By Francis Beaumont

and John Fletcher

c. 1611-12





The Persons represented in the Play:


The Priest of Cupid.

Nilo, sent in Commission to pull down Cupid's Images.

Leontius, the old Duke of Lycia.

     Leucippus, Son to the duke.

          Zoilus, Leucippus' Dwarf.

     Hidaspes, Daughter to the duke.

          Cleophila, an Attendant of Hidaspes.

          Hero, an Attendant of Hidaspes.

     Ismenus, Nephew to the duke.

Lycian Nobles:

Telamon, a Lycian Lord.

Dorialus, a Courtier.

Agenor, a Courtier.

Nisus, a Courtier.

Timantus, a villainous Sycophant.

Bacha, a Strumpet.

     Urania, her Daughter.

          Bacha's Maid.

          Urania's Maid.

Servants and Attendants.

Four young Men and Maids.

Four Citizens.

The Scene: Lycia



An Apartment in the Palace.

Enter Dorialus, Agenor, and Nisus.

Agen. Trust me, my lord Dorialus, I had missed of this,

if you had not called me; I thought the princess’s

birthday had been to-morrow.

Nisus. Why, did your lordship sleep out the day?

Dor. I marvel what the duke meant, to make such an

idle vow.

Nisus. Idle! why?

Dor. Is't not idle, to swear to grant his daughter

anything she shall ask on her birthday? she may ask an

impossible thing; and I pray Heaven she do not ask an

unfit thing, at one time or other: 'tis dangerous trusting

a man’s vow upon the discretion on’s daughter.

Agen. I wonder most at the marquis her brother, who is

always vehemently forward to have her desires granted.

Dor. He's acquainted with 'em before.

Agen. She's doubtless very chaste and virtuous.

Dor. So is Leucippus her brother.

Nisus. She's twenty years old; I wonder she ask not a


Dor. That were a folly in her, having refused all the

great princes in one part of the world; she'll die a maid.

Agen. She may ask but once, may she?

Nisus. A hundred times this day, if she will: and,

indeed, every day is such a day; for though the duke has

vowed it only on this day, he keeps it every day; he can

deny her nothing.

[Cornets within.]

Enter Leontius, Hidaspes, Leucippus, Ismenus,

Timantus, and Telamon.

Leon. Come, fair Hidaspes; thou art duchess today;

Art thou prepared to ask? thou know’st my oath

Will force performance: − and, Leucippus, if

She now ask aught that shall or would have performance

After my death, when by the help of Heaven

This land is thine, accursèd be thy race,

May everyone forget thou art my son,

And so their own obedience −

Leuc.                                   Mighty sir,

I do not wish to know that fatal hour,

That is to make me king; but if I do,

I shall most hastily, and like a son,

Perform your grants to all, chiefly to her. −

[Aside to Hidaspes.]

Remember that you ask what we agreed upon.

Leon. Are you prepared? then speak.

Hidas. Most royal sir, I am prepared;

Nor shall my will exceed a virgin’s bounds;

What I request shall both at once bring me

[And you] a full content.

Leon.                              So it ever does:

Thou only comfort of my feeble age,

Make known thy good desire, for I dare swear

Thou lovest me.

Hidas. [Kneeling.] This is it I beg,

And on my knees: the people of your land,

The Lycians, are, through all the natións

That know their name, noted to have in use

A vain and fruitless superstitión;

So much more hateful, that it bears the show

Of true religion, and is nothing else

But a self-pleasing bold lasciviousness.

Leon. What is it?

Hidas.              Many ages before this,

When every man got to himself a trade,

And was laborious in that chosen course,

Hating an idle life far worse than death,

Some one that gave himself to wine and sloth,

Which breed lascivious thoughts, and found himself

Contemned for that by every painful man,

To take his stain away, framed to himself

A god, whom he pretended to obey,

In being thus dishonest; for a name

He called him Cupid. This created god,

(Man's nature being ever credulous

Of any vice that takes part with his blood)

Had ready followers enow: and since

In every age they grew, especially

Amongst your subjects, who do yet remain

Adorers of that drowsy deity,

Which drink invented; and the wingèd boy

(For so they call him) has his sacrifices,

And these loose naked statues through the land,

In every village; nay, the palace

Is not free from 'em. This is my request,

That these erected obscene images

May be plucked down and burnt: and every man

That offers to 'em any sacrifice,

May lose his life.

Leon. [Raising her.] But be advised,

My fairest daughter: if he be a god,

He will express it upon thee, my child;

Which Heaven avert!

Leuc.                         There is no such power;

But the opinion of him fills the land

With lustful sins: every young man and maid,

That feel the least desire to one another,

Dare not suppress it, for they think it is

Blind Cupid's motion: and he is a god!

Leon. This makes our youth unchaste. − I am resolved:

Nephew Ismenus, break the statues down

Here in the palace, and command the city

Do the like: let proclamatións

Be drawn, and hastily sent through the land,

To the same purpose.

Ism.                         Sir, I’ll break down none

Myself, but I’ll deliver your command:

Hand I will have none in't, for I like it not.

[Exit Ismenus.]

Leon. Go and command it. − Pleasure of my life,

Wouldst thou aught else? make many thousand suits;

They must and shall be granted.

Hidas.                                          Nothing else.

Leon. But go and meditate on other suits;

Some six days hence I'll give thee audience again,

And, by a new oath, bind myself to keep it:

Ask largely for thyself: dearer than life,

In whom I may be bold to call myself

More fortunate than any in my age,

I will deny thee nothing.

Leuc.                            'Twas well done, sister.

[Exeunt all but Dorialus, Agenor and Nisus.]

Nisus. How like you this request, my lords?

Dor. I know not yet, I am so full of wonder!

We shall be gods ourselves shortly,

An we pull 'em out of Heaven o' this fashion.

Agen. We shall have wenches now when we can catch ’em

An we transgress thus.

Nisus. An we abuse the gods once, 'tis a justice

We should be held at hard meat. For my part,

I'll e'en make ready for mine own affection;

I know the god incensed must send a hardness

Through all good women’s hearts, and then we have

Our eggs and muscadine to a fair market:

Would I had gi'n an hundred [pound] for a toleration,

That I might but use my conscience in mine own house!

Dor. The duke, he's old and past it; he would never

Have brought such a plague upon the land else;

'Tis worse than sword and famine. Yet, to say truth,

We have deserved it, we have lived so wickedly,

Every man at his livery; and would that

Would have sufficed us!

We murmured at this blessing, that ‘twas nothing,

And cried out to the god for endless pleasures:

He heard us, and supplied us, and our women

Were new still, as we needed 'em: yet we,

Like beasts, still cried, “Poor men can number their whores,

Give us abundance!” we had it, and this curse withal.

Agen. By’r lady, we are like to have a long Lent on't;

Flesh will be flesh now! Gentlemen, I had rather

Have angered all the gods than that blind gunner.

I remember, once the people did but slight him

In a sacrifice; and what followed? women kept

Their houses, grew good huswives, honest forsooth!

Was not that fine?

Wore their own faces, though they wore gay clothes,

Without surveying; and, which was most lamentable,

They loved their husbands.

Nisus.                            I do remember it to my grief:

Young maids were as cold as cucumbers, and much

Of that complexion; bawds were abolished:

And, (to which misery it must come again)

There were no cuckolds.

Well, we had need to pray to keep these devils from us;

The times grow mischievous! − There he goes! Lord!

An Attendant, carrying an image of Cupid,

passes over the stage.

This is a sacrilege I have not heard of:

Would I were gelt, that I might not feel what follows!

Agen. And I too. You shall see within these few years,

A fine confusion i' the country: mark it;

Nay, an we grow for to depose the powers,

And set up Chastity again − well, I have done! −

A fine new goddess certainly, whose blessings

Are hunger and hard beds!

Nisus. This comes of fullness, a sin too frequent with us;

I believe now we shall find shorter commons.

Dor. Would I were married! somewhat has some savour;

The race of gentry will quite run out, now

'Tis only left to husbands: if younger sisters

Take not the greater charity, 'tis lawful.

