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Sole heir of Sparta.—Me, most miserable! &
Do I now love thee? for my injuries „--^
Revenge thyself with bravery, and gossip
My treasons to the king's ears, do :—Calantha N
Knows it not yet, nor Prophilus, my nearest. t

[graphic]

Pen. Suppose you were contracted to her, would try not

Split even your very soul to see her father
S"natckbeXiULt-<jfvyour arms against her will,
And force her on the Prince of Argos?

Ith. Trouble not

The fountains of mine eyes with thine own story;
I sweat in blood for't.

Pen. We are reconciled. in

Alas, sir, being children but two branches
Of one stock, 'tis not fit we should divide:
Have comfort, you may find it.

Ith. Yes, in thee;

Only in thee, Penthea mine.

Pen. If sorrows 115

Have not too much dulled my infected brain,
I'll cheer invention for an active strain.

Ith. Mad man! why have I wronged a maid so excellent!

Bassanes rushes in with a poniard, followed by ProPhilus, Groneas, Hemophilia, and Grausis.

Bass. I can forbear no longer; more, I will not: Keep off your hands, or fall upon my point.— 120 Patience is tired; for, like a slow-paced ass,

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Ye ride my easy nature, and proclaim
My sloth to vengeance a reproach and property.
Ith. The meaning of this rudeness?
Pro. He's distracted.

Pen. O, my grieved lord !—
Grau. Sweet lady, come not near him;

He holds his perilous weapon in his hand 126 To prick he cares not whom nor where,—see, see, see!

Bass. My birth is noble: though the popular blast

Of vanity, as giddy as thy youth,
Hath reared thy name up to bestride a cloud, 130
Or progress in the chariot of the sun,
I am no clod of trade, to lackey pride,
Nor, like your slave of expectation, wait
The bawdy hinges of your doors, or whistle
For mystical conveyance to your bed-sports. 135
Gro. Fine humours ! they become him.

Hem. How he stares,

Struts, puffs, and sweats! most admirable lunacy!

Ith. But that I may conceive the spirit of wine),:" Has took possession of your soberer custom, I'd say you were unmannerly.

Pen. Dear brother !— 140

Bass. Unmannerly !—mew, kitting !—smooth formality

Is usher to the rankness of the blood,

But impudence bears up the train. Indeed, sir,

Your fiery mettle, or your springal blaze

Of huge renown, is no sufficient royalty 145 To print upon my forehead the scorn, " cuckold."

Ith. His jealousy has robbed him of his wits; He talks he knows not what.

Bass. Yes, and he knows

To whom he talks; to one that franks his lust
In swine-security of bestial incest. 150

Ith. Ha, devil!

Bass. I will halloo't; though I blush more

To name the filthiness than thou to act it.

Ith. Monster! [Draws his sword.

Pro. Sir, by our friendship—

Pen. By our bloods—

Will you quite both undo us, brother?

Grau. Out on him!

These are his megrims, firks, and melancholies. 155

Hem. Well said, old touch-hole.

Gro. Kick him out of doors.

Pen. With favour, let me speak.—My lord, what slackness

In my obedience hath deserved this rage?
Except humility and silent duty

Have drawn on your unquiet, my simplicity 160
Ne'er studied your vexation.

Bass. Light of beauty,

Deal not ungently with a desperate wound!
No breach of reason dares make war with her
Whose looks are sovereignity, whose breath is balm:
O, that I could preserve thee in fruition 165
As in devotion!

Pen. Sir, may every evil

Locked in Pandora's box shower in your presence
On my unhappy head, if, since you made me
A partner in your bed, I have been faulty
In one unseemly thought against your honour! 170

Ith. Purge not his griefs, Penthea.

Bass. Yes, say on,

Excellent creature !—[To Ithocles] Good, be not

a hindrance To peace and praise of virtue.—O, my senses Are charmed with sounds celestial !—On, dear, on: I never gave you one ill word ; say, did I? 175 Indeed I did not.

Pen. Nor, by Juno's forehead,

Was I e'er guilty of a wanton error.

Bass. A goddess! let me kneel.

Grau. Alas, kind animal!

Ith. No; but for penance.

Bass. Noble sir, what is it?

With gladness I embrace it; yet, pray let not 180 My rashness teach you to be too unmerciful.

Ith. When you shall show good proof that manly wisdom,

Not overswayed by passion or opinion,
Knows how to lead your judgment, then this lady,
Your wife, my sister, shall return in safety 185
Home, to be guided by you ; but, till first
I can out of clear evidence approve it,
She shall be my care.
Bass. Rip my bosom up,

I'll stand the execution with a constancy;
This torture is insufferable.

Ith. Well, sir, 190

I dare not trust her to your fury.

Bass. But Penthea says not so.

Pen. She needs no tongue

To plead excuse who never purposed wrong.

[Exit with Ithocles and Prophilus.

Hem. Virgin of reverence and antiquity, Stay you behind.

[To Grausis, who is following Penthea.

Gro. The court wants not your diligence. 195 [Exeunt Hemophil and Groneas.

Grau. What will you do, my lord ? my lady's gone; I am denied to follow.

Bass. I may see her,

Or speak to her once-more?

Grau. And feel her too, man;

Be of good cheer, she's your own flesh and bone. .

Bass. Diseases desperate must find cures alike. She swore she has been true.

Grau. True, on my modesty. 201

Bass. Let him want truth who credits not her vows!

Much wrong I did her, but her brother infinite; Rumour will voice me the contempt of manhood, Should I run on thus: some way I must try 205 To outdo art, and jealousy decry. [Exeunt.

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