THE MAID OF HONOUR

by Philip Massinger

ca. 1621-1623

 

 

 

 

 

 

DRAMATIS PERSONAE.

The Sicilians

Roberto, King of Sicily.

     Bertoldo, the King's natural brother, a Knight of Malta.

     Fulgentio, the minion of Roberto.

Astutio, a counsellor of state.

Camiola, the MAID OF HONOUR.

     Clarinda, her woman.

     Adorni, a follower of Camiola's father.

Signior Sylli, a foolish self-lover.

Antonio, rich heir, city-bred, former ward of Astutio.

Gasparo, rich heir, city-bred, nephew of Astutio.

Father Paulo, a Priest, Camiola's confessor.

The Siennese

Aurelia, Duchess of Sienna.

Gonzaga, a Knight of Malta, General to the Duchess of      Sienna.

     Pierio, a colonel to Gonzaga.

     Roderigo, captain to Gonzaga

     Jacomo, captain to Gonzaga.

The Urbinites

Ferdinand, Duke of Urbin.

     Druso, captain to Duke Ferdinand.

     Livio, captain to Duke Ferdinand.

     Ambassador from the Duke of Urbin.

A Bishop.

A Page.

Scout, Soldiers, Gaoler, Attendants, Servants, &c.

SCENE,

Partly in Sicily, and partly in the Siennese.

ACT I.

SCENE I.

Palermo.

A State-Room in the Palace.

Enter Astutio and Adorni.

Ador. Good day to your lordship.

Astut.                                            Thanks, Adorni.

Ador. May I presume to ask if the ambassador

Employed by Ferdinand, the Duke of Urbin,

Hath audience this morning?

Enter Fulgentio.

Astut.                                      Tis uncertain;

For, though a counsellor of state, I am not

Of the cabinet council: but there's one, if he please,

That may resolve you.

Ador.                          I will move him. − Sir!

Fulg. If you've a suit, shew water, I am blind else.

Ador. A suit; yet of a nature not to prove

The quarry that you hawk for; if your words

Are not like Indian wares, and every scruple

To be weighed and rated, one poor syllable,

Vouchsafed in answer of a fair demand,

Cannot deserve a fee.

Fulg.                         It seems you are ignorant,

I neither speak nor hold my peace for nothing;

And yet, for once, I care not if I answer

One single question, gratis.

Ador.                                  I much thank you.

Hath the ambassador audience, sir, to-day?

Fulg. Yes.

Ador.    At what hour?

Fulg.                           I promised not so much.

A syllable you begged, my charity gave it;

Move me no further.

[Exit.]

Astut.                        This you wonder at:

With me, 'tis usual.

Ador.                     Pray you, sir, what is he?

Astut. A gentleman, yet no lord. He hath some drops

Of the king's blood running in his veins, derived

Some ten degrees off. His revenue lies

In a narrow compass, the king's ear; and yields him

Every hour a fruitful harvest. Men may talk

Of three crops in a year in the Fortunate Islands,

Or profit made by wool; but, while there are suitors,

His sheepshearing, nay, shaving to the quick,

Is in every quarter of the moon, and constant.

In the time of trussing a point, he can undo

Or make a man: his play or recreation

Is to raise this up, or pull down that; and, though

He never yet took orders, makes more bishops

In Sicily than the pope himself.

Enter Bertoldo, Gasparo, Antonio, and a Servant.

Ador.                                        Most strange!

Astut. The presence fills. He in the Malta habit

Is the natural brother of the king − a by-blow.

Ador. I understand you.

Gasp.                           Morrow to my uncle.

Ant. And my late guardian: − but at length I have

The reins in my own hands.

Astut.                               Pray you, use them well,

Or you'll too late repent it.

Bert.                                With this jewel

Presented to Camiola, prepare

This night a visit for me. −

[Exit Servant.]

                                       I shall have

Your company, gallants, I perceive, if that

The king will hear of war.

Ant.                                Sir, I have horses

Of the best breed in Naples, fitter far

To break a rank than crack a lance; and are,

In their career, of such incredible swiftness,

They outstrip swallows.

Bert.                             And such may be useful

To run away with, should we be defeated:

You are well provided, signior.

Ant.                                          Sir, excuse me;

All of their race, by instinct, know a coward,

And scorn the burthen: they come on, like lightning;

Foundered in a retreat.

Bert.                           By no means back them;

Unless you know your courage sympathize

With the daring of your horse.

Ant.                                        My lord, this is bitter.

Gasp. I will raise me a company of foot,

And, when at push of pike I am to enter

A breach, to shew my valour, I have bought me

An armour cannon proof.

Bert.                               You will not leap, then,

O'er an outwork in your shirt?

Gasp.                                      I do not like

Activity that way.

Bert.                   You had rather stand

A mark to try their muskets on?

Gasp.                                         If I do

No good, I'll do no hurt.

Bert.                              'Tis in you, signior,

A Christian resolution, and becomes you!

But I will not discourage you.

Ant.                                       You are, sir,

A knight of Malta, and, as I have heard,

Have served against the Turk.

Bert.                                  'Tis true.

Ant.                                              Pray you, shew us

The difference between the city valour

And service in the field.

Bert.                            ‘Tis somewhat more

Than roaring in a tavern or a brothel,

Or to steal a constable from a sleeping watch,

Then burn their halberds; or, safe guarded by

Your tenants' sons, to carry away a May-pole

From a neighbour village. You will not find there

Your masters of dependencies, to take up

A drunken brawl, or, to get you the names

Of valiant chevaliers, fellows that will be,

For a cloak with thrice-dyed velvet, and a cast suit,

Kicked down the stairs. A knave with half a breech there,

And no shirt, (being a thing superfluous

And worn out of his memory,) if you bear not

Yourselves both in and upright, with a provant sword

Will slash your scarlets and your plush a new way;

Or, with the hilts, thunder about your ears

Such music as will make your worships dance

To the doleful tune of Lachrymae.

Gasp.                                            I must tell you

In private, as you are my princely friend,

I do not like such fiddlers.

Bert.                                No! they are useful

For your imitation; I remember you,

When you came first to the court, and talked of nothing

But your rents and your entradas, ever chiming

The golden bells in your pockets; you believed

The taking of the wall as a tribute due to

Your gaudy clothes; and could not walk at midnight

Without a causeless quarrel, as if men

Of coarser outsides were in duty bound

To suffer your affronts: but, when you had been

Cudgelled well twice or thrice, and from the doctrine

Made profitable uses, you concluded

The sovereign means to teach irregular heirs

Civility, with conformity of manners,

Were two or three sound beatings.

Ant.                                               I confess

They did much good upon me.

Gasp.                                      And on me:

The principles that they read were sound.

Bert.                                                         You'll find

The like instructions in the camp.

Astut.                                       The king!

A flourish. Enter Roberto, Fulgentio,

Ambassadors, and Attendants.

Roberto ascends the throne.

Rob. We sit prepared to hear.

Amb.                                     Your majesty

Hath been long since familiar, I doubt not,

With the desperate fortunes of my lord; and pity

Of the much that your confederate hath suffered,

You being his last refuge, may persuade you

Not alone to compassionate, but to lend

Your royal aids to stay him in his fall

To certain ruin. He, too late, is conscious

That his ambition to encroach upon

His neighbour's territories, with the danger of

His liberty, nay, his life, hath brought in question

His own inheritance: but youth and heat

Of blood, in your interpretation, may

Both plead and mediate for him. I must grant it

An error in him, being denied the favours

Of the fair princess of Sienna, (though

He sought her in a noble way,) to endeavour

To force affection, by surprisal of

Her principal seat, Sienna.

Rob.                                 Which now proves

The seat of his captivity, not triumph:

Heaven is still just.

Amb.                    And yet that justice is

To be with mercy tempered, which Heaven's deputies

Stand bound to minister. The injured duchess,

By reason taught, as nature could not, with

The reparation of her wrongs, but aim at

A brave revenge; and my lord feels, too late,

That innocence will find friends. The great Gonzaga,

The honour of his order, (I must praise

Virtue, though in an enemy,) he whose fights

And conquests hold one number, rallying up

Her scattered troops, before we could get time

To victual or to man the conquered city,

Sat down before it; and, presuming that

Tis not to be relieved, admits no parley,

Our flags of truce hung out in vain: nor will he

Lend an ear to composition, but exacts,

With the rendering up the town, the goods and lives

Of all within the walls, and of all sexes,

To be at his discretion.

