Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE MAID OF HONOUR, by PHILIP MASSINGER

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THE MAID OF HONOUR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Good day to your lordship
Last Line: [flourish. Exeunt.
Subject(s): Mompesson, Sir Giles (d. 1628); Usury


ROBERTO, King of Sicily.
FERDINAND, Duke of Urbin.
BERTOLDO, the King's natural Brother, a Knight of Malta.
GONZAGA, a Knight of Malta, General to the Duchess of Sienna.
ASTUTIO, a Counsellor of State.
ADORNI, a follower of CAMIOLA'S Father.
SIGNIOR SYLLI, a foolish self-lover.
ANTONIO, rich Heir, city-bred.
GASPARO, rich Heir, city-bred.
PIERIO, a Colonel to GONZAGA.
DRUSO, Captain to Duke FERDINAND.
LIVIO, Captain to Duke FERDINAND.
Father PAULO, a Priest, CAMIOLA'S Confessor.
Ambassador from the Duke of Urbin.
A Bishop.
A Page.

AURELIA, Duchess of Sienna.
CAMIOLA, the Maid of Honour.
CLARINDA, her Woman.

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

SCENE.—Partly in Sicily and partly in the Siennese.


SCENE I.—Palermo. A State-Room in the Palace.


ADOR. Good day to your lordship.
Ast. Thanks, Adorni.
Ador. May I presume to ask if the ambassador
Employed by Ferdinand, the Duke of Urbin,
Hath audience this morning?


Ast. 'Tis uncertain;
For, though a counsellor of state, I am not
Of the cabinet council: but there's one, if he please,
That may resolve you.
Ador. I will move him.—Sir!
Ful. If you've a suit, shew water, I am blind else.
Ador. A suit, yet of a nature not to prove
The quarry that you hawk for; if your words
Are not like Indian wares, and every scruple
To be weighed and rated, one poor syllable,
Vouchsafed in answer of a fair demand,
Cannot deserve a fee.
Ful. It seems you are ignorant,
I neither speak nor hold my peace for nothing;
And yet, for once, I care not if I answer
One single question, gratis.
Ador. I much thank you.
Hath the ambassador audience, sir, to-day?
Ful. Yes.
Ador. At what hour?
Ful. I promised not so much.
A syllable you begged, my charity gave it;
Move me no further. [Exit.
Ast. This you wonder at:
With me, 'tis usual.
Ador. Pray you, sir, what is he?
Ast. A gentleman, yet no lord. He hath some drops
Of the king's blood running in his veins, derived
Some ten degrees off. His revenue lies
In a narrow compass, the king's ear; and yields him
Every hour a fruitful harvest. Men may talk
Of three crops in a year in the Fortunate Islands,
Or profit made by wool, but, while there are suitors,
His sheepshearing, nay, shaving to the quick,
Is in every quarter of the moon, and constant.
In the time of trussing a point, he can undo
Or make a man: his play or recreation
Is to raise this up or pull down that; and though
He never yet took orders, makes more bishops
In Sicily than the pope himself.

Enter BERTOLDO, GASPARO, ANTONIO, and a Servant.

Ador. Most strange!
Ast. The presence fills. He in the Malta habit
Is the natural brother of the king—a by-blow.
Ador. I understand you.
Gasp. Morrow to my uncle.
Ant. And my late guardian:—but at length I have
The reins in my own hands.
Ast. Pray you, use them well,
Or you'll too late repent it.
Bert. With this jewel
Presented to Camiola, prepare
This night a visit for me. [Exit Servant.] I shall have
Your company, gallants, I perceive, if that
The king will hear of war.
Ant. Sir, I have horses
Of the best breed in Naples, fitter far
To break a rank than crack a lance; and are
In their career of such incredible swiftness,
They outstrip swallows.
Bert. And such may be useful
To run away with, should we be defeated:
You are well provided, signior.
Ant. Sir, excuse me;
All of their race, by instinct, know a coward,
And scorn the burthen: they come on like lightning;
Foundered in a retreat.
Bert. By no means back them;
Unless you know your courage sympathize
With the daring of your horse.
Ant. My lord, this is bitter.
Gasp. I will raise me a company of foot,
And, when at push of pike I am to enter
A breach, to shew my valour, I have bought me
An armour cannon proof.
Bert. You will not leap, then,
O'er an outwork in your shirt?
Gasp. I do not like
Activity that way.
Bert. You had rather stand
A mark to try their muskets on?
Gasp. If I do
No good, I'll do no hurt.
Bert. 'Tis in you, signior,
A Christian resolution, and becomes you!
But I will not discourage you.
Ant. You are, sir,
A knight of Malta, and, as I have heard,
Have served against the Turk.
Bert. 'Tis true.
Ant. Pray you, shew us
The difference between the city valour
And service in the field.
Bert. 'Tis somewhat more
Than roaring in a tavern or a brothel,
Or to steal a constable from a sleeping watch,
Then burn their halberds; or, safe guarded by
Your tenants' sons, to carry away a May-pole
From a neighbour village. You will not find there
Your masters of dependencies, to take up
A drunken brawl, or, to get you the names
Of valiant chevaliers, fellows that will be,
For a cloak with thrice-dyed velvet and a cast suit,
Kicked down the stairs. A knave with half a breech there,
And no shirt, (being a thing superfluous
And worn out of his memory,) if you bear not
Yourselves both in and upright, with a provant sword
Will slash your scarlets and your plush a new way;
Or, with the hilts, thunder about your ears
Such music as will make your worships dance
To the doleful tune of Lachrymæ.
Gasp. I must tell you
In private, as you are my princely friend,
I do not like such fiddlers.
Bert. No! they are useful
For your imitation; I remember you,
When you came first to the court, and talked of nothing
But your rents and your entradas, ever chiming
The golden bells in your pockets; you believed
The taking of the wall as a tribute due to
Your gaudy clothes; and could not walk at midnight
Without a causeless quarrel, as if men
Of coarser outsides were in duty bound
To suffer your affronts: but, when you had been
Cudgelled well twice or thrice, and from the doctrine
Made profitable uses, you concluded
The sovereign means to teach irregular heirs
Civility, with conformity of manners,
Were two or three sound beatings.
Ant. I confess
They did much good upon me.
Gasp. And on me:
The principles that they read were sound.
Bert. You'll find
The like instructions in the camp.
Ast. The king!

A flourish. Enter ROBERTO, FULGENTIO, Ambassadors, and Attendants.

Rob. (ascends the throne). We sit prepared to hear.
Amb. Your majesty
Hath been long since familiar, I doubt not,
With the desperate fortunes of my lord; and pity
Of the much that your confederate hath suffered,
You being his last refuge, may persuade you
Not alone to compassionate, but to lend
Your royal aids to stay him in his fall
To certain ruin. He, too late, is conscious
That his ambition to encroach upon
His neighbour's territories, with the danger of
His liberty, nay, his life, hath brought in question
His own inheritance: but youth and heat
Of blood, in your interpretation, may
Both plead and mediate for him. I must grant it
An error in him, being denied the favours
Of the fair princess of Sienna, (though
He sought her in a noble way,) to endeavour
To force affection, by surprisal of
Her principal seat, Sienna.
Rob. Which now proves
The seat of his captivity, not triumph:
Heaven is still just.
Amb. And yet that justice is
To be with mercy tempered, which Heaven's deputies
Stand bound to minister. The injured duchess,
By reason taught, as nature could not, with
The reparation of her wrongs, but aims at
A brave revenge; and my lord feels, too late,
That innocence will find friends. The great Gonzaga,
The honour of his order, (I must praise
Virtue, though in an enemy,) he whose fights
And conquests hold one number, rallying up
Her scattered troops, before we could get time
To victual or to man the conquered city,
Sat down before it; and, presuming that
'Tis not to be relieved, admits no parley,
Our flags of truce hung out in vain: nor will he
Lend an ear to composition, but exacts,
With the rendering up the town, the goods and lives
Of all within the walls, and of all sexes,
To be at his discretion.
Rob. Since injustice
In your duke meets this correction, can you press us,
With any seeming argument of reason,
In foolish pity to decline his dangers,
To draw them on ourself? Shall we not be
Warned by his harms? The league proclaimed between us,
Bound neither of us further than to aid
Each other, if by foreign force invaded;
And so far in my honour I was tied.
But since, without our counsel or allowance,
He hath ta'en arms, with his good leave he must
Excuse us if we steer not on a rock
We see and may avoid. Let other monarchs
Contend to be made glorious by proud war,
And, with the blood of their poor subjects, purchase
Increase of empire, and augment their cares
In keeping that which was by wrongs extorted,
Gilding unjust invasions with the trim
Of glorious conquests; we, that would be known
The father of our people, in our study
And vigilance for their safety, must not change
Their ploughshares into swords, and force them from
The secure shade of their own vines, to be
Scorched with the flames of war: or, for our sport,
Expose their lives to ruin.
Amb. Will you, then,
In his extremity forsake your friend?
Rob. No; but preserve ourself.
Bert. Cannot the beams
Of honour thaw your icy fears?
Rob. Who's that?
Bert. A kind of brother, sir, howe'er your subject;
Your father's son, and one who blushes that
You are not heir to his brave spirit and vigour,
As to his kingdom.
Rob. How's this!
Bert. Sir, to be
His living chronicle, and to speak his praise,
Cannot deserve your anger.
Rob. Where's your warrant
For this presumption?
Bert. Here, sir, in my heart:
Let sycophants, that feed upon your favours,
Style coldness in you caution, and prefer
Your ease before your honour, and conclude,
To eat and sleep supinely is the end
Of human blessings: I must tell you, sir,
Virtue, if not in action, is a vice,
And, when we move not forward, we go backward:
Nor is this peace, the nurse of drones and cowards,
Our health, but a disease.
Gasp. Well urged, my lord.
Ant. Perfect what is so well begun.
Amb. And bind
My lord your servant.
Rob. Hair-brained fool! what reason
Canst thou infer to make this good?
Bert. A thousand,
Not to be contradicted. But consider
Where your command lies: 'tis not, sir, in France,
Spain, Germany, Portugal, but in Sicily;
An island, sir. Here are no mines of gold
Or silver to enrich you; no worm spins
Silk in her womb, to make distinction
Between you and a peasant in your habits;
No fish lives near our shores, whose blood can dye
Scarlet or purple; all that we possess,
With beasts we have in common: nature did
Design us to be warriors, and to break through
Our ring, the sea, by which we are environed;
And we by force must fetch in what is wanting
Or precious to us. Add to this, we are
A populous nation, and increase so fast
That, if we by our providence are not sent
Abroad in colonies, or fall by the sword,
Not Sicily, though now it were more fruitful
Than when 'twas styled the granary of great Rome,
Can yield our numerous fry bread: we must starve,
Or eat up one another.
Ador. The king hears
With much attention.
Ast. And seems moved with what
Bertoldo hath delivered.
Bert. May you live long, sir,
The king of peace, so you deny not us
The glory of the war; let not our nerves
Shrink up with sloth, nor, for want of employment,
Make younger brothers thieves: it is their swords, sir,
Must sow and reap their harvest. If examples
May move you more than arguments, look on England,
The empress of the European isles,
And unto whom alone ours yields precedence:
When did she flourish so, as when she was
The mistress of the ocean, her navies
Putting a girdle round about the world?
When the Iberian quaked, her worthies named;
And the fair flower-de-luce grew pale, set by
The red rose and the white! Let not our armour
Hung up, or our unrigged armada, make us
Ridiculous to the late poor snakes our neighbours,
Warmed in our bosoms, and to whom again
We may be terrible; while we spend our hours
Without variety, confined to drink,
Dice, cards, or whores. Rouse us, sir, from the sleep
Of idleness, and redeem our mortgaged honours.
Your birth, and justly, claims my father's kingdom,
But his heroic mind descends to me:
I will confirm so much.
Ador. In his looks he seems
To break ope Janus' temple.
Ast. How these younglings
Take fire from him!
Ador. It works an alteration
Upon the king.
Ant. I can forbear no longer:
War, war, my sovereign!
Ful. The king appears
Resolved, and does prepare to speak.
Rob. Think not
Our counsel's built upon so weak a base,
As to be overturned or shaken with
Tempestuous winds of words. As I, my lord,
Before resolved you, I will not engage
My person in this quarrel; neither press
My subjects to maintain it: yet, to shew
My rule is gentle, and that I have feeling
O' your master's sufferings, since these gallants, weary
Of the happiness of peace, desire to taste
The bitter sweets of war, we do consent
That, as adventurers and volunteers,
No way compelled by us, they may make trial
Of their boasted valours.
Bert. We desire no more.
Rob. 'Tis well; and, but my grant in this, expect not
Assistance from me. Govern, as you please,
The province you make choice of; for, I vow
By all things sacred, if that thou miscarry
In this rash undertaking, I will hear it
No otherwise than as a sad disaster
Fallen on a stranger: nor will I esteem
That man my subject, who, in thy extremes,
In purse or person aids thee. Take your fortune:
You know me; I have said it. So, my lord,
You have my absolute answer.
Amb. My prince pays,
In me, his duty.
Rob. Follow me, Fulgentio,
And you, Astutio.
[Flourish. Exeunt ROBERTO, FULGENTIO, ASTUTIO, and
Gasp. What a frown he threw,
At his departure, on you!
Bert. Let him keep
His smiles for his state catamite, I care not.
Ant. Shall we aboard to-night?
Amb. Your speed, my lord,
Doubles the benefit.
Bert. I have a business
Requires dispatch; some two hours hence I'll meet you.

