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Your counsel now, grave man, his majesty
Tec. Apollo [He takes the casket.
Inspire my intellect!—The Prince of Argos
Arm. He is; and has demanded 75
Our princess for his wife; which I conceive
Tec. My duty to the king, good peace to Sparta, And fair day to Armostes!
Arm. Like to Tecnicus! [Exeunt.
Scene II. The Palace. Ithocles' Apartment.
Soft music. A song within, during which Prophilus, Bassanes, Penthea, and Grausis pass over the stage. Bassanes and Grausis re-enter softly, and listen in different places.
Can you paint a thought? or number
Every fancy in a slumber?
Can you count soft minutes roving
From a dial's point by moving?
Can you grasp a sigh? or, lastly, 5
Rob a virgin's honour chastely?
No, O, no! yet you may
Than by any praise display 10 Beauty's beauty ; such a glory, As beyond all fate, all story, All arms, all arts, All loves, all hearts, Greater than those or they, 15 Do, shall, and must obey. Bass. All silent, calm, secure.—Grausis, no creaking? No noise? dost thou hear nothing?
Grau. Not a mouse,
Or whisper of the wind.
Bass. The floor is matted;
The bedposts sure are steel or marble.—Soldiers 20
Grau. What do you mean, my lord ? speak low; that gabbling 25 Of yours will but undo us.
Ith. [within] Who's there?
Sister ?—All quit the room else.
Bass. 'Tis consented!
Re-enter Prophilus. Pro. Lord Bassanes, your brother would be private,
We must forbear; his sleep hath newly left him. 30
Bass. By any means; 'tis fit.
Pro. Pray, gentlewoman, walk too.
Grau. Yes, I will, sir. [Exeunt.
The scene opens; Ithocles is discovered in a chair, and
1th. Sit nearer, sister, to me; nearer yet:
Pen. You had been happy:
Then had you never known that sin of life
Ith. Sad Penthea,
Thou canst not be too cruel; my rash spleen
Pen. Not yet, Heaven,
I do beseech thee! first let some__wild firesV-v-C
Ith. Wronged soul, thy prayers are heard.
Pen. Here, lo, I breathe,
A miserable creature, led to ruin 51
By an unnatural brother!
.-tfjAjwf^ In languishing affections for that trespass;
Pen. The handmaid to the wages
Of country toil drinks the untroubled streams 55
1th. The labourer doth eat his coarsest bread,
Pen. Pray kill me,
Rid me from living with a jealous husband; 65
Ith. How does my lord esteem thee?
Pen. Such an one
As only you have made me; a faith-breaker,
Ith. Thou dost belie thy friend.
Pen. I do not, Ithocles;
For she that's wife to Orgilus, and lives
Ith. After my victories abroad, at home 80
Pen. O, no more!
Ith. Death waits to waft me to the Stygian banks, And free me from this chaos of my bondage; 91 And till thou wilt forgive, I must endure.
Pen. Who is the saint you serve?
Ith. Friendship, or nearness
Of birth to any but my sister, durst not
Pen. Let me,
By your new protestations I conjure ye,
Ith. Her name ?—'tis—'tis—I dare not.
Pen. All your respects are forged.
Ith. They are not.—Peace I
Calantha is—the princess—the king's daughter—