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If not for virtue's sake, you may be honest: SCENE I.
There have been great ones, good ones, and ’tis
necessary, Enter THEODORET, BRUNHALT, and BAWDBER. Because you are yourself, and by yourself
, Brun. Tax me with these hot taintures ? A self-piece from the touch of power and justice, Theod. You're too sudden;
You should command yourself. You may imagine I do but gently tell you what becomes you, (Which cozens all the world, but chiefly women) And what may bend your honour; how these The name of greatness glorifjes your actions ; courses,
And strong power, like a pent-house, promises Of loose and lazy pleasures, not suspected, To shade you from opinion: Take heed, mother! Butdone and known; your mind that grants nolimit, And let us all take heed! these most abuse us : And all your actions follow, which loose people, The sins we do people behold through optics, That see but through a mist of circumstance, Which shew them ten times more than common Dare term ambitious; all your ways hide sores
vices, Opening in the end to nothing but ulcers. And often multiply them : Then what justice Your instruments like these may call the world, Dare we inflict upon the weak offenders, And with a fearful clamour, to examine
When we are thieves ourselves ? Why, and to what we govern. From example, Brun. This is Martell,
Studied and penn'd unto you ; whose base person, | (Your most intemperate fires have burnt) and I charge you by the love you owe a mother,
quickly, And as you hope for blessings from her prayers, Within these ten days, take a monastery, Neither to give belief to, nor allowance! A most strict house ; a house where none may Next, I tell you, sir, you, from whom obedience
whisper, Is so far fled that you dare tax a mother, Where no more light is known but what may Nay, further, brand her honour with your slanders, And break into the treasures of her credit, Believe there is a day; where no hope dwells, Your easiness is abused, your faith freighted Nor comfort but in tearsWith lies, malicious lies; your merchant mis- Brun. Oh, misery! chief;
Theod. And there to cold repentance, and He that ne'er knew more trade than tales, and
starv'd penance, tumbling
Tie your succeeding days : Or curse me, Heaven, Suspicions into honest hearts: What you or he, If all your gilded knaves, brokers, and bedders, Or all the world, dare lay upon my worth, Even he you built from nothing, strong Protaldye, This for your poor opinions! I am she, Be not made ambling geldings ! all your maids, And so will bear myself, whose truth and whiteness If that name do not shame 'em, fed with spunges Shall ever stand as far from these detections To suck away their rankness ! and yourself As you from duty. Get you better servants, Only to empty pictures and dead arras People of honest actions, without ends,
Offer your old desires ! And whip these knaves away! they eat your fa- Brun. I will not curse you, vours,
Nor lay a prophecy upon your pride, And turn 'em unto poisons. My known credit, Though Heav'n might grant me both; unthankful, Whom all the courts o' this side Nile have envied,
no! And happy she could cite me, brought in question, I nourish'd you; 'twas I, poor I, groan'd for you ; Now in my hours of age and reverence, 'Twas I felt what you suffer'd; I lamented When rather superstition should be rendered ? When sickness or sad hours held back your And by a rush that one day's warmth
sweetness; Hath shot up to this swelling? Give me justice, 'Twas I pay'd for your sleeps ; I watch'd your Which is his life !
wakings; Theod. This is an impudence ;
My daily cares and fears that rid, play'd, walk'd, And he must tell you, that 'till now, mother, Discours'd, discover'd, fed and fashion'd you Brought you a son's obedience, and now breaks it To what you are; and am I thus rewarded ? Above the sufferance of a son.