SCENE II.—The same. A Room in CAMIOLA'S House.

Enter Signior SYLLI, walking fantastically, followed by CAMIOLA

Cam. Nay, signior, this is too much ceremony,
In my own house.
Syl. What's gracious abroad,
Must be in private practised.
Clar. For your mirth's sake
Let him alone; he has been all this morning
In practice with a peruked gentleman-usher,
To teach him his true amble, and his postures,
[SYLLI walking by, and practising.
When he walks before a lady.
Syl. You may, madam,
Perhaps believe that I in this use art,
To make you dote upon me, by exposing
My more than most rare features to your view:
But I, as I have ever done, deal simply;
A mark of sweet simplicity, ever noted
In the family of the Syllis. Therefore, lady,
Look not with too much contemplation on me;
If you do, you are in the suds.
Cam. You are no barber?
Syl. Fie, no! not I; but my good parts have drawn
More loving hearts out of fair ladies' bellies
Than the whole trade have done teeth.
Cam. Is't possible?
Syl. Yes, and they live too: marry, much condoling
The scorn of their Narcissus, as they call me,
Because I love myself_____
Cam. Without a rival.
What philtres or love-powders do you use
To force affection? I see nothing in
Your person but I dare look on, yet keep
My own poor heart still.
Syl. You are warned—be armed;
And do not lose the hope of such a husband,
In being to soon enamoured.
Clar. Hold in your head,
Or you must have a martingal.
Syl. I have sworn
Never to take a wife, but such a one,
O may your ladyship prove so strong! as can
Hold out a month against me.
Cam. Never fear it;
Though your best taking part, your wealth, were trebled,
I would not woo you. But since in your pity
You please to give me caution, tell me what
Temptations I must fly from.
Syl. The first is,
That you never hear me sing, for I'm a syren:
If you observe, when I warble, the dogs howl,
As ravished with my ditties; and you will
Run mad to hear me.
Cam. I will stop my ears,
And keep my little wits.
Syl. Next, when I dance,
And come aloft thus, [capers] cast not a sheep's eye
Upon the quivering of my calf.
Cam. Proceed, sir.
Syl. But on no terms, for 'tis a main point, dream not
O' the strength of my back, though it will bear a burthen
With any porter.
Cam. I mean not to ride you.
Syl. Nor I your little ladyship, till you have
Performed the covenants. Be not taken with
My pretty spider-fingers, nor my eyes,
That twinkle on both sides.
Cam. Was there ever such
A piece of motley heard of? [A knocking within.] Who's that? [Exit
CLARINDA.] You may spare
The catalogue of my dangers.
Syl. No, good madam;
I have not told you half.
Cam. Enough, good signior;
If I eat more of such sweetmeats, I shall surfeit.—

Re-enter CLARINDA.

Who is't?
Clar. The brother of the king.
Syl. Nay, start not.
The brother of the king! is he no more?
Were it the king himself, I'd give him leave
To speak his mind to you, for I am not jealous;
And, to assure your ladyship of so much,
I'll usher him in, and, that done—hide myself.
[Aside, and exit.
Cam. Camiola, if ever, now be constant:
This is, indeed, a suitor whose sweet presence,
Courtship, and loving language, would have staggered
The chaste Penelope; and, to increase
The wonder, did not modesty forbid it,
I should ask that from him he sues to me for:
And yet my reason, like a tyrant, tells me
I must nor give nor take it.

Re-enter SYLLI with BERTOLDO.

Syl. I must tell you,
You lose your labour. 'Tis enough to prove it,
Signior Sylli came before you; and you know,
First come first served: yet you shall have my countenance
To parley with her, and I'll take special care
That none shall interrupt you.
Bert. You are courteous.
Syl. Come, wench, wilt thou hear wisdom?
Clar. Yes, from you, sir. [They walk aside.
Bert. If forcing this sweet favour from your lips,
[Kisses her.
Fair madam, argue me of too much boldness,
When you are pleased to understand I take
A parting kiss, if not excuse, at least
'Twill qualify the offence.
Cam. A parting kiss, sir!
What nation, envious of the happiness
Which Sicily enjoys in your sweet presence,
Can buy you from her? or what climate yield
Pleasures transcending those which you enjoy here,
Being both beloved and honoured; the north-star
And guider of all hearts; and, to sum up
Your full account of happiness in a word,
The brother of the king?
Bert. Do you alone,
And with an unexampled cruelty,
Enforce my absence, and deprive me of
Those blessings which you, with a polished phrase,
Seem to insinuate that I do possess,
And yet tax me as being guilty of
My wilful exile? What are titles to me,
Or popular suffrage, or my nearness to
The king in blood, or fruitful Sicily,
Though it confessed no sovereign but myself,
When you, that are the essence of my being,
The anchor of my hopes, the real substance
Of my felicity, in your disdain,
Turn all to fading and deceiving shadows?
Cam. You tax me without cause.
Bert. You must confess it.
But answer love with love, and seal the contract
In the uniting of our souls, how gladly
(Though now I were in action, and assured,
Following my fortune, that plumed Victory
Would make her glorious stand upon my tent)
Would I put off my armour, in my heat
Of conquest, and, like Antony, pursue
My Cleopatra! Will you yet look on me,
With an eye of favour?
Cam. Truth bear witness for me,
That, in the judgment of my soul, you are
A man so absolute and circular
In all those wished-for rarities that may take
A virgin captive, that, though at this instant
All sceptered monarchs of our western world
Were rivals with you, and Camiola worthy
Of such a competition, you alone
Should wear the garland.
Bert. If so, what diverts
Your favour from me?
Cam. No mulct in yourself,
Or in your person, mind, or fortune.
Bert. What then?
Cam. The consciousness of mine own wants: alas! sir,
We are not parallels, but, like lines divided,
Can ne'er meet in one centre. Your birth, sir,
Without addition, were an ample dowry
For one of fairer fortunes; and this shape,
Were you ignoble, far above all value:
To this so clear a mind, so furnished with
Harmonious faculties moulded from Heaven,
That though you were Thersites in your features,
Of on descent, and Irus in your fortunes,
Ulysses-like you'd force all eyes and ears
To love, but seen; and, when heard, wonder at
Your matchless story: but all these bound up
Together in one volume!—give me leave
With admiration to look upon them,
But not presume, in my own flattering hopes,
I may or can enjoy them.
Bert. How you ruin
What you would seem to build up! I know no
Disparity between us; you're an heir,
Sprung from a noble family; fair, rich, young,
And every way my equal.
Cam. Sir, excuse me;
One aerie with proportion ne'er discloses
The eagle and the wren:—tissue and frieze
In the same garment, monstrous! But suppose
That what's in you excessive were diminished,
And my desert supplied, the stronger bar,
Religion, stops our entrance: you are, sir,
A knight of Malta, by your order bound
To a single life; you cannot marry me;
And, I assure myself, you are too noble
To seek me, though my frailty should consent,
In a base path.
Bert. A dispensation, lady,
Will easily absolve me.
Cam. O take heed, sir!
When what is vowed to Heaven is dispensed with
To serve our ends on earth, a curse must follow,
And not a blessing.
Bert. Is there no hope left me?
Cam. Nor to myself, but is a neighbour to
Impossibility. True love should walk
On equal feet; in us it does not, sir:
But rest assured, excepting this, I shall be
Devoted to your service.
Bert. And this is your
Determinate sentence?
Cam. Not to be revoked.
Bert. Farewell then, fairest cruel! all thoughts in me
Of women perish. Let the glorious light
Of noble war extinguish Love's dim taper,
That only lends me light to see my folly:
Honour, be thou my ever-living mistress,
And fond affection, as thy bond-slave, serve thee! [Exit.
Cam. How soon my sun is set, he being absent,
Never to rise again! What a fierce battle
Is fought between my passions!—methinks
We should have kissed at parting.
Syl. I perceive
He has his answer: now must I step in
To comfort her. [comes forward.] You have found, I hope, sweet lady,
Some difference between a youth of my pitch,
And this bugbear Bertoldo: men are men,
The king's brother is no more; good parts will do it,
When titles fail. Despair not; I may be
In time entreated.
Cam. Be so now, to leave me.—
Lights for my chamber. O my heart!
Syl. She now,
I know, is going to bed, to ruminate
Which way to glut herself upon my person:
But, for my oath's sake, I will keep her hungry;
And, to grow full myself, I'll straight—to supper. [Exit.


SCENE I.—The same. A Room in the Palace.


ROB. Embarked to-night, do you say?
Ful. I saw him aboard, sir.
Rob. And without taking of his leave?
Ast. 'Twas strange!
Rob. Are we grown so contemptible?
Ful. 'Tis far
From me, sir, to add fuel to your anger,
That, in your ill opinion of him, burns
Too hot already; else I should affirm,
It was a gross neglect.
Rob. A wilful scorn
Of duty and allegiance; you give it
Too fair a name: but we shall think on't. Can you
Guess what the numbers were, that followed him
In his desperate action?
Ful. More than you think, sir.
All ill-affected spirits in Palermo,
Or to your government or person, with
The turbulent swordmen, such whose poverty forced them
To wish a change, are gone along with him;
Creatures devoted to his undertakings,
In right or wrong: and, to express their zeal
And readiness to serve him, ere they went,
Profanely took the sacrament on their knees,
To live and die with him.
Rob. O most impious!
Their loyalty to us forgot?
Ful. I fear so.
Ast. Unthankful as they are!
Ful. Yet this deserves not
One troubled thought in you, sir; with your pardon,
I hold that their remove from hence makes more
For your security than danger.
Rob. True;
And, as I'll fashion it, they shall feel it too.
Astutio, you shall presently be dispatched
With letters, writ and signed with our own hand,
To the Duchess of Sienna, in excuse
Of these forces sent against her. If you spare
An oath, to give it credit, that we never
Consented to it, swearing for the king,
Though false, it is no perjury.
Ast. I know it.
They are not fit to be state agents, sir,
That without scruple of their conscience, cannot
Be prodigal in such trifles.
Ful. Right, Astutio.
Rob. You must, beside, from us take some instructions,
To be imparted, as you judge them useful,
To the general Gonzaga. Instantly
Prepare you for your journey.
Ast. With the wings
Of loyalty and duty. [Exit.
Ful. I am bold
To put your majesty in mind______
Rob. Of my promise,
And aids, to further you in your amorous project
To the fair and rich Camiola? there's my ring;
Whatever you shall say that I entreat,
Or can command by power, I will make good.
Ful. Ever your majesty's creature.
Rob. Venus prove
Propitious to you! [Exit.
Ful. All sorts to my wishes:
Bertoldo was my hindrance; he removed,
I now will court her in the conqueror's style;
"Come, see, and overcome."—Boy!

Enter Page.

Page. Sir; your pleasure?
Ful. Haste to Camiola; bid her prepare
An entertainment suitable to a fortune
She could not hope for. Tell her, I vouchsafe
To honour her with a visit.
Page. 'Tis a favour
Will make her proud.
Ful. I know it.
Page. I am gone, sir. [Exit.
Ful. Entreaties fit not me; a man in grace
May challenge awe and privilege, by his place. [Exit.

SCENE II.—The same. A Room in CAMIOLA'S House.


Ador. So melancholy, say you!
Clar. Never given
To such retirement.
Ador. Can you guess the cause?
Clar. If it hath not its birth and being from
The brave Bertoldo's absence, I confess
'Tis past my apprehension.
Syl. You are wide,
The whole field wide. I, in my understanding,
Pity your ignorance; yet, if you will
Swear to conceal it, I will let you know
Where her shoe wrings her.
Clar. I vow, signior,
By my virginity.
Syl. A perilous oath,
In a waiting-woman of fifteen! and is, indeed,
A king of nothing.
Ador. I'll take one of something,
If you please to minister it.
Syl. Nay, you shall not swear:
I had rather take your word; for, should you vow,
Damn me, I'll do this!—you are sure to break.
Ador. I thank you, signior; but resolve us.
Syl. Know, then,
Here walks the cause. She dares not look upon me;
My beauties are so terrible and enchanting,
She cannot endure my sight.
Ador. There I believe you.
Syl. But the time will come, be comforted, when I will
Put off this vizor of unkindness to her,
And shew an amorous and yielding face:
And, until then, though Hercules himself
Desire to see her, he had better eat
His club, than pass her threshold; for I will be
Her Cerberus, to guard her.
Ador. A good dog!
Clar. Worth twenty porters.

Enter Page.