Agen. Well, let come what will come, I am but one,

And as the plague falls, I will shape myself:

If women will be honest, I'll be sound.

If the god be not too unmerciful,

I'll take a little still, where I can get it,

And thank him, and say nothing.

Nisus. This ill wind yet may blow the city good,

And let them (if they can) get their own children;

They have hung long enough in doubt: but, howsoever,

The old way was the surer; then they had 'em.

Dor. Farewell, my lords, I'll e'en take up what rent

I can before the day; I fear the year

Will fall out ill.

Agen. We'll with you, sir. − And, Love, so favour us,

As we are still thy servants. − Come, my lords;

Let's to the duke, and tell him to what folly

His doting now has brought him.  



A Temple of Cupid.

Enter Priest of Cupid,

with four young men and maidens, and a Boy.

Priest. Come, my children, let your feet

In an even measure meet,

And your cheerful voices rise,

For to present this sacrifice

To great Cupid, in whose name,

I, his Priest, begin the same.

Young men, take your loves and kiss;

Thus our Cupid honoured is.

Kiss again, and in your kissing,

Let no promises be missing!

Nor let any maiden here

Dare to turn away her ear

Unto the whisper of her love;

But give bracelet, ring, or glove,

As a token to her sweeting

Of an after secret meeting.

Now, boy, sing, to stick our hearts

Fuller of great Cupid's darts!

The Boy sings the following:


Lovers, rejoice! your pains shall be rewarded,

The god of love himself grieves at your crying:

No more shall frozen honour be regarded,

Nor the coy faces of a maid denying.

No more shall virgins sigh, and say “We dare not,

For men are false, and what they do they care not:”

All shall be well again; then do not grieve;

Men shall be true, and women shall believe.

Lovers, rejoice! what you shall say henceforth,

When you have caught your sweethearts in your arms,

It shall be accounted oracle, and worth:

No more faint-hearted girls shall dream of harms,

And cry “They are too young”, the god hath said,

Fifteen shall make a mother of a maid:

Then, wise men, pull your roses yet unblown;

Love hates the too ripe fruit that falls alone.

[A measure.]

After the measure, enter Nilo, Gentlemen

and Attendants.

Nilo. No more of this: here break your rites forever;

The duke commands it so. Priest, do not stare;

I must deface your temple, though unwilling,

And your god Cupid here must make a scarecrow,

For anything I know, or, at the best,

Adorn a chimney-piece.

Priest. Oh, sacrilege unheard-of!

Nilo.                                          This will not help it. −

Take down the images, and away with 'em! –

[Attendants take down,

and carry out the images of Cupid.]

Priest, change your coat, you had best; all service now

Is given to men; prayers above their hearing

Will prove but babblings; learn to lie and thrive,

'Twill prove your best profession. For the gods,

He that lives by 'em now must be a beggar:

There's better holiness on earth, they say;

Pray God it ask not greater sacrifice!

Go home;

And if your god be not deaf as well as blind,

He will make some smoke for it.

[Exeunt Priest, young men and maidens, and Boy.]

1st Gent.                                     Sir −

Nilo.                                                 Gentlemen,

There is no talking; this must be done and speedily;

I have commission that I must not break.

2nd Gent. We are gone, to wonder what shall follow.

Nilo. On to the next temple!


[Cornets within. Cupid descends.]

Cupid. Am I then scorned? is my all-doing will

And power, that knows no limit, nor admits none,

Now looked into by less than gods, and weakened?

Am I, whose bow struck terror through the earth

No less than thunder, and in this exceeding

Even gods themselves, who knee before my altars,


Now shook off and contemned by such whose lives

Are but my recreation? Anger, rise!

My sufferance and myself are made the subject

Of sins against us: go thou out, displeasure!

Displeasure of a great god, fling thyself

Through all this kingdom; sow whatever evils

Proud flesh is taking of amongst these rebels:

And on the first heart that despised my greatness,

Lay a strange misery, that all may know

Cupid's Revenge is mighty! with this arrow,

Hotter than plagues or mine own anger, will I

Now nobly right myself: nor shall the prayers,

Nor sweet smokes on my altars, hold my hand,

Till I have left this a most wretched land.



An Apartment in the Palace.

Enter Hidaspes and Cleophila.

Hidas. Cleophila, what was he that went hence?

Cleo. What means your grace now?

Hidas.                               I mean that handsome man,

That something more than man, I met at door.

Cleo. Here was no handsome man.

Hidas.                                        Come, he's someone

You would preserve in private; but you want

Cunning to do it, and my eyes are sharper

Than yours, and can with one neglecting glance

See all the graces of a man. Who was't?

Cleo. That went hence now?

Hidas.                           That went hence now; Ay, he.

Cleo. Faith, here was no such one as your grace thinks;

Zoilus, your brother’s dwarf, went out but now.

Hidas. I think 'twas he: how bravely he passed by!

Is he not grown a goodly gentleman?

Cleo. A goodly gentleman, madam! he is

The most deformèd fellow in the land.

Hidas. Oh, blasphemy! he may perhaps to thee

Appear deformèd, for he is indeed

Unlike a man: his shape and colours are

Beyond the art of painting; he is like

Nothing that we have seen, yet doth resemble

Apollo, as I oft have fancied him,

When rising from his bed he stirs himself,

And shakes day from his hair.

Cleo. He resembles Apollo's recorder.

Hidas. Cleophila, go send a page for him,

And thou shalt see thy error, and repent. 

[Exit Cleophila.]

Alas, what do I feel? my blood rebels,

And I am one of those I used to scorn:

My maiden-thoughts are fled; against myself

I harbor traitors; my virginity,

That from my childhood kept me company,

Is heavier than I can endure to bear.

Forgive me, Cupid! for thou art a god,

And I a wretched creature: I have sinned;

But be thou merciful, and grant that yet

I may enjoy what thou wilt have me love!

Enter Cleophila and Zoilus.

Cleo. Zoilus is here, Madam.

Hidas.                                   He's there indeed.

Now be thine own judge; see, thou worse than mad,

Is he deformèd? look upon those eyes,

That let all pleasure out into the world,

Unhappy that they cannot see themselves;

Look on his hair, that, like so many beams,

Streaking the east, shoot light o'er half the world!

Look on him altogether, who is made

As if two natures had contentión

About their skill, and one had brought forth him!

Zoil. Ha, ha, ha!

Madam, though nature hath not given me

So much as others in my outward show,

I bear a heart as loyal unto you

In this unsightly body (which you please

To make your mirth), as many others do

That are far more befriended in their births:

Yet I could wish myself much more deformed

Than yet I am, so I might make your grace

More merry than you are, − ha, ha, ha!

Hidas.                               Beshrew me, then,

If I be merry! but I am content

Whilst thou art with me; thou that art my saint,

By hope of whose mild favour I do live

To tell thee so. I pray thee, scorn me not!

Alas, what can it add unto thy worth

To triumph over me, that am a maid,

Without deceit, whose heart doth guide her tongue,

Drowned in my passions? yet I will take leave

To call it reason, that I dote on thee.

Cleo. [Aside] The princess is besides her grace, I think,

To talk thus with a fellow that will hardly

Serve i' the dark when one is drunk.

Hidas. What answer wilt thou give me?

Zoil. If it please your grace to jest on, I can abide it.

Hidas. If it be jest, not to esteem my life

Compared with thee; if it be jest in me,

To hang a thousand kisses in an hour

Upon those lips, and take 'em off again;

If it be jest for me to marry thee,

And take obedience on me whilst I live;

Then all I say is jest:

For every part of this, I swear by those

That see my thoughts, I am resolved to do!

And I beseech thee, by thine own white hand,

(Which, pardon me, that I am bold to kiss

With so unworthy lips,) that thou wilt swear

To marry me, as I do here to thee,

Before the face of Heaven!

Zoil.                                  Marry you? Ha, ha, ha!

Hidas. Kill me, or grant! Wilt thou not speak at all?

Zoil. Why, I will do your will forever.

