The Works of John Dryden, Vol. II
Edited by Walter Scott
Part 9 out of 10
_Queen_. I fear, that were to make him hate me,
Or, what's as bad, to let him know, I love him:
Could you not do it of yourself?
_Ast_. I'll not be wanting to my pow'r:
But if your majesty appears not in it,
The love of Philocles will soon surmount
All other difficulties.
_Queen_. Then, as we walk, we'll think what means are best;
Effect but this, and thou shar'st half my breast.
SCENE I--_The Queens Apartment_.
Nothing thrives that I have plotted;
For I have sounded Philocles, and find
He is too constant to Candiope:
Her too I have assaulted, but in vain,
Objecting want of quality in Philocles.
I'll to the queen, and plainly tell her,
She must make use of her authority
To break the match.
_Enter_ CELADON _looking about him_.
Brother! what make you here
About the queen's apartments?
Which of the ladies are you watching for?
_Cel_. Any of 'em, that will do me the good turn, to make me
soundly in love.
_Ast_. Then I'll bespeak you one, you will be desperately in love
with; Florimel: So soon as the queen heard you were returned, she gave
you her for mistress.
_Cel_. Thank her majesty; but, to confess the truth, my fancy
lies partly another way.
_Ast_. That's strange: Florimel vows you are already in love with
_Cel_. She wrongs me horribly; if ever I saw or spoke with this
_Ast_. Well, take your fortune, I must leave you.
_Enter_ FLORIMEL, _sees him, and is running back_.
_Cel_. Nay, i'faith I am got betwixt you and home; you are my
prisoner, lady bright, till you resolve me one question.
[_She makes signs she is dumb_.]
Pox, I think, she's dumb: what a vengeance dost thou at court, with
such a rare face, without a tongue to answer to a kind question? Art
thou dumb indeed? then thou canst tell no tales--
[_Goes to kiss her_.
_Flo_. Hold, hold, you are not mad!
_Cel_. Oh, my miss in a mask! have you found your tongue?
_Flo_. 'Twas time, I think; what had become of me if I had not?
_Cel_. Me thinks your lips had done as well.
_Flo_. Ay, if my mask had been over 'em, as it was when you met
me in the walks.
_Cel_. Well; will you believe me another time? Did not I say,
you were infinitely handsome? they may talk of Florimel, if they will,
but, i'faith, she must come short of you.
_Flo_. Have you seen her, then?
_Cel_. I look'd a little that way, but I had soon enough of her;
she is not to be seen twice without a surfeit.
_Flo_. However, you are beholden to her; they say she loves you.
_Cel_. By fate she shan't love me: I have told her a piece of
my mind already? Pox o' these coming women: They set a man to dinner,
before he has an appetite. [FLAVIA _at the door_.
_Fla_. Florimel, you are call'd within--[_Exit_.
_Cel_. I hope in the lord, you are not Florimel!
_Flo_. Ev'n she, at your service; the same kind and coming
Florimel, you have described.
_Cel_. Why then we are agreed already: I am as kind and coming
as you, for the heart of you: I knew, at first, we two were good for
nothing but one another.
_Flo_. But, without raillery, are you in love?
_Cel_. So horribly much, that, contrary to my own maxims, I
think, in my conscience, I could marry you.
_Flo_. No, no, 'tis not come to that yet; but if you are really
in love, you have done me the greatest pleasure in the world.
_Cel_. That pleasure, and a better too, I have in store for you.
_Flo_. This animal, call'd a lover, I have long'd to see these
_Cel_. Sure you walk'd with your mask on all the while; for if
you had been seen, you could not have been without your wish.
_Flo_. I warrant, you mean an ordinary whining lover; but I must
have other proofs of love, ere I believe it.
_Cel_. You shall have the best that I can give you.
_Flo_. I would have a lover, that, if need be, should hang
himself, drown himself, break his neck, poison himself, for very
despair: He, that will scruple this, is an impudent fellow if he says
he is in love.
_Cel_. Pray, madam, which of these four things would you have
your lover to do? For a man's but a man; he cannot hang, and drown,
and break his neck, and poison himself, all together.
_Flo_. Well, then, because you are but a beginner, and I would
not discourage you, any of these shall serve your turn, in a fair way.
_Cel_. I am much deceiv'd in those eyes of yours, if a treat, a
song, and the fiddles, be not a more acceptable proof of love to you,
than any of those tragical ones you have mentioned.
_Flo_. However, you will grant it is but decent you should be
pale, and lean, and melancholick, to shew you are in love: And that I
shall require of you when I see you next.
_Cel_. When you see me next? Why you do not make a rabbit of me,
to be lean at twenty-four hours warning? in the mean while, we burn
day-light, lose time and love.
_Flo_. Would you marry me without consideration?
_Cel_. To chuse, by heaven; for they that think on't, twenty to
one would never do it. Hang forecast! to make sure of one good night
is as much in reason, as a man should expect from this ill world.
_Flo_. Methinks, a few more years and discretion would do well:
I do not like this going to bed so early; it makes one so weary before
_Cel_. That's much as your pillow is laid, before you go to
_Flo_. Shall I make a proposition to you? I will give you a whole
year of probation to love me in; to grow reserved, discreet, sober,
and faithful, and to pay me all the services of a lover--
_Cel_. And at the end of it, you'll marry me?
_Flo_. If neither of us alter our minds before.
_Cel_. By this light a necessary clause. But if I pay in all
the foresaid services before the day, you shall be obliged to take me
sooner into mercy.
_Flo_. Provided, if you prove unfaithful, then your time of a
twelve-month to be prolonged; so many services, I will bate you so
many days or weeks; so many faults, I will add to your 'prenticeship
so much more: And of all this, I only to be judge.
_Enter_ PHILOCLES _and_ LYSIMANTES.
_Lys_. Is the queen this way, madam?
_Flo_. I'll see, so please your highness: Follow me, captive.
_Cel_. March on, conqueror--[_She pulls him_.
[_Exeunt_ CEL. FLO.
_Lys_. You're sure her majesty will not oppose it?
_Phil_. Leave that to me, my lord.
_Lys_. Then, tho' perhaps my sister's birth might challenge
An higher match,
I'll weigh your merits, on the other side,
To make the balance even.
_Phil_. I go, my lord, this minute.
_Lys_. My best wishes wait on you.
_Enter the Queen and_ ASTERIA.
_Queen_. Yonder he is; have I no other way?
_Ast_. O madam, you must stand this brunt:
Deny him now, and leave the rest to me:
I'll to Candiope's mother,
And, under the pretence of friendship, work
On her ambition to put off a match
So mean as Philocles.
_Queen_. You may approach, sir; [_To_ PHIL.
We two discourse no secrets.
_Phil_. I come, madam, to weary out your royal
_Queen_. Some suit, I warrant, for your cousin Celadon.
Leave his advancement to my care.
_Phil_. Your goodness still prevents my wishes.--
Yet I have one request,
Might it not pass almost for madness, and
Extreme ambition in me--
_Queen_. You know you have a favourable judge;
It lies in you not to ask any thing
I cannot grant.
_Phil_. Madam, perhaps, you think me too faulty:
But love alone inspires me with ambition,
Tho' but to look on fair Candiope were an excuse for both.
_Queen_. Keep your ambition, and let love alone:
That I can cloy, but this I cannot cure.
I have some reasons (invincible to me) which must forbid
Your marriage with Candiope.
_Phil_. I knew I was not worthy.
_Queen_. Not for that, Philocles; you deserve all things,
And, to shew I think it, my admiral, I hear, is dead;
His vacant place (the best in all my kingdom,)
I here confer on you.
_Phil_. Rather take back all you had giv'n before,
Than not give this;
For believe, madam, nothing is so near
My soul, as the possession of Candiope.
_Queen_. Since that belief would be to your disadvantage,
I will not entertain it.