Page. Keep you open house here?
No groom to attend a gentleman! O, I spy one.
Syl. He means not me, I am sure.
Page. You, sirrah sheep's-head,
With a face cut on a cat-stick, do you hear?
You, yeoman fewterer, conduct me to
The lady of the mansion, or my poniard
Shall disembogue thy soul.
Syl. O terrible! "disembogue!"
I talked of Hercules, and here is one
Bound up in decimo sexto.
Page. Answer, wretch.
Syl. Pray you, little gentleman, be not so furious:
The lady keeps her chamber.
Page. And we present,
Sent in an embassy to her! but here is
Her gentlewoman. Sirrah! hold my cloak,
While I take a leap at her lips: do it, and neatly;
Or, having first tripped up thy heels, I'll make
Thy back my footstool. [Kisses CLARINDA.
Syl. Tamburlaine in little!
Am I turned Turk! What an office am I put to!
Clar. My lady, gentle youth, is indisposed.
Page. Though she were dead and buried, only tell her,
The great man in the court, the brave Fulgentio,
Descends to visit her, and it will raise her
Out of the grave for joy.


Syl. Here comes another!
The devil, I fear, in his holiday clothes.
Page. So soon!
My part is at an end then. Cover my shoulders;
When I grow great, thou shalt serve me.
Ful. Are you, sirrah,
An implement of the house? [To SYLLI.
Syl. Sure he will make
A jointstool of me!
Ful. Or, if you belong [To ADORNI.
To the lady of the place, command her hither.
Ador. I do not wear her livery, yet acknowledge
A duty to her; and as little bound
To serve your peremptory will, as she is
To obey your summons. 'Twill become you, sir,
To wait her leisure; then, her pleasure known,
You may present your duty.
Ful. Duty! Slave,
I'll teach you manners.
Ador. I'm past learning; make not
A tumult in the house.
Ful. Shall I be braved thus? [They draw.
Syl. O, I am dead! and now I swoon.
[Falls on his face.
Clar. Help! murder!
Page. Recover, sirrah; the lady's here.


Syl. Nay, then
I am alive again, and I'll be valiant. [Rises.
Cam. What insolence is this? Adorni, hold,
Hold, I command you.
Ful. Saucy groom!
Cam. Not so, sir;
However in his life he had dependence
Upon my father, he's a gentleman,
As well born as yourself. Put on your hat.
Ful. In my presence, without leave!
Syl. He has mine, madam.
Cam. And I must tell you, sir, and in plain language,
Howe'er your glittering outside promise gentry,
The rudeness of your carriage and behaviour
Speaks you a coarser thing.
Syl. She means a clown, sir;
I am her interpreter, for want of a better.
Cam. I am a queen in mine own house; nor must you
Expect an empire here.
Syl. Sure, I must love her
Before the day, the pretty soul's so valiant.
Cam. What are you? and what would you with me?
Ful. Proud one,
When you know what I am, and what I came for,
And may, on your submission, proceed to,
You, in your reason, must repent the coarseness
Of my entertainment.
Cam. Why, fine man? what are you?
Ful. A kinsman of the king's.
Cam. I cry you mercy,
For his sake, not your own. But grant you are so,
'Tis not impossible but a king may have
A fool to his kinsman,—no way meaning you, sir.
Ful. You have heard of Fulgentio?
Cam. Long since, sir;
A suit-broker in court. He has the worst
Report among good men I ever heard of
For bribery and extortion: in their prayers,
Widows and orphans curse him for a canker
And caterpillar in the state. I hope, sir,
You are not the man; much less employed by him
As a smock-agent to me.
Ful. I reply not
As you deserve, being assured you know me;
Pretending ignorance of my person, only
To give me a taste of your wit: 'tis well, and courtly;
I like a sharp wit well.
Syl. I cannot endure it;
Nor any of the Syllis.
Ful. More; I know too
This harsh induction must serve as a foil
To the well-tuned observance and respect
You will hereafter pay me, being made
Familiar with my credit with the king,
And that (contain your joy) I deign to love you.
Cam. Lov me! I am not rapt with it.
Ful. Hear't again;
I love you honestly: now you admire me.
Cam. I do, indeed; it being a word so seldom
Heard from a courtier's mouth. But, pray you, deal plainly,
Since you find me simple; what might be the motives
Inducing you to leave the freedom of
A bachelor's life, on your soft neck to wear
The stubborn yoke of marriage; and, of all
The beauties in Palermo, to choose me,
Poor me? that is the main point you must treat of.
Ful. Why, I will tell you. Of a little thing
You are a pretty peat, indifferent fair too;
And, like a new-rigged ship, both tight and yare,
Well trussed to bear: virgins of giant size
Are sluggards at the sport; but, for my pleasure,
Give me a neat well-timbered gamester like you;
Such need no spurs,—the quickness of your eye
Assures an active spirit.
Cam. You are pleasant, sir;
Yet I presume that there was one thing in me,
Unmentioned yet, that took you more than all
Those parts you have remembered.
Ful. What?
Cam. My wealth, sir.
Ful. You are in the right; without that, beauty is
A flower worn in the morning, at night trod on:
But beauty, youth, and fortune meeting in you,
I will vouchsafe to marry you.
Cam. You speak well;
And, in return, excuse me, sir, if I
Deliver reasons why, upon no terms,
I'll marry you: I fable not.
Syl. I am glad
To hear this; I began to have an ague.
Ful. Come, your wise reasons.
Cam. Such as they are, pray you take them:
First, I am doubtful whether you are a man,
Since, for your shape, trimmed up in a lady's dressing,
You might pass for a woman; now I love
To deal on certainties: and, for the fairness
Of your complexion, which you think will take me,
The colour, I must tell you, in a man,
Is weak and faint, and never will hold out,
If put to labour: give me the lovely brown,
A thick curled hair of the same dye, broad shoulders,
A brawny arm full of veins, a leg without
An artificial calf;—I suspect yours;
But let that pass.
Syl. She means me all this while,
For I have every one of those good parts;
O Sylli! fortunate Sylli!
Cam. You are moved, sir.
Ful. Fie! no; go on.
Cam. Then, as you are a courtier,
A graced one too, I fear you have been too forward;
And so much for your person. Rich you are,
Devilish rich, as 'tis reported, and sure have
The aids of Satan's little fiends to get it;
And what is got upon his back, must be
Spent, you know where;—the proverb's stale—One word more,
And I have done.
Ful. I'll ease you of the trouble,
Coy and disdainful!
Cam. Save me, or else he'll beat me.
Ful. No, your own folly shall; and, since you put me
To my last charm, look upon this, and tremble.
[Shews the king's ring.
Cam. At the sight of a fair ring! the king's, I take it?
I have seen him wear the like: if he hath sent it,
As a favour, to me_____
Ful. Yes, 'tis very likely,
His dying mother's gift, prized as his crown!
By this he does command you to be mine;
By his gift you are so:—you may yet redeem all.
Cam. You are in a wrong account still. Though the king may
Dispose of my life and goods, my mind's mine own,
And never shall be yours. The king, Heaven bless him!
Is good and gracious, and, being in himself
Abstemious from base and goatish looseness,
Will not compel, against their wills, chaste maidens
To dance in his minion's circles. I believe,
Forgetting it when he washed his hands, you stole it,
With an intent to awe me. But you are cozened;
I am still myself, and will be.
Ful. A proud haggard,
And not to be reclaimed! which of your grooms,
Your coachman, fool, or footman, ministers
Night-physic to you?
Cam. You are foul-mouthed.
Ful. Much fairer
Than thy black soul; and so I will proclaim thee.
Cam. Were I a man, thou durst not speak this.
Ful. Heaven
So prosper me, as I resolve to do it
To all men, and in every place: scorned by
A tit of tenpence! [Exeunt FULGENTIO and Page.
Syl. Now I begin to be valiant:
Nay, I will draw my sword. O for a brother!
Do a friend's part; pray you, carry him the length of't.
I give him three years and a day to match my Toledo,
And then we'll fight like dragons.
Ador. Pray, have patience.
Cam. I may live to have vengeance: my Bertoldo
Would not have heard this.
Ador. Madam_____
Cam. Pray you, spare
Your language. Prithee fool, and make me merry.
Syl. That is my office ever.
Ador. I must do,
Not talk; this glorious gallant shall hear from me.

SCENE III.—The Siennese. A Camp before the Walls of Sienna.

Chambers shot off: a flourish as to an Assault: after which, enter GONZAGA,

Gonz. Is the breach made assaultable?
Pier. Yes, and the moat
Filled up; the cannoneer hath done his parts;
We may enter six abreast.
Rod. There's not a man
Dares shew himself upon the wall.
Jac. Defeat not
The soldiers' hoped-for spoil.
Pier. If you, sir,
Delay the assault, and the city be given up
To your discretion, you in honour cannot
Use the extremity of war,—but, in
Compassion to them, you to us prove cruel.
Jac. And an enemy to yourself.
Rod. A hindrance to
The brave revenge you have vowed.
Gonz. Temper your heat,
And lose not, by too sudden rashness, that
Which, be but patient, will be offered to you.
Security ushers ruin: proud contempt
Of an enemy three parts vanquished, with desire
And greediness of spoil, have often wrested
A certain victory from the conqueror's gripe.
Discretion is the tutor of the war,
Valour the pupil; and, when we command
With lenity, and our direction's followed
With cheerfulness, a prosperous end must crown
Our works well undertaken.
Rod. Ours are finished_____
Pier. If we make use of fortune.
Gonz. Her false smiles
Deprive you of your judgments. The condition
Of our affairs exacts a double care,
And, like bifronted Janus, we must look
Backward, as forward: though a flattering calm
Bids us urge on, a sudden tempest raised,
Not feared, much less expected, in our rear,
May foully fall upon us, and distract us
To our confusion.—

Enter a Scout, hastily.

Our scout! what brings
Thy ghastly looks, and sudden speed?
Scout. The assurance
Of a new enemy.
Gonz. This I foresaw and feared.
What are they, know'st thou?
Scout. They are, by their colours,
Sicilians, bravely mounted, and the brightness
Of their rich armours doubly gilded with
Reflection of the sun.
Gonz. From Sicily?_____
The king in league! no war proclaimed! 'tis foul:
But this must be prevented, not disputed.
Ha, how is this? your estridge plumes, that but
Even now, like quills of porcupines, seemed to threaten
The stars, drop at the rumour of a shower,
And, like to captive colours, sweep the earth!
Bear up; but in great dangers, greater minds
Are never proud. Shall a few loose troops, untrained,
But in a customary ostentation,
Presented as a sacrifice to your valours,
Cause a dejection in you?
Pier. No dejection.
Rod. However startled, where you lead we'll follow.
Gonz. 'Tis bravely said. We will not stay their charge,
But meet them man to man, and horse to horse.
Pierio, in our absence hold our place,
And with our foot men, and those sickly troops,
Prevent a sally: I in mine own person,
With part of the cavallery, will bid
These hunters welcome to a bloody breakfast:—
But I lose time.
Pier. I'll to my charge. [Exit.
Gonz. And we
To ours: I'll bring you on.
Jac. If we come off,
It's not amiss; if not, my state is settled.
[Exeunt. Alarum within.

SCENE IV.—The Same. The Citadel of Sienna.

Enter FERDINAND, DRUSO, and LIVIO, on the Walls.

Fer. No aids from Sicily! Hath hope forsook us;
And that vain comfort to affliction, pity,
By our vowed friend denied us? we can nor live
Nor die with honour: like beasts in a toil,
We wait the leisure of the bloody hunter,
Who is not so far reconciled unto us,
As in one death to give a period
To our calamities; but in delaying,
The fate we cannot fly from, starved with wants,
We die this night, to live again to-morrow,
And suffer greater torments.
Dru. There is not
Three days' provision for every soldier,
At an ounce of bread a day, left in the city.
Liv. To die the beggar's death, with hunger made
Anatomies while we live, cannot but crack
Our heart-strings with vexation.
Fer. Would they would break,
Break altogether! How willingly, like Cato,
Could I tear out my bowels, rather than
Look on the conqueror's insulting face;
But that religion, and the horrid dream
To be suffered in the other world, denies it!

Enter a Soldier.

What news with thee?
Sold. From the turret of the fort,
By the rising clouds of dust, through which, like lightning
The splendour of bright arms sometimes brake through,
I did descry some forces making towards us;
And, from the camp, as emulous of their glory,
The general, (for I know him by his horse,)
And bravely seconded, encountered them.
Their greetings were too rough for friends; their swords,
And not their tongues, exchanging courtesies.
By this the main battalias are joined;
And, if you please to be spectators of
The horrid issue, I will bring you where,
As in a theatre, you may see their fates
In purple gore presented.
Fer. Heaven, if yet
Thou art appeased for my wrong done to Aurelia,
Take pity of my miseries! Lead the way, friend.

SCENE V.—The same. A Plain near the Camp.

A long Charge: after which, a Flourish for victory; then enter GONZAGA,
Prisoners. Officers and Soldiers.

