Act 3, Scene I

Scene: An Apartment in the Palace.


Why, sir, the kingdom's his, and no man now
Can come to Corinth, or from Corinth go,
Without his licence; he puts up the tithes
Of every office through Achaia;
From courtier to the carter hold of him;
Our lands, our liberties, nay, very lives,
Are shut up in his closet, and let loose
But at his pleasure; books, and all discourse,
Have now no patron, nor direction,
But glorified Euphanes; our cups are guilty
That quench our tliirsts, if not unto his health.
Oh, I could eat my heart, and fling away
My very soul, for anguish! Gods, nor men,
Should tolerate such disproportion.
And yet is he beloved; whether it be virtue,
Or seeming virtue, which he makes the cloak
To his ambition.
Be it which it will,
Your highness is too tame, your eyes too film'd,
To see this, and sit still: The lion should not
Tremble to hear the bellowing of the bull.
Nature, excuse me! though he be my brother,
You are my country's father, therefore mine:
One parallel line of love I bend on him,
All lines of love and duty meet in you,
As in their centre; therefore hear, and weigh,
What I shall speak. You know the queen your mother
Did, from a private state, your father raise;
So all your royalty you hold from her:
She is older than she was, therefore more doting;
And what know we but blindness of her love
(That hath, from underneath the foot of Fortune,
Set even Euphanes' foot on Fortune's head)
Will take him by the hand, and cry, “Leap now
Into my bed!” 'tis but a trick of age;
Nothing impossible.
What do you infer on this?
Your pardon, sir,
With reverence to the queen: Yet why should I
Fear to speak plain what pointeth to your good?
A good old widow is a hungry thing
(I speak of other widows, not of queens.)
Speak to thy purpose.
I approach it. Sir,
Should young Euphanes clasp the kingdom thus,
And please the good old lady some one night,
What might not she be wrought to put on you,
Quite to supplant your birth? neither is she
Past children, as I take it.
Crates, thou shak'st me!
Thou, that dost hate thy brother for my love,
In my love find one; henceforth be my brother.
This giant I will fell beneath the earth;
I will shine out, and melt his artful wings
Euphanes, from my mother's sea of favours,
Spreads like a river, and runs calmly on,
Secure yet from my storms; like a young pine
He grows up planted under a fair oak,
Whose strong large branches yet do shelter him,
And every traveller admires his beauty:
But, like a wind, I'll work into his cranks,
Trouble his stream, and drown all vessels that
Ride on his greatness. Under my mother's arms,
Like to a stealing tempest will I search,
And rend his root from her protection.
Ay; now Theanor speaks like prince Theanor.
But how shall we provoke him to our snares?
He has a temper malice cannot move
To exceed the bounds of judgment; he is so wise,
That we can pick no cause to affront him.
What better than his crossing your intent?
The suit I had to you? Conon's forfeit state
(Before he travell'd) for a riot, he
Hath from your mother got restored to him.
Durst he? What is this Conon?
One that hath,
As people, say, in foreign countries pleasured him.


But now no more;
They have brought the travellers I told you of.
That's the sweet youth that is my brother's rival,
That curls his head, for he has little hair,
And paints his vizor, for it is no face,
That so desires to follow you, my lord:
Shew 'em some countenance, and it will beget
Our sport at least.—
What villainous crab-tree legs
He makes! His shins are full of true-love knots.
His legs were ever villainous, since I knew him.
'Faith, his uncle's shanks are somewhat the better.
But is it possible he should believe he's not of age? Why, he is fifty, man; in's jubilee, I warrant! 'Slight, he looks older than a groat; the very stamp on's face is worn out with handling.
Why, I tell you, all men believe it when they hear him speak, he utters such single matter in so infantry a voice.
He looks as like a fellow that I have seen accommodate gentlemen with tobacco in our theatres—
Most illustrious prince?
A pox on him, he is gelt! how be trebles!
I am a gentleman o' both sides.
Ile means (so't please your highness) both
by father and mother.
Thou a gentleman? thou an ass.
He is ne'er the farther from being a gentleman, I assure you.
May it please your grace, I am another.
He is another ass, he says; I believe him.
We be three, heroical prince.
Nay then, we must have the picture of 'em, and the word nos sumus.
That have traveled all parts of the globe together.
For my part, I have seen the vicissitude of Fortune before.
Peace, uncle; for though you speak a little better than I—
'Tis a very little, in truth.
Yet we must both give place, as thev say, to the best speaker, the tutor.
Yet since it hath pleased your radiance, to decline so low, as on us poor and unworthy dunghills——
What a stinking knave's this!
Our peregrination was ne'er so felicitated, as since we entered the line of your gracious favour, under whose beamy aspect, and by which infallible mathematical, compass, may we but hereafter presume to sail, our industries have reach'd their desired termination and period; and we shall voluntarily sacrifice our lives to your resplendent eyes, both the altars and fires of our devoted offerings.
Oh, divine tutor!
Can you hold, sir?
He has spoken this very sreech to some whore in Corinth.
A plague on him for a fustian dictionary! On my conscience, this is the Ulyssean Traveller that sent home his image riding upon elephants to the great Mogol.
The same; his wit is so huge, nought but an elephant could carry him.
So heavy, you mean.
These three are even the finest one fool tripartite that was e'er discovered.
Or a treatise of famine, divided into three branches.
The prince speaks.
I thank ye for your loves; but, as I told you,
I have so little means to do for those
Few followers I have already, that
I would have none shipwreck themselves and fortune
Upon my barren shelf. Sue to Euphanes,
For he is prince, and queen; I would have no man
Curse me in his old age.
Alas, sir, they desire to follow you
But afar off; the farther off the better.
Ay, sir; an't be seven mile off, so we may but follow you, only to countenance us in the confronts and affronts, which (according to your highness' will) we mean on all occasions to put upon the lord Euphanes.
He shall not want gibing nor jeering, I warrant him; if he do, I'll forswear wit.
It has forsworn thee, I'll swear; it is the ancient enemy to thy house.
Well, be it so; I here receive you, for
My followers a great way off.
Seven miles, my lord; no further.
By what time, sir, (by this measure) may
I come to follow him in his chamber?
Why, when his chamber, sir, is seven miles long.

