Back to the Index Page

 
 
 
The Changeling by Thomas Middleton

 


Dramatis Personae
VERMANDERO, father to Beatrice
TOMAZO de Piracquo, a noble lord
ALONZO de Piracquo, his brother, suitor to Beatrice
ALSEMERO, a nobleman, afterwards married to Beatrice
JASPERINO, his friend
ALIBIUS, a jealous doctor
LOLLIO, his man
PEDRO, friend to Antonio
ANTONIO, the changeling
FRANCISCUS, the counterfeit madman
DEFLORES, servant to Vermandero
MADMEN
[Two] SERVANTS [to Alsemero]
[A SERVANT to Vermandero]
BEATRICE [Joanna], daughter to Vermandero
DIAPHANTA, her waiting woman
ISABELLA, wife to Alibius

The Scene: Alicant



I.[i. A street near the harbor]

Enter Alsemero.

ALSEMERO
'Twas in the temple where I first beheld her,
And now again the same; what omen yet
Follows of that? None but imaginary.
Why should my hopes or fate be timorous?
The place is holy, so is my intent:
I love her beauties to the holy purpose,
And that methinks admits comparison
With man's first creation, the place blest,
And is his right home back, if he achieve it.
The church hath first begun our interview
And that's the place must join us into one,
So there's beginning and perfection too.

Enter Jasperino.

JASPERINO
O sir, are you here? Come, the wind's fair with you;
Y'are like to have a swift and pleasant passage.

ALSEMERO
Sure y'are deceived, friend; 'tis contrary
In my best judgment.

JASPERINO
What, for Malta?
If you could buy a gale amongst the witches,
They could not serve you such a lucky pennyworth
As comes a' God's name.

ALSEMERO
Even now I observ'd
The temple's vane to turn full in my face;
I know 'tis against me.

JASPERINO
Against you?
Then you know not where you are.

ALSEMERO
Not well indeed.

JASPERINO
Are you not well, sir?

ALSEMERO
Yes, Jasperino,
Unless there be some hidden malady
Within me that I understand not.

JASPERINO
And that
I begin to doubt, sir; I never knew
Your inclinations to travels at a pause
With any cause to hinder it till now.
Ashore you were wont to call your servants up,
And help to trap your horses for the speed.
At sea I have seen you weigh the anchor with 'em,
Hoist sails for fear to lose the foremost breath,
Be in continual prayers for fair winds;
And have you chang'd your orisons?

ALSEMERO
No, friend,
I keep the same church, same devotion.

JASPERINO
Lover I'm sure y'are none: the stoic
Was found in you long ago; your mother
Nor best friends, who have set snares of beauty,
Ay, and choice ones too, could never trap you that way.
What might be the cause?

ALSEMERO
Lord, how violent
Thou art: I was but meditating of
Somewhat I heard within the temple.

JASPERINO
Is this violence? 'Tis but idleness
Compar'd with your haste yesterday.

ALSEMERO
I'm all this while a-going, man.

Enter [Two] Servants [to Alsemero].

JASPERINO
Backwards, I think, sir. Look, your servants.

FIRST SERVANT
The seamen call; shall we board your trunks?

ALSEMERO
No, not today.

JASPERINO
'Tis the critical day,
It seems, and the sign in Aquarius.

SECOND SERVANT
We must not to sea today; this smoke will bring forth fire.

ALSEMERO
Keep all on shore; I do not know the end,
Which needs I must do, of an affair in hand
Ere I can go to sea.

FIRST SERVANT
Well, your pleasure.

SECOND SERVANT
[Aside to First Servant] Let him e'en take his leisure too; we are safer on land.

Exeunt [Alsemero's] Servants. Enter Beatrice, Diaphanta, and Servants. [Alsemero bows to Beatrice and kisses her.]

JASPERINO
[Aside] How now! The laws of the Medes are chang'd sure: salute a woman! He kisses too: wonderful! Where learnt he this? And does it perfectly too; in my conscience he ne'er rehears'd it before. Nay, go on, this will be stranger and better news at Valencia than if he had ransom'd half Greece from the Turk!

BEATRICE
You are a scholar, sir.

ALSEMERO
A weak one, lady.

BEATRICE
Which of the sciences is this love you speak of?

ALSEMERO
From your tongue I take it to be music.

BEATRICE
You are skillful in't, can sing at first sight.

ALSEMERO
And I have show'd you all my skill at once.
I want more words to express me further
And must be forc'd to repetition:
I love you dearly.

BEATRICE
Be better advis'd, sir:
Our eyes are sentinels unto our judgments,
And should give certain judgment what they see;
But they are rash sometimes, and tell us wonders
Of common things, which when our judgments find,
They can then check the eyes, and call them blind.

ALSEMERO
But I am further, lady; yesterday
Was mine eyes' employment, and hither now
They brought my judgment, where are both agreed.
Both houses then consenting, 'tis agreed,
Only there wants the confirmation
By the hand royal; that's your part, lady.

BEATRICE
Oh, there's one above me, sir. [Aside] For five days past
To be recall'd! Sure, mine eyes were mistaken;
This was the man was meant me. That he should come
So near his time, and miss it!

JASPERINO
[Aside] We might have come by the carriers from Valencia, I see, and sav'd all our sea-provision: we are at farthest sure. Methinks I should do something too; I meant to be a venturer in this voyage. Yonder's another vessel: I'll board her; if she be lawful prize, down goes her topsail!

Enter Deflores.

DEFLORES
Lady, your father--

BEATRICE
Is in health, I hope.

DEFLORES
Your eye shall instantly instruct you, lady.
He's coming hitherward.

BEATRICE
What needed then
Your duteous preface? I had rather
He had come unexpected; you must stall
A good presence with unnecessary blabbing:
And how welcome for your part you are,
I'm sure you know.

DEFLORES
[Aside] [Will't] never mend, this scorn,
One side nor other? Must I be enjoin'd
To follow still whilst she flies from me? Well,
Fates do your worst, I'll please myself with sight
Of her, at all opportunities,
If but to spite her anger. I know she had
Rather see me dead than living, and yet
She knows no cause for't but a peevish will.

ALSEMERO
You seem'd displeas'd, lady, on the sudden.

BEATRICE
Your pardon, sir, 'tis my infirmity,
Nor can I other reason render you
Than his or hers, [of] some particular thing
They must abandon as a deadly poison,
Which to a thousand other tastes were wholesome;
Such to mine eyes is that same fellow there,
The same that report speaks of the basilisk.

ALSEMERO
This is a frequent frailty in our nature;
There's scarce a man amongst a thousand sound
But hath his imperfection: one distastes
The scent of roses, which to infinites
Most pleasing is and odoriferous.
One oil, the enemy of poison,
Another wine, the cheerer of the heart,
And lively refresher of the countenance.
Indeed this fault, if so it be, is general:
There's scarce a thing but is both lov'd and loath'd;
Myself, I must confess, have the same frailty.

BEATRICE
And what may be your poison, sir? I am bold with you.

ALSEMERO
What might be your desire perhaps, a cherry.

BEATRICE
I am no enemy to any creature
My memory has but yon gentleman.

ALSEMERO
He does ill to tempt your sight, if he knew it.

BEATRICE
He cannot be ignorant of that, sir;
I have not spar'd to tell him so, and I want
To help myself, since he's a gentleman
In good respect with my father and follows him.

ALSEMERO
He's out of his place then now.

JASPERINO
I am a mad wag, wench.

DIAPHANTA
So methinks; but for your comfort I can tell you we have a doctor in the city that undertakes the cure of such.

JASPERINO
Tush, I know what physic is best for the state of mine own body.

DIAPHANTA
'Tis scarce a well-govern'd state, I believe.

JASPERINO
I could show thee such a thing with an [ingredient] that we two would compound together, and if it did not tame the maddest blood i' th' town for two hours after, I'll ne'er profess physic again.

DIAPHANTA
A little poppy, sir, were good to cause you sleep.

JASPERINO
Poppy! I'll give thee a pop i' th' lips for that first, and begin there. [He kisses her.] Poppy is one simple indeed, and cuckoo, what you call't, another: I'll discover no more now; another time I'll show thee all.

Enter Vermandero and Servants.

BEATRICE
My father, sir.

VERMANDERO
Oh, Joanna, I came to meet thee.
Your devotion's ended?

BEATRICE
For this time, sir.
[Aside] I shall change my saint, I fear me: I find
A giddy turning in me.--Sir, this while
I am beholding to this gentleman
Who left his own way to keep me company,
And in discourse I find him much desirous
To see your castle: he hath deserv'd it, sir,
If ye please to grant it.

VERMANDERO
With all my heart, sir.
Yet there's an article between: I must know
Your country. We use not to give survey
Of our chief strengths to strangers; our citadels
Are plac'd conspicuous to outward view
On promonts' tops, but within are secrets.

ALSEMERO
A Valencian, sir.

VERMANDERO
A Valencian?
That's native, sir; of what name, I beseech you?

ALSEMERO
Alsemero, sir.

VERMANDERO
Alsemero? Not the son
Of John de Alsemero?

ALSEMERO
The same, sir.

VERMANDERO
My best love bids you welcome.

BEATRICE
[Aside] He was wont
To call me so, and then he speaks a most
Unfeigned truth.

VERMANDERO
Oh, sir, I knew your father.
We two were in acquaintance long ago
Before our chins were worth iulan down,
And so continued till the stamp of time
Had coin'd us into silver. Well, he's gone;
A good soldier went with him.

ALSEMERO
You went together in that, sir.

VERMANDERO
No, by Saint Jaques, I came behind him;
Yet I have done somewhat too. An unhappy day
Swallowed him at last at Gibraltar
In fight with those rebellious Hollanders,
Was it not so?

ALSEMERO
Whose death I had reveng'd,
Or followed him in fate, had not the late league
Prevented me.

VERMANDERO
Ay, ay, 'twas time to breath.
Oh, Joanna, I should ha' told thee news:
I saw Piracquo lately.

BEATRICE
[Aside] That's ill news.

VERMANDERO
He's hot preparing for this day of triumph;
Thou must be a bride within this sevennight.

ALSEMERO
[Aside] Ha!

BEATRICE
Nay, good sir, be not so violent; with speed
I cannot render satisfaction
Unto the dear companion of my soul,
Virginity, whom I thus long have liv'd with,
And part with it so rude and suddenly,
Can such friends divide never to meet again
Without a solemn farewell?

VERMANDERO
Tush, tush, there's a toy.

ALSEMERO
[Aside] I must now part, and never meet again
With any joy on earth.--Sir, your pardon,
My affairs call on me.

VERMANDERO
How, sir? By no means;
Not chang'd so soon, I hope? You must see my castle
And her best entertainment ere we part;
I shall think myself unkindly us'd else.
Come, come, let's on; I had good hope your stay
Had been a while with us in Alicant;
I might have bid you to my daughter's wedding.

ALSEMERO
[Aside] He means to feast me, and poisons me beforehand.--
I should be dearly glad to be there, sir,
Did my occasions suit as I could wish.

BEATRICE
I shall be sorry if you be not there
When it is done, sir, but not so suddenly.

VERMANDERO
I tell you, sir, the gentleman's complete,
A courtier and a gallant, enrich'd
With many fair and noble ornaments;
I would not change him for a son-in-law
For any he in Spain, the proudest he,
And we have great ones, that you know.

ALSEMERO
He's much
Bound to you, sir.

VERMANDERO
He shall be bound to me,
As fast as this tie can hold him; I'll want
My will else.

BEATRICE
[Aside] I shall want mine if you do it.

VERMANDERO
But come, by the way I'll tell you more of him.

ALSEMERO
[Aside] How shall I dare to venture in his castle
When he discharges murderers at the gate?
But I must on, for back I cannot go.

BEATRICE
[Aside] Not this serpent gone yet?

VERMANDERO
Look, girl, thy glove's fall'n;
Stay, stay, Deflores, help a little.

DEFLORES
Here, lady.

[He hands Beatrice her glove.]

BEATRICE
Mischief on your officious forwardness;
Who bade you stoop? They touch my hand no more:
There, for t'other's sake I part with this;
Take 'em and draw thine own skin off with 'em.

Exeunt. [Manet Deflores.]

DEFLORES
Here's a favour come with a mischief: now
I know she had rather wear my pelt tann'd
In a pair of dancing pumps than I should
Thrust my fingers into her sockets here.
I know she hates me, yet cannot choose but love her:
No matter, if but to vex her, I'll haunt her still;
Though I get nothing else, I'll have my will.

Exit.


[I.ii. A room in Alibius's house]
Enter Alibius and Lollio.

ALIBIUS
Lollio, I must trust thee with a secret,
But thou must keep it.

LOLLIO
I was ever close to a secret, sir.

ALIBIUS
The diligence that I have found in thee,
The care and industry already past,
Assures me of thy good continuance.
Lollio, I have a wife.

LOLLIO
Fie, sir, 'tis too late to keep her secret; she's known to be married all the town and country over.

ALIBIUS
Thou goest too fast, my Lollio: that knowledge
I allow no man can be [barr'd] it;
But there is a knowledge which is nearer,
Deeper and sweeter, Lollio.

LOLLIO
Well, sir, let us handle that between you and I.

ALIBIUS
'Tis that I go about man; Lollio,
My wife is young.

LOLLIO
So much the worse to be kept secret, sir.

ALIBIUS
Why, now thou meet'st the substance of the point:
I am old, Lollio.

LOLLIO
No, sir, 'tis I am old Lollio.

ALIBIUS
Yet why may not this concord and sympathize?
Old trees and young plants often grow together,
Well enough agreeing.

LOLLIO
Ay, sir, but the old trees raise themselves higher and broader than the young plants.

ALIBIUS
Shrewd application: there's the fear, man.
I would wear my ring on my own finger;
Whilst it is borrowed it is none of mine,
But his that useth it.

LOLLIO
You must keep it on still then; if it but lie by, one or other will be thrusting into't.

ALIBIUS
Thou conceiv'st me, Lollio; here thy watchful eye
Must have employment. I cannot always be at home.

LOLLIO
I dare swear you cannot.

ALIBIUS
I must look out.

LOLLIO
I know't, you must look out, 'tis every man's case.

ALIBIUS
Here I do say must thy employment be.
To watch her treadings, and in my absence
Supply my place.