_Phil_. Why, madam, can you be thus cruel to me?
To give me all things, which I did not ask,
And yet deny that only thing, I beg:
And so beg, that I find I cannot live
Without the hope of it.
_Queen_. Hope greater things;
But hope not this. Haste to o'ercome your love;
It is but putting a short-liv'd passion to a violent death.
_Phil_. I cannot live without Candiope;
But I can die, without a murmur,
Having my doom pronounced from your fair mouth.
_Queen_. If I am to pronounce it, live, my Philocles,
But live without, (I was about to say) [_Aside_.
Without his love, but that I cannot do;
Live Philocles without Candiope.
_Phil_. Madam, could you give my doom so quickly,
And knew it was irrevocable!
'Tis too apparent,
You, who alone love glory, and whose soul
Is loosened from your senses, cannot judge
What torments mine, of grosser mould, endures.
_Queen_. I cannot suffer you
To give me praises, which are not my own:
I love like you, and am yet much more wretched,
Than you can think yourself.
_Phil_. Weak bars they needs must be, that fortune puts
'Twixt sovereign power, and all it can desire.
When princes love, they call themselves unhappy;
Only, because the word sounds handsome in a lover's mouth;
But you can cease to be so when you please,
By making Lysimantes fortunate.
_Queen_. Were he indeed the man, you had some reason;
But 'tis another, more without my power,
And yet a subject too.
_Phil_. O, madam, say not so:
It cannot be a subject, if not he;
It were to be injurious to yourself
To make another choice.
_Queen_. Yet, Lysimantes, set by him I love,
Is more obscured, than stars too near the sun:
He has a brightness of his own,
Not borrowed of his father's, but born with him.
_Phil_. Pardon me if I say, whoe'er he be,
He has practis'd some ill arts upon you, madam;
For he, whom you describe, I see, is born
But from the lees o' the people.
_Queen_. You offend me, Philocles.
Whence had you leave to use those insolent terms,
Of him I please to love? One, I must tell you,
(Since foolishly I have gone thus far)
Whom I esteem your equal,
And far superior to prince Lysimantes;
One, who deserves to wear a crown--
_Phil_. Whirlwinds bear me hence, before I live
To that detested day!--That frown assures me
I have offended, by my over-freedom;
But yet, methinks, a heart so plain and honest,
And zealous of your glory, might hope your pardon for it.
_Queen_. I give it you; but,
When you know him better,
You'll alter your opinion; he's no ill friend of yours.
_Phil_. I well perceive,
He has supplanted me in your esteem;
But that's the least of ills this fatal wretch
Has practised--Think, for heaven's sake, madam, think,
If you have drunk no philtre.
_Queen_. Yes, he has given me a philtre;
But I have drunk it only from his eyes.
_Phil_. Hot irons thank 'em for't!
[_Softly, or turning from her_.
_Queen_. What's that you mutter?
Hence from my sight! I know not whether
I ever shall endure to see you more.
_Phil_. But hear me, madam.
_Queen_. I say, begone.--See me no more this day.--
I will not hear one word in your excuse:
Now, sir, be rude again; and give laws to your queen.
[_Exit_ PHILOCLES _bowing_.
Asteria, come hither.
Was ever boldness like to this of Philocles?
Help me to reproach him, for I resolve
Henceforth no more to love him.
_Ast_. Truth is, I wondered at your patience, madam:
Did you not mark his words, his mein, his action,
How full of haughtiness, how small respect?
_Queen_. And he to use me thus, he whom I favoured,
Nay more, he whom I loved?
_Ast_. A man, methinks, of vulgar parts and presence!
_Queen_. Or, allow him something handsome, valiant,
Or so--Yet this to me!--
_Ast_. The workmanship of inconsiderate favour,
The creature of rash love; one of those meteors
Which monarchs raise from earth,
And people, wondering how they came so high,
Fear, from their influence, plagues, and wars, and famine.
_Ast_. One, whom, instead of banishing a day,
You should have plumed of all his borrowed honours,
And let him see what abject things they are,
Whom princes often love without desert.
_Queen_. What has my Philocles deserved from thee,
That thou shouldst use him thus?
Were he the basest of mankind, thou couldst not
Have given him ruder language.
_Ast_. Did not your majesty command me?
Did not yourself begin?
_Queen_. I grant I did, but I have right to do it:
I love him, and may rail; in you 'tis malice;
Malice in the most high degree; for never man
Was more deserving than my Philocles.
Or, do you love him, ha! and plead that title?
Confess, and I'll forgive you--
For none can look on him, but needs must love.
_Ast_. I love him, madam! I beseech your majesty,
Have better thoughts of me.
_Queen_. Dost thou not love him then?
Good heaven, how stupid, and how dull is she?
How most invincibly insensible!
No woman does deserve to live,
That loves not Philocles.
_Ast_. Dear madam, recollect yourself; alas!
How much distracted are your thoughts; and how
Disjointed all your words!
The sibyl's leaves more orderly were laid.
Where is that harmony of mind, that prudence,
Which guided all you did? that sense of glory,
Which raised you high above the rest of kings,
As kings are o'er the level of mankind?
_Queen_. Gone, gone, Asteria; all is gone,
Or lost within me, far from any use.
Sometimes I struggle, like the sun in clouds,
But straight I am o'ercast.
_Ast_. I grieve to see it.
_Queen_. Then thou hast yet the goodness
To pardon what I said?
Alas! I use myself much worse than thee.
Love rages in great souls,
For there his power most opposition finds;
High trees are shook, because they dare the winds.
SCENE I.--_The Court Gallery_.
'Tis true, she banished me but for a day;
But favourites, once declining, sink apace.
Yet fortune, stop--this is the likeliest place
To meet Asteria, and by her convey
My humble vows to my offended queen.
Ha! She comes herself; unhappy man,
Where shall I hide?--[_Is going out_.
_Enter Queen and_ ASTERIA.
_Queen_. Is not that Philocles,
Who makes such haste away? Philocles, Philocles!--
_Phil_. I feared she saw me. [_Coming back_.
_Queen_. How now, sir, am I such a bugbear,
That I scare people from me?
_Phil_. 'Tis true, I should more carefully have shunned
The place where you might be; as, when it thunders,
Men reverently quit the open air,
Because the angry gods are then abroad.
_Queen_. What does he mean, Asteria?
I do not understand him.
_Ast_. Your majesty forgets, you banished him
Your presence for this day. [_To her softly_.
_Queen_. Ha! banished him! 'tis true indeed;
But, as thou sayest, I had forgot it quite.
_Ast_. That's very strange, scarce half an hour ago.
_Queen_. But love had drawn his pardon up so soon,
That I forgot he e'er offended me.
_Phil_. Pardon me, that I could not thank you sooner;
Your sudden grace, like some swift flood poured in
On narrow banks, o'erflowed my spirits.
_Queen_. No: 'tis for me to ask your pardon, Philocles,
For the great injury I did you,
In not remembering I was angry with you:
But I'll repair my fault,
And rouse my anger up against you yet.
_Phil_. No, madam, my forgiveness was your act of grace,
And I lay hold of it.
_Queen_. Princes sometimes may pass
Acts of oblivion, in their own wrong.
_Phil_. 'Tis true, but not recal them.
_Queen_. But, Philocles, since I have told you there is one
I love, I will go on, and let you know
What passed this day betwixt us; be our judge,
Whether my servant have dealt well with me.
_Phil_. I beseech your majesty, excuse me:
Any thing more of him may make me
Relapse too soon, and forfeit my late pardon.
_Queen_. But you'll be glad to know it.
_Phil_. May I not hope, then,
You have some quarrel to him?
_Queen_. Yes, a great one.
But first to justify myself:
Know, Philocles, I have concealed my passion
With such care from him, that he knows not yet
I love, but only that I much esteem him.
