The Virgin-Martyr

By Thomas Dekker

and Philip Massinger

First Published 1622.


DRAMATIS PERSONAE

Dioclesian, Emperor of Rome.

     Artemia, daughter to Dioclesian.

Maximinus, Emperor of Rome.

Sapritius, Governor of Caesarea.

     Antoninus, son to Sapritius.

     Sempronius, captain of Sapritius' guards.

Macrinus, friend to Antoninus.

Theophilus, a zealous persecutor of the Christians.

     Calista, daughter to Theophilus.

     Christeta, daughter to Theophilus.

Harpax, an evil spirit, following Theophilus in the

     shape of a Secretary.

          Julianus, servant of Theophilus.

          Geta, servant of Theophilus.

Dorothea, the Virgin-Martyr.

     Angelo, a good spirit, serving Dorothea in the habit

          of a Page.

     Hircius, a whoremaster, servant of Dorothea.

     Spungius, a drunkard, servant of Dorothea.

King of Pontus.

King of Epire.

King of Macedon.

Priest of Jupiter.

British slave.

Officers and Executioners.

SCENE: Caesarea in Palestine.

Settings, Scene Breaks and Stage Directions.

     The original quartos do not provide settings for the play; all this edition's indicated settings are adopted from Gifford.
     The original quarto of The Virgin Martyr was divided into five Acts, but the Acts were not divided into Scenes; we have adopted the scene breaks employed by all the previous editors.
     Finally, as is our normal practice, some stage directions have been added, and some modified, for purposes of clarity. Most of these minor changes are adopted from Gifford.

ACT I.

SCENE I.

The Governor's Palace.

Enter Theophilus and Harpax.

1

Theo.  Come to Caesarea to-night!

2

Harp.                                             Most true, sir.

4

Theo.  The emperor in person!

6

Harp.                                       Do I live?

8

Theo.  'Tis wondrous strange! The marches of great princes,

10

Like to the motions of prodigious meteors,

Are step by step observed; and loud-tongued Fame

12

The harbinger to prepare their entertainment:

And, were it possible so great an army,

14

Though covered with the night, could be so near,

The governor cannot be so unfriended

16

Among the many that attend his person,

But, by some secret means, he should have notice

18

Of Caesar's purpose; − in this then excuse me,

If I appear incredulous.

20

Harp.                         At your pleasure.

22

Theo.  Yet, when I call to mind you never failed me

24

In things more difficult, but have discovered

Deeds that were done thousand leagues distant from me,

26

When neither woods, nor caves, nor secret vaults,

No, nor the Power they serve, could keep these Christians

28

Or from my reach or punishment, but thy magic

Still laid them open; I begin again

30

To be as confident as heretofore,

It is not possible thy powerful art

32

Should meet a check, or fail.

34

Enter the Priest of Jupiter, bearing the image of

Jupiter, and followed by Calista and Christeta.

36

Harp.                                 Look on the Vestals,

38

The holy pledges that the gods have given you,

Your chaste, fair daughters. Were't not to upbraid

40

A service to a master not unthankful,

I could say these, in spite of your prevention,

42

Seduced by an imagined faith, not reason,

(Which is the strength of nature), quite forsaking

44

The gentile gods, had yielded up themselves

To this new-found religion. This I crossed,

46

Discovered their intents, taught you to use,

With gentle words and mild persuasiöns,

48

The power and the authority of a father,

Set off with cruël threats; and so reclaimed 'em:

50

And, whereas they with torments should have died,

− [Aside] (Hell's furies to me, had they undergone it!) −

52

They are now votaries in great Jupiter's temple,

And, by his priest instructed, grown familiar

54

With all the mysteries, nay, the most abstruse ones,

Belonging to his deity.

56

Theo.                           Twas a benefit,

58

For which I ever owe you. − Hail, Jove's flamen!

Have these my daughters reconciled themselves,

60

Abandoning forever the Christian way,

To your opinion?

62

Priest.               And are constant in it.

64

They teach their teachers with their depth of judgment,

And are with arguments able to convert

66

The enemies to our gods, and answer all

They can object against us.

68

Theo.                                  My dear daughters!

