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Enter ARCHIDAMUS, TIMAGORAS, LEOSTHENES, with gorgets, and PISANDER.
Arch. So, so, 'tis well: How do I look?
Pis. Most sprightfully.
Arch. I shrink not in the shoulders; though
I'm tough; steel to the back: I have not wasted My stock of strength in feather beds. Here's an arm too;
There's stuff in't, and I hope will use a sword
As well as any beardless boy of you all.
Timag. I'm glad to see you, sir, so well pre-
To endure the travail of the war.
Arch. Go to, sirrah!
I shall endure, when some of you keep your cabins,
For all your flaunting feathers. Nay, Leosthenes, You're welcome too, all friends and fellows now. Leost. Your servant, sir.
Arch. Pish! leave these compliments, They stink in a soldier's mouth; I could be merry, (For, now my gown's off, farewel gravity), And must be bold to put a question to you, Without offence, I hope.
Leost. Sir, what you please.
Arch. And you will answer truly?
Timag. On our words, sir.
Arch. Go to, then! I presume you will confess
That you are two notorious whoremasters.
Nay, spare your blushing, I've been wild myself.
Leost. Say we grant this,
(For if we should deny it you'll not believe us) What will you infer upon it?
Arch. What you'll groan for,
I fear, when you come to the test. Old stories tell us,
There's a month called October, which brings in Cold weather; there are trenches too, 'tis rumoured,
In which to stand all night to the knees in water, In gallants breeds the toothach; there's a sport
I shall melt too, and that were ominous.
We must part. Nay, no tears, my best Cleora ;
Millions of blessings on thee! All that's mine
I give up to thy charge; and, sirrah, look
You with that care and reverence observe her,
As you would pay to me. A kiss, farewell, girl!
Diph. Peace wait upon you, fair one!
[Exeunt Arch. Diph, and Pis. Timag. Twere impertinence
To wish you to be careful of your honour,
That ever keep in pay a guard about you
Of faithful virtues. Farewell: friend, I leave you
To wipe our kisses off; I know that lovers
Part with more circumstance and ceremony;
Which I give way to.
Leost, 'Tis a noble favour,
For which I ever owe you. We're alone:
But how I should begin, or in what language
Speak the unwilling word of parting from you,
I'm yet to learn.
Cleora. And still continue ignorant ;
For I must be most cruel to myself,
If I should teach you.
Leost. Yet it must be spoken,
Or you will chide my slackness: You have fired
With the heat of noble action to deserve you;
And the least spark of honour that took life
From your sweet breath, still fanned by it and
Must mount up in a glorious flame, or I
Am much unworthy.
Cleora. May it yet burn here,
And, as a sea-mark, serve to guide true lovers
(Tossed on the ocean of luxurious wishes)
Safe from the rocks of lust, into the harbour
Of pure affection, rising up an example
Which after-times shall witness to our glory,
First took from us beginning!
My duty to my country, and mine honour,
Cannot consent to; besides, add to these,
It was your pleasure, fortified by persuasion
And strength of reason, for the general good,
That I should go.
Cleora. Alas! I then was witty
To plead against myself; and mine eye, fixed
Upon the hill of honour, ne'er descended
To look into the vale of certain dangers,
Through which you were to cut your passage to it:
Leost. I'll stay at home, then.
Cleora. No, that must not be;
For so, to serve my own ends, and to gain
A petty wreath myself, I rob you of
A certain triumph, which must fall upon you,
Or Virtue's turned a hand-maid to blind Fortune:
How is my soul divided! to confirm you
In the opinion of the world most worthy
To be beloved (with me you're at the height,
And can advance no farther), I must send you
To court the goddess of stern war, who, if
She see you with my eyes, will ne'er return you,
But grow enamoured of you.
Leost. Sweet, take comfort!
