Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BUSSY D'AMBOIS, by GEORGE CHAPMAN (1559-1634)

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BUSSY D'AMBOIS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Not out of confidence that none but we
Last Line: His thankfulness as you increase your love.


Not out of confidence that none but we
Are able to present this tragedy,
Nor out of envy at the grace of late
It did receive, nor yet to derogate
From their deserts, who give out boldly, that
They move with equal feet on the same flat;
Neither for all, nor any of such ends,
We offer it, gracious and noble friends,
To your review; we, far from emulation
(And charitably judge from imitation),
With this work entertain you, a piece known
And still believed in Court to be our own,
To quit our claim, doubting our right or merit,
Would argue in us poverty of spirit
Which we must not subscribe to: Field is gone,
Whose action first did give it name, and one
Who came the nearest to him, is denied
By his gray beard to show the height and pride
Of D'Ambois' youth and bravery; yet to hold
Our title still a-foot, and not grow cold
By giving it o'er, a third man with his best
Of care and pains defends our interest;
As Richard he was liked, nor do we fear
In personating D'Ambois he'll appear
To faint, or go less, so your free consent
As heretofore give him encouragement.


HENRY III., King of France.
Monsieur, his brother.

BARISOR, Warriors.

BRISAC, friends of Bussy D'Ambois.

MAFFE, confidential servant to Monsieur.
BEHEMOTH, a Spirit.
ELENOR, Duchess of Guise.
TAMYRA, Countess of Montsurry.
Lords, Ladies, Pages, &c.



Enter BUSSY D'AMBOIS, poor.

BU. Fortune, not Reason, rules the state of things,
Reward goes backwards, Honour on his head;
Who is not poor, is monstrous; only need
Gives form and worth to every humane seed.
As cedars beaten with continual storms,
So great men flourish; and do imitate
Unskilful statuaries, who suppose,
In forming a Colossus, if they make him
Straddle enough, strut, and look big, and gape,
Their work is goodly: so men merely great
In their affected gravity of voice,
Sourness of countenance, manners' cruelty,
Authority, wealth, and all the spawn of fortune,
Think they bear all the kingdom's worth before them;
Yet differ not from those colossic statues,
Which, with heroic forms without o'erspread,
Within are nought but mortar, flint, and lead.
Man is a torch borne in the wind; a dream
But of a shadow, summ'd with all his substance:
And as great seamen, using their wealth
And skills in Neptune's deep invisible paths,
In tall ships richly built and ribb'd with brass,
To put a girdle round about the world;
When they have done it (coming near their haven)
Are glad to give a warning-piece, and call
A poor, staid fisherman, that never past
His country's sight, to waft and guide them in:
So when we wander furthest through the waves
Of glassy Glory, and the gulfs of State,
Topt with all titles, spreading all our reaches,
As if each private arm would sphere the earth,
We must to Virtue for her guide resort,
Or we shall shipwrack in our safest port. [Procumbit.

Enter Monsieur, with two Pages.

Mo. There is no second place in numerous State
That holds more than a cipher; in a king
All places are contain'd. His word and looks
Are like the flashes and the bolts of Jove;
His deeds inimitable, like the sea
That shuts still as it opes, and leaves no tracts
Nor prints of precedent for poor men's facts;
There's but a thread betwixt me and a crown;
I would not wish it cut, unless by nature;
Yet to prepare me for that possible fortune,
'Tis good to get resolved spirits about me.
I follow'd D'Ambois to this green retreat;
A man of spirit beyond the reach of fear,
Who (discontent with his neglected worth)
Neglects the light, and loves obscure abodes;
But he is young and haughty, apt to take
Fire at advancement, to bear state and flourish;
In his rise therefore shall my bounties shine:
None loathes the world so much, nor loves to scoff it,
But gold and grace will make him surfeit of it.
What, D'Ambois?
Bu. He, sir.
Mo. Turn'd to earth, alive?
Up, man: the sun shines on thee.
Bu. Let it shine:
I am no more to play in't, as great men are.
Mo. Think'st thou men great in state, motes in the sun?
They say so that would have thee freeze in shades,
That (like the gross Sicilian Gourmandist)
Empty their noses in the cates they love,
That none may eat but they. Do thou but bring
Light to the banquet Fortune sets before thee,
And thou wilt loathe lean darkness like thy death.
Who would believe thy mettle could let sloth
Rust and consume it? If Themistocles
Had lived obscured thus in th'Athenian State,
Xerxes had made both him and it his slaves.
If brave Camillus had lurk'd so in Rome,
He had not five times been Dictator there,
Nor four times triumph'd. If Epaminondas
(Who lived twice twenty years obscured in Thebes)
Had lived so still, he had been still unnamed,
And paid his country nor himself their right:
But putting forth his strength, he rescued both
From imminent ruin, and like burnish'd steel,
After long use he shined; for as the light
Not only serves to show, but render us
Mutually profitable; so our lives
In acts exemplary, not only win
Ourselves good names, but doth to others give
Matter for virtuous deeds, by which we live.
Bu. What would you wish me?
Mo. Leave the troubled streams,
And live, as thrivers do, at the well-head.
Bu. At the well-head? Alas, what should I do
With that enchanted glass? See devils there?
Or, like a strumpet, learn to set my looks
In an eternal brake, or practise juggling,
To keep my face still fast, my heart still loose;
Or bear (like dames schoolmistresses their riddles)
Two tongues, and be good only for a shift;
Flatter great lords, to put them still in mind
Why they were made lords; or please humorous ladies
With a good carriage, tell them idle tales
To make their physic work; spend a man's life
In sights and visitations, that will make
His eyes as hollow as his mistress' heart:
To do none good, but those that have no need;
To gain being forward, though you break for haste
All the commandments ere you break your fast;
But believe backwards, make your period
And creed's last article, "I believe in God:"
And (hearing villanies preach'd) t'unfold their art,
Learn to commit them; 'tis a great man's part.
Shall I learn this there?
Mo. No, thou need'st not learn,
Thou hast the theory; now go there and practise.
Bu. Ay, in a threadbare suit; when men come there,
They must have high naps, and go from thence bare:
A man may drown the parts of ten rich men
In one poor suit; brave barks and outward gloss
Attract Court loves, be in parts ne'er so gross.
Mo. Thou shalt have gloss enough, and all things fit
T'enchase in all show thy long-smother'd spirit:
Be ruled by me then. The rude Scythians
Painted blind Fortune's powerful hands with wings
To show her gifts come swift and suddenly,
Which, if her favourite be not swift to take,
He loses them for ever. Then be wise:
[Exit Monsieur.
Stay but awhile here, and I'll send to thee.
[Manet BUSSY.
Bu. What will he send? Some crowns? it is to sow them
Upon my spirit, and make them spring a crown
Worth millions of the seed-crowns he will send:
Like to disparking noble husbandmen,
He'll put his plow into me, plow me up.
But his unsweating thrift is policy,
And learning-hating policy is ignorant
To fit his seed-land soil; a smooth plain ground
Will never nourish any politic seed;
I am for honest actions, not for great:
If I may bring up a new fashion,
And rise in Court for virtue, speed his plow;
The King hath known me long as well as he,
Yet could my fortune never fit the length
Of both their understandings till this hour.
There is a deep nick in time's restless wheel
For each man's good, when which nick comes, it strikes,
As rhetoric, yet works not persuasion,
But only is a mean to make it work:
So no man riseth by his real merit,
But when it cries clink in his raiser's spirit.
Many will say, that cannot rise at all,
Man's first hour's rise is first step to his fall.
I'll venture that; men that fall low must die,
As well as men cast headlong from the sky.

Enter MAFFE.

Ma. Humour of princes! Is this wretch endued
With any merit worth a thousand crowns?
Will my lord have me be so ill a steward
Of his revenue, to dispose a sum
So great with so small cause as shows in him?
I must examine this. Is your name D'Ambois?
Bu. Sir?
Ma. Is your name D'Ambois?
Bu. Who have we here?
Serve you the Monsieur?
Ma. How?
Bu. Serve you the Monsieur?
Ma. Sir, y'are very hot. I do serve the Monsieur,
But in such place as gives me the command
Of all his other servants. And because
His grace's pleasure is to give your good,
His pass through my command, methinks you might
Use me with more respect.
[Table, Chess-board, and Tapers behind the arras.
Bu. Cry you mercy;
Now you have open'd my dull eyes, I see you,
And would be glad to see the good you speak of;
What might I call your name?
Ma. Monsieur Maffe.
Bu. Monsieur Maffe? then, good Monsieur Maffe, Pray let me know you
Ma. Pray do so,
That you may use me better; for yourself,
By your no better outside, I would judge you
To be some poet; have you given my lord
Some pamphlet?
Bu. Pamphlet?
Ma. Pamphlet, sir, I say.
Bu. Did your great master's goodness leave the good
That is to pass your charge to my poor use,
To your discretion?
Ma. Though he did not, sir,
I hope 'tis no bad office to ask reason
How that his grace gives me in charge, goes from me?
Bu. That's very perfect, sir.
Ma. Why, very good, sir;
I pray then give me leave; if for no pamphlet,
May I not know what other merit in you,
Makes his compunction willing to relieve you?
Bu. No merit in the world, sir.
Ma. That is strange.
Y'are a poor soldier, are you?
Bu. That I am, sir.
Ma. And have commanded?
Bu. Ay, and gone without, sir.
Ma. I see the man; a hundred crowns will make him
Swagger and drink healths to his grace's bounty,
And swear he could not be more bountiful;
So there's nine hundred crowns saved; here, tall soldier,
His grace hath sent you a whole hundred crowns.
Bu. A hundred, sir? Nay, do his highness right;
I know his hand is larger, and perhaps
I may deserve more than my outside shows;
I am a scholar, as I am a soldier,
And I can poetise; and (being well encouraged)
May sing his fame for giving; yours for delivering
(Like a most faithful steward) what he gives.
Ma. What shall your subject be?
Bu. I care not much
If to his bounteous grace I sing the praise
Of fair great noses, and to you of long ones.
What qualities have you, sir, beside your chain
And velvet jacket? Can your worship dance?
Ma. A merry fellow, 'faith; it seems my lord
Will have him for his jester; and by'r lady,
Such men are now no fools; 'tis a knight's place:
If I (to save my lord some crowns) should urge him
T'abate his bounty, I should not be heard;
I would to heaven I were an errant ass.
For then I should be sure to have the ears
Of these great men, where now their jesters have them.
'Tis good to please him, yet I'll take no notice
Of his preferment, but in policy
Will still be grave and serious, lest he think
I fear his wooden dagger Here, sir Ambo!
Bu. How, Ambo, sir?
Ma. Ay, is not your name Ambo?
Bu. You call'd me lately D'Ambois; has your worship
So short a head?
Ma. I cry thee mercy, D'Ambois.
A thousand crowns I bring you from my lord:
If you be thrifty, and play the good husband, you may make
This a good standing living: 'tis a bounty
His highness might perhaps have bestow'd better.
Bu. Go, y'are a rascal; hence, away, you rogue!
Ma. What mean you, sir?
Bu. Hence! prate no more!
Or, by thy villain's blood, thou pratest thy last!
A barbarous groom grudge at his master's bounty!
But since I know he would as much abhor
His hind should argue what he gives his friend,
Take that, sir, for your aptness to dispute. [Exit.
Ma. These crowns are sown in blood; blood be their fruit [Exit


He. Duchess of Guise, your grace is much enrich'd
In the attendance of that English virgin,
That will initiate her prime of youth
(Disposed to Court conditions) under hand
Of your preferr'd instructions and command,
Rather than any in the English Court,
Whose ladies are not match'd in Christendom
For graceful and confirm'd behaviours;
More than the Court, where they are bred, is equall'd.
Gu. I like not their Court form; it is too crestfall'n
In all observance, making demigods
Of their great nobles; and of their old queen,
An ever-young and most immortal goddess.
Mo. No question she's the rarest queen in Europe.
Gu. But what's that to her immortality?
He. Assure you, cousin Guise, so great a courtier,
So full of majesty and royal parts,
No queen in Christendom may vaunt herself.
Her Court approves it, that's a Court indeed,
Not mixt with clowneries used in common houses,
But, as Courts should be, th' abstracts of their kingdoms,
In all the beauty, state, and worth they hold;
So is hers, amply, and by her inform'd.
The world is not contracted in a man
With more proportion and expression,
Than in her Court, her kingdom. Our French Court
Is a mere mirror of confusion to it:
The king and subject, lord and every slave,
Dance a continual hay; our rooms of state
Kept like our stables; no place more observed
Than a rude market-place: and though our custom
Keep this assured confusion from our eyes
'Tis ne'er the less essentially unsightly,
Which they would soon see, would they change their form
To this of ours, and then compare them both;
Which we must not affect, because in kingdoms
Where the king's change doth breed the subject's terror,
Pure innovation is more gross than error.
Mo. No question we shall see them imitate
(Though afar off) the fashions of our Courts,
As they have ever aped us in attire.
Never were men so weary of their skins,
And apt to leap out of themselves as they;
Who, when they travel to bring forth rare men,
Come home, deliver'd of a fine French suit.
Their brains lie with their tailors, and get babies
For their most complete issue; he's sole heir
To all the moral virtues that first greets
The light with a new fashion, which becomes them
Like apes, disfigured with the attires of men.
He. No question they much wrong their real worth
In affectation of outlandish scum;
But they have faults, and we more; they foolish proud
To jet in others plumes so haughtily;
We proud, that they are proud of foolery,
Holding our worths more complete for their vaunts.

Enter Monsieur, D'AMBOIS.

Mo. Come, mine own sweetheart, I will enter thee.
Sir, I have brought a gentleman to Court,
And pray you would vouchsafe to do him grace.
He. D'Ambois, I think?
Bu. That's still my name, my lord,
Though I be something alter'd in attire.
He. I like your alteration, and must tell you
I have expected th' offer of your service;
For we (in fear to make mild virtue proud)
Use not to seek her out in any man.
Bu. Nor doth she use to seek out any man:
He that will win must woo her.
Mo. I urged her modesty in him, my lord,
And gave her those rites that he says she merits.
He. If you have woo'd and won, then, brother, wear him.
Mo. Th'art mine, sweetheart. See, here's the Guise's Duchess,
The Countess of Montsurreau, Beaupres.
Come, I'll enseam thee; ladies, y'are too many
To be in council; I have here a friend
That I would gladly enter in your graces.
Bu. Save you, ladies.
Du. If you enter him in our graces, my lord, me-thinks by his blunt
behaviour he should come out of himself.
Ta. Has he never been courtier, my lord?
Mo. Never, my lady.
Be. And why did the toy take him in th' head now?
Bu. 'Tis leap-year, lady, and therefore very good to enter a
He. Mark, Duchess of Guise, there is one is not bashful.
Du. No, my lord, he is much guilty of the bold extremity.
Ta. The man's a courtier at first sight.
Bu. I can sing pricksong, lady, at first sight; and why not be a
courtier as suddenly?
Be. Here's a courtier rotten before he be ripe.
Bu. Think me not impudent, lady; I am yet no courtier; I desire to be
one, and would gladly take entrance, madam, under your princely colours.


