Act 2, Scene I

Scene: A Room in the House of the Prohetess.


Leave us, and not vouchsafe a parting kiss
To her, that in his hopes of greatness lives,
And goes along with him in all his dangers?
I grant 'twas most inhuman.
Oh, you give it
Too mild a name! 'twas more than barbarous!
And you a partner in it.
I, Drusilla?
Yes; you have blown his swoln pride to that vastness,
As he believes the earth is in his fathom:
This makes him quite forget his humble being:
And can I hope that he, that only fed
With the imagined food of future empire,
Disdains even those that gave him means, and life,
To nourish such desires, when he's possess'd
Of his ambitious ends (which must fall on him,
Or your predictions are false) will ever
Descend to look on me?
Were his intents
Perfidious as the seas or winds; his heart
Composed of falsehood; yet the benefit,
The greatness of the good he has from you,
(For what I have conferr'd is thine, Drusilla)
Must make him firm and thankful: But if all
Remembrance of the debts he stands engaged for,
Find a quick grave in his ingratitude,
My powerful art, that guides him to this height,
Shall make him curse the hour he e'er was raised,
Or sink him to the centre.
I had rather
Your art could force him to return that ardour
To me, I bear to him; or give me power
To moderate my passions: Yet I know not;
I should repent your grant, though you had sign'd it
(So well I find he's worthy of all service.)
But to believe that any check to him
In his main hopes, could yield content to me,
Were treason to true love, that knows no pleasure,
The object that it dotes on ill affected!
Pretty simplicity! I love thee for't,
And will not sit an idle looker-on,
And see it cozen'd. Dry thy innocent eyes,
And cast off jealous fears, (yet promises
Are but lip-comforts) and but fancy aught
That's possible in nature, or in art,
That may advance thy comfort, and be bold
To tell thy soul 'tis thine; therefore speak freely.
You new-create me! To conceal from you
My virgin fondness, were to hide my sickness
From my physician. Oh, dear aunt, I languish
For want of Diocles' sight. He is the sun
That keeps my blood in a perpetual spring;
But, in his absence, cold benumbing winter
Seizes on all my faculties. Would you bind me
(That am your slave already) in more fetters,
And, in the place of service, to adore you?
Oh, bear me then (but 'tis impossible,
I fear, to be effected) where I may
See how my Diocles breaks through his dangers,
And in what heaps his honours flow upon him,
That I may meet him in the height and pride
Of all his glories, and there (as your gift)
Challenge him as mine own.
Enjoy thy wishes:
This is an easy boon, which, at thy years,
I could have given to any; but now grown
Perfect in all the hidden mysteries
Of that inimitable art, which makes us
Equal even to the gods, and nature's wonders,
It shall be done as fits my skill and glory:
To break through bolts arid locks, a scholar's prize
For thieves and pick-locks! to pass through an army
Cover'd with night, or some disguise, the practice
Of poor and needy spies! No, my Drusilla,
From Ceres I will force her winged dragons,
And in the air hang over the tribunal,
The music of the spheres attending on us.
There, as his good star, thou shalt shine upon him,
If he prove true, and as his angel guard him
But if he dare be false, I, in a moment,
Will put that glorious light out, with such horror
As if the eternal night had seized the sun,
Or all things were return'd to the first chaos,
And then appear like furies.
I will do
Whate'er you shall command.
Rest then assured,
I am the mistress of my art, and fear not.
[Soft music. Exeunt.