And what I offer you, you must vouchsafe me, Or I am wretched: All the dangers that
I can encounter in the war are trifles;
My enemies abroad to be contemned;
(Such is the cruelty of my fate) and leave you,
Unguarded, to the violent assaults
Of loose temptations; when the memory
Of my so many years of love and service,
Is lost in other objects; you are courted
By such as keep a catalogue of their conquests
Won upon credulous virgins; when nor father
Is here to awe you, brother to advise you,
Nor your poor servant by, to keep such off,
By lust instructed how to undermine
The dreadful foes, that have the power to hurt me, And blow your chastity up; when your weak
I leave at home with you.
Cleora. With me?
Leost. Nay, in you,
In every part about you; they are armed
To fight against me.
Least. There's no perfection
That you are mistress of, but musters up
A legion against me, and all sworn
To my destruction.
Cleora. This is strange!
Leost. But true, sweet:
Excess of love can work such miracles.
Upon this ivory forehead are intrenched
Ten thousand rivals, and these suns command
Supplies from all the world, on pain to forfeit
Their comfortable beams; these ruby lips,
A rich exchequer to assure their pay;
This hand, Sibylla's golden bough to guard them
Through hell and horror to the Elysian springs;
Which who'll not venture for? and, should I name
Such as the virtues of your mind invite,
Their numbers would be infinite.
Cleora. Can you think
I may be tempted?
Leost. You were never proved.
For me, I have conversed with you no farther Than would become a brother. I ne'er tuned Loose notes to your chaste ears; or brought rich presents
For my artillery, to batter down
The fortress of your honour; nor endeavoured
To make your blood run high at solemn feasts,
With viands that provoke (the speeding philtres):
I worked no bawds to tempt you; never practised
The cunning and corrupting arts they study,
That wander in the wild maze of desire;
Honest simplicity and truth were all
The agents I employed; and when I came
To see you, it was with that reverence
As I beheld the altars of the gods;
And Love, that came along with me, was taught
To leave his arrows, and his torch behind,
Quenched in my fear to give offence.
That modesty that took me and preserves me, Like a fresh rose, in mine own natural sweetness; Which, sullied with the touch of impure hands, Loses both scent and beauty.
When I am absent, as I must go from you,
Must of necessity be twins; the younger
Created only to defeat the elder,
And spoil him of his birthright? 'tis not well.
But being to part, I will not chide, I will not
Nor with one syllable or tear, express
How deeply I am wounded with the arrows
Of your distrust: But when that you shall hear
At your return how I have borne myself,
And what an austere penance I take on me,
To satisfy your doubts: When, like a vestal,
I shew you, to your shame, the fire still burning,
Committed to my charge by true affection,
The people joining with you in the wonder:
When, by the glorious splendor of my sufferings,
The prying eyes of jealousy are struck blind,
The inonster, too, that feeds on fears, even starved
For want of seeming matter to accuse me,
Expect, Leosthenes, a sharp reproof
From my just anger.
Leost. What will you do?
Cleora. Obey me,
Or from this minute you're a stranger to me;
And do it without reply.-All-seeing sun,
Thou witness of my innocence, thus I close
Mine eyes against thy comfortable light,
Till the return of this distrustful man.
[He binds her eyes. Now bind them sure ;-nay, do it: if uncompelled I loose this knot, until the hands that made it Be pleased to untie it, may consuming plagues Fall heavy on me! Pray you, guide me to your lips.
This kiss, when you come back, shall be a virgin,
To bid you welcome.-Nay, I have not done yet:
I will continue dumb; and, you once gone,
No accent shall come from me: Now to my
My tomb, if you miscarry: There I'll spend
My hours in silent mourning, and thus much
Shall be reported of me to my glory,
And you confess it, whether I live or die,
My chastity triumphs o'er your jealousy. [Exeunt.
Should the strong serve the weak, the fair deformed ones?
Enter PISANDER and POLIPHRON, bringing forth Or such as know the cause of things, pay tribute
Pis. More wine; pry'thee drink hard, friend, And when we're hot, whatever I propound,
Enter CIMBRIO, GRACCULO, and other Slaves. Second with vehemency.-Men of your words, all welcome!
Slaves use no ceremony; sit down, here's a health. Pol. Let it run round, fill every man his glass. Grac. We look for no waiters: this is wine. Pis. The better,
To ignorant fools? All's but the outward gloss
And politic form that does distinguish us.