Rob.                            Since injustice

In your duke meets this correction, can you press us,

With any seeming argument of reason,

In foolish pity to decline his dangers,

To draw them on ourself? Shall we not be

Warned by his harms? The league proclaimed between us

Bound neither of us further than to aid

Each other, if by foreign force invaded;

And so far in my honour I was tied.

But since, without our counsel or allowance,

He hath ta'en arms; with his good leave he must

Excuse us if we steer not on a rock

We see and may avoid. Let other monarchs

Contend to be made glorious by proud war,

And, with the blood of their poor subjects, purchase

Increase of empire, and augment their cares

In keeping that which was by wrongs extorted,

Gilding unjust invasions with the trim

Of glorious conquests; we, that would be known

The father of our people, in our study

And vigilance for their safety, must not change

Their ploughshares into swords, and force them from

The secure shade of their own vines, to be

Scorched with the flames of war: or, for our sport,

Expose their lives to ruin.

Amb.                               Will you, then,

In his extremity forsake your friend?

Rob. No; but preserve ourself.

Bert.                                       Cannot the beams

Of honour thaw your icy fears?

Rob.                                        Who's that?

Bert. A kind of brother, sir, howe'er your subject;

Your father's son, and one who blushes that

You are not heir to his brave spirit and vigour,

As to his kingdom.

Rob.                     How's this!

Bert.                                     Sir, to be

His living chronicle, and to speak his praise,

Cannot deserve your anger.

Rob.                                   Where's your warrant

For this presumption?

Bert.                         Here, sir, in my heart:

Let sycophants, that feed upon your favours,

Style coldness in you caution, and prefer

Your ease before your honour, and conclude,

To eat and sleep supinely is the end

Of human blessings: I must tell you, sir,

Virtue, if not in action, is a vice,

And, when we move not forward, we go backward:

Nor is this peace, the nurse of drones and cowards,

Our health, but a disease.

Gasp.                              Well urged, my lord.

Ant. Perfect what is so well begun.

Amb.                                             And bind

My lord your servant.

Rob.                          Hair-brained fool! what reason

Canst thou infer to make this good?

Bert.                                               A thousand,

Not to be contradicted. But consider

Where your command lies: 'tis not, sir, in France,

Spain, Germany, Portugal, but in Sicily;

An island, sir. Here are no mines of gold

Or silver to enrich you; no worm spins

Silk in her womb, to make distinctión

Between you and a peasant in your habits;

No fish lives near our shores, whose blood can dye

Scarlet or purple; all that we possess,

With beasts we have in common: nature did

Design us to be warriors, and to break through

Our ring, the sea, by which we are environed;

And we by force must fetch in what is wanting

Or precious to us. Add to this, we are

A populous nation, and increase so fast

That, if we by our providence are not sent

Abroad in colonies, or fall by the sword,

Not Sicily, though now it were more fruitful

Than when 'twas styled the granary of great Rome,

Can yield our numerous fry bread: we must starve,

Or eat up one another.

Ador.                         The king hears

With much attention.

Astut.                       And seems moved with what

Bertoldo hath delivered.

Bert.                             May you live long, sir,

The king of peace, so you deny not us

The glory of the war; let not our nerves

Shrink up with sloth, nor, for want of employment,

Make younger brothers thieves: it is their swords, sir,

Must sow and reap their harvest. If examples

May move you more than arguments, look on England,

The empress of the European isles,

And unto whom alone ours yields precedence:

When did she flourish so, as when she was

The mistress of the ocean, her navies

Putting a girdle round about the world?

When the Iberian quaked, her worthies named;

And the fair flower-de-luce grew pale, set by

The red rose and the white! Let not our armour

Hung up, or our unrigged armada, make us

Ridiculous to the late poor snakes our neighbours,

Warmed in our bosoms, and to whom again

We may be terrible; while we spend our hours

Without variety, confined to drink,

Dice, cards, or whores. Rouse us, sir, from the sleep

Of idleness, and redeem our mortgaged honours.

Your birth, and justly, claims my father's kingdom;

But his heroic mind descends to me:

I will confirm so much.

Ador.                           In his looks he seems

To break ope Janus' temple.

Astut.                                  How these younglings

Take fire from him!

Ador.                     It works an alteration

Upon the king.

Ant.                 I can forbear no longer:

War, war, my sovereign!

Fulg.                              The king appears

Resolved, and does prepare to speak.

Rob.                                                  Think not

Our counsel's built upon so weak a base,

As to be overturned or shaken with

Tempestuous winds of words. As I, my lord,

Before resolved you, I will not engage

My person in this quarrel; neither press

My subjects to maintain it: yet, to shew

My rule is gentle, and that I have feeling

O' your master's sufferings, since these gallants, weary

Of the happiness of peace, desire to taste

The bitter sweets of war, we do consent

That, as adventurers and volunteers,

No way compelled by us, they may make trial

Of their boasted valours.

Bert.                              We desire no more.

Rob. 'Tis well; and, but my grant in this, expect not

Assistance from me. Govern, as you please,

The province you make choice of; for, I vow

By all things sacred, if that thou miscarry

In this rash undertaking, I will hear it

No otherwise than as a sad disaster

Fallen on a stranger: nor will I esteem

That man my subject, who, in thy extremes,

In purse or person aids thee. Take your fortune:

You know me; I have said it. So, my lord,

You have my absolute answer.

Amb.                                      My prince pays,

In me, his duty.

Rob.                 Follow me, Fulgentio,

And you, Astutio.

[Flourish. Exeunt Roberto,

Fulgentio, Astutio, and Attendants.]

Gasp.                  What a frown he threw,

At his departure, on you!

Bert.                               Let him keep

His smiles for his state catamite, I care not.

Ant. Shall we aboard to-night?

Amb.                                      Your speed, my lord,

Doubles the benefit.

Bert.                        I have a business

Requires dispatch; some two hours hence I'll meet you.

[Exeunt.]

ACT I, SCENE II.

The same.

A Room in Camiola's House.

Enter Signior Sylli, walking fantastically,

followed by Camiola and Clarinda.

Cam. Nay, signior, this is too much ceremony,

In my own house.

Syl.                      What's gracious abroad,

Must be in private practised.

Clar. [To Camiola]        For your mirth's sake

Let him alone; he has been all this morning

In practise with a peruked gentleman-usher,

To teach him his true amble, and his postures,

When he walks before a lady.

[Sylli walking by, and practising.]

Syl.                                        You may, madam,

Perhaps, believe that I in this use art,

To make you dote upon me, by exposing

My more than most rare features to your view:

But I, as I have ever done, deal simply;

A mark of sweet simplicity, ever noted

In the family of the Syllis. Therefore, lady,

Look not with too much contemplation on me;

If you do, you are in the suds.

Cam.                                      You are no barber?

Syl.  Fie, no! not I; but my good parts have drawn

More loving hearts out of fair ladies' bellies

Than the whole trade have done teeth.

Cam.                                                   Is't possible?

Syl. Yes, and they live too: marry, much condoling

The scorn of their Narcissus, as they call me,

Because I love myself −

Cam.                           Without a rival.

What philtres or love-powders do you use

To force affection? I see nothing in

Your person but I dare look on, yet keep

My own poor heart still.

Syl.                               You are warned − be armed;

And do not lose the hope of such a husband

In being too soon enamoured.

Clar.                                      Hold in your head,

Or you must have a martingal.

Syl.                                          I have sworn

Never to take a wife, but such a one,

O may your ladyship prove so strong! as can

Hold out a month against me.

Cam.                                     Never fear it;

Though your best taking part, your wealth, were trebled,

I would not woo you. But since in your pity

You please to give me caution, tell me what

Temptations I must fly from.

Syl.                                      The first is,

That you never hear me sing, for I'm a Siren:

If you observe, when I warble, the dogs howl,

As ravished with my ditties; and you will

Run mad to hear me.

Cam.                        I will stop my ears,

And keep my little wits.

Syl.                               Next, when I dance,

And come aloft thus, [capers] cast not a sheep's eye

Upon the quivering of my calf.

Cam.                                        Proceed, sir.

Syl. But on no terms, for 'tis a main point, dream not

O' the strength of my back, though it will bear a burthen

With any porter.

Cam.                 I mean not to ride you.