LOLLIO
I'll do my best, sir; yet surely I cannot see who you should have cause to be jealous of.

ALIBIUS
Thy reason for that, Lollio? 'Tis a comfortable question.

LOLLIO
We have but two sorts of people in the house, and both under the whip, that's fools and madmen; the one has not wit enough to be knaves, and the other not knavery enough to be fools.

ALIBIUS
Ay, those are all my patients, Lollio.
I do profess the cure of either sort:
My trade, my living 'tis, I thrive by it.
But here's the care that mixes with my thrift:
The daily visitants that come to see
My brainsick patients I would not have
To see my wife. Gallants I do observe
Of quick, enticing eyes, rich in habits,
Of stature and proportion very comely:
These are most shrewd temptations, Lollio.

LOLLIO
They may be easily answered, sir. If they come to see the fools and madmen, you and I may serve the turn, and let my mistress alone; she's of neither sort.

ALIBIUS
'Tis a good ward. Indeed, come they to see
Our madmen or our fools; let 'em see no more
Than what they come for. By that consequent
They must not see her. I'm sure she's no fool.

LOLLIO
And I'm sure she's no madman.

ALIBIUS
Hold that buckler fast, Lollio; my trust
Is on thee, and I account it firm and strong.
What hour is't, Lollio?

LOLLIO
Towards belly hour, sir.

ALIBIUS
Dinner time? Thou mean'st twelve a' clock.

LOLLIO
Yes, sir, for every part has his hour. We wake at six and look about us, that's eye hour; at seven we should pray, that's knee hour; at eight walk, that's leg hour; at nine gather flowers, and pluck a rose, that's nose hour; at ten we drink, that's mouth hour; at eleven lay about us for victuals, that's hand hour; at twelve go to dinner, that's belly hour.

ALIBIUS
Profoundly, Lollio; it will be long
Ere all thy scholars learn this lesson, and
I did look to have a new one entered. Stay,
I think my expectation is come home.

Enter Pedro and Antonio like an idiot.

PEDRO
Save you, sir, my business speaks itself;
This sight takes off the labour of my tongue.

ALIBIUS
Ay, ay, sir,
'Tis plain enough, you mean him for my patient.

PEDRO
[Giving Alibius money] And if your pains prove but commodious,
To give but some little strength to his sick
And weak part of nature in him, these are
But patterns to show you of the whole pieces
That will follow to you, beside the charge
Of diet, washing, and other necessaries
Fully defrayed.

ALIBIUS
Believe it, sir, there shall no care be wanting.

LOLLIO
Sir, an officer in this place may deserve something; the trouble will pass through my hands.

PEDRO
[Giving Lollio money] 'Tis fit something should come to your hands then, sir.

LOLLIO
Yes, sir, 'tis I must keep him sweet, and read to him; what is his name?

PEDRO
His name is Antonio; marry, we use but half to him, only Tony.

LOLLIO
Tony, Tony, 'tis enough, and a very good name for a fool. What's your name, Tony?

ANTONIO
He, he, he; well, I thank you, cousin, he, he, he.

LOLLIO
Good boy, hold up your head. He can laugh; I perceive by that he is no beast.

PEDRO
Well, sir,
If you can raise him but to any height,
Any degree of wit, might he attain,
As I might say, to creep but on all four
Towards the chair of wit or walk on crutches,
'Twould add an honour to your worthy pains,
And a great family might pray for you,
To which he should be heir had he discretion
To claim and guide his own; assure you, sir,
He is a gentleman.

LOLLIO
Nay, there's nobody doubted that. At first sight I knew him for a gentleman; he looks no other yet.

PEDRO
Let him have good attendance and sweet lodging.

LOLLIO
As good as my mistress lies in, sir, and as you allow us time and means, we can raise him to the higher degree of discretion.

PEDRO
Nay, there shall no cost want, sir.

LOLLIO
He will hardly be stretch'd up to the wit of a magnifico.

PEDRO
Oh, no, that's not to be expected; far shorter will be enough.

LOLLIO
I warrant you [I'll] make him fit to bear office in five weeks; I'll undertake to wind him up to the wit of constable.

PEDRO
If it be lower than that, it might serve turn.

LOLLIO
No, fie, to level him with a headborough, beadle, or watchman, were but little better then he is; constable I'll able him: if he do come to be a justice afterwards, let him thank the keeper. Or I'll go further with you; say I do bring him up to my own pitch, say I make him as wise as myself.

PEDRO
Why, there I would have it.

LOLLIO
Well, go to, either I'll be as arrant a fool as he, or he shall be as wise as I, and then I think 'twill serve his turn.

PEDRO
Nay, I do like thy wit passing well.

LOLLIO
Yes, you may; yet if I had not been a fool, I had had more wit than I have too. Remember what state you find me in.

PEDRO
I will, and so leave you: your best cares, I beseech you.

ALIBIUS
Take you none with you; leave 'em all with us.

Exit Pedro.

ANTONIO
Oh, my cousin's gone; cousin, cousin, oh!

LOLLIO
Peace, peace, Tony: you must not cry, child; you must be whipp'd if you do. Your cousin is here still; I am your cousin, Tony.

ANTONIO
He, he, then I'll not cry, if thou beest my cousin, he, he, he.

LOLLIO
I were best try his wit a little, that I may know what form to place him in.

ALIBIUS
Ay, do, Lollio, do.

LOLLIO
I must ask him easy questions at first. Tony, how many true fingers has a tailor on his right hand?

ANTONIO
As many as on his left, cousin.

LOLLIO
Good, and how many on both?

ANTONIO
Two less than a deuce, cousin.

LOLLIO
Very well answered; I come to you again, cousin Tony: how many fools goes to a wise man?

ANTONIO
Forty in a day sometimes, cousin.

LOLLIO
Forty in a day? How prove you that?

ANTONIO
All that fall out amongst themselves, and go to a lawyer to be made friends.

LOLLIO
A parlous fool; he must sit in the fourth form at least, I perceive that. I come again, Tony: how many knaves make an honest man?

ANTONIO
I know not that, cousin.

LOLLIO
No, the question is too hard for you: I'll tell you, cousin. There's three knaves may make an honest man, a sergeant, a jailer, and a beadle: the sergeant catches him, the jailer holds him, and the beadle lashes him; and if he be not honest then, the hangman must cure him.

ANTONIO
Ha, ha, ha, that's fine sport, cousin.

ALIBIUS
This was too deep a question for the fool, Lollio.

LOLLIO
Yes, this might have serv'd yourself, though I say't; once more and you shall go play, Tony.

ANTONIO
Ay, play at push-pin cousin, ha, he.

LOLLIO
So thou shalt; say how many fools are here.

ANTONIO
Two, cousin, thou and I.

LOLLIO
Nay, y'are too forward there, Tony; mark my question: how many fools and knaves are here? A fool before a knave, a fool behind a knave, between every two fools a knave, how many fools, how many knaves?

ANTONIO
I never learnt so far, cousin.

ALIBIUS
Thou putt'st too hard questions to him, Lollio.

LOLLIO
I'll make him understand it easily. Cousin, stand there.

ANTONIO
Ay, cousin.

LOLLIO
Master, stand you next the fool.

ALIBIUS
Well, Lollio.

LOLLIO
Here's my place. Mark now, Tony: there a fool before a knave.

ANTONIO
That's I, cousin.

LOLLIO
Here's a fool behind a knave, that's I, and between us two fools there is a knave, that's my master; 'tis but we three, that's all.

ANTONIO
We three, we three, cousin.

Madmen [shout from] within.

[FIRST MADMAN]
Put's head i' th' pillory, the bread's too little!

[SECOND MADMAN]
Fly, fly, and he catches the swallow!

[THIRD MADMAN]
Give her more onion, or the devil put the rope about her crag!

LOLLIO
You may hear what time of day it is: the chimes of Bedlam goes.

ALIBIUS
Peace, peace, or the wire comes!

[FIRST MADMAN]
Cat whore, cat whore, her parmasant, her parmasant!

ALIBIUS
Peace, I say! Their hour's come, they must be fed, Lollio.

LOLLIO
There's no hope of recovery of that Welsh madman: was undone by a mouse that spoil'd him a parmasant; lost his wits for't.

ALIBIUS
Go to your charge, Lollio, I'll to mine.

LOLLIO
Go you to your madmen's ward, let me alone with your fools.

ALIBIUS
And remember my last charge, Lollio.

LOLLIO
Of which your patients do you think I am?

Exit [Alibius].

Come, Tony, you must amongst your school-fellows now; there's pretty scholars amongst 'em, I can tell you: there's some of 'em at stultus, stulta, stultum.

ANTONIO
I would see the madmen, cousin, if they would not bite me.

LOLLIO
No, they shall not bite thee, Tony.

ANTONIO
They bite when they are at dinner, do they not, coz?

LOLLIO
They bite at dinner indeed, Tony. Well, I hope to get credit by thee; I like thee the best of all the scholars that ever I brought up, and thou shalt prove a wise man, or I'll prove a fool myself.

Exeunt.


II.[i. A chamber in the castle]

Enter Beatrice and Jasperino severally.

BEATRICE
Oh, sir, I'm ready now for that fair service
Which makes the name of friend sit glorious on you.
Good angels and this conduct be your guide;
Fitness of time and place is there set down, sir.

[She hands him a paper.]

JASPERINO
The joy I shall return rewards my service.

Exit.

BEATRICE
How wise is Alsemero in his friend!
It is a sign he makes his choice with judgment.
Then I appear in nothing more approv'd
Than making choice of him;
For 'tis a principle, he that can choose
That bosom well, who of his thoughts partakes,
Proves most discreet in every choice he makes.
Methinks I love now with the eyes of judgment
And see the way to merit, clearly see it.
A true deserver like a diamond sparkles:
In darkness you may see him, that's in absence,
Which is the greatest darkness falls on love;
Yet is he best discern'd then
With intellectual eyesight. What's Piracquo
My father spends his breath for? And his blessing
Is only mine as I regard his name,
Else it goes from me, and turns head against me,
Transform'd into a curse. Some speedy way
Must be remembered; he's so forward too,
So urgent that way, scarce allows me breath
To speak to my new comforts.

Enter Deflores.

DEFLORES
[Aside] Yonder's she.
What ever ails me? Now alate especially
I can as well be hang'd as refrain seeing her;
Some twenty times a day, nay, not so little,
Do I force errands, frame ways and excuses
To come into her sight, and I have small reason for't,
And less encouragement; for she baits me still
Every time worse than other, does profess herself
The cruelest enemy to my face in town,
At no hand can abide the sight of me,
As if danger, or ill luck, hung in my looks.
I must confess my face is bad enough,
But I know far worse has better fortune,
And not endur'd alone, but doted on;
And yet such pick-hair'd faces, chins like witches',
Here and there five hairs whispering in a corner,
As if they grew in fear one of another,
Wrinkles like troughs, where swine deformity swills
The tears of perjury that lie there like wash,
Fallen from the slimy and dishonest eye.
Yet such a one [plucks] sweets without restraint,
And has the grace of beauty to his sweet.
Though my hard fate has thrust me out to servitude,
I tumbled into th' world a gentleman.
She turns her blessed eye upon me now,
And I'll endure all storms before I part with 't.

BEATRICE
Again!
[Aside] This ominous ill-fac'd fellow more disturbs me
Than all my other passions!

DEFLORES
[Aside] Now 't begins again;
I'll stand this storm of hail though the stones pelt me.

BEATRICE
Thy business? What's thy business?

DEFLORES
[Aside] Soft and fair,
I cannot part so soon now.

BEATRICE
[Aside] The villain's fix'd.--
Thou standing toad-pool!

DEFLORES
[Aside] The shower falls amain now.

BEATRICE
Who sent thee? What's thy errand? Leave my sight!

DEFLORES
My lord your father charg'd me to deliver
A message to you.

BEATRICE
What, another since?
Do't and be hang'd then, let me be rid of thee!

DEFLORES
True service merits mercy.

BEATRICE
What's thy message?

DEFLORES
Let beauty settle but in patience,
You shall hear all.

BEATRICE
A dallying, trifling torment!

DEFLORES
Signior Alonzo de Piracquo, lady,
Sole brother to Tomazo de Piracquo--

BEATRICE
Slave, when wilt make an end?

DEFLORES
Too soon I shall.

BEATRICE
What all this while of him?

DEFLORES
The said Alonzo,
With the foresaid Tomazo--

BEATRICE
Yet again!

DEFLORES
Is new alighted.

BEATRICE
Vengeance strike the news!
Thou thing most loath'd, what cause was there in this
To bring thee to my sight?

DEFLORES
My lord your father
Charg'd me to seek you out.

BEATRICE
Is there no other
To send his errand by?

DEFLORES
It seems 'tis my luck
To be i' th' way still.

BEATRICE
Get thee from me.

DEFLORES
So.
[Aside] Why, am not I an ass to devise ways
Thus to be rail'd at? I must see her still;
I shall have a mad qualm within this hour again,
I know't, and like a common Garden bull,
I do but take breath to be lugg'd again.
What this may bode I know not; I'll despair the less
Because there's daily precedents of bad faces
Belov'd beyond all reason. These foul chops
May come into favour one day 'mongst his fellows:
Wrangling has prov'd the mistress of good pastime;
As children cry themselves asleep, I ha' seen
Women have chid themselves abed to men.

Exit Deflores.

BEATRICE
I never see this fellow but I think
Of some harm towards me: danger's in my mind still;
I scarce leave trembling of an hour after.
The next good mood I find my father in
I'll get him quite discarded. Oh, I was
Lost in this small disturbance and forgot
Affliction's fiercer torrent that now comes,
To bear down all my comforts!

Enter Vermandero, Alonzo, Tomazo.

VERMANDERO
Y'are both welcome,
But an especial one belongs to you, sir,
To whose most noble name our love presents
The addition of a son, our son Alonzo.

ALONZO
The treasury of honour cannot bring forth
A title I should more rejoice in, sir.

VERMANDERO
You have improv'd it well. Daughter, prepare;
The day will steal upon thee suddenly.

BEATRICE
[Aside] Howe'er, I will be sure to keep the night,
If it should come so near me.

[Vermandero and Beatrice talk apart.]

TOMAZO
Alonzo.

ALONZO
Brother.

TOMAZO
In troth I see small welcome in her eye.

