Act 3, Scene I

Scene: Antechamber to Evadne's Bedroom in the Palace.

Enter CLEON, STRATO, and DIPHILUS.

Cleon.
Your sister is not up yet.
Diphilus.
Oh, brides must take their morning's rest; the night is troublesome.
Strato.
But not tedious.
Diphilus.
What odds, he has not my sister's maidenhead to-night?
Strato.
No; it's odds, against any bridegroom living, he ne'er gets it while he lives.
Diphilus.
You're merry with my sister; you'll please to allow me the same freedom with your mother.
Strato.
She's at your service.
Diphilus.
Then she's merry enough of herself; she needs no tickling. Knock at the door.
Strato.
We shall interrupt them.
Diphilus.
No matter; they have the year before them.—Good-morrow, sister! Spare yourself to-day; the night will come again.

Enter AMINTOR.

Amintor.
Who's there? my brother! I'm no readier yet.
Your sister is but now up.
Diphilus.
You look as you had lost your eyes to-night:
I think you have not slept.
Amintor.
I'faith I have not.
Diphilus.
You have done better, then.
Amintor.
We ventured for a boy: When he is twelve,
He shall command against the foes of Rhodes.
Shall we be merry?
Strato.
You cannot; you want sleep.
Amintor.
'Tis true.—But she,
[Aside.
As if she had drank Lethe, or had made
Even with Heaven, did fetch so still a sleep,
So sweet and sound——
Diphilus.
What's that?
Amintor.
Your sister frets
This morning; and does turn her eyes upon me,
As people on their headsman. She does chafe,
And kiss, and chafe again, and clap my cheeks;
She's in another world.
Diphilus.
Then I had lost: I was about to lay
You had not got her maidenhead to-night.
Amintor.
Ha! he does not mock me? [Aside.]—You had lost, indeed;
I do not use to bungle.
Cleon.
You do deserve her.
Amintor.
I laid my lips to hers, and that wild breath,
That was so rude and rough to me last night,
Was sweet as April.—I'll be guilty too,
If these be the effects.
[Aside.

Enter MELANTIUS.

Melantius.
Good day, Amintor! for, to me, the name
Of brother is too distant: We are friends.
And that is nearer.
Amintor.
Dear Melantius!
Let me behold thee. Is it possible?
Melantius.
What sudden gaze is this?
Amintor.
'Tis wond'rous strange!
Melantius.
Why does thine eye desire so strict a view
Of that it knows so well? There's nothing here
That is not thine.
Amintor.
I wonder, much, Melantius,
To see those noble looks, that make me think
How virtuous thou art: And, on the sudden,
'Tis strange to me thou shouldst have worth and honour;
Or not be base, and false, and treacherous,
And every ill. But——
Melantius.
Stay, stay, my friend;
I fear this sound will not become our loves.
No more; embrace me.
Amintor.
Oh, mistake me not:
I know thee to be full of all those deeds
That we frail men call good; but, by the course
Of nature, thou shouldst be as quickly changed
As are the winds; dissembling as the sea,
That now wears brows as smooth as virgins' be,
Tempting the merchant to invade his face,
And in an hour calls his billows up,
And shoots 'em at the sun, destroying all
He carries on him.—Oh, how near am I
To utter my sick thoughts!
[Aside.
Melantius.
But why, my friend, should I be so by nature?
Amintor.
I have wed thy sister, who hath virtuous thoughts
Enough for one whole family; and, 'tis strange
That you should feel no want.
Melantius.
Believe me, this compliment's too cunning for me.
Diphilus.
What should I be then, by the course of nature,
They having both robb'd me of so much virtue?
Strato.
Oh, call the bride, my lord Amintor,
That we may see her blush, and turn her eyes down:
'Tis the prettiest sport!
Amintor.
Evadne!
Evadne.
[within.] My lord!
Amintor.
Come forth, my love!
Your brothers do attend to wish you joy.
Evadne.
I am not ready yet.
Amintor.
Enough, enough.
Evadne.
They'll mock me.
Amintor.
'Faith, thou shalt come in.

Enter EVADNE.