Syl. Nor I your little ladyship, till you have

Performed the covenants. Be not taken with

My pretty spider-fingers, nor my eyes,

That twinkle on both sides.

Cam.                                 Was there ever such

A piece of motley heard of!

[A knocking within.]

                             

                                         Who's that?

[Exit Clarinda.]

 

                                                         You may spare

The catalogue of my dangers.

Syl.                                       No, good madam;

I have not told you half.

Cam.                            Enough, good signior;

If I eat more of such sweetmeats, I shall surfeit. −

Re-enter Clarinda.

Who is't?

Clar.    The brother of the king.

Syl.                                          Nay, start not.

The brother of the king! is he no more?

Were it the king himself, I'd give him leave

To speak his mind to you, for I am not jealous;

And, to assure your ladyship of so much,

I'll usher him in, and, that done − [Aside] hide myself.

[Exit.]

Cam. Camiola, if ever, now be constant:

This is, indeed, a suitor, whose sweet presence,

Courtship, and loving language, would have staggered

The chaste Penelope; and, to increase

The wonder, did not modesty forbid it,

I should ask that from him he sues to me for:

And yet my reason, like a tyrant, tells me

I must nor give nor take it.

Re-enter Sylli with Bertoldo.

Syl.  [To Bertoldo]     I must tell you,

You lose your labour. 'Tis enough to prove it,

Signior Sylli came before you; and you know,

First come first served: yet you shall have my countenance

To parley with her, and I'll take special care

That none shall interrupt you.

Bert.                                     You are courteous.

Syl. Come, wench, wilt thou hear wisdom?

Clar.                                               Yes, from you, sir.

[They walk aside.]

Bert. If forcing this sweet favour from your lips,

[Kisses her.]

Fair madam, argue me of too much boldness,

When you are pleased to understand I take

A parting kiss, if not excuse, at least

‘Twill qualify the offence.

Cam.                               A parting kiss, sir!

What nation, envious of the happiness

Which Sicily enjoys in your sweet presence,

Can buy you from her? or what climate yield

Pleasures transcending those which you enjoy here,

Being both beloved and honoured; the north-star

And guider of all hearts; and, to sum up

Your full account of happiness in a word,

The brother of the king?

Bert.                             Do you alone,

And with an unexampled cručlty,

Enforce my absence, and deprive me of

Those blessings which you, with a polished phrase,

Seem to insinuate that I do possess,

And yet tax me as being guilty of

My wilful exile? What are titles to me,

Or popular suffrage, or my nearness to

The king in blood, or fruitful Sicily,

Though it confessed no sovereign but myself,

When you, that are the essence of my being,

The anchor of my hopes, the real substance

Of my felicity, in your disdain,

Turn all to fading and deceiving shadows?

Cam. You tax me without cause.

Bert.                                           You must confess it.

But answer love with love, and seal the contract

In the uniting of our souls, how gladly

(Though now I were in action, and assured,

Following my fortune, that plumed Victory

Would make her glorious stand upon my tent)

Would I put off my armour, in my heat

Of conquest, and, like Antony, pursue

My Cleopatra! Will you yet look on me,

With an eye of favour?

Cam.                          Truth bear witness for me,

That, in the judgment of my soul, you are

A man so absolute, and circular

In all those wished-for rarities that may take

A virgin captive, that, though at this instant

All sceptered monarchs of our western world

Were rivals with you, and Camiola worthy

Of such a competition, you alone

Should wear the garland.

Bert.                               If so, what diverts

Your favour from me?

Cam.                          No mulct in yourself,

Or in your person, mind, or fortune.

Bert.                                               What then?

Cam. The consciousness of mine own wants: alas! sir,

We are not parallels, but, like lines divided,

Can ne'er meet in one centre. Your birth, sir,

Without addition, were an ample dowry

For one of fairer fortunes; and this shape,

Were you ignoble, far above all value:

To this so clear a mind, so furnished with

Harmonious faculties moulded from Heaven,

That though you were Thersites in your features,

Of no descent, and Irus in your fortunes,

Ulysses-like you'd force all eyes and ears

To love, but seen; and, when heard, wonder at

Your matchless story: but all these bound up

Together in one volume! − give me leave

With admiratión to look upon them,

But not presume, in my own flattering hopes,

I may or can enjoy them.

Bert.                               How you ruin

What you would seem to build up! I know no

Disparity between us; you're an heir,

Sprung from a noble family; fair, rich, young,

And every way my equal.

Cam.                               Sir, excuse me;

One aerie with proportion ne'er discloses

The eagle and the wren: − tissue and frieze

In the same garment, monstrous! But suppose

That what's in you excessive were diminished,

And my desert supplied, the stronger bar,

Religion, stops our entrance: you are, sir,

A knight of Malta, by your order bound

To a single life; you cannot marry me;

And, I assure myself, you are too noble

To seek me, though my frailty should consent,

In a base path.

Bert.             A dispensation, lady,

Will easily absolve me.

Cam.                            O take heed, sir!

When what is vowed to Heavčn is dispensed with

To serve our ends on earth, a curse must follow,

And not a blessing.

Bert.                      Is there no hope left me?

Cam. Nor to myself, but is a neighbour to

Impossibility. True love should walk

On equal feet; in us it does not, sir:

But rest assured, excepting this, I shall be

Devoted to your service.

Bert.                              And this is your

Determinate sentence?

Cam.                          Not to be revoked.

Bert. Farewell then, fairest cruel! all thoughts in me

Of women perish. Let the glorious light

Of noble war extinguish Love's dim taper,

That only lends me light to see my folly:

Honour, be thou my ever-living mistress,

And fond affection, as thy bond-slave, serve thee!

[Exit.]

Cam. How soon my sun is set, he being absent,

Never to rise again! What a fierce battle

Is fought between my passions! − methinks

We should have kissed at parting.

Syl.                                               I perceive

He has his answer: now must I step in

To comfort her.

[Comes forward.]

                        You have found, I hope, sweet lady,

Some difference between a youth of my pitch,

And this bugbear Bertoldo: men are men,

The king's brother is no more; good parts will do it,

When titles fail. Despair not; I may be

In time entreated.

Cam.                  Be so now, to leave me. −

Lights for my chamber. O my heart!

[Exeunt Camiola and Clarinda.]

Syl.                                                   She now,

I know, is going to bed, to ruminate

Which way to glut herself upon my person:

But, for my oath's sake, I will keep her hungry;

And, to grow full myself, I'll straight − to supper.

[Exit.]

ACT II.

SCENE I.

The same.

A Room in the Palace.

Enter Roberto, Fulgentio, and Astutio.

Rob. Embarked to-night, do you say?

Fulg.                                          I saw him aboard, sir.

Rob. And without taking of his leave?

Astut.                                                 'Twas strange!

Rob. Are we grown so contemptible?

Fulg.                                                'Tis far

From me, sir, to add fučl to your anger,

That, in your ill opinion of him, burns

Too hot already; else, I should affirm,

It was a gross neglect.

Rob.                          A wilful scorn

Of duty and allegiance; you give it

Too fair a name: but we shall think on't. Can you

Guess what the numbers were, that followed him

In his desperate action?

Fulg.                           More than you think, sir.

All ill-affected spirits in Palermo,

Or to your government or person, with

The turbulent swordmen, such whose poverty forced them

To wish a change, are gone along with him;

Creatures devoted to his undertakings,

In right or wrong: and, to express their zeal

And readiness to serve him, ere they went,

Profanely took the sacrament on their knees,

To live and die with him.

Rob.                                O most impious!

Their loyalty to us forgot?

Fulg.                                I fear so.

Astut. Unthankful as they are!

Fulg.                                   Yet this deserves not

One troubled thought in you, sir; with your pardon,

I hold that their remove from hence makes more

For your security than danger.

Rob.                                        True;

And, as I'll fashion it, they shall feel it too.

Astutio, you shall presently be dispatched

With letters, writ and signed with our own hand,

To the Duchess of Sienna, in excuse

Of these forces sent against her. If you spare

An oath, to give it credit, that we never

Consented to it, swearing for the king,

Though false, it is no perjury.

Astut.                                    I know it.

They are not fit to be state agents, sir,

That without scruple of their conscience, cannot

Be prodigal in such trifles.

Fulg.                                 Right, Astutio.

