Act 4, Scene IV

Scene: An open Place in the City

Enter, at one door, QUEEN, THEANOR, CRATES, CONON, Lords and Soldiers; at another, EUPHANES (with two swords,) AGENOR, LEONIDAS, and Soldiers. EUPHANES presents LEONIDAS on his knees to the QUEEN; AGENOR, bare-headed, makes show of sorrow to the QUEEN; she stamps, and seems to be angry at the first. EUPHANES persuades her, lays their swords at her feet; she kisses him, gives them their swords again, they kiss her hand and embrace; the Solders lift up EUPHANES, and shout. THEANOR and CRATES discovered; CONON whispers with CRATES, EUPHANES with AGFNOR, and LEONIDAS observes it, who seem to promise something; EUPHANES directs his Page somewhat. Exeunt all but THEANOR and CRATES.

We are not lucky, Crates; this great torrent
Bears all before him.
Such an age as this
Shall ne'er be seen again. Virtue grows fat,
And Villainy pines; the furies are asleep;
Mischief, 'gainst goodness aim'd, is like a stone,
Unnaturally forced up an eminent bill,
Whose weight falls on our heads and buries us
We springe ourselves, we sink in our own bogs.
What's to be done?
Repent and grow good.
'Tis not the fashion, fool, till we grow old.
The people's love to him now scares me more
Than my fond mother's; both which, like two floods,
Bearing Euphanes up, will o'erflow me;
And he is worthy: 'Would he were in Heaven
But that hereafter. Crates, help me now,
And henceforth be at ease.
Your will, my lord?
Beliza is to marry him forthwith
I long to have the first touch of her too
That will a little quiet me.
Fy, Sir!
You'll be the tyrant to Virginity
To fall but once is manly, to persever
Beastly, and desperate.
Cross me not, but do't:
Are not the means, the place, the instruments,
The very same? I must expect you suddenly.
I must obey you.—
Who is in evil once a companion,
Can hardly shake him off, but must run on.
Here I appointed Conon to attend,
Him, and his sword; he promised to come single.
To avoid prevention: He's a man on's word.

Enter CONON and Page.

You are well met, Crates.
If we part so, Conon.
Come, we must do these mutual offices;
We must be our own seconds, our own surgeons,
And fairly fight, like men, not on advantage.
You have an honest bosom.
Yours seems so.
Let's pair our swords: You're a just gentleman.
You might be so. Now shake hands, if you please;
Though it be the cudgel fashion, 'tis a friendly one.
So; standoff.
That's my cue to beckon 'em.
Crates, to expostulate your wrongs to me
Were to doubt of 'em, or wish your excuse
In words, and so return like maiden knights;
Yet freely thus much I profess; your spleen
And rugged carriage toward your honour'd brother
Hath much more stirr'd me up, than mine own cause;
For I did ne'er affect these bloody men,
But hold 'em fitter be made public hangmen,
Or butchers call'd than valiant gentlemen.
'Tis true, stamp'd valour does upon just grounds;
Yet for whom justlier should I expose my life
Than him, unto whose virtue I owe all?
Conon, you think by this great deed of yours
To insinuate yourself a lodging nearer
Unto my brother's heart: Such men as you
Live on their undertakings for their lords,
And more disable them by answering for 'em,
Than if they sat still; make 'em but their whores,
For which end gallants now-a-days do fight.
But here we come not to upbraid; what men
Seem, the rash world will judge; but what they are,
Heaven knows: And this—Horses? we are descried:
One stroke, for fear of laughter.


Half a score.
[They fight.
Hold, hold! on your allegiance hold!
He that strikes next——
Falls like a traitor on our swords.
Oh, Heaven, my brother bleeds!—Conon, thou art
A villain, an unthankful man, and shalt
Pay me thy blood for his, for his is mine!
Thou wert my friend, but he is still my brother;
And though a friend sometimes be nearer said,
In some gradation, it can never be,
Where that same brother can be made a friend;
Which, dearest Crates, thus low I implore:
What in my poverty I would not seek,
Because I would not burden you, now here
In all my height of bliss I beg of you,
Your friendship; my advancement, sir, is yours
I never held it strange; pray use it so.
We are but two, which number Nature fram'd
In the most useful faculties of man,
To strengthen mutually and relieve each other:
Two eyes, two ears, two arms, two legs and feet,
That where one faii'd, the other might supply;
And I, your other eye, ear, your arm and leg,
Tender my service, help, and succour to you.
Agenor, Leonidas.
A most divine example!
For, dear brother,
You have been blind, and lame, and deaf to me:
Now be no more so: In humility
I give you the duty of a younger brother,
Which take you as a brother, not a father,
And then you'll pay a duty back to me.
Till now I have not wept these thirty years.
Discording brothers are like mutual legs,
Supplanting one another; he that seeks
Aid from a stranger, and forsakes his brother,
Does but like him that madly lops his arm,
And to his body joins a wooden one;
Cuts off his natural leg, and trusts a crutch;
Plucks out his eye to see with spectacles.
Most dear Euphanes, in this crimson flood
Wash my unkindness out; you have o'ercome me,
Taught me humanity and brotherhood:
Full well knew Nature thou wert fitter far
To be a ruler o'er me than a brother,
Which henceforth be! Jove surely did descend,
When thou wert gotten, in some heavenly shape,
And greet my mother, as the poets tell
Of other women.
Be this holiday!
And noted ever with the whitest stone!
And pardon me, my lord! Look you, I bleed
Faster than Crates. What I have done, I did
To reconcile your loves, to both a friend;
Which my blood cement, never to part or end!
Most worthy Conon!
Happy rise; this day
Contracts more good than a whole age hath done.
Royal Agenor, brave Leonidas,
You are main causes, and must share the fame.
Which, in some part, this hour shall requite,
For I have aim'd my black shafts at white marks,
And now I'll put the clue into your hands,
Shall guide you most perspicuously to the depth
Of this dark labyrinth, where so long you were lost
Touching this old rape, and a new intent,
Wherein your counsel, and your active wit,
My dearest brother, will be necessary.
My prophecy is come; prove my hopes true,
Agenor shall have right, and you no wrong.
Time now will pluck her daughter from her cave.
Let's hence, to prevent rumour. My dear brother,
Nature's divided streams the highest shelf
Will over-run at last, and flow to itself.