Cimbrio, thou art a strong man; if, in place
Of carrying burthens, thou hadst been trained up
In martial discipline, thou might'st have proved
A general, fit to lead and fight for Sicily,
As fortunate as Timoleon.
Cim. A little fighting
Will serve a general's turn.
Pis. Thou, Gracculo,
Hast fluency of language, quick conceit;
And, I think, covered with a senator's robe,
Formally set on the bench, thou wouldst appear
As brave a senator-
Grac. Would I had lands,
Or money to buy a place; and if I did not Sleep on the bench with the drowsiest of 'em,
Strong, lusty wine. Drink deep; this juice will Play with my chain, make us
And yet defy the whip, if you are men,
Or dare believe you've souls.
Our lords are no gods?
Grac. They are devils to us, I am sure.
Pis. But subject to
Cold, hunger, and diseases.
Grac. In abundance:
Your lord, that feels no ach in his chine at twenty, Forfeits his privilege; how should their chirurgeons build else,
Or ride on their foot-clothes?
Pis. Equal Nature fashioned us
All in one mould: The bear serves not the bear, Nor the wolf the wolf; 'twas odds of strength in tyrants,
That plucked the first link from the golden chain, With which that thing of things bound in the world.
Why then, since we are taught, by their examples, To love our liberty, if not command,
Look on my watch when my guts chim'd twelve,
Pis. Is't not pity, then,
Men of such eminent virtues should be slaves? Cim. Our fortune!
Pis. 'Tis your folly. Daring men Command, and make their fates.-Say, at this instant,
I marked you out a way to liberty;
Possessed you of those blessings our proud lords
So long have surfeited in; and, what is sweetest,
Arm you with power, by strong hand to avenge
Your stripes, your unregarded toil, the pride,
The insolence, of such as tread upon
Your patient sufferings; fill your famished mouths
With the fat and plenty of the land; redeem you
From the dark vale of servitude, and seat you
Pis. Old men, and such as can make no resist
Are only left at home.
Grac. And the proud young fool,
My master-If this take, I'll hamper him.
Pis. Their arsenal, their treasure's in our power, If we have hearts to seize them. If our lords fall In the present action, the whole country's ours. Say they return victorious, we have means To keep the town against them; at the worst To make our own conditions. Now, if you dare Fall on their daughters and their wives, break up Their iron chests, banquet on their rich beds, And carve yourselves of all delights and pleasures You have been barred from, with one voice cry with me,
All. Liberty, liberty!
Pis. Go then, and take possession: Use all freedom;
But shed no blood.-So, this is well begun; But not to be commended till it be done. [Exeunt all, crying liberty.
Pis. Why, think you that I plot against my-self?
Fear nothing; you are safe: These thick skinned slaves,
I use as instruments to serve my ends,
And make her understand the slaves revolt; And with your utmost eloquence enlarge Their insolence and rapes done in the city. Forget not, too, I am their chief, and tell her
Pierce not my deep designs; nor shall they dare You strongly think my extreme dotage on her,
To lift an arm against you.
Timan. With your will:
But turbulent spirits, raised beyond themselves,
With ease are not so soon laid: They oft prove Dangerous to him that called them up.
In what is rashly undertook. Long since
I have considered seriously their natures,
Proceeded with mature advice, and know
I hold their will and faculties in more awe
Than I can do my own. Now, for their licence,
And riot in the city, I can make
A just defence and use: It may appear, too,
A politic prevention of such ills
As might with greater violence and danger
Hereafter be attempted; though some smart for it
It matters not:-However, I am resolved;
And sleep you with security. Holds Cleora
Constant to her rash vow?
To me that see her hourly, it seems a fable.
By signs I guess at her commands, and serve
With silence; such her pleasure is made known
By holding her fair hand thus. She eats little,
Sleeps less, as I imagine: Once a-day
I lead her to this gallery, where she walks
As I am Marullo, caused this sudden uproar To make way to enjoy her.
I will discharge my part.