Rob. You must, beside, from us take some instructions,

To be imparted, as you judge them useful,

To the general Gonzaga. Instantly

Prepare you for your journey.

Astut.                                    With the wings

Of loyalty and duty.

[Exit.]

Fulg.                      I am bold

To put your majesty in mind −

Rob.                                       Of my promise,

And aids, to further you in your amorous project

To the fair and rich Camiola? there's my ring;

Whatever you shall say that I entreat,

Or can command by power, I will make good.

Fulg. Ever your majesty's creature.

Rob.                                              Venus prove

Propitious to you!

[Exit.]

Fulg.                  All sorts to my wishes:

Bertoldo was my hindrance; he removed,

I now will court her in the conqueror's style;

"Come, see, and overcome." − Boy!

Enter Page.

Page.                                              Sir; your pleasure?

Fulg. Haste to Camiola; bid her prepare

An entertainment suitable to a fortune

She could not hope for. Tell her, I vouchsafe

To honour her with a visit.

Page.                                'Tis a favour

Will make her proud.

Fulg.                         I know it.

Page.                                       I am gone, sir.

[Exit.]

Fulg. Entreaties fit not me; a man in grace

May challenge awe and privilege, by his place.

[Exit.]

ACT II, SCENE II.

The same.

A Room in Camiola's House.

Enter Adorni, Sylli, and Clarinda.

Ador. So melancholy, say you!

Clar.                                        Never given

To such retirement.

Ador.                     Can you guess the cause?

Clar. If it hath not its birth and being from

The brave Bertoldo's absence, I confess

Tis past my apprehension.

Syl.                                    You are wide,

The whole field wide. I, in my understanding,

Pity your ignorance; yet, if you will

Swear to conceal it, I will let you know

Where her shoe wrings her.

Clar.                                   I vow, signior,

By my virginity.

Syl.                   A perilous oath,

In a waiting-woman of fifteen! and is, indeed,

A kind of nothing.

Ador.                  I'll take one of something,

If you please to minister it.

Syl.                                    Nay, you shall not swear:

I had rather take your word; for, should you vow,

Damn me, I'll do this! − you are sure to break.

Ador. I thank you, signior; but resolve us.

Syl.                                                           Know, then,

Here walks the cause. She dares not look upon me;

My beauties are so terrible and enchanting,

She cannot endure my sight.

Ador.                                   There I believe you.

Syl. But the time will come, be comforted, when I will

Put off this vizor of unkindness to her,

And shew an amorous and yielding face:

And, until then, though Hercules himself

Desire to see her, he had better eat

His club, than pass her threshold; for I will be

Her Cerberus, to guard her.

Ador.                                 A good dog!

Clar. Worth twenty porters.

Enter Page.

Page.                                  Keep you open house here?

No groom to attend a gentleman! O, I spy one.

Syl. He means not me, I am sure.

Page.                                    You, sirrah sheep's-head,

With a face cut on a cat-stick, do you hear?

You, yeoman fewterer, conduct me to

The lady of the mansion, or my poniard

Shall disembogue thy soul.

Syl.                                    O terrible! “disembogue!”

I talked of Hercules, and here is one

Bound up in decimo sexto.

Page.                                Answer, wretch.

Syl. Pray you, little gentleman, be not so furious:

The lady keeps her chamber.

Page.                                   And we present,

Sent in an embassy to her! but here is

Her gentlewoman. Sirrah! hold my cloak,

While I take a leap at her lips: do it, and neatly;

Or, having first tripped up thy heels, I'll make

Thy back my footstool.

[Kisses Clarinda.]

Syl.                             Tamburlane in little!

Am I turned Turk! What an office am I put to!

Clar. My lady, gentle youth, is indisposed.

Page. Though she were dead and buried, only tell her,

The great man in the court, the brave Fulgentio,

Descends to visit her, and it will raise her

Out of the grave for joy.

Enter Fulgentio.

Syl.                                Here comes another!

The devil, I fear, in his holiday clothes.

Page.                                                     So soon!

My part is at an end then. Cover my shoulders;

When I grow great, thou shalt serve me.

Fulg. [To Sylli]                                Are you, sirrah,

An implement of the house?

Syl.                                      Sure he will make

A jointstool of me!

Fulg. [To Adorni] Or, if you belong

To the lady of the place, command her hither.

Ador. I do not wear her livery, yet acknowledge

A duty to her; and as little bound

To serve your peremptory will, as she is

To obey your summons. 'Twill become you, sir,

To wait her leisure; then, her pleasure known,

You may present your duty.

Fulg.                                   Duty! Slave,

I'll teach you manners.

Ador.                           I'm past learning; make not

A tumult in the house.

Fulg.                          Shall I be braved thus?

[They draw.]

Syl. O, I am dead! and now I swoon.

[Falls on his face.]

Clar.                                                Help! murder!

Page. Recover, sirrah; the lady's here.

Enter Camiola.

Syl.                                                     Nay, then

I am alive again, and I'll be valiant.

[Rises.]

Cam. What insolence is this? Adorni, hold,

Hold, I command you.

Fulg.                          Saucy groom!

Cam.                                               Not so, sir;

However in his life he had dependence

Upon my father, he's a gentleman,

As well born as yourself. Put on your hat.

Fulg. In my presence, without leave!

Syl.                                           He has mine, madam.

Cam. And I must tell you, sir, and in plain language,

Howe'er your glittering outside promise gentry,

The rudeness of your carriage and behaviour

Speaks you a coarser thing.

Syl.                                    She means a clown, sir;

I am her interpreter, for want of a better.

Cam. I am a queen in mine own house; nor must you

Expect an empire here.

Syl.                              Sure, I must love her

Before the day, the pretty soul's so valiant.

Cam. What are you? and what would you with me?

Fulg.                                                         Proud one,

When you know what I am, and what I came for,

And may, on your submission, proceed to,

You, in your reason, must repent the coarseness

Of my entertainment.

Cam.                        Why, fine man? what are you?

Fulg. A kinsman of the king's.

Cam.                                     I cry you mercy,

For his sake, not your own. But grant you are so,

'Tis not impossible but a king may have

A fool to his kinsman, − no way meaning you, sir.

Fulg. You have heard of Fulgentio?

Cam.                                              Long since, sir;

A suit-broker in court. He has the worst

Report among good men I ever heard of

For bribery and extortion: in their prayers,

Widows and orphans curse him for a canker

And caterpillar in the state. I hope, sir,

You are not the man; much less employed by him,

As a smock-agent to me.

Fulg.                              I reply not

As you deserve, being assured you know me;

Pretending ignorance of my person, only

To give me a taste of your wit: 'tis well, and courtly:

I like a sharp wit well.

Syl.                             I cannot endure it;

Nor any of the Syllis.

Fulg.                        More; I know too,

This harsh induction must serve as a foil

To the well-tuned observance and respect

You will hereafter pay me, being made

Familiar with my credit with the king,

And that (contain your joy) I deign to love you.

Cam. Love me! I am not rapt with it.

Fulg.                                                Hear't again;

I love you honestly: now you admire me.

Cam. I do, indeed; it being a word so seldom

Heard from a courtier's mouth. But, pray you, deal plainly,

Since you find me simple; what might be the motives

Inducing you to leave the freedom of

A bachelor's life, on your soft neck to wear

The stubborn yoke of marriage; and, of all

The beauties in Palermo, to choose me,

Poor me? that is the main point you must treat of.

Fulg. Why, I will tell you. Of a little thing

You are a pretty peat, indifferent fair too;

And, like a new-rigged ship, both tight and yare,

Well trussed to bear: virgins of giant size

Are sluggards at the sport; but, for my pleasure,

Give me a neat well-timbered gamester like you;

Such need no spurs, − the quickness of your eye

Assures an active spirit.

Cam.                            You are pleasant, sir;

Yet I presume that there was one thing in me,

Unmentioned yet, that took you more than all

Those parts you have remembered.

Fulg.                                            What?

Cam.                                                    My wealth, sir.

Fulg. You are in the right; without that, beauty is

A flower worn in the morning, at night trod on:

But beauty, youth, and fortune meeting in you,

I will vouchsafe to marry you.

Cam.                                      You speak well;

And, in return, excuse me, sir, if I

Deliver reasons why, upon no terms,

I'll marry you: I fable not.

Syl.                                   I am glad

To hear this; I began to have an ague.

Fulg. Come, your wise reasons.