Du. Soft, sir, you must rise by degrees, first being the servant of
some common lady, or knight's wife, then a little higher to a lord's wife;
a little higher to a countess; yet a little higher to a duchess, and then turn
the ladder.
Bu. Do you allow a man, then, four mistresses, when the greatest
mistress is allowed but three servants?
Du. Where find you that statute, sir?
Bu. Why, be judged by the groom-porters.
Du. The groom-porters?
Bu. Ay, madam; must not they judge of all gamings i' th' Court?
Du. You talk like a gamester.
Gu. Sir, know you me?
Bu. My lord?
Gu. I know not you. Whom do you serve?
Bu. Serve, my lord?
Gu. Go to, companion, your courtship's too saucy.
Bu. Saucy! Companion! 'Tis the Guise, but yet those terms might have
been spared of the Guiserd. Companion! He's jealous, by this light. Are you
blind of that side, duke? I'll to her again for that. Forth, princely
for the honour of courtship. Another riddle!
Gu. Cease your courtship, or by heaven I'll cut your throat.
Bu. Cut my throat? cut a whetstone. Good Accius
Nævius. do as
much with your tongue, as he did with a razor: cut my throat!
Ba. What new-come gallant have we here, that
dares mate the Guise thus?
L'A. 'Sfoot, 'tis D'Ambois. The duke
mistakes him, on my life, for some
knight of the new edition.
Bu. Cut my throat! I would the king
feared thy cutting of his throat no
more than I fear thy cutting of mine.
Gu. I'll do't, by this hand.
Bu. That hand dares not do't—y'ave cut too many throats already,
Guise; and robbed the realm of many thousand souls, more precious than thine
own. Come, madam, talk on. 'Sfoot, can you not talk? Talk on, I say; another
Py. Here's some strange distemper.
Ba. Here's a sudden transmigration with D'Ambois—out of the
knight's ward into the duchess' bed.
L'A. See what a metamorphosis a brave suit can work.
Py. 'Slight, step to the Guise and discover him.
Ba. By no means; let the new suit work, we'll see the issue.
Gu. Leave your courting.
Bu. I will not. I say, mistress, and I will stand unto it, that if a
woman may have three servants, a man may have three-score mistresses.
Gu. Sirrah, I'll have you whipped out of the Court for this
Bu. Whipped? Such another syllable out a th' presence, if thou darest
for thy dukedom.
Gu. Remember, poltroon.
Mo. Pray thee, forbear.
Bu. Passion of death! Were not the king here, he should strow the
chamber like a rush.
Mo. But leave courting his wife, then.
Bu. I will not. I'll court her in despite of him. Not court her!
madam, talk on, fear me nothing; well may'st thou drive thy master from the
Court, but never D'Ambois.
Mo. His great heart will not down, 'tis like the sea,
That partly by his own internal heat,
Partly the stars' daily and nightly motion,
Their heat and light, and partly of the place,
The divers frames; but chiefly by the moon,
Bristled with surges, never will be won,
(No, not when th' hearts of all those powers are burst)
To make retreat into his settled home,
Till he be crown'd with his own quiet foam.
He. You have the mate. Another.
Gu. No more. [Flourish short.
[Exit Guise, after him the King, Monsieur whispering.
Ba. Why, here's the lion, scared with the throat of a dunghill cock; a
fellow that has newly shaken off his shackles; now does he crow for that
L'A. 'Tis one of the best jigs that ever was acted.
Py. Whom does the Guise suppose him to be, trow?
L'A. Out of doubt, some new denizen'd lord, and thinks that suit
drawn out a th' mercer's books.
Ba. I have heard of a fellow, that by a fixed imagination
looking upon
a bull-baiting, had a visible pair of horns grew out of his forehead; and I
believe this gallant, overjoyed with the conceit of Monsieur's cast suit,
imagines himself to be the Monsieur.
L'A. And why not? as well as the ass, stalking in the
lion's case, bear
himself like a lion, braying all the huger beasts out of the forest?
Py. Peace, he looks this way.
Ba. Marry, let him look, sir; what will you say now if the Guise be
gone to fetch a blanket for him?
L'A. Faith, I believe it for his honour sake.
Py. But, if D'Ambois carry it clean?
Ba. True, when he curvets in the blanket.
Py. Ay, marry, sir.
L'A. 'Sfoot, see how he stares on's.
Ba. Lord bless us, let's away.
Bu. Now, sir, take your full view; how does the object please ye?
Ba. If you ask my opinion, sir, I think your suit fits as well as if't
had been made for you.
Bu. So, sir, and was that the subject of your ridiculous jollity?
L'A. What's that to you, sir?
Bu. Sir, I have observed all your fleerings; and resolve yourselves
shall give a strict account for't.


Ba. Oh, miraculous jealousy! do you think yourself such a singular
subject for laughter that none can fall into the matter of our merriment but
L'A. This jealousy of yours, sir, confesses some close defect in
yourself, that we never dreamed of.
Py. We held discourse of a perfumed ass, that being disguised with a
lion's case, imagined himself a lion: I hope that touched not you.
Bu. So, sir; your descants do marvellous well fit this ground; we
meet where your buffoonly laughters will cost ye the best blood in your
Ba. For life's sake let's be gone; he'll kill's outright.
Bu. Go, at your pleasures, I'll be your ghost to haunt you; and ye
sleep an't, hang me.
L'A. Go, go, sir; court your mistress.
Py. And be advised; we shall have odds against you.
Bu. Tush! valour stands not in number; I'll maintain it, that one man
may beat three boys.
Br. Nay, you shall have no odds of him in number, sir; he's a
as good as the proudest of you, and ye shall not wrong him.
Ba. Not, sir?
Me. Not, sir: though he be not so rich, he's a better man
than the best
of you; and I will not endure it.
L'A. Not you, sir?
Br. No, sir, nor I.
Bu. I should thank you for this kindness, if I thought these perfumed
musk-cats (being out of this privilege) durst but once mew at us.
Ba. Does your confident spirit doubt that, sir?
Follow us and try.
L'A. Come, sir, we'll lead you a dance. [Exeunt.



Enter HENRY, GUISE, MONTSURRY, and Attendants.

HE. This desperate quarrel sprung out of their envies
To D'Ambois' sudden bravery, and great spirit.
Gu. Neither is worth their envy.
He. Less than either
Will make the gall of envy overflow;
She feeds on outcast entrails like a kite;
In which foul heap, if any ill lies hid,
She sticks her beak into it, shakes it up,
And hurls it all abroad, that all may view it.
Corruption is her nutriment; but touch her
With any precious ointment, and you kill her:
When she finds any filth in men, she feasts,
And with her black throat bruits it through the world
(Being sound and healthful). But if she but taste
The slenderest pittance of commended virtue,
She surfeits on it, and is like a fly
That passes all the body's soundest parts,
And dwells upon the sores; or if her squint eye
Have power to find none there, she forges some:
She makes that crooked ever which is straight;
Calls valour giddiness, justice tyranny;
A wise man may shun her, she not herself:
Whithersoever she flies from her harms,
She bears her foes still clasp'd in her own arms;
And therefore, cousin Guise, let us avoid her.


Nu. What Atlas or Olympus lifts his head
So far past covert, that with air enough
My words may be inform'd, and from his height
I may be seen, and heard through all the world?
A tale so worthy, and so fraught with wonder
Sticks in my jaws, and labours with event.
He. Comest thou from D'Ambois?
Nu. From him, and the rest,
His friends and enemies; whose stern fight I saw,
And heard their words before and in the fray.
He. Relate at large what thou hast seen and heard.
Nu. I saw fierce D'Ambois and his two brave friends
Enter the field, and at their heels their foes;
Which were the famous soldiers, Barrisor,
L'Anou, and Pyrrhot, great in deeds of arms:
All which arrived at the evenest piece of earth
The field afforded, the three challengers
Turn'd head, drew all their rapiers, and stood rank'd:
When face to face the three defendants met them,
Alike prepared, and resolute alike.
Like bonfires of contributory wood
Every man's look show'd, fed with either's spirit;
As one had been a mirror to another,
Like forms of life and death, each took from other;
And so were life and death mix'd at their heights,
That you could see no fear of death, for life,
Nor love of life, for death; but in their brows
Pyrrho's opinion in great letters shone:
That life and death in all respects are one.
He. Pass'd there no sort of words at their encounter?
Nu. As Hector, 'twixt the hosts of Greece and Troy.
(When Paris and the Spartan king should end
The nine years' war) held up his brazen lance
For signal that both hosts should cease from arms,
And hear him speak: so Barrisor (advised)
Advanced his naked rapier 'twixt both sides,
Ripp'd up the quarrel, and compared six lives
Then laid in balance with six idle words;
Offer'd remission and contrition too;
Or else that he and D'Ambois might conclude
The others' dangers. D'Ambois liked the last;
But Barrisor's friends (being equally engaged
In the main quarrel) never would expose
His life alone to that they all deserved.
And (for the other offer of remission)
D'Ambois (that like a laurel put in fire
Sparkled and spit) did much more than scorn
That his wrong should incense him so like chaff
To go so soon out; and like lighted paper
Approve his spirit at once both fire and ashes;
So drew they lots and in them fates appointed
That Barrisor should fight with fiery D'Ambois;
Pyrrhot with Melynell; with Brisac L'Anou:
And then like flame and powder they commixt,
So spritely, that I wish'd they had been spirits,
That the ne'er-shutting wounds, they needs must open,
Might as they open'd, shut and never kill:
But D'Ambois' sword (that lighten'd as it flew)
Shot like a pointed comet at the face
Of manly Barrisor; and there it stuck:
Thrice pluck'd he at it, and thrice drew on thrusts,
From him that of himself was free as fire;
Who thrust still as he pluck'd, yet (past belief)
He with his subtle eye, hand, body, 'scaped:
At last the deadly bitten point tugged off,
On fell his yet undaunted foe so fiercely
That (only made more horrid with his wound)
Great D'Ambois shrunk, and gave a little ground;
But soon return'd, redoubled in his danger,
And at the heart of Barrisor seal'd his anger:
Then, as in Arden I have seen an oak
Long shook with tempests, and his lofty top
Bent to his root, which being at length made loose
Even groaning with his weight) he 'gan to nod
This way and that: as loth his curled brows
(Which he had oft wrapt in the sky with storms)
Should stoop: and yet, his radical fibres burst,
Storm-like he fell, and hid the fear-cold earth;
So fell stout Barrisor, that had stood the shocks
Of ten set battles in your highness' war,
'Gainst the sole soldier of the world, Navarre.
Gu. Oh, piteous and horrid murder!
Be. Such a life
Methinks had metal in it to survive
An age of men.
He. Such often soonest end:
Thy felt report calls on, we long to know
On what events the other have arrived.
Nu. Sorrow and fury, like two opposite fumes,
Met in the upper region of a cloud,
At the report made by this worthy's fall,
Brake from the earth, and with them rose Revenge,
Entering with fresh powers his two noble friends;
And under that odds fell surcharged Brisac,
The friend of D'Ambois, before fierce L'Anou;
Which D'Ambois seeing, as I once did see
In my young travels through Armenia,
An angry unicorn in his full career
Charge with too swift a foot a jeweller
That watch'd him for the treasure of his brow,
And ere he could get shelter of a tree,
Nail him with his rich antler to the earth:
So D'Ambois ran upon revenged L'Anou,
Who eyeing th' eager point borne in his face,
And giving back, fell back, and in his fall
His foe's uncurbed sword stopt in his heart;
By which time all the life-strings of the tw'other
Were cut, and both fell as their spirits flew
Upwards; and still hunt honour at the view:
And now, of all the six, sole D'Ambois stood
Untouch'd, save only with the others' blood.
He. All slain outright but he?
Nu. All slain outright but he.
Who kneeling in the warm life of his friends,
(All freckled with the blood his rapier rain'd)
He kiss'd their pale cheeks, and bade both farewell;
And see the bravest man the French earth bears.

Enter Monsieur, D'AMBOIS bare.

Bu. Now is the time, y'are princely vow'd, my friend,
Perform it princely, and obtain my pardon.
Mo. Else heaven forgive not me; come on, brave friend.
If ever nature held herself her own,
When the great trial of a king and subject
Met in one blood, both from one belly springing;
Now prove her virtue and her greatness one,
Or make the one the greater with the t'other,
(As true kings should) and for your brother's love,
(Which is a special species of true virtue)
Do that you could not do, not being a king.
He. Brother, I know your suit; these wilful murders
Are ever past our pardon.
Mo. Manly slaughter
Should never bear th'account of wilful murder;
It being a spice of justice, where with life
Offending past law, equal life is laid
In equal balance, to scourge that offence
By law of reputation, which to men
Exceeds all positive law, and what that leaves
To true men's valours (not prefixing rights
Of satisfaction, suited to their wrongs)
A free man's eminence may supply and take.
He. This would make every man that thinks him wrong'd
Or is offended, or in wrong or right,
Lay on this violence, and all vaunt themselves
Law-menders and suppliers, though mere butchers;
Should this fact (though of justice) be forgiven?
Mo. Oh, no, my lord; it would make cowards fear
To touch the reputations of true men
When only they are left to imp the law.
Justice will soon distinguish murderous minds
From just revengers: had my friend been slain,
(His enemy surviving) he should die,
Since he had added to a murder'd fame
(Which was in his intent) a murder'd man;
And this had worthily been wilful murder;
But my friend only saved his fame's dear life,
Which is above life, taking th'under value,
Which in the wrong it did, was forfeit to him;
And in this fact only preserves a man
In his uprightness; worthy to survive
Millions of such as murder men alive.
He. Well, brother, rise, and raise your friend withal
From death to life; and D'Ambois, let your life
(Refined by passing through this merited death)
Be purged from more such foul pollution;
Nor on your 'scape, nor valour more presuming
To be again so daring.
Bu. My lord,
I loathe as much a deed of unjust death
As law itself doth; and to tyrannize,
Because I have a little spirit to dare
And power to do, as to be tyrannized;
This is a grace that (on my knees redoubled),
I crave to double this, my short life's gift:
And shall your royal bounty centuple,
That I may so make good what God and nature
Have given me for my good; since I am free,
(Offending no just law), let no law make
By any wrong it does, my life her slave:
When I am wrong'd, and that law fails to right me,
Let me be king myself (as man was made),
And do a justice that exceeds the law;
If my wrong pass the power of single valour
To right and expiate; then be you my king,
And do a right, exceeding law and nature:
Who to himself is law, no law doth need,
Offends no law, and is a king indeed.
He. Enjoy what thou entreat'st; we give but ours.
Bu. What you have given, my lord, is ever yours.
[Exit Rex cum Nuntius.
Gu. Who would have pardon'd such a murder?
Mo. Now vanish horrors into Court attractions,
For which let this balm make thee fresh and fair.
And now forth with thy service to the duchess,
As my long love will to Montsurry's countess. [Exit.
Bu. To whom my love hath long been vow'd in heart,
Although in hand for show I held the duchess,
And now through blood and vengeance, deeds of height
And hard to be achieved, 'tis fit I make
Attempt of her perfection; I need fear
No check in his rivality, since her virtues
Are so renown'd, and he of all dames hated. [Exit.