70

Calis.  We dare dispute against this new-sprung sect,

72

In private or in public.

74

Harp.                        My best lady,

Perséver in it.

76

Chris.          And what we maintain,

78

We will seal with our bloods.

80

Harp.                                   Brave resolution!

I e'en grow fat to see my labours prosper.

82

Theo.  I young again. − To your devotions.

84

Harp.                                                      Do −

86

My prayers be present with you.

88

[Exeunt Priest, Calista and Christeta.]

90

Theo.                                         O my Harpax!

Thou engine of my wishes, thou that steel'st

92

My bloody resolutions, thou that arm'st

My eyes 'gainst womanish tears and soft compassion;

94

Instructing me, without a sigh, to look on

Babes torn by violence from their mothers’ breasts

96

To feed the fire, and with them make one flame;

Old men, as beasts, in beasts' skins torn by dogs;

98

Virgins and matrons tire the executioners;

Yet I, unsatisfied, think their torments easy −

100

Harp.  And in that, just, not cruël.

102

Theo.                                           Were all sceptres

104

That grace the hands of kings made into one,

And offered me, all crowns laid at my feet,

106

I would contemn them all, − thus spit at them;

So I to all posterities might be called

108

The strongest champion of the Pagan gods,

And rooter-out of Christians.

110

Harp.                                   Oh, mine own,

112

Mine own dear lord! to further this great work,

I ever live thy slave.

114

Enter Sapritius and Sempronius.

116

 

Theo.                      No more − the governor.

118

Sap.  Keep the ports close, and let the guards be doubled;

120

Disarm the Christians; call it death in any

To wear a sword, or in his house to have one.

122

Semp.  I shall be careful, sir.

124

Sap.                                   'Twill well become you.

126

Such as refuse to offer sacrifice

To any of our gods, put to the torture.

128

Grub up this growing mischief by the roots;

And know, when we are merciful to them,

130

We to ourselves are cruël.

132

Semp.                             You pour oil

On fire that burns already at the height:

134

I know the emperor's edict, and my charge,

And they shall find no favour.

136

Theo.                                     My good lord,

138

This care is timely for the entertainment

Of our great master, who this night in person

140

Comes here to thank you.

142

Sap.                                 Who! the emperor?

144

Harp.  To clear your doubts, he does return in triumph,

Kings lackeyíng by his triumphant chariot;

146

And in this glorious victory, my lord,

You have an ample share: for know, your son,

148

The ne'er-enough-commended Antoninus,

So well hath fleshed his maiden sword, and dyed

150

His snowy plumes so deep in enemies' blood,

That, besides public grace beyond his hopes,

152

There are rewards propounded.

154

Sap.                                          I would know

No mean in thine, could this be true.

156

Harp.                                                My head

158

Answer the forfeit.

160

Sap.                       Of his victory

There was some rumour; but it was assured,

162

The army passed a full day's journey higher,

Into the country.

164

Harp.                    It was so determined;

166

But, for the further honour of your son,

And to observe the government of the city,

168

And with what rigour, or remiss indulgence,

The Christians are pursued, he makes his stay here:

170

[Trumpets afar off.]

172

For proof, his trumpets speak his near arrival.

174

Sap.  Haste, good Sempronius, draw up our guards,

176

And with all ceremonious pomp receive

The conquering army. Let our garrison speak

178

Their welcome in loud shouts, the city show

Her state and wealth.

180

Semp.                            I'm gone.

182

[Exit Sempronius.]

184

Sap.                                            O, I am ravished

186

With this great honour! cherish, good Theophilus,

This knowing scholar. Send [for] your fair daughters;

188

I will present them to the emperor,

And in their sweet conversion, as a mirror,

190

Express your zeal and duty.

192

Theo.                                  Fetch them, good Harpax.

194

[Exit Harpax.]

196

Enter Sempronius, at the head of the guard,

soldiers leading three kings bound;

198

Antoninus and Macrinus bearing the Emperor's 

eagles; Dioclesian with a gilt laurel on his head,

200

 leading in Artemia: Sapritius kisses

the Emperor's hand, then embraces his Son;

202

 Harpax brings in Calista and Christeta.

 Loud shouts.