_Phil_. O stupid wretch,
That, by a thousand tokens, could not guess it!
_Queen_. He loves elsewhere, and that has blinded him.
_Phil_. He's blind indeed!
So the dull beasts in the first paradise,
With levelled eyes, gazed each upon their kind;
There fixed their love, and ne'er looked up to view
That glorious creature man, their sovereign lord.
_Queen_. Y'are too severe on little faults; but he
Has crimes, untold,
Which will, I fear, move you much more against him.
He fell this day into a passion with me,
And boldly contradicted all I said.
_Phil_. And stands his head upon his shoulders yet?
How long shall this most insolent--
_Queen_. Take heed you rail not;
You know you are but on your good behaviour.
_Phil_. Why then I will not call him traitor,
But only rude, audacious, and impertinent,
To use his sovereign so--I beg your leave
To wish, you have at least imprisoned him.
_Queen_. Some people may speak ill, and yet mean well:
Remember you were not confined; and yet
Your fault was great. In short, I love him,
And that excuses all; but be not jealous;
His rising shall not be your overthrow,
Nor will I ever marry him.
_Phil_. That's some comfort yet;
He shall not be a king.
_Queen_. He never shall. But you are discomposed;
Stay here a little; I have somewhat for you,
Shall shew, you still are in my favour.
[_Exeunt Queen and_ ASTERIA.
_Enter to him_ CANDIOPE, _weeping_.
_Phil_. How now, in tears, my fair Candiope?
So, through a watry cloud,
The sun, at once, seems both to weep and shine.
For what forefather's sin do you afflict
Those precious eyes? For sure you have
None of your own to weep.
_Cand_. My crimes both great and many needs must shew,
Since heaven will punish them with losing you.
_Phil_. Afflictions, sent from heaven without a cause,
Make bold mankind enquire into its laws.
But heaven, which moulding beauty takes such care,
Makes gentle fates on purpose for the fair:
And destiny, that sees them so divine,
Spins all their fortunes in a silken twine:
No mortal hand so ignorant is found,
To weave coarse work upon a precious ground.
_Cand_. Go preach this doctrine in my mother's ears.
_Phil_. Has her severity produced these tears?
_Cand_. She has recalled those hopes she gave before,
And strictly bids me ne'er to see you more.
_Phil_. Changes in froward age are natural;
Who hopes for constant weather in the fall?
'Tis in your power your duty to transfer,
And place that right in me, which was in her.
_Cand_. Reason, like foreign foes, would ne'er o'ercome,
But that I find I am betrayed at home;
You have a friend, that fights for you within.
_Phil_. Let reason ever lose, so love may win.
_Enter Queen with a picture in her hand, and_ ASTERIA
_Queen_. See there, Asteria,
All we have done succeeds still to the worse;
We hindered him from seeing her at home,
Where I but only heard they loved; and now
She comes to court, and mads me with the sight on't.
_Ast_. Dear madam, overcome yourself a little,
Or they'll perceive how much you are concerned.
_Queen_. I struggle with my heart--
But it will have some vent.
Cousin, you are a stranger at the court. [_To_ CAND.
_Cand_. It was my duty, I confess,
To attend oftner on your majesty.
_Queen_. Asteria, mend my cousin's handkerchief;
It sits too narrow there, and shows too much
The broadness of her shoulders--Nay, fie, Asteria,
Now you put it too much backward, and discover
The bigness of her breasts.
_Cand_. I beseech your majesty,
Give not yourself this trouble.
_Queen_. Sweet cousin, you shall pardon me;
A beauty such as yours
Deserves a more than ordinary care,
To set it out.
Come hither, Philocles, do but observe,
She has but one gross fault in all her shape,
That is, she bears up here too much,
And the malicious workman has left it
Open to your eye.
_Phil_. Where, and please your majesty?
Methinks 'tis very well.
_Queen_. Do not you see it? Oh how blind is love!
_Cand_. And how quick-sighted malice! [_Aside_.
_Queen_. But yet, methinks, those knots of sky do not
So well with the dead colour of her face.
_Ast_. Your majesty mistakes, she wants no red.
[_The Queen here plucks out her glass, and looks
sometimes on herself, sometimes on her rival_.
_Queen_. How do I look to-day, Asteria?
Methinks, not well.
_Ast_. Pardon me, madam, most victoriously.
_Queen_. What think you, Philocles? come, do not
_Phil_. Paris was a bold man, who presumed,
To judge the beauty of a goddess.
_Cand_. Your majesty has given the reason why
He cannot judge; his love has blinded him.
_Queen_. Methinks, a long patch here, beneath her eye,
Might hide that dismal hollowness.
What think you, Philocles?
_Cand_. Beseech you, madam, ask not his opinion:
What my faults are it is no matter;
He loves me with them all.
_Queen_. Ay, he may love; but when he marries you,
Your bridal shall be kept in some dark dungeon.
Farewell, and think of that, too easy maid!
I blush, thou sharest my blood.
[_Exeunt Queen and_ ASTERIA.
_Cand_. Inhuman queen!
Thou canst not be more willing to resign
Thy part in me, than I to give up mine.
_Phil_. Love, how few subjects do thy laws fulfil,
And yet those few, like us, thou usest ill!
_Cand_. The greatest slaves, in monarchies, are they,
Whom birth sets nearest to imperial sway;
While jealous power does sullenly o'erspy,
We play, like deer, within the lion's eye.
'Would I for you some shepherdess had been,
And, but each May, ne'er heard the name of queen!
_Phil_. If you were so, might I some monarch be,
Then, you should gain what now you lose by me;
Then, you in all my glories should have part,
And rule my empire, as you rule my heart.
_Cand_. How much our golden wishes are in vain!
When they are past, we are ourselves again.
_Enter Queen and_ ASTERIA _above_.
_Queen_. Look, look, Asteria, yet they are not gone.
Hence we may hear what they discourse alone.
_Phil_. My love inspires me with a generous thought,
Which you, unknowing in those wishes, taught.
Since happiness may out of courts be found,
Why stay we here on this enchanted ground;
And chuse not rather with content to dwell
(If love and joy can find it) in a cell?
_Cand_. Those who, like you, have once in courts been great,
May think they wish, but wish not, to retreat.
They seldom go, but when they cannot stay;
As losing gamesters throw the dice away.
Even in that cell, where you repose would find,
Visions of court will haunt your restless mind;
And glorious dreams stand ready to restore
The pleasing shapes of all you had before.
_Phil_. He, who with your possession once is blest,
On easy terms will part with all the rest.
All my ambition will in you be crowned;
And those white arms shall all my wishes bound.
Our life shall be but one long nuptial day,
And, like chafed odours, melt in sweets away;
Soft as the night our minutes shall be worn,
And chearful as the birds, that wake the morn.
_Cand_. Thus hope misleads itself in pleasant way,
And takes more joys on trust, than love can pay:
But, love with long possession once decayed,
That face, which now you court, you will upbraid.
_Phil_. False lovers broach these tenets, to remove
The fault from them, by placing it on love.
_Cand_. Yet grant, in youth you keep alive your fire,
Old age will come, and then it must expire:
Youth but a while does at love's temple stay,
As some fair inn, to lodge it on the way.
_Phil_. Your doubts are kind; but, to be satisfied
I can be true, I beg I may be tried.
_Cand_. Trials of love too dear the making cost;
For if successless, the whole venture's lost.
What you propose, brings wants and care along.
_Phil_. Love can bear both.
_Cand_. But is your love so strong?
_Phil_. They do not want, who wish not to have more;
Who ever said an anchoret was poor?
_Cand_. To answer generously, as you have done,
I should not by your arguments be won:
I know, I urge your ruin by consent;
Yet love too well, that ruin to prevent.
_Phil_. Like water given to those whom fevers fry,
You kill but him, who must without it die.
_Cand_. Secure me, I may love without a crime;
Then, for our flight, appoint both place and time.
