
Duke. Faith, Philidor,
'Tis no news to me; for I have known thee
From sixteen at this course of life. What, and these
Children were all your bastards, and your nurses
Coming to dun you for money?
Phil. Something of that's in it, I think, sir.
Duke. Well, coz, I'll leave thee to thy wildness; a fitter
Companion much for thee than I at this time.
Phil. Why, sir, I hope nothing has happened
To trouble you?
Duke. No, no;
My grief, alas! is far beyond express;
To tell it to a friend can't make it less. [Exit.
Phil. Wou'd I were at the wars again: I fear
No sword half so much as the tongue of one
Of these nurses; and the youling of th' children
Are more dismal to my ears than the groans
Of dying men in a battle. I am
At this time in law with six or seven
Parishes about fath'ring of bastards;
Tis very fine truly! and yet me thinks
'Tis a hard case that I should be sued for
Multiplying the world,
Since death makes bold with bastards,
As well as other children. The very picture
Of a nurse and child in her arms wou'd fright
Me now. O, from that sight deliver me!

[Pg 333]

Enter Nurse and Child as he is going out.

Ha! and here they come: pox on't, what luck have
I after saying my prayers? it shall be a
Fair warning to me; now am I started
Again, and must go run t'other course. [Offers to run away.
1st Nurse. 'Squire Philidor, 'Squire Philidor!

[She runs after him.

Phil. How deaf
Am I now! 'tis well I know this by-way
To avoid her.

Enter Second Nurse and meets him.

Ha! S'death, another?
The devil appearing here too?
2d Nurse. O my proper
Young 'squire, stay, stay, d'ye hear, sir?
Phil. No, indeed, won't I. Yet I know one way
More to avoid them.

Enter Third Nurse.

Ha! another coming
Here too? Nay then, I find I am in hell,
Before I thought I shou'd. What will become
Of me now?
3d Nurse. O 'squire, I thought I should
Never have spoken with your worship.
Phil. No, by this
Light, shou'd you not, if I could have holp it. [Aside.
1st Nurse. I wonder, 'squire, at your conscience, t'avoid
Your pretty babes as you do.
[Pg 334]
Phil. So, now it
Begins, I am like to have sweet music
From the comfort of these nurses' tongues.
1st Nurse. Saving your presence, sir, I think here are
Three as sweet babes as ever sucked teat,
And all born within the year too, besides
Three more that your worship has in our street.
Phil. A very hopeful generation! sure,
This was a great nut year![73]
Well, if all trades fail, I may go
Into some foreign plantation, where
They want people, and be well paid for my
Pains: wou'd I were there now!
1st Nurse. Codge, codge,
Dos a laugh upon a dad? In conscience, sir,
The child knows your worship.
Phil. A very great comfort!
1st Nurse. My young master here is as like your worship
As e'er he can look; has your tempting eyes
To a hair: I cou'd not choose but smile
To myself t'other day; I was making him clean
About the secrets, to see that[74] God had sent him
In a plentiful manner; it put me half
In mind of your worship. I am sure I
Have been at double the expense of other
Nurses, in eating choice meat, to make my
Milk good for my young master, because I
Would not spoil the growth of any one of his
Members.
2d Nurse. Nay, for that, neighbour, I have ate
As good, or better, meat than you, every day
In the week: I never touch'd a bit of
[Pg 335] Salt meat, for fear of spoiling my child's blood.
Phil. Considering how well 'tis born. [Aside.
3d Nurse. Nay, neighbours, for that I have been at greater
Charge than either of you, in choice diets,
To breed good milk for my young mistress here.
1st Nurse. You lie.
2d Nurse. You are a quean.
1st Nurse. And you're a whore.
Marry, your husband is the notedest
Cuckold in all our street.
2d Nurse. You lie, you jade,
Yours is a greater.
Phil. Hiss! Now for a battle
Royal.
1st Nurse. If I lay the child out of my

[Lay their children down, and fight.

Arms, I'll pull off your head-clothes, you—
Carrion!
2d Nurse. Marry, come, if thou durst.
Phil. 'Tis best for me to be a coward,
And march off from this bloody fight.
All Nurses. Hold, hold, the 'squire is going away.
Phil. So, nothing could have parted them this three
Hours, but the fear of losing me. [Aside.
1st Nurse. What, wou'd
Your worship have left us without paying us
For nursing your children? you have a conscience,
With a pox to you!
Phil. So, now will they end
Their war in vollies of shot upon me.
I have but one thing now to do. With ev'ry
One of these hags have I been forc'd to lie,
Which they took as satisfaction for payment
[Pg 336] For two months' nursing. Perhaps, rather
Than they will have it known to one another,
They'll hold their tongues and leave me?
Well, my three sweet harmonious nurses, what is due to you?
1st Nurse. Due! why, there was twelve months
Due for nursing; 'tis true, two months your squireship
Satisfied me for.
2d Nurse. And me too.
3d Nurse. And me
Likewise.
Phil. Harkye, if you will not be gone,
I'll tell.
1st Nurse. No, marry, won't I, till I have
My money.
2d Nurse. Don't think to fright me, but pay me.
3d Nurse. I fear you not; pay me my money.
Phil. Pox on't, 'twill not do, I must try another
Way.—Boy, was the wolf fed to-day?
Boy. No, sir.
Phil. Go fetch him quickly, to dine with these ladies.

[Exeunt Nurses.

So! I thought I should set them going. He!
The devil, they have left the children behind them.
This was a very cunning device of mine.
Now am I in a pretty condition. Troth, a
Very noble Anabaptist progeny!
For the devil a one of these were ever
Christen'd; for I have run so much upon
Tick to the parsons for christening of
Children, that now they all refuse to make
Any bastards of mine a Christian
Without ready money; so that I'll have
This boy bred up a parson, that he may
Christen himself and the rest of his sisters
[Pg 337] And brothers. What shall I do, when these infants,
Begin to be hungry, and youl for th' teat?
O, that a milk-woman wou'd come by now!
Well, I must remove my flock from hence. Small
Coal, small coal, will you buy any small coal?
Pox on it. I could never light of any
But fruitful whores. Small coal, small coal! [Exit.

FOOTNOTES:

[73] [See Hazlitt's "Proverbs," 1869, 275.]

[74] [Old copy, what.]


ACT II.

Enter Zoranzo, as in prison.

Zor. Sure, 'tis not kind of those great pow'rs above,
To add these chains to me that am in love.
As to my bed of straw, I am content,
Since any bed from her is punishment.
To lie on down of swans would be hard rest,
Could I not make my pillow on her breast.
O Amarissa, wert thou here with me,
I would not sell these bonds for liberty.
Ransoms that prisoners give to be set free,
I'd give as much to lie in chains by thee.
Here is her picture. O, thou too like shade,

[Pulls out her picture.