204

Diocl.   So: at all parts I find Caesarea

206

Completely governed; the licentious soldier

Confined in modest limits, and the people

208

Taught to obey, and, not compelled with rigour:

The ancient Roman discipline revived,

210

Which raised Rome to her greatness, and proclaimed her

The glorious mistress of the conquered world;

212

But, above all, the service of the gods

So zealously observed, that, good Sapritius,

214

In words to thank you for your care and duty,

Were much unworthy Dioclesian's honour,

216

Or his magnificence to his loyal servants −

But I shall find a time with noble titles

218

To recompense your merits.

220

Sap.                                   Mightiest Caesar,

Whose power upon this globe of earth is equal

222

To Jove's in heaven; whose victorious triumphs

On proud rebellious kings that stir against it,

224

Are perfect figures of his immortal trophies

Won in the Giants' war; whose conquering sword,

226

Guided by his strong arm, as deadly kills

As did his thunder! all that I have done,

228

Or, if my strength were centupled, could do,

Comes short of what my loyalty must challenge.

230

But, if in any thing I have deserved

Great Caesar's smile, 'tis in my humble care

232

Still to preserve the honour of those gods,

That make him what he is: my zeal to them

234

I ever have expressed in my fell hate

Against the Christian sect that, with one blow,

236

(Ascribing all things to an unknown Power,)

Would strike down all their temples, and allows them

238

Nor sacrifice nor altars.

240

Diocl.                           Thou, in this,

Walk'st hand in hand with me: my will and power

242

Shall not alone confirm, but honour all

That are in this most forward.

244

Sap.                                       Sacred Caesar,

246

If your imperial majesty stand pleased

To shower your favours upon such as are

248

The boldest champions of our religion,

Look on this reverend man,

250

[Points to Theophilus.]

252

                                           to whom the power

254

Of searching out and punishing such delinquents

Was by your choice committed: and, for proof,

256

He hath deserved the grace imposed upon him,

And with a fair and even hand proceeded,

258

Partial to none, not to himself, or those

Of equal nearness to himself, behold

260

This pair of virgins.

262

Diocl.                      What are these?

264

Sap.                                                 His daughters.

266

Artem.  Now by your sacred fortune, they are fair ones,

Exceeding fair ones: would 'twere in my power

268

To make them mine!

270

Theo.                       They are the gods', great lady.

They were most happy in your service else:

272

On these, when they fell from their father's faith,

I used a judge's power, entreaties failing

274

(They being seduced) to win them to adore

The holy Powers we worship; I put on

276

The scarlet robe of bold authority,

And, as they had been strangers to my blood,

278

Presented them, in the most horrid form,

All kinds of tortures; part of which they suffered

280

With Roman constancy.

282

Artem.                           And could you endure,

Being a father, to behold their limbs

284

Extended on the rack?

286

Theo.                          I did; but must

Confess there was a strange contention in me,

288

Between the impartial office of a judge,

And pity of a father; to help justice

290

Religiön stepped in, under which odds

Compassion fell: − yet still I was a father;

292

For e'en then, when the flinty hangman's whips

Were worn with stripes spent on their tender limbs,

294

I kneeled, and wept, and begged them, though they would

Be cruël to themselves, they would take pity

296

On my grey hairs: now note a sudden change,

Which I with joy remember; those, whom torture,

298

Nor fear of death could terrify, were o'ercome

By seeing of my sufferings; and so won,

300

Returning to the faith that they were born in,

I gave them to the gods: and be assured,

302

I that used justice with a rigorous hand,

Upon such beauteous virgins, and mine own,

304

Will use no favour, where the cause commands me,

To any other; but, as rocks, be deaf

306

To all entreaties.

308

Diocl.                 Thou deserv'st thy place;

Still hold it, and with honour. Things thus ordered

310

Touching the gods, 'tis lawful to descend

To human cares, and exercise that power

312

Heaven has conferred upon me; − which that you,

Rebels and traitors to the power of Rome,

314

Should not with all extremities undergo,

What can you urge to qualify your crimes,

316

Or mitigate my anger?

318

K. of Epire.                  We are now

Slaves to thy power, that yesterday were kings,

320

And had command o'er others; we confess

Our grandsires paid your tribute, yet left us,

322

As their forefathers had, desire of freedom.

