John Dryden.

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And zealous of your glory, might hope your pardon for it.

_Queen_. I give it you; but,
When you know him better,
You'll alter your opinion; he's no ill friend of yours.

_Phil_. I well perceive,
He has supplanted me in your esteem;
But that's the least of ills this fatal wretch
Has practised - Think, for heaven's sake, madam, think,
If you have drunk no philtre.

_Queen_. Yes, he has given me a philtre;
But I have drunk it only from his eyes.

_Phil_. Hot irons thank 'em for't!
[_Softly, or turning from her_.

_Queen_. What's that you mutter?
Hence from my sight! I know not whether
I ever shall endure to see you more.

_Phil_. But hear me, madam.

_Queen_. I say, begone. - See me no more this day. -
I will not hear one word in your excuse:
Now, sir, be rude again; and give laws to your queen.
[_Exit_ PHILOCLES _bowing_.
Asteria, come hither.
Was ever boldness like to this of Philocles?
Help me to reproach him, for I resolve
Henceforth no more to love him.

_Ast_. Truth is, I wondered at your patience, madam:
Did you not mark his words, his mein, his action,
How full of haughtiness, how small respect?

_Queen_. And he to use me thus, he whom I favoured,
Nay more, he whom I loved?

_Ast_. A man, methinks, of vulgar parts and presence!

_Queen_. Or, allow him something handsome, valiant,
Or so - Yet this to me! -

_Ast_. The workmanship of inconsiderate favour,
The creature of rash love; one of those meteors
Which monarchs raise from earth,
And people, wondering how they came so high,
Fear, from their influence, plagues, and wars, and famine.

_Queen_. Ha!

_Ast_. One, whom, instead of banishing a day,
You should have plumed of all his borrowed honours,
And let him see what abject things they are,
Whom princes often love without desert.

_Queen_. What has my Philocles deserved from thee,
That thou shouldst use him thus?
Were he the basest of mankind, thou couldst not
Have given him ruder language.

_Ast_. Did not your majesty command me?
Did not yourself begin?

_Queen_. I grant I did, but I have right to do it:
I love him, and may rail; in you 'tis malice;
Malice in the most high degree; for never man
Was more deserving than my Philocles.
Or, do you love him, ha! and plead that title?
Confess, and I'll forgive you -
For none can look on him, but needs must love.

_Ast_. I love him, madam! I beseech your majesty,
Have better thoughts of me.

_Queen_. Dost thou not love him then?
Good heaven, how stupid, and how dull is she?
How most invincibly insensible!
No woman does deserve to live,
That loves not Philocles.

_Ast_. Dear madam, recollect yourself; alas!
How much distracted are your thoughts; and how
Disjointed all your words!
The sibyl's leaves more orderly were laid.
Where is that harmony of mind, that prudence,
Which guided all you did? that sense of glory,
Which raised you high above the rest of kings,
As kings are o'er the level of mankind?

_Queen_. Gone, gone, Asteria; all is gone,
Or lost within me, far from any use.
Sometimes I struggle, like the sun in clouds,
But straight I am o'ercast.

_Ast_. I grieve to see it.

_Queen_. Then thou hast yet the goodness
To pardon what I said?
Alas! I use myself much worse than thee.
Love rages in great souls,
For there his power most opposition finds;
High trees are shook, because they dare the winds.
[_Exeunt_.



ACT III.

SCENE I. - _The Court Gallery_.


PHILOCLES _solus_.

'Tis true, she banished me but for a day;
But favourites, once declining, sink apace.
Yet fortune, stop - this is the likeliest place
To meet Asteria, and by her convey
My humble vows to my offended queen.
Ha! She comes herself; unhappy man,
Where shall I hide? - [_Is going out_.

_Enter Queen and_ ASTERIA.

_Queen_. Is not that Philocles,
Who makes such haste away? Philocles, Philocles! -

_Phil_. I feared she saw me. [_Coming back_.

_Queen_. How now, sir, am I such a bugbear,
That I scare people from me?