To look on it my eyes are half afraid,
It so presents my joy and misery;
Since 'tis the nothing of that all to me.
The greatest pain to any lover's heart,
Is to remember when they are apart;
For thoughts of joys, when there's a bar betwixt,
Are worse than poison with a cordial mix'd.

[Pg 338]

Enter Amphelia and Jailor.

Amph. Well said, jailor, here's for thy pains. Brave pris'ner,
Perhaps this visit may appear but strange
To you, till you have heard me speak—Know then,
When you receiv'd the sentence of your death, you seem'd
To meet it with so brave a soul, as if
The sound had not displeas'd your ears. Thus did
Your courage fill my eyes with wonder, and
My heart with pity.
Straight I resolv'd to give you all my helps
To set you free, which now I offer to
You.
Zor. Madam, could I tell you what to say I
Wou'd begin; I have nothing but poor thanks
To offer to you, and those, though millions, were
Not half enough. Compassion shown unto
The miserable heaven can only recompence;
Therefore, in my dying prayers, I will beg from thence
A blessing to reward your pity.
Amph. Sir,
The joy of your escape will pay my pains;
All my endeavours I will set at work:
The time is short, therefore I must make haste.
Expect to hear of me again with speed.

Enter Ortellus, as she is going out.

Zor. What can this mean? heaven grant she does not
Love me; I wou'd not wish so brave a heart
So great a punishment, since my love's fix'd already.
[Pg 339]
Ort. Madam, I have been seeking you; pray, whence
Came you? This is no usual place to find you
In.
Amph. I was only walking this way, sir.
Ort. I'll wait on you presently.—I suspect
She has been at the prison; I will inform
Myself by the jailor; and yet perhaps
She has bid him to deny it. [Steps back to the Jailor.
The lady
Amphelia says she has left one of
Her gloves behind her in the prison, and
Has sent me for it.
Jail. I'll go see straight, sir.
Ort. She has been there, it seems, then. Madam, I
Fancy you have been to see the prison.
Amph. Who, I?
What makes you think so?
Ort. Why, am I mistaken?
Amph. Yes; what should I do there?
Ort. Nay, that's the question,
But there you have been just now, and with the
Pris'ner too.
Amph. Sure, you dream.
Ort. She's false, I find:
I'll try her love to me. [Aside.
Madam, since you
Have been pleased to show your kindness publicly
To me, I take this time to beg my happiness,
Which is, that a priest may join our hands.
Amph. I will not marry yet.
Ort. Why, pray, madam?
Amph. For a very good reason, because I ha'n't
A mind to't.
Ort. Will you give me another reason?
[Pg 340]
Amph. I need not: that's sufficient.
Ort. You love me, do you not?
Amph. You know I have declar'd it.
Ort. But (sure) you'll not deny me twice?
Amph. Not, if you ask but once.
Ort. Fie, fie, this modesty's a thief to lovers,
And robs them of their time. Come, come,
Say aye, and blush.
Amph. I'll not say aye, nor blush.
Ort. If you had any modesty, you wou'd.
Amph. You said
Just now I had too much.
Ort. Too much
Of impudence, you mean.
Amph. What's that to say?
Ort. Why, truth.
Amph. Get you out, and wash your tongue:
'Tis foul.
Ort. 'Tis like you heart then,
But that it cannot lie as much.
Amph. Most valiant lord,
To give the lie to petticoats!
Ort. Why did you
Deny your being in prison?
Amph. Not for fear of you;
I was with the brave prisoner,
What then?
Ort. You went to make love to him.
You had best use your time well; 'twill
Be short and sweet: your dear will not be so
Proper a man by the head within this
Two days. False woman! you've a heart that flies
From one man's breast to another: all the
Inconstancy of your sex is constancy
To this of yours: you have deceived the duke
Already; that might have been my warning.
[Pg 341]
Amph. Faith, and so
It might; th' duke in all things so far excels
You, that you were a fool to think, when once
My heart bid him farewell, that it design'd
No better a change than you. Troth, your mistaken;
It had a farther journey to make, and so
Took your breast for an inn only, to lie
By the way.
Ort. Base woman! is't not enough that you
Have fool'd me, but you must mock me too? Heaven
Hold my hand from murdering thee!
Amph. Fright those that fear you. [Exit.
Ort. Curses of all fool'd men (like me) light heavy
On thee! Revenge begins to fill my heart,
And I will pour it out on this base woman.
I know the way: I'll to the duke.

Enter Duke.

I am
Glad I have met your highness, for I have
Business to impart to you that concerns your life.
Duke. What is't, Ortellus?
Ort. Know, sir,
Amphelia, that——
Duke. Loves you?
Ort. No, sir, she loves
The pris'ner.
Duke. 'Tis impossible.
Ort. 'Tis very true, sir,
I caught her coming from him! she's designing
His escape, and for aught I know, her love
To him may put other thoughts into her head.
Duke. What d'ye mean?
[Pg 342]
Ort. She may design your life;
A woman that is ill, exceeds a man
In mischief.
Duke. My lord, I thank your care. If you
Can track her farther, pray let me know; in the
Meantime I shall prevent her ill intentions.
Ort. My diligence shall not be wanting. So,
Since I can have no love, revenge shall be
My mistress. [Aside. Exit.
Duke. O Amphelia! why dost
Thou take such pains to break my heart, when 'tis
So easily done? She needs not secretly
Contrive my death, since half a word from her
Commands my life: her face and heart (sure) can
Not be akin; nature mistook, or else
She was to blame to give one woman two
So great extremes.

Enter Arbatus.

See, here comes the brother
To wronged Artabella: th' horror of
That sin grows bigger in me,
That I with a deluding love should fool
An innocent, to show an outward scorn
To false Amphelia; for when I heard
She lov'd
Ortellus, I straight made love to this young
Woman, and brought her from her own country,
Only to make Amphelia think I lov'd
Another.
Arb. I hope I don't disturb your highness.
Duke. No, Arbatus, you are always welcome
To me.
Arb. Sir, I should ask you a question.
Duke. You freely may.
Arb. Not but
[Pg 343] I think my sister far unworthy, either
In birth or fortune, to be call'd your wife;
Yet since you have been pleas'd to grace her with
Your love so far, as saying she shall be your
Duchess, be pleas'd to tell me why it is
Not so? she has been here so long, that people
Now begin to say you mean her for your mistress;
Should my ears meet that sound from any tongue,
I'd——
Duke. Hold, Arbatus, I'm sure I have given
No cause as yet to doubt my kindness to
Your sister.
Arb. Pardon me, sir, in your delay you have.
My sister has no dowry but her virtue,
Youth, and some small stock of beauty. These if
You lov'd her for, you would not waste,
By letting time rob her and you at once.
Duke. Sir, business of great importance has
Hitherto deferr'd my marriage; believe
Me, you shall find me just.
Arb. A prince's word
Must not be question'd; I have done.
Duke. O Amphelia! what dost thou make me do? [Exit.
Arb. Let him take heed; if he does fool my sister,
Were he ten thousand dukes, I'd cut his throat. [Exit.