Gonz. We have them yet, though they cost us dear. This was
Charged home, and bravely followed. Be to yourselves
True mirrors to each other's worth; and, looking
With noble emulation on his wounds,
[Points to BERTOLDO.
The glorious livery of triumphant war,
Imagine these with equal grace appear
Upon yourselves. The bloody sweat you have suffered
In this laborious, nay, toilsome harvest,
Yields a rich crop of conquest; and the spoil,
Most precious balsam to a soldier's hurts,
Will ease and cure them. Let me look upon
The prisoners' faces.
[GASPARO and ANTONIO are brought forward.
Oh, how much transformed
From what they were! O Mars! were these toys fashioned
To undergo the burthen of thy service?
The weight of their defensive armour bruised
Their weak effeminate limbs, and would have forced them,
In a hot day, without a blow to yield.
Ant. This insultation shews not manly in you.
Gonz. To men I had forborne it; you are women,
Or, at the best, loose carpet-knights. What fury
Seduced you to exchange your ease in court
For labour in the field? perhaps you thought,
To charge, through dust and blood, an armèd foe,
Was but like graceful running at the ring
For a wanton mistress' glove; and the encounter,
A soft impression on her lips:—but you
Are gaudy butterflies, and I wrong myself
In parling with you.
Gasp. Vœ victis! now we prove it.
Rod. But here's one fashioned in another mould,
And made of tougher metal.
Gonz. True; I owe him
For this wound bravely given.
Bert. O that mountains
Were heaped upon me, that I might expire,
A wretch no more remembered! [Aside.
Gonz. Look up, sir;
To be o'ercome deserves no shame. If you
Had fallen ingloriously, or could accuse
Your want of courage in resistance, 'twere
To be lamented: but, since you performed
As much as could be hoped for from a man,
(Fortune his enemy,) you wrong yourself
In this dejection. I am honoured in
My victory over you; but to have these
My prisoners is, in my true judgment, rather
Captivity than a triumph: you shall find
Fair quarter from me, and your many wounds,
Which I hope are not mortal, with such care
Looked to and cured, as if your nearest friend
Attended on you.
Bert. When you know me better
You will make void this promise: can you call me
Into your memory?
Gonz. The brave Bertoldo!
A brother of our order! By Saint John,
Our holy patron, I am more amazed,
Nay, thunderstruck with thy apostacy
And precipice from the most solemn vows
Made unto Heaven when this, the glorious badge
Of our Redeemer, was conferred upon thee
By the great master, than if I had seen
A reprobate Jew, an atheist, Turk, or Tartar,
Baptized in our religion!
Bert. This I looked for;
And am resolved to suffer.
Gonz. Fellow-soldiers.
Behold this man, and, taught by his example,
Know that 'tis safer far to play with lightning,
Than trifle in things sacred. In my rage [Weeps.
I shed these at the funeral of his virtue,
Faith, and religion:—why, I will tell you;
He was a gentleman so trained up and fashioned
For noble uses, and his youth did promise
Such certainties, more than hopes, of great achievements,
As—if the Christian world had stood opposed
Against the Othoman race, to try the fortune
Of one encounter,—this Bertoldo had been,
For his knowledge to direct, and matchless courage
To execute, without a rival, by
The votes of good men, chosen general;
As the prime soldier, and most deserving
Of all that wear the cross: which now, in justice,
I thus tear from him.
Bert. Let me die with it
Upon my breast.
Gonz. No; by this thou wert sworn,
On all occasions, as a knight, to guard
Weak ladies from oppression, and never
To draw thy sword against them: whereas thou,
In hope of gain or glory, when a princess,
And such a princess as Aurelia is,
Was dispossessed by violence, of what was
Her true inheritance, against thine oath
Hast, to thy uttermost, laboured to uphold
Her falling enemy. But thou shalt pay
A heavy forfeiture, and learn too late,
Valour employed in an ill quarrel turns
To cowardice, and Virtue then puts on
Foul Vice's visor. This is that which cancels
All friendship's bands between us.—Bear them off;
I will hear no reply: and let the ransom
Of these, for they are yours, be highly rated.
In this I do but right, and let it be
Styled justice, and not wilful cruelty. [Exeunt.


SCENE I.—The same. A Camp before the Walls of Sienna.


GONZ. What I have done, sir, by the law of arms
I can and will make good.
Ast. I have no commission
To expostulate the act. These letters speak
The king my master's love to you, and his
Vowed service to the duchess, on whose person
I am to give attendance.
Gonz. At this instant,
She's at Fienza: you may spare the trouble
Of riding thither: I have advertised her
Of our success, and on what humble terms
Sienna stands: though presently I can
Possess it, I defer it, that she may
Enter her own, and, as she please, dispose of
The prisoners and the spoil.
Ast. I thank you, sir.
In the mean time, if I may have your license,
I have a nephew, and one once my ward,
For whose liberties and ransoms I would gladly
Make composition.
Gonz. They are, as I take it,
Called Gasparo and Antonio.
Ast. The same, sir.
Gonz. For them, you must treat with these: but for Bertoldo,
He is mine own; if the king will ransom him,
He pays down fifty thousand crowns; if not,
He lives and dies my slave.
Ast. Pray you, a word: [Aside to GONZAGA.
The king will rather thank you to detain him,
Than give one crown to free him.
Gonz. At his pleasure.
I'll send the prisoners under guard: my business
Calls me another way. [Exit.
Ast. My service waits you.
Now, gentlemen, do not deal like merchants with me,
But noble captains; you know, in great minds,
Posse et nolle, nobile.
Rod. Pray you, speak
Our language.
Jac. I find not, in my commission,
An officer's bound to speak or understand
More than his mother-tongue.
Rod. If he speak that
After midnight, 'tis remarkable.
Ast. In plain terms, then,
Antonio is your prisoner; Gasparo, yours.
Jac. You are in the right.
Ast. At what sum do you rate
Their several ransoms?
Rod. I must make my market
As the commodity cost me.
Ast. As it cost you!
You did not buy your captainship? your desert,
I hope, advanced you.
Rod. How! It well appears
You are no soldier. Desert in these days!
Desert may make a serjeant to a colonel,
And it may hinder him from rising higher;
But, if it ever get a company,
A company, pray you mark me, without money,
Or private service done for the general's mistress,
With a commendatory epistle from her,
I will turn lanceprezado.
Jac. Pray you observe, sir:
I served two prenticeships, just fourteen years,
Trailing the puissant pike, and half so long
Had the right-hand file; and I fought well, 'twas said, too:
But I might have served, and fought, and served till doomsday,
And ne'er have carried a flag, but for the legacy
A buxom widow of threescore bequeathed me;
And that too, my back knows, I laboured hard for,
But was better paid.
Ast. You are merry with yourselves:
But this is from the purpose.
Rod. To the point then.
Prisoners are not ta'en every day; and, when
We have them, we must make the best use of them.
Our pay is little to the port we should bear,
And that so long a coming, that 'tis spent
Before we have it, and hardly wipes off scores
At the tavern and the ordinary.
Jac. You may add, too,
Our sport ta'en up on trust.
Rod. Peace, thou smock vermin!
Discover commanders' secrets! In a word, sir,
We have inquired, and found our prisoners rich:
Two thousand crowns apiece our companies cost us;
And so much each of us will have, and that
In present pay.
Jac. It is too little: yet,
Since you have said the word, I am content;
But will not go a gazet less.
Ast. Since you are not
To be brought lower, there is no evading;
I'll be your paymaster.
Rod. We desire no better.
Ast. But not a word of what's agreed between us,
Till I have schooled my gallants.
Jac. I am dumb, sir.

Enter a Guard with BERTOLDO, ANTONIO, and GASPARO, in irons.

Bert. And where removed now? hath the tyrant found out
Worse usage for us?
Ant. Worse it cannot be.
My greyhound has fresh straw, and scraps, in his kennel;
But we have neither.
Gasp. Did I ever think
To wear such garters on silk stockings? or
That my too curious appetite that turned
At the sight of godwits, pheasant, partridge, quails,
Larks, woodcocks, calvered salmon, as coarse diet,
Would leap at a mouldy crust?
Ant. And go without it
So oft as I do? Oh! how have I jeered
The city entertainment! A huge shoulder
Of glorious fat ram-mutton, seconded
With a pair of tame cats or conies, a crab-tart,
With a worthy loin of veal, and valiant capon,
Mortified to grow tender!—these I scorned,
From their plentiful horn of abundance, though invited:
But now I could carry my own stool to a tripe
And call their chitterlings charity, and bless the founder.
Bert. O that I were no further sensible
Of my miseries than you are! you, like beasts,
Feel only stings of hunger, and complain not
But when you're empty: but your narrow souls
(If you have any) cannot comprehend
How insupportable the torments are
Which a free and noble soul, made captive, suffers.
Most miserable men!—and what am I, then,
That envy you? Fetters, though made of gold,
Express base thraldom: and all delicates
Prepared by Median cooks for epicures,
When not our own, are bitter; quilts filled high
With gossamer and roses, cannot yield
The body soft repose, the mind kept waking
With anguish and affliction.
Ast. My good lord_____
Bert. This is no time nor place for flattery, sir:
Pray you, style me as I am, a wretch forsaken
Of the world, as myself.
Ast. I would it were
In me to help you.
Bert. If that you want power, sir,
Lip-comfort cannot cure me. Pray you, leave me
To mine own private thoughts. [Walks by.
Ast. (Comes forward.) My valiant nephew!
And my more than warlike ward! I am glad to see you,
After your glorious conquests. Are these chains,
Rewards for your good service? if they are
You should wear them on your necks, since they are massy,
Like aldermen of the war.
Ant. You jeer us too!
Gasp. Good uncle, name not, as you are a man of honour,
That fatal word of war; the very sound of it
Is more dreadful than a cannon.
Ant. But redeem us
From this captivity, and I'll vow hereafter
Never to wear a sword, or cut my meat
With a knife that has an edge or point; I'll starve first.
Gasp. I will cry broom, or cat's meat, in Palermo,
Turn porter, carry burthens, anything,
Rather than live a soldier.
Ast. This should have
Been thought upon before. At what price, think you,
Your two wise heads are rated?
Ant. A calf's head is
More worth than mine; I'm sure it has more brains in't,
Or I had ne'er come here.
Rod. And I will eat it
With bacon, if I have not speedy ransom.
Ant. And a little garlic too, for your own sake, sir:
'Twill boil in your stomach else.
Gasp. Beware of mine,
Or the horns may choke you; I am married, sir.
Ant. You shall have my row of houses near the palace.
Gasp. And my villa; all_____
Ant. All that we have.
Ast. Well, have more wit hereafter; for this time,
You are ransomed.
Jac. Off with their irons.
Rod. Do, do:
If you are ours again, you know your price.
Ant. Pray you dispatch us: I shall ne'er believe
I am a free man, till I set my foot
In Sicily again, and drink Palermo,
And in Palermo too.
Ast. The wind sits fair,
You shall aboard to-night; with the rising sun
You may touch upon the coast. But take your leaves
Of the late general first.
Gasp. I will be brief.
Ant. And I. My lord, Heaven keep you!
Gasp. Yours, to use
In the way of peace; but as your soldiers, never.
Ant. A pox of war! no more of war.
Bert. Have you
Authority to loose their bonds, yet leave
The brother of your king, whose worth disdains
Comparison with such as these, in irons?
If ransom may redeem them, I have lands,
A patrimony of mine own, assigned me
By my deceasèd sire, to satisfy
Whate'er can be demanded for my freedom.
Ast. I wish you had, sir; but the king, who yields
No reason for his will, in his displeasure
Hath seized on all you had; nor will Gonzaga,
Whose prisoner now you are, accept of less
Than fifty thousand crowns.
Bert. I find it now,
That misery never comes alone. But, grant
The king is yet inexorable, time
May work him to a feeling of my sufferings.
I have friends that swore their lives and fortunes were
At my devotion, and, among the rest,
Yourself, my lord, when forfeited to the law
For a foul murder, and in cold blood done,
I made your life my gift, and reconciled you
To this incensed king, and got your pardon.
—Beware ingratitude. I know you are rich,
And may pay down the sum.
Ast. I might, my lord;
But pardon me.
Bert. And will Astutio prove, then,
To please a passionate man, (the king's no more,)
False to his maker and his reason, which
Commands more than I ask? O summer-friendship,
Whose flattering leaves, that shadowed us in our
Prosperity, with the least gust drop off
In the autumn of adversity! How like
A prison is to a grave! when dead, we are
With solemn pomp brought thither, and our heirs,
Masking their joy in false, dissembled tears,
Weep o'er the hearse; but earth no sooner covers
The earth brought thither, but they turn away
With inward smiles, the dead no more remembered:
So, entered in a prison_____
Ast. My occasions
Command me hence, my lord.
Bert. Pray you, leave me, do;
And tell the cruel king, that I will wear
These fetters till my flesh and they are one
Incorporated substance. [Exit ASTUTIO.] In myself,
As in a glass, I'll look on human frailty,
And curse the height of royal blood: since I,
In being born near to Jove, am near his thunder.
Cedars once shaken with a storm, their own
Weight grubs their roots out.—Lead me where you please;
I am his, not fortune's martyr, and will die
The great example of his cruelty. [Exit guarded.

SCENE II.—Palermo. A Grove near the Palace.


Ador. He undergoes my challenge and contemns it,
And threatens me with the late edict made
'Gainst duellists,—the altar cowards fly to.
But I, that am engaged, and nourish in me
A higher aim than fair Camiola dreams of,
Must not sit down thus. In the court I dare not
Attempt him; and in public, he's so guarded,
With a herd of parasites, clients, fools, and suitors,
That a musket cannot reach him:—my designs
Admit of no delay. This is her birthday,
Which, with a fit and due solemnity,
Camiola celebrates: and on it, all such
As love or serve her usually present
A tributary duty. I'll have something
To give, if my intelligence prove true,
Shall find acceptance. I am told, near this grove
Fulgentio, every morning, makes his markets
With his petitioners; I may present him
With a sharp petition!—Ha! 'tis he: my fate
Be ever blessed for't!

