Act 4, Scene IV

Scene: Another Room in the House of Venturewell.

Enter Luce.

If there be any punishment inflicted
Upon the miserable, more than yet I feel,
Let it together seize me, and at once
Press down my soul! I cannot bear the pain
Of these delaying tortures.—Thou that art
The end of all, and the sweet rest of all,
Come, come, oh, Death! bring me to thy peace,
And blot out all the memory I nourish
Both of my father and my cruel friend!—
Oh, wretched maid, still living to be wretched,
To be a say to Fortune in her changes,
And grow to number times and woes together!
How happy had I been, if, being born,
My grave had been my cradle!

Enter Servant.

By your leave,
Young mistress; here's a boy hath brought a coffin:
What 'a would say, I know not; but your father
Charged me to give you notice. Here they come.

Enter Boy, and two Men bearing a Coffin.

For me I hope 'tis come, and 'tis most welcome.
Fair mistress, let me not add greater grief
To that great store you have already. Jasper
(That whilst he lived was yours, now dead
And here enclosed) commanded me to bring
His body hither, and to crave a tear
From those fair eyes (though lie deserved not pity),
To deck his funeral; for so he bid me
Tell her for whom he died.
He shall have many.—
Good friends, depart a little, whilst I take
My leave of this dead man, that once I loved.
[Exeunt Boy and Men.
Hold yet a little, life! and then I give thee
To thy first heavenly being. Oh, my friend!
Hast thou deceived me thus, and got before me?
I shall not long be after. But, believe me,
Thou wert too cruel, Jasper, 'gainst thyself,
In punishing the fault I could have pardoned,
With so untimely death: thou didst not wrong me,
But ever wert most kind, most true, most loving;
And I the most unkind, most false, most cruel!
Didst thou but ask a tear? I'll give thee all,
Even all my eyes can pour down, all my sighs,
And all myself, before thou goest from me:
These are but sparing rites; but if thy soul
Be yet about this place, and can behold
And see what I prepare to deck thee with,
It shall go up, bome on the wings of peace,
And satisfied. First will I sing thy dirge,
Then kiss thy pale lips, and then die myself,
And fill one coflin and one grave together.
Come, you whose loves are dead,
  And, whiles I sing,
  Weep, and wring
Every hand, and every head
Bind with cypress and sad yew;
Ribands black and candies blue
For him that was of men most true!
Come with heavy moaning,
  And on his grave
  Let him have
Sacrifice of sighs and groaning;
Let him have fair flowers enow,
White and purple, green and yellow,
For him that was of men most true!

Thou sable cloth, sad cover of my joys,
I lift thee up, and thus I meet with death.
[Removes the Cloth, and Jasper rises out of the Coffin.
And thus you meet the living.
Save me, Heaven!
Nay, do not fly me, fair; I am no spirit:
Look better on me; do you know me yet?
Oh, thou dear shadow of my friend!
Dear substance;
I swear I am no shadow; feel my hand,
It is the same it was; I am your Jasper,
Your Jasper that's yet living, and yet loving.
Pardon my rash attempt, my foolish proof
I put in practice of your constancy;
For sooner should my sword have drunk my blood,
And set my soul at liberty, than drawn
The least drop from that body: for which boldness
Doom me to anything; if death, I take it,
And willingly.
This death I'll give you for it;
[Kisses him.
So, now I am satisfied you are no spirit,
But my own truest, truest, truest friend:
Why do you come thus to me?
First, to see you;
Then to convey you hence.
It cannot be;
For I am locked up here, and watched at all hours,
That 'tis impossible for me to scape.
Nothing more possible. Within this coffin
Do you convey yourself: let me alone,
I have the wits of twenty men about me;
Only I crave the shelter of your closet
A little, and then fear me not. Creep in,
That they may presently convey you hence:
Fear nothing, dearest love; I'll be your second;
[Luce lies down in the Coffin, and Jasper covers her with the cloth.
Lie close: so; all goes well yet.—Boy!

Re-enter Boy and Men.

At hand, sir.
Convey away the coffin, and be wary.
'Tis done already.
[Exeunt Men with the Coffin.
Now must I go conjure.
[Exit into a Closet.


Boy, boy!
Your servant, sir.
Do me this kindness, boy; (hold, here's a crown;)
Before thou bury the body of this fellow,
Carry it to his old merry father, and salute him
From me, and bid him sing; he hath cause.
I will, sir.
And then bring me word what tune he is in,
And have another crown; but do it truly.
I have fitted him a bargain now will vex him.
God bless your worship's health, sir!
Farewell, boy!
[Exeunt severally.