Cam. Such as they are, pray you take them:

First, I am doubtful whether you are a man,

Since, for your shape, trimmed up in a lady's dressing,

You might pass for a woman; now I love

To deal on certainties: and, for the fairness

Of your complexion, which you think will take me,

The colour, I must tell you, in a man,

Is weak and faint, and never will hold out,

If put to labour: give me the lovely brown,

A thick curled hair of the same dye, broad shoulders,

A brawny arm full of veins, a leg without

An artificial calf; − I suspect yours;

But let that pass.

Syl.                   She means me all this while,

For I have every one of those good parts;

O Sylli! fortunate Sylli!

Cam.                           You are moved, sir.

Fulg. Fie! no; go on.

Cam.                    Then, as you are a courtier,

A graced one too, I fear you have been too forward;

And so much for your person. Rich you are,

Devilish rich, as ‘tis reported, and sure have

The aids of Satan's little fiends to get it;

And what is got upon his back, must be

Spent, you know where; − the proverb's stale − One word more,

And I have done.

Fulg.                  I'll ease you of the trouble,

Coy and disdainful!

Cam.                      Save me, or else he'll beat me.

Fulg. No, your own folly shall; and, since you put me

To my last charm, look upon this, and tremble.

[Shews the king's ring.]

Cam. At the sight of a fair ring! the king's, I take it?

I have seen him wear the like: if he hath sent it,

As a favour, to me −

Fulg.                      Yes, 'tis very likely,

His dying mother's gift, prized as his crown!

By this he does command you to be mine;

By his gift you are so: − you may yet redeem all.

Cam. You are in a wrong account still. Though the king may

Dispose of my life and goods, my mind's mine own,

And never shall be yours. The king, heaven bless him!

Is good and gracious, and, being in himself

Abstemióus from base and goatish looseness,

Will not compel, against their wills, chaste maidens

To dance in his minion's circles. I believe,

Forgetting it when he washed his hands, you stole it,

With an intent to awe me. But you are cozened;

I am still myself, and will be.

Fulg.                                    A proud haggard,

And not to be reclaimed! which of your grooms,

Your coachman, fool, or footman, ministers

Night-physic to you?

Cam.                       You are foul-mouthed.

Fulg.                                                        Much fairer

Than thy black soul; and so I will proclaim thee.

Cam. Were I a man, thou durst not speak this.

Fulg.                                                              Heaven

So prosper me, as I resolve to do it

To all men, and in every place: scorned by

A tit of ten-pence!

[Exeunt Fulgentio and Page.]

Syl.                     Now I begin to be valiant:

Nay, I will draw my sword. O for a brother!

Do a friend's part; pray you, carry him the length of’t.

I give him three years and a day to match my Toledo,

And then we'll fight like dragons.

Ador.                                           Pray, have patience.

Cam. I may live to have vengeance: my Bertoldo

Would not have heard this.

Ador.                                 Madam −

Cam.                                            Pray you, spare

Your language.

[To Sylli]     Prithee, fool, and make me merry.

Syl. That is my office ever.

Ador.                                I must do,

Not talk; this glorious gallant shall hear from me.

[Exeunt.]

ACT II, SCENE III.

The Siennese.

A Camp before the Walls of Sienna.

Chambers shot off: a flourish as to an Assault:

after which, enter Gonzaga, Pierio,

Roderigo, Jacomo, and Soldiers.

Gonz. Is the breach made assaultable?

Pier.                                                Yes, and the moat

Filled up; the cannoneer hath done his parts;

We may enter six abreast.

Rod.                                There's not a man

Dares shew himself upon the wall.

Jac.                                                Defeat not

The soldiers' hoped-for spoil.

Pier.                                      If you, sir,

Delay the assault, and the city be given up

To your discretion, you in honour cannot

Use the extremity of war, − but, in

Compassion to them, you to us prove cruel.

Jac. And an enemy to yourself.

Rod.                                        A hindrance to

The brave revenge you have vowed.

Gonz.                                             Temper your heat,

And lose not, by too sudden rashness, that

Which, be but patient, will be offered to you.

Security ushers ruin; proud contempt

Of an enemy three parts vanquished, with desire

And greediness of spoil, have often wrested

A certain victory from the conqueror's gripe.

Discretion is the tutor of the war,

Valour the pupil; and, when we command

With lenity, and our direction's followed

With cheerfulness, a prosperous end must crown

Our works well undertaken.

Rod.                                    Ours are finished −

Pier. If we make use of Fortune.

Gonz.                                        Her false smiles

Deprive you of your judgments. The condition

Of our affairs exacts a double care,

And, like bifronted Janus, we must look

Backward, as forward: though a flattering calm

Bids us urge on, a sudden tempest raised,

Not feared, much less expected, in our rear,

May foully fall upon us, and distract us

To our confusion. −

Enter a Scout, hastily.

                           Our scout! what brings

Thy ghastly looks, and sudden speed?

Scout.                                                The assurance

Of a new enemy.

Gonz.                This I foresaw and feared.

What are they, know'st thou?

Scout.                                 They are, by their colours,

Sicilians, bravely mounted, and the brightness

Of their rich armours doubly gilded with

Reflection of the sun.

Gonz.                        From Sicily? −

The king in league! no war proclaimed! 'tis foul:

But this must be prevented, not disputed. −

Ha, how is this? your estridge plumes, that but

Even now, like quills of porcupines, seemed to threaten

The stars, drop at the rumour of a shower,

And, like to captive colours, sweep the earth!

Bear up; but in great dangers, greater minds

Are never proud. Shall a few loose troops, untrained,

But in a customary ostentation,

Presented as a sacrifice to your valours,

Cause a dejection in you?

Pier.                               No dejection.

Rod. However startled, where you lead we'll follow.

Gonz. 'Tis bravely said. We will not stay their charge,

But meet them man to man, and horse to horse. −

Pierio, in our absence hold our place,

And with our foot men, and those sickly troops,

Prevent a sally: I in mine own person,

With part of the cavállery, will bid

These hunters welcome to a bloody breakfast: −

But I lose time.

Pier.               I'll to my charge.

[Exit.]

Gonz.                                      And we

To ours: I'll bring you on.

Jac.                                  If we come off,

It's not amiss; if not, my state is settled.

[Exeunt. Alarum within.]

ACT II, SCENE IV.

The Same.

The Citadel of Sienna.

Enter Ferdinand, Druso, and Livio, on the Walls.

Ferd. No aids from Sicily! Hath hope forsook us;

And that vain comfort to affliction, pity,

By our vowed friend denied us? we can nor live

Nor die with honour: like beasts in a toil,

We wait the leisure of the bloody hunter,

Who is not so far reconciled unto us,

As in one death to give a period

To our calamities; but in delaying,

The fate we cannot fly from, starved with wants,

We die this night, to live again to-morrow,

And suffer greater torments.

Dru.                                     There is not

Three days’ provisión for every soldier,

At an ounce of bread a day, left in the city.

Liv. To die the beggar's death, with hunger made

Anatomies while we live, cannot but crack

Our heart-strings with vexation.

Ferd.                                    Would they would break,

Break altogether! How willingly, like Cato,

Could I tear out my bowels, rather than

Look on the conqueror's insulting face;

But that religion, and the horrid dream

To be suffered in the other world, denies it!

Enter a Soldier.

What news with thee?

Sold.                         From the turret of the fort,

By the rising clouds of dust, through which, like lightning,

The splendour of bright arms sometimes brake through,

I did descry some forces making towards us;

And, from the camp, as emulous of their glory,

The general, (for I know him by his horse,)

And bravely seconded, encountered them.

Their greetings were too rough for friends; their swords,

And not their tongues, exchanging courtesies.

By this the main battalias are joined;

And, if you please to be spectators of

The horrid issue, I will bring you where,

As in a theatre, you may see their fates

In purple gore presented.

Ferd.                               Heaven, if yet

Thou art appeased for my wrong done to Aurelia,

Take pity of my miseries! Lead the way, friend.

[Exeunt.]

ACT II, SCENE V.

The same.

A Plain near the Camp.

A long Charge: after which, a Flourish for victory;

then enter Gonzaga, Jacomo, and Roderigo wounded;

Bertoldo, Gasparo, and Antonio Prisoners.

Officers and Soldiers.

Gonz. We have them yet, though they cost us dear. This was

Charged home, and bravely followed.