Hidas. I ask no more: but let me kiss that mouth

That is so merciful! − that is my will:

Next go with me before the king in haste, −

That is my will, − where I will make our peers

Know that thou art their better.

Zoil. Ha, ha, ha! that is fine! ha, ha, ha!

Cleo. Madam, what means your grace?

Consider, for the love of Heaven, to what

You run madly! will you take this viper

Into your bed?

Hidas.          Away! hold off thy hands! −

Strike her, sweet Zoilus; for it is my will,

Which thou hast sworn to do.

Zoil.                                        Away, for shame!

Know you no manners? − Ha, ha, ha!

[Exit with Hidaspes.]

Cleo.                            Thou know'st none, I fear. −

This is just Cupid's anger: Venus, look

Down mildly on us! and command thy son

To spare this lady once, and let me be

In love with all, and none in love with me!



Another Apartment in the Palace.

Enter Ismenus and Timantus.

Tim. Is your lordship for the wars this summer?

Ism. Timantus, wilt thou go with me?

Tim. If I had a company, my lord.

Ism. Of fiddlers? thou a company!

No, no; keep thy company at home, and cause cuckolds;

The wars will hurt thy face: there's no seamsters,

Shoemakers, nor tailors, nor almond-milk i' th' morning,

Nor poached eggs to keep your worship soluble,

No man to warm your shirt, and blow your roses;

Nor none to reverénce your round lace breeches.

If thou wilt needs go, and go thus, get a case

For thy captainship; a shower will spoil thee else.

Thus much for thee.

Tim.                        Your lordship's wondrous witty;

Very pleasant, believe't.

Enter Leontius, Telamon, Dorialus, Agenor, Nisus, and Attendants.

Leon.                            No news yet of my son?

Tela. Sir, there be divers out in search; no doubt

They'll bring the truth where he is, or the occasion

That led him hence.

Tim. [Aside]           They [must] have good eyes then.

Leon. The gods go with them! − Who be those that wait there?

Tela. The lord Ismenus, your general, for his dispatch.

Leon. Oh, nephew, we have no use to employ your virtue

In our war; now the province is well settled.

Hear you aught of the marquis?

Ism.                                            No sir.

Leon. 'Tis strange he should be gone thus; these five days

He was not seen.

Tim. [Aside] I'll hold my life, I could bolt him in an hour.

Leon. Where's my daughter?

Dor.                      About the purging of the temples, sir.

Leon. She's chaste and virtuous. Fetch her to me,

And tell her I am pleased to grant her now

Her last request, without repenting me,

[Exit Nisus.]

Be it what it will: − She’s wise, Dorialus,

And will not press me farther than a father.

Dor. I pray the best may follow! Yet, if your grace

Had taken the opinions of your people,

At least of such whose wisdoms ever wake

About your safety, I may say it, sir,

Under your noble pardon, that this change

Either had been more honour to the gods,

Or I think not at all. Sir, the princess.

Enter Hidaspes, Nisus, and Zoilus.

Leon. Oh my daughter,

My health! and did I say my soul, I lied not,

Thou art so near me! speak, and have whatever

Thy wise will leads thee to! Had I a Heaven,

It were too poor a place for such a goodness.

Dor. What's here?

Agen. An ape’s skin stuffed, I think, ‘tis so plump.

Hidas. Sir, you have passed your word; still be a prince,

And hold you to it. Wonder not I press you;

My life lies in your word; if you break that,

You have broke my heart! I must ask that's my shame,

And your will must not deny me; now, for Heaven,

Be not forsworn.

Leon.                 By the gods, I will not,

I cannot, were there no other power

Than my love called to a witness of it.

Dor. [Aside] They have much reason to trust; you have

Forsworn one of 'em out o' th' country already.

Hidas. Then this is my request: this gentleman −

Be not ashamed, sir: you are worth a kingdom.

Leon. In what?

Hidas.          In the way of marriage.

Leon.                                               How?

Hidas. In the way of marriáge; it must be so!

Your oath is tied to Heavèn, as my love

To him.

Leon.   I know thou dost but try my age,

Come, ask again!

Hidas.            If I should ask all my life-time,

This is all still. Sir, I am serious; I must have

This worthy man, without inquiring why,

And suddenly, and freely: do not look

For reason or obedience in my words;

My love admits no wisdom; only haste,

And hope hangs on my fury. Speak, sir, speak!

But not as a father; I am deaf and dull to counsel:

My inflamed blood hears nothing but my will.

For God’s sake, speak!

Dor.                             Here's a brave alteration.

Nisus. This comes of chastity.

Hidas.                                  Will not you speak, sir?

Agen. The god begins his vengeance; what a sweet youth

He has sent us here, with a pudding in's belly!

Leon. Oh, let me never speak,

Or with my words let me speak out my life! −

Thou power, abused, great Love, whose vengeance now

We feel and fear, have mercy on this land!

Nisus. How does your grace?

Leon.                                    Sick; very sick, I hope.

Dor. Gods comfort you!

Hidas. Will not you speak? is this your royal word?

Do not pull perjury upon your soul!

Sir, you are old, and near your punishment;


Leon.      Away, base woman!

Hidas. Then be no more my father, but a plague

I’m bound to pray against! be any sin

May force me to despair, and hang myself!

Be thy name never more remembered, king,

But in example of a broken faith,

And cursed even to forgetfulness! May thy land

Bring forth such monsters as thy daughter is! −

I am weary of my rage. − I pray forgive me,

And let me have him; will you, noble sir?

Leon. Mercy, mercy, Heaven! −

Thou heir of all dishonour, sham’st thou not

To draw this little moisture left for life,

Thus rudely from me? − Carry that slave to death!

Zoil. For Heaven’s sake, sir, it is no fault of mine

That she will love me.

Leon.                         To death with him, I say!

Hidas. Then make haste, tyrant, or I'll be before him!

This is the way to hell.

Leon.                          Hold fast, I charge you!

Away with him!

[Exit Zoilus, guarded.]

Hidas. Alas, old man! death hath more doors than one,

And I will meet him!

[Exit Hidaspes.]

Leon. Dorialus, pray see her in her chamber,

And lay a guard about her.

[Exit Dorialus.]

The greatest curse the gods lay on our frailties

Is will and disobedience in our issues,

Which we beget, as well as them, to plague us,

With our fond loves.  Beasts, you are only blest,

That have that happy dulness to forget

What you have made! your young ones grieve not you;

They wander where they list, and have their ways

Without dishonor to you; and their ends

Fall on 'em without sorrow of their parents,

Or after ill remembrance. Oh, this woman!

Would I had made myself a sepulcher,

When I made her! − Nephew, where is the prince? −

Pray God he have not more part of her baseness

Than of her blood about him! − Gentlemen,

Where is he?

Ism.  I know not, sir: h’as his ways by himself,

Is too wise for my company.

Leon. I do not like this hiding of himself

From such society as [fits] his person:

Some of ye needs must know.

Ism.                                       I am sure not I,

Nor have known twice these ten days; which, if I were

As proud as some of 'em, I should take scurvily:

But he is a young man, let him have his swinge;

'Twill make him −

[Timantus whispers to the Duke.]

[Aside]             There's some good matter now in hand:

How the slave jeers and grins! the duke is pleased;

There's a new pair of scarlet hose now, and as much

Money to spare as will fetch the old from pawn,

A hat and a cloak to go out tomorrow;

Garters and stockings come by nature.

Leon. Be sure of this!

Tim.                          I durst not speak else, sir.




The Temple of Cupid.

Cornets within. Cupid descends.

Cupid. Leucippus, thou art shot through with a shaft

That will not rankle long, yet sharp enough

To sow a world of helpless misery

In this unhappy kingdom! Dost thou think,

Because thou art a prince, to make a part

Against my power? But it is all the fault

Of thy old father, who believes his age

Is cold enough to quench my burning darts;

But he shall know ere long, that my smart loose

Can thaw ice, and inflame the withered heart

Of Nestor: thou thyself art lightly struck;

But his mad love shall publish that the rage

Of Cupid has the power to conquer age.  



The House of Bacha.

