A new Comedie,
Acted at the Red Bull, by the late
Printed for Richard Meighen, and are to be ſold at his Shops
at Saint Clements Church, over-againſt Eſſex Houſe, and
at Weſtminster Hall. 16201620.
The Women are all welcome; for the men,
They will be welcome: our care’s not for them.
’Tis we poore women, that muſt ſtand the brunt
Of this dayes tryall: we are all accuſed.
How wee ſhall cleere our ſelves, there lyes the doubt.
The men, I know, will laugh, when they ſhall heare
Us rayl’d at, and abuſed; and ſay, ’Tis well,
We all deſerve aſmuch. Let um laugh on,
Lend but your kind aſſiſtance; you ſhall ſee
We will not be ore-come with Infamie,
And ſlanders that we never merited.
Be but you patient, I dare boldly ſay,
(If ever women pleaſed) weele pleaſe to day.
Vouchſafe to reade, I dare preſume to ſay,
Yee ſhall be pleaſed, and thinke ’tis a good play.
Atticus, King of Sicilie.
Lorenzo, his Sonne.
Liſandro, Prince of Naples.
three Noblemen of Sicilie.
Scanfardo, Servant to Nicanor.
Swetnam, alias, Miſogynos, The Woman-hater.
Swaſh, his Man.
Leonida, the Princeſſe.
Loretta, her Maid.
Three or foure other Women.
Scen. I.Enter Iago and Nicanor, two Noblemen of Sicilia, in private conference.
Hee was a vertuous and a hopefull Prince,
And we have juſt cauſe to lament his death,
For had he liv’d, and Spaine made war agen,
He would ha’ prov’d a Terror to his Foe.
A greater cauſe of griefe was never knowne,
Not onely in his death, but for the loſſe
Of Prince Lorenzo too, his yonger brother,
Who hath beene miſſing almoſt eighteene moneths,
And none can tell whether alive or dead.
How do’s the King beare theſe afflictions?
Now you ſhall heare how fares his Majeſtie.
Oh my good Lords, our ſorrowes ſtill increaſe,
A greater tide of woe is to be fear’d,
The Kings decay, with griefe for his two ſonnes.
The gods forbid, let’s in and comfort him.
Alas, his ſorrow’s ſuch
He will not ſuffer us to ſpeake to him,
But turnes away in rage, and ſeemes to tread
The pace of one (if living) living dead.
See where he comes,A Lords 02 A1v
Lords, let us all attend,Enter King in black, reading.
Untill his grace be pleas’d to ſpeake to us.
Death is the eaſe of paine, and end of ſorrow,
How can that be? Death gave my ſorrowes life,
For by his death my paine and griefe begun,
And in beginning, never will have end: for though I die,
My loſſe will live in future memorie,
I and (perhaps) will be lamented too,
And regiſtred by ſome, when all ſhall heare
Sicilia had two ſonnes, yet had no heire.
Ha! What are you?
Who dares preſume to interrupt us thus?
What meanes this ſorrow? Wherefore are theſe ſignes?
Or unto whom are theſe obſervances?
Unto our King.
To you my Soveraigne.
Your Subjects all lament to ſee you ſad.
You all are Traytors then, and by my life
I will account you ſo:
Can you not be content with State and rule,
But you muſt come to take away my Crowne?
For ſolitude is ſorrowes chiefeſt Crowne.
Griefe hath reſign’d over his right to mee,
And I am King of all woes Monarchie.
You powers that grant Regeneration,
What meant you firſt to give him vitall breath
And make large Kingdomes proud of ſuch a Prince
As my Luſyppus was, ſo good, ſo vertuous:
Then, in his prime of yeares,
To take him from mee by untimely death?
Oh! had my ſpirit wings, I would aſcend
And fetch his ſoule againe from—
Oh my ſad ſorrowes! Whither am I driven?
Into what maze of errors will you lead mee?
This Monſter (Griefe) hath ſo diſtracted mee,I had 03 A2r
I had almoſt forgot mortalitie.
Deare Lord have patience, though the heavens are pleas’d
To puniſh Princes for their Subjects faults,
In taking from us ſuch a hopefull Prince,
No doubt they will reſtore your yonger ſonne,
Who cannot be but ſtay’d, and will, I hope
Be quickly heard of, to recall your Joyes.
No, I ſhall never ſee Lorenzo more,
This eighteene moneths I have not heard of him,
I feare ſome Traytors hand had ſeyz’d his life:
If hee were living, as that cannot bee;
I ſooner looke to ſee the dead then hee:
For I am almoſt ſpent; This heape of age,
Mixt with my ſorrow, ſoone will end my dayes.
My Liege, take comfort, I (your Subject) vow
To goe my ſelfe to ſeeke Lorenzo forth,
And ne’r returne untill I find him out,
Or bring ſome newes what is become of him.
The like will I, or ne’r come backe agen.
Old as I am, I’le not be laft behind,
And if my Soveraigne pleaſe to let mee goe.
I thanke your loves, but I’le reſtrain your wils:
If I ſhould part from you, my dayes were done,
For I ſhould never live till your returne,Enter Nicano.
Nicanor my deare friend, Iago, Sforza,
One of you three, if I die iſſueleſſe,
Muſt after mee be King of Sicilie.
Doe not forſake mee then.
Long live your grace:
And may your iſſue raigne eternally.
As for our daughter fayre Leonida,
Her female Sexe cannot inherit here,
One muſt injoy both her and Sicilie.Shout within.
What ſudden ſhout was that? Some know the cauſe;
Can there be ſo much joy left in our Land,A2 To 04 A2v
To raiſe mens voyces to ſo high a ſound?Enter Nicanor.
Or waſt a ſhreeke of ſome new miſerie?
For comfort cannot be expected here.
The newes, Nicanor.
Happie, Sir, I hope,
There is a Souldier new arriv’d at Court,
Can tell ſome tidings of the long loſt Prince:
Sir, ſhall he have acceſſe?
Oh joyfull newes!
Is it a queſtion, Sforza? Bring him in,
As you would doe ſome great Ambaſſadour;
He is no leſſe. Comes he not from a Prince?
He do’s, if from Lorenzo hee be ſent.A flouriſh, with Trumpets. Enter a Captaine, brought in by the Lord Scaufardoe.
Thou Man of Warre, once play the Orator,
Prove Griefe a guiltie Thiefe, condemne my feares,
And let my ſorrowes ſuffer in theſe teares:
Have I a ſonne or no? Good Souldier ſpeake.
Sir, I arriv’d by chance upon your coaſt,
Yet hearing of the Proclamation
Which promis’d thouſands unto any man
That could bring newes to the Sicilian King,
Whether Lorenzo were alive or dead.
We’le double our reward, what-e’r it be,
If hee be living: Dead, we’le keepe our word:
Then prethee ſay, What is become of him?
Not for reward, but love to that brave Prince,
Whoſe memorie deſerves to out live time,
Come I to tell what I too truely know:
In the Lepanthean battel not long ſince,
Where he was made Commander of a Fleet,
Under Don John the Spaniſh Generall,
He did demeane himſelfe ſo manfully,
That he perform’d wonders above beliefe;For 05 A3r
For when the thethe Navies joyn’d, the Cannons plaid,
And thundring clamors rang the dying knels
Of many thouſand ſoules; He, void of feare,
Dalli’d with danger, and purſu’d the Foe
Thorow a bloudy Sea of Victorie:
Whether there ſlaine, or taken priſoner
By the too mercileſſe misbeleeving Turkes,
No man can tell:
That when Victorie fell to the Chriſtians,
The conqueſt, and the glorie of the day
Was ſoone eclipſt, in brave Lorenzo’s loſſe;
That when the battel and the fight was done,
They knew not well whether they loſt or wonne.
This newes is worſe then death; Happy were I
If any now could tell me he were dead;
Death is farre ſweeter then captivitie:
My deare Lorenzo! Was it thy deſire
To goe to Warre, made thee forſake thy Father,
Countrie, Friends, Life, Libertie? and undergoe
Death, or Captivitie, or ſome diſaſter
That exceeds ’em both? Yet, howſo’er,
Captaine, We thanke thy love; give the reward
Was promis’d in the Proclamation.
I’le not be nice in the refuſall, Sir,
It is no wonder t’ſee a Souldier want:
All good wait on yee; may the Heavens be pleas’d
To make you happy in your long loſt ſonne.
My comfort is, whether alive or dead,
He bravely fought for Heaven and Chriſtendome;
Such battels martyr men: their death’s a life
Surviving all this worlds felicitie.
Lords, Where’s Leonida, Our beautious child,
She’s all the comfort we have left Us now;
She muſt not have her libertie to match,
The Girle is wanton, coy, and fickle too:
How many Princes hath the froward ElfeA3 Set 06 A3v
Set at debate, deſiring but her love?
What dangers may inſue? But to prevent,
Nicanor, wee make you her Gardian:
Let her be Princely us’d; but no acceſſe
By any to her preſence, but by ſuch
As wee ſhall ſend, or give commandment for:
’Tis death to any other dares attempt it.
I heare, the Prince of Naples ſeekes her love:
Shee ſhall not wed with that preſumptuous Boy,
His father and Our ſelfe were ſtill at oddes,
Nor ſhall He thinke Wee will ſubmit to Him,
Certaine he knowes not of Liſandro’s ſute,
For if he had, he would a come himſelfe,
Or ſent Ambaſſadors to ſpeake for him.
We’le give his anſwer ere to morrows Sunne
Shall retch to his Meridian, wretched ſtate of Kings,
What end will follow where ſuch woes begins?
My good Lord?
How lik’ſt thou this?
I am made Gardian of my owne harts bliſſe,
The Princeſſe is my Priſoner, I her Slave,
I keepe her Body, but ſhee holds my Heart
Inviron’d in a Cheſt of Adamant.
Is your Heart Iron?
Steele, I thinke it is;
And live an Anvile hammerd by her words,
It ſparkles fire that never can bee quencht,
But by the dew of her cœleſtiall breath.
Oft have I courted, bin rejected too,
Yet what of that? I’le trye her once agen.
What many Princes have attempting fail’d,
I by acceſſe may purchaſe, that’s my hope;
The King I’me ſure affects mee, nothing then
Is wanting but her love, that once obtain’d
Sicill is ours: Scanfardoe? if we win,
Thou ſhalt be Lord Nicanor, I the King.
Scen. II.Enter Mysogenos ſolus.
By this, my thundering Booke is preſt abroad,
I long to heare what a report it beares,
I know ’t will ſtartle all our Citie Dames,
Worſe then the roring Lyons, or the ſound
Of a huge double Canon, Swetnams name,
Will be more terrible in womens eares,
Then ever yet in Misogenyſts hath beene.
Puffe, give me some ayre,
I am almoſt ſtifled, puffe, Oh, my ſides!
From whence comm’ſt thou in ſuch a puffing heate?
Haſt thou been running for a wager, Swaſh?
Thou art horribly imboſt. Where haſt thou beene?
My life, he was haunted with ſome Spirit.
I thinke all the Devils in Hell,
Have had a pinch at my hanches,
I have beene among the Furies, the Furies:
A Pox on your Booke: I have beene paid ifaith,
You have ſet all the women in the Towne in an uprore.
Why, what’s the matter, Swaſh?
Ne’r was poore Swaſh, ſo laſht, and paſht,
And craſht and daſht, as I have beene,
Looke to your ſelfe, they’re up in armes for you.
Why, Have they weapons, Swaſh?
Weapons, Sir, I, Ile be ſworne they have.
And cutting ones, I felt the ſmart of ’em,
From the loines to the legs, from the head to th’ hams,
From the Front to the foot, I have not one free ſpot.
Oh, I can ſhew you, Sir, ſuch Characters.
What doſt thou mean, man, wilt ſhame thy ſelfe?
Why, here’s none but you and I, Sir, is there?
Good, good, ifaith. This was a brave Revenge.
If’t be ſo good, would you had had’t for me.
And if I live, I will make all the World
To hate, as I doe, this affliction, Woman.
But we ſhall be afflicted in th’ meane time.
Pray let’s leave this Land: if we ſtay heere,
We ſhall be torne a-pieces: would we had kept
In our owne Countrey, there w’are ſafe enough:
You might have writ and raild your bellifull,
And few, or none would contradict you, Sir.
Oh, but for one that writ againſt me, Swaſh,
Ide had a glorious Conqueſt in that Ile,
How my Bookes tooke effect! how greedily
The credulous people ſwallowed downe my hookes
How rife debate ſprang betwixt man and wife!
The little Infant that could hardly ſpeake,
Would call his Mother Whore. O, it was rare!
Oh, damn’d Rogue!
I ſtay but here, in hope, to ſee him hang’d,
And carrie newes to England, then I know,
The women there will never ſee me want,
For God he knowes, I love um with my heart,
But dare not ſhew it for my very eares.
What courſe, Sir, shall we take to hide our ſelves?
The ſame we did at Bristow, Fencing Boy;
Oh’t is a fearefull name to Females, Swaſh,
I have bought Foiles alreadie, ſet up Bils,
Hung up my two-hand Sword, and chang’d my name:
Call me Myſogenos.
A ſodden Noſe.
Myſogenos, I ſay. Remember, Swaſh, heere
comes a Gentleman.
I know him well, he ſerves a Noble Lord.
Seignior Scanfardo, happily encountred.
Thanks, my noble Gladiator, Doctor of Defence.
A Maſter, Sir, of the moſt magnanimous Method
Ime glad I met with you.
I was now comming to be entred, Sir.
That you ſhall preſently. My Rapier, Swaſh.
Come, Sir, I’ll enter you.
What meane you, Sir?
You ſay you would be entred, if you will,
Ile put you to the Puncto preſently.
Your Scholler, Sir, I meane.
O welcome, Sir, What, have you brought your Fees?
Yes, Sir: what is’t?
Twentie Piaſtros, your admittance Sir,
And five, your quarteridge.
Beſides Uſhers Fees.
There goes a garniſh and a breake-faſt too.
Well, I’m content, there ’tis.
Come when you will, find you Piaſtros, Sir,
And we’ll find you crackt crownes.
Booke him, my bold Uſher.
That I will, your denomination, Seignior.
Seignior Scanfardo, Della Sancta Cabrado.
Seig. Scan. Della Sancta Cabrado? a terrible name.
Give me your hand, Scholer, ſo Ile cal you now.
Ile make you one of the Sonnes of Art.
Swaſh, give my Scholer the Foyle.
Doe not take it in ſcorne,
I have gi’n many a good Gentleman the Foyle, Sir.
I was going this morning to practiſe a young Duelliſt,
That ſhortly goes to fight at Callie Sands.
Come, Sir, to your guard.
Not here in publike, I am a young beginner.