[To Jacomo and Roderigo]          Be to yourselves

True mirrors to each other's worth; and, looking

With noble emulation on his wounds,

[Points to Bertoldo] The glorious livery of triumphant war,

Imagine these with equal grace appear

Upon yourselves. The bloody sweat you have suffered

In this laborious, nay, toilsome harvest,

Yields a rich crop of conquest; and the spoil,

Most precious balsam to a soldier's hurts,

Will ease and cure them. Let me look upon

The prisoners' faces.

 

[Gasparo and Antonio are brought forward.]

                                Oh, how much transformed

From what they were! O Mars! were these toys fashioned

To undergo the burthen of thy service?

The weight of their defensive armour bruised

Their weak effeminate limbs, and would have forced them,

In a hot day, without a blow to yield.

Ant. This insultation shews not manly in you.

Gonz. To men I had forborne it; you are women,

Or, at the best, loose carpet-knights. What fury

Seduced you to exchange your ease in court

For labour in the field? perhaps you thought

To charge through dust and blood, an armčd foe,

Was but like graceful running at the ring

For a wanton mistress' glove; and the encounter,

A soft impression on her lips: − but you

Are gaudy butterflies, and I wrong myself

In parling with you.

Gasp.                    Vś victus! now we prove it.

Rod. But here's one fashioned in another mould,

And made of tougher metal.

Gonz.                                 True; I owe him

For this wound bravely given.

Bert. [Aside]                         O that mountains

Were heaped upon me, that I might expire,

A wretch no more remembered!

Gonz.                                       Look up, sir;

To be o'ercome deserves no shame. If you

Had fallen ingloriously, or could accuse

Your want of courage in resistance, 'twere

To be lamented: but, since you performed

As much as could be hoped for from a man,

(Fortune his enemy,) you wrong yourself

In this dejection. I am honoured in

My victory over you; but to have these

My prisoners, is, in my true judgment, rather

Captivity than a triumph: you shall find

Fair quarter from me, and your many wounds,

Which I hope are not mortal, with such care

Looked to and cured, as if your nearest friend

Attended on you.

Bert.                 When you know me better,

You will make void this promise: can you call me

Into your memory?

Gonz.                    The brave Bertoldo!

A brother of our order! By Saint John,

Our holy patron, I am more amazed,

Nay, thunderstruck with thy apostacy,

And precipice from the most solemn vows

Made unto Heaven, when this, the glorious badge

Of our Redeemer, was conferred upon thee

By the great master, than if I had seen

A reprobate Jew, an atheist, Turk, or Tartar,

Baptized in our religion!

Bert.                              This I looked for;

And am resolved to suffer.

Gonz.                              Fellow-soldiers,

Behold this man, and, taught by his example,

Know that 'tis safer far to play with lightning,

Than trifle in things sacred.

[Weeps.]

                                            In my rage

I shed these at the funeral of his virtue,

Faith, and religion: − why, I will tell you;

He was a gentleman so trained up and fashioned

For noble uses, and his youth did promise

Such certainties, more than hopes, of great achievements,

As − if the Christian world had stood opposed

Against the Othoman race, to try the fortune

Of one encounter, − this Bertoldo had been,

For his knowledge to direct, and matchless courage

To execute, without a rival, by

The votes of good men, chosen general;

As the prime soldier, and most deserving

Of all that wear the cross: which now, in justice,

I thus tear from him.

Bert.                        Let me die with it

Upon my breast.

Gonz.               No; by this thou wert sworn,

On all occasions, as a knight, to guard

Weak ladies from oppression, and never

To draw thy sword against them: whereas thou,

In hope of gain or glory, when a princess,

And such a princess as Aurelia is,

Was dispossessed by violence, of what was

Her true inheritance; against thine oath

Hast, to thy uttermost, laboured to uphold

Her falling enemy. But thou shalt pay

A heavy forfeiture, and learn too late,

Valour employed in an ill quarrel turns

To cowardice, and Virtue then puts on

Foul Vice's visor. This is that which cancels

All friendship's bands between us. − Bear them off;

I will hear no reply: and let the ransom

Of these, for they are yours, be highly rated.

In this I do but right, and let it be

Styled justice, and not wilful cručlty.

[Exeunt.]

ACT III.

SCENE I.

The same.

A Camp before the Walls of Sienna.

Enter Gonzaga, Astutio, Roderigo, and Jacomo.

Gonz. What I have done, sir, by the law of arms

I can and will make good.

Astut.                              I have no commission

To expostulate the act. These letters speak

The king my master's love to you, and his

Vowed service to the duchess, on whose person

I am to give attendance.

Gonz.                           At this instant,

She's at Fienza: you may spare the trouble

Of riding thither: I have advertised her

Of our success, and on what humble terms

Sienna stands: though presently I can

Possess it, I defer it, that she may

Enter her own, and, as she please, dispose of

The prisoners and the spoil.

Astut.                                I thank you, sir.

In the mean time, if I may have your license,

I have a nephew, and one once my ward,

For whose liberties and ransoms I would gladly

Make composition.

Gonz.                    They are, as I take it,

Called Gasparo and Antonio.

Astut.                                  The same, sir.

Gonz. For them, you must treat with these: but for Bertoldo,

He is mine own; if the king will ransom him,

He pays down fifty thousand crowns; if not,

He lives and dies my slave.

Astut. [Aside to Gonzaga]  Pray you, a word:

The king will rather thank you to detain him,

Than give one crown to free him.

Gonz.                                         At his pleasure.

I'll send the prisoners under guard: my business

Calls me another way.

[Exit.]

Astut.                         My service waits you. −

Now, gentlemen, do not deal like merchants with me,

But noble captains; you know, in great minds,

Posse et nolle, nobile.

Rod.                           Pray you, speak

Our language.

Jac.               I find not, in my commission,

An officer's bound to speak or understand

more than his mother-tongue.

Rod.                                      If he speak that

After midnight, 'tis remarkable.

Astut.                                       In plain terms, then,

Antonio is your prisoner; Gasparo, yours.

Jac. You are in the right.

Astut.                             At what sum do you rate

Their several ransoms?

Rod.                            I must make my market

As the commodity cost me.

Astut.                                As it cost you!

You did not buy your captainship? your desert,

I hope, advanced you.

Rod.                          How! It well appears

You are no soldier. Desert in these days!

Desert may make a serjeant to a colonel,

And it may hinder him from rising higher;

But, if it ever get a company,

A company, pray you mark me, without money,

Or private service done for the general's mistress,

With a commendatory epistle from her,

I will turn lanceprezado.

Jac.                               Pray you observe, sir:

I served two prenticeships, just fourteen years,

Trailing the puissant pike, and half so long

Had the right-hand file; and I fought well, 'twas said, too:

But I might have served, and fought, and served till doomsday,

And ne'er have carried a flag, but for the legacy

A buxom widow of threescore bequeathed me;

And that too, my back knows, I laboured hard for,

But was better paid.

Astut.                     You are merry with yourselves:

But this is from the purpose.

Rod.                                    To the point then.

Prisoners are not ta'en every day; and, when

We have them, we must make the best use of them.

Our pay is little to the port we should bear,

And that so long a coming, that 'tis spent

Before we have it, and hardly wipes off scores

At the tavern and the ordinary.

Jac.                                         You may add, too,

Our sport ta'en up on trust.

Rod.                                  Peace, thou smock vermin!

Discover commanders' secrets! − In a word sir,

We have inquired, and found our prisoners rich:

Two thousand crowns apiece our companies cost us;

And so much each of us will have, and that

In present pay.

Jac.               It is too little: yet,

Since you have said the word, I am content;

But will not go a gazet less.

Astut.                                Since you are not

To be brought lower, there is no evading;

I'll be your paymaster.

Rod.                          We desire no better.

Astut. But not a word of what's agreed between us,

Till I have schooled my gallants.

Jac.                                           I am dumb, sir.

Enter a Guard with Bertoldo,

Antonio, and Gasparo, in irons.

Bert. And where removed now? hath the tyrant found out

Worse usage for us?

Ant.                        Worse it cannot be.

My greyhound has fresh straw, and scraps, in his kennel;

But we have neither.

Gasp.                      Did I ever think

To wear such garters on silk stockings? or

That my too curious appetite, that turned

At the sight of godwits, pheasant, partridge, quails,

Larks, woodcocks, calvered salmon, as coarse diet,

Would leap at a mouldy crust?