_Phil_. The ensuing hour my plighted vows shall be;
The time's not long; or only long to me.
_Cand_. Then, let us go where we shall ne'er be seen
By my hard mother.
_Phil_. Or my cruel queen.
[_Exeunt_ PHIL. _and_ CAND.
_Queen above_. O, Philocles, unkind to call me cruel!
So false Aeneas did from Dido fly;
But never branded her with cruelty.
How I despise myself for loving so!
_Ast_. At once you hate yourself, and love him too.
_Queen_. No, his ingratitude has cured my wound:
A painful cure indeed!
_Ast_. And yet not sound.
His ignorance of your true thoughts
Excuses this; you did seem cruel, madam.
_Queen_. But much of kindness still mixed with it.
Who could mistake so grossly, not to know
A Cupid frowning, when he draws his bow?
_Ast_. He's going now to smart for his offence.
_Queen_. Should he, without my leave, depart from
_Ast_. No matter; since you hate him, let him go.
_Queen_. But I my hate by my revenge will show:
Besides, his head's a forfeit to the state.
_Ast_. When you take that, I will believe you hate.
Let him possess, and then he'll soon repent;
And so his crime will prove his punishment.
_Queen_. He may repent; but he will first possess.
_Ast_. O, madam, now your hatred you confess:
If his possessing her your rage does move,
'Tis jealousy, the avarice of love.
_Queen_. No more, Asteria.
Seek Lysimantes out, bid him set his guards
Through all the court and city.
Prevent their marriage first; then stop their flight.
Some fitting punishments I will ordain,
But speak not you of Philocles again:
'Tis bold to search, and dangerous to find,
Too much of heaven's, or of a prince's mind.
[_Queen descends, and exit_.
_As the Queen has done speaking,_ FLAVIA _is going
hastily over the stage;_ ASTERIA _sees her_.
_Ast_. Flavia, Flavia, whither so fast?
_Fla_. Did you call, Asteria?
_Ast_. The queen has business with Prince Lysimantes;
Speak to any gentleman in the court, to fetch him.
[_Exit_ ASTERIA _from above_.
_Fla_. I suspect somewhat, but I'll watch you close;
Prince Lysimantes has not chose in me
The worst spy of the court--
Celadon! what makes he here?
_Enter_ CELADON, OLINDA, _and_ SABINA; _they walk over the
stage together, he seeming to court them_.
_Olind_. Nay, sweet Celadon--
_Sab_. Nay, dear Celadon.
_Fla_. O ho! I see his business now; 'tis with Melissa's two
daughters: Look, look, how he peeps about, to see if the coast be
clear; like an hawk that will not plume, if she be looked on.
[_Exeunt_ CEL. OLIND. _and_ SAB.
So--at last he has trussed his quarry.
_Flo_. Did you see Celadon this way?
_Fla_. If you had not asked the question, I should have thought
you had come from watching him; he's just gone off with Melissa's
_Flo_. Melissa's daughters! he did not court 'em, I hope?
_Fla_. So busily, he lost no time: While he was teaching the one
a tune, he was kissing the other's hand.
_Flo_. O fine gentleman!
_Fla_. And they so greedy of him! did you never see two fishes
about a bait, tugging it this way and t'other way? for my part, I
looked at least he should have lost a leg or arm i'the service.--Nay,
never vex yourself, but e'en resolve to break with him.
_Flo_. No, no, 'tis not come to that yet; I'll correct him first,
and then hope the best from time.
_Fla_. From time! believe me, there's little good to be
expected from him. I never knew the old gentleman with the scythe and
hour-glass bring any thing but grey hair, thin cheeks, and loss of
teeth: You see Celadon loves others.
_Flo_. There's the more hope he may love me among the rest: Hang
it, I would not marry one of these solemn fops; they are good for
nothing, but to make cuckolds. Give me a servant, that is an high
flier at all games, that is bounteous of himself to many women; and
yet, whenever I pleased to throw out the lure of matrimony, should
come down with a swing, and fly the better at his own quarry.
_Fla_. But are you sure you can take him down when you think
_Flo_. Nothing more certain.
_Fla_. What wager will you venture upon the trial?
_Flo_. Any thing.
_Fla_. My maidenhead to yours.
_Flo_. That's a good one; who shall take the forfeit?
_Fla_. I'll go and write a letter, as from these two sisters, to
summon him immediately; it shall be delivered before you. I warrant,
you see a strange combat betwixt the flesh and the spirit: If he
leaves you to go to them, you'll grant he loves them better?
_Flo_. Not a jot the more: A bee may pick of many flowers, and
yet like some one better than all the rest.
_Fla_. But then your bee must not leave his sting behind him.
_Flo_. Well; make the experiment however: I hear him coming, and
a whole noise of fidlers at his heels. Hey-day, what a mad husband
shall I have!--
_Fla_. And what a mad wife will he have! Well, I must go a little
way, but I'll return immediately, and write it: You'll keep him in
discourse the while? [_Exit_ FLA.
_Cel_. Where are you, madam? What, do you mean to run away thus?
Pray stand to't, that we may despatch this business.
_Flo_. I think you mean to watch me, as they do witches, to
make me confess I love you. Lord, what a bustle have you kept this
afternoon? What with eating, singing, and dancing, I am so wearied,
that I shall not be in case to hear any more love this fortnight.
_Cel_. Nay, if you surfeit on't before trial, Lord have mercy
upon you, when I have married you.
_Flo_. But what king's revenue, do you think, will maintain this
_Cel_. I have a damnable father, a rich old rogue, if he would
once die! Lord, how long does he mean to make it ere he dies!
_Flo_. As long as ever he can, I'll pass my word for him.
_Cel_. I think, then, we had best consider him as an obstinate
old fellow, that is deaf to the news of a better world; and ne'er stay
_Flo_. But e'en marry; and get him grandchildren in abundance,
and great-grandchildren upon them, and so inch him and shove him out
of the world by the very force of new generations--if that be the way,
you must excuse me.
_Cel_. But dost thou know what it is to be an old maid?
_Flo_. No, nor hope I shan't these twenty years.
_Cel_. But when that time comes, in the first place, thou wilt
be condemned to tell stories, how many men thou mightst have had; and
none believe thee: Then thou growest forward, and impudently weariest
all thy friends to solicit man for thee.
_Flo_. Away with your old common-place-wit: I am resolved to grow
fat, and look young till forty, and then slip out of the world, with
the first wrinkle, and the reputation of five and twenty.
_Cel_. Well, what think you now of a reckoning betwixt us?
_Flo_. How do you mean?
_Cel_. To discount for so many days of my years service, as I
have paid in this morning.
_Flo_. With all my heart.
_Cel_. _Imprimis_, for a treat.
_Item_, For my glass coach.
_Item_, For sitting bare, and wagging your fan.
And lastly, and principally, for my fidelity to you this long hour
_Flo_. For this I bate you three weeks of your service; now hear
your bill of faults; for your comfort 'tis a short one.
_Cel_. I know it.
_Flo_. _Imprimis_, _item_, and sum total, for keeping
company with Melissa's daughters.
_Cel_. How the pox came you to know of that? Gad, I believe
the devil plays booty against himself, and tells you of my sins.
_Flo_. The offence being so small, the punishment shall be but
proportionable; I will set you back only half a year.
_Cel_. You're most unconscionable: When then do you think we
shall come together? There's none but the old patriarchs could live
long enough to marry you at this rate. What, do you take me for some
cousin of Methusalem's, that I must stay an hundred years, before I
come to beget sons and daughters?
_Flo_. Here's an impudent lover! he complains of me without ever
offering to excuse himself; _item_, a fortnight more for that.
_Cel_. So, there's another puff in my voyage, has blown me back
to the north of Scotland.
_Flo_. All this is nothing to your excuse for the two sisters.