And, if you Romans hold it glorious honour

324

Not only to defend what is your own,

But to enlarge your empire, (though our fortune

326

Denies that happiness,) who can accuse

The famished mouth, if it attempt to feed?

328

Or such whose fetters eat into their freedoms,

If they desire to shake them off?

330

K. of Pontus.                             We stand

332

The last examples, to prove how uncertain

All human happiness is; and are prepared

334

To endure the worst.

336

K. of Macedon.         That spoke, which now is highest

In Fortune's wheel, must, when she turns it next,

338

Decline as low as we are. This considered,

Taught the Ægyptian Hercules, Sesostris,

340

That had his chariot drawn by captive kings,

To free them from that slavery; − but to hope

342

Such mercy from a Roman were mere madness:

We are familiar with what cruëlty

344

Rome, since her infant greatness, ever used

Such as she triumphed over; age nor sex

346

Exempted from her tyranny; sceptered princes

Kept in her common dungeons, and their children,

348

In scorn trained up in base mechanic arts,

For public bondmen. In the catalogue

350

Of those unfortunate men, we expect to have

Our names remembered.

352

Diocl.                            In all growing empires,

354

Even cruëlty is useful; some must suffer,

And be set up examples to strike terror

356

In others, though far off: but, when a state

Is raised to her perfection, and her bases

358

Too firm to shrink or yield, we may use mercy,

And do't with safety: but to whom? not cowards,

360

Or such whose baseness shames the conqueror,

And robs him of his victory, as weak Perseus

362

Did great Æmilius. Know, therefore, kings

Of Epire, Pontus, and of Macedon,

364

That I with courtesy can use my prisoners,

As well as make them mine by force, provided

366

That they are noble enemies: such I found you,

Before I made you mine: and, since you were so,

368

You have not lost the courages of princes,

Although the fortune. Had you borne yourselves

370

Dejectedly, and base, no slavery

Had been too easy for you: but such is

372

The power of noble valour, that we love it

Even in our enemies, and, taken with it,

374

Desire to make them friends, as I will you.

376

K. of Epire.  Mock us not, Caesar.

378

Diocl.                                         By the gods, I do not.

Unloose their bonds; − I now as friends embrace you.

380

Give them their crowns again.

382

K. of Pontus.                        We are twice o'ercome;

By courage, and by courtesy.

384

K. of Macedon.                     But this latter

386

Shall teach us to live ever faithful vassals

To Dioclesian, and the power of Rome.

388

K. of Epire.  All kingdoms fall before her!

390

K. of Pontus.                                          And all kings

392

Contend to honour Caesar!

394

Diocl.                                  I believe

Your tongues are the true trumpets of your hearts,

396

And in it I most happy. Queen of fate,

Imperious Fortune! mix some light disaster

398

With my so many joys, to season them,

And give them sweeter relish: I'm girt round

400

With true felicity; faithful subjects here,

Here bold commanders, here with new-made friends;

402

But, what's the crown of all, in thee, Artemia,

My only child, whose love to me and duty

404

Strive to exceed each other!

406

Artem.                                   I make payment

But of a debt, which I stand bound to tender

408

As a daughter and a subject.

410

Diocl.                                     Which requires yet

A retributiön from me, Artemia,

412

Tied by a father's care, how to bestow

A jewèl, of all things to me most precious:

414

Nor will I therefore longer keep thee from

The chief joys of creation, marriage rites;

416

Which that thou mayst with greater pleasures taste of,

Thou shalt not like with mine eyes, but thine own

418

Among these kings, forgetting they were captives;

Or these, remembering not they are my subjects,

420

Make choice of any: By Jove's dreadful thunder,

My will shall rank with thine.

422

Artem.                                   It is a bounty

424

The daughters of great princes seldom meet with;

For they, to make up breaches in the state,

426

Or for some other public ends, are forced

To match where they affect not. May my life

428

Deserve this favour!

430

Diocl.                       Speak; I long to know

The man thou wilt make happy.

