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PHILASTER; OR, LOVE LIES A BLEEDING.
TRAGI-COMEDY. BY FRANCIS BEAUMONT
AND JOHN FLETCHER.
Philaster tells the Princess Arethusa how he first found the
I have a boy sent by the gods,
Not yet seen in the court; hunting the buck,
I found him sitting by a fountain side,
Of which he borrow'd some to quench his thirst,
And paid the nymph again as much in tears;
A garland lay him by, made by himself,
Of many several flowers, bred in the bay,
Stuck in that mystic order, that the rareness
Delighted me: but ever when he turn'd
His tender eyes upon them, he would weep,
As if he meant to make them grow again.
Seeing such pretty helpless innocence
Dwell in his face, I ask'd him all his story;
He told me that his parents gentle died,
Leaving him to the mercy of the fields,
Which gave him roots; and of the crystal springs,
Which did not stop their courses; and the sun,
Which still, he thank'd him, yielded him his light.
Then took he up his garland and did shew,
What every flower, as country people hold,
Did signify; and how all order'd thus,
Exprest his grief: and to my thoughts did read
The prettiest lecture of his country art
That could be wish’d, so that, methought, I could
Have studied it. I gladly entertain'd him,
Who was as glad to follow; and have got
The trustiest, loving'st, and the gentlest boy,
A a 2
That ever master kept: him will I send
To wait on you, and bear our hidden love.
Philaster prefers Bellario to the Service of the Princess
Phi. And thou shalt find her honourable, boy,
Full of regard unto thy tender youth,
For thine own modesty; and for my sake,
Apter to give, than thou wilt be to ask, aye, or deserve.
Bell. Sir, you did take me up when I was nothing, And only yet am something by being yours; You trusted me unknown; and that which you are apt To construe a simple innocence in me, Perhaps might have been craft, the cunning of a boy Harden'd in lies and theft ; yet ventur'd you To part my miseries and me: for which, I never can expect to serve a lady That bears more honour in her breast than you.
Phi. But, boy, it will prefer thee; thou art young,
And bear'st a childish overflowing love
To them that clap thy cheeks and speak thee fair yet.
But when thy judgment comes to rule those passions,
Thou wilt remember best those careful friends
That placed thee in the noblest way of life:
She is a princess I prefer thee to.
Bell. In that small time that I have seen the world,
I never knew a man hasty to part
With a servant he thought trusty ; I remember,
My father would prefer the boys he kept
To greater men than he, but did it not
Till they were grown too saucy for himself.
Phi. Why, gentle boy, I find no fault at all
In thy behaviour.
Bell. Sir, if I have made
A fault of ignorance, instruct my youth;
I shall be willing, if not apt, to learn.
Age and experience will adorn my mind
With larger knowledge: and if I have done
A wilful fault, think me not past all hope
For once; what master holds so strict a hand
Over his boy, that he will part with him
Without one warning? Let me be corrected
To break my stubbornness if it be so,
Rather than turn me off, and I shall mend.
Phi. Thy love doth plead so prettily to stay,
That (trust me) I could weep tó part with thee.
Alas, I do not turn thee off; thou knowest
It is my business that doth call thee hence,
And when thou art with her thou dwell'st with me :
Think so, and 'tis so; and when time is full,
That thou hast well discharg'd this heavy trust,
Laid on so weak a one, I will again
With joy receive thee; as I live, I will;
Nay weep not, gentle boy; 'tis more than time
Thou didst attend the princess.
Bell. I am gone;
But since I am to part with you, my lord,
And none knows whether I shall live to do
More service for you, take this little prayer;
Heaven bless your loves, your fights, all your designs.
May sick men, if they have your wish, be well;
And heaven's hate those you curse, though I be one.
Bellario describes to the Princess Arethusa the manner of his
måster Philaster's love for her.
Are. Sir, you are sad to change your service, is't not so?
Bell. Madam, I have not chang'd: I wait on you,
To do him service.
Are. Thou disclaim'st in me;
Tell me thy name.
Are. Thou can'st sing and play?
Bell. If grief will give me leave, madam, I can.
Are. Alas! what kind of grief can thy years know?
Had'st thou a curst master when thou went'st to school?
Thou art not capable of any other grief;
Thy brows and cheeks are smooth as waters be,
When no breath troubles them : believe me, boy,
Care seeks out wrinkled brows, and hollow eyes,
And builds himself caves to abide in them.
Come, sir, tell me truly, does your lord love me?
Bell. Love, madam? I know not what it is.
Are. Canst thou know grief, and never yet knew'st love?
Thou art deceiv’d, boy. Does he speak of me
As if he wish'd me well?
Bell. If it be love,
To forget all respect of his own friends,
In thinking of your face; if it be love,
To sit cross-arm’d and sigh away the day,
Mingled with starts, “crying your name as loud
And hastily, as men i’the streets do fire;
If it be love to weep himself away,
When he but hears of any lady dead,
Or kill’d, because it might have been your chance ;
If when he goes to rest (which will not be)
Twixt every prayer he says to name you once,
As others drop a bead, be to be in love;
Then, madam, I dare swear he loves you.
Are. O you're a cunning boy, and taught to lie
For your lord's credit; but thou know'st a lie
That bears this sound, is welcomer to me
Than any truth that says he loves me not.
Philaster is jealous of Bellario with the Princess.
Bell. Health to you, my lord;
The princess doth commend her love, her life,
And this unto you.
Phi. O Bellario,
Now I perceive she loves me, she does shew it
In loving thee, my boy, she has made thee brave.
Bell. My lord, she has attired me past my wish,
Past my desert, more fit for her attendant,
Though far unfit for me who do attend.
· Phi. Thou art grown courtly, boy. O let all women
That love black deeds learn to dissemble here.
Here by this paper she does write to me
As if her heart were mines of adamant
To all the world besides, but unto me
A maiden snow that melted with my looks.
Tell me, my boy, how doth the princess use thee?
For I shall guess her love to me by that.
Bell. Scarce like her servant, but as if I were
Something allied to her; or had preserv'd
Her life three times by my fidelity;
As mothers fond do use their only sons ;
As I'd use one that's left unto my trust,
For whom my life should pay if he met harm,
So she does use me.
Phi. Why this is wondrous well :
But what kind language does she feed thee with ?
Bell. Why, she does tell me, she will trust my youth
With all her loving secrets, and does call me
Her pretty servant, bids me weep no more
For leaving you ; she'll see my services
Regarded : and such words of that soft strain,
That I am nearer weeping when she ends
Than ere she spake.
Phi. This is much better still.
Bell. Are you ill, my lord ?
Phi. Ill? No, Bellario.
Bell. Methinks your words
Fall not from off your tongue so evenly,
Nor is there in your looks that quietness,
That I was wont to see.
Phi. Thou art deceiv'd, boy. And she strokes thy
Phi. And she does clap thy cheeks ?
Bell. She does, my lord.
Phi. And she does kiss thee, boy, ha ?
Bell. How, my lord ?
Phi. She kisses thee?
Bell. Not so, my lord.
Phi. Come, come, I know she does.
Bell. No, by my life.