The Works of Aphra Behn, Vol. II
Part 3 out of 11
_Abd_. Hah!--awake, my Soul, from out this drousy Fit,
And with thy wonted Bravery scorn thy Fetters.
By Heaven, 'tis gone! and I am now my self.
Be gone, my dull Submission! my lazy Flame
Grows sensible, and knows for what 'twas kindled.
Coy Mistress, you must yield, and quickly too:
Were you devout as Vestals, pure as their Fire,
Yet I wou'd wanton in the rifled Spoils
Of all that sacred Innocence and Beauty.
--Oh, my Desire's grown high!
Raging as midnight Flames let loose in Cities,
And, like that too, will ruin where it lights.
Come, this Apartment was design'd for Pleasure,
And made thus silent, and thus gay for me;
There I'll convince that Error, that vainly made thee think
I was not meant for Love.
_Leon_. Am I betray'd? are all my Women gone?
And have I nought but Heaven for my Defence?
_Abd_. None else, and that's too distant to befriend you.
_Leon_. Oh, take my Life, and spare my dearer Honour!
--Help, help, ye Powers that favour Innocence.
_Just as the Moor is going to force in_ Leonora,
_enters to him_ Osmin _in haste_.
_Osm_. My Lord, _Alonzo_--
_Abd_. What of him, you Slave--is he not secur'd?
Speak, dull Intruder, that know'st not times and seasons,
Or get thee hence.
_Osm_. Not till I've done the Business which I came for.
_Abd_. Slave!--that thou cam'st for.
[_Stabs him in the Arm_.
_Osm_. No, 'twas to tell you, that _Alonzo_,
Finding himself betray'd, made brave resistance;
Some of your Slaves h'as killed, and some h'as wounded.
_Abd_. 'Tis time he were secured;
I must assist my Guards, or all is lost.
_Leon_. Sure, _Osmin_, from the Gods thou cam'st,
To hinder my undoing; and if thou dy'st,
Heaven will almost forgive thy other Sins
For this one pious Deed.--
But yet I hope thy Wound's not mortal.
_Osm_. 'Tis only in my Arm--and, Madam, for this pity,
I'll live to do you Service.
_Leon_. What Service can the Favourite of the Moor,
Train'd up in Blood and Mischiefs, render me?
_Osm_. Why, Madam, I command the Guard of Moors,
Who will all die, when e'er I give the Word.
Madam, 'twas I caus'd _Philip_ and the Cardinal
To fly to th' Camp,
And gave 'em warning of approaching Death.
_Leon_. Heaven bless thee for thy Goodness.
_Osm_. I am weary now of being a Tyrant's Slave,
And bearing Blows too; the rest I could have suffer'd.
Madam, I'll free the Prince.
But see, the Moor returns.
_Leon_. That Monster's Presence I must fly, as from a killing Plague.
[_Ex. with her Women_.
_Enter_ Abdelazer _with_ Zarrack, _and a Train of Moors_.
_Abd_. It is prodigious, that a single Man
Should with such Bravery defend his Life
Amongst so many Swords;--but he is safe.
_Osmin_, I am not us'd to sue for Pardon,
And when I do, you ought to grant it me.
_Osm_. I did not merit, Sir, so harsh a Usage.
_Abd_. No more; I'm asham'd to be upbraided,
And will repair the Injury I did thee.
_Osm_. Acknowledgment from you is pay sufficient.
_Abd_. Yet, _Osmin_, I shou'd chide your Negligence,
Since by it _Philip_ lives still, and the Cardinal.
_Osm_. I had design'd it, Sir, this Evening's Sacrifice.
_Abd_. _Zarrack_ shall now perform it--and instantly:
_Alonzo_ too must bear 'em company.
_Zar_. I'll shew my Duty in my haste, my Lord.
_Osm_. Death! I'm undone; I'll after him, and kill him.
[_Offers to go_.
_Abd. Osmin_, I've business with you.--
[Osm. _comes back bowing.
As they are going off, enter_ Leonora, Ordonio, _other
Lords, and Women_.
_Leon_. Oh Prince! for Pity hear and grant my Suit.
_Abd_. When so much Beauty's prostrate at my Feet,
What is't I can deny?--rise, thou brightest Virgin
That ever Nature made;
Rise, and command my Life, my Soul, my Honour.
_Leon_. No, let me hang for ever on your Knees,
Unless you'll grant _Alonzo_ Liberty.
_Abd_. Rise, I will grant it; though _Alonzo_, Madam,
Betray'd that Trust I had repos'd in him.
_Leon_. I know there's some Mistake; let me negotiate
Between my Brother and the Gallant Moor.
I cannot force your Guards,
There is no Danger in a Woman's Arm.
_Abd_. In your bright Eyes there is, that may corrupt 'em more
Than all the Treasures of the Eastern Kings.
Yet, Madam, here I do resign my Power;
Act as you please, dismiss _Alonzo's_ Chains.
And since you are so generous, to despise
This Crown, which I have given you,
_Philip_ shall owe his Greatness to your Bounty,
And whilst he makes me safe, shall rule in Spain.
_Ord_. And will you trust him, Madam?
_Leon_. If he deceive me, 'tis more happy far
To die with them, than live where he inhabits.
_Osm_. It shall be done.
_Abd_. Go, _Osmin_, wait upon the Queen;
And when she is confin'd, I'll visit her,
Where if she yield, she reigns; if not, she dies. [_Aside_.
[_Ex_. Abd. _one way_, Leon. Osm. _and the rest another_.
SCENE III. _A Prison_.
_Discovers_ Philip _chain'd to a Post, and over against him
the_ Cardinal _and_ Alonzo _in Chains_.
_Phil_. Oh, all ye cruel Powers! is't not enough
I am depriv'd of Empire, and of Honour?
Have my bright Name stol'n from me, with my Crown!
Divested of all Power! all Liberty!
And here am chain'd like the sad Andromede,
To wait Destruction from the dreadful Monster!
Is not all this enough, without being damn'd,
To have thee, Cardinal, in my full view?
If I cou'd reach my Eyes, I'd be reveng'd
On the officious and accursed Lights,
For guiding so much torment to my Soul.
_Card_. My much wrong'd Prince! you need not wish to kill
By ways more certain, than by upbraiding me
With my too credulous, shameful past misdeeds.
_Phil_. If that wou'd kill, I'd weary out my Tongue
With an eternal repetition of thy Treachery;--
Nay, and it shou'd forget all other Language,
But Traitor! Cardinal! which I wou'd repeat,
Till I had made my self as raging mad,
As the wild Sea, when all the Winds are up;
And in that Storm, I might forget my Grief.
_Card_. Wou'd I cou'd take the killing Object from your Eyes.
_Phil_. Oh _Alonzo_, to add to my Distraction,
Must I find thee a sharer in my Fate?
_Alon_. It is my Duty, Sir, to die with you.--
But, Sir, my Princess
Has here--a more than equal claim to Grief;
And Fear for her dear Safety will deprive me
Of this poor Life, that shou'd have been your Sacrifice.
_Enter_ Zarrack _with a Dagger; gazes on_ Philip.
_Phil_. Kind Murderer, welcome! quickly free my Soul,
And I will kiss the sooty Hand that wounds me.
_Zar_. Oh, I see you can be humble.
_Phil_. Humble! I'll be as gentle as a Love-sick Youth,
When his dear Conqu'ress sighs a Hope into him,
If thou wilt kill me!--Pity me and kill me.
_Zar_. I hope to see your own Hand do that Office.
_Phil_. Oh, thou wert brave indeed,
If thou wou'dst lend me but the use of one.
_Zar_. You'll want a Dagger then.
_Phil_. By Heaven, no, I'd run it down my Throat,
Or strike my pointed Fingers through my Breast.
_Zar_. Ha, ha, ha, what pity 'tis you want a Hand.
_Phil. Osmin_, sure thou wilt be so kind to kill me!
Thou hadst a Soul was humane.
_Osm_. Indeed I will not, Sir, you are my King.
_Phil_. What mean'st thou?
_Osm_. To set you free, my Prince.
_Phil_. Thou art some Angel sure, in that dark Cloud.
_Zar_. What mean'st thou, Traitor?
_Osm_. Wait till your Eyes inform you.
_Card_. Good Gods! what mean'st thou?
_Osm_. Sir, arm your Hand with this.
[_Gives_ Phil. _a Sword, goes to undo_ Alonzo.
_Zar_. Thou art half-damn'd for this!
I'll to my Prince--
_Phil_. I'll stop you on your way--lie there--your Tongue
Shall tell no Tales to day--Now, Cardinal--but hold,
I scorn to strike thee whilst thou art unarm'd,
Yet so thou didst to me;
For which I have not leisure now to kill thee.
--Here, take thy Liberty;--nay, do not thank me;
By Heaven, I do not mean it as a Grace.
_Osm_. My Lord, take this--
[_To_ Alon. _and the_ Card.
And this--to arm your Highness.
_Alon_. Thou dost amaze me!
_Osm_. Keep in your Wonder with your Doubts, my Lord.
_Phil_. We cannot doubt, whilst we're thus fortify'd--
[_Looks on his Sword_.
Come, _Osmin_, let us fall upon the Guards.
_Osm_. There are no Guards, great Sir, but what are yours;
And see--your Friends I've brought to serve ye too.
