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Title: A Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 1
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 1" ***


In Four Volumes





The Tragedy of Nero
The Mayde's Metamorphosis
The Martyr'd Souldier
The Noble Souldier


Most of the Plays in the present Collection have not been reprinted,
and some have not been printed at all. In the second volume there will
be published for the first time a fine tragedy (hitherto quite unknown)
by Massinger and Fletcher, and a lively comedy (also quite unknown)
by James Shirley. The recovery of these two pieces should be of
considerable interest to all students of dramatic literature.

The Editor hopes to give in Vol. III. an unpublished play of Thomas
Heywood. In the fourth volume there will be a reprint of the _Arden of
Feversham_, from the excessively rare quarto of 1592.


Of the many irreparable losses sustained by classical literature few are
more to be deplored than the loss of the closing chapters of Tacitus'
_Annals_. Nero, it is true, is a far less complex character than
Tiberius; and there can be no question that Tacitus' sketch of Nero is
less elaborate than his study of the elder tyrant. Indeed, no historical
figure stands out for all time with features of such hideous vividness
as Tacitus' portrait of Tiberius; nowhere do we find emphasised with
such terrible earnestness, the stoical poet's anathema against tyrants
"Virtutem videant intabescantque relicta." Other writers would have
turned back sickened from the task of following Tiberius through mazes
of cruelty and craft. But Tacitus pursues his victim with the patience
of a sleuth-hound; he seems to find a ruthless satisfaction in stripping
the soul of its coverings; he treads the floor of hell and watches with
equanimity the writhings of the damned. The reader is at once strangely
attracted and repelled by the pages of Tacitus; there is a weird
fascination that holds him fast, as the glittering eye of the Ancient
Mariner held the Wedding Guest. It was owing partly, no doubt, to the
hideousness of the subject that the Elizabethan Dramatists shrank from
seeking materials in the _Annals_; but hardly the abominations of Nero
or Tiberius could daunt such daring spirits as Webster or Ford. Rather
we must impute their silence to the powerful mastery of Tacitus; it was
awe that held them from treading in the historian's steps. Ben Jonson
ventured on the enchanted ground; but not all the fine old poet's wealth
of classical learning, not his observance of the dramatic proprieties
nor his masculine intellect, could put life into the dead bones of
Sejanus or conjure up the muffled sinister figure of Tiberius. Where Ben
Jonson failed, the unknown author of the _Tragedy of Nero_ has, to some
extent, succeeded.

After reading the first few opening-lines the reader feels at once that
this forgotten old play is the work of no ordinary man. The brilliant
scornful figure of Petronius, a character admirably sustained
throughout, rivets his attention from the first. In the blank verse
there is the true dramatic ring, and the style is "full and heightened."
As we read on we have no cause for disappointment. The second scene
which shows us the citizens hurrying to witness the triumphant entry of
Nero, is vigorous and animated. Nero's boasting is pitched in just the
right key; bombast and eloquence are equally mixt. If he had been living
in our own day Nero might possibly have made an ephemeral name for
himself among the writers of the Sub-Swinburnian School. His longer
poems were, no doubt, nerveless and insipid, deserving the scornful
criticism of Tacitus and Persius; but the fragments preserved by Seneca
shew that he had some skill in polishing far-fetched conceits. Our
playwright has not fallen into the error of making Nero "out-Herod
Herod"; through the crazy raptures we see the ruins of a nobler nature.
Poppaea's arrowy sarcasms, her contemptuous impatience and adroit tact
are admirable. The fine irony of the following passage is certainly

  "_Pop_. I prayse your witt, my Lord, that choose such safe
  Honors, safe spoyles, worm without dust or blood.

  _Nero_. What, mocke ye me, Poppaea.

  _Pop_. Nay, in good faith, my Lord, I speake in earnest:
  I hate that headie and adventurous crew
  That goe to loose their owne to purchase but
  The breath of others and the common voyce;
  Them that will loose their hearing for a sound,
  That by death onely seeke to get a living,
  Make skarres their beautie and count losse of Limmes
  The commendation of a proper man,
  And so goe halting to immortality,--
  Such fooles I love worse then they doe their lives."

It is indeed strange to find such lines as those in the work of an
unknown author. The verses gain strength as they advance, and the
diction is terse and keen. This one short extract would suffice to show
that the writer was a literary craftsman of a very high order.

In the fourth scene, where the conspirators are met, the writer's power
is no less strikingly shown. Here, if anywhere, his evil genius might
have led him astray; for no temptation is stronger than the desire to
indulge in rhetorical displays. Even the author of _Bothwell_, despite
his wonderful command of language, wearies us at times by his vehement
iteration. Our unknown playwright has guarded himself against this
fault; and, steeped as he was to the lips in classical learning, his
abstinence must have cost him some trouble. My notes will shew that he
had not confined himself to Tacitus, but had studied Suetonius and Dion
Cassius, Juvenal and Persius. He makes no parade of his learning, but we
see that he has lived among his characters, leaving no source of
information unexplored. The meeting of the conspirators is brought
before our eyes with wonderful vividness. Scevinus' opening speech glows
and rings with indignation. Seneca, in more temperate language, bewails
the fall of the high hopes that he had conceived of his former pupil,
finely moralizing that "High fortunes, like strong wines, do trie their
vessels." Some spirited lines are put into Lucan's mouth:--

    "But to throw downe the walls and Gates of Rome
    To make an entrance for an Hobby-horse;
    To vaunt to th'people his ridiculous spoyles;
    To come with Lawrell and with Olyves crown'd
    For having been the worst of all the singers,
    Is beyond Patience!"

In another passage the grandiloquence and the vanity of the poet of the
_Pharsalia_ are well depicted.

The second act opens with Antonius' suit to Poppaea, which is full of
passion and poetry, but is not allowed to usurp too much room in the
progress of the play. Then, in fine contrast to the grovelling servility
of the Emperor's creatures, we see the erect figure of the grand stoic
philosopher, Persius' tutor, Cornutus, whose free-spokenness procures
him banishment. Afterwards follows a second conference of the
conspirators, in which scene the author has followed closely in the
steps of Tacitus.

One of the most life-like passages in the play is at the beginning of
the third act, where Nimphidius describes to Poppaea how the weary
audience were imprisoned in the theatre during Nero's performance, with
guards stationed at the doors, and spies on all sides scanning each
man's face to note down every smile or frown. Our author draws largely
upon Tacitus and the highly-coloured account of Suetonius; but he has,
besides, a telling way of his own, and some of his lines are very happy.
Poppaea's wit bites shrewdly; and even Nimphidius' wicked breast must
have been chilled at such bitter jesting as:--

    "How did our Princely husband act _Orestes_?
    Did he not wish againe his Mother living?
    _Her death would add great life unto his part_."

As Nero approaches his crowning act of wickedness, the burning of Rome,
his words assume a grim intensity. The invocation to the severe powers
is the language of a man at strife at once with the whole world and
himself. In the representation of the burning of Rome it will perhaps be
thought that the author hardly rises to the height of his theme. The
Vergilian simile put into the mouth of Antonius is distinctly misplaced;
but as our author so seldom offends in this respect he may be pardoned
for the nonce. It may seem a somewhat crude treatment to introduce a
mother mourning for her burnt child, and a son weeping over the body of
his father; but the naturalness of the language and the absence of
extravagance must be commended. Some of the lines have the ring of
genuine pathos, as here:--

    "Where are thy counsels, where thy good examples?
    _And that kind roughness of a Father's anger_?"

The scene immediately preceding contains the noble speech of Petronius
quoted by Charles Lamb in the _Specimens_. In a space of twenty lines
the author has concentrated a world of wisdom. One knows not whether to
admire more the justness of the thought or the exquisite finish of the
diction. Few finer things have been said on the _raison d'être_ of
tragedy from the time when Aristotle in the _Poetics_ formulated his
memorable dictum. The admirable rhythmical flow should be noted. There
is a rare suppleness and strength in the verses; we could not put one
line before another without destroying the effect of the whole; no verse
stands out obstinately from its fellows, but all are knit firmly, yet
lightly, together: and a line of magnificent strength fitly closes a
magnificent passage. Hardly a sonnet of Shakespeare or Mr. Rossetti
could be more perfect.

At the beginning of the fourth act, when the freedman Milichus discloses
Piso's conspiracy, Nero's trepidation is well depicted. It is curious
that among the conspirators the author should not have introduced the
dauntless woman, Epicharis, who refused under the most cruel tortures to
betray the names of her accomplices, and after biting out her tongue
died from the sufferings that she had endured on the rack. "There," as
mad Hieronymo said, "you could show a passion." Even Tacitus, who
upbraids the other conspirators with pusillanimity, marks his admiration
of this noble woman. No reader will quarrel with the playwright if he
has thought fit to paint the conspirators in brighter colours than the
historian had done. When Scevinus is speaking we seem to be listening to
the voice of Shakespeare's Cassius: witness the exhortation to Piso,--

    "O _Piso_ thinke,
    Thinke on that day when in the _Parthian_ fields
    Thou cryedst to th'flying Legions to turne
    And looke Death in the face; he was not grim,
    But faire and lovely when he came in armes."

The character of Piso, for whom Tacitus shows such undisguised contempt,
is drawn with kindliness and sympathy. Seneca, too, who meets with
grudging praise from the stern historian, stands out ennobled in the
play. His bearing in the presence of death is admirably dignified; and
the polite philosopher, whose words were so faultless and whose deeds
were so faulty, could hardly have improved upon the chaste diction of
the farewell address assigned him by the playwright.

While Seneca's grave wise words are still ringing in our ears we are
called to watch a leave-taking of a different kind. No reader of the
_Annals_ can ever forget the strange description of the end of
Petronius;--how the man whose whole life had "gone, like a revel, by"
neither faltered, when he heard his doom pronounced, nor changed a whit
his wonted gaiety; but dying, as he had lived, in abandoned luxury, sent
under seal to the emperor, in lieu of flatteries, the unblushing record
of their common vices. The obscure playwright is no less impressive than
the world-renowned historian. While Antonius and Enanthe are picturing
to themselves the consternation into which Petronius will be thrown by
the emperor's edict, the object of their commiseration presents himself.
Briefly dismissing the centurion, he turns with kindling cheek to his
scared mistress--"Come, let us drink and dash the posts with wine!"
Then he discourses on the blessings of death; he begins in a
semi-ironical vein, but soon, forgetful of his auditors, is borne away
on the wings of ecstacy. The intense realism of the writing is
appalling. He speaks as a "prophet new inspired," and we listen in
wonderment and awe. The language is amazingly strong and rich, and the
imagination gorgeous.

At the beginning of the fifth act comes the news of the rising of Julius
Vindex. Like a true coward Nero makes light of the distant danger; but
when the rumours fly thick and fast he gives way to womanish
passionateness, idly upbraiding the gods instead of consulting for his
own safety. His despair and terror when he perceives the inevitable doom
are powerfully rendered. The fear of the after-world makes him long for
annihilation; his imagination presents to him "the furies arm'd with
linkes, with whippes, with snakes," and he dreads to meet his mother and
those "troopes of slaughtered friends" before the tribunal of the Judge

    "That will not leave unto authoritie,
    Nor favour the oppressions of the great."

But, fine as it undoubtedly is, the closing scene of the play bears no
comparison with the pathetic narrative of Suetonius. Riding out,
muffled, from Rome amid thunder and lightning, attended but by four
followers, the doomed emperor hears from the neighbouring camp the
shouts of the soldiers cursing the name of Nero and calling down
blessings on Galba. Passing some wayfarers on the road, he hears one of
them whisper, "Hi Neronem persequuntur;" and another asks, "Ecquid in
urbe novi de Nerone?" Further on his horse takes fright, terrified by
the stench from a corpse that lay in the road-side: in the confusion the
emperor's face is uncovered, and at that moment he is recognized and
saluted by a Praetorian soldier who is riding towards the City. Reaching
a by-path, they dismount and make their way hardly through reeds and
thickets. When his attendant, Phaon, urged him to conceal himself in a
sandpit, Nero "negavit se vivum sub terram iturum;" but soon, creeping
on hands and knees into a cavern's mouth, he spread a tattered coverlet
over himself and lay down to rest. And now the pangs of hunger and
thirst racked him; but he refused the coarse bread that his attendants
offered, only taking a draught of warm water. Then he bade his
attendants dig his grave and get faggots and fire, that his body might
be saved from indignities; and while these preparations were being made
he kept moaning "qualis artifex pereo!" Presently comes a messenger
bringing news that Nero had been adjudged an "enemy" by the senate and
sentenced to be punished "more majorum." Enquiring the nature of the
punishment, and learning that it consisted in fastening the criminal's
neck to a fork and scourging him, naked, to death, the wretched emperor
hastily snatched a pair of daggers and tried the edges; but his courage
failed him and he put them by, saying that "not yet was the fatal moment
at hand." At one time he begged some one of his attendants to show him
an example of fortitude by dying first; at another he chid himself for
his own irresolution, exclaiming: [Greek: "ou prepei Neroni, ou
prepei--naephein dei en tois toioutois--age, egeire seauton."] But now
were heard approaching the horsemen who had been commissioned to bring
back the emperor alive. The time for wavering was over: hurriedly
ejaculating the line of Homer,

    [Greek: "Hippon m'okypodon amphi ktypos ouata ballei,"]

he drove the steel into his throat. To the centurion, who pretended that
he had come to his aid and who vainly tried to stanch the wound, he
replied "_Sero_, et _Haec est fides_!" and expired.

Such is the tragic tale of horror told by Suetonius. Nero's last words
in the play "O _Rome_, farewell," &c., seem very poor to "_Sero_ et _Haec
est fides_"; but, if the playwright was young and inexperienced, we can
hardly wonder that his strength failed him at this supreme moment.
Surely the wonder should rather be that we find so many noble passages
throughout this anonymous play. Who the writer may have been I dare not
conjecture. In his fine rhetorical power he resembles Chapman; but he
had a far truer dramatic gift than that great but chaotic writer. He is
never tiresome as Chapman is, who, when he has said a fine thing, seems
often to set himself to undo the effect. His gorgeous imagination and
his daring remind us of Marlowe; the leave-taking of Petronius is
certainly worthy of Marlowe. He is like Marlowe, too, in another
way,--he has no comic power and (wiser, in this respect, than Ford) is
aware of his deficiency. We find in _Nero_ none of those touches of
swift subtle pathos that dazzle us in the _Duchess of Malfy_; but we
find strokes of sarcasm no less keen and trenchant. Sometimes in the
ring of the verse and in turns of expression, we seem to catch
Shakespearian echoes; as here--

    "Staid men suspect their wisedome or their faith,
    To whom our counsels we have not reveald;
    And while (our party seeking to disgrace)
    They traitors call us, each man treason praiseth
    _And hateth faith, when Piso is a traitor_." (iv. i);

or here--

    "'Cause you were lovely therefore did I love:
    O, if to Love you anger you so much,
    You should not have such cheekes nor lips to touch:
    You should not have your snow nor curral spy'd;--
    _If you but look on us, in vain you chide:
    We must not see your Face, nor heare your speech:
    Now, while you Love forbid, you Love doe teach_."

I am inclined to think that the tragedy of _Nero_ was the first and last
attempt of some young student, steeped in classical learning and
attracted by the strange fascination of the _Annals_,--of one who,
failing to gain a hearing at first, never courted the breath of
popularity again; just as the author of _Joseph and his Brethren_, when
his noble poem fell still-born from the press, turned contemptuously
away and preserved thenceforward an unbroken silence. It should be
noticed that the 4to. of 1633 is not really a new edition; it is merely
the 4to. of 1624, with a new title-page. In a copy bearing the later
date I found a few unimportant differences of reading; but no student of
the Elizabethan drama needs to be reminded that _variae lectiones_ not
uncommonly occur in copies of the same edition. The words "newly written"
on the title-page are meant to distinguish the _Tragedy of Nero_ from
the wretched _Tragedy of Claudius Tiberius Nero_ published in 1607.

But now I will bring my remarks to a close. It has been at once a pride
and a pleasure to me to rescue this fine old play from undeserved
oblivion. There is but one living poet whose genius could treat worthily
the tragical story of Nero's life and death. In his three noble sonnets,
"The Emperor's Progress," Mr. Swinburne shows that he has pondered the
subject deeply: if ever he should give us a Tragedy of Nero, we may be
sure that one more deathless contribution would be added to our dramatic

_Addenda_ and _Corrigenda_.

After _Nero_ had been printed I found among the Egerton MSS. (No. 1994),
in the British Museum, a transcript in a contemporary hand. The precious
folio to which it belongs contains fifteen plays: of these some will be
printed entire in Vols. II and III, and a full account of the other
pieces will be given in an appendix to Vol. II. The transcript of _Nero_
is not by any means so accurate as the printed copy; and sometimes we
meet with the most ridiculous mistakes. For instance, on p. 82 for
"Beauties sweet _Scarres_" the MS. gives "Starres"; on p. 19 for "Nisa"
("not _Bacchus_ drawn from _Nisa_") we find "Nilus"; and in the line
"Nor us, though _Romane, Lais_ will refuse" (p. 81) the MS. pointlessly
reads "Ladies will refuse." On the other hand, many of the readings are
a distinct improvement, and I am glad to find some of my own emendations
confirmed. But let us start _ab initio_:--

p. 13, l. 4. 4to. Imperiall tytles; MS. Imperial stuffe.

p. 14, l. 3. 4to. small grace; MS. sale grace.--The allusion in the
following line to the notorious "dark lights" makes the MS. reading
certain.--Lower down for "and other of thy blindnesses" the MS. gives
"another": neither reading is intelligible.

p. 17, l. 5. MS. rightly gives "_cleave_ the ayre."

p. 30, l. 2. "Fatu[m']st in partibus illis || Quas sinus abscondit.
Petron."--added in margin of MS.

p. 31, l. 17. 4to. _or_ bruised in my fall; MS. _I_ bruised in my

p. 32, l. 4. 4to. Shoulder pack't Peleus; MS. Shoulder peac'd. The
MS. confirms my emendation "shoulder-piec'd."

p. 32, l. 13. 4to. shoutes and noyse; MS. shoutes and triumphs.--From
this point to p. 39 (last line but one) the MS. is defective.

p. 40, l. 8. 4to. _our_ visitation; MS. _or_ visitation.

p. 42, l. 11. 4to. others; MS. ours.

p. 46, l. 22. 4to. Wracke out; MS. wreake not.

p. 47, l. 17. 4to. Toth' the point of _Agrippa_; MS. tooth'
prince [sic] of Agrippinas.

p. 54, l. 2. 4to. _Pleides_ burnes; _Jupiter Saturne_ burnes; MS.
_Alcides_ burnes, _Jupiter Stator_ burnes.

p. 54, l. 23. 4to. thee gets; in MS. _gets_ has been corrected, by
a different hand, into _Getes_.

p. 54, l. 26. 4to. the most condemned; MS. the ------ condemned:
a blank is unfortunately left in the MS.

p. 56, l. 20. 4to. writhes; MS. wreathes.

p. 59, l. 1. MS. I now command the souldyer _of the_ Cyttie.

p. 61, l. 13. The MS. preserves the three following lines, not found in
the printed copy--

    "High spirits soaring still at great attempts,
    And such whose wisdomes, to their other wrongs,
    Distaste the basenesse of the government."

p. 62, l. 15. 4to. are we; MS. arowe.

p. 66, l. 4 "Sed quis custodiet ipsos || Custodes. Juvenal"--noted in
margin of MS.

p. 68, l. 15. 4to. Galley-asses? MS. gallowses.

p. 69, l. 1. The MS. makes the difficulty even greater by reading--

    "Silver colour [sic] on the _Medaean_ fields
    Not _Tiber_ colour."

p. 75, l. 2. 4to. One that in whispering oreheard; MS. one that this
fellow whispring I oreharde.

p. 78, l. 22. 4to. from whence _it_ first let down; MS. from whence _at_
first let down.

p. 80. In note (1) for "Eilius Italicus" read "Silius Italicus."

p. 127. In note (2) for "_Henry IV_" read _I Henry IV_.

p. 182, l. 6. Dele [?]. The sense is quite plain if we remember that
soldiers degraded on account of misconduct were made "pioners": vid.
commentators on _Othello_, iii. 3. Hence "pioner" is used for "the
meanest, most ignorant soldier."

p. 228. In note (2) for "earlle good wine" read "Earlle good-wine."

p. 236. In note (2) after "[Greek: _staphis_] and" add "[Greek:

p. 255. The lines "To the reader of this Play" are also found at the end
of T. Heywood's "Royal King and Loyal Subject."

p. 257, l. 1. I find (on turning to Mr. Arbor's _Transcript_) that the
_Noble Spanish Souldier_ had been previously entered on the Stationers'
Registers (16 May, 1631), by John Jackman, as a work of Dekker's. Since
the sheets have been passing through the press, I have become convinced
that Dekker's share was more considerable than I was willing to allow in
the prefatory _Note_.

p. 276. Note (2) is misleading; the reading of the 4to "flye-boat" is no
doubt right. "Fly-boat" comes from Span. filibote, flibote--a
fast-sailing vessel. The Dons hastily steer clear of the rude soldier.

p. 294. In note (1) for "Bayford ballads" read "Bagford Ballads."


_Newly Written_.

Imprinted at _London_ by _Augustine Mathewes_, and _John Norton_, for
_Thomas Jones_, and are to bee sold at the blacke Raven in the Strand,

The Tragedie of Nero.

_Actus Primus_.

    Enter _Petronius Arbyter, Antonius Honoratus_.

_Petron_. Tush, take the wench
I showed thee now, or else some other seeke.
What? can your choler no way be allayed
But with Imperiall tytles?
Will you more tytles[1] unto _Caesar_ give?

_Anto_. Great are thy fortunes _Nero_, great thy power,
Thy Empyre lymited with natures bounds;
Upon thy ground the Sunne doth set and ryse;
The day and night are thine,
Nor can the Planets, wander where they will,
See that proud earth that feares not _Caesars_ name.
Yet nothing of all this I envy thee;
But her, to whom the world unforst obayes,
Whose eye's more worth then all it lookes upon;
In whom all beautyes Nature hath enclos'd
That through the wide Earth or Heaven are dispos'd.

_Petron_. Indeed she steales and robs each part o'th world
With borrowed beauties to enflame thine eye:
The Sea, to fetch her Pearle, is div'd into;
The Diomond rocks are cut to make her shine;
To plume her pryde the Birds do naked sing:
When my Enanthe, in a homely gowne--

_Anto_. Homely, I faith.

_Petron_.                I, homely in her gowne,
But looke vpon her face and that's set out
With no small grace; no vayled shadowes helpe.
Foole! that hadst rather with false lights and darke
Beguiled be then see the ware thou buyest.

    _Poppea_ royally attended, and passe over the Stage in State.

_Anto_. Great Queene[2], whom Nature made to be her glory,
Fortune got eies and came to be thy servant,
Honour is proud to be thy tytle; though
Thy beauties doe draw up my soule, yet still
So bright, so glorious is thy Maiestie
That it beates downe againe my clyming thoughts.

_Petron_. Why, true;
And other of thy blindnesses thou seest[?]
Such one to love thou dar'st not speake unto.
Give me a wench that will be easily had
Not woed with cost, and being sent for comes:
And when I have her foulded in mine armes
Then _Cleopatra_ she, or _Lucres_ is;
Ile give her any title.

_Anto_. Yet not so much her greatnesse and estate
My hopes disharten as her chastitie.

_Petron_. Chastitie! foole! a word not knowne in Courts.
Well may it lodge in meane and countrey homes
Where povertie and labour keepes them downe,
Short sleepes and hands made hard with _Thuscan_ Woll,
But never comes to great mens Pallaces
Where ease and riches stirring thoughts beget,
Provoking meates and surfet wines inflame;
Where all there setting forth's but to be wooed,
And wooed they would not be but to be wonne.
Will one man serve _Poppea_? nay, thou shalt
Make her as soone contented with an [one?] eye.

    _Nimphidius_ to them.

_Nimph_. Whil'st _Nero_ in the streetes his Pageants shewes
I to his fair wives chambers sent for am.
You gracious Starres that smiled on my birth,
And thou bright Starre more powerful then them all,
Whose favouring smiles have made me what I am,
Thou shalt my God, my Fate and fortune be.
                                          [Ex. _Nimph_.

_Anto_. How sausely yon fellow
Enters the Empresse Chamber.

_Petron_. I, and her too, _Antonius_, knowest thou him?

_Anto_. What? knowe the only favorite of the Court?
Indeed, not many dayes ago thou mightest
Have not unlawfully askt that question.

_Petron_. Why is he rais'd?[3]

_Anto_. That have I sought in him
But never peece of good desert could find.
He is _Nimphidia's_ sonne, the free'd woman,
Which basenesse to shake off he nothing hath
But his own pride?

_Petron_. You remember when _Gallus, Celsus_,
And others too, though now forgotten, were
Great in _Poppeas_ eyes?

_Anton_. I doe, and did interpret it in them
An honorable favor she bare vertue.
Or parts like vertue.

_Petron_. The cause is one of theirs and this man's Grace.
I once was great in wavering smiles of Court;
I fell, because I knew. Since have I given
My time to my owne pleasures, and would now
Advise thee, too, to meane and safe delights:
The thigh's as soft the sheepes back covereth
As that with crimson and with Gold adorn'd.
Yet, cause I see that thy restraind desires
Cannot their owne way choose, come thou with me;
Perhaps He shew thee means of remedie.


(SCENE 2.)

1 _Rom_. Whither so fast, man? Whither so fast?

2 _Rom_. Whither but where your eares do lead you?
To _Neros_ Triumphs and the shouts you heare.

1 _Rom_ Why? comes he crown'd with _Parthian_ overthrow
And brings he _Volegesus_ with him chain'd?

2 _Rom_. _Parthian_ overthrowne! why he comes crownd
For victories which never Roman wonne;
For having Greece in her owne arts overthrowne,
In Singing, Dauncing, Horse-rase, Stage-playing.
Never, O Rome had never such a Prince.

1 _Rom_. Yet, I have heard, our ancestors were crown'd
For other Victories.

2 _Rom_. None of our ancestors were ere like him.

                     _Within: Nero, Apollo, Nero, Hercules_![4]

1 _Rom_. Harke how th'applauding shouts doe cleave the ayre,[5]
This idle talke will make me loose the sight.

    Two _Romans_ more to them.

3 _Rom_. Whither goe you? alls done i'th Capytall,
And _Nero_, having there his tables hung
And Garlands up, is to the Pallace gone.
'Twas beyond wonder; I shall never see,
Nay, I never looke to see the like againe:
Eighteen hundred and eight Crownes
For severall victories, and the place set downe
Where, and in what, and whom he overcame.

4 _Rom_. That was set down ith' tables that were borne
Upon the Souldiers speares.

1 _Rom_. O made, and sometimes use[d] for other Ends!

2 _Rom_. But did he winne them all with singing?

3 _Rom_. Faith, all with singing and with stage-playing.

1 _Rom_. So many Crowns got with a song!

4 _Rom_. But did you marke the Greek Musitians
Behind his Chariot, hanging downe their heads,
Sham'd and overcome in their professions?
O Rome was never honour'd so before.

3 _Rom_. But what was he that rode ith' Chariot with him?

4 _Rom_. That was _Diodorus_ the Mynstrill that he favours.

3 _Rom_. Was there ever such a Prince!

2 _Rom_. O _Nero Augustus_, the true _Augustus!_

3 _Rom_. Nay, had you seen him as he rode along
With an _Olimpicke_ Crowne upon his head
And with a _Pythian_ on his arme, you would have thought,
Looking on one, he had _Apollo_ seem'd,
On th'other, _Hercules_.

2 _Rom_. I have heard my father oft repeat the Triumphs
Which in _Augustus Caesars_ tymes were showne
Upon his Victorie ore the _Illirians_;
But it seemes it was not like to this.

3 & 4 _Rom_. Push,[6] it could not be like this.

2, 3 & 4 _Rom_. O _Nero, Appollo, Nero, Hercules!

                            [Exeunt 2, 3 & 4 Rom.

    Manet Primus_.

1 _Rom_. Whether _Augustus_ Triumph greater was
I cannot tell; his Triumphs cause, I know,
Was greater farre and farre more Honourable.
What are wee People, or our flattering voyces
That always shame and foolish things applaud,
Having no sparke of Soule? All eares and eyes,
Pleased with vaine showes, deluded by our sences,
Still enemies to wisedome and to goodnesse.

(SCENE 3.)

    Enter _Nero, Poppea, Nimphidius, Epaphroditus,
    Neophilus_ and others.

_Nero_. Now, fayre _Poppea_, see thy Nero shine
In bright _Achaias_ spoyles and Rome in him.
The _Capitall_ hath other Trophies seene
Then it was wont; not spoyles with blood bedew'd
Or the unhappy obsequies of Death,
But such as _Caesars_ cunning, not his force,
Hath wrung from _Greece_ too bragging of her art.

_Tigell_. And in this strife the glories all your owne,
Your tribunes cannot share this prayse with you;
Here your _Centurions_ hath no part at all,
Bootless your Armies and your Eagles were;
No Navies helpt to bring away this conquest.

_Nimph_. Even Fortunes selfe, Fortune the Queene of Kingdomes,
That Warrs grim valour graceth with her deeds,
Will claime no portion in this Victorie.

_Nero_. Not _Bacchus_[7] drawn from Nisa downe with Tigers,
Curbing with viny rains their wilful heads
Whilst some doe gape upon his Ivy Thirse,
Some on the dangling grapes that crowne his head,
All praise his beautie and continuing youth;
So strooke amased India with wonder
As _Neroes_ glories did the Greekish townes,
_Elis_ and _Pisa_ and the rich _Micenae,
Junonian Argos_ and yet _Corinth_ proud
Of her two Seas; all which ore-come did yeeld
To me their praise and prises of their games.

_Poppea_. Yet in your _Greekish_ iourney, we do heare,
_Sparta_ and _Athens_, the two eyes of _Greece_,
Neither beheld your person or your skill;
Whether because they did afford no games
Or for their too much gravitie.

_Nero_.                         Why, what
Should I have seene in them? but in the one
Hunger, black pottage and men hot to die
Thereby to rid themselves of misery:
And what in th'other? but short Capes, long Beards;
Much wrangling in things needlesse to be knowne,
Wisedome in words and onely austere faces.
I will not be Aieceleaus nor Solon.
Nero was there where he might honour win;
And honour hath he wonn and brought from _Greece_
Those spoyles which never Roman could obtaine,
Spoyles won by witt and _Tropheis_ of his skill.

_Nimph_. What a thing he makes it to be a Minstrill!

_Poppea_. I prayse your witt, my Lord, that choose such safe
Honors, safe spoyles, won without dust or blood.

_Nero_. What, mock ye me, _Poppea_?

_Poppea_. Nay, in good faith, my Lord, I speake in earnest:
I hate that headie and adventurous crew
That goe to loose their owne to purchase but
The breath of others and the common voyce;
Them that will loose their hearing for a sound,
That by death onely seeke to get a living,
Make skarrs there beautie and count losse of Limmes
The commendation of a proper man,
And soe goe halting to immortality--
Such fooles I love worse then they doe their lives.

_Nero_. But now, _Poppea_, having laid apart
Our boastfull spoyles and ornaments of Triumph,
Come we like _Jove_ from _Phlegra_--

_Poppea_. O Giantlike comparison!

_Nero_. When after all his Fiers and wandering darts
He comes to bath himselfe in _Juno's_ eyes.
But thou, then wrangling _Juno_ farre more fayre,
Stayning the evening beautie of the Skie
Or the dayes brightnesse, shall make glad thy _Caesar_,
Shalt make him proud such beauties to Inioy.

    _Manet Nimphidius solus_.

_Nimph_. Such beauties to inioy were happinesse
And a reward sufficient in itselfe,
Although no other end or hopes were aim'd at;
But I have other: tis not _Poppeas_ armes
Nor the short pleasures of a wanton bed
That can extinguish mine aspiring thirst
To _Neroes_ Crowne. By her love I must climbe,
Her bed is but a step unto his Throne.
Already wise men laugh at him and hate him;
The people, though his Mynstrelsie doth please them,
They feare his cruelty, hate his exactions,
Which his need still must force him to encrease;
The multitude, which cannot one thing long
Like or dislike, being cloy'd with vanitie
Will hate their own delights; though wisedome doe not
Even wearinesse at length will give them eyes.
Thus I, by _Neroes_ and _Poppeas_ favour
Rais'd to the envious height of second place,
May gaine the first. Hate must strike Nero downe,
Love make _Nimphidius_ way unto a Crowne.


(SCENE 4.)

    _Enter Seneca, Scevinus, Lucan and Flavius_.

_Scevin_. His first beginning was his Fathers death;
His brothers poysoning and wives bloudy end
Came next; his mothers murther clos'd up all.
Yet hitherto he was but wicked, when
The guilt of greater evills tooke away the shame
Of lesser, and did headlong thrust him forth
To be the scorne and laughter to the world.
Then first an Emperour came upon the stage
And sung to please Carmen and Candle-sellers,
And learnt to act, to daunce, to be a Fencer,
And in despight o'the Maiestie of Princes
He fell to wrastling and was soyl'd with dust
And tumbled on the earth with servile hands.

_Seneca_. He sometimes trayned was in better studies
And had a child-hood promis'd other hopes:
High fortunes like stronge wines do trie their vessels.
Was not the Race and Theatre bigge enough
To have inclos'd thy follies heere at home?
O could not _Rome_ and _Italie_ containe
Thy shame, but thou must crosse the seas to shewe it?

_Scevin_. And make them that had wont to see our Consuls,
With conquering Eagles waving in the field,
Instead of that behold an Emperor dauncing,
Playing oth' stage and what else but to name
Were infamie.

_Lucan_.       O _Mummius_, O _Flaminius_,
You whom your vertues have not made more famous
Than _Neros_ vices, you went ore to Greece
But t'other warres, and brought home other conquests;
You _Corinth_ and _Micaena_ overthrew,
And _Perseus_ selfe, the great _Achilles_ race,
Orecame; having _Minervas_ stayned Temples
And your slayne Ancestors of Troy reveng'd.

_Seneca_. They strove with Kings and Kinglike adversaries,
Were even in their Enemies made happie;
The _Macedonian_ Courage tryed of old
And the new greatnesse of the _Syrian_ power:
But he for _Phillip_ and _Antiochus_
Hath found more easie enemies to deale with--
_Terpnus_,[8] _Pammenes_,[9] and a rout of Fidlers.

_Scevin_. Why, all the begging Mynstrills by the way
He tooke along with him and forc'd to strive
That he might overcome, Imagining
Himselfe Immortall by such victories.

_Flav_. The Men he carried over were enough
T'have put the Parthian to his second flight
Or the proud Indian taught the Roman Yoke.

_Scevin_. But they were _Neroes_ men, like _Nero_ arm'd
With Lutes and Harps and Pipes and Fiddle-cases,
Souldyers to th'shadow traynd and not the field.

_Flav_. Therefore they brought spoyles of such Soldyers worthy.

_Lucan_. But to throw downe the walls[10] and Gates of Rome
To make an entrance for an Hobby-horse;
To vaunt to th'people his rediculous spoyles;
To come with Lawrell and with Olyves crown'd
For having beene the worst of all the Singers,
Is beyond Patience.

_Scevin_.           I, and anger too.
Had you but seene him in his Chariot ryde,
That Chariot in which _Augustus_ late
His Triumphs ore so many Nations shew'd,
And with him in the same a Minstrell plac'd
The whil'st the people, running by his side,
'_Hayle thou Olimpick Conqueror_' did cry,
'_O haile thou Pithian_!' and did fill the sky
With shame and voices Heaven would not have heard.

_Seneca_. I saw't, but turn'd away my eyes and eares,
Angry they should be privie to such sights.
Why do I stand relating of the storie
Which in the doing had enough to grieve me?
Tell on and end the tale, you whom it pleaseth;
Mee mine own sorrow stops from further speaking.
_Nero_, my love doth make thy fault and my griefe greater.
                                                    [_Ex. Sen_.

_Scevin_. I doe commend in Seneca this passion;
And yet me thinkes our Countries miserie
Doth at our hands crave somewhat more then teares.

_Lucan_. Pittie, though't doth a kind affection show,
If it end there, our weaknesse makes us know.

_Flav_. Let children weepe and men seeke remedie.

_Scevin_. Stoutly, and like a soldier, _Flavius_;
Yet to seeke remedie to a Princes ill
Seldome but it doth the Phisitian kill.

_Flav_. And if it doe, _Scevinus_, it shall take
But a devoted soule from _Flavius_,
Which to my Countrey and the Gods of Rome
Alreadie sacred is and given away.
Deathe is no stranger unto me, I have
The doubtfull hazard in twelve Battailes throwne;
My chaunce was life.

_Lucan_. Why doe we go to fight in Brittanie
And end our lives under another Sunne?
Seeke causelesse dangers out? The German might
Enioy his Woods and his owne Allis drinke,
Yet we walke safely in the streets of Rome;
_Bonduca_ hinders not but we might live,
Whom we do hurt. Them we call enemies,
And those our Lords that spoyle and murder us.

_Scevin_. Nothing is hard to them that dare to die.
This nobler resolution in you, Lords,
Heartens me to disclose some thoughts that I--
The matter is of waight and dangerous.

_Lucan_. I see you feare us _Scaevinus_.[11]

_Scevin_. Nay, nay, although the thing be full of feare.

_Flav_. Tell it to faithfull Eares what eare it bee.

_Scevin_. Faith, let it goe, it will but trouble us,
Be hurtfull to the speaker and the hearer.

_Lucan_. If our long friendship or the opinion--

_Scevin_. Why should I feare to tell them?
Why, is he not a Parricide a Player?
Nay, _Lucan_, is he not thine Enemie?
Hate not the Heavens as well as men to see
That condemn'd head? And you, O righteous Gods,
Whither so ere you now are fled and will
No more looke downe upon th'oppressed Earth;
O severe anger of the highest Gods
And thou, sterne power to whom the Greekes assigne
Scourges and swords to punish proud mens wrongs,
If you be more then names found out to awe us
And that we doe not vainely build you alters,
Aid that iust arme that's bent to execute
What you should doe.

_Lucan_. Stay, y'are carried too much away, _Scevinus_.

_Scevin_. Why, what will you say for him? hath[12] he not
Sought to suppresse your Poem, to bereave
That honour every tongue in duty paid it.
Nay, what can you say for him, hath he not
Broacht his owne wives (a chast wives) breast and torne
With Scithian hands his Mothers bowels up?
The inhospitable _Caucasus_ is milde;
The More, that in the boyling desert seekes
With blood of strangers to imbrue his iawes,
Upbraides the Roman now with barbarousnesse.

_Lucan_. You are to earnest:
I neither can nor will I speake for him;
And though he sought my learned paynes to wrong
I hate him not for that; My verse shall live
When _Neroes_ body shall be throwne in Tiber,
And times to come shall blesse those[13] wicked armes.
I love th'unnatural wounds from whence did flow
Another Cirrha,[14] a new Hellicon.
I hate him that he is Romes enemie,
An enemie to Vertue; sits on high
To shame the seate: and in that hate my life
And blood I'le mingle on the earth with yours.

_Flav_. My deeds, _Scevinus_, shall speake my consent,

_Scevin_. Tis answerd as I lookt for, Noble Poet,
Worthy the double Lawrell. Flavius,
Good lucke, I see, doth vertuous meanings ayde,
And therefore have the Heavens forborne their duties
To grace our swords with glorious blood of Tyrants.


_Finis Actus Primi_.

_Actus Secundus_.

    _Enter Petronius solus_.

Here waites _Poppea_ her _Nimphidius_ comming
And hath this garden and these walkes chose out
To blesse her with more pleasures then their owne.
Not only Arras hangings and silke beds[15]
Are guilty of the faults we blame them for:
Somewhat these arbors and you trees doe know
Whil'st your kind shades you to these night sports show.
Night sports? Faith, they are done in open day
And the Sunne see'th and envieth their play.
Hither have I Love-sicke _Antonius_ brought
And thrust him on occasion so long sought;
Shewed him the Empresse in a thicket by,
Her loves approach waiting with greedie Eye;
And told him, if he ever meant to prove
The doubtfull issue of his hopelesse Love,
This is the place and time wherein to try it;
Women will heere the suite that will deny it.
The suit's not hard that she comes for to take;
Who (hot in lust of men) doth difference make?
At last loath, willing, to her did he pace:
Arme him, _Priapus_, with thy powerfull Mace.
But see, they comming are; how they agree
Heere will I harken; shroud me, gentle tree.

    _Enter Poppea and Antonius_.

_Anton_. Seeke not to grieve that heart which is thine owne.
In Loves sweete fires let heat of rage burne out;
These brows could never yet to wrinkle learne,
Nor anger out of such faire eyes look forth.

_Poppea_. You may solicit your presumptious suites;
You duety may, and shame too, lay aside;
Disturbe my privacie, and I forsooth
Must be afeard even to be angry at you!

_Anton_. What shame is't to be mastred by such beautie?
Who but to serve you comes, how wants he dutie?
Or, if it be a shame, the shame is yours;
The fault is onely in your Eies, they drew me:
Cause you were lovely therefore did I love.
O, if to Love you anger you so much,
You should not have such cheekes nor lips to touch,
You should not have your snow nor currall spy'd;--
If you but looke on us in vaine you chide.
We must not see your face, nor heare your speech;
Now, whilst you Love forbid, you Love do teach.

_Petron_. He doth better than I thought he would.

_Poppea_. I will not learne my beauties worth of you;
I know you neither are the first nor greatest
Whom it hath mov'd: He whom the World obayes
Is fear'd with anger of my threatening eyes.
It is for you afarre off to adore it,
And not to reach at it with sawsie hands:
Feare is the Love that's due to God and Princes.

_Petron_. All this is but to edge his appetite.

_Anton_. O doe not see thy faire in that false glasse
Of outward difference; Looke into my heart.
There shalt thou see thy selfe Inthroaned set
In greater Maiesty then all the pompe
Of _Rome_ or _Nero_. Tis not the crowching awe
And Ceremony with which we flatter Princes
That can to Loves true duties be compar'd.

_Poppea_. Sir, let me goe or He make knowne your Love
To them that shall requite it but with hate.

_Petron_. On, on, thou hast the goale; the fort is beaten;
Women are wonne when they begin to threaten.

_Anton_. Your Noblenesse doth warrant me from that,
Nor need you others helpe to punish me
Who by your forehead am condem'd or free.
They that to be revendg'd do bend their minde
Seeke always recompence in that same kind
The wrong was done them; Love was mine offence,
In that revenge, in that seeke recompence.

_Poppea_. Further to answere will still cause replyes,
And those as ill doe please me as your selfe.
If you'le an answere take that's breefe and true,
I hate my selfe if I be lov'd of you.
                                         [_Exit Popp_.

_Petron_. What, gone? but she will come againe sure: no?
It passeth cleane my cunning, all my rules:
For Womens wantonnesse there is no rule.
To take her in the itching of her Lust,
A propper young man putting forth himselfe!
Why, Fate! there's Fate and hidden providence
In cod piece matters.

_Anton_.              O unhappy Man!
What comfort have I now, _Petronius?_

_Petron_. Council your selfe; Ile teach no more but learne.

_Anton_. This comfort yet: He shall not so escape
Who causeth my disgrace, _Nimphidius_;
Whom had I here--Well, for my true-hearts love
I see she hates me. And shall I love one
That hates me, and bestowes what I deserve
Upon my rivall? No; farewell _Poppea_,
Farewell _Poppea_ and farewell all Love:
Yet thus much shall it still prevaile in me
That I will hate _Nimphidius_ for thee.

_Petron_. Farewell to her, to my _Enanthe_ welcome.
Who now will to my burning kisses stoope,
Now with an easie cruelty deny
That which she, rather then the asker, would
Have forced from her then begin[16] her selfe.
Their loves that list upon great Ladies set;
I still will love the Wench that I can get.


(SCENE 2.)

    _Enter Nero, Tigellinus, Epaphroditus_, and _Neophilus_.

_Nero_. _Tigellinus_, said the villaine _Proculus_[17]
I was throwne downe in running?

_Tigell_. My Lord, he said that you were crown'd for that
You could not doe.

_Nero_.            For that I could not doe?
Why, _Elis_ saw me doe't, and doe't it with wonder
Of all the Iudges and the lookers on;
And yet to see--A villaine! could not doe't?
Who did it better? I warrant you he said
I from the Chariot fell against my will.

_Tigell_. He said, My Lord, you were throwne out of it
All crusht and maim'd and almost bruis'd to death.

_Nero_. Malicious Rogue! when I fell willingly
To show of purpose with what little hurt
Might a good rider beare a forced fall.
How sayest thou, _Tigellinus_? I am sure
Thou hast in driving as much skill as he.

_Tigell_. My Lord, you greater cunning shew'd in falling
Then had you sate.

_Nero_. I know I did; or[18] bruised in my fall?
Hurt! I protest I felt no griefe in it.
Goe, _Tigellinus_, fetch the villaines head.
This makes me see his heart in other things.
Fetch me his head; he nere shall speake againe.    [_Ex. Tigell_.
What doe we Princes differ from the durt
And basenesse of the common Multitude
If to the scorne of each malicious tongue
We subiect are: For that I had no skill,[19]
Not he that his farre famed daughter set
A prise to Victoria and had bin Crown'd
With thirteene Sutors deaths till he at length
By fate of Gods and Servants treason fell,
(Shoulder pack't[20] _Pelops_, glorying in his spoyles)
Could with more skill his coupled horses guide.
Even as a Barke that through the mooving Flood
Her linnen wings and the forc't ayre doe beare;
The Byllowes fome, she smoothly cutts them through;
So past my burning Axeltree along:
The people follow with their Eyes and Voyce,
And now the wind doth see it selfe outrun
And the Clouds wonder to be left behind,
Whilst the void ayre is fild with shoutes and noyse,
And _Neroes_ name doth beate the brazen Skie;
_Jupiter_ envying loath doth heare my praise.
Then their greene bowes and Crownes of Olive wreaths,
The Conquerors praise, they give me as my due.
And yet this Rogue sayth No, we have no skill.

    _Enter a servant to them_.

_Servant_. My Lord, the Stage and all the furniture--

_Nero_. I have no skill to drive a Chariot!
Had he but robde me, broke my treasurie:
The red-Sea's mine, mine are the _Indian_ stones,
The Worlds mine owne; then cannot I be robde?
But spightfully to undermine my fame,
To take away my arte! he would my life
As well, no doubt, could he tould (tell?) how.

    _Enter Tigellinus_ with _Proculus head_.

_Neoph_. My Lord,
_Tigellinus_ is backe come with _Proculus head_.
                                    (_Strikes him_.)

_Nero_. O cry thee mercie, good _Neophilus_;
Give him five hundred sesterces for amends.
Hast brought him, Tigellinus?

_Tigell_. Heres his head, my Lord.

_Nero_. His tongue had bin enough.

_Tigell_. I did as you commanded me, my Lord.

_Nero_. Thou toldst not me, though, he had such a nose![21]
Now are you quiet and have quieted me:
This tis to be commander of the World.
Let them extoll weake pittie that do neede it,
Let meane men cry to have Law and Iustice done
And tell their griefes to Heaven that heares them not:
Kings must upon the Peoples headlesse courses
Walk to securitie and ease of minde.
Why, what have we to doe with th'ayrie names
(That old age and _Philosophers_ found out)
Of _Iustice_ and ne're certaine Equitie?
The God's revenge themselves and so will we;
Where right is scand Authoritie's orethrowne:
We have a high prerogative above it.
Slaves may do what is right, we what we please:
The people will repine and think it ill,
But they must beare, and praise too, what we will.

    _Enter Cornutus[22] to them_.

_Neoph_. My Lord, _Cornutus_ whom you sent for's come.

_Nero_. Welcome, good _Cornutus_.
Are all things ready for the stage,
As I gave charge?

_Corn_.           They only stay your coming.

_Nero_. _Cornutus_, I must act to day _Orestes_.

_Corn_. You have done that alreadie, and too truely.    (_Aside_.)

_Nero_. And when our Sceane is done I meane besides
To read some compositions of my owne,
Which, for the great opinion I my selfe
And _Rome_ in generall of thy Judgment hath,
Before I publish them Ile shew them thee.

_Corn_. My Lord, my disabilities--

_Nero_.                           I know thy modestie:
Ile only shew thee now my works beginning.--
Goe see, _Epaphroditus_,
Musick made ready; I will sing to day.--    [_Exit Epa.
Cornutus_, I pray thee come neere
And let me heare thy Judgement in my paynes.
I would have thee more familiar, good _Cornutus_;
_Nero_ doth prise desert and more esteemes
Them that in knowledge second him, then power.
Marke with what style and state my worke begins.

_Corn_. Might not my Interruption offend,
Whats your workes name, my Lord? what write you of?

_Nero_. I meane to write the deeds of all the Romans.

_Corn_. Of all the Romans? A huge argument.

_Nero_. I have not yet bethought me of a title:--
                                        (_he reades_,)

  "_You Enthrall Powers which[23] the wide Fortunes doon
  Of Empyre-crown'd seaven-Mountaine-seated Rome,
  Full blowne Inspire me with_ Machlaean[24] _rage
  That I may bellow out_ Romes _Prentisage;
  As[25] when the_ Menades _do fill their Drums
  And crooked hornes with_ Mimalonean _hummes
  And_ Evion[26] _do Ingeminate around,
  Which reparable Eccho doth resound_."

How doest thou like our Muses paines, _Cornutus_?

_Corn_. The verses have more in them than I see:
Your work, my Lord, I doubt will be too long.

_Nero_. Too long?

_Tigell_. Too long?

_Corn_. I, if you write the deedes of all the _Romans_.
How many Bookes thinke you t'include it in?

_Nero_. I thinke to write about foure hundred Bookes.

_Corn_. Four hundred! Why, my Lord, they'le nere be read.[27]

_Nero_. Hah!

_Tigell_. Why, he whom you esteeme so much, _Crisippus_,
Wrote many more.

_Corn_. But they were profitable to common life
And did Men Honestie and Wisedome teach.

_Nero_. _Tigellinus_!

                       [Exit _Nero and Tigell_.

_Corn_. See with what earnestnesse he crav'd my Judgment,
And now he freely hath it how it likes him.

_Neoph_. The Prince is angry, and his fall is neere;
Let us begon lest we partake his ruines.

                      [_Exeunt omnes praeter Cornu_.

    _Manet Cornutus solus_.

What should I doe at Court? I cannot lye.
Why didst thou call me, _Nero_, from my Booke;
Didst thou for flatterie of _Cornutus_ looke?
No, let those purple Fellowes that stand by thee
(That admire shew and things that thou canst give)
Leave to please Truth and Vertue to please thee.
_Nero_, there is no thing in thy power _Cornutus_
Doth wish or fear.

    _Enter Tigellinus to him_.

_Tigell_. Tis _Neroes_ pleasure that you straight depart
To _Giara_, and there remaine confin'd:
Thus he, out of his Princely Clemencie,
Hath Death, your due, turn'd but to banishment.

_Corn_. Why, _Tigellinus_?

_Tigell_. I have done, upon your perill go or stay.
                                             [_Ex. Ti_.

_Corn_. And why should Death or Banishment be due
For speaking that which was requir'd, my thought?
O why doe Princes love to be deceiv'd
And even do force abuses on themselves?
Their Eares are so with pleasing speech beguil'd
That Truth they mallice, Flatterie truth account,
And their owne Soule and understanding lost
Goe, what they are, to seeke in other men.
Alas, weake Prince, how hast thou punisht me
To banish me from thee? O let me goe
And dwell in _Taurus_, dwell in _Ethiope_
So that I doe not dwell at _Rome_ with thee.
The farther still I goe from hence, I know,
The farther I leave Shame and Vice behind.
Where can I goe but I shall see thee, Sunne?
And _Heaven_ will be as neere me still as here.
Can they so farre a knowing soule exyle
That her owne roofe she sees not ore her head?


(SCENE 3.)

    _Enter Piso, Scevinus, Lucan, Flavius_.

_Piso_. Noble Gentlemen, what thankes, what recompence
Shall hee give you that give to him the world?
One life to them that must so many venture,
And that the worst of all, is too meane paye;
Yet can give no more. Take that, bestow it
Upon your service.

_Lucan_.           O _Piso_, that vouchsafest
To grace our headlesse partie with thy name,
Whom having our conductor[28] we need not
Have fear'd to goe against[29] the well try'd vallor
Of Julius or stayednesse of _Augustus_,
Much lesse the shame and Womanhood of _Nero_;
When we had once given out that our pretences
Were all for thee, our end to make thee Prince,
They thronging came to give their names, Men, Women,
Gentlemen, People, Soldiers, Senators,[30]
The Campe and Cittie grew asham'd that _Nero_
And _Piso_ should be offered them together.

_Scevin_. We seeke not now (as in the happy dayes
Oth' common wealth they did) for libertie;
O you deere ashes, _Cassius_ and _Brutus_,
That was with you entomb'd, their let it rest.
We are contented with the galling yoke
If they will only leave us necks to beare it:
We seeke no longer freedome, we seeke life;
At least, not to be murdred, let us die
On Enemies swords. Shall we, whom neither
The _Median_ Bow nor _Macedonian_ Speare
Nor the fierce _Gaul_ nor painted _Briton_ could
Subdue, lay down our neckes to tyrants axe?
Why doe we talke of Vertue that obay
Weaknesse and Vice?

_Piso_.             Have patience, good _Scevinus_.

_Lucan_. Weaknesse and servile Government we hitherto
Obeyed have, which, that we may no longer,
We have our lives and fortunes now set up,
And have our cause with _Pisoes_ credit strengthned.

_Flav_. Which makes it doubtfull whether love to him
Or _Neroes_ hatred hath drawne more unto us.

_Piso_. I see the good thoughts you have of me, Lords.
Lets now proceede to th'purpose of our meeting:
I pray you take your places.
Lets have some paper brought.

_Scevin_. Whose within?

    _Enter Milichus to them_.

_Mill_.                 My Lord.

_Scevin_.                        Some Inke and Paper.

                           [_Exit Mili_.

    _Enter againe with Incke and Paper_.

_Flav_. Whose that, _Scevinus_?

_Scevin_.                       It is my freed man, _Milichus_.

_Lucan_. Is he trustie?

_Scevin_. I, for as great matters as we are about.

_Piso_. And those are great ones.

_Lucan_. I aske not that we meane to need his trust;
Gaine hath great soveraigntie ore servile mindes.

_Scevin_. O but my benefits have bound him to me.
I from a bondman have his state not onely
Advanct to freedome but to wealth and credit.

_Piso_. _Mili_. waite ith' next chamber till we call.
                                     [_abscondit se_.
The thing determinde on, our meeting now
Is of the meanes and place, due circumstance
As to the doing of things: 'tis required
So done it names the action.[31]

_Mili_.                      I wonder    (_aside_)
What makes this new resort to haunt our house.
When wonted _Lucius Piso_ to come hither,
Or _Lucan_ when so oft as now of late?

_Piso_. And since the field and open shew of armes
Disliked you, and that for the generall good
You meane to end all styrres in end of him;
That, as the ground, must first be thought upon.

_Mill_. Besides, this comming cannot be for forme,    (_aside_)
Our (Mere?) visitation; they goe aside
And have long conferences by themselves.

_Lucan_. _Piso_, his coming to your house at Baiae[32]
To bathe and banquet will fit meanes afford,
Amidst his cups, to end his hated life:
Let him die drunke that nere liv'd soberly.