_Cel_. 'Faith, if ever I did more than kiss them, and that but
_Flo_. What could you have done more to me?
_Cel_. An hundred times more; as thou shalt know, dear rogue, at
_Flo_. You talk, you talk; could you kiss them, though but once,
and ne'er think of me?
_Cel_. Nay, if I had thought of thee, I had kissed them over a
thousand times, with the very force of imagination.
_Flo_. The gallants are mightily beholden to you; you have found
them out a new way to kiss their mistresses, upon other women's lips.
_Cel_. What would you have? You are my Sultana Queen, the
rest are but in the nature of your slaves; I may make some slight
excursions into the enemy's country for forage, or so, but I ever
return to my head quarters.
_Enter one with a letter_.
_Cel_. To me?
_Mess_. If your name be Celadon. [_CEL. reads softly_.
_Flo_. He is swallowing the pill; presently we shall see the
_Cel. to the page_.] Child, come hither, child; here's money for
thee: So, begone quickly, good child, before any body examines thee:
Thou art in a dangerous place, child--[_Thrusts him out_.]
Very good; the sisters send me word, they will have the fiddles this
afternoon, and invite me to sup there!--Now, cannot I forbear, an I
should be damned, tho' I have scap'd a scouring so lately for it. Yet
I love Florimel better than both of them together; there's the riddle
on't: But only for the sweet sake of variety.--[_Aside_.] Well,
we must all sin, and we must all repent, and there's an end on't.
_Flo_. What is it, that makes you fidge up and down so?
_Cel_. 'Faith, I am sent for by a very dear friend, and 'tis upon
a business of life and death.
_Flo_. On my life, some woman?
_Cel_. On my honour, some man; do you think I would lie to you?
_Flo_. But you engaged to sup with me.
_Cel_. But I consider it may be scandalous to stay late in
your lodgings. Adieu, dear miss! If ever I am false to thee again!--
_Flo_. See what constant metal you men are made of! He begins to
vex me in good earnest. Hang him, let him go and take enough of 'em:
And yet, methinks, I can't endure he should neither. Lord, that such a
mad-cap as I should ever live to be jealous! I must after him.
Some ladies would discard him now, but I
A fitter way for my revenge will find;
I'll marry him, and serve him in his kind.
SCENE I,--_The Walks_.
MELISSA, _after her_ OLINDA _and_ SABINA.
_Mel_. I must take this business up in time: This wild fellow
begins to haunt my house again. Well, I'll be bold to say it, 'tis
as easy to bring up a young lion without mischief, as a maidenhead of
fifteen, to make it tame for an husband's bed. Not but that the young
man is handsome, rich, and young, and I could be content he should
marry one of them; but to seduce them both in this manner:--Well, I'll
examine them apart, and if I can find out which he loves, I'll offer
him his choice.--Olinda, come hither, child.
_Olin_. Your pleasure, madam?
_Met_. Nothing but for your good, Olinda; what think you of
_Olin_. Why I think he's a very mad fellow; but yet I have some
obligements to him: he teaches me new airs of the guitar, and talks
wildly to me, and I to him.
_Mel_. But tell me in earnest, do you think he loves you?
_Olin_. Can you doubt it? There were never two so cut out for one
another; we both love singing, dancing, treats, and music. In short,
we are each other's counterpart.
_Mel_. But does he love you seriously?
_Olin_. Seriously?--I know not that; if he did, perhaps I should
not love him: But we sit and talk, and wrangle, and are friends; when
we are together, we never hold our tongues; and then we have always a
noise of fiddles at our heels; he hunts me merrily, as the hound does
the hare; and either this is love, or I know it not.
_Mel_. Well, go back, and call Sabina to me.
[_OLINDA goes behind_.
This is a riddle past my finding out: Whether he loves her, or no,
is the question; but this, I am sure of, she loves him:--O my little
favourite, I must ask you a question concerning Celadon: is he in love
_Sab_. I think, indeed, he does not hate me; at least, if a man's
word may be taken for it.
_Mel_. But what expressions has he made you?
_Sab_. Truly, the man has done his part: He has spoken civilly to
me, and I was not so young but I understood him.
_Mel_. And you could be content to marry him?
_Sab_. I have sworn never to marry: besides he's a wild young
man; yet, to obey you, mother, I would be content to be sacrificed.
_Mel_. No, no, we would but lead you to the altar.
_Sab_. Not to put off the gentleman neither; for if I have him
not, I am resolved to die a maid, that's once, mother.
_Mel_. Both my daughters are in love with him, and I cannot yet
find he loves either of them.
_Olin_. Mother, mother, yonder's Celadon in the walks.
_Mel_. Peace, wanton; you had best ring the bells for joy. Well,
I'll not meet him, because I know not which to offer him; yet he seems
to like the youngest best: I'll give him opportunity with her. Olinda,
do you make haste after me.
_Olin_. This is something hard though.
_Cel_. You see, ladies, the least breath of yours brings me to
you: I have been seeking you at your lodgings, and from thence came
hither after you.
_Sab_. 'Twas well you found us.
_Cel_. Found you! half this brightness betwixt you two was enough
to have lighted me; I could never miss my way: Here's fair Olinda has
beauty enough for one family; such a voice, such a wit, so noble a
stature, so white a skin!--
_Olin_. I thought he would be particular at last. [_Aside_.
_Cel_. And young Sabina, so sweet an innocence, such a rose-bud
newly blown. This is my goodly palace of love, and that my little
withdrawing room. A word, madam.--[_To_ SAB.
_Olin_. I like not this--[_Aside_.] Sir, if you are not too
busy with my sister, I would speak with you.
_Cel_. I come, madam.
_Sab_. Time enough, sir; pray finish your discourse--and as you
were a saying, sir,--
_Olin_. Sweet sir,--
_Sab_. Sister, you forget, my mother bid you make haste.
_Olin_. Well, go you, and tell her I am coming.
_Sab_. I can never endure to be the messenger of ill news; but,
if you please, I'll send her word you won't come.
_Olin_. Minion, minion, remember this--[_Exit OLIN_.
_Sab_. She's horribly in love with you.
_Cel_. Lord, who could love that walking steeple! She's so high,
that every time she sings to me, I am looking up for the bell that
tolls to church.--Ha! give me my little fifth-rate, that lies so
snug. She! hang her, a Dutch-built bottom: She's so tall, there's no
boarding her. But we lose time--madam, let me seal my love upon
your mouth. [_Kiss_] Soft and sweet, by heaven! sure you wear
rose-leaves between your lips.
_Sab_. Lord, Lord, what's the matter with me! my breath grows so
short, I can scarce speak to you.
_Cel_. No matter, give me thy lips again, and I'll speak for
_Sab_. You don't love me--
_Cel_. I warrant thee; sit down by me, and kiss again,--She warms
faster than Pygmalion's image. [_Aside_]--[_Kiss_.]--Ay
marry, sir, this was the original use of lips; talking, eating, and
drinking came in by and by.
_Sab_. Nay, pray be civil; will you be at quiet?
_Cel_. What, would you have me sit still, and look upon you, like
a little puppy-dog, that's taught to beg with his fore-leg up?
_Flo_. Celadon the faithful! in good time, sir,--
_Cel_. In very good time, Florimel; for heaven's sake, help me
_Flo_. What's the matter?
_Cel_. Do you not see? here's a poor gentlewoman in a swoon!
(Swoon away.) I have been rubbing her this half hour, and cannot bring
her to her senses.
_Flo_. Alas! how came she so?
_Cel_. Oh barbarous! do you stay to ask questions? run, for
_Flo_. Help, help! alas! poor lady--[_Exit_ FLO.
_Sab_. Is she gone?
_Cel_. Ay, thanks be to my wit, that helped me at a pinch; I
thank heaven, I never pumpt for a lye in all my life yet.
_Sab_. I am afraid you love her, Celadon!
