Page images

Shall suit the inward fashion of my mind;
From which, if your opinion, nobly placed,
Change not the livery your words bestow,
My fortunes with my hopes are at the highest.
Bass. This house, methinks, stands somewhat too

much inward,
It is too melancholy; we'll remove
Nearer the court: or what thinks my Penthea
Of the delightful island we command ?
Rule me as thou canst wish.

Pen. I am no mistress :
Whither you please, I must attend; all ways
Are alike pleasant to me.

Grau. “ Island !” prison ;
A prison is as gaysome: we 'll no islands;
Marry, out upon 'em! whom shall we see there?
Seagulls, and porpoises, and water-rats,
And crabs, and mews, and dogfish; goodly gear
For a young lady's dealings,-or an old one's !
On no terms, islands; I'll be stew'd first.

Bass. [aside to Grau.] Grausis,
You are a juggling jade.-This sadness, sweetest,
Becomes not youthful blood ;-I'll have you

[To GRAU. For my sake put on a more cheerful mirth; Thou 'lt mar thy cheeks, and make me old in griefs.Damnable bitch-fox!

[To GRAU. Grau. I am thick of hearing, Still, when the wind blows southerly.—What think

you, If your fresh lady breed young bones, my lord ! Would not a chopping boy do you good at heart! But, as you said

Bass. I'll spit thee on a stake, Or chop thee into collops!

[.Aside to GRAU. Grau. Pray, speak louder. Sure, sure the wind blows south still.

Pen. Thou prat'st madly.
Bass. 'Tis very hot ; I sweat extremely.--Now ?
Vol. I.-14


Phu. A herd of lords, sir.
Bass. Ha !
Phu. A flock of ladies.
Bass. Where?
Phu. Shoals of horses.
Bass. Peasant, how?

Phu. Caroches
In drifts—th one enter, th’ other stand without,
And now I vanish.


and PHILEMA. Pro. Noble Bassanes! Bass. Most welcome, Prophilus; ladies, gentle

men, To all, my heart is open; you all honour me,(A tympany swells in my head already) [.Aside. Honour me bountifully.—How they flutter, Wagtails and jays together!

Pro. From your brother,
By virtue of your love to him, I require
Your instant presence, fairest.

Pen. He is well, sir ?
Pro. The gods preserve him ever! Yet, dear

I find some alteration in him lately,
Since his return to Sparta.—My good lord,
pray, use no delay,

Bass. We had not needed An invitation, if his sister's health Had not fallen into question.—Haste, Penthea, Slack not a minute; lead the way good Prophilus, I'll follow step by step. Pro. Your arm, fair madam.

[Exeunt all but Bass. and Grau. Bass. One word with your old hagship; thou

hadst better

Rail'd at the saints thou worshipp'st than have

thwarted My will ; I'll use thiee cursedly.

Grau. You dote, You are beside yourself. A politician In jealousy? no, you 're too gross, too vulgar. Pish, teach not me my trade; I know my que: My crossing you sinks me into her trust, By which I shall know all ; my trade 's a sure one.

Bass. Forgive me, Grausis, 't was consideration I relish'd not; but have a care now.

Grau. Fear not,
I am no new-come-to-'t.

Bass. Thy life's upon it,
And so is mine. My agonies are infinite. (Exeunt.


The Palace. ITHOCLES's Apartment.

Enter ITHOCLES. Ith. Ambition ! 't is of viper's breed; it gnaws A passage through the womb that gave it motion. Ambition, like a seeled' dove, mounts upwards, Higher and higher still, to perch on clouds, But tumbles headlong down with heavier ruin. So squibs and crackers fly into the air, Then, only breaking with a noise, they vanish In stench and smoke. Morality, applied To timely practice, keeps the soul in tune, At whose sweet music all our actions dance: But this is form[d] of books and school-tradition;

I Ambition, like a seeled dove, mounts upuards,

Higher and higher still, &c.] To seel is to blind by sewing up the eyelids. It is told in the Gen tleman's Recreation, that this wanton piece of cruelty is sometimes resorted to for sport. The poor dove, in the agonies of pain, soars, like the lark, as soon as dismissed from the hand, almost perpendicularly, and continues mounting till strength and life are totally exhausted, when she drops at the feet of her inhuman persecutors.--GIFFORD.

It physics not the sickness of a mind
Broken with griefs: strong fevers are not eased
With counsel, but with best receipts, and means ;
Means, speedy means, and certain; that's the cure.

Arm. You stick, lord Crotolon, upon a point
Too nice and too unnecessary; Prophilus
Is every way desertful. I am confident
Your wisdom is too ripe to need instruction
From your son's tutelage.

Crot. Yet not so ripe,
My lord Armostes, that it dares to dote
Upon the painted bait of smooth persuasion,
Which tempts me to a breach of faith.

Ith. Not yet
Resolv'd, my lord? Why, if your son's consent
Be so available, we'll write to Athens
For his repair to Sparta: the king's hand
Will join with our desires ; he has been mov'd to't.
Arm. Yes, and the king himself importuned Cro-

tolon For a despatch.

Crot. Kings may command; their wills
Are laws not to be question'd.

Ith. By this marriage
You knit a union so devout, so hearty,
Between your loves to me, and mine to yours,
As if mine own blood had an interest in it;
For Prophilus is mine, and I am his.

Crot. My lord, my lord!
Ith. What, good sir ? speak your thought.

Crot. Had this sincerity been real once,
My Orgilus had not been now unwived,
Nor your lost sister buried in a bride-bed:
Your uncle here, Armostes, knows this truth;
For had your father Thrasus liv'd,—but peace
Dwell in his grave! I have done.

Arm. You are bold and bitter.

Ith. He presses home the injury; it smarts.

[Aside. No reprehensions, uncle : I deserve them. Yet, gentle sir, consider what the heat Of an unsteady youth, a giddy brain, Green indiscretion, flattery of greatness, Rawness of judgment, wilfulness in folly, Thoughts vagrant as the wind, and as uncertain, Might lead a boy in years to :t was a fault, A capital fault; for then I could not dive Into the secrets of commanding love; Since when experience, by th' extremes in others, Hath forced me to collect-and, trust me, Crotolon, I will redeem those wrongs with any service Your satisfaction can require for current.

Arm. The acknowledgment is satisfaction: What would you more ?

Crot. I am conquer'd: if Euphranea
Herself admit the motion, let it be so;
I doubt not my son's liking.

Ith. Use my fortunes,
Life, power, sword, and heart, all are your own.

Arm. The princess, with your sister.

PHRANEA, CHRISTALLA, PHILEMA, and GRAUSIS. Cal. I present you A stranger here in court, my lord; for did not Desire of seeing you draw her abroad, We had not been made happy in her company. Ith. You are a gracious princess.--Sister, wed

lock Holds too severe a passion in your nature, Which can engross all duty to your husband, Without attendance on so dear a mistress. 'T is not my brother's pleasure, I presume,

[To Bass. Timmure her in a chamber. Bass. 'Tis her will :

« PreviousContinue »