_Piso_. O be it farre that I should staine my Table
And Gods of Hospitalitie with blood.
Let not our cause (now Innocent) be soyld
With such a plot, nor _Pisoes_ name made hatefull.
What place can better fit our action
Then his owne house, that boundlesse envied heape
Built with the spoyles and blood of Cittizens,
That hath taken up the Citie, left no roome
For _Rome_ to stand on? _Romanes_ get you gone
And dwell at _Veiae_, if that _Veiae_ too
This (His?) house ore runne not.[33]

_Lucan_. But twill be hard to doe it in his house
And harder to escape, being done.

_Piso_.                           Not so:
_Rufus_, the Captaine of the Guard, 's with us,
And divers other oth' _Praetorian_ band
Already made (named?); many, though unacquainted
With our intents, have had disgrace and wrongs
Which grieve them still; most will be glad of change,
And even they that lov'd him best, when once
They see him gone, will smile oth' comming times,
Let goe things past and looke to their owne safetie:
Besides, th'astonishment and feare will be
So great, so sodaine that 'twill hinder them
From doing anything.

_Mili_. No private businesse can concerne them all:    (_aside_)
Their countenances are troubled and looke sad;
Doubt and importance in their face is read.

_Lucan_. Yet still, I think it were
Safer t'attempt him private and alone.

_Flav_. But 'twill not carry that opinion with it;
'Twill seeme more foule and come from private malice.
_Brutus_ and they, to right the common cause,
Did chuse a publike place.

_Scevin_.[34] Our deed is honest, why should it seeke corners?
Tis for the people done, let them behold it;
Let me have them a witnesse of my truth
And love to th'Common-wealth. The danger's greater,
So is the glory. Why should our pale counsels
Tend whether feare rather then vertue calls them?
I doe not like these cold considerings.
First let our thoughts looke up to what is honest,
Next to what's safe. If danger may deterre us
Nothing that's great or good shall ere be done:
And, when we first gave hands upon this deed,
To th'common safetie we our owne gave up.
Let no man venture on a princes death,
How bad soever, with beliefe to escape;
Dispaire must be our hope, fame o[u]r reward.
To make the generall liking to concurre
With others (ours?) were even to strike him in his shame
Or (as he thinks) his glory, on the stage,
And so too truly make't a Tragedy;
When all the people cannot chuse but clap
So sweet a close, and 'twill not _Caesar_ be
That shall be slaine, a _Roman_ Prince;
Twill be _Alcmaeon_ or blind Oedipus.

_Mili_. And if it be of publique matters 'tis not    (_aside_)
Like to be talke or idle fault finding,
On which the coward onely spends his wisedome:
These are all men of action and of spirit,
And dare performe what they determine on.

_Lucan_. What thinke you of _Poppaea, Tigellinus_
And th'other odious Instruments of Court?
Were it not best at once to rid them all?

_Scevin_. In _Caesars_ ruine _Anthony_ was spared;
Lets not our cause with needlesse blood distaine.
One onely mov'd, the change will not appeare;
When too much licence given to the sword,
Though against ill, will make even good men feare.
Besides, things setled, you at pleasure may
By Law and publique Iudgement have them rid.

_Mili_. And if it be but talke oth' State 'tis Treason.    (_aside_)
Like it they cannot, that they cannot doe:
If seeke to mend it, and remoove the Prince,
That's highest Treason: change his Councellours,
That's alteration of the Government,
The common cloke that Treasons muffled in:
If laying force aside, to seeke by suite
And faire petition t'have the State reform'd,
That's tutering of the Prince and takes away
Th' one his person, this his Soveraigntie.
Barely in private talke to shew dislike
Of what is done is dangerous; therefore the action
Mislike you cause the doer likes you not.
Men are not fit to live ith' state they hate.

_Piso_. Though we would all have that imployment sought,
Yet, since your worthy forwardnesse _Scevinus_[35]
Prevents us and so Nobly beggs for danger,
Be this (thine?) the chosen hand to doe the deed;
The fortune of the Empire speed your sword.

_Scevin_. Vertue and Heaven speed it. You home-borne
Gods of our countrey, _Romulus_ and _Vesta_,
That _Thuscan Tiber_ and Romes towers defends,
Forbid not yet at length a happie end
To former evils; let this hand revenge
The wronged world; enough we now have suffered.


    _Manet Milichus solus_.

_Mili_. Tush, all this long Consulting's more then words,
It ends not there; th'have some attempt, some plot
Against the state: well, I'le observe it farther
And, if I find it, make my profit of it.

_Finis Actus Secundus. [Sic.]_

_Actus Tertius_.

    _Enter Poppea solus. [Sic.]_

_Poppea_. I lookt _Nimphidius_ would have come ere this.
Makes he no greater hast to our embraces,
Or doth the easiness abate his edge?
Or seeme we not as faire still as we did?
Or is he so with _Neroes_ playing wonne
That he before _Poppea_ doth preferre it?
Or doth he think to have occasion still,
Still to have time to waite on our stolne meetings?

    _Enter Nimphidius to her_.

But see, his presence now doth end those doubts.
What is't, _Nimphidius_, hath so long detain'd you?

_Nimphid_. Faith, Lady, causes strong enough,
High walls, bard dores, and guards of armed men.

_Poppea_. Were you Imprisoned, then, as you were going
To the Theater?

_Nimphid_.      Not in my going, Lady,
But in the Theater I was imprisoned.
For after he was once upon the Stage
The Gates[36] were more severely lookt into
Then at a town besieg'd: no man, no cause
Was Currant, no, nor passant. At other sights
The striefe is only to get in, but here
The stirre was all in getting out againe.
Had we not bin kept to it so I thinke
'Twould nere have been so tedious, though I know
'Twas hard to judge whether his doing of it
Were more absurd then 'twas for him[37] to doe it.
But when we once were forct to be spectators,
Compel'd to that which should have bin a pleasure,
We could no longer beare the wearisomnesse:
No paine so irksome as a forct delight.
Some fell down dead or seem'd at least to doe so,
Under that colour to be carried forth.
Then death first pleasur'd men, the shape all feare
Was put on gladly; some clomb ore the walls
And so, by falling, caught in earnest that
Which th'other did dissemble. There were women[38]
That (being not able to intreat the guard
To let them passe the gates) were brought to bed
Amidst the throngs of men, and made _Lucina_
Blush to see that unwonted companie.

_Poppea_. If 'twere so straightly kept how got you forth?

_Nimphid_. Faith, Lady, I came pretending hast
In Face and Countenance, told them I was sent
For things bith' Prince forgot about the sceane,
Which both my credit made them to beleeve
And _Nero_ newly whispered me before.
Thus did I passe the gates; the danger, Ladie,
I have not yet escapt.

_Poppea_.              What danger meane you?

_Nimphid_. The danger of his anger when he knowes
How I thus shranke away; for there stood knaves,
That put downe in their Tables all that stir'd
And markt in each there cheerefulnesse or sadnesse.

_Poppea_. I warrant He excuse you; but I pray
Lett's be a little better for your sight.
How did our Princely husband act _Orestes_?
Did he not wish againe his mother living?
Her death would adde great life unto his part.
But come, I pray; the storie of your sight.

_Nimph_. O doe not drive me to those hatefull paines.
Lady, I was too much in seeing vext;
Let it not be redoubled with the telling.
I now am well and heare, my eares set free;
O be mercifull, doe not bring me backe
Unto my prison, at least free your selfe.
It will not passe away, but stay the time;
Wracke out the houres in length. O give me leave:
As one that wearied with the toyle at sea
And now on wished shore hath firm'd his foote,
He lookes about and glads his thoughts and eyes
With sight oth' greene cloath'd ground and leavy trees,
Of flowers that begge more then the looking on,
And likes these other waters narrow shores;
So let me lay my wearines in these armes,
Nothing but kisses to this mouth discourse,
My thoughts be compast in those circl'd Eyes,
Eyes on no obiect looke but on these Cheekes;
Be blest my hands with touch of those round brests
Whiter and softer than the downe of Swans.
Let me of thee and of thy beauties glory
An[39] endless tell, but never wearying story.


(SCENE 2.)

    _Enter Nero, Epaphroditus, Neophilus_.

_Nero_. Come Sirs, I faith, how did you like my acting?
What? wast not as you lookt for?

_Epaphr_. Yes, my Lord, and much beyond.

_Nero_. Did I not doe it to the life?

_Epaphr_. The very doing never was so lively
As was this counterfeyting.

_Nero_.                     And when I came
Toth' point of _Agripp[40]--Clytemnestras_ death,
Did it not move the feeling auditory?

_Epaphr_. They had beene stones whom that could not have mov'd.

_Nero_. Did not my voice hold out well to the end,
And serv'd me afterwards afresh to sing with?

_Neoph_. We know _Appollo_ cannot match your voice.

_Epaphr_. By Jove! I thinke you are the God himselfe
Come from above to shew your hidden arts
And fill us men with wonder of your skill.

_Nero_. Nay, faith, speake truely, doe not flatter me;
I know you need not; flattery's but where
Desert is meane.

_Epaphr_.        I sweare by thee, O _Caesar_,
Then whom no power of heaven I honour more,
No mortall Voice can passe or equall thine.

_Nero_. They tell of _Orpheus_, when he tooke his Lute
And moov'd the noble Ivory with his touch,
_Hebrus_ stood still, _Pangea_ bow'd his head,
_Ossa_ then first shooke off his snowe and came
To listen to the moovings of his song;
The gentle _Popler_ tooke the baye along,
And call'd the _Pyne_ downe from his Mountaine seate;
The _Virgine Bay_, although the Arts she hates
Oth' _Delphick_ God, was with his voice orecome;
He his twice-lost _Euridice_ bewailes
And _Proserpines_ vaine gifts, and makes the shores
And hollow caves of forrests now untreed
Beare his griefe company, and all things teacheth
His lost loves name; Then water, ayre, and ground
_Euridice, Euridice_ resound.
These are bould tales, of which the Greeks have store;
But if he could from Hell once more returne
And would compare his hand and voice with mine,
I, though himselfe were iudge, he then should see
How much the _Latine_ staines the _Thracian_ lyar.
I oft have walkt by _Tibers_ flowing bankes
And heard the Swan sing her own epitaph:
When she heard me she held her peace and died.
Let others raise from earthly things their praise;
Heaven hath stood still to hear my happy ayres
And ceast th'eternall Musicke of the _Spheares_
To marke my voyce and mend their tunes by mine.

_Neoph_. O divine voice!

_Epaphr_.                Happy are they that heare it!

    _Enter Tigellinus to them_.

_Nero_. But here comes _Tigellinus_; come, thy bill.
Are there so many? I see I have enemies.

_Epaphr_. Have you put _Caius_ in? I saw him frowne.

_Neoph_. And in the midst oth' Emperors action.
_Gallus_ laught out, and as I thinke in scorne.

_Nero_. _Vespasian_[41] too asleepe? was he so drowsie?
Well, he shall sleepe the Iron sleepe of death.
And did _Thrasea_ looke so sourely on us?

_Tigell_. He never smilde, my Lord, nor would vouchsafe
With one applause to grace your action.

_Nero_. Our action needed not be grac'd by him:
Hee's our old enemie and still maligns us.
'Twill have an end, nay it shall have an end.
Why, I have bin too pittifull, too remisse;
My easinesse is laught at and contemn'd.
But I will change it; not as heretofore
By singling out them one by one to death:
Each common man can such revenges have;
A Princes anger must lay desolate
Citties, Kingdomes consume, Roote up mankind.
O could I live to see the generall end,
Behold the world enwrapt in funerall flame,
When as the _Sunne_ shall lend his beames to burne
What he before brought forth, and water serve
Not to extinguish but to nurse the fire;
Then, like the _Salamander_, bathing me
In the last Ashes of all mortall things
Let me give up this breath. _Priam_ was happie,
Happie indeed; he saw his _Troy_ burnt
And _Illion_ lye on heapes, whilst thy pure streames
(Divine _Scamander_) did run _Phrygian_ blood,
And heard the pleasant cries of _Troian_ mothers.
Could I see _Rome_ so!

_Tigell_. Your Maiestie may easily,
Without this trouble to your sacred mind.

_Nero_. What may I easily doe? Kill thee or him:
How may I rid you all? Where is the Man
That will all others end and last himselfe?
O that I had thy Thunder in my hand,
Thou idle Rover, I'de[42] not shoote at trees
And spend in woods my unregarded vengeance,
Ide shevire them downe upon their guilty roofes
And fill the streetes with bloody burials.
But 'tis not Heaven can give me what I seeke;
To you, you hated kingdomes of the night,
You severe powers that not like those above
Will with faire words or childrens cryes be wonne,
That have a stile beyond that Heaven is proud off,
Deriving not from Art a makers Name
But in destruction power and terror shew,
To you I flye for succour; you, whose dwellings
For torments are belyde, must give me ease.
Furies, lend me your fires; no, they are here,
They must be other fires, materiall brands
That must the burning of my heat allay.
I bring to you no rude unpractiz'd hands,
Already doe they reeke with mothers' blood.
Tush, that's but innocent[43] to what now I meane:
Alasse, what evell could those yeeres commit!
The world in this shall see my setled wit.


(SCENE 3.)

    _Enter Seneca, Petronius_.

_Seneca. Petronius_, you were at the _Theater_?

_Petron_. _Seneca_, I was, and saw your Kingly Pupyll
In Mynstrills habit stand before the Iudges
Bowing those hands which the worlds Scepter hold,
And with great awe and reverence beseeching
Indifferent hearing and an equall doome.
Then Caesar doubted first to be oreborne;
And so he ioyn'd himselfe to th'other singers
And straightly all other Lawes oth' Stage observ'd,
As not (though weary) to sit downe, not spit,
Not wipe his sweat off but with what he wore.[44]
Meane time how would he eye his adversaries,
How he would seeke t'have all they did disgract;
Traduce them privily, openly raile at them;
And them he could not conquer so he would
Corrupt with money to doe worse then he.
This was his singing part: his acting now.

_Seneca_. Nay, even end here, for I have heard enough;
I[45] have a Fidler heard him, let me not
See him a Player, nor the fearefull voyce
Of _Romes_ great Monarch now command in Iest--
Our Prince be _Agamemnon_[46] in a Play!

_Petron_. Why,[47] _Seneca_, 'Tis better in [a] Play
Be _Agamemnon_ than himselfe indeed.
How oft, with danger of the field beset
Or with home mutineys, would he unbee
Himselfe; or, over cruel alters weeping,
Wish that with putting off a vizard hee
Might his true inward sorrow lay aside.
The showes of things are better then themselves.
How doth it stirre this ayery part of us
To heare our Poets tell imagin'd fights
And the strange blowes that fained courage gives!
When I[48] _Achilles_ heare upon the Stage
Speake Honour and the greatnesse of his soule,
Me thinkes I too could on a _Phrygian_ Speare
Runne boldly and make tales for after times;
But when we come to act it in the deed
Death mars this bravery, and the ugly feares
Of th'other world sit on the proudest browe,
And boasting Valour looseth his red cheeke.

    _A Romane to them_.

_Rom_. Fire, fire! helpe, we burne!

2 _Rom_. Fire, water, fire, helpe, fire!

_Seneca_. Fire? Where?

_Petron_. Where? What fire?

_Rom_. O round about, here, there, on every side
The girdling flame doth with unkind embraces
Compasse the Citie.

_Petron_. How came this fire? by whom?

_Seneca_. Wast chance or purpose?

_Petron_. Why is't not quencht?

_Rom_. Alas, there are a many there with weapons,
And whether it be for pray or by command
They hinder, nay, they throwe on fire-brands.[49]

    _Enter Antonius to them_.

_Anton_. The fire increaseth and will not be staid,
But like a stream[50] that tumbling from a hill
Orewhelmes the fields, orewhelmes the hopefull toyle
Oth' husbandman and headlong beares the woods;
The unweeting Shepheard on a Rocke afarre
Amazed heares the feareful noyse; so here
Danger and Terror strive which shall exceed.
Some cry and yet are well; some are kild silent;
Some kindly runne to helpe their neighbours house,
The whilest their own's afire;[51] some save their goods
And leave their dearer pledges in the flame;
One takes his little sonnes with trembling hands;
Tother his house-Gods saves, which could not him;
All bann the doer, and with wishes kill
Their absent Murderer.

_Petron_.              What, are the _Gauls_ returnd?
Doth _Brennus_ brandish fire-brands againe?

_Seneca_. What can Heaven now unto our suffrings adde?

    _Enter another Romane to them_.

_Rom_. O all goes downe, _Rome_ falleth from the Roofe;
The winds aloft, the conquering flame turnes all
Into it selfe. Nor doe the Gods escape;
_Plei[a]des_ burnes; _Iupiter, Saturne_ burnes;
The Altar now is made a sacrifice,
And _Vesta_ mournes to see her Virgin fires
Mingle with prophane ashes.

_Seneca_. Heaven, hast thou set this end to Roman greatnesse?
Were the worlds spoyles for this to Rome devided
To make but our fires bigger?
You Gods, whose anger made us great, grant yet
Some change in misery. We begge not now
To have our Consull tread on _Asian_ Kings
Or spurne the quivered _Susa_ at their feet;
This we have had before: we beg to live,
At least not thus to die. Let _Cannae_[52] come,
Let _Allias_[53] waters turne again to blood:
To these will any miseries be light.

_Petron_. Why with false _Auguries_ have we bin deceiv'd?
Why was our Empire told us should endure
With Sunne and Moone in time, in brightnesse pass them,
And that our end should be oth' world and it?
What, can Celestiall Godheads double too?

_Seneca_. _O Rome_, the envy late
But now the pitie of the world! the _Getes_[54]?
The men of _Cholcos_ at thy sufferings grive;
The shaggy dweller in the _Scithian_ Rockes,
The _Mosch_[55] condemned to perpetual snowes,
That never wept at kindreds burials
Suffers with thee and feeles his heart to soften.
O should the _Parthyan_ heare these miseries
He would (his low and native hate apart[56])
Sit downe with us and lend an Enemies teare
To grace the funerall fires of ending Rome.


(SCENE 4.)

    _Soft Musique. Enter Nero above alone with a Timbrell_.

I, now my _Troy_ lookes beautious in her flames;
The _Tyrrhene_ Seas are bright with _Roman_ fires
Whilst the amazed Mariner afarre,
Gazing on th'unknowne light, wonders what starre
Heaven hath begot to ease the aged Moone.
When _Pirrhus_, stryding ore the cynders, stood
On ground where _Troy_ late was, and with his Eye
Measur'd the height of what he had throwne downe,--
A Citie great in people and in power,
Walls built with hands of God--he now forgive[s]
The ten yeares length and thinkes his wounds well heald,
Bath'd in the blood of _Priams_ fifty sonnes.
Yet am not I appeas'd; I must see more
Then Towers and Collomns tumble to the ground;
'Twas not the high built walls and guiltlesse stones
That _Nero_ did provoke: themselves must be the wood
To feed this fire or quench it with their blood.

    _Enter a Woman with a burnt Child_.

_Wom_. O my deare Infant, O my Child, my Child,
Unhappy comfort of my nine moneths paines;
And did I beare thee only for the fire,
Was I to that end made a mother?

_Nero_. I, now begins the sceane that I would have.

    _Enter a Man bearing another dead_.

_Man_. O Father, speake yet; no, the mercilesse blowe
Hath all bereft speech, motion, sense and life.

_Wom_. O beauteous innocence, whitenes ill blackt,
How to be made a coale didst thou deserve?

_Man_. O reverend wrinckles, well becoming palenesse,
Why hath death now lifes colours given thee
And mockes thee with the beauties of fresh youth?

_Wom_. Why wert thou given me to be tane away
So soone, or could not Heaven tell how to punish
But first by blessing mee?

_Man_.                     Why where thy years
Lengthened so long to be cut off untimely?

_Nero_. Play on, play on, and fill the golden skies
With cryes and pitie, with your blood; Mens Eyes[57]--

_Wom_. Where are thy flattering smiles, thy pretty kisses,
And armes that wont to writhe about my necke?

_Man_. Where are thy counsels? where thy good example,
And that kind roughnes of a Father's anger?

_Wom_. Whom have I now to leane my old age on?

_Man_. Who shall I now have to set right my youth?
Gods, if yee be not fled from Heaven, helpe us.

_Nero_. I like this Musique well; they like not mine.
Now in the teare[s] of all men let me sing,
And make it doubtfull to the Gods above
Whether the Earth be pleas'd or doe complaine.

                                  (_Within, cantat_.)

_Man_. But may the man that all this blood hath shed
Never bequeath to th'earth an old gray head;
Let him untimely be cut off before.
And leave a course like this, all wounds and gore;
Be there no friends at hand, no standers by
In love or pittie mov'd to close that Eye:
O let him die, the wish and hate of all,
And not a teare to grace his Funerall.


_Wom_. Heaven, you will heare (that which the world doth scorn)
The prayers of misery and soules forlorne.
Your anger waxeth by delaying stronger,
O now for mercy be despis'd no longer;
Let him that makes so many Mothers childlesse
Make his unhappy in her fruitfulnesse.
Let him no issue leave to beare his name
Or sonne to right a Fathers wronged fame;
Our flames to quit be righteous in your yre,
And when he dies let him want funerall fire.


_Nero_. Let Heaven do what it will, this I have done.
Already doe you feel my furies waight:
Rome is become a grave of her late greatnes;
Her clowdes of smoke have tane away the day,
Her flames the night.
Now, unbeleaving Eyes, what crave you more?

    _Enter Neophilus to him_.

_Neoph_. O save your selfe, my Lord: your Pallace burnes.

_Nero_. My Pallace? how? what traiterous hand?

    _Enter Tigellinus to them_.

_Tigell_. O flie, my Lord, and save your selfe betimes.
The winde doth beate the fire upon your house,
The eating flame devoures your double gates;
Your pillars fall, your golden roofes doe melt;
Your antique Tables and Greeke Imagery
The fire besets; and the smoake, you see,
Doth choake my speech: O flie and save your life.

_Nero_. Heaven thou dost strive, I see, for victory.


(SCENE 5.)

    _Enter Nimphidius solus_.

See how Fate workes unto their purpos'd end
And without all selfe-Industry will raise
Whom they determine to make great and happy.
_Nero_ throwes down himselfe, I stirre him not;
He runnes unto destruction, studies wayes
To compasse danger and attaine the hate
Of all. Bee his owne wishis on his head,
Nor _Rome_ with fire more then revenges burne.
Let me stand still or lye or sleepe, I rise.
_Poppea_ some new favour will seeke out
My wakings to salute; I cannot stirre
But messages of new preferment meet me.
Now she hath made me Captaine of the Guard
So well I beare me in these night Alarmes
That she imagin'd I was made for Armes.
I now command the Souldier,[58] he the Citie:
If any chance doe turne the Prince aside
(As many hatreds, mischiefes threaten him)
Ours is his wife; his seat and throwne is ours:
He's next in right that hath the strongest powers.

(SCENE 6.)

    _Enter Scevinus, Milichus_.

_Scevin_. O _Troy_ and O yee soules of our forefathers
Which in your countreys fires were offered up,
How neere your Nephews[59] to your fortunes come.
Yet they were _Grecian_ hands began your flame;
But that our Temples and our houses smoake,
Our Marble buildings turne to be our Tombes,
Burnt bones and spurnt at Courses fill the streets,
Not _Pirrhus_ nor thou, _Hanniball_, art Author:
Sad _Rome_ is ruin'd by a _Romane_ hand.
But if to _Neroes_ end this onely way
Heavens Justice hath chose out, and peoples love
Could not but by these feebling ills be mov'd,
We doe not then at all complaine; our harmes
On this condition please us; let us die
And cloy the _Parthian_ with revenge and pitie.

_Mili_. My Master hath seald up his Testament;
Those bond-men which he liketh best set free;
Given money, and more liberally then he us'd.
And now, as if a farewell to the world
Were meant, a sumpteous banquet hath he made;
Yet not with countenance that feasters use,
But cheeres his friends the whilest himselfe lookes sad.

_Scevin_. I have from Fortunes Temple[60] tane this sword;
May it be fortunate and now at least,
Since it could not prevent, punish the Evill.
To _Rome_ it had bin better done before,
But though lesse helping now they'le praise it more.
Great Soveraigne of all mortall actions.
Whom only wretched men and Poets blame,
Speed thou the weapon which I have from thee.
'Twas not amid thy Temple Monuments
In vaine repos'd; somewhat I know't hath done:
O with new honours let it be laid up.
Strike bouldly, arme; so many powerful prayers
Of dead and living hover over thee.

_Mili_. And though sometimes with talk impertinent
And idle fances he would fame a mirth,
Yet is it easie seene somewhat is heere
The which he dares not let his face make shew of.

_Scevin_. Long want of use[61] hath made it dull and blunt.--
See, _Milichus_, this weapon better edg'd.

_Mili_. Sharpning of swords? When must wee then have blowes?
Or meanes my Master, _Cato_-like, to exempt
Himselfe from power of Fates and, cloy'd with life,
Give the Gods backe their unregarded gift?
But he hath neither _Catoes_ mind nor cause;
A man given ore to pleasures and soft ease.
Which makes me still to doubt how in affaires
Of Princes he dares meddle or desires.

_Scevin_. We shall have blowes on both sides.--_Milichus_,
Provide me store of cloathes to bind up wounds.--
What an't be heart for heart; Death is the worst.
The Gods sure keepe it, hide from us that live.
How sweet death is because we should goe on
And be their bailes.--There are about the house
Some stones that will stanch blood; see them set up.--
This world I see hath no felicitie:
Ile trie the other.

_Mili_.             _Neroes_ life is sought;[62]
The sword's prepar'd against anothers breast,
The helpe for his. It can be no private foe,
For then 'twere best to make it knowne and call
His troupes of bond and freed men to his aide.
Besides his Counsellors, _Seneca_
And _Lucan_, are no Managers of quarrels.

_Scevin_. Me thinkes I see him struggling on the ground,
Heare his unmanly outcries and lost prayers
Made to the Gods which turne their heads away.
_Nero_, this day must end the worlds desires
And head-long send thee to unquenched fires.         [_Exit_.

_Mili_. Why doe I further idly stand debating?
My proofes are but too many and too frequent,
And Princes Eares still to suspitions open.
Who ever, being but accus'd, was quit?
For States are wise and cut of ylls that may be.
Meane men must die that t'other may sleepe sound.
Chiefely that[63] rule whose weaknes, apt to feares,
And bad deserts of all men makes them know
There's none but is in heart what hee's accused.

_Finis Actus Tertii_.

_Actus Quartus.

    Enter Nero, Poppaea, Nimphidius, Tigellinus, Neophilus,
    and Epaphroditus_.

_Nero_. This kisse, sweete love Ile force from thee, and this;
And of such spoiles and victories be prowder
Than if I had the fierce _Pannonian_
Or gray-eyed _German_ ten times overcome.
Let _Iulius_ goe and fight at end oth' world
And conquer from the wilde inhabitants
Their cold and poverty, whilst _Nero_ here
Makes other warres, warres where the conquerd gaines,
Where to orecome is to be prisoner.
O willingly I give my freedome up
And put on my owne chaines,
And am in love with my captivitie.
Such _Venus_ is when on the sandy shore
Of _Xanthus_ or on _Idas_ pleasant greene
She leades the dance; her the Nymphes all a-rowe[64]
And smyling graces do accompany.
If _Bacchus_ could his stragling Mynion
Grace with a glorious wreath of shining Starres,
Why should not Heaven my _Poppaea_ Crowne?
The Northerne teeme shall move into a round,
New constellations rise to honour thee;
The earth shall wooe thy favours and the Sea
Lay his rich shells and treasure at thy feete.
For thee _Hidaspis_ shall throw up his gold,
_Panchaia_ breath the rich delightful smells;
The _Seres_ and the feather'd man of _Inde_
Shall their fine arts and curious labours bring;
And where the Sunn's not knowne _Poppaeas_ name
Shall midst their feasts and barbarous pompe be sung.

_Poppea_. I, now I am worthy to be Queene oth' world,
Fairer then _Venus_ or the _Bacchus_ love;
But you'le anon unto your cutt-boy[65] _Sporus_,
Your new made woman; to whom now, I heare,
You are wedded too.

_Nero_.             I wedded?

_Poppaea_.                    I, you wedded.
Did you not heare the words oth' _Auspyces_?
Was not the boy in bride-like garments drest?
Marriage bookes seald as 'twere for yssue to
Be had betweene you? solemne feasts prepar'd,
While all the Court with _God-give-you-Ioy_ sounds?
It had bin good _Domitius_ your Father
Had nere had other wife.

_Nero_. Your froward, foole; y'are still so bitter.
Whose that?

    _Enter Milichus to them_.

_Nimph_. One that it seemes, my Lord, doth come in hast.

_Nero_. Yet in his face he sends his tale before him.
Bad newes thou tellest?

_Mili_. 'Tis bad I tell, but good that I can tell it
Therefore your Maiestie will pardon me
If I offend your eares to save your life.

_Nero_. Why? is my life indangerd?
How ends the circumstance? thou wrackst my thoughts.

_Mili_. My Lord, your life is conspir'd against.

_Nero_. By whom?

_Mili_. I must be of the world excus'd in this,
If the great dutie to your Maiestie,
Makes me all other lesser to neglect.

_Nero_. Th'art a tedious fellow. Speake: by whom?

_Mili_. By my Master.

_Nero_. Who's thy Master?

_Mili_. _Scevinus_.

_Poppea_. _Scevinus_? why should he conspire?--
Unlesse he thinke that likenesse in conditions
May make him, too, worthy oth' Empire thought.

_Nero_. Who are else in it?

[_Mili_]. I thinke _Natalis, Subrius, Flavus_,[66]
_Lucan, Seneca, and Lucius Piso,
Asper_ and _Quintilianus_.

_Nero_.                    Ha done,
Thou'ilt reckon all Rome anone; and so thou maist,
Th'are villaines all, Ile not trust one of them.
O that the _Romanes_ had all but one necke!

_Poppea_. _Pisoes_ slie creeping into mens affections
And popular arts have given long cause of doubt;
And th'others late observed discontents,
Risen from misinterpreted disgraces,
May make us credit this relation.

_Nero_. Where are they? come they not upon us yet?
See the Guard doubled, see the Gates shut up.
Why, they'le surprise us in our Court anon.

_Mili_. Not so, my Lord; they are at _Pisoes_ house
And thinke themselves yet safe and undiscry'd.

_Nero_. Lets thither then,
And take them in this false security.

_Tigell_. 'Twere better first to publish them traytors.

_Nimph_. That were to make them so
And force them all upon their Enemies.
Now without stirre or hazard theyle be tane
And boldly triall dare and law demaund;
Besides, this accusation may be forg'd
By mallice or mistaking.

_Poppea_. What likes you doe, _Nimphidius_, out of hand:
Two waies distract when either would prevaile.
If they, suspecting but this fellowes absence,
Should try the Citie and attempt their friends
How dangerous might _Pisoes_ favour be?

_Nimph_. I to himselfe[67] would make the matter cleare
Which now upon one servants credit stands.
The Cities favour keepes within the bonds
Of profit, they'le love none to hurt themselves;
Honour and friendship they heare others name,
Themselves doe neither feele nor know the same.
To put them yet (though needlesse) in some feare
Weele keepe their streets with armed companies;
Then, if they stirre, they see their wives and houses
Prepar'd a pray to th'greedy Souldier.

_Poppea_. Let us be quicke then, you to _Pisoes_ house,
While I and _Tigellinus_ further sift
This fellowes knowledge.

                             [_Ex. omnes praeter Nero_.

_Nero_. Looke to the gates and walles oth' Citie; looke
The river be well kept; have watches set
In every passage and in every way.--
But who shall watch these watches? What if they,
Begin and play the Traitors first? O where shall I
Seeke faith or them that I may wisely trust?
The Citie favours the conspirators;
The Senate in disgrace and feare hath liv'd;
The Camp--why? most are souldiers that he named;
Besides, he knowes not all, and like a foole
I interrupted him, else had he named
Those that stood by me. O securitie,
Which we so much seeke after, yet art still
To Courts a stranger and dost rather choose
The smoaky reedes and sedgy cottages
Then the proud roofes and wanton cost of kings.
O sweet dispised ioyes of poverty,
A happines unknowne unto the Gods!
Would I had rather in poore _Gabii_[68] bin
Or _Ulubrae_ a ragged Magistrate,
Sat as a Iudge of measures and of corne
Then the adored Monarke of the world.
Mother, thou didst deservedly in this,
That from a private and sure state didst raise
My fortunes to this slippery hill of greatnesse
Where I can neither stand nor fall with life.

(SCENE 2.)

    _Enter Piso, Lucan, Scevinus, Flavius_.

_Flav_. But, since we are discover'd, what remaines
But put our lives upon our hands? these swords
Shall try us Traitors or true Citizens.

_Scevin_. And what should make this hazard doubt successe?
Stout men are oft with sudden onsets danted:
What shall this Stage-player be?

_Lucan_.                         It is not now
_Augustus_ gravitie nor _Tiberius_ craft,
But _Tigellinus_ and _Chrisogonus_,
Eunuckes and women that we goe against.

_Scevin_. This for thy owne sake, this for ours we begg,
That thou wilt suffer him to be orecome;
Why shouldst thou keepe so many vowed swords
From such a hated throate?

_Flav_.                    Or shall we feare
To trust unto the Gods so good a cause?

_Lucan_. By this we may ourselves Heavens favour promise
Because all noblenesse and worth on earth
We see's on our side. Here the _Fabys_ sonne,
Here the _Corvini_ are and take that part
There noble Fathers would, if now they liv'd.
There's not a soule that claimes Nobilitie,
Either by his or his forefathers merit,
But is with us; with us the gallant youth
Whom passed dangers or hote bloud makes bould;
Staid men suspect their wisdome or their faith
To whom our counsels we have not reveald;
And while (our party seeking to disgrace)
They traitors call us, each man treason praiseth
And hateth faith when _Piso_ is a traitor.

_Scevin_. And,[69] at adventure, what by stoutnesse can
Befall us worse than will by cowardise?
If both the people and the souldier failde us
Yet shall we die at least worthy our selves,
Worthy our ancestors. O _Piso_ thinke,
Thinke on that day when in the _Parthian_ fields
Thou cryedst to th'flying Legions to turne
And looke Death in the face; he was not grim
But faire and lovely when he came in armes.
O why there di'd we not on _Syrian_ swords?
Were we reserv'd to prisons and to chaines?
Behold the Galley-asses in every street;
And even now they come to clap on yrons.
Must _Pisoes_ head be shewed upon a pole?
Those members torne, rather then _Roman_-like
And _Piso_-like with weapons in our hands
Fighting in throng of enemies to die?
And that it shall not be a civill warre
_Nero_ prevents, whose cruelty hath left
Few Citizens; we are not Romans now
But Moores, and Jewes, and utmost Spaniards,
And _Asiaes_ refuse[70] that doe fill the Citie.

_Piso_. Part of us are already tak'n; the rest
Amaz'd and seeking holes. Our hidden ends
You see laid open; Court and Citie arm'd
And for feare ioyning to the part they feare.
Why should we move desperate and hopelesse armes
And vainely spill that noble bloud that should
Christall _Rubes_[71] and the _Median_ fields,
Not _Tiber_ colour? And the more your show be,
Your loves and readinesse to loose your lives,
The lother I am to adventure them.
Yet am I proud you would for me have dy'd;
But live, and keepe your selves to worthier ends.
No Mother but my owne shall weepe my death
Nor will I make, by overthrowing us,
Heaven guiltie of more faults yet; from the hopes
Your owne good wishes rather then the thing
Doe make you see, this comfort I receive
Of death unforst. O friends I would not die
When I can live no longer; 'tis my glory
That free and willing I give up this breath,
Leaving such courages as yours untri'd.
But to be long in talk of dying would
Shew a relenting and a doubtfull mind:
By this you shall my quiet thoughts intend;
I blame not Earth nor Heaven for my end.[72]
                                     (_He dies_.)

_Lucan_. O that this noble courage had bin shewne
Rather on enemies breasts then on thy owne.

_Scevin_. But sacred and inviolate be thy will,
And let it lead and teach us.
This sword I could more willingly have thrust
Through _Neroes_ breast; that fortune deni'd me,
It now shall through _Scevinus_.


(SCENE 3.)

    _Enter Tigellinus solus_.

What multitudes of villaines are here gotten
In a conspiracy, which _Hydra_ like
Still in the cutting off increaseth more.
The more we take the more are still appeach[t],
And every man brings in new company.
I wonder what we shall doe with them all!
The prisons cannot hold more then they have,
The Iayles are full, the holes with Gallants stincke;
Strawe and gold lace together live, I thinke.
'Twere best even shut the gates oth' Citie up
And make it all one Iayle; for this I am sure,
There's not an honest man within the walles.
And, though the guilty doth exceed the free,[73]
Yet through a base and fatall cowardise
They all assist in taking one another
And by their owne hands are to prison led.
There's no condition nor degree of men
But here are met; men of the sword and gowne,
_Plebeians, Senators_, and women too;
Ladies that might have slaine him with their eye
Would use their hands; Philosophers
And Polititians. Polititians?
Their plot was laid too short. Poets would now
Not only write but be the arguments
Of Tragedies. The Emperour's much pleased:
But[74] some have named _Seneca_; and I
Will have _Petronius_. One promise of pardon
Or feare of torture will accusers find.

(SCENE 4.)

    _Enter Nimphidius, Lucan, Scevinus, with a guard_.

_Nimph_. Though _Pisoes_ suddennesse and guilty hand
Prevented hath the death he should have had,
Yet you abide it must.

_Lucan_. O may the earth lye lightly on his Course,
Sprinckle his ashes with your flowers and teares;
The love and dainties of mankind is gone.

_Scevin_. What onely now we can, we'le follow thee
That way thou lead'st and waite on thee in death;
Which we had done had not these hindred us.

_Nimph_. Nay, other ends your grievous crimes awaite,
Ends which the law and your deserts exact.

_Scevin_. What have we deserved?

_Nimph_. That punishment that traitors unto Princes,
And enemies to the State they live, in merit.

_Scevin_. If by the State this government you meane
I iustly am an enemy unto it.
That's but to _Nero_, you and _Tigellinus_.
That glorious world that even beguiles the wise,
Being lookt into, includes but three or foure
Corrupted men, which were they all remov'd
'Twould for the common State much better be.

_Nimph_. Why, what can you ith' government mislike,
Unlesse it grieve you that the world's in peace
Or that our arm[i]es conquer without blood?
Hath not his power with forraine visitations
And strangers honour more acknowlldg'd bin
Then any was afore him? Hath not hee
Dispos'd of frontier kingdomes with successe?
Given away Crownes, whom he set up availing?
The rivall seat of the _Arsacidae_,
That thought their brightnesse equall unto ours,
Is't crown'd by him, by him doth raigne?
If we have any warre it's beyond _Rhene_
And _Euphrates_, and such whose different chances
Have rather serv'd for pleasure and discourse
Then troubled us. At home the Citie hath
Increast in wealth, with building bin adorn'd,
The arts have flourisht and the Muses sung;
And that his Iustice and well tempered raigne
Have the best Iudges pleas'd, the powers divine,
Their blessings and so long prosperitie
Of th'Empire under him enough declare.

_Scevin_. You freed the State from warres abroad, but 'twas
To spoile at home more safely and divert
The _Parthian_ enmitie on us; and yet
The glory rather and the spoyles of warre
Have wanting bin, the losse and charge we have.
Your peace is full of cruelty and wrong;
Lawes taught to speake to present purposes;
Wealth and faire houses dangerous faults become;
Much blood ith' Citie and no common deaths,
But Gentlemen and Consulary houses.
On _Caesars_ owne house looke: hath that bin free?
Hath he not shed the blood he calls divine?
Hath not that neerenes which should love beget
Always on him bin cause of hate and feare?
Vertue and power suspected and kept downe?
They, whose great ancestors this Empire made,
Distrusted in the government thereof?
A happy state where _Decius_ is a traytor,
_Narcissus_ true! nor onley wast unsafe
T'offend the Prince; his freed men worse were feard,
Whose wrongs with such insulting pride were heard
That even the faultie it made innocent
If we complain'd that was it selfe a crime,
I, though it were to _Caesars_ benefit:
Our writings pry'd into, falce guiltines
Thinking each taxing pointed out it selfe;
Our private whisperings listned after; nay,
Our thoughts were forced out of us and punisht;
And had it bin in you to have taken away
Our understanding as you did our speech,
You would have made us thought this honest too.

_Nimph_. Can malice narrow eyes
See anything yet more it can traduce?

_Scevin_. His long continued taxes I forbeare,
In which he chiefely showed him to be Prince;
His robbing Alters,[75] sale of Holy things,
The Antique Goblets of adored rust
And sacred gifts of kings and people sold.
Nor was the spoile more odious than the use
They were imployd on; spent on shame and lust,
Which still have bin so endless in their change
And made us know a divers servitude.
But that he hath bin suffered so long
And prospered, as you say; for that to thee,
O Heaven, I turne my selfe and cry, "No God
Hath care of us." Yet have we our revenge,
As much as Earth may be reveng'd on Heaven:
Their divine honour _Nero_ shall usurpe,
And prayers and feasts and adoration have
As well as _Iupiter_.

_Nimph_.              Away, blaspheming tongue,
Be ever silent for thy bitternesse.


(SCENE 5.)

    _Enter Nero, Poppaea, Tigellinus, Flavius, Neophilus,
    Epaphroditus, and a yong man_.

_Nero_. What could cause thee,
Forgetfull of my benefits and thy oath,
To seeke my life?

_Flav_. _Nero_, I hated thee:
Nor was there any of thy souldiers
More faithful, while thou faith deserv'dst, then I.
Together did I leave to be a subject,
And thou a Prince. Caesar was now become
A Player on the Stage, a Waggoner,
A burner of our houses and of us,
A Paracide of Wife and Mother.[76]

_Tigell_. Villaine, dost know where and of whom thou speakst?

_Nero_. Have you but one death for him? Let it bee
A feeling one; _Tigellinus_, bee't[77]
Thy charge, and let me see thee witty in't.

_Tigell_. Come, sirrah;
Weele see how stoutly you'le stretch out your necke.

_Flav_. Wold thou durst strike as stoutly.
                    [_Exit Tigell. and Flav_.

_Nero_. And what's hee there?

_Epaphr_. One that in whispering oreheard[78]
What pitie 'twas, my Lord, that _Pisoe_ died.

_Nero_. And why was't pitie, sirrah, _Pisoe_ died?

_Yong_. My Lord, 'twas pitie he deserv'd to die.

_Poppaea_. How much this youth my _Otho_ doth resemble;    (_aside_.)
_Otho_ my first, my best love who is now
(Under pretext of governing) exyl'd
To _Lucitania_, honourably banish't.

_Nero_. Well, if you be so passionate,
Ile make you spend your pitie on your Prince
And good men, not on traytors.

_Yong_. The Gods forbid my Prince should pitie need.
Somewhat the sad remembrance did me stirre
Oth' fraile and weake condition of our kind,
Somewhat his greatnesse; then whom yesterday
The world but _Caesar_ could shew nothing higher.
Besides, some vertues and some worth he had,
That might excuse my pitie to an end
So cruell and unripe.

_Poppaea_. I know not how this stranger moves my mind.    (_Aside_.)
His face me thinkes is not like other mens,
Nor do they speake thus. Oh, his words invade
My weakned senses and overcome my heart.

_Nero_. Your pitie shewes your favour and your will,
Which side you are inclinde too, had you[79] power:
You can but pitie, else should _Caesar_ feare.
Your ill affection then shall punisht bee.
Take him to execution; he shall die
That the death pities of mine enemie.

_Yong_. This benefit at least
Sad death shall give, to free me from the power
Of such a government; and if I die
For pitying humane chance and _Pisoes_ end
There will be some too that will pitie mine.

_Poppaea_. O what a dauntlesse looke, what sparkling eyes,    (_aside.)_
Threating in suffering! sure some noble blood
Is hid in ragges; feares argues a base spirit;
In him what courage and contempt of death!
And shall I suffer one I love to die?
He shall not die.--Hands of this man! Away!
_Nero_, thou shalt not kill this guiltlesse man.

_Nero_. He guiltlesse? Strumpet!

            (_Spurns her, and Poppaea falls_.)

She is in love with the smooth face of the boy.

_Neoph_. Alas, my Lord, you have slaine her.

_Epaphr_. Helpe, she dies.

_Nero_. _Poppaea, Poppaea_, speake, I am not angry;
I did not meane to hurt thee; speake, sweet love.

_Neoph_. She's dead, my Lord.

_Nero_. Fetch her againe, she shall not die:
Ile ope the Iron gates of hell
And breake the imprison'd shaddowes of the deepe,
And force from death this farre too worthy pray.
She is not dead:
The crimson red that like the morning shone,
When from her windowes (all with Roses strewde)
She peepeth forth, forsakes not yet her cheekes;
Her breath, that like a hony-suckle smelt,
Twining about the prickled Eglintine,
Yet moves her lips; those quicke and piercing eyes,
That did in beautie challenge heaven's eyes,[80]
Yet shine as they were wont. O no, they doe not;
See how they grow obscure. O see, they close
And cease to take or give light to the world.
What starres so ere you are assur'd to grace
The[81] firmament (for, loe, the twinkling fires
Together throng and that cleare milky space,
Of stormes and _Phiades_ and thunder void,
Prepares your roome) do not with wry aspect
Looke on your _Nero_, who in blood shall mourne
Your lucklesse fate, and many a breathing soule
Send after you to waite upon their Queene.
This shall begin; the rest shall follow after,
And fill the streets with outcryes and with slaughter.


(SCENE 6.)

    _Enter Seneca with two of his friends_.

_Seneca_. What meanes your mourning, this ungrateful sorrow?
Where are your precepts of _Philosophie_,
Where our prepared resolution
So many yeeres fore-studied against danger?
To whom is _Neroes_ cruelty unknowne,
Or what remained after mothers blood
But his instructors death? Leave, leave these teares;
Death from me nothing takes but what's a burthen,
A clog to that free sparke of Heavenly fire.
But that in _Seneca_ the which you lov'd,
Which you admir'd, doth and shall still remaine,
Secure of death, untouched of the grave.

1 _Friend_. Weele not belie our teares; we waile not thee,
It is our selves and our owne losse we grieve:
To thee what losse in such a change can bee?
Vertue is paid her due by death alone.
To our owne losses do we give these teares,
That loose thy love, thy boundlesse knowledge loose,
Loose the unpatternd sample of thy vertue,
Loose whatsoev'r may praise or sorrow move.
In all these losses yet of this we glory,
That 'tis thy happinesse that makes us sorry.

2 _Friend_. If there be any place for Ghosts of good men,
If (as we have bin long taught) great mens soules
Consume not with their bodies, thou shalt see
(Looking from out the dwellings of the ayre)
True duties to thy memorie perform'd;
Not in the outward pompe of funerall,
But in remembrance of thy deeds and words,
The oft recalling of thy many vertues.
The Tombe that shall th'eternall relickes keepe
Of _Seneca_ shall be his hearers hearts.

_Seneca_. Be not afraid, my soule; goe cheerefully
To thy owne Heaven, from whence it first let downe.
Thou loathly[82] this imprisoning flesh putst on;
Now, lifted up, thou ravisht shalt behold
The truth of things at which we wonder here,
And foolishly doe wrangle on beneath;
And like a God shalt walk the spacious ayre,
And see what even to conceit's deni'd.
Great soule oth' world, that through the parts defus'd
Of this vast All, guid'st what thou dost informe;
You blessed mindes that from the _[S]pheares_ you move,
Looke on mens actions not with idle eyes,
And Gods we goe to, aid me in this strife
And combat of my flesh that, ending, I
May still shew _Seneca_ and my selfe die.


(SCENE 7.)

    _Enter Antonius, Enanthe_.

_Anton_. Sure this message of the Princes,
So grievous and unlookt for, will appall
_Petronius_ much.

_Enan_.           Will not death any man?

_Anton_. It will; but him so much the more
That, having liv'd to his pleasure, shall forgoe
So delicate a life. I doe not marvell[83]
That _Seneca_ and such sowre fellowes can
Leave that they never tasted, but when we
That have the _Nectar_ of thy kisses felt,
That drinkes away the troubles of this life,
And but one banquet make[s] of forty yeeres,
Must come to leave this;--but, soft, here he is.

    _Enter Petronius and a Centurion_.

_Petron_. Leave me a while, _Centurion_, to my friends;
Let me my farewell take, and thou shalt see
_Neroes_ commandement quickly obaid in mee.    [_Ex. Centur_.
--Come, let us drinke and dash the posts with wine!
Here throw your flowers; fill me a swelling bowle
Such as _Mecenas_ or my _Lucan_ dranke
On _Virgills_ birth day.[84]

_Enan_. What meanes, _Petronius_, this unseasonable
And causelesse mirth? Why, comes not from the Prince
This man to you a messenger of death?

_Petron_. Here, faire _Enanthe_, whose plumpe, ruddy cheeke
Exceeds the grape!--It makes this[85]--here, my geyrle.  (_He drinks_.)
--And thinkst thou death a matter of such harme?
Why, he must have this pretty dimpling chin,
And will pecke out those eyes that now so wound.

_Enan_. Why, is it not th'extreamest of all ills?

_Petron_. It is indeed the last and end of ills.
The Gods, before th'would let us tast deaths Ioyes,
Plact us ith' toyle and sorrowes of this world,
Because we should perceive th'amends and thanke them;
Death, the grim knave, but leades you to the doore
Where, entred once, all curious pleasures come
To meete and welcome you.
A troope of beauteous Ladies, from whose eyes
Love thousand arrows, thousand graces shootes,
Puts forth theire fair hands to you and invites
To their greene arbours and close shadowed walkes,[86]
Whence banisht is the roughness of our yeeres!
Onely the west wind blowes, its[87] ever Spring
And ever Sommer. There the laden bowes
Offer their tempting burdens to your hand,
Doubtful your eye or tast inviting more.
There every man his owne desires enioyes;
Fair _Lucrese_ lies by lusty _Tarquins_ side,
And woes him now againe to ravish her.
Nor us, though _Romane, Lais_ will refuse;
To _Corinth_[88] any man may goe; no maske,
No envious garment doth those beauties hide,
Which Nature made so moving to be spide.
But in bright Christall, which doth supply all,
And white transparent vailes they are attyr'd,
Through which the pure snow underneath doth shine;
(Can it be snowe from whence such flames arise?)
Mingled with that faire company shall we
On bankes of _Violets_ and of _Hiacinths_,
Of loves devising, sit and gently sport;
And all the while melodious Musique heare,
And Poets songs that Musique farre exceed,
The old _Anaiccan_[89] crown'd with smiling flowers,
And amorous _Sapho_ on her Lesbian Lute
Beauties sweet Scarres and Cupids godhead sing.

_Anton_. What? be not ravisht with thy fancies; doe not
Court nothing, nor make love unto our feares.

_Petron_. Is't nothing that I say?

_Anton_.                           But empty words.

_Petron_. Why, thou requir'st some instance of the eye.
Wilt thou goe with me, then, and see that world
Which either will returne thy old delights,
Or square thy appetite anew to theirs?

_Anton_. Nay, I had rather farre believe thee here;
Others ambition such discoveries seeke.
Faith, I am satisfied with the base delights
Of common men. A wench, a house I have,
And of my own a garden: Ile not change
For all your walkes and ladies and rare fruits.

_Petron_. Your pleasures must of force resign to these:
In vaine you shun the sword, in vaine the sea,
In vaine is _Nero_ fear'd or flattered.
Hether you must and leave your purchast houses,
Your new made garden and your black browd wife,
And of the trees thou hast so quaintly set,
Not one but the displeasant Cipresse shall
Goe with thee.[90]

_Anton_.       Faith 'tis true, we must at length;
But yet, _Petronius_, while we may awhile
We would enjoy them; those we have w'are sure of,
When that thou talke of's doubtful and to come.

_Petron_. Perhaps thou thinkst to live yet twenty yeeres,
Which may unlookt for be cut off, as mine;
If not, to endlesse time compar'd is nothing.
What you endure must ever, endure now;
Nor stay not to be last at table set.
Each best day of our life at first doth goe,
To them succeeds diseased age and woe;
Now die your pleasures, and the dayes you[91] pray
Your rimes and loves and jests will take away.
Therefore, my sweet, yet thou wilt goe with mee,
And not live here to what thou wouldst not see.

_Enan_. Would y'have me then [to] kill my selfe, and die,
And goe I know not to what places there?

_Petron_. What places dost thou feare?
Th'ill-favoured lake they tell thee thou must passe,
And the[92] blacke frogs that croake about the brim?

_Enan_. O, pardon, Sir, though death affrights a woman,
Whose pleasures though you timely here divine,
The paines we know and see.

_Petron_. The paine is lifes; death rids that paine away.
Come boldly, there's no danger in this foord;
Children passe through it. If it be a paine
You have this comfort that you past it are.

_Enan_. Yet all, as well as I, are loath to die.

_Petron_. Judge them by deed, you see them doe't apace.

_Enan_. I, but 'tis loathly and against their wils.

_Petron_. Yet know you not that any being dead
Repented them and would have liv'd againe.
They then there errors saw and foolish prayers,
But you are blinded in the love of life;
Death is but sweet to them that doe approach it.
To me, as one that tak'n with _Delphick_ rage,
When the divining God his breast doth fill,
He sees what others cannot standing by,
It seemes a beauteous and pleasant thing.--
Where is my deaths Phisitian?

_Phisi_.                      Here, my Lord.

_Petron_. Art ready?

_Phisi_.             I, my Lord.

_Petron_.                        And I for thee:
Nero, my end shall mocke thy tyranny.


_Finis Actus Quarti_.

_Actus Quintus_.

    _Enter Nero, Nimphidius, Tigellinus, Neophilus,
    Epaphroditus and other attendants_.

_Nero_. Enough is wept, _Poppaea_, for thy death,
Enough is bled: so many teares of others
Wailing their losses have wipt mine away.
Who in the common funerall of the world
Can mourne on[e] death?

_Tigell_. Besides, Your Maiestie this benefit
In their diserved punishment shall reape,
From all attempts hereafter to be freed.
Conspiracy is how for ever dasht,
Tumult supprest, rebellion out of heart;
In _Pisoes_ death danger it selfe did die.

_Nimph_. _Piso_ that thought to climbe by bowing downe,
By giving a way to thrive, and raising others
To become great himselfe, hath now by death
Given quiet to your thoughts and feare to theirs
That shall from treason their advancement plot;
Those dangerous heads that his ambition leand on;
And they by it crept up and from their meannesse
Thought in this stirre to rise aloft, are off.
Now peace and safetie waite upon your throne;
Securitie hath wall'd your seat about;
There is no place for feare left.

_Nero_. Why, I never feard them.

_Nimph_.                         That was your fault:
Your Maiestie might give us leave to blame
Your dangerous courage and that noble soule
To prodigall[93] of it selfe.

_Nero_. A Princes mind knowes neither feare nor hope:
The beames of royall Maiestie are such
As all eyes are with it amaz'd and weakened,
But it with nothing. I at first contemn'd
Their weak devises and faint enterprise.
Why, thought they against him to have prevail'd
Whose childhood was from _Messalinas_ spight
By Dragons[94] (that the earth gave up), preserv'd?
Such guard my cradle had, for fate had then
Pointed me out to be what now I am.
Should all the Legions and the provinces,
In one united, against me conspire
I could disperce them with one angry eye;
My brow's an host of men. Come, _Tigellinus_,
Let turne this bloody banquet _Piso_ meant us
Into a merry feast; weele drink and challenge
Fortune.--Whose that _Neophilus_?