Mont. He will have pardon, sure.
Ta. 'Twere pity, else:
For though his great spirit something overflow,
All faults are still borne, that from greatness grow;
But such a sudden courtier saw I never.
Be. He was too sudden, which indeed was rudeness.
Ta. True, for it argued his no due conceit
Both of the place and greatness of the persons,
Nor of our sex: all which (we all being strangers
To his encounter) should have made more manners
Deserve more welcome.
Mont. All this fault is found
Because he loved the duchess and left you.
Ta. Alas, love give her joy: I am so far
From envy of her honour, that I swear,
Had he encounter'd me with such proud slight,
I would have put that project face of his
To a more test than did her duchesship.
Be. Why (by your leave, my lord) I'll speak it here,
Although she be my aunt, she scarce was modest,
When she perceived the duke her husband take
Those late exceptions to her servant's courtship,
To entertain him.
Ta. Ay, and stand him still,
Letting her husband give her servant place;
Though he did manly, she should be a woman.

Enter GUISE.

Gu. D'Ambois is pardon'd; where's a king? where law?
See how it runs, much like a turbulent sea;
Here high, and glorious as it did contend
To wash the heavens and make the stars more pure;
And here so low, it leaves the mud of hell
To every common view; come, Count Montsurry,
We must consult of this.
Ta. Stay not, sweet lord.
Mont. Be pleased, I'll straight return.
[Exit cum GUISE.
Ta. Would that would please me!
Be. I'll leave you, madam, to your passions;
I see there's change of weather in your looks.
[Exit cum suis.
Ta. I cannot cloak it; but, as when a fume,
Hot, dry, and gross, within the womb of earth
Or in her superficies begot,
When extreme cold hath struck it to her heart,
The more it is compress'd, the more it rageth;
Exceeds his prison's strength that should contain it,
And then it tosseth temples in the air,
All bars made engines to his insolent fury;
So, of a sudden, my licentious fancy
Riots within me; not my name and house
Nor my religion, to this hour observed,
Can stand above it; I must utter that
That will in parting break more strings in me
Than death when life parts; and that holy man
That, from my cradle, counsell'd for my soul,
I now must make an agent for my blood.


Mo. Yet, is my mistress gracious?
Ta. Yet unanswer'd?
Mo. Pray thee regard thine own good, if not mine,
And cheer my love for that; you do not know
What you may be by me, nor what without me;
I may have power t'advance and pull down any.
Ta. That's not my study; one way I am sure
You shall not pull down me; my husband's height
Is crown to all my hopes; and his retiring
To any mean state, shall be my aspiring;
Mine honour's in mine own hands, spite of kings
Mo. Honour, what's that: your second maiden-head:
And what is that? a word: the word is gone,
The thing remains: the rose is pluck'd, the stalk
Abides; an easy loss where no lack's found:
Believe it, there's as small lack in the loss
As there is pain i'th' losing; archers ever
Have two strings to a bow; and shall great Cupid
(Archer of archers both in men and women,)
Be worse provided than a common archer?
A husband and a friend all wise wives have.
Ta. Wise wives they are that on such strings depend,
With a firm husband joining a loose friend.
Mo. Still you stand on your husband, so do all
The common sex of you, when y'are encounter'd
With one ye cannot fancy: all men know
You live in Court, here, by your own election,
Frequenting all our solemn sports and triumphs,
All the most youthful company of men:
And wherefore do you this? To please your husband?
'Tis gross and fulsome: if your husband's pleasure
Be all your object, and you aim at honour
In living close to him, get you from Court,
You may have him at home; these common put-offs
For common women serve: my honour? husband?
Dames maritorious ne'er were meritorious:
Speak plain, and say "I do not like you, sir,
Y'are an ill-favour'd fellow in my eye;"
And I am answer'd.
Ta. Then, I pray, be answer'd:
For in good faith, my lord, I do not like you
In that sort you like.
Mo. Then have at you, here:
Take (with a politic hand) this rope of pearl,
And though you be not amorous, yet be wise:
Take me for wisdom; he that you can love
Is ne'er the further from you.
Ta. Now it comes
So ill prepared, that I may take a poison,
Under a medicine as good cheap as it;
I will not have it were it worth the world.
Mo. Horror of death; could I but please your eye,
You would give me the like, ere you would lose me:
Honour and husband!
Ta. By this light, my lord,
Y'are a vile fellow, and I'll tell the king
Your occupation of dishonouring ladies
And of his Court: a lady cannot live
As she was born, and with that sort of pleasure
That fits her state, but she must be defamed
With an infamous lord's detraction.
Who would endure the Court if these attempts
Of open and profess'd lust must be borne?
Who's there? Come on, dame, you are at your book
When men are at your mistress; have I taught you
Any such waiting-woman's quality?
Mo. Farewell, good husband. [Exit Monsieur.
Mont. Farewell, wicked lord.

Enter Montsurry.

Mont. Was not the Monsieur here?
Ta. Yes, to good purpose:
And your cause is as good to seek him too,
And haunt his company.
Mont. Why, what's the matter?
Ta. Matter of death, were I some husband's wife:
I cannot live at quiet in my chamber,
For opportunities almost to rapes
Offer'd me by him.
Mont. Pray thee bear with him;
Thou know'st he is a bachelor and a courtier,
Ay, and a prince; and their prerogatives
Are to their laws, as to their pardons are
Their reservations, after Parliaments
One quits another; form gives all their essence:
That prince doth high in virtue's reckoning stand
That will entreat a vice, and not command.
So far bear with him; should another man
Trust to his privilege, he should trust to death:
Take comfort, then, my comfort, nay, triumph
And crown thyself, thou part'st with victory;
My presence is so only dear to thee
That other men's appear worse than they be.
For this night yet, bear with my forced absence;
Thou know'st my business; and with how much weight
My vow hath charged it.
Ta. True, my lord, and never
My fruitless love shall let your serious honour;
Yet, sweet lord, do not stay; you know my soul
Is so long time without me, and I dead
As you are absent.
Mont. By this kiss, receive
My soul for hostage, till I see my love.
Ta. The morn shall let me see you.
Mont. With the sun
I'll visit thy more comfortable beauties.
Ta. This is my comfort, that the sun hath left
The whole world's beauty ere my sun leaves me.
Mont. 'Tis late night now indeed; farewell, my light.
Ta. Farewell, my light and life; but not in him,
In mine own dark love and light bent to another.
Alas that in the wave of our affections
We should supply it with a full dissembling,
In which each youngest maid is grown a mother;
Frailty is fruitful, one sin gets another:
Our loves like sparkles are that brightest shine
When they go out; most vice shows most divine.
Go, maid, to bed; lend me your book, I pray;
Not like yourself for form; I'll this night trouble
None of your services: make sure the doors,
And call your other fellows to their rest.
Pe. I will, yet I will watch to know why you watch.
Ta. Now all ye peaceful regents of the night,
Silently-gliding exhalations,
Languishing winds, and murmuring falls of waters,
Sadness of heart and ominous secureness,
Enchantments, dead sleeps, all the friends of rest,
That ever wrought upon the life of man,
Extend your utmost strengths; and this charm'd hour
Fix like the Centre; make the violent wheels
Of Time and Fortune stand; and great Existence
(The Maker's treasury) now not seem to be,
To all but my approaching friends and me.
They come, alas! they come; fear, fear and hope
Of one thing, at one instant fight in me;
I love what most I loathe, and cannot live
Unless I compass that which holds my death:
For Life's mere death, loving one that loathes me,
And he I love, will loathe me, when he sees
I fly my sex, my virtue, my renown,
To run so madly on a man unknown.
[The vault opens.
See, see a vault is opening that was never
Known to my lord and husband, nor to any
But him that brings the man I love, and me;
How shall I look on him? how shall I live,
And not consume in blushes? I will in,
And cast myself off, as I ne'er had been. [Exit.

Ascendit Friar and D'AMBOIS.

Fr. Come, worthiest son, I am past measure glad,
That you (whose worth I have approved so long)
Should be the object of her fearful love;
Since both your wit and spirit can adapt
Their full force to supply her utmost weakness:
You know her worths and virtues, for report
Of all that know, is to a man a knowledge:
You know besides, that our affections' storm,
Raised in our blood, no reason can reform.
Though she seek then their satisfaction
(Which she must needs, or rest unsatisfied)
Your judgment will esteem her peace thus wrought,
Nothing less dear than if yourself had sought:
And (with another colour, which my art
Shall teach you to lay on) yourself must seem
The only agent, and the first orb move
In this our set and cunning world of love.
Bu. Give me the colour, my most honour'd father,
And trust my cunning then to lay it on.
Fr. 'Tis this, good son; Lord Barrisor (whom you slew)
Did love her dearly, and with all fit means
Hath urged his acceptation, of all which
She keeps one letter written in his blood:
You must say thus then, that you heard from me
How much herself was touch'd in conscience
With a report (which is in truth dispersed)
That your main quarrel grew about her love,
Lord Barrisor imagining your courtship
Of the great Guise's Duchess in the presence,
Was by you made to his elected mistress:
And so made me you mean now to resolve her,
Choosing (by my direction) this night's depth
For the more clear avoiding of all note,
Of your presumed presence, and with this
(To clear her hands of such a lover's blood)
She will so kindly thank and entertain you,
(Methinks I see how), ay, and ten to one,
Show you the confirmation in his blood,
Lest you should think report and she did feign,
That you shall so have circumstantial means
To come to the direct, which must be used;
For the direct is crooked; love comes flying;
The height of love is still won with denying.
Bu. Thanks, honour'd father.
Fr. She must never know
That you know anything of any love
Sustain'd on her part: For learn this of me;
In anything a woman does alone,
If she dissemble, she thinks 'tis not done;
If not dissemble, nor a little chide,
Give her her wish, she is not satisfied;
To have a man think that she never seeks,
Does her more good than to have all she likes:
This frailty sticks in them beyond their sex,
Which to reform, reason is too perplex:
Urge reason to them, it will do no good;
Humour (that is the chariot of our food
In everybody) must in them be fed,
To carry their affections by it bred.
Stand close.

Enter TAMYRA with a book.

Ta. Alas, I fear my strangeness will retire him.
If he go back, I die; I must prevent it,
And cheer his onset; with my sight at least,
And that's the most; though every step he takes
Goes to my heart, I'll rather die than seem
Not to be strange to that I most esteem.
Fr. Madam.
Ta. Ah!
Fr. You will pardon me, I hope,
That so beyond your expectation,
And at a time for visitants so unfit,
I (with my noble friend here) visit you:
You know that my access at any time
Hath ever been admitted; and that friend
That my care will presume to bring with me
Shall have all circumstance of worth in him
To merit as free welcome as myself.
Ta. Oh, father! but at this suspicious hour
You know how apt best men are to suspect us,
In any cause, that makes suspicion's shadow
No greater than the shadow of a hair:
And y'are to blame; what though my lord and husband
Lie forth to-night? and since I cannot sleep
When he is absent, I sit up to-night,
Though all the doors are sure, and all our servants
As sure bound with their sleeps; yet there is One
That wakes above, whose eye no sleep can bind;
He sees through doors, and darkness, and our thoughts;
And therefore as we should avoid with fear,
To think amiss ourselves before his search;
So should we be as curious to shun
All cause that other think not ill of us.
Bu. Madam, 'tis far from that; I only heard
By this my honour'd father, that your conscience
Made some deep scruple with a false report
That Barrisor's blood should something touch your honour;
Since he imagined I was courting you,
When I was bold to change words with the duchess,
And therefore made his quarrel; his long love
And service, as I hear, being deeply vow'd
To your perfections, which my ready presence,
Presumed on with my father at this season
For the more care of your so curious honour,
Can well resolve your conscience, is most false.
Ta. And is it therefore that you come, good sir?
Then crave I now your pardon and my father's,
And swear your presence does me so much good,
That all I have it binds to your requital;
Indeed, sir, 'tis most true that a report
Is spread, alleging that his love to me
Was reason of your quarrel, and because
You shall not think I feign it for my glory
That he importuned me for his court service,
I'll show you his own hand, set down in blood
To that vain purpose: good sir, then come in.
Father, I thank you now a thousand-fold.
Fr. May it be worth it to you, honour'd daughter.
[Descendit Friar.



Enter D'AMBOIS, TAMYRA, with a Chain of Pearl.