Come to my Chamber, Sir, Ile practiſe there.
Doe, and Ile teach you the very mysterie of Fen-
cing, that in a fortnight, you ſhall be able to challenge
any Scholer under the degree of a Provoſt, and in a
quarter of a yeere, beat all the Fencers in Germany. Our
Engliſh Maſters of this Noble Science would ha’ gi’n
fortie pound to have knowne that tricke.
Say you ſo, Sir?
By this hand, I ſhall thinke my money well beſtowed
then: but to tell you the truth, Sir, the reaſon I would
learne, is, becauſe I am to bee married ſhortly: and they
say, Then or never, is the time for a man to get the ma-
How, marry, Scholer? thou art not mad, I hope.
Doe you know what you doe?
I know what I ſhall doe, Maſter, that’s as good.
Doe you know what ſhe is you are to marrie?
A woman, I am ſure a that.
No, ſhe’s a Devill, Harpie, Cockatrice.
And you were not my Maſter—
Scholer, be advised, they are all
Moſt vile and wicked.
Diſſemblers, the very curſe of man, Monſters indeed.
That Ile be ſworne they are, for I have knowne
some of um, that ha’ devoured you three Lordſhips,
in Cullices and Caudles before Break-faſt.
And creatures the moſt imperfect: for looke yee, Sir,
Th’are nothing of themſelves,
Onely patcht up to coozen and gull men,
Borrowing their haire from one, complexions from another,
Nothing their own that’s pleaſing, all diſſembled,
Not ſo much, but their very breath
Is ſophiſticated with Amber pellets, and kiſſing cauſes.
Marry a woman, Scholer? thou undergo’ſt an harder task,
Then thoſe bold Spirits, that did undertake
To ſteale the great Turke into Chriſtendome.
A woman! ſhe’s an Angell at ten, a Saint at fifteene,
A Devill at fortie, and a Witch at foureſcore.
If you will marry, marry none of theſe:
Neither the faire, nor the foule; the rich, nor the poore;
The good, nor the bad.
Who ſhould I marry then, Sir?
Marry none at all.
Proceeds this from Experience?
From Reaſon, Sir, the Miſtris of Experience.
Happy were man, had woman never bin.
Why did not Nature infuſe the gift of Procreation
In man alone, without the helpe of woman,
Even as we ſee one ſeed, produce another?
Or as you ſee one Knave make twentie, Maſter.
Thou ſaiſt true, Swaſh: or why might not a man
Revive againe, like to the Elme and Oake?
Many Logger-heads doe, Sir.
When they are cut downe to the very roote,
Yet in ſhort time you ſee young branches ſpring againe.
If ’twere ſo at Tyburne, what a fine companie
of Crack-ropes would ſpring up then?
Then we ſhould ne’r be acquainted with the de-
ceitfull devices of a womans crooked conditions, which
are ſo many, that if all the World were Paper, the Sea,
Inke, Trees and Plants, Pens, and every man Clarkes,
Scribes, and Notaries: yet would all that Paper be ſcrib-
led over, the Inke waſted, Pens worne to the ſtumps, and
all the Scriveners wearie, before they could deſcribe the
hundreth part of a womans wickedneſſe.
Methinks you are too generall: ſome, no doubt,
As many men, are bad: condemne not all for ſome.
What thinke you, Sir, of thoſe that have good wives?
I hope, you will confeſſe a difference.
And Reaſon too: and here’s the difference,
Thoſe that have good wives, ride to Hell
Upon ambling Hackneyes, and all the reſt
Upon trotting Jades to the Devill.
Is that the difference? Ile not marrie ſure,
Ile rather turne Whore-maſter,
And goe a-foot to the Devill.
You’l hardly doe that, if you love whoring, Sir.
For many loſe a Legge in ſuch ſervice.
But doe you heare, Sir? how long is ’t ſince youB2 be- 12 B2v
became ſuch a bitter Enemie to women?
Since I had wiſdome. When I was a Foole,
I doted on ſuch Follies, but now I have left um, and doe
vow to be the everlasting ſcourge to all their Sex: What
the reaſon is, Ile tell you, Sir, hereafter: reade but that,
I have arraign’d um all, and painted forth
Thoſe Furies to the life,
That all the World may know that doth it read,
I was a true Myſogeniſt indeed.
Scen. III.Enter Iago, and Lorenzo diſguiſed.
You have not ſeene the Court then?
Not as yet.
But I deſire to obſerve the Faſhions there.
How doe you ſtile your King of Sicilie?
Men call him, Sir, The just King Atticus;
And truly too: for with an equall Scale
He waighes the offences betwixt man and man,
He is not ſooth’d with adulation,
Nor mov’d with teares, to wreſt the courſe of Juſtice
Into an unjust current to oppreſſe the Innocent,
Nor do’s he make the Lawes
Puniſh the man, but in the man the cauſe.
Shall I in briefe give you his Character?
A thing I covet much.
Attend mee then.
His ſtate is full of majeſtie and grace,
Whoſe baſis is true Pietie and Vertue,
Where, underneath a rich triumphant Arch,
That does reſemble the Tribunall Seat,
Garded with Angels, born upon two Columnes,
Justice and Clemencie, he ſits inthron’d,
His ſubjects ſerve him freely, not perforce,
And doe obey him more for love, then feare;Being 13 B3r
Being a King not of themſelves alone,
And their eſtates, but their affections:
A ſoveraigntie that farre more ſafetie brings,
Then do’s an Armie to the guard of Kings.
You have deſcrib’d, Sir, ſuch a worthy Prince,
That well I cannot ſay, who is moſt happie;
Either the King for having ſo good ſubjects,
Or elſe the ſubjects for ſo good a King.
But pray proceed.
The Heavens to crowne his joy,
With Immortalitie in his happie Iſſue
Sent him two Royall ſonnes, of whom the eldeſt
Was the ſweet Prince Luſyppus. Was! oh me,
That ever I ſhould live to ſay, he was:
He was, but is not now, for he is dead.
The yongeſt was Lorenzo, for his yeeres,
The pride and glory of Sicilians,
And miracle of Nature, whoſe aſpect,
Even like a Comet, did attract all eyes
With admiration, wonder and amazement,
And he good Prince, is loſt, or worſe, I feare:
But for his Daughter faire Leonida,
Her Fame not able to be circumſcrib’d
Within the bounds of Sicilie, hath gone
Beyond the Pirean Mountaines, and brought backe
The chiefe Italian Princes, but their Loves
Were quitted with contempt and crueltie:
And many of our brave Sicilian Youths
Have ſacrific’d their lives to her diſdaine.
Now to prevent the like event hereafter,
’Twas thought fit her libertie ſhould be awhile reſtraind,
For which intent, his Highneſſe, hath elected
The Lord Nicanor for her Guardian,
Who, ’tis thought, ſhall after his deceaſe,
Eſpouſe the Princeſſe, and be heire of Sicill.
You told me of a Prince, you ſaid was loſt,B3 Which 14 B3v
Which you pronounc’d ſo feelingly, as if
It had beene your loſſe in particular.
Oh, it was mine, and every good mans elſe,
That is oblig’d to vertue and deſert.
See how Report is ſubject to abuſe.
I knew the Prince Lorenzo.
Did you, Sir?
But never knew in him any one ſparke
Of worth or merit, that might thus inflame
The zeale of your affection.
Traytor, thou lyeſt.
Which I will prove ev’n to thy heart, thou ly’ſt,
I tell thee, thou haſt committed ſuch a ſinne
Againſt his deare Report, that thy baſe life
Is farre too poore to expiate that wrong.
Sir, will you draw?
Forbeare, incenſed man. I doe applaud
Thy noble courage, and I tell you, Sir,
The Prince Lorenzo was a man I lov’d
As dearely as my ſelfe: but pray reſolve me;
Does he live or not?
In our eternall memorie he lives: but otherwiſe,
It’s the generall feare of Sicily,
That he is dead, or in Captivitie.
For when Don John, the Spaniſh Generall,
Went with an Armie ’gainst the cruell Turkes,
In that ſtill memorable Battell of Lepanto,
Our brave Lorenzo, too too vent’rous,
There loſt his life, or worſe, his libertie.
Hath not Time with his rude hand
Defac’d the Impreſſion of his Effigies
In your memories yet?
No, nor will ever be, ſo long
As worth ſhall be admir’d, and vertue loved.
You know him, if you ſee him.
My Lord Lorenzo!
Riſe, my worthy Friend,
I have made proofe of thy unfayned love.
Th’exceeding happineſſe to ſee you well,
Is more then joy can utter: On my knees
I beg your pardon for th’uncivill ſpeech
My ignorant tongue committed.
No, thus I’le be reveng’d.Imbraces him.
I know thou lovest mee, and I muſt injoyne
Thy love unto an act of ſecreſie,
Which you muſt not denie.
Sir, I obey.
Then thus it is, I muſt conjure your faith,
And privacie in my arrivall yet,
For I intend a while in ſome diſguiſe
To obſerve the times and humors of the Court.
How meanes your Grace? can you indure to ſee
The Court eclipſt with clouds of diſcontent,
Your father mourne your abſence, and all hearts
Ore-whelm’d with ſorrow, and you preſent, Sir?
Iago, I’me reſolv’d:
Therefore what ſhape or humor I aſſume,
Take you no notice that I am the Prince.
Sir, I conſent,
And vow to your concealement.
It is enough, my brother’s dead, thou ſaist:
I have ſome teares to ſpend upon his Tombe,
We are the next unto the Diadem,
That’s the occaſion I obſcure my ſelfe.
Happie’s that Prince, that ere he rules, ſhall know,
Where the chiefe errors of his State doe grow.
Act II.Enter Liſandro, and Loretta, ſeverall.
My Lord Liſandro, y’are met happily.
Loretta! welcome, welcome as my life.
How fares my deareſt Saint?
Like a diſtreſſed Priſoner, whoſe hard fate
Hath bard her from all joy in loſing you,
A torment which ſhe counts inſufferable.
This ſeparation, like the ſtroke of death,
Makes a divorce betwixt my ſoule and mee;
For how can I live without her
In whom my life ſubſiſts?
For never did the Load-ſtone more reſpect
The Northerne Pole, by natures kind inſtinct,
Then my affections truly ſympathize
With her, the Starre of my felicitie.
Therefore ſhee prayes you, henceforth to deſiſt,
Reſpecting your owne ſafetie: Worthie Prince,
The times are troubleſome and dangerous:
As for her ſelfe, ſhe’s arm’d to undergoe
All malice that for you they can inflict.
Oh my Loretta! thou appli’ſt a balme
Worſe then the wound it ſelfe: It is impoſſible
For me to live at all but in her ſight.
But was this all ſhee ſaid,
That I ſhould leave her? Death could not ha’ ſpoke
A word more fatall to my ſoule and mee:
Let her injoyne mee to ſome other taske,
Tho it were greater then the ſonne of Jove
Did for his Step-dame Juno ever act:
Let it be any thing, ſo I may not leave
Her ſweet ſocietie.
Then, here my Lord, read this.
I kiſſe thee for her ſake, whoſe beautious hand
Hath here inclos’d ſo mild and ſweet a doome.
See what a negative command ſhee hath
Impos’d upon my ſloth to viſit her,
As if ſhe taxed my neglect ſo long:
But pardon, deare Leonida, I come
To intimate thy favor for my ſtay,
Tho thou wert garded with an hoſt of men.
I muſt diſguiſe me in ſome other ſhape,
For this is noted, and too full of danger.
Loretta, Who’s admitted beſt acceſſe
Unto thy Lady?
Her Graces Confeſſor.
As I could wiſh: I know the Frier well;
I muſt aſſume that ſhape; It is the beſt:
Loretta, weare this Jewell for my ſake;
Nay, prethee take it, not as recompence,
But as a token of that future good
Shall crowne thy merits, with ſuch height and honour,
Fortune ſhall be aſham’d, and held a Foole,
To ſuffer poore deſert to over-match her.
I humbly thanke your Grace: Why, here’s a gift
Able to make a Saint turne Oratrix,
And pleade ’gainſt Chaſtitie: I muſt confeſſe,
Liſandro is a Noble Gentleman, and ha’s good gifts,
And is, indeed, gracious with my Ladie: Yet for all
that, wee poore Gentlewomen, that have no other for-
tunes but our attendance, muſt now and then make the
best use of our places: wee have preſident, and very lately
too. But who comes here? my Lord Nicanor?Enter Nicanor.
Here’s another Client— I muſt deviſe ſome quaint de-
vice for him, to delude his froſtie apprehenſion—
Oh I ha’t.
Loretta, how is’t, wench? How thrives my ſuit,
ha? Haſt broke with thy Lady yet?
He takes me for a Shee-Broker, but I’le fit him:
I have my Lord, but find her ſo obdure,
That when I ſpeake, ſhe turnes away her eare,
As if her mind were fixt on ſomething elſe.
The other day, finding her Grace alone,
I came and mov’d your ſuit; told her how deare
She ſtood in your affection; and proteſted,
You lov’d her more then all the World beſide.
Good, good: proceed.
At this ſhe anſwer’d not a word,
But kept her eye ſtill fixt upon me;
Then I begun agen, and told her Grace
(As from my ſelfe) how much your Honour
Had merited her favour by deſert;
How great you ſtood ith’ generall eye of all,
And one ſelected by the King her Father,
(Since Prince Lorenzo’s death) to perſonate
The King of Sicill after his deceaſe.
Excellent good i’faith. Then what ſaid ſhee?
At this, I might perceive her colour change
From red to pale, and then to red againe,
As if diſdaine and rage had faintly ſtrove
In her confuſed breſt for victorie.
At length, having recal’d her ſpirits,
She broke forth into theſe words; What, wilt thou
Conſpire with youth and frailtie, to inforce
The rule of my affection ’gainſt my will?
Tho’ my body be confin’d his priſoner,
Yet my mind is free. With that, ſhee charg’d mee
That I never ſhould hereafter urge your ſuit;
And this was all the comfort that I could
From her with all my diligence attaine.
Cold comfort, Wench, but ’tis the generall fault
Of women all, to make ſhew of diſlikeTo 19 C2r
To thoſe they moſt affect: and in that hope
Thou ſhalt to her againe: No Citie
Ever yeelded at firſt ſkirmiſh. Before,
You came but to a parley, thou ſhalt now
Give an aſſault: There’s nothing batters more
A womans reſolution, then rich gifts;
Then goe, Loretta.
’Las, my Lord, you know—
Feare nothing, Wench, give her this chaine of pearle,
With it my ſelfe.