_Phil_. 'Tis true, I should more carefully have shunned
The place where you might be; as, when it thunders,
Men reverently quit the open air,
Because the angry gods are then abroad.

_Queen_. What does he mean, Asteria?
I do not understand him.

_Ast_. Your majesty forgets, you banished him
Your presence for this day. [_To her softly_.

_Queen_. Ha! banished him! 'tis true indeed;
But, as thou sayest, I had forgot it quite.

_Ast_. That's very strange, scarce half an hour ago.

_Queen_. But love had drawn his pardon up so soon,
That I forgot he e'er offended me.

_Phil_. Pardon me, that I could not thank you sooner;
Your sudden grace, like some swift flood poured in
On narrow banks, o'erflowed my spirits.

_Queen_. No: 'tis for me to ask your pardon, Philocles,
For the great injury I did you,
In not remembering I was angry with you:
But I'll repair my fault,
And rouse my anger up against you yet.

_Phil_. No, madam, my forgiveness was your act of grace,
And I lay hold of it.

_Queen_. Princes sometimes may pass
Acts of oblivion, in their own wrong.

_Phil_. 'Tis true, but not recal them.

_Queen_. But, Philocles, since I have told you there is one
I love, I will go on, and let you know
What passed this day betwixt us; be our judge,
Whether my servant have dealt well with me.

_Phil_. I beseech your majesty, excuse me:
Any thing more of him may make me
Relapse too soon, and forfeit my late pardon.

_Queen_. But you'll be glad to know it.

_Phil_. May I not hope, then,
You have some quarrel to him?

_Queen_. Yes, a great one.
But first to justify myself:
Know, Philocles, I have concealed my passion
With such care from him, that he knows not yet
I love, but only that I much esteem him.

_Phil_. O stupid wretch,
That, by a thousand tokens, could not guess it!

_Queen_. He loves elsewhere, and that has blinded him.

_Phil_. He's blind indeed!
So the dull beasts in the first paradise,
With levelled eyes, gazed each upon their kind;
There fixed their love, and ne'er looked up to view
That glorious creature man, their sovereign lord.

_Queen_. Y'are too severe on little faults; but he
Has crimes, untold,
Which will, I fear, move you much more against him.
He fell this day into a passion with me,
And boldly contradicted all I said.

_Phil_. And stands his head upon his shoulders yet?
How long shall this most insolent -

_Queen_. Take heed you rail not;
You know you are but on your good behaviour.

_Phil_. Why then I will not call him traitor,
But only rude, audacious, and impertinent,
To use his sovereign so - I beg your leave
To wish, you have at least imprisoned him.

_Queen_. Some people may speak ill, and yet mean well:
Remember you were not confined; and yet
Your fault was great. In short, I love him,
And that excuses all; but be not jealous;
His rising shall not be your overthrow,
Nor will I ever marry him.

_Phil_. That's some comfort yet;
He shall not be a king.

_Queen_. He never shall. But you are discomposed;
Stay here a little; I have somewhat for you,
Shall shew, you still are in my favour.

[_Exeunt Queen and_ ASTERIA.

_Enter to him_ CANDIOPE, _weeping_.

_Phil_. How now, in tears, my fair Candiope?
So, through a watry cloud,
The sun, at once, seems both to weep and shine.
For what forefather's sin do you afflict
Those precious eyes? For sure you have
None of your own to weep.

_Cand_. My crimes both great and many needs must shew,
Since heaven will punish them with losing you.

_Phil_. Afflictions, sent from heaven without a cause,
Make bold mankind enquire into its laws.
But heaven, which moulding beauty takes such care,
Makes gentle fates on purpose for the fair:
And destiny, that sees them so divine,
Spins all their fortunes in a silken twine:
No mortal hand so ignorant is found,
To weave coarse work upon a precious ground.

_Cand_. Go preach this doctrine in my mother's ears.

_Phil_. Has her severity produced these tears?

_Cand_. She has recalled those hopes she gave before,
And strictly bids me ne'er to see you more.

_Phil_. Changes in froward age are natural;
Who hopes for constant weather in the fall?
'Tis in your power your duty to transfer,
And place that right in me, which was in her.

