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Rhe. Now they fall to't;
Ero. I, by my uncle's care,
Mel. A policy quick and strange.
Ero. The ship was bound for Corinth, whither first,
Mel. Oh, what a thing is man,
Ero. So I obey'd
Mel. ’T was safely carried ;
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,
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,
[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,
Mel. Oh, a rare one.
[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;
Rhe. Sir, 't is truth and justice.
Pal. Leave the rest to time
She's thy wife, Menaphon. Rhetias, for thee,
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.