Act 5, Scene II
Scene: Before the Palace.
Enter EUPHANES, AGENOR, LEONIDAS, and CONON.
- Only make haste, my lords; in all things else
You are instructed: You may draw your swords
For show, if you think good, but on my life
You will find no resistance in his servants,
And he's himself unarm'd.
- I would he were not;
My just rage should not then be lost.
- Good sir,
Have you a care no injury be done
Unto the person of the prince; but, Conon,
Have you an eye on both; it is your trust
That I rely on.
- Which I will discharge,
Assure yourself, most faithfully.
- For the lady,
I know your best respect will not be wanting:
Then, to avoid suspicion and discovery,
I hold it requisite, that as soon, as ever
The Queen hath seen her, she forsake the place,
And fit herself for that which is projected
For her good and your honour.
- If this prosper,
Believe it you have made a purchase of
My service and my life.
- Your love I aim at.
- Here I shall find you?
- With the Queen.
- Enough, sir.
- The Queen enquires for you, my lord; I have met
A dozen messengers in search of you.
Enter QUEEN, Ladies, and Attendants.
- I knew I should be sought for. As I wish'd,
She's come herself in person.
- Are you found, sir?
I wonder where you spend your hours; methinks
Since I so love your company, and profess
'Tis the best comfort this life yields me, mine
Should not be tedious to you.
- Gracious madam,
To have the happiness to see and hear you,
Which by your bounty is conferr'd upon me,
I hold so great a blessing, that my honours
And wealth, compared to that, are but as cyphers
To make that number greater; yet your pardon
For borrowing from my duty so much time,
As the provision for my sudden marriage
Exacted from me.
- I perceive this marriage
Will keep you often from me; but I'll bear it.
She's a good lady, and a fair, Euphanes:
Yet, by her leave, I will share with her in you;
I am pleased that in the night she shall enjoy you,
And that's sufficient for a wife; the day-time
I will divorce you from her.
- [Within.] We will force you.
If you resist.
- What noise is that?
- [Within.] Base traitors!
- It moves this way.
Enter AGENOR, LEONIDAS with THEANOR, MERIONE disguised like BELIZA, CONON, CRATES, NEANTHES, SOSICLES, ERATON, and Guard.
- Whate'er it be, I'll meet it;
I was not born to fear.Who's that? Beliza?
- My worthiest, noblest mistress!
- Stay her! ha?
All of you look as you were rooted here,
And wanted motion: What new Gorgon's head
Have you beheld, that you are all turn'd statues?
This is prodigious! has none a tongue
To speak the cause?
- Could every hair, great queen,
Upon my head, yield an articulate sound,
And all together speak, they could not yet
Express the villainy we have discovered:
And yet, when with a few unwilling words
I have deliver'd what must needs be known,
You'll say I am too eloquent, and wish
I had been born without a tongue.
- Speak boldly;
For I, unmoved with any loss, will hear,
- Then know, we have found out the ravisher
Of my poor sister, and the place and means
By which the unfortunate, though fair Beliza,
Hath met a second violence.
- This confirms
What but before I doubted to my ruin.
My lady ravish'd?
- Point me out the villain,
That guilty wretched monster, that hath done this,
That I may look on him; and in mine eye
He read his sentence.
- That I truly could
Name any other but the prince! that heard,
You have it all.
- Wonder not that I shake;
The miracle is greater that I live,
Having endured the thunder that thy words
Have thrown upon me !Darest thou kneel with hope
Of any favour, but a speedy death,
And that too in the dreadfull'st shape that can
Appear to a despairing leprous soul,
If thou bast any? No, libidinous beast,
Thy lust hath alter'd so thy former being,
By Heaven I know thee not!
- Although unworthy,
Yet still I am your son.
- Thou liest, liest falsely
My whole life never knew but one chaste bed,
Nor ne'er desir'd warmth but from lawful fires;
Can I be then the mother to a goat,
Whose lust is more insatiate than the grave,
And like infectious air engenders plagues,
To murder all that's chaste or good in woman?
The gods I from my youth have served and fear'd,
Whose holy temples thou bast made thy brothels;
Could a religious mother then bring forth
So damn'd an atheist? Read but o'er my life,
My actions, manners; and, made perfect in them,
But look into the story of thyself
As thou art now, (not as thou wert, Theanor)
And reason will compel thee to confess,
Thou art a stranger to me.
- Note but how heavy
The weight of guilt is! it so low hath sunk him,
That he wants power to rise up in defence
Of his bad cause.
- Persuade me not, Euphanes
This is no prince! nor can claim part in me
My son was born a freeman, this, a slave
To beastly passions, a fugitive
And run-away from virtue. Bring bonds for him!
By all the honour that I owe to justice,
He loses me for ever that seeks to save him:
Bind him, I say; and like a wretch that knows
He stands ccndern n'd before he hears the sentence,
With his base agents, from my sight remove him,
And lodge them in the dungeon! as a queen
And patroness to justice, I command it.
Thy tears are like unseasonable showers,
And in my heart now steel'd can make no entrance;
Thou art cruel to thyself, fool, 'tis not want
In me of soft compassion; when thou left'st
To be a son, I ceased to be a mother.
Away with them! The children I will leave
To keep my name to all posterities,
Shall be the great examples of my justice,
The government of my country, which shall witness
How well I ruled myself. Bid the wrong'd ladies
Appear in court to-morrow; we will hear them;
And by one act of our severitv,
For fear of punishment, or love, to virtue,
Teach others to be honest: All will shuin
To tempt her laws, that would not spare her son.