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Rhe. Now they fall to't;
I look'd for this.

Ero. I, by my uncle's care,
Sophronos, my good uncle, suddenly
Was like a sailor's boy convey'd a-shipboard,
That very night.

Mel. A policy quick and strange.

Ero. The ship was bound for Corinth, whither first,
Attended only with your servant Rhetias,
And all fit necessaries, we arrived;
From thence, in habit of a youth, we journey'd
To Athens, where, till our return of late,
Have we liv'd safe.

Mel. Oh, what a thing is man,
To bandy factions of distemper'd passions,
Against the sacred Providence above him!
Here, in the legend of thy two years' exile,
Rare pity and delight are sweetly mix'd-
And still thou wert a boy?

Ero. So I obey'd
My uncle's wise command.

Mel. ’T was safely carried ;
I humbly thank thy fate.

Ero. If earthly treasures Are pour'd in plenty down from heaven on mortals, They reign among those oracles that flow In schools of sacred knowledge, such is Athens ; Yet Athens was to me but a fair prison: The thoughts of you, my sister, country, fortunes, And something of the prince, barr'd all contents, Which else might ravish sense: for had not Rhetias Been always comfortable to me, certainly Things had gone worse.

Mel. Speak low, Eroclea, That “ something of the prince” bears danger in it: Yet thou hast travell’d, wench, for such endowments, As might create a prince a wife fit for him, Had he the world to guide; but touch not there, How cam'st thou home?

Rhe. Sir, with your noble favour,
Kissing your hand first, that point I can answer.

Mel. Honest, right honest Rhetias !

Rhe. Your grave brother Perceiv'd with what a hopeless love his son, Lord Menaphon, too eagerly pursued Thamasta, cousin to our present prince; And, to remove the violence of affection, Sent him to Athens, where, for twelve months' space, Your daughter, my young lady, and her cousin, Enjoy'd each other's griefs : till by his father, The lord Sophronos, we were all call'd home. Mel. Enough, enough! the world shall henceforth

witness My thankfulness to heaven, and those people Who have been pitiful to me and mine. Lend me a looking-glass.—How now! how came I So courtly, in fresh raiments ?

Rhe. Here's the glass, sir.

Mel. I'm in the trim too.-0 Cleophila,
This was the goodness of thy care and cunning-

[Loud music. Whence comes this noise ?

Rhe. The prince, my lord, in person. [They kneel. Enter PALADOR, SOPHRONOS, ARETUS, AMETHUS, MENA

PHON, CORAX, THAMASTA, and Kala.. Pal. You shall not kneel to us; rise all, I charge

you. Father, you wrong your age; henceforth my arms

[Embracing MEL. And heart shall be your guard: we have o’erheard All passages of your united loves. Be young again, Meleander, live to number A happy generation, and die old In comforts, as in years! The offices And honours, which I late on thee conferr'd, Are not fantastic bounties, but thy merit; Enjoy them liberally.

Mel. My tears must thank you, For my tongue cannot.

Cor. I have kept my promise,
And given you a sure cordial.

Mel. Oh, a rare one.
Pal. Good man! we both have shar'd enough of

Though thine has tasted deeper of the extreme:
Let us forget it henceforth. Where's the picture
I sent you? . Keep it; 't is a counterfeit;
And, in exchange of that, I seize on this,

[Takes Ero. by the hand, The real substance: with this other hand I give away, before her father's face, His younger joy, Cleophila, to thee, Cousin Amethus; take her, and be to her More than a father, a deserving husband. Thus, robb'd of both thy children in a minute, Thy cares are taken off.

Mel. My brains are dull’d; I am entranced, and know not what you mean. Great, gracious sir, alas! why do you mock me? I am a weak old man, so poor and feeble, That my untoward joints can scarcely creep Unto the grave, where I must seek my rest.

Pal. Eroclea was, you know, contracted mine;
Cleophila my cousin's, by consent
Of both their hearts; we both now claim our own
It only rests in you to give a blessing,
For confirmation.

Rhe. Sir, 't is truth and justice.
Mel. The gods, that lent you to me, bless your

Oh, children, children, pay your prayers to heaven,
For they have show'd much mercy. But, Sophronos,
Thou art my brother-I can say no more
A good, good brother!

Pal. Leave the rest to time
Cousin Thamasta, I must give you too ;

She's thy wife, Menaphon. Rhetias, for thee,
And Corax, I have more than common thanks.
On to the temple ! there all solemn rites
Perform’d, a general feast shall be proclaim'd.
The LOVER'S MELANCHOLY hath found cure;'
Sorrows are chang'd to bride-songs. So they thrive,
Whom fate in spite of storms hath kept alive.


1 The concluding scene of this drama is wrought up with singular art and beauty. If the “Very Woman” of Massinger preceded the Lover's Melancholy (as I believe it did), Ford is indebted to it for no inconsiderable part of his plot.-GIFFORD.

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