[_Opens a back Door.
_Enter_ Leonora _and Women_, Ordonio, Sebastian,
_Phil_. My dearest Sister safe!
_Leon_. Whilst in your Presence, Sir, and you thus arm'd.
_Osm_. The Moor approaches,--now be ready all.
_Phil_. That Name I never heard with Joy till now;
Let him come on, and arm'd with all his Powers,
Thus singly I defy him. [_Draws_.
[Osmin _secures the Doors_.
_Abd_. Hah! betray'd! and by my Slaves! by _Osmin_ too!
_Phil_. Now, thou damn'd Villain! true-born Soul of Hell!
Not one of thy infernal Kin shall save thee.
_Abd_. Base Coward Prince!
Whom the admiring World mistakes for Brave;
When all thy boasted Valour, fierce and hot
As was thy Mother in her height of Lust,
Can with the aid of all these--treacherous Swords,
Take but a single Life; but such a Life,
As amongst all their Store the envying Gods
Have not another such to breathe in Man.
_Phil_. Vaunt on, thou monstrous Instrument of Hell!
For I'm so pleas'd to have thee in my Power,
That I can hear thee number up thy Sins,
And yet be calm, whilst thou art near Damnation.
_Abd_. Thou ly'st, thou canst not keep thy Temper in;
For hadst thou so much Bravery of Mind,
Thou'dst fight me singly; which thou dar'st not do.
_Phil_. Not dare!
By Heaven, if thou wert twenty Villains more,
And I had all thy Weight of Sins about me,
I durst thus venture on;--forbear, _Alonzo_.
_Alon_. I will not, Sir.
_Phil_. I was indeed too rash; 'tis such a Villain,
As shou'd receive his Death from nought but Slaves.
_Abd_. Thou'st Reason, Prince! nor can they wound my Body
More than I've done thy Fame; for my first step
To my Revenge, I whor'd the Queen thy Mother.
_Phil_. Death! though this I knew before, yet the hard Word
Runs harshly thro my Heart;--
If thou hadst murder'd fifty Royal _Ferdinands_,
And with inglorious Chains as many Years
Had loaded all my Limbs, 't had been more pardonable
Than this eternal Stain upon my Name:
--Oh, thou hast breath'd thy worst of Venom now.
_Abd_. My next advance was poisoning of thy Father.
_Phil_. My Father poison'd! and by thee, thou Dog!
Oh, that thou hadst a thousand Lives to lose,
Or that the World depended on thy single one,
That I might make a Victim
Worthy to offer up to his wrong'd Ghost.--
But stay, there's something of thy Count of Sins untold,
That I must know; not that I doubt, by Heaven,
That I am _Philip's_ Son--
_Abd_. Not for thy Ease, but to declare my Malice,
Know, Prince, I made thy amorous Mother
Proclaim thee Bastard, when I miss'd of killing rhee.
_Phil_. Gods! let me contain my Rage!
_Abd_. I made her too betray the credulous Cardinal,
And having then no farther use of her,
Satiated with her Lust,
I set _Roderigo_ on to murder her.
Thy Death had next succeeded; and thy Crown
I wou'd have laid at _Leonora's_ Feet.
_Alon_. How! durst you love the Princess?
_Abd_. Fool, durst! had I been born a Slave,
I durst with this same Soul do any thing:
Yes, and the last Sense that will remain about me,
Will be my Passion for that charming Maid,
Whom I'd enjoy'd e'er now, but for thy Treachery.
_Phil_. Deflour'd my Sister! Heaven punish me eternally,
If thou out-liv'st the Minute thou'st declar'd it.
_Abd_. I will, in spite of all that thou canst do.
--Stand off, fool-hardy Youth, if thou'dst be safe,
And do not draw thy certain Ruin on,
Or think that e'er this Hand was arm'd in vain.
_Phil_. Poor angry Slave, how I contemn thee now!
_Abd_. As humble Huntsmen do the generous Lion;
Now thou darst see me lash my Sides, and roar,
And bite my Snare in vain; who with one Look
(Had I been free) hadst shrunk into the Earth,
For shelter from my Rage:
And like that noble Beast, though thus betray'd,
I've yet an awful Fierceness in my Looks,
Which makes thee fear t'approach; and 'tis at distance
That thou dar'st kill me; for come but in my reach,
And with one Grasp I wou'd confound thy Hopes.
_Phil_. I'll let thee see how vain thy Boastings are,
And unassisted, by one single Rage,
Thus--make an easy Passage to thy Heart.
[_Runs on him, all the rest do the like in the same Minute_.
Abd. _aims at the_ Prince, _and kills_ Osmin, _and falls
--Die with thy Sins unpardon'd, and forgotten--
_Alon_. Great Sir, your Throne and Kingdom want you now;
Your People rude with Joy, do fill each Street,
And long to see their King--whom Heaven preserve.
_All_. Long live _Philip_, King of _Spain_--
_Phil_. I thank ye all;--and now, my dear _Alonzo_,
Receive the Recompence of all thy Sufferings,
Whilst I create thee Duke of _Salamancha_.
_Alon_. Thus low I take the Bounty from your Hands.
_Leon_. Rise, Sir, my Brother now has made us equal.
_Card_. And shall this joyful Day, that has restor'd you
To all the Glories of your Birth and Merits,
That has restor'd all _Spain_ the greatest Treasure
That ever happy Monarchy possess'd,
Leave only me unhappy, when, Sir, my Crime
Was only too much Faith?--Thus low I fall, [_Kneels_.
And from that Store of Mercy Heaven has given you,
Implore you wou'd dispense a little here.
_Phil_. Rise, (though with much ado) I will forgive you.
_Leon_. Come, my dear Brother, to that glorious business,
Our Birth and Fortunes call us, let us haste,
For here methinks we are in danger still.
_Phil_. So after Storms, the joyful Mariner
Beholds the distant wish'd-for Shore afar,
And longs to bring the rich-fraight Vessel in,
Fearing to trust the faithless Seas again.
Spoken by little Mrs. _Ariell_.
_With late Success being blest, I'm come agen;
You see what Kindness can do, Gentlemen,
Which when once shewn, our Sex cannot refrain.
Yet spite of such a Censure I'll proceed,
And for our Poetess will intercede:
Before, a Poet's wheedling Words prevail'd,
Whose melting Speech my tender Heart assail'd,
And I the flatt'ring Scribler's Cause maintain'd;
So by my means the Fop Applauses gain'd.
'Twas wisely done to chuse m' his Advocate,
Since I have prov'd to be his better Fate;
For what I lik'd, I thought you could not hate.
Respect for you, Gallants, made me comply,
Though I confess he did my Passion try,
And I am too good-natur'd to deny.
But now not Pity, but my Sex's Cause,
Whose Beauty does, like Monarchs, give you Laws,
Should now command, being join'd with Wit, Applause.
Yet since our Beauty's Power's not absolute,
She'll not the Privilege of your Sex dispute,
But does by me submit.--Yet since you've been
For my sake kind, repeat it once agen.
Your Kindness, Gallants, I shall soon repay,
If you'll but favour my Design to Day:
Your last Applauses, like refreshing Showers,
Made me spring up and bud like early Flow'rs;
Since then I'm grown at least an Inch in height,
And shall e'er long be full-blown for Delight_.
Written by a Friend.
THE YOUNG KING; OR, THE MISTAKE.
Orsames, heir to the Dacian throne, has been kept in a castle from
His infancy, never having seen any human being save his old tutor,
Geron, owing to an Oracle which foretold great cruelties and mischiefs
If he should be allowed to wear the crown. The Queen of Dacia designs
Her daughter Cleomena as her successor, and with this intent gives her
An Amazonian education. The Dacians and Scythians are at war, but
Thersander, The Scythian prince, has joined the Dacians under the name
Of Clemanthis, inasmuch as he loves the princess, who in her turn
Becomes enamoured of him. He is recognized but not betrayed by Urania,
a Scythian lady who, her lover Amintas having been previously captured,
allows herself to be taken prisoner and presented to Cleomena. Amintas
is confined in the old castle where Urania, visiting him, is accidently
seen by Orsames. He is, however, persuaded by Geron that it is an
apparition. Amintas is freed by Urania, who has gained Cleomena's
friendship. Honorius, the Dacian general, offers Thersander his daughter
Olympia, and the young Scythian is obliged to feign acceptance. Cleomena
hears Honorius telling the Queen his design and goes off enraged, only to
see Thersander seemingly courting Olympia. She raves and threatens to
kill him, but eventually parts with disdain, bidding him quit the place.
Orsames is now brought from the castle during his sleep, crowned, seated
on the throne and treated in every respect as King. His power is
acknowledged, the Queen kneels before him, and Olympia entering, he
falls violently in love with her. At a supposed contradiction he orders
one courtier to instant execution and another to be cast into the sea.
Immediately after, during a banquet, a narcotic is mingled with his wine
and he is conveyed back to the castle whilst under its influence,
leaving the Queen fearful that her experiment is of no avail as he has
displayed so tyrannical and cruel a nature.