My Lord, I’le ſee what I can doe with her,
What, Loretta? Oh, you looke for a fee:
Here, take this Gold: And if thou canſt prevaile,
(Harke in thine eare) When I am King—
I thanke your Lordſhip: Ha, ha, ha—
This womans weakneſſe was wel wrought upon,
Her words may take effect: ’Tis often ſeene
That women are like Diamonds; nothing cuts ſo ſoone
As their owne powder: yet there is one more
Will make a happy ſecond,
Frier Anthonie her Confeſſor; ſuch men as hee
Can prevaile much with credulous Penitents
In cauſes of perſwaſion. Hoe, within?
Your Lordſhip call?
Bid Frier Anthonie
Come viſit mee with all ſpeed poſſible,
I could not thinke upon a better Agent.
Their ſeeming ſanctitie makes all their acts
Savour of Truth, Religion, Pietie,
And prove that love’s a heavenly Charitie,
Without which there’s no ſafetie. Here he comes.
The benediction of the bleſſed Saints
Attend your honour.
Welcome, holy Frier.
And crowne your wiſhes to your hearts deſire.
I’le ſay Amen to that; but yet the meanes
To make mee happy, lies within thy power.
Your Honour may command mee.
Then ’tis thus;
Thou know’ſt with what a generall conſent
Of all Sicilia I was prelected
By my dread Soveraigne, to eſpouſe the faire
Yet fond Leonida; granting me for dower
The Crowne of Sicil, after his deceaſe.
I hope, my Lord, there’s none dares queſtion that.
To which intent, how many hopefull Princes
Have beene non-ſuted, onely for my ſake?
And to prevent all meanes of their acceſſe,
Eſtabliſh’d mee her Guardian: Now, the Princeſſe,
Although I have her Perſon, yet her Heart
I find eſtrang’d from mee, and all my love
Is quitted with contempt.
The Heavens forbid.
It is forbidden both by Heaven and Earth,
And yet Shee do’s it; and thou know’ſt then, Frier,
My hopes are fruſtrate. Therefore (holy Man)
Thou art her Counſel-Cloſet, her Confeſſor,
Of reverend opinion with the Princeſſe.
I doe conceive your Honour.
Be my Orator.
In what I may, my Lord.
If thou prevail’st,
I’le make thee Metropolitane of Sicil.
It ſhall be all my care.
Then farewell, Father.
All my Prayers attend yee.
So, here’s the fence throwne open; now my way
Is made before mee: Godamercy Cowle;
It is no marvell tho’ the credulous WorldThought 21 C3r
Thought themſelves ſafe from danger, when they were
Inveſted with this habit, ’tis the beſt,
To cover, or to gaine a free acceſſe,
That can be poſſible in any project.
How finely I have guld my Politician,
That covets Love, onely to gaine a Crowne?
But if my Love prove conſtant, Ile withſtand
All his deſires with a more powerfull hand.
Tell me, Loretta, Art thou ſure ’twas he?
Madame, I live not elſe.
Thou do’ſt delude
My feares with fond impoſſibilities:
Prethee resolve me truly, I do long
Not a ſyllable more now,
And ’twould ſave your life: not be beleev’d?
Nay, ſweet Loretta.
Troth, I doe beleeve thee.
I could fight with any living creature,
In this quarrel ’tis ſo just.
Have I deſerv’d
No more reſpect, then to be trifled thus?
Come, prethee tell me.
Yes? to delude
Your feares with fond impoſſibilities?
Nay, now thou tortur’ſt me.
Well, I have done.
But leave your ſighes, your heigh-ho’s and ay-me’s:
For I have newes will warme you like the Sunne,
And make you open like the Marigold.
Why, now thou raviſh’ſt me.
I heard you not cry out yet.
Thou takeſt ſuch a delight in croſſing me.
’Faith, now you talke of Croſſes, Ile tell you,
You have choſen a Husband, ſo handſome, ſo complete,
As if he had beene pickt
Out of the Chriſt-Croſſe row.
As how, I prethee?
Why, Madame, thus:
Ile begin with A. and ſo proceed to the latter end of the
Alphabet, comparing his good parts as thus: for A. hee is
Amiable, Bountifull, Courteous, Diligent, Eloquent,
Faithfull, Gracious, Humble, Joviall, Kind, Loving,
Magnanimous, Noble, Patient, Quiet, Royall, Secret,
Truſtie, Vigilant, Wittie, and Xceeding Youthfull. Now
for Z, he’s zealous: ſo I conclude, pray God hee bee not
An excellent obſervation.
Who doe you think’s in love with you?
The old Dragon Nicanor, that watches the fruit of your
Oh, that newes is ſtale.
He met but just now, and would needs know,
What returne I had made of his Adventure.
But I deviſed ſuch a Tale for my old Marchant,
Able to make a Bankrout at report,
But he not withſtanding fraughts me agen,
With that he was not able, but with this,
This Chaine of Pearle.
Prethee, away with it, Ile not be chain’d to him.
Faith, and ’tis true, a Chaine is the worſt Gift
A Lover can ſend his Miſtris, ’tis ſuch an Embleme
Of bondage hereafter. Who’s that?
How fares my worthy Daughter?
Ev’n as oneDevo- 23 C4r
Devoted unto ſorrow, griefe and mone.
Then I muſt blame you, Ladie, you doe ill,
To blaſt thoſe Roſiall bloſſomes. Will you kill
This gift of Nature, Beautie in the prime?
Father, I understand not what you ſay:
The other day you talkt of Penitence,
Commended Patience, Sorrow and Contrition,
As Antidotes againſt the ſoules decay:
And now, me thinkes, you ſpeake of no ſuch thing.
Mistake me not, deare Daughter, I ſpake then,
Onely to mortifie the ſinfull minde,
But now I come with comfort, to reſtore
Your fainting ſpirits that were griev’d before:
But Daughter, I muſt chide you.
For your neglect, and too much crueltie
To one that dearely loves you.
Whom in the name of wonder?
On my life,
This Frier’s made an agent in my ſuit.
The hope of Sicill, Map of true Nobilitie,
Patterne of Wiſdome, Grace and Gravitie.
You prayſe him highly, ha’s he ne’r a name?
Yes, is’t my Lord Nicanor.
Oh, is’t he?
His gray head ſhewes his wiſdomes gravitie:
And are you made his Agent,
His Advocate, to play the ſpokeſman? Fie.
Daughter, this is a worke of Charitie,
A holy action to combine in one:
Two different hearts in holy Union.
Frier, no more.
I doe not like of theſe perſwaſions,
Either ya’re not the ſame you ſeeme to be,
Or all your Actions are Hypocriſie,
My Faith is paſt alreadie, and my heartIn- 24 C4v
Ingag’d unto a farre more worthy man:
Liſandro is the Prince my love hath wonne.
Then here the Frier concludes: my taske is done.
Liſandro, my deare Love!
The ſame, ſweet Princeſſe.
Oh, you were too adventrous, deareſt Love,
What made you undertake this hard attempt?
Your love, ſweet Lady,
That makes all things eaſie.
Oh, I am made immortall with thy ſight:
Here let me ever live: I feare not now
The worſt that Fate or Malice can afflict:
I have enough, having thy companie.
And when I leave to love you, vertuous Madame,
Upon that minute, let me leave to live,
That love and life may both expire together.
Come, leave your prating and proteſting,
And get you both in, and be naught awhile.
’Tis dangerous talking here in publike,
Good Frier, look my Ladie dye no Nun.Exit Le. & Liſ.
Heigho! now could I with my Sweet-heart
Heere too, I feele ſuch a tickling, ſomewhere
About me: if he were here now, I would
Never caſt ſuch an unwilling deniall upon him
As I have done, having ſo good a preſident as I have.
But ſtay, who’s this?
As true as I live, ’tis he.
Oh, ſweet Rogue, thou art come
In the happieſt minute.
Am I, Loretta? Maſſe, I like that well.
What, all alone? I like that better too.
But where’s the Princeſſe?
Oh, ſhe’s ſafe enough!
Is ſhe indeed? I like that beſt of all.
And ſo do’s ſhee, I warrant yee,
Or any woman elſe, that’s in her Caſe: ha, ha, ha!
There’s ſomething in the wind now, that you
Nothing indeed, ſweet Love: but ha, ha!
I laugh at an odde Jest.
Come, I muſt know’t.
’Deed but you muſt not.
Why? Dare you not truſt me?
Yes, I dare: but
As you are a man, reveale it not.
In troth, Ime angry, that you ſhould miſtruſt me.
The Frier, the Frier: ha, ha, ha!
He that the Lord imploy’d to be his Agent,
Who doe you thinke it was?
Father Anthonie, waſt not?
The Devill it was: no faith,
It was, ha, ha, ha!
It was no other, then Liſandro Prince of Naples,
That ſtole to my Lady in that Habit,
And guld your Lord moſt palpably.
And where are they now?
Why? faith th’are ev’n at,
Ha, ha, ha, ha!
But good Sweet-heart, be ſilent.
Not a ſyllable I: it was a bold attempt,
Knowing ’twas death, if but diſcovered once.
But come, Sweet-heart, weele ev’n doe,
As our betters have done before us,
The example is eaſly followed,
Having ſo good a Schoole-miſtris.
Shall we to bed?
Fye, ſervant, how you talke?
Troth you are to blame, to offer to aſſaultD The 26 D1v
The chaſtitie of any Gentlewoman,
Pox, leav this forc’d modeſty: for by this hand,
I muſt enjoy you now before we part.
I have ſo farre ingag’d my ſelfe, you know,
’Tis now vaine to reſiſt.
Why, now I like thee well.
Where ſhall we meet?
In the with-drawing Chamber, there I lye.
Goe then, Ile follow.
Ile put out the light.
No matter, I ſhall find the way i’the darke.
Here was a ſtrange diſcoverie but indeed,
What will not women blab to thoſe they love?
I am very loth to leav my ſport to night,
And yet more loth to loſe that rich reward
My Lord will give for this discoverie,
Chiefly to be reveng’d upon his rivall:
Ile not forſake it, Venerie is ſweet.
But he that has good ſtore of gold and wealth,
May have it at command, and not by ſtealth.
’Tis late, deare Love.
You ſhall not part from me,
Good ſooth, you ſhall not. Frier Anthonie,
You ſay, is faithfull: for Loretta’s truth
I dare ingage my life.
Why, ſo you doe:
Should ſhe prove falſe, both yours and mine, you know,
Are forfeit to the Law.
You are ſecure.
Miſtruſt not then: true love is void of feare.
No danger can afflict a conſtant mind.
This is no durance, no impriſonment,
Rather a Paradiſe in joying thee:
My libertie alone conſiſts in thee.
That is the reaſon, Ime ſo jealous, Sweet,
Since in my freedome both our lives remaine.
As for my ſelfe, what perill could be thought,
I would not undergoe to gaine your love?
Were it to ſcale the flaming Ætna’s top:
Whoſe ſulphurous ſmoke kils with infection,
Cut through the Northerne Seas, or ſhoote the Gulfe?
I doe beleeve thee, Sweet.
But yet this houre
Is not frequented by your Confeſſor, there lyes the dan-
I ha’ confeſt to thee, from morne till night,
From night till morne againe, all my tranſgreſſion.
Were I your Confeſſor, I know you would
Both ſinne, and be confeſt.
Breake ope the doore.
By Heaven, we are betrai’d.
Oh my deare Love.
My thoughts preſag’d as much.Enter Nicanor and a Guard.
What ſhall we doe?
Do not reſiſt, Liſandro, ſtand: the worſt,
We can but dye.
Oh, this Loretta, falſe, inhumane wretch!
Lay hands upon them both. Is’t ſo indeed?
Is this the zeale of your Confeſſion?
I feare, death gives the abſolution.
Hence, doting Foole, more welcome far is death,
Then to bee linkt to Ages Leproſie.
Beare um away into their ſeverall Wards.
Let them be guarded ſtrongly, till ſuch time
I ſhall acquaint my Soveraigne with this Plot.
Rather then loſe the Royall Dignitie,
Ile ſtrive to ruine a whole Progenie.
Act. III.Enter Atticus, Iago, Nicanor, two Judges, Notarie, and Attendants.
How full of troubles is the ſtate of Kings,
Abroad with Foes, at home, with faithleſſe Friends,
Within with cares, without, a thouſand feares?
Yet all ſumm’d up together, doth not make
Such an impreſſion in our troubled thoughts,
As this one Act of diſobedience
In our owne Iſſue.
Gracious Soveraigne, yet for that high respect,
Be favourable: ſhe is your Daughter.
And the onely hope
Of all Sicilie, ſince Lorenzo’s loſſe.
Bring to the Barre the Priſoners: this offence
Hath loſt in us a Father and a Friend,
And cals for Juſtice from us, as a King:
Yet thinke not, Lords, but ’tis with griefe of mind,
Nor can a Father eaſly forget a Daughter,
Whom hee once ſo dearely lov’d:
Yet we had rather become Iſſuleſſe,
Then leave it noted to Poſteritie,
An Act of ſuch Injuſtice.
Yet, dread Liege,
Oh, doe not too much aggravate the crime,
Rather impute it to their childiſh love.
To love, my Lords? if that were lowable,
What Act ſo vile, but might be ſo excus’d?
The Murderer, that ſheddeth guiltleſſe bloud,
Might plead, it was for love of his Revenge,
The Felon likewise might excuſe his theft,
With love of money, and the Traytor too
Might ſay, It was for love of Soveraigntie.
And indeed, all offenders ſo might plead.A Barre. There- 29 D3r
Therefore, my Lords, you that ſit here to Judge,
Let all reſpect of perſons be forgot,
And deale uprightly, that you may reſemble
The higheſt Judge, whoſe ſeat on Earth you hold:
And for you know, the Lawes of Sicilie
Forbid to puniſh two, for one offence,
Let your care be to find the principall,
The Primus Motor that begun the cauſe;
For the effect (you ſee) is but the iſſue
That one of them may worthily receive
Deſerved death; the other, may be ſent
(As leſſe offending) into baniſhment.
Th’ offence wherewith you both ſtand tax’d withall,
Appeares ſo manifeſt in groſſe, that now
We need not queſtion all particulars
In publique here: yet your triall ſhall
Be honourable, as your Perſons were
Before this blacke Impreſſion. Therefore ſay,
Which of you two begun th’ occaſion,
By any meanes, direct or indirect?
And anſwer truely, as you looke for grace.
’Twas I, my honour’d Lords.
My Lords, ’twas I.
Let not this honourable Court be ſwaid
By falſe ſuggeſtions; that the fault was mine,
Appeares as manifeſt as mid-dayes Sunne,
’Twas I that firſt attempted, ſu’d, and prai’d,
Us’d all the ſubtile engins Art could invent,
Or Nature yeeld, to force affection,
Onely to gaine the royall Princeſſe love;
For what can Women above weakneſſe act?
Or, what Fort’s ſo ſtrong, but yeelds at length
To a continued ſiege?