Theod." But that I know these tears, I could Baw. Bless us !
dote on 'em, For I do now begin to feel myself
And kneel to catch 'em as they fall, then knit 'em Tucking into a halter, and the ladder
Into an armlet, ever to be honour'd: Turning from me, one pulling at my legs too. But, woman, they are dangerous drops, deceitful, Theod. These truths are no man's tales, but Full of the weeper, anger and ill nature. all mens' troubles ;
Brun. In my last hours despis’d ? They are, though your strange greatness would Theod. That text should tell out-stare 'em :
How ugly it becomes you to err thus : Witness the daily libels, almost ballads,
Your flames are spent, nothing but smoke mainIn every place almost, in every province, Are made upon your lust; tavern discourses; And those your favour and your bounty suffers, Crowds cram’d with whispers ; nay, the holy Lie not with you, they do but lay lust on you, temples
And then embrace you as they caught a palsy; Are not without your curses. Now you would Your power they may love, and like Spanish blush;
jennets But your black tainted blood dare not appear, Commit with such a gustFor fear I should fright that too.
Baw. I would take whipping, Brun. Oh, ye gods !
And pay a fine now!
[Erit. Theod. Do not abuse their names ! they see Theod. But were you once disgrac'd, your actions :
Or fall’n in wealth, like leaves they would fly And your conceal’d sins, though you work like moles,
And become browse for every beast. You willd me Lie level to their justice.
To stock myself with better friends, and servants; Brun. Art thou a son ?
With what face dare you see me, or any mankind, Theod. The more my shame is of so bad a That keep a race of such unheard-of relics, mother,
Bawds, lechers, leeches, female fornications, And more your wretchedness you let me be so. And children in their rudiments to vices, But, woman, (for a mother's name hath left me, Old men to shew examples, and (lest Art Since you have left your honour) mend these Should lose herself in act) to call back Custom? ruins,
Leave these, and live like Niobe ! I told you how; And build again that broken fame; and fairly, And when your eyes have dropt away remembrance
tains you ;
Of what you were, I am your son: Perform it! Brun. What's that to you, or any,
[Erit. Ye dross, ye powder'd pigsbones, rhubard clisBrun. Am I a woman, and no more power in
Must you know my designs ? a college of you To tie this tiger up? a soul to no end?
The proverb makes but fools. Have I got shame, and lost my will? Brunhalt, Prot. But, noble lady From this accursed hour forget thou bor'st him, Brun. Youare a saucy ass too. Off I will not, Or any part of thy blood gave him living ! If you but anger me, 'till a sow gelder Let him be to thee an antipathy,
Have cut you all like colts : Hold me, and kiss A thing thy nature sweats at, and turns back
me ! ward :
For. I am too much troubled. Make up my Throw all the mischiefs on him that thyself,
treasure, Or women worse than thou art, have invented, And get me horses private; come, about it! And kill him drunk, or doubtful!
(Exeunt. Enter BAWDBER, PROTALDYE, and LECURE.
Enter THEODORET, MARTELL, &c.
Theod. Tho'. I assure myself, Martell, your Brun. Now, my varlets,
counsel My slaves, my running thoughts, my executions! Had no end but allegiance and my honour, Baw. Lord, how she looks !
Yet I am jealous, I have pass'd the bounds Brun. Hell take you all!
Of a son's duty: For, suppose her worse Baw. We shall be gelt.
Than your report, not by bare circumstance Brun. Your mistress,
But evident proof confirm’d, has given her out; Your old and honour'd mistress, you tir'd curtals, Yet since all weaknesses in a kingdom are Suffers for your base sins ! I must be cloister'd, No more to be severely punish d, than Mew'd up to make me virtuous: Who can help The faults of kings are, by the Thunderer, this?
As oft as they offend, to be reveng'd; Now you stand still, like statues ! Come, Protal If not for piety, yet for policy, dye!
Since some are of necessity to be spar'd, One kiss before I perish, kiss me strongly ! I might, and now I wish I had not look'd Another, and a third !
With such strict eyes into her follies. Lec. I fear not gelding,
Mart. Sir, As long as she holds this way.
A duty well discharg'd is never follow'd Brun. The young courser,
By sad repentance; nor did your highness ever That unlick'd lump of mine, will win thy mis- Make payment of the debt you.ow'd her, better tress:
Than in your late reproofs, not of her, but Must I be chaste, Protaldye?
Those crimes that made her worthy of reproof. Prot. Thus, and thus, lady!