Enter Philidor alone.

Phil. I have been quite at t'other end o'th' town,
To put my children out to new nurses,
For I am known to every nurse hereabout;
That they will as soon nurse a cat's kitten
As any child of mine. This is a very
[Pg 344] Pleasant life I lead, neither is this the
Worst part of it; for there are a certain
Flock of women that I have promis'd marriage,
I expect a volley of shot from them too,
Soon as they find me out. Would wives and children
Were as hard to come by as money, then would
I turn usurer, and let 'em out to use;
For, to say truth, I have enough to spare.

Enter six Ladies, one after another.

So, here comes one of my promis'd Virgins!
Nay, a second too—a third—a fourth—a fifth—
A sixth—Welcome, blessed half-dozen; now will I go
Muster my nurses and children too, and go
Against the Great Turk. I am glad to see
They have brought ne'er a coffin, for I expect
Nothing but death from them. I wonder they don't
Begin to ring my funeral peal. See every
One of them beckons to me, as much as to say,
I'd speak with you in private; but the devil
Take me if e'er a one of them do; I find
By this they would not have their business known
To one another; this may be a means for me
To get off for this time—Ladies, you all
Look as if you had something to say to
Me; pray make me so happy as to let
Me know what 'tis. They dare not speak aloud. [Aside.] Will you,
Madam? or you? or you, madam? or you,
Madam? [What] not one of you tell me what
The honour of these visits mean? I see
I am troublesome to you all? therefore
I'll not be longer rude; and so I take
[Pg 345] My leave—This was good luck, that they should come
All together; for I had rather be [Beckon him.
Alone six hours with the devil, than with
E'er a one of them an half hour—I'll stand close
In this corner till they are all gone.
1st Lady. Now the pox take him for a cunning rogue!
2d Lady. A plague take him!
3d Lady. The devil take him!
4th Lady. If there be e'er a devil worse than another,
Take him thou!
5th Lady. O, that I had him alone!
6th Lady. Was there ever such a rascal?

[Exeunt at several doors.

Phil. So the coast is clear again— [Peeps out.

Enter Mirida.

S'death, here comes another—O, 'tis none
Of that gang, though.
Mir. I'll lay my head, ne'er a girl in Christendom
Of my age, can say what I can; I'm now
But five years i'th' teens, and I have fool'd
Five several men.
Phil. A brave wench, by this light!
Sure, it is I in petticoats.
Mir. My humour
Is to love no man, but to have as many
Love me as they please, come cut or long tail.
Phil. A most divine wench!
Mir. 'Tis a rare diversion, to see what several
Ways my flock of lovers have in being
Ridiculous; some of them sigh so damnably,
That 'tis as troublesome as a windy day.
There's two of them that make their love together,
[Pg 346] By languishing eye-casts; one of them has
One eye bigger than another, and looks
Like a tumbler; and that eye's like a musket
Bullet, and I expect every minute when he
Will hit me with it, he aims so right at me.
My other lover looks a-squint, and to
See him cast languishing eyes, would make a
Woman with child miscarry. There is also
A very fat man, master Pinguister, and
A very lean man that loves me; I tell the
Fat man I cannot marry him till he's
Leaner, and the lean man I cannot marry
Him till he's fat: so one of them purges
And runs heats every morning, to pull down
His sides, and th' other makes his tailor stuff
His clothes to make him show fatter. O, what
Pleasure do I take in fooling of mankind!
Phil. Was there ever so witty a wench? 'tis the
Woman of women for my turn. I'll to her—
Thou most renowned female! I cannot hold—
Mir. From what?
Phil. From kissing thee, [from] loving thee, or what
Thou wilt.
Mir. Troth, y'are very well acquainted, consid'ring
You never saw me before!
Phil. Saw thee! I have
Heard thee talk this hour, like an angel of light.
Mir. Well, d'ye love me for what you heard me say?
Phil. Yes, faith, do I; why, you are just of my
Humour; when I heard thee say how many
Men you had fool'd, I was very glad to hear
You come one short of me, for I have fool'd
Six women, and you but five men.
[Pg 347]
Mir. Why,
If you love me, you will be the sixth fool,
To make up my half dozen too.
Phil. No, I
Won't, and yet I love thee too.
Mir. Why, how will
You help it?
Phil. Thus: you and I
Will love one another.
Mir. What, whether I will or no?
Phil. Nay, hear me, we two will love how we please,
When we please, and as long as
We please: do not
These propositions tickle your heart a little?
Mir. I don't mislike them—Now could I take him
About the neck and kiss him for this humour
Of his. And do you say you will love me! [Aside.
Phil. Yes, marry, will I.
Mir. Nay, hold, I won't marry
You.
Phil. Nor I thee, for all the world.
Mir. And yet
You say you will love me?
Phil. I tell you
I will: make no more words on it.
Mir. Why then,
Hark you, to be as absolute as you,
I will love you too, that is to say,
Upon the aforesaid conditions.
Phil. With all my heart; prythee, don't think
That I
Will love thee upon any other terms. But come,
We must seal this
Bargain with hands, hearts, lips.
Mir. No, no; no lips; we will only shake hands
[Pg 348] Upon't, that's enough for so weighty a contract
As this of ours.
Phil. But, prythee, let us seal
The bargain.
Mir. No, no, sir, I use no wax
To my lips.
Phil. Nay, by my troth, I care not
A pin to kiss thee.
Mir. No? look upon me well,
And see if you can say so again.
Phil. Hum—yes,
Faith, I will give two-pence to kiss thee
Now.
Mir. Well, sir, when I do kiss you, I'll 'bate you
A penny of that.
Phil. Now you and I will sing this song. [He sings.
My love and I a bargain made,
It is well worth a telling:
When one was weary, we agreed
To part, should both be willing.
Mir. Nay, here I'm for you too. [She sings.
And thus our loves will longer last,
Than fools that still are pining:
We'll spend our time in joy and mirth,
Whilst doaters do in whining.
Phil. Faith, you and I sing very well; we are
Alike in that too: I see either nature
Or the devil, somebody or something, made
Thee and me for one another. Well,
But let us
Remember our conditions: imprimis, I
Will love you.
[Pg 349]
Mir. Item, so will I you.
Phil. I
Will not say how long.
Mir. Item, nor I neither.
Phil. Item, it may be I can love you but
A week.
Mir. I don't care if't be but a day.
Phil. I'll ne'er be tied to any thing.
Mir. Item, thou shalt be tied to what thou wilt
But me.
Phil. Item, I will come when I please,
And go when I please.
Mir. Item, thou shalt drown
Thyself when thou wilt, or hang thyself when
Thou wilt, or go to the devil when thou wilt.
Phil. Item, if I should like another woman, I
Will have the liberty of leaving you, without
Any ceremony, but just saying
Good-bye.
Mir. Item, if I should like any
Man better than you, I'll leave you without saying
So much as good-bye.
Phil. Item, the first that
Sighs of us two, shall fast a week.
Mir. Item, the first
That looks but melancholy of us two,
Shall be starv'd to death.
Phil. To conclude, we will
Both be as mad as we please.
Mir. Agreed,
And the devil take the tamest!
Phil. A bless'd bargain!
But hark you, there's one thing I have forgot.
Mir. What's that?
Phil. Have you had as many children as I?
[Pg 350]
Mir. No, indeed, ha'nt I.
Phil. Why, then you must let me help you to 'em,
That you may be even with me there too.
Mir. Hold, sir, that bargain's yet to make.
Phil. Pox on't!
That should have been one of our articles.
Mir. Well, I can stay no longer with you now.
Phil. Nay, prythee, hold, thou shalt not go yet; I
Can't part with you so soon.
Mir. Ay, but I have
A mind to go, and that is one of our
Articles.
Phil. Well, but shan't we put that other
Article in, before we part?
Mir. No, no, good-bye to you.
Phil. Farewell, mettle— [Exit.