ALONZO
Fie, you are too severe a censurer
Of love in all points; there's no bringing on you.
If lovers should mark everything a fault,
Affection would be like an ill-set book,
Whose faults might prove as big as half the volume.

BEATRICE
That's all I do entreat.

VERMANDERO
It is but reasonable;
I'll see what my son says to't. Son Alonzo,
Here's a motion made but to reprieve
A maidenhead three days longer; the request
Is not far out of reason, for indeed
The former time is pinching.

ALONZO
Though my joys
Be set back so much time as I could wish
They had been forward, yet since she desires it,
The time is set as pleasing as before,
I find no gladness wanting.

VERMANDERO
May I ever
Meet it in that point still. Y'are nobly welcome, sirs.

Exeunt Vermandero and Beatrice.

TOMAZO
So, did you mark the dullness of her parting now?

ALONZO
What dullness? Thou art so exceptious still.

TOMAZO
Why, let it go then; I am but a fool
To mark your harms so heedfully.

ALONZO
Where's the oversight?

TOMAZO
Come, your faith's cozened in her, strongly cozened;
Unsettle your affection with all speed
Wisdom can bring it to, your peace is ruin'd else.
Think what a torment 'tis to marry one
Whose heart is leapt into another's bosom:
If ever pleasure she receive from thee,
It comes not in thy name, or of thy gift.
She lies but with another in thine arms,
He the half-father unto all thy children
In the conception; if he get 'em not,
She helps to get 'em for him in his passions,
And how dangerous
And shameful her restraint may go in time to,
It is not to be thought on without sufferings.

ALONZO
You speak as if she lov'd some other then.

TOMAZO
Do you apprehend so slowly?

ALONZO
Nay, and that
Be your fear only, I am safe enough;
Preserve your friendship and your counsel, brother,
For times of more distress. I should depart
An enemy, a dangerous, deadly one
To any but thyself that should but think
She knew the meaning of inconstancy,
Much less the use and practice; yet w'are friends.
Pray let no more be urg'd; I can endure
Much till I meet an injury to her,
Then I am not myself. Farewell, sweet brother;
How much w'are bound to heaven to depart lovingly!

Exit.

TOMAZO
Why, here is love's tame madness! Thus a man
Quickly steals into his vexation.

Exit.


[II.ii. Another chamber]
Enter Diaphanta and Alsemero.

DIAPHANTA
The place is my charge; you have kept your hour,
And the reward of a just meeting bless you.
I hear my lady coming; complete gentleman,
I dare not be too busy with my praises,
Th'are dangerous things to deal with.

Exit.

ALSEMERO
This goes well.
These women are the ladies' cabinets;
Things of most precious trust are [lock'd] into 'em.

Enter Beatrice.

BEATRICE
I have within mine eye all my desires;
Requests that holy prayers ascend heaven for
And brings 'em down to furnish our defects
Come not more sweet to our necessities
Than thou unto my wishes.

ALSEMERO
W'are so like
In our expressions, lady, that unless I borrow
The same words, I shall never find their equals.

BEATRICE
How happy were this meeting, this embrace,
If it were free from envy! This poor kiss,
It has an enemy, a hateful one
That wishes poison to't. How well were I now
If there were none such name known as Piracquo,
Nor no such tie as the command of parents!
I should be but too much blessed.

ALSEMERO
One good service
Would strike off both your fears, and I'll go near it too,
Since you are so distress'd: remove the cause,
The command ceases; so there's two fears blown out
With one and the same blast.

BEATRICE
Pray let me find you, sir.
What might that service be so strangely happy?

ALSEMERO
The honourablest peace 'bout man, valour.
I'll send a challenge to Piracquo instantly.

BEATRICE
How? Call you that extinguishing of fear
When 'tis the only way to keep it flaming?
Are not you ventured in the action
That's all my joys and comforts? Pray no more, sir.
Say you prevail'd, [you're] danger's and not mine then:
The law would claim you from me, or obscurity
Be made the grave to bury you alive.
I'm glad these thoughts come forth; oh, keep not one
Of this condition, sir! Here was a course
Found to bring sorrow on her way to death:
The tears would ne'er 'a' dried till dust had chok'd 'em.
Blood-guiltiness becomes a fouler visage,
And now I think on one-- [Aside] I was too blame:
I ha' marr'd so good a market with my scorn.
'T had been done questionless. The ugliest creature
Creation fram'd for some use, yet to see
I could not mark so much where it should be.

ALSEMERO
Lady.

BEATRICE
[Aside] Why, men of art make much of poison,
Keep one to expel another; where was my art?

ALSEMERO
Lady, you hear not me.

BEATRICE
I do especially, sir;
The present times are not so sure of our side
As those hereafter may be; we must use 'em then
As thrifty folks their wealth, sparingly now
Till the time opens.

ALSEMERO
You teach wisdom, lady.

BEATRICE
Within there, Diaphanta!

Enter Diaphanta.

DIAPHANTA
Do you call, madam?

BEATRICE
Perfect your service, and conduct this gentleman
The private way you brought him.

DIAPHANTA
I shall, madam.

ALSEMERO
My love's as firm as love e'er built upon.

Exeunt Diaphanta and Alsemero. Enter Deflores.

DEFLORES
[Aside] I have watch'd this meeting, and do wonder much
What shall become of t'other; I'm sure both
Cannot be serv'd unless she transgress. Happily
Then I'll put in for one: for if a woman
Fly from one point, from him she makes a husband,
She spreads and mounts then like arithmetic,
One, ten, one hundred, one thousand, ten thousand,
Proves in time sutler to an army royal.
Now do I look to be most richly rail'd at,
Yet I must see her.

BEATRICE
[Aside] Why, put case I loath'd him
As much as youth and beauty hates a sepulcher,
Must I needs show it? Cannot I keep that secret,
And serve my turn upon him? See, he's here.--
Deflores.

DEFLORES
[Aside] Ha, I shall run mad with joy!
She call'd me fairly by my name, Deflores,
And neither rogue nor rascal.

BEATRICE
What ha' you done
To your face alate? Y'ave met with some good physician;
Y'ave prun'd yourself, methinks: you were not wont
To look so amorously.

DEFLORES
[Aside] Not I;
'Tis the same physnomy to a hair and pimple
Which she call'd scurvy scarce an hour ago:
How is this?

BEATRICE
Come hither, nearer, man.

DEFLORES
[Aside] I'm up to the chin in heaven!

BEATRICE
Turn, let me see.
Fah! 'Tis but the heat of the liver, I perceive 't.
I thought it had been worse.

DEFLORES
[Aside] Her fingers touch'd me;
She smells all amber.

BEATRICE
I'll make a water, for you shall cleanse this
Within a fortnight.

DEFLORES
With your own hands, lady?

BEATRICE
Yes, mine own, sir; in a work of cure,
I'll trust no other.

DEFLORES
[Aside] 'Tis half an act of pleasure
To hear her talk thus to me.

BEATRICE
When w'are us'd
To a hard face, 'tis not so unpleasing;
It mends still in opinion, hourly mends:
I see it by experience.

DEFLORES
[Aside] I was blest
To light upon this minute; I'll make use on't.

BEATRICE
Hardness becomes the visage of a man well;
It argues service, resolution, manhood,
If cause were of employment.

DEFLORES
'Twould be soon seen,
If e'er your ladyship had cause to use it.
I would but wish the honour of a service
So happy as that mounts to.

BEATRICE
[Aside] We shall try you.--
Oh, my Deflores!

DEFLORES
[Aside] How's that?
She calls me hers already, my Deflores!--
You were about to sigh out somewhat, madam.

BEATRICE
No, was I? I forgot. Oh!

DEFLORES
There 'tis again,
The very fellow on't!

BEATRICE
You are too quick, sir.

DEFLORES
There's no excuse for't, now I heard it twice, madam:
That sigh would fain have utterance. Take pity on't
And lend it a free word; 'las, how it labours
For liberty! I hear the murmur yet
Beat at your bosom.

BEATRICE
Would creation--

DEFLORES
Ay, well said, that's it.

BEATRICE
Had form'd me man.

DEFLORES
Nay, that's not it.

BEATRICE
Oh, 'tis the soul of freedom!
I should not then be forc'd to marry one
I hate beyond all depths; I should have power
Then to oppose my loathings, nay, remove 'em
Forever from my sight.

DEFLORES
Oh, blest occasion!
[Kneeling] Without change to your sex, you have your wishes.
Claim so much man in me.

BEATRICE
In thee, Deflores?
There's small cause for that.

DEFLORES
Put it not from me;
It's a service that I kneel for to you.

BEATRICE
You are too violent to mean faithfully;
There's horror in my service, blood and danger:
Can those be things to sue for?

DEFLORES
If you knew
How sweet it were to me to be employed
In any act of yours, you would say then
I fail'd and us'd not reverence enough
When I receive the charge on't.

BEATRICE
[Aside] This is much,
Methinks; belike his wants are greedy, and
To such gold tastes like angels' food.--Rise.

DEFLORES
I'll have the work first.

BEATRICE
[Aside] Possible his need
Is strong upon him. [Offering him money] There's to encourage thee;
As thou art forward and thy service dangerous,
Thy reward shall be precious.

DEFLORES
That I have thought on;
I have assur'd myself of that beforehand,
And know it will be precious: the thought ravishes!

BEATRICE
Then take him to thy fury.

DEFLORES
I thirst for him.

BEATRICE
Alonzo de Piracquo.

DEFLORES
[Rises.] His end's upon him; he shall be seen no more.

BEATRICE
How lovely now dost thou appear to me!
Never was man dearlier rewarded.

DEFLORES
I do think of that.

BEATRICE
Be wondrous careful in the execution.

DEFLORES
Why, are not both our lives upon the cast?

BEATRICE
Then I throw all my fears upon thy service.

DEFLORES
They ne'er shall rise to hurt you.

BEATRICE
When the deed's done,
I'll furnish thee with all things for thy flight;
Thou may'st live bravely in another country.

DEFLORES
Ay, ay, we'll talk of that hereafter.

BEATRICE
[Aside] I shall rid myself of two inveterate loathings
At one time: Piracquo and his dog-face.

Exit.

DEFLORES
Oh, my blood! Methinks I feel her in mine arms already,
Her wanton fingers combing out this beard,
And being pleased, praising this bad face!
Hunger and pleasure, they'll commend sometimes
Slovenly dishes and feed heartily on 'em,
Nay, which is stranger, refuse daintier for 'em.
Some women are odd feeders. I'm too loud.
Here comes the man goes supperless to bed,
Yet shall not rise tomorrow to his dinner.

Enter Alonzo.

ALONZO
Deflores.

DEFLORES
My kind, honorable lord.

ALONZO
I am glad I ha' met with thee.

DEFLORES
Sir.

ALONZO
Thou canst show me the full strength of the castle?

DEFLORES
That I can, sir.

ALONZO
I much desire it.

DEFLORES
And if the ways and straits of some of the passages
Be not too tedious for you, I will assure
You worth your time and sight, my lord.

ALONZO
Puh, that
Shall be no hinderance.

DEFLORES
I'm your servant then.
'Tis now near dinner time; 'gainst your lordship's rising
I'll have the keys about me.

ALONZO
Thanks, kind Deflores.

DEFLORES
[Aside] He's safely thrust upon me beyond hopes.

Exeunt. In the act-time Deflores hides a naked rapier.


III.[i. A narrow passage]

Enter Alonzo and Deflores.

DEFLORES
Yes, here are all the keys; I was afraid, my lord,
I'd wanted for the postern: this is it.
I've all, I've all, my lord: this for the sconce.

ALONZO
'Tis a most spacious and impregnable fort.

DEFLORES
You'll tell me more, my lord. This descent
Is somewhat narrow: we shall never pass
Well with our weapons; they'll but trouble us.

ALONZO
Thou sayst true.

DEFLORES
Pray let me help your lordship.

ALONZO
'Tis done. Thanks, kind Deflores.

DEFLORES
Here are hooks, my lord,
To hang such things on purpose.

ALONZO
Lead, I'll follow thee.

Exit at one door and enter at the other.


[III.ii. A vault]
DEFLORES
All this is nothing; you shall see anon
A place you little dream on.

ALONZO
I am glad
I have this leisure: all your master's house
Imagine I ha' taken a gondola.

DEFLORES
All but myself, sir, [aside] which makes up my safety.--
My lord, I'll place you at a casement here,
Will show you the full strength of all the castle.
Look, spend your eye a while upon that object.

ALONZO
Here's rich variety, Deflores.

DEFLORES
Yes, sir.

ALONZO
Goodly munition.

DEFLORES
Ay, there's ordnance, sir;
No bastard metal will ring you a peal like bells
At great men's funerals. Keep your eye straight, my lord;
Take special notice of that sconce before you,
There you may dwell awhile.

ALONZO
I am upon't.

DEFLORES
And so am I. [Stabs him.]

ALONZO
Deflores, oh, Deflores,
Whose malice hast thou put on?

DEFLORES
Do you question
A work of secrecy? I must silence you. [Stabs him.]

ALONZO
Oh, oh, oh!

DEFLORES
I must silence you. [Stabs him; Alonzo dies.]
So, here's an undertaking well accomplish'd.
This vault serves to good use now. Ha! What's that
Threw sparkles in my eye? Oh, 'tis a diamond
He wears upon his finger: it was well found,
This will approve the work.

[He tries to take the ring off.]

What, so fast on?
Not part in death? I'll take a speedy course then:
Finger and all shall off. [Cuts off his finger.] So, now I'll clear
The passages from all suspect or fear.

Exit with body.


[III.iii. A room in Alibius's house]
Enter Isabella and Lollio.

ISABELLA
Why, sirrah? Whence have you commission
To fetter the doors against me? If you
Keep me in a cage, pray whistle to me,
Let me be doing something.

LOLLIO
You shall be doing, if it please you; I'll whistle to you if you'll pipe after.

ISABELLA
Is it your master's pleasure, or your own,
To keep me in this pinfold?

LOLLIO
'Tis for my masters pleasure, lest being taken in another man's corn, you might be pounded in another place.

ISABELLA
'Tis very well, and he'll prove very wise.

LOLLIO
He says you have company enough in the house, if you please to be sociable, of all sorts of people.

ISABELLA
Of all sorts? Why, here's none but fools and madmen.

LOLLIO
Very well: and where will you find any other, if you should go abroad? There's my master, and I to boot too.

