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As spring out of your own affections ;
Pal. So!--Tutor, your conceit?
Are. I think you dote (with pardon let me speak it) Too much upon your pleasures; and these pleasures Are so wrapp'd up in self-love, that you covet No other change of fortune: would be still What your birth makes you; but are loath to toil In such affairs of state as break your sleeps.
Cor. I think you would be by the world reputed A man in every point complete ; but are In manners and effect indeed a child, A boy, a very boy.
Pei. May it please your grace, I think you do contain within yourself The great elixir, soul, and quintessence Of all divine perfections; are the glory Of mankind, and the only strict example For earthly monarchs to square out their lives by : Time's miracle! Fame's pride! in knowledge, wit, Sweetness, discourse, arms, arts,
Pal. You are a courtier.
Cuc. But not of the ancient fashion, an it like your highness. 'Tis I; I that am the credit of the court, noble prince; and if thou wouldst, by proclamation or patent, create me overseer of all the tailors in thy dominions, then, then the golden days should appear again!' bread should be cheaper; fools should have more wit; knaves more honesty, and beggars more money.
Gri. I think now-
They all silently withdraw, but Rag. and PAL.
Pal. You are somewhat long a-thinking. Rhe. I do not think at all. Pal. Am I not worthy of your thought? Rhe. My pity, you are ;—but not my reprehension. Pal. Pity! Rhe. Yes, for I pity such to whom I owe service, who exchange their happiness for a misery.
Pal. Is it a misery to be a prince ?
Rhe. Princes who forget their sovereignty, and yield to affected passion, are weary of command.You had a father, sir. Pal. Your sovereign, while he lived :—but what
of him? Rhe. Nothing. I only dared to name him,—that is all.
Pal. I charge thee, by the duty that thou ow'st us, Be plain in what thou mean'st to speak: there's
something That we must know : be free; our ears are open.
Rhe. 0, sir, I had rather hold a wolf by the ears than stroke a lion; the greatest danger is the last. Pal. This is mere trifling. Ha! are all stolen
Rhe. All this may be. I have seen a man so curious in feeling of the edge of a keen knise, that he has cut his fingers. My flesh is not proof against the metal I am to handle; the one is tenderer than the other. Pal. I see then I must court thee. Take the
Of a just prince; for any thing thou speakest I have more than a pardon, thanks and love. Rhe. I will remember you of an old tale, that something concerns you. Mcleander, the great but unfortunate statesman, was by your father treated with for a match between you and his eldest daughter, the lady Eroclea; you were both near of an age,_I presume you remember a contract, and cannot forget her. Pal. She was a lovely beauty—prithee forward' Rhe. To court was Eroclea brought; was courted by your father, not for prince Palador, as it followed, but to be made a prey to some less noble design.— With your favour, I have forgot the rest. Pal. Good, call it back again into thy memory; Else, losing the remainder, I am lost too. Rhe. You charm me." In brief, a rape by some bad agents was attempted; by the lord Meleander, her father, rescued; she conveyed away; Meleander accused of treason, his land seized, he himself distracted and confined to the castle, where he yet lives. What had ensued was doubtful; but your father shortly after died. Pal. But what became of fair Eroclea? Rhe. She never since was heard of. Pal. No hope lives then Of ever, ever seeing her again. Rhe. Sir, I feared I should anger you. This was, as I said, an old tale:—I have now a new one, which may perhaps season the first with a more delightful relish. Pal. I am prepared to hear; say what you please. Rhe. My lord Meleander falling (on whose favour my fortunes relied), I furnished myself for travel, and bent my course to Athens; where a pretty acci*}; after a while, came to my knowledge. al. My ear is open to thee
1 You charm me..] You overpower my reluctance to speak; and accordingly Rhetias feels no further difficulty in disclosing himself—Girroad.
Rhe. A young lady, contracted to a noble gentleman, as the lady last mentioned and your highness were, being hindered by their jarring parents, stole from her home, and was conveyed like a shipboy in a merchant, from the country where she lived, into Corinth first, and afterward to Athens; where in much solitariness she lived, like a youth, almost two years, courted by all her acquaintance, but friend to none by familiarity.
Pal. In habit of a man ?
Rhe. A handsome young man-till within these three months or less (her sweetheart's father dying some year before, or more), she had notice of it, and with much joy returned home, and, as report voiced it at Athens, enjoyed her happiness she was long an exile for. Now, noble sir, if you did love the lady Eroclea, why may not such safety and fate direct her, as directed the other ? 't is not impossible.
Pal. If I did love her, Rhetias! Yes, I did. Give me thy hand: as thou didst serve Melean
der, And art still true to these, henceforth serve me.
Rhe. My duty and my obedience are my surety ; but I have been too bold.
Pal. Forget the sadder story of my father,
Pal. To tie thee to an oath of secrecy-
Rhe. A picture in a tablet.
Rhe. I do-yes-let me observe it, 'Tis hers, the lady's.
Pal. Whose ? Rhe. Eroclea's.
Pal. Hers that was once Eroclea. For her sake Have 1 advanced Sophronos to the helm Of government; for her sake will restore Meleander's honours to him; will, for her sake, Beg friendship from thee, Rhetias. O! be faithful, And let no politic lord work from thy bosom My griefs: I know thou wert put on to sift me: But be not too secure.
Rhe. I am your creature.
Pal. Continue still thy discontented fashion,
Men. Humbly va xay knees
Pal. It is our duty
Men. If my prayers or service
Rhe. I have a fist for thee too, stripling; thou art started up prettily since I saw thee. Hast learned any
wit abroad? Canst tell news and swear lies with a grace like a true traveller ?-What new ouzle 's? this? Tha. Your highness shall do right to your own
judgment, In taking more than common notice of This stranger, an Athenian, named Parthenophill ; One, who, if mine opinion do not sooth me
1 What new ouzle's this?) Parthenophill, whom he pretends not to know. It may be briefly observed, that “ouzel is a generic term, in which the species blackbird (one among many) is contained.”—GirFORD.