Enter EUPHANES, CONON, Page, Gentlemen, and Attendants.

Make way there for my lord Euphanes!
Look, sir, Jove appears,
The peacock of our state, that spreads a train
Brighter than Iris' blushes after rain.—
You need not thank me, Conon: In your love
You antedated what I can do for you,
And I in gratitude was bound to this,
And am to much more; and whate'er he be
Can with unthankfulness assoil me, let him
Dig out mine eyes, and sing my name in verse,
In ballad verse, at every drinking house.
And no man be so charitable to lend me
A dog to guide my steps.
Hail to Euphanes!
Mighty Euphanes!
The great prince Euphanes!
Key of the court, and jewel of the queen!
Sol in our firmament!
Pearl in the state's eye!
Being a black man.
Mistress of the land!
Our humble, humble, poor petitions are,
That we may hold our places.
May we?
Be you malicious knaves still; and you fools.
This is the prince's and your brother's spite.
I know't, but will not know it.
Yonder they are.—
Whose fine child's this?
Uncle, le'be,
Let him alone, he is a mighty prince.
I ask your highness' pardon! I protest
By Jupiter I saw you not.
Humph! it maybe so.
You have raised such mountains 'twixt your eyes and me,
That I am hidden quite. What do you mean, sir?
You much forget yourself.
I should much more,
Not to remember my due duty to your grace.
I know not wherein I have so transgressed
My service to your highness, to deserve
This rigour and contempt, not from you only,
But from your followers, with the best of whom
I was an equal in my lowest ebb:
Beseech you, sir, respect me as a gentleman;
I will be never more in heart to you.
Five fair descents I can derive myself,
From fathers worthy both in arts and arms.
I know your goodness companies your greatness,
But that you are perverted: Royal sir,
I am your humblest subject; use your pleasure,
But do not give protection to the wrongs
Of these subordinate slaves, whom I could crush
By that great destined favour which my mistress
And your majestic mother deigns to me,
But in respect of you. I know lean envy
Waits ever on the steps of virtue advanced;
But why your mother's grace gets me disgrace,
Or renders me a slave to bear these wrongs,
I do not know.—Oh, mediocrity,
Thou prizeless jewel, only mean men have,
But cannot value; like the precious gem
Found in the muckhill by the ignorant cock!
Your creamy words but cozen; how durst you
Intercept me so lately to my mother?
And what I meant your brother, you obtain'd
Unto the forfeiter again.
Your answer
To that, my lord my brother.
May I perish
If e'er I heard you intended such a suit!
Though 'twould have stuck an ignominious brand
Upon your highness, to have given your servant
A gentleman's whole state of worth and quality,
Confiscate only for a youthful brawl.
Your rudiments are too saucy; teach your page.
Ay, so are all things but your flatterers.
Hold you your prating!
You know where you are, you fleeten face!
Yet, sir, to appease and satisfy your anger.
Take what you please from me, and give it him,
In lieu of this. You shall not take it neither,
I freely will impart it, half my state;
Which, brother, if you please—
I'll starve in chains first,
Eat my own arms!
Oh, that you saw yourself!
You ne'er made me such offer in my poorness;
And 'cause, to do you ease, I sought not to you,
You thus malign me; yet your nature must not
Corrupt mine, nor your rude examples lead me:
If mine can mend you, I shall joy. You know
I fear you not; you've seen me proved a man
In every way of fortune; 'tis my comfort
I know no more such brothers in the world
As Crates is.
Nor I such as Euphanes:
The temper of an angel reigns in thee!
Your royal mother, sir, (I had forgot)
Entreats your presence.
You have done her errand;
I may do yours.
Let it be truth, my lord.
Crates, I'll question you for this.
Pish, your worst!
Away, you hounds, after your scent!
Come, we'll scorn to talk to 'em: Now> they are gone,
We'll away too.
Why bear you this, my lord?
To shew the passive fortitude the best;
Virtue's a solid rock, whereat being aim'd
The keenest darts of envy, yet unhurt
Her marble heroes stand, built on such bases,
Whilst they recoil, and wound the shooters' faces.