Enter Leucippus and Bacha,

Bacha with a handkerchief.

Leuc. Why, what's the matter?

Bacha.                                   Have you got the spoil

You thirsted for? Oh tyranny of men!

Leuc. I pray thee, leave.

Bacha.                         Your envy is, Heaven knows,

Beyond the reach of all our feeble sex:

What pain, alas, could it have been to you,

If I had kept mine honor? you might still

Have been a prince, and still this country’s heir:

That innocent guard which I till now had kept

For my defense, my virtue, did it seem

So dangerous in a state, that you yourself

Came to suppress it?

Leuc.                       Dry thine eyes again;

I'll kiss thy tears away; this is but folly;

'Tis past all help.

Bacha.                Now you have won the treasure,

'Tis my request that you would leave me thus,

And never see these empty walls again:

I know you will do so; and well you may,

For there is nothing in ‘em that is worth

A glance. I loathe myself, and am become

Another woman; one, methinks, with whom

I want acquaintance.

Leuc.                       If I do offend thee,

I can be gone; and though I love thy sight,

So highly do I prize thine own content,

That I will leave thee.

Bacha.                      Nay, you may stay now;

You should have gone before: I know not now

Why I should fear you: all I should have kept

Is stol'n: nor is it in the power of man

To rob me farther; if you can invent,

Spare not: no naked man fears robbing less

Than I do: now you may forever stay.

Leuc. Why, I could do thee further wrong.

Bacha. You have a deeper reach in evil than I;

'Tis past my thought.

Leuc.                          And past my will to act;

But trust me, I could do it.

Bacha.                             Good sir, do;

That I may know there is a wrong beyond

What you have done me.

Leuc.                              I could tell the world

What thou hast done.

Bacha.                      Yes, you may tell the world;

And do you think I am so vain to hope

You will not? you can tell the world but this,

That I am a widow, full of tears in show,

(My husband dead, and one that loved me so,

Hardly a week) forgot my modesty,

And, caught with youth and greatness, gave myself

To live in sin with you: this you may tell;

And this I do deserve.

Leuc.                         Why, dost thou think me

So base to tell? These limbs of mine shall part

From one another on a rack,

Ere I disclose. But thou dost utter words

That much afflict me; you did seem as ready,

Sweet Bacha, as myself.

Bacha.                        You are right a man;

When they have witched us into misery,

Poor innocent souls, they lay the fault on us.

But be it so! for prince Leucippus’ sake,

I will bear anything.

Leuc.                       Come, weep no more;

I wrought thee to it; it was my fault:

Nay, see if thou wilt leave! Here, take this pearl: −

Kiss me, sweet Bacha, − and receive this purse.

[Gives pearl and purse.]

Bacha. What should I do with these? they will not deck

My mind.

Leuc.    Why, keep 'em to remember me.

I must be gone; I have been absent long:

I know the duke my father is in rage:

But I will see thee suddenly again.

Farewell, my Bacha!

Bacha.                  Gods keep you! − Do you hear, sir?

Pray, give me a point to wear.

Leuc.                                   Alas, good Bacha!

Take one, I pray thee, where thou wilt.

Bacha. [Taking a point from his dress.] Coming

From you, this point is of as high esteem

With me, as all pearl and gold. Nothing but good

Be ever with or near you!

Leuc.                              Fare thee well,

Mine own good Bacha! I will make all haste. 


Bacha. Just as you are a dozen I esteem you;

No more: does he think I would prostitute

Myself for love? it was the love of these

Pearls and gold that won me. I confess

I lust more after him than any other,

And would at any rate, if I had store,

Purchase his fellowship; but being poor,

I'll both enjoy his body and his purse,

And, he a prince, ne’er think myself the worse.

Enter Leontius,

with Leucippus, Ismenus, and Timantus.

Leon. Nay, you must back and show us what it is

That witches you out of your honour thus.

Bacha. Who's that?

Tim.                      Look there, sir!

Leon.                                           Lady, never fly;

You are betrayed.

Bacha.                Leave me, my tears, a while,

And to my just rage give a little place! −

What saucy man are you, that without leave

Enter upon a widow’s mournful house?

You hinder a dead man from many tears,

Who did deserve more than the world can shed,

Though they should weep themselves to images.

If not for love of me, yet of yourself,

Away! for you can bring no comfort to me.

But you may carry hence you know not what:

Nay, sorrow is infectious.

Leon.                             Thou thyself

Art grown infectious! Wouldst thou know my name?

I am the duke, father to this young man

Whom thou corrupt'st.

Bacha. [Aside]          Has he, then, told him all?

Leuc. You do her wrong, sir.

Bacha. [Aside]                     O he has not told. –

Sir, I beseech you pardon my wild tongue,

Directed by a weak distempered head,

Madded with grief! Alas, I did not know

You were my sovereign! but now you may

Command my poor unworthy life, which will

Be none, I hope, ere long.

Leon.                               All thy dissembling

Will never hide thy shame: and were't not more

Respecting womanhood in general

Than anything in thee, thou shouldst be made

Such an example, that posterity,

When they would speak most bitterly, should say,

“Thou art as impudent as Bacha was.”

Bacha. Sir, though you be my king, whom I will serve

In all just causes, yet when wrongfully

You seek to take my honour, I will rise


Thus, and defy you; for it is a jewel

Dearer than you can give, which whilst I keep,

(Though in this lowly house) I shall esteem

Myself above the princes of the earth

That are without it. If the prince your son,

Whom you accuse me with, know how to speak

Dishonour of me, if he do not do it,

The plagues of hell light on him! may he never

Govern this kingdom! Here I challenge him,

Before the face of Heaven, my liege, and these,

To speak the worst he can: if he will lie,

To lose a woman’s fame, I'll say he is

Like you − I think I cannot call him worse.

He's dead, that with his life would have defended

My reputation, and I forced to play

(That which I am [indeed]) the foolish woman,

And use my liberal tongue.

Leuc. [Aside]                     Is't possible?

We men are children in our carriages,

Compared with women. Wake thyself, for shame,

And leave not her (whose honor thou shoudst keep

Safe as thine own) alone to free herself!

But I am pressed, I know not how, with guilt,

And feel my conscience (never used to lie)

Loathe to allow my tongue to add a lie

To that too much I did: but it is lawful

To defend her, that only for my love

Loved evil.

Leon.      Tell me, why did you, Leucippus,

Stay here so long?

Leuc. [Aside] If I can urge aught from me but a truth,

Hell take me!

Leon.          What's the matter? why speak you not?

Tim. Alas, good sir, forbear to urge the prince!

You see his shamefacedness.

Bacha. What does he say, sir? − if thou be a prince,

Show it, and tell the truth!

Ism. If you have lain with her, tell your father;

No doubt but he has done as ill before now:

The gentlewoman will be proud on't.

Bacha. For God's sake, speak!

Leuc.                                Have you done prating yet?

Ism. Who prates?

Leuc. Thou know'st I do not speak to thee, Ismenus: −

But what said you, Timantus, concerning my shamefacedness?

Tim. Nothing, I hope, that might displease your highness.

Leuc. If any of thy great-great-grandmothers,

This thousand years, had been as chaste as she,

It would have made thee honester: I stayed

To hear what you would say. She is, by Heaven,

Of the most strict and blameless chastity

That ever woman was: −

                            [Aside] good gods, forgive me! −

Had Tarquin met with her, she had been killed

With a slave by her ere she had agreed.

I lie with her! would I might perish then!

Our mothers, whom we all must reverence,

Could ne’er exceed her for her chastity,

Upon my soul! for, by this light, she is

A most obstinate modest creature!

Leon. What did you with her, then, so long, Leucippus?

Leuc. I'll tell you, sir: you see she's beautiful.

Leon. I see it well.

Leuc.                  Moved by her face, I came

With lustful thoughts, (which was a fault in me,

But, telling truth, something more pardonable,

And for the world I will not lie to you)

Proud of myself, I thought a prince’s name

Had power to blow 'em down flat of their backs,

But here I found a rock not to be shook;

For, as I hope for good, sir, all the battery

That I could lay to her, or of my person,

My greatness, or gold, could nothing move her.