432

Artem.                                      If that titles,

434

Or the adorèd name of Queen could take me,

Here would I fix mine eyes, and look no further;

436

But these are baits to take a mean-born lady,

Not her that boldly may call Caesar father;

438

In that I can bring honour unto any,

But from no king that lives receives addition:

440

To raise desert and virtue by my fortune,

Though in a low estate, were greater glory

442

Than to mix greatness with a prince that owes

No worth but that name only.

444

Diocl.                                     I commend thee,

446

'Tis like myself.

448

Artem.               If, then, of men beneath me,

My choice is to be made, where shall I seek,

450

But among those that best deserve from you?

That have served you most faithfully; that in dangers

452

Have stood next to you; that have interposed

Their breasts as shields of proof, to dull the swords

454

Aimed at your bosom; that have spent their blood

To crown your brows with laurel?

456

Mac.                                               Cytherea,

458

Great Queen of Love, be now propitious to me!

460

Harp.  [to Sapritius.]

Now mark what I foretold.

462

Anton.  [Aside]                  Her eye's on me.

464

Fair Venus' son, draw forth a leaden dart,

And, that she may hate me, transfix her with it;

466

Or, if thou needs wilt use a golden one,

Shoot it in the behalf of any other:

468

Thou know'st I am thy votary elsewhere.

470

Artem.  [Advances to Antoninus.]

Sir.

472

Theo.  How he blushes!

474

Sap.                            Welcome, fool, thy fortune.

476

Stand like a block when such an angel courts thee!

478

Artem.  I am no object to divert your eye

From the beholding.

480

Anton.                        Rather a bright sun,

482

Too glorious for him to gaze upon,

That took not first flight from the eagle’s aerie.

484

As I look on the temples, or the gods,

And with that reverence, lady, I behold you,

486

And shall do ever.

488

Artem.                     And it will become you,

While thus we stand at distance; but, if love,

490

Love born out of the assurance of your virtues,

Teach me to stoop so low −

492

Anton.                              O, rather take

494

A higher flight.

496

Artem.             Why, fear you to be raised?

Say I put off the dreadful awe that waits

498

On majesty, or with you share my beams,

Nay, make you to outshine me; change the name

500

Of Subject into Lord, rob you of service

That's due from you to me; and in me make it

502

Duty to honour you, would you refuse me?

504

Anton.  Refuse you, madam! such a worm as I am,

Refuse what kings upon their knees would sue for!

506

Call it, great lady, by another name;

An humble modesty, that would not match

508

A molehill with Olympus.

510

Artem.                             He that's famous

For honourable actions in the war,

512

As you are, Antoninus, a proved soldier,

Is fellow to a king.

514

Anton.                   If you love valour,

516

As 'tis a kingly virtue, seek it out,

And cherish it in a king: there it shines brightest,

518

And yields the bravest luster. Look on Epire,

A prince, in whom it is incorporate;

520

And let it not disgrace him that he was

O'ercome by Caesar; it was victory,

522

To stand so long against him: had you seen him,

How in one bloody scene he did discharge

524

The parts of a commander and a soldier,

Wise in direction, bold in execution;

526

You would have said, great Caesar's self excepted,

The world yields not his equal.

528

Artem.                                     Yet I have heard,

530

Encountering him alone in the head of his troop,

You took him prisoner.

532

K. of Epire.                  'Tis a truth, great princess;

534

I'll not detract from valour.

536

Anton.                                'Twas mere fortune;

Courage had no hand in it.

538

Theo.                                 Did ever man

540

Strive so against his own good?

542

Sap.                                           Spiritless villain!

How I am tortured! By the immortal gods,

544

I now could kill him.

546

Diocl.                        Hold, Sapritius, hold,

On our displeasure hold!

548

Harp.                               Why, this would make

550

A father mad, 'tis not to be endured;

Your honour's tainted in't.

552

Sap.                                   By heaven, it is;

554

I shall think of it.

556

Harp.                      'Tis not to be forgotten.

558

Artem.  Nay, kneel not, sir; I am no ravisher,

Nor so far gone in fond affection to you,

560

But that I can retire, my honour safe: −

Yet say, hereafter, that thou hast neglected

562

What, but seen in possession of another,

Will make thee mad with envy.

564

Anton.                                      In her looks

566

Revenge is written.