A battle between the Dacians and Scythians follows, in which the
Latter are victorious owing to Thersander having, under his own name,
Returned to their camp. The Dacian chiefs then challenge him to single
Combat. He crosses over once again as Clemanthis and the lot falls upon
himself. He thereupon dresses Amintas in the clothes of Clemanthis and
arranges that in a pretended duel with him himself shall gain the upper
hand. Meanwhile two rival princes to the hand of Cleomena post assassins
in the wood to kill Thersander, and these, deceived by the garb of
Clemanthis, mistake Amintas for the prince, and leaving him half dead on
the ground and covered with blood and wounds, take their flight,
imagining they have fully carried out their masters' wishes. Amintas is
just able to gasp the name 'Thersander', and Cleomena promptly concludes
that Thersander has slain Clemanthis. She then herself assumes the attire
of Clemanthis and goes out to the duel. She is wounded, her sex
discovered, and she is borne from the field, whilst Thersander remains
plunged in despair.
Meanwhile Orsames in his prison forces Geron to tell him the truth as to
his adventure, whilst outside the populace are clamouring for him as
king. Cleomena, disguised as a shepherd-boy, carries a letter to
Thersander, and stabs him as he reads it. The Scythian king has her
thrown into a dungeon, but Thersander obtains her release. Amintas
meanwhile has been cured of his wounds by a Druid leech. Thersander is
visited by Cleomena and reveals to her his identity with Clemanthis.
They are at length united, and this event, with the arrival of Orsames,
Who has been placed on the throne by the Dacians, joins the two
countries in a lasting peace. It is explained that the Oracle is
satisfied by his previous reign of a night.
The plot of _The Young King_, which, as the _Biograpbia Dramatitca_ well
remarks, 'is very far from being a bad one', is taken from the eighth
part of La Calprenede's famous romance, _Cleopatre_. The adventures of
Alcamenes (Thersander) and Menalippa (Cleomena) are therein related for
the benefit of Cleopatra and Artemisa, temporarily imprisoned on
shipboard. The narrative, which occupies some hundred pages, is n good
example of those prolix detached episodes and histories peculiar to this
school, which by their perpetual crossing and intertwining render the
consecutive reading of a heroic romance so confused and difficult a task.
Yet in this particular instance the tale is extraordinarily well told and
highly interesting. Mrs. Behn has altered the names for the better.
Barzanes in the novel becomes Honorius in the play; Euardes, Ismenes;
Phrataphernes, Artabazes; Beliza, Semiris; whilst La Calprenede dubs the
Scythian king, Arontes and the queen of Dacia, Amalthea.
_Cleopatre_, commenced in 1646, was eventually completed in twelve
volumes. There is an English translation of the eighth part by James Webb
(8vo, 1658), which he terms _Hymen's Praeludia, or, Love's Masterpiece_,
and dedicates with much flowery verbiage to his aunt, Jane, Viscountess
Clanebuy. A translation of the whole romance, by Robert Loveday, was
published folio, 1668.
The story, however, is not original even in La Calprenede, being taken
with changed names from _Il Calsandro_ smascherato di Giovanni Ambrogio
Marini (Part 1, Fiorenza, 1646; Part 2, Bologna, 1651), a French version
of which, by Georges de Scuderi, appeared in 1668.
Some critics have seen a resemblance between the character of the young
prince Orsames and that of Hippolito, 'one that never saw woman,' in
Dryden and Davenant's alteration of _The Tempest_ (1667). But the
likeness is merely superficial. Mrs. Behn has undoubtedly taken the
whole episode of Orsames directly from Calderon's great philosophic and
symbolical comedia, _La Vida es Sueno_ (1633). That Mrs. Behn had a
good knowledge of Spanish is certain, and she has copied with the closest
fidelity minute but telling details of her original. Calderon himself
probably derived his plot from Rojas' _Viaje Entretenido_. Basilio, King
of Poland, to thwart the fulfilling of a horoscope, imprisons his son
Segismundo from infancy in a lonely tower. The youth is, however, as a
test of his character, one night whilst under the influence of a
soporofic conveyed from his prison and wakes to find himself in a
sumptuous apartment amidst crowds of adulating courtiers. He shows
himself, however, a very despot, and throws an officious servant, who
warns him to proffer greater respect to the infanta Estella, his cousin,
clean out of window; he nearly kills his tutor Clotaldo, who interrupts
his violent wooing; and, in fine, is seen to be wholly unfit to reign.
A potion is deftly administered, and once more, asleep, he is carried
back to the castle. The populace, however, rise and set him on the
throne, and eventually the astrological forecast comes true; but at the
same time he proves himself a worthy sovereign. All these details are
to be found in _The Young King_, as well as Calderon's scene where
Rosaura, in pursuit of her lover, accidently encounters Segismundo in
The story itself is, of course, world-wide with a thousand variants.
Oriental in origin, it is familiar to all readers of the Thousand and One
Nights, when Abou Hassan is drugged by Haroun al Raschid, and for one day
allowed to play the caliph with power complete and unconfined. The same
trick is said to have been tried upon a drunkard at Bruges by Philip the
Good, Duke of Burgundy, during his marriage festivities, 1440.
Christopher Sly, well drubbed by Marian Hacket and bawling for a pot of
small ale, will at once occur to every mind. Richard Edwardes has the
same story in his _Collection of Tales_ (1570); the old _Ballad of the
Frolicsome Duke_ sings it; Sir Richard Barckley repeats it in his
_Discourse of the Felicitie of Man_ (1598); and Burton found a niche for
it in his _Anatomy of Melancholy_ (1621). Simon Goulart included it in
the _Tresor d'histoires admirables et memorables_ (circa 1600), whence it
was Englished by Grimeston (1607). In fact it is a common property of all
times and all nations.
Although Mrs. Behn confessedly does not attain (nor was such her
intention) the deep philosophy and exquisite melody of the great Spanish
poet, she has produced a first-rate specimen of the romance drama, rococo
perhaps, and with quaint ornaments, but none the less full of life,
incident and interest.
1. This version of Shakespeare, and particularly the part of Hippolito,
belong to Davenant, for, as Dryden says in the preface, Sir William 'to
put the last hand to it, design'd the counterpart to Shakespeare's plot,
namely that of a man who had never seen a woman.']
2. _Life is a Dream_. English translation by John Oxenford, Monthly
Magazine, Vol. XCVI; by Archbishop Trench, 1856; by Denis Florence
Mac-Carthy, 1873; by FitzGerald (a private edition), 'Such Stuff as
Dreams are Made Of'. It has also been excellently edited by Norman
Maccoll, _Select Plays from Calderon_ (1888).
The earliest sketch of _The Young King; or, The Mistake_ was written by
Mrs. Behn whilst she was still a young girl at Surinam. Upon her return
to England the rhyming play had made its appearance, and soon heroic
tragedy was carrying all before it on the London stage. Influenced no
doubt by this tremendous vogue, she turned to her early MS. and proceeded
to put her work, founded on one of the most famous of the heroic
romances, into the fashionable couplets. Traces of this may be found in
the scene between Cleomena and Urania, i, II; in Orsames' speech, iv,
III, and elsewhere. Whilst she was busy, however, _The Rehearsal_ was
produced at the King's Theatre, 8 December, 1671, and for the moment gave
a severe blow to the drama it parodied. Accordingly, Mrs. Behn with no
little acumen put her tragi-comedy on one side until the first
irresistible influence of Buckingham's burlesque had waned ever so
slightly, and then, when her dramatic reputation was firmly established
by the triumphant success of _The Rover_, the applause that had been
given to _Sir Patient Fancy_ and half-a-dozen more of her plays, she
bethought of her earlier efforts, and after subjecting _The Toung King_
to a thorough revision, in which, however, it retained marked traces of
its original characteristics, she had it produced at the Duke's Theatre
in the spring of 1679. Mr. Gosse goes so far as to say that she had
previously offered it to the theatres and publishers, but could find
neither manager nor printer who would accept it. This, which he deduces
from her dedication to Philaster, seems to me unwarrantable, and is not
borne out by the play itself, which, baroque as it may appear to us, is
certainly equal to, and indeed far better, than the rank and file of
Restoration tragi-comedy. There is no record of its performance, and it
never kept the boards. But although we have no direct evidence of its
success, on the other hand it would be rash to suggest it was in any
sense a failure. Indeed, since two editions were published we may safely
assert its popularity. The actors' names are not preserved, but Mrs. Mary
Lee doubtless created Cleomena; Mrs. Barry, Urania; Betterton,
Thersander; and Smith, Orsames.
'Tis the glory of the Great and Good to be the Refuge of the Distress'd;
their Virtues create 'em troubles; and he that has the God like Talent to
oblige, is never free from Impunity, you, Philaster, have a Thousand ways
merited my Esteem and Veneration; and I beg you wou'd now permit the
effects of it, which cou'd not forbear, though unpermitted, to dedicate
this youthful sally of my Pen, this first Essay of my Infant-Poetry to
your Self: 'Tis a Virgin-Muse, harmless and unadorn'd, unpractis'd in the
Arts to please; and if by chance you find any thing agreeable, 'tis
natural and unskill'd Innocence. Three thousand Leagues of spacious Ocean
she has measured, visited many and distant Shores, and found a welcome
every where; but in all that vast tract of Sea and Land cou'd never meet
with one whose Person and Merits cou'd oblige her to yield her ungarded
self into his protection: A thousand Charms of Wit, good Nature, and
Beauty at first approach she found in _Philaster_; and since she knew she
cou'd not appear upon the too-critical English Stage without making
choice of some Noble Patronage, she waited long, look'd round the judging
World, and fix't on you. She fear'd the reproach of being an American,
whose Country rarely produces Beauties of this kind: The Muses seldom
inhabit there; or if they do, they visit and away; but for variety a
Dowdy Lass may please: Her youth too should attone for all her faults
besides; and her being a Stranger will beget civility, and you that are
by nature kind and generous, tender and soft to all that's new and gay,
will not, I hope refuse her the Sanctuary I am so sensible she will have
need of in this loose Age of Censure. You have goodness enough to excuse
all her weaknesses, and Wit enough to defend 'em; and that's sufficient
to render her Estimable to all the World that knows the generous and
excellent Philaster; whilst this occasion to celebrate you under this
Name, is both a Pleasure and Honour to. ASTERA.
