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Your counsel now, grave man, his majesty
Will soon himself acquaint you with.

Tec. Apollo [He takes the casket.

Inspire my intellect!—The Prince of Argos
Is entertained?

Arm. He is; and has demanded 75

Our princess for his wife; which I conceive
One special cause the king impdrtunes you
For resolution of the oracle.

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
Sooner do both that and this,
This and that, and never miss,

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
Should not affect, methinks, strains so effeminate:
Sounds of such delicacy are but fawnings
Upon the sloth of luxury, they heighten
Cinders of covert lust up to a flame.

Grau. What do you mean, my lord ? speak low; that gabbling 25 Of yours will but undo us.

Bass. Chamber-combats
Are felt, not heard.
Pro. [within] He wakes.
Bass. What's that?

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
Please ye withdraw.

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
Pen The A beside him.

1th. Sit nearer, sister, to me; nearer yet:
We had one father, in one womb took life,
Were brought up twins together, yet have lived 35
At distance, like two strangers: I could wish
That the first pillow whereon I was cradled
Had proved to me a grave.

Pen. You had been happy:

Then had you never known that sin of life
Which blots all following glories with a vengeance,
For forfeiting the last will of the dead, 41
For whom you had your being.

Ith. Sad Penthea,

Thou canst not be too cruel; my rash spleen
Hath with a violent hand plucked from thy bosom
A love-blest heart, to grind it into dust; 45
For which mine's now a-breaking.

Pen. Not yet, Heaven,

I do beseech thee! first let some__wild firesV-v-C
Scorch, not consume it! may the heat be cherished
With desires infinite, but hopes impossible!

Ith. Wronged soul, thy prayers are heard.

Pen. Here, lo, I breathe,

A miserable creature, led to ruin 51

By an unnatural brother!
Ith. I consume

.-tfjAjwf^ In languishing affections for that trespass;
Yet cannot die.

Pen. The handmaid to the wages

Of country toil drinks the untroubled streams 55
With leaping kids and with the bleating lambs,
And so allays her thirst secure; whiles I
Quench my hot sighs with fleetings of my tears.

1th. The labourer doth eat his coarsest bread,
Earned with his sweat, and lies him down to sleep;
While every bit I touch turns in digestion 61
To gall as bitter as Penthea's curse.
Put me to any penance for my tyranny,
And I will call thee merciful.

Pen. Pray kill me,

Rid me from living with a jealous husband; 65
Then we will join in friendship, be again
Brother and sister.—Kill me, pray; nay, will ye?

Ith. How does my lord esteem thee?

Pen. Such an one

As only you have made me; a faith-breaker,
A spotted whore :—forgive me, I am one— 70
In act, not in desires, the gods must witness.

Ith. Thou dost belie thy friend.

Pen. I do not, Ithocles;

For she that's wife to Orgilus, and lives
In known adultery with Bassanes,
Is at the best a whore. Wilt kill me now? 75
The ashes of our parents will assume CA, "p^T^sT
Some dreadful figure, and appear to charge
Thy bloody guilt, that hast betrayed their name
To infamy in this reproachful match.

Ith. After my victories abroad, at home 80
I meet despair; ingratitude of nature
Hath made my actions monstrous: thou shalt stand
A deity, my sister, and be worshipped
For thy resolved martyrdom; wronged maids
And married wives shall to thy hallowed shrine 85
Offer their orisons, and sacrifice
Pure turtles, crowned with myrtle; if thy pity
Unto a yielding brother's pressure lend
One finger but to ease it.

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
Have moved that question; 'tis a secret, sister, 95
I dare not murmur to myself.

Pen. Let me,

By your new protestations I conjure ye,
Partake her name.

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—

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