Th’ attempt, I knew, was hard and dangerous:D3 There- 30 D3v
Therefore more honourable in the conqueſt;
Which ere I would have left, I would ha’ past
More dangers then ere Jason under-went.
Then, ſince you ſee (my Lords) the guilt was mine,
Pardon the Princeſſe, Mee to death reſigne.
Pardon (my Lords) Liſandro, let me dye:
If ever you’le performe an act of justice
Shall make you truely famous, doe it here,
Here upon me; the guilt alone is mine:
’Twas this alluring face, and tempting ſmiles,
That drew on his affections. Say that Hee
Did firſt commence the ſuit; the fault was mine
In yeelding to it: ’Tis a greater ſhame
For women to conſent, then men to aske:
And yet, before he ſpoke, I had ingag’d
My heart and love to him, unask’d, unpraid,
And then (you know) how ſoone our eyes diſcovers
The true affection that we beare our Lovers:
Then ſince the guilt alone remaines in Mee,
Let me be judg’d, and ſet Liſandro free.
This knot is intricate.
Who can alledge one Article ’gainſt her?
Th’ offence was, breaking of the Kings command,
That none, on paine of death, ſhould viſit her,
Unleſſe appoynted by the King himſelfe;
And that alone was mine: ’Twas my device:
I tooke the borrowed ſhape; I broke the Law,
And I muſt ſuffer for’t: Then doe not wrong
Her ſpotleſſe Chaſtitie.
If any here conceive her otherwise,
That very thought will damne him:
She’s as chaſte
As ere your Mothers in their cradles were,
For any act committed.
A confuſed Labyrinth: we ſhal ne’r wind out.
My Lords, beleeve him not; the guilt lies here:
’Twas I that ſent him that deluding ſhape,
In which he got admittance; The offence
Reſts onely here: And therefore (good my Lords)
Let the condemning ſentence paſſe on mee;
Or elſe, I will proteſt to all the world,
You are unjust;
And take my death upon’t.
Fie, Madam, how you wrong your innocence!
And ſeeming (Lady) to be pittifull
To mee, you are moſt cruell; for my life
Should be a willing ſacrifice to death,
To expiate the guilt of my offence.
Remember what continuall paines I tooke,
By meſſages, intreaties, gifts, and prayers,
To win your favour, deare Leonida.
Juſtice in this will be Impietie,
Unleſſe it here be ſhew’d. I beg it may.
I beg againſt him: He is innocent;
The fact alone was mine: I was the firſt,
The middle, and the end;
And Juſtice here must end,
Or ’tis injuſtice.
Is the ſentence given?
Not yet, my Lord: We are as far to ſeeke,
In the true knowledge of the prime Offender,
As at the firſt; for they plead guilty both;
Both ſtrive to aggravate their owne offence,
And Both excuſe each other. On our lives,
We cannot yet determine where’s the cauſe.
It is impoſſible
That ſacred Justice ſhould be hudwink’t ſtill,
Though ſhe be falſly painted ſo; Her eyesAre 32 D4v
Are cleare, and ſo perſpicuous, that no cryme
Can maske it ſelfe in any borrowed ſhape,
But ſhee’le diſcover it. Let um be returnd
Backe to their ſeverall Wards, till we devise
Some better courſe for the diſcovery.
Dread Soveraigne, I know no better way,
Then to aſſay by torture, to inforce
A free confeſſion, ſeverall, one from other:
For though they now, out of affection,
Plead their owne guilt, as if they feard not death;
Yet, when they feele him ſting once, then the care
Of life, and ſafetie,will discover all.
My Lord Nicanor, this is ill advis’d,
Savoring too much of force and tyrannie.
Is’t fit that Princes ſhould ſubject themselves
To any tortures, ſuch as are prepared
For baſe Offendors? ’Tis ignobly done,
So to incenſe the King.
You ſhew a proud aſpiring mind, my Lord,
After a Kingdome, that would ruinate
Two royall Lovers for ſo ſmall a fact:
But, Marke my words, Nicanor; Ere the Crowne
Impale thy Temples by Her timeleſſe end,
Mine and five thousand lives ſhall all expire.
I wey thy words not this.
Nor I thy frowne;
I’le incenſe one, ſhall quickly pull you downe.
How’s your opinion then,
To ſearch it out?
My Liege, we know no better way then this,
Let there be publique Proclamation made
Throughout the Kingdome, that there may be found
Two Advocates, to plead this difference
In publique diſputation, Man and Woman,The 33 E1r
The wiſeſt, and the beſt experienc’d
That can be found, or heard of in the Land:
Or any ſuch will proffer of themſelves
To undertake the plea; For, queſtionleſſe,
None are ſo impudent to undergoe
So great a controversie, except thoſe
That know themſelves ſufficient.
Wee are pleas’d.
See it effected with all the ſpeed you can:Exeunt Om.
The charge be yours, my Lord. Diſſolve the Court.
Has my poore Siſter then withſtood a triall?
I, and behav’d her ſelfe
Moſt royall, and diſcreetly: Inſomuch,
Shee put the Judges to a non-plus, Sir;
Defending and excuſing eythers cauſe,
Untill Nicanor, with his kind advice,
Deſir’d the King they might be tortured,
To ſee if that would force confeſſion.
Was he the onely Tyrant? Well, ere long
It may be in Our power to quittance him.
I’me glad I know the Serpents ſubtiltie.
But how concluded they?
I was ſo vext,
I could not ſtay a full concluſion.
The Priſoners were diſmiſt before I came:
But how they did determine afterwards,
I long to heare. But what intends your Grace
In this diſguiſe?
To viſit the ſicke Court,
And free my Siſter from captivitie,
With that good Prince Liſandro.
Why the more I thinke of their wickedneſſe,E The 34 E1v
The more incomprehenſible I find it;
For they are, coozening, cologuing, ungrateful, deceitful,
Wavering, waſpiſh, light, toyiſh, proud, ſullen,
Diſcourteous, cruell, unconſtant; and what not?
Yet, they were created, and by nature formed,
And therefore of all men to be avoyded.
Oh impious concluſion! What is hee?
I ne’r had converſation with him yet;
But (by report) I’le tell you, He’s a man,
Who’s breeding has beene like the Scarrabee,
Altogether upon the excrement of the time;
And being ſwolne with poyſonous vapors,
He breakes wind in publique, to blaſt the
Reputation of all Women; His acquaintance
Has bin altogether amongſt Whores and Bawds,
And therefore ſpeakes but in’s owne element.
His owne unworthie ſoule deformitie,
Becauſe no Female can affect the ſame,
Begets in him deſpaire; and deſpaire, envie.
He cares not to defame their very ſoules,
But that he’s of the Turkes opinion: They have none.
He is the Viper, that not onely gnawes
Upon his Mothers fame, but ſeekes to eat
Thorow all Womens reputations.
Is’t poſſible! that Sicilie ſhould breed
Such a degenerate Monſter, ſhame of men?
Blame not your Countrie, he’s an Engliſhman.
I will not ſee the glories of that Sexe
Be-ſpawld by ſuch a dogged Humoriſt,
And paſſe unpuniſht.
What intends your Grace?
To undertake this just and honeſt quarrell,
In the defence of Vertue, till I have
Severely puniſht his opprobrious word,
Committed againſt Women, who’s just fame
Merits an Angels Pen to regiſter.
Sir, you have alter’d me, I thanke you for’t.
Oh! they are all the very pits of Sin,
Which men, for want of wiſdome, fall into.
I ſee it, Sir, and will proclaime as much.
Leave me, Iago.
I’me gone, ſweet Prince.
Tell me, thou jangling Maſtiffe, with what feare
Dar’ſt thou behold that too much wronged Sex,
Whoſe Vertues thou haſt baſely ſlander’d?
Ha, ha, ha.
Laugh’ſt thou, inhumane wretch? By my beſt hope,
But that thy malice hath deſerv’d revenge
More infamous, and publique, then to fall
By me in private, I would hew thy fleſh
Smaller then Attomes.
What, have we here
A Woman rampant? ha!
Tempt me not, Syren, leſt thou doſt invoke
A Furie worſe then Woman.
How dar’ſt thou utter ſuch blaſphemous words,
In the contempt of Women, whoſe deſerts
Thy dunghill baſeneſſe never could diſcerne?
Aſſure thy ſelfe, thy malice ſhall be plagu’d
Severely, as in juſtice thou deſerv’ſt.
I wey not your threats this; ſpit out your poyſons,
Till your gals doe burſt, I will oppoſe you all;
I cannot flatter, I: nor will I fawne
To gaine a favor; Prayſe the hand and foot,
And ſweare your face is Angel-like, and lye
Moſt groſly. No, I will not do’t.
But when I come, it ſhall be in a ſtorme,
To terrifie you all, that you ſhall quake
To heare my name reſounding in your eares:
And Fortune, if thou be’ſt a deitie,
Give me but opportunitie that IE2 May 36 E2v
May all the follies of your Sex declare,
That henceforth Men of Women may beware.
Atticus, King of Sicilia, to all his loving Subjects ſendeth greeting: Whereas there is a doubtfull queſtion to be decided in publique diſputation, which concernes the honour of all men in generall, that is to ſay, Whether the Man or the Woman in love, ſtand guilty of the greateſt offence: Know therefore, if that any man, of what eſtate or condition ſoever, will undertake to defend the equitie of men, againſt the falſe imputations of women, let um repayre to the Court, they ſhall be honourably entertayned, graciouſly admitted, and well rewarded. God ſave the King.
Heaven preſerve his Grace.
Fortune, I doe adore thee for this newes:
Why, here’s the thing I lookt for; ’tis a prize
Will make me ever famous. Herald, ſtay,
I will maintaine the Challenge, and approve
That women are firſt tempters unto love.
I’le blazon forth their colours in ſuch ſort,
Shall make their painted cheekes looke red, for um
To have them noted theirs, that all may know
That women onely are the cauſe of woe.
A Champion, a Champion!
Aurelia, Queene, by the eſpeciall priviledge of the Majeſtie of Sicilia, to all Ladies, gentle and others, of the Female Sex, ſends greeting: Whereas there is a queſtionſtion 37 E3r ſtion to be decided in publike diſputation before, an Honourable Aſſembly of both parts, that is, whether the man or the woman in love comit the greateſt offence, by giving the firſt and principall occaſion of ſinning: therefore know, that if any woman will undertake to defend the innoncency of women, againſt the falſe imputations of detracting men, let her repaire to the Court, ſhee ſhall bee honourably entertayned, graciouſly admitted, and well rewarded. God ſave the Queene.
Heavens preſerve her.
I doe accept it, tis a cauſe ſo just,
In equitie and vertue, in defence
Of wronged women, whoſe diſtreſſed fames
Lye buried in contempt, whoſe Champion
I doe profeſſe my ſelfe, and doe deſire
No greater glorie, then to have that name.
What woman can indure to heare the Wrongs,
Slanders, Reproches, and baſe Forgeries,
That baſe men vaunt forth, to dimme the rayes
Of our weake tender Sex? But they ſhall know,
Themſelves, not women, are the cauſe of woe.
A Champion, a Champion.
That Equitie and Juſtice both may meet,
In paralels, like to Apollo’s Twinnes,
We have ordayn’d this Seſſion. In the which
Let all unequall and impartiall thoughts
Be laid aſide, with ſuch regard of truth,
As not the name of Daughter, or the Bloud
Which we call ours, running in her veines,
May any way divert us. Therefore goe on,
And take your ſeat, ſtout Champion, and prevaile,
As is the truth you deale for, in this doubtfull,E3 And 38 E3v
And much ambiguous buſineſſe.
So I wish ――
Brave Amazonian beautie, learned Atlanta,
Now is it time your intellectuall powers,
Of wit and judgement ſhou’d advance themſelves
Againſt the forked tongues of Slanderers,
That pierce the ſpotleſſe innocence of women,
And poyſon ſweetneſſe with the breath of Malice.
So on, and take thy ſeat! It is our truſt,
Th’event will proſper, for our cauſe is juſt.
That makes me confident ――
Prepare the Court.
O yes! O yes! O yes! If there be any man ―― or woman ―― in this Honourable Court ―― that can produce ―― any lawfull cauſe ―― againſt either of the Advocates ―― why they ſhould not bee admitted ―― Let them now ſpeake, or for ever hereafter hold their peace ――
’Tis well. Now ſweare the Judges.
Yee ſhall ſweare by the ſacred hand of Atticus, not to reſpect the perſon of either of the Offendors: but juſtly and truly to waigh and ballance the Reaſons and Arguments of the deputed Advocates, and thereupon to determine and proceed in judgement, according to the Lawes of this Iland, as you render the pleaſure of Royall Atticus.
To this we freely ſweare.
Now then, to your Arguments.
Atlanta, for poore innocent women.
Miſogynos for the men.
It is an honour farre beyond my weakneſſe,
(Moſt equall Judges) that I am accepted,
I but a woman, before men to plead,
Dumbe feare and baſhfulneſſe to ſpeake beforeBold 39 E4r
Bold Orators of State, men grave and wiſe,
That can at every breathing pauſe, correct
The ſlipp’ry paſſages of a womans ſpeech:
But yet withall my hopes are doubly arm’d.
How doubly arm’d?
Preſume not more then Reaſon.
Firſt, that my baſhfull weakneſſe claymes excuſe,
And is to ſpeake before ſuch temp’rate Judges,
Who in their wiſdome will, no doubt, connive
At ſmall defects in me a ſilly woman.
Smoothly put on.
A quaint inſinuation.
Next, that the cauſe I handle, is ſo just,
And full of truth, as were corruption ſeated
Upon your hearts (as who can ever doubt
Wiſdome ſhou’d ſo decline) I wou’d not feare,
But that my pregnant Reaſons ſoone ſhou’d purge,
And clenſe your ſecret boſomes from untruth.
A promiſing Exordium.
The ſucceſſe is all.
I need not tell you what I come to proove:
That rayling Woman-hater hath alreadie
With his foule breath belcht forth into the Ayre,
The ſhameleſſe cauſe in queſtion, and doth charge
The ſupple wax, the courteous natur’d woman,
As blamefull for receiving the impreſſion
Of Iron-hearted man, in whom is graven,
With curious and deceiving Art, foule ſhapes
And ſtamps of much abhord impietie.
Wou’d any man, once having fixt his Seale
To any Deed, though after he repent
The Fact ſo done, rayle at the ſupple Wax,
As though that were the cauſe of his undoing?
O idle levitie! Wax hath’s use,
And woman eaſly beares the mans abuſe.
Here’s a by-blow.
How can my Fencer ward it?
Stay: he comes on.