BU. Sweet mistress, cease, your conscience is too nice,
And bites too hotly of the Puritan spice.
Ta. Oh, my dear servant, in thy close embraces,
I have set open all the doors of danger
To my encompass'd honour, and my life:
Before I was secure 'gainst death and hell;
But now am subject to the heartless fear
Of every shadow, and of every breath,
And would change firmness with an aspen leaf;
So confident a spotless conscience is,
So weak a guilty: oh, the dangerous siege
Sin lays about us! and the tyranny
He exercises when he hath expugn'd:
Like to the horror of a winter's thunder,
Mix'd with a gushing storm, that suffer nothing
To stir abroad on earth but their own rages,
Is sin, when it hath gather'd head above us:
No roof, no shelter can secure us so,
But he will drown our cheeks in fear or woe.
Bu. Sin is a coward, madam, and insults
But on our weakness, in his truest valour:
And so our ignorance tames us, that we let
His shadows fright us: and like empty clouds,
In which our faulty apprehensions forge
The forms of dragons, lions, elephants,
When they hold no proportion, the sly charms
Of the witch policy makes him, like a monster
Kept only to show men for servile money:
That false hag often paints him in her cloth
Ten times more monstrous than he is in troth:
In three of us, the secret of our meeting
Is only guarded, and three friends as one
Have ever been esteem'd: as our three powers
That in our one soul are as one united:
Why should we fear then? For myself I swear
Sooner shall torture be the sire to pleasure,
And health be grievous to one long time sick,
Than the dear jewel of your fame in me
Be made an outcast to your infamy;
Nor shall my valour (sacred to your virtues)
Only give free course to it, from myself:
But make it fly out of the mouths of kings
In golden vapours and with awful wings.
Ta. It rests as all kings' seals were set in thee.
Now let us call my father, whom I swear
I could extremely chide, but that I fear
To make him so suspicious of my love
Of which, sweet servant, do not let him know
For all the world.
Bu. Alas! he will not think it.
Ta. Come, then—ho! Father, ope, and take your friend.
[Ascendit Friar.
Fr. Now, honour'd daughter, is your doubt resolved?
Ta. Ay, father, but you went away too soon.
Fr. Too soon?
Ta. Indeed you did, you should have stay'd;
Had not your worthy friend been of your bringing,
And that contains all laws to temper me,
Not all the fearful danger that besieged us,
Had awed my throat from exclamation.
Fr. I know your serious disposition well.
Come, son, the morn comes on.
Bu. Now, honour'd mistress,
Till farther service call, all bliss supply you.
Ta. And you this chain of pearl, and my love only.
[Descendit Friar and D'AMBOIS.
Ta. It is not I, but urgent destiny,
That (as great statesmen for their general end
In politic justice, make poor men offend)
Enforceth my offence to make it just.
What shall weak dames do, when the whole work of nature
Hath a strong finger in each one of us?
Needs must that sweep away the silly cobweb
Of our still-undone labours; that lays still
Our powers to it: as to the line, the stone,
Not to the stone, the line should be opposed;
We cannot keep our constant course in virtue:
What is alike at all parts? Every day
Differs from other: every hour and minute;
Ay, every thought in our false clock of life,
Ofttimes inverts the whole circumference:
We must be sometimes one, sometimes another:
Our bodies are but thick clouds to our souls,
Through which they cannot shine when they desire:
When all the stars, and even the sun himself,
Must stay the vapours' fumes that he exhales
Before he can make good his beams to us;
Oh, how can we, that are but motes to him,
Wandering at random in his order'd rays,
Disperse our passions' fumes, with our weak labours,
That are more thick and black than all earth's vapours?


Mont. Good day, my love; what, up and ready too!
Ta. Both, my dear lord; not all this night made I
Myself unready, or could sleep a wink.
Mont. Alas! what troubled my true love? my peace,
From being at peace within her better self?
Or how could sleep forbear to seize thine eyes
When he might challenge them as his just prize?
Ta. I am in no power earthly, but in yours;
To what end should I go to bed, my lord,
That wholly miss'd the comfort of my bed?
Or how should sleep possess my faculties,
Wanting the proper closer of mine eyes?
Mont. Then will I never more sleep night from thee;
All mine own business, all the king's affairs,
Shall take the day to serve them; every night
I'll ever dedicate to thy delight.
Ta. Nay, good my lord, esteem not my desires
Such doters on their humours that my judgment
Cannot subdue them to your worthier pleasure;
A wife's pleased husband must her object be
In all her acts, not her soothed fantasy.
Mont. Then come, my love, now pay those rites to sleep
Thy fair eyes owe him; shall we now to bed?
Ta. Oh, no, my lord; your holy friar says
All couplings in the day that touch the bed
Adulterous are, even in the married;
Whose grave and worthy doctrine, well I know,
Your faith in him will liberally allow.
Mont. He's a most learned and religious man;
Come to the presence then, and see great D'Ambois
(Fortune's proud mushroom shot up in a night)
Stand like an Atlas under our King's arm;
Which greatness with him Monsieur now envies
As bitterly and deadly as the Guise.
Ta. What, he that was but yesterday his maker,
His raiser and preserver?
Mont. Even the same:
Each natural agent works but to this end,
To render that it works on like itself;
Which since the Monsieur in his act on D'Ambois
Cannot to his ambitious end effect,
But that, quite opposite, the King hath power
In his love borne to D'Ambois, to convert
The point of Monsieur's aim on his own breast,
He turns his outward love to inward hate.
A prince's love is like the lightning's fume,
Which no man can embrace, but must consume.


He. Speak home, my Bussy; thy impartial words
Are like brave falcons that dare truss a fowl
Much greater than themselves; flatterers are kites
That check at sparrows; thou shalt be my eagle,
And bear my thunder underneath thy wings;
Truth's words, like jewels, hang in the ears of kings.
Bu. Would I might live to see no Jews hang there
Instead of jewels; sycophants, I mean,
Who use truth like the devil, his true foe,
Cast by the angel to the pit of fears,
And bound in chains; truth seldom decks kings' ears.
Slave flattery (like a rippier's legs roll'd up
In boots of hay ropes) with kings' soothed guts
Swaddled and strappled, now lives only free.
Oh, 'tis a subtle knave; how like the plague
Unfelt he strikes into the brain of man,
And rageth in his entrails, when he can,
Worse than the poison of a red-hair'd man.
He. Fly at him and his brood; I cast thee off,
And once more give thee surname of mine eagle.
Bu. I'll make you sport enough, then; let me have
My lucerns too, or dogs inured to hunt
Beasts of most rapine, but to put them up,
And if I trust not, let me not be trusted.
Show me a great man (by the people's voice,
Which is the voice of God) that by his greatness
Bombasts his private roofs with public riches;
That affects royalty, rising from a clapdish;
That rules so much more by his suffering king,
That he makes kings of his subordinate slaves:
Himself and them graduate like woodmongers,
Piling a stack of billets from the earth,
Raising each other into steeples' heights;
Let him convey this on the turning props
Of Protean law, and, his own counsel keeping,
Keep all upright; let me but hawk at him,
I'll play the vulture, and so thump his liver,
That, like a huge unlading Argosy,
He shall confess all, and you then may hang him.
Show me a clergyman, that is in voice
A lark of heaven, in heart a mole of earth;
That hath good living, and a wicked life;
A temperate look, and a luxurious gut;
Turning the rents of his superfluous cures
Into your pheasants and your partridges;
Venting their quintessence as men read Hebrew;
Let me but hawk at him, and, like the other,
He shall confess all, and you then may hang him.
Show me a lawyer that turns sacred law
(The equal renderer of each man his own,
The scourge of rapine and extortion,
The sanctuary and impregnable defence
Of retired learning and besieged virtue)
Into a harpy, that eats all but's own,
Into the damned sins it punisheth;
Into the synagogue of thieves and atheists,
Blood into gold, and justice into lust;
Let me but hawk at him, as at the rest,
He shall confess all, and you then may hang him.


Gu. Where will you find such game as you would hawk at?
Bu. I'll hawk about your house for one of them.
Gu. Come, y'are a glorious ruffian, and run proud
Of the King's headlong graces; hold your breath,
Or, by that poison'd vapour, not the King
Shall back your murderous valour against me.
Bu. I would the King would make his presence free
But for one bout betwixt us: by the reverence
Due to the sacred space 'twixt kings and subjects,
Here would I make thee cast that popular purple,
In which thy proud soul sits and braves thy sovereign.
Mo. Peace, peace, I pray thee peace.
Bu. Let him peace first that made the first war.
Mo. He's the better man.
Bu. And therefore may do worst?
Mo. He has more titles.
Bu. So Hydra had more heads.
Mo. He's greater known.
Bu. His greatness is the people's; mine's mine own.
Mo. He's nobly born.
Bu. He is not, I am noble.
And noblesse in his blood hath no gradation,
But in his merit.
Gu. Th'art not nobly born,
But bastard to the Cardinal of Ambois.
Bu. Thou liest, proud Guiserd; let me fly, my lord.
He. Not in my face, my eagle; violence flies
The sanctuaries of a prince's eyes.
Bu. Still shall we chide and foam upon this bit?
Is the Guise only great in faction?
Stands he not by himself? Proves he th' opinion
That men's souls are without them? Be a duke
And lead me to the field.
Gu. Come, follow me.
He. Stay them, stay, D'Ambois; cousin Guise, I wonder
Your honour'd disposition brooks so ill
A man so good, that only would uphold
Man in his native noblesse, from whose fall
All our dimensions rise; that in himself
(Without the outward patches of our frailty,
Riches and honour) knows he comprehends
Worth with the greatest; kings had never borne
Such boundless empire over other men,
Had all maintain'd the spirit and state of D'Ambois;
Nor had the full impartial hand of nature
That all things gave in her original,
Without these definite terms of mine and thine,
Been turn'd unjustly to the hand of Fortune,
Had all preserved her in her prime, like D'Ambois;
No envy, no disjunction had dissolved,
Or pluck'd one stick out of the golden faggot
In which the world of Saturn bound our lives,
Had all been held together with the nerves,
The genius, and th'ingenuous soul of D'Ambois.
Let my hand therefore be the Hermean rod
To part and reconcile, and so conserve you,
As my combined embracers and supporters.
Bu. 'Tis our king's motion, and we shall not seem
To worst eyes womanish, though we change thus soon
Never so great grudge for his greater pleasure.
Gu. I seal to that, and so the manly freedom
That you so much profess, hereafter prove not
A bold and glorious license to deprave,
To me his hand shall hold the Hermean virtue
His grace affects, in which submissive sign
On this his sacred right hand, I lay mine.
Bu. 'Tis well, my lord, and so your worthy greatness
Decline not to the greater insolence,
Nor make you think it a prerogative,
To rack men's freedoms with the ruder wrongs;
My hand (stuck full of laurel, in true sign
'Tis wholly dedicate to righteous peace)
In all submission kisseth th'other side.
He. Thanks to ye both; and kindly I invite ye
Both to banquet, where we'll sacrifice
Full cups to confirmation of your loves;
At which, fair ladies, I entreat your presence;
And hope you, madam, will take one carouse
For reconcilement of your lord and servant.
Du. If I should fail, my lord, some other lady
Would be found there to do that for my servant.
Mo. Any of these here?
Du. Nay, I know not that.
Bu. Think your thoughts like my mistress', honour'd lady?
Ta. I think not on you, sir; y'are one I know not.
Bu. Cry you mercy, madam.
Mont. Oh, sir, has she met you?
[Exeunt HENRY, D'AMBOIS, Ladies.
Mo. What had my bounty drunk when it raised him?
Gu. Y'ave stuck us up a very worthy flag,
That takes more wind than we with all our sails.
Mo. Oh, so he spreads and flourishes.
Gu. He must down;
Upstarts should never perch too near a crown.
Mo. 'Tis true, my lord; and as this doting hand,
Even out of earth, like Juno, struck this giant,
So Jove's great ordinance shall be here implied
To strike him under th'Etna of his pride;
To which work lend your hands, and let us cast
Where we may set snares for his ranging greatness;
I think it best, amongst our greatest women:
For there is no such trap to catch an upstart
As a loose downfall; for you know their falls
Are th'ends of all men's rising: if great men
And wise make scapes to please advantage
'Tis with a woman: women that worst may
Still hold men's candles; they direct and know
All things amiss in all men; and their women
All thing amiss in them; through whose charm'd mouths,
We may see all the close scapes of the Court.
When the most royal beast of chase, the hart,
(Being old and cunning in his lairs and haunts)
Can never be discover'd to the bow,
The piece, or hound; yet where, behind some quitch,
He breaks his gall, and rutteth with his hind,
The place is mark'd, and by his venery
He still is taken. Shall we then attempt
The chiefest mean to that discovery here,
And court our greatest ladies' chiefest women
With shows of love and liberal promises?
'Tis but our breath. If something given in hand
Sharpens their hopes of more, 'twill be well ventured.
Gu. No doubt of that; and 'tis the cunning'st point
Of your devised investigation.
Mo. I have broken
The ice to it already with the woman
Of our chaste lady, and conceive good hope
I shall wade thorough to some wished shore
At our next meeting.
Mont. Nay, there's small hope there.
Gu. Take say of her, my lord, she comes most fitly.
Mo. Starting back?