_Cel_. Only as a civil acquaintance, or so; but, however, to
avoid slander, you had best be gone before she comes again.
_Sab_. I can find a tongue as well as she.
_Cel_. Ay, but the truth is, I am a kind of scandalous person,
and for you to be seen in my company--stay in the walks, by this kiss
I'll be with you presently.
_Enter_ FLORIMEL _running_.
_Flo_. Help, help!--I can find nobody.
_Cel_. Tis needless now, my dear; she's recovered, and gone off;
but so wan and weakly,--
_Flo_.Umph! I begin to smell a rat.--What was your business here,
_Cel_. Charity, Christian charity; you saw I was labouring for
life with her.
_Flo_. But how came you hither?--Not that I care this, but only
to be satisfied. [_Sings_.
_Cel_. You are jealous, in my conscience!
_Flo_. Who, I jealous!--then I wish this sigh may be the last
that ever I may draw. [_Sighs_.
_Cel_. But why do you sigh, then?
_Flo_. Nothing but a cold, I cannot fetch my breath well. But
what will you say, if I wrote the letter you had, to try your faith?
_Cel_. Hey day! this is just the devil and the sinner; you lay
snares for me, and then punish me for being taken: Here's trying a
man's faith indeed!--What, do you think I had the faith of a stock, or
of a stone? Nay, an you go to tantalize a man--I love upon the square,
I can endure no tricks to be used to me.
[OLINDA _and_ SABINA _at the door peeping_.
_Olin_. and _Sab_. Celadon! Celadon!
_Flo_. What voices are those?
_Cel_. Some comrades of mine, that call me to play.--Pox on them,
they'll spoil all. [_Aside_.
_Flo_. Pray, let's see them.
_Cel_. Hang them, tatterdemallions! they are not worth your
sight.--Pray, gentlemen, begone; I'll be with you immediately.
_Sab_. No; we'll stay here for you.
_Flo_. Do your gentlemen speak with treble voices? I am resolved
to see what company you keep.
_Cel_. Nay, good my dear.
[_He lays hold of her to pull her back, she lays hold of_ OLINDA,
_by whom_ SABINA _holds; so that, he pulling, they all come
_Flo_. Are these your comrades? [Sings.] _'Tis Strephon
calls, what would my love?_ Why do you not roar out, like a great
bass-viol, _Come follow to the myrtle-grove_.--Pray, sir, which
of these fair ladies is it, for whom you were to do the courtesy? for
it were unconscionable to leave you to them both:--What, a mans but a
man, you know.
_Olin_. The gentleman may find an owner.
_Sab_. Though not of you.
_Flo_. Pray, agree whose the lost sheep is, and take him.
_Cel_. 'Slife, they'll cry me anon, and tell my marks.
_Flo_. Troth, I pity your highness there; I perceive he has left
you for the little one: Methinks he should have been afraid to break
his neck, when he fell so high as from you to her.
_Sab_. Well, my drolling lady, I may be even with you.
_Flo_. Not this ten years, by the growth, yet.
_Sab_. Can flesh and blood endure this!
_Flo_. How now, my amazon _in decimo sexto_!
_Olin_. Do you affront my sister?
_Flo_. Ay; but thou art so tall, I think I shall never affront
_Sab_. Come away, sister; we shall be jeered to death else.
[_Exeunt_ OLIN. _and_ SAB.
_Flo_. Why do you look that way? You can't forbear leering after
the forbidden fruit.--But whene'er I take a wencher's word again!
_Cel_. A wencher's word!--Why should you speak so contemptibly
of the better half of mankind? I'll stand up for the honour of my
_Flo_. You are in no fault, I warrant!--'Ware my busk[A].
[Footnote A: The now almost forgotten _busk_ was a small slip of
steel or wood, used to stiffen the stays. Florimel threatens to employ
it as a rod of chastisement.]
_Cel_. Not to give a fair lady the lie, I am in fault; but
otherwise--Come, let us be friends, and let me wait on you to your
_Flo_. This impudence shall not save you from my table-book.
_Item_, A month more for this fault. [_They walk to the
_1 Sold. [within.]_ Stand!--
_2 Sold_. Stand, give the word!
_Cel_. Now, what's the meaning of this, trow?--guards set!
_1 Sold_. Give the word, or you cannot pass:--These are they,
brother; let's in and seize them.
_The two Soldiers enter_.
_1 Sold_. Down with him!
_2 Sold_. Disarm him!_Cel_. How now, rascals?--
[_Draws, and beats one off, and catches the other_.
Ask your life, you villain.
_2 Sold_. Quarter! quarter!
_Cel_. Was ever such an insolence?
_2 Sold_. We did but our duty;--here we were set to take a
gentleman and lady, that would steal a marriage without the queen's
consent, and we thought you had been they. [_Exit Sold_.
_Flo_. Your cousin Philocles, and the princess Candiope, on my
life! for I heard the queen give private orders to Lysimantes, and
name them twice or thrice.
_Cel_. I know a score or two of madcaps here hard by, whom I can
pick up from taverns, and gaming-houses, and bordels; those I'll bring
to aid him,--Now, Florimel, there's an argument for wenching: Where
would you have had so many honest men together, upon the sudden, for a
_Flo_. You'll leave me then, to take my fortune?
_Cel_. No:--If you will, I'll have you into the places aforesaid,
and enter you into good company.
_Flo_. 'Thank you, sir; here's a key, will let me through this
back-door to my own lodgings.
_Cel_. If I come off with life, I'll see you this evening; if
_Flo_. If you come not, I shall conclude you are killed; or
taken, to be hanged for a rebel to-morrow morning: and then I'll
honour your memory with a lampoon, instead of an epitaph.
_Cel_. No, no! I trust better in my fate: I know I am reserved to
do you a courtesy. [_Exit_ CEL.
[_As_ FLORIMEL _is unlocking the door to go out,_ FLAVIA
_opens it against her, and enters to her, followed by a Page_.
_Fla_. Florimel, do you hear the news?
_Flo_. I guess they are in pursuit of Philocles.
_Fla_. When Lysimantes came with the queen's orders,
He refused to render up Candiope;
And, with some few brave friends he had about him,
Is forcing of his way through all the guards.
_Flo_. A gallant fellow!--I'll in, will you with me?--
Hark! the noise comes this way!
_Fla_. I have a message from the queen to Lysimantes.--
I hope I may be safe among the soldiers.
_Flo_. Oh, very safe!--Perhaps some honest fellow in the tumult
may take pity of thy maidenhead, or so.--Adieu! [_Exit_ FLO.
_Page_. The noise comes nearer, madam.
_Fla_. I am glad on't.--This message gives me the opportunity of
speaking privately with Lysimantes.
_Enter_ PHILOCLES _and_ CANDIOPE, _with three Friends,
pursued by_ LYSIMANTES, _and Soldiers_.
_Lys_. What is it renders you thus obstinate? You have no hope of
flight, and to resist is full as vain.
_Phil_. I'll die rather than yield her up.
_Fla_. My lord!
_Lys_. How now? some new message from the queen?--
Retire a while to a convenient distance.
[_To the Soldiers_. LYS. _and_ FLAV. _whisper_.
_Lys_. O Flavia, 'tis impossible! the queen in love with Philocles!
_Fla_. I have suspected it before; but now
My ears and eyes are witnesses.
This hour I overheard her, to Asteria,
Making such sad complaints of her hard fate!--
For my part, I believe, you lead him back
But to his coronation.
_Lys_. Hell take him first!
_Fla_. Presently after this she called for me,
And bid me run, and, with strict care, command you,
On peril of your life, he had no harm:
But, sir, she spoke it with so great concernment,
Methought I saw love, anger, and despair,
All combating at once upon her face.