Hum. Doe you wax upon me? as if man
Once having fixt the Seale of Armes of love,
On waxen-harted woman, though another
Came after him, and did adulterate
The ſtampe imprinted on her, ſhe, forſooth,
Muſt ſtill be held excus’d. ’Tis weake, and fond,
And woman-like: you flye on waxen wings,
That melt againſt the Sunne. Therefore attend,
And I will prove unto this honour’d Court,
In all their paſſions women are impetuous,
And beyond men, ten times more violent.
I grant you that. But who begins the motion,
And is firſt agent? for as I conceive,
That’s the cauſe in queſtion.
Flattring and perjur’d man.
Did not th’ inticing beautie of a woman,
Set Troy on fire?
Did not man firſt begin
To tempt that beautie with the fire of luſt?
Beautie firſt tempts to luſt.
Luſt tempteth Beautie:
Witneſſe the vowes, the oaths, the proteſtations,
And Crocadile teares of baſe diſſembling men,
To winne their ſhameleſſe purpoſe: Whereof miſſing,
Then but obſerve their Gifts, their Meſſages,
Their wanton Letters, and their amorous Sonnets,
Whereby they vent the ſmoke of their affections.
Readie to blind poore women, and put out
The Eye of Reaſon. But if ſtill they faile,
Then come they on with undermining cunning,
And with our Maides, our Pages and Attendants,
Corruptly worke and make inſinuation,
Whilst they at hand with fained languiſhment,Make 41 F1r
Make ſhew as if they meant to dye for love,
When they but ſwelter in the reeke of Luſt.
But heere’s not all: for if this all prevaile not,
Then are they up againe, and with pale cheekes,
Like ſome poore Starveling, or ſome Mimick Ghost,
They ſtalke into the preſence of their Miſtris,
Fold up their armes, hang downe their wanton heads,
Caſt love-ſicke glances, and as wofull Comma’s,
In this dumbe Oratorie, now and then they breathe
A paſſionate ſigh, whereat the gentle nature
Of milde compaſſionate woman once relenting,
Straight they fall out into ſuch ſweet complaints
Of their ſad ſuffrings, tuning words of Art,
Able to melt a gentle Eye in teares,
As they doe ſpeake. Then with officious dutie,
They licke a Moat off from her upper garment,
Duſt her curl’d Ruffe with their too buſie fingers,
As if ſome duſt were there: and many toyes
They uſe to pleaſe, till ſide by ſide they joyne,
And palme with palme ſupplies the amorous heart,
To pay a wanton kiſſe on Loves faire lips,
And then the Prize is wonne. Judge therefore, Lords,
Whether the guilt doth lye on us or them,
And as your Wiſdomes find, ſave or condemne.
Truth hath ſhe ſaid in all.
O, but the Art of Woman—
Silence! you have no voice in Court.
You have your Advocates, therefore muſt not ſpeake.
Theſe Allegations are unanſwerable.
The Court muſt needs allow them.
Bragge not too faſt! for all this glorious ſpeech,
Is but a painted Pageant, made to uſher
Some homely Scavenger, and is borne up,F Upon 42 F1v
Upon the backes of Porters. It wants true worth,
To carrie State, and uſher learned Judgement
Into this Court. For what a fooliſh reaſon,
Is it to ſay, Luſt tempteth gariſh Beautie,
Becauſe men court their wanton Miſtreſſes,
In ſundry formes of Complement? There’s not
A Citie Tradeſman throughout all the Streets,
From the Eaſt Chappell, to the Weſterne Palace,
But knowes full well the gariſh ſetting out
Of Beautie in their ſhops, will call in Cuſtomers
To cheapen ware: Beautie ſet forth to ſale,
Wantons the bloud, and is mans tempting Stale.
How boldly he comes on?
But marke his reaſons.
And this is woman, who well knowes her ſtrength,
And trimmes her Beautie forth in bluſhing Pride,
To draw as doth the wanton Morning Sunne,
The eyes of men to gaze. But marke their natures,
And from their Cradles you ſhall ſee them take
Delight in making Babies, deviſing Chriſtnings,
Bidding of Goſſips, calling to Up-ſittings,
And then to Feſtivals, and ſolemne Churchings,
In imitation of the wanton ends,
Their riper yeeres will ayme at. But goe further,
And looke upon the very Mother of Miſchiefe,
Who as her Daughters ripen, and doe bud
Their youthfull Spring, ſtraight ſhe inſtructs them how
To ſet a gloſſe on Beautie, adde a luſtre
To the defects of Nature, how to uſe
The myſterie of Painting, Curling, Powdring,
And with ſtrange Periwigs, pin knots, Bordrings,
To deck them up like to a Vintners Buſh,
For men to gaze at on a Midſummer Night.
The tyde begins to turne.
Women goe downe.
This done, they are inſtructed by like Art,How 43 F2r
How to give entertainment, and keepe diſtance
With all their Sutors, Friends, and Favourites,
When to deny, and when to feed their hopes,
Now to draw on, and then againe put off,
To frowne and ſmile, to weepe and laugh out-right,
All in a breath, and all to trayne poore man
Into his ruine: Nay, by Art they know
How to forme all their geſture, how to adde
A Venus Mole on every wanton cheeke,
To make a gracefull dimple when ſhe laughes:
And (if her teeth be bad) to liſpe and ſimper,
Thereby to hide that imperfection:
And theſe once learn’d, what wants the Tempter now,
To ſnare the ſtouteſt Champion of men?
Therefore, grave Judges, let me thus conclude:
Man tempts not woman, woman doth him delude.
Women, looke to’t, the Fencer gives you a
Beleeve it, he hits home.
Nay, I wou’d ſpeake.
What Tyrannies, Oppreſſions, Maſſacres,
Women ſtand guiltie of: and which is more,
What Cities have beene ſackt and ruinate,
Kingdomes ſubverted, Lands depopulated,
Monarchies ended? and all theſe by women.
Baſe ſnarling Dogge, bite out thy ſlandrous tongue,
And ſpit it in the face of Innocence,
That at once all thy rancour may have end:
And doe not ſtill opprobriouſly condemne
Woman that bred thee, who in nothing more
Is guiltie of diſhonour to her Sex:
But that ſhe hath brought forth ſo baſe a Viper,F2 To 44 F2v
To teare her reputation in his teeth,
As thou haſt done.
O doe not ſcold, good woman!
Goe to the purpoſe.
I forgot my ſelfe:
Therefore, grave Judges, let this baſe Impoſtor
Tell me one man that ever gave his life,
To keepe his vow ſafe and inviolate,
Againſt the aſſaults of Luſt: and for that one,
Ile find a thouſand women, that to keepe
Their Chaſtities and Honours undefil’d,
Have laid their lives downe at baſe Tyrants feet.
This is but a flouriſh.
The Fencers Schoole-play beares it.
What hath beene is not now: The Kalender
Of Women Saints is fild up long agoe:
For now a univerſall leproſie,
Like to an Inundation, over-flowes,
And breakes upon you all: ſcarce one is free
From wanton lightneſſe and vaine levitie.
None like to Nero, and Heliogabulus.
Yes, wanton Hellen and Cleopatra.
I cou’d name more.
I, ten for one, of Women.
Senſe-pleaſing Sardanapalus is beyond
All Women that can be nam’d.
Ile name you one
Beyond all Men, th’inſatiate Meſſalina:
Who when ſhe had to ſatisfie her luſt,
Imbrac’d the change of Lovers, and was weakened
So farre, ſhe could no longer hold it out:
And being askt if then ſhe were ſatisfied,
She anſwereredanswered, No: for though ſhe then were tyr’d,No 45 F3r
No change could ſatisfie her appetite.
O monſtrous impietie!
Stop the Detractors mouth: Away with him.
Teare him in pieces.
Silence in the Court.
It is enough: my Lords, proceed to judgement;
And lead away Miſogynos to his Chamber.
Read the decree.
We the ſworne Judges of this preſent Court,
In equall ballance having weigh’d the reaſons,
And allegations of both Advocates,
In their late Declamations, doe adjudge,
And here conclude that—
That women are the firſt and worſt temptations
To love and luſtfull folly: and to this
We are here preſent, ready to ſubſcribe.
You are impartiall, and we doe appeale
From you to Judges more indifferent:
You are all men, and in this weightie buſineſſe,
Grave Women ſhould have ſate as Judges with you.
’Tis true, ’tis true: Let us have justice.
It is decreed already; attend the judgement.
Yet at the laſt let your Aurelia kneele,
And for the Ofſpring of your loynes and mine,
You alwayes have bin just
In other cauſes; Will you in your owne
Be ſo unjust, ſevere, nay tyrannous?
The very Beaſts, by naturall inſtinct,F3 Pre- 46 F3v
Preſerve their iſſue; and will you be then,
More cruell and unnaturall then they?
Ariſe; and know, A King is like a Starre,
By which each Subject, as a Mariner,
Muſt ſteere his courſe. Juſtice in Us is ample,
From whom Inferiors will derive example.
Oh, be not ſo obdurate!
I’le heare no more.
Yet, gracious Sir, for my indevouring paines,
(Though fruitleſſe now) let mee (a Stranger) beg
One boone —
But not the thethe freedome of Leonida.
Since ſhe muſt die; I beg ſhe may not baſely
Be hurried forth amongſt uncivill men;
But that your Queene, and I, and ſome few others,
With any one of your attendant Lords,
May ſee her execution.
Take your deſire.
The bleſſed Heavens be thankfull to Atlanta.
And crowne her with all bleſſings.
Take my thanks too. And now, my Lords, proceed,
And give your finall cenſure.
Come, Atlanta, come;
Teares fill mine eyes, and Griefe doth ſtrike me dumbe.
Leonida, By the judgement of this Court,
You are found guiltie as the Principall,
In the offence committed; for which, we doome you
(According to the Lawes of this our Iland)
To loſe your Head.
And you withall, Liſandro,
By the like Law, muſt within fifteene daies,
Betake you to perpetuall baniſhment.
Welcome, ſweet death.
Nothing can expiate
The Kings ſevere Decree, and Her hard fate.
Act. IIIIIV.Enter Iago and Sforza, ſeverall.
Health to your Honour.
Noble Sforza, thankes.
Have you not heard the newes?
Of what, my Lord?
Liſandro, and the Princeſſe.
Not as yet.
Then I’le reſolve you.
Pray you doe, my Lord.
The Advocates both uſed their utmoſt ſkill,
To juſtifie and quit the Sex they ſtood for,
With arguments, and reaſons ſo profound
On eyther ſide, that it was hard to ſay,
Which way the ſcale of Juſtice would incline.
I joy to heare it; And to ſay the truth,
Both Sexes equally ſhould beare the blame;
For both offend alike. But pray’ proceed.
At length, the Advocate that ſtood for us,
Prevail’d ſo farre, with his forc’d Oratorie,
The Lord Nicanor too, abetting him,
That maugre all the Amazonians wit,
Which was (indeed) beyond expreſſion,
The ſentence paſt againſt the female Sex;
And the poore Princeſſe is adjudg’d to death.
The Heavens forbid! The Princeſſe doom’d to die?
Too true, my Lord: I heard the words pronounc’d.
A ſentence moſt unjust, and tyrannous.
Where’s the Detractor?
Crown’d with Victorie,
And intertain’d with Triumph.
That just Heaven
Should ſuffer ſuch an impious wretch to live!
I muſt goe looke the Princeſſe; when muſt ſhe dye?
To morrow’s Sun beholds a daughters fall.
A Sunne muſt riſe to night, to dimme that Sunne,
From the beholding ſuch a horrid deed.
’Twas cruell in a King, for ſuch a fact;
But in a Father, it is tyrannie.
Forbeare, my Lord, the times are dangerous.
See! here’s the Champion.
Looke how the Slave glories in his conqueſt,
How inſolent he ſtalkes!
Shall we indure ſuch ſaucie impudence?
Put up, put up, my Lord,
He is not worth our indignation:
Let us a-while obſerve him for ſome ſport.Enter Scanfardoe.
My noble Fencer, I congratulate
Your brave atchievements in the last dayes triumph.
I thanke you, Scholler. Was’t not bravely done?
Done like thy ſelfe: the ſpirits of Mantua
And old Diogenes doubled in thee.
I thinke, I have given
The Female reputation ſuch a wound,
Will not be cured in haſte.
Ha, ha, ha, ha; Pernicious ſlave.
We doe applaud
Your merit, in the report
Of your late conqueſt.
Thanke you, Gentlemen;
Truth will prevaile, you ſee.
I ſpeake not for my ſelfe, in my owne quarrel;
But the generall good of all men in the world.
We know it, Sir.
Degenerate Monſter, how he juſtifies
His ſlandrous forgeries?
How goes the rumour?
What do’s the Multitude report of mee?
Oh Sir, the Men applaud you infinitely;
But the Women—
I reſpect not them:
Their curſes are my prayers.
Oh damn’d Rogue!
If you’le be rul’d by me, go ſhew your ſelfe
Amongſt them all in publique: O ’twill fret
Their very galls in pieces.
That was well.
Some body ſecond that, and we ſhall ſee
Excellent paſtime; for they’le ne’r indure
His ſight with any patience.
That they may ſee you have conquer’d.
And I will.
But ſhould they grow outragious—
Feare not that: we’le all along with ye.
Will you conduct me ſafe unto my Schoole?
I, I, we’le be your Gard.
Oh what a Coward ’tis?
You doe him wrong:
He fights not with his hands, but with his tongue.
Why doe I trifle time? I’le to the Court;
This crueltie afflicts my very ſoule.
Good my Lord, joyne with me; we’le to the King,
And ſee if wee can alter this decree.
Oh ’tis a royall Princeſſe, faire, and chaſte!
But her diſdaine, my Lord, hath bin the cauſe
Of many hopefull Youths untimely end;
’Tis that has harden’d both the Commons hearts,G And 50 G1v
And many a noble Peeres.
Why, what of that?
It is not fit affection ſhould be forc’d:
Let’s kneele unto his Grace for her releaſe.
Juſtice (like Lightning) ever ſhould appeare
To few mens ruine, but to all mens feare.
Scen. II.Enter Nicanor, and a Gentleman.
The Princeſſe ſuffers then?
This Morning, Sir,
Unleſſe the mercie of the King be found
More then is yet expected.
Oh my hearrt,
Canſt thou indure to heare that heave ſound,
And wilt not burſt with griefe?
Nay, good my Lord:
Oh, worthie Sir, you did not know the joyes
That we all loſt in her. She was the hope,
And onely comfort of Sicilia;
And the laſt Branch was left of that faire ſtocke;
Which (if ſhe dye) is wither’d, quite decay’d.
But I have ſuch a loſſe.
You have indeed:
Yours is the greateſt of a particular:
For you have lost a beautious Spouſe, my Lord;
And yet the rich hopes of a royall Crowne
Might mitigate your ſorrow. You are next.