Melantius.
Good-morrow, sister! He that understands
Whom you have wed, need not to wish you joy;
You have enough: Take heed you be not proud.
Diphilus.
Oh, sister, what have you done?
Evadne.
I done! why, what have I done?
Strato.
My lord Amintor swears you are no maid now.
Evadne.
Pish!
Strato.
I'faith, he does.
Evadne.
I knew I should be mock'd.
Diphilus.
With a truth.
Evadne.
If 'twere to do again,
In faith, I would not marry,
Amintor.
Nor I, by heaven!
[Aside.
Diphilus.
Sister, Dula swears
She heard you cry two rooms off.
Evadne.
Fie, how you talk!
Diphilus.
Let's see you walk, Evadne. By my troth,
You are spoil'd.
Melantius.
Amintor!
Amintor.
Ha?
Melantius.
Thou art sad.
Amintor.
Who, I? I thank you for that.
Shall Diphilus, thou, and I, sing a catch?
Melantius.
How!
Amintor.
Pr'ythee, let's.
Melantius.
Nay, that's too much the other way.
Amintor.
I am so lightened with my happiness!
How dost thou, love? kiss me.
Evadne.
I cannot love you, you tell tales of me.
Amintor.
Nothing but what becomes us.—Gentlemen,
'Would you had all such wives, and all the world,
That I might be no wonder! You are all sad:
What, do you envy me? I walk, methinks,
On water, and ne'er sink, I am so light.
Melantius.
'Tis well you are so.
Amintor.
Well? how can I be other,
When she looks thus?—Is there no music there?
Let's dance.
Melantius.
Why, this is strange, Amintor!
Amintor.
I do not know myself; yet I could wish
My joy were less.
Diphilus.
I'll marry too, if it will make one thus.
Evadne.
Amintor, hark.
[Aside.
Amintor.
What says my love?—I must obey.
Evadne.
You do it scurvily, 'twill be perceived.
[Apart to him.
Cleon.
My lord, the king is here.

Enter KING and LYSIPPUS.