Leon. 'Tis very strange, being so young and fair.

Leuc. She's almost thirty, sir.

Leon.                                     How do you know

Her age so just?

Leuc.               She told it me herself,

Once when she went about to show by reason

I should leave wooing her.

Leon. She stains the ripest virgins of her age.

Leuc. If I had sinned with her, I would be loathe

To publish her disgrace: but, by my life,

I would have told it you, because I think

You would have pardoned me the rather, sir:

And I will tell you farther: by this light,

(But that I never will bestow myself

But to your liking) if she now would have me,

I now would marry her.

Leon.                           How's that, Leucippus?

Leuc. Sir, will you pardon me one fault, which yet

I have not done, but had a will to do,

And I will tell it?

Leon.                Be it what it will,

I pardon thee.

Leuc.            I offered marriage to her.

Leon. Did she refuse it?

Leuc.                          With that earnestness,

And almost scorn to think of any other

After her lost mate, that she made me think

Myself unworthy of her.

Leon.                             You have stayed

Too long, Leucippus.

Leuc.                       Yes, sir. –

                                   [Aside] Forgive me, Heaven!

What multitude of oaths have I bestowed

On lies! and yet they were officious lies,

There was no malice in 'em.

Leon. [Aside]                     She is the fairest

Creature that ever I beheld; and then

So chaste, 'tis wonderful: the more I look on her,

The more I am amazèd. I have long

Thought of a wife, and one I would have had,

But that I was afraid to meet a woman

That might abuse my age: but here she is

Whom I may trust to: of a chastity

Impregnable, and approved so by my son;

The meanness of her birth will still preserve her

In due obedience; and her beauty is

Of force enough to pull me back to youth.

My son once sent away, whose rivalship

I have just cause to fear, if power, or gold,

Or wit, can win her to me, she is mine. −

Nephew Ismenus, I have new intelligence,

Your province is unquiet still.

Ism.                                       I’m glad on't.

Leon. And so dangerously, that I must send

The prince in person with you.

Ism.                       I’m glad of that too:

Sir, will you dispatch us? We shall wither here


Leon.   You shall be dispatched within

This hour. − Leucippus, never wonder, nor ask;

It must be thus. – Lady, I ask your pardon,

Whose virtue I have slubbered with my tongue;

And you shall ever be

Chaste in my memory hereafter; but

We old men often dote. To make amends

For my great fault, receive that ring:

[Gives ring.]

I'm sorry for your grief; may it soon leave you! –

Come, my lords; let’s be gone.

Bacha.                           Heaven bless your grace! –

[Exeunt all but Bacha.]

One that had but so much modesty left as to blush,

Or shrink a little at his first encounter,

Had been undone! where I come off with honour,

And gain too: they that never would be tracked

In any course by the most subtle sense,

Must bear it through with frontless impudence. 



Before the Palace.

Enter Dorialus, Agenor, and Nisus.

Dor. Gentlemen, this is a strange piece of justice, to put

the wretched dwarf to death because she doted on him:

is she not a woman, and subject to those mad figaries

her whole sex is infected with? Had she loved you, or

you, or I, or all on's (as indeed the more the merrier still

with them) must we therefore have our heads pared

with a hatchet? So she may love all the nobility out o'

the dukedom in a month, and let the rascals in.

Nisus. You will not, or you do not, see the need

That makes this just to the world.

Dor. I cannot tell; I would be loathe to feel it:

But, the best is, she loves not proper men;

We three were in wise cases else. But make me know

This need.

Nisus.    Why yes: he being ta’en away,

This base incontinence dies presently,

And she must see her shame, and sorrow for it.

Dor. Pray God she do! but was the sprat beheaded? or

did they swing him about like a chicken, and so break

his neck?

Agen. Yes, he was beheaded, and a solemn justice made

of it.

Dor. That might have been deducted.

Agen. Why, how would you have had him die?

Dor. Faith, I would have had him roasted like a warden,

in a brown paper, and no more talk on't: or a feather

stuck in's head like a quail: or hanged him in a dog-

collar. What, should he be beheaded? we shall have it

grow so base shortly, gentlemen will be out of love

with it.

Nisus. I wonder from whence this race of the dwarf's

first sprung?

Dor. From an old lecherous pair of breeches, that lay

upon a wench to keep her warm; for certainly they are

no man's work: and I am sure a monkey would get one

of the guard to this fellow; he was no bigger than a

small portmanteau, and much about that making, if 't

had legs.

Agen. But, gentlemen, what say you to the prince?

Nisus. Ay, concerning his being sent I know not


Dor. Why, then, he will come home I know not when.

You shall pardon me; I'll talk no more of this subject,

but say, gods be with him, where’er he is, and send him

well home again! for why he is gone, or when he will

return, let them know that directed him: only this,

there's mad moriscoes in the state; but what they are,

I'll tell you when I know.

Come, let's go, hear all, and say nothing!

Agen.                                                  Content. 



Ante-chamber in the Palace.

Enter Timantus and Telamon.

Tela. Timantus, is the duke ready yet?

Tim. Almost.

Tela. What ails him?

Tim. Faith, I know not; I think he has dreamed he's but

eighteen: has been worse since he sent you forth for the

frizzling iron.

Tela. That cannot be; he lay in gloves all night, and this

morning I brought him a new periwig with a lock at it,

and knocked up a swing in's chamber.

Tim. O, but since, his tailor came, and they have fallen

out about the fashion on's clothes; and yonder’s a

fellow come has bored a hole in's ear; and he has

bespoke a vaulting-horse. You shall see him come forth

presently: he looks like Winter, stuck here and there

with fresh flowers.

Tela. Will he not tilt, think you?

Tim. I think he will.

Tela. What does he mean to do?

Tim. I know not; but, by this light, I think he is in love!

he would ha' bin shaved but for me.

Tela. In love? with whom?

Tim. I could guess, but you shall pardon me: he will

take me along with him somewhither.

Tela. I overheard him ask your opinion of somebody’s


Tim. Yes; there it goes that makes him so youthful: and

he has laid by his crutch, and halts now with a leading-


Enter Leontine with a staff and a looking glass.

Leon. Timantus!

Tim. Sir?

Leon. This feather is not large enough.

Tim. Yes, faith, 'tis such a one as the rest of the young

gallants wear.

Leon. Telamon, does it do well?

Tela. Sir, it becomes you, or you become it, the rareliest

Leon. Away! dost think so?

Tela. Think, sir! I know it. − Sir, the princess is past all

hope of life since the dwarf was put to death.

Leon. Let her be so; I have other matters in hand. But

this same tailor angers me; he has made my doublet so

wide! And, see, the knave has put no points at my arm!

Tim. Those will be put-to quickly, sir, upon any


Leon. Telamon, have you bid this dancer come a-


Tela. Yes, sir.

Leon. Timantus, let me see the glass again. Look you

how careless you are grown! is this tooth well put in?

Tim. Which, sir?

Leon. This, sir.

Tim. It shall be.

Tela. [Aside] Methinks that tooth should put him in

mind on's years; and Timantus stands as if (seeing the

duke in such a youthful habit) he were looking in's

mouth how old he were.

Leon. So, so.

Tela. Will you have your gown, sir?

Leon. My gown? why, am I sick? bring me my sword!

[Exit Telamon.]

Timantus, let a couple of the great horses be brought

out for us.

Tim. [Aside] He'll kill himself. − Why, will you ride,


Leon. Ride? Dost thou think I cannot ride?

Tim. Oh, yes, sir, I know it: but as I conceive your

journey, you would have it private; and then, you were

better take a coach.

Leon. These coaches make me sick; yet 'tis no matter;

let it be so.

Enter Telamon with a sword.

Tela. Sir, here's your sword.

Leon. Oh, well said! let me see it, I could, methinks –

[Endeavors to draw it.]

Why, Telamon, bring me another: what, think’st thou I

will wear a sword in vain?

Tela. [Aside] He has not strength enough to draw it. A

yoke of fleas tied to a hair would have drawn it. [Draws

the sword.] − 'Tis out, sir, now; the scabbard is broke.