Doe not renew my griefe with naming that.
Oh that it were to morrow! happie day,
Beſtow’d on ſome more meritorious,
That might continue long, for I am old.
I ſhould be well content.
Say not ſo:
There’s no one merits that more then your ſelfe:
You are elected by the Kings owne houſe,And 51 G2r
And generall conſent of all the Realme,
For the Succeſſour after his deceaſe:
Whoſe life pray Heaven defend.
And ſend him long to raigne; but not on earth.
Sir, you are neere the King; Pray, if you heare
His Highneſſe aske for me, excuſe me, Sir:
You ſee my ſorrow’s ſuch, I am unfit
To come into the presence of a King.
I ſee it, Sir, and will report as much.
You will report a lye then; ha, ha, ha.
My Lungs will not afford me wind enough
To laugh my paſſions out. To gaine a Crowne,
Who would not at a funerall laugh and ſing?
All men of wiſedome would, and ſo will I:
Yet to the worlds eye, I am drown’d in teares,
And held moſt carefull of the King and State,
When I meane nothing leſſe. Lorenzo’s dead:
The ſcornefull Princeſſe, that refus’d my love,
Is going to her death. The King, I know,
Cannot continue long: Then may I ſay,
As our Italian heires at fathers deaths,
Quid Iude, Reine ta ſoll.
The King alone made mee the King:
Me thinkes I feele the royall Diadem
Upon my head already; ha, ha, ha.
At your Buckler, Sir?
Perceiv’ſt thou nothing, Swaſh?
How meane you, Sir?
No ſtrange ſigne of alteration; hum.
How, good Swaſh?
Why, from a Fencer, you’re turn’d Orator.
Oh! Cedunt arma Togæ; that’s no wonder.
Perceiv’ſt thou nothing elſe? Looke I not pale?Are 53 G3r
Are not my armes infolded? my eyes fixt,
My head dejected, my words paſſionate,
And yet perceiv’ſt thou nothing?
Let me ſee, me thinkes, you looke Sir, like ſome
Deſperate Gameſter, that had loſt all his eſtate
In a dicing Houſe: you met not
With thoſe Money-changers, did you?
Or have you falne amongſt the female Sex,
And they have paid you for your laſt dayes worke?
No, no, thou are as wide, as ſhort in my diſeaſe:
Thou never canſt imagine what it is,
Unleſſe, I tell thee. Swaſh, I am in love.
Ha, ha, ha, in love?
Nay, ’tis ſuch a wonder, Swaſh, I ſcarce beleeve,
It can be ſo, my ſelfe, and yet it is.
The Devill it is as ſoone, and ſooner too:
You love the Devill, better then a woman.
Oh, doe not ſay ſo, Swaſh, I doe recant.
In love? not poſſible:
This is ſome tempting Syren has bewitcht you.
Oh! peace, good Swaſh.
Some Cockatrice, the very Curſe of man?
No more, if thou doſt love me.
Your owne words.
I know not how to pleaſe you better, Sir.
Will you from Oratour, turne Heretike,
And ſinne againſt your owne Conſcience?
Oh, Swaſh, Swaſh!
Cupid, the little Fencer playd his Prize,
At ſeverall weapons in Atlanta’s eyes,
He challeng’d me, we met and both did try
His utmost ſkill, to get the Victorie.
Lookes were oppos’d ’gainst lookes, and ſtead of words,
Were banded frowne ’gainſt frowne, and words ’gainſt words
But cunning Cupid forecaſt me to recoile:
For when he plaid at ſharpe, I had the foyle.
Nay, now he is in love, I ſee it plaine:
I was inſpir’d with this Poeticall vaine,
When I fell firſt in love; God bo’y yee, Sir:
I muſt goe looke another Maſter.
Y’are a dead man: beleeve it, Sir,
I would not give two-pence for a Leaſe
Of a hundred pound a yeere made for your life.
Can you that have bin at defiance with um all,
Abuſed, arraigned um, hang’d um, if you could:
You hang’d um more then halfe, you tooke away
All their good names, I’me ſure, can you then hope,
That any will love you? A Ladie, Sir,
Will ſooner meet a Tinker in the ſtreet,
And try what Metall lyes within his Budget,
A Counteſſe lye with me, an Emperour
Take a poore Milke-maide, Sir, to be his Wife,
Before a Kitchen-Wench will fancie you.
Doe not torment me, misbeleeving Dolt,
I tell thee, I doe love, and muſt enjoy.
Who, in the name of women, ſhould this bee?
What an obtuſe Conception do’ſt thou beare?
Did not I tell thee, ’twas Atlanta, Swaſh?
Who, ſhe Amazonian Dame, your Advocate,
A Maſculine Feminine?
She muſt be more then Female, has the power
To mollifie the temper of my Love.
Why, ſhe’s the greateſt enemie you have.
The greater is my glorie, Swaſh, in that
That having vanquiſht all, I attaine her.
The Prize conſiſts alone
In my eternall credit and renowne.
Oh, what a Race of wittie Oratours
Shall we beget betwixt us: Come, good Swaſh,
Ile write a Letter to her preſently,Which 55 G4r
Which thou ſhalt carry: if thou ſpeedſt, I ſweare,
Thou ſhalt be Swetnams Heire.
The Devill I feare,
Will diſpoſſeſſe me of that Heritage.
But are you ſure ſhe is beheaded, Sir?
Moſt certaine, Sir, both by the Kings Decree,
And generall voyce of all, for inſtance ſee.
The wofull’ſt ſight,
That ere mine eyes beheld.
A ſight of griefe and horrour.
It is a piece of the extremeſt Juſtice
That ever Memory can Regiſter.
I, in a Father.
Oh, I pray forbeare,
The time is full of danger every-where.
Good gentle friends, before I leave the Land,
Suffer me to take my laſt fare-well
Of my owne deareſt deare Leonida.
Accept this poore reward: would time permit.
I would more largely recompence your loves.
You have prevail’d, my Lord, but pray bee briefe.
We are injoyn’d by ſtrict Commiſſion,
To ſee you ſhipt away this preſent tyde.
Indeed, I will.
Then here you may behold,
All that is left of faire Leonida.
How fare you, Sir.
Can you behold this ſacred Cabinet,
Which Nature once had made her Treaſurie?
But now broke ope by ſacrilegious hands,And 56 G4v
And not let fall a teare: you are unkind.
Not Marble but would wet at ſuch a ſight,
And cannot you, ſtrange ſtupiditie!
Thou meere Relike of my deareſt Saint!
Upon this Altar I will ſacrifice
This Offering to appeaze thy murd’red Ghoſt.
Reſtraine, my Lord, this Paſſion, we lament
As much as you, and grieve unfaynedly
For her untimely loſſe.
As much as I? Oh, ’tis not poſſible.
You temporize with ſorrow: mine’s ſincere,
Which I will manifeſt to all the World.
See what a beauteous forme ſhe yet retaynes,
In the deſpight of Fate, that men may ſee,
Death could not ſeize but on her mortall parts:
Her beautie was divine and heavenly.
Nay, good my Lord, diſpatch, the time’s but ſhort.
Indeed, I will, to make an end of time:
For I can live no longer, ſince that ſhe,
For whoſe ſake onely, I held truce with time,
Hath left me deſolate: no, divineſt love,
What living was deny’d us, weele enjoy
In Immortalitie, where no Crueltie,
Under the forme of Juſtice, dare appeare.
Sweet ſacred Spirit, make not too much haſte
To the Elizian Fields, ſtay but awhile,
And I will follow thee with ſwifter ſpeed,
Then meditation: thus I ſeale my vow.Kiſſes.
Me thinkes, I feele freſh heat, as if her ſoule
Had reſum’d her former ſeate agen,
To ſolemnize this bleſſed Union,
In our laſt conſummation, or elſe it ſtayes,
Awayting onely for my companie:
It does, indeed, and I have done thee wrong,
To let thy heavenly eyes want me ſo long.
But now I come, deare Love, Oh, oh!
What ſound was that?
Oh, we are all undone,
The Prince has ſlaine himſelfe: what ſhall we doe?
There is no way but one, let’s leav the Land:
If we ſtay heere, we ſhall be ſure to dye,
And ſuffer for our too much lenitie,
Though we are innocent.
Then haſte away:
The doome weele execute upon our ſelves,
And ſhip with ſpeed for Holland, there, no doubt,
We ſhall have entertaynment,
There are warres threatned betwixt Spaine and them.
Then let us hoyſe up ſayle, mercy receive
Thy ſoule to Heaven, Earth to Earth we leave.
What ſpectacle is this? A man new ſlaine,
Cloſe by the Princes Herſe! Who is’t? Oh, me,
The Noble Prince Liſandro. Cruell Fate,
Is there no hope of life? See, he looks up,
Ile beare him out of the ayre, and ſtop his wound:
If there be any hope, I have a Balme
Of knowne experience, in effecting cures
Almoſt impoſſible, and if the wound
Be not too deadly, will recover him.
Deare Queene, have patience.
How, Iago, patience?
Tis ſuch a ſinne, that were I guiltie of,
I ſhould deſpayre of mercie. Can a Mother
Have all the bleſſings both of Heaven and Earth,
The hopefull iſſue of a thouſand ſoules
Extinct in one, and yet have patience?
I wonder patient Heaven beares ſo long,
And not ſend thunder to deſtroy the Land.H The 58 H1v
The Earth, me thinkes, ſhould vomit ſulph’rous Damps,
To ſtifle and annoy both man and beaſt,
Seditious Hell ſhould ſend blacke Furies forth,
To terrifie the hearts of tyrant Kings.
What ſay the people? doe they not exclaime,
And curſe the ſervile yoke, in which th’are bound
Under ſo mercileſſe a Governour?
Madame, in every mouth is heard to ſound,
Nothing but murmurings and private whiſpers,
Tending to ſeverall ends: but all conclude,
The King was too ſevere for ſuch a Fact.
Atlanta, welcome, Oh my child, my child,
There lies the ſumme of all my miſerie!
Gracious Madame, doe but heare me ſpeake.
Atlanta, I ſhould wrong thy merit elſe.
What wouldſt thou ſay?
Something I know, to mitigate my griefe.
Rather to adde to your afflictions.
I am the Meſſenger of heavie Newes.
Liſandro, Prince of Naples,
What of him?
Beholding the ſad object of his love,
His violent paſſion drove him to deſpayre,
And he hath ſlaine himſelfe.
I found him gaſping for his lateſt breath,
And bore him to my Lord Iago’s houſe,
I uſ’d my best of ſkill to ſave his life:
But all, I feare, in vaine: the mortall wound
I find incurable: yet I prolong’d
His life a little, that yet he drawes breath:
Goe you and viſit him with utmoſt ſpeed:
The Queene and I will follow.
Goe? Ile runne.
Was ever Father ſo unmercifull,
But for that Monſter that was cauſe of this,
That bloudie, cruell, and inhumane wretch,
That ſlanderous Detractor of our Sex:
That Miſogynos, that blaſphemous Slave?
I will be ſo reveng’d.
Madame, no more,
He is not worth your wrath:
Let me alone with him.
Whiſt, doe you heare?
How now, what art thou?
Not your Servant, and yet a Meſſenger,
No Servingman, and yet an Usher too.
What are you then, Sir? ſpeake.
That can reſolve you, and yet cannot ſpeake,
I am no Foole, I am a Fencer, Sir.
A Fencer, ſirrah? ha, what Countrey-man?
This Countrey-man, forſooth, but yet borne in
How? borne in England, & this Countrey-man?
I have bin borne in many Countreyes, Madame,
But I thinke I am beſt be this Countrey-man,
For many take me for a ſilly one.
For a ſilly one?
I, a ſilly one.
Oh, Madame, I have ſuch welcomeneſſe!
For me, what is’t?
The baytes of women have prevented us,
And hee has intrapt himſelfe.
How, by what accident?
Love, Madame, love, read that.
To the moſt wiſe and vertuous Amazon,
Chiefe pride and glorie of the Female Sex.H2 A 60 H2v
A promiſing induction: what’s within?
Magnanimous Ladie, marvell not,
That your once Adverſary do’s ſubmit himſelfe
To your unconquer’d beautie.
Rather impute it to the power of love,
Whoſe heavenly influence hath wrought in me,
So ſtrange a Metamorphoſis.
The very quinteſſence of flatterie.
In ſo much, I vow hereafter, to ſpend all my dayes,
Devoted to your ſervice, it ſhall be
To expiate my former blaſphemies:
My deſire is ſhortly to viſit you.
It ſhall be to your coſt then.
To make teſtimony of my hearty contrition,
Till when and ever I will proteſt my ſelfe,
To be the converted Miſogynist.
Ha, ha, ha, why, this is excellent!
You muſt not ſlip this opportunitie.
Ile not let paſſe a minute: his owne man
Ile make an inſtrument to feed his
Follies with a kind acceptance, and when he comes,
Let me alone to plot his puniſhment.
Excellent Atlanta, I applaud thy wit.
Ile make him an example to all men,
That dares calumniate a womans fame.
Attend an anſwere, Ile reward thee well.
I thanke your Madame-ſhip, Ime glad o’ this.
Tis the beſt hit that ever Fencer gave.
How took the Girle her death? did ſhe not rave?
Exclaime upon me for the Juſtice done
By a juſt Father? how tooke Naples ſonne
His Exile from our Land? What, no man ſpeake?My 61 H3r
My Lords, whence ſprings this alteration?
Why ſtand you thus amaz’d? Methinks your eyes
Are fixt in Meditation; and all here
Seeme like ſo many ſenceleſſe Statues,
As if your ſoules had ſuffer’d an eclipſe,
Betwixt your judgements and affections:
Is it not ſo? ’Sdeath, no man anſwers?
Iago, you can tell: I’me ſure you ſaw
The execution of Leonida.
Not yet a ſillable? If once agen
We doe but aske the queſtion, Death tyes up
Your ſoules for ever. Call a Headſ-man there.
If for our daughter this dumbe griefe proceed,
Why ſhould not We lament as well as you?
I was her father; whoſe deare life I priz’d
Above mine owne, before ſhe did transgreſſe:
And, could the Law have ſo bin ſatisfi’d,
Mine ſhould ha’ paid the ranſome of her cryme.
But, that the World ſhould know our equitie,
Were ſhe a thouſand daughters ſhe ſhould die.
I can forbeare no longer. Then (Sir) know,
It was about that time, when as the Sunne
Had newly climb’d over the Eaſterne hils,
To glad the world with his diurnall heat,
When the ſad miniſters of Juſtice tooke
Your daughter from the boſome of the Queene
Whom now ſhe had inſtructed to receive
Deaths cold imbraces with alacritie:
Which ſhe ſo well had learn’d, that ſhee did ſtrive,
Like a too forward Scholler, to exceed
Her Teachers doctrine,
So cheerefully ſhe went unto the Block,
As if ſhee’d paſt unto her nuptiall bed.
