Act 4, Scene III

Scene: A Room in La Castre's House.

Enter NANTOLET, LA CASTRE, DE GARD, LUGIER, and MIRABEL.

Mirabel.
Your patience, gentlemen! Why do ye bait me?
Nantolet.
Is't not a shame you are so stubborn-hearted,
So stony and so dull, to such a lady,
Of her perfections and her misery?
Lugier.
Does she not love you? Does not her distraction
For your sake only, her most pitied lunacy
Of all but you, show ye? Does it not compel ye?
Mirabel.
Soft and fair, gentlemen; pray ye proceed temperately.
Lugier.
If you have any feeling, any sense in you,
The least touch of a noble heart——
La Castre.
Let him alone:
It is his glory that he can kill beauty.
You bear my stamp, but not my tenderness;
Your wild unsavoury courses set that in you!
For shame, be sorry, though you cannot cure her;
Show something of a man, of a fair nature.
Mirabel.
You make me mad!
De Gard.
Let me pronounce this to you;
You take a strange felicity in slighting
And wronging women, which my poor sister feels now;
Heaven's hand be gentle on her! Mark me, sir,
That very hour she dies (there's small hope otherwise)
That minute, you and I must grapple for it;
Either your life or mine!
Mirabel.
Be not so hot, sir;
I am not to be wrought on by these policies,
In truth, I am not! nor do I fear the tricks,
Or the high-sounding threats, of a Savoyan.
I glory not in cruelty (ye wrong me)
Nor grow up water'd with the tears of women.
This let me tell ye, howso'er I show to ye,
Wild, as ye please to call it, or self-will'd,
When I see cause I can both do and suffer,
Freely, and feelingly, as a true gentleman.

Enter ROSALURA and LILLIA.

Rosalura.
Oh, pity, pity! thousand, thousand pities!
Lillia-Bianca.
Alas, poor soul! she will die! she is grown senseless;
She will not know, nor speak now.
Rosalura.
Die for love?
And love of such a youth? I would die for a dog first!
He that kills me, I'll give him leave to eat me!
I'll know men better, ere I sigh for any of 'em.
Lillia-Bianca.
Ye have done a worthy act, sir, a most famous;
You have kill'd a maid the wrong way; ye're a conqueror!
Rosalura.
A conqueror? a cobler! Hang him, sowter!
Go hide thyself, for shame! go lose thy memory!
Live not 'mongst men; thou art a beast, a monster,
A blatant beast!
Lillia-Bianca.
If you have yet any honesty,
Or ever heard of any, take my counsel;
Off with your garters, and seek out a bough,
A handsome bough; for I would have you hang like a gentleman;
And write some doleful matter to the world,
A warning to hard-hearted men.
Mirabel.
Out, kittlings!
What catterwauling's here! what gibing!
Do you think my heart is soften'd with a black santis?
Show me some reason.

ORIANA is brought in, lying on a bed.

Rosalura.
Here then, here is a reason.
Nantolet.
Now, if ye be a man, let this sight shake ye!
La Castre.
Alas, poor gentlewoman! Do you know me, lady?
Lugier.
How she looks up, and stares!
Oriana.
I know you very well;
You are my godfather: and that's the monsieur.
De Gard.
And who am I?
Oriana.
You are Amadis de Gaul, sir.
Oh, oh, my heart! Were ye never in love, sweet lady?
And do you never dream of flowers and gardens?
I dream of walking fires: Take heed! It comes now.
Who's that? Pray stand away. I have seen that face sure.
How light my head is!
Rosalura.
Take some rest.
Oriana.
I cannot;
For I must be up to-morrow to go to church,
And I must dress me, put my new gown on,
And be as fine to meet my love! Heigh-ho!
Will not you tell we where my love lies buried?
Mirabel.
He is not dead.—Beshrew my heart, she stirs me!
[Aside.
Oriana.
He is dead to me.
Mirabel.
Is't possible my nature
Should be so damnable, to let her suffer?—
Give me your hand.
Oriana.
How soft you feel, how gentle!
I'll tell you your fortune, friend.
Mirabel.
How she stares on me!
Oriana.
You have a flattering face, but 'tis a fine one;
I warrant you may have a hundred sweethearts.
Will ye pray for me? I shall die to-morrow;
And will ye ring, the bells?
Mirabel.
I am most unworthy,
I do confess, unhappy. Do you know me?
Oriana.
I would I did!
Mirabel.
Oh, fair tears, how ye take me!
Oriana.
Do ye weep too? You have not lost your lover?
You mock me; I'll go home and pray.
Mirabel.
Pray you pardon me;
Or, if it please you to consider justly,
Scorn me, for I deserve it; scorn and shame me,
Sweet Oriana!
Lillia-Bianca.
Let her alone; she trembles:
Her fits will grow more strong, if ye provoke her.
La Castre.
Certain she knows you not, yet loves to see you.
How she smiles now!