Gu. Y'are engaged, indeed.
An. Nay, pray, my lord, forbear.
Mont. What, skittish, servant?
An. No, my lord, I am not so fit for your service.
Ch. Pray pardon me now, my lord; my lady expects me.
Gu. I'll satisfy her expectation, as far as an uncle may.
Mo. Well said; a spirit of courtship of all hands. Now mine own Pero,
hast thou remembered me for the discovery I entreated thee to make of thy
mistress? speak boldly, and be sure of all things I have sworn to thee.
Pe. Building on that assurance, my lord, I may speak; and much the
rather, because my lady hath not trusted me with that I can tell you; for now
cannot be said to betray her.
Mo. That's all one, so we reach our objects; forth, I beseech thee.
Pe. To tell you truth, my lord, I have made a strange discovery.
Mo. Excellent, Pero, thou revivest me; may I sink quick to perdition
my tongue discover it.
Pe. 'Tis thus, then: this last night, my lord lay forth, and I
my lady's sitting up, stole up at midnight from my pallet; and (having before
made a hole both through the wall and arras to her inmost chamber) I saw
D'Ambois and herself reading a letter.
Mo. D'Ambois?
Pe. Even he, my lord.
Mo. Dost thou not dream, wench?
Pe. I swear he is the man.
Mo. The devil he is, and thy lady his dam; why, this was the happiest
shot that ever flew! The just plague of hypocrisy levelled it. Oh, the
regions betwixt a woman's tongue and her heart! is this our goddess of chastity
I thought I could not be so sleighted if she had not her fraught besides, and,
therefore, plotted this with her woman, never dreaming of D'Ambois. Dear Pero,
will advance thee for ever; but tell me now; God's precious, it transforms me
with admiration; sweet Pero, whom should she trust with his conveyance? Or,
the doors being made sure, how should his conveyance be made?
Pe. Nay, my lord, that amazes me; I cannot by any study so much as
guess at it.
Mo. Well, let's favour our apprehensions with forbearing that a
for if my heart were not hooped with adamant, the conceit of this would have
burst it. But hark thee. [Whispers.
Ch. I swear to your grace, all that I can conjecture touching my lady
your niece, is a strong affection she bears to the English Mylor.
Gu. All, quod you? 'Tis enough, I assure you, but tell me.
Mont. I pray thee, resolve me: the duke will never imagine that I am
busy about's wife: hath D'Ambois any privy access to her?
An. No, my lord; D'Ambois neglects her, as she takes it, and is
therefore suspicious that either your lady, or the Lady Beaupre hath closely
entertained him.
Mont. By'r lady, a likely suspicion, and very near the life, if she
marks it, especially of my wife.
Mo. Come, we'll disguise all seeming only to have courted; away, dry
palm: sh'as a liver as hard as a biscuit; a man may go a whole voyage
with her,
and get nothing but tempests from her windpipe.
Gu. Here's one, I think, has swallowed a porcupine, she casts pricks
from her tongue so.
Mont. And here's a peacock seems to have devoured one of the Alps, she

has so swelling a spirit, and is so cold of her kindness.
Ch. We are no windfalls, my lord; ye must gather us with the ladder
matrimony, or we'll hang till we be rotten.
Mo. Indeed, that's the way to make ye right open-arses. But, alas! ye
have no portions fit for such husbands as we wish you.
Pe. Portions, my lord? yes, and such portions as your principality
cannot purchase.
Mo. What, woman? what are those portions?
Pe. Riddle my riddle, my lord.
Mo. Ay, marry wench, I think thy portion is a right riddle, a man
never find it out. But let's hear it.
Pe. You shall, my lord.

What's that, that being most rare's most cheap?
That when you sow, you never reap?
That when it grow most, most you in it?
And still you lose it when you win it;
That when 'tis commonest, 'tis dearest,
And when 'tis farthest off, 'tis nearest?

Mo. Is this your great portion?
Pe. Even this, my lord.
Mo. Believe me, I cannot riddle it.
Pe. No, my lord: 'tis my chastity, which you shall neither riddle nor
Mo. Your chastity? Let me begin with the end of it; how is a woman's
chastity nearest a man when 'tis furthest off?
Pe. Why, my lord, when you cannot get it, it goes to th' heart on
and that, I think, comes most near you: and I am sure it shall be far enough
off; and so we leave you to our mercies. [Exeunt Women.
Mo. Farewell, riddle.
Gu. Farewell, medlar.
Mont. Farewell, winter plum.
Mo. Now, my lords, what fruit of our inquisition? Feel you nothing
budding yet? Speak, good my Lord Montsurry.
Mont. Nothing but this: D'Ambois is negligent in observing the
and therefore she is suspicious that your niece or my wife closely entertains
Mo. Your wife, my lord? Think you that possible?
Mont. Alas, I know she flies him like her last hour.
Mo. Her last hour? Why, that comes upon her the more she flies it. Doe
D'Ambois so, think you?
Mont. That's not worth the answering. 'Tis miraculous to think with
what monsters women's imaginations engross them when they are once enamoured,
and what wonders they will work for their satisfaction. They will make a sheep
valiant, a lion fearful.
Mo. And an ass confident. Well, my lord, more will come forth
get you to the banquet.
Gu. Come, my lord; I have the blind side of one of them. [Exit
Mo. Oh, the unsounded sea of women's bloods,
That when 'tis calmest, is most dangerous;
Not any wrinkle creaming in their faces
When in their hearts are Scylla and Charybdis,
Which still are hid in dark and standing fogs,
Where never day shines, nothing never grows,
But weeds and poisons, that no statesman knows,
Nor Cerberus ever saw the damned nooks
Hid with the veils of women's virtuous looks;
But what a cloud of sulphur have I drawn
Up to my bosom in this dangerous secret!
Which if my haste with any spark should light,
Ere D'Ambois were engaged in some sure plot,
I were blown up; he would be sure my death.
Would I had never known it, for before
I shall persuade th'importance to Montsurry,
And make him with some studied stratagem
Train D'Ambois to his wreak, his maid may tell it,
Or I (out of my fiery thirst to play
With the fell tiger, up in darkness tied,
And give it some light) make it quite break loose.
I fear it afore heaven, and will not see
D'Ambois again, till I have told Montsurry
And set a snare with him to free my fears:
Who's there?

Enter MAFFE.

Ma. My lord?
Mo. Go call the Count Montsurry,
And make the doors fast; I will speak with none
Till he come to me.
Ma. Well, my lord. [Exiturus.
Mo. Or else
Send you some other, and see all the doors
Made safe yourself, I pray; haste, fly about it.
Ma. You'll speak with none but with the Count Montsurry?
Mo. With none but he, except it be the Guise.
Ma. See even by this, there's one exception more!
Your grace must be more firm in the command,
Or else shall I as weakly execute.
The Guise shall speak with you?
Mo. He shall, I say.
Ma. And Count Montsurry?
Mo. Ay, and Count Montsurry.
Ma. Your grace must pardon me, that I am bold
To urge the clear and full sense of your pleasure;
Which whensoever I have known, I hope
Your grace will say, I hit it to a hair.
Mo. You have.
Ma. I hope so, or I would be glad—
Mo. I pray thee get thee gone, thou art so tedious
In the strict form of all thy services
That I had better have one negligent.
You hit my pleasure well, when D'Ambois hit you;
Did you not, think you?
Ma. D'Ambois? why, my lord?
Mo. I pray thee talk no more, but shut the doors:
Do what I charge thee.
Ma. I will, my lord, and yet
I would be glad the wrong I had of D'Ambois—
Mo. Precious! then it is a fate that plagues me
In this man's foolery; I may be murder'd
While he stands on protection of his folly.
Avaunt about thy charge.
Ma. I go, my lord.
I had my head broke in his faithful service;
I had no suit the more, nor any thanks,
And yet my teeth must still be hit with D'Ambois:
D'Ambois, my lord, shall know.
Mo. The devil and D'Ambois! [Exit MAFFE.
How am I tortured with this trusty fool!
Never was any curious in his place
To do things justly, but he was an ass;
We cannot find one trusty that is witty,
And therefore bear their disproportion.
Grant thou, great star and angel of my life,
A sure lease of it but for some few days,
That I may clear my bosom of the snake
I cherish'd there, and I will then defy
All check to it but Nature's, and her altars
Shall crack with vessels crown'd with every liquor
Drawn from her highest and most bloody humours.
I fear him strangely, his advanced valour
Is like a spirit raised without a circle,
Endangering him that ignorantly raised him,
And for whose fury he hath learned no limit.

Enter MAFFE hastily.

Ma. I cannot help it: what should I do more?
As I was gathering a fit guard to make
My passage to the doors, and the doors sure,
The man of blood is enter'd.
Mo. Rage of death!
If I had told the secret, and he knew it,
Thus had I been endanger'd:—My sweet heart!
How now, what leap'st thou at?


Bu. O royal object!
Mo. Thou dream'st, awake; object in th'empty air?
Bu. Worthy the brows of Titan, worth his chair.
Mo. Pray thee, what mean'st thou?
Bu. See you not a crown
Impale the forehead of the great King Monsieur?
Mo. Oh, fie upon thee!
Bu. Sir, that is the subject
Of all these your retired and sole discourses.
Mo. Wilt thou not leave that wrongful supposition?
Bu. Why wrongful, to suppose the doubtless right
To the succession worth the thinking on?
Mo. Well, leave these jests; how I am overjoy'd
With thy wish'd presence, and how fit thou comest,
For of mine honour I was sending for thee.
Bu. To what end?
Mo. Only for thy company,
Which I have still in thought, but that's no payment
On thy part made with personal appearance.
Thy absence so long suffer'd, oftentimes
Put me in some little doubt thou dost not love me.
Wilt thou do one thing therefore now sincerely?
Bu. Ay, anything, but killing of the King.
Mo. Still in that discord, an ill-taken note?
How most unseasonable thou play'st the cuckoo,
In this thy fall of friendship!
Bu. Then do not doubt,
That there is any act within my nerves
But killing of the King, that is not yours.
Mo. I will not, then; to prove which by my love
Shown to thy virtues, and by all fruits else
Already sprung from that still-flourishing tree,
With whatsoever may hereafter spring,
I charge thee utter (even with all the freedom
Both of thy noble nature and thy friendship)
The full and plain state of me in thy thoughts.
Bu. What, utter plainly what I think of you?
Mo. Plain as truth.
Bu. Why, this swims quite against the stream of greatness;
Great men would rather hear their flatteries,
And if they be not made fools, are not wise.
Mo. I am no such great fool, and therefore charge thee
Even from the root of thy free heart, display me.
Bu. Since you affect in it such serious terms,
If yourself first will tell me what you think
As freely and as heartily of me,
I'll be as open in my thoughts of you.
Mo. A bargain, of mine honour; and make this,
That prove we in our full dissection
Never so foul, live still the sounder friends.
Bu. What else, sir? Come, pay me home; I'll bide it bravely.
Mo. I will swear. I think thee then a man
That dares as much as a wild horse or tiger;
As headstrong and as bloody; and to feed
The ravenous wolf of thy most cannibal valour,
(Rather than not employ it) thou wouldst turn
Hackster to any whore, slave to a Jew
Or English usurer, to force possessions,
And cut men's throats of mortgaged estates;
Or thou wouldst 'tire thee like a tinker's strumpet,
And murder market-folks, quarrel with sheep,
And run as mad as Ajax; serve a butcher,
Do anything but killing of the King:
That in thy valour th'art like other naturals
That have strange gifts in nature, but no soul
Diffused quite through, to make them of a piece,
But stop at humours that are more absurd,
Childish and villanous than that hackster, whore,
Slave, cut-throat, tinker's bitch, compared before;
And in those humours wouldst envy, betray,
Slander, blaspheme, change each hour a religion;
Do anything but killing of the King:
That in thy valour (which is still the dung-hill,
To which hath reference all filth in thy house)
Thou art more ridiculous and vain-glorious
Than any mountebank; and impudent
Than any painted bawd; which, not to soothe
And glorify thee like a Jupiter Hammon,
Thou eat'st thy heart in vinegar; and thy gall
Turns all thy blood to poison, which is cause
Of that toad-pool that stands in thy complexion,
And makes thee (with a cold and earthy moisture,
Which is the dam of putrefaction,
As plague to thy damn'd pride) rot as thou livest;
To study calumnies and treacheries;
To thy friends' slaughters like a screech-owl sing,
And do all michiefs but to kill the King.
Bu. So! have you said?
Mo. How think'st thou? Do I flatter?
Speak I not like a trusty friend to thee?
Bu. That ever any man was blest withal;
So here's for me. I think you are (at worst)
No devil, since y'are like to be no king;
Of which, with any friend of yours, I'll lay
This poor stillado here, 'gainst all the stars,
Ay, and 'gainst all your treacheries, which are more;
That you did never good, but to do ill;
But ill of all sorts, free and for itself:
That (like a murdering piece, making lanes in armi:
The first man of a rank, the whole rank falling)
If you have wrong'd one man, you are so far
From making him amends, that all his race,
Friends, and associates, fall into your chase:
That y'are for perjuries the very prince
Of all intelligencers; and your voice
Is like an eastern wind, that where it flies
Knits nets of caterpillars, with which you catch
The prime of all the fruits the kingdom yields.
That your political head is the cursed fount
Of all the violence, rapine, cruelty,
Tyranny, and atheism flowing through the realm.
That y'ave a tongue so scandalous, 'twill cut
A perfect crystal; and a breath that will
Kill to that wall a spider; you will jest
With God, and your soul to the devil tender
For lust; kiss horror, and with death engender.
That your foul body is a Lernean fen
Of all the maladies breeding in all men;
That you are utterly without a soul;
And, for you life, the thread of that was spun
When Clotho slept, and let her breathing rock
Fall in the dirt; and Lachesis still draws it,
Dipping her twisting fingers in a bowl
Defiled, and crown'd with virtue's forced soul.
And lastly (which I must for gratitude
Ever remember) that of all my height
And dearest life, you are the only spring,
Only in royal hope to kill the King.
Mo. Why, now I see thou lovest me; come to the banquet. [Exeunt.