And as the trembling Bride when ſhe eſpies
The Bridegroome hastily unclothe himſelfe,
And now beginning to approch the bed,H3 Then 62 H3v
Then ſhe began to quake and ſhrinke away,
To ſhun the ſeparation of that head,
Which is imaginary onely, and not reall.
So, when ſhe ſaw her Executioner
Stand readie to ſtrike out that fatall blow,
Nature, her frailtie, and the alluring world,
Did then begin to oppoſe her conſtancie:
But ſhe, whoſe mind was of a nobler frame,
Vanquiſh’d all oppoſitions, and imbrac’d
The ſtroke with courage beyond Womans ſtrength;
And the laſt words ſhe ſpoke, ſaid, I rejoyce
That I am free’d of Fathers tyrannie.
Forbeare to utter more. We are not pleas’d
With theſe unpleaſing accents: Leave the world
So cheerefully, and ſpeake of tyrannie:
She was not guiltie ſure, We’le heare no more.
Sir, but you ſhall: ſince you inforc’d me ſpeake,
I will not leave a ſillable untold.
You ask’d if Naples ſonne were baniſh’d too?
Yes, he is baniſh’d ever from the ſight
Of mortall eyes againe: for he is dead.
Liſandro dead! By what occaſion?
I ſcorne to anſwer thee. The King ſhall know,
It was his chance upon that hapleſſe houre,
To paſſe that way, conducted by his gard,
Towards his baniſhment: where he beheld
The wofull object of the Princeſſe head:
There might you ſee love, pittie, rage, deſpaire,
Acting together in their ſeverall ſhapes;
That it was hard to judge, which of all thoſe
Were moſt predominant. At laſt, deſpaire
Became ſole Monarke of his paſſions,
Which drew him to this error: Having got
Leave of his gard to celebrate his vowes,
Unto that precious relique of his Saint,
Where having breath’d a mournfull Elegie,
After a thousand ſighs, ten thouſand grones,Still 63 H4r
Still crying out, Leonida, my love.
Then, as his death were limited by hers,
He ſacrifiz’d his life unto her love:
For there (unluckily) he ſlew himſelfe.
The King’s diſpleas’d, my Lord.
No matter: I’me glad I touch’d his conſcience
To the quicke. Did you not ſee
How my relation chang’d his countenance,
As if my words ingendred in his breſt
Some new-bred paſſions?
Yes, and did obſerve
How fearefully he gaz’d upon us all:Enter Queene.
Pray heaven it prove not ominous.
Where is this King? this King? this tyrant? He
That would be cald The just and righteous King,
When in his actions he is moſt unjuſt;
Beyond example, cruell, tyrannous?
Where is my daughter? Where’s Leonida?
Where is Luſippus too, my firſt borne hope?
And where is deare Lorenzo? dead? all dead?
And would to God I were intomb’d with them,
Emptie of ſubſtance. Curſe of Soveraigntie,
That feed’ſt thy fancie with deluding hopes
Of fickle ſhadowes; promiſing to one,
Eternitie of fame; and unto all,
To be accounted wiſe and vertuous,
Obſerving but your Lawes and just decrees;
That under ſhew of being mercifull,
Art moſt unkind, and cruell: nay, ’tis true.
Goe where thou wilt, ſtill will I follow thee,
And with my ſad laments ſtill beat thy eares,
Till all the world of thy juſtice heares.
This Phyſick works too ſtrongly, and may prove a
deadly potion. Sforza, good my Lord, if any anger be
’twixt you and I, let it lye buried now; and let’s devise
some paſtime to ſuppreſſe this heavineſſe. A melancholy
King makes a ſad Court.
I never heard him ſpeake ſo carefully
Of the Kings welfare. I, with all my heart.
Who’le undertake this charge?
I will, my Lord: Let the device be mine.
I’le get the Amazon to joyne with you:
Her rare invention, and experience too,
In forraine Countries may availe you much,
In ſome new quaint conceit.
Doe, good my Lord:
I’de ha’t aſſoone preſented as I could.
To night, if it be poſſible: farewell.
I must goe looke her out.
Ha, ha, ha, ha.
So by this meanes, I ſhall expreſſe my ſelfe
Studious and carefull.
Scen. II.Enter Atlanta and Aurelia.
But doſt thou thinke hee’le come?
He cannot chuſe.
I ſent him ſuch a loving anſwer backe
By his Solliciter, able to make
An Eunuch to come with the conceit.
The houre’s almoſt at hand. Madam, command
A banquet be ſet forth: My charge ſhall beEnter with a Banquet, Women.
To give him intertainement: whilſt your Grace,
Loretta, and the Ladies of your traine,
Or any others you ſhall pleaſe to appoint,
Be ready to ſurpriſe him. So ’tis well.
Now leave the reſt to mee.
My deare Atlanta, I commend thy care.
Call it my dutie, Madam, and the love
I owe to ſacred vertue, to defendThe 65 I1r
The fame of women. All withdraw awhile,Ex. Women.
I thinke I heare him comming. I, ’tis he.
This is the place, Sir, ſhe appoynted you.
Is this the Orchard then,
Where I muſt pluck the fruit from that faire tree?
I would it might prove Stone-fruit,
And ſo choke him.
Ha! what’s here? a banquet?
Readie prepar’d? why, this is excellent!
What a kind creature ’tis?
Did not I ſay
How monſtrouſly ſhe lov’d you? Come, fall to.
Before my Miſtreſſe come?
I’faith Sir, I;
This is but onely a provocative,
To make you ſtrong and luſtie for the incounter.
And here’s Wine too;
Nothing but Bloud and Spirit.
Fall to, Swaſh.
A ſweet thing is love,
That fills both heart and mind:
There is no comfort in the world,
To women that are kind. Here, Sir, I’le drinke to you.
I would ſhe would come away once: Now, methinks,
I could performe. And ſee! but wiſh and have.
Oh. are you come? I ſee you keep your houre.
I ſhould be ſorry elſe.
Nay, keepe your place.
Will you ſit downe then? Sirrah? Walke aloofe,
Let him be doing ſomething. Here, take this.
I have made bold to taſte your Wine and Cates,
And when you pleaſe, we’le try the operation.
You know my mind.
You men are all ſo fickle, that poore we
Doe not know whom to truſt.
But doe you love me truely?
By this kiſſe.
No, ſave that labour, Sir: I’le take your word.
Yet, how ſhould I beleeve you, when ſo late
You rail’d againſt our Sex, and ſlander’d us?
Oh doe not thinke of that, that’s done and gone.
Doe not recall what’s paſt. I now recant:
And (by this hand) I love thee truly, Love.
May I beleeve all this?
Come hither, Swaſh.
How often have I ſworne to thee alone,
I lov’d this Lady; never none but ſhee?
Yes, truely, that he has.
You may be proud, I tell you, of my love,
There is a thouſand Women in this Towne,
To imbrace me, would clap their hands for joy,
And run like ſo many wild Cats.
That they would,
I dare be ſworne for um,
And hang about him like ſo many Catch-poles,
He would ne’r get from um,
And yet this happineſſe is profer’d you.
Which I cannot refuſe,
You have, you know, ſuch a prevayling tongue,
No woman can deny you any thing.
Why, that was kindly ſpoke. Where ſhall wee meet?
Hearke in your eare, I’le tell you.
Beſt of all.
Doe you thinke meſuchme ſuch a foole?
Till then farewell: I’le ſpeedily returne.
Why law now, Swaſh, I told thee ſhe would yeeld,
No woman in the world can hold out long.Oh 67 I2r
Oh beware when a man of Art courts a woman.
I, or a Fencer, Sir: We lay um flat before us.
But, pray you tell me, Master, Doe you love
This Laſſe ſincerely?
Ha, ha, ha. Love? that were a jeſt indeed,
To paſſe away the time for ſport, or ſo;
Th’are made for nothing elſe:
And he that loves um longer, is a foole.
Me thinkes ’tis pittie to delude her, Sir:
I’faith ſhe’s a handſome wench.
Away, you Aſſe.
Delude? what are they good for elſe?Enter Atlanta.
She comes againe. Out of the Orchard, Swaſh.
Welcome, Sweet heart.
Are you in private, Sir?
There’s not an eye under the Horizon
That can behold us; If Suſpicion tell,
I’le beat her blind as ever Fencer was.
Sir, now you talke of Fencing, I heare you
Profeſſe that noble Science.
’Tis most true.
I love you, Sir, the better; ’tis a thing
I honour with my heart. If any one
Should ſcandalize or twit me with your love,
You can defend my fame, and make ſuch men—
Creepe on their knees, aske thee forgiveneſſe,
Or any other baſe ſubmiſſion.
Oh, what a happineſſe ſhall I injoy?
But can you doe this if occaſion ſerve?
Would ſome were here to make experience,
That thou mightſt ſee my ſkill.
Sir, that will I.
How dar’ſt thou looke a woman in the face,I2 Or 68 I2v
Or commence love to any: Specially to mee?
Thou know’ſt I’me vow’d thy publique enemie,
Which this, and this, and this ſhall teſtifie.
Oh that I had a weapon, thou ſhouldſt know,
A thouſand women could not ſtand one blow,
From my unconquerd arme.
That ſhall be tride.
I’le fit you, Sir, in your owne element.
I thinke thou dareſt not looke upon a ſword.
See, there’s a foyle: I will but thumpe you, Sir.
Thy life’s reserv’d unto a worſe revenge.
Oh. Some Devil’s enterd in this Idol ſure,
To make mee misbelieve. Oh.
Cowardly ſlave. A Fencer? you a Fidler.
He cannot hold his weapon,
Gard his breſt; no, nor defend a thruſt. Art not aſham’d
Thus to diſgrace that noble exerciſe?
Oh: Hold, hold; I yeeld, I yeeld.
Has our Countrie meats fed you ſo high,
You needs muſt have a ſtale for your baſe luſt?
I’le ſatiate your ſences ere I have done:
And ſo much for your feeling: For your taſte,
You have had ſufficient in your ſweet-meats, Sir:
Your drinke too was perfum’d to pleaſe your ſmell.
I, but I have had but ſowre ſauce to um.
Why then the Proverbe holds. Now for your fight.
Madam, come forth, and bring your followers.
I’de rather ſee ſo many Cockatrices.
Oh that my eyes might be for ever ſhut,
So that I might ne’r behold theſe Crocadils.
Where’s this bawling Bandog.
Here, here, here, here.
Murder, murder, murder. I’me betraid.
I ſhall be torne in pieces. Murder, ho.
Is this the dogged Humoriſt that cals
Himſelfe the woman-hater?
On my knees.
Doſt thou reply, vile Monſter? Binde him, come.
Let me come to him, Ile ſo mumble him.
Remember faire Leonida my child,
Whoſe innocence was made a Sacrifice
To thy baſe Forgeries and Sophiſtrie.
Out, you abominable Raſcall.
This for your hearing, Sir: now all is full.
Ladies, Gentlewomen, ſweet Atlanta, all,
Heare me but ſpeake.
No, not a ſyllable.
You have ſpoke to match alreadie, you damn’d Rogue.
But weele reward you for’t. Skrew his jawes.
Oh, oh, oh.
Now, thou imhumane wretch, what puniſhment
Shall we invent ſufficient to inflict,
According to the height of our revenge?
Let’s teare his limmes in pieces, joynt from joynt.
Three or foure paire of Pincers, now red hot,
Will not our Bodkings ſerve?
Hang him, Slave, ſhall he dye as noble a death
As Caesar did? No, no: pinch him, pricke him.
I have ſmall Pins enow to ſerve us all.
We cannot wiſh for better: take him up,
And bind him to this Poſt.
Faith, Poſt and Paire,
As good a Game as can be.
Come, let’s to ’t,
Shuffle the Cards, and leave out all the Knaves.
No, the Knaves in at Poſt, and out at Paire.
Shall it be ſo? Agreed?
Oh, oh, oh, oh.
Nay, Ile not paſſe it ſo.
Faith, Ile be in too.
Againe, for me too, I will vye it.
And for mee, Ile not deny it.
Ile ſee you, and revy’t agen.
For your two, Ile put in ten.
Oh,oh, oh, oh, oh.
How now? ſtay, who’s this?
I could not find the way out of the Orchard,
If I ſhould ha’ beene hang’d, but fell into theſe
Old Womens mouthes: but the beſt is,
They had no teeth to bite me, but my Grandame heere
Scratches moſt devilliſhly.
Here’s a Whelpe of the ſame Litter too.
Come hither Sirrah, doe you know this man?
Yes, forſooth, I know him,
He was my Maſter once, want of a better.
Then you were one of his Confederates, Sir.
I his Confederate? I defye him,
He knowes I alwayes gave him good counſell,
If he had had the grace to follow it:
Here he is himſelfe, let him deny’t if he can.
Oh, oh, oh,
Did not I ever ſay, Maſter, take heed,
Wrong not kind Gentlewomen,
Honeſt loving women? Many a time
Have I beene beaten by him blacke and blue,
For looking on a woman, is’t not true?
You seehissee his bringing up,To 71 I4r
To make a mouth at all this companie.
This is an honeſt fellow; he ſhall eſcape.
Sirrah, thou lov’ſt a woman?
I, with all my heart.
He lookes as if he did.
Well, ſtand aſide, weele imploy you anon:
Forbeare your tortors yet, ſomething is hid,
That we muſt have reveal’d, and he himſelfe
Shall be his owne accuſer: you all know,
He hath arraign’d us for inconſtancie:
But now weele arraigne him, and judge him too,
This is a womans counſell: Madame, we make you
Ladie Chiefe Juſtice of this Female Court,
Miſtris Recorder, I. Loretta, you,
Sit for the Notarie: Crier, ſhe:
The reſt ſhall beare inferior Offices,
As Keepers, Serjants, Executioners.
Ide rather be a Hangman then a Seriant:
Yet there’s no great difference, if one will not,
Mother, goe you and call a Jurie full,
Of which y’are the fore-woman.
1. Old W.
Thanke you forſooth, Ile fetch one preſently:
’Tis fit he ſhould be ſcratcht, and pleaſe your Grace:
Sure, he is no man.
We want a Barre. O, theſe two foyles ſhall ſerve:
One ſtucke i’ the Earth, and croſſe it from this Tree.
Now take your places, bring him to the Barre,
Sirrah, ungag him.
Let him be gag’d ſtill:
Then you are ſure what e’r you ſay to him,
He cannot contradict you.
Pull it out.
Doe not bite y’are beſt.