THE YOUNG KING; or, The Mistake.
_Beauty like Wit, can only charm when new;
Is there no Merit then in being true?
Wit rather should an Estimation hold
With Wine, which is still best for being old.
Judgment in both, with vast Expence and Thought,
You from their native Soil, from Paris brought:
The Drops that from that sacred Sodom fall,
You like industrious Spiders suck up all.
Well might the French a Conquest here design,
Were but their Swords as dangerous as their Wine.
Their Education yet is worse than both;
They make our Virgins Nuns, unman our Youth.
We that don't know 'em, think 'em Monsters too;
And will, because we judge of them by you.
You'll say this once was so, but now you're grown
So wise t'invent new Follies of your own:
Their slavish Imitations you disdain;
A Pox of Fops that purchase Fame with Pain:
You're no such Fools as first to mount a Wall,
Or for your King and Country venture all.
With such like grinning Honour 'twas perchance,
Your dull Forefathers first did conquer France.
Whilst they have sent us, in Revenge for these,
Their Women, Wine, Religion, and Disease.
Yet for Religion, it's not much will down,
In this ungirt, unblest, and mutinous Town.
Nay, I dare swear, not one of you in seven,
E'er had the Impudence to hope for Heaven.
In this you're modest--
But as to Wit, most aim before their time,
And he that cannot spell, sets up for Rhyme:
They're Sparks who are of Noise and Nonsense full,
At fifteen witty, and at twenty dull;
That in the Pit can huff, and talk hard Words,
And briskly draw Bamboo instead of Swords:
But never yet Rencounter cou'd compare
To our late vigorous Tartarian War:
Cudgel the Weapon was, the Pit the Field;
Fierce was the Hero, and too brave to yield.
But stoutest Hearts must bow; and being well can'd,
He crys, Hold, hold, you have the Victory gained.
All laughing call--
Turn out the Rascal, the eternal Blockhead;
--Zounds, crys Tartarian, I am out of Pocket:
Half Crown my Play, Sixpence my Orange cast;
Equip me that, do you the Conquest boast.
For which to lie at ease, a Gathering's made,
And out they turn the Brother of the Blade.
--This is the Fruit of Idleness and Ease:
Heaven bless the King that keeps the Land in Peace,
Or he'll be sweetly served by such as these_.
_Queen of Dacia_.
_Orsames_, her Son, kept from his Infancy in a Castle on a Lake,
ignorant of his Quality, and of all the World besides; never
having seen any human thing save only his old Tutor.
_Cleomena_, his Sister, bred up in War, and design'd to reign
instead of _Orsames_; the Oracle having foretold the bloody
Cruelties should be committed during his short Reign, if ever
suffered to wear the Crown.
_Honorius_, General of the Army, and Uncle to _Orsames_ and _Cleomena_.
_Olympia_, his Daughter, young and beautiful.
_Ismenes_ and | Two Rival Princes in love with _Cleomena_.
_Geron_, the old Tutor to _Orsames_.
_Pimante_, a Fop Courtier.
_Arates_, a Courtier.
_Semeris_, Woman to _Cleomena_.
_Vallentio_, a Colonel of the Army.
_Gorel_, a Citizen.
Keeper of the Castle.
_King of Scythia_.
_Thersander_, his Son, under the Name of _Clemanthis_, when on the
_Amintas_, a young Nobleman, belov'd by _Thersander_, and Lover of
_Lysander_, Page to _Thersander_.
_Urania_, in love with _Amintas_.
_Lyces_, a Shepherdess.
Pages and Attendants, Courtiers (men and women), Officers,
Guards, Soldiers, Huntsmen, Shepherds, Shepherdesses,
Assassins, and all a Rabble of the Mobile.
SCENE, the Court of _Dacia_, between the two
Armies just before the Town.
SCENE I. _A Grove near the Camp_.
_Enter_ Pimante _with Letters_.
Gone! Well, I have never the Luck, I thank my Stars, to meet with any of
these mighty Men of Valour.--_Vallentio_! Noble Colonel.
_Val. Pimante_! Why, what the Devil brought thee to the Camp?
_Pim_. Affairs, Affairs--
_Val_. They must be wondrous pressing that made thee venture; but the
Fighting's past, and all the Noise over; every Man of Fame gone to
receive what's due to his Merit; and the whole Camp looks now like a City
in a great Plague, no stirring--But what's thy Business here?
_Pim_. Why, I brought Letters from the Queen to that same mighty Man of
Prowess--what d'ye call him?
_Val_. The brave Clemanthis?
_Pim_. The same--But, Colonel, is he indeed so very terrible a thing as
Fame gives out?--But she was ever a notable Wag at History.
_Val_. How dare thy Coward-thoughts venture upon any thing so terrible as
the remembrance of that Gallant Man? Is not his Name like Thunder to thy
Ears? Does it not make thee shrink into thy self?
_Pim_. Lord, Colonel, why so hot? 'Tis the cursed'st thing in the World
to be thus continually us'd to fighting; why, how uncivil it renders a
Man! I spake by way of Question.
_Val_. Oh! how soft and wanton I could grow in the Description I could
make of him--He merits all in Peace as well as War; Compos'd of Charms
would take all Womankind, As those of's Valour overcome the Men.
_Pim_. Well said, i'faith, Colonel; but if he be so fine a Man, why did
you not keep him here amongst you to do Execution on the _Scythians_?
for I think e'er long you'll give 'em Battel.
_Val_. The General, whose noble Life he sav'd,
Us'd all his Interest with him, but in vain:
He neither could oblige his stay i'th' Camp,
Nor get him to the Court. Oh! were his Quality
But like his Actions great, he were a Man
To merit _Cleomena_,
Whose Worth and Beauty, as a thing Divine,
But I abhor the feeble Reign of Women;
It foretels the Downfal of the noblest Trade, War.
Give me a Man to lead me on to Dangers,
Such as _Clemanthis_ is, or as _Orsames_ might have been.
_Pim_. Colonel, 'tis Treason but to name _Orsames_, and much more to wish
he were as King.
_Val_. Not wish he were! by all those Gods I will,
Who did conspire against him in their Oracles.
Not wish him King! yes, and may live to see it.
_Pim_. What should we do with such a King? The Gods foretel he shall be
fierce and bloody, a Ravisher, a Tyrant o'er his People; his Reign but
short, and so unfit for Reign.
_Val_. The Gods! I'll not trust 'em for a Day's Pay--let them but give
one a taste of his Reign, tho but an hour, and I'll be converted to them.
_Pim_. Besides, he is very ill bred for a King; he knows nothing of the
World, cannot dress himself, nor sing, nor dance, or play on any Musick;
ne'er saw a Woman, nor knows how to make use of one if he had her.
There's an old fusty Philosopher that instructs him; but 'tis in nothing
ever that shall make a fine Gentleman of him: He teaches him a deal of
Awe and Reverence to the Gods; and tells him that his natural Reason's
Sin--But, Colonel, between you and I, he'll no more of that Philosophy,
but grows as sullen as if you had the breeding of him here i'th' Camp.
_Val_. Thou tell'st me heavenly News; a King, a King again! Oh, for a
mutinous Rabble, that would break the Prison-Walls, and set _Orsames_ free,
both from his Fetters and his Ignorance.
_Pim_. There is a Discourse at Court, that the Queen designs to bring him
out, and try how he would behave himself: But I'm none of that Counsel,
she's like to make a fine Court on't; we have enough in the Virago he
Daughter, who, if it were not for her Beauty, one would swear were no
Woman, she's so given to Noise and Fighting.
_Val_. I never saw her since she was a Child, and then she naturally
_Pim_. Nay, she's in that mind still; and the superstitious Queen, who
thinks that Crown belongs to _Cleomena_--
_Val_. Yes, that was the Promise of the Oracle too.
_Pim_. Breeds her more like a General than a Woman. Ah, how she loves
fine Arms! a Bow, a Quiver! and though she be no natural Amazon, she's
capable of all their martial Fopperies--But hark, what Noise is that?
_Val_. 'Tis what we do not use to hear--Stand by.
_Damon, I cannot blame your Will,
'Twas Chance, and not Design, did kill;
For whilst you did prepare your Arms
On purpose Celia to subdue,
I met the Arrows as they flew,
And sav'd her from their Harms.
Alas, she could not make returns.
Who for a Swain already turns,
A Shepherd, who does her caress
With all the softest Marks of Love;
And 'tis in vain thou seek'st to move
The cruel Shepherdess.