Enter Pinguister, Doctor, and Servants.

Mir. Look you, master Pinguister, this is the
Measure must meet about your waist, before
I marry you.
Pin. This? why it will not come
About the small of my leg. [Tries the measure himself.
Mir. Sir, I am sorrier
For it: but it must compass your middle before
You can be my dear chuck: your servant, sir,
I am in haste.
Pin. Prythee, thou damnable
Pretty rogue, let me have some comfort from thee,
Before thou goest, either from thy eyes,
Thy cheeks, mouth, or nose, or some part about thee
Consider what a dissolution I
Must undergo for love of thee.
[Pg 351]
Mir. I do indeed, sir; but your servant for this time. [Exit.
Pin. Worthy doctor, my hopes are all in you now,
I have tried many physicians already
To make me lean enough for that
Tormenting, pretty fairy devil.
Doctor. Truly, sir, your case is very desperate;
But if any man in the world can drain
Your fat from you, 'tis I: sir, we'll begin
Your course out of hand.
Pin. Do you hear, be sure
I have at least two dozen of napkins ready
Upon the spot, to rub me at every turn;
Therefore come you all along with me—
Have mercy on me, I have love and fat
Enough to furnish a whole nation. [Exeunt.

ACT III.

Enter Amphelia, going to the prison.

Amph. How false a woman to all eyes I seem,
Because I still will hide my constant love!
This way I take will bravely break my heart,
To tell the duke were sneakingly to die:
Since, if he knew that I did love him still,
With basest scorns he'd laugh my soul to death;
Such friendship to this pris'ner I will show,
Shall make the duke believe my heart is there.
To set him free I'll use my utmost art——.
Would I could do as much for this poor heart!
This way my love with my designs complies,
Thus one in chains another's chains unties.
I have made the jailor mine already,
[Pg 352] By promising him these hundred pieces—
'Tis now about the time I appointed
To be here—

Enter Jailor.

O, yonder's the jailor expecting me—
Here, jailor, here's for thy
Honesty: may the business be done now?
Jailor. O madam, never at a fitter time; take you
The key and go in to the prisoner;
Whilst I go see the passage clear,
Stand you at th' door, and when I beckon
To you, come away.
Amph. Honest jailor?
Jailor. So, now I am just i' th' fashion; I have taken
Money to do her business, and instead
Of doing it I have undone it.

Enter Duke and Ortellus.

Ort. 'Tis so, sir.
The jailor has discover'd all to me. Here
He comes.
Jailor. And please your highness to stand close
Here, for the lady Amphelia is now
With the prisoner; I have given her a
Key to convey him through this private passage;
As soon as I beckon to her, she will come
Away with him. [Beckons her.
Amph. Come, sir, give me your hand;
The jailor beckons me; the way is clear.
Duke. Hold, lady, and your love, we must shorten
Your journey a little.
[Pg 353]
Amph. Ha! the duke and Ortellus!
I am betray'd! O villain jailor!
Ort. Sir,
I fear we've interrupted them; it may be
They were going to be married; ha, ha, ha!
Amph. If I were, 'twas what I refused you,
Ortellus; that makes you so mad.
Duke. Well, madam,
If you have a mind to be married, a priest
Shall not join your hands, but you shall go both
Back to the prison, and th' jailor shall tie you
Both hands and legs together.
Amph. Know, sir,
A prison with this brave gentleman
Will be greater paradise to me, than to
Be mistress of your palace. What do I say? [Aside.
Duke. Well you shall have your desire then; ye shall live
Together, and die together. How could
I speak that word to her? [Aside.
Zor. She die, sir!
Wou'd you destroy so great a world of virtue?
Rather invent two deaths for me, that I
May die for her too. You'll rob
Your dukedom of your greatest treasure to take
Away so blest a life as hers: let not
An axe part such a head and body,
Lest heaven frown and call you murderer. You'll pull
Upon your head all mankind's curse: when nature
Sees her bounty thus rewarded, she will
Turn miser, and will give no more such blessings
To th' world as this fair saint.
Duke. Well, sir,
I'm satisfied ye like one another, so you
[Pg 354] Shall both return back to your straw beds, there you
May lie as close together as you please.
Amph. No, sir, virtue shall lie betwixt us.
Duke. You will want a pillow, till you come both
To execution, then you shall have one—
A block to lay your heads on.
Amph. Know, [O] duke,
My head will rest better with his upon a block,
Than with yours on the softest pillow. How
Many lies must I confess, before I die. [Aside.
Duke. Indeed, you'll sleep pretty soundly. See, her scorn
To me makes death a pleasure to her. [Aside.
My lord, give order that she may be brought
Immediately to her trial; in the meantime,
Jailor, take them into your custody;
Lay 'em in shackles both. Cousin, many thanks
To you for this timely discovery.
I must leave you awhile. [Exit.
Ort. Duke, you shall have
Less to thank me for, else I am deceiv'd.
I've found out he loves Amphelia still,
So she does him. Now will I go possess
Arbatus of this, and tell him how the duke
Intends to fool his sister. He has the
Character of so strict a brother, and so brave
A spirit, that his soul will never digest
This injury without the duke's blood.
Will join with him, and tell him how
The business may be done.
By this, one of these three things shall I have
Either a mistress, dukedom, or a grave.