Enter FULGENTIO and Page.

Ful. Command such as wait me
Not to presume, at the least for half an hour,
To press on my retirements.
Page. I will say, sir,
You are at your prayers.
Ful. That will not find belief;
Courtiers have something else to do:—be gone, sir.
[Exit Page.
Challenged! 'tis well; and by a groom! still better.
Was this shape made to fight? I have a tongue yet,
Howe'er no sword, to kill him; and what way,
This morning I'll resolve of. [Exit.
Ador. I shall cross
Your resolution, or suffer for you. [Exit following him.

SCENE III.—The same. A Room in CAMIOLA'S House.

Enter CAMIOLA, followed by Servants with Presents; SYLLI,

Syl. What are all these?
Clar. Servants with several presents,
And rich ones too.
1st Serv. With her best wishes, madam,
Of many such days to you, the Lady Petula
Presents you with this fan.
2nd Serv. This diamond,
From your aunt Honoria.
3rd Serv. This piece of plate
From your uncle, old Vicentio, with your arms
Graven upon it.
Cam. Good friends, they are too
Munificent in their love and favour to me.
Out of my cabinet return such jewels
As this directs you:—[To CLARINDA]—for your pains; and yours;
Nor must you be forgotten. [Gives them money.
Honour me
With the drinking of a health.
1st Serv. Gold, on my life!
2nd Serv. She scorns to give base silver.
3rd Serv. Would she had been
Born every month in the year!
1st Serv. Month! every day.
2nd Serv. Shew such another maid.
3rd Serv. All happiness wait you!
Clar. I'll see your will done.
[Exeunt SYLLI, CLARINDA, and Servants.

Enter ADORNI wounded.

Cam. How, Adorni wounded!
Ador. A scratch got in your service, else not worth
Your observation: I bring not, madam,
In honour of your birthday, antique plate,
Or pearl for which the savage Indian dives
Into the bottom of the sea; nor diamonds
Hewn from steep rocks with danger. Such as give
To those that have, what they themselves want, aim at
A glad return with profit: yet, despise not
My offering at the altar of your favour,
Nor let the lowness of the giver lessen
The height of what's presented, since it is
A precious jewel, almost forfeited,
And dimmed with clouds of infamy, redeemed,
And, in its natural splendour, with addition
Restored to the true owner.
Cam. How is this?
Ador. Not to hold you in suspense, I bring you, madam,
Your wounded reputation cured, the sting
Of virulent malice, festering your fair name,
Plucked out and trod on. That proud man, that was
Denied the honour of your bed, yet durst,
With his untrue reports, strumpet your fame,
Compelled by me, hath given himself the lie,
And in his own blood wrote it:—you may read
Fulgentio subscribed. [Offering a paper.
Cam. I am amazed!
Ador. It does deserve it, madam. Common service
Is fit for hinds, and the reward proportioned
To their conditions: therefore, look not on me
As a follower of your father's fortunes, or
One that subsists on yours:—you frown! my service
Merits not this aspect.
Cam. Which of my favours,
I might say bounties, hath begot and nourished
This more than rude presumption? Since you had
An itch to try your desperate valour, wherefore
Went you not to the war? Couldst thou suppose
My innocence could ever fall so low
As to have need of thy rash sword to guard it
Against malicious slander? O how much
Those ladies are deceived and cheated when
The clearness and integrity of their actions
Do not defend themselves, and stand secure
On their own bases! Such as in a colour
Of seeming service give protection to them,
Betray their own strengths. Malice scorned, puts out
Itself; but argued, gives a kind of credit
To a false accusation. In this, your
Most memorable service, you believed
You did me right; but you have wronged me more
In your defence of my undoubted honour
Than false Fulgentio could.
Ador. I am sorry what was
So well intended is so ill received;

Re-enter CLARINDA.

Yet, under your correction, you wished
Bertoldo had been present.
Cam. True, I did:
But he and you, sir, are not parallels,
Nor must you think yourself so.
Ador. I am what
You'll please to have me.
Cam. If Bertoldo had
Punished Fulgentio's insolence, it had shewn
His love to her whom, in his judgment, he
Vouchsafed to make his wife; a height, I hope,
Which you dare not aspire to. The same actions
Suit not all men alike; but I perceive
Repentance in your looks. For this time, leave me;
I may forgive, perhaps forget, your folly:
Conceal yourself till this storm be blown over.
You will be sought for, yet, if my estate
[Gives him her hand to kiss.
Can hinder it, shall not suffer in my service.
Ador. This is something yet, though I missed the mark I shot at.
[Aside, and exit.
Cam. This gentleman is of a noble temper,
And I too harsh, perhaps, in my reproof:
Was I not, Clarinda?
Clar. I am not to censure
Your actions, madam; but there are a thousand
Ladies, and of good fame, in such a cause
Would be proud of such a servant.
Cam. It may be;

Enter a Servant.

Let me offend in this kind. Why, uncalled for?
Serv. The signiors, madam, Gasparo and Antonio,
Selected friends of the renowned Bertoldo,
Put ashore this morning.
Cam. Without him?
Serv. I think so.
Cam. Never think more then.
Serv. They have been at court,
Kissed the king's hand, and, their first duties done
To him, appear ambitious to tender
To you their second service.
Cam. Wait them hither. [Exit Servant.
Fear, do not rack me! Reason, now, if ever,
Haste with thy aids, and tell me, such a wonder
As my Bertoldo is, with such care fashioned,
Must not, nay, cannot, in Heaven's providence


So soon miscarry!—pray you, forbear; ere you take
The privilege, as strangers, to salute me,
(Excuse my manners,) make me first understand
How it is with Bertoldo.
Gasp. The relation
Will not, I fear, deserve your thanks.
Ant. I wish
Some other should inform you.
Cam. Is he dead?
You see, though with some fear, I dare enquire it.
Gasp. Dead! Would that were the worst; a debt were paid then,
Kings in their birth owe nature.
Cam. Is there aught
More terrible than death?
Ant. Yes, to a spirit
Like his; cruel imprisonment, and that
Without the hope of freedom.
Cam. You abuse me:
The royal king cannot, in love to virtue,
(Though all springs of affection were dried up,)
But pay his ransom.
Gasp. When you know what 'tis,
You will-think otherwise: no less will do it
Than fifty thousand crowns.
Cam. A petty sum,
The price weighed with the purchase: fifty thousand!
To the king 'tis nothing. He that can spare more
To his minion for a masque, cannot but ransom
Such a brother at a million. You wrong
The king's magnificence.
Ant. In your opinion;
But 'tis most certain: he does not alone
In himself refuse to pay it, but forbids
All other men.
Cam. Are you sure of this?
Gasp. You may read
The edict to that purpose, published by him;
That will resolve you.
Cam. Possible! pray you, stand off.
If I do not mutter treason to myself,
My heart will break; and yet I will not curse him;
He is my king. The news you have delivered
Makes me weary of your company; we'll salute
When we meet next. I'll bring you to the door.
Nay, pray you, no more compliments.
Gasp. One thing more,
And that's substantial: let your Adorni
Look to himself.
Ant. The king is much incensed
Against him for Fulgentio.
Cam. As I am,
For your slowness to depart.
Both. Farewell, sweet lady.
Cam. O more than impious times! when not alone
Subordinate ministers of justice are
Corrupted and seduced, but kings themselves,
The greater wheels by which the lesser move,
Are broken or disjointed! could it be else,
A king, to sooth his politic ends, should so far
Forsake his honour as at once to break
The adamant chains of nature and religion,
To bind up atheism as a defence
To his dark counsels? Will it ever be,
That to deserve too much is dangerous,
And virtue, when too eminent, a crime?
Must she serve fortune still, or, when stripped of
Her gay and glorious favours, lose the beauties
Of her own natural shape? O, my Bertoldo,
Thou only sun in honour's sphere, how soon
Art thou eclipsed and darkened! not the nearness
Of blood prevailing on the king; nor all
The benefits to the general good dispensed,
Gaining a retribution! But that
To owe a courtesy to a simple virgin
Would take from the deserving, I find in me
Some sparks of fire, which, fanned with honour's breath,
Might rise into a flame, and in men darken
Their usurped splendour. Ha! my aim is high,
And, for the honour of my sex, to fall so,
Can never prove inglorious.—'Tis resolved:
Call in Adorni.
Clar. I am happy in
Such an employment, madam. [Exit.
Cam. He's a man,
I know, that at a reverent distance loves me;
And such are ever faithful. What a sea
Of melting ice I walk on! what strange censures
Am I to undergo! but good intents
Deride all future rumours.

Re-enter CLARINDA with ADORNI.

Ador. I obey
Your summons, madam.
Cam. Leave the place, Clarinda;
One woman, in a secret of such weight,
Wise men may think too much: [Exit CLARINDA] nearer, Adorni.
I warrant it with a smile.
Ador. I cannot ask
Safer protection; what's your will?
Cam. To doubt
Your ready desire to serve me, or prepare you
With the repetition of former merits,
Would, in my diffidence, wrong you: but I will,
And without circumstance, in the trust that I
Impose upon you, free you from suspicion.
Ador. I foster none of you.
Cam. I know you do not.
You are, Adorni, by the love you owe me_____
Ador. The surest conjuration.
Cam. Take me with you,_____
Love born of duty; but advance no further.
You are, sir, as I said, to do me service,
To undertake a task, in which your faith,
Judgment, discretion—in a word, your all
That's good, must be engaged; nor must you study,
In the execution, but what may make
For the ends I aim at.
Ador. They admit no rivals.
Cam. You answer well. You have heard of Bertoldo's
Captivity, and the king's neglect; the greatness
Of his ransom; fifty thousand crowns, Adorni;
Two parts of my estate!
Ador. To what tends this? [Aside.
Cam. Yet I so love the gentleman, for to you
I will confess my weakness, that I purpose
Now, when he is forsaken by the king,
And his own hopes, to ransom him, and receive him
Into my bosom, as my lawful husband_____
Why change you colour?
Ador. 'Tis in wonder of
Your virtue, madam.
Cam. You must, therefore, to
Sienna for me, and pay to Gonzaga
This ransom for his liberty; you shall
Have bills of exchange along with you. Let him swear
A solemn contract to me; for you must be
My principal witness, if he should—but why
Do I entertain these jealousies? You will do this?
Ador. Faithfully, madam—but not live long after.
Cam. One thing I had forgot: besides his freedom,
He may want accommodations; furnish him
According to his birth: and from Camiola
Deliver this kiss, printed on your lips, [Kisses him.
Sealed on his hand. You shall not see my blushes:
I'll instantly dispatch you. [Exit.
Ador. I am half
Hanged out o' the way already.—Was there ever
Poor lover so employed against himself
To make way for his rival? I must do it.
Nay, more, I will. If loyalty can find
Recompense beyond hope or imagination,
Let it fall on me in the other world
As a reward, for in this I dare not hope it. [Exit.


SCENE I.—The Siennese. A Camp before the Walls of Sienna.


GONZ. You have seized upon the citadel, and disarmed
All that could make resistance?
Pier. Hunger had
Done that before we came; nor was the soldier
Compelled to seek for prey; the famished wretches,
In hope of mercy, as a sacrifice offered
All that was worth the taking.
Gonz. You proclaimed,
On pain of death, no violence should be offered
To any woman?
Rod. But it needed not;
For famine had so humbled them, and ta'en off
The care of their sex's honour, that there was not
So coy a beauty in the town but would,
For half a mouldy biscuit, sell herself
To a poor bisognion, and without shrieking.
Gonz. Where is the Duke of Urbin?
Jac. Under guard,
As you directed.
Gonz. See the soldiers set
In rank and file, and, as the duchess passes,
Bid them vail their ensigns; and charge them on their lives
Not to cry "Whores!"
Jac. The devil cannot fright them
From their military license. Though they know
They are her subjects, and will part with being
To do her service, yet, since she's a woman,
They will touch at her breech with their tongues; and that is all
That they can hope for.
[A shout, and a general cry within.
Whores! whores!
Gonz. O the devil! they are at it.
Hell stop their brawling throats. Again! make up,
And cudgel them into jelly.
Rod. To no purpose;
Though their mothers were there, they would have the same name for them.

SCENE II.—The same. Another Part of the Camp.

Canopy. ASTUTIO presents her with letters.