    _Enter a Roman_.

_Neoph_. A Currier from beyond the Alpes, my Lord.

_Nero_. Newes of some German victory, belike,
Or Britton overthrow.

_Neoph_.              The letters come from France.

_Nimph_. Why smiles your Maiestie?

_Nero_. So, I smile? I should be afraid; there's one
In Armes, _Nimphidius_.

_Nimph_. What, arm'd against your Maiestie?

_Nero_. Our lieutenant of the Province, _Julius Vindex_.

_Tigell_. Who? that guiddy French-man?

_Nimph_. His Province is disarm'd, my Lord; he hath
No legion nor a souldier under him.

_Epaphr_. One that by blood and rapine would repaire
His state consum'd in vanities and lust.

    _Enter another Roman_.

_Tigell_. He would not find out three to follow him.

_A Mess_. More newes, my Lord.

_Nero_. Is it of _Vindex_ that thou hast to say?

_Mess_. _Vindex_ is up and with him France in Armes;
The Noblemen and people throng to th'cause;
Money and Armour Cities doe conferre;
The countrey doth send in provision;
Young men bring bodies, old men lead them forth;
Ladies doe coine their Iewels into pay;
The sickle now is fram'd into a sword
And drawing horses are to manage taught;
France nothing doth but warre and fury breath.

_Nero_. All this fierce talk's but "Vindex doth rebell";
And I will hang him.

_Tigell_. How long came you forth after the other messenger?

_Mess_. Foure dayes, but by the benefit of sea and
Weather am arrivd with him.

_Nimph_. How strong was _Vindex_ at your setting forth?

_Mess_. He was esteem'd a hundred thousand.

_Tigell_. Men enough.

_Nimph_. And souldiers few enough;
Tumultuary troops, undisciplin'd,
Untrain'd in service; to wast victuals good,
But when they come to look on warres black wounds,
And but afarre off see the face of death--

_Nero_. It falles out for my empty coffers well,
The spoyle of such a large and goodly Province
Enricht with trade and long enioyed peace.

_Tigell_. What order will your Maiestie have taken
For levying forces to suppresse this stirre?

_Nero_. What order should we take? weele laugh and drinke.
Thinkst thou it fit my pleasures be disturb'd
When any French-man list to breake his necke!
They have not heard of _Pisoes_ fortune yet;
Let that Tale fight with them.

_Nimph_. What order needs? Your Maiestie shal finde
This French heat quickly of it selfe grow cold.

_Nero_. Come away:
Nothing shall come that this nights sport shall stay.

              [_Ex. Ner. Nimph. Tig. and attendants_.

    _Mane[n]t Neophilus, Epaphroditus_.

_Neoph_. I wonder what makes him so confident
In this revolt now growne unto a warre,
And ensignes in the field; when in the other,
Being but a plot of a conspiracie,
He shew'd himselfe so wretchedly dismaid?

_Epaphr_. Faith, the right nature of a coward to set light
Dangers that seeme farre off. _Piso_ was here,
Ready to enter at the Presence doore
And dragge him out of his abused chaire;
And then he trembled. _Vindex_ is in France,
And many woods and seas and hills betweene.

_Neoph_. 'Twas strange that _Piso_ was so soone supprest.

_Epaphr_. Strange? strange indeed; for had he but come up
And taken the Court in that affright and stirre
While unresolv'd for whom or what to doe,
Each on [of?] the other had in iealousie
(While as apaled Maiestie not yet
Had time to set the countenance), he would
Have hazarded the royall seat.

_Neoph_. Nay, had it without hazard; all the Court
Had for him bin and those disclos'd their love
And favour in the cause, which now to hide
And colour their good meanings ready were
To shew their forwardnesse against it most.

_Epaphr_. But for a stranger with a naked province,
Without allies or friends ith' state, to challenge
A Prince upheld with thirty Legions,
Rooted in foure discents of Ancestors
And foureteene yeares continuance of raigne,
Why it is--

    _Enter Nero, Nimphidius, Tigellinus to them_.

_Nero_. Galba and Spaine? What? Spaine and Gal[b]a too?

                                     [_Ex. Ner. Nimph_.

_Epaph_. I pray thee, _Tigellinus_, what furie's this?
What strange event, what accident hath thus
Orecast your countenances?

_Tigell_. Downe we were set at table and began
With sparckling bowles to chase our feares away,
And mirth and pleasure lookt out of our eyes;
When, loe, a breathless messenger arrives
And tells how _Vindex_ and the powers of France
Have _Sergius Galba_ chosen Emperor;
With what applause the Legions him receive;
That Spaines revolted, Portingale hath ioyn'd;
As much suspected is of Germany.
But _Nero_, not abiding out the end,
Orethrew the tables, dasht against the ground
The cuppe which he so much, you know, esteem'd;
Teareth his haire and with incensed rage
Curseth false men and Gods the lookers on.

_Neoph_. His rage, we saw, was wild and desperate.

_Epaph_. O you unsearched wisedomes which doe laugh
At our securitie and feares alike,
And plaine to shew our weaknesse and your power
Make us contemne the harmes which surest strike;
When you our glories and our pride undoe
Our overthrow you make ridiculous too.


(SCENE 2.)

    _Enter Nimphidius solus_.

Slow making counsels and the sliding yeere
Have brought me to the long foreseene destruction
Of this misled young man. His State is shaken
And I will push it on; revolted France
Nor the coniured Provinces of Spaine
Nor his owne guilt shall like to me oppresse him.
I to his easie yeelding feares proclaime
New German mutenys and all the world
Rowsing it selfe in hate of _Neroes_ name;
I his distracted counsels doe disperce
With fresh despaires; I animate the Senate
And the people, to ingage them past recall
In preiudice of _Nero_: and in briefe
Perish he must,--the fates and I resolve it.
Which to effect I presently will goe
Proclaime a _Donative_ in _Galbaes_ name.

    _Enter Antoneus to him_.

_Anton_. Yonders _Nimphidius_, our Commander, now.
I with respect must speake and smooth my brow.
--Captaine, all haile.

_Nimph_.               _Antoneus_, well met.
Your place of _Tribune_ in this Anarchi.

_Anton_. This Anarchy, my Lord? is _Nero_ dead?

_Nimph_. This Anarchy, this yet unstiled time
While Galba is unseased of the Empire
Which _Nero_ hath forsooke.

_Anton_. Hath _Nero_ then resign'd the Empire?

_Nimph_. In effect he hath for he's fled to _Egypt_.

_Anton_. My Lord, you tell strange newes to me.

_Nimph_. But nothing strange to mee,
Who every moment knew of his despaires.
The Curriers came so fast with fresh alarmes
Of new revolts that he, unable quite
To beare his feares which he had long conceal'd,
Is now revolted from himselfe and fled.

_Anton_. Thrust with report and rumours from his seat!
My Lord, you know the Campe depends on you
As you determine.

_Nimph_.          There it lies _Antonius_.
What should we doe? it boots not to relie
On Neroes stinking fortunes; and to sit
Securely looking on were to receive
An Emperor from Spaine: which how disgracefull
It were to us who, if we waigh our selves,
The most materiall accessions are
Of all the Roman Empire. Which disgrace
To cover we must ioyne ourselves betimes,
And therefore seeme to have created _Galba_.
Therefore He straight proclaime a _Donative_
Of thirty thousand sesterces a man.

_Anton_. I thinke so great a gift was never heard of.
_Galba_, they say, is frugally inclinde:
Will he avow so great a gift as this?

_Nimph_. Howere he like of it he must avow it,
If by our promise he be once ingaged;
And since the souldiers care belongs to mee,
I will have care of them and of their good.
Let them thank me if I through this occasion
Procure for them so great a donative.
                                       [_Ex. Nimph_.

_Anton_. So you be thankt it skils not who prevaile,
_Galba_ or _Nero_,--traitor to them both.
You give it out that _Neroes_ fled to _Egypt_,
Who, with the frights of your reports amaz'd,
By our device doth lurke for better newes,
Whilst you inevitably doe betray him.
Workes he all this for _Galba_ then? Not so:
I have long seene his climbing to the Empire
By secret practises of gracious women.
And other instruments of the late Court.
That was his love to her that me refus'd;
And now by this he would [gain?] give the souldiers favour.
Now is the time to quit _Poppaeas_ scorne
And his rivallity. Ile straight reveale
His treacheries to _Galbaes_ agents here.

(SCENE 3.)

    _Enter Tigellinus with the Guard_.

_Tigell_. You see what issue things doe sort unto;
Yet may we hope not only impunitie
But with our fellowes part oth' guift proclaim'd.

    _Nero meets them_.

_Nero_. Whether goe you? stay, my friends;
'Tis Caesar calls you; stay, my loving friends.

_Tigell_. We were his slaves, his footstooles, and must crouch
But now with such observance to his feet;
It is his misery that calles us friends.

_Nero_. And moves you not the misery of a Prince?
O stay, my friends, stay, harken to the voyce
Which once yee knew.

_Tigell_.            Harke to the peoples cryes,
Harke to the streets that _Galba, Galba_, ring.

_Nero_. The people may forsake me without blame,
I did them wrong to make you rich and great,
I tooke their houses to bestow on you;
Treason in them hath name of libertie:
Your fault hath no excuse, you are my fault
And the excuse of others treachery.

_Tigell_. Shall we with staying seeme his tyrannies
T'uphold, as if we were in love with them?
We are excus'd (unlesse we stay too long)
As forced Ministers and a part of wrong.

                               [_Ex. praeter Nero_.

_Nero_. O now I see the vizard from my face,
So lovely and so fearefull, is fall'n off,
That vizard, shadow, nothing, Maiestie,
Which, like a child acquainted with his feares,
But now men trembled at and now contemne.
_Nero_ forsaken is of all the world,
The world of truth. O fall some vengeance downe
Equall unto their falsehoods and my wrongs!
Might I accept the Chariot of the Sunne
And like another _Phaeton_ consume
In flames of all the world, a pile of Death
Worthy the state and greatnesse I have lost!
Or were I now but Lord of my owne fires
Wherein false Rome yet once againe might smoake
And perish, all unpitied of her Gods,
That all things in their last destruction might
Performe a funerall honour to their Lord!
O _Iove_ dissolve with _Caesar Caesars_ world;
Or you whom _Nero_ rather should invoke,
Blacke _Chaos_ and you fearefull shapes beneath,
That with a long and not vaine envy have
Sought to destroy this worke of th'other Gods;
Now let your darknesse cease the spoyles of day,
And the worlds first contention end your strife.

    _Enter two Romanes to him_.

1 _Rom_. Though others, bound with greater benefits,
Have left your changed fortunes and doe runne
Whither new hopes doe call them, yet come we.

_Nero_. O welcome come you to adversitie;
Welcome, true friends. Why, there is faith on earth;
Of thousand servants, friends and followers,
Yet two are left. Your countenance, me thinks,
Gives comfort and new hopes.

2 _Rom_.                     Doe not deceive your thoughts:
My Lord, we bring no comfort,--would we could,--
But the last duty to performe and best
We ever shall, a free death to persuade,
To cut off hopes of fearcer cruelty
And scorne, more cruell to a worthy soule.

1 _Rom_. The Senate have decreed you're punishable
After the fashion of our ancestors,
Which is, your necke being locked in a forke,
You must be naked whipt and scourg'd to death.

_Nero_. The Senate thus decreed? they that so oft
My vertues flattered have and guifts of mine,
My government preferr'd to ancient times,
And challenge[d] _Numa_ to compare with me,--
Have they so horrible an end sought out?
No, here I beare which shall prevent such shame;
This hand shall yet from that deliver me,
And faithfull be alone unto his Lord.
Alasse, how sharp and terrible is death!
O must I die, must now my senses close?
For ever die, and nere returne againe,
Never more see the Sunne, nor Heaven, nor Earth?
Whither goe I? What shall I be anone?
What horred iourney wandrest thou, my soule,
Under th'earth in darke, dampe, duskie vaults?
Or shall I now to nothing be resolv'd?
My feares become my hopes; O would I might.
Me thinkes I see the boyling _Phlegeton_
And the dull poole feared of them we feare,
The dread and terror of the Gods themselves;
The furies arm'd with linkes, with whippes, with snakes,
And my owne furies farre more mad then they,
My mother and those troopes of slaughtred friends.
And now the Iudge is brought unto the throne,
That will not leave unto Authoritie
Nor favour the oppressions of the great!

1 _Rom_. These are the idle terrors of the night,
Which wise men (though they teach) doe not beleeve,
To curbe our pleasures faine[d] and aide the weake.

2 _Rom_. Deaths wrongfull defamation, which would make
Us shunne this happy haven of our rest,
This end of evils, as some fearefull harme.

1 _Rom_. Shadowes and fond imaginations,
Which now (you see) on earth but children feare.

2 _Rom_. Why should our faults feare punishment from them?
What doe the actions of this life concerne
The tother world, with which is no commerce?

1 _Rom_. Would Heaven and Starres necessitie compell
Us to doe that which after it would punish?

2 _Rom_. Let us not after our lives end beleeve
More then you felt before it.

_Nero_. If any words had[95] made me confident
And boldly doe for hearing others speake
Boldly, this might.[96] But will you by example
Teach me the truth of your opinion
And make me see that you beleeve yourselves?
Will you by dying teach me to beare death
With courage?

1 _Rom_.      No necessitie of death
Hangs ore our heads, no dangers threaten us
Nor Senates sharpe decree nor _Galbaes_ arms.

2 _Rom_. Is this the thankes, then, thou dost pay our love?
Die basely as such a life deserv'd;
Reserve thy selfe to punishment, and scorne
Of Rome and of thy laughing enemies.


    _Manet Nero_.

_Nero_. They hate me cause I would but live. What was't
You lov'd, kind friends, and came to see my death?
Let me endure all torture and reproach
That earth or _Galbaes_ anger can inflict;
Yet hell and _Rodamanth_ are more pittilesse.

    _The first Romane to him_.

_Rom_. Though not deserv'd, yet once agen I come
To warne thee to take pitie on thy selfe.
The troopes by the Senate sent descend the hill
And come.

_Nero_. To take me and to whip me unto death!
O whither shall I flye?

_Rom_.                  Thou hast no choice.

_Nero_. O hither must I flye: hard is his happe
Who from death onely must by death escape.
Where are they yet? O may not I a little
Bethinke my selfe?

_Rom_. They are at hand; harke, thou maist heare the noise.

_Nero_. O _Rome_, farewell! farewell, you Theaters
Where I so oft with popular applause
In song and action--O they come, I die.
                         (_He falls on his sword_.)

_Rom_. So base an end all iust commiseration
Doth take away: yet what we doe now spurne
The morning Sunne saw fearefull to the world.

    _Enter some of Galbaes friends, Antoneus and others,
    with Nimphidius bound_.

_Gal_. You both shall die together, Traitors both
He to the common wealth and thou to him
And worse to a good Prince.--What? is he dead?
Hath feare encourag'd him and made him thus
Prevent our punishment? Then die with him:
Fall thy aspiring at thy Master's feete.
                                 (_He kils Nimph_).

_Anton_. Who, though he iustly perisht, yet by thee
Deserv'd it not; nor ended there thy treason,
But even thought oth' Empire thou conceiv'st.
_Galbaes_ disgrace[d] in receiving that
Which the sonne of _Nimphidia_ could hope.

_Rom_. Thus great bad men above them find a rod:
People, depart and say there is a God.




The anonymous comedy of the _Maydes Metamorphosis_ (1600), usually
attributed to Lilly, shews few traces of the mannerisms of the graceful
but insipid Euphuist. It is just such a play as George Wither or William
Browne might have written in very early youth. The writer was evidently
an admirer of Spenser, and has succeeded in reproducing on his Pan-pipe
some thin, but not unpleasing, echoes of his master's music. Mr. Edmund
W. Gosse has suggested that the _Maydes Metamorphosis_ may be an early
work of John Day; and no one is better able to pronounce on such a point
than Mr. Gosse. The scene at the beginning of Act ii., and the gossip of
the pages in Acts ii. and iii., are certainly very much in Day's manner.
The merciless harrying of the word "kind" at the beginning of Act v.
reminds one of similar elaborate trifling in _Humour out of Breath_;
and the amoebaean rhymes in the contention between Gemulo and Silvio
(Act i.) are, in their sportive quaintness, as like Day's handiwork as
they are unlike Lilly's. In reading the pretty echo-scene, in Act iv.,
the reader will recall a similar scene in _Law Trickes_ (Act v., Sc. I).
On the other hand, the delightful songs of the fairies[97] (in Act iii.),
if not written by Lilly, were at least suggested by the fairies' song in
_Endymion_. It would be hard to say what Lilly might not have achieved
if he had not stultified himself by his detestable pedantry: his songs
(_O si sic omnia_) are hardly to be matched for silvery sweetness.

Mr. Gosse thinks that the rhymed heroics, in which the _Maydes
Metamorphosis_ is mainly written, bear strong traces of Day's style; and
as Mr. Gosse, who is at once a poet and a critic, judges by his ear and
not by his thumb, his opinion carries weight. Day's capital work, the
_Parliament of Bees_, is incomparably more workmanlike than the _Maydes
Metamorphosis_; but the latter, it should be remembered, is beyond all
doubt a very juvenile performance. Turning over some old numbers of a
magazine, I found a reviewer of Mr. Tennyson's _Princess_ complaining
"that we could have borne rather more polish!" How the fledgling poet
of the _Maydes Metamorphosis_ would have fared at the reviewer's hands
I tremble to think. But though his rhymes are occasionally slipshod,
and the general texture is undeniably thin, still there is something
attractive in the young writer's shy tentativeness. The reader who
comes to a perusal with the expectation of getting some substantial
diet, will be grievously mistaken; but those who are content if they
can catch and hold fast a fleeting flavour will not regret the
half-hour spent in listening to the songs of the elves and the prattle
of the pages in this quaint old pastoral.


_As it hath bene sundrie times Acted by the Children of Powles_.

LONDON: Printed by _Thomas Creede_, for _Richard Oliue_, dwelling
in long Lane. 1600.


The manifold, great favours we have found,
  By you to us poore weaklings still extended;
Whereof your vertues have been only ground,
  And no desert in us to be so friended;
Bindes us some way or other to expresse,
  Though all our all be else defeated quite
Of any meanes save duteous thankefulnes,
  Which is the utmost measure of our might:
Then, to the boundlesse ocean of your woorth
  This little drop of water we present;
Where though it never can be singled foorth,
  Let zeale be pleader for our good intent.
      Drops not diminish but encrease great floods,
      And mites impaire not but augment our goods_.

The Maydes Metamorphosis.

_Actus Primus_.

    _Enter Phylander, Orestes, Eurymine_.

_Eurymine_. _Phylander_ and _Orestes_, what conceyt
Troubles your silent mindes? Let me intreat,
Since we are come thus farre, as we do walke
You would deuise some prettie pleasant talke;
The aire is coole, the euening high and faire:
Why should your cloudie lookes then shew dispaire?

_Phy_. Beleeue me, faire _Eurimine_, my skill
Is simple in discourse, and vtterance ill;
_Orestes_, if he we were disposde to trie,
Can better manage such affaires than I.

_Eu_. Why then, _Orestes_, let me crave of you
Some olde or late done story to renew:
Another time you shall request of me
As good, if not a greater, curtesie.

_Or_. Trust me, as now (nor can I shew a reason)
All mirth vnto my mind comes out of season;
For inward I am troubled in such sort
As all vnfit I am to make report
Of any thing may breed the least delight;
Rather in teares I wish the day were night,
For neither can myself be merry now
Nor treat of ought that may be likte of you.

_Eu_. Thats but your melancholike old disease,
That neuer are disposde but when ye please.

_Phy_. Nay, mistresse, then, since he denies the taske,
My selfe will strait complish what ye aske;
And, though the pleasure of my tale be small,
Yet may it serue to passe the time withall.

_Eu_. Thanks, good _Phylander_; when you please, say on:
Better I deeme a bad discourse then none.

_Phy_. Sometime there liu'd a Duke not far from hence,
Mightie in fame and vertues excellence;
Subiects he had as readie to obey
As he to rule, beloued eueryway;
But that which most of all he gloried in
(Hope of his age and comfort of his kin)
Was the fruition of one onely sonne,
A gallant youth, inferior vnto none
For vertue shape or excellence of wit,
That after him vpon his throne might sit.
This youth, when once he came to perfect age,
The Duke would faine have linckt in marriage
With diuers dames of honourable blood
But stil his fathers purpose he withstood.

_Eu_. How? was he not of mettal apt to loue?

_Phy_. Yes, apt enough as wil the sequel proue;
But so the streame of his affection lay
As he did leane a quite contrary way,
Disprouing still the choice his father made,
And oftentimes the matter had delaid;
Now giuing hope he would at length consent,
And then again excusing his intent.

_Eu_. What made him so repugnant in his deeds?

_Phy_. Another loue, which this disorder breeds;
For euen at home, within his father's Court,
The Saint was shrinde whom he did honor most;
A louely dame, a virgin pure and chaste,
And worthy of a Prince to be embrac'te,
Had but her birth (which was obscure, they said)
Answerd her beautie; this their opinion staid.
Yet did this wilful youth affect her still
And none but she was mistres of his will:
Full often did his father him disswade
From liking such a mean and low-born mayde;
The more his father stroue to change his minde
The more the sonne became with fancy blinde.

_Eu_. Alas, how sped the silly Louers then?

_Phy_. As might euen grieue the rude vnciuilst men:
When here vpon to weane his fixed heart
From such dishonour to his high desert
The Duke had labourd but in vaine did striue,
Thus he began his purpose to contriue:
Two of his seruants, of vndoubted trvth,
He bound by vertue of a solemne oath
To traine the silly damzel out of sight
And there in secret to bereaue her quite--

_Eu_. Of what? her life?

_Phy_.                   Yes, Madame, of her life,
Which was the cause of all the former strife.

_Eu_. And did they kill her?

_Phy_.                       You shall heare anon;
The question first must be discided on
In your opinion: whats your iudgement? say.
Who were most cruell, those that did obay
Or he who gaue commandment for the fact?

_Eu_. In each of them it was a bloody act,
Yet they deserue (to speake my minde of both)
Most pardon that were bound thereto by oath.

_Phy_. It is enough; we do accept your doome
To passe vnblam'd what ere of you become.

_Eu_. To passe vnblam'de what ere become of me!
What may the meaning of these speeches be?

_Phy_. _Eurymine_, my trembling tongue doth faile,
My conscience yrkes, my fainting sences quaile,
My faltring speech bewraies my guiltie thought
And stammers at the message we haue brought.

_Eu_. Ay me! what horror doth inuade my brest!

_Or_. Nay then, _Phylander_, I will tell the rest:
Damzell, thus fares thy case; demand not why,
You must forthwith prepare your selfe to dye;
Therefore dispatch and set your mind at rest.

_Eu_. _Phylander_, is it true or doth he iest?

_Phy_. There is no remedie but you must dye:
By you I framde my tragicke history.
The Duke my maister is the man I meant,
His sonne the Prince, the mayde of meane discent
Your selfe, on whom _Ascanio_ so doth doate
As for no reason may remoue his thought
Your death the Duke determines by vs two,
To end the loue betwixt his sonne and you;
And for this cause we trainde you to this wood,
Where you must sacrifice your dearest blood.

_Eu_. Respect my teares.

_Orest_.                 We must regard our oath.

_Eu_. My tender yeares.

_Or_.                   They are but trifles both.

_Eu_. Mine innocency.

_Or_.                 That would our promise breake;
Dispatch forthwith, we may not heare you speake.

_Eu_. If neither teares nor innocency moue,
Yet thinke there is a heavenly power aboue.

_Orest_. A done, and stand not preaching here all day.

_Eu_. Then, since there is no remedie, I pray
Yet, good my masters, do but stay so long
Till I haue tane my farewell with a song
Of him whom I shall neuer see againe.

_Phy_. We will affoord that respit to your paine.

_Eu_. But least the feare of death appall my mind,
Sweet gentlemen, let me this fauour find,
That you wil vale mine eyesight with this scarfe;
That, when the fatall stroke is aymde at me,
I may not start but suffer patiently.

_Orest_. Agreed, giue me; Ile shadow ye from feare,
If this may do it.

_Eu_.              Oh, I would it might,
But shadowes want the power to do that right.

    _Shee sings_.

    Ye sacred Fyres and powers aboue,
    Forge of desires, working loue,
    Cast downe your eye, cast downe your eye,
    Vpon a Mayde in miserie.
    My sacrifice is louers blood,
    And from eyes salt teares a flood;
    All which I spend, all which I spend,
    For thee, _Ascanio_, my deare friend:
    And though this houre I must feele
    The bitter power of pricking steele,
    Yet ill or well, yet ill or well,
    To thee, _Ascanio_, still farewell.

        _Orestes offers to strike her with his Rapier,
        and is stayed by Phylander_.

_Orest_. What meanes, _Phylander_?

_Phy_.                             Oh, forbeare thy stroke;
Her pitious mone and gesture might prouoke
Hard flint to ruthe.

_Orest_.             Hast thou forgot thy oath?

_Phy_. Forgot it? no!

_Or_. Then wherefore doest thou interrupt me so?

_Phy_. A sudden terror ouercomes my thought.

_Or_. Then suffer me that stands in feare of nought.

_Phy_. Oh, hold, _Orestes_; heare my reason first.

_Or_. Is all religion of thy vowe forgot?
Do as thou wilt, but I forget it not.

_Phy_. _Orestes_, if thou standest vpon thine oath,
Let me alone to answere for vs both.

_Or_. What answer canst thou giue? I wil not stay.

_Phy_. Nay, villain; then my sword shall make me way.

_Or_. Wilt thou in this against thy conscience striue?

_Phy_. I will defend a woman while I liue,
A virgin and an innocent beside;
Therefore put vp or else thy chaunce abide.

_Or_. Ile neuer sheath my sword vnles thou show,
Our oath reserued, we may let her go.

_Phy_. That will I do, if truth may be of force.

_Or_. And then will I be pleasd to graunt remorse.

_Eu_. Litle thought I, when out of doore I went,
That thus my life should stand on argument.

_Phy_. A lawfull oath in an vnlawfull cause
Is first dispenc't withall by reasons lawes;
Then, next, respect must to the end be had,
Because th'intent doth make it good or bad.
Now here th'intent is murder as thou seest,
Which to perform thou on thy oath reliest;
But, since the cause is wicked and vniust,
Th'effect must likewise be held odious:
We swore to kill, and God forbids to kill;
Shall we be rulde by him or by man's will?
Beside it is a woman is condemde;
And what is he, that is a man indeed,
That can endure to see a woman bleed?

_Or_. Thou hast preuaild; _Eurymine_, stand vp;
I will not touch thee for a world of gold.

_Phy_. Why now thou seemst to be of humane mould;
But, on our graunt, faire mayd, that you shall liue,
Will you to vs your faithfull promise giue
Henceforth t'abandon this your Country quite,
And neuer more returne into the sight
Of fierce _Telemachus_, the angry Duke,
Where by we may be voyd of all rebuke?

_Eur_. Here do I plight my chaste vnspotted hand,
I will abiure this most accursed land:
And vow henceforth, what fortune ere betide,
Within these woods and desarts to abide.

_Phy_. Now wants there nothing but a fit excuse
To sooth the Duke in his concern'd abuse;
That he may be perswaded she is slaine,
And we our wonted fauour still maintaine.

_Orest_. It shall be thus: within a lawne hard by,
Obscure with bushes, where no humane eye
Can any way discouer our deceit,
There feeds a heard of Goates and country neate.
Some Kidde or other youngling will we take
And with our swords dispatch it for her sake;
And, hauing slaine it, rip his panting breast
And take the heart of the vnguiltie beast,
Which, to th'intent our counterfeit report
May seeme more likely, we will beare to court
And there protest, with bloody weapons drawne,
It was her heart.

_Phy_. Then likewise take this Lawne,
Which well _Telemachus_ did know she wore,
And let it be all spotted too with gore.
How say you, mistresse? will you spare the vale?

_Eur_. That and what else, to verifie your tale.
And thankes, _Phylander_ and _Orestes_ both,
That you preserue me from a Tyrants wroth.

_Phy_. I would it were within my power, I wis,
To do you greater curtesie than this;
But what we cannot by our deeds expresse
In heart we wish, to ease your heauinesse.

_Eur_. A double debt: yet one word ere ye go,
Commend me to my deare _Ascanio_.
Whose loyall loue and presence to forgoe
Doth gall me more than all my other woe.

_Orest_. Our liues shall neuer want to do him good.

_Phy_. Nor yet our death if he in daunger stood:

_Or_. And, mistresse, so good fortune be your guide,
And ought that may be fortunate beside.


_Eu_. The like I wish vnto your selues againe,
And many happy days deuoyd of paine.--
And now _Eurymine_ record thy state,
So much deiected and opprest by fate.
What hope remaines? wherein hast thou to ioy?
Wherein to tryumph but thine owne annoy?
If euer wretch might tell of miserie
Then I, alas, poore I, am only she;
Vnknowne of parents, destitute of friends,
Hopefull of nought but what misfortune sends;
Banisht, to liue a fugitiue alone
In vncoth[98] paths and regions neuer knowne.
Behold, _Ascanio_, for thy only sake,
These tedious trauels I must undertake.
Nor do I grudge; the paine seemes lesse to mee
In that I suffer this distresse for thee.

    _Enter Siluio, a Raunger_.

_Sil_. Well met, fair Nymph, or Goddesse if ye bee;
Tis straunge, me thinkes, that one of your degree
Should walke these solitary groues alone.

_Eu_. It were no maruel, if you knew my mone.
But what are you that question me so far?

_Sil_. My habit telles you that, a Forrester;
That, hauing lost a heard of skittish Deire,
Was of good hope I should haue found them heere.

_Eu_. Trust me, I saw not any; so farewell.

_Sil_. Nay stay, and further of your fortunes tell;
I am not one that meanes you any harme.

    _Enter Gemulo, the Shepheard_.

_Ge_. I thinke my boy be fled away by charme.
Raunger, well met; within thy walke, I pray,
Sawst thou not _Mopso_ my vnhappie boy.

_Sil_. Shepheard, not I: what meanst to seeke him heere?

_Ge_. Because the wagge, possest with doubtful feare
Least I would beate him for a fault he did,
Amongst those trees I do suspect hees hid.
But how now, Raunger? you mistake, I trowe;
This is a Lady and no barren Dowe.

_Sil_. It is indeede, and (as it seemes) distrest;
Whose griefe to know I humbly made request,
But she as yet will not reueale the same.

_Ge_. Perhaps to me she will: speak, gentle dame;
What daunger great hath driuen ye to this place?
Make knowne your state, and looke what slender grace
A Shepheards poore abilitee may yeeld
You shall be sure of ere I leaue the feeld.

_Eur_. Alas good Sir the cause may not be known
That hath inforste me to be here alone.

_Sil_. Nay, feare not to discouer what you are;
It may be we may remedie your care.

_Eur_. Since needs you will that I renew my griefe,
Whether it be my chance to finde reliefe
Or not, I wreake not: such my crosses are
As sooner I expect to meet despaire.
Then thus it is: not farre from hence do dwell
My parents, of the world esteemed well,
Who with their bitter threats my grant had won
This day to marrie with a neighbours son,
And such a one to whom I should be wife
As I could neuer fancie in my life:
And therefore, to auoid that endlesse thrall,
This morne I came away and left them all.

_Sil_. Now trust me, virgin, they were much vnkinde
To seeke to match you so against your minde.

_Ge_. It was, besides, vnnatural constraint:
But, by the tenure of your just complaint,
It seems you are not minded to returne,
Nor any more to dwell where you were borne.

_Eur_. It is my purpose if I might obtaine
A place of refuge where I might remain.

_Sil_. Why, go with me; my Lodge is not far off,
Where you shall haue such hospitalitie
As shall be for your health and safetie.

_Ge_. Soft, Raunger; you do raunge beyond your skill.
My house is nearer, and for my good will,
It shall exceed a woodmans woodden stuffe:
Then go with me, Ile keep you safe enough.

_Sil_. Ile bring her to a bower beset with greene.

_Ge_. And I an arbour may delight a Queene.

_Sil_. Her dyet shall be Venson at my boord.

_Ge_. Young Kid and Lambe we shepheards can affoord.

_Sil_. And nothing else?

_Ge_.                    Yes; raunging, now and then
A Hog, a Goose, a Capon, or a Hen.

_Sil_. These walkes are mine amongst the shadie trees.

_Ge_. For that I haue a garden full of Bees,
Whose buzing musick with the flowers sweet
Each euen and morning shall her sences greet.

_Sil_. The nightingale is my continuall clocke.

_Ge_. And mine the watchfull sin-remembring cocke.

_Sil_. A Hunts vp[99] I can tune her with my hounds.

_Ge_. And I can shew her meads and fruitfull grounds.

_Sil_. Within these woods are many pleasant springs.

_Ge_. Betwixt yond dales the Eccho daily sings.

_Sil_. I maruell that a rusticke shepheard dare
With woodmen then audaciously compare.
Why, hunting is a pleasure for a King,
And Gods themselves sometime frequent the thing.
_Diana_ with her bowe and arrows keene
Did often vse the chace in Forrests greene,
And so, alas, the good Athenian knight
And swifte _Acteon_ herein tooke delight,
And _Atalanta_, the Arcadian dame,
Conceiu'd such wondrous pleasure in the game
That, with her traine of Nymphs attending on,
She came to hunt the Bore of _Calydon_.

_Ge_. So did _Apollo_ walke with shepheards crooke,
And many Kings their sceptres haue forsooke
To lead the quiet life we shepheards tooke (?),
Accounting it a refuge for their woe.

_Sil_. But we take choice of many a pleasant walke,
And marke the Deare how they begin to stalke;
When each, according to his age and time,[100]
Pricks vp his head and bears a Princely minde.
The lustie Stag, conductor of the traine,
Leads all the heard in order downe the plaine;
The baser rascals[101] scatter here and there
As not presuming to approach so neere.

_Ge_. So shepheards sometimes sit vpon a hill
Or in the cooling shadow of a mill,
And as we sit vnto our pipes we sing
And therewith make the neighboring groues to ring;
And when the sun steales downward to the west
We leave our chat and whistle in the fist,
Which is a signall to our stragling flocke
As Trumpets sound to men in martiall shocke.

_Sil_. Shall I be thus outfaced by a swaine?
Ile haue a guard to wayt vpon her traine,
Of gallant woodmen clad in comely greene,
The like whereof hath seldome yet bene seene.

_Ge_. And I of shepheards such a lustie crew
As neuer Forrester the like yet knew,
Who for their persons and their neate aray
Shal be as fresh as is the moneth of May.
Where are ye there, ye merry noted swaines?
Draw neare a while, and whilst vpon the plaines
Your flocks do gently feed, lets see your skill
How you with chaunting can sad sorrow kill.

    _Enter shepheards singing_.

_Sil_. Thinks _Gemulo_ to beare the bell away
By singing of a simple Rundelay?
No, I have fellowes whose melodious throats
Shall euen as far exceed those homely notes
As doth the Nightingale in musicke passe
The most melodious bird that euer was:
And, for an instance, here they are at hand;
When they have done let our deserts be scand.

    _Enter woodmen and sing_.

_Eu_. Thanks to you both; you both deserue so well
As I want skill your worthinesse to tell.
And both do I commend for your good will,
And both Ile honor, loue, and reuerence still;
For neuer virgin had such kindnes showne
Of straungers, yea, and men to her vnknowne.
But more, to end this sudden controuersie,
Since I am made an Vmpire in the plea,
This is my verdite: Ile intreate of you
A Cottage for my dwelling, and of you
A flocke to tend; and so, indifferent,
My gratefull paines on either shal be spent.

_Sil_. I am agreed, and, for the loue I beare,
Ile boast I haue a Tenant is so faire.

_Ge_. And I will hold it as a rich possession
That she vouchsafes to be of my profession.

_Sil_. Then, for a sign that no man here hath wrong,
From hence lets all conduct her with a song.

_The end of the First Act_.

_Actus Secundus_.

    _Enter Ascanio, and Ioculo his Page_.

_Asca_. Away, _Ioculo_.

_Io_. Here, sir, at hand.

_Asca. Ioculo_, where is she?

_Io_. I know not.

_Asca_. When went she?

_Io_. I know not.

_Asca_. Which way went she?

_Io_. I know not.

_Asca_. Where should I seeke her?

_Io_. I know not.

_Asca_. When shall I find her?

_Io_. I know not.

_Asca_. A vengeance take thee, slaue, what dost thou know?

_Io_. Marry, sir, that I doo know.

_Asca_. What, villiane?

_Io_. And[102] you be so testie, go looke. What a coyles here with you?
If we knew where she were what need we seeke her? I think you are a
lunaticke: where were you when you should haue lookt after her? now you
go crying vp and downe after your wench like a boy that had lost his
horne booke.

_Asca_. Ah, my sweet Boy!

_Io_. Ah, my sweet maister! nay, I can giue you as good words as you can
giue me; alls one for that.

_Asca_. What canst thou giue me no reliefe?

_Io_. Faith, sir, there comes not one morsel of comfort from my lips to
sustaine that hungry mawe of your miserie: there is such a dearth at
this time. God amend it!

_Asca_. Ah, _Ioculo_, my brest is full of griefe,
And yet my hope that only wants reliefe.

_Io_. Your brest and my belly are in two contrary kaies; you walke to
get stomacke to your meate, and I walke to get meate to my stomacke;
your brest's full and my belli's emptie. If they chance to part in this
case, God send them merry meeting,--that my belly be ful and your brest

_Asca_. Boy, for the loue that euer thou didst owe
To thy deare master, poore _Ascanio_.
Racke thy proou'd wits vnto the highest straine,
To bring me backe _Eurymine_ againe.

_Io_. Nay, master, if wit could do it I could tell you more; but if it
euer be done the very legeritie[103] of the feete must do it; these ten
nimble bones must do the deed. Ile trot like a little dog; theres not
a bush so big as my beard, but Ile be peeping in it; theres not a
coate[104] but Ile search every corner; if she be aboue, or beneath,
ouer the ground or vnder, Ile finde her out.

_Asca_. Stay, _Ioculo_; alas, it cannot be:
If we should parte I loose both her and thee.
The woods are wide; and, wandering thus about,
Thou maist be lost and not my loue found out.

_Io_. I pray thee let me goe.

_Asca_. I pray thee stay.

_Io_. I faith Ile runne.

_Asca_. And doest not know which way.

_Io_. Any way, alls one; Ile drawe drie foote;[105] if you send not to
seeke her you may lye here long enough before she comes to seeke you.
She little thinkes that you are hunting for her in these quarters.

_Asca_. Ah, _Ioculo_, before I leaue my Boy,
Of this worlds comfort now my only ioy.
Seest thou this place? vpon this grassie bed,
With summers gawdie dyaper bespred,    (_He lyes downe_.)
Vnder these shadowes shall my dwelling be,
Till thou returne, sweet _Ioculo_, to me.

_Io_. And, if my conuoy be not cut off by the way, it shall not be long
before I be with you.
    (_He speakes to the people_.)
Well, I pray you looke to my maister, for here I leaue him amongst you;
and if I chaunce to light vpon the wench, you shall heare of me by the
next winde.
               [_Exit Ioculo_.

    _Ascanio solus_.

_Asca_. In vaine I feare, I beate my braines about,
Proouing by search to finde my mistresse out.
_Eurymine, Eurymine_, retorne,
And with thy presence guild the beautious morne!
And yet I feare to call vpon thy name:
The pratling Eccho, should she learne the same,
The last words accent shiele no more prolong
But beare that sound vpon her airie tong.
Adorned with the presence of my loue
The woods, I feare, such secret power shal proue
As they'll shut vp each path, hide euery way,
Because they still would haue her go astray,
And in that place would alwaies haue her seene
Only because they would be euer greene,
And keepe the wingged Quiristers still there
To banish winter cleane out of the yeare.
But why persist I to bemone my state,
When she is gone and my complaint too late?
A drowsie dulnes closeth vp my sight;
O powerfull sleepe, I yeeld vnto thy might.
                           (_He falls asleepe_.)

    _Enter Iuno and Iris_.

_Iuno_. Come hither, _Iris_.

_Iris_. _Iris_ is at hand,
To attend _Ioues_ wife, great _Iunos_ hie command.

_Iuno_. _Iris_, I know I do thy seruice proue,
And euer since I was the wife of _Ioue_
Thou hast bene readie when I called still,
And alwayes most obedient to my will:
Thou seest how that imperiall Queene of loue
With all the Gods how she preuailes aboue,
And still against great _Iunos_ hests doth stand
To haue all stoupe and bowe at her command;
Her Doues and Swannes and Sparrowes must be graced
And on Loues Aultar must be highly placed;
My starry Peacocks which doth beare my state,
Scaresly alowd within his pallace gate.
And since herselfe she doth preferd doth see,
Now the proud huswife will contend with mee,
And practiseth her wanton pranckes to play
With this _Ascanio_ and _Eurymine_.
But Loue shall know, in spight of all his skill,
_Iuno_'s a woman and will haue her will.

_Iris_. What is my Goddesse will? may _Iris_ aske?

_Iuno_. _Iris_, on thee I do impose this taske
To crosse proud _Venus_ and her purblind Lad
Vntill the mother and her brat be mad;
And with each other set them so at ods
Till to their teeth they curse and ban the Gods.

_Iris_. Goddes, the graunt consists alone in you.

_Iuno_. Then mark the course which now you must pursue.
Within this ore-growne Forrest there is found
A duskie Caue[106], thrust lowe into the ground,
So vgly darke, so dampie and [so] steepe
As, for his life, the sunne durst neuer peepe
Into the entrance; which doth so afright
The very day that halfe the world is night.
Where fennish fogges and vapours do abound
There _Morpheus_ doth dwell within the ground;
No crowing Cocke or waking bell doth call,
Nor watchful dogge disturbeth sleepe at all;
No sound is heard in compasse of the hill;
But euery thing is quiet, whisht,[107] and still.
Amid the caue vpon the ground doth lie
A hollow plancher,[108] all of Ebonie,
Couer'd with blacke, whereon the drowsie God
Drowned in sleepe continually doth nod.
Go, _Iris_, go and my commandment take
And beate against the doores till sleepe awake:
Bid him from me in vision to appeare
Vnto _Ascanio_, that lieth slumbring heare,
And in that vision to reueale the way,
How he may finde the faire _Eurymine_.

_Iris_. Madam, my service is at your command.

_Iuno_. Dispatch it then, good _Iris_, out of hand,
My Peacocks and my Charriot shall remaine
About the shore till thou returne againe.
                                      [_Exit Iuno_.

_Iris_. About the businesse now that I am sent,
To sleepes black Caue I will incontinent;[109]
And his darke cabine boldly will I shake
Vntill the drowsie lumpish God awake,
And such a bounsing at his Caue Ile keepe
That if pale death seaz'd on the eyes of sleepe
Ile rowse him up; that when he shall me heare
He make his locks stand vp on end with feare.
Be silent, aire, whilst _Iris_ in her pride
Swifter than thought vpon the windes doth ride.
What _Somnus_! what _Somnus, Somnus_!
                               (_Strikes. Pauses a little_)
What, wilt thou not awake? art thou still so fast?
Nay then, yfaith, Ile haue another cast.
What, _Somnus! Somnus_! I say.
                               (_Strikes againe_)

_Som_. Who calles at this time of the day?
What a balling dost thou keepe!
A vengeance take thee, let me sleepe.

_Iris_. Vp thou drowsie God I say
And come presently away,
Or I will beate vpon this doore
That after this thou sleep'st no more.

_Som_. Ile take a nap and come annon.

_Iris_. Out, you beast, you blocke, you stone!
Come or at thy doore Ile thunder
Til both heaven and hel do wonder.
_Somnus_, I say!

_Som_. A vengeance split thy chaps asunder!

    _Enter Somnus_.

_Iris_. What, _Somnus_!

_Som_. _Iris_, I thought it should be thee.
How now, mad wench? what wouldst with me?

_Iris_. From mightie _Iuno, Ioues_ immortall wife,
_Somnus_, I come to charge thee on thy life
That thou vnto this Gentleman appeere
And in this place, thus as he lyeth heere,
Present his mistres to his inward eies
In as true manner as thou canst deuise.

_Som_. I would thou wert hangd for waking me.
Three sonnes I haue; the eldest _Morpheus_ hight,
He shewes of man the shape or sight;
The second, _Icelor_, whose beheasts
Doth shewe the formes of birds and beasts;
_Phantasor_ for the third, things lifeles hee:
Chuse which like thee of these three.

_Iris_. _Morpheus_; if he in humane shape appeare.

_Som_. _Morpheus_, come forth in perfect likenes heere
Of--how call ye the Gentlewoman?

_Iris. Eurymine_.

_Som_. Of _Eurymine_; and shewe this Gentleman
What of his mistres is become.
                 (_Kneeling downe by Ascanio_.)

    _Enter Eurymine, to be supposed Morpheus_.

_Mor_. My deare _Ascanio_, in this vision see
_Eurymine_ doth thus appeare to thee.
As soone as sleepe hath left thy drowsie eies
Follow the path that on thy right hand lies:
An aged Hermit thou by chaunce shalt find
That there hath bene time almost out of mind,
This holy man, this aged reuerent Father,
There in the woods doth rootes and simples gather;
His wrinckled browe tells strenghts past long ago,
His beard as white as winters driuen snow.
He shall discourse the troubles I haue past,
And bring vs both together at the last
Thus she presents her shadow to thy sight
That would her person gladly if she might.

_Iris_. See how he catches to embrace the shade.

_Mor_. This vision fully doth his powers inuade;
And, when the heate shall but a little slake,
Thou then shalt see him presently awake.

_Som_. Hast thou ought else that I may stand in sted?

_Iris_. No, _Somnus_, no; go back unto thy bed;
_Iuno_, she shall reward thee for thy paine.

_Som_. Then good night, _Iris_; Ile to rest againe.

_Iris_. _Morpheus_, farewell; to _Iuno_ I will flie.

_Mor_. And I to sleepe as fast as I can hie.


    _Ascanio starting sayes_.

_Eurymine_! Ah, my good Angell, stay!
O vanish not so suddenly away;
O stay, my Goddess; whither doest thou flie?
Returne, my sweet _Eurymine_, tis I.
Where art thou? speake; Let me behold thy face.
Did I not see thee in this very place,
Euen now? Here did I not see thee stand?
And heere thy feete did blesse the happie land?
_Eurymine_, Oh wilt thou not attend?
Flie from thy foe, _Ascanio_ is thy friend:
The fearfull hare so shuns the labouring hound,
And so the Dear eschues the Huntsman wound;
The trembling Foule so flies the Falcons gripe,
The Bond-man so his angry maisters stripe.
I follow not as _Phoebus Daphne_ did,
Nor as the Dog pursues the trembling Kid.
Thy shape it was; alas, I saw not thee!
That sight were fitter for the Gods then mee.
But, if in dreames there any truth be found,
Thou art within the compas of this ground.
Ile raunge the woods and all the groues about,
And neuer rest vntill I find thee out.              [_Exit_.

    _Enter at one doore Mopso singing_.

_Mop_. Terlitelo,[110] Terlitelo, tertitelee, terlo.
       So merrily this sheapheards Boy
       His home that he can blow,
       Early in a morning, late, late in an euening;
       And euer sat this little Boy
       So merrily piping.

    _Enter at the other doore Frisco singing_.

_Fris_. Can you blow the little home?
        Weell, weell and very weell;
        And can you blow the little home
        Amongst the leaues greene?

    _Enter Ioculo in the midst singing_.

_Io_. Fortune,[111] my foe, why doest thou frowne on mee?
      And will my fortune neuer better bee?
      Wilt thou, I say, for euer breed my paine,
      And wilt thou not restore my Ioyes againe?

_Frisco_. Cannot a man be merry in his owne walke
But a must be thus encombred?

_Io_. I am disposed to be melancholly,
And I cannot be priuate for one villaine or other.

_Mop_. How the deuel stumbled this case of rope-ripes[112] into my way?

_Fris_. Sirrha what art thou? and thou?

_Io_. I am a page to a Courtier.

_Mop_. And I a Boy to a Shepheard.

_Fris_. Thou art the Apple-Squier[113] to an Eawe,
And thou sworne brother to a bale[114] of false dice.

_Io_. What art thou?

_Fris_. I am Boy to a Raunger.

_Io_. An Out-lawe by authoritie, one that neuer sets marke of his own
goods nor neuer knowes how he comes by other mens.

_Mop_. That neuer knowes his cattell but by their hornes.

_Fris_. Sirrha, so you might haue said of your maister sheep.

_Io_. I, marry, this takes fier like touch powder, and goes off with
a huffe.

_Fris_. They come of crick-cracks, and shake their tayles like a squib.

_Io_. Ha, you Rogues, the very steele of my wit shall strike fier from
the flint of your vnderstandings; haue you not heard of me?

_Mop_. Yes, if you be the _Ioculo_ that I take you for, we haue heard
of your exployts for cosoning of some seuen and thirtie Alewiues in the
Villages here about.

_Io_. A wit as nimble as a Sempsters needle or a girles finger at her
Buske poynt.

_Mop_. Your iest goes too low, sir.

_Fris_. O but tis a tickling iest.

_Io_. Who wold haue thought to haue found this in a plaine villaine
that neuer woare better garment than a greene Ierkin?

_Fris_. O Sir, though you Courtiers haue all the honour you haue not
all the wit.

_Mop_. Soft sir, tis not your witte can carry it away in this company.

_Io_. Sweet Rogues, your companie to me is like musick to a wench at
midnight when she lies alone and could wish,--yea, marry could she.

_Fris_. And thou art as welcome to me as a new poking stick to a
Chamber mayd.

_Mop_. But, soft; who comes here?

    _Enter the Faieries, singing and dauncing_.

      By the moone we sport and play,
      With the night begins our day;
      As we daunce, the deaw doth fall;
      Trip it little vrchins all,
      Lightly as the little Bee,
      Two by two and three by three:
      And about go wee, and about go wee.[115]

_Io_. What Mawmets[116] are these?

_Fris_. O they be the Fayries that haunt these woods.

_Mop_. O we shall be pincht most cruelly.

1 _Fay_. Will you haue any musick sir?

2 _Fay_. Will you haue any fine musicke?

3 _Fay_. Most daintie musicke?

_Mop_. We must set a face on't now; there's no flying; no, Sir,
we are very merrie, I thanke you.

1 _Fay_. O but you shall, Sir.

_Fris_. No, I pray you, saue your labour.

2 _Fay_. O, Sir, it shall not cost you a penny.

_Io_. Where be your Fiddles?

3 _Fay_. You shall haue most daintie Instruments, Sir.

_Mop_. I pray you, what might I call you?

1 _Fay_. My name is _Penny_.

_Mop_. I am sorry I cannot purse you.

_Fris_. I pray you sir what might I call you?

2 _Fay_. My name is _Cricket_.[117]

_Fris_. I would I were a chimney for your sake.

_Io_. I pray you, you prettie little fellow, whats your name?

3 _Fay_. My name is little, little _Pricke_.

_Io_. Little, little _Pricke?_ ô you are a daungerous Fayrie, and
fright all little wenches in the country out of their beds. I care not
whose hand I were in, so I were out of yours.

1 _Fay_. I do come about the coppes
         Leaping vpon flowers toppes;
         Then I get vpon a Flie,
         Shee carries me aboue the skie,
         And trip and goe.

2 _Fay_. When a deaw drop falleth downe
         And doth light vpon my crowne,
         Then I shake my head and skip
         And about I trip.

3 _Fay_. When I feele a girle a sleepe
         Vnderneath her frock I peepe.
         There to sport, and there I play,
         Then I byte her like a flea;
         And about I skip.

_Io_. I, I thought where I should haue you.

_1 Fay_. Wilt please you daunce, sir.

_Io_. Indeed, sir, I cannot handle my legges.

2 _Fay_. O you must needs daunce and sing,
Which if you refuse to doe
We will pinch you blacke and blew;
And about we goe.

    _They all daunce in a ring and sing, as followeth_.

  Round about, round about, in a fine ring a,
  Thus we daunce, thus we daunce, and thus we sing a:
  Trip and go, too and fro, ouer this Greene a,
  All about, in and out, for our braue Queene a.

  Round about, round about, in a fine Ring a,
  Thus we daunce, thus we daunce, and thus we sing a:
  Trip and go, too and fro, ouer this Greene a,
  All about, in and out, for our braue Queene a.

  We haue daunc't round about in a fine Ring a,
  We haue daunc't lustily and thus we sing a;
  All about, in and out, ouer this Greene a,
  Too and fro, trip and go, to our braue Queene a.

_Actus Tertius_.


    _Enter Appollo and three Charites_.

1 _Cha_. No, No, great _Phoebus_; this your silence tends
To hide your griefe from knowledge of your friends,
Who, if they knew the cause in each respect,
Would shewe their utmost skill to cure th'effect:

_Ap_. Good Ladyes, your conceites in iudgement erre:
Because you see me dumpish, you referre
The reason to some secret griefe of mine:
But you haue seene me melancholy many a time:
Perhaps it is the glowing weather now
That makes me seeme so ill at ease to you.

1 _Cha_. Fine shifts to cover that you cannot hide!
No, _Phoebus_; by your looks may be discride
Some hid conceit that harbors in your thought
Which hath therein some straunge impression wrought,
That by the course thereof you seeme to mee
An other man then you were wont to bee.

_Ap_. No, Ladies; you deceiue yourselues in mee:
What likelihood or token do ye see
That may perswade it true that you suppose?

2 _Cha_. _Appollo_ hence a great suspition growes:--
Yeare not so pleasaunt now as earst in companie;
Ye walke alone and wander solitarie;
The pleasaunt toyes we did frequent sometime
Are worne away and growne out of prime;
Your Instrument hath lost his siluer sound,
That rang of late through all this grouie ground;
Your bowe, wherwith the chace you did frequent,
Is closde in case and long hath been unbent.
How differ you from that _Appollo_ now
That whilom sat in shade of Lawrell bowe,
And with the warbling of your Iuorie Lute
T'alure the Fairies for to daunce about!
Or from th'_Appollo_ that with bended bowe
Did many a sharp and wounding shaft bestowe
Amidst the Dragon _Pithons_ scalie wings,
And forc't his dying blood to spout in springs!
Beleeue me, _Phebus_, who sawe you then and now
Would thinke there were a wondrous change in you.

_Ap_. Alas, faire dames, to make my sorows plain
Would but reuiue an auncient wound again,
Which grating presently vpon my minde
Doth leaue a fear of former woes behinde.

3 _Cha_. _Phoebus_, if you account vs for the same
That tender thee and loue _Appollo's_ name,
Poure forth to vs the fountaine of your woe
Fro whence the spring of these your sorows flowe;
If we may any way redresse your mone
Commaund our best, harme we will do you none.