Leon. Oh, put it up again, and on with it! methinks, I

am not dressed till I feel my sword on.

[Telamon sheathes it, and then puts it on Leontius.]

Telamon, if any of my council ask for me, say I am

gone to take the air.


Tim. He has not been dressed this twenty years then. 

If this vain hold but a week, he will learn to play o' the

base-viol, and sing to't. He's poetical already; for I have

spied a sonnet on's making lie by's bed’s side: I'll be so

unmannerly to read it.  



The Apartment of Hidaspes.

Hidaspes discovered on a bed,

Cleophila and Hero attending.

Hidas. He's dead, he's dead, and I am following!

Cleo. Ask Cupid mercy, madam.

Hidas. Oh, my heart!

Cleo. Help!

Hero. Stir her!

Hidas. Oh, oh!

Cleo. She's going; wretched women that we are!

Look to her, and I'll pray the while.

[She kneels.]

Hero.                                             Why, Madam −   

Cleo. Cupid, pardon what is past,

And forgive our sins at last!

Then we will be coy no more,

But thy deity adore:

Troths at fifteen we will plight,

And will tread a dance each night.

In the fields or by the fire,

With the youths that have desire. −

How does she yet?

Hero. Oh, ill.

Cleo. Given ear-rings we will wear,

Bracelets of our lovers’ hair,

Which they on our arms shall twist,

With their names carved, on our wrist;

All the money that we owe,

We in tokens will bestow;

And learn to write that, when 'tis sent,

Only our loves know what it meant.

Oh, then, pardon what is past,

And forgive our sins at last! –

What, mends she?

Hero. Nothing; you do it not wantonly; you should sing.

Cleo. Why −

Hero. Leave, leave! 'tis now too late: she is dead:

Her last is breathed.

Cleo.                     What shall we do?

Hero.                                                Go, run,

And tell the duke; and, whilst I'll close her eyes.

[Exit Cleophila.]

Thus I shut thy faded light,

And put it in eternal night.

Where is she can boldly say,

Though she be as fresh as May,

She shall not by this corpse be laid,

Ere tomorrow’s light do fade?

Let us all now living be

Warned by thy strict chastity,

And marry all fast as we can;

Till then we keep a piece of man

Wrongfully from them that owe it:

Soon may every maid bestow it!

[Scene closes.]


A Room in the house of Bacha.

Enter Bacha and her Maid.

Bacha. Who is it?

Maid. Forsooth, there's a gallant coach at the door, and

the brave old man in't, that you said was the duke.

Bacha. Cupid, grant he may be taken! – Away!

Maid. He is coming up, and looks the swaggeringest,

and has such glorious clothes!

Bacha. Let all the house seem sad, and see all handsome!

[Exit Maid.]

Enter Leontius and Timantus.

Leon. Nay, widow, fly not back; we come not now

[Bacha kneels.]

To chide; stand up, and bid me welcome.

Bacha. [Rising.]

To a poor widow’s house, that knows no end

Of her ill fortune, your highness is most welcome.

Leon. Come, kiss me, then! this is but manners, widow:

[Kissing her.]

Ne’er fling your head aside; I have more cause

Of grief than you; my daughter’s dead; but what!

'Tis nothing. − Is the rough French horse brought to the door?

They say he is a high-goer; I shall soon try his mettle.

Tim. He will be, sir, and the gray Barbary;

They are fiery both.

Leon.                    They are the better:

Before the gods, I am lightsome, very lightsome! −

How dost thou like me, widow?

Bacha.                                    As a person

In whom all graces are.

Leon.                            Come, come, ye flatter:

I'll clap your cheek for that; and you shall not

Be angry. Hast no music? Now could I cut

Three times with ease, and do a cross-point should

Shame all your gallants!

Bacha. I do believe you; − [Aside] and yourself too:

Lord, what a fine old zany my love has made him!

He’s mine, I’m sure: Heaven make me thankful for him!

Leon. Tell me how old thou art, my pretty sweetheart?

Tim. Your grace will not buy her! she may trip, sir!

Bacha. My sorrow shews me elder than I am

By many years.

Leon.             Thou art so witty I must kiss again.

[Kissing her.]

Tim. Indeed, her age lies not in her mouth;

Ne’er look it there, sir: she has a better register,

If it be not burnt.

Leon. I will kiss thee. [kissing her.] − I am a-fire, Timantus!

Tim. Can you choose, sir, having such heavenly fire

Before you?

Leon.       Widow, guess why I come; I prithee, do.

Bacha. I cannot, sir, unless you be pleased to make

A mirth out of my rudeness;

And that I hope your pity will not let you,

The subject is so barren. –

                             [Aside] Bite, king, bite!

I'll let you play a while.

Leon. Now, as I am an honest man, I'll tell thee truly, −

How many foot did I jump yesterday, Timantus?

Tim. Fourteen of your own, and some three fingers.

Bacha. [Aside] This fellow lies as lightly as if he

Were in cut taffeta;

Alas, good almanac, get thee to bed,

And tell what weather we shall have tomorrow!

Leon. Widow, I come, in short, to be a suitor.

Bacha. For whom?

Leon. Why, by my troth, I come to woo thee, wench,

And win thee, for myself: nay, look upon me;

I have about me that will do it.

Bacha.                                Now Heaven defend me!

Your whore you shall never. I thank the gods, I have

A little left me to keep me warm and honest:

If your grace take not that, I seek no more.

Leon. I am so far from taking anything,

I'll add unto thee.

Bacha.               Such additions may

Be for your ease, sir, not my honesty:

I am well in being single; good sir, seek another;

I am no meat for money.

Leon.                            Shall I fight for thee?

This sword shall cut his throat that dares lay claim

But to a finger of thee, but to a look;

I would see such a fellow!

Bacha. [Aside] It would be but a cold sight to you!

This is the father of St. George a foot-back;

Can such dry mummy talk?

Tim. Before the gods, your grace looks like Æneas.

Bacha. [Aside] He looks like his old father upon his back,

Crying to get aboard.

Leon. How shall I win thy love? I pray thee, tell me.

I'll marry thee, if thou desirest that:

That is an honest course, − I’m in good earnest, −

and presently, within this hour, − I’m mad for thee: −

Prithee, deny me not; for, as I live

I'll pine for thee, but I will have thee!

Bacha. [Aside] Now he is in the toil, I'll hold him fast.

Tim. You do not know what 'tis to be a queen:

Go to; you’re mad else. What the old man falls short of,

There's others can eke out, when you please to call on 'em.

Bacha. I understand you not. – Love, I adore thee! −

Sir, on my knees I give you hearty thanks


For so much honoring your humble handmaid

Above her birth, far more her weak deservings.

I dare not trust the envious tongues of all

That must repine at my unworthy rising;

Beside, you have many fair ones in your kingdom

Born to such worth: oh, turn yourself about,

And make a noble choice!

Leon. [Raising her.]

If I do, let me famish! I will have thee,

Or break up house, and board here.

Bacha.                                           Sir, you may

Command an unwilling woman to obey ye:

But Heaven knows −

Leon.                      No more:

These half-a-dozen kisses, and this jewel,

[Kissing her, and giving jewel.]

And everything I have, and sway with me,

And clap it up; and have a boy by morning! –

Timantus, let one be sent

Post for my son again, and for Ismenus;

They are scarce twenty miles on their way yet:

By that time we'll be married.

Tim.                                       There shall, sir. 




Before the Palace.

Enter Dorialus, Agenor, and Nisus.

Nisus. Is not this a fine marriage?

Agen. Yes, yes; let it alone.

Dor.  Ay, ay, the king may marry whom 's list. Let's

talk of other matters.

Nisus. Is the prince coming home certainly?

Dor. Yes, yes; he was sent post for yesterday: let’s

make haste; we'll see how his new mother-in-law will

entertain him.

Nisus. Why, well, I warrant you: did you not mark how

humbly she carried herself to us on her marriage-day,

acknowledging her own unworthiness, and that she

would be our servant?

