Act 2, Scene II

Scene: An Apartment in the Citadel.

Enter ASPATIA, ANTIPHILA, and OLYMPIAS.

Aspatia.
Away, you are not sad; force it no further.
Good Gods, how well you look! Such a full colour
Young bashful brides put on. Sure, you are new married!
Antiphila.
Yes, madam, to your grief.
Aspatia.
Alas, poor wenches!
Go learn to love first; learn to lose yourselves;
Learn to be flatter'd, and believe, and bless
The double tongue that did it. Make a faith
Out of the miracles of ancient lovers,
Such as speak truth, and died in't, and, like me,
Believe all faithful, and be miserable.
Did you ne'er love yet, wenches? Speak, Olympias;
Thou hast an easy temper, fit for stamp.
Olympias.
Never.
Aspatia.
Nor you, Antiphila?
Amintor.
Nor I.
Aspatia.
Then, my good girls, be more than women, wise:
At least be more than I was; and be sure
You credit anything the light gives light to,
Before a man. Rather believe the sea
Weeps for the ruin'd merchant, when he roars;
Rather, the wind courts but the pregnant sails,
When the strong cordage cracks; rather, the sun
Comes but to kiss the fruit in wealthy autumn,
When all falls blasted. If you needs must love,
(Forced by ill fate) take to your maiden bosoms
Two dead-cold aspicks, and of them make lovers:
They cannot flatter, nor forswear; one kiss
Makes a long peace for all. But man,
Oh, that beast man! Come, let's be sad, my girls!
That down-cast of thine eye, Olympias,
Shows a fine sorrow. Mark, Antiphila;
Just such another was the nymph Œnone,
When Paris brought home Helen. Now, a tear;
And then thou art a piece expressing fully
The Carthage queen, when, from a cold sea-rock,
Full with her sorrow, she tied fast her eyes
To the fair Trojan ships; and, having lost them,
Just as thine eyes do, down stole a tear. Antiphila,
What would this wench do, if she were Aspatia?
Here she would stand, till some more pitying god
Turn'd her to marble! 'Tis enough, my wench!
Show me the piece of needlework you wrought.
Antiphila.
Of Ariadne, madam?
Aspatia.
Yes, that piece.—
This should be Theseus; he has a cozening face:
You meant him for a man?
Antiphila.
He was so, madam.
Aspatia.
Why, then, 'tis well enough. Never look back:
You have a full wind, and a false heart, Theseus!
Does not the story say, his keel was split,
Or his masts spent, or some kind rock or other
Met with his vessel?
Antiphila.
Not as I remember.
Aspatia.
It should have been so. Could the gods know this,
And not, of all their number, raise a storm?
But they are all as ill! This false smile
Was well express'd; just such another caught me!
You shall not go [on] so, Antiphila:
In this place work a quicksand,
And over it a shallow smiling water,
And his ship ploughing it; and then a Fear:
Do that Fear to the life, wench.
Antiphila.
'Twill wrong the story.
Aspatia.
'Twill make the story, wrong'd by wanton poets,
Live long, and be believed. But where's the lady?
Antiphila.
There, madam.
Aspatia.
Fie! you have miss'd it here, Antiphila;
You are much mistaken, wench:
These colours are not dull and pale enough
To show a soul so full of misery
As this sad lady's was. Do it by me;
Do it again, by me, the lost Aspatia,
And you shall find all true but the wild island.
Suppose I stand upon the sea-beach now,
Mine arms thus, and mine hair blown with the wind,
Wild as that desart; and let all about me
Be teachers of my story. Do my face
(If thou hadst ever feeling of a sorrow)
Thus, thus, Antiphila: Strive to make me look
Like Sorrow's monument! And the trees about me,
Let them be dry and leafless; let the rocks
Groan with continual surges; and, behind me,
Make all a desolation. Look, look, wenches!
A miserable life of this poor picture!
Olympias.
Dear madam!
Aspatia.
I have done. Sit down; and let us
Upon that point fix all our eyes; that point there.
Make a dull silence, till you feel a sudden sadness
Give us new souls.

Enter CALIANAX.

Calianax.
The king may do this, and he may not do it:
My child is wrong'd, disgraced.—Well, how now, huswives!
What, at your ease? Is this a time to sit still?
Up, you young lazy whores, up, or I'll swinge you!
Olympias.
Nay, good my lord.
Calianax.
You'll lie down shortly. Get you in, and work!
What, are you grown so resty you want heats?
We shall have some of the court-boys heat you shortly.
Antiphila.
My lord, we do no more than we are charged.
It is the lady's pleasure we be thus
In grief: she is forsaken.
Calianax.
There's a rogue too!
A young dissembling slave! Well, get you in!
I'll have a bout with that boy. 'Tis high time
Now to be valiant; I confess my youth
Was never prone that way. What, made an ass?
A court-stale? Well, I will be valiant,
And beat some dozen of these whelps; I will!
And there's another of 'em, a trim cheating soldier;
I'll maul that rascal; he has out-braved me twice:
But now, I thank the gods, I am valiant.—
Go, get you in! I'll take a course with all.
[Exeunt.