ISABELLA
Of either sort one, a madman and a fool.

LOLLIO
I would ev'n participate of both then if I were as you. I know y'are half mad already; be half foolish too.

ISABELLA
Y'are a brave, saucy rascal! Come on, sir,
Afford me then the pleasure of your bedlam;
You were commending once today to me
Your last come lunatic: what a proper
Body there was without brains to guide it,
And what a pitiful delight appear'd
In that defect, as if your wisdom had found
A mirth in madness. Pray, sir, let me partake
If there be such a pleasure.

LOLLIO
If I do not show you the handsomest, discreetest madman, one that I may call the understanding madman, then say I am a fool.

ISABELLA
Well, a match, I will say so.

LOLLIO
When you have a taste of the madman, you shall, if you please, see Fools' College o' th' side. I seldom lock there; 'tis but shooting a bolt or two, and you are amongst 'em.

Exit.

[Within] Come on, sir, let me see how handsomely you'll behave yourself now.

Enter Lollio, Franciscus.

FRANCISCUS
How sweetly she looks! Oh, but there's a wrinkle in her brow as deep as philosophy. Anacreon, drink to my mistress' health; I'll pledge it. Stay, stay, there's a spider in the cup! No, 'tis but a grape-stone: swallow it, fear nothing, poet; so, so, lift higher.

ISABELLA
Alack, alack, 'tis too full of pity
To be laugh'd at! How fell he mad? Canst thou tell?

LOLLIO
For love, mistress. He was a pretty poet too, and that set him forwards first; the Muses then forsook him, he ran mad for a chambermaid, yet she was but a dwarf neither.

FRANCISCUS
Hail bright Titania!
Why stand'st thou idle on these flowery banks?
Oberon is dancing with his dryads.
I'll gather daisies, primrose, violets,
And bind them in a verse of poesy.

LOLLIO
[Showing him a whip] Not too near, you see your danger.

FRANCISCUS
Oh, hold thy hand, great Diomed!
Thou feed'st thy horses well, they shall obey thee.
Get up; Bucephalus kneels. [Gets down on all fours.]

LOLLIO
You see how I awe my flock? A shepherd has not his dog at more obedience.

ISABELLA
His conscience is unquiet; sure that was
The cause of this. A proper gentleman.

FRANCISCUS
Come hither, Aesculapius, hide the poison.

LOLLIO
[Hiding his whip] Well, 'tis hid.

FRANCISCUS
[Rising] Didst thou never hear of one Tiresias, a famous poet?

LOLLIO
Yes, that kept tame wild-geese.

FRANCISCUS
That's he; I am the man.

LOLLIO
No.

FRANCISCUS
Yes, but make no words on't; I was a man seven years ago,

LOLLIO
A stripling, I think you might.

FRANCISCUS
Now I'm a woman, all feminine.

LOLLIO
I would I might see that.

FRANCISCUS
Juno struck me blind.

LOLLIO
I'll ne'er believe that; for a woman, they say, has an eye more than a man.

FRANCISCUS
I say she struck me blind.

LOLLIO
And Luna made you mad; you have two trades to beg with.

FRANCISCUS
Luna is now big-bellied, and there's room
For both of us to ride with Hecate;
I'll drag thee up into her silver sphere,
And there we'll kick the dog, and beat the bush
That barks against the witches of the night.
The swift lycanthropi that walks the round,
We'll tear their wolvish skins, and save the sheep. [Beats Lollio.]

LOLLIO
Is't come to this? Nay, then, my poison comes forth again! Mad slave, indeed, abuse your keeper? [Shows him the whip.]

ISABELLA
I prithee hence with him, now he grows dangerous.

FRANCISCUS
[Singing] Sweet love pity me, give me leave to lie with thee.

LOLLIO
No, I'll see you wiser first. To your own kennel.

FRANCISCUS
No noise, she sleeps, draw all the curtains round;
Let no soft sound molest the pretty soul
But love, and love creeps in at a mouse-hole.

LOLLIO
I would you would get into your hole.

Exit Franciscus.

Now, mistress, I will bring you another sort; you shall be fool'd another while. Tony, come hither, Tony, look who's yonder, Tony.

Enter Antonio.

ANTONIO
Cousin, is it not my aunt?

LOLLIO
Yes, 'tis one of 'em, Tony.

ANTONIO
He, he, how do you, uncle?

LOLLIO
Fear him not, mistress, 'tis a gentle nidget; you may play with him, as safely with him as with his bauble.

ISABELLA
How long hast thou been a fool?

ANTONIO
Ever since I came hither, cousin.

ISABELLA
Cousin? I'm none of thy cousins, fool.

LOLLIO
Oh, mistress, fools have always so much wit as to claim their kindred.

MADMAN within
Bounce, bounce, he falls, he falls!

ISABELLA
Hark you, your scholars in the upper room are out of order.

LOLLIO
Must I come amongst you there? Keep you the fool, mistress; I'll go up and play left-handed Orlando amongst the madmen.

Exit.

ISABELLA
Well, sir.

ANTONIO
'Tis opportuneful now, sweet lady! Nay,
Cast no amazing eye upon this change.

ISABELLA
Ha!

ANTONIO
This shape of folly shrouds your dearest love,
The truest servant to your powerful beauties,
Whose magic had this force thus to transform me.

ISABELLA
You are a fine fool indeed.

ANTONIO
Oh, 'tis not strange.
Love has an intellect that runs through all
The scrutinous sciences and, like
A cunning poet, catches a quantity
Of every knowledge, yet brings all home
Into one mystery, into one secret
That he proceeds in.

ISABELLA
Y'are a parlous fool.

ANTONIO
No danger in me: I bring naught but love
And his soft, wounding shafts to strike you with.
Try but one arrow; if it hurt you,
I'll stand you twenty back in recompense.

ISABELLA
A forward fool, too.

ANTONIO
This was love's teaching;
A thousand ways he fashion'd out my way,
And this I found the safest and nearest
To tread the galaxia to my star.

ISABELLA
Profound withal. Certain you dream'd of this;
Love never taught it waking.

ANTONIO
Take no acquaintance
Of these outward follies; there is within
A gentleman that loves you.

ISABELLA
When I see him,
I'll speak with him; so in the meantime
Keep your habit, it becomes you well enough.
As you are a gentleman, I'll not discover you;
That's all the favour that you must expect.
When you are weary, you may leave the school;
For all this while you have but play'd the fool.

Enter Lollio.

ANTONIO
And must again. He, he, I thank you, cousin;
I'll be your valentine tomorrow morning.

LOLLIO
How do you like the fool, mistress?

ISABELLA
Passing well, sir.

LOLLIO
Is he not witty, pretty well for a fool?

ISABELLA
If he hold on as he begins, he is like to come to something!

LOLLIO
Ay, thank a good tutor. You may put him to't; he begins to answer pretty hard questions. Tony, how many is five times six?

ANTONIO
Five times six is six times five.

LOLLIO
What arithmetician could have answer'd better? How many is one hundred and seven?

ANTONIO
One hundred and seven is seven hundred and one, cousin.

LOLLIO
This is no wit to speak on. Will you be rid of the fool now?

ISABELLA
By no means; let him stay a little.

MADMAN within
Catch there, catch the last couple in hell!

LOLLIO
Again? Must I come amongst you? Would my master were come home! I am not able to govern both these wards together.

Exit.

ANTONIO
Why should a minute of love's hour be lost?

ISABELLA
Fie, out again! I had rather you kept
Your other posture: you become not your tongue
When you speak from your clothes.

ANTONIO
How can he freeze
Lives near so sweet a warmth? Shall I alone
Walk through the orchard of the Hesperides.
And cowardly not dare to pull an apple?
This with the red cheeks I must venture for.

Enter Lollio above.

ISABELLA
Take heed, there's giants keep 'em.

[Antonio kisses her.]

LOLLIO
How now, fool, are you good at that? Have you read Lipsius? He's past Ars Amandi; I believe I must put harder questions to him, I perceive that.

ISABELLA
You are bold without fear, too.

ANTONIO
What should I fear,
Having all joys about me? Do you smile,
And love shall play the wanton on your lip,
Meet and retire, retire and meet again:
Look you but cheerfully, and in your eyes
I shall behold mine own deformity,
And dress myself up fairer; I know this shape
Becomes me not, but in those bright mirrors
I shall array me handsomely.

LOLLIO
[Aside] Cuckoo, cuckoo!

Exit. [Enter] Madmen above, some as birds, others as beasts. [Exit Madmen.]

ANTONIO
What are these?

ISABELLA
Of fear enough to part us,
Yet are they but our schools of lunatics,
That act their fantasies in any shapes
Suiting their present thoughts: if sad, they cry;
If mirth be their conceit, they laugh again.
Sometimes they imitate the beasts and birds,
Singing or howling, braying, barking; all
As their wild fancies prompt 'em.

Enter Lollio.

ANTONIO
These are no fears.

ISABELLA
But here's a large one, my man.

ANTONIO
Ha, he, that's fine sport indeed, cousin.

LOLLIO
I would my master were come home; 'tis too much for one shepherd to govern two of these flocks. Nor can I believe that one churchman can instruct two benefices at once: there will be some incurable mad of the one side and very fools on the other. Come, Tony.

ANTONIO
Prithee, cousin, let me stay here still.

LOLLIO
No, you must to your book now you have play'd sufficiently.

ISABELLA
Your fool is grown wondrous witty.

LOLLIO
Well, I'll say nothing; but I do not think but he will put you down one of these days.

Exeunt Lollio and Antonio.

ISABELLA
Here the restrained current might make breach,
Spite of the watchful bankers. Would a woman stray,
She need not gad abroad to seek her sin;
It would be brought home one ways or other:
The needle's point will to the fixed north,
Such drawing arctics women's beauties are.

Enter Lollio.

LOLLIO
How dost thou, sweet rogue?

ISABELLA
How now?

LOLLIO
Come, there are degrees; one fool may be better than another.

ISABELLA
What's the matter?

LOLLIO
Nay, if thou giv'st thy mind to fools, flesh, have at thee!

[Tries to kiss her.]

ISABELLA
You bold slave, you!

LOLLIO
I could follow now as t'other fool did:
[Imitating Antonio] "What should I fear,
Having all joys about me? Do you smile,
And love shall play the wanton on your lip,
Meet and retire, retire and meet again:
Look you but cheerfully, and in your eyes
I shall behold mine own deformity,
And dress myself up fairer; I know this shape
Becomes me not--"
And so as it follows. But is not this the more foolish way? Come, sweet rogue, kiss me, my little Lacedemonian. Let me feel how thy pulses beat; thou hast a thing about thee would do a man pleasure, I'll lay my hand on't.

ISABELLA
Sirrah, no more! I see you have discovered
This love's knight-errant, who hath made adventure
For purchase of my love; be silent, mute,
Mute as a statue, or his injunction
For me enjoying shall be to cut thy throat.
I'll do it, though for no other purpose,
And be sure he'll not refuse it.

LOLLIO
My share, that's all; I'll have my fool's part with you.

ISABELLA
No more: your master!

Enter Alibius.

ALIBIUS
Sweet, how dost thou?

ISABELLA
Your bounden servant, sir.

ALIBIUS
Fie, fie, sweetheart,
No more of that.

ISABELLA
You were best lock me up.

ALIBIUS
In my arms and bosom, my sweet Isabella,
I'll lock thee up most nearly. Lollio,
We have employment, we have task in hand;
At noble Vermandero's, our castle-captain,
There is a nuptial to be solemnis'd,
Beatrice Joanna his fair daughter, bride,
For which the gentleman hath bespoke our pains:
A mixture of our madmen and our fools
To finish, as it were, and make the fag
Of all the revels, the third night from the first.
Only an unexpected passage over,
To make a frightful pleasure, that is all,
But not the all I aim at. Could we so act it,
To teach it in a wild, distracted measure,
Though out of form and figure, breaking time's head,
It were no matter: 'twould be heal'd again
In one age or other, if not in this.
This, this, Lollio: there's a good reward begun,
And will beget a bounty, be it known.

LOLLIO
This is easy, sir, I'll warrant you. You have about you fools and madmen that can dance very well, and 'tis no wonder your best dancers are not the wisest men: the reason is, with often jumping they jolt their brains down into their feet, that their wits lie more in their heels than in their heads.

ALIBIUS
Honest Lollio, thou giv'st me a good reason
And a comfort in it.

ISABELLA
Y'ave a fine trade on't;
Madmen and fools are a staple commodity.

ALIBIUS
Oh, wife, we must eat, wear clothes, and live:
Just at the lawyer's haven we arrive,
By madmen and by fools we both do thrive.

Exeunt.


[III.iv. A chamber in the castle]
Enter Vermandero, Alsemero, Jasperino, and Beatrice.

VERMANDERO
Valencia speaks so nobly of you, sir,
I wish I had a daughter now for you.

ALSEMERO
The fellow of this creature were a partner
For a king's love.

VERMANDERO
I had her fellow once, sir,
But heaven has married her to joys eternal;
'Twere sin to wish her in this vale again.
Come, sir, your friend and you shall see the pleasures
Which my health chiefly joys in.

ALSEMERO
I hear the beauty of this seat largely.

VERMANDERO
It falls much short of that.

Exeunt. Manet Beatrice.

BEATRICE
So, here's one step
Into my father's favour; time will fix him.
I have got him now the liberty of the house;
So wisdom by degrees works out her freedom.
And if that eye be darkened that offends me--
I wait but that eclipse--this gentleman
Shall soon shine glorious in my father's liking,
Through the refulgent virtue of my love.

Enter Deflores.

DEFLORES
[Aside] My thoughts are at a banquet for the deed:
I feel no weight in't; 'tis but light and cheap
For the sweet recompense that I set down for't.

BEATRICE
Deflores.

DEFLORES
Lady.

BEATRICE
Thy looks promise cheerfully.

DEFLORES
All things are answerable: time, circumstance,
Your wishes and my service.

BEATRICE
Is it done then?

DEFLORES
Piracquo is no more.

BEATRICE
My joys start at mine eyes; our sweet'st delights
Are evermore born weeping.

DEFLORES
I've a token for you.

BEATRICE
For me?

DEFLORES
But it was sent somewhat unwillingly:
I could not get the ring without the finger.

BEATRICE
Bless me! What hast thou done?