Enter Arbatus and Artabella.

See, here comes Arbatus and his sister
Artabella; they talk very earnestly.
[Pg 355]
Arb. Sister, I do not like it; the duke will
Fool ye.
Art. Indeed, brother, I am amaz'd
At this delay.
Arb. How does he carry himself
To you?
Art. With all respect imaginable.
Arb. Then there must be something more in't,
That he defers his marriage thus.
Ort. There is
So, sir.
Arb. My lord, heark'ning's but a base office;
But if you have heard it, 'tis no treason.
Ort. No, sir, but it is falseness in the duke,
To use your worthy sister thus. I came
To tell you upon my knowledge, he never
Intended to marry her.
Arb. My lord, though I believe it, you must pardon
Me, if I wonder at this information
From your lordship, that is his near cousin.
Ort. Sir, you have the character of so brave
A gentleman, conscience and honour
Bids me discover this to you and your sister:
Think of a way of being reveng'd, and here's
My hand and heart to help you.
Arb. Pardon
Me, that I cannot thank you truly, because
I needs must doubt this offer from your lordship.
Ort. What can I say to confirm you? will the
Word and honour of a gentleman do't?
Arb. To me those are things of great value.
Ort. Then here
I give them both.
Arb. But what to do, my lord?
Ort. What you will.
Arb. Perhaps you think I'd have you
[Pg 356] Ask some place about the court for me, in
Recompense of this injury to my sister?
Ort. No, sir, had you been such a person, I
Should not have trusted you thus far with what
I have said. I say [it] again, I am
Your friend; if you doubt it, you wrong my honour.
Arb. Why then, my lord, to be short, nothing will
Satisfy me, but the duke's——
Ort. What?
Arb. Blood.
Ort. Why,
Thou shalt have it all, if I can help thee
To't; this night will I convey you privately
Into his bed-chamber. Come along with me,
And I will tell you all. [Exit.
Arb. My lord, I follow you.
Sister, go to your chamber.
Art. O brother!
Heaven preserve you in this danger.
Arb. Now
It comes into my head, I need not doubt
This lord's truth; he is next heir to the dukedom,
If the duke die without issue.
'Tis base in him the duke's life to pursue,
His blood is only to my sister due. [Exit.
Art. False duke, thou justly hast deserv'd thy death;
To cheat the innocent is a double crime;
I had no cunning guard about this heart
To keep it safe from a seducing tongue.
I have lost my heart, which he by falseness won;
How soon is truth and innocence undone! [Exit.

Enter Philidor.

Phil. Pray remember the poor prisoners, pray
[Pg 357] Remember the prisoners. Well, had I
Not taken this course with the regiment
Of women that I have promis'd to marry,
I should have been devour'd by 'em by this
Time. They came just now into my chamber,
One by one, hoping to have found me alone,
To have preach'd matrimony to me; but,
To my blest deliverance, no sooner
One was there, but another came; so I
Persuaded them one by one, to slip up
Into a garret: so still as one knock'd
At the door, the t'other ascended; there
Have I secur'd them with this key, and there
Must I keep them till I have made
Conditions with them.

Enter Mirida.

O, here comes Mirida.
Pray remember the poor prisoners, pray
Remember the poor prisoners.
Mir. Who the devil's that, Philidor?
Phil. The very same, my mettled female.
Mir. Why,
What mad prank art thou playing now?
Phil. Alack-
A-day, I have great cares upon me; I
Must provide meat for half-a-dozen ladies,
That shou'd have been my spouses. Look up yonder;
In that very garret, for aught I know, they
Must dine and sup at my charge as long as
They live; and thus must I be their cook every
Day, and beg their first and second course.
Mir. I am sorry to hear this, because 'tis
A wilder trick than I have done lately
To any of my lovers. Prythee, let's
Go under the window, and call to them.
[Pg 358]
Phil. Come away, you shall hear what vollies we shall
Have from the castle. Most excellent
Amazonian ladies, look out, and behold
Your labouring purveyor, what pains he
Takes to victual your castle,
Because he knows you must be long there. [Women look out.
1st Lady. Rogue!
2d Lady. Rascal!
3d Lady. Villain!
4th Lady. Dog!
5th Lady. Slave!
6th Lady. Hell-hound!
Phil. Methinks you represent the hemisphere,
Because you are enthron'd so high; your eyes
Appear like stars to us poor mortals here
Below.
1st Lady. Villain, if we had thee here, thou
Should'st find it hell.
Mir. Pray, ladies, what makes you
So angry? Methinks the gentleman is
Your friend, and has holpt you nearer heaven
Than perhaps e'er a one of you would ever
Have been.
2d Lady. What's that you say, little piss-a-bed?
Mir. Sweet angels, will never a one of you
Please to descend?
3d Lady. Thou little devil,
If we had thee here, we'd throw thee down again
With such a swing, we'd knock that rascal's brains
Out with thy fall.
Mir. Then, angry ladies, I
Shall stay here—see, has not that lady
A very fair nose at this distance?
Phil. Has
[Pg 359] Not t'other there a mouth, that when she opens it
To scold, looks like a giant's cave?
4th Lady. S'life, we'll
Not be abus'd thus; here's a Hercules' statue,
Let's throw it down upon their heads.

[Mirida runs away, and meets Pinguister and stops.

Enter Pinguister and Doctor.

Mir. Hold, Philidor, we shall have some new sport
Of my making now; here comes my fat lover,
Let us stand close and hear a little.
Ping. Doctor,
Pray, how many stools may I happily have
This morning by this purgation, already
Taken by me?
Doctor. Doubtless, one hundred, sir.
Ping. Save me, 'twill swinge my bum-gut then: but how
Much fat may it bring away?
Doctor. Peradventure,
Half-a-dozen pounds.
Ping. Love! what dost thou make
Me do? But, worthy doctor, from what parts of
My continual purg'd body is this store
Of fat extracted?
Doctor. Chiefly from your waist
And calves of your legs.
Ping. And how many purges
May make my waist and legs' calves, alias, calves
Of my legs, delightful to her eye, sir?
Doctor. Sir, some ten purges: that is to say, you
Must have a thousand stools to drain your treasure
Of fat totaliter from ye.
[Pg 360]
Ping. O love!
O Mirida, for thee I daily purge:
For thee I daily stink. I find
I must keep company with the bears, that I
May be able to endure my own stink the better.
Doctor. Come, sir, I think you had best begin to run
Your heats.
Ping. O me! nothing cou'd e'er a made
A footman of me but love. Well, I must
Put on my pumps.
Phil. By this light, this is the
Pleasantest scene as e'er I saw.
Ping. Nay, doctor,
If you mean I should run, lend me your hand
To help me up. [Puts on nightcaps.
Now, in the name of love,
I most unwillingly start.
Phil. S'death! he runs
Like a duke. [He runs round, and sometimes goes out to untruss.
Mir. His stools come very quickly upon
Him, one after another.
Ping. I must run
With my breeches in my hand, my purge visits
My bum-gut so intolerably often.
Doctor. Now, sir, for a cheerful loose.
Ping. By my heart,
Master Doctor, I wonder at your cruelty,
To ask a cheerful loose of me; am not
I loos'd sufficiently by
Your furious purgations?