Amintor.
Where?
Strato.
And his brother.
King.
Good morrow, all!—
Amintor, joy on joy fall thick upon thee!
And, madam, you are alter'd since I saw you;
I must salute you; you are now another's.
How liked you your night's rest?
Evadne.
Ill, sir.
Amintor.
Ay, 'deed,
She took but little.
Lysippus.
You'll let her take more,
And thank her too, shortly.
King.
Amintor, wert
Thou truly honest till thou wert married.
Amintor.
Yes, sir.
King.
Tell me, then, how shows the sport unto thee?
Amintor.
Why, well.
King.
What did you do?
Amintor.
No more, nor less, than other couples use;
You know what 'tis; it has but a coarse name.
King.
But, pr'ythee, I should think, by her black eye,
And her red check, she should be quick and stirring
In this same business; ha?
Amintor.
I cannot tell;
I ne'er try'd other, sir; but I perceive
She is as quick as you delivered.
King.
Well, you will trust me then, Amintor,
To chuse a wife for you again?
Amintor.
No, never, sir.
King.
Why? like you this so ill?
Amintor.
So well I like her.
For this I bow my knee in thanks to you,
And unto heaven will pay my grateful tribute
Hourly; and do hope we shall draw out
A long contented life together here,
And die both, full of grey hairs, in one day:
For which the thanks are yours. But if the powers
That rule us please to call her first away,
Without pride spoke, this world holds not a wife
Worthy to take her room.
King.
I do not like this.—All forbear the room,
But you, Amintor, and your lady.
[Exeunt all but the King, Amintor, and Evadne.
I have some speech with you, that may concern
Your after living well.
Amintor.
[aside.] He will not tell me that he lies with her?
If he do, something heavenly stay my heart,
For I shall be apt to thrust this arm of mine
To acts unlawful!
King.
You will suffer me to talk with her,
Amintor, and not have a jealous pang?
Amintor.
Sir, I dare trust my wife with whom she dares
To talk, and not be jealous.
[Evadne and the King speak apart.
King.
How do you like
Amintor?
Evadne.
As I did, sir.
King.
How is that?
Evadne.
As one that, to fulfil your will and pleasure,
I have given leave to call me wife and love.
King.
I see there is no lasting faith in sin;
They, that break word with heaven, will break again
With all the world, and so dost thou with me.
Evadne.
How, sir?
King.
This subtle woman's ignorance
Will not excuse you thou hast taken oaths,
So great, methought, they did not well become
A woman's mouth, that thou wouldst ne'er enjoy
A man but me.
Evadne.
I never did swear so;
You do me wrong.
King.
Day and night have heard it.
Evadne.
I swore indeed, that I would never love
A man of lower place; but, if your fortune
Should throw you from this height, I bade you trust
I would forsake you, and would bend to him
That won your throne: I love with my ambition,
Not with my eyes. But, if I ever yet
Touch'd any other, leprosy light here
Upon my face; which for your royalty
I would not stain!
King.
Why, thou dissemblest, and it is
In me to punish thee.
Evadne.
Why, 'tis in me,
Then, not to love you, which will more afflict
Your body than your punishment can mine.
King.
But thou hast let Amintor lie with thee.
Evadne.
I have not.
King.
Impudence! he says himself so.
Evadne.
He lies.
King.
He does not.
Evadne.
By this light he does,
Strangely and basely! and I'll prove it so.
I did not shun him for a night; but told him,
I would never close with him.
King.
Speak lower; 'tis false.
Evadne.
I am no man
To answer with a blow; or, if I were,
You are the king! But urge me not; 'tis most true.
King.
Do not I know the uncontrolled thoughts
That youth brings with him, when his blood is high
With expectation, and desire of that
He long hath waited for? Is not his spirit,
Though he be temperate, of a valiant strain
As this our age hath known? What could he do,
If such a sudden speech had met his blood,
But ruin thee for ever, if he had not kill'd thee?
He could not bear it thus. He is as we,
Or any other wrong'd man.
Evadne.
'Tis dissembling.
King.
Take him! farewell! henceforth I am thy foe;
And what disgraces I can blot thee with look for.
Evadne.
Stay, sir!—Amintor!—You shall hear.—Amintor!
Amintor.
[coming forward.] What, my love?
Evadne.
Amintor, thou hast an ingenuous look,
And shouldst be virtuous: It amazeth me,
That thou canst make such base malicious lies!
Amintor.
What, my dear wife!
Evadne.
Dear wife! I do despise thee.
Why, nothing can be baser than to sow
Dissension amongst lovers.
Amintor.
Lovers! who?
Evadne.
The king and me.
Amintor.
O, God!
Evadne.
Who should live long, and love without distaste,
Were it not for such pickthanks as thyself.
Did you lie with me? Swear now, and be, punish'd
In hell for this!
Amintor.
The faithless sin I made
To fair Aspatia, is not yet revenged;
It follows me.—I will not lose a word
To this vile woman: But to you, my king,
The anguish of my soul thrusts out this truth,
You are a tyrant! And not so much to wrong
An honest man thus, as to take a pride
In talking with him of it.
Evadne.
Now, sir, see
How loud this fellow lied.
Amintor.
You that can know to wrong, should know how men
Must right themselves: What punishment is due
From me to him that shall abuse my bed?
Is it not death? Nor can that satisfy,
Unless I send your limbs through all the land,
To show how nobly I have freed myself.
King.
Draw not thy sword: thou know'st I cannot fear
A subject's hand; but thou shalt feel the weight
Of this, if thou dost rage.
Amintor.
The weight of that!
If you have any worth, for Heaven's sake, think
I fear not swords; for as you are mere man,
I dare as easily kill you for this deed,
As you dare think to do it. But there is
Divinity about you, that strikes dead
My rising passions: As you are my king,
I fall before you, and present my sword
To cut mine own flesh, if it be your will.
Alas! I am nothing but a multitude
Of walking griefs! Yet, should I murder you,
I might before the world take the excuse
Of madness: For, compare my injuries,
And they will well appear too sad a weight
For reason to endure! But, fall I first
Amongst my sorrows, ere my treacherous hand
Touch holy things! But why (I know not what
I have to say) why did you chuse out me
To make thus wretched? There were thousand fools
Easy to work on, and of state enough,
Within the island.
Evadne.
I would not have a fool;
It were no credit for me.
Amintor.
Worse and worse!
Thou, that dar'st talk unto thy husband thus,
Profess thyself a whore, and, more than so,
Resolve to be so still——It is my fate
To bear and bow beneath a thousand griefs,
To keep that little credit with the world!
But there were wise ones too; you might have ta'en
Another.
King.
No; for I believe thee honest,
As thou wert valiant.
Amintor.
All the happiness
Bestowed upon me turns into disgrace.
Gods, take your honesty again, for I
Am loaden with it!—Good my lord the king,
Be private in it.
King.
Thou may'st live, Amintor,
Free as thy king, if thou wilt wink at this,
And be a means that we may meet in secret.
Amintor.
A bawd! Hold, hold, my breast! A bitter curse
Seize me, if I forget not all respects
That are religious, on another word
Sounded like that; and, through a sea of sins,
Will wade to my revenge, though I should call
Pains here, and after life, upon my soul!
King.
Well, I am resolute you lay not with her;
And so I leave you.
[Exit King.
Evadne.
You must needs be prating;
And see what follows.
Amintor.
Pr'ythee, vex me not!
Leave me: I am afraid some sudden start
Will pull a murder on me.
Evadne.
I am gone;
I love my life well.
[Exit Evadne.
Amintor.
I hate mine as much.—
This 'tis to break a troth! I should be glad,
If all this tide of grief would make me mad.
[Exit.