_Cand_. Reason, like foreign foes, would ne'er o'ercome,
But that I find I am betrayed at home;
You have a friend, that fights for you within.

_Phil_. Let reason ever lose, so love may win.

_Enter Queen with a picture in her hand, and_ ASTERIA

_Queen_. See there, Asteria,
All we have done succeeds still to the worse;
We hindered him from seeing her at home,
Where I but only heard they loved; and now
She comes to court, and mads me with the sight on't.

_Ast_. Dear madam, overcome yourself a little,
Or they'll perceive how much you are concerned.

_Queen_. I struggle with my heart -
But it will have some vent.
Cousin, you are a stranger at the court. [_To_ CAND.

_Cand_. It was my duty, I confess,
To attend oftner on your majesty.

_Queen_. Asteria, mend my cousin's handkerchief;
It sits too narrow there, and shows too much
The broadness of her shoulders - Nay, fie, Asteria,
Now you put it too much backward, and discover
The bigness of her breasts.

_Cand_. I beseech your majesty,
Give not yourself this trouble.

_Queen_. Sweet cousin, you shall pardon me;
A beauty such as yours
Deserves a more than ordinary care,
To set it out.
Come hither, Philocles, do but observe,
She has but one gross fault in all her shape,
That is, she bears up here too much,
And the malicious workman has left it
Open to your eye.

_Phil_. Where, and please your majesty?
Methinks 'tis very well.

_Queen_. Do not you see it? Oh how blind is love!

_Cand_. And how quick-sighted malice! [_Aside_.

_Queen_. But yet, methinks, those knots of sky do not
So well with the dead colour of her face.

_Ast_. Your majesty mistakes, she wants no red.

[_The Queen here plucks out her glass, and looks
sometimes on herself, sometimes on her rival_.

_Queen_. How do I look to-day, Asteria?
Methinks, not well.

_Ast_. Pardon me, madam, most victoriously.

_Queen_. What think you, Philocles? come, do not
flatter.

_Phil_. Paris was a bold man, who presumed,
To judge the beauty of a goddess.

_Cand_. Your majesty has given the reason why
He cannot judge; his love has blinded him.

_Queen_. Methinks, a long patch here, beneath her eye,
Might hide that dismal hollowness.
What think you, Philocles?

_Cand_. Beseech you, madam, ask not his opinion:
What my faults are it is no matter;
He loves me with them all.

_Queen_. Ay, he may love; but when he marries you,
Your bridal shall be kept in some dark dungeon.
Farewell, and think of that, too easy maid!
I blush, thou sharest my blood.

[_Exeunt Queen and_ ASTERIA.

_Cand_. Inhuman queen!
Thou canst not be more willing to resign
Thy part in me, than I to give up mine.

_Phil_. Love, how few subjects do thy laws fulfil,
And yet those few, like us, thou usest ill!

_Cand_. The greatest slaves, in monarchies, are they,
Whom birth sets nearest to imperial sway;
While jealous power does sullenly o'erspy,
We play, like deer, within the lion's eye.
'Would I for you some shepherdess had been,
And, but each May, ne'er heard the name of queen!

_Phil_. If you were so, might I some monarch be,
Then, you should gain what now you lose by me;
Then, you in all my glories should have part,
And rule my empire, as you rule my heart.

_Cand_. How much our golden wishes are in vain!
When they are past, we are ourselves again.

_Enter Queen and_ ASTERIA _above_.

_Queen_. Look, look, Asteria, yet they are not gone.
Hence we may hear what they discourse alone.

_Phil_. My love inspires me with a generous thought,
Which you, unknowing in those wishes, taught.
Since happiness may out of courts be found,
Why stay we here on this enchanted ground;
And chuse not rather with content to dwell
(If love and joy can find it) in a cell?

_Cand_. Those who, like you, have once in courts been great,
May think they wish, but wish not, to retreat.
They seldom go, but when they cannot stay;
As losing gamesters throw the dice away.
Even in that cell, where you repose would find,
Visions of court will haunt your restless mind;
And glorious dreams stand ready to restore
The pleasing shapes of all you had before.