Gonz. I do beseech your highness not to ascribe
To the want of discipline, the barbarous rudeness
Of the soldier, in his profanation of
Your sacred name and virtues.
Aurel. No, lord general;
I've heard my father say oft, 'twas a custom
Usual in the camp; nor are they to be punished
For words, that have, in fact, deserved so well:
Let the one excuse the other.
All. Excellent princess!
Aurel. But for these aids from Sicily sent against us
To blast our spring of conquest in the bud,
I cannot find, my lord ambassador,
How we should entertain't but as a wrong,
With purpose to detain us from our own,
Howe'er the king endeavours, in his letters,
To mitigate the affront.
Ast. Your grace hereafter
May hear from me such strong assurances
Of his unlimited desires to serve you,
As will, I hope, drown in forgetfulness
The memory of what's past.
Aurel. We shall take time
To search the depth of 't further, and proceed
As our council shall direct us.
Gonz. We present you
With the keys of the city; all lets are removed,
Your way is smooth and easy; at your feet
Your proudest enemy falls.
Aurel. We thank your valours:
A victory without blood is twice achieved,
And the disposure of it, to us tendered,
The greatest honour. Worthy captains, thanks!
My love extends itself to all.
Gonz. Make way there.
[A Guard drawn up; AURELIA passes through them.
Loud music. [Exeunt.

SCENE III.—Sienna. A Room in the Prison.

BERTOLDO is discovered in fetters, reading.

Bert. 'Tis here determined, (great examples, armed
With arguments, produced to make it good,)
That neither tyrants, nor the wrested laws,
The people's frantic rage, sad exile, want,
Nor that which I endure, captivity,
Can do a wise man any injury.
Thus Seneca, when he wrote, thought.—But then
Felicity courted him; his wealth exceeding
A private man's; happy in the embraces
Of his chaste wife Paulina; his house full
Of children, clients, servants, flattering friends,
Soothing his lip-positions; and created
Prince of the senate, by the general voice,
At his new pupil's suffrage: then, no doubt,
He held and did believe this. But no sooner
The prince's frowns and jealousies had thrown him
Out of security's lap, and a centurion
Had offered him what choice of death he pleased,
But told him, die he must, when straight the armour
Of his so boasted fortitude fell off,
[Throws away the book
Complaining of his frailty. Can it then
Be censured womanish weakness in me if,
Thus clogged with irons, and the period
To close up all calamities denied me
Which was presented Seneca, I wish
I ne'er had being; at least, never knew
What happiness was; or argue with Heaven's justice,
Tearing my locks, and, in defiance, throwing
Dust in the air? or, falling on the ground, thus
With my nails and teeth to dig a grave, or rend
The bowels of the earth, my step-mother,
And not a natural parent? or thus practise
To die, and, as I were insensible,
Believe I had no motion? [Falls on his face.

Enter GONZAGA, ADORNI, and Gaoler.

Gonz. There he is:
I'll not enquire by whom his ransom's paid,
I am satisfied that I have it; nor allege
One reason to excuse his cruel usage,
As you may interpret it; let it suffice
It was my will to have it so. He is yours now,
Dispose of him as you please. [Exit.
Ador. Howe'er I hate him,
As one preferred before me, being a man,
He does deserve my pity. Sir!—he sleeps:—
Or is he dead? would he were a saint in Heaven!
'Tis all the hurt I wish him. But I was not
Born to such happiness [Aside. Kneels by him.]_____no, he
And, if't be possible, without his feeling,
Take off his irons.—[His irons are taken off.]—So; now leave us
private. [Exit Gaoler.
He does begin to stir; and, as transported
With a joyful dream, how he stares! and feels his legs,
As yet uncertain whether it can be
True or fantastical.
Bert. (rising.) Ministers of mercy,
Mock not calamity. Ha! 'tis no vision!
Or, if it be, the happiest that ever
Appeared to sinful flesh! Who's here? his face
Speaks him Adorni;—but some glorious angel,
Concealing its divinity in his shape,
Hath done this miracle, it being not an act
For wolfish man. Resolve me, if thou look'st for
Bent knees in adoration?
Ador. O forbear, sir!
I am Adorni, and the instrument
Of your deliverance; but the benefit
You owe another.
Bert. If he has a name,
As soon as spoken, 'tis writ on my heart
I am his bondman.
Ador. To the shame of men,
This great act is a woman's.
Bert. The whole sex
For her sake must be deified. How I wander
In my imagination, yet cannot
Guess who this phœnix should be!
Ador. 'Tis Camiola.
Bert. Pray you, speak't again; there's music in her name.
Once more, I pray you, sir.
Ador. Camiola,
Bert. Cursed atheist that I was,
Only to doubt it could be any other,
Since she alone, in the abstract of herself,
That small but ravishing substance, comprehends
Whatever is or can be wished in the
Idea of a woman! O what service,
Or sacrifice of duty, can I pay her,
If not to live and die her charity's slave,
Which is resolved already!
Ador. She expects not
Such a dominion o'er you: yet, ere I
Deliver her demands, give me your hand:
On this, as she enjoined me, with my lips
I print her love and service, by me sent you.
Bert. I am o'erwhelmed with wonder!
Ador. You must now,
Which is the sum of all that she desires,
By a solemn contract bind yourself, when she
Requires it, as a debt due for your freedom,
To marry her.
Bert. This does engage me further;
A payment! an increase of obligation.
To marry her!—'twas my nil ultra ever:
The end of my ambition. O that now
The holy man, she present, were prepared
To join our hands, but with that speed my heart
Wishes mine eyes might see her!
Ador. You must swear this.
Bert. Swear it! Collect all oaths and imprecations
Whose least breach is damnation, and those
Ministered to me in a form more dreadful;
Set Heaven and hell before me, I will take them:
False to Camiola! never.—Shall I now
Begin my vows to you?
Ador. I am no churchman;
Such a one must file it on record: you are free;
And, that you may appear like to yourself,
(For so she wished,) here's gold, with which you may
Redeem your trunks and servants, and whatever
Of late you lost. I have found out the captain
Whose spoil they were; his name is Roderigo.
Bert. I know him.
Ador. I have done my parts.
Bert. So much, sir,
As I am ever yours for't. Now, methinks,
I walk in air! Divine Camiola_____
But words cannot express thee: I'll build to thee
An altar in my soul, on which I'll offer
A still-increasing sacrifice of duty. [Exit.
Ador. What will become of me now is apparent.
Whether a poniard or a halter be
The nearest way to hell, (for I must thither,
After I've killed myself,) is somewhat doubtful.
This Roman resolution of self-murder
Will not hold water at the high tribunal,
When it comes to be argued; my good genius
Prompts me to this consideration. He
That kills himself to avoid misery, fears it,
And, at the best, shews but a bastard valour.
This life's a fort committed to my trust,
Which I must not yield up till it be forced:
Nor will I. He's not valiant that dares die,
But he that boldly bears calamity. [Exit.

SCENE IV.—The same. A State-room in the Palace.

ASTUTIO, and Attendants.

Aurel. A seat here for the duke. It is our glory
To overcome with courtesies, not rigour;
The lordly Roman, who held it the height
Of human happiness to have kings and queens
To wait by his triumphant chariot-wheels,
In his insulting pride, deprived himself
Of drawing near the nature of the gods,
Best known for such, in being merciful.
Yet, give me leave, but still with gentle language,
And with the freedom of a friend, to tell you,
To seek by force what courtship could not win,
Was harsh, and never taught in Love's mild school.
Wise poets feign that Venus' coach is drawn
By doves and sparrows, not by bears and tigers.
I spare the application.
Fer. In my fortune
Heaven's justice hath confirmed it; yet, great lady,
Since my offence grew from excess of love,
And not to be resisted, having paid, too,
With loss of liberty, the forfeiture
Of my presumption, in your clemency
It may find pardon.
Aurel. You shall have just cause
To say it hath. The charge of the long siege
Defrayed, and the loss my subjects have sustained
Made good, since so far I must deal with caution,
You have your liberty.
Fer. I could not hope for
Gentler conditions.
Aurel. My lord Gonzaga,
Since my coming to Sienna, I've heard much of
Your prisoner, brave Bertoldo.
Gonz. Such an one,
Madam, I had.
Ast. And have still, sir, I hope.
Gonz. Your hopes deceive you. He is ransomed, madam.
Ast. By whom, I pray you, sir?
Gonz. You had best enquire
Of your intelligencer: I am no informer.
Ast. I like not this. [Aside.
Aurel. He is, as 'tis reported,
A goodly gentleman, and of noble parts;
A brother of your order.
Gonz. He was, madam,
Till he, against his oath, wronged you, a princess,
Which his religion bound him from.
Aurel. Great minds,
For trial of their valours, oft maintain
Quarrels that are unjust, yet without malice;
And such a fair construction I make of him:
I would see that brave enemy.
Gonz. My duty
Commands me to seek for him.
Aurel. Pray you do;
And bring him to our presence. [Exit GONZAGA.
Ast. I must blast
His entertainment. [Aside.] May it please your excellency,
He is a man debauched, and, for his riots,
Cast off by the king my master; and that, I hope, is
A crime sufficient.
Fer. To you, his subjects,
That like as your king likes.
Aurel. But not to us;
We must weigh with our own scale.

Re-enter GONZAGA, with BERTOLDO, richly habited, and ADORNI.

This is he, sure.
How soon mine eye had found him! what a port
He bears! how well his bravery becomes him!
A prisoner! nay, a princely suitor, rather!
But I'm too sudden. [Aside
Gonz. Madam, 'twas his suit,
Unsent for, to present his service to you,
Ere his departure.
Aurel. With what majesty
He bears himself! [Aside.
Ast. The devil, I think, supplies him.
Ransomed, and thus rich too!
Aurel. You ill deserve
[BERTOLDO kneeling, kisses her hand.
The favour of our hand—-we are not well,
Give us more air— [Descends suddenly.
Gonz. What sudden qualm is this?
Aurel. —That lifted yours against me.
Bert. Thus, once more,
I sue for pardon.
Aurel. Sure his lips are poisoned,
And through these veins force passage to my heart,
Which is already seized on. [Aside.
Bert. I wait, madam,
To know what your commands are; my designs
Exact me in another place.
Aurel. Before
You have our licence to depart! If manners,
Civility of manners, cannot teach you
To attend our leisure, I must tell you, sir,
That you are still our prisoner; nor had you
Commission to free him.
Gonz. How's this, madam?
Aurel. You were my substitute, and wanted power,
Without my warrant, to dispose of him:
I will pay back his ransom ten times over,
Rather than quit my interest.
Bert. This is
Against the law of arms.
Aurel. But not of love. [Aside.
Why, hath your entertainment, sir, been such,
In your restraint, that, with the wings of fear,
You would fly from it?
Bert. I know no man, madam,
Enamoured of his fetters, or delighting
In cold or hunger, or that would in reason
Prefer straw in a dungeon, before
A down-bed in a palace.
Aurel. How!—Come nearer:
Was his usage such?
Gonz. Yes: and it had been worse,
Had I forseen this.
Aurel. O thou mis-shaped monster!
In thee it is confirmed that such as have
No share in nature's bounties know no pity
To such as have them. Look on him with my eyes,
And answer, then, whether this were a man
Whose cheeks of lovely fulness should be made
A prey to meagre famine? or these eyes,
Whose every glance stores Cupid's emptied quiver,
To be dimmed with tedious watching? or these lips,
These ruddy lips, of whose fresh colour cherries
And roses were but copies, should grow pale
For want of nectar? or these legs, that bear
A burthen of more worth than is supported
By Atlas' wearied shoulders, should be cramped
With the weight of iron? O, I could dwell ever
On this description!
Bert. Is this in derision,
Or pity of me?
Aurel. In your charity
Believe me innocent. Now you are my prisoner,
You shall have fairer quarter: you will shame
The place where you have been, should you now leave it,
Before you are recovered. I'll conduct you
To more convenient lodgings, and it shall be
My care to cherish you. Repine who dare;
It is our will. You'll follow me?
Bert. To the centre,
Such a Sybilla guiding me.
[Exeunt AURELIA, BERTOLDO, and Attendants.
Gonz. Who speaks first?
Fer. We stand as we had seen Medusa's head,
Pier. I know not what to think, I am so amazed.
Rod. Amazed! I am thunderstruck.
Jac. We are enchanted,
And this is some illusion.
Ador. Heaven forbid!
In dark despair it shews a beam of hope:
Contain thy joy, Adorni. [Aside.
Ast. Such a princess,
And of so long-experienced reservedness,
Break forth, and on the sudden, into flashes
Of more than doubted looseness!
Gonz. They come again,
Smiling, as I live! his arm circling her waist.
I shall run mad:—some fury hath possessed her.
If I speak, I may be blasted. Ha! I'll mumble
A prayer or two, and cross myself, and then,
Though the devil fart fire, have at him.