Enter QUEEN and Ladies.

My lord, the queen.
Gentle Euphanes, how,
How dost thou, honest lord! Oh, how I joy
To see what I have made! like a choice workman,
That, having framed a master-piece, doth reap
An universal commendation!
Princes are gods in this. I'll build thee yet,
The good foundation so pleases me,
A story or two higher; let dogs bark:
They are fools that hold them dignified by blood,
They should be only made great that are good.
Oraculous madam!
Sirrah, I was thinking,
If I should marry thee, what merry tales
Our neighbour islands would make of us:
But let that pass; you have a mistress
That would forbid our banns. 'Troth, I have wish'd
A thousand times that I had been a man;
Then I might sit a day with thee alone, and talk;
But as I am, I must not. There's no skill
In being good, but in not being thought ill.
Sirrah, who's that?
So't please vour majesty,
Conon, the friend I sued for.
'Tis dispatched.
Gracious madam,
I owe the gods and you my life.
I thank you,
I thank you heartily; and I do think you
A very honest man; he says you are.—
But now I'll chide thee: What's the cause my son
(For my eye's every where, and I have heard)
So insolently does thee contumelies
Past sufferance (I am told,) yet you complain not?
As if my justice were so partial
As not to right the meanest: Credit me,
I'll call him to a strict account, and fright,
By his example, all that dare curb me
In any thing that's just. I sent you for him.
Humbly he did return, he would wait on you.
But let me implore your majesty, not to give
His highness any check, for worthless me;
They are court-cankers, and not counsellors,
That thus inform you; they do but hate the prince,
And would subvert me. I should curse my fortune,
Even at the highest, to be made the gin
To unscrew a mother's love unto her son:
Better had my pale flame in humble shades
Been spent unseen, than to be raised thus high,
Now to be thought a meteor to the state,
Portending ruin and contagion.
Beseech you then rest satisfied, the prince
Is a most noble-natured gentleman,
And never did to me but what I took
As favours from him; my blown billows must not
Strive 'gainst my shore, that should confine me, nor
Justle with rocks to break themselves to pieces.
Well, thou'rt the composition of a god:
My lion, lamb, my eaglet, and my dove,
Whose soul runs clearer than Diana's fount!
Nature pick'd several flowers from her choice banks,
And bound them up in thee, sending thee forth
A posy for the bosom of a queen.
The prince attends you.
Farewell, my good lord,
My honest man. Stay; least no other suit?
I pr'ythee tell me; sirrah, thine eye speaks
As if thou hadst; out with it, modest fool!
With favour, madam, I would crave your leave
To marry, where I am bound in gratitude;
The immediate means she was to all my being,
Nor do I think your wisdom, sacred queen,
Fetters in favours, taking from me so
The liberty that meanest men enjoy.
To marry? you're a fool! thou'st anger'd me.
Leave me; I'll think on't.—
Only to try thee this, for though I love thee,
I can subdue myself; but she that can
Enjoy thee, doth enjoy more than a man.—

Enter THEANOR and kneels.

Nay, rise without a blessing, or kneel still
What's, sir, the reason you oppose me thus,
And seek to darken what I would have shine?
Eclipse a fire much brighter than thyself,
Making your mother not a competent judge
Of her own actions?
Gracious madam, I
Have done no more than what in royalty,
And to preserve your fame, was fit to do:
Heard you the people's talk of you, and him
You favour so, his greatness, and your love,
The pity given to me, you would excuse me.
They prate as if he did dishonour you;
And what know I, but his own lavish tongue
Has utter'd some such speeches? he is call'd
The king of Corinth.
They are traitors all:
I wear a crystal casement 'fore my heart,
Through which each honest eye may look into't;
Let it be prospect unto all the world,
I care not this.
[Aside.] This must not be my way.—
Your pardon, gracious madam! These incitements
Made me not shew so clear a countenance
Upon the lord Euphanes as I would;
Which since your majesty affects so grievously,
I'll clear the black cloud off it, and henceforth
Vow on this knee all love and grace to him.
Rise, with my blessing; and, to prove this true,
Bear him from me this cabinet of jewels
In your own person; tell him, for his marrying,
He may dispose him how and when he please.
I shall discharge my duty and your will.—
[Exit QUEEN.


I have heard all, my lord: How luckily
Fate pops her very spindle in our hands!
This marriage with Beliza you shall cross;
Then have I one attempt for Lamprias more
Upon this Phaëton: Where's Merione's ring,
That in the rape you took from her?
'Tis here.
In, and effect our purpose. You, my lord,
Shall disobey your motber's charge, and send
This cabinet by some servant of her own,
That what succeeds may have no reference
Unto your highness.
On, my engine, on!
Now, if we be not struck by Heaven's own hand,
We'll ruin him, and on his ruins stand.