_Ap_. Good Ladies, though I hope for no reliefe
He shewe the ground of this my present griefe:
This time of yeare, or there about it was,
(Accursed be the time, tenne times, alas!)
When I from _Delphos_ tooke my iourney downe
To see the games in noble Sparta Towne.
There saw I that wherein I gan to ioy,
_Amilchars_ sonne, a gallant comely boy
(Hight _Hiacinth_), full fifteene yeares of age,
Whom I intended to haue made my Page;
And bare as great affection to the boy
As euer _Ioue_ in _Ganimede_ did ioy.
Among the games my selfe put in a pledge,
To trie my strength in throwing of the sledge;
Which, poysing with my strained arme, I threw
So farre that it beyond the other flew:
My _Hiacinth_, delighting in the game,
Desierd to proue his manhood in the same,
And, catching ere the sledge lay still on ground,
With violent force aloft it did rebound
Against his head and battered out his braine;
And so alas my louely boy was slaine.

1 _Cha_. Hard hap, O _Phoebus_; but, sieth it's past & gone,
We wish ye to forbeare this frustrate mone.

_Ap_. Ladies, I knowe my sorrowes are in vaine,
And yet from mourning can I not refraine.

1 _Cha_. _Eurania_ some pleasant song shall sing
To put ye from your dumps.

_Ap_. Alas, no song will bring
The least reliefe to my perplexed minde.

2 _Cha_. No, _Phoebus_? what other pastime shall we finde
To make ye merry with?

_Ap_. Faire dames, I thanke you all;
No sport nor pastime can release my thrall.
My grief's of course; when it the course hath had,
I shall be merrie and no longer sad.

1 _Cha_. What will ye then we doo?

_Ap_. And please ye, you may goe,
And leaue me here to feed vpon my woe.

2 _Cha_. Then, _Phoebus, we can but wish ye wel againe.

                                    [_Exeunt Charites_.

_Ap_. I thanke ye, gentle Ladies, for your paine.--
O _Phoebus_, wretched thou, thus art thou faine
With forg'de excuses to conceale thy paine.
O, _Hyacinth_, I suffer not these fits
For thee, my Boy; no, no, another sits
Deeper then thou in closet of my brest,
Whose sight so late hath wrought me this unrest.
And yet no Goddesse nor of heauenly kinde
She is, whose beautie thus torments my minde;
No Fayrie Nymph that haunts these pleasaunt woods,
No Goddesse of the flowres, the fields, nor floods:
Yet such an one whom iustly I may call
A Nymph as well as any of them all.
_Eurymine_, what heauen affoords thee heere?
So may I say, because thou com'st so neere,
And neerer far vnto a heauenly shape
Than she of whom _Ioue_ triumph't in the Rape.
Ile sit me downe and wake my griefe againe
To sing a while in honour of thy name.


    Amidst the mountaine Ida groues,
    Where _Paris_ kept his Heard,
    Before the other Ladies all
    He would haue thee prefer'd.
    _Pallas_, for all her painting, than
    Her face would seeme but pale,
    Then _Iuno_ would haue blush't for shame
    And _Venus_ looked stale.
    _Eurymine_, thy selfe alone
    Shouldst beare the golden ball;
    So far would thy most heauenly forme
    Excell the others all;
    O happie _Phoebus_! happie then,
    Most happie should I bee
    If faire _Eurymine_ would please
    To ioyne in loue with mee.

        _Enter Eurymine_.

_Eu_. Although there be such difference in the chaunge
To Hue in Court and desart woods to raunge,
Yet in extremes, wherein we cannot chuse,
An extreame refuge is not to refuse.
Good gentlemen, did any see my heard?
I shall not finde them out I am afeard;
And yet my maister wayteth with his bowe
Within a standeing, for to strike a Doe.
You saw them not, your silence makes me doubt;
I must goe further till I finde them out.

_Ap_. What seeke you, prettie mayde?

_Eu_. Forsooth, my heard of Deere.

_Ap_. I sawe them lately, but they are not heere.

_Eu_. I pray, sir, where?

_Ap_.                     An houre agoe, or twaine,
I sawe them feeding all aboue the plaine.

_Eu_. So much the more the toile to fetch them in.
I thanke you, sir.

_Ap_.              Nay, stay, sweet Nymph, with mee.

_Eu_. My busines cannot so dispatched bee.

_Ap_. But pray ye, Maide, it will be verie good
To take the shade in this vnhaunted wood.
This flouring bay, with branches large and great,
Will shrowd ye safely from the parching heat.

_Eu_. Good sir, my busines calls me hence in haste.

_Ap_. O stay with him who conquered thou hast,
With him whose restles thoughts do beat on thee,
With him that ioyes thy wished face to see,
With him whose ioyes surmount all ioyes aboue
If thou wouldst thinke him worthie of thy loue.

_Eu_. Why, Sir, would you desire another make,
And weare that garland for your mistres sake?

_Ap_. No, Nymph; although I loue this laurel tree,
My fancy ten times more affecteth thee:
And, as the bay is alwaies fresh and greene,
So shall my loue as fresh to thee be seene.

_Eu_. Now truly, sir, you offer me great wrong
To hold me from my busines here so long.

_Ap_. O stay, sweet Nymph; with more aduisement view
What one he is that for thy grace doth sue.
I am not one that haunts on hills or Rocks,
I am no shepheard wayting on my flocks,
I am no boystrous Satyre, no nor Faune,
That am with pleasure of thy beautie drawne:
Thou dost not know, God wot, thou dost not know
The wight whose presence thou disdainest so.

_Eu_. But I may know, if you wold please to tell.

_Ap_. My father in the highest heauen doth dwell
And I am knowne the sonne of _Ioue_ to bee,
Whereon the folke of _Delphos_ honor mee.
By me is knowne what is, what was, and what shall bee;
By me are learnde the Rules of harmonie;
By me the depth of Phisicks lore is found,
And power of Hearbes that grow vpon the ground;
And thus, by circumstances maist thou see
That I am _Phoebus_ who doth fancie thee.

_Eu_. No, sir; by these discourses may I see
You mock me with a forged pedegree.
If sonne you bee to _Ioue_, as erst ye said,
In making loue vnto a mortall maide
You work dishonour to your deitie.
I must be gonne; I thanke ye for your curtesie.

_Ap_. Alas, abandon not thy Louer so!

_Eu_. I pray, sir, hartily giue me leaue to goe.

_Ap_. The way ore growne with shrubs and bushes thick,
The sharpened thornes your tender feete will pricke,
The brambles round about your traine will lappe,
The burs and briers about your skirts will wrappe.

_Eu_. If, _Phoebus_, thou of _Ioue_ the ofspring be,
Dishonor not thy deitie so much
With profered force a silly mayd to touch;
For doing so, although a god thou bee,
The earth and men on earth shall ring thy infamie.

_Ap_. Hard speech to him that loueth thee so well.

_Eu_. What know I that?

_Ap_.                   I know it and can tell,
And feel it, too.

_Eu_.             If that your loue be such
As you pretend, so feruent and so much,
For proofe thereof graunt me but one request.

_Ap_. I will, by _Ioue_ my father, I protest,
Provided first that thy petition bee
Not hurtfull to thy selfe, nor harme to mee.
For so sometimes did _Phaeton_ my sonne
Request a thing whereby he was vndone;
He lost his life through craving it, and I
Through graunting it lost him, my sonne, thereby.

_Eu_. Thus, _Phoebus_, thus it is; if thou be hee
That art pretended in thy pedegree,
If sonne thou be to _Iove_, as thou doest fame,
And chalengest that tytle not in vaine,
Now heer bewray some signe of godhead than,
And chaunge me straight from shape of mayd to man.

_Ap_. Alas! what fond desire doth moue thy minde
To wish thee altered from thy native kinde,
If thou in this thy womans form canst move
Not men but gods to sue and seeke thy love?
Content thyselfe with natures bountie than,
And covet not to beare the shape of man.
And this moreover will I say to thee:
Fairer man then mayde thou shalt neuer bee.

_Eu_. These vaine excuses manifestly showe
Whether you usurp _Appollos_ name or no.
Sith my demaund so far surmounts your art,
Ye ioyne exceptions on the other part.

_Ap_. Nay, then, my doubtles Deitie to prove,
Although thereby for ever I loose my Love,
I graunt thy wish: thou art become a man,
I speake no more then well perform I can.
And, though thou walke in chaunged bodie now,
This penance shall be added to thy vowe:
Thyself a man shalt love a man in vaine,
And, loving, wish to be a maide againe.

_Eu_. _Appollo_, whether I love a man or not,
I thanke ye: now I will accept my lot;
And, sith my chaunge hath disappointed you,
Ye are at libertie to love anew.

_Ap_. If ever I love, sith now I am forsaken,
Where next I love it shall be better taken.
But, what so ere my fate in loving bee,
Yet thou maist vaunt that _Phoebus_ loved thee.
                                       [_Exit Appollo_.

    _Enter Ioculo, Frisco, and Mopso, at three severall doores_.

_Mop_. _Ioculo_, whither iettest thou?
Hast thou found thy maister?

_Io_. _Mopso_, wel met; hast thou found thy mistresse?

_Mop_. Not I, by Pan.

_Io_. Nor I, by Pot.

_Mop_. Pot? what god's that?

_Io_. The next god to Pan; and such a pot it may be as he shall haue
more servants then all the Pannes in a Tinker's shop.

_Mop_. _Frisco_, where hast thou beene frisking? hast thou found--

_Fris_. I haue found,--

_Io_. What hast thou found, _Frisco_?

_Fris_. A couple of crack-roapes.

_Io_. And I.

_Mop_. And I.

_Fris_. I meane you two.

_Io_. I you two.

_Mop_. And I you two.

_Fris_. Come, a trebble conjunction: all three, all three.

                             (_They all imbrace each other_)

_Mop_. But _Frisco_, hast not found the faire shepheardesse,
thy maister's mistresse?

_Fris_. Not I, by God,--_Priapus_, I meane.

_Io_. _Priapus_, quoth a? Whatt'in[118] a God might that bee?

_Fris_. A plaine God, with a good peg to hang a shepheardesse bottle

_Io_. Thou, being a Forrester's Boy, shouldst sweare by the God of
the woods.

_Fris_. My Maister sweares by _Siluanus_; I must sweare by his poore

_Io_. And heer's a shepheard's swaine sweares by a Kitchen God, Pan.

_Mop_. Pan's the shepheardes God; but thou swearest by Pot: what God's

_Io_. The God of good-fellowship. Well, you haue wicked maisters, that
teach such little Boyes to sweare so young.

_Fris_. Alas, good old great man, wil not your maister swear?

_Io_. I neuer heard him sweare six sound oaths in all my life.

_Mop_. May hap he cannot because hee's diseas'd.

_Fris_. Peace, _Mopso_. I will stand too't hee's neither
brave Courtier, bouncing Cavalier, nor boone Companion
if he sweare not some time; for they will
sweare, forsweare, and sweare.

_Io_. How sweare, forsweare, and sweare? how is

_Fris_. They'll sweare at dyce, forsweare their debts, and sweare when
they loose their labour in love.

_Io_. Well, your maisters have much to answer for that bring ye up so

_Fris_. Nay, my maister is damn'd, I'll be sworne, for his verie soule
burnes in the firie eye of his faire mistresse.

_Io_. My maister is neither damnde nor dead, and yet is in the case of
both your maisters, like a woodden shepheard and a sheepish woodman;
for he is lost in seeking of a lost sheepe and spent in hunting a Doe
that hee would faine strike.

_Fris_. Faith, and I am founderd with slinging to and fro with Chesnuts,
Hazel-nuts, Bullaze and wildings[119] for presents from my maister to
the faire shepheardesse.

_Mop_. And I am tierd like a Calf with carrying a Kidde every weeke to
the cottage of my maister's sweet Lambkin.

_Io_. I am not tierd, but so wearie I cannot goe with following a
maister that followes his mistresse, that followes her shadow, that
followes the sunne, that followes his course.

_Fris_. That follows the colt, that followed the mare the man rode on
to Midleton. Shall I speake a wise word?

_Mop_. Do, and wee will burne our caps.

_Fris_. Are not we fooles?

_Io_. Is that a wise word?

_Fris_. Giue me leave; are not we fooles to weare our young feete to old
stumps, when there dwells a cunning man in a Cave hereby who for a bunch
of rootes, a bagge of nuts, or a bushell of crabs will tell us where
thou shalt find thy maister, and which of our maisters shall win the
wenche's favour?

_Io_. Bring me to him, _Frisco_: I'll give him all the poynts at my hose
to poynt me right to my maister.

_Mop_. A bottle of whey shall be his meed if he save me labour for
posting with presents.

    _Enter Aramanthus with his Globe, &c_.

_Fris_. Here he comes: offend him not, _Ioculo_, for feare he turne thee
to a Iacke an apes.

_Mop_. And thee to an Owle.

_Io_. And thee to a wood-cocke.

_Fris_. A wood-cocke an Owle and an Ape.

_Mop_. A long bill a broade face and no tayle.

_Io_. Kisse it, Mopso, and be quiet: Ile salute him civilly. Good speed,
good man.

_Aram_. Welcome, bad boy.

_Fris_. He speakes to thee, _Ioculo_.

_Io_. Meaning thee, _Frisco_.

_Aram_. I speake and meane not him, nor him, nor thee; But speaking so,
I speake and meane all three.

_Io_. If ye be good at Rimes and Riddles, old man, expound me this:--

    These two serve two, those two serve one;
    Assoyle[120] me this and I am gone.

_Aram_. You three serve three; those three do seeke to one;
One shall her finde; he comes, and she is gone.

_Io_. This is a wise answer: her going caused his comming;
For if she had nere gone he had nere come.

_Mop_. Good maister wizard, leave these murlemewes and tel _Mopso_
plainly whether _Gemulo_ my maister, that gentle shepheard, shall win
the love of the faire shepheardesse, his flocke-keeper, or not; and Ile
give ye a bottle of as good whey as ere ye laid lips to.

_Fris_. And good father Fortune-teller, let _Frisco_ knowe whether
_Siluio_ my maister, that lustie Forrester, shall gaine that same gay
shepheardesse or no. Ile promise ye nothing for your paines but a bag
full of nuts, and if I bring a crab or two in my pocket take them for

_Io_. And gentle maister wise-man, tell _Ioculo_ if his noble maister
_Ascanio_, that gallant courtier, shal be found by me, and she found by
him for whom he hath lost his father's favour and his owne libertie and
I my labour; and Ile give ye thankes, for we courtiers neither giue nor
take bribes.

_Aram_. I take your meaning better then your speech,
And I will graunt the thing you doo beseech.
But, for the teares of Lovers be no toyes,
He tell their chaunce in parables to boyes.

_Fris_. In what ye will lets heare our maisters' luck.

_Aram_. Thy maister's Doe shall turne unto a Buck;    (_To Frisco_.)
Thy maister's Eawe be chaunged to a Ram;    (_To Mopso_.)
Thy maister seeks a maide and findes a man,    (_To Ioculo_.)
Yet for his labor shall he gaine his meede;
The other two shall sigh to see him speede.

_Mop_. Then my maister shall not win the shepheardesse?

_Aram_. No, hast thee home and bid him right his wrong,
The shepheardesse will leave his flock ere long.

_Mop_. Ile run to warne my master of that.

_Fris_. My maister wood-man takes but woodden paines to no purpose,
I thinke: what say ye, shall he speed?

_Aram_. No, tell him so, and bid him tend his Deare
And cease to woe: he shall not wed this yeare.

_Fris_. I am not sorie for it; farewell, _Ioculo_.

_Io_. I may goe with thee, for I shall speed even so too by staying

_Aram_. Better, my Boy, thou shalt thy maister finde
And he shall finde the partie he requires,
And yet not find the summe of his desires.
Keep on that way; thy maister walkes before,
Whom, when thou findst, loose him good Boy no more.

                                       [_Exit ambo_.

_Actus Quartus_.

    _Enter Ascanio and Ioculo_.

_Asca_. Shall then my travell ever endles prove,
That I can heare no tydings of my Love?
In neither desart, grove, nor shadie wood
Nor obscure thicket where my foote hath trod?
But every plough-man and rude shepheard swain
Doth still reply unto my greater paine?
Some Satyre, then, or Godesse of this place,
Some water Nymph vouchsafed me so much grace
As by some view, some signe, or other sho,
I may haue knowledge if she lives or no.

_Eccho_. No.

_Asca_. Then my poore hart is buried too in wo:
Record it once more if the truth be so.

_Eccho_. So.

_Asca_. How? that _Eurymine_ is dead, or lives?

_Eccho_. Lives.

_Asca_. Now, gentle Goddesse, thou redeem'st my soule
From death to life: Oh tell me quickly, where?

_Eccho_. Where?

_Asca_. In some remote far region or else neere?

_Eccho_. Neere.

_Asca_. Oh, what conceales her from my thirstie eyes?
Is it restraint or some unknown disguise?

_Eccho_. Disguise.

_Io_. Let me be hang'd my Lord, but all is lyes.

_Eccho_. Lyes.

_Io_. True we are both perswaded thou doest lye.

_Eccho_. Thou doest lye.

_Io_. Who? I?

_Eccho_. Who? I?

_Io_. I, thou.

_Eccho_. I, thou.

_Io_. Thou dar'st not come and say so to my face.

_Eccho_. Thy face.

_Io_. He make you then for ever prating more.

_Eccho_. More.

_Io_. Will ye prate more? Ile see that presently.

_Asca_. Stay, _Ioculo_, it is the Eccho, Boy,
That mocks our griefe and laughes at our annoy.
Hard by this grove there is a goodly plaine
Betwixt two hils, still fresh with drops of raine,
Where never spreading Oake nor Poplar grew
Might hinder the prospect or other view,
But all the country that about it lyes
Presents it selfe vnto our mortall eyes;
Save that vpon each hill, by leavie trees,
The Sun at highest his scorching heat may leese:
There, languishing, my selfe I will betake
As heaven shal please and only for her sake.

_Io_. Stay, maister; I have spied the fellow that mocks vs all this
while: see where he sits.

                         _Aramanthus sitting_.

_Asca_. The very shape my vision told me off,
That I should meet with as I strayed this way.

_Io_. What lynes he drawes? best go not over farre.

_Asca_. Let me alone; thou doest but trouble mee.

_Io_. Youle trouble vs all annon, ye shall see.

_Asca_. God speed, faire Sir.

_Io_. My Lord, do ye not mark
How the skie thickens and begins to darke?

_Asca_. Health to ye, Sir.

_Io_. Nay, then, God be our speed.

_Ara_. Forgive me, Sir; I sawe ye not indeed.

_Asca_. Pardon me rather for molesting you.

_Io_. Such another face I never knew.

_Ara_. Thus, studious, I am wont to passe the time
By true proportion of each line from line.

_Io_. Oh now I see he was learning to spell:
Theres A. B. C. in midst of his table.

_Asca_. Tell me, I pray ye, sir, may I be bold to crave.
The cause of your abode within this cave?

_Ara_. To tell you that, in this extreme distresse,
Were but a tale of Fortunes ficklenesse.
Sometime I was a Prince of _Lesbos_ Ile
And liv'd beloved, whilst my good stars did smile;
But clowded once with this world's bitter crosse
My joy to grife, my gaine converts to losse.

_Asca_. Forward, I pray ye; faint not in your tale.

_Io_. It will not all be worth a cup of Ale.

_Ara_. A short discourse of that which is too long,
How ever pleasing, can never seeme but wrong;
Yet would my tragicke story fit the stage:
Pleasaunt in youth but wretched in mine age,
Blinde fortune setting vp and pulling downe,
Abusde by those my selfe raisde to renowne:
But that which wrings me neer and wounds my hart,
Is a false brothers base vnthankfull part.

_Asca_. A smal offence comparde with my disease;
No doubt ingratitude in time may cease
And be forgot: my grief out lives all howres,
Raining on my head continual, haplesse showers.

_Ara_. You sing of yours and I of mine relate,
To every one seemes worst his owne estate.
But to proceed: exiled thus by spight,
Both country I forgoe and brothers sight,
And comming hither, where I thought to live,
Yet here I cannot but lament and greeve.

_Asca_. Some comfort yet in this there doth remaine,
That you have found a partner in your paine.

_Ara_. How are your sorrowes subiect? let me heare.

_Asca_. More overthrowne and deeper in dispaire
Than is the manner of your heavie smart,
My carelesse griefe doth ranckle at my hart;
And, in a word to heare the summe of all,
I love and am beloved, but there-withall
The sweetnesse of that banquet must forgo,
Whose pleasant tast is chaungde with bitter wo.

_Ara_. A conflict but to try your noble minde;
As common vnto youth as raine to winde.

_Asca_. But hence it is that doth me treble wrong,
Expected good that is forborne so long
Doth loose the vertue which the vse would prove.

_Ara_. Are you then, sir, despised of your Love?

_Asca_. No; but deprived of her company,
And for my careles negligence therein
Am bound to doo this penaunce for my sin;
That, if I never finde where she remaines,
I vowe a yeare shal be my end of paines.

_Ara_. Was she then lost within this forrest here?

_Asca_. Lost or forlorn, to me she was right deere:
And this is certaine; vnto him that could
The place where she abides to me vnfold
For ever I would vow my selfe his friend,
Never revolting till my life did end.
And there fore, sir (as well I know your skill)
If you will give me physicke for this ill
And shewe me if _Eurymine_ do live,
It were a recompence for all my paine,
And I should thinke my ioyes were full againe.

_Ara_. They know the want of health that have bene sick:
My selfe, sometimes acquainted with the like,
Do learne in dutie of a kinde regard
To pittie him whose hap hath bene so hard,
How long, I pray ye, hath she absent bene?

_Asca_. Three days it is since that my Love was seene.

_Io_. Heer's learning for the nonce that stands on ioynts;
For all his cunning Ile scarse give two poynts.

_Ara_. _Mercurio regnante virum, sub-sequente Luna Faeminum

_Io_. Nay, and you go to Latin, then tis sure my maister shall finde
her if he could tell where.

_Ara_. I cannot tell what reason it should bee,
But love and reason here doo disagree:
By proofe of learned principles I finde
The manner of your love's against all kinde;
And, not to feede ye with uncertaine ioy,
Whom you affect so much is but a Boy.

_Io_. A Riddle for my life, some antick Iest?
Did I not tell ye what his cunning was?

_Asca_. I love a Boy?

_Ara_. Mine art doth tell me so.

_Asca_. Adde not a fresh increase vnto my woe.

_Ara_. I dare avouch, what lately I have saide,
The love that troubles you is for no maide.

_Asca_. As well I might be said to touch the skie,
Or darke the horizon with tapestrie,
Or walke upon the waters of the sea,
As to be haunted with such lunacie.

_Ara_. If it be false mine Art I will defie.

_Asca_. Amazed with grief my love is then transform'd.

_Io_. Maister, be contented; this is leape yeare:
Women weare breetches, petticoats are deare;
And thats his meaning, on my life it is.

_Asca_. Oh God, and shal my torments never cease?

_Ara_. Represse the fury of your troubled minde;
Walke here a while, your Lady you may finde.

_Io_. A Lady and a Boy, this hangs wel together,
Like snow in harvest, sun-shine and foule weather.

    _Enter Eurymine singing_.

_Eu_. _Since[121] hope of helpe my froward starres denie,
      Come, sweetest death, and end my miserie;
      He left his countrie, I my shape have lost;
      Deare is the love that hath so dearly cost_.

Yet can I boast, though _Phoebus_ were uniust,
This shift did serve to barre him from his lust.
But who are these alone? I cannot chuse
But blush for shame that anyone should see
_Eurymine_ in this disguise to bee.

_Asca_. It is (is't[122] not?) my love _Eurymine_.

_Eury_. Hark, some one hallows: gentlemen, adieu;
In this attire I dare not stay their view.

_Asca_. My love, my ioy, my life!
By eye, by face, by tongue it should be shee:
Oh I, it was my love; Ile after her,
And though she passe the eagle in her flight
Ile never rest till I have gain'd her sight.

_Ara_. Love carries him and so retains his minde
That he forgets how I am left behind.
Yet will I follow softly, as I can,
In hope to see the fortune of the man.

_Io_. Nay let them go, a Gods name, one by one;
With all my heart I am glad to be alone.
Here's old[123] transforming! would with all his art
He could transform this tree into a tart:
See then if I would flinch from hence or no;
But, for it is not so, I needs must go.

    _Enter Silvio and Gemulo_.

_Sil_. Is it a bargaine _Gemulo_ or not?

_Ge_. Thou never knew'st me breake my word, I wot,
Nor will I now, betide me bale or blis.

_Sil_. Nor I breake mine: and here her cottage is,
Ile call her forth.

_Ge_.               Will _Silvio_ be so rude?

_Sil_. Never shall we betwixt ourselves conclude
Our controversie, for we overweene.

_Ge_. Not I but thou; for though thou iet'st in greene,
As fresh as meadow in a morne of May,
And scorn'st the shepheard for he goes in gray.
But, Forrester, beleeve it as thy creede,
My mistresse mindes my person not my weede.

_Sil_. So 'twas I thought: because she tends thy sheepe
Thou thinkst in love of thee she taketh keepe;
That is as townish damzels, lend the hand
But send the heart to him aloofe doth stande:
So deales _Eurymine_ with _Silvio_.

_Ge_. Al be she looke more blithe on _Gemulo_
Her heart is in the dyall of her eye,
That poynts me hers.

_Sil_.               That shall we quickly trye.

_Ge_.       _Erynnis_, stop thy throte;
Unto thy hound thou hallowst such a note.
I thought that shepheards had bene mannerlesse,
But wood-men are the ruder groomes I guesse.

_Sil_. How shall I call her swaine but by her name?

_Ge_. So _Hobinoll_ the plowman calls his dame.
Call her in Carroll from her quiet coate.

_Sil_. Agreed; but whether shall begin his note?

_Ge_. Draw cuttes.

_Sil_.             Content; the longest shall begin.

_Ge_. Tis mine.

_Sil_.          Sing loude, for she is farre within.

_Ge_. Instruct thy singing in thy forrest waies,
Shepheards know how to chant their roundelaies.

_Sil_. Repeat our bargain ere we sing our song,
Least after wrangling should our mistresse wrong:
If me she chuse thou must be well content,
If thee she chuse I give the like consent.

_Ge_. Tis done: now, _Pan_ pipe, on thy sweetest reede,
And as I love so let thy servaunt speede.--

     _As little Lambes lift up their snowie sides
     When mounting Lark salutes the gray eyed morne--

Sil. As from the Oaken leaves the honie glides
     Where nightingales record upon the thorne--

Ge.  So rise my thoughts--

Sil. So all my sences cheere--

Ge.  When she surveyes my flocks

Sil. And she my Deare.

Ge.  Eurymine!

Sil. Eurymine!

Ge.  Come foorth--

Sil. Come foorth--

Ge.  Come foorth and cheere these plaines--

       (And both sing this together when they have sung it single.)

Sil. The wood-mans Love

Ge.  And Lady of the Swaynes.

       Enter Eurymine_.

Faire Forester and lovely shepheard Swaine,
Your Carrolls call _Eurymine_ in vaine,
For she is gone: her Cottage and her sheepe
With me, her brother, hath she left to keepe,
And made me sweare by _Pan_, ere she did go,
To see them safely kept for _Gemulo_.

    (_They both looke straungely upon her, apart each from other_.)

_Ge_. What, hath my Love a new come Lover than?

_Sil_. What, hath my mistresse got another man?

_Ge_. This Swayne will rob me of _Eurymine_.

_Sil_. This youth hath power to win _Eurymine_.

_Ge_. This straungers beautie beares away my prize.

_Sil_. This straunger will bewitch her with his eies.

_Ge_. It is _Adonis_.

_Sil_.                It is _Ganymede_.

_Ge_. My blood is chill.

_Sil_.                   My hearte is colde as Leade.

_Eu_. Faire youthes, you have forgot for what ye came:
You seeke your Love, shee's gone.

_Ge_.                             The more to blame.

_Eu_. Not so; my sister had no will to go
But that our parents dread commaund was so.

_Sil_. It is thy sense: thou art not of her kin,
But as my Ryvall com'ste my Love to win.

_Eu_. By great _Appollos_ sacred Deitie,
That shepheardesse so neare is Sib[124] to me
As I ne may (for all the world) her wed;
For she and I in one selfe wombe were bred.
But she is gone, her flocke is left to mee.

_Ge_. The shepcoat's mine and I will in and see.

_Sil_. And I.

                [_Exeunt Silvio and Gemulo_.

_Eu_. Go both, cold comfort shall you finde:
My manly shape hath yet a womans minde,
Prone to reveale what secret she doth know.
God pardon me, I was about to show
My transformation: peace, they come againe.

    _Enter Silvio and Gemulo_.

_Sil_. Have ye found her?

_Ge_.                     No, we looke in vaine.

_Eu_. I told ye so.

_Ge_.               Yet heare me, new come Swayne.
Albe thy seemly feature set no sale
But honest truth vpon thy novell tale,
Yet (for this world is full of subtiltee)
We wish ye go with vs for companie
Unto a wise man wonning[125] in this wood,
Hight _Aramanth_, whose wit and skill is good,
That he may certifie our mazing doubt
How this straunge chaunce and chaunge hath fallen out.

_Eu_. I am content; have with ye when ye will.

_Sil_. Even now.

_Eu_.            Hee'le make ye muse if he have any skill.


_Actus Quintus_.

    _Enter Ascanio and Eurymine_.

_Asca_. _Eurymine_, I pray, if thou be shee,
Refraine thy haste and doo not flie from mee.
The time hath bene my words thou would'st allow
And am I growne so loathsome to thee now?

_Eu_. _Ascanio_, time hath bene, I must confesse,
When in thy presence was my happinesse,
But now the manner of my miserie
Hath chaung'd that course that so it cannot be.

_Asca_. What wrong have I contrived, what iniurie
To alienate thy liking so from mee?
If thou be she whom sometime thou didst faine,
And bearest not the name of friend in vaine,
Let not thy borrowed guise of altred kinde
Alter the wonted liking of thy minde,
But though in habit of a man thou goest
Yet be the same _Eurymine_ thou wast.

_Eu_. How gladly would I be thy Lady still,
If earnest vowes might answere to my will.

_Asca_. And is thy fancie alterd with thy guise?

_Eu_. My kinde, but not my minde in any wise.

_Asca_. What though thy habit differ from thy kinde,
Thou maiest retain thy wonted loving minde.

_Eu_. And so I doo.

_Asca_.             Then why art thou so straunge,
Or wherefore doth thy plighted fancie chaunge?

_Eu_. _Ascanio_, my heart doth honor thee.

_Asca_. And yet continuest stil so strange to me?

_Eu_. Not strange, so far as kind will give me leave.

_Asca_. Unkind that kind that kindnesse doth bereave:
Thou saist thou lovest me?

_Eu_.                      As a friend his friend,
And so I vowe to love thee to the end.

_Asca_. I wreake not of such love; love me but so
As faire _Eurymine_ loved _Ascanio_.

_Eu_. That love's denide vnto my present kinde.

_Asca_. In kindely shewes vnkinde I doo thee finde:
I see thou art as constant as the winde.

_Eu_. Doth kinde allow a man to love a man?

_Asca_. Why, art thou not _Eurymine_?

_Eu_.                                 I am.

_Asca_. _Eurymine_ my love?

_Eu_. The very same.

_Asca_. And wast thou not a woman then?

_Eu_. Most true.

_Asca_. And art thou changed from a woman now?

_Eu_. Too true.

_Asca_. These tales my minde perplex.
Thou art _Eurymine_?

_Eu_.                In name, but not in sexe.

_Asca_. What then?

_Eu_.              A man.

_Asca_.                   In guise thou art, I see.

_Eu_. The guise thou seest doth with my kinde agree.

_Asca_. Before thy flight thou wast a woman tho?

_Eu_. True, _Ascanio_.

_Asca_.                And since thou art a man?

_Eu_. Too true, deare friend.

_Asca_.                       Then I have lost a wife.

_Eu_. But found a friend whose dearest blood and life
Shal be as readie as thine owne for thee;
In place of wife such friend thou hast of mee.

    _Enter Ioculo and Aramanthus_.

_Io_. There they are: maister, well overtane,
I thought we two should never meete againe:
You went so fast that I to follow thee
Slipt over hedge and ditch and many a tall tree.

_Ara_. Well said, my Boy: thou knowest not how to lie.

_Io_. To lye, Sir? how say you, was it not so?
You were at my heeles, though farre off, ye know.
For, maister, not to counterfayt with ye now,
Hee's as good a footeman as a shackeld sow.

_Asca_. Good, Sir, y'are welcome: sirrha, hold your prate.

_Ara_. What speed in that I told to you of late?

_Asca_. Both good and bad, as doth the sequel prove:
For (wretched) I have found and lost my love,
If that be lost which I can nere enjoy.

_Io_. Faith, mistresse, y'are too blame to be so coy
The day hath bene--but what is that to mee!--
When more familiar with a man you'ld bee.

_Ara_. I told ye you should finde a man of her,
Or else my rule did very strangely erre.

_Asca_. Father, the triall of your skill I finde:
My Love's transformde into another kinde:
And so I finde and yet have lost my love.

_Io_. Ye cannot tell, take her aside and prove.

_Asca_. But, sweet _Eurymine_, make some report
Why thou departedst from my father's court,
And how this straunge mishap to thee befell:
Let me entreat thou wouldst the processe tell.

_Eu_. To shew how I arrived in this ground
Were but renewing of an auncient wound,--
Another time that office Ile fulfill;
Let it suffice, I came against my will,
And wand'ring here, about this forrest side,
It was my chaunce of Phoebus to be spide;
Whose love, because I chastly did withstand,
He thought to offer me a violent hand;
But for a present shift, to shun his rape,
I wisht myself transformde into this shape,
Which he perform'd (God knowes) against his will:
And I since then have wayld my fortune still,
Not for misliking ought I finde in mee,
But for thy sake whose wife I meant to bee.

_Asca_. Thus have you heard our woful destenie,
Which I in heart lament and so doth shee.

_Ara_. The fittest remedie that I can finde
Is this, to ease the torment of your minde:
Perswade yourselves the great _Apollo_ can
As easily make a woman of a man
As contrariwise he made a man of her.

_Asca_. I think no lesse.

_Ara_.                    Then humble suite preferre
To him; perhaps our prayers may attaine
To have her turn'd into her forme againe.

_Eu_. But _Phoebus_ such disdain to me doth beare
As hardly we shal win his graunt I feare.

_Ara_. Then in these verdant fields, al richly dide
With natures gifts and _Floras_ painted pride,
There is a goodly spring whose crystall streames,
Beset with myrtles, keepe backe _Phoebus_ beames:
There in rich seates all wrought of Ivory
The Graces sit, listening the melodye,
The warbling Birds doo from their prettie billes
Vnite in concord as the brooke distilles,[126]
Whose gentle murmure with his buzzing noates
Is as a base unto their hollow throates:
Garlands beside they weare upon their browes,
Made of all sorts of flowers earth allowes,
From whence such fragrant sweet perfumes arise
As you would sweare that place is Paradise.
To them let us repaire with humble hart,
And meekly show the manner of your smart:
So gratious are they in _Apollos_ eies
As their intreatie quickly may suffice
In your behalfe. Ile tell them of your states
And crave their aides to stand your advocates.

_Asca_. For ever you shall bind us to you than.

_Ara_. Come, go with me; Ile doo the best I can.

_Io_. Is not this hard luck, to wander so long
And in the end to finde his wife markt wrong!

    _Enter Phylander_.

_Phy_. A proper iest as ever I heard tell!
In sooth me thinkes the breech becomes her well;
And might it not make their husbands feare them[127]
Wold all the wives in our town might weare them.
Tell me, youth, art a straunger here or no?

_Io_. Is your commission, sir, to examine me so?

_Phy_. What, is it thou? now, by my troth, wel met.

_Io_. By your leave it's well overtaken yet.

_Phy_. I litle thought I should a found thee here.

_Io_. Perhaps so, sir.

_Phy_.                 I prethee speake: what cheere?

_Io_. What cheere can here be hopte for in these woods,
Except trees, stones, bryars, bushes or buddes?

_Phy_. My meaning is, I fane would heare thee say
How thou doest, man: why, thou tak'st this another way.

_Io_. Why, then, sir, I doo as well as I may:
And, to perswade ye that welcome ye bee,
Wilt please ye sir to eate a crab with mee?

_Phy_. Beleeve me, _Ioculo_, reasonable hard cheere.

_Io_. _Phylander_, tis the best we can get here.
But when returne ye to the court againe?

_Phy_. Shortly, now I have found thee.

_Io_.                                  To requite your paine
Shall I intreat you beare a present from me?

_Phy_. To whom?

_Io_.           To the Duke.

_Phy_.                       What shall it be?

_Io_. Because Venson so convenient doth not fall,
A pecke of Acornes to make merry withal.

_Phy_. What meanst thou by that?

_Io_.                            By my troth, sir, as ye see,
Acornes are good enough for such as hee.
I wish his honour well, and to doo him good,
Would he had eaten all the acorns in the wood.

_Phy_. Good word, _Ioculo_, of your Lord and mine.

_Io_. As may agree with such a churlish swine.
How dooes his honor?

_Phy_.               Indifferently well.

_Io_. I wish him better.

_Phy_.                   How?

_Io_.                         Vice-gerent in Hell.

_Phy_. Doest thou wish so for ought that he hath done?

_Io_. I, for the love he beares unto his sonne.

_Phy_. Hees growne of late as fatherly and milde
As ever father was unto his childe,
And sent me forth to search the coast about
If so my hap might be to finde him out;
And if _Eurymine_ alive remaine
To bring them both vnto the Court againe.
Where is thy maister?

_Io_.                 Walking about the ground.

_Phy_. Oh that his Love _Eurymine_ were found.

_Io_. Why, so she is; come follow me and see;
He bring ye strait where they remaining bee.


    _Enter three or foure Muses, Aramanthus, Ascanio,
    Silvio, and Gemulo_.

_Asca_. Cease your contention for _Eurymine_,
Nor word nor vowes can helpe her miserie;
But he it is, that did her first transform,
Must calme the gloomy rigor of this storme,
Great _Phoebus_ whose pallace we are neere.
Salute him, then, in his celestiall sphere,
That with the notes of cheerful harmonie
He may be mov'd to shewe his Deitie.

_Sil_. But wheres _Eurymine_? have we lost her sight?

_As_. Poore soule! within a cave, with feare affright,
She sits to shun _Appollos_ angry view
Until she sees what of our prayers ensue,
If we can reconcile his love or no,
Or that she must continue in her woe.

1 _Mu_. Once have we tried, _Ascanio_, for thy sake,
And once againe we will his power awake,
Not doubting but, as he is of heavenly race,
At length he will take pitie on her case.
Sing therefore, and each partie, from his heart,
In this our musicke beare a chearfull part.


    _All haile, faire Phoebus, in thy purple throne!
    Vouchsafe the regarding of our deep mone;
    Hide not, oh hide not, thy comfortable face,
    But pittie, but pittie, a virgins poore case_.

      _Phoebus appeares_.

1 _Mu_. Illustrate bewtie, Chrystall heavens eye,
Once more we do entreat thy clemencie
That, as thou art the power of us all,
Thou wouldst redeeme _Eurymine_ from thrall.
Graunt, gentle God, graunt this our small request,
And, if abilitie in us do rest,
Whereby we ever may deserve the same,
It shall be seene we reverence _Phoebus_ name.

_Phoe_. You sacred sisters of faire Helli[c]on,
On whom my favours evermore have shone,
In this you must have patience with my vow:
I cannot graunt what you aspire unto,
Nor wast my fault she was transformed so,
But her own fond desire, as ye well know.
We told her, too, before her vow was past
That cold repentance would ensue at last;
And, sith herselfe did wish the shape of man,
She causde the abuse, digest it how she can.

2 _Mu_. Alas, if unto her you be so hard,
Yet of _Ascanio_ have some more regard,
And let him not endure such endlesse wrong
That hath pursude her constant love so long.

_Asca_. Great God, the greevous travells I have past
In restlesse search to finde her out at last;
My plaints, my toiles, in lieu of my annoy
Have well deserv'd my Lady to enjoy.
Penance too much I have sustaind before;
Oh _Phoebus_, plague me not with any more,
Nor be thou so extreame now at the worst
To make my torments greater than at the first.
My father's late displeasure is forgot,
And there's no let nor any churlish blot
To interrupt our ioyes from being compleat,
But only thy good favour to intreat.
In thy great grace it lyes to make my state
Most happie now or most infortunate.

1 _Mu_. Heavenly _Apollo_, on our knees I pray
Vouchsafe thy great displeasure to allay.
What honor to thy Godhead will arise
To plague a silly Lady in this wise?
Beside it is a staine unto thy Deitie
To yeeld thine owne desires the soveraigntie:
Then shew some grace vnto a wofull Dame,
And in these groves our tongues shall sound thy fame.

_Phoe_. Arise, deare Nourses of divinest skill,
You sacred Muses of _Pernassus_ hill;
_Phoebus_ is conquerd by your deare respect
And will no longer clemency neglect.
You have not sude nor praide to me in vaine;
I graunt your willes: she is a mayde againe.

_Asca_. Thy praise shal never die whilst I do live.

2 _Mu_. Nor will we slack perpetual thankes to give.

_Phoe_. _Thalia_, neare the cave where she remaines
The Fayries keepe: request them of their paines,
And in my name bid them forthwith provide
From that darke place to be the Ladies guide;
And in the bountie of their liberall minde
To give her cloathes according to her kinde.

1 _Mu_. I goe, divine _Apollo_.

_Phoe_.                         Haste againe:
No time too swift to ease a Lovers paine.

_Asca_. Most sacred _Phoebus_, endles thankes to thee
That doest vouchsafe so much to pittie mee;
And, aged father, for your kindnesse showne
Imagine not your friendship ill bestowne:
The earth shall sooner vanish and decay
Than I will prove unthankfull any way.

_Ara_. It is sufficient recompence to me
If that my silly helpe have pleasurde thee;
If you enioy your Love and hearts desire
It is enough, nor doo I more require.

_Phoe_. Grave _Aramanthus_, now I see thy face,
I call to minde how tedious a long space
Thou hast frequented these sad desarts here;
Thy time imployed in heedful minde I bear,
The patient sufferance of thy former wrong,
Thy poore estate and sharpe exile so long,
The honourable port thou bor'st some time
Till wrongd thou wast with undeserved crime
By them whom thou to honour didst advaunce:
The memory of which thy heavy chaunce
Provokes my minde to take remorse on thee.
Father, henceforth my clyent shalt thou bee
And passe the remnant of thy fleeting time
With Lawrell wreath among the Muses nine;
And, when thy age hath given place to fate,
Thou shalt exchange thy former mortall state
And after death a palme of fame shalt weare,
Amongst the rest that live in honor here.
And, lastly, know that faire _Eurymine_,
Redeemed now from former miserie,
Thy daughter is, whom I for that intent
Did hide from thee in this thy banishment
That so she might the greater scourge sustaine
In putting _Phoebus_ to so great a paine.
But freely now enioy each others sight:
No more _Eurymine_: abandon quite
That borrowed name, as _Atlanta_ she is calde.--
And here's the[128] woman, in her right shape instalde.

_Asca_. Is then my Love deriv'de of noble race?

_Phoe_. No more of that; but mutually imbrace.

_Ara_. Lives my _Atlanta_ whom the rough seas wave
I thought had brought unto a timelesse grave?

_Phoe_. Looke not so straunge; it is thy father's voyce,
And this thy Love; _Atlanta_, now rejoice.

_Eu_. As in another world of greater blis
My daunted spirits doo stand amazde at this.
So great a tyde of comfort overflowes
As what to say my faltering tongue scarse knowes,
But only this, vnperfect though it bee;--
Immortall thankes, great _Phoebus_, unto thee.

_Phoe_. Well, Lady, you are retransformed now,
But I am sure you did repent your vow.

_Eury_. Bright Lampe of glory, pardon my rashenesse past.

_Phoe_. The penance was your owne though I did fast.

    _Enter Phylander and Ioculo_.

_Asca_. Behold, deare Love, to make your ioyes abound,
Yonder _Phylander_ comes.

_Io_.                     Oh, sir, well found;
But most especially it glads my minde
To see my mistresse restorde to kinde.

_Phy_. My Lord & Madame, to requite your pain,
_Telemachus_ hath sent for you againe:
All former quarrels now are trodden doune,
And he doth smile that heretofore did frowne.

_Asca_. Thankes, kinde _Phylander_, for thy friendly newes,
Like _Junos_ balme that our lifes blood renewes.

_Phoe_. But, Lady, first ere you your iourney take,
Vouchsafe at my request one grant to make.

_Eu_. Most willingly.

_Phoe_.               The matter is but small:
To wear a bunch of Lawrell in your Caull[129]
For _Phoebus_ sake, least else I be forgot;
And thinke vpon me when you see me not.

_Eu_. Here while I live a solemn oath I make
To Love the Lawrell for _Appollo's_ sake.

_Ge_. Our suite is dasht; we may depart, I see.

_Phoe_. Nay _Gemulo_ and _Silvio_, contented bee:
This night let me intreate ye you will take
Such cheare as I and these poore Dames can make:
To morrow morne weele bring you on your way.

_Sil_. Your Godhead shall commaund vs all to stay.

_Phoe_. Then, Ladies, gratulate this happie chaunce
With some delightful tune and pleasaunt daunce,
Meane-space upon his Harpe will _Phoebus_ play;
So both of them may boast another day
And make report that, when their wedding chaunc'te,
_Phoebus_ gave musicke and the Muses daunc'te.


    _Since painfull sorrowes date hath end
    And time hath coupled friend with friend,
    Reioyce we all, reioyce and sing,
    Let all these groaves of_ Phoebus _ring:
    Hope having wonne, dispaire is vanisht,
    Pleasure revives and care is banisht:
    Then trip we all this Roundelay,
    And still be mindful of the bay_.




Anthony A. Wood, in his _Athenae Oxonienses_ (ed. Bliss, III., 740),
after giving an account of James Shirley, adds:--"I find one Henry
Shirley, gent., author of a play called the _Martyr'd Souldier_, London,
1638, 4to.; which Henry I take to be brother or near kinsman to James."
Possibly a minute investigation might discover some connection between
Henry Shirley and the admirable writer who closes with dignity the long
line of our Old Dramatists; but hitherto Wood's conjecture remains
unsupported. On Sept. 9, 1653, four plays of Henry Shirley's were
entered on the _Stationers' Lists_, but they were never published: the
names of these are,--

    1. _The Spanish Duke of Lerma_.
    2. _The Duke of Guise_.
    3. _The Dumb Bawd_.
    4. _Giraldo the Constant Lover_.

Among the Ashmolean MSS. (Vol. 38. No. 88) are preserved forty-six
lines[130] signed with the name of "Henrye Sherley." They begin thus:--

    "Loe, Amorous style, affect my pen:
    For why? I wright of fighting men;
    The bloody storye of a fight
    Betwixt a Bayliffe and a Knight," &c.

My good friend Mr. S.L. Lee, of Balliol, kindly took the trouble to
transcribe the forty-six lines; but he agrees with me that they are not
worth printing.

The _Martyr'd Souldier_, then, being his sole extant production, it must
be confessed that Henry Shirley's claim to attention is not a very
pressing one. Yet there is a certain dignity of language in this old
play that should redeem it from utter oblivion. It was unfortunate for
Henry Shirley that one of the same name should have been writing at the
same time; for in such cases the weakest must go to the wall. Mr.
Frederick Tennyson's fame has been eclipsed by the Laureate's; and there
was little chance of a hearing for the author of the _Martyr'd Souldier_
when James Shirley was at work. From the address _To the Courteous
Reader_, it would seem that Henry Shirley did not seek for popularity:
"his Muse," we are told, was "seldome seene abroad." Evidently he was
not a professional playwright. In his attempts to gain the ear of the
groundlings he is often coarse without being comic; and sometimes (a
less pardonable fault) he is tedious. But in the person of Hubert we
have an attractive portrait of an impetuous soldier, buoyed up with
self-confidence and hugging perils with a frolic gaiety; yet with
springs of tenderness and pity ready to leap to light. The writer
exhibits some skill in showing how this fiery spirit is tamed by the
gentle maiden, Bellina. When the news comes that Hubert has been made
commander of the King's forces against the Christians, we feel no
surprise to see that in the ecstacy of the moment he has forgotten his
former vows. It is quite a touch of nature to represent him hastening to
acquaint Bellina with his newly-conferred honour and expecting her to
share his exultation. But the maiden's entreaties quickly wake his
slumbering conscience; and, indeed, such earnestness is in her words
that a heart more stubborn than Hubert's might well have been moved:--

    "You courted me to love you; now I woe thee
    To love thy selfe, to love a thing within thee
    More curious than the frame of all this world,
    More lasting than this Engine o're our heads
    Whose wheeles have mov'd so many thousand yeeres:
    This thing is thy soule for which I woe thee!"

Henceforward his resolution is fixed: he is no longer a soldier of
fortune, "seeking the bubble reputation," but the champion of the weak
against the strong, the lively image of a Christian Hero warring
steadfastly against the powers of evil.

Though the chief interest of the play is centred in Hubert the other
characters, also, are fairly well drawn. There is ample matter for
cogitation in watching the peaceful end of Genzerick, who spends his
dying moments in steeling his son's heart against the Christians. The
consultation between the physicians, in Act 3, amusingly ridicules the
pomposity of by-gone medical professors. Eugenius, the good bishop, is a
model of patience and piety; and all respect is due to the Saintly
Victoria and her heroic husband. The songs, too, are smoothly written.


As it was sundry times Acted with a
 generall applause at the Private
  house in Drury lane, and at
   other publicke Theaters.

_By the Queenes Majesties servants_.

The Author H. SHIRLEY Gent.

Printed by _I. Okes_, and are to be sold by
    _Francis Eglesfield_ at his house in _Paul's_
        Church-yard at the Signe of the
            Mary-gold. 1638.

To the right Worshipful Sir Kenelme Digby, _Knight_.


Workes of this Nature may fitly be compared to small and narrow
_rivolets_ that at first derive themselves to greater _Rivers_ and
afterwards are discharged into the Maine _Ocean_. So Poesie rising from
_obscure_ and almost unminded beginnings hath often advanc'd it _Selfe_
even to the thrones of _Princes_: witnesse that ever-living _Worke_ of
renowned _Virgil_, so much admired and favoured by magnificent
_Augustus_. Nor can I much wonder that great men, and those of Excellent
parts, have so often preferred _Poesie_, it being indeed the sweetest
and best _speaker_ of all Noble Actions.

Nor were they wont in ancient times to preferre those their _Workes_ to
them they best knew, but unto some Person highly endued with Vallour,
Learning, and such other Graces as render one man farre more Excellent
then many others. And this, I hope, may excuse my boldnesse in this
Dedication, being so much a stranger to your Worships knowledge, onely
presuming upon your Noble temper, ever apt to cherrish well-affected
studies. Likewise this peice seemeth to have a more speciall kind of
relation to your _Selfe_, more then to many others, it being an exact
and _perfect patterne_ of a truly Noble and War-lick Chieftian.

When it first appeared upon the _Stage_ it went off with Applause and
favour, and my hope is it may yeild your Worship as much content as my
_selfe_ can wish, who ever rest to be commanded by your Worship,

_In all duty and observance_,



_To make too large an explanation of this following Poem were but to
beguile thy appetite and somewhat dull thy expectation; but the work it
selfe being now an Orphant, and wanting him to protect that first begot
it, it were an iniury to his memory to passe him unspoken of. For the
man his Muse was much courted but no common mistresse; and though but
seldome seene abroad yet ever much_ admired _at. This worke, not the
meanest of his labours, has much adorned not only one but many Stages,
with such a generall applause as it hath drawne even the Rigid Stoickes
of the Time, who, though not for pleasure yet for profit have gathered
something out of his plentifull Vineyard. My hopes are it wil prove no
lesse pleasing to the_ Reader _then it has formerly beene to the_
Spectators; _and, so prooving, I have my aime and full desire.

The Actors Names.

_Genzerick_, King of the _Vandals_.
_Anthonio_  |
_Damianus_  |  3 Noble men.
_Cosmo_     |
_Hubert_, A brave Commander.
_Henerick_, the Prince.
_Bellizarius_, the Generall.
_Eugenius_, a Christian Bishop.
_Epidaurus_, a Lord.
2 Physitians.
2 Pagans.
1 Camell-driver.
2 Camell-driver.
_Victoria_, Wife to _Bellizarius_.
_Bellina_, his Daughter.
A Souldier.
2 Angels.
2 Christians tonguelesse.
3 Watchmen.
3 Huntsmen.
3 Other Camell-drivers.
Officers and Souldiers.

The Martyr'd Souldier.

_Actus Primus_.


    _Enter Genzerick King of the Vandalls, sicke on his
    bed, Anthony, Damianus, Cosmo, and Lords_.

_King_. Away, leave off your golden Flatteries,
I know I cannot live, there's one lies here
Brings me the newes; my glories and my greatnes
Are come to nothing.

_Anth_.              Be not your selfe the Bell
To tolle you to the Grave; and the good Fates,
For ought we see, may winde upon your bottome[132]
A thred of excellent length.

_Cosm_. We hope the Gods have not such rugged hands
To snatch yee from us.

_King_. _Cosmo, Damianus_, and _Anthony_; you upon whom
The _Vandall_ State doth leane, for my back's too weake;
I tell you once agen that surly Monarch,
Who treads on all Kings throats, hath sent to me
His proud Embassadours: I have given them Audience
Here in our Chamber Royall. Nor could that move me,
To meete Death face to face, were my great worke
Once perfected in _Affrick_ by my sonne;
I meane that generall sacrifice of Christians,
Whose blood would wash the Temples of our gods
And win them bow downe their immortall eyes
Upon our offerings. Yet, I talke not idly,
Yet, _Anthonie_, I may; for sleepe, I think,
Is gone out of my kingdome, it is else fled
To th'poore; for sleepe oft takes the harder bed
And leaves the downy pillow of a King.

_Cosm_. Try, Sir, if Musick can procure you[133] rest.

_King_. _Cosmo_, 'tis sinne to spend a thing so precious
On him that cannot weare it. No, no; no Musick;
But if you needs will charme my o're-watcht eyes,
Now growne too monstrous for their lids to close,
If you so long to fill these Musick-roomes
With ravishing sounds indeed; unclaspe that booke,
Turne o're that Monument of Martyrdomes,
Read there how _Genzerick_ has serv'd the gods
And made their Altars drunke with Christians blood,
Whil'st their loath'd bodies flung in funerall piles
Like Incense burnt in Pyramids of fire;
And when their flesh and bones were all consum'd
Their ashes up in whirle-winds flew i'th Ayre
To show that of foure Elements not one had care
Of them, dead or alive. Read, _Anthony_.

_Anth_. 'Tis swelld to a faire Volume.

_King_.                                Would I liv'd
To add a second part too't. Read, and listen:
No _Vandall_ ere writ such a Chronicle.

_Anth_. Five hundred[134] broyl'd to death in Oyle and Lead:
Seven hundred flead alive, their Carkasses
Throwne to King _Genzericks_ hounds.

_King_.                              Ha, ha, brave hunting.

_Anth_. Upon the great day of _Apollo's_ feast,
The fourth Moneth of your Reigne.

_King_.                           O give me more,
Let me dye fat with laughing.

_Anth_. Thirty faire Mothers, big with Christian brats,
Upon a scaffold in the Palace plac'd
Had first their dugges sear'd off, their wombes ript up,
About their miscreant heads their first borne Sonnes
Tost as a Sacrifice to _Jupiter_,
On his great day and the Ninth Month of _Genzerick_.