568

Mac.                       As you love your life,

Study to appease her.

570

Anton.                     Gracious madam, hear me.

572

Artem.  And be again refused?

574

Anton.                                    The tender of

576

My life, my service, or, since you vouchsafe it,

My love, my heart, my all: and pardon me,

578

Pardon, dread princess, that I made some scruple

To leave a valley of security,

580

To mount up to the hill of majesty,

On which, the nearer Jove, the nearer lightning.

582

What knew I, but your grace made trial of me;

Durst I presume t' embrace, where but to touch

584

With an unmannered hand, was death? the fox,

When he saw first the forest's king, the lion,

586

Was almost dead with fear; the second view

Only a little daunted him; the third,

588

He durst salute him boldly: pray you, apply this;

And you shall find a little time will teach me

590

To look with more familiar eyes upon you,

Than duty yet allows me.

592

Sap.                                   Well excused.

594

Artem.  You may redeem all yet.

596

Diocl.                                       And, that he may

598

Have means and opportunity to do so,

Artemia, I leave you my substitute

600

In fair Caesarea.

602

Sap.                    And here, as yourself,

We will obey and serve her.

604

Diocl.                                  Antoninus,

606

So you prove hers, I wish no other heir;

Think on't: − be careful of your charge, Theophilus;

608

Sapritius, be you my daughter's guardian.

Your company I wish, confederate princes,

610

In our Dalmatian wars; which finished

With victory I hope, and Maximinus,

612

Our brother and copartner in the empire,

At my request won to confirm as much,

614

The kingdoms I took from you we'll restore,

And make you greater than you were before.

616

[Exeunt all but Antoninus and Macrinus.]

618

Anton.  Oh, I am lost forever! lost, Macrinus!

620

The anchor of the wretched, hope, forsakes me,

And with one blast of Fortune all my light

622

Of happiness is put out.

624

Mac.                            You are like to those

That are ill only 'cause they are too well;

626

That, surfeiting in the excess of blessings,

Call their abundance want. What could you wish,

628

That is not fall'n upon you? honour, greatness,

Respect, wealth, favour, the whole world for a dower;

630

And with a princess, whose excelling form

Exceeds her fortune.

632

Anton.                       Yet poison still is poison,

634

Though drunk in gold; and all these flattering glories

To me, ready to starve, a painted banquet,

636

And no essential food. When I am scorched

With fire, can flames in any other quench me?

638

What is her love to me, greatness, or empire,

That am slave to another, who alone

640

Can give me ease or freedom?

642

Mac.                                      Sir, you point at

Your dotage on the scornful Dorothea:

644

Is she, though fair, the same day to be named

With best Artemia? In all their courses,

646

Wise men propose their ends: with sweet Artemia,

There comes along pleasure, security,

648

Ushered by all that in this life is precious:

With Dorothea (though her birth be noble,

650

The daughter to a senator of Rome,

By him left rich, yet with a private wealth,

652

And far inferior to yours) arrives

The emperor's frown, which, like a mortal plague,

654

Speaks death is near; the princess' heavy scorn,

Under which you will shrink; your father's fury,

656

Which to resist, even pity forbids: −

And but remember that she stands suspected

658

A favourer of the Christian sect; she brings

Not danger, but assured destruction with her.

660

This truly weighed, one smile of great Artemia

Is to be cherished, and preferred before

662

All joys in Dorothea: therefore leave her.

664

Anton.  In what thou think'st thou art most wise, thou art

Grossly abused, Macrinus, and most foolish.

666

For any man to match above his rank,

Is but to sell his liberty. With Artemia

668

I still must live a servant; but enjoying

Divinest Dorothea, I shall rule,

670

Rule as becomes a husband: for the danger,

Or call it, if you will, assured destruction,

672

I slight it thus. − If, then, thou art my friend,

As I dare swear thou art, and wilt not take

674

A governor's place upon thee, be my helper.

676

Mac.  You know I dare, and will do anything;

Put me unto the test.