DEFLORES
Why, is that more
Than killing the whole man? I cut his heart strings.
A greedy hand thrust in a dish at court
In a mistake hath had as much as this.

BEATRICE
'Tis the first token my father made me send him.

DEFLORES
And I made him send it back again
For his last token. I was loathe to leave it,
And I'm sure dead men have no use of jewels;
He was as loath to part with't, for it stuck
As if the flesh and it were both one substance.

BEATRICE
At the stag's fall the keeper has his fees;
'Tis soon apply'd: all dead men's fees are yours, sir.
I pray bury the finger, but the stone
You may make use on shortly; the true value,
Take't of my truth, is near three hundred ducats.

DEFLORES
'Twill hardly buy a capcase for one's conscience, though,
To keep it from the worm, as fine as 'tis.
Well, being my fees I'll take it;
Great men have taught me that, or else my merit
Would scorn the way on't.

BEATRICE
It might justly, sir.
Why, thou mistak'st, Deflores: 'tis not given
In state of recompense.

DEFLORES
No, I hope so, lady;
You should soon witness my contempt to't then.

BEATRICE
Prithee, thou look'st as if thou wert offended.

DEFLORES
That were strange, lady; 'tis not possible
My service should draw such a cause from you.
Offended? Could you think so? That were much
For one of my performance, and so warm
Yet in my service.

BEATRICE
'Twere misery in me to give you cause, sir.

DEFLORES
I know so much; it were so, misery
In her most sharp condition.

BEATRICE
'Tis resolv'd then.
Look you, sir, here's three thousand golden florins;
I have not meanly thought upon thy merit.

DEFLORES
What, salary? Now you move me!

BEATRICE
How, Deflores?

DEFLORES
Do you place me in the rank of verminous fellows
To destroy things for wages? Offer gold?
The lifeblood of man! Is anything
Valued too precious for my recompense?

BEATRICE
I understand thee not.

DEFLORES
I could ha' hir'd
A journeyman in murder at this rate,
And mine own conscience might have [slept at ease]
And have had the work brought home!

BEATRICE
[Aside] I'm in a labyrinth;
What will content him? I would fain be rid of him.--
I'll double the sum, sir.

DEFLORES
You take a course
To double my vexation, that's the good you do.

BEATRICE
[Aside] Bless me! I am now in worse plight than I was;
I know not what will please him.--For my fear's sake,
I prithee make away with all speed possible.
And if thou be'st so modest not to name
The sum that will content thee, paper blushes not:
Send thy demand in writing, it shall follow thee;
But prithee take thy flight.

DEFLORES
You must fly too then.

BEATRICE
I?

DEFLORES
I'll not stir a foot else.

BEATRICE
What's your meaning?

DEFLORES
Why, are not you as guilty, in, I'm sure,
As deep as I? And we should stick together.
Come, your fears counsel you but ill: my absence
Would draw suspect upon you instantly;
There were no rescue for you.

BEATRICE
[Aside] He speaks home.

DEFLORES
Nor is it fit we two engag'd so jointly
Should part and live asunder.

[He tries to kiss her.]

BEATRICE
How now, sir?
This shows not well.

DEFLORES
What makes your lip so strange?
This must not be 'twixt us.

BEATRICE
[Aside] The man talks wildly.

DEFLORES
Come, kiss me with a zeal now!

BEATRICE
[Aside] Heaven, I doubt him!

DEFLORES
I will not stand so long to beg 'em shortly.

BEATRICE
Take heed, Deflores, of forgetfulness;
'Twill soon betray us.

DEFLORES
Take you heed first;
Faith, y'are grown much forgetful: y'are too blame in't.

BEATRICE
[Aside] He's bold, and I am blam'd for't.

DEFLORES
I have eas'd
You of your trouble; think on't: I'm in pain
And must be eas'd of you; 'tis a charity.
Justice invites your blood to understand me.

BEATRICE
I dare not.

DEFLORES
Quickly.

BEATRICE
Oh, I never shall!
Speak it yet further off that I may lose
What has been spoken, and no sound remain on't!
I would not hear so much offence again
For such another deed.

DEFLORES
Soft, lady, soft;
The last is not yet paid for. Oh, this act
Has put me into spirit; I was as greedy on't
As the parch'd earth of moisture when the clouds weep.
Did you not mark I wrought myself into't?
Nay, sued and kneel'd for't? Why was all that pains took?
You see I have thrown contempt upon your gold;
Not that I want it [not], for I do piteously:
In order I will come unto't and make use on't.
But 'twas not held so precious to begin with,
For I place wealth after the heels of pleasure,
And were I not resolv'd in my belief
That thy virginity were perfect in thee,
I should but take my recompense with grudging,
As if I had but half my hopes I agreed for.

BEATRICE
Why, 'tis impossible thou canst be so wicked,
Or shelter such a cunning cruelty,
To make his death the murderer of my honour!
Thy language is so bold and vicious,
I cannot see which way I can forgive it
With any modesty.

DEFLORES
Push, you forget yourself:
A woman dipp'd in blood and talk of modesty!

BEATRICE
Oh, misery of sin! Would I had been bound
Perpetually unto my living hate
In that Piracquo than to hear these words!
Think but upon the distance that creation
Set 'twixt thy blood and mine, and keep thee there.

DEFLORES
Look but into your conscience, read me there:
'Tis a true book; you'll find me there your equal.
Push, fly not to your birth, but settle you
In what the act has made you; y'are no more now.
You must forget your parentage to me;
Y'are the deeds creature: by that name
You lost your first condition, and I challenge you,
As peace and innocency has turn'd you out
And made you one with me.

BEATRICE
With thee, foul villain?

DEFLORES
Yes, my fair murderess. Do you urge me?
Though thou writ'st maid, thou whore in thy affection,
'Twas chang'd from thy first love, and that's a kind
Of whoredom in thy heart; and he's chang'd now
To bring thy second on, thy Alsemero,
Whom, by all sweets that ever darkness tasted,
If I enjoy thee not, thou ne'er enjoy'st.
I'll blast the hopes and joys of marriage;
I'll confess all, my life I rate at nothing.

BEATRICE
Deflores.

DEFLORES
I shall rest from all lovers' plagues then;
I live in pain now: that shooting eye
Will burn my heart to cinders.

BEATRICE
Oh, sir, hear me!

DEFLORES
She that in life and love refuses me,
In death and shame my partner she shall be.

BEATRICE
Stay, hear me once for all: I make thee master
Of all the wealth I have in gold and jewels;
Let me go poor unto my bed with honour
And I am rich in all things.

DEFLORES
Let this silence thee:
The wealth of all Valencia shall not buy
My pleasure from me.
Can you weep fate from its determin'd purpose?
So soon may [you] weep me.

BEATRICE
Vengeance begins;
Murder, I see, is followed by more sins.
Was my creation in the womb so curs'd
It must engender with a viper first?

DEFLORES
Come, rise and shroud your blushes in my bosom;
Silence is one of pleasure's best receipts:
Thy peace is wrought forever in this yielding.
'Las, how the turtle pants! Thou'lt love anon
What thou so fear'st and faint'st to venture on.

Exeunt.


[Dumb Show]
Enter Gentlemen, Vermandero meeting them with action of wonderment at the flight of [Alonzo de] Piracquo. Enter Alsemero with Jasperino and Gallants; Vermandero points to him, the Gentlemen seeming to applaud the choice. [Exeunt Vermandero,] Alsemero, Jasperino, and Gentlemen [and Gallants]; [enter] Beatrice the bride, following in great state, accompanied with Diaphanta, Isabella, and other Gentlewomen. [Enter] Deflores after all, smiling at the accident; Alonzo's Ghost appears to Deflores in the midst of his smile, startles him, showing him the hand whose finger he had cut off. They pass over in great solemnity.


IV.[i. Alsemero's chamber]

Enter Beatrice.

BEATRICE
This fellow has undone me endlessly;
Never was bride so fearfully distress'd.
The more I think upon th' ensuing night,
And whom I am to cope with in embraces--
One [who's] ennobled both in blood and mind,
So clear in understanding, that's my plague now,
Before whose judgment will my fault appear
Like malefactors' crimes before tribunals,
There is no hiding on't--the more I dive
Into my own distress. How a wise man
Stands for a great calamity! There's no venturing
Into his bed, what course soe'er I light upon,
Without my shame, which may grow up to danger.
He cannot but in justice strangle me
As I lie by him, as a cheater use me;
'Tis a precious craft to play with a false die
Before a cunning gamester. Here's his closet,
The key left in't, and he abroad i' th' park.
Sure 'twas forgot; I'll be so bold as look in't.
Bless me! A right physician's closet 'tis,
Set round with vials, every one her mark too.
Sure he does practice physic for his own use,
Which may be safely call'd your great man's wisdom.
What manuscript lies here? The Book of Experiment,
Call'd Secrets in Nature: so 'tis, 'tis so.
[Reading] "How to know whether a woman be with child or no."
I hope I am not yet; if he should try, though--
Let me see, folio forty-five. Here 'tis,
The leaf tuck'd down upon't, the place suspicious.
[Reading] "If you would know whether a woman be with child or not, give her two spoonfuls of the white water in glass C."
Where's that glass C? Oh, yonder I see't now.
[Reading] "And if she be with child, she sleeps full twelve hours after; if not, not."
None of that water comes into my belly.
I'll know you from a hundred; I could break you now
Or turn you into milk, and so beguile
The master of the mystery, but I'll look to you.
Ha! That which is next, is ten times worse.
[Reading] "How to know whether a woman be a maid or not."
If that should be apply'd, what would become of me?
Belike he has a strong faith of my purity,
That never yet made proof; but this he calls
[Reading] "A merry slight but true experiment,
The author, Antonius Mizaldus.
Give the party you suspect the quantity of a spoonful of the water in the glass M, which upon her that is a maid makes three several effects: 'twill make her incontinently gape, then fall into a sudden sneezing, last into a violent laughing; else dull, heavy, and lumpish."
Where had I been?
I fear it, yet 'tis seven hours to bedtime.

Enter Diaphanta.

DIAPHANTA
Cuds, madam, are you here?

BEATRICE
[Aside] Seeing that wench now,
A trick comes in my mind; 'tis a nice piece
Gold cannot purchase.--I come hither, wench,
To look my lord.

DIAPHANTA
[Aside] Would I had such a cause
To look him too.--Why, he's i' th' park, madam.

BEATRICE
There let him be.

DIAPHANTA
Ay, madam, let him compass
Whole parks and forests, as great rangers do;
At roosting time a little lodge can hold 'em.
Earth-conquering Alexander, that thought the world
Too narrow for him, in the end had but his pit-hole.

BEATRICE
I fear thou art not modest, Diaphanta.

DIAPHANTA
Your thoughts are so unwilling to be known, madam;
'Tis ever the bride's fashion towards bedtime
To set light by her joys, as if she ow'd 'em not.

BEATRICE
Her joys? Her fears, thou wouldst say.

DIAPHANTA
Fear of what?

BEATRICE
Art thou a maid, and talk'st so to a maid?
You leave a blushing business behind,
Beshrew your heart for't.

DIAPHANTA
Do you mean good sooth, madam?

BEATRICE
Well, if I'd thought upon the fear at first,
Man should have been unknown.

DIAPHANTA
Is't possible?

BEATRICE
I will give a thousand ducats to that woman
Would try what my fear were, and tell me true
Tomorrow when she gets from 't: as she likes
I might perhaps be drawn to 't.

DIAPHANTA
Are you in earnest?

BEATRICE
Do you get the woman, then challenge me,
And see if I'll fly from 't; but I must tell you
This by the way, she must be a true maid,
Else there's no trial, my fears are not hers else.

DIAPHANTA
Nay, she that I would put into your hands, madam,
Shall be a maid.

BEATRICE
You know I should be sham'd else,
Because she lies for me.

DIAPHANTA
'Tis a strange humour:
But are you serious still? Would you resign
Your first night's pleasure and give money too?

BEATRICE
As willingly as live. [Aside] Alas, the gold
Is but a by-bet to wedge in the honour.

DIAPHANTA
I do not know how the world goes abroad
For faith or honesty; there's both requir'd in this.
Madam, what say you to me, and stray no further?
I've a good mind, in troth, to earn your money.

BEATRICE
Y'are too quick, I fear, to be a maid.

DIAPHANTA
How? Not a maid? Nay, then, you urge me, madam,
Your honourable self is not a truer
With all your fears upon you--

BEATRICE
[Aside] Bad enough then.

DIAPHANTA
Then I with all my lightsome joys about me.

BEATRICE
I'm glad to hear 't; then you dare put your honesty
Upon an easy trial.

DIAPHANTA
Easy? Anything.

BEATRICE
[Going to the closet] I'll come to you straight.

DIAPHANTA
[Aside] She will not search me, will she,
Like the forewoman of a female jury?

BEATRICE
Glass M. Ay, this is it. Look, Diaphanta,
You take no worse than I do.

[She drinks and hands Diaphanta the glass.]

DIAPHANTA
And in so doing
I will not question what 'tis, but take it.

[She drinks.]

BEATRICE
[Aside] Now if the experiment be true, 'twill praise itself,
And give me noble ease. [Diaphanta gapes.] Begins already,
There's the first symptom. [Diaphanta sneezes.] And what haste it makes
To fall into the second, there by this time:
Most admirable secret! On the contrary,
It stirs not me a whit, which most concerns it.

DIAPHANTA
Ha, ha, ha!

BEATRICE
[Aside] Just in all things and in order,
As if 'twere circumscrib'd, one accident
Gives way unto another.

DIAPHANTA
Ha, ha, ha!

BEATRICE
How now, wench?

DIAPHANTA
Ha, ha, ha, I am so, so light
At heart, ha, ha, ha. so pleasurable!
But one swig more, sweet madam.

BEATRICE
Ay, tomorrow;
We shall have time to sit by 't.

DIAPHANTA
Now I'm sad again.

BEATRICE
[Aside] It lays itself so gently too.--Come, wench,
Most honest Diaphanta I dare call thee now.

DIAPHANTA
Pray tell me, madam, what trick call you this?

BEATRICE
I'll tell thee all hereafter; we must study
The carriage of this business.

DIAPHANTA
I shall carry 't well
Because I love the burthen.

BEATRICE
About midnight
You must not fail to steal forth gently
That I may use the place.