_Lys_. Tell the queen,--I know not what,
I am distracted so.--
But go, and leave me to my thoughts.--
Was ever such amazing news,
Told in so strange and critical a moment?--
What shall I do?--
Does she love Philocles, who loves not her;
And loves not Lysimantes, who prefers her
Above his life?--What rests, but that I take
This opportunity, which she herself
Has given me, to kill this happy rival!--
Assist me, soldiers!
_Phil_. They shall buy me dearly.
_Cand_. Ah me, unhappy maid!
_Enter _CELADON, _with his Friends, unbuttoned and reeling_.
_Cel_. Courage, my noble cousin! I have brought A band of blades,
the bravest youths of Syracuse; Some drunk, some sober, all resolved
to run Your fortune to the utmost.--Fall on, mad boys!
_Lys_. Hold a little!--I'm not secure of victory against these
_Cel_. No, but I'll secure you! They shall cut your throat
for such another word of them. Ruffians, quoth a'! call gamesters,
whoremasters, and drunkards, ruffians!
_Lys_. Pray, gentlemen, fall back a little.
_Cel_. O ho, are they gentlemen now with you!--Speak first to
your gentlemen soldiers to retire; And then I'll speak to my gentlemen
ruffians. [CEL. _signs to his party_. There's your disciplined
men now.--[_They sign, and the Soldiers retire on both sides_.
Come, gentlemen, let's lose no time: While they are talking, let's
have one merry main before we die, for mortality sake.
_1 Fr_. Agreed! here's my cloak for a table.
_2 Fr_. And my hat for a box.
[_They lie down and throw_.
_Lys_. Suppose I killed him!
'Twould but exasperate the queen the more:
He loves not her, nor knows he she loves him:--
sudden thought is come into my head,--
So to contrive it, that this Philocles,
And these his friends, shall bring to pass that for me,
Which I could never compass.--True, I strain
A point of honour; but then her usage to me--
It shall be so.--
Pray, Philocles, command your soldiers off;
As I will mine: I've somewhat to propose,
Which you perhaps may like.
_Can_. I will not leave him.
_Lys_. 'Tis my desire you should not.
_Phil_. Cousin, lead off your friends.
_Cel_. One word in your ear, coz:--Let me advise you, either make
your own conditions, or never agree with him: his men are poor rogues,
they can never stand before us.
[_Exeunt all but_ Lys. Phil. _and_ Cand.
_Lys_. Suppose some friend, ere night,
Should bring you to possess all you desire;
And not so only, but secure forever
The nation's happiness?
_Phil_. I would think of him,
As some god or angel.
_Lys_. That god or angel you and I may be to one another.
We have betwixt us
An hundred men; the citadel you govern:
What were it now to seize the queen?
_Phil_. O impiety! to seize the queen!--
To seize her, said you?
_Lys_. The word might be too rough,--I meant, secure her.
_Phil_. Was this your proposition?--
And had you none to make it to but me?
_Lys_. Pray hear me out, ere you condemn me!--
I would not the least violence were offered
Her person. Two small grants is all I ask;
To make me happy in herself, and you
In your Candiope.
_Cand_. And will not you do this, my Philocles?--
Nay, now my brother speaks but reason.
_Phil_. Interest makes all seem reason, that leads to it.
Interest, that does the zeal of sects create,
To purge a church, and to reform a state.
_Lys_. In short, the queen hath sent to part you two:--
What more she means to her, I know not.
_Phil_. To her, alas!--Why, will not you protect her?
_Lys_. With you I can; but where's my power alone?
_Cand_. You know she loves me not: You lately heard her,
How she insulted over me: How she
Despised that beauty, which you say I have.--
I see, she purposes my death.
_Phil_. Why do you fright me with it?
'Tis in your brother's power to let us 'scape,
And then you run no danger.
_Lys_. True, I may;
But then my head must pay the forfeit of it.
_Phil_. O wretched Philocles! whither would love
Hurry thee headlong?
_Lys_. Cease these exclamations.
There's no danger on your side: 'tis but to
Live without my sister; resolve that,
And you have shot the gulf.
_Phil_. To live without her! Is that nothing, think you?
The damned in hell endure no greater pain,
Than seeing heaven from far with hopeless eyes.
_Cand_. Candiope must die, and die for you:--
See it not unrevenged at least.
_Phil_. Ha, unrevenged! On whom should I revenge it?--
But yet she dies, and I may hinder it?
'Tis I then murder my Candiope:--
And yet, should I take arms against my queen!
That favoured me, raised me to what I am?--
Alas! it must not be.
_Lys_. He cools again.--[_Aside_.
True, she once favoured you;
But now I am informed.
She is besotted on an upstart wretch
So far, that she intends to make him master
Both of her crown and person.
_Phil_. Knows he that!
Then, what I dreaded most is come to pass.--[_Aside_.
I am convinced of the necessity;
Let us make haste to raze
That action from the annals of her reign:
No motive but her glory could have wrought me.
I am a traitor to her, to preserve her
From treason to herself: Yet heaven knows,
With what a heavy heart
Philocles turns reformer. But have care
This fault of her strange passion take no air.
Let not the vulgar blow upon her fame.
_Lys_. I will be careful:--Shall we go, my lord?
_Phil_. Time wastes apace; each first prepare his men.--
Come, my Candiope. [_Exeunt_ PHIL. _and_ CAND.
_Lys_. This ruins him forever with the queen;
The odium's half his, the profit all my own.
Those who, like me, by others' help would climb,
To make them sure, must dip them in their crime. [_Exit_.
SCENE II.--_The Queen's apartments_.
_Enter Queen and_ ASTERIA.
_Queen_. No more news yet from Philocles?
_Ast_. None, madam, since Flavia's return.
_Queen_. O, my Asteria! if you loved me, sure
You would say something to me of my Philocles!
I could speak ever of him.
_Ast_. Madam, you commanded me no more to name him to you.
_Queen_. Then I command you now, speak of nothing else:--
I charge you here, on your allegiance, tell me
What I should do with him?
_Ast_. When you gave orders that he should be taken,
You seemed resolved how to dispose of him.
_Queen_. Dull Asteria! not to know,
Mad people never think the same thing twice!--
Alas! I'm hurried restless up and down:--
I was in anger once, and then I thought
I had put into shore:
But now a gust of love blows hard against me,
And bears me off again.
_Ast_. Shall I sing the song, you made of Philocles,
And called it _Secret Love_?
_Queen_. Do; for that's all kindness. And while thou singest it,
I can think nothing but what pleases me.
_I feed a flame within, which so torments me,
That it both pains my heart, and yet contents me:
'Tis such a pleasing smart, and I so love if,
That I had rather die, than once remove it.
Yet he, for whom I grieve, shall never know it;
My tongue does not betray, nor my eyes show it.
Not a sigh, nor a tear, my pain discloses,
But they fall silently, like dew on roses.
Thus, to prevent my love from being cruel,
My heart's the sacrifice, as 'tis the fuel:
And while I suffer this to give him quiet,
My faith rewards my love, though he deny it.
On his eyes will I gaze, and there delight me;
While I conceal my love no frown can fright me:
To be more happy, I dare not aspire;
Nor can I fall more low, mounting no higher_.
_Queen_. Peace!--Methinks I hear the noise
Of clashing swords, and clattering arms below.
Now; what news, that you press in so rudely?
_Fla_. Madam, the worst that can be:--
Your guards upon the sudden are surprised,
Disarmed; some slain; all scattered.
_Queen_. By whom?
_Fla_. Prince Lysimantes, and Lord Philocles.
_Queen_. It cannot be; Philocles is a prisoner.
_Fla_. What my eyes saw,--
_Queen_. Pull them out; they are false spectacles.
_Ast_. O, virtue! impotent and blind as fortune!
Who would be good, or pious, if this queen,
Thy great example, suffers!
_Queen_. Peace, Asteria! accuse not virtue;
She has but given me a great occasion
Of showing what I am, when fortune leaves me.
