Act 1, Scene II

Scene: A large Hall in the same, with a Gallery full of Spectators.

Enter CALIANAX, with DIAGORAS at the Door.

Diagoras, look to the doors better for shame; you let in all the world, and anon the king will rail at me—why, very well said—by Jove, the king will have the show i' th' court.
Why do you swear so, my lord? You know, he'll have it here.
By this light, if he be wise, he will not.
And if he will not be wise, you are forsworn.
One may wear out his heart with swearing, and get thanks on no side. I'll be gone—look to't who will.
My lord, I shall never keep them out. Pray, stay; your looks will terrify them.
My looks terrify them, you coxcombly ass, you! I'll be judged by all the company whether thou hast not a worse face than I.
I mean, because they know you and your office.
Office! I would I could put it off; I am sure I sweat quite through my office. I might have made room at my daughter's wedding: they have near kill'd her among them; and now I must do service for him that hath forsaken her. Serve that will.
He's so humorous since his daughter was forsaken—Hark, hark! there, there! so, so! Codes, codes! [Knock within.] What now?
Melantius. [within.]
Open the door.
Who's there?
Melantius. [within.]
I hope your lordship brings no troop with you; for, if you do, I must return them.
[Opens the door. Persons endeavour to rush in.

Enter MELANTIUS and a Lady.

None but this lady, sir.
The ladies are all placed above, save those that come in the king's troop: The best of Rhodes sit there, and there's room.
I thank you, sir.—When I have seen you placed, madam, I must attend the king; but, the masque done, I'll wait on you again.
[Exit with the Lady into the gallery.
Stand back there!—Room for my lord Melantius!—pray, bear back—this is no place for such youths and their trulls—let the doors shut again.—No!—do your heads itch? I'll scratch them for you. [shuts the door.]—So, now thrust and hang. [Knocking.] Again! who is't now?—I cannot blame my lord Calianax for going away: 'Would he were here! he would run raging among them, and break a dozen wiser heads than his own, in the twinkling of an eye.—What's the news now?
I pray you, can you help me to the speech of the master-cook?
If I open the door, I'll cook some of your calves-heads. Peace, rogues! [Knocking.]—Again! who is't?
[within.] Melantius.


Let him not in.
O, my lord, I must.—Make room there for my lord.


Is your lady placed?

[To Melantius.
Yes, sir.
I thank you.—My Lord Calianax, well met.
Your causeless hate to me, I hope, is buried.
Yes, I do service for your sister here,
That brings my own poor child to timeless death;
She loves your friend Amintor; such another
False-hearted lord as you.
You do me wrong,
A most unmanly one, and I am slow
In taking vengeance! But be well advised.
It may be so.—Who placed the lady there,
So near the presence of the king?
I did.
My lord, she must not sit there.
The place is kept for women of more worth.
More worth than she? It misbecomes your age
And place, to be thus womanish. Forbear!
What you have spoke, I am content to think
The palsy shook your tongue to.
Why, 'tis well
If I stand here to place men's wenches.
I shall forget this place, thy age, my safety,
And, thorough all, cut that poor sickly week,
Thou hast to live, away from thee.
Nay, I know you can fight for your whore.
Bate the king, and be he flesh and blood,
He lies, that says it! Thy mother at fifteen
Was black and sinful to her.
Good my lord!
Some god pluck threescore years from that fond man,
That I may kill him and not stain mine honour.
It is the curse of soldiers, that in peace
They shall be braved by such ignoble men,
As, if the land were troubled, would with tears
And knees beg succour from 'em. 'Would, that blood,
That sea of blood, that I have lost in fight,
Were running in thy veins, that it might make thee
Apt to say less, or able to maintain,
Should'st thou say more! This Rhodes, I see, is nought
But a place privileged to do men wrong.
Ay, you may say your pleasure.


