Act 4, Scene II

Scene: An Apartment in the Palace

Enter QUEEN, EUPHANES, CONON, and Lords.

'Twere better treat with 'em.
I will no treaties
With a league-breaker and a rebel; shall I
Article witk a traitor? be compell'd
To yield an innocent unto their fury,
Whom I have proved so to you?
Gracious Queen,
Though your own godlike disposition
Would succour virtue and pretect the right;
Yet, for the public good, for the dear safety
Of your most royal only son, consent
To give me up the sacrifice to their malice:
My life is aim'd at, and 'twere better far
The blood of twenty thousand such as I
Purpled our seas, than that your princely son
Should be endangered.
Still well said, honest fool!
Were their demand but one hair from thy head,
By all the gods, I'd scorn 'em! Were they here,
The majesty that dwells upon this brow
Should strike 'em on their knees. As for my son,
Let 'em no more dare than they'll answer: I
An equal mother to my country am,
And every virtuous son of it is son
Unto my bosom, tender as mine own.
Oh, you are heavenly, madam, and the gods
Can suffer nothing pass to injure you!
The life that Conon promised, he stands now
Ready to pay with joy.
Farewell both;
Success attend you! you have soldiers been,
Tam Marti quam Mercurio; if you bring not peace,
Bring me their heads.
I will put fair for one.
[Exeunt Queen and Lords.
Double the guard upon her highness' person.
Conon, you must perform a friendly part,
Which I shall counsel you.
I am your servant.