Enter Lean-man and his Tailor.

Mir. O, here comes
My lean lover.
[Pg 361]
Lean. Tailor, do I look gross
Enough now?
Tailor. Yes, I'll assure you, you seem
Very corpulent.
Lean. Well, I am sure if thou
Hast not made me large enough, thou wilt thy bill.
Now have at Mistress Mirida! sure, my
Person will take her. Why, how now, cousin, [To Ping.
What makes you running a heat?
Ping. I must not stop
To speak with you, but come run by me,
And I will tell you. Why, I see
You know nothing. Mistress Mirida has a
Great kindness for me, but cannot marry me
Before I am leaner.
Lean. She fools him; her kindness is for me,
And bids me make myself fatter, before
We marry. [Aside.
Ping. But pray, coz, what makes you stuff yourself so
To appear big?
Lean. Yes, I do it to please
Mistress Mirida's eye; she bid me.
Ping. So she makes
An ass of him. [Aside.
Lean. Well, I won't hinder you
In your exercise,
Farewell. Now I'll to Mistress Mirida. [Exit.
Ping. Good bye, good bye.
God's fish, my purge again! O, O!

Enter Clown with a cudgel, and beats him in again.

Clown. A nasty rogue, when a man's asleep,
To come and do it just in his mouth! I'll swinge ye.
[Pg 362]
Ping. O, hold, good sir, 'twas the violence of my physic;
Would my paunch were out, if I saw you!
Phil. Hold,
What do ye mean to beat a
Gentleman thus?
Clown. Let
Him learn more manners, then, against next time.
Ping. O Mistress Mirida, I have been purg'd
And beaten most extremely for your sake;
Sure, I'm lean enough now to marry you.
Mir. That I cannot tell; but I have the measure
In my pocket of what compass you were
About when you first were in love with me,
And also the measure to that you must
Fall before I marry you. Here was your full
Bigness, which was three yards about: let me see;
You are fallen a yard.
Ping. Well, and won't you marry me then?
Mir. That you'll see presently; for here's the measure
Must compass you about before I do.
This wants a yard yet.
Ping. Well, and d'ye think it's possible
For me ever to become such a grig
As that measure will meet about me?
Why, to do that you must embowel me, and then
Shave the remaining rolls of fat off from
My melting sides.
Doctor. Here, pray, sir, throw this blanket
About you; you will catch your death.
Ping. Look you,
Unreasonable mistress, thus am I
Fain to do every day, because I would
Melt myself into a husband for you:
You may hear my guts at this time boiling
[Pg 363] Within me; I am confident they will
Have the same fat as a kettle full of
Black puddings that are over-boiled, and so
Broken.
Doctor. Come, sir, you must needs go to bed.
Ping. That is to say, I must go swim; for that
I do constantly in a sea of sweat.
Mir. Ay, pray, sir, I wou'd not for all the world
You should miscarry.
Ping. Indeed, I look as
If I were with child. Lady, if you have
Any thoughts of going to heaven, have
Mercy on me.
Mir. Farewell, garbage.
Ping. O heat! O fat! O love! what will you
Do with me? [Exit with Doctor.
Phil. Was there ever such sport as we have seen?
Mir. Heaven send thee and I many a fair
Year to be mad together in.
Phil. Ay, as
You say, give us but time enough, and when
We grow tame, let the bell toll for us.
But stay, let us return
Back to my virgins, that I may
Make my conditions with 'em,
Before they get out of prison.

Enter all the Ladies and bind them.

S'death! they
Are all got out already.
1st Lady. O, have we
Met with you now, ye pair of devils? we'll lay
You fast enough. So good night to you, lie
There till we come again. [Exit Ladies.
Phil. Pox on't, was there
[Pg 364] Ever such luck as this? There was a trap-
Door in the garret, which they found and got
Out at.
Mir. What think ye now of this day's sport
Philidor?
Phil. Plague on it, well enough; if
They had not bound us back to back together,
We might have pass'd away the time.
Malicious jades! no way of bridling us
But this? Pr'ythee turn about thy head, and let
Us try if we can kiss one another
A little.
Mir. No, no, we won't
Try for fear you should put your neck out of
Joint with turning it too much of one side.
Phil. Well, fortune should be more careful
Of accidents of this nature, and not
Contrive them so cross.

Enter Boy.

Phil. O, here comes a boy. Here, sirrah, come hither.
Boy. What say you, master?
Phil. Here, prythee, unbind us, I'll give thee a
Shilling.
Boy. Why, sir, can't you unbind yourselves?
Phil. Simple boy, thou seest we can't.
Boy. And have ye a mind to be unbound?
Phil. Yes, yes, we are in great torments
To lie thus.
Boy. Then, sir, you shall give me a piece,
And your hat, because I have never
A one, or else farewell.
Phil. Well, stay, here take it out of my pockets.
Boy. Yes, that I will do, before I unbind you,
And your hat too. [Exit.
[Pg 365]
Phil. The rogue's too nimble for me.
Mir. Well, Philidor, farewell, I must
Go put
On a clean handkerchief.
Phil. And I
Must go see if I can find a believing
Haberdasher, else I shall be very
Ceremonious to every one I meet. [Exit.

Enter Fiddler.

Mir. A fiddle! nay, then I am made again;
I'd have a dance, if I had nothing but my
Smock on. Fiddler, strike up, and play my jig,
Call'd, I care not a pin for any man.
Fid. Indeed I can't stay: I am going to
Play to some gentlemen.
Mir. Nay, thou shalt stay
But a little.
Fid. Give me half-a-crown then.
Mir. I have no money about me. But here, take
My handkerchief. [Dance and Exit.

ACT IV.

Enter Ortellus and Arbatus, as going into the Duke's bed-chamber, and the Duke in bed.