What vile injury
Has stirr'd my worthy friend, who is as slow
To fight with words as he is quick of hand?
That heap of age, which I should reverence
If it were temperate: but testy years
Are most contemptible.
Good sir, forbear.
There is just such another as yourself.
He will wrong you, or me, or any man,
And talk as if he had no life to lose,
Since this our match. The king is coming in:
I would not for more wealth than I enjoy,
He should perceive you raging. He did hear
You were at difference now, which hastened him.
Make room there!
[Hautboys play within.

Enter KING, EVADNE, ASPATIA, Lords, and Ladies.

Melantius, thou art welcome, and my love
Is with thee still: But this is not a place
To brabble in. Calianax, join hands.
He shall not have my hand.
This is no time
To force you to it. I do love you both:
Calianax, you look well to your office;
And you, Melantius, are welcome home.—
Begin the masque!
Sister, I joy to see you, and your choice.
You look'd with my eyes when you took that man:
Be happy in him!
[Recorders play.
O, my dearest brother!
Your presence is more joyful than this day
Can be unto me.


NIGHT rises in mists.

Our reign is come; for in the raging sea
The sun is drown'd, and with him fell the Day.
Bright Cynthia, hear my voice; I am the Night,
For whom thou bear'st about thy borrow'd light.
Appear; no longer thy pale visage shroud,
But strike thy silver horns quite through a cloud
And send a beam upon my swarthy face;
By which I may discover all the place
And persons, and how many longing eyes
Are come to wait on our solemnities.


How dull and black am I! I could not find
This beauty without thee, I am so blind.
Methinks, they show like to those eastern streaks
That warn us hence, before the morning breaks!
Back, my pale servant, for these eyes know how
To shoot far more and quicker rays than thou.

Great queen, they be a troop for whom alone
One of my clearest moons I have put on;
A troop, that looks as if thyself and I
Had pluck'd our reins in, and our whips laid by,
To gaze upon these mortals, that appear
Brighter than we.
Then let us keep 'em here;
And never more our chariots drive away,
But hold our places and outshine the day.
Great queen of shadows, you are pleased to speak
Of more than may be done: We may not break
The gods' decrees; but, when our time is come,
Must drive away, and give the day our room.
Yet, while our reign lasts, let us stretch our power
To give our servants one contented hour,
With such unwonted solemn grace and state,
As may for ever after force them hate
Our brother's glorious beams; and wish the night
Crown'd with a thousand stars, and our cold light:
For almost all the world their service bend
To Phoebus, and in vain my light I lend;
Gazed on unto my setting from my rise
Almost of none, but of unquiet eyes.
Then shine at full, fair queen, and by thy power
Produce a birth, to crown this happy hour,
Of nymphs and shepherds: Let their songs discover,
Easy and sweet, who is a happy lover.
Or, if thou woo't, then call thine own Endymion,
From the sweet flowery bed he lies upon,
On Latmus' top, thy pale beams drawn away,
And of this long night let him make a day.
Thou dream'st, dark queen; that fair boy was not mine,
Nor went I down to kiss him. Ease and wine
Have bred these bold tales: Poets, when they rage,
Turn gods to men, and make an hour an age.
But I will give a greater state and glory,
And raise to time a noble memory
Of what these lovers are. Rise, rise, I say,
Thou power of deeps; thy surges laid away,
Neptune, great king of waters, and by me
Be proud to be commanded.

NEPTUNE rises.

Cynthia, see,
Thy word hath fetch'd me hither: Let me know
Why I ascend?
Doth this majestic show
Give thee no knowledge yet?
Yes, now I see
Something intended, Cynthia, worthy thee.
Go on: I'll be a helper.
Hie thee then,
And charge the wind fly from his rocky den.
Let loose thy subjects; only Boreas,
Too foul for our intention, as he was,
Still keep him fast chain'd: we must have none here
But vernal blasts, and gentle winds appear;
Such as blow flowers, and through the glad boughs sing
Many soft welcomes to the lusty spring:
These are our music. Next, thy watery race
Bring on in couples (we are pleased to grace
This noble night), each in their richest things
Your own deeps, or the broken vessel, brings.
Be prodigal, and I shall be as kind,
And shine at full upon you.
Ho! the wind—
Commanding Æolus!