Content thee with this Victory,
I'm Young and Beautiful as she;
I'll make thee Garlands all the Day,
And in the Shades we'll sit and sing;
I'll crown thee with the Pride o'th' Spring,
When thou art Lord o'th' May_.
_Enter_ Urania _dress'd gay_, Lyces _a Shepherdess_.
_Ly_. Still as I sing you sigh.
_Uran_. I cannot hear thy Voice, and the returns
The Echoes of these shady Groves repeat,
But I must find some Softness at my Heart.
--Wou'd I had never known another Dwelling,
But this too happy one where thou wert born! [Sighs.
_Ly_. You sigh again: such things become
None but unhappy Maids that are forsaken;
Your Beauty is too great to suffer that.
_Ura_. No Beauty's proof against false perjur'd Man.
_Ly_. Is't possible you can have lost your Love?
_Ura_. Yes, pretty Maid, canst tell me any tidings of him?
_Ly_. I cannot tell, by what marks do you know him?
_Ura_. Why, by these--a tempting Face and Shape,
A Tongue bewitching soft, and Breath as sweet,
As is the welcome Breeze that does restore
Life to a Man half kill'd with heat before;
But has a Heart as false as Seas in Calms,
Smiles first to tempt, then ruins with its Storms.
_Ly_. Oh, fair Urania! there are many more
So like your Love, if such a one he be:
That you wou'd take each Shepherd to be he:
'Tis grown the fashion now to be forsworn;
Oaths are like Garlands made of finest Flowers,
Wither as soon as finish'd;
They change their Loves as often as their Scrips,
And lay their Mistresses aside like Ribbons,
Which they themselves have sullied.
_Pim_. Gad, I'll venture in--
_Val_. Fair Women, and so near the Camp!
What are ye, and from whence?
_Pim_. Ha! 'tis no matter for that; ask no Questions, but fall to.
[_Goes to_ Lyces.
_Ura_. I'm not asham'd to tell the one or t'other;
I am a Maid, and one of gentle Birth,
A _Scythian_ born, an Enemy to thee,
Not as thou art a Man, but Friend to _Dacia_.
_Val_. What Sin have I committed, that so fair a Creature should become
my Enemy? but since you are so, you must be my Prisoner, unless your Eyes
prevent me, and make me yours.
_Pim_. How, take a Woman Prisoner! I hope you are a finer Gentleman than
_Val_. But, Madam, do not fear, for I will use you As well as such a Man
as I can do.
_Ura_. Though thou be'st rough, thou hast a noble look, And I believe my
Treatment will be gentle.
_Val_. Fair Maid, this Confidence is brave in thee;
And though I am not us'd to make returns,
Unless in Thunder on my Enemies,
Yet name the way, and I will strive to serve you.
_Ura_. Then, Sir, I beg that you would set me free,
Nor yet retain me here a Prisoner;
But as thou'rt brave, conduct me to the Castle on the Lake,
Where young Amintas lies, the Spoil of War.
_Val. Amintas_, Madam, is a gallant Youth,
And merits more from Fortune than his Chains;
But I could wish (since I have vow'd to serve you)
You would command me something
Worthy your Beauty, and of that Resolution.
_Ura_. There is no other way to do me service.
_Val_. Then most willingly I will obey you.
_Ura_. But, Sir, I beg this Virgin may depart,
Being a _Dacian_, and a neighbouring Villager.
_Val_. All your Commands shall strictly be obey'd.
_Pim_. Pox on her, she's coy, and let her go. Well,
Colonel, I doubt you'll be for the Queen by and by.
_Ura_. Here--take this Jewel as a part of payment,
For all thy goodness to an unknown Maid. [_To_ Lyces.
And if by chance I ever see thee more,
Believe me, _Lyces_, I will quit the score.
[_Ex_. Lyces _weeping_.
SCENE II. _A Grove of Trees_.
_Within the Scene lies_ Thersander _sleeping, his Cap and
Feather at a distance from him_.
_Enter_ Cleomena _drest like an_ Amazon, _with a Bow in
her Hand, and a Quiver of Arrows at her Back, with_
Semiris _attired like her_.
_Cleo_. I'm almost tir'd with holding out the Chase.
_Sem_. That's strange! methought your Highness followed not
So fast to Day as I have seen you heretofore.
_Cleo_. I do not use to leave the Game unvanquish'd,
Yet now by what strange inclination led I know not,
The Sport growing dull, I wish to meet a place
Far from the noise and business of the Day:
Hast thou ty'd fast my Horses?
_Sem_. Madam, I have.
_Cleo_. What place is this, _Semiris_?
_Sem_. I know not, Madam, but 'tis wondrous pleasant.
_Cleo_. How much more charming are the Works of Nature
Than the Productions of laborious Art?
Securely here the wearied Shepherd sleeps,
Guiltless of any fear, but the disdain
His cruel Fair procures him.
How many Tales the Echoes of these Woods
Cou'd tell of Lovers, if they would betray,
That steal delightful hours beneath their Shades!
_Sem_. You'd rather hear 'em echo back the sound
Of Horns and Dogs, or the fierce noise of War.
_Cleo_. You charge me with the faults of Education,
That cozening Form that veils the Face of Nature,
But does not see what's hid within, _Semiris_:
I have a Heart all soft as thine, all Woman,
Apt to melt down at every tender Object.
--Oh, _Semiris_! there's a strange change within me.
_Sem_. How, Madam!
_Cleo_. I would thou knew'st it;
Till now I durst do any thing--but fear,
Yet now I tremble with the thoughts of telling thee
What none but thou must know--I am in love.
_Sem_. Why do you blush, my Princess? 'tis no sin;
But, Madam, who's the happy glorious Object?
_Cleo_. Why, canst thou not guess then?
_Sem_. How is it possible I should?
_Cleo_. Oh Gods! not guess the Man!
Or, rather think some God! Dull stupid Maid,
Hast thou not heard of something more than mortal!
'Twixt Human and Divine! our Country's Genius,
Our young God of War! not heard of him!
_Sem_. 'Tis not Prince _Artabazes_, or _Ismenes_?
_Cleo_. Away, thou anger'st me.
_Sem_. Pardon me, Madam,
It can be none at Court, if none of these?
And all besides are much below that Glory.
_Cleo_. What call'st thou much below, mistaken thing?
Can a gay Name give Virtue, Wit, or Beauty?
Can it gain Conquest, or in Fields or Courts?
No, nor defend its own fantastick Owner.
--Come, guess again.
_Sem_. I can guess no further than a Man, and that I'm sure he is.
_Cleo_. I know not--
For yet I never saw him, but in's Character,
Unless sometimes in Dreams.
_Sem_. Is't not enough he conquers where he comes,
But that his Fame prevents his Sword and Eyes?
Perhaps his Person may not be agreeable;
The best in Camps are not the best in Courts.
_Cleo_. So brave a Mind must have as brave an Outside.
My Uncle's Letters from the Camp contain
Nothing but Wonders of his Worth and Valour,
And 'tis impossible but such a Man
Must merit Love as well as Admiration.
_Sem_. Does he not come to Court?
_Cleo_. The Queen has made him many Invitations;
But he for some unknown and cruel Cause,
Humbly implores her Pardon for refusing:
Nor can the General learn his Quality;
But like his Deeds, believes it must be great.
_Sem_. 'Tis most likely; but I should never fall in love
with Fame alone.
_Cleo_. I hope it is not Love--but strange Curiosity
To see this brave Unknown--and yet I fear--
I've hid this new Impatience of my Soul,
Even from thee, till it grew too importunate;
And strove by all my lov'd Divertisements,
To chase it from my Bosom, but in vain:
'Tis too great for little Sports to conquer;
The Musick of the Dogs displeas'd to day,
And I was willing to retire with thee,
To let thee know my Story:
And this lone Shade, as if design'd for Love,
Is fittest to be conscious of my Crime.
--Therefore go seek a Bank where we may sit;
And I will sigh whilst thou shall pity me.
[_Stands with her Arms across_.
[Sem. _looks about, finds the Cap and Feathers_.
_Sem_. See, Madam, what I've found.
_Cleo_. 'Tis a fine Plume, and well adorn'd,
And must belong to no uncommon Man:
--And look, _Semiris_, where its Owner lies
--Ha! he sleeps, tread softly lest you wake him:
--Oh Gods! who's this with so divine a Shape?
_Sem_. His Shape is very well.
_Cleo_. Gently remove the Hair from off his Face,
[Sem. _puts back his Hair_.
And see if that will answer to the rest:
--All lovely! all surprizing! Oh, my Heart,
How thou betray'st the weakness of our Sex!
--Look on that Face, where Love and Beauty dwells--
And though his Eyes be shut, tell me, _Semiris_,
Has he not wondrous Charms?
_Sem_. Yes, Madam, and I wou'd excuse you, if you
shou'd now fall in Love, here's Substance; but that same
Passion for Fame alone, I do not like.
_Cleo_. Ah, do not call my Blushes to my Face,
But pardon all my weakness:
May not my Eyes have leave to gaze a while?
Since after this there's not another Object
Can merit their Attention--
But I'll no longer view that pleasing Form--
[_Turns from him_.
And yet I've lost all power of removing--
[_Turns and gazes_.
Even now I was in love with mere Report,
With Words, with empty Noise;
And now that Flame, like to the Breath that blew it,
Is vanish'd into Air, and in its room
An Object quite unknown, unfam'd, unheard of,
Informs my Soul; how easily 'tis conquer'd!