DIAPHANTA
Oh, fear not, madam;
I shall be cool by that time. The bride's place,
And with a thousand ducats! I'm for a justice now:
I bring a portion with me; I scorn small fools!

Exeunt.


[IV.ii. A chamber in the castle]
Enter Vermandero and Servant.

VERMANDERO
I tell thee, knave, mine honour is in question,
A thing till now free from suspicion,
Nor ever was there cause. Who of my gentlemen are absent?
Tell me and truly how many and who.

SERVANT
Antonio, sir, and Franciscus.

VERMANDERO
When did they leave the castle?

SERVANT
Some ten days since, sir, the one intending to Briamata, th'other for Valencia.

VERMANDERO
The time accuses 'um: a charge of murder
Is brought within my castle gate, Piracquo's murder;
I dare not answer faithfully their absence.
A strict command of apprehension
Shall pursue 'um suddenly, and either wipe
The stain off clear or openly discover it.
Provide me winged warrants for the purpose.

Enter Tomazo.

See, I am set on again.

Exit Servant.

TOMAZO
I claim a brother of you.

VERMANDERO
Y'are too hot;
Seek him not here.

TOMAZO
Yes, 'mongst your dearest bloods;
If my peace find no fairer satisfaction,
This is the place must yield account for him,
For here I left him, and the hasty tie
Of this snatch'd marriage gives strong testimony
Of his most certain ruin.

VERMANDERO
Certain falsehood!
This is the place indeed; his breach of faith
Has too much marr'd both my abused love,
The honourable love I reserv'd for him,
And mock'd my daughter's joy. The prepar'd morning
Blush'd at his infidelity; he left
Contempt and scorn to throw upon those friends
Whose belief hurt 'em: oh, 'twas most ignoble
To take his flight so unexpectedly
And throw such public wrongs on those that lov'd him!

TOMAZO
Then this is all your answer?

VERMANDERO
'Tis too fair
For one of his alliance, and I warn you
That this place no more see you.

Exit. Enter Deflores.

TOMAZO
The best is,
There is more ground to meet a man's revenge on.
Honest Deflores.

DEFLORES
That's my name indeed.
Saw you the bride? Good sweet sir, which way took she?

TOMAZO
I have blest mine eyes from seeing such a false one.

DEFLORES
[Aside] I'd fain get off; this man's not for my company:
I smell his brother's blood when I come near him.

TOMAZO
Come hither, kind and true one; I remember
My brother lov'd thee well.

DEFLORES
Oh, purely, dear sir!
[Aside] Methinks I am now again a-killing on him,
He brings it so fresh to me.

TOMAZO
Thou canst guess, sirrah,
One honest friend has an instinct of jealousy
At some foul guilty person.

DEFLORES
'Las, sir,
I am so charitable, I think none
Worse than myself. You did not see the bride then?

TOMAZO
I prithee name her not. Is she not wicked?

DEFLORES
No, no, a pretty, easy, round-pack'd sinner,
As your most ladies are, else you might think
I flatter'd her; but, sir, at no hand wicked
Till th'are so old their sins and vices meet,
And they salute witches. I am call'd, I think, sir.
[Aside] His company ev'n o'erlays my conscience.

Exit.

TOMAZO
That Deflores has a wondrous honest heart.
He'll bring it out in time, I'm assur'd on't.

Enter Alsemero.

[Aside] Oh, here's the glorious master of the day's joy.
['Twill] not be long till he and I do reckon.--Sir.

ALSEMERO
You are most welcome.

TOMAZO
You may call that word back;
I do not think I am, nor wish to be.

ALSEMERO
'Tis strange you found the way to this house then.

TOMAZO
Would I'd ne'er known the cause. I'm none of those, sir,
That come to give you joy and swill your wine;
'Tis a more precious liquor that must lay
The fiery thirst I bring.

ALSEMERO
Your words and you
Appear to me great strangers.

TOMAZO
Time and our swords
May make us more acquainted; this the business:
I should have a brother in your place;
How treachery and malice have dispos'd of him,
I'm bound to enquire of him which holds his right,
Which never could come fairly.

ALSEMERO
You must look
To answer for that word, sir.

TOMAZO
Fear you not;
I'll have it ready drawn at our next meeting.
Keep your day solemn. Farewell, I disturb it not;
I'll bear the smart with patience for a time.

Exit.

ALSEMERO
'Tis somewhat ominous, this, a quarrel entered
Upon this day; my innocence relieves me,
I should be wondrous sad else.

Enter Jasperino.

Jasperino,
I have news to tell thee, strange news.

JASPERINO
I ha' some too,
I think as strange as yours; would I might keep
Mine, so my faith and friendship might be kept in't.
Faith, sir, dispense a little with my zeal,
And let it cool in this.

ALSEMERO
This puts me on,
And blames thee for thy slowness.

JASPERINO
All may prove nothing,
Only a friendly fear that leapt from me, sir.

ALSEMERO
No question it may prove nothing; let's partake it, though.

JASPERINO
'Twas Diaphanta's chance--for to that wench
I pretend honest love, and she deserves it--
To leave me in a back part of the house,
A place we chose for private conference;
She was no sooner gone, but instantly
I heard your bride's voice in the next room to me
And, lending more attention, found Deflores
Louder then she.

ALSEMERO
Deflores? Thou art out now.

JASPERINO
You'll tell me more anon.

ALSEMERO
Still I'll prevent thee:
The very sight of him is poison to her.

JASPERINO
That made me stagger too, but Diaphanta
At her return confirm'd it.

ALSEMERO
Diaphanta!

JASPERINO
Then fell we both to listen, and words pass'd
Like those that challenge interest in a woman.

ALSEMERO
Peace, quench thy zeal; 'tis dangerous to thy bosom

JASPERINO
Then truth is full of peril.

ALSEMERO
Such truths are.
Oh, were she the sole glory of the earth,
Had eyes that could shoot fire into kings' breasts,
And touch'd, she sleeps not here; yet I have time,
Though night be near, to be resolv'd hereof,
And prithee do not weigh me by my passions.

JASPERINO
I never weigh'd friend so.

ALSEMERO
Done charitably.
[Giving him a key] That key will lead thee to a pretty secret
By a Chaldean taught me, and I've [made]
My study upon some; bring from my closet
A glass inscrib'd there with the letter M,
And question not my purpose.

JASPERINO
It shall be done, sir.

Exit.

ALSEMERO
How can this hang together? Not an hour since
Her woman came pleading her lady's fears,
Deliver'd her for the most timorous virgin
That ever shrunk at man's name, and so modest
She charg'd her weep out her request to me
That she might come obscurely to my bosom.

Enter Beatrice.

BEATRICE
[Aside] All things go well; my woman's preparing yonder
For her sweet voyage, which grieves me to lose:
Necessity compels it; I lose all else.

ALSEMERO
[Aside] Push, modesty's shrine is set in yonder forehead.
I cannot be too sure though.--My Joanna.

BEATRICE
Sir, I was bold to weep a message to you;
Pardon my modest fears.

ALSEMERO
[Aside] The dove's not meeker.
She's abus'd, questionless.

Enter Jasperino.

Oh, are you come, sir?

BEATRICE
[Aside] The glass, upon my life! I see the letter.

JASPERINO
Sir, this is M.

ALSEMERO
'Tis it.

BEATRICE
[Aside] I am suspected.

ALSEMERO
How fitly our bride comes to partake with us!

BEATRICE
What is't, my lord?

ALSEMERO
No hurt.

BEATRICE
Sir, pardon me,
I seldom taste of any composition.

ALSEMERO
But this upon my warrant you shall venture on.

BEATRICE
I fear 'twill make me ill.

ALSEMERO
Heaven forbid that.

BEATRICE
[Aside] I'm put now to my cunning; th' effects I know,
If I can now but feign 'em handsomely.

ALSEMERO
[Aside to Jasperino] It has that secret virtue it ne'er miss'd, sir,
Upon a virgin.

JASPERINO
[Aside to Alsemero] Treble qualitied.

[Beatrice gapes, then sneezes.]

ALSEMERO
[Aside to Jasperino] By all that's virtuous, it takes there, proceeds!

JASPERINO
[Aside to Alsemero] This is the strangest trick to know a maid by.

BEATRICE
Ha, ha, ha!
You have given me joy of heart to drink, my lord.

ALSEMERO
No, thou hast given me such joy of heart
That never can be blasted.

BEATRICE
What's the matter, sir?

ALSEMERO
[Aside to Jasperino] See, now 'tis settled in a melancholy,
Keeps both the time and method.--My Joanna,
Chaste as the breath of heaven or morning's womb
That brings the day forth, thus my love encloses thee.

[He embraces her.] Exeunt.


[IV.iii. A room in Alibius's house]
Enter Isabella and Lollio.

ISABELLA
Oh heaven! Is this the waiting moon?
Does love turn fool, run mad, and all [at] once?
Sirrah, here's a madman akin to the fool too,
A lunatic lover.

LOLLIO
No, no, not he I brought the letter from.

ISABELLA
Compare his inside with his out and tell me.

LOLLIO
The out's mad, I'm sure of that; I had a taste on't. [Reading] "To the bright Andromeda, chief chambermaid to the knight of the sun, at the sign of Scorpio, in the middle region, sent by the bellows-mender of ├ćolus. Pay the post." This is stark madness.

ISABELLA
Now mark the inside. [He opens the letter and she reads over his shoulder.] "Sweet lady, having now cast off this counterfeit cover of a madman, I appear to your best judgment a true and faithful lover of your beauty."

LOLLIO
He is mad still.

ISABELLA
[Reading] "If any fault you find, chide those perfections in you which have made me imperfect; 'tis the same sun that causeth to grow and enforceth to wither"--

LOLLIO
Oh, rogue!

ISABELLA
[Reading] "Shapes and transhapes, destroys and builds again. I come in winter to you dismantled of my proper ornaments; by the sweet splendour of your cheerful smiles, I spring and live a lover."

LOLLIO
Mad rascal still.

ISABELLA
[Reading] "Tread him not under foot that shall appear an honour to your bounties. I remain, mad till I speak with you, from whom I expect my cure, yours all, or one beside himself, Franciscus."

LOLLIO
You are like to have a fine time on't. My master and I may give over our professions; I do not think but you can cure fools and madmen faster than we, with little pains too.

ISABELLA
Very likely.

LOLLIO
One thing I must tell you, mistress: you perceive that I am privy to your skill; if I find you minister once and set up the trade, I put in for my thirds. I shall be mad or fool else.

ISABELLA
The first place is thine, believe it, Lollio;
If I do fall--

LOLLIO
I fall upon you.

ISABELLA
So.

LOLLIO
Well, I stand to my venture.

ISABELLA
But thy counsel now: how shall I deal with 'um?

LOLLIO
[Why,] do you mean to deal with 'um?

ISABELLA
Nay, the fair understanding: how to use 'um.

LOLLIO
Abuse 'um: that's the way to mad the fool and make a fool of the madman, and then you use 'um kindly.

ISABELLA
'Tis easy. I'll practise; do thou observe it:
The key of thy wardrobe.

[He gives her the key.]

LOLLIO
There; fit yourself for 'um, and I'll fit 'um both for you.

ISABELLA
Take thou no further notice than the outside.

Exit.

LOLLIO
Not an inch; I'll put you to the inside.

Enter Alibius.

ALIBIUS
Lollio, art there? Will all be perfect, think'st thou?
Tomorrow night, as if to close up the solemnity,
Vermandero expects us.

LOLLIO
I mistrust the madmen most; the fools will do well enough:
I have taken pains with them.

ALIBIUS
Tush, they cannot miss; the more absurdity,
The more commends it, so no rough behaviours
Affright the ladies: they are nice things, thou know'st.

LOLLIO
You need not fear, sir; so long as we are there with our commanding pizzles, they'll be as tame as the ladies themselves.

ALIBIUS
I will see them once more rehearse before they go.

LOLLIO
I was about it, sir; look you to the madmen's morris, and let me alone with the other. There is one or two that I mistrust their fooling; I'll instruct them, and then they shall rehearse the whole measure.

ALIBIUS
Do so; I'll see the music prepar'd: but, Lollio,
By the way, how does my wife brook her restraint?
Does she not grudge at it?

LOLLIO
So, so. She takes some pleasure in the house; she would abroad else. You must allow her a little more length; she's kept too short.

ALIBIUS
She shall along to Vermandero's with us;
That will serve her for a month's liberty.

LOLLIO
What's that on your face, sir?

ALIBIUS
Where, Lollio? I see nothing.

LOLLIO
Cry you mercy, sir, 'tis your nose! It show'd like the trunk of a young elephant.

ALIBIUS
Away, rascal: I'll prepare the music, Lollio.

Exit Alibius.

LOLLIO
Do, sir; and I'll dance the whilst. Tony, where art thou, Tony?

Enter Antonio.

ANTONIO
Here, cousin. Where art thou?

LOLLIO
Come, Tony, the footmanship I taught you.

ANTONIO
I had rather ride, cousin.

LOLLIO
Ay, a whip take you, but I'll keep you out. Vault in; look you, Tony: [dancing] fa, la la la la.

ANTONIO
[Dancing] Fa, la la la la.

LOLLIO
There, an honour.

ANTONIO
Is this an honour, coz? [Bows.]

LOLLIO
Yes, and it please your worship.

ANTONIO
Does honour bend in the hams, coz?

LOLLIO
Marry, does it, as low as worship, squireship, nay, yeomanry itself sometimes, from whence it first stiffened. There rise a caper.

ANTONIO
Caper after an honour, coz?

LOLLIO
Very proper, for honour is but a caper, rise[s] as fast and high, has a knee or two, and falls to th' ground again. You can remember your figure, Tony?

Exit.

ANTONIO
Yes, cousin, when I see thy figure, I can remember mine.

Enter Isabella [dressed as a madwoman. Antonio resumes dancing].

ISABELLA
Hey, how he treads the air!
Shoo, shoo, t'other way: he burns his wings else;
Here's wax enough below, Icarus, more
Than will be canceled these eighteen moons.
He's down, he's down; what a terrible fall he had!
Stand up, thou son of Cretan Dedalus,
And let us tread the lower labyrinth;
I'll bring thee to the clue.

ANTONIO
Prithee, coz, let me alone.