Enter HENRY, Monsieur, with a letter; GUISE, MONTSURRY, BUSSY, ELENOR,

HE. Ladies, ye have not done our banquet right,
Nor look'd upon it with those cheerful rays
That lately turn'd your breaths to floods of gold;
Your looks, methinks, are not drawn out with thoughts
So clear and free as heretofore, but foul,
As if the thick complexions of men
Govern'd within them.
Bu. 'Tis not like, my lord,
That men in women rule, but contrary;
For as the moon (of all things God created)
Not only is the most appropriate image
Or glass to show them how they wax and wane,
But in her height and motion likewise bears
Imperial influences that command
In all their powers, and make them wax and wane;
So women, that (of all things made of nothing)
Are the most perfect idols of the moon
(Or still-unwean'd sweet moon-calves with white faces)
Not only are patterns of change to men,
But as the tender moonshine of their beauties
Clears, or is cloudy, make men glad or sad,
So then they rule in men, not men in them.
Mo. But here the moons are changed, (as the King notes)
And either men rule in them, or some power
Beyond their voluntary faculty:
For nothing can recover their lost faces.
Mont. None can be always one: our griefs and joys
Hold several sceptres in us, and have times
For their divided empires: which grief now, in them
Doth prove as proper to his diadem.
Bu. And grief's a natural sickness of the blood,
That time to part asks, as his coming had,
Only slight fools grieved suddenly are glad;
A man may say to a dead man, "Be revived."
As well as to one sorrowful, "Be not grieved."
And therefore, princely mistress, in all wars
Against these base foes that insult on weakness,
And still fight housed behind the shield of Nature,
Of privilege, law, treachery, or beastly need,
Your servant cannot help; authority here
Goes with corruption: something like some States,
That back worst men: valour to them must creep
That, to themselves left, would fear him asleep.
Du. Ye all take that for granted that doth rest
Yet to be proved; we all are as we were,
As merry and as free in thought as ever.
Gu. And why then can ye not disclose your thoughts?
Ta. Methinks the man hath answer'd for us well.
Mo. The man? why, madam, d'ye not know his name?
Ta. Man is a name of honour for a king:
Additions take away from each chief thing:
The school of modesty, not to learn, learns dames:
They sit in high forms there, that know men's names.
Mo. Hark! sweetheart, here's a bar set to your valour:
It cannot enter here: no, not to notice
Of what your name is; your great eagle's beak
(Should you fly at her) had as good encounter
An Albion cliff, as her more craggy liver.
Bu. I'll not attempt her, sir; her sight and name
(By which I only know her) doth deter me.
He. So they do all men else.
Mo. You would say so
If you knew all.
Ta. Knew all, my lord? What mean you?
Mo. All that I know, madam.
Ta. That you know? speak it.
Mo. No, 'tis enough. I feel it.
He. But, methinks
Her courtship is more pure than heretofore;
True courtiers should be modest, but not nice,
Bold, but not impudent, pleasure love, not vice.
Mo. Sweetheart! come hither, what if one should make
Horns at Montsurry? Would it not strike him jealous
Through all the proofs of his chaste lady's virtues?
Bu. If he be wise, not.
Mo. What? Not if I should name the gardener
That I would have him think hath grafted him?
Bu. So the large licence that your greatness uses
To jest at all men, may be taught indeed
To make a difference of the grounds you play on,
Both in the men you scandal, and the matter.
Mo. As how? as how?
Bu. Perhaps led with a train, where you may have
Your nose made less and slit, your eyes thrust out.
Mo. Peace, peace, I pray thee peace.
Who dares do that? the brother of his king?
Bu. Were your king brother in you; all your powers
(Stretch'd in the arms of great men and their bawds),
Set close down by you; all your stormy laws
Spouted with lawyers' mouths; and gushing blood,
Like to so many torrents; all your glories
(Making you terrible, like enchanted flames
Fed with bare cockscombs; and with crooked hams),
All your prerogatives, your shames and tortures;
All daring heaven, and opening hell about you;
Were I the man ye wrong'd so and provoked,
Though ne'er so much beneath you, like a box-tree
I would (out of the roughness of my root)
Ram hardness, in my lowness, and like death
Mounted on earthquakes, I would trot through all
Honours and horrors: thorough foul and fair
And from your whole strength toss you into the air.
Mo. Go, th'art a devil; such another spirit
Could not be 'still'd from all th'Armenian dragons.
O my love's glory; heir to all I have;
That's all I can say, and that all I swear.
If thou outlive me, as I know thou must,
Or else hath nature no proportion'd end
To her great labours; she hath breathed a mind
Into thy entrails, of desert to swell
Into another great Augustus Cæsar;
Organs and faculties fitted to her greatness;
And should that perish like a common spirit,
Nature's a courtier and regards no merit.
He. Here's nought but whispering with us; like a calm
Before a tempest, when the silent air
Lays her soft ear close to the earth to hearken
For that she fears steals on to ravish her;
Some fate doth join our ears to her it coming.
Come, my brave eagle, let's to covert fly;
I see almighty Æther in the smoke
Of all his clouds descending; and the sky
Hid in the dim ostents of tragedy.

[Exit HENRY with D'AMBOIS and Ladies.

Gu. Now stir the humour, and begin the brawl.
Mont. The King and D'Ambois now are grown all one.
Mo. Nay, they are two, my lord.
Mont. How's that?
Mo. No more.
Mont. I must have more, my lord.
Mo. What, more than two?
Mont. How monstrous is this!
Mo. Why?
Mont. You make me horns.
Mo. Not I; it is a work without my power,
Married men's ensigns are not made with fingers;
Of divine fabric they are, not men's hands;
Your wife, you know, is a mere Cynthia,
And she must fashion horns out of her nature.
Mont. But doth she, dare you charge her? speak, false prince.
Mo. I must not speak, my lord; but if you'll use
The learning of a nobleman, and read,
Here's something to those points; soft, you must pawn
Your honour having read it to return it.
Mont. Not I, I pawn my honour for a paper?
Mo. You must not buy it under.
[Exeunt GUISE and Monsieur.
Mont. Keep it then,
And keep fire in your bosom.
Ta. What says he?
Mont. You must make good the rest.
Ta. How fares my lord?
Takes my love anything to heart he says?
Mont. Come y'are a______
Ta. What, my lord?
Mont. The plague of Herod
Feast in his rotten entrails.
Ta. Will you wreak
Your anger's just cause given by him, on me?
Mont. By him?
Ta. By him, my lord, I have admired
You could all this time be at concord with him,
That still hath placed such discords on your honour.
Mont. Perhaps 'tis with some proud string of my wife's.
Ta. How's that, my lord?
Mont. Your tongue will still admire,
Till my head be the miracle of the world.
Ta. Oh, woe is me!
[She seems to swound.
Pe. What does your lordship mean?
Madam, be comforted; my lord but tries you;
Madam! help, good my lord, are you not moved?
Do your set looks print in your words your thoughts?
Sweet lord, clear up those eyes, unbend that masking forehead; whence is it
You rush upon her with these Irish wars,
More full of sound than hurt? But it is enough,
You have shot home, your words are in her heart;
She has not lived to bear a trial now.
Mont. Look up, my love, and by this kiss receive
My soul amongst the spirits for supply
To thine, chased with my fury.
Ta. Oh, my lord,
I have too long lived to hear this from you.
Mont. 'Twas from my troubled blood, and not from me;
I know not how I fare; a sudden night
Flows through my entrails, and a headlong chaos
Murmurs within me, which I must digest;
And not drown her in my confusions,
That was my life's joy, being best inform'd;
Sweet, you must needs forgive me, that my love
(Like to a fire disdaining his suppression)
Raged being discouraged; my whole heart is wounded
When any least thought in you is but touch'd,
And shall be till I know your former merits;
Your name and memory altogether crave
In just oblivion their eternal grave;
And then you must hear from me, there's no mean
In any passion I shall feel for you;
Love is a razor cleansing being well used,
But fetcheth blood still being the least abused;
To tell you briefly all: the man that left me
When you appear'd, did turn me worse than woman,
And stabbed me to the heart thus, with his fingers.
Ta. Oh, happy woman! Comes my stain from him,
It is my beauty, and that innocence proves;
That slew Chimæra, rescued Peleus
From all the savage beasts in Pelion;
And raised the chaste Athenian prince from hell;
All suffering with me, they for women's lusts,
I for a man's, that the Augean stable
Of his foul sin would empty in my lap;
How his guilt shunn'd me! sacred innocence
That where thou fear'st, art dreadful; and his face
Turn'd in flight from thee, that had thee in chase;
Come, bring me to him; I will tell the serpent
Even to his venom'd teeth (from whose cursed seed
A pitch'd field starts up 'twixt my lord and me)
That his throat lies, and he shall curse his fingers,
For being so govern'd by his filthy soul.
Mont. I know not if himself will vaunt t'have been
The princely author of the slavish sin,
Or any other; he would have resolved me
Had you not come; not by his word, but writing,
Would I have sworn to give it him again,
And pawn'd mine honour to him for a paper.
Ta. See how he flies me still; 'tis a foul heart
That fears his own hand; good, my lord, make haste
To see the dangerous paper; papers hold
Oft-times the forms and copies of our souls,
And, though the world despise them, are the prizes
Of all our honours; make your honour then
A hostage for it, and with it confer
My nearest woman here, in all she knows;
Who (if the sun or Cerberus could have seen
Any stain in me) might as much as they;
And, Pero, here I charge thee by my love,
And all proofs of it (which I might call bounties),
By all that thou hast seen seem good in me,
And all the ill which thou shouldst spit from thee,
By pity of the wound this touch hath given me,
Not as thy mistress now, but a poor woman,
To death given over; rid me of my pains,
Pour on thy powder; clear thy breast of me;
My lord is only here; here speak thy worst,
Thy best will do me mischief; if thou sparest me,
Never shine good thought on thy memory.
Resolve, my lord, and leave me desperate.
Pe. My lord? my lord hath played a prodigal's part,
To break his stock for nothing; and an insolent,
To cut a gordian when he could not loose it;
What violence is this, to put true fire
To a false train? To blow up long-crown'd peace
With sudden outrage, and believe a man
Sworn to the shame of women, 'gainst a woman,
Born to their honours? But I will to him.
Ta. No, I will write (for I shall never more
Meet with the fugitive) where I will defy him,
Were he ten times the brother of my king.
To him, my lord, and I'll to cursing him.

Enter D'AMBOIS and Friar.

Bu. I am suspicious, my most honour'd father,
By some of Monsieur's cunning passages,
That his still ranging and contentious nostrils,
To scent the haunts of mischief have so used
The vicious virtue of his busy sense,
That he trails hotly of him, and will rouse him,
Driving him all enraged and foaming, on us.
And therefore have entreated your deep skill
In the command of good ærial spirits,
To assume these magic rites, and call up one
To know if any have reveal'd unto him
Anything touching my dear love and me.
Fr. Good son, you have amazed me but to make
The least doubt of it, it concerns so nearly
The faith and reverence of my name and order.
Yet will I justify, upon my soul,
All I have done; if any spirit i' th' earth or air
Can give you the resolve, do not despair.

Music. TAMYRA enters with PERO and her maid, bearing a letter.

Ta. Away, deliver it: O may my lines [Exit PERO.
(Fill'd with the poison of a woman's hate
When he shall open them), shrink up his eyes
With torturous darkness, such as stands in hell,
Stuck full of inward horrors, never lighted;
With which are all things to be fear'd, affrighted;

Ascendit BUSSY with Friar.

Bu. How is it with my honour'd mistress?
Ta. O servant, help, and save me from the gripes
Of shame and infamy. Our love is known:
Your Monsieur hath a paper where is writ
Some secret tokens that decipher it.
Bu. What cold dull northern brain, what fool but he
Durst take into his Epimethean breast
A box of such plagues as the danger yields
Incurr'd in this discovery? He had better
Ventured his breast in the consuming reach
Of the hot surfeits cast out of the clouds,
Or stood the bullets that (to wreak the sky)
The Cyclopes ram in Jove's artillery.
Fr. We soon will take the darkness from his face
That did that deed of darkness; we will know
What now the Monsieur and your husband do;
What is contain'd within the secret paper
Offer'd by Monsieur, and your love's events:
To which ends, honour'd daughter, at your motion,
I have put on these exorcising rites,
And, by my power of learned holiness
Vouchsafed me from above, I will command
Our resolution of a raised spirit.
Ta. Good father, raise him in some beauteous form
That with least terror I may brook his sight.
Fr. Stand sure together, then, whate'er ye see,
And stir not, as ye tender all our lives.
[He puts on his robes.
Occidentalium legionum spiritualium imperator (magnus ille Behemoth)
veni, comitatus cum Astaroth locotenente invicto. Adjuro te per Stygis
inscrutabilia arcana, per ipsos irremeabiles anfractus Averni: adesto ô
Behemoth, tu cui pervia sunt Magnatum scrinia; veni, per Noctis & tenebrarum
abdita profundissima; per labentia sidera; per ipsos motus horarum furtivos,
Hecatesq; altum silentium: Appare in forma spiritali, lucente, splendida &
[Thunder. Ascendit.
Behemoth. What would the holy Friar?
Fr. I would see
What now the Monsieur and Montsurry do;
And see the secret paper that the Monsieur
Offer'd to Count Montsurry, longing much
To know on what events the secret loves
Of these two honour'd persons shall arrive.
Beh. Why call'dst thou me to this accursed light
To these light purposes? I am Emperor
Of that inscrutable darkness where are hid
All deepest truths, and secrets never seen,
All which I know, and command legions
Of knowing spirits that can do more than these.
Any of this my guard that circle me
In these blue fires, and out of whose dim fumes
Vast murmurs use to break, and from their sounds
Articulate voices, can do ten parts more
Than open such slight truths as you require.
Fr. From the last night's black depth I call'd up one
Of the inferior ablest ministers,
And he could not resolve me; send one then
Out of thine own command, to fetch the paper
That Monsieur hath to show to Count Montsurry.
Beh. I will. Cartophylax, thou that properly
Hast in thy power all papers so inscribed,
Glide through all bars to it and fetch that paper.
Cartoph. I will. [A torch removes.
Fr. Till he returns, great prince of darkness,
Tell me if Monsieur and the Count Montsurry
Are yet encounter'd?
Beh. Both them and the Guise
Are now together.
Fr. Show us all their persons,
And represent the place, with all their actions.
Beh. The spirit will straight return; and then I'll show thee.
See, he is come; why brought'st thou not the paper?
Cartoph. He hath prevented me, and got a spirit
Raised by another great in our command,
To take the guard of it before I came.
Beh. This is your slackness, not t'invoke our powers
When first your acts set forth to their effects;
Yet shall you see it and themselves: behold
They come here, and the Earl now holds the paper.

Enter Monsieur, GUISE, MONTSURRY, with a paper.

Bu. May we not hear them?
Fr. No, be still and see.
Bu. I will go fetch the paper.
Fr. Do not stir;
There's too much distance and too many locks
'Twixt you and them, how near so'er they seem,
For any man to interrupt their secrets.
Ta. O honour'd spirit, fly into the fancy
Of my offended lord, and do not let him
Believe what there the wicked man hath written.
Beh. Persuasion hath already enter'd him
Beyond reflection; peace till their departure.
Mo. There is a glass of ink where you may see
How to make ready black-faced tragedy:
You now discern, I hope, through all her paintings,
Her gasping wrinkles, and fame's sepulchres.
Gu. Think you he feigns, my lord? What hold you now?
Do we malign your wife, or honour you?
Mo. What, stricken dumb! Nay fie, lord, be not daunted;
Your case is common; were it ne'er so rare,
Bear it as rarely; now to laugh were manly;
A worthy man should imitate the weather
That sings in tempests, and being clear is silent.
Gu. Go home, my lord, and force your wife to write
Such loving lines to D'Ambois as she used
When she desired his presence.
Mo. Do, my lord,
And make her name her conceal'd messenger,
That close and most inennerable pander,
That passeth all our studies to exquire;
By whom convey the letter to her love:
And so you shall be sure to have him come
Within the thirsty reach of your revenge;
Before which, lodge an ambush in her chamber
Behind the arras, of your stoutest men
All close and soundly arm'd; and let them share
A spirit amongst them that would serve a thousand.

Enter PERO with a letter.

Gu. Yet a little; see, she sends for you.
Mo. Poor, loving lady; she'll make all good yet,
Think you not so, my lord?

[Exit MONTSURRY and stabs PERO.