How angry am I with my Destiny!
Till now, with much disdain I have beheld
The rest of all his Sex; and shall I here
Resign a Heart to one I must not love?
Must this be he must kill the King of _Scythia_?
For I must lay no claim to any other:
Grant, Oh ye Gods, who play with Mortals thus,
That him for whom ye have design'd your Slave,
May look like this Unknown,
And I'll be ever grateful for the Bounty.
--But these are vain imaginary Joys.
[Thersander _wakes, rises, and gazes_.
_Ther_. Am I awake, or do my Dreams present me
Ideas much more bright and conquering,
Than e'er approach'd my waking Sense by far?
--Sure 'tis _Diana_, the Goddess of these Woods,
That Beauty and that Dress confirm me 'tis. [_Kneels_.
--Great Goddess, pardon an unlucky Stranger,
The Errors he commits 'gainst your Divinity,
Who, had he known this Grove had sacred been,
He wou'd not have profan'd it by his Presence.
_Cleo_. Rise, Sir, I am no Deity;
Or if I were, I cou'd not be offended [_He rises_.
To meet so brave a Man--Gods, how he looks!
_Ther_. Can you be mortal!
What happy Land contains you? or what Men
Are worthy to adore you?
_Cleo_. I find you are a Stranger to this place,
You else had known me to be _Cleomena_.
_Ther_. The Princess _Cleomena_! my mortal Enemy! [_Aside_.
_Cleo_. You seem displeas'd at the knowledge of my Name;
But give me leave to tell you, yours on me
Wou'd have another Sense.
_Ther_. The knowledge of your Name has not displeas'd me;
But, Madam, I had sooner took you for
The Sovereign of the World than that of Dacia;
Nor ought you to expect less Adoration
From all that World, than those who're born your Slaves.
--And amongst those devout ones number him,
Whom happy Fate conducted to your Feet,
And who'll esteem himself more fortunate,
If by that little service he had rendred you,
_Clemanthis'_ Name have ever reach'd your Ear.
_Cleo. Clemanthis_! what cou'd the Gods do more, [_Aside_.
To make me ever bless'd!--Rise, noble Youth--
Cou'dst thou salute me Mistress of the World,
Or bring me news of Conquest over _Scythia_,
It would not reach so kindly to my Soul,
As that admir'd illustrious Name of thine.
This Crown's in debt to your all-conquering Sword;
And I'm the most oblig'd to make Returns,
Which if you knew me, sure you wou'd not doubt,
If to those Favours you've already done us,
You'll add one more, and go with me to Court.
_Ther_. To th' Court? to th' utmost Bounds of all the Universe.
At your Command, through Dangers worse than Death,
I'd fly with hasty Joy--
Like Gods, do but decree, and be obey'd.
_Sem_. Madam, the Company we left are coming this
way, and with them Prince _Honorius_.
_Ther_. The General here so soon! [_Aside_.
_Enter_ Honorius, Ismenes, _Women, and Huntsmen_.
_Cleo_. Welcome, victorious Uncle.
[Hon. _kisses_ Cleo's _Hand_.
_Hon_. Madam, I heard the Noise of Horns and Dogs,
And thought your Highness was abroad to Day;
Following the Cry, it brought me to this Company,
Who were in search for you, and 'twas my Duty to attend them.
--My gallant Friend _Clemanthis_ here!
This was above my hopes; let me embrace thee,--
And tell thee with what Joy I find thee in the presence
Of my fair Niece, who must prevail upon you
To wait on her to Court; what I cou'd not intreat, let her command.
_Ther_. Where Duty and my Inclination leads me,
There needs no Invitation.
_Cleo_. Already, Uncle, he has promis'd it.
_Ism_. Sir, is this the Man to whom all _Dacia_ is so much oblig'd?
_Hon_. This is that gallant Man, whose single Valour
Has gain'd the Victory over the Nomades,
Who kill'd their King, and scatter'd all their Forces;
And when my feeble Strength (which Age and Wars
Had made unfit for mighty Toils) grew faint,
He, like _Aeneas_, bore my aged Limbs
Through all the fiery Dangers of the Battel.
_Ther_. Too much you've said to my Advantage, Sir,
Robbing the Gods and Fortune of their Glory.
_Ism_. Rank me amongst your Captives; for I find,
Whether you fight or not, you must be Victor.
_Enter_ Vallentio, Urania, Pimante; Vallentio _kneels and delivers_
Urania _to the Princess_.
_Cleo_. What new Encounter's this?
_Val_. I need not ask where I shall pay my Duty:
My Wonder will direct me to your Feet.
_Cleo_. Who knows the Man that makes me such a Present?
_Hon_. Madam, he is an Officer of mine,
A worthy gallant Fellow;
But one that hardly knows what Cities are,
But as he'as view'd 'em through their batter'd Walls,
And after join'd 'em to your Territories.
_Cleo_. Rise high in her Esteem that loves a Soldier.
_Val_. I need say nothing for my Prisoner, Madam,
Whose Looks will recommend her: only this,
It was against my Will I made her so,
Who ne'er refus'd till then to take your Enemies.
_Ther_. It is Urania, she'll know me, and betray me. [_Aside_.
_Cleo_. Say, lovely Maid, whom, and from whence thou art?
_Ura_. A _Scythian_, Madam, and till now your Foe.
_Pim_. Ay, Madam, we took her, we took her.
_Cleo_. So fair an one must merit my Esteem:
I hope there are not many such fine Creatures
Brought into the Camp against us; if there be,
The _Scythians_ cannot doubt of Victory.
--Thy Name and Business here?
_Ura. Urania_, Madam--
My Story were too tedious for your Ear,
Nor were it fit I should relate it here.
--But 'tis not as an Enemy I come,
'Tis rather, Madam, to receive my Doom;
Nor am I by the chance of War betray'd,
But 'tis a willing Captive I am made:
Your Pity, not your Anger I shall move,
When I confess my Fault is only Love,
Love to a Youth, who never knew till now
How to submit, nor cou'd to ought but you.
--His Liberty for Ransom you deny;
I dare not say that this is Cruelty,
Since yet you may be pleas'd to give me leave
To die with him, with whom I must not live.
_Ther_. Excellent Maid! what Generosity her Love has taught her!
_Cleo_. That you esteem me cruel, is unkind,
But Faults of Lovers must Forgiveness find:
_Amintas'_ Chains had far more easy been,
Had he been less a Favorite to his King.
--But you, _Urania_, may perhaps redeem
That Captive which I would not render them.
_Ura_. Madam, this Bounty wou'd exceed Belief,
But you too generous are to mock my Grief:
And when you shall m' unhappy Story learn,
'Twill justify my Tears, and your Concern.
_Cleo_. I need no Arguments for what I do,
But that I will, and then it must be so.
_Ura_. The Prince of _Scythia_ in the Camp of _Dacia_!
If I could be mistaken in that form,
I'd hate my Eyes for thus deluding me:
But Heaven made nothing but _Amintas_ like him. [_Aside_.
_Cleo_. Come, let's to Court, by this the Queen expects us:
--You, my fair Prisoner, must along with me:
[_Takes her Hand_.
--Thy Hand, _Clemanthis_, too--Now tell me, Uncle,
[Takes him with the other Hand.
--What _Scythian_ that beholds me thus attended,
Would not repine at my Felicity,
Having so brave a Friend, so fair an Enemy?
SCENE I. _A Castle or Prison on the Sea_.
_After a little playing on the Lute,--enter_ Orsames
_with his Arms across, looking melancholy, follow'd by_
Geron _with a Lute in his Hand_.
_Ors_. I do not like this Musick;
It pleases me at first,
But every Touch thou giv'st that's soft and low
Makes such Impressions here,
As puzzles me beyond Philosophy
To find the meaning of;
Begets strange Notions of I know not what,
And leaves a new and unknown thought behind it,
That does disturb my Quietness within.
_Ger_. You were not wont to think so.
_Ors_. 'Tis true--
But since with time grown ripe and vigorous,
I will be active, though but ill employ'd.
--_Geron_, thou'st often told me,
That this same admirable Frame of Nature,
This Order and this Harmony of things,
Was worthy admiration.
--And yet thou say'st all Men are like to us,
Poor, insignificant Philosophers.
I to my self could an Idea frame
Of Man, in much more excellence.
Had I been Nature, I had varied still,
And made such different Characters of Men,
They should have bow'd and made a God of me,
Ador'd, and thank'd me for their great Creation.
--Now, tell me, who's indebted to her Bounties,
Whose needless Blessings we despise, not praise?
_Ger_. Why, what wou'd you have done, had you been Nature?
_Ors_. Some Men I wou'd have made with mighty Souls,
With Thoughts unlimited by Heaven or Man;
I wou'd have made 'em--as thou paint'st the Gods.
_Ger_. What to have done?
_Ors_. To have had Dominion o'er the lesser World,
A sort of Men with low submissive Souls,
That barely shou'd content themselves with Life,
And should have had the Infirmities of Men,
As Fear, and Awe, as thou hast of the Gods;
And those I wou'd have made as numberless
As Curls upon the Face of yonder Sea,
Of which each Blast drives Millions to the Shore,
Which vanishing, make room for Millions more.