Ant.                                       And go without it,

So oft as I do? Oh! how have I jeered

The city entertainment! A huge shoulder

Of glorious fat ram-mutton, seconded

With a pair of tame cats or conies, a crab-tart,

With a worthy loin of veal, and valiant capon,

Mortified to grow tender! − these I scorned,

From their plentiful horn of abundance, though invited:

But now I could carry my own stool to a tripe,

And call their chitterlings charity, and bless the founder.

Bert. O that I were no further sensible

Of my miseries than you are! you, like beasts,

Feel only stings of hunger, and complain not

But when you're empty: but your narrow souls

(If you have any) cannot comprehend

How insupportable the torments are

Which a free and noble soul, made captive, suffers.

Most miserable men! − and what am I, then,

That envy you? Fetters, though made of gold,

Express base thraldom: and all delicates

Prepared by Median cooks for epicures,

When not our own, are bitter; quilts filled high

With gossamer and roses, cannot yield

The body soft repose, the mind kept waking

With anguish and affliction.

Astut.                                 My good lord −

Bert. This is no time nor place for flattery, sir:

Pray you, style me as I am, a wretch forsaken

Of the world, as myself.

Astut.                           I would it were

In me to help you.

Bert.                     If that you want power, sir,

Lip-comfort cannot cure me. Pray you, leave me

To mine own private thoughts.

[Walks by.]

Astut. [Comes forward]       My valiant nephew!

And my more than warlike ward! I am glad to see you,

After your glorious conquests. Are these chains,

Rewards for your good service? if they are

You should wear them on your necks, since they are massy,

Like aldermen of the war.

Ant.                                 You jeer us too!

Gasp. Good uncle, name not, as you are a man of honour,

That fatal word of "war"; the very sound of it

Is more dreadful than a cannon.

Ant.                                          But redeem us

From this captivity, and I'll vow hereafter

Never to wear a sword, or cut my meat

With a knife that has an edge or point; I'll starve first.

Gasp. I will cry broom, or cat's-meat, in Palermo;

Turn porter, carry burthens, anything,

Rather than live a soldier.

Astut.                              This should have

Been thought upon before. At what price, think you,

Your two wise heads are rated?

Ant.                                         A calf's head is

More worth than mine; I'm sure it has more brains in't,

Or I had ne'er come here.

Rod.                               And I will eat it

With bacon, if I have not speedy ransom.

Ant. And a little garlic too, for your own sake, sir:

Twill boil in your stomach else.

Gasp.                                        Beware of mine,

Or the horns may choke you; I am married, sir.

Ant. You shall have my row of houses near the palace.

Gasp. And my villa; all −

Ant.                              All that we have.

Astut. Well, have more wit hereafter; for this time,

You are ransomed.

Jac.                     Off with their irons.

Rod.                                                  Do, do:

If you are ours again, you know your price.

Ant. Pray you dispatch us: I shall ne'er believe

I am a free man, till I set my foot

In Sicily again, and drink Palermo,

And in Palermo too.

Astut.                      The wind sits fair,

You shall aboard to-night; with the rising sun

You may touch upon the coast. But take your leaves

Of the late general first.

Gasp.                            I will be brief.

Ant. And I. My lord, Heaven keep you!

Gasp.                                                    Yours, to use

In the way of peace; but as your soldiers, never.

Ant. A pox of war! no more of war.

[Exeunt Roderigo, Jacomo, Antonio, and Gasparo.]

Bert.                                              Have you

Authority to loose their bonds, yet leave

The brother of your king, whose worth disdains

Comparison with such as these, in irons?

If ransom may redeem them, I have lands,

A patrimony of mine own, assigned me

By my deceasčd sire, to satisfy

Whate'er can be demanded for my freedom.

Astut. I wish you had, sir; but the king, who yields

No reason for his will, in his displeasure

Hath seized on all you had; nor will Gonzaga,

Whose prisoner now you are, accept of less

Than fifty thousand crowns.

Bert.                                   I find it now,

That misery never comes alone. But, grant

The king is yet inexorable, time

May work him to a feeling of my sufferings.

I have friends that swore their lives and fortunes were

At my devotion, and, among the rest,

Yourself, my lord, when forfeited to the law

For a foul murder, and in cold blood done,

I made your life my gift, and reconciled you

To this incensčd king, and got your pardon.

− Beware ingratitude. I know you are rich,

And may pay down the sum.

Astut.                                   I might, my lord;

But pardon me.

Bert.              And will Astutio prove, then,

To please a passionate man, (the king's no more,)

False to his maker, and his reason, which

Commands more than I ask? O summer-friendship,

Whose flattering leaves, that shadowed us in our

Prosperity, with the least gust drop off

In the autumn of adversity! How like

A prison is to a grave! when dead, we are

With solemn pomp brought thither, and our heirs,

Masking their joy in false, dissembled tears,

Weep o'er the hearse; but earth no sooner covers

The earth brought thither, but they turn away

With inward smiles, the dead no more remembered:

So, entered in a prison −

Astut.                           My occasions

Command me hence, my lord.

Bert.                                       Pray you, leave me, do;

And tell the cručl king, that I will wear

These fetters till my flesh and they are one

Incorporated substance.

[Exit Astutio.]

                                    In myself,

As in a glass, I'll look on human frailty,

And curse the height of royal blood: since I,

In being born near to Jove, am near his thunder.

Cedars once shaken with a storm, their own

Weight grubs their roots out. − Lead me where you please;

I am his, not Fortune's martyr, and will die

The great example of his cručlty.

[Exit guarded.]

ACT III, SCENE II.

Palermo.

A Grove near the Palace.

Enter Adorni.

Ador. He undergoes my challenge, and contemns it,

And threatens me with the late edict made

Gainst duellists, − the altar cowards fly to.

But I, that am engaged, and nourish in me

A higher aim than fair Camiola dreams of,

Must not sit down thus. In the court I dare not

Attempt him; and in public, he's so guarded,

With a herd of parasites, clients, fools, and suitors,

That a musket cannot reach him: − my designs

Admit of no delay. This is her birthday,

Which, with a fit and due solemnity,

Camiola celebrates: and on it, all such

As love or serve her usually present

A tributary duty. I'll have something

To give, if my intelligence prove true,

Shall find acceptance. I am told, near this grove

Fulgentio, every morning, makes his markets

With his petitioners; I may present him

With a sharp petition! − Ha! 'tis he: my fate

Be ever blessed for't!

Enter Fulgentio and Page.

Fulg.                        Command such as wait me

Not to presume, at the least for half an hour,

To press on my retirements.

Page.                                  I will say, sir,

You are at your prayers.

Fulg.                              That will not find belief;

Courtiers have something else to do: − be gone, sir.

[Exit Page.]

Challenged! 'tis well; and by a groom! still better.

Was this shape made to fight? I have a tongue yet,

Howe'er no sword, to kill him; and what way,

This morning I'll resolve of.

[Exit.]

Ador.                                   I shall cross

Your resolutión, or suffer for you.

[Exit, following him.]

ACT III, SCENE III.

The same.

A Room in Camiola's House.

Enter Camiola, followed by Servants with Presents;

Sylli, and Clarinda.

Syl. What are all these?

Clar.                            Servants with several presents,

And rich ones too.

1 Serv.                 With her best wishes, madam,

Of many such days to you, the lady Petula

Presents you with this fan.

2 Serv.                              This diamond,

From your aunt Honoria.

3 Serv.                          This piece of plate

From your uncle, old Vicentio, with your arms

Graven upon it.

Cam.               Good friends, they are too

Munificent in their love and favour to me.

[To Clarinda] Out of my cabinet return such jewels

As this directs you: − for your pains; and yours;

Nor must you be forgotten.

[Gives them money.]

                                          Honour me

With the drinking of a health.

1 Serv.                                   Gold, on my life!

2 Serv. She scorns to give base silver.

3 Serv.                                         Would she had been

Born every month in the year!

1 Serv.                                   Month! every day!

2 Serv. Shew such another maid.

3 Serv.                                     All happiness wait you!

Clar. I'll see your will done.

[Exeunt Sylli, Clarinda, and Servants.]

Enter Adorni wounded.

Cam.                                   How, Adorni wounded!