Enter BELLEUR.

Belleur.
Where are ye? Oh, why do not you laugh? Come, laugh at me!
Why 'a devil art thou sad, and such a subject,
Such a ridiculous subject, as I am,
Before thy face?
Mirabel.
Pr'ythee put off this lightness;
This is no time for mirth, nor place; I have used too much on't:
I have undone myself, and a sweet lady,
By being too indulgent to my foolery,
Which truly I repent. Look here!
Belleur.
What ails she?
Mirabel.
Alas, she is mad.
Belleur.
Mad?
Mirabel.
Yes, too sure; for me too.
Belleur.
Dost thou wonder at that? By this good light, they are all so;
They are cozening mad, they are brawling mad, they are proud mad;
They are all, all mad. I came from a world of mad women,
Mad as March hares: Get 'em in chains, then deal with 'em.
There's one that's mad; she seems well, but she is dog-mad.
Is she dead, dost think?
Mirabel.
Dead? Heaven forbid!
Belleur.
Heaven further it!
For, till they be key-cold dead, there's no trusting of 'em.
Whate'er they see'm, or howsoe'er they carry it,
Till they be chap-fall'n, and their tongues at peace,
Nail'd in their coffins sure, I'll ne'er believe 'em.
Shall I talk with her?
Mirabel.
No, dear friend, be quiet,
And be at peace a while.
Belleur.
I'll walk aside,
And come again anon. But take heed to her:
You say she is a woman?
Mirabel.
Yes.
Belleur.
Take great heed;
For if she do not cozen thee, then hang me.
Let her be mad, or what she will, she'll cheat thee!
[Exit.
Mirabel.
Away, wild fool!—How vile this shows in him now!
Now take my faith (before ye all I speak it)
And with it my repentant love.
La Castre.
This seems well.
Mirabel.
Were but this lady clear again, whose sorrows
My very heart melts for, were she but perfect
(For thus to marry her would be two miseries),
Before the richest and the noblest beauty,
France, or the world could show me, I would take her:
As she now is, my tears and prayers shall wed her.
De Gard.
This makes some small amends.
Rosalura.
She beckons to you:
To us too, to go off.
Nantolet.
Let's draw aside all.
[Exeunt all but Oriana and Mirabel.
Oriana.
Oh, my best friend! I would fain——
Mirabel.
What! She speaks well,
And with another voice.
Oriana.
But I am fearful,
And shame a little stops my tongue——
Mirabel.
Speak boldly.
Oriana.
Tell you, I am well, I am perfect well (pray you mock not);
And that I did this to provoke your nature;
Out of my infinite and restless love,
To win your pity. Pardon me!
Mirabel.
Go forward:
Who set you on?
Oriana.
None, as I live, no creature;
Not any knew, or ever dream'd what I meant.
Will you be mine?
Mirabel.
'Tis true, I pity you;
But when I marry you, you must be wiser.
Nothing but tricks? devices?
Oriana.
Will you shame me?
Mirabel.
Yes, marry, will I.—-Come near, come near! a miracle!
The woman's well; she was only mad for marriage,
Stark mad to be stoned to death; give her good counsel.—
Will this world never mend?—Are you caught, damsel?

Enter BELLEUR, LA CASTRE, LUGIER, NANTOLET, DE GARD, ROSALURA, and LILLIA.

Belleur.
How goes it now?
Mirabel.
Thou art a kind of prophet;
The woman's well again, and would have gull'd me;
Well, excellent well, and not a taint upon her.
Belleur.
Did not I tell you? Let 'em be what can be,
Saints, devils, anything, they will abuse us.
Thou wert an ass to believe her so long, a coxcomb;
Give 'em a minute, they'll abuse whole millions.
Mirabel.
And am not I a rare physician, gentlemen,
That can cure desperate mad minds?
De Gard.
Be not insolent.
Mirabel.
Well, go thy ways: From this hour I disclaim thee,
Unless thou hast a trick above this; then I'll love thee.
You owe me for your cure.—Pray have a care of her,
For fear she fall into a relapse.—Come, Belleur;
We'll set up bills to cure diseased virgins.
Belleur.
Shall we be merry?
Mirabel.
Yes.
Belleur.
But I'll no more projects:
If we could make 'em mad, it were some mastery!
[Exeunt.
Lillia-Bianca.
I am glad she is well again.
Rosalura.
So am I, certain.—
Be not ashamed.
Oriana.
I shall never see a man more.
De Gard.
Come, you're a fool! had you but told me this trick,
He should not have gloried thus.
Lugier.
He shall not long, neither.
La Castre.
Be ruled, and be at peace: You have my consent,
And what power I can work with.
Nantolet.
Come, leave blushing;
We are your friends: An honest way compell'd you.
Heaven will not see so true a love unrecompensed.
Come in, and slight him too.
Lugier.
The next shall hit him.
[Exeunt.