Gu. Alas, poor soul!
Mo. That was cruelly done, i'faith.
Pe. 'Twas nobly done.
And I forgive his lordship from my soul.
Mo. Then much good do't thee, Pero! hast a letter?
Pe. I hope it rather be a bitter volume
Of worthy curses for your perjury.
Gu. To you, my lord.
Mo. To me? now, out upon her.
Gu. Let me see, my lord.
Mo. You shall presently: how fares my Pero?

Enter Servant.

Who's there? Take in this maid, sh'as caught a clap,
And fetch my surgeon to her; come, my lord,
We'll now peruse our letter.
[Exeunt Monsieur, GUISE.
Pe. Furies rise [Lead her out.
Out of the black lines, and torment his soul.
Ta. Hath my lord slain my woman?
Beh. No, she lives.
Fr. What shall become of us?
Beh. All I can say,
Being call'd thus late, is brief, and darkly this:
If D'Ambois' mistress stay not her white hand
In his forced blood, he shall remain untouch'd:
So, father, shall yourself, but by yourself:
To make this augury plainer: when the voice
Of D'Ambois shall invoke me, I will rise,
Shining in greater light: and show him all
That will betide ye all; meantime be wise,
And curb his valour with your policies.
[Descendit cum suis.
Bu. Will he appear to me when I invoke him?
Fr. He will, be sure.
Bu. It must be shortly then:
For his dark words have tied my thoughts on knots,
Till he dissolve, and free them.
Ta. In meantime,
Dear servant, till your powerful voice revoke him,
Be sure to use the policy he advised:
Lest fury in your too quick knowledge taken
Of our abuse, and your defence of me
Accuse me more than any enemy;
And, father, you must on my lord impose
Your holiest charges, and the Church's power
To temper his hot spirit and disperse
The cruelty and the blood I know his hand
Will shower upon our heads, if you put not
Your finger to the storm, and hold it up,
As my dear servant here must do with Monsieur.
Bu. I'll soothe his plots; and strow my hate with smiles.
Till all at once the close mines of my heart
Rise at full date, and rush into his blood:
I'll bind his arm in silk, and rub his flesh,
To make the vein swell, that his soul may gush
Into some kennel, where it longs to lie,
And policy shall be flank'd with policy.
Yet shall the feeling centre where we meet
Groan with the weight of my approaching feet;
I'll make th'inspired thresholds of his court
Sweat with the weather of my horrid steps,
Before I enter; yet will I appear
Like calm security, before a ruin;
A politician must like lightning melt
The very marrow, and not taint the skin:
His ways must not be seen; the superficies
Of the green centre must not taste his feet,
When hell is plow'd up with his wounding tracts:
And all his harvest reap'd by hellish facts. [Exeunt.



MONTSURRY bare, unbraced, pulling TAMYRA in by the hair, Friar. One
bearing a light, a standish and a paper, which sets a table.

TA. Oh, help me, father.
Fr. Impious earl, forbear.
Take violent hand from her, or by mine order
The King shall force thee.
Mont. 'Tis not violent; come ye not willingly?
Ta. Yes, good my lord.
Fr. My lord, remember that your soul must seek
Her peace, as well as your revengeful blood;
You ever to this hour have proved yourself
A noble, zealous, and obedient son,
T'our holy mother; be not an apostate;
Your wife's offence serves not, were it the worst
You can imagine, without greater proofs,
To sever your eternal bonds and hearts;
Much less to touch her with a bloody hand;
Nor is it manly, much less husbandly,
To expiate any frailty in your wife
With churlish strokes or beastly odds of strength:
The stony birth of clouds will touch no laurel;
Nor any sleeper; your wife is your laurel,
And sweetest sleeper; do not touch her then;
Be not more rude than the wild seed of vapour,
To her that is more gentle than that rude;
In whom kind nature suffer'd one offence
But to set off her other excellence.
Mont. Good father, leave us; interrupt no more
The course I must run for mine honour sake.
Rely on my love to her, which her fault
Cannot extinguish; will she but disclose
who was the secret minister of her love,
And through what maze he served it, we are friends.
Fr. It is a damn'd work to pursue those secrets
That would ope more sin, and prove springs of slaughter;
Nor is't a path for Christian feet to tread,
But out of all way to the health of souls,
A sin impossible to be forgiven;
Which he that dares commit_____
Mont. Good father, cease; your terrors
Tempt not a man distracted; I am apt
To outrages that I shall ever rue;
I will not pass the verge that bounds a Christian,
Nor break the limits of a man nor husband.
Fr. Then God inspire you both with thoughts and deeds
Worthy his high respect, and your own souls.
Ta. Father!
Fr. I warrant thee, my dearest daughter,
He will not touch thee; think'st thou him a pagan?
His honour and his soul lies for thy safety. [Exit.
Mont. Who shall remove the mountain from my breast?
Stand the opening furnace of my thoughts,
And set fit outcries for a soul in hell?
[MONTSURRY turns a key.
For now it nothing fits my woes to speak
But thunder, or to take into my throat
The trump of heaven, with whose determinate blast
The winds shall burst, and the devouring seas
Be drunk up in his sounds; that my hot woes
(Vented enough) I might convert to vapour,
Ascending from my infamy unseen;
Shorten the world, preventing the last breath
That kills the living, and regenerates death.
Ta. My lord, my fault (as you may censure it
With too strong arguments) is past your pardon:
But how the circumstances may excuse me
Heaven knows, and your more temperate mind hereafter
May let my penitent miseries make you know.
Mont. Hereafter? 'Tis a supposed infinite,
That from this point will rise eternally:
Fame grows in going; in the 'scapes of virtue
Excuses damn her: they be fires in cities
Enraged with those winds that less lights extinguish
Come, syren, sing, and dash against my rocks
Thy ruffian galley, rigg'd with quench for lust;
Sing, and put all the nets into thy voice
With which thou drew'st into thy strumpet's lap
The spawn of Venus; and in which ye danced;
That, in thy lap's stead, I may dig his tomb,
And quit his manhood with a woman's sleight,
Who never is deceived in her deceit.
Sing (that is, write), and then take from mine eyes
The mists that hide the most inscrutable pander
That ever lapp'd up an adulterous vomit;
That I may see the devil, and survive
To be a devil, and then learn to wive:
That I may hang him, and then cut him down,
Then cut him up, and with my soul's beams search
The cranks and caverns of his brain, and study
The errant wilderness of a woman's face;
Where men cannot get out, for all the comets
That have been lighted at it; though they know
That adders lie a-sunning in their smiles,
That basilisks drink their poison from their eyes,
And no way there to coast out to their hearts;
Yet still they wander there, and are not stay'd
Till they be fetter'd, nor secure before
All cares devour them; nor in humane consort
Till they embrace within their wife's two breasts
All Pelion and Cythæron with their beasts.
Why write you not?
Ta. O good my lord, forbear
In wreak of great faults, to engender greater,
And make my love's corruption generate murder.
Mont. It follows needfully as child and parent
The chain-shot of thy lust is yet aloft,
And it must murder; 'tis thine own dear twin:
No man can add height to a woman's sin.
Vice never doth her just hate so provoke,
As when she rageth under virtue's cloak.
Write: for it must be; by this ruthless steel,
By this impartial torture, and the death
Thy tyrannies have invented in my entrails,
To quicken life in dying, and hold up
The spirits in fainting, teaching to preserve
Torments in ashes, that will ever last.
Speak! Will you write?
Ta. Sweet lord, enjoin my sin
Some other penance than what makes it worse;
Hide in some gloomy dungeon my loathed face,
And let condemned murderers let me down
(Stopping their noses) my abhorred food.
Hang me in chains, and let me eat these arms
That have offended; bind me face to face
To some dead woman, taken from the cart
Of execution, till death and time
In grains of dust dissolve me; I'll endure;
Or any torture that your wrath's invention
Can fright all pity from the world withal;
But to betray a friend with show of friendship,
That is too common, for the rare revenge
Your rage affecteth; here then are my breasts,
Last night your pillows; here my wretched arms,
As late the wished confines of your life;
Now break them as you please, and all the bounds
Of manhood, noblesse, and religion.
Mont. Where all these have been broken, they are kept,
In doing their justice there with any show
Of the like cruel cruelty; thine arms have lost
Their privilege in lust, and in their torture
Thus they must pay it. [Stabs her.
Ta. O Lord!
Mont. Till thou writest,
I'll write in wounds (my wrong's fit characters)
Thy right of sufferance. Write.
Ta. Oh, kill me, kill me;
Dear husband, be not crueller than death;
You have beheld some Gorgon; feel, oh, feel
How you are turn'd to stone; with my heart-blood
Dissolve yourself again, or you will grow
Into the image of all tyranny.
Mont. As thou art of adultery, I will still
Prove thee my parallel, being most a monster;
Thus I express thee yet. [Stabs her again.
Ta. And yet I live.
Mont. Ay, for thy monstrous idol is not done yet;
This tool hath wrought enough; now, torture use.

Enter Servants.

This other engine on th'habituate powers
Of her thrice-damn'd and whorish fortitude.
Use the most madding pains in her that ever
Thy venoms soak'd through, making most of death;
That she may weigh her wrongs with them, and then
Stand vengeance on thy steepest rock, a victor.
Ta. Oh, who is turn'd into my lord and husband?
Husband! My lord! None but my lord and husband!
Heaven, I ask thee remission of my sins,
Not of my pains; husband, oh, help me, husband!

Ascendit Friar with a sword drawn.

Fr. What rape of honour and religion—
Oh, wrack of nature! [Falls and dies.
Ta. Poor man; oh, my father,
Father, look up; oh, let me down, my lord,
And I will write.
Mont. Author of prodigies!
What new flame breaks out of the firmament,
That turns up counsels never known before?
Now is it true, earth moves, and heaven stands still;
Even heaven itself must see and suffer ill;
The too huge bias of the world hath sway'd
Her back part upwards, and with that she braves
This hemisphere, that long her mouth hath mock'd;
The gravity of her religious face,
(Now grown too weighty with her sacrilege
And here discern'd sophisticate enough)
Turns to th'antipodes; and all the forms
That her illusions have imprest in her,
Have eaten through her back; and now all see,
How she is riveted with hypocrisy:
Was this the way? was he the mean betwixt you?
Ta. He was, he was, kind worthy man, he was.
Mont. Write, write a word or two.
Ta. I will, I will.
I'll write, but with my blood, that he may see
These lines come from my wounds, and not from me.
Mont. Well might he die for thought; methinks the frame
And shaken joints of the whole world should crack
To see her parts so disproportionate;
And that his general beauty cannot stand
Without these stains in the particular man.
Why wander I so far? here, here was she
That was a whole world without spot to me,
Though now a world of spots; oh, what a lightning
Is man's delight in women! what a bubble,
He builds his state, fame, life on, when he marries!
Since all earth's pleasures are so short and small,
The way t'enjoy it, is t'abjure it all;
Enough: I must be messenger myself,
Disguised like this strange creature: in, I'll after,
To see what guilty light gives this cave eyes,
And to the world sing new impieties.
[Exeunt. He puts the Friar in the vault and follows. She wraps herself
in the Arras.

Enter Monsieur and GUISE.

Mo. Now shall we see, that nature hath no end
In her great works, responsive to their worths,
That she that makes so many eyes, and souls,
To see and foresee, is stark blind herself;
And as illiterate men say Latin prayers
By rote, of heart and daily iteration;
Not knowing what they say; so Nature lays
A deal of stuff together, and by use,
Or by the mere necessity of matter,
Ends such a work, fills it, or leaves it empty
Of strength or virtue, error or clear truth;
Not knowing what she does; but usually
Gives that which she calls merit to a man,
And belief must arrive him on huge riches,
Honour, and happiness, that effects his ruin;
Even as in ships of war, whose lasts of powder
Are laid, men think, to make them last, and guards,
When a disorder'd spark that powder taking,
Blows up with sudden violence and horror
Ships that kept empty, had sail'd long with terror.
Gu. He that observes, but like a worldly man,
That which doth oft succeed, and by th'events
Values the worth of things; will think it true
That nature works at random, just with you;
But with as much proportion she may make
A thing that from the feet up to the throat
Hath all the wondrous fabric man should have,
And leave it headless for a perfect man,
As give a full man valour, virtue, learning,
Without an end more excellent than those,
On whom she no such worthy part bestows.
Mo. Yet shall you see it here, here will be one
Young, learned, valiant, virtuous, and full mann'd;
One on whom Nature spent so rich a hand,
That, with an ominous eye, she wept to see
So much consumed her virtuous treasury.
Yet, as the winds sing through a hollow tree,
And (since it lets them pass through) lets it stand;
But a tree solid (since it gives no way
To their wild rage) they rend up by the root;
So this whole man,
(That will not wind with every crooked way,
Trod by the servile world) shall reel and fall
Before the frantic puffs of blind born chance,
That pipes through empty men, and makes them dance;
Not so the sea raves on the Lybian sands,
Tumbling her billows in each others' necks;
Not so the surges of the Euxine sea
(Near to the frosty pole, where free Boötes
From those dark deep waves turns his radiant team)
Swell being enraged, even from their inmost drop,
As Fortune swings about the restless state
Of virtue, now thrown into all men's hate.

Enter MONTSURRY disguised, with the Murderers.

Away, my lord, you are perfectly disguised,
Leave us to lodge your ambush.
Mont. Speed me, vengeance. [Exit.
Mo. Resolve, my masters, you shall meet with one
Will try what proofs your privy coats are made on
When he is enter'd, and you hear us stamp,
Approach, and make all sure.
Murd. We will, my lord. [Exeunt.

Enter D'AMBOIS with two Pages with tapers.

Bu. Sit up to-night, and watch; I'll speak with none
But the old Friar, who bring to me.
Pa. We will, sir. [Exeunt.
Bu. What violent heat is this? Methinks the fire
Of twenty lives doth on a sudden flash
Through all my faculties; the air goes high
In this close chamber, and the frighted earth
Trembles, and shrinks beneath me; the whole house
Nods with his shaken burthen; bless me, heaven!

Enter Umbra Friar.