Enter ÆOLUS out of a Rock.

Great Neptune?
What is thy will?
We do command thee free
Favonius, and thy milder winds, to wait
Upon our Cynthia; but tie Boreas straight;
He's too rebellious.
I shall do it.
[Exit Æolus into the rock and re-enters.
Great master of the flood, and all below,
Thy full command has taken.—Ho! the Main!
Boreas has broke his chain,
And, struggling, with the rest has got away.
Let him alone, I'll take him up at sea;
He will not long be thence. Go once again,
And call out of the bottoms of the main
Blue Proteus, and the rest; charge them put on
Their greatest pearls, and the most sparkling stone
The beaten rock breeds; till this night is done
By me a solemn honour to the moon.
Fly, like a full sail.
I am gone.
Dark Night,
Strike a full silence; do a thorough right
To this great chorus; that our music may
Touch high as Heaven, and make the east break day
At mid-night.


Cynthia, to thy power and thee,
    We obey.
Joy to this great company!
    And no day
Come to steal this night away,
  Till the rites of love are ended;
And the lusty bridegroom say,
  Welcome, light, of all befriended.
Pace out, you watery powers below;
    Let your feet,
Like the gallies when they row,
    Even beat.
Let your unknown measures, set
  To the still winds, tell to all,
That gods are come, immortal, great,
  To honour this great nuptial.

[The Measure by the Sea-gods.


Hold back thy hours, dark Night till we have done:
    The day will come too soon;
Young maids will curse thee if thou steal'st away,
And leav'st their losses open to the day;
    Stay, stay, and hide
    The blushes of the bride!
Stay, gentle Night, and with thy darkness cover
    The kisses of her lover.
Stay, and confound her tears, and her shrill cryings,
Her weak denials, vows, and often dyings;
    Stay, and hide all:
    But help not, though she call.

Great queen of us and Heaven,
Hear what I bring to make this hour a full one,
If not o'ermeasure.
Speak, sea's king.
The tunes my Amphitrite joys to have,
When they will dance upon the rising wave,
And court me as she sails. My Tritons, play
Music to lead a storm; I'll lead the way.


To bed, to bed; come, Hymen, lead the bride,
  And lay her by her husband's side;
    Bring in the virgins every one,
    That grieve to lie alone;
That they may kiss while they may say, a maid;
To-morrow, 'twill be other, kiss'd, and said.
    Hesperus be long a-shining,
    Whilst these lovers are a-twining.

Ho! Neptune!
The sea goes high,
Boreas hath raised a storm: Go and apply
Thy trident; else, I prophesy, ere day
Many a tall ship will be cast away.
Descend with all the gods, and all their power,
To strike a calm.
A thanks to every one, and to gratulate
So great a service, done at my desire,
Ye shall have many floods, fuller and higher
Than you have wished for; no ebb shall dare
To let the day see where your dwellings are.
Now back unto your government in haste,
Lest your proud charge should swell above the waste,
And win upon the island.
We obey.
[Neptune descends, and the Sea-gods.
Hold up thy head, dead Night; see'st thou not Day?
The cast begins to lighten: I must down,
And give my brother place.
Oh, I could frown
To see the Day, the Day that flings his light
Upon my kingdom, and contemns old Night!
Let him go on and flame! I hope to see
Another wild-fire in his axletree;
And all fall drench'd. But I forgot; speak, queen,
The day grows on; I must no more be seen.
Heave up thy drowsy head again, and see
A greater light, a greater majesty,
Between our set and us! Whip up thy team!
The day-break's here, and yon sun-flaring beam
Shot from the south. Say, which way wilt thou go?
I'll vanish into mists.
I into day.


Take lights there!—Ladies, get the bride to bed.—
We will not see you laid. Good-night, Amintor;
We'll ease you of that tedious ceremony.
Were it my case, I should think time run slow.
If thou be'st noble, youth, get me a boy,
That may defend my kingdom from my foes.
All happiness to you.
Good night, Melantius.