ISABELLA
Art thou not drown'd?
About thy head I saw a heap of clouds
Wrapp'd like a Turkish turban on thy back,
A crook'd chameleon-colour'd rainbow hung
Like a tiara down unto thy hams.
Let me suck out those billows in thy belly;
Hark how they roar and rumble in the [straits]!
Bless thee from the pirates.

[Attempts to kiss him.]

ANTONIO
Pox upon you, let me alone!

ISABELLA
Why shouldst thou mount so high as Mercury
Unless thou hadst reversion of his place?
Stay in the moon with me, Endymion,
And we will rule these wild rebellious waves
That would have drown'd my love.

ANTONIO
I'll kick thee if again thou touch me,
Thou wild unshapen antic; I am no fool,
You bedlam!

ISABELLA
But you are as sure as I am, mad.
Have I put on this habit of a frantic
With love as full of fury to beguile
The nimble eye of watchful jealousy,
And am I thus rewarded?

ANTONIO
Ha, dearest beauty!

ISABELLA
No, I have no beauty now,
Nor never had, but what was in my garments.
You a quick-sighted lover? Come not near me.
Keep your caparisons, y'are aptly clad;
I came a feigner to return stark mad.

Exit. Enter Lollio.

ANTONIO
Stay, or I shall change condition
And become as you are.

LOLLIO
Why, Tony, whither now? Why, fool!

ANTONIO
Whose fool, usher of idiots? You coxcomb!
I have fool'd too much.

LOLLIO
You were best be mad another while then.

ANTONIO
So I am, stark mad, I have cause enough;
And I could throw the full effects on thee,
And beat thee like a fury.

LOLLIO
Do not, do not! I shall not forbear the gentleman under the fool, if you do. Alas, I saw through your fox-skin before now. Come, I can give you comfort: my mistress loves you, and there is as arrant a madman i' th' house as you are a fool, your rival, whom she loves not. If after the masque we can rid her of him, you earn her love, she says, and the fool shall ride her.

ANTONIO
May I believe thee?

LOLLIO
Yes, or you may choose whether you will or no.

ANTONIO
She's eas'd of him; I have a good quarrel on't.

LOLLIO
Well, keep your old station yet, and be quiet.

ANTONIO
Tell her I will deserve her love.

LOLLIO
And you are like to have your desire.

[Exit Antonio.] Enter Franciscus.

FRANCISCUS
Down, down, down a-down a-down, and then with a horse-trick
To kick Latona's forehead and break her bow string.

LOLLIO
[Aside] This is t'other counterfeit; I'll put him out of his humour. [Reading] "Sweet lady, having now cast this counterfeit cover of a madman, I appear to your best judgment a true and faithful lover of your beauty." This is pretty well for a madman.

FRANCISCUS
Ha! What's that?

LOLLIO
[Reading] "Chide those perfections in you which made me imperfect."

FRANCISCUS
I am discover'd to the fool.

LOLLIO
[Aside] I hope to discover the fool in you ere I have done with you. [Reading] "Yours all, or one beside himself, Franciscus." [Aside] This madman will mend sure.

FRANCISCUS
What do you read, sirrah?

LOLLIO
Your destiny, sir; you'll be hang'd for this trick and another that I know.

FRANCISCUS
Art thou of counsel with thy mistress?

LOLLIO
Next her apron strings.

FRANCISCUS
Give me thy hand.

LOLLIO
Stay, let me put yours in my pocket first. [Puts the letter in his pocket.] Your hand is true, is it not? It will not pick? I partly fear it, because I think it does lie.

FRANCISCUS
Not in a syllable.

LOLLIO
So, if you love my mistress so well as you have handled the matter here, you are like to be cur'd of your madness.

FRANCISCUS
And none but she can cure it.

LOLLIO
Well, I'll give you over then, and she shall cast your water next.

FRANCISCUS
[Giving him money] Take for thy pains past.

LOLLIO
I shall deserve more, sir, I hope; my mistress loves you, but must have some proof of your love to her.

FRANCISCUS
There I meet my wishes.

LOLLIO
That will not serve; you must meet her enemy and yours.

FRANCISCUS
He's dead already.

LOLLIO
Will you tell me that, and I parted but now with him?

FRANCISCUS
Show me the man.

LOLLIO
Ay, that's a right course now: see him before you kill him, in any case; and yet it needs not go so far neither: 'tis but a fool that haunts the house, and my mistress in the shape of an idiot. Bang but his fools' coat well-favouredly, and 'tis well.

FRANCISCUS
Soundly, soundly.

LOLLIO
Only reserve him till the masque be past; and if you find him not now in the dance yourself, I'll show you. In, in: my master!

Enter Alibius.

FRANCISCUS
[Dancing] He handles him like a feather. Hey!

[Exit.]

ALIBIUS
Well said! In a readiness, Lollio?

LOLLIO
Yes, sir.

ALIBIUS
Away then, and guide them in, Lollio;
Entreat your mistress to see this sight.
Hark, is there not one incurable fool
That might be begg'd? I have friends.

LOLLIO
I have him for you, one that shall deserve it too.

ALIBIUS
Good boy, Lollio.

[Lollio brings on the Madmen and Fools.] The Madmen and Fools dance.

'Tis perfect: well fit but once these strains,
We shall have coin and credit for our pains.

Exeunt.


V.[i. A gallery in the castle]

Enter Beatrice. A clock strikes one.

BEATRICE
One struck, and yet she lies by't. Oh, my fears,
This strumpet serves her own ends, 'tis apparent now,
Devours the pleasure with a greedy appetite,
And never minds my honour or my peace,
Makes havoc of my right; but she pays dearly for't:
No trusting of her life with such a secret,
That cannot rule her blood to keep her promise.
Beside, I have some suspicion of her faith to me,
Because I was suspected of my lord,
And it must come from her. Hark, by my horrors,
Another clock strike[s] two.

Strike two. Enter Deflores.

DEFLORES
Pist, where are you?

BEATRICE
Deflores?

DEFLORES
Ay. Is she not come from him yet?

BEATRICE
As I am a living soul, not.

DEFLORES
Sure the devil
Hath sow'd his itch within her; who'd trust
A waiting-woman?

BEATRICE
I must trust somebody.

DEFLORES
Push, they are termagants.
Especially when they fall upon their masters
And have their ladies' first fruits, th'are mad whelps;
You cannot stave 'em off from game royal then.
You are so harsh and hardy, ask no counsel;
And I could have help'd you to a[n] apothecary's daughter
Would have fall'n off before eleven, and thank['d] you too.

BEATRICE
Oh me, not yet? This whore forgets herself.

DEFLORES
The rascal fares so well. Look, y'are undone:
The day-star, by this hand; see [Phosphorus] plain yonder.

BEATRICE
Advise me now to fall upon some ruin;
There is no counsel safe else.

DEFLORES
Peace, I ha't now:
For we must force a rising; there's no remedy.

BEATRICE
How? Take heed of that.

DEFLORES
Tush, be you quiet
Or else give over all.

BEATRICE
Prithee, I ha' done then.

DEFLORES
This is my reach: I'll set some part afire
Of Diaphanta's chamber.

BEATRICE
How? Fire, sir?
That may endanger the whole house.

DEFLORES
You talk of danger when your fame's on fire?

BEATRICE
That's true. Do what thou wilt now.

DEFLORES
Push, I aim
At a most rich success, strikes all dead sure.
The chimney being afire, and some light parcels
Of the least danger in her chamber only,
If Diaphanta should be met by chance then
Far from her lodging, which is now suspicious,
It would be thought her fears and affright then
Drove her to seek for succour; if not seen
Or met at all, as that's the likeliest,
For her own shame she'll hasten towards her lodging.
I will be ready with a piece high-charg'd,
As 'twere to cleanse the chimney: there, 'tis proper now,
But she shall be the mark.

BEATRICE
I'm forc'd to love thee now,
'Cause thou provid'st so carefully for my honour.

DEFLORES
'Slid, it concerns the safety of us both,
Our pleasure and continuance.

BEATRICE
One word now,
Prithee: how for the servants?

DEFLORES
I'll dispatch them,
Some one way, some another, in the hurry
For buckets, hooks, ladders. Fear not you;
The deed shall find its time, and I've thought since
Upon a safe conveyance for the body too.
How this fire purifies wit! Watch you your minute.

BEATRICE
Fear keeps my soul upon't; I cannot stray from't.

Enter Alonzo's Ghost.

DEFLORES
Ha! What art thou that tak'st away the light
'Twixt that star and me? I dread thee not!
'Twas but a mist of conscience. All's clear again.

Exit [Deflores].

BEATRICE
Who's that, Deflores? Bless me! It slides by.

[Exit Ghost.]

Some ill thing haunts the house; 't has left behind it
A shivering sweat upon me: I'm afraid now.
This night hath been so tedious. Oh, this strumpet!
Had she a thousand lives, he should not leave her
Till he had destroy'd the last.

[Strikes] three a' clock.

List! Oh, my terrors,
Three struck by St. Sebastian's!

WITHIN
Fire, fire, fire!

BEATRICE
Already! How rare is that man's speed!
How heartily he serves me! His face loathes one,
But look upon his care, who would not love him?
The east is not more beauteous than his service.

WITHIN
Fire, fire, fire!

Enter Deflores. Servants pass over, ring a bell.

DEFLORES
Away, dispatch!
Hooks, buckets, ladders; that's well said!
The fire bell rings, the chimney works, my charge:
The piece is ready.

Exit.

BEATRICE
Here's a man worth loving!
Oh, y'are a jewel!

Enter Diaphanta.

DIAPHANTA
Pardon frailty, madam;
In troth, I was so well, I ev'n forgot myself.

BEATRICE
Y'have made trim work.

DIAPHANTA
What?

BEATRICE
Hie quickly to your chamber;
Your reward follows you.

DIAPHANTA
I never made
So sweet a bargain.

Exit. Enter Alsemero.

ALSEMERO
Oh, my dear Joanna!
Alas, art thou risen too? I was coming,
My absolute treasure.

BEATRICE
When I miss'd you,
I could not choose but follow.

ALSEMERO
Th'art all sweetness.
The fire is not so dangerous.

BEATRICE
Think you so, sir?

ALSEMERO
I prithee, tremble not: believe me, 'tis not.

Enter Vermandero, Jasperino.

VERMANDERO
Oh, bless my house and me!

ALSEMERO
My lord your father.

Enter Deflores with a piece.

VERMANDERO
Knave, whither goes that piece?

DEFLORES
To scour the chimney,

Exit.

VERMANDERO
Oh, well said, well said;
That fellow's good on all occasions.

BEATRICE
A wondrous necessary man, my lord.

VERMANDERO
He hath a ready wit; he's worth 'em all, sir:
Dog at a house [on] fire; I ha' seen him sing'd ere now.

The piece goes off.

Ha, there he goes!

BEATRICE
'Tis done.

ALSEMERO
Come, sweet, to bed now;
Thou wilt get cold.

BEATRICE
Alas, the fear keeps that out:
My heart will find no quiet till I hear
How Diaphanta, my poor woman, fares;
It is her chamber, sir, her lodging chamber.

VERMANDERO
How should the fire come there?

BEATRICE
As good a soul as ever lady countenanc'd,
But in her chamber negligent and heavy.
She scap'd a mine twice.

VERMANDERO
Twice?

BEATRICE
Strangely twice, sir.

VERMANDERO
Those sleepy sluts are dangerous in a house,
And they be ne'er so good.

Enter Deflores.

DEFLORES
Oh, poor virginity!
Thou hast paid dearly for't.

VERMANDERO
Bless us! What's that?

DEFLORES
A thing you all knew once: Diaphanta's burnt.

BEATRICE
My woman, oh, my woman!

DEFLORES
Now the flames are
Greedy of her; burnt, burnt, burnt to death, sir.

BEATRICE
Oh, my presaging soul!

ALSEMERO
Not a tear more,
I charge you by the last embrace I gave you
In bed before this rais'd us.

BEATRICE
Now you tie me;
Were it my sister now she gets no more.

Enter Servant.

VERMANDERO
How now?

SERVANT
All danger's past; you may now take
Your rests, my lords: the fire is throughly quench'd.
Ah, poor gentlewoman, how soon was she stifled!

BEATRICE
Deflores, what is left of her inter,
And we as mourners all will follow her:
I will entreat that honour to my servant,
Ev'n of my lord himself.

ALSEMERO
Command it, sweetness.

BEATRICE
Which of you spied the fire first?

DEFLORES
'Twas I, madam.

BEATRICE
And took such pains in't too? A double goodness!
'Twere well he were rewarded.

VERMANDERO
He shall be.
Deflores, call upon me.

ALSEMERO
And upon me, sir.

Exeunt. [Manet Deflores.]

DEFLORES
Rewarded? Precious, here's a trick beyond me;
I see in all bouts both of sport and wit
Always a woman strives for the last hit.

Exit.


[V.ii. A chamber]
Enter Tomazo.

TOMAZO
I cannot taste the benefits of life
With the same relish I was wont to do.
Man I grow weary of, and hold his fellowship
A treacherous, bloody friendship, and because
I am ignorant in whom my wrath should settle,
I must think all men villains; and the next
I meet, whoe'er he be, the murderer
Of my most worthy brother.

Enter Deflores, passes over the stage.

Ha! What's he?
Oh, the fellow that some call honest Deflores;
But methinks honesty was hard bested
To come there for a lodging, as if a queen
Should make her palace of a pest-house.
I find a contrariety in nature
Betwixt that face and me. The least occasion
Would give me game upon him; yet he's so foul
One would scarce touch [him] with a sword he loved
And made account of. So most deadly venomous,
He would go [near] to poison any weapon
That should draw blood on him; one must resolve
Never to use that sword again in fight
In way of honest manhood that strikes him.
Some river must devour 't; 'twere not fit
That any man should find it.

Enter Deflores.

What, again?
He walks a' purpose by, sure, to choke me up,
To infect my blood.

DEFLORES
My worthy noble lord.

TOMAZO
Dost offer to come near and breath upon me?

[Strikes him.]

DEFLORES
A blow.

[Deflores draws his weapon.]

TOMAZO
Yea, are you so prepar'd?
I'll rather like a soldier die by th' sword
Then like a politician by thy poison.

DEFLORES
Hold, my lord, as you are honourable.

TOMAZO
All slaves that kill by poison are still cowards.