Ador. A scratch got in your service, else not worth

Your observation: I bring not, madam,

In honour of your birthday, antique plate,

Or pearl, for which, the savage Indian dives

Into the bottom of the sea; nor diamonds

Hewn from steep rocks with danger. Such as give

To those that have, what they themselves want, aim at

A glad return with profit: yet, despise not

My offering at the altar of your favour,

Nor let the lowness of the giver lessen

The height of what's presented; since it is

A precious jewčl, almost forfeited,

And dimmed with clouds of infamy, redeemed,

And, in its natural splendour, with addition

Restored to the true owner.

Cam.                                  How is this?

Ador. Not to hold you in suspense, I bring you, madam,

Your wounded reputation cured, the sting

Of virulent malice, festering your fair name,

Plucked out and trod on. That proud man, that was

Denied the honour of your bed, yet durst,

With his untrue reports, strumpet your fame,

Compelled by me, hath given himself the lie,

And in his own blood wrote it: − you may read

Fulgentio subscribed.

[Offering a paper.]

Cam.                         I am amazed!

Ador. It does deserve it, madam. Common service

Is fit for hinds, and the reward proportioned

To their conditions: therefore, look not on me

As a follower of your father's fortunes, or

One that subsists on yours: − you frown! my service

Merits not this aspect.

Cam.                          Which of my favours,

I might say bounties, hath begot and nourished

This more than rude presumption? Since you had

An itch to try your desperate valour, wherefore

Went you not to the war? Couldst thou suppose

My innocence could ever fall so low

As to have need of thy rash sword to guard it

Against malicious slander? O how much

Those ladies are deceived and cheated when

The clearness and integrity of their actions

Do not defend themselves, and stand secure

On their own bases! Such as in a colour

Of seeming service give protection to them,

Betray their own strengths. Malice scorned, puts out

Itself; but argued, gives a kind of credit

To a false accusation. In this, your

Most memorable service, you believed

You did me right; but you have wronged me more

In your defence of my undoubted honour

Than false Fulgentio could.

Ador.                                  I am sorry what was

So well intended is so ill received;

Re-enter Clarinda.

Yet, under your correction, you wished

Bertoldo had been present.

Cam.                                True, I did:

But he and you, sir, are not parallels,

Nor must you think yourself so.

Ador.                                        I am what

You'll please to have me.

Cam.                               If Bertoldo had

Punished Fulgentio's insolence, it had shewn

His love to her whom, in his judgment, he

Vouchsafed to make his wife; a height, I hope,

Which you dare not aspire to. The same actions

Suit not all men alike; but I perceive

Repentance in your looks. For this time, leave me;

I may forgive, perhaps forget, your folly:

Conceal yourself till this storm be blown over.

You will be sought for; yet, if my estate

[Gives him her hand to kiss.]

Can hinder it, shall not suffer in my service.

Ador. [Aside]

This is something yet, though I missed the mark I shot at.

[Exit.]

Cam. This gentleman is of a noble temper,

And I too harsh, perhaps, in my reproof:

Was I not, Clarinda?

Clar.                       I am not to censure

Your actions, madam; but there are a thousand

Ladies, and of good fame, in such a cause

Would be proud of such a servant.

Cam.                                             It may be;

Enter a Servant.

Let me offend in this kind. − Why, uncalled for?

Serv. The signiors, madam, Gasparo and Antonio,

Selected friends of the renowned Bertoldo,

Put ashore this morning.

Cam.                              Without him?

Serv.                                                  I think so.

Cam. Never think more then.

Serv.                                     They have been at court,

Kissed the king's hand; and, their first duties done

To him, appear ambitióus to tender

To you their second service.

Cam.                                    Wait them hither.

[Exit Servant.]

Fear, do not rack me! Reason, now, if ever,

Haste with thy aids, and tell me, such a wonder

As my Bertoldo is, with such care fashioned,

Must not, nay, cannot, in Heaven's providence

Enter Antonio and Gasparo.

So soon miscarry! − pray you, forbear; ere you take

The privilege, as strangers, to salute me,

(Excuse my manners,) make me first understand

How it is with Bertoldo.

Gasp.                           The relation

Will not, I fear, deserve your thanks.

Ant.                                                  I wish

Some other should inform you.

Cam.                                        Is he dead?

You see, though with some fear, I dare enquire it.

Gasp. Dead! Would that were the worst; a debt were paid then,

Kings in their birth owe nature.

Cam.                                        Is there aught

More terrible than death?

Ant.                               Yes, to a spirit

Like his; cručl imprisonment, and that

Without the hope of freedom.

Cam.                                     You abuse me:

The royal king cannot, in love to virtue,

(Though all springs of affection were dried up,)

But pay his ransom.

Gasp.                    When you know what 'tis,

You will think otherwise: no less will do it

Than fifty thousand crowns.

Cam.                                  A petty sum,

The price weighed with the purchase: fifty thousand!

To the king 'tis nothing. He that can spare more

To his minion for a masque, cannot but ransom

Such a brother at a million. You wrong

The king's magnificence.

Ant.                                 In your opinion;

But 'tis most certain: he does not alone

In himself refuse to pay it, but forbids

All other men.

Cam.            Are you sure of this?

Gasp.                                          You may read

The edict to that purpose, published by him;

That will resolve you.

Cam.                         Possible! pray you, stand off.

If I do not mutter treason to myself,

My heart will break; and yet I will not curse him;

He is my king. The news you have delivered

Makes me weary of your company; we'll salute

When we meet next. I'll bring you to the door.

Nay, pray you, no more compliments.

Gasp.                                                One thing more,

And that's substantial: let your Adorni

Look to himself.

Ant.                  The king is much incensed

Against him for Fulgentio.

Cam.                                As I am,

For your slowness to depart.

Both.                                    Farewell, sweet lady.

[Exeunt Gasparo and Antonio.]

Cam. O more than impious times! when not alone

Subordinate ministers of justice are

Corrupted and seduced, but kings themselves,

The greater wheels by which the lesser move,

Are broken, or disjointed! could it be else,

A king, to soothe his politic ends, should so far

Forsake his honour, as at once to break

The adamant chains of nature and religion,

To bind up atheism as a defence

To his dark counsels? Will it ever be,

That to deserve too much is dangerous,

And virtue, when too eminent, a crime?

Must she serve Fortune still, or, when stripped of

Her gay and glorious favours, lose the beauties

Of her own natural shape? O, my Bertoldo,

Thou only sun in honour's sphere, how soon

Art thou eclipsed and darkened! not the nearness

Of blood prevailing on the king; nor all

The benefits to the general good dispensed,

Gaining a retributión! But that

To owe a courtesy to a simple virgin

Would take from the deserving, I find in me

Some sparks of fire, which, fanned with honour's breath,

Might rise into a flame, and in men darken

Their usurped splendour. Ha! my aim is high,

And, for the honour of my sex, to fall so,

Can never prove inglorious. − Tis resolved:

Call in Adorni.

Clar.              I am happy in

Such an employment, madam.

[Exit.]

Cam.                                      He's a man,

I know, that at a reverent distance loves me;

And such are ever faithful. What a sea

Of melting ice I walk on! what strange censures

Am I to undergo! but good intents

Deride all future rumours.

Re-enter Clarinda with Adorni.

Ador.                               I obey

Your summons, madam.

Cam.                             Leave the place, Clarinda;

One woman, in a secret of such weight,

Wise men may think too much:

[Exit Clarinda.]

                                                nearer, Adorni.

I warrant it with a smile.

Ador.                            I cannot ask

Safer protection; what's your will?

Cam.                                             To doubt

Your ready desire to serve me, or prepare you

With the repetitión of former merits,

Would, in my diffidence, wrong you: but I will,

And without circumstance, in the trust that I

Impose upon you, free you from suspicion.

Ador. I foster none of you.

Cam.                                I know you do not.

You are, Adomi, by the love you owe me −

Ador. The surest conjuration.

Cam.                                    Take me with you, −

Love born of duty; but advance no further.

You are, sir, as I said, to do me service,

To undertake a task, in which your faith,

Judgment, discretion − in a word, your all

That's good, must be engaged; nor must you study,

In the execution, but what may make

For the ends I aim at.

Ador.                       They admit no rivals.

Cam. You answer well. You have heard of Bertoldo's

Captivity, and the king's neglect; the greatness

Of his ransom; fifty thousand crowns, Adorni;

Two parts of my estate! <