_Ger_. But what if these, so numerous, though so humble,
Refuse Obedience to the mighty few?
_Ors_. I would destroy them, and create anew.
--Hast not observ'd the Sea,
Where every Wave that hastens to the Bank,
Though in its angry Course it overtake a thousand petty ones,
How unconcern'd 'twill triumph o'er their Ruin,
And make an easy Passage to the Shore?--
_Ger_. Which in its proud career 'twill roughly kiss,
And then 'twill break to nothing.
_Ors_. Why, thou and I, though tame and peaceable,
Are mortal, and must unregarded fall.
--Oh, that thought! that damn'd resistless thought!
Methinks it hastens Fate before its time,
And makes me wish for what I fain wou'd shun.
_Ger_. Appease your self with thoughts of future Bliss.
_Ors_. Future Bliss! the Dreams of lazy Fools;
Why did my Soul take Habitation here,
Here in this dull unactive piece of Earth!
Why did it not take Wing in its Creation,
And soar above the hated Bounds of this?
What does it lingring here?
_Ger_. To make itself fit for that glorious End
'Twas first design'd for,--
By patient suffering here.
_Ors_. But, Geron, still to live! still thus to live
In expectation of that future Bliss,
(Though I believ'd it) is a sort of Virtue
I find the Gods have not inspir'd me with.
_Ger_. Philosophy will teach you, Sir,--
_Ors_. Not to be wise, or happy--
I'll hear no more of your Philosophy.
--Leave me.--for I of late desire to be without thee.
_Ger_. This Disobedience, Sir, offends the Gods--
_Ors_. Let 'em do their worst,
For I am weary of the Life they gave.
_Ger_. He grows too wise to be impos'd upon,
And I unable to withstand his Reasons.--
[Ger. _goes out_.
[Ors. _lies on the Ground_.
_Enter_ Urania, _and Keeper_.
_Keeper_. The Ring is sufficient Warrant, and your Path
on the right Hand will lead you to the Lord _Amintas_--
but have a care you advance no further that way.--
_Ura_. What strange Disorder does possess my Soul!
And how my Blood runs shivering through my Veins,
As if, alas, 't had need of all its Aid.
At this encounter with my dear _Amintas_.
_Ors_. Ha! what Noise is that? [_He rouzes_.
_Ura_. I heard a Voice that way--or else it was the fear
This gloomy Place possesses all that enter it:
--Stay, I was forbad that Walk.
--Heavens! I have forgot which 'twas I should have taken,
I'll call my Love to guide me--_Amintas, Amintas_--
_Ors_. What Voice is that?
Methought it had more sweetness in't than _Geron's_--
[_Rises, gazes, then runs fiercely to her_.
--Ha--what charming thing art thou?
_Ura_. 'Tis not _Amintas_--yet I should not fear,
He looks above the common rate of Men.
--Sir, can you direct my way
To find a Prisoner out they call _Amintas_!
_Ors_.--Oh Gods! it speaks, and smiles, and acts like me;
It is a Man, a wondrous lovely Man!
Whom Nature made to please me.
--Fair thing, pray speak again:
Thy Voice has Musick in't that does exceed
All _Geron's_ Lutes, pray bless my Ears again.
_Ura_. Sir, as you're Noble, as you are a Gentleman,
Instruct me where to find my Lord _Amintas_.
_Ors_. Bright Creature! sure thou wert born i'th' upper World,
Thy Language is not what we practise here;
Speak on, thou Harmony to every Sense,
Ravish my Ear as well as Sight and Touch.
_Ura_. Surely he's mad--nay, Sir, you must not touch me.
_Ors_. Perhaps thou art some God descended hither,
[_Retires and bows_.
And cam'st to punish, not to bless thy Creatures?
Instruct me how to adore you so,
As to retain you here my Houshold God,
And I and Geron still will kneel and pray to you.
_Ura_. Alas, I am a Woman.
_Ors_. A Woman! what's that?
Something more powerful than a Deity;
For sure that Word awes me no less than t'other.
_Ura_. What can he mean?--oh, I shall die with fear--
--Sir, I must leave you.
_Ors_. Leave me! oh no, not for my future Being!
You needs must live with me, and I will love you;
I've many things that will invite you to't,
I have a Garden compass'd round with Sea,
Which every day shall send fresh Beauties forth,
To make the Wreaths to crown thy softer Temples.
Geron shall deck his Altar up no more;
The gaudy Flowers shall make a Bed for thee,
Where we will wanton out the heat o'th' day--
What things are these, that rise and fall so often,
[_Touches her Breasts_.
Like Waves, blown gently up by swelling Winds?
Sure thou hast other Wonders yet unseen,
Which these gay things maliciously do hide.
_Ura_. Alas, I am undone, what shall I do?-- [_Aside_.
_Ors_. Nature, thy Conduct's wise! nor could thy Favours
Be giv'n to one more apprehensive of 'em?
--Say, lovely Woman! for I am all on fire,
Impatient of delay,
Can you instruct me what I am to do? [_Sighs_.
Undress, and let me lead thee to my Bed.
_Ura_. Alas, Sir, what to do? defend me, Heaven! [_Aside_.
_Ors_. Why, I will hold thee--thus, between my Arms,
--I'll see thee sleep, and wonder at thy Form,
--Then wake thee to be gazing on thy Eyes,
--And something more--but yet I know not what.
_Ura_. His whole Discourse amazes me,
And has more Ignorance than Madness in't:
--But how shall I get free?
_Ors_. Thou grow'st impatient too, come, let us in--
[_Goes to take her in, she strives to get free,
he struggles with her_.
_Ura_. Hold off, you are too rude.
_Ors_. This is the prettiest play I e'er was at,
But I shall gain the better.--
[_Takes her in his Arms to carry her off_.
_Ura_. Help, help!
_Enter_ Amintas _in Fetters_.
_Amin_. A Woman's Voice!--Villain, unhand the Lady.
_Ors_. Ha! what new thing art thou?
_Amin. One sent from Heaven to punish Ravishers.--
[_Snatches_ Ura. _while_ Ors. _is gazing on him_.
_Ors_. Thou'st call'd up an unwonted Passion in me,
And these be the effects on't.
[Ors. _strikes him_; _they struggle and fall_.
_Ger_. Hah! what's the matter here? a Woman too!
We are undone--Madam, I pray retire--
For here's no safety for your Sex.
_Ura_. I gladly take your Counsel.
[Ura. _goes into_ Amintas' _Apartment_.
_Ors_. What art thou?
_Amin_. That which I seem to be.
_Ors_. Then thou'rt a God; for till I saw a Woman,
I never saw a thing so fine as thou:
And 'tis but just thou shouldst be more than Mortal,
That durst command that Creature from my Arms.
_Amim_. It is the King--I know it by his Innocence,
and Ignorance-- [_Aside_.
--Rise, I beseech you, Sir, and pardon me.
_Ors_. So I could live a Year with looking on thee;
--But where's the Creature call'd it self a Woman?
_Ger_. What Woman, Sir?
_Ors_. Ha! Geron, where's the Woman?
_Ger_. What do you mean, Sir?
_Ors_. The Heavenly Woman, that was here but now.
_Ger_. I saw none such, nor know I what you mean.
_Ors_. Not what I mean? thou could'st not be so dull:
What is't that I have strove for all this while?
_Amin_. I'll leave him too, my Presence may be hurtful,
And follow the Lady that's fled to my Apartment.
_Ors_. Go, fetch the Woman, or, by Heaven, I'll fling thee into the Sea.
_Ger_. I must delude'him. [_Aside_.
_Ors_. Fly, why stay'st thou dully here? go bring the Woman.
_Ger_. Sure you are frantick.
_Ors_. I am so, and thou shalt feel the effect on't.
Unless thou render back that lovely Creature.
_Ger_. Oh! this is perfect Madness, Sir, you're lost;
Call back your noble Temper, and be calm.
_Ors_. No, there's a furious Tempest in my Soul,
Which nothing can allay but that fine thing.
_Ger_. Hear Reason yet--no human Being can get entrance here;
Look round this Castle, and no other Object
Will meet your Eyes, but a watery Wilderness,
And distant and unhabitable Lands.
--What airy Vision has possess'd your Fancy?
For such the Gods sometimes afflict Men with.
_Ors_. Ha! an airy Vision!--Oh, but it cannot be;
By all that's good,'twas real Flesh and Blood.
_Ger_. And are you sure you are awake?
_Ors_. As thou art now.
_Ger_. Then 'twas an Apparition.
_Ors_. Away--thou'st often told me of such Fooleries,
And I as often did reprove thee for't.
_Ger_. From whence, or how should any living thing get hither?
_Ors_. It dropt, perhaps, from Heaven, or how, I know not;
But here it was, a solid living thing;
You might have heard how long we talk'd together.
_Ger_. I heard you talk, which brought me to this place,
And found you struggling on the ground alone;
But what you meant I know not.
_Ors_. 'Tis so--I grant you that it was a Vision
--How strong is Fancy!--yet--it is impossible--
Have I not yet the Musick of its Words?
Like answering Echoes less'ning by degrees,
Inviting all the yielding Sense to follow.
Have not my Lips (that fatally took in--
Unrest from ev'ry touch of that fair Hand)
The sweet remains of warmth receiv'd from thence,
Besides the unerring Witness of my Eyes?