Dor. But mark what's done.

Nisus. Regard not show.

Agen. Oh, God! I knew her when I have been offered

her to be brought to my bed for five pounds; whether it

could have been performed or no, I know not.

Nisus. Her daughter’s a pretty lady.

Dor. Yes: and having had but mean bringing-up, it talks

the prettiliest and innocentliest! the queen will be so

angry to hear her betray her breeding by her language!

but I am persuaded she's well disposed.

Agen. I think, better than her mother.

Nisus. Come, we stay too long.



An Apartment in the Palace.

Enter Leucippus and Ismenus.

Ism. How now, man! struck dead with a tale?

Leuc. No, but with a truth.

Ism. Stand of yourself: can you endure blows, and

shrink at words?

Leuc. Thou knowest I have told thee all.

Ism. But that all's nothing to make you thus: your

sister’s dead.

Leuc. That's much; but not the most.

Ism. Why, for the other, let her marry and hang! 'tis no

purposed fault of yours: and if your father will needs

have your cast whore, you shall shew the duty of a child

better in being contented, and bidding much good do

his good old heart with her, than in repining thus at it;

let her go: what! there are more wenches, man; we'll

have another.

Leuc. Oh, thou art vain! thou know’st I do not love her.

What shall I do? I would my tongue had led me

To any other thing, but blasphemy,

So I had missed commending of this woman,

Whom I must reverence, now she is my mother!

My sin, Ismenus, has wrought all this ill:

And I beseech thee to be warned by me,

And do not lie! if any man should ask thee

But how thou dost, or what o’clock 'tis now,

Be sure thou do not lie; make no excuse

For him that is most near thee; never let

The most officious falsehood scape thy tongue;

For they above (that are entirely truth)

Will make that seed which thou hast sown of lies

Yield miseries a-thousand fold

Upon thine head, as they have done on mine.

Enter Timantus.

Tim. Sir, your highness is welcome home: the king and

queen will presently come forth to you.

Leuc. I'll wait on them.

Tim. Worthy Ismenus, I pray you, have you sped in

your wars?

Ism. This rogue mocks me. − Well, Timantus. Pray,

how have you sped here at home at shovelboard?

Tim. Faith, reasonable. How many towns have you

taken in this summer?

Ism. How many stags have you been at the death of 

this grass?

Tim. A number. Pray, how is the province settled?

Ism. Prithee, how does the dun nag?

Tim. I think you mock me, my lord.

Ism. Mock thee? Yes, by my troth, do I: why what

wouldst thou have me do with thee? Art good for

anything else?

Enter Leontius, Bacha, Dorialus, Agenor, Nisus,

and Telamon.

Leuc. My good Ismenus, hold me by the wrist:

And if thou see'st me fainting, wring me hard,

For I shall swoon again else.−  


Leon. Welcome my son! rise. I did send for thee

Back from the province, by thy mother's counsel,

[Leucippus rises.]

Thy good mother here, who loves thee well;

She would not let me venture all my joy

Amongst my enemies. I thank thee for her,

And none but thee; I took her on thy word.

Leuc. [Aside to Ismenus.] Pinch harder.

Leon. And she shall bid thee welcome: I have now

Some near affairs, but I will drink a health

To thee anon. – Come, Telamon. − I’m grown

Lustier, I thank thee for't, since I married. −

Why, Telamon, I can stand now alone,

And never stagger.

Bacha. Welcome, most noble sir, whose fame is come

Hither before you: −

[Exit Leontius and Telamon.]

                             Out, alas! you scorn me,

And teach me what to do.

Leuc.                             No; you are

My mother.

Bacha.      Far unworthy of that name,

God knows: but, trust me, here before these lords,

I am no more but nurse unto the duke;

Nor will I breed a faction in the state;

It is too much for me that I am raised

Unto his bed, and will remain the servant

Of you that did it.

Leuc.                  Madam, I will serve you

As shall become me. –

                        [Aside] Oh, dissembling woman!

Whom I must reverence though. Take from thy quiver,

Sure-aimed Apollo, one of thy swift darts,

Headed with thy consuming golden beams,

And let it melt this body into mist,

That none may find it!

Bacha.                       Shall I beg, my lords,

This room in private for the prince and me?

[Exeunt all except Leucippus and Bacha.]

Leuc. [Aside]

What will she say now?

Bacha. [Aside]            I must still enjoy him:                                  

Yet there is still left in me a spark of woman,

That wishes he would move it; but he stands

As if he grew there, with his eyes on earth. −

Sir, you and I, when we were last together

Kept not this distance, as we were afraid

Of blasting by ourselves.

Leuc.                             Madam 'tis true;

Heaven pardon it!

Bacha.              Amen sir. You may think

That I have done you wrong in this strange marriage.

Leuc. 'Tis past now.

Bacha.                  But it was no fault of mine:

The world had called me mad, had I refused

The king: nor laid I any train to catch him,

It was your own oaths did it.

Leuc.                                   'Tis a truth,

That takes my sleep away: but would to Heaven,

If it had so been pleased, you had refused him,

Though I had gratified that courtesy

With having you myself! But since 'tis thus,

I do beseech you that you will be honest

From henceforth; and not abuse his credulous age,

Which you may easily do. As for myself,

What I can say, you know, alas, too well

Is tied within me! here it will sit like lead,

But shall offend no other; it will pluck me

Back from my entrance into any mirth,

As if a servant came, and whispered with me

Of some friend's death. But I will bear myself

To you with all the due obedience

A son owes to a mother: more than this

Is not in me; but I must leave the rest

To the just gods, who in their blessèd time,

When they have given me punishment enough,

For my rash sin, will mercifully find

As unexpected means to ease my grief

As they did now to bring it.

Bacha. [Aside]                    Grown so godly?

This must not be. − and I will be to you

No other than a natural mother ought;

And for my honesty, so you will swear

Never to urge me, I shall keep it safe

From any other.

Leuc.              Bless me! I should urge you!

Bacha. Nay, but swear, then, that I may be at peace;

For I do feel a weakness in myself,

That can deny you nothing: if you tempt me,

I shall embrace sin, as it were a friend,

And run to meet it.

Leuc.                    If you knew how far

It were from me, you would not urge an oath;

But for your satisfaction, when I tempt you −

Bacha. Swear not –

                  [Aside] I cannot move him. − This sad talk

Of things past help does not become us well:

Shall I send one for my musicians, and we'll dance?

Leuc. Dance, Madam!

Bacha.                    Yes, a lavolta.

Leuc.                                    I cannot dance, Madam.

Bacha. Then let’s be merry.

Leuc.                             I am as my fortunes bid me;

Do not you see me sour?

Bacha.                       Yes.

And why think you I smile?

Leuc.                                  I am so far

From any joy myself, I cannot fancy

A cause of mirth.

Bacha.               I'll tell you: we are alone.

Leuc. Alone?

Bacha.      Yes.

Leuc.              'Tis true: what then?

Bacha.                                          What then!

You make my smiling now break into laughter:

What think you is to be done then?

Leuc.                                            We should pray

To Heaven for mercy.

Bacha.                       Pray! that were a way indeed

To pass the time! but I will make you blush,

To see a bashful woman teach a man

What we should do alone: try again

If you can find it out.

Leuc.                         I dare not think

I understand you.

Bacha.               I must teach you, then;

Come, kiss me.

Leuc.              Kiss you!

Bacha.                        Yes: be not ashamed

You did it not yourself; I will forgive you.

Leuc. Keep, you displeasèd gods, the due respect

I ought to bear unto this wicked woman,

As she is now my mother, fast within me,

Lest I add sins to sins, till no repentance

Will cure me.

Bacha.           Leave these melancholy moods,

That I may swear thee welcome on thy lips

A thousand times.

Leuc.                  Pray, leave this wicked talk:

You do not know to what my father’s wrong

May urge me.

Bacha.         I'm careless, and do weigh

The world, my life, and all my after hopes

Nothing without thy love; mistake me not;

Thy love, as I have had it, free and open

As wedlock is, within itself. What say you?

Leuc. Nothing.