_Phil_. He, who with your possession once is blest,
On easy terms will part with all the rest.
All my ambition will in you be crowned;
And those white arms shall all my wishes bound.
Our life shall be but one long nuptial day,
And, like chafed odours, melt in sweets away;
Soft as the night our minutes shall be worn,
And chearful as the birds, that wake the morn.

_Cand_. Thus hope misleads itself in pleasant way,
And takes more joys on trust, than love can pay:
But, love with long possession once decayed,
That face, which now you court, you will upbraid.

_Phil_. False lovers broach these tenets, to remove
The fault from them, by placing it on love.

_Cand_. Yet grant, in youth you keep alive your fire,
Old age will come, and then it must expire:
Youth but a while does at love's temple stay,
As some fair inn, to lodge it on the way.

_Phil_. Your doubts are kind; but, to be satisfied
I can be true, I beg I may be tried.

_Cand_. Trials of love too dear the making cost;
For if successless, the whole venture's lost.
What you propose, brings wants and care along.

_Phil_. Love can bear both.

_Cand_. But is your love so strong?

_Phil_. They do not want, who wish not to have more;
Who ever said an anchoret was poor?

_Cand_. To answer generously, as you have done,
I should not by your arguments be won:
I know, I urge your ruin by consent;
Yet love too well, that ruin to prevent.

_Phil_. Like water given to those whom fevers fry,
You kill but him, who must without it die.

_Cand_. Secure me, I may love without a crime;
Then, for our flight, appoint both place and time.

_Phil_. The ensuing hour my plighted vows shall be;
The time's not long; or only long to me.

_Cand_. Then, let us go where we shall ne'er be seen
By my hard mother.

_Phil_. Or my cruel queen.

[_Exeunt_ PHIL. _and_ CAND.

_Queen above_. O, Philocles, unkind to call me cruel!
So false Aeneas did from Dido fly;
But never branded her with cruelty.
How I despise myself for loving so!

_Ast_. At once you hate yourself, and love him too.

_Queen_. No, his ingratitude has cured my wound:
A painful cure indeed!

_Ast_. And yet not sound.
His ignorance of your true thoughts
Excuses this; you did seem cruel, madam.

_Queen_. But much of kindness still mixed with it.
Who could mistake so grossly, not to know
A Cupid frowning, when he draws his bow?

_Ast_. He's going now to smart for his offence.

_Queen_. Should he, without my leave, depart from
hence?

_Ast_. No matter; since you hate him, let him go.

_Queen_. But I my hate by my revenge will show:
Besides, his head's a forfeit to the state.

_Ast_. When you take that, I will believe you hate.
Let him possess, and then he'll soon repent;
And so his crime will prove his punishment.

_Queen_. He may repent; but he will first possess.

_Ast_. O, madam, now your hatred you confess:
If his possessing her your rage does move,
'Tis jealousy, the avarice of love.

_Queen_. No more, Asteria.
Seek Lysimantes out, bid him set his guards
Through all the court and city.
Prevent their marriage first; then stop their flight.
Some fitting punishments I will ordain,
But speak not you of Philocles again:
'Tis bold to search, and dangerous to find,
Too much of heaven's, or of a prince's mind.
[_Queen descends, and exit_.

_As the Queen has done speaking,_ FLAVIA _is going
hastily over the stage;_ ASTERIA _sees her_.

_Ast_. Flavia, Flavia, whither so fast?

_Fla_. Did you call, Asteria?

_Ast_. The queen has business with Prince Lysimantes;
Speak to any gentleman in the court, to fetch him.
[_Exit_ ASTERIA _from above_.

_Fla_. I suspect somewhat, but I'll watch you close;
Prince Lysimantes has not chose in me
The worst spy of the court -
Celadon! what makes he here?

_Enter_ CELADON, OLINDA, _and_ SABINA; _they walk over the
stage together, he seeming to court them_.

_Olind_. Nay, sweet Celadon -

_Sab_. Nay, dear Celadon.