[Exeunt. Not fortune, but affection, marks your slave :
Shake not, best lady! for, believe it, you are
As far from danger as I am from force:
All violence I'll offer, tends no farther
Than to relate my sufferings, which I dare not
Presume to do, till by some gracious sign
You shew you're pleased to hear me.
Timan. If you are,
CLEORA, TIMANDRA, a chair, a shout within. Timan. They're at our gates, my heart! affrights and horrors
Increase each minute: No way left to save us,
No flattering hope to comfort us, or means
By miracle to redeem us from base lust
And lawless rapine? are there gods, yet suffer
Such innocent sweetness to be made the spoil
Of brutish appetite? Or, since they decree
To ruin Nature's masterpiece (of which
They bave not left one pattern), must they chuse,
To set their tyranny off, slaves to pollute
The spring of chastity, and poison it
With their most loathed embraces? And of
He that should offer up his life to guard it?
Marullo, cursed Marullo, your own bondman,
Purchased to serve you, and fed by your favours.
Nay, start not: it is he; he, the grand captain
Of these libidinous beasts, that have not left
One cruel act undone, that barbarous conquest
Yet ever practised in a captive city.
Hold forth your right-hand.
[Cleora holds forth her right-hand. Pisan. So, 'tis done; and I
With my glad lips seal humbly on your foot, My soul's thanks for the favour: I forbear To tell you who I am, what wealth, what honours I made exchange of, to become your servant : And, though I knew worthy Leosthenes those(For sure he must be worthy, for whose love You have endured so much) to be my rival; When rage and jealousy counselled me to kill him, (Which then I could have done with much more ease,
He, doating on your beauty, and to have fellows
In his foul sin, hath raised these mutinous slaves,
Who have begun the game by violent rapes,
Upon the wives and daughters of their lords:
And he, to quench the fire of his base lust,
By force comes to enjoy you :-Do not wring
[Cleora wrings her hands.
Your innocent hands, 'tis bootless; use the means
That may preserve you. 'Tis no crime to break
A vow when you are forced to it; shew your face,
And with the majesty of commanding beauty
Strike dead his loose affections. If that fail,
Give liberty to your tongue, and use entreaties;
There cannot be a breast of flesh and blood,
Or heart so made of flint, but must receive
Impression from your words; or eyes so stern,
But from the clear reflection of your tears,
Must melt, and bear them company will you not
Do these good offices to yourself? Poor I, then,
Can only weep your fortune!-Here he comes.
Enter PISANDER, speaking at the door.
Pis. He that advances
A foot beyond this, comes upon my sword.
You have had your ways, disturb not mine.
Timan. Speak gently,
Her fears may kill her else.
Pis. Now Love inspire me!
Still shall this canopy of envious night
Obscure my suns of comfort? And those dainties,
Of purest white and red, which I take in at
My greedy eyes, denied my famished senses?
The organs of your hearing are yet open;
And you infringe no vow, though you vouchsafe
To give them warrant to convey unto
Your understanding parts, the story of
A tortured and despairing lover whom
Than now, in fear to grieve you, I dare speak it)
Love, seconded with duty, boldly told me,
The inan I hated, fair Cleora favoured:
And that was his protection.
Timan. See, she bows
Her head, in sign of thankfulness.
Pisan. He removed,
Or take my wishes here, (nay, fear not, madam,
True love's a servant, brutish lust a tyrant,
I dare not touch those viands that ne'er taste well,
Bnt when they're freely offered): Only thus much,
Be pleased I may speak in my own dear cause.
And think it worthy your consideration
I have loved truly (cannot say deserved;
Since duty must not take the name of merit),
That I so far prize your content, before
All blessings that my hope can fashion to me,
That willingly I entertain despair,
And for your sake embrace it. For I know,
This opportunity lost, by no endeavour
The like can be recovered. To conclude,
Forget not that I lose myself to save you.
For what can I expect but death and torture,
The war being ended? And (what is a task
Would trouble Hercules to undertake),
I do deny you to myself, to give you
A pure unspotted present to my rival.
I've said: If it distaste not, best of virgins,
Reward my temperance with some lawful favour,
Though you contemn my person.
[Cleora kneels, then pulls off her glove,
and offers her hand to Pisander.