678

Anton.                       Go then, Macrinus,

680

To Dorothea; tell her I have worn,

In all the battailes I have fought, her figure,

682

Her figure in my heart, which, like a deity,

Hath still protected me. Thou canst speak well;

684

And of thy choicest language spare a little,

To make her understand how much I love her,

686

And how I languish for her. Bear these jewels,

Sent in the way of sacrifice, not service,

688

As to my goddess: all lets thrown behind me,

Or fears that may deter me, say, this morning

690

I mean to visit her by the name of friendship:

− No words to contradict this.

692

Mac.                                     I am yours:

694

And, if my travail this way be ill spent,

Judge not my readier will by the event.

696

[Exeunt.]

ACT II.

SCENE I.

A Room in Dorothea's House.

Enter Spungius and Hircius.

1

Spun.  Turn Christian! Would he that first tempted me 

2

to have my shoes walk upon Christian soles, had turned

me into a capon; for I am sure now, the stones of all 

4

my pleasure, in this fleshly life, are cut off.

6

Hir.  So then, if any coxcomb has a galloping desire to

ride, here's a gelding, if he can but sit him.

8

Spun.  I kick, for all that, like a horse; − look else.

10

Hir.  But that is a kickish jade, fellow Spungius. Have

12

not I as much cause to complain as thou hast? When I

was a pagan, there was an infidel punk of mine, would

14

have let me come upon trust for my corvetting: a pox 

of your Christian coxatrices! they cry, like poulterers'

16

wives, “No money, no coney.”

18

Spun.  Bacchus, the god of brewed wine and sugar, 

grand patron of rob-pots, upsy-freesy tipplers, and

20

super-naculum takers; this Bacchus, who is head 

warden of Vintners’-hall, ale-conner, mayor of all

22

victualling-houses, the sole liquid benefactor to

bawdy-houses; lanceprezado to red noses, and invincible

24

adelantado over the armado of pimpled, deep-scarleted,

rubified, and carbuncled faces −

26

Hir.  What of all this?

28

Spun.  This boon Bacchanalian stinker, did I make legs

30

to.

32

Hir.  Scurvy ones, when thou wert drunk.

34

Spun.  There is no danger of losing a man's years by

making these indentures; he that will not now and then

36

be Calabingo, is worse than a Calamoothe. When I was

a pagan, and kneeled to this Bacchus, I durst outdrink a

38

lord; but your Christian lords out-bowl me. I was in

hope to lead a sober life, when I was converted; but,

40

now amongst the Christians, I can no sooner stagger

out of one alehouse, but I reel into another: they have

42

whole streets of nothing but drinking-rooms, and

drabbing-chambers, jumbled together.

44

Hir.  Bawdy Priapus, the first schoolmaster that taught

46

butchers how to stick pricks in flesh, and make it swell,

thou know'st, was the only ningle that I cared for under

48

the moon; but, since I left him to follow a scurvy lady,

what with her praying and our fasting, if now I come to

50

a wench, and offer to use her anything hardly (telling

her, being a Christian, she must endure,) she presently

52

handles me as if I were a clove, and cleaves me with

disdain, as if I were a calves' head.

54

Spun.  I see no remedy, fellow Hircius, but that thou 

56

and I must be half pagans, and half Christians; for we 

know very fools that are Christians.

58

Hir.  Right: the quarters of Christians are good for

60

nothing but to feed crows.

62

Spun.  True: Christian brokers, thou know'st, are made

up of the quarters of Christians; parboil one of these

64

rogues, and he is not meat for a dog: no, no, I am

resolved to have an infidel's heart, though in show I

66

carry a Christian's face.

68

Hir.  Thy last shall serve my foot: so will I.

70

Spun.  Our whimpering lady and mistress sent me with

two great baskets full of beef, mutton, veal, and goose,

72

fellow Hircius −

74

Hir.  And woodcock, fellow Spungius.

76

Spun.  Upon the poor lean ass-fellow, on which I ride,

to all the almswomen: what think'st thou I have done 

78

with all this good cheer?

80

Hir.  Eat it; or be choked else.

82

Spun.  Would my ass, basket and all, were in thy maw,

if I did! No, as I am a demi-pagan, I sold the victuals,

84

and coined the money into pottle-pots of wine.

86

Hir.  Therein thou showed'st thyself a perfect demi-

Christian too, to let the poor beg, starve, and hang, or

88

die a the pip. Our puling, snotty-nose lady sent me out

likewise with a purse of money, to relieve and release

90

prisoners: − Did I so, think you?

