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Enter a SEA-Nymph, big-bellied, singing and
dancing Nymph. Good your
Pray your worships,
To lash your sides,
And bang thee.
See! how they do jeer me, deride me, and
grin. Come, sport me, come, court me, your top
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
Par. You are not modest, sir.
Cor. Love is the tyrant of the heart; it darkens
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.
ACT IV. SCENE I.
Enter AMETHUS and MENAPHON.
Men. Servilely; and, pardon me,
Amet. Women, in their passions,
Men. What I confirm, is truth.
Men. If I conceived you were Jealous of my sincerity and plainness, Then, sir
Amet. What then, sir ?
Men. I would then resolve
Amet. My Menaphon, excuse me; I grow wild,
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
Enter THAMASTA and KALA.
That you have now discover'd to report
Tha. You are turn'd Satire..
Amet. All the flatteries
Tha. This is mere railing.
birth For 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
Men. Great mistress, no:
'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.