_King_. A Play; a Comicall Stage our Palace was.
Any more? oh, let me surfeit.

_Anth_. Foure hundred Virgins ravisht.

_King_. Christian Whores; common, 'tis common.

_Anth_. And then their trembling bodies tost on the Pikes
Of those that spoyl'd 'em, sacrific'd to _Pallas_.

_King_. More, more; hang Mayden-heads, Christian Maiden-heads.

_Anth_. This leafe is full of tortur'd Christians:
Some pauncht, some starv'd, some eyes and braines bor'd out,
Some whipt to death, some torne by Lyons.

_King_. _Damianus_, I cannot live to heare my service out;
Such haste the Gods make to reward me.

_Omnes_. Looke to the King.    (_Shouts within_.)

    _Enter Hubert_.

_King_. What shouts are these? see, _Cosmo_.

_Cosmo_. Good newes, my Lord; here comes _Hubert_ from the warres.

_Hub_. Long life and health wait ever on the King.

_King_. _Hubert_, thy wishes are come short of both.
Hast thou good newes? be briefe then and speake quickly:
I must else heare thee in another World.

_Hub_. In briefe, then, know: _Henrick_, your valiant sonne,
With _Bellizarius_ and my selfe come laden
With spoiles to lay them at your feet.
What lives the sword spar'd serve to grace your Triumph,
Till from your lips they have the doome of death.

_King_. What are they?

_Hub_. Christians, and their Chiefe a Church-man,
_Eugenius_, Bishop of _Carthage_, and with him
Seven hundred Captives more, all Christians.

_King_. Hold, Death; let me a little taste these ioyes,
Then take me ravisht hence. Glad mine eyes, _Hubert_,
With the victorious Boy.

_Hub_. Your Starre comes shining.
                                [_Exit Hubert_.

_King_. Lift me a little higher, yet more:
Doe the Immortall Powers poure blessings downe,
And shall I not returne them?

_Omnes_. See, they come.

    _A Flourish; Enter Henricke the Prince, Bellizarius, Hubert,
    leading Eugenius in Chaines with other Prisoners and Souldiers_.

_King_. I have now liv'd my full time; tell me, my _Henricke_,[135]
Thy brave successe, that my departing soule
May with the story blesse another world
And purchase me a passage.

_Hen_.                     O, great Sir,
All we have done dyes here if that you dye,
And heaven, before too prodigal to us,
Shedding beames over-glorious on our heads,
Is now full of Eclipses.

_King_.                  No, boy; thy presence
Has fetcht life home to heare thee.

_Hen_. Then, Royal Father, thus:
Before our Troopes had reacht the _Affrick_ bounds,
Wearied with tedious Marches and those dangers
Which waite on glorious Warre, the _Affricans_
A farre had heard our Thunder, whilst their Earth
Did feele an earth-quake in the peoples feares
Before our Drummes came near them. Yet, spight of terrour,
They fortifi'd their Townes, cloathed all their fields
With warres best bravery, armed Souldiers.
At this we made a stand, for their bold troopes
Affronted us with steele, dar'd us to come on
And nobly fierd our resolution.

_King_. So, hasten; there's in me a battaile too;
Be quicke, or I shall fall.

_Hen_.                      Forefend it heaven.
Now, _Bellizarius_, come; here stand, just here;
And on him, I beseech you, fixe your eye,
For you have much to pay to this brave man.

_Hub_. Nothing to me?

_Hen_.                Ile give you him in wonder.

_Hub_. Hang him out in a painted cloth for a monster.

_Bel_. My Lord, wrong not your selfe to throw on me
The honours which are all yours.

_Hub_.                           Is he the Divell? all!

_Bel_. Cast not your eyes on me, Sir, but on him;
And seale this to your soule: never had King
A Sonne that did to his Crowne more honours bring.

_Hen_. Stay, _Bellizarius_; I'me too true to honour
To scant it in the blazing: though to thee
All that report can render leaves thee yet--

_Hub_. A brave man: you are so too, you both fought;
And I stood idle?

_Hen_. No, Sir.

_Hub_. Here's your battaile then, and here's your conquest:
What need such a coyle?

_Bel_. Yet, _Hubert_, it craves more Arethmaticke
Than in one figure to be found.

_King_. _Hubert_, thou art too busie.

_Hub_. So was I in the battaile.

_King_. Prethee peace.

_Hen_. The Almarado was on poynt to sound;
But then a Herald from their Tents flew forth,
Being sent to question us for what we came;
And [At?] which, I must confesse, being all on fire
We cryed for warre and death. Backe rode the Herald
As lightning had persu'd him. But the Captaines,
Thinking us tir'd with marching, did conceive
Rest would make difficult what easie now
Quicke charge might drive us to. So, like a storme
Beating upon a wood of lustie Pines,
Which though they shake they keepe their footing fast,
Our pikes their horses stood. Hot was the day
In which whole fields of men were swept away,
As by sharpe Sithes are cut the golden corne
And in as short time. It was this mans sword
Hew'd ways to danger; and when danger met him
He charm'd it thence, and when it grew agen
He drove it back agen, till at the length
It lost the field. Foure long hours this did hold,
In which more worke was done than can be told.

_Bel_. But let me tell your Father how the first feather
That Victory herselfe pluckt from her wings,
She stuck it in your Burgonet.

_Hub_.                         Brave still!

_Hen_. No, _Bellizarius_; thou canst guild thy honours
Borne[136] from the reeking breasts of _Affricans_,
When I aloof[137] stood wondering at those Acts
Thy sword writ in the battaile, which were such
Would make a man a souldier but to read 'em.

_Hub_. And what to read mine? is my booke claspt up?

_Bel_. No, it lyes open, where in texed letters read
Each Pioner [?] that your unseason'd valour
Had thrice ingag'd our fortunes and our men
Beyond recovery, had not this arme redeem'd you.

_Hub_. Yours?

_Bel_. For which your life was lost for doing more
Than from the Generals mouth you had command.

_Hub_. You fill my praise with froth, as Tapsters fill
Their cut-throat Cans; where, give me but my due,
I did as much as you, or you, or any.

_Bel_. Any?

_Hub_. Yes, none excepted.

_Bel_. The Prince was there.

_Hub_. And I was there: since you draw one another
I will turne Painter too and draw my selfe.
Was it not I that when the maine Battalia
Totter'd and foure great squadrons put to rout,
Then reliev'd them? and with this arme, this sword,
And this affronting brow put them to flight,
Chac'd em, slew thousands, tooke some few and drag'd em
As slaves, tyed to my saddle bow with Halters?

_Hen_. Yes, Sir, 'tis true; but, as he sayes, your fury
Left all our maine Battalia welnigh lost.
For had the foe but re-inforct againe
Our courages had beene seiz'd (?), any Ambuskado
Cut you and your rash troopes off; if--

_Hub_.                                 What 'if'?
Envy, not honour, still inferres these 'ifs.'
It thriv'd and I returnd with Victory.

_Bel_.                                 You?

_Hub_. I, _Bellizarius_, I; I found your troopes
Reeling and pale and ready to turne Cowards,
But you not in the head; when I (brave sir)
Charg'd in the Reere and shooke their battaile so
The Fever never left them till they fell.
I pulled the Wings up, drew the rascals on,
Clapt 'em and cry'd 'follow, follow.' This is the hand
First toucht the Gates, this foote first tooke the City;
This Christian Church-man snacht I from the Altar
And fir'd the Temple. 'Twas this sword was sheath'd
In panting bosomes both of young and old;
Fathers, sonnes, mothers, virgins, wives and widowes:
Like death I havocke cryed so long till I
Had left no monuments of life or buildings
But these poore ruins. What these brave Spirits did
Was like to this, I must confesse 'tis true,
But not beyond it.

_King_.            You have done nobly all.
Nor let the Generall thinke I soyle his worth
In that I raise this forward youth so neare
Those honours he deserves from _Genzericke_;
For he may live to serve my _Henrick_ thus,
And growing vertue must not want reward.
You both allow these deeds he so much boasts of?

_Hen_. Yes, but not equal to the Generals.

_King_. The spoyles they equally shall both divide;
The Generall chuse, 'tis his prerogative.
_Bellizarius_ be Viceregent over all
Those conquerd parts of _Affrick_ we call ours;
_Hubert_ the Master of my _Henricks_ Horse
And President of what the _Goths_ possesse.
Let this our last will stand.

 _Bel_.                       We are richly paid.

 _Hub_. Who earnes it must have wages.

 _King_.                               Ile see you imbrac'd too.

 _Hub_. With all my heart.

 _King_.                   And _Bellizarius_
Make him thy Scholler.

 _Hub_. His Scholler!

 _King_. There's stuffe in him
Which temper'd well would make him a noble fellow.
Now for these Prisoners: 'tis my best sacrifice
My pious zeale can tender to the Gods.
I censure thus: let all be naked stript,
Then to the midst of the vaste Wildernesse
That stands 'twixt us and wealthy _Persia_
They shall be driven, and there wildly venture
As Famine or the fury of the Beasts
Conspires to use them. Which is that Bishop?

 _Hub_. Stand forth: this is _Eugenius_.

 _Eug_.                                  I stand forth
Daring all tortures, kissing Racks and Wheeles
And Flames, to whom I offer up this body.
You keepe us from our Crownes of Martyrdomes
By this delaying: dispatch us hence.

 _King_.                             Not yet, Sir:
Away with them, stay him; and if our Gods
Can win this Christian Champion, now so stout,
To fight upon their sides, give him reward;
Our Gods will reach him praise.

 _Eug_.                         Your Gods! wretched soules!

_King_. My worke is done; and, Henricke, as thou lov'st
Thy Fathers soule, see every thing perform'd.
This last iniunction tyes thee: so, farewell.
Let those I hated in thy hate still dwell,
I meane the Christians.

 _Hen_.                 Oh, what a deale of greatnesse
Is struck down at one blow.

 _Hub_.                     Give me a battell:
'Tis brave being struck downe there.

 _Anth_.                             _Henrick_, my Lord,
And now my Soveraigne, I am by office bound
To offer to your Royall hands this Crowne
Which on my knees I tender, all being ready
To set it on your head.

 _Omnes_.               Ascend your throne:
Long live the King of _Vandals_ and of _Goths_,
The mighty _Henrick_.

 _Hen_.               What must now be done?

 _Anth_. By me each Officer of State resignes
The Patten that he holds his office by,
To be dispos'd as best shall please your Grace.

 _Hen_. And I returne them back to all their trusts.
I rise in clouds, my Morning is begun
From the eternall set of a bright sunne.


(SCENE 2.)

    _Drumnel flourish: Enter Victoria and Bellina with servants_.

To gratulate his safe and wisht Arrival.
Let Musick with her sweet-tongu'd Rhetorick
Take out those horrours which the loud clamoures
Of Warres harsh harmony hath long besieg'd
His tender sences with. Your Father's come, _Bellina_.

_Bell_. I feele the ioy of it with you, sweet Mother,
And am as ready to receive a blessing from him
As you his chaste imbraces.

_Vic_.                      So, so, bestirre;
Let all our loves and duties be exprest
In our most diligent and active care.

    _Enter Bellizarius_.

Here comes my comfort-bringer,
My _Bellizarius_.

_Belliz_.         Dearest _Victoria_;
My second ioy, take thou a Fathers blessing.

_Vic_. Not wounded, Sir, I hope?

_Belliz_.                        No, _Victoria_;
Those were Rewards that we bestow'd on others;
We gave, but tooke none backe. Had we not you
At home to heare our noble Victories
Our Fame should want her Crowne, although she flew
As high as yonder Axle tree above
And spred in latitude throughout the world.
We have subdu'd those men of strange beleefe
Which Christians call themselves; a race of people
--This must I speake of them--as resolute
And full of courage in their bleeding falls
As should they tryumph for a Victory.
When the last groanes of many thousand mett
And like commixed Whirlwindes fill'd our eares.
As it from us rais'd not a dust of pitty
So did it give no terrour to the rest
That did but live to see their fellows dye.
In all our rigours and afflicting tortures
We cannot say that we the men subdu'd,
Because their ioy was louder than our conquest.
And still more worke of blood we must expect;
Like _Hydra's_ Heads by cutting off they double;
As seed that multiplies, such are their dead--
Next Moone a sheafe of Christians in ones stead.

_Vic_. This is a bloody Trade, my _Bellizarius_;
Would thou wouldst give it over.

_Belliz_. 'Tis worke, _Victoria_, that must be done.
These are the battailes of our blessing,
Pleasing gods and goddesses who for our service
Render us these Conquests.
Our selves and our affaires we may neglect,
But not our Deities, which these Christians
Prophane deride and scoffe at; would new Lawes
Bring in and a new God make.

_Vic_.                       No, my Lord;
I have heard say they never make their Gods,
But they serve 'em, they say, that did make them:
All made-gods they dispise.

_Belliz_. Tush, tush, _Victoria_, let not thy pitty
Turne to passions; they'le not deserve thy sorrow.
How now? What's the newes?

    _Enter a Souldier_.

_Sold_. Strange, my Lord, beyond a wonder,
For 'tis miraculous. Since you forsooke
The bloody fight and horrour of the Christians,
One tortur'd wretch, whose sight was quite extinct,
His eyes no farther seeing than his hands,
Is now by that _Eugenius_, whom they call
Their holy Bishop, cleerely restor'd again
To the astonishment of all your Army,
Who faintly now recoyle with feare and terrour
Not daring to offend so great a power.

_Belliz_. Ha! 'tis strange thou tell'st me.

_Vic_. Oh, take heed, my Lord;
It is no warring against heavenly Powers
Who can command their Conquest when they please.
They can forbeare the Gyants that throw stones,
And smile upon their follies; but when they frowne
Their angers fall downe perpendicular
And strike their weake Opposer into nothing:
The Thunder tells us so.

_Belliz_. Pray leave me all; I shall have company
When you are gone, enough to fill the roome.

_Vic_. The holiest powers give thee their best direction.

                  [_Exeunt: Manet Bellizarius_.

_Belliz_. What power is that can fortifie a man
To ioy in death, since all we can expect
Is but fruition of the ioyes of life?
If Christians hoped not to become immortall
Why should they seeke for death?
O, then instruct me some Divine power;
Thou that canst give the sight unto the blind,
Open my blind iudgement        _Thunder: Enter an Angel_.
That I may see a way to happinesse.
Ha, this is a dreadfull answer; this may chide
The relapse in my blood that 'gins to faint
From[138] further persecution of these people.
Oh shall I backe and double tyranny?        (_Thunder_.)
A louder threat[e]ning! oh mould these voyces
Into articulate words, that I may know
Thy meaning better. Shall I quench the flames
Of blood and vengeance, and my selfe become
A penetrable Christian? my life lay downe
Amongst their sufferings?    (_Musicke_.)
Ha, these are sweet tunes.

_Ang_. _Bellizarius_!

_Belliz_. It names me, too.

_Ang_. Sheath up thy cruelty; no more pursue
In bloody forrage these oppressed Christians,
For now the Thunder will take their part.
Remaine in peace and Musicke is thy banquet,
Or thy selfe number 'mongst their martyring groanes
And thou art numbred with these blessed ones.

_Belliz_. What heavenly voyce is this? shall my eares onely
Be blest with raptures, not mine eyes enioy
The sight of that Celestiall presence
From whence these sweet sounds come?

_Ang_. Yes, thou shalt see; nay, then, 'tis lost agen.
                            (_Bel. kneeles_.)
Rise; this is enough; be constant Souldier:
Thy heart's a Christian, to death persever
And then enioy the sight of Angels ever.

_Belliz_. Oh, let me flye into that happy place.
Prepare your tortures now, you scourge of Christians,
For _Bellizarius_ the Christians torturer;
Centuple all that I have ever done;
Kindle the fire and hacke at once with swords;
Teare me by piece-meales, strangle, and extend
My every limbe and ioynt; nay, devise more
Than ever did my bloody Tyrannies.
Oh let me ever lose the sight of men
That I may see an Angell once agen.

_Actus Secundus_.


    _Enter Hubert and Damianus_.

_Hub_. For[139] looke you, _Damianus_, though _Henricke_, now king, did
in the battaile well and _Bellizarius_ enough for a Generall, did not I
tell 'em home?

_Dam_. I heard it.

_Hub_. They shall not make bonefires of their owne glories and set up
for me a poore waxe candle to shew mine. I am full of Gold now: what
shall I doe with it, _Damianus_?

_Dam_. What doe Marriners after boone voyages, but let all flye; and
what Souldiers, when warres are done, but fatten peace?

_Hub_. Pox of Peace! she has churles enough to fatten her. I'll make a
Shamoyes Doublet, embroydered all over with flowers of gold. In these
dayes a woman will not looke upon a man if he be not brave. Over my
Doublet a _Soldado_ Cassacke of Scarlet, larded thicke with Gold Lace;
Hose of the same, cloake of the same, too, lasht up this high and richly
lined. There was a Lady, before I went, was working with her needle a
Scarffe for mee; but the Wagtaile has left her nest.

_Dam_. No matter; there's enough such birds everywhere.

_Hub_. Yes, women are as common as glasses in Tavernes, and often drunke
in and more often crackt. I shall grow lazy if I fight not; I would
faine play with halfe a dozen Fencers, but it should be at sharpe.[140]

_Dam_. And they are all for foyles.

_Hub_. Foyl'd let 'em be then.

_Dam_. You have had fencing enough in the field, and for women the
Christians fill'd[141] your markets.

_Hub_. Yes, and those markets were our Shambles. Flesh enough!
It made me weary of it. Since I came home
I have beene wondrous troubled in my sleepes,
And often heard to sigh in dead of night
As if my heart would cracke. You talk of Christians:
Ile tell you a strange thing, a kind of melting in
My soule, as 'twere before some heavenly fire,
When in their deaths (whom they themselves call Martyrs)
It was all rocky. Nothing, they say, can soften
A Diamond but Goates blood;[142] they perhaps were Lambs
In whose blood I was softened.

_Dam_.                         Pray tell how.

_Hub_. I will: after some three hours being in _Carthage_
I rusht into a Temple. Starr'd all with lights;
Which with my drawne sword rifling, in a roome
Hung full of Pictures, drawne so full of sweetnesse
They struck a reverence in me, found I a woman,
A Lady all in white; the very Candles
Took brightnesse from her eyes and those cleare Pearles
Which in aboundance falling on her cheekes
Gave them a lovely bravery. At my rough entrance
She shriek'd and kneel'd, and holding up a paire
Of Ivory fingers begg't that I would not
(Though I did kill) dishonour her, and told me
She would pray for me. Never did Christian
So near come to my heart-strings; I let my Sword
Fall from me, stood astonish't, and not onely
Sav'd her my selfe but guarded her from others.

_Dam_. Done like a Souldier.

_Hub_.                       Blood is not ever
The wholsom'st Wine to drinke. Doubtlesse these Christians
Serve some strange Master, and it needes must bee
A wonderfull sweete wages which he paies them;
And though men murmour, get they once here footing,
Then downe goes our Religion, downe our Altars,
And strange things be set up.--I cannot tell:
We, held so pure, finde wayes enough to hell.
Fall out what can, I care not; Ile to _Bellizarius_.

_Dam_. Will you? pray carry to him my best wishes.

_Hub_. I can carry anything but Blowes, Coles,[143] my Drink, and that
clapper of the Divell, the tongue of a Scould. Farewell.


(SCENE 2.)

    _Flourish: Enter the King, Antony, Cosmo, all about
    the King, and Bellizarius_.

_King_. They swarme like Bees about us, insomuch
Our People cannot sacrifice nor give Incense
But with interruptions; they still are buzzing thus,
Saying: Their Gods delight not in vaine showes
But intellectual thoughts pure and unstain'd,
Therefore reduce them from their heresies
Or build our prison walls with Christians bones.
What thinkes our _Bellizarius_, he that was wont
To be more swift to execute than we to command?
Why sits not _Bellizarius_?

_Belliz_.                   I dare not.

_King_. Protect me, Iove! Who dare gainesay it?

_Belliz_. I must not.

_King_. Say we command it?

_Belliz_. Truth is, I neither can nor will.

_Omn_. Hee's mad.

_Belliz_. Yes, I am mad
To see such Wolvish Tyrants as you are
Pretend a Justice and condemne the iust.
Oh you white soules that hover in the aire,
Who through my blindnesse were made death his[144] prey;
Be but appeas'd, you spotlesse Innocents,
Till with my blood I have made a true atonement,
And through those tortures, by this braine devis'd,
In which you perisht, I may fall as you
To satisfie your yet fresh bleeding memories
And meete you in that garden where content
Dwels onely. I, that in blood did glory,
Will now spend blood to heighten out your story.

_Anton_. Why, _Bellizarius_--

_Belliz_. Hinder me not:
I'me in a happy progresse, would not change my guest
Nor be deterr'd by Moles and Wormes that cannot see
Such as you are. Alas, I pitty you.

_Dam_. The King's in presence.

_Belliz_. I talke of one that's altitudes above him,
That owes[145] all Principalities: he is no King
That keepes not his decrees, nor am I bound
In duty to obey him in unwist acts.

_King_. All leave the roome.

_Omnes_. We obey your highnesse.
                                   [_Exeunt Lords_.

_King_. Sir, nay. Sir; good _Bellizarius_.

_Belliz_. In that I doe obey.

_King_. Doe you make scruple, then, of our command?

_Belliz_. Yes, Sir, where the act's unjust and impure.

_King_. Why, then, are we a king, if not obey'd?

_Belliz_. You are plac'd on earth but as a Substitute
To a Diviner being as subiects are to you;
And are so long a king to be obey'd
As you are iust.

_King_. Good _Bellizarius_, wherein doe I digresse?
Have I not made thee great, given thee authority
To scourge those mis-beleevers, those wild Locusts
That thus infect our Empire with their Scismes?
The World is full of _Bellizarius_ deedes.
Succeeding times will Canonize thy Acts
When they shall read what great ones thou hast done
In honour of us and our sacred gods;
For which, next unto _Iove_, they gave a Laurell
To _Bellizarius_, whose studious braine
Fram'd all these wracks and tortures for these Christians.
Hast thou not all our Treasure in thy power?
Who but your selfe commands as [us?], _Bellizarius_?
Then whence, my _Bellizarius_, comes this change?

_Belliz_. Poore King, I sorrow for thy weakned sence,
Wishing thy eye-sight cleare that Eagle-like,
As I doe now, thou might'st gaze on the Sunne,
The Sunne of brightnesse, Sunne of peace, of plenty.
Made you me great in that you made me miserable,
Thy selfe more wretched farre? in that thy hand
The Engine was to make me persecute
Those Christian soules whom I have sent to death,
For which I ever, ever shall lament?

_King_. Ha, what's this?--Within there!

_Belliz_. Nay, heare me, _Henrick_, and when thou hast heard me out
With _Bellizarius_ thinke that thou art blest
If that with me thou canst participate.

_King_. Thou art mad.

_Belliz_. No; 'tis thou art mad,
And with thy frenzie make this Kingdome franticke.
Forgive me, thou great Power in whom I trust,
Forgive me, World, and blot out all my deeds
From those black Kalends; else, when I lye dead,
My Name will ever lie in obliquie.
Is it a Sinne that can make great men good?
Is prophanation turn'd to sanctity,
Vices to vertues? if such disorder stand
Then _Bellizarius_ Acts may be held iust;
Otherwise nothing.

_King_. Some Furie hath possest my _Bellizarius_
That thus he railes. Oh, my dearest,
Call on great _Iupiter_.

_Belliz_. Alas, poore Idoll!
On him! on him that is not, unlesse made:
Had I your _Iove_ I'de tosse him in the Ayre,
Or sacrifice him to his fellow-gods
And see what he could doe to save himselfe.
You call him Thunderer, shaker of _Olympus_,
The onely and deare Father of all gods;
When silly love is shooke with every winde,
A fingers touch can hurle him from his Throne.
Is this a thing to be ador'd or pray'd too?

_King_. My love turnes now to rage.--Attendance there,
    _Enter all the Lords_.
And helpe to binde this mad man, that's possest!--
By the powers that we adore thou dyest.

_Belliz_. Here me, thou ignorant King, you dull-brain'd Lords,
Oh heare me for your owne sakes, for your soules sake:
Had you as many gods as you have dayes,
As once the _Assyrians_ had, yet have yee nothing.
Such service as they gave such you may give,
And have reward as had the blinde _Molossians_:
A Toad one day they worship; one of them drunke
A health with 's god and poyson'd so himselfe.
Therefore with me looke up, and as regenerate soules--

_Dam_. Can you suffer this?
This his affront will scare up the devotion
Of all your people. He that persecuted
Become a convertite!

_Belliz_. 'Tis ioy above my ioy: oh, had you scene
What these eyes saw, you would not then
Disswade me from it; nor will I leave that power
By whom I finde such infinite contentments.

_Hen_. _Epidophorus_; your eare:--see't done.

_Epi_. It shall, my Lord.
                     [_Exit Epi_.

_Hen_. Then by the gods
And all the powers the _Vandals_ doe adore,
Thou hast not beene more terrible to the world
Than to thy selfe I now will make thee.

_Belliz_. I dare thy worst;
I have a Christian armour to protect me.
You cannot act so much as I will suffer.

_Hen_. Ile try your patience

    _Enter Epido, two Christians and officers_.

_Epi_. 'Tis done, my Lord, as you directed.

_Hen_. They are come:
Make signes you'le yet deny your Christianity    (_They make signes_.)
And kneele with us to sacred _Iupiter_.
No? make them then a Sacrifice to _Iupiter_
For all the wrongs by _Bellizarius_ done.
Dispatch, I say; to the fire with them.

_Belliz_. Alas, good men! tonguelesse? you'le yet be heard;
The sighes of your tun'd soules are musicall,
And whil'st I breath, as now my tears I shed,
My prayers He send up for you; 'twas I that mangl'd you.
How soone the bodies Organ leaves the sound!
The Life's next too't; a Needles point ends that,
A small thing does it. Now you have quiet roomes
No wrangling, all husht. Now make me a fellow
In this most patient suffering.

_Hen_. Beare them unto the fire, and place him neere
To fright him.

_Belliz_. On, fellow Souldiers!
Your fires will soon be quencht, and for your wrongs
You shall, above, all speake with Angels tongues.


(SCENE 3.)

    _Enter Clowne, Constable and three watchmen_.

_Clown_. You[146] that are borne Pagans both by father and mother, the
true sonnes of Infidelity, sit downe by me your officiall, or to come
nearer to the efficacy of the word, your undermost Iaylor or staller;
--the word is Lordly and significant.

_Omnes_. O brave Master, yfaith.

_Clowne_. Therefore sit downe; and as by vertue of our place we have
Authority given, so let us as officers doe, knaves of our function as
of others; let us, I say, be unbounded in our Authority, having the
Lawes, I meane the Keyes, in our owne hands.

_Const_. Friend, friend, you are too forward in your Authority; your
command is limited where I am in place: for though you are the
Lieutenants man know, sir, that I am Master of the worke and Constable
Royall under the Kings Maiesty.

_Omnes_. Marry is hee.

_Const_. If their testimonie will not satisfie, here my Title: At this
place, in this time, and upon this occasion I am Prince over these
Publicans, Lord over these Larroones,[147] Regent of these Rugs,[148]
Viceroy over these Vagabonds, King of these Caterpillars; and indeed,
being a Constable, directly Soveraigne over these my Subiects.

2 _Off_. If all these stiles, so hard to climbe over, belong to the
office of a Constable, what kin is he to the Divell?

_Const_. Why to the Devill, my friend?

_Clown_. Ile tell you: because a Constable is King of Nights and the
other is Prince of Darknesse.

_Const_. Darke as it is, by the twilight of my Lanthorne methinks I see
a company of Woodcocks.

_2 Off_. How can you discerne them?

    _Enter Epidophorus, Victoria and Bellina_.

_Clown_. Oh excellent well, by their bills: see, see, here comes the

_Epi_. Well sayd, my friends: you keep good watch, I see.

_Clown_. Yes, Sir, we Officers have breath as strong as Garlick: no
Christian by their good wills dare come neare us.

_Epi_. 'Tis well, forbeare.--
Oh, Madam, had you scene with what a vehemency
He did blaspheme the gods,
Like to a man pearcht on some lofty Spire
Amazed which way to relieve himselfe,
You would have stood, as did the King, amaz'd.

_Vict_. God grant him liberty,
And with that give us privacy; I doubt not
But our sweet conference shall work much on him.

_Epi_. _Iove_ grant it: Ile leave the roome.
                                            [_Exit Epi_.

_Clown_. A Iaylor seldome lookes for a bribe but hee's prevented.

                                     [_Exeunt Officers_.

    _Enter Bellizarius in his night-gown, with Epidophorus_.

_Epi_. My Lord, your Lady and her most beauteous daughter
Are come to visit you, and here attend.

_Belliz_. My Wife and Daughter? oh welcome, love,
And blessing Crowne thee, my beloved _Bellina_.

_Vict_. My Lord, pray leave us.

_Epi_. Your will be your owne Law.
                                    [_Exit Epidoph_.

_Vict_. Why study you, my Lord? why is your eye fixt
On your _Bellina_ more than on me?

_Belliz_. Good, excellent good:
What pretty showes our fancies represent us!
My faire _Bellina_ shines like to an Angel;
Has such a brightnesse in her Christall eyes
That even the radiancy duls my sight.
See, my _Victoria_, lookes she not sweetly?

_Vict_. Shee does, my Lord; but not much better than she was wont.

_Belliz_. Oh shee but beginnes to shine as yet,
But will I hope ere long be stellified.
Alas, my _Victoria_, thou look'st nothing like her.

_Vict_. Not like her? why, my Lord?

_Belliz_. Marke and Ile tell thee how:
Thou art too much o'er growne with sinne and shame,
Hast pray'd too much, offered too much devotion
To him and those that can nor helpe nor hurt,
Which my _Bellina_ has not:
Her yeares in sinne are not, as thine are, old;
Therefore me thinks she's fairer farre than thou.

_Vict_. I, my Lord, guided by you and by your precepts,
Have often cal'd on _Iupiter_.

_Belliz_. I, there's the poynt:
My sinnes like Pullies still drew me downewards:
'Twas I that taught thee first to Idolize,
And unlesse that I can with-draw thy mind
From following that I did with tears intreat,
I'me lost, for ever lost, lost in my selfe and thee.
Oh, my _Bellina_!

_Bellina_. Why, Sir!
Shall we not call on _Iove_ that gives us food,
By whom we see the heavens have all their Motions?

_Belliz_. Shee's almost lost too: alas! my Girle,
There is a higher _Iove_ that rules 'bove him.
Sit, my _Victoria_, sit, my faire _Bellina_,
And with attention hearken to my dreame:
Methought one evening, sitting on a fragrant Virge,
Close by there ranne a silver gliding streame:
I past the Rivolet and came to a Garden,
A Paradise, I should say (for lesse it could not be);
Such sweetnesse the world contains not as I saw;
_Indian Aramaticks_ nor _Arabian_ Gummes
Were nothing sented unto this sweet bower.
I gaz'd about, and there me thought I saw
Conquerors and Captives, Kings and meane men;
I saw no inequality in their places.
Casting mine eye on the other side the Palace,
Thousands I saw my selfe had sent to death;
At which I sigh'd and sob'd, I griev'd and groan'd.
Ingirt with Angels were those glorious Martyrs
Whom this ungentle hand untimely ended,
And beckon'd to me as if heaven had said,
"Beleeve as they and be thou one of them";
At which my heart leapt, for there me thought I saw,
As I suppos'd, you two like to the rest:
With that I wak'd and resolutely vow'd
To prosecute what I in thought had seene.

_Bellina_. 'Twas a sweet dreame; good Sir, make use of it.

_Vict_. And I with _Bellizarius_ am resolv'd
To undergoe the worst of all afflictions,
Where such a glory bids us to performe.

_Belliz_. Now blessings crowne yee both
The first stout Martyr has[149] his glorious end
Though stony-hard yet speedy; when ours comes
I shall tryumph in our affliction.
This adds some comfort to my troubled soule:
I, that so many have depriv'd of breath,
Shall winne two soules to accompany me in death.


_Actus Tertius_.

    _Enter Clowne and Huntsmen severally_.

1 _Hunt_. Ho, rise, sluggards! so, so, ho! so, ho!

2 _Hunt_. So ho, ho! we come.

_Clown_. Morrow, iolly wood-men.

_Omnes_. Morrow, morrow.

_Clown_. Oh here's a Morning like a grey ey'd Wench, able to intice a
man to leap out of his bed if he love hunting, had he as many cornes on
his toes as there are Cuckolds in the City.

1 _Hunt_. And that's enough in conscience to keepe men from going, were
his Boots as wide as the black Iacks[150] or Bombards tost by the Kings

2 _Hunt_. Are the swift Horses ready?

_Clown_. Yes, and better fed than taught; for one of 'em had like to
have kickt my iigumbobs as I came by him.

2 _Hunt_. Where are the Dogges?

_Clown_. All coupled, as Theeves going to a Sessions, and are to be
hang'd if they be found faulty.

2 _Hunt_. What Dogges are they?

_Clown_. A packe of the bravest _Spartan_ Dogges in the world; if they
do but once open and spend[151] there gabble, gabble, gabble it will
make the Forest ecchoe as if a Ring of Bells were in it; admirably
flewd[152], by their eares you would take 'em to be singing boyes; and
for Dewlaps they are as bigge as Vintners bags in which they straine

_Omnes_. There, boy.

_Clown_. And hunt so close and so round together that you may cover
'em all with a sheete.

2 _Hunt_. If it be wide enough.

_Clown_. Why, as wide as some four or five Acres, that's all.

1 _Hunt_. And what's the game to day?

_Clown_. The wilde Boare.

1 _Hunt_. Which of 'em? the greatest? I have not seene him.

_Clown_. Not seene him? he is as big as an Elephant.

2 _Hunt_. Now will he build a whole Castle full of lies.

_Clown_. Not seen him? I have.

_Omnes_. No, no; seene him? as big as an Elephant?

_Clown_. The backe of him is as broad--let me see--as a pretty Lighter.

1 _Hun_. A Lighter?

_Clown_. Yes; and what do you think the Brissells are worth?

2 _Hunt_. Nothing.

_Clown_. Nothing? one Shoemaker offer'd to finde me and the Heire-male
of my body 22 yeeres, but to have them for his owne ends.

2 _Hunt_. He would put Sparabiles[153] into the soales then?

_Clown_. Not a Bill, not a Sparrow. The Boares head is so huge that a
Vintner but drawing that picture and hanging it up for a Signe it fell
down and broke him.

1 _Hunt_. Oh horrible!

_Clown_. He has two stones so bigge, let me see (a Poxe), thy head is but
a Cherry-stone to the least of' em.

2 _Hunt_. How long are his Tuskes?

_Clown_. Each of them as crooked and as long as a Mowers sith.

1 _Hunt_. There's a Cutter.

_Clown_. And when he whets his Tuskes you would sweare there were a sea
in's belly, and that his chops were the shore to which the Foame was
beaten: if his Foame were frothy Yest 'twere worth tenne groats a paile
for Bakers.

1 _Hunt_. What will the King do with him if he kill him?

_Clown_. Bake him, and if they put him in one Pasty a new Oven must be
made, with a mouth as wide as the gates of the City.    (_Horne_.)

_Omnes_. There boy, there boy.

    _Hornes and Noise within: Enter Antony meeting Damianus_.

_Ant_. _Cosmo_ had like beene kild; the Boare receiving[154]
A Speare full in the Flanke from _Cosmo's_ hand,
Foaming with rage he ranne at him, unhorst him
And had, but that he fell behinde an Oake
Of admirable greatnesse, torne out his bowels;
His very Tuskes, striking into the tree,
Made the old Champion[155] shake.

    [_Enter Cosmo_.

_Dam_. Where are the Dogges?

_Cosmo_.                     No matter for the Curres:
I scapt well, but cannot finde the King.

_Anton_. When did you see him?

_Cosmo_.                       Not since the Boare tos'd up
Both horse and rider.

    _Enter Epidophorus and all the Huntsmen in a hurry_.

_Epi_. A Liter for the King; the King is hurt.

_Ant_. How?

_Epi_.      No man knowes: some say stung by an Adder
As from his horse he fell; some cry, by the Boare.

_Anton_. The Boare never came neare him.

_Dam_. The King's Physitians!

_Cosmo_. Runne for the King's Physitians.

_Epi_. Conduct us to him.

_Anton_. A fatall hunting when a King doth fall:
All earthly pleasures are thus washt in gall.


(SCENE 2.)

    _Eugenius discovered sitting loaden with many Irons,
    a Lampe burning by him; then enter Clowne with a
    piece of browne bread and a Carret roote_.

_Eugen_. Is this my Dyet?

_Clown_. Yes, marry is it; though it be not Dyet bread[156] 'tis bread,
'tis your dinner; and though this be not the roote of all mischiefe yet
'tis a Carret, and excellent good meate if you had powderd Beefe to it.

_Eugen_. I am content with this.

_Clown_. If you bee not I cannot helpe it; for I am threatned to be
hang'd if I set but a Tripe before you or give you a bone to gnaw.

_Eugen_. For me thou shalt not suffer.

_Clown_. I thank you; but were not you better be no good Christian, as
I am, and so fill your belly as to lie here and starve and be hang'd
thus in Chaines?

_Eugen_. No, 'tis my tryumph; all these Chaines to me
Are silken Ribbonds, this course bread a banquet;
This gloomy Dungeon is to me more pleasing
Than the Kings Palace; and cou'd I winne thy soule
To shake off her blacke ignorance, thou, as I doe,
Would'st feele thirst, hunger, stripes and Irons nothing,
Nay, count death nothing. Let me winne thee to me.

_Clown_. Thank yee for that: winne me from a Table full of good meat to
leape at a crust! I am no Scholler, and you (they say) are a great one;
and schollers must eate little, so shall you. What a fine thing is it
for me to report abroad of you that you are no great feeder, no
Cormorant! What a quiet life is it when a womans tongue lies still! and
is't not as good when a mans teeth lyes still?

_Eugen_. Performe what thou art bidden; if thou art charg'd
To starve me, Ile not blame thee but blesse heaven.

_Clown_. If you were starv'd what hurt were that to you?

_Eugen_. Not any; no, not any.

_Clown_. Here would be your praise when you should lie dead: they would
say, he was a very good man but alas! had little or nothing in him.

_Eugen_. I am a slave to any misery
My Iudges doome me too.

_Clown_. If you bee a slave there's more slaves in the world than you.

_Eugen_. Yes, thousands of brave fellows slaves to their vices;
The Usurer to his gold, drunkards to Wine,
Adulterers to their lust.

_Clown_. Right, Sir; so in Trades: the Smith is a slave to the
Ironmonger, the itchy silk-weaver to the Silke-man, the Cloth-worker
to the Draper, the Whore to the Bawd, the Bawd to the Constable, and
the Constable to a bribe.

_Eugen_. Is it the kings will that I should be thus chain'd?

_Clown_. Yes indeed, Sir. I can tell you in some countries they are held
no small fooles that goe in Chaines.

_Eugen_. I am heavy.

_Clown_. Heavy? how can you chuse, having so much Iron upon you?

_Eugen_. Death's brother and I would have a little talk
So thou wouldst leave us.

_Clown_. With all my heart; let Deaths sister talke with you, too, and
shee will, but let not me see her, for I am charg'd to let no body come
into you. If you want any water give mee your Chamber pot; Ile fill it.

_Eugen_. No, I want none, I thanke thee.
Oh sweet affliction, thou blest booke, being written
By Divine fingers! you Chaines that binde my body
To free my soule; you Wheeles that wind me up
To an eternity of happinesse,
Mustre my holy thoughts; and, as I write,
Organ of heavenly Musicke to mine ears,
Haven to my Shipwracke, balme to my wounds,
Sunne-beames which on me comfortably shine
When Clouds of death are covering me; (so gold,
As I by thee, by fire is purified;
So showres quicken the Spring; so rough Seas
Bring Marriners home, giving them gaines and ease);
Imprisonment, gyves, famine, buffetings,
The Gibbet and the Racke; Flint stones, the Cushions
On which I kneele; a heape of Thornes and Briers,
The Pillow to my head; a nasty prison,
Able to kill mankinde even with the Smell:
All these to me are welcome. You are deaths servants;
When comes your Master to me? Now I am arm'd for him.
Strengthen me that Divinity that enlightens
The darknesse of my soule, strengthen this hand
That it may write my challenge to the world
Whom I defie; that I may on this paper
The picture draw of my confession.
Here doe I fix my Standard, here bid Battaile
To Paganisme and infidelity.

    _Musicke; enter Angel_.

Mustre my holy thoughts, and, as I write,
In this brave quarrell teach me how to fight.

    (_As he is writing an Angel comes and stands before
    him: soft musick; he astonisht and dazeld_.)

This is no common Almes to prisoners;
I never heard such sweetnesse--O mine eyes!
I, that am shut from light, have all the light
Which the world sees by; here some heavenly fire
Is throwne about the roome, and burnes so clearely,
Mine eye-bals drop out blasted at the sight.

    (_He falls flat on the earth, and whilst a Song is heard
    the Angel writes, and vanishes as it ends_.)

        I. SONG.

    _What are earthly honours
    But sins glorious banners?
    Let not golden gifts delight thee,
    Let not death nor torments fright thee;
    From thy place thy Captaine gives thee
    When thou faintest he relieves thee.
    Hearke, how the Larke
    Is to the Morning singing;
    Harke how the Bells are ringing.
    It is for joy that thou to Heaven art flying:
    This is not life, true life is got by dying_.

_Eugen_. The light and sound are vanisht, but my feare
Sticks still upon my forehead: what's written here?    (_Reads_.)

    Goe, and the bold Physitian play;
    But touch the King and drive away
    The paine he feeles; but first assay
    To free the Christians: if the King pay
    Thy service ill, expect a day
    When for reward thou shalt not stay.

All writ in golden Letters and cut so even
As if some hand had hither reacht from Heaven
To print this Paper.

    _Enter Epidophorus_.

_Epi_. Come, you must to the King.

_Eugen_. I am so laden with Irons
I scarce can goe.

_Epi_. Wyer-whips shall drive you,
The King is counsell'd for his health to bath him
In the warme blood of Christians; and you, I thinke,
Must give him ease.

_Eugen_. Willingly; my fetters
Hang now, methinks, like feathers at my heeles.
On, any whither; I can runne, sir.

_Epi_. Can you? not very farre, I feare.

_Eugen_. No windes my Faith shake, nor rock[s] split in sunder:
The poore ship's tost here, my strong Anchor's yonder.


(SCENE 3.)

    _Enter Bellizarius and Hubert_.

_Hub_. My Lord?

_Belliz_. Ha!

_Hub_. Affraid in a close room where no foe comes
Unlesse it be a Weezle or a Rat
(And those besiege your Larder or your Pantry),
Whom the arm'd Foe never frighted in the field?

_Belliz_. 'Tis true, my Lord, there danger was a safety; here
To be secure I thinke most dangerous.
Or what could[157] famine, wounds or all th'extreames
That still attend a Souldiers actions
Could not destroy, one sillable from a Kings breath
Can thus, thus easily win.

_Hub_. Oh, 'tis their long observed policy
To turne away these roaring boyes
When they intend to rock licentious thoughts
In a soft roome, where every long Cushion is
Embroydered with old Histories of peace,
And all the hangings of Warre thrust into the Wardrobe
Till they grow musty or moth-eaten.

_Belliz_. One of those rusty Monuments am I.

_Hub_. A little oyle of favour will secure thee agen,
And make thee shine as bright as in that day
We wonne the famous battaile 'gainst the Christians.

    _Enter Bellina and kneeles weeping_.

_Belliz_. Never, _Hubert_, never.
What newes now, Girle? thy heart
So great it cannot tell me?

_Hub_. Sfoot, why shouldst thou be troubled, that art thus visited? Let
the King put me into any roome, the closer the better, and turne but
such a keeper to me, and if ever I strive to runne away, though the
doores be open, may the Virgins curse destroy me, and let me lamentably
and most unmanly dye of the Greene-sicknesse.

_Belliz_. My blessing bring thee patience, gentle Girle;
It is the best thy wronged Father can
Invoke for thee.--Tis my _Bellina, Hubert_:
Know her, honour'd Sir, and pittie her.

_Hub_. How sweetly she becomes the face of woe!
Shee teacheth misery to court her beauty
And to affliction lends a lovely looke.
Happy folkes would sell their blessings for her griefes
But to be sure to meete them thus.

_Bellina_. My honourd Father, your griev'd Daughter thus
Thrice every day to Heaven lifts her poore hand
And payes her vowes to the incensed Powers
For your release and happy patience,
And will grow old in vowes unto those Powers
Till they fall on me loaden with my wishes.

_Belliz_. Thou art the comfort of my Treasure, Girle:
Wee'le live together, if it please the King,
And tell sad Stories of thy wretched Mother;
Give equall sighes to one anothers griefe,
And by discourse of happinesse to come
Trample upon our present miseries.

_Hub_. There is a violent fire runnes round about me,
Which my sighes blow to a consuming flame.
To be her Martyr is a happinesse,
The sainted souls would change their merit for it.
Methinkes griefe dwells about her purest eyes,
As if it begg'd a pardon for those teares
Exhausted hence and onely due to love:
Her Vaile hangs like a Cloud over her face,
Through which her beauty, like a glimmering Starre,
Gives a transparent lustre to the night,
As if no sorrow could Ecclipse her light:
Her lips, as they discourse, methinks, looke pale
For feare they should not kisse agen; but, met,
They blush for joy, as happy Lovers doe
After a long divorce when they encounter.

_Belliz_. Noble Lord, if you dare lose so much precious time
As to be companion to my misery
But one poor houre,
And not esteeme your selfe too prodigall
For that expence, this wretched Maid my Child
Shall waite upon you with her sorrows stories;
Vouchsafe but you to heare it.

_Hub_. Yes, with full eare.

_Belliz_. To your best thoughts I leave you;
I will but read, and answer this my Letter.
                                      [_Exit. Belliz_.

_Bellina_. Why do you, seeme to loose your eyes on me?
Here's nothing but a pile of wretchednesse;
A branch that every way is shooke at roote
And would (I think) even fall before you now,
But that Divinity which props it up
Inspires it full of comfort, since the Cause
My father suffers for gives a full glory
To his base fetters of Captivity.
And I beseech you, Sir, if there but dwell
So much of Vertue in you as your lookes
Seeme to expresse possesse your honour'd thoughts,
Bestow your pitty on us, not your scorne;
And wish, for goodnesse sake and your soules weale,
You were a sharer in these sufferings,
So the same cause expos'd your fortunes too't.

_Hub_. Oh, happy woman, know I suffer more,
And for a cause as iust.

_Bellina_. Be proud then of that tryumph; but I am yet
A stranger to the Character of what
You say you suffer for. Is it for Conscience?

_Hub_. For love, divine perfection.

_Bellina_. If of Heaven's love, how rich is your reward!

_Hub_. Of Heaven's best blessing, your most perfect selfe.

_Bellina_. Alas, Sir, here perfection keeps no Court,
Love dresses here no wanton amorous bowers;
Sorrow has made perpetuall winter here,
And all my thoughts are Icie, past the reach
Of what Loves fires can thaw.

_Hub_. Oh doe but take away a part of that
My breast is full of, of that holy fire
The Queene of Loves faire Altar holds not purer
Nor more effectuall; and, sweet, if then
You melt not into passion for my wounds,
Effuse your Virgin vowes to chaine mine ears,
Weepe on my necke and with your fervent sighes
Infuse a soule of comfort into me;
He break the Altar of the foolish God,
Proclaime them guilty of Idolatry
That sacrifice to _Cytheraeas_ sonne.

_Bellina_. Did not my present fortunes and my vowes,
Register'd in the Records of Heaven,
Tye me too strictly from such thoughts as these,
I feare me I should softly yeeld to what
My yet condition has beene stranger to.
To love, my Lord, is to be miserable.

_Hub_. Oh to thy sweetnesse Envy would prove kind,
Tormentor humble, no pale Murderer;
And the Page of death a smiling Courtier.
_Venus_ must then, to give thee noble welcome,
Perfume her Temple with the breath of Nunnes,
Not _Vesta's_ but her owne; with Roses strow
The paths that bring thee to her blessed shrine;
Cloath all her Altares in her richest Robes
And hang her walles with stories of such loves
Have rais'd her Tryumphs; and 'bove all at last
Record this day, the happy day in which
_Bellina_ prov'd to love a Convertite.
Be mercifull and save me.

_Bellina_. You are defil'd with Seas of Christians blood,
An enemy to Heaven and which is good;
And cannot be a loving friend to me.

_Hub_. If I have sinn'd forgive me, you iust powers:
My ignorance, not cruelty has don't.
And here I vow my selfe to be hereafter
What ere _Bellina_ shall instruct me in:
For she was never made but to possesse
The highest Mansion 'mongst your Dignities,
Nor can Heaven let her erre.

_Bellina_. On that condition thus I spread my armes,
Whose chaste embraces ne're toucht man before;
And will to _Hubert_ all the favour shew
His vertuous love can covet.
I will be ever his; goe thou to Warre,
These hands shall arme thee; and Ile watch thy Tent
Till from the battaile thou bring'st victory.
In peace Ile sit by thee and read or sing
Stanzaes of chaste love, of love purifi'd
From desires drossie blacknesse; nay when our clouds
Of ignorance are quite vanisht, and that a holy
Religious knot between us may be tyed,
_Bellina_ here vowes to be _Hubert's_ bride:
Else doe I sweare perpetuall chastity.

_Hub_. Thy vowes I seale, be thou my ghostly Tutor;
And, all my actions levell'd to thy thoughts,
I am thy Creature.

_Bellina_. Let Heaven, too, but now propitious prove
And for thy soule thou hast wonne a happy love.
Come, shall we to my Father.


                           (_Soft Musick_)

(SCENE 4.)

    _Enter the King on his bed, two Physitians,
    Anthony Damianus and Cosmo_.

_King_. Are you Physitians?
Are you those men that proudly call your selves
The helps of Nature?

_Ant_. Oh, my good Lord, have patience.

_King_. What should I doe? lye like a patient Asse?
Feele my selfe tortur'd by this diffused poyson,
But tortur'd more by these unsavoury drugges?

_Ant_. Come one of you your selves and speake to him.

1 _Phys_. How fares your Highnesse?

_King_. Never worse:--What's he?

_Dami_. One of your Highnesse Doctors.

_King_. Come, sit neare me;
Feele my pulse once again and tell me, Doctor,
Tell me in tearmes that I may understand,--
I doe not love your gibberish,--tell me honestly
Where the Cause lies, and give a Remedy,
And that with speed; or in despight of Art,
Of Nature, you and all your heavenly motions,
Ile recollect so much of life into me
As shall give space to see you tortur'd.
Some body told me that a Bath of mans blood
Would restore me. Christians shall pay for't;
Fetch the Bishop hither, he shall begin.

_Cosm_. Hee's gone for.

_King_. What's my disease?

1 _Phys_. My Lord, you are poyson'd.

_King_. I told thee so my selfe, and told thee how:
But what's the reason that I have no helpe?
The Coffers of my Treasury are full,
Or, if they were not, tributary Christians
Bring in sufficient store to pay your fees,
If that you gape at.

2 _Phys_. Wilt please your Highnesse then to take this Cordiall?
Gold never truely did you good till now.

_King_. 'Tis gone.

2 _Phys_. My Lord, it was the perfectst tincture
Of Gold that ever any Art produc'd:
With it was mixt a true rare Quintessence
Extracted out of Orientall Bezar,[158]
And with it was dissolv'd the Magisteriall
Made of the Horne _Armenia_ so much boast of;
Which, though dull Death had usurp't Natures right,
Is able to create new life agen.

_King_. Why does it good on men and not on Kings?
We have the selfe-same passages for Nature
With mortall men; our pulses beate like theirs:
We are subiect unto passions as they are.
I finde it now, but to my griefe I finde,
Life stands not with us on such ticklish points,
What is't, because we are Kings, Life takes it leave
With greater state? No, no; the envious Gods
Maligne our happinesse. Oh that my breath had power
With my last words to blast their Deities.

1 _Phys_. The Cordiall that you tooke requires rest:
For healths sake, good my Lord, repose your selfe.

_King_. Yes, any thing for health; draw round the Curtaines.

_Dami_. Wee'le watch by him whilst you two doe consult.

1 _Phys_. What guesse you by that Urine?

2 _Phys_. Surely Death!

1 _Phys_. Death certaine, without contradiction,
For though the Urin be a whore and lies,
Yet where I finde her in all parts agree
With other Symtomes of apparent death
Ile give her faith. Pray, Sir, doe but marke
These black Hypostacies;[159] it plainely shewes
Mortification generally through the spirits;
And you may finde the Pulse to shew as much
By his uncertainty of time and strength.

2 _Phys_. We finde the spirits often suffisticated
By many accidents, but yet not mortified;
A sudden feare will doe it.

1 _Phys_. Very right;
But there's no malitious humour mixt
As in the king: Sir, you must understand
A Scorpion stung him: now a Scorpion is
A small compacted creature in whom Earth
Hath the predominance, but mixt with fire,
So that in him _Saturne_ and _Mars_ doe meet.
This little Creature hath his severall humours,
And these their excrements; these met together,
Enflamed by anger, made a deadly poison;
And by how much the creatures body's lesse
By so much is the force of Venome more,
As Lightning through a windows Casement
Hurts more than that which enters at the doore.

2 _Phys_. But for the way to cure it?

1 _Phys_. I know none;
Yet Ancient Writers have prescrib'd us many:
As _Theophrastus_ holds most excellent
Diophoratick[160] Medicines to expell
Ill vapours from the noble parts by sweate;
But _Avices_ and also _Rabby Roses_[161]
Doe thinke it better by provoking Urin,
Since by the Urine blood may well be purg'd,
And spirits from the blood have nutriment,
But for my part I ever held opinion
In such a case the Ventosities are best.

2 _Phys_. They are indeed, and they doe farre exceede--

1 _Phys_. All the great curious Cataphlasmes,
Or the live taile of a deplum[e]d Henne,
Or your hot Pigeons or your quartered whelpes;[162]
For they by a meere forc'd attractive power
Retaine that safely which by force was drawne,
Whereas the other things I nam'd before
Do lose their vertue as they lose their heat.

2 _Phys_. The ventosities shall be our next intensions.

_Anton_. Pray, Gentlemen, attend his Highnesse.

_King_. Your next intentions be to drowne your selves:
Dogge-leaches all! I see I am not mortall,
For I with patience have thus long endur'd
Beyond the strength of all mortality;
But now the thrice heate furnace of my bosome
Disdaineth bounds: doe not I scorch you all?
Goe, goe, you are all but prating Mountebankes,
Quack-salvers and Imposures; get you all from me.

2 _Phys_. These Ventosities, my lord, will give you ease.

_King_. A vengeance on thy Ventosities and thee!

    _Enter Eugenius_.

_Anton_. The Bishop, Sir, is come.

_King_. Christian, thy blood
Must give me ease and helpe.

_Eugen_. Drinke then thy fill:
None of the Fathers that begot sweet Physick,
That Divine Lady, comforter to man,
Invented such a medicine as man's blood;
A drinke so pretious should not be so spilt:
Take mine, and Heaven pardon you the guilt.

_King_. A Butcher! see his throat cut.

_Eugen_. I am so farre from shrinking that mine owne hands
Shall bare my throat; and am so farre from wishing
Ill to you that mangle me, that before
My blood shall wash these Rushes,
King, I will cure thee.

