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Re-enter GRONEAS. Gron. My lord, you're called for. Bass. Most heartily I thank you; where's my wife, Gron. Retired among the ladies.
Bass. Still I thank you: There's an old waiter with her, saw you her,
too? Gron. She sits i'th' presence-lobby fast asleep,
sir. Bass. Asleep! asleep, sir!
Gron. Is your lordship troubled ?
You will not to the king ?
Bass. Your humblest vassal.
Gron. Your servant, my good lord.
Bass. I wait your footsteps.
The Gardens of the Palace. A Grove.
Enter PROPHILUS and PENTHEA. Pro. In this walk, lady, will your brother find
And, with your favour, give me leave a little
To work a preparation: in his fashion
I have observ'd of late some kind of slackness
To such alacrity as nature [once]
And custom took delight in; sadness grows
Upon his recreations, which he hoards
In such a willing silence, that to question
The grounds will argue (little] skill in friendship,
And less good manners.
Pen. Sir, I am not inquisitive
Of secrecies, without an invitation.
Pro. With pardon, lady, not a syllable
Of mine implies so rude a sense ; the drift-
Enter ORGILUS, as before. Do thy best
[TO ORG. To make this lady merry for an hour. Org. Your will shall be a law, sir. [Exit Pro.
Pen. Prithee, leave me, I have some private thoughts I would account
with; Use thou thine own.
Org. Speak on, fair nymph; our souls Can dance as well to music of the spheres, As any's who have feasted with the gods.
Pen. Your school-terms are too troublesome.
Org. What heaven
Refines mortality from dross of earth,
But such as uncompounded beauty hallows
With glorified perfection!
Pen. Set thy wits
In a less wild proportion.
Org. Time can never
On the white table of unguilty faith
Write counterfeit dishonour; turn those eyes
(The arrows of pure love) upon that fire,
Which once rose to a flame, perfum'd with vows,
As sweetly scented as the incense smoking
On Vesta's altars, * * * * * *
* the holiest odours, virgins' tears,
sprinkled, like dews, to feed them And to increase their fervour..
Pen. Be not frantic.
Org. All pleasures are but mere imagination,
Feeding the hungry.appetite with steam,
And sight of banquet, while the body pines,
Not relishing the real taste of food:
Such is the leanness of a heart divided
From intercourse of troth-contracted loves;
as the incense smoking
On Vesta's altars * * * * * * * * *
&c.] It is greatly to be regretted that this apparently fine passage should have been so irreparably mutilated at the press.-GIFFORD.
No horror should deface that precious figure
Seal'd with the lively stamp of equal souls.
Pen. Away! some fury hath bewitch'd thy tongue:
The breath of ignorance that flies from thence,
Ripens a knowledge in me of afflictions,
Above all sufferance.—Thing of talk, begone,
Begone, without reply!
Org. Be just, Penthea, In thy commands; when thou send'st forth a doom Of banishment, know first on whom it lights. Thus I take off the shroud, in which my cares Are folded up from view of common eyes.
[Throws off his scholar's dress. What is thy sentence next?
Pen. Rash man! thou lay'st
A blemish on mine honour, with the hazard
Of thy too desperate life; yet I profess,
By all the laws of ceremonious wedlock,
I have not given admittance to one thought
Of female change, since cruelty enforced
Divorce betwixt my body and my heart.
Why would you fall from goodness thus ?
Org. O, rather
Examine me, how I could live to say
I have been much, much wrong'd. 'Tis for thy
I put on this imposture; dear Penthea,
If thy soft bosom be not turn’d to marble,
Thou 'lt pity our calamities; my interest
Confirms me, thou art mine still.
Pen. Lend your hand;
With both of mine I clasp it thus, thus kiss it,
Thus kneel before ye.
[Pen. kneels. Org. You instruct my duty.
(Org. kneels. Pen. We may stand up.-[They rise.]-Have you
aught else to urge Of new demand? as for the old, forget it; 'Tis buried in an everlasting silence, And shall be, shall be ever: what more would you?
Org. I would possess my wife; the equity
Of very reason bids me.
Pen. Is that all ?
Org. Why, 't is the all of me, myself.
Your steps some distance from me; at this space
A few words I dare change; bút first put on
Your borrow'd shape.'
Org. You are obey'd; 't is done.
[He resumes his disguise.
Pen. How, Orgilus, by promise, I was thine,
The heavens do witness; they can witness, too,
A rape done on my truth: how I do love thee
Yet, Orgilus, and yet, must best appear
In tendering thy freedom; for I find
The constant preservation of thy merit,
By thy not daring to attempt my fame
With injury of any loose conceit,
Which might give deeper wounds to discontents.
Continue this fair race; then, though I cannot
Add to thy comfort, yet I shall more often
Remember from what fortune I am fallen,
And pity mine own ruin.—Live, live happy,
Happy in thy next choice, that thou mayst
This barren age with virtues in thy issue!
And, oh, when thou art married, think on me
With mercy, not contempt; I hope thy wife,
Hearing my story, will not scorn my fall.-
Now let us part.
Org. Part! yet advise thee better:
Penthea is the wife to Orgilus,
And ever shall be.
Pen. Never shall, nor will.
-but first put on Your borrow'd shape.] This, as I have elsewhere observed. is the green-room term for å dress of disguise. In the opening of the next act, Orgilus, who had resumed his usual habit, is said to appear in his own shape. -GIFFORD.
Pen. Hear me; in a word I'll tell thee why.
The virgin-dowry which my birth bestow'd,
Is ravish'd by another; my true love
Abhors to think, that Orgilus deserv'd
No better favours than a second bed.
Org. I must not take this reason.
Pen. To confirm it;
Should I outlive my bondage, let me meet
Another worse than this, and less desired,
If, of all men alive, thou shouldst but touch
My lip or hand again!
Org. Penthea, now
I tell you, you grow wanton in my sufferance;
Come, sweet, thou art mine.
Pen. Uncivil sir, forbear,
Or I can turn affection into vengeance;
Your reputation, if you value any,
Lies bleeding at my feet. Unworthy man,
If ever henceforth thou appear in language,
Message, or letter, to betray my frailty,
I'll call thy former protestations lust,
And curse my stars for forfeit of my judgment.
Go thou, fit only for disguise, and walks,
To hide thy shame; this once I spare thy life.
I laugh at mine own confidence; my sorrows
By thee are made inferior to my fortunes :
If ever thou didst harbour worthy love,
Dare not to answer. My good genius guide me,
That I may never see thee more !-Go from me!
Org. I'll tear my veil of politic French off, And stand up like a man resolv'd to do:Action, not words, shall show me.-Oh Penthea!
[Exit. Pen. He sigh'd my name, sure, as he parted from
I fear I was too rough. Alas, poor gentleman!
He look'd not like the ruins of his youth,
But like the ruins of those ruins. Honour,