Ort. So, I will keep the door, whilst you
Dispatch him.
Arb. My lord,
I find you truly noble. Why, duke; why, duke! I say.
Methinks my voice should wake his guilty soul,
Nothing but innocence can sleep secure;
[Pg 366] Then why, good heaven, does he take
Such rest?
Awake, thou drowsy devil! Duke, my sister's
Wrongs do call thee from thy sleep; methinks
The sound of those should pierce thy ears. Why, duke!
Duke. What bold voice is that?
Arb. One that will be more
Bold with you.
Duke. Who is't so impudent as
To break my sleep?
Arb. 'Tis I, Arbatus, that
Will put thee into a wonder.
Duke. Ha! what means
That dagger in thy hands?
Arb. Canst thou ask that
Question? it is to tickle thy false heart.
Duke. Ha, ha, ha! you jest, you jest.
Arb. What,
Does the conceit on't make you laugh already?
I was resolved to wake thee, before
I sent thee to hell, because thou may'st know
Of whose errand thou goest.
Duke. Come, come, leave
Your foolery, lest you heat my blood.
Arb. If
I do, I will let it out all, and that
Will quickly cool it. I would give thee time
To say thy prayers now, but that I know
Thy sin to be so great, that heaven will
Not pardon thee.

Enter Artabella.

Ort. Who's that?
Art. 'Tis I, my lord:
Artabella. Let me in quickly, that I
[Pg 367] May have one stab at his false heart, before
My brother has put him past feeling.
Ort. And so thou shalt, brave girl.
Arb. Now, duke, good night to you, and the devil
Send you good rest.
Art. Hold, brother.
Arb. Who's that?
Art. 'Tis I thy injur'd sister, come to make
The first hole in that base duke's heart; it is
My right.
Arb. Begin, begin then, that I may
Make an end.
Art. Stay, brother, not too fast,
Has he said his prayers?
Arb. His pray'rs! why none
But the devil will hear them. Come, come, sister,
Give me the dagger again; you waste time.
Art. And so I will, the duke shan't die.
Arb. How, not die?
Art. Not die, I say.
Arb. Then you are his whore all this while, and wou'd
Have him live, that you may be so still.
Art. Brother,
Another word so foul, I'll strike this dagger
Through your heart,
Therefore hear me speak. Know then,
'Tis I that cannot love the duke, which he
Would never tell you, knowing 'twould make you angry
With me.
Arb. Nay then I'll kill you for fooling
A brother and your reputation thus.
Duke. Hold, Arbatus, she says it but to save
My life. 'Tis I have fooled you both, therefore
Strike here.
[Pg 368]
Arb. And so I will, then.
Art. Hold, brother;
Pull not a load of sins upon your head;
'Tis I have been to blame, indeed I have,
With loving him too much.
Arb. Then thou shalt die.
Duke. Hold, sir, heaven will frown on you for ever,
If you shed one drop of that pure blood; upon
My word, 'tis I.
Arb. Keep not my tortur'd soul
Thus in suspense. One of you tell me true,
And that quickly too, else I will destroy
You both, and that's the surest way not
To mistake.
Duke. Then be assur'd 'tis I.
Art. Brother,
'Tis not, 'tis I.
Arb. Heyday! heyday! I know
Not what to do or say. [Throws down his sword and goes away.
Ort. So, he is dead,
I hope.
Arb. No more than you are.
Ort. How so?
Arb. Come,
My lord, as you go, I'll tell you.

[Exeunt Arbatus and Ortellus.

Duke. O Artabella, why didst take my sin
Upon thyself, hiding thy innocence
With a face of guilt? My death had been not
Punishment enough, because I have wrong'd
So fair a life as yours. Which way to ask
Forgiveness, I can't tell; there are no pardons for
Such sins as mine; the only way to do
Thee right, is this. [Offers to kill himself.
[Pg 369]
Art. Hold, sir, my life
Shall follow yours, if you strike.
Duke. Why would'st thou
Have me live?
Art. Because I love you, sir.
Duke. And that's the only reason I would die.
Art. Why, would it be kindly done to show
My eyes your blood?
Duke. Yes, far more kind than live, and show
Thy heart no love. O Artabella, that thou wert
My sister!
Nothing but brother's love were then
Thy due; and I could richly pay thee in
That coin, a million more than ever brother did.
Art. Wou'd nature then had made me so, or else
Had given me never a heart.
Duke. What wou'dst
Thou have me do, poor Artabella?
Art. Nothing
But love me, sir.
Duke. See, what thou doest ask
A man, a god wou'd do; and yet I can't;
'Tis not thy want of beauty, but my fate.
Angels themselves, to look upon thy face,
Wou'd take a journey twice a day from heaven.
Art. If you would come, though far a shorter way,
You shou'd be much more welcome.
Duke. Sweet tongue, lie still, offer no more such love,
As gods themselves to have wou'd think a bliss,
Since all thy kindness does but wound my heart,
To see thine shipwreck'd in a sea of love,
And cannot give it harbour in my breast.
Art. Sir, let me beg one thing of you then.
Duke. With all my soul, be it my dukedom, and
'Tis thine.
[Pg 370]
Art. 'Tis no such great request;
'Tis only when you meet me, say: I hate
Thee, Artabella.
Duke. Why, could that word please thee?
Art. No; but to hear it said by you, would bring
My death, then I wou'd thank you for my rest.
Would you not come unto my grave, sir?
Duke. O yes, and make thy coffin float with a sea
Of tears.
Art. Fair sir, of what?
Duke. Of grief.
Art. O me!
A sea of tears, and yet not one of love!
Waste not such precious drops upon my grave, it will
Not satisfy my hovering soul to see
Your eyes drop pity without love. Farewell, sir.
O for a grave, that were a resting place;
Good heart, be kind, and break apace! [Exit.
Duke. Heaven love thee for me! Base Amphelia,
Thou art the author of my horrid sin. [Exit.

Enter Philidor and Mirida.

Phil. Thou talk'st of sport, Mirida; if all the
Sport we have had already with our lovers,
Come not short of this, hang me. You say you have
Invited them already to my funeral.
Mir. Yes, yes. [Philidor is laid out like a corpse.
Phil. So, so, methinks my body lies
In great state, to see the tribe that will come
By-and-by; here will be half a dozen
[Pg 371] Chief mourners, which should have been my wives, and
Some three or four sons and heirs, besides three
Or four hopeful daughters; these, with
The congregation of nurses, will howl me
A pleasant dirge. Mirida, you being my
Executrix, must carry yourself very gravely;
Here's my will, which you must read to 'em; I'll be
The priest myself. Hark, somebody knocks [Knocks within.
At the gate.

Enter Boy.

Boy. Sir, they are all
Come.
Phil. Let 'em in.—Now, Mirida, manage
Your business well.
Mir. Let me alone, I'll warrant ye.

Enter Ladies and Nurse.

All Ladies. Ah! my poor dear, dear.
All Nurses. Ah! my poor dear master! ah, child,
Cry for thy poor dad. [Kiss the hearse.
Phil. What a dog-kennel's here! how they howl! [Aside.
Mir. When
The passions of your grief are over, pray
Hear me speak, because it concerns you all.
Phil. Pox of thy gravity, Mirida. [Aside.
Mir. Nay, hold your tongue; if
You set me once a laughing, I shall spoil
Your funeral. [Aside.

