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your honours.

Enter a SEA-Nymph, big-bellied, singing and

dancing Nymph. Good your

Pray your worships,

your beauties,
Cuc. Hang thee !

To lash your sides,
To tame your hides,
To scourge your prides ;

And bang thee.
Nymph. We're pretty and dainty, and I will begin;

See! how they do jeer me, deride me, and

grin. Come, sport me, come, court me, your top

sail advance,

And let us conclude our delights in a dance! All. A dance, a dance, a dance!

Cor. This is the wanton melancholy. Women With child, possess'd with this strange fury, often Have danced three days together without ceasing.' Pal. 'Tis very strange: but Heaven is full of


8 Chorus Sancti Viti, or Saint Vitus' dance; the lascivious dance Paracelsus calls it, because they that are taken with it can do nothing but dance till they be dead or cured. It is so called, for that the parties so troubled were wont to goe to Saint Vitus for helpe, and after they had danced there a while, they were certainly freed. 'Tis strange to heare how long they will dance, and in what manner, over stooles, formes, tables; even great bellyed women sometimes (and yet never hurt their childe) will dance so long, that they can stirre neither hand nor foot, but seem to be quite dead." Íbid. p. 15.


[Exeunt the Masquers in couples. We are thy debtor, Corax,' for the gift Of this invention; but the plot deceives us : What means this empty space ?

[Pointing to the

paper. Cor. One kind of Melancholy Is only left untouch’d; 'twas not in art To personate the shadow of that fancy; 'Tis pam'd Love-Melancholy. As, for instance, Admit this stranger here,—young man, stand forth

[To Parth.
Entangled by the beauty of this lady,
The great Thamasta, cherish'd in his heart
The weight of hopes and fears; it were impossible
To limn his passions in such lively colours,
As his own proper sufferance could express.

Par. You are not modest, sir.
Tha. Am I your mirth?

Cor. Love is the tyrant of the heart; it darkens
Reason, confounds discretion; deaf to counsel,
It runs a headlong course to desperate madness.
Ő were your highness but touch'd home, and

thoroughly, With this (what shall I call it?) devil

. We are thy debtor, Corar, &c.] This good prince is easily pleased; for, to speak truth, a masque more void of invention, or merit of any kind, never shamed the stage. It is singular that Ford did not recollect how absolutely he had anticipated the boasted experiment of this trifler, and laid open the whole secret of the prince's melancholy in the admirable scene with Rhetias in the second act : but he was determined to have a show, and, in evil hour, he had it.

Pal. Hold! Let no man henceforth name the word again.Wait you my pleasure, youth.— 'Tis late ; to rest!

[Erit. Cor. My lordsSoph. Enough; thou art a perfect arts-man. Cor. Panthers may hide their heads, not change

the skin; And love, pent ne'er so close, yet will be seen.


A Room in THAMASTA's House.

Amet. Doat on a stranger ?
Men. Court him"; plead, and sue to him.
Amet. Affectionately?

Men. Servilely; and, pardon me,
If I say, basely.

Amet. Women, in their passions,
Like false fires, flash, to fright our trembling

Yet, in themselves, contain nor light nor heat.
My sister do this! she, whose pride did scorn
All thoughts that were not busied on a crown,
To fall so far beneath her fortunes now!
You are my friend.

Men. What I confirm, is truth.
Amet. Truth, Menaphon?

Men. If I conceived you were Jealous of my sincerity and plainness, Then, sir

Amet. What then, sir ?

Men. I would then resolve
You were as changeable in vows of friendship,
As is Thamasta in her choice of love:
That sin is double, running in a blood,
Which justifies another being worse.

Amet. My Menaphon, excuse me; I grow wild,
And would not, willingly, believe the truth

dishonour: she shall know how much I am a debtor to thy noble goodness, By checking the contempt her poor

desires Have sunk her fame in. Prithee tell me, friend, How did the youth receive her?

Men. With a coldness
As modest and as hopeless, as the trust
I did repose in him could wish, or merit.

Amet. I will esteem him dearly.
Men. Sir, your sister.
Tha. Servant, I have employment for you.

Amet. Harkye!
The mask of your ambition is fallen off;
Your pride hath stoop'd to such an abject low-


That you have now discover'd to report
Your nakedness in virtue, honours, shame,

Tha. You are turn'd Satire..

Amet. All the flatteries
Of greatness have expos’d you to contempt.

Tha. This is mere railing.
Amet. You have sold


birth For lust.

Tha. Lust?

Amet. Yes; and, at a dear expense, Purchased the only glories of a wanton.

Tha. A wanton!

Amet. Let repentance stop your mouth; Learn to redeem your fault.'

Kala. I hope your tongue Has not betray'd my honesty. [Aside to Men.

Men. Fear nothing.

Tha. If, Menaphon, I hitherto have strove
To keep a wary guard about my fame;
If I have us'd a woman's skill to sift
The constancy of your protested love;
You cannot, in the justice of your judgment,
Impute that to a coyness or neglect,
Which my discretion and your service aim’d
For noble purposes,

Men. Great mistress, no:
I rather quarrel with mine own ambition,
That durst to soar so high, as to feed hope
Of any least desert, that might entitle
My duty to a pension from your favours.

'It is evident, from what follows, in a subsequent scene, that this warmth of language is merely affected by Amethus, for the purpose of intimidating his sister, and, by dint of overpowering her supposed coquetry, surprizing her into an avowal of her attachment to his friend.

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