1 _Phys_. You cure him?

_King_. Speak on, fellow.

_Eugen_. If I doe not
Restore your limbs to soundnesse, drive the poyson
From the infected part, study your tortures
To teare me peece-meale yet be kept alive.

_King_. O reverent man, come neare me; worke this wonder,
Aske gold, honours, any, any thing
The sublunary treasures of this world
Can yeeld, and they are thine.

_Eugen_. I will doe nothing without a recompence.

_King_. A royall one.

_Omnes_. Name what you would desire.

_King_. Stand by; you trouble him.
A recompence can my Crowne bring thee, take it;
Reach him my Crowne and plant it on his head.

_Eugen_. No; here's my bargaine--

_King_. Quickly, oh speake quickly.--
Off with the good man's Irons.

_Eugen_. Free all those Christians which are now thy slaves,
In all thy Cittadels, Castles, Fortresses;
Those in _Bellanna_ and _Mersaganna_,
Those in _Alempha_ and in _Hazanoth_,
Those in thy Gallies, those in thy Iayles and Dungeons.

_King_. Those any where: my signet, take my signet,
And free all on your lives, free all the Christians.
What dost thou else desire?

_Eugen_. This; that thy selfe trample upon thy Pagan Gods.

_Omnes_. Sir!

_King_. Away.

_Eugen_. Wash your soule white by wading in the streame
Of Christian gore.

_King_.            I will turne Christian.

_Dam_. Better wolves worry this accursed--

_King_.                                   Better
Have Bandogs[163] worry all of you, than I
To languish in a torment that feedes on me
As if the Furies bit me. Ile turn Christian,
And, if I doe not, let the Thunder pay
My breach of promise. Cure me, good old man,
And I will call thee father; thou shalt have
A king come kneeling to thee every Morning
To take a blessing from thee, and to heare thee
Salute him as a sonne.
When, when is this wonder?

_Eugen_. Now; you are well, Sir.

_King_. Ha!

_Eugen_. Has your paine left you?

_King_. Yes; see else, _Damianus, Antony,
Cosmo_; I am well.

_Omnes_. He does it by inchantment.

1 _Phys_. By meere Witch-Craft.

_Eugen_. Thy payment for my cure.

_King_. What?

_Eugen_. To turne Christian,
And set all Christian slaves at liberty.

_King_. Ile hang and torture all--
Call backe the Messenger sent with our signet.
For thy selfe, thou foole, should I allow
Thee life thou wouldst be poyson'd by our
Colledge of Physitians. Let him not touch me
Nor ever more come neare me; and to be sure
Thy sorceries shall not strike me, stone him to death.

    (_They binde him to a stake, and fetch stones in baskets_.)

_Omnes. When?

_King_. Now, here presently.

_Eugen_. Ingratefull man!

_King_. Dispatch, his voyce is horrid in our eares;
Kill him, hurle all, and in him kill my feares.

_Eugen_. I would thy feares were ended.

_King_. Why thus delay you?

_Dam_. The stones are soft as spunges.

_Anton_. Not any stone here
Can raze his skin.

_Dam_. See, Sir.

_Cosmo_. Thankes, heavenly preservation.

_King_. Mockt by a hell-hound!

_Omnes_. This must not be endur'd, Sir.

_King_. Unbinde the wretch;
Naile him to the earth with Irons. Cannot death strike him?
New studied tortures shall.

_Eugen_. New tortures bring,
They all to me are but a banquetting.

_Anton_. But are you well, indeed, Sir?

_King_. Passing well:
Though my Physitian fetcht the cure from hell;
All's one, I am glad I have it.


_Actus Quartus_.

    _Enter Antony, Cosmo, Hubert, and Damianus_.

_Anton_. You, noble Hubert, are the man[164] chosen out
From all our _Vandal_ Leaders to be chiefe
O'er a new army, which the King will raise
To roote out from our land these Christians
That over-runne us.

_Cosmo_. 'Tis a glory, _Hubert_,
Will raise your fame and make you like our gods,
To please whom you must do this.

_Dam_. And in doing
Be active as the fire and mercilesse
As is the boundlesse Ocean when it swallows
Whole Townes and of them leaves no Monuments.

_Hub_. When shall mine eyes be happy in the sight
Of this brave Pagentry?

_Cosmo_. The King sayes instantly.

_Hub_. And must I be the Generall?

_Omnes_. Onely you.

_Hub_. I shall not then at my returning home
Have sharers in my great acts: to the Volume
My Sword in bloody Letters shall text downe
No name must stand but mine; no leafe turn'd o'er
But _Huberts_ workes are read and none but mine.
_Bellizarius_ shall not on his Clouds of fire
Fly flaming round about the staring World
Whilst I creepe on the earth. Flatter me not:
Am I to goe indeed?

_Anton_. The King so sweares.

_Hub_. A Kings word is a Statute graven in Brasse,
And if he breakes that Law I will in Thunder
Rouze his cold spirit. I long to ride in Armour,
And looking round about me to see nothing
But Seas and shores, the Seas of Christians blood,
The shoares tough Souldiers. Here a wing flies out
Soaring at Victory; here the maine Battalia
Comes up with as much horrour and hotter terrour
As if a thick-growne Forrest by enchantment
Were made to move, and all the Trees should meete
Pell mell, and rive their beaten bulkes in sunder,
As petty Towers doe being flung downe by Thunder.
Pray, thanke the King, and tell him I am ready
To cry a charge; tell him I shall not sleepe
Till that which wakens Cowards, trembling with feare,
Startles me, and sends brave Musick to mine eare;
And that's the Drumme and Trumpet.

_Ant_. This shall be told him.

_Dam_. And all the _Goths_ and _Vandalls_ shall strike Heaven
With repercussive Ecchoes of your name,
Crying, a _Hubert_!

_Hub_. Deafe me with that sound:
A Souldier, though he falls in the Field, lives crown'd.

_Cosmo_. Wee'le to the King and tell him this.


    _Enter Bellina_.

_Hub_. Doe.--Oh, my _Bellina_,
If ever, make me happy now; now tye
Strong charmes about my full-plum'd Burgonet
To bring me safe home. I must to the Warres.

_Bellina_. What warres? we have no warres but in our selves;
We fighting with our sinnes, our sinnes with us;
Yet they still get the Victory. Who are in Armes
That you must to the Field?

_Hub_. The Kings Royall thoughts
Are in a mutiny amongst themselves,
And nothing can allay them but a slaughter,
A general massacre of all the Christians
That breath in his Dominion. I am the Engine
To worke this glorious wonder.

_Bellina_. Forefend it Heaven!
Last time you sat by me within my bower
I told you of a Pallace wall'd with gold.

_Hub_. I doe remember it.

_Bellina_. The floore of sparkling Diamonds, and the roofe
Studded with Stanes shining as bright as fire.

_Hub_. True.

_Bellina_. And I told you one day I would shew you
A path should bring you thither.

_Hub_. You did indeed.

_Bellina_. And will you now neglect a lease of this
To lye in a cold field, a field of murder?
Say thou shouldst kill ten thousand Christians;
They goe but as Embassadors to Heaven
To tell thy cruelties, and on yon Battlements
They all will stand on rowes, laughing to see
Thee fall into a pit as bottomlesse
As the Heavens are in extension infinite.

_Hub_. More, prethee, more: I had forgot this Musick.

_Bellina_. Say thou shouldst win the day, yet art thou lost,
For ever lost; an everlasting slave
Though thou com'st home a laurel'd Conqueror.
You courted me to love you; now I woe thee
To love thy selfe, to love a thing within thee
More curious than the frame of all this world,
More lasting than this Engine o're our heads,
Whose wheeles have mov'd so many thousand yeeres:
This thing is thy soule, for which I woe thee.

_Hub_. Thou woest, I yeeld, and in that yeelding love thee,
And for that love Ile be the Christians guide:
I am their Captaine, come, both _Goth_ and _Vandall_;
Nay, come the King, I am the Christians Generall.

_Bellina_. Not yet, till your Commission be faire drawne;
Not yet, till on your brow you beare the Print
Of a rich golden seale.

_Hub_. Get me that seale, then.

_Bellina_. There is an _Aqua fortis_ (an eating water)
Must first wash off thine infidelity,
And then th'art arm'd.

_Hub_. O let me, then, be arm'd.

_Bellina_.                       Thou shalt;
But on thy knees thou gently first shall sweare
To put no Armour on but what I beare.

_Hub_. By this chaste clasping of our hands I sweare.

_Bellina_. We then thus hand in hand will fight a battaile
Worth all the pitch-fields, all the bloody banquets,
The slaughter and the massacre of Christians,
Of whom such heapes so quickly never fell.
Brave onset! be thy end not terrible.

_Hub_. This kindled fire burne in us, till as deaths slaves
Our bodies pay their tributes to their graves.


(SCENE 2.)

    _Enter Clowne and two Pagans_.

_Clown_. Come, fellow Pagans; death meanes to fare well to-day, for he
is like to have rost-meate to his supper, two principal dishes; many a
knight keepes a worse Table: first, a brave Generall Carbonadoed[165],
then a fat Bishop broyl'd, whose Rochet[166] comes in fryed for the
second course, according to the old saying, _A plumpe greazie Prelate
fries a fagot daintily_.

1 _Pag_. Oh! the Generall _Bellizarius_ for my money; hee has a fiery
Spirit, too; hee will roast soakingly within and without.

_Clown_. Methinks Christians make the bravest Bonefires of any people
in the Universe; as a _Jew_ burnes pretty well, but if you marke him he
burnes upward; the fire takes him by the Nose first.

2 _Pag_. I know some Vintners then are _Jewes_

_Clown_. Now, as your _Jew_ burnes upward, your _French-man_ burnes
downewards like a Candle and commonly goes out with a stinke like a
snuffe; and what socket soever it light in it, must be well cleans'd
and pick't before it can be us'd agen. But _Bellizarius_, the brave
Generall, will flame high and cleare like a Beacon; but your Puritane
_Eugenius_ will burne blew, blew like a white-bread sop in _Aqua Vitae_.
Fellow Pagans, I pray let us agree among ourselves about the sharing of
those two.

2 _Pag_. I, 'tis fit.

_Clown_. You know I am worshipfull by my place; the under-keeper may
write Equire if he list at the bottome of the paper: I doe cry first
the Generalls great Scarfe to make me a short Summer-cloake, and the
Bishops wide sleeves to make me a Holy-dayes shirt.

1 _Pag_. Having a double voyce we cannot abridge you of a double share.

_Clown_. You, that so well know what belongs to reverence, the Breeches
be[167] yours, whether Bishops or Generalls; but with this Provizo,
because we will all share of both parties, as I have lead the way, I
clayming the Generalls and the Bishops sleeves, so he that chuses the
Generalls Doublet shall weare the Generalls Breeches.

2 _Pag_. A match.

_Clown_. Nay, 'twill be farre from a match, that's certaine; but it will
make us to be taken for men of note, what company soever we come in.

    The Souldier and the Scholler, peekt up so,
    Will make _tam Marti quam Mercurio_.


(SCENE 3.)

    _Enter the King, Antony, Damianus, and Cosmo;
    Victoria meetes the King_.

_Vict_. As you are Vice-gerent to that Maiesty
By whom Kings reigne on earth, as you would wish
Your heires should sit upon your Throne, your name
Be mentioned in the Chronicle of glory;
Great King, vouchsafe me hearing.

_King_. Speake.

_Vict_. My husband,
The much, too much wrong'd _Bellizarius_,
Hath not deserv'd the measure of such misery
Which is throwne on him. Call, oh call to minde
His service, how often he hath fought
And toyl'd in warres to give his Country peace.
He has not beene a flatterer of the Time,
Nor Courted great ones for their glorious Vices;
He hath not sooth'd blinde dotage in the World,
Nor caper'd on the Common-wealths dishonour;
He has not peeld the rich nor flead the poore,
Nor from the heart-strings of the Commons drawne
Profit to his owne Coffers; he never brib'd
The white intents of mercy; never sold
Iustice for money, to set up his owne
And utterly undoe whole families.
Yet some such men there are that have done thus:
The mores the pitty.

_King_. To the poynt.

_Vict_. Oh, Sir,
_Bellizarius_ has his wounds emptied of blood,
Both for his Prince and Countrey: to repeat
Particulars were to do iniury
To your yet mindfull gratitude. His Life,
His liberty, 'tis that I plead for--that;
And since your enemies and his could never
Captive the one and triumph in the other,
Let not his friends--his King--commend a cruelty,
Strange to be talkt of, cursed to be acted.
My husband, oh! my husband _Bellizarius_,
For him I begge.

_King_. Lady, rise up; we will be gracious
To thy suit,--Cause _Bellizarius_
And the Bishop be brought hither instantly.
                                [_Exit for him_.

_Vict_. Now all the blessings due to a good King
Crowne you with lasting honours.

_King_. If thou canst
Perswade thy husband to recant his errours,
He shall not onely live, but in our favoures
Be chiefe. Wilt undertake it?

_Vict_. Undertake it, Sir,
On these conditions? You shall your selfe
Be witnesse with what instance I will urge him
To pitty his owne selfe, recant his errours.

_Anton_. So doing he will purchase many friends.

_Dam_. Life, love, and liberty.

_Vict_. But tell me, pray, Sir;
What are those errours which he must recant?

_King_. His hatred to those powers to which we bow,
On whom we all depend, he has kneel'd to them;
Let him his base Apostacy recant,
Recant his being a Christian, and recant
The love he beares to Christians.

_Vict_. If he deny
To doe all this, or any poynt of this,
Is there no mercy for him?

_King_. Couldst thou shed
A Sea of teares to drowne my resolution,
He dyes; could this fond man lay at my foote
The kingdomes of the earth, he dyes; he dyes
Were he my sonne, my father. Bid him recant,
Else all the Torments cruelty can invent
Shall fall on him.

_Vict_. No sparke of pitty?

_King_. None.

_Vict_. Well, then, but mark what paines Ile take to winne him,
To winne him home; Ile set him in a way
The Clouds shall clap to finde what went astray.

_Anton_. Doe this, and we are all his.

_King_. Doe this, I sweare to jewell him in my bosome.
--See where he comes.

    _Enter Epidophorus with Bellizarius and Eugenius_.

_Belliz_. And whither now? Is Tyranny growne ripe
To blow us to our graves yet?

_King_. _Bellizarius_,
Thy wife has s'ud for mercy, and has found it;
Speake, Lady, tell him how.

_Belliz_. _Victoria_ too!
Oh, then I feare the striving to expresse
The virtue of a good wife hath begot
An utter ruine of all goodnesse in thee.
What wou'dst thou say, poore woman?
My Lord the King,
Nothing can alter your incensed rage
But recantation?

_King_. Nothing.

_Vict_. Recantation! sweet
Musicke; _Bellizarius_, thou maist live;
The King is full of royall bounty--like
The ambition of mortality--examine;
That recantation is--a toy.

_King_. None hinder her; now ply him.

_Vict_. To lose the portage[168] in these sacred pleasures
That knowes no end; to lose the fellowship
Of Angels; lose the harmony of blessings
Which crowne all Martyrs with eternity!
Wilt thou not recant?

_King_. I understand her not.

_Omnes_. Nor I.

_Vict_. Thy life hath hitherto beene, my dear husband,
But a disease to thee; thou hast indeed
Mov'd on the earth like other creeping wormes
Who take delight in worldly surfeits, heate
Their blood with lusts, their limbes with proud attyres;
Fe[e]d on their change of sinnes; that doe not use
Their pleasure[s] but enjoy them, enjoy them fully
In streames that are most sensuall and persever
To live so till they die, and to die never[169].

_King_. What meanes all this?

_Anton_. Art in thy right wits, woman?

_Vict_. Such beasts are those about thee; take then courage;
If ever in thy youth thy soule hath set
By the Worlds tempting fires, as these men doe,
Recant that errour.

_King_. Ha!

_Vict_. Hast thou in battaile tane a pride in blood?
Recant that errour. Hast thou constant stood
In a bad cause? clap a new armour on
And fight now in a good. Oh lose not heaven
For a few minutes in a Tyrants eye;
Be valiant and meete death: if thou now losest
Thy portion laid up for thee yonder, yonder,
For breath or honours here, oh thou dost sell
Thy soule for nothing. Recant all this,
And then be rais'd up to a Throne of blis.

_Anton_. We are abus'd, stop her mouth.

_Belliz_. _Victoria_,
Thou nobly dost confirme me, hast new arm'd
My resolution, excellent _Victoria_.

_Eugen_. Oh happy daughter, thou in this dost bring
That _Requiem_ to our soules which Angels sing.

_Dam_. Can you endure this wrong, Sir?

_Cosmo_. Be out-brav'd by a seducing Strumpet?

_King_. Binde her fast;
Weele try what recantation you can make.
Hagge, in the presence of your brave holy Champion
And thy Husband,
One of my Cammell drivers shall take from thee
The glory of thy honesty and honour.
Call in the Peasant.

_Vict_. _Bellizarius_,
_Eugenius_, is there no guard above us
That will protect me from a rape? 'tis worse
Than worlds of tortures.

_Eugen_. Fear not, _Victoria_;
Be thou a chaste one in thy minde, thy body
May like a Temple of well tempered steele
Be batter'd, not demolishe'd.

_Belliz_. Tyrant, be mercifull;
And if thou hast no other vertue in thee
Deserving memory to succeeding ages,
Yet onely thy not suffering such an out-rage
Shall adde praise to thy name.

_King_. Where is the Groome?

_Eugen_. Oh sure the Sunne will darken
And not behold a deed so foule and monstrous.

    _Enter Epidophorus with a Slave_.

_Epi_. Here is the Cammell driver.

_Omnes_. Stand forth, sirrah.

_Epi_. Be bould and shrink not; this is she.

1 _Cam_. And I am hee. Is't the kings pleasure that
I should mouse[170] her, and before all these people?

_King_. No; 'tis considered better; unbinde the fury
And dragge her to some corner; 'tis our pleasure,
Fall to thy businesse freely.

1 _Cam_. Not too freely neither: I fare hard and drinke water; so doe
the _Indians_, yet who fuller of Bastards? so doe the _Turkes_, yet who
gets greater Logger-heads? Come, wench; Ile teach thee how to cut up
wild fowle.

_Vict_. Guard me, you heavens.

_Belliz_. Be mine eyes lost for ever.

1 _Cam_. Is that her husband?

_Epi_. Yes.

1 _Cam_. No matter; some husbands are so base, they keepe the doore
whilst they are Cuckolded; but this is after a more manlier way, for
he stands bound to see it done.

_King_. Haile her away.

1 _Cam_. Come, Pusse! Haile her away? which way? yon way? my Camells
backs cannot climbe it.

_Anton_. The fellow is struck mad.

1 _Cam_. That way? it lookes into a Mill-pond,
Whirre! how the Wheels goe and the Divell grindes.
No, this way.

_King_. Keepe the slave back!

_1 Cam_. Backe, keep me backe! there sits my wife kembing her haire,
which curles like a witches felt-locks[171]! all the Neets in't are
Spiders, and all the Dandruffe the sand of a Scriveners Sand-boxe.
Stand away; my whore shall not be lousie; let me come noynt her with

_King_. Defend me, lop his hands off!

_Omnes_. Hew him in pieces

_King_. What has he done?

_Anton_. Sir, beate out his owne braines.

_Vict_. You for his soule must answer.

_King_. Fetch another.

_Eugen_. Tempt not the wrath supernall to fall downe
And crush thee in thy throne.

    _Enter 2 Cammell drivers_.

_King_. Peace, sorcerous slave:
Sirra, take hence this Witch and ravish her.

2 _Cam_. A Witch? Witches are the Divels sweete hearts.

_King_. Doe it, be thou Master of much gold.

2 _Cam_. Shall I have gold to doe it? in some Countries I heare whole
Lordships are spent upon a fleshly device, yet the buyer in the end had
nothing but French Repentance and the curse of Chyrurgery for his money.
Let me finger my gold; Ile venture on, but not give her a penny. Womans
flesh was never cheaper; a man may eate it without bread; all Trades
fall, so doe they.

_Epi_. Look you, Sir, there's your gold.

2 _Cam_. Ile tell money after my father. Oh I am strucke blinde!

_Omnes_. The fellow is bewitcht, Sir.

_Eugen_. Great King, impute not
This most miraculous delivery
To witch-craft; 'tis a gentle admonition
To teach thy heart obey it.

_King_. Lift up the slave;
Though he has lost his sight, his feeling is not;
He dyes unlesse he ravish her.

_Epi_. Force her into thy armes or else thou dyest.

2 _Cam_. I have lost my hearing, too.

_King_. Fetch other slaves.

_Epi_. Thou must force her.

2 _Cam_. Truely I am hoarse with driving my Cammells, and nothing does
me good but sirrop of Horehound.

    _Enter two Slaves_.

_Epi_. Here are two slaves will doe it indeed.

2. Which is shee?

_King_. This creature; she has beauty to intice you
And enough to feast you all; seize her all three
And ravish her by turnes.

_Slaves_. A match.

                      [_They dance antiquely, and Exeunt_.

_King_. Hang up these slaves; I am mock't by her and them;
They dance me into anger. Heard you not musicke?

_Anton_. Yes, sure, and most sweet melody.

_Vict_. 'Tis the heavens play
And the Clowdes dance for ioy thy cruelty
Has not tane hold upon me.

_King_. Hunger then shall:
Leade them away, dragge her to some loathed dungeon
And for three days give her no food.
Load her with Irons.

_Epi_. They shall.

_Eugen_. Come, fellow souldiers, halfe the fight is past:
The bloodiest battell comes to an end at last.


_Actus Quintus_.

    _Enter Epidophorus and Clowne_.

_Epi_. Have any Christian soule broke from my Iayle
This night, and gone i'the dark to find out heaven?
Are any of my hated prisoners dead?

_Clown_. Dead? yes; and five more come into the world instead of one.
These Christians are like Artichoaks of _Jerusalam_; they over-runne
any ground they grow in.

_Epi_. Are they so fruitfull?

_Clown_. Fruitfull! a Hee Christian told me that amongst them the young
fellowes are such Earing rioted[173] Rascals that they will runne into
the parke of Matrimony at sixteene; are Bucks of the first head at
eighteenes and by twenty carry in some places their hornes on their

_Epi_. On their backs? What kind of Christians are they?

_Clown_. Marry, these are Christian Butchers, who when their Oxen are
flead throw their skinnes on their shoulders.

_Epi_. I thought they had beene Cuckolds.

_Clown_. Amongst them? no; there's no woman, that's a true Christian,
will horne her husband. There dyed to night no lesse than six and a
halfe in our Iayle.

_Epi_. How? six and a halfe?

_Clown_. One was a girle of thirteene, with child.

_Epi_. Thy tidings fats me.

_Clown_. You may have one or two of 'em drest to your Dinner to make
you more fat.

_Epi_. Unhallowed slave! let a _Jew_ eate Pork, when
I but touch a Christian.

_Clown_. You are not of my dyet: Would I had a young Loyne of Porke to
my Supper, and two Loynes of a pretty sweate Christian after Supper.

_Epi_. Would thou mightst eate and choake.

_Clown_. Never at such meate; it goes downe without chawing.

_Epi_. We have a taske in hand, to kill a Serpent
Which spits her poyson in our kingdomes face.
And that we speake not of (?); lives still
That Witch _Victoria_, wife to _Bellizarius_?
Is Death afraid to touch the Hagge? does hunger
Tremble to gnaw her flesh off, dry up her blood
And make her eate her selfe in Curses, ha?

_Clown_. Ha? your mouth gapes as if you would eate me. The King
commanded she should be laden with Irons,--I have laid two load upon
her; then to pop her into the Dungeon,--I thrust her downe as deepe as
I could; then to give her no meate,--alas my cheekes cry out, I have
meate little enough for my selfe. Three days and three nights has her
Cupboard had no victuals in it; I saw no lesse than Fifty sixe Mice
runne out of the hole she lies in, and not a crumme of bread or bit of
cheese amongst them.

_Epi_. 'Tis the better.

_Clown_. I heard her one morning cough pittifully; upon which I gave her
a messe of Porredge piping-hot.

_Epi_. Thou Dog, 'tis Death.

_Clown_. Nay but, Sir, I powr'd 'em downe scalding as they were on her
head, because they say they are good for a cold, and I thinke that
kill'd her; for to try if she were alive or no I did but even now tye a
Crust to a packe-threed on a pinne, but shee leapt not at it; so that I
am sure shee's worms meate by this.

_Epi_. Rewards in golden showers shall raine upon us,
Be thy words true: fall downe and kisse the earth.

_Clown_. Kisse earth? Why? and so many wenches come to the Iayle?

_Epi_. Slave, downe and clap thy eare to the caves mouth
And make me glad or heavy; if she speake not
I shall cracke my ribs and spend my spleene in laughter;
But if thou hear'st her pant I am gon.

_Clown_. Farewell, then.

_Epi_. Breaths shee?

_Clown_. No, Sir; her winde instrument is out of tune.

_Epi_. Call, cal.

_Clown_. Do you heare, you low woman? hold not downe your head so for
shame; creepe not thus into a corner, no honest woman loves to be
fumbling thus in the darke. Hang her; she has no tongue.

_Epi_. Would twenty thousand of their sexe had none.

_Clown_. Foxe, foxe, come out of your hole.

    _An Angel ascends from the cave, singing_.

_Epi_. Horrour! what's this?

_Clown_. Alas, I know not what my selfe am.


    _Fly, darknesse, fly in spight of Caves;
    Truth can thrust her armes through Graves.
        No Tyrant shall confine
        A white soule that's divine
        And does more brightly shine
        Than Moone or Sunne;
        She lasts when they are done_.

_Epi_. I am bewitcht,
Mine Eyes faile me; lead me to [the] King.

_Clown_. And tell we heard a Mermaide sing.



    _Goe, fooles, and let your feares
    Glow as your sins[174] and eares;
    The good, how e're trod under,
    Are Lawreld safe in thunder;
    Though lockt up in a Den
    One Angel frees you from an host of men_.

        _The Angel descends as the King enters, who comes
        in with his Lords, Epidophorus and the Clowne_.

_King_. Where is this piece of witchcraft?

_Epi_. 'Tis vanish'd, Sir,

_Clown_. 'Twas here, just at the Caves mouth, where shee lyes.

_Anton_. What manner of thing was it?

_Epi_. An admirable face, and when it sung
All the Clouds danc't methought above our heads,

_Clown_. And all the ground under my heeles quak't like a Bogge.

_King_. Deluded slaves! these are turn'd Christians, too.

_Epi_. The prisoners in my Iayle will not say so.

_Clown_. Turnd Christians! it has ever beene my profession to fang[175]
and clutch and to squeeze: I was first a Varlet[176], then a Bumbaily,
now an under Iailor. Turn'd Christian!

_King_. Breake up the Iron passage of the Cave
And if the sorceresse live teare her in pieces.

    _The Angel ascends agen_.

_Epi_. See, 'tis come agen.

_King_. It staggers me.

_Omnes_. Amazement! looke to the King.


    _She comes, she comes, she comes!
    No banquets are so sweete as Martyrdomes.
          She comes!_

               (_Angel descends_.)

_Anton_. 'Tis vanish'd, Sir, agen.

_Dam_. Meere Negromancy.

_Cosmo_. This is the apparition of some divell
Stealing a glorious shape, and cryes 'she comes'!

_Clown_. If all divels were no worse, would I were amongst 'em.

_King_. Our power is mockt by magicall impostures;
They shall not mock our tortures. Let _Eugenius_
And _Bellizarius_ fright away these shadowes
Rung from sharp tortures: drag them hither.

_Epi_. To th'stake?

_Clown_. As Beares are?

_King_. And upon your lives
My longings feast with her, though her base limbes
Be in a thousand pieces.

_Clown_. She shall be gathered up.

                   [_Exit. Epid. and Clowne_.

    (_Victoria rises out of the cave, white_.)

_Vict_. What's the Kings will? I am here.
Are your tormentors ready to give battaile?
I am ready for them, and though I lose
My life hope to winne the day.

_King_. What art thou?

_Vict_. An armed Christian.

_King_. What's thy name?

_Vict_. _Victoria_: in my name there's conquest writ:
I therefore feare no threat[e]nings! but pray
That thou maist dye a good king.

_Omnes_. This is not she, Sir.

_King_. It is, but on her brow some Deity sits.
What are those Fayries dressing up her haire,
Whilst sweeter spirits dancing in her eyes
Bewitcheth me to them?

    _Enter Epidophorus, Bellizarius, Eugenius, and Clowne_.

Oh _Victoria_, love me!
And see, thy Husband, now a slave whose life
Hangs at a needles poynt, shall live, so thou
Breath but the doome.--Trayters! what sorcerous hand
Has built upon this inchantment of a Christian
To make me doat upon the beauty of it?
How comes she to this habite? Went she thus in?

_Epi_. No, Sir, mine owne hande stript her into rags.

_Clown_. For any meat shee has eaten her face needes not make you doate;
and for cleane linen Ile sweare it was not brought into the Iaile, for
there they scorne to shift once a weeke.

_King_. _Bellizarius_, woe thy wife that she would love me,
And thou shalt live.

_Belliz_. I will.--_Victoria_,
By all those chaste fires kindled in our bosomes
Through which pure love shin'd on our marriage night;
Nay, with a bolder conjuration,
By all those thornes and bryers which thy soft feet
Tread boldly on to finde a path to heaven,
I begge of thee, even on my knee I beg,
That thou wouldst love this King, take him by th'hand,
Warme his in thine, and hang about his necke,
And seale ten thousand kisses on his cheeke,
So he will tread his false gods under foote.

_Omnes_. Oh, horrible!

_King_. Bring tortures.

_Belliz_. So he will wash his soule white, as we doe,
And fight under our Banner (bloody red),
And hand in hand with us walke martyred.

_Anton_. They mocke you.

_King_. Stretch his body up by th'armes,
And at his feete hang plummets.

_Clown_. He shall be well shod for stroveling, I warrant you.

_Cosmo_. _Eugenius_, bow thy knee before our _Jove_,
And the King gives thee mercy.

_Dam_. Else stripes and death.

_Eugen_. We come into the world but at one doore,
But twenty thousand gates stand open wide
To give us passage hence: death then is easie,
And I defie all tortures.

_King_. Then fasten the Cative;
I care not for thy wife: Get from mine eyes
Thou tempting _Lamia_. But, _Bellizarius_,
Before thy bodyes frame be puld in pieces,
Wilt thou forsake the errours thou art drencht in?

_Belliz_. Errours? thou blasphemous and godlesse man,
From the great Axis maist thou as easie
With one arme plucke the Universall Globe,
As from my Center move me. There's my figure;
They are waves that beat a rock insensible
With an infatigable patience.
My breast dares all your arrowes; shoote,--shoote, all;
Your tortures are but struck against the wall,
Which, backe rebounding, hit your selves.

_King_. Up with him.

_Belliz_. Lay on more waights; that hangman which more brings
Addes active feathers to my soaring wings.

                              (_They draw him up_.)

_King_. _Victoria_, yet save him.

_Vict_. Keepe on thy flight,
And be a bird of Paradise.

_Omnes_. Give him more Irons.

_Belliz_. More, more.

_King_. Let him then goe; love thou and be my Queene,
Daine but to love me.

_Vict_. I am going to live with a farre greater King.

_King_. Binde the coy strumpet; she dyes, too.
Let her braines be beaten on an Anvill:
For some new plagues for her!

_Omnes_. Vexe him.

_Belliz_. Doe more.

_Vict_. Heavens, pardon you.

_Eugen_. And strengthen him in all his sufferings.

        _Two Angels descend_.


    _Come, oh come, oh come away;
    A Quire of Angels for thee stay;
    A home where Diamonds borrow light,
    Open stands for thee this night,
    Night? no, no; here is ever day:
    Come, oh come, oh come, oh come away_.

1 _Ang_. This battaile is thy last; fight well, and winne
A Crowne set full of Starres.

_Belliz_. I spy an arme
Plucking [me] up to heaven; more waights, you are best;
I shall be gone else.

_Vict_. Doe, Ile follow thee.

_King_. Is he not yet dispatcht?

_Belliz_. Yes, King, I thanke thee;
I have all my life time trod on rotten ground,
And still so deepe beene sinking that my soule
Was oft like to bee lost; but now I see
A guide, sweete guide, a blessed messenger
Who having brought me up a little way
Up yonder hill, I then am sure to buy
For a few stripes here rich eternity.


    _Victory, victory! hell is beaten downe,
    The Martyr has put on a golden Crowne;
    Ring Bels of Heaven, him welcome hither,
    Circle him Angels round together_.

1 _Angel_. Follow!

_Vict_. I will; what sacred voice cryes 'follow'!
I am ready: Oh send me after him.

_King_. Thou shalt not,
Till thou hast fed my lust.

_Vict_. Thou foole, thou canst not;
All my mortality is shaken off;
My heart of flesh and blood is gone; my body
Is chang'd; this face is not that once was mine.
I am a Spirit, and no racke of thine
Can touch me.

_King_. Not a racke of mine shall touch thee.
Why should the world loose such a paire of Sunnes
As shine out from thine eyes? Why art thou cruell,
To make away thy selfe and murther mee?
Since whirle-winds cannot shake thee thou shalt live,
And Ile fanne gentle gales upon thy face.
Fetch me a day bed, rob the earths perfumes
Of all the ravishing sweetes to feast her sence;
Pillowes of roses shall beare up her head;
O would a thousand springs might grow in one
To weave a flowry mantle o're her limbes
As she lyes downe.

    _Enter two Angels about the bed_.

_Vict_. O that some rocke of Ice
Might fall on me and freeze me into nothing.

_King_. Enchant our [her?] eares with Musicke; would I had skill
To call the winged musitians of the aire
Into these roomes! they all should play to thee
Till golden slumbers danc'd upon thy browes,
Watching to close thine eye-lids.

_Ang_. These Starres must shine no more; soule, flye away.
Tyrant, enioy but a cold lumpe of clay.

_King_. My charmes worke; shee sleepes,
And lookes more lovely now she sleepes.
Against she wakes, Invention, grow thou poore,
Studying to finde a banquet which the gods
Might be invited to. I need not court her now
For a poor kisse; her lips are friendly now,
And with the warme breath sweeting all the Aire,
Draw mee thus to them.--Ha! the lips of Winter
Are not so cold.

_Anton_. She's dead, Sir.

_King_. Dead?

_Dam_. As frozen as if the North-winde had in spight
Snatcht her hence from you.

_King_. Oh; I have murthered her!
Perfumes some creature kill: she has so long
In that darke Dungeon suck't pestiferous breath,
The sweete has stifled her. Take hence the body,
Since me it hated it shall feele my hate:
Cast her into the fire; I have lost her,
And for her sake all Christians shall be lost
That subjects are to me: massacre all,
But thou, _Eugenius_, art the last shall fall
This day; and in mine eye, though it nere see more,
Call on thy helper which thou dost adore.

            _A Thunder-bolt strikes him_.

_Omnes_. The King is strucke with thunder!

_Eugen_. Thankes, Divine Powers;
Yours be the triumph and the wonder ours.

_Anton_. Unbinde him till a new King fill the throne;
And he shall doome him.

             _A Hubert, a Hubert, a Hubert_!

    _Flourish: Enter Hubert, armed with shields and swords.
    Bellina and a company of Souldiers with him_.

_Hub_. What meanes this cry, 'a Hubert'? Where's your King?

_Omnes_. Strucke dead by thunder.

_Hub_. So I heare; you see, then,
There is an arme more rigorous than your _Iove_,
An arme stretcht from above to beate down Gyants,
The mightiest Kings on _Earth_, for all their shoulders
Carry _Colossi_ heads: the memory
Of _Genzericks_ name dyes here: _Henricke_ gives buriall
To the successive glory of that race
Who had both voyce and title to the Crowne,
And meanes to guard it.--Who must now be King?

_Anton_. We know not till we call the Lords together.

_Hub_. What Lords?

_Cosmo_. Our selves and others.

_Hub_. Who makes you Lords?
The Tree upon whose boughs your honours grew,
Your Lordships and your lives, is falne to th'ground.

_Dam_. We stand on our owne strength.

_Hub_. Who must be King?

             _Within: A Hubert, a Hubert a Hubert_!

_Hub_. Deliver to my hand that reverent [_sic_] man.

_Epi_. Take him and torture him, for he cald down Vengeance
On _Henricks_ head.

_Hub_. Good _Eugenius_, lift thy hands up,
For thou art say'd from _Henricke_ and from these.
You heare what ecchoes
Rebound from earth to heaven, from heaven to earth,
Casting the name of King onely on me?
This golden apple is a tempting fruit;
It is within my reach; this sword can touch it,
And lop the weake branch off on which it hangs.
Which of you all would spurne at such a Starre,
Lay it i'th the dust when 'tis let down from heaven
For him to weare?

_Anton_. Who then must weare that Starre?

                _Within: Hubert, Hubert, Hubert_!

_Hub_. The Oracle tells you; Oracle? 'tis a voyce
From above tells you; for the peoples tongues,
When they pronounce good things, are ty'd to chaines
Of twenty thousand linkes, which chaines are held
By one supernall hand, and cannot speake
But what that hand will suffer. I have then
The people on my side; I have the souldiers;
I have that army which your rash young King
Had bent against the Christians,--they now are mine:
I am the Center, and they all are lines
Meeting in me. If, therefore, these strong sinewes,
The Souldiers and the Commons, have a vertue
To lift me into the Throne, Ile leape into it.
Will you consent or no? be quick in answer;
I must be swift in execution else.

_Omnes_. Let us consult.

_Hub_. Doe, and doe't quickly.

_Eugen_. O noble Sir, if you be King shoot forth
Bright as a Sunne-beame, and dry up these vapours
That choake this kingdome; dry the seas of blood
Flowing from Christians, and drinke up the teares
Of those alive, halfe slaughter'd in their feares.

_Hub_. Father, Ile not offend you.--Have you done?
So long chusing one Crowne?

_Anton_. Let Drums and Trumpets proclaime
_Hubert_ our King!

_Omnes_. Sound Drummes and Trumpets!

_Hub_. I have it, then, as well by voyce as sword;
For should you holde it backe it will be mine.
I claime it, then, by conquest; fields are wonne
By yeelding as by strokes: Yet, noble _Vandals_,
I will lay by the Conquest and acknowledge
That your hands and your hearts the pinnacles are
On which my greatnesse mounts unto this height.
And now in sight of you and heaven I sweare
By those new sacred fires kindled within me,
'Tis not your ho[o]pe of Gold my brow desires;
A thronging Court to me is but a Cell;
These popular acclamations, which thus dance
I'th Aire, should passe by me as whistling windes
Playing with leaves of trees. I'me not ambitious
Of Titles glorious and maiesticall;
But what I doe is to save blood, save you;
I meane to be a husband for you all,
And fill you all with riches.

_Epi_. 'Tis that we thirst for;
For all our bagges are emptied in these warres
Rais'd by seditious Christians.

_Hub_. Peace, thou foole:
They are not bags of gold, that melts in fire,
Which I will fill your coffers with; my treasury
Are riches for your soules; my armes are spread
Like wings to protect Christians. What have you done?
Proclaim'd a Christian King; and Christian Kings
Should not be bloody.

_Omnes_. How? turn'd Christian?

_Eugen_. O blest King! happy day!

_Omnes_. Must we forsake our Gods then?

_Hub_. Violent streames
Must not bee stopt by violence; there's an art
To meete and put by the most boysterous wave;
'Tis now no policy for you to murmure
Nor will I threaten. A great counsell by you
Shall straight be cal'd to set this frame in order
Of this great state.

_Omnes_. To that we all are willing.

_Hub_. Are you then willing this noble maid
Shall be my Queene?

_Omnes_. With all our hearts.

_Hub_. By no hand but by thine will we be crown'd:
Come, my _Bellina_.

_Bellina_. Your vow is past to me that I should ever
Preserve my virgin honour, that you would never
Tempt me unto your bed.

_Hub_. That vow I keepe:
I vow'd so long as my knees bow'd to _Iove_
To let you be your selfe; but, excellent Lady,
I now am seal'd a Christian as you are:
And you have sworne oft that, when upon my forehead
That glorious starre was stucke, you would be mine
In holy wedlocke. Come, sweete, you and I
Shall from our loynes produce a race of Kings,
And ploughing up false gods set up one true;
Christians unborne crowning both me and you
With praise as now with gold.

_Bellina_. A fortunate day;
A great power prompts me on and I obey.


_Omnes_. Long live _Hubert_ and _Bellina_, King and Queene
Of Goths and Vandals.

_Hub_. Two royall Iewels you give me, this and this:
Father, your hand is lucky, I am covetous
Of one Gift more: After your sacred way
Make you this Queene a wife: our Coronation
Is turn'd into a bridall.

_Omnes_. All ioy and happinesse.

_Hub_. To guard your lives will I lay out mine owne,
And like Vines plant you round about my throne.

_The end of the fift and last Act_.

To the Reader of this Play now come in Print.

That this play's old 'tis true; but now if any
Should for that cause despise it we have many
Reasons, both iust and pregnant, to maintaine
Antiquity, and those, too, not all vaine.
We know (and not long since) there was a time
Strong lines were not lookt after, but, if Rime,
O then 'twas excellent. Who but beleeves
That Doublets with stuft bellies and big sleeves
And those Trunk-hose[177] which now our life doth scorne
Were all in fashion and with custome worne?
And what's now out of date who is't can tell
But it may come in fashion and sute well?
With rigour therefore iudge not but with reason,
Since what you read was fitted to that season.

The Epilogue.

_As in a Feast, so in a Comedy,
Two Sences must be pleas'd; in both the Eye;
In Feasts the Eye and Taste must be invited,
In Comedies the Eye and Eare delighted:
And he that only seekes to please but either,
While both he doth not please, he pleaseth neither.
What ever Feast could every guest content,
When as t'each man each Taste is different?
But lesse a Scene, when nought but as 'tis newer
Can please, where Guests are more and Dishes fewer.
Yet in this thought, this thought the Author eas'd;
Who once made all, all rules all never pleas'd.[178]
Faine would we please the best, if not the many;
And sooner will the best be pleas'd then any.
Our rest we set[179] in pleasing of the best;
So we wish you, what you may give us, Rest_.



In December, 1633, Nicholas Vavasour entered the _Noble Spanish
Souldier_ on the Stationers' Registers as a work of Dekker's; and in the
following year the same publisher brought out the _Noble Soldier_ with
the initials _S.R_. on the title-page. The running-title of the piece is
_The Noble Spanish Souldier_. There is nothing to hinder us from
supposing that Dekker, unwilling to take the credit due to his dead
friend, informed the publisher of the mistake. Possibly the play had
undergone some revision at Dekker's hands.

Samuel Rowley was at once an actor and a playwright. The first mention
of him is in a list of the Lord Admiral's players, March 8, 1597-8
(Henslowe's _Diary_, ed. Collier, p. 120). On the sixteenth of November,
1599, Rowley bound himself to play solely for Henslowe 'for a year and
as much as to Shraftide' (_Diary_, p. 260). In 1603 we find him among
Prince Henry's players (Collier's _Annals of the Stage_, i. 351): he is
still belonging to the same company in 1607 (Shakespeare Society's
Papers, iv. 44). Six years later, 1613, he is among the Palsgrave's
players (_Annals of the Stage_, i. 381).[180]

Francis Meres in _Palladis Tamia_ (1598), enumerating 'the best for
comedy,' mentions a certain Maister _Rowley_ once a rare scholar of
learned Pembrooke Hall in Cambridge. It has been conjectured that the
allusion is to Samuel Rowley; but a more likely candidate for the honour
is Ralph Rowley, who is known to have been a Fellow of Pembroke Hall. We
do not learn from any other source that Ralph Rowley wrote plays; but,
like another Academic worthy in whose company he is mentioned, 'Dr.
Gager of Oxforde', he may have composed some Latin pieces that the world
was content to let die. Of Samuel Rowley as a playwright we hear nothing
before December, 1601, when he was writing for Henslowe a scriptural
play on the subject of _Judas_ in company with his fellow-actor William
Borne--or Birde, for the name is variously written (Henslowe's _Diary_,
p. 205). In July of the following year an entry occurs in the
_Diary_--'Lent unto Samwell Rowley and Edward Jewbe to paye for the
Booke of Samson, vi 1.' Samuel Rowley and Edward Jewby often acted as
paymasters for Henslowe; but I suspect that in the present instance the
money went into their own pockets. Two months later we certainly find
our author receiving the sum of seven pounds in full payment 'for his
playe of Jhoshua' (Henslowe's _Diary_, p. 226). In November of the same
year he was employed with William Birde to make additions to Marlowe's
_Faustus_ (ibid. p. 228). On July 27, 1623, Sir Henry Herbert licensed
'for the Palsgrave's players a tragedy of Richard the Third, or the
English Profit with the Reformation, by Samuel Rowley'; and, again, on
October 29 of the same year 'for the Palsgrave players a new comedy
called Hard Shifte for Husbands, or Bilboes the Best Blade, written by
Samuel Rowley.' Another of our author's pieces, 'Hymen's Holiday, or
Cupid's Fagaries,' is mentioned in a list of plays which belonged to the
Cock-pit in 1639. None of these plays has come down; but in 1605 there
was published 'When You See Me You Know Me; or the famous Chronicle
Historic of King Henry VIII. with the Birth and virtuous Life of Edward
Prince of Wales. By Samuel Rowley.' This play was again printed in 1632;
and a few years ago it was elaborately edited by Prof. Karl Eltze,
who--whatever may be his merits as a critic--is acknowledged on every
hand to be a most accomplished scholar.

The piece now reprinted will need some indulgence at the reader's hands.
Its blemishes are not a few; and no great exercise of critical ability
is required to discover that the language is often strained and the
drawing extravagant. The atmosphere in which the action of the piece
moves is hot and heavy. Sebastian's presence in the third act brings
with it a ray of sunlight; but he is quickly gone, and the gloom settles
down more hopelessly than before. Onaelia, the forsaken lady, is so
vixenish that she moves our sympathies only in a moderate degree. In
both choices the King seems to have been equally unfortunate; and it may
be doubted whether he could be 'happy with either were t'other fair
charmer away.' Baltazar, the Noble Soldier, is something of a bore. At
first we are a little suspicious of him, for he seems to 'protest too
much'; and even when these suspicions are set at rest his strut and
swagger continue to be offensive.

But though the _Noble Souldier_ is not a play over which one would
linger long or to which one would care often to return, yet it is
impossible not to be struck by the power that marks so much of the
writing. Here is an example of our author at his best:--

    'You should, my Lord, be like these robes you weare,
    Pure as the Dye and like that reverend shape;
    Nurse thoughts as full of honour, zeale and purity.
    You should be the Court-Diall and direct
    The king with constant motion; be ever beating
    (Like to Clocke-Hammers) on his Iron heart
    To make it sound cleere and to feel remorse:
    You should unlocke his soule, wake his dead conscience
    Which, like a drowsie Centinell, gives leave
    For sinnes vast army to beleaguer him:
    His ruines will be ask'd for at your hands.'--(i. 2.)

There is the true dramatic ring in those lines; the words come straight
from the heart and strike home. The swift sudden menace in the last line
is more effective than pages of rhetoric.

The _Noble Souldier_ affords a good illustration of the sanctity
attached by our ancestors to marriage-contracts. On this subject the
reader will find some interesting remarks in Mr. Spalding's _Elizabethan
Demonology_ (pp. 3-7).





Written by_ S.R.

    _Non est, Lex Iustior Ulla,
    Quam Nescis Artifices, Arte perire Sua.

Printed for _Nicholas Vavasour_, and are to be
   sold at his shop in the _Temple_, neere the
                Church. 1634.

        _The_ Printer _to the_ Reader.

Understanding Reader, I present this to your view which has received
applause in Action. The Poet might conceive a compleat satisfaction upon
the Stages approbation. But the Printer rests not there, knowing that
that which was acted and approved upon the Stage might be no less
acceptable in Print. It is now communicated to you whose leisure and
knowledge admits of reading and reason: Your Judgment now this
_Posthumus_ assures himself will well attest his predecessors endevours
to give content to men of the ablest quality, such as intelligent
readers are here conceived to be. I could have troubled you with a
longer epistle, but I feare to stay you from the booke, which affords
better words and matter than I can. So, the work modestly depending in
the skale of your Judgment, the Printer for his part craves your pardon,
hoping by his promptness to doe you greater service as conveniency shall
enable him to give you more or better testimony of his entirenesse
towards you.        N.V.

Dramatis Personae.

_King of Spaine.
Duke of Medina_.

Marquesse _Daenia,  |
Alba,               |
Roderigo,           |  Dons of Spayne.
Valasco,            |
Lopez_.             |

_Queene_, A Florentine.
_Onaelia_, Neece to _Medina_, the Contracted Lady.
_Sebastian_, Her Sounne.
_Malateste_, A Florentine.
_Baltazar_, The Souldier.
_A Poet_.
_Cockadillio_, A foolish Courtier.
_A Fryer_.

[To make the list complete we should add--

Signer No_.]


_Actus Primus_.


    _Enter in Magnificent state, to the sound of lowd
    musicke, the King and Queene as from Church,
    attended by the Cardinall, Count Malateste, Daenia,
    Roderigo, Valasco, Alba, Carlo, and some waiting
    Ladies. The King and Queen with Courtly
    Complements salute and part; she with one halfe
    attending her; King, Cardinall and th'other halfe
    stay, the King seeming angry and desirous to be
    rid of them too.--King, Cardinal, Daenia, &c_.

_King_. Give us what no man here is master of,
Breath; leave us, pray: my father Cardinall
Can by the Physicke of Philosophy
Set al agen in order. Leave us, pray.


_Card_. How is it with you, Sir?

_King_. As with a Shippe
Now beat with stormes, now safe the stormes are vanisht;
And having you my Pylot I not onely
See shore but harbour. I to you will open
The booke of a blacke sinne deepe-printed in me.
Oh, father, my disease lyes in my soule.

_Card_. The old wound, Sir?

_King_. Yes, that; it festers inward:
For though I have a beauty to my bed
That even Creation envies at, as wanting
Stuffe to make such another, yet on her pillow
I lye by her but an Adulterer
And she as an Adulteresse. Shee's my Queene
And wife, yet but my strumpet, tho the Church
Set on the seale of Mariage: good _Onaelia_,
Neece to our Lord high Constable of Spaine,
Was precontracted mine.

_Card_.                 Yet when I stung
Your Conscience with remembrance of the Act,
Your eares were deafe to counsell.

_King_.                            I confesse it.

_Card_. Now to unty the knot with your new Queene
Would shake the Crowne halfe from your head.

_King_. Even Troy
(Tho she hath wept her eyes out) wud find teares
To wayle my kingdomes ruines.

_Card_.                       What will you doe then?

_King_. She has that Contract written, seal'd by you
And other Churchmen (witnesses untoo't).
A kingdome should be given for that paper.

_Card_. I wud not, for what lyes beneath the Moone,
Be made a wicked Engine to breake in pieces
That holy Contract.

_King_.             'Tis my soules ayme to tye it
Vpon a faster knot.

_Card_.             I do not see
How you can with safe conscience get it from her.

_King_. Oh, I know
I wrastle with a Lyonesse: to imprison her
And force her too't I dare not. Death! what King
Did ever say I dare not? I must have it.
A Bastard have I by her; and that Cocke
Will have (I feare) sharpe spurres, if he crow after
Him that trod for him. Something must be done
Both to the Henne and Chicken: haste you therefore
To sad _Onaelia_; tell her I'm resolv'd
To give my new Hawke bells and let her flye;
My Queene I'm weary of and her will marry.
To this our Text adde you what glosse you please;
The secret drifts of Kings are depthlesse Seas.


(SCENE 2.)

    _A Table set out cover'd with blacke: two waxen tapers:
    the Kings Picture at one end, a Crucifix at the other:
    Onaelia walking discontentedly weeping to the Crucifix,
    her Mayd with her: to them Cornego_.


Quest. _Oh sorrow, sorrow, say, where dost thou dwell_?

Answ.  _In the lowest roome of Hell_.

Quest. _Art thou borne of Humane race_?

Answ.  _No, no, I have a furier[181] face_.

Quest. _Art thou in City, Towne or Court_?

Answ.  _I to every place resort_.

Quest. _O why into the world is sorrow sent_?

Answ.  _Men afflicted best repent_.

Quest. _What dost thou feed on_?

Answ.  _Broken sleepe_.

Quest. _What tak'st thou pleasure in_?

Answ.  _To weepe,
       To sigh, to sob, to pine, to groane,
       To wring my hands, to sit alone_.

Quest. _Oh when, oh when shall sorrow quiet have?_

Answ.  _Never, never, never, never,
       Never till she finds a grave_.

    _Enter Cornego_.

_Corn_. No lesson, Madam, but Lacrymae's?[182] If you had buried nine
husbands, so much water as you might squeeze out of an Onyon had been
teares enow to cast away upon fellowes that cannot thanke you. Come,
be joviall.

_Onae_. Sorrow becomes me best.

_Corn_. A suit of laugh and lye downe[183] would weare better.

_Onae_. What should I doe to be merry, _Cornego_?

_Corn_. Be not sad.

_Onae_. But what's the best mirth in the world?

_Corn_. Marry, this: to see much, say little, doe little, get little,
spend little and want nothing.

_Onae_. Oh, but there is a mirth beyond all these:
This picture has so vex'd me I'me half mad.
To spite it therefore I'le sing any song
Thy selfe shalt tune: say then, what mirth is best?

_Corn_. Why then, Madam, what I knocke out now is the very Maribone
of mirth; and this it is.

_Onae_. Say on.

_Corn_. The best mirth for a Lawyer is to have fooles to his Clients;
for Citizens to have Noblemen pay their debts; for Taylors to have store
of Sattin brought in for them--how little soere their hours are--they'll
be sure to have large yards: the best mirth for bawds is to have fresh
handsome whores, and for whores to have rich guls come aboard their
pinnaces, for then they are sure to build Gully-Asses.

_Onae_. These to such soules are mirth, but to mine none: Away!

                                     [_Exit Corn_.

    _Enter Cardinall_.

_Car_. Peace to you, Lady.

_Onae_. I will not sinne so much as hope for peace:
And 'tis a mocke ill suits your gravity.

_Card_. I come to knit the nerves of your lost strength,
To build your ruines up, to set you free
From this your voluntary banishment,
And give new being to your murd'red fame.

_Onae_. What _Aesculapius_ can doe this?

_Card_. The King--'tis from the King I come.

_Onae_. A name I hate:
Oh I am deafe now to your Embassie.

_Card_. Heare what I speake.

_Onae_.                      Your language, breath'd from him,
Is deaths sad doome upon a wretch condemn'd.

_Car_. Is it such poyson?

_Onae_.                   Yes; and, were you christall,
What the King fills you with, wud make you breake.
You should, my Lord, be like these robes you weare,
Pure as the Dye and like that reverend shape;
Nurse thoughts as full of honour, zeale and purity.
You should be the Court-Diall and direct
The King with constant motion; be ever beating
(Like to Clocke-Hammers) on his Iron heart,
To make it sound cleere and to feele remorse:
You should unlocke his soule, wake his dead conscience
Which, like a drowsie Centinell, gives leave
For sinnes vast army to beleaguer him.
His ruines will be ask'd for at your hands.

_Car_. I have rais'd up a scaffolding to save
Both him and you from falling: doe but heare me.