Enter Pinguister and Lean-man.

So here comes my fat lover and my
[Pg 372] Lean one! Welcome, gentlemen, I
Was afraid I shou'd not have had your company.
Ping. Really, sweet lady, I have taken a purge
To-day (as I do constantly, for love
Of you) which has retarded me,
By reason of its operation, neither can
I say it has yet finished.
Mir. Sir, please you
To sit down, and you,
Master Pinguister.
Ping. Lady, I shall embrace your offer, and shall
Press your chair. By my heart, madam, this chair
Was fitter for a jackdaw than [for] me.

[Sits down and breaks the chair.

Nay, they make such chairs now-a-days, that had I
A grudge to an upholsterer, I would
Desire no greater revenge than to sit
Down upon every chair in his shop.
Mir. Truly,
Sir, I am sorry for your fall.
Ladies and gentlewomen, pray give your
Attention to my dear deceas'd cousin's
Will. Poor young man! he was kill'd yesterday
By a duel:
He liv'd but two hours after he was hurt,
Which time he made use of, to settle something
On all you here, his worthy friends.
Omnes. A good young man.
Mir. Imprimis, I bequeath my soul, as other
People use to do, and so my body.

Item, I give to Mistress Mary, for a reason that she knows, £500. Item, £500 to Mistress Margaret, for a reason she knows. Item, £500 to Mistress Sarah, for a reason she knows. Item, £500 to Mistress Martha, for a reason she knows. Item, £500 to Mistress Alice, for a reason she knows.[Pg 373] Item, £500 to Mistress Eleanor, for a reason she knows. And so to all the rest. Item, To my nurses, I leave each of them £20 a year apiece for their lives, besides their arrears due to them for nursing. These sums [speaks low] of money and legacies I leave to be rais'd and paid out of my manor of Constantinople, in which the Great Turk is now tenant for life.

If they should hear how their legacies [Laughs aside.
Are to be paid, how they'd fall a-drumming on
His coffin!
Item, I leave to Master Pinguister,
A very fat man.—
Ping. I am so.
Mir. An infallible
Receipt to make him lean.
Ping. So I hope the
Dead may do what the living cannot.
Mir. I leave to a certain lean gentleman,
Whom I have seen in my cousin Mirida's
Company, a sure receipt to make him fat.
Lean. I find he knew I was to marry his cousin.
Mir. I desire my body to be carried to the
Grave by the six aforesaid gentlewomen.—
So, ladies, now you have heard his will,
Be pleased to take up the body: nurses,
You are to follow next; now which o' you
Will lead me?
Ping. I will, madam.
Lean. By my bones, but you shan't.
Ping. By my fat, but I will, sir.
Mir. Nay, gentlemen, pray, fall not out. Well, one
Of you lead me one half of the way. [Exeunt.
Ping. Agreed,
Sir, take you her hand first,
[Pg 374] A very timely proposition, for my purge
Works again. Save me!
Whereabouts is the closet? [Goes out, and comes in again.
What a loose must I run to overtake them
Now! else I shall not lead my mistress the last
Half-way. Deliver me from love and purges!

Enter all again with a coffin; Philidor and Mirida shut them into the vault.

Phil. So, there let 'em converse with the dead a
While; I would rather have 'em there than above
Ground: here will I keep 'em till they have
All quitted me under their hands and seals.
Mir. O, the sport that we shall have by-and-by!
Well, but I must go home a little, my
Father will miss me: where shall we meet
Again?
Phil. Just here.
Mir. I will not fail. [Exeunt.

Enter Amarissa just arrived.

Ama. I'm come too late, and yet too soon am here,
Since dear Zoranzo's death is now so near.
On the same block with him I'll lay my head,
That our two bodies may have but one bed.
Thus are our nuptial joys decreed by fate,
Our wedding and our burial bear one date.
Sure, I'm the first of maids that ever gave
Her body to her lover in a grave.
Alas! in cold embraces we must meet,
With icy kisses in a winding-sheet.
Yet though this life denies us time to love,
The other life will not so cruel prove;
[Pg 375] Our souls so fast in lovers' knots we'll tie,
That when the headsman strikes, they both shall fly,
Twined in one another through the air,
And be at rest, whilst other souls despair.

Enter Jailor.

This is the prison,
And here's the jailor, I believe. Pray, sir,
Do you belong unto the prison?
Jailor. Belong!
Yes, I am the keeper of it.
Ama. Is not
Here one Zoranzo a prisoner?
Jailor. Yes,
But he won't be here long, for he is
To die anon.
Ama. Ah me! sir, I am his
Sister; pray help me to him, that I may speak
With him before that cruel hour; I love
Him so, that I must needs die with him; I'll
Petition the duke that I may; sure, he'll not
Deny me that request.
Jailor. I can tell you a way that you may be sure
To have that favour granted.
Ama. Tell it me, and I'll thank ye.
Jailor. Why, if you'll try to convey him out of prison,
As another lady has already, you may
Bear them company too.
Ama. Why, has there any lady endeavour'd it?
Jailor. Yes, one that is his mistress, and they are
Both to die together.
[Pg 376]
Ama. Ha! what is't I hear? his mistress, say you?
Jailor. Yes, mistress; they both lie as contentedly
By one another, as if they were not two.
Ama. Curse him, good heaven, ye cannot throw too many
Curses on him. Here, jailor, take this,
And let me speak with the prisoner.
Jailor. Madam,
You shall.

Enter Zoranzo and Amphelia as in prison, in chains.

Zor. Amarissa! are my eyes false, or is it
Truly she?
Ama. Your eyes are true; but 'tis your heart that's false.
Zor. I am deceiv'd! that cannot be her tongue.
Ama. Should it speak otherwise to thee, I'd tear
It out, devil, Zoranzo; cursed pair
Of vipers, that in chains of death can practise
Lust, as if no end were nigh. Do not
My wrongs startle thy guilty soul, to think
Of all the torments it must have, that could
With so much falseness murder love? When thou
Art gone to hell, as go thou must, 'twill be
A task for all the devils there,
To torture thee enough. Thy sin is such,
Were I thy headsman, when thou com'st to die,
I'd be a week a-cutting off thy head,
'Twixt every stroke I'd stop; and then I'd hollow
Amarissa in thy ears; thy guilt would be
An echo to my wrongs, and answer to
My cry: wrong'd Amarissa;
[Pg 377] Which injur'd name repeated to thy ears,
Would make thy soul think hell not half such pain.
Farewell, Zoranzo, I'll come to see your
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