And can all these deceive me? tell me, can they?
_Ger_. Most certainly they have.
_Ors_. Then let the Gods take back what they so vainly gave.
_Ger_. Cease to offend, and they will cease to punish.
_Ors_. But why a Woman? cou'd they secure my Faith
By nothing more afflicting?
_Ger_. Shapes Divine are most perplexing.
To Souls, like yours, whom Terrors cannot fright,
It leaves desires of what it cannot gain,
And still to wish for that--
Is much the greatest torment of the Mind.
_Ors_. Well said--but, _Geron_, thou'st undone thy Aim,
And us'd the only Argument cou'd invite me
T' offend again, that thus I might be punish'd:
The Gods themselves invite me to the Sin!
Not seeing a Woman, I had never bin.
SCENE II. _Another Room in the Prison.
Enter_ Amintas _in Fetters with _Urania.
_Amin_. My gallant Maid! this Generosity,
Above thy Sex, and much above my Merit,
I never can repay: my dear _Urania_,
Thou did'st outdo thy Sex before in Beauty,
In all the Charms that make 'em so ador'd:
But this last Act, this noble Mark of Love,
Begets a reverend Wonder in my Soul,
And I behold thee as some sacred thing,
That--this way should be worship'd--
[_Kneels_, _and kisses her Hand_.
_Ura_. I'm glad you have so kind a Sense of that
Which ev'ry Maid that lov'd like me wou'd do;
What cou'd you less expect?--Ah, my _Amintas_,
That fatal Night before our Wedding-day,
Being alarm'd by the Enemy,
And you were sent to try your Force with theirs,
My Heart foretold your Fate; and that same Night,
Whose darkness veiled my Blushes all alone,
Drest like a Youth I hasted from the Court,
And being well mounted, soon o'ertook the Army,
When, all unknown, I got so near your Person,
That in the Fight I had the Glory twice
To serve you, when your Horses being kill'd,
I still presented you with fresh, whose Riders
Thy Valour had dismounted.
_Amin_. Oh Gods! wert thou that Boy,
Whom oft I said, I thought was sent from Heaven,
And beg'd t' encounter when the Fight was ended?
_Ura_. The same, 'twas all you'd time to say; for after that,
Venturing too far, they took you Prisoner.
_Amin_. Oh, with what Shame I look upon your Bounty,
Which all my Life's too little to acknowledge;
What follow'd then, my dearest fair _Urania_?
_Ura_. I gladly wou'd have been a Prisoner too,
But I appear'd a poor dejected Boy,
That was not worth their Fetters.
--Then I resolv'd upon this last Adventure,
To make my Application to the Princess,
Knowing her noble Nature,
To try (since mighty Ransoms were refus'd)
What simple Love would do; and in my way
I lighted on a Druid, who in's Youth
Had liv'd in Courts, but now retir'd to Shades,
And is a little Monarch o'er his Flocks;
To him I told my Story, who encourag'd me in my resolv'd design,
And I so luckily have made an Interest
In _Cleomena's_ Heart,
These Chains she'as given me Freedom to dismiss,
And you must only wear Love's Fetters now:
[_She takes off his Chains_.
--Come, haste, _Amintas_, from this horrid Place,
And be thy self again, appear in Arms.
The _Scythians_ are encampt within thy View,
And e'er three Births of Day the Armies meet;
Th' Event of which, I at the _Druid_'s Cell
Will wait; sending continual Vows to Heaven
For thy dear Safety: there when the Fight is done,
I wish to meet thee;
--But now your Country and your King expect you,
And I love Glory equal to _Amintas_.
_Amin_. But yet the generous Bounty of the Princess
Obliges here, no less than Duty there;
I know not how the Gods of War to move
To grant me Victor, or the vanquish'd prove;
My Heart to either is not well inclin'd,
Since--vanquish'd I am lost, conquering unkind.
SCENE III. _A Grove_.
_Enter_ Thersander, Lysander.
_Ther_. Urge it no more, _Lysander_,'tis in vain,
My Liberty past all retrieve is lost;
But they're such glorious Fetters that confine me,
I wou'd not quit them to preserve that Life
Thou justly say'st I hazard by my Love.
_Lys_. The _Scythian_ Gods defend it!
_Ther_. The Gods inspire it, 'tis their Work alone;
--I know she is my Enemy, hates _Thersander_,
Has sent for all the neighbouring Kings for aid,
That hither Artabases and Ismenes
Have brought their Powers t' assist against my Crown.
But what of this? She loves me as _Clemanthis_,
Which will surmount her Hatred to the _Scythians_.
Oh, my _Lysander_! didst thou know her Charms,
Thou'dst also know 'tis not a mortal Force
That can secure the Heart: She's all divine!
All Beauty, Wit, and Softness! and she loves!
Already I have found the grateful Secret;
She scorns the little Customs of her Sex,
And her belief of being so much above me,
Permits her to encourage my Design;
She gives a Boldness to my bashful Flame,
And entertains me with much Liberty.
_Lys_. Were all this true, you're equally unhappy;
She must be only his that conquers you,
That wins your Crown, and lays it at her Feet.
_Ther_. Love ne'er considers the Event of things,
The Path before me's fair, and I'll pursue it;
Fearing no other Forces than her Eyes,
Bright as the Planets under which they're born.
_Lys_. And will you let her know you are in love?
_Ther_. If all my Sighs, if Eyes still fix'd on hers
With Languishment and Passion, will inform her,
I'll let her know my Flame, or perish in th' Attempt.
_Lys_. Dare you declare it as you now appear?
And can you hope, that under the Degree
Of what indeed you are, she will permit it?
And your Discovery is your certain ruin.
_Ther_. Thy Counsel, dear _Lysander_, comes too late,
She's in the Grove, where now I must attend her,
And see where she approaches--
_Enter_ Cleomena, Semiris.
_Cleo_. The Stranger, say you, grown of late so pensive!
--I must enquire the Cause--what if it shou'd be Love?
And that too not for me! hah, my _Semiris_!
That Thought has given me Pains I never felt;
--Gods! why comes he not? I grow impatient now;
--Say, didst thou bid him wait me in the Grove?
_Sem_. Madam, I spoke to him my self--
_Cleo_. And told him I wou'd speak with him?
_Sem_. As you commanded me, I said.
_Cleo_. It seems he values my Commands but little,
Who is so slow in his Obedience:
--Where found you him?
_Sem_. I'th' Antick Gallery, Madam.
_Cleo_. Gallery! what did he there? tell me exactly,
--I have no Picture there.
_Sem_. Madam, he was viewing that of _Olympia_, your fair Cousin,
But for the Excellency of the Work, not Beauty.
_Cleo_. Thou art deceiv'd; viewing her Picture, say you?
--Oh, thou hast touch'd a tender part, _Semiris_;
--But yonder's he that can allay my Rage [_Sees_ Thersander.
And calm me in that Love by every Look.
--_Clemanthis_, you absent your self too much
From those to whom your Presence is agreeable;
I hear that you are grown retir'd of late,
And visit shady Groves, walk thus--and sigh,
Like melancholy Lovers. Has the Court
(Who for your Entertainment has put on
More Gaiety than in an Age before)
Nothing that can divert you? Cease your Ceremony;
[_He bows low_.
I am your Friend, and if ought harbour there
Within that sullen Breast, impart it here--
And I'll contribute any thing to ease you.
--Come--boldly tell thy Griefs;
I have an Interest in thy noble Life.
--Perhaps, since you're arriv'd at Court, you've seen
Some Beauty that has made a Conquest o'er your Heart;
--Whoe'er she be, you cannot fear Success.
_Ther_. The Honours you have heap'd upon your Slave,
Have been sufficient
To have encourag'd any bold Attempt;
And here are Beauties would transform a God,
Much more a Soldier, into an amorous Shape.
--But, I confess, with shame, I brought no Heart
Along with me to Court, and after that
What acceptable Sacrifice can I offer?
This makes me shun the Pleasures of your Court,
And seek Retirements silent as my Griefs.
_Cleo_, It seems you were a Lover e'er I saw you,
And Absence from your Mistress makes you languish.
_Ther_. Ah, Madam, do not ask me many Questions,
Lest I offend where I should merit Pity;
The Boldness may arrive unto her Knowledge,
And then you'll lose the humblest of your Creatures,
Whilst as I am, I may among the Croud
Of daily Worshippers, pay my Devotions.
_Cleo_. Give me your Hand, we'll walk a little.
[_They go and sit dawn on a Bank_.
--How do you like this Grove?
_Ther_. As I do every place you're pleas'd to bless.
Heaven were not Heaven, were Gods not present there;
And where you are, 'tis Heaven every where.
_Cleo_. Look, Clemanthis--on yonder tuft of Trees,
Near which there is a little murmuring Spring,
From whence a Rivulet does take its rise,
And branches forth in Channels through the Garden;
--'Twas near a place like that--where first I saw _Clemanthis_.
_Ther_. Madam, be pleas'd to add, 'twas also there
_Clemanthis_ left his Liberty at the Feet
Of Divine _Cleomena_;
And charg'd himself with those too glorious Chains,
Never to be dismist but with his Life.
[_She rising in anger, he kneels_.
_Cleo_. How, _Clemanthis_!
_Ther_. Ah! Madam, if I too presumptuous grow,
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