DEFLORES
[Aside] I cannot strike: I see his brother's wounds
Fresh bleeding in his eye, as in a crystal.--
I will not question this; I know y'are noble.
I take my injury with thanks given, sir,
Like a wise lawyer, and as a favour,
Will wear it for the worthy hand that gave it.
[Aside] Why this from him that yesterday appear'd
So strangely loving to me? Oh, but instinct
Is of a subtler strain; guilt must not walk
So near his lodge again: he came [near] me now.

Exit.

TOMAZO
All league with mankind I renounce forever
Till I find this murderer. Not so much
As common courtesy but I'll lock up,
For in the state of ignorance I live in,
A brother may salute his brother's murderer,
And wish good speed to th' villain in a greeting.

Enter Vermandero, Alibius and Isabella.

VERMANDERO
Noble Piracquo.

TOMAZO
Pray keep on your way, sir,
I've nothing to say to you.

VERMANDERO
Comforts bless you, sir.

TOMAZO
I have forsworn complement, in troth I have, sir;
As you are merely man, I have not left
A good wish for you, nor any here.

VERMANDERO
Unless you be so far in love with grief
You will not part from't upon any terms,
We bring that news will make a welcome for us.

TOMAZO
What news can that be?

VERMANDERO
Throw no scornful smile
Upon the zeal I bring you, tis worth more, sir:
Two of the chiefest men I kept about me
I hide not from the law or your just vengeance.

TOMAZO
Ha!

VERMANDERO
To give your peace more ample satisfaction,
Thank these discoverers.

TOMAZO
If you bring that calm,
Name but the manner I shall ask forgiveness in
For that contemptuous smile upon you:
I'll perfect it with reverence that belongs
Unto a sacred altar.

[Kneels.]

VERMANDERO
[Raising him] Good sir, rise,
Why, now you over-do as much a' this hand
As you fell short a' t'other. Speak, Alibius.

ALIBIUS
'Twas my wife's fortune, as she is most lucky
At a discovery to find out lately
Within our hospital of fools and madmen
Two counterfeits slipp'd into these disguises,
Their names, Franciscus and Antonio.

VERMANDERO
Both mine, sir, and I ask no favour for 'em.

ALIBIUS
Now that which draws suspicion to their habits,
The time of their disguisings agrees justly
With the day of the murder.

TOMAZO
Oh, blest revelation!

VERMANDERO
Nay more, nay more, sir, I'll not spare mine own
In way of justice: they both feign'd a journey
To Briamata, and so wrought out their leaves;
My love was so abus'd in't.

TOMAZO
Time's too precious
To run in waste now; you have brought a peace
The riches of five kingdoms could not purchase.
Be my most happy conduct. I thirst for 'em:
Like subtle lightning will I wind about 'em
And melt their marrow in 'em.

Exeunt.


[V.iii. Alsemero's chamber]
Enter Alsemero and Jasperino.

JASPERINO
Your confidence, I'm sure, is now of proof.
The prospect from the garden has show'd
Enough for deep suspicion.

ALSEMERO
The black mask
That so continually was worn upon't
Condemns the face for ugly ere 't be seen,
Her despite to him, and so seeming bottomless.

JASPERINO
Touch it home then; 'tis not a shallow probe
Can search this ulcer soundly: I fear you'll find it
Full of corruption. 'Tis fit I leave you.
She meets you opportunely from that walk;
She took the back door at his parting with her.

Exit Jasperino.

ALSEMERO
Did my fate wait for this unhappy stroke
At my first sight of woman?

Enter Beatrice.

She's here.

BEATRICE
Alsemero!

ALSEMERO
How do you?

BEATRICE
How do I?
Alas! How do you? You look not well.

ALSEMERO
You read me well enough; I am not well.

BEATRICE
Not well, sir? Is't in my power to better you?

ALSEMERO
Yes.

BEATRICE
Nay, then y'are cur'd again.

ALSEMERO
Pray resolve me one question, lady.

BEATRICE
If I can.

ALSEMERO
None can so sure. Are you honest?

BEATRICE
Ha, ha, ha, that's a broad question, my lord.

ALSEMERO
But that's not a modest answer, my lady:
Do you laugh? My doubts are strong upon me

BEATRICE
'Tis innocence that smiles, and no rough brow
Can take away the dimple in her cheek.
Say I should strain a tear to fill the vault,
Which would you give the better faith to?

ALSEMERO
'Twere but hypocrisy of a sadder colour,
But the same stuff; neither your smiles nor tears
Shall move or flatter me from my belief:
You are a whore.

BEATRICE
What a horrid sound it hath!
It blasts a beauty to deformity;
Upon what face soever that breath falls,
It strikes it ugly: oh, you have ruin'd
What you can ne'er repair again!

ALSEMERO
I'll all demolish and seek out truth within you,
If there be any left: let your sweet tongue
Prevent your heart's rifling; there I'll ransack
And tear out my suspicion.

BEATRICE
You may, sir,
'Tis an easy passage; yet if you please,
Show me the ground whereon you lost your love.
My spotless virtue may but tread on that
Before I perish.

ALSEMERO
Unanswerable;
A ground you cannot stand on: you fall down
Beneath all grace and goodness when you set
Your ticklish heel on't. There was a visor
O'er that cunning face, and that became you;
Now impudence in triumph rides upon't.
How comes this tender reconcilement else
'Twixt you and your despite, your rancourous loathing,
Deflores? He that your eye was sore at sight of,
He's now become your arms' supporter, your
Lips' saint.

BEATRICE
Is there the cause?

ALSEMERO
Worse: your lust's devil,
Your adultery.

BEATRICE
Would any but yourself say that,
'Twould turn him to a villain.

ALSEMERO
'Twas witness'd
By the counsel of your bosom, Diaphanta.

BEATRICE
Is your witness dead then?

ALSEMERO
'Tis to be fear'd
It was the wages of her knowledge, poor soul;
She liv'd not long after the discovery.

BEATRICE
Then hear a story of not much less horror
Than this your false suspicion is beguil'd with.
To your bed's scandal I stand up innocence,
Which even the guilt of one black other deed
Will stand for proof of: your love has made me
A cruel murderess.

ALSEMERO
Ha!

BEATRICE
A bloody one.
I have kiss'd poison for't, strok'd a serpent,
That thing of hate, worthy in my esteem
Of no better employment, and him most worthy
To be so employ'd I caus'd to murder
That innocent Piracquo, having no
Better means than that worst, to assure
Yourself to me.

ALSEMERO
Oh, the place itself e'er since
Has crying been for vengeance, the temple
Where blood and beauty first unlawfully
Fir'd their devotion and quench'd the right one.
'Twas in my fears at first: 'twill have it now.
Oh, thou art all deform'd!

BEATRICE
Forget not, sir,
It for your sake was done: shall greater dangers
Make the less welcome?

ALSEMERO
Oh, thou shouldst have gone
A thousand leagues about to have avoided
This dangerous bridge of blood; here we are lost.

BEATRICE
Remember I am true unto your bed.

ALSEMERO
The bed itself's a charnel, the sheets shrouds
For murdered carcasses; it must ask pause
What I must do in this. Meantime you shall
Be my prisoner only; enter my closet.

Exit Beatrice.

I'll be your keeper yet. Oh, in what part
Of this sad story shall I first begin?

Enter Deflores.

Ha! This same fellow has put me in.
Deflores.

DEFLORES
Noble Alsemero!

ALSEMERO
I can tell you
News, sir: my wife has her commended to you.

DEFLORES
That's news indeed, my lord; I think she would
Commend me to the gallows if she could,
She ever lov'd me so well. I thank her.

ALSEMERO
What's this blood upon your band, Deflores?

DEFLORES
Blood? No, sure 'twas wash'd since.

ALSEMERO
Since when, man?

DEFLORES
Since t'other day I got a knock
In a sword and dagger school; I think 'tis out.

ALSEMERO
Yes, 'tis almost out, but 'tis perceiv'd, though.
I had forgot my message; this it is:
What price goes murder?

DEFLORES
How, sir?

ALSEMERO
I ask you, sir:
My wife's behindhand with you, she tells me,
For a brave, bloody blow you gave for her sake
Upon Piracquo.

DEFLORES
Upon? 'Twas quite through him, sure.
Has she confess'd it?

ALSEMERO
As sure as death to both of you,
And much more than that.

DEFLORES
It could not be much more;
'Twas but one thing, and that she's a whore.

ALSEMERO
[It] could not choose but follow. Oh, cunning devils!
How should blind men know you from fair-fac'd saints?

BEATRICE within
He lies, the villain does belie me!

DEFLORES
Let me go to her, sir.

ALSEMERO
Nay, you shall to her.
Peace, crying crocodile, your sounds are heard;
Take your prey to you! Get you into her, sir.

Exit Deflores.

I'll be your pander now; rehearse again
Your scene of lust, that you may be perfect
When you shall come to act it to the black audience
Where howls and gnashings shall be music to you.
Clip your adulteress freely; 'tis the pilot
Will guide you to the Mare Mortuum,
Where you shall sink to fathoms bottomless.

Enter Vermandero, Alibius, Isabella, Tomazo, Franciscus, and Antonio.

VERMANDERO
Oh, Alsemero. I have a wonder for you.

ALSEMERO
No, sir, 'tis I, I have a wonder for you.

VERMANDERO
I have suspicion near as proof itself
For Piracquo's murder.

ALSEMERO
Sir, I have proof
Beyond suspicion for Piracquo's murder.

VERMANDERO
Beseech you hear me: these two have been disguis'd
E'er since the deed was done.

ALSEMERO
I have two other
That were more close disguis'd then your two could be,
E'er since the deed was done.

VERMANDERO
You'll hear me: these mine own servants--

ALSEMERO
Hear me: those nearer than your servants
That shall acquit them and prove them guiltless.

FRANCISCUS
That may be done with easy truth, sir.

TOMAZO
How is my cause bandied through your delays!
'Tis urgent in blood, and calls for haste;
Give me a brother alive or dead:
Alive, a wife with him; if dead, for both
A recompense for murder and adultery.

BEATRICE within
Oh, oh, oh!

ALSEMERO
Hark, 'tis coming to you.

DEFLORES within
Nay, I'll along for company.

BEATRICE within
Oh, oh!

VERMANDERO
What horrid sounds are these?

ALSEMERO
Come forth, you twins of mischief.

Enter Deflores bringing in Beatrice [wounded].

DEFLORES
Here we are; if you have any more
To say to us, speak quickly. I shall not
Give you the hearing else; I am so stout yet,
And so, I think, that broken rib of mankind.

VERMANDERO
An host of enemies entered my citadel
Could not amaze like this. Joanna, Beatrice Joanna!

BEATRICE
Oh, come not near me, sir; I shall defile you.
I am that of your blood was taken from you
For your better health; look no more upon't,
But cast it to the ground regardlessly:
Let the common sewer take it from distinction.
Beneath the stars, upon yon meteor
Ever [hung] my fate, 'mongst things corruptible;
I ne'er could pluck it from him. My loathing
Was prophet to the rest but ne'er believ'd;
Mine honour fell with him, and now my life.
Alsemero, I am a stranger to your bed;
Your bed was coz'ned on the nuptial night,
For which your false bride died.

ALSEMERO
Diaphanta!

DEFLORES
Yes, and the while I coupled with your mate
At barley-break; now we are left in hell.

VERMANDERO
We are all there; it circumscribes [us] here.

DEFLORES
I lov'd this woman in spite of her heart;
Her love I earn'd out of Piracquo's murder.

TOMAZO
Ha, my brother's murderer!

DEFLORES
Yes, and her honour's prize
Was my reward; I thank life for nothing
But that pleasure: it was so sweet to me
That I have drunk up all, left none behind
For any man to pledge me.

VERMANDERO
Horrid villain!
Keep life in him for further tortures.

DEFLORES
No,
I can prevent you; here's my penknife still.
It is but one thread more, [stabbing himself] and now 'tis cut.
Make haste, Joanna, by that token to thee:
Canst not forget, so lately put in mind,
I would not go to leave thee far behind.

Dies.

BEATRICE
Forgive me, Alsemero, all forgive;
'Tis time to die when 'tis a shame to live.

Dies.

VERMANDERO
Oh, my name is entered now in that record
Where till this fatal hour 'twas never read!

ALSEMERO
Let it be blotted out; let your heart lose it,
And it can never look you in the face,
Nor tell a tale behind the back of life
To your dishonour. Justice hath so right
The guilty hit, that innocence is quit
By proclamation, and may joy again.
Sir, you are sensible of what truth hath done;
'Tis the best comfort that your grief can find.

TOMAZO
Sir, I am satisfied; my injuries
Lie dead before me. I can exact no more,
Unless my soul were loose and could o'ertake
Those black fugitives that are fled from thence
To take a second vengeance; but there are wraths
Deeper than mine, 'tis to be fear'd, about 'em.

ALSEMERO
What an opacous body had that moon
That last chang'd on us! Here's beauty chang'd
To ugly whoredom, here servant obedience
To a master sin, imperious murder.
I, a suppos'd husband, chang'd embraces
With wantonness, but that was paid before;
Your change is come too, from an ignorant wrath
To knowing friendship. Are there any more on's?

ANTONIO
Yes, sir, I was chang'd too, from a little ass as I was to a great fool as I am; and had like to ha' been chang'd to the gallows but that you know my innocence always excuses me.

FRANCISCUS
I was chang'd from a little wit to be stark mad, almost for the same purpose.

ISABELLA
[To Alibius] Your change is still behind,
But deserve best your transformation.
You are a jealous coxcomb, keep schools of folly,
And teach your scholars how to break your own head.

ALIBIUS
I see all apparent, wife, and will change now
Into a better husband, and never keep scholars
That shall be wiser then myself.

ALSEMERO
Sir, you have yet a son's duty living;
Please you accept it. Let that your sorrow,
As it goes from your eye, go from your heart;
Man and his sorrow at the grave must part.

EPILOGUE

ALSEMERO
All we can do to comfort one another,
To stay a brother's sorrow for a brother,
To dry a child from the kind father's eyes,
Is to no purpose; it rather multiplies.
Your only smiles have power to cause relive
The dead again, or in their rooms to give
Brother a new brother, father a child:
If these appear, all griefs are reconcil'd.

Exeunt omnes.
 
 
 

Back to the Index Page