_Onae_. Be dumbe for ever.

_Car_.                     Let your feares thus dye:
By all the sacred relliques of the Church
And by my holy orders, what I minister
Is even the spirit of health.

_Onae_. I'le drinke it downe into my soule at once.

_Car_. You shall.

_Onae_.           But sweare.

_Car_. What conjurations can more bind mine oath?

_Onae_. But did you sweare in earnest?

_Car_.                                 Come, you trifle.

_Onae_. No marvell, for my hopes have bin so drown'd
I still despaire. Say on.

_Car_.                    The King repents.

_Onae_. Pray, that agen, my Lord.

_Car_.                            The King repents.

_Onae_. His wrongs to me?

_Car_.                    His wrongs to you: the sense
Of sinne has pierc'd his soule.

_Onae_.                         Blest penitence!

_Car_. 'Has turn'd his eyes[184] into his leprous bosome,
And like a King vowes execution
On all his traiterous passions.

_Onae_.                         God-like Justice!

_Car_. Intends in person presently to begge
Forgivenesse for his Acts of heaven and you.

_Onae_. Heaven pardon him; I shall.

_Car_.                              Will marry you.

_Onae_. Umph! marry me? will he turne Bigamist?
When, when?

_Car_.      Before the morrow Sunne hath rode
Halfe his dayes journey; will send home his Queene
As one that staines his bed and can produce
Nothing but bastard Issue to his Crowne.--
Why, how now? lost in wonder and amazement?

_Onae_. I am so stor'd with joy that I can now
Strongly weare out more yeares of misery
Than I have liv'd.

    _Enter King_.

_Car_.             You need not: here's the King.

_King_. Leave us.
                     [_Exit Car_.

_Onae_. With pardon, Sir, I will prevent you
And charge upon you first.

_King_.                    'Tis granted; doe.--
But stay; what meane these Embleames of distresse?
My Picture so defac'd! oppos'd against
A holy Crosse! roome hung in blacke, and you
Drest like chiefe Mourner at a Funerall!

_Onae_. Looke backe upon your guilt (deare Sir), and then
The cause that now seemes strange explaines it selfe.
This and the Image of my living wrongs
Is still confronted by me to beget
Griefe like my shame, whose length may outlive Time:
This Crosse the object of my wounded soule,
To which I pray to keepe me from despaire,
That ever, as the sight of one throwes up
Mountaines of sorrowes on my accursed head,
Turning to that, Mercy may checke despaire
And bind my hands from wilfull violence.

_King_. But who hath plaid the Tyrant with me thus,
And with such dangerous spite abus'd my picture?

_Onae_. The guilt of that layes claime, Sir, to your selfe;
For, being by you ransack'd of all my fame,
Rob'd of mine honour and deare chastity,
Made by you[r] act the shame of all my house,
The hate of good men and the scorne of bad,
The song of Broome-men and the murdering vulgar,
And left alone to beare up all these ills
By you begun, my brest was fill'd with fire
And wrap'd in just disdaine; and, like a woman,
On that dumb picture wreak'd I my passions.

_King_. And wish'd it had beene I.

_Onae_.                            Pardon me, Sir:
My wrongs were great and my revenge swell'd high.

_King_. I will descend and cease to be a King,
To leave my judging part; freely confessing
Thou canst not give thy wrongs too ill a name.
And here, to make thy apprehension full
And seat thy reason in a sound beleefe,
I vow to morrow (e're the rising sunne
Begin his journey), with all Ceremonies
Due to the Church, to scale our Nuptials;
To prive[185] thy sonne, with full consent of State,
Spaines heire Apparant, borne in wedlock vowes.

_Onae_. And will you sweare to this?

_King_.                              By this I sweare.

_Onae_. Oh you have sworne false oathes upon that booke.

_King_. Why, then by this.

_Onae_.                    Take heed you print it deeply.
How for your concubine (Bride, I cannot say)?
She staines your bed with black Adultery;
And though her fame maskes in a fairer shape
Then mine to the worlds eye, yet (King) you know
Mine honour is less strumpetted than hers,
However butcher'd in opinion.

_King_. This way for her: the contract (which thou hast)
By best advice of all our Cardinals
To day shall be enlarg'd till it be made
Past all dissolving: then to our Counsell-Table
Shall she be call'd, that read aloud, she told
The Church commands her quicke returne for _Florence_,
With such a dower as _Spaine_ received with her;
And that they will not hazard heavens dire curse
To yeeld to a match unlawfull, which shall taint
The issue of the King with Bastardy.
This done, in State Majestic come you forth
(Our new-crown'd Queene) in sight of all our Peeres.
--Are you resolv'd?

_Onae_.             To doubt of this were Treason
Because the King has sworne it.

_King_.                         And will keepe it.
Deliver up the Contract then, that I
May make this day end with my misery.

_Onae_. Here, as the dearest Jewell of my fame,
Lock'd I this parchment from all viewing eyes;
This your Indenture held alone the life
Of my suppos'd dead honour: yet (behold)
Into your hands I redeliver it.
Oh keepe it, Sir, as you should keepe that vow
To which (being sign'd by Heaven) even Angels bowe.

_King_. 'Tis in the Lions pawe, and who dares snatch it?
Now to your Beads and Crucifix agen.

_Onae_. Defend me, heaven!

_King_. Pray there may come Embassadors from _France_:
Their followers are good Customers.

_Onae_. Save me from madnesse!

_King_. 'Twill raise the price being the Kings Mistris.

_Onae_. You doe but counterfeit to mocke my joyes.

_King_. Away, bold strumpet.

_Onae_. Are there eyes in heaven to see this?

_King_. Call and try: here's a whore curse,
To fall in that beleefe which her sunnes nurse.

    _Enter Cornego_.

_Corn_. How now? what quarter of the Moone has she cut out now? My Lord
puts me into a wise office, to be a mad womans keeper! Why, Madam?

_Onae_. Ha! where is the King, thou slave?

_Corn_. Let go your hold or I'le fall upon you, as I am a man.

_Onae_. Thou treacherous caitiffe, where's the King?

_Corn_. Hee's gone, but no so farre gone as you are.

_Onae_. Cracke all in sunder, oh you battlements,
And grind me into powder!

_Corn_. What powder? come, what powder? when did you ever see a woman
grinded into powder? I am sure some of your sex powder men and pepper
'em too.

_Onae_. Is there a vengeance
Yet lacking to my ruine? let it fall,
Now let it fall upon me!

_Corn_. No, there has too much falne upon you already.

_Onae_. Thou villaine, leave thy hold! Ile follow him:
Like a rais'd ghost I'le haunt him, breake his sleepe,
Fright him as hee's embracing his new Leman
Till want of rest bids him runne mad and dye,
For making oathes Bawds to his perjury.

_Corn_. Pray be more reason'd: if he made any Bawdes he did ill, for
there is enough of that fly-blowne flesh already.

_Onae_. I'me now left naked quite:
All's gone, all, all!

_Corn_. No, Madam, not all; for you cannot be rid of me.--Here comes
your Uncle.

    _Enter Medina_.

_Onae_. Attir'd in robes of vengeance are you, Uncle?

_Med_. More horrors yet?

_Onae_.                  'Twas never full till now:
And in this torrent all my hopes lye drown'd.

_Med_. Instruct me in this cause.

_Onae_.                           The King! the Contract!

_Corn_. There's cud enough for you to chew upon.

_Med_. What's this? a riddle? how? the King, the Contract?
The mischiefe I divine which, proving true,
Shall kindle fires in Spaine to melt his Crowne
Even from his head: here's the decree of fate,--
A blacke deed must a blacke deed expiate.

_Actus Secundus_.


    _Enter Baltazar, slighted by Dons_.

_Bal_. Thou god of good Apparell, what strange fellowes
Are bound to do thee honour! Mercers books
Shew mens devotions to thee; heaven cannot hold
A Saint so stately. Do not my Dons know
Because I'me poor in clothes? stood my beaten Taylor
Playting my rich hose, my silke stocking-man
Drawing upon my Lordships Courtly calfe
Payres of Imbroydered things whose golden clockes
Strike deeper to the faithfull shop-keepers heart
Than into mine to pay him;--had my Barbour
Perfum'd my louzy thatch here and poak'd out
My Tuskes more stiffe than are a cats muschatoes--
These pide-winged Butterflyes had known me then.
Another flye-boat?[187] save thee, Illustrious Don.

    _Enter Don Roderigo_.

Sir, is the king at leisure to speake Spanish
With a poore Souldier?

_Ro_. No.

_Bal_. No! sirrah you, no;
You Don with th'oaker face, I wish to ha thee
But on a Breach, stifling with smoke and fire,
And for thy 'No' but whiffing Gunpowder
Out of an Iron pipe, I woo'd but ask thee
If thou wood'st on, and if thou didst cry No
Thou shudst read Canon-Law; I'de make thee roare
And weare cut-beaten-sattyn: I woo'd pay thee
Though thou payst not thy mercer,--meere Spanish Jennets!

    _Enter Cockadillio_.

Signeor, is the king at leisure?

_Cock_. To doe what?

_Balt_. To heare a Souldier speake.

_Cock_. I am no eare-picker
To sound his hearing that way.

_Bal_. Are you of Court, Sir?

_Cock_. Yes, the kings Barber.

_Bal_. That's his eare picker.--Your name, I pray?

_Cock_. Don _Cockadillio_.
If, Souldier, thou hast suits to begge at Court
I shall descend so low as to betray
Thy paper to the hand Royall.

_Bal_. I begge, you whorson muscod! my petition
Is written on my bosome in red wounds.

_Cock_. I am no Barbar-Surgeon.

_Bal_. You yellow-hammer! why, shaver!
That such poore things as these, onely made up
Of Taylors shreds and Merchants Silken rags
And Pothecary drugs (to lend their breaths
Sophisticated smells, when their ranke guts
Stink worse than cowards in the heat of battaile)
--Such whalebond-doublet-rascals that owe more
To Landresses and Sempstress for laced Linnen
Then all their race, from their great grand-father
To this their reigne, in clothes were ever worth;
These excrements of Silke-wormes! oh that such flyes
Doe buzze about the beames of Majesty!
Like earwigs tickling a kings yeelding eare
With that Court-Organ (Flattery), when a souldier
Must not come neere the Court gates twenty score,
But stand for want of clothes (tho he win Towns)
Amongst the Almesbasket-men! his best reward
Being scorn'd to be a fellow to the blacke gard[188].
Why shud a Souldier, being the worlds right arme,
Be cut thus by the left, a Courtier?
Is the world all Ruffe and Feather and nothing else?
Shall I never see a Taylor give his coat with a difference from a

    _Enter King, Alanzo, Carlo, Cockadillio_.

_King_. My _Baltazar_!
Let us make haste to meet thee: how art thou alter'd!
Doe you not know him?

_Alanz_. Yes, Sir; the brave Souldier
Employed against the Moores.

_King_. Halfe turn'd Moore!
I'le honour thee: reach him a chair--that Table:
And now _Aeneas_-like let thine own Trumpet
Sound forth thy battell with those slavish Moores.

_Bal_. My musicke is a Canon; a pitcht field my stage; Furies the
Actors, blood and vengeance the scaene; death the story; a sword
imbrued with blood the pen that writes; and the Poet a terrible
buskind Tragical fellow with a wreath about his head of burning
match instead of Bayes.

_King_. On to the Battaile!

_Bal_. 'Tis here, without bloud-shed: This our maine Battalia, this
the Van, this the Vaw[189], these the wings: here we fight, there they
flye; here they insconce, and here our sconces lay 17 Moours on the
cold earth.

_King_. This satisfies mine eye, but now mine eare
Must have his musicke too; describe the battaile.

_Bal_. The Battaile? Am I come from doing to talking? The hardest part
for a Souldier to play is to prate well; our Tongues are Fifes, Drums,
Petronels, Muskets, Culverin and Canon; these are our Roarers; the
Clockes which wee goe by are our hands: thus we reckon tenne, our
swords strike eleven, and when steele targets of proofe clatter one
against another, then 'tis noone; that's the height and the heat of
the day of battaile.

_King_. So.

_Bal_. To that heat we came, our Drums beat, Pikes were shaken and
shiver'd, swords and Targets clash'd and clatter'd, Muskets ratled,
Canons roar'd, men dyed groaning, brave laced Jerkings and Feathers
looked pale, totter'd[190] rascals fought pell mell; here fell a wing,
there heads were tost like foot-balls; legs and armes quarrell'd in the
ayre and yet lay quietly on the earth; horses trampled upon heaps of
carkasses, Troopes of Carbines tumbled wounded from their horses; we
besiege Moores and famine us; Mutinies bluster and are calme. I vow'd
not to doff mine Armour, tho my flesh were frozen too't and turn'd into
Iron, nor to cut head nor beard till they yeelded; my hayres and oath
are of one length, for (with _Caesar_) thus write I mine owne story,
_Veni, vidi, vici_.

_King_. A pitch'd field quickly fought: our hand is thine
And 'cause thou shalt not murmur that thy blood
Was lavish'd forth for an ingrateful man,
Demand what we can give thee and 'tis thine.

                          (_Onaelia beats at the doore_.)

_Onae_. Let me come in! I'le kill that treacherous king,
The murderer of mine honour: let me come in!

_King_. What womans voyce is that?

_Omnes_. _Medina's_ Neece.

_King_. Bar out that fiend.

_Onae_. I'le teare him with my nayles!
Let me come in, let me come in! helpe, helpe me!

_King_. Keepe her from following me: a gard!

_Alanz_. They are ready, Sir.

_King_. Let a quicke summons call our Lords together;
This disease kills me.

_Bal_. Sir, I would be private with you.

_King_. Forbear us, but see the dores well guarded.


_Bal_. Will you, Sir, promise to give me freedome of speech?

_King_. Yes, I will; take it, speake any thing: 'tis pardoned.

_Bal_. You are a whoremaster: doe you send me to winne Townes for you
abroad, and you lose a kingdome at home?

_King_. What kingdome?

_Bal_. The fayrest in the world, the kingdom of your Fame, your honour.

_King_. Wherein?

_Bal_. I'le be plaine with you: much mischiefe is done by the mouth of
a Canon, but the fire begins at a little touch-hole: you heard what
Nightingale sung to you even now?

_King_. Ha, ha, ha!

_Bal_. Angels err'd but once and fell; but you, Sir, spit in heaven's
face every minute and laugh at it. Laugh still and follow your courses;
doe; let your vices run like your kennels of hounds yelping after you,
till they plucke downe the fayrest head in the heard, everlasting bliss.

_King_. Any more?

_Bal_. Take sinne as the English Snuffe Tobacco, and scornfully blow
the smoke in the eyes of heaven; the vapour flyes up in clowds of
bravery, but when 'tis out the coal is blacke (your conscience) and the
pipe stinkes: a sea of Rose-water cannot sweeten your corrupted bosome.

_King_. Nay, spit thy venome.

_Bal_. 'Tis _Aqua Coelestis_, no venome; for, when you shall claspe up
those wo books, never to be open'd againe; when by letting fall that
Anchor, which can never more bee weighed up, your mortall Navigation
ends: then there's no playing at spurne-point[191] with thunderbolts:
a Vintner then for unconscionable reckoning or a Taylor for unreasonable
_Items_ shall not answer in halfe that feare you must.

_King_. No more.

_Bal_. I will follow Truth at the heels, tho her foot beat my gums in

_King_. The Barber that drawes out a Lion's tooth
Curseth his Trade; and so shalt thou.

_Bal_. I care not.

_King_. Because you have beaten a few base-borne Moores
Me think'st thou to chastise? what's past I pardon,
Because I made the key to unlocke thy railing.
But if thou dar'st once more be so untun'd,
Ile send thee to the Gallies.--Who are without, there?
How now?

    _Enter Lords drawne_.

_Omnes_. In danger, Sir?

_King_. Yes, yes, I am; but 'tis no point of weapon
Can rescue me. Goe presently and summon
All our chiefe Grandoes[192], Cardinals and Lords
Of _Spaine_ to meet in counsell instantly.
We call'd you forth to execute a businesse
Of another straine,--but 'tis no matter now.
Thou dyest when next thou furrowest up our brow.

_Bal_. Go! dye!

    _Enter Cardinal, Roderigo, Alba,[193] Dania, Valasco_.

_King_. I find my Scepter shaken by enchantments
Charactred in this parchment, which to unloose
I'le practise only counter-charmes of fire
And blow the spells of lightning into smoake:
Fetch burning Tapers.

_Card_. Give me Audience, Sir;
My apprehension opens me a way
To a close fatall mischiefe worse then this
You strive to murder: O this act of yours
Alone shall give your dangers life, which else
Can never grow to height; doe, Sir, but read
A booke here claspt up, which too late you open'd,
Now blotted by you with foul marginall notes.

_King_. Art fratricide?

_Car_. You are so, Sir.

_King_. If I be,
Then here's my first mad fit.

_Card_. For Honours sake,
For love you beare to conscience--

_King_. Reach the flames:
Grandoes and Lords of _Spaine_ be witnesse all
What here I cancell; read, doe you know this bond?

_Omnes_. Our hands are too't.

_Daen_. 'Tis your confirmed contract
With my sad kinswoman: but wherefore, Sir,
Now is your rage on fire, in such a presence
To have it mourne in ashes?

_King_. Marquesse _Daenia_,
Wee'll lend that tongue when this no more can speake.

_Car_. Deare Sir.

_King_. I am deafe,
Playd the full consort of the Spheares unto me
Vpon their lowdest strings.--Go; burne that witch
Who would dry up the tree of all Spaines Glories
But that I purge her sorceries by fire:
Troy lyes in Cinders; let your Oracles
Now laugh at me if I have beene deceiv'd
By their ridiculous riddles. Why, good father,
(Now you may freely chide) why was your zeale
Ready to burst in showres to quench our fury?

_Card_. Fury, indeed; you give it a proper name.
What have you done? clos'd up a festering wound
Which rots the heart: like a bad Surgeon,
Labouring to plucke out from your eye a moate,
You thrust the eye clean out.

_King_. Th'art mad _ex tempore_:
What eye? which is that wound?

_Car_. That Scrowle, which now
You make the blacke Indenture of your lust,
Altho eat up in flames, is printed here,
In me, in him, in these, in all that saw it,
In all that ever did but heare 'twas yours:
That scold of the whole world (Fame) will anon
Raile with her thousand tongues at this poore Shift
Which gives your sinne a flame greater than that
You lent the paper; you to quench a wild fire
Cast oyle upon it.

_King_. Oyle to blood shall turne;
I'le lose a limbe before the heart shall mourne.


    _Manent Daenia, Alba_.

_Daen_. Hee's mad with rage or joy.

_Alb_. With both; with rage
To see his follies check'd, with fruitlesse joy
Because he hopes his Contract is cut off
Which Divine Justice more exemplifies.

    _Enter Medina_.

_Med_. Where's the king?

_Daen_. Wrapt up in clouds of lightning.

_Med_. What has he done? saw you the Contract torne,
As I did heare a minion sweare he threatened?

_Alb_. He tore it not but burnt it.

_Med_. Openly?

_Daen_. And heaven with us to witnesse.

_Med_. Well, that fire
Will prove a catching flame to burne his kingdome.

_Alb_. Meet and consult.

_Med_. No more, trust not the ayre
With our projections, let us all revenge
Wrongs done to our most noble kinswoman:
Action is honours language, swords are tongues,
Which both speake best and best do right our wrongs.


(SCENE 2.)

    _Enter Onaelia one way, Cornego another_.

_Cor_. Madam, there's a beare without to speake with you.

_Onae_. A Beare.

_Cor_. Its a Man all hairye and thats as bad.

_Onae_. Who ist?

_Cor_. Tis one Master Captaine _Baltazar_.

_Onae_. I doe not know that _Baltazar_.

_Cor_. He desires to see you; and if you love a water-spaniel before
he be shorne, see him.

_Onae_. Let him come in.

    _Enter Baltazar_.

_Cor_. Hist; a ducke, a ducke[194]; there she is, Sir.

_Bal_. A Souldiers good wish blesse you, Lady.

_Onae_. Good wishes are most welcome, Sir, to me;
So many bad ones blast me.

_Bal_. Doe you not know me?

_Onae_. I scarce know my selfe.

_Bal_. I ha beene at Tennis, Madam, with the king. I gave him 15 and all
his faults, which is much, and now I come to tosse a ball with you.

_Onae_. I am bandyed too much up and downe already.

_Cor_. Yes, she has beene strucke under line, master Souldier.

_Bal_. I conceit you: dare you trust your selfe along with me?

_Onae_. I have been laden with such weights of wrong
That heavier cannot presse me: hence, _Cornego_.

_Corn_. Hence _Cornego_, stay Captaine! when man and woman are put
together some egge of villany is sure to be sate upon.

_Bal_. What would you say to him should kill this man that hath you
so dishonoured?

_Onae_. Oh, I woo'd crowne him
With thanks, praise, gold, and tender of my life.

_Bal_. Shall I bee that Germane Fencer[195] and beat all the knocking
boyes before me? shall I kill him?

_Onae_. There's musick in the tongue that dares but speak it.

_Bal_. That fiddle then is in me; this arme can doo't by ponyard,
poyson, or pistoll; but shall I doo't indeed?

_Onae_. One step to humane blisse is sweet revenge.

_Bal_. Stay; what made you love him?

_Onae_. His most goodly shape
Married to royall virtues of his mind.

_Bal_. Yet now you would divorce all that goodnesse; and why? for a
little letchery of revenge? it's a lye: the Burre that stickes in your
throat is a throane: let him out of his messe of Kingdomes cut out but
one, and lay Sicilia, Arragon, Naples or any else upon your trencher,
and you'll prayse Bastard[196] for the sweetest wine in the world and
call for another quart of it. 'Tis not because the man has left you
but because you are not the woman you would be, that mads you: a
shee-cuckold is an untameable monster.

_Onae_. Monster of men thou art: thou bloudy villaine,
Traytor to him who never injur'd thee,
Dost thou professe Armes and art bound in honour
To stand up like a brazen wall to guard
Thy King and Country, and wood'st thou ruine both?

_Bal_. You spurre me on too't.

_Onae_. True;
Worse am I then the horrid'st fiend in hell
To murder him whom once I lov'd too well:
For tho I could runne mad, and teare my haire,
And kill that godlesse man that turn'd me vile;
Though I am cheated by a perjurous Prince
Who has done wickednesse at which even heaven
Shakes when the Sunne beholds it; O yet I'de rather
Ten thousand poyson'd ponyards stab'd my brest
Then one should touch his: bloudy slave! I'le play
My selfe the Hangman and will Butcher thee
If thou but prick'st his finger.

_Bal_. Saist thou me so? give me thy goll[197], thou art a noble girle:
I did play the Devils part and roare in a feigned voyce, but I am the
honestest Devill that ever spet fire. I would not drinke that infernall
draught of a kings blood, to goe reeling to damnation, for the weight
of the world in Diamonds.

_Onae_. Art thou not counterfeit?

_Bal_. Now, by my skarres, I am not.

_Onae_. I'le call thee honest Souldier, then, and woo thee
To be an often Visitant.

_Bal_. Your servant:
Yet must I be a stone upon a hill,
For tho I doe no good I'le not lye still.


_Actus Tertius_.


    _Enter Malateste and the Queene_.

_Mal_. When first you came from Florence wud the world
Had with an universal dire eclipse
Bin overwhelm'd, no more to gaze on day,
That you to Spaine had never found the way,
Here to be lost for ever.

_Queen_.                  We from one climate
Drew suspiration: as thou then hast eyes
To read my wrongs, so be thy head an Engine
To raise up ponderous mischiefe to the height,
And then thy hands the Executioners.
A true Italian Spirit is a ball
Of Wild-fire, hurting most when it seemes spent;
Great ships on small rocks beating oft are rent;
And so let Spaine by us. But, _Malateste_,
Why from the Presence did you single me
Into this Gallery?

_Mal_.             To shew you, Madam,
The picture of your selfe, but so defac'd
And mangled by proud Spanyards it woo'd whet
A sword to arme the poorest Florentine
In your just wrongs.

_Queen_.             As how? let's see that picture.

_Mal_. Here 'tis then: Time is not scarce foure dayes old
Since I and certaine Dons (sharp-witted fellowes
And of good ranke) were with two Jesuits
(Grave profound Schollers) in deepe argument
Of various propositions; at the last
Question was mov'd touching your marriage
And the Kings precontract.

_Queen_.                   So; and what followed?

_Mal_. Whether it were a question mov'd by chance
Or spitefully of purpose (I being there
And your own Country-man) I cannot tell;
But when much tossing
Had bandyed both the King and you, as pleas'd
Those that tooke up the Rackets, in conclusion
The Father Jesuits (to whose subtile Musicke
Every eare there was tyed) stood with their lives
In stiffe defence of this opinion--
Oh, pardon me if I must speake their language.

_Queen_. Say on.

_Mal_. That the most Catholike King in marrying you
Keepes you but as his whore.

_Queen_.                     Are we their Theames?

_Mal_. And that _Medina's_ Neece, _Onaelia_,
Is his true wife: her bastard sonne, they said,
(The King being dead) should claim and weare the Crowne;
And whatsoever children you shall beare
To be but bastards in the highest degree,
As being begotten in Adultery.

_Queen_. We will not grieve at this, but with hot vengeance
Beat down this armed mischiefe. _Malateste_,
What whirlewinds can we raise to blow this storme
Backe in their faces who thus shoot at me?

_Mal_. If I were fit to be your Counsellor
Thus would I speake: feigne that you are with childe,--
The mother of the Maids, and some worne Ladies
Who oft have guilty beene to court great bellies,
May (tho it be not so) get you with childe
With swearing that 'tis true.

_Queen_.                      Say 'tis beleev'd,
Or that it so doth prove.

_Mal_.                    The joy thereof,
Together with these earth-quakes which will shake
All Spaine if they their Prince doe dis-inherit,
So borne, of such a Queene, being onely daughter
To such a brave spirit as the Duke of Florence;--
All this buzz'd into the King, he cannot chuse
But charge that all the Bels in Spaine eccho up
This joy to heaven; that Bone-fires change the night
To a high Noone with beames of sparkling flames;
And that in Churches Organs (charm'd with prayers)
Speake lowd for your most safe delivery.

_Queen_. What fruits grow out of these?

_Mal_.                                  These; you must sticke
(As here and there spring weeds in banks of flowers)
Spies amongst the people, who shall lay their eares
To every mouth and steale to you their whisperings.

_Queen_. So.

_Mal_.       'Tis a plummet to sound Spanish hearts
How deeply they are yours: besides a ghesse
Is hereby made of any faction
That shall combine against you; which the King seeing,
If then he will not rouze him like a Dragon
To guard his golden fleece and rid his Harlot
And her base bastard hence, either by death
Or in some traps of state insnare them both,--
Let his owne ruines crush him.

_Queen_.                       This goes to tryall;
Be thou my Magicke booke, which reading o're
Their counterspells wee'll breake; or if the King
Will not by strong hand fix me in his Throne
But that I must be held Spaines blazing Starre,
Be it an ominous charme to call up warre.


(SCENE 2.)

    _Enter Cornego, Onaelia_.

_Corn_. Here's a parcell of mans flesh has beene hanging up and downe
all this morning to speake with you.

_Onae_. Is't not some executioner?

_Corn_. I see nothing about him to hang in but's garters.

_Onae_. Sent from the king to warne me of my death:
I prethe bid him welcome.

_Cor_. He says he is a Poet.

_Onae_. Then bid him better welcome:
Belike he's come to write my Epitaph,--
Some[198] scurvy thing, I warrant: welcome, Sir.

    _Enter Poet_.

_Poet_. Madam[199], my love presents this book unto you.

_Onae_. To me? I am not worthy of a line,
Vnlesse at that line hang some hooke to choake me.
'To the most honoured Lady--_Onaelia_'
Fellow, thou lyest, I'me most dishonoured:
Thou shouldst have writ 'To the most wronged Lady':
The Title of this booke is not to me;
I teare it therefore as mine Honour's torne.

_Cor_. Your Verses are lam'd in some of their feet, Master Poet.

_Onae_. What does it treate of?

_Poet_. Of the sollemne Triumphs
Set forth at Coronation of the Queene.

_Onae_. Hissing (the Poets whirle-wind) blast thy lines!
Com'st thou to mocke my Tortures with her Triumphs?

_Poet_. 'Las, Madam!

_Onae_.              When her funerals are past
Crowne thou a Dedication to my joyes,
And thou shalt sweare each line a golden verse.
--_Cornego_, burne this Idoll.

_Cor_. Your booke shall come to light, Sir.

_Onae_. I have read legends of disastrous Dames:
Will none set pen to paper for poore me?
Canst write a bitter Satyre? brainlesse people
Doe call 'em Libels: dar'st thou write a Libell?

_Poet_. I dare mix gall and poyson with my Inke.

_Onae_. Doe it then for me.

_Poet_.                     And every line must be
A whip to draw blood.

_Onae_.               Better.

_Poet_.                       And to dare
The stab from him it touches. He that writes
Such Libels (as you call 'em) must lance[200] wide
The sores of mens corruptions, and even search
To'th quicke for dead flesh or for rotten cores:
A Poets Inke can better cure some sores
Then Surgeons Balsum.

_Onae_.               Vndertake that Cure
And crowne thy verse with Bayes.

_Poet_.                          Madam, I'le doo't;
But I must have the parties Character.

_Onae_. The king.

_Poet_.           I doe not love to pluck the quils
With which I make pens, out of a Lions claw.
The King! shoo'd I be bitter 'gainst the king
I shall have scurvy ballads made of me
Sung to the Hanging Tune[201]. I dare not, Madam.

_Onae_. This basenesse follows your profession:
You are like common Beadles, apt to lash
Almost to death poore wretches not worth striking,
But fawne with slavish flattery on damn'd vices,
So great men act them: you clap hands at those,
Where the true Poet indeed doth scorne to guild
A gawdy Tombe with glory of his Verse
Which coffins stinking Carrion; no, his lines
Are free as his Invention; no base feare
Can shape his penne to Temporize even with Kings;
The blacker are their crimes he lowder sings.
Goe, goe, thou canst not write; 'tis but my calling
The Muses helpe, that I may be inspir'd.
Cannot a woman be a Poet, Sir?

_Poet_. Yes, Madam, best of all; for Poesie
Is but a feigning; feigning is to lye,
And women practise lying more than men.

_Onae_. Nay, but if I shoo'd write I woo'd tell truth:
How might I reach a lofty straine?

_Poet_.                            Thus, Madam:
Bookes, Musick, Wine, brave Company and good Cheere
Make Poets to soare high and sing most cleare.

_Onae_. Are they borne Poets?

_Poet_. Yes.

_Onae_. Dye they?

_Poet_. Oh, never dye.

_Onae_. My misery is then a Poet sure,
For time has given it an Eternity.--
What sorts of Poets are there?

_Poet_.                        Two sorts, Lady;
The great Poets and the small Poets.

_Onae_.                              Great and small!
Which doe you call the great? the fat ones?

_Poet_. No, but such as have great heads, which, emptied forth,
Fill all the world with wonder at their lines--
Fellowes which swell big with the wind of praise:
The small ones are but shrimpes of Poesie.

_Onae_. Which in the kingdome now is the best Poet?

_Poet_. Emulation.

_Onae_. Which the next?

_Poet_. Necessity.

_Onae_. And which the worst?

_Poet_. Selfe-love.

_Onae_. Say I turne Poet, what should I get?

_Poet_. Opinion.

_Onae_. 'Las I have got too much of that already.
Opinion is my Evidence, Judge and Jury;
Mine owne guilt and opinion now condemne me.
I'le therefore be no Poet; no, nor make
Ten Muses of your nine, I sweare, for this;
Verses, tho freely borne, like slaves are sold;
I Crowne thy lines with Bayes, thy love with gold:
So fare thou well.

_Poet_. Our pen shall honour you.

    _Enter Cornego_.

_Cor_. The Poets booke, Madam, has got the Inflammation of the Livor,
it dyed of a burning Feaver.

_Onae_. What shall I doe, _Cornego_? for this Poet
Has fill'd me with a fury: I could write
Strange Satyrs now against Adulterers
And Marriage-breakers.

_Cor_. I beleeve you, Madam.--But here comes your Vncle.

    _Enter Medina, Alanzo, Carlo, Alba, Sebastian, Daenia_.

_Med_. Where's our Neece?
Turne your braines round and recollect your spirits,
And see your Noble friends and kinsmen ready
To pay revenge his due.

_Onae_. That word Revenge
Startles my sleepy Soule, now thoroughly wakend
By the fresh object of my haplesse childe
Whose wrongs reach beyond mine.

_Seb_. How doth my sweet mother?

_Onae_. How doth my prettiest boy?

_Alanz_. Wrongs, like greate whirlewinds,
Shake highest Battlements? few for heaven woo'd care
Shoo'd they be ever happy; they are halfe gods
Who both in good dayes and good fortune share.

_Onae_. I have no part in either.

_Carl_. You shall in both,
Can Swords but cut the way.

_Onae_. I care not much, so you but gently strike him,
And that my Child escape the light[e]ning.

_Med_. For that our Nerves are knit: is there not here
A promising face of manly princely vertues?
And shall so sweet a plant be rooted out
By him that ought to fix it fast i'the ground?
What will you doe to him that hurts your mother?

_Seb_. The King my father shall kill him, I trow.

_Daen_. But, sweet Coozen, the King loves not your mother.

_Seb_. I'le make him love her when I am a King.

_Med_. La you, there's in him a Kings heart already.
As, therefore, we before together vow'd,
Lay all your warlike hands upon my Sword
And sweare.

_Seb_. Will you sweare to kill me, Vncle?

_Med_. Oh, not for twenty worlds.

_Seb_. Nay, then, draw and spare not, for I love fighting.

_Med_. Stand in the midst, sweet Cooz; we are your guard;
These Hammers shall for thee beat out a Crowne,
If hit all right. Sweare therefore, noble friends
By your high bloods, by true Nobility,
By what you owe Religion, owe to your Country,
Owe to the raising your posterity;
By love you beare to vertue and to Armes
(The shield of Innocence) sweare not to sheath
Your Swords, when once drawne forth--

_Onae_. Oh, not to kill him
For twenty thousand worlds!

_Med_. Will you be quiet?--
Your Swords, when once drawne forth, till they ha forc'd
Yon godlesse, perjurous, perfidious man--

_Onae_. Pray raile not at him so.

_Med_. Art mad? y'are idle:--till they ha forc'd him
To cancell his late lawlesse bond he seal'd
At the high Altar to his Florentine Strumpet,
And in his bed lay this his troth-plight wife.

_Onae_. I, I, that's well; pray sweare.

_Omnes_. To this we sweare.

_Seb_. Vncle, I sweare too.

_Med_. Our forces let's unite; be bold and secret,
And Lion-like with open eyes let's sleepe:
Streames smooth and slowly running are most deep.

(SCENE 3.)

    _Enter King; Queen, Malateste, Valesco, Lopez_.

_King_. The Presence doore be guarded; let none enter
On forfeit of your lives without our knowledge.
Oh, you are false physitians all unto me,
You bring me poyson but no antidotes.

_Queen_. Your selfe that poyson brewes.

_King_. Prethe, no more.

_Queen_. I will, I must speake more.

_King_. Thunder aloud.

_Queen_. My child, yet newly quickened in my wombe,
Is blasted with the fires of Bastardy.

_King_. Who? who dares once but thinke so in his dreame?

_Mal_. _Medina's_ faction preached it openly.

_King_. Be curst he and his Faction: oh, how I labour
For these preventions! but, so crosse is Fate,
My ills are ne're hid from me but their Cures.
What's to be done?

_Queen_. That which being left undone,
Your life lyes at the stake: let 'em be breathlesse,
Both brat and mother.

_King_. Ha!

_Mal_. She playes true Musicke, Sir:
The mischiefes you are drench'd in are so full
You need not feare to add to 'em; since now
No way is left to guard thy rest secure
But by a meanes like this.

_Lop_. All Spaine rings forth
_Medina's_ name and his Confederates.

_Rod_. All his Allyes and friends rush into troopes
Like raging Torrents.

_Val_. And lowd Trumpet forth
Your perjuries; seducing the wild people
And with rebellious faces threatning all.

_King_. I shall be massacred in this their spleene
E're I have time to guard my selfe; I feele
The fire already falling: where's our guard?

_Mal_. Planted at Garden gate, with a strict charge
That none shall enter but by your command.

_King_. Let 'em be doubled: I am full of thoughts,
A thousand wheeles tosse my incertaine feares;
There is a storme in my hot boyling braines
Which rises without wind; a horrid one.
What clamor's that?

_Queen_. Some treason: guard the King!

    _Enter Baltazar drawne; one of the Guard fals_.

_Bal_. Not in?

_Mal_. One of your guard's slaine: keepe off the murderer!

_Bal_. I am none, Sir.

_Val_. There's a man drop'd down by thee.

_King_. Thou desperate fellow, thus presse in upon us!
Is murder all the story we shall read?
What King can stand when thus his subjects bleed!
What hast thou done?

_Bal_. No hurt.

_King_. Plaid even the Wolfe
And from a fold committed to my charge
Stolne and devour'd one of the flocke.

_Bal_. Y'ave sheepe enow for all that, Sir; I have kill'd none tho; or,
if I have, mine owne blood shed in your quarrels may begge my pardon;
my businesse was in haste to you.

_King_. I woo'd not have thy sinne scoar'd on my head
For all the Indian Treasury. I prethee tell me,
Suppose thou hast our pardon, O, can that cure
Thy wounded conscience? can there my pardon helpe thee?
Yet, having deserv'd well both of Spaine and us,
We will not pay thy worth with losse of life,
But banish thee for ever.

_Bal_. For a Groomes death?

_King_. No more; we banish thee our Court and kingdome:
A King that fosters men so dipt in blood
May be call'd mercifull but never good:
Begone upon thy life.

_Bal_. Well: farewell.    [_Exit_.

_Val_. The fellow is not dead but wounded, Sir.

_Queen_. After him, _Malateste_; in our lodging
Stay that rough fellow; hee's the man shall doo't:
Haste, or my hopes are lost.    [_Exit Mal_.
Why are you sad, Sir?

_King_. For thee, _Paullina_, swell my troubled thoughts,
Like billowes beaten by too (two?) warring winds.

_Queen_. Be you but rul'd by me, I'le make a calme
Smooth as the brest of heaven.

_King_. Instruct me how.

_Queen_. You (as your fortunes tye you) are inclin'd
To have the blow given.

_King_. Where's the Instrument?

_Queen_. 'Tis found in _Baltazar_.

_King_. Hee's banished.

_Queen_. True,
But staid by me for this.

_King_. His spirit is hot
And rugged, but so honest that his soule
Will ne're turn devill to do it.

_Queen_. Put it to tryall:
Retire a little: hither I'le send for him,
Offer repeale and favours if he doe it;
But if deny, you have no finger in't,
And then his doome of banishment stands good.

_King_. Be happy in thy workings; I obey.    [_Exit_.

_Queen_. Stay, _Lopez_.

_Lop_. Madam.

_Queen_. Step to our Lodging, _Lopez_,
And instantly bid _Malateste_ bring
The banish'd _Baltazar_ to us.

_Lop_. I shall.    [_Exit_.

_Queen_. Thrive my blacke plots; the mischiefes I have set
Must not so dye; Ills must new Ills beget.

    _Enter Malateste and Baltazar_.

_Bal_. Now! what hot poyson'd Custard must I put my Spoone into now?

_Queen_. None, for mine honour now is thy protection.

_Mal_. Which, Noble Souldier, she will pawn for thee
But never forfeit.

_Bal_. 'Tis a faire gage; keepe it.

_Queen_. Oh, _Baltazar_, I am thy friend, and mark'd thee
When the King sentenc'd thee to banishment:
Fire sparkled from thine eyes of rage and griefe;
Rage to be doom'd so for a Groome so base,
And griefe to lose thy country. Thou hast kill'd none:
The Milke-sop is but wounded, thou art not banish'd.

_Bal_. If I were I lose nothing; I can make any Countrey mine. I have
a private Coat for _Italian_ Steeletto's, I can be treacherous with the
_Wallowne_, drunke with the _Dutch_, a Chimney-sweeper with the _Irish_,
a Gentleman with the _Welsh_[202] and turne arrant theefe with the
_English_: what then is my Country to me?

_Queen_. The King, who (rap'd with fury) banish'd thee,
Shall give thee favours, yeeld but to destroy
What him distempers.

_Bal_. So; and what's the dish I must dresse?

_Queen_. Onely the cutting off a paire of lives.

_Bal_. I love no Red-wine healths.

_Mal_. The King commands it; you are but Executioner.

_Bal_. The Hang-man? An office that will hold as long as hempe lasts:
why doe not you begge the office, Sir?

_Queen_. Thy victories in field shall never crowne thee
As this one Act shall.

_Bal_. Prove but that, 'tis done.

_Queen_. Follow him close; hee's yeelding.

_Mal_. Thou shalt be call'd thy Countries Patriot
For quenching out a fire now newly kindling
In factious bosomes; and shalt thereby save
More Noble Spanyards lives than thou slew'st Moores.

_Queen_. Art thou not yet converted?

_Bal_. No point.

_Queen_. Read me then:
_Medina's_ Neece, by a contract from the King,
Layes clayme to all that's mine, my Crowne, my bed;
A sonne she has by him must fill the Throne
If her great faction can but worke that wonder.
Now heare me--

_Bal_. I doe with gaping eares.

_Queen_. I swell with hopefull issue to the King.

_Bal_. A brave Don call you mother.

_Mal_. Of this danger
The feare afflicts the King.

_Bal_. Cannot much blame him.

_Queen_. If therefore by the riddance of this Dame--

_Bal_. Riddance? oh! the meaning on't is murder.

_Mal_. Stab her or so, that's all.

_Queen_. That Spaine be free from frights, the King from feares,
And I, now held his Infamy, be called Queene;
The Treasure of the kingdome shall lye open
To pay thy Noble darings.

_Bal_. Come, Ile doo't, provided I heare _Jove_ call to me tho he rores;
I must have the King's hand to this warrant, else I dare not serve it
upon my Conscience.

_Queen_. Be firme, then; behold the King is come.

    _Enter King_.

_Bal_. Acquaint him.

_Queen_. I found the metal hard, but with oft beating
Hees now so softened he shall take impression
From any seale you give him.

_King_. _Baltazar_,
Come hither, listen; whatsoe're our Queene
Has importun'd thee to, touching _Onaelia_
(Neece to the Constable) and her young sonne,
My voyce shall second it and signe her promise.

_Bal_. Their riddance?

_King_. That.

_Bal_. What way? by poyson?

_King_. So.

_Bal_. Starving, or strangling, stabbing, smothering?

_Queen_. Good.

_King_. Any way, so 'tis done.

_Bal_. But I will have, Sir,
This under your owne hand; that you desire it,
You plot it, set me on too't.

_King_. Penne, Inke and paper.

_Bal_. And then as large a pardon as law and wit
Can engrosse for me.

_King_. Thou shalt ha my pardon.

_Bal_. A word more, Sir; pray will you tell me one thing?

_King_. Yes, any thing, deare _Baltazar_.

_Bal_. Suppose I have your strongest pardon, can that cure my wounded
Conscience? can there your pardon help me? You not onely knocke the
Ewe a'th head, but cut the Innocent Lambes throat too: yet you are no

_Queen_. Is this thy promis'd yeelding to an Act
So wholesome for thy Country?

_King_. Chide him not.

_Bal_. I woo'd not have this sinne scor'd on my head
For all the Indaean Treasury.

_King_. That song no more:
Doe this and I will make thee a great man.

_Bal_. Is there no farther trick in't, but my blow, your purse,
and my pardon?

_Mal_. No nets upon my life to entrap thee.

_Bal_. Then trust me, these knuckles worke it.

_King_. Farewell, be confident and sudden.

_Bal_. Yes;
Subjects may stumble when Kings walk astray:
Thine Acts shall be a new Apocrypha.


_Actus Quartus_.


    _Enter Medina, Alba and Daenia, met by Baltazar
    with a Ponyard and a Pistoll_.

_Bal_. You meet a _Hydra_; see, if one head failes;
Another with a sulphurous beake stands yawning.

_Med_. What hath rais'd up this Devill?

_Bal_. A great mans vices, that can raise all hell.
What woo'd you call that man, who under-saile
In a most goodly ship wherein he ventures
His life, fortunes and honours, yet in a fury
Should hew the Mast downe, cast Sayles over-boord,
Fire all the Tacklings, and to crowne this madnesse
Shoo'd blow up all the Deckes, burne th'oaken ribbes
And in that Combat 'twixt two Elements
Leape desperately and drowne himselfe i'th Seas,--
What were so brave a fellow?

_Omnes_. A brave blacke villaine.

_Bal_. That's I; all that brave blacke villaine dwels in me,
If I be that blacke villaine; but I am not:
A Nobler Character prints out my brow,
Which you may thus read: I was banish'd Spaine
For emptying a Court-Hogshead, but repeal'd
So I woo'd (e're my reeking Iron was cold)
Promise to give it a deepe crimson dye
In--none heare?--stay--no, none heare.

_Med_. Whom then?

_Bal_. Basely to stab a woman, your wrong'd Neece,
And her most innocent sonne _Sebastian_.

_Alb_. The Boare now foames with whetting.

_Daen_. What has blunted
Thy weapons point at these?

_Bal_. My honesty,
A signe at which few dwell, pure honesty.
I am a vassaile to _Medina's_ house;
He taught me first the A, B, C of warre[203]
E're I was Truncheon-high I had the stile
Of beardlesse Captaine, writing then but boy:
And shall I now turne slave to him that fed me
With Cannon-bullets, and taught me, Estridge[204]-like,
To digest Iron and Steele? no: yet I yeelded
With willow-bendings to commanding breaths.

_Med_. Of whom?

_Bal_. Of King and Queene: with supple Hams
And an ill-boading looke I vow'd to doo't;
Yet, lest some choake-peare[205] of State-policy
Shoo'd stop my throat and spoyle my drinking-pipe,
See (like his cloake) I hung at the Kings elbow
Till I had got his hand to signe my life.

_Daen_. Shall we see this and sleepe?

_Alb_. No, whilst these wake.

_Med_. 'Tis the Kings hand.

_Bal_. Thinke you me a quoyner?

_Med_. No, no, thou art thy selfe still, Noble _Baltazar_;
I ever knew thee honest, and the marke
Stands still upon thy forehead.

_Bal_. Else flea the skin off.

_Med_. I ever knew thee valiant and to scorne
All acts of basenesse: I have seene this man
Write in the field such stories with his sword
That our best chiefetaines swore there was in him
As 'twere a new Philosophy of fighting,
His deeds were so Puntillious. In one battell,
When death so nearely mist my ribs, he strucke
Three horses stone-dead under me: this man
Three times that day (even through the jawes of danger)
Redeem'd me up, and (I shall print it ever)
Stood o're my body with _Colossus_ thighes
Whilst all the Thunder-bolts which warre could throw
Fell on his head; and, _Baltazar_, thou canst not
Be now but honest still and valiant still
Not to kill boyes and women.

_Bal_. My byter here eats no such meat.

_Med_. Goe, fetch the mark'd-out Lambe for slaughter hither;
Good fellow souldier, ayd him--and stay--marke,
Give this false fire to the beleeving King,
That the child's sent to heaven but that the mother
Stands rock'd so strong with friends ten thousand billowes
Cannot once shake her.

_Bal_. This I'le doe.

_Med_. Away;
Yet one word more; your Counsel, Noble friends;
Harke, _Baltazar_, because nor eyes nor tongues
Shall by loud Larums that the poore boy lives
Question thy false report, the child shall closely,
Mantled in darknesse, forthwith be conveyed
To the Monastery of Saint _Paul_.

_Omnes_. Good.

_Med_. Dispatch then; be quicke.

_Bal_. As Lightning.    [_Exit_.

_Alb_. This fellow is some Angell drop'd from heaven
To preserve Innocence.

_Med_. He is a wheele
Of swift and turbulent motion; I have trusted him,
Yet will not hang on him to many plummets
Lest with a headlong Cyre (Gyre?) he ruines all.
In these State-consternations, when a kingdome
Stands tottering at the Center, out of suspition
Safety growes often. Let us suspect this fellow;
And that, albeit he shew us the Kings hand,
It may be but a tricke.

_Daen_. Your Lordship hits
A poyson'd nayle i'th head: this waxen fellow
(By the Kings hand so bribing him with gold)
Is set on skrews, perhaps is made his Creature
To turne round every way.

_Med_. Out of that feare
Will I beget truth; for my selfe in person
Will sound the Kings brest.

_Carl_. How! your selfe in person.

_Alb_. That's half the prize he gapes for.

_Med_. I'le venture it,
And come off well, I warrant you, and rip up
His very entrailes, cut in two his heart
And search each corner in't; yet shall not he
Know who it is cuts up th'Anatomy.

_Daen_. 'Tis an exploit worth wonder.

_Carl_. Put the worst;
Say some Infernall voyce shoo'd rore from hell
The Infant's cloystering up.

_Alb_. 'Tis not our danger
Nor the imprison'd Prince's, for what Theefe
Dares by base sacrilege rob the Church of him?

_Carl_. At worst none can be lost but this slight fellow.

_Med_. All build on this as on a stable Cube:
If we our footing keepe we fetch him forth
And Crowne him King; if up we fly i'th ayre
We for his soules health a broad way prepare.

_Daen_. They come.

    _Enter Baltazar and Sebastian_.

_Med_. Thou knowest where
To bestow him, _Baltazar_.

_Bal_. Come Noble[206] Boy.

_Alb_. Hide him from being discovered.

_Bal_. Discover'd? woo'd there stood a troope of Moores
Thrusting the pawes of hungry Lions forth
To seize this prey, and this but in my hand;
I should doe something.

_Seb_. Must I goe with this blacke fellow, Vncle?

_Med_. Yes, pretty Coz; hence with him, _Baltazar_.

_Bal_. Sweet child, within few minutes I'le change thy fate
And take thee hence, but set thee at heavens gate.
                                     [_Exeunt Bal. and Seb_.

_Med_. Some keepe aloof and watch this Souldier.

_Carl_. I'le doo't.

_Daen_. What's to be done now?

_Med_. First to plant strong guard
About the mother, then into some snare
To hunt this spotted Panther and there kill him.

_Daen_. What snares have we can hold him?

_Med_. Be that care mine:
Dangers (like Starres) in darke attempts best shine.


(SCENE 2.)

    _Enter Cornego, Baltazar_.

_Cor_. The Lady Onaelia dresseth the stead[207] of her commendations in
the most Courtly Attire that words can be cloth'd with, from her selfe
to you by me.

_Bal_. So, Sir; and what disease troubles her now?

_Cor_. The King's Evill; and here she hath sent something to you wrap'd
up in a white sheet; you need not feare to open it, 'tis no coarse.

_Bal_. What's here? a letter minc'd into five morsels?
What was she doing when thou camest from her?

_Cor_. At the pricke-song[208].

_Bal_. So methinks, for here's nothing but sol-Re-fa-mi.
What Crochet fils her head now, canst tell?

_Cor_. No Crochets, 'tis onely the Cliffe has made her mad.

_Bal_. What instrument playd she upon?

_Cor_. A wind instrument, she did nothing but sigh.

_Bal_. Sol, Ra, me, Fa, Mi.

_Cor_. My wit has alwayes had a singing head; I have found out her Note,

_Bal_. The tune? come.

_Cor_. Sol, my soule; re, is all rent and torne like a raggamuffin; me,
mend it, good Captaine; fa, fa,--whats fa, Captaine?

_Bal_. Fa? why, farewell and be hang'd.

_Cor_. Mi, Captaine, with all my heart. Have I tickled my Ladies
Fiddle well?

_Bal_. Oh, but your sticke wants Rozen to make the string sound
clearely. No, this double Virginall being cunningly touch'd, another
manner of Jacke[209] leaps up then is now in mine eye. Sol, Re, me, fa,
mi--I have it now; _Solus Rex me facit miseram_. Alas, poore Lady! tell
her no Pothecary in Spaine has any of that _Assa Fetida_ she writes for.

_Cor_. _Assa Fetida_? what's that?

_Bal_. A thing to be taken in a glister-pipe?

_Cor_. Why, what ayles my Lady?

_Bal_. What ayles she? why, when she cryes out _Solus Rex me facit
miseram_, she sayes in the Hypocronicall language that she is so
miserably tormented with the wind-Chollicke that it rackes her
very soule.

_Cor_. I said somewhat cut her soule in pieces.

_Bal_. But goe to her and say the oven is heating.

_Cor_. And what shall be bak'd in't?

_Bal_. Carpe pies, and besides tell her the hole in her Coat shall be
mended; and tell her if the Dyall of good dayes goe true, why then
bounce Buckrum.

_Cor_. The Divell lyes sicke of the Mulligrubs.

_Bal_. Or the Cony is dub'd, and three sheepskins--

_Cor_. With the wrong side outward.

_Bal_. Shall make the Fox a Night-cap.

_Cor_. So the Goose talkes French to the Buzzard.

_Bal_. But, Sir, if evill dayes justle our prognostication to the wall,
then say there's a fire in the whore-masters Cod-peece.

_Cor_. And a poyson'd Bagge-pudding in Tom Thumbes belly.

_Bal_. The first cut be thine: farewell!

_Cor_. Is this all?

_Bal_. Woo't not trust an Almanacke?

_Cor_. Nor a Coranta[210] neither, tho it were seal'd with Butter;
and yet I know where they both lye passing well.

    _Enter Lopez_.

_Lop_. The King sends round about the Court to seek you.

_Bal_. Away, Otterhound.

_Cor_. Dancing Beare, I'me gone.    [_Exit_.

    _Enter King attended_.

_King_. A private roome.--    [_Exeunt Omnes_.
Is't done? hast drawne thy two edg'd sword out yet?

_Bal_. No, I was striking at the two Iron Barres that hinder your
passage; and see, Sir.    [_Drawes_.

_King_. What meanst thou?

_Bal_. The edge abated? feele.

_King_. No, no, I see it.

_Bal_. As blunt as Ignorance.

_King_. How? put up--So--how?

_Bal_. I saw by chance, hanging in Cardinall _Alvarez_ Gallery,
a picture of hell.

_King_. So; what of that?

_Bal_. There lay upon burnt straw ten thousand brave fellowes, all
starke naked, some leaning upon Crownes, some on Miters, some on bags
of gold; Glory in another Corner lay like a feather beaten in the
raine; Beauty was turn'd into a watching Candle that went out stinking;
Ambition went upon a huge high paire of stilts but horribly rotten;
some in another nooke were killing Kings, and some having their elbowes
shov'd forward by Kings to murther others: I was (methought) halfe in
hell my selfe whilst I stood to view this peece.

_King_. Was this all?

_Bal_. Was't not enough to see that? a man is more healthfull that eats
dirty puddings than he that feeds on a corrupted Conscience.

_King_. Conscience! what's that? a Conjuring booke ne're open'd
Without the readers danger: 'tis indeed
A scare-crow set i'th world to fright weake fooles.
Hast thou seene fields pav'd o're with carkasses
Now to be tender-footed, not to tread
On a boyes mangled quarters and a womans?

_Bal_. Nay, Sir, I have search'd the records of the Low-Countries and
finde that by your pardon I need not care a pinne for Goblins; and
therefore I will doo't, Sir: I did but recoyle because I was double

_King_. No more; here comes a Satyre with sharpe hornes.