Aurel. Let not, sir,
The violence of my passion nourish in you
An ill opinion; or, grant my carriage
Out of the road and garb of private women,
'Tis still done with decorum. As I am
A princess, what I do is above censure,
And to be imitated.
Bert. Gracious madam,
Vouchsafe a little pause; for I am so rapt
Beyond myself, that, till I have collected
My scattered faculties, I cannot tender
My resolution.
Aurel. Consider of it,
I will not be long from you. [BERTOLDO walks by musing.
Gonz. Pray I cannot,
This cursèd object strangles my devotion:
I must speak, or I burst.—Pray, you, fair lady,
If you can, in courtesy direct me to
The chaste Aurelia.
Aurel. Are you blind? who are we?
Gonz. Another kind of thing. Her blood was governed
By her discretion, and not ruled her reason:
The reverence and majesty of Juno
Shined in her looks, and, coming to the camp,
Appeared a second Pallas. I can see
No such divinities in you: if I,
Without offence, may speak my thoughts, you are,
As 'twere, a wanton Helen.
Aurel. Good! ere long
You shall know me better.
Gonz. Why, if you are Aurelia,
How shall I dispose of the soldier?
Ast. May it please you
To hasten my dispatch?
Aurel. Prefer your suits
Unto Bertoldo; we will give him hearing,
And you'll find him your best advocate. [Exit.
Ast. This is rare!
Gonz. What are we come to?
Rod. Grown up in a moment
A favourite!
Ferd. He does take state already.
Bert. No, no; it cannot be:—yet, but Camiola,
There is no step between me and a crown.
Then my ingratitude! a sin in which
All sins are comprehended! Aid me, Virtue,
Or I am lost.
Gonz. May it please your excellence_____
Second me, sir.
Bert. Then my so horrid oaths,
And hell-deep imprecations made against it!
Ast. The king, your brother, will thank you for the advancement
Of his affairs.
Bert. And yet who can hold out
Against such batteries as her power and greatness
Raise up against my weak defences!
Gonz. Sir,

Re-enter AURELIA.

Do you dream waking? 'Slight, she's here again!
Walks she on woollen feet!
Aurel. You dwell too long
In your deliberation, and come
With a cripple's pace to that which you should fly to.
Bert. It is confessed: yet why should I, to win
From you, that hazard all to my poor nothing,
By false play send you off a loser from me?
I am already too, too much engaged
To the king my brother's anger; and who knows
But that his doubts and politic fears, should you
Make me his equal, may draw war upon
Your territories? Were that breach made up,
I should with joy embrace what now I fear
To touch but with due reverence.
Aurel. That hindrance
Is easily removed. I owe the king
For a royal visit, which I straight will pay him;
And having first reconciled you to his favour,
A dispensation shall meet with us.
Bert. I am wholly yours.
Aurel. On this book seal it.
Gonz. What, hand and lip too! then the bargain's sure._____
You have no employment for me?
Aurel. Yes, Gonzaga;
Provide a royal ship.
Gonz. A ship! St. John,
Whither are we bound now?
Aurel. You shall know hereafter.
My lord, your pardon, for my too much trenching
Upon your patience.
Ador. Camiola! [Aside to BERTOLDO.
Aurel. How do you?
Bert. Indisposed; but I attend you.
[Exeunt all but ADORNI.
Ador. The heavy curse that waits on perjury,
And foul ingratitude, pursue thee ever!
Yet why from me this? in his breach of faith
My loyalty finds reward: what poisons him,
Proves mithridate to me. I have performed
All she commanded, punctually; and now,
In the clear mirror of my truth, she may
Behold his falsehood. O that I had wings
To bear me to Palermo! This once known,
Must change her love into a just disdain,
And work her to compassion of my pain. [Exit.

SCENE V.—Palermo. A Room in CAMIOLA'S House.

Enter SYLLI, CAMIOLA, and CLARINDA, at several doors.

Syl. Undone! undone!—poor I, that whilome was
The top and ridge of my house, am, on the sudden,
Turned to the pitifullest animal
O' the lineage of the Syllis!
Cam. What's the matter?
Syl. The king—break, girdle, break!
Cam. Why, what of him?
Syl. Hearing how far you doated on my person,
Growing envious of my happiness, and knowing
His brother, nor his favourite, Fulgentio,
Could get a sheep's eye from you, I being present,
Is come himself a suitor, with the awl
Of his authority to bore my nose,
And take you from me—Oh, oh, oh!
Cam. Do not roar so:
The king!
Syl. The king. Yet loving Sylli is not
So sorry for his own, as your misfortune;
If the king should carry you, or you bear him,
What a loser should you be! He can but make you
A queen, and what a simple thing is that,
To the being my lawful spouse! the world can never
Afford you such a husband.
Cam. I believe you.
But how are you sure the king is so inclined?
Did not you dream this?
Syl. With these eyes I saw him
Dismiss his train, and, lighting from his coach,
Whispering Fulgentio in the ear.
Cam. If so,
I guess the business.
Syl. It can be no other,
But to give me the bob, that being a matter
Of main importance. Yonder they are: I dare not


Be seen, I am so desperate: if you forsake me,
Send me word, that I may provide a willow garland,
To wear when I drown myself. O Sylli, Sylli!
[Exit crying.
Ful. It will be worth your pains, sir, to observe
The constancy and bravery of her spirit.
Though great men tremble at your frowns, I dare
Hazard my head, your majesty, set off
With terror, cannot fright her.
Rob. May she answer
My expectation! [Aside.
Ful. There she is.
Cam. My knees thus
Bent to the earth, while my vows are sent upward
For the safety of my sovereign, pay the duty
Due for so great an honour, in this favour
Done to your humblest handmaid.
Rob. You mistake me;
I come not, lady, that you may report
The king, to do you honour, made your house
(He being there) his court; but to correct
Your stubborn disobedience. A pardon
For that, could you obtain it, were well purchased
With this humility.
Cam. A pardon, sir!
Till I am conscious of an offence,
I will not wrong my innocence to beg one.
What is my crime, sir?
Rob. Look on him I favour,
By you scorned and neglected.
Cam. Is that all, sir?
Rob. No, minion; though that were too much. How can you
Answer the setting on your desperate bravo
To murder him?
Cam. With your leave, I must not kneel, sir,
While I reply to this: but thus rise up
In my defence, and tell you, as a man,
(Since, when you are unjust, the deity,
Which you may challenge as a king, parts from you,)
'Twas never read in holy writ, or moral,
That subjects on their loyalty were obliged
To love their sovereign's vices; your grace, sir,
To such an undeserver is no virtue.
Ful. What think you now, sir?
Cam. Say, you should love wine,
You being the king, and, 'cause I am your subject,
Must I be ever drunk? Tyrants, not kings,
By violence from humble vassals force
The liberty of their souls. I could not love him;
And to compel affection, as I take it,
Is not found in your prerogative.
Rob. Excellent virgin!
How I admire her confidence! [Aside.
Cam. He complains
Of wrong done him: but, be no more a king,
Unless you do me right. Burn your decrees,
And of your laws and statutes make a fire
To thaw the frozen numbness of delinquents,
If he escape unpunished. Do your edicts
Call it death in any man that breaks into
Another's house to rob him, though of trifles;
And shall Fulgentio, your Fulgentio, live,
Who hath committed more than sacrilege,
In the pollution of my clear fame,
By his malicious slanders?
Rob. Have you done this?
Answer truly, on your life.
Ful. In the heat of blood,
Some such thing I reported.
Rob. Out of my sight!
For I vow, if by true penitence thou win not
This injured virgin to sue out thy pardon,
Thy grave is digged already.
Ful. By my own folly
I have made a fair hand of't. [Aside, and exit.
Rob. You shall know, lady,
While I wear a crown, justice shall use her sword
To cut offenders off, though nearest to us.
Cam. Ay, now you shew whose deputy you are:
If now I bathe your feet with tears, it cannot
Be censured superstition.
Rob. You must rise;
Rise in our favour and protection ever. [Kisses her.
Cam. Happy are subjects, when the prince is still
Guided by justice, not his passionate will. [Exeunt.


SCENE I.—The same. A Room in CAMIOLA'S House.


CAM. You see how tender I am of the quiet
And peace of your affection, and what great ones
I put off in your favour.
Syl. You do wisely,
Exceeding wisely; and when I have said,
I thank you for't, be happy.
Cam. And good reason,
In having such a blessing.
Syl. When you have it;
But the bait is not yet ready. Stay the time,
While I triumph by myself. King, by your leave,
I have wiped your royal nose without a napkin;
You may cry, "Willow, willow!" for your brother
I'll only say, "Go by!" for my fine favourite,
He may graze where he please; his lips may water
Like a puppy's o'er a furmenty pot, while Sylli
Out of his two leaved cherry-stone dish drinks nectar!
I cannot hold out any longer; Heaven forgive me!
'Tis not the first oath I have broke; I must take
A little for a preparative. [Offers to kiss and embrace her.
Cam. By no means.
If you forswear yourself, we shall not prosper:
I'll rather lose my longing.
Syl. Pretty soul!
How careful it is of me! let me buss yet
Thy little dainty foot for't: that, I'm sure, is
Out of my oath.
Cam. Why, if thou canst dispense with't
So far, I'll not be scrupulous; such a favour
My amorous shoe-maker steals.
Syl. O most rare leather! [Kisses her shoe often.
I do begin at the lowest, but in time
I may grow higher.
Cam. Fie! you dwell too long there:
Rise, prithee rise.
Syl. O, I am up already.

Enter CLARINDA, hastily.

Cam. How I abuse my hours!—What news with thee, now?
Clar. Off with that gown, 'tis mine; mine by your promise:
Signior Adorni is returned! now upon entrance!
Off with it, off with it, madam!
Cam. Be not so hasty:
When I go to bed, 'tis thine.
Syl. You have my grant too;
But, do you hear, lady, though I give way to this,
You must hereafter ask my leave, before
You part with things of moment.
Cam. Very good;
When I'm yours I'll be governed.
Syl. Sweet obedience!


Cam. You are well returned.
Ador. I wish that the success
Of my service had deserved it.
Cam. Lives Bertoldo?
Ador. Yes, and returned with safety.
Cam. 'Tis not then
In the power of fate to add to, or take from
My perfect happiness; and yet—he should
Have made me his first visit.
Ador. So I think too;
But he_____
Syl. Durst not appear, I being present;
That's his excuse, I warrant you.
Cam. Speak, where is he?
With whom? who hath deserved more from him? or
Can be of equal merit? I in this
Do not except the king.
Ador. He's at the palace,
With the Duchess of Sienna. One coach brought them hither,
Without a third: he's very gracious with her;
You may conceive the rest.
Cam. My jealous fears
Make me to apprehend.
Ador. Pray you dismiss
Signior Wisdom, and I'll make relation to you
Of the particulars.
Cam. Servant, I would have you
To haste unto the court.
Syl. I will outrun
A footman for your pleasure.
Cam. There observe
The duchess' train, and entertainment.
Syl. Fear not;
I will discover all that is of weight,
To the liveries of her pages and her footmen.
This is fit employment for me. [Exit
Cam. Gracious with
The duchess! sure, you said so?
Ador. I will use
All possible brevity to inform you, madam,
Of what was trusted to me, and discharged
With faith and loyal duty.
Cam. I believe it;
You ransomed him, and supplied his wants—imagine
That is already spoken; and what vows
Of service he made to me, is apparent;
His joy of me, and wonder too, perspicuous;
Does not your story end so?
Ador. Would the end
Had answered the beginning!—In a word,
Ingratitude and perjury at the height
Cannot express him.
Cam. Take heed.
Ador. Truth is armed,
And can defend itself. It must out, madam:
I saw (the presence full) the amorous duchess
Kiss and embrace him; on his part accepted
With equal ardour; and their willing hands
No sooner joined, but a remove was published,
And put in execution.
Cam. The proofs are
Too pregnant. O Bertoldo!
Ador. He's not worth
Your sorrow, madam.
Cam. Tell me, when you saw this,
Did not you grieve, as I do now to hear it?
Ador. His precipice from goodness raising mine,
And serving as a foil to set my faith off,
I had little reason.
Cam. In this you confess
The devilish malice of your disposition.
As you were a man, you stood bound to lament it,
And not, in flattery of your false hopes,
To glory in it. When good men pursue
The path marked out by virtue, the blest saints
With joy look on it, and seraphic angels
Clap their celestial wings in heavenly plaudits
To see a scene of grace so well presented,
The fiends, and men made up of envy, mourning.
Whereas now, on the contrary, as far
As their divinity can partake of passion,
With me they weep, beholding a fair temple,
Built in Bertoldo's loyalty, turned to ashes
By the flames of his inconstancy, the damned
Rejoicing in the object.—'Tis not well
In you, Adorni.
Ador. What a temper dwells
In this rare virgin! [Aside.] Can you pity him,
That hath shewn none to you?
Cam. I must not be
Cruel by his example. You, perhaps,
Expect now I should seek recovery
Of what I have lost, by tears, and with bent knees
Beg his compassion. No; my towering virtue,
From the assurance of my merit, scorns
To stoop so low. I'll take a nobler course,
And, confident in the justice of my cause,
The king his brother, and new mistress, judges,
Ravish him from her arms. You have the contract,
In which he swore to marry me?
Ador. 'Tis here, madam.
Cam. He shall be, then, against his will, my husband;
And when I have him, I'll so use him!—Doubt not,
But that, your honesty being unquestioned,
This writing, with your testimony, clears all.
Ador. And buries me in the dark mists of error.
Cam. I'll presently to court; pray you, give order
For my caroch.
Ador. A cart for me were fitter,
To hurry me to the gallows. [Aside, and exit.
Cam. O false men!
Inconstant! perjured! My good angel help me
In these my extremities!

Re-enter SYLLI.