Oh that I were a Serpent for your ſakes,
Bearing a thouſand ſtings.
Worſe then thou art,
Thou canſt not wiſh to be, abortive wretch.
Bring him to the Barre.
You’ld not be rul’d by me: I told you o’this,
And now you ſee what followes,
Hanging’s the leaſt, what ev’r followes that.
Clarke of the Peace,
Reade the Indictment.
Silence in the Court.
Silence? & none but women? That were ſtrange!
Miſogynos, hold up thy hand.
His name is Swetnam, not Miſogynos.
That’s but a borrowed name.
Peace, you Rogue,
Will you diſcover me?
Swetnam is his name.
I, Joſeph Swetnam, that’s his name, forſooth,
Joſeph the Jew was a better Gentile farre.
Then Joseph Swetnam, alias Miſogynos,
AliasMolaſtomus, alias the Woman-hater.
How came he by all theſe names?
I have heard many ſay, he was nev’r chriſten’d.
Thou art here indicted by theſe names, that thou,
Contrary to nature, and the peace of this Land,
Haſt wickedly and maliciouſly ſlandred,
Maligned, and opprobriouſly defamed the civill ſocietie
Of the whole Sex of women: therefore ſpeake,
Guiltie, or not guiltie?
No, not guiltie.
Dareſt thou denie a truth ſo manifeſt?
Didſt thou not lately both by word, and deed,
Publiſh a Pamphlet in diſgrace of us,
And of all women-kind?
No, no, no, not I.
Calling us tyrannous, ambitious, cruell?
Comparing us to Serpents, Crocodiles
For Diſſimulation, Hiena’s for Subtilties,
And farre worſe:
That we are all the Devils agents,
To ſeduce Man agen?
That all our ſtudies are but to delude
Our credulous Husbands?
I denie all this.
Thou doſt affirme, without diſtinction,
All married Wives are the Devils Hackneyes,
To carrie their Husbands to Hell.
Inhumane Monſter, haſt thou nev’r a Mother?
No, forſooth, he is a Succubus, begot
Betwixt a Devill and a Witch.
If I did any ſuch, let it be produc’d.
Bring in the Books for a firme Evidence,
And bid the Jurie give the Verdict up.
Guiltie, guiltie, guiltie.
Guiltie of Woman-ſlander, and defamation.
Produce the Bookes, and reade the Title of um.
The Arraignment of idle, froward,
And unconſtant women.
What ſay you, Sir, to this?
Shew me my name, and then Ile yeeld unto’t.
No, that’s your policie and cowardiſe,
You durſt not publiſh, what you dar’d to write,
Thy man is witneſſe to’t: ſirrah, confeſſe,
Or you ſhall ev’n be ſerv’d to the ſame ſawce.
No, no, no, no, Ile tell you all,
He is no Fencer, that’s but for a ſhew,
For feare of being beaten: the beſt Clarke,
For cowardiſe that can be in the World,
To terrifie the Female Champions,
He was in England, a poore Scholer firſt,
And came to Medley, to eate Cakes and Creame,
At my old Mothers houſe, ſhe truſted him:
At leaſt ſome ſixteene ſhillings o’ the ſcore,
And he perſwaded her, he would make me
A Scholer of the Niniverſitie, which ſhe, kind Foole, beleev’d:
He nev’r taught me any Leſſon, but to raile againſt women,
That was my morning and my evening Lecture.
And in one yeere he runne away from thence,
And then he tooke the habit of a Fencer:
And ſet up Schoole at Briſtow: there he liv’d
A yeere or two, till he had writ this Booke:
And then the women beat him out the Towne,
And then we came to London: there forſooth,
He put his Booke i’the Preſſe, and publiſht it,
And made a thouſand men and wives fall out.
Till two or three good wenches, in meere ſpight,
Laid their heads together, and rail’d him out of th’Land,
Then we came hither: this is all forſooth.
’Tis ev’n enough.
’Tis all as falſe as women.
Stop his mouth.
Either be quiet, or y’are gag’d agen.
Proceed in Judgement.
Madame, thus it is.
Firſt, he ſhall weare this Mouzell, to expreſſe
His barking humour againſt women-kind.
And he ſhall be led, and publike ſhowne,
In every Street i’the Citie, and be bound
In certaine places to a Poſt or Stake,
And bayted by all the honeſt women in the Pariſh.
Is that the worſt? there will not one be found
In all the Citie.
Out, you lying Raſcall.
Forbeare a little.
Then he ſhal be whipt quite thorow the Land,
Till he come to the Sea-Coaſt, and then be ſhipt,
And ſent to live amongſt the Infidels.
Oh, the Lord preſerve your Grace.
Oh, oh, oh.
Call in his Bookes,
And let um all be burn’d and caſt away,
And his Arraignment now put i’the Preſſe,
That he may live a ſhame unto his Sex.
Sirrah, the charge be yours: which if you faile,
You ſhall be us’d ſo too: if well perform’d,
You ſhall be well rewarded. Break up Court.
Away, you bawling Mastiffe.
Why doe you thus purſue me? Can no place
Shelter a King from being bayted thus
With Acclamations beyond ſufferance
Of Majeſtie, or mortall ſtrength to beare?
We will indure’t no longer. Where’s our Guard?
Where is Aurelia? where’s Iago gone?
To ſtudie new Invectives? If agen
They dare but utter the leaſt ſyllable,
Or ſmalleſt title of inveteracie,
They ſhall not breathe a minute. Muſt a Prince
Be checkt, and ſchooled, purſued and ſcolded at,
For executing Juſtice?
Be pleaſed, to caſt away theſe Diſcontents.
Iago’s ſorrie for his bold offence.K2 The 76 K2v
The Queene repents her too, and all the Court
Is clowded o’r with griefe: your ſadneſſe, Sir,
Fils every Subjects heart with heavineſſe.
Will’t pleaſe your Highneſſe to behold ſome paſtime,
There is a Maske and other ſports prepar’d:
Prepared to ſolace you,
To ſteale away your ſorrowes.
Who’s that ſpoke?
Nicanor, is’t hee? I thought as much:
I knew no other would be halfe ſo kind,
Nor carefull of our health: doe what thou wilt,
We will deny nothing that thou demandeſt,
My deareſt Comforter, ſtay to my age,
The hope of Sicilie lyes now in thee.
Come ſit by us, weele ſee what new device
No, thy love
Hath ſtudied to delight thy Soveraigne.
Come ſit, Nicanor.
Pardon, Sir, awhile,
Ile give command to ſee it ſtraight perform’d,
And inſtantly returne.
Make no delay:
We have no joy but in thy companie.
Nor I no Hell, but thy continuance.
Ile preſent that will ſhorten it, I hope.
Sforza, thou lovest me too: come neerer us:
But old Iago is a froward Lord,
Honeſt, but lenative, ore-ſwaid too much
With pittie againſt Juſtice, that’s not good:
Indeed it is not in a Counſellor.
And he has too much of woman, otherwiſe
He might be Ruler of a Monarchie,
For policie and wiſdome. Sforza ſit,
Take you your places to behold this Maske.
Now they are readie.
Let um enter then.
Come ſit by us, Nicanor, and deſcribe
The meaning, as they enter.
Heere your Grace
May undiſcovered ſit, and view the Maske,
And ſee how ’tis affected by the King:
I know, ’twill nip him to the verie ſoule.
He that leads the Dance,
Is called wilfull Ignorance.
The next that pryes on every ſide,
As if feare his feet did guide,
Is held a wretch of baſe condition,
He is titled falſe Suſpition.
The third is of a bolder Faction,
But more deadly, ’tis Detraction.
The laſt is Crueltie, a King that long,
In ſeeming good, did ſacred Juſtice wrong.
This Moral’s meant by me: by heaven it is,
By Heaven, indeed: for nothing elſe had power
To make me ſee my Follies, I confeſſe,
’Twas wilfull Ignorance, and Selfe-conceit,
Sooth’d with Hypocriſie, that drew me firſt
Into ſuſpition of my Daughters love,
And call’d it Diſobedience: falſe Suſpect,
’Twas thou poſſeſt me, that Leonida
Was ſpotted and unchaſte.
So, now it workes.
And then Detraction prov’d a deadly Foe.
I knew ’twould take effect.
I am that King did ſacred Juſtice wrong,
Under a ſhew of Juſtice, now ’tis plaine,
It was my crueltie, not her deſert,
That ſacrific’d my Child to pallid Death.
Liſandro ſlew himſelfe, but I, not he
Muſt anſwere for that guiltleſſe bloud was ſpilt:
For I was Authour on’t, my Crueltie,
Divorcing two ſuch Lovers, was the cauſe
That drew him to deſpayre. How they all gaze,
Whiſper together, and then point at me,
As if they here had being! yes they have:
But it ſhall prove a reſtleſſe bed for them.
Why doe they not begin?
Belike they want ſome of their companie.
But ſtay, who’s that deſcends ſo proſperouſly,
With ſuch ſweet ſounding Muſike? All obſerve.
See how the ſplendor of that Majeſtie,
That came from Heaven, hath diſperſt away
Suſpition, Ignorance, and Crueltie,
And inſtantly o’rcome Detraction too,
Thoſe enemies to vertue, foes to man,
Are vaniſht from my ſight, and from my heart.
But let Repentance ſtay. Ha, ſhallow Foole,
Doe I ſo ſlightly bid her? On my knees,
She muſt be followed, call’d and ſu’d unnto.
And by continuall Prayers, woo’d, and wonne,
Which I will never ceaſe, if not too late.
I doe repent me, let this Sacrifice
Make ſatisfaction for thoſe fore-paſt Crimes
My ignorant ſoule committed.
Imbrace me freely, rise: never too late
To call upon Repentance.
I am trapt.
Oh, the great Devill! whoſe device was this?
Now all will be reveal’d, I never dream’t
Upon Repentance, I: but now I ſee,
Truth will diſcover all mens Trecherie.
Live ever in my boſome. What meanes this?
If a Silvan’s rude behaviour
May not heere deſpaire of favour:
Then to thee this newes I bring,
Thou art call’d the righteous King,
And as Fame do’s make report,
Heere lives Juſtice in thy Court:
Know, that all the Happineſſe
I did in this World poſſeſſe,
Was my onely Daughter, who
Pan did on my age beſtow,
She was named Claribell,
Whom Palemon loved well:
And ſhe lov’d him as well againe;
So that nothing did remaine,
But the tying Hymens Knot.
But it chanced ſo, God wot,
That an old decrepit man
Moſt prepoſtrouſly began,
With flatt’ring words to woo my Daughter,
But being ſtill deny’d, he after
Turn’d his love to mortall hate
Claribell to ruinate,
Striving to o’rpreſſe her fame,
With Luſt, Contempt, Reproch, and Shame.
What wouldſt thou have Us doe?
Good Father, ſpeake.
This fellow hath ſubborn’d a routOf 80 K4v
Of ſome baſe Villaines here-about,
To take away my daughters life,
Or elſe to raviſh her. To end this ſtrife
Be pleas’d to joyne theſe Lovers hands
Into ſacred nuptiall bands.
Nothing but put um both together, Sir.
The good old Shepheard would faine ha’t a match.
We are content. Come give Us both your hands.
You are a King; yet they are loth
To take your word without an othe.
As We are King of Sicil, ’tis confirm’d
Firme, to be revoked never,
Untill death their lives diſſever.
Princes, diſcover: Here are witneſſes
Inow to teſtifie this royall match.
My daughter, and Liſandro, living?
Nay, wonder not, my Liege, your oath is paſt.
Which thus, and thus, and thus I ratifie:
There is but one ſtep more, and farewell all.
Oh, I am made immortall with this ſight:
My daughter, and Liſandro, both alive?
This is no newes to mee: yet teares of joy
Ore-flowes mine eyes to ſee this unitie.
Oh daughter, I have done thee too much wrong:
And, noble Prince, We now confeſſe Our errour:
But heaven be prais’d that you have both eſcap’d
The tyrannie of Our unjuſt decree.
What happie accident preſerv’d your lives?
Whoſe was the project? Was it thine, old man?
Madam, ’twas mine: Thoſe that I could not ſave
By eloquence, by policie I have.
Worthie Atlanta, thou haſt merited
Beyond all imitation. We are made
Too poore to gratifie thy high deſerts.
All my deſerts, my ſelfe, and what I have,Thus 81 L1r
Thus I throw downe before your Highneſſe feet.
My Sonne Lorenzo! Oh, aſſiſt, my Lords.
The current of my joy’s ſo violent,
It does o’r-come my ſpirits. Worthy Sonne,
Welcome from death, from bands, captivitie.
Welcome into my boſome as my ſoule.
My princely Brother, could I adde a love
Unto that dutie that I owe for life,
I am ingag’d unto’t, you are my lifes Protector,
And my Brother.
And for a life I ſtand indebted too,
Which Ile detayne, onely to honour you.
And on our knees we muſt this dutie render,
To you our Patron, and our Fames Defender.
Behold the joyes Repentance brings with her,
Thy bleſſings are made full in Heaven and Earth.
Was ever Father happier in a Sonne,
Or ever Kingdome had more hopefull Prince?
But in a loyall Subject, never King
More bleſt then we are: and the grace we owe,
Though farre too poore to quittance, ſhall make known,
Thy love and merit. Now we can diſcerne
Our friends from flatt’rers. Nicanor, as for you,
But that this houre is ſacred unto joy,
Thy life ſhould pay the ranſome of thy guilt.
Your Graces pardon. ’Twas not pride of ſtate,
But her diſdaine, that firſt inſpir’d in me
This hope of Soveraigntie.
Well, we forgive.
Learne to live honeſt now. Come, beautyous Queene,
We hope that all are pleas’d: and now you ſee,
In vaine we ſtrive to croſſe, what Heavens decree.
Epilogue.Enter Swetnam muzzled, hal’d in by Women.
Why doe you hale me thus? Is’t not enough,
I have withstood a tryall? beene arraign’d?
Indured the torture of ſharp-pointed Needles?
The Whip? and old Wives Nayles? but I muſt ſtand,
To have another Jurie paſſe on me?
It was a generall wrong; therefore must have
A generall tryall, and a Judgement too.
The greatest wrong was mine; he ſought my life:
Which fact I freely pardon, to approove
Women are neither tyrannous, nor cruell,
Though you report us ſo.
I now repent,
And thus to you (kind Judges) I appeale.
Me thinkes, I ſee no anger in your eyes:
Mercie and Beautie best doe ſympathize:
And here for-ever I put off this ſhape,
And with it all my ſpleene and malice too,
And vow to let no time or act eſcape,
In which my ſervice may be ſhewne to you.
And this my hand, which did my ſhame commence,
Shall with my Sword be us’d in your defence.