Bacha. [Kneels.] Pity me! behold a duchess

Kneels for thy mercy; and I swear to you,

Though I should lie with you, it is no lust,

For it desires no change; I could with you

Content myself. What answer will you give?

Leuc. They that can answer must be less amazed

Than I am now: you see my tears deliver

My meaning to you.

Bacha.                  Shall I be contemned?

Thou art a beast, worse than a savage beast,

To let a lady kneel, to beg that thing

Which a right man would offer.

Leuc.                                        'Tis your will,

Heaven! but let me bear me like myself,

However she does.

Bacha. [Rising.]  Were you made an eunuch

Since you went hence? yet they have more desire

Than I can find in you. How fond was I

To beg thy love! I'll force thee to my will:

Dost thou not know that I can make the king

Dote as my list? Yield quickly, or, by Heaven,

I'll have thee kept in prison for my purpose!

Where I will make thee serve my turn, and have thee

Fed with such meats as best shall fit my ends,

And not thy health, − why dost not speak to me? −

And when thou dost displease me, and art grown

Less able to perform, then I will have thee

Killed and forgotten: are you stricken dumb?

Leuc. All you have named, but making of me sin

With you, you may command, but never that:

Say what you will, I'll hear you as becomes me;

If you speak [wickedly], I will not follow

Your counsel, neither will I tell the world

To your disgrace, but give you the just honor

That is due from me to my father's wife.

Bacha. Lord, how full of wise formality

You’re grown of late! but you were telling me

You could have wished that I had married you:

If you will swear so yet, I'll make away

The king.

Leuc.    You are a strumpet!

Bacha.                                Nay, I care not

For all your railings: they will batter walls

And take in towns, as soon as trouble me:

Tell him, I care not; I shall undo you only,

Which is no matter.

Leuc.                     I appeal to you

Still, and forever, that are and cannot

Be other! − Madam, I see 'tis in your power

To work your will on him: and I desire you

To lay what trains you will for my wished death,

But suffer him to find his quiet grave

In peace; alas he never did you wrong!

And farther, I beseech you pardon me

For the ill word I gave you; for however

You may deserve, it became not me

To call you so; but passion urges me

I know not whither. − My heart, break now,

And ease me ever!

Bacha.                Pray you, get you hence

With your godly humor! I am weary of you


Leuc.      Trust me, so am I of myself too.

Madam, I'll take my leave.  Gods set all right!

[Exit Leucippus.]

Bacha. Amen, sir. Get you gone!

Am I denied? it does not trouble me

That I have moved, but that I am refused:

I have lost my patience. I will make him know

Lust is not love; for lust will find a mate

While there are men; and so will I, and more

Than one or twenty.

Enter Timantus.

                 [Aside] Yonder is Timantus,

A fellow void of any worth to raise himself,

And therefore like to catch at any evil

That will but pluck him up: him will I make

Mine own: − Timantus!

Tim.                             Madam?

Bacha.                                     Thou know'st well

Thou wert by chance a means of this my raising, −

Brought the duke to me; and though 'twere but chance

I must reward thee.

Tim.                      I shall bend my service

Unto your highness.

Bacha. But do it, then, entirely and in everything;

And tell me, couldst thou now think that thing thou

Wouldst not do for me?

Tim. No, by my soul, madam.

Bacha.                                  Then thou art right.

Go to my lodging, and I'll follow thee,

With my instruction.

[Exit Timantus.]

                                I do see already

This prince, that did but now contemn me, dead:

Yet will I never speak an evil word

Unto his father of him, till I have

Won a belief I love him; but I'll make

His virtues his undoing, and my praises

Shall be so many swords against his breast:

Which once performed, I'll make Urania,

My daughter, the king’s heir, and plant my issue

In this large throne; nor shall it be withstood:

They that begin in lust must end in blood.



Before the Palace.

Enter Dorialus, Agenor, and Nisus.

Dor. We live to know a fine time, gentlemen.

Nisus. And a fine duke, that, through his doting age,

Suffers himself to be a child again,

Under his wives’ tuition.

Agen.                             All the land

Holds in that tenor too, in woman’s service:

Sure, we shall learn to spin.

Dor.                                  No, that's too honest:

We shall have other liberal sciences

Taught us too soon; lying and flattering,

Those are the studies now: and murder shortly

I know will be humanity. Gentlemen,

If we live here we must be knaves, believe it.

Nisus. I cannot tell, my lord Dorialus;

Though my own nature hate it,

If all determine to be knaves, I'll try

What I can do upon myself, that's certain:

I will not have my throat cut for my goodness;

The virtue will not quit the pain.

Agen. But pray you, tell me,

Why is the prince, now ripe and full experient,

Not made a doer in the state?

Nisus. Because he is honest.

Enter Timantus.

Tim.                            Goodness attend your honours!

Dor. You must not be amongst us then.

Tim.                                                      The duchess,

Whose humble servant I am proud to be,

Would speak with you.

Agen.                         Sir, we are pleased to wait:

When is it?

Tim.          An hour hence, my good lords; and so

I leave my service.


Dor. This is one of her ferrets that she bolts business

out withal: this fellow, if he were well ripped, has all

the linings of a knave within him: how sly he looks!

Nisus. Have we nothing about our clothes that he may

catch at?

Agen. O’ my conscience, there's no treason in my

doublet, if there be, my elbows will discover it, − they

are out.

Dor. Faith, and all the harm that I can find in mine is,

that they are not paid for: let him make what he can of

that, so he discharge that. Come, let's go.



An Apartment in the Palace.

Enter Bacha, Leontius, and Telamon.

Bacha. And you shall find, sir, what a blessing Heaven

Gave you in such a son.

Leon. Pray gods, I may! let's walk and change our subject.

Bacha. Oh, sir, can anything come sweeter to you,

Or strike a deeper joy into your heart,

Than your son's virtue?

Leon.                           I allow his virtues:

But 'tis not handsome thus to feed myself

With such immoderate praises of mine own.

Bacha. The subject of our commendatións

Is itself grown so infinite in goodness,

That all the glory we can lay upon it,

Though we should open volumes of his praises,

Is a mere modesty in his expression,

and shews him lame still, like an ill-wrought piece

Wanting proportion.

Leon. Yet still he is a man, and subject still

To more inordinate vices than our love

Can give him blessings.

Bacha.                       Else he were a god:

Yet so near, as he is, he comes to Heaven,

That we may see, so far as flesh can point us,

Things only worthy them, and only these

In all his actions.

Leon.                This is too much, my queen.

Bacha. Had the gods loved me, that my unworthy womb

Had bred this brave man −

Leon.                           Still you run wrong.

Bacha. I would have lived upon the comfort of him,

Fed on his growing hopes.

Leon.                                 This touches me.

Bacha. I know no friends, nor being, but his virtues.

Leon. You have laid out words enough upon a subject.

Bacha. But words cannot express him, sir.

Why, what a shape Heaven has conceived him in!

Oh, Nature made him up −

Leon.                              I wonder, duchess −

Bacha. So you must: for less than admiration

Loses this godlike man.

Leon. Have you done with him?

Bacha.                              Done with! Oh good gods,

What qualities thus pass by us without reverence!

Leon. I see no such perfection.

Bacha. O, dear sir, you are a father, and those joys

To you speak in your heart, not in your tongue.

Leon. This leaves a taste behind it worse than physic.

Bacha. Then, for his wisdom, valour, good fortune, and all

Those friends of honour, they are in him as free

And natural as passions in a woman.

Leon. You make me blush, at all these years,

To see how blindly you have flung your praises

Upon a boy, a very child; and worthless,

Whilst I live, of these honours.

Bacha. I would not have my love, sir, make my tongue

Shew me so much a woman, as to praise

Or dispraise, where my will is, without reason,

Or general allowance of the people.

Leon. Allowance of the people! what allow they?

Bacha. All I have said for truth; and they must do it,

And dote upon him, love him, and admire him.

Leon. How's that?

Bacha.             For in this youth and noble forwardness

All things are bound together that are kingly;

A fitness to bear rule −