_Ast_. Philocles to do this!
_Queen_. Ay, Philocles!--I must confess 'twas hard!--
But there's a fate in kindness,
Still to be least returned, where most 'tis given.--
_Fla_. Philocles was whispering to her.
_Queen_. Hence, screech-owl!--Call my guards quickly there!--
Put them apart in several prisons!--
Alas! I had forgot, I have no guards,
But those which are my jailors.
Never 'till now unhappy queen!
The use of power, till lost, is seldom known;
Now, I should strike, I find my thunder gone.
[_Exeunt Queen and_ FLAV.
PHILOCLES _enters, and meets_ ASTERIA _going out_.
_Phil_. Asteria, where's the queen?
_Ast_. Ah, my lord! what have you done?
I came to seek you.
_Phil_. Is it from her you come?
_Ast_. No; but on her behalf:--Her heart's too great,
In this low ebb of fortune, to entreat.
_Phil_. Tis but a short eclipse,
Which past, a glorious day will soon ensue.--
But I would ask a favour too from you.
_Ast_. When conquerors petition, they command:
Those, that can captive queens, who can withstand?
_Phil_. She, with her happiness, might mine create;
Yet seems indulgent to her own ill fate:
But she in secret hates me, sure; for why,
If not, should she Candiope deny?
_Ast_. If you dare trust my knowledge of her mind,
She has no thoughts of you that are unkind.
_Phil_. I could my sorrows with some patience bear,
Did they proceed from any one but her:
But from the queen! whose person I adore,
By duty much, by inclination more.
_Ast_. He is inclined already; did he know,
That she loved him, how would his passion grow! [_Aside_.
_Phil_. That her fair hand with destiny combines!
Fate ne'er strikes deep, but when unkindness joins:
For, to confess the secret of my mind,
Something so tender for the queen I find,
That even Candiope can scarce remove,
And, were she lower, I should call it love.
_Ast_. She charged me, not this secret to betray;
But I best serve her, if I disobey.
For, if he loves, 'twas for her interest done;
If not, he'll keep it secret for his own. [_Aside._
_Phil_. Why are you in obliging me so slow?
_Ast_. The thing's of great importance, you would know;
And you must first swear secresy to all.
_Phil_. I swear.
_Ast_. Yet hold; your oath's too general:
Swear that Candiope shall never know.
_Phil_. I swear.
_Ast_. No; not the queen herself.
_Phil_. I vow.
_Ast_. You wonder why I am so cautious grown,
In telling what concerns yourself alone:
But spare my vow, and guess what it may be,
That makes the queen deny Candiope:
'Tis neither heat, nor pride, that moves her mind;
Methinks the riddle is not hard to find.
_Phil_. You seem so great a wonder to intend,
As were, in me, a crime to apprehend.
_Ast_. 'Tis not a crime to know; but would be one,
To prove ungrateful when your duty's known.
_Phil_. Why would you thus my easy faith abuse:
I cannot think the queen so ill would chuse.
But stay, now your imposture will appear;
She has herself confessed she loved elsewhere:
On some ignoble choice has placed her heart,
One, who wants quality, and more, desert.
_Ast_. This, though unjust, you have most right to say;
For, if you'll rail against yourself, you may.
_Phil_. Dull that I was!
A thousand things now crowd my memory.
That make me know it could be none but I.
Her rage was love; and its tempestuous flame,
Like lightning, showed the heaven from whence it came.
But in her kindness my own shame I see;
Have I dethroned her, then for loving me?
I hate myself for that which I have done,
Much more, discovered, than I did unknown.
How does she brook her strange imprisonment?
_Ast_. As great souls should, that make their own content.
The hardest term, she for your act could find,
Was only this, O Philocles, unkind!
Then, setting free a sigh, from her fair eyes
She wiped two pearls, the remnant of wild showers,
Which hung like drops upon the bells of flowers:
And thanked the heavens,
Which better did, what she designed, pursue,
Without her crime, to give her power to you.
_Phil_. Hold, hold! you set my thoughts so near a crown,
They mount above my reach, to pull them down:
Here constancy, ambition there does move;
On each side beauty, and on both sides love.
_Ast_. Methinks the least you can, is to receive
This love with reverence, and your former leave.
_Phil_. Think but what difficulties come between!
_Ast_. 'Tis wondrous difficult to love a queen.
_Phil_. For pity, cease more reasons to provide,
I am but too much yielding to your side;
And, were my heart but at my own dispose,
I should not make a scruple now to chuse.
_Ast_. Then if the queen will my advice approve,
Her hatred to you shall expel her love.
_Phil_. Not to be loved by her as hard would be,
As to be hated by Candiope.
_Ast_. I leave you to resolve while you have time;
You must be guilty, but may chuse your crime.
_Phil_. One thing I have resolved; and that I'll do,
Both for my love, and for my honour too;
But then (ingratitude and falsehood weighed),
I know not which would most my soul upbraid.
Fate shoves me headlong down a rugged way;
Unsafe to run, and yet too steep to stay.
SCENE I.--_The Court_.
FLORIMEL _in man's habit_.
_Flor_. 'Twill be rare now, if I can go through with it, to outdo
this mad Celadon in all his tricks, and get both his mistresses from
him; then I shall revenge myself upon all three, and save my own stake
into the bargain; for I find I do love the rogue, in spite of all his
infidelities. Yonder they are, and this way they must come. If clothes
and a _bon mien_ will take them, I shall do it.--Save you,
Monsieur Florimel! Faith, me thinks you are a very janty fellow,
_poudre et ajuste_, as well as the best of 'em. I can manage
the little comb; set my hat, shake my garniture, toss about my empty
noddle, walk with a courant slur, and at every step peck down my
head: If I should be mistaken for some courtier now, pray where's the
_Enter, to her,_ CELADON, OLINDA, _and_ SABINA.
_Olin_. Never mince the matter!
_Sab_. You have left your heart behind with Florimel; we know it.
_Cel_. You know you wrong me: when I am with Florimel, 'tis still
your prisoner, it only draws a longer chain after it.
_Flo_. Is it e'en so! then farewell, poor Florimel! thy
maidenhead is condemned to die with thee.
_Cel_. But let's leave this discourse; 'tis all digression, that
does not speak of your beauties.
_Flo_. Now for me, in the name of impudence!--[_Comes
forward_.] They are the greatest beauties, I confess, that ever I
_Cel_. How now, what's the meaning of this young fellow?
_Flo_. And therefore I cannot wonder that this gentleman, who has
the honour to be known to you, should admire you, since I, that am a
_Cel_. And a very impudent one, as I take it, sir.
_Flo_. Am so extremely surprised, that I admire, love, am
wounded, and am dying, all in a moment.
_Cel_. I have seen him somewhere, but where I know
not:--Pry'thee, my friend, leave us; dost thou think, we do not know
our way in court?
_Flo_. I pretend not to instruct you in your way; you see I do
not go before you; but you cannot possibly deny me the happiness to
wait upon these ladies; me, who--
_Cel_. Thee, who shalt be beaten most unmercifully, if thou dost
_Flo_. You will not draw in court, I hope?
_Cel_. Pox on him, let's walk away faster, and be rid of him.
_Flo_. O, take no care for me, sir! you shall not lose me; I'll
rather mend my pace, than not wait on you.
_Olin_. I begin to like this fellow.
_Cel_. You make very bold here in my seraglio, and I shall find a
time to tell you so, sir.
_Flo_. When you find a time to tell me on't, I shall find a
time to answer you: But, pray, what do you find in yourself so
extraordinary, that you should serve these ladies better than I? Let
me know what 'tis you value yourself upon, and let them judge betwixt
_Cel_. I am somewhat more a man than you.
_Flo_. That is, you are so much older than I:--Do you like a man
ever the better for his age, ladies?
_Sab_. Well said, young-gentleman.
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