Act 3, Scene I

Scene: Waltham Forest.

Enter JASPER and LUCE.

Jasper.
Come, my dear dear; though we have lost our way
We have not lost ourselves. Are you not weary
With this night's wandering, broken from your rest,
And frighted with the terror that attends
The darkness of this wild unpeopled place?
Luce.    
No, my best friend; I cannot either fear,
Or entertain a weary thought, whilst you
(The end of all my full desires) stand by me:
Let them that lose their hopes, and live to languish
Amongst the number of forsaken lovers,
Tell the long weary steps, and number time,
Start at a shadow, and shrink up their blood,
Whilst I (possessed with all content and quiet)
Thus take my pretty love, and thus embrace him.
Jasper.
You have caught me, Luce, so fast, that, whilst I live,
I shall become your faithful prisoner,
And wear these chains for ever. Come, sit down,
And rest your body, too, too delicate
For these disturbances.—[They sit down.] So: will you sleep ?
Come, do not be more able than you are;
I know you are not skilful in these watches,
For women are no soldiers: be not nice,
But take it; sleep, I say.
Luce.    
I cannot sleep;
Indeed, I cannot, friend.
Jasper.
Why, then, we'll sing,
And try how that will work upon our senses.
Luce.    
I'll sing or say, or any thing but sleep.
Jasper.
Come, little mermaid, rob me of my heart
With that enchanting voice.
Luce.    
You mock me, Jasper.
[They sing.
Jasper.
Tell me, dearest, what is love?
Luce.    
'Tis a lightning from above;
'Tis an arrow, 'tis a fire,
'Tis a boy they call Desire;
  'Tis a smile
  Doth beguile
Jasper.
The poor hearts of men that prove.
Tell me more, are women true?
Luce.    
Some love change, and so do you.
Jasper.
  Are they fair and never kind?
Luce.    
  Yes, when men turn with the wind.
Jasper.
    Are they froward?
Luce.    
    Ever toward
Those that love, to love anew.
Jasper.
Dissemble it no more; I see the god
Of heavy sleep lay on his heavy mace
Upon your eyelids.
Luce.    
I am very heavy.
[Sleeps.
Jasper.
Sleep, sleep; and quiet rest crown thy sweet thoughts!
Keep from her fair blood distempers, starlings,
Horrors, and fearful shapes! let all her dreams
Be joys, and chaste delights, embraces, wishes,
And such new pleasures as the ravished soul
Gives to the senses!—So; my charms have took.—
Keep her, you powers divine, whilst I contemplate
Upon the wealth and beauty of her mind!
She is only fair and constant, only kind,
And only to thee, Jasper. Oh, my joys!
Whither will you transport me? let not fulness
Of my poor buried hopes come up together
And overcharge my spirits! I am weak.
Some say (however ill) the sea and women
Are governed by the moon; both ebb and flow,
Both full of changes; yet to them that know,
And truly judge, these but opinions are,
And heresies, to bring on pleasing war
Between our tempers, that without these were
Both void of after-love and present fear,
Which are the best of Cupid. Oh, thou child
Bred from despair, I dare not entertain thee,
Having a love without the faults of women,
And greater in her perfect goods than men!
Which to make good, and please myself the stronger,
Though certainly I am certain of her love,
I'll try her, that the world and memory
May sing to after-times her constancy.—
[Draws his sword.
Luce! Luce! awake!
Luce.    
Why do you fright me, friend,
With those distempered looks? what makes your sword
Drawn in your hand? who hath offended you?
I prithee, Jasper, sleep; thou art wild with watching.
Jasper.
Come, make your way to Heaven, and bid the world,
With all the villanies that stick upon it,
Farewell; you're for another life.
Luce.    
Oh, jasper,
How have my tender years committed evil,
Especially against the man I love,
Thus to be cropped untimely?
Jasper.
Foolish girl,
Canst thou imagine I could love his daughter
That flung me from my fortune into nothing?
Dischargèd me his service, shut the doors
Upon my poverty, and scorned my prayers,
Sending me, like a boat without a mast,
To sink or swim? Come; by this hand you die;
I must have life and blood, to satisfy
Your father's wrongs.
[Wife.    
Away, George, away! raise the watch at Ludgate, and bring a mittimus from the justice for this desperate villain!—Now, I charge you, gentlemen, see the king's peace kept!—Oh, my heart, what a varlet's this, to offer manslaughter upon the harmless gentlewoman!
Citizen.
I warrant thee, sweetheart, we'll have him hampered.]
Luce.    
Oh, Jasper, be not cruel!
If thou wilt kill me, smile, and do it quickly,
And let not many deaths appear before me;
I am a woman, made of fear and love,
A weak, weak woman; kill not with thy eyes,
They shoot me through and through: strike, I am ready;
And, dying, still I love thee.

Enter VENTUREWELL, HUMPHREY, and Attendants.

Venturewell.
Whereabouts?
Jasper.
No more of this; now to myself again.
[Aside.
Humphrey.
There, there he stands, with sword, like martial knight,
Drawn in his hand; therefore beware the fight,
You that be wise; for, were I good Sir Bevis
I would not stay his coming, by your leavès.
Venturewell.
Sirrah, restore my daughter!
Jasper.
Sirrah, no.
Venturewell.
Upon him, then!
[They attack Jasper, and force Luce from him.
[Wife.    
So; down with him, down with him, down with him! cut him i' the leg, boys, cut him i' the leg!]
Venturewell.
Come your ways, minion: I'll provide a cage
For you, you're grown so tame.—Horse her away.
Humphrey.
Truly, I'm glad your forces have the day.
[Exeunt all except Jasper.
Jasper.
They are gone, and I am hurt; my love is lost,
Never to get again. Oh, me unhappy!
Bleed, bleed and die! I cannot. Oh, my folly,
Thou hast betrayed me! Hope, where art thou fled?
Tell me, if thou be'st anywhere remaining,
Shall I but see my love again? Oh, no!
She will not deign to look upon her butcher,
Nor is it fit she should; yet I must venture.
Oh, Chance, or Fortune, or whate'er thou art,
That men adore for powerful, hear my cry,
And let me loving live, or losing die!
[Exit.
[Wife.    
Is 'a gone, George?
Citizen.
Ay, cony.
Wife.    
Marry, and let him go, sweetheart. By the faith o' my body, 'a has put me into such a fright, that I tremble (as they say) as 'twere an aspen-leaf. Look o' my little finger, George, how it shakes. Now, in truth, every member of my body is the worse for't.
Citizen.
Come, hug in mine arms, sweet mouse; he shall not fright thee any more. Alas, mine own dear heart, how it quivers!]