The most remarkable point in which kings differ Brun. It shall be so: Let him seek fools for From private men, is that they not alone vestals !
Stand bound to be in themselves innocent, Here is my cloister.
But that all such as are allied to them Lec. But what safety, madam,
In nearness, or dependence, by their care Find you in staying here?
Should be free from suspicion of all crime: Brun. Th’hast hit my meaning:
And you have reap'd a double benefits I will to Thierry, son of my blessings,
From this last great act: First, in the restraint And there complain me, tell my tale so subtilly, of her lost pleasures you remove th' example That the cold stones shall sweat, and statues From others of the like licentiousness ; mourn;
Then when 'tis known that your severity And thou shalt weep, Protaldye, in my witness : Extended to your mother, who dares hope for And these forswear.
The least indulgence or connivance in Baw. Yes; any thing but gelding!
The easiest slips that may prove dangerous I am not yet in quiet, noble lady:
To you, or to the kingdom? Let it be done to-night, for without doubt
Theod. I must grant To-morrow we are capons !
Your reasons good, Martell, if, as she is Brụn. Sleep shall not seize me,
My mother, she had been my subject, or Nor any food befriend me but thy kisses, That only here she could make challenge to Ere I forsake this desart. I live honest ? A place of being : But I know her temper, He may as well bid dead men walk ! I humbled, and fear (if such a word become a king) Or bent below my power ? let night-dogs tear me, That in discovering her, I have let loose And goblins ride me in my sleep to jelly, A tigress, whose rage, being shut up in darkness, Ere i forsake my sphere !
Was grievous only to herself; which, brought Lec. This place you will.
Into the view of light, her cruelty,
Provok’d by her own shame, will turn on him Into whose house (which was an academe,
In which all principles of lust were practis’d)
All offices in the state were charitably Begin to appear only in their eyes,
Conferr'd on panders, o'er-worn, chamber-wrestOr any motion that may give suspicion
lers, Of the least violence, should be chained up; And such physicians as knew how to kill Their fangs and teeth, and all their means of hurt With safety, under the pretence of saving, Par'd off, and knock'd out; and so made unable And such-like children of a monstrous peace; To do ill, they would soon begin to loath it. That she, I say, should at the length provide I'll apply nothing ; but had your grace done, That men of war, and honest younger brothers, Or would do yet, what your less-forward zeal That would not owe their feeding to their cod. In words did only threaten, far less danger
piece, Would grow from acting it on her, than may Should be esteem'd of more than moths or Perhaps have being from her apprehension
rying, Theod. "Tis true:
The last night left the court; and, as 'tis more And such a desperate cure I would have us’d, Then said, for ’tis confirm’d by such as met her, If the intemperate patient had not been
She's fed unto your
brother. So near me as a mother; but to her,
Theod. How! And from me, gentle unguents only were
Vitry. Nay, storm not; To be applied: And as physicians,
For if that wicked tongue of hers hath not When they are sick of fevers, eat themselves Forgot its pace, and Thierry be a prince Such viands as by their directions are
Of such a fiery temper as report Forbid to others, tho' alike diseas’d;
Has given him out for, you shall have cause to use So she, considering what she is, may challenge Such poor men as myself; and thank us too Those cordials to restore her, by her birth For coming to you, and without petitions : And privilege, which at no suit must be Pray Heav'n reward the good old woman for't! Granted to others.
Mart. I foresaw this. Mart. May your pious care
Theod. I hear a tempest coming, Effect but what it aim'd at! I am silent. That sings mine and my kingdom's ruin. Haste,
And cause a troop of horse to fetch her back! Enter DE VITRY.
Yet stay! why should I use means to bring in Theod. What laugh'd you at, sir ?
plague, that of herself hath left me? Muster Vitry. I have some occasion,
Our soldiers up! we'll stand upon our guard ; I should not else; and the same cause perhaps For we shall be attempted. Yet forbear! That makes me do so, may beget in you
The inequality of our powers will yield me A contrary effect.
Nothing but loss in their defeature: Something Theod. Why, what's the matter?
