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Cal. To whom that jewel?
Pen. To virgin-wives, such as abuse not wedlock By freedom of desires, but covet chiefly The pledges of chaste beds for ties of love, Rather than ranging of their blood ; and next 55 To married maids, such as prefer the number Of honourable issue in their virtues Before the flattery of delights by marriage: May those be ever young!
Cal. A second jewel
You mean to part with?
Pen. 'Tis my fame, I trust 60
By scandal yet untouched : this I bequeath
Cal. How handsomely thou play'st with harmless sport
Of mere imagination! speak the last.
Pen. This jewel, madam,
Is dearly precious to me; you must use
Cal. Do not doubt me.
Pen. 'Tis long agone since first I lost my heart: Long I have lived without it, else for certain I should have given that too; but instead Of it, to great Calantha, Sparta's heir, 75
By service bound and by affection vowed,
Cal. What saidst thou?
Pen. Impute not, heaven-blest lady, to ambition A faith as humbly perfect as the prayers Of a devoted suppliant can endow it: Look on him, princess, with an eye of pity; How like the ghost of what he late appeared He moves before you.
Cal. Shall I answer here,
Or lend my ear too grossly?
Pen. First his heart
Shall fall in cinders, scorched by your disdain,
Cal. What new change
Appears in my behaviour, that thou dar'st
Pen. I must leave the world
To revel in Elysium, and 'tis just
Cal. You have forgot, Penthea,
How still I have a father.
Pen. But remember
I am a sister, though to me this brother 105 Hath been, you know, unkind, O, most unkind!
Cal. Christalla, Philema, where are ye ?—Lady, Your check lies in my silence.
Reenter Christalla and Philema. Chris. and Phil. Madam, here.
Cal. I think ye sleep, ye drones: wait on Penthea Unto her lodging.—[Aside] Ithocles? wronged lady! Pen. My reckonings are made even; death or fate III Can now nor strike too soon nor force too late.
[Exeunt. ACT THE FOURTH.
Scene I. The Palace. Ithocles' Apartment.
Enter Ithocles and Armostes.
Ith. Forbear your inquisition; curiosity
Arm. Nephew, be, then,
As I would wish ;—all is not right.—Good heaven 5
Ith. I did the noble Orgilus much injury,
Arm. I believe it: 15
Yet, nephew, 'tis the tongue informs our ears;
Ith. The princess! ha!
Arm. With her the Prince of Argos. 20
Enter Nearchus, leading Calantha; Amelus, Christalla, Philema.
Near. Great fair one, grace my hopes with any instance
Of livery, from the allowance of your favour;
[Attempts to take a ring from her finger.
Cal. A toy!
Near. Love feasts on toys,
For Cupid is a child ;—vouchsafe this bounty:
Cal. You shall not value, 25
Sweet cousin, at a price, what I count cheap;
[Casts the ring before Ithocles, who takes it up.
Ame. The ring, sir, is
The princess's; I could have took it up. 30
Ith. Learn manners, prithee.—To the blessed owner,
Upon my knees— [Kneels and offers it to Calantha.
Near. You're saucy.
Cal. This is pretty!
I am, belike, "a mistress "—wondrous pretty !—