Um. Note what I want, my son, and be forewarn'd;
O there are bloody deeds past and to come:
I cannot stay; a fate doth ravish me;
I'll meet thee in the chamber of thy love. [Exit.
Bu. What dismal change is here; the good old Friar
Is murder'd; being made known to serve my love;
And now his restless spirit would forewarn me
Of some plot dangerous and imminent.
Note what he wants? He wants his upper weed,
He wants his life and body; which of these
Should be the want he means, and may supply me
With any fit forewarning? This strange vision
(Together with the dark prediction
Used by the Prince of Darkness that was raised
By this embodied shadow) stir my thoughts
With reminiscion of the spirit's promise,
Who told me, that by any invocation
I should have power to raise him, though it wanted
The powerful words and decent rites of art;
Never had my set brain such need of spirit
T'instruct and cheer it; now, then, I will claim
Performance of his free and gentle vow
T'appear in greater light, and make more plain
His rugged oracle. I long to know
How my dear mistress fares, and be inform'd
What hand she now holds on the troubled blood
Of her incensed lord. Methought the spirit
(When he had utter'd his perplex'd presage)
Threw his changed countenance headlong into clouds,
His forehead bent, as it would hide his face,
He knock'd his chin against his darken'd breast,
And struck a churlish silence through his powers.
Terror of darkness! O, thou king of flames!
That with thy music-footed horse dost strike
The clear light out of crystal on dark earth,
And hurl'st instructive fire about the world,
Wake, wake the drowsy and enchanted night,
That sleeps with dead eyes in this heavy riddle;
Or thou great prince of shades where never sun
Sticks his far-darted beams, whose eyes are made
To shine in darkness, and see ever best
Where men are blindest: open now the heart
Of thy abashed oracle, that for fear,
Of some ill it includes, would fain lie hid,
And rise thou with it in thy greater light.
[Thunders. Surgit Spiritus cum suis.
Sp. Thus to observe my vow of apparition,
In greater light, and explicate thy fate,
I come; and tell thee that if thou obey
The summons that thy mistress next will send thee,
Her hand shall be thy death.
Bu. When will she send?
Sp. Soon as I set again, where late I rose.
Bu. Is the old Friar slain?
Sp. No, and yet lives not.
Bu. Died he a natural death?
Sp. He did.
Bu. Who then
Will my dear mistress send?
Sp. I must not tell thee.
Bu. Who lets thee?
Sp. Fate.
Bu. Who are fate's ministers?
Sp. The Guise and Monsieur.
Bu. A fit pair of shears
To cut the threads of kings, and kingly spirits,
And consorts fit to sound forth harmony,
Set to the falls of kingdoms: shall the hand
Of my kind mistress kill me? [Thunders.
Sp. If thou yield
To her next summons, y'are fair-warn'd: farewell!
Bu. I must farewell, however: though I die,
My death consenting with his augury;
Should not my powers obey when she commands,
My motion must be rebel to my will:
My will to life: if, when I have obey'd,
Her hand should so reward me, they must arm it,
Bind me or force it: or, I lay my life,
She rather would convert it many times
On her own bosom, even to many deaths;
But were there danger of such violence,
I know 'tis far from her intent to send:
And who she should send is as far from thought,
Since he is dead, whose only mean she used.
Who's there! Look to the door, and let him in,
Though politic Monsieur or the violent Guise.

Enter MONTSURRY, like the Friar, with a letter written in blood.

Mont. Hail to my worthy son.
Bu. Oh, lying spirit!
To say the Friar was dead; I'll now believe
Nothing of all his forged predictions.
My kind and honour'd father, well revived,
I have been frighted with your death, and mine,
And told my mistress' hand should be my death
If I obey'd this summons.
Mont. I believed
Your love had been much clearer than to give
Any such doubt a thought, for she is clear,
And having freed her husband's jealousy
(Of which her much abused hand here is witness)
She prays, for urgent cause, your instant presence.
Bu. Why, then your prince of spirits may be call'd
The prince of liars.
Mont. Holy Writ so calls him.
Bu. What, writ in blood?
Mont. Ay, 'tis the ink of lovers.
Bu. O, 'tis a sacred witness of her love.
So much elixir of her blood as this
Dropt in the lightest dame, would make her firm
As heat to fire: and like to all the signs,
Commands the life confined in all my veins;
O, how it multiplies my blood with spirit,
And makes me apt t'encounter death and hell.
But come, kind father, you fetch me to heaven,
And to that end your holy weed was given.

Thunder. Intrat Umbra Friar, and discovers TAMYRA.

Um. Up with these stupid thoughts, still loved daughter,
And strike away this heartless trance of anguish.
Be like the sun, and labour in eclipses;
Look to the end of woes: oh, can you sit
Mustering the horrors of your servant's slaughter
Before your contemplation, and not study
How to prevent it? watch when he shall rise,
And with a sudden outcry of his murder,
Blow his retreat before he be revenged.
Ta. O father! have my dumb woes waked your death?
When will our humane griefs be at their height?
Man is a tree that hath no top in cares,
No root in comforts; all his power to live
Is given to no end, but t'have power to grieve.
Um. It is the misery of our creation.
Your true friend,
Led by your husband, shadow'd in my weed,
Now enters the dark vault.
Ta. But, my dearest father,
Why will not you appear to him yourself,
And see that none of these deceits annoy him?
Um. My power is limited; alas! I cannot.
All that I can do—See, the cave opens.
[Exit. D'AMBOIS at the gulf.
Ta. Away (my love), away; thou wilt be murder'd!

Enter Monsieur and GUISE above.

Bu. Murder'd; I know not what that Hebrew means:
That word had ne'er been named had all been D'Ambois.
Murder'd? By heaven he is my murderer
That shows me not a murderer; what such bug
Abhorreth not the very sleep of D'Ambois?
Murder'd who dares give all the room I see
To D'Ambois' reach? or look with any odds
His fight i'th' face, upon whose hand sits death;
Whose sword hath wings, and every feather pierceth?
If i'scape Monsieur's 'pothecary shops,
Foutre for Guise's shambles! 'twas ill plotted
They should have maul'd me here,
When I was rising. I am up and ready.
Let in my politic visitants, let them in,
Though entering like so many moving armours,
Fate is more strong than arms, and sly than treason,
And I at all parts buckled in my fate,
Mo. Why enter not the coward villains?
Gu. Why enter not the coward villains?
Bu. Dare they not come?

Enter Murderers with Friar at the other door.

Ta. They come.
1st Mu. Come all at once.
Um. Back, coward murderers, back.
Omn. Defend us, heaven. [Exeunt all but the first.
1st. Come ye not on?
Bu. No, slave, nor goest thou off.
Stand you so firm? Will it not enter here?
You have a face yet; so in thy life's flame
I burn the first rites to my mistress' fame.
Um. Breathe thee, brave son, against the other charge.
Bu. Oh, is it true then that my sense first told me?
Is my kind father dead?
Ta. He is, my love.
'Twas the Earl, my husband, in his weed that brought thee.
Bu. That was a speeding sleight, and well resembled.
Where is that angry Earl, my lord? Come forth
And show your own face in your own affair;
Take not into your noble veins the blood
Of these base villains, nor the light reports
Of blister'd tongues, for clear and weighty truth:
But me against the world, in pure defence
Of your rare lady, to whose spotless name
I stand here as a bulwark, and project
A life to her renown, that ever yet
Hath been untainted, even in envy's eye,
And where it would protect a sanctuary.
Brave Earl, come forth, and keep your scandal in:
'Tis not our fault if you enforce the spot
Nor the wreak yours if you perform it not.

Enter MONTSURRY, with all the Murderers.

Mont. Cowards, a fiend or spirit beat ye off!
They are your own faint spirits that have forged
The fearful shadows that your eyes deluded:
The fiend was in you; cast him out then, thus.
[D'AMBOIS hath MONT. down.
Ta. Favour my lord, my love, O, favour him!
[Pistols shot within.
Bu. I will not touch him: take your life, my lord,
And be appeased: O, then the coward Fates
Have maim'd themselves, and ever lost their honour.
Um. What have ye done, slaves? irreligious lord!
Bu. Forbear them, father; 'tis enough for me
That Guise and Monsieur, death and destiny,
Come behind D'Ambois. Is my body, then,
But penetrable flesh? And must my mind
Follow my blood? Can my divine part add
No aid to th'earthly in extremity?
Then these divines are but for form, not fact:
Man is of two sweet courtly friends compact,
A mistress and a servant; let my death
Define life nothing but a courtier's breath.
Nothing is made of nought, of all things made,
Their abstract being a dream but of a shade.
I'll not complain to earth yet, but to heaven,
And, like a man, look upwards even in death.
And if Vespasian thought in majesty
An emperor might die standing, why not I?
Nay, without help, in which I will exceed him;
For he died splinted with his chamber grooms.
[She offers to help him.
Prop me, true sword, as thou hast ever done:
The equal thought I bear of life and death
Shall make me faint on no side; I am up;
Here like a Roman statue I will stand
Till death hath made me marble: oh, my fame,
Live in despite of murder; take thy wings
And haste thee where the grey-eyed morn perfumes
Her rosy chariot with Sabæan spices,
Fly, where the evening from th'Iberian vales,
Takes on her swarthy shoulders Hecate,
Crown'd with a grove of oaks: fly where men feel
The cunning axletree: and those that suffer
Beneath thc chariot of the snowy Bear:
And tell them all that D'Ambois now is hasting
To the eternal dwellers; that a thunder
Of all their sighs together (for their frailties
Beheld in me) may quit my worthless fall
With a fit volley for my funeral.
Um. Forgive thy murderers.
Bu. I forgive them all;
And you, my lord, their fautor; for true sign
Of which unfeign'd remission, take my sword;
Take it, and only give it motion,
And it shall find the way to victory
By his own brightness, and th'inherent valour
My fight hath still'd into't, with charms of spirit.
Now let me pray you that my weighty blood
Laid in one scale of your impartial spleen,
May sway the forfeit of my worthy love
Weigh'd in the other; and be reconciled
With all forgiveness to your matchless wife.
Ta. Forgive thou me, dear servant, and this hand
That led thy life to this unworthy end;
Forgive it, for the blood with which 'tis stain'd,
In which I writ the summons of thy death;
The forced summons, by this bleeding wound,
By this here in my bosom; and by this
That makes me hold up both my hands imbrued
For thy dear pardon.
Bu. O, my heart is broken;
Fate, nor these murderers, Monsieur, nor the Guise,
Have any glory in my death, but this,
This killing spectacle, this prodigy;
My sun is turn'd to blood, in whose red beams
Pindus and Ossa hid in drifts of snow,
Laid on my heart and liver; from their veins
Melt like two hungry torrents; eating rocks
Into the ocean of all humane life,
And make it bitter, only with my blood.
O frail condition of strength, valour, virtue,
In me, like warning fire upon the top
Of some steep beacon, on a steeper hill,
Made to express it: like a falling star
Silently glanced, that like a thunderbolt
Look'd to have stuck and shook the firmament.
Um. My terrors are struck inward, and no more
My penance will allow they shall enforce
Earthly afflictions but upon myself.
Farewell, brave relics of a complete man;
Look up and see thy spirit made a star,
Join flames with Hercules; and when thou sett'st
Thy radiant forehead in the firmament,
Make the vast crystal crack with thy receipt;
Spread to a world of fire; and th'aged sky
Cheer with new sparks of old humanity.

Son of the earth, whom my unrested soul,
Rues t'have begotten in the faith of heaven;
Since thy revengeful spirit hath rejected
The charity it commands, and the remission
To serve and worship the blind rage of blood)
Assay to gratulate and pacify
The soul fled from this worthy by performing
The Christian reconcilement he besought
Betwixt thee and thy lady, let her wounds
Manlessly digg'd in her, be eased and cured
With blame of thine own tears; or be assured
Never to rest free from my haunt and horror.
Mont. See how she merits this; still sitting by,
And mourning his fall more than her own fault.
Um. Remove, dear daughter, and content thy husband;
So piety wills thee, and thy servant's peace.
Ta. O wretched piety, that art so distract
In thine own constancy; and in thy right
Must be unrighteous; if I right my friend
I wrong my husband; if his wrong I shun,
The duty of my friend I leave undone;
Ill plays on both sides; here and there, it riseth;
No place, no good, so good, but ill compriseth;
My soul more scruple breeds, than my blood, sin.
Virtue imposeth more than any stepdame;
O had I never married but for form,
Never vow'd faith but purposed to deceive,
Never made conscience of any sin,
But cloak'd it privately and made it common;
Nor never honour'd been, in blood, or mind,
Happy had I been then, as others are
Of the like licence; I had then been honour'd;
Lived without envy; custom had benumb'd
All sense of scruple, and all note of frailty:
My fame had been untouch'd, my heart unbroken:
But (shunning all) I strike on all offence,
O husband! dear friend! O my conscience!
Mo. Come, let's away; my senses are not proof
Against those plaints.
[Exeunt GUISE, Monsieur: D'AMBOIS is borne off.
Mont. I must not yield to pity, nor to love
So servile and so traitorous: cease, my blood,
To wrastle with my honour, fame, and judgment:
Away, forsake my house, forbear complaints
Where thou hast bred them: here all things are full
Of their own shame and sorrow; leave my house.
Ta. Sweet lord, forgive me, and I will be gone,
And till these wounds, that never balm shall close
Till death hath enter'd at them, so I love them,
Being open'd by your hands, by death be cured,
I never more will grieve you with my sight,
Never endure that any roof shall part
Mine eyes and heaven; but to the open deserts
(Like to hunted tigers) I will fly:
Eating my heart, shunning the steps of men,
And look on no side till I be arrived.
Mont. I do forgive thee, and upon my knees,
With hands held up to heaven, wish that mine honour
Would suffer reconcilement to my love;
But since it will not, honour, never serve
My love with flourishing object till it sterve:
And as this taper, though it upwards look,
Downwards must needs consume, so let our love;
As having lost his honey, the sweet taste
Runs into savour, and will needs retain
A spice of his first parents, till, like life,
It sees and dies; so let our love; and lastly,
As when the flame is suffer'd to look up,
It keeps his lustre: but, being thus turn'd down,
His natural course of useful light inverted),
His own stuff puts it out; so let our love:
Now turn from me, as here I turn from thee,
And may both points of heaven's straight axle-tree
Conjoin in one, before thyself and me.
[Exeunt severally.


WITH many hands you have seen D'Ambois slain,
Yet by your grace he may revive again,
And every day grow stronger in his skill
To please, as we presume he is in will.
The best deserving actors of the time
Had their ascents; and by degrees did climb
To their full height, a place to study due
To make him tread in their path lies in you;
He'll not forget his makers; but still prove
His thankfulness as you increase your love.

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