_Fla_. O ho! I see his business now; 'tis with Melissa's two
daughters: Look, look, how he peeps about, to see if the coast be
clear; like an hawk that will not plume, if she be looked on.

[_Exeunt_ CEL. OLIND. _and_ SAB.

So - at last he has trussed his quarry.

_Enter_ FLORIMEL.

_Flo_. Did you see Celadon this way?

_Fla_. If you had not asked the question, I should have thought
you had come from watching him; he's just gone off with Melissa's
daughters.

_Flo_. Melissa's daughters! he did not court 'em, I hope?

_Fla_. So busily, he lost no time: While he was teaching the one
a tune, he was kissing the other's hand.

_Flo_. O fine gentleman!

_Fla_. And they so greedy of him! did you never see two fishes
about a bait, tugging it this way and t'other way? for my part, I
looked at least he should have lost a leg or arm i'the service. - Nay,
never vex yourself, but e'en resolve to break with him.

_Flo_. No, no, 'tis not come to that yet; I'll correct him first,
and then hope the best from time.

_Fla_. From time! believe me, there's little good to be
expected from him. I never knew the old gentleman with the scythe and
hour-glass bring any thing but grey hair, thin cheeks, and loss of
teeth: You see Celadon loves others.

_Flo_. There's the more hope he may love me among the rest: Hang
it, I would not marry one of these solemn fops; they are good for
nothing, but to make cuckolds. Give me a servant, that is an high
flier at all games, that is bounteous of himself to many women; and
yet, whenever I pleased to throw out the lure of matrimony, should
come down with a swing, and fly the better at his own quarry.

_Fla_. But are you sure you can take him down when you think
good?

_Flo_. Nothing more certain.

_Fla_. What wager will you venture upon the trial?

_Flo_. Any thing.

_Fla_. My maidenhead to yours.

_Flo_. That's a good one; who shall take the forfeit?

_Fla_. I'll go and write a letter, as from these two sisters, to
summon him immediately; it shall be delivered before you. I warrant,
you see a strange combat betwixt the flesh and the spirit: If he
leaves you to go to them, you'll grant he loves them better?

_Flo_. Not a jot the more: A bee may pick of many flowers, and
yet like some one better than all the rest.

_Fla_. But then your bee must not leave his sting behind him.

_Flo_. Well; make the experiment however: I hear him coming, and
a whole noise of fidlers at his heels. Hey-day, what a mad husband
shall I have! -

_Enter CELADON_.

_Fla_. And what a mad wife will he have! Well, I must go a little
way, but I'll return immediately, and write it: You'll keep him in
discourse the while? [_Exit_ FLA.

_Cel_. Where are you, madam? What, do you mean to run away thus?
Pray stand to't, that we may despatch this business.

_Flo_. I think you mean to watch me, as they do witches, to
make me confess I love you. Lord, what a bustle have you kept this
afternoon? What with eating, singing, and dancing, I am so wearied,
that I shall not be in case to hear any more love this fortnight.

_Cel_. Nay, if you surfeit on't before trial, Lord have mercy
upon you, when I have married you.

_Flo_. But what king's revenue, do you think, will maintain this
extravagant expence?

_Cel_. I have a damnable father, a rich old rogue, if he would
once die! Lord, how long does he mean to make it ere he dies!

_Flo_. As long as ever he can, I'll pass my word for him.

_Cel_. I think, then, we had best consider him as an obstinate
old fellow, that is deaf to the news of a better world; and ne'er stay
for him.

_Flo_. But e'en marry; and get him grandchildren in abundance,
and great-grandchildren upon them, and so inch him and shove him out
of the world by the very force of new generations - if that be the way,
you must excuse me.

_Cel_. But dost thou know what it is to be an old maid?

_Flo_. No, nor hope I shan't these twenty years.

_Cel_. But when that time comes, in the first place, thou wilt
be condemned to tell stories, how many men thou mightst have had; and
none believe thee: Then thou growest forward, and impudently weariest
all thy friends to solicit man for thee.