92

Spun.  Would thy ribs were turned into grates of iron

then.

94

Hir.  As I am a total pagan, I swore they should be

96

hanged first; for, sirrah Spungius, I lay at my old ward

of lechery, and cried, “A pox in your two-penny wards!”

98

and so I took scurvy common flesh for the money.

100

Spun.  And wisely done; for our lady, sending it to

prisoners, had bestowed it out upon lousy knaves: and

102

thou, to save that labour, cast'st it away upon rotten

whores.

104

Hir.  All my fear is of that pink-an-eye jack-an-apes

106

boy, her page.

108

Spun.  As I am a pagan from my cod-piece downward,

that white-faced monkey frights me too. I stole but a

110

dirty pudding, last day, out of an alms-basket, to give

my dog when he was hungry, and the peaking chitface

112

page hit me in the teeth with it.

114

Hir.  With the dirty pudding! so he did me once with a

cow-turd, which in knavery I would have crumbed into

116

one's porridge, who was half a pagan too. The smug

dandiprat smells us out, whatsoever we are doing.

118

Spun.  Does he? let him take heed I prove not his

120

back-friend: I'll make him curse his smelling what I do.

122

Hir.  'Tis my lady spoils the boy; for he is ever at her

tail, and she is never well but in his company.

124

Enter Angelo with a book, and a taper

126

lighted; seeing him, they counterfeit devotion.

128

Ang.  O! now your hearts make ladders of your eyes,

In show to climb to Heaven, when your devotion

130

Walks upon crutches. Where did you waste your time,

When the religious man was on his knees,

132

Speaking the heavenly language?

134

Spun.  Why, fellow Angelo, we were speaking in

pedlar's French, I hope.

136

Hir.  We ha' not been idle, take it upon my word.

138

Ang.  Have you the baskets emptied, which your lady

140

Sent, from her charitable hands, to women

That dwell upon her pity?

142

Spun.  Emptied them! yes; I’d be loth to have my belly

144

so empty; yet, I am sure, I munched not one bit of them

neither.

146

Ang.  And went your money to the prisoners?

148

Hir.  Went! no; I carried it, and with these fingers paid 

150

it away.

152

Ang.  What way? the devil's way, the way of sin,

The way of hot damnation, way of lust? −

154

And you, to wash away the poor man's bread

In bowls of drunkenness?

156

Spun.  Drunkenness! yes, yes, I use to be drunk; our 

158

next neighbour's man, called Christopher, hath often

seen me drunk, hath he not?

160

Hir.  Or me given so to the flesh! my cheeks speak my

162

doings.

164

Ang.  Avaunt, ye thieves and hollow hypocrites!

Your hearts to me lie open like black books,

166

And there I read your doings.

168

Spun.  And what do you read in my heart?

170

Hir.  Or in mine? come, amiable Angelo, beat the flint 

of your brains.

172

Spun.  And let's see what sparks of wit fly out to kindle

174

your carebruns.

176

Ang.  Your names even brand you; you are Spungius called

And like a spunge, you suck up liquorous wines,

178

Till your soul reels to hell.

180

Spung.  To hell! can any drunkard's legs carry him so far?

182

Ang.  For blood of grapes you sold the widows' food,

And, starving them, 'tis murder; what's this but hell? −

184

Hircius your name, and goatish is your nature:

You snatch the meat out of the prisoner's mouth,

186

To fatten harlots: is not this hell too?

No angel, but the devil, waits on you.

188

Spun.  Shall I cut his throat?

190

Hir.  No; better burn him, for I think he is a witch; but

192

soothe, soothe him.

194

Spun.  Fellow Angelo, true it is, that falling into the

company of wicked he-Christians, for my part −

196

Hir.  And she-ones, for mine, − we have them swim in

198

shoals hard by −

200

Spun.  We must confess, I took too much out of the

pot; and he of t'other hollow commodity.

202

Hir.  Yes, indeed, we laid Jill on both of us: we

204

cozened the poor; but 'tis a common thing: many a

one, that counts himself a better Christian than we two,

206