Syl. If you e'er will see brave sight,
Lose it not now. Bertoldo and the duchess
Are presently to be married: there's such pomp
And preparation!
Cam. If I marry, 'tis
This day, or never.
Syl. Why, with all my heart;
Though I break this, I'll keep the next oath I make,
And then it is quit.
Cam. Follow me to my cabinet;
You know my confessor, Father Paulo?
Syl. Yes: shall he
Do the feat for us?
Cam. I will give in writing
Directions to him, and attire myself
Like a virgin bride; and something I will do
That shall deserve men's praise, and wonder too.
Syl. And I, to make all know I am not shallow,
Will have my points of cochineal and yellow. [Exeunt.

SCENE II.—The same. A State-room in the Palace.


Rob. Had our division been greater, madam,
Your clemency, the wrong being done to you,
In pardon of it, like the rod of concord,
Must make a perfect union.—Once more,
With a brotherly affection, we receive you
Into our favour: let it be your study
Hereafter to deserve this blessing, far
Beyond your merit.
Bert. As the princess' grace
To me is without limit, my endeavours,
With all obsequiousness to serve her pleasures,
Shall know no bounds: nor will I, being made
Her husband, e'er forget the duty that
I owe her as a servant.
Aurel. I expect not
But fair equality, since I well know,
If that superiority be due,
'Tis not to me. When you are made my consort,
All the prerogatives of my high birth cancelled,
I'll practise the obedience of a wife,
And freely pay it. Queens themselves, if they
Make choice of their inferiors, only aiming
To feed their sensual appetites, and to reign
Over their husbands, in some kind commit
Authorized whoredom; nor will I be guilty,
In my intent of such a crime.
Gonz. This done,
As it is promised, madam, may well stand for
A precedent to great women: but, when once
The griping hunger of desire is cloyed,
And the poor fool advanced, brought on his knees,
Most of your eagle breed, I'll say not all,
Ever excepting you, challenge again
What, in hot blood, they parted from.
Aurel. You are ever
An enemy of our sex; but you, I hope, sir,
Have better thoughts.
Bert. I dare not entertain
An ill one of your goodness.
Rob. To my power
I will enable him, to prevent all danger
Envy can raise against your choice. One word more
Touching the articles.


Ful. In you alone
Lie all my hopes; you can or kill or save me;
But pity in you will become you better
(Though I confess in justice 'tis denied me)
Than too much rigour.
Cam. I will make your peace
As far as it lies in me; but must first
Labour to right myself.
Aurel. Or add or alter
What you think fit; in him I have my all:
Heaven make me thankful for him!
Rob. On to the temple.
Cam. Stay, royal sir; and as you are a king,
Erect one here, in doing justice to
An injured maid.
Aurel. How's this?
Bert. O, I am blasted!
Rob. I have given some proof, sweet lady, of my promptness
To do you right, you need not, therefore, doubt me;
And rest assured that, this great work dispatched,
You shall have audience, and satisfaction
To all you can demand.
Cam. To do me justice
Exacts your present care, and can admit
Of no delay. If, ere my cause be heard,
In favour of your brother you go on, sir,
Your sceptre cannot right me. He's the man,
The guilty man, whom I accuse; and you
Stand bound in duty, as you are supreme,
To be impartial. Since you are a judge,
As a delinquent look on him, and not
As on a brother: Justice painted blind,
Infers her ministers are obliged to hear
The cause, and truth, the judge, determine of it:
And not swayed or by favour or affection,
By a false gloss, or wrested comment, alter
The true intent and letter of the law.
Rob. Nor will I, madam.
Aurel. You seem troubled, sir.
Gonz. His colour changes too.
Cam. The alteration
Grows from his guilt. The goodness of my cause
Begets such confidence in me, that I bring
No hired tongue to plead for me, that with gay
Rhetorical flourishes may palliate
That which, stripped naked, will appear deformed.
I stand here mine own advocate; and my truth,
Delivered in the plainest language, will
Make good itself; nor will I, if the king
Give suffrage to it, but admit of you,
My greatest enemy, and this stranger prince,
To sit assistants with him.
Aurel. I ne'er wronged you.
Cam. In your knowledge of the injury, I believe it;
Nor will you, in your justice, when you are
Acquainted with my interest in this man,
Which I lay claim to.
Rob. Let us take our seats.
What is your title to him?
Cam. By this contract,
Sealed solemnly before a reverend man,
[Presents a paper to the King,
I challenge him for my husband.
Syl. Ha! was I
Sent for the friar for this? O Sylli! Sylli!
Some cordial, or I faint.
Rob. The writing is
Aurel. But, done in heat of blood,
Charmed by her flatteries, as no doubt he was,
To be dispensed with.
Fer. Add this, if you please,
The distance and disparity between
Their births and fortunes.
Cam. What can Innocence hope for
When such as sit her judges are corrupted!
Disparity of birth or fortune, urge you?
Or Syren charms? or, at his best, in me
Wants to deserve him? Call some few days back,
And, as he was, consider him, and you
Must grant him my inferior. Imagine
You saw him now in fetters, with his honour,
His liberty lost; with her black wings Despair
Circling his miseries, and this Gonzaga
Trampling on his afflictions; the great sum
Proposed for his redemption; the king
Forbidding payment of it; his near kinsmen,
With his protesting followers and friends,
Falling off from him; by the whole world forsaken;
Dead to all hope, and buried in the grave
Of his calamities; and then weigh duly
What she deserved, whose merits now are doubted,
That, as his better angel, in her bounties
Appeared unto him, his great ransom paid,
His wants, and with a prodigal hand, supplied:
Whether, then, being my manumised slave,
He owed not himself to me?
Aurel. Is this true?
Rob. In his silence 'tis acknowledged.
Gonz. If you want
A witness to this purpose, I'll depose it.
Cam. If I have dwelt too long on my deservings
To this unthankful man, pray you pardon me;
The cause required it. And though now I add
A little, in my painting to the life
His barbarous ingratitude, to deter
Others from imitation, let it meet with
A fair interpretation. This serpent,
Frozen to numbness, was no sooner warmed
In the bosom of my pity and compassion,
But, in return, he ruined his preserver,
The prints the irons had made in his flesh
Still ulcerous; but all that I had done,
My benefits, in sand or water written,
As they had never been, no more remembered!
And on what ground, but his ambitious hopes
To gain this duchess' favour?
Aurel. Yes; the object,
Look on it better, lady, may excuse
The change of his affection.
Cam. The object!
In what? forgive me, modesty, if I say
You look upon your form in the false glass
Of flattery and self-love, and that deceives you.
That you were a duchess, as I take it, was not
Charactered on your face; and, that not seen,
For other feature, make all these, that are
Experienced in women, judges of them,
And, if they are not parasites, they must grant,
For beauty without art, though you storm at it,
I may take the right-hand file.
Gonz. Well said, i' faith!
I see fair women on no terms will yield
Priority in beauty.
Cam. Down, proud heart!
Why do I rise up in defence of that
Which, in my cherishing of it, hath undone me?
No, madam, I recant,—you are all beauty,
Goodness, and virtue; and poor I not worthy
As a foil to set you off: enjoy your conquest;
But do not tyrannize. Yet, as I am,
In my lowness, from your height you may look on me,
And, in your suffrage to me, make him know
That, though to all men else I did appear
The shame and scorn of women, he stands bound
To hold me as the masterpiece.
Rob. By my life,
You have shewn yourself of such an abject temper,
So poor and low-conditioned, as I grieve for
Your nearness to me.
Fer. I am changed in my
Opinion of you, lady; and profess
The virtues of your mind an ample fortune
For an absolute monarch.
Gonz. Since you are resolved
To damn yourself, in your forsaking of
Your noble order for a woman, do it
For this. You may search through the world, and meet not
With such another phœnix.
Aurel. On the sudden
I feel all fires of love quenched in the water
Of my compassion.—Make your peace; you have
My free consent; for here I do disclaim
All interest in you: and, to further your
Desires, fair maid, composed of worth and honour,
The dispensation procured by me,
Freeing Bertoldo from his vow, makes way
To your embraces.
Bert. Oh, how have I strayed,
And wilfully, out of the noble track
Marked me by virtue! till now, I was never
Truly a prisoner. To excuse my late
Captivity, I might allege the malice
Of fortune; you, that conquered me, confessing
Courage in my defence was no way wanting.
But now I have surrendered up my strengths
Into the power of Vice, and on my forehead
Branded, with mine own hand, in capital letters,
DISLOYAL, and INGRATEFUL. Though barred from
Human society, and hissed into
Some desert ne'er yet haunted with the curses
Of men and women, sitting as a judge
Upon my guilty self, I must confess
It justly falls upon me; and one tear,
Shed in compassion of my sufferings, more
Than I can hope for.
Cam. This compunction
For the wrong that you have done me, though you should
Fix here, and your true sorrow move no further,
Will, in respect I loved once, make these eyes
Two springs of sorrow for you.
Bert. In your pity
My cruelty shews more monstrous: yet I am not,
Though most ingrateful, grown to such a height
Of impudence, as, in my wishes only,
To ask your pardon. If, as now I fall
Prostrate before your feet, you will vouchsafe
To act your own revenge, treading upon me
As a viper eating through the bowels of
Your benefits, to whom, with liberty,
I owe my being, 'twill take from the burthen
That now is insupportable.
Cam. Pray you, rise;
As I wish peace and quiet to my soul,
I do forgive you heartily: yet, excuse me,
Though I deny myself a blessing that,
By the favour of the duchess, seconded
With your submission, is offered to me;
Let not the reason I allege for 't grieve you,—
You have been false once.—I have done: and if,
When I am married, as this day I will be,
As a perfect sign of your atonement with me,
You wish me joy, I will receive it for
Full satisfaction of all obligations
In which you stand bound to me.
Bert. I will do it,
And, what's more, in despite of sorrow, live
To see myself undone, beyond all hope
To be made up again.
Syl. My blood begins
To come to my heart again.
Cam. Pray you, signior Sylli,
Call in the holy friar: he's prepared
For finishing the work.
Syl. I knew I was
The man: Heaven make me thankful!
Rob. Who is this?
Ast. His father was the banker of Palermo,
And this the heir of his great wealth; his wisdom
Was not hereditary.
Syl. Though you know me not,
Your majesty owes me a round sum; I have
A seal or two to witness; yet, if you please
To wear my colours, and dance at my wedding,
I'll never sue you.
Rob. And I'll grant your suit.
Syl. Gracious madonna, noble general,
Brave captains, and my quondam rivals, wear them,
[Gives them favours.
Since I am confident you dare not harbour
A thought but that way current. [Exit.
Aurel. For my part
I cannot guess the issue.

Re-enter SYLLI with Father PAULO.

Syl. Do your duty;
And with all speed you can, you may dispatch us.
Paul. Thus, as a principal ornament to the church,
I seize her.
All. How!
Rob. So young, and so religious!
Paul. She has forsook the world.
Syl. And Sylli too!
I shall run mad.
Rob. Hence with the fool!—[SYLLI is thrust
Paul. Look on this MAID OF HONOUR, now
Truly honoured in her vow
She pays to Heaven: vain delight
By day, or pleasure of the night,
She no more thinks of. This fair hair
(Favours for great kings to wear)
Must now be shorn; her rich array
Changed into a homely gray:
The dainties with which she was fed,
And her proud flesh pamperèd,
Must not be tasted; from the spring,
For wine, cold water we will bring;
And with fasting mortify
The feasts of sensuality.
Her jewels, beads; and she must look
Not in a glass, but holy book,
To teach her the ne'er-erring way
To immortality. O may
She, as she purposes to be
A child new-born to piety,
Persèver in it, and good men,
With saints and angels, say, Amen!
Cam. This is the marriage! this the port to which
My vows must steer me! Fill my spreading sails
With the pure wind of your devotions for me,
That I may touch the secure haven, where
Eternal happiness keeps her residence,
Temptations to frailty never entering!
I am dead to the world, and thus dispose
Of what I leave behind me; and, dividing
My state into three parts, I thus bequeath it:
The first to the fair nunnery, to which
I dedicate the last and better part
Of my frail life; a second portion
To pious uses; and the third to thee,
Adorni, for thy true and faithful service;
And, ere I take my last farewell, with hope
To find a grant, my suit to you is, that
You would, for my sake, pardon this young man,
And to his merits love him, and no further.
Rob. I thus confirm it. [Gives his hand to ADORNI.
Cam. And, as e'er you hope, [To BERTOLDO.
Like me, to be made happy, I conjure you
To reassume your order; and in fighting
Bravely against the enemies of our faith
Redeem your mortgaged honour.
Gonz. I restore this: [Gives him the white cross.
Once more brothers in arms.
Bert. I'll live and die so.
Cam. To you my pious wishes! And, to end
All differences, great sir, I beseech you
To be an arbitrator, and compound
The quarrel long continuing between
The duke and duchess.
Rob. I will take it into
My special care.
Cam. I am then at rest. Now, father,
Conduct me where you please.
[Exeunt PAULO and CAMIOLA.
Rob. She well deserves
Her name, THE MAID OF HONOUR! May she stand
To all posterity a fair example
For noble maids to imitate! Since to live
In wealth and pleasure's common, but to part with
Such poisoned baits is rare; there being nothing
Upon this stage of life to be commended,
Though well begun, till it be fully ended.
[Flourish. Exeunt.

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