_Flo_. Away with your old common-place-wit: I am resolved to grow
fat, and look young till forty, and then slip out of the world, with
the first wrinkle, and the reputation of five and twenty.

_Cel_. Well, what think you now of a reckoning betwixt us?

_Flo_. How do you mean?

_Cel_. To discount for so many days of my years service, as I
have paid in this morning.

_Flo_. With all my heart.

_Cel_. _Imprimis_, for a treat.
_Item_, For my glass coach.
_Item_, For sitting bare, and wagging your fan.
And lastly, and principally, for my fidelity to you this long hour
and half.

_Flo_. For this I bate you three weeks of your service; now hear
your bill of faults; for your comfort 'tis a short one.

_Cel_. I know it.

_Flo_. _Imprimis_, _item_, and sum total, for keeping
company with Melissa's daughters.

_Cel_. How the pox came you to know of that? Gad, I believe
the devil plays booty against himself, and tells you of my sins.
[_Aside_.

_Flo_. The offence being so small, the punishment shall be but
proportionable; I will set you back only half a year.

_Cel_. You're most unconscionable: When then do you think we
shall come together? There's none but the old patriarchs could live
long enough to marry you at this rate. What, do you take me for some
cousin of Methusalem's, that I must stay an hundred years, before I
come to beget sons and daughters?

_Flo_. Here's an impudent lover! he complains of me without ever
offering to excuse himself; _item_, a fortnight more for that.

_Cel_. So, there's another puff in my voyage, has blown me back
to the north of Scotland.

_Flo_. All this is nothing to your excuse for the two sisters.

_Cel_. 'Faith, if ever I did more than kiss them, and that but
once -

_Flo_. What could you have done more to me?

_Cel_. An hundred times more; as thou shalt know, dear rogue, at
time convenient.

_Flo_. You talk, you talk; could you kiss them, though but once,
and ne'er think of me?

_Cel_. Nay, if I had thought of thee, I had kissed them over a
thousand times, with the very force of imagination.

_Flo_. The gallants are mightily beholden to you; you have found
them out a new way to kiss their mistresses, upon other women's lips.

_Cel_. What would you have? You are my Sultana Queen, the
rest are but in the nature of your slaves; I may make some slight
excursions into the enemy's country for forage, or so, but I ever
return to my head quarters.

_Enter one with a letter_.

_Cel_. To me?

_Mess_. If your name be Celadon. [_CEL. reads softly_.

_Flo_. He is swallowing the pill; presently we shall see the
operation.

_Cel. to the page_.] Child, come hither, child; here's money for
thee: So, begone quickly, good child, before any body examines thee:
Thou art in a dangerous place, child - [_Thrusts him out_.]
Very good; the sisters send me word, they will have the fiddles this
afternoon, and invite me to sup there! - Now, cannot I forbear, an I
should be damned, tho' I have scap'd a scouring so lately for it. Yet
I love Florimel better than both of them together; there's the riddle
on't: But only for the sweet sake of variety. - [_Aside_.] Well,
we must all sin, and we must all repent, and there's an end on't.

_Flo_. What is it, that makes you fidge up and down so?

_Cel_. 'Faith, I am sent for by a very dear friend, and 'tis upon
a business of life and death.

_Flo_. On my life, some woman?

_Cel_. On my honour, some man; do you think I would lie to you?

_Flo_. But you engaged to sup with me.

_Cel_. But I consider it may be scandalous to stay late in
your lodgings. Adieu, dear miss! If ever I am false to thee again! -
[_Exit_ CELADON.

_Flo_. See what constant metal you men are made of! He begins to
vex me in good earnest. Hang him, let him go and take enough of 'em:
And yet, methinks, I can't endure he should neither. Lord, that such a
mad-cap as I should ever live to be jealous! I must after him.
Some ladies would discard him now, but I
A fitter way for my revenge will find;
I'll marry him, and serve him in his kind.

[_Exit_ FLO.



ACT IV.

SCENE I, - _The Walks_.

MELISSA, _after her_ OLINDA _and_ SABINA.


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