Must be done, and done suddenly. Save your Vitry. I see, and joy to see, that sometimes
In this I'll use no counsel but mine own : (And most of such are good) stand more indebted That course, tho' dangerous, is best. Command For means to breathe to such as are held vicious, Our daughter be in readiness to attend us ! Than those that wear, like hypocrites, on their Martell, your company; and, honest Vitry, foreheads
Thou wilt along with me? Th' ambitious titles of just men and virtuous. Vitry. Yes, any where; Mart. Speak to the purpose !
To be worse than I'm here, is past my fear. Vitry. Who would e'er have thought
[Ereunt. The good old queen, your highness' reverend
The fam'd night-labour of strong Hercules, SCENE I.
Yet is the master of a continence
That so can temper it, that I forbear Enter THIERRY, BRUNHALT, BAWDBER,
Their daughters, and their wives; whose hands, and LECURE.
wealth into my treasury!-
That, in their least repining at my pleasures, Had better, in despite of all the gods,
They change not a mild prince (for, if provok'd, To have raz'd their temples, and spurn'd down I dare and will be so) into a tyrant ! their altars,
Brun. You see there's hope that we shall rule Than, in his impious abuse of you,
again, To have callid on my just anger.
fall’n fortunes rise. Brun. Princely son,
Baw. I hope your highness And in this worthy of a nearer name,
Is pleas'd that I should still hold my place with I have, in the relation of my wrongs,
you; Been modest, and no word my tongue deliver'd For I have been so long us’d to provide you To express my insupportable injuries,
Fresh bits of flesh since mine grew stale, that But gave my heart a wound : Nor has my grief
surely, Being from what I suffer; but that he,
If cashier'd now, I shall prove a bad caterer Degenerate as he is, should be the actor In the fish-market of cold chastity. Of my extremes, and force me to divide
Ler. For me, I am your own; nor, since I first The fires of brotherly affection,
Knew what it was to serve you, have remember'd Which should make but one flame.
I had a soul, but such an one whose essence Thi. That part of his,
Depended wholly on your highness' pleasure; As it deserves, shall burn no more, if or
And therefore, madam-
Brun. Rest assur'd you are
Thi. You've viewed them then? what's your To put it out: And you, and these your servants,
opinion of them? Who in our favours shall find cause to know, In this dull time of peace, we have prepared 'em In that they left not you, how dear we hold them, Apt for the war; ha? Shall give 'Theodoret to understand
Prot. Sir, they have limbs His ignorance of the prizeless jewel which That promise strength sufficient, and rich armours, He did possess in you, mother, in you;
The soldier's best-lov'd wealth: More, it appears Of which I am more proud to be the owner, They have been drilld, nay, very prettily drill’d; Than if th' absolute rule of all the world
of them can discharge their musquets Were offer'd to this hand. Once more, you're Without the danger of throwing off their heads, welcome!
Or being offensive to the standers-by, Which with all ceremony due to greatness By sweating too much backwards : Nay, I find I would make known, but that our just revenge
They know the right and left-hand file, and may, Admits not of delay. Your hand, lord-general ! With some impulsion, no doubt be brought
To pass the A, B, C, of war, and come
Unto the horn-book.
Thi. Well, that care is yours ;
Prot. I am slow
To promise much ; but if within ten days, What do you make of me? Oh, Heaven! my By precepts and examples, not drawn from subjects ?
Worm-eaten precedents, of the Roman wars, How base should I esteem the name of prince, But from mine own, I make them not transcend If that poor dust were any thing before
All that e'er yet bore arms, let it be said. The whirlwind of my absolute command ! Protaldye brags, which would be unto me Let 'em be happy, and rest so contented, As hateful as to be esteem'd a coward! They pay the tribute of their hearts and knees For, sir, few captains know the way to win him, To such a prince, that not alone has power
And make the soldier valiant. You shall sec me To keep his own, but to encrease it; thal, Lie with them in their trenches, talk, and drink, Altho' he hath a body may add to
And be together drunk; and, what seems stranger, VOL. I.