    _Enter Cardinall, and Medina like a French Doctor_.

_Car_. Sir, here's a Frenchman charg'd with some strange businesse
Which to your close eare onely hee'll deliver,
Or else to none.

_King_. A Frenchman?

_Med_. We, Mounsire.

_King_. Cannot he speake the Spanish?

_Med_. Si Signior, vr Poco:--Monsir, Acoutez in de Corner; me come for
offer to your Bon gace mi trez humble service. By gar no John fidleco
shall put into your neare braver Melody dan dis vn petite pipe shall
play upon to your great bon Grace.

_King_. What is the tune you'll strike up? touch the string.

_Med_. Dis; me ha run up and downe mane Countrie and learne many fine
ting and mush knavery; now more and all dis me know you ha jumbla de
fine vench and fill her belly wid a Garsoone: her name is le Madame--

_King_. _Onaelia_.

_Med_. She by gar: Now, Monsire, dis Madam send for me to helpe her
Malady, being very naught of her corpes (her body). Me know you no
point love a dis vensh; but, royall Monsire, donne Moy ten towsand
French Crownes, she shall kicke up her taile, by gar, and beshide lye
dead as dog in the shannell.

_King_. Speake low.

_Med_. As de bagge-pipe when the winde is puff, Garbeigh.

_King_. Thou nam'st ten thousand Crownes; I'le treble them,
Rid me but of this leprosie: thy name?

_Med_. Monsire Doctor _Devile_.

_King_. Shall I a second wheele adde to this mischiefe
To set it faster going? if one breake,
Th'other may keepe his motion.

_Med_. Esselent fort boone.

_King_. _Baltazar_,
To give thy Sword an edge againe, this Frenchman
Shall whet thee on, that if thy pistoll faile,
Or ponyard, this can send the poyson home.

_Bal_. Brother _Cain_, wee'll shake hands.

_Med_. In de bowle of de bloody busher: tis very fine wholesome.

_King_. And more to arme your resolution,
I'le tune this Churchman so that he shall chime
In sounds harmonious. Merit to that man
Whose hand has but a finger in that act.

_Bal_. That musicke were worth hearing.

_King_. Holy Father,
You must give pardon to me in unlocking
A Cave stuft full with Serpents which my State
Threaten to poyson; and it lyes in you
To breake their bed with thunder of your voyce.

_Car_. How, princely sonne?

_King_. Suppose an universall
Hot Pestilence beat her mortiferous wings
Ore all my Kingdome, am I not bound in soule
To empty all our Achademes of Doctors
And Aesculapian Spirits to charme this plague?

_Car_. You are.

_King_. Or had the Canon made a breach
Into our rich Escuriall, down to beat it
About our eares, shoo'd I to stop this breach
Spare even our richest Ornaments, nay our Crowne,
Could it keepe bullets off?

_Car_. No, Sir, you should not.

_King_. This Linstocke[211] gives you fire: shall then that strumpet
And bastard breathe quicke vengeance in my face,
Making my kingdome reele, my subjects stagger
In their obedience, and yet live?

_Car_. How? live!
Shed not their bloods to gaine a kingdome greater
Then ten times this.

_Med_. Pishe, not mattera how Red-cap and his wit run.

_King_. As I am Catholike King I'le have their hearts
Panting in these two hands.

_Car_. Dare you turne Hang-man?
Is this Religion Catholicke, to kill,
What even bruit beasts abhorre to doe, your owne!
To cut in sunder wedlockes sacred knot
Tyed by heavens fingers! to make Spaine a Bonfire
To quench which must a second Deluge raine
In showres of blood, no water! If you doe this
There is an Arme Armipotent that can fling you
Into a base grave, and your Pallaces
With Lightning strike and of their Ruines make
A Tombe for you, unpitied and abhorr'd.
Beare witnesse, all you Lamps Coelestiall,
I wash my hands of this.    (_Kneeling_.)

_King_. Rise, my goon Angell,
Whose holy tunes beat from me that evill spirit
Which jogs mine elbow.--Hence, thou dog of hell!

_Med_. Baw wawghe.

_King_. Barke out no more, thou Mastiffe; get you all gone,
And let my soule sleepe.--There's gold; peace, see it done.

    _Manent Medina, Baltazar, Cardinall_.

_Bal_. Sirra, you Salsa-Perilla Rascall, Toads-guts, you whorson pockey
French Spawne of a bursten-bellyed Spyder, doe you heare, Monsire?

_Med_. Why doe you barke and snap at my Narcissus as if I were de
Frenshe doag?

_Bal_. You Curre of _Cerberus_ litter, (_strikes him_), you'll poyson
the honest Lady? doe but once toot[212] into her chamber-pot and I'll
make thee looke worse then a witch does upon a close-stoole.

_Car_. You shall not dare to touch him, stood he here
Single before thee.

_Bal_. I'le cut the Rat into Anchovies.

_Car_. I'le make thee kisse his hand, imbrace him, love him,
And call him--
                  (_Medina discovers_)

_Bal_. The perfection of all Spanyards; Mars in little; the best booke
of the art of Warre printed in these Times: as a French Doctor I woo'd
have given you pellets for pills, but as my noblest Lord rip my heart
out in your service.

_Med_. Thou art the truest Clocke
That e're to time paidst tribute, honest Souldier.
I lost mine owne shape and put on a French
Onely to try thy truth and the kings falshood,
Both which I find. Now this great Spanish volume
Is open'd to me, I read him o're and o're,
Oh what blacke Characters are printed in him!

_Car_. Nothing but certaine ruine threat your Neece,
Without prevention; well this plot was laid
In such disguise to sound him; they that know
How to meet dangers are the lesse afraid:
Yet let me counsell you not to text downe
These wrongs in red lines.

_Med_. No, I will not, father:
Now that I have Anatomiz'd his thoughts
I'le read a lecture on 'em that shall save
Many mens lives, and to the kingdome Minister
Most wholesome Surgery: here's our Aphorisme,[213]--
These letters from us in our Neeces name,
You know, treat of a marriage.

_Car_. There's the strong Anchor
To stay all in this tempest.

_Med_. Holy Sir,
With these worke you the King and so prevaile
That all these mischiefes _Hull_ with Flagging saile.

_Car_. My best in this I'le doe.

_Med_. Souldier, thy brest
I must locke better things in.

_Bal_. Tis your chest with 3 good keyes to keep it from opening,
an honest hart, a daring hand and a pocket which scornes money.


_Actus Quintus_.


    _Enter King, Cardinall with letters_, [_Valasco and Lopez_.]

_King_. Commend us to _Medina_, say his letters
Right pleasing are, and that (except himselfe)
Nothing could be more welcome: counsell him
(To blot the opinion out of factious numbers)
Onely to have his ordinary traine
Waiting upon him; for, to quit all feares
Vpon his side of us, our very Court
Shall even but dimly shine with some few Dons,
Freely to prove our longings great to peace.

_Car_. The Constable expects some pawne from you
That in this Fairy circle shall rise up
No Fury to confound his Neece nor him.

_King_. A King's word is engag'd.

_Car_. It shall be taken.                     [_Exit_.

_King_. _Valasco_, call the Captaine of our Guard,
Bid him attend us instantly.

_Val_. I shall.                                [_Exit_.

_King_. _Lopez_, come hither: see
Letters from _Duke Medina_, both in the name
Of him and all his Faction, offering peace,
And our old love (his Neece) _Onaelia_
In Marriage with her free and faire consent
To _Cockadillio_, a Don of Spaine.

_Lop_. Will you refuse this?

_King_. My Crowne as soone: they feele their sinowy plots
Belike to shrinke i'th joynts, and fearing Ruine
Have found this Cement out to piece up all,
Which more endangers all.

_Lop_. How, Sir! endangers?

_King_. Lyons may hunted be into the snare,
But if they once breake loose woe be to him
That first seiz'd on 'em. A poore prisoner scornes
To kisse his Jaylor; and shall a King be choak'd
With sweete-meats by false Traytors! no, I will fawne
On them as they stroake me, till they are fast
But in this paw, and then--

_Lop_. A brave revenge.--
The Captaine of your Guard.

    _Enter Captaine_.

_King_. Vpon thy life
Double our Guard this day, let every man
Beare a charg'd Pistoll hid; and at a watch-word
Given by a Musket, when our selfe sees Time,
Rush in; and if _Medina's_ Faction wrastle
Against your forces, kill; but if yeeld, save.
Be secret.

_Alanz_. I am charm'd, Sir.

_King_. Watch, _Valasco_;
If any weare a Crosse, Feather or Glove
Or such prodigious signes of a knit Faction,
Table their names up; at our Court-gate plant
Good strength to barre them out if once they swarme:
Doe this upon thy life.

_Val_. Not death shall fright me.

                        [_Exeunt Valasco and Lopez_.

    _Enter Baltazar_.

_Bal_. 'Tis done, Sir.

_King_. Death! what's done?

_Bal_. Young Cub's flayd,
But the shee-fox shifting her hole is fled;
The little Iackanapes the boy's braind.

_King_. _Sebastian_?

_Bal_. He shall ne're speake more Spanish.

_King_. Thou teachest me to curse thee.

_Bal_. For a bargaine you set your hand to?

_King_. Halfe my Crowne I'de lose were it undone.

_Bal_. But half a Crowne? that's nothing:
His braines sticke in my conscience more than yours.

_King_. How lost I the French Doctor?

_Bal_. As French-men lose their haire: here was too hot staying for him.

_King_. Get thou, too, from my sight: the Queen wu'd see thee.

_Bal_. Your gold, Sir.

_King_. Goe with _Judas_ and repent.

_Bal_. So men hate whores after lusts heat is spent; I'me gone, Sir.

_King_. Tell me true,--is he dead?

_Bal_. Dead.

_King_. No matter; 'tis but morning of revenge;
The Sun-set shall be red and Tragicall.     [_Exit_.

_Bal_. Sinne is a Raven croaking[214] her owne fall.

(SCENE 2.)

    _Enter Medina, Daenia, Alba, Carlo and the Faction,
    with Rosemary in their hats_.

_Med_. Keepe lock'd the doore and let none enter to us
But who shares in our fortunes.

_Daen_. Locke the dores.

_Alb_. What entertainment did the King bestow
Vpon your letters and the Cardinals?

_Med_. With a devouring eye he read 'em o're
Swallowing our offers into his empty bosome
As gladly as the parched earth drinks healths
Out of the cup of heaven.

_Carl_. Little suspecting
What dangers closely lye enambushed.

_Daen_. Let not us trust to that; there's in his brest
Both Fox and Lion, and both those beasts can bite:
We must not now behold the narrowest loope-hole
But presently suspect a winged bullet
Flyes whizzing by our eares.

_Med_. For when I let
The plummet fall to sound his very soule
In his close-chamber, being French-Doctor-like,
He to the Cardinals eare sung sorcerous notes;
The burthen of his song to mine was death,
_Onaelia's_ murder and _Sebastians_.
And thinke you his voyce alters now? 'Tis strange
To see how brave this Tyrant shewes in Court,
Throan'd like a god: great men are petty starres
Where his rayes shine; wonder fills up all eyes
By sight of him: let him but once checke sinne,
About him round all cry "oh excellent king!
Oh Saint-like man!" but let this King retire
Into his Closet to put off his robes,
He like a Player leaves his parte off, too:
Open his brest and with a Sunne-beame search it,
There's no such man; this King of gilded clay
Within is uglinesse, lust, treachery,
And a base soule tho reard Colossus-high.

                          (_Baltazar beats to come in_.)

_Daen_. None till he speakes and that we know his voyce:
Who are you?

_Within Bal_. An honest house-keeper in Rosemary-lane, too,
If you dwell in the same parish.

_Med_. Oh 'tis our honest Souldier, give him entrance.

    _Enter Baltazar_.

_Bal_. Men show like coarses[215] for I meet few but are stuck with
Rosemary: everyone ask'd mee who was married to-day, and I told 'em
Adultery and Repentance, and that shame and a Hangman followed 'em
to Church.

_Med_. There's but two parts to play: shame has done hers
But execution must close up the Scaene,
And for that cause these sprigs are worne by all,
Badges of Mariage, now of Funerall,
For death this day turns Courtier.

_Bal_. Who must dance with him?

_Med_. The King, and all that are our opposites;
That dart or this must flye into the Court,
Either to shoote this blazing starre from Spaine
Or else so long to wrap him up in clouds
Till all the fatall fires in him burne out,
Leaving his State and conscience cleere from doubt
Of following uprores.

_Alb_. Kill not but surprize him.

_Carl_. Thats my voyce still.

_Med_. Thine, Souldier.

_Bal_. Oh, this Collicke of a kingdome! when the wind of treason gets
amongst the small guts, what a rumbling and a roaring it keepes! and
yet, make the best of it you can, it goes out stinking. Kill a King!

_Daen_. Why?

_Bal_. If men should pull the Sun out of heaven every time 'tis
ecclips'd, not all the Wax nor Tallow in Spaine woo'd serve to make
us Candles for one yeare.

_Med_. No way to purge the sicke State but by opening a veine.

_Bal_. Is that your French Physicke? if every one of us shoo'd be
whip'd according to our faults, to be lasht at a carts taile would be
held but a flea-biting.

    _Enter Signeor No:[216] Whispers Medina_.

_Med_. What are you? come you from the King?

_No_. No.

_Bal_. No? more no's? I know him, let him enter.

_Med_. Signeor, I thanke your kind Intelligence.
The newes long since was sent into our eares,
Yet we embrace your love; so fare you well.

_Carl_. Will you smell to a sprig of Rosemary?

_No_. No.

_Bal_. Will you be hang'd?

_No_. No.

_Bal_. This is either Signeor No, or no Signeor.

_Med_. He makes his love to us a warning-peece
To arme our selves against we come to Court,
Because the guard is doubled.

_Omnes_. Tush, we care not.

_Bal_. If any here armes his hand to cut off the head, let him first
plucke out my throat. In any Noble Act Ile wade chin-deepe with you:
but to kill a King!

_Med_. No, heare me--

_Bal_. You were better, my Lord, saile 500 times to _Bantam_[217] in
the West-Indies than once to _Barathrum_ in the Low-Countries. It's
hot going under the line there; the Callenture of the soule is a most
miserable madnesse.

_Med_. Turne, then, this wheele of Fate from shedding blood,
Till with her owne hand Iustice weyes all.

_Bal_. Good.


(SCENE 3.)

_Queen_. Must then his Trul be once more sphear'd in Court
To triumph in my spoyles, in my ecclipses?
And I like moaping _Iuno_ sit whilst _Iove_
Varies his lust into five hundred shapes
To steale to his whores bed? No, _Malateste_;
Italian fires of Iealousie burn my marrow:
For to delude my hopes the leacherous King
Cuts out this robe of cunning marriage
To cover his Incontinence, which flames
Hot (as my fury) in his black desires.
I am swolne big with child of vengeance now,
And, till deliver'd, feele the throws of hell.

_Mal_. Iust is your Indignation, high and noble,
And the brave heat of a true Florentine.
For Spaine Trumpets abroad her Interest
In the Kings heart, and with a black cole drawes
On every wall your scoff'd at injuries.
As one that has the refuse of her sheets,
And the sick Autumne of the weakned King,
Where she drunke pleasures up in the full spring.

_Queen_. That, _Malateste_, That, That Torrent wracks me;
But _Hymens_ Torch (held downe-ward) shall drop out,
And for it the mad Furies swing their brands
About the Bride-chamber.

_Mal_. The Priest that joyns them
Our Twin-borne malediction.

_Queen_. Lowd may it speake.

_Mal_. The herbs and flowers to strew the wedding way
Be Cypresse, Eugh, cold Colloquintida.

_Queen_. Henbane and Poppey, and that magicall weed[218]
Which Hags at midnight watch to catch the seed.

_Mal_. To these our execrations, and what mischiefe
Hell can but hatch in a distracted braine
Ile be the Executioner, tho it looke
So horrid it can fright e'ne murder backe.

_Queen_. Poyson his whore to day, for thou shalt wait
On the Kings Cup, and when, heated with wine,
He cals to drinke the Brides health, Marry her
Alive to a gaping grave.

_Mal_. At board?

_Queen_. At board.

_Mal_. When she being guarded round about with friends,
Like a faire Iland hem'd with Rocks and Seas,--
What rescue shall I find?

_Queen_. Mine armes? dost faint?
Stood all the Pyrenaean hills, that part
Spaine and our Country, on each others shoulders,
Burning with Aetnean flame, yet thou shouldst on,
As being my steele of resolution
First striking sparkles from my flinty brest.
Wert thou to catch the horses of the Sunne
Fast by their bridles and to turne back day,
Wood'st thou not doo't (base coward) to make way
To the Italians second blisse, revenge?

_Mal_. Were my bones threatned to the wheele of torture,
Ile doo't.

    _Enter Lopes_.

_Queen_. A ravens voyce, and it likes me well.

_Lop_. The King expects your presence.

_Mal_. So, so, we come,
To turne this Brides day to a day of doome.


(SCENE 4.)

    _A Banquet set out, Cornets sounding; Enter at one
    dore Lopez, Valasco, Alanzo, No: after them King,
    Cardinall, with Don Cockadillio, Bridegroome;
    Queene and Malateste after. At the other dore
    Alba, Carlo, Roderigo, Medina and Daenia, leading
    Onaelia as Bride, Cornego and Iuanna after;
    Baltazar alone; Bride and Bridegroome kisse,
    and by the Cardinall are join'd hand in hand:
    King is very merry, hugging Medina very lovingly_.

_King_. For halfe Spaines weight in Ingots I'de not lose
This little man to day.

_Med_. Nor for so much
Twice told, Sir, would I misse your kingly presence,
Mine eyes have lost th'acquaintance of your face
So long, and I so little late read o're
That Index of the royall book your mind,
That scarce (without your Comment) can I tell
When in those leaves you turne o're smiles or frownes.

_King_. 'Tis dimnesse of your sight, no fault i'th letter;
_Medina_, you shall find that free from Errata's:
And for a proofe,
If I could breath my heart in welcomes forth,
This Hall should ring naught else. Welcome, _Medina_;
Good Marquesse _Daenia_, Dons of Spaine all welcome!
My dearest love and Queene, be it your place
To entertaine the Bride and doe her grace.

_Queen_. With all the love I can, whose fire is such,
To give her heat, I cannot burne too much.

_King_. Contracted Bride and Bridegroome sit;
Sweet flowres not pluck'd in season lose their scent,
So will our pleasures. Father Cardinall,
Methinkes this morning new begins our reigne.

_Car_. Peace had her Sabbath ne're till now in Spaine.

_King_. Where is our noble Souldier, _Baltazar_?
So close in conference with that Signior?

_No_. No.

_King_. What think'st thou of this great day _Baltazar_?

_Bal_. Of this day? why, as of a new play, if it ends well all's well.
All men are but Actors; now if you, being the King, should be out of
your part, or the Queene out of hers or your Dons out of theirs, here's
No wil never be out of his.

_No_. No.

_Bal_. 'Twere a lamentable peece of stuffe to see great Statesmen
have vile Exits; but I hope there are nothing but plaudities in all
your Eyes.

_King_. Mine, I protest, are free.

_Queen_. And mine, by heaven!

_Mal_. Free from one goode looke till the blow be given.

_King_. Wine; a full Cup crown'd to _Medina's_ health!

_Med_. Your Highnesse this day so much honors me
That I, to pay you what I truly owe,
My life shall venture for it.

_Daen_. So shall mine.

_King_. _Onaelia_, you are sad: why frownes your brow?

_Onae_. A foolish memory of my past ills
Folds up my looke in furrowes of old care,
But my heart's merry, Sir.

_King_. Which mirth to heighten
Your Bridegroome and your selfe first pledge this health
Which we begin to our high Constable.

    (_Three Cups fild: 1 to the King, 2 to the Bridegroome,
    3 to Onaelia, with whom the King complements_.)

_Queen_. Is't speeding?

_Mal_. As all our Spanish figs[219] are.

_King_. Here's to _Medina's_ heart with all my heart.

_Med_. My hart shal pledge your hart i'th deepest draught
That ever Spanyard dranke.

_King_. _Medina_ mockes me
Because I wrong her with the largest Bowle:
Ile change with thee, _Onaelia_.

                             (_Mal. rages_)

_Queen_. Sir, you shall not.

_King_. Feare you I cannot fetch it off?

_Queen_. _Malateste_!

_King_. This is your scorne to her, because I am doing
This poorest honour to her.--Musicke sound!
It goes were it ten fadoms to the ground.

        _Cornets. King drinkes; Queen and Mal. storms_.

_Mal_. Fate strikes with the wrong weapon.

_Queen_. Sweet royall Sir, no more: it is too deepe.

_Mal_. Twill hurt your health, Sir.

_King_. Interrupt me in my drinke! 'tis off.

_Mal_. Alas, Sir,
You have drunke your last: that poyson'd bowle I fill'd,
Not to be put into your hand but hers.

_King_. Poyson'd?

_Omnes_. Descend black speckled soule to hell.
                                     (_kil Mal. dyes_.)

_Mal_. The Queene has sent me thither?

_Card_. What new furie shakes now her snakes locks?

_Queen_. I, I, tis I,
Whose soule is torne in peeces till I send
This Harlot home.

_Car_. More Murders? save the lady.

_Balt_. Rampant? let the Constable make a mittimus.

_Med_. Keepe 'em asunder.

_Car_. How is it royall sonne?

_King_. I feele no poyson yet; only mine eyes
Are putting out their lights: me thinks I feele
Deaths Icy fingers stroking downe my face;
And now I'me in a mortall cold sweat.

_Queen_. Deare my Lord.

_King_. Hence! call in my Physicians.

_Med_. Thy Physician, Tyrant,
Dwels yonder: call on him or none.

_King_. Bloody _Medina_! stab'st thou, _Brutus_, too?

_Daen_. As hee is so are we all.

_King_. I burne;
My braines boyle in a Caldron: O, one drop
Of water now to coole me!

_Onae_. Oh, let him have Physicians!

_Med_. Keepe her backe.

_King_. Physicians for my soule: I need none else.
You'll not deny me those? Oh, holy Father,
Is there no mercy hovering in a cloud
For me, a miserable King, so drench'd
In perjury and murder?

_Car_. Oh, Sir, great store.

_King_. Come downe, come quickly downe.

_Car_. I'll forthwith send
For a grave Fryer to be your Confessor.

_King_. Doe, doe.

_Car_. And he shall cure your wounded soule:
--Fetch him, good Souldier.

_Bal_. So good a work I'le hasten.

_King_. _Onaelia_! oh, shee's drown'd in tears. _Onaelia_!
Let me not dye unpardoned at thy hands.

    _Enter Baltazar, Sebastian as a Fryer, with others_.

_Car_. Here comes a better Surgeon.

_Seb_. Haile my good Sonne!
I come to be thy ghostly Father.

_King_. Ha!
My child? tis my _Sebastian_, or some spirit
Sent in his shape to fright me.

_Bal_. 'Tis no gobling, Sir, feele: your owne flesh and blood, and much
younger than you tho he be bald, and calls you son. Had I bin as ready
to cut his sheeps throat as you were to send him to the shambles, he
had bleated no more. There's lesse chalke upon you[r] score of sinnes
by these round o'es.

_King_. Oh, my dul soule, looke up; thou art somewhat lighter.
Noble _Medina_, see, _Sebastian_ lives:
_Onaelia_, cease to weepe, _Sebastian_ lives.
Fetch me my Crowne: my sweetest pretty Fryer,
Can my hands doo't, He raise thee one step higher.
Th'ast beene in heavens house all this while, sweet boy?

_Seb_. I had but coarse cheere.

_King_. Thou couldst nere fare better:
Religious houses are those hyves where Bees
Make honey for mens soules. I tell thee, Boy,
A Fryery is a Cube which strongly stands,
Fashioned by men, supported by heavens hands:
Orders of holy Priest-hood are as high,
I'th eyes of Angels, as a Kings dignity.
Both these unto a Crowne give the full weight,
And both are thine: you that our Contract know,
See how I scale it with this Marriage;
My blessing and Spaines kingdome both be thine.

_Omnes_. Long live _Sebastian_!

_Onae_. Doff that Fryers course gray,
And since hee's crown'd a king, clothe him like one.

_King_. Oh no; those are right Soveraigne Ornaments:
Had I been cloth'd so I had never fill'd
Spaine's Chronicle with my blacke Calumny.
My worke is almost finish'd: where's my Queene?

_Queen_. Heere, peece-meale torne by Furies.

_King_. _Onaelia_!
Your hand, _Paulina_, too; _Onaelia_, yours:
This hand (the pledge of my twice broken faith),
By you usurp'd, is her Inheritance.
My love is turn'd, see, as my fate is turn'd:
Thus they to day laugh, yesterday which mourn'd:
I pardon thee my death. Let her be sent
Backe into Florence with a trebled dowry.
Death comes: oh, now I see what late I fear'd;
A Contract broke, tho piec'd up ne're so well,
Heaven sees, earth suffers, but it ends in hell.

_Onae_. Oh, I could dye with him!

_Queen_. Since the bright spheare
I mov'd in falls, alas, what make I here?

_Med_. The hammers of blacke mischiefe now cease beating,
Yet some irons still are heating. You, Sir Bridegroome,
(Set all this while up as a marke to shoot at)
We here discharge you of your bed fellow:
She loves no Barbars washing.

_Cock_. My Balls are sav'd then.

_Med_. Be it your charge, so please you, reverend Sir,
To see the late Queene safely sent to Florence:
My Neece _Onaelia_, and that trusty Souldier,
We doe appoint to guard the infant King.
Other distractions Time must reconcile;
The State is poyson'd like a Crocodile.




[1] The title, I suppose, of "Cuckold."

[2] Tacitus in a few words gives a most masterly description of Poppea:
--"Huic mulieri cuncta alia fuere praeter honestum animum: quippe
mater eius, aetatis suae feminas pulchritudine supergressa, gloriam
pariter et formam dederat: opes claritudini generis sufficiebant: sermo
comis, nec absurdum ingenium: modestiam praeferre et lascivia uti: rarus
in publicum egressus, idque velata parte oris, ne satiaret aspectum, vel
quia sic decebat. Famae numquam pepercit, maritos et adulteros non
distinguens, neque affectui suo aut alieno obnoxia: unde utilitas
ostenderetur, illuc libidinem transtulit."--Ann. XIII. 45.

[3] 4to. Why? Is he rais'd.

[4] Cf. Dion Cassius, [Greek: X G] 20.

[5] 4to. cleare th'ayre.

[6] "Push" and "pish" are used indifferently by Elizabethan writers.

[7] Cf. Verg. Aen. vi. 805-6:--

    "Nec qui pampineis victor iuga flectit habenis,
    Liber, agens celso Nysae de vertice tigres."

[8] 4to. Turpuus. (Vid. Sueton. Vit. Ner. 20.)

[9] Tacitus (Ann. xvi. 14) mentions an astrologer of this name, who was
banished by Nero.

[10] Vid. Sueton. Vit. Ner. 25.

[11] 4tos. _Servinus_.

[12] Tacit. Ann. xv. 49.

[13] By those "wicked armes" is meant, I suppose, the struggle between
Caesar and Pompey. Posterity will think the horrors of civil war
compensated by the pleasure of reading Lucan's epic!

[14] 4tos. Ciria.

[15] 4tos. beeds.

[16] 4tos. begins.

[17] A certain Volusius Proculus was one of the infamous agents in the
murder of Agrippina, and afterwards betrayed the fearless woman
Epicharis who confided to him the secret of Piso's conspiracy; but no
one of this name was executed by Nero.

[18] Quy. How! bruised, &c.

[19] Quy. Say that I had no skill!--If the reading of the 4tos. is right
the meaning must be, "As for his saying that I had no skill."

[20] A copy of the 1633 4to. gives "shoulder-eac't," which is hardly
less intelligible than the reading in the text. Everybody knows that
Pelops received an ivory shoulder for the one that was consumed; but the
word "shoulder-packt" conveys no meaning. "Shoulder-pieced," i.e.,
"fitted with an (ivory) shoulder," would be a shade more intelligible;
but it is a very ugly compound.

[21] Dion Cassius ([Greek: XB]. 14. ed. Bekker) reports this brutal gibe
of Nero's; Rubellius Plautus was the luckless victim:--[Greek: "ho de
dae Neron kai gelota kai skommata, ta ton syngenon kaka hepoieito ton
goun Plauton apokteinas, hepeita taen kephalaen autou prosenechtheisan oi
idon, 'ouk haedein,' hephae 'oti megalaen rina eichen,' osper pheisamenos
an autou ei touto proaepistato."]

[22] Persius' tutor, immortalised in his pupil's Fifth Satire.

[23] Quy. with.

[24] _Machlaean_--a word coined from [Greek: machlos] (sc. libidinosus).

[25] Partly a translation from Persius, Sat. I. 11. 99-102:--

    "Torva Mimalloneis implerunt cornua bombis,
    Et raptum vitulo caput ablatura superbo
    Bassaris, et lyncem Maenas flexura corymbis
    Euion ingeminat: reparabilis assonat Echo";

which lines are supposed to be a parody of some verses of Nero. Persius'

                                  "summa delumbe saliva
    Hoc natat: in labris et in udo est Maenas et Attis;
    Nec pluteum caedit, nec demorsos sapit ungues"--

agrees with the judgment of Tacitus (Ann. xiv. 16). Suetonius (Vit. Ner.
52), who had seen some of Nero's MSS., speaks of the extreme care that
had been given to correction; and the few verses preserved by Seneca
make against the estimate of Tacitus and Persius.

[26] 4tos. Ennion.

[27] Vid. Dion Cassius [Greek: XB]. 29.

[28] 4tos. conductors.

[29] 4tos. again.

[30] Cf. Tacitus, Ann. xv. 48.

[31] The 4to. points the passage thus:--

    "The thing determinde on our meeting now,
    Is of the meanes, and place, due circumstance,
    As to the doing of things t'is requir'd,
    So done, it names the action."

The words "t'is requir'd ... action," I take to mean, "The assassination
must be accomplished in such a way as to appear an act of patriotism and
make the actors famous."

[32] Cf. Tacitus, Ann. xv. 52

[33] Cf. Sueton. Vit. Ner. 49:--"Mirum et vel praecipue notabile inter
haec fuerit, nihil eum patientius quam maledicta et convitia hominum
tulisse, neque in ullos lemorem quam qui se dictis aut carminibus
lucessissent exstitisse. Multa Graece Latineque proscripta aut vulgata
sunt, sicut illa:--

       *       *       *       *       *
    _Roma domus fiet: Veios migrate Quirites, Si non et
    Veios occupat ista domus_."

[34] 4tos. _Servi_.

[35] 4tos. Servinus.

[36] Cf. Tac. Ann. xvi. 5; and Sueton. Vit Ner. 23.

[37] 4to. time.

[38] Cf. Sueton. Vit. Ner. 23. "Itaque et enixae quaedam in spectaculis
dicuntur, et multi taedio audiendi laudandique, clausis oppidorum
portis, aut furtim desiluisse de muro aut morte simulata funere elati."

[39] 4tos. And.

[40] The 4tos. give "_Agrippa_," which is nonsense. By a slip of the
tongue, Nero was going to say "Agrippina's death," when he hastily
corrected himself. Tacitus and Suetonius tell us that Nero was always
haunted with the memory of his murdered mother.

[41] Cf. Tacitus, Ann. xvi. 5. "Ferebantque Vespasianum, tamquam somno
conniveret, a Phoebo liberto increpitum aegreque meliorum precibus
obtectum, mox imminentem perniciem maiore fato effugisse."

[42] 4tos. _Ile_.

[43] 4to. 1624. innocents.

[44] Cf. Tacitus, Ann. xvi. 4.

[45] 4to. I'd.

[46] 4to. 1624. Aegamemnon.

[47] This magnificent speech is quoted in Charles Lamb's _Specimens_.

[48] 4tos. I'd.

[49] "Nec quisquam defendere audebat, crebris multorum minis restinguere
prohibentium, et quia alii palam faces iaciebant atque esse sibi
auctorem vociferabantur, sive ut raptus licentius exercerent, seu
jussu."--Tac. Ann. xv. 37.

[50] The simile is from Vergil, Aen. ii. 304-308--

    "In segetem veluti quum flamma furentibus Austris
    Incidit; aut rapidus montano flumine torrens
    Sternit agros, sternit sata laeta boumque labores,
    Praecipitesque trahit silvas: stupet inscius alto
    Accipiens sonitum saxi de vertice pastor."

[51] The author may have had in his mind a passage in Dion Cassius'
description of the fire:--[Greek: thorybos te oun exaisios pantachou
pantas katelambanen, kai dietrichon ohi men tae ohi de tae hosper
emplaektoi, kai allois tines epamynontes epynthanonto ta oikoi kaiomena
kai heteroi prin kai akousai hoti ton spheteron ti empepraestai,

emanthanon, hoti apololen. XB. 16].

[52] 4tos. _Cannos_.

[53] 4tos. _Allius_.

[54] The 4tos. give "thee gets." I feel confident that my emendation
restores the true reading.

[55] The reading of the 4tos. is the, "The most condemned," &c. A tribe
named the "Moschi" (of whom mention is made in Herodotus) dwelt a little
to the south of the Colchians.

[56] So the 4tos. "Low hate" is nonsense. "_Long_ and native hate" would
be spiritless; while "_bow and arrow laid_ apart" involves far too
violent a change. I reluctantly give the passage up.

[57] I suppose that the sentence is left unfinished; but perhaps it is
more likely that the text is corrupt.

[58] Quy. I now command the _Souldiery i'the Citie_.

[59] Sc. descendants. Vid. Nares, s.v.

[60] Cf. Tacitus, Ann. xv. 53.

[61] 4tos. losse.

[62] 4tos. soft.

[63] Quy. they.--The passage, despite its obscurity of expression,
seems to me intelligible; but I dare not venture to paraphrase it.

[64] 4tos. are we.

[65] "Call me cut" meant commonly nothing more than Falstaff's "call
me horse"; but as applied to Sporus the term "cutt-boy" was literally
correct. For what follows in the text cf. Sueton. Vit. Ner. cap. 28.

[66] 4to. Subius, Flavius.

[67] Quy. "I, [sc. aye] to himselfe; 'twould make the matter
cleare," &c.

[68] 4tos. _Gallii_. Our author is imitating Juvenal
(Sat. x. ll. 99-102):--

    "Huius qui trahitur praetextam sumere mavis,
    An Fidenarum Gabiorumque esse potestas
    Et de mensura ius dicere, vasa minora
    Frangere, pannosus vacuis Aedilis Ulubris?"

[69] Cf. Tacitus, Annals, xv. 59.

[70] 4tos. refuge.

[71] Quy. _Euphrates_.

[72] According to Tacitus, Piso retired to his house and there opened
his veins. Vid. Ann. xv. 59.

[73] Cf. Shakespeare, "Make mad the guilty and appal the free."
Hamlet, II. 2.

[74] So the 4tos; but Quy.

    "The Emperour's much pleas'd
    _That_ some have named _Seneca_."

[75] Cf. Tacitus, Ann. xv. 45; Sueton. Vit. Ner. 32.

[76] In Tacitus' account (Ann. xv. 67) the climax is curious:--
"'Oderam te,' inquit; 'nec quisquam tibi fidelior militum fuit dum
amari meruisti: odisse coepi, postquam parricida matris et uxoris,
auriga et histrio et incendiarius extitisti.'"

[77] The verses would run better thus:--

    "A feeling one; _Tigellinus_, bee't thy charge,
    And let me see thee witty in't.

    _Tigell_.                       Come, sirrah;
    Weele see." &c.

[78] Quy. was oreheard to say.

[79] 4tos. your.

[80] Quy. even skies.

[81] Quy. I'the firmament.

[82] 4tos. loath by.

[83] Martial, in a clever but coarse epigram (lib. xi. 56), ridicules
the Stoic's contempt of death:--

    "Hanc tibi virtutem fracta facit urceus ansa,
      Et tristis nullo qui tepet igne focus,
    Et teges et cimex et nudi sponda grabati,
      Et brevis atque eadem nocte dieque toga.
    O quam magnus homo es, qui faece rubentis aceti
      Et stipula et nigro pane carere potes.
       *       *       *       *       *
    Rebus in angustis facile est contemnere vitam:
      Fortiter ille facit qui miser esse potest."

[84] Cf. Juv. Sat. v. 36, 37:--

    "Quale coronati Thrasea Helvidiusque bibebant,
    Brutorum et Cassi natalibus."

The younger Pliny (Ep. iii. 7) relates that Eilius Italicus religiously
observed Vergil's birthday.

[85] The 4tos. punctuate thus:--

    "Here faire _Enanthe_, whose plumpe ruddy cheeke
    Exceeds the grape, it makes this; here my geyrle."

Petronius is speaking hurriedly. He begins to answer _Enanthe's_
question: "it makes this" (i.e. "means this"), he says, but breaks off
his explanation, and pledges his mistress.

[86] 4tos. walles.

[87] 4tos. Ith.

[88] "Non cuivis homini contingit adire Corinthum." Horat. Epist. i. 17,
36 ([Greek: ou pantos andros es Korinthon esth' ho plous]).

[89] Quy. Th'old _Anicean_ (sc. Anacreon).

[90] A paraphrase of Horace's well-known lines:

    "Linquenda tellus, et domus, et placens
    Uxor; neque harum, quas colis, arborum,
    Te, praeter invisas cupressos,
    Ulla brevem dominum sequeter."

--Odes, ii. 14, ll. 21-29.

[91] 4to. your.

[92] 4tos. thy.

[93] Cf. Horace, Od. i. 12, ll. 37, 38:--

    "Regulum, et Scauros _animaeque magnae
    Prodigum_ Paulum."

[94] Vid. Tacitus, Ann. xi. 11; Sueton. Vit. Ner. 6.

[95] 4tos. have.

[96] 4tos. night.

[97] The punning on the fairies' names recalls Bottom's pleasantries
(M.N.D. iii. 1), and the resemblance is certainly too close to be

[98] "Uncoth" here = wild, unfrequented; Cf. _As You Like It_, ii. 6,
"If this _uncouth_ forest yield anything savage," &c.

[99] A "Hunts up" was a hunting song, a réveillée, to rouse the hunters.
An example of a "_Hunts up_" may be found, set to music by J. Bennet, in
a collection of Ravenscroft, 1614.

[100] Quy. "kind;" but our author is not very particular about his

[101] "Rascal" was the regular name for a lean deer (_As You like It_,
iii. 3, &c.).

[102] The whole scene is printed as verse in the 4to.

[103] This very uncommon word (French: légèreté) occurs in _Henry V_.
(iv. i. l. 23).

[104] More commonly written "cote," a cottage.

[105] To "draw dry foot" meant to follow by the scent.
(_Com. of Errors_, iv. 2.)

[106] No doubt the writer had in his mind the description of
"Morpheus house" in the _Faerie Queene_ (Book i., Canto I).

[107] "Whisht" (more commonly "whist") = hushed, stilled. Cf. Milton,
_Ode on the Nativity_:--

    "The winds with wonder _whist_
    Smoothly the waters kist."

[108] "Plancher" (Fr. planche) = a plank. Cf. _Arden of Feversham_,
I. i. "Whilst on the _planchers_ pants his weary body," Shakespeare
(_Measure for Measure_, iv. 1) has "a _planched_ gate."

[109] "Incontinent" = immediately. The expression is very common
(_Richard II_., v. 6, &c.).

[110] These verses and Frisco's "Can you blow the little horne"? are
evidently fragments of Old Ballads--to be recovered, let us hope,

[111] These four lines are from the old ballad of _Fortune my foe_,
which will be found printed entire in the _Bagford Ballads_ (Ed. J.W.
Ebsworth, part iv. pp. 962-3); the music is given in Mr. W. Chappell's
_Popular Music of the Olden Time_, I. 162. Mr. Ebsworth writes me:--
"I have ascertained (assuredly) that what I at first thought to be a
reference to 'Fortune my foe' in the Stationers' Registers, 1565-66,
entered to John Charlewood (_Arber's Transcripts_, l. 310), as 'of one
complaining of ye mutabilitie of Fortune' is _not_ 'Fortune my foe,' but
one of Lempill's ballads, printed by R. Lekpriwicke (_sic_), and still
extant in the Huth Collections--the true title being 'Ane Complaint vpon
Fortoun;' beginning 'Inconstant world, fragill and friuolus.'"

[112] Nares quotes from Chapman's _May Day_, "Lord, how you roll in your
_rope-ripe_ terms." Minshew explains the word as "one ripe for a rope,
or for whom the gallows groans." I find the expression "to rowle in
their ropripe termes" in William Bullein's rare and curious "Dialogue
both pleasaunt and pietiful," 1573, p. 116.

[113] A very common term for a pimp.

[114] "Bale of dice"--a pair of dice; the expression occurs in the
_New Inn_, I. 3, &c.

[115] This song is set to music in an old collection by Ravenscroft,

[116] More usually written "mammets," i.e., puppets (_Rom. & Jul_.
iii. 5; though, no doubt, in _Hen. IV_., ii. 3, Gifford was right
in connecting the word with Lat. mamma).

[117] Cf. Drayton's _Fairy Wedding_:--

    "Besides he's deft and wondrous airy,
    And of the noblest of the fairy!
    Chiefe of the Crickets of much fame
    In fairy a most ancient name."

So in _Merry Wives_, v. 5, l. 47.

[118] Quy. What kind o' God, &c.

[119] "There is a kind of crab-tree also or _wilding_ that in like
manner beareth twice a yeare." Holland's Plinie, b. xvi.

[120] "Assoyle" usually = _absolve_; here _resolve, explain_.

[121] The italics are my own, as I suppose that the four lines were
intended to be sung.

[122] 4to. It is, it is not, &c.

[123] The sense of "fine, rare," rather than that of "frequent,
abundant" (as Nares explains), would seem to suit the passages in
Shakespeare and elsewhere where the word is used colloquially.

[124] "Sib" = akin. Possibly the word still lingers in the North
Country: Sir Walter Scott uses it in the _Antiquary_, &c.

[125] "Wonning" sc. dwelling (Germ. wohnen). Spenser frequently uses
the word.

[126] A Spenserian passage (as Mr. Collier has pointed out): vid. F.Q.,
B. 2. C. xii. 71.

[127] 4to. then.

[128] 4to. And here she woman.

[129] "Caul" = part of a lady's head-dress: "reticulum crinale vel
retiolum," Withals' Dictionarie, 1608 (quoted by Nares).

[130] "The battaile. The Combattantes Sir Ambrose Vaux, knight, and
Glascott the Bayley of Southwarke: the place the Rule of the Kings

[131] In some copies the name "John Kirke" is given in full.

[132] _Bottom_ = a ball of worsted. George Herbert in a letter to his
mother says: "Happy is he whose _bottom_ is wound up, and laid ready
for work in the New Jerusalem." So in the _Virgin Martyr_ (v. 1),--"I,
before the Destinies my _bottom_ did wind up, would flesh myself once
more upon some one remarkable above all these."

[133] 4to. your.

[134] Cf. the catalogue of torments in the _Virgin Martyr_ (v. 1).

[135] The 4to prints the passage thus:--

    "I have now livd my full time;
    Tell me, my _Henricke_, thy brave successe,
    That my departing soule
    May with thy story," &c.

Several times further on I shall have to alter the irregular arrangement
of the 4to in order to restore the blank verse; but I shall not think it
necessary to note the alteration.

[136] 4to, Horne.

[137] 4to, Aloft.

[138] The 4to gives '_The_ further,' and in the next line
'_Or_ further.'

[139] The whole of this scene is printed as verse in the 4to. I have
printed the early part as prose, that the reader's eye may not be
vexed by metrical monstrosities.

[140] Sharpe i.e. sword. Vid. Halliwell's Dictionary.

[141] 4to. field.

[142] Sir Thomas Browne in _Vulgar Errors_ (Book 2, cap. 5) discusses
this curious superstition at length:--'And first we hear it in every
mouth, and in many good authors read it, that a diamond, which is the
hardest of stones, not yielding unto steel, emery, or any thing but its
own powder, is yet made soft, or broke by the blood of a goat. Thus much
is affirmed by Pliny, Solinus, Albertus, Cyprian, Austin, Isidore, and
many Christian writers: alluding herein unto the heart of man, and the
precious blood of our Saviour, who was typified by the goat that was
slain, and the scape goat in the wilderness: and at the effusion of
whose blood, not only the hard hearts of his enemies relented, but the
stony rocks and veil of the temple were shattered,' &c.

[143] The expression, to 'carry coals' (i.e. to put up with insults) is
too common to need illustration.

[144] 4to. deaths prey. The change restores the metre.

[145] 'Owe' for 'own' is very common in Shakespeare.

[146] The 4to. prints this scene throughout as verse.

[147] 'Larroones,' from Fr. _larron_ (a thief). Cf. Nabbes' _Bride_,
iii. 3. 'Remercie, Monsieur. Voe call a me Cooke now! de greasie

[148] Quy. rogues.

[149] Quy. had. There seems to be a reference to Stephen's martyrdom
described in _The Acts_.

[150] "Black Jack" and "bombard" were names given to wide leathern

[151] A term in venery.

[152] A hound's chaps were called "flews".

[153] 'Sparabiles,' nails used by shoemakers. Nares quotes Herrick:

    Cob clouts his shoes, and, as the story tells,
    His thumb-nailes par'd afford him sperrables.'

The word is of uncertain derivation.

[154] 4to. recovering.

[155] 'Champion' is the old form of 'champain.'

[156] 'Diet-bread' was the name given to a sort of sweet seedcake:
Vid. Nares' Glossary.

[157] Quy. Oh! what cold, famine, &c.

[158] For an account of the "bezoar nut" and the Unicorn's horn vid.
Sir Thomas Browne's "Vulgar Errors," book iii. cap. xxiii.

[159] Vid. Liddell and Scott, s.v. [Greek: hypostasis].

[160] Sc. diaphoretick ([Greek: diaphoraetikos]), causing perspiration.

[161] _Rabby Roses_ is no doubt a corruption of _Averroes_, the famous
editor of Aristotle, and author of numerous treatises on theological and
medical subjects.

[162] Sir Thomas Browne (_Vulgar Errors_, I. vii.) quotes from Pierius
another strange cure for a scorpion's bite, "to sit upon an ass with
one's face towards his tail, for so the pain leaveth the man and passeth
into the beast."

[163] "Bandogs" (or, more correctly speaking, "band-dogs")--dogs that
had to be kept chained on account of their fierceness.

[164] (4to): men.

[165] 'Carbonardoed'--cut into collops for grilling: a common

[166] 'Rochet.'

"A linen vest, like a surplice, worn by bishops, under their satin
robes. The word, it is true, is not obsolete, nor the thing disused, but
it is little known."--Nares. ("Lent unto thomas Dowton, the 11 of Aprel
1598, to bye tafitie to macke a _Rochet_ for the beshoppe in earlle good
wine, xxiiii s." Henslowe's Diary, ed. Collier, p. 122.)

[167] (4to): by.

[168] The word "portage" occurs in a difficult passage of
_Pericles_, iii. 1,--

                        "Even at the first
    Thy loss is more than can thy _portage_ quit
    With all thou canst find here."

If there be no corruption in the passage of _Pericles_, the meaning can
only be (as Steevens explained) "thy safe arrival at the port of life."
Our author's use of the word "portage" is even more perplexing than
Shakespeare's; "Thy portion" would give excellent sense; but, with the
passage of _Pericles_ before us, we cannot suppose that there is a
printer's error. [In _Henry V_. 3, i, we find 'portage' for

[169] Quy. ever?

[170] The subst. _mouse_ is sometimes found as an innocent term of
endearment, but more often in a wanton sense (like the Lat. passer).

[171] 'Felt locks'--matted locks, commonly called "elf-locks": the
various forms "felted," "felter'd" and "feutred" are found.

[172] 'Stavesucre' (said to be a corruption of [Greek: staphis]. and
usually written 'Staves-acre') a kind of lark-spur considered
efficacious in destroying lice. Cf. Marlowe's _Dr. Faustus_ (i. 4)--
'Stavesacre? that's good to kill vermin; then belike, if I serve you,
I shall be lousy.'

[173] Quy. early-rioting.

[174] Ought we to read 'fins'? Webster (_Duchess of Malfi_, ii. 1) has
the expression the '_fins_ of her eye-lids'; it is found also in the
_Malcontent_ (i. 1), The confusion between the 'f' and the long 's' is
very common.

[175] Shakespeare uses the verb 'fang' (_Timon of Athens_, iv. 3) in the
sense of 'seize, clutch.'

[176] Varlet--'the serjeant-at-mace to the city counters was so called,'
Halliwell (who, however, gives no instance of this use).

[177] 'Trunk-hose' wide breeches stuffed with wool, &c.

[178] I can make nothing of this verse: the obscurity is not at all
removed by putting a comma after 'rules.' Doubtless the passage is

[179] _Our rest we set_ in pleasing, &c., i.e., we have made up our
mind to please. The metaphor is taken from primero (a game, seemingly,
not unlike the Yankee 'poker'), where to 'set up rest' meant to stand
on one's cards; but the expression was also used in a military sense.
Vid: Furness' Variorum Shakesp., _Rom. & Iul_., iv. 5.

[180] In Vol. IX. of the _Transactions of the Royal Historical Society_
is an elaborate paper (since reprinted for private circulation) by the
Rev. F.G. Fleay 'On the Actor Lists, 1538-1642.' The learned writer
tells us nothing new about Samuel Rowley; but his essay well deserves
a careful study.

[181] Quy. a _fury's_ face.

[182] 'Lacrymae'--one of the many allusions to John Dowland's musical
work of that name.

[183] 'Laugh and lay down' (more usually written 'lie down') was the
name of a game at cards. A prose-tract by 'C.T.,' published in 1605, is
entitled 'Laugh and Lie Down: or the World's Folly.' The expression, it
need hardly be said, is often used in a wanton sense.

[184] 4to. joyes.

[185] Quy. prove.

[186] Much of this scene is found, almost word for word, in colloquy 4
of John Day's _Parliament of Bees_.

[187] One of the characters in the _New Inn_ is Fly, 'the Parasite of
the Inn'; and in the _Virgin Martyr_ (ii. 2) we also find the word 'fly'
used (like Lat. musca) for an inquisitive person. In the text I suspect
we should read 'fly-about' for flye-boat.

[188] 'Blacke gard' was the name given to the lowest drudges who rode
amongst the pots and pans in royal processions: vid. Gifford's _Jonson_,
II. 169.

[189] The compositor seems to have been dozing: the word 'Vaw' points to
the reading 'Vaward,' and probably the passage ran--'this the Vaward,
this the Rearward.'

[190] 'Totter'd' i.e. tatter'd. Cf. _Richard II_. (iii. 3) 'the castle's
totter'd battlements' (the reading of the 4to.; the Folios give
'tatter'd'). In _King John_ (v. 5) I think, with Staunton, that the
expression 'tott'ring colours' means 'drooping colours' rather than, as
usually explained, 'tattered.'

[191] 'Spurn-point--An old game mentioned in a curious play called
_Apollo Shroving_, 12mo., Lond. 1627, p. 49.' Halliwell.

[192] 'Grandoes'--I find the word so spelt in Heywood's _A Challenge for
Beauty_--'I, and I assure your Ladiship, ally'de to the best Grandoes of
_Spaine_.' (_Works_, v. 18.)

[193] 4to. _Albia_.

[194] Cornego is telling the Captain to 'duck'--to make his bow--to

[195] Nares quotes from the _Owles Almanacke_, 1618, p. 6, an allusion
to this worthy,--'Since the _German fencer_ cudgell'd most of our
English fencers, now about 5 moneths past.'

[196] It is hardly necessary to remind the reader that 'bastard' was the
name of a sweet Spanish wine.

[197] 'Goll'--A cant expression for 'hand': it is found continually in
our old writers.

[198] The words 'Some scurvy thing, I warrant' should no doubt be given
to Cornego.

[199] The conversation between Onaelia and the Poet very closely
resembles, in parts, _Character_ 5 of John Day's _Parliament of Bees_.

[200] 4to lanch.

[201] 'The Hanging Tune' i.e. the tune of 'Fortune my Foe,' to which
were usually sung ballads relating to murders. The music of 'Fortune my
Foe,' is given in Mr. Chappell's 'Popular Music of the Olden Time'; and
the words may be seen in the 'Bayford Ballads' (edited by Mr. Ebsworth,
our greatest master of ballad-lore).

[202] Cf. Dekker's _Match me in London_ (Dramatic Works, iv. 180)--

                            'I doe speake _English_
    When I'de move pittie; when dissemble, _Irish_;
    _Dutch_ when I reele; and tho I feed on scalions
    _If I should brag Gentility I'de gabble Welch_.'

[203] Cf. Day's _Parliament of Bees_, Character 4.

[204] 'Estridge' is the common form of 'ostrich' among the Elizabethans
(I Henry IV., iv. 1, &c).

[205] "Poire d'angoisse. _A choke-Peare; or a wild soure Peare_."

[206] 4to. Moble.

[207] Quy. head.

[208] "Prick-song"--"harmony written or pricked down, in opposition to
plain-song, where the descant rested with the will of the singer."
Chappell's _Popular Music_, &c., I. 51.

[209] The keys of the 'virginal' were called 'Jacks.' For a description
of the 'virginal' see Mr. Chappell's _Popular Music_, &c. I, 103.

[210] 'Coranta' i.e. curranto, news-sheet: Ben Jonson's 'Staple of News'
gives us a good notion of the absurdities that used to be circulated.

[211] 'Linstocke' (or, more correctly, 'lint-stock')--a stick for
holding a gunner's match.

[212] Toot--to pry into: 'tooter' was formerly the name for a 'tout'
(vid. Todd's Johnson).

[213] 'Aphorisme. _An Aphorisme (or generall rule in Physicke)_.'

[214] 4to. creaking.

[215] Rosemary was used at marriages and funerals.

[216] Day dedicates his _Humour out of Breath_ to 'Signeor Nobody':
'Signeor No,' the shorter form, is not unfrequently found (e.g. _Ile of
Guls_, p. 59--my reprint). To whatever advantage _No_ may have appeared
on the stage, he certainly is a pitiful object in print.

[217] _Baltazar's_ notions of Geography are vague. A most interesting
account of Bantam, the capital of Java, may be seen in Vol. v. of
Hakluyt's 'Collection of early Voyages,' ed. 1812. It occurs in the
_Description of a Voyage made by certain Ships of Holland to the East
Indies &c. ... Translated out of Dutch into English by W.P. London_.
1589. 'The towne,' we are told, 'is not built with streetes nor the
houses placed in order, but very foule, lying full of filthy water,
which men must passe through or leap over for they have no bridges.'
For the people--'it is a very lying and theevish kind of people, not
in any sort to be trusted.'

[218] The 'magical weed' I take to be hemlock; cf. Ben Jonson's _Masque
of Queens_--

    'And I have been plucking, plants among,
    Hemlock, henbane, adders-tongue
    Night-shade, moon-wort, libbard's bane
    And twice, by the dogs, was like to be ta'en.'

[219] The poisoned 'Spanish fig' acquired considerable notoriety among
the early Dramatists: cf. Webster, _White_ Devil (p. 30, ed. Dyce,
1857.) 'I do look now for a _Spanish fig_ or an Italian salad daily':
Dekker. (iv. 213, Pearson) 'Now doe I looke for a fig': whether Pistol's
allusion (Henry V, iii. 6) is to the poisoned fig may be doubted.

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