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Cleon. THE rest are making ready, sir. Lys. So let them; there is time enough. Diph. You are the brother to the king, my lord; we will take your word.
Lys. Strato, thou hast some skill in poetry: What think'st thou of the masque? Will it be well? Strat. As well as masque can be. Lys. As masque can be?
Strat. Yes; they must commend their king, and speak in praise of the assembly; bless the bride and bridegroom, in person of some god. They are tied to rules of flattery.
Cle. See, good my lord, who is returned!
Lys. Noble Melantius! the land, by me, Welcomes thy virtues home to Rhodes. Thou, that with blood abroad buyest us our peace! The breath of kings is like the breath of gods; My brother wished thee here, and thou art here. He will be too kind, and weary thee with Often welcomes. But the time doth give thee A welcome above his, or all the world's.
Mel. My lord, my thanks; but these scratch'd limbs of mine
Have spoke my love and truth unto my friends, More than my tongue e'er could. My mind's the
It ever was to you: Where I find worth
I love the keeper till he let it go,
Diph. Hail, worthy brother!
He, that rejoices not at your return In safety, is mine enemy for ever.
Made me imagine, you had heard the change. Mel. Who hath he taken then?
Lys. A lady, sir,
That bears the light above her, and strikes dead With flashes of her eye: the fair Evadne,
Mel. I thank thee, Diphilus. But thou art Your virtuous sister.
I sent for thee to exercise thine arms
With me at Patria: Thou cam'st not, Diphilus; It was ill.
Diph. My noble brother, my excuse
Is my king's straight command; which you, my lord, Can witness with me.
Lys. It is true, Melantius;
He might not come, till the solemnity
Diph. Have you heard of it?
Mel. Yes. I have given cause to those, that Envy my deeds abroad, to call me gamesome: I have no other business here at Rhodes.
Lys. We have a masque to-night, and you must tread
A soldier's measure.
Mel. These soft and silken wars are not for me: The music must be shrill, and all confused, That stirs my blood; and then I dance with arms. But is Amintor wed?
Diph. This day.
Mel. All joys upon him! for he is my friend. Wonder not, that I call a man so young my friend: His worth is great; valiant he is, and temperate; And one that never thinks his life his own, If his friend need it. When he was a boy, As oft as I returned (as, without boast, I brought home conquest) he would gaze upon me, And view me round, to find in what one limb The virtue lay to do those things he heard. Then would he wish to see my sword, and feel The quickness of the edge, and in his hand Weigh it: He oft would make me smile at this. His youth did promise much, and his ripe years Will see it all performed,
Enter ASPATIA, passing by.
Mel. Peace of heart betwixt them!
Lys. The king my brother did it
Mel. It is royal, like himself. But I am sad
Bent long against me; and he should not think,
Lys. Yes. But this lady
Mel. She has a brother under my command, Like her; a face as womanish as hers; But with a spirit, that hath much out-grown The number of his years,
Cle. My lord, the bridegroom!
Mel. I might run fiercely, not more hastily,
Amin. Thou art Melantius;
All love is spoke in that. A sacrifice,
To thank the gods Melantius is return'd
In safety! Victory sits on his sword,
As she was wont: May she build there and dwell;
What endless treasures would our enemies give,
Could do no more but weep for joy to see thee
Amin. Pardon, thou holy god
Of marriage-bed, and frown not; I am forc'd,
Mel. I fear thou art grown too fickle; for I hear
Mel. Be prosperous!
But if you laugh at my rude carriage
Enter CALIANAX with DIAGORAS.
Cal. By this light, if he be wise, he will not.
Cal. One may wear out his heart with swear
Mel. [within.] Open the door.
Mel. [within] Melantius.
Diag. I hope your lordship brings no troop with you; for, if you do, I must return them. Enter MELANTIUS and a Lady.
Mel. None but this lady, sir.
Diag. The ladies are all placed above, save those, that come in the king's troop: The best of Rhodes sit there, and there is room.
Mel. I thank you, sir. When I have seen you placed, madam, I must attend the king; but, the inasque done, I'll wait on you again.
Diag. Stand back there-room for my lord Melantius-pray, bear back-this is no place for such youths and their trulls-let the doors shut again.-No!-do your heads itch? I will scratch them for you. So, now thrust and hang.—Again! who is it now?--I cannot blame my lord Calianax for going away: Would he were here! he would run raging among them, and break a dozen wiser heads than his own, in the twinkling of an eye. What's the news now?
Within.] I pray you, can you help me to the speech of the master-cook?
Diag. If I open the door, I will cook some of your calves heads. Peace, rogues!-Again! who is it?
Mel. [within.] Melantius.
Mel. You do me wrong,
A most unmanly one, and I am slow
ing, and get thanks on no side. I'll be gone-In taking vengeance! But be well advised. look to it, who will.
Diag. My lord, I shall never keep them out. Pray, stay; your looks will terrify them.
Cal. My looks terrify them, you coxcombly ass, you! I will be judged by all the company, whether thou hast not a worse face than I. Diag. I mean, because they know you and your office.
Cal. Office! I would I could put it off: I am sure I sweat quite through my office. I might have made room at my daughter's wedding: they have near killed her among them; and now I must do service for him, that hath forsaken her. Serve, that will.
[Exit. Ding. He is so humourous since his daughter was forsaken.-Hark, hark! there, there! so, so! Codes, Codes! [Knock within.] What now?
Cal. It may be so. Who placed the lady there, So near the presence of the king?
Mel. I did.
Cal. My lord, she must not sit there.
Cal. The place is kep for women of more worth.
And place, to be thus womanish. Forbear!
Cal. Why, it is well, if I stand here to place men's wenches.
Mel. I shall forget this place, thy age, my safety, And, thorough all, cut that poor sickly week, Thou hast to live, away from thee.
Cal. Nay, I know you can fight for your whore.
If it were temperate; but testy years
Amin. Good sir, forbear.
Cal. There is just such another as yourself.
Cal. He shall not have my hand.
To force you to it. I do love you both:
Mel. Sister, I joy to see you, and your choice.
Ecad. O, my dearest brother!
| By which I may discover all the place
How dull and black am I! I could not find
Cinth. Great queen, they be a troop, for whom
One of my clearest moons I have put on ;
Night. Then let us keep them here;
Cinth. Great queen of shadows, you are pleased
Thy word hath fetch'd me hither: Let me know,
Cinth. Doth this majestic show
Give thee no knowledge yet?
Nept. Yes, now I see
Something intended, Cinthia, worthy thee.
Cinth. Hie thee, then,
And charge